Hotwire Communications Problems in Boca Falls

Update 7: All has been relatively quiet now into mid-September. We just got notice that Hotwire representatives will be at our clubhouse “to assist with any chronic technical issues.” That’s heartwarming. And we’ve had our own problem with the Hotwire Insura Security system. The adventure continues.
Update 6: As of May 7th Hotwire continues to fail and we are giving up. Read more at: Hotwire Fails. Also, we’ve been advised that people are having difficulty using their TIVO devices with Hotwire.
Update 5: Hotwire claims to have fixed the problem. Read more at Hotwire Update.
Update 4: The Hotwire problem now appears to be fixed. See More Hotwire Problems in Boca Falls for more details.
Update 3: It’s now 4/28. Despite lengthy efforts to get the problem fixed, we continue to have problems. Hotwire sent contrators here a couple of days ago and they rewired our house. Instead of the digital signal running through coaxial cable in our house, they ran Category 5 Ethernet cable to each TV. It continued to show glitches. I rebooted the box on our main TV and the problems continue. Below is a 30 second video showing how it looks:

–Update 2: It’s now 4/18, and we are having another problem. The video below shows how we have no picture or sound on any channel, even though the box is apparently reporting the channel to our TV:

–Update: As of 4/17, our own problems with Hotwire appear to be resolved. They sent over a couple of higher level people who figured out that the fiber connection to the house was “dirty” and replaced one of the boxes. For now it appears to be better. It is our impression that they are making progress and some of these problems may be inevitable in such a large project.–
Boca Falls is undergoing  a transformation. The Homeowners Association made a deal with Hotwire Communications. Hotwire is installing fiber optic cable throughout the community (roughly 720 homes), and homeowners will now get cable television, internet and telephone service through Hotwire.
The installation is not as smooth as some might hope. We have heard that other families have complained. In our own case, we have experienced significant problems with the television service.
For our main television, the picture is occasionally jerky or shows other flaws. Shortly after the initial installation the set top box stopped working with the TV.
In the master bedroom, we have had frequent problems where the TV doesn’t work. We might get video with no audio, or audio with no video, or we can get some channels but not others. A few times the TV simply stopped working completely, giving us a message on the TV that might say “Unsupported Signal”.
On the bright side, the telephone service works fine and the internet service is actually faster than expected:
Hotwire Communications Internet Speed - 24 Mbps
And to be fair, we heard many complaints about Comcast and had bad experiences ourselves. Comcast was so bad we switched to DirecTV after only one month. But DirecTV was significantly better than what we’re getting from Hotwire.
We are hopeful that the TV service will improve, but so far customer service has been disappointing. While technicians come to the home and fix the problem, the fixes are temporary and the problems come back. Our requests to have the quality of the line signal tested are met with blank stares or vague excuses.

How is your kid really doing in school?

Your kid could be popular, in the middle or just not popular and a low self-esteem to go with  it. However, your kid probably isn’t the same everywhere. There’s more drama in school than you think. Your kids probably want to do the same things with you when they were younger but they’re worried somebody will see and get embarrassed.
Don’t try to hide sad things either. believe it or not they’ve experienced more sad things than you think. They’ve had rumors, spilled secrets, verbal abuse, frenimies, crushes e.t.c. There is more girl drama then boy drama. The thing that’s really weighing the kids down is their self-esteem. Even though you tell them that they’re delicious, pretty, popular e.t.c., they think it’s just because you’re relatives.

No Jet Skis in South County Regional Park

The County may now start allowing personal watercraft. See article in the Sun Sentinel.
—Our previous post—
The Palm Beach County Parks Department does not allow “personal watercraft” in the South County Regional Park. [Link to application removed from county website]. The term personal watercraft generally refers to Jet Skis, Sea-Doos and Wave Runners (all brand names), as well as other similar machines.
The speed limit on the lake is 30 mph. Enthusiasts may not be happy that they’re being excluded, but public perception of Jet Skis is that they are mostly used at speeds higher than 30 mph, with top speeds of 60 mph or faster.
It is not clear from the permit but one would hope that the ban does not apply to canoes, kayaks and other small boats without motors.

Titanic at the Library

A children’s program “Titanic: 100 Years Later” will be presented on April 14th at 3:00 p.m. at the Glades Branch of the Palm Beach County Library. Kids can learn about the Titanic through stories, games, and crafts. This program is 45 minutes and is for ages 5-10. Please Preregister by calling 1-888-780-4962.

Cow Licks Kids Salon

Cow Licks Kids Salon is a fun place for your kids to go for a haircut. They are located on 441 in The Shoppes at Boca Greens. It is $19.95 for a girl’s or boy’s cut or $23.95 for a wash, cut and style. They will also just trim bangs for $5.00.
My girls really enjoy going here. After a cut, the stylist often puts a braid in their hair along with some sparkles. While they are getting a cut, they can watch a movie on the small tvs. And there are cars for the littler ones.
The salon sells a variety of hair products. Warning: the stylists are sometimes pushy about selling the products. But my girls love the special hairbrushes they sell and we also really like their leave-in conditioner.

Martica Colombian Restaurant

I’ve eaten at Martica, also known as Donde Martica, a couple times now. Today I had breakfast. it was good and the price was reasonable – just over $6 before tip.
Martica is in southwest Boca Raton on the southeast corner of Sandalfoot and 441. It is adjacent to or possibly part of Sandalfoot Plaza. A banner in front indicates that it is under new management.
The menu had several breakfast platter options. I speak and read some Spanish, and the descriptions were in English, but I still had trouble understanding what a few of the items were.
The one I chose came With scrambled eggs with tomato and onion, and a thick corn tortilla (corn cake) covered with cheese, plus hot chocolate or coffee. The hot chocolate was good, and not over-sweetened like you see sometimes.
The eggs and corn cake were also good. Nothing was fantastic but it’s just eggs.

West Boca Update – Part 2

We previously described the state legislative update at the West Boca Community Council event. This post covers the rest of the event.
Someone from the WBCC talked about some projects that are going on in the area. In particular, some work is going to be done on the median on Route 441 (State Route 7), including planting trees and adding sprinklers. There have been problems with vagrants occupying bus stop shelters and some work will be done to reduce that including posting “No Loitering” signs and increasing enforcement. He also mentioned that the Solid Waste Authority is available to help communities add or improve recycling efforts and that the Authority’s director, John Archambo, is known for being very helpful.
Captain Eisenberg of the Palm Beach Sheriff spoke about crime in the area. They recently caught some burglars. He indicated that roughly 95% of residential burglaries occur during the daytime, and that one method they use is to bang loudly on the door of the home. If there is no response they think no one is home and break in. If they hear a response they leave. Captain Eisenberg encouraged people to call 911 if they see or hear something suspicious. These particular burglars were caught because residents did call.
In a discussion after the main event he indicated that gated communities may feel safer but they are still targeted because burglars may think that’s where the money is. It’s always better to be cautious, keeping doors locked, using alarm systems, keeping cars in garages, not leaving valuables or cash out in the open, etc. But even with all that, he emphasized that you’re never completely safe and you should be ready to call 911 if you suspect something is going on.
He also mentioned that there has been a rash of incidents where valuables are being stolen from cars by valets at valet parking. You should not leave valuables in your car.
All of this may seem like common sense, but a lot of people are not following that advice.
Tax Collector Anne Gannon spoke briefly, reminding people that there is an option to pay taxes quarterly and the deadline for that is coming up.
Someone spoke on behalf of the Palm Beach County Commission, mentioning progress toward completing a skateboard park, and that the Delray Marketplace is expected to open on November 15th.
This event was wonderful and we hope the WBCC and the neighborhood associations will do a better job in the future of notifying residents of future events.