Pioneer Days is coming…

Posted on 01 February 2023 by JLusk

By Rachel Galvin

If you have lived in Deerfield Beach for awhile, you cannot wait for February because it means Pioneer Days is coming. It means a parade down Hillsboro Boulevard and plenty of arts and crafts vendors and entertainment on the beach.

This year, the event will take place February 18 and 19 and they are bringing back the bonfire on Sunday night from 6 to 9 p.m. The Festival of the Arts, held on the beach, will host over 100 vendors, live music, food trucks & more.

The poster for the Festival of the Arts (on left) was created by Barbara Allen. There was a contest and she was the lucky winner. Allen is a photographer and digital artist living in Pompano.

Are you ready for the parade? The floats and bands, and other participants.  will line up at St. Ambrose Catholic School. The parade will begin at 10 a.m. and will go East on Hillsboro Boulevard, North on AIA, past the pier then South along the beach. Please be aware of road closures. The theme is Parading Through the Decades. They have yet to announce their Grand Marshal for the parade.

Following the parade, there will be an awards ceremony at the beach. 

The fun on the beach starts at 10 a.m. and runs until 10 p.m. on Saturday and 6 p.m. on Sunday. 

ENTERTAINMENT SCHEDULE

Saturday, Feb. 18

The Clean Slate Band, noon to 2 p.m.

Play It Again- The Luke Bryan Tribute Band, 2:30 to 3:30 p.m.

The Real Deal, 4 to 5:30 p.m.

Nostalijah, 6 to 7 p.m.

TBA, 7:30 to 9 p.m.

Sunday, Feb. 19

Big City Dogs Band, noon to 2 p.m.

The Foreigner Experience – The Ultimate Tribute to Foreigner, 2:30 to 3:30 p.m.

The Chili Poppers – The ultimate Red Hot Chili Peppers Tribute experience, 4 to 5:45 p.m.

For more information, visit https://www.deerfield-beach.com/1179/Pioneer-Days. ABOVE BANDS & TIMES ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE WITHOUT NOTICE.

A personal note:

Yes, Pioneer Days holds a special place in this reporter’s heart. When we had Observer TV, I was out there interviewing people on the parade route. Jim Lusk from our office, who passed away last year, was always making sure to secure entertainers to help out the parade yearly. He brought in the Star Wars characters, Back to the Future actor impersonators, as well as a police car with a fake dog in the back that he loved. He also hosted the little league team, putting them on our Observer float, which he built every year, and serving them breakfast in the morning before the parade. The paper was a frequent sponsor of the team and also went out and took pictures of the games. Jim also helped build other floats or get trucks for people to use.

The Observer, when it was still in print, used to create a special section every year for Pioneer Days (and before that, it was Founders Days and, of course, before that, it was Cracker Days). The section wrapped around the regular newspaper and had information on bands, a message from the mayor, info. on the grand marshal, road closures and more. Many of us collaborated on that, although near the end, I was doing the bulk of it. It was quite an undertaking. The section was as long as the paper itself. 

Our graphic designers, when we had two of them — Leslie and Patrick — had a contest to design different ideas for the cover and then we all would vote on the winner. We had some great designs through the years.

I hope to be able to someday put all of those issues up online. In the meantime, here is one I had easy access to. It is the 2013 version: https://issuu.com/observernewspaperonline/docs/02-16-12__founders__days_

 

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Cool Wheels Car Show takes over Quiet Waters Park

Posted on 24 January 2023 by JLusk

By Rachel Galvin

If you are a car enthusiast, you should know about the Cool Wheels Car Show. It happens every year and takes over the park at Quiet Waters Park in Deerfield. This year’s event took place on Jan. 15.

The event benefits the Young Automotive Training Center (YATC). This  tuition-free nine-month program was created in 1984 by automotive giant Jim Moran. It teaches disadvantaged youth in basic automotive repair, academic remediation, job readiness and life management skills.

More than 1,000 classic and sports cars were on display in the park for this year’s show. Guests could take a look while listening to live music by Smokin Renegade, a Tribute to Boston and Styx. DJs Scott The Music Man, Lance Kohn and Eugene the human percolator were also there to provide some good tunes. In addition, there were food trucks and tents with merchandise and more.

Over 115 trophies and cash prizes were awarded. Gift bags and t-shirts were given to the first 300 cars to arrive at the event.

Coolest of Show – 1st Place went to John Pellicone for his 1969 Pontiac GTO. Second Place went to Michael Merlo for his 1957 Chevy Nomad. Third Place went to Walter Goldscheck for his 1968 Dodge Coronet.

For more information on YATC, visit https://yatc.org.

 

 

 

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AACA Ft. Lauderdale Region Antique Car Show & Arts & Crafts Festival

Posted on 17 January 2023 by JLusk

Are you a car enthusiast? The Sample McDougald House will have many classic cars on display at a special event this weekend, as well as trucks and motorcycles. The event takes place on Jan. 21 at the historic home, located at 450 NE 10th St. in Pompano. It is $10 entry. There also will be plenty of arts and craft vendors, live music and you can tour the historic museum.

For more info., visit www.samplemcdougald.org/upcoming-events/11th-annual-aaca-fort-lauderdale-region-antique-car-show-and-arts-crafts-festival/

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Feeding the community, Nina’s place, a pantry & market, opens in Deerfield

Posted on 12 January 2023 by JLusk

Making a difference: Gail Schmidt, Raihaana Ali, Claire Riccardi, Glenn Payne and Kurt Schmidt, were among those behind the opening of Nina’s Place.

By Rachel Galvin

A long line of people waited patiently on Saturday, Jan. 7 for the opening of Nina’s Place: A Free Community Market & Pantry.  The epitome of community helping community, this new endeavor allows people who are in need of sustenance, who may be down on their luck, to shop at no charge for items to add to their own cupboards. They also have a pantry for those who are unhoused.

Located at Zion Lutheran Church, 959 Southeast 6th Ave. in Deerfield Beach, the pantry and market are named for Nina McClelland, a longtime advocate for public health, a pioneer in drinking water and a leader in STEM and academia. Her aunt and uncle, the late Fern & Nick Mervos, were long-time members of the church, and in their memory, Nina made a significant bequest to Zion in her estate.

The opening of Nina’s included an early morning ribbon cutting with the president of the church council, Dr. Robin Larson, cutting the ribbon, and many of the people who helped to create the market and pantry were on hand, including members of the church and their partners from Deerfield Beach Community Cares, Flipany and others. 

They had expected about 50 families to show up but they realized they had almost 200. “I am concerned we do not have enough,” said Joel Smith, president & CEO of Deerfield Beach Community Cares. He was right. A mere two hours later, they were completely out of produce and many other products so he found himself making a grocery run to Walmart.

Besides produce, they had plenty of other types of canned products, pasta, baked goods, hygiene items, baby items like diapers and more. 

Because of limited supply, Smith said, they decided on operating on a point system. Everybody gets 20 points to use however they like. A can of tomato sauce might be one point and the pasta another, a potato might be one point but it is two for one, etc. 

Asked how this got started, Smith said, “The church has been incredibly gracious to Deerfield Beach Community Cares. Over time, they gave us an office. But in conversations, we realized you can’t change a person’s soul if they are hungry. If struggling to survive, those needs come first. Zion said, you know what, we have a room [to create a pantry].” From there, they worked with the church, the city and other organizations like Child Services Council of Broward County and Flipany to make the pantry and market a reality.

Dr. Robin Larson, president of the Zion Lutheran Church Council, and Joel Smith, founder & CEO of Deerfield Beach Community Cares, cut the ribbon to Nina’s Place.

They continue to look for partnerships and plan on getting food every week for those who register online and come in. They are looking for relationships right now with places like Publix and Costco.

Claire Riccardi, is the community ambassador for Nina’s Place. She has been working hard to secure those types of partnerships. “I go out to restaurants, markets, food locations, all establishments for all supplies that are needed whether its canned foods, supplies, local distributors.”

What they do bring in is high-quality but economical food. “They don’t have cheap stuff here. They have good quality products people can take home,” said City Manager Dave Santucci, who stopped by in the morning.

“This is a dream come true,” said Gail Schmidt, VP of the Zion Lutheran Church Council.

Shopping…

They plan on having some special events geared toward the homeless on the last Saturday of January, February and March. Not only will those who attend receive a backpack of hygiene and other supplies, but they hope to have clothing available, showers and other organizations on hand to help with much-needed services. This is still in the planning stages.

The hours for the pantry and marketplace are Saturday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (subject to change). They also have a partnership with Door Dash to deliver to those who are unable to physically make it to the market.

More about Deerfield Beach Community Cares

Deerfield Beach Community Cares has some other events coming up, including an 8-week bike club for kids, including riding, going on field trips, like to BMX area, learning bike repair and safety, riding in an obstacle course and more. Kids get a free bike at the end. They also will have a free makeover for Valentines Day for the first 15 women who register online. See what else they are up to on their website, which is https://dfbcommunitycares.org.

To find out more about the pantry and market, including how you can register and how you can donate, visit https://ninasplacedfb.org. The pantry/ marketplace is located at 969 SE 6 Ave, Deerfield Beach.

 

 

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Brightline Opens in Boca to Much Fanfare

Posted on 21 December 2022 by JLusk

Brightline opened in Boca Raton on Dec. 21, bringing in staff, local dignitaries, media and more. 

Congressman Carlos Gimenez and Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava, Boca Raton Mayor Scott Singer and City of Aventura Mayor Howard Weinburg were joined by officials from the City of Boca, the City of Aventura, Miami-Dade County and Brightline executives to officially launch the highly-anticipated opening of the two new stations. (Aventura also was scheduled to open the same day, but has had some delays).

More about Boca Station

At the Boca station, there were a few words said by Brightline’s President Patrick Goddard, City of Boca Raton Mayor Scott Singer, Florida State Senator Tina Polsky and Milton Segarra of Discover The Palm Beaches. The ceremony proceeded with a tour of the completed station and the inaugural ride from Boca Raton to Aventura, where there was another ceremony.

Brightline’s Boca Raton station is located on a 1.8-acre site adjacent to the downtown library and across from Mizner Park and at 101 NW 4th St, Boca Raton, FL 33432. The 22,000 square-foot station features a 455-space parking garage which will service Brightline’s guests and visitors to the library, who will have dedicated, covered and complimentary spaces on the first floor. The station will also provide two complimentary, on-demand Brightline+ EV carts to destinations within downtown Boca Raton. Travel between Boca and MiamiCentral will be approximately 60 minutes. 

Partners in this project include the City of Boca Raton and Federal Railroad Administration that awarded Brightline and Boca $16.4 million for construction of the station.

Station Travel Times, Parking + Passes (both stations)

Brightline’s initial schedules for Aventura and Boca are designed to optimize commuter patterns and will focus on peak morning and evening weekday service. During non-peak hours and weekends, Brightline will provide service approximately every other hour. Regular hourly service will continue in West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale and MiamiCentral. You can view a full schedule for Boca and Aventura here

Parking options will be available at both stations upon opening with rates for Brightline guests starting at $7 and walk-up parking rates starting at $6 for up to an hour. Guests traveling from Aventura and Boca Raton stations will also have access to Brightline+ shuttle services offered to South Florida’s biggest games and events.

For guests looking to save on fares, a commuter SMART pass will be available for $229 per month. Passes for SHORT (2-leg) and LONG (4-leg) bookings will also be available for both SMART and PREMIUM. Miami-Aventura passes can be purchased in-person at the Aventura station and will become available for purchase online in early 2023 for $170 per month. To purchase tickets, visit www.gobrightline.com

At the ribbon cutting.

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DNA Match in Cold Case in Pompano Beach

Posted on 13 December 2022 by JLusk

On a Saturday in April 1994, 89-year-old Lillian DeCloe relaxed at her Pompano Beach home and awaited a visit later that day from a niece who helped care for her. 
 
That visit would never happen. 
 
Instead, violence and rage burst into Lillian’s quiet, peaceful home that day and a killer took her life. 
 
For 28 years, Lillian’s family wondered who could possibly murder this harmless woman, who spent her life as a teacher and nurse, caring for others. This past August, Broward Sheriff’s Office Cold Case Homicide Unit detectives gave them the answer they’d long sought – Lillian’s killer had been identified. 
 
BSO’s Cold Case Homicide Unit reopened Lillian’s case after the unit formed in 2019. Their work launched a journey through old case files, through DNA databases and eventually to the grave of a former United States Marine who once lived a few houses away from Lillian’s home. 
 
Like an episode of “CSI”, a series of breakthroughs led to Lillian’s killer, and the first emerged from DNA evidence recovered from Lillian’s nightgown. The killer left semen on the garment after he sexually assaulted Lillian. From that evidence, BSO’s Crime Lab developed a suspect profile. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement then provided the second breakthrough. 
 
BSO asked FDLE to conduct a Familial Search of its State of Florida Qualifying Offender DNA Database in this case. This technique uses the forensic DNA profile to search for possible first order (parent/child or full sibling) male relatives to the contributor. That testing identified a known offender who had spent time in Florida prison and whose DNA was on file. The known offender was a possible close relative of the DNA contributor in Lillian’s murder. That lead led detectives to a man named Johnny Mack Brown. 
 
Detectives learned that Brown once lived a few houses away from Lillian in the 1990’s and was a Vietnam War veteran. His family said he struggled with PTSD and drug addiction. Brown had also been deceased for more than a decade. 
 
The final breakthrough came this past August when BSO detectives got a court order to exhume Brown’s remains from the South Florida National Cemetery in Palm Beach County. Investigators collected tissue samples from Brown’s remains, and testing by BSO’s Crime Lab showed that Brown’s DNA was consistent with the DNA left at the crime scene. The results were more than conclusive – the DNA results are 66.8 trillion times more likely that they came from Brown and DeCloe than if they came from DeCloe and another person. 
 
Finally, detectives presented their findings to the Broward State Attorney’s Office for review. Prosecutors agreed with BSO’s findings that Brown was involved in DeCloe’s murder. After a nearly three decades-long journey for justice, Lillian DeCloe’s family believes that she can finally rest in peace as her murder is now considered solved and exceptionally cleared. 

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BSO Makes Arrest in Fatal Shooting–Pompano

Posted on 13 December 2022 by JLusk

Broward Sheriff’s Office V.I.P.E.R. (Violence Intervention Proactive Enforcement Response) detectives arrested a suspect wanted for a fatal shooting that occurred last November in Pompano Beach.
 
At approximately 8:30 p.m., on Nov. 16, BSO deputies responded to a call reporting a shooting near the 300 block of West Copans Road in Pompano Beach. On scene, deputies located the victim, Michael Walters, suffering from a gunshot wound. Broward Sheriff Fire Rescue also responded and transported Walters to a nearby hospital where he was pronounced deceased. 
 
BSO’s Homicide Unit detectives were notified and responded to the scene to investigate. Through their investigation, detectives determined Austin Henry was the suspect responsible for the homicide and obtained an arrest warrant for his capture.  
 
On Thursday, Dec. 8, V.I.P.E.R. detectives located and arrested Henry in Palm Beach County. Henry was booked at the Palm Beach County Jail and later transferred to BSO’s Main Jail. He faces one count of second-degree murder. 

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Deerfield Historical provides history, music & more

Posted on 15 November 2022 by JLusk

By Rachel Galvin

The Deerfield Historical Society has many upcoming events meant to entertain and enlighten.

On Nov. 16 at noon at the Deerfield Beach Historical Society Museum & Cultural Center, enjoy History at High Noon with Ira Wechterman, who will share what he knows about Deerfield Island. It is a free event.

On Nov. 18 at 7 p.m. at the same locale, see WW2 documentary “The Canteen Spirit,” part of the Foreign Film Series, for $10.

On Nov. 19, artist Gabriela Gamperl will teach students how to create a drip paint painting like Jackson Pollock. It is $10 and includes supplies, $5 for students. This and other work from previous workshops will be featured in their gallery. There is a limited number of students allowed.

On Nov. 20, from 3 to 5 p.m., The South Florida Chamber Ensemble will perform Strangers at Sea. It is $10.

These are just a few of the many events available throughout the year. Don’t forget about Butler House tours on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. for free at 300 E. Hillsboro Blvd.

The location of the Museum & Cultural Center is at 84 SE 4th Avenue in Deerfield Beach.

 

 

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The Cove Annual Golf Tournament Raises $11,000 for Boys & Girls Club

Posted on 11 October 2022 by JLusk

Photos provided by Denise Buzzelli

On September 26, The Cove Waterfront Restaurant & Tiki Bar held The Cove Annual Golf Tournament at Deer Creek Country Club. This annual event benefits The Boys & Girls Clubs of Broward County (Jim & Jan Moran Unit). This year, they raised $11,000.

Following the tournament, there was an awards dinner at the restaurant for everyone to celebrate after a long day out on the water.

WINNERS

1st Place Winner:  Justin Giambattista, Tyler Stasi, Bobby Cutter, Mike Gish
2nd Place Winner:  Hypower Team
3rd Place Winner:  JM Family Enterprises
Longest Drive Men:  Tim Rappold
Longest Drive Women: Laurie Shaw
Closest to the Pin Men’s Division – Mike Gish
 
For more information about The Cove Waterfront Restaurant & Tiki Bar, visit www.thecovedeerfield.com. For more information about The Boys & Girls Club of Broward County, visit www.bgcbc.org
 

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The Museum Club at the Wick unveiled

Posted on 29 September 2022 by JLusk

By Rachel Galvin

Simple and elegant with old-world charm, the newly renovated Museum Club at The Wick, located within The Wick Theatre building at 7901 N. Federal Highway in Boca Raton, is reminiscent of an old-school supper club complete with two-level seating and a small stage. Although the club tips its hat to yesteryear, it also fully embraces the future with state-of-the-art immersive technology with its 360-degree projections. When Kimberly and Marilyn Wick visited the Van Gogh experience down in Miami, they were inspired to employ something similar in this space. The projections can be changed to transform the space to anything and anywhere, from a starry night to a sunny beachside, from Italy to Paris. It makes for a unique space perfect for intimate events.

But, they took it a step further and created a documentary to display here, called “Ascot!” It is filled with imagery, videos and narration unveiling the story of “My Fair Lady,” including how it was made from the original tale of 1913 George Bernard Shaw play “Pygmalion,” turned into the Lerner and Loewe Broadway play in 1956 and turned into a movie in 1964.

Audrey Hepburn was in the leading role in that film, but the part was also played by Julie Andrews and many others in the various renditions of the play. Hepburn did not sing the famous songs like “I Could Have Danced All Night” herself, but rather used a voice-over actress, Marni Nixon, to dub over. Details such as this are revealed in the film, as well as how the costumes were made and all the ins and outs of the process of creating the classic.

During the presentation of “Ascot!” the spotlight moves about to point out mannequins placed around the room, each one wearing one of the carefully preserved dresses from “My Fair Lady.” Marilyn Wick has costumes from countless Broadway plays within her costume museum (Costume World), the largest collection in the world. This is a new way to showcase the costumes, by implementing them into a show like this. “I always try to go the next step, and leave the other theaters to catch up,” said Wick.

The ingenuity behind the experience that is the Museum Club was on display at an opening gala event on Sept. 23 for media and others. Besides the film and a few statements from Kimberly and Marilyn Wick, there were a few songs sung piano-side by local singers clad in more “My Fair Lady” costumes. Once witnessing the show, guests could have a drink in the attached bar, which also exuded an old-world sensibility. 

For those who want to experience the space for themselves, they can rent it for their next event. The price range from $45 to $85. For details, visit https://thewick.org/museum-club.

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