• Intracoastal Dredging Project from Town Docks to Peanut Island
  • UPDATE 9-18-2018: Peak of Hurricane Season Behind Us
  • This Week in Palm Beach 9-14-2018
  • VIDEO & E-NEWS: This Week in Palm Beach - September 7, 2018
  • No Blue-Green Algae Reported in Lake Worth Lagoon - Palm Beach Intracoastal

 

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Intracoastal Dredging Project from Town Docks to Peanut Island
By: R. Michael Brown, Civic Association Communications Director -- The Florida Inland Navigation District (FIND) plans to dredge the Intracoastal Waterway between the Port of Palm Beach to the Town of Palm Beach Docks to a depth of -12 feet at average low tide depth.
UPDATE 9-18-2018: Peak of Hurricane Season Behind Us
The historical peak of Hurricane Season is September 10. It doesn't mean we are out of the woods but the peak is in the past.  Will the calm last?  Probably not.  Hurricane Season concludes November 30. See maps below:
This Week in Palm Beach 9-14-2018
Get the news that is important to you in This Week in Palm Beach. September 14, 2018 edition. Click Here To See Original Full E-Newsletter
Traffic Alert: Former President George Bush in Town on Friday
Former President George W. Bush will be in Palm Beach for a Friday evening reception 9/14/2018. Expect a motorcade along with the usual Secret Service protection detail for the president. The location or exact time have not been released. 
VIDEO & E-NEWS: This Week in Palm Beach - September 7, 2018
Get the news that is important to you in This Week in Palm Beach. September 7, 2018 edition.
No Blue-Green Algae Reported in Lake Worth Lagoon - Palm Beach Intracoastal
By: R. Michael Brown, Civic Association Communication Director -- The Palm Beach Civic Association office has received several inquiries regarding blue-green algae in the Lake Worth Lagoon and Intracoastal from our members and Directors. A greenish substance was observed by members and photographed in the Intracoastal.
This Week in Palm Beach - August 31, 2018
Get the news that is important to you in This Week in Palm Beach. August 31, 2018 edition. Click Here To See Original Full E-Newsletter
Primary Winners for Florida on Palm Beach Ballots
By R. Michael Brown, Civic Association Communications Director -- The results for the Primary Election on August 28, 2018 for candidates on ballots in Palm Beach are shown below.
Top Stories
Intracoastal Dredging Project from Town Docks to Peanut Island
Posted by R. Michael Brown
Published: Wednesday, 19 September 2018 11:16

By: R. Michael Brown, Civic Association Communications Director -- The Florida Inland Navigation District (FIND) plans to dredge the Intracoastal Waterway between the Port of Palm Beach to the Town of Palm Beach Docks to a depth of -12 feet at average low tide depth.

IntracoastalDredgeProject w300Approximately 90,000 cubic yards of material will be removed from the Intracoastal bottom along the 4.5 mile route.

The permit states that the "material should be dredged via the use of either a mechanical or hydraulic dredge to remove all material from the dredge template. Dredged material should be offloaded at a District-owned ±17-acre dredged material management area (DMMA) located on the north end of Peanut Island."

The plans show that the project will start at the Port of Palm Beach and proceed south. After bids are received by FIND and the project is awarded, the dredging company will have 180 days to complete the project.

In addition, there is an old 5-inch AT&T abandoned conduit that lies within the Intracoastal Waterway channel bottom that will be removed.

The District is holding a mandatory pre-bid meeting for dredging contractors at 11:00 AM, September 20, 2018 at the project site at Riviera Beach City Marina located at 200 E 13th Street; Riviera Beach, FL 33404.

Maintenance dredging bids are being recived at FIND at its offices in Jupiter, Florida until 2 PM, October 4, and then the bids will be publicly opened.

usaceDredge w600

 

Top Stories
UPDATE 9-18-2018: Peak of Hurricane Season Behind Us
Posted by R. Michael Brown
Published: Wednesday, 19 September 2018 08:02

The historical peak of Hurricane Season is September 10. It doesn't mean we are out of the woods but the peak is in the past.  Will the calm last?  Probably not.  Hurricane Season concludes November 30. See maps below:

A large area of disturbed weather located a little more than 1000 miles east of the Windward Islands is associated with a tropical wave moving westward about 10 to 15 mph. Some slight development is possible during the next day or two before the environment becomes unfavorable for tropical cyclone formation.

* Formation chance through 48 hours...low...20 percent.
* Formation chance through 5 days...low...20 percent.

Grab map to move it to see more. Move day and time to see the future.

See the animation above at https://www.windy.com

cone graphic

 

NHC Details
https://www.nhc.noaa.gov/cyclones/

National Hurricane Center Report

“Over the next six weeks we will see a steady parade of strong tropical waves emerging from the coast of Africa, and some of these waves will be capable of acting as the seeds for the most dangerous type of Atlantic hurricanes – the Cape Verde storms,” said Weather Underground co-founder Jeff Masters in his Category 6 blog.

Mr. Masters says the Atlantic had unusually cool sea-surface temperatures earlier this season, but that they have since rebounded to near average.

“Wind shear is still higher than average over much of the tropical Atlantic, but we could nevertheless see the development of our first Cape Verde-type system late this week,” Mr. Masters said.

The period between Aug. 20 and Oct. 10 accounts for 60 percent of all Atlantic Basin hurricanes and 75 percent of all major hurricanes (Category 3 or stronger) in that basin, according to Dr. Phil Klotzbach, a tropical scientist at Colorado State University.

HurricanePeakGraph

 

Top Stories
This Week in Palm Beach 9-14-2018
Posted by Stephan Nilson
Published: Friday, 14 September 2018 12:11

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

Click Here To See Original Full E-Newsletter

OkeechobeeCorridor3DAerial w600To subscribe to This Week in Palm Beach and receive it in your inbox, CLICK HERE

UPDATE
MEETING CANCELLED:

Tuesday, September 25, 9:30 AM
Planning and Zoning Commission Meeting

Town Council Chambers

 

 

 

 

 

Presidential Visists
Traffic Alert: Former President George Bush in Town on Friday
Posted by R. Michael Brown
Published: Thursday, 13 September 2018 15:49

Former President George W. Bush will be in Palm Beach for a Friday evening reception 9/14/2018. Expect a motorcade along with the usual Secret Service protection detail for the president. The location or exact time have not been released. 

Top Stories
VIDEO & E-NEWS: This Week in Palm Beach - September 7, 2018
Posted by Stephan Nilson
Published: Friday, 07 September 2018 16:15

Get the news that is important to you in This Week in Palm Beach. September 7, 2018 edition.

This Week in Palm Beach - September 7, 2018To subscribe to This Week in Palm Beach and receive it in your inbox, CLICK HERE

Civic Association News Video [3:10]

 

 

 

 

 

Top Stories
No Blue-Green Algae Reported in Lake Worth Lagoon - Palm Beach Intracoastal
Posted by R. Michael Brown
Published: Thursday, 06 September 2018 14:46

By: R. Michael Brown, Civic Association Communication Director -- The Palm Beach Civic Association office has received several inquiries regarding blue-green algae in the Lake Worth Lagoon and Intracoastal from our members and Directors. A greenish substance was observed by members and photographed in the Intracoastal.

IntracoastalSludgeIMG 6357A w300The Civic Association contacted Terrie Bates, Water Resources Manager at the South Florida Water Management District, and Rob Weber, Town of Palm Beach Coastal Program Manager, and asked them about the potential sighting of blue-green-algae.

Photo: August, 2018 Courtesy of Bob Holuba

Ms. Bates responded that they had not released water into the C-51 Canal from Lake Okeechobee and don’t see a need to in the near future. She said Lake O water is being directed south.

Mr. Weber responded in an email as follows:

"Blue-green algae is currently not a problem in the Lake Worth Lagoon and is not threatening our beaches.

Please note that no blue-green algae has been observed by either Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP), South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD), or Palm Beach County Environmental Resource Management (PBERM) east [downdrift] of the 2nd spillway structure near Southern Blvd. and State Road 7 within canal C-51 in 2018.

  • Blue-green algal bloom impacts to the Lake Worth Lagoon/Palm Beach Inlet/Beaches would most likely occur from canal C-51 discharges.
  • Town of Palm Beach staff visually observes the conditions both west (updrift) and east (downdrift) of the C-51 spillway structure near Federal Highway on a weekly basis.
  • Town of Palm Beach staff reviews online reporting through the FDEP website on a daily basis.
  • Palm Beach County ERM visually observes the entire length of canal C-51 from Lake Okeechobee to the Lake Worth Lagoon approximately every two (2) days.
  • FDEP performs all reporting, documenting, and testing for blue-green algae.


IntracoastalSilt1A w300Testing results are reviewed by the Florida Department of Health and notices to the public are provided, if necessary.

Photo: Docks, August 28, 2018 Courtesy of Brad Gary

Any sightings of blue-green algae should be reported through FDEP using the following link: https://floridadep.gov/dear/algal-bloom or calling FDEP at (855) 305-3903."

In the meantime, the Civic Association will continue to watch the waterway. 

Background and Latest News

LakeO AlgaeHighly toxic blue-green algae — nearly 50 times the level considered hazardous — was found in an Aug. 23 sample taken from the C-44 (St. Lucie Canal) in Martin County, where Lake O water enters the St. Lucie River.

Image: Blue-green algae in Lake O on August 14, 2018.

A sample taken just feet away from there last week was not toxic, according to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.

Microcystin, the toxin in the blue-green algae, can cause nausea and vomiting if ingested and rashes and hay fever symptoms if touched or inhaled. Drinking water with the toxin can cause long-term liver disease.

Treasure Coast Congressman, Rep. Brian Mast [R], introduced a bill in Congress Tuesday night which defines "public health and safety" as managing lake levels in a way that:

  • Minimizes potential of toxic blue-green algae blooms 
  • Prevents discharges containing toxins into the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee rivers
  • Ensures enough water moves south to the Everglades, Florida Bay and the Caloosahatchee watershed.

"Our health and human safety here is not mentioned at all when it comes to Lake Okeechobee, and that has to stop," the Palm City Republican said at a Tuesday news conference to unveil his bill. "What we're demanding is that we be given priority as well."

Current Lake Okeechobee Water Levels

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers just announced today that water flows from Lake Okeechobee will continue into the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie rivers until further notice.

The Corps announced Thursday that the water flow at W. P. Franklin Lock and Dam will be a constant 3,000 cubic feet per second (cfs).

That's higher than the previous 14-day average set on August 24th of 2,000 cfs on a pulse schedule.

They are however reducing the amount flowing in pulse releases into the St. Lucie River from 1,500 cfs over the last two weeks to 1,170 cfs over the next seven days.

According to the Corps, Lake Okeechobee is currently at 14.66 feet above sea level, almost a foot higher than it was at this time last year. During the past week, lake levels rose 0.06 feet, with a 0.27 foot rise in the past 30 days.

South Florida Water Management District meteorologists estimate that Tropical Storm Gordon dropped approximately 1- 1.5 inches of rain over Lake Okeechobee within the last 7 days,

The current potential for hurricanes, now in the peak of the season, is a threat to the water levels in the lake. 

UPDATE 9-6-2018: Tropical Activity Heating Up in the Atlantic

 

Top Stories
This Week in Palm Beach - August 31, 2018
Posted by R. Michael Brown
Published: Thursday, 30 August 2018 18:36

Get the news that is important to you in This Week in Palm Beach. August 31, 2018 edition.

Click Here To See Original Full E-Newsletter

Sue and James Patterson bookTo subscribe to This Week in Palm Beach and receive it in your inbox, CLICK HERE

 

 

 

 

Top Stories
Primary Winners for Florida on Palm Beach Ballots
Posted by R. Michael Brown
Published: Wednesday, 29 August 2018 11:47

By R. Michael Brown, Civic Association Communications Director -- The results for the Primary Election on August 28, 2018 for candidates on ballots in Palm Beach are shown below.

Palm Beach turnout at the polls on Tuesday was very light and we're still waiting to hear about overall turnout and specific results from precincts in Town.  However, the Civic Association Online Voters Guide showed over 14,400 views so there was tremendous interest in the Primary Election. 

Now that the primaries are over, major races will be for U.S. Senate between Rick Scott [R] and Bill Nelson [D] and for Governor between Ron DeSantis [R] and Andrew Gillum [D].  To learn more about the candidates, read their bios and visit their websites by going to the Civic Association Online Voters Guide.

Primary Winners on Palm Beach Ballots

U.S. Senate [R]
Rick Scott

Governor [R]
Ron DeSantis

Governor [D]
Andrew Gillum

Attorney General [R]
Ashley Moody

Attorney General [D]
Sean Shaw

Agriculture Commissioner [R]
Matt Caldwell

Agriculture Commissioner [D]
Nikki Fried

State Senate District 30 [D]
Bobby Powell

State House District 89 [R]
Mike Caruso

State House District 89 [D]
Jim Bonfiglio

Port of Palm Beach Group 5 [D]
Joseph Anderson

Circuit Court 15 Seat 13*
Scott Kerner 41%
Alcolya St. Juste 38%

Circuit Court 15 Seat 18*
Maxine Cheesman 41%
Marybel Coleman 32%

Circuit Court 15 Seat 25*
Sarah Willis 40%
Michael McAuliffe 34%

Palm Beach County Judge, Group 5*
Sara Alijewicz 52%

Palm Beach County Judge, Group 4*
Ashley Zuckerman 30%
Allegra Philipa Fung 23%

*In the judge races, if no one got 50% of the vote, there is a runoff between the top two vote getters in the General Election in November. In this primary, Sara Alijewicz is the only judge candidate that got 50% of the vote or higher so she won't have a runoff.  All other judge races will have a runoff on Nobember 6, 2018. 

See Detailed Results (Palm Beach Post)

Jeff Greene: ‘I don’t think progressives like billionaires’ (Palm Beach Daily News)

All three PBC circuit judge races head for decision on Nov. 6  (Palm Beach Post)


Sara Alijewicz wins county judge seat; Fung, Zuckerman in runoff (Palm Beach Post)
 

See the Civic Association Online Midterm Election Voters Guide

 

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.

 


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