Flooding in West Boca Raton: Photos and Stories

We posted a few reader photos of flooding on Facebook last night. Other readers responded with more, and with stories. The flooding was so bad it got inside Town Center Mall:
That first photo is from our own kid getting in on the action. We also received mall photos from readers. This one is also from inside:
Parking areas were also flooded.

Reader Robyn Becker-Bracero sent us several photos including this one of her feet underwater.
Reader Robyn Becker-Bracero sent us several photos including this one of her feet underwater.

Robyn Becker-Bracero told us:

It was inside the mall. The water was pouring in through the employee/security entrance next to Macy’s and the Apple Store. It started coming in quick. Several people were video taping. It was even worse outside under the covered lot at Macy’s exit.

We saw flooding ourselves in Town Center Circle (east side of Military south of Glades) with water up to several inches deep at its worst. Leaving that plaza we were about to turn onto NW 19th but the water looked very deep so we converted that left into a U-turn and headed south on Palmetto Park Road. There was significant flooding on Palmetto, especially on the westbound side in the right lanes both near the Kabbalah Center (just west of Turnpike) and at the intersection with Lyons Road.
Readers also reported significant flooding along SW 18th west of Powerline and near Boca Rio.
Lindsay Roffman-Schwimmer reported:

My SUV was stuck in boca pointe last night. Hundreds of cars were just sitting ducks.. some of them were floating by me. I couldn’t tell what was the lake and what was the road. I pulled into a sub development and waited in a guest spot that was raised on higher ground. My boyfriend had to come in his truck and rescue me.
Many smaller luxury cars were submerged in water up to their windows. It was literally a mini natural disaster area.. Also including SW 18th street areas. I hope everyone is safe now.

In the same area Melisa Mely said:

I have never seen more water on the 18th Street. Some cars actually got stuck. I’m glad I made it home.

There was more flooding in Watergate Estates (aka West Sandalfoot):
Also in Escondido (east side of Lyons south of Glades):
Even the French residents got in on it, from Bensimon Nessim:

C’est catastrophique, le pire c’est que contre les inondations on ne peut pas faire grand chose
(Translation) It is catastrophic, the worst part is that against the floods we can’t do much

And there were just places where traffic went deep:
Reader estimates of total rainfall varied from 1.5 to over 5 inches. We estimate 4-5 inches fell in Boca Falls from our own somewhat reliable method (rise in the level of our pool). For arguably more reliable numbers, we have this from the National Weather Service:
There was significant coverage of the flooding in other media. Our favorite was WPTV reporting that Boca Raton City Hall experienced flooding on both the 1st and 2nd floors. Second floor?
Update: Bonus photo from reader Samir. This one is in East Boca on Federal Highway.
One other detail that was mildly amusing, where the National Weather Service posted a tornado warning recommending people go to their basements, which is not terribly practical in South Florida.

7 Restaurants Get Inspection Warnings

Seven Boca restaurants received warnings in late July and early August from inspectors. Despite receiving formal warnings requiring follow-up inspections, their overall numbers weren’t that bad compared to some other restaurants we’ll discuss below. This report covers inspections up to August 8th.
The worst of the warnings was Stir Crazy in Town Center, with 8 violations including rodent activity. The rodent problem was cleared the next day but they still had 4 minor violations on the follow-up inspection.
West of the Turnpike, Sybarite Pig had only 3 violations which is a pretty low number. One was related to hand washing and another a fairly minor deviation in food temperatures. It looks like the warning was for the third violation, lack of proof of employee training and that will mean a follow-up inspection.
Bruce’s of Great Neck had zero “high priority” violations and five minor ones, but also was missing proof of employee training.
Four other places east of the Turnpike showed up on the warning list. Abe & Louie’s on Glades had three “high priority” violations including food temperature issues. That led to a follow-up inspection the next day which was perfect.
Nick’s New Haven Pizzeria had 8 violations including food storage and food temperature, and also a problem with proof of employee training.
Le Rivage received a couple of warnings related to documentation on smoked salmon and “not maintaining mussel for 90 days,” along with a chlorine sanitizer problem.
The last warning was for the Subway on Palmetto Circle South, and again it appears to be for employee training documentation.
Outside of the warnings, the worst inspection in this report goes to City Fish Market near the Turnpike with 21 total violations including 5 ranked “high priority.” Those five were:

3 Live flies in the front bar.
Dishwasher handled soiled dishes or utensils and then handled clean dishes or utensils without washing hands.
Employee failed to wash hands before putting on new set of gloves to work with food.
Food container stored in lettuce draw used for customer consumption. **Corrected On-Site**
Potentially hazardous (time/temperature control for safety) food cold held at greater than 41 degrees Fahrenheit. Olive with blue cheese at 66°. Corrective action taken and olive we’re put on ice and by the end of inspection olives with the blue cheese was at 41° **Corrected On-Site**

Others with big numbers include Taverna Kyma in East Boca with 17 violations including 5 high priority (17/5); Regency Japango (near Yamato and Jog with 13/2); It’s All Greek (13/2) and Shorty’s Bar-B-Q (13/5) in The Reserve at Clint Moore and 441; and Rocco’s Taco’s (12/1) near Town Center. Jimmy the Greek Taverna on Glades near Boca Rio had 11 violations but all were minor. Apparently the inspectors were after the Greeks this month. Shorty’s also had a poor inspection in late March.
On the bright side, six restaurants had perfect non-callback inspections. Vinny’s All Day Cafe in Regency Court along with the Dunkin Donuts in the same plaza, and four other fast food joints – McDonald’s on Palmetto Park near Powerline, Subway and Burger King on Glades just west of Boca Rio, and Domino’s in Mission Bay Plaza.

Confession: We’ve been in Mission Bay Plaza hundreds of times and never noticed a Domino’s Pizza.

Other West Boca notables in the inspections include:
Regency Court (Jog & Yamato)
Lucille’s Bad to the Bone BBQ – 10/2
Meatball Room – 5/0
Yamato & 441
Puccini’s Pizzeria – 10/2
Gary Woo Express – 5/1
Mission Bay
TGI Friday’s – 7/3
IHOP – 3/0
Einstein Brothers Bagels – 9/1
Boston Market – 4/1
Boca Village Square
Juice and Java – 5/0
Duffy’s Sports Grill – 5/2
Davito’s in Boca Greens, with a fairly low 5 violations including 1 high priority
Miller’s Boca Ale House on Glades west of Lyons – 8/0
Bagelworks (near Boca Rio) – 7/0
Olive Garden (Powerline south of Palmetto Park) – 4/1
Sal’s Italian (near Olive Garden) – 3/0
Steven’s Pizzeria (West Boca Square) – 8/0
— Note that the name has changed to Lenny’s Kosher Pizza. We’re not sure if the inspection is for the old place or the new one.
Pizza Chef Bistro (441 near the county line) – 6/2
Also, there were several inspections in the plazas just east of Town Center:
Hooters – 3/1
Toojays – 6/0
Gyroville – 4/1
Shane’s Rib Shack – 3/3
Corner Bakery Cafe – 3/1
Five Guys – 1/1

11 Weekend Arrests: DUI, Drugs & Mischief

As always with our arrest reports, the arrestees are innocent until proven guilty. And don’t let our arrest reports scare you about West Boca – our crime rate is lower than East Boca and much lower than the county average.
James Chick (left, 28) and Gary Sheerer (right, 32) were both arrested by Delray Beach police, accused of dealing in stolen property. They were booked early Sunday morning. Chick was released about 12 hours later, while Sheerer remains in custody. By their reported addresses, the two are roommates on Watergate Circle near the Glades library.
Chick has over 4 pages of cases in the county including a couple felony arrests, though most are traffic. One was from April of 2013 where he was “adjudicated guilty by the court” of “aggravated grand retail theft” in August of 2013. He was sentenced to 9 months in county jail minus about 4 months in credit time.
Sheerer’s record is worse and he was arrested on the same April 2013 date as Chick for roughly the same offenses. He was also sentenced to about nine months, with almost six months of credit time.
Nicole Santini (above left, 26) of the Boca Entrada – Emerald Bay Club apartments was arrested Friday night and released Saturday afternoon, charged with aggravated battery involving a deadly weapon. The court record has it marked as “dating violence.” She had a previous domestic violence misdemeanor charge in 2010 that was dropped.
18-year-old Michael Brenner (center) was arrested and released Sunday morning for possession of a controlled substance without a prescription (Percocet per the Boca Police blotter). A resident of Woodfield Hunt Club, and student at North Broward Prep, he was recruited as a baseball player by Saint Louis University, with “game-changing speed.”
Deanna Fraschilla (right, 50) of the Boca Rio Banyan townhomes was arrested Saturday for criminal mischief causing property damage, and for resisting an officer without violence. She was released a couple hours after she was booked without having to post a bond. A Google search revealed a Cape Cod arrest in 2005. In Palm Beach County, court records show mostly traffic tickets but also a felony burglary in 2008 for which she got 5 years probation.
There were three DUI arrests from Boca this weekend. Above left is Keith Martin (23), who was booked early Saturday morning and released before noon. His reported address is in the Mizner Courts apartments off Military Trail. The former FAU student is an aspiring entrepreneur interested in new video technologies.
Adriana Capawana (center, 45) was arrested by Boca PD, booked Sunday morning and released a few hours later. The Boca police blotter indicates her blood alcohol content was 0.17, though West Boca News does not consider breath testing to be a reliable indicator of intoxication. Her reported address in Boca Country Club (near Clint Moore and Congress) appears to be owned and inhabited by an unrelated couple.
Benjamin Collins (right, 22) was also booked for DUI Saturday morning and released shortly after noon. Residing in Boca Barwood near the corner of Lyons and SW 18th, the Spanish River graduate has attended University of Texas and traveled in France.
We see no prior criminal history for any of the DUI arrestees.
Margo Wishbow (center, 61) was arrested on a probation violation. That probation appears to come from a DUI arrest in February 2013. The Century Village resident has a few pages of cases in Palm Beach County with mostly misdemeanors and one felony theft in 2012 that was reduced to a misdemeanor.
Ali Can (right, 23) was booked Monday morning on charges of loitering/prowling and resisting an officer without violence. Both counts are generally vague and the Boca PD blotter is remarkably thin on details. His history is clean other than a couple of traffic cases. This one will probably be dismissed.

Boca Raton Restaurant Inspections for April

We reviewed April restaurant inspections for Palm Beach County relying on TCPalm. There weren’t that many for West Boca Raton so we included East Boca Raton and a couple others.

For previous restaurant inspection reports: Late March, Early March, February, and early 2014.

Here’s what we found in April:
Zero Violations
West Boca
Villa Rosano, Clint Moore and 441
Brendy’s Ice Cream & Yogurt at Lakeridge
Kagura Sushi, 5030 Champion Blvd.
Manhattan Joe’s Pizzeria, 5030 Champion Blvd
East Boca
fiveguysFive Guys, 2240 NW 19th St.
Pasta Fever on Federal Highway
Souvlaki Fast on NE 2nd Street
Jimmy John’s at 861 Yamato
Pita Loco, 1320 NW Boca Raton Blvd
Rebel House, 297-299 E. Palmetto Park Road
16 Handles at 1400 Glades
Pita Pit, 2200 Glades
Nino’s of Boca II, 1930 NE 5th Ave
Crystal Cafe, 2500 Military Trail
Gourmet to You Cafe, 4920 Conference Way South
Mutual of America Cafeteria, 1150 Broken Sound Parkway
Wyndham Hotel, 1950 Glades
Cinemark Palace 20
Deck 84 in Delray Beach (included because it’s prominent)
Honorable Mention: Two or fewer violations with zero high priority
West Boca
monkey-joes-bocaMonkey Joe’s in Loggers Run Plaza
El Jefe Luchador, 6000 Glades
La Luna, 5030 Champion Blvd. (was inspected two days later and had zero violations)
Mizner Country Club had three inspections, two with zero violations and one with two minor ones.
East Boca
Subway at 7531 N. Federal Highway
Deans Anthony’s Express Pizza at 1449 Yamato
Griddle, 475 Spanish River Blvd
Funky Buddha on Federal Highway
Amitie Cafe at 301 Yamato
Sanctuary Cafe at 4800 Federal Highway
Skyview Cafe, 2424 Federal Highway
Boca Raton City Library Cafe
Arturo’s on Federal Highway: 19 violations including 6 “high priority”
Renzo’s Cafe Pizzeria, 6900 N Federal Highway: 17 violations and a stop-sale and follow-up inspection required
Nick’s New Haven Style Pizzeria, 2240 NW 19th St: 17 violations with 3 high priority
Sushi Masa, 2200 Glades: 16 violations including 3 high priority
Josephine’s Italian, 5751 N Federal Highway: 15 violations with multiple repeat violations and follow-up inspection required
Grille on Congress, 5101 Congress: 14 violations including 4 high priority
kapowKapow Noodle Bar, 431 Plaza Real (Mizner Park): 14 violations with 5 high priority
Sushi Rock on NW 51st St.: 13 violations including 5 high priority
Mikey’s Hot Dog & Pizza: 13 violations including 5 high priority — We were unable to confirm this one with the official state database. We tried calling and the phone number was not in service. We called a neighboring business which confirmed that they did close.
Stir Crazy, 6000 Glades Road (Town Center): 12 violations (most were corrected on site)
villagio-bocaVillagio, 344 Plaza Real (Mizner Park): 12 violations with 3 high priority
Sonny’s Gelato Cafe, 2151 N Federal Highway: 11 violations with 3 high priority with a stop sale and a follow-up required
Cuban Cafe, 3350 NW 2nd Ave: 11 violations with 5 high priority
Sakura Thai & Japanese, 2201 Federal Highway: 11 violations
Dishonorable Mention
Atrium Financial Center, 1515 N. Federal Highway: 10 violations with 4 high priority
The Irishmen, 1739 NW 2nd Ave.: 10 violations
Original Italian Pizza, 3731 FAU Blvd: 10 violations with 3 high priority, and a history of poor inspections:
Jerry’s Pizza, 2001 NW 2nd Ave.: 10 violations with 3 high priority
Chili’s (West Boca, NW corner of Palmetto & 441): 9 violations with 2 high priority
Pinon Grill, 6000 Glades: 9 violations with 4 high priority
Pavilion Grille at 301 Yamato: 9 violations with 4 high priority (all violations were corrected on site)
Abe & Louie’s at 2200 Glades: 9 violations with 4 high priority
Embassy Suite, NW 53rd St: 9 violations with 6 high priority
Other inspections of note:
Flakowitz, 1999 N Federal Highway had only 3 violations, all corrected on site. The biggest problem was the “matza balls” weren’t hot enough at only 117º. Seriously?
Blue Martini at 6000 Glades (Town Center) had only 3 violations, all corrected on site. Grand Lux there had 5.
Hooters at 2240 NW 19th had 5 violations. This will discourage exactly zero men from going there.
Corner Bakery in the same plaza had 6 violations. C R Chicks there had 4. Gyroville had only 2.
Shake Shack at 1400 Glades had 4 violations. In the same plaza J. Alexander’s also had 4 violations including 3 high priority ones that were corrected on site. Mario’s Osteria there had 7 – we ate there 10 days later and really enjoyed our meal.
Trulucks in Mizner Park had only 4 violations, with one high priority.
Screen Shot 2014-05-01 at 4.40.37 PM
Tanzy at Mizner Park (with the iPic) had 7 violations including 2 high priority. The iPic Theaters had only 3 violations.
Sloan’s in Mizner (the ice cream and candy place) had one high priority violation (live small flying insects in food storage area) and no others.
Le Rivage on NW 20th had only four minor violations.
Tomasso’s Pizzeria, 1229 W. Palmetto Park, had 8 violations.
Bluefin Sushi & Thai, 861 Yamato, had 8 violations, all minor. A complaint inspection was just filed today showing only 5 violations.
Millers Ale House at 1200 Yamato also had 8 violations. Palm Beach Bagel in the same plaza had 7 – we had breakfast there a few weeks later and it was good.
Strikes @ Boca (the bowling alley) had only 4 minor violations.
The Muse on Beracasa Way had 7 violations, all minor.

For previous restaurant inspection reports: Late March, Early March, February, and early 2014.

Boca and West Boca DUI Report

Hernandez-Gutierrez, James Young, and Scott Parmelee
Hernandez-Gutierrez, James Young, and Scott Parmelee

Alberto Hernandez-Gutierrez (above left, 19) was arrested by Boca Police and booked early on the 17th. His reported address is an apartment in Boca Entrada west of 441 near the Broward line.
West Boca’s James Young (above center, 58) was arrested by Boca PD and booked early on the 20th for DUI and for refusing a DUI test after a license suspension. The latter charge suggests a previous DUI and we see what looks like one in the court records from way back in 1997. His reported address is an apartment in Bella Lago near the west end of Boca Del Mar Drive.
Scott Parmelee (right, 44), who may use the nickname Boca Scott, was arrested and booked early on the 22nd by the Sheriff. The charges include DUI, drug equipment, driving with a suspended license. He faces a probation violation due to an incident back in July of 2012 where he was adjudicated guilty of attempted burglary. He was also found guilty on a cocaine charge back in 2006. Parmelee’s reported address is in Boca Country Club northwest of the intersection of Congress and Clint Moore.

WarrenWarren Redlich, founder of West Boca News, is a criminal defense and personal injury lawyer who handles cases in Florida and New York. He has handled many DUI cases and is the author of Fair DUI: Stay Safe and Sane in a World Gone MADD. He can be reached at 888-RED-LAWYER (888-733-5299), or by e-mail at wredlich@gmail.com. All arrestees are innocent until proven guilty.

West Boca’s Nixon Charlotin (above left, 35) was arrested for DUI by Boca PD and booked in the morning of the 23rd. The Boca blotter shows Florida Highway Patrol was involved, probably because it happened on I-95. His reported address is an apartment in Boca Entrada.
Nicole Melillo (center, 31) was arrested by Delray PD for DUI and booked early on the 22nd. Her reported address is in the Wimbledon Villas near Town Center, and she may work for a health care related company. While she does have some history of traffic tickets dating back to 2004, we see nothing more serious in the county.
Michael Quick (right, 46) was arrested by Boca PD and booked early on the 20th. The charges include DUI and Hit and Run with property damage. Mr. Quick made news back in December when he got caught on camera stealing donations from a church in Boca. We see over 40 cases in the county court system for him dating back to 1997, including 13 felonies.

Review: Jidai Kaiten Sushi

Rainbow Roll
Rainbow Roll

Back in December we mentioned that Jidai Kaiten Sushi is open in the Shoppes at Boca Grove (near Bonefish Grill). We finally got there for lunch today so we could write a review, and we liked it.
Kaitenzushi (回転寿司) is pronounced kai-ten-zoo-she with the “kai” like start of the word kayak. A popular translation is “conveyor belt sushi”, though the word kaiten literally translates to automatic circle. This is not an Americanization – we’ve had it in Japan. You can get the idea from the video we shot today:

The sushi is made in the central area, and then placed on plates on a moving platform (the conveyor belt) which travel around so that customers can reach them. Jidai has an interesting variation with the main section being a triangular area. When the place is full they extend the moving platform to reach more tables in a shape like an umbrella over that triangle.
In Japan the plates come around uncovered, but Jidai has covers on them. This is probably a smart move to comply with some obscure health regulations. Our dining partner is picky about food safety and definitely appreciated the covers.
Salmon-Avocado roll
Salmon-Avocado roll
We tried a variety of items, mostly from the conveyor belt. Manager Asuka Tamura (it’s unusual to see a real Japanese person working in a Japanese restaurant these days) told us to order something if we didn’t see it on the belt. We did order a couple things, a salmon-avocado roll and gyoza (dumplings). There is a menu for items that you would not see on the belt, such as bento box lunches and other lunch specials. Please note some photos are after we started eating.

We had a couple of interesting and tasty items including the tuna roll with mango.
Red bean pancake
Red bean pancake
The pancake stuffed with sweet red bean paste was good. Red bean paste is a common item in Japan and something you don’t see in a lot of Japanese restaurants here in the US.
At the end of the meal your bill is determined by adding up the plates by their color, with prices per plate ranging from $2 for the pink up to $5 for the yellow.
It’s a fun way to eat sushi – you see dishes you might not have thought to try. We enjoyed our meal too. Every item tasted good, with no problems in quality or service.

Boca Raton 2013 Summer Camp Guide

 The days are long, hot, and school is out of session for three months. But just because school stops, doesn’t mean work does! Summer camp is a desirable option for many parents because it keeps the kids active, structured, occupied, and–hopefully–safe during the long summer months when kids are out of school, but parents continue working. Luckily, the Boca Raton area offers plenty of summer camp options and specialty camps that range in price, dates, and theme.

See more camps in Boca Camp Guide Part Two

1) City of Boca Raton Summer Camps 
The city of Boca has the largest selection and length of summer camps available, and often at a good price. The groups are large, but there are specialty camps as well, offering smaller summer camp groups if desired, and some include trips. The camp separates the groups by elementary grades 1-5, and the tween camp for grades 6-8.
Camp dates include:
Six week camp: June 17 – July 26
Extended Camps –
(Elementary): July 29 – August 16
(‘Tween):  July 29 – August 9
More information regarding specific camps, dates, prices, and location can be found here .
2) Sugar Sand Park
The beloved Boca Raton park offers a slew of summer camps and activities for the kids. Camps such as spy camp, drama camp, and robotics camp are among the few camps offered.  Most of the camps run only a few weeks, so these camps are a good option to keep the kids busy for a little while. A list of all the camps, their descriptions, dates, and pricing can be found here.
3) YMCA of South Palm Beach County 

    The YMCA is a long-standing, trusted organization that offers plenty of summer camp options–from sports, to arts, to traditional camps with trips. There will be a summer camp parent orientation at the Y on Wednesday, May 22nd at 6:30 PM for all interested parents. Check out the summer camp brochure for specific information regarding camps, prices, and dates. Other information can be found the general YMCA of South Palm Beach County webpage .  
4) Florida Atlantic University 
 FAU is offering specialized camps to further educational interests from elementary ages to high school levels. Some feature camps include the School of Architecture Summer Institute for high school and college students, engineering institute, creative writing and piano camps, and basketball camp. Programs, dates, locations, and prices vary, but these options are well worth checking out because they focus on learning for specific interests, and summer is the best time to hone in on those interests. Find information here.
5) Lynn University
   Lynn University is also hosting plenty of camps called Pine Tree Camps, which include half-day, whole-day, and sleep-away overnight camps. All camps include daily hot lunch and instructional swim. The camps feature specialty camps, such as circus camp and creative arts camp, as well as diverse educational programs, such as paleontology and technology. All information can be found here.
These are just the main options available throughout Boca Raton. There are plenty of other special activities and camps that run all summer, a few weeks, or a day. The Boca Raton Recreator is a great source for the many activities taking place in the city from May to August. A PDF version of the most recent Recreator can be found here
Are there any other camps we should add or recommend?  Have any good (or bad) summer camp experiences to share? Feel free to share opinions and tips!