When I arrived in Boca Raton some 11 years ago, I had the distinct pleasure of meeting a very exciting and interesting personality, Madelyn Saverick.
Focus Functional Fitness Gym teamed up with the Go Pink Foundation to put on a massive workout for charity. The event was held on September 14th, Saturday, 9:30am, in the Focus Functional Fitness revamp 8,000 square foot facility. The $20 per person fee, and all proceeds went to the Go Pink Foundation, to help in their efforts to find a cure for breast cancer.
You may have noticed BocaWatch evolving through the years, starting first as a small voice voice invested in helping “resident friendly” candidates. Now, with over a thousand articles about Boca Raton written by close to a hundred members of the community, BocaWatch is a larger voice than when it began. Despite all it’s potential to inform, BocaWatch could literally disappear overnight. Up until now BocaWatch has been almost exclusively kept alive by the gracious financial support of it’s publisher Al Zucaro.
The Greater Boca Raton Beach and Park District (The District) voted on Monday to pursue a bond, most of which will fund the development of Boca Raton’s new public golf course to be built at the former site of Ocean Breeze.
“We want to ensure Boca Raton residents have the best facilities at a reasonable cost. After spending 24 months researching the project, we are eager to move ahead with the Boca National Golf Course, giving Boca Raton residents the destination facility they requested,” District Commissioner Bob Rollins said.
Complying with a request from the City of Boca Raton, the District spent two years researching what city residents wanted from their new course.
The District vetted 17 golf course designers and, with community feedback, contracted with renowned designers Nick Price and Tom Fazio (Price/Fazio) to design a facility that includes an 18-hole course, a 11-hole short course, practice facilities, a learning center and a temporary clubhouse, all of which will be open to the public.
When completed, Boca National would immediately become one of the premier public golf facilities in the nation.
Price/Fazio submitted their designs four months ago. Since that time, the District and the City of Boca Raton have been in discussions over project funding. Many City officials want to finance a scaled back version of the approximately $20 million project, thereby eliminating some of the features that make the project special.
“This facility will revitalize the north end of our city, from Yamato Rd., north,” Boca Raton resident Angelo Sands told the commission at Monday’s hearing. “We pride ourselves in Boca Raton of being a first-class city. Well, first-class city means you have first-class facilities.”
With City and District officials once again unable to reach agreement on project funding last week, the five District commissioners voted unanimously to consult with the financial firm Ford and Associates to research third-party terms for financing the entire project.
If the District elects to finance the entire project via a bond, Boca Raton, which owns a portion of the land, still has to approve the design.
During a May hearing between the District and City, Boca Raton Mayor Scott Singer indicated approval shouldn’t be a problem as long as the District was not requesting finances from the City. The pursuit of a bond by the District makes this feasible.
Upon plan approval, the District expects the project to be completed within two years.
Originally developed as Boca Teeca Country Club in the late 1960s, Boca Raton and the District purchased the land in 2018.
Wow! Spanish River High School has some amazingly talented young people among it’s students. Monday night’s performances really delivered for the $5 ticket price. There was singing, dancing, guitar, piano and even a contortionist. The performers put their hearts into their acts, mesmerized the audience and had fun.
Here’s who performed and what they did:
- Caius Pelish played guitar and sang “Yesterday” by The Beatles
- Meagan Valliere played guitar, flute, and sang “Tiny Dancer” by Elton John
- Jonathan Knowles performed a contortionist and dance routine
- Victoria Muscadin performed a hip hop dance routine to a mix of several songs
- Cate Rosenthal, Allie Lopez, and Julianna Vajda did a comedic interpretive dance
- Jonah Monahan and Clarke Tracy played bass guitar and lead guitar, respectively, to the song “Too Young to Fall in Love” by Motley Crue
- Samuel Graf played guitar and sang a song he wrote
- Andy Capriles played an electric guitar solo
- Cameron Saslov and Mikayla Hoffman did a guitar and singing duet
- Isabel Guevara played a Chopin piece on the piano
- Rachel Selby sang the song “Call You Mine” by The Chainsmokers
- Livv Haut sang “If I Ain’t Got You” by Alicia Keys
- THE SHARK BOYS did a lively dance routine.
Congratulations to the Winners!
Livv Haut won first place. Her rendition of this piece was flawless and her voice was really powerful. Victroria Muscadin won second place and Samuel Graf won third. All of the performers deserve praise and so do the judges who had a really tough job. All the performances were filled with so much soul by young people gifted with incredible talent.
Todd Deering heard plenty of positives about the new artificial turf fields being installed at Boca Raton’s Patch Reef Park.
On Saturday Sept. 7, when the Boca Raton Braves played on those fields for the first time, he found that the new surface exceeded the hype..
“This is incredible. This is awesome,” said Deering, President of the Braves youth football organization. “The kids actually came out for the first time on it today, loved it. Loved the feel of it. It’s basically like real grass, too. Safety wise the kids are loving it. We love it.”
When complete, the $4 million Greater Boca Raton Beach and Park District project that began in March will create three new turf fields for community use in place of what previously were natural turf fields.
The new turf fields require less maintenance, affording more time for play. And the new drainage system underneath the fields eliminates the need to cancel games because of soggy fields.
Two of the multi-purpose fields are already complete, with the third scheduled to open by the end of the month. Fields will have permanent lines for football, lacrosse and soccer, but can be used for most any sport that requires a field.
“In response to resident needs and requests, the District designed and developed the fields to extend and elevate the recreational experiences of our community,” District Commissioner Bob Rollins said. “These fields will not require the extensive downtime for maintenance, hold up terrific in our tropical climate and give our youth the experience of playing on a professional level surface. We are excited that the project is coming to a close and look forward to the community enjoying the fields.”
Located on Yamato Rd. just west of Military Trail, Patch Reef Park also offers baseball fields, softball fields, outdoor basketball courts, outdoor tennis courts, a fitness trail, a playground with a splashpad and picnic pavilions
Patch Reef’s Ultrablade MX turf field, manufactured by Sprinturf, features a natural filler as opposed to the rubber pellets poured on top of most similar artificial surfaces. Composed mostly of coconut husk and cork, the natural fill keeps the field cooler than the rubber-filled fields that have been known to get so hot in South Florida that they melt shoes. Because it’s organic, the GreenPlay fill is also better for the environment.
“It doesn’t hold a lot of heat,” said coach Willie Dublin, whose 8-and-under Braves christened the new field with a 33-6 victory over the Deerfield Rattlers. “It’s really top-quality turf.”
Softer than actual dirt, the natural fill makes for a safer field, providing a cushier landing for participants.
“We do travel away to some other turf fields and they are like concrete,” Deering said. “We’re happy to be back home at Patch Reef.”
ABOUT THE GREATER BOCA RATON BEACH AND PARK DISTRICT: The District is committed to the acquisition and development of parks and recreation facilities. It seeks to provide entertaining and engaging leisure, educational, athletic and cultural activities to all of its residents and guests. The District owns multiple recreational facilities and/or parks in the Boca Raton area, including Sugar Sand Park, Patch Reef Park, the Swim and Racquet Center and Ocean Strand. In addition, through interlocal agreements with the City of Boca Raton, it funds the operating expenses of the Gumbo Limbo Nature Center, Red Reef Park, Spanish River Athletic Facilities and Mizner Bark Dog Park.
Think about how lucky you are to be in Boca Raton. There’s no need to be inside to exercise. I feel privileged to go outside and enjoy the outdoors and get a great workout, something we can enjoy all year. As a south Florida personal trainer, I like using what we’ve got in our parks to put together awesome workouts. One of my favorite parks to go workout at is Patch Reek Park. It’s at 2000 Yamato Rd, Boca Raton, FL 33431.
PUBLISHER’S UPDATE: This morning I received a text message from an interested third party informing me that Blake MacDiarmid has registered with Palm Beach County as a lobbyist for Virgin Trains USA. A review of the Lobbyist Registration list demonstrates that Blake MacDiarmid is still not registered as a lobbyist for Virgin Trains USA, but yesterday, a James MacDiarmid did register. James and Blake may turn out to be the same person. If true, why the need to use a pseudo name. Furthermore, since publishing today’s article, www.blakestrategy.com has been taken down off the internet. Al Zucaro, Publisher ____________________________________________________________________
With the March, 2020 City Council elections inside a 6 month window, the time is now to look at the political and policy issues on the horizon and the professional influencers shaping Boca Raton’s politics and legislative outcomes.
Those of us who follow national politics have heard about the influence lobbyists have over Congress and the President. Local lobbying occurs too. Local and out of town investors are paying local “influencers” to lobby for them all the time. Local government and politics depend on lobbyists for reasons I’ll explain in this article. Lobbying isn’t necessarily bad and only works best when it’s aligned with voter interests. Despite its necessity and potential to do good there are reasons why lobbying is regulated with requirements of transparency.