Rollover Accident: Photos & Video

All photos copyright Warren Redlich 2016; anyone can use by crediting @WestBocaNews
All photos copyright Warren Redlich 2016; anyone can use by crediting @WestBocaNews

The eastbound lanes of Palmetto Park Road were closed this afternoon between Shorewind Drive (Boca Winds) and Riverside, about 2 miles west of US-441. The closure resulted from a two-car accident where one vehicle, a new Kia Optima, rolled over and an older Lincoln Town Car ended up in the median.

We talked to a few people at the scene, though none saw the accident happen. As best we understand it the Town Car, with an elderly driver, was coming out of Boca Winds making a right turn onto Palmetto. The Optima driven by a West Boca High School student, was traveling straight and was unable to avoid the Town Car. Some suspect the Optima was speeding but we suspect that may not be accurate.
While the Optima did roll, it did not travel very far from the point of collision, the vehicles did not appear to have dramatic damage (other than from the rollover), and we’re told the injuries were not critical.
The debris trail starts in the lower left corner of the photo.
The debris trail starts in the lower left corner of the photo.

From a legal perspective the general rule is that the vehicle traveling straight (the Optima) has right of way and primary responsibility for the accident falls on the vehicle turning (the Town Car). There did not appear to be any obstruction interfering with the drivers’ ability to see each other.
Eventually a tow operator was able to roll the Optima back to right-side up. We caught most of that operation on video, and here’s a short version of that:

Sheriff’s investigators then looked inside the car before it was taken away.

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.

Review: Gyromania Grill on Palmetto

From left, Hummus appetizer, Gyro platter, and Moussaka platter
From left, Hummus appetizer, Gyro platter, and Moussaka platter

Last year we reviewed Garbanzo Mediterranean Grill. They apparently didn’t make it but the same location now has Gyromania Grill. Garbanzo tended to be a bit more Middle Eastern with dishes like Shawarma, while Gyromania leans more toward Greek.
It’s located in the shopping center on the south side of Palmetto Park Road west of Powerline near Publix, Brooklyn Water Bagel and Olive Garden.
Gyromania Grill’s original location is in Coral Springs. The Boca location was recently reviewed by, and the review wasn’t great but it seemed okay. We had to try it for ourselves.
For starters we think that review called it wrong on the gyro meat and the hummus. Both were just as good as the other Greek places we go to. The gyro platter is pictured below.
The Moussaka platter was a little less impressive. It was decent but I’ve definitely had better moussaka at Taso’s (near Home Depot) and Jimmy the Greek.
The other thing that stood out was the pricing. It seems expensive for the restaurant format. We eat as good or better for less money at Taso’s and we get table service along with it – though of course you’re less likely to tip at Gyromania so maybe you save money there.
The menu is below:
For us there are already good Greek choices closer to us. But if you’re near Palmetto and Powerline this is a good option along with Aladdin’s Eatery closer to Town Center.

Burglaries in Boca Falls & Boca Madera; School on Lockdown

Update: A homeowner in Bayberry (Boca Winds) said she saw two black males in a older white pickup “casing the neighborhood”. They were not young, perhaps in their 30s or 40s, and she saw them two or three times. The location is very close to the Boca Falls burglary in this story and the description seems to match what the homeowner saw when she walked in on the burglars.

Two burglary incidents attracted a lot of attention in the past 24 hours, one yesterday afternoon in Boca Falls and early this morning in Boca Madera.

Mystic Cove in Boca Falls; image by Google
Mystic Cove in Boca Falls; image by Google

Readers alerted us to an incident yesterday in and near Boca Falls at the west end of Glades Road and Palmetto Park Road. Several police cars were seen, some on Glades Road near the Boca Falls entrance with others on or near Palmetto. Readers also saw a police helicopter. We arrived on the scene about an hour later and saw one police car at Palmetto and Riverside along with the helicopter.
One of our readers described the incident as he heard it:

[The homeowner] walked into her house and her house was being robbed! She saw them and they saw her and then they ran out the back and she ran out the front. They did take items from her house. From what she said, they came in by piggybacking through the gate.
Hopefully word will get out and our neighborhood will take precautions and this doesn’t happen again!

Various sources tell us that police were looking for two black males in a white pickup; the pickup “piggy backed” through the gate near Waters Edge Elementary School; Waters Edge went on a “Code Yellow” lockdown for about an hour; and that Boca Falls was already considering measures to improve gate security and this incident is likely to accelerate changes.
The reference to piggy backing is when an unauthorized vehicle follows closely behind an authorized vehicle to get through a gate before it closes.
Another reader forwarded us this notice from Waters Edge Elementary:

Please know that for everyone’s safety, we were on a Code Yellow today from approximately 12:25-1:25 pm due to some unusual activity in Boca Falls– we are now “All Clear”. All students and staff remained in the building and they did a fabulous job following our expectations. We appreciate everyone’s support during this time.

So far there’s no indication as to whether the burglars were caught or not.
We should note that crime maps show incidents like this are rare in gated communities, and West Boca has one of the lowest crime rates in Palm Beach County and South Florida.

Boca Madera entrance; image by Google
Boca Madera entrance; image by Google

Early this morning there was a burglary in the Boca Madera neighborhood which is on the east side of Jog Road north of Glades near the St. Andrews School. It’s inside the city line but still what we consider West Boca (west of Military Trail). Boca Raton Police notified the community (via Facebook and Twitter) of the incident and warned residents to stay inside.
Not too long after they followed up with an all-clear notice:
WPTV reports that two men were arrested after a search was conducted by Boca Raton PD and a PBSO helicopter. We do not see any blotter entries that fit yet, but it was only a few hours ago and usually takes longer than that for them to show up.
Note that the correct spelling of the neighborhood is Boca Madera (Madera is Spanish for wood), not Madeira (a Portuguese wine).

12 Restaurant Inspections in Polo Club Shoppes

Wok Out (far right) in Polo Club Shoppes; image by Google
Wok Out (far right) in Polo Club Shoppes; image by Google

For our weekly inspection report we noticed something unusual. There were a lot of inspections in the Polo Club Shoppes plaza (Military Trail north of Clint Moore).
The worst of the bunch was Wok Out, a small Chinese take-out place on the north end of the plaza, next to Brendy’s. Wok Out had 20 violations with 3 marked high priority:

  • Potentially hazardous (time/temperature control for safety) food cold held at greater than 41 degrees Fahrenheit. … REACH IN COOLER… (Wok Line Cold Table) cooked chicken pieces 67° cooked shrimp 45° sliced bbq pork 45° raw pork sausage 46° raw shrimp 47° (Undercounter) bbq Shrimp 53° AMBIENT TEMPERATURE 50° … WALK IN COOLER … cooked ribs 46° cooked egg rolls 46° raw chicken pieces 47° raw shrimp 47° (cut fresh vegetables – greens, broccoli, onions, celery, green peppers – all 46°) AMBIENT TEMPERATURE 44° … COOK LINE PREP TABLE (To Left of cold Table) sprouts 68° broccoli florets 68° cut cabbage 68° – Being held at Room Temperature. **Warning**
  • Small plastic containers of white rice stored in the bulk cooked white rice being held for service in the rice cooker. See stop sale. **Repeat Violation** **Warning**
  • Vacuum breaker missing at hose bibb or on fitting/splitter added to hose bibb. … On mop sink. **Warning**

In the world of restaurant inspections this really isn’t too bad. It’s a good sign for all restaurants that this was the worst number of the week. Wok Out had a follow-up the next day that was perfect. Their three previous inspections were all pretty good so we wouldn’t let this bother us if we were customers there.

DD Flats in Polo Club; image by Google
DD Flats in Polo Club; image by Google

Second worst in the plaza goes to DD Flats with 19 violations and also 3 high priority:

  • Employee handled soiled dishes or utensils and then handled clean dishes or utensils without washing hands. … Dishmachine operator.
  • No proof of parasite destruction or aquaculture documentation for cold smoked salmon served raw or undercooked. Fish must be fully cooked or discarded. **Reapeat Violation** **Repeat Violation**
  • Raw animal food stored over ready-to-eat food. In walk in cooler, raw shell eggs directly above in-use bottles of iced tea, cheeses, and breads. **Repeat Violation**

They’ve had both good and not-so-good inspections in the past. Most were good, but a year ago they had 17 violations including 4 high priority.
Other Polo Club Shoppes inspections were:
TooJay’s (12 violations)
La Luna and Manhattan Joe’s Pizzeria (9 violations each)
Brendy’s (7)
Subway (5 on 8/18, 3 on follow-up 8/20)
Bangkok Thai (4)
Josef’s Table (2)
Voodoo BBQ had one of the best inspections this week with just one violation involving a missing backflow protector on a mop sink. We’ll call that near perfect.
Delray Beach
The worst of Delray this week isn’t too bad, but Panda Gourmet had 12 violations. Ruven’s had 11, an improvement from the 34 they had back in our May report, but still not great.
On the bright side, Brooklyn Water Bagel in Delray (Military Trail) had a perfect inspection.
Rest of West Boca
Pei Wei on Beracasa got hit with 14 violations. With 6 high priority, a live roach and a stop-sale order this is the worst overall of the week, and certainly the funniest:

  • Potentially hazardous (time/temperature control for safety) food, Cooked shrimp 64°, cut tomatoes 63°, cooked chicken 63°, wontons 60°, chicken salad rolls 63°, sushi rolls 65°, spring rolls 52°, won tons 63°. cold held at greater than 41 degrees Fahrenheit, reach in cooler on cookline, west side. Stop Sale Issued. Reach in cooler on east side of cookline-raw chicken 45°, raw beef 44°, raw shrimp 45°, cooked chicken 44°. Corrective Action taken, employee iced down. **Warning**
  • Raw animal foods not properly separated from one another based upon minimum required cooking temperature in reach-in cooler, raw chicken over raw beef, east side of reach in cooler. **Corrected On-Site** **Warning**
  • Raw animal foods not properly separated from one another based upon minimum required cooking temperature in walk-in cooler, raw chicken over raw pok in walk in cooler. **Corrected On-Site** **Warning**
  • Roach activity present as evidenced by live roaches found, 1 live roach under prep table in kitchen. Manager killed. **Corrected On-Site** **Warning**
  • Stop Sale issued on potentially hazardous (time/temperature control for safety) food due to temperature abuse. **Warning**
  • Tracking powder pesticide used inside establishment, under booths in dining room where paper goods are stored. **Warning**

That’s one tough inspector.
There were good inspections for the Taco Bell in Sandalfoot Plaza (3 minor violations) and the Smokey Bones BBQ near Target (3 violations). China Wok in Sandalfoot had 8 violations.
East Boca

Tomasso's Pizza; image by Google
Tomasso’s Pizza; image by Google

The week’s winner was Tomasso’s Pizza with a perfect inspection. We’ve been there a few times and always liked it. It’s on the north side of Palmetto Park just east of I-95.
China One in the plaza behind had 12 violations. Taco Bell did well with three minor violations.
There were a few inspections south of the border. Most notable was a licensing inspection for the new VIP Grill in the plaza just west of BJ’s Wholesale Club.
Our spreadsheet for this week’s report is below:
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Multi-Car Crash on Palmetto Park: Photos & Video

Earlier today there was a major accident on Palmetto Park Road, between Lyons Road and Boca Rio, just west of the Turnpike bridge. Official reports on the 8000 block or near 8300 West Palmetto Park. Our best estimate of the time was sometime around 6:15 or 6:20 pm. It was definitely before 6:30 but we’re not sure how much earlier.

Several readers sent us photos from the scene and two sent us videos, which we have put together into one video, below:

We enhanced the lighting and color in most of the photos.
We were told this was a four-car crash but as we look at the photos and video we think at least five cars were involved. We count four in the middle of the roadway and one on the side of the road (the first one visible in the video, and also below).
Despite the tremendous damage we see to the vehicles it is our understanding at this moment that none of the occupants were killed.
We did hear from a reliable source that 7 patients were transported to area hospitals.
The accident was identified as a “Mass Casualty Incident Level 1” which is actually the lowest level of such incidents, with 5-10 patients. Level 2 MCIs involve 11-20 patients and it goes up from there.
Of course this incident had a major impact on traffic on Palmetto Park Road and nearby roads as well including Lyons. We hope to update readers in the near future with details about what actually happened.

Real Estate Analysis: Boca Falls

"Case-Shiller data from 1890 to 2012" by YaledUp - I created this chart using data from Case-Shiller index that is freely available on the Standard-Poor website. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons -
“Case-Shiller data from 1890 to 2012” by YaledUp

We’ve been doing real estate reports for a while now, but to help our readers better understand the market, we’re starting a new series of reports analyzing real estate data to get a better sense of market trends specifically for West Boca.
We’re starting with Boca Falls. We looked at closed real estate transactions in the first half of 2015, and compared them with the second half of 2014 and the first half of 2014 as well. Our spreadsheets are at the bottom of the article for those who want to get into the nitty gritty.

Average transaction prices were up compared to a year ago, but on a $/sq.ft. basis there was not much change. Houses do seem to be selling more quickly.

Overall prices seem steady with some hints of increases. The average transaction price of non-REO* sales in Boca Falls in the first half of 2015 was $556,990, just a few hundred dollars less than the second half of 2015. This is significantly higher than the first half of 2014, which was $495,763.

*REO (generally meaning bank-owned) transactions tend to be lower prices and of less interest to readers thinking of selling their house.

The average price in per square foot hasn’t changed much, staying pretty close to $177/sq.ft. For the more recent two data sets we broke them down by number of floors. Single-story homes sold for roughly $10-20 more per square foot but there is still plenty of variability.
Non-REO homes did move more quickly in the first half of the year, selling on average in 53 days, 23 days quicker than in the previous six-month period. Transaction prices are nearly 95% of the original list price, with a few sales at the listing price. Back in the first half of 2014 we saw houses selling for closer to original list price, suggesting that sellers are asking for more now but not getting much more.
REO homes are selling for closer to 90% of the original list price, and that actually declined in the first half of 2015.
We’ll do some more neighborhoods over the next few weeks and eventually try to tie it all together with a larger analysis of neighborhoods that have a lot in common.
First half (January to June) of 2015
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Second half (July to December) of 2014
[gview file=””]
First half of 2014 – There was only one REO transaction which was removed from this data.
[gview file=””]

Big Crash on Palmetto Park Road – Photos

There was another major crash on Palmetto Park Road near the bridge over the Turnpike. Readers sent us several photos from the accident scene. The black vehicle hit a tree in the median and knocked it over. You can see the trunk of the tree in the roadway in the photo below.
One reader who saw it happen said:
“It was terrible a car in the median. A car going east bound totaled. A car going west bound totaled too, and a whole palm tree in the middle of the street going west.”
Another said it looked like “the black car in the tree was traveling high speed and was cut off.”
Below is a shot of the second car, also badly damaged.
The county scanner indicated a call around 5:30 pm which fits with the timing we have on this:
Screen Shot 2015-05-19 at 5.51.58 PM
Traffic on Palmetto Park westbound was backed up a long way for hours according to several readers, and confirmed by Google Maps:
So far we haven’t heard about any injuries. We do see airbag deployments in both cars so hopefully injuries were not too bad.
From some accounts there may have been a third car involved but we’re not sure.
More photos below:

Glades-mageddon Starts Monday

We previously reported on two repaving projects on Cain Blvd. and Glades Road. The Cain project appears to be done, though it looks like they need to finish painting the lines.
Glades Road is up next.
The work on Cain caused significant traffic problems. We saw some long backups on Glades Road waiting to turn onto Cain, and readers reported problems getting to Eagles Landing Middle School and Sunrise Park Elementary.
The Glades Road project is bigger so we expect even more traffic problems. Below is a Google Maps rendition of that section of road along with some possible escape routes:

Red lines show where roadwork will take place on Glades. Purple lines show possible escape routes. Map data from Google.
Red lines show where roadwork will take place on Glades. Purple lines show possible escape routes. Map data from Google.

If you’re on the far west end of Glades or Palmetto Park, you’ll generally want to take Palmetto Park while this project is ongoing. Riverside Drive and Ponderosa are good ways to get there from Glades. If you’re going south you can continue on Ponderosa down to Judge Winikoff and get out to 441 from there.
Going north we still think Palmetto Park is the best way out, but there is one other alternative. You can go through South County Regional Park to get to Cain and Yamato. It’s normally slow going through the park so this should only be a last resort.
We expect the Glades Road project will take a few weeks.

Motorcycle Accident at Palmetto & Winikoff: Photos

Reader photo of accident scene
Reader photo of accident scene

We hate to break in on Charlotte the Wonder Puppy’s April Fool’s takeover of West Boca News, but there was a serious accident today.
Several readers reported a motorcycle accident in front of Logger’s Run Middle School. After our initial report on Facebook we received more information.
Also, we happened to be in the area before 7 pm and two vehicles were on the back of a flatbed ready to be taken away. Unfortunately this is not a great angle but it appears the motorcycle suffered heavy damage.
You can also see airbag deployment and a major gash in the rear quarter panel of an Infiniti coupe.
With that point of impact on the car, we suspect the accident was caused by the motorcyclist.
Multiple readers reported various details:

I saw it happen. Bike was 20-30 feet up in the air. The rider is lucky to be alive IMO. Thankfully he was wearing a helment and landed on the grass.

He was wearing a helmet thank goodness! I was the second person there. Wrist injuries and some bad road rash. He was very lucky.

As of right now, he has 2 broken wrists and is stable.

West Boca student he said. He was alert.

The incident appears to have occurred at or near the southeast corner of the intersection of Judge Winikoff and Palmetto Park Road, with the motorcyclist’s body traveling east from the point of impact.