Dead Body Identified in Coral Springs – Weston Faulkner

Weston Faulkner from Facebook

Coral Springs Police have identified the dead body found yesterday near US-441 and Wiles Road. Weston Faulkner, a 20-year-old male from North Carolina, died of an apparent overdose. The cause of death is not expected to be verified for at least a few months.
Our research indicates that Mr. Faulkner is a graduate of South Rowan High School in China Grove, North Carolina, a suburb of Charlotte. He was a lineman on the football team weighing up to or over 300 pounds.
Faulker in his football jersey, from Facebook

The young man was troubled by drug abuse and depression, and well aware that he was at risk.

It appears he was living in South Florida at least off and on for the past year or two, with at least some minimal connection to Boca Raton. We have not been able to determine more than that.

Repeat Offender Recklessly Injures Deputy on 441

Traffic on US-441 was blocked from Glades to Yamato this morning after a serious accident near Kimberly Road. Hector Mauricio Mazariegos (age 31, Coral Springs) was arrested and charged with several offenses.
According to the Sheriff’s report:

P-1 (the deputy) was working a traffic enforcement operation on State Road 7 just south of Kimberly Blvd with several other deputies. P-1 obtained a speed reading of 97 mph on V-1 (Mazariegos on the motorcycle) in a 45 mph zone.
P-1 stepped into the center lane, faced southbound and was waving V-1 over. According to witnesses the deputy had been out in the roadway for more than enough time for the rider to see him and stop. The deputy was wearing a neon green reflective vest at the time. V-1 slowed and tried to drive around P-1, but at the same time P-1 feared V-1 was going to run him over and moved slightly to his right.
V-1 impacted with the deputy, then made a heavy brake applicated (leaving a lengthy skid mark) and overturned. V-1 slid to final rest at Kimberly Blvd.

Mr. Mazariegos has quite a history in the courts, as explained below the scene photos.

Reader photo of accident scene
Reader photo of accident scene

Reader photo showing what we believe to be the deputy on the ground at the scene.
Reader photo showing what we believe to be the deputy on the ground at the scene.

By our count, Mazariegos has had 9 traffic cases (7 of them criminal) in Broward County dating back to 2007:
He also was arrested in 2015 in Palm Beach County for driving without a valid license. Despite his lengthy history, that charge was resolved with a fine and “adjudication withheld.”
Similar to a case we reported last year, the prosecutors and courts in Palm Beach and Broward County seem to have a policy of going easy on serious repeat traffic offenders. In the previous incident three young males were badly injured. Now it’s a deputy taking the hit.
State Attorney Dave Aronberg is running unopposed in this year’s election so we can expect another four years of lax enforcement. Mr. Mazariegos has probably run out of luck.
PBSO reports the charges against Mazariegos as:

  • Reckless Driving resulting in serious bodily injury
  • No Driver’s License causing serious bodily injury
  • Driving without a motorcycle endorsement
  • Driving an unregistered vehicle
  • Attaching an unassigned tag to a vehicle

Mazariegos’ Facebook page indicates he works (or worked) for Fit Foodz Cafe, which is on Clint Moore near 441.

April Accident Turns Fatal – 441 at Stonebridge

US-441 looking north with Stonebridge on the left and The Oaks on the right; image by Google
US-441 looking north with Stonebridge on the left and The Oaks on the right; image by Google

In mid-April we reported about a serious accident on 441 at the entrance to Stonebridge Country Club.

US Hwy 441/Stonebridge Country Club
PBCFR Station-54 is onscene of a head-on collision, heavy damage, 2 occupants unconscious trapped, extrication is underway, 3 Rescue units requested, 2 ground Trauma Alerts to Delray Medical Center

This morning we learned that the driver of one of the cars passed away on Friday in hospice. Phyllis Panzer, age 88, owned a house in Stonebridge for 15 years.
At the time of the accident the Sheriff’s office described the accident (early evening of April 19th) as follows:

V-1 (Panzer) was traveling northbound on U.S. 441 and was attempting to turn left to head westbound on Stonebridge Country Club Boulevard. V-2 was traveling southbound on U.S. 441 and as it reached Stonebridge Country Club Boulevard, V-1 turned left into its path.
D-2 attempted evasive maneuvers to avoid a collision, but violently struck the front passenger side wheel of V-1 with its front end.
D-1 (Panzer) and O-1 were transported to Delray Medical Center for serious injuries and remain in critical condition. D-2 was also transported to Delray Medical Center but for minor injuries.

Panzer’s passenger, Michael Weitzmann (91), is also a resident of Stonebridge. He suffered critical injuries. We do not have any update on his status.
The police report indicates that Panzer and Weitzmann were not wearing seatbelts. The other driver, Jeffrey Young (59) of Lake Worth, was belted and suffered only minor injuries.

Guest Review: Bruce's of Great Neck

Written by: Jason Gloss
Bruce’s of Great Neck, 19575 State Rd 7 (US-441), Boca Raton, FL 33498
Prior to Bruce’s of Great Neck was Mitch’s Westside Bagels, which was basically owned by a New York transplant attempting to bring that NY deli style tradition to South Florida, or as I like to call Boca — the 6th borough.
Mitch’s had a spark for a minute but overall lacked consistency, variety and in this case, character. Bruce comes to Boca, as do most New Yorkers and brings credibility back to the bagel game. This place, like most bagel joints have what I call bagel hours. They usually open at 7 and close at 3, which is a shame because based on their diverse menu I could see this place doing a decent dinner too. What separates Bruce’s from most of the other bagel places in the area is the bakery. The baked goods are the headliner at Bruce’s. They even place a complimentary basket of desserts at your table, which are awesome, but in my back of my mind I wonder what they do with all the untouched desserts left on the table. It’s simply too good to just toss but I can’t confirm they are recycled. It’s just how my cynical mind works.
The service was extremely attentive. If you ask me, service is the most important thing in these type of places because there are just an abundance of restaurants to get a bagel from. The food came out quick. I ordered a veggie omelet and it was a decent size too. Their prices are right in line and their broad menu is significantly more appealing that the rest of the competition. The place is very clean inside. Bruce, who I’m not sure if he is Jewish because he has tattoos like Popeye all up and down his arms, makes some amazing Jewish food. And not for nothing, seems like a really sincere and friendly guy too. Bruce’s might be a challenge if you’re counting calories because that bakery showcase is begging for some love. It’s impossible not to indulge here, but if you’re playing it safe, the omelets here are very satisfying. I look forward to coming back and despite some of my other go-to spots like Long Island Bagel or Bagel Works on Glades, I happen to think if you want that authentic NY feel along with an array of breakfast and lunch options, then Bruce’s is not only the right call, it might be the only call in Boca.
Rating: A

Editor’s note: Mr. Gloss offered to write some restaurant reviews for West Boca News. We’re familiar with him and hope these reviews help our readers. Please note that these are his opinions and we do not always agree.
Bruce’s is on the north end of the Boca Greens plaza.

New Projects Coming: Clint Moore & 441; and Boca Rio

Thomas Produce viewed from 441; image by Google
Thomas Produce viewed from 441; image by Google

Two new projects appear to be coming to West Boca. First on the list is the Thomas Produce property on the northeast corner of 441 and Clint Moore. The original plan, for 300 townhomes and a large retail space, has been drastically changed.

The request for Multiple Land Use (MLU with CL, LR-2) would provide for a mix of commercial retail, storage, office, and congregate living facility uses which are consistent and compatible with the surrounding suburban land use pattern in the geographic area.

We previously reported that another congregate living facility is under way in Logger’s Run.
The Thomas property zoning change has been recommended to the Board of County Commissioners. In late October the BCC voted 6-1 to send it to a final vote on January 27th. Our commissioners, Mary Lou Berger (mostly west of the Turnpike) and Steven Abrams (east of the Turnpike) both voted in favor.

Tri-County Animal Shelter from Via Ancho and Boca Rio; image and map data by Google.
Tri-County Animal Shelter from Via Ancho and Boca Rio; image and map data by Google.

Next up is a proposal by the Tri-County Humane Society to expand their animal shelter on the west side of Boca Rio south of Via Ancho (south of Glades by the Post Office):

The Preliminary Site Plan for the 14.05-acre site indicates 40,000 square feet, in 9 buildings and 5 structures, which is a proposed increase of 23,997 square feet. The applicant proposes to remove and/or relocate trailers and structures; and, to construct 2 building additions and 5 new 1-story buildings in 3 phases with the 5-acre western portion reserved for future development. A total of 102 parking spaces will be provided. The existing access points from Boca Rio Road (1) and Via Ancho Road (1) will remain.

We believe this was approved in 2012 and a reader recently told us that construction has begun.
Some of the documents we have on these are below:
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Benihana Coming to Westwinds of Boca

We’ve heard rumors for years now and it’s finally true. Benihana is coming to Westwinds of Boca (aka the Home Depot plaza) on the southeast corner of 441 and Glades. Originally we heard this what was going into the new building that now has Pei Wei and a few other stores.

The old Denny’s; photo by Warren Redlich

While we heard all those rumors, people also kept asking us “what’s going on with the Denny’s building.” Now we have the answer. There is a proposal pending before the county, titled “Benihana at Festival Shoppes of Boca Raton” (the old name of Westwinds). The essence of the plan:

The Applicant is requesting to reconfigure the Site Plan and add square footage. The Preliminary Site Plan indicates the existing Type II Restaurant (3,154 sq. ft.) to be demolished and a new (8,060 sq. ft.) restaurant to be constructed.

The zoning commission has scheduled a hearing for December 4th, and then it will go in front of the County Commissioners on January 7th. Sometimes these dates get pushed back, but it appears to be coming soon. One reader even tells us she saw workers at the building.
There are already a couple of Japanese steak houses in West Boca, with Tempura House at Clint Moore & 441, and Saito’s at Lyons and Glades. Benihana is may be a step up in quality, but we’ll see if and when they open.

Benihana to replace Denny’s in Westwinds of Boca, southeast corner of Glades and 441; image and map data by Google.

Overall the parking in that plaza can be a nightmare, though the worst of it is closer to Home Depot and Publix. Doubling the size of this building will bring in a lot more cars, but we think there’s room for it. Plus we’re excited to try it.
It’s always a good sign for the local economy when businesses want to open and expand.
The full zoning application is below:
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Review: Mozzarita Bar on Clint Moore

Mozzarita Bar is a small new restaurant and shop in The Reserve plaza at Clint Moore and 441. It’s in the building along Clint Moore between Starbucks and It’s All Greek on one side and Fit Foodz Cafe on the other.
We met Donato on our visit. We didn’t meet Vito but we found this picture of the two of them on their Facebook page:
Vito has been making cheese for decades. About 20 years ago he started making it in Pompano Beach and now they’re trying out a restaurant model for his creations. It’s small inside with maybe six tables inside and a few more outside.
The focus is cheese, especially variations of mozzarella. Americans usually think of mozzarella on pizza but here it’s fresh and mostly served on sandwiches and in salads. There are three main varieties served at Mozzarita Bar. The main one seems to be “Fiordilatte Mozzarella” aka Fior di Latte, which is made from cow’s milk and is the closest to what you get on pizza. We had this on a Panino Caprese (sandwich):

Panino Caprese
Panino Caprese

The next most common is Bufala, made from the milk of Water Buffalo. We did not try that but we did try the Straciatella Salad which uses Straciatella di bufala, also made from buffalo milk.
Straciatella salad with beets and greens
Straciatella salad with beets and greens

Everything we ate was delicious. While not outrageously expensive it’s certainly not cheap. You’re paying for high quality fresh gourmet cheeses and appropriate accompaniments. We would love to see them add some olives to the menu.
The menu is below. The Speciali Di Vito section appears to be a menu mistake – only one of the specials was available the day we visited – the Mozzarella Burger (no beef – the burger is made from cheese). They do not intend to have all three of those items available daily and the menu was not clear about that.

Now Open: Lime Fresh in Shadowood.

There are two new restaurants up and running in West Boca. First up, as we reported last year the new Lime Fresh Mexican Grill has finally opened in Shadowood, next to Sybarite Pig. Back in 2012 we reviewed the Lime Fresh in Promenade and we liked it.
We like the new one too. We’ll start with the interior and more importantly, the exterior. They have a large outdoor seating area that is covered and should be particularly nice once the heat of summer has passed.
Inside it has a similar color scheme and seating as the one in Promenade.
A bit like Tijuana Flats in Mission Bay, there is a sauce bar but it’s noticeably different. There are fewer choices but it’s not just sauces. We especially like the bean thing, and the fresh cilantro is another nice option. Warning: The habanero sauce is very hot.
We only tried a couple dishes. First up was the steak and cheese taco.
Next we tried the steak “Nudie Burrito”, which is basically the inside of a burrito without the tortilla, similar to the Norrito Bowl at Tijuana Flats.
Overall we like Lime Fresh. You might get more food for your money at Tijuana Flats. But you get enough at Lime Fresh. Quantity isn’t everything and we like the quality of the meat at Lime Fresh just a little better. That could be a matter of taste. Chipotle is also nearby and has its fans as well.
Lime Fresh prides themselves on getting the food out fast and they delivered on that. The service is very quick. Overall West Boca is lucky to have three good Mexican options at Glades and 441.

New Habitat Store Opening on Yamato

Former CVS building on northwest corner of 441 and Yamato; image by Google.
Former CVS building on northwest corner of 441 and Yamato; image by Google.

The Sun-Sentinel‘s Marci Shatzman reports that a new store from Habitat for Humanity will be opening in the small plaza on the north side of Yamato just west of 441.

The plaza currently has a Sherwin-Williams paint store along with a pre-school that is also one of the locations for the Quality Swimming school.

Habitat for Humanity ReStores are nonprofit home improvement stores and donation centers that sell new and gently used furniture, home accessories, building materials, and appliances to the public at a fraction of the retail price.

ReStores are already in our area, with one on Dixie Highway in East Boca and another on Federal Highway in Delray. The new store on Yamato will be, like those two, owned and operated by the Habitat affiliate for South Palm Beach County.
The store is expected to open August 22nd though it may not yet be fully stocked. Hours will be from 10 to 6, 6 days a week (closed on Monday).

Car vs. Pole on US-441: Video and Photos

All photos and video copyright Warren Redlich, West Boca News. Media may use if credit given to or @WestBocaNews.
All photos and video copyright Warren Redlich, West Boca News. Media may use if credit given to or @WestBocaNews.

This afternoon we were alerted to an accident on 441 south of Kimberly Blvd, with indications that a car had hit a pole and the pole was on the roof of the car.
We were able to get to the scene for photos and video. At top is a wide angle view of the scene looking toward the south at northbound traffic. The car apparently hit one of the light poles on the northbound side of the road, well off the roadway. Below is a somewhat closer look at the area.
The Palm Beach Sheriff and FPL were both on scene. Fire Rescue had already left.
There was substantial damage to the car, including both the front end and the roof.
The pole was dislodged from its base and you can see it laying on the ground below.
Our video from the scene is below. We did not hear any report of injuries one way or another.