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September 25, 2014

Film Producer Debuts Boutique Hotel Capitalizing on Deerfield's Blue Wave Beach

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Waterfalls discretely screen the restaurant windows. A uniformed doorman answers the secured glass door. A single couple drinking wine inside was the only evidence that a soft opening was under way Monday, at Royal Blues Hotel, the first boutique hotel to open on the newly rebranded beach.
According to the hotel web site, it is owned by film and Broadway Producer Edward Walson, and hotel staff say that is reflected in the one-of-a-kind fish tank that serves as a floor to the pool deck and a vista for restaurant diners.
"Mr. Walson chose Deerfield Beach for its timeless qualities of 1960’s surf culture, low rise building landscape and its devotion to natural beauty," reports a story in Robb Report, which touts itself as "a publication dedicated to lifestyle and luxury." "
Hospitality web sites describe boutique hotels as, typically, small, luxurious, and offering a higher price point justified by a story that involves an authentic experience for guests --ranging from local food to seamless service, to locally relevant interiors and free experiences.
Royal Blues Hotel advertises itself as "adventure of Florida’s Gold Coast, an area of America steeped in rich cultural history and boasting local attractions like beautiful white sand beaches or the adjacent fishing pier."
It offers just 12 units, ranging in price from $410 to $1,100 per night, and it includes luxurious touches like a pool deck overlooking the ocean, a locked entrance with doorman, and original art in every guest room.
As for the story? Deerfield Beach couldn't look better.
"This quiet and comfortable town allows visitors to experience the beautiful beaches of South Florida without the chaos and crowds of Miami. Deerfield Beach is Blue Wave certified - awarded for excellent standards in clean water, safety, beach conditions, and turtle habitat conservation," it says. "....with world class fishing available at the nearby International Fishing Pier (designed by the same architect of Royal Blues)."
It is slated to open for business October 1. Reservations are being taken now.

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September 24, 2014

At last....

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Florida Department of Transportation staff today installed a crossing signal at the spot where, for lack of one, 22-year-old Thetus Fleming was struck and killed in February of 2012, crossing the dark intersection near McDonald's on Hillsboro Boulevard.

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September 19, 2014

Saturday Service Set for Ada Graham-Johnson

Services are set for Saturday for Deerfield Beach City Clerk, Ada Graham-Johnson, who died September 12 after a long battle with pancreatic cancer. The 51-year-old Deerfield Beach resident graduated Deerfield Beach High School and Barry University, before serving I the U.S. Army. Prior to being sworn in as city clerk in March 2001, Graham-Johnson worked for the cities of Boca Raton and Pompano Beach. She is survived by husband Christopher Johnson, and sons Chris and Daniel, as well as extended family. Services are set for 11 a.m. Saturday, at Cathedral Church of God, 365 Dixie Highway. For information, call the L.C. Poitier Funeral Home, 317 N.W. Sixth St. in Pompano Beach: 954-943-7050.

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September 16, 2014

History at High Noon Highlights Arboretum

History at High Noon,on the third Wednesday of every month at noon, in September features Jerry Behan of the Deerfield Beach Arboretum. Behan's talk, at noon on September 17th, at the city commissoin chambers in city hall, 150 N.E. Second Ave, will be about the city’s arboretum and its collection of native plants and trees. Light refreshments will be served. For information, call (954) 429-0378 or see the website for the Deerfield Beach Historical Society:
www.deerfield-history.org.

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September 15, 2014

Lighthouse Point sets hearing and final budget approval for Thursday

For Lighthouse Point residents, this year’s property tax assessment is like a good news bad news joke.
The good news is that property values that plummeted 20.1 percent between 2009 and 2010 now are continuing their upward crawl. The bad news is that this year’s propert value increase -- 6.26 percent – will leave residents paying higher property taxes, despite what Finance Director Frank DiPaolo described at a sparsely attended preliminary public hearing on September 10 as “the second lowest operating rate of all of Broward County.”
DiPaolo indicated the 3.5893 mils the city wants to charge per $1,000 of assessed valuation is 5.75 percent above the rollback rate -- or the rate the city would charge to raise the same amount of revenue in 2014 as it did in 2013. He said that to balance the budget while keeping the millage rate level, he relied on the city’s savings account to fund $238,000 in expenditures this year.
DiPaolo told an audience comprised entirely of city staff and elected officials that the city portion of the total millage was a little less than 20 percent. The $13.3 million general fund reflects a 2.5 percent increase, he said, adding that a full 8 percent of the total is accounted for by fixed costs such as salaries, health insurance and other benefits.
The fire assessment will remain the same.
“That it is down from $300 [$306,000] to $238,000 shows that we continue to decrease the city’s reliance on the fund balance,” he said.
City commissioners approved the tentative budget. A second public hearing and possible approval are set for 5:05 p.m. Friday at Fletcher Hall, 2200 N.E. 38th Street in Lighthouse Point.

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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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