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Page 4 October 26 - November 1, 2012

The Town-Crier

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TOWN-CRIER ENDORSEMENTS

Elect Dave Aronberg State Attorney; Vote YES On Both County Questions; Re-Elect Ted Deutch & Alcee Hastings To Congress The Nov. 6 general election is just weeks away, and Florida voters have plenty of to decide before they enter their polling place. From now until the election, the Town-Crier will offer opinions on some of the items voters will find on the ballot. This week we offer our recommendations for Palm Beach County State Attorney, two local congressional races and the two Palm Beach County ballot questions. PALM BEACH COUNTY STATE ATTORNEY — Democrat Dave Aronberg, Republican Dina Keever and independent candidate Robert Gershman are vying to become the next state attorney for the 15th Judicial Circuit serving Palm Beach County. The race has been rife with drama and innuendo. While the sideshow qualities of this race have been entertaining for some in the local media, discussion of what’s most important — what each candidate brings to the table — has taken a back seat. Much has been said about Aronberg’s fairly limited courtroom experience, pointing to Keever and Gershman as better suited in that area. However, that is what former State Attorney Michael McAuliffe brought to the position, and he did little with it, failing to even finish the term. Aronberg, a former assistant attorney general and state senator, has a great deal of varied experiences and is more well-rounded than his opponents. He understands politics and government, and that is something this office needs. It is, after all, an elected position. This is a job for someone with management experience, someone who knows how to lead people, not be just a functionary. Keever and Gershman are extremely skilled lawyers. If either is elected, the county will certainly be better served than over the past four years. However, Aronberg’s experience makes him far more likely to take the office to the next level. The next state attorney should not just be someone who will clean up the mess left by McAuliffe but to see where the office needs to be and leading it in that direction, becoming its champion. From that viewpoint, there is one choice that stands out. The Town-Crier endorses Dave Aronberg for Palm Beach County State Attorney. U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, DISTRICT 20 — Longtime Democratic incumbent Alcee Hastings is facing a challenge from no-party candidate Randall Terry, a national anti-abortion activist who lives in West Virginia. Because of a loophole in state election law, Terry is using this congressional race as a publicity stunt. He’s also running for president in other states. He has no interest in representing the people of this district, and he really shouldn’t be on the ballot. Hastings has

spent two decades representing South Florida and has served his constituents well. There really is no choice here. The Town-Crier strongly endorses re-electing Alcee Hastings to the U.S. House of Representatives in District 20. U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, DISTRICT 21 — In this race, Congressman Ted Deutch, the Democratic incumbent in District 19, is running against two candidates without party affiliations, Cesar Henao and Michael Trout. Deutch was elected to Congress in 2010, following four years in the state senate. As a congressman, Deutch has passed legislation to crack down on Iranian nuclear weapons, help homeless veterans and deal with issues related to contaminated Chinese drywall. He has also introduced a bill to protect Social Security. Henao and Trout, on the other hand, have no experience and no real qualifications beyond a desire to shake things up. Their candidacies seem to be more about raising issues than a desire to do the actual work of legislating bills. Deutch has done well and deserves another term. The Town-Crier strongly endorses re-electing Ted Deutch to the U.S. House of Representatives in District 21. COUNTY QUESTION 1 — This referendum would allow for slot machines at Palm Beach County’s only pari-mutuel facility, the Palm Beach Kennel Club, pending approval by the state legislature. It is estimated that this would garner an additional $1.8 million for the county and has widespread support from the business community, and we have to agree. The county needs the money, the community need the jobs, and the moral argument is not strong enough to warrant turning it down. The Town-Crier recommends voting YES on Palm Beach County Question 1. COUNTY QUESTION 2 — This referendum would give the Palm Beach County Commission authority to grant property tax exemptions to new and expanding businesses if they are expected to create jobs. It’s a power that’s already in place but set to expire in 2014. When this was created in 2004, it was something of a luxury. But in 2012, as the county desperately tries to bring in new businesses and jobs, this is crucial for the county’s future. It was benefits such as this that were responsible for bringing the biotech industry to the county, for retaining and increasing new businesses, such as Aldi coming to Royal Palm Beach. If we’re looking to diversify our tax base and bring more good jobs to Palm Beach County, this is a tool the county commission must have. The Town-Crier strongly recommends voting YES on Palm Beach County Question 2.

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR Which Romney Do You Support? Last week’s Town-Crier illustrates, in letters to the editor, that there are still people out there who think so little of public intellect that they continue to try to pass “horse manure” for horse sense. [Frank Morelli’s letter] “Stop Obama Now” is admittedly a biased letter which seeks your support of global warming and its disastrous effects through the continued use of fossil fuels and dirty energy producers. The only reason for such support is obvious, and that is to increase the value of someone’s investment portfolio, and it mythologically asserts that such support will lead us to energy independence. What such support really does is lead us, according to the best scientists in the world, to disastrous climatic changes and weather-related catastrophes linked to the continued use of fossil fuels that threaten our food and fresh water supply. Of course, while it is obvious which candidate Mr. Morelli prefers, it is difficult for readers to understand his position with respect to his choice. Does he prefer Mitt Romney’s support of “Romneycare” before he was against “Obamacare?” Does he support equal pay for women before he became evasive on the issue? Does he favor writing off 47 percent of Americans who receive entitlements “who just won’t take responsibility for their lives” — people like Social

Security recipients, Medicare beneficiaries, widows and orphans and veteran benefit programs? Does he favor Mr. Romney’s proposed tax changes in the tax code which would disproportionately benefit the wealthy 3 percent, while increasing the tax obligation of the middle class? Tell us, Mr. Morelli, which Mitt Romney are you voting for? Richard Nielsen Royal Palm Beach

Vote NO On PBC Question 1 Are you a dog lover? If so, consider not voting for Palm Beach County Question 1 “Slot Machines at Licensed Pari-Mutuel Facilities Located in Palm Beach County.” This would authorize slot machines within licensed parimutuel facilities in Palm Beach County, luring more people to partake in the exploitation of greyhounds. According to the ASPCA, “life in the fast lane is no picnic for these overworked dogs.” Every year, thousands of young and healthy greyhounds are killed merely because they lack racing potential, are injured while racing or are no longer competitive. Life is hard for those who make the grade, they spend long hours in cramped kennels and are deprived of normal social contact and life experiences. By voting to put slot-machines at pari-mutuel facilities, you will, as an unintended consequence, be encouraging the maltreatment

of greyhounds. Vote no, and do it for the dogs. Dawn Frood The Acreage

Is Obama Lying? This week we learned of an email from our Libyan embassy telling the state department they were being attacked by an extension of Al Qaida. We also learned President Obama watched the attack for seven hours in real time from a drone flying over the embassy site. Obama said he called it terrorism the next day in the Rose Garden at the White House. He may have done that because he watched and read the e-mail from the four Americans killed in that attack. He did nothing to save these men. He watched the events unfold and could he have possibly seen our four Americans in the process of being killed? He is trying to say this two ways. He either said it was terrorism in the Rose Garden the next day, which means he allowed them to die, so why for the next two weeks did the White House and Obama try to cover it up? Either way, Obama cannot be trusted with America and moreover, American lives. Ronald Piretti Royal Palm Beach

The Many Faces Of Mitt Romney The presidential and vice presidential debates are now all over. In the first debate, Gov. Mitt Rom-

ney was rude and aggressive, behaving like a schoolyard bully taking over the debate from moderator Jim Lehrer and, according to Think Progress, told 58 myths. Despite his behavior and lies, Romney was declared the winner. Vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan, incidentally, repeated many of the same misleading statements in his debate with Vice President Joe Biden, particularly the erroneous statement that Obama was cutting $716 billion out of Medicare — a lie that is repeated by other Republican candidates nationally and locally. In the second debate, Romney was less ebullient than during the first debate; President Obama was more assertive and was declared the winner. Moderator Candy Crowley held Romney to debate rules and prevented his attempt to a repeat takeover of the debate. According to AlterNet, this time, Romney told 31 myths in 42 minutes. In the third and final presidential debate at Lynn University, Gov. Romney was almost complaisant, supporting many of President Obama’s foreign policies and much of his campaign agenda; in Romney’s final remarks, he sounded as if he were campaigning for President Obama until he asked for the vote! Romney still managed 24 myths in 41 minutes. It is not just his debate persona that is like a chameleon, Gov. Romney has changed his position on many important issues from past to present, including agriculture,

climate change, education, energy and the environment, equal pay for equal work, healthcare, unions (now anti-union) and women’s rights; obviously, whatever is politically expedient. Then there is the issue of his business practices, which he whitewashes, that put into question his promises of balancing the budget and creating jobs. He used federal money to bail out the Olympics and, while with Bain, closed more businesses and moved companies overseas, than he created new jobs in the United States — quite different from the campaign trail tales he tells. Despite his chameleon changes in behavior in the debates and positions on issues over time, it appears that there are enough voters who believe the Romney/Ryan lies (shades of Bush/Cheney) and are willing to follow them off the same fiscal cliff; 30 years of Republican trickle-down economics has done nothing for this country except get us deeper in debt! Romney and other Republican candidates continue to claim that if we tax the rich, it will lead to a loss of jobs. They also claim that the only way to stimulate the economy and reduce unemployment is to give tax cuts to the wealthy. If their claims were true, we should

be at near zero unemployment right now; the rich are even richer than four years ago while the middle class and poor are even poorer. This has been increasingly the case over the years under Republican administrations. Remember, President Obama’s four years have followed eight years of Republican policy and debacle, and he has, despite the obstructionism of the Republican House, still been able to show progress on many fronts. Incidentally, Republican voters don’t seem to mind the millions of dollars spent (thanks to the SCOTUS Citizens United ruling) on misleading and downright false political ads. And despite the lies and failures of Gov. Romney — as well as previous Republican administrations — the polls have Gov. Romney virtually tied with President Obama! It defies logic. The bottom line is that the only polls that really count are the ones for which voters cast their votes on Nov. 6. We can only hope that more Republican voters will finally “get it” (the fateful fallacies of Mitt the Chameleon and his GOP cohorts) and decide to vote for Barack Obama on Nov. 6. The future of our country depends on it. Patricia Abbott Royal Palm Beach

The Town-Crier welcomes letters to the editor. Please k eep letters brief (300 words). Submit letters, with contact name, address and telephone number (anonymous letters will not be published), to The Town-Crier, 12794 W. Forest Hill Blvd., Suite 31, Wellington, FL 33414; fax them to (561) 793-6090; or you can e-mail letters@ goTownCrier.com.

NEWS

RPB OKs Industrial Park Changes With Enhanced Landscaping By Ron Bukley Town-Crier Staff Report The Royal Palm Beach Village Council last week approved variances and a site plan for a largescale commercial/industrial expansion of the Southern Mills Business Park planned industrial development off Southern Blvd. Included in the Oct. 18 vote were landscaping conditions that would protect neighbors from an unwelcome view if existing invasive exotic plants surrounding a stormwater retention pond are ever removed. The council approved a siteplan modification and architectural plan for the existing development, located on a 28.4-acre site about a half-mile west of State Road 7 and north of the South Star Storage facility at 103rd Avenue and Southern Blvd. The site plan modification increased the overall square footage of the proposed buildings from 351,265 to 363,490 square feet, for an additional 12,225 square feet. But the number of buildings was reduced from four to three. The applicant also plans to move the existing internal road from the center of the site to the west side. An existing 152,290-square-foot building is occupied by Millwork Sales on the north end of the property. The development is flanked by

the Bella Terra residential neighborhood to the east and north, Our Lady Queen of Peace Cemetery and the Nautica Lakes residential community to the west, and South Star Storage to the south. One of the architectural variances allows the developer to reduce the depth of the building’s wall projections required to break up the length of walls longer than 100 feet from 3 feet in depth to 1-foot, 1-inch, and to allow no projections in the areas where loading docks are located. “The applicant contends that the variance is justified given that the site is located at the terminus of a 1,200-foot-long private road that is not part of the streetscape and will not detract from the community character,” said Planning & Zoning Director Bradford O’Brien, who added that village staff recommended approval. The Royal Palm Beach Planning & Zoning Commission recommended approval of the application at its Oct. 9 meeting in a 4-0 vote after listening to concerns from residents about landscape buffering. The first new building would be occupied by a tire distribution center. The second new building would contain wholesale warehouses. A fencing waiver was also granted to allow an 8-foot-high

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vinyl-coated chain-link fence with two strands of barbed wire along the top to be installed around portions of the truck loading areas, where code allows only 6 feet with three strands of barbed wire. O’Brien said village staff members had met with residents of Bella Terra and the applicant to review concerns the residents had expressed at the Planning & Zoning meeting. Recommendations had included allowing existing coco plum hedges on the east property line to grow to 8 feet and to allow coco plums on the west side to grow to 6 feet. The parties had also reached an agreement that if the existing invasive exotic plant growth around a pond separating Bella Terra and the industrial site, which is owned by a third party, is ever removed, the applicant would install new landscaping within 90 days. Attorney Barbara Hall, representing Exeter Property Group, said changes to the site plan had moved activity that had been on the eastern and western sides of the property to internal areas instead. “Under the previous site plan, all of the truck activity and the loading activity was taking place on the perimeter,” Hall said. “We are making the western side passive. There are no openings. There is no activity occurring on this side.”

The design changes will also allow increased landscaping on both the east and west sides, she said. Hall added that Exeter landscapers had met with Bella Terra residents and agreed to put in an additional 25 slash pines against the eastern side of the building that would be exposed. “If the residents can be confident that’s what we’re going to do, and we’re agreeing to have it made a condition of our site plan approval, and I don’t want to speak for them because they have their attorney here, I believe that resolves it,” she said. Hall added that she thought the

IG Money

Wellington Turns Down County Idea

continued from page 1 Bock to release the funds. “I have no problem with this council passing a resolution that those funds be released,” Coates said. “But this agreement does not seem to be the way to go.” Councilman Matt Willhite said that although he fully supports financing of the inspector general, he agreed with Coates.

BARRY S. MANNING Publisher

JOSHUA I. MANNING Executive Editor

JODY GORRAN Associate Publisher

DAWN RIVERA General Manager

JASON BUD JINSKI Community Editor

RON BUKLEY Managing Editor

EDITORIAL STAFF/ Chris Felker • Denise Fleischman Jessica Gregoire • Lauren Miró CONTRIBUTORS/ Jules Rabin • Ellen Rosenberg • Leonard Wechsler • Deborah W elky ART & PRODUCTION MANAGER/ Stephanie Rodriguez ADVERTISING/ Betty Buglio • Evie Edwards • Wanda Glockson STAFF/ Shanta Daibee • Carol Lieberman • Geri O’Neil

buildings were attractive even though the wall projections had been reduced. “The variances we’re asking are a compromise to make the buildings more efficient, but still honor your code by providing setbacks, banding, awnings and changes in the wall detail, all of which will break up the wall, even though they don’t meet the technical requirements,” she explained. Village Manager Ray Liggins said the projection requirements were part of the village’s big-box ordinance, which is intended to apply to large buildings more visible to the public. “The reason staff supports this

is this is not on the streetscape,” Liggins said. Bella Terra resident David Quilleon said he and his neighbors wanted to ensure that the landscape provisions were part of the plan. “We do have concerns about the landscaping that exists there,” he said. “If it does go away because of a storm or someone decides to get rid of it, there’s not enough of a buffer for our development. That is the concern, and I do believe it has been addressed.” The council voted 4-0 to approve the variance and the resolution granting architectural approval, with Councilman Richard Valuntas recusing himself.

“I don’t know how it would be any different with this grant here,” he said. “I think we have already done our obligation. We have sent the money. I don’t think this is the best avenue.” Willhite supported Coates’ resolution idea. “We’ve done our responsibility,” he said. “We’ve sent the money, yet we’re made to look like the bad guys because the Office of the Inspector General’s is not funded.” Councilwoman Anne Gerwig said that she understood Bock’s predicament, though she was in support of the inspector general. “If she releases the funds and…

it’s found that the cities cannot be asked to pay for the inspector general, she can’t go get that money back,” Gerwig said. “We should have the courts weigh in. No one wants to participate in something that is not done legally.” Gerwig did not want Wellington circumventing the legal process. “The courts need to intercede,” she said. “I don’t think it’s fair to our taxpayers… that we may have to pay it twice.” Coates made a motion to deny the interlocal agreement and to direct staff to draft a resolution urging Bock to release the money. The motion passed unanimously.

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Town-Crier Newspaper October 26, 2012  

Local news for Wellington, Royal Palm Beach, Loxahatchee, The Acreage

Town-Crier Newspaper October 26, 2012  

Local news for Wellington, Royal Palm Beach, Loxahatchee, The Acreage