LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Posted on 28 September 2017 by LeslieM

Dear Editor:

A recent form of protest has been NFL players ‘taking a knee’ during the playing of the Star Spangled Banner prior to the playing of a football game. This has been their way of protesting that “Black Lives Matter,” and more recently protesting to show that they can protest (when the president weighted in critically on the situation). Maybe this is a good idea, and we all have the right to ‘take a knee’ if we don’t agree with something. Maybe a first responder has the right to ‘take a knee’ if there is a threat to those people in a peaceful protest in which he disagrees with the politics of the protest. Perhaps there are other responders who have a right to take a knee in response to the first set of responders taking a knee. This could be big. A whole new industry of men’s pants with reinforced knees is in the making. Wait a second … I think I had a pair of those pants in kindergarten. I don’t think any first responders would ever take a knee. (It doesn’t resonate with being a first responder.) And maybe we all need to grow up. But just maybe … we really need to take a knee, from taking a knee.

Michael Routburg

Deerfield Beach, FL

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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Posted on 30 August 2017 by LeslieM

Dearest friends,

Having gone through Hurricane Andrew 25 years ago and leaving home with only a laundry basket of wet things, my heart goes out to the people of Texas.

Due to the devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey, my friends and I from Kiwanis clubs throughout Florida have asked how we can help the affected areas. Although you may donate or help any way you see fit, we have been provided with the following information. You can be guaranteed that 100 percent of your donation will go to the families and not for any sort of administration costs.

We will be working directly with the Kiwanis clubs in the Houston, Galveston, Port Aransas, Victoria, Baytown, Rockport and Pasadena areas. They will be distributing boxes of personal items to people in need. If you would like to donate funds to this effort, please use the PayPal button on their district website to donate or send checks to Kiwanis Club of Deerfield Beach, PO Box 1105, Deerfield Beach, FL 33443 with “Disaster Relief Fund” written in the memo.

If you prefer to make a tax deductible donation, please send a check to the address below and mark the check as a donation to the disaster relief fund:
Texas-Oklahoma Kiwanis Foundation, Inc.
3010 W Park Row Dr #100
Pantego, TX 76013
(The district foundation is a 501C3 organization and all donations are tax deductible).

If you prefer to donate to the disaster relief fund of the Kiwanis International Children’s Fund, you can donate online and select “Please direct my gift to: Disaster Relief Fund.”

You can also use your cell phone and text “Aid” to 50155.

Checks can be made payable to Kiwanis Children’s Fund and “Disaster Relief Fund” written in the memo or pledge form. Please send checks to:
Kiwanis Children’s Fund
P.O. Box 6457 – Dept #286
Indianapolis, IN 46206
All USA Donations are tax-deductible in the U.S.

Kerri Gordon

Deerfield Beach Kiwanian

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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Posted on 10 August 2017 by LeslieM

Dear Editor,

Please explain to me the reason for the mandatory right hand turn lane off of east bound Hillsboro onto Dixie? By the time drivers realize they are in a mandatory turn lane they try to jump left into the center lane causing drivers to brake and swerve. Then, if you are trying to turn right onto 2nd street, just over the tracks, there’s drivers who didn’t abide by the rules and they almost side swipe you.

They didn’t put in a mandatory right hand turn lane west bound off Hillsboro onto Dixie? Right hand turn lanes move themselves. The right hand turn lane onto US1 south bound, makes sense because Hillsboro turns into two lanes.

John Kaufman

Deerfield Beach

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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Posted on 11 May 2017 by LeslieM

Dear Editor:

I’ve been following the Deerfield Beach-Hillsboro sand erosion problem with great interest. I live in this area (over 25 years) and have always observed the natural ebb and flow of beach sand. Yes, there are times when there’s less sand as a result of wave action; however, this illustrates the natural ebb and flow of the sand.

Hillsboro has re-nourished their beach at least three times that I’m aware of yet never, let me repeat, never have I observed any attempt on their part to retain the sand. They claim the Deerfield Beach groins block the natural flow, however, the beach looks full to me. Their erosion problem is not caused by our groin system. Deerfield Beach doesn’t allow structures to be built on the beach. Hillsboro does, with condos built right up on the sand to the high water line. Could that be a cause of their problem?

To quote their Mayor:

Hillsboro Beach spent $17 million in 17 years on beach remediation. The last major nourishment done by the Town was in 2011 at a cost of $6.1 million, financed with a 10-year loan that retires in 2020. The sand from the 2011 nourishment was gone by 2014, leaving six years of payments for a beach no longer there. Since the cost of sand is rising exponentially as the resource becomes more and more scarce, the next major nourishment is estimated to cost as much as triple the 2011 expense.”

My question is why have they never made any attempts to retain the sand? Rather than fix the blame (on Deerfield Beach) perhaps they should look at ways to fix their problem. Just my 2 cents.

Henry Gould

Deerfield Beach

[Response from Hillsboro Beach]: The best way to understand the situation between Hillsboro Beach and Deerfield Beach is to think of the water wars out west. Water flows downstream, and so does the sand on our coastline. Building structures to trap the natural sand-flow starves downdrift beaches, just like damming water on a river harms people downstream. Deerfield has 56 sand-trapping structures called groins. Since the rock piles go all the way to the municipal line, the final scouring effect created by the structures is forced downstream into Hillsboro Beach. Building more structures simply pushes erosion to another place. Pompano Beach (and sea turtles) would not be very happy with Hillsboro Beach if Hillsboro were to install manmade structures all along our coastline; and, in reality, a massive groin field that pushes erosion into another municipality would not be approved today.

Deerfield was given permission to build their groins over 50 years ago. Coastal science has come a long way since then, but, even 50 years ago, downdrift erosion was acknowledged in the permits granted to Deerfield. In order for Deerfield to be allowed to build those structures, they had to accept certain conditions. One of the conditions, clearly stated in the permits, is that any downdrift damage caused by the groins is the responsibility of the permittee to rectify at the permittee’s expense – the permittee being Deerfield.

Yes, the beach erodes and accretes because occasionally the flow of sand reverses itself for a short period of time, like it did for a couple of weeks last month. Ultimately, however, the sand flows far more often from north to south on our coastline, and manmade structures that interrupt that flow always cause erosion on the downdrift side. Most people would agree, building more structures would only create more problems for our fragile beach environment.

Deb Tarrant, Mayor

Town of Hillsboro Beach

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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Posted on 04 May 2017 by LeslieM

RE: Hillsboro Beach suing Deerfield over sand issue

Dear Neighbors,

Today [April 24], the Town of Hillsboro Beach took formal legal action against the City of Deerfield Beach.

Standing in for the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), as authorized under 120.69 Florida Statutes, the Town’s formal Petition charges Deerfield with ignoring the conditions set forth in the permits that allowed the City to build a series of sand-trapping groins/rock piles in the late 50s and early 60s. The groins run the entire length of Deerfield’s one-mile beach, with a structure placed approximately every 100 ft.

The permit condition with the greatest impact on Hillsboro Beach stipulates that downdrift damage (a well-known byproduct of groins) to adjacent properties is Deerfield’s responsibility to remedy. In short, Deerfield was given permission to build the groins only after agreeing that it is Deerfield’s responsibility to cover the cost of dealing with subsequent downdrift erosion.

Instead, while Deerfield has enjoyed a beautiful beach provided by the sand-trapping function of the groins, Hillsboro Beach taxpayers have paid to repair the damage caused by these structures. Today’s legal action is an effort to enforce the permit conditions and move the cost of the remediation where it legally belongs. Given that permit conditions do not have a statute of limitation, the conditions enumerated in Deerfield’s permits remain in effect as long as the structures remain in the water.

The Town initially reached out to Deerfield for relief on Oct. 27, 2015 at a joint meeting of 24 people, which included legal counsel, engineers and representatives from the municipalities, as well as from DEP. At that time, Deerfield’s City Manager stated that Deerfield had “no intention of spending a nickel” to help address the erosion in Hillsboro Beach. During the next 18 months, Deerfield’s combative, belligerent attitude has not shifted. At substantial expense to Deerfield taxpayers, the City immediately hired a well-known team of litigating attorneys who have repeatedly shown no interest in successful negotiations/mediation. As a result, the Town has been left with no alternative but to seek a remedy through the court system.

The rising cost of sand has made it unsustainable for Hillsboro Beach residents to continue to pay for Deerfield’s beautiful beach. Hillsboro Beach spent $17 million in 17 years on beach remediation. The last major nourishment done by the Town was in 2011 at a cost of $6.1 million, financed with a 10-year loan that retires in 2020. The sand from the 2011 nourishment was gone by 2014, leaving six years of payments for a beach no longer there. Since the cost of sand is rising exponentially as the resource becomes more and more scarce, the next major nourishment is estimated to cost as much as triple the 2011 expense.

Today’s action is the first step to force Deerfield to honor their legal commitment to be responsible for downdrift damage caused by its sand-trapping groins. [See more about Sand, Pg. 1]

Deb Tarrant

Mayor, Town of

Hillsboro Beach

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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Posted on 05 April 2017 by LeslieM

RE: Code Enforcement

Dear Editor:

How about stopping code enforcement from citing residents who don’t plant sod. Sod is not native to south Florida. Sod is environmentally wrong for this area. It needs water, fertilizer and pesticides. Water restrictions are being continually applied to communities across the state. Fertilizers and pesticides run off into area canals causing algae blooms and fish kills. To force folks to plant and maintain sodded lawns is environmental suicide to fresh water. What ever happened to xeriscape project? To quote Marjorie Stoneman Douglas “Water is Florida’s life blood.”

Ray Bish

Deerfield Beach, FL

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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Posted on 30 March 2017 by LeslieM

Thank you from new Dist. 4 commissioner

I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone for your trust and confidence in making me your new District 4 commissioner.

The next four years will present unique challenges to our district and city as a whole, first and foremost being the proposed construction to SW 10 Street and its I-95 and Sawgrass Expressway/Turnpike connections. You can rest assured that I will be closely monitoring this matter and reporting to you any updates. There is an FDOT event on April 6; I’ve included all of the details in the events below. I strongly encourage you all to attend.

To better serve you, I will be holding Saturday office hours from 10 a.m. to noon on the first Saturday of each month. We will begin April 1 and appointments will be necessary so please feel free to call the City Manager’s Office at 954-480-4263 to schedule your appointment as they are expected to fill-up quickly. Additional Saturdays may be added depending on the response. I look forward to the next four years and the opportunity to serve you in any way I can.

Todd Drosky

Dist. 4 Commissioner

RE: Beach preservation

Dear Editor:

Many thanks to Patrick Bardes, Deerfield Beach’s Coastal & Waterway Coordinator for the effort he is making in preserving our beaches.

This effort to install plantings along the beach uses volunteers from youth organizations and commerce, especially TD Bank. The ecology experts come from the Audubon Society and Deerfield government. Many thanks to all!

The local elected officials and City Manager would do well to strongly support these efforts.

First, the plantings will mature over time and significantly reduce blowing sand onto the boardwalk while building the dunes. I overlook the boardwalk and the cost in labor and machinery from each wind event is expensive. The faster the plantings are installed the lower the cost will be. It is a solid and significant return on investment.

Second, the plantings are far, far more aesthetically attractive than the old black plastic and current brown fabric wind-screens that stretch most of the beach. Face it, they are simply ugly and have a high labor cost each time installed and taken down. A lot of the seniors who look at the ocean from the benches and grass areas are blocked from viewing.

Lastly, the plantings set the stage for future more attractive plantings of low lying scrubs that will be even more effective and attractive.

The hotels, condos and frequent users of the beach should strongly support this effort with volunteers and resources where possible. It is to everyone’s benefit.

George Cherenack

Deerfield Beach, FL

Thank you from new mayor

I would like to thank every single one of you in District 4 for your unwavering support, your input and, most importantly, your voice over the last 8 years. I also want to take this opportunity to thank you for your vote. It will be my greatest honor and privilege to serve District 4 and all of Deerfield Beach for the next four years as your Mayor.

It gives me great pleasure to introduce Todd Drosky to all of you as your new District 4 Commissioner. I have worked closely with Mr. Drosky over the years and feel confident that District 4 is in good hands. Todd will listen to you and he will fight for you. I am proud to welcome him as my esteemed colleague on this new, united City Commission.

You can now find me on Twitter @DFB_MayorGanz. You can tweet your questions or send me a direct message. If social media isn’t your thing, just email me at bganz@deerfield-beach.com.

FDOT Tree Removal Along Hillsboro Boulevard

I want to thank those of you who came out to our Regular Commission Meeting last Tuesday and voiced your opinions about the trees that have gone noticeably missing from the medians/swales along Hillsboro Boulevard in recent weeks.

As many of you are aware, the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) is working on a roadway improvement project along Hillsboro Boulevard, from Military Trail to Federal Highway/US-1. This project will be completed in two phases. Phase one, which is currently underway, is from Military to Dixie Highway and phase two is from Dixie Highway to Federal Highway.

This project unfortunately, impacts our urban Tree Canopy, which is essentially the layer of trees that cover the ground when viewed from above. Much to our surprise, State Transportation Landscape Architect, Jeff Caster stated at a recent presentation that their agency does not mitigate the trees that they remove from the canopy.

Protecting the integrity of our city’s canopy is important for environmental as well as economic reasons. Trees can help us combat climate change, enhance air quality and conserve energy. “The appearance of healthy foliage can also be a stimulus to economic development, attracting business and tourism and can increase property values and commercial benefits,” according to the USDA Forest Service, Arbor Day Foundation.

I believe trees are vital to our community and I am disappointed that a state agency like FDOT does not take better measures to replant those trees that are removed for their state-owned roadway projects.

I want the public to be assured that we are doing all that we can to mitigate the results. FDOT removed twelve Mahogany trees between Martin Luther King, Jr., and Dixie Highway. Our City Landscape Architect fought to keep one of those specimen trees and three native Oak trees in the medians. Trees will be replanted at the cost of the city along areas identified by FDOT, near the sidewalks.

Rest assured the City will make every effort to replace as many trees as we can. Replacing large trees is an expensive endeavor and one that was not contemplated; therefore, I can tell you that this will be discussed and considered during our summer budget workshops. I encourage everyone to attend.

Bill Ganz

Mayor

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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Posted on 29 December 2016 by LeslieM

Re: New Dog Park

Dear Editor:

My name is Joseph Batavia, and I live on the east side of Deerfield Beach. Due to my disabilities, I have a young service dog named “Baby.” Baby needs regular exercise, and is in training for the second phase of her certification, but there are currently no dog parks in Deerfield Beach. To get to the nearest dog park, Baby and I must take a bus, wait an hour to take a second bus, then walk to the dog park. A visit to the dog park takes Baby and me an entire day. I have had knee injuries, so walking that far is not practical for me. A dog park is planned for the west side of Deerfield Beach. I think we also need a dog park on the east side of Deerfield Beach, so other volunteers and I are circulating a petition to put a dog park east of U.S.1, as well.

Besides fulfilling my personal needs, I want to do something that will benefit our community as a whole. Dog parks will provide healthy exercise and recreation for the many dogs and dog owners who live in our community. Dogs can run free, play catch, and maybe enjoy a doggie fitness course, all without disturbing other park users.

I like to think that helping my community is a way of carrying on my father’s legacy. I lost my father, Andrew, “Drew” Batavia, when I was 12 years old. He was a quadriplegic as a result of breaking his neck in a car accident when he was 16 years old, but he didn’t let his disability stop him from having a full life. He graduated from Harvard Law School and from Stanford Medical School with a Master’s Degree in Health Services Research, went on to become a White House Fellow and to write the regulations for the Americans with Disabilities Act, (ADA). He advocated for the rights of people with disabilities, worked to establish national healthcare, and presented Amicus briefs in the U.S. and Florida Supreme Courts in support of assisted dying. He taught Health Law at Florida International University, and left behind extensive publications in support of the causes he believed in.

My goal is to get 15,000 signatures to bring to the Jan. 17, 2017 commission meeting. So far I have obtained over 200 signatures. However, due to my disabilities, walking around to get the signatures has proven too difficult. I have been attempting to seek permission from the City of Deerfield Beach to use one of their parks or facilities to allow people to stop by and sign the petition at one location. As of today, I have yet to receive a response. If you have any ideas or would like to help, please call me at 561-945-7087.

Joseph Batavia

Deerfield Beach

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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Posted on 10 November 2016 by LeslieM

RE: Type of government – LHP

Dear Editor:

[Mr. Bentz is seeking to change the form of government in Lighthouse Point from a “strong mayor” system to a “city manager” based system, which he feels is more modern. He presented his points at a Nov. 8 commission meeting].

I have copied below a portion of our City Charter that sets out the powers and duties that a newly elected “strong mayor” must be ready to assume and to carry out.

1) Supervising, directing and coordinating the activities of the city’s executive branch including its operating departments.

2) Enforcing within the city the provisions of the charter, city ordinances and all laws of the State of Florida.

3) Exercising powers granted to him in this charter and the laws of the State of Florida, concerning the appointment and removal of certain administrative employees and members of boards, commissions and committees.

4) Submitting annually to the commission for its consideration an operating budget and a capital improvement program and budget.

5) Exercising such other powers and performing such other duties as may be prescribed by this charter, by ordinance or resolution, or by applicable laws of the State of Florida.

6) Unless otherwise provided herein, the mayor shall be the appointing authority of all officers in the executive branch, subject to the approval of the city commission.

What would the average business person, with no prior government management experience, know about our charter, our hundred plus pages of city ordinances and all laws of the State of Florida?

If I asked all our former mayors, most of whom were former commissioners, if they ever read our charter or code of ordinances before or after being elected, I am sure the answer would be no. Most of our mayors have been persons with full-time jobs or professions and with families to raise. How much time do you think they could devote to administering and being responsible for the activities of 50 or so employees and their department heads. At least our current mayor is a CPA and he may understand the internal working of our entire budget.

Think about our residents willing to seek election and serve as our new mayor. They should not be held responsible to cure the errors or mistakes that were made by prior mayors.

Leo L. Bentz

Lighthouse Point, FL

RE: Caboose’s rails moved

Dear Editor:

On Saturday, Nov. 5, we moved three 30 ft. sections of historic vintage railroad trackage from the old Florida East Coast Railway/Deerfield Builders Supply siding to the grounds of the Old School House Park.

Once again, the dynamic duo of Bill Muenzenmaier and Dan Bogner led the charge starting at O-dark thirty [at the site] with FEC Rail security and safety staff on-hand.

Abundant thanks to Joe Williams and Allegiance Crane for their seamlessly professional lift out, transport and spotting on the new rail bed at City Hall.

Again thanks to the Florida East Coast Railway for their generosity in donating the rail trackage.

As anticipated, many (actually most) of the 70-90 year old railroad ties did not survive the lift out and we’ll need to replace approximately 40. We have the ties on site at old Deerfield Builders Supply and will need to transfer them to Old School House site and mobilize labor to lift the track sections and position and spike in the replacement ties. Volunteers anyone?

The caboose’s interior has been completely gutted (thanks Bill and Dan!) and prepared for its ultimate restoration.

Roof repairs, already underway, will be completed during the next 10 days and then we’ll be ready for the big move.

Many thanks again to Charlie DaBrusco and his crew for the perfect site preparation. Outstanding!

Ed Dietrich, Jr.

Deerfield Beach Historical Society

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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Posted on 03 November 2016 by LeslieM

Dear Editor,

In answer to Mr. Forman’s letter of last week, I wish to state I am in agreement with him when he says that in the past District 3’s commissioner forgot about at least half of the district. That has to change. Where a commissioner lives is not the problem, but how he thinks and acts is. Too many years have passed where a policy of us against them has been the accepted way you have been treated. We have to be united with each resident having equal representation. That way we can grow the District to be the best it can be. When all of District 3 along with Commissioner Ganz delayed the 10th Street project from starting by banding together and fighting to protect our whole district, we succeeded.

Bernie Parness

Deerfield Beach, FL

RE: Election

Editor’s Note:

The election is less than a week away. This year, it seems more than ever, lines have been drawn and people have adamantly declared their affiliations in harsh rhetoric, or they have, with frustration, said “none of the above.” Who you vote for is a personal decision and a right in our democracy not to be taken lightly. Who you choose will come down to what matters affect you and your family. Take the time to do the research for yourself on each issue and candidate to help you make the decision that best meets your needs and reflects your personal values. On page 7, there is a ballot for your reference showcasing issues and candidates that affect our area. The recommendations made do not necessarily reflect the opinion of all of The Observer staff.

 

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