This Is our Village

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Look past owners, angry Century Village residents for answers on golf course project

REF:


http://www.palmbeachpost.com/opinion/editorials/look-past-owners-angry-century-village-residents-for-2139186.html
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By The Palm Beach Post

Posted: 6:32 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2012
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Cramming into the Palm Beach County Commission chambers and inundating the overflow rooms, Century Village residents appeared to shatter turnout records last Thursday when they bashed plans for houses, apartments and shops on the unused Turtle Bay golf course alongside their retirement community near West Palm Beach.
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While residents' fears about the Reflection Bay proposal's impact and their claims that the owners have no right to develop the property are overstated, county commissioners were right to delay a decision until October, while unresolved questions are answered and other alternatives pursued.
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In the 1970s, when Century Village was built along Haverhill Road, the golf course was completed with it. County planners mandated that the site remain a golf course "in perpetuity." It was for years a popular recreation spot for retirees who lived nearby, but under new ownership the course withered and closed in 2008. 
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Owners Andrew and Ana Waldman blame Century Village residents' declining interest in golf, while some residents claim that the new owners didn't maintain the course and showed no interest in keeping it open.
Now, Mr. and Mrs. Waldman want to cash in by building shops, houses, apartments and a civic center on the 70-acre property. Mr. Waldman argues that the amenities will benefit Century Village residents. 
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Some agree. But far more, at this point, have expressed opposition. They claim that building over the green space could affect their condo views, traffic and even their health and safety.
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For the project to go forward, county commissioners have to sign off on it. But at last week's meeting, three of the six commissioners in attendance - including Paulette Burdick, whose district includes Century Village - opposed the idea. They argued that the best thing was to follow nearby residents' wishes and county planners' original intent by keeping the land as a golf course.
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That decision makes sense, but only for now. Changing the property from a golf course to a mixed-use development would be a dramatic change. Though many residents say they would benefit, there is no immediate need for housing and shopping plazas in that area.
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However, the golf course remains closed and an eyesore, and the Waldmans show no sign of reopening it. Did they really buy the land during the real estate bubble with the idea of keeping the course open? 
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If the development is approved but flops, would that make for an even uglier eyesore? 
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At Thursday's meeting, a company that manages golf courses demonstrated interest in taking over Turtle Bay. Selling to someone who wanted to reopen the course under new management would be less lucrative for the Waldmans, but the course could be a better fit. 
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The commission needs a lot of answers before October.
- Andrew Marra,
for The Palm Beach Post Editorial Board
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Seaview Radio - Free Lifestyle Show, Thursday Feb 2

There is a free event this week that might be fun and interesting. It’s the Seaview Radio’s Lifestyle Show. I don't know if you listen to the station (95.9 FM), but they play great music (50's, 60's, 70's)

Date: Thursday, February 2
Time: 3:00pm – 6:00pm
Location: Poinciana Country Club, 3536 Via Poinciana Drive, Lake Worth

Seaview's advertisement says “learn everything you need to know to live better”. They are advertising 60 exhibitors which include health, travel, home renovations, free entertainment, free products and food samples, live entertainment and great music. So if you’re looking for something to do Thursday afternoon, it's something to think about.

Directions:
Take Jog to Lake Worth Rd. Turn right on to Lake Worth Road (heading west). Take the immediate right on to the very first street you come to (which is Via Poinciana Drive).

I haven’t been to one of these events yet, so hopefully I got these directions right.
Sound like a very nice time.
See you there.

Reflection Bay access to C.V.

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New blogger here gang,

 Please can someone tell me if the proposed Reflection Bay project has direct access to C.V.

I looked at several site maps of R.B. and from looking at the site map it was hard to tell if  Reflection Bay only has exits and entrances off of  Haverhill.

From the site maps it looks like two roads in R.B. end at C.V. property,but perhaps these roads go on into C.V.  If C.V. is in fact completely closed off to Reflection Bay does any one know what kind of fence or wall will separate our two properties, and will the fences and or wall be sufficient to deter unscrupulous people from gaining access to C.V. via the Reflections Bay property.

Lenny Clark 351 Northamptton R. lennyclark@yahoo.com Thank you
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Monday, January 30, 2012

UCO OPEN MEETINGS - FEBRUARY 2012

SCHEDULE SUBJECT TO CHANGE
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Dave Israel
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RECREATION FACILITY - CHANGE OF MOVIE VENUE

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Dave Israel
for
W.P.R.F., Inc.


RECREATION FACILITY - CHANGE OF MOVIE VENUE

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Dave Israel
for W.P.R.F., Inc.


Voting by proxy

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I have a question that I hope will be answered before our next annual condo association meeting. One condo owner (1) received a proxy from another condo owner(2). 


Now condo owner (1) cannot be present to the meeting. She gives the proxy she received from condo owner(2) to a relative who will be attending the meeting. Is the proxy from owner(2) valid since the person who received the proxy will not be attending the meeting?? 


This has become very confusing to us. Some believe the proxy that was given to that individual must be handled by the same individual...not a third party. What do you think??? A quick response would be appreciated...Thank you.
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SUNDAY NIGHT SING A LONG

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Sing a long, held in Room C of the Clubhouse, NEW start time is 5PM
and ends at 8PM....Why not drop by and join Louis & Anna, along with
many of your neighbors for some vocal exercise?
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Sunday, January 29, 2012

Saturday, January 28, 2012

New Family



“I may be only one month old, but I am a condo commando, this is my patio, my chair. I am a rabies carrying vector and can only be trapped by an expensive licensed trapper. You cannot even feed me, that is $500 and a court appearance. So there.”
PS We do not feed critters and we have bars on our dumpsters.
Posted by Picasa

BOLO

Be on the lookout for a good looking young man who broke into laundry/storage room and searched through stored items. When questioned by residents he bolted south thru Sussex and into Northampton area. He was approx 20 yrs, 5'7”, dark hair, small ornamental beard, very white tee, plaid shorts, red bag, fast runner. Surprisingly this was a reverse theft – he left behind a nice bicycle. Allegiance has taken over this case.

Friday, January 27, 2012

"Who Do You Think You Are?"

"Who Do You Think You Are?" You've heard this familiar phrase, haven't you?


 If not, then be sure to make yourself at home on February 3, and turn your TV to NBC channel 3 or 432 at 8 PM. That's when the season 3 premiere of the hit genealogy show, "WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE?" will air. If you find the show interesting and would like follow in their footsteps by learning more about your own ancestry, we hope you'll join the newly formed Century Village Genealogy Club. They can help you do just that!
The Genealogy Club of Century Village currently has approximately 15 members who are learning how to discover their own roots as well as the ancestry of their friends and family. Our club features both novice and expert alike. Our club is open to anyone and everyone desiring to explore the global phenomenon of genealogy and ancestral research into their family tree.


We plan to also provide video biographies for those in Century Village who wish to leave a video taped legacy for their descendents. I'm sure that many, many of our CV residents have remarkable life stories to tell, many of them stories of heroism under fire, extremely accomplished careers, as well as those who have devoted their lives to the care of others, both old and young. We want to hear your stories.

The club meets every other week on the second and fourth Monday of each month at 1:30 PM in Classroom B. of the main clubhouse.

We have already heard wonderful stories by members who have discovered many new facts about where they come from and those family members who came before them. For example:


·         Lee never really knew much about his family because his mom grew up as an orphan in Hungary and had no living relatives. His father, who had served in World War II and Korea, did not speak much of his time growing up and his  30 year military career. After the passing of both of his parents, Lee met his current wife Sharon who has been doing genealogy research for over 20 years as a hobby. Shortly after they met, Lee asked her if there was a way for him to learn a little more about his family's ancestry. Unbelievably, WITHIN ONE HOUR,  Sharon had revealed to Lee more information about his past family members, such as their names, who they were related to within the family, dates of birth, date of death, how they died, how they lived, etc., than he had known his whole life! Even more remarkably, following her initial research into his family, there was a lingering question In her mind about why Lee's grandfather's name was different than his grandmother's. She conducted research throughout the available Internet databases and other resources until one day, while looking on www.ancestry.com, she came across a picture. It was just an ordinary picture of a man in a normal pose of no unusual significance. He was listed as the grandfather in another unknown person's family tree. However, there was something about the man that caught her eye. She saw a slight resemblance to her own husband's family. She e-mailed the other person on the ancestry.com website to delve deeper into this man's identity. Within a week she had discovered approximately 30 new cousins and a whole other side of her husband's family that they never knew existed! The man was indeed Lee's grandfather!


·         One club member made contact with someone in Australia who said that they were related to his wife's aunt. He passed this information on to her children who are currently researching this information.


·         Seymour's niece brought him some information from one of the websites showing that their relatives had come over on ships from Poland. The actual ships' manifests were online and available to see right on the website!


·         Cathy has been doing research on her husband, his father and mother using Family Tree Maker software. She says she has found so much information on their relatives its unbelievable. On a side note, she was doing research in 1999 and had requested information from her relatives just before the end of the year. If you recall, Y2K was supposed to spell doom for computers in the year 2000 because of the unknown repercussions that would befall them due to the programming of the calendar year, so she was frantically calling them and asking them to "get your information to me before the computers crash!" Of course we all know what happened. It was a false alarm!


·         Ann, through her genealogy research, turned up a relative who just happened to be the first witch burned at the stake during the Salem Witch Trials! She also found a connection to a murder that took place in Sleepy Eye, Minnesota! It just goes to show, just as has been discovered in the TV show, that not everything you discover is necessarily positive in nature.


·         Elaine, who is British, likes to trudge through cemeteries, writes to historical societies and uses the Mormon Library frequently to do her research. She discovered one of her ancestors was a Baron in England and that his descendents had done a great deal of research on this aspect of her family tree. After much effort, she was able to finally contact them, however she was told that she was too late. The nephew and niece, thinking the information was no longer important, trashed all of the research!


These are just some of the fascinating stories that are already emerging from our club meetings.


In addition to the very interesting stories that are told, another function of the club is to educate our members and guests on the use of software to enter the data on their families' ancestry as well as how to conduct research utilizing all of the tools and resources available on the Internet, public libraries, historical archives, museums, etc. We have invited a member of the Palm Beach County genealogical Society to present information at our next meeting. We hope to have speakers from different aspects of the genealogical world educating us on a regular basis.


As I mentioned earlier, we also have our own local club experts who have many years of experience and can help us learn the science of doing research, data entry, identifying resources, and many other tasks. We will provide PowerPoint presentations and demonstrations of the use of both the Family Tree Maker software and Legacy Family Tree software for entering data, including not only text and documents but also audio files, pictures and video. Some of the topics we plan to present in the future are:


1.       Genealogy for Beginners


2.       Basic Data Entry


3.       Data Entry Rules


4.       AKA's and Addresses


5.       Mastering Legacy: Names, Dates, Places


6.       Your 12 Step Checklist to Using Legacy


7.       Guide to Sources


8.       Researching Events and Chronologies



Getting started with genealogy research is very easy and what's more-IT'S FREE! If you would like to get started learning the basics of genealogy software without any investment, you can simply go to www.Legacyfamilytree.com and download the Standard Edition of Legacy Family Tree 7.5 right to your computer at no charge! If you are impatient and want to get started right away without waiting for our next class/meeting on February 6, 2012, you can click on the training link from the main page and view the "Legacy for Beginners" training video to get started. The class is approximately 44 minutes and will have you up and running in no time at all. You can then join us at our next club meeting and tell us all about how easy it was!


Once again, we hope you'll join us in the Century Village Genealogy Club. Don't forget to watch "Who Do You Think You Are?" on Friday, February 3, on NBC channel 3 or 432 at 8 PM. You'll see what all the excitement is about. You too may experience the same feelings of excitement, amazement, sadness, and incredible pride in discovering that your ancestor was an one of our founding fathers, or a president of the United States, or was a great inventor, or an entrepreneur who was profoundly instrumental in the founding of one of the largest cities in the world today! We look forward to seeing you at our next meeting on February 6, 2012. See you then!


Written by: Lee Hunt, President, Sheffield D. COA and Century Village Genealogy Club member.
1/27/2012

ANOTHER SNIPPET FROM THE RESIDENT'S SHOW


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Thanks again to Bettie Bleckman for the video
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Dave Israel

RESIDENTS SHOW - CIRCLE OF LIFE


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Video courtesy of Louis Ahwee and 
Bettie Bleckman.
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Dave Israel
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Thursday, January 26, 2012

Palm Beach County commissioners table golf course debate after Century Village residents sound off



Palm Beach Post Staff Writers
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Updated: 8:41 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 26, 2012
Posted: 8:52 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 26, 2012



REF:


http://www.palmbeachpost.com/news/palm-beach-county-commissioners-table-golf-course-debate-2126998.html?page=2
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— Palm Beach County commissioners unanimously agreed to delay a decision on a developer's plan to turn a former golf course near Century Village into a neighborhood of homes, office and shops.
Commissioners said they would consider the proposal again in October, a move they said would give the course's owners, Andrew and Ana Waldman, time to work with residents who opposed the Haverhill Road development.
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Commissioner Paulette Burdick, whose district includes the course, asked the board to deny the Waldman's request with prejudice. The move would have blocked the couple from asking the commission to consider their plan again over the next year. But Burdick's request was turned down by the commission.
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An overflow crowd of Century Village residents flooded Palm Beach County's downtown headquarters this morning for the chance to sound off on a plan to turn an overgrown golf course near their community into a development of homes, shops, and offices.
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Andrew and Ana Waldman, who own the former golf course greens, asked the county for permission to develop homes, shops and offices on their land. And people on both sides of the issue packed County Hall, though after an initial rush of supporters -- many of whom had caught an early bus and filled many of the chamber seats, opposing voices quickly outnumbered them.
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As the 9:30 a.m. meeting began, the commission chambers were jammed as well as the lobby, and a handful of overflow rooms where residents can watch a live feed. Officials are not allowing any more people in for the commission meeting and some people are still sitting on the buses outside the building.
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The commission chambers is at its 150-person capacity, another 400-plus people are in rooms watching video feeds, while others are listening to audio without video. Members of the crowd are perched on any available seat or table top.
Every so often, the crowd let out a loud "whoop!" or waved their fists in the air in response to comments by speakers.
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Commissioners have cut the amount of time typically given to members of the public to speak to 2 minutes, because of the size of the crowd. Public speakers normally receive 3 minutes.
Inside the commission chambers, many Century Village residents are speaking in favor of the project.
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 The supporters left the village on buses at about 7:30 a.m. to secure seats inside the meeting room.
Century Village resident Barbara Reed, a retired teacher who is now sells condo units inside the community, said the development would be a boom for her neighborhood. Many buyers looking in the community want to see the development built because of its restaurants and shops.
"Most are not interested in golf," Reed said. "They don't want to pay the fees to maintain a modern golf course."
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Opponents in the crowd accused the developer of deliberately trying to flood the commission's meeting room with supporters, saying that it was widely known that busloads of residents who wanted to speak against the project weren't leaving the community until after 8 a.m. Some opponents are holding signs that say, "Stop Reflection Bay development."
"I came here at 8:15 a.m. and I was lucky to get in here," said Century Village resident Barbara Cornish, who opposed the project.
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"These seniors can't stay too long. They have ailments. But they got on a bus and they came here. If you cared about a neighborhood next to you, would you have done that?"
Meanwhile, Century Village resident Honey Sager told commissioners that residents were promised a golf course in "perpetuity," adding that the development would threaten their safety. "We came to Century Village to live in a secure, gated community," Sager said. "Any housing development would totally diminish our safety and security. This is the wrong location for this development."
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Many of the attendees filled out comment cards, so that even if they are not allowed in the chambers, their comments will be read into the record.
There was also a live feed set up for viewers at Century Village, Assistant county administrator Brad Merriman noted. "This is the most people that I've ever seen here," Merriman said. "We wanted to get as many in as we could."
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"I've been here 22 years and I've never seen anything like this," said Mary Lou Berger, senior administrative assistant to Commissioner Burt Aaronson.
Earlier this morning, it appeared as though there would be hundreds of residents stuck outside as everyone tried to get into the Palm Beach County Commission building. But everyone was able to get in by 10 a.m.
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"As long as I am here to represent my neighbors, I'm good," Jean Siciliano, an 84-year-old who moved into Century Village 10 years ago for the golf course, said. "I'm here about 'perpetuity', the justice of that little phrase."
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Those in opposition to the project had chartered four buses to carry them from the village near the corner of Okeechobee Boulevard and Haverhill Road to the county's downtown complex.
About 40 minutes into the meeting, Deputy Assistant County Administrator Verdenia Baker was hopping from floor to floor, making sure attendees were comfortable and could hear the proceedings.
"This one is pretty comfortable," Baker told an elderly woman sitting on a couch on the 7th floor, one floor about the county commissioner chambers. Baker then scooted up to the 12th floor and poked her head into a conference room set up for the overflow crowd. The audio and video was working well.
"I think this displays democracy at its best," Baker said. "The commission gets to hear from both sides before making a decision."
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County officials knew there would be a big crowd but "didn't expect to this level," she said. Baker then headed down to the lobby near the entrance where chairs were filled.
"It's a really good day to the go the tax collector," Baker said, walking by the Tax Collector's office, where numbers are usually handed out to those waiting in line. "No lines."
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Nancy Bowling, 62, who lives directly on the golf course, supports the development. She rode to the county commission meeting on a bus from Century Village -- but not the same bus that opponents came on."That would have been bedlam," said Bowling, who said she is not afraid of retaliation but several neighbors told her they were afraid to come to the meeting to support the project.
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Bowling said it is time for residents to face reality: the golf course will not be resurrected. The development and shops will be a benefit to Century Village residents, livening the community up with shops and restaurants within walking distance."It's not going to be a pig farm," Bowling said. "This will be for us."
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But for Rosalind Smoller, 81,who bought her first unit in Century Village for her parents in 1969 and her own unit in 1974, the problem with the proposed development isn't so much the loss of the golf course but the loss of her peace and quiet.
"I need that quiet," Smoller said. The proposed development would likely bring in teenagers, maybe even drug users, she said. "They want to have school children. Well, that's lovely but that means school buses."
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About 50 residents watched a video feed of the commission meeting today at the Century Village Theater. Carol Rubin, who has lived at Century Village for 15 years and owns a unit overlooking the golf course, said she opposes the controversial project. "We like it the way it is," said Rubin, 79. "I can sit on my porch and look out over the golf course and watch them playing."
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Several residents said they were also concerned about their safety if the project got the green light.
"I'm worried about the type of people that will be going into those houses," said Barbara Haffon, a 62-year-old resident. "They won't be elderly, so they will be a threat for our age."
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When Betty Hefnei lived in Buffalo, N.Y., she said she was robbed four times, once with a gun to her head and another time with a knife held against her throat. She said she's afraid that could happen in Century Village.
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"I came here for protection and there won't be any protection because they'll be unwanted people coming in here," said Hefnei, an 89-year-old resident for 12 years. Kathy Brand said she also feared for her safety.
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"When I first came to Century Village, I felt very secure," Brand said. "Now I'm beginning to feel maybe it won't be that way and it scares me."
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Staff writers Christine Stapleton and Kevin D. Thompson contributed to this story.


Cerabino: Century Villagers fight for seats at golf course hearing

                                              Lannis Waters/Palm Beach Post
Seniors pack the County Commission chambers Thursday.


REF:


http://www.palmbeachpost.com/news/cerabino-century-villagers-fight-for-seats-at-golf-2128244.html


Chris Vallo stood on the 12th floor of the Palm Beach County Governmental Center on Thursday morning doing his best to manage the stream of retirees spilling out of the elevator from the lower floors.
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"The whole building is overflowed," the county employee announced.
Six floors below, the county commission chambers, a large hearing room built to handle big spectator events, had long since been filled to capacity.
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And it was only 8:30 a.m., still an hour before a contentious zoning dispute over a redevelopment project affecting Century Village, was set to be heard before county commissioners.
"We're going to have to shut it down soon," Assistant County Administrator Brad Merriman said, as he stood in the building's ground-floor lobby, looking outside at the long line of retirees waiting to pass through the downtown West Palm Beach building's metal-detector screening area.
Merriman was running out of places to stash Century Villagers.
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As county workers scurried around searching for TV sets and folding chairs, conference rooms on the seventh and 12th floors turned into virtual commission chambers.
The two flat-screen TVs in the lobby were put on full volume, which still wasn't loud enough for some, as a group of retirees clustered in front of the property appraiser's office to watch.
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'Stand up and holler' option
County officials figured that the percolating issue over turning a derelict golf course adjacent to Century Village into Reflection Bay, a large proposed town-center development of retail shops, office space and 689 homes, was going to draw a crowd.
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A zoning board hearing on the issue in December at the Vista Center drew hundreds of people, with 446 of them signing comment cards to have their say.
So county officials offered to allow Century Villagers to follow Thursday's commission hearing from their own community, by setting up a live feed of the meeting for broadcast in the condo's spacious auditorium.
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But only a few dozen of the condo's residents watched from their own community. The vast majority of Century Villagers made the trek to downtown West Palm Beach, preferring to make a visible display of their interest.
Or as Century Village resident Barbara Weisbecker put it: "I wanna be here in case I have to stand up and holler."
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Knowing the persuasive aspect of a large public display, both sides in the dispute did their best to make a show for commissioners.
The golf course owner, Andrew Waldman, contends that the vocal opposition to his plan to develop his property, does not represent the majority of Century Villagers.
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But they surely represent the majority of Century Villagers who have come forward to comment on the plan. At the zoning hearing in December, 433 of the 466 comment cards from the audience were against the project. And county commissioners received 2,046 post cards from Century Villagers urging them to oppose the proposed development - far more than the 301 support cards the developer's team presented on Thursday.
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The opposition organized five buses to take residents to the governmental center Thursday. But Waldman, not to be outdone, had his own bus transportation plan to make sure that Century Villagers supporting his plan got to the hearing, too.
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First come, first seated
And Waldman's four buses beat the opposition buses to the governmental center.
The opposition buses didn't roll from Century Village until 8:15 a.m. By that time, the pro-development buses had already arrived at the governmental center, and that group of project-supporting Century Villagers were occupying many of the seats inside the chamber - the seats that were visible to the commissioners.
"We got our people inside the chamber," Kerry Kilday, the project planner, said as he arrived for the hearing.
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Dave Israel, the president of the governing body of Century Village, and one of the outspoken opponents of Reflection Bay, said the developer's bus strategy was clever.
"We were outfoxed," Israel said.
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Meanwhile, outside the building, boxes of free doughnuts were offered to those showing up.
Weisbecker didn't eat one, though. They were doughnuts provided by the developer, she said.
"First time in my life I ever walked away from a donut," she said.
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REFLECTION BAY DEVELOPMENT - VOTE POSTPONED 10 MONTHS

Hi all,
After hours of public testimony, and spirited Commission debate, The Board of County Commissioners voted to postpone consideration of the Reflection Bay development until October 25, 2012.

Of particular interest were the outstanding presentations by our Century Village Residents. One impassioned plea after another was delivered by our unit owners; and it was clear that the Commissioners were strongly impacted, resulting in open minded debate on the issues. This was in stark contrast to the previous hearings by the Planning Commission and Zoning Commissions; where our entreaties fell on deaf ears.

Commissioner Aaronson issued a challenge to CV to "come up with a buyer" for the Golf Course, and even suggested that we, the unit owners purchase the course ourselves. Aaronson quipped "that is how you can have it in perpetuity"

The Commissioners, were somewhat spooked by the presence of our court reporter, and fearing litigation  opined that the postponement should be used to "explore the legalities" of the entire project, especially the matter of "in perpetuity"

The presence of 5 story buildings in the Reflection Bay plan was described as being "intense", opening the door for the developer, Andrew Waldman, to modify his plan still further.

All in all, this issue is far from settled.

Anyone out there want to buy the golf course and keep it a golf course - and by the way, is Mr. Waldman willing to sell?

Dave Israel
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Container Gardening Workshop at the West Palm Beach Public Library

The downtown West Palm Beach Public Library is hosting a free container gardening workshop on Sunday, February 12th at 2:00pm.  If you have a pot and a patio, you can have a container garden in South Florida. Even a novice can enjoy fresh veggies and herbs in a tropical climate with limited space. Get tips and advice from West Palm Beach residents, Jim and Linda Ferris who enjoy the fruits of their labor! 


The presentation will be held in the library's Clematis Room.  All are welcome to attend and registration is not required.  For more information call the library at 561-868-7701 or visit www.mycitylibrary.org.


Jim and Linda have worked with Mounts Botanical Garden's master gardeners and Linda is a staff member of The Palm Beach Arts Paper. 


Location: West Palm Beach Public Library
                411 Clematis Street
                West Palm Beach, FL 33401
Date:       Sunday, February 12, 2012
Cost:       Free
Parking:  Free

Theresa Trabucco
Reference Librarian
ferrisgarden bigtomatoes 300x225 No Excuse Gardening: Container Vegetable Gardens in a Small Space





Cerabino: Opposition to development a war to Century Villagers


Hundreds of Century Village residents hold signs along Haverhill Road in protest of a plan to build homes and offices on a former golf course near their neighborhood in West Palm Beach on Tuesday.
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REF:


 http://www.palmbeachpost.com/news/cerabino-opposition-to-development-a-war-to-century-2125931.html


By: Frank Cerabino
Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
Updated: 9:20 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2012
Posted: 8:38 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2012
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Be advised: Downtown West Palm Beach will be in Lockdown Condition Gray Thursday morning. 

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Bus loads of Century Villagers will be rolling in for an assault on the Palm Beach County Commission chambers, storming the beachhead of bureaucracy in a kind of last hoorah for some who view this battle on a continuum that started with World War II. 

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"We won that war and we're going to win this one too," said Philip Shapkin, 84, who is the president of a committee in Century Village that has been dedicated to stopping the invasion of a planned development on the condo's southeastern front. 

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"I hope we will be flowing out into the streets," Shapkin said about today's 9:30 a.m. zoning hearing with county commissioners. "I want them to understand that we are fighting for the quality of our life."
The battle is over the derelict Turtle Bay golf course that adjoins Century Village at the corner of Haverhill Road and Okeechobee Boulevard. The executive course has served as the village's own golf spot for decades, but its most recent owner, Drew Waldman, said it has gotten too unprofitable to operate. 

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Golf course goes idle
Century Villagers aren't the spry young retirees who bought into the community at its inception, Waldman said, and the condo's aging population has made the course a losing proposition. So he shut it down three years ago. 

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"Out of 7,854 households in Century Village, less than 200 came to play," Waldman said. "We were never able to capture the revenue needed to maintain the course."

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So he wants to turn the 70-acre property into Reflection Bay, a town center development of shops, homes and businesses. And to do it, he needs the county's approval to change the 1973 designation of the land as a golf course "in perpetuity."

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So far, the developer has won the first battle, getting 6-1 approval from the county's zoning board last month, despite facing an angry crowd of about 500 Century Villagers who swelled beyond the hearing room into three overflow rooms at the county's Vista Center complex on Jog Road. 

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"All of our entreaties about noise, dirt, increased paramedic response times, water issues, increased traffic on Haverhill Road to the tune of 3,300 trips daily fell on deaf ears " wrote David Israel, the president of Century Village's governing body, in the village's newspaper. "This condescending and 'we know better' attitude was the general overlay of the entire hearing, a withering disrespect for our seniors; it was a very sobering experience."

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So today's attempt to get the county commissioners to reverse the zoning board's recommendation is bound to be a full-fledged frontal attack. 

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Five buses will be rolling. Two thousand postcards of complaints have been written to county commissioners. A lawyer has been hired, and a letter of intent from another developer interested in buying the land and keeping it as a golf course will be presented, Shapkin said. 

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Supporters are 'silent'
It's not the first time that Century Villagers have tried to shoo developers from the edges of their kingdom.
Seven years ago, the condo mobilized to run off national home-building giant, D.R. Horton, which had plans to convert the golf course into 650 homes. 

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This time around, Waldman, the golf course owner, went out of his way to persuade Century Villagers that Reflection Bay would be a good development for them.
Waldman sent notices to every home in Century Village, inviting residents to find out about the project on a toll-free line or a website. He also provided residents with free transportation to a nearby Hampton Inn, where he held more than two dozen information sessions about his project. 

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"There's a tremendous amount of Century Village support that's silent," Waldman said. "People in Century Village get vilified or ostracized if they speak out. It takes a lot of courage to stand up to a mob."

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The visible opposition rallying against him today isn't representative of the opinion that Century Villagers have toward the project, Waldman said.
"We think that the vast majority of people in Century Village either support us or don't care," he said.
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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

REFLECTION BAY - Hundreds protest new development near Century Village


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Posted: 01/24/2012
Last Updated: 3 minutes ago

• By: Dan Corcoran
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SUBURBAN WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - The battle lines are being drawn over plans to replace a failed golf course in suburban West Palm Beach with development of homes and shops. The project is drawing fire from residents of Century Village, which is right next door to the proposed development.
Hundreds of opponents of the plan, mostly residents of Century Village, lined the Haverhill Road on Tuesday afternoon.


They came together with their signs and their voices right along the side of the 70-acre property that would be home to the proposed development. The former golf course is now overgrown with weeds and vegetation.


Protestors said they moved to Century Village after they were told that the next door golf course would be there forever. They said the new development called "Reflection Bay" threatens their quality of life, would increase traffic in the area and would also ruin residents' views of the former golf course.

"Money can't buy everything" said Loretta Cuccurullo, who is spearheading the opposition. "We're little, we're poor, we're elderly but we have a lot of young people coming in and they want golf and we want our green space," she said.


Palm Beach County Commissioners are scheduled to vote on the proposal on Thursday. The current land owners, Ana and Andrew Waldman, were also present to answer question and take comments from those who oppose their project.


The Waldmans plan to build a community of 689 residences complimented by shops and restaurants.


"There's a tremendous amount of support that exists here in Century Village that isn't here today," said Andrew Waldman. "We hope that they won't be so silent in terms of support on Thursday," he said. If the plan is approved builders could break ground as soon as June of this year.


The commissioners are set to vote on "Reflection Bay" proposal on Thursday at 9:30 am at the County Government Center, 301 North Olive Avenue, in West Palm Beach.


Century Village has chartered five buses to transport people from their homes to the meeting.


Read more:


 http://www.wptv.com/dpp/news/region_c_palm_beach_county/west_palm_beach/hundreds-protest-new-development-near-century-village#ixzz1kR3HLn8x
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Monday, January 23, 2012

GROUP FOR FAIR AND INDEPENDENT ELECTION - CANDIDATES FORUM

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GFIE – Group for Fair and Independent Election

The candidates forum will be held on Monday, February 27th at 9:30am, in the auditorium of the clubhouse.

Susan Bucher will be the moderator. She is well known to the residents of Century Village having represented our area when she was a State Representative from 2000 to 2008, was instrumental in helping when the hurricanes occurred and aided owners to obtain insurance policies after companies went bankrupt.
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Nominees will participate in the forum. The exact details are still being worked out.

All owners who attend the forum will be eligible to receive a raffle ticket to win one of the two TV sets. You must show a Century Village Identification upon arrival. Please come early so that the forum may start at 9:30am sharp.

We are looking forward to introducing the candidates and seeing all of you at the CANDIDATES FORUM.
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UCO REPORTER FEBRUARY EDITION - LIVE IN CYBERSPACE

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Hi all,
UCO is once again pleased to announce the publication of the cyberspace edition of the February UCO Reporter. Follow the link below:

http://goo.gl/dJqPW

The Reporter, as always may also be accessed from the sidebar.

Dave Israel
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Two More Years

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As I listen to all the debates, political updates, negative and positive national campaign ads, I am driven to think that we, here in CV, are also on the brink of an election and I am proclaiming - we need 2 more years of David Israel.

He has brought us into the new millenium with the transference of CV records into the digital age where so much is now accessible to us via computer. Transparency - greatly enhanced and improved.
He works tirelessly and is supported by an enthusiatic and dedicated staff of volunteers.

 Everyone may not like or agree with every change and improvement but must admit ---there is action rather than inaction.

CV is moving forward in so many areas even in this time of economic trauma and falling real estate values. Projects are proposed and completed.

If only the undertones of the disgruntled were not pervasive--yes, disagree but in an adult, intelligent dialogue- please let us not tolerate or endure any mud slinging or character assassinations in the upcoming months.

I am definitely anticpating two more years of David Israel as our CV leader. The sun shines brighter with David as our President.
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zoning meeting

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just received
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Dear Friends,
I just wanted to send out a reminder to everyone that the zoning application for the Century Village golf course will be heard by all seven members of the County Commission this Thursday:

9:30 A.M January 26th County Commission chambers 301 N. Olive Ave, 6th Floor West Palm Beach, FL.

Due to all the interest in this issue and to make it easier on the hundreds of residents who wish to attend, the County Commission, for the 1st time, will be conducting a two-way broadcast between the commission chambers and the Century Village clubhouse.

Residents will be able to view the proceedings from their clubhouse and the Commissioners will be able to see the Century Village residents, both live.

I know there was some confusion about this, but the two-way broadcast between the Century Village clubhouse and the County Commission Chambers will take place.

If you want to speak to the commissioners, you will have to attend the actual Commission meeting at 301 N. Olive Ave, 6th Floor and you will need to complete the comment cards which will be available in the chambers.

The item numbers are 7 and 8 and need to be included on the comment card:

Item # 7 - ABN/DOA-2011-00632 application to delete the golf course from the South Hampton PUD.

Item # 8 - ZV/TDD/R-2011-01203 application to rezone the golf course to allow a Traditional Neighborhood Development and a congregate living facility.

Please share this information with your friends and neighbors who may not have e-mail addresses.

Regards,
Paulette Burdick
County Commissioner District Two
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COMCAST HEARS THEIR CUSTOMERS - INTERNATIONAL SERVICES COMING SOON

Hi all,
As a result of requests, most recently from our French speaking Canadian residents, Comcast is set to provide a multicultural service tier. See below and call for availability:
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Sunday, January 22, 2012

REFLECTION BAY - PROPOSED GOLF COURSE DEVELOPMENT

Hi all,
The following article is extracted from the Palm Beach Post:
Dave Israel

REF:
 http://www.palmbeachpost.com/news/battle-heats-up-over-proposed-project-near-century-2116554.html

Battle heats up over proposed project near Century Village
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Alyssa Orr/The Palm Beach Post
County commissioners plan to vote Thursday on plans for homes and shops on the site of a failed golf course. The developers say Century Village would benefit, but many residents disagree.
By Jennifer Sorentrue

Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

Updated: 10:56 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 21, 2012
Posted: 8:11 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 21, 2012
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WEST PALM BEACH — Andrew and Ana Waldman have big plans for the failed golf course they own near the corner of Okeechobee Boulevard and Haverhill Road.
They have spent months working on a plan to replace the overgrown links with a community of residences and shops on the 70-acre property in suburban West Palm Beach.
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The development, to be called Reflection Bay, would have a civic center to host art fairs and farmers markets, and a "grand inn" to lodge visitors and relatives. And the Waldmans plan 689 houses, apartments and lofts.
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But their plan is drawing fire from some residents living in nearby Century Village, many of whom say they were told the golf course would be there forever.
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The development, they argue, threatens to destroy their quality of life, overload nearby roads and eliminate views of the former course.
Loretta Cuccurullo said her children purchased her home in Century Village because it overlooks the golf course. She worries construction of the development would be harmful to her husband, who suffers from asthma.
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"This place is like heaven," Cuccurullo said. "I am fighting to protect it."
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The Waldmans argue that their project would benefit Century Village - increasing property values and providing easy access to shops and cafes.
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"Everything that we are doing is not an interruption to Century Village, but a complement," Andrew Waldman said.
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Palm Beach County commissioners are scheduled to vote on the plan Thursday.
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Century Village residents have been filling their mailboxes with letters opposing the development.
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Opponents plan to protest Tuesday along Haverhill Road.
The county zoning board recommended approval of the development Dec. 2, despite pleas from many in the overflow crowd.
But not all Century Village residents oppose the project. Several supporters argue that many in the community are fearful to speak in favor of it.
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Eunice White, who has lived in the village for 27 years, questioned what would happen to the land if the project isn't approved.
"The only thing this is going to do for Century Village is enhance it," White said.
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The course was built as part of the more than three-decade-old Century Village community. When the area was mapped out in 1973, records show, a restriction was placed on the golf course property that required its owner to continue to use the land as a golf course "in perpetuity."
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Century Village residents contend that restriction should not be lifted simply because the course is no longer profitable.
"To change this long-standing promise is just wrong," attorney Ralf Brookes, who represents a group of Century Village residents, told the county's zoning commission last month.
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But the Waldmans argued that the restriction was never included as part of the deed.
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Land planner Kerry Kilday, who represents the couple, said it is impossible to keep a golf course on the site. The fairways closed in 2008 after operating for years in the red, he said.
"I am totally unaware of a single golf course in Palm Beach County that has shut down, reopening," Kilday told the zoning board. "It just doesn't happen."
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At least one member of the board said the project could help the area.
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The board, which reviews projects before the county commission, voted 6-1 in favor of the development.
"I think this project will invigorate this area," board member Mark Beatty said. "It is going to give some development there, and some new life."
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CV MAKES NEWS AGAIN IN

cv makes news again in today's palm beach post. READ ALL ABOUT IN ON PAGE B3

Saturday, January 21, 2012

USPS

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just a reminder ---effective 22 jan 2012-unless you purchased forever stamps -----
Single-piece, one-ounce First-Class Mail letters will increase $0.01, to $0.45 (additional ounces remain at $0.20). The price for mailing a First-Class Mail postcard will increase $0.03 to $0.32 and the cost of stamped postcards will increase $0.03 to $0.35.
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Friday, January 20, 2012

CYBER NEWSLETTER FROM CVW BOCA RATON LIVE IN CYBERSPACE

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See what's happening in sister Century Village West, Boca Raton.

Thanks to Fred Hadley, Chair of the CVW Computer Club. Follow the link:

http://goo.gl/dbbE6

Accessable also from the sidebar.

Dave Israel
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Thursday, January 19, 2012

GREETINGS FROM THE WEST PALM BEACH PUBLIC LIBRARY

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Greetings from the West Palm Beach Public Library!
“You are the best library” is one of the most often heard comments about our library located at 411 Clematis Street. From residents to snowbirds, from seniors to preschoolers, all use the services and programs provided free by the Library. West Palm Beach’s library is an unparalleled asset in our community.

The library schedules a variety of programs and events including computer classes, book clubs, fitness sessions such as yoga, Pilates, and Tai-Chi, tango lessons and many other special events.  Each month you will find an amazing array of programming designed to entertain and educate.  All of our adult programs can be found on our website at:

 http://www.mycitylibrary.org/

or you can also sign up to receive our bi-monthly events brochure by visiting :

http://bit.ly/AEMbXS

and subscribing with your email address.

Library cards are free and all of the programs offered are also free and open to all!

We have convenient parking located at the corner of Banyan Blvd. and Dixie Highway with the first hour of parking = $1.00 and the second hour free.

This Sunday, January 22nd we are having our World Music Series: Opera at the West Palm Beach Public Library.  Soprano, Alicia Branch will be performing opera songs starting at 2:00pm. Alicia's professional performances include Tommy, Amahl and the Night Visitors, The Pirates of Penzance, Othello, The Magic Flute, Handel's Messiah, and Durufle's Requiem. This special event is sponsored by The FRIENDS of the West Palm Beach Public Library.  
All are welcome to attend!

For more information on the West Palm Beach Public Library or to find out more about the library please feel free to call us at 561-868-7701.

Looking forward to having you visit!

Theresa Trabucco
Reference Librarian
West Palm Beach Public Library
411 Clematis Street
West Palm Beach, FL 33401
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GOLF COURSE EVENTS - REFLECTION BAY - PROTEST - BCC HEARING BUSES

Another Blog

I just like the sentiment when northern friends are shoveling snow.

artpalmbeach Jan 20-23, 2012

Fabulous contemporary art show


As a special guest, the ticket link below provides you and a guest one day complimentary admission to the fair as well as admission to the Collectors’ Invitational from 7:30-10pm on Jan 19th.
click on tabs for all info, (Parking is usually $5)

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

CLUBHOUSE MOVIES - JANUARY 2012

did I sleep thru an announcement or do I need new reading glasses- I can't seem to locate a clubhouse movie schedule for Jan-is it me or is there no schedule? Thanks -
....................................................
The happenings at our Theater, including movies, may be reviewed at the following site:

http://www.centuryvillagetheater.com/wpb_thismonth.pdf

Dave Israel

PBSO TOWN HALL MEETING - PBSO COMMUNICATIONS