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INSIDER Newsletter (9/24/2017)



West Palm Beach Mayor Jeri Muoio


















September 24, 2017



City redefining the waterfront pavement as temporary place for people to

 bike, walk and enjoy beginning Oct. 7



In response to public interest, residents and visitors to the downtown waterfront will see enhancements to the public spaces and changes to traffic patterns along Flagler Drive starting on Saturday, October 7, 2017. The temporary changes--coordinated by the City of West Palm Beach and the West Palm Beach Community Redevelopment Agency in partnership with the West Palm Beach Downtown Development Authority-- are part of a tactical urbanism project that creates a short-term design to allow the community to reclaim more public space along the waterfront. 


Called “Flagler Shore: From Pavement to People,” the project will repurpose two lanes on Flagler Drive from Lake Avenue to Banyan Boulevard (.6 miles) to expand the waterfront public space for pedestrians, bicyclists, and merchants, as well as allow for additional programming. Flagler Drive will be reduced from four lanes to two lanes (keeping both southbound and northbound traffic flow) for the duration of the five-month project that will begin on Saturday, October 7, 2017 during the season opening of the West Palm Beach GreenMarket and run through March 1, 2018. Flagler Shore continues the effort to make the West Palm Beach waterfront an active and vibrant public space and takes into account the findings of recent studies by the Gehl Institute, the Shore to Core design contest with the Van Alen Institute, and the walkability study by Jeff Speck.


The project will provide 63,000 sq. ft. of newly claimed public space along the West Palm Beach waterfront that will be repurposed in a variety of ways to be more actively used on a daily basis. The new design will feature colorful seating including benches, bistro tables and chairs that can be easily moved for those seeking a shaded area. The expanded area also will allow residents and visitors to enjoy new and fluid programming along the waterfront including street performers, new street vendors and more public art. Programming will be scheduled in the coming weeks, and more information will be available at


“West Palm Beach residents spoke of their desire for more public space along the waterfront, and we listened,” said West Palm Beach Mayor Jeri Muoio. “Flagler Shore is an exciting and creative initiative that will open up the waterfront for everyone to enjoy, and it will improve the quality of life in West Palm Beach. We are so happy to be able to launch this project that gives space back to the public.” 


“This is a great first step in implementing what the experts have recommended for our downtown and waterfront areas and improving public life in this area of critical importance for the City,” said Chris Roog, West Palm Beach Director of Economic Development. “We are looking forward to executing the new design and assessing what works for our City, residents and merchants, while continuing to create a dynamic waterfront.”





After the City launches the new Flagler Shore waterfront space, data will be collected to evaluate key points of the design including number of pedestrians, bicyclists and cars; where seating is moved throughout the day; and how the expanded space is used during events. The project will allow the City to examine the viability of expert recommendations along with alternative designs to the waterfront without spending millions of dollars, all while providing important information that will ultimately help determine any permanent redesign of the waterfront in the future. 


To find out more about the city’s Flagler Shore project, to find the latest updates and activities, or to submit questions/comments, please call (561) 822-2222 or visit


The City encourages public feedback on the new design and new activities via email at



Hurricane Irma Recovery Resources Available


After Hurricane Irma, many in the community have needs that range from basic shelter, food, and medicine, to the need to repair and replace damaged homes and property. Many hurricane relief resources are available.


The Caring Community Coalition for Disaster Relief will host a center in West Palm Beach to assure all residents have an opportunity to register for assistance. The center will be located at the Salvation Army at 2122 Palm Beach Lakes Boulevard on September 26 from 1pm - 7 pm.

SERVICES AVAILABLE (All Services Based On Eligibility):

  • FEMA Application Assistance (Transitional Sheltering Assistance, Blue Roof Program, etc.)
  • SNAP (Food Stamp) Application Assistance
  • LIHEAP (Electric Bill) Application Assistance
  • Employment Application Assistance
  • Eviction Prevention Application Assistance
  • Medicaid Application Assistance
  • Legal Assistance



  • Social Security Number (SSN)
  • Financial information
  • Contact Information
  • Insurance Information
  • Electronic Funds Transfer/Direct Deposit Information


Chillingworth Drive the day after Hurricane Irma


The Office of Representative Lois Frankel (District 21) has shared this information about post-hurricane resources:


Homeowner’s Insurance
Homeowner insurance policies for wind damage are covered either by private insurance companies or by Citizens Property Insurance Corporation. Citizens’ policies have a different deductible when the National Hurricane Center names a storm, which is generally a percentage of the value of your home. For Irma, the hurricane deductibles in Palm Beach County are applicable from August 30 to September 13.

Please check your policy for the details of your deductible. To review your policy or report a claim, visit If you do not have access to the internet, you can call Citizen’s customer care center (1-888-685-1555) weekdays from 8:00 am to 5:30 pm. To file a claim or check on the status of a claim, you can call 1-866-411-2472 (available 24 hours a day). Please have your policy number available when you call.


Individual Assistance Where Losses Not Covered By Insurance
Individual Assistance provides direct assistance to individuals and families in an area where property has been damaged or destroyed and where losses are not covered by insurance. Potentially eligible expenses include loss wages, temporary housing, repairs to primary homes, medical and dental expenses, and repair and replacement of vehicles. The maximum an individual can receive under this program is $33,000.

Visit and click Apply Online. If you are unable to access the internet, you can call FEMA’s helpline at 1-800-621-3362 (TTY 1-800-462-7585). It is highly recommended that you apply online if possible. You will need:

  • Your Social Security number (You, another adult member or minor child in your household must have a Social Security number. You or they must also be a U.S. citizen, non-citizen national, or qualified alien.)
  • Your Insurance Information (describe the type(s) of insurance overage you have. This could include coverage under policies like homeowners, flood, automobile, or mobile home insurance.)
  • Damage Information (Describe the damage caused by the disaster. Include the type of disaster (like flood, hurricane, or earthquake) and the type of dwelling or vehicle (like a condo, mobile home or house, or a car or truck)
  • Financial Information (provide your total annual household income, before taxes, at the time of the disaster.)
  • Contact Information (provide the address and phone number of the property where the damage occurred and the address and phone number of where we can reach you now.)
  • Direct Deposit Information (optional-if approved, FEMA can deposit your funds directly into your bank account. To be eligible for direct deposit, you will need to provide the following banking information:
    • Bank name
    • Type of account (like checking or savings)
    • Routing number
    • Account number

Lost Pay

If you have become unemployed or temporarily lost pay for at least seven days starting on September 10, 2017 as a result of the storm, you may be eligible for the Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) program. Benefits begin with the date the individual was unemployed due to the disaster incident (on or after September 4, 2017) and can extend up to 26 weeks after the Presidential declaration date. To determine whether you are eligible for this program, you should first register online at or by calling 1-800-621-3362 (online is recommended). This program is operated by the Florida Reemployment Assistance Center, which is the same office that manages Florida’s Unemployment Insurance (UI) program. You will need to apply for benefits through their website:


Business Losses
The Small Business Administration (SBA) provides low-interest, long-term disaster loans to homeowners, renters, non-farm business of all sizes and nonprofit organizations to offset losses including payroll and to repair or replace real estate, personal property, machinery and equipment, inventory and business assets that have been damaged or destroyed in a declared disaster area (this includes Palm Beach County). To determine whether you qualify for an SBA loan and to apply, visit or call the SBA Disaster Assistance Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955. Remember that your employees may be able to get part of their lost pay by applying as described above under the Lost Pay section.


Disaster Recovery Center to Help Navigate the System
FEMA is operating a Disaster Recovery Center in Palm Beach County. At the center, you will be able to receive information about different types of state and federal disaster assistance, get help completing low-interest loan applications from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) for homeowners, renters or business owners, inquire about the status of your application for federal assistance, receive referrals to American Red Cross and other voluntary organizations to help with immediate unmet needs, and learn cost-effective measures to reduce the impact of future disasters. The Center is located at Boynton Beach's Carolyn Sims Center (225 NW 12 Avenue) and will be open daily from 9am to 6pm.


For information about federal assistance, please contact the office of Rep. Lois Frankel at (561) 998-9045 or visit



City of West Palm Beach ‘Operation Cleanup’ Ramps up Irma Debris Removal Efforts

City removed two football fields worth of debris in first five days with much work still to be done



The City of West Palm Beach Department of Public Works is working hard to clean up and remove an unprecedented amount of debris left by Hurricane Irma. In the first phase of cleaning, which included the opening of roads through the immediate removal of vegetation and other debris, the City removed 21,800 cubic yards of debris in 5-days, enough to fill two football fields some 6-feet high. During the second phase of the City’s cleanup plan, now underway, the City anticipates removing some 10-15 thousand cubic yards per day as part of a ramped up and more thorough cleaning wave that aims to restore our City to its former self.


Alongside more than 100 City employees, many private contractors are also working to pick up as much material as possible as quickly as possible. Staff are working in 12-hour shifts and seven days a week to ensure residents’ safety and to avoid health hazards.


“The goal is to clean as much as we can first, and then come back to clean again,” said Peter Bieniek, Director of Public Works. “We are picking up in one day now what we used to pick up in a month before Hurricane Irma.”





Bieniek: We're Making Numerous Passes Through Neighborhoods to Clean Up After Hurricane Irma


The process of removal is composed of the picking up and loading of material into special vehicles. Then, the debris is transported to the Solid Waste Authority (SWA), a 30-minute drive. At the SWA, Sanitation crews are encountering long lines before they can deposit the material for processing.


The City of West Palm Beach was one of the first cities to activate a cleanup plan beginning on the second day after Hurricane Irma. The City mobilized more than 100 employees and three separate contractors to assist with debris removal. These contractors include H&J Contracting, Blackwood Solutions and McCormick.


These companies, along with the City, have more than eight different types of vehicles designed to carry different types of weights of material. Some of the City’s equipment includes: 32 dump trucks, eight large loaders with equal number skid steers, three tractor trailers, four double and single barrel loaders, and much, much more.


The Sanitation Division has suspended bulk pick up (ie. refrigerators, couches, lawn chairs) until further notice. Sanitation is picking up only containerized household waste on regularly scheduled days and, also, vegetative waste.


“We thank residents who quickly mobilized to help clean up after Irma,” said Bieniek. “We just ask that everyone be patient. We are moving as quickly as possible to ensure West Palm Beach sparkles again after the storm.”


Residents should be aware of great activity by the Sanitation Division over the next two weeks.



City of West Palm Beach Helps Cities

Recover from Hurricane Irma


The City of West Palm Beach provided support to Florida cities recovering from  catastrophic damage from Hurricane Irma. The West Palm Beach Police Department (WPBPD), West Palm Beach Fire Rescue (WPBFR), and the City of West Palm Beach Department of Public Utilities helped several municipalities in their recovery efforts.


Members of WPBFR working with the International Association of Fire Fighters in the Florida Keys conducted grid searches and cleared debris to open roads for emergency responders.


WPBFR conducted grid searches in the Florida Keys


Eight West Palm Beach utility maintenance workers and supervisors spent three days helping with hurricane cleanup in Collier County. Using a trailer they brought with them from West Palm Beach, they helped move generators to various lift stations so that power could be restored.





The WPBPD lent a hand to the Collier Sheriff's Department. Officers patrolled the streets, provided security to gas stations, and delivered ice and water to residents. 



The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) has shared with us the following lane closures will occur during the week of September 25:

  • Flagler Drive between Fourth Street and Seventh Street and Quadrille Boulevard between Dixie Highway and Flagler Drive will have intermittent daily lane closures from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 21, through Friday, Sept. 22. Traffic will be maintained in remaining open lanes as milling and resurfacing is performed on the roadways.
  • Flagler Memorial Bridge will have intermittent nightly full closures of eastbound and westbound lanes from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. Friday, Sept. 22, through Monday, Sept. 25, for milling and resurfacing operations on the east side of the bridge. Eastbound and westbound portions of Royal Poinciana Way also may be closed between Cocoanut Row/Bradley Place and South County Road.
  • Flagler Drive between Fifth Street and Sixth Street and Quadrille Boulevard between Olive Avenue and Flagler Drive will have intermittent nightly lane closures from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. Monday, Sept. 25, through Tuesday, Sept. 26. Flaggers will maintain traffic in remaining open lanes as crews stamp pedestrian crosswalks at the Flagler Drive intersection.

Visit the project website at for additional information.




The Mandel Public Library of West Palm Beach is celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month, Sept. 15 to Oct. 15, with a variety of cultural events that include music, dance, art, architecture, cooking and much more.  The public is invited to participate in all of the FREE events and learn more about Hispanic traditions and customs from around the globe.  All events take place at the Mandel Public Library of West Palm Beach located at 411 Clematis Street with convenient parking at the City Hall garage.  For more information, visit or call 561-868-7701.

Learn How to Cha-Cha

Tuesdays in September

6:00 - 6:45 PM

PreFunction Lobby, 3rd Floor

Learn how to dance the Cuban-derived Cha-Cha with Grigol. Bring your dancing shoes. Sponsored by a grant from the Quantum Foundation obtained by the WPB Library Foundation.

Kids Zumba Classes - Ages 7 to 11

Wednesdays in September and October

6:30 - 7:30 PM

KidSpace, 3rd Floor

Learn kid-friendly routines based on the original Colombian-inspired Zumba® choreography. We break down the steps and add games, activities and cultural exploration elements into this fun class. Sponsored by a grant from the Quantum Foundation obtained by the WPB Library Foundation.

Argentine Tango Dance Lessons

Wednesdays in September

7:00 - 8:00 PM

PreFunction Lobby, 3rd Floor

Learn how to dance Argentine tango (stage dancing) with Eliseo. Bring your dancing shoes. Sponsored by a grant from the Quantum Foundation obtained by the WPB Library Foundation.

Colombian Music with Paula Zuleta

Wednesday, September 20

6:00 - 7:00 PM

Auditorium, 3rd Floor

Join Colombian singer-songwriter and Latin Grammy nominee Paula Zuleta, along with folkloric dancers, for a night of Colombian folkloric, salsa and tropical music. Sponsored by the FRIENDS of the Mandel Public Library.

Make a Piñata - Ages 3 - 12

Saturday, September 23

2:00 PM


Families can join us to celebrate Hispanic Heritage month and have fun making your very own piñata! All materials included. Sponsored by the FRIENDS of the Mandel Public Library of West Palm Beach.  

Music for a Sunday Afternoon: Latin Beat

Sunday, September 24

2:00 - 3:00 PM

Auditorium, 3rd Floor

Join us for a live Latin music performance. Bring your dancing shoes because this band will make you want to get up and dance! Sponsored by the FRIENDS of the Mandel Public Library. 

Hispanics in Art: A Lecture with Joan Lipton

Monday, September 25

2:00 PM – 4:00 PM

Auditorium, 3rd Floor

Join noted art historian Dr. Joan Lipton and Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month through an exploration of the greatest Hispanic artists. 

The Architecture of Havana with Architect Rick Gonzalez

Monday, September 25

6:00 - 8:00 PM

Auditorium, 3rd Floor

Learn about the beautiful architectural structures in Havana with prominent West Palm Beach-based and Cuban-American architect Rick Gonzalez. Gonzalez will highlight the many architectural influences and styles in Havana’s churches, museums and mansions including Art Noneau, Gothic, Colonial and many others.

The Art of Colcha Embroidery

Tuesday, September 26

9:45 AM – Noon

Auditorium, 3rd Floor

Join local artist Amanda Linton and learn how to do Colcha embroidery, which has a rich Spanish colonial history. Open to all skill levels.  Registration required. Registration begins Monday September 25, 2017 at 10:00 AM.  Please call 561-868-7701 to register or for more information.

Paint Like Diego Rivera

Saturday, September 30

1:45 - 4:00 PM

Auditorium, 3rd Floor

Paint your own masterpiece to take home in the style of prominent Mexican artist Diego Rivera. All supplies are included. Registration begins Friday, September 29, 2017 at 10:00 AM. Please call 561-868-7701 to register or for more information.

Bachata Lessons

Wednesdays in October

7:00 - 8:00 PM

PreFunction Lobby, 3rd Floor

Bring your dance shoes and bachata with Eliseo! This genre of music from the Dominican Republic is sweeping the Latin American world. Sponsored by a grant from the Quantum Foundation obtained by the WPB Library Foundation.

Demostración de Cocina Peruana (en Español)

Sunday, October 1

1:00 PM – 3:00 PM

Auditorium, 3rd Floor

A demonstration and tasting of internationally known Peruvian stews - rice with chicken and potato a la Huancaína, with Peruvian chef Monica Pomareda.

Demostración y desgustación de potajes peruanos conocidos internacionalmente - arroz con pollo y la Papa a la Huancaína, con chef peruana Monica Pomareda.

Venezuelan Dance Performance

Sunday, October 1

3:00 PM

Auditorium, 3rd Floor

Enjoy award-winning folkloric dance group, Venezuela Danza Y Tambor, performing traditional dances from their Venezuelan roots.

Puerto Rican Heritage: Back Yard Culture - Cultura en el Batey

Sunday, October 8

1:30 AM - 4:30 PM

Auditorium, 3rd Floor

A celebration of the music and dance found at back yard parties in Puerto Rico, presented by the Puerto Rican Cultural Society of Palm Beach County.

Learn Papel Picado Art

Tuesday, October 10

10:00 - 12:00 PM

Auditorium, 3rd Floor

This colorful type of folk art is a classic used in decorating for Mexican fiestas. Join local artist Amanda Linton as she teaches you how to create this beautiful and sometimes elaborate art using paper and your creativity! Open to all skill levels. Registration required. Registration required. Registration begins Thursday, Oct. 5 at 10:00 AM. Please call 561-868-7701 to register or for more information.

México Mágico – Folkloric Dance Group

Saturday, October 14

2:00 PM

Auditorium, 3rd Floor

The local children's Mexican folkloric dance troupe will perform favorite traditional dances from their Mexican heritage.

Learn Argentine Tango with George Grimsley

Sunday, October 15

2:00 - 3:00 PM

PreFunction Lobby, 3rd Floor

Learn the sultry dance of Argentine tango from WPB’s favorite tanguero.







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