Gabby Gifford’s gun control movement comes to city hall

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State Rep. David Kerner

Former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords’ Vocal Majority movement for “common sense” gun laws came to West Palm Beach city hall Tuesday, minus its namesake.

Vocal Majority spokeswoman Lauren North said Giffords, who survived a 2012 assassination attempt, was busy promoting the event elsewhere on Tuesday, as the group tries to turn Election Day 2016 into a referendum on gun violence, by drumming up support nationwide. The group aims to keep guns out of the hands of domestic abusers, terrorists, criminals “and the dangerously mentally ill,” North said.

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Gabrielle Giffords

Mayor Jeri Muoio and City Commissioner Sylvia Moffett spoke at the brief event to lend their support to the effort, and to voice their endorsements of presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, an advocate of gun restrictions.

Florida State Rep. David Kerner, D-Palm Springs, urged the public to press their elected officials to strengthen gun laws. Kerner, who said he was speaking as a former prosecutor “fed up” with a vocal minority opposed to gun laws, urged voters to empower elected officials “to stand up against the NRA.”

“The issue will define for many decades the morals and values of our nation,” Kerner said.

Moffett, whose district has seen more than its share of gun violence, urged residents to vote for candidates up and down the ticket who favor gun control. “Substantive but easy fixes can be put in place,” she said.

A person on the federal “no-fly” list shouldn’t be able to buy a gun at a gun show,” she added.

“It’s heart-wrenching and there’s something we can do about it,” Mayor Muoio added, “by enacting common sense gun laws.”

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No way out: Man proposes in “escape room”

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Doug and Jamie

Congrats to Doug Greenwald and girlfriend Jamie Manica, who won her freedom from a West Palm Beach escape room challenge Saturday by accepting his surprise marriage proposal.

Greenwald, 25, and Manica, 24, who grew up in West Palm Beach, had enjoyed the escape room craze four times in Orlando, where they live. The games involve entering a room where you have one hour to win your escape by solving riddles and puzzles and finding hidden objects. The fictional stakes can be high: You need to escape to avoid zombies, save the world from terrorists or fend off an attack on a president, for example.

This time, they played at The Great Escapist Inc., downtown at 209 S. Olive Ave., where, unbeknownst to Manica, owner Larry Weinstein had devised a series of clues to lead her team to the inevitable conclusion.

One clue led to a closet with a skeleton, where they found a box on the floor. On top of the box was a clue that said “last will and testament.” Another clue included letter blocks and the number, 21. Her team figured out that the 21st letter of the alphabet was “u.” They put that together with “will” and got “Will you.” That was the code needed to unlock the box.

Inside the box was a ring box and a note that said, ‘Marry me?’ She provided the correct response. Check out the moment.

The box also had the code to allow them to leave the room. When they did, they encountered the couples’ parents, who’d been watching and listening on a TV monitor in the next room. Surprise.

The couple plans to wed next fall.

 

 

 

West Palm rolls dice on “Streetopoly,” linking Narcissus to Canvas art parks

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West Palm Beach’s Art in Public Places team has proposed what promises to be a dramatic visual link to draw visitors from the Clematis Street fountain area to a series of art parks on North Flagler Drive. It’s called Streetopoly, by artist Dean “Zeus” Colman.

The installation would be created on North Narcissus Avenue, starting at Centennial Square Fountain,  then stretching north toward Jose Marti Park and other green spaces along North Flagler, where the city’s outdoor sculpture as well as the interactive art of the Canvas Outdoor Museum Show will be on display.

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Canvas takes place in November, but elements of the art parks, which include interactive artworks, murals painted on shipping containers and sculptural elements, will grace the waterfront for months or years. The event’s theme is “Connections,” between the artists and public and artwork. The sidewalk link would create a connection to the connections.

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Streetopoly will include large, movable game pieces, as well as Monopoly-like squares named after downtown West Palm Beach streets, activities and attractions. Sybille Welter, director of the Art in Public Places program, said that under heavy foot traffic, Streetopoly would last about a year.

The city commission is scheduled to vote on an $11,000 appropriation for Streetopoly at tonight’s meeting. If they vote against it, will they go directly to jail?

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UPDATE: They approved the funding unanimously.

 

Oct. 1 marks return of West Palm GreenMarket

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The West Palm Beach GreenMarket, the area’s first and premier market, returns to the waterfront for its 22nd season on Saturday, Oct. 1, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.  The weekly event features 82 local vendors, including 15 new vendors, bringing their fresh and unique products.

The event will celebrate opening day by showcasing and selling produce grown by “Farmers in Training”  students from community centers throughout the area.  Participating community centers include Gaines Park, South Olive, Pleasant City and Coleman Park and proceeds will benefit local Center Gardening Programs.

The GreenMarket also features live music, unlimited mimosas for $10, free activities for kids, plus plentiful green space and seating for a morning of fun and relaxation.

 

The market is held every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. through April 22, with the exception of March 25, 2017 due to the Palm Beach International Boat Show.

 

The GreenMarket is friendly to dogs on short leashes and always free, as is the Banyan Parking and Evernia city garages during market hours.  Those interested in arriving by boat can use the city’s public docks.

For more information about the West Palm Beach GreenMarket and other Waterfront events, visit wpb.org/events or call 561-822-1515.

West Palm man gets kicks on Rte. 66 for local charities

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Tom Bishop

West Palm Beach Realtor Tom Bishop is preparing to bike across America, cycling cross-country in the Route 66 Bike Race to raise money and awareness for five local charities.

Bishop’s 2,494-mile journey starts at 5 a.m. on Oct. 1, through Chicago, St Louis, Joplin, Oklahoma City, Amarillo, Gallup, Flagstaff, Winona, Kingman, Barstow, San Bernardino and Santa Monica.

I chose this extreme bike ride to help me understand people who face challenges in their everyday lives, knowing I could never be truly ready for this race is what truly inspired me. Bishop told his daughter, an aspiring writer who was born blind.

Bishop is asking the public to donate to ALS, Leukemia Lymphoma Society, Safe Space for Domestic Violence, the Miami Project to Cure Paralysis, and Detroit Youth for Christ. All these charities have a personal connection to Bishop. He will ride in honor of his friend Robert Bruno who recently died of ALS.  Bishop is also an alumni of the Detroit Youth for Christ, spreading faith to teenagers.

You can take the trip with Tom Bishop on KeepPedalingOldMan.com, where he will be posting videos and updates on his Route 66 ride. 

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Bishop’s race route.

Free fruit and vegetables at Gaines Park

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(Lannis Waters / The Palm Beach Post)

There’ll be a give-away of fresh fruit and vegetables on Oct. 15 in Gaines Park, under a program hosted by State Rep. Bobby Powell Jr. (District 88) and West Palm Beach Mayor Jeri Muoio, in partnership with Farm Share.

The event takes place from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., at 1501 N. Australian Ave. It is free, but attendees must register upon arrival.

The idea is to steer locals away from processed food, Powell said.

Homestead-based Farm Share is a food bank that distributes more than 4 million household food packages a year, focusing on inner city and rural areas.

 

Norton announces Dixie Highway traffic and pedestrian changes

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Starting Monday, Sept. 26, in conjunction with major construction on the west side of the Norton Museum of Art, the following changes are being made:

  • The sidewalk along the west façade of the Museum will be closed to pedestrian traffic. A barrier wall with four-foot-high screened fence panels will block the sidewalk on South Dixie Highway, preventing pedestrians from using it.
  • The existing pedestrian traffic signal at the Museum entrance on Dixie Highway will be deactivated and all existing crosswalk signs, markings, and stop bars will be covered or removed.
  • New crosswalks with push-button, solar, flashing LED lights will be installed at Jefferson Street and Cranesnest Way, warning street traffic to stop and allow Museum visitors and other pedestrians to safely cross Dixie Highway and walk east on either of those streets to get to the Museum entrance on South Olive Avenue. (The free shuttle from the Museum parking lot at 1501 South Dixie Highway will continue to operate.)
  • ADA curb ramps will be constructed on the sidewalk facing Cranesnest Way and Jefferson Street.

 

Mayor and CityPlace talk policing, curfew issues

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Worried about the perception of downtown crime, West Palm Beach likely will tighten its teen curfew law in November, at least for a three-month trial period.

That word, after a meeting Thursday in which officials of Related Group, CityPlace and the Downtown Development Authority discussed with Mayor Jeri Muoio and police how to improve downtown safety.

Muoio said Friday that downtown crime is not as frequent as news reports make it seem. Nonetheless the city is looking for ways to tweak patrol schedules, while it also replaces security cameras and adds bike and Segway patrols in neighborhoods just north of downtown. CityPlace has its own contingent of off-duty officers in addition to the city’s Entertainment District patrols, she said.

Probably in November, Muoio said, the city commission will consider moving its Friday and Saturday teen curfews to 10 p.m., from 11 p.m., she said. The downtown curfew already is 10 p.m. the rest of the week.

The city plans to collect crime data for the periods before, during and after the proposed ordinance, to gauge its effectiveness, she said. Also under consideration: bringing in a consultant to look at the overall security picture downtown.

 

 

 

Exhibit showcases South Florida’s female artists

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Artist: Amber Tutwiler, Courtesy of The Box Gallery

Tomorrow, Saturday Sept. 24, The Box Gallery in West Palm Beach presents Florida Femme, an exhibit showcasing work of emerging female artists of South Florida.
The show opens with a reception at the gallery, at 811 Belvedere Road, from 6 to 10 p.m.
The Box Gallery on Saturday, September 24 from 6-10 p.m.
Florida Femme celebrates the work and contributions by professional female artists to the cultural vitality of South Florida’s contemporary art scene.
Participating Artists:
Ashley Cassens, Chelsie Hustad, Amber Tutwiler,Chelsie Hustad, Janet Gold, Kaillee Coleman, Lisa Stephens, Mori Haynes,Mumbi O’Brien,
Melodie Allegre, Tara Atefi, Sammi Mclean, and Vicki Siegel.

U.S. Open of Water Skiing heads to We(s)t Palm Beach

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Damon Higgins / The Palm Beach Post

The 23rd Nautique U.S. Open of Water Skiing comes to West Palm Beach, Sept. 30 to Oct. 1.

The world’s top athletes, including current world-record holders and Team Nautique skiers Nate Smith, Erika Lang, Aliaksei Zharnasek and Jacinta Carroll will headline the competition to take home one of the most coveted titles in water skiing.

Preliminary rounds will be held on Friday, Sept. 30, followed by the final rounds on Saturday, Oct. 1.

Admission for all competition days is free to the public. Spectators will enjoy autograph signings, exhibitors and prize giveaways.