| March, 2023

Nicole Henry’s Soulful Sound Woos Audiences at Festival of the Arts BOCA

Posted on 25 March 2023 by JLusk

By Rachel Galvin

The Festival of the Arts BOCA brought in some amazing talent this year, from dancers to musicians, films to authors. At the end of the week, the amazing and beautiful singer Nicole Henry took the stage at the Mizner Park Amphitheater performing songs from her latest CD “Time to Love,” which went beyond her usual Jazz repertoire. On her CD, she includes her interpretations of songs by iconic composers like James Taylor, Stevie Wonder, Sade and many others. 

Her soulful melodies kept the crowd entranced and she spiced up the tempo near the end and got everyone singing. With a big smile, she charmed the audience with her music and also her musings about dreams, love and more.

Henry, who recently was the cover model for “Boca Raton Magazine,” has been a staple over the last 20 years singing her heart out in local venues, as well as touring elsewhere. Her melodies have reached the ears of happy fans around the country and in more than 20 countries.

What’s next for this songstress? You can find out more by visiting her website at www.nicolehenry.com.

The Festival of the Arts BOCA took place March 3-12. For more information, visit https://festivalboca.org. The final performance was supposed to be Sergio Mendes. He had to postpone and his new concert date is April 2 at  the Florida Atlantic University’s Carole and Barry Kaye Performing Arts Auditorium (777 Glades Rd., Boca Raton, FL 33431). Get more information on the website: https://festivalboca.org.

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Bacchus Beckons Kicks Off Boca Bacchanal 2023

Posted on 16 March 2023 by JLusk

Photos & Story by Rachel Galvin

Food and wine lovers mark their calendar yearly for one of their favorite events — Boca Bacchanal. This year, it will be held April 29-30. Before Boca Bacchanal even begins, they had a special event to announce the occasion and provide more detail as to what to expect. It was called Bacchus Beckons.

Bacchus Beckons

This year, Bacchus Beckons was held on March 8 in a private aviation hangar in Boca Raton called Privaira. Among the planes, people mingled, enjoyed charcuterie and music from a DJ, and tried samples of some of the wines they will probably be enjoying during the main events. There also was a raffle with several prizes given out. But the real reason everyone gathered was to find out which chef was being paired with which vintner and at which home for the upcoming Vintner Dinners.

Everyone listened when the members of the Boca Raton Historical Society picked up the microphone, including chairman Olivia Hollaus, who talked a little about the upcoming events and the fact that Boca Bacchanal is celebrating its 20th year. She said the committee is planning a “Boca Bacchanal for the books” and thanked other committee members, as well as the founding sponsor Republic National Distributing company, who provides an “amazing array of vintners and spirits [year after year].” She also thanked the many other sponsors, which include The Boca Raton, Boca Magazine, The Addison, Publix, Crown Wine and Spirits, The Berman Group, BRiC and CP Partners, JM Family and others.

“We have so many wonderful sponsors who support this event. Thank you to each one of you for being a part of Boca Bacchanal and in support of our mission, which is to preserve our history, educate our children and residents, and to build a sense of place in our beloved Boca Raton,” said Hollaus. Boca Bacchanal supports the historical society as well as the Schmidt Boca Raton History Museum.

Hollaus then welcomed historical society board members Joyce DeVita and Lauri Saunders.

DeVita, who is also a chairperson, spoke first and said the Grand Tasting will feature wine seminars this year and “three very exclusive VIP sections.” She introduced Saunders, who co-chairs the event as well, and Roxanna Garcia, from Republic National Distribution company, who proceeded to introduce who would be included in the vintner dinners.

Vintner Dinners

The festivities always begin with the vintner dinners held at people’s homes or other locations with a chef cooking up a fantastic menu of five courses with his masterpieces paired with different wines usually chosen by vintners. Tickets are $350 each. This year, the dinners will be held on April 29.

Dinner #1 will be hosted by Thom & Joyce DeVita and Joni & Al Goldberg with Chef Eric Baker, who owns Rebel House, AlleyCat and Big in Japan, and vintner Anna Pepgjonaj, from Silver Oak and Twoney Cellars in Napa Valley, CA.

Dinner #2 will be hosted by David & Holly Meehan and Zoe Lanham & The Addison. Patrick Duffy, executive chef from The Addison, welcomes to his kitchen Jeff Tunks, the executive chef of Corvina Seafood Grill in Boca Raton, and Chris Clime, executive chef of PassionFish in Reston, VA, as well as Jose Hernandez, the executive sous chef from The Addison. TJ Evans, the winemaker from Domaine Carneros in Napa Valley, CA will be there as well.

Dinner #3 will be hosted by The Seagate Resort & Spa with Elizabeth Kelly Grace & Olivia Hollaus. Chef Gordon Maybury, director of culinary of Seagate Resort & Spa will be working with Chef Ivan Acevedo, executive chef of Seagate Beach Club, and Chef Mitzu Nozaki, pastry chef, also from Seagate. Teresa D’ Aurizio, national sales manager for ZD Wines in Napa Valley, CA will be choosing the pairings.

Dinner #4 will be hosted by The Boca Raton and will include Andrew Roenceck, the director of culinary operations and Resort Executive Chef of The Boca Raton, as well as Peter Annewanter, executive chef of MB Supper Club and Flybridge, The Boca Raton. Katie Nahat, brand ambassador for The Macallan Craigellachie, from Scotland, will be there as well.

Grand Tasting

The Vintner dinners will be followed by the Grand Tasting, which this year is a more intimate occasion, with it taking place during the day on April 30, from 1 to 4 p.m. at a beautiful venue known as The Addison. This annual event presents a wide array of samples from local restaurants and plenty of pours from well-known companies. There also is a silent auction, music and more. In addition, this year, there will be wine and whiskey seminars. Tickets are $125 each, $160 with seminars. VIP is $250.

“Boca Bacchanal is a festive weekend that celebrates and enhances the appreciation of wine and food, while bringing together world class chefs and vintners, offering their finest specialties, while providing the entire community with a delightful and tasty opportunity to support the heritage education programs of The Schmidt Boca Raton History Museum and the Boca Raton Historical Society,” says Mary Csar, Executive Director.

This event really is the place to be! Don’t miss out as tickets are going fast. For more information, visit www.BocaHistory.org.

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Election results–Deerfield Beach

Posted on 14 March 2023 by JLusk

Let’s keep this simple and to the point… The election results are in in Deerfield Beach:

Michael Hudak won over Maria LoRicco for District 1.

Ben Preston won over Terry Scott and Darlene Cerezo Swaffar in District 2.

The referendum, which was written about here in The Observer, also got a Yes vote, which means the land at 3.75-acre property located at 1045 SW 11th Way will be developed.




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Election on Tuesday in Deerfield includes an important referendum

Posted on 12 March 2023 by JLusk

Did you know there is an election on Tuesday, March 14 in Deerfield Beach? Not only are candidates up for election in District 1 and 2, including the incumbents, but there is an important referendum as well.

Right now, there is an empty 3.75-acre of land on 1045 SW 11th Way that has been sitting vacant and just maintained for many years. Now, there is a company that wants to purchase the land and develop on it. Many people have urged voters to vote YES for this as they contest that this development will be great for the local economy and lessen crime as well, rather than having a blighted area continue to be there. Others, have been concerned about issues like traffic… which is something the company is aware of and will be rectifying, according to a city representative on the matter.

Here is the question:

Shall the City of Deerfield Beach sell the approximately 3.75-acre property located at 1045 SW 11th Way to MBA Development Partners of Florida, LLC for $6.5 million for the purpose of creating a multi-use development with workforce housing, retail and restaurant space, a hotel, green-space, and other public amenities?

Yes — for the sale of the property
No — against the sale of the property 

You can do your own research. Here is more info. on the history of the parcel: Election Referendum Info – March 14, 2023 | Deerfield Beach, FL – Official Website (deerfield-beach.com)

Get out and vote!


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FLIFF to hold Oscars Party

Posted on 09 March 2023 by JLusk

With all the glitz and glamor of Hollywood’s biggest night, the Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival (FLIFF) rolls out the red carpet for their Awards Party in celebration of the 95th Academy Awards®, Sunday, March 12. Hosted by philanthropist and FLIFF’s Chairman of the Board, Steven Savor, the evening will be held at his magnificent waterway estate, Villa de Palma.    

Corks pop at 7:00 p.m. with an open bar, great food, and live entertainment throughout the evening by Violin Vibes and Sunset Girls Band. You’ll not miss a moment of the Oscars® as, throughout the property, the “big night” will be televised on three jumbo outdoor screens, six large flat screens, and in the living room is a 13’ ft screen for Oscar enthusiasts. 

Attire for the evening is black tie; evening gowns or cocktail apparel for the ladies, and tuxedos for men. 

There is limited complimentary valet parking for cars with four occupants or more. Limousine and Uber transportation or carpooling is highly recommended. 

Villa de Palma is located at 600 Isle of Palms, Fort Lauderdale 33301 

Advance tickets are required and priced at $175 for non-FLIFF members/$125 for FLIFF members. Tickets are available to purchase now at www.fliff.com/awardsnight    

FLIFF memberships offer exclusive benefits, including free movies, members-only parties, and year-round discounts. Inquire about FLIFF memberships at info@fliff.com  

All proceeds benefit The Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit cultural organization.

The 38th Annual Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival (FLIFF) takes place Nov. 3-12, 2022. Named one of the top destination film festivals in the nation by Moviemaker Magazine, FLIFF brings film talent from around the globe and audiences together to celebrate American Independent and International cinema. The festival screens over 150 films showcasing a diverse selection of genres, and champions both rising and renowned artists, including Florida filmmakers. www.fliff.com Follow on social media @fliffnmore #flifffest

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Festival of the Arts BOCA kicks off with “Fantastia”

Posted on 06 March 2023 by JLusk

By Rachel Galvin

The 17th annual Festival of the Arts BOCA kicked off on Friday, March 3 with a performance of the Festival Orchestra Boca playing the soundtrack of the Disney movie “Fantastia,” which played on the large screen behind them.

Festival Executive Director Joanna Marie Kaye introduced the orchestra, conducted by Constantine Kitsopoulos, festival music director. Before the orchestra began, there was also a showing of a short film called “Bella,” directed by FAU student Alfonso Gibson, who was able to get up with the film’s composer and say a few words. This was his first film.

Earlier, there were fun activities for the whole family, including a WLRN Instrument Petting Zoo, interactive art wall and face painting. There was also popcorn and cotton candy available.

This is just the beginning of the fest, which runs through March 12. From lectures to musical performances, to ballet, there is something for everyone. Some of the big names who will be in the mix include Grammy Award-winning Sergio Mendes, author, actor and social commentator Fran Lebowitz, prolific Jazz singer Nicole Henry and many more.

To see the whole schedule, visit www.festivalboca.org.





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New Fire Station Dedicated in Pompano

Posted on 03 March 2023 by JLusk

“Ribbon cutting”– which was really a hose uncoupling. Photos provided by Sandra King.

On February 22, Fire Station 114 has a Dedication and Ribbon Cutting ceremony. It wasn’t really a ribbon. It was a fire hose that was “uncopuled.” The fire station was named after former Fire Chief John Jurgle. Jurgle attended the event.

The new fire station includes a 13,990 square foot two-story building with CBS construction to withstand category V hurricane-force winds. The station has a standing seam metal roof, exterior impact windows and doors and concrete block and stucco finishes. Sustainable design features include Xeriscape landscaping, low-flow plumbing fixtures, a full backup generator system and more.

The building spaces include three-bay drive-through apparatus bays, a training room, a physical fitness room, a full kitchen with commercial gas appliances and stainless-steel counters, six individual bunk rooms and three individual officer’s rooms.

Former Fire Chief John Jurgle

Jurgle was the Pompano Beach Fire Chief from 2013-2020. He served 39 years in the Pompano Beach Fire Department in positions including firefighter, paramedic, driver engineer, Lieutenant, EMS Supervisor, Assistant Chief and Chief.

The new station is located at 1499 SW 36 Avenue and will expand services to the Palm Aire community. It will also insure reduced travel times in the southwest area of the city.


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