Acreage Residents Move Forward With Lawsuit Over Cancer Cluster and Soil Contamination

Categories: Palm Beach News

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Win Henderson via Wikimedia Commons
Cancer clusters -- hot zones of highly contaminated turf that see a spike in disease -- are incredibly hard cases to win in court. Not only do they take years of legal battle and involve a lot of high-end science but usually such cases pit homeowners against corporations with boatloads of money to burn on endless litigation. In rural Palm Beach, a battle between residents of an unincorporated patch of the county and a defense contractor has shaped up along those David-versus-Goliath lines.

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City Planner: Traffic Lanes on Okeechobee Boulevard Should Be Narrowed So Drivers Go Slower

Categories: Palm Beach News

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Photo by osseous via Flickr CC
Traffic downtown ain't no joke!
By Michelle de Carion

Correction: The original version of this story identified Speck as a traffic engineer. He is a city planner.

A city planner writing in The Atlantic minces no words when he accuses the Florida Department of Transportation of the "greatest pedestrian massacre in U.S. history."

FDOT and similar agencies "have blood on their hands, and more than a little," he says.

Jeff Speck says the agency's implementation of 12-foot-wide lanes instead of ten-foot lanes encourages drivers to go faster than they should, making Florida streets unsafe for bikers and pedestrians. He calls out Okeechobee Boulevard in downtown West Palm Beach as an example and suggests its lanes should be narrowed.

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Joe Biden in Boca Today Campaigning for Charlie Crist

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photo: Ian Witlen
Vice President Joe Biden is hitting up Boca and Broward on Monday to do a little campaigning for Charlie Crist.

The vice president will be making the rounds with Crist, first at a synagogue in Boca Raton, then later at Broward College's Coconut Creek campus.

Biden's wife, Dr. Jill Biden, will also be in Palm Beach County, making an appearance with Crist's running mate, Annette Taddeo, at Florida Atlantic University on Monday.


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Lawsuit: Riviera Beach Police Harassed and Humiliated Citizen Who Complained About Them

Categories: Palm Beach News

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Elvert Barnes/ Flickr Creative Commons
A civil lawsuit filed last week in Palm Beach County claims that since June 20, 2010, Riviera Beach police have been waging "a campaign of terror and harassment" against resident James Terry in violation of his liberty and property rights."

His attorney, Craig Lawson, says police have been harassing Terry "we think because he started filing citizen complaints after the initial complaint [in 2010], and it's been downhill from there."

He said that Terry had a prior conviction (in 2007, for cocaine-related charges) but that "they're police officers. They do whatever they want to do."

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Palm Beach County Commission Strikes Down New Baseball Stadium

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Josh Hallett via Wikimedia Commons

Correction: an earlier version of this story mixed up details of competing proposals before Palm Beach County and the city of West Palm Beach. Corrections are in strikethroughs and editor's notes below.

On Tuesday, the Palm Beach County Commission voted down a proposition to build a $140.1 million spring training stadium for major league ball clubs Houston Astros and Washington Nationals.

The vote was a close 4-3, with commissioners Mary Lou Berger and Steven Abrams saying they'd voted yes if awarding hotel bed taxes for the stadium remained constant.

[[Editor's note: The teams have hoped that the City of West Palm Beach would donate a 160-acre parcel of property for the site, and that the county would provide funds over 30 years to pay for the development of the site. But the city has been adamant that it be be compensated for the property, and was recently approached by a private company that is willing to pay $14 million for the land, in hopes of building homes and park on the site. This proposed project has been dubbed "Project Cayman."]]

The initial proposal, which came from a private company, included apartments, townhouses, and single-family homes as well as industrial and commercial that would have covered a 160-acre site in Lake Worth.


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Rod Stewart, Palm Beach Resident, Sued for Soccer Ball Stunt

Categories: Palm Beach News

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Sayre Berman
Rod Stewart at the BankAtlantic (now BB&T) Center in 2012.
Rod Stewart had only two ambitions growing up: to be a footballer or a musician. As a North London boy, he performed poorly in school and turned his attention to sport. An Arsenal fanatic, he tried out for a third-division team in 1960 only to be rejected. Not skipping a beat, the lad turned his attention toward singing, ultimately ending up as the voice -- if not the name -- of the Jeff Beck Group. Not bad for a second choice.

But as a recent lawsuit in Las Vegas claims, the aging rocker's past meant he had a pretty swift kick. Even if he wasn't good enough for a third-division team 50 years ago, he should have known his own strength. According to a recent court filing, combining his two lifelong passions has now gotten Rod the Mod in trouble.

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Vanilla Ice and Rick Scott Are Selling Palm Beach Tourism Together

Categories: Palm Beach News

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via Twitter
Stop.

Collaborate.

LISTEN.

Word to everybody's mother in Palm Beach County.

That's right. Vanilla Ice teamed up with Gov. Rick Scott to form a dynamic duo of selling tourism at a gala held at the Boca Raton Resort and Club in Palm Beach on Monday night.

Ice -- whose real name is Rob Van Winkle -- surprised the more than 1,000 state tourism leaders attending the function when he jumped up onstage and took the mic like a vandal to perform his hit "Ice Ice Baby" with the Palm Beach Symphony. As Vanilla Ice rapped, several ballerinas from Ballet Palm Beach glided around him onstage.

The performance and collaboration with Scott was part of the annual Florida Governor's Conference on Tourism and something Van Winkle said was not about politics.

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Wellington Ranked Among Most Boring Places in Florida

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via Wikimedia Commons
Back in March, the real estate blog Motovo used its calculations and numbers to proclaim Fort Lauderdale among the most exciting cities in all the land.

However, it had quite the opposite to say about the tiny Palm Beach County village affectionately known as Wellington.

In a ranking of all the boring places in Florida, Wellington and its horse-loving community comes out as the sixth-most-boring.

See also: Fort Lauderdale Named Seventh "Most Exciting" Midsized City

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Five Reasons Howard Stern Will Fit in Perfectly in Palm Beach

Categories: Palm Beach News

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Photo by Bill Norton via Wikipedia Commons
Last year, the King of All Media bought a house for $52 million on Palm Beach. Howard Stern, as he's also known, lived in the five-bedroom custom mansion only part time. But now, according to Gossip Extra, he's planning to become a permanent Florida resident. The site claims that the shock jock is one of many wealthy New Yorkers making the move down South and that the exodus has to do with Mayor Bill de Blasio's plan to impose additional taxes on high-income residents.

Whatever the reason, we want to welcome Stern. And we think he'll fit right in. It might not seem like it, given that the Private Parts author is known for a character named Fartman and that his neighbors are three times more likely to be conservative than liberal (and that Stern, who once ran as the Libertarian candidate for New York governor, is moving to a place with five registered Libertarians.) Still, we're confident it will be a smooth transition. Here's why:

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John Goodman Wants His Entire DUI Manslaughter Retrial Moved Out of Palm Beach

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Last week, news broke that the jury selection for the DUI manslaughter retrial of Wellington polo magnate John Goodman would not be happening in Palm Beach but, rather, in Tampa.

Chief Judge Manuel Menendez told the Tampa Tribune that jury selection, which is slated to begin October 6, would be happening on the other side of the state to meet a request by the defense to have prospective jurors chosen outside of Palm Beach in order to better get a more partial jury. The decision for this was made by Chief Circuit Judge Jeffrey Colbath.

Now the defense is asking Colbath to have not just the jury but the entire trial set outside of Palm Beach.

See also: John Goodman Jury Selection Happening in Tampa; Lawyers on Both Sides Surprised by This News

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