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Condo News Online Local News Page

On this page:

• Fountain's Controversy Surrounds Pending Sale of 
Golf Course Land

• A Moment With ... Saul Tilson

• Last state operated Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicle (DMV) Office Closing June 30, 2015

• Former Palm Beach Hawaiian to be Razed

• The Claridges Hoists New Flag

• Moose Lodge Chapter 46 Lake Worth/Greenacres Ladies

Volunteer for Forgotten Soldiers' Outreach

• Pines of Delray West Wins Award

• New Boat Dock at Oasis Palm Beach

• Water Ski Tournament Tournament at Okeeheelee Park

• Palm Beach County drenched by T.S. Isaac

• FP&L Demolition of old power plant in Riviera Beach, FL

• Echoes of the Blast ... Where did all the 1515 promises go?

• 1515 Finally Down and Wrapping Up 1515

By Jeanine Heidtman

• Hotlines on Happenings


Meet the Condo News'  Print Newspaper Correspondents at Right


L O C A L   N E W S

Last Updated 10/06/2018

Controversy Surrounds Fountains Country Club's Pending Sale of Golf Course Land

Commentary by Manny Luftglass

Recently, Condo News published an article entitled "Fountains Country Club Members Approve Sale of Golf Course Land to GL Homes for Future Development." However, this event is not without controversy.

The country club members were asked to approve the contract without ever seeing the contents. To date, the club has refused to share the contract with any member, including past Presidents and Board members. Club members voted for the deal based on promises their dues and assessments would go down when the north golf course is sold to GL Homes for $17 million dollars.

Unfortunately, this is misleading because the money has to remain in the Capital Account to be used only for capital improvements, such as the new resort-style pool and amenities GL Homes requires for the new owners. This money cannot be used for Operating Budget items, therefore, the chance of seeing a reduction of dues and fees to members may take a number of years, if at all. Only new members will improve the finances, but the country club has continually ignored the declining interest nationally for golf and the total lack of interest in country club memberships.

In 2003, the Fountains Country club persuaded the community that their property values would be stronger if they voted to require all new buyers to join the country club. It became a real estate disaster. The smaller condos located in the north, experienced such devaluation that by 2010, the condos were selling for as low as $6,000, with an average sales price of around $20,000. With mandatory membership recently eliminated in the north, those same condos are selling between $80,000 and $120,000. The homes in the south are still mandatory and are experiencing some of the same problems as those in the north experienced previously. In fact, one resident in the south offered to give their home to charity, but was turned down due to the requirement of mandatory membership. Today, the south homes are experiencing over 50% devaluation.

In spite of the fact that the courts in the north voted out mandatory membership and registered the new non-mandatory membership by-law with the County of Palm Beach, the country club board brought lawsuits against people who purchased their condo without becoming a member. Due to these lawsuits, seven of the court boards in the north filed a lawsuit against the Fountains Country Club in an effort to protect their residents from further lawsuits. The trial was held this past August 2015 with Judge Artau rendering a decision in favor of the associations. The country club has recently filed an appeal, however, with such a strong conclusion by Judge Artau, it is the opinion of many this appeal may not prevail.

Recently, the club agreed to sell the north golf course to GL Homes, who intends to build a 300 unit rental building on 18 acres and 200 single family homes on another parcel of 40 acres. Sadly, in both cases, this construction is going to destroy the peace and quiet of the many residents who presently live next these parcels. The interesting fact of this sale, is the communities impacted by this new construction are those same courts who opted out of mandatory and sued the club, which resulted in this trial last August. Some see this as PAY BACK on the part of the club.

There is a concern about more accidents within the Fountains, resulting from the number of additional cars for the families in so many homes, as well as the traffic on Jog Road. The intersection of Jog/Melaleuca roads is an extremely dangerous area and has had 40 accidents just so far in 2016.

The community is being divided by a country club that states it is designing a first class experience, but in truth, between the lawsuits and 500 new homes which will destroy views and cause increased traffic, it is ruining the Fountains experience.

(Editor's Note: The community consists of two parts, residences on the north side of the development (north court associations), and those on the southern end (south court associations.)

*  Manny Luftglass is a condo owner in the Fountains in Lake Worth, FL

A Moment With ... Saul Tilson

By Betty Thomas • Photos by Jimmy Shirley

Last week, I had the opportunity to sit down with Saul Tilson at his home at Poinciana Gramercy condominium in Lake Worth. Readers will remember his Condo Art Corner feature "Dimensions" that ran in the July 22, 2015 issue of Condo News. He uses pieces of art that he cuts from pages of magazines to create his collage in multi layers for a 3-dimensional illusion. The layers are created using duplicate pieces which he curves to give a more realistic effect to the dimensions. The result is stunning.

His condo is decorated with many of his pieces. He says he has sold several to visitors "right off the walls."

Saul Tilson was born in Brooklyn, NY, on July 17, 1927, and lived in Manhattan and the Bronx until he was 17½ years old.

Saul’s mother passed away when he was 7 years old and his father had to put him and his brother, Harold, in an Orthodox Jewish orphanage so he could work. Then, some years later, his dad moved to Miami for his health.

Before he graduated from high school, Saul went to work for Lane Bryant. Owner Lena Bryant Himmelstein designed the first maternity clothes. (Her name was incorrectly written down as "Lane" when she applied for a business license -- hence the name.)

Saul was drafted into the Army and served in the Korean War from 1950-1952 as a supply sergeant. He received the Bronze Star.

After the Korean War, Saul went back to Lane Bryant, this time in their Milwaukee, Wisconsin store where he was General Manager of their 6 stores. He worked for them for a total of 32 years. "I loved the women’s business. It was fun", says Saul.

After retiring from Lane Bryant, Saul moved to Indiana and went to work for Don Abrams in Marion. He became their General Manager over all 13 stores. He worked for Abrams 18 years. He even helped Don Abrams go out of business.

During that time, Saul met and married the love of his life, Nancy, to whom he was married for 57 years. The couple had two children, Michael and Steven, and two grandchildren, Kevin and Lela. Saul’s son Michael served in the first Gulf War. Grandson Kevin is studying to be a robotics engineer.

Saul worked for Gary Oradat for 11 years selling new homes for Oradat Builders in Indiana.

Nancy and Saul began coming to Florida as snowbirds some 15 years ago, to their condo in Poinciana. They became full-timers in 2002. Saul served on his condo’s board for 7 years. He supervised maintenance of the outside common area. He and Nancy worked on the condo’s newsletter -- he would dictate to her and she would type. He also took pictures.

Nancy passed away on September 19, 2012.

But Saul keeps busy. His hobbies are photography and dimensional art. He also does a lot of reading: newspapers and magazines. He has been doing the art for 6 years. His former boss at Lane Bryant Milwaukee, Ed Urban, and Saul remained friends all through the years and Ed would visit Saul from time to time. It was Urban who introduced Saul to dimensional art.

In the orphanage, he dabbled in oil painting. He has always had an artistic flair.

In Wisconsin, Saul and Nancy livedacross the street from a couple, Donald and Rosalie Levine. They were good friends. When Donald passed away over across the street from a couple, Donald and Rosalie Levine. 

Saul Tilson

Studio/Work Station

Tailor Sewing

Purim Festival

Saul Tilson in Korea c. 1950-51

 They were good friends. When Donald passed away over 11 years ago, Rosalie and the Tilsons kept up the friendship. Then, when Nancy passed away 3 years ago, Saul and Rosalie kept their friendship going. He now calls her his girlfriend -- he has known her 55 years. Saul goes to Wisconsin in the summer for a few weeks and Rosalie comes to Florida for the season ... and then sometimes longer.

It was a pleasure spending A Moment With Saul Tilson.

Last state operated Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicle (DMV) Office Closing June 30, 2015

On June 30 the last state operated Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicle (DHSMV) office, located at 571 North Military Trail closes. Effective July 1 our offices are the only Florida driver license/ID card-issuing agency serving Palm Beach County.

We expect the closing of the DMV office to increase customer traffic in our offices. Service centers in Delray Beach, Lantana and Royal Palm Beach will have the largest increases. If you think the DHSMV office closing affects you, here are some helpful tips:

• Renew driver license/ID cards up to 18 months in advance of the expiration date. If you already have a REAL ID (star in upper right corner of license), you can renew or order a replacement online. The deadline to have a REAL ID is October 1, 2020.

•Use our drop off box for property tax, local business tax renewals and motor vehicle registration renewals located in our office lobbies.

•Text "waitpbc" to 41411 for Tax Collector service center wait times.

•Follow us on Twitter @TAXPBC for the latest updates.

• Avoid lines altogether! Use our online services. Above is a chart that details some of our online services. Visit our website for more information.


Spread the Word

Our outreach program is available to provide information answers to questions about our services. If your community is hosting an event that you would like us to give a short presentation, put up our expo table, or provide handouts, send an email to Please provide as many details as possible. We will make every effort to accommodate your request.


Last Chance to Avoid Tax Certificate Sale

This year’s Tax Certificate Sale takes place on May 31st. 2014 property tax payments became delinquent on April 1. All delinquent payments must be received by Friday, May 29 or they will be listed in the Tax Certificate Sale. A tax certificate is a first lien created when someone else pays your delinquent taxes. To learn more visit


On the Move?

We want to welcome anyone moving to a new residence in Palm Beach County! New residents must complete 1 – 10 relocation transactions with our office, including changing the address on driver license, registering and titling cars or boats, paying property taxes, getting a hunting and fishing license and more. If you or a neighbor has relocated, we can help! Our New Neighbor Kit provides information and tips to make these transactions easy and hassle-free. Download our kit at If your community would like printed copies to welcome new residents, send an email


Saluting our Veterans

This month our nation honors veterans who lost their lives in the line of duty. Our thoughts and prayers are with their families, as well as our soldiers currently stationed overseas. We pray for their safe return.

As part of our agency’s giving program, our employees select local charities to support. This year they selected the Forgotten Soldiers Outreach program as one of our three charities. Forgotten Soldiers Outreach ships care packages filled with donated items and letters of encouragement to active duty soldiers stationed overseas. Our first bake sale raised over $2,700. Supporting Forgotten Soldiers Outreach is a great way to demonstrate our appreciation to soldiers for their service.


Last but not Least

Florida offers more than 100 different specialty license plates. Stop by one of our offices and choose your favorite. Gift vouchers are available. Our offices are open 8:15 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Our Lantana and PGA offices do not offer this service.

For more information, phone them at 561-355-2264.

Former Palm Beach Hawaiian to be Razed

Photo by Jimmy Shirley

The Palm Beach Oceanfront Inn is flanked by Horizon East Condominium on the south (right) and Tuscany Condominium on the north (left).


By Betty Thomas

The Palm Beach Oceanfront Inn, formerly known as the Palm Beach Hawaiian, will soon give way to a new condominium. The 50 year old Polynesian style hotel was the only retail business in South Palm Beach. Tides Bar & Grill, which occupied the ocean side of the building, was a popular watering-hole for many decades. The 58-room hotel drew patrons from all over, many of whom were celebrities.

Hurricane Wilma in 2005 took out most of the beach and the building had deteriorated badly. In its place will be a 6-story condominium.

The Claridges Condominium Hoists New Flag

Fl. Sen. Maria Sachs presents George Fisher a flag that was flown over the Capitol in Tallahassee. 


Photo by Jimmy Shirley

Photo by Jimmy Shirley

George Fisher and Claridges property Manager Robert McCullock prepare 

to raise the new flag in front of the Claridges Condominium in Palm Beach.

Last December 15, at the Veterans of the Battle of the Bulge Christmas meeting, Florida Senator Maria Sachs presented George Fisher, president of the VBOB Chapter, a flag that was flown over the Capitol in Tallahassee (pictured above).

Last month, on October 30th, Mr. Fisher and the Manager of The Claridges, Robert McCullock, LCAM, raised the flag in front of the condominium. A plaque on the flag pole reads: "This flag was flown over the Capitol in Tallahassee in honor of George Fisher, veteran of the Battle of the Bulge and Claridges resident.

Women of the Moose Lodge Chapter 46 Lake Worth/Greenacres Put in over 50 Community Service Hours for FSO Holiday Greeting Cards for Troops

Photo by Gina Abbanato, FSO Volunteer Manager

Left to right:

 Elsa Webb (Pine Ridge So. 1), Mary Jo Hawthorne (Pine Ridge So. 3) (also a Full time volunteer at FSO Furniture & Thrift Store), 

Joyce Fox (Boynton Beach), Terry Intoppa (Lake Worth) 

and Joan Tatkus (Lantana).

Greenacres, Fl - Since July the Women of the Moose Lodge Chapter 46, Lake Worth/Greenacres put in over 50 hours of community service hours to write over 6 BIG boxes of Christmas Cards to our troops and 2 BIG boxes of Greeting Cards to our troops.

This particular group of ladies are Past Regents of the chapter. Combined, they have almost 100 years of service to the Women of the Moose organization.

What an amazing group of women, who dedicated a day every week since July to achieve their mission. Recently they presented the cards to Forgotten Soldiers Outreach to be included in the upcoming Holiday Packing Event of Holiday "We Care" packages.

"We couldn’t continue to do what we do since 2003, without the support of our wonderful community. Thank you ladies from the Women of the Moose Lodge Chapter 46, your hard word and dedication is truly appreciated", comments Lynelle Zelnar, Executive Director and Founder of Forgotten Soldiers Outreach.

For more information on the group, contact Mary Jo Hawthorne at the thrift store at 561-969-2222.

Forgotten Soldiers Outreach, Inc. has been sending monthly "We Care" packages to our troops serving overseas, covering all world theaters and all branches of the military. Since its inception in 2003, FSO has benefited well over 300,000 of our military to date. For more information about Forgotten Soldiers Outreach, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization please log on to or call 561-369-2933.

Pines of Delray West Wins Community Excellence Award for Financial Innovation

Accepting the award for Pines West Association from left to right:

Carl Picerno –Director; Bob Gizzarelli – Vice Pres.; Tom Comparato – President; Teri Fifth – Manager; John Critelli – Treasurer (2013-2014)

Pines of Delray West Association won the Community Excellence Award for Financial Innovation of small communities, presented, by the Florida Community Association Journal. The awards of excellence was created in 2008 and recognizes communities throughout the state of Florida in a host of categories. The awards are independently judged by a panel of industry and government professionals. The gala and presentation took place at the Rosen Plaza in Orlando Florida, on May 2, 2014

Pines of Delray won the award because they demonstrated their ability to cut costs and maintain condo fees, by rebidding contracts, deciding when to use outside vendors or in-house maintenance staff searching out the best insurance company for maximum coverage at lowest rates and by constantly reviewing costs and ability to save and not eliminate any community services. Pines of Delray West has an excellent

Board, Management Team, as well as an active Financial Committee consisting of non board members that creates transparency, and they all work together for the greater good.

Pines of Delray West was established in 1978 and consists of 288 condos. Pines of Delray West is managed by Campbell Property Management out of Deerfield Beach, since 2007.

New Boat Dock at Oasis Palm Beach

Story by Betty Thomas

Photos by Jimmy Shirley

Josh Teverow, president of Oasis Palm Beach, 

pulls into his slip for the first time.

View of the Oasis from the dock

View of the Dock 

Wednesday, February 5th, Josh Teverow, president of the Oasis condominium in Palm Beach, pulls his boat into his slip at the new dock located across S. Ocean Blvd. from the condominium on the Intracoastal. Teverow’s was the first boat to arrive. 

According to Julian Butler, General Manager of the Oasis, it started with 16 owners who wanted to build the dock and who would finance the project. Permitting took two years, working through the process with the Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP), the Army Corps of Engineers and the Town of Palm Beach. Finally, in mid-July/August of 2013, building got underway. 

The project is substantially complete, explained Butler, still needing a few more inspections. Also, depending on what each owner wants, there are a few more pilings yet to be installed. 

Teverow’s slip is equipped with a boat lift and raises the craft to the level of the dock. "There is no electricity on that side of the road", added Butler, "so they had to go under the road with piping to bring electricity from the building to the dock." 

Responsibility for upkeep of the dock is with the 16 owners, who may sell their slip to another Oasis owner, if desired. So far, Teverow’s boat is the only one docked there. "Some owners may add lifts", said to Butler, "others may join boating clubs, and still others may just keep it as an investment." "It has been an exciting project", he agreed.

Water Ski Tournament at Okeeheelee Park, 

June 22nd & 23, 2013

Photo by Jimmy Shirley

The water skiing tournament at the Ski Club of the Palm Beaches at Okeeheelee Park took place Sat. & Sun., June 22nd & 23rd. This tournament was a qualifying event for the August finals, the 13th time the national championships will be at Okeeheelee Park. The August event is said to be the largest water ski tournament in the world and includes national titles for slalom, tricks and jumping. Condo News photographer, Jimmy Shirley, found it to be a treasure trove of photo ops. The skier in the photo above and below is competing in the slalom event using one ski. If he were to fall, he would be out of the competition. There is no room for even one mistake. In the photo above, the skier is competing on the slalom.

Palm Beach County Drenched by T.S. Isaac

Outer band from T.S. Isaac churned up the ocean -- 

view from 3360 S. Ocean Blvd., Palm Beach, FL

Photo by Maddy Greenberg

Above and below: Flooding of the streets and parking lots in Springdale Homes, Palm Springs, FL Notice the strip of grass in the picture below separating the lake from the parking lot. 

Photos by Jimmy L. Shirley, Jr.

South Florida's first taste of the 2012 hurricane season arrived in Palm Beach County on August 27 in the form of a feeder band that had separated from the main storm, Tropical Storm Isaac. It stretched from Cuba up the east coast of Florida while the main body of the storm was in the Gulf of Mexico heading for Louisiana, and eventually becoming a category 1 hurricane before making landfall near the mouth of the Mississippi River.

For a storm that was expected, by the National Weather Service, to dump from 4 to 6 inches of rain on Palm Beach County, but instead, dropped up to 18 inches in some spots, Isaac sure packed a wallop. Springdale Homes in Palm Springs, Fla. received its fair share, tabulating about 9 inches of rain late Monday morning to around 4 PM. This left us with knee-deep water in many of our parking lots after Monday, not to mention the main road.

The western towns of Wellington, Royal Palm Beach, Loxahatchee, the Acreage were flooded for more than a couple of weeks. In order to be eligible for FEMA aid, at least 18 inches of water must have flooded their homes. Since most of the homes were build up high on "pads", federal aid is not available for them. The high water became contaminated with septic tank water, fluids from cars and trucks as well as from some unlicensed car repair shops. So, they must look to themselves in the spirit of real Americans of self reliance, instead of governmental welfare.

FP&L Smoke Stacks Came a-Tumbling Down

By Jimmy Shirley, Jr.

Photo by Jimmy Shirley, Jr.

A couple of hundred boats assembled at the FPL power plant Sunday, June 19th to watch the old 300 foot smoke stacks and boilers blown up. Condos on Singer Island are visible in the background. The demolition itself lasted only around 8 seconds.

Photos below by 

Jimmy Shirley, Jr, Condo News,

From the Port Authority rooftop.

( Palm Beach House Condominium

is  in the background)

Photos below by 

Dr. Douglas Snetsinger

avec Mme. Alice Malon

From the rooftop of the 

Palm Beach House Condominium

Photos below by Jimmy Shirley, Jr. 

From the US Hwy 1 overpass west of the power plant

Echoes of the Blast

Where Did All the 1515 Promises Go?

Commentary by Jeanine Heidtman

With only the last weeks of 2010 before us, I want to bring our returning Condo News readers some updates regarding the current status of the large brown, barren, vacant parcel at 1515 South Flagler Drive in West Palm Beach. During this summer, the August announcement of the foreclosure lawsuit against New York City-based Trinity 1515 LLC and managing member Edmund Abramson is working its way through Palm Beach County Circuit Court. In addition to the $36 million owed First Commonwealth Bank of Pennsylvania, another $1.3 million in interest has accrued as of September 1st. The mortgage was due on Feb. 21st, 2010. It replaced the original $24 million from Kennedy Funding.

In searching the tax rolls for the Arkona a/k/a/ Tower 1515, the total market value of the parcel now is listed as $10,500,000 and $254,325 is the total tax pending. I have questioned many officials, many times, why no figures are listed for 2008 and 2009 on the Tax Collector’s website. The best answer I got was the original condo owners, not Trinity 1515 LLC, was responsible for the ’08 and ’09 obligation for these 2 years taxes even though it was clear these unfortunate previous owners were long gone and their units were sold. The date of February 3rd, 2007 has always been given as when the property was sold and closed for 32 million dollars.

The additional amount of the outstanding loan according to Abramson "... was necessary to obtain the Modern’s zoning and Trinity had intended to repay the loan with a construction loan." He expects construction to start in 12 - 16 months and the clock to cancel the hard fought rezoning is tied to beginning actual construction. In March, long before the foreclosure action, a construction lien of $60,000 was placed by Urban Design Studios aka Kilday and Associates on the 1515 South Flagler property. A contract signed with Paul Grillo was documented for the professional services provided to guide the rezoning through the commission process. The lien is for May ‘09 to December ‘09 and remains unpaid. The Planning and Zoning Firm has been added to the August foreclosure submittal.

West Palm Beach Attorney Peter Bernhardt, who represents the bank, said the full $36 million is outstanding and I continue searching for any information if Trinity has a chance to work this out.

On a different side of the Modern’s history, using more than 3,000 sticks of dynamite, the remains of the 30 story 1515 Condo Tower originally called the Arkona, were imploded by Advanced Explosives Demolition on February 14, 2010.

This week, that company no longer can claim an accident free record for 27 years. Wednesday, November 12th at noon, the AED demolition of a 300 foot smokestack at an Ohio power plant went terribly wrong. Lisa and Eric Kelly the company owners, had little patience last year when the plan to implode the 1515 during the holidays was denied. Because our city and construction supervisor, Doug Wise, put safety in front of a chance to become a TV reality show episode of the "Imploders", our takedown occurred in February with enormous safety rules in place.

According to the Dayton Daily news accounts, the explanation of why the blast did not send the stack to the cleared area directly to the east, but went crashing down to the southeast, was an undetected crack in the tower.

With the live electrical lines falling, 25 media members, demolition crews and the Kelly family members scattered to avoid the crackling lines. WHLO-TV videographer Eric Higgenbotham stated, "We were standing under the power lines, it was like the end. We were running for our lives." The two 12,000 volt power lines also came down on a building housing backup generators. Power was out to the west side of the city for hours.

The justified fears and concerns of the 1515 neighbors and city officials who labored to ensure the best outcome, along with the Condo News’ unwavering support, made this comment by Lisa Kelly NOT a part of our collective memory, "Nobody’s happy with things that go wrong in life, and sometimes it’s out of our hands and beyond anybody’s prediction." she stated.

I remain convinced the "public unified demand" for every possible safety factor and several rigorous pre-inspections might have made the difference in our city.

Since we have been successful in our goal of removing a terrible blight on our waterfront, I have been writing your Condo Design column. I have come to realize my passion remains in the visual satisfaction of creating a room, not in putting the Rules and Don’t into words. I plan on continuing submitting the social goings on at Rapallo Condominium, as well as any major news regarding the Modern project when our local paper does not give as much detail as available.

As every politician says when departing whether by scandal or choice, "I want to travel and spend more time with my family."

(Note: See full story of 1515 take-down below)


1515 Condominium Tower Imploded February 14, 2010 

By Jeanine Heidtman

Photo by Jimmy Shirley for Condo News

Background by Betty Thomas: On Labor Day weekend in 2004, Palm Beach County was hit by Hurricane Frances, and 3 weeks later by Hurricane Jeanne. They made landfall very nearly at the same place in Hutchinson Island, some 35-40 miles north of West Palm Beach. H. Frances, a category 2 at landfall,  had an unusually large eye, 80 miles across, torrential rains and lingered nearly stationary, moving only 5 miles an hour, with hurricane force winds pummeling West Palm Beach for nearly 2 days.  H. Jeanne struck Florida as a category 3, with a 60 mile wide eye and moved out the same day.  The following year, Hurricane Wilma made her entrance on the west coast of Florida October 24, 2005, crossed the state in about 6 hours, with the eye passing over West Palm Beach. Winds were measured at 92 miles per hour with gusts 112-117 mph over Lake Okeechobee. The 1515 Tower on Flagler Drive in West Palm Beach (pictured above) sustained devastating damage during Frances and Jeanne, rendering the building uninhabitable, but not condemned by the City of West Palm Beach. Wilma added to the damage by blowing more debris through the structure endangering surrounding buildings. The status of 1515 remained in flux until February 14 , and residents in nearby condominiums were exasperated by seemingly endless wrangling between the developer, who bought the property for redevelopment, and the City Commission.  At 30 stories high, the 1515 was the tallest building in the state of Florida to be imploded, and the third tallest in the nation. Below are some photos of the demolition and Jeanine Heidtman's account. Still to come, the clean-up and eventual construction of The Modern on that site.


Jeanine Heidtman reports on the implosion of the 1515 and aftermath to come. 


Thar She Blows! 

1515 Tower implosion 

- 5½ years over in 7 seconds!


Photo by Andres Garcia, 

Rapallo North Doorman 

taken from the Royal Park Bridge 

in West Palm Beach


Hundreds of boats watching the implosion from the Intracoastal made a mad dash to escape the dust pall. 

Photo by Andres Garcia, Rapallo No. doorman

6-year-old Elyja Kelly, daughter of AED's Kelly family, pushed the button that triggered the implosion. When asked what happened when she pushed the button, Elyja answered simply, "It blowed up."


Photo by Jeanine Heitman

View from the roof of Rapallo North Condominium shows the Viding Arms (foreground) and the Norton Park Condominiums with the pile of debris of what was the 1515 Tower. 

Photo by Andres Garcia, Rapallo No. doorman

View of the Royal Park Bridge from the roof of the Rapallo North Condominium on Flagler Drive, West Palm Beach. 

Photo by Andres Garcia, Rapallo No. doorman

Jeanine Heidtman with West Palm Beach Mayor Lois Frankel following the implosion.


Photo submitted by Jeanine Heidtman

With the live broadcast of the 1515 South Flagler Drive Implosion and in depth stories by our local newspaper, it would appear all ended well.

Because of the diligent requirements and safety measures in place under the direction of Doug Wise, Director of Construction Services, we witnessed the most modern methods of taking down such a tall structure. With the push of a button by Elyja Kelly, 6 year old daughter of AED’s Kelly family , the building fell, the wind sent the dust cloud over to Palm Beach and the hundreds of boats watching made a mad dash to get away.

With AED Demolition gone from Palm Beach County after their "picture perfect implosion," there is one Condo who did not fare very well.

I spoke to Seth Schulman, Manager of the Viking Arms, just south of the implosion who told me "after further assessment, our roof suffered significant damage. The blast threw out large chunks of concrete and steel rebar that penetrated our roof system in over 40 places. We have been told by City Officials to file with our Insurance Company, but no person from the BG Group has come over as requested several times. The roof is only several years old and cost over $200,000 and has to be professionally repaired so it will remain under warranty in the future. We are hoping temporary patches will hold till we can get it taken care of. We also have our screen balconies and windows covered with thick cement dust and bent aluminum rail damage to be addressed. Despite additional calls, there has been no one over to the Viking Arms to evaluate and discuss solutions even though BG Group is working right next door."

Shortly after I was allowed to return to the Rapallo, I gathered a large amount of golf ball and larger cement chunks which had fallen into our parking lot. The total removal of all our cars surely saved a lot of damage to deal with.

I was very pleased overall from the cooperative spirit between condo residents and the police who were organizing every aspect of safety. A definite feeling of respect was shown by spectators for the many necessary rules during the event. Watching from Olive Avenue and the Norton Museum where VIP and Press were set up, I spoke with one former resident of 1515, who asked to be nameless, about her home of almost 30 years permanently gone in 8 seconds. She recalled the glorious view each morning while having her coffee, never imagining it would someday end so abruptly from the Hurricanes.

The worst part before today, was the hopes for restoration of the 1515 being followed by disappointment afterwards. She felt being there in person to watch would finally give her some ending emotionally. I truly hope it has.

Mayor Frankel greeted the crowd assembled with Hershey’s Kisses for Valentine’s Day, and Bill Moss appeared to be the only City Commissioner in our viewing area.

Just before blast, I started speaking with the person next to me who turned out to be Susan Wise, whose husband was Director for the Implosion. I commented the enormous responsibility Doug was just completing and he should take a long needed rest. She and their four children were just looking forward to getting "Dad and Husband back again."

Still to come ... the Aftermath ...


Wrapping Up 1515

March 24, 2010

Probably the most often asked question after the long hoped for implosion, is how is the fast shrinking pile of debris being dealt with.

Doug Wise, City of West Palm Beach Construction Services, who has turned in his "Demolition Hard Hat" after a job well done, sent me the City Code 109.3.10 regarding the specific language concerning the impact of Construction.

This widely inclusive Code states, "All activity cannot adversely impact conditions of adjacent properties unless consent is granted by the property owners with exact terms and conditions. This includes but not limited to dust, noise, debris and construction materials."

In speaking with Denny Johnson, a resident of Norton Park Place Condominium, to thank him for some new amazing shots of the building falling, I received the following e-mail:

"I am feeling positive regarding the on-going rubble cleanup at 1515 South Flagler. There has been no unwelcome weekend activity, and things are well organized to separate the enormous amount of rebar from the cement.

"Every truck is covered with a retractable screen and they are hosing down the dust constantly throughout the day. At their current rate, the lot should be clean by April 1st. In summary, the Dental Office on Arkona Drive is not very happy with the aftermath of the implosion and if you venture near to see the rubble from a different vantage, you are asked to leave. Certainly he has every right."

Seth Schulman reports the roof repairs on the Viking Arms were to begin March 9th, but no agreement has been reached for the significant clean-up of resident balconies. With the additional ongoing cloud of dust created, it would be futile for much actual work to begin. Trinity Development has acknowledged this responsibility by City Code to comply, and that granting final approval to sign off on the Demolition permit can be with-held. We hope the BG Group will inform us of their plan for restoring our property without further delay.

Perhaps the most favorable news to share, is the changed route for trucks removing the debris. According to Brian Collins, City Traffic Official in a phone call this morning, "No longer are trucks permitted to exit and go south on Flagler Drive through the El Cid Historic District. Now required is a left out of the Demolition site north to Okeechobee Blvd. and then proceeding west on Okeechobee where commercial vehicles are standard fare.

Empty returning trucks come east on Okeechobee, travel a short distance south on Flagler Drive, but use Arkona Drive and Olive Avenue to come back in for reloading. This prevents any turn around on the narrow Historic Streets of Mango Promenade, particularly on Cranes Nest Way, just south of the Norton Museum. This has solved the many numerous complaints and also moved the traffic away from the Museum."

Many of us wish however, the traffic congestion from student pick-up from Palm Beach Day Academy would be finally dealt with as quickly.

The Foreman of the 1515 site has stated to the City Officials, "Any trucks not obeying the Flagler Drive and other restrictions should report the name on the side of the vehicle and the person will be dealt with immediately. With all our surrounding Condominium owners now enjoying their new view, there will be plenty of eyes from above watching the efforts.

A call to 822-2222 at City Hall has resulted in fast and successful resolution of problems for concerned citizens.

Perhaps April 1st, 2010, is a bit optimistic for a completely cleared site but no one is venturing a comment beyond grass and irrigation required by the end of May.

With the Modern units to start at over $3 million, many will be waiting for their income tax checks before they make the anticipated $800,000 deposit.

With property taxes to be around $70,000 per year, you’ll have to dig deeper in your pockets than the 25 foot excavation planned just 1 foot from all 1515 site property lines, necessary for the underground parking garage. The neighborhood hopes this anticipated step down the line, whenever and if it occurs will be "Picture perfect too."

Next issue, back to ideas and trends in 2010 Spring decorating. I’m turning in my "Hard Hat" as well.


Hotlines on Happenings



SENIORS vs CRIME: The Florida Attorney General’s Office announces the opening of its West Palm Beach office through its "SENIOR vs CRIME" program. These offices are staffed by volunteers who are part of the crime-fighting initiative which aims to identify unethical businesses and individuals who attempt to prey on seniors. For information call 561-445-9966.




Yiddish Vinkl. West Palm Beach Century Village Clubhouse, 2 Sundays a Month, 1PM. Talk, poetry, legends, sing-a-long. Info: Edy, 687-4255.


Royal/Wellington Chpt. of ORT meets on the 2nd Monday of the month at 12 noon in the Cultural Center in Royal Palm Beach. RSVP: Betty Ryen Breinin at 790-4364 or Ray Kerner at 793-1423.


West Palm Beach Club Alliance for Retired Americans, join us for interesting speakers, informative topics. Call Ruth for location, dates and times of meetings. 561-478-7889.


Democratic Party of Palm Beach meets the 1st Thursday of each month, 7pm, in the auditorium of the Park Vista community High School, 7900 Jog Rd., corner of Hypoluxo Rd., Lake Worth, FL 33467. Refreshments served. All welcome. Info: 561-833-8936.


Civil War Round Table of Palm Beach County meets the 2nd Tuesday of each month at 7pm at the American Polish Hall on Lake Worth Rd. The CWRT is a non-partisan study and discussion group of the Civil War embracing all viewpoints. For information, call Gerridine at 967-8911 or Bob 683-5759.


The Sons of Confederate Veterans, Camp 1599, West Palm Beach, meets every 3rd Tuesday at 6:30 pm.  For information, call Cdr. Brian Anderson at 561-352-4728.


Hasting Cue Club meets every day (except Sunday) to play on reserved tables from 9am-12 noon at the Hastings Clubhouse, 2nd Floor, Century Village. The cue club meets the last Thursday of every month. Info: call Billy at 684-1885.


Combat Infantrymen's Association meets the 1st Thursday of the month at the Golden Corral restaurant, Okeechobee Blvd. and 441 (State Rd 7) at 11:30 am. For information call  George Fisher at (561) 585-7086.


Korean War Veterans Chpt. 17 meets on the 2nd Sunday of each month at 9am in the Hagen Ranch Firehouse. All Korean Veterans are invited and refreshments are served. Call 561-499-4892 for more information.


National Council of Jewish Women meets the 3rd Thursday of the month at 1:30 pm at Wachovia Bank, 5849 Okeechobee Blvd. Speaker and collation. Info call Madalyn at 684-2835.


Cypress Lakes, Na'Amat, formerly Pioneer Women Meetings & Fund Raisers, meets at Cypress Lakes off Haverhill Rd., WPB, every 4th Tues. of the month at 12:30pm. Refreshments served, guests welcome. Info: Call Marcia 640-4258 or Rhoda at 478-8559..


The Jupiter/Tequesta/Juno Beach Lions Club  meets at Denny's Restaurant, 716 No. US Hwy One, Tequesta, on the 2nd Tuesday at 11:30am social, 12 noon for lunch; and on the 4th Tuesday at 6pm for social with dinner at 6:30pm. The public is invited but reservations are necessary. Info: Call Bob Hall at 743-4674 or email:


Navy Seabee Veterans of America, Island X-12, P.B.Co., meets the 2nd Saturday of each month at the Moose Lodge in Greenacres on Bowman St, Lake Worth. For info, call William Edwards at (561) 881-8245.


American Legion post #367, 110 Camellia Dr., Royal Palm Beach, meets the 2nd & 4th Tuesdays at 7:30 pm, of each month, non-smoking atmosphere. For info call daytime or early evening: 792-3813 or 795-4854.


Jewish War Veterans of the USA, Roslyn Moore Post 502, meets the 2nd Sunday of the month. 9am collation, 10am meeting at the V.A. Hospital, Room 1-C 135. Call Cmdr. Eugene L. Moore at 561-638-6435.


Jewish War Veterans Post 520 meets at the Elks Lodge (new meeting place), 6188 Belvedere Rd, West Palm Beach, FL, on the 4th Sunday of every month. Collation 9am, meeting at 9:30am. We welcome all veterans of past wars as well as all recently returned veterans from the Gulf Area. For information, call David Waldstein, (561) 439-1157. 


Jewish War Veterans Post Sylvia & Hyman L. Solomon Post 684, Western communities, meets the 1st Sunday of the month at Temple Beth Zion, Royal Palm Beach. Collation 9am, meeting 9:30am. Info: Cdr. Lawrence Schmookler  (561) 697-9011.


Jewish War Veterans Post 501 meets at the Jewish Community Center, 3151 N. Military Trail, WPB, 33409, 1st Sunday of every month at 9am. Info: Call Ralph Wugman, (561) 689-1271


The Irwin L. Steinberg Post #321 of the Jewish War Veterans meets the 1st Tuesday at Temple Anshie Shalom, 7099 West Atlantic Ave., Delray Beach. For information call Jake Sahl (561) 496-7024.


The Palm Beach Gardens Lions Club meets twice a month - 2nd Tues. luncheon 11:30 am, and 4th Tues. dinner 6:30 pm, at the Waterford Hotel and Conference Center, 11360 US Hwy One in North Palm Beach. Public welcome. Advance reservations required. Call 743-4674 or 630-4866.


The Marine Corps League of the Palm Beaches, General A.A. Vandegrift Detachment 068, meets at 7:30 p.m. on the 2nd Monday of each month at the VFW Post #9610, 350 Tenth Street, Lake Park. All Marines, retired, and former Marines are welcomed. Call Cary Haerlin 561-662-8295. or Dianne Bradley (561) 309-5262.


Alliance for Retired Americans, West Palm Beach, FL meets the 2nd Wed. of each month, at the Wachovia Bank at Okeechobee & Meridian (just outside the West Gate of Century Village) in the Community Rm., 2nd Fl., at 1pm for coffee and 1:30 pm for the meeting. Come, bring friends & neighbors. Interesting speakers & topics. Call Ruth at 478-7889.


NARFE (National Assn. of Retired Fed. Empl.), Delray Beach Chapter #1979, meets every third Friday at 9:30 am at the First Union Bank in Kings Point shopping area, Atlantic Ave., west of Jog Rd., Delray Beach. Info: call Dave Forest at 561-499-3213.


NARFE (National Assn. of Retired Fed. Empl.), North Palm Beach Chapter #1088, meets 2nd Tuesdays, 12:30 pm, at the Sugar Cane Island Bistro, 353 US 1, just south of Indiantown Rd, Jupiter Bay Plaza. Info: Call Pres. C. Ransbottom-Roman, 637-0642,


NARFE (National Association of Current & Retired Fed. Empl.) Chapter 159, meets at 1:00 pm on the 3rd Friday of each month on the 2nd Floor Community Rm. of Wachovia Bank, 5849 Okeechobee Blvd., WPB. All current & retired Fed. Employees are welcome and urged to attend our meetings to protect their rights. Info: Call Sam at (561) 687-0228 or E-mail Don at:


Coure d’Italia order of the Sons of Italy in America, meets the 2nd Wednesday of the month, 7:30 pm, Waterford Hotel Conference Ctr., 11360 US 1, No.Palm Bch. Call Leo Lauricella at (561) 630-2766.


Golda Meir Chapter of Hadassah, Aveda Meir of Boynton Beach meets every 3rd Thursday at the Beth Kadesh Temple at NE 26th Ave., 12 Noon. Info: 734-3593.


B'nai Brith Century Unit #5367, in Century Village, West Palm Beach. Breakfast meetings are held the 4th Sunday morning at Anshi-Shalom Synagogue. For more information call Sarah Farkas at (561) 478-3067 or Helen Fisherman at (561) 683-1937.



U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, Jupiter Flotilla 52, is offering FREE Safety Check of recreational boats and personal watercraft to interested boating groups and/or individuals. Any marinas, clubs, individuals or homeowners associations interested in arranging a date to receive a Vessel Safety Check should contact Leonard Lesnik at (561) 842-0925.




The Lake Worth Senior Citizens Center, 202 No. H St., offers the following classes: Languages (Spanish, French); Exercise, Senior Aerobics, Arts and Crafts, Computer, Tai Chi, Oil Painting, Ballroom Dance, Line Dance and others. Call for information: 586-6102.


North County Senior Center, 5217 Northlake Blvd., Palm Beach Gardens, has classes for seniors: Includes crafts, cards, painting, dancing, exercise, computer, languages, quilting. Info: call 561-627-6470.


Classes for Peer Counselors and Widowed Support Counselors. Classes are held in South, Central and Northern Palm Beach County and are sponsored by the Mental Health Association of Palm Beach County. Call (561) 832-3755 ext. 13, for more information.




The Friends of MacArthur Beach State Park invite you to join our volunteer family by volunteering in our Gift Shop. Volunteers greet customers, assist with purchases and enjoy the beautiful State Park. Training provided, volunteers enjoy free Park admission and free participation in Park activities. Please call Marty at 561 776-7449 to volunteer or with questions.


Fla. Dept. of Elder Affairs & Area Agency on Aging of the Palm Beaches & Treasure Coast need volunteers for SHINE (Serving Health Insurance Needs of Elders) Program. Volunteers are fully trained in tops as Medicare, Medicaid, etc., provide information, compare policies, help clients w/ claims and appeals of health care decisions, provide information regarding prescription assistance programs, and more. Services are provided to clients either in person or by telephone. Volunteers are asked to serve a minimum of 10 hours per month. For more information about the programs and requirements of Volunteers, call Jennifer VanderMay at (561) 684-5885 or Moses Baskin at (561) 686-9002.


Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office is looking for men and women volunteers. Duties include serving citizens of P.B.Co. by providing a place to make inquiries, report non-emergency matters and receive suggestions that will help create a safer community. Call Volunteer Captain, Herb Cornell at (561) 478-6497.


P.B. County Division of Senior Services needs volunteers: aiding seniors, frail elders and caregivers; volunteer for companionship to the homebound, telephone friend (reassuring someone they are not alone), assist at senior centers, meal sites and day care. Training provided. Contact 561-355-4683.


Hospice of Palm Beach County needs volunteers: Direct Patient Contact, Clerical & Resale, Special Needs. One-day training programs offered once a month on a Saturday from 9am-4pm. Info: call Sandy Brown at 561-227-5167.


Mid-County Senior Citizens Center is located at 3680 Lake Worth Road, Lake Worth, FL. For information, please call (561) 357-7100.


Make-A-Wish of Southern Florida grants over 450 wishes each year to children who have life-threatening illnesses. Volunteers are needed to help make those dreams come true by meeting with wish children and their families, speaking to community groups or assisting with fund-raising efforts. If you can attend a general orientation session and want to make a difference in the lives of those coping with a child's illness, contact Make-A-Wish at (954) 967-WISH (9474).


Wellington Regional Auxiliary needs enthusiastic volunteers to join auxiliary staff. Positions exist in most departments. One 4-hour shift once per week. Info: 790-7175.




The Mid Palm Beach County Peripheral Neuropathy support group has a monthly 4-page newsletter. For information on how to receive the newsletter by email or regulator mail, call Samuel Grundfast DDS at 964-0147.


NEW ALZHEIMER’S SUPPORT GROUP meets every Thursday, Classroom A, Century Village Clubhouse. No doctors, no sales, no fees. Century Village residents only. Call David 683-9189.


Bereavement Support Groups.:

-- Mid County Senior Center, 3680 Lake Worth Road. Lake Worth, FL 33461. Tel: (561) 357-7100, Tuesdays, 10:00-11:00 am.

-- JFK Medical Center, 5301 S. Congress Ave., Atlantis: Newly bereaved, Saturdays 10-11am, Main Entrance; Moving on, Saturdays, 10-11am, Rothman Center. For more information call the Mental Health Association at (561) 832-3755.


AAKP Support Groups for Kidney Patients and Care Givers; Call for information:

-- No. County Sr. Center. Call 561-622-3745, or 561-882-6467.

-- Baywinds Clubhouse, Call 561-798-5468 or 561-588-8721.

-- Boynton Beach Mall at Picadilly Cafeteria, Call 561-739-9267 or 561-732-7229.

-- DOT, Delray Beach, Call 561-879-0368.


Alzheimers Support Groups at Following Locations:

-- Boynton Beach Heartland Healthcare Center. Call 1-800-861-7826.

-- The Pointe at Newport Place, Call: 561-586-2989.

-- Delray Beach Alzheimer's Day Care Center. Call Tricia at 561-265-3667.

-- Alzheimer's Day Care Center. Call 561-265-3667.

-- Arden Courts. Call 561-498-5552.

-- HCR-Manor Care. Call 561-638-0000.

-- Alterra Wynwood West. Call 561-738-4777.

-- Greenacres - The Villages. Call 800-748-0395.

-- Wellington/Royal Palm Beach/ Loxahatchee, West Lake Worth, Lake Wellington Professional Center. Call 1-800-861-7826.


Trigeminal Neuralgia Assn. of Palm Beach, meets at JFK Hospital, Congress Ave., every other month on the 1st Sunday from 2-4 pm. For info: (561) 641-7903, or (561) 965-4866.


American Tinnitus Assn. sponsors the Tinnitus Self-Help Group of Palm Beach County.Educational programs 2nd Thurs of each month, Oct. - May, 7:30-9:00pm. South County Civic Center, Jog Rd. South of Linton across from the Morikami, Delray Beach. Free Parking front lot. Sugg. donation $1.00. Info. & Res. Call Ellen Gartner (800) 732-9217.


Stroke of Hope Club meets 2nd Sunday of Every Month, at 1:45 pm. at the First Presbyterian Church, 717 Prosperity Farms Rd., North Palm Beach. General meeting is open to Stroke Victors and Caregivers. All welcome. Info. call (561) 745-0400.


Aphasia Group (Speech Therapy)  meets every Tuesday 9:30 -11 a.m. at the Palm Beach Gardens Medical Center in the Cafeteria, and every Thursday 9:30-11:00 a.m. at their NEW OFFICE: The Gentry Bldg., 860 Hwy. 1, Suite 106, North Palm Beach, 33408. For more info call 745-0400.


Smoke Free ME! -Am. Lung Assn. - first Mondays, 6:30-8pm, 2701 N. Australian Ave., WPB. Combination support group w/ informational talks. Call Mon.-Fri., 1-800-330-5864 for info.


SHHH (Delray-Boynton Chapter) Self Help for Hard of Hearing People Membership Meeting, third Friday of the month at the South County Civic Center, 1600 Jog Rd. (Opposite Morikami Park) Delray Beach. Meeting starts 9:45am and ends approx. 11:30 am. Come early for coffee & bagels. Meeting free. Non-members, hearing impaired people, friends & relatives invited to attend. For information or if you need a ride, call George (561) 637-8430.




Hospice’s Resale Shops are looking for quality donations of furniture, household items and furniture from residents and businesses. The shops are open Monday thru Friday, 10am-4pm. Shops are located in West Palm Beach, Juno Beach and their newest one in Wellington. For information, Call Pat Bockford at (561) 236-4008.


Fl. Dept. of Chldrn. & Families looking for toiletries, soap, shampoo, combs, tooth brushes & paste, etc. Call Fred Wein at Volunteer Services 837-5565.




Mounts Botanical Gardens

Mounts Botanical Garden is a component of the Palm Beach County Extension Service and affiliated with the University of Florida. Mounts' gardens and programs can provide a source of valuable horticultural and botanical information for associations to draw on.



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