Donald Trump’s main holding company, The Trump Organization, LLC, announced yesterday that it will open the Trump Sandalfoot Golf Resort and Casino in West Boca. The company has purchased all the properties in West Sandalfoot, aka Watergate Estates.
The area comprises approximately 150 acres of land. The golf course is expected to take up 100 acres with a hotel and casino to occupy the remaining 50 acres.
Often Trump pays substantial sums for existing resorts, such as the $150M he paid for Doral, and then improves them. In this case he was able to acquire the various properties for significantly less, reportedly $150.
Also, Trump developments often face significant hurdles from local government, as he did in Mar-a-Lago. But with Sandalfoot it appears Palm Beach County is letting him do whatever he wants. West Boca’s county commissioner, Mary Lou Berger, said it was an easy call: “We did a survey and 85% of area residents preferred a landfill to the existing use. So a golf club is huge!”
The biggest hurdle Trump faced was a hold-out resident who did not want to sell. But he was able to win the man over after a conversation.
“I’m a great negotiator,” Trump said, “but in this case it was easy. We saw eye to eye on a lot of issues, especially social issues. So we found a way to include him on our team in a role that fits what we do. It’ll be great. I promise you. Believe me.”
Trump Sandalfoot is expected to open a year from now, on April 1, 2017. A rumored expansion into Palmetto Pines was nixed by Trump. “It doesn’t have the same cachet.”
Story and photos by Alan Shimel, a friend of West Boca News
The WBHS Bulls varsity baseball team took advantage of the spring break vacation to travel upstate to Jacksonville where they competed in a high school baseball tournament held at the Providence School.
The Bulls led by Coach Nathan Underwood took a full squad of 23 players up to Jacksonville for the tourney. While only playing in three games, Coach Underwood was able to get just about every player into a game for some play and experience. The team went 1-2 but were competitive in every game.
Driving up on Monday the Bulls first game was Tuesday against an overmatched St John Lutheran team. The Bulls big bats came alive early and they won a mercy rule shortened game 16-5. Senior Chris Charlock went the distance for the Bulls in this game as pitcher. Lawrence Ghougasian, Cory Kuchtam Dom Iagrossi and Chris Cavallo were among the almost 20 Bulls players with hits this game.
The next day’s game had the Bulls moving up in competition against the Bozeman Bucks. Ryan Powers started as pitcher for the Bulls. The Bucks scored a run early and held the lead throughout the game. The final was 5-2. Some excellent relief pitching by Landon Shimel kept the Bulls in the game. The West Boca squad had several chances to take the game but left the bases loaded twice in the late innings.
The Bulls played their last game this morning before heading back to the confines of friendly Boca Raton. They played Ravenwood HS from Tennessee. Chris Cavallo was the starting pitcher for West Boca. The game was a nip and tuck affair throughout. The Bull lost when Ravenwood hit a walk off sacrifice fly in their last at bat 9-8.
Win or lose it was a great experience for the players on the team. They travelled, lodged and ate together as a team. Parents were present and encouraged to participate but this is about high school athletes growing up into young men. Road trips like this are important in that process.
Thanks to the coaches and administration for putting together this trip and to parents who volunteered to drive and chaperone the players. The Bulls continue their season with Senior night on March 31 at home against Iliana Christian HS. Senior night ceremonies start at 4:45 and the game starts at 6. Go Bulls!
Chase Thompson, a 7th grader at Loggers Run Middle School, wrestled for a state championship where he pinned every opponent all the way through the finals to become the Cadet 195 pound state champion. The Cadet division was made up of 9th & 10th grade wrestlers.
Chase had suffered a knee injury during practice in January, with a fractured patella (kneecap) and strained ligaments. After extensive physical therapy and cryotherapy he was able to get read for the tournament on March 13th.
Chase Thompson was initially registered to wrestle in the USA Wrestling’s Florida Amateur Athletic Association (FAWA) State Championship in his respective division/weight class “Schoolboy” 190 lb. When there was no one entered in that weight class, he was asked to move up to the next division.
Chase was also awarded the Outstanding Wrestler for that division for the most pins and fastest pins. Congratulations to Chase for his hard work and success.
Boca Raton Police arrested Dr. Jay Lieberman for trespassing, arising out of a protest related to the Holocaust. Lieberman is a Margate podiatrist who lives in Parkland. His wife Genie is a director of the Gloria Drummond Rehabilitation Institute at Boca Raton Regional Hospital.
Medium.com reports (we have confirmed some details but not all) that Mrs. Lieberman’s late father was Holocaust survivor Ivar Segalowitz. He was unable to pursue his claims against Allianz. He was 11 years old when his family was deported to a concentration camp, leaving him unable to even determine if his family was covered by a policy. However, he said then that his family lived a typical upper middle class lifestyle and he was certain that members of his extended family or parents would’ve carried such insurance.
Mr. Segalowitz succumbed to cancer in 2014 having never received information from Allianz. Dr. Lieberman also lost family members in the Holocaust, killed at the Treblinka concentration camp.
Dr. Lieberman’s arrest was captured in a photo:
And his mugshot is available on the Sheriff’s blotter:
It’s unclear why his glasses were removed for the mugshot, but it may be standard practice.
The protesters claim Allianz has not done enough to resolve claims from Jews who had insurance policies with them before the war, and assert the company owes $2.5 billion to survivors. You can read more about the issue in a recent article in the Sun-Sentinel.
We reached out to Allianz for comment but they did not respond. We also reached out to Congressman Ted Deutch (D-West Boca), who has supported Holocaust survivor issues, but his office did not respond either.
Genie Lieberman’s 2014 prepared statement to Deutch’s congressional subcommittee is below:
Benjamin Schiller, an 8th grade student at Loggers’ Run Middle School, has been named to the Scholastic News Kids Press Corps, “the country’s oldest and largest student reporting program.”
For more than 15 years, the Scholastic News Kids Press Corps has delivered news to classrooms nationwide. Stories by the kid reporters appear in select issues of Scholastic classroom magazines, which are read by more than 25 million students nationwide and are available online at www.scholastic.com/news
Schiller is one of only three kids chosen from Florida, and the only one south of Orlando. He is currently working on his first article for Scholastic, about habitat protection issues in the Everglades. He tells us he is hopeful that this experience “will jump start my career in journalism.”
Schiller has written for West Boca News in the past, including these articles:
6 FAU Owls Drafted by MLB
Boca Raton Bowl Coming to FAU
Boca Raton Bowl Report