Weekend Roundup: July 31-August 3

hightolerance High Tolerance Band, July 31st at 6 p.m., Delray Marketplace. Free concert at the amphitheater from 6 to 8 p.m. A top 40s band. Bring chairs and blankets.
Daggerwing Nature CenterMommy, Mother Nature and Me: Outdoor Classroom, August 1st at 10:30 a.m., Daggerwing Nature Center. Ages 2-5, $4 per child. For reservations, call 561-629-8760. Introduction to nature through music, stories and actitivities.
jimmystowJimmy Stowe and The Stowaways, August 1st at 7:30 p.m., Mizner Park Amphitheater. Free concert by Jimmy Buffet tribute band. Bring chairs and blankets but no coolers or pets allowed.
raccoon bannerScience Stories, August 2nd at 11:30 a.m., Children’s Science Explorium at Sugar Sand Park. Free program.
dunlapandpenningtonDunlap and Pennington Present: Everybody’s Favorites!, August 2nd at 11:30 a.m. Wold Performing Arts Center at Lynn University. Two internationally acclaimed keyboard sensations will perform hits from The Beatles, Les Mis, Gerhwins’s Rhapsody in Blue and more. This will be filmed for a PBS special Tickets are $18 per person. Buy tickets online or call 561-237-9000.
back2schoolC is for Cookie Back 2 School, August 3rd at The Shops at Boca Center. 10 a.m. to noon. Bring a donation of school supplies for Children’s Home Society of Florida and recieve a free lunch bag to decorate. Cookie decorating at Panera Bread with Cookie Monster.
Make and Take a Solar Oven, August 3rd at 11:30 a.m., Children’s Science Explorium at Sugar Sand Park. Learn about solar energy and create your very own smores to eat!
guardianofthegalaxySOL Children Theatre fundraiser, August 3rd at 2 p.m., Paragon Deerfield 8. $15 per ticket. RSVP directly to SolChildTroupe@aol.com.

Editorial: They Are Anti-Israel

Yesterday we mentioned in a Facebook post that readers had told us about a protest on Glades Road near Boca Rio.
That sparked quite a comment thread, mostly favorable but with some angry opposition. One common objection to our post was that we should not have referred to the protest as “anti-Israel.”
The most eloquent critic was Farrah Ibrahim, an FAU graduate who is now a law student at Nova Southeastern.

Wow a protest for Gaza automatically means “anti-Israeli”? You can be against the killing of innocent children and condemn Israel’s illegal actions without being “anti-Israeli”.

Farrah Ibrahim
Farrah Ibrahim

The discussion touched a nerve. People in political debates play with words in a way that would make Orwell laugh. Note for example how Ibrahim slightly twists our term, “anti-Israel” into “anti-Israeli.”
Democrats complain about “access” to healthcare as if Republicans are blocking the doors to hospitals. They claim Hobby Lobby is banning birth control when all they’re doing is refusing to pay for some forms of it. They’re not stopping anyone from going to the drug store and paying for it out of their own pockets.
Republicans are just as bad. The whole notion of using the word “defense” to describe our military operations is absurd. Defense is when we defend our own borders – which we don’t do. We’re in other people’s territory. That’s offense. Republicans pretend they’re for small government and fiscal responsibility when their hero, Ronald Reagan, doubled federal spending and tripled the national debt.
It should be obvious by now that we’re not trying to make friends with this editorial.

So we’re not playing games with what the protesters are about. They are anti-Israel. One argued with us that they’re not “anti-Israel,” but rather “pro-Palestine.” We invited these critics to let us know what their proposed long-term solution is to the situation when we all know what they really have in mind is a final solution – no Israel.
Please stop pretending that’s not true. If you’re going to respond to this editorial, the first thing we want to hear is what your proposed solution is that doesn’t involve the elimination of the State of Israel. What borders and conditions do you propose that will satisfy enough Palestinians so that we’ll have peace?
We believe there is no such answer and you know that. But we’re open to a discussion, especially from Ms. Ibrahim. We offered to debate her on our site but she declined.
You can see her real policy agenda in some of her words. She refers to Israel’s existence as an occupation, for example. If that’s what you believe, the only just solution in your eyes is to end the occupation, which means no Israel.
She also uses this phrase: “Israel has been mass murdering the Palestinians for over 60 years.” It is also common for “pro-Palestinian” advocates to call what Israel is doing a “genocide.” This is one of the most blatant and offensive abuses of language I have ever seen.
In a genocide the targeted population gets dramatically smaller. In Israel and the rest of the disputed territories, the Arab population has consistently and dramatically increased.
See this link for more on that. In this idiotic view, Israel is both overpowering in military force and yet incompetent in its genocidal actions.
Some other comments from Ibrahim deserve a response:

Finally, Israel’s indiscriminate use of heavy weaponry in civilian areas is a war crime, not self defense.

This is the United States. We have a long history of using heavy weaponry in civilian areas. Visit Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Ask the Native Americans about that, and also about occupation. You’re living on their land right now.

Gaza is the most densely populated place on earth.

Sorry for the humor, but maybe y’all should stop working for Hobby Lobby and use some birth control. Gaza is experiencing fast population growth due to very high fertility rates. And yet again that genocide thing isn’t working so well.
Some final words. First, we think the pro-Israel rallies are the wrong response. Having an anti-Israel protest in Boca Raton is hysterical. It might be less stupid than having a KKK march in Harlem, but not by that much. The sensible response would have been to have a chuckle and ignore them. We covered Venezuelan protests a few months ago and most of you probably don’t remember or never noticed. But then we are writing this editorial so maybe we’re guilty too.
Second, I want to be clear on my position about Israel. Yes I am Jewish and pro-Israel. However, I am an American and not a Zionist. I have never been to Israel and have no interest in moving there. I’d take an Irish pub over an Israeli cafe any day. I’m also opposed to all foreign aid, including to Israel. The US government should not take money from American taxpayers and give it to other countries. And we certainly shouldn’t borrow from China, give the money to other countries, and expect our children and grandchildren to pay it back.
Third, I’m not anti-Palestinian. I recognize they’ve been getting screwed for hundreds of years. That is not the fault of Jews or Israel. It dates back long before to the British Empire, the Ottoman Empire and even the Mongols. Today they get mistreated by many Arab countries, but for some reason they fall for the propaganda and blame Israel.
We normally stick to news about West Boca and stay away from foreign affairs, national and even statewide issues. But since these events are happening in West Boca, we figure we should cover them.

Pro-Israel Rally in West Boca: Video and Photos

A “pro-Israel” rally was held today (or is still being held at this writing) on Glades Road near Boca Rio and the Florida Turnpike. We’ve embedded a brief video from it, above, and have some pictures further below.
The rally was apparently organized in response to a protest yesterday in the same location. We described that on Facebook yesterday as “anti-Israel” protest. Some criticized us for that characterization and we’ll respond shortly in an editorial.
Here are a few pictures from yesterday, thanks to readers:
We weren’t planning on going today, but a storm ruined our relaxing afternoon at the pool. So we stopped by around 5:30 pm. It had obviously rained there as well. We’ve seen reports that there were as many as 300 people in attendance, but we did not see that many. The rain and lightning may have diminished the crowd.
We have been told there will be another pro-Israel rally tomorrow, again in the same location. Today’s was promoted by Boca Raton Synagogue. Tomorrow’s looks like it’s by Chabad.
The last photo, below, is from a reader.

Sales Tax Holiday

taxfreepackageAugust 1-3, 2014 is a sales tax holiday for Florida Back to School Shoppers. No sales tax will be collected on sales of clothing, footwear and accessories that are $100 or less per item or on certain school supplies that sell for $15 or less per item. In addition, there is no sales tax on the first $750 of the sales price for computers and computer-related accessories when purchased for home or personal use.

Matt Klotz – Legal Analysis

We previously reported that Matt Klotz, a resident of West Boca and Olympic Heights graduate, was arrested for what appeared to be a bomb threat. We now have more details and have reviewed the law he’s accused of violating, as well as the court docket.
Klotz is accused of violating section 790.163 of the Florida Statutes, which is titled: “False report about planting bomb, explosive, or weapon of mass destruction.” According to police, Klotz was at or near the John Legend concert in Mizner Park, and told a private security guard that he had “put a bomb on all the buses.”

That guard then contacted Boca Raton police, who detained Klotz and questioned him. Klotz then admitted making the statement and claimed he did so as a joke and that he thought the guard would have thought it was funny.
Apparently some people take such things more seriously than Mr. Klotz imagined. Police allege that 100 employees were disrupted from their duties, the area was evacuated, the bomb squad was called in and examined eleven vehicles.
Section 790.163 states: “It is unlawful for any person to make a false report, with intent to deceive, mislead, or otherwise misinform any person, concerning the placing or planting of any bomb … and any person convicted thereof commits a felony of the second degree.” Most felonies we report are third degree so this is considered more serious.
The law specifically prohibits suspended or deferred sentences, as well as withholding adjudication.
There is one key legal and factual issue that may work to Mr. Klotz’ favor. The law requires that he acted “with intent to deceive, mislead, or otherwise misinform.” Since he said it was a joke and that he thought the guard would think it was funny, there is a question as to whether this case meets that intent requirement.
Our legislators in Florida did consider that, so they included an important provision in the law:

Proof that a person accused of violating this section knowingly made a false report is prima facie evidence of the accused person’s intent to deceive, mislead, or otherwise misinform any person.

The term prima facie means that Klotz having knowingly made the false report (which police say he admitted) is enough proof that a jury can conclude he had the intent to deceive. So a judge would not dismiss the case for lack of such proof. It still might be a challenge for the prosecution to persuade a jury that he intended to deceive.
While it doesn’t look good for Klotz, brief analysis suggests he scores low on Florida’s sentencing guidelines. While in theory the maximum sentence for a 2nd-degree felony is 15 years, we think he’s unlikely to get any state prison time. Some time in the county jail would seem more reasonable and he may qualify for a few mitigating factors that would lead a judge to sentence him to probation, and/or mental health treatment, rather than jail.
Mr. Klotz is also accused of violating section 509.143 for resisting the security guard’s effort to detain him. That statute is within a chapter on “lodging and food service establishments” and does not appear to apply to the facts in this case. It will hopefully be dismissed.
One other big consequence of this case is also in the statute:

In addition to any other penalty provided by law with respect to any person who is convicted of a violation of this section that resulted in the mobilization or action of any law enforcement officer or any state or local agency, a person convicted of a violation of this section may be required by the court to pay restitution for all of the costs and damages arising from the criminal conduct.

We’re guessing the cost of the bomb squad examining 11 vehicles, plus the costs of the evacuation, will probably exceed $10,000. Paying that restitution can be one of the mitigating factors that will help reduce the sentence.

Boca Raton Bomb Squad
Boca Raton Bomb Squad

The Sheriff’s blotter shows that Mr. Klotz was released from jail in the evening, after spending around 24 hours in custody.