Published On: Wed, Sep 21st, 2016

Barry’s Buzz – Sept. 21, 2016 


    Palm Beach County homeowners will see higher property tax bills under a $4.3 billion budget given final approval Monday night. On top of that, they might also soon be paying more in sales tax if a referendum passes in the Nov. 8 election. Most of the additional property tax dollars will go to the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office, along with filling county positions cut during the economic downturn, replenishing reserves and funding road repairs.

     Beginning next month, Boca Raton homeowners will see a $20 hike in their fire services fee. The City Council unanimously decided to raise the fee for homeowners from $85 to $105. The new fee will take effect Oct. 1.

   Though Boca Raton’s next municipal election isn’t until March, the race already has attracted five hopefuls. So far, two incumbents, Mayor Susan Haynie and Councilman Scott Singer, want to reprise their roles as Boca leaders. And three newcomers, Andy Thomson, Andrea O’Rourke and Emily Gentile.     

      Latest poll shows Florida is firmly a toss-up state with Clinton-Trump in virtual tie. The latest: A New York Times Upshot/Siena College Research Institute poll of likely Florida voters shows Clinton with 41 percent and Trump with 40 percent. The results, released Monday, mean the race is effectively tied between the Democratic and Republican candidates. Libertarian Gary Johnson has 9 percent and Green Party candidate Jill Stein has 2 percent.

     Spanish River High School’s Silver Sound marching band didn’t find out until the day of that Boca Raton nonprofits always line up to ask for city awards at one meeting a year before the new budget is passed.  The band was one of 44 nonprofits at the Sept. 12 special meeting in City Hall. The proposed budget calls for $411,700 for all nonprofits, and Silver Sound was not alone. Most upped the money they got last year when the budget was $410,700 and requests totaled $805,900. The nonprofits will find out what they got at the 6 p.m. Sept. 26 final budget public hearing

     Students from two Palm Beach County elementary schools are guaranteed healthy weekend meals through a new program that sends bags of food home with them each Friday.

     Hundreds of Boca Raton area students may have to move to new schools next year, as a boundary change at one elementary school could create a domino effect. A Palm Beach County school district advisory committee will review two possible boundary changes for Calusa Elementary in northern Boca Raton. Calusa has 1,197 students this year, 357 more than it was built to handle, and is expected to grow in the next few years. The move would force boundary changes for two other Boca Raton elementary schools, J.C. Mitchell and Whispering Pines, which are already near capacity.

    Florida Atlantic University’s Hospitality & Tourism Management program is among the top 30 in the United States, according to the latest rankings published by The Best Schools Magazine. Located in the College of Business, the program offers an AACSB-accredited Bachelor of Business Administration degree with a major in hospitality and tourism management, as well as a Master of Business Administration in hospitality and tourism management.

    A husband-and-wife duo are celebrating the first anniversary of their second location by reopening. A husband-and-wife duo are celebrating the first anniversary of their second location by reopening. Their Boca Raton pub has been closed since May, after a car plowed through the front window. Thankfully, the graffiti mural of Chicago’s skyline by a tattoo artist was spared. Harvey Loewenstein and Judy Zimmer-Loewenstein opened their original location at 6020 N. Federal Highway, Boca Raton, eight years ago. Hours are from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Mon. through Sat. and from noon to 8 p.m. Sunday.

     Major roads from Hollywood to Lake Worth are getting new traffic signs, and motorists will be paying the price with months of shifting lanes and road closures. The Florida Department of Transportation is replacing 18 overhead signs on U.S. 1, U.S. 441, Dixie Highway, State Road 84, and Copans, Glades, and Palmetto Park roads

    More ramps along Interstate 75 will close this week. Motorists heading east from Alligator Alley on southbound I-75 to eastbound I-595 will have to exit at Glades Parkway, Exit 22, and take State Road 84 to I-595 at night so overhead sign structures can be installed.

    Floridian Community Bank has officially opened the doors to its fifth South Florida branch located in the heart of Boca Raton. The branch is conveniently located just across from Mizner Park on a high-traffic section of US1. The bank interior is the plush Caribbean-style atmosphere that bank patrons have come to love. Hours are 9-5 (Mon-Thurs) and 9-6 (Friday). More information can be found at:

     Danita Nias, who for two decades helped the University of Florida and the University of Maryland raise millions of dollars, was appointed vice president for institutional advancement and chief executive officer of the Florida Atlantic University Foundation. She will begin her new role in South Florida by the end of October. Nias will lead all FAU fundraising efforts, including principal gifts, planned giving and alumni relations. She also will play a leading role to determine, strategize and execute a capital fundraising campaign designed to generate millions of dollars for scholarships and other strategic goals.

   Comcast plans to launch a cellphone service in the middle of next year, although it would be limited to areas of the country where it’s a cable provider. That could potentially offer real competition to carriers like Verizon and AT&T for a subset of the country. Comcast has just over 28 million customers. The cable giant plans to create a service that would run on its 15 million Wi-Fi hotspots and use Verizon’s wireless network, which it has a deal to resell.

      The Hillary Clinton campaign wanted more early voting voting sites to be opened in Democratic-leaning Palm Beach County. But Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections Susan Bucher said Tuesday the county’s 15 locations are sufficient, and she has no plans to open additional sites in advance of the Nov. 8 presidential election.

     The Downtown Branch of the Boca Raton Library will be having the League of Women Voters deliver a political “informative” session regarding the upcoming November election on Sept. 21st at 7PM. Contact the library at 561-393-7852 or at Register quickly if you want to be there and express your opinion. Their link on their notice is not working so call or e-mail.

       Three Joan Rivers’ red carpet gowns and her cape will be in the big reveal after a luncheon and fashion show the day before The Wick Costume Museum’s “Where Runway Meets Broadway” 2016-2017 collection goes on public view. A champagne reception, luncheon and runway fashion show at 11:30 a.m. Sept. 23. Owner and executive producer Marilynn Wick’s vast Broadway and movie costume collection will go back on view sooner, Sept. 23 at a luncheon and fashion show in its own exhibit space. “Runway Meets Broadway” will start at 11:30 a.m. and feature fashions every decade from 1900 to 2000, said Marilyn Swillinger, co-chairwoman of the event with Yvonne Boice, at the Wick Theatre and Costume Museum. Tickets are $100 and will include a museum collection tour. Kimberly Wick, Marilynn Wick’s daughter and museum curator, will narrate the fashion show by Neiman Marcus.

     Not In My town, A Musical Drama in One Act, Saturday, Sept. 24, 7 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 25, 3 p.m. University Theatre, FAU Boca Raton Campus, Tickets: $20,, or call 561-297-6124 or visit the Box Office in FAU’s Student Union. “Not In My Town” is the story of the events surrounding the 1998 murder of Matthew Shepard, the gay Wyoming college student who was beaten and left tied to a fence to die. The murder brought national and international attention to hate crime legislation. As a result, Congress passed the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act. Opera Fusion is a nonprofit artist-driven company of professional South Florida singers.

    The Magnificent Seven, Queen of Katwe and Storks opens at the Boca and Boynton Cinemark theatres. Little Men and Max Rose opens at the FAU Living Room Theatres. The Magnificent Center opens at the Classic Gateway theatre. Max Rose, 3 days in Auschwitz, Hell or high Water, Suicide Squad and Kubo and the 2 strings opens at the Last Picture show in Tamarac. See 16, 2016.    

      Gumbo Limbo Nature Center is inviting the public to join forces in attacking marine debris that has washed up on Boca Raton’s beach and along the Intracoastal. The center will host International Coastal Cleanup on Saturday at Spanish River Park. The event at 3001 N. Ocean Blvd. will be from 8-11 a.m. and is open to all ages. Children under 18 must participate with an adult. With limited space available, registration is required and ends at 8 a.m. Friday. Individuals and families may register online at For group registration, call the nature center at 561-544-8615.

     “Gutenberg! The Musical!” runs through Oct. 2 at Sol Theatre, 3333 N. Federal Hwy., Boca Raton. Showtimes are 8 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays; 2 p.m. matinees Sundays. Tickets are $25 ($10 for students). To order, call 561-447-8829 or go to  

     Andrea O’Rourke will have her campaign kickoff party at The Wick Theatre on September 30th at 5:30pm

     FAU School of the Arts Department of Theatre and Dance present Ominium Gatherum Sept 30-Oct. 9, Studio One Theatre, FAU Boca Campus, 777 Glades Rd. Tickets: $12-$20. Call1.800.563.9539 or visit Tickets also on sale at the Box Office in FAU’s Student Union.

     Lucie Arnaz brings her father’s Desi Arnaz’s Cuban pedigree, and the Capitol Steps their election satire to Libby Dodson’s Live at Lynn Theatre Series starting Oct. 1. The series has seven shows performed twice through March 26, 2017 at the Keith C. and Elaine Johnson Wold Performing Arts Center on the Lynn University campus, 3601 N. Military Trail. The Steps do 30 songs and skits with five people and a pianist. The Live at Lynn series will also include shows about Michael Jackson and French chanteuse Edith Piaf; Tenors Unlimited – The Rack Pack of Opera, The New Shanghai Circus and top 40 and Broadway hits by The Company of Men. Also on sale are tickets for Mabel Mercer Foundation’s Cabaret at Lincoln Center comes to Live at Lynn series starting in January with five shows in the university’s Amarnick-Goldstein Concert Hall through May 17. Season subscriptions, available now at 25 percent discount, and individual show tickets for Libby Dodson Live at Lynn Theatre Series are at events/ or the box office at 561-237-9000.

      West Boca Leaders is the best networking group in the area. One of a kind networking group. First and Third Thursdays. Next meeting is Oct. 6, 2016, 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. Tulipe Café, Boca Grove Shopping Center on Powerline Road between Glades and Palmetto Park Roads. $60 per quarter. Fill out form on site if you qualify and bring $60 for fourth quarter. For more information or questions, call 561.702.0000.

     The second annual Boca Raton Mayor’s Ball is Oct. 8 at Broken Sound Country Club, honoring Christine E. Lynn, Boca Raton Resort & Club and Boca Helping Hands with coveted George E. Long Awards. The event is co-chaired by Rotary Club of Downtown Boca Raton members Jon A. Kaye, immediate Club past president who served as the founding chair of the inaugural 2015 Mayors Ball and Club member Constance J. Scott. The 2016 Mayors Ball Honorary Chair is Former Mayor Bill T. Smith. Honorary Advisors include Mayor Susan Haynie, Former Mayors Susan Whelchel and Steven Abrams who currently serves as a Palm Beach County Commissioner; Boca Raton Deputy Mayor Michael Mullaugh and Council Members Robert Weinroth, Jeremy Rodgers and Scott Singer. Co-chairman Jon Kaye only had 48 seats left out at the start of the kickoff for the second annual Boca Raton Mayors Ball, But by the end of the evening, sponsors had gobbled up most of the 400 tickets. The inaugural event was a sellout, too. For sponsorship and underwriting opportunities, visit or contact Jon A. Kaye at 561-392-5166 or Deborah Freudenberg at 561-299-1429, email has a series of writing workshops since 2000 from 10 a.m. to 12:30 pm on Fridays, Oct. 14, 21, 28, Nov. 4, 11, 18. At the Faulk Center for counseling 22455 Boca Rio Road (561.483.5300) for directions. $30 per session – $150 if you sign up for all six on the first day. Call her at 561.445.4614.

     Three New Plays This Season at FAU’s Theatre Lab: The Three Sisters of Weehawken by Deborah Zoe Laufer, October 20 – November 6, Thursday, Friday, Saturday at 7:30 pm and Sunday at 3 pm, Special closing weekend matinee: Saturday, November 5, 3pm, Special Preview Performance, Thursday, Oct 20: $25; This Random World by Steven Dietz, December 2 – December 18, Thursday, Friday, Saturday at 7:30pm and Sunday at 3pm, Special closing weekend matinee: Saturday, December 17, 3pm, Special Preview Performance, Thursday, Dec. 1: $25; Motherland by Allison Gregory, January 27 – February 12, Thursday, Friday, Saturday at 7:30pm and Sunday at 3 pm, Special closing weekend matinee: Saturday, February 11, 3pm, Special Preview Performance, Thursday, Jan 26: $25. Theatre Lab, Parliament Hall, FAU Boca Raton campus, 777 Glades Road, Come early to enjoy fine wine and snacks in the Theatre Lab Cafe. All Sunday matinees are followed by a post performance “Talkback.” Admission: $35, *Preview Performance on first Thursday night of each show: $25, Subscription (3 shows): $85 Student, faculty, staff admission: $10 (cash only) with ID at the door, Group rates: 10 tickets or more $25 each; 20 tickets or more $20 each, For tickets, call 561-297-6124, or visit the FAU Box Office in the Student Union,  Tickets available at the door.

      Good Morning America news anchor Amy Robach and her husband Andrew Shue will be the keynote speakers at the 13th Annual Go Pink luncheon to benefit Boca Raton Regional Hospital Foundation in the fight against breast cancer. Save the date: October 21, 2016. 

     Boca Ballet Theatre and the A Princely Affair Chairperson, Natalie Parker and Co-Chair, Gail Baker are thrilled to announce the fabulous guest artists for the luncheon and performance will be Brittany Pollack and Daniel Ulbricht, both from New York City Ballet, performing Balanchine’s festive and exciting Tarantella. At noon Sunday, October 23rd, Boca Ballet Theatre’s 25th annual A Princely Affair social event and fundraising luncheon kicks off the 2016-2017 Season of Dance in a festive and fashionable way, beginning with a mimosa social hour. New York City Ballet Principal Dancer Daniel Ulbricht has been a favorite guest artist at Boca Ballet Theatre and danced Golden Idol from La Bayadere at the 25th Anniversary Performance. New York City Ballet Soloist, Brittany Pollack will make her Boca Ballet Theatre debut. Sharing the stage will be the beautiful dancers from Boca Ballet Theatre’s Countess de Hoernle Center for Dance, and they will perform excerpts from The Nutcracker, presented by Marleen Forkas, in loving memory of Harold Forkas.

     The Fourth Annual Hope Bash Boca is 6:30 p.m. Oct. 28 at Boca West Country Club. For sponsorship opportunities and additional event information, visit Tickets at $250 each will be available for purchase online late summer.

     Woman of the Year Luncheon is Nov. 18 at the Boca Resort & Club with fashion show by Saks Fifth Ave. Tickets and info at or 620.2553.

      The 2016/2017 Broadway series at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts include Cinderella, Cabaret, The Little Mermaid, Something Rotten!, Matilda and Finding Neverland. More info at

    The Marmot Boca Raton Bowl game will take place at 7 p.m. on Dec. 20 at the Florida Atlantic University Stadium. The game will be broadcast on ESPN. It will be the third annual bowl game for FAU.

      Sun-Sentinel, South Florida Business Journal, Palm Beach Post contributed to this column.

          Barry Epstein, APR, is a noted public relations, marketing and political consultant based in Boca Raton, president of the, the, the and the founder and former president of the West Boca Chamber of Commerce; His motto is: Public Relations is the enemy of anonymity. Email:, or fax column items to 561.451.0000.  Read his blog on www.barry’ His blog is also on, and on his website:

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