Gardens election could be decided without voting

Three candidates lined up to run for three seats; deadline to file is Nov. 30.

The makeup of the Palm Beach Gardens City Council could be determined in the next two weeks without a single vote being cast.

Three seats are open for an election scheduled for March 14. Three people, including Mayor Chelsea Reed, have opened campaign accounts and begun raising money to run. But so far none have drawn challengers.

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Fast fix is no fix for PGA backups at I-95

Work to start Nov. 9 but FDOT engineers concede $10 million project will do little to ease backups on PGA Boulevard by the Gardens Mall.

If you drive west on PGA Boulevard to get on Interstate 95 during the afternoon rush hour, you know the problem.

Cars back onto PGA from the ramp to the highway, starting where the ramp from PGA merges with a ramp from Alternate A1A. 

A $10 million project to improve the southbound traffic flow, set to start Nov. 9 and last more than a year, may make it easier for motorists once they reach the highway. But, as project managers made clear at a launch meeting Thursday, the improvements will do little to ease the backups that bring westbound traffic near the Gardens Mall on PGA to a near standstill every afternoon. 

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Appellate ruling favors county over Gardens on road-building

At stake: Who controls money developers pay for road improvements, Palm Beach Gardens or Palm Beach County?

An appellate court has rejected Palm Beach Gardens’ arguments in its fight with Palm Beach County over how to pay for growth from new development.

The ruling forces the city to resume collecting impact fees from developers for the county, which decides how to spend the money. 

It imperils the city’s new mobility fee program, which was designed to collect money from developers for projects determined by the city. 

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‘A launch pad for science:’ Wertheim’s $100 million gift to ignite UF Scripps

‘Not one dollar … will go up north,’ UF board chair Mori Hosseini says; aim is to raise $1 billion over 10 years.

When Dr. Herbert Wertheim was a young engineer working for NASA in the 1960s, he saw miracles take flight. 

Now he’s a billionaire who just gave $100 million to the University of Florida. And he sees Jupiter as the next Cape Canaveral.

“We have what I call ‘sciencenauts,’” he told dignitaries and scientists gathered Oct. 12 at the UF Scripps campus in Abacoa. “They’re going to help us solve health-care problems, not only when you’re sick, but my number one emphasis has been how do we keep people well.

“So let’s think about Jupiter as a launch pad like we think of Cape Canaveral. And this is gonna be a launch pad for science.”

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Proposal paves way for warehouses at former racetrack

Palm Beach International Raceway owners seek County Commission’s blessing on Jan. 11 for updated 2.1 million-square-foot warehouse plan.

The conversion of a beloved local raceway to warehouses is back on track after the property owners eliminated a major hurdle that forced them to make an unscheduled pit stop in April.

The owners of the shuttered Palm Beach International Raceway west of Jupiter are moving forward on their own, without construction giant Portman Industrial, which pitched a 2.1 million-square-foot warehouse development before angry racing fans packed a meeting April 7 to block it.

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Northlake widening study pits county vs city. Again.

Palm Beach Gardens City Manager tells council that Palm Beach County engineer abruptly backed out of a meeting to share information about county’s $400,000 study of eight-laning Northlake Boulevard east of the Beeline.

Palm Beach County wants to spend $400,000 to study eight-laning Northlake Boulevard from Military Trail to Beeline Highway. 

Palm Beach Gardens and its many homeowners associations along the six-lane roadway want no such thing. 

But the potential to talk out their differences blew up publicly last week when County Engineer David Ricks refused to attend a meeting with Palm Beach Gardens City Manager Ron Ferris.

“I got a phone call from David Ricks, who said he was advised from higher ups at the administration level he is not to meet with the city of Palm Beach Gardens,” Ferris told City Council members Thursday night.

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Something funky brewing in Palm Beach Gardens as Subculture Coffee opens

Restaurateur Rodney Mayo opens his fifth Subculture Coffee Roasters at Downtown Palm Beach Gardens.

Step inside Palm Beach Gardens’ newest coffeehouse and it’s quickly apparent that this isn’t your typical nationally branded caffeine-fix station.

“Drink coffee not the Kool Aid” reads a large hand-scripted mural dominating one side of Subculture Coffee Roasters. Hanging from the ceiling: A 6-foot brass eyeball that opens and shuts. On the other walls, hand-drawn murals show scenes from the 1976 David Bowie film “The Man Who Fell to Earth.”

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Tax relief for some: Gardens council trims tax rate

Palm Beach Gardens residents with homestead protection will pay less, those without will pay more.

For city property owners with a homestead exemption, this year’s Palm Beach Gardens tax rate amounts to a tax cut.

For the rest, about 40 percent of city taxpayers, the rate set in September by the City Council means paying more in taxes to the city.

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‘Any positive thing we can do:’ Volunteers clean up Mac Beach

International Coastal Cleanup Day draws 80 to John D. MacArthur Beach State Park.

Since 2018, volunteers have pulled 3,000 pounds of trash off the beach at the John D. MacArthur Beach State Park.

On Saturday, about 80 volunteers came out for International Coastal Cleanup Day, braved stormy skies, and added another 172 pounds to the total.

Doesn’t sound like much but the pickings were scarce. 

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Life Time’s opening day pitch: ‘Disney of a healthy way of life’

Life Time Athletic Country Club leads one local fitness studio to fold but others don’t fear the industry giant.

The founder, chairman and CEO of Life Time Group Holdings sat in the first-floor bar at the Aug. 11 opening of his 160th club and explained how Life Time stands so far above the crowded fitness marketplace that it doesn’t have to worry about competition. 

“Our goal is to create an incredibly exclusive experience but offer it inclusively to all kinds of people,” Bahram Akradi said at the Life Time Athletic Country Club in Downtown Palm Beach Gardens. “To do that you have to create a place that has a magnetism. … It has to be a completely elegant, Four Seasons-like experience every single day.”

He urges his employees to think of it like Disney.

“There were amusement parks before Disney showed up,” he said. Disney “came to Orlando but they built magic. They didn’t build an amusement park. They created extraordinary what was ordinary in other places. And Life Time is Disney of a healthy way of life.”

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