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.

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.

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.

Turning empty storefronts into business start-ups

Roog

A proposal by West Palm Beach to turn empty storefronts into pop-up rentals for small businesses or start-ups has won a $180,000 grant from the Knight Cities Challenge.

The proposal, “12 for 12: Popup to Rent,” submitted by Economic Development Director Christopher Roog, expands on the success of a pilot project by inviting local businesses to activate 12 empty stores as an economic catalyst for the city.

Roog worked with urban planning firm Gehl Architects, gathering data about downtown activity and in particular about retail spaces that weren’t active. He came up with the idea to ask landlords to donate the spaces for use by small businesses or start-ups to occupy the slots on a temporary basis, and with a marketing effort, “maybe have an event with some food trucks, some cool lighting,” to help activate the street and give the start-ups a shot at success, he said in January, when the project was named as a finalist.

The project is one of 33 announced today by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation that will share $5 million as winners of the Knight Cities Challenge. Each of the ideas centers on helping cities attract and keep talented people, expand economic opportunities and create a culture of civic engagement.

“The Knight Cities Challenge works to uncover the ideas, people and collaborations that help to advance deeper civic engagement and contribute to city success,” said Sam Gill, Knight Foundation vice president for communities and impact. “The winners join a network of civic innovators who are showing us the ways in which our cities can shape their futures to help solve pressing challenges and create new opportunities.”

The challenge attracted more than 4,500 ideas to make the 26 communities where Knight invests more vibrant places to live and work. It asked innovators of all kinds to answer the question: What’s your best idea to make cities more successful? One project in Palm Beach County is receiving a portion of the $5 million pool.

The 33 winners proposed a host of ideas, from providing a space for Philadelphians to develop city service solutions through a traveling city design lab to further enlivening the Detroit waterfront by creating an inviting, urban beach along the city’s Atwater Street, from replacing an inoperative freeway in Akron with a lush forest and public space to connect two physically and socially isolated neighborhoods to reimagining Columbia, South Carolina’s State House as a front porch for all.

“These Knight Cities Challenge winners will help to create avenues for people to contribute to their community. Their ideas propose to bring together diverse residents, ensure talent thrives, and connect people to place, giving them a stake in city-building,” said George Abbott, Knight Foundation director for community and national initiatives.

The list of winners is at: http://kng.ht/kcc2017

Past winners have created innovative solutions aimed at connecting people of all backgrounds and incomes, inviting people into active civic engagement and helping keep and attract talented people in their communities, the foundation said. They include: The Institute of Hip-Hop Entrepreneurship, which uses hip-hop to provide hands-on business training to members of low-income groups in Philadelphia; Re:Brand Detroit, which aims to spark reinvestment in Detroit’s neighborhoods through entrepreneurship; and Minimum Grid Maximum Impact, which improves neighborhood life by creating a network of bike and pedestrian connections between Midtown and Uptown Columbus, Georgia.

Care to guess how much the city rakes in from parking meters?

Here’s a good party trivia stumper for you, kids:

Question: How much does West Palm Beach rake in from its annoying parking meters every year?

Answer: The Parking System pulls in more than $6.9 million a year in total revenue, based on the current city budget. Just over $2.6 million of that comes from parking meters.

The city’s fiscal year runs from Oct. 1 to Sept. 30. So far, according to Finance Director Mark Parks, as of May 31 the city has parked $4,147,786 in its coffers; Of that,the meter revenue is $1,517,225.

SunTrust bank in West Palm Beach closes

The SunTrust bank branch at the corner of South Dixie and Belvedere has closed.

Movers were hauling away the loan officers’ desks, pens on chains and other furnishings Wednesday. No bundles of money in sight, though.

Where the ATM once dispensed cash was now just a gaping hole in the exterior wall, near the front entry.

 

Water plant tractor sends 340-foot radio tower to ground

 

110116-wpb-radio-tower-3

A 340-foot tall radio tower at the city water plant crashed to the ground at 9:36 a.m. Monday after a worker’s tractor clipped one of its support cables.

where-it-broke
Guy wire down

Two trucks parked at the Banyan Boulevard plant were crushed but no one was injured and city emergency communications were not interrupted, city officials said.

The tractor was moving sludge from one part of the water treatment plant to another when it hit the guy wires, sending the antenna to the ground in a twisted heap of metal latticework.

Pickup kaput
Pickup kaput

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The 30-year-old tower, which was about to be decommissioned, was used to remotely monitor and control sewer lift stations and other water system pumps around the city.

A new, free-standing replacement tower next to it was undamaged and it took two hours to reprogram computers to reroute the monitoring capabilities through it, Deputy City Administrator Dorritt Miller said. Meanwhile, city workers traveled to inspect lift stations, she said.

parking-problem
Seemed like a good parking spot at the time

Neither sewer operations nor police and fire communication — the main reason the new tower was completed in July — were affected, Miller said.

The new tower, also 340-feet-tall, one of three around the city, stands barely 10 feet from the base of the one that came crashing down.

crumpled
Checking base of the fallen radio tower

Silvio Espinoza, a telecommunications technician for the city, said he had just finished testing the old tower’s monitoring system when he got a call from a dispatcher saying the system wasn’t working.

He didn’t believe it. “I’m saying, ‘check your battery.'” Then all the alarms went off, he said.

Miller said the crumpled tower would be dismantled and carted away.

silvio

Telecom Tech Silvio Espinoza