West Palm in code name mode as companies shop the city

The city is considering dishing out about $100,000 to attract two unidentified firms, one in aerospace/aviation, the other in life sciences.

City commission votes are scheduled for July 17 for “Project Falcon” and “Project Cell,” respectively.

According to the commission agenda, Project Falcon is the code name for an aerospace or aviation firm that wants to relocate to the city with 450 jobs and create an additional 200 over the next five years.

The jobs would have an average salary of about $66,000.

The state would pay the biggest part of the incentives package, $640,000, while the county would match the city’s $80,000.

The same company was recently shopping locations in Palm Beach Gardens, as well.

Project Cell, meanwhile, is the code name for a life sciences firm that would move seven jobs to West Palm Beach and add 15 more over the next year, with an average salary of $76,000.

The city would pay $18,000 in incentives for Project Cell and Florida would pay $72,000.

FOR MORE DETAILS….http://www.mypalmbeachpost.com/news/why-west-palm-considering-paying-100k-lure-two-new-companies/Px13TGtUOuukCYCeHSGrbJ/

Free classes in short story writing at downtown library

A free class in “Mastering the Short Story,” starts at 6 p.m. today with Nicole Cassanetti as presenter in the Mandel Public Library.

Cassanetti gives participants an in-depth look at the art of short story writing, covering a different aspect each week, from the first idea for a story to getting it published.

She will examine elements of good storytelling that will help each writer gain the tools to write compelling short stories.

No registration needed. The classes take place from 6-8 p.m., Mondays, July 3 10, 17 and 24.

For more information, call the library at 561-868-7701. The Mandel Public Library is at 411 Clematis St. There’s inexpensive parking at the city garages on Clematis and Banyan Boulevard.

How do you want West Palm Beach to spend your money?

Mayor Jeri Muoio and City Commissioners are inviting the public to participate in a series of Community Budget Workshops, as they make decisions about which projects and programs get how much money.

The new budget year starts Oct. 1 and the planning process has begun. Time for the public to weigh in.

The workshops will be hosted by Mayor Muoio, Chief Financial Officer Mark Parks, and Budget Manager Linda McDermott. They will be held in each of the City’s five districts:

  • July 24, 6 p.m.: Fire Station #3, 5050 Broadway (District 1).
  • July 26, 6 p.m.: Fire Station #5, 500 N. Congress (District 2).
  • July 27, 6 p.m.: Flagler Gallery at City Hall (District 3).
  •  Aug. 1, 6 p.m.: Fire Station #7, 8011 Okeechobee Blvd. (District 4).
  • Aug. 2, 6 p.m.: Location to be announced, in the Northwest (District 3).
  • Aug. 3, 6 p.m.: Fire Station #2, 4301 S. Dixie Highway (District 5).

    For more information, contact Budget Manager Linda McDermott at 561-822-1342.

“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.

 

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.