| August, 2011

Happenings

Posted on 24 August 2011 by LeslieM

Moonlight Melodies Concert

Friday, Aug. 26, 7 p.m.

Main Beach Parking Lot, SE 1st St. and Ocean Way, Deerfield Beach, FL 33441

Performance by The Tom Jackson Band (Country). Free. Bring beach chair or blanket. 954-480-4430 or www.Deerfield-Beach.com.

 

Bartell Chiropractic Life Center

Saturday, Aug.  27, 1 to 4 p.m.

57 W. Hillsboro Blvd., Deerfield Beach, FL 33441

Free posture analysis, free backpack safety, free vision screening, free dental consultation, fire dept. demonstration, finger printing, cyber safety education, door prizes, free school supplies (while supplies last). 954-426-3200.

LHP Pee Wee Soccer Registration

Saturday, Aug. 27, 11 a.m.

Frank McDonough Park, 3500 NE 27 Ave., Lighthouse Point, FL 33064

Ages 5 to 6 years. 954-784-3439.

 

Playground Playdate Splash Sugar Sand Park

Saturday, Aug.  27, 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Sugar Sand Park, 300 S. Military Trail, Boca Raton, FL 33486

Come cool off on a hot summer day with your friends! Enjoy games like Water Gun Wars and Water Ball Catapults, a scavenger hunt, drawing for prizes and find out about all the upcoming programs this fall at Sugar Sand Park Community Center! Ages 4-10. Weather permitting.  For more information, call 561-347-3900 or visit  www.sugarsandpark.org.

 

Congressman Ted Deutch Town Hall Meeting

Tuesday, Aug. 30, 10 a.m.

Century Village, Activity Center, 2400 Century Blvd., Deerfield Beach, FL 33442

Non-partisan meeting, all are welcome. Bagels, etc will be served. 954-597-3990.

 

Festival Days lunch

Tuesday, Aug. 30, noon to 4 p.m.

Boca Children’s Museum, 498 Crawford Blvd., Boca Raton, FL 33432

Come for 20 minutes or stay 2 hours, lunch (sponsored by TD Bank) is on the table! The Museum is getting ready for the October Grand Opening of their recent expansion and is kicking off Family of the Year Recognition Awards, honoring service in community. If you are a family who contributes through acts of kindness, participate in this first-time event. Entry forms available at museum and online. Cost: $15 for lunch, admission to museum is $5 (infants under 12 months, free). RSVP to be among the first for a sneak-preview of Jason’s Music Hall, located within the newly-built Rickards House. 561-368-6875. www.cmboca.org.

 

AARP information

Tuesday, Aug. 30, noon to 1 p.m.

NE Focal Point Senior Center, 227 NW 2 St., Deerfield Beach, FL 33441

Presented by Carol Smith from AARP. 954-480-4446.

 

Community Input meeting Revised Pioneer Park Master Plan

Wednesday, Aug. 31, 6:30-8:30 p.m.                                                                                                                                  

City Hall, 150 NE 2 Ave., Deerfield Beach, FL 33441

The City of Deerfield Beach Parks and Recreation department has scheduled a public meeting to review and get input on proposed revisions to the master plan for Pioneer Park. Stakeholders and interested parties are strongly encouraged to attend the meeting, to review the plan and provide input.­ 954-426-6898 or web.parks@ deerfield-beach.com­

 

SAVE THE DATE: Pre-Labor Day Concert Temple Beth Israel

Sunday, Sept. 4, 2 p.m.

201 S. Military Tr., Deerfield Beach, FL 33442

Cantor: Irvin Bell, piano: Richard Shapiro and Florine

Rosenfield. Donation: $5 per person at the door. 954-421-7060.

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Who, what, where and when

Posted on 24 August 2011 by LeslieM

There was a heavy downpour the other day as we were in the midst of a service at one of the local health centers. At one point, the electricity went out for a minute and, while many people made a joke out of it, others were immediately worried and voiced concerns:
“What if the elevator doesn’t work?”
“What if we don’t get the air-conditioning back on? After all, the temperature is in the 90s outside.”
While the electricity was off, I posed the question if anyone had taken the time recently to thank G-d for the fact that we have an elevator to get up and down to the various floors and if anyone had taken the time (before the power went out) to thank G-d for the air-conditioning system, which keeps the place nice and comfortable in the midst of the brutal heat wave of recent weeks.
Fortunately, the power came back on rather quickly, but, I asked them to think about what they would have done if the power had not come back on. Many said they would stay in their rooms until the power was restored. Well, that might be fine if the power comes back on at some point in the day, but what if the power doesn’t get restored for several days? What then?
And without realizing it, we began an important dialogue on hurricane preparedness. Some of the people at the service have portable oxygen tanks. Others have to be hooked up to a machine three times a week for dialysis, so I had to ask if they knew what they would do and where they would go should a major storm like a hurricane kill all the electric power for a while.
We talked about what to do and we made a list of the many things we are blessed with that we often take for granted, and we thought about how we would survive if we did not have them in our lives.
Many people remembered things that they had read about … what you need to have around in case of a hurricane. Many had even been to seminars about it. People talked about the need to have a flashlight and extra batteries. People talked about the need to have bottled water. People talked about the need to have some food around that is easy to open and requires no refrigeration and no cooking.
The residents came up with just about everything one needed to have in preparation for a major storm and a major power failure. Everyone was listening. Everyone was participating. Everyone was paying attention.
And just before the end of the service, I decided I had a few more questions to ask …
“How many of you have extra water in your house?”
“How many of you have a flashlight and extra batteries?”
“How many of you have bottles of water?”
“How many of you have food that does not require refrigeration or cooking?”
“How many of you know where to go if you need special medical care?”
Amazingly, not one person could answer “yes” to any of these questions. Many said that someone else would take care of it for them, but who?
Hillel asked the question, “If I am not for myself who will be for me? If I am only for myself, what am I? And, if not now, when?”
It is time to prepare. Get what you need so you are covered. Cover for others who are unable to get the supplies they need, and remember, knowing what needs to be done … knowing what supplies you need doesn’t do any good unless you go out and purchase those things. Don’t delay. If not now….when?

Shalom My Friends,
Rabbi Craig H. Ezring

Rabbi Ezring is a Hospice Chaplain and Member of the National Association of Jewish Chaplains. He also provides Professional Pastoral Care Services to a number of health centers in Broward County.

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DBHS Class of ’81 Reunion

Posted on 23 August 2011 by LeslieM

On Aug. 20, Deerfield Beach High School’s Class of ’81 celebrated its 30th reunion with a special gala held at Deer Creek Country Club. The day before, they held an all-class reunion at Bru’s Room in Coconut Creek.

 

Reunion Photos

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Irene becomes first hurricane, still generally headed to South Florida

Posted on 22 August 2011 by LeslieM

IRENE HAS BECOME MUCH BETTER ORGANIZED DURING THE PAST 6 HOURS DESPITE ITS INTERACTION WITH THE MOUNTAINOUS TERRAIN OF PUERTO
RICO...AND A RAGGED EYE HAS BECOME APPARENT IN IMAGERY FROM THE FAA TERMINAL DOPPLER WEATHER RADAR. ALSO...LARGE PATCHES OF DOPPLER
VELOCITY VALUES AS HIGH AS 75-82 KT AT 1000-1500 FT AND 85-91 KT AT 2000-3000 FT HAVE BEEN INDICATED NORTHWEST AND NORTHEAST OF THE
CENTER OVER WATER FOR THE PAST 2 HOURS...WHICH EQUATES TO AT LEAST 65-KT SURFACE WINDS. SOME DOPPLER VELOCITIES AS HIGH AS 72 KT HAVE
ALSO BEEN DETECTED AT 500-600 FT OVER WATER. AS A RESULT OF THESE DATA...IRENE HAS BEEN UPGRADED TO THE FIRST HURRICANE OF THE 2011
ATLANTIC HURRICANE SEASON.

Visit our Hurricane Center!

TRENDING THROUGH ALL OF THE WOBBLES IN THE TRACK OVER THE PAST 6 HOURS YIELDS AN AVERAGE MOTION OF ABOUT 290/10 KT. UPPER-AIR DATA
AT 00Z INDICATE 500 MB HEIGHTS HAVE NOT CHANGED AT BERMUDA IN THE PAST 24 HOURS...WHICH SUGGESTS THAT THE SUBTROPICAL RIDGE TO THE
NORTH OF IRENE REMAINS QUITE STRONG. THE RIDGE IS EXPECTED TO CHANGE LITTLE FOR THE NEXT 48 HOURS OR SO...WHICH WOULD ACT TO KEEP
IRENE MOVING IN A GENERAL WEST-NORTHWESTWARD DIRECTION OFF THE NORTH COAST OF PUERTO RICO THIS MORNING AND JUST SKIRTING THE
NORTHERN COAST OF HISPANIOLA LATER TODAY AND ON TUESDAY. AFTER THAT...THE GLOBAL MODELS DIVERGE ON THE SPECIFICS OF HOW LARGE A
BREAK OR WEAKNESS IN THE SUBTROPICAL RIDGE DEVELOPS OVER FLORIDA AND THE SOUTHEASTERN U.S. AT 72 HOUR AND BEYOND...WHICH WILL ALLOW
IRENE TO MOVE NORTHWESTWARD. THE ECMWF...NOGAPS...AND GFDN MODELS ARE THE RIGHTMOST OF THE NHC MODEL GUIDANCE SUITE AND KEEP IRENE
WELL EAST OF FLORIDA...WHEREAS THE UKMET AND THE GFDL MODELS ARE THE LEFTMOST OF THE MODELS AND TAKE IRENE NEAR THE WEST COAST OF
FLORIDA. THE GFS AND THE REST OF THE NHC MODEL GUIDANCE IS TIGHTLY PACKED BETWEEN THESE TWO EXTREMES AND TAKE IRENE THROUGH THE
BAHAMAS AND JUST OFF THE FLORIDA EAST COAST. WHAT IS NOTEWORTHY IS THAT ALL OF THE GLOBAL AND REGIONAL MODELS AGREE THAT THE OUTFLOW
OF IRENE WILL CONVERGE WITH WESTERLY TO NORTHWESTERLY UPPER-LEVEL MID-LATITUDE FLOW OVER THE MID-ATLANTIC STATES BY 96 HOURS AND
BEYOND. THIS UPPER-LEVEL MASS CONFLUENCE COULD MAINTAIN THE MID- TO LOW-LEVEL RIDGE A LITTLE BIT STRONGER AND LONGER THAN WHAT NOGAPS
AND THE ECMWF ARE FORECASTING...WHICH WOULD IN TURN KEEP IRENE A LITTLE CLOSER TO THE FLORIDA EAST COAST. AS A RESULT...THE OFFICIAL
FORECAST TRACK WAS ONLY SHIFTED SLIGHTLY TO THE EAST OF THE PREVIOUS TRACK AND IS NEAR THE CONSENSUS MODELS TVCN AND TVCA.

IT NOW APPEARS THAT IRENE WILL NOT INTERACT WITH HISPANIOLA AS MUCH OR AS LONG AS PREVIOUSLY EXPECTED. THIS WILL ALSO RESULT IN MORE
STRENGTHENING THAN PREVIOUSLY EXPECTED. IRENE IS FORECAST BY ALL OF THE MODELS TO HAVE A VERY IMPRESSIVE OUTFLOW PATTERN THROUGHOUT THE
FORECAST PERIOD...INCLUDING A LARGE UPPER-LEVEL TROUGH/LOW ABOUT 1200 NMI EAST OF THE CYCLONE ACTING AS A MASS SINK. WITH IRENE ALSO
EXPECTED TO BE OVER SSTS NEAR 30C AFTER 48 HOURS...SIGNIFICANT STRENGTHENING COULD OCCUR. HOWEVER...THE OFFICIAL INTENSITY WILL
REMAIN ON THE CONSERVATIVE SIDE DUE TO THE UNCERTAINTY IN HOW MUCH IRENE WILL INTERACT WITH THE MOUNTAINOUS TERRAIN OF HISPANIOLA FOR
THE NEXT 24-36 HOURS. THE OFFICIAL INTENSITY FORECAST IS A BLEND OF THE SHIPS/LGEM MODELS AND THE HWRF/GFDL MODELS. HOWEVER...GIVEN THE
IMPRESSIVE UPPER-LEVEL FLOW PATTERN EXPECTED ACROSS IRENE...IT WOULD NOT SURPRISE ME IF THIS CYCLONE BECAME A MAJOR HURRICANE AT SOME TIME DURING ITS LIFETIME LIKE THE GFDL AND HWRF MODELS ARE FORECASTING. 
IT IS IMPORTANT NOT TO FOCUS ON THE EXACT FORECAST TRACK... ESPECIALLY AT DAYS 4 TO 5...SINCE THE MOST RECENT 5-YEAR AVERAGE
ERRORS AT THOSE FORECAST TIMES ARE 200 AND 250 MILES...RESPECTIVELY.

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Tropical Storm Irene puts Deerfield Beach, South Florida in the cone again

Posted on 21 August 2011 by LeslieM

From the National Hurricane Center:

SATELLITE IMAGES AND RADAR DATA FROM GUADELOUPE INDICATE THAT IRENE HAS CHANGED LITTLE IN THE PAST 6 HOURS. THE CENTER REDEVELOPED
ABOUT 60 NMI FARTHER NORTH INTO THE DEEP CONVECTION. HOWEVER...A NARROW WEDGE OF DRY AIR HAS BEEN ENTRAINED INTO THE NORTHERN AND
WESTERN QUADRANTS...WHICH HAS ERODED SOME OF THE INNER CORE CONVECTION NEAR THE LOW-LEVEL CENTER. AS A RESULT...THE INITIAL
INTENSITY REMAINS AT 45 KT...WHICH IS SUPPORTED BY A SATELLITE INTENSITY ESTIMATE OF T3.0/45 KT FROM TAFB. THE NEXT HURRICANE
HUNTER AIRCRAFT SCHEDULED TO RECONNOITER IRENE WILL BE 1200 UTC.

Visit the Observer's Hurricane Center for the latest information!
THE INITIAL MOTION ESTIMATE IS AN UNCERTAIN 280/18 DUE TO THE UNCERTAINTY IN THE INITIAL POSITION. 00Z UPPER-AIR DATA FROM THE
NORTHERN CARIBBEAN ISLANDS AND BERMUDA INDICATE A FAIRLY STOUT DEEP-LAYER SUBTROPICAL RIDGE EXISTS TO THE NORTH AND NORTHWEST OF
IRENE. THE RESULTANT MODERATE EASTERLY STEERING FLOW SHOULD KEEP THE CYCLONE MOVING IN A GENERAL WESTWARD TO WEST-NORTHWESTWARD
DIRECTION FOR THE NEXT 72 HOURS OR SO. AFTER THAT...A WEAKNESS IN THE RIDGE IS EXPECTED TO DEVELOP ACROSS THE EASTERN GULF OF
MEXICO...FLORIDA...AND THE EXTREME WESTERN ATLANTIC...WHICH SHOULD ALLOW IRENE TO TURN NORTHWESTWARD ACROSS HAITI AND EASTERN CUBA AND
EMERGE OVER THE FLORIDA STRAITS IN ABOUT 96 HOURS. ALL OF THE MODELS ARE IN EXCELLENT AGREEMENT ON THIS DEVELOPING TRACK SCENARIO
EXCEPT FOR THE UKMET AND GFDL MODELS. THOSE LATTER TWO MODELS KEEP IRENE ON A WESTERLY TRACK SOUTH OF CUBA AND THROUGH THE YUCATAN
CHANNEL...DESPITE THEIR DEVELOPING A SIMILAR BREAK IN THE RIDGE AXIS OVER FLORIDA BY DAYS 4 AND 5...AND ARE CONSIDERED OUTLIERS AT
THIS TIME. THE OFFICIAL FORECAST TRACK IS NORTH OF THE PREVIOUS ADVISORY TRACK MAINLY DUE TO THE MORE NORTHWARD INITIAL POSITION...
AND LIES CLOSE TO THE CONSENSUS MODELS TVCN AND TVCA.

THE UPPER-LEVEL ENVIRONMENT IS EXPECTED TO BE QUITE FAVORABLE FOR STRENGTHENING THROUGHOUT THE FORECAST PERIOD AS A RESULT OF LOW
SHEAR AND A MID-OCEANIC TROUGH TO THE EAST ACTING AS A MASS SINK FOR THE OUTFLOW IN THE EASTERN SEMICIRCLE. HOWEVER...THE INTENSITY
FORECAST IS HEAVILY DEPENDENT ON HOW MUCH INTERACTION IRENE HAS WITH THE MOUNTAINOUS TERRAIN OF HISPANIOLA AND WHAT THE INNER CORE
OF THE CYCLONE BECOMES AFTER IT EMERGES OFF THE NORTHEAST COAST OF CUBA IN ABOUT 4 DAYS. ONCE OVER THE FLORIDA STRAITS...HOWEVER...
IRENE WILL HAVE AT LEAST 24 HOURS OVER SOME OF THE WARMEST WATER IN THE ATLANTIC TO TAP INTO. THE OFFICIAL FORECAST REMAINS ON THE
CONSERVATIVE SIDE DUE TO LAND EFFECTS AND IS CLOSE TO A BLEND OF SHIPS AND LGEM STATISTICAL INTENSITY MODELS.

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Reminder: Back to school safety tips for Broward residents

Posted on 20 August 2011 by LeslieM

The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) and our Community Traffic Safety Teams remind motorists to take extra traffic safety precautions as students head back to school. The beginning of the school year is a time when children are at increased risk of transportation related injuries from pedestrian, bicycle, school bus and motor vehicle crashes. FDOT offers the following tips for making back to school commutes safer for motorists and students.

 

Tips for Motorists

  • Be alert for School Speed Zones and obey the posted speed limits.
  • Watch for school buses. Red flashing lights and an extended stop arm indicate the school bus is stopping to load or unload children. State law requires you to stop.
  • Keep an eye out for children walking in the street, especially where there are no sidewalks.
  • Be alert for children playing and gathering near bus stops and for those who may dart into the street without looking for traffic.
  • When backing out of a driveway or leaving a garage, watch for children walking or riding a bicycle.
  • When driving in neighborhoods or school zones, watch for young people who may be in a hurry to get to school and may not be thinking about getting there safely.

 

Tips for Parents

  • Be a good role model. Always buckle up in the car, always wear a helmet when biking, and always follow pedestrian safety rules. Do not text or talk on the phone while driving.
  • Supervise young children as they are walking or biking to school or as they wait at the school bus stop.
  • Provide your children with bright clothing so motorists can easily see them.
  • Make sure the child is properly buckled up in a weight-appropriate child safety seat in the back seat.
  • Make sure that your teen driver understands and obeys all state traffic laws.

 

Tips for Students

  • Always buckle up when riding in a car. Be sure to remove your backpack before getting in the vehicle. Never buckle your safety belt with your backpack on.
  • Always ride in the back seat. It’s the safest place for young people.
  • Always wear a helmet and follow traffic safety rules when riding your bike.
  • If you ride a school bus, learn and practice the safety rules for waiting at the bus stop, getting on and off the bus, and riding the bus. Never wait for the school bus in the roadway.
  • If you walk to school, learn and practice the safety rules for pedestrians. It’s extremely important for you to use sidewalk when available, look left-right-left when crossing the road, and always walk facing traffic.
  • Always cross at crosswalks, obey all traffic signs, traffic lights and crossing guard instructions.
  • Teen drivers should avoid speeding and minimize distractions (texting, talking on cell phones, eating, adjusting the radio) while driving. Teens are also reminded never to overload their vehicle; everyone riding in a vehicle must use a safety belt.
  • Be a good role model for your younger brothers and sisters and friends, and help them learn and follow vehicle safety rules.

 

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Negotiators for Broward teachers reach first contract agreement in three years

Posted on 18 August 2011 by LeslieM

From the Broward Teacher’s Union:

Officials with the Broward Teachers Union and the School Board of Broward County announced the first teacher tentative contract agreement in three years today during a joint press conference. With the tentative agreement comes $60 million in federal Race to the Top and School Improvement funds for Broward schools to implement new state and federal program requirements; $500 bonuses and no furloughs for the district’s 14,470 teachers.

“We are pleased to announce this tentative agreement was reached just three days before our members’ students arrive for the new school year,” BTU President Pat Santeramo said. “Negotiators had to consider that districts throughout the state are offering no pay increases for education professionals and many are asking teachers to take salary cuts through furloughs. This is the best possible agreement – albeit far from perfect — considering that we are in the worst economic downturn the State of Florida and the United States has experienced in decades.”

All members of the Broward Teachers Union Education Professionals Bargaining Unit will have the opportunity to review the tentative agreement, which is provided in outline form below, and vote electronically online in the coming weeks to approve or disapprove it.

Prior to his resignation, Superintendent Jim Notter had declared an impasse in contract negotiations for the second year in a row. The BTU had declared impasse the year prior to that. However, with the cooperation of his temporary replacement, Acting Superintendent Donnie Carter, the School Board named Employee Relations Specialist Dorothy Davis as the district’s new chief negotiator. BTU President Pat Santeramo, in turn, named the union’s Director of Field Services George Segna as the union’s new chief negotiator.

The two chief negotiators along with their teams were able to reach an agreement that closely approximates those offered in Miami-Dade and West Palm Beach schools and betters most other agreements reached by districts in the state. Miami-Dade teachers agreed to no raise, but also no furloughs or layoffs. West Palm Beach teachers agreed to a $500 bonus as well as no furloughs or layoffs. Nearly all school districts in the state have experienced disappointing increases in class sizes and horrific cuts to programs such as art, music, physical education, library media and guidance counseling among many others.

In exchange for no furloughs that will affect all other district employees, Broward teachers must agree to exchange two days off with pay during the Thanksgiving Holiday Week for completing a training checklist of new evaluation requirements stipulated by the federal Race to the Top program and the state’s new Senate Bill 736. Teachers are the only district staff members required by the state and federal government to complete the additional training.

Riding on the ability of the two sides to reach an agreement was $37 million in federal Race to the Top education funding and $23 million School Improvement Grant funds. The union must sign off on the district’s RT3 plan by Sept. 30 or the district would have likely not received the money, but due to Florida Senate Bill 736 would still have been required to implement many of its provisions. According to the district’s plan, the federal funds will be used to pay for the grant program’s requirements. As part of the contract agreement, committees consisting of district and union members will study the program’s plan as well as other important district issues.

Again, many of the Race to the Top Program’s requirements are included in Florida’s new Student Success Act (SB 736), which must be implemented per law, but state legislators provided no state funding for districts to do so. The state’s unfunded mandate would have drained millions of dollars from the district’s budget.

Many teachers have expressed interest in a Retirement Assistance Program (RAP) because they would like to leave the district through retirement, but cannot afford to do so. Negotiators agreed to form a committee to research the feasibility of a Retirement Assistance Program and to propose recommendations for implementing modifications for contract provisions that are required. The research and recommendations of the committee shall be rendered to the Superintendent and BTU’s President no later than January 31, 2012.

The following is a basic and preliminary BTU only outline of the agreement:

I. 2010 – 2011 School Year

1. No salary increase for the 2010-2011 school year.

2. SBBC will withdraw the Impasse declaration on the 2010-2011contract and, upon ratification and School Board approval of the Agreement, the parties can mutually agree to cancel the Impasse Hearing.

3. The parties will honor the Tentative Agreements (TAs) reached during the 2010-2011 EP Negotiations sessions.

4. The parties agree to sign off on an MOU authorizing committees to address:

a. Senate Bill 736 (Student Success Act)

b. The components of Race to the Top (RTTT)

c. Student Improvement Grant (SIG)

d. Differentiated Accountability (DA)

The committee makeup for the above mentioned committees will consist of an equal number from each party including current bargaining unit members and access to other experts in their respective fields.  The committee members shall be charged with reviewing issues related to their committees’ respective subjects and proposing recommendations for implementing modifications of contract revisions that are required by legislative mandates.  The recommendations of the committees shall be returned to the parties for negotiations no later than December 15, 2011.  The BTU agrees to enter into a signed agreement for the RTTT and SIG prior to September 15, 2011.

5. Suspend the provisions of Article 23(D)(17), Teacher Directed Improvement Funds, for the 2011-2012 school year.

6. The parties agree to sign a Memorandum of Understanding to conclude the 2010-2011 EP Negotiations with no changes in the contract language.  Tentative Agreements reached during these negotiations will roll over to the 2011-2012 school year.

II. 2011- 2012 School Year

1. All teachers will receive a one-time $500 bonus payment for the 2011-2012 school year.

2. All teachers will be required to take two (2) days off during the 2011-2012 school year (to be taken the Monday and Tuesday during the Thanksgiving week.)

3. Due to new evaluation requirements in the Student Success Act (SB 736), teachers may participate in two (2) paid days of training as a Race to the Top (RTTT) initiative.  For participating in training / study / activities related to the new evaluation system developed jointly with BTU, teachers shall be compensated at their hourly rate for the aforementioned training.  Failure to submit documentation of completion of the training/study/activities by May 14, 2012 shall result in the docking of salary for those days.  Such docking of salary shall not be subject to the overpayment provisions contained in Article 19, Section Q.

4. An employee may be employed in a teaching position outside of the District while on a Board approved leave of absence.

5. The District agrees to continue to pay 100% of the cost for HMO and Consumer Driven Plans (employee only) and to follow the funding formula in the contract for health insurance premiums for the 2011-2012 school year.

6. The contract term will be three years (August 13, 2011 through August 15, 2014) with reopeners for the 2012-2013 and 2013-2014 school years limited to recommendations of committees, two articles, insurance, and salary.   For the 2011-2012 school year reopeners will be limited to any articles needed to comply with recommendations of committees to comply with legislative mandates.

7. The parties agree to form a committee to research the feasibility of a Retirement Assistance Program (RAP) and proposing recommendations for implementing modifications for contract provisions that are required.  The research and recommendations of the committee shall be rendered to the Superintendent and the President of the BTU no later than January 31, 2012.

8. The parties agree to conduct a Joint Training for Principals and one (1) Steward from each school on the new evaluation process at a mutually agreeable date, time and location.

9. The parties agree to extend the MOU regarding Article 25 and Article 26 through 2011-2012 with an expansion of the participants and the revision of the deadline.

10. The parties agree to an MOU to develop Appendix Q (which may be renumbered) regarding requirements for seclusion and restraint of students required by Florida Statute.

As additional information becomes available about the upcoming electronic online contract ratification and related documents, it will be provided and posted online at www.BTUonline.com.

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Bank robbed in Deerfield Beach

Posted on 18 August 2011 by LeslieM

Just before 2pm today the Chase Bank at 1100 E. Hillsboro Blvd was robbed by an armed suspect.  Deputies quickly arrived on scene, gathered detailed information on the suspect and get away vehicle, and arrested him minutes later in the 4200 block of S. Federal Highway.

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Flicks: The Help & The Names of Love

Posted on 18 August 2011 by LeslieM

By Dave Montalbano

While attending a Family Reunion in Alabama, circa 1969, my dad made a point of introducing Annie Laurie to me. Annie Laurie was the Watson family cook for many decades.

My mom, aunt and 10 uncles kept in touch with Annie Laurie until she died a few years back. It is nice to know that my family treated Annie Laurie with more respect than the Southern Belles treat The Help in this movie based on Kathryn Stockett’s best-selling book.

Eugenia “Skeeter” Phelan (Emma Stone) returns from college and lands a job with the local newspaper, writing a “Dear Abby” column about household chores. Being a Dixie princess, Skeeter seeks advice from a friend’s help, Aibileen Clark (Viola Davis). Reluctant at first, Aibileen helps Skeeter with her column.

As Skeeter gains Aibileen’s trust, the young lady learns much about the subculture of The Help, black ladies who raise white women’s children. From cooking tasty food to changing diapers, these maids of Mississippi are the pillar of southern hospitality. Yet, in a culture where people are considered equal, but separate, the help are not allowed to use their employers’ bathrooms.

It is life’s details that plant the seeds of historical evolution. Ticket buyers witness the 1960s civil rights struggle of their neighbors. Director Tate Taylor takes Kathryn Stockett’s words and creates an entertaining motion picture with subtle depth.

Already, there is “Oscar” buzz about The Help. The SAG Awards will likely nominate The Help for Best Ensemble acting. 1970s veterans Sissy Spacek, Cicely Tyson and Mary Steenburgen sink their teeth into their small, but pivotal character roles, while Stone and Davis move the narrative along. Octavia Spencer will be remembered as the breakout star from this film.

Opening tomorrow is The Names of Love, a French romantic comedy that finds humor in religion, sex and politics.

Sara Forestier portrays Baya, an Algerian Arab hippie chick with leftist politics who is attracted to Arthur Martin (Jacques Gamblin) a straight-laced Jew whose parents are Holocaust survivors.

Taking a cue from Woody Allen movies, this film tackles dark themes with humor and has belly laughs involving social faux pas and Parisian nudity. Sara Forestier is a force to be reckoned with. She will next be seen in the U.S. as French pop star France Gall in Joann Sfar’s “Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life.”

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Locals compete in Junior Lifeguard state finals

Posted on 18 August 2011 by LeslieM

Pompano Beach’s Gwen Bencie wins the state championship in the Girls C Division Paddleboard event in the inaugural Florida State Junior Lifeguard Championships in Ft. Lauderdale recently. Photo by Gary Curreri

By Gary Curreri

Pompano Beach’s Gwen Bencie enjoys learning about the ocean.

The 10-year-old also enjoys competing and putting the two together while participating in the inaugural Florida State Junior Lifeguard Championships in Lauderdale recently.

“It’s mostly hard,” said Bencie, who competed for the Ft. Lauderdale Junior Lifeguard program the past two years. She won the Girls C Division Paddleboard event at the state competition.

“It teaches you how to save lives and rescue people. What you would really do if you were a lifeguard. I want to be a lifeguard when I am older. I think the competition is really important because I want to win and we can get points for the team.”

Bencie said her favorite event was the paddleboard, although she competed in all of the events.

“It’s fun,” Bencie added. “Sometimes, I go surfing and I like working out.”

Ft. Lauderdale scored 1,052 points to take the state title, while Pompano Beach was second with 668. Deerfield Beach was fourth with 289 points.

Mike Brown, 37, who has headed up the Deerfield Beach Junior Lifeguard program for the past 14 years, had 14 of his 70 junior guards competing in the event. Brown said two of his current city lifeguards came from the junior program.

“The benefits are you are teaching them water safety and teaching them how to save someone’s life,” Brown said. “You teach them how to identify dangerous water conditions and also how to use surf crafts like a paddleboard and how to catch waves.”

Deerfield Junior Lifeguard James Rivera, 14, a Boca High 9th grader, has been competing for five years and said it is fun.

“Sometimes winning is important,” said Rivera, who also swims for the Deerfield Beach Dolphins Swim Team. “It is pretty serious, but it is also fun, too, at the same time. It is a good experience.”

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