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RPB READY TO START CRESTWOOD WORK SEE STORY, PAGE 3 SCIENCE MUSEUM’S EXPANSION TO OPEN SEE STORY, PAGE 7 THE TOWN - CR IER WELLINGTON • ROYAL PALM BEACH • LOXAHATCHEE • THE ACREAGE Your Community Newspaper INSIDE Wellington Offering B&G Club Summer Camp Scholarships Volume 34, Number 18 May 3 - May 9, 2013 BOYS & GIRLS CLUB GRAND OPENING With summer fast approaching, Wellington is making sure some of its neediest kids have a safe place to stay. To help families in need when school is out, the village is offering a scholarship program for children to attend summer camp at the Neil S. Hirsch Family Boys & Girls Club. Page 3 Athletic Kids Compete In Wellington Triathlon Wellington held its second annual Kids Triathlon on Sunday, April 28 at the Wellington Aquatics Complex. Children in various divisions competed in the athletic contest, which consisted of swimming, cycling and running. Page 5 The Neil S. Hirsch Family Boys & Girls Club hosted its grand opening last weekend in Wellington. On Saturday, April 27, the club held a VIP grand opening where donor s and club supporters got a tour of the facility, followed by lunch. Then, on Sunday, April 28, the club opened to the public with bounce houses, food, music, a petting zoo and more. Shown here are club namesake Neil Hirsch, Sara Gehrke, former Wellington Mayor Tom Wenham and Wellington Mayor Bob Margolis. MORE PHOTOS, PAGE 9 PHOTO BY DENISE FLEISCHMAN/TOWN-CRIER Serving Palms West Since 1980 Zoning Board OK For Day Care Center On State Road 7 By Lauren Miró Town-Crier Staff Report A daycare center proposed on the site of the planned Wellington Charter School got a nod of approval Wednesday from members of Wellington’s Planning, Zoning & Adjustment Board. Despite concerns about traffic along State Road 7 near the intersection of Stribling Way, board members unanimously recommended approval of the ordinance after the site’s owners agreed to pay for a traffic light at Palomino Drive. If approved by the Wellington Village Council, the daycare center will house up to 228 children in a maximum 15,000 square feet, Wellington Planner Damian Newell said. It will be part of the Wellington Charter School, which received approval last year for up to 1,200 students on a site just north of Palomino Drive on the east side of SR 7. Jon Schmidt, agent for the applicant, said that the daycare facility would be operated by Bright Horizons and would function independently of the school. “There is certainly a synergy between the two,” he said. “But they are independent operators.” Site owners initially proposed the school with daycare last year, but Wellington made the daycare center a conditional use while approving the charter school. “They felt we needed to work on traffic circulation to make sure we got all of the stacking on site,” Schmidt said. “We don’t want cars backed up onto [SR 7] or Palomino Drive.” Schmidt said that there would be two entrances to the school — one from SR 7 and another with access to Palomino Drive along the canal. Traffic could make a right or left turn into a driveway off SR 7, or turn in at Palomino. From there, cars would separate depending on if they were school or daycare traffic, and flow through the site and back out. “The daycare has traffic between 7 a.m. and 10 a.m.,” Schmidt said. “There’s not a big rush like See DAY CARE, page 7 Plentiful State Budget Provides CHAMBER INSTALLATION Money For Several Area Projects Sweet Corn Fiesta At S.F. Fairgrounds The annual Sweet Corn Fiesta was held Sunday, April 28 at the South Florida Fairgrounds. There were amateur corn shucking and corn eating contests for all ages. The main event was the Major League Eating & International Federation of Competitive Eaters sweet corn eating contest, which was won by Bob “Notorious B.O.B.” Shoudt. Page 13 OPINION New Boys & Girls Club A Reason To Celebrate Last weekend, the Wellington community put aside its differences and came together to celebrate the grand opening of a bigger and better facility for youth to learn, grow and play. The Neil S. Hirsch Family Boys & Girls Club will provide generations of children a safe place — and it is because of support from the entire community that the facility is standing today. Page 4 DEPARTMENT INDEX NEWS ............................. 3 - 13 OPINION .................................4 CRIME NEWS ......................... 6 NEWS BRIEFS........................ 8 SCHOOLS .....................14 - 15 PEOPLE ............................... 16 COLUMNS .................... 23 - 24 BUSINESS .................... 25 - 27 ENTERTAINMENT ................ 32 SPORTS ........................ 35 - 37 CALENDAR ...................38 - 39 CLASSIFIEDS ................ 40 - 43 Visit Us On The Web At WWW.GOTOWNCRIER.COM By Ron Bukley Town-Crier Staff Report The Florida Legislature was poised Wednesday to give final approval to its $74.5 billion 201314 budget — including money for several key local projects. As the budget heads into the home stretch, it includes $6.5 million for Palm Beach State College to start work on a new campus in Loxahatchee Groves and $4 million to build a new levee on the south end of the J.W. Corbett Wildlife Management Area. The financing to begin the Loxahatchee Groves campus was good news for PBSC President Dr. Dennis Gallon. However, money for the campus has made it into the budget twice before, only to be struck by the governor’s veto pen. “Our plan of action is to continue to move forward to develop the campus master plan,” Gallon told the Town-Crier in an e-mail on Wednesday. “If the governor approves the $6.5 million state allocation, we would have the funding we need to begin work on the infrastructure no later than the beginning of next year, and perhaps even later this year.” Gallon said the college has not been discouraged by a group of Loxahatchee Groves dissidents trying to get an up-or-down referendum on the campus put before town voters. “Our enthusiasm for proceeding has not diminished at all, and I truly believe the majority of the people in the community do support our building that campus,” Gallon said. The legislature reduced money for the Corbett berm by about half from Gov. Rick Scott’s original $8.3 million request. South Florida Water Management District officials have not yet ascertained how that would affect the project since a cost analysis has not been completed. SFWMD representative Gabe Margasak told the Town-Crier Wednesday that it was too early to say one way or the other, since the budget had not received final approval. “The district will evaluate the options based on the final Florida budget,” he said. Indian Trail Improvement District Administrator Tanya Quickel said she was unsure what the impact of less money than originally anticipated would be. “We were aware based on the news this week that it appears that the funding is in the $4 million range at this point,” Quickel told the Town-Crier on Wednesday. “We anticipate the funding to be finalized by the end of the week, within the next few days.” She said ITID is discussing the options with SFWMD officials. “We have another interagency meeting with them this Friday where we will be reviewing some of the options, considering the changes in the funding as well as updated limitations from the ongoing work analyses of the geotech and survey information,” Quickel said. State Rep. Pat Rooney (R-District 85) said he was pleased about the money apparently coming through for the college and the levee. “I know they both wanted more than that, but it’s a good start for both of them,” Rooney said Wednesday. “I hope both of them end up being good projects for the western communities.” State Rep. Mark Pafford (D-District 86) said that he, Rooney, State Sen. Joseph Abruzzo (D-District 25) and Palm Beach County Legislative Affairs Director Todd Bonlarron worked to get as much as they could for county projects. He See BUDGET, page 18 SFWMD, ITID Pondering Several Designs For New Corbett Berm By Ron Bukley Town-Crier Staff Report South Florida Water Management District officials conducted a public workshop Friday, April 26 regarding a planned levee to reinforce the berm separating the J.W. Corbett Wildlife Management Area from The Acreage. SFWMD Bureau Chief of Engineering & Construction John Mitnik explained that the need to strengthen the levee became apparent last August when Tropical Storm Isaac dumped about 15 inches of rain on The Acreage, which brought flooding to the community and high water levels in the Corbett area that exerted increased pressure on the existing berm that separates Corbett from residents in the northern reaches of The Acreage. “At that time, the South Florida Water Management District was called upon to come in and provide some temporary repairs to that existing berm, as well as construction of a temporary outlet through the construction of a weir that would allow some of those waters at those high stages to bleed off out of Corbett into the [adjacent] Mecca property and be directed back north to the C-18 Canal,” Mitnik said. After those temporary measures were put in place, Gov. Rick Scott directed the SFWMD and other agencies to come together and develop a plan to strengthen the integrity of the existing berm. Since that time, water managers have been doing preliminary studies and conceptual designs, as well as some of the geotechnical work and topographical surveys that are required to support the design. The SFWMD has also done wetland mapping to see what designs would minimize the impact to the Corbett area. “Obviously, you want to minimize those impacts as much as possible,” Mitnik said. Mitnik presented several different conceptual designs for the levee, all of which leave the existing levee in place, with some taking varying amounts of land inside Corbett — an idea opposed by conservation organizations — See CORBETT, page 17 The Central Palm Beach County Chamber of Commerce held its installation gala “A Diamond Affair: 100 Years from Cane to Coral” on Frida y, April 26 at the International Polo Club Palm Beach. Attorney Frank Gonzalez was sworn in as the chamber’s chairman for the year 2013-14. Shown here, Gonzalez celebrates after receiving the gavel. MORE PHOTOS, PAGE 12 PHOTO BY JESSICA GREGOIRE/TOWN-CRIER Wellington Frowns On Plat Waiver Idea By Lauren Miró Town-Crier Staff Report Members of the Wellington Village Council were divided last week on a measure that would allow multifamily units to be more easily divided and sold to individual homeowners. Though council members voted 3-2 on April 23 to approve an amendment to an existing ordinance, it was without key language that would have waived platting requirements for further division of existing multifamily units. Growth Management Director Bob Basehart explained that this amendment was an effort to push for more home ownership in Wellington’s transitional neighborhoods. “This is not an opportunity to create something in the code that they couldn’t do before,” he said. “It’s a process change.” Currently, Basehart said this is possible without the amendment by going through the platting process, which costs $20,000 on average. “What we’re doing is propos- ing this amendment as a vehicle to allow properties that were already platted — that have already been through the platting process as multi-family lots — to be further subdivided,” he said. “Then the individual units on those lots could be sold, as opposed to requiring a multifamily unit to be all rental.” He noted that the proposal is part of an overall plan to help Wellington’s transitional neighborhoods through the Safe Neighborhoods program, which focuses on increased safety and code enforcement measures. “By adding this opportunity, it would encourage the potential for homeownership,” Basehart said. “Studies conducted by our own departments in multifamily neighborhoods found when ownership is available, property values increase and become more stable. The maintenance and appearance of properties is improved, and code enforcement violations are reduced.” But he noted that this would not See COUNCIL, page 18 Wellington Ballet Theater Seeks Venue To Call Home By Jessica Gregoire Town-Crier Staff Report In an effort to enhance culture in the western communities, Wellington Ballet Theatre is providing professional ballet hopefuls an opportunity to enrich their talents. Wrapping up its first operational year, the young nonprofit offers skilled training, performance opportunities and career advancement for ballet dancers. The group is the brainchild of Wellington’s Dance Arts Conser- vatory owners Rocky and Dorie Duvall, who saw the need for a community ballet theater. “There’s a good, talented pool of dancers here in the western communities at several different dance studios,” Rocky Duvall said. “We wanted to offer performance opportunities to anybody who wanted to participate.” Even if a dancer is based at another dance studio, he or she can audition to be part of the performances that Wellington Ballet Theatre puts together throughout the year at venues such as the Wellington Amphitheater, the International Polo Club Palm Beach and Palm Beach Central High School. “They can be from any dance studio and don’t have to sign up with Dance Arts Conservatory, which is a separate entity,” Duvall said. “They just have to participate in Wellington Ballet Theatre.” Instructions are held at Dance Arts Conservatory on Fortune Way off Pierson Road, although the Duvalls hope to one day find Wellington Ballet Theatre its own performance space. Until then, the Duvalls have made it their mission to get Wellington Ballet Theatre off the ground and to become a staple in the community. “At first we started with very minimal funds from private donors and our families,” Duvall said. “We also received a lot of support from the Village of Wellington by let- ting us use the amphitheater for performances.” Still in its infancy, the ballet company has a long way to go. “We are trying to build up our repertoire so that we can present to donors and say, ‘Here, look at what we have done,’” Duvall said. Over the past year, Wellington Ballet Theatre has put on three seasonal performances — fall, winter and spring showcases. Some notable performances inSee BALLET, page 17

Town-Crier Newspaper May 3, 2013

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