UPDATE: Water main fixed west of Boynton

Workers repair a water main break that shut off service to Palm Beach Outlets mall. (Tony Doris / The Palm Beach Post)

UPDATE: Everything has been repaired.

ORIGINAL POST: A water main break has left some residents west of Boynton Beach without running water.

Residents of the Briella community, at W. Boynton Beach Boulevard and Hagen Ranch Road, were notified of the break by email.

The Palm Beach County water department is at the scene. The break should be repaired within a few hours, according to a news release.

Red-light camera program coming back to Boynton Beach, but when?

Red light cameras are used at the intersection of Belvedere Road and Parker Avenue in West Palm Beach, June 11, 2013. (Bruce R. Bennett/The Palm Beach Post)

Now that Boynton Beach’s officials decided to bring back the red-light camera program, the big question is when does it start?

Well, there isn’t a start-date yet.

City Manager Lori LaVerriere said there’s a lot to be done before the program starts: The city needs to meet with camera-vendor American Traffic Solutions to work out logistics; and three police employees need to be moved back to the program to review the videos and pictures.

City officials decided earlier this month to reinstate the program. Boynton will be the only Palm Beach County city to do so.

Read more here: Red-light cameras coming back to Boynton Beach

 

New Boynton Starbucks opens, Chipotle coming soon

Starbucks in Canyon Town Center on Aug. 7, 2017. (Alexandra Seltzer / The Palm Beach Post)

Attention coffee lovers: There’s a new Starbucks in town.

The coffee cafe, which also has a drive-through, opened Friday in Canyon Town Center west of Boynton Beach.

A Chipotle is under construction next door. It’s expected to open in September.

Canyon Town Center is at 8780 W. Boynton Beach Blvd., just east of Lyons Road. The center is already home to Publix, Panera Bread and Massimo’s Italian Restaurant.

 

Delray votes on Caring Kitchen, parking meters, Big Pharma lawsuit at meeting

Delray Beach wants to nix free parking and add meters to its 3,000-plus city-owned spots downtown. (Melanie Bell / The Palm Beach Post)

DELRAY BEACH — A lengthy city commission meeting Wednesday sparked debates and decisions on issues such as the relocation of a local soup kitchen, placing parking meters downtown and a lawsuit against pharmaceutical companies for the part they played in the opioid epidemic.

Here’s the meeting breakdown:

Caring Kitchen

Caring Kitchen, a soup kitchen that has operated in a neighborhood on Northwest Eighth Street near Pompey Park for two decades, will stop serving food at the site Oct. 31, the commission unanimously decided.

The kitchen, operated by nonprofit CROS Ministries, leases the space from the city for $1 a year. At the center of a residential area, the soup kitchen has been the site of 125 police visits in the past year, the Delray Beach Police Department said.

Some neighbors implored the city to relocate the Caring Kitchen, as it has brought crime, trash, noise and traffic to the neighborhood.

“I think the time has come to put an end to the suffering that the people in the neighborhood are experiencing,” Mayor Cary Glickstein said.

The kitchen serves 14 meals per week to hundreds of homeless and low-income people. It also delivers food to home-bound residents within 1 mile of the site. CROS Ministries is seeking a new site for the kitchen, but asked the city to extend that Oct. 31 deadline.

The soup kitchen can prepare and store food at the site until Aug. 1, 2018, city commissioners decided. But come November, no food can be served there. The kitchen will have to distribute the food to other ministries throughout the city.

Parking meters

After two hours of debate, the city commission delayed the decision to place parking meters at more than 2,000 free spots downtown to wait for more information.

City staff analyzed parking plans at cities in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties and recommended placing meters along Atlantic Avenue east of Northwest Fifth Avenue, as well as surface lots and street-side parking two blocks north and south of Atlantic.

The meters would charge $3.50 per hour on Fridays after 5 p.m., and weekends from 8 a.m. to midnight.

The plan also called for $1 per hour parking in the two garages east of Swinton Avenue.

The meters would net the city more than $3 million in two years.

The city’s Downtown Development Authority suggested tweaks to the parking proposal that would reduce rates, change the hours and create a system for employees to avoid burdening workers and business owners with parking costs.

The city commission directed staff to analyze the authority’s plan to see if it’s financially reasonable.

Big Pharma lawsuit

The city will file a lawsuit against drug makers that allegedly played a part in the opioid epidemic, commissioners decided Wednesday.

Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd, a national firm with an office in Boca Raton, will represent the city in a lawsuit against at least eight pharmaceutical makers and distributors, including Purdue Pharma and McKesson Corp.

It isn’t clear yet when the lawsuit will be filed as the firm will begin research this week, said Mark J. Dearman, a partner at Robbins Geller.

Check back Thursday for more details on these stories.

 

Marijuana, red-light cameras among big decisions by Boynton officials

Boynton Beach commissioners discussed five major topics at their meeting Tuesday including red-light cameras, raising garbage fees and a dog beach.

Here’s how they voted:

Red-light cameras:

What: They’re coming back in Boynton.

Read more here: Red-light cameras coming back to Boynton Beach

Medical marijuana dispensaries:

What: In November, Florida voters overwhelmingly passed Amendment 2, making marijuana available to people with certain illnesses. The state has licensed organizations to grow, distribute and sell medical marijuana. The law went into effect July 1.

While the state worked on their law, the city worked on a local law. But city staff recently found out that portions of the local law — such as how many dispensaries will open in the city and where — are moot according to state law. State law says rules for locating dispensaries can’t be tougher than the ones on pharmacies. The City Commission can either allow the dispensaries to open in the city and not restrict them more than pharmacies; allow the stores but change requirements for pharmacies in order to write stricter rules; or ban the dispensaries.

Vote: The dispensaries will be allowed to open in the city and officials will not restrict them more than pharmacies.

Raising garbage rates:

What: The first of two votes allowing a $1 per month increase on residential garbage rates for the next two years. If approved, beginning Oct. 1, single-family home rates would be $17 per month and multifamily home rates would be $13.75 per month. Those increases would bring about $460,000 a year in revenue to the city. For 2018-19, the rate for single-family would be $18 per month. Vehicle and personnel costs for Solid Waste are rising, and the city wants to keep enough money in the Solid Waste fund to be able to handle unexpected emergencies.

Vote: The majority voted against this increase, so the rates will not change. There will be no second vote. Now the city’s budget is short that $460,000.

Texting while driving: 

What: State Rep. Emily Slosberg has asked Boynton to support legislation that would make the ban on texting while driving a primary offense. As it is now, police officers cannot pull over drivers who are texting while driving because it is a secondary offense. Slosberg said new legislation would save lives, prevent injuries and prevent property damages.

Vote: The commission supports Slosberg’s move for new legislation.

Dog beach: 

What: Commissioner Joe Casello has requested to discuss allowing dogs at Oceanfront Park beach during certain hours. If the dogs could be confined to one area, he said the dogs wouldn’t need to wear leashes. If not, they would wear them. “Just to have the ability to have dogs be on the beach and enjoy the water would be a huge success,” Casello said.

Vote: Commissioners supported Casello. The city will work on plans to make this happen.

End summer the right way, with water slides and games at Boca’s Sugar Sand Park

2015 Back-To-School Splash water slide at Sugar Sand Park (Contributed: Sugar Sand Park)

BOCA RATON — Summer break is coming to a bittersweet end, but kids have one last bash to look forward to at Boca Raton’s Sugar Sand Park.

The annual Back-to-School Splash — a free event with water slides, carnival-style games and giveaways — is planned for Saturday, Aug. 12 at 10 a.m. Children age 3 and up are welcome.

The park, at Military Trail south of Palmetto Park Road, will also have live music and food vendors at the event.

For more information, visit Sugar Sand Park’s website.

What: Back-to-School Splash

When: Saturday, Aug. 12, 2017 at 10 a.m.

Where: Sugar Sand Park, 300 S Military Trail, Boca Raton, FL 33486

How much: Free

More info: Sugar Sand Park’s website

 

Downtown Delray parking meters up for discussion in city this week

Delray Beach wants to nix free parking and add meters to its 3,000-plus city-owned spots downtown. (Melanie Bell / The Palm Beach Post)

DELRAY BEACH — A plan to place parking meters at more than 2,000 free spots in downtown Delray Beach is up for discussion this week.

The city commission will hear a presentation Wednesday on the parking plan, which includes smart meters that would charge a fluctuating rate based on location and demand, a concept called “surge pricing”. Some details haven’t yet been ironed out, including a parking plan for downtown employees who currently take advantage of free city-owned spots.

The parking meters could net the city as much as $3.15 million a year, city officials said in early July.

» READ: How to eat cheap at downtown Delray’s priciest restaurants this week

City staff will present the parking plan at a commission meeting Wednesday evening.

The city owns 3,277 parking spots in downtown, 727 of which are inside two parking garages.

The parking garages currently charge a $5 flat fee after 4 p.m. Thursday through Saturday. Seven-hundred spots along the beach are already metered, but would become smart meters with charges that fluctuate based on time of day.

The remaining spots in downtown are currently free for 8- or 2-hour parking.

Check back Wednesday for more details on this proposal.

How to eat cheap at downtown Delray’s priciest restaurants this week

A crowd gathers outside City Oyster on Atlantic Avenue. (Photo by Lannis Waters/ The Palm Beach Post)

DELRAY BEACH — Want a three-course meal for as little as $20 at one of downtown Delray Beach’s most popular eateries?

You’ve got it — for this week only.

It’s Restaurant Week in Delray Beach, so restaurants, juice bars and cafes will offer discounted multi-course meals today through Saturday. Spots are filling quickly, so make reservations in advance where you can, the city’s Downtown Development Authority says.

» READ: Clerk catches men installing credit-card skimmer at Delray gas pump

These are the participating restaurants and the deals they’ll offer this week. Just click the link for the prix fixe menus:

Sea turtle near Delray dies after consuming fishing line

Dugan, an adult green sea turtle rescued near Delray Beach on Tuesday, died two days later with fishing line in his intestines, according to Gumbo Limbo Nature Center. The center is pointing to his death as reason to recycle fishing line and keep the ocean clear of debris. (Courtesy of Gumbo Limbo)

DELRAY BEACH — A sea turtle that washed ashore near Delray Beach this week died after a boat strike and consuming material used in fishing lines. And Boca Raton-based Gumbo Limbo Nature Center is pointing to the death as reason to keep the ocean clear of debris.

Dugan, the adult male green sea turtle rescued in Highland Beach on Tuesday, died Thursday, the nature center said. He washed ashore with severe external injuries likely caused by a boat strike.

Turtle rehabilitation specialists operate on Dugan, an adult green sea turtle rescued near Delray Beach on Tuesday. Dugan later died due to complications from fishing line in his intestines. (Courtesy of Gumbo Limbo)

Delray Beach Fire Rescue and Highland Beach Nesting Patrol assisted in the rescue.

» READ: Why Boca wants control of ‘private’ holiday park displays (Hint: Satanic signs)

But upon closer examination, the Boca Raton turtle rehabilitation center determined that monofilament, a material used in fishing lines, tangled in his intestines, causing them to coil so food could no longer be digested. 

“This is a reminder to everyone to recycle your monofilament at recycling stations located on piers or take it home,” Gumbo Limbo Nature Center wrote on its Facebook page. “It’s important to keep our oceans trash-free for the safety of all marine life.”

The combination of intestinal damage and injuries from the boat strike led to the turtle’s death. The sea turtle was initially in stable condition after the rescue, the nature center said.

Gumbo Limbo rescues and rehabilitates about 75 percent of the sea turtles that are brought to the facility, at 1801 N Ocean Blvd., but “unfortunately not every patient can be saved,” the nature center said.

 

NEW: International flights coming to Boca Raton Airport soon

BOCA RATON – Pilot Gustavus McLeod (cq) takes off past the tower at the Boca Raton Airport, departing on his fifth attempt to become the first pilot to solo circumnavigate the Earth – pole to pole – in a single-engine plane Wednesday, Jan. 21, 2004.  (Staff photo by Chris Matula)

BOCA RATON — International travelers flying into state-owned Boca Raton Airport will soon be able to cut out an extra leg of their flight.

The airport, on Airport Road at Glades Road just east of Interstate 95, is constructing a U.S. Customs and Border Protection facility so international travelers can soon fly directly into the state-owned airport.

International flights currently have to stop at Palm Beach International or Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International airports to go through Customs before flying to Boca Raton. The 4,400-square-foot Customs office is under construction and expected to open this fall, according to airport officials.

» READ: Why Boca wants control of ‘private’ holiday park displays (Hint: Satanic signs)

“The environmental impact will be measurable in terms of reduced fuel consumption and noise in the community,” Clara Bennett, executive director of the Boca Raton Airport Authority, said in a news release.

The $4.5 million project is largely funded by a grant from the state’s Department of Transportation. The remaining funding came from the Boca Raton Airport Authority, meaning no local tax dollars were used to fund the project.

Local boaters can also clear customs at the Boca Raton Airport when the facility opens.

Aircrafts will be charged $50 to $500 depending on the size of the craft. Marine vessels will be charged about $15 per person. Those fees are expected to offset the cost of Customs and Border Protection services, the airport reports.