Saturday, December 27, 2014


A 2010 AARP study revealed that 88% of the elderly want to live in their own homes in their own communities.  Grandma or Grandpa do not want to go to assisted living or a nursing home, so… what to do?

Consider MEDCottage, an open floor plan prefab 12’x24’ bedroom, bathroom, kitchenette unit, free-standing, that might fit into your backyard.  It includes high-tech monitoring and safety features, sometimes more or better than you can find in a nursing home.  Included are a microwave, washer-dryer combo and refrigerator.  Bathrooms can allow maneuvering a wheelchair.  Utilities and plumbing connect these temporary medical dwellings to primary residence, providing proximity to loved ones and reducing stress for all.

Cottage can cost under $50,000 new and some distributors buy it back after 24 months usage.  Nursing homes can run upwards of $6000 a month, making this purchase add up savings, while keeping an elderly person near their loved ones.  Professional care and meals will add to the cost.  Some health policies cover home health care.

Special rubber floors deter breaks when falls occur – “You can drop an egg from 18 inches onto the special flooring without breaking it.”  For safer bathroom visits, a runway mat that lights up when you step on it stretches from bed to toilet and turns off after 10 minutes.  A lift or trapeze hook is attached to ceiling tracks.  The hooks help with balance issues and the lift is for serious mobility challenges.  A camera can transmit to a house computer, e.g. with images of feet and ankles, in case of a fall.  More sophisticated equipment can be added, tracking various conditions and sharing the details with family and physicians.  An audio system can remind the patient to take medication and can text the caregiver.

Another prefab option is a Practical Assisted Living Structure, 14’x24’, with some models allowing access to the first floor of the primary home.

Forerunners of these updated homes, in the 1970’s, the Australians started building “granny flats,” simple backyard homes for the elderly.  Local zoning rules need to be checked out as some states allow these accessory dwellings for a family member and others don’t but may be considering appropriate legislation for them.  Some legislation states the cottages need a physician’s verification that the patient needs assistance with at least two daily functions,, e.g. bathing, eating and dressing.  The dwellings are removed when no longer needed.

Some long term care plans pay the patient for in home care and they can pay that to anyone, including a family member. 

Both companies above have facebook pages with more details and googling these companies can provide a great deal of further information.  Be aware of these solutions in case they are needed.

Thursday, December 4, 2014


Have you noticed changes along the road on I-95 in Boca Raton?
Construction begins on the long-awaited I-95 new interchange, fourteen years in the making, with exit and entrance ramps going on to Spanish River Boulevard just north of the overpass, and leading directly to Florida Atlantic University.  Nearby exits on Glades Road, the most congested roadway in the county, and Palmetto Park Road, will get some traffic relief.  The downside is that this $66.6MM project will take three years to complete.  On the upside, FDOT is extending the city’s El Rio biking/walking trail under Yamato Road.

The ramp network will connect I-95, Spanish River and Yamato Roads with additional lanes on I-95 between the Glades and Spanish River interchanges and between the Yamato and Congress Avenue interchange.  Spanish River Road will be widened west of Florida Atlantic Boulevard.  The new FAU stadium will be more accessible.  One recorded comment from a student/retiree who wants to avoid the ensuing congestion is that her “next class will be in three years”.
New turn lanes or wider ramps are coming at other I-95 interchanges, including this year, construction at Woolbright Road, 10th Avenue North, Hypoluxo Road and Donald Ross Road.  Future improvements will be made at Atlantic Avenue, Linton Boulevard, Blue Heron Boulevard and  PGA Boulevard.

Installation of noise walls along I-95 has begun with construction near San de Vance and homes on Yamato near the entrance ramp.  Two bridges will be built over the El Rio Canal as part of the entrance ramps to I-95 and Yamato from Spanish River.  With one lane of traffic remaining open at all times, other lane closures will occur between 9 am and 5  pm Sunday thru Thursday.  Gear up with magazines in your car to browse when traffic is at a standstill, DVDs or radio to play, and texting to do safely.




Saturday, November 29, 2014


The most singular name associated with this century’s Palm Beach history is that of architect Addison Mizner.  Immediate pictures come to mind upon mention of his name, of fabulous buildings he built in the area for the Palm Beach elite.  Mizner led a colorful personal life and became the prolific “go to man” for designing and decorating grand palaces in the 1920’s, some of which are visible as you drive along the famed coastline of Palm Beach and amidst its streets, though others have been torn down.

In keeping with their mission to collect, preserve and share the history of Palm Beach County, the non-profit Historical Society of Palm Beach County includes a program in their Distinguished Lecture Series about the world-famous, talented, colorful architect, whose influence over the appearance of Palm Beach was enormous, and continues to be imitated to this day.  

Members of the Historical Society (admitted for free) and non-members ($20 admission fee) are welcome at 7 pm on December 10th at The Richard and Pat Johnson Palm Beach County History Museum, 300 North Dixie Highway in West Palm Beach.  Head to the 3rd Floor Courtroom inside the historic 1916 Palm Beach County Courthouse where the Museum is housed.  You can stay afterwards for the reception and book signing.  Free parking is available directly across the street of the north side of the Courthouse.  Entry is at the southeast corner of 4th Street and Dixie, across from the WPB Fire Rescue Station, from 6 pm on.  For further information call 561-832-4164.

Author Richard Silvin, born in Switzerland, former health care corporate executive, began to write non-fiction books when he retired.  Silvin, who is a Landmarks Preservation Commission member, will give a lecture about “Villa Mizner, The House That Changed Palm Beach”, which was Mizner’s own house, and people of note in Palm Beach, in those times, mentioning others who lived in the house after Mizner passed away in 1933.  Other non-fiction books he wrote include, “Noblesse Oblige: The Duchess of Windsor as I Knew Her,” “I Survived Swiss Boarding Schools,” and “Walking the Rainbow.”

The Historical Society has archives with almost 2MM photographic images, maps, newspapers, journals, periodicals, architectural drawings and research files regarding events and people who shaped Palm Beach County.  They offer educational programs to schools about Palm Beach’s history which goes back 12,000 years.

Monday, November 24, 2014


You are in for a treat with a dazzling insider’s view of Palm Beach’s high profile citizens of this exclusive enclave from the early 1970’s to current times, “Palm Beach People”.   Photos taken by Harry Benson CBE of royalty, captains of industry, movie stars, wealthy family members in residence, families of famed politicians and others of note are compiled and written up by Hilary Geary Ross, providing a grand tour of private oases in exclusive Palm Beach settings, often with glimpses of exquisite architecture of note.

A book signing will be held on Friday, November 28th from 6-8 pm at the Foundation’s Library.  Cocktails and light hors d’oeuvres will be served.  Please RSVP (561-832-0731).  Cocktail attire requested.

Mrs. Ross, part of the NYC, Palm Beach and Southampton social circuit throughout her life, has homes in each location and has chronicled social activities worldwide as Society Editor for Quest and Q magazines.  Featured in Town and Country, W, Architectural Digest and other media, she is privileged to unique views and friendships in the area.  Ross is a member of the Preservation Board. 

Noted as the most published photographer in Life Magazine before it closed, Scottish born photojournalist Harry Benson CBE produces photographs today for major magazines.  He has had 40 one-man exhibitions worldwide and written 17 books and was named Commander of Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth in 2009.  This talented team has produced a book that you will enjoy reading, a great cocktail table presentation to read and reread, a follow-up to their first project, “New York, New York”, featuring an inside look at homes and portraits of NYC’s movers and shakers.  Both will be signing. 

Friday, November 14, 2014


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MARILYN FARBER JACOBS is licensed with WEICHERT-Heath & Joseph, Boynton Beach – 82 agents in our office who may come to a caravan of your property when Marilyn lists it, for an open house!  Keep in mind that Luxury Specialist MARILYN FARBER JACOBS KNOWS THE COUNTRY CLUBS, THE WATERFRONT, ACTIVE ADULT COMMUNITIES, HOMES IN A-RATED SCHOOL DISTRICTS and can list and quickly sell your property (even if it did not sell so far) and find you “the home of your dreams”!  Need an agent in another area?  No problem… ASK MARILYN!

Saturday, November 8, 2014


Homeland Security developed the federal REAL ID ACT OF 2005 for the issuance of state-issued drivers licenses and identification cards.  After 2016, those under age  50  will need the new star on your drivers license for access to federal buildings and commercial airline flights (though 2 forms of ID suffice for airlines).  For those over 50, the date is 2017.  The purposes of this change are to reduce fraud and to fight terrorism.

This process cannot be done online.  You must appear in person at a service center ( and have with you proof of date of birth, social security number and residential address.


Sunday, October 19, 2014


The Landmarks Preservation Commission safeguards the Town of Palm Beach’s historic and cultural resources through its landmarked structures and historic districts. 

In 1979, in order to preserve the Town of Palm Beach’s historic resources, a Historic Preservation Ordinance was adopted to study and protect Palm Beach’s most significant architectural achievements to ensure that Palm Beach’s heritage would not be lost for future generations.  The ordinance has been amended several times to clarify the purpose of the ordinance and its requirements.  Currently, there are 284 landmark properties, sites and vistas.

The Town Council has, in the past, budgeted for research by preservation consultants at $50,000, which allowed them to complete about 10 designation reports per season.  That figure has now risen to $100,000 to allow more reports to be done.

There are four criteria used to justify designating a property as a town landmark.  This season the Landmarks board will study seven properties

Preservation Foundation of Palm Beach Executive Director, Alexander Ives, asked the board to study the Clarence Mack-designed Regency-style homes in Regent Park, south of the Bath & Tennis Club, and Parc Monceau, in the south end.  The board is considering designating the two groups of houses as historic districts.  The designation season is from November through April and along with the list below two properties researched last season will be considered.  They are 177 Clarendon Avenue and 1545 North Ocean Way.

Noting that a landmarked home at 105 Clarendon Avenue had project managers who allowed sections of the home to be demolished without permission, the advisory board is considering policy changes that would better protect landmarked properties.

The Landmarks Preservation Commission will review these properties this season:

A circa-1919 Mission-style building at 255 Royal Poinciana Way

A circa-1923 Neo-Classical style building at 211 Royal Poinciana Way

A 1927 John Volk-designed Mediterranean-Revival at 233 Clarke Ave.

A 1919 Dutch Colonial (architect unknown) at 133 Seaspray Ave.

A 1928 Tudor-style building designed by Clark J. Lawrence at 311 S. County Road

A 1934 Treanor and Fatio-designed British Colonial at 17 Middle Road,

A 1924 Mediterranean-Revival at 189 Bradley Place.

To check out the Landmark Manual go to
It includes

  • Registers of Historic Places
  • Important dates in the Town’s History
  • Architectural History and Styles
  • Standards of Preservation, Rehabilitation, Restoration and Reconstruction

Thursday, October 16, 2014


This multi-cultural culinary tour is for history buffs and foodies.  The Culture Trip, an international news agency cited this tour among their Florida’s 10 Best Food Festivals and Fiestas.   TripBuzz ranked this tour as #7 out of 118 nearby activities.  South Beach Wine and Food Festival and the Palm Beach Food and Wine Festival recognize this tour.

Visit 3 to 4 restaurants for hearty food tastings and trips to historic districts, unique restaurants, historic buildings, art districts and art galleries.  

Areas toured include Northwood Village/West Palm Beach; Lake Worth and Lantana; Delray Beach and Boynton Beach and private tours can be arranged. These local tours are available year-round and go on, rain or shine.

These guide-narrated 4-hour tours are done by bus for 15-20 people.  In Delray Beach, it’s early history is described from its first Midwest founders, William Linton and David Swinton, to early landowners including Henry Flagler and William and Sara Gleason.

Some eating experiences are standing-only.  Dietary restrictions and substitutions cannot be provided.  Some eateries are cafes, restaurants, bakeries, pastry shops, markets, food stands, an urban farm, historic buildings, cultural centers and art galleries.  See their facebook page for pix.

Tours are held on 2nd, 3rd and4th Saturdays at 11 a.m.  There is about 4-6 blocks of walking.  Tours travel through historic districts and neighborhoods.  Each tour varies its stops. 

Pre-payment of $40 per person is required; children under 18 are free when accompanied by an adult, but you must call to verify that space is available.  After February 15, 2015, the new tour rate will be $45 per person for Delray Beach, Boynton Beach, Lake Worth and Lantana; $50 per person for West Palm Beach as bus rental and insurance fees have gone up. 

Tours board at Macy’s outside east entrance at the Boynton Beach Mall in Boynton Beach.  The tours are sponsored partly by Macy’s, famous for its culinary tools department, and discounts are given to trip participants.

Monday, October 13, 2014


As a condo conversion, it would be hard to find the privacy, security and exclusivity plus the historic feeling and water views... and it is a landmark!

The article states that parking will be featured at the base of the statue along with high-end retail stores, a five star restaurants and maids quarters.  Affordable housing would be limited.  Applicants just have to pass the reasonable credit check.

See more including layout of condos and prices at:



Sunday, October 12, 2014


The Dreher Park Zoo and Science Center are planning an ecotourism complex that is estimated to attract 2.2MM annual visitors, and to be the largest destination in the US focused on conservation and environment.  Cost slated to range between $93MM and $123MM, and result after 10 years, in an annual impact of $300MM. Joint venture agreement discussions to lay out roles and responsibilities are being held.  Plans call for a butterfly haven, rope canopy tour, IMAX theatre, outdoor Everglades exhibit, environment education center, and more.  Next February, completion is scheduled for the science center’s west wing, doubling its usable space over the past four years to 40,000 sq ft.  It’s last fiscal year ended with a $30,000 surplus.  By the end of the year, the zoo will have doubled the size of its Malayan tiger habitat.

The Norton Museum has begun rehabbing six historic houses it owns on Cranesnest Way and is planning an expansion to reorient the Dixie Highway entrance, and to add 15,000 sq ft of new or renovated gallery space.

Palm Beach Atlantic University’s 78-acre Marshall and Vera Lee Rinker Athletic Campus has raised more than $15MM to benefit the athletic campus, academic programs and scholarships.  The President of the College stated that the school’s economic impact on the community is $345MM.

Monday, October 6, 2014


A most accomplished woman who focuses on being a wife, mother and grandmother, she also works with community and faith-based organizations and served a First Lady of Massachusetts when husband Mitt was Governor.

In 1998 she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and volunteers time to raise awareness of this disease.

Mrs. Romney is a beautiful woman in so many ways.  The Romneys just celebrated their 45th wedding anniversary, have 5 sons and 5 daughters-in-law and 22 grandchildren.

As part of the Esther B. O ‘Keeffe Speaker Series, this presentation will be held at 3 pm on Tuesday, January 6, 2015, at The Four Arts’ Gubelmann Auditorium.    Show Membership Card (admits 2) at door; non-members pay$35 each and tickets are available one hour before the lecture (cash, checks, Visa, MasterCard, and American Express are all accepted).

Friday, October 3, 2014


Since the 1890’s, Clematis Street has been the commercial district for Palm Beach County.  Initial surveyors and engineers for Henry Flagler’s East Coast Railroad (1893) planned the area’s configuration.  Since 1990 it has been a two-way street.  The 500 block is listed in the National Register of Historic Places since 1996.  A waterfront park and pavilion connects the waterfront to Clematis Street.  From the park you can walk the waterfront and admire the really big boats docked there. Since 2009, there is a new library and city hall complex.

Locals and visitors are drawn to the street with festivals, annual events and concerts.  Catch the trolley that connects CityPlace, train and bus stations, Palm Beach Atlantic University and downtown West Palm Beach.  Some call it, “Main Street,” and “the entertainment center of West Palm Beach”, a living room, where people relax, have fun, shop, dine and do business.  There are antique shops to browse, colorful boutiques to find that one-of-a-kind item, nightclubs, a movie plex and some upscale stores and restaurants nearby. Have a drink and dine at Bradleys across from the Intracoastal Waterway and enjoy crowd watching.  Architecture is authentic and eclectic, evolving over the last century, including every era and style. 

Historic buildings abound with shops and restaurants on the ground floors of historic buildings.  On higher floors you can find startups, small tech companies, and artists.  Residents’ non –traditional work schedules activate and energize the street, often in the later hours. Some retailers have been there for 100 years.  Drop in to Segway Tours, “the best way to see the area”, and voted # 1 by Trip Advisor of 24 West Palm Beach Activities.  Rent a self-balancing “Personal Transporter,” a motorized “scooter” that changes direction by leaning that way.  Modern dance clubs and health food emporiums are included.  “Clematis by Night” offers a fountain-side concert series, food art and children’s activities.  .  After browsing an art gallery, sit outside and have coffee or wine and cheese.  “SunFest,” the annual boat show and “Corvettes on Clematis” are well attended events with the area drawing about 80,000 visitors a week.

Nearby places to enjoy are The Kravis Center where top stars perform, the Convention Center with art, antiques and jewelry shows, and lots of interesting street browsing.  The area encompasses 5 blocks from Flagler Drive to Rosemary Avenue.

Next time you are looking to have fun, head over to Clematis Street!