| January, 2020

Save the Date: Get Shipwrecked at the Hillsboro Lighthouse

Posted on 22 January 2020 by JLusk

Aaarrgghh … Calling all Pirates and Lady Pirates !!!

You are invited to attend the Shipwreck at the Lighthouse 113th Anniversary Fundraising Gala at the Hillsboro Lighthouse on Friday, March 13, 2020 from Sunset (7 pm) to Moonrise (11 pm).

Last year, the Hillsboro Lighthouse Preservation Society (HLPS) sold out their 2019 event in less than two weeks. Each year, this evening gets better and better. This is the fourth year that the non-profit has invited the community to celebrate and help preserve its historic aid to navigation.

For $170.00 per person, or $1,313.00 for a Captain’s Table of Eight, guests will dine on waiter- served hors d’oeuvres, plated signature salad, assorted fresh rolls, plated duet entrée with Maine lobster tail and filet mignon served with whipped Yukon gold potatoes, grilled asparagus spears, baby French carrots, and a dessert bar … especially prepared and served by Hugh’s Catering of Oakland Park.

Plus, there will be an open bar with liquor, beer and wine. The Promise Band will provide live music of the 60s, soul and Motown.

This will be the only night of the year when guests can climb the 175 stairs to the top of the Lighthouse to enter the Lens Room, where you will see the brightest and only working second-order bivalve Fresnel lens in the world!

The view, from that height at night, is more spectacular than the daytime as the water reflects all the glowing lights from shore. It is something awesome to behold. Women are reminded to please bring non-heel, closed-toe shoes in order to climb the stairs. Sneakers work best.

Last year, the line to get up to the Lighthouse was a bit of a wait,  as only 15 people are allowed on top, at a time, to prevent overcrowding. This year, the HLPS is offering the first 20 guests who pay $50 each the opportunity to “Jump to the Head of the Line” with Private Historic Tour of the Lens Room plus have their photo taken sitting next to the Diamond Lens.

And the evening is just getting started. There will be three special activities going on during the evening: There will be a Silent Auction filled with remarkable items; there will be a Live Auction for a ride on the Goodyear Blimp.

This year, getting to the Gala is even easier and more fun. Leave your car at Alsdorf Park, located at 2901 NE 14th Street, Pompano Beach, and take the ferry at the dock to the Hillsboro Lighthouse. At the end of the evening, you will return via ferry to your car. This is the only way to get onto the private Lighthouse Property.

The first of two ferry transports will leave the dock at 6:15 pm, followed by the second one in 15 minute intervals. The waiter-served hors d’oeuvres will begin promptly at 7:15 pm and continue for the next hour. If you don’t want to miss these mouth-watering morsels, please consider leaving early, parking early, and taking the earliest ferries possible.

Another entertainment innovation, for the 2020 Gala, is that guests have the option of dressing in classy Pirate garb … in keeping with the Shipwrecked theme. If costumes aren’t your thing, the Chic Elegance of Black & White (to match the colors of the Lighthouse) attire is totally acceptable.

Corporations, businesses, and organizations that are interested in sponsorship opportunities will benefit from prominent graphic signage on all marketing materials, and receive a swag bag of souvenir items, plus a yearly Business Membership to the HLPS.

This Fundraising Gala was the creative concept of Divich & Doone. Every dollar raised goes directly into the HLPS Fund, which subsidizes annual maintenance, repair and restoration of the Hillsboro Inlet Lighthouse.

If you are a fan of lighthouses, in general, and are passionate about supporting the Hillsboro Inlet Lighthouse, in particular, then please consider attending this event, donating a Silent Auction item, or being a business sponsor.

Tickets will be sold online through Eventbrite … https://hillsborolighthousegala.eventbrite.com. If you have any further questions, wish to be a corporate/business sponsor, or want to donate an item to the Silent Auction, please contact Debbie Divich via e-mail media@hillsborolighthouse.org or phone (786) 251-0811.





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District 4 Office Hours — Feb. 1, 2020

Posted on 21 January 2020 by JLusk

District 4 Commissioner Todd Drosky is happy to host Saturday office hours, Feb. 1, 2020, at City Hall located at 150 NE 2 Ave., Deerfield Beach. Vice Mayor Drosky will be available to meet with constituents on an appointment basis, between the hours of 10 a.m. to noon.

To schedule an appointment, please contact the City Manager’s Office at 954-480-4263.

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BSO releases sketch of attempted kidnapper–Deerfield

Posted on 19 January 2020 by JLusk


10-2001-002366.pngBroward Sheriff’s Office violent crimes detectives are releasing a composite sketch of an attempted kidnapping suspect who tried to kidnap a female at the Highland Village Gardens Park in Deerfield Beach.

At about 7:30 a.m. on Jan. 14, in the 4900 block of NE 2 Avenue, a white male suspect, 40 to 50 years old, approximately 5 ft. 8 in. tall and roughly 180 1bs. with gray/white hair approached the victim while she was walking her dog. 
The male suspect, who appeared to be homeless, was last seen wearing black shorts and no shirt. 
Anyone with information about the identity or location of the suspect is asked to call Violent Crimes Detective Tiberio Barbosa at 954-321-4278. Reports can also be made anonymously to Broward Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS (8477) or online at browardcrimestoppers.org. Anonymous tips that lead to an arrest are eligible for a reward of up to $3,000. 

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Pineapple Jamboree

Posted on 19 January 2020 by JLusk

Jan. 31, 2020, 6 to 9 p.m.

Sample McDougald House 

450 NE 10 St.

Pompano Beach, FL


Enjoy Junkanoo dancers, a Caribbean buffet, crowning of the new Pineapple Queen, tastings of different spirits, locally crafted pineapple beer, food pairings, steel drum band and more. $45 members, $50 non-members, $55 at the door. Attire: Caribbean casual. For more information, visit www.pompanobeachchamber.com.

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“Observer” recognized for 57 years; DB approves Athletic Field policy

Posted on 17 January 2020 by JLusk

The “Observer” was honored for their commitment to the community by publishing for 57 years. Receiving certificates were publisher Dana Eller (L to R), Lead Reporter and former Editor Diane Emeott, Vice President Jim Lusk and Editor Rachel Galvin. Pictured with (L to R) Vice Mayor Todd Drosky, Mayor Bill Ganz, Commissioner Michael Hudak, Commissioner Bernie Parness and Commissioner Ben Preston.

By Diane Emeott

The local Observer newspaper received a Certificate of Appreciation for publishing for 57 years at the first Deerfield Commission meeting of a new decade on Jan. 14, 2020.

Mayor Bill Ganz sponsored the proclamation presented to Observer Publisher Dana Eller and staff, including Eller, Vice President Jim Lusk, Editor Rachel Galvin and Lead Reporter/Former Editor Diane Emeott.

Also seated in the front row at the meeting was previous Observer owner/managing editor Judy Wilson, who now works as a reporter for the Pompano Beach Pelican.

Said Ganz, “It’s a sad day in Deerfield that the Deerfield Beach Observer is not being delivered anymore — since Dec. 26, 2019, its last printed issue.

“The newspaper has educated, informed, and entertained residents and visitors in our community since 1962. It has impacted us all. [Since 1980] under Eller family leadership.

“You’ve been part of our life – part of my life since I’ve been here in the city for 12 years now,” Ganz concluded.

Said Eller, “It’s been a labor of love for my family, since my father, former publisher David Eller, bought the newspaper. Both my father and grandfather grew up here. We love the sense of community. Journalism

is a labor of love. Journalists sometimes get a bad rap. The journalists I know put in way more hours than they get paid for. The journalists out there are so important to our community.”

(Continue to see Observer news posts at www.observernewspaperonline.com).

See more from the eight presentations of the night below.


Parks & Recreation Director Preston Pooser presented a new Sports Policy regarding Athletic Facilities in Deerfield, and Assistant Director Cassi Waren presented requirements for organizations that want to use city fields.

Highlights include: All coaches and officials must have proper certification and proof of insurance; if a child wishes to participate, they must have ability to play; all fields and teams must have 50 percent Deerfield residents and must show two proofs of residency.

“I think we’ve crafted a policy to outline guidelines and procedures. This applies to residents and non-residents who want to use any of our facilities,” said Pooser.

City Manager David Santucci called item No. 12, an ordinance that passed on second reading “a clean-up item to go with item No. 13,” a resolution to adopt the City’s Athletic Facility Use and Sports Policy.

“It’s an effort to ensure staff has documentation as it relates to use of our fields,” he said.

“We all know why this came out,” said Ganz, referring to the 2019 issue of Barwis’ alleged use of city fields with only an affidavit, not a formal contract. Renewal of Level 2 background checks [which Ganz instituted for the City of Deerfield Beach] had also reportedly fallen through the cracks under the old policy.

“When [a policy] is too wide open, we saw it was abused,” said Ganz.

Resident Katy Freitag said, “A lot of organizations have been waiting for this. [It gives] accountability,” she said, adding that if the city leaves lights on in the gym or a field, people are going to come in and use it. “If not in use, turn the lights off so there is no illegal activity.”

Resident Lamar McThee added, “I’ve been in Deerfield all my life. We have 40 to 50 kids we’ve worked with real hard who are now at Louisiana State University (LSU), Princeton, Yale. We help kids off the street — from anywhere.”

Addressing Mr. McThee’s concern that kids not be left out just because they don’t meet a ‘50 percent Deerfield residents’ stipulation, Ganz answered, “If it’s not 50 percent, I would encourage them to come before the commission. If it’s 48 percent, for example, I want to make sure we’re not so regimented we can’t allow them [to play].”


Deerfield Commission approved, 4-0, with Mayor Ganz abstaining from the vote, a $1000 reimbursement of attorney’s fees and expenses incurred by Ganz to retain legal counsel who successfully defended him against ethics and elections allegations.

According to background information, two complaints were filed with the Florida Elections Commission and one complaint was filed with the Florida Commission on Ethics against Mayor Bill Ganz.

The three complaints were related to the alleged misuse of a public position, alleged breach of confidentiality, and alleged election violations related to the Mayor’s Comments at City Commission meetings and the mayor’s participation in a holiday celebration sponsored by the city.

Florida Commission on Ethics found the Ethics Complaint to be legally insufficient and dismissed the Ethics Complaint against Mayor Ganz.

Florida Elections Commission found the Elections Complaints to be legally insufficient, and closed out the last of the Elections Complaints via a correspondence dated Dec. 16, 2019.

(This agenda item No. 28 was the last business item at a meeting that concluded at 11:36 p.m).


Commissioner Michael Hudak, a Human Resources professional, included an evaluation form and proposed criteria for the City Commission to consider regarding the city manager’s yearly performance review. The item was put on the agenda for discussion only. No vote was taken. The city’s contract with the city manager requires the commission to evaluate the manager’s performance annually.


Superintendent Robert Runcie addresses the mayor and commissioners about safety and construction improvements in the Broward Schools.

During Presentations, Broward County Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie updated the commission on a variety of topics including School Resource Officers (SROs) and SMART construction at Deerfield schools.

Several people were honored:

  • The owner of the Food Bazaar, Frank Espinal Sr., was recognized for his commitment and contributions to the community.
  • James Jackson was honored for 20 years of exceptional service to the city in Street Maintenance.
  • Danielle LoBono (who didn’t attend) was appreciated for her service since May 2018 on the Planning & Zoning Board.
  • BSFR District Fire Chief Matt Pellitteri recognized Art Kamm with a probationary fire hat for donating a clean environment to firefighters for drills in pulling lines, forcible entry and more.
  • BSO District Captain Rodney Brimlow honored 27-year-old Detective Jessica Hamel for employing tactfulness, tactics and compassion in holding onto a young woman dangling from the bridge for 3 ½ minutes while backup arrived, and finally convincing her not to jump off the bridge, saving a life.
  • Elizabeth Ricci (daughter of former Mayor/Commissioner Peggy Noland) was appreciated for her 12 years of service to the city.

      “She’s a homegrown talent; not only did she work for Parks &      Recreation, she participated in the programs growing up. In 2007 she was Part-Time Lifeguard, moving up through the ranks to become Full-Time Lifeguard, Aquatic Center Supervisor, Superintendent of Recreation,” said Ganz.

  • In a surprise presentation, Commissioner Ben Preston received a yellow sports coat from the commission in honor of he and his son being inducted into the Cardinal Gibbons Hall of Fame on Jan. 11. Preston, a retired Deerfield Beach firefighter, and owner of his own personal trainer company has worked with students for 25 years.

     “It’s not how you start, but how you finish,” he quipped.












Due do the unavailability of one commissioner, the regular Tuesday, March 3, 2020 commission meeting was proposed to be rescheduled to a Wednesday night, March 4. The commission unanimously approved the change in date.

*The next Deerfield Beach City Commission meeting is Tuesday, Feb. 4 at 7 p.m.


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Posted on 17 January 2020 by Rachel Galvin

Condo for Rent

–1 Bed/ 1 Bath, 1st Floor
–Century Village, Deerfield Beach
–Call 954-695-0539

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MLK Day of Service at The Butler House–Jan. 20

Posted on 16 January 2020 by JLusk

To celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on his day through literacy, community and arts, the Butler House is presenting a special day. Bring the kids! There will be free books and giveaways, coloring, story time and live music.  There also will be an “instrument creation station” and “instrument petting zoo.” Wondering what that means? Find out by attending!  There also will be a performance by the South Florida Chamber Ensemble. All of these activities take place at the historic Butler House, at 380 E. Hillsboro Blvd. in Deerfield Beach from 12 to 3 p.m. on Jan. 20. The event is happening in conjunction with Broward College.

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Worth the Drive: Delray Beach Fashion Show

Posted on 15 January 2020 by Rachel Galvin

From the 2019 License to Swim: Swim & Surf Fashion Show; fashion by Blings & Things. Photo By Rachel Galvin

Fashion Lovers & Football Lovers combine in this year’s Delray Beach Fashion Show, which will be held Jan. 29 to Feb. 2 throughout downtown Delray. Since the “Big Game” is on our home turf this year, the fashion fest is celebrating Super Bowl style. Although there are events that are themed around football, the fashion, of course, is not just about the game.

Wednesday, Jan. 29, 6 to 9 p.m.: Fashion Bowl “54”–Kickoff Runway Show & Studio 54 Dance

The festivities begin Jan. 29 from 6 to 9 p.m. with the Fashion Bowl “54” — a kickoff runway show and Studio 54 dance party along Atlantic Avenue. The event will be centered outside The Colony Hotel (at 525 E. Atlantic Ave.) Tickets are $35 for runway seating and include a special gift bag and chance to receive a Fashion Week prize. You can stand to watch the show for free. Over 30 retailers will showcase their best. There will be other opportunities, such as light bites for SUPER Fashion Pass holders, music spun by DJ Parisi Events and plenty of specialty boutiques to peruse. Attire: Studio 54 (Be ready to dance!)

Thursday, Jan. 30, 7 to 9 p.m.: Art & Couture All-Stars – Designer Fashion Show & Art Experience

There will be an exclusive designer runway show outside in front of the Cornell Art Museum at Old School Square, 51 N. Swinton Avenue, Delray Beach, followed by “Art Couture: The Intersection of Art and Fashion” exhibition and reception inside. Enjoy a meet-and-greet with local Delray Beach designers after the show. Tickets are $50 for runway seating and reception. Free to stand and watch runway show. Only ticketed persons are allowed entry to museum. Proceeds benefit Old School Square. Attire is Evening Casual.

Friday, Jan. 31, 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.: Half-time & High Heels Presented by Vince Canning Shoes – Resort Wear Luncheon Show

Come on out to CHE!!! Restaurant, at 900 E Atlantic Ave. in Delray Beach. Enjoy lunch, entertainment, a RTW fashion show, silent auction and more.  Tickets are $50 per person, including lunch, a signature cocktail and the fashion show, as well as a ticket for a chance to win the Fashion Week Grand Prize. Event benefits the Achievement Centers for Children and Families. Attire: Resort Casual.

Friday, Jan. 31, 6 to 10:30 p.m.: Old School Square Super Pep Rally – Swim & Active Wear Show with Free Concert & Tailgate Games

Now, this event is a bit different and goes along with the football theme. At 

Old School Square Park and Pavilion, 51 N. Swinton Ave., there will be a special family-friendly event, including high school marching bands, cheerleaders, the National Anthem, meet-and-greet with NFL Alumni and local football legends. This is a tailgate party like no other! There will not only be food and beverage vendors on-site, but games like cornhole, football toss, ting toss, bocce ball and more. Visit the Delray Beach Fashion Week Experience booth to meet the models, get your Fashion Week bag and get the opportunity to shop the runway. At 8:30 p.m., the Swim & Active Wear Show begins. Attire: Game Day.

Saturday, Feb. 1, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.: Downtown Shop the Runway Blitz – Boutique Shopping Event

Shop the Runway is back by popular demand! You can hop on a shopping shuttle and buy some of the hot looks you saw on the runway! For every purchase made, you receive a raffle ticket for a chance to win one of several awesome prizes. The event, which begins at Rose’s Daughter (169 NE 2 Ave.) includes a continental breakfast, coffee and a mimosa.  Enjoy a post-event reception at L’Acqua Ristorante Italiano. Attendees will receive a Fashion Week SWAG bag with coupons to participating retailers. Visit www.DelrayFashionWeek.com for a list of the participating retailers. The event will take place throughout Delray Beach. Tickets are $25 and include a welcome reception, SWAG bag, shuttle transportation and the post-event reception. Proceeds benefit Achievement Centers for Children & Families. Event happens rain or shine.  Attire: Casual (wear comfy shoes for walking!) 

Sunday, Feb. 2, 4 to 10 p.m.: Celebrate the Big Game 2020 – Brunching, Shopping & Community Watch Party

Come to the Old School Square Park, at 51 N Swinton Ave., for the Community Watch Party to watch the Big Game on the lawn after shopping and brunching daylong. There is free parking at all downtown garages. The screen is 13 x 27 ft! The game starts at 6 p.m. It is free to attend (donations to Old School Square accepted).

SUPER Fashion Pass: Want to do Delray Fashion Week in style? Become a real VIP with the SUPER Fashion Pass! This limited pass is $175.00 and includes a reserved VIP seat to all runway shows, admission to the Half-Time & High Heels Luncheon and Downtown Shop The Runway Shopping Blitz. A VIP Lanyard & tag, VIP Receptions at the Opening Show, a “fast track” line at the Old School Pep Rally NFL Alumni meet-and-greet, and a special edition of the 2020 Fashion Week VIP SWAG bag by designer Amanda Perna. Runway show reserved seat tickets and other event tickets range from $25-$50. All proceeds benefit the Achievement Centers for Children & Families and Old School Square.

The SUPER Fashion Pass and runway show reserved seat tickets are available at www.DelrayFashionWeek.com,









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Nautical Flea Market

Posted on 15 January 2020 by Rachel Galvin

The 30th Annual Nautical Flea Market will be held Saturday, Jan. 18 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, Jan. 19 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Pompano Community Park, located at 2001 NE 10 St. in Pompano.  

There will be over 350 vendors. Listen to a steel drum band, enjoy some lunch and find all your nautical treasures. There will be boating and fishing gear, clothing, jewelry, used and new boats for sale, trailers, jet-skis, outboard motors and more!

The cost to attend  is $5 per person; children under 10 are free. No pets are permitted in the park. There is plenty of free parking.   
For more information visit www.nauticalfleamarket.com or call 954-946-6419.

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Don’t miss the Festival of the Arts–Jan. 25-26

Posted on 15 January 2020 by JLusk

The City of Deerfield Beach and Deerfield Beach Cultural Committee is excited to present the 40th Annual Festival of the Arts. The event will take place on Saturday, Jan. 25-26 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. south of the International Fishing Pier, 200 NE 21 Ave., providing a scenic background.

The Festival of the Arts is a deep-rooted, multi–day art festival that features over 130 juried artists from all over the United States along with continuous live music, a student art exhibit, a variety of food vendors, refreshments and a wine garden.

 All event related details are available online at www.dfb.city/FOA.

 For more information, call the Community Events and Outreach Division at 954-480-4429 or visit www.dfb.city/foa

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