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Frank Cerabino columns

Cerabino: Get your résumé on track as a Brightline ‘safety ambassador’

Cerabino: Get your résumé on track as a Brightline ‘safety ambassador’

News item: Brightline, the new commuter rail service in South Florida, said it will hire “safety ambassadors” to stand at railroad intersections to advise pedestrians, cyclists and motorists not to cross the tracks once the gates go down and the lights flash to signal an approaching train. *** OK, sir, I’ve looked over your résumé, and I have a question about an item...
There’s plenty rhyme, reason in these Deadline Limerick submissions

There’s plenty rhyme, reason in these Deadline Limerick submissions

OK, enough limericks. I need a break. I’m starting to see five-line ditties in my sleep. Several days ago, I used this column and the annual Palm Beach Poetry Festival as an excuse to challenge readers to come up with “deadline limericks” — ones that play off the news. And I wrote that in a future column I would publish some of your clever offerings. Some of you, like Dave...
Cerabino: In immigration debate, Florida’s Rubio should find his voice

Cerabino: In immigration debate, Florida’s Rubio should find his voice

This would be a great time for Marco Rubio to start talking about his parents again. I’ll admit, I’ve grown weary over the years hearing the junior U.S. senator from Florida find a way in speeches to include the biographical detail that he comes from humble beginnings. “I live in an exceptional country where even the son of a bartender and a maid can have the same dreams and the...
You’re a poet, you don’t know it until you write a deadline limerick

You’re a poet, you don’t know it until you write a deadline limerick

If you haven’t been paying attention, allow me to point out a glaring omission in the lineup for this year’s Palm Beach Poetry Festival. The annual event, staged this week at the Crest Theater and Old School Square in Delray Beach, is a six-day schedule of workshops, readings and talks that touch a lot of bases. For example, there’s a contest on “ekphrastic poetry&rdquo...
Cerabino: For Brightline, it’s a time for many to try rail

Cerabino: For Brightline, it’s a time for many to try rail

Roger and Mary Hansen were among the curious. The Wellington retirees had friends, Tom and Wanda Werneking, visiting from The Villages, a Central Florida retirement community. “We usually go to the fair, but we thought we’d try the train today,” Roger Hansen said. So the four friends made an outing of the area’s new train service, Brightline, by catching a noon train from the...
Cerabino: Help is on the way! Cars without drivers coming to Florida.

Cerabino: Help is on the way! Cars without drivers coming to Florida.

Mark it on your calendar. This is the time Florida has entered a brave new world. We’re getting a large-scale experiment in bringing driver-less cars to a Florida retirement community. Yes, cars that travel on roadways without human drivers. I know. I know. It seems like we’ve had these cars forever in Florida. You’re driving on I-95, and you look at the car in the next lane, and...
Gov. Scott can throw cold water on ICE raids at 7-Elevens in Florida

Gov. Scott can throw cold water on ICE raids at 7-Elevens in Florida

Gov. Rick Scott needs to ask for one of those “Florida exemptions” from the nationally conducted immigration raids on 7-Elevens. This week, federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) made pre-dawn raids on 7-Eleven convenience stores in 17 states to look for undocumented immigrant workers. Of the nearly 100 stores raided, five of them were in Florida, including one in Palm...
A presidential solution to keep offshore drilling off Florida’s waters

A presidential solution to keep offshore drilling off Florida’s waters

I’ve figured out a way to keep President Donald Trump from opening up oil drilling off Florida’s beaches. First, a little history. You’d be hard-pressed to find Floridians who wish we had oil drilling offshore. Drilling for oil within visual distance of Florida’s beaches is so unpopular that politicians from both parties are against it. Even Gov. Rick Scott. Although,...
Cerabino: Warming up to the celebrity iguana in my backyard

Cerabino: Warming up to the celebrity iguana in my backyard

The recent cold snap in South Florida has caused me to re-evaluate the relationship I have with my backyard iguana. To some people, the bright green lizards are tropical delights, sun-worshipping creatures that add a touch of natural beauty to our landscape. But they’re probably not people who’ve watched iguanas use their backyard swimming pools as 10,000-gallon toilets. Over the...
Countdown to conflict over Trump’s corporate helicopter at Mar-a-Lago

Countdown to conflict over Trump’s corporate helicopter at Mar-a-Lago

News item: The Town of Palm Beach is looking into a possible code violation at President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club. The Town Council approved the addition of a helipad on the back lawn of Mar-a-Lago on the condition that it be used strictly to fly the president in and out of the club on Marine One. Trump, however, has used the helipad for the Trump corporate helicopter during his most recent...
Cerabino: Baby, it’s cold outside in Florida. How cold is it?

Cerabino: Baby, it’s cold outside in Florida. How cold is it?

As a full-service local news columnist, I feel it’s my duty to help you gain sympathy from your friends and relatives in other parts of the country who imagine that we are always spared from cold weather in Florida. The current cold spell that has blanketed Florida is a rare opportunity for us to curry sympathy from people elsewhere who constantly complain about how cold their winters are...
Cerabino: Loxahatchee lab is last hope for sparrow facing extinction

Cerabino: Loxahatchee lab is last hope for sparrow facing extinction

The future of a nearly extinct Florida bird hinges on a captive breeding program in a wildlife facility in Loxahatchee. The Florida Grasshopper Sparrow, a small ground-nesting bird that makes Florida its year-round home, has been the victim of a sudden and somewhat mysterious decline. Even though a pair of these industrious birds can produce as many as 25 offspring a year, they’ve been...
Cerabino: If you think 2017 was bad, check out these 2018 predictions

Cerabino: If you think 2017 was bad, check out these 2018 predictions

Predictions for the new year: 8 — Brightline train service opens for business between West Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale stations. Gets rave reviews from both paying customers. 12 — South Florida Fair opens. The weather report for central Palm Beach County calls for mild temperatures with a chance of funnel-cake clouds. 12 — Software glitch in animatronic Donald Trump in Disney&rsquo...
Cerabino: New Year’s resolutions? Yeah, I’ve got a few … or 30.

Cerabino: New Year’s resolutions? Yeah, I’ve got a few … or 30.

Here are my 30 resolutions for the new year: 1. No, I will not take the short customer opinion survey at the end of the call. 2. I will not vote for any candidate who poses in campaign literature with other people’s children. 3. I will admit to myself that I’ve done a lousy job at paying attention to the license plate numbers on the Silver Alert highway signs. 4. In my response...
Cerabino: Nominees for 2017 Florida Gun Owner of the Year Award are …

Cerabino: Nominees for 2017 Florida Gun Owner of the Year Award are …

In the spirit of honoring dubious achievements, we here at the Citizens Against Virtually Everything (CAVE) are back again to announce this year’s winner of our coveted Florida Gun Owner of the Year Award. This is some stiff competition, and we mean that in both the figurative and literal sense, here in Florida, The Accidental Discharge State. So we’re going to leave it up to you to pick...
Cerabino: Iguanas warming up to milder South Florida winters

Cerabino: Iguanas warming up to milder South Florida winters

This has been a terrific year for iguanas in South Florida. If you don’t believe me, ask Brian Wood. He runs Iguana Catchers, a South Florida business that traps the reptiles when they become nuisances. “It’s an invasion,” Wood said. “We had a big freeze in 2010, and about 50 to 75 percent of them died off. But since we’ve had a bunch of mild winters, they&rsquo...
Twas the night before Christmas at Mar-a-Lago. Guess who’s stirring?

Twas the night before Christmas at Mar-a-Lago. Guess who’s stirring?

‘Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the state The temperature had fallen to a muggy seventy-eight. The residents of Mar-a-Lago, were getting a snooze All except for Donald, who was watching the news. On Fox they were saying, Trump was making us great So he ate some more ice cream even though it was late. And then to CNN he turned for affirmation But they were still saying...
Cerabino: Pop-up SoulCycle finding a warm welcome in Palm Beach

Cerabino: Pop-up SoulCycle finding a warm welcome in Palm Beach

It’s a good thing I registered a day early. I figured that SoulCycle in Palm Beach would be popular. But how many people would be willing to pay $40 to sit in a dark room pedaling a stationary bicycle for 45 minutes? The answer: More than you’d imagine. SoulCycle, which started 11 years ago in the Upper West Side of Manhattan, is a triumph of marketing. It turned one of the most mundane...
Suggestions to make Disney’s Hall of Presidents attraction Trump-tastic

Suggestions to make Disney’s Hall of Presidents attraction Trump-tastic

Dear Walt Disney World: I have studied carefully a video of your new Hall of Presidents tableau that features an animatronic, talking President Donald Trump figure. The 22-minute presentation in this Magic Kingdom attraction had been closed since January in order for you to incorporate a talking and gesticulating President Trump robot into the show. And now that it’s up and running this...
Cerabino: Paul Manafort to be stylishly detained in Palm Beach Gardens

Cerabino: Paul Manafort to be stylishly detained in Palm Beach Gardens

It makes sense that Paul Manafort, the former campaign manager for President Donald Trump, will wait for the outcome of his criminal case here in Palm Beach County. Manafort had been considered a flight risk after being collared in a 31-page indictment that spelled out a dozen felony charges against him, including laundering $75 million as an unregistered foreign agent for a pro-Russian political...
Cerabino: Our Gov. Scott is a sexual-harassment warrior in training

Cerabino: Our Gov. Scott is a sexual-harassment warrior in training

Gov. Rick Scott planted his flag this week on the issue of sexual harassment in the workplace. He won’t stand for it, no he won’t. “It is absolutely disgusting to hear the numerous accounts of sexual harassment happening across the country,” Scott said. “Everyone deserves to work in an environment that is safe and free from any form of harassment.” Scott’s...
Cerabino: My Q&A on texting-and-driving is a moving violation

Cerabino: My Q&A on texting-and-driving is a moving violation

News item: State lawmakers are considering a bill that would make Florida join 41 other states that classify texting-while-driving a primary offense, which allows law enforcement officers to stop vehicles and write citations to texting drivers who are not breaking any other traffic laws. Under current Florida law, drivers may be cited for texting-while-driving only if they are being cited for breaking...
Cerabino: Boynton Beach official slaves away in alternative universe

Cerabino: Boynton Beach official slaves away in alternative universe

I don’t agree with most of Cindy Falco-DiCorrado’s political views. For example, I don’t share the Boynton Beach official’s opinion that former President Barack Obama committed treason and should be executed. “First of all, he’s not an American and he’s working for the Muslims,” Falco-DiCorrado explained to me. “He tried to destroy America.&rdquo...
Cerabino: Socking it to West Palm eye doc depends on relative justice

Cerabino: Socking it to West Palm eye doc depends on relative justice

I wonder if Dean Rockmore is following the sentencing of Dr. Salomon Melgen in West Palm Beach. Rockmore is in Florida’s Everglades Correctional Institution, paying the price for trying to shoplift a $4 pair of socks from a Walmart in DeLand. Dr. Melgen, an ophthalmologist who was once America’s top biller of Medicare-reimbursed treatments, is awaiting sentencing in federal court in West...
Brightline stimulating South Florida with simulated train service

Brightline stimulating South Florida with simulated train service

I’ve got to hand it to the people at Brightline. They’ve come up with a brilliant move: Simulated train service. I can’t wait to be sitting at a Florida East Coast Railway train crossing in my car waiting for the big moment. Will it be one of those soul-crushing, three-engine freight trains that go on for miles and sometimes slow to a crawl? Or will it be one of Brightline&rsquo...
Cerabino: Tough for Riviera Beach mayor to stay step ahead of repo man

Cerabino: Tough for Riviera Beach mayor to stay step ahead of repo man

The Sunshine Law is turning out to be very inconvenient for the mayor of Riviera Beach. Florida’s open government law requires notice for all public meetings, letting anybody know where and when they will be held. For Mayor Thomas Masters, this just means tipping off the repo man. Masters had his 2014 Subaru repossessed during an October city council meeting. There he was, inside, presiding...
Renew health insurance to Florida’s poor kids? It’s on the back burner

Renew health insurance to Florida’s poor kids? It’s on the back burner

There are 342,000 Florida children who are waiting for their turn. It hasn’t happened yet. A 20-year-old national program called the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), quietly expired in September, leaving children of the working poor in limbo. The program is run jointly by the federal government and the states, with the federal government providing most of the financial support...
Cerabino: A football game in Boca Raton would be a bowl of cherries

Cerabino: A football game in Boca Raton would be a bowl of cherries

Big news! We’ve landed The Cheribundi Tart Cherry Boca Raton Bowl here in Palm Beach County. I know what you’re thinking. In college football bowl games named in the category of pucker-worthy fruit, this is quite a catch. I mean, we can’t all land the pomegranate. And so much of the citrus is already taken. And who would want to go to The Banana Bowl? The football stadium at...
Cerabino: War on Men overshadowing War on Christmas this year

Cerabino: War on Men overshadowing War on Christmas this year

I’m worried that the parade of men in entertainment, the media and politics who are being dragged into the public square as sexual transgressors will never end, and as a result, we will miss enjoying the annual rite of “The War on Christmas.” This would be a shame. I look forward to “The War on Christmas” every year, which usually metastasizes around the gasbaggery...
Know your tax plan. Take the quiz and deduce who the big winners are

Know your tax plan. Take the quiz and deduce who the big winners are

Gather round, kids. It’s time to test your knowledge of the sweeping new tax proposals afoot, which already have been approved by the Republican-led House of Representatives and are being weighed this week by the U.S. Senate. With a permanent deep cut in the corporate tax rate that cost $1 trillion — about two-thirds of the entire tax savings in the plan — lawmakers have...
Boca Raton’s mayor and the ethics of hiding behind your spouse

Boca Raton’s mayor and the ethics of hiding behind your spouse

I’ve got some free advice for Boca Raton Mayor Susan Haynie. Abandon the “It’s not me; it’s my husband” defense. It’s been done before. Doesn’t work. Haynie got caught playing footsie with Boca’s biggest developer. Hey, it happens. This is Boca. Becoming the Kendall of Palm Beach County doesn’t just materialize by itself. Nobody’s alleging...
Cerabino: Floating South Florida Fair parade entries with local flair

Cerabino: Floating South Florida Fair parade entries with local flair

Here are some some marching group applications that need to be made: *** Group name: The Sauntering Snowbirds Number of marchers: More than enough. But hard to say on any given night, because of conflicts with clubhouse card games. Attire: Let’s hope so. Vehicle included?: A road-salt-caked Toyota Camry will lead the group. Vehicle subject to sudden, inexplicable stops in the middle...
It’s a real headache correcting ‘Tampon Tax’ in red-state Florida

It’s a real headache correcting ‘Tampon Tax’ in red-state Florida

Normally, the email bulletins sent from the Florida Department of Revenue are dry and uninspiring. You have to be a tax wonk to care. And even then, maybe not. Recently, the department has issued guidance on such topics as: “Payments for the Purchase and Lease of Items Used for the Operation or Maintenance of a Municipally-Owned Golf Course” and another gem about “the indexed tax...
Be on lookout for Russians in submarine heading for Trump’s Mar-a-Lago

Be on lookout for Russians in submarine heading for Trump’s Mar-a-Lago

Be on the lookout for a submarine this Thanksgiving. If you are in the vicinity of the Intracoastal Waterway from the Palm Beach Inlet to the Southern Boulevard Bridge, immediately report any unusual wakes, large underwater shadows and surfacing periscopes throughout the week. Let’s hope that nothing comes of this. But better safe than sorry. As you probably know, President Donald...
Cerabino: Women put the squeeze on boob leading Florida’s Democratic Party

Cerabino: Women put the squeeze on boob leading Florida’s Democratic Party

Turn yourselves in, guys. No use waiting. There’s no hiding out from this one. They’re going to find you. Men-Are-Pigs-Gate is in full bloom, and the way things are going, there will be many more carcasses of once-powerful men littering the gutters of politics, commerce and the arts before it’s settled. Get out in front of it, fellas. Surrender before you get caught. It&rsquo...
No statue a limitation as Trump protest season comes to Palm Beach

No statue a limitation as Trump protest season comes to Palm Beach

Our street protest infrastructure needs revamping here in Palm Beach County. As you know, the Official 2017-18 President Donald Trump Protest Season kicked off last weekend in West Palm Beach for what promises to be six busy months of weekend street demonstrations and counterdemonstrations. And one thing is clear. We’ve got some venue issues. The go-to spot for last year, Bingham Island...
Cerabino: Judge Roy Moore’s sexcapades has silver lining for Florida

Cerabino: Judge Roy Moore’s sexcapades has silver lining for Florida

The unmasking of pious, bigot Roy Moore as a U.S. Senate candidate with a history of making sexual advances on high school girls, could end up having a beneficial effect for some girls in Florida. Florida is one of 25 states that offers adult men a chance to avoid statutory rape by marrying the underage girls they impregnate. The minimum age for getting a marriage license in Florida is 18 years...
Cerabino: Welcome to Florida, home of the ‘emotional support squirrel’

Cerabino: Welcome to Florida, home of the ‘emotional support squirrel’

We may be breaking new ground here in Florida when it comes to emotional support animals. Squirrels! Yes, a renter is fighting an eviction from a Clearwater condo over his pet squirrel, Brutus. Ryan Boylan has claimed that under the Fair Housing Act he should be allowed to live with his squirrel because it’s not just any squirrel, it’s a therapeutically necessary squirrel that brings...
Absent health care fix, tax relief no relief for Wellington family

Absent health care fix, tax relief no relief for Wellington family

President Donald Trump has been talking about rescuing the middle class. “We will cut taxes for middle-class families. This is a major, major tax cut — the biggest since Ronald Reagan,” he said in a speech two months ago. “The pipe fitters and plumbers, and nurses, and police officers — all the people like you who pour their hearts into every penny earned in both...
Cerabino: Gov. Scott’s plan to pray away gun violence needs a hotline

Cerabino: Gov. Scott’s plan to pray away gun violence needs a hotline

The phone rings. A recorded voice answers the call. You have reached Florida Gov. Rick Scott’s Rapid Response Center for Gun Violence. If you are calling to hear Gov. Scott’s plan to find remedies for mass shootings in America, such as the domestic abuser in Texas who shot and killed 26 people during a church service on Sunday, please listen carefully to the following options. Press one...
Cerabino: Mar-a-Lago welcomes new crop of Ameri … uh … foreign workers

Cerabino: Mar-a-Lago welcomes new crop of Ameri … uh … foreign workers

Dear New Employees: Welcome to Mar-a-Lago! Bienvenido. Bine ati venit. Dobro pozhalovat. Herzlich willkommen. Dobrodosli. I know you will do your part to make the Mar-a-Lago workforce great again. And none of you will get sick, complain about overtime, need to get off early to pick up a spouse or do any of the other selfish things that make domestic workers such entitlement queens....
Cerabino: Marco Rubio’s spine to be tested in new tax bill

Cerabino: Marco Rubio’s spine to be tested in new tax bill

Uh, oh. Marco Rubio’s talking about his parents again. Florida’s junior U.S. Senator usually invokes his father the bartender, and his mother the maid, when he’s running for office and delivering a stem-winder on the American Dream. Rubio’s parents came to the United States in pre-Castro Cuba with little skills, but through hard work, they earned a living, and raised children...
Cerabino: Thanks a hundred. ‘Notes from hell’ takes the cake.

Cerabino: Thanks a hundred. ‘Notes from hell’ takes the cake.

Here’s the start of a column I wrote on March 30, 1992: “I’ve decided to occasionally answer my mail. Here goes. Notes from hell, Volume 1.” Calling my reader mail “notes from hell” was an easy call. I had been a columnist for three months, and was already getting some gems. So it began. “Frank Cerabino’s column is the putrid pusillanimous...
Cerabino: Stretched-thin FBI hot on the trail in airline-sex case

Cerabino: Stretched-thin FBI hot on the trail in airline-sex case

The FBI has way too many things to investigate. And it’s not just the Russian interference in U.S. elections, a terrorist attack in New York, and that fishy $300 million contract to fix Puerto Rico’s electrical grid. Those are just the most high-profile investigations. The FBI is also conducting ongoing investigations of bribery in NCAA college basketball, voter fraud allegations in various...
Cerabino: It’s time to collar sexual misconduct in the Florida Senate

Cerabino: It’s time to collar sexual misconduct in the Florida Senate

I’ve been pricing dog obedience collars. I don’t have a dog, but I’m thinking they may be useful in handling the Florida Senate, which is convulsing in sexcapades and Harvey Weinstein-triggered retribution. Extreme measures may be called for. After all, two women in the Florida Senate, Sen. Lizbeth Benequisto, R-Fort Myers, and Sen. Lauren Book, D-Plantation — both sexual...
A screening test for Florida politicians sleeping with lobbyists

A screening test for Florida politicians sleeping with lobbyists

Congratulations on expressing interest in becoming the next Democratic leader of the Florida Senate. As you probably know, the position became suddenly available when Sen. Jeff Clemens announced he was leaving office for the purpose of “becoming a better person.” Leaving the Florida Legislature is good start, and we wish Jeff lots of luck. We also, however, do not want to select somebody...
Cerabino: Special delivery required to lure Amazon to South Florida

Cerabino: Special delivery required to lure Amazon to South Florida

I’m concerned we might not be doing enough to lure Amazon to build its new headquarters in South Florida. The online retailing giant announced plans to build a second headquarters, dubbed HQ2, somewhere in North America as it expands beyond its base in Seattle. The company’s second headquarters would be home to 50,000 new employees with annual incomes of more than $100,000. And...
Cerabino: Missing homework fells Florida’s charter-school champ

Cerabino: Missing homework fells Florida’s charter-school champ

The former legislator who controlled school spending in the Florida House is going to jail. It’s too bad it didn’t happen sooner. For the past eight years, Erik Fresen shouldn’t have been allowed anywhere near tax dollars — especially ones for the state’s public schools. He was what you might call an interested party in the constant battle for public dollars that...
Cerabino: SoulCycle spins into Palm Beach — but not for long

Cerabino: SoulCycle spins into Palm Beach — but not for long

What’s worse than pedaling a stationary bicycle for 45 minutes? Answer: Paying $40 to do it. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not averse to spinning, that gym exercise of riding a stationary bike in a group-class setting, led by a motivating leader and loud, pulsing music. I’ve even got my own spinning shoes, the ones that clip into the pedals. It’s a great way to burn calories...
Cerabino: Monster Trump poster too spooky for West Palm Moonfest?

Cerabino: Monster Trump poster too spooky for West Palm Moonfest?

Artist Craig McInnis said he didn’t set out to come up with a controversial image to advertise this year’s Moonfest, the annual Halloween block party in downtown West Palm Beach. When he brainstormed with the organizers of the event, which will be Saturday night, the choice to make President Donald Trump a monster raging over the city just seemed, well … natural. “It wasn&rsquo...
White nationalist rally in Gainesville was storm that fizzled

White nationalist rally in Gainesville was storm that fizzled

So “Hurricane Spencer” turned out to be a Category Zero. Richard Spencer, the white nationalist who reveled in the notoriety he created by speaking at the University of Florida last week, craved the dread he had created in the state. Gov. Rick Scott had issued a state of emergency days before his speech. Security costs for this exercise in free speech were predicted to be $600,000. Spencer...
Cerabino: ‘Senator Death’ puts happy face on nursing home fatalities

Cerabino: ‘Senator Death’ puts happy face on nursing home fatalities

I knew that state Sen. Dennis Baxley was a death enthusiast, but until recently, I underestimated his passion. Baxley’s a funeral director by trade who dabbles in lawmaking on the side. The state’s 2005 “stand your ground” gun law is his baby. It’s a big reason for the 31 percent uptick in gun homicides in Florida since it was enacted, according to a study published...
Beam her up; alien-contacted Florida candidate seeks House seat

Beam her up; alien-contacted Florida candidate seeks House seat

We here at the Citizens Against Virtually Everything are uncharacteristically enthusiastic about the candidacy of Bettina Rodriguez Aguilera for a soon-to-be vacant Florida seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. As you might expect, we CAVEs are usually against most things, especially in the political realm, but this next election cycle is promising to put Florida in the sort of national spotlight...
Cerabino: Campaign cash dwarfs reason in utilities regulator choice

Cerabino: Campaign cash dwarfs reason in utilities regulator choice

Oh, no. Not the dwarf-tossing enthusiast. We have a new appointment to Florida’s Public Service Commission, which is designed to represent the taxpayers’ interests when it comes to setting rates and overseeing the state’s largest electric utility companies and other regulated industries. In theory. But we don’t live in theory. We live in Florida. And so as you might imagine...
Cerabino: The ‘Mar-a-Lago Strategy’ to shield Trump from Palm Beachers

Cerabino: The ‘Mar-a-Lago Strategy’ to shield Trump from Palm Beachers

To: All Mar-a-Lago personnel From: White House Chief of Staff John Kelly Subject: Implementing the Mar-a-Lago Strategy * In the interest of national security, the strategy, aka Operation Blabbermouth, will go into effect immediately the next time the President of the United States (POTUS) makes a weekend visit to his private club in Palm Beach. Using top-secret National Security Agency eavesdropping...
Cerabino: “Lucky Lou” seeks Friday the 13th lottery fortune again

Cerabino: “Lucky Lou” seeks Friday the 13th lottery fortune again

It’s another Friday the 13th, Lou Eisenberg’s lucky day. Eisenberg, 89, who lives in a modest townhouse in suburban West Palm Beach, will do what he always does on days like this: Play his six lucky numbers 3, 14, 22, 24, 25 and 29. It was on a Friday the 13th, nearly 36 years ago, when Eisenberg hit the New York Lottery’s $5 million jackpot with those numbers, becoming what...
Cerabino: For Trump, challenging Tillerson’s IQ is a no-brainer

Cerabino: For Trump, challenging Tillerson’s IQ is a no-brainer

From: POTUS To: Secretary Tillerson Subject: Your IQ test So this is happening, Rex. One of my unlimited executive powers allows me to make up IQ tests. And I’ve consulted with some of the smartest people I know — Dog the Bounty Hunter, Omaroso, and Steve Doocy of Fox & Friends — to come up with a much more accurate test than those loser, “fake intelligence&rdquo...
Cerabino: McDonald’s nugget sauce shortage riles ‘Rick and Morty’ fans

Cerabino: McDonald’s nugget sauce shortage riles ‘Rick and Morty’ fans

*** The correct answer is (e). Silly Lives Matter. It’s a much under-reported movement in this country. Galvanizing people to action over important things, such as comprehensive health-care or immigration policy, is a fool’s errand. And the only sure way to get everybody focused on foreign wars is to start a draft of American teenagers. But if you come up with a clever meme or an oddball...
No need for Florida AG Bondi to put the squeeze on O.J. Simpson

No need for Florida AG Bondi to put the squeeze on O.J. Simpson

It’s time to diffuse the tension between Florida Attorney Gen. Pam Bondi and released celebrity felon, O.J. Simpson. Bondi, who rarely misses a chance for shameless grandstanding, wrote a legally frivolous letter to Simpson’s Nevada parole board last week, suggesting that the soon-to-be-sprung Simpson would not be welcomed back in Florida. “Our state should not become a country...
Cerabino: After Hurricane Irma, nobody asking for less government

Cerabino: After Hurricane Irma, nobody asking for less government

The deaths of eight elderly residents inside a powerless South Florida nursing home are bound to become one of the stories of Hurricane Irma that will linger. Dangerously high temperatures at the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills from the loss of air conditioning in the nursing home is believed to have led to the deaths as well as the hospitalization of 10 other residents there. It&rsquo...
After Irma, look for sign at Lake Worth dive bar for normalcy’s return

After Irma, look for sign at Lake Worth dive bar for normalcy’s return

Here’s a sign that things are getting back to normal. “I’m getting a truck today to put up our sign again,” Lou Destout told me Thursday morning. Destout runs Harry’s Banana Farm, Lake Worth’s oldest bar. Destout is the unofficial bard of North Dixie Highway, and for decades the sign outside Harry’s has risen on a pole high above the passing traffic as...
Etiquette questions for South Florida in Hurricane Irma’s wake

Etiquette questions for South Florida in Hurricane Irma’s wake

Ask Mr. Hurricane Manners, South Florida’s foremost storm etiquette advice columnist: Q — I’ve experienced an ethical dilemma in the lines for gasoline before and after Hurricane Irma. Some stations leave only one entrance open, making all traffic to the pumps come from a single direction. This makes so much sense. And the ones that are really on the ball — like Costco...
A REFUGE OF LAST RESORT

A REFUGE OF LAST RESORT

It’s nearly dark in the cafeteria. Only a faint ring of lights on the ceiling illuminate the floor, which is packed with humanity. Young families with children as young as 2 weeks old, homeless men with freshly-provided clothing, retirees sprawled on makeshift bedding on the floor, marooned Florida Atlantic University foreign students evacuated from their dorms, and a few well-off barrier-island...
Cerabino: Hurricane Irma’s worst-case-scenario to bring out best in us

Cerabino: Hurricane Irma’s worst-case-scenario to bring out best in us

We have come to a defining moment. Wishes, hopes and denial are behind us now, as the slow approach of Hurricane Irma, a storm big enough to swallow the whole state of Florida, appears to be ready to do just that. These storms usually turn away in the Atlantic, as Hurricane Matthew did last year. Or even when they hit us, they can’t muster winds above less-than-catastrophic Category 2 gusts...
Hurricane Irma meets Hurricane Limbaugh in battle of the mighty winds

Hurricane Irma meets Hurricane Limbaugh in battle of the mighty winds

Rush Limbaugh needs to be given special permission to ride out Hurricane Irma from his home in Palm Beach. While every other resident on the barrier island will be told to relocate inland, the radio talk-show host ought to be given permission to demonstrate his theory that Irma is part of an elaborate “deep state” plot to further the canard of climate change. “Unlike UFOs, which...
Hurricane Irma: Six tips for Trump to be more presidential in Florida

Hurricane Irma: Six tips for Trump to be more presidential in Florida

Dear President Trump: With Hurricane Irma nearing the Florida coast, you may be a getting a mulligan to display your presidential demeanor and leadership in the wake of a hurricane. And so this would be a good time to review your response to Hurricane Harvey in Texas and fine-tune your actions should you have to come to Florida after this weekend. Here are six tips to keep in mind: 1. Crowd size...
Wrong numbers focus of Florida Highway Patrol’s ticket-quota scandal

Wrong numbers focus of Florida Highway Patrol’s ticket-quota scandal

I’m having a hard time getting worked up about the ticket-quota scandal unfolding in the Florida Highway Patrol. It started this summer with an email written by FHP Maj. Mark Welch. He explained that he expected his troopers patrolling an eight-county section of North Florida, including Interstate 10, to ticket motorists at a higher rate. “The patrol wants to see two citations...
Opera singer turned Palm Beaches real estate leader hits right notes

Opera singer turned Palm Beaches real estate leader hits right notes

Singing opera is a lot like selling real estate. If you don’t believe me, ask John Slivon, the new head of the Realtors of the Palm Beaches and Greater Fort Lauderdale. (I guess there’s another group of Realtors who represents the lesser parts of Fort Lauderdale.) Anyway, Slivon, 49, started selling real estate to make ends meet between his gigs as an opera singer, and now says that...
Cerabino: Under Trump, local cops stock up on the weapons of war

Cerabino: Under Trump, local cops stock up on the weapons of war

I’m not sure how much military weaponry our local law enforcement agencies need anymore. One of the byproducts of constant war is that it creates excess weaponry that is no longer employed against our foreign enemies. The solution for the last two decades has been to give these implements of war to local agencies to use against American citizens. This program transferred more than $6 billion...
Cerabino: A single solution for Florida’s citrus and golf woes

Cerabino: A single solution for Florida’s citrus and golf woes

When people think of Florida, the image of a golf course or a citrus grove often comes to mind. After all, the generic state license plate features two oranges. Or if you prefer, you can opt for a specialty plate that shows a silhouetted golfer with the words “Florida: Golf Capital of the World.” But the truth is that while citrus and golf are two iconic symbols of Florida, they&rsquo...
Cerabino: “Game of Thrones” fever no dragon Florida tourism

Cerabino: “Game of Thrones” fever no dragon Florida tourism

As a full-service newspaper columnist I sometime offer my services as an unpaid consultant to worthy causes. And of course, there are few things more worthy than grabbing every last person in the Northeast to come here for a winter vacation. Which brings me to the HBO series “Game of Thrones.” If you haven’t seen it, congratulations. You’ve missed dozens of hours of a...
Is Dixie Highway next Confederate casualty of the culture war?

Is Dixie Highway next Confederate casualty of the culture war?

Is it time to rename Dixie Highway? While we’re in this national mood of historical re-evaluation, when remotely located cemetery markers for the Confederate dead are fair game for removal, the time may be ripe for taking another look at Dixie Highway. Road sign reappraisals are already happening in Broward County, where the city of Hollywood decided last month to change the names...
Cerabino: Mar-a-Lago charity cancellations are fake news

Cerabino: Mar-a-Lago charity cancellations are fake news

From: DJT * Please note the following changes to our schedule for next season, which is no reflection of the terrific job we all have been doing— especially me — to make Mar-a-Lago and America great again. The American Cancer Society event for 2018 has been canceled due to inclement weather. The Cleveland Clinic’s annual fundraiser and gala will be held elsewhere due to failings...
Cerabino: Shadowing the people of the eclipse in West Palm Beach

Cerabino: Shadowing the people of the eclipse in West Palm Beach

Solar eclipse diary from downtown West Palm Beach: *** 1:00 p.m. — Patricia Perano with her tripod-mounted Canon camera sits outside the Subculture Coffee shop on Clematis Street. “When the eclipse comes, I’m going to photograph the people and the shadows to see if I can find something artful in this.” 1:09 p.m. — At the check-out desk inside the Mandel Public Library...
Cerabino: School’s out, video games in, for solar eclipse

Cerabino: School’s out, video games in, for solar eclipse

Palm Beach County’s public schools are allowing students to stay home on Monday so they can safely observe the afternoon’s partial solar eclipse for as long as their parents allow. Students who choose to go to school may only view the eclipse during principal-authorized viewing events with glasses approved by the American Astronomical Society in sessions that last no longer than three...
Cerabino: University of Florida fails history with neo-Nazi ban

Cerabino: University of Florida fails history with neo-Nazi ban

If you care at all about government intrusion on free speech, you shouldn’t be applauding the University of Florida’s decision to ban white nationalist leader Richard Spencer from speaking on campus next month. As American scholar Noam Chomsky once put it: “If we don’t believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we don’t believe in it at all.” University...
Cerabino: North Korean nukes an opportunity for Florida tourism launch

Cerabino: North Korean nukes an opportunity for Florida tourism launch

Florida, which is no stranger to making all sorts of desperate appeals for tourists, might want to consider “nuclear tourism.” I mention this because if you’ve been paying attention to North Korea’s nuclear aspirations, you will see that the projected limits of that country’s Hwasong-14 intercontinental ballistic missiles appear as a curved line that encompasses much...
Cerabino: The KKK in Palm Beach taught us to let the haters speak

Cerabino: The KKK in Palm Beach taught us to let the haters speak

White supremacists are their own worst enemies. The more they speak, the more they reveal themselves to be anything but “supreme.” So muzzling them, or trying to muzzle them, elevates their low-brow racism, sexism and anti-Semitism to the level of importance it doesn’t deserve. Denounce them. Absolutely. Call them out for being the creeps they are. Every time. But if you...
Cerabino: Readers who don’t read weigh in on President Trump

Cerabino: Readers who don’t read weigh in on President Trump

Notes from Hell, Volume 99: * Dear Debra: First of all, thanks for reading my column titled “A nude beach in Palm Beach County is barely plausible,” even if the reading was simply due to a temporary memory lapse on your part. Have you tried ginkgo biloba? Apparently, your reading misadventure of my column was turning out just fine as you cruised by the part about the head nudist being...
Cerabino: Zika virus brings new form to Florida dating

Cerabino: Zika virus brings new form to Florida dating

*** So as a public service, I’ve created the following application form for Florida women to give their prospective partners to ensure that the spread of the Zika virus does not become an epidemic in our state. Let’s be safe out there. *** Dear ________ : Congratulations! You have been selected as a candidate for further romantic adventures. Despite what you may have heard, this is a significant...
Cerabino: Things could be looking up for relocating Wellington’s horse droppings

Cerabino: Things could be looking up for relocating Wellington’s horse droppings

For years now, Palm Beach County has been struggling to deal with its abundance of horse droppings. We are over-blessed in these deposits due to the Wellington equestrian community. And efforts to stash it somewhere, anywhere, have so far come up short. About 10 years ago we had a bright idea to put it in trucks and ship 32 tons of horse apples every day into Martin County to be spread on their...
When lovebirds stop tweeting; Aronberg’s ‘Trump Divorce’ is fake news

When lovebirds stop tweeting; Aronberg’s ‘Trump Divorce’ is fake news

We here in Palm Beach County are coming to grips with the so-called “Trump Divorce” between our top criminal prosecutor and one of our top karate-black-belt former Miami Dolphins cheerleaders. I’m willing to blame President Donald Trump for an awful lot of things, but I’m not quite ready to put the two-year marriage of Dave and Lynn Aronberg on that American carnage...
Cerabino: New train of thought; Brightline enriches, endangers Trump

Cerabino: New train of thought; Brightline enriches, endangers Trump

Lawyers representing foes of the Brightline Miami-to-Orlando passenger train played their Trump card this past week. They argued that a loan from the Federal Railroad Administration to pay for the new train service would create untoward financial rewards for President Donald Trump while also creating unique security concerns for the president when he is staying at his Mar-a-Lago club in Palm...
Cerabino: Pulp Non-fiction; Antonacci is Gov. Rick Scott’s “Wolfe.”

Cerabino: Pulp Non-fiction; Antonacci is Gov. Rick Scott’s “Wolfe.”

Florida’s got its own Winston Wolfe. You remember “The Wolfe.” He was the character played by Harvey Keitel in the Quentin Tarantino movie, Pulp Fiction. “I solve problems,” was how The Wolfe described his many-faceted job working for a powerful, but unseen boss. Florida’s Winston Wolfe is Pete Antonacci, who fixes things for Gov. Rick Scott. Five years...
Cerabino: Paying the price for school spirit at Lake Worth High

Cerabino: Paying the price for school spirit at Lake Worth High

You’ve got to hand it to former Lake Worth High School principal George Lockhart. He’s certainly a guy who isn’t afraid of thinking outside the box. Like getting the high school teachers who worked for him to do his middle-school son’s online algebra homework. That’s so far out of the box that it nearly got Lockhart fired. But when it comes to Lockhart’s variety...
Cerabino: Voter fraud in Palm Beach County? No private eye needed.

Cerabino: Voter fraud in Palm Beach County? No private eye needed.

The phone rings, jarring me from my afternoon nap. ”Philip Marlowe here,” I say, while reaching for the pack of gaspers under the Palm Beach Kennel Club racing form. “Mr. Marlowe,” the whiny voice on the line says. “I hope I didn’t catch you at a bad time.” “Any time you call, Cerabino, is a bad time,” I say. “What’s the matter? You...
Cerabino: Trump touts ‘America first,’ until he needs cheap labor at Mar-a-Lago

Cerabino: Trump touts ‘America first,’ until he needs cheap labor at Mar-a-Lago

In case you haven’t noticed, our governor, Rick Scott, is obsessed with jobs. He loves talking about his devotion to putting people to work in Florida. “I travel the state every day and I can say the most important thing we can do is give people a job,” Scott said earlier this year in South Florida while on one of his “job tours” of the state. When Scott isn&rsquo...
A bird? A plane? No, just Italian sausage terror in South Florida

A bird? A plane? No, just Italian sausage terror in South Florida

* From: U.S. Department of Homeland Security To: All Agencies Subject: South Florida threat assessment * Be advised, we are currently gathering information on what may be a sleeper cell operating in South Florida. We have reason to believe that a little-known terrorist group named Al-ShaBobby Baccala may be going operational. The group deploys IEDs — Italian Edible Deliveries — which...
In Riviera Beach, where the handling of illegal immigrants is harshest

In Riviera Beach, where the handling of illegal immigrants is harshest

It’s strange that Riviera Beach has become a focal point of discord over the handling of undocumented residents. Of all the jurisdictions in Palm Beach County, you wouldn’t expect that the one led by the area’s most well-known civil rights advocate is where the most pressing civil rights issue of our time is being handled in the harshest way. But it’s true. Unlike...
Ann Coulter attacks Delta on Twitter after ‘pure hell’ trip to PBIA

Ann Coulter attacks Delta on Twitter after ‘pure hell’ trip to PBIA

It’s no secret that the three words that strike the most fear in airline flight attendants are “West Palm Beach.” Palm Beach International Airport is basically the Anbar Province of domestic air travel — the enemy is everywhere and they’re wearing civilian clothing. In West Palm Beach, flights are full, passengers are cranky, and many who require wheelchairs for...
Sign at Loxahatchee Wendy’s may mean ‘Skip the bacon queso fries!’

Sign at Loxahatchee Wendy’s may mean ‘Skip the bacon queso fries!’

I’ve been in full Da Vinci Code mode since learning about that sign in the lobby at a Wendy’s restaurant in Loxahatchee. The sign read, “All of Wendy’s sins off one word — FRESH.” What exactly are Wendy’s sins? I mean we know McDonald’s has the McRib, Burger King has a chocolate shake with 83 grams of sugar in it, and Taco Bell … well, &hellip...
Cerabino: 5 rules of etiquette on Palm Beach for Palm Beaches Marathon

Cerabino: 5 rules of etiquette on Palm Beach for Palm Beaches Marathon

To: All runners From: Palm Beaches Marathon race committee Subject: Running through the Town of Palm Beach Please be advised, you will be running part of the marathon and half-marathon on Dec. 3 through the Town of Palm Beach. Some of you may not fully grasp the historical significance of this. To you, it might look like just another couple of bridges to cross, and a small, seemingly insignificant...
Gun-toting pastor in Corvette latest exemplar of Florida road rage

Gun-toting pastor in Corvette latest exemplar of Florida road rage

Somebody needs to say some kind words about the visiting Episcopal priest who booked a room briefly at the Martin County Jail. The Very Reverend William Rian Adams was apparently on a road trip from North Carolina in his red Corvette last week when he waved his Glock 22 handgun at two people in a pickup truck on Florida’s Turnpike near Palm City. As it almost says in Proverbs...
Fear ‘Trumps’ decency in deporting Palm Beach restaurant manager

Fear ‘Trumps’ decency in deporting Palm Beach restaurant manager

If anyone other than Donald Trump had been elected president last November, there wouldn’t be a question over whether Francisco Javier Gonzalez would still be the beloved manager of a Palm Beach restaurant next week. On Friday, the Mexican-born husband of an American citizen and father of their three American-citizen daughters, ranging from 5 to 10 years old, would make his annual check...
Cerabino: For Florida, privacy trumps Trump in federal voter purge

Cerabino: For Florida, privacy trumps Trump in federal voter purge

You know your voter fraud fantasies are in trouble when the state of Florida won’t play along. This week, Florida belatedly joined 44 other states in announcing it wouldn’t fully comply with the wishes of the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity. This is the commission set in motion by the fanciful assertion of President Donald Trump that he actually won the popular vote...
Florida’s evolution to complainer’s paradise for public schools

Florida’s evolution to complainer’s paradise for public schools

News item: A new Florida law allows any resident, regardless of whether he or she has children in the public school system, to instigate a formal challenge to any textbook, library book, novel, or other kind of instructional material used in a public school. The state law channels the resident’s complaint to an “unbiased and qualified hearing officer” who is empowered to determine...
Florida man jailed, justice system discovers all dust isn’t cocaine

Florida man jailed, justice system discovers all dust isn’t cocaine

Tell me if this sounds like justice. Karlos Cashe was stopped for driving his car without his headlights on in Oviedo, a city in Seminole County, at about 9:30 one night in March. The officer ran the 57-year-old man’s name through a police teletype system and it came back that Cashe was a drug offender on probation who had an 8 p.m. curfew. Cashe tried to explain that the police computer...
Crafting new fake Trump magazine covers for the walls of Mar-a-Lago.

Crafting new fake Trump magazine covers for the walls of Mar-a-Lago.

We’re going to need to help our president. From now on, few club members at Mar-a-Lago’s are going to believe any framed front page of Time magazine featuring Trump. He’s going to need expand his repertoire of fake magazine covers praising him. Fortunately, there are so many more magazine covers that can be doctored to support his fragile ego in a way that might spare us from having...
More crank than crunk, I’m your Palm Beach ‘mansion party’ solution

More crank than crunk, I’m your Palm Beach ‘mansion party’ solution

Dear Palm Beach County mansion owner: You have my sympathy. There you are, off in the Hamptons, Tuscany, or wherever it is you disappear during these unfashionable summer months, and you find out that your big, empty, refrigerated South Florida spare house has been transformed from an empty mausoleum of your inessential possessions to something called a “party mansion.” Party mansion?...
Cerabino: The real villain in Boca’s breast-feeding mom saga

Cerabino: The real villain in Boca’s breast-feeding mom saga

Time to alert the public breastfeeding quick-response team. We here at NIPPLE — Negating Ignoramuses Preventing Proper Lactation Entitlements — are dedicated to informing the public that while there are many amazingly annoying behaviors in South Florida restaurants, moms breastfeeding their kids doesn’t even register on the Old Man Eating Coleslaw While Talking Way Too Loud Scale...
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