A Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year to all my readers.
Danny Porush, the Boca former stock broker turned medical supply company owner, portrayed by Jonah Hill in the Wolf of Wall Street, rented an entire Premiere level theatre at the Cinemark Palace in Boca for a private screening for his friends.
Glades Road resurfacing from Lyons Road to 441 will start Tuesday. One lane will be closed in both directions, but all will be opened during rush hours.
Boca Raton hedge fund portfolio manager Matt Martoma, who was busted for insider trading, is slated to go on trial Jan. 6 and courthouse observers predict will cop a possible guilty plea before the trial takes place, because a colleague Mike Steinberg was found guilty two weeks ago and could face a stiff prison sentence. A plea deal could lessen Martoma's chances of being hit with a lengthy prison sentence if he is convicted.
City officials are looking into a proposal to have a spring training facility on Spanish River Blvd. for the Toronto BlueJays and Houston Astros.
South Tech Academy conversion Charter High School has opened a Rock and Roll Academy. Students can enroll at www.southtechacademy.com.
The price of a first class stamp is going up three cents to .49 Jan. 26. You can still buy "forever" stamps at the old rate to that day.
Palm Beach County home sales cooled off for November with 1,100 closings recorded, off 19% from October. On a yearly basis sales stilled approached pre-recession figures with sales up 20%.
The Palm Beach County Solid Waste Authority is looking for volunteers to join its Green Team, to help educate residents about waste prevention and recycling programs as well as working on special events, help build sustainability awareness and waste reduction programs around the county. The free Green Team volunteer orientation session is 10 a.m. Jan. 11, at the Solid Waste Authority's administration building, 7501 N. Jog Road. Lunch is provided. Register at 561.697.2700, ext. 4717.
Mortgage servicing firm Ocwen financial, which employees over 400 people in Palm Beach County and is well known for its miserable customer service, was rocked by federal regulators and ordered to pay a headline making $2.1 billion in penalties for cheating its customers. Ocwen will only be out around $67 million as the balance of the penalty will come from reducing mortgages over a 3 year period for thousands of borrowers.
Governor Rick Scott blasted unemployed benefits website programmer giant consultant Deloitte for massive incompetence and withheld a $3 million payment on the $63 million deal to program the website which has become a nightmare to navigate. Deloitte was also hammered with a $15,000 per day penalty until the website is functional.
Most analysts agree that all hell will break loose in a few weeks when health care buyers enter the real world of the Affordable Health Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare. Even if consumers think they are enrolled, and that is very questionable, they face losing their doctors, hospitals and being hammered with sky high deductibles that kick in for coverage that pays only 60% of the medical costs, according to one plan.
Palm Beach County tourism and bed tax collections were down for October and November, with collections off 2% in October and 8% in November of last year and that amounts to a shortfall of around $185,000. The collections are still on track to hit $30 million for this year and hotel occupancies are healthy with strong bookings for the 2014 season. Collections are based on a 5% bed tax that the county may raise to 6% next year.
South Florida retailers reported lackluster Christmas sales, although traffic at major Malls was strong, that didn't translate at the cash register and huge discounting failed to rev up sales. Target was slammed with a massive credit card breach that curtailed the amount shoppers could spend and other major big box stores reported sales barely reached last year's level.
The War Veterans Memoribilia Museum & Education Center slated for Palm Beach welcomes inquiries about donations of all Veterans War Treasures and materials. Prospective donors should make contact to have items picked up and the items should be identified to be donated. Donations of Veterans Memoribilia Military can be books, maps, uniforms, clippings, mementoes, medals, patches, war trophies, etc. that are the belongings of those that served in addition to enemy treasures as well as German & Japanese items. Contact: PR.GROUP@JUNO.COM,
There were 1,100 Palm Beach County home sales in November.
Madisons New York Grill & Bar opened last Sunday on Glades Road, just west of I-95, in the former Stephane's.
Laughing Matters continues through March 22, 2014 and the Wizard of Oz is Jan. 7-19 at the Broward Center For the Performing Arts, 201 SW Fifth Avenue. Fort Lauderdale. Tickets at www.browardcenter.org or call 954.462.0222.
Watch the best and worst of 2013 movies on Movie Talk with Morrie Zryl on www.wrpbitv.com Thursdays at 6 p.m. and Fridays at 6 a.m.
Encore performance of Barry Epstein live featuring Congressman Ted Deutch is on www.wrpbitv.com at 10 pm Thursday and 10 am Friday. Watch to win free tickets to the Cinemark theatres. You can now watch the TV shows ON Demand on wrpbitv. Just click on this link: https://vimeo.com/channels/barryepsteinlive.
No new movies opening this week
FAU hosts a free viewing of Jupiter when its directly opposite from the sun and the Earth is between the two, 7 p.m. to 2 a.m. Jan. 3, at its astronomical observatory in the College of Science and Engineering building, room 434, 777 Glades Road. Call 561.297.3380 or email email@example.com for info.
RESPECT: A Musical Journey of Women is now to Jan. 5 at the Mizner Park Cultural Arts Center's Studio Theatre. Tickets at www.brtg.org call 866.811.411. For more information, call 561.445.9244, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
9 to 5: The Musical runs through Jan. 19 at the Broward Stage Door Theatre, 8036 Sample Road, Coral Springs. Visit www.statedoortheatre.com or call 954.344.7765 for tickets.
Former CNN anchor Campbell Brown and author Dan Senor will present Global Perspectives: Family Affairs, 7:30 p.m. Jan. 6 the first of three programs in the 2014 ADL Lecture Series at Boca West, 20583 Boca West Drive. The Capitol Steps will be 7 p.m. Feb. 10, and Lynn University political professor Dr. Robert Watson will discuss Jewish Contributions to the American Revolution, 7 p.m. March 24. Call 561.988.2935 or email email@example.com for tickets. Further information is at www.florida.adl.org/event/join-us-for-the2014-adl-lecture-series-at-boca-west-lecture.
Porgy and Bess is Jan. 7-12 at the Kravis Center, 701 Okeechobee Blvd, West Palm Beach. Tickets are at www.kravis.org or call 561.832.7469.
The Plaza Theatre, 262 South Ocean Blvd., Manalapan has Renee Taylor, My Life on a Diet, Jan. 16-Feb. 9 and Dirty Blonde, March 27-April 13. See www.theplazatheatre.net or call 561.588.1820.
Palm Beach Dramaworks presents The Lion in Winter, now extended to Jan. 12, at the Don & Ann Brown Theatre, 201 Clematis St., West Palm Beach. Call 561.514.4042 or visit www.palmbeachtramaworks.org for ticket information and reservations.
Glamour Girl! The Jan McArt Story will be 7:30 p.m. Jan. 13 at Lynn University�s Wold Performing Arts Center. Tickets are $10. Call 561.297.9000 or visit www.events.lynn.edu/upcoming-events/2013-2014/glamour-girl.
The Friends of the Boca Raton Library Foreign Film Series presents 35 Shots of Rum, 6:30 p.m. Jan. 14, 400 NW 2 Ave. Free admission and complimentary refreshments will be served. Register at www.bocalibrary.org to reserve your seat.
The Palm Beach Jewish Film Festival is Jan. 16-26 at the Frank Delray Marketplace Theatres and other venues. Visit www.pbjff.org or call 1.888.318.0071.
The South Florida Fair is Jan. 17-Feb. 2 at the Fairgrounds, 9067 Southern Blvd. West Palm Beach. Call 561.793.0333 or visit www.southfloridafair.com.
Crimes of the Heart is Jan. 17-Feb. 23 at the Broward Stage Door Theatre, 8036 Sample Road, Coral Springs. Visit www.stagedoorfl.org or call 954.344.7765 for more information and ticket reservations.
The Rotary Club of Boca Raton 2014 OPAL honorees Gary Peters, Irving Gutin, Karen and Howard Weiss, Anthony Comparato and Cecil Roseke, chaired by Doug Mummaw, Neil Saffir and Peter Baronoff will be Jan. 18 at the Club of Boca Pointe, announced club president Julie Vianale. Call 561.477.7180 or email Claudia@rotaryclubbocaraton.com for more information and reservations.
The Gold Coast Tiger Bay Club will feature Boca Mayoral candidate and current Vice Mayor Susan Haynie debating an empty chair as her opponent declined to appear and a Meet the Council candidates, 11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. Jan. 21 at Bogarts, on the Premiere level of the Cinemark Palace, 3200 Airport Road, just north of Glades Road. It's a sad commentary when one of the candidates for Mayor declines to debate in a public forum. The format for the debate were openings and closings comments, questions asked by each candidate to the other, one question about development and one question about budget. If a candidate intends to be the Mayor/Leader of a major city, he should not be fearful to articulate his positions in any public forum. Membership, reservations and further information can be done on www.goldcoasttigerbayclub.com or call 561.852.0000.
Wiesenthal is at the Broward Stage Door Theatre, 8036 W. Sample Road, Coral Springs, Jan. 22-March 16.Visit www.stagedoortheatre.com or call 954-344.7765 for tickets. For more information, visit www.wiesentahltheplay.com or www.facebook.com/wiesentaltheplay.
Mark your calendars: www.carqualifier.com will be launching 5 to 7 p.m. Jan. 23 at 6001 Broken Sound Parkway, Boca, Suite 100. RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Slow Burn Theatre presents Parade, Jan. 23- Feb. 9 at the West Boca Performing Arts Theatre in West Boca High, 12811 West Glades Road. Call 866.822.4111 for tickets and group sales or visit www.slowburntheatre.org.
The Beach Boys will be at the 52cnd annual Boca Raton Regional Hospital Ball, Jan. 25 at the Boca Raton Resort & Club, celebrating the hospital�s establishing the new Marcus Neuroscience Instititue, honoring benefactors Bilii and Bernie Marcus and recognizing 13 physicians. Tickets are 4400 with levels of sponsorship. Visit www.https://donate.brrh.com/ball?erid=13119&trid=1c200f48-41cb-4abf-b845-98f02f9aefa6 or call 561.955.5168 for tickets.
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum South Florida Luncheon, is 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Jan. 27, Boca West Country Club, 20583 Boca West Drive, featuring International jurist and survivor of the Auschwitz and Sachsenhausen concentration camps, Judge Thomas Buergenthal. Call 561.995.6773 or visit email@example.com for more information.
Weight Watchers Group CEO Florine Mark speaks at the Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County's Business & Professional Division (B&P), 8 to 10 am. Jan. 29 in Zinman Hall on the Federation campus. Registration at $36 is available at www.jewishboca.org/icon or firstname.lastname@example.org, 561.852.3128. Future guests include Saks Fifth Avenue CEO Stephen Sadove on March 26.
Inside the mind of John Lithgow; actor, musician, author, arts advocate 11:30 a.m. luncheon Jan. 30 Kravis Center Cohen Pavilion. For sponsorship opportunities and to register to attend the event, visit www.palmbeachstate.edu/Foundation/STEAM.
The Last Schwartz is Jan 30-Feb. 23 at the Mizner Park Cultural Arts Center�s studio Theatre. Tickets at www.paradeprocutions.org or call 866.811.4111.
Upcoming shows at the Delray Beach Playhouse at 950 NW 9th St. in Lake Ida Park, off Swinton Ave. Delray Beach include: You Can't Take it with You, Feb. 1-Feb. 16; The Pajama Game, March 29-April 13; Doubt, May 24-June 8, and musical memories shows include; Come Fly With Me, Harlem On My Mind, Call Me Madam, Good News and Make Someone Happy. Visit www.delraybeachplayhouse.com or call 561.272.1281 x 4 for more information. Tickets are $30. Call 561.272.1281 x 4 for reservations.
The Original Florida Follies returns Feb. 2, 9, 16 and 23 to Olympic Heights Theatre, 20101 Lyons Road. Tickets are $28. Call 561.749.0016, 561.338.6860, 561.720.1880, 561.392.8253 or visit www.theoriginalfloridafollies.com for more information. Don't miss it!
Homeland star Mandy Patinkin will speak at "The Event 2.4.14", 6:30 p.m. Feb. 4 at Boca West Country Club, 20583 Boca West Drive for the Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County. For more information, call 561.852.3374 or email: email@example.com.
A tribute to the late Maestro Bob Lappin by the Palm Beach Pops will be 7:30 p.m. Feb. 4 at the Kravis Center with guest conductor Lee Musiker, longtime music director and conductor for Tony Bennett, featuring Broadway star Christine Andreas, acclaimed pianist and singer Tony DeSare, big band songstress Lynn Roberts, trumpeter and vocalist Longineu Parsons and former Pops concertmaster and violinist Mary Rowell. This one-time concert will not only honor the memory of Maestro Bob Lappin by recounting many of the wonderful musical memories over the past 21 seasons, but proceeds will support the ongoing Palm Beach Pops Music & You In-School Youth Education Program for underserved Palm Beach County Schools. Enjoy a magical musical evening as only the Pops can deliver and assist the continuing mission to Keep the Music Playing in our schools and community. Tickets are $29 and up. Call 561.832.7677 for reservations and more information.
Phyllis & Harvey Sandler, Jan Savarick, Shirley & Allan B. Solomon and Jaime & Zachary Keyes will be honored at the Levis JCC Casino Royale Feb. 8, 2014. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 561.852.3253 or visit www.levisjcc.org/casino for more information and reservations.
The new season of House of Cards with Kevin Spacey and Al Sapienza premieres on Netflix Feb. 14.
Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein will speak at FAU 3:30 p.m. Feb. 19. Go to www.https://www.fauevents.com/online to purchase tickets.
Philanthropist Yvonne Boice is among those honored at a Boca Chamber Diamond Award lunch, 11:45 am-1:30 pm. Feb. 21 at Woodfield Country Club, 3650 Club Place. Visit http://web.bocaratonchamber.com/CWT/External/WCPages/WCEvents/EventDetail.aspx?EventID=1847 or call 395-4433 for tickets.
The Caribbean Cowboy Ball is 6 pm. Feb. 22, 2014 at Red Reef Park. Tickets are $175. Call 561.347.6799 or www.scholarship.org for info.
42 St. is at Boca Raton High School, Feb. 27- March 2. Visit www.bocadrama.com or call 561.338.1533 for more information and reservations.
The West Boca High School Drama Dept. presents Young Frankenstein Feb. 28-March 8. Tickets are $15. Call 561.672.2066. Upcoming shows include Death by Dessert, April 25 & 26.
The Harlem Globetrotters will play at the FAU arena on March 3 and 8. Go to www.harlemglobetrotters.com or call 1.800.745.3000 for ticket information.
Violin virtuoso Itzhak Perlman will open the 8th Annual Festival of the Arts Boca on Thursday, March 6 at 7:30 p.m. at the Mizner Park Amphitheater, accompanied by Festival Orchestra Boca under the direction of Festival Music Director Constantine Kitsopoulos. Perlman will return to the Festival stage on Sunday, March 9 at 7 p.m. for the Florida premiere of his new program of traditional Jewish and Klezmer music with celebrated Cantor Yitzchak Meir Helfgot, Eternal Echoes: Songs and Dances for the Soul. Arturo Sandoval, Forte, Cirque de la Symphonie, Doris Kearns Goodwin, Danna Deveare Smith and Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance company highlight the 2014 Festival of the Arts Boca, March 6-15. Early bird tickets of $39 (regular price is $125) are available through Dec. 31. Call either 561.368.8445 or too free: 866.571.ARTS or visit www.festivaloftheartsboc.org for more information or reservations.
Follow the Yellow Brick Road to JARC's 29th Annual Gala Dinner Dance March 9, 2014 at West Boca Country Club.
Palm Beach Dramaworks presents "Some Enchanted Evening", 14th annual Spring Gala, 6:30 p.m. March 14 at the Four Seasons Resort Palm Beach, 2800 S. Ocean Blvd., Palm Beach. Tax deductible tickets are $500 and tables of ten are $5,000. Call 561.4042 ext. 106 for reservations and information.
John Bolton, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, will be the guest speaker at the AFMDA 2014 Humanitarian Awards cocktails, dinner and entertainment, honoring Eileen & Michael Goldman, March 16 at St. Andrews Country Club. Call 561.835.0510 or e-mail email@example.com.
Florida's Annual Boating & Beach Bash for People with Disabilities will take place on March 22, 2014, between 10:00 AM and 3:00 PM at Spanish River Park and A1A in Boca Raton. The Bash is the nation's largest, free, fun-day for people with special needs, their care givers and family members. The 6th Annual Bash is expected to draw 6,000 attendees from South Florida and beyond. Tax deductible contributions should be directed to The Boating & Beach Bash for People with Disabilities, PO Box 99, Boca Raton, FL 33429. For further information call: 561-715-2622.
Save the Date: Former Miami Dolphin and now owner of Offerdahl's Cafe Grill John Offerdahl will be the keynote speaker for the YMCA of South Palm Beach County's 12th annual Inspiration breakfast fundraiser, 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. April 8 at the Boca Raton Resort & Club.
www.westbocaleaders.com is the best networking group in the area and meets at Hurricane Grill & Wings in the Mission Bay Shopping Center, next to Office Max, 10125 Glades Road, 33498 on alternate Wednesdays from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., Cost is $60 per quarter. Check out the website for openings in some categories. Call 561.852.0000 for further information.
Thanks to David Weir and the South Florida Business report for contributing to this column.
Barry Epstein, APR, is a noted public relations, marketing and political consultant based in Boca Raton, president of the www.goldcoasttigerbayclub.com, the www.luxurychamber.com, the www.westbocaleaders.com and the founder and former president of the West Boca Chamber of Commerce; with a weekly internet television show on www.wrpbitv.com and www.publicrelations.nu. His motto is: Public Relations is the enemy of anonymity. email: firstname.lastname@example.org, or fax column items to 561.451.0000. His blog is on www.bocatribune.com, www.facebook.com/BarryEpstein as well as on the Sun-Sentinel/Jewish Journal website at www.floridajewishjournal.com- www.http://barrys-journal.blogspot.com as on his website: www.publicrelations.nu.