Thursday, December 22, 2011

Barry’s Buzz – Dec. 22, 2011
The federal government denied Florida's request for relief from a provision of the federal health care law that requires insurers spend at least 80 cents of every premium dollar on direct patient care. Consumer groups say large numbers of insured Floridians stand to get some of their premium payments back.
Morton’s Restaurants, with 77 steakhouses in 64 cities worldwide and operates Trevi, an Italian restuaurant at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, has been acquired by Landry’s Inc. for $116.6 million. Landry also owns McCormick and Schmicks, Bubba Gump Shrimp Company and Rainforest Café.
Boca Raton Attorney Mitchell Jay Stein was charged with leading a multimillion-dollar penny stock fraud at a medical device company. He faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted.
Boca Raton reversed its decision and now will allow holiday decorations and symbols in all city buildings. Meanwhile, despite the Grinch antics of some of his neighbors turning on sprinklers spraying passerbys, Rick Newman, who puts on two holiday sound and light displays on his lawn at 699 NW Ninth Ave. in Old Floresta every year, is planning big doings on Christmas Eve. The Doral Middle School Choir will be here singing Christmas and Kwanzaa songs. The DocMiami International Film Festival is donating 20 gallons of eggnog for me to give out. The Holiday Light & Sound Show will start at 6 p.m. Christmas Eve and Santa is expected to arrive at 7. As he does every year, Newman collects money for the Make-A-Wish Foundation, and Rachel Elander and Lauren Wulf, aka "The Hot Chocolate Girls," sell hot chocolate and popcorn with proceeds going to the charity. Last year Newman presented a check for about $1,200, collected at both his Halloween and holiday displays.
Despite the city issuing RFP’s for restaurants only on the Wildflower site, Boca developer and downtown landowner, Jim Batmasian presented a plan for apartments and park on the site. The city would have to expand the RFP to include residential when they issue the request in January.
The Boca Boat parade had the largest number of boats and viewers. Barry R. Epstein Associates was one of the sponsors.
Barry Epstein Live internet television show airs Friday at 10 a.m. on hosted by Sun- Sentinel editorial columnist Kingsley Guy, with guests John Hart, calling in from California and movie maven Morrie Zyrl, talking about the holiday movies. Watch to win free movie tickets to the Cinemark Theatres.
Next weeks show will feature Sun-Sentinel editorial columnists Kingsley Guy and Lynn University political professor Dr. Robert Watson discussing the year in review and predictions for 2012. Don’t miss it!
Movies opening at the Cinemark Theatres are; The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, Mission Impossible – Ghost protocol and The Adventures of TinTin. Opening Christmas day are War Horse and the Darkest Hour. Movies opening at the Movies of Delray and Lake Worth are; The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, We Bought A Zoo, Sherlock Holmes, The Descendants and My Week with Marilyn. Lake Worth also opens War Horse.
Cokie and Steve Roberts headline the JCC book luncheon at 10:30 a.m. Jan. 12 at Delaire Country Club in Delray Beach. Tickets ar $45 for members and $55 for guests. For tickets, visit
Temple Beth Shira plans its annual fundraiser Sat. Jan. 14 at Spanish River High School: Ultimate Elton John & Billy Joel; with two amazing tribute bands in one spectacular evening. For info, call 561-912-1453.
Sincere condolences to the family of Gloria Drummond, founder of the Boca Raton Regional Hospital who died at the age of 81. She will be honored and paid tribute at the hospitals “Golden Gala” on Jan. 21 with a video and commemorative journal that evening.
The U.S. Holocaust Museum luncheon at Boca West Country Club, on Jan. 30 features John V. Gillies, Special Agent in Charge, Miami Division, Federal Bureau of Investigation and special guest Joshua Bolten, Former White House Chief of Staff and Vice Chairman of the USHM Council. You can reserve tickets at 561.995.6773 or email
The 6th Annual Festival of the Arts BOCA, March 7th 18th, 2012 are on sale and can be purchased via or 866-571-ARTS.
Thank you to all my friends for their best wishes while I was in the hospital. I sincerely wish a Happy Chanukah and Merry Christmas to all my readers. Enjoy the holidays with your loved ones
Barry Epstein, APR, Senior Vice President of Regan Communications Group, (, is a noted public relations, marketing and political consultant based in Boca Raton, and is the president of the Luxury Chamber of Commerce (, and the founder and former president of the West Boca Chamber of Commerce (, with a weekly internet television show on His websites are and and is now a division of His email is or and blog is:

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