Boys & Girls Clubs of Palm Beach County hosts school supply and backpack drive

Members of Boys & Girls Clubs of Palm Beach County show off their new backpack donated by Tropical Shipping in last year’s school supply drive. (contributed)

Boys & Girls Clubs of Palm Beach County is hosting a school supply and backpack drive, from now through July 21, to benefit club children and keep them on track for academic success.

Every year, Boys & Girls Clubs works with community partners to send disadvantaged children to school prepared with the supplies they need to succeed. Community members can donate school supplies or host a supply and backpack drive in their neighborhood or office.

Suggested supplies include backpacks, composition books (wide rule), spiral notebooks, construction paper, copy paper, pencils, pens, color pencils and markers, crayons, highlighters, post-It notes, glue sticks, tape rolls, student scissors and other office supplies.

Donations of gift cards to office supply stores or retail vendors are also welcomed and will be used by the clubs to purchase needed supplies from school-issued lists.

For information and drop-off locations, visit www.bgcpbc.org or call 561-683-3287.

Nursery for newborn kittens expands

Peggy Adams Animal Rescue League this month is expanding its Neonatal Kitten Nursery, a facility that opened last summer to save lives of more newborn kittens that require 24-hour care.

The expansion is scheduled to open Monday, June 26.

With the expansion, scheduled to open Monday, June 26, the shelter will have additional space for the most at-risk orphans. The nursery can now hold up to 80 kittens and is staffed 24-hours a day, 7 days a week by employees of Peggy Adams as well as  volunteers – all specially trained in bottle-feeding and the unique care that is involved in nurturing neonates.

But Rich Anderson, Executive Director/CEO of Peggy Adams Animal Rescue League, urged people who find newborn kittens to resist the urge to take them to a shelter.

“That is actually the last thing you should do,” he said. “Kittens less than four weeks old have little chance of survival if separated from their mothers and taken to a shelter…. No intervention is generally best until kittens can eat on their own.”

For information on what to do if you find kittens, visit PeggyAdams.org/found-kittens-resources.)

After receiving critical care in the nursery, the Peggy Adams kittens are placed with foster families who ready them for adoption. For more information about the Kitten Nursery or fostering, visit PeggyAdams.org or call 561.686.3663.

“Hello Sunshine” theme for West Palm gateway art

West Palm Beach will greet you with rays of morning sunshine, starting next year with the city’s latest Art in Public Places addition.

The city commission this week approved five gateway works of outdoor art, together titled “Hello Sunshine,” by West Coast art collective Aphidoidea.

Each of the city’s five commission districts will get its own cluster of yellow sun rays. Each will include the city’s logo, as well as an individual representation of its district.

The District 1 piece will be at 45th Street and Australian Avenue. District 2’s will be in a new roundabout at Cumberland Drive and Saratoga Road.

District 3’s work will be in the Okeechobee Boulevard median. District 4’s will be on the sidewalk at Northlake Boulevard and Grassy Waters Preserve. And in the South End, District 5’s will be either at Phipps Park or the intersection of S. Dixie Highway and Gregory Road, still to be determined.

Science center to add brain center, thanks to 100k donation

Rendering of the upcoming exhibit, “Journey Through the Human Brain” (Contributed by: Science Center)

This, from the South Florida Science Center and Aquarium:

The Stiles-Nicholson Foundation, headed by Science Center Board member Dr. David J. S. Nicholson, has made a $100,000 gift to the South Florida Science Center and Aquarium to name its recently-completed multipurpose center building.

The new 5,000-square-foot building will be called The Stiles-Nicholson STEM Education Center. It will serve as headquarters for several STEM science education programs as well as host School District senior staff meetings, meetings of the STEM Advisory Council and other related functions. Set between a large park meadow and a pond edge, the Stiles-Nicholson STEM Education Center has been designed to become the “hub of the hub” for the Science Center’s efforts to serve as the anchor coordinating institution for informal science education in Palm Beach County.

The education center features classroom environments suitable for workshops and creative spaces with 3D printers, robotics labs and computer coding and programming spaces.

The funds contributed by the Stiles-Nicholson Foundation to name this center will be added to funds already raised to construct the Science Center’s new permanent exhibit, Journey Through the Human Brain, a $2 million project in partnership with Florida Atlantic University’s newly-created Brain Institute, headed by Dr. Randy Blakely.

The Science Center’s new Journey Through the Human Brain exhibit will take a bottom-up approach to telling the story of the human brain, from the molecular and cellular level to the integrated circuitry that creates hopes, fears and memories. According to Science Center leadership, the goal is to break ground early next year on the exhibit which will be comprised of four galleries.

2) Dr. David J. S. Nicholson and Dr. Robert Avossa, Superintendent of Palm Beach County Schools, pose at a recent South Florida Science Center and Aquarium event (Photo: CAPEHART).

The Stiles-Nicholson Foundation was formed in 1992 in memory of William John Stiles and William Nicholson, the father and step-father of David John Stiles Nicholson, with the mission to improve and enhance the education of citizens to better understand the benefits of the free enterprise system and how best to cope and succeed in the real world.

 

Looking up: West Palm Beach by the numbers

The Bristol (artist’s rendering).

The city has dozens of projects on its wish list that will take years to complete, depending mainly on how money is tapped to pay for them, whether from bonds, state or federal grants or local taxes and fees.

Some of these projects got knocked off this year, from the El Cid dock replacement, to Northwood Street improvement and Tamarind safety and streetscape work. Others are in progress: the Westward Park pump and waterfall replacements, Curie Park dredging, Fire Station No. 4 replacement, and more. Still more are lined up.

The good news from the Finance Department this week is a projection money will continue to roll in from property taxes, which account for 42 percent of West Palm’s revenue.

Here are a few key numbers:

  • $11.8 billion: Value of property in West Palm Beach this year, compared to $11.0 billion in 2016 and $9.9 billion in 2015.
  • $2,373,352,734: Value of recently completed, under construction, approved and potential real estate projects. The more that’s built, the more property tax money is collected to pay for city services.

New residential projects coming on line include The Bristol, valued at $551 billion, and The Alexander, $32.7 million.

New commercial projects include Banyan Cay, $201 million, and Restoration Hardware’s gallery, $14.4 million.

Packed workshop hears bevy of potential fixes for Okeechobee corridor jams

A receptive group of 300 West Palm Beach residents packed a convention center workshop Thursday night to hear consultants lay out potential solutions to downtown’s busiest and most vexing entryway, the Okeechobee Boulevard corridor.

The consultants, a team assembled by Alta Planning + Design, laid out a bevy of long- and short-term options, from depressing the Tri-Rail tracks to adding roundabouts, turning the Tent Site into a transit hub for better bus routes, creating Clear Lake bike trails that more easily access downtown and Flagler Drive, eliminating or narrowing lanes and reconfiguring intersections to slow traffic and ease pedestrian crossings.

What about a one-block Okeechobee Boulevard tunnel with a grassy plaza on top? What about an elevated bike bridge over Clear Lake highway ramps, or a multi-directional pedestrian bridge linking City Place, the Kravis Center and the Convention Center? A park and ride lot just west of I-95 with free shuttle service to your office? The consultants took ideas they and the public put forth over the prior three days and they went over the pros and cons.

No decisions yet. The discussion was part of a larger mobility study still underway, to examine ways to make it easier to get around the entire city. But the talk made it clear there’s more than one way to get from Point A to Point B.

We’ll post details later today or early tomorrow. Stay tuned.

And to keep tabs on the mobility study’s progress, you can check out WPBmobility.com.

The answers to all West Palm Beach’s traffic problems?

The city’s four-day traffic study charrette concludes this evening, as consultants Alta Planning + Design present potential fixes to downtown congestion. It’s the first draft of a plan, as the consultants prepare to continue their work through the summer.

The sessions for the past three afternoons at the Palm Beach County Convention Center have invited input from residents and discussion with the consultants. They focused mainly on Okeechobee Boulevard and how it feeds commuters into downtown.

All options were on the table, from tunnels, to depressing the train tracks, to narrowing roadways, improving bus and trolley service and bicycle pathways, and turning the Tent Site into a transit hub.

Tonight’s concluding session starts at 5:30 p.m., again in the convention center.

If you go, be careful crossing Okeechobee.

 

A rite of passageway for Subculture Coffee

Sean and Natalie Scott at Subculture Coffee. (J. Gwendolynne Berry/The Palm Beach Post)

News the Downtown Action Committee approved a landscaped, illuminated walkway connecting Banyan Boulevard with the 500 block of Clematis Street brought cheer an ocean away, where the co-owner of West Palm’s Subculture Coffee, Sean Scott, was traveling in — of course — Scotland.

The committee, in approving a 348 micro-unit apartment called Banyan Place, OK’d plans to turn a 20-foot-wide alley between the east side of the proposed building and a city parking garage into an attractive cut-through to downtown’s premier street, by way of Subculture’s courtyard.

“We’ve always wanted to activate the whole passageway since we licensed the front part,” he wrote in an email before boarding a plane home.

“When we were told it was going to happen, we were thrilled! It’s such a unique space that could just add another dimension to the flourishing 500 block. I look forward to helping program events whenever it’s finished.”

Scott, with a couple of entrepreneurial friends, has been working on a plan to turn the side of the five-story city garage into an urban climbing wall, which received city approval several months ago but has yet to materialize. “We hit some snags with financing it,” he wrote. “Not a dead project but still trying to work through it.”

Artist’s rendering of proposed urban climbing wall.

Micro-apartments get OK, with Banyan-Clematis pedestrian passageway

Artist’s rendering of proposed Banyan Place micro-apartments.

A plan for micro-apartments that would change the mix of West Palm Beach residential options got the approval of the Downtown Action Committee Wednesday morning. The city commission is scheduled to vote on final approval Monday.

The DAC unanimously approved developer Jeff Greene’s Banyan Place project, a 12-story building at the corner of Banyan Boulevard and Rosemary Avenue that would include 348 apartments that range in living area from 340 to 560 square feet.

Greene has said he hopes to rent the units for under $1,000 a month, well below the going rate for full-sized downtown apartments.

The project includes an extra plus for denizens of downtown: opening a pedestrian passageway on its east side, from Banyan to Clematis Street, connecting through the courtyard of popular Subculture Coffee on Clematis. Currently that area is an alley that dead-ends in the middle, preventing any connection between the boulevard and street.

Also planned for that passageway, which is a 20-foot-wide strip between the apartment building and a city garage: A venture associated with Subculture plans to build a recreational climbing wall on the side of the garage.

There’ll be lighting and landscaping along the passageway as well.

 

Best photos by the best photographers, on display downtown

A 2015 Photographer of the Year International winner: A protester takes shelter from tear gas canisters exploding around him in Ferguson, Missouri. On this night protesters attempted to throw Molotov cocktails, rocks and bottles at police. This was the fourth straight night police used tear gas to disperse crowds protesting the death of Michael Brown. (David Carson/St Louis Post-Dispatch/ZUMAPRESS.com)

Palm Beach Photographic Centre’s 3rd Annual Best in Show Festival is showcasing pictures and photojournalists honored at the annual Pictures of the Year International (POYi) Competition, the world’s oldest and most prestigious photojournalism competition.

The mission of the competition, based at the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute at the Missouri School of Journalism, is to recognize excellence in documentary photography and photojournalism.

Palm Beach Photographic Centre is located at 415 Clematis St. For more information, visit http://www.workshop.org. The exhibit is open through mid-August.