| December, 2009

Letter to the Editor 2009

Posted on 17 December 2009 by admin

Published: 17 Dec 2009

Jewel of Deerfield is back!

Dear Editor:

It’s great to see the Pier Restaurant open again – a new coat of paint and new management, but the same ol’ place that so many people enjoy as the “Jewel” of Deerfield. It’s a real treasure to locals and tourists alike with great value and an even better menu. Best wishes to Brian Handleman and his staff and congratulations for getting Deerfield’s best located restaurant back into operation.

Dave Gravelle

Deerfield Beach

Published: 3 Dec 2009

Steep drop in revenue worries nation’s mayors

Mayors from four U.S. cities said they are facing a once-in-a-generation fiscal crisis and that federal stimulus funds have, so far, been largely unhelpful in efforts to balance budgets hit by steep drops in nearly every source of municipal revenue.

Comments from mayors of Philadelphia; San Jose, CA; Mesa, AR and Bowling Green, KY, at a panel discussion sponsored by the Brookings Institution and the National League of Cities, underscore how the recession for local government is far from over.

Mesa’s mayor, Scott Smith, said steep drops in sales-tax revenue, the city’s primary source of money, are “changing our reality.”

The mayors said deep budget gaps have forced them to make cuts to basic services, including police and fire protection, and that fiscal strains emphasize the need for money-saving changes to pension and health benefits in the heavily unionized public sector.

Conor Dougherty

Washington, D.C.

*Excerpted from 11-20 The Wall Street Journal.

Published: 18 Nov 2009

Taking life in your hands

Dear Editor:

Shortly after the last municipal election (March of 2009) I left a message for Chief Stravino alerting him to the peril of attempting to cross the parking lot to get to Office Depot. What I told him was, “I know you do not favor speed bumps, but crossing is like taking your life in your hands.” I guess he figured since I lost the election and was never one to favor any of the financial demands made by the fire union, he did not have to respond to anything I had to say. Subsequently, a woman was killed at that crossing. I now see that the speed bumps have finally been placed in that parking lot.

Jean M. Robb

Deerfield Beach

Aquatics facility naming

Dear Editor:

It was mentioned at one of the last one or two commission meetings that the Middle School Athletic Complex should name the Aquatics facility after someone special. Well, I cannot think of another individual more worthy of such an honor as our very own Beach Patrol Captain Lee Magnuson Jr. He has served the city for over 30 years with dedication and professionalism as our Beach Patrol Captain. Lee has an impeccable reputation as a leader in Aquatics throughout the state, has taught hundreds of Red Cross training classes and supervises one of the best Ocean Rescue Departments in Florida. No one else in our city even comes close to his achievements in aquatics. What better way to honor his devoted service to the citizens and visitors of Deerfield Beach!

Michael Weiss

Deerfield Beach

Published: 12 Nov 2009

Ignorant parents raise ignorant kids

Dear Editor:

I wholeheartedly agree with Marti McGeary’s [Oct. 22] letter [about youth violence] 100 percent, but the No. 1 reason is – women are having children and could not care less how they grow up. They do not get married. There is no one teaching these children right from wrong because they don’t know right from wrong themselves. How do the ignorant teach civility, honor, goodness, kindness, just plain humanity? Women today – some are just as stupid as some men. They don’t think with their heads or brains. All they think about is a good time with a willing partner, so who winds up paying for it monetarily? The taxpayer and the children who are taught nothing and think harming others is fine just because they want to. When I worked in a hospital emergency room, a nurse asked a woman who came in with a lot of children why she had so many. The answer?  “Because welfare pays me for each child.” Hello … is someone listening? I once thought China was a terrible country for limiting a married couple’s family to one child. Not anymore. I now think they have the right idea. The United States is letting in people from all over the world who are having their babies here. Who is paying for them? We – the once overtaxed, overworked and underpayed — now the to-be-known-as jobless. Where does it all end?

Marilyn Fernando

Oakridge A

Deerfield Beach

The $10 million man

Dear Editor:

When did we lose control? I am responding to the publisher’s relevant commentary regarding the over-compensation of firefighters in Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties. This is a situation that has to stop now. This is not just exclusive to firefighters, it transcends throughout the police and other municipal compensation plans. When these groups of workers hit their retirement funds, the cash outlays defy comprehension. For example, when the 19 firefighters at $300,000 and the 161 at $200,000 retire, [annual] retirement expenses [just for those 180 people, will cost Dade County taxpayers over $37 million per year.] How will that pension fund sustain itself — and this is only for a relatively small group of employees? The answer is simple. Just tax and tax an already over-burdened populace. There has to be one pension system for all the people, with the same benefits throughout. The current plan cannot sustain itself much longer. In the end, we will all suffer.

Leonard Lavallee

Lighthouse Point

A great town hall meeting

Dear Editor:

I’d like to compliment Joe Miller and all who participated in his District 1 meeting. It was the most precise, respectful meeting I’ve attended at City Hall. All the participants were well-informed regarding their position and responsibilities.  Miller had control of the meeting, with ease. Questions I needed answers to were answered. I can relate to the difficulty a position such as Miller’s entails. To him, I say, keep up the good work. Our city needs your positive approach.

J. M. Harte

President, Little Harbor Homeowners’ Association

Deerfield Beach

Published: 5 Nov 2009

Ignorant parents raise ignorant kids

Dear Editor:

I wholeheartedly agree with Marti McGeary’s [Oct. 22] letter [about youth violence] 100 percent, but the No. 1 reason is – women are having children and could not care less how they grow up. They do not get married. There is no one teaching these children right from wrong because they don’t know right from wrong themselves. How do the ignorant teach civility, honor, goodness, kindness, just plain humanity? Women today – some are just as stupid as some men. They don’t think with their heads or brains. All they think about is a good time with a willing partner, so who winds up paying for it monetarily? The taxpayer and the children who are taught nothing and think harming others is fine just because they want to. When I worked in a hospital emergency room, a nurse asked a woman who came in with a lot of children why she had so many. The answer?  “Because welfare pays me for each child.” Hello … is someone listening? I once thought China was a terrible country for limiting a married couple’s family to one child. Not anymore. I now think they have the right idea. The United States is letting in people from all over the world who are having their babies here. Who is paying for them? We – the once overtaxed, overworked and underpayed — now the to-be-known-as jobless. Where does it all end?

Marilyn Fernando

Oakridge A

Deerfield Beach

The $10 million man

Dear Editor:

When did we lose control? I am responding to the publisher’s relevant commentary regarding the over-compensation of firefighters in Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties. This is a situation that has to stop now. This is not just exclusive to firefighters, it transcends throughout the police and other municipal compensation plans. When these groups of workers hit their retirement funds, the cash outlays defy comprehension. For example, when the 19 firefighters at $300,000 and the 161 at $200,000 retire, [annual] retirement expenses [just for those 180 people, will cost Dade County taxpayers over $37 million per year.] How will that pension fund sustain itself — and this is only for a relatively small group of employees? The answer is simple. Just tax and tax an already over-burdened populace. There has to be one pension system for all the people, with the same benefits throughout. The current plan cannot sustain itself much longer. In the end, we will all suffer.

Leonard Lavallee

Lighthouse Point

A great town hall meeting

Dear Editor:

I’d like to compliment Joe Miller and all who participated in his District 1 meeting. It was the most precise, respectful meeting I’ve attended at City Hall. All the participants were well-informed regarding their position and responsibilities.  Miller had control of the meeting, with ease. Questions I needed answers to were answered. I can relate to the difficulty a position such as Miller’s entails. To him, I say, keep up the good work. Our city needs your positive approach.

J. M. Harte

President, Little Harbor Homeowners’ Association

Deerfield Beach

Published: 29 Oct 2009

Re: The Hedge Incident

Dear Editor:

For those who read the Oct. 15 “Observer,” who is Kathy Richards?  Someone who lives not on the perimeter, but one who maybe has a unit somewhere in the center of Century Village East (CVE). Instead of writing how bad a cut job Seacrest did with the authority of Master Management (MM), she, with her pen, condones it.  I live on the perimeter of SW 10 Street. We never had to worry about the law of 6 ft. The hedges were 15 ft. high and, twice a year, CMM cut them down to 13 to 14 ft. The hedges blocked the view of seeing in or out to SW 10 Street. Yes, they will grow back with care and fertilization, but how and when will they fill in the areas where there are NO plants left. There seems to be no outcry of unit owners and/or area chairs who live on the perimeter where the hedges were cut. Maybe they were not thinned out, but CMM never received the dollars that Seacrest was getting to do this job.

Norm Kaplan

President Farnham K, CVE

Deerfield Beach

Two steps to help save our freedom

Dear Editor:

Our federal government is out of control. Most federal representatives completely ignore our Constitution, that they took a solemn oath to uphold. The feds are responsible, but the real blame is that we, the people, have allowed it to happen. And it will continue to get worse unless we stop it.

We can start by contacting our Senators and Congressman and demand that they make no changes to our healthcare. The current administration wants, over time, to take total control of our heathcare.

Our dollar is no longer backed by gold or silver. It is fiat money made legal tender by the federal government. Furthermore, the unconstitutional Federal Reserve Bank, a private entity not responsible to anyone, determines how much money should be in circulation. We need to make a first true audit of this organization by urging Congress to pass H.R. 1207, the Federal Reserve Transparency Act of 2009.

If we can get enough people to contact Congress about these two items, we will be well on the way to reining in our runaway federal government.

Edward Milton Ventresca

Canyon Country, CA

Resident’s rebuttal; support of straw ballot

Dear Editor:

At the City Commission Meeting, Jun. 16, Caryl Berner, who ran for political office, chose to vilify the Deerfield Raging Grannies. Like she did with the ministers, she wanted the commissions to get rid of me speaking (for my response, view city commission minutes, Aug. 18). At the Sept. 15 city commission meeting, she claimed we are both witches. She is Jewish, a Lay Minister, Sister Zelda and now a witch. Witches are practitioners of Wicca, a religion. I am not a member of any religious group. I did not initiate this and was entitled to respond! (View city commission minutes, Oct. 20).

Mayor Peggy Noland wants City Attorney Andy Maurodis to draft some sort of a law to stop people from speaking on personal matters, and I agree. I have been trying for quite awhile to have this commission vote on a straw ballot, a.k.a. referendum, as has been done in many other cities. Foreign and domestic policy when it pertains to the straw ballot is “City Business.” Rep. Robert Wexler is resigning and there will be a special election. It’s about time this commission vote to include the straw ballot, as these two wars have hit home. Give the people a vote for: “The immediate end to the operation of Afghanistan and Iraq, and bring all of the Troops Home Now.”

Barbara Miranda

Deerfield Beach

Published: 22 Oct 2009

Dear Michael Brewer

To the Editor:

It is with great shame that I read five boys burned your young body over just a few dollars.  I want to apologize for this terrible horrible injustice so cruelly performed.  For those of us who have had children in burn wards, we would do anything not to have this happen to our children.  Please purge your heart of any anger towards these hooligans with forgiveness, so you will not change in any way inside or change the goodness I can see in your picture.  You cannot give in to this kind of evil. They have publically shamed their mothers, their fathers, their sisters, their brothers, and their grandparents.  We, the public, are to rebuke them until they acknowledge their horrible crime and are punished sufficiently.  Again, I am so sorry. May the Lord be with you.

Lori Rice

Valley Falls, KS

What is happening to our children?

To the Editor:

Not so long ago, I watched in horror a news video of a young high school student beaten to death just because he was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Yesterday, the news reported that children conspired to douse a classmate with alcohol and light him on fire. This horrific act happened within a few miles of my home.

What is happening to our children? Are they becoming desensitized by things they see and hear daily? Are these things erasing compassion for others and filling their heads with hateful ideas? Are they viewing atrocities on TV/ the Internet and playing games that glorify violent acts that make them feel powerful? Too much music is the instrument of foul language, hateful acts and blasphemy. Our children tune in for a daily dose.

We worry about our men and women fighting a war to make us safe from our enemies and terrorist acts, but in our own cities so many of our children are on a path of self-destruction and violence. They learn to make bombs, steal, shoot guns, abuse drugs and bully each other.

Who do they have as role models?  Our news headlines report daily that:

• Sports figures are arrested for murder, animal abuse, domestic violence, drunk driving, rape and acts of violence

• Political leaders are arrested for embezzling, drug trafficking, pornography and are excused by too many for extra-marital affairs that destroy their families.

• [Entertainers] are charged with rape and promiscuity. Their lifestyles glorified, their transgressions minimized because they may be intelligent and talented.

• [Teachers, priests] are arrested for child abuse and molestation.

As a society, we must begin to find ways to guide our children to make the right choices. We need to be [good] role models and show an outpouring of community involvement and love for our neighbors.

Marti McGeary

Deerfield Beach, FL

Are you smarter than a 5th Grader?

To the Editor:

Recently, the powers that be in Deerfield Beach felt the need for a “Retreat.” The mission was to figure out how the City Commission could find a vision for the city. So $15,000 of our tax money was spent to find out that Communication is the key! I have a feeling that a 5th grader would have come up with a better solution and for a lot less money.

I believe District Meetings might benefit the city more and for a heck of a lot less money. Only one commissioner at this time conducts a District Meeting. The city manager with the district commissioner could hear what the people want. When each commissioner knows what their district wants, perhaps the city manager would be in a better position to help the city form a vision for the betterment of the entire city. There is also no reason why the mayor can’t hold a city meeting towards the same goal.

Caryl Berner

Deerfield Beach, FL

Published: 15 Oct 2009

Dream home attained thanks to Deerfield city employees

Dear Editor:

Recently, my husband and I purchased our first home in the city of Deerfield Beach. We have been renting in this city all of our lives. When I was living with my parents they rented, and since I’ve been with my husband we rented. How fortunate we were when the opportunity arose for us to be in a financial position to purchase our dream home. During the last week in September, this dream home was almost not attained due to the banks and title companies. If not for the City of Deerfield Beach administrative staff, we would still be renting today. I am writing to commend the efforts of Mr. Charles DaBrusco, Ms. Marcia Stevens and Ms. Kathi Edward. Their quick response, compassion to my plight and ability to cut through the red tape was exemplary. There was an issue with a variance and we had no idea what to do until we walked into the city office. These people took time out of their busy day to help me resolve the situation. They sent me to the correct city departments and called ahead to let each department know I was coming. I am grateful to have met and worked with these awesome city employees. My family would like to thank and praise them for being our guardian angels. We could never have purchased our first home without their help. Each one deserves to be “Employee of the Year.”

Megan Schneider

Deerfield Beach

Published: 8 Oct 2009

Reader speaks of gratitude and firefighters

Dear Editor:

If the Deerfield firefighters don’t want to sacrifice a little, I’m sure there are qualified unemployed people who would be grateful for the work. I don’t have a job, a guaranteed pension or paid health insurance. However, the Deerfield commissioners voted to pass a higher tax rate to cover the city employee’s pensions and health insurance. They all should be grateful they have a job.

Eileen Lovre

Deerfield Beach

The value of public safety

Dear Editor:

Most vital to our society are the Police, Fire Department, and medical care. Why do the “higher ups” insist that our sheriff cut down on expenses when crime continues to worsen? We need the police more than ever. Wise up and let Sheriff Lamberti do his excellent job!

Most sincerely,

Lorraine C. Taylor

Deerfield Beach

What’s up with Dunkin?

Dear Editor:

With the sudden closure of the three Dunkin Donut franchise stores, some explanation is owed to the community. The Ali family made a FORTUNE selling their products/services to the Deerfield community. Either they and/or corporate owes us an explanation.

Arnold Samuels

Deerfield Beach

Published: 1 Oct 2009

Healthcare: The Section 330 solution

Dear Editor:

Perhaps the most successful approach to delivering healthcare [ to those who need it] is the Section 330 Primary Care Clinics that have been installed in areas of the U.S. designated as “Medically Underserved Areas” (MUAs).

Everyone using these clinics pays something on a “sliding fee” scale, from a minimum fee that can be only $1 to a maximum fee based on the actual average cost of a clinic visit (the program sets standards based on formulas embedded in the enabling legislation–about $30 – $50). This model can be applied to secondary and tertiary level care. All health and health-related products, services, equipment and other healthcare resources eventually can transition to operate under this model. To be successful, the transition process will be important, must be carefully designed and most likely should be gradual.

Changing the health insurance payment system alone may somewhat impact the cost, but it will not reform health service delivery as it now exists in the U.S. Furthermore, implementation of this model does not represent a government “takeover” of healthcare in the U.S., as claimed by supporters desiring little or no change in the current unworkable private insurance company payment system. It is imperative that a viable alternative be set in place for those who are forced to decide between family survival and the loss of a family member due to an unaffordable but treatable terminal health issue!

The Section 330 model is not “socialized” medicine in any sense — only private corporations are directly involved in delivering the healthcare. The government is only involved in subsidizing its actual cost for those who are unable to pay and [establishing] sorely needed standards of care.

Dr. Nicholas B. Louis

Lighthouse Point

PALs donations: A little could equal a lot

Dear Editor:

Today I received a call from the Pompano Beach Chapter of the Police Athletic League (PALs). The solicitor started the conversation by saying that he apologizes for any inconvenience, but they only call when they are in great need.

He introduced the organization and how the Athletic League consists of Law Enforcement volunteers who create opportunities for at-risk kids and “teach them to shoot pool instead of shooting each other.” I thoroughly enjoyed the comedic intermission.  He followed by asking if I would be willing to give.  Immediately, I replied “yes,” and he sounded surprised at my lack of hesitation.

I told him that I … was happy to give … every little bit counts.  He told me that most small businesses were giving around $200 or $300. I told him that all I could afford is $10. He was taken aback. He told me that he didn’t want to sound ungrateful, but they only take gifts from $100 and up.

With as many “no’s” as they receive for $100, they would actually be earning more money with $10 “yes’s.”   If you walked up to me in my current financial need and offered to give me $10, I would gladly be gracious and thankful for it.

Stephen Martin

Lighthouse Point

What about FEMA’s Flood program?

Dear Editor:

I see on TV and read a lot about hurricanes, preparations, etc. in our newspapers these days. However, nobody is telling us about how to save money (millions) on Flood Insurance. Even the City of Deerfield Beach recently sent everyone in town an ill-advised flyer with lots of [questionable] statements about the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA)  National Flood Insurance Program. Herein lies a major story crying to be told.

Frederick Foreman

Deerfield Beach

Published: 24 Sep 2009

Dion draws rave review

Dear Editor:

Thank you for the great picture of David Eller and the great “Dion.” I haven’t seen or heard of him in quite a while. That was [from] my good old days in my native New York and brought back some great memories. What a great pick me up, thanks again.

Marilyn Fernando

Oakridge A

Deerfield Beach

Hillsboro beach renourishment needed

Dear Editor:

I am writing this letter as a representative of the Overlook, a condominium of 104 homes … 104  families you are supposed to represent.

I have a question for you, Madam Mayor and Commissioners. Have you walked the beach recently?  Not the north mile, which which we all know is imperiled, but the middle mile running between Opal Towers and The Ocean Grande.  At high tide, there are sections where the water stops less than 2 feet from the protective vegetation.  Madam Mayor, it is not only the northern mile that is desperate for sand, but at least 2/3 of the town is in dire straights.

You are risking the integrity of the island by your short-sighted decision not to replenish the beach.  If you walk the beach, you will see that the entire island is at risk.

It is imperative that sand be injected into the system.  This is not my opinion but the opinion of the engineering firm that has been paid $100,000 of tax payer money.  I quote John Studt from the minutes of the June 2 meeting: “You have to have some sand source. That’s what the ’97 plan stated and again, this project would need to be done again if you don’t do this, then over time, this other 2 miles would begin to look like the northern mile  — if you don’t do anything.”

There is no way we, the residents, can get the appropriate permits to do a restoration of the beach below the mean high water mark. Only you can renourish our beaches.

If you delay, we lose the opportunity to piggy back with Boca. This would make the job even more expensive and you risk not being able to do the renourishment at all if this issue becomes tied up in the courts.

The moment has arrived for you to stand up for Hillsboro Beach. Vote for the renourishment. Don’t let our homes be destroyed because you are faint of heart.

Claire Schubert

Hillsboro Beach

Bigger is not necessarily better

Dear Editor:

Who do you want making decisions about how our city grows?  Do you want politicians, lobbyists, developers or YOU making those decisions?  Think about our golf courses, our beach property, our parks and other open spaces.  How do you think the developers see them?

Developers, and politicians for allowing it, through overdevelopment, have harmed our economy; the market is flooded with vacant foreclosed houses, condos, offices and stores. The weakened economy has forced city and county commissions to raise taxes and fees, and cut library hours, law enforcement, and other services to balance their budgets.

Now that they have ruined the economy, politicians are being lobbied by developers (who donate massive amounts of money to their campaign chests) to weaken controls on growth.

It happened recently at the state level with the passage of Senate Bill 360, signed by Gov. Crist, which repealed major state growth management laws, and it’s happening at the local level across the state.

Once the economy improves, if we allow this, we will be inundated with overgrowth — which will once again fuel the boom-and-bust cycle.

The real estate disaster has created an electorate more than ready to vote “yes” for the Florida Hometown Democracy’s Amendment 4 on the November 2010 ballot.  They want control back in the hands of the people who reside in the communities.

Amendment 4 gives community voters a veto power over inappropriate development.  It’s the check and balance we need for good government that truly represents OUR interests. If Amendment 4 is passed, and a community wants to change a land use, the voters will have to approve it.

Bett Willett

Deerfield Beach

Published: 17 Sep 2009

Remembering 9/11

Dear Editor:

Sept. 11 is a special day for firefighters as well as all Americans. Firefighters work every day, caring for others. It is what we do. On Sept. 11, 2001, 343 FDNY brothers gave the ultimate sacrifice. We choose to honor our brothers. For many, perhaps, this sort of display is getting old and unnecessary, but that will never happen with firefighters because we are committed to “never forget.” That day embodies the spirit of service that lies within all firefighters. Sadly, it is not shared by our Fire Chief.

Our department was invited by Boca Raton Fire Rescue to participate in a 9/11 memorial event. We were even asked to assist them in flying the American flag from our ladder truck. It is a tradition on this day and any day a fallen firefighter is honored, that a form of apparatus is sent to represent each Fire Department. Fire apparatuses from numerous cities in South Florida – representing scores of Fire Departments – arrived to honor our fallen brothers and sisters who gave their lives that day. We asked our Fire Chief to allow us to represent our Fire Department by taking our ladder truck to our neighboring city, just a few miles away. The answer was “NO.” The Fire Chief was asked to reconsider on numerous accounts and his reply was still “NO.”

On the actual day of remembrance, our fire stations wanted to lower the flags to half mast. The question was presented to our shift commander. ‘This would need Fire Chief Approval,’ was his reply. Our Fire Chief was asked and he said, “No, the City Manager has to authorize it.” This unacceptable order was met with outrage. The Mayor was called, the City Manager was called, and then, and only then, was the request granted.

We then found out that most of the Fire Department Administration, Chiefs and their Secretaries attended the 9/11 Memorial Event in Boca Raton.

Please, City of Deerfield, support our traditions and on these very special events, send a Fire Truck to represent our city and our department. Also, out of sincere respect, be the first to lower the flags, not the last. Thank you.

The Men and Women of

Deerfield Beach Fire Rescue

Healthcare reform

Dear Editor:

This is a response to an [Aug. 20] Cal Thomas column on healthcare. He misses a lot of points, but I will ask two questions: Why are we spending so much more in healthcare than other countries and where does the money go? The U.S. spends $2.4 trillion for about $950 billion worth of care.

The problem with the U.S. healthcare system is the profit. We need to remove the profit out of the system. It is a myth that foreign healthcare systems are inefficient and bureaucratic; U.S. health insurance companies have the highest administrative costs in the world: they spend 20 cents for every dollar for non-medical costs (paperwork, reviewing claims, marketing, etc.).

Most doctors are paid on a “fee for service” base, which gives them the incentive to provide as many services as the insurance will cover (many of them unnecessary). This is true of specialists, who receive very high fees for expensive tests and procedures.

The bottom line is that the money is going to profits, overhead, exorbitant prices and medically unnecessary procedures. It is a system that maximizes income, not health.

Silvia Hall

Boca Raton

Deerfield Beach made a difference

Dear Editor:

I just wanted to stop and say “thanks” to my family and the entire Deerfield Beach Community. Thanks for helping me understand the importance of education and the opportunities that it provides.

I am so proud to represent my family and the Deerfield Beach Community first as a member of 1991 LSU’s track & field program and in my current role as an administrator for the LSU Tigers Football program.

Thanks and good luck to the young men playing football in Deerfield this season!

GO BUCKS, RATTLERS and RAIDERS!

Sherman J. Morris, MBA

Director of Player Personnel, LSU FOOTBALL

Baton Rouge, LA

Published: 10 Sep 2009

Reader questions commission on pier, ethics code

Dear Editor:

[What’s this about]  leaving Labor Day weekend with the pier grill closed, with no food at the pier and no income for the city?

Is our commision suggesting that they never read the ethics code? If you are against something for legitimate reasons, don’t you owe it to yourself to know what you are against? Oh, but as soon as two are reminded of the ethics code, they decide it is no good. So, we postpone the award of the pier contract because our mayor and commisioner voted for the firm that didn’t read the ethics code and now we have to throw out the bids.

If the pier grill sits idle for one or two months, how long will it take to make up the loss with the difference in bids between JB’s and Kelly’s grill? Heck, maybe we can make up the loss with some kind of grant money, because we know that’s not real money, it’s funny money like we bought the beach property with.

I know it’s a long time until new elections, but remember what’s going on now, watch what goes on in the future, and how about we get a few voters out there next time.

Oh, it’s gonna be a long four years, but it’s gonna be fun watching the show!

Ron Coddington

Deerfield Beach

Two reasons for healthcare reform

Dear Editor:

As a United Methodist clergy person in the Florida Annual Conference (on loan for awhile to Minnesota) and as the Executive Director of Friends for a Non-Violent World, a small nonprofit with one full-time employee (me!) and no group health plan, I understand the need for meaningful healthcare reform.

First, the selfish reason for reform: The last two years have seen my partner Amanda’s and my insurance premiums increase 25 percent and 20 percent. We now pay 24 percent of our income on health premiums; more than 75 percent of our income goes to these premiums, rent, utilities and food. And we haven’t even gotten to auto insurance, dental insurance, renters insurance, clothing, etc. As you can see, we can use some help to alleviate the strain to our budget, and we’re in a “solid” position compared to the millions of uninsured people in the United States.

Now, for the faith perspective on reform: As a follower of Jesus, I am called to love neighbors and enemies, to seek justice for the poor and to help heal the sick. No amount of theological wrangling can get around these facts. So, for me, helping people stuck in poverty afford healthcare fits right in with my responsibilities as a Christ follower.

I suspect that the vast majority of Christians agree with the ideas presented above. But, I’m concerned over how easily many of my sisters and brothers in the faith seem to be swayed by the misinformation about healthcare reform being spread on TV, the Internet, by many of our politicians and even by some of our religious leaders. These rumors have been discredited on every front. So please, let’s base our decision on facts, not misinformation. With issues as important as serving the poor and providing affordable healthcare, we need a debate marked by generosity and clarity, not by fear.

Healthcare reform would mean better lives for many people in our communities.  Let’s not allow the opportunity to pass us by.

Matt Hunter

Minneapolis, MN

Editor’s Note: Matt Hunter is the former Director of The Shepherd’s Way homeless ministry in Ft. Lauderdale.

RE: City of Deerfield’s Drama Camp

Dear Editor:

I read Mr. Papagno’s Letter to the Editor this past week (9-3 Observer). I do understand and I would, as well, like to see more of the kids get an opportunity to have a bigger part in the performance. However, in my opinion, these comments are a bit harsh. First and foremost, my intention is not to start a “mud sling,” but to voice my opinion based on four years of participation. This is a Summer Camp, not a Drama School. Drama is simply the theme. There are Drama Academies and Clubs for more serious students of the theatre (at a much higher cost I might add). The staff here is friendly and attentive; these same people have run this camp the four years we have attended. If there is any issue (good or bad) there is no hesitation, they will call or seek you out at drop off/pick up — I’ve always felt informed. It is a blessing to go through my day, knowing my son is in good hands and safe. Learning the play/songs is a great way to keep the mind working; my son takes pride in memorizing his parts. Drama is only one facet of the camp; there is always a good mix of other activities to keep their attention.  Ms. Robin, Bill, Mr. Daniels, thanks for keeping my son safe the past four years! I look forward to seeing you all again next summer.

Dean Watson

Lighthouse Point

Published: 3 Sep 2009

Perspective on FY 2009-10 budget

Dear Editor:

A lot depends on what action the [Deerfield Beach City] Commission takes on Sept. 14 at 9:30 a.m. at the public hearing to set the fire assessment fee. Without the $50 increase, there is a $3 million hole in the budget, and the contract with Hillsboro Beach would be reduced by $110,600.

The $500,000 revenue that is supposed to come from installation of red light cameras might never materialize since there are proposed class action suits against at least 16 local governments to put a stop to the red light traffic cameras.

This would be the perfect opportunity to bid the fishing pier and the restaurant as a package deal. We have 12 employees costing the city $368,169 a year for the operation of the pier. The income from that operation includes merchandise $123,000; admissions $237,000; and parking $142,000 — for an alleged profit of $133,831.

Without the $142,000 in parking fees, we now have a cost of $368,169 to earn $360,000 — putting the operation run by the city at a negative $8,169. It’s time to go out to bid.

Social Security recipients have been told there will be no cost of living raises for the next two years.

The same should hold true for uniform and non-uniform city of Deerfield Beach employees. Take a good look at what some of the members of the fire department are costing us. There are 134 members getting the 15 percent incentive for being paramedics.

Yet there are nine who collect the 15 percent and never go out on a call. In addition, five of those nine are in the DROP plan, which means they got a 9 percent bump in salary since they no longer had to contribute to their pension plan. That equates to a 24 percent salary increase plus whatever cost of living they were given in the salaries they were collecting. Stop telling the taxpayers to look at what other cities are doing. It is time to look at what the city of Deerfield can afford.

City financing should only extend to the 4th of July [celebration]. Originally, the Mango Festival was financed with private contributions. If the promoters of that and the other events want to proceed, they should find the money to finance them and not count on the taxpayers to foot the bill.

Jean M. Robb

Deerfield Beach

Published: 27 Aug 2009

Something Fishy At The Pier And It’s Not The Fish

Dear Editor:

Deerfield Beach bought off the lease holder of a city-owned restaurant for $80K to settle a lawsuit and make him go away. Deerfield Beach recently gave Pete Boinis $525K ($325K in grant money…every Floridian’s tax dollar plus $200K from Deerfield Beach) to make him go away. Please note that Peggy Noland was a commissioner when they voted to let Boinis buy this piece of beach for $200K. As mayor, she used her tie-breaking vote to give Boinis $525K to get this piece back! Note the economic times we’re in (nice to make such a profit, isn’t it?) Also of note; this piece of beach land is virtually useless. If Boinis had realized his dream for a monster restaurant at the beach, only then would this piece be useful to an entrepreneur.  His plan was defeated by the outcry of concerned citizens. Another note: JB’s was in favor of Boinis building a monster restaurant. If JB’s  acquired this “temporary” lease, I have no doubt there would be a JB-Boinis association at the Pier. In fact, Commissioner Sylvia Poitier recently looked at the Boinis plans for his “now dead” restaurant.

The question now is what to do with a restaurant that will be vacated Aug. 31. Although proper procedure may have taken place, (and I use may lightly) a vote at Tuesday night’s commission meeting [Aug. 18] had the commission voting for a temporary lease holder. This came as a surprise to  the watchful citizens of Deerfield Beach. Once again, the same two commissioners plus the mayor voted to give the lease to JB’s on the Beach.  Of special note, the mayor worked for JB’s as a hostess. Plus her son, the fireman who got a slap on his wrist for stealing campaign signs of his mother’s opponents, also worked and/or works for JB’s. Noland says she has no conflict. I beg to differ. Our City Code of Ethics states that JB’s needed to declare any association with commission members and they did not. It also states that officials need to disclose any dealings they have with people coming before the commission to do business with the city. Neither one did.

Caryl Berner

Deerfield Beach

Editor’s note:  Considered action of the bid awards for the Pier Restaurant Operation is the subject of a Special City Commission Meeting on Aug. 27. [see pg. 7]

City of Deerfield’s Drama Camp is a Waste of Time

Dear Editor,

My child attended the city’s drama camp this year and I was deeply disappointed. The camp had approximately 150 kids enrolled and was held during the weekdays at the Deerfield Beach Middle School. They spend all summer learning a play/musical, which culminates in a final performance for the parents and friends. What they do not tell you is that the camp is divided into the “have” and “have-nots”. Basically, there are 7 main characters and then “the rest”. During the final performance, the main characters wore microphones and are 90% of the show. The remaining kids are delegated to insignificant presence on the stage, or kept completely off the stage for most of the play. My kid, and apparently many others, actually watched a movie backstage for most of the final performance. Unless your child was one of the lucky ones to be chosen as a main character, it appeared that this camp was a waste of time for the remaining 90% of the children.

Not surprisingly, the camp director’s child got the lead role in the play. From what I understand, this is not the first year this has happened. Her child got plenty of acting experience and stage presence. I wonder if she would be willing to be camp director next year if the city told her that her child couldn’t be one of the main characters. It may sound like I am crying sour grapes, but actually my kids have been in the drama camp since its first year – approximately 8 years ago. Some years they have gotten better roles than others, and that has always been acceptable. However, for the first few years of the camp, less than 50 kids were enrolled and the previous director was able to involve ALL kids actively into the program. With 150 kids, I do not believe that is possible. The city needs to limit this program to 50 kids or do three summer sessions each with 50 kids. In the meantime, I will not be reenrolling my child back into this camp, and am grateful that I did not win the drawing for free tuition into next year’s camp that was handed out at the end of the performance.

Travis Papagno

Cycling Doesn’t Have to be Ugly

Dear Editor,

The ugly incident that occurred between cyclists and a motorist along A1A on Aug. 13 should serve as a wake up call to all involved.

I wasn’t there and can’t attest to who is at fault. More important than assessing blame is that all of us who enjoy the roads need to adopt a more forgiving and peaceful attitude, especially the cyclists.

Emotions are too close to the surface these days and we allow them to boil over too quickly.

Virtually everyone is a motorist and only a few of are cyclists. To me that means that cyclists are the ones with a broader perspective towards sharing the road. We should be the “smarter ones”. A tap on the horn behind you doesn’t mean “I want to fight”.

Bicycles enjoy the protection of the motor vehicle statutes but with that comes responsibility to obey traffic laws and drive “without rage”.

Police enforcement of traffic laws on cyclists has increased dramatically over the past year in towns from Boca Raton to Ocean Ridge. The message is clear, if cyclists don’t share the road as they demand that vehicles do, the riding experience on A1A will become less fun over time.

Since my favorite place to ride my bike is on A1A between Ft. Lauderdale and Palm Beach, I hope to see conditions improve.

For cyclists, I suggest that you don’t partake in group rides where the leaders don’t wear helmets and ride aggressively, inviting danger.

For motorists, not all cyclists are hot-headed and impulsive. Be patient with us.

I invite cyclists to take the first step in creating peace along A1A and I implore motorists to follow suit.

Bill Hanifin

Lighthouse Point

Published: 20 Aug 2009

DROP questioned

Dear Editor:

There are only 47 employees remaining in the non-uniform defined pension plan. All of the members of the Fire Department are included in their defined pension plan. When I asked the commission to allow six members of the non-uniform plan to retire without penalty at any age, the proposal was not considered. However, if these employees had been firefighters, they could have retired after 20 years of service at any age with no penalty, and the city would have paid their health insurance until they reached 65. When Noland and Trinchitella championed this change in the fire pension plan, the rationale was that after 20 years, a firefighter is burned out. REALLY? Why then is the union pushing to extend its DROP (Deferred Retirement Option Plan) from 5 to 7 years? A former fire chief retired with an annual pension of $97,000 plus $235,000 from the DROP plan and $56,000 in unused vacation and sick time. More recently a retiree at age 51 will cost the city $372.35 for his health coverage for the next 14 years until age 65 for a total cost to the city of $53,618.40. In these times of economic stress, it is important to ask for the unions to give back. There is no DROP plan for non-uniform employees. And why aren’t those firefighters or chiefs who want to continue past their retirement not also burned out?

Then there is the matter of incentive pay for those who are EMS [Emergency Medical Services] certified. That is given to members of the department who have the certification but never go out on a call.

All over the country, unions are being asked to give back or modify benefits that taxpayers can no longer afford. If the commission is saying “NO” to non-uniform workers retiring after 30 or more years of service at any age without penalty, let’s see what they do with the firefighters’ 20-and-out with no penalty. The times they are a changing.

Jean M. Robb

Deerfield Beach

Editor’s note: A DROP plan is an arrangement under which an employee who would otherwise be entitled to retire instead continues working. The monthly pension money he would have received goes into the DROP plan administered by the Firemen’s Pension Board. The account earns interest at a rate stated in the plan or based on the earnings of the trust managed by the Board. The employee continues to receive his salary for the time he works plus whatever salary increases were given during that time.

Counterpoint: Healthcare

Dear Editor:

Whether or not one supports healthcare for all Americans, we need to acknowledge some important facts.

Yes, wealthy people come to America for our fine healthcare. But, that healthcare is not available to the average American. Many Americans go to foreign countries for necessary treatment because they have no insurance or their co-pay would be more than it costs to fly to another country, stay in a hotel and pay for the surgery.

Many Americans order their drugs from Canadian pharmacies because they are considerably cheaper and often there are generic alternatives that are not sold in the U.S.

For a variety of reasons, more than 45 million legal American citizens have no health insurance. These people sometimes die on the street, at home and even waiting in emergency rooms. Uninsured emergency room treatment is passed on to the insured, thus raising costs to the insured and ultimately our insurance rates while insurance executives draw salaries in the 10’s of millions.

After three years of being able to afford only catastrophic health insurance, I have the Best insurance I can afford  — and I am consistently denied the best drugs, treatments, and even reimbursement for routine doctor visits and tests.

I am not advocating for free care for everyone, but I believe a civilized society takes care of its most vulnerable — the young, the elderly, the poor and the mentally and physically ill. At this time, we Americans are not meeting that responsibility. We must offer an affordable alternative and to do that, we must get out of the grips of the drug and insurance companies whose only motive is profit.

Dianne Sammons

Lighthouse Point

Published: 13 Aug 2009

Resident responds to resident on Wellfield

Dear Editor:

In response to a Letter to the Editor on Aug. 6 [“Resident wants to see budget cuts”],  I would like to clarify something very important stated in this letter.  The City Commissioners did not approve to pay $900,000 to move the generator building for the Wellfield project on SW 10 Street. The Commission approved to spend $278,000 to move the building and the Floridan Well.  The funds will come from the Bond that passed in 2008 and is NOT an expense affecting the General Budget.  The mayor, commissioners, city manager, city staff and contractors spent uncounted hours to work to have the generator building moved away from the original plan, where it was located a few feet from single-family residential homes.  The funds to accommodate this better location will not be reflected in an increase to water rates or a change in the city’s tax base.

Denise Bogner

Waterford Homes Resident

Deerfield Beach

Firefighters’ contract negotiations

Dear Editor:

As published in last week’s Observer [Aug. 6], the firefighter’s union is once again strong- arming its way to the city feeding trough in search of more pay and more benefits, but with no change in its antiquated work rules. For example, three union employees per ambulance run in Deerfield Beach, compared to the more commonly-held standard of two adopted by other fire-rescue organizations (as published recently in the Observer).  According to the Observer, they are asking for a three-year deal with 4 percent cost of living adjustments [COLA] in each of those years.  If only the taxpayers of Deerfield Beach were receiving such increases in their pensions, investment accounts or home values.  The union is also asking for comp time buyouts, which requires the city to pay out cash it doesn’t have for a benefit the city never should have agreed to.  Most companies offer comp time on a use it or lose it basis for up to 12 months.  Why can’t our firefighters have the same program?

Believe it or not, I am a strong supporter of our firefighters.  They are dedicated, hard-working public servants who deserve to be rewarded with fair compensation and benefit programs that support themselves and their families, and are affordable by the taxpayer base.  What I do not support are the spiraling costs and/or reluctance to adjust to more efficient work rules of any public servant organization that does not consider the state of the economy and the financial position of the taxpayers when that organization demands more and more.  The city employees not represented by the firefighters union are being asked to sacrifice cost of living and merit increases for at least the next 12 months and possibly longer according to the Observer.  Those same employees have been subject to layoffs and reduced hours.  Perhaps the leadership of the firefighters union should consider a less aggressive bargaining position this time around.  What do you think?

David Nace

Deerfield Beach

Minimum Wage increase

Dear Editor:

If I have done the math correctly, the minimum wage hike [in the July 30 issue of the Observer] represents a 9 percent increase in wages — good for the teenagers and older workers. HOWEVER, the additional payroll, insurance (both medical and liability [as payroll is incorporated into premiums]) and tax increase to small business owners, who represent the MAJORITY of employees, SHOULD ALSO BE REPORTED. Hence, this will most definitely add to unemployment as small business owners continue to suffer to make ends meet. In turn, those left earning an additional 9 percent will work harder as their co-worker/workers have been let go to make ends meet. THEN, the small business owner pays an additional percentage for the unemployment percentage quarterly for those applying.

Anyone thinking about the “big” picture? Where are the winners?

Anita Cayuso

Lighthouse Point

Published: 6 Aug 2009

Resident wants to see budget cuts

Dear Editor:

The tax base in Deerfield Beach is being cut in half.  A townhouse in the Waterford Courtyards just sold for $80,000.00.That is about what they sold for new 23 years ago. Last year’s taxes on this property were $4,017.15. Next year’s taxes will be a fraction of that. The city and county took every bit of the increase when property values were soaring. Now, they need to give back every bit of the decline as our property values collapse. An increase in the millage will not be acceptable to most residents in Deerfield Beach.

I am asking the Commission and City Manager to cut the budget and give the taxpayers a break. They are not serious about cutting costs. For example, to help pay an outrageous charge of $900,000 to move the generator building on SW 10 Street before construction started, they eliminated brick pavers. Excuse me, why was the city putting expensive brick pavers around a utility building that only city employees will visit?

Every year, they waste money on the Water Quality Report by mailing a slick publication with separate postage instead of putting it on a couple of sheets of standard paper and mailing it with the water bills as some cities do.

The only way to cut wasteful spending in Deerfield Beach is to cut every department’s budget by 20 percent and force them to do what families and business owners are forced to do — look at where they can cut unnecessary spending.

Robert Lloyd

Deerfield Beach

Reader watches TV special on healthcare

Dear Editor:

After watching 20/20 last night I wanted to vomit. Then, I realized that I would not be able to receive care for vomiting if Obama’s healthcare plan comes to fruition. What the President is attempting to initiate is appalling.  The segment on 20/20 showed the long lines of people attempting to just register to see and be seen by a doctor in Canada and Great Britain.  In addition, they also showed how world leaders from other countries come to the United States to receive treatment that is unavailable to them because of their medical system — the very system that bit by bit Obama is attempting to bring to the U.S. This begs the question, what will this mean to the medical system in the U.S?  How will my pump- dependent diabetic husband get his supplies?  In the system that Obama wants, it would often take time for his supplies to be approved to be shipped to him.  He would literally die in line before being seen by his doctor. On 20/20 it showed how MRIs and scans are available on a daily basis in Canada if you are an animal. But for a person, it can take a week to get an appointment. They also showed how a child couldn’t get in a hospital for her seizures because there weren’t enough rooms.  Gee, I wonder how they would handle professional athletes who got hurt during a game?  Do you think they would have to wait?  Do we really want to become a society that allows people to remain ill, grow increasingly ill or die because we do not have enough room in a hospital or our name has not come up in a medical lottery system?  I felt like cattle being blindly taken to the slaughter after watching 20/20.  I cannot help but wonder how President Obama would feel having to tell one of his daughters she had to wait for her insulin because of the new medical system he implemented.

Wendy Kalis

Deerfield Beach

Published: 30 Jul 2009

To report on fire activity?

Dear Editor:

Please consider adding a regular feature to your paper which lists all of the fire department’s activities (fires and rescues) as you do with the crime activity for the police. We would like to know how valuable to us our fire departments are.

Paul Coviello

Lighthouse Point

Publisher’s Note:  The police report is intended to help our readers and business advertisers know about certain criminal activities going on in our area, so they can better protect themselves. There is no similar public benefit in reporting the fire/paramedic activity; and certain privacy issues would also need to be taken into account.

Century Village Bus Drivers

Dear Editor:

I have been reading a little discussion going on in Century Village Insider between Kathy Richards (Observer) and Louis Herring (Quality Transport), the van company that Century Village just contracted with. Mr. Herring is a very nice, soft spoken man with an English accent, but he is very unaware of what transpires on the routes. The drivers are having personal conversations on their cell phones while driving; they eat while driving; they write on their statistic boards while driving … I have witnessed it all firsthand!

Very sincerely,

Roslyn Nehls

Deerfield Beach

Published: 23 Jul 2009

The Historical Series

Dear Editor:

The Publisher’s Historical Series has been a delightful look at life in the early days of Deerfield Beach. As a frequent visitor, who is refreshed by your citizen’s unpretentious hospitality, the candid and informative recollections of one whose family has inhabited Deerfield Beach for nearly a century are particularly illuminating.

Wes Hiller

Delray Beach

Depression is a good teacher

Dear Editor:

I used to think when you had depression, you took a pill or two and it would go away. But the Depression [Recession] we have today affects our pockets and, for awhile, it’s here to stay.

Believe it or not, it’s a good teacher in its own way. It’s like going to school again, the things you have to learn. Like seeing how far a buck can go or finding a place where it can earn … going to the store and looking for the bargain of the day or finding a two-for-one or whatever else they are giving away … finding fun without spending a dime. Just being with family and friends and having a good time.

So enjoy your life the best you can and will. You can do it without having to take a pill.

Carmen Friedman

Deerfield Beach

Budget woes

Dear Editor:

Anyone who reads the papers these days knows that the cities that are struggling the most to balance budgets are those that have employees’ defined pension plans. In Deerfield, the Fire Department has theirs and the non-uniform have only 47 members left since the plan was closed to new non-uniform hired since 1993. This commission now has the opportunity to reduce the members left in that non-uniform plan by allowing participants with 30 or more or even 25 years to retire without penalty, regardless of age. The savings in salaries would more than offset the cost to the city as the Broward School Board figured.

The Broward School Board paid employees that were earning big salaries a $10,000 incentive to retire. Deerfield could also use other city employees to fill in the gaps; thereby, negating any reason for employee layoffs as other cities are threatening.

If they had to hire replacements, they could do it for a lot less than the salaries the retirees were making. THE commission needs to take a look at what was being recently proposed.

Lillian Lorraine

Deerfield Beach

Published: 16 Jul 2009

Proud to grow up in Deerfield

Dear Editor:

I am very thankful and proud of the fact that I grew up in Deerfield Beach. My family and I, the children of the late Rev. Moses L. Bryant (the first black policeman in Deerfield Beach), appreciate the editorial that was published in the Observer on July 9. He was chosen by Commissioner Marlin Eller for that position. I am Clarence Bryant Sr., the third son. I retired from the Broward County School Board in 2006. On behalf of Rev. Moses L. and Essie Mae Bryant, we thank you very much!

Clarence  Bryant Sr.

Deerfield Beach

Thank you, Honey Bunch!

Dear Editor:

I’d like to thank Honey Bunch Florist for the beautiful bouquet my mother-in-law won through their weekly contest. I saw their ad in the paper and nominated my mother-in-law because she watches my 10-month-old and could use a good cheering up. She won!

The bouquet was delivered in a nice basket overflowing with beautiful, bright- colored flowers. They were delivered over a week ago and are still looking good.

Thank you Honey Bunch! My mother-in-law loved the flowers and I got some extra brownie-points. Oh, and my daughter loves them too. Only she wants to eat them.

Leslie M.

Pompano Beach

The Iguana Invasion

Dear Editor:

If your’re up for a futile challenge, there is[now] “iguana-proofing” your property. Broward County lists the following methods:

Prevention

• Never feed iguanas.

• Protect plants with cages or screen enclosures.

• Use iguana-resistant plants such as citrus, milkweed, pigeon plum, oleander, coontie, etc. in your landscape.

• Install sheet-metal cylinders approximately 18 inches from the base of trees to prevent iguanas from climbing.

• Create an L-shaped wire barrier along the bottom of seawalls and other fixed objects to prevent iguanas from digging underneath.

Habitat Modification

• Avoid planting iguana favorites such as hibiscus, orchids, impatiens, roses, garden greens, melons, etc. • Remove protective cover such as dense tickets and piles of landscape timber or rocks.

• Fill vacant burrows with rocks.

Humane Harassment

• Keep a water hose ready and available to spray basking iguanas on pool decks or boats.

• Use startling noises to create an unwelcome atmosphere for a sunning iguana that feels a little too much at home poolside.

• Install CDs near seawalls or dangle them like wind chimes from trees or prized plants. Their reflective surfaces often scare away iguanas.

(Courtesy of broward.org/parks/pr142.htm).

As we all know, this issue will continue to spin out of control before anything is done. (Remember the pet chimp and its owner?) No law-abiding and nature-loving citizen wants to take iguana extermination into their own hands and many will try. With Salmonella being a serious health concern and the iguanas being so widespread, one would expect government intervention — right? Just like when the FDA intervened to prevent “Salmonella in our salads” not too long ago.

Amazingly, iguanas are still allowed and sold as pets all over Florida. (Does the word “BAN” come to mind?) Who needs to buy one, when we all have them as pets now?

VA Edwards-Cordoba, Esq.

Lighthouse Point

Published: 9 Jul 2009

4th of July

Dear Editor:

I’d like to thank the city of Deerfield Beach for the wonderful fireworks display this past 4th of July. In these tough economic times, with people losing their homes or going bankrupt, it would be very easy for the city to say they didn’t have enough money to put on the great display they did.

We who live in Deerfield Beach sometimes take for granted the wonderful things our city does for us – how clean they keep our streets and beach. What a wonderful job our police and firemen do in keeping us safe 24 hours a day. I’m proud to call Deerfield Beach home!

Keep up the good work!

20-year resident,

Max Johnson

Deerfield Beach

An evening out turns for the better

Dear Editor:

My parents and friends recently visited The Cove restaurant for the lobster special last Tuesday evening. Having a reservation for six or more people made sure that they would have lobsters waiting for their mouth-watering anniversary dinner. The waitress took their order, got drinks and then informed them a half-hour later “All out … no lobsters!”

“What, we had a reservation, please call the manager over.”

The owner, Sue, arrived and listened to their unhappiness, saying she would be right back. She was running around the restaurant all night; it was packed. She came back immediately to our table and said, “You will have your lobsters tonight.” Not only did she take care of it, but she sent over a pecan pie for the whole table and took time to sit down and get to know us.

Thanks, Sue! You made our evening enjoyable and memorable. This is a professional business woman who takes care of her clientele.

Sheila Pascar

Deerfield Beach

Fabulous Fireworks

Dear Editor:

A super “shout-out” of thank-you’s for a fabulous, wonderful and exciting fireworks display this year with the economy …for the City to help thousands of us forget what is happening. How great a celebration it was!

Peggy H.

Deerfield Beach

Kudos Deerfield Beach

Dear Editor:

I have been a resident of Deerfield Beach for 15 years and I love this town. I went to the fireworks display and was in awe of how well the day went. The area was clean. Everyone picked up after themselves and I saw no one get out of hand. The fireworks, themselves, were beyond beautiful. They were the best I have ever seen. The entertainment was great and I was happy to hear Mayor Peggy Noland remind us of what the 4th of July is all about and to not forget the U.S. military and the soldiers putting their lives on the line for this country every day.

Kudos to Deerfield Beach. You’ve done us proud.

Bob Ebery

Deerfield Beach

Published: 2 Jul 2009

Vet concerned about immigration

Dear Editor:

This is the month of JULY and a very important month in the history of this, our great country, the United States of America! On July 4, 1776 we got our INDEPENDENCE from Great Britain after very hard-fought battles, sacrifices, etc. of that period of time. No need to go into details because we all should know them … or do we? All those millions of illegal immigrants, do they? I don’t think they do. Yeah! I have a gripe.

I’m a WWII veteran, one of many million of us who served, and the popular saying afterwards was “If you value your independence, thank a WWII veteran.” That made me feel very good and was all the recognition and credit I needed. At that period of my life, I didn’t know or think I was fighting for anything other than my great country, its survival and freedoms we had earned by being lucky enough to have been born here.

That is all it took, “luck!” Of course, help and belief in my friend “up there” helped. At that time in our history, illegal immigration in the U.S.A. was under control. Now, in this time period, it is a daily subject…

God Bless You ALL! God Bless America!

Harvey Beaber

Deerfield Beach

Former mayor says her piece

Dear Editor:

I seem to have a penchant for collecting firsts in the city of Deerfield Beach. In 1969, I was the first woman to run a mayoral campaign for George Schott. In 1972, I was the first woman to chair a committee for an ad valorem bond issue referendum. I was the first woman ever to be chosen as chairperson for the Deerfield Planning and Zoning Board. I was the first woman to be elected city-wide as mayor for 13 years. I was the first woman to serve as chairperson for both the police and fire Pension boards when it was mandated. I was the woman chairperson of the recent Charter Revision Committee. Now I lay claim to being the first woman ever to be publicly humiliated and removed from an advisory board after serving three months.

Two of the commissioners who voted for my ouster have served 74 days. Commissioner Ganz, who introduced the motion, stated his reason was I neglected to call him after he demanded I do so to explain my actions. Commissioner Miller obviously did not read the material given him, when he claimed it would cost the city half a million dollars.

Then the commission insisted that the [city] manager be permitted to negotiate, although the union president had already stated the pension issue would not and had not been part of their negotiations.

What was up for consideration was an amendment to the existing pension ordinance to allow those employees with 30 or more years of service to retire without penalty, regardless of age. Only the commission can amend an ordinance NOT the city manager.

Jean M. Robb

Deerfield Beach

Publisher’s Note:

Contrary to Jean Robb’s statement, Commissioner Miller was correct. Her recommendation would have cost the city well over half a million dollars per year.

Published: 25 Jun 2009

Retired teacher glad for Deerfield upbringing

Dear Editor:

I am proud of being a citizen of Deerfield Beach. I was born in Shamrock, FL in 1942. I moved here with my father, Rev. Moses L. Bryant; mother, Mrs. Essie Mae Bryant, and two older brothers – Bobby Lee and Robert Lee. I was the third son. Since then, there were three more boys and four girls born into the family.

I am very proud that the city honored my father, who was chosen to become the first black policeman; SW 5 Court was renamed Rev. Moses L. Bryant Court at the street unveiling ceremony held on Oct. 27, 2007.

I attended Braith Waite Elementary, where I was captain of the basketball team and became a slate member of the school’s first newspaper. I helped to name it “The Star.” From 1957-1963, I attended Blanche Ely High, where I played basketball and football and received several scholarship offers. Then, I chose to attend Allen University in Columbia, SC and became an elementary school teacher. I retired from the Broward County School Board in 2006.

Clarence Bryant, Sr. (BDAT)

Deerfield Beach

CVE bus drivers treated poorly

Dear Editor:

I am very happy that there is someone else who has the nerve to complain about the buses in Century Village. I have been writing letters to your paper for over a year – first the trolleys, now the buses.

We have a bunch of the nicest and sweetest people who are caring, helpful and bend over backwards to help anyone on and off buses with their canes, walkers and bundles. These drivers are truly dedicated to their fellow man and, yet, they are treated like slaves. Why? They cannot walk through the front door to go to the bathroom or get a drink from the machine. They were told to go through the back and knock on the door. Does the committee know that slavery has been abolished?

The drivers would also like to stop at Hillsboro Boulevard to let people off to go to the doctor and J & J for produce, but that, too, is a no-no. The owner of the trolleys has no backbone to fight for his workers. Maybe he should take his own advice and pray – he is, after all, a Rabbi. These are bad times, true, but when you compound them with misery, ignorance and suppression, instead of compassion, you have a big problem. It’s true money talks and bull— walks, but hey, what goes around comes around and, in the end, will bite you (you know where). So, my advice to the committee is help, don’t hinder. One day, you will need help and maybe no one will be there for you.

Marilyn Fernando

Oakridge A

Deerfield Beach

Planned parking for The Cove benefits its restaurant

Dear Editor:

I read the letter to the Observer entitled “Cove parking questioned” [in the June 4 issue]. Andrew Beny, who wrote the article, asked the question, “Who does a parking garage at The Cove benefit?” Those of us who are residents and live near The Cove Shopping Center know the answer to that question — The Cove Restaurant.

His statement that you can always find a parking space, with the exception of Friday night, is definitely true. I decided to check it out by going to the shopping center at different times of the day and evening and found that there is always parking space available.

Why would anyone want to spend the amount of money that it would cost to build and operate a parking garage right now? It does not cost the patron anything to park. You can be sure the patron will park in the parking lot, rather than in a garage where it would cost them money.

I think we need to concentrate on moving forward with the plans that were approved by the City Commission. Improvements will be made to the design and layout of the parking lot, which will add 27 parking spaces to the current 501 by reconfiguring the parking lot and going to smaller spaces for a total of 528. The parking lot will have enhanced landscaping and safe pedestrian walkways. To me, this is common sense, especially in these economic times.

Vivian Jeffers

Deerfield Beach

President’s national health initiative

Dear Editor:

The United States can’t afford to be without a plan that offers the opportunity for all Americans to have health insurance. We shouldn’t pass the problems of the insurance industry’s failure on to those individuals and families who are suffering, because the insurance industry won’t let them participate in health care plans. For more information, go to http://lnk.ms/0FmWK

Don Cleveland

Deerfield Beach

Published: 18 Jun 2009

Happy Father’s Day!

Dear Editor:

Our dad is the greatest! He owns and works at Gulf Stream Window Company, which was voted the No. 1 window company in Deerfield, but always has time for us. We go on many trips together in our motor home. Our friends are always welcome to join us on these trips, as they are welcome in our home.

He is very supportive in our sports, always attending our games in softball, baseball, soccer, flag football, skateboarding, and in our school activities.

We know we can count on him at all times. We also support him in his hobbies — cars and racing. We go to many car shows with him, as we know he enjoys them.

Our dad wants us to check in with him when we are away. He wants to know where we are, what we are doing and who we are with. We do not mind doing this because we know he cares for us.

Our dad is John Foster. He is our role model for dads and our lifeline.

We both love you, dad.

Happy Fathers Day!

Kathlynn and Connor

Deerfield Beach

Library open to public

Dear Editor:

I refer to the letter of 6/14/09 from Jaqueline Castro referring to this “library inside Century Village.”  She is misinformed. This library is open to the public. It is located in a public shopping area that is accessible from Hillsboro Boulevard and Military Trail. It is a shame that any library has to close.

Lillian Mandelman

Deerfield Beach

Keep library open

Dear Editor:

I was in Percy White late one Saturday and every computer was in use … I can’t imagine having a town like Deerfield Beach without the facilities that the library provides. Our property taxes are pretty high and we shouldn’t lose these public amenities.

If you have to cut back then cut out the movies and videos. You can rent them anywhere but you can’t rent a book, or for that matter, buy a book anywhere nearby.

Patricia Mahfood

Deerfield Beach

Visiting Deerfield Fire Station

Dear Editor:

My 2½-year-old son, Nick, loves fire trucks, so my husband and I decided to take him to the Deerfield Beach Fire Station (Fire Station #66) so he could see a fire truck up close. When we arrived, we were warmly greeted by Firefighter Jimmy Hall, who took Nick up into the fire truck and showed him some of the buttons and switches that the fire fighters use to operate the truck. Then, they got out and Firefighter Hall let Nick help him press the button to lower the ladder and raise it back into place on top of the truck. Nick was so delighted to be helping a real firefighter. Firefighter Hall offered Nick his helmet to try on, but Nick was a little weary of it, so he instead gave Nick a Junior Firefighter helmet to keep as his own. Nick wears his firefighter helmet every day now, he absolutely loves it!

I wanted to write this to express my gratitude to Firefighter Hall for taking time out of his busy day to show my son his fire truck, and I also wanted to thank all of the fire fighters for everything that they do every day.

Jennifer Hall

Deerfield Beach

Published: 11 Jun 2009

God Bless Deerfield Medics

Dear Editor:

In all consciousness, I could not let another day go by without writing this letter in praise of the Deerfield medics. On Apr. 24, I was trying to put out recyclables when I tripped in my garage and injured my leg. Being on Coumadin, the wound on my leg was bleeding profusely.

At the time that I fell, the recycle man arrived. He helped me get up and called my neighbor, who, in turn, called 911. Four medics arrived and eased my fears, dressed my wound and brought me into my home.

It was early morning and my two little Chihuahuas were still in their crates. They had not been walked yet. Not only did those wonderful medics care for me, but they also offered to walk my dogs. I would say they went beyond the call of duty. I do not know their names, but may God bless them all. From the bottom of my heart, I want to thank them.

Ann Grignon

Deerfield Beach

Don’t close Percy White library!

Dear Editor:

I just read that the library is most likely going to be closed. Have our leaders not looked around? We don’t have a bookstore here. Florida is something like 47th out of the 50 worst states in education. We are dumbing ourselves down. I know how the last administration has ruined our great nation by elevating greed over learning. But we must not let this keep America or Deerfield Beach from education and books. Please … someone save our library! God Bless Deerfield Beach!

Shane Bracewell

Deerfield Beach

Unleashed dogs prohibited

Dear Editor:

There seems to be a problem in Lighthouse Point with unleashed dogs going for walks with their owners. Why? People trust their dogs and think that nothing bad can or will ever happen on such walks. Such individuals erroneously believe that if their dog is “friendly,” no leash is needed. Perhaps, these owners are unaware that it is actually against the law to do so.

Walking an unleashed dog is dangerous for the dog, its owner and residents. Unleashed dogs are easily distracted, can cause property damage, become injured or cause injury during such walks. Additionally, owners may face liability for damage their dogs cause against person’s or property.

In Broward County “dogs at large” are prohibited. This includes, but is not limited to, dogs on walks with their owners. An owner may have his or her dog “impounded” and/or receive a citation for this violation.

Broward County Ordinances Chapter 4, Section 4-3 states the following:

Sec. 4-3.  Dogs at-large prohibited.

(a)          It shall be a violation of this section for any person to permit any dog to be at-large as defined herein.

(b)          No dog shall be allowed to stray, run or go at-large upon any public property or street, sidewalk, park or on the private property of another without the consent of the property owner.

(c)           Any dog that is on private property without the consent of the property owner or resident may be captured in a humane trap or otherwise humanely confined. A person capturing an at-large dog will be responsible for the humane care of the dog until the captured dog is turned over to the Division, other humane organization or licensed wildlife trapper. A person shall not entice a dog to become at-large for the purpose of trapping or apprehending when that dog would otherwise not be at-large.

(d)          Any person confining or leashing a dog must do so in a manner that is not injurious to the dog’s health.

(e)          In order for a dog to be allowed on a public street, road, park or other public property, unless otherwise specifically permitted, the dog shall be under the direct control of the owner or keeper, except while hunting, pursuant to a permit or during an obedience demonstration, show, trial, training exercise, competition, show and/or match or educational program, so long as sufficient precautions are taken by the owner of the dog and/or sponsor of the event to ensure the safety and protection of both the public and other animals.

(f)           Any dog at-large that has attacked or bitten any person or domestic animal in an unprovoked attack shall be in violation of this section.

(g)          “At-large” shall not include dogs actually working livestock or dogs being trained to work livestock.

(h)          Any dog found by an officer to be at-large may be seized and impounded and, as an alternative or in addition to impoundment, the officer finding said dog at-large shall issue a citation as provided in section 4-28.

In conclusion, unleashed dog walking is against the law for good reasons. The message is simple: Enjoy your walks, but do it with a leash. Not doing so is not worth the consequences.

V.A. Edwards Cordoba, Esq.

Lighthouse Point

Published: 4 Jun 2009

Learning History from your column

Dear Editor:

Well, I just found out by watching the video of the interview with Mrs. Merle Johnson that the Observer has online at observernewspaperonline.com some news about my grandparents that I never knew. I knew Pop Eller played the piano and I learned to play on his piano, but I never knew that my grandmother also played.  In all the years we got together as a family and sang, I don’t remember her playing the piano. I do know she sang alto. Thank you for giving me a little more history about my family. And I agree with Mrs. Johnson — Deerfield was a great town to grow up in! My class in Pompano High School in 1956 was the first class to graduate 100 students. As kids, we never felt any fear skating or riding our bikes all over town or to our friends’ houses. I was blessed. Keep on with the history columns and who knows what else I might find out. I didn’t know my brother skipped church to go fishing in the canal either.  But, I was probably the one who got in trouble for it. I love my brother anyway, both brothers.

Linda Eller Boudet

Vero Beach

Cove parking questioned

Dear Editor:

Are you kidding me — a parking garage for The Cove? Who does that benefit? One business on Friday night!  At any other time, you can park anywhere you want to. If the businesses there won’t even take advantage of grants to improve the aesthetics of the area, why should we spend tax dollars to help with parking? Show me that you want to help yourselves before we help you. We need parks for kids not parking for a rundown shopping center.

Andrew Berry

Deerfield Beach

NO! To Closing Library

Dear Editor:

I for one have been living in Deerfield Beach with my family since 1974.

It has been my right as a taxpayer to have the privilege of using the library. I have even donated many books for the public’s use.

It would be an outrage if our library was to close.

I want to know if the citizens of our city would have access to this small version of a library that sits inside Century Village.

I THINK NOT!

Come on people, let’s get together and let our feelings be known. What a travesty it would be to lose our Library.

Stand up commissioners and make sure the county hears that we will not stand quiet on this issue. Make our feelings known LOUD and CLEAR.

People, write your thoughts to your commissioners.

This a a problem that needs your attention here, at home, not in Washington.

Jacqueline Castro,

President, Single Family Home Owners Association

Deerfield Beach

In support of keeping Percy White Library open

Dear Editor:

Our son, Sean Booty, has been participating in the after-school reading program Monday through Thursday from 2 to 5:30 p.m. Sean is a second grade student at Deerfield Beach Elementary. His reading comprehension has increased to the fifth grade reading level — thanks to this amazing program offered at the library. To deprive children of this wonderful educational opportunity would indeed be a travesty.

This library has been a source of joy to our daughter, Shaina, as well, as she has the opportunity to choose her favorites from the vast selection of children’s books. Please do not even consider closing our library, as you would be depriving the city’s children of the many opportunities the library provides. Our commissioners should let the county know the devastating effect this closure would have on the children of Deerfield Beach.

Shannon and Danny Booty

Deerfield Beach

Published: 28 May 2009

Stamp out Hunger

Dear Editor:

I would like to thank Mr. Volz and your newspaper for coverage and promotion of the recent Letter Carrier Food Drive.  Postal employees appreciate your support of the largest one-day canned good collection in the country.  We’re still counting the cans, but it looks like this year’s drive was another overwhelming success!  As you know, the canned goods remain in the local community so we are happy to help “stamp out hunger” in our own neighborhoods.

Thank you.

Debra Fetterly

Public Information Officer

US Postal Service – South Florida District

Pembroke Pines

Boinis property revisited

Dear Editor:

The headline for the Boinis property purchase should have been “City acquiesces to profiteer’s ransom demand.”

The citizens of Deerfield deserve better fiscal management than this. Spending nearly half of our meager reserves for a portion of the beach that’s assessed by the Broward County Property Appraiser at $172,480 is irresponsible.

This land is not required to bring the existing restrooms up to ADA [Americans with Disabilities Act] compliance. It would be far better to reconfigure the existing structure and to let Mr. Boinis enjoy his unusable slice of beach, “no trespassing” signs and all.

Richard Carlson

Deerfield Beach

A new sandbox!

Dear Editor:

Recently, I returned from the University of Florida to my home of Deerfield Beach. But things have certainly changed in our community. After new elections, the era of corrupt local government was thought to be over. Yet, how do our elected politicians justify spending half-a-million dollars on a sandbox? Oh … wait for it, our dear mayor Peggy Noland says it’s for the “children.” What kids does the mayor speak of? The kids playing on my busy street? The very kids who break up their game every minute or so because another car comes barreling down 4 Court? The kids left with no close neighborhood park? Surely, it must be them. So kids, please come out of the street and run down to the pier. The mayor just bought you a half-a-million-dollar sandbox. Granted, I think they are past the building-sandcastle stage.

Unfortunately for Deerfield Beach, it seems our elected officials never grew up. They never left the sandbox. Commissioner Miller says the city is only spending 200K. Mr. Miller, I hate to break it to you, but a grant is real money. It’s your job to come up with the best way to spend that money. I wonder if there was no better way to spend 310 K. Perhaps, and I know this is a crazy far-fetched idea, just perhaps, the city could have bought an abandoned foreclosed home, torn it down and built a beautiful inviting neighborhood park? That would have been such a wonderful open space.

In such tumultuous economic times, what message are we sending to “our children” by irresponsibly spending half-a-million dollars on a sandbox? How is this sandbox in the interest of the whole community? Truth be told: It isn’t. It’s in the interested of Pete Bonis who made out like a Fortune 500 CEO, with his golden parachute.

Congratulations Deerfield Beach! Break out the shovels and buckets. You have a new sandbox probably worth more than the house you’re living in.

Steve Campion

Deerfield Beach

Decision to buy Boinis property applauded

Dear Editor:

Congratulations and thank you to the Mayor and two commissioners who voted to purchase the Boinis beach property, putting an ugly past behind us.  Like it or not, our options were limited and failing to do so would have allowed an open sore to fester for many years to come.  The argument used against this purchase by two opposing commissioners only shows their stubbornness and inexperience.  Gaining permission from Boinis to demolish the existing bathrooms for relocation would not have come without an expensive court battle. Add in the cost of new bathroom construction and we would have easily exceeded the $200,000 paid for this property.  The commission did not bail out Boinis; rather they proactively decided to protect our interests and that of our children.  Good job Peggy, Sylvia and Joe!  And good riddance to Boinis.

Gary Lother

Deerfield Beach

Commissioner Ganz goes the extra mile

Dear Editor:

I have a house in Waterford Homes and at the end of April, our home was burglarized. Our Commissioner Bill Ganz called our house when he found out to make sure that my family and I were all right and said that if we needed anything, don’t hesitate to ask. I appreciate the dedication he has to his job and concern he showed for our family. Our family thinks he is a great man who is turning out to be a great Commissioner.

The Lagasi Family

Deerfield Beach

Published: 21 May 2009

Kudos for coverage

Dear Editor:

Accolades to Diane Emeott and her faithful intern [Asia] for covering the Century Plaza Branch Library story in such an interesting and professional manner. Perhaps our city officials will read and recognize how many average citizens use this and the Percy White Library in lieu of wasting their free time hours.

Thank you again for your fine article.

George Brauer

AARP Instructor

Deerfield Beach

Library has long history

Dear Editor:

Those of us who have been here a long time remember when the main library was housed in a storefront in The Cove Shopping Center. I remember because I bought them their first book, an explanation of the Dewey Decimal System, which organizes books on library shelves in a specific order.

When the library outgrew that facility, a number of us contributed $3,000 to purchase the property on Hillsboro Boulevard where the library now sits. It’s too bad that the plaque that had the contributors’ names listed cannot be found.

The first controversial vote I had to cast as mayor in the 1980s was to send the library to the county. The feeling was that there would be more services available to the public than the city could afford to provide. That premise has proven true through the years as the library has expanded and offered a multitude of services. Those of us who are lifetime Friends of the Library would be outraged should the main library be closed in favor of the smaller version that sits in Century Village and has limited use by the general public. The commission should let the county know that Deerfield Beach will not tolerate the closing of either of the library facilities in our city. Make our case loud and strong.

Jean M. Robb

Deerfield Beach

Deerfield citizens, be vigilant

Dear Editor:

At the May 19 commission meeting, I believe I witnessed one of the most fiscally irresponsible expenditures in the history of Deerfield Beach. Mayor Noland, with Commissioners Poitier and Miller voted to use contingency funds to purchase land from Mr. Boinis. Commissioners Popelski and Ganz presented sound, logical reasons not to approve. But Mayor Noland’s demeanor from the dais demonstrated she would not be swayed by the voice of reason, or differing opinions. Commissioner Miller stated we are really only spending  $200,000 of OUR money.

This is the controversial beach property Mr. Boinis bought for $200,000 with intent to lease the city’s fishing pier to build an upscale restaurant.  The citizens of Deerfield Beach were outraged and his sweetheart deal fell through.  Tonight Mr. Boinis got a bailout using our tax dollars, $310,000 [in ] grant [money] plus $200,000 in contingency funds totaling $510,000.  Thousands of people are losing their homes, their jobs, and their savings, but Mr. Boinis goes to the bank a happy prosperous man.  Congratulations, Mr. Boinis, you did get your sweetheart deal. You have the business sense that it seems the majority of our commission lacks.

My sympathy to the people of Deerfield Beach, I think you have been sold out.  Pray we don’t have an emergency and need those spent contingency funds.

Marti McGeary

Deerfield Beach

Boinis Property

Dear Editor:

Although I am not a resident of Deerfield Beach, my wife and I use the beach with great frequency. When I first observed the “no trespassing” signs, I surmised that there was a problem with the pier. Then, I read the article about a sales dispute regarding that parcel of sand. I question how a piece of town property was sold to a private individual. This is an insult to the public trust! But, since Mr. Bonis and his attorney feel the property is worth such an exorbitant amount of money, I hope he is paying property taxes based on his values. The town could sure use the tax dollars! Further, I question whether it is legal to put those trespassing signs on a public beach that has received any federal assistance.

Leonard Lavallee

Lighthouse Point

Published: 14 May 2009

Has anything changed in Deerfield Beach?

I’m sure we all remember the Boinis sweetheart deal that caused more strife in this city than was deserved or necessary. Because Boinis didn’t get the deal he wanted, he put 17 no trespassing signs on the beach property he bought in hopes of combining it with the land he was hoping to lease from the city. This quarter acre of beach is nothing more than a sandbox to anyone. It can’t be built on. The EPA has seen to that. Boinis is the man who told the commissioners he loved children and now seems not to care if a child playing on the beach runs into one of his poles and hurts himself. Is it good for us to buy the land? ABSOLUTELY. Is it good for us to let a bully extort us? NO.

One of the reasons America is in the predicament it’s in is because of people like Boinis, who want to take whatever they can. We know about Wall Street. We know about the CEOs. We know about the heads of bailed-out companies giving bonuses to themselves and employees while many in America are facing foreclosures, etc. Boinis is a Fat Cat. If he took the $310 grant money, he would still be making a profit on his original $200K purchase. In today’s real estate market, to be able to claim any profit is unbelievable. And yet, he wants more. He wants more because he’s angry he didn’t get his way, his ego is bruised and he’s going to show us. Instead of acting with dignity and accepting that this business deal didn’t work out for him, he’s gotten to some people on the dais who feel he’s entitled to make a larger profit regardless of the economy and regardless of how little it would leave in the city’s contingency fund, which is where the $200K would be taken out to pay him.

I understand this may be an expedient way to deal with Mr. Boinis, but is it ethical? There’s more than one way to “skin a fat cat.” The commission can ask our City Attorney to write an ordinance limiting the number of signs on a beach property. At one point, the City Attorney was researching this until the new commission arrived and apparently put an end to his research on this matter. Furthermore, a person involved in one of the two audits for the city told me he had no other “useless” beach property to compare this with since beach properties can usually be built on. Comparables on other beach properties took place when real estate was a good investment and therefore high appraisals were the norm. This sandbox is overvalued at $310 K in today’s market. I, and others, would appreciate Mr. Boinis doing the decent thing — accept the $310 K offer and let the city heal, instead of dividing the new commission on this issue.

Caryl Berner

Deerfield Beach

Thanks for Relay for Life

Dear Editor:

I am writing this letter to thank the City of Deerfield Beach and Lighthouse Point for all the help the cities gave us during the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life, held this past weekend at Quiet Waters Park. I want to thank Mayor Peggy Noland, Commissioners Joe Miller, Sylvia Poitier, Marty Popelsky, Bill Ganz and City Manager Mike Mahaney for attending along with Mayor Fred Schorr, Sandy Johnson and Chip LaMarca of Lighthouse Point. As a special surprise to us, our friend and survivor, State Rep. Gwen Clarke-Reed attended as well. Our Sheriff Al Lamberti read the Care Givers Pledge. A “special thank” you to our city employees, Mr. Fred Scott and his associates who were there to assist us with sound, light, park, etc. Mickey Gomez and Neill Mathes from Parks and Rec, as well as Amy Hanson, for all their help during the 18 hours we were at the park. We could not have done this Relay without their help.

Our Relay was a HUGE success with 99 Survivors, plus their caretakers! This is the most we have ever had. Dinner was served to them compliments of CJ’s Draft House. To date, we have raised approximately $75,000. There will still be fundraisers held to reach our goal of $100,000. These funds will help us with Research to find a cure for this disease. I want to take this opportunity to thank the 375 participants and 40 teams that attended. This has been the largest Relay for Life we have ever had. We thank the Citizens of Deerfield Beach and Lighthouse Point for their turnout and the fantastic support they have given Relay for Life. And on a personal note, as a survivor, THANK YOU!

Gordon Vatch

Event Chair Relay For Life – 2009

Deerfield Beach

Save Century Plaza Library

Dear Editor:

As we age, it appears that more and more is taken away from us.

Sometimes we lose our eyesight, or perhaps it is our hearing that goes, or our ability to drive is taken from us, and then our bodies lose mobility. All of these are very disturbing, but why must we now be plagued with the possible loss of our Century Plaza Library, the branch of the Broward County Library System that is adjacent to Century Village East (CVE) in Deerfield Beach? This library is extremely well utilized, very busy, informative and a wonderful resource to the residents of an 8,500-unit senior community at Hillsboro and Century Boulevard, as well as to children and families in the surrounding  community. The Century Plaza Library is the place where computers are available for use, books and tapes and DVDs can be taken out, educational programs are given, newspapers and magazines can be read, and foreigners can learn the English language by attending the English Café.

The residents of Century Village East urge the Broward Commissioners to make budget decisions to save our Century Plaza Library, as we no longer have the mobility to get to any other public library.

Carol Lerner

Century Village East

Deerfield Beach

Beloved Percy White Library

Dear Editor:

This is the first time I have written to a newspaper in a very long time. I feel very strongly on this issue.

Please help us alert the public to the fact that Percy White Library in Deerfield Beach may be closed. The announcement that Century Village was to be closed was met with opposition from the residents of Century Village, and now the Broward Library Board is threatening to close Percy White and keep Century Village open.

It is regrettable that any library has to be closed down but certainly you don’t close a larger, more accessible and vibrant facility in order to appease a few (compared to the rest of the city) complaints.

Percy White is a true community library that is utilized by many on a daily basis. The selection of books and DVDs, the accessibility of computers and the Internet, the after-school and summer programs for children, various programs for adults (assistance in obtaining food stamps, counseling on resume writing, etc.) are just a few of the programs and opportunities that Percy White Library has to offer. A lot of these programs are funded by Friends of the Library, a group of men and women who volunteer to run our used bookstore.

We are very fortunate to have Lisa Manners, our head librarian, overseeing these programs as well as the daily operation of our facility. Admittedly, the facility is understaffed, but one would never know as the employees there are extremely knowledgeable, helpful and cheerful.

I implore you to send one of your reporters to check out the usage and programs our library has to offer. The public needs to be alerted about this outrageous development.

Irene Turner

Deerfield Beach

Published: 7 May 2009

Caryl Berner speaks at Deerfield Commission meeting

At the Deerfield Beach commission meeting I attended on May 5, it was disappointing to hear that Caryl Berner feels her voice has been silenced by our newspaper.

I am not aware of any organized effort here at the Observer to disregard all Letters to the Editor she may have submitted or submits. We have published many letters on her behalf over the past 24 months. We receive letters weekly and many times have to choose which ones to publish based on available space that week and timeliness of the subject matter.

Many letters have been published from residents of Century Village east and have many times put others on notice if residents have been treated unfairly. We feel good about helping Century Village readers with their concerns.

In fairness to your charge that this newspaper refuses to print your submissions, here is the letter we were unaware of receiving. It was resent to us at our request on May 6.

Jim Lusk

Vice President

Observer newspaper

Hats off to City Clerk’s office

Dear Editor:

With all the turbulance that has gone on in Deerfield Beach, I would like the citizens of this City to know that they have a City Clerk’s office that is well above average. During this last campaign, I know all the candidates were well taken care of by Ada Graham-Johnson, our City Clerk and her staff. During the hectic pace of running a campaign, these women made sure our reports were in on time and saved many a day for me. When I would thank them, their response was, “We’re just doing our job.” In this day and age, just doing your job gets a “thank you” from me since most people don’t even do that. These women went above the call of duty and [are] always doing it pleasantly. I’m confident that I can speak for all the candidates in expressing our appreciation to the City Clerk’s office.

Caryl Berner

Deerfield Beach

Thank you so much!

Dear Editor:

The write-up you did for the [Apr. 30] Observer covering the “Cuisine of the Region” was wonderful; thank you again for the great job you do covering our events around town!  The exposure for the [NE Focal Point] really helps keep everyone aware of that very special community center and what we accomplish for so many!

Joan Roberts-Gould, CLTC

Deerfield Beach

Dear Editor:

I certainly concur with Joan on the coverage of the Cuisine in the newspaper.  We are also very grateful for the Observer TV publicity concerning the Cuisine of the Region. It is definitely a community event of which the Observer is a major part of our community.

Thank you for all you do to promote positive articles concerning the entire  NE  Focal Point  Campus  activities and  programs. We appreciate you and all your support. Have a great day and a wonderful weekend!

Donna DeFronzo,

Director, NE Focal Point Senior Services Center

Deerfield Beach

Published: 30 Apr 2009

Bus stop needed, says reader

Dear Editor:

I was truly hoping that the newly-elected officials would be doing us justice this time around, especially since they opted to call a first-time-ever Town Hall meeting on Apr. 24. But alas, it’s the same old, same old.

I was not informed that if you’re on the board in your building, you could not speak. But that’s okay since the question I had prepared was asked by someone else who was very rudely told, “You keep asking me and I keep telling you we’re looking into it.” How long does it take to look into having a bus stop across from Century Village to go to the doctor? It is a bad crossing and, in time, someone will get hurt or killed trying to cross with a walker or cane. How much for a human life?

It does not take that long to stop and drop someone off.

All board officials have cars. Why don’t they stop using their cars for one month, take the buses and see how they like being at the mercy of someone else – and spending all their time writing [about it]?

Marilyn Fernando

Oakridge A

P.S. I don’t need to be told if I don’t like it to move. I’m trying. But it’s bad timing.

Published: 23 Apr 2009

Dear Editor:

I was thrilled and greatly heartened to see how the American people responded to the “Tea Parties” that were held throughout our country (including Joe the Plumber)!

Maybe we are not as divided as I thought we were and there is hope for us after all. Bravo to the people who initiated them.

GOD BLESS AMERICA!

Lorraine C. Taylor

Deerfield Beach

Local newspapers do matter

Dear Editor:

In response to Glen Scherer’s guest editorial: “Why Local Newspapers Matter” on Apr. 16, one of my daily pleasures was having my morning coffee and reading the daily paper on my front porch. My subscription to the Sun-Sentinel ran out and, unfortunately, we find the cost too prohibitive to re-subscribe. I understand that advertising rates at newspapers, in general, depend on the number of subscribers. However, newspapers seem to be shooting themselves in the foot by raising the price of the newspaper. Perhaps there is no other way? I don’t know what the answer is. I really miss my paper, but I suppose I’ll get over it.

Jim Barteld

Pompano Beach

Published: 16 Apr 2009

DUI checkpoints

Dear Editor:

Your article concerning the DUI checkpoints and the participation of MADD really could not have been more appropriate. I had just returned home from Philadelphia, where I attended the sentencing hearing for the drunk driver who killed my 13-year-old granddaughter in July of 2008. Words cannot adequately express the pain and suffering and the devastation that the drunk driver inflicted upon the entire Robb family. The death of a child is a lifetime sentence of grief. No one should have a problem with DUI checkpoints.

Jean Robb

Deerfield Beach

Tri-Rail & bus costs confusion

Dear  Editor:

In Letters to the Editor of 4/9/09, Mr. Richard Cooke wrote:

1) “Tri-Rail claims rising costs are forcing it to cut 20 trains on weekdays and to eliminate all weekend service.”

2) “The county recently discounted all free bus transportation for them, claiming it had run out of money. Good luck all you seniors!”

3) However, mysteriously, there is enough money in the municipal piggy bank to pay for a $515 million … for the Marlins

Re (1): In fact, Tri-Rail claims that the three counties’ cuts in their FY2010 shares of operating expenses may cause the draconian service cuts, assuming no further dedicated revenue source enacted by the legislature.

Re (2): His use of the word “discounted” makes no sense therefore it is not possible to understand his concern for all seniors.

3) For non-sports fans, it might have been useful to note that the Marlins’ stadium is a crucially important matter to Miami and Miami-Dade taxpayers, not Broward taxpayers.

Dan Glickman

Deerfield Beach

Published: 9 Apr 2009

Another reader upset by bill

Dear Editor:

I am an avid reader of the Observer and, yesterday,  I received my Mar. 2 edition. What has bothered me is the [letter] from Virginia French of Deerfield Beach in reference to her Sun-Sentinel newspaper charge. A week-and-a half-ago, I received my renewal charge. It was for $62.49. At the time, I thought it did not sound right, so I went back into my January bill and, in January, I paid $50.19. Quite a difference! I called the 800 number and told the customer service person I was not pleased with the raise I received and she said to me that supplies used for printing the paper have all gone up and that is the reason. Well, maybe I should have been lucky to get someone in Manila. Then I would have had my account corrected. I cancelled my paper after 26 years of receiving it and only took the weekend order of Saturday and Sunday. I am very displeased to hear the story printed and maybe the Sun-Sentinel should get copies of these complaints. After speaking to my friends, they are now going to look into their new bills when they arrive. I feel it’s cheaper to buy the paper at the newsstand.  A very disgruntled customer …

Marie Arciprete

Lighthouse Point

Published: 2 Apr 2009

Senior upset by bill

Dear Editor:

Being I am a senior citizen, I am very careful of the bills that I pay. Last week, I got the renewal notice for my daily home delivery of the Sun Sentinel newspaper. Since I pay every three months, my January bill of $50.35 indicated that I was paying for delivery through Apr. 11.

My new bill that I just received last week showed an increase up to $63.09 and that the expiration date of my former bill only paid me through Apr. 4 — not the date of Apr. 11 as indicated in the January invoice. Thank goodness I looked back at my January bill or I would not have known this.

I immediately called the 800 number and was fortunate, after punching and punching on my phone, to reach a gentleman in MANILA. He pulled up my records and rectified this error.

What I want to say to all Sun Sentinel subscribers who have home delivery is this:  Be sure to keep good records of the dates you are paying for. When that bill comes in and you are writing that check, go back to the old one and check the dates you are paying for. To have your invoices back-dated, as mine was, for only one week, amounts to a lot of money and just who is paying for this? We, the ones who are getting home delivery, are.

I do not know who is responsible for this but as I told the man in Manila, I don’t think that I can be the only one.

Virginia French

Deerfield Beach

Transportation cuts hurting riders

Dear Editor:

Tri-Rail is handling record numbers of riders to get them to their jobs from Palm Beach to Miami and all points in-between. Yet, Tri-Rail claims rising costs are forcing it to cut 20 trains on weekdays and to eliminate all weekend service.  Good luck all you workers, tourists and students. Many elderly residents of Broward County who can no longer drive have depended on free Broward County bus transportation to get them to doctor’s offices and grocery stores. But the county recently discounted all free bus transportation for them, claiming it had run out of money. Good luck all you seniors! However, mysteriously, there is enough money in the municipal piggy bank to pay for a $515 million — costs will no doubt escalate fast once construction begins — state-of-the-art ballpark for the Marlins, a team that has, for years, ended up dead last in attendance figures for all Major League ballparks nationwide. Average attendance per game last year was just over 16,000, far less than half the capacity of the planned new stadium. And some games attracted as few as 500 fans. In addition, while Tri-Rail and Broward buses service South Florida residents year-round, the Marlins’ new multi-million dollar digs will operate only during baseball season. Good luck all you Florida taxpayers! You, who depend on municipal transportation, get shafted by the politicos while a handful of baseball fans get the red-carpet treatment. No wonder we continue to be the laughing stock of the rest of the country.

Richard Cooke

Deerfield Beach

Published: 26 Mar 2009

Loved the Learjet story

Dear Editor:

Admired the thoroughness of the Learjet incident. Grade the website: A.

Thomas J. Flatley

Deerfield Beach

Farewells needed for Capellini

Dear Editor:

The administration recently heaped praise on those commissioners who had served the city for a few months. Noticeably absent from the departing elected officials was Mayor Albert Capellini. No matter what the circumstances or what your feelings are about the former mayor, this was a man who had served the city for 20 years, with the last 16 being as the mayor. He should have been given the opportunity to say his farewells.

I don’t buy the argument that he was suspended and therefore not entitled. The manager had no problem putting Al in his car and taking him to the MPO meeting to speak on behalf of the city in getting the stimulus money for the Dixie flyover. I think that the city showed a lack of class in not extending the invitation.

Jean Robb

Deerfield Beach

Discrimination at the flea market?

Dear Editor:

On Sunday, Mar. 15, my husband and I left on a bus from Century Village with 22 other residents for a trip to the Festival Flea Market at Sample Road. When we arrived, we all went to the information table to get Festival Discount Coupons.

The woman at the table gave us a hard time. She said that Century Village has to give her a list of names of people coming to the Festival.

It’s funny that people who are coming from hotels, motels and their houses aren’t subject to such discriminatory requirements. Festival doesn’t mind when folks from Century Village leave our money with vendors – which is often quite a bit. When my husband and I were told to take up our problem with their administration office, we spoke to another woman and received the same reply.

My husband and I will now think long and hard before returning to a place which discriminates against Century Village residents.

Joe and Judy Goldfarb

Deerfield  Beach

Published: 19 Mar 2009

Transparency in Government

Dear Editor:

Many important issues, decisions and ideas will be discussed this session, but I want to begin by placing a magnifying glass on government operations in an effort to reinstate Floridians’ faith in our state government and its spending decisions.

Elected officials are merely individuals whom their neighbors have chosen to entrust with the responsibility of making decisions for their family and community. With that responsibility, comes an obligation of accountability to those who have trusted in their officials. Honesty and transparency stand as the foundation of that very trust.

Speaking forthrightly is essential to passing real, long-term solutions. Portraying a rosy picture, while Florida is facing unprecedented challenges, leaves false impressions on Florida’s families. Floridians must have access to factual information regarding their government’s operations and decisions and must be provided with a method to make meaningful suggestions based on that very information.

It is for that reason that the Florida Senate is crafting legislation to enhance transparency in state spending.  After all, the money we allocate to services and programs is not our money. It is your money and we are mere stewards.

This new age means of accountability will be introduced in an online, user-friendly manner where Florida’s budget will be posted line by line, with in-depth information on agency, office and program spending. Every state expenditure needs to be visible in the light of day – open to scrutiny. If an expenditure is not legitimate, it should be eliminated. Details regarding Florida’s spending decisions will no longer lie in the shadows.

This legislation is one of many steps to ensure that every function of government is held to the highest standards of performance and the most rigorous tests of scrutiny.

Jeff Atwater

Florida Senate President

Published: 12 Mar 2009

Deerfield Commission ethics

Dear Editor:

I attended last week’s commission meeting for the first time to learn the issues involved with the ethics code. The first speaker looked like an attorney but never introduced himself before he made his well-prepared pitch. I did not know who the man was, so I approached the podium and asked who he was. Mayor Poitier mistakenly claimed that he had identified himself, which someone in the audience then disputed. Commissioner Pam Militello then stated that he was a “pro bono attorney.” I later learned that he was a Coral Springs attorney, who apparently drafted the code of ethics for Commissioner Militello.

Apparently, the commissioners all knew who he was, but did not believe that it was important for the general public at this public meeting to know who he was and what his involvement was. Talk about unethical behavior! Will he be the same lawyer the city hires for $50,000 to handle ethics complaints in the future?

Al Hirsch

Deerfield Beach

Water rates need explaining

Dear Editor:

I hope that the new administration addresses water rates that have doubled and even tripled … although our incomes have been reduced or eliminated. But then, is there an alternative to water? Guess we’re stuck!

Explain to me how condo associations can run up thousands of dollars in water bills, but single family homes have their water shut off if they are a few days late making their much-inflated and unreasonable payments.

Explain to me how city property can water anytime they want and for as long as they want. Are the taxpayers paying for their own water and for the City’s also?

It isn’t only due to the dry weather that so many yards in Deerfield Beach are brown but due to the fact that few of us can afford to water them for the two days a week that we are allowed.

Lynne Newberry

Deerfield Beach

Published: 5 Mar 2009

Because former mayor Jean Robb was shorted on her time allocation in Tuesday’s Observer-sponsored forum at the Hilton Hotel, the following is part of the closing statement she intended to make:

Accomplishments as Deerfield Beach Mayor

As Mayor, Jean Robb devoted herself full-time in responding to your telephone calls and problems.

Robb has a proven record of protecting the taxpayer. She will stop out-of-control spending and cut costs.

She has a Community Association Manager’s license (CAM). Accordingly, she knows and understands the financial burden placed on owners when other owners are in foreclosure.

Robb has a proven record of protecting the safety of our residents. She coordinated the move to the Sheriffs Department to provide our residents with superior cost-effective police protection.

She also has a proven record of prudent beach improvement by advocating the protection of property for taxpayer’s use. She had the thatched huts on the beach built by the Seminoles; widened the beach walk, supported the installation of grass along the walkway; and added the decorative lighting.

Robb also secured the first Alzheimer’s Day Care Center through a 1984 bond issue.

She worked for three solid years to bring about Quiet Waters Elementary School – the first new elementary school in Deerfield in 26 years.

Robb has a proven record of creativity and innovation in benefiting Deerfield. This includes hiring a helicopter for a video presentation to the county, which resulted in the North Regional Courthouse being awarded to Deerfield Beach.

She also organized the Cultural Committee to sponsor the beach concerts and the annual Art Festival. She got the city to purchase its own Showmobile.

Memberships:

• Mayor of Deerfield Beach – 13 Years

• President Princeton Place HOA 2000 – 2008

• St. Ambrose Catholic Church

Lifetime Memberships:

• Deerfield Women’s Club

• Deerfield Historical Society

• Friends of the Library

Jean Robb

Deerfield Beach

________________________________________

Hearing praises for Hearing Institute

Dear Editor:

I am a snowbird living in Century Village and I had an experience today that should not go unnoticed. I had an appointment at the Healthy Hearing Institute here in Deerfield Beach and met up with a young woman who is the owner and also has a hearing impairment. Harolyn Farber is intelligent, warm and extremely patient. My husband has Alzheimer’s and we were at the institute for over two hours. Harolyn made sure that we both understood how to use our hearing aids that we had purchased in New York. She had no vested interest in us and we were treated like part of her family. This woman should be noticed. I found her through the Observer and I hope you write about her. She is very warm and very special. I highly recommend her and would encourage people just to visit the institute. It is just a great experience. Thank you for your attention.

Edith Long

Century Village

District 4 candidates

Dear Editor:

I’m writing in regards to the upcoming election for District 4 Commissioner. Looking at the candidates, we must ask ourselves who is the best candidate to vote for? On one side, we have a political newcomer, who has been a community activist the past two years and has recently received the endorsement of the Firefighters Union. On the other side, we have the retired Fire Chief, who served the city for 29 years and has been an active volunteer for over 20 years. When I examined each campaign, I noticed that Mr. Lother is running on his experienced leadership as Fire Chief and his long service to our community as his qualifications. At a recent homeowners meeting, and in recent news ads, Mr. Ganz has asked the voters to do their “homework” and ask why our former Fire Chief was not endorsed by the Fire Union. Well, I did my homework, and from what I gather, Mr. Lother listened to the citizens of Deerfield Beach two years ago when the Fire Union wanted to have our city Fire Department taken over by the Broward Sheriff’s Office.  This would have been a financial windfall for the firefighters, but a bad deal for taxpayers. As Fire Chief, Mr. Lother recognized and took an unpopular stance by standing up for keeping our Fire Department within the city, against the Fire Union’s wishes. Now, the current Fire Union is supporting Mr. Ganz. When asked at the recent Commissioner’s forum about voting on budgets for the fire department, etc., Mr. Ganz circumvented the issue by speaking out of both sides of his mouth. In these current economic times, we need an experienced leader, who tells it to us straight, is fluent with dealing with government at the city, county and federal level. I believe Gary Lother is the best candidate for District 4 City Commissioner.

Bill Mei

Deerfield Beach

Published: 19 Feb 2009

Look at the facts

Dear Editor:

Where’s the transparency in Deerfield politics? I, for one, am growing tired of the political shell games some politicians are playing. At a recent HOA meeting, I witnessed Gary Lother accusing his opponent, Bill Ganz, of mud slinging. Mr. Ganz was referring to Mr. Lother’s public record when serving as Fire Chief in an attempt to demonstrate the differences between them. When did stating the facts of public records become mud slinging?

These two men are running for office or better yet, applying for the job of District 4 commissioner.  It is important for us to realize that we need a candidate who values open communication, has strong management skills, and endeavors to find a win-win negotiation style. Both their records should be examined and be part of their resumes. Mr. Lother’s record as Fire Chief is what we have to evaluate his abilities. In the past two years, Mr. Ganz has been active and productive, working on committees to improve our neighborhoods and our property values. His record is public. His approach is thoughtful, intelligent, and reasonable.

We need leaders that will put the residents and businesses of Deerfield Beach first.  I encourage all Deerfield Beach residents who seek transparency and integrity in our local leadership to look at the facts and records of their candidates. The best decisions are made when we deal with facts.

Joan Maurice

Deerfield Beach

Dog dilemma

Dear Editor:

We have what we consider a very big problem in our building. One of our residents bought a shrill barking dog. That is against the rules in Century Village of Deerfield Beach. This individual knows very well the bylaws, having lived here many years. But this resident wishes to ignore the rules, in spite of our board telling the resident that the dog must immediately go because the board has unanimously voted against the dog. Well, the dog is still living here and the weeks have run into months (since April).

Recently, most of our residents signed a petition for that person to give away the high-pitched barking dog. The resident chose to ignore the board’s decision and the petition of 60 people as well. The resident claims that this dog is a “service dog.” This person is not blind, is not in a wheelchair nor with a walker. It is her pet. What possible way can this be called a service dog? And how is this person handicapped and in need of a service dog? Not at all! Neighbors complain and have written letters that they hear the dog barking at all hours (including early a.m. and late p.m.). This individual feels that the bylaws of Century Village are not to be followed and can be broken to please her own desires.

Miriam Lourenso

Deerfield Beach

Published: 12 Feb 2009

Vote them all out

Dear Editor:

It is my honest opinion, these spend-thrift commissioners don’t give a darnn about the people of Deerfield Beach.

They are now spending $6 million on an unnecessary project on Hillsboro Boulevard between Federal Highway and the bridge. So far, it’s taking six or more months working “piecemeal” and it is far from completion, using up that money.

Now these commissioners want to do a big, unnecessary rebuilding of the parking lot in The Cove. As far as I can see, it is a perfectly good parking lot in a business center. It seems they want to make it into a possible park. Why? I understand the plans are already approved and it will cost a fantastic $430,000 just for the plans and supervision, and they say two years to complete.

How can the commissioners even think of spending that much money [not to mention] the taxes it will have to raise to pay for it? Don’t they realize that this is not the time to put another burden on the taxpayers, with the economy causing so much grief?

They should be thinking of ways to help those unfortunate people by lowering taxes and finding ways to help them save their homes and find jobs.

I wonder how many people will be enriched by this project. Any commissioner voting for this should be voted out of office.

Frank Cuomo

Deerfield Beach

Reader reports difficulty on bus

Dear Editor:

This is the latest on what no one is supposed to know. On Sunday, Jan. 18 a huge [number] of people came out to wait for the bus to take us to the Festival Flea Market. There was pushing and shoving, pure mayhem. Someone had to call for a second trolley. Still there was not enough room. People were allowed to stand in the bus. Imagine elderly people standing from Century Village all the way to Festival, the long way. It made stops at Sawgrass Prominade, Winn Dixie, Broward Hospital etc. The schedule is for a bus every 75 minutes, last bus being 3:30 p.m. There turned out to be different schedules so you can imagine the confusion.

Coming back on the 1:50 p.m. trolley, we were 24 seated passengers. The rest were standing. All in all, there were 38 people on the little white bus cramped in like sardines. One woman fainted. Someone called 911. It was hotter than hell. The trolley was so heavily loaded down we thought it would just stop. It went so slow because of the heavy load of people.

This is what we are supposed to look forward to on a Sunday. No more trolleys. Cramped little buses, not enough seats and don’t ask anyone for information because no one knows anything.

Is anyone minding this place? Where are the so-called coordinators? We are people, not cattle. We are elderly. That’s why we opt to live in an elderly community. We are not illegals waiting to be shoved in a bus across the county. Whose wonderful idea was this? This was not a very well-thought-out plan. So to whom do we give our thanks? To whom do we give our monthly praises?

Marilyn Fernando

Oakridge A

Deerfield Beach

Published: 5 Feb 2009

Pioneer Park concerns

Dear Editor:

Wake up citizens, and let’s find out what has happened to our city.

One of the jewels of this once grand city was Pioneer Park. This beautiful, quiet park was one of the original city parks and sits opposite our entire city administration offices and center of politics.

While Deer Creek residents were getting relief from the invasive cell towers, the city politicians jumped to action and we spent thousands of dollars to keep the tower from being built. At the same time, the city was placing the ugly, several- year-old “temporary portable radio tower in the northwest corner of the park. At the same time, we bought the two duplexes and several other structures, which have made our great city the biggest slum lords in the area.

These duplex structures have had plywood-covered windows and sand for a lawn since the city bought them years ago. They have been used as city warehouses in violation of our own zoning laws.

In mid 2008, area residents were promised that the deplorable structures would be demolished by Nov. 30, 2008. When that didn’t happen, the city promised us they would be demolished by Dec. 31, 2008.

Drive by the 6 Avenue entrance to Pioneer Park and observe for yourself what great landlord and keepers of the city we now have in elected office and high-level, paid positions.

While you are looking at that mess, think about the fact that I offered in 4th quarter 2008 to have my construction company demolish the building for free if the city supplied dumpsters to haul off that debris. Sorry now, but with today’s economy, I can’t extend that offer today. But the city had its chance.

Ron Coddington

Deerfield Beach

Commissioner for The Cove

Dear Editor:

I would like to suggest to all those living in The Cove neighborhood to look around and ask yourself: Has The Cove area improved since Pam Militello has been commissioner? Unless you are blind, the answer is NO; it is clearly WORSE – even dumpy.

I have contacted her about code enforcement on numerous occasions; and still NO change. She thinks it is not an issue and that the Broward Sheriff’s Office (BSO) can do the job.

I spoke to Joe Miller; he agrees that better code enforcement is key to improve the way the area looks.

Patrick Murphy

Deerfield Beach

Don’t waste $2.7 million +/-

Dear Editor:

For years I have listened while a small group of Deerfield Beach residents and [The] Cove shop owners pushed through a plan to improve The Cove Shopping Center, which is old and obsolete in every way and does not warrant a multimillion dollar investment by the city.

Years ago, I asked who was going to pay for the maintenance once the center was improved. I received no reply and with the state of the economy today, once more I ask: How are the costs going to be paid? Right now the owners in The Cove Shopping Center feel the taxpayers should pay. I say, “no, no, no.”

The answer is a “cam,” a common area maintenance, which is assessed to each tenant or owner of a building per square foot of space leased or owned. This payment will [take care of] all costs of the parking lot area from cutting of the grass to security.

One other way is to install parking meters, thereby reimbursing the city for the cost of improving the parking lot and maintenance over the years.

Remember this, as a resident of Deerfield Beach, you own this parking lot in The Cove Shopping Center and, being such, I am sure you would want a return on your investment. It is your “tax money.” I am sorry to say that with the state of our economy and the commercial real estate sector in such turmoil, the city should not spend one dollar of our taxpayer’s money on The Cove Shopping Center parking lot.

Please call the City Clerk’s office at 954-480-4213 and let your commissioner know you do not want your tax money spent on The Cove Shopping Center at this time. It is time to save money, not spend it.

Tom Treacy

Deerfield Beach

In defense of the former mayor

Dear Editor:

I have been a resident of Deerfield Beach since 1982, have served as director on a community board, have made many appearances at city board meetings and know most directors. Francis DeMaio and I were responsible for the reconstruction of the Bridge at Villa D’Este but to accomplish this, we needed the evaluation of an engineer.

At that time, Al Capellini, mayor of Deerfield Beach, gave of his time and expertise in getting the job done. He was very clear in addressing the matter. Any suggestion of payment was out of the question. He wanted it that way and was concise and above-board in every detail.

We were fortunate to have the mayor living here at the time and believe he is good for the city of Deerfield Beach. Whomsoever is behind the allegations against him is playing a game of Dirty Politics.

Please recognize the many years he has given to this city and remember to vote wisely during the March 2009 election.

Chris Peacock

Deerfield Beach

Published: 29 Jan 2009

No respect

Dear Editor:

[I have] been living in Deerfield Beach for over a year now and I have noticed that the city has no respect for its residents. Let’s start with List Industries that operates most of the time 24/7 and pollutes the air with paint fumes and the noise that comes from this company, which should be in a industrial district. Then you have the train. I don’t know why they have to keep blowing their horn and keep everybody awake, maybe if the freights would be on Dixie [Highway], which is a nonresidential area, the residents of Deerfield Beach might be able to have peace and quiet. But you have garbage pickup on Saturday at 6 a.m. and I mean those huge dumpsters, again no rest for the residents that work hard all week and maybe would be able to rest on Saturday morning. Deerfield Beach is a beautiful city but has no respect for its residents. I hope this letter falls in the hands of someone who cares for people and makes sure the appropriate office is advised. Thank you

Pierre Poirier

Deerfield Beach

Upcoming commission election

Dear Editor:

I am writing you in reference to the upcoming commission elections in March.

Marty Popelsky has been a commissioner for quite some years. In addition to all he has done for the seniors in Century Village [East] (CVE), I truly feel he has done a lot for the people in Deerfield Beach and is a dedicated person.

Donna Capobianco is currently the president of Master Management here in Century Village. She has made a lot of changes and improvements in the village –- all for the betterment of CVE. We have experienced a lot of change, which has been sorely needed.

The only thing I’ve read about Caryl Berner is the time she has wasted at commission meetings arguing over the use of prayer, even threatening to file a lawsuit. I really wonder if she will take the time to really represent our needs, or argue about the use of prayer, Christmas or the menorah?

With all the corruption, mismanagement and outright stealing by so many of our elected officials as noted on TV and in the newspapers, God forbid we have a prayer of any kind, whether it be Jewish, Catholic, Baptist, etc., asking for help from a higher power. The way things have been going, we need all the help we can get from wherever…We as humans can’t seem to get it done.

Bob Zukas

Deerfield Beach

Irresponsible spending?

Dear Editor:

With a New Year beginning and with all that is going on in the economy and with public officials right now, I was hoping you would do a story on “Irresponsible Spending by our city.”

Do the citizens of Deerfield Beach really know where their hard-earned money is going? Do they know how much wasteful spending the city does?

City departments spend tax dollars paying for:

• Floral arrangements to commissioners, organizations, private acquaintances, even to employees.

• Donations to churches, private organizations, personal advertisements.

• Petty Cash – What exactly is this money to be spent on and how much is allotted to each department?

• Education – Why is the city paying for employees to attend courses/classes that are not job-related or beneficial to the city?

• Contract Employees – Who, why and how much? Does the city really have a need to hire temporary employees or are we doing favors?

• Office/Equipment Supplies – Why do departments over-order or purchase unnecessary supplies/equipment at the end of the fiscal year? Does the city not provide in the next budget year for office supplies/equipment?

Don’t the City Commission and the City Manager have a responsibility to the citizens to make sure the money entrusted is being spent wisely and efficiently? I am very curious as to what has been spent in the past 5 to 10 years in the areas mentioned above.

There is still time in this budget and the upcoming ‘09-‘10 budget to make the city accountable for wasteful spending. I would like to see a tighter rein on what is being spent. Maybe the City Manager should take more of an interest in what staff is purchasing.

Thank you for taking the time to read my letter. Hopefully, this information will pique your interest enough to become a future article.

Mary S

Deerfield Beach

Published: 22 Jan 2009

Kudos to publisher

Dear Editor:

Kudos to the publisher. It was astonishing to read the guest editoral [Jan. 15 issue of the Observer] which had the courage to name the political parties and practice despite most of the bias in today’s larger media organizations.

Gail Lebaron

Deerfield Beach

Ladies, govern yourselves appropriately

Dear Editor:

I would like to make a comment about a very timely article written by Anthony Man (a political writer), on Friday, Jan. 16 in the Sun Sentinel.  I found it ironic that his article came out the morning after I (along with many others) had the misfortune of witnessing the very unprofessional, unfriendly behavior of several individuals that were upfront and “in the faces” of a group of business people who had gathered for a Chamber of Commerce event, to celebrate a grand opening and ribbon cutting for a new business opening here in Deerfield Beach.  The women I am speaking of know who they are, and their behavior was a direct reflection on our incumbent commissioner for Deerfield Beach, District 1. I do not deny the Old Save Our Beach Committee their right to campaign. However, if we are asking to change things for the better, make strides for improvement in our community, perhaps it is time that we take some lessons from the presidential elections and create fair and realistic expectations of the people that we have representing those in positions of authority and leadership in our community. This behavior is exactly why the majority of registered voters choose not to be involved with our local politics — and it will continue to disillusion voters and taint the very reputation of the folks who aspire to help make a better community for those who live and work here.

I learned from Man’s article that Broward County has a Fair Campaign Practices Committee that is ready to act as a neutral arbiter of “sleazy” attacks and other unsavory campaigning during the next eight weeks with 14 cities, towns and villages holding elections. Isn’t it a crying shame that everywhere we turn, we must have watchdogs to police the behavior and ethics of the people that should be looked up to with respect as pillars of our community?

Going back to the incident of last Thursday evening; I don’t know if rude behavior qualifies as a violation of clean campaign guidelines, but civility in our city politics is hard to find and for lack of a better way to say it, “ladies, govern yourselves appropriately,” it is an embarrassment to see adults behave so rudely in the name of politics

The individuals who have chosen to run for public office, hopefully are doing so because they live here, work in and love this wonderful community at least as much as I do. They all want to make it a better place. Let’s dispense with the petty stuff, grow up and have some respect .

Joan Gould

Deerfield Beach

Published: 15 Jan 2009

Readers write in on upcoming election

Dear Editor:

It is election time.

The Fire Rescue Union of Deerfield is beginning its campaign for candidates to best serve its interests.

I encourage every potential candidate for commission or mayor to avoid answering any questions which may compromise the economic position during the current union/city labor negotiations period.

We are in hard times. Don’t commit to any position which may strain our tax basis.

P.S. There are only about 12 union members who reside in Deerfield Beach.

James A. McGeary

Deerfield Beach

Dear Editor:

We in America, the state of Florida, and the city of Deerfield Beach are all experiencing difficult financial times. We need political leaders not afraid to make the hard choices for our city. I will recommend Jean Robb, who has a proven record of getting things done.

She will keep our taxes low as she has done in the past. I am sure she has a plan to tighten the City of Deerfield’s budget and also help those who are in foreclosure keep their homes.

I agree with the Observer’s opinion of Jan. 1. We can save Deerfield from bankruptcy. Jean has the time and the experience to lead our city forward. We have a great city and people. Let’s keep it that way.

Sam Sherrard

Deerfield Beach

Sheriff looks for four more years

Dear Editor:

The past year has been a monumental year for me both professionally and personally. On Nov. 4, 2008, the citizens of Broward County elected me to continue leading one of the finest public safety agencies in the nation. During this year, we managed to restore public confidence in our agency and although I am proud of what we have accomplished, there is much more work to be done.

We are going to get back to the fundamentals of good, tough police work and getting criminals off the streets. We will implement new and modem law enforcement techniques in order to protect the public and to pursue, find and secure criminals. We will protect the most vulnerable in society – our children and the elderly. We will stay on the cutting edge of advanced life support technology in  EMS [Emergency Medical Services] and continue to provide more efficient regional services in fire rescue. We will continue to be open, honest and fiscally responsible to the public we serve.

The 6,000 professionals that make up the Broward Sheriff’s Office are good, decent people who care deeply about this community. They are here because they want to make life better for you – the citizens of Broward County. Never before has an organization been better prepared, better organized and more motivated to take on that challenge.

To the law enforcement and detention deputies, firefighters, paramedics and civilian personnel who serve so bravely with the Broward Sheriff’s Office, thank you for your service — I am honored and grateful to serve with you.

And to the people of Broward County who make this, our community, such a wonderful place to live, work, visit and raise a family, thank you for your trust, your prayers and for your everyday acts of kindness to the men and women who serve here in America’s finest public safety agency. I am proud to be your sheriff!

Again, thank you for your support.

Sheriff Al Lamberti

Margate

Published: 8 Jan 2009

Century Village residents need transportation

Dear Editor:

On Jan. 11, [2009] Century Village East (CVE) will no longer have the transportation we were told would be ours upon purchasing our condos. How anyone in their right mind can concoct a new situation such as this one –- listen to this –- there will be county-wide, 20-seaters coming down areas where people will have to walk to certain stops for the ride to the highway, where they will be left off to walk to the shopping center for food. The white county “seaters” will not go into the mall. First of all, if you can’t get a seat you have to wait 45 minutes. If you can’t get a ride you have to walk –- people with walkers and canes, and people who walk slow will never be able to stand in the hot sun waiting for a ride, and will also miss the transportation. Only “one” county bus will be allotted to CVE. It will go down Hillsboro towards the beach.

I sent a letter to the governor, who said he could do nothing because it is a county problem, not a state problem. He said he was sending my letter to the [Broward] county commissioners. That’s the joke! These commissioners do nothing to help us. Where do the commissioners’ salaries come from? Why don’t we get a detailed list of who gets how much? We now have to pay 60 cents each way extra even though we pay for the transportation in our “envelopes” (maintenance money). Now we’re paying extra. The commissioners refused to pay for the trolleys but they’re telling us to vote for them [the politicians] in the next election. Why, so they can mistreat us some more? The Pembroke Pines Association President got [it] together. They are paying for their trolleys. They take care of their own, not like over here. Master Management spent $50,000 to have a study done for the irrigation system. We got no report. They spent $50,000 on signs you can’t see or read that have to be redone.

We need transportation. Hello, is anyone listening? Who’s minding our Senior Citizens here in Broward? How much comes off the top to the so-called Board –- from whom you can’t get answers or ask questions?

Marilyn Fernando

Oakridge A

Deerfield Beach

Reader asks for comparison study of firefighters’ compensation

To the Editor:

The Observer Opinion column in the [Jan. 1] edition brought up an interesting observation about the “bloated standard negotiated here” regarding the number of paramedics (3) that are sent per incident vs. a more common nationwide standard of 2. Simple math would conclude a 50 percent increase in manpower costs that Deerfield Beach taxpayers have to bear vs. most of the rest of the country every time there is an incident requiring the services of a paramedic team.

It might be an interesting exercise if the Observer would publish a comparative analysis of all of the compensation differences including other work rules that exist in the current and proposed union contracts for the firemen and paramedics vs. national averages so as to enlighten all taxpayers and voters as to what we are actually paying for vs. other localities.

Such a comparison might help to settle the confusion for one of our sarcastic local businessmen who has previously chastised the analysis of the published numbers reported in the Observer regarding union contracts for firefighters and paramedics and who suggested that anyone who criticized the costs to the taxpayers was somehow unpatriotic, unknowledgeable and should be censored by the Observer.  This same local businessman suggested that criticizing the costs of providing for public safety servants indicated a lack of support for the public safety members that protect the citizens of Deerfield Beach.  Nothing could be further from the truth but everyone is entitled to his or her opinion.

Specifically, is the Observer up to the challenge of publishing such a comparative analysis?  If so, we could all be educated and decide for ourselves whether the costs of the union contracts for firefighters and paramedics are reasonable.  Perhaps a comparison with other communities of response times, lives saved and any other performance criteria that are used for firefighters and paramedics could also be published so that we can judge whether premium compensation and “bloated” work rules are justified.

David Nace

Deerfield Beach

Century Village Insider … Out of Touch

Dear Editor:

Most CVE residents have a different outlook today than often expressed in the Century Village INSIDER column. Owners consistently voice the desire for upgrades in signage, guardhouses, plantings, etc., along with infrastructure modernization like automated irrigation. Sad that such a valuable resource as the Observer chooses to keep the old, negatively cast CVE image alive. The column just seems more and more out of touch.

In touch residents know comparing the Recreation Committee to CVE Master Management Company, Inc., is apples and oranges. The volunteer Recreation Committee oversees the operating budget for our leased clubhouse, multiple pools and tennis courts and has a large, professionally managed, full-time paid staff planning for improvements and carrying out directives. Master Management has a 15-member volunteer Board of Directors and a three person, part-time administrative staff . They are responsible for all planning, policies and procedures, as well as managing and running the day-to-day operation required to maintain all CVE-owned common areas, facilities and services including signage, waterways, irrigation, security, transportation, cable, trash removal, roadways, lighting, etc., owning and operating a conference facility, office building, pool and four tennis courts. The budget is about double that of Recreation, with fees the Observer regarding union contracts for firefighters and paramedics and who suggested that anyone who criticized the costs to the taxpayers was somehow unpatriotic, unknowledgeable and should be censored by the Observer.  This same local businessman suggested that criticizing the costs of providing for public safety servants indicated a lack of support for the public safety members that protect the citizens of Deerfield Beach.  Nothing could be further from the truth but everyone is entitled to his or her opinion.

Specifically, is the Observer up to the challenge of publishing such a comparative analysis?  If so, we could all be educated and decide for ourselves whether the costs of the union contracts for firefighters and paramedics are reasonable.  Perhaps a comparison with other communities of response times, lives saved and any other performance criteria that are used for firefighters and paramedics could also be published so that we can judge whether premium compensation and “bloated” work rules are justifie

Deerfield Beach

Published: 1 Jan 2009

Deerfield’s own combat M.A.S.H commander

Dear Editor:

The Commission will be attempting to fill the District 4 commission seat in the coming weeks. We will be seeking someone with integrity, leadership and independence – one who has no further Deerfield Beach political ambitions. We have just such a man residing in District 4. He is a recently retired colonel and doctor, who commanded a combat M.A.S.H. unit, holding a Top Secret Clearance during the Iraqi campaign. Thus, there is no need to check his credentials and we can get three months of his desired expertise at no extra cost to taxpayers for background checks. He is Dr. Jamie Marlowe. It’s a “no-brainer.”

Richard F. McKay

Deerfield Beach

Historical series enjoyed; the question of Boinis’ beach

Dear Publisher:

I always enjoy your historical series; my all-time favorite is “Watching Hopalong Cassidy on TV in 1951 got me in trouble with the law.” It is a classic American story that is funny and paints a picture of life in Deerfield Beach in 1951.

I would like to request that you do a story on how we got into this odd arrangement of having the public restrooms at the beach built on land that does not belong to the city. I know the recent history: Pete Boinis bought it for $200,000 when he was trying to take over the pier and build a restaurant on it. Now, Mr. Boinis wants the city to pay him $600,000 for it. It doesn’t matter that real estate values in Broward County have declined by up to 55 percent. I understand that Mr. Boinis got an appraisal for over $700,000.00, but appraisals are primarily based on what comparable properties sold for, preferably in the past six months.

This property has no comparables. The closest comparable I know of is in three subdivisions that my brother and I developed in Georgia. Each time, we had some excess land left over that had no market value because it was next to a creek and could not be built on or the county required that 4 acres be set aside as green space. Each time, we donated the excess land to the county or the homeowners association. If a property produces no income and cannot be built on, it has no market value. It seems to me that this small parcel had no market value for years and only had value if a restaurant could be built on it. When that was shot down, it went back to a small strip of land with no market value. Mr. Boinis gambled on this property and he lost. Now, he wants the taxpayers to bail him out with a golden parachute, kind of like on Wall Street.

I have been going to our public beach for 30 years and I had no idea that it was not all public property. You would think that the owner gave the city permission to use it and the public-use would be grandfathered in. In that case, why would the city need to buy it? One more question that you probably cannot answer: Why do our city officials want to pay Mr. Boinis three times his purchase price when the value of everyone else’s property is collapsing? I’m sure that your readers would be interested in the history of this parcel of land.

Robert Lloyd

Deerfield Beach

P.S. I wanted to let you know that your paper is read in Clayton, GA by Timothy Butler, who lived in this area 10 years ago. You may know him. After my last letter about four months ago Timothy asked my brother, “Do you have a brother in Deerfield Beach who writes letters to the editor?” In that letter, I said that the last three houses my brother built in Clayton were sold to buyers from West Palm Beach, Pennsylvania and New York. The point being … not only are Floridians fleeing the state, but retirees from the northeast are avoiding Florida in favor of the other southern states where property taxes are much lower.

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