• Introducing the New Palm Beach Civic Association
  • Participate in the Civic Association Health Care Survey
  • Bacteria Leads To ‘No Swimming Advisory’ in Town of Palm Beach
  • You're Invited to the Civic Association Holiday Party This Week!
  • This Week in Palm Beach 12-13-2014

 

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Introducing the New Palm Beach Civic Association
Perhaps you’ve noticed that everything is new and exciting at the Palm Beach Civic Association.  We’ve changed our image.  Our logo is fresh and updated; so is our web site.  We’ve added new staff and expanded our programs to appeal to a wider Palm Beach audience. Our research shows that the Civic Association is well known and highly regarded in the community.  Our members rely on us for information on local issues and they value our programs.
Participate in the Civic Association Health Care Survey
The Palm Beach Civic Association Health Care Committee seeks your input on health care in our area.  Please help us by taking this brief online survey.  Your assistance is greatly appreciated.
Bacteria Leads To ‘No Swimming Advisory’ in Town of Palm Beach
A “No Swimming Advisory” has been issued for the Town of Palm Beach’s public beach because of high bacterial levels in the water, county health officials said late Tuesday. Recent water samples taken from the public access area showed that levels were higher than acceptable for enterococci — a bacteria that can cause infections if swallowed or absorbed into the skin. Read More (Palm Beach Post)   UPDATE: High bacteria levels close Midtown Beach in the Town of Palm Beach Read More (Palm Beach Daily News)
You're Invited to the Civic Association Holiday Party This Week!
You're invited to the Civic Association Holiday Party 2014 happening this week on Thursday! This is a Civic Association Members Only event.
Civic Association Candidate Debate Jan. 12, 10 a.m.
The Town of Palm Beach Caucus is January 6, 2015, at 8:00 p.m. at the Town Council Chambers, 360 S. County Road. Nominations will be heard for Town Council seats and Mayor. The Town of Palm Beach Municiple General Election is February 3, 2015, 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
There’s More to Aging than Birthdays
By: Dian Vujovich, Civic Association Contributing Editor. If there were only three things to say about Scott Greenberg’s presentation at the Palm Beach Civic Association’s member luncheon Monday, Nov. 17, they would be: The food was great, the speaker even better and everyone left smiling.
When Justice O’Connor Speaks Everyone Listens
By: Dian Vujovich, Civic Association Contributing Editor The line began forming outside The Esther B. O’Keeffe Gallery Building more than an hour before retired Associate Justice Sandra Day O’Connor was scheduled to speak. A line with hundreds of people, all patiently awaiting an opportunity to see and hear America’s first female Supreme Court Justice.
Port of Palm Beach Fights to Keep Cruise Business Afloat
The Port of Palm Beach is fighting to keep its cruise business. CBS 12 has learned the port is considering offering new economic incentives to the company that operates the Bahamas Celebration.
Top Stories
Introducing the New Palm Beach Civic Association
Posted by R. Michael Brown
Published: Wednesday, 17 December 2014 07:28

Perhaps you’ve noticed that everything is new and exciting at the Palm Beach Civic Association.  We’ve changed our image.  Our logo is fresh and updated; so is our web site.  We’ve added new staff and expanded our programs to appeal to a wider Palm Beach audience.

Our research shows that the Civic Association is well known and highly regarded in the community.  Our members rely on us for information on local issues and they value our programs.

This season, we will build on our success and take the Palm Beach Civic Association to a new level.  We will host candidates’ debates, a major holiday party at the Breakers, and an awards luncheon with NBC’s Brian Williams.

Our many committees will engage in every important issue from health care to underground utilities.  We will work to keep the North Bridge open and resist Port of Palm Beach expansion.  Former County Commissioner Karen Marcus, our consultant, will guide us in addressing major Palm Beach County concerns.

First Republic Bank is our Civic Association premier corporate partner this season.  This truly outstanding financial institution will share in our mission and underwrite our efforts to improve the Palm Beach community.

I welcome you to the new Palm Beach Civic Association.  We are on the move here.  Please join us in keeping Palm Beach the special one-of-a-kind tropical Paradise we call home.

Bob Wright
Chairman and CEO

Top Stories
Participate in the Civic Association Health Care Survey
Posted by R. Michael Brown
Published: Wednesday, 17 December 2014 04:46

The Palm Beach Civic Association Health Care Committee seeks your input on health care in our area.  Please help us by taking this brief online survey.  Your assistance is greatly appreciated.

The survey asks for your feedback about access to primary care physicians, specialists, hospitals, and support services. Polling includes if you want more knowledge and understanding about specivic diseases, insurance and how health care plans work, and preventative health.

Click Here to Take the Health Care Survey

Top Stories
Bacteria Leads To ‘No Swimming Advisory’ in Town of Palm Beach
Posted by R. Michael Brown
Published: Tuesday, 16 December 2014 06:30

A “No Swimming Advisory” has been issued for the Town of Palm Beach’s public beach because of high bacterial levels in the water, county health officials said late Tuesday.

Recent water samples taken from the public access area showed that levels were higher than acceptable for enterococci — a bacteria that can cause infections if swallowed or absorbed into the skin.

Read More (Palm Beach Post)

 

UPDATE: High bacteria levels close Midtown Beach in the Town of Palm Beach

Read More (Palm Beach Daily News)

Top Stories
You're Invited to the Civic Association Holiday Party This Week!
Posted by R. Michael Brown
Published: Sunday, 14 December 2014 17:12

You're invited to the Civic Association Holiday Party 2014 happening this week on Thursday! This is a Civic Association Members Only event.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Join us with an annual membership and come as our guest to the party.

JOIN NOW!


Thursday, December 18
5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.

The Breakers

 

Already a Civic Association member? Click to register for the event.

 

Sponsored by
First Republic Bank

Good Samaritan Medical Center
The Breakers

 

Top Stories
Civic Association Candidate Debate Jan. 12, 10 a.m.
Posted by R. Michael Brown
Published: Saturday, 06 December 2014 21:52

Debate-PC 8-Rev-FINAL w600

The Town of Palm Beach Caucus is January 6, 2015, at 8:00 p.m. at the Town Council Chambers, 360 S. County Road. Nominations will be heard for Town Council seats and Mayor. The Town of Palm Beach Municiple General Election is February 3, 2015, 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

 

Civic Association

CANDIDATE DEBATE
for
TOWN COUNCIL

MONDAY, JANUARY 12, 2015
10:00 a.m.

 

Episcopal Church of Bethesda-by-the Sea
141 S. County Road
Palm Beach, FL 33480

Please RSVP 561-655-0820
Everyone Welcome - Valet Parking

 

Top Stories
There’s More to Aging than Birthdays
Posted by R. Michael Brown
Published: Friday, 05 December 2014 18:24

By: Dian Vujovich, Civic Association Contributing Editor.

If there were only three things to say about Scott Greenberg’s presentation at the Palm Beach Civic Association’s member luncheon Monday, Nov. 17, they would be: The food was great, the speaker even better and everyone left smiling.

 

That latter point is saying something given that his program was about that sometimes complicated and always extraordinary time in life -- seniorhood.

Scott Greenberg has been meeting with older audiences for years. As host of the popular radio program, “Oh My God, I’m Getting Older and So Is My Mom,” and author of a book by the same title, he is accustomed to addressing rooms where the youngest person might be 50 and the oldest well into his or her 90s.  Just like the one at The Church of Bethesda-by-the-Sea, where the Civic Association member event was held.

His presentation goal has always been to help adults understand some of the challenges and concerns they may face as they age. Challenges that could run the gambit from finding good doctors, to appropriate living arrangements to legal advice -- and any variety of subjects in between.

“We are all very ill-prepared for what the retirement years will bring, “ said Mr. Greenberg, who is also president of ComForcare Senior Services, a private non-medical home care agency serving residents from Boca Raton to Vero Beach.

If you’ve heard any of his radio programs—he owns and controls all of them so there is no need for sponsorship----you might think Mr. Greenberg sounds like he’s in his 40s. . In reality, this seasoned health care professional is a fresh 65 and proud new Medicare card carrier with a sense of humor that makes you think Jackie Mason and the Catskills rolled into one.

“Did you know that senior citizens are the leading carrier of aids in the United States?”
 the native New Yorker asked the audience. “Band-Aids. Walking aids. Hearing aids.” To that the audience laughed and somewhere in the distance you could almost hear: Bada bing. Bada boom.

Mr. Greenberg was also serious about AIDS sharing the surprising fact that 50 percent of new HIV cases in the U.S. occur among senior citizens.

Subjects like that wake up seniors, and those caring for them, to the reality that today’s elderly live and do things much differently than those of previous generations. Even differently than when they were young. Instead of “getting stoned,” Mr. Greenberg said, they “get stones.” Instead of going to art fairs, he said it’s health fairs that top their to-do lists. “Health fairs are really good. They are like trick-or-treat for seniors.”  

And he is right. It’s not unusual to attend one, have your blood pressure checked, take a bone density test and then go home with a bag filled with health-related goodies.

When asked what questions callers to his radio program ask most often, he said the answers might surprise you. “I get more questions about ophthalmology than anything else,” Mr. Greenberg said. “And another is, ‘When did we wake up and become our parents?’”

Greenberg answered the second question like this: “The truth is we are not our parents. If you grew up like I did, my mom lived on Avenue A, her brother lived on Avenue B, her mother lived on Avenue C, her cousins on Avenue D and everybody took care of everybody…That’s not happening today.”

Not only are families not living as close to one another as they once did, more often than not he pointed out that today’s family members don’t have the time, money or skill to care for aging parents or loved ones.

“Primary caregiving is now a professional job, “said Mr. Greenberg, a certified Alzheimer’s educator.

While caregiving can be stressful for everyone involved, the good news is it isn’t a job every family member will have to face. Or, one every senior will need.

If there’s one thing he thinks everyone could benefit from, no matter his or her age or stage in life, it’s volunteerism.

“I think volunteering is magical and it’s magical for a whole variety of reasons, “Mr. Greenberg said. “It gives you a place to go. It gives you purpose. It obviously helps the group you are volunteering for. And if you don’t show up, someone will be out looking for you.”

Blanche Benton and her daughter, Barbara Striebel, were at the luncheon and shared their thoughts about the presentation.

“I loved everything about it,” said Mrs. Benton, who turned 90 in August. “It was so lighthearted and I didn’t get bored.”

Mrs. Striebel summarized Mr. Greenberg’s program like this: “He reinforced the power of laugher. And he had us laughing at our own aging as we are learning new skills about it.” Bada bing. Bada boom.

Top Stories
When Justice O’Connor Speaks Everyone Listens
Posted by R. Michael Brown
Published: Thursday, 04 December 2014 20:37

By: Dian Vujovich, Civic Association Contributing Editor

The line began forming outside The Esther B. O’Keeffe Gallery Building more than an hour before retired Associate Justice Sandra Day O’Connor was scheduled to speak. A line with hundreds of people, all patiently awaiting an opportunity to see and hear America’s first female Supreme Court Justice.

Why the queue? Tight security. Whether you were a member of The Society of the Four Arts or the Palm Beach Civic Association -- both sponsored the Dec. 2nd event -- or a student or guest, there was no preferential treatment. The Gallery Building doors opened 15 minutes prior to the scheduled 6 p.m. event, and not one minute sooner.

By the time the program began, 628 of the 700 auditorium seats were filled, 105 people were watching via a live streaming web-cast, and as of  Dec.3, there had been 328 online views of the presentation.

Clearly, Justice O’Connor, who retired in 2006, continues to have drawing power.

A little history

We have President Ronald Reagan and his insight to thank for nominating Mrs. O’Connor to the Supreme Court in 1981 and the Senate for its 99-to-0 confirmation vote sending the first woman to the bench of our nation’s highest court.

Justice O’Connor’s journey to the court was no ordinary one. Born in El Paso, Texas, in 1930, she spent part of her childhood on the family’s Lazy B ranch in Arizona. It was there she learned to drive at the age of seven and shoot a gun at eight. The demands of growing up and working on a cattle ranch no doubt played a strong role in developing the straightforward, humorous woman Justice O’Connor is today.

“I had to learn how to do a lot of things,” said this self-described cowgirl. “I had to learn how to make things work, and to make things happen. And how to take on responsibility that you wouldn’t normally expect (from a young girl). But that was all a part of it.”

A background like Justice O’Connor’s is the stuff movies are made of. As a young woman, she leaves her childhood home behind and heads off to college -- Stanford University no less. She graduates from Stanford Law School at a time when few women earned that degree, and ultimately changes the lives of so many.

But this pragmatic, conservative-natured woman did all of that and more on her journey to Washington, D.C., and, then sat on the bench as one of the eight Associate Supreme Court Justices for 24 years.

Justice O’Connor said she is proud and grateful for the opportunity she was given to serve our country -- .  Yet it is we who are as grateful and even more fortunate for her service.

The Q&A Session

Robert P. Watson, Ph.D., is a professor of American Studies at Lynn University, historian, political commentator and author of 36 books. He moderated the one-hour Q&A session with Madam Justice, who, after his introduction said, “I have a good inquisitor today.”

Here are some segments of the Q&A program. To provide a sense of the give-and-take of the interview, I’ve summarized a few of the questions and answers.

The Early Years

Mr. Watson described Justice O’Connor as “a force to be reckoned with and opening up legal careers for woman all across the country,” and pointed out that since Ronald Regan nominated her, there has been more than a doubling of women on the bench.

Justice O’Connor’s reply: “It must have been time or it wouldn’t have happened.”

And the conversation continued.

• Watson: Did you know any lawyers growing up?

• Justice O’Connor:  I didn’t know any.

• Watson: So why Stanford?

• Justice O’Connor: Because my father’s parents maintained a home in Pasadena, Calif., and I know they, and my father, admired Stanford.

• Watson; If you hadn’t gone into law, could you see yourself in another profession?

• Justice O’Connor: I could picture myself as a rancher. Absolutely. And I would have been a pretty good cattle rancher.

• Watson: I love the story you tell about coming out of Stanford Law and some of the sexism you encountered getting your first job.

• Justice O’Connor:  I had a very hard time getting a job as a lawyer. People just weren’t hiring woman lawyers…I finally got a position in the county attorney’s office in San Mateo, and for some reason they were a little more responsive to the possibility of hiring me. They weren’t welcoming, but at the end of the day, they did give me a job offer that I was glad to accept….The salary was minute, but that’s what I had to do. I shared my desk with the secretary in the office.

• Watson: So you encountered many challenges as a young woman attorney, but you stayed with the law.

• Justice O’Connor: Well, I did because I had high hopes.


On Judicial Independence

• Watson: You’ve talked about judicial independence and that we, politicians of both political parties and of all political stripes, seem to not appreciate this. Yet, it’s one of the foundations of our democracy. I think a lot of voters don’t really understand the importance of judicial independence. Could you talk a bit about this?

• Justice O’Connor: I think people often don’t realize the significance of judicial independence. And that we do have laws and principles in our country that were developed over the years protecting judicial independence You don’t get fired in this country from public employment just because you decided a case in a manner that might not have been popular with voters but was appropriate.

• Watson: In a recent poll, Americans were asked if there would be grounds for impeaching a judge if they ruled on something that was unpopular. And the majority of Americans said yes.

• Justice O’Connor: I know, that’s astonishing to me. I mean, how could they go through education in this country, learn about our system and still come away thinking that that is possible to do? It’s frightening.

• Watson: When you were on the bench did you ever feel personal pressures from friends, politicians, or businesses who would ask about rulings and want to influence you about the issues at hand?

• Justice O’Connor: Well, I certainly didn’t consult friends or family. No, I didn’t do that. There are other things to talk about so I didn’t go home and talk about the issues.


On iCivics

iCivics is the name of the non-profit foundation Justice O’Connor spearheads. It’s a free, educational, interactive online program that’s available to everyone and to date has been used by millions. Visit it at iCivics.org.

Although the program is Web based, Madam Justice admits she’s not as “with it” technology-wise as are the young people using it.

• Watson: One of your other passions, in addition to fly fishing, is civics. And I think the iCivics program and Web site you’ve created is magnificent. One of its centerpieces is the use of social media and technology and talking to teenagers using the vocabulary and vehicles they are accustomed to. What do you say to groups and teachers when you go out to tell them about the iCivics program?

• Justice O’Connor: I talk about how terribly important it is to teach young people how government functions and how it works. …We have to educate the growing number of young people in this country and each year we are starting with a fresh group of uninformed young people. So every year it’s a new adventure.

• Watson: How do you begin teaching students about civics?

• Justice O’Connor: We start teaching young people to examine things. We want them to use their heads to reason out answers to issues and problems and to get used to doing that.

In the End

Justice O’Connor will tell you it was a huge honor to serve on the court. And that going to work on her very first day as an Associate Supreme Court Justice felt a little surreal. “It didn’t feel quite real, “ she said. “You know this has happened but it has a feeling of a lack of reality. Like it’s some kind of movie that you’re going through. But sure enough, it was true.”

Guests in the audience will tell you that they were honored to be in her presence. There was no sense of the surreal for them at all.

“She was wonderful,” said Claire Levin. “And so articulate.”

L. Douglas Dobson, Ph.D and executive director of the Lou Frey Institute of Politics and Government at University of Central Florida, summarized the event like this: "Justice O'Connor has served as a model for young people all across the nation. She is a champion of women's rights and a champion of bipartisanship and civility; a living example of what it means to be a responsible citizen.  In addition to all that, she's got spunk."

 

Top Stories
Port of Palm Beach Fights to Keep Cruise Business Afloat
Posted by R. Michael Brown
Published: Wednesday, 03 December 2014 17:19

The Port of Palm Beach is fighting to keep its cruise business.

CBS 12 has learned the port is considering offering new economic incentives to the company that operates the Bahamas Celebration.

 

 

See More (CBS12)


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