2018 commission race begins, yes, 2018

Shanon Materio
Sylvia Moffett
Paula Ryan

There’s no city commission election this March. As previously reported, incumbents Cory Neering and Keith James went unchallenged and were automatically re-elected.

But now the March 2018 race has begun.

On Monday, District 5 Commissioner Shanon Materio sent out an email to supporters, announcing she’ll be running in 2018 for another two-year term. The South End businesswoman first took office in 2013.

She’s an active participant on the dais and has pushed for improvements to the South Olive Tennis Center and the municipal golf course. More recently she moved to undo a commission vote she’d supported — which would have allowed developer Michael Masanoff up to $114 million in tax incentives for his Transit Village project — after it became clear the public opposed the giveaway.

Materio says the top item on her priority list is to fix the city’s traffic woes. “And I mean everywhere in the city. Traffic, traffic, traffic. From the North End to the South End, east and west.”

She also wants to improve the climate for businesses small and large, but especially to make sure the city is business-friendly to mom-and-pop operations. And speaking of climate, she wants to get the city more engaged in addressing sea level rise.



ALSO IN THE RUNNING….District 1 Commissioner Sylvia Moffett said Monday she’s about to throw her hat in the ring for another term in the North End. Moffett and Neering were the only commissioners to oppose the Transit Village subsidy from the start, as too rich a deal.

She said she wasn’t sure whether to run again but started getting calls from supporters on the one hand, and from potential candidates who wanted to know if she was going to run, so she decided to go for it.

She hasn’t put in her papers yet, but figures she’d better hurry up since apparently campaign season has begun early this year. She said she faces possible opposition from Pastor Martina Walker, who ran unsuccessfully against her in 2016.

LAST BUT NOT LEAST…. Longtime community organizer and real estate developer Paula Ryan also said Monday she has filed  for another term as District 3 commissioner.

Ryan, whose central district covers the Northwest, downtown and part of the South Flagler Drive area, said her top priority will be to help spur redevelopment of the Historic Northwest neighborhood, to support mobility studies to improve traffic flow and to press for roadway improvements on the South Dixie Highway corridor.


For more details, there’ll be an article in The Palm Beach Post, tentatively scheduled for tomorrow.

Grassy Waters Preserve photo contest seeks entries


The 2017 Grassy Waters Nature Photography Contest is under way.

Amateur photographers have until Feb. 28 to submit entries for the 14th annual contest to showcase the natural beauty of Grassy Waters Preserve’s environment and wildlife.

The contest benefits Grassy Waters Conservancy, the non-profit supporting the Everglades in West Palm Beach. For more information and to submit entries, go to www.grassywaters.org.


Mayor Muoio in DC for Mayor’s Conference

010516+Post+Centennial014Mayor Jeri Muoio won’t be slathering on the Hawaiian Tropic this week. She’s in cold, rainy Washington, D.C. for the annual meeting of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, looking for fresh ideas that might make sense for West Palm Beach.

She attended a presentation on summer jobs programs for youths, for starters.

She also was scheduled to attend a presentation on how cities might tap the $4 billion that Volkswagen is putting into a fund for sustainability programs, as part of its settlement of its emissions test-rigging case.

The mayor also attended a meeting of an education task force she’s on, a session on using block grants for housing and development, and a presentation on a program Wells Fargo is starting to promote home ownership for Hispanics.

She missed a talk by Vice President-elect Pence. He was more than 20 minutes late and she had other obligations.

She’ll be back in town in time to attend the Women’s March in West Palm Beach on Jan. 21.



Bike the Grassy Waters Preserve this Sunday


This word from the Grassy Waters Preserve:

Hop on your bike and enjoy an easy paced ride through the Northern Everglades on this educational group trail ride Sunday, Dec. 11. Along the way you’ll discover the unique history and ecology of this important hammock forest habitat.

Bring bike, helmet, water, and sunscreen for the ride, which goes from 10-11:30 a.m. on the Hog Hammock Trail, 8537 Northlake Blvd.

Ages 8 and over are invited. The fee is $5 for adults, $2 per child.




Cougars get new home at Palm Beach Zoo


New exhibits at The Palm Beach Zoo & Conservation Society Florida’s wetlands section include the John and Carole Moran ‘Panther Prowl,’ home to cougar Micco and a rescued Florida female panther Sassafras.

Sassy, rescued by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission in Collier-Seminole State Park, was in the temporary care of Naples Zoo before arriving in West Palm Beach.  It is believed the orphan’s mother was hit and killed by a vehicle on U.S. 41 in October 2015.


Mardi, the zoo’s resident white alligator, also received a new spacious home with stunning underwater views. The bald eagle exhibit, the roseate spoonbill, and the ibis exhibits were also upgraded.


Hawaiian voyaging canoe docking in West Palm on mission for sustainable world


The traditional Hawaiian voyaging canoe Hōkūle‘a docked in downtown West Palm Beach at 3:30 p.m. today, Thursday, as part of a voyage covering more than 60,000 nautical miles, highlighting the movement for a more sustainable world.

Visiting 125 ports and 27 nations, the a double-hull sailing vessel travels without modern instruments, using stars, winds and waves to navigate.

Crewmembers are inviting the local community to visit the South dock for a free, in-depth canoe tour on Friday, Dec. 2, from noon to 4 p.m.

To follow the Malama Honua Worldwide Voyage, visit http://hokulea.com/track-the-voyage

Manatee Month…be alert


It’s Manatee Awareness Month and the public can obtain free waterway signage, boating banners and decals, waterway cards, and educational posters to boost awareness.

The shoreline property signs warn boaters to slow down for manatees and feature the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission’s hotline number (1-888-404-3922) to report sick, injured, and orphaned manatees.  The Club also produces outdoor signs for state, municipal, and county parks, marinas, and other sites where human/manatee interactions are a problem.

To obtain any of these free materials, you can email education@savethemanatee.org or call 1-800-432-JOIN (5646) and request these resources.  Educators can also request a free educator’s guide filled with classroom activities and interesting manatee facts.

Save the Manatee Club encourages the public to watch manatees in their natural habitat on the Club’s webcams at ManaTV.org.

Tropical wetland garden breaks ground at Mounts Botanical



Windows on the Floating World: Tropical Wetland Garden is scheduled for groundbreaking at 11 a.m. tomorrow Friday) at Mounts Botanical Garden, 531 North Military Trail in West Palm Beach.

The new garden will feature a series of see-through walkways and permanent and changing aquatic plant displays that will allow visitors to feel and connect to the tropical wetlands around them.

 “The immersive installation of Windows on the Floating World will reveal a full spectrum of the Tropical Wetland Garden at Mounts,” says Ron Rice, Director, Palm Beach County Cooperative Extension. “Boardwalks, benches and displays constructed over and around the wetlands will allow visitors to relax, reflect, and learn about ecology and our critical need to conserve and protect fresh water.”


Expected to open in Spring 2017 and designed by artists Mags Harries and Lajos Héder, in collaboration with Wantman Group’s landscape designers, Windows on the Floating World will feature transparent, open-gridded, 4-foot wide walkways on the surface of the wetlands to give visitors the feeling of walking on water. Within these walks are four “windows” that will be planted with aquatics and changed out with rotating and seasonal botanical exhibits growing from submerged containers. Additional highlights will include waterfalls flowing over natural stone, an area for wading birds, and a wall covered with Bromeliads, offering some of the best foliage colors in the plant kingdom.

“Most importantly, our Windows on the Floating World Tropical Wetland Garden will be a place for demonstration and education,” says Rochelle Wolberg, Interim Operations Manager and Director of Programs at Mounts. “For school children and their teachers, it will be an exceptional model to educate on water quality and usage, and the role each one of us can play in water conservation.”


Top local mural artists picked for Canvas outdoor art show

050116 eos jan pick yoromural (1)
For last year’s CANVAS Outdoor Museum Show, Sean Yoro created a mural on the underside of the Royal Park Bridge. (Joe Capozzi / The Palm Beach Post)

CANVAS Outdoor Museum Show has selected eight artists to participate in the 2016 Local Showdown Nov. 11 in Northwood Village

The Showdown is part of the ten-day CANVAS Outdoor Show that runs through Nov. 20. The winner will receive a position in the CANVAS 2017 artist lineup.

Applicants residing in Palm Beach, Martin, Broward or Miami-Dade county were required to submit work that was unique and suitable for public viewing. The applications were reviewed by a hand-picked selection committee comprised of business leaders and professionals from the area.

The seven selected artists will execute their designs on 20-foot-long shipping containers on 25th Street, in Northwood Village, from Nov. 4 to Nov. 11. Once the murals are completed, the public will have the chance to vote for their favorite CANVAS Local Showdown mural using the official CANVAS Art app, until Nov. 20. The winner will be announced at the closing of CANVAS.

“The goal of CANVAS is to captivate the imagination and enrich public space with art through various mediums,” Nicole Henry, the downtown gallery owner who founded CANVAS said. “During CANVAS Local Showdown, we are bringing people to historic Northwood Village to highlight and promote its artistic and cultural dimensions while beautifying public spaces to further enrich our community.”

The artists participating in this year’s CANVAS Local Showdown include:

  • Jhonattan Arango, Palm Beach County
  • Ron Burkhardt, Palm Beach County
  • Jennifer Chaparro, Martin County
  • Cheryl Maeder and Marilyn Walter, Palm Beach County
  • Eduardo Mendieta, Palm Beach County
  • Ruben Ubiera, Miami-Dade County
  • Luis Valle, Miami-Dade County

CANVAS Local Showdown was created to draw attention to one of the oldest and truly art-centric neighborhoods in West Palm Beach through a central theme of “connection.” The murals will depict the connection theme by illustrating what that means to an artist and to the world that experiences art. CANVAS Local Showdown is sponsored by West Palm Beach Art in Public Places (AiPP), the West Palm Beach Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) and CANVAS Art Charities.

A series of events will take place between now and the launch of CANVAS 2016 including an Art Gala on Oct. 22 at Graffiti Garden Warehouse, 501 Fern St. Proceeds from the gala will support CANVAS Art Charities. Visit www.canvaswpb.org for updates.