Boca’s beach and parks elections head to runoffs

runoffs-beach-and-parksBOCA RATON — Residents will vote again in November to fill two seats on the Greater Boca Raton Beach and Parks District after close margins in Tuesday’s primary.

Of the three candidates who contended for each vacant commission seat, two will move on to runoffs Nov. 8 after no candidates secured a majority of votes Tuesday. The beach and parks district collects taxes and is responsible for public parks and beaches in Boca Raton and areas west of Boca.

One of the races was a near-tie between incumbant Earl Starkoff and Erin Wright, a local business owner who leads Starkoff in the unofficial election results by just 98 votes.

“The feedback we’ve gotten is that people are tired of those in place in the district already, mainly Earl,” Wright said Wednesday. “The status quo just won’t cut it anymore.”

Starkoff could not be reached for comment.

» For more details on each candidate, see our Know Your Candidate guide.

The second runoff pits Dennis Frisch, the incumbent who secured about 41.78 percent of votes, against Craig Ehrnst, a treasurer at a Boca Raton-based insurance firm. Frisch led Ehrnst  by about 6.5 percent of votes in Tuesday’s election.

“I’m pleased at the turnout and that people understand the importance of the parks district,” Ehrnst said Wednesday. Frisch could not be reached for comment.

Shayla Enright, a medical physicist who announced candidacy just one month before the election and ran against Ehrnst and Frisch, garnered nearly 23 percent of the vote. She plans to meet with Frisch and Ehrnst and is considering a possible endorsement, she said.

“Considering I only campaigned for about a month, I got a decent amount of support,” she said.

 

Video: Watch once-injured sea turtles waddle to the ocean in Boca Raton

 Staff Photo by Bruce R. Bennett/The Palm Beach Post -- Boca Raton -- A 6 year old 35-pound female loggerhead sea turtle, photographed in 2008 just before she was transported from Gumbo Limbo Nature Center to the Indian River Lagoon near Sebastian Inlet and released.
Staff Photo by Bruce R. Bennett/The Palm Beach Post — Boca Raton — A 6 year old 35-pound female loggerhead sea turtle, photographed in 2008 just before she was transported from Gumbo Limbo Nature Center to the Indian River Lagoon near Sebastian Inlet and released.

BOCA RATON — Gumbo Limbo Nature Center released three sea turtles — whose injuries they nursed — into the ocean at Spanish River Park on Tuesday.

The center has an extensive turtle rehabilitation program. They take in injured turtles from Palm Beach County and the Treasure Coast and nurse them to health before release.

Several locals joined the turtle rehabilitation experts and watched the release.

Among the sea turtles let loose was Redlow, a 124 pound Loggerhead found in Port St. Lucie in late April. He had an injured shell and flipper when they found him.

Watch Redlow and the other turtles waddle back to open waters below:

Vote to quadruple Boca council salaries passes by close margin

Council Members (from left): Councilman Robert Weinroth, CRA Chairman Scott Singer, Mayor Susan Haynie, Deputy Mayor Michael Mullaugh, Councilman Jeremy Rodgers (Contributed)
Council Members (from left): Councilman Robert Weinroth, CRA Chairman Scott Singer, Mayor Susan Haynie, Deputy Mayor Michael Mullaugh, Councilman Jeremy Rodgers (Contributed)

BOCA RATON — About 80 votes made the difference in a decision to quadruple the salaries of Boca Raton city leaders.

While the official results aren’t yet in, the salary hikes appear to have passed.

The referendum was one of two on the ballot in Boca Raton during the primary election Tuesday. It proposed quadrupling the current base salaries for the positions of mayor and city council member, a notion twice shot down by voters in the past.

“Because it has failed so often in the past, many people were afraid of it,” Councilman Mike Mullaugh, who proposed the ordinance, said Wednesday. “I decided I can take it on because I’m term-limited anyway.”

The salary amount was included in the ballot question, rather than just asking voters whether salaries should be quadrupled.

“I think that played a role in it’s success this time,” Mullaugh said.

About 50.43 percent of votes cast were in favor of the salary increase, which is about 0.86 percent more than those who voted against it. The difference isn’t small enough to prompt a recount, according to the county’s Supervisor of Elections.

The current base salary for mayor is $9,200. The proposed $38,000 salary is 40 percent of the base salary earned by Palm Beach County commissioners.

In salary and car allowance, Boca Raton council members, in a city of about 89,000, make $12,600 a year, according to Palm Beach Post database compiled in 2015. City commissioners in West Palm Beach, with a population of about 102,000, make $36,000 per year in salary and car allowance.

“I suspect nobody wants a 30-hour-per-week job that pays only $600 a month,” he said. “I think it will make it possible for people who are not in the position to make the financial sacrifice to actually run for council.”

The last city council salary increase was 1984. If approved, the increase will take effect in October.

Another referendum, which will require a special election to fill any city council vacancies, also passed, based on unofficial elections results.

Currently, if a council member’s position becomes open mid-term, the remaining council members appoint someone to the position, which lasts until next regular city election.

If the position of mayor becomes open, the deputy mayor would serve in that role until the next election.

 

Daughter likely to take father’s south county House seat

Emily Slosberg (Contributed)
Emily Slosberg (Contributed)

Emily Slosberg appears to have won the primary election for the vacant House District 91 seat and — with no Republican contenders — will likely succeed her father in representing south central Palm Beach County.

Slosberg, the daughter of State Rep. Irv Slosberg, D-Boca Raton, who currently holds the seat, narrowly defeated Kelly Ann Skidmore, a House veteran. Based on unofficial elections results, Slosberg took 51.7 percent of the votes, only about 550 more votes than Skidmore.

» Related: Results from Tuesday’s elections in Palm Beach County

“I have some big shoes to fill,” Slosberg said late Tuesday. “I have learned a lot from my father. I look forward to representing District 91 and helping get Hillary (Clinton) elected.”

kelly-skidmoreSkidmore, who succeeded Irv Slosberg in the House District 90 seat and went on to serve four years, sought to return to elected office after an unsuccessful bid for state Senate in 2010.

“I called Emily to congratulate her and unfortunately she was clueless … ” Skidmore said just after the unofficial results went live. “I feel bad for the folks in District 91. If you’ve ever had a conversation with Emily, it was most likely a disjointed one. It’s very challenging to have a straight-forward conversation with her.”

web-072816-pbp-ELEX-FLA-HOUSE-91Skidmore is currently executive director of Broward Days, an organization of business and government leaders who advocate for Broward County-friendly legislation. She plans to stay plugged in to District 91, which encompasses western Boca Raton, Delray Beach and Boynton Beach.

“I anticipate I will always be involved,” she said, adding that she’s willing to work with Slosberg to better the community.

 

 

Antique cars, food trucks and craft beer at this Boynton Beach event

View of antique cars during the Seventh Annual First Responders Day Sunday Oct. 11, 2015, at West Palm Beach Fire Department station seven in West Palm Beach. (Bill Ingram / The Palm Beach Post)
View of antique cars during the Seventh Annual First Responders Day Sunday Oct. 11, 2015, at West Palm Beach Fire Department station seven in West Palm Beach. (Bill Ingram / The Palm Beach Post)

The Boynton Beach Mall is hosting a Cars & Crafts show Sunday where all money made will go to the Boynton Beach Kiwanis Club, a nonprofit which provides educational and community assistance programs.

The event is from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Sears parking lot of the mall at 801 N. Congress Ave.

It will showcase hundreds of antique and custom cars, hot rods, trucks and bikes.

The event will also include a DJ, food trucks, craft vendors and samplings of 10 craft brews.

The event is free. Brew samplings are $10.

For information, call 561-736-7902 or go to http://www.boyntonbeachmall.com.

To read more Boynton Beach stories, click here.

City of Delray Beach now accepting applications for vacant commission seat

Al Jacquet, running for State House District 88
Al Jacquet, running for State House District 88

DELRAY BEACH — The city will soon accept applications for a city commission seat to be vacated by Vice Mayor Al Jacquet, who will resign Nov. 8 to run for the open state House District 88 seat.

The City Clerk Department will accept applications, which should include a resume, letter of intent and questionnaire, beginning Sept. 1. The deadline to apply is Oct. 7.

The city commission will review the applications and consider an appointment at the Nov. 1 meeting. The appointment will take effect in March.

Applications should be emailed or sent to Chevelle D. Nubin, city clerk, at 100 NW 1st Avenue, Delray Beach, FL 33444. To download the questionnaire, click here.  For more information, contact the City Clerk Department at (561) 243-7050.

house-district-88» Related: Know your candidates for party primaries for state, county and regional offices

Jacquet, a lawyer, is one of three Democrats vying in the Aug. 30 primary for the vacant House seat, which covers some of West Palm Beach, Riviera Beach and Lake Park as well as a thin coastal strip south to Delray Beach. He’s been a commissioner in Delray since 2012 and vice mayor since March.

Delray Beach church to offer food addict 12-step support program

A Delray Beach church will offer a 12-step support program in September for people struggling with food addiction.

The free support program will begin Tuesday, Sept. 6 at Unity of Delray Beach Church, at 101 NW 22nd St., which also offers Alcoholics Anonymous, Cocaine Anonymous and Co-Dependents Anonymous meetings.

The meetings, which will be held every Tuesday at 7 p.m., are suited for people who struggle to eat healthy food and maintain a healthy weight, who binge eat large quantities of sweets or starches, who purge their bodies excessively or who limit the amount of food they eat, according to program coordinators. The program offers a network of support and nutrition advice.

Food Addicts Anonymous considers food addiction to be a biochemical disorder, not a moral or character issue.

For questions or to sign up for the meetings, email or call Brenda at brenda515@icloud.com or 561-742-2121.

 

 

Boca ‘SAT Bootcamp’ offers students up to $2,500 in scholarship money

An SAT “bootcamp” in Boca Raton offers students a chance to prep for the big test and earn up to $2,500 in scholarship money.

It’s called “Mindworks 2016 Bootcamp Scholarship,” and it offers high school students tips to passing the SAT and ACT, two college admissions test. The sessions will be held Sept. 17-18 at Florida Atlantic University.

Students will have a chance to win scholarship money based on goals and essays they work on during the bootcamp, according to Mindworks coordinators.

“I believe that every student has the ability to learn, the unfortunate fact is many don’t have the means to maximize their skill,” said Andrea Catsicas, a Coral Springs woman and founder of Mindworks.

The 10-hour test prep course costs $149 per student. Students will review material typically on the tests, review unfamiliar questions and learn question-and-answer tactics.

The deadline to apply for the scholarship money and enroll for Mindworks is Sept. 10. For more information or to enroll, visit www.prepbootcamp.org.

 

Indoor activities in Boca and Delray to dodge the storm this weekend

Dana Strong of Delray Beach plays Ms. Pac-Man inside the Silverball Museum, Wednesday, August 17, 2016. Strong, who grew up playing Pac-Man, Atari, Frogger, and Donkey Kong, said, "This place is really cool." Damon Higgins / The Palm Beach Post
Dana Strong of Delray Beach plays Ms. Pac-Man inside the Silverball Museum, Wednesday, August 17, 2016. Strong, who grew up playing Pac-Man, Atari, Frogger, and Donkey Kong, said, “This place is really cool.” Damon Higgins / The Palm Beach Post

A tropical wave is expected to soak South Florida this weekend, but that doesn’t mean you should be bored.

Depending on the severity of the weather, you can still duck out in Boca Raton or Delray Beach and partake in some fun indoor activities. Here are some suggested things to do this weekend in southern Palm Beach County:

» Play a little pinball. The Silverball Museum in downtown Delray Beach is lined with dozens of pinball machines and other arcade classics. Their slogan is, “Art you can interact with.” Shield yourself from the rain and spend some time revisiting your childhood. An all-day pass costs $25, but you can pay by the hour. The Silverball Museum is at 19 NE 3rd Ave.

» Appreciate art. Take a walk inside the Boca Raton Museum of Art and check out collections of drawings, paintings, sculptures and other platforms. Plus, the museum is offering free admission in the month of August — so why not check it out this weekend? The museum is at  501 Plaza Real.

» Drunk Shakespeare. Yes, you read that right. If you don’t want to indulge in classic art forms, head to Irishmen Bar in Boca Raton on Saturday night and watch stage actors perform Shakespeare tipsy. The Outré Theatre Company is putting on the fundraiser performance at 8 p.m. Tickets cost $5 for students and $10 for everyone else. Irishmen is at 1745 NW Boca Raton Blvd.

» Tea time. While west Delray’s Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens draws several visitors to its outdoor gardens, it’s indoor exhibits and performances are well worth your time. The museum offers guided tours of the exhibits, tea room and gardens on Saturday afternoons. Learn a little about the culture and watch an authentic Japanese tea ceremony. For more information or to schedule a tour, call  561-495-0233. The museum is at 4000 Morikami Park Rd.

West Boca park opening postponed due to weekend weather

Watergate Estates Park, a new 0.25 acre park west of Boca Raton, celebrates its grand opening Saturday, Aug. 27, 2016. (Contributed)
Watergate Estates Park, a new 0.25 acre park west of Boca Raton (Contributed)

The planned grand opening of a new park near western Boca’s Watergate Mobile Home Estates was cancelled due to weather, according to Palm Beach County officials.

Heavy rainfall is expected throughout Florida this weekend as a tropical wave continues to develop off the east coast.

The free grand opening event at Watergate Estates Park was planned for Saturday, Aug. 27, but has been postponed indefinitely.

» Related: New park opening near Watergate Estates community west of Boca this month

The 0.25 acre, dog-friendly park, at 10537 Sandalfoot Blvd. W, will have two fitness stations, playgrounds for children ages 2-5 and children ages 5-12, benches, bike racks, drinking fountains and walking paths.