| Letters to the Editor


Posted on 23 June 2016 by LeslieM

RE: SW 10th St.

Dear Editor:

I attended the two hour meeting of the COAT/MPO [Community Oversight Advisory Team/Metropolitan Planning Organization] on Saturday at the high school. There is some history that should be noted. The changes in the 10th street corridor were first addressed when I was mayor in the 1980s. At that time, to be elected a county commissioner, you had to run county-wide, as there were no districts. Century Village had 16,000 registered voters then, so their political clout made sure that the proposal was defeated.

Along came Gerry Thompson, who engineered the Sawgrass Expressway that everyone claimed was a road to nowhere. Incidentally, it was first named the Deerfield Expressway. The future projection is that it will carry 75,000 cars. That was also built while I was mayor.

I listened today to the arguments for and opposed to the suggestions that were made in reference to what should happen to the 10th Street corridor. Although this proposal affects the citizens of Deerfield Beach the most, I am convinced that it will become a reality anyway and the quality of life for a great many of our residents will be adversely effected.

The [representatives from the citied affected] who spoke for the project will probably prevail. The best we can hope for is that the COAT can convince the MPO to give us a solution that we can all live with.

If I understood correctly, the MPO will meet on July 14 to make a decision. For your information, there are 25 voting members on the MPO with 13 alternates who may vote if anyone of the 25 is absent. The city of Deerfield Beach has just one voting member. I think you can figure what the result may be.

Mayor Jean Robb

Deerfield Beach, FL



Posted on 09 June 2016 by LeslieM

RE: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Dear Editor,

Myself and my family lived in Coconut Creek since 1995. We sold our house last September and we are now renting on a closed golf course in a seemingly quiet little neighborhood call Crystal Lake. At first, I was not happy, but as I walked my dog and got to meet and know my neighbors, I grew to like the community a lot, even considering [purchasing] a home! It’s diverse, very friendly, [with] many dogs, new families moving in with children, lots of remodeling and beautification going on.

However, with all the crime, such as break-ins, robberies, vandalism, shootings, assaults, speeding cars, etc., and coyotes in the backyard and streets (yes, I know they were here before me), and the new gigantic cell tower that looks like a smoke stack in the middle of the new cemetery, I’m not sure I want to stay anymore!

People should know that there is valuable information in local papers, not to mention great coupons, good news, but also the bad news (crime watch). People must be aware. People need to have alarms, motion detectors and lighting. [Home Owner’s Associations] definitely should send out notices when there is a problem and also do a better job of screening potential renters. We don’t have enough police to patrol the areas 24/7.

I’m all for beautification of all these local towns, but perhaps the cities can buy less new fully grown palm trees and pay law enforcement more!

We need to take care of our families and neighbors and we should all read our local papers … for The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.

Oh, and let’s do a better job with the gigantic cell tower in the new cemetery (ugh). Perhaps, they can at least disguise it to look like a gigantic pine tree!

Nancy M. Kelly

Deerfield Beach, FL


RE: Utility Service Line Warranty program

Dear Editor,

Many of you have received letters about the Utility Service Line Warranty program administered by Service Line Warranties of America (SLWA). Please note this program was approved by the City Commission.

The program is voluntary and NOT mandatory for city residents, but for those who elect to participate in the program there is a small monthly fee. The services provided include the following:

– External sewer line warranty — scope is from the city main tap until line daylights inside the home, which includes the service line under the concrete floor

– External water line warranty — scope is from the meter and/or curb box until it daylights inside home, which includes the service line under the concrete floor

– In-home plumbing warranty — covers residential in-home water supply lines and in-home sewer lines, and all drain lines connected to the main sewer stack that are broken or leaking inside the home after the point of entry.

If you have any questions or need additional information, contact Vickki Placide-Pickard or Jonathan Price in our Community Development Department at 954-422-5810.

Rebecca Medina Stewart

City of Deerfield Beach

Public Information Office




Posted on 26 May 2016 by LeslieM

Open Letter to City of Lighthouse Point

Dear Mayor and Commissioners:

The bridge on 36 Street is very old and in poor condition. Among all the many bridges in Lighthouse Point, this bridge is, without question, the most critical bridge in the city. This bridge provides the single and only access to: (a) over 1,000 residents in 400 single family homes, (b) to St. Paul the Apostle Catholic Church, (c) to Frank McDonough Park, (d) the dock for the City Police Boat at Fletcher Park, and (e) for business access to Cap’s Place. If this bridge is damaged, there are not any alternate routes for detours and no other access whatsoever for all these residents.

At the present time, there are substantial bumps in both lanes on this bridge going each way. The earth supporting the approaches has been sinking over time and these approaches are in need of repairs again. Even the concrete retaining walls supporting these approaches are cracked as recent pictures have shown.

Cary Winningham, PE, our City Engineer, has made recommendations for repairs and I believe our Public Works Dept. is planning repairs this summer, hopefully, well before the coming peak hurricane season.

In addition, there is that mammoth tree on the northeast bridge approach. Our mayor has spoken with the County Arborist who thinks this tree “should” survive a hurricane; however, [neither] this arborist nor our engineer will guarantee its survival.

Mentioning hurricane season brings up what I believe is a major hazard to that most strategic bridge for over a thousand of our residents. This year, on TV, we have seen the crazy weather all over our country, and South Florida has been lucky for many years. A major hurricane hitting the Pompano area would create extremely high hurricane winds from the north and northeast, the most likely directions to blow that tree down onto our bridge. If that bridge is damaged or blocked, all the Lake Placid residents have no access for emergency medical or police assistance, and their homes and the church have no fire protection whatsoever.

In addition, if you drive by, you will notice that this mammoth tree also surrounds and endangers the only electric power to our 1,000 Lake Placid residents, as well the resident, in the Town of Hillsboro Beach. While blocking this roadway, one lane at a time, to fix the bumps on the approaches, it would be the appropriate time to entirely remove that tree or drastically cut back all those big limbs to protect Lake Placid residents’ access and electric power to their homes, and to protect our old bridge until its complete rebuilding takes place.

Leo L. Bentz

Lighthouse Point

[This issue was presented at a recent LHP commission mtg. See more on pg. 4.]



Posted on 28 April 2016 by LeslieM

No change to garage sales in Deerfield

Dear Editor:

I wanted to thank all of you [District 4 residents] who responded to my request for input regarding a possible change to our Garage Sale Ordinance. The response was tremendous. And I personally found it very helpful, giving me guidance as to what the community would like to see happen with this issue. In the end, the vast majority of people felt strongly that they did not want to see changes to the current ordinance.

At the April 5 Commission meeting, the City Commission unanimously agreed to not change the ordinance. The issues that were prompting the consideration for changing the ordinance will be handled through Code Enforcement.

Again, thank you for your feedback.

Bill Ganz

Deerfield Beach

District 4 Commissioner



Posted on 21 April 2016 by LeslieM

Sell the Hillsboro Boulevard Fire Station property? NO WAY!

Dear Editor:

To paraphrase Hamlet: “To sell or not to sell that is the question”. The answer is simple … NOT!

This should never have come up, and the reason it did was to lamely justify closing the current fire station and building a new one as part of a municipal complex which would be part of the envisioned revitalized “downtown” Pioneer Grove.

Do you see the problem here? This is not a single issue. Close the fire station is one issue. Build a new fire station is a different issue. Whether to build a municipal complex could be the same or a different issue depending on the level of chutzpa of the parties involved. Sell the current fire station and land – a completely separate issue NOT dependent on the others.

The fire station is on a prime corner property [at Federal Highway and Hillsboro Boulevard]. Developers are certainly salivating over the chance to turn it into a commercial cash cow [including proposal for another gas station/ convenience store].

Some saner voices were heard at the last commission meeting, voices from the Florida International University Metropolitan Center regarding their preliminary findings of the City Economic Development Strategy Analysis. The picture they presented for Deerfield Beach was rosy; they pointed out the wonderful array of businesses and industry we already have, unlike other nearby towns.

They pointed out how valuable the appearance of our “gateway” roads were and how improvements to the beach and Hillsboro Boulevard will only enhance the desire of businesses to make Deerfield Beach their home.

It is very important to make a good first impression. Redoing Hillsboro Boulevard from Federal Highway to the beach was huge! Plans to improve the road from Dixie to Federal are underway.

With this in mind, it only makes sense that we would keep our only sliver of property on the four corners at Hillsboro and Federal and make it as attractive as possible. Picture four corners of gas stations and drug stores … is this the “gateway” the city wants to present to tourists and possible businesses?

A new fire station, if needed, must not be contingent on the sale of valuable city property. Go ahead, if absolutely needed, build a new station wherever the city determines it is needed. But do not think that the old station property needs to be sold to make that happen. I am not convinced we need a new one, and all the talk brings to mind that boys love new toys, not that they need them.

Selling the fire station will NOT give the city anything but a miniscule drop in the bucket worth of money to put toward the new facilities. As we well know, in Deerfield Beach, new buildings are not cheap… and to think that a new fire station … or an entire municipal complex … will come in at budget is magical thinking.

Renovate the old station, or turn it into a municipal center and keep the PAL program there; we don’t have a [community] center on the east side [of town], or something else that will be attractive and serve the public purpose. Don’t sell it; your grandchildren will blame you for your shortsightedness.

Bett Willett

Deerfield Beach

Relay For Life appreciates the support

On behalf of the Relay For Life of Deerfield Beach/Lighthouse Point and Hillsboro Beach, we thank these wonderful communities and the Deerfield BSO for the overwhelming support for our Relay which took place April 16-17. We could not have made this happen without our outstanding committee and our Relay teams.

Special thanks to the City of Deerfield Beach and Broward County Parks and Recreation 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!

Kenny Brighton,

Event Chair

Karen Hardy,

Event Co-Chair



Posted on 14 April 2016 by LeslieM

Dear Editor:

This letter is in response to the Observer’s April 7 article “Code Enforcement Update” [see “Commissioner Battle presents District 2 update”, pg. 5]. According to Mr. Pita, Code Compliance Officer from Calvin, Giordano Associates, “We’ve been busy identifying abandoned and empty homes and boarding them up.” Apparently, Mr. Pita has not seen or refuses to see the large, abandoned Airstream RV situated on the beach at the NE 4 St. entrance. This abandoned “beach home” is not only an unsightly impediment to local beach visitors; it is an unsafe one as well. I can’t, for the life of me, understand why this eyesore has been permitted to remain on Deerfield’s beach to attract unwanted activities, litter and graffiti.

It seems as though Mr. Pita’s statement “[so] there is no question of selective enforcement – the same standards are applied to all” does not hold true for the owners of this vacant beach property. I am sure that if that RV were situated on my property in Deerfield Beach, Code Enforcement would have taken action immediately.

I’ve been informed that this matter is under litigation and cannot be discussed. However, my question is why did it have to go to litigation? If Code Enforcement had taken proper action immediately and done their job, all of this may have been prevented.

Are the laws so vague that politics will prevail?

Lorraine Kelly

Deerfield Beach



Posted on 31 March 2016 by LeslieM

Feeding the hungry in Deerfield

Congratulations to the First Church of Coral Springs for their efforts to feed the hungry. I would be remiss if I failed to mention that every Thursday the volunteers of St Ambrose Catholic Church distribute food packages to the residents of Deerfield Beach. All of the food is donated by the parishioners, and it is an ongoing work to feed the needy.

Jean M. Robb, Mayor

Deerfield Beach

Congrats to Lighthouse Point

I was just reading the article about Lighthouse Point [Observer, March 17, Pg. 1] about keeping the prayer at the commission meetings. Good for them for standing up for values most of us have, like the Pledge of Allegiance. It should be said in school and at meetings everywhere. This reminds me of a saying I heard: “I’d rather live free in a land of hurt feelings than enslaved by political correctness.”

Steven J. Fabrizio

Deerfield Beach



Posted on 17 March 2016 by LeslieM

Stop Hunger Now feeds thousands at low cost

Dear Editor:

On Feb. 20, we had 248 volunteers at our church, the 1st Church of Coral Springs, to package 10,800 pouches of nutritional dry food meals to be shipped all over the world. We worked with the non-profit Stop Hunger Now (888-501-8440) to prepare the packages and get them shipped out to help feed hungry children. Each pouch feeds six children, so our 10,800 pouches will feed 64,800 starving children a meal today.

The entire process only took two hours – our church volunteers set up an assembly line – and each pouch of food only costs 29 cents! The pouches contain rice, soy, vitamins and minerals, and even a gravy packet.

I am writing to you to bring attention to the Stop Hunger Now program, and to make other churches, high schools and anyone interested aware that they can help stop hunger for a low cost.

John A. Mercurio

Deerfield Beach



Posted on 03 March 2016 by LeslieM

Proposed yard sale changes

Open letter to Deerfield Beach residents:

I need your help!

Your City Commission will soon be voting on an issue that could affect you. We are taking a look at a proposal to amend the land development code (Section 98-91d) regarding garage sale regulations. This amendment would change several things including:

1- Limiting garage sales to two, per calendar year, per residence.

2- A City Permit would have to be granted for garage sales.

3- Property owners would not be allowed to sell goods that were acquired or consigned for the purpose of reselling.

I would like to hear your thoughts on this item, which we are expecting will be on the City Commission Agenda in March. I want to make sure that I am making an informed vote on your behalf. I thank you for your help!

Please email your thoughts to me at bganz@deerfield-beach.com.

Bill Ganz

Vice Mayor,

Deerfield Beach

$2 Spay/Neuter from Stray Aid

Dear Editor:

Thank you to the Observer for the article regarding the $2 Spay/Neuter Program for our feral cat problem offered by the wonderful Stray Aid and Rescue organization. I filled out their form at www.strayaid.org and was contacted by Cheryl Knudson, who had their terrific Volunteer/Trapper Bianca Robertson make arrangements with me for the trappings. I wanted to have this service performed years ago, but could never afford it nor was I able to transport any animals. This organization solved all my problems. They came to me! They received a state grant to cover the cost of the rabies shot they give each cat and only ask for a donation for the trapper for her time and gas. Worth every penny! So far Bianca has trapped eight cats, and I know there are plenty more in our 33441 zip code.

I understand there is a time limit to use all the funds so they can reapply for another grant. So, I urge everyone in need of this service to please contact this outstanding organization. They can also be reached at 954-816-0799 and have a Facebook page as well.

Paula Curry

Deerfield Beach



Posted on 25 February 2016 by LeslieM

RE: Black History Month tour

Dear Commissioner Battle:

Thank you so much to the City of Deerfield Beach and the Deerfield Beach Historical Society for hosting the Retirees, Seniors & Friends on Feb. 18 for Black History Month.

Your hospitality was amazing. The group had an enlightening experience visiting the 1926 Deerfield Beach Elementary School building; the 1920 Old School Museum; the 1923 Butler House; the 1948 Delta Masonic Lodge and the First Zion Missionary Baptist Church established in 1902.

The Black History Month tour hosted 59 members of a prominent African American travel club named Retirees, Seniors & Friends based in Miami-Dade County. The group consists of African Americans who are professionals and had successful careers in medicine, education and the military and as business owners. Many of them are the first generation in their family to attend college during the era of legal segregation. The group consisted of Miami’s black elite.

Some of the travel club members came from Homestead, Miami Gardens, Miami, Miramar, West Little River, Hollywood, Pembroke Pines and West Park.

Here are a few comments written on their surveys:

I really enjoyed the tour, it was a lot of history given that I was not aware of … very good trip.”

This was a very Educated Trip. Excellent!”

Tour itself was very interesting and the guide, and others who welcomed us, was just amazing … The school at City Hall was awesome. I saw books I learned to read from …”

2016 marked the sixth annual Black History Month tour that my non-profit organization has hosted for this African American travel club. My organization [of which I am the executive director/curator] is the Museum of Lifestyle & Fashion History in Delray Beach, which is a non-profit 501(c)3. We have coordinated previous Black History Month tours in Florida to Delray Beach, West Palm Beach, Lake Worth, Mims/Titusville, Sanford and Ft. Pierce.

From my research about Deerfield Beach, I was inspired by its rich history; therefore, I recommended the City of Deerfield Beach for the Black History Month tour for the Retirees, Seniors & Friends.

Again, thank you so much for the warm welcome and informative tour.


Lori J. Durante, Executive

Director/Chief Curator


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