• VIDEO & E-NEWS: This Week in Palm Beach - June 14, 2018
  • Update on Town Issues & Presentation of Scholarships Highlight Town Council
  • Town Employee Scholarship Winner
  • Jeff Greene Joins Crowded Race for Florida Governor
  • Video of New Southern Blvd. Bridge Liftspan, Progress

 

home thumb sml this-week

home thumb sml elections

home thumb sml people places

home thumb sml event news

home thumb sml photos

home thumb sml videos

home thumb this week

home thumb elections

home thumb event news

home thumb people places

home thumb photos

home thumb video

VIDEO & E-NEWS: This Week in Palm Beach - June 14, 2018
Get the news that is important to you in This Week in Palm Beach. June 14, 2018 edition.
Update on Town Issues & Presentation of Scholarships Highlight Town Council
By Michele Dargan, Special for the Civic Association -- Town staff provided updates on undergrounding, shore protection, the recreation center, and a proposed total town staff compensation study at Tuesday’s Town Council meeting.
Jeff Greene Joins Crowded Race for Florida Governor
Civic Association Director Jeff Greene (D) has joined a crowded race for Florida Governor, competing against four Democratic candidates and two Republican candidates.
Video of New Southern Blvd. Bridge Liftspan, Progress
The new liftspan is in operation on the temporary Southern Blvd. Bridge and Michael Reiter, a Civic Association Director, video captured it as it was opening and closing.
This Week in Palm Beach - June 8, 2018
Get the news that is important to you in This Week in Palm Beach. June 8, 2018 edition. Click Here To See Original Full E-Newsletter
VIDEO & E-NEWS: This Week in Palm Beach - June 1, 2018
Get the news that is important to you in This Week in Palm Beach. June 1, 2018 edition.
SunPass Alert for All Drivers
From June 5 to June 11 SunPass will be updating thier systems. You may still use your transponders to pay for tolls during the system maintenance period. However, you won't be able to add money to your account during that period.
UPDATE 5-28-2018: SubTropical Storm Alberto Making Landfall
Alberto is expected to intensify on Sunday as it moves through the eastern Gulf of Mexico, likely bringing tropical-storm-force winds to Florida's west coast Sunday afternoon and the northern Gulf Coast by Sunday evening.
Top Stories
VIDEO & E-NEWS: This Week in Palm Beach - June 14, 2018
Posted by R. Michael Brown
Published: Wednesday, 13 June 2018 15:42

Get the news that is important to you in This Week in Palm Beach. June 14, 2018 edition.

ThisWeekInPalm Beach20180615 600wTo subscribe to This Week in Palm Beach and receive it in your inbox, CLICK HERE

Civic Association News Video [3:29]

 

Top Stories
Update on Town Issues & Presentation of Scholarships Highlight Town Council
Posted by R. Michael Brown
Published: Wednesday, 13 June 2018 12:22

By Michele Dargan, Special for the Civic Association -- Town staff provided updates on undergrounding, shore protection, the recreation center, and a proposed total town staff compensation study at Tuesday’s Town Council meeting.

At the beginning of the meeting, John Cregan of the Palm Beach Civic Association and Harry Wolin of the Citizens’ Association of Palm Beach presented a $3,000 scholarship to Jaquan Starling.

Mr. Starling, a graduating senior from Palm Beach Gardens High School, will be attending Florida International University in the fall majoring in mechanical engineering. In attendance was his mother LaTreshia Henry and his godmother Khia Chandler.

Undergrounding Update

Steve Stern, project manager of town-wide undergrounding, updated the council on the progress of the $105 million project.
Monthly coffee meeting updates are cancelled in July and will resume on Aug. 3 and 6 for the south and north respectively.
Phase 1 north: the horizontal drilling is complete on N. Ocean Blvd., north of Indian Road and on the entire East Inlet Drive loop.

The project reached a milestone in April by having all the main line horizontal directional drilling completed, as well as the AT&T and Comcast service conduits installed. The final work on Onondaga and Laurie Lane has begun and should be completed by the end of June.

Phase 1 south: The conduit installation by AT&T and Comcast will be completed by mid-June. All of the new FPL main line conduit has been installed. Street lights and hand hole boxes have been installed. New electrical cables are 97 percent complete south of Lake Avenue and cable installation is in progress north to Sloan’s Curve.

Phase 2 north design is on schedule and the guaranteed maximum price is on target and will be presented to Town Council in August.

Phase 2 south design is one month delayed and will be presented in September.

Mr. Stern said 52.3 percent of the phase 1 north budget has been spent and 71.7 percent of the phase 1 south budget has been spent. Construction is more than halfway complete for phase 1 of the project, he said.

The council agreed that there is a great deal of redundancy in staff presentations to both the Underground Utilities Task Force and the Town Council. The council agreed that Jeff Smith, chairman of the task force, and Town Manager Kirk Blouin can decide when the task force needs to meet for a critical issue.

FPL credits are estimated to be between $3 and $4 million, Mr. Stern said. Town staff has a meeting scheduled with Comcast next week and is still trying to set up a similar meeting with AT&T.

Update on the Recreation Center

The cash contributions and quality pledges received from the Friends of Recreation, Inc., up to $5 million, will serve as a match to the challenge grant from the Morton and Barbara Mandel Family Foundation.

Michael Ainslie, vice-chairman of the Friends of Recreation, Inc., said they have already received 60 percent of the fundraising – a little under $2.6 million. He also said Northern Trust has pledged 100 percent financing and will avoid paying interest payments until near the end of the project, he said. Of the 95 families who have funded the project so far, only 25 have made pledges, he said.

Coastal Update

The council voted unanimously to authorize staff to obtain a federal permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for the Groin Rehabilitation project. That permit will be good for 10 years.

Coastal Program Manager Rob Weber told the council that the beaches are in great shape.

“There’s a lot of stability to the beaches and, in most cases, we’re seeing them grow and improve,” he said.

Since the nor’easter in March, there’s been some shoaling in the inlet, he said. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will be doing a temporary dredging in the near shore off Reach One and Reach Two in the next week. It will only be about 16,000 cubic yards.

Because of the sea turtle nests, the sand can’t go on the beach. There are about 1200 turtle nests along the entire beach, he said.
Comprehensive Compensation and Benefits Study

Human Resources Director Danielle Olson presented a draft of criteria that would be used to hire a consultant to perform a Total Compensation Study for town employees.

Ms. Zeidman said she wants to see the overall data and let the council make the final decision on what they should do.
Ms. Lindsay agreed.

“Far more important than getting the data is analysis of the data and what the implications are for our salary structure and pension obligations going forward,” Mr. Crampton said.

During the citizen’s comment portion of the meeting, Pat Cooper spoke on behalf of the Palm Beach Civic Association. He said the Civic Association would support a Total Compensation Study with an independent party to find out where the town is in terms of comparative employee compensation.

The council directed staff to rework the Request for Proposal and bring it back next month.

 

Top Stories
Jeff Greene Joins Crowded Race for Florida Governor
Posted by R. Michael Brown
Published: Tuesday, 12 June 2018 12:51

Civic Association Director Jeff Greene (D) has joined a crowded race for Florida Governor, competing against four Democratic candidates and two Republican candidates.

And others are considering jumping in like Patrick Murphy on the Democratic side. The final date to file for the mid-term elections is June 22.

Mr. Greene says he is running for Governor, "to fix education and create a 21st century economy in Florida. In an interview this week Mr. Greene told the Palm Beach Post that he will spend "whatever it takes" to win. He added, "It could be $100 million."

 

 

 

Click Video Below to Play: WPBF-25ABC [1:15]

 

Top Stories
Video of New Southern Blvd. Bridge Liftspan, Progress
Posted by R. Michael Brown
Published: Monday, 11 June 2018 12:12

The new liftspan is in operation on the temporary Southern Blvd. Bridge and Michael Reiter, a Civic Association Director, video captured it as it was opening and closing.

"The liftspan takes about the same as a typical bascule bridge opening and closing," said Mr. Reiter.  "It's photographically boring at normal speed so I sped it up."  Note the bridge tender walking back and forth out of the trailer-like bridge tender's house.

Fast Speed Video [26 sec. - No Audio] Courtesy of Michael Reiter, Civic Association Director

S.Blvd.Bridge.Liftspan from Palm Beach Civic Association on Vimeo.

The operation of the temporary bridge is more manual than the permanent ones. The bridge tender walks out on the catwalk and uses a megaphone for the opening and closing instructions. You can see that happening in the video.

You can see the counterweights drop within the bridge support infrastructure and that lifts the span above the channel. After the boats have passed safey, the liftspan lowers and the counterweights return to the top of the bridge supports.

The project is continuing at a brisk pace. June plans:

  • Partial demolition of the tide relief bridge near Mar-a-Lago
  • Demolition of old main bridge’s bascule leaves
  • Install temporary construction walls
  • Install gravity wall on the south side of the Southern Boulevard Causeway
  • Exploratory drilling for replacement bridge foundations

FPL Permit Work:The eastbound right-turn lane on Southern Boulevard between Washington Road and Flagler Drive will be closed daily from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. starting Tuesday, May 29, until Friday, June 29, as FPL performs utility work in the area.

June2018AerialSBlvdTempBridge

Marine Restrictions:

The navigable Intracoastal Waterway (ICCW) through the Southern Boulevard Bridge will have half-channel closures from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

A double-span opening (full channel open) may be requested during those times if four-hour notice is provided by calling Project Superintendent Clay Bores at (407) 488-0738.

During half-channel closures, the horizontal clearance through the bridge is 40 feet. The Southern Boulevard Bridge opens for marine traffic twice per hour at 15 minutes and 45 minutes past the hour. 

 

Top Stories
This Week in Palm Beach - June 8, 2018
Posted by Stephan Nilson
Published: Thursday, 07 June 2018 17:01

Get the news that is important to you in This Week in Palm Beach. June 8, 2018 edition.

Click Here To See Original Full E-Newsletter

tent site To subscribe to This Week in Palm Beach and receive it in your inbox, CLICK HERE

 

 

 

 

Top Stories
VIDEO & E-NEWS: This Week in Palm Beach - June 1, 2018
Posted by Stephan Nilson
Published: Thursday, 31 May 2018 19:56

Get the news that is important to you in This Week in Palm Beach. June 1, 2018 edition.

This Week in Palm Beach 20180601 600wTo subscribe to This Week in Palm Beach and receive it in your inbox, CLICK HERE

Civic Association News Video [3:48]

 

 

 

 

 

Top Stories
SunPass Alert for All Drivers
Posted by R. Michael Brown
Published: Thursday, 31 May 2018 15:47

From June 5 to June 11 SunPass will be updating thier systems. You may still use your transponders to pay for tolls during the system maintenance period. However, you won't be able to add money to your account during that period.

In addition, SunPass Plus at Palm Beach International Airport and most other Florida airports will be shut down. You won't be able to pay using your SunPass transponder. You will have to pay with cash or credit card.

 

Weather
UPDATE 5-28-2018: SubTropical Storm Alberto Making Landfall
Posted by R. Michael Brown
Published: Monday, 28 May 2018 12:03

Alberto is expected to intensify on Sunday as it moves through the eastern Gulf of Mexico, likely bringing tropical-storm-force winds to Florida's west coast Sunday afternoon and the northern Gulf Coast by Sunday evening.

Clusters of thunderstorms with heavy rain and gusty winds are now pushing through parts of the Florida Peninsula, the northwestern Bahamas and central Cuba.

See More (Weather.com)

 

 

 

By Michele Dargan, Special to the Civic Association - Civic Association Urges Middle Ground. The hot-button issue of whether to ban the use of leaf blowers in Palm Beach is set for a discussion before the Town Council on February 14.

The issue has come before the council several times over the years, but no previous council has taken the final step to ban leaf blowers altogether.

Advocates say it will create a quieter, healthier, and more environmentally-friendly atmosphere.

Landscapers, who currently service the town, say it will drive up costs anywhere from 15 to 30 percent. They say there will be increased costs for the extra time it will take to use brooms, rakes, and/or hoses to get the job done.

They will have to hire more employees and put more vehicles on the road.  They say using brooms on the pavement areas won’t get them clean and hosing them down with water would waste a valuable resource.

The Palm Beach Civic Association sent a letter this week to Mayor Gail Coniglio and Town Council members advocating a middle ground approach.  The Association supports strict enforcement of low-noise leaf blowers, which meet the 65 decibel noise limit as required by the town.  This requirement is not being enforced and a wide range of blowers are currently being used, aggravating the noise problem.

downedtrees w400“We agree that noisy lawn maintenance equipment disturbs the quality of life in Palm Beach,” states the Civic Association letter. “However, we believe it is premature to enact a total ban on leaf blowers … We urge our town leaders to take a measured approach in addressing this issue given the many interests of the parties involved.”

The Association suggests conducting drive-by, on-site spot checks to identify violators.

Violators would be given an initial warning for a first violation with repeat offenders fined a significant amount such as $500 for a second violation and $1,000 for each additional violation.

“This should result in rapid compliance with current town regulations,” says the Association. “If this does not result in a significant reduction of noise, we would support addressing a total ban on leaf blowers.”

The Civic Association letter also calls for the use of one machine at a time on most properties, i.e. those less than one acre, which could result in a much lower noise level.

If the Town Council considers a total ban, Association leaders ask council members to consider the following questions:
*Landscapers report they will be forced to raise their rates 15 to 30 percent to get the job done without leaf blowers. Will residents be willing to accept the dramatic cost increases in exchange for a little less noise on a limited basis?

*What about landowners with large properties like The Breakers, private clubs, and golf courses?  It’s hard to imagine raking and sweeping these extensive properties.  Hosing down sidewalks, driveways, and parking lots will require significant amounts of water, a resource we try to conserve.

*Will a leaf blower ban enable the town’s public works department to properly maintain town-owned properties, parks, roadways, swales, and medians?  Does the town have a large enough work force and a big enough budget to handle the additional manual labor required?

Last month, the town’s Ordinance Rules and Standards Committee (ORS), comprised of councilwomen Bobbie Lindsay and Danielle Moore, recommended that the town ban all leaf blowers and sent their proposal to the council for discussion.
If the council does go the route of banning all leaf blowers, there may have to be some type of exemption for large properties like

The Breakers, private clubs, and golf courses, Ms. Moore said, “It’s easy to understand why it’s never been tackled, because it’s a very contentious issue,” Ms. Moore said.  “You have two opposite points of view.  You have the people who want to get rid of them because they serve up allergens, health issues, and noise.  Then you have the people who don’t feel that the noise is a compelling issue, don’t have a problem with it whatsoever, and don’t want their landscapers to increase prices and crews.  You have the people who say, ‘my yard won’t be as neat and clean if my landscaper doesn’t have the ability to blow the leaves.’  They say hosing the leaves is not environmentally conscious.  We’re not sure of the solution, but we’re hoping that by sending it to the full council we can come up with a compromise.”

rakeleaves w400Two of the largest landscaping companies who serve the town have written letters to their clients, urging them to contact council members with their concerns about the ban. Armstrong Landscape Design Group, Inc. and Scott Lewis’ Gardening and Trimming both say that, if the ban is enacted, prices will go up.

In his letter, Mr. Lewis states that “every gardener we have polled expects to increase prices between 15 to 30 percent due to real cost increases.  The alternative to blowers is a return to rakes, brooms, and water hoses as well as the increase in billable hours to perform these inefficient processes.  If you do nothing or if you support this change, the expected cost increase for a $750 a month bill would be $150 per month or $1,800 per year.”

Kurt Carlsen, director of maintenance for Armstrong, made many of the same points as Mr. Lewis: “You’re looking at increased labor which is an increased cost to us which is an increased cost to our clients,” Mr. Carlsen said.  “The alternative is using hoses, but that’s another push-button issue for people because water is the new gold.  Otherwise, we won’t get these places spotless, which is what they expect on Palm Beach Island.”

Paul Brazil, director of Public Works, said the town uses outside contractors for lawn maintenance to town properties.
Mr. Brazil said he believes it will have a financial impact to the town if leaf blowers are banned, however he doesn’t know how much it would be at this point.

BatteryLeafBlower w500Mr. Brazil said the town has purchased some cordless, battery-powered leaf blowers.  “In the beginning, we thought the (battery-powered) blowers cost substantially more, but the fact that there’s no maintenance and repair may make it a cost effective solution, he said.  “They’re substantially quieter.”

Town staff researched communities with a similar demographic to Palm Beach to determine what regulations, if any, they place on the operation of leaf blowers, according to a Jan. 5 memo from Code Enforcement management to Mr. Boodheshwar.
Many California municipalities have banned or restricted leaf blowers.  Greenwich, CT and East Hampton, NY have restrictions on the operation of leaf blowers.  Recently, the Town of Manalapan has decided not to ban leaf blowers, but to enforce a 65 decibel noise level.

Ms. Lindsay said. “The people on the smaller lots in town have numerous complaints – noise, particles in the air, and emissions.  A lot of people in Midtown and the North End, who feel the effects, say it’s easier to get rid of the leaf blowers.  For the condo areas and the large lots south of the B&T, we might want to do something different.  Whatever we do, we have to be able to enforce it.”


Click here to take a brief survey and register your view on this issue.

 


ZikaAlertBigBoxAd

TrafficAlertAd w350

FriendsORecreationAd