Weekly Newsletter

We’re starting a weekly newsletter. Most people find out about our articles through Facebook, which doesn’t show every article to every person who “Likes” our Facebook page. Some articles do very well, while others don’t reach many people.

We can tell a lot of people miss a lot of our articles. Some complain that all we write about is crime, when that’s at most 20% of what we cover. Others ask questions that we’ve already answered (“What’s going on with the old Walmart?”).

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Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | 3 Comments

50 FBI Agents Raid Wimbledon Health on Palmetto

Readers reported a raid this morning by the FBI (and/or a SWAT team) and one reader sent us the above photo. Multiple sources tell us the raid took place at the office of Wimbledon Health Partners, a company that does diagnostic testing of student athletes.

Our first tip came from a very reliable source:

Wimbledon Health [at] 7000 West Palmetto Park Road, Suite 205 was just raided. Looks like Wolf of Wall Street here. At least 50 FBI agents.

I spoke briefly with the company’s Chief Legal Counsel, Robert Grabemann, who works out of Chicago. He politely declined to answer any questions about the incident. He would not even admit or deny that anything took place (and I specifically asked that). The Miami FBI office has so far not responded to our inquiries and the Washington office told us we probably won’t get a response from them.

Readers were unsure what the company does. Their website says:

Wimbledon Health Partners has provided cardiovascular testing to over 151 schools nationwide to help prevent sudden cardiac arrest in student athletes—nearly 20,500 students tested, and counting!

Mitchell Rubin is listed on the company website as Founder and CEO. It is a common name but a “Mitchell Rubin” was named in an article about a lawsuit in Chicago involving Veridian Health.

The building is on the southwest corner of Palmetto Park Road and Powerline, near Olive Garden and McDonald’s. The same building has had some notoriety in the past for activities at a currently defunct nightclub including shootings. It otherwise seems to be a normal and even upscale office building.

Update from one source:

There was no SWAT team – just regular FBI agents and analysts to go through the computers and files in the office.

The reason you see FBI members on multiple floors in the picture sent in is because Wimbledon Health has offices on 2 floors.

The reason they had that amount of FBI agents was solely because of the number of employees. They needed to be able to assure no one destroyed files during the raid and the manage that many individuals needs a manageable ratio of employee to FBI agent.

To my knowledge, no one was arrested at the scene. There were a number of people questioned then let go. All that was seized were computers and files. The owner Mitchell Rubin was not present at the time of the FBI raid. His car was not in his reserved parking spot all day.

Second update: WPTV reports that this was a search warrant related to possible healthcare fraud. “Rubin says he is not aware of any allegations regarding healthcare fraud.”

Third update: We found a Complaint from a federal civil lawsuit in Chicago that appears to be against a “Mitchell E. Rubin”. We can’t confirm it’s the same guy.

Download (PDF, 653KB)

Posted in Business, Crime | Tagged , | 8 Comments

Q & A with Patrick, Co-Owner of Stella’s Pizzeria

What year did your business start?

I opened Stella’s Pizzeria with my brother Daniel in October of 2008.

Where are you located and were you always in the same location?

We are located in the Boca Greens Shopping Center on the north end of the plaza (behind The Tire Kingdom). We’ve been in this location since our opening in 2008.

How and why did you get into the business?

I began working in the restaurant business at the age of 17. My mother, Stella, owned Perrini’s Pizzeria and convinced me to start working part-time. I started out washing dishes and after saving up enough money to buy a car, began running deliveries. From there I learned to cook, make pizzas and began managing. After graduating high school I was working full-time while taking classes to pursue a degree in education…And then things got a little crazy.

In 2004, my mother was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma and the future of the restaurant was at best uncertain. I put school on hold and began taking on more of a leadership role. At the age of 22, I decided to become a working partner in order to keep the restaurant open.

Unfortunately, in September of 2008 my mother lost her battle with Myeloma. My brother and I decided to partner together and change the name of the restaurant from Perrini’s to Stella’s. It just seemed like the right thing to do. Since changing the name, the business has grown more than we ever could’ve imagined. We truly are lucky and we owe our success to our amazing staff and even more amazing customers!

How many generations have been running the business?

We are first-generation owner/operators. With my first child due late this March (I can’t even begin to explain how excited I am!!!), who knows…There might just be another generation of Stella’s owner/operators in the making.

Are you known for anything special?

Great question. As far as our menu is concerned, I think it’s fair to assume that aside from our pizza, our homemade meatballs and our crispy Stella’s eggplant are the crowd favorites.

Food aside, I think the thing that sets us apart from other small pizzerias is the fact that we are committed to giving back. We’ve partnered with multiple schools, youth sports teams and non-profits and whenever possible we raffle off/donate pizzas for their events. We also give discounted rates for all schools and non-profits.

What hours are you open?

Our hours of operation are Sunday-Thursday 11:00am – 9:00 pm and on Friday/Saturday 11:00 am – 10:00 pm. If there is an event or special occasion that requires us to open early we always do our best to accommodate.

Are you involved with any community groups?

As I mentioned previously, we work with multiple schools and non-profits. One of the groups we’ve worked with that I’m most proud of is The Camp Shalom campers with special needs.  We close down the restaurant for an hour or two and teach the kids how to make their own pizzas! They always have a blast and we look forward to seeing them again.

What do you love most about the business?

What I love most about the business is that we get to interact with some of the most interesting people you’ll ever meet. We have so many regulars that we’ve known for years – we literally consider them family.

What do you think is your biggest challenge with the business?

Our biggest challenge with the business are the ever fluctuating food costs. Being a small, single-unit restaurant makes negotiating with large vendors tough at times. Our relationships with our food reps has been key to our success.

What do you want the community to know about you?

I think what we’d like the community to know about us is that we take pride in what we do. We’re proud of the business we’ve been fortunate enough to build over the years and we pay it forward whenever possible.

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

30 Violations at Odyssey Diner

Odyssey Diner; Image: Google

With 30 violations, the Odyssey Diner on Jog in Delray returns to the top of our list of bad restaurant inspections. In 2015 they were hit with a 58-violation inspection, and in April of this year they had 20 violations.

This week’s report includes 8 high priority violations including a stop sale for temperature issues:

  • Employee washed hands with no soap. Grill cook washed hands with no soap. Was instructed on proper hand washing. **Corrective Action Taken**
  • Potentially hazardous (time/temperature control for safety) food cold held at greater than 41 degrees Fahrenheit. Butter 63°, cream cheese 58°, creamer 44°. Under 4 hours moved to freezer. **Corrective Action Taken**
  • Potentially hazardous (time/temperature control for safety) food cooked/heated yesterday/on a previous day not cooled from 135 degrees Fahrenheit to 41 degrees Fahrenheit within a total of 6 hours. Food has been cooling overnight. See stop sale. , soups 54-57° (cooling overnight), cooked egg noodles 45° (cooling overnight) in Mr Winter walk in cooler.
  • Potentially hazardous (time/temperature control for safety) food prepared from/mixed with ingredient(s) at ambient temperature not cooled to 41 degrees Fahrenheit within 4 hours. Cole slaw 46° (ambient cooling overnight) in Mr Winter walk in cooler. See stop sale
  • Potentially hazardous (time/temperature control for safety) food re-served to customers. Observed Cream cheese and butter being reserved
  • Raw animal food stored over cooked food. Raw salmon over cooked beef in cook line reach in. Raw chicken over beef in walk in cooler. Owner moved chicken. Corrected on site
  • Stop Sale issued on potentially hazardous (time/temperature control for safety) food due to temperature abuse. Soups 54-57° (cooling overnight), cooked egg noodles 45° (cooling overnight) in Mr Winter walk in Cole slaw 46° (ambient cooling overnight) in Mr Winter walk in cooler. Ice from machine in back storage area contaminated with mold like substance.
  • Toxic substance/chemical stored by or with food. Bleach under prep table with vinegar. Owner removed bleach Paint near pans in dry storage. Owner moved paint. **Corrected On-Site**

House of Cheung in East Boca was in second place with 22 violations, 4 marked high priority.

Max’s Grill in Mizner Park had 11 violations, 5 of them high priority. The worst one:

Potentially hazardous (time/temperature control for safety) food cooked/heated yesterday/on a previous day not cooled from 135 degrees Fahrenheit to 41 degrees Fahrenheit within a total of 6 hours. Food has been cooling overnight, tomato bisque 50°, date marked 11/20, cooling overnight. See stop sale. **Repeat Violation**

The rest of the report is mostly better. In Mizner Park Sloan’s and Truluck’s had 3 violations each.

The new Cooper’s Hawk in the Promenade had 3 minor violations. They should open next week.

Our spreadsheet for the week is below:

Download (PDF, 42KB)

Posted in Restaurants | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Review: Marquee Theater’s Fiddler on the Roof

We had the pleasure of seeing Fiddler on the Roof performed by the Marquee Theater Company. The professional show ran through October 16th at West Boca High’s theater. We caught it on the 15th.

They did a great job both in filling the house and in delivering their performance. The audience loved it.

We saw lots of energy on the stage. The dream scene was particularly well done.

Tevye (Peter Librach) and Golde (Joanne Shultz) had outstanding chemistry. Erica Rose Dade glowed as Tzeitel.

Andrew Shultz and Ben Solmor yet again delivered quality theater to our local audience.

If I have a quibble, it’s Librach’s rendition of “If I Were a Rich Man”. I thought it was quirky but judging by the audience response I might be alone in that.

We hope our readers will forgive this late review. We saw one of the last performances of Fiddler on the Roof in October and any review would have been after the last performance.

We look forward to their upcoming performance of Dreamgirls, scheduled to start January 21st.

Tickets are available at the Marquee Theater box office.

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47.5% of West Boca Listings Fail

The listing on 6483 NW 31st Terrace expired on November 10th after 5 months on the market. Image by Google.

Nearly half of listings in West Boca expire or are canceled without a sale. These homeowners wait an average of 5-8 months on their failed listing, only to find themselves back at square one.

We analyzed data on homes with original list prices between $400,000 and $2,000,000 in zip codes 33428, 33498, 33496, 33434 and 33433 that closed, expired or canceled in 2015.

Out of all those listings, 882 of them closed. It took them an average of 102 days to get to contract and 150 days (5 months) to close.

798 listings (47.5% of the total) expired or were canceled. 323 of these expired after an average of 237 days (8 months) on the market. 475 listings were canceled after an average of 159 days (5 months). Many of these sit for a year or longer without selling.

Warren Redlich, a Realtor® with United Realty Group, has a system for getting houses to sell.

  1. Smart pricing matters. Warren knows the real estate market in West Boca better than anyone. Using that knowledge, he is able to help you choose the right price for listing your home. If you go too low, you risk not getting full value. Too high and you won’t get enough people looking at the home.
  2. Great pictures and video help sell a house. Too often we see homes listed with poor quality photos and either no video or just a slideshow of those same bad photos. Warren uses a quality camera and lenses to get good shots. And Warren makes videos that people will actually watch.
  3. Spreading the word gets more buyers to see your home, increasing the odds of a sale and the likely price. Through West Boca News we reach a large audience of potential buyers and referrers. Of course Warren will also list your home in the MLS.
  4. Free legal representation assures you that the transaction will be done right. Warren is not just a Realtor®. He’s also an attorney licensed in Florida and New York. If you hire Warren to sell your house (or to buy a house) Warren will also act as your lawyer at no extra charge if you want.

If you want to get your house sold for a good price and get it done right, then contact Warren now! You can e-mail Warren, call him at 888-733-5299, or use the form below.

Posted in Real Estate | Leave a comment