Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Barrys Buzz – May 28, 2014

     Boca Raton developer Anthony Pugliese faces over $6 million in foreclosures on seven of his commercial properties, and has also been charged with Grand Theft and money laundering for allegedly stealing $1.2 million from Subway founder Fred DeLuca in an aborted Real Estate deal.
  Boca City Attorney Diana Grub Freiser concluded that former City Council member Anthony Majhess is not eligible to run for another City Council term in 2015 as he resigned his seat which was filled by Robert Weinroth for the year remaining, and the charter prohibits running for a succeeding term.
   Palm Beach County Commissioner Jess Santamaria is adding to the chill of an already frosty relationship with fellow Commissioner Steven Abrams by backing Abrams’ opponent, Andy O’Brien, in the November election.
   Boca Raton's City Council members wouldn't go along with a proposal to invest city money in Israel Tuesday — but Israel bonds might end up in the portfolio anyway. Council members agreed that the city should have a greater range of options for investing the city's $300 million portfolio than its current set, but the council's majority don't want to dictate specific investments.
    Finally, the Greater Boca Raton Beach & Park District is addressing the unfairness of West Boca residents who pay taxes to the district but are not allowed residency rates for the Boca dog beach and other facilities by discussing the disparity.
    Boca is among those vying for the $100,000 top prize and four $25,000 runner up awards to build dog parks through PetSafe’s “Bark for your Park” contest. Vote once a day till 5 pm June 7 at and A new round of voting starts June 13 for finalists.
   Meanwhile West Boca residents are clamoring for a place for medium size dogs in additional to small and large dogs at the Burt Aaronson South County Regional Park dog park, but are facing opposition from bureaucrats. Contact Eric Call at with your opinion.
       Thrill Me: the Leopold and Loeb Story runs through June 8 at the Mizner Park Cultural Arts Center, 201 Plaza Real (2cnd floor), Boca Raton. Get tickets at or call 954.300.2149.
     Cougar The Musical runs through June 29, 2014 at the Plaza Theatre, 262. S. Ocean Blvd., Manalapan. Get tickets at or call 561.588.1820.
   JAZZIZ Nightlife, next to the Mizner Park Cultural Arts Center will now upgrade and cater events, providing furniture and fixtures over the next year with security, box office and lobby furniture to be in place within a year.
    Waterstone Resort & Marina (formerly the Bridge Hotel) in Boca, appointed Jennifer Graham as director of sales and marketing, Fran Bannon as director of catering, Lindsay Schwartzseid as sales and catering coordinator and Brittany Millner as digital media coordinator. Two new waterfront dining locations are also now open along with reduced summer rates for residents.
   City National Bank celebrates the grand opening of its Boca del Mar Banking Center with a ribbon cutting ceremony.  Located at 7000 West Palmetto Park Road, the center features more than 5,000 square feet on the corner of Palmetto Park Road and Powerline Road and will offer expanded private banking and business banking service, as well as three drive-thru lanes and two ATMs.  The bank will also have naming rights for the landmark office building.
    Crocker Partners in Boca Raton appointed Fred W. Taeger as director of financial reporting and Josh Edwards as vice president, regional asset manager for North and Central Florida.
    The Miami Heat champion basketball franchise value jumped a healthy 23% over last year and is now priced at a hefty $800 million. Team owner Mickey Arison’s dad bought the franchise 25 years ago for $33 million and the teams operating income is $30 million with a player payroll of $90 million. Total revenue last year was $188 million, including gate receipts of $81 million and Heat apparel sales hit $35 million.    
  Palm Beach County home sales posted mixed reviews for the first quarter, with 3,000 closings, off 6% from the previous year, but the median sales price hit $286,000, up $50,000 from last year. 50% of the closings were paid in cash, off 3% and there was a spike of 7,000 new listings, up 14%.
   Figures just released show the number of South Florida homeowners underwater with their mortgages has improved considerably. In the first quarter, 22% of Palm Beach County mortgage holders owed more than their homes were worth, compared to 40% last year.
    Palm Beach County had 259 short sales, 477 foreclosures and 1523 cash sales in the first quarter of 2014.
    Palm Beach County home construction surged for the first quarter of this year despite land a labor shortages plaguing the market. Builders launched 600 home sites during the quarter, up 13% from the previous year and the most active in six years. The average new home is selling for half a million dollars and major builders GL Homes, Lennar, Divosta and Toll Brothers all report strong sales.
    South Florida tourism had a record first quarter with 26.7 million visitors, 1.5 million from Canada, visiting the state and 10.2 million visiting South Florida, with 1.2 million visiting Palm Beach County. Brazil and Latin America had over 200,000 for the quarter, and 1 million European tourists.
    Watch Movie Talk with Morrie Zryl on Thursdays at 6 p.m. and Fridays at 6 a.m.
   Watch Barry Epstein Live with double Purple Heart Veteran Jeff Colaiacovo, USellClub partner Howard Appell, Manufacturers rep. Sherman Postal, College Path Executive Director Kimba Williams and South Tech Academy Recording Arts Academy instructor Ryan Dockery.
     Cafe Cinematheque Foreign Films with Shelly Isaacs is every Thursday at 10:30 Movies of Delray 561-638-0020 and Friday at 1:00 p.m. at Movies of Lake Worth 561-968-4545. Visit for more information.
    Malificent and A Million Ways to Die in the West opens Friday at the Cinemark Palace and Premiere theatres. Chinese Puzzle opens at the FAU Living Room Theatres, Movies of Delray and Movies of Lake Worth.      
     Family Fun Fridays are at Coconut Cove waterpark, located in Burt Aaronson South County Regional Park, West Boca on May 30 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Young children and their parents can enjoy splashing in the shallow water, climbing on the play structure, and taking a fun ride down the playground slides. Family Fun Friday admission fees are $3.50 for children 11 and under and $5 for adults (12 & over). Call 561.629.8840 for more info.
       The Delray Beach Playhouse at 950 NW 9th St. in Lake Ida Park, off Swinton Ave. Delray Beach presents: Doubt to June 8, Visit or call 561.272.1281 x 4 for more information and reservations.
    Larry Ferber has a movie club 10 a.m. every Sunday at the FAU Living Room theatres, followed by discussion. Call 757.617.1936 for more information.     
   Every Sunday at AMF bowling, 1190 Boynton Beach Blvd. and Congress Ave. Brain Bowlers sponsors a bowling league for families and children with disabilities to raise funds and awareness for agencies and children who are void of social interaction.  Cost is only $1.38 per game and families can bowl one or two games.  There is also entertainment and prizes. For further information, call Robert Gottesman at 561-676-2075.
    Florida will offer a 15-day sales tax holiday for hurricane preparedness supplies from June 1-14. During that time period, Floridians can purchase flashlights, batteries, weather radios and other basic hurricane supply items, all tax-free. Hurricane season lasts from June 1 to Nov. 30.
     The League of Women Voters of PBC hosts an afternoon of Music & Dancing at the Arts Garage, 180 NE 1st Street in Delray Beach, 2 pm to 5 pm June 1. Tickets are $50, including wine and heavy hors d’oevres. Proceeds benefit the League of Women Voters’ Palm Beach County’s Education Programs, which are currently focused on climate change, education, health care and voters’ rights. Visit www. to purchase tickets.
    Federation of Boca Raton Homeowner Associations meets 8:30 am – 9:30 am June 3 at the Boca Raton Community Center, 150 Crawford Blvd. with State Rep. Bill Hager, Association of Realtors of PB County, Boca Raton state of the market and spotlight on Faulk Center for Counseling. Call 561.859.4931 or email for more information.
    The Boca and West Boca Relays for Life will be combined this year starting 6 pm, June 6 on the grounds of St. Jude Catholic Church in central Boca and needs volunteers and sponsors. Contact or call 561.394.7751. Visit for more information.
   On The Money’s Steve Pomerantz will be the guest speaker at the lunch 11:30 June 10 at City Fish Market, 7940 Glades Road, Boca Raton. (Glades and the turnpike). Register on the site.
     The “J Street Challenge” will be shown 6 pm June 12 at Wings Plus, 9880 W. Sample Road, Coral Springs, west of University Drive, south side, between 99th Way and 96th Avenue, followed by discussion led by Alan Bergstein for the Jewish Republican Club of Broward County. Call 954.718.1308 or email for reservations.
     Avenue Q runs June 19th to June 29th, at the Delray Beach Center for the Arts Crest Theater at Old School Square, 51 North Swinton Avenue, Delray Beach.  Tickets are available at: or by calling 561-243-7922 ext. 1. (Not suitable for children under the age of 15).
      Cirque Dreams Jungle Fantasy is at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts, 201 SW Fifth Avenue, Fort Lauderdale July 22-27. Call 954.462.0222 or visit for tickets or more information.
     The National Walk to End Alzheimer’s will be in Boca Raton for the first time on Oct. 11 at the Mizner Park Amphitheater. The kickoff for the Alzheimer’s Association fundraiser is 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., Thursday, May 29 at JAZZIZ Nightlife, 201 Plaza Real in Mizner Park. The event will include cocktails and appetizers, a silent auction, photo booth and a deejay. Tickets are $25 per person in advance or $30 at the door at Registration for the walk is free at Volunteers are also needed. Contact Pamela Polani at or call 561-496-4222.
      The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) walk for mental health is 8 am. Nov. 8, at Tradewinds Park, 3600 W. Sample Road, Coconut Creek. Register at For more information, call 954.316.9907 or visit
    The 2014-15 Broadway series season at the Kravis Center includes Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella Nov. 11-16; The Book of Mormon, Dec. 16-21; Flashdance – the Musical, Jan. 27-Feb. 1, 2015; Anything Goes, March 10-15, 2015; Memphis, April 7-12, 2015 and Pippin, April 28-May 3, 2015. Subscribers will get renewals in April. General public tickets will go on sale midsummer. To order go to or call 561.832.7469.  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’s South Florida Business Report for contributing to the 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; with a weekly internet television show on, and motto is: Public Relations is the enemy of anonymity. email:, or fax column items to 561.451.0000.  His blog is on, as well as on the Sun-Sentinel/Jewish Journal website at www.floridajewishjournal.comwww.  and on his website:

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