County library system to host Black History Month events

Palm Beach County’s library system will host a series of events in February to celebrate Black History Month.

The events will include musical performances and discussions of books, film and history.

A kickoff event, scheduled to be held at 1 p.m. on February 4 at the main library at 3650 Summit Blvd. in West Palm Beach, will include performances by the Bak Middle School of the Arts Step Team. Jazz saxophonist Shenole Latimer will lead an exploration of jazz, which will be followed by a discussion of the music of the civil rights movement led by Naima Johnston Bush.

Other events will be held at various branch locations throughout the county. More information on those events and on how to register for them can be found here.

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County looking for help in homeless count

Palm Beach County and other groups are looking for volunteers to help them conduct a count of the county’s homeless population.

The point-in-time count, to be conducted during a 24-hour period starting at noon Thursday, is mandated by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. State and federal money is tied to the count, which will also be used to direct assistance to those in need.

Those interested in helping with the count are encouraged to call 561-355-4766 or visit http://discover.pbcgov.org/communityservices/humanservices/Pages/HHA.aspx.

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Bridge, bus to go pink next month for Palm Beach County breast cancer fight

Bridge in Jan. 2016 (Meghan McCarthy/PB Daily News)
Bridge in January 2016 (Meghan McCarthy/PB Daily News)

A bridge and a bus will be pretty in pink next month to focus on breast cancer.

At 6 p.m. on Jan. 12, the Royal Palm Bridge — the “middle” bridge at Okeechobee Boulevard — will light up in pink, in partnership with Susan G. Komen South Florida. Just before that, Palm Tran will debut, for the fifth year, one of its buses that’s been wrapped in black, with pink lettering providing a message about breast cancer awareness. The bus, which operates on Palm Tran Route 1 — along U.S. 1 from Boca Raton to Palm Beach Gardens — will be wrapped for three to four months, Palm Tran said.

It’s all in advance of the Jan. 28 Komen South Florida Race for the Cure, which hopes to raise $1 million.

Komen South Florida says the bridge will stay lit into mid-February.

Palm Beach County picks new community services director

Green
Green

Palm Beach County’s new Department of Community Services director is James Green, who’s been outreach and community programing division director for the county government’s Youth Services of Palm Beach County since 2015. Before that, Green had been program director for the county’s Community Action Agency for six years.

At their meeting Tuesday, county commissioners ratified County Administrator Verdenia Baker’s designation of Green.  The Royal Palm Beach resident starts his new position Monday. He said his pay will go from $77,935 to around $114,000. He replaces Chanell Wilkins, who resigned in August.

 

County approves Wawa gas station despite opposition

Palm Beach County commissioners approved zoning and land use changes Thursday that will allow a Wawa gas station and eatery to be built at Hypoluxo and High Ridge roads.

Commissioners approved the changes despite intense and broad opposition to the station. County staff members received 649 calls opposing the station with many citing concerns about increases in traffic, noise, pollution and crime.

Check back with http://www.mypalmbeachpost.com later for more on this story.

A Wawa convenience store and gas station is coming to Hypoluxo Road and High Ridge Road.
A Wawa convenience store and gas station is coming to Hypoluxo Road and High Ridge Road.

 

County to hold public hearing on Indian Trails Grove project

Palm Beach County is holding a public hearing Thursday on GL Homes’ Indian Trails Groves project west of The Acreage.

The public hearing is scheduled to begin at 1:30 p.m. on the sixth floor of the Weisman Governmental Center located at 301 N. Olive Ave. in West Palm Beach.

The 3,900-home project got support last week from the board of supervisors of the Indian Trail Improvement District, which provides water, drainage and road services in the area. Supervisors voted to send a conditional letter of support for the project to county commissioners, who themselves have already voted in favor of preliminary approval.

Backers of the project say it will provide more housing to a growing county and commercial development to an area in need of it.

Opponents, meanwhile, argue that the project will threaten the environment, reduce open space and snarl traffic.

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Bonlarron to offer his two cents on one-cent sales tax hike

Politicians conduct listening tours. Over the next month, Assistant Palm Beach County Administrator Todd Bonlarron is heading up a talking tour.

Bonlarron, tapped by County Administrator Verdenia Baker to lead the county’s effort to educate voters on the proposed sales tax increase, is coming to a library near you.

He won’t just be talking sales tax, though. A flier from the county’s library system notes that Bonlarron will discuss ballot initiatives dealing with the homestead tax exemption, solar power and medical marijuana.

State law forbids Bonlarron or any other county official from making overt political arguments, but there is no law against telling voters how the county plans to spend its portion of the roughly $2.7 billion the sales tax increase is expected to generate over the next 10 years.

Bonlarron is scheduled to hit two library branches on Thursday – the Jupiter Branch at 2 p.m. and The Acreage branch at 6:30 p.m. He’ll be at the Lantana Road branch at 3 p.m. on Friday, and he’ll resume the tour on Wednesday with a 1 p.m. stop at the West Boynton Branch.

Voters are encouraged to pre-register and can visit the system’s web site to find out when Bonlarron is scheduled to visit a branch in their area.

Bonlarron
Bonlarron

 

Registration opens for My Brother’s Keeper summit

Registration is now open for a My Brother’s Keeper summit scheduled to be held at the Palm Beach County Convention Center on October 7-8.

Government officials, community organizations, businesses and local residents are expected to discuss ways to promote racial equity and break down systemic barriers in Palm Beach County and across south Florida.

My Brother’s Keeper is an initiative started by President Barack Obama, who has directed government and community groups to focus on ways to improve outcomes for minority boys.

Those interested in registering for the summit should contact James Green 561-242-5702.

NEW YORK, NY - MAY 04:  U.S. President Barack Obama speaks during the launch of a nonprofit group, My Brother's Keeper Alliance at Lehman College in the Bronx borough on May 4, 2015 in New York City. The President arrived in New York City for several appearances including a taping of the Late Show with David Letterman. In the afternoon speech at the college the President addressed the racially charged turmoil in Baltimore and other American cities.  (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
President Barack Obama speaks during the launch of a nonprofit group, My Brother’s Keeper Alliance at Lehman College in the Bronx borough on May 4, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)