| Letters to the Editor


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



Posted on 18 February 2016 by LeslieM

RE: New Barefoot Mailman statue on Hillsboro Inlet Bridge

Dear Editor:

I am so disappointed in the appearance of the Barefoot Mailman recently mounted in a horizontal position. It is almost impossible to recognize it at all.

I knew the Town of Hillsboro Beach contributed to the mounting. I think Pompano Beach should adjust the Barefoot Mailman to stand erect as it should be. It is an insult to the people of Hillsboro Beach.

Amy B. Riski

Hillsboro Beach



Posted on 11 February 2016 by LeslieM

The camera never lies

As Sheriff of Broward County, I have worked to bring transparency and accountability to the Broward Sheriff’s Office (BSO). It is an imperative element needed to maintain community trust. Bodyworn cameras are a key to providing this public accountability.

It is important that you see the many great things our deputies do right day in and day out; but the few times we make mistakes and do things wrong, we must also be accountable. There is no better way of seeing what actually happened than a visual record of an incident. The public and law enforcement officers have a right to see and hear what goes on in the street when we do our jobs.

On my orders, BSO has already begun the process of implementing body cameras for our uniformed road patrol deputies. The use of this technology will protect good deputies from false accusations, build evidence to increase conviction rates for the criminals we arrest and help protect the public from the isolated instances of officer misconduct. Recording the interactions between our deputies and community members will help improve officer safety, strengthen trust and transparency and better document incidents and crimes.

Our community wants body cameras. I want body cameras. And body cameras are here at BSO.

The results from law enforcement agencies around the country that use body cameras are encouraging. These agencies saw a drop in use-of-force incidents. The best example is the Oakland Police Department in California, which has 800 body cameras in use – the most of any U.S. police force as of this writing. Since the deployment of body cameras, the department has seen a sharp decline in attacks on officers and officer-involved shootings. At the same time, arrests in Oakland have stayed consistent with past numbers, dismissing a belief that the body cameras cause law enforcement officers to hesitate when they see something wrong occurring. Other departments with body cameras have posted similar positive results.

The Broward Sheriff’s Office currently has nearly 100 body cameras in use where they can be most effective. We are currently equipping road patrol deputies, who have the most interaction with the public. We are already in the process of widening this safety campaign to acquire more body cameras. It is my intention for all uniformed deputies agency-wide to wear them while on duty.

There will be only two kinds of law enforcement agencies in the future: those that start using body cameras reactively because something terrible happened and those that use them because they proactively realize the great benefit of the devices. We are proactive. Hesitation to use body cameras could only serve to erode the solid trust we have built within our community.

I believe body cameras are a win-win for our hard working deputies and for all residents of Broward County.

Sheriff Scott Israel



Posted on 04 February 2016 by LeslieM

RE: Knights of Columbus

Dear Editor:

When I joined the Knights of Columbus 40 years ago, my first assignment was to solicit donations for the handicapped. At that time, I thought it was degrading to “beg”, but I told myself, “Since it’s for a good cause, I’ll give it a shot.” I felt uneasy when I arrived for my first posting in front of the Grand Union grocery store on Sample Road. I got there early to relieve a fellow Knight and get the hang of things, which turned out not to be complicated.

An hour or so into my shift, a group of four 12-year-olds arrived in their “Saturday work clothes”, free from the pressures of the school day and heading towards the stores hooting and howling to give the shopkeepers a hard time. I thought briefly of going inside the Grand Union to let these young “problems” pass, but I thought, “No, I’m a Knights of Columbus member and should act like a Knight.” Armed with a handful of Tootsie Rolls as my lance, I charged! I thrust the Tootsie Rolls into the youngsters’ hands saying, “Here, have a Tootsie Roll, boys!” They stopped in their tracks!

The leader of the gang demanded to know, “What’s this for?” I explained that people who donated money to help local children with disabilities were rewarded with a Tootsie Roll. The leader thought for a moment, then said “I got some money.” He rummaged in his pockets and came up with eight cents – it was all they had between them. Off they went, and I knew, because of their energy and charity, they had a bright future ahead of them. This encounter made my day.

Over the years, I’ve seen young parents tell their children to deposit some coins, and other handicapped people add their dollar or two to help their own cause. Sometimes, a person gives $10 or $20, or a generous soul may donate $50. Wow! All these donations are appreciated, but none of them has given me as much encouragement as that first gang of boys with their eight cents.

I have been collecting at the Venetian Isles Publix for many years, attend all the Sunday masses at St. Ambrose and hope to see all you good neighborly people again this March [March 5-16 when the Knights of Columbus will be collecting again].

Last year, the Knights of Columbus raised over $9,000 locally for those in need. It is our hope that we can meet or exceed this record, as it is always for the good of others that we persist.

The Knights donate to such charities as Special Olympics, Equine Assisted Therapies, the Dynamos of Pompano and more.

Volunteers are needed and contributions are greatly appreciated. Call 954-303-9736.

Joe Cauley

Deerfield Beach

RE: Open Carry letter (Jan. 28)

Dear Editor:

With all due respect to the Senator [Maria Sachs] from Delray, I strongly disagree with her comments [that we should not allow open carry for guns]. Florida does not have a gun problem, it has a people problem. No one, that I am aware of, has ever suggested that a mentally unstable person should own a gun. If we apply her logic to the automobile, then we would ban cars. What some lawmakers want to do is pass laws that only affect law abiding, sane people.

Gary Lawrence

Morganton, GA

RE: Traffic light timing

Dear Editor:

What does a person need to do to get the new traffic light (which is one year old) at NW 2 Avenue, in front of Bazaar Foods, to be coordinated with the other traffic lights on Hillsboro Boulevard? It’s on a tripper and jams up traffic going in both directions. If this light was on the same [timed] pattern as the other lights, people going in and out of the grocery would have no problem and traffic would flow more smoothly. All the other cross streets in Deerfield have to wait three minutes to cross.

J. Huffman

Deerfield Beach


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