| Letters to the Editor

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Posted on 27 August 2015 by L.Moore

RE: Blaise Leone resigns

Dear Editor:

[On August 18] the city honored Blaise Leone with a plaque for 16 years of service to the Parks and Rec Dept.

That doesn’t touch the contribution he has given to the youth in Deerfield Beach in 16 years.

Just to mention a few things: to mention a few things:

Blaise is our resident “Elf” at the [holiday] tree lighting ceremony each year.

He is also the official “Voice of the Bucks” as the Deerfield Beach High School football game commentator.

He was the creator and instructor for the “Boot Camp” program here in Deerfield and made it so successful that it, in turn, created a position for a trainer.

I have had the opportunity to work with Blaise for the past 11 seasons at Deerfield Beach Little League (DBLL).

His attention to all of Deerfield’s youth programs is endless. He knows most of these kids by name, can tell you where they live and go to school, and he truly cares about each and every one of them.

This was never a “job’ to him. It was [about] being part of a community.

The kids, as they got to be in high school, would often stop to speak with him about college, training techniques, etc. He was part of the family.

We at DBLL wish his family great success in Satellite Beach. Their gain is most certainly our loss. Our City will never find an individual that equals the character and integrity of Blaise Leone. We will miss him forever.

Kathleen M. Williams

Deerfield Beach

Property tax notice received

Dear Editor:

Just received our TRIM notice from Broward County.

Noticed that once again the City of Deerfield Beach has raised the property tax rate — in this case from 6.2745 to 6.2949.

The good news is this is the smallest rate increase from the city in several years.

However, I’m guessing that the city officials will try to tell you that the rate is the same as last year, just as they did last year compared to the year before.

The deception in that statement is that the city officials include the mandated reduction in the Deerfield Beach debt service to get to the “no increase” statement.

Check your TRIM notice and prior tax bills and you’ll confirm what really happened.

Consider that in 2010, the last year before the Utility Tax was implemented, the property tax rate was 6.2482.

City officials promised that with implementation of the Utility Tax, property tax rates would come down.

That happened in 2011 and 2012 when the property tax rate came down to 5.1865 and 5.1856, respectively.

However, 2013 brought an increase back to the pre-Utility Tax, property tax rate to 6.2317 in 2013 (a whopping 20 percent increase in the rate alone) and it has climbed each year since then. So much for the promises about the utility tax benefit.

The utility tax just became extra funding for the commissioners to spend.

Knowing that the city commission takes more from you in property taxes through rate increases each year should be remembered at the ballot box.

Unfortunately, this year, it wasn’t.

Dave Nace

Deerfield Beach

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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Posted on 20 August 2015 by L.Moore

RE: Metered Parking in The Cove Shopping Center

Dear Editor:

I am a resident of The Cove in Deerfield Beach and I am very concerned that the Deerfield Beach commissioners are considering metering The Cove Shopping Center.

I am concerned for the obvious reasons: it will have a detrimental effect on the Business of The Cove Shopping Center, the visiting public and the residents of The Cove.

If you are also concerned, please attend the workshop on this issue at 7 p.m. in City Hall Commission Chambers on August 25 and voice your concerns.

Margaret E. Hilton

Deerfield Beach

UPDATES for Deerfield residents

Dear Editor:

I hope you are well and enjoying what is left of the summer!

As we gear up for fall I am delighted to say that your City Officials are hard at work with the Budget and many other items coming before the Commission.

SOUTH FLORIDA WATER MGMT. DISTRICT (SFWMD)

I have some very important news about the Hillsboro Canal Project.

As you may already know, in two weeks they will begin construction on the Hillsboro Canal between Powerline Road and just west of Military Trail.

All of those affected should have received letters back in May stating that the work would begin in mid-June, which is when that project was originally expected to begin.

I’ve included this information in the newsletter so that you are aware of what is happening, as you will begin to see the activity pick up.

This project will begin with tree removal and continue with bank stabilization construction.

I have expressed to SFWMD the extreme importance of notifying the residents affected.

If you are having any issues receiving notification from SFWMD, please contact their Community Affairs Director at 561- 682-6012.

Bill Ganz

Vice Mayor

Deerfield Beach

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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Posted on 13 August 2015 by L.Moore

RE: Bullying

Dear Editor:

I’d like to address a problem in my school (and many others) — tolerance of teachers bullying and harassing students.

While in most schools bullying is a very well-known problem between students, I, and many of my peers, feel that bullying between teacher and student is a major problem as well.

Not only is it more common than most think, but it’s ignored in most schools. Our teachers can disrespect, talk down to students and even verbally abuse us and get in no sort of trouble except a slap on the wrist. The schools are constantly making excuses for teachers to abuse their students in the name of discipline.

A few years ago, I was a new student in my school. I was put in (let’s call him Mr. F)’s class. He seemed really nice and I was happy he was my teacher.

As the year went on, he proved to be different. While this stuff happened regularly in his classes, I’ll use my friend as an example. He was overweight at the time and insecure about his body. My friends and I loved him. He was such a great guy and fun to be around.

Mr. F. always made fun of his weight, saying he had “Man boobs” and would even go so far as to not let him eat his snack in class for his “ own good” and let the rest of us eat. He used to tell me how he hated going to Mr. F’s class because he was always ridiculed for his weight. He wasn’t the only one either.

Mr. F constantly made homophobic, sexist and racial jokes in class. I have a form of ADD and, sometimes, I can’t understand things as easy as others and get sidetracked in class. All I need is a little extra help and I understand, but he ALWAYS made a point to make me answer questions when I clearly was lost and not understanding the lesson.

I tried going to his class before school and at lunch for some extra help, but he never showed up to help me or my friends. Then, he made fun of us for not understanding in class.

He pointed out our flaws constantly, used horrible language and slurs toward us and always tried to make everyone look stupid and feel horrible about ourselves.

He went into fits and rages, throwing things (desks, chairs, books) and yelled so loud the teacher from next door would check on us.

I, and COUNTLESS others, have gone to the administration, principal, counselors and out of school directors trying to find help. I’ve talked to so many people and nobody does much.

I just found out he will be teaching this year and they aren’t going to fire him.

Teens my age have very low self esteem, as we’re going through puberty and we’re sensitive. We are insecure about our bodies and we don’t need anyone to make us feel worse about ourselves.

People are going through hard times and, at school, we need nothing but support from our teachers. We should be able to trust them and feel respected.

We might be teenagers, but we are people, too, and deserve respect at school, from our peers AND teachers.

Nobody should have to go through what me and my friends have gone through.

Alexandra Sullivan

Boca Raton

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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Posted on 06 August 2015 by L.Moore

Deerfield Beach Blacks Disrespected In Life and Death

Dear Editor:

How can distraught Deerfield Beach residents get a piece of private land that was once a cemetery/graveyard called the “Old Colored Cemetery” in some records turned into a historical memorial?

How can residents prevent townhouses from being built on top of dead African Americans’ remains?

This land could be made into a memorial to all the black Broward County residents who, because of segregation, were buried in odd lots and side yards and whose locations (if not their memories) are lost forever to their descendants.

Who can make this happen? Who should be notified about this? Who has the power/clout/resources to make this happen?

That is what a group of residents were discussing at the recent meeting held by former Deerfield Beach Commissioner Ben Preston. Other than a petition to preserve the site, nothing concrete was decided, but a lot of good ideas were aired.

It seems to me that the public is being kept in the dark about this, very little information has been released as to what is happening, what might happen, and what the rules and regulations are involving a situation such as this.

This meeting was not held by our representatives, it should have been, but it wasn’t. We haven’t heard much from them at all.

The site on a 5 acre lot at the intersection of SE 2 Avenue and SE 5 Court, Deerfield Beach, is owned by a private owner who, after being assured by test after test that all remains had been removed, is distressed to find that wasn’t the case. Now what?

And, why is the digging for remains continuing?

It seems to me that finding as much as they have is certainly an in-your-face-sign that there are many more, as many as 300 if anecdotal evidence is to be believed, after all the ones found were right where the relatives said they would be.

It’s time for the State/County/City to step in and declare it a historic site and shake loose some bucks to acquire the property.

There is no possibility of relocating all the remains. Sure, you could relocate the few skull and leg bones and teeth, but it would be impossible to find all the decomposed molecules and small scattered remains of the decedents.

Picture your precious relatives being treated this way. Picture only some of a loved one’s parts dug up and relocated. How would you feel?

Respect that was once denied can now be given to an entire group of people.

This is a perfect opportunity to create a memorial; there is no African American Cemetery memorial in Broward County.

The State/County/City should buy this land and turn it into a memorial park.

Bett Willett

Deerfield Beach

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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Posted on 22 July 2015 by L.Moore

Do you feel lucky…

Well, do you?

It is coming up on the 10- year mark, since Wilma.

Yes, we have been very lucky for the last almost 10 years.

I bet there are some generators out there that haven’t cranked since 2005. You know who you are.

During the next 90 days, we have to temper living in paradise with looking over our shoulder for Mother Nature.

This is the time we should be looking for Chef Boyardee and Rayovac ® battery deals.

Clean those pine needles out of the tracks of your accordion shutters and put a little 3-INONE oil on them now, while you can take your time.

Find that jar of bolts for the bolt-on shutters and put them on the floor by the front door. Now you’re ahead of the game and can sleep better.

I want to thank our advertisers who helped us put out this Hurricane Update.

I hope you will keep this issue on top of the fridge in case you need it.

Jim Lusk

Vice President

Hurricane Season 2015

Dear Editor:

This is a word of caution to the residents of Deerfield Beach.

Just because we have been fortunate these past few years to have escaped the wrath of a hurricane, it would be foolish to let your guard down [now].

Look at the damage that the recent rainstorm we had wreaked on our trees and roads.

Those of us who were here during Hurricane Andrew can tell you that the results of one storm can be devastating.

The supplies needed can be kept on hand, and if there are advance warnings, the two things you want to be sure of are: 1) that you have enough cash on hand and 2) that your gas tank is on full — since a number of these locations will not be operational if power is lost.

Please remember, it is better to be safe than to be sorry.

Jean M. Robb, Mayor

Deerfield Beach

Thank you: fire fighters

Dear Editor:

My 8-year-old son Nicholas and my 4-year-old son Lucas love Fire Trucks!

My husband, my dad and I decided to take them to the Deerfield Beach Fire Station (Fire Station No. 66) to look at fire trucks and meet some of the firefighters.

We were warmly greeted by the fire fighters and they were kind enough to show the boys their fire truck.

Nicholas and Lucas were so excited to see a fire truck up close and even got to sit in it!

I want to thank these fire fighters for being so sweet to the boys, for making them laugh, and absolutely making their day by taking time out of their busy schedules to give the boys an awesome experience.

I also want to express my gratitude to these fire fighters and all fire fighters for everything they do, every day.

Jennifer Hall

Deerfield Beach

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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Posted on 16 July 2015 by L.Moore

RE: Fire Rescue

Dear Editor:

The voters are ignorant when it comes to the Deerfield Fire Department [Broward Sheriff Fire Rescue].

They claim some 1,000-plus calls and other calls to justify increased costs to consumers. *

They receive exorbitant salaries, the highest retirements in the nation over the average person, work very few actual hours responding to calls, and enjoy the good life. Yes, they occasionally save lives, but their duty is not nearly as dangerous as a police officer.

I have observed the Fire Department responding to a call where someone is ill, fell off a chair, or where there is a minor fender bender and yet they send an ambulance and a fire truck when the fire truck is not needed. This justifies a call and personnel even though they are not needed.

We should go back to an all volunteer Fire Department with the millions in equipment available to volunteers and save the taxpayers millions of dollars.

It won’t happen because the Fire Department has the city commissioners in their pocket.

Charles Laser

Deerfield beach

*Editor’s note: Despite reported increased costs, Deerfield Beach’s Fire Assessment Fee is tentatively set to remain the same – at $175 for Residential — for the upcoming 2015-16 Fiscal Year that begins Oct. 1.

Public hearing on Fire Assessment Fee is slated for Friday, Sept. 11 at 9:30 a.m. in Commission Chambers at Deerfield Beach City Hall.

A new contract will be negotiated between the city and Broward Sheriff’s Office before the beginning of the new fiscal year, in October.

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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Posted on 09 July 2015 by L.Moore

RE: Termination, Town Clerk of Hillsboro Beach

Dear Editor:

In 2008, under the mayorship of Carmen McGarry, four Town Clerks were terminated and one Town Clerk resigned during a 10-month time-frame.

During her tenure, Ms. McGarry arranged for the water bill and trash removal bills for the elite Hillsboro Club to be absorbed by the taxpayers.

Former Mayor Dan Dodge was the club manager at that time, and the practice of Hillsboro Beach taxpayers footing the bill for the club continued up to Former Mayor Dodge’s abrupt resignation as Mayor and swift, unexplained departure as Manager of the Hillsboro Club.

We have also been blessed with private, multi-million dollar homeowners at the south end of town who have not paid their water bills in years.

Prior to Richard Maggiore being assigned the position as Mayor, he was the Commissioner in charge of finances. Invoices from the Town Planner that were run up by various condo boards, billed to the town by the Town Planner, paid by the town out of taxpayer dollars, and the town never recouped the money from those condos.

In 2015, once again residents have voted Ms. McGarry back on the commission, in spite of her track record.

The first item on the agenda of her first term back on the dais in April, and that of Mayor Richard Maggiore’s (her personal friend for years) was to fi re the Town Clerk.

The three Commissioners who voted to remove the Town Clerk were privy to the details of the termination prior to the Special Meeting, and two other Commissioners had no idea of the details.

In spite of incessant requests by residents, the Mayor refused to give details at that Special Meeting [late Friday afternoon, June 19].

The problem was not with Jean-Marie Mark the Town Clerk.

She should be applauded for having the fortitude to remain in that position after all of the threats, racial slurs, and abuse she endured when pointing out the malfeasance.

The problem in the town of Hillsboro Beach is with the individuals that residents are electing.

March 2016 is the next Town Election. A lot of damage can be done in 9 months. We cannot let this continue for another day. The residents of this town need to stand up and demand an explanation of the chronic misappropriation of our tax dollars since 2008, and demand the immediate resignation of these individuals.

Lee Craine

Hillsboro Beach

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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Posted on 02 July 2015 by L.Moore

Why being there Matters

Dear Editor:

On our planet, more than 70percent of which is covered by water, being there means having the ability to act from the sea.

The Navy is uniquely positioned to be there; the world’s oceans give the Navy the power to protect America’s interests anywhere, and at any time.

Your Navy protects and defends America on the world’s oceans.

Navy ships, submarines,aircraft and, most importantly,tens of thousands of America’s finest young men and women are deployed around the world doing just that.

They are there now.

They will be there when we are sleeping tonight.

They will be there every Saturday, Sunday and holiday this year.

They are there around the clock, far from our shores, defending America at all times.

Thank you very much for your support of the men and women in the U.S. Navy,deployed around the clock and ready to protect and defend America on the world’s oceans.

Rick Burke

Pompano Beach

Dogs on the beach

Dear Editor:

I’ve been living in Deerfield Beach for the last 37years and have seen many changes, especially to the beach area.

The city has made this a lovely destination spot.

The problem I have with the beach is the walkway. It’s become quite hazardous to walk.

Dogs on leads, skateboarders and even scooters have become the norm even though signs are posted. Really,does anybody EVER read those signs, which are few and far between. Why aren’t they in Day Glow colors and in two languages?

I was there for three hours and nary a policeman did I see enforcing anything.

I rest my case.

Lorraine Barsher

Deerfield Beach

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LETTER TO THE EDITOR

Posted on 25 June 2015 by L.Moore

UPDATE from Tallahassee

Dear Editor:

This update is to inform you of what has been taking place during the Special Session.

The House votes on a $78.7 billion state budget Friday evening, June 19. The spending plan for 2015-16 represents an increase of $1.6 billion compared to the current fiscal year.

Budget questions and debate were scheduled for [last] Thursday and Friday.

After the House and Senate pass the budget, it goes to Gov. Rick Scott, who has line-item veto authority.

The state’s fiscal year ends June 30, so Gov. Scott will need to act on the budget by then to avoid any complications to state government operations.

While the House did not approve a Senate plan to expand health care coverage, the final budget does include $450 million in state general revenue in addition to federal and local funds to provide hospitals and clinics money for uncompensated care.

The budget also includes increased spending on education for public schools, funded at $7,097 per student, a 3-percent increase compared to this year.

I was able to advocate for my district and Broward County on several budget line items.

State Rep. Shevrin Jones

District 101

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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Posted on 18 June 2015 by L.Moore

Rapa Nui: Down, not Out

Dear Editor:

I never inscribed the artist’s signature, although I said I would.

I thought that it was, perhaps, too possessive an act — as if I commandeered credit for an incredible work accomplished by many.

Rapa Nui Reef became an extraordinary, larger-than-life blend of rusticated tribute and mysterious magnificence.

For a short while, it brought smiles to so many, and community pride to the Deerfield family.

In one moment of thunderous silence, what began as such a perfect day became itself an imperfect reminder that we do not possess any infinite power, nor do we command a perfect world.

I understand that Rapa Nui lays compressed and restrained within some iron dungeon.

I have heard from so many thoughtful people to express sincere sorrow at what, on the surface, appears to be tragic loss and catastrophic happenstance.

I was made numb. Incredibly saddened to witness a gift freely offered by a generous spirit sink into disembodiment. But today is another perfect morning.

The sun again is rising in the summer sky, and the waters are again calm and preparing for their daily dance.

Beneath the waters of Deerfield Beach, Rapa Nui Reef calls out but does not whimper.

There will be no resurrection, no Lazarus rising.

But we do hear opportunity calling. There is much we can do.

I am certain that we can, in a spirit of cooperation and unity, recreate a tribute to what tumbled beneath those calm waters.

A tribute to one woman’s generosity, a people’s determination, and a community’s prideful stewardship of something grand in nature.

Rapa Nui is down. It is NOT out.

No, there is no artist’s signature, and it may never be. But there IS a hopeful determination that what was, by bad chance, made unfinished, will be left complete.

Thank You, Dear Friends, for all your Rapa Nui love.

The Power of the Moai

Dennis MacDonald, the artist, Pompano Beach

There are plans to create a second tier, right-side up, on top of it. Send donation checks payable to: Woman’s Club of Deerfield Beach Memo section: Rapa Nui Reef II 910 E. Hillsboro Blvd. Deerfield Beach, FL 33441

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