| October, 2014


Posted on 09 October 2014 by LeslieM

RE: Health insurance benefits for DB Commissioners

Dear Editor:

This is regarding the Oct. 7 [commission] meeting agenda item for changes to retired commissioner’s health insurance payments and commissioner compensation.

A city such as Deerfield Beach benefits from the participation of qualified individuals in city government. Ideally, short terms and term limits help provide for a regular cycling of the politicians in this city to avoid “dynasties” from coming into power.

Service as a commissioner or mayor is voluntary and should not be done for the money or salary of the job.

For this reason, compensation should be minimal and not have long-term beneficial payments in the form of pensions or lifetime health insurance.

Lifetime benefits to commissioners or the mayor is expensive and beyond the reach of city budgets. At least one city commissioner benefits from a city pension resulting from his full-time job with the city for years, which he earned, so further benefits are redundant.

Lifetime benefits that include health insurance can cost upwards of $700 per individual per month, depending on age and health status.

Especially detrimental to the city budget process is lifetime payments to younger politicians where the benefit may result in payments for over 20 or 30 years. Remember, current provisions pay the commissioner’s spouse the same lifetime health benefits.

Payments as currently in place also provide for commissioner benefits that are not available to city employees and may result in problems with union and employee bargaining where such limitless benefits may be sought by collective bargaining units.

Long-term benefits, pensions and health insurance for city commissioners are wrong and should be discontinued immediately.

This public service should come from dedicated city residents who have a desire to help the city, not for commissioners who took the oath of office for a job or pension.

Payment of excessive salaries and benefits make this a job, not public service.

Also at the [Sept. 15] commission meeting, several commissioners stated that they receive “part-time pay for fulltime works”.

This statement shows the failure of the commission to act in a decisive and fair manner with respect to city management. Commissioners are there to set policy. Daily operation of the city is the full- time responsibility of the city manager. The current city manager, this may come as a surprise to many residents, has never been evaluated in his performance of running our city. In fact, when I questioned city officials, I find that no one in the city is “evaluated” in his or her performance on the job. Any employee for any company deserves a fair and regular evaluation. How else can an employee know he or she is doing what is expected of them? When a city commissioner or mayor has to get involved with regular day-to-day city issues, it reflects negatively on city management. In fact, if a commissioner has to work full-time, as some have stated, it suggests that the city manager and his staff are not performing in accordance with the expectation of the city commission, and the system has failed us.

In a properly-run city, political service is ceremonial as stated in part in the city charter, not a regular functioning job description.

It is not a full-time job!

If commissioners or the mayor are being forced into fulltime work, the city is failing at its job, in the eyes of the residents. Ask any resident who has been forced to complain to a commissioner and you will find it is an issue with how the city staff has handled a particular complaint.

It’s well past the time to initiate an employee evaluation procedure that starts with the city manager.

How many city residents have ever worked at a full-time job that did not perform regular employee evaluations? You can be sure that none of the professional-run city businesses in our town neglect or ignore the importance of regular employee evaluations.

Ronald J. Coddington, P.E.

Deerfield Beach

Local activism group Deerfield Dreams

Dear Editor:

Are you interested in helping to make Deerfield Beach a better place to live?

Deerfield Dreams is an experiment in local activism. The idea is to create a new forum for neighbors to get together to make our city a better place.

This gathering is not political in nature. The goal is to come up with good ideas through brainstorming, to gather support, and to create a plan for implementing them. It is an exciting opportunity for residents to be an active part of improving our city in a less formalized environment.

We hope to see you at our next meeting on Saturday, Oct.11 at 10 a.m. at the Old Schoolhouse at City Hall.

Join the Dream Team! Please bring a pen, notebook paper, and any fresh ideas you might have. See you there!

Anthony Dispenziere

Deerfield Beach



Posted on 09 October 2014 by LeslieM

Hayride and Campfire

Friday, Oct. 10, 7 to 9:30 p.m.

Quiet Waters Park 401 S. Powerline Rd., Deerfield Beach, FL 33442

For all ages. $3.50/person ages 3+. Includes one hayride and one bag of fixings to make s’mores around the campfire. Pre-registration and pre-payment required. Other dates: Nov. 7 and Dec. 12. 954-357-5100.

Ocean Reef demo event

Friday, Oct. 10, 6 to 7:30 p.m. Saturday Oct. 11, Noon to 5 p.m.

Dixie Divers 455 S. Federal Hwy., Deerfield Beach, FL 33441

Friday, explore the future of diving with a seminar. Saturday, watch product demos on the full-face diving mask line, underwater communications, accessories. Talk underwater or use the land base to talk to divers underwater in our pool. Pre-registration required. 954-420-0009.

Movies in the Park: Monster’s University

Friday, Oct. 11, 7 p.m.

Villages of Hillsboro Park 4111 NW 6 St., Deerfield Beach, FL 33441

Bring blankets and lawn chairs. Concessions/glow merchandise will be sold for a small fee. For full listing of this season’s movies and dates, visit www.deerfield-beach. com/moviesinthepark. For more info., call 954-480-4495.

Teen Gardening Club

Begins Saturday, Oct. 11, 4 to 5 pm

Deerfield Beach Teen Center 1345 SW 11 Way, Deerfield Beach, FL 33441

On-going program is designed to educate teens on growing their own food. Participants will learn to grow corn, cucumbers, broccoli, beans and much more. For more info. Call 954-571-4568.

Hillsboro Lighthouse Tour

Saturday, Oct. 11, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Transportation from: Sands Harbor Hotel & Marina 125 N. Riverside Dr. , Pompano Beach, FL 33062

Transportation to and from the lighthouse grounds by boat. $25 per person. Must have flat shoes with rubber soles and closed toes. Children must be accompanied by an adult and must be a minimum of 48” (4 feet) tall to climb the tower. No pets allowed. www.hillsborolighthouse.org.

On-Site Mammovan

Monday, Oct. 13, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Festival Flea Market Mall 2900 W. Sample Rd., Pompano Beach, FL 33073

One-day event where guests will have the convenience of receiving a mammogram screening in the Boca Raton Regional Hospital MammoVan. Price ranges $0 to $75, depending on insurance. Appointments required. Call 561-955-4700 or visit www.BRRH.com/MammoVan.

Pompano Beach Garden Club

Monday, Oct. 13, 12:30 p.m.

Emma Lou Olson Civic Center 1801 NE 6 St., Pompano Beach, FL 33060

Refreshments served. Open to the public. 954-943-0029.

Concept to Creation

Begins Tuesday, Oct. 14, 6:30 to 8 p.m. (13 weeks)

Deerfield Beach Teen Center 1345 SW 11 Way, Deerfield Beach, FL 33441

Every Tuesday. Learn about fashion design and how to sew. Make your own creation. 954-571-4568.

GFWC Woman’s Club of Deerfield Beach meets

Tuesday, Oct. 14, 1 p.m.

910 E. Hillsboro Blvd. , Deerfield Beach, FL 33441

Guest Speaker: Elizabeth Small, “Whole Food Nutrition.” Light Refreshments served. Public Welcome. R.S.V.P. to marti@dbwc.org or call 954-421-4700.

Evening Chapter

Wednesday, Oct. 15, 7 p.m.

Public Welcome. For fun, wear a costume (optional). R.S.V.P. to barbara@dbwc.org or call 954-421-4700.


Wednesday, Oct. 15, 5:30 to 8 p.m.

50 NE 1 St. Pompano Beach, FL 33060

Free, family and pet friendly event. “Double Vision,” a solo photography exhibition of Jeremiah Jenner’s limited editions. Live music, complimentary wine and array of food for purchase (from food trucks). For more info., call 954-586-1111.

History at High Noon

Wednesday, Oct. 15, noon to 1 p.m.

Deerfield Beach City Hall City Commission Chamber 150 NE 2 Ave., Deerfield Beach, FL 33441

Speaker: Mrs. Leola Bache Brooks. Light refreshments will be served. Sponsored by Deerfield Beach Historical Society. For info., call 954-429-0378.

Save the date: Beach Sounds Concert Series: “The Boss Project”

Friday, Oct. 17, 7 to 8:30 p.m.

Main Beach Parking Lot 149 SE 21 Ave. Deerfield Beach, FL 33441

Free admission to Bruce Springsteen Tribute. Bring blankets, chairs, sit on the beach or wade in the surf. Open to the public. Sponsored by City of Deerfield Beach Parks and Recreation. 954-480-4429.

Please note: Ocean Way from SE 1 St. to SE 2 St. and the east wing of the Main Beach Parking Lot will close Friday, Oct. 17, 6 p.m. and reopen 9:30 p.m.

South Florida Legends Dinner & Concert

Friday, Oct. 17, 6 p.m.

Tropical Acres Steakhouse 2500 Griffin Rd. Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33312

Tribute to Michael Jackson, Elvis, Frank Sinatra and more. $49.95 for dinner & show (includes taxes/gratuities.) Limited seating, reservations required. Call 954-596-0058 or visit www.sflreservations.com.

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CLERGY CORNER: Change is not easy

Posted on 09 October 2014 by LeslieM

Have you ever tried to quit doing something that you thought was a bad habit or maybe bad manners? Have you ever tried to change these things yourself without any help? If you have an issue with anger, you may have at some point just said, ‘I will stop getting mad all the time and stop yelling.’ How is that working out for you?

You may have that special gift that you think was straight from heaven, and you can find the fault in any situation or circumstance. You know who you are because you can look at any situation and see only what needs to be fixed or what can be better. Maybe at some point you say, ‘Well I just won’t say anything anymore and I will just mind my own business and keep my mouth shut.’ How is that working out for you?

In order for most to really change, they need help and assistance. We want to change and we need to change, but we do not have the ability to change on our own and we need help. Because God is great, He can help us change. Because of the greatness of His love, He will defend us and also help us to change.

Ephesians 2:4 But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us.


God uses love as an action word. When God uses love, it is a verb. They say that love is not love until you give it away. The Bible says that God loved us while we were sinners. There are no conditions on God’s love for us; he chose to love us at our worst. Not only did God love us when we were a total mess, but God will never quit loving you because He is very patient with us. When I was much younger, I remember looking in the paper and asking for something for Christmas over and over. When I would open that present on Christmas day, I remember being so excited about getting that toy. Then, six weeks later, I would forget I even had that toy.

God will never quit loving you no matter what you did or what you do. God’s love even includes acceptance. God says, ‘I love you, come as you are;’ but we say, ‘I love you if you do this for me.’ Our love has conditions on it, but God’s love is unconditional. Not only will God accept you just the way you are, but He will give you room to grow.

We always seem to accuse others of not being able to change and staying the same way, but God loves us so much He not only helps us to change, but He gives us room to grow and change at our own pace. We should never compare our lives to anyone or anything but God’s Holy Word. God loves us so much it makes us want to change and not only can we change, but God will help us to change. Just be yourself with God and let Him change you into the person that He wants.

Tony Guadagnino is a pastor at Christian Love Fellowship of Deerfield Beach.

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18th Annual Dunn’s Run

Posted on 06 October 2014 by LeslieM

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18th Annual Dunn’s Run

Posted on 05 October 2014 by JLusk




By Rachel Galvin

The cooler weather was a refreshing change for the participants of this year’s Dunn’s Run.

For the 18th year, the large crowd lined up behind the starting line for the 5K walk/ run and 5 mile run benefitting the Boys & Girls Clubs of Broward County.

With a time of 16:59, Gabe Leitz was the first to cross the finish line. A winner last year as well, Leitz was barely breathing hard after the race, although he said, “I sound better than I feel.”


Gabe Leitz, winner of 5K race, was the first across the finish line.

The first woman across was Valerie Mebane with a time of 20:17. She had to walk it off following the run, but had her training partner with her to cheer her on.

The five mile winners came in at 26:21 and 29:39, respectively, Chris Miller and Alice Henley, who easily got lost among the crowd, which gradually took over the street to welcome the runners and walkers.

Besides the race, there also were plenty of vendor booths to peruse and several types of auctions conducted following, as well as the awards ceremony.

To see all the results, visit www.splitsecondtiming.com.

See more pictures in the October 9 issue of Observer Newspaper. SEE VIDEO ON OBSERVER TV!



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Beach tennis event draws 84 competitors

Posted on 02 October 2014 by LeslieM

Chelsea Hall (Sarasota), left, and her partner Michelle Guidicessi (Tampa), reached the final of the Women’s A Division in the tournament where they lost to Miramar residents Sofia Ponce and Marisela Sardinas. Photo by Gary Curreri

Chelsea Hall (Sarasota), left, and her partner Michelle Guidicessi (Tampa), reached the final of the Women’s A Division in the tournament where they lost to Miramar residents Sofia Ponce and Marisela Sardinas. Photo by Gary Curreri

By Gary Curreri

Adrienne Cerra knows what it is like to put on a successful beach tennis event and she also found her way onto the winner’s podium at the September Beach Tennis G-4 Tournament on Pompano Beach Sept. 21.

Cerra, the International Federation of Beach Tennis- USA president, teamed with Miramar’s Christy Garzon to win the Women’s Pro Division of the tournament with a win over teenagers Megan Horwitz (Pembroke Pines) and Erika Ponce (Miramar).

The tournament featured 84 players who competed in Men’s and Women’s Doubles, Mixed Doubles and Juniors Doubles (12 and under) in both pro and amateur divisions.

The IFBT-USA held a World Cup Triple Crown tournament during the summer that featured top players from all over the U.S.A., as well as Brazil, Italy, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Aruba, Peru, Columbia and Germany, who represented their countries.

They will hold a tournament nearly every month all along Florida, in addition to tournaments throughout the United States in California, St. Louis, New York and internationally in Barcelona, Cancun

and Puerto Rico. Cerra said the sport is continuing to grow and that more and more children are starting to play. This event served as a warm-up for a G-1 tournament in Cancun, Mexico. It was more of a local one so there were medals and ranking points.

We try and do one every month, so it is a monthly event,” Cerra said. “It is called a Grade 4, which is pretty much a local tournament. A G-3 tournament gets more people from out of the town. A G-2 is more of a national and a G-1 is an international tournament. These local tournaments are a way for us to introduce the sport. Some people come by out of curiosity, or they heard of it and they come out to play.”

Cerra said they also have free weekly practices at the beach to help introduce the sport to players.

There are beginners and we also leave a court for people to try and come out and play with us,” Cerra said. “We give people paddles and balls and we will demo the sport. They can try it and, if they like it, they are welcome to play. They can play right away. The learning curve is pretty small. We are always there every weekend, and then, once a month, we try and have a local tournament.”

Miramar residents Sofia Ponce and Marisela Sardinas captured the Women’s A Division with a win over Chelsea Hall (Sarasota) and her partner Michelle Guidicessi (Tampa). Ponce, who picked up her first ever win on the beach, said she likes the competitive attitude and camaraderie among the players.

It is nice because you can still be friends with someone knowing that they have given you their A game,” Ponce said. “I know my friends would not like it if I didn’t give them my all in my game. It is a sign of respect. If they beat me, they beat me fair and square. It is more passion and competitiveness and always trying to improve and get better.”

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FLICKS: The Liberator, MODS & Adventures in Charity 2

Posted on 02 October 2014 by LeslieM

flicks100214By Dave Montalbano


The Liberator opens this weekend, smack dab in the middle of Hispanic Heritage month. It is the story of Simon Bolivar (Edgar Ramirez), who planted the seed for the growth of Bolivia. Bolivar fought over 100 battles and traveled more distanced to expel the Spanish Empire from South America. Instead of conquest, Bolivar sought to return the land to the people and liberate them.

In two weeks, The Fort Lauderdale Museum of Discovery IMAX Theater (MODS) opens its doors after a summer of refurbishment, remodeling and redecorating. The improvements include a new 60’ x 80’ giant screen, new luxury seats, new sound system and the addition of a digital projector to complement the giant 15/70 film projector.

While the plan is to show more mainstream Hollywood Blockbusters on the big screen, MODS will continue their tradition of scientific documentaries. To open the new theater, the 3D film Bugs! A Rainforest Adventure will be shown. The movie was filmed with microscopic technology to reveal the hidden world beneath flora and the trees.

Island of Lemurs: Madagascar 3 D is about an endangered species of creatures who have shown a propensity for survival. Lemurs were castaway creatures who settled upon the island of Madagascar. Narrated by Morgan Freeman, this documentary was playing at MODS even before the refurbishment.

MODS will also feature its first deliberate monster movie with the screening of Dracula Untold, which weaves fantasy and reality. Prince Vlad the Impaler (Luke Evans) is a historical figure who defended Romania from the Turkish Invasion. Much like my novella Davy Jones & the Heart of Darkness, this film reveals the tragic circumstances that turn a heroic man into a monster, creating a myth that spans generations.

Now that he has completed his Dark Knight-Batman trilogy, perhaps writer/director Christopher Nolan will complete his trilogy of movie titles that begin with the letter “I” – that began with Insomnia and Inception, both thought provoking movies with fantastic ensemble cast. Interstellar continues Nolan’s tradition of strong narrative structure that features Oscarwinning actors Matthew Mc- Conaughey, Anne Hathaway and Michael Caine.

MODS closes out the season with Peter Jackson’s last Hobbit movie, The Hobbit : The Battle of the Five Armies. Based on J.R.R. Tolkein’s children’s book, this film promises to be the epic conclusion of The Hobbit trilogy, which lays the groundwork to Peter Jackson’s Award-winning The Lords of the Rings trilogy.

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Everything’s Coming Up Rosen: Dead at 75? Outrageous!

Posted on 02 October 2014 by LeslieM

By Emily Rosen



Fifty-Seven year old Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel is an oncologist, a bioethicist, a vice-provost of the University of Pennsylvania, an author, one of the architects of Obamacare and the brother of Chicago Mayor, Rahm Emanuel. In the current issue of The Atlantic, he tries to make the case for “Why I Hope To Die at 75” — only 18 years hence.

Some young whippersnappers cannot conceive of how fast 18 years can fly by.

He makes the usual pitch regarding the burdensome cost to society of the care and treatment of the elderly, and then cites the lack of quality of life suffered by so many in their later years.

And so, in what seems to me to be thoroughly unconnected logic, he alighted on the random age of 75, after which he practically pinky-swears that he will not allow any kind of treatment or known cure to be administered upon his body.

HORSEWHISKERS, Zeke, I hope you got paid enough for that article to overcome the ingenuousness of your premise.

Yes, late-life lingering in conjunction with soaring costs for care, as well as the emotional toll it takes on family, is a very serious social and ethical problem, and needs to be aired openly as solutions are sought. And such a probe would have been well worth the space.

But citing a target age that suggests “you’ve had enough of life” almost sounds like it comes from the mind of a child to whom 25 seems ancient.

Oh, just wait, Zeke Emanuel, you just wait! And when you’re 75 – and perhaps diagnosed with some disease that has a high quality of life expectancy – we’ll see if you refuse treatment on the mere grounds of just being “75.”

By the time I reach 75,” he says, “I will have lived a complete life. …I will have loved and been loved … I will have seen my grandchildren born and beginning their lives, … I will have made whatever contributions, important or not, (that) I am going to make …” and more. The man thinks he is Nostradamus.

So here it is from this lucky “horse’s mouth,” Doc. You have NO IDEA what the next 18 years hold for you. And if you are lucky enough to be relatively healthy at 75, you are darn well going to welcome your 76th birthday – and beyond, even if you have some survivable ailments that slow you down. And unless you become totally dependent on others for your care, you are very likely to endure the natural aches and pains that come with aging, the changing pace of your life and the exciting challenges of making lemonade from lemons. You will still continue to “make contributions,” and to savor the “loving and the being loved,” and if you have to take a test or two , or be subjected to some kind of magic treatment that will restore some quality of life, you will likely sign the document.

No one wants to live in a state of dependency. But to curtail what can be the best years of life after 75, in order to prevent what might not happen, comes from the corners of naivety, despite even, the medical background and experience.

Problems of aging, late stage illnesses, and the whole process of death and dying need to be addressed. But deliberately looking to curtail life at 75 “because I will have lived a complete life” is just plain foolish.

I know whereof I speak!

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Posted on 02 October 2014 by LeslieM


Sept. 12 It was reported that a women had stolen a mini iPad from a desk at Park Ridge Elementary School at 5200 NE 9 Ave.

Sept. 13 It was reported that a cellular phone was stolen from a restaurant table at 1219 S. Federal Hwy.

Sept.15 A home at 322 N. Federal Hwy. was entered through a back window and various items were stolen, including a car key. The key was used to steal a car from the home.

Sept. 15 A woman was doing yard work at 419 NW 7 Place. A man approached her and asked directions to a nearby location. Then he snatched two gold chains from her neck and fled into a waiting car. The man dropped one of the chains as he escaped.

Sept. 15 A man reported that he saw someone steal a van from his home at 704 SE 2 Ave.

DEERFIELD – District 4

August 27 Auto theft occurred at Deerfield Town Square, 3801 W. Hillsboro Blvd.

August 27 Theft was reported at Powerline Industrial Park, 1041 SW 30 Ave. Suspect stole a copper back flow valve from the victim.’

Sept. 1 Retail theft took place at Target at 3599 W. Hillsboro Blvd. Suspects attempted to steal $600 in electronics and food.


Sept. 7 The victim was shopping at a store at 3700 N. Federal Hwy. when someone took her wallet out of her purse. The wallet contained a yellow chain, earrings, $130 cash, a driver’s license. Loss was $175.

Sept. 8 Someone punched out the power supply of an A/C unit in a vacant building located at 2100 NE 39 St. Damage was estimated at $200.

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Posted on 02 October 2014 by LeslieM

Climate Change in the NEWS again!

Dear Editor:

On Sunday [Sept. 21], hundreds of thousands marched throughout the world demanding action on climate change. 120 world leaders gathered in New York [Tuesday, Sept. 23] for the United Nations (U.N.) Summit on Climate Change. What can we do?

A 2006 U.N. report estimated that meat production accounts for 18 percent of man-made greenhouse gases. A 2009 article in the respected World Watch magazine suggested that the contribution may be closer to 50 percent.

The meat industry generates carbon dioxide by burning forests to create animal pastures and by combustion of fossil fuels to confine, feed, transport and slaughter animals. The much more damaging methane and nitrous oxide are discharged from digestive tracts of cattle and from animal waste cesspools, respectively.

In an environmentally sustainable world, wind, solar and other pollution-free energy sources must gradually replace polluting fossil fuels. Similarly, vegetables, fruits, nuts and grains must replace polluting meat and dairy products. The large variety of widely available plant-based entrees, lunch meats, veggie burgers, cheeses, and ice creams can certainly help.

Our next trip to the supermarket is a great opportunity to start the transition to a sustainable world. Our favorite internet search engine offers ample product lists, recipes and dietary tips.

Patrick Bendrix

West Palm Beach


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