Rifle-toting challenger takes aim at Congressman Brian Mast

Melissa Martz’ point: the AR-15 is not to blame for mass shootings and Mast is weak on the Second Amendment.

In the past two weeks, after a gunman killed 21 people at a school in Uvalde, Texas, a Republican congressional candidate posted about two dozen signs throughout northern Palm Beach County of herself wielding an AR-15 rifle with a baby on her back.

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Gardens council heaps praise on City Manager Ron Ferris

Palm Beach Gardens City Council makes no mention of city manager’s open-ended contract, signed without public discussion in 2019.

To say that Palm Beach Gardens City Council members are happy with their city manager is an understatement. 

At their most recent meeting, all five council members evaluated longtime City Manager Ron Ferris in glowing terms.

They said nothing, however, about Ferris’ contract, which according to a recent Palm Beach Post survey makes him Palm Beach County’s highest-paid city manager, at $314,487. 

They don’t have to. His contract is open-ended. Unlike his past contracts, which if not extended would terminate after five years, Ferris signed a contract in 2019 that allows him to remain on the job “for an indeterminate term.

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Sharp rise in tax base for Palm Beach Gardens

After two slow years, Palm Beach Gardens property values rises 13.9 percent, most in north county. It remains to be seen if that translates into rising tax bills.

Palm Beach Gardens property values rose 13.9 percent, the highest gain since the run up to the 2008 housing crash, preliminary figures released May 27 by the Palm Beach County Property Appraiser’s Office show. 

It’s the first double-digit increase in taxable values for the city since 2006, when values rose a housing boom-fueled 29 percent after four straight years of double-digit increases. It puts the city tax base at $15.4 billion, about double what it was 10 years ago.

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New race track? Rejected PBIR bidder to announce Martin County site

Formula Race Promotions, with Indy champ Danny Sullivan, says it will reveal location of massive complex in early June.

A racing group that includes one time Indy 500 champion Danny Sullivan says it will unveil plans in June for a massive racetrack complex on 900 acres in Martin County to replace the now-shuttered Palm Beach International Raceway.

The group, Formula Race Promotions headed by Al Guibord, tried but failed to buy the 175-acre PBIR, which is under contract to warehouse-builder Portman Industrial. 

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200 line up as REI opens in Gardens

Seattle-based outdoors retailer doesn’t fear the Florida heat, emphasizes state’s love of outdoor life.

No one camped overnight.

But when the doors opened Friday morning in Downtown Palm Beach Gardens on Florida’s sixth REI Co-op, 200 people stood in line, ready to hunt down hiking, camping and boating gear. 

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Lockers for 700: Life Time fitness gears up for July opening

REI Co-op also to open at Downtown Palm Beach Gardens this year even as construction tears up shopping center’s north end.

It’s still more than two months before the Life Time fitness center opens at Downtown Palm Beach Gardens but residents can still play a game of pickleball, check out the stationary bikes or even practice yoga.

The three-story center on the north end of Downtown has been under construction since 2019 but, in anticipation of its July opening, the Minnesota-based fitness giant has opened a preview center in the former west elm store and is offering free Wednesday morning classes.

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Back to the drawing board: Initial plans for raceway warehouses ‘dead’

When the Palm Beach County Zoning Commission denied a series of variances to allow Portman Industrial to build warehouses at Palm Beach International Raceway, they blocked the developer from moving on to the next step.

For the proposed builders of 2.1 million square feet of warehouse space on the site of Palm Beach International Raceway, it’s back to the drawing board.

Portman Industrial has asked to postpone its April 28 hearing before the Palm Beach County Commission for five months, until Sept. 22. 

And Portman will have to redraw its plans, says one seasoned land-use lawyer who watched April 7 as the Palm Beach County Zoning Commission unanimously rejected the warehouse builder’s requests for several variances.

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Inside the artists’ studio: Creativity, diversity thrive at Legacy Place

Many of the artists grew up in Palm Beach County, some recently moved here; some love landscapes, others portraits. Art binds them together. Open house Saturday night.

There’s the Army sniper who offers a poem with every painting. A Cuban immigrant who paints English countrysides. A 23-year-old who quit her job at Whole Foods to commit full-time to art. A crime victim coordinator with the State Attorney’s Office who overcomes shyness to paint insightful portraits.

Tucked between Five Guys and Best Buy in a Palm Beach Gardens shopping center, 20 artists carve out creative niches in a onetime-luxury-spa-turned-artist collaborative. 

“We are a story, that’s for sure,” recent Georgia transplant Pamela Macatee said. “We’re like 20 different stories all together. Nobody’s styles are the same. But we have a common language.”

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Panel taps brakes on Palm Beach racetrack-warehouse conversion

Race fans persuade Zoning Commission loss of racing at PBIR outweighs benefits of warehousing.

Racing fans won the first lap Thursday in a much longer race when the Palm Beach County Zoning Commission voted 9-0 to reject plans for a warehouse complex that would replace their beloved Palm Beach International Raceway.

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Last days at Palm Beach International Raceway: ‘Like you’re losing a family member’

They drive for hours to race at Palm Beach County’s lone racetrack: Amateurs with muscle cars, hobbyists with pricey foreign models, seasoned drivers with off-road hot rods. Now a plan for warehouses threatens the place they love.

Marcus Falden left his digital marketing job south of Miami at 11:30 on a recent Friday morning to get to the Palm Beach International Raceway before it opened at 5 p.m. 

He’s looking forward to 11 — maybe 12, but certainly not 13 — seconds of joy, as he guns his Infiniti Q50S to 119 mph for a quarter-mile straightaway. 

Marcus Falden and his Infiniti Q50S.

As soon as it’s over, he’ll line up to do it again. If the night goes right, he’ll get in three runs before the busy track closes at 11 p.m.

He and his buddy, Miguel Cruz, also from the Kendall area, drove more than 100 miles March 25 to place their cars among the first ones lined up for the drag strip at PBIR, the former Moroso Motorsports Park on Beeline Highway west of Jupiter. 

BMW
Miguel Cruz in his BMW Z4. (Joel Engelhardt photo)

“It’s hard to explain,” Cruz said. “You’re sitting in your car, and the lights start flashing (to signal the start) and your heart starts going 100 mph. It happens so fast.”

But it won’t be happening much longer.

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