LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Posted on 30 April 2015 by L.Moore

Relay For Life appreciates Community Support

Dear Editor:

On behalf of the Relay For Life of Deerfield Beach/ Lighthouse Point & Hillsboro Beach, we thank these wonderful communities and Deerfield Broward Sheriff’s Office (BSO) for the overwhelming support for our Relay — which took place April 18 and 19.

We could not have made this happen without our outstanding committee.

We had 40 teams, 360 participants, and we raised close to $100,000 to-date — and there is still money coming in.

Special thanks to the City of Deerfield Beach for providing the many resources that contributed to the success that it was.

We also appreciate the numerous sponsors and other businesses, including the Deerfield Observer, that supported us.

This was truly communities coming together to Finish the Fight and MAKE A DIFFERENCE!

Karen Hardy, Event Chair,

Deerfield Beach

Nona Breitenstein, Event

Co-Chair, Lighthouse Point

Drunk, obnoxious boaters and jet skiers

Dear Editor:

Here we are, again, dealing with dozens of drunk, obnoxious boaters and jet skiers who have spent the day at Boca Bash.

A large number of them feel entitled to tie their overloaded crafts to our private dock, disembark and get even more inebriated than they already were.

Our entire day is spent overseeing our property to limit the yearly damage.

They park their vehicles (often large trucks) and boat trailers completely up into our lawn, damaging sod, landscaping and sprinkler systems … and not returning until late evening.

They trash our dock waterway with bottles, cans and extremely foul language. When asked to leave our dock, we are threatened with physical harm. We are unable to leave or re-enter our street, as vehicles and trailers block our way. If we attempt to squeeze through, we are screamed at and threatened.

Although we are on a dead-end street, they race to the end, peel through the culde- sac and race back with no concern for the safety of our residents and families. Our police force is being paid, with our tax dollars, to referee fights of Boca residents who have no respect for Deerfield Beach nor for our officers.

The park, ramp and dock are torn up. Fence rails are destroyed.

We need more officer presence the entire day at the park, ramp and residential neighborhood.

Drivers are intoxicated, boats are overloaded without proper flotation devices, and no lighting for after dark.

Boca should be supplying personnel at their expense, not Deerfield’s.

Lynne Newberry

Deerfield Beach

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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Posted on 23 April 2015 by L.Moore

RE: Development on former Burial Ground

Dear Editor:

I have been following, with interest, the articles regarding the plot of land on 2 Avenue that may be the Burial Grounds of our black citizens many years ago.

I know it may be an “eyesore” to the condo residents adjacent to the property.

I understand this. However, to me, this “eyesore” is a hallowed ground. Since no one knows for sure, why must this be turned into a monetary project? This is part of the history of Deerfield and we should treat it with respect. Someone had suggested that it be turned into a little park. I believe that the occupants of that piece of hallowed ground would appreciate that. After all, this was old Deerfield Beach — they were here first — let’s keep them in their domain and not cover them with tall buildings. They deserve that.

Virginia French

Deerfield Beach

RE: Hillsboro Blvd. Lane Elimination

Dear Editor:

As a concerned citizen, I think the plans to eliminate one traffic lane in each direction on Hillsboro Boulevard east of Dixie to U.S. 1 or Federal Highway is questionable.

Common sense tells us that this is an idiotic plan that will fail and cause a traffic problem of unbearable consequences.

I do not know who the harebrained group is who came up with this plan. But do some studies and you will agree with me that this is impractical.

Traffic in the morning and afternoon is now over-capacity and we need more lanes to keep the traffic moving. Once the hi-speed rail is operating, there will be additional pressure on the traffic going east/west and west/east.

I beg you to look closer to elimination of two lanes of traffic in a highly-congested area.

Talk with the people who daily travel that section of Hillsboro Boulevard and listen to their concerns about the current traffic jams and long lines. Ask questions about how many light changes they have before crossing Dixie Highway – either east or west.

Also remember that most of the citizens are uninformed or do not care until the damage is done and then they start complaining. The main objective of Florida Dept. of Transportation (FDOT) should be to move traffic at a safe pace – NOT impede the flow of traffic.

Ronald B. LaVergne

Deerfield Beach

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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Posted on 16 April 2015 by L.Moore

Story of an Inn

Dear Editor:

The Save our Beach people were getting their petitions signed just after we purchased the Shore Road Inn, Oct. 21, 2003 which was NOT the top of the market.

I refused to sign the petition because it was too restrictive. Little did I know that it was even more than I understood at that time. With this law in place the property was worthless. Taxes were going sky high, the hotel business was going down and the hotel was not at its highest and best use. We struggled to survive as a hotel until we just couldn’t make it.

It was then that we used the rooms for a Sober Living facility. After a year or so, we expanded into a treatment center, which is located on Sample Road. After we were foreclosed, the new owners refurbished the building and rents back to Our Place.

I know that the city doesn’t appreciate the beach having this distinction but what else could we do? If you read ahead you may begin to understand the error of the law that is tying the hands and purses of property owners on the beach and ultimately the city.

The Save Our Beach reform was to guard against the beach being overbuilt. They [told] the public this would be a good idea – No building!

The Shore Road Inn…as it stands now … has a larger footprint than what could be built in its place. The footprint of the plans we had was smaller but two stories higher. It’s true our plans were approved but we were unable to obtain financing because the building didn’t have enough units to support the costs.

The problem with this law is that it restricts the density of the building. The 16,000 sq. ft. we were allowed included the stairwells and storage space. So much required “green space” we had to hire an engineer to figure the sunlight that would come into the garage to add planters.

Our lot was perfect for a lovely building, being that it goes block to block. And no one would build up across the street. I got so much trouble about wanting just 15 in. on the “rounded” out sections at the front of the building, which was above the ground.15 in. of air space. Torture to get this.

Another setback was there wasn’t enough room for the parking. The mayor came to the hotel and looked over the plans. The city was wrong, our architects were correct. Big delay. Another setback was the color; we wanted a white building. Then it was the type of balcony railings … on and on.

For some reason the city has an aversion to the designs and colors of Boca Raton. So, these delays dragged out over a year approximately. Lots of expense. Time lost, more money … the market was falling, as was the hope of getting financing when the building really couldn’t support it. Another floor of condos would have made all the difference.

According to the law, the half acre of land is allowed the density of 16,000 sq. ft. of living space (remember, that includes large stairwells and storage space). That means the space under the roof and 55 ft. high. If you build that high, the shape of our building would become more square instead of rectangular, which is the shape of our lot.

We decided to not use the 55ft. height, but to spread the building out. Most of the 12 units were over 11,000 sq. ft. but had huge patios, 800+ sq. ft. When selling a condo, the sale price counts the living space under the roof, and not including the balcony. Here is the problem. There is room to make the condos larger by using some of the balcony square footage. That would bring a higher sales price. Does this law restrict density? What does that mean? Does this determine how many people will be able to live on that land and in that space? Does a larger condo mean more occupants? Would 12 condos with 500 sq. ft. more living space mean the city would become overgrown?

Donna M Zappin

Antigua, Guatemala

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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Posted on 09 April 2015 by L.Moore

New regulations heat up hot water situation

Dear Editor:

The U.S. Dept. of Energy, as part of the National Appliance Conservation Act, is mandating higher efficiency water heaters as of April 16, 2015.

What this means to Century Village (and other communities) is that since any water heater replacement after that date will require a compliant water heater and since the units fit under the counter by the sink, this poses a significant problem – a 2 in. taller water heater will not fit!

No one wants to redesign their counters to be able to change out a water heater. An alternate tankless heater, while a solution, is not a good solution since the electrical demands of the unit are much greater and would require probable transformer changes for the buildings to allow all of the residents to switch to the inline tankless heaters.

I was sufficiently concerned about this situation and called the manufacturer of my present unit.

Luckily, they decided to manufacture a compliant hot water heater that was wider but not taller. The new unit model will still fit under the present counters. As long as one manufacturer makes a unit that still fits, we are good.

So, when the time comes for your present water heater to go bye-bye, make sure the contractor does not try to sell you a new kitchen — just a new water heater.

Michael Routburg

Deerfield Beach

Celebrating Spring

Dear Editor:

I do look forward to spring weather, green grass and flowers in bloom.

The advent of spring is also a great opportunity to turn over a new leaf on our dietary habits.

In fact, hundreds of communities welcome spring with an observance of the Great American Meatout — celebrating its 30th anniversary.

Visitors are asked to go vegan, at least for a day, and to explore a healthy diet of vegetables, fresh fruits, legumes, and grains.

Meatless Monday” has been making huge advances in public schools, universities, institutional cafeterias and restaurants.

The 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee is recommending reduced meat consumption. Stock market analysts are warning clients about potential “death of meat.”

Almost 50 percent of the respondents in a special GlobalMeatNews poll said they had actively reduced their meat consumption. Accordingly, per capita U.S. meat consumption has dropped by more than 10 percent since 2005.

Each of us can celebrate our own advent of spring by checking out vegan foods in our local supermarket and vegan recipes on the internet.

Peter Sullivan

Ocala

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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Posted on 02 April 2015 by L.Moore

Relay for Life coming in April

Dear Editor:

We all know too many people whose lives have been touched by cancer.

I/we can’t sit still and not take action against this disease that has hurt so many. That’s why I’m participating in the American Cancer Society Relay For Life® movement.

[SAVE THE DATE: Deerfield, Lighthouse Point, Hillsboro Relay for Life on Saturday, April 18, 5 p.m.]

Relay For Life is my opportunity to celebrate my battle against cancer and loved ones who have won theirs, remember those no longer with us, and fight back against this disease that robs so many of so much.

More than just walking the track, I’m fundraising! Because of the donations collected, more people in more communities:

Have the information and tools they need to help reduce their risk of getting cancer or find the disease early, when it’s easiest to treat

Have a place to turn for help 24/7

Benefit from the progress being made toward finding cancer’s causes and cures

Get access to lifesaving screenings and treatment

Please join me in fighting cancer and consider supporting fundraising efforts. Dollars raised bring us one step closer to a world with less cancer and more birthdays, a world where not another life is lost to the disease.

Thank you so much for your support. Together, we will finish the fight!

Claire Schubert

Hillsboro Beach

RE: Buses at Century Village

Dear Editor:

I am a resident of CVE (Century Village East). This is in response to Kathy Richards’ column in your [news]paper about the bus situation.

I have been suffering with wounds on both my legs for 5 weeks because of the steps on the bus.

I am in pain and I was told it is a long process to heal.

Is there anything we can do to wake up MM (Master Management)? I would like a reply. HUD (the U.S. Dept. of Housing & Urban Development) will never do anything.

Elaine Rosenberg

Deerfield Beach

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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Posted on 26 March 2015 by L.Moore

RE: “Jolivet letter wrong”

Dear Editor:

The fact that although the 55ft. height limitation was already in The Deerfield Beach Development Code is not an excuse for The Original Save Our Beach organization to stifle development. Mr. Larry Deetjen (the former City manager) had seen an opportunity to increase the City revenue at a time that the real estate market was booming to push for development on the Beach. He worked in the best interest of the City by enabling the developers to creatively make a profit by increasing the density, while allowing the City more taxable income which, in turn, became a “win, win” for all involved.

Although this infuriated the Save Our Beach group, the fact is that these buildings are no more than 40 percent occupied most of the year and the financial needs of the City far exceeded the few irate residents who want ”a lovely gem of a beach” as long as others pay for it! When you look on the tax rolls, these Save Our Beach founders contribute practically nothing to our overall tax base! It is appalling how those who pay the least amount of taxes have no regard for the taxpayers whose back they are riding on!

The ridiculous limitations of this law enable the Save Our Beach group to prevent any type of constructive revenue generating development.

For example, this referendum requires that in order for a city owned property worth over $750,000 to be sold, we need to put together a referendum which costs the taxpayers approx. $50,000 and put it to a vote! No developer is going to wait on what could take close to a year for a group of residents to vote on something that most of [them] do not understand. This is exactly how the Save Our Beach group got 75 percent of the vote.

The people who voted for this referendum were told that if we do not act, Deerfield Beach will become over developed and look like Ft. Lauderdale, which cannot be farther from the truth! As a consequence of this brainwashing by the Save Our Beach group, today Deerfield Beach has one of the highest millage rates in Broward County and the lowest property values. Our reserve has been replenished with “blood money” derived by increased taxes on the working families of Deerfield Beach who are already overtaxed and a utility tax that had to be implemented — all because we have no revenue derived from development!

The existing projects that [the former District 1 Commissioner] makes reference to as responsible development are not even built yet and each building has only a few projected units. Neither development will make an impact on the City’s revenue!

As far as 460 S. Ocean becoming a rehab because of the Save Our Beach group’s restrictions, I have asked the former owner of the property to write to the Observer to allow the people to hear “the true story!”

Patrick Jolivet

Deerfield Beach

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Jolivet Letter WRONG!

Posted on 15 March 2015 by JimLusk

The letter to the editor on March 12 about the Original Save Our Beach (OSOB) sponsored referendum,  a citizens’ ballot initiative in which thousands of people participated as petitioners, was factually wrong.  

The 55-foot height limitation was already in the Deerfield Beach Development Code before the Referendum.  Many years ago fearing what would happen to the beach, building height limits were passed for the beach area.  The accusation that the referendum is responsible for the 55-foot height limitation is false.

 Also false is the accusation that the referendum was the cause of the Soleil 460 Condominium project failing and the property being sold to a drug rehab company. The truth is that this beautiful, unique project was enthusiastically and unanimously approved by the commission in April 2006, when I was the District 1 Commissioner.  The claim that this project was denied is absolutely false. 

The truth is the owners bought at the top of the market when they bought it in 2002! 

The truth is that by the time they wanted to build this condominium, the economy was tanking and they could not get financing. The property values across the country were dropping and many property “investors” who bought during the peak lost big time during the recession. 

Accusing the referendum of causing the value loss of any property is ridiculous and completely false. The comment about having “no choice but to sell to…drug rehab facility” shows that property owners who choose this path are so greedy for an unrealistically high price for their properties and that they don’t care about their neighbors or the quality of life in the neighborhood.  No one is forced to sell to anyone.  Don’t blame the referendum, or the 75 percent of voters who voted for it, for a decision to sell to a drug rehab company.

Far from stifling development, the current codes carefully encourage responsible, profitable development, as witness the many exciting new projects in the beach area. The owner of one of the new projects said he located his building in Deerfield Beach: “for its timeless qualities…low rise building landscape and its devotion to natural beauty,”

The residents of Deerfield Beach do NOT want the beach area to be OVER-developed.  They do not want buildings built high and wide on the beach.  They know if the current building codes that mandate larger building setbacks the higher the building goes are eliminated, we will be signing the death knell of the lovely gem of a beach that we have. 

Pam Militello, OSOB

 

 

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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Posted on 12 March 2015 by L.Moore

RE: Preserving citizens’ quality of life

Dear Editor:

In response to the [Feb. 19] Letter to the Editor entitled “Preserving citizens’ quality of life,” what the writer of that letter fails to take responsibility for is that the Original Save Our Beach (O.S.O.B.) group is also responsible for enact[ment] of a referendum that does not leave owners the option to sell to developers due to height restrictions that are unreasonable and do not allow for more than 55 ft. of height or four floors.

Nobody is asking Deerfield Beach to be like Ft. Lauderdale. However, restricting the building height to only 55 ft. limits the value of the property and therefore dissuades potential developers from investing!

This, in turn, gives the existing owners no option but to sell to drug rehabs, which now become the properties’ “highest and best use.”

A clear example is 460 S. Ocean, which, because of these restrictions, the owners had no choice but to sell to an owner who has turned the entire building into a drug rehab facility.

Originally, this building was slated to become a condo called “Soleil 460.” However, due to the lack of foresight by the O.S.O.B. group, the plans were denied because of these new restrictions and the property was no longer able to get financing and subsequently sold and converted into a drug rehab!

Because of these restrictions, all the motels on the beach will have no choice but to follow suit.

As a citizen, this is not what I consider “preserving citizens’ quality of life.” Thank you!

Patrick Jolivet

Deerfield Beach

Gratitude for all

Dear Editor:

I just wanted to praise all the hard work Judi Stanich did [on Founders’ Days]. She is amazing.

Also, all the volunteers … how much fun and laughs … We are all so blessed with the hard work from EVERYONE.

I can’t thank everyone enough. I love Deerfield Beach.

Let’s not forget musicians too … oh and yes, West Virginia volunteers and songs.

Hope you could put this in the Observer (which I LOVE)… Just a gratitude for all.

Julie Hamilton

Lighthouse Point

2nd Annual Walk a Mile for a Cure Beach Walk

Dear Editor:

Thank you to all those who participated in the recent 2nd Annual Walk a Mile for a Cure Beach Walk. Thanks to you, it was a huge success! We had 148 registered walkers and raised $2,000 for the American Cancer Society.

It was a beautiful day to be at the beach and I think everyone had a great time. I hope you all realized that without your participation in fund raisers like this, the American Cancer Society would not be able to fund cancer research and their many programs for cancer patients.

Please check out www.relayforlife.org to find more ways you can help and more about their programs.

Also, come and enjoy the festivities at the Relay for Life of Deerfield Beach, Lighthouse Point and Hillsboro Beach that will be held at Quiet Waters Park starting at 5 p.m. on April 18, 2015.

A big “thank you” to the Kiwanis Club of Deerfield Beach for allowing us to be part of the Founders’ Days Festival and funding the breakfast along with Winston Park Publix and Big Bite Bagel & Deli in Coconut Creek.

We also would like to thank our top T-shirt sponsor and water provider, Muddy Waters; our Gold Level T-shirt sponsor, TM Windows and Doors; and our Silver Level T-shirt sponsors, Pop’s Seafood Market and O’Dwyer Technical Services.

Thanks to American Logowear and Dex Imaging for discount shirts and banners.

Christy McVay

Coconut Creek

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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Posted on 05 March 2015 by L.Moore

RE: Election Here we go again

We all know by now there is an election coming up on Tuesday, March 10 for District 1 and 2. We have a mayor supporting a candidate for District 1 to replace [the current Dist. 1] Commissioner. This is certainly her right. The mayor sent out a letter to all the voters of District 1 that are members of St. Ambrose Parish supporting this candidate and bashing [the current Commissioner]. In doing so, they have left us with the opinion that St. Ambrose supported their view. Nothing is further from the truth. St. Ambrose responded to the letter at Tuesday night’s commission meeting, explaining that they do not support either person who is running for District 1.

Being a member of St. Ambrose, I take great displeasure with the mayor and candidate for making this happen. Shame on both of you for causing this unneeded negative attention on Father Dalton and St. Ambrose, who have done nothing but good for the city. Your actions clearly show that you will do whatever is necessary to get elected, even if it means making up stories and figures to confuse the voters.

I love the city and am hoping it will continue on the present course. The people who are up for re-election should be voted back in, so they may finish the good work they are doing with the help of the other commissioners.

Glenn Frazer

Deerfield Beach

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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Posted on 26 February 2015 by L.Moore

RE: Townhouses pending on former Burial Ground

Dear Editor:

We have quite a situation in town.

It appears that we have a vacant lot sitting dormant as the site of a former cemetery.

From my perspective, there are two options.

The first is to reestablish the former cemetery. The second is to utilize that property to improve our city. Leaving it dormant, in my opinion, is not an option.

Since I have heard no real interest in the former, let me share a vision about the latter.

Studies conducted at the site to date have uncovered no evidence of existing human remains. The people interred at that cemetery lived before Civil Rights were established for all American citizens.

The story of the people buried there and perhaps moved to Pineview is, in fact, the history of our great city.

Let us research and celebrate these people. Many of their family members still live in town and are a part of our community.

As it stands now, if there are any people buried in that field, they are just about forgotten, lost to the injustice of history because of the way African- Americans were treated at that time.

I propose that we develop the site and, if any remains are uncovered, let us celebrate those people. Find out exactly who they are through DNA testing. Give them a proper resting place with new headstone markers. Tell their families so they can come and remember their forefathers. Put their life stories in the newspaper so that all of our citizens can learn about and celebrate our city’s family history together.

I see this as a real opportunity to uncover our city’s family roots. These people were treated as second-class citizens, relegated to their own cemetery, left with wooden headstones and boxes that rotted overtime, forgotten by all but the eldest of us.

Let us honor them, perhaps for the first time ever in their lives, as American citizens and founding members of Deerfield Beach, rather than second-class blacks.

All of these people died before Civil Rights were enacted.

Let us search for any remains as we develop the site and lay the new foundations. I’m sure there are able construction workers among the families of those who might be interred there. Let us ask that one or more of those family members be employed to help develop that site.

If any remains are found, let us hold a proper funeral in the city cemetery with as much pomp and circumstance as any funeral we have ever seen in this city.

Let us celebrate the lives of these people. Let our city leaders and all of our residents come and pay their respects to the forefathers of our city, hand in hand, as black and white children of Deerfield Beach, together.

Let us honor them as our American forefathers, rather than unidentified blacks sitting in an abandoned lot, as they are now.

Let us speak of them as Americans fully deserving of equality and worthy of honor, rather than as blacks in an abandoned field.

Honor them, as we improve this city together and lay the foundations for a new downtown district in that area.

Anthony Dispenziere

Deerfield Beach

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