| May, 2011

Deerfield Beach was popular location Memorial Day

Posted on 30 May 2011 by JLusk

Despite the wind and a few threatening clouds, Deerfield Beach remained packed with beach goers during Monday’s holiday

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Pompano Salutes Veterans with Parade

Posted on 30 May 2011 by JLusk

The annual Memorial Day Parade took place today with participants from the area including members of Post 142 honor guard.

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Wildfire Danger High in Florida this Memorial Day Weekend

Posted on 27 May 2011 by LeslieM

Jim Karels, Director of the Florida Division of Forestry at the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, issued a warning today about the wildfire danger leading in to Memorial Day weekend.  The danger of wildfire is very high throughout Florida due to lack of rain, low humidity and windy conditions.

The entire state of Florida is suffering from drought conditions and everyone should use extreme caution with any type of fire this weekend,” said Karels. “Under these current conditions, and without the proper resources, fires can get out of control quickly and may cause damage to property, homes and even lives.”

The Keetch-Byram Drought Index (KBDI) which measures the amount of moisture in the top three feet of soil reveals an average statewide reading of 569 on a scale of 0 to 800, with 0 equivalent to flood-like conditions and 800 to desert-like conditions.

Burn bans are in place in several counties including Baker, Citrus, Flagler, Glades, Hendry, Marion (voluntary), Martin, Nassau, Osceola, Palm Beach (East), Putnam, Seminole, St. Lucie, and Volusia. The Division of Forestry encourages residents to contact local government officials for up to date information on burn bans.

Individuals and families planning to visit forests or parks over the holiday weekend are advised to call ahead to learn whether or not campfires and charcoal grills are permitted. These activities may be restricted in certain areas until the fire danger decreases.

The Division of Forestry also released fire safety tips for Floridians to keep in mind this Memorial Day:

  • Never leave a fire unattended
  • Dispose of charcoal briquettes properly
  • Use dedicated campfire rings where possible
  • Clear vegetation to bare soil within 10 feet of your campfire
  • Make sure a fire is dead out before leaving unattended
  • Be very careful when operating equipment such as lawn mowers, tractors, chainsaws, all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) as any spark can start a wildfire under the current conditions
  • Avoid parking cars among tall grass that can easily be ignited from a hot catalytic converter

Since January 1st, of this year, 2,664 wildfires have burned 128,675 acres throughout Florida. This figure represents nearly twice as many fires as the Division of Forestry responded to during the same period last year.

To report a wildfire, please call 9-1-1 or the local Division of Forestry office.

For more information on burn bans, current wildfires or fire prevention measures, please visit http://www.fl-dof.com/wildfire/information.html or contact the local Division of Forestry office.

For more information about the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, visit www.FreshFromFlorida.com or follow Commissioner Putnam on Facebook, www.facebook.com/adamputnam, or Twitter, @adamputnam.

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Happenings: Memorial Day Weekend

Posted on 26 May 2011 by LeslieM

Deerfield Beach

May 30

9:30 or 10 a.m. Ceremony at Deerfield Beach Memorial Cemetery, 380 NE 6 Ave., Deerfield Beach, 33441.

10 or 10:30 a.m. Flag/ Wreath Ceremony, International Fishing Pier, Deerfield Beach, 33441. Hosted by American Legion Post #162 and Glenn Miller Post #287. Two WWII Navy Veterans – Pearl Harbor survivor Eddie Hammond, and Jack Murphy — do wreath toss. Also, 21-gun salute.

11 a.m. or 12 p.m. Public welcome at American Legion Post 162, 820 SE 8 Ave., Deerfield Beach, 33441, for hamburgers, hotdogs. Entertainment: Eddie Handel. 561-213-5831.


Boca Raton

Friday, May 27

7 p.m. The Meaning of Memorial Day, Olympic Heights High School, 20101 Lyons Rd., Boca Raton, 33434. Benefitting Olympics Heights Music Dept. Features 15-piece Big Band performing music of Glenn Miller, Tommy Dorsey. $20 (free 3 p.m. performance for students with I.D.) 561-852-6900.


Sunday, May 29

7:30 p.m. Boca Ballet Theater presentation. Mizner Park Amphitheater, 327 Plaza Real, Boca Raton, 33432. Bring blanket/ chair or buy for nominal fee. 561-393-7827. www.myboca.us/rec/specialevents.


Monday, May 30

9 a.m. Memorial Day Commemorative Ceremony, Boca Raton Cemetery, 449 SW 4 Ave., Boca Raton, FL 33486. Veteran’s groups, city officials, music by Ft. Lauderdale Highlanders, Boca Raton Community High School Band, Coastmen Chorus, drills by Boca Raton Community High School NJROTC and New Young Patriots. FREE. 561-393-7827.

Free admission at Boca Raton Museum of Art for active duty military personnel and their immediate family members (up to 5) from Memorial Day through Labor Day 2011. Bring military ID. 561-392-2500 or www.bocamuseum.org.


Pompano Beach

Monday, May 30

10 a.m. (assemble at this time), Parade, McNab Park, 2250 E. Atlantic Blvd., Pompano Beach, 33062, followed by ceremony, Pompano Beach Cemetery, 400 SE 23 Ave., Pompano Beach, 33062


Save the Date: Friday, June 3

10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Honor Our Troops, Pompano Beach Citi Centre, 1955-201 N. Federal Hwy., Pompano Beach, 33062. Hosted by Chapter 133 of the Disabled American Veterans. Features classic car and motorcycle show, live concert and auctions. Funds raised will allow more than 20 members of Chapter 133 to visit the war monuments in Washington D.C.


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Paragon Theaters takes over Sunrise Cinema

Posted on 26 May 2011 by LeslieM

By Rachel Galvin

Those driving past the marquee displayed on Hillsboro Boulevard and Powerline may have noticed a change. The long-time Sunrise Theater moniker has been replaced by Paragon Deerfield 8.

Paragon, founded by the former executive management team of Muvico, plans to expand upon amenities already in place. Sure to become a destination for area movie-goers, this theater offers a first-class experience. Besides adding VIP seats to every theater, they will upgrade the sound system to Sony 4K high definition, bring in sofas and TVs into the lobby and add outdoor seating. Patrons can snack on upscale items like a flatbread or cheese plate (or standard cinema fare) and eat inside the theater with beer or wine from the bar. Soon leather VIP seats will be available to be reserved in advance to avoid waiting in line. Community-oriented Paragon plans to offer loyalty programs as well.

There will be daily specials: Tuesday, Senior day ($5 all day); Wednesday, kids day ($5 all day); Thursday, Ladies Night (½ price beverages). Monday through Thursday – $5 matinees (first show), free popcorn for seniors with beverage purchase.

Paragon 8, 3984 W. Hills-boro Blvd., Deerfield Beach, FL 33442, will be open during renovations. 954-571-2445. www.paragontheaters.com.

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Rotary gives scholarships, recognition

Posted on 26 May 2011 by LeslieM

By Rachel Galvin

May 17 marked the annual luncheon at Deerfield Beach Rotary Club when deserving students from Zion Lutheran, Highlands Christian Academy and Deerfield Beach High School received scholarships from the organization. One by one the students came up in front of the group and received a check for $1,000.

These future leaders want to contribute to the community in a variety of ways. Their career of choice runs the gamut from attorney to journalist, physiologist and kinesiologist to cardiologist, sports manager to psychologist and even teacher.

But students were not the only ones honored.

DART, a longtime sponsor, was honored, represented by Retired VP of Sales and Marketing Al Nigro and Charitable Committee members Marlyn Spencer and Mabel Urena.

Pictured: (Zion) Allison Newcombe, David Gagne, Patrick Byndloss and Jasmine LaBrousse; (DBHS) Hellen Ospina, Jesse Morgan, Joseph Angello, Victor Araujo and Alexis Chetkin; (HCA) Danielle Stromquist, Alexi Rivera and Stephen Kies. (Front Left) Commissioner Joe Miller and Rotary President Bill Stradling (Back Right).

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National Memorial Day concert & Pirates of the Caribbean

Posted on 26 May 2011 by LeslieM

By Dave Montalbano

After the 9/11 attacks, B.B. King performed in the Pompano Amphitheater. The old Blues Boy was an appropriate anecdote to the healing process. By acknowledging pain and suffering, one could move forward toward redemption and hope. This Sunday, B.B. King brings his blues craftsmanship to Washington D.C. for the annual National Memorial Day Concert on PBS, joining regular hosts Gary Sinise and Joe Mantegna.

Each year, this bipartisan presentation honors all four branches of the American Armed Forces. There will be a tribute to the children of war, and the World War II generation will be acknowledged. These emotional tributes often require Kleenex for the viewer. Yet, this is a life-affirming program and should not be missed this Sunday night on our local PBS station.

On a lighter note, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides had the strongest opening of any movie released in 2011. This Walt Disney Studios franchise opens strong but fades toward a philosophical climax involving the Fountain of Youth. Given Florida’s connection to the Fountain of Youth in Saint Augustine, much local lore could have been included in this salty tale.

Given the complexity of the original trilogy, On Stranger Tides takes a minimalist approach and keeps the focus on Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp). Taken prisoner by the Royal Court of King George III (Richard Griffiths), Captain Jack is reunited with an old ally, Gibbs (Kevin McNally), and his arch nemesis, Captain Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush).

Captain Jack escapes and eventually swabs the deck of the Queen Ann’s Revenge,  a voodoo-enchanted ship captained by the notorious Blackbeard (Ian McShane).  Having survived his beheading in the Carolinas, Black-beard is on a quest for eternal life by drinking from the Fountain of Youth.

Lacking the charisma of Captain Davy Jones and Barbossa, Blackbeard is a disappointing villain. Blackbeard’s saving grace is that he has a beautiful daughter (Penelope Cruz), a swashbuckling former nun whose youth was corrupted by one Captain Jack Sparrow. Whether dancing a tango or sword fighting, the chemistry of Depp and Cruz keeps On Stranger Tides afloat.

Given the last shot of the post credits sequence, expect Pirates 5 to continue the relationship between Angelica and Captain Jack. Expect Geoffrey Rush to return, because the on-screen feud between Barbossa and Captain Jack is fun to watch. Hopefully, the next Pirates will include more time on-deck and less time landlocked.


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Cook steps down at Highlands

Posted on 26 May 2011 by LeslieM

By Gary Curreri

Reg Cook said he’d spend more time with his family after stepping down as Athletic Director at Highlands Christian Academy. Photo by Gary Curreri

Reg Cook said he is not “relieved” to be giving up the reigns as athletic director at Highlands Christian Academy.

Cook, who turns 60 on Sept. 29, is completing his 37th year at the school. He told school officials recently that he would give up his duties as athletic director, but would stay on and help Jim Good as an assistant. Good would remain as head basketball coach as well.

“I wouldn’t use the word relief because it sounds like I am getting out of a job I hated, and that’s not the case,” said Cook, who went 518-265 at the school as its boys basketball coach for 28 years. The gym floor was named after Cook in 2005-2006.

“An athletic director (AD) puts in a lot of hours and that goes without saying,” Cook added. “At this time in my life, my new contract is less hours … It gives me some more time at my home with my wife. It is cutting back a little bit. It’s a great job, and Jimmy is a great boss.”

Cook started at Highlands when his father, Bernie, was the AD at the school. Cook began as a PE teacher and a coach. He piloted the JV team three years under his father, who was also the varsity coach and then took over the varsity team until six years ago when he handed that to Good as well. Cook has enjoyed his tenure at the school.

“Oh my gosh, it’s just been great,” said Cook, whose three children went to the school, and he was able to coach two of his brothers also during that time. “It’s been wonderful because I haven’t had to check the clock when it is time to go home. It’s a great job because I work with wonderful people. It was just a family affair, and I am not just talking about my own family, I am talking about the whole Highlands family.”

Cook said he enjoys staying in touch with former players and the fact that he has been able to work with his best friend and former college roommate, Ken Lopez, who is the school’s principal. He said he’s enjoyed “making a difference” in people’s lives. He’s toyed with the idea of stepping aside for the past three or four years.

“It wasn’t a matter of us waiting until he was ready,” Cook said. “Jimmy could have taken over years ago and done a super job. I don’t think it’ll change that much except he will be the one making the final decision. I am sure Jimmy has some new ideas, and I am totally excited about doing things in a different way. We don’t have to do everything the same way we have been doing.”

Good, 35, who lives on the property at the school and overlooks the softball field, is looking forward to the challenge.

“I am excited,” said Good, who has been at the school 14 years. “Those are definitely big shoes to fill. I know the athletic director position is a different set of challenges, but also a different set of rewards as well.”

Good is happy that his mentor of the past 14 years will remain on as an assistant AD, putting in between 30 and 35 hours a week.

“I don’t think words can describe what he has meant to the school,” Good said. “He has been the face of the athletic department since 1974. His priorities, focus and approach to athletics have meant a lot to me.”

Cook’s wife, Melanie, said there was a conversation she recalls her husband having with a new coach at the school. She said it sums up her husband’s influence with the students he coached.

“The younger coach asked my husband, ‘do you want the kids to like you?’” Melanie Cook recalled. “And he said, ‘I want them to like me five years from now.’ So his philosophy was that they would appreciate the discipline later. So many of these boys, especially the boys who grew up without dads, have said, ‘without coach Cook, I don’t know where I’d be.”

Melanie Cook said her husband never looked at his position as a job and never complained about going to work.

“He’s loved it, maybe a little too much,” she said with a laugh. “I’ll be glad to have him a little bit more. We are going to be doing some traveling —  a Mediterranean cruise later this year and a family trip to Africa next year.”

Reg Cook said the journey at Highlands was well worth it.


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Letters to the Editor

Posted on 26 May 2011 by LeslieM

Where Does the Buck Stop?

Dear Editor:

One of our municipality’s tallest flag poles is erected at the east end of Hillsboro Boulevard on the beach.  Just before this year’s spring break (early April) and the Easter activities, the flag came up missing and is still missing the latter part of May.  Inquiries to various employees, officials, firemen, lifeguards, pier staff, local police, maintenance workers, etc.  all came up with similar replies such as “I didn’t know,”  “I’ll see about it,” or “I’ll tell so and so.”  I feel that all who replied were sincere, but they had other responsibilities to tend to at that time.  The thought I had after some 30 days or more of no visual actions is: “Who’s in charge to get things done?”  Whoever [it is,] it seems is not doing it or willing to say he or she is the one!  It appears that perhaps, we need to keep better track of what is going on.

Just a Vet

Deerfield Beach


Editor’s note: Did you know about the city of Deerfield Beach’s new Customer Connection? Call 954-480-4477 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays to talk with a LIVE operator. Have your call routed to the right place and receive a follow-up call. Or go to web.customerconnection@deerfield-beach.com to make your inquiry.


RE: BSO presentation on Fire-Rescue

Dear Editor:

There is no doubt in my mind that if you, Deerfield Beach Mayor and Commissioners, decide to have BSO take over the Fire-Rescue department, you must hold a referendum to approve their use of the city-owned facilities.  It is very clear in the Charter.

The Deerfield Beach Charter (Section 7.09.) covers a mandated referendum on public property worth more than $750,000 in the case of: “Sale, gift, trade, transfer or lease.” The wording in the charter that makes a vote necessary if BSO takes over the Fire-Rescue operations is: “Lease is defined as a contract for possession or use of real property.”

Just in case your thinking is “We’re going to do this anyway and let someone try to stop us”  —  I must say that is not a wise course of action.  Very likely there will be a lawsuit brought if the city tries to allow BSO to use the facilities without following the Charter provision.

I assume that a suit will cost more to defend than an election, which could be relatively inexpensive if done by mail.  Costs aside, think of the results of entering into a contract with BSO, followed by the inevitable lawsuit.  The city would undoubtedly lose the suit, forcing a referendum.  Think of the mess if the voters refuse to allow the use after already having signed a contract with BSO.

You already have residents up in arms about the possibility of the Commission making this decision without public input, legally mandated or not.  The last time the city was deliberating a move to BSO, following the direction of the Charter, a referendum asking if voters favored allowing city-owned properties to be used by BSO was voted down.  The important impact of that vote was not just the “yes” or “no” vote, but that there was a vote at all.  Clearly, the legal opinion was that it was needed, as it is in the current case.

If the commission votes that they would like to switch to BSO, let the voters have the information that convinced you.  Let’s have the pros and cons, spell out your reasons. And then let us vote.  It’s the law, and even more important, it’s the right thing to do.

Bett Willett

Co-president, Original Save Our Beach Committee

Deerfield Beach


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Crime Watch

Posted on 26 May 2011 by LeslieM


May 16 About $6,000 in computer equipment was taken from a business on South Federal Highway.

May 16 Frank Moore was arrested at 553 E. Sample Rd. outside a pain clinic where he was threatening to stab customers. He attacked deputies attempting to arrest him and was charged accordingly.

May 16 A homeowner on SW 30 Avenue had several guns and jewelry stolen from his home.

May 17 Stephen Johnson was arrested by Deerfield deputies for two burglary conveyances at LA Fitness. He is also a suspect in eight other burglary/fraud cases from Deerfield to Vero Beach. Additional charges pending. Johnson is currently on probation for similar offenses.

May 17 More than $1,600 in electronics were stolen from a home on NE 51 Court.

May 18 An A/C unit worth $4,000 was stolen from behind a business on S. Dixie Highway.

May 19 A search warrant was executed at a home at 941 NE 51 St. and 11 grams of crack cocaine, 14 grams of marijuana, 1 rifle and a Smith and Wesson .38 revolver were found inside. The revolver was stolen during a Deerfield Beach burglary. Ronel Desinor was arrested for grand theft third degree firearm, possession of cocaine with intent to sell, possession of marijuana with intent to sell, possession of drug paraphernalia. Kesenel Desinor was arrested for possession of marijuana under 20 grams. Both were taken to the Main Jail.

May 19 A city-owned property on SW 6 Avenue was burglarized and the exterior A/C unit was stolen. Deerfield Beach owns the property, and the person reporting is doing renovations.

May 21 Calls were received by police with complaints of shots fired by a gun near the 200 block of SW 3 Avenue. Police are investigating and found six spent 9mm casings.

May 21 A $2,000 A/C was stolen from a home on NE 4 Avenue.

May 22 A victim left a laptop on the backseat of his car in a black bag near NE 6 Street and it was stolen from his car by unknown means.

May 22 Thieves did a grab and run at TJ Maxx on W. Hillsboro Boulevard, stealing more than $500 worth of Ralph Lauren Polo shorts. This is the third such incident in South Florida.


DEERFIELD – District 4

May 17-18 Between 5:30 p.m. and 6 a.m., a conveyance burglary took place in the Waterford Homes area, 1471 SW 30 Ave. Complainant reported that unknown person(s) broke into his vehicle parked at the above-listed location. Point of entry was by smashing the passenger side window. Taken from the vehicle were a briefcase and a Sun Pass with a total value of $100. Vehicle was processed, latent prints were taken and the area was canvassed.

May 19 Conveyance burglary was reported between 10:45 and 11 a.m. at 3370 W. Hillsboro Blvd., south side of Hillsboro Boulevard, a block east of Powerline Road.

Victim stated she left her vehicle running in the parking lot. Unknown suspect(s) removed her wallet from the front passenger seat. Loss: cash, DL, Medicaid card. No suspects, witnesses or video at this time. Crime scene was processed.

May 20 Residential burglary occurred in the Riverglen area, 59 NW 45 Ave., between 8:40 a.m. and 7 p.m.Victim states that unknown person(s) entered her residence and removed almost all her electronics.

May 22 Grand theft was reported at Discovery Pointe, 2116 Discovery Circle between noon and 1:15 p.m. Victim stated that unknown person(s) stole dive equipment drying on a metal rack off the driveway. Estimated loss: $1,860.



May 9 Several vehicles were burglarized at Georgetown Plaza and miscellaneous items were stolen.

May 14 A victim’s ATM card was used at a SunTrust location in Lighthouse Point and $880 stolen.

May 18 Two rod and reels worth $1,000 were stolen from a home on NE 27 Avenue.


If you see suspicious activity in your neighborhood, call 911 immediately.


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