Barry’s Buzz by Barry Epstein – July 29, 2010
Plagued by public corruption scandals in recent years, Palm Beach County law enforcement officials on Friday announced the formation of the PBC Public Corruption Task Force. State Attorney Michael McAuliffe, empowered by a Florida statute he was instrumental in amending, can swear in local and county law enforcement officers and deputies as special state attorney investigators with circuit-wide jurisdiction to investigate public corruption. The task force is part of a three-prong approach to address “the lack of confidence in local government and its leadership” in Palm Beach County, according to McAuliffe, who took office in 2009.
Palm Beach County Commissioner Steven L. Abrams announced the Board’s approval to begin a renewable energy project at the wastewater treatment plant located in Delray Beach that will provide cost savings across the board. The project will help keep consumers water rates stable while using less energy and creating less waste. The plant will generate its own electricity by capturing the methane gas, which is currently treated as a waste product and will reduce the overall operational costs. “We are taking our role seriously as a steward of energy alternatives that will potentially save the residents money while reducing the county’s carbon footprint”, said Abrams. The project is estimated to be completed in about 18 months.
The Greater Boca Raton Chamber of Commerce will award $50,000 to 13 schools and a local foundation at the Chamber’s September breakfast from the Golden Bell Foundation.
More than 300 people attended the Greater Boca Raton Chamber of Commerce recent 2010 Business Awards Luncheon at the Boca Raton Resort & Club. This year's event honored Bobra Bush of Telcom Corp. and Telcare Corp. (2010 Small Business Leader of the Year), Charles Shane of Bryason Realty Group (2010 Business Leader of the Year), and Lynn University Bachelor's, master's & online degrees (2010 Business of the Year). Arby’s in Westwinds Shopping Center has closed.
Palm Beach County Sheriff Ric Bradshaw will be the guest speaker at the West Boca Chamber of Commerce 7:30 a.m. Second Tuesday breakfast at the European Corner Café at Camino Real and Powerline Roads. Info is at www.westbocachamber.com. RSVP to email@example.com or call 561.482.9333. Membership rates are also discounted 50%.
Robert Mathew Geiserman, who was killed outside his home in Boca Grove Plantation by Palm Beach County Sheriff’s deputy after threatening suicide, owned the Admiral building in the Cove Shopping Center in Deerfield Beach and Lauderhill Mall in Broward County among others.
The board of trustees of FAU has approved a financing plan for the proposed 30,000 seat football stadium, including borrowing about $44.6 million form Regions Bank, $20 million from the University and University Foundation, and $5 million form the proposed Innovation Village student housing project. After approval at the Sept. 16 trustee meeting, construction will start immediately and be completed by fall of October 2011, making it uncertain if it will be in time for the Sept 25 first home game. Site work, including foundations and infrastructure has started already.
County Commissioner Steven L. Abrams, who serves as a board member of the Palm Beach Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO), announced the approval of two roadway projects in Boca Raton. The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) has advanced over $2 million for a resurfacing project on Federal Highway between SE 5th Street to the Broward County line in Boca Raton. The work is now scheduled to begin this year instead of 2013 and no local tax dollars will be used to fund this project. The MPO has also allocated $800,000 for a beautification project at I-95 and Glades Road scheduled for 2013-14. These funds were allocated in response to the City of Boca Raton’s request through an application process.
Alumni and friends of Florida Atlantic University will travel to Greece in spring 2011 with an expert in the classics: Dr. Jeffrey Buller, Dean of the Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College. The trip is schedule for March 4 through March 13 or 15, 2011 depending upon options selected. Tour provides land-only or air-included options. Contact Dianne M. Reeves at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Equestrian Caroline Moran of Wellington has been named to the Board of Directors of Caridad Center, located in Boynton Beach, providing services to migrant workers in the county.
Movies opening this weekend include: Dinner for Schmucks, Charlie St. Cloud, Wild Grass and Cats & Dogs, the Revenge of Kittly Galore in 3D.
Barry Epstein, APR, is a noted public relations, marketing and political consultant based in Boca Raton, and is president of the West Boca Chamber of Commerce (www.westbocachamber.com), with a weekly internet television show on www.wrpbitv.com and a link to it alternate Fridays on the Sun-Sentinel editorial page, www.sun-sentinel.com/opinion. His website is www.publicrelations.nu and his email is email@example.com. You can friend him on Facebook at www.facebook.com/barryepstein or follow him on Twitter @cme4pr. Fax items for the column to 561.451.0000 or email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.