Hickory Point to host collegiate volleyball event

TAVARES — The Florida Region of USA Volleyball will host the 2017 Stetson Beach Invitational at its 21-court beach volleyball complex at Hickory Point on March 17-18. The event will feature seven NCAA Division I and II beach volleyball teams from across the country.

Participating schools will be Stetson University (DeLand), Georgia State University (Atlanta), Jacksonville State University (Jacksonville, Alabama), the University of New Mexico (Albuquerque, New Mexico), Florida Atlantic University (Boca Raton), Morehead State University (Morehead, Kentucky) and Lincoln Memorial University (Harrogate, Tennessee)

Matches begin at 9 a.m. each day with one starting each hour until the final match of the day gets underway at 4 p.m. A total of eight matches will be played each day.

The event is free and open to the public.

“We are so excited to be partnering with the Florida Region and Hickory Point Beach to host our annual Stetson Invitational Tournament,” Stetson coach Kristina Hernandez said in a release. “The facility has a great layout, sits on a beautiful lake and allows us the ability to run duals on 5-6 courts to get more great competition in. We are looking forward to a great competitive event with teams from all across the country and hope to continue our relationship with the Florida Region and Hickory Point Beach for future events.”

CHRIS SALAMONE

Beth El having Purim events to honor 50th anniversary

The entire Boca Raton-area community is invited to celebrate the Jewish holiday of Purim throughout the day on Sunday, March 12 as Temple Beth El of Boca Raton — the first synagogue in Boca — continues to commemorate its 50th anniversary.

Temple Beth El of Boca Raton began with a Purim Tea in the spring of 1967.

June Michel, one of the temple’s founding members, documented the early history of the synagogue as follows, “It was the spring of 1967, the year of our birth. Being Jewish in Boca Raton posed a challenge. A challah (braided bread) was unheard of; Hanukkah candles were non-existent; a temple was miles away — too many miles away for a small handful of Jewish women who decided that the time had come for the few Jewish families in town to come together.”

From that humble beginning, Temple Beth El of Boca Raton has grown to be one of the largest congregations in South Florida.

“Temple Beth El of Boca Raton is experiencing tremendous success today because those who came before us had the courage to take great risks,” said Beth El Executive Director Steve Kaufman. “Today we are reaping the rewards of those risks. It would be foolish to believe that our current leadership is solely responsible for our achievements and not recognize those who laid the foundation for us.”

Three separate events are being planned for March 12 to honor this golden anniversary, beginning with a lively Purim Spiel (comic play) and Oneg (festive refreshments) in the mid-morning; followed by a fun-filled carnival in the late morning/early afternoon; and concluding with a commemorative Golden Anniversary Purim Chai Tea in the late afternoon/early evening.

All events will take place at the temple’s Schaefer Family Campus (located at 333 S.W. 4th Ave. in east Boca Raton) and are open to the public. Come for any or all of these Purim celebratory events.

The temple’s 50th Anniversary Purim Spiel starts at 10 a.m. Join some of the temple’s founding members as the synagogue celebrates 50 years of Temple Beth El and the Purim story told through five decades of pop music with clever Purim-related lyrics. The Purim Spiel is titled “Still Crazy After All These (50) Years.” Purim costumes are welcomed! An Oneg will be served after the service.
Between 11:15 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., Temple Beth El will then transform its parking lot and social hall into a carnival space for a Purim in the Park Carnival, including wild rides, slides and obstacle courses, games, activities, face painting, a photo booth, a costume contest — and a special area for preschool-age children.

Food for purchase will include hot dogs, hamburgers, veggie burgers, Hamantaschen(Purim pastries) — and fun snacks like popcorn, cotton candy and more.

Purchase an Unlimited Rides and Games Wristband online for $8 through Thursday, March 9 and for $15 after March 9 or on the day of event. Children 2-and-under are free; as are adults with children.

Finally, from 4:30 to 6 p.m., the synagogue will have its Golden Anniversary Purim Chai Tea to commemorate that special Purim Tea in 1967 which created Temple Beth El. All will enjoy a hot and cold beverage bar, gourmet sandwiches, plentiful hors d’oeuvres and fancy desserts (including Hamantaschen).

Whoever has had a simcha (Jewish celebration) at the temple will be acknowledged at the Purim Tea. All are welcome. Cost for the Chai Tea is $25 per person.

“In our fast-paced world, it’s sometimes useful to stop and look back,” said Barry Podolsky, Temple Beth El president. “Our 50th anniversary is a perfect time to do that. We were founded by passionate pioneers looking to build a new House of Worship, a House of Assembly (community) and a House of Learning.

“How ‘civilized’ that the first event was an afternoon tea — an activity rarely celebrated in America today. But maybe an afternoon tea is a better method of engagement and community-building than communicating by text or email.”

For more information about these Purim events or the temple in general — or to register for the Purim Carnival or Chai Tea — visit http://www.tbeboca.org or call 561-391-8900.

CHRIS SALAMONE

Boca residents question $24 million price in golf course deal

As of now, the district is seeking financing options, such as a bond, from the city to buy Ocean Breeze from Lennar Homes LLC.

“Somehow it’s going to have to get paid, and it’s OK to get tough on Lennar,” said resident Bruce Glotzer.

But the district’s chairman of the board said he doesn’t see any wiggle room with the $24 million figure.

“The price is the price,” chairman Robert Rollins said. “That’s not going to change.”

Last month, the district offered to buy Ocean Breeze to assist city officials, who were originally in talks with Lennar to swap the property plus cash for the city-owned Boca Raton Municipal Golf Course at 8111 Golf Course Road.

Lennar representatives declined to comment Tuesday.

The deal comprises the golf course as well as the adjacent commercial buildings including a former hotel.

Previous appraisals of the course came in at significantly less than $24 million. District officials have defended the price by saying the previous appraisals did not account for the commercial property.

The district did not have figures analyzing the worth or cost of repair of the additional facilities.

“The question really basically is what is the value of what you are purchasing?” resident Richard Seimans said at the meeting Tuesday.

Ocean Breeze, at 5801 NW 2nd Ave., sits in the Boca Teeca neighborhood near the north side of the city. It closed last summer due to declines in revenue and the property is limited as far as development unless the local residents consent otherwise.

“We’re going to take a look at what the operating expense is going to be and take a look at what we can really imagine as a revenue stream not losing sight of the fact that this was a losing golf course,” Councilman Robert Weinroth said.

Nationally, golf membership has steadily declined and some courses have closed shop due to the sport falling in popularity.

Still, the city gave the district permission last month to continue negotiations to acquire the property to open it as a golf course again.

Arthur Koski, the district’s executive director, said the city could have a revenue-generating course after a partnership with professional golfer Greg Norman, who he said has expressed interest in collaborating on a youth education program.

“In each and every one of my conversations with the Norman group, they are chopping at the bit to become part of the city of Boca Raton,” Koski said.

The city is still weighing three $73 million bids, including one from Lennar, on its sale of the Boca Raton Municipal Golf Course, which is located outside of city limits.

And while no action was taken Tuesday, the City Council is scheduled to meet again with the district on April 24. Rollins said he hopes to have more exact numbers on the cost of the additional property by that time.

CHRIS SALAMONE

Barrys Buzz – March 8, 2017 Chris Salamone

The Gold Coast Tiger Bay Club will host former Congressman Ron Klein discussing President’s Trumps first 100 days in office.

See upcoming programs on the website. Founder and president Barry Epstein was named president emeritus. Howard Appell is now president.

      Zimmerman Advertising has regained the Office Depot/Office Max accounts.

      HHGregg will close 3 Palm Beach County stores in April. 

       The city of Boca Raton and the state Boca Raton Airport Authority each has a new website. The timing may be similar, but they’re completely separate projects. Myboca.us went live Feb. 1 with the official launch Feb. 6.

KidSafe Foundation will host its “Shine the Light” gala March 10 at Woodfield Country Club in Boca Raton. The event, running from 7 to 11 p.m., will include dinner, dancing, a premium open bar, silent auction and live auction hosted by Neil Saffer. The evening will honor State Attorney Dave Aronberg as KidSafe Foundation’s Child Advocate of the Year. Since he was elected Palm Beach County’s state attorney in 2012, the Miami native has led to a significant increase in conviction rates for felonies and misdemeanors, a decrease in the number of juveniles direct filed into adult court, and an improved working relationship with local, state and federal law enforcement agencies. Tickets to “Shine the Light” are $200.  For more information, visitwww.kidsafefoundation.org.

Come March 18, visitors to Boca Raton’s Sugar Sand Park will finally be able to check out the revamped Science Playground more than a year after the park was closed for renovations.

       The Tri County Animal rescue hosts the 15thn annual Doggie and Kitty Ball 5:30 March 19 at Boca West Country Club. Western attire (hats boots denim). Complimentary parking. Visit tricountyhumane.org or call 561.482.8110. 

       Boca Bacchanal is back for the 15th year on March 24 and 25, and the community food and wine tasting is moving to Saturday with the time extended an hour.

       The Chinese Lantern Festival continues 5:30 to 10 pm Wednesdays through Sundays through April 9 at the Burt Aaronnson South County Regional Park in West Boca. 

     Bolay bills itself as the “healthy fast casual food” eatery, the latest addition to the restaurant scene in Boca Raton

      The Ren-Fest continues on weekends from 8 a.m. to dusk at Quiet Waters Park in Deerfield Beach.    

Rappy’s, at 5560 N. Military Trail, Boca Raton, 561-314-6840, RappysRestaurant.com.South Florida restaurateur Burt Rapoport has launched breakfast service from 9 to 11:30 a.m. at Rappy’s, which he opened in the new Park Place plaza in December for lunch and dinner. “When deciding on the breakfast menu, I just wanted to stick to the classics,” says Rapoport, who is returning to his roots of growing up around his grandfather’s kosher restaurant in Manhattan. “Some of these classics we serve all day long on the lunch and dinner menus, too. The only nontraditional item is the avocado toast ($9.95). Occasionally, I’ll have my all-time favorite, which is the Rappy’s Hash ($12.95).”Rapoport is nostalgic about that corned beef hash and eggs from eating it in the wee hours after tending bar during college in Arizona. He’s added house-smoked pastrami to his rendition for flavor and heartiness, as well as to Rappy’s breakfast sandwich ($8.95).Other highlights include challah French toast ($9.95) and matzo brei ($9.95). The eatery is a hybrid of traditional New York Jewish deli and contemporary with vintage subway tile, full bar, stylish covered patio, chalkboard menus and a framed newspaper article on Rapoport’s father, who was nicknamed Rappy.

     For the first time, Palm Beach County’s public schools have more Hispanic students than any other demographic group. Hispanics make up 33 percent of the district’s 190,240 students, compared with 32 percent who are white, non-Hispanic and 28 percent who are black.

     Falk Center for counseling offers “first Wednesdys” seminars 11 to noon, 22455 Boca Rio road.

April 5; Post Hypnotic Suggestions: Altered States of Consciousness In Therapy presented by Christopher Kelley, MS.

        Florida Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater is stepping down from his post to assume the position of vice president of strategic initiatives and chief financial officer for Florida Atlantic University. Atwater will leave his post in Gov. Rick Scott’s cabinet following the 2017 legislative session. The session begins March 7 and typically lasts 60 days.

      The Greater Boca Raton Beach & Park District is offering to buy the former Ocean Breeze Golf Club for $24 million to help the city, which has been working to acquire the property as it sells its municipal course. City officials were previously in talks with Lennar to swap Ocean Breeze for the Boca Raton Municipal Golf Course. City officials were previously in talks with Lennar to swap Ocean Breeze for the Boca Raton Municipal Golf Course.

     Former Miami Dolphins player Jason Taylor already was selected to be the keynote speaker at the YMCA of South Palm Beach County’s annual Inspiration Breakfast in Boca Raton when he was picked for the Pro Football Hall of Fame. “Having a Hall of Fame speaker is a perfect scenario,” said Evan Wyant, president of the presenting sponsor BB&T Bank and chairman of the breakfast at 7:30 a.m. March 7 at Office Depot Global Headquarters, 6600 N. Military Trail. For tickets, tables and sponsorships visit ymcaspbc.org/inspirationbreakfast/.

The Palm Beach International Film Festival is March 29-April 2. This year’s festival will consist of 30 films, including “Price for Freedom,” “Remember Me” and “Wrestling Alligators.” It will begin with a red carpet screening, followed by an after party at Bowery Palm Beach in CityPlace and Tilted Kilt on Airport Road next to Cinemark. From there, events will take place all around Palm Beach County, such as Jupiter, Lake Worth, Wellington and Boca Raton. Tickets are able to be purchased at pbifilmfest.org.

     The headliner for this year’s A Concert for the Children is Oscar and Grammy Award winner Jennifer Hudson. The “Dreamgirls” star will perform at the fundraiser for the 25 children’s charities supported by the Boca West Foundation on April 4 at the Akoya Amphitheater on the country club’s grounds,

     R.I.P. former VP of Citrix Jeffrey Krantz. A Celebration of Life is set for 11 a.m. March 12 at Lakeside Terrace. Details at ShivaConnect.com and search for Jeffrey Krantz.

Senior citizens who need help with daily tasks but want to remain independent can get help from a new nonprofit service that supports their goal of staying out of a nursing home. JFS At Home was created by the Ruth & Norman Rales Jewish Family Services, a social service agency. It brings certified nursing assistants and home health care aides into seniors’ apartments and houses to help them with bathing, toileting, feeding and other daily requirements. Social workers also check in regularly to make sure the senior is comfortable or in need of additional services, such as a psychologist or a house cleaner. “It sounds simple, but when cognitive abilities begin to decline, it can put a strain on the caregiver, the family or the seniors themselves,” said Danielle Hartman, JFS president. “If someone is no longer able to drive, they can become isolated or depressed.”

       West Boca News, Sun-Sentinel, South Florida Business Journal, Boca Life Magazine, New Times and Palm Beach Post contributed to this column.    

     Barry Epstein, APR, is a noted public relations, marketing and political consultant based in Boca Raton, president-emeritus of the goldcoasttigerbayclub.com, the luxurychamber.com, the westbocaleaders.com and the founder and former president of the West Boca Chamber of Commerce; His motto is: Public Relations is the enemy of anonymity. Email: pr@publicrelations.nu, or fax column items to 561.451.0000.  Read his blog on http://www.barry’s.buzz. His blog is also on bocatribune.com, facebook.com/BarryEpstein and on his website: publicrelations.nu.

Boca Raton boys beat Boca Raton Christian in volleyball

Boca Raton d. Boca Raton Christian 25-13, 25-14, 25-20: Eli Rosen had seven kills and one block and Brandon Merritts had 16 kills and two aces as the Bobcats (2-0) defeated the Blazers (2-2). Nick Petrocelli had 10 kills and 14 digs in the loss for Boca Raton Christian.

Trinity Christian d. American Heritage 25-21, 25-14, 25-22: William Plaate had 21 assists, seven digs and four service points; Daniel Garbarsky had five kills, four digs and four service points, and Brasil Cumberbatch had five kills and seven digs as the Warriors (3-0) walloped the Stallions.

 CHRIS SALAMONE

Boca Raton Nursing Home Neglect Lawyer Says Nursing Home the Scene of the Crime

Nursing Home Residents are Vulnerable and can be the Victims of Crimes Committed by Staff, says Boca Raton Nursing Home Neglect Lawyer Joe Osborne

BOCA RATON, FL / ACCESSWIRE / March 7, 2017 / A poorly run nursing home staffed by people whose backgrounds are not sufficiently investigated, where supervision is poor and abuse is overlooked is a place where it’s just a matter of time before a crime occurs. The victim will likely be a vulnerable senior, says Boca Raton nursing home neglect lawyer Joe Osborne.

If you are concerned that your loved one may be the victim of a crime at their nursing home and would like additional reading on the subject, please read: Boca Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Says Nursing Homes Can Be Crime Scenes.

Earlier this month, a woman from the Tampa Bay area was arrested and is facing a charge of abuse or neglect of an aged or disabled person because police accuse her of beating a resident of an assisted living facility with his own leg brace. Raven Sonota Eduardo is the one accused, an employee of the Loving Care Nursing Home in St. Petersburg, according to WFLA1.

After the police received a call of a worker abusing a resident from the facility, they went there and looked at surveillance video, which showed the victim being struck repeatedly, providing enough evidence to justify an arrest. Police are investigating whether there may be other victims at the facility and have asked the public for information about other possible instances of abuse by this employee.

The facility’s administrator, Rene Bird, says they started an investigation, looked at the video, and contacted the police. Eduardo told management the resident attacked her and she defended herself but the video contradicts her claim. The facility asked Eduardo to work an extra shift, but the real reason was to have her arrested by police officers who were at the facility waiting for her.

Nursing home and assisted living facility residents can be the victims of any number of crimes, which are only limited by the imagination of those willing and able to victimize them, says Joe Osborne, Boca nursing home abuse attorney. These crimes can include:

  • Assault and battery
  • Sexual assault and rape
  • Larceny and theft
  • Manslaughter or murder

Whether it’s an individual employee or a group of them committing the crime, depending on the facts of the case, the nursing home may be held accountable for the crime and be responsible for paying compensation to the victim due to the physical, psychological, and emotional harm caused.

There are several mistakes a nursing home could make, possibly resulting in a negligence claim after a crime is committed.

Nursing home management should perform criminal background checks and contact prior employers before hiring someone. This is to try to screen out job applicants who have harmed nursing home residents in the past. If this isn’t done at all, or is done poorly, it could lead to a resident being victimized.

Employees need to be properly supervised, and any complaints or evidence that an employee may have harmed a resident needs to be investigated. If evidence is found, corrective action needs to be taken, including, when appropriate, firing the person and contacting the police.

If management learns an employee has been arrested and criminally charged for an incident outside the facility, it needs to decide if having such a person work around residents is worth the risk to their health and safety.

Nursing Home Residents are Vulnerable and can be the Victims of Crimes Committed by Staff, says Boca Raton Nursing Home Neglect Lawyer Joe Osborne

BOCA RATON, FL / ACCESSWIRE / March 7, 2017 / A poorly run nursing home staffed by people whose backgrounds are not sufficiently investigated, where supervision is poor and abuse is overlooked is a place where it’s just a matter of time before a crime occurs. The victim will likely be a vulnerable senior, says Boca Raton nursing home neglect lawyer Joe Osborne.

View photos

If you are concerned that your loved one may be the victim of a crime at their nursing home and would like additional reading on the subject, please read: Boca Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Says Nursing Homes Can Be Crime Scenes.

Earlier this month, a woman from the Tampa Bay area was arrested and is facing a charge of abuse or neglect of an aged or disabled person because police accuse her of beating a resident of an assisted living facility with his own leg brace. Raven Sonota Eduardo is the one accused, an employee of the Loving Care Nursing Home in St. Petersburg, according to WFLA1.

After the police received a call of a worker abusing a resident from the facility, they went there and looked at surveillance video, which showed the victim being struck repeatedly, providing enough evidence to justify an arrest. Police are investigating whether there may be other victims at the facility and have asked the public for information about other possible instances of abuse by this employee.

The facility’s administrator, Rene Bird, says they started an investigation, looked at the video, and contacted the police. Eduardo told management the resident attacked her and she defended herself but the video contradicts her claim. The facility asked Eduardo to work an extra shift, but the real reason was to have her arrested by police officers who were at the facility waiting for her.

Nursing home and assisted living facility residents can be the victims of any number of crimes, which are only limited by the imagination of those willing and able to victimize them, says Joe Osborne, Boca nursing home abuse attorney. These crimes can include:

  • Assault and battery
  • Sexual assault and rape
  • Larceny and theft
  • Manslaughter or murder

Whether it’s an individual employee or a group of them committing the crime, depending on the facts of the case, the nursing home may be held accountable for the crime and be responsible for paying compensation to the victim due to the physical, psychological, and emotional harm caused.

There are several mistakes a nursing home could make, possibly resulting in a negligence claim after a crime is committed.

Nursing home management should perform criminal background checks and contact prior employers before hiring someone. This is to try to screen out job applicants who have harmed nursing home residents in the past. If this isn’t done at all, or is done poorly, it could lead to a resident being victimized.

Employees need to be properly supervised, and any complaints or evidence that an employee may have harmed a resident needs to be investigated. If evidence is found, corrective action needs to be taken, including, when appropriate, firing the person and contacting the police.

If management learns an employee has been arrested and criminally charged for an incident outside the facility, it needs to decide if having such a person work around residents is worth the risk to their health and safety.

CHRIS SALAMONE

UF student from Boca was victim in Okeechobee crash

A University of Florida student heading home to Boca Raton Sunday after attending the Okeechobee Music and Arts Festival was one of two people killed in a chain-reaction crash involving four vehicles.

Caroline Alfano, 20, died at Lawnwood Regional Medical Center about seven hours after her Honda CR-V was struck from behind while she waited at a stop sign on Southeast 128th Avenue in Okeechobee. A passenger in the Honda was pronounced dead at the scene.

An architecture major who graduated from Spanish River High School, Alfano was home for the beginning of spring break at UF and was taking part in what her friends said was a passion — attending music festivals.

At UF, Alfano was an officer in the NaviGators International Program, a group of students who aid the adjustment process for international and foreign students. The female passenger killed in Alfano’s vehicle is an international student, a law enforcement source confirmed. Authorities had not released the person’s name as of Tuesday afternoon because next of kin had not been notified.

“She made a lot of friends through that program and gave people a feel for what our country is about,” said Tara Blume, Caroline’s friend from Boca Raton. “She was loving and caring — the perfect representative of a student.”

Joseph David Lagrego, of Englewood, was seriously injured after he smashed his 2008 Nissan Altima into the Honda, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

Toxicology reports are pending on Lagrego, 22. A crash report did not detail the speed Lagrego was driving but it was fast enough to demolish the front end of the Altima and crush the back end of the Honda. The Honda was pushed into a 2016 Kia Sorrento that finished the chain reaction by rear-ending a 2010 Subaru Outback.

State records show that Legrego has received eight traffic citations since September 2012, including three for speeding. On June 8, 2013, Legrego was cited for speeding following a crash in Manatee County that involved property damage. Adjudication was withheld by a judge.

In Florida, a motorist’s license is suspended after accumulating 12 points over three years. Records show that Lagrego piled up 13 points after being found guilty of four traffic violations — two for speeding and two for failing to obey a sign or traffic device — from May 2014 to February 2016, but it is unclear if his license was suspended.

Jason Andreotta of Lake Worth, was returning home from the music festival when his Subaru Outback became one of the four vehicles involved in Sunday’s crash.

Andreotta was uninjured but remained emotionally shaken Tuesday as he recalled the aftermath of the crash.

“It was all very tragic,” Andreotta said. “I’ve never seen a vehicle that mangled. Just a gruesome, horrific accident.”

A Facebook page, “Remembering Caroline Alfano”, has been created to allow friends and family to post their memories. Alfano has a twin sister, Christine, who attends FSU, and a younger brother.

Alfano had a wide range of interests — music, the beach, conservation and architecture — but friends said her most prominent quality was her empathetic nature.

Ariane Monteleone, a friend of the Alfano sisters since they attended Eagles Landing Middle School in suburban Boca Raton, recalled Caroline breaking down in tears during a visit to Gumbo Limbo Nature Center in Boca.

“She began crying because they said sea turtles are going extinct,” Monteleone said. “That’s who she was. She cared so much.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHRIS SALAMONE