| February, 2017

New Grand Marshals for Pioneer Day parade

Posted on 18 February 2017 by JLusk

The Deerfield Beach Parks and Recreation Department would like to notify the public that unfortunately due to a family emergency, Jay Ajayi, will not be in attendance at the Pioneer Days parade this Saturday, February 18 at 10 a.m. The city is excited to announce that current Miami Heat players, James Johnson and Willie Reed, will be taking Jay Ajayi’s place as this year’s co-grand marshals!

Make sure to come out on Saturday, February 18th for the Pioneer Days Parade to give James Johnson and Willie Reed a warm Deerfield Beach welcome!

 For more information on the Pioneer Days event weekend or to sign up to participate in this year’s parade please visit: www.dfb.city/pioneerdays.

 For additional information, please contact the Community Events & Outreach Division at 954- 429-1847.

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FLICKS: Fanny’s Journey

Posted on 16 February 2017 by LeslieM

By “Cinema” Dave


Football withdrawal weekend provided box office gold for three motion pictures last weekend. The Lego Batman Movie, Fifty Shades Darker and John Wick: Chapter Two collectively earned more than 120 million dollars. In contrast, the Oscar best picture nominees, Hidden Figures, La La Land and Lion barely earned $16 million at the box office.

Fanny’s Journey, a French movie with English subtitles, opens tomorrow. Based on a true story, this is a beautiful drama about World War II.

After Mussolini’s downfall, Hitler’s agents ruthlessly order their leader’s Final Solution — eliminate any and all Jews. Seeing the writing on the wall, responsible adults export children to Switzerland. When the adult leading the refugees becomes separated from the children, 12-year-old Fanny leads the orphans to the promise land.

What makes Fanny’s Journey so fascinating to watch is the everyday heroics of Fanny’s actions. The protagonist does not outrun enemy machine gun fire with a soaring musical score. Instead, she must find a way to cook and feed the dozen of children she is responsible for. Heroism is found to be the daily routine.

While the threat of danger is consistent, Fanny’s Journey never loses a child’s perspective of the world. At certain times, the child-like wonder about the world is fresh and innocent; one scene features children splashing each other by a cool stream. In contrast, there are moments of danger in which silence is needed for survival, but one young child cannot control their verbose nature. The Nazi atrocity is not seen, but the deadly threat is felt throughout the film.

As the son of two World War II veterans, I am well versed with that history. Today’s youth are well-versed about the achievements of President Barack Obama. This weekend, young and old will be given the opportunity to meet Fanny Ben-Ami, who will be visiting the Delray and Living Room Theaters, which will be screening Fanny’s Journey. Call the theaters for special dates and times.

Save the date: for Wednesday, Feb. 22. Silverspot Theater in Coconut Creek will premier Year by the Sea, starring Karen Allen and based on the memoir by Joan Anderson. Both the actress and the author are expected to walk the red carpet for the 7 p.m. show.

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Posted on 16 February 2017 by LeslieM

Deerfield Beach

Jan. 31: A man stole a lottery ticket stand and lottery tickets from the counter of Stop N Go at 3774 NE 3 Ave.

Jan. 31: A man reported that someone tried to steal his truck and, in the process, damaged the exterior door lock and the ignition lock. The incident was reported at 1050 E. Newport Center Dr.

Jan. 31: A man reported that his residence at 1434 SE 2 Terr. was broken into and $1,500 in cash stolen.

Feb. 4: Someone broke into three cars parked at 4311 Crystal Lake Dr. From one of the cars, a laptop computer and a Florida driver’s license were stolen.

Feb. 4: A man reported that his 2002 Jaguar vehicle was stolen from in front of a business at 1444 SE 3 Ct.

Lighthouse Point

Jan. 28: The victim said he rented his home at 3719 NE 29 Ave. to a female through a credit card for $7,755.11. The credit card was later determined to be fraudulent and the amount was cancelled. The victim provided police with her contact information and contact was made with another female who said she was not aware of the incident and lived in West Palm Beach. Police said she also appears to be a victim in the incident.

Jan. 28: The victim said she lost her cardholder containing a driver’s license and debit card. She said the last place she remembered seeing it was while she was shopping at Publix at 3700 N. Federal Hwy.

Jan. 31: A 9-year-old golden retriever was found in a backyard of a residence at 2761 NE 48 Ct. The owner of the dog responded and told police that someone had done work at his residence and left the gate open where the dog got loose.

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Posted on 16 February 2017 by LeslieM

Pioneer Days

Friday, Feb. 17, 5 to 10 p.m.

Saturday, Feb. 18, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Sunday, Feb. 19-10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Main Beach Parking Lot

149 SE 21 Ave.

Deerfield Beach, FL 33441

Deerfield Beach celebrates its roots with this festival that features a carnival, arts and crafts, food vendors, live entertainment and a Saturday parade (at 10 a.m.) which concludes with a grand fireworks show. See details on Pg. 4 and also in our special section.

Deerfield Beach Island Community Assoc. meets

Thursday, Feb. 16, 6:30 p.m.

Community Presbyterian Church

Briggs Hall

1920 SE 5 St.

Deerfield Beach FL 33441

Speakers, John Beckford, director Broward County Commission, District 4, and William Troy, CPT, a gifted educator and diagnostician. For more information, visit www.DBICA.com.

Wine & Cheese Pioneer Days Kick-off Celebration

Thursday, Feb. 16, 8 p.m.

Butler House

380 E. Hillsboro Blvd.

Deerfield Beach, FL 33441

$10. For more information, call 954-429-0378 or visit www.deerfield-history.org.

Movies on the Lawn — Dolphin Tale

Friday Feb. 17, 7 p.m.

Great Lawn

Intersection of Atlantic Blvd. & Pompano Beach Blvd.

Pompano Beach, FL 33062

Free, family-friendly event. Bring lawn chairs, blankets and picnics. For more information, call 954-786-4111 or visit www.pompanobeachfl.gov.

Pet Expo

Saturday, Feb. 18, noon to 4 p.m.

Pompano Citi Centre

1955 N. Federal Hwy.

Pompano Beach, FL 33062

The annual event will feature Pet Costume Contest, Q&A session with Banfield Pet Hospital staff and Puppy Kissing Booth. Sponsored by 99.9 FM Kiss Country. Enjoy music and Carousel rides. Free event. Leashed pets are welcome. For more information, visit www.pompanociticentre.com.

Beach Dance

Tuesday, Feb. 21, 7 to 9 p.m.

Main Beach Parking Lot

149 SE 21 Ave.

Deerfield Beach, FL 33441

Johnny Vincent will be playing. Wear dancing shoes and bring beach chair. Free event. For more information, call 954-480-4429.

Save the Date: Paws for a Cause

Sunday, Feb. 26, 2 to 6 p.m.

Baja Café

1310 S. Federal Hwy.

Deerfield Beach, FL 33441

Pet Adoption, raffle and prizes. Baja Café will donate a portion of your check to Canine Companions for Independence, a non-profit organization that enhances lives of people with disabilities. Sponsored by GFWC Woman’s Club of Deerfield Beach. For more information, call 954-596-1304.

Save the Date: Sundays at the Butler House

Sunday, Feb. 26, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Butler House

380 E. Hillsboro Blvd.

Deerfield Beach, FL 33441

Theme: Backyard Garage Sale, lots of treasures for sale. Also, “Grow Deerfield” DFB Farmer’s Market. For more information, call 954-429-0378 or Visit www.deerfield-history.org.

Worth the Drive: Speaker Series: Ted Koppel

Wednesday, Feb. 22, 7:30 p.m.

Broward Center for the Performing Arts

Amaturo Theatre

201 SW 5 Ave.

Fort Lauderdale, FL 33312

Topic: “Breaking News: A Look around the Globe.” Koppel is a former anchor and managing editor for ABC’s Nightline. Tickets: $60. Purchase at www.BrowardCollegeSpeakerSeries.com.

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CLERGY CORNER: Share the Love

Posted on 16 February 2017 by LeslieM

And now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is LOVE.” — [I Corinthians 13:13]

I like doing weddings. Weddings are a lot of fun. It is always an honor and a joy to celebrate with a couple and their families the unity of two people, two families and, sometimes, two cultures. I consider myself blessed to have met so many fascinating people. And there is a satisfaction that cannot be described when a couple, whose marriage you performed, comes to church pushing a stroller with a newborn. I always feel like I am, in some way, a part of that miracle, and that is a great honor.

Couples who want to get married love I Corinthians 13. The “Love Chapter” is one of the most “romantic” chapters in the Bible. There is just one problem. Paul was not writing about romantic love, but Godly love. Because I Corinthians 13 is used so frequently at weddings, single people who are not in relationships, think that it doesn’t pertain to them. The fact that the author, St. Paul, was a confirmed bachelor, escapes notice. Also, the fact that romance was the last thing on Paul’s mind, seldom gets mentioned. And that is why I bring up to all of you who think I Corinthians 13 is the sole possession of the happily married, it isn’t. This is God’s love letter to you. I Corinthians 13 belongs to everybody and so does Love.

When Valentine’s Day comes, dating and married people celebrate while single people are often left out. A single person may even say, “I haven’t found love yet.” I find that to be the saddest statement of all.

When I looked up Valentine’s Day, I discovered that this was a holiday that celebrated the contributions of a Christian martyr who lost his life by refusing to deny his faith. St. Valentine, like St. Paul, was a confirmed bachelor. And when he befriended the jailor’s daughter, he wrote her a letter of encouragement in her newfound faith. He signed it “Your Valentine.” This was not a romantic letter, but it was a love letter nevertheless. Valentine shared God’s love with a Christian convert.

Now, this legend varies as it is told and retold. How a perfectly platonic letter between a brother in faith written to a sister in faith could be the inspiration for a holiday which seems to be the sole possession of the happily dating or the happily married is beyond me.

I say it is time to give this holiday back to all people. Let us take time to write “love letters” to our friends who stuck with us through thick and thin. Let us write “love letters” to single and widowed people who are especially lonely on Valentine’s Day. Let us write “love letters” to our brother and sisters in faith who worship with us on a regular basis and could use a little reminder that they are loved. And yes, we carry on the celebration of marriage and courtship as well.

Love belongs to all people. Let us share it [even if it is after Valentine’s Day. Love can be shared all year long!]

Pastor Gross is a pastor of Zion Lutheran Church, located at 959 SE 6 Ave., Deerfield Beach, FL 33441. For more information, call 954-421-3146 or visit www.zion-lutheran.org.

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Mayor’s Forum Part 3

Posted on 14 February 2017 by LeslieM

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Review: BRIO Tuscan Grille

Posted on 11 February 2017 by JLusk


Start your meal with delicious calamari served with marinara and garlic aioli.

By Rachel Galvin

BRIO Tuscan Grille has become a go-to locale for Italian lovers over the last five years. Nestled within the Shops at Boca Center, the restaurant has a wide range of specialties, from Gorgonzola Crusted Beef Medallions to Veal or Chicken Milanese, Balsamic Braised Beef Short Rib to Prosciutto Wrapped Pork Tenderloin, and more. They have brought in lighter selections like quinoa and farro, to name a few, and even have a gluten free menu available.

One of General Manager Elvin Baoilli’s favorites is the Kale Caesar Salad. The key is taking the kale and preparing it ahead of time by marinating it with virgin olive oil.

Walking up to BRIO, you hear the muted hum of happy customers chatting while sitting on the outdoor patio, a perfect place for people watching. Inside, they have a full bar and plenty of places to sit in its large interior. But the place gets busy so making a reservation is a good idea.

Ready to try what BRIO has to offer? Start with an appetizer. A great choice is the calamari. It is perfectly cooked, slightly crispy and served with your choice of garlic aioli or marinara sauce, perfect for sharing. Next, you may want to try their Shrimp and Lobster Fettuccine, one of their specialties. The shrimp, especially, bursts with flavor. Even traditional standards like Pasta a la Vodka serve up some surprises here. Each piece of pasta is actually like a little purse that wraps around the delicious goodness inside. Whatever selection you choose, pair it with one of their wine selections, which come via bottle or glass. Don’t forget dessert. Their tiramisu come refreshingly cold and deliciously creamy.

Although their menu may have changes, their dedication to flavor has remained the same, according to one of the chefs, Sous Chef Steve Shoemaker, but the presentation has changed to a more rustic feel.

“We want people to feel like they are eating in their own home,” he said, adding that even some of the crockery feels more homestyle.

Try this specialty: lobster and shrimp fettuccine.

BRIO is a franchise so they have plenty of restaurants around the country, including 14 locations in South Florida alone. They also do catering.

The Boca Raton restaurant is located at 5050 Town Center Circle, Ste. 239. For more information, call 561-392-3777 or visit

Their Pasta alla Vodka has little pasta “purses” filled with delicious goodness.





No Italian meal is complete without dessert. Try the tiramisu. In the background is the Torta di Cioccolata. Pair with one of their coffee selections.

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Mayor’s Forum Part 1

Posted on 11 February 2017 by LeslieM

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Mayor’s Forum Part 2

Posted on 11 February 2017 by LeslieM

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Digital Art Pioneer: Laurence Gartel

Posted on 10 February 2017 by JLusk

By Rachel Galvin

Photo by Michael Colerano.

He has been called the “Father of Digital Art.” Every swirl, flourish and shape of his artwork is looked upon with great interest. Every colorful combination on his digital palette is studied. After all, he developed an artistic genre and has worked with countless celebrities. He even helped Pop Art superstar Andy Warhol learn the new media. And this internationally-known artist is right here in our own backyard.

Laurence Gartel lives in Boca Raton. His newest canvas … cars … have been seen in more car shows and festivals than can be named, including the Downtown Drive car show in Mizner Park. He was recently part of Art Fort Lauderdale, a new art fair, and can be seen in his online TV show on VIP Television. He utilized his unique style for the official artwork for the 57th Annual Grammy Awards, a poster for Britney Spears and much more. He currently has an exhibit showing in Italy, showcasing both his work and Warhol’s. Gartel took time to talk with The Observer about his life and art.

“I was an artist from birth,” he began. “My first memory is crawling out of my crib and outlining my sleeping mother with red lipstick. I drew around her as she slept … up the wall and around the bed sheets.”

His artistic curiosity was nurtured by an artistic family. His father was a painting contractor in New York City with a strong passion for music. His mother, whom he classifies as “a piece of work” used knowledge and language as her medium. One of his aunts was an Off-Broadway actress, with children who did jewelry design, photography and worked for folk festivals; another aunt who was a clothing and accessory designer, with children involved in modern dance.

He met Andy Warhol at Studio 54.

“Everyone who was anyone could congregate there,” he said. “It was a magnet for artists of all skills: Truman Capote, Diana Vreeland, Halston, Mick Jagger … the list went on. It was there that I struck up a conversation with Warhol about the potentials of Computer Art. He invited me to his studio to help him learn the Amiga Computer. He was very shy and I showed him the toolbox and how to use the video camera to input images into the system.”

In the ’80s, Gartel showed off his “Moz Ocean” piece, a Polaroid SX-70 mural consisting of 324 individual prints, at PS1 in Long Island City and the Long Beach Museum of California. But it was the creation of the First Digital Art Cover for Forbes Magazine in 1989 that really got him attention. The same year, he released his book, Laurence M. Gartel: A Cybernetic Romance, and had a museum show called Laurence Gartel: Nuvo Japonica at the Joan Whitney Payson Gallery at Westbrook College in Portland, Maine.

“On this momentous occasion, I replaced Van Gogh’s ‘Irises,’ which was previously sold at auction for $53 million dollars. Just imagine hanging your work on the very same wall where this painting was on view for years – What an incredible thrill as an artist (a digital artist at that),” he said.

Among his favorite projects are creating the first Solar Powered Satellite Art Truck in Hamburg, Germany and driving it through five countries, arriving in Monte Carlo as the Official Artist of the Monaco International Film Festival. He also created the art for the NASA Magnetospheric Multiscale Mission (MMS) launch at Kennedy Space Center, a Dodge Viper Art Car for the Los Angeles Street Art Fair, and was the visionary for the 3D Print Show in Santa Clara. Another great moment was being asked to be the keynote speaker at the First Pan Pacific Conference in Melbourne, Australia in 1985. Recently, he was the featured artist of the Oslo Motor Show in Norway creating a BMW Art Car LIVE in front of 40,000 people. He just created a collection of unique cigar boxes filled with Cuban seed cigars from JRE Tobacco Farms in Honduras. It was his first “painting” commission in traditional media since 1973.

He first created his art cars in 2010 when TESLA Electric Car Company came to him and asked him to produce an art car that they could showcase during Art Basel Miami Beach that year.

“I held an event at Nikki Beach to unveil the car, as well as having a fashion show of Gartel clothing – some of the pieces matching the vehicle. It was over the top outrageous and the car went viral on the Internet to over 25,000 websites. Some of these sites can still be found on the Internet.”

He is commissioned to wrap vehicles. He utilizes his own custom software, something that was created for him when he went to India to make a Bollywood film/ music video. In addition, he uses antiquated 3D programs that are no longer available, making the images that much more unique.

“What’s old is new, so people have never seen such kind of imagery,” he explained.

He is embracing new technology as well.

“I started doing 3D Printing in 2008 for a private client who thought it would be a great challenge, and it was! It took at least 12 people and about a year to get the whole thing right. I went $75,000 over budget as well, which was not pleasant, but, back in the beginning days of this new medium, it was painstaking. The final ‘sculpture’ (now called a ‘3D-Print’ because there is no chiseling to be a sculpture) is an 18 in. object in red plastic material. I consider it a great triumph and innovation in art,” he said.

He added, “I have used every new piece of hardware and software along the way. I implemented new ways of working equipment that the manufacturers never thought of. Innovation comes from ‘trial and error,’ and it is usually the errors that make for greatness!”

Gartel has traveled the world, but enjoys living in Florida. He moved here from New York after being showcased in a retrospective show at the Norton Museum of Art in West Palm Beach in 1991.

“I was treated so well that I decided to move here with my family. I wanted to give my children a better life than the hustle and bustle of New York City,” he said.

He even created this poster for Britney Spears.

Laurence was selected to do the official artwork for the 57th Annual Grammy Awards.

Laurence is well known for his artistic cars.

Working on Apple II, circa 1980.

Laurence’s latest venture– cigar boxes!

For more information on this artistic pioneer, visit www.gartelart.com.








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