A Treasure Coast woman who says she owes her life to the Affordable Care Act will accompany U.S. Rep. Lois Frankel, D-West Palm Beach, to today’s Joint Session of Congress speech by President Trump.
Sherry Riggs, 55, a Fort Pierce mother of three who suffers from a life-threatening heart condition, hopes to meet with members of Congress and let them know what the ACA has meant to her and her family, Frankel said.
Trump and congressional Republicans have vowed to repeal and replace the law.
Riggs a barber, moved from Michigan to South Florida. Following her divorce two years ago, Riggs found her health deteriorating and no longer had health insurance. “Her attempts to get coverage that she could afford through the private market were unsuccessful until she discovered the Affordable Care Act Marketplace,” according to a release from Frankel’s office.
“Despite her serious pre-existing condition she was able to sign up for insurance for a small monthly payment,” the release said. “Five months after enrollment she suffered major heart attacks and underwent two surgeries, including an open-heart bypass. She is still recovering and unable to work full time. For affordable medication and continued care of her ongoing heart conditions, Riggs’s life depends on the ACA.”
BallenIsles Charities Foundation has raised $500,000 that it will present Feb. 28 in grants to 42 charities in West Palm Beach and throughout the county.
The amount, a record for the volunteer, nonprofit effort based in Palm Beach Gardens, brings the cumulative grants awarded by the foundation to more than $1.7 million over the six years since its formation.
The 2017 beneficiaries include:
ADOPT A FAMILY OF THE PALM BEACHES, INC.
Provides homeless students with school clothes, supplies, hygiene items.
ALLAMANDA ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
Provides popular and favorite author series and series books to 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade classrooms.
ALZHEIMER’S COMMUNITY CARE
Provides I.D. Locator Services for a Nurse Consultant to train and counsel care givers of patients.
BACK TO BASICS
Provides sets of school clothes to needy children.
BOYS & GIRLS CLUBS OF PALM BEACH COUNTY, INC.
Provides children with educational material for the already successful robotics program.
BUSCH WILDLIFE SANCTUARY
Provides funding for a large animal transit trailer and mobile disaster command unit.
CARIDAD CENTER, INC.
Provides dental visits to children of the working poor.
CARSON SCHOLARS FUND
Provides funding for a reading room in an elementary school.
CENTER FOR CHILD COUNSELING
Provides for a therapist for children in need before moving to foster care or other safe venues.
Provides funding for daily operational expenses of food, hygiene items, stuffed animal for abused, abandoned and neglected children.
CHILDREN’S HOME SOCIETY OF FLORIDA
Provides for mother and baby in the Transitions Home program.
CLINICS CAN HELP
Provides new pediatric adaptive wheelchairs to children with special needs.
FEED THE HUNGRY
Provides meals to the hungry.
FIRST TEE OF THE PALM BEACHES
Provides program funding for those with special needs, disabilities and kids from low income families.
Provides care for children removed from their homes due to neglet or abuse
Provides treatment for mother and her baby
H.A.C.E.R. MINISTRY CORP.
Provides families with 15-16 lbs. of food twice per month and supports the Thanksgiving Project.
HABITAT FOR HUMANITY OF PALM BEACH COUNTY, INC.
Provides funding for The Weitz Construction Academy at Seminole Ridge High School to Build 1 Home.
HEALTHY MOTHERS, HEALTHY BABIES COALITION OF PBC, INC.
Provides Babies with infant packs containing diapers, baby formula, baby food, bottle, and spoon.
INLET GROVE COMMUNITY HIGH SCHOOL
Provides licenses to access computer program reading material.
JACK THE BIKE MAN, INC.
Provides supplies needed to repair the bikes as well as bike helmets, bike chains and locks.
Provides in school classes teaching children about abuse and personal safety.
MCCARTHY’S WILDLIFE SANCTUARY, INC.
Provides for the funding of a new van used to transport animals.
NATIONAL COUNCIL OF JEWISH WOMEN PALM BEACH SECTION
Provides for a Kids Closet stocked with school clothing for a Title One School.
PALM BEACH COUNTY FOOD BANK
Provides food for the weekend to children and their families for nine weeks.
Oxbridge Academy students have been playing miniature golf during school hours. But with the best of intentions.
More than 100 students at the high school on Military Trail participated in a project to design and build a nine-hole course using their SMARTS — science, math and arts — skills.
Some used geometry and the Pythagorean Theorum to design layouts and calculate proper placement of tee pads and holes. Others scaled up the blueprints to size. Woodshop skills came into play. Science students instructed sculpture students about the physics behind simple mechanics.
The course, set in grass behind the main building, includes holes themed as a beach and lighthouse, a Hawaiian volcano, Dutch windmill, and the Eiffel Tower with the Great Wall of China.
Sculpture teacher and chair of visual arts Sarah Knouse, and math teacher Sheri Viggiano led students through the project. Prominent professional golf course designer Tom Fazio II, whose daughter attends the school, also consulted, and participated in Friday’s ribbon-cutting.
Fazio said that as a student he always complained about having to learn math and thinking he’d never use it. As it turned out, his work requires knowledge of architecture, engineering, building and math. “I use it every day,” he said.
The 7th Annual CityPlace Art Fair comes to Rosemary Avenue April 1 and 2, featuring more than 100 artists’ tents, arranged gallery-style and filled with all mediums of fine art.
The free, outdoor event runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.both days.
Residents and visitors are invited to stroll amidst life-size sculptures, paintings, jewels, photography, ceramics and more from the local and national artists who are on site to discuss their inspirations and processes for each hand-made work. The Art Fair is family-friendly and pets on leashes are welcomed.
The Related Cos. took its community outreach effort to the Chamber of Commerce of the Palm Beaches Thursday, part of an extended effort to overcome resistance to its proposed 25-story waterfront office tower.
The city in October rejected a plan that would have allowed the New York-based development firm to build a 30-story version of the tower, which is proposed for a site whose zoning allows a maximum of five stories. The city plan would have allowed builders to get approval for additional height by preserving and buying development rights from historic buildings, but dozens of residents opposed it, in favor of keeping tall buildings off the waterfront.
Related now is shopping a proposal for a 25-story, 275,000-square-foot tower on the site at South Flagler Drive and Lakeview Avenue, behind the First Church of Christ, Scientist.
A 200-foot reflecting pool would lead to the building from Flagler Drive, inspired by the I.M. Pei design of the Christian Science church in Boston.
Related Senior Vice President Gopal Rajegowda said the church would be preserved in perpetuity with an endowment. “We have put a perpetual conservation easement on land to the north, south and east of the church and the marina space directly to the east of the Church– so nothing can be built on that property,” he said.
Downtown West Palm is starved for top quality office space, especially with water views. Business Development Board Executive Director Kelly Smallridge told the gathering of several hundred business people at the chamber breakfast that many companies want to move to West Palm but are going elsewhere because they can’t find room.
Nancy Pullum, who heads development watchdog group Citizens for Thoughtful Growth, said Thursday that the city still hasn’t addressed how it would handle traffic generated by the project — a major issue, as Okeechobee Boulevard traffic grows thicker by the week.
And, since spot-zoning changes to accommodate one property are not legal, what’s not known is how the city would allow bigger towers elsewhere downtown in addition to Related’s site, she said. “You can’t build it now. What’s the proposal that would change that zoning?”
Urban Land Institute Southeast Florida/Caribbean and the West Palm Beach Downtown Development Authority invite the public to hear from developers and other experts March 10 on the most significant projects in the city.
The program explores real estate investment trends, creative development strategies, and projections on the opportunities ahead. The event takes place from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Hilton West Palm Beach, 600 Okeechobee Blvd.
(This item, courtesy of The Palm Beach Tech Association.)
The Palm Beach Tech Association has been awarded $150,000 to open a collaborative workspace for emerging entrepreneurs and early-stage startups in downtown West Palm Beach.
The award included a $100,000 grant from the Knight Foundation, $25,000 from the city’s downtown Community Redevelopment Agency and $25,000 from several private companies including Achieve.
“This innovative project is a great example of how the City of West Palm Beach is not only open FOR business, but it is open TO business as well. Our entrepreneur class is quickly becoming a cornerstone of our growing business economy,” Mayor Jeri Muoio said.
The Palm Beach Tech Space is currently operating in its soft opening with options for part-time, full-time and 24/7 access. There will also be dedicated desks, private offices and perks like discounts at local
businesses and free in-house Subculture Coffee.
“This is a great opportunity for entrepreneurs,” said Clay Williams, CEO of Achieve and Palm Beach Tech Board Member. “The workspace offers everything a start-up needs, and this collaborative environment will ultimately result in greater and more innovative ideas.”
The moratorium, given preliminary approval Feb. 13 by the city commission, will be in effect until Oct. 1, unless commissioners decide otherwise.
The city is waiting for state lawmakers to decide on pending bills that would regulate the business.
Florida voters last November approved expanding availability of medical pot for conditions from cancer to epilepsy, ALS, Parkinson’s, MS, Crohn’s and PTSD.
But West Palm is waiting for state lawmakers to approve regulations of its own before the city adds rules.
The following ordinance passed without controversy:
“AN ORDINANCE OF THE CITY COMMISSION OF THE CITY OF WEST PALM BEACH, FLORIDA, DECLARING A MORATORIUM AS TO THE FILING OF APPLICATIONS FOR CANNABIS DISPENSING FACILITIES AND MEDICAL MARIJUANA TREATMENT CENTERS WITHIN THE CITY OF WEST PALM BEACH AND DECLARING A ZONING IN PROGRESS TO COMPLETE DEVELOPMENT OF ZONING AND LAND DEVELOPMENT REGULATIONS FOR THE PLACEMENT OF
CANNABIS DISPENSING FACILITIES AND MEDICAL MARIJUANA TREATMENT CENTERS.”