New challenge to drivers hoping to run over pedestrians downtown

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This note, from county traffic engineer George Webb:

 

In response to numerous complaints, last week County Traffic staff changed the traffic signal operation of two downtown intersections – Quadrille(US 1)/Clematis and Quadrille/Hibiscus. These intersections will now have the pedestrian “WALK” indication coming up every 1-2 minutes to allow pedestrians to cross Quadrille.  Previously both intersections required pedestrians to push a button to call up the “WALK” signal and receive time to cross Quadrille.

We had many complaints from people trying to cross Quadrille at Clematis that the “WALK” signal never came up.  They didn’t realize that they had to push a button to get the “WALK” signal.  Under the new operation that situation will disappear.

All the other traffic signals in the downtown along Dixie and Olive do not require action by pedestrians to get a “WALK” indication – in fact there are no push buttons.  At these locations, every time a green signal comes up the corresponding “WALK” signal also appears.

The positive aspect to this change is that these two signals will now operate similar to others in the downtown. The negative aspect is that many vehicles using Quadrille will now have to stop and wait where they did not previously.  Previously, the signal would have stayed green for Quadrille until either a vehicle arrived on the side street or a pedestrian pushed the button.  In more technical terms we have changed from an “actuated” signal operation to a “fixed time” operation.

 

‘Climate Art’ focus of Box Gallery exhibition

Box Gallery

 

West Palm Beach- The Box Gallery, at 811b Belvedere Road, is hosting The New American Patriot: Climate Art in the Public Interest Exhibition. The exhibition brings together powerful artists and artists organizations creating “Art in the Public Interest.”

The gallery opens for the exhibit Friday, July 1, at 6 p.m. The reception starts at 7 p.m.

The exhibition is nationwide artist response to climate change in a variety of approaches, from visual witticism and colorful installations, to sobering documentary pieces.

The American Patriot celebrates and includes the work of Hot Posse, The Yes Men, Annie Sprinkle, Steve Lambert, Rolando Chang Barrero, Tim Collins and Reiko Goto, The Center for Creative Activism, Aviva Rahmani, Overpass Light Brigade, The Climate Action Coalition, Xavier Cortada, Dana Donaty, Birds are Nice, Craig McInnis, Nadia Utto, Bethany Taylor, Roseanne Truxes Livingston, David Peck, Elizabeth Reed, Lloyd Goradesky, The Post Carbon Institute,  Mary Jo Aagerstoun, Jesse Etelson, Shawn Robbins, Jerry Lind, Jan Booher, Lane Hall, Joe Brusky, Kim Heise, Marika Stone, Sarah Younger and others.

For information: www.TheBoxGallery.info, 786-521-1199, or contact PalmBeachFineArtGallery@gmail.com .

 

Science center hosts Shark Preservation Week events

shark

South Florida Science Center and Aquarium is hosting Shark Preservation Week through July 1.

Activities include: Touch Tank Demos, daily at 10:45 a.m., 11:45 a.m. and 3:45 p.m.; Shark Dissection, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m., Tuesday and Thursday only; Shark Tooth Lab, daily at 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. and 3:45 p.m.; Aquarium Feeding, daily, from 1 – 2 p.m.

The activities are included with paid Science Center admission. Admission to the Science Center during Grossology is $15 for adults; $13 for seniors aged 60+; and $11 for kids ages 3 and up. Children under 3 and Science Center members are free.

The South Florida Science Center and Aquarium is located at 4801 Dreher Trail North, West Palm Beach. For more information visit www.sfsciencecenter.org or call 561-832-1988.

 

Betting on West Palm — cautiously

Jeff Greene
Developer Jeff Greene at Sail Club site

Developer Jeff Greene bet big on West Palm Beach real estate but he’s not all-in.

The Palm Beach billionaire said this week he’s making progress conceptualizing or honing several projects, from his Currie Park assemblage to the two-tower One West Palm on Quadrille Boulevard and apartments planned for the old Sail Club site on Clear Lake.

He’s moving quickly to complete renovations to the 2001 S. Dixie Hwy. building where he plans to have pre-K through 2nd grade kids in seats at The Greene School by the day after Labor Day. The roof’s been replaced, electric and plumbing is pretty much done, drywall is going in, interior and exterior glass is on order.

As for the other projects, it’s a tricky real estate market, he said, a crap shoot for One West Palm in particular, the 30-story office/hotel/apartment towers approved for 550 Quadrille.

Despite a dearth of top-class office space downtown, and a healthy amount of publicity about his Arquitectonica-designed project, prospective 100,000-square-foot tenants have not been clawing at the construction trailer, he said.

In fact there isn’t a construction trailer yet. His team is tweaking how much office space and how many hotel rooms the project will have. “We’re going to build it,” he said. But the lack of pre-leasing makes it tough to risk the $250 million he estimates the project will cost. “You have to make these leaps of faith.”

At the former Sail Club site, on Clear Lake beside the Okeechobee Boulevard approach to downtown,  Greene is now considering building high-rise apartments, rather than the three-to-six-story buildings he envisioned when he bought the 11 acres in December.

Boding well for Sail Club is that the low-rise Cameron Estates apartments he built next door are renting well — 330 units in eight months, he said.

That project caters to a relatively affordable market. High rise construction would require higher rents and that’s what he’s considering.

His Sail Club architect has designed two towers, “which I just may build,” he said. “That one I would build pretty soon,” once Cameron Estates fills up, he said.

Greene hired an MIT urban planning expert he met at the Davos, Switzerland economic forum to create what he hopes will be a world-class conceptual plan for the expanse of properties he assembled next to Currie Park, just north of downtown.

He originally retained professor Carlo Ratti to work on The Greene School, then asked him to come up with a plan for the Currie Park project, where Greene has apartments and a major grocery in mind.

The city this week agreed to chip in with Greene to have the consultant re-think the city park itself, to make it more of an attraction than just a neighborhood park. A marina and waterfront restaurant are among the ideas being considered.

Jon Ward, the city’s Community Redevelopment Agency executive director, said Greene’s engaging in the neighborhood with the well-regarded consultant offers hope he’s gaining comfort with the idea of putting his chips on the table and developing his land.

 

 

 

 

 

Northwood’s Art Night Out Summer Festival expands

 

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Art Night Out in Northwood Village

Northwood Village is expanding its Art Night Out Summer Festival, adding a second day to the event.

The festival on Northwood Road will take place Friday, July 29 and Saturday, July 30 from 6 to 10 p.m. and will include arts and craft vendors, entertainment by local bands, food vendors and art.

Art Night Out will also enhance the usual event offerings with special features for the Summer Festival including live music by some of the area’s most popular bands plus a DJ spinning tunes, a bevy of delicious food vendors and a giant paint-by-numbers mural, all located at the corner of Northwood Road and Broadway.

As part of the event, Craig McInnis, one of Northwood Village’s Lot 23 artists in residence, will create a paint-by-numbers mural that the public can help paint.  The outline will be sketched by McInnis and materials will be on hand so that guests can tap into their inner Picasso and be a part of one of the famed neighborhood outdoor murals.

The Art Night Out Summer Festival is free and open to the public.  There is free street parking located throughout Northwood Village.  For information, visit www.northwoodvillage.com or call 561.822.1550.

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West Palm tightens anti-discrimination rules

LBGT crosswalk

West Palm Beach’s city commission on Monday passed a law prohibiting city contractors from discriminating based on race color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity and other grounds.

The city already has equal opportunity ordinances and prohibits contractors from unlawfully discriminating. The new provision seeks to clarify that, stating that a city contractor or subcontractor may not violate federal, state or local anti-discrimination laws in dealings with any employee, city employee working  with it, or applicants for employment.

“The contractor or subcontractor shall take action to ensure that applicants are not discriminated against and that employees are treated equally during employment, without regard to their race, color, religion, sex, gender identity or expression, genetic information, national origin, age, disability, familial status, (or) marital status,” according to a city summary of the new ordinance.

The provision comes in the wake of the mass murder in the Orlando gay bar, Pulse.

 

You might be the next John Oliver

John Oliver

Palm Beach Improv at CityPlace is hosting a stand-up comedy class Wednesday, June 22 at 8 p.m.

Tickets are $5 for the beginner’s course, which teaches students the fundamentals of writing and performing while standing up – the methods of generating original material using unique aspects of your life, understanding concepts in formulating structured jokes and learning proper stage performance techniques, such as standing up.

No experience is required.

For information, call 561-833-1812. Palm Beach Improv is at 550 S Rosemary Ave.

Blood centers in the county to aid victims of Orlando shooting

After the nightclub shooting incident in Orlando, the West Palm Beach Police Station teamed up with OneBlood, the Florida blood donation non-profit.

“We called to see if they needed more locations and they said yes,” said Lori Colombino, Public Information Officer for the West Palm Beach Police Station. “So this location is safe for police officers and people in the community to donate.”

Two OneBlood donation trucks were parked outside of the police station and saw an influx of helping hands.

Brittany Marshall donates blood at a blood drive event. (Christina Diabo/The Palm Beach Post)
Brittany Marshall donates blood at a blood drive event. (Christina Diabo/The Palm Beach Post)

Rumors stating OneBlood has lifted the policy banning gay men who have had sexual intercourse with a man in the last year from donating blood are false, according to a statement on the organization’s website. OneBlood states that they will continue to follow FDA guidelines for blood donations.

“Only 7% of the population is 0 negative, so I felt that it was the right thing to do,” said Detective Wil Pinto of the West Palm Beach Police. “I’ve been giving blood for years so I try to give two to three times a year.”

New and frequent donors voiced their desire to help.

“The shooting reminds us that there is very little we can do,” said Kevin Martin. “So any ways that we can help is reassuring to be part of a helping community.”

Though Orlando is about 170 miles away, people close to home were impacted by the shooting.

“I’ve never donated before, but I lived in Orlando so I have close ties, and have LGBT friends who frequent Pulse,” said Brittany Marshall.

The OneBlood donation trucks were outside of the downtown West Palm Beach Police Station until 4 p.m. today. OneBlood donor centers are also located in several locations around the county:

Boca Raton Donor Center
8903 Glades Rd
Suite A-12
Boca Raton, FL 33434
Phone: (561) 962-2054

Delray Beach Donor Center
15076 Jog Rd
Delray Beach, FL 33445
Phone: (561) 495-1211

Lantana Donor Center
2315 Hypoluxo Rd
Lantana, FL 33462
Phone: (561) 540-6620

Lake Park Donor Center
3451 Northlake Blvd
Lake Park, FL 33403
Phone: (561) 845-2323

Royal Palm Beach Donor Center
1224 Royal Palm Beach Blvd
Unit 26
Royal Palm Beach, FL 33411
Phone: (561) 472-3939

Jupiter Donor Center
75 East Indiantown Rd
Suite 505
Jupiter, FL 33418
Phone: (561) 745-4772