Get the news that is important to you in This Week in Palm Beach. October 21, 2016 edition.
To subscribe to This Week in Palm Beach and receive it in your inbox, CLICK HERE
The Town of Palm Beach will begin distributing Zika Prevention Kits late next week as part of their comprehensive plan to prevent a Zika outbreak in Palm Beach.
Prevention Kits will be put together on Thursday, October 27 at the Civic Association Community Room. Volunteers are being coordinated by Allison Wren, chairperson of the Zika Prevention Kit program. The Civic Association, Citizens' Association, and Town are paying the cost of the kits.
The Honorable Maggie Zeidman
The Zika Task Force Chairwoman and Town Council member Maggie Zeidman got the Zika Prevention Kit suggestion from former Town Council member Bob Wildrick.
The Civic Association supports the Town’s integrated program and this first spraying which is a proactive way to reduce the threat of mosquito breeding and biting. We understand the concerns of some residents but think the program the Town and Task Force has developed are prudent first steps in the protection of residents and visitors.
The Town released this announcement and Q&A late yesterday about the spraying that the Town Council approved:
Important Information Regarding Mosquito Spraying Scheduled for Sunday Night
[Town of Palm Beach News Release] To reduce the population of Zika carrying mosquitoes the Town of Palm Beach will be dispensing Duet, an EPA approved aerosol mist, between the hours of midnight and 5:00am on October 24 (Sunday night to Monday morning).
The Town has received a number of questions and concerns in recent days regarding the safety of the insecticide that will be used to reduce the adult mosquito population. Please rest assured that the product is safe and approved for use by the EPA and recommended by the CDC as an effective means for dealing with the mosquitoes that carry the Zika virus.
Click on the link below to download a full copy of the Town's news release and answers to the questions that have been posed.
In a meeting between Scripps Research Institute Florida and the Civic Association this week, a topic of high interest to Palm Beachers was discussed about the ongoing efforts by Scripps to combat the Zika Virus.
Scripps Florida is a Civic Association Corporate Partner. The following report was presented:
Ongoing efforts by the Scripps Research Institute to combat the Zika Virus, and our priorities going forward
Prepared by Michael Farzan, Ph.D., Professor and Co-Chair, Department of Immunology and Microbial Science, The Scripps Research Institute. September 27, 2016
The following describes how The Scripps Research Institute might best apply resources to protecting mothers and infants from the worst health consequences of the Zika virus.
The Scripps Research Institute has been pursuing four goals in its anti-Zika virus effort. These are:
- Development and improvement of a safe, effective Zika vaccine: improving the safety of the first likely vaccine to be tested in humans, and developing alternatives should this first effort falter.
- Development of orally available small compounds that can be used prophylactically and in the early stages of an infection.
- Development of injectable antibodies and biologics whose safety profile would make them useable in pregnant and soon-to-be-pregnant women.
- A deeper understanding of Zika pathogenesis, with focus on mother-to-infant transmission at the placental barrier, the reasons for efficient neural infection, and the causes of Zika-induced microcephaly.
We have made significant progress in each of these four areas:
Vaccines. A prototype of a Scripps live-attenuated Zika vaccine have been developed and characterized at small scale. The Scripps vaccine has two important properties different from competing vaccine efforts. It is designed so that it cannot traverse the placental barrier, increasing its ability to be used in women whose pregnancy state is unknown. It is also modified to lower the chance, in rare cases, of worsening Zika infection or infection by other flavivirus infections, a continuing concern with all flavivirus vaccines. In the best case, our vaccine effort will take at least two years to reach the clinic, and several more to achieve widespread use.
Small antiviral compounds. We have initiated our first screen with a Zika virus replicon system using a pilot 4000-compound library. This first library is FDA approved so potent leads from this screen could be rapidly tested in humans. This screen proved that we can perform a high-throughput screen for anti-Zika compounds, but did not produce any silver bullets. We will therefore be undertaking a much larger screen of 400,000 compounds. The best leads from that screen will be modified through medicinal chemistry to minimize potential side effects and improve pharmacokinetics.
Antibodies. The developing of anti-Zika virus antibodies is our absolute highest priority because antibodies have exceptional safety profiles, and would be the only medical intervention justifiable in pregnant women in the next several years. Such an antibody can be used to protect – as a vaccine would – pregnant women who are uninfected, and protect the fetus of those who may be infected. It could also protect men and women living near a localized outbreak, and it could be used more widely to treat infected individuals. Scripps and other institutions around the country have identified a number of lead antibodies, but these antibodies need to be modified in well understood ways so that they do not make other viral infections worse, they need to be produced in quantities necessary for preclinical studies, they need to be compared in an unbiased manner in non-human primate models for their bioavailability and their efficacy against the Zika virus, and the best of these need to be tested for safety and efficacy in human clinical trials.
Pathogenesis. Scripps has developed and will soon publish on two very important insights in the pathology of Zika virus disease. First, in a very productive collaboration between our neuroscience and our immunology departments, we have defined the mechanisms by which the virus destroys the neurons of neonatal mice. Second, in some of the best basic science work at the Institute, we have defined the molecular basis for how the Zika virus, but not other closely related flaviviruses, crosses the placental barrier to access the fetal bloodstream. Both of these studies provide key insight into the development of vaccines and antiviral compounds.
While all our priorities are critical, the effort that will have the largest immediate impact on health outcomes in the United States is the development of a safe, potent, and bioavailable antibody. Again, antibodies have exceptional safety profiles, and would be the only medical intervention justifiable in pregnant women in the next several years. There are currently at least eight described antibodies for Scripps and several other institutions across the counter that should be included in a test panel, with several more on the way. These antibodies, as well as combinations of the best performers, should be down-selected in an unbiased manner to four by comparing their biophysical properties and their anti-Zika activities in the laboratory. These four should then be compared for half-life and anti-Zika activity in non-human primate models as quickly as feasible, and combinations of the top performers should be similarly evaluated. To do so, they need to be engineered so that they cannot worsen dengue and Zika infections using a well-established approach, they need to be produced at sufficient scales for pre-clinical use, and they need to be tested for safety and efficacy in non-human primate studies.
Unfortunately non-human primate studies are both necessary and expensive. An accelerated laboratory effort as described would cost approximately $200,000, and a correctly run non-human primate study comparing four best performing antibodies with appropriate controls will cost approximately $350,000. Note that these studies do not result in death or long-term harm to the animals. We are actively raising money for this effort in sincere hopes that it will prevent many cases of microcephaly in a very short time frame.
Prevention is an investment. Investments in local, state and federal public health infrastructure are necessary to stop the spread of Zika and other infectious diseases in the United States, as well as address the health outcomes for those who are infected.
As is true of most public health challenges, there is no one “silver bullet” solution. Instead, we need a systemic, multi-faceted approach to contain and stop the disease.
• Educating the public about the disease and what can be done to prevent one from getting the disease;
• Monitoring the spread of the disease and its impact;
• Developing a vaccine and testing its effectiveness;
• Performing laboratory tests to confirm the diagnosis of the disease;
• Training healthcare providers about how to identify and treat Zika:
• Implementing measures to prevent the spread of Zika though spraying and other strategies (e.g., cleaning up pools of water, etc.) and;
• Providing health care and other social services to the children and adults with disabilities that result from the Zika infections.
Eighth Pool Of Mosquitoes Test Positive For Zika In Miami Beach
MIAMI BEACH (CBSMiami) — A new pool of mosquitoes have tested positive for the Zika virus in Miami Beach.
Miami-Dade Mosquito Control officials confirmed the find on Tuesday. The pool was retrieved back on October 5th from a trap located at 1236 Drexel Avenue which is within the Zika transmission zone.
Town of Palm Beach
The Civic Association has launched a pilot Neighbor to Neighbor Facebook Group in part of the North End of Palm Beach as an online way for neighbors to interact and share information. Tell us what you think please!!
Online neighborhood groups are opening in communities throughout the country so the Palm Beach Civic Association is launching a pilot in Palm Beach to see if it can be helpful for neighbors. We are calling it Neighbor to Neighbor.
Members post about neighborhood news and events, activity on your street that would be of interest to your neighbors, and also about safety and crime. These groups have helped find missing pets, stop burglars and vandalism, and also allows the community to stay more in touch.
Need a babysitter that your neighbors know and trust? Post a request on the group. Need help putting up your hurricane shutters or need to borrow a taller ladder? Post a request on the group.
Any of the typical information that neighbors would talk about face-to-face is info that others on your surrounding streets might want to know or discuss.
Use the group to grow the bonds of friendship between you and your neighbors. It can be an avenue for taking online relationships and converting them into real-life interaction. You can plan block or beach parties or even use the group to find someone to water your plants while you are away.
Be careful to only post information you want available to the public, and remember that some members of your neighborhood may not be on Facebook. Don’t forget to invite your offline neighbors to any events you plan. Also, Facebook’s recent newsfeed changes mean that all the information on the group’s page may not be distributed equally to all group members.
How to Join
To join the E. Inlet Drive to Bahama Lane Neighbor to Neighbor Group, use Facebook and click on “+ Join Group” at the top of the page and give us your home address in the area from E. Inlet Drive to Bahama Lane in Palm Beach. One of the administrators will review your request to join and if your address is within the neighborhood we’ll accept your request.
You’ll be able to post anytime you want after your request to join is accepted. Share the group with your neighbors using the share button.
Rules at the Start
- This page is for neighbors, by neighbors only, and should be about your neighborhood and helpful issues and services in your area.
- We will not allow builders, Homeowners Associations, vendors or others that don't live in the neighborhood on the group page.
- We will not allow fake, anonymous, or spam accounts.
- Please avoid posting about politics and religion.
- Letting neighbors know about crime is a great help but if you see a public safety issue, CALL 911. If there is an official notice shared by the police to inform the public of a danger, please share it!
- Please do NOT post photos of people you “suspect” of doing things you do not approve of.
Get the news that is important to you in This Week in Palm Beach. October 14, 2016 edition.
To subscribe to This Week in Palm Beach and receive it in your inbox, CLICK HERE
By Michele Dargan, A Civic Association Special Report. In what many are calling the most contentious presidential election in history, the November 8 ballot pits Democrat Hillary Clinton, a career politician and the first woman at the top of the ticket, against Republican political newcomer and part-time Palm Beach resident, Donald J. Trump.
Other political races on the Palm Beach ballot: U.S. Senator, U.S. House of Representatives, Florida State Senator District 30, Palm Beach Soil and Water Conservation groups 2, 3 and 4, Port of Palm Beach Group 3, County Commissioner District 1, Circuit Court Judge Group 4 and County Court Judge Group 11.
There also will be four constitutional amendments and one countywide question on the ballot. The constitutional amendments are numbered one, two, three and five, because number four already was passed in the August primary.
U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, a former contender for the Republican presidential nomination, is being challenged for his senate seat by U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy (D).
Mr. Rubio’s political experience includes the West Miami City Commission, the Florida House of Representatives, where he served as speaker from 2006-2008 and the U.S. Senate since 2011. His areas of concern are: strong families, jobs, energy independence, ISIS, healthcare reform and repeal of Obamacare, comprehensive immigration reform, protect Florida waters, and senior citizens.
Mr. Murphy has been the congressman for District 18 since 2013. His areas of concern are: grow the middle-class, immigration reform, protect voters’ rights, social security and Medicare, the environment, criminal justice reform, and LGBT equality.
U.S. Rep. Lois Frankel (D) is being challenged by political newcomer Paul Spain (R) for the District 21 seat.
Ms. Frankel, 68, is a former West Palm Beach mayor and served three terms in the Florida House of Representatives before being elected mayor. She has been serving in the U.S. Congress since 2012. Ms. Frankel’s areas of focus are: jobs and the economy, women and families, social security, veterans, education, health care, and Israel.
Mr. Spain, a financial advisor, seeks to promote economic growth and job creation, replace bureaucratic government health care with patient-driven health insurance that is affordable, implement tax reform, strengthen the school curriculum and balance the budget.
In the newly redrawn District 30 State Senate race, State Rep. Bobby Powell (D) will face off against political newcomer Ron Berman (R).
Mr. Berman co-founded Quicken Loans and created several real estate brokerage firms in South Florida. Mr. Berman’s main focus will include education, mental health, seniors and the environment.
For the past four years, Mr. Powell has served District 88 in the Florida House, which does not include Palm Beach. He works as a project manager for Urban Design Kilday Studio. His main focus will include affordable health care, quality schools, jobs, attainable housing, the environment, and lower property taxes and insurance rates.
The County Commission, District 1 race pits incumbent Republican Hal Valeche against Democratic challenger Tony Bennett.
In the Port of Palm Beach, Group 3 race, Sonny Maken is challenging incumbent Jean Enright.
In the race for Circuit Court Judge, Group 4, Luis Delgado and Gregory Tendrich are running to see who will replace retiring Judge Martin Colin.
For County Court Judge, Group 11, Gregg Lerman and Dana M. Santino are vying for the seat vacated by Judge Laura Johnson.
For the Palm Beach Soil and Water Conservation, Matthew Bymaster and Daniel Sohn are vying for the Group 2 seat; Patricia “Pat” Edmonson, Jesse Jackson and Stephen Joseph Jara are running for the Group 3 seat; and Karl Dickey, Rob Long, and Dave Self are contending for the Group 4 seat.
Florida Supreme Court. Votes will be to retain or not to retain each judge. Charles T. Canady, Jorge Labarga, Ricky L. Polston.
District Court of Appeals. Votes will be to retain or not to retain each judge. Cory J. Ciklin, Dorian K. Damoorgian, Jonathan D. Gerber, Robert Marc Gross, Spencer D. Levine, Melanie G. May.
Constitutional Amendments – All must receive a “yes” by 60 percent of the voters to pass.
Amendment 1 - Rights of Electricity Consumers Regarding Solar Energy Choice. If approved, this amendment supports adding a section in the state constitution giving residents the right to own or lease solar energy equipment for personal use. It also would allow state and local governments to prevent people who do not choose to produce solar energy from being required to subsidize the production of solar energy.
Supporters say it would protect the rights of Florida residents to own solar equipment, while also protecting electricity consumers from unfair prices. Opponents say this amendment is backed by big utility companies to protect their control over the energy market.
Amendment 2 - Use of Marijuana for Debilitating Medical Conditions. If approved, this would legalize marijuana use for treatment of patients who have been diagnosed with at least one of the 10 specific diseases approved for its use. The diseases are: cancer, epilepsy, glaucoma, HIV, AIDS, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Crohn's disease, Parkinson's disease, and multiple sclerosis. A similar initiative failed to receive 60 percent of the vote in 2014.
Amendment 3 - Tax Exemption for Totally and Permanently Disabled First Responders. If approved, this would create a new property tax exemption for first responders who are totally and permanently disabled as a result of an injury sustained in the line of duty.
Amendment 5 - Homestead tax exemption for certain senior, low-income, long-term residents; determination of just value. If approved, this would provide a tax break for homes valued at less than $250,000 owned by individuals over the age of 65 who have lived in the home for at least 25 years. Seniors, who are approved for the tax break, would be able to keep their tax exemption even if their home value exceeded $250,000 in the future.
Countywide Question – Palm Beach County district schools, cities and county government infrastructure one-cent sales surtax. If approved, this would raise the county’s sales tax from 6 to 7 percent for up to 10 years. The increased revenue would be split among the school district, the county and the cities/towns to replace and repair equipment, supplies, and decaying infrastructure.
Civic Association Members will be receiving a Voter’s Guide in the mail. Join the Civic Association to receive a copy.
Candidates Meet & Greet
The Palm Beach Civic Association and the Citizen’s Association of Palm Beach will host a “Meet Your Candidates” night from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Monday, October 24 at Nick and Johnnie’s, 207 Royal Poinciana Way. All candidates highlighted above are invited and over a dozen have confirmed they will attend. The forum will feature speakers on both sides of the sales tax ballot question. The event is free of charge. For reservations, call 561-655-0820.
Fast Facts on the 2016 General Election in Palm Beach
By Michele Dargan, Special to the Civic Association
Register to Vote
A federal judge Wednesday extended the original voter registration deadline from October 11 until October 18, due to Hurricane Matthew.
Visit the Supervisor of Elections website or stop by the elections office to fill out an application form.
If you are a new Florida voter, you will need to provide your Florida driver’s license number or Florida identification card number to register.
Registered voters may vote early from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday, October 24 through Sunday, November 6.
The closest early voting locations to Palm Beach are the supervisor of elections office, 240 South Military Trail, West Palm Beach; the West Palm Beach Police Community Room, 600 Banyan Blvd., West Palm Beach and the Lantana Branch Library, 4020 Lantana Road, Lantana.
Whether you vote during early voting or on Election Day, you will be asked to provide a valid photo ID with signature at the polls.
If your photo ID does not include your signature, you will be asked to provide another ID that has your signature.
If you do not bring proper ID, you can still vote a provisional ballot. As long as you are eligible and voted in the proper precinct, your provisional ballot will count provided the signature on your provisional ballot matches the signature in your registration record.
Vote-by-Mail (formerly Absentee Ballot)
As of July 1, 2016, the term “Absentee Ballot” has changed to “Vote-by-Mail Ballot.”
Vote-by-mail refers to voting a ballot received by mail or picked up by or for a voter who is unable or unwilling to go to the polls during early voting or Election Day. A request covers all elections through the end of the calendar year for the second ensuing regularly scheduled general election.
A request for a vote-by-mail ballot must be made to the Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections either through an online application, in writing via email, fax or mail or by phone.
The following information is required for a vote-by-mail ballot: the name of the voter for whom the ballot is being requested, the voter’s address, date of birth and signature, if the request is written.
If an immediate family member or legal guardian is requesting a vote-by-mail ballot for you, the following additional information must be provided: the requestor’s address, the requestor’s driver’s license number (if available), the requestor’s relationship to the voter and the requestor’s signature (if the request is written).
The deadline to request that a vote-by-mail ballot be mailed is no later than 5 p.m. on the Wednesday before the election. Otherwise, a vote-by-mail ballot can be picked-up until and including on Election Day. However, the ballot must be received by the Supervisor of Elections office no later than 7 p.m. on Election Day if the voted ballot is to count.
For more information on vote-by-mail ballots, visit Florida Division of Elections (Vote by Mail) or Palm Beach County Supervisor of
General Election Day Voting, Tuesday, November 8
Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Palm Beach Polling Locations:
Precincts 1390 and 1392 vote at St. Edward Catholic Church, 165 N. County Road.
Precincts 1394 and 7154 vote at the Central Fire Station, 355 S. County Road
Precincts 7156, 7158 and 7166 vote at the South Fire Station, 2185 S. Ocean Boulevard.
Local businessman Scott Lewis and his non-profit Eagles Wings Foundation Pathfinders Task Force were activated again in the Bahamas and Haiti to provide assistance before, during, and after Hurricane Matthew.
Mr. Lewis's team conducted search and rescue, damage assessments, and logistical support of relief supplies.
They rescued 28 citizens, coordinated contractors to clear and repair damage, and worked with 38 local and international agencies to help with the disasters.