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July 22, 2014

Town seeks to replenish erosion advisory committee

With Ordinance 268 establishing the Beach Erosion committee as a five-member advisory board, the Town of Hillsboro Beach is casting a net for volunteers. Each member of the board, which serves in an advisory capacity to the town commission, will be a resident of hte Town of Hillsboro Beach, and will be appointed to the board by the town commission for a one-year term.

The Beach Erosion Committee will offer advice to the town commission with regard to beach renourishment and beach maintenance, as directed by the town commission. It also will review and advise the town commission on coastal environmental issues, including beach erosion and beach renourishment.

To apply, submit a letter of interest, along with a resume, to the town clerk: Jean-Marie Mark, at jmmark@townofhillsborobeach.com.

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June 25, 2014

City plans a Fourth with all the Fixings -- and a historical play

Even as Deerfield Beach begins next year’s budget this week, with every sign that spending is tighter than ever, the city is planning a generous July Fourth celebration: eight hours of music, food and, of course, $30,000 worth of fireworks by the masters of pyrotechnics, the Zambelli dynasty.
The funding comes courtesy of the city’s Community Redevelopment Agency, a special taxing entity defined by Florida law and set up to garner the benefit of increasing property values and reinvest them in improvements in the targeted area. In Deerfield, that area includes the beach and if the past is any predictor of this year, the food, fireworks and entertainment will bring elbow-to-elbow crowds.
To make getting to the barrier island simpler for everyone, the city has issued the following advisory:
• On Wednesday, July 2, beginning at 11 p.m., the Deerfield Beach International Fishing Pier will close, reopening July 5 at 6 a.m.
• On July 4, at 12 a.m., Ocean Way closes from Hillsboro Boulevard to Southeast Fourth Street, reopening July 5.
• Also on July 4, the Hillsboro Boulevard Bridge closes from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. and is in the locked-down position from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m.
• Finally, on July 4, A1A from Northeast First Street to Southeast Third Street will be closed to traffic.
Attendees are invited to park at The Cove Shopping Center, just west of the bridge at 1500 E. Hillsboro Boulevard, as well as at St. Ambrose Catholic Church, at 363 S.E. 12th Avenue. Shuttles will run from 11 a.m. to 5:45 p.m.; suspend from 5:45 p.m. to 11 p.m. when the Hillsboro Boulevard Bridge is closed, and resume for one hour beginning at 11 p.m.
Festivities begin at about noon. Food vendors as well as arts and crafts vendors will be setting up stalls at the Main Beach Parking Lot, at 149 S.E. 21st Avenue. Entertainment begins at 12:30 p.m. and runs until 6:45 p.m., with popular local bands, Bushwood, a six-piece, funky reggae rock band; Uproot Hootenanny, Grayson Rodgers Band of Cape Coral and BlueFire Band. From 7:30 p.m. to 9:05 p.m., the featured act is an Elton John Tribute band, Rocket Man.
New this year, at 7 p.m., a historic re-enactment of the signing of the Declaration of Independence at the south street stage, by a resident almost as well known as John Hancock: Anthony Dispenziere. Carefully researched, and acted by Dispenziere and his friend, this historical drama re-imagines how word spread of a revolution in the days before mass media.
For more information, see www.deerfieldbeach.com, or call 954-480-4429.

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June 6, 2014

City Clerk breathes life into Lighthouse Point's static web site

Fifteen months after City Clerk Jennifer Oh took it upon herself to spiff up the Lighthouse Point web site, the public face of the city is transformed.
Where a single page once laid out information with the thoroughness and poetry of a dictionary, calendar-worthy photos rotate past breaking news -- updates on the Kingfisher Waterway Replacement Project; on a new campaign to raise $50,000 to renovate a city playground and information on summer camp.
“The web site looked outdated,” Oh explained. “We had no capability for drop down menus. It was one long, scrolling page that went on and on.”
Now, in addition to drop-down menus, businesses can access important forms and residents information on garbage collection as well as a direct link to the national weather service. Every department is a click away and upcoming events and vital phone numbers no longer are buried formerly layers deep in the site.
Achieving that ease and elegance was not easy, and Oh credits Pam Kagan, a consultant and de facto web master. “I mentioned to her that I wanted to make some changes,” Oh recalls. “She said there were really nice designs that could completely update the whole site and wouldn’t cost that much…I spoke with Mayor Fred Schorr and he was all for it…”
Using a design template from WordPress, Oh began developing content. She called on residents and officials to provide the front page stories. The police department added a first-ever crime report. “We have a low crime rate, but there is crime everywhere,” Oh explained. “This is through the police department so residents know what has happened.”
Mayor Glenn Troast adds a newsletter twice a year, and last April, the revamped web site went live. The reviews have been, well, muted.
Leo Bentz, noted a change six months ago.“All of sudden whole program changed…..(and) I haven’t tried maybe as hard as I could have to figure out the searching,” said the 89-year-old attorney and former mayor, who studies budget documents for words like “reserve.” “…(But) everything we do with computers and searches is a learning curve.”
“I still get that newsletter. I get that every quarter, and they always hang banner sup everywhere. So why would I use it?” said Amy Ruguian, who handles public relations for Trinity Church Lighthouse Point. “It does look different from the last time I looked at it. It’s pretty,”

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Not even elected officials exempt from city's most ubiquitous crime

Lt. Ed Rosende gave a variation on the same report at district meetings from the BSO substation on Powerline Road to city hall; crime is down, for the most part -- murders, robberies, thefts. One category, however, is running counter to that trend.
Car burglaries have been a persistent problem – and they are on the rise.
In the past four weeks alone, BSO has handled 46 car burglaries in the City of Deerfield Beach. This week, came confirmation that nobody is immune. According to the police blotter, District 2 Commissioner Ben Preston and state Representative Gwyndolen Clarke-Reed became the latest victims, their cars burglarized on the same day.
One had the window of a locked vehicle smashed some time during the night of May 22. While the interior was ransacked, nothing appeared to be missing.
The other car was unlocked, and the burglars stole loose change that was left in view on the consolek.
Valuables in view are the equivalent of an open invitation, Chief Robert Schnakenberg said.
Both officials were advised to not comment on an ongoing investigation, but Schnakenberg points out that the circumstances are not identical. One car was unlocked while burglars gained access to the other by breaking the window.
In every other way, however, the burglaries were case studies of what is happening across the city.
They occurred on a Friday night; most burglaries occur between Tuesday and Friday.
They occurred between 10 p.m. and 11:15 a.m.; most of the reported car burglaries have occurred between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m.
And, in the case of the car without the broken window, they are crimes of opportunity. “Most car burglaries are unlocks. The suspect will walk through a neighborhood pulling on doors,” Schnakenberg said. “This allows them to go to many cars without drawing attention to themselves by the sound of broken glass.”
Fingerprints have been recovered
Both officials declined to comment.
“I told you it is under investigation and I am not going to talk about it,” Clarke-Reed said.

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May 27, 2014

Community Presbyterian Church Announces Summer Hours

Community Presbyterian Church has announced that, beginning June 1, it will offer a single Sunday Service, in the Chapel at 10 a.m., with the Reverend Dr. Dennis Andrews presiding over all worship services.

That means the regularly scheduled Saturday @ Six service as well as the Sunday 8:30 a.m. and 11 a.m. services are cancelled for the summer months. The church, however, will continue hosting four "Meet to Beat the Heat" family evbents on the fourth Saturday of the four summer months: June, July, August and September. Those events will take place in Briggs Hall on the church campus at 6 p.m. The next event is at 6 p.m,.Saturday, June 28k. Details to follow.

Church liaison, Lynn Wilkinson, says services are open to all and the commiunity is invited to attend, with attendance and parking complementary. Nursery care is svailable and refreshments are serviced. For information, call 954-427-0222 or visit www.communitych.org.

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About the Reporter

ELIZABETH ROBERTSELIZABETH ROBERTS
Elizabeth Roberts has covered Deerfield Beach, Lighthouse Point and Hillsboro... < More >

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