Published On: Wed, Sep 6th, 2017

Robert’s Community Report: 9/7

So, with the prospect of Hurricane Irma making landfall in South Florida the number of events on the calendar has been reduced to next to nothing. Brazilian Beat 2017 was one casualty of the storm. The festivities were scheduled for Saturday, September 9th but storm preparation and public safety concerns have resulted in cancellation.

This list of cancellations includes the meetings of the City Council next week (the Regular Community Redevelopment Agency meeting, City Council Workshop, and the Special Meeting to review the Downtown Special Assessment on September 11th have been postponed; the Regular City Council Meeting; Parks & Recreation Board Meeting and the Community Appearance Board Meeting set for Tuesday, September 12th have also been postponed).

But let’s recap what happened last week.

Several members of the Council joined the Southeast Florida Recovery Advocates for a Town Hall forum and rally for a federal response to the opioid epidemic. It was my honor to deliver the Mayor’s proclamation declaring August 31st Drug Overdose Awareness Day in Boca Raton. Many heartbreaking stories told about the devastating effects of opioid addictions and many more heartwarming stories of people who are n the road to recovery. As a corollary to this, the idea of the state of Florida initiated a lawsuit against the “Big Pharma” to recover the costs of treating people addicted to opioids has been raised. It appears several states and local governments are taking or have contemplated similar actions (similar to Florida’s landmark case against the tobacco industry).

Have you heard? Boca Raton is ranked No. 1 in the nation for retirees who like to keep busy working at least part-time, whether it’s for extra income or pleasure. SmartAsset, a New York-based personal finance and retirement savings website, ranked Boca Raton as the top spot of 11 cities, after researching US Census, household income, taxes and other data. The ranking is based on factors that might attract those 65 years old and over. According to SmartAsset, Boca Raton is a city that’s great for seniors who want to have a good time and earn a little cash.

The ranking considered factors including recreation and medical centers per 1,000 residents, the percentage of residents who are seniors, senior employment, median household income and housing costs. The biggest drawback for seniors who might want to move to Boca Raton is expensive housing. The median cost of housing exceeds $18,000 a year

Undaunted by the approaching Hurricane, Business Development Board of Palm Beach County president, Kelly Smallridge, detailed the efforts employed by the BDB to attract businesses to Palm Beach County during a meeting of the Boca Chamber’s International Business Alliance. While Ms. Smallridge must support the economic development efforts of all cities within Palm Beach County, she did note that of the 67 corporate headquarters (located within Palm Beach County) 25 are located in Boca Raton.

The Mission of the BDB is to stimulate economic energy, promote business diversity, and enrich the vitality of Palm Beach County through the relocation, retention, and expansion of companies to or in Palm Beach County.

The BDB works to attract and retain business investment through corporate relocations, expansions, and international trade; and provide marketing support and business networking services through a paid membership organization that partially funds their economic development services.

During the past five years, the BDB has assisted companies that have created more than 10,000 direct jobs with average salaries greater than $58,000, resulting in more than $595 million in capital investment to Palm Beach County and an economic impact that exceeds $4.1 billion.

Just in time for the approaching hurricane, I joined Mayor Haynie and board members of the Boca Raton Airport at a very special ribbon cutting. Welcomed by Lt Col Michael Harding, commander of the USAF Auxiliary Civil Air Patrol and Group 6 Commander, Lt Col Jaime Lichi, we joined in inaugurating their new hangar at the Boca Raton Airport and their new Air Force airplane. The Civil Air Patrol (CAP) and the Boca Raton Composite Squadron (BRCS) membership consists of teenage and adult volunteers dedicated to providing search and rescue, disaster relief, counter-drug operations, and youth mentoring.

BRCS holds its weekly meetings at the airport. Because of this location they attract young people, pilots and former military to join their ranks. It also gives them easy access to their new Cessna 172, used for search and rescue, homeland security and aerospace education.

CAP is known for its Cadet Leadership Programs. Cadets, ages 12 to 21, are given critically needed support, training, and guidance. They gain confidence as they acquire operational skills and leadership experience. It is one of the premier programs designed to help shape these young people into responsible, successful citizens. They are introduced to aviation and actually get to fly in the CAP aircraft on orientation flights. As a result, cadet corps is expanding rapidly with new members every month.

With Emergency Services being one of their primary focuses, Civil Air Patrol has been involved in disaster relief undertakings around the country. They conduct rigorous training throughout the year to be prepared for such events.

The BRCS is a key player in Florida’s search and rescue missions including maritime, aviation and counter-drug reduction. They work with state officials in coordinating and providing fire, hurricane, cyclone, tornado, and flood relief efforts. They have performed a wide variety of missions including rescuing boaters at sea, finding downed aircraft, aerial surveillance, assisting the USAF with Homeland Security as well as providing first aid administration, shelter, supply center assistance and clean up during hurricanes.

Looking ahead, this month the Boca Raton Chamber of Commerce has inaugurated Boca Restaurant Month (Boca Loves New York). This month-long event is promoting an array of culinary experiences. Each participating restaurant will have a minimum if one New York inspired dish/cocktail.

Each restaurant is offering a 3-course prix fix dinner menu priced between $36 and $40 (not including tax or gratuity). Some restaurants will also be offering a 3-course prix-fix lunch menu proceed between $21 and $25 (no including tax or gratuity).

Participating restaurants include: Brio Tuscan Grille; Café 5150; Café Med Ristorante; City Fish Market; Ditmas; Henry’s; Juniors; le bistro; Maggiono’s Little Italy; Max’s Grille; Matteos;  Melting Pot; Morton’s; Pavilion Grille; Pinon Grill; Roots Italian Kitchen; Oceans 234; Rebel; Tap42; Tilted Kilt Pub & Eastery; and Zinburger Wine & Burger bar

Mark your calendar, BocaLead (lunch with a purpose), which was forced to cancel its September lunch, will next meet on October 6, 2017. Reservations from September will automatically roll over to October. Held each month (except in the summer) at the Boca Raton Community Church, if you have not attended mark my words, you are missing a very worthwhile hour addressing ethical business practices. To learn more about BocaLead (sessions are videotaped so you can sample a session, online) go to: www.BocaCommunity.org/sermons-media/BocaLead/

The Gold Coast Tiger Bay Club has announced its September speaker will be Roger Stone. Stone is a seasoned political operative, speaker, pundit, and New York Times Bestselling Author featured in the Netflix documentary “Get me Roger Stone”. A veteran of ten national presidential campaigns, he served as a senior campaign aide to three Republican presidents: Nixon, Reagan and, Bush. An outspoken libertarian, he is the author of the New York Times bestseller “The Man Who Killed Kennedy: The Case Against LBJ”, the Clinton’s War on Women, The Bush Crime Family, and the Making of the President 2016- How Donald Trump Orchestrated a Revolution.

The GCTBC meets at the City Fish Market (7940 Glades Rd Boca Raton FL 33434) at 11:30AM. To make reservations, go to www.GoldCoastTigerBayClub.com

In October, the guest speaker at the GCTBC will be State Attorney Dave Aronberg.  That lunch is scheduled for October 11th.

The Inner Circle Executive Club holds it weekly networking event on September 13th from 5:30-7:30PM at the Pinon at Town Center Mall (Glades Rd Boca Raton FL). Admission is free. Lite bites and happy hour drinks. The proceeds from the Silent Auction will benefit ADL.

The Greater Boca Raton Chamber will hold its monthly membership breakfast on Thursday September 14th at 7:30AM at the Via Mizner Golf & Country Club (6200 Boca Del mar dr Boca Raton FL 33433).

On Thursday September 14th, it’s the annual In My Shoes Luncheon benefitting JAFCO’s Children’s Ability Center (providing family enrichment, resources and respite care to children with developmental disabilities). The event, being held at the Boca West Country Club (20583 Boca West Dr Boca Raton FL) begins at 9:30AM with a boutique and the Luncheon and Program will run from 11:30AM – 1:30PM. For tickets or more information, go to www.JAFCO.org

The 46th Annual Bartenders’ Battle will be held in Friday September 15th from 6-8PM. Come out and support your favorite bartending team. The event is being held at the Event Center at Farmer’s Table. The evening benefits the Unicorn Children’s Foundation. $10 donation = 1 Vote for your favorite bartender team. For more information, go to www.UnicornChildrens Foundation.org

Guess that’s all for this week. Please stay safe – things can be replaced – people cannot. For updates on city events, go to @BocaCalendar on Twitter.

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