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  • UPDATE 10-17-2017: Tropical Weather Outlook
  • 3 Wise Leaders, 1 Dynamic Organization
  • This Week in Palm Beach - October 13, 2017
  • After Hurricane Irma, Undergrounding Proves It Works in Other Towns
  • Palm Beach County Braces for Exodus from Puerto Rico Hurricane Crisis [Video]

 

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UPDATE 10-17-2017: Tropical Weather Outlook
Potential tropical development east of Florida and the Bahamas blew apart from strong upper-level winds.
3 Wise Leaders, 1 Dynamic Organization
The roster of Civic Association directors reads like a Who’s Who of the nation’s top philanthropists, entrepreneurs, CEO’s, ambassadors, and other elite business professionals.
This Week in Palm Beach - October 13, 2017
Get the news that is important to you in This Week in Palm Beach. October 13, 2017 edition. Click Here To See Original Full E-Newsletter
After Hurricane Irma, Undergrounding Proves It Works in Other Towns
By; R. Michael Brown, Civic Association Communiciation Director -- Gene Rauth, Town Manager of Jupiter Island, had nothing but positive things to say about how their underground utilities performed during and after Hurricane Irma.
Palm Beach County Braces for Exodus from Puerto Rico Hurricane Crisis [Video]
Palm Beach County Cares, a group of county leaders, businesses and non-profit organization, held a press conference at the Port of Palm Beach Wednesday afternoon to discuss its countywide relief to help Puerto Rican evacuees coming into the county.
UPDATE 10-11-2017 4:30 pm: POSTPONED: Lane to Close on Southern Blvd. Bridge Overnight
FDOT News Release -- Due to weather, the lane closure scheduled for Thursday night has been cancelled and rescheduled for 7:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 16, until 6 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 17.
Kennedy Bunker on Peanut Island Closing Oct. 22
If you’ve never been to the Cold War-era John F. Kennedy bunker on Peanut Island, you’d better hurry. It’s closing Oct. 22, and it’s not known when it might re-open.
UPDATE 10-6-2017: Tropical Storm Nate Forms in Gulf - US Threat this Weekend
Tropical Depression Nate formed in the Southwestern Caribbean and it's moving northwest at 20 mph.
Top Stories
UPDATE 10-17-2017: Tropical Weather Outlook
Posted by R. Michael Brown
Published: Tuesday, 17 October 2017 08:03

Potential tropical development east of Florida and the Bahamas blew apart from strong upper-level winds.

The storm will still have shower and thunderstorm activity but get taken out to sea by a pending cold front.

 

 

 

Top Stories
3 Wise Leaders, 1 Dynamic Organization
Posted by R. Michael Brown
Published: Monday, 16 October 2017 11:51

The roster of Civic Association directors reads like a Who’s Who of the nation’s top philanthropists, entrepreneurs, CEO’s, ambassadors, and other elite business professionals.

ShinySheetPage3Ad PB Civic Assoc 101517 w600Bob Wright, Chairman of the Palm Beach Civic Association, and the former Vice Chairman of General Electric and Chief Executive Officer of NBC and NBC Universal, also has founded two charitable foundations that raise funds and awareness for autism and pancreatic cancer.

Image: Civic Association Ad in the Shiny Sheet on Page 3 of the Season Preview Edition 2017-2018

Civic Association Director Hillie Mahoney is co-founder and Chairman of the Harvard Mahoney Neuroscience Institute in Boston, a Trustee at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, a Director of The Charles A. Dana Foundation, and the Mahoney Institute of Neurological Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania.

Thomas Peterffy, a Civic Association Director, formed the first entirely automated trading firm known today as Interactive Brokers Firm, LLC, where he is Chairman and CEO. He recently founded Holistic Integrative Health (HIH), a premier medical wellness and diagnostic center, located in Royal Poinciana Plaza.

The three recently shared their thoughts on the Palm Beach Civic Association…

Mr. Peterffy: “Civic Association members have a depth and diversity of backgrounds that is probably unparalleled in any other similarly small community. They all have unique expertise in various areas. We are all grateful for Bob’s willingness to take a leadership role in the Association.”

Mr. Wright: “When members go to events, they meet new people and form relationships with interesting people from a variety of different backgrounds. We bring people together.”

Mrs. Mahoney: “The Civic Association helps keep us informed about all that is going on in Palm Beach. Most of us travel. When we get the newsletter, we’re never out of touch. It’s a very congenial group. I’ve found everyone to be so genuine and helpful.”

Mr. Wright: “We’ve created committees dealing with town issues and that brings a whole new dimension to becoming a member of the Civic Association. We’ve spent a lot of time on infrastructure issues like bridges and undergrounding. All those things have brought us in touch with many new people both on and off the island.”

Through the Civic Association, we see eye to eye on what’s important to the Town of Palm Beach. Protecting and preserving our wonderful community, and enjoying true camaraderie, is why you should become a member of the Civic Association.

Civic Association Leadership Begins with Our Citizens

Become a Member and Join Us for Our Signature Events

Underground Utilities Forum
Thursday, November 16

Annual Holiday Party*
Monday, December 11
Co-sponsored by Earl J. Campazzi, MD and Boca Nursing

Major Contributor Reception*
Tuesday, January 23

Ambassador Series*
Friday, February 2
Sponsored by First Republic Bank

Four Arts Garden Tour*
Thursday, February 8

Annual Award Luncheon with MSNBC Anchor Brian Williams*
Monday, February 12
Co-sponsored by Good Samaritan Medical Center and Florida Crystals

Town Council Candidates Debate
Thursday, March 1

Ambassador Luncheon Series*
Wednesday, March 14

Annual Membership Meeting
End of Season Party
Monday, April 16

*By Invitation Only

Join Today | 561-655-0820 | www.PalmBeachCivic.org/JoinToday

 

Top Stories
This Week in Palm Beach - October 13, 2017
Posted by Stephan Nilson
Published: Friday, 13 October 2017 10:13

Get the news that is important to you in This Week in Palm Beach. October 13, 2017 edition.

Click Here To See Original Full E-Newsletter

town hallTo subscribe to This Week in Palm Beach and receive it in your inbox, CLICK HERE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Top Stories
After Hurricane Irma, Undergrounding Proves It Works in Other Towns
Posted by R. Michael Brown
Published: Thursday, 12 October 2017 15:30

By; R. Michael Brown, Civic Association Communiciation Director -- Gene Rauth, Town Manager of Jupiter Island, had nothing but positive things to say about how their underground utilities performed during and after Hurricane Irma.

"Our town did great," said Mr. Rauth. "We would still be dealing with downed poles and lines if our utilities were still above ground." 

Jupiter Island completed their undergrounding in 2007. 

Photos: Horizontal drill for installing underground utility lines in the South End, Palm Beach

"The three feeder lines over on the mainland went down and caused an outage here on the island for three days but the minute FPL got those back online the island came back on," said Mr. Rauth. "After Hurricane Wilma in 2005, we were dealing with power outages for weeks. During Hurricane Mathew last year, we never lost power." 

Plus with all the flooding rain for the last few weeks, "No problems at all," he said. 

UndergroundingDrillerWithPowerlinesIMG 8525 350Currently the Town of Palm Beach is in Phase 1 of Undergrounding with horizontal drilling and installation in the North end from Onondaga north to the Inlet and from the southern Town limits to Sloan's Curve.

The Civic Association is holding an Underground Utility Update and Hurricane Recovery Report Community Forum on Thursday, November 16, at 10 am at the Episcopal Church of Bethesda-by-the-Sea.  Everyone is welcome.

Featured presenters are: Tom Bradford, Palm Beach Town Manager; Jay Boodheshwar, Deputy Town Manager; Steven Stern, Underground Utilities Project Manager; and Patricia Strayer, Town Engineer.

 

After Hurricane Irma, South Florida Cities and FPL Consider More Underground Lines

After Hurricane Irma's winds took out 90 percent of South Florida's power, many residents wondered why more of the region’s power lines are not underground.

Read More (Sun Sentinel)

 

Top Stories
Palm Beach County Braces for Exodus from Puerto Rico Hurricane Crisis [Video]
Posted by R. Michael Brown
Published: Thursday, 12 October 2017 11:27

Palm Beach County Cares, a group of county leaders, businesses and non-profit organization, held a press conference at the Port of Palm Beach Wednesday afternoon to discuss its countywide relief to help Puerto Rican evacuees coming into the county.

"Juan Pagan, President of the Puerto Rican/Hispanic Chamber of Commerce expects around 100,000 Puerto Rican evacuees to come to Palm Beach County."

Click Below for Video - CBS12 [2:27]

Palm Beach County Cares, a group of county leaders, businesses and non-profit organization, held a press conference at the Port of Palm Beach Wednesday afternoon to discuss its countywide relief to help Puerto Rican evacuees coming into the county.
See More (CBS12)


South Florida Braces for Exodus from Puerto Rico Amid Hurricane Crisis
South Florida is seeing the beginning of what could be an exodus of tens of thousands of Puerto Ricans fleeing a humanitarian crisis on the island.
See More (Sun-Sentinel)

 
IRMA AFTERMATH

Hurricane Irma: Inspection Backlogs Grow as $5.3B OKed in Claims, Aid
Estimated insured losses and federal grants in Florida top $5.3 billion for Hurricane Irma, and the number is likely to grow because inspections have not yet been completed on tens of thousands of Palm Beach County households seeking help with home damage.
Read More (Palm Beach Post)

Scott, Putnam in D.C. to Discuss Irma’s $2.5B Agriculture Hit
Florida Gov. Rick Scott and Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam will meet with members of Florida’s congressional delegation in Washington today to discuss the state’s estimated $2.5 billion in agricultural losses from Hurricane Irma.
Read More (Palm Beach Post)

 

Top Stories
UPDATE 10-11-2017 4:30 pm: POSTPONED: Lane to Close on Southern Blvd. Bridge Overnight
Posted by R. Michael Brown
Published: Wednesday, 11 October 2017 15:00

FDOT News Release -- Due to weather, the lane closure scheduled for Thursday night has been cancelled and rescheduled for 7:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 16, until 6 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 17.

Flaggers will maintain two-way traffic in the eastbound lane – one direction at a time – to allow crews to pour concrete for one of the main temporary bridge piers.

SBlvdBridgeAerialOctober2017 170822057The Southern Boulevard (SR 80) Bridges Replacement Project includes replacing the existing bascule (draw) bridge and tide relief bridge over the Intracoastal Waterway (ICWW) and Lake Worth Lagoon between the Town of Palm Beach and the City of West Palm Beach.

The project limits are between Washington Road in West Palm Beach and State Road A1A/South Ocean Boulevard in Palm Beach. New decorative lighting, pedestrian features, traffic signals, signage and drainage are included. A temporary bridge will be built north of the existing bridge to maintain traffic while the replacement bascule bridge is under construction. Active construction began April 3, 2017, and will last until late 2020. The estimated construction cost is $93 million.

Contact Information
Angel Streeter Gardner
Community Outreach Specialist
(561) 886-8773
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Please visit the project website at www.southernblvdbridge.com for additional information.

 

Top Stories
Kennedy Bunker on Peanut Island Closing Oct. 22
Posted by R. Michael Brown
Published: Monday, 09 October 2017 10:54

If you’ve never been to the Cold War-era John F. Kennedy bunker on Peanut Island, you’d better hurry. It’s closing Oct. 22, and it’s not known when it might re-open.

The iconic property’s management is in a state of flux as Palm Beach County begins to consider whether to take over operation of the deteriorating treasure.

The Port of Palm Beach in Riviera Beach across from Peanut Island owns the 6 acres that are home to the bunker built in 1961 as a top-secret nuclear bomb shelter for Kennedy in case there was a nuclear attack while he was visiting his “Winter White House” — the Kennedy compound on the north end of Palm Beach.

Read More (Palm Beach Daily News)

 

Palm Beach County Exploring Kennedy Bunker Takeover On Peanut Island

Palm Beach County and the Port of Palm Beach are exploring the county taking over the Kennedy Bunker and Coast Guard Station on Peanut Island. Note: This is a developing story and a nothing is final yet.

Several areas are under review:

  • The County is developing a cost estimate to fix structural issues at the property and what the annual operating costs.would be.
    Cost sharing between the County and the Port.
  • The Port is creating a Roundtable Group including all the stakeholders that have an interest in the property. The Civic Association is part of that group.

Read More (Civic Association News)

Hurricane
UPDATE 10-6-2017: Tropical Storm Nate Forms in Gulf - US Threat this Weekend
Posted by R. Michael Brown
Published: Friday, 06 October 2017 11:33

Tropical Depression Nate formed in the Southwestern Caribbean and it's moving northwest at 20 mph.

The model tracks forecast that Nate will hit on or near New Orleans or east toward the Florida panhandle this weekend..

Sixteen

Sixteen

Read More (Weather Underground)

 

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.”


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