| Letters to the Editor


Posted on 08 September 2016 by LeslieM

RE: “The Branding of an Island”

Dear Editor:

Please inform the people trying to give Deerfield Island a name that it already has one – see this page on broward.org

Also let them know the island’s birds, protected sea turtles and other wildlife said they don’t need any bumper stickers or frisbees to identify with their home. [This is in reference to an article in last week’s Observer].

Eileen Lovre

Deerfield Beach, FL

RE: Signage

Dear Editor:

At the last City Commission meeting, I proposed a simple but important feature for all present or future signs on buildings. They should all feature in large letters the address of the establishment or residence. As you ride down the street looking for an address right now, it is almost impossible to find a location either because the address is too small to read or non-existent. This simple remedy would make finding any address a lot easier and would benefit all.

Bernie Parness

Deerfield Beach, FL

Re: Chuck Sussman

Dear Editor:

This week, we lost one of the good guys. Former Town of Hillsboro Beach Mayor Chuck Sussman passed away just weeks after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Chuck is the stuff legends are made of. With a gruff voice and a hearty laugh, this self-made, successful businessman would be the first one to hitch up his suspenders and roll up his sleeves to get a job done. He was as down-to-earth as they come. Hillsboro Beach was fortunate to have his official guidance for a remarkable 18 years, and I was fortunate to have him as my next-door neighbor and friend for the past decade.

Chuck opted to retire from politics in 2007 when he decided his “just-git-‘er-done” style of doing business was no longer the order of the day. “Retirement” gave him the opportunity to travel and spend more time with his family, his beloved Harley-Davidson and his antique car collection, but he always carried a soft spot in his heart for our Town.

With so much controversy in our world today, I just wanted to take a moment to pay tribute to a man who made the world a better place.

Chuck Sussman was one-of-a-kind, and he will be sorely missed by many in Hillsboro Beach.

Deb Tarrant, Mayor

Town of Hillsboro Beach



Posted on 25 August 2016 by LeslieM

Be informed at the voting polls

With the primary election at the end of the month and the general election only three months away, I wondered, “What should I know before casting my vote?” I should be prepared to know who and why I will make my choice for that next senator, [congressman], circuit court judge, school board candidates [and the sheriff]. In addition, there is an amendment on the ballot — Amendment No. 4 — that will need our decision.

For most of us, there is no valid excuse for not making informed choices. With the aid of the Internet and newspapers, plus the many political advertisements crowding our mailboxes, we can do a little research to help us read up on the candidates and make those informed choices at the voting poll.

Working up to the General Election, there are a lot of speeches and debates to help us make up our mind. All it takes is a little willingness to get started. After all, this is about our government, folks, and how we want our country to be run. So, we need to get busy.

Does anyone remember the old Jay Leno “Jaywalking” skits on “The Tonight Show” years ago? Jay played “the man on the street” and he would walk around in Hollywood, CA interviewing people. He would ask them general questions about the government and the Constitution and he would get the funniest and most bizarre answers, which were so wrong. One of the funniest responses he got from a young, college girl was when he asked, “What is the first amendment of the Constitution?” Her answer was “Never cheat on your wife!” The answer to who said “give me liberty or give me death?” could be any response from John Hancock to Colonel Sanders. Of course, when one is put on the spot with cameras glaring at you, it is easy for the mind to go blank.

Now is the time to get involved and know who will be your choice for this election. Let’s exercise our right to vote and keep America the great nation that it is.

Mary “Franki” Klemyk

Lighthouse Point



Posted on 18 August 2016 by LeslieM

RE: Pompano Dog Park

I enjoy taking my little dog to the Pompano Dog Park [Canine Corner Dog Park, 1101 N. Federal Hwy]. There are seven benches in the park. Five of them are fine. But the two new ones have horizontal slats instead of being grated like the other five, so it is very dangerous for little dogs like mine because when they jump up, their paws go right through. It is okay to have those types of benches in the big dog park, which they do, because big dogs will be okay when they jump up. But, for the little dogs, it is very dangerous. I have contacted the park about this, but have heard nothing. I have stopped going to the park because it is not worth my dog getting hurt. You can’t watch your dog every minute and the whole point is to let your dog run free. I know a lot of other dog owners who have also stopped going because of this. I am hoping this letter will get their attention and they can fix the bench situation so I, and others, can return to the park. The park should represent a safe haven.

Stan Freeman

Deerfield Beach, FL



Posted on 11 August 2016 by LeslieM

RE: NO Deer Trace

Dear Editor:

The Deer Trace Project has been denied/rejected by the Planning and Zoning Board. Why are we entertaining this again? Please read the minutes from the May 1, 2014 Planning and Zoning Board Meeting. [Over 300] apartments on Dixie Hwy between 14th and 15th Street? This is so incompatible. Wrong location. Do we not trust the judgment of the Planning and Zoning Board? (Search Application 13-R-169 on City’s website). [Editor’s Note: The P&Z Board makes suggestions to the commission. They did recommend denying it. But, the city government, on 1st reading, voted to move ahead. They have to do a second reading, which is also to be a Public hearing, on Aug. 23.]

I live in the neighborhood and do not want a rental community of this size near me … too many apartments, too many people and too little space; drama and trouble. Of course, all the usual trappings of traffic, crime and environment, etc., also apply. I think this density ratio will exceed any other in the city. Would you want this in your neighborhood?

Do you really think professionals will want to live in this location with 300+ other tenants around them – and pay $1100 – $1500 per month? What happens when they can’t rent them all? Lower rent and allow “another element” to move in? We may be left with a rainbow monstrosity greeting the new trains – All Aboard Florida and Tri-Rail Coastal Link.

And about those flex units, what will be left for other projects?

I do want to see Dixie Highway developed and that can be done with fewer apartments and more businesses as the DBR [Dixie Business Residential ] currently allows. Many in the neighborhood appreciate the new Dollar General and not having to cross a major intersection to get there. It would be nice to have a bank, pharmacy or restaurant near as well.

— Cheyenne Stubbs

Deerfield Beach

RE: YES Deer Trace

Dear Editor:

A proposed 60 to 100 million dollar development project called Deer Trace Residences on Dixie Hwy, by H&S Development Group, Inc. was unanimously approved by our city government and now some of the commissioners are trying to stop this development project. This project will not only beautify and bring security to the area, it will trigger growth, and will bring needed housing. It will also create jobs that will be first offered to qualified residents of Deerfield Beach, and bring in much needed tax revenue into our city.

This type of beautiful, clean, modern housing development revitalizes neighborhoods, decreases crime and improves communities. Our city is in desperate need of projects like this. Our neighborhoods are deteriorating because of lack of city revenue. This project alone would give the city approx. $450,000 per year in tax revenue, and close to $400,000 in one time impact fees. This, in turn, would lower our taxes.

Reputable investors who are willing to invest multi-millions of dollars to improve our neighborhood should be welcomed and not harassed by some of our commissioners. Again, our city has one of the highest tax rates of any of the major cities in Broward County, with one of the lowest property values, highest millage rates and deteriorating infrastructure.

Neighboring cities have clean streets, well-maintained infrastructure, low crime rates, better schools and lower taxes than Deerfield Beach. We have to better our city. Do not allow our city to become like many other once great U.S cities that are now deteriorated.

This is the greatest opportunity for the City of Deerfield Beach and District 2. Do not let this opportunity pass by. Contact the elected officials to support the Dixie Hwy. Deer Trace Residences Development and to Vote “Yes” on Aug. 23 for Deer Trace.

— H&S Development Group

[Editor’s Note: For those with questions or concerns about this project, attend the Talk to the Mayor event, which will be held Aug. 16. See Pg. 15 for details. Look for more on this topic soon in The Observer].

RE: Trash on beach

Dear Editor:

Why do people dispose of trash/garbage/litter on the beach? Who is doing this? Is it the young who are ignorant to laws against littering, or is it young adults who are just interested in partying without cleaning up afterward? Or is it tourists? Or is it just careless individuals?

I remember back in the day of elementary school where we learned about littering and how bad it is for the environment. Teachers drilled this into our heads. Don’t people care anymore?

Examples of items found recently on our beloved beach: numerous beer glass bottles, plastic bottles, cans, bottle caps, straws, lids, plastic silverware, cups, balloons, food wrappers, toys, clothing, pizza boxes, Dunkin’ Donuts box (complete with donuts for the taking), cigarette and cigar butts, condoms, diapers. These items are not only harmful to fish, birds and turtles, but also dangerous to humans (i.e., broken glass, rusty bottle caps).

This social problem, unlike many others, is very easy to solve. Just stop doing it!

But in the meantime, you can help. Whenever you go to the beach, take along a plastic grocery bag and pick up whatever you see in your immediate area. If everyone does this on a daily basis, it would surely help. And if you do not have a bag, get a little bit of exercise and use the numerous trash containers already there.

And to those who say, “The litter is everywhere.” Well, that’s just it; we want Deerfield Beach to be exceptional and pristine. Deerfield Beach is truly a special place. Keep Deerfield Beach as our paradise!

We appreciate your assistance.

— Phyllis Mavrikis and Ellyce Plotkin

Deerfield Beach, FL



Posted on 21 July 2016 by LeslieM

Hurricane Season 2016

Dear Editor:

Hurricane Season is here once again and I would like to take this opportunity to offer a word of caution to the residents of Deerfield Beach.

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]. Just a few months ago, we saw the damage that severe rainstorms left behind in some of our neighboring cities. We must remain as vigilant as ever in our preparation.

Go to the city website and under the Residents tab check out the Broward County Hurricane Preparedness Guide for 2016. There is very important information in the guide, such as checklists of items you should keep stocked in your home in case of a hurricane and a list of shelters in your area. Under that same tab, register for CodeRed, the City emergency notification system. These tools will help to protect you and your family in the event of a storm or other major crisis.

It is always better to be prepared, my friends! Keep your family safe this season.

Jean M. Robb, Mayor

Deerfield Beach

Check out the Observer’s Hurricane Center including the 2016 Hurricane Update!



Posted on 15 July 2016 by LeslieM

RE: SW 10th St. Improvements

Dear Editor:

There was a notice in our building that a meeting would be held [regarding the SW 10th St. improvements] on Sat, June 18 in our [Century Village] clubhouse party room at 10 a.m. No meeting has ever been held in Century Village. Nothing was set up for a meeting when we arrived. There had been no notice of a change of location either on our condo bulletin boards or in the clubhouse. I was later told a bus was sent at 9:15 a.m. and was in the parking lot until 10 a.m. No one told us about that either. [The meeting was held at Deerfield Beach High School]. Do you really think anyone wants to hear from the residents that face SW 10th Street?

We hear specious arguments from those who go-along to get-along — how necessary road widening is or even an overpass. Normally, there will always be increased traffic. Does that mean it has to be dumped here? It already seems that trucks are being redirected here. We are a community of retirees and handicapped, with an assisted-living building across from us. We, the most vulnerable, live with enough dirt and noise as is. I wonder if our wood storks will continue to find this place a haven. We certainly won’t.

As to the sidewalk being proposed, most people here won’t cross Hillsboro. They think it too dangerous. Some won’t even cross Military Trail because of those drivers in FL who only recognize lights at intersections and pedestrians, not at all. Other than a few bikers, who do you think would cross 10th Street with additional lanes of traffic?

I find it unconscionable that new projects are being funded when the country’s bridges are in such disrepair. Why isn’t anybody talking about our abysmal transportation system?

Shirley Scimone

Deerfield Beach, FL



Posted on 07 July 2016 by LeslieM

RE: The calculated demise of East McNab Road

Dear Editor:

Broward County and Pompano Beach Commissioners are attempting to implement a program called “Complete Streets.” It would cut down over 40 native trees, pave over grass swales and create two 5 ft. bicycle paths. Bicycles and pedestrians have coexisted on our tree shaded neighborhood sidewalks for decades, without incidents. In addition, with the proposed wall to wall asphalt, no storm drainage and losing natural soil percolation, flooding will be inevitable.

Ironically, the “Complete Street Manual” states that its intent is to contribute to walkable, livable neighborhoods which aide in building a sense of community pride and improved quality of life. How does 10 ft. of ugly asphalt accomplish this?

Please call our Commissioners and attend the July 13 meeting from 5 to 7 p.m. at E. Pat Larkins Community Center, 520 NW 3 St., in Pompano Beach.

Daniel O’Brien

Pompano Beach



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.]


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