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Here’s The Scoop … Further Updates On July 4th Tragedy In Lauderdale-By-The-Sea …

July 4, 2011 by Barbara

‘A 7-year-old boy, who has not been identified, apparently drowned in the ocean about 3:30 p.m. Monday during a holiday family gathering at El Prado Park on the 4500 block of North Ocean Drive, officials said. (Patrick Pointu, courtesy / July 4, 2011)


‘A 7-year-old boy drowned while swimming on the beach at Lauderdale-by-the-Sea Monday afternoon in the midst of a July 4 celebration.

The boy, Carrington Clarke of the Bahamas, apparently drowned about 3:30 p.m. during a family gathering at El Prado Park on the 4500 block of North Ocean Drive, officials said. Carrington and his brother had flown into Fort Lauderdale from the Bahamas Sunday to visit his uncle, Jameka Ferguson of Fort Lauderdale. Ferguson said the boy stays with him every summer.

The family went to the beach with friends Monday afternoon and had planned to watch the fireworks at night, Ferguson said.

The group included three adults and eight children. Around 3:27 p.m., Carrington and three other children attempted to swim to a sand bar about 50 yards from shore, Broward Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Dani Moschella said.

An 11-year-old girl made it, but when she turned around, she noticed the other three struggling in the water about half-way between the shoreline and the sand bar, Moschella said.

Adults jumped in to rescue the children, but 7-year-old Carrington slipped underwater, and the adults lost sight of him. About 10 to 15 minutes later, a BSO helicopter located him about 100 yards south of where he was last seen. A Lauderdale-by-the-Sea volunteer firefighter on a wave runner and lifeguards pulled him from the water. Paramedics performed CPR and transported Carrington to Holy Cross Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 4:28 p.m.

The drowning happened just before a planned rescue demonstration, so lifeguards, volunteer firefighters and American Medical Response were on scene when a lifeguard noticed several children in distress in the water, Moschella said.

The Broward County Medical Examiner will determine the cause of death.

The town was holding a Fourth of July celebration at the beach, featuring two giant waterslides from noon to 4 p.m. and a skim boarding competition from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., according to an event flyer.’,0,5157913.story


BSO website….


BSO Case Number: LB11-07-00044
PIO Number: 11-7-3
Date: July 4, 2011
Time: 4:28 p.m. Jurisdiction: Lauderdale-by-the-Sea
Place of Occurrence: 4510 El Mar Drive, Lauderdale-by-the-Sea


  • Carrington Clarke, age 7, Nassau, Bahamas (DECEASED)


  • n/a

Description of Incident:

A 7-year-old boy was visiting Florida for just a day before he drowned in the Atlantic Ocean as family, friends, lifeguards and firefighters frantically searched the water for him.

Carrington Clarke, 7, had flown into Fort Lauderdale from the Bahamas yesterday with his cousin to visit his uncle, Jameka Ferguson of Fort Lauderdale. The three went with friends to the beach Monday afternoon. The group included three adults and eight children. Around 3:27 p.m., four of the children – ages 7, 11, 13 and 14 – attempted to swim to a sand bar about 50 yards from shore. An 11-year-old girl made it, but when she turned around, she noticed the other three struggling in the water about half-way between the shoreline and the sand bar. Adults jumped in to rescue the children, but 7-year-old Carrington slipped underwater, and the adults lost sight of him. About 10-15 minutes later, the BSO helicopter located him about 100 yards south of where he was last seen. A Lauderdale-by-the-See volunteer firefighter on a wave runner and lifeguards pulled him from the water. American Medical Response (AMR) workers performed CPR and transported Carrington to Holy Cross Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 4:28 p.m.

Coincidentally, around the time of the incident, the city had planned a rescue demonstration that was to include a simulated drowning, so residents could witness how an ocean rescue might happen. Because of the demonstration, lifeguards, volunteer firefighters and AMR workers were already on scene.

The Broward County Medical Examiner will determine the cause of death.

INVESTIGATORS: Homicide Det. L. Rivera, Sgt. Glassman, Lauderdale-by-the-Sea Lauderdale-by-the-Sea
THIS REPORT BY: Dani Moschella/PIO 7/4/11 2010

more to come….

Post Division

Here’s The Scoop … “I Hope We Could Implement Some Of These Things In The Next 12 To 18 Months” …. In Lauderdale-By-The-Sea It’s Back To Square One ….

June 7, 2011 by Barbara


Dear Readers …as a follow-up to numerous previous posts this writer has posted on this site over the course of the last months dealing with this long and involved redo of the 2004 LBTS Master Plan I now feel vindicated in my stance that alot of taxpayer money could have been saved along with innumerable hours of staff and commission time if only this Mayor and Commission decided to keep their eye on the needs of this little town and not the wants of a few that have their ear!… We have paid consultants that have overlapped substantially in their recommendations for what is desirable for our town to thrive in their “professional” opinions …In the end those recommendations panned out to be a variation of what consultants and “professionals” put forth in the past… The article below in the Sentinel today will be another Rorschach test for voters next January… Especially for the Mayor who will be running for a third term… who is quoted at the start of the article –

‘Now, the mayor is confident money can be found to turn into reality some proposals University of Miami students had for rejuvenating the town’s main thoroughfares and aging mom-and-pop hotels.”

“The next step is really putting some solid numbers on this and putting it into our capital improvement budget,” Mayor Roseann Minnet said. “I would hope we could implement some of these things within the next 12 to 18 months.’

WOW!… She hopes that some of these could be implemented in the next 12-18 months!… The question is will she be in the Mayor’s seat to do the implementing?… I certainly don’t believe she should be!…

The next vindication I received I previously posted as well and that was also at the top of the Sentinel article –

‘Chuck Bohl, director of UM’s graduate program in real estate development and urbanism, said transformations like those done in Miami Beach or downtown Delray Beach don’t happen overnight. He suggested the town focus on improvements in a single block, as was done in South Miami, so residents can see the benefit of renovations before committing to a larger effort.’

This writer wrote that when asked by Town Manager Connie Hoffmann well before this train left station for a full-out redevelopment of the Town’s Master Plan as well as the Mayor I said repeatedly stated do the downtown “Lake Colon” area and do it well so everyone could see a project done well …It was common sense …It was what most voters and businesses said they wanted … I guess because it did not come wrapped up in a professional report at a consultant’s going rate it was ignored…So here we are as this 2010-2011 Master Plan train ride is about to come to the final stop (RMA is supposed to have the 5- year numbers before the June 21, 2011 5 pm budget workshop- So far it is not listed on the Jarvis Hall calendar) with UM stating to do just that …improve one single block well and the Mayor stating we may be able to implement some of the capital improvement items in 12-18 months!…We had approximately $8-9 million in unencumbered funds over the last 12-18 months …We still have it!….That’s government at it’s worst…in my opinion… We know nothing more now than we did many taxpayer’s dollars ago!… What could have been done with the monies spent for such a small return on the costs in this town in the same time frame?… Plenty!…For that to actually happen in the next 12-18 months it’s going to take is a commonsense candidate who is ready stand up and say we don’t need to “piecemeal”..We don’t need to go for full-out “pie in the sky” redevelopment…but we do need accomplished “contained development” where it is needed …. Based on solid planning from the sewers-drainage and going up…literally ….from there……We can divvy up capital improvements equally between common use areas such as the downtown along with residential neighborhood areas that are also in need of sewers -drainage- lighting -swale repair-and street resurfacing…while keeping the millage rate the same or lower depending on the needs for that year as stated …We need to accomplish streamlining full employment positions for Town employees in a town of only 7000…It was supposed to take place this fiscal year when it was moved up and made the number 1 priority for the Town Manager last November by the entire Commission…thus far it has not happened…. Any takers?… This is …in my opinion…the year of the independent candidate …no doubt… after reading the Mayor’s comments in the Sentinel today… One last question to seal the deal…If there are no referendum items on the ballot…If the Mayor again says no…get your hats ready to toss em’ in the ring…January is not that far away…



‘Lauderdale-by-the-Sea seeks curb appeal
University of Miami design team creates proposals for Commercial Boulevard, A1A

They came, saw, and re-designed. Now, the mayor is confident money can be found to turn into reality some proposals University of Miami students had for rejuvenating the town’s main thoroughfares and aging mom-and-pop hotels.

“The next step is really putting some solid numbers on this and putting it into our capital improvement budget,” Mayor Roseann Minnet said. “I would hope we could implement some of these things within the next 12 to 18 months.”

Chuck Bohl, director of UM’s graduate program in real estate development and urbanism, said transformations like those done in Miami Beach or downtown Delray Beach don’t happen overnight. He suggested the town focus on improvements in a single block, as was done in South Miami, so residents can see the benefit of renovations before committing to a larger effort.

“This is your home,” Bohl told residents. “A lot of it is in disrepair.”

Resident David Nixon agreed.

“We’re threadbare,” Nixon said. “Sometimes you have to let it go that far before you fix it.”

Town officials saw the $16,500 spent on the UM team as a bargain compared with the cost of bringing in a professional firm to do the same work.

In an effort reminiscent of HGTV home improvement shows “Curb Appeal,” “Design on a Dime” and “House Crashers,” Bohl and more than 30 students and faculty from UM’s School of Architecture took over Jarvis Hall next to Town Hall for six days last month and worked against the clock to fashion a fresh look for the town.

The design team’s proposals focused heavily on coming up with ways to make the town’s portion of Commercial Boulevard and the central portion of State Road A1A more pedestrian-friendly.

On A1A, the team added tree-lined medians in sections and roadside trees throughout, widened sidewalks by rerouting bicycle paths off A1A, and replaced back-out parking with parallel spaces in some areas and angled parking in others. A parking garage next to Wings at Commercial and A1A was also included in the proposals.

Minnet said there were ideas that could be done at relatively little cost, such as installing window film on vacant storefronts to promote a unified shopping theme for the town and to help eliminate the blighted look created by empty businesses.

Some ideas would be up to businesses to do, including a proposal to combine some small adjacent hotels into ones of about 30 units each. The team crunched numbers for façade improvements and interior renovations that would make the hotels less dated and more desirable in competition against the amenities offered by full-service hotels in the region.

One of the group’s more difficult assignments seemed to be ideas for drawing people to the complete stretch of Commercial Boulevard east of the Intracoastal Waterway and giving the street more small-town character.

In addition to streetscape improvements that would provide shading and more outdoor seating, students suggested creating a public walkway to the marina just south of Commercial, as well as opening up space along the marina to create a destination point for the westernmost end of Commercial in town.’,0,2196125.story

more to come….

Post Division

Here’s The Scoop … Flashback To Hapimag … Land Swaps and Redevelopment In Lauderdale-By-The-Sea …

April 23, 2011 by Barbara


RMA rendering of Town Plaza Redevelopment at LBTS presentation April 5, 2011….

Dear Readers …as we face yet another meeting to discuss the Master Plan and redevelopment in LBTS on Monday night (April 25, 2011 6:30 pm) …prev. post) ..this writer was reminded and has informed some of those now in charge who were unaware of the not so distant past of where the parking originally was located for the beach east of Town Hall… A fast Google provided a few tidbits from back then…(see below) … The letter writer in the last Sentinel article was (is?) a member of the CIC who credits their PAC for the Hapimag defeat in their historical summary… Any thoughts of a sitting commission deciding on big ticket redevelopment such as a new Town Hall Complex which would include changing the current El Prado Parking lot to a Town Square … parking garages …and underground utilities on El Mar Drive without the voters having a say can kiss their future goodbye…
Remember the original text written by George Santayana, who, in his Reason in Common Sense, The Life of Reason, Vol.1, wrote “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” …and in LBTS that means at the March Municipal elections! …

Sentinel articles…

Sales history

“N/A on Oct. 1, 2009 / New Construction New Construction
B: Vbs Condominium Assn Inc
S: Minto Villas By The Sea Llc
N/A on July 30, 2007 / New Construction New Construction
B: Minto Villas By The Sea Llc
S: Minto Communities Llc
Price reflects a multiple-parcel transaction.
$14,500,000 on Dec. 22, 2003
B: Village By The Sea Dev Llc
S: Hapimag Vacations Corp
Price reflects a multiple-parcel transaction.
$1,000 on May 16, 2001 / ForeclosureForeclosure
B: Hapimag Vacations Corp
S: Broward County Circuit Court, Glenn H Friedt
Price reflects a multiple-parcel transaction.
N/A on April 10, 2001
B: Vsp Partnership Ltd, Lbts Partnership Ltd
S: Cambridge Resort Group Llc
Price reflects a multiple-parcel transaction.”
“`Dream’ Project Gets Dose Of Reality
November 26, 1999|By LANE KELLEY Staff Writer

The March vote will be essentially a vote to take another vote should Hapimag continue to push the project. That’s probably a long shot, considering that the Swiss company already has started pulling back from the project.

The company redrew its plans after a wave of protest in July. Town Manager Bob Baldwin, who originally called the project a “millennium event,” said Hapimag officials told him in October that they would get back to him, but gave no date.

Hapimag’s attorney for the project, Debbie Orshefsky of Fort Lauderdale, said a new chief executive at the company’s Swiss headquarters has put the project in limbo.

“It’s kind of sitting there,” Orshefsky said.

However, Parker isn’t ready to declare victory yet. He says there is even a way he could support the project: if it abides by height restrictions and doesn’t require a land swap with the city. That would require Hapimag to go back to the drawing board and design a totally different project.

The sizes of the building and the land regarding the El Prado project in Lauderdale-by-the-Sea were wrong in an election story in Community News on Feb. 27 on page 10. Although the project initially was slated to be 70 feet high, or seven stories tall, it was modified to 44 feet. Also, the project is about two acres.
We regret the errors.”
“Beachfront Land Deal Making Waves
Dispute Brews In Resort Town
November 13, 2001|By Karla D. Shores Staff Writer

Growing discord in this breezy resort town is becoming more tangled than the seaweed that washes ashore.

From now until next spring, residents, city leaders and lawyers will throw themselves into spats over semantics, platting histories and, simply, the value of a nice ocean view.

The argument centers on a plan for a Swiss vacation club to swap 1.95 acres it owns for 1.3 acres of prime beachfront now used by the city as a street and for parking.

The company, named Hapimag, wants to build a $24 million project of four upscale suite hotels on an area off State Road A1A just north of Commercial Boulevard, known as El Prado.

Some, including the mayor, want the swap. Others don’t because they think their low-rise community’s open view of the sea will be blocked by the three- and four-story buildings.”
“Hotel Firm Backs Off Resort
Ocean View To Remain For Now
December 18, 2001|By Karla D. Shores Staff Writer

Residents fighting to keep El Prado an untouched vista from State Road A1A to the ocean will get what they want, for now.

The Swiss hotel company that had plans to build a members-only five-star beach resort off State Road A1A just north of Commercial Boulevard decided last week to pull out of the deal.

The company, named Hapimag, has worked with the town for two years to build a $24 million project of four upscale suite hotels on the area known as El Prado.

Now the company is holding back for several reasons, including a slump in the tourism industry, said Hapimag attorney Debbie Orshefsky.

Hapimag executives also want to re-evaluate the project before moving on, Orshefsky said. She shared no specifics but said Hapimag plans to come back to the town with a new request early next year”
“Don’t Let Developer Write Regulations
January 03, 2002

Re “Hotel firm backs off resort in Lauderdale by the Sea,” (Dec. 18): Hapimag will be back and it may decide to live without the land swap. However, they also want to rewrite our zoning regulations relative to height and density regulations, thereby doubling the number of units currently allowed per acre and increasing the current height limitation.

Recent history teaches us that when the citizens object to what the mayor and commissioners want, scare tactics are subtly introduced. First, vote for this building height limit charter amendment or you will have 15-story hotels all along the beach. Then: If we don’t annex the Intracoastal/beach area, Fort Lauderdale will annex us. Now, the latest: If we don’t give Hapimag what it wants, they will sell the land. Would you rather have Hapimag or — (Fill in the blank with your worst nightmare)?

The fact of the matter is that with or without the land swap, if we allow the height and density changes and grant the variances, Hapimag could then sell the land to whomever they want, recoup their architectural and legal fees, and still return to Switzerland with a hefty profit. The reality of this possibility is evidenced by Hapimag’s refusal to give the town a guarantee that they will, in fact, build the planned resort on the land.

Applying for zoning variances is one thing, but rewriting our zoning regulations and thereby forever altering our height and density restrictions is unacceptable. Hapimag is welcome and encouraged to build a resort in this town — on the land they purchased and in compliance with our current ordinances, codes and regulations.

Diane McSweeney

Lauderdale- By-the-Sea”


more to come….

Post Division

Here’s The Scoop … A “Wheel” Of A Deal? … LBTS Town Manager & Commission Looking For Alternatives Along With Others …

December 10, 2010 by Barbara


Dear Readers … at the Dec. 7, 2010 Commission meeting we were pitched with a presentation from Waste Management and an attorney for the Broward Recovery Board to give us their sales pitch on why we want to jump on board by year’s end to join in on the new Interlocal Agreement for cities to retain the service but change the players at the table thus taking the county out and putting the cities in the driver’s seat of future decisions with equal representation which is run by nine at the present time …. The new board will meet twice a year and make determinations for every issue $100,00 and over in the 10 year commitment being sought ….He delved into the recycling issue speaking of a 75% credit by 2012 unlikely to be found elsewhere…He spoke of the “put or pay” under the present agreement that requires the need to make up for shortfalls …He added we would receive a signing bonus of $72,857.97 for signing up by Dec. 31st…. He said there was a question in the backup for this meeting about not joining the district  and either waiting to see if a better price was coming  …He stated the cost offered to us was $47.75 per ton plus a service fee that would not be in excess of $12… He spoke of Hallandale looking for alternatives three months ago and stating that was $62…He ended by saying prices will not be lower elsewhere…(The Town Manager later commented the cost of both the fee and the service charge were comparable to Hallandale…and she was correct when you added the tonnage to the service charge)… Tony from Waste Management gave a similar speech to one I recall when we were looking at other companies telling us all we have “dealing with a system that works”…We “never had a problem” ..and “Landfills are passe'”..He spoke of “environmental sustainability”..That his is a “proven system”..There would be “no blip” …If it’s not broken etc…and it’s worth to “us” and Broward county…

Most observers such as this writer would think the attorney really did a good job …so well that without the details to counter it seemed to be a no brainer ..full of positive changes for our town and the consumers …That is until the Mayor asked for questions from the Commission…

Comm. Sasser began…He said he understood that the savings are contingent upon a certain number of participants and the percentage of tonnage and the attorney responded he understood correctly…He asked why the tipping fee was up this year and the attorney spoke of the original Interlocal Agreement in the 1980s and it being new technology they were not sure of….the tipping fees were raised in accordance with the present agreement and he added the cost were there to pay off the revenue bonds .. Tony from Waste Management added that it would take five hundred million dollars to replace this type of facility today…Commissioner Sasser followed up with asking about the price being guaranteed  …and the attorney told him the in and outs of it not being more than a 5% increase …that will have “brakes” attached and if it goes over what is agreed upon we can get out of the agreement …again stating every municipality will have a vote…Comm. Sasser asked if each vote counts the same and the attorney stated they do and they don’t due to the majority of the tonnage based on those at the meetings and participating…Big and small will be “protected” by meeting at those meetings going forth with a new agreement…

Comm. Clottey passed after stating Comm.Sasser had asked her questions…

Comm. Vincent (in what would be the first of many times throughout this evening while looking at his computer screen) threw out numbers about the percentages and asked if it could not go higher than 5% in one year why were they talking about going up 10% ..The attorney explained the district was responsible if unforeseen charges were added due to environmental requirements based on the cost of living then it be more than 10% if it goes up over 40% over the life of the commitment we can leave Wheelabrator…Comm. Vincent wanted to know if the attorney or Waste Management were aware of anything coming through…The attorney answered he was not aware of anything “coming down the pike”… Comm. Vincent pushed on by asking for “lead time” for such charges in making us aware …Tony from Waste Management responded he could not answer that …it is an unknown…Comm. Vincent went on to ask about the tipping fee of $62 currently…The attorney corrected him by stating currently the fee is $99 and will go up each year until 2013 unless the amendments are mandated for it to go down… Comm. Vincent asked if it would be equitable across the board and Tony replied there would be a 40% reduction August of next year…The attorney added we would have control of any hidden expenses due to having a vote …Comm. Vincent spoke of the present ILA and disposal of hazardous waste at no additional cost and if we will have other options and costs…The attorney repeated his Hallandale scenario of 3 months ago not getting a better deal…

Vice Mayor Dodd said he was a “bit puzzled” over the statements he was being presented with of the “good intentions of the ILA”..He spoke of the municipalities paying $100 rather than $47 and the fact that Wheelabrator is enjoying excess revenues of 59.4%…He asked why they did not reduce it..The attorney quickly responded he could not speak to the returns to private company (Waste Management) and added the higher rate is due to the present agreement for the construction of the new facilities in the 80s…He added that in the last 3-4 years prior to 2008 the district was getting revenue and turning it back to “certain towns”…hence the “put or pay” he spoken  of earlier …He spoke of the bonds and the obligation…Those bonds he said were paid off two separate times…He spoke further of the “put or pay” and how a worsened economy led to the districts paying to counter for the loss of tonnage..The new agreement he said does away with that…He went back yet again to bring up Hallandale stating the “proof is in the pudding” and they have a better rate than LBTS can get for trucking it out to central Florida to go in a landfill…

Town Manager Hoffmann chime in to state she “shared in others’ frustrations…She added that those who stayed out of the ILA over the last 25 years saved “tens of millions ”  …She shared the Vice Mayor’s view…

The Mayor said they should move with the recommendation of staff to go further with their research… Comm. Sasser made the motion to accept the staff’s  recommendation and VM Dodd made the 2nd …It passed 5-0 …

The next item on the agenda was public comments and there were no public comments this evening…

BC- Interesting there were no public comments this evening when this was addressed as well as sewer rates ordinance 1st reading …no comments at that either and there were no public comments made concerning parking exemption/suspension or notice of intent resolution for parking & signage…making the NOI something that should be removed as it is only a slowing of government as witnessed once again tonight and acknowledged by the TAtty on the dais in response to a question on that  being the effect from Comm. Sasser …Doing away with the NOI is on the Dec. 14th Roundtable  put on by VM Dodd….

Comm. Clottey asked that the staff recommendation be read …and it was…The recommendation is to look further at alternatives to Wheelabrator and forgo the Dec. 31st bonus of $72,000+ …

BC-We were not alone in forgoing the bonus …and not alone in our concerns over this new deal brought to us by the Broward County Commission …. The articles below from Dec.6th  and 8th showsthe “no- bid deal” made by the Broward County Commission in place before the recent elections and how after the election and on the same day we had this presentation they too “balked” along with other municipalities …..

Full text with link to articles online below….

“December 6, 2010 at 5:09 am by Dan Christensen

$1.5 billion no-bid garbage deal roils Broward cities; county votes on disposal restructuring

By Dan Christensen,

Oakland Park Vice Mayor Suzanne Boisvenue

A little-noticed power play that could substantially affect how much most Broward residents pay to dispose of their garbage through the next decade is set for a preliminary vote Tuesday at the Broward County Commission.

Wheelabrator, the private company that owns and operates the county’s two waste-to-energy plants, is pushing for early approval of a lucrative new agreement that would allow it to handle trash for 26 Broward cities for at least 10 years. The current agreement expires in 2013.

But the enormity of the $1.5-billion deal, and the fact that it was not competitively bid despite the high cost of trash disposal, has led some savings-minded cities to consider pulling out of the 26-city municipal coalition formed in 1986 to deal with Broward’s solid waste problem. If enough cities balk, the deal could collapse or perhaps lead to further price concessions from Wheelabrator.

What happens will be determined by a series of votes by the county and municipal members of the Broward Solid Waste Disposal District on whether to approve a new inter-local agreement (ILA). Wheelabrator’s parent, Waste Management, is dangling the incentive of a scaled “signing bonus” to cash-strapped cities who sign up before Dec. 31.

At the county, the vote won’t merely be on whether to give conditional approve the new ILA on behalf of the unincorporated areas. At the same time, county records show that commissioners will decide whether to transform the now county-dependent disposal district into an independent body with the ability to issue bonds and levy a special assessment.

Miramar and Oakland Park are two cities that think they can get significantly better deals elsewhere. And at least one other, Lauderhill, wants to think about it, too.

Miramar’s city commission voted 3-2 last week to pass up its opportunity for a $725,000 “signing bonus” by deferring approval and instructing staff to seek competitive bids from other companies that have expressed interest in the work.

“This is a very rare opportunity for us to test the free market for solid waste disposal service that could return greater benefits to the city,” said Miramar public works director Thomas Good.

Oakland Park, where public works officials have said the city can save upward of a half-a-million dollars a year if they go out to bid, appears poised to take a similar route.

At Wednesday’s Oakland Park commission meeting, City Manager John Stunson questioned the legality of the bonus payments, which vary based on how many tons of garbage cities generate. And a majority of his commissioners balked openly at approving the ILA and re-upping with Wheelabrator, which has long held a monopoly.

“I’m outraged that 20 years have gone by without a bid, and they want to do it again for another 10 years? And another 10 years after that? You tell me how that’s in the best interest of the residents of Broward County,” said Vice Mayor Suzanne Boisvenue after the meeting.

The city commission votes Dec. 15 on whether to accept or reject the new ILA and a potential $420,000 signing bonus.

On Thursday, Lauderhill commissioners agreed to hold a workshop on Dec. 13 to study the matter.

“I like to explore all options,” said Vice Mayor Howard Berger. “What Miramar has done sounds reasonable.”

To become effective, the proposed ILA must meet two thresholds. The cities that approve it must represent at least 51 percent of the population of all the cities in the current ILA, and at least 80 percent of the waste delivered to the waste-to-energy plants in 2009.

The chief administrator of the Resource Recovery Board, the governing body of the Broward Solid Waste Disposal District, said balking cities have been misled by their public works staffs into thinking they can get a better deal elsewhere.

“The staff presentation in Miramar was very flawed,” said RRB executive director Ron Greenstein, also a former state legislator. “We are far cheaper than anyone else because of our economies of scale.”

Through last week, 13 cities including Hollywood, Plantation and Coral Springs had approved the new ILA and qualified for bonuses. Fort Lauderdale and Lauderdale Lakes vote Tuesday. Deerfield Beach votes next week, according to Greenstein.

At least some of the undecided may be affected by what happens Tuesday at county hall. An initial vote to approve the ILA would demonstrate county support for the non-competitive deal the RRB negotiated with Wheelabrator and confidence in its ability to act independently. It would also net a $165,000 signing bonus for the county.

Such institutional change would mark the second defection this year of a large, big money agency from under the direct control of county government. The disgruntled Metropolitan Planning Organization, Broward’s federally-funded transportation planning group, became independent in August.

Influential members of the county’s Resource Recovery Board – including Weston Mayor Eric Hersh and Broward Commissioner Ilene Lieberman – have pushed quietly for district autonomy for months. Lieberman also serves as RRB chair. The nine-member RBB, which includes eight municipal elected officials, is the governing body that controls the district’s waste flow and sets its disposal fees.

The switch to independence is included in the ILA proposal the county commission considers Tuesday.

“The key implication of this change in status would be that the budget of the district would no longer be approved by the county commission,” says a county staff analysis of the issue. “The district does have the ability to levy a special assessment…but is generally funded by the tipping fees paid by waste haulers.”

County staff recommends passage, conditioned upon certain assurances from the district regarding about potential future liabilities and approval by enough cities to meet the required threshold.

Still, there is little or no discussion in the 12-page staff analysis as to why such a change is needed or the possible pros and cons.

Oakland Park’s Boisvenue, who is also a member of the RRB, opposes independent status.

“I think it needs oversight from the county. When you talk about this kind of money, you’ve got to wonder why this is necessary and who’s going to benefit,” she said.”


Dec. 8, 2010

“By Dan Christensen,

John Rodstrom

Unhappy that a sweeping ten-year, $1.5 billion trash deal was negotiated without competitive bidding, Broward commissioners on Tuesday refused to approve the pact until they can justify how much residents and businesses will be charged.

The 5-4 vote also asked county staff to get Waste Management to pony up more money in the deal for the county.

“They have to give us some cover on why this is a better deal and why we should not go out for bid,” said Vice Mayor John Rodstrom.

The vote was a significant blow to Waste Management’s hopes of securing early approval of a lucrative new inter-local agreement (ILA) that envisions handling trash for 26 Broward cities for 10 years, with an option for 10 more years after that. It also revealed a lack of support for a proposal to restructure Broward’s Solid Waste Disposal District as an independent district with the power to issue bonds and levy a special assessment.

Wheelabrator, the Waste Management subsidiary that operates the county’s two waste-to-energy plants, has offered “signing bonuses” worth hundreds of thousands of dollars to cash-starved cities that sign off on the deal by Dec. 31. The current ILA expires in 2013. Five cities, including Pembroke Pines and Hallandale Beach, do not participate.

Through last week, 13 cities had approved the new agreement. But municipal jitters about the no-bid deal have caused several cities to consider bolting the district, a regional coalition formed in 1986 to deal with Broward’s trash disposal problem.

Miramar voted last week to pass up its $725,000 bonus and seek competitive bids from other trash haulers that might save it a lot more. Commissioners in Oakland Park, told by staff that they can save more than $500,000 by going out to bid, have indicated they may do the same. Lauderhill wants further study.

To be approved, the ILA must represent at least 51 percent of the population of all the cities in the current agreement and at least 80 percent of the waste delivered to the waste-to-energy plants in 2009.

But in another problematic development, it was announced at the meeting that the county’s biggest waste producer – Fort Lauderdale – decided Tuesday night to defer its vote on whether to approve the deal until Dec. 21.

The county vote may embolden other municipal opponents of the Wheelabrator deal. But it could have been worse for Wheelabrator.

At one point, commissioners voted to scrap the negotiated agreement with Wheelabrator altogether. They pulled back at the urging of Ron Greenstein, executive director of the county’s Resource Recovery Board.

A majority of the commission was clearly focused on finding a better deal for Broward residents. But Commissioner Kristen Jacobs was a lone voice in pointing out that such a path is not environmentally friendly.

Among other things, she said that a rejection of the new ILA would mean the county would have to truck its solid waste to upstate landfills. And that would undermine Broward’s vaunted recycling system, she said.”

more to come….

Post Division

Here’s The Scoop … We Made The Papers … The Sea Floor Off Lauderdale-By-The- Sea …

November 28, 2010 by Barbara


Miami Herald today… link below…

“Dropping to the sea floor off Lauderdale-By-The-Sea, I imagined my surroundings 90 feet down were like the surface of the moon — but with a lot more color and life. A steep, rocky crater surrounded a huge sand pit that extended far beyond our 60-foot range of visibility. Unlike the moon, though, this landscape was dotted with schools of tropical fish and a cornucopia of soft corals undulating in the gentle current.
Led by South Florida Diving Headquarters president Jeff Torode, Steve Margolis of Parkland, underwater photographer Maggie Martorell of Hollywood and I were exploring an old borrow pit carved out by dredges in 1983 to restore sand to depleted Broward County beaches.
According to Steve Higgins, Broward’s beach erosion administrator, 19 of these trenches were dug off the county’s coast in the 1980s — all in sandy bottom and mostly between the second and third reef tracts in depths of 30 to 100 feet. The hydraulic cutter heads used at that time carved deep pits with sheer, vertical walls in the ocean floor. The hopper dredges used nowadays to suck up sand from the bottom don’t make such steep, deep holes, Higgins says.
While not exactly environmentally friendly, the old borrow pits have proved a boon over the past 20-plus years. Anglers and spearfishers take grouper, snapper, kingfish, hogfish and other species. Underwater sightseers enjoy the abundant fish life and colorful marine landscape.
On our dive last month, I was hoping to bag a couple lobsters for dinner. While I didn’t see any, the dive proved quite entertaining.
Kicking along through the center of the sand pit, I looked up to see an eight-foot manta ray gliding just above me. My companions and I hovered close enough to observe it, but not too close to scare it away. We need not have worried. The manta cruised close by with its large mandibles wide open, showing no fear.
Then, to our utter delight, the creature performed a slow, graceful back flip. Its broad smoothness was smudged with a swirl of white, reminding me of Count Dracula’s trademark flare of his black-and-white cape.
Torode swam directly underneath the splayed ray and fanned out his arms and legs, mimicking the creature’s movements. I giggled so hard into my regulator that I almost spat it out. The ray didn’t seem to mind.
What some may not realize is that manta ray encounters in South Florida are rare. Torode, who’s been diving here for more than 30 years, says he has seen exactly two. It’s a lot like bumping into a whale shark; you know they are around from time to time, but your chances of interacting with them are slim.
After about 10 minutes, the manta swam unhurriedly off, and we continued our exploration. While admiring assorted sea whips and sponges, we came across a pair of fairly large lionfish on the ledge surrounding the sand pit. A few minutes later, I spotted a third. This exotic invader from the Pacific is becoming more widespread here and in the Keys, eating most of its weight in native, tropical fish. We should have euthanized them, but nobody had a dive knife or spear gun handy.
Because of the pit’s depth, we were forced to head for the surface before we could explore the whole site.
“I can’t wait to see the rest of it,” Torode said when we got back on the boat, adding that he plans to map the site and bring along advanced open-water scuba students.
For Margolis, who had never dived a dredge hole nor seen a manta ray, the dive was a treat.
“Really cool,” Margolis said. “You see bigger schools [of fish] than on the reef. And the manta was so graceful — playful even.”
A second exploration definitely is in order. ”

“If you go

The approximate coordinates of the 90-foot-deep dredge hole about 1/2 mile off Lauderdale-By-The-Sea are 26.12.012; 80.04.554, according to Ken Banks of the Broward County Environmental Protection and Growth Management Department. Another dredge hole is located just inshore at 26.12.048; 80.04.843. For more information, call 954-514-1230. For a map of Broward artificial reef sites,

A short look w/ music on Youtube …

more to come ….

Post Division

Here’s The Scoop … The “Signs” Of Change Are A Foreign “Language” For Many Of Us …

November 28, 2010 by Barbara


Dear Readers …It seems this writer is basic French illiterate …sad to say…and sadder to have to admit and post…but alas it is so …as 2 Readers alerted me to my post on the change in ownership of the Sea Lord on El Mar Drive I posted a few days back after seeing the banner that read coming soon the new “Porte Cochere” …which simply means a drive- through covered porch in French I was informed!…Of course as I received the corrections from both with the 2nd one arriving by e-mail…the BCbytheseaHubby and I were on Federal Hwy. by Oakland Park Blvd. and observing a massive afternoon turnout of the Tea Party supporters on the corner with multiple signs of their view of our country spelled out in handmade placards held onto with conviction and 2 hands trying very hard to get the attention of those driving through the intersection… We laughed at the timing and jested..maybe we need to join the protesters who would more than likely state  about my ignorance on thinking the sign at the Sea Lord was for a new venue …Why did they not just make a banner that read coming soon a new drive-through covered porch!…

What is it about signs…written or not that sets people in motion pro and con?… Readers are well aware of the 2 hot topics in LBTS at this moment in time coming after the #1 topic of the sewer rates..which replaced the former #1 topic of drainage which replaced the #1 hot topic of the former Town Manager ….etc…….. Those 2 topics…exempting the parking restrictions for restaurants in the downtown business districts and allowed and non-conforming signage…(pole/pylon/sandwich …etc)… Signs allowed for business are also a priority right next door to us in Fort Lauderdale …(See Sentinel article online/in print w/link below)…Our competition to the south knows that business needs help from their local officials …. and our local officials know it as well …which is why the parking issue as well as the sign issue were given back to the P & Z after their initial limited review a few months back…(prev. posts)….and Town staff to get moving on the full content ASAP…in a decisive and expedient manner without another 2-4+ years of pontificating about the “what ifs”…. if a proposed idea succeeds…which is really a “sign” of its own to instead do nothing!… I have been back in town for 6 days as of today and I have not heard any nays to the exemption proposed for restaurants except from a few 2nd hand comments coming from those who sat on their hands they when on the dais … or those fearing success means an impact to them personally as a business enjoying limited competition… Those struggling businesses around town are joining the very successful ones and are ecstatic ….They are hoping to add onto their own businesses with improvements inside and out perhaps with a sidewalk cafe’ of their own…including west of A1A!….In some ways this reminds me of the Chamber a few months ago and the reaction I heard from a few when ideas came forth of expansion for them in marketing and membership and their immediate concern that such a change might make it impossible for them to stay within their longtime location due to the influx!…My reply then was  the same as it is to those seeing massive parking problems from the exemption being allowed for all restaurants…(It should not be retroactive..but certainly for all all going forth old and new restaurants…in this writer’s opinion)…If it’s not going to happen so fast that the businesses and  the town cannot be proactive to deal with the welcome problem that would mean LBTS is a destination within Broward …

Take a look around this weekend…This long Thanksgiving weekend in LBTS has been rather quiet…The Ocean Reverie on El Mar Drive is the only hotel that I saw with a no vacancy sign ….(The Rainbow Inn has the no vacancy up  sign as well but it is closed and on the market)…while those up and down A1A and El Mar Drive are pretty bare … The Downtown on Friday night and Saturday night had a decent turnout because of the regular special events put on…Saturday and Sunday mornings seem to be catching on as well for those coming to town for a leisurely breakfast offered around Pelican Square …and along the Intercoastal and that’s what we need to be looking to build on…We have what the other towns do not..The beach..the wide beach..a big plus compared to Ft. Lauderdale’s skinny in width version and Delray Beach/Los Olas’s lack of being near the beach with their successful downtown venues … The parking issue of exemption for restaurants was taken from the P & Z and fast tracked by the Commission at their Nov. Roundtable …(prev. posts)…after certain Commissioners realized they knew where they as a Commission wanted to go with it…. The remainder of the parking code to be addressed at the Dec. P & Z meeting in Dec. as well as a workshop to follow for the board to address the Town’s current codes for signs…which will tie in with the revisions of the Master Plan as well as the  changes in the downtown business dsitricts….

On another note….It was really rather striking for this writer what happened in retail this holiday weekend as well…..Black Friday…the day long dreaded by shoppers not willing to go out for a “door prize”offer to entice shoppers to appear at their brick and mortar stores in the darkness at 4am after a day of filling ourselves with turkey and stuffing turned out to be a  “tutorial ” we can learn from going forward in our endeavor to launch LBTS into 2011 and beyond… These retailers knew they had to face the competition growing yet again from online purchasing and a real problem with customers and customer service … This year they were ready and the execution I witnessed at each store I made I way to…small and large alike was nothing short of astounding…At Marshalls ..TJMaxx …Macys ..Bed Bath and Beyond …where the BCbythesea Hubby and I counted 6 times that we were approached and asked if we needed a shopping cart…(we were told by others inside the the store the were asked as well)….The help in place was immediately apparent..the organization was in place…and the result offered up an experience that was memorable and unexpectedly great…Plenty of employees…as well as store management to aid with purchasing …. The line to do so continued to move without a glitch to a fully manned check-out counter in one store after another…(When was the last time any of us encountered that?)…All who took the chance on venturing out this weekend that I encountered were quite verbal in the positive feedback offered as they made their way to checkout to management and employees as well as with each other…There’s no doubt they passed the experience and the praise on to friends and family after the fact as I have done!… As one Reader stated to this writer over the last few days since I arrived home…We now need to gear up that not only will LBTS offer up the exemption to jumpstart business coming to our downtown…but we will offer up great customer service..A way to make new business get through the process from the time they walk through the “door” all the  way to the “checkout counter” with an open door policy of assistance from our Town Administration…Town staff…elected officials …our Chamber of Commerce and established businesses making LBTS where they want to come as well as passing along their positive experience to their friends and families and other entrepreneurs looking to set up shop!… We need to plan out not  just the vision of the future years in LBTS aesthetically …but economically through “thinking outside the box” ideas …. instead of fearing success and continuing to tread water with an eye on planning and installing a year’s worth of monthly/weekly special events in our downtown to make sure that our “beachside village” continues to be the hospitality destination that the majority of us chose to reside in when we came to live here…

Dear Readers ….nous pouvons réussir….(translation: We can succeed!)…


Sentinel …link below…

“Recession prompts Fort Lauderdale to ease sign restrictions
City to allow sandwich signs and parking lot banners
Signs Will Be Allowed


Signs advertising lunch menus, drink specials and sales items will soon be appearing outside stores, restaurants and bars across the city.

Fort Lauderdale is loosening its restrictions on public advertising so businesses can place sandwich board signs outside their entrances and hang banners in parking lots. Although such signs are common in other communities, businesses in Fort Lauderdale using them have risked the wrath of code inspectors.

It’s a dramatic change for a city that fought a long legal battle to limit billboards and doled out citations just a couple years ago to businesses along ritzy Las Olas Boulevard for daring to have statues along the sidewalk, including giant bellhops and a cigar store Indian.
Stay on top of the news: Get breaking new alerts sent directly to your phone

Business owners sought the right to use sandwich signs and banners to help lure customers in a tough economy.

“It’s a way for the city to help keep the smallest of its businesses here and maintain the unique character that we bring to the city,” said Donna Mergenhagen, the owner of the Well Read bookstore on Southeast 17th Street and one of the people who launched the campaign.

City commissioners are expected to give final approval to a two-year pilot project next month allowing the extra signage.

Under the rules that commissioners have tentatively accepted, businesses could obtain a permit for one sandwich board sign as long as it is located on private property rather than a public sidewalk and as long as pedestrians still have five feet to pass. Also, shopping centers with at least 10 tenants and a 15-acre parking lot may hang advertising banners from their light poles as long as the signs cannot be seen from nearby homes.

Sandwich boards have been hotly debated across the state recently.

Boca Raton lifted its ban on sandwich boards downtown earlier this year, and signs have spread like wildfire. But the city must decide by January whether to extend their use and some officials don’t have much enthusiasm for keeping them around.

Historic downtown Melbourne concluded sandwich boards were too disruptive and replaced them with city-controlled signage. Jacksonville Beach, on the other hand, decided to allow their use.

The pleas for extra signage in Fort Lauderdale started three years ago from small businesses in the shopping centers along the 17th Street corridor.

They complained they needed better ways to attract people who visit the anchor stores and restaurants in the shopping complexes. They’ve told commissioners that a fifth of the small businesses in the area have closed since they first asked for help.

“It’s a timing issue,” Mayor Jack Seiler said. “The economy is extremely difficult, and local businesses are hurting. They came forward with a reasonable proposition to increase sales and retail activity, and I feel strongly we need to do what we can to help local business promote themselves.”

While the businesses suggested the sandwich signs, developer Jack Loos pitched the idea of parking lot banners. He owns the Harbor Shops complex off 17th Street and said small tenants in shopping centers such as his could work with landlords to gain extra recognition from promotional banners.

City planners have urged caution in pursuing the changes, fearful that the extra signage could cause too much clutter along the streets and parking lots of image-conscience Fort Lauderdale. The city has tried to avoid the garish advertising seen in some communities with tourism-heavy economies.

At Gilbert’s 17th Street Grill, the owner currently advertises daily specials on a blackboard inside the restaurant and doubts if she will switch to an outside sandwich board sign. She’s said she’s fine if others in her shopping complex do as long as it’s within reason.

“Signage is good as long as it doesn’t get out of hand,” Gilbert said. “This is an upscale shopping center, and you don’t want to take away from that.”

The biggest impact will be in the city’s strip malls, but city attorneys say at least some businesses downtown and along the beach could qualify for sandwich board signs because sidewalks in parts of those areas are comprised of both public and private property.

Bruce Rosenwasser, owner of Art Connection of Las Olas, is content with the sign in his window advertising an art sale to passers-by. He’s worried additional signs could detract from the boulevard’s appearance.

“It would make the street look cheap,” Rosenwasser said.

But some businesses already use sandwich board signs and argue they are effective. There are restaurants along the beach that use them to list drink specials and shops along Las Olas that detail prices and sales on them.

Slice Pizzeria in the parking garage by the main downtown library has two sandwich board signs outside touting that it has ice cream and hot dogs for sale. “You have to sell yourself every way you can,” said Eric Koussevitzki, whose family owns the restaurant.”,0,2978797.story


more to come….

Post Division

Here’s The Scoop … Day 4 In Lauderdale-By-The-Sea … Time To Pay The Fiddler …

November 27, 2010 by Barbara


Dear Readers … Day 4 of being back home produced two ways for LBTS to pay the “fiddler”… The sewer increase that was discussed  at the previous Comm./Rdtable Mtgs…(prev. posts).. is going to hit us all in the pocketbook …after a select few kept up a “ruse” of no passed on sewer rate increases for  the south end of town since 2003… Add to that the secret long kept of having the 4 annexed in Sea Ranch Condominiums pay first the Town and then Ft. Lauderdale…who in turn kicked in the difference to Pompano Beach…without ever following the direction given by the Commission at a special meeting of going to Pompano Beach upon the annexation for these 4 buildings to come into the longtime Master Sewer Agreement the south had with them…If that was turned down by Pompano the Town Atty. at the time, Atty. Cherof is on record stating they could go for a declaratory judgment… Then and only then were the Town to consider any alternative to comply with the promise of making the sewer rates for the annexed in area equitable … That pointy was driven home according to the archived minutes (prev. post) by none other  than former Mayor (then a Comm.) Oliver Parker who stated to offer such an alternative might deter the first 2 directed steps to fail… The fallout from the action taken …without the knowledge of those annexed in buildings until  a few months ago along with the rest of the south end  will now be felt by all as they get the increases coming this winter… Is there any recourse to those who made the decision behind the closed doors of Town Hall?…Probably not…except to remember this is why no administration/ Town Atty. going forward can ever again be given a “pass” on their assurances without providing all the backup …the reports and the agreements as was done for far too long by  past Commissions…

The Sentinel is being much more attentive to what’s happening in our town…and after Thursday’s parking exemption story…yesterday online/ today in print was the sewer rate increases…

Sentinel stories…links below…

“Lauderdale-by-the-Sea looks to match higher sewer rates charged by Pompano Beach
Town’s system is running in the red and needs extra revenue to break even

All the town’s residents may soon be paying very similar sewer fees, even though they’re on different systems.
Town commissioners are pushing to make the town’s rates in the south end comparable to the higher rates charged by Pompano Beach in the north end because the town’s sewer operation has been running in the red since 2008.
A typical customer of the town’s system could see rate increases on the sewer portion of their monthly water and sewer bill of between 54 percent and 83 percent. That’s how much the town needs to increase rates beginning in February to cover the town’s costs.
For a single-family homeowner using 7,000 gallons of water a month, the monthly cost for the base sewer charge and for water used would increase 58 percent, from $22.60 to $35.89, under the proposal.
The rates may actually need to be higher through September. The proposed rates would leave a deficit of almost $62,000 this year because the increase would only cover two-thirds of the current fiscal year.
“I’m in favor of setting a rate that would give us zero deficit this year,” Vice Mayor Stuart Dodd said. “We may be able to drop the rate next year.”
Commissioners plan to hold public hearings on the sewer rates at their Dec. 7 meeting and in January.
Commissioners are adamant that they want to change rates that are forcing the town to dip into its reserves to cover costs. The town’s sewer reserves now stand at about $1.5 million. The town would have to eat up almost $400,000 in reserves this year if no rate change is made, officials estimate.
However, the town still has to figure out how it can raise money to build up the reserves to pay for future repairs. The current proposal is only expected to generate about $33,000 a year for capital reserves in future years.
Several commissioners said the best thing to do would be to mirror Pompano’s rates.
“We are trying to get on an equitable level of everyone paying the same,” Commissioner Chris Vincent said.
While Pompano charges $3.46 for each 1,000 gallons used, the town only charges $3 per 1,000 gallons. Commissioners want to know how much income the extra $.46 per 1,000 gallons would generate if the town matched Pompano’s volume rate.”,0,2509578.story

“Lauderdale-by-the-Sea is considering increasing sewer rates to the portion of the town south of Pine Avenue, which is served by the town, and in the Sea Ranch Club condominiums. Current charges do not cover costs and are forcing the town to eat into its reserve funds.
Housing type Current Proposed Increase
Single-family $22.60$35.8958%
15-unit complex$19.05$29.2654%
25-unit complex$17.43$29.2668%
50-unit complex$17.43$29.2668%
100-unit complex$16.90$29.2673%
200-unit complex$15.95$29.2683%
*Charges are based on 7,000-gallon usage for single-family homes and 5,000-gallon usage for all other dwellings.
Source: Town of Lauderdale-by-the-Sea”,0,2033361.story


While we  may have to tighten our belts to offset the increase we will get…there is a “fiddler” we don’t have to pay…and she comes to our town to play on a new stage almost every Friday  Night!… This writer was told by quite a few I had to check out the “fiddler” Dave Gadsby had brought to play at his Friday Night Village Grill weekly event… I did and boy am I glad I did!…Those who promised me I would be “blown away”  …were “spot on” as my friend VM Dodd says…..Dave who was celebrating his birthday told me he pursued them for 3 years… and I as well as countless others are sure glad he was persistent…. For those of you who haven’t yet gone to check it out…Make sure you get to Pelican Square for the Chamber of Commerce Christmas-By-The-Sea Dec. 8th from 5-9pm.. The fiddler will be there …We are told she will be here at least every other Friday…Good thing because we are also told Dave’s phone has been ringing off the hook from fans wanting more…

Don’t forget about Saturday nights in LBTS as well…Louis Marchelos told this writer tonight Athena By The Sea has a new band…who will join Elvis and other bands to entertain us all… Again, free entertainment provided by a business in our town… NICE!…

more to come….

Post Division

Here’s The Scoop … Day 3 Lauderdale-By-The-Sea …Familiar Faces & Familiar Places / We Made The Papers / Cha Cha Changes On El Mar Drive / …

November 26, 2010 by Barbara


Dear Readers …This writer spent a very peaceful day back home on Thanksgiving… A late no commitment to keep wake-up time was a welcome change of pace… Even taking in time to watch the parade on TV from Macy’s as well as the parade outside my window of those walking the shore and then those riding the waves  kite-surfing …That’s a sight that never gets old and never ceases to amaze this writer of how lucky we all are to ride where we do… I spent some time after doing the mundane out some closets and drawers and finally being able to put my hands on my missing house/car keys that I put away so well …in a safe place to be able to retrieve them…So safe I did not run by them until day 2!… I was very touched by the e-mails of Happy Thanksgiving from some longtime Readers I have not heard from in what seems to be ages from outside Town limits as well as inside with big “Welcome Home” messages attached!… As you will see below LBTS was in the Sentinel in print with a story about the ever impressive Lenore Nolan-Ryan who makes us all not only envious but amazed as we observe the life she leads…professionally and personally …Last time it was a Philadelphia Cream Cheese contest…this time it’s what came out of her top place position in that competition and as a longtime chef on a Yacht … Above that and online yesterday/in print on the front page of the Local Sec. today …the first press coverage of the soon- to- be exemption  offered to new restaurants in town …(this writer believes existing establishments will end up with no retroactive $s but no required renewal when their agreements are up)… The comments made are right in line with the responses this writer has heard from most of those that get it…The Mayor is right now the only one who appears to be in-line with those who do not… “Ramifications”… the fear of parking problems …I just cannot wrap my head around that one… We had the business community come to us not long ago before the current valet service approved by this commission…At that time local restaurant owners talked of a private parking garage as well as other options…I believe that will happen again if the parking is ever in question… The doomsday predictions of what ifs…I have seen before…and they never seem to pan out … This writer and the BCbythesea Hubby walked El Mar Drive around 5 pm …heading toward the downtown for a walk and some turkey after politely turning down offers to join others to do so…(A day of no commitments was really what we were thankful for)… As we left the SRC property we ran into a couple who have been longtime residents…The welcomed us home as well and told us they were no longer members of the CIC…and did not know anyone that was…The spoke of the changes they saw and all is quiet in town…They think the new Comm.and staff are doing a good job…They asked about the sewers and how it was kept under wraps so long…I replied a “well planned ruse by a chosen few”…(prev. posts)…They asked me if I had seen the lien signs on the hotel we were standing by (The old Clarion)…We said we had not..They said there were three such signs on the front side of the building on A1A…We finished up and continued on…Souters on the east side of El Mar is now the Southern Seas… A new …what appears to be a single home is being build on the west side of the street near Dave Nixon’s place… The Buena Vista and the Courtyard look empty …Whatever happened to the grand plans for a redo on the hotel and the private home on the beach?… Big shocker as well was the Sea Lord all beautifully re-done when we left …under construction with a new sign of a new resort called Porte something with a C…I didn’t write it down..The old building next to it seems to be slowly on its way to being the 4 apartments approved some time back…(prev. post)… The Windjammer looks great …I had read in the BTSFutureof the paint job…before seeing for myself…. .the old Holiday Inn owned we are told by the same owner of the former Clarion was pitch black with less than a handful of rooms lit with occupants.. The bar looked shut down and empty…Inside stacked up in what was the former offices were furniture stacked to the ceiling…Is it on its last legs?… The Oriana has a sign offering the developers close-out sale…as well as some errant choice cans in the bike lane…Once in the downtown…It was great to see that this year the trees were lit all the way from Commercial to the Pavilion…something asked for but ignored last year this time by the former administration… Also glad to see for myself that the ice cream shop by the pier finally got their sidewalk bench back!… The Pier Beach Cafe’ turned out great to see as well… Aruba was as busy as always with a few patrons fanning out into the Pavilion to admire the view…We chose to sit outside and enjoy the 2 “Blue Plate Specials” offered for Thanksgiving at the Village Grill …Both meals were perfect …just what we wanted… After the meal we walked toward A1A and saw the yogurt shop sign by Kilwins that is to come in…as well as a shop that said everything must go… We observed the remodeled building across from Athena on the corner and the sign in the window for a renter perhaps… that says “Restaurant Bar”!… That would really be something…A nice restaurant on that corner along with the new gourmet burger place going into the former Burger King site …It’s a start to what can happen in our downtown… I have heard some who wonder if Wings might make an about face and come back to their original desire for 2 restaurants on their top floors…Hmmm… no Hooters …was of course added in the conversation as well as questions on their status with renters in the renovated apartments finished not so long ago as well as the struggle with the town over the permits for their lot now in circuit court…(prev. post)… That too would start the movement to the west side of the district… Other talk on this topic …Find a way to extend the sidewalk cafes west and pen the breezeway back up if that too has not been dealt with…We ended the day by stopping by and catching up with friends in the north end of town…and of course talking about all the above and more…When this writer returned home I finished watching the on-demand movie I purchased…Eat,Pray, Love with Julia Roberts who traveled to Italy, India and Bali to find peace and meaning to her life… Those of us lucky enough to live in LBTS can find all that here …just by getting up in the morning…  making no commitments for the day ….partaking in the beauty right outside their window …Tonight we’re heading downtown to see if Dave has booked the band we hear has his phones ringing off the hook …and a must-see according to many who have said it’s a must for this writer as well…and of course to see even more of the “regulars” I have yet to catch up with and have missed so much!…


SENTINEL..full link below…

Lauderdale-by-the-Sea may relax rule requiring specific number of restaurant parking spaces

In order to help the local economy and spur business activity, town commissioners want to ditch parking requirements placed on new restaurants seeking to open in town.
“We don’t have a parking problem. We have an empty storefront problem,” Vice Mayor Stuart Dodd said. “Economic times have changed and we need to be dynamic about it.”
The town currently requires a restaurant to provide 20 parking spaces for every 1,000 square feet of dining space. Jeff Bowman, the town’s development services director, said meeting those requirements is the No. 1 deterrent for new businesses interested in opening in the town.

Sometimes would-be applicants are short one or two spaces, sometimes 10 or 20, Bowman said.
While the requirements might have made sense in more prosperous times, commissioners said they are now an impediment to economic activity.
“Unless we change the rules for restaurants, there won’t be any opening anytime soon in Lauderdale-by the-Sea,” said Dodd, who counted 13 empty businesses on a recent bike ride along the city’s portion of Commercial Boulevard east of the Intracoastal Waterway.
Commissioners said they want to act quickly to change the situation and directed staff to bring them a proposal for their Dec. 7 meeting.
Mayor Roseann Minnet cautioned against moving too quickly without considering all the ramifications. Some businesses currently have agreements with the town where they pay for spaces provided by the town to meet their requirements. Staff will research those implications as well when presenting a proposal to the commission.
Commissioner Birute Ann Clottey said other businesses, particularly local mom-and-pop hotels seeking to expand, could also benefit from relaxed parking requirements. Other commissioners said they’re willing to look at the bigger picture later, but wanted to deal with the restaurant situation immediately.
Commissioners said the town’s parking lots are seldom filled to capacity and want to encourage an atmosphere where visitors are encouraged to park and stroll, like along Atlantic Avenue in Delray Beach or Las Olas Boulevard in Fort Lauderdale.
If the end result is a parking crunch, Dodd said he’d gladly deal with that problem.
“When the parking spaces are full, we’re going to have a thriving town as a result of it,” Dodd said.”,0,4946679.story



SENTINEL…full link below…

“Name: Lenore Nolan-Ryan

Title: Owner, Lenore Nolan-Ryan Cooking School and Catering Company, 228 Commercial Blvd., Lauderdale-by-the-Sea, 954-491-2340.

Age: 56
Years at this location: 10

Type of food: Variety

Background: Born in Miami Beach, Nolan-Ryan spent her early years in Cuba, where her father owned casinos and where the family witnessed Castro’s takeover.

A self-taught cook who acquired culinary skills from her mother, she abandoned studies of voice and piano to open a Sunday brunch-only cafe in Indianapolis, where she attended Butler University. She owned Ryan’s, a takeout restaurant, wine bar and fine-dining establishment in a Victorian house in San Francisco, for 20 years before returning to Florida in 1997. She spends her winters catering and teaching in South Florida and her summers as chef aboard the MV Jamal, a 72-foot Hatteras that charters out of Alaska and the San Juan Islands.

What do you most enjoy about working aboard a yacht?

Everything is so beautiful in Alaska and the San Juan Islands. When I’m on the vessel, I feel grounded. The phone doesn’t ring. I don’t have to worry about budgets. And I get to see beautiful places through other people’s eyes. Even after 19 years, the first time our guests see a glacier or a whale breaching or a bear at the shoreline, it’s like I’m seeing it for the first time again.

Do you plan your menus before leaving the dock?

I always serve herb and lemon chicken with roasted vegetables the first night because when people get on board they’re a little nervous and it’s a comforting, basic meal that reassures people I can cook. I buy most of my ingredients ahead of time, but I don’t make up the menus until I know people’s tastes — like whether I should prepare halibut in parchment paper or with a pecan crust and maple butter sauce.

Have you had celebrities aboard?

Mario Batali chartered the boat with his children, Benno and Leo, his wife, Susi, and Susi’s best friend to celebrate her birthday. Her favorite food is Alaskan king crab and there was a lot left over the night I made it, so Mario announced he’d cook for all of us the next night. During a stopover in Seattle, I’d picked up several olive oils, including one that cost $125. Of course, he used that one and, as he’s going glug, glug, glug using all of my beautiful olive oil, the crew members who knew what I paid eyed me. But I’ve got to tell you, it was the best pasta I ever had. I duplicate the recipe in my cooking classes but I don’t use $125 olive oil.

You were a finalist in Kraft Food’s Real Women of Philadelphia contest? Was that fun?

Yes. I submitted a video of myself making my Aunt Betty’s salmon wrapped in pastry using Philadelphia Cream Cheese and, though I didn’t win, I had a great time. The finalists were put up in beautiful suites at The Mansion (on Forsyth Park Hotel and Spa) in Savannah, Ga., for a week, where we were taken around in chauffeur-driven limousines and hung out with Paula Deen. When she met me, she said, “Why, Lenore, you look just like me.” I’m still in contact with everyone I met that week and we’re planning a reunion in Savannah next year.

How has that helped your career?

Kraft has hired me to create recipes it can use to promote a new product, a line of shredded cheeses that have a touch of Philadelphia Cream Cheese in them. I’ll also be doing YouTube videos demonstrating these recipes.

What food would you bring to a deserted island?

Artichokes. In my restaurant in San Francisco, I served artichokes a different way every night. Hot, cold, steamed, with vinaigrette. It’s a great food for preparing 365 different ways.

What’s your favorite food show?

I watch all of them and my favorite is Jamie Oliver. I love the way he cooks. Everything’s right out of the garden and there’s no muss and no fuss. His style is brilliant because it’s so easy and affordable. He doesn’t insist on a long list of ingredients or elaborate preparation.

What’s always in your refrigerator?

Veuve Clicquot champagne, artichokes, goat cheese and good greens, usually arugula or spinach.

What would your last meal be?

It’d be a meal I had in a restaurant in the south of France. The first course was steamed artichoke with the most delicious garlic mayonnaise I ever had. Then they served a bouillabaisse with rouille and beautiful baguettes drizzled with olive oil. The last course was little fried pastries dusted with sugar and served with an array of confitures.

Is there anything acquaintances would be surprised to learn about you?

If I weren’t a cook, I’d be an actress and a singer. I do community theater at Lauderdale-By-The-Sea Performing Arts Center. My last role was the lead in Neil Simon’s “Rose’s Dilemma.”,0,2368324.story

more to come…

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Here’s The Scoop …This & That … 2011 Jewish Calendars Required / CRA Keeping Up With The Joneses?/ Make Mine A Bike Lane ….

September 8, 2010 by Barbara

BC- LBTS dodged the Jewish Holiday blunder this year…A look at last year’s prev. posts provide what went down in Town with more than a few “dark moments” coming from still employed as Town Clerk June White (she still cannot get dates and holidays correct …she needs to go!) …and the former occupants of the dais that were ousted or terminated…after trying to wiggle their way out of the situation … Especially the former VM who went over the top in trying to smooth the fallout with statements and actions that were akin to “some of my closest friends are….”


“Mayo on the Side

Budget hearings conflict with Jewish holidays

It’s unimaginable that any Florida governmental agency would schedule an important meeting for 5:30 p.m. on Christmas Eve.

In South Florida, where there’s a sizable Jewish population, it should be just as unimaginable to hold big budget hearings at sundown of the two biggest holy days on the Jewish calendar, Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.

But that’s exactly what two South Florida taxing agencies — the South Florida Water Management District and the Florida Inland Navigation District — will do this year.

Granted, these agencies don’t take big bites out of property owners’ tax bills and their budget hearings, both held in West Palm Beach, usually don’t attract many residents.

But the scheduling is insensitive and could have been easily avoided.

Representatives of the two agencies said they have not gotten any complaints about the conflicts. And they said there are ways for residents to give input without attending the hearings, such as sending comments by e-mail or fax.

The South Florida Water Management District, which oversees South Florida’s water supply along with canals and the Everglades, will hold its first budget meeting this Wednesday at 5:15 p.m., at its headquarters at 3301 Gun Club Road in West Palm Beach.

Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, begins Wednesday at sundown.

The Florida Inland Navigation District, which oversees the Intracoastal Waterway, holds its first budget meeting on Sept. 17 at 5:30 p.m. at the West Palm Beach city commission chambers, 401 Clematis Street.

Yom Kippur, the solemn Jewish day of repentance, begins at sundown on Sept. 17.

“We weren’t aware of the conflict when the meeting was set,” said David Roach, executive director of the Florida Inland Navigation District.

Randy Smith, spokesman for the South Florida Water Management District, said residents who can’t attend the first hearing can give input before the final budget vote is taken on Sept. 21. For more information, residents can call 561-686-8800.

Both agencies are keeping their tax rates level, meaning they’ll be collecting less in property taxes because of the decline in home values.”


BC- As we take this journey to decide the future of LBTS and the possibility of a return to having a CRA …Pompano Beach will have their 2nd public meeting this evening… Unfortunately it will not be on their webcast…But a look at their CRA webpage (link below) shows this time around the Town has hired the same people that were successful in Delray Beach…(Readers will remember Delray came to the MPSC and offered aid in the process of any upgrades in town …big or little as well as graciously offering to tell us what went wrong  and how to avoid those pitfalls!.. The offer fell on deaf ears!)…..Hollywood..Fort Lauderdale …They also acquired a $15 million dollar 20 year bond in February…  It’s a chance for all us “novices” to see what the process looks like…And perhaps in some way…shape…or form join our neighbors in moving forward instead of being left in the dust!…


“CRA planning
meeting, Sept. 8
The Pompano Beach
Community Redevelopment
Agency, or CRA, will seek
community input during the
second of three public workshops
for the proposed Downtown
Pompano Connectivity
Plan on Sept. 8 at the E. Pat
Larkins Community Center,
520 Martin Luther King, Jr.
Design alternatives will be
presented for the public rights
of way throughout Downtown
Pompano including areas
along Martin Luther King, Jr.
Boulevard, public streets and
sidewalks throughout the Old
Pompano area/FEC Corridor
and within a new City Hall/
Civic Campus proposed south
of Atlantic Boulevard at Dixie
A final community meeting,
to be held later this fall, will
present recommendations to
be brought forward for final
approval by the CRA Board.
Approval of the plan will
enable final design of landscape
and streetscape plans
so construction can begin in
2011. ”


BC- FDOT will be making less lanes!…Who knew?… It sounds much like what was being proposed to lessen the roadway on El Mar Drive recently from the MPSC instead of making the roads less lanes all the time.. to accommodate parking etc…. MPSC meets Tues. 9/21/10 at 7 pm for an update and presentation on the FDOT A1A Project underway from Pine to Terra Mar …Will the price be reduced and more be revealed about the “deal” we heard took place with SRLakes years back (prev. post)….

“A1A lane-reduction project gathers momentum
September 02, 2010|By SEAN D’OLIVEIRA
After a recent public meeting, plans to modify A1A between Oakland Park Boulevard and Flamingo Avenue in Fort Lauderdale are moving forward.

The proposed upgrades along A1A are part of a resurfacing, restoration and rehabilitation project that is being orchestrated by the Florida Department of Transportation in order to extend the life of the road. The plans call for a reduction in the number of road lanes along that portion of A1A, from six to four. Stripes will be repainted, medians modified, curb ramps added, street signs updated and landscaping improved.

“This is not a typical project,” said Michael Melendez, engineer of record for the project. “You usually don’t have many opportunities to reduce the number of road lanes.”

The lane reductions were recommended after a study indicated that the road could be changed without interrupting traffic flow.

A major feature of the project will be the addition of bicycle lanes. There will be a 6-foot bike lane that will not be separated from the road by a physical barrier.

“There’s a lot of bicycle traffic in the area with no bike lanes, so I think the bike lanes will be a big addition,” said Jim Hughes, project manager for FDOT.

Officials hope that the reduction in traffic lanes will reduce speed and permit more pedestrians to use A1A and visit businesses in the area.

“You can see where people speed up because of the open corridor,” Melendez said. “One of the benefits will be to slow down traffic, not to the point where it obstructs traffic, but to allow more pedestrians to walk on the sidewalk and bring more exposure to businesses along A1A.”

While the project is funded by FDOT, Hughes said the department always tries to coordinate with cities to rehabilitate and extend the life of roads.

The design plans will be finalized in May, with bid for contracts expected to take place in September 2011. Construction is tentatively scheduled for early 2012.”


more to come….

Post Division

Here’s The Scoop … Miami Lakes Hires Town Manager With No Advertising For The Position ….

July 31, 2010 by Barbara


Dear Readers… this writer was keeping an eye on Miami Lakes to see if former TM Colon and her pals JohnO and KathyO would soon be on the payroll there…Miami Lakes chose to rehire their former TM of 2 years back…at $188,000 with no advertising for anyone else…Seems LBTS is not the only municipality to object to high salaries and benefits for Town Managers and staff …(anyone see Bell California .. ) ….At least we are assured Ms. Colon and the double O’s cannot make a return to their Town positions….due to the clauses in her settlement/release …..WHEW!…..

( prev. post July 28, 2010 Settlement/Release…Town of LBTS v. Esther Colon…)

“9. Employment Reference. The Town agrees that if any inquiry is made to the Town Manager and/or its Human Resources Director by a prospective employer of Colon, such individuals) will only inform the prospective employer of Colon’s dates of employment and job title and will not disparage Colon in any way. If an inquiry is made to review Colon’s personnel file or any documents created or maintained by the Town, the file and/or documents will be made available in accordance with applicable law. Attached hereto as Exhibit A is a Joint Statement by the parties concerning the pantie’s dispute and resolution thereof.”

“10. No Future Employment. Colon further agrees that she is not eligible for reinstatement and will not apply in the future for employment or work with the Town, its departments and/or agencies, in any capacity.”



“Former Miami Lakes Town Manager Alex Rey returning to old job

Miami Lakes has approved Alex Rey as its new town manager with a starting base salary of $188,000.

Miami Lakes will have former Town Manager Alex Rey return to his old job in September, after the town council approved the mayor’s nomination Thursday night.
Rey served the town for six years but left in 2008 during an election cycle to lead the scandal-plagued building department in Miami Beach.
“I’m happy to be back,” Rey said.
Many residents and several council members applauded the appointment of Rey, recognized as a veteran administrator who knows the town.
“We need him and we need him now,” resident Martha Gonzalez Rovirosa told town council members.
Yet Rey’s appointment by Mayor Michael Pizzi drew questions and concerns, as well, including the lack of advertising for the position despite a council directive for staff to do so in April, and the cost of the contract, which gives Rey a starting base salary of $188,000.
In an e-mail to Councilman Richard Pulido, interim manager David Ofstein wrote that a draft advertisement had been prepared in April, but the outgoing manager, Frank Bocanegra, “directed to put the item on hold until further notice.”
Ofstein told The Miami Herald that he “didn’t even realize that it had or had not been advertised.”
“It wasn’t necessarily on my radar screen,” Ofstein added, citing work on the town’s budget.
Some residents shared their disappointment with the failure to advertise the job. Others, like Esperanza Reynolds, questioned the salary.
Reynolds urged the council to consider a salary more appropriate to the town’s size and said “we need to be very mindful of what we pay” officials.
Reynolds calculated that the contract, salary plus benefits, is worth $1.4 million over five years.
Another resident, Angel Gonzalez, quipped: “We’re not hiring LeBron James or Dwyane Wade. We’re hiring a town manager with a financial background who can do a budget and read a balance sheet.”
Rey’s base salary is more than the $168,000 that the last manager Frank Bocanegra earned and is also more than the $135,000 salary cap proposed by Pizzi in a May memo.
At the meeting, Pizzi presented a survey of managers’ salaries, ranging from $165,000 in Doral to $231,000 in Miami Beach.
“A good manager is worth his weight in gold,” Pizzi said.
Under the town charter, the mayor appoints the manager while the town council approves the nomination.
At the meeting, the mayor spent half an hour explaining why he wanted to bring back Rey as the town enters the budget season and is hunting for a new town hall. Afterward, the mayor said he viewed Rey’s return as the biggest accomplishment of his tenure as mayor.
“I think he’s a superstar,” Pizzi said.
The final vote for Rey was 5-2, with council members Richard Pulido and Nancy Simon voting against. Pulido, participating via teleconference while on vacation, said he had concerns with the search process while Simon said the contract was too costly.
“I think $188,000, while you are very well deserving, is not something that this town needs to pay for a town manager,” Simon told Rey before casting her vote.
During the meeting, the town council haggled over Rey’s five-year contract and whittled away some benefits. Those changes included changing the health insurance to a basic family plan; eliminating a $400 monthly stipend for expenses; and replacing any cost-of-living increase with an incentive-based bonus tied to the manager’s ability to cut $150,000 from the budget by the end of the fiscal year.
“I’m a taxpayer, too, and this is my money, too,” said Vice Mayor Nick Perdomo, who proposed many of the contract changes.
Perdomo noted the value of hiring a candidate who does not need on-the-job training. Bocanegra, a former police officer, did not have experience managing a municipality — which “cost the town money,” Perdomo told residents.
Rey’s official start date will be Sept 6. Until then, he will advise the interim town manager on the budget and other matters on a consulting basis, for a fee of $145 per hour.”

28 resumes have been received by LBTS thus far and there is still 16 days to go…….

more to come ….

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