January 2017 Meeting Highlights
COBWRA DELEGATES MEETING
January 18, 2017
- PRESIDENT GLEN HARVIE called for a quorum, called the meeting to order and led the delegates in the Pledge of Allegiance.
- PRESIDENT HARVIE introduced the INDIAN SPRING DELEGATE JOAN MOSS and INDIAN SPRING PRESIDENT ARTHUR KAPLAN who welcomed the delegates and many honored guests in attendance.
- PAST PRESIDENT MYRNA ROSOFF welcomed a long list of distinguished guests.
- PRESIDENT HARVIE called for nominations for the Nominating Committee. The committee interviews candidates and presents a slate of officers to the delegation in February for election in March. Steve Bayer (Majestic Isles), Sandy Parker (Coral Lakes), Sharon Reuben (Valencia Isles), Steve Slade (Avalon Estates), and Myrna Rosoff (Aberdeen), who was appointed the interim chair, accepted the nomination.
- PRESIDENT HARVIE called for a vote to accept Capistara for membership in COBWRA, the vote was 53 in favor and none opposed.
- MEL MORRIS, CHAIR of the NEW COMMUNITIES COMMITTEE, introduced Tony Scott, President of Board of Directors, Capistara who expressed appreciation for COBWRA’s help during their recent turnover.
- PRESIDENT HARVIE announced the Seminar on Dementia and Alzheimer’s sponsored by the HEALTH and WELLNESS COMMITTEE, FEBRUARY 8, 2017 at BETHESDA HOSPITAL WEST from 9:00 AM to Noon only has a few spots left. Reservations are limited and required. Email HealthandWellness@COBWRA.org with your name and phone number to reserve your spot
ELECTED OFFICIALS’ REPORTS
- COUNTY COMMISSIONER MARY LOU BERGER wished everyone a happy and healthy New Year. The Commissioner commented on a few articles from a local newsletter. Atlantic Avenue will be widened east of 441 and the talk of a Flavor Pict bridge over the turnpike is just that, “talk,” as long as she is a Commissioner.
- COUNTY COMMISSIONER DAVE KERNER wanted COBWRA to know how much respect is given to its volunteers. He listed many of the members who serve on County Boards. Phil Barlage – LDRAB Glen Harvie – Sales Tax Oversight Committee Barbara Katz- Zoning Commission Cathe North – Library Advisory Board Barbara Roth – Planning Commission Myrna Rosoff – Water Utilities Advisory Board Sam Manuele – Library Advisory Board SHERIFF RIC BRADSHAW won the first annual Bunny Steinman Award; Bunny was so important to the local Democratic Party and COBWRA. COBWRA had a moment of silence for Bunny Steinman on the first anniversary of her death.
- SUPERVISOR OF ELECTIONS SUSAN BUCHER mentioned what a wild election cycle it had been with record setting turnout of 75%, an increase of 5% over 2012.
- DISTRICT 3 SCHOOL BOARD REPRESENTATIVE KAREN BRILL announced that a COBWRA representative will be appointed to the 1 cent sales tax oversight committee. Representative Brill noted her different views from Secretary of Education Nominee Betsy DeVos on allowing guns in schools, allowing public funds for religious schools and allowing states to choose how to adhere to the ADA and other special needs.
- STATE ATTORNEY DAVE ARONBERG wished everyone a happy New Year and is looking forward to his presentation with STATE SENATOR JEFF CLEMENS on Sober Homes.
- STATE SENATOR JEFF CLEMENS is excited for the upcoming session in Tallahassee. FIRST RESPONDERS’ REPORTS
- PALM BEACH COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE DISTRICT 6 CAPTAIN CHRISTOPHER KEENE reported that they are hosting another Citizens Police Academy at District 6 and there are still a few spots available; the program will start February 7 and will be held Tuesday nights at 6:30 for 8 weeks. Contact District 6 or COBWRA if you would like to participate. Captain Keene recommends attending the monthly COBWRA Safety and Security Committee meetings; every community should have someone attend. A few statistics for District 6 in 2016: 124,000 calls for service; 10,000 traffic stops initiated; responded to 100 overdoses; currently 17 known sober homes in District6.
- PALM BEACH COUNTY FIRE RESCUE HOA LIAISON TONY KEELER and CAPTAIN DOUG MCGLYN reported 2016 statistics: 225 overdoses, a 30% increase from 2015 within COBWRA area; 163,000 calls to 911 of which 136,000 fire rescue responded; $100,000 spent on the use of NARCAN, the drug administered to revive overdose victims; received a grant for 4 thermal imaging systems, $10,000 each for use in 4 engines; hopefully, more to come. $600,000 grant for LUCAS, an automated mechanical chest compression tool for CPR, PBC save rate has risen from 14% to 50%. A New Mobile Integrated Health initiative tracks patients after release from the hospital, to improve outcomes. Finally look out for the new “Get in the NO” campaign; NO=Carbon Monoxide from running cars in the home, Carbon Monoxide kills.
PRESIDENT’ HARVIE’S REPORT
- COBWRA is forming a Water and Wetlands Committee. The first meeting is Friday, January 20th at PBSO 6, from 10 AM to Noon.
- COBWRA is reestablishing a Parks Committee to meet with the Parks Department to design the Park south of Sunset Palms School. A first meeting will be in the near future.
- A committee of Myrna Rosoff, Steve Oseroff and Lew Doctor has been established to review the Ag Reserve plan developed in July 2014 to determine any needed adjustments.
PROGRAM COMMITTEE CHAIR GERRI SEINBERG introduced COBWRA’s State Senator Jeff Clemens and State Attorney Dave Aronberg who will be speaking on a growing problem in Palm Beach County particularly in the COBWRA area, Sober Homes.
What impact do sober homes have on the COBWRA area?
The program started with a skit portraying how many unscrupulous Sober Homes are run illustrating how money and not sobriety may be the motivating factor. The skit portrayed a young adult from a northern state, covered under her parents’ insurance seeing a commercial advertising a rehab clinic. She is told they will buy her the airline ticket to bring her down. After 30-60 days, after insurance will no longer pay the bill, she becomes one of the many homeless and jobless addicts. If she relapses, sober homes bid to have her come to their place, offering money or a scooter. The people who lure the addicts to Florida are paid illegal referrals as are the locals who try to steal them from other sober homes. The sober homes make their money off illegal kickbacks for the outpatient services for addicts like drug tests which can be billed for thousands of dollars. These stories do not end well.
Currently there are 20 overdoses a day in Palm Beach County and more than a death a day. Last year there were 800 overdoes in Delray Beach alone and 75% of the residents in the sober homes are from out of state.
Shutting down the sober homes is difficult because of the ADA rules on discrimination which protect them. They do not need to register with anyone since they only house the addicts, not treat them. Two years ago, a voluntary registration program was created as an incentive to good operators but it did not do enough to discourage the bad operators.
Senator Clemens helped authorize $275,000 for District Attorney Aronberg to form the Sober Homes Task Force which includes COBWRA 1st Vice President Phil Barlage. The task force has three strategies: law enforcement, legislation and overall communication.
If you have been watching the news, you have seen 11 arrests for patient brokering directly tied to the task force, evidence that it is working. The next step is federal legislation to allow local ordinances that will help the problem but do not violate the ADA.
Senator Jeff Clemens
District Attorney Dave Aronberg
By Warren Danz
Next Delegates Meeting
February 15, 2017 at Valencia Pointe, 9:30 AM
What Happens to the Everglades if West of State Road 7 is Developed?
Drew Martin, Conservation Chair, Sierra Club