Thursday, May 31, 2012

Barrys Buzz May 31, 2012

Newsweek magazine named Spanish River and Boca High to the “America’s best High Schools 2012” list. Subway is the first chain to open on the barrier island Saturday on East Palmetto Park Road in Boca Raton. A 24-hour 7-Elevin will also open in the summer, but residents want to limit expansion of convenience stores in the future. Boca Raton’s Glades Plaza was sold for $75 million to Dallas-based L&B CIP Glades Plaza. Retiring Chairman of FPL parent company NextEra, Lou Hay was paid $22.6 million in 2011 on $2 billion in profits. Shareholders will vote tomorrow if they agree with the pay to compensate top executives in a no binding vote. The company pays no federal income tax, after $7 billion in profit over the past three years. A typical CEO of a public company made $9.6 million, up 6 percent from 2010 and the highest since tracking began in 2006. Nickel and dime Spirit Airlines racked up $134 million in baggage fees, up $82 million last year, while Delta racked up $863 million and American almost $600 million. Five South Florida casinos racked up $381 million in sales last year. The Isle grossed $115 million in revenue, Calder did $57 million and Gulfstream had $55 million. Combined they paid $161 million in taxes. The Seminole Tribes topped everyone with an estimated $900 million in revenue from their two casinos in Hollywood and Cocounut Creek. 1.2 million Brazilian tourists visited Florida last year, up 38% over last year and the trend is expected to increase 20% this year through faster visa processing. Brazilians spent more than $2.2 billion last year as prices in the U.S. are half what they are in their home country. Tourism officials are lobbying to waive visa restrictions all together for Brazilians. South Florida plastic surgeons are seeing an increase in business from out of state patients due to price. New York plastic surgery prices are twice as high. One Boca Raton doctor said 60% of his business is from out of state. South Florida marine company Titan Salvage began operations to refloat the ill fated Carnival owned cruise ship Concordia that sank off the Italian coast in January. The $288 million project will take a year to recover the ship, which Carnival plans to refit, change its name and return to the fleet. Carnival has already taken a $150 hit to its bottom line and shelled out $14,000 to each of the 4,000 passengers that survived the tragedy. Citizens, Florida insurer of last resort, shafted taxpayers once again, cancelling windstorm insurance on 100,000 homeowners after re-inspection properties it once approved which cost an average $750 premium hike. Citizens has $5.6 billion and 337,000 policy holders in Palm Beach & Broward counties. 200,000 more inspections are slated this year. More than 260,000 Palm Beach county residents are on Medicare. State lawmakers have until July 1 to restore $31 million in budget cuts for county clerks of the courts, and if nothing is done South Florida faces a nightmare for the legal system with layoffs and massive backlogs looming. Despite a flood of expected foreclosures and an abundance of short sales, South Florida home builders are seeing a revival of sorts with new developments coming on line in the $200-$400 price range inland. Palm Beach County Commissioners are cracking down on derelict property owners that are suppressing home values in surrounding neighborhoods. Property tax liens will be on owners if the county has to step in and repair or clean up run-down parcels. The county also slapped a $150 registration fee on bank-foreclosed properties with the money used to clean up abandoned homes. City National Bank of Miami, owned by the Bankia group, a Spanish lender nationalized earlier this month, needs $23.8 billion of government money to restructure its business and is asking for a government bailout. Barry Epstein Live internet television show airs Friday at 10 a.m. on featuring radio talk show host Bill Lewis, State Senator Maria Sachs and Sun-Sentinel columnist Kingsley Guy. Watch to win free tickets to Cinemark theatres. Movies opening at the Cinemark Theatres Friday are The Intouchables, Crooked Arrows and Snow White and the Huntsman . Movies opening Friday at the Movies of Delray are Snow White and the Huntsman and Bernie. Florida CFO Jeff Atwater speaks at the Boca Raton Republican Club meeting tonight at 6 p.m. at the Boca Raton Marriott Hotel. Broward County Sheriff candidate Louis Granteed, assistant Hollywood Police Chief, holds a fundraiser at the Whale, 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m., tonight. Go to for further information. Yard House opens Monday in the Mizner Park Cultural Arts Center. The Commission for Florida Law Enforcement Accreditation will review the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office for its fifth 3 year reaccredited status starting June 5. The Immigrant opens June 6 through July 1 and Backwards In High Heels, the Ginger Musical opens June 8 through July 1 at the Stage Door Theatre 8036 W. Sample Road, Coral Springs. Call 954.344.7765 for ticket information. Soroptomist International of Boca Raton-Deerfield Beach hosts an installation banquet at Brooks Restaurant on June 10 from 4 to 7 p.m. Cost is $55 per person. Visit Soroptimists also awarded checks to 14 charities that help women and girls in a half-century tradition that meant even more with a tight economy and government cutbacks. On Friday, August 31, the Sunset Cove Amphitheater will host a live concert featuring Sublime with Rome with special guests Cypress Hill, Pepper, and the Dirty Heads. The Boca Raton Theatre Guilds 2012-2013 season will begin with a comedy, and end with a classic. A.R. Gurneys Sylvia, and Kander & Ebbs Chicago will run in September and March at the Willow Theatre in Sugar Sand Park, located at 300 South Military Trail in Boca Raton, just south of Palmetto Park Road. Tickets for Sylvia will go on sale on August 1st, and can be purchased at the Willow Theatre Box office: 561-347-3948. Birch Communications is a multi-million dollar company with an exclusive wholesale agreement with AT&T. If you would like to save money on your AT&T land phones without changing your numbers, call 561.852.0000. You can have your own internet television show very inexpensively. Contact Wayne at For Al-Anon-meetings in South Palm Beach County, go to has openings in some categories. Call 561.852.0000 for further information. If you have foreclosure issues, go to and call 561.945.0000 for the help you will need. Barry Epstein, APR, is a noted public relations, marketing and political consultant based in Boca Raton, president of the Luxury Chamber of Commerce (, the West Boca Leaders networking group and the founder and former president of the West Boca Chamber of Commerce; with a weekly internet television show on Website;; email:, or fax column items to 561.451.0000. His blog is on the Sun-Sentinel/Jewish Journal website at -

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