Don’t It Feel Like Something From A Dream

“He had history, he had gravitas, he had insight, he was the antithesis of a prepubescent rocker, all poses and no substance. He’d lived, played bars, gone to shows, and when he finally put out a record…

It was the one he wanted to make.

Those are the ones that last. Not the ones made for a market, chasing a hit, but personal statements, of truth.” Bob Lefsetz on Tom Petty.
I grew up with Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers on the turntable and on the radio.
Saw him live many times including my first night in Florida in July ’87 when my best friend Scott and I christened my big move from NY to the Sunshine State with a Tom Petty show at the old West Palm Beach Auditorium  aka the ‘leaky teepee.’
Life seemed so infinite back then.
I was 22, living in the Sunshine and music was a huge part of my life.
Today, I’m 53, still living in the sunshine and music is still a big part of my life.
A great song has the ability to inspire, spark memories or evoke emotion. It’s magic. And Tom Petty was among the best magicians.
But my heroes are fading fast. Bowie, Gregg Allman, Glenn Frey, Lou Reed, George Harrison so many more–all gone.
John Lennon was the first musical icon whose tragic and violent loss hit me hard.
My same friend Scott, along with a few other friends took the train to NYC to join a vigil in Central Park. I will never forget it. How could John Lennon be gone?
Those friends are scattered now.
Scott left Florida for Virginia, one went to California for school and never came back and one became famous on ESPN. Others went to North Carolina, Wisconsin and New Jersey.
I suppose that’s life. We stay in touch as best we can but we will always have the music, if not the artist.
“Even the Losers (Get lucky sometime)” was on the radio in my ’68 Camaro when Scott and I had a near miss on a Long Island highway.
“Here Comes My Girl” gave us swagger (it never lasted) when the biggest thing in our life was working up the courage to talk to someone we thought was cute.
“The Waiting” got me through more than a few heartbreaks.
I fell for Stevie Nicks when she sang with Tom on “The Insider” and “Listen to Her Heart” became an anthem when you were hoping someone you liked would leave the bad guy and give us nice guys a shot.
Yesterday I was driving to a meeting blissfully unaware of what was going on and desperate for a moment of levity after a day full of horrific news out of Las Vegas when I turned on Tom Petty radio.
“Jamming Me” was on and I cranked it up as I cruised Swinton Avenue. The music instantly lifted my spirits. Pure rock n roll, with jangling guitars, hooks galore and Tom’s unmistakable voice…
And then I heard the news. Just like that. Gone…And it is just so hard to fathom like so much that happened on that terrible day.

Things We Liked In September

Congrats to the DBMC and Chamber!

Well, September 2017 may not be remembered fondly thanks to Irma, Harvey and Maria.

October is off to a heartbreaking start as well with a horrific mass shooting in Las Vegas.

Still, we aim to stick to our tradition (starting last month) of pointing out some good things in our world and community.

Things we liked in September…
In no particular order…

  • Neighbors helping neighbors pre and post Irma. At times like this, we sometimes discover and often rely on neighbors to help us prepare and cope. For this we are thankful.
  • The Abe and Louie salad
  •  Cream of Mushroom soup at Madison’s. It’s a great restaurant. Try it.
  • Old School Bakery. There are no words to describe the artistry of Old School’s bread.
  • WPTV’s Steve Weagle doing stellar work pre and post Irma. We also rediscovered Bryan Norcross and send shout outs of appreciation to other local meteorologists.
  •  The yeoman’s work done by city staff and utility workers in Boca and Delray to help us get back on our feet post Irma.
  •  The book “The New Brooklyn” by Kay Hymowitz. If you love cities and want to gain some insights on gentrification look no further.
  •  Actress Kristen Bell of “Frozen” entertaining senior citizens and others while riding the storm out in Orlando.
  •  The Good Place on Netflix-starring Ms. Bell.
  •  The black and white cookies at 3Gs.
  •  The guy who plays Spanish guitar at Farmers Table in Boca.
  •  The zest for life and learning that we see from our friend Connor Lynch.
  • A photo of Dr. Craig Spodak with the great Simon Sinek on Instagram. Mr. Sinek wrote the great book “Start With Why”, which is a must read. Dr. Spodak is also an inspiration.
  •  My new grand puppy Riley. An adorable golden (are there any other kind?).
  •  The memory of Phish an adorable Chihuahua and a longtime fixture at the Delray Green Market. Hugs to Jim and Lori Nolan.
  •  Thanks to Hypower Electrical Services and John Potts of TAW Power Systems for their efforts to restore power to the Sandoway Discovery Center saving animals and sea life that were endangered by the loss of electricity. Awesome.
  •  Marisa Herman’s stellar work at the Delray and Boca Newspaper. Make sure to catch her front page article on 92 year old author Bob Levinson in this month’s Delray Newspaper.
  •  Debbie Stackhouse Smith too!
  • Happy one year anniversary to Delray Morning Live and kudos to the excellent hosts Kate Volman and Ryan Boylston. Joe and Mika have nothing on these two.
  •  The music of Steely Dan. Rest In Peace Walter Becker. Thanks for decades of unforgettable music.
  • Congratulations to Dupree Jackson Jr.

    Keep your eye on him. He’s a powerful and committed leader with a big heart. And boy do we ever need heart in our world and communities.

  • We are also immensely impressed with WiseTribe and its leader Jacqueline Botting.
  • Congratulations to the Delray Marketing Cooperative and Delray Chamber of Commerce for winning international recognition. The International Festivals & Events Association (IFEA), which recognizes the world’s best event producers, recently announced the winners of its annual Pinnacle Awards during its 62nd annual convention  in Tucson, Arizona. The Delray Beach Marketing Cooperative (DBMC) and the Greater Delray Beach Chamber of Commerce each received a Gold Award, the IFEA’s highest honor, proving once again that when it comes to showing the public an awesome time no one can compete with Delray Beach events, even on an international level.The DBMC won for Best Newspaper Insert for the Famous 100 Foot Christmas Tree and the Chamber won for Best Promotional Video for its Seek in the City Scavenger Hunt.

    We know we missed some good news–so this is only a partial list. But also a reminder that even in difficult times, we have much to be thankful for.

 

We Have Some Work To Do

Most of America is deteriorating economically.

That’s the conclusion of a new study recently reported by Axios.com that has created a stir in cities and state capitals. It probably hasn’t made a dent in Washington, where they are too busy talking past each other and raking in big bucks for re-election to care.

Axios is on online news organization. They have some really good journalists and their coverage is usually pretty insightful. So what did Axios find?

Economic prosperity is concentrated in America’s elite ZIP Codes, but economic stability outside of those communities is rapidly deteriorating.

What does that mean?  U.S. geographical economic inequality is growing, meaning your economic opportunity is more tied to your location than ever before. Which means that your location better have a plan to keep their economies viable.

A large portion of the country is being left behind by today’s economy, according to a county-by-county report released this week by the Economic Innovation Group, a non-profit research and advocacy organization.

Key findings:

New jobs are clustered in the economy’s best-off places, leaving one of every four new jobs for the bottom 60% of ZIP Codes.

Most of today’s distressed communities have seen zero net gains in employment and business establishment since 2000. In fact, more than half have seen net losses on both fronts.

Half of adults living in distressed ZIP Codes are attempting to find gainful employment in the modern economy armed with only a high school education at best.

The map: The fastest growing Western cities (such as Gilbert, Ariz., and Plano, Texas) and “tech hubs” (Seattle, San Francisco, Austin) dominate the list of the most prosperous cities in the country. Cities that were once industrial powerhouses in the Midwest and Northeast, like Cleveland and Newark, are now more likely to be on the distressed end of the spectrum.

The cycle: Fewer new companies are forming than ever before, which disproportionately hurts distressed communities. The new businesses that do get started are often located in thriving communities where educated workers are. So talented people are forced to leave places with little economic opportunity — even if they have personal and family reasons to stay — to move to those where there is opportunity.

So how do we rank?

Economic Distress Indicators for: Palm Beach County, FL

Population: 1,378,810

% in Distressed Zip Codes: Palm Beach County 4.7%

% in Prosperous Zip Codes: Palm Beach County 35.1%

 

No High School Diploma: Palm Beach County 12.2% U.S. 13.3%

Housing Vacancy Rate: Palm Beach 8.2%  U.S. 8.3%

Adults Not Working: Palm Beach County 26.9% U.S. 28.2%

Poverty Rate: Palm Beach County 14.5%  U.S. 15.5%

Distress Score: 14.3

Distress Rank: 446

Overall, Palm Beach County is rated “comfortable” with indicators meeting or exceeding other counties and the national average. I also looked at three zip codes in Delray Beach and found interesting stats.

In 33445, which includes a lot of Delray Beach west of 95 and 30,460 people, the distressed rating was 30.2, more than double the rate for Palm Beach County. In my zip code, 33444, home to 22,440, the distress rank was a dismal 59.5. The downtown/beach area zip code, 33483 had a distress rating of 21.6 and consists of 11,850 people.

Distress was measured using 7 metrics.

  1. No high school diploma: Percent of the population 25 years and older without a high school diploma or equivalent
  2. Housing vacancy rate: Percent of habitable housing that is unoccupied, excluding properties that are for seasonal, recreational, or occasional use
  3. Adults not working: Percent of the prime-age population (ages 25-64) not currently in work
  4. Poverty rate: Percent of the population living under the poverty line
  5. Median income ratio: A geography’s median income expressed as a percentage of its state’s median income
  6. Change in employment: Percent change in the number of jobs from 2011 to 2015
  7. Change in business establishments: Percent change in the number of business establishments from 2011 to 2015.

This blog has long championed the importance of economic development and the need to strengthen and diversify our economy.

The stakes are high.

The report also indicated that less distressed communities are healthier communities. The healthier the economy, the healthier the person: People in distressed communities die five years earlier, according to the research.

If we care about our long term financial sustainability and the prospects for our children, we need to figure out a plan to be competitive with other healthy regions.

It’s not about chasing Amazon (good luck with that one) or waving incentives at companies—it’s about leveraging our strengths, improving our schools, nurturing entrepreneurs (economic gardening) working with universities, increasing quality housing that is affordable and building an inclusive community open to ideas, innovation and creativity.

 

 

 

The Joy of Reading

Kay Hymowitz has some interesting thoughts on gentrification.

I’ve gone on a book binge and it feels great.
I’ve been a voracious reader since the fourth grade. That’s when my favorite teacher, Mr. Romanelli,  sparked a desire to learn that still burns 44 years later.
Great teachers will do that. And Mr. Romanelli was the very best.

From C.S. Lewis and Mark Twain to Hemingway, London and Steinbeck–I have been inspired, transformed and transported by great writers.
At Ward Melville high School on Long Island (it’s on not in, just ask Jerry Seinfeld)  I was blessed to have an English Teacher named Mr. O’Connor. His first name was Joey and his students lovingly referred to him as “Joey O.”

He looked like Les Nessman from “WKRP in Cincinnati”,  a popular TV show of that era but unlike Nessman,  Mr. O’Connor oozed cool.
He schooled cocky kids in one on one basketball, fascinated us in class and diffused the wise guys in the back row with memorable quotes:
“Ignorance is its own refutation.”
“You sir are a pebble in the collective shoe of humanity.”
He was great and I loved his class.

We read–happily –whatever he told us to because that was one class you wanted to participate in .
It was too much fun not too.
I lost track of Mr. O’Connor. But I found Mr. Romanelli on Facebook a little while back and I’m thrilled to be back in touch with the educator who flipped the switch for me.
And to realize that we share a love of the Yankees, the Giants, Vermont and politics somehow feels extra special.

All of which is a long winded way of saying I’m so proud of my daughter for going into teaching and I have read some great books lately. I’d like to share a few titles. And because we are a hyperlocal blog there are some tie-ins to Delray Beach and Boca Raton.

The New Brooklyn by Kay Hymowitz– Although I was born in Queens and consider Eastern Long Island home I have an affinity for Brooklyn. My grandparents, aunt and first cousin lived there and we made frequent visits as a kid. So I have an affection for Brooklyn and it’s fascinating history and diversity. This book is a great stroll through the many neighborhoods that make up the borough that has influenced urban dwellers all over the world. Hymowitz is a great writer and if you love cities this is a can’t miss primer on gentrification, race relations, housing, placemaking etc.

  •   Within Walking Distance by Philip Langdon– Langdon explores a half dozen walkable neighborhoods in places as diverse as Philadelphia and small town Vermont. What makes these places special and vibrant is a lesson for other cities such as Delray and Boca. Langdon is an engaging writer with a keen sense of what makes places special.
  •  The Amazing City by James C. Hunt–Mr. Hunt is a former president of the National League of Cities. I had a chance to see him speak recently to the Palm Beach County League of Cities and he delivered wisdom that only a veteran and successful local elected official could possess. Three Delray commissioners and the Boca Mayor were in attendance and if they applied his lessons on how to create an amazing city we will all benefit. I’m going to write more about Hunt’s lessons in an upcoming blog.
  • The Content Trap by Bharat Anand–  Amazing business lessons. So good I may read twice.
  •  Perennial Seller by Ryan Harrison– Lessons on how to create work that endures. And shouldn’t that be the goal?
  •  Hooked by Nir Eyal– Sobering thoughts on how technology hooks/addicts us. Essential to understand in today’s hyper connected society.
  •  Tools of Titans by Tim Ferris– Ferris is a wildly successful blogger/author/podcaster. This is a huge book of his best interviews with fascinating people from all walks of life.  His most recent interview of Ray Dalio is amazing. Dalio runs the world’s largest hedge fund, Bridgewater Associates, and recently wrote “Principles”, which is on my night stand waiting to be read. Lots of lessons to mine, scores of amazing interviews with high achievers and interesting innovators.
    Or as Joey O might have said: “if ignorance is its own refutation knowledge is your passport to success.”

Wanted: Civic Giants With Heart & Vision

Terry Stiles

Terry Stiles died Sept 11.
He was 70 and was a civic giant.
He was also a developer.
His success as a builder enabled him to give back to his beloved Fort Lauderdale.
We need more of his kind.
More people willing to step up and give. More people willing to step up and make it happen.

Mr. Stiles was one of the people credited with transforming Fort Lauderdale from a small beach town into a thriving city.
Some people like what’s happened. I’m sure some long for the  good old days.

But regardless of what side of that divide you fall on, there’s no denying the impact Stiles Corporation has had on Fort Lauderdale. But it wasn’t just the skyline that was impacted, it was the entire business community, the arts scene, health care, education and economic development that was forever changed via one man’s involvement, passion and commitment.

I met Mr. Stiles a few times over the years. I know people who worked for him and we have a few friends in common who knew him far better than I did. But I’m impressed and awed by these civic giants–these local icons who make a dent in their corners of the universe.

Compared to Fort Lauderdale, Delray is a small city. We have had our share of civic icons. And several have been generous.
But we need more.

Boca Raton has been blessed with some incredible philanthropy. Christine Lynn, the Schmidt Family Foundation, Dick Siemens, the Snyder’s, the Drummond’s et al.
They’ve made a profound and lasting difference.

But right about now, Delray can use a few folks to step up and make some things happen.

Old School Square can be a national cultural treasure, the Arts Garage needs angels, the Library, Historical Society, Spady Museum, Achievement Center, Caring Kitchen, Milagro Center, Miracle League, Sandoway House, Impact 100 all need financial support and commitment.

The list of worthy non profits and causes goes on and on. All of them need people willing to say: We need to solve this problem, we need to seize this opportunity or we need to rescue kids, animals, families etc. The city itself is a cause: we need people to step up and devote themselves to making a difference in Delray.
You get the picture.
And it’s not just charity.
Civic leadership also means people willing to commit to designing great parks, improving local schools, building affordable housing, creating jobs and opportunities for all, solving the scourge of substance use disorder, giving entrepreneurs a chance to succeed and artists a place to create etc.
We need civic giants.

Those people who move the needle are those who think long term and have ambition not for just themselves but for others.

We have enough naysayers. We have enough complainers. We have enough armchair quarterbacks playing gotcha, spouting off on social media, second guessing decisions and casting blame.
We need more leaders, angels, healers, supporters, investors, mentors and visionaries.

Yes, it matters who sits on the City Commission. Good mayor’s move the needle, they sell their city. They build civic pride. They evangelize and they nurture and support and still find a way to hold people to account without destroying their spirit.

They build, they fix. They don’t tear down.
And they inspire. They make you want to get involved. They make you want to be a citizen.
But…
We need more.
We can’t rely on five people serving for three years at a time.
We need long term players. People who are committed to creating something positive and important.

Such as:
Reinvent Congress Avenue.
Make Delray a cultural capital.
Create a sports and food Mecca.
Make our schools great, not good, but freaking great.
Vastly improve race relations so we are viewed as a beacon for the rest of America.
Break the cycle of poverty in this town. Learn from other cities but blaze our own  trail of greatness.

We need serious people.
Adults.
We need civic giants, people who  change the game.

Still Swimming After All These Years

 

I read two stories recently about musical legends Paul Simon and Artie Shaw.
One story focused on Simon’s enduring genius and the fact that he is still writing and performing music into his 70s. The other focused on Shaw walking away from music at the age of 44 never to record again.
When you hit your 50s thoughts inevitably turn to “what’s next” as retirement and retirement planning begins to consume a larger space in your mind.
Many of my friends are beginning to think about when and where they’ll retire. Some are trying to figure out how or if they’ll be able to.
Some are stepping away from businesses, others are selling their homes and downsizing and still others are beginning to spend months at a time in other locales.
Truthfully, I feel a step behind.
Oh, I’m beginning to think about aging and changes. My wife recently left the daily grind and is happily consulting these days.
It has been gratifying to see her more relaxed and happier.
As for me, well let’s just say relaxing isn’t my strong suit.

Recently I told you about my talk to Creative Mornings Palm Beach which focused on aspiration, leadership, genius, community and entrepreneurship.
At the end of the talk,  a friend in the audience asked a question that related to the Disney character Nemo and his desire to keep swimming.
The friend wondered whether I would keep swimming and my answer was an emphatic yes..for as long as I can.
For as long as I am able.
So count me more of a Simon than a Shaw.

Fortunately, I’ve been exposed to some amazing people who continue to contribute, create and aspire well into their 70s, 80s and even 90s.
They seem to be very happy.
And so–lord willing– I hope to follow in their footsteps.
Oh and one more thing.
I recently saw this quote from entrepreneur Drew Houston. It struck me:  “There are 30,000 days in your life. When I was 24, I realized I’m almost 9,000 days down. There are no warm-ups, no practice rounds, no reset buttons. Your biggest risk isn’t failing, it’s getting too comfortable. Every day, we’re writing a few more words of a story. I wanted my story to be an adventure and that’s made all the difference.”
That’s it, isn’t it?
I don’t want to get comfortable. And with over 19,000 days lived it’s important to make the last 10,000 or so count. It’s important to keep life an adventure.

Riding The Storm Out

I have lived in South Florida for 30 years.

I have experience with hurricanes large and small. Irma felt different.

There was more anxiety attached to this storm than any I’ve  experienced.

Maybe it was the length of time we spent waiting for the storm to arrive or social media or the TV coverage; it all seemed to add up to a whole lot of fear. I know people who fled to Tampa only to double back to South Florida when Irma’s track shifted west. And I know others who fled the state altogether.

We are fed tons of information when hurricanes approach and this one was scary and doled out a severe beating to those in its path. At last count, 55 people lost their lives in the storm.

Boca and Delray took a beating. We will recover. But for people in the Keys, the west coast and the islands, Irma’s path of destruction will leave indelible scars. And yet…

I do know this and it’s a cliche. But crisis and emergencies focus us as people.

We come together. We work collaboratively, we seek to help others and be helped ourselves — -as it should be.

If only it would last and this approach toward life could be a way of life.

Not the anxiety part, but the collaborative spirit that lives inside most of us. (Not the guy who flew through a four way stop this morning at Linton and Federal)

Wishing you all a speedy recovery….and may we all serve as shelters in the storm for each other.

When Building a Vibrant City Each Thread Counts

Editor’s Note: Please keep a close watch on Hurricane Irma. Be vigilant and be prepared.

“There’s an energy New York pulls out of people. Nowhere else has this kind of energy. It always feels like there is something going on that you want to be a part of.” Gregory Zamfotis, founder Gregory’s Coffee.

When it comes to building great cities and great places, energy and vibrancy is the holy grail.
It feels good to be in a place where something desirable is going on.
Sure there are times when we seek solitude and great places offer that as well.
But you need both. You need energy and a place to renew.

Although I haven’t traveled as widely as I once hoped, I find myself gravitating to places that offer energy and solitude.
Asheville has a vibrant downtown  but in minutes you can be in the mountains.
Portland, Maine feels like a big little city but in minutes you can find peace along the beautiful Coast.
Boulder, Colorado offers an amazing downtown ringed by golden mountains.

Delray Beach is similarly blessed.
We have energy. It seems like a fun and vibrant place. There’s a lot going on.
But if you want to hide,  there are spots on the beach and in Lake Ida Park and out west at the Morikami or the Wakadohatchee where you can disappear and find a quiet place to walk, read and think.
We are truly blessed.

But it takes vision and effort and planning and investment to create an energetic city. And once created you have to tend to your city, like a garden.
You need the right scale, the right mix of businesses to make it work. You also need art and music and culture and great parks too.
It needs to be walkable, safe, clean and authentic.

You need festivals and restaurants and sidewalk cafes and you need the intangibles too.  The intangibles make all the difference.
Strong local leadership, a shared community vision, creative problem-solving, and ideally an inclusive economy. You also need cross sector collaboration and a set of civic values.
Sound hokey? Well, try building a great place without those things.

You simply can’t.

The Greening of Delray

Community Greening has a simple but important mission.

We went to a fundraiser earlier this week at the new farm to table bar Death or Glory to raise funds and awareness for Community Greening, a Delray Beach non-profit that is beginning to make its mark in Delray Beach.

 

Community Greening provides eligible groups and neighborhoods free native trees. They do it all: from delivery and site selection to permits and tools for planting. The organization also invests in the environment by creating or maintaining sustainable green spaces, supplying the project management, native plants, art, volunteers, and maintenance needed to create great public spaces. They are also committed to educating kids on trees and plants.

That last piece is extremely important in our high-tech society. Community Greening believes it’s important to connect children to the natural environment. You don’t take care of things you don’t relate too and with our planet in a fragile state we need to seed the future with people who care.

The group has planted hundreds of trees and has quickly gained a strong reputation in the community.

Co-founders Mark Cassini and Matt Shipley have recruited an all-star board that includes Vice Mayor Jim Chard and emerging leaders like Emanuel Dupree Jackson Jr., Jason McCobb, owner of Farmer Jay Pure Organics and noted landscape architect Carolyn Pendleton-Parker among others.

Board member Sgt. Daniela Quinn of the Delray Beach Police Department likes the community building aspects of the organization.

“CG is important because it brings the community together to learn about our Delray Beach ecosystem and how to take more of a proactive stance in helping sustain it. CG seeks to clean up and bring life back to neglected spaces and it gives everyone a chance to plant a tree, leaving their legacy for generations to come. In an area where new development seems to be at the forefront, CG allows us to be reminded of the history of our natural habitat and bring back some native plants to our community to keep it green and beautiful.”

That sums it up, doesn’t it?

Personally, I was moved by the humble passion of those involved in the organization that I had a chance to meet this week.

In a follow-up conversation with Mr. Cassini, I learned about an effort to “green” and plant trees at Catherine Strong Park in the southwest section of Delray. That park has a special meaning for me. The voters approved a bond issue when I was on the commission that funded the splash park, which was the first park in that neighborhood’s history. It’s also named after the first female mayor in Delray history who was known for her big heart and her desire to improve race relations.

A celebration of Community Greening’s efforts will be held from 4-6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 16 at Catherine Strong Park.

I hope you visit and most of all, we hope you get involved and support CG in its important mission.

To learn more visit http://communitygreening.org/. Next month, there will be a fundraiser at Pizza Rustica and then a Delivery Dudes fundraising effort.

Meanwhile, Death or Glory is just great. Don’t miss the fried chickpeas (and the Tommy Margarita is pretty good too!). We wish them well and salute their community involvement.

 

 

 

10 Things We Loved in August

Tequila & Tacos was a highlight of the summer craft cocktail series at Old School Square.

Editor’s note: Our hearts are heavy this morning thinking of those suffering from the impact of Hurricane Harvey.

We in South Florida and in Delray Beach and Boca Raton can relate to the disruption that hurricanes cause. Please consider donating what you can to relief organizations that are on the scene in the Houston area. And please be vigilant with your hurricane preparations. We are entering the height of the hurricane season.

 

“I can’t believe the news today..

Oh, I can’t close my eyes
And make it go away”– U2 Sunday Bloody Sunday
 
No we can’t make it go away. 
But we can inject a little positivity into our lives can’t we?
And so we will. 
Here’s 10 things we liked this month. 
1. Kudos to Old School Square for its social media tsunami and uplifting videos designed to remind one and all how special Delray’s cultural arts center is and how important it is to the life of our community. 
2. Festival Management Group, the producers of the Garlic Festival and Delray Affair among other signature everts, spent more than a year being bullied by short sighted politicians. But it didn’t dissuade the team. They re-tooled and reinvented and came up with a terrific series of summer events at The Fieldhouse at Old School Square. We attended a few and loved them all. Great events, great cocktails and robust ticket sales brightened our summer. We loved the integration with local restaurants and discovered a few new places as a result. Kudos Nancy, John and Sarah.  
3. Louie Bossi is a welcome addition to downtown Boca. Brilliant concept, big menu and wonderful food equals a great time. 
4. We had a chance to meet with Campbell Creative, a new addition to our entrepreneurial scene. We predict you will be hearing more about this innovative agency. 
5. We are thrilled to hear about the continued success of Modernizing Medicine which raised a whopping $231 million in investment and continues to hire and blaze new trails. CEO Dan Cane is a brilliant business visionary and a nice guy too. Kudos to the FAU Research Park for nurturing scores of great businesses.
6. We had a chance to hang with Boca Mayor Susan Haynie and former Councilwoman Constance Scott at a recent Palm Beach County League of Cities meeting and it was fun. Mayor Haynie recently completed a stint as president of the Florida League, a great honor. Cities are under siege in this state by some short sighted state leaders. Good to see our local officials stand up for home rule. 
7. We were thrilled to see Pame Williams receive recognition (and celebrate in her own way) her 30 years of service to the taxpayers of Delray Beach. We just adore her. 
8. Also good to see the late Lamar Shuler’s legacy celebrated at the S.D. Spady Museum. 
9. Nice to see dirt moving at the iPic Theatre four years after the CRA chose the project after an RFP process. 
10. We were thrilled to see Creative Mornings Palm Beach visit the Arts Garage.
All in all, August was a very fine month.