Volume 3 • Issue 20 October 19, 2016
Wilton Manors Gazette
Wicked Manors Will Go On Additional sponsors found to help cover security costs
By Michael d’Oliveira Robert Boo is breathing a “sigh of relief.” Recently, Boo, CEO of The Pride Center, was worried his organization might not be able to organize Wicked Manors, Wilton Manors’ annual Halloween event. The costs for security, in the wake of the recent attacks in Orlando and France, have tripled from $9,000 to $27,000. That increase is what created the doubt about Pride Center’s involvement this year. But now, thanks to new sponsors, including the copresenting sponsors, AIDS Healthcare Foundation and Hunter’s Nightclub, Wicked Manors will again be a Pride Center production. “Wonderful organizations, I might add,” said Boo about AHF and Hunter’s. “I’m very excited. It’s going to be really great.” Boo expects between 15,000 and 18,000 people to attend the event. “It’s bringing people into the city. But since we haven’t done it on a Monday night before, we’re just guessing. We could get totally inundated.” He added that’s a good problem to have. This year, Halloween is on a Monday. Boo said the event could have been held the Friday or Saturday before Halloween but Monday was chosen to help the bars, which don’t usually make a lot of money on a Monday night. Caleb Ben-Avram, co-owner of Naked Grape on Wilton Drive, said he thinks the event should have been held on a Saturday. Normally, Naked Grape is closed on Mondays, but Ben-Avram said the sheer number of people who come to Wilton Drive for the event means he and his partner, Tim Slivinski, will be open. “It’s a lot of people, so we have to be open.” Although for this year he’s not sure yet how many people will patronize Naked Grape during the event because they have to work the next day. “I would imagine the weekend’s [going to be] a little bit busier.”
Photo: J.R. Davis.
For those who drink or abstain that night, Wilton Drive will be closed to vehicles starting at 1 p.m. on Halloween and opened back up at 2 a.m. on Nov. 1. There will be entertainment, costume contests and more. The event is from 7 to 11 p.m. The theme for this year’s event is “Political Nightmare – Scandals, Secrets & Sins.” It’s doubly appropriate because of the presidential election and for the fact that Boo reached out to the city’s politicians for additional help when it looked as though his organization might walk away because the security costs had increased so much. In a previous interview, Boo said that the increased costs would have cut too much into the profit from the event. That money is used to help fund Pride Center and its programs. Last year, the organization made a profit of $40,300 from Wicked Manors. After Boo reached out to the city, commissioners voted to spend up to $10,000 on public safety. They gave City Manager Leigh Ann Henderson discretion as to how much of that money would be spent on Wicked Manors. But now, Boo said he may not need those funds. “I haven’t gone to them yet. My hope is I don’t have to go to the city for any additional funds for support. The city is being very supportive.” City Manager Leigh Ann Henderson said that no formal request has been made yet by Boo to tap into the money. City money that has been allocated is $10,860 for RoadSafe Traffic Systems to provide traffic maintenance services. That includes water barriers in several locations, 250 barricades and 28 specialty signs. Commissioners approved the expense at their Oct. 13 meeting. WMG For more information on Wicked Manors, visit wickedmanors.org.
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October 19, 2016
The Final Stretch
WMG October 19, 2016 • Volume 3 • Issue 20 2520 N. Dixie Highway • Wilton Manors, FL 33305 Phone: 954-530-4970 Fax: 954-530-7943
By Sal Torre Election Day is only three weeks away, mail-in ballots have been sent out, early voting will start next week, and we have entered the final stretch of this horrific election cycle. One would hope that, once Election Day is over, we can begin to move ahead without all the insanity from Donald Trump filling the airways and the news headlines. Unfortunately, his scorched-earth policy will leave much damage for our great nation to deal with for a very long time. Claims of fixed elections, media bias, the encouragement of racism, sexism, and hate speech, conspiracy theories, and all the rest of Trump’s evils released from the Pandora’s Box of the American electorate. We cannot let the insanity overwhelm us and our need to show up at the polls and vote. Some residents have told me that they are so turned off by this negative and sinister campaign for President that they would not be voting at all. Instead of falling victim to such feelings, we must encourage everyone to vote and make it absolutely clear who we want to hold the office of President of the United States. That choice needs to be Hillary Clinton. If there was any media bias in this election, it was in favor of Donald Trump. Early on in the primaries nobody called Trump on his behavior, his lies, and his actions. He used the media to take out opponent after opponent until he was the only one left standing and now is the Republican nominee for President. Where was the evil, sinister, left wing news media when Donald Trump was getting a free ride through the primaries? No mention of them back then. Only now that Trump realizes his chance of moving into the White House is out of reach, does he look to cast blame. This behavior is very typical for Trump, use people for personal gain, then discard them when finished. Moving beyond the race for President, we have many other
We cannot let the insanity overwhelm us and our need to show up at the polls and vote.
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choices that need to be made on Election Day. Votes for our members of Congress, State Representatives, some Judgeships, Referendums, and of course our local officials here in Wilton Manors. Our local elections have mirrored the national race to some degree with two candidates making exaggerated claims and accusations. Thanks to Mayor Resnick, candidate Paul Rolli, and Commissioners Green and Carson for running their campaigns based on facts and firm beliefs on how best to move our city forward. My advice for the next three weeks: tune out the insanity and simply enjoy the Fall Season. I must thank Commissioner Flippen for reminding us all at the last City Commission meeting to take the time and enjoy this wonderful season, while displaying the beautiful pumpkin he recently purchased at the Kiwanis Pumpkin Patch at Five Points. He is absolutely correct; this is a wonderful time of year. We finally get a break from the brutal summer heat, nights are cooler and perfect for a stroll around town, the excitement of all the festivities fast approaching with Halloween and Thanksgiving begins to grow inside us all. So go out to the Pumpkin Patch, pick out your own Great Pumpkin, and enjoy this wonderful time of year. Be sure to carve that pumpkin into a very special Jack-o-Lantern, so that you can place it outside your home to ward off the evil spirits that are swirling all around us this election year. Hopefully it will also ward off some candidates from knocking on your door. We all can make life just better here……GO VOTE!!!!WMG
LGBT Wedding Expo returns to Wilton Manors
Sales & Marketing
Director of Sales & Marketing • Mike Trottier email@example.com Sales Manager • Justin Wyse firstname.lastname@example.org Advertising Sales Associate • Edwin Neimann email@example.com Sales Assistant • Tim Higgins Tim.Higgins@sfgn.com Accounting Services by CG Bookkeeping National Advertising Rivendell Media 212-242-6863 firstname.lastname@example.org South Florida Gay News is published weekly. The opinions expressed in columns, stories, and letters to the editor do not represent the opinions of SFGN, or the Publisher. You should not presume the sexual orientation of individuals based on their names or pictorial representations. Furthermore the word “gay” in SFGN should be interpreted to be inclusive of the entire LGBT community. All of the material/columns that appears in print and online, including articles used in conjunction with the AP, is protected under federal copyright and intellectual property laws, and is jealously guarded by the newspaper. Nothing published may be reprinted in whole or part without getting written consent from the Publisher, at his law office, at Norm@NormKent.com. SFGN, as a private corporation, reserves the right to enforce its own standards regarding the suitability of advertising copy, illustrations and photographs. MEMBER
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By Michael d’Oliveira LGBT couples tying the knot don’t have to worry about getting turned away by bakers or wedding photographers who oppose same sex marriage. On Oct. 30 from 12 to 5 p.m., LGBT-friendly businesses that offer wedding-related services will be at Hagen Park in Wilton Manors for the 2016 LGBT Wedding Expo. The event will feature photographers, bakers, caterers, disc jockeys, hotels, tailors, florists, hotels, limousine companies, travel agents, restaurants and other vendors. Wilton Manors staff members will also be in attendance to promote Richardson Park as a wedding venue. “It lets people know we have great facilities,
especially for weddings,” said Patrick Caan, Leisure Services director. “We’re really excited.” Caan said this is the third or fourth time the city has hosted an LGBT wedding expo. The city’s first LGBTthemed wedding expo predates the ruling by the Supreme Court that struck down anti-gay marriage bans across the country as unconstitutional. This year’s expo is being organized by The Rainbow Knot, a company that bills itself as “a gayfriendly wedding vendor business directory.” WMG
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Admission is free. Visit the-rainbowknot.com for more information.
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October 19, 2016
Broward’s Real Estate Yearbook:
Real Estate Geek
Nearby Neighborhoods By James Oaksun
As a final treat, prior to the public release of the full version of my 2016 Broward’s Real Estate Yearbook, I wanted to share with my SFGN and WMG readers some insights and observations about what’s happening in some of the other neighborhoods in East Broward. Iexpect thatbythetimemynextcolumn runs,thefullyearbook will be available. Check my website (NewRealtyConcepts.com) or Facebook business page for updates. Or send your email address to me at James@NewRealtyConcepts.com and I will send you a personal link to the yearbook – and a bonus white paper gift – on the day of release.
Bifurcation. As I look around in a lot of the neighborhoods I cover, I see a split in the types of houses that are selling. We still see interest in very high quality homes, fully upgraded with premium finishes. These homes also will sell at premium prices, and help explain why median sales prices continue to increase in the face of declining sales volumes. There are some discerning buyers willing to pay top dollar. Otherwise, the checkbooks are shut unless it’s a steal.
Northeast waterfront cooldown. Personally, I think waterfront homes in Pompano and Deerfield (and to a lesser degree Lighthouse Point) represent better relative value than waterfront homes in Coral Ridge or The Landings.
That’s still true, and perhaps even more so now. Prices of waterfront homes north of the Fort Lauderdale city line softened in the last year by about 10 percent.
North Andrews Gardens recalibrated. In mid 2015 it was clear that the area of North Andrews Gardens south of Commercial Boulevard had become very desirable to buyers. Premium homes there had passed the $250k barrier and quickly approached $300,000. This did not persist into the most recent period, as we saw a flattening of prices at the upper end south of Commercial. Conversely, the area north of Commercial saw continued robust price increases and is now seen as nearly comparable in value to the south side.
Coral Ridge Isles. Strong 2014-15 high season pricing did not continue. Prices in Coral Ridge Isles dropped about 10 percent in late 2015/early 2016 before recovering slightly in the past few months.
South Middle River treading water. This neighborhood – Island City adjacent – is still waiting for a breakthrough.
So can I gaze into my Crystal Ball of Geekery and see what is coming for the 2016-17 High Season? Fortune telling is a dicey business. But I will offer two thoughts.
October 19, 2016
First, there could be more interest in homes that need some substantial amounts of updating, especially if interest rates go up and people start to look at a home purchase here as more of a longer term proposition. Second, people really need to look at home purchase here as a longer term proposition. The evidence was starting to appear last year, but it is manifest now. Double digit annual price increases are the exception in this market, not the rule. Unless you are in a special market situation or find an exceptional deal, a 10 to 15-year time horizon is appropriate for single family real estate in east Broward. WMG James Oaksun, Broward's Real Estate Geek(SM), is BrokerOwner of New Realty Concepts in Oakland Park. In addition to having degrees from Dartmouth and Cornell, he is a Graduate of the Realtor Institute (GRI).
Some Dixie property owners open to paying more for a train station
By Michael d’Oliveira
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Should property owners on Dixie Highway have their taxes increased to help pay for a train station in Wilton Manors? The answer depends on who you ask. But, even those who are open to the idea want more details before deciding to support it. Joe Pallant, who owns Pallant Insurance, has become the de facto leader of property and business owners who are willing to have their taxes increased to help fund one of the planned Tri-Rail train station platforms that’s supposed to be built. Wilton Manors, Fort Lauderdale, Oakland Park and other cities with the FEC railway running through them are vying for stations. If Wilton Manors gets a station, it would most likely be built south of Five Points. Pallant sees big benefits for local businesses if it is. “People would come to Wilton Manors at night and daytime and help support the commercial business and restaurants. If you don’t build it [here] they can’t get off here,” he said. “They’d be getting off in Oakland Park. I’d like to see them getting off in Wilton Manors.” Pallant added that he’s glad the city has increased its financial commitment to a station by setting aside $50,000 in reserve funds to help pay for it. Commissioners said designating reserve funds is only a way to show the city’s commitment. The $50,000 has not been spent yet and is only designated for the station on paper. If the city does spend money on a station, commissioners said it would either come out of the general budget or grant money. City Manager Leigh Ann Henderson said the city plans small increases to the funding each year. “I think it’s a little early to talk about special taxing districts,” she said. In Pallant’s proposed special taxing district, property and home owners within a certain distance, including ones on parts of Northeast 26 Street and Northeast 24 Street, would be taxed. Pallant suggested a range of about 2,000 feet. He said the homeowners would benefit because they would be close to the station and could utilize it easily. Right now, Pallant envisions half the cost being paid
October 19, 2016
by the city and the other half by the taxing district. But the taxing district is still a preliminary idea. Any taxing district would have to be approved by property owners. The Wilton Drive Improvement District was approved by a majority of that street’s property owners, but only commercial property owners were taxed. Residential property owners were not. The money generated will be used to make improvements to Wilton Drive. At least two property owners said they are open to a possible increase in taxes, but they have to know more details before officially saying yes. “I might be, but I’d want to see more details first,” said Norm Carol, who owns the Sterling Accounting building and other property along Dixie Highway. Dean Borg, one of the owners of The Metropolitan, said he’s in favor of the train station but he needs more details before supporting a special taxing district. “We’re certainly in favor of the train stop. I think transportation’s critical in this day and age.” Jeff Sterling, owner of Sterling Accounting, said he thinks the special taxing district would be “well worthwhile,” even if the cost is passed onto the renters, but he’d like to see it used for more than just a train station. “It would be a huge step up for us.” Tim Abbot is one of those business owners who could see his rent go up. Abbott, owner of Retro Video, said the train station is a good idea. His only concern is how much a possible tax increase may impact his rent. He’s willing to pay a little extra but not a lot. “I guess it would just depend on how much. If it was a small amount, that would be fine. If it was a huge amount, then no.” Virginia Flaherty, co-owner of About Town Lock & Safe, is against the station no matter what the effect on her rent is. Growing up in Chicago near a commuter train station, Flaherty said she doesn’t think the area has the infrastructure needed to accommodate the traffic increase that will ensue if a station is built. “I’m not interested.”
Wilton Manors Ready With Plans if Sales Tax Increase Passes A penny at work in Wilton Manors
By Michael d’Oliveira
the street. The desired land acquisition It’s still unknown if Broward County would be parcels north of the boating voters will pass the one percent sales tax facility and north of the park. increase on the ballot this November, but Patrick Cann, director of Leisure Wilton Manors officials already have plans Services, said the additional land for the for the money if they do. boating facility would help eliminate Voters will actually be asked to approve some of the bottlenecks that occur there, two increases – 0.5 percent for countywide especially during the Island City Canoe race. transportation improvements and 0.5 The improvements would be made between percent for local infrastructure. Both 2017 and 2021. Cann said the must pass or neither will be entire estimated cost of the implemented. Colohatchee project would Mayor Gary Resnick said The purpose be over $2 million when the money raised from the finished. sales tax, an estimated $1 of the The purpose of the million for Wilton Manors, Sidewalk Sidewalk Connectivity project could be used to fund projects Connectivity is to improve pedestrian and that would have been paid for bicyclist safety and make the with money directly from city project is city more walkable. The cost taxpayers. “The question is to improve would be about $600,000 how are we going to pay for and take place in four phases. it?” pedestrian The improvements would Resident Paul Kuta and bicyclist be made between 2017 and opposes the sales tax increase safety and 2021. The reconfiguration because he thinks it will of infrastructure to protect be harmful to low income make the it from sea level rise would families and individuals city more cost about $450,000 and and the transportation and take place between 2027 and infrastructure projects are walkable. 2031. Road resurfacing would “poorly planned.” cost $760,000 and take place For Wilton Manors, the between 2017 and 2021. money would be used to perform roadway The fire station infrastructure plans resurfacing, expand and add amenities at are estimated to cost about $350,000 and Colohatchee Park, repair sidewalks and will be undertaken between 2017 and increase connectivity throughout the 2021. Regardless of whether or not the city, make renovations to the fire station, sales tax increase is improved, city officials improve infrastructure to prepare for a rise are already moving forward with the in sea level, and purchase security cameras. renovations to the fire station. At Colohatchee, the money would be On Oct. 13, officials advertised a request used to expand dog play areas, upgrade for bids for the fire station improvements. security, the addition of a water sports The deadline to submit a bid is Nov. 15. facility and the construction of a walking In the city’s capital improvements plan, trail around the outside edge of the park. planned renovations for the station include The first phase is expected to cost $625,000. a kitchen remodel, replacement of tiles, new After that, later projects would include air conditioning unit, new bay doors, new land acquisition, fitness opportunities, an lockers, removal of ceiling tiles and a new improved pavilion and picnic facilities, and generator. WMG improvements to the boating facility across
October 19, 2016
Old Florida Seafood House Plaza to be Used For Mixed-use Development Plans include condos, retail and boutique hotel; Business owners want parking lot repaved
By Michael d’Oliveira Those who want to see improvements made to the parking lot at the plaza where the former Old Florida Seafood House is located might be getting more than they expected. Fort Lauderdale Commissioner and attorney Dean Trantalis, who represents the owner of the plaza, which is located at Northeast 15 Street and Northeast 26 Street, said his client plans on demolishing the existing structures and building a mixed-use development that would include condos, retail space, and possibly a boutique hotel and parking garage. Trantalis said his client is working to attract joint venture partners for the project. An application for development could be submitted within the next 24 to 36 months. Any proposed development would have to be approved by the city commission. But one business owner, who asked not to be identified, said he’s heard plans for redevelopment off and on for 30 years. He’s confident the owner will make improvements to the existing parking lot but has his doubts about the successful redevelopment of the property. Until then, Trantalis said the owner will “do the right
thing” and temporarily resurface the worn-out parking lot and landscaping that residents and business owners have said needs to be improved. The curb appeal would be improved “in order to take away the negative impact on the area.” He added that it wouldn’t make sense to spend an estimated $1 million to bring the entire property up to code when it’s just going to be demolished not long after. “My client appreciates the assistance he has received from the city in working out a transitioning of the site.” But he said it’s not fair to blame his client for the state of the plaza because the previous owners let it go for many years. There are empty storefronts, potholes, faded asphalt, eroded and deteriorating speed bumps, and weeds growing out of planters and parking blocks. Some business owners also say the loss of Jimmie’s Chocolates and Old Florida hurt the plaza. Those two businesses were big draws to the shopping center and the rest of the merchants lost potential customers when they went out of business. The city was stopping the owner from renting space to new tenants until he agreed to make the improvements. City Manager Leigh Ann Henderson said the plaza’s
Around Town Check out what’s happening
Pet Rescue Benefit & Doggy Fun Fest By Michael d’Oliveira
Volunteers needed for Welcome Center Art Gallery 21 is looking for “Good Neighbor Ambassadors” to serve as volunteers for the new Welcome Center slated to open inside Art Gallery 21 in early November. Once opened, the Welcome Center’s hours of operation will be Wednesday, Friday and Saturday from noon to 8 p.m. and Thursday
owners have submitted a draft of plans to pave the parking lot and add landscaping. “They do seem to be making progress but it’s a priority for us to get that property cleaned up,” she said. Last year, Mayor Gary Resnick brought up the condition of the shopping center, saying it was an eyesore. He repeated those comments at the Oct. 13 meeting. “It’s just totally horrible looking. It’s just not looking good at all,” said John Yang, owner of Lotus Chinese Kitchen. If the redevelopment does occur, Bonnie and Paul Stanford, owners of Wilton Gallery, hope to stay as long as possible before they have to leave. “That’s kind of what we expected to happen. There’s been rumors about that ever since we moved in in 2009,” Bonnie said. WMG
from noon to 6 p.m. Good Neighbor Ambassadors will work in pairs with two persons per shift. A total of 16 pairs of volunteers willing to work two fourhour shifts per month are needed. To volunteer or for more information, send an email to ArtGallery21wcwm@gmail. com. WMG
The Rotary Club of Oakland Park/ Wilton Manors will hold its annual Pet Rescue Benefit & Doggy Fun Fest on Sunday, Nov. 13 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Jaco Pastorius Park, 4000 N. Dixie Highway. The event includes a dog agility course, dog pool, vendors, food trucks, beverages, costume contest and music. There will also be a Struttin’ for Strays Walk at 10 a.m. Sponsorship opportunities are available. Funds raised will be used to benefit local animal shelters. Visit www.doggyfunfest.com for more information. WMG
Early Voting in Wilton Manors
The chlorination of Wilton Manors’ water supply started on Oct. 18 and will end on Nov. 22. This procedure will affect residents in Wilton Manors, Fort Lauderdale, Lauderdale-By-TheSea, Port Everglades, Sea Ranch Lakes, and sections of the Town of Davie, Oakland Park, and Tamarac. WMG
The Wilton Manors City Commission Chambers will serve as an early voting location for the upcoming general election. Early voting will begin Oct. 24 and end Nov. 6. Hours for voting are Monday to Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. For more information, visit browardsoe.org. WMG
“Basel Broward” 2016
Rossetti Fine Art has called for entries for its Seventh Annual “Basel Broward” 2016. The juried art competition, which takes place Dec. 8 to Jan. 12, is an open media and open theme exhibit for all 2D and 3D works. Artists are encouraged to “think outside the box” and “push the envelope.” Artists who enter paintings, drawings, sculpture, ceramics, photography, video, and more can compete for $500 in cash awards. An artist’s reception will be held Saturday, Dec. 10 from 7 to 9 p.m. at Rossetti Fine Art in Wilton Manors. For more information, visit tomrossetti.com. WMG
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October 19, 2016