Habitat for Humanity dedicates the Bob and Sherry Taylor Park

Posted on 26 January 2020 by JLusk

Bob and Sherry with son Robert Taylor, Jr.

Photos by Barbara Witte

Habitat for Humanity of Broward dedicated the Bob and Sherry Taylor Park which houses the JM Family KaBOOM! Playground and Mary N. Porter Reading Garden on Saturday, Jan. 11 at “A Rick Case Habitat Community” in Pompano Beach.

Pompano Mayor Rex Hardin & Nancy Robin, CEO & Exec. Director of Habitat for Humanity.

Dignitaries at the event included Patricia Williams, State of Florida Representative; Lamar Fisher, Broward County Commissioner; Rex Hardin, Mayor of the City of Pompano Beach (COPB) and Beverly Perkins, City of Pompano Beach Commissioner.

Taylor family with Nancy Robin of Habitat for Humanity.

“When we envisioned this new community, we knew a small park had to be part of the plan. The Taylors, Burdette Beckmann, Inc. (BBi), JM Family Enterprises, the City of Pompano Beach and our families had a vision for this space,” said Nancy Robin, CEO and Executive Director of Habitat Broward. “The Bob and Sherry Taylor Park we dedicated is the result of that vision and our amazing community partners.”

Robert Taylor, Jr. explained how his parents, Bob and Sherry, for whom he named the park, instilled in the family that life was about more than just giving back. “We were taught to ‘Love thy neighbor as thyself’ (Matthew 22:39), and that is what Habitat is all about.” Taylor also acknowledged the hard work and support of his team at BBi.

JM Family was also acknowledged for its sponsorship of the KaBOOM! playground, which their associates helped to construct in a single day. The Deerfield Beach-based automotive company began its partnership with Habitat for Humanity of Broward in 2002 and, since that time, has been a part of building and dedicating 35 homes. In fact, prior to the park dedication, JM Family associates were hard at work on four houses they are currently sponsoring in the community, which will bring their total Habitat homes to 39. Representing JM Family were Brent Burns, president and CEO; and Colin Brown, chairman of the board.

Rex Hardin and the City of Pompano Beach were thanked for helping Habitat create the park, children’s playground and reading garden, which are accessible to residents of the community and the surrounding area.

Linda Carter, president and CEO of the Community Foundation of Broward was thanked for its $1 million grant from the Mary N. Porter Legacy Fund. Carter shared that Miss Porter’s family stood for building community and serving others. The Mary N. Porter Reading Garden recognizes Ms. Porter’s gift…as does the park’s bronze statue of Miss Porter as a child, sculpted by Robert St. Croix.

Entertainment included a butterfly stilt-walker and balloon artist, courtesy of Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino and an ice cream truck that provided complimentary scoops by Hoffman’s Chocolates.

Special guest Roy Rogers helped the children release butterflies in the new garden. Rogers has installed more than 100 butterfly gardens throughout Broward schools, parks and houses of worship.

Additionally, youth from Cypress Bay and Cardinal Gibbons High Schools assisted with the day’s activities.

For more information about Habitat for Humanity of Broward please call 954-396-3030 or visit our website at www.habitatbroward.org or check us out on Facebook at www.facebook.com/HabitatBroward.


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Cruising with DB Chamber & Econ. Council

Posted on 25 January 2020 by JLusk

Mark & Dolly Dreyer with Commissioner Michael Hudak & his wife Paula leaving the Gallant Lady following the cruise.

By Rachel Galvin

On Jan. 7, the Deerfield Beach Chamber of Commerce and Economic Council had a special night cruise up and down the intracoastal in Moran family’s Gallant Lady, which was docked at Bahia Mar. Besides cool breezes and a beautiful night sky, guests enjoyed hot hors d’ oeuvres, sushi, macarons and more, as well as wine and spirits. This intimate soiree was hosted by Rick Jorden and Lisa Davis of JM Family.

Digby & Glen enjoy the event.

Mariola Barton, Kathy Hurt, Chamber president Denise Jordan & Michael Goldstein.

Sitting back enjoying the event!

All of the movers and shakers came out for the soiree…

Dave Mirantz addresses the crowd.

Chamber President Denise Jordan says a few words.

Rick Jorden talks.

Bob Birdsong is among those who talked to the crowd briefly during the cruise.

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FDOT District 4 will Suspend Lane Closures on Several Major Roadways in Broward, Palm Beach for Super Bowl LIV

Posted on 25 January 2020 by JLusk

To ease congestion and improve safety during Super Bowl LIV weekend, lanes that are currently or periodically closed due to ongoing construction projects will be kept open on several major roadways throughout Broward and Palm Beach County, starting Friday morning, Jan 31 to Monday evening, February 3.

  • Lanes will be kept open on I-95 in Broward County
  • Lanes will be kept open on I-95 in Palm Beach County
  • Lanes will be kept open on I-595 in Broward County
  • Lanes will be kept open on I-75 in Broward County
  • Lanes will be kept open on S.R. 7 from the Miami-Dade County line to Commercial Boulevard.
  • Lanes will be kept open on S.R. A1A in the vicinity of Dania Beach Boulevard.
  • All lanes will be kept open on S.R. A1A in Hollywood from Monday, Jan. 27 to February 3.

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Sewage Spill in Pompano fixed

Posted on 25 January 2020 by JLusk

The minor active sewage pipe that occurred at 960 S. Powerline Road in Pompano Beach which had spilled into the Cypress Bend Lakes and C14 Canal has been permanently fixed.

The City of Pompano Beach is asking people not to swim, fish or irrigate from the canals until tests have been completed.

The City drinking water, however, is safe to drink, bathe and cook.

If residents have any questions they should call customer service at 954-786-4637.

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All Northbound lanes of I-95 to close Sunday, Jan. 26 night

Posted on 25 January 2020 by JLusk

I-95 northbound lanes at Hillsboro Boulevard will be closed to traffic overnight Sunday night, January 26 for roadway
construction and a traffic shift, according to FDOT. The first lane will close at 9:30 p.m., the second lane will close at 10:30 p.m., the third
lane will close at 11:30 p.m., and all lanes will be closed by 11:59 p.m., reopening at 5:30 a.m. Traffic will be detoured via the
I-95 northbound exit ramp to Hillsboro Boulevard west, Military Trail and Palmetto Park Road. FHP will be on site to assist
This project will extend the High Occupancy Toll lanes from south of SW 10th Street to south of Glades Road in Broward and Palm Beach counties, to include two Managed Lanes in each direction. Scope of work includes widening and converting the existing I-95 HOV Lanes to Managed Lanes, reconstruction of the Hillsboro Canal Bridge, bridge widenings at Palmetto
Park Road and Camino Real, construction of a northbound and southbound auxiliary lane between Hillsboro Boulevard and Palmetto Park Road, construction of a northbound auxiliary lane between the SW 10th Street entrance ramp and Hillsboro Boulevard exit ramp, guardrail, barrier wall, drainage, landscape relocation, and ITS installation.


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Deerfield MLK event –State Senator Thurston speaks on ‘Unified persistence’

Posted on 24 January 2020 by JLusk

State Senator Gary Farmer (L) says a few words before Keynote Speaker State Senator Perry Thurston (R) speaks.

By Diane Emeott
State Senator Perry E. Thurston, Jr. recalled when he was a freshman
from Pompano Beach entering the revered Morehouse College in Atlanta
on a football scholarship.
It is a school known for producing strong, young African American
leaders such as the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., former first
black mayor of Atlanta, Maynard Jackson, director/actor/writer Spike
Lee and actor Samuel L. Jackson.
“As a 17-year-old, I was a little bit in awe of their oratory style.[They were very well spoken]. A lot of graduates go on to be scholars,
ministers, etc.
“I asked this guy, ‘How’d you get to speak so well?’ And he promised
he’d give me some helpful tips — for the fee of a two-piece chicken
dinner. As he was finishing devouring his second piece of chicken, I
asked him the question again.
“ ‘Just remember the [3] B’s: ‘Be Brief, Brother!’” he advised.
Thurston’s story drew laughter from the afternoon crowd gathered by
the outdoor stage on Oveta McKeithen Recreational Complex (OMRC)
fields at 2 p.m. Monday, Jan. 20.
He also brought up to the stage fellow State Senator Gary Farmer, who
represents Deerfield Beach. [Patricia Hawkins-Williams represents
Deerfield as State Representative, continuing on in the same District
92 where Gwyndolen Clarke-Reed served for many years.]
Thurston affirmed Deerfield’s theme of “Unity” for MLK festivities
this year, speaking of the continued need for “unified persistence” –
one of the themes of MLK.
“In Deerfield Beach, we had the Old Colored Cemetery. A travesty. We
all came together, state and local leaders like Clarke-Reed, and look
what has resulted from it: Branhilda Richardson Knowles Memorial Park
& Cemetery.”
[Newly opened on Aug. 24, 2019 in Deerfield Beach, Branhilda Park was
the result of combined efforts by former District 2 Commissioner
Gloria Battle and community members; as well as Gwyndolen Clarke-Reed
in the House and Maria Sachs in the Senate, and most recently Patricia
Hawkins-Williams in the House and Perry Thurston in the Senate,
working to receive a Historical Designation and funding from the
At the MLK Day Ceremony, Thurston referenced Martin Luther King’s
famous ‘I Have A Dream’ speech.
“What Dr. King essentially was saying is, ‘These are the things I want you to work toward…,’ Thurston said.
Remaining issues to be addressed in the current day are the following, he said:
1)    Poverty and food Insecurity, putting an end to poverty.
       “How can people not know where their next meal is coming from?” Thurston asked.
2)    Homelessness
3)    Affordable healthcare for all, including Mental Health.
4)    Public Education.
       “[On Oct. 7, 2019] the Governor [Ron DeSantis] proposed $47,500 as a minimum salary for new teachers. We want to pay ALL the teachers! And Security personnel too. They also have an important job,” he added.
Parade Winners were announced Monday afternoon before Senator Thurston spoke.
Best Civic Group – City of Deerfield Beach Management
Best Marching Band – DBHS Bucks
Best Church Entry – Church of the Living God (Pastor Dennis Fullmore)
Best Overall Float – Cathedral Church of God (Bishop Patrick Kelly)
Best Youth Group – Delray Divas
Best School, Elementary – Deerfield Park Elementary
Talented saxophonist Markus Howell was back home in Deerfield to play
the “National Anthem” on Martin Luther King’s Birthday.
Deerfield’s 2020 MLK Celebration featured a longer parade route and
time: Departing St. Ambrose Church & School on Federal Highway at 10
a.m. and traveling to OMRC by 12:30 p.m; followed by a Battle of the
Bands from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m., and the chance for families to purchase
a “picnic lunch” from food trucks lining the fields at OMRC. More entertainment from 2:45 to 6 p.m. followed Thurston’s speech. R &
B/soul singer-songwriter-instrumentalist Lyfe Jennings headlined the
city’s MLK Parade and Picnic.
New this year, a MLK Committee of residents assisted Parks & Recreation in planning the event and handing out awards. On the committee were Annette Mitchell, Sandra Jackson, Diane Chisholm, Janice Fulmore Tigner and Lawanda Strowbridge.
The annual Choir Competition, held for years the Sunday night before
MLK Day in Dr. Leo J. Robb Gymnasium, was renamed “Praise & Worship
Competition” for 2020.
Three gifted adult musical groups vied for the title, lifting strong voices and expertly played instruments in one palpable Spiritual song after another, to praise God for all He has done and is still doing. The music was so moving, the audience was clapping and dancing along.
Florida All-Star gospel singers, a professional group of men from Pompano Beach, who have reportedly recorded an album, were among the
three groups of adult performers.
Two Deerfield groups – past winner Cathedral Church of God (Bishop
Patrick Kelly) and Bethlehem Missionary Baptist Church Ensemble (Rev.
Demetric Ford) – tied. So they split the winnings – with each of the two churches receiving checks for $750.
Young singers from Church of the Living God (Pastor Dennis Fullmore/Janice Fullmore Musical Director) won $300 for their efforts.
Judges for the Praise & Worship Competition were: Percy Jackson, Katy
Freitag, Carolyn Cason and Flora Philpart.

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Toll Brothers’ Sandpiper Pointe at Deerfield Beach to open Spring 2020

Posted on 22 January 2020 by JLusk

 Toll Brothers, the nation’s leading builder of luxury homes, will open Sandpiper Pointe at Deerfield Beach, a new gated, townhome community, in spring 2020. Construction has begun on the Sandpiper Pointe model homes and sales center. 

Located just south of Hillsboro Boulevard on Military Trail, Sandpiper Pointe will include 201 luxury townhomes, along with a community swimming pool and cabana, a fitness center, a playground, and more.

Sandpiper Pointe home buyers will be able to select from four all-new, three-bedroom, two and one-half bath home designs featuring coastal-themed exteriors. Each home includes spacious living areas, well-appointed kitchens, and private master bedrooms, as well as a garage. Several homes offer two-car garages.

The home designs include the 1,831 square-foot Seabreeze, 1,833 sf Coquina, 1,903 sf Las Isla, and 1,930 sf Westwind.

“We’re very excited about the upcoming Sandpiper Pointe opening,” said Fred Pfister, Toll Brothers’ Southeast Florida Division president. “The community will offer low-maintenance living in a convenient location, enabling residents to enjoy all the nearby amenities the area offers.” 

Sandpiper Pointe is minutes from the beach and Boca Raton’s shopping, dining, country clubs, golf courses and cultural options.

Toll Brothers’ Southeast Florida communities also include Reserve at the Ranches and Magnolia Estates in Southwest Ranches and Royal Palm Polo in Boca Raton. Windgate at Avenir and Watermark at Avenir, two new single-family home communities in Palm Beach Gardens, are set to open early 2020 and Regency at Avenir, a 55+ active-adult community, will debut spring 2020.

For more information, visit TollBrothers.com/FLE.




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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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“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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