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RPB SEEKS GRANT MONEY FOR WILLOWS SEE STORY, PAGE 7 GREAT MUSIC AT ACREAGE PARK JAM SEE PHOTOS, PAGE 9 THE TOWN - CR IER WELLINGTON • ROYAL PALM BEACH • LOXAHATCHEE • THE ACREAGE Your Community Newspaper INSIDE Palms West And Lake Worth Chamber Merger Now Set For February Volume 33, Number 4 January 27 - February 2, 2012 FAIR SCHOLARSHIP WINNERS The planned merger of the Palms West and Greater Lake Worth chambers of commerce has been postponed until February, giving both sides more time to work out the details. “We were hoping to have some really great announcements today regarding our chamber merger,” Palms West Chamber Chairman Carmine Priore III said at a luncheon held Monday at the Wellington Community Center. “We’re heading in the right direction, so I don’t want anybody to think we’ve come to a stall.” Page 3 Sheriff’s Office Holds Ribbon Cutting For Wellington Substation After months of preparation, the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office dedicated its new Wellington substation with a ribboncutting ceremony Thursday, Jan. 19. The substation is located at 14000 Greenbriar Blvd. in Wellington’s old municipal complex. Additionally, hockey’s Stanley Cup was on hand to mark the grand-opening festivities. Page 5 Marketing Expert: Businesses Should Focus On Service Members of the Wellington Chamber of Commerce got some valuable marketing advice Wednesday when keynote speaker Tom Feltenstein shared strategies that small businesses can use to market to the community. Page 7 OPINION Medical School Plan Great For Wellington Wellington officials met with a representative from the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine this month in hopes of bringing a medical school to the community. This is a wonder ful opportunity. A thriving medical community will benefit the entire community, and it’s something we’d like to see move ahead quickly. Page 4 DEPARTMENT INDEX NEWS ............................. 3 - 11 OPINION .................................4 CRIME NEWS .........................6 NEWS BRIEFS........................ 8 POLO/EQUESTRIAN ............ 15 SCHOOLS ..................... 16 - 17 PEOPLE ............................... 19 COLUMNS .................... 27 - 29 BUSINESS .................... 31 - 33 ENTERTAINMENT ................ 34 SPORTS ........................ 39 - 41 CALENDAR ...................42 - 43 CLASSIFIEDS ................ 44 - 48 Visit Us On The Web At WWW.GOTOWNCRIER.COM The centennial edition of the South Florida Fair continued last weekend at the South Florida Fairgrounds. The 17-day fair runs through Sunday, Jan. 29. Shown above are fair scholarship winners Matthew Philmuse of Wellington High School, Amber Johnson of Berean Christian School and Celina Scholl of Royal Palm Beach High School. MORE PHOTOS, PAGE 22 PHOTO BY DENISE FLEISCHMAN/TOWN-CRIER Ron Jarriel Will Seek Another Term On Groves Town Council By Ron Bukley Town-Crier Staff Report Loxahatchee Groves Councilman Ron Jarriel told the Town-Crier this week that he plans to run for re-election in March in order to follow through on town projects. “I’ve decided I’m going to run for re-election to Seat 1 on the Loxahatchee Groves Town Council,” Jarriel said Wednesday. Jarriel said that he had put the word out that if anyone else was interested in running to replace him, he would love to meet with them to discuss it. “Nobody has come forth that I really would be confident in,” he said. Meanwhile, Jarriel sees good things coming in the near future. “The new town management really impressed me with what I think we’re capable of doing this year,” he said. As an example, he said town staff is looking into grant money for a combined equestrian, bicycle and pedestrian trail system. “These trails would be for bicyclists, horse trails and hikers — basically a multiple trail through- out town,” Jarriel said. “I’m hoping it will be brought up at the next council meeting to apply for a grant.” If the grant is approved, it would be the first the town has received since incorporation. “I’m looking at possibly a $200,000 grant for an equestrian trail and parkway,” Jarriel said. He added that he is impressed with the progress of the town’s three volunteer committees: Finance Advisory & Audit; Roadway, Equestrian Trails & Greenway; and Planning & Zoning. “This takes quite a bit of pressure off the council members because we’ve got qualified people on these committees,” Jarriel said. “They’re going to come back to us and recommend certain things, and either we’ll agree with them or we won’t agree, but the people I’ve picked for these committees are very good at their job.” Jarriel said he is impressed with the devotion of the volunteers. “When I’ve got people like that wanting to make the community a better place to live, then I’m will- ing to give another three years to try and help them,” he said. He thinks that communication with the Loxahatchee Groves Water Control District has improved considerably and said the two entities are working well together. “I see some real progress with improvement of the roads, and making the roads safer and healthier and quieter to ride on for the residents,” he said. Jarriel would like to see discussion of a possible bond issue to pave district roads, to be repaid with gas tax money. “We wouldn’t have to raise taxes, and we wouldn’t have to get it from the residents,” he said. “Hopefully, we’ll have four roads completed by April that are dirt roads now.” Another of Jarriel’s goals is to get a traffic light on Okeechobee Blvd. “We’ve heard from George Webb, the county engineer, that it’s possible, so we’re going to move to the next step,” he said. With the resolution of several issues, including a challenge to the town’s comprehensive plan by See JARRIEL, page 20 Don’t Miss The Big Debut Of Wellington Idol This Weekend By Lauren Miró Town-Crier Staff Report Mark your calendars — the premiere of Wellington Idol comes to the Wellington Amphitheater this weekend. While households across America are tuning in to watch singers compete for a recording contract, Wellington residents will have the opportunity to cheer on their own, local talent. On Friday, Jan. 27 and Saturday, Jan. 28, 36 performers will vie for $750 and a $2,000 scholarship from Talent Inc., which will give them the opportunity to perform in front of top agents. The performances start at 7:30 p.m., and guests are encouraged to bring chairs and blankets. “We’ll have 18 performers Fri- day night and 18 Saturday night,” Cultural Programs & Facilities Manager Joe Piconcelli said. “We’ll reduce it to 24 acts who will go on to compete in the semifinal round Feb. 10. Then we’ll reduce it to 12 for the finals on Feb. 11.” Just like on the TV show, acts will perform in front of a live audience and then hear feedback on their performance from the judges, Piconcelli said. Judges include local actress Lee Marlow and John Stevens of Talent Inc., the event sponsor. “Talent Inc. is offering the winner a scholarship to their convention in Orlando in March,” Piconcelli said. “It’s valued at $2,000 and will give them the chance to perform in front of at least 50 agents.” Talent Inc. is a nationwide tal- ent scouting company that looks for the next big star in the modeling, singing, dancing and acting fields. Talent Inc. model Brooklyn Decker appeared on the cover of the 2010 Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue. “It’s going to be a great opportunity for someone,” Piconcelli said, noting that it could launch a star out of Wellington. “If that happens, this will become a very big contest.” Unlike the original TV show, Wellington Idol contestants won’t face similar harsh criticism from the judges, Piconcelli said. But, as on the show, the audience is encouraged to cheer for their favorite contestants. “There is no Simon [Cowell] in the group,” he joked. “But See IDOL, page 20 Serving Palms West Since 1980 Wellington Eyes Medical School By Lauren Miró Town-Crier Staff Report Wellington has its sights set on hosting a medical school in the community as early as this year after a visit last week by an official from the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (LECOM). “It’s not 100 percent set,” Wellington Principal Planner Bill Nemser told the Town-Crier. “But they seem committed and have indicated this is something they would like to see happen. They have been proactive in reaching out to us.” The school is expected to present the new campus for consideration in its budget in June, Nemser said. “Once that’s approved, they can go ahead and acquire space,” he said. “We anticipate them having a location here by the end of 2012.” LECOM is based in Erie, Pa., with a branch campus in Braden- ton, Fla., and offers careers in osteopathic medicine, pharmaceuticals and dentistry. Already, Wellington Regional Medical Center trains third- and fourth-year students from LECOM, making Wellington an ideal place for a new campus, Nemser said. “They already have rotations with the students,” he said. “They’ve been working with Wellington for the last three years, and they were impressed with the community. They have found that it’s becoming more and more difficult to find a community with a longrange vision.” Last weekend, Dr. Silvia Ferretti, the provost, vice president and dean of academic affairs at LECOM, visited Wellington to meet with local officials and business leaders. The trip was meant to begin deSee MED SCHOOL, page 20 JUSTWORLD PARTY JustWorld International held its ninth annual fundraiser Friday, Jan. 20 at Maria Newman’s Belle Herbe Farm in Wellington’s Grand Prix Village. Guests donned their best from the “roaring 1920s” and were treated to a night of food, drinks and fun, all in the name of charity. Pictured above is Joan Kalman with Olympians Nick Skelton and Laura Kraut. MORE PHOTOS, PAGE 11 PHOTO BY LAUREN MIRÓ/TOWN-CRIER RPB Acts To End Okee ‘Speed Trap’ By Ron Bukley Town-Crier Staff Report The Royal Palm Beach Village Council gave preliminary approval last week to a plan that reduces the speed limit from 50 mph to 45 on Okeechobee Blvd. from Wildcat Way east to the village boundary and increases the limit from 35 to 40 from Wildcat Way to the western edge of the village. At the council’s Jan. 19 meeting, Senior Planner Bradford O’Brien said various changes along Okeechobee Blvd., including the construction of Royal Palm Beach High School, the Fox Property commercial development and PortoSol by Minto, have changed the character in the area where the speed changes are proposed. Village staff conferred with county staff, who agreed that the changes are appropriate, O’Brien said. The change westbound would also eliminate the abrupt speed limit change from 50 to 35. Mayor Matty Mattioli said he agreed that the proposal makes sense. “We’re trying to eliminate a traffic trap,” Mattioli said. “I don’t want us to be ‘Trap City, USA.’ I’m hoping that this proposal will go through.” Councilman Fred Pinto said it is safer to have the gradual transition that is proposed. “One of the options proposed was to make the limit 45 mph,” Pinto said. “My reaction to that was that was too fast. Remember that when you get to the west end of the village, it ramps back up to 45 miles an hour.” Pinto said the change also makes sense because Okeechobee narrows from eight lanes to six where the change is proposed. “This seems to make sense to have a better regulation there,” he said. “And 40 miles an hour is 40 miles an hour. The sheriff will be out there.” Village Attorney Brad Biggs also pointed out that the speed limit would transition in 5-mph increments. “We have 50 in the county, See SPEEDS, page 4 Tiger Shark Cove Plans Update Under-The-Sea Theme By Lauren Miró Town-Crier Staff Report A new generation of Wellington children made their mark on the community last weekend with the unveiling of the new look for the playground at Tiger Shark Cove Park, designed by kids for kids. On Saturday, Jan. 21, children and their families gathered at their park to see how their ideas had been incorporated into the new design. The playground, located at the corner of Greenview Shores and Greenbriar boulevards, was built in 2000 through a community-led effort. As part of a plan to revamp the playground, designer Jane Lewis Holman of Leathers & Associates met with kindergarten through fifth-grade classes at Wellington schools and let them have a say in the design. “Ten years is a great legacy for one of our projects,” she told the crowd, noting that her firm had come up with the park’s original design. “We are so happy to have been invited back to help refurbish the park.” Holman said that including kids was an important part of the process. “I told them that I’m an adult,” she said, “so I don’t know what it’s like to have a lot of fun on a playground.” Children were also asked to design the original playground, which prompted the under-the-sea theme, Holman said. “We’re bringing it full circle and encouraging the next generation to get involved,” she said. “We got some really great drawings from the kids and narrowed their ideas down to include some of the most popular items.” Holman said that although she would have liked to include all of the ideas, some were too grandiose for a playground. “You might expect them to talk to me about swings and slides — and they did,” she said. “But it was a lot more complex than that.” The overall structure will remain the same, she said, with a castle façade and much of the same layout. All of the slides will be replaced with brand-new ones, and the balusters will be redesigned to allow for better visibility for parents. Other portions will get a face lift, See TIGER SHARK, page 20 Wellington Councilwoman Anne Gerwig shares her experience building the original playground at Tiger Shark Cove Park. PHOTO BY LAUREN MIRÓ/TOWN-CRIER

Town-Crier Newspaper January 27, 2012

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