Frank Cerabino columns

We make fun of Canadians, but we’re the ones who created Florida Man

We make fun of Canadians, but we’re the ones who created Florida Man

Florida ought to charge an entertainment fee to the rest of the world. Seriously. Forget oranges. Our biggest export is weirdly entertaining news stories. This week, our gift is the story about a lumpy guy in Stuart who insists on doing his yard work in the nude. Oh no, he’s out there with his weed whacker again! Get a photo. The neighbors have been documenting his landscaping chores, particularly...
PBIA ranked below average in survey, behind an airport in Omaha? Huh?

PBIA ranked below average in survey, behind an airport in Omaha? Huh?

I have a bone to pick with a survey that found Palm Beach International Airport below average in the rankings of medium-sized airports. The J.D. Power 2018 North America Airport Satisfaction Survey put PBIA 14th in its listing of 22 airports. How can Palm Beach International be below average in satisfaction? Every time I go there, I feel as if it’s my own personal airport. What’s more...
Cerabino: Torn-jeans dress-code flap hard to bare for school parents

Cerabino: Torn-jeans dress-code flap hard to bare for school parents

I’m foolishly wading into a great controversy gripping our community. That is, whether it was right for Palm Beach County Mayor Melissa McKinlay’s daughter to be hauled out of her high school class for violating the dress code with a pair of jeans that had a wide rip at the right knee. The high-powered mom took to her Facebook page last week to write an open letter to the Palm Beach County...
Cerabino: When it comes to Nike, Big Dog Ranch just does it wrong

Cerabino: When it comes to Nike, Big Dog Ranch just does it wrong

Colin Kaepernick ought to be a hero, not a villain, at the Big Dog Ranch Rescue in Loxahatchee Groves. Let me explain. Last week, Lauree Simmons, the president of the largest no-kill shelter in the Southeast, reacted to a Nike ad that supported the former NFL quarterback, who led the sideline kneeling protests during the playing of the national anthem before games. “I don’t want to...
Cerabino: Palm Beach County to join cutting edge ‘new date-night thing’

Cerabino: Palm Beach County to join cutting edge ‘new date-night thing’

I know what you’re thinking. “Frank, when is Palm Beach County going to get its first indoor ax-throwing center?” Soon, you Nordic culture fans. Soon. Joey Magee and his wife, Oshry, think it’s time to bring the “good organic fun” of throwing an ax to those locals who are looking for something new to do. “I feel society is scared away from all the technology...
Cerabino: Another year, another chance for Hurricane Limbaugh to blow

Cerabino: Another year, another chance for Hurricane Limbaugh to blow

Hurricane season is another opportunity for Rush Limbaugh to make a fool of himself while bad-mouthing climate science. Last year, Limbaugh groused about being forced to evacuate Palm Beach as Hurricane Irma approached the Florida coast. “Unlike UFOs, which only land in trailer parks, hurricanes are always forecast to hit major population centers,” Limbaugh said last year on his radio...
Cerabino: Will Florida take high road by establishing marijuana banks?

Cerabino: Will Florida take high road by establishing marijuana banks?

I’ve been trying to conceptualize a state-sponsored bank for marijuana providers in Florida. This started with Nicole “Nikki” Fried, who is running as the Democratic candidate for Florida Commissioner of Agriculture. Fried is a lawyer and medicinal marijuana lobbyist who has had a tough time dealing with traditional banks due to their reluctance to do business with the...
Cerabino: Will God sign off on this PBC public school plan?

Cerabino: Will God sign off on this PBC public school plan?

The Palm Beach County School District came up with a great way to subvert a ridiculous state law. In the wake of the mass shootings at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland in February, state lawmakers were pressured to take some actions to make students safer. Out of that call for action came House Bill 839, a measure that mandated every public school in the state post the words...
Cerabino: Florida needs more of Bondi’s off-the-job adventures

Cerabino: Florida needs more of Bondi’s off-the-job adventures

I like it when Florida Attorney Gen. Pam Bondi is out auditioning for a new job. It’s a relief when she’s off the clock and out of pocket. Most recently, she’s been doing an ad for a Trump-friendly Super PAC that is urging people to call their U.S. senators to support the confirmation of Judge Brett Kavanaugh for a seat on the U.S. Supreme Court due to his legal acumen. “But...
Cerabino: Drawing the line in Florida mom’s toilet-bowl punishment

Cerabino: Drawing the line in Florida mom’s toilet-bowl punishment

The most famous Florida woman this week is the mom who held her 3-year-old boy upside down and dunked his head in a toilet bowl. The viral video of Kaitlyn Wolf lowering her crying son into the flushing toilet while engaging the boy’s 10-year-old brother to record it is, even by Florida standards, breathtaking. Wolf sent the video to her babysitter, who sent it to somebody else, and before long...
Cerabino: Refining the language of victory in local elections

Cerabino: Refining the language of victory in local elections

From: PBC Schools Office of Professional Standards To: All school board members Subject: Acceptable language during election night celebrations *** It has come to our attention by way of a Facebook video that the recent campaign for the District 7 seat on the Palm Beach County School Board ended with the victor, Debra Robinson, repeatedly summing up her win with an expression that some deemed...
Cerabino: New stops on Brightline tracks calls for Spirit-ed solution

Cerabino: New stops on Brightline tracks calls for Spirit-ed solution

Dear Brightline customers: You may have seen the recent news that our exciting speedy passenger rail service in South Florida may add stops on the Treasure and Space Coasts. This has raised some questions as we move forward in this next exciting phase of operations by completing the missing miles of track that will connect our three existing stations in West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale and Miami with...
Cerabino: Monitoring the lizard situation in Florida is a big job

Cerabino: Monitoring the lizard situation in Florida is a big job

A giant lizard has been terrorizing a family in South Florida for weeks. The 6-foot-long monitor lizard has been an unwanted visitor on the back patio of Zachary Lieberman’s Davie home. “It was right at my back window kind of scratching to get inside the house,” Lieberman told the Sun-Sentinel. He took videos of it. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) sent...
Cerabino: Musings about monkeys, Manafort and Mar-a-Lago

Cerabino: Musings about monkeys, Manafort and Mar-a-Lago

A Carrabba’s Italian Grill in Stuart has issued a no-monkey rule after JoJo, a pet Capuchin monkey, bit the finger of an 8-year-old boy eating at the restaurant last month. The monkey, a frequent diner at the restaurant with his owner, had been welcome in what waiters and customers referred to as “Monkey Mondays” at the restaurant. *** Bettina Rodriguez Aguilera is running in a Republican...
Cerabino: DeSantis: Is it still ‘chain migration’ when it’s your family?

Cerabino: DeSantis: Is it still ‘chain migration’ when it’s your family?

By now, you’ve probably seen that TV ad featuring Florida gubernatorial candidate Ron “Conservative Warrior” DeSantis exhorting his toddler daughter to “build the wall” with her cardboard blocks. The ad, which plays more like a derisive parody of a political ad than a real one, is supposed to convey the message to Republican primary voters that DeSantis, a U.S. congressman...
Cerabino: Making high school football safe — and even safer

Cerabino: Making high school football safe — and even safer

After last weekend’s shooting that disrupted a high school football game at Palm Beach Central High in Wellington, the Palm Beach County School District is taking new safety precautions for football games for the rest of the season. These steps include requiring nearly all bags to be clear, banning entry after the start of the third quarter, eliminating re-entry at any point during the games...
Cerabino: One fewer attempt to fool Floridians on November’s ballot

Cerabino: One fewer attempt to fool Floridians on November’s ballot

It’s all too rare, but worth savoring, when Florida’s forces of plunder get exposed. That’s what happened this week when a proposed amendment to the state constitution was deemed too deceptive to be on the November ballot. Amendment 8 was the product of the Florida Constitution Revision Commission, a 37-member panel that convenes every 20 years to propose changes to the...
Cerabino: Affordable ‘military’ parade for Trump in Palm Beach County

Cerabino: Affordable ‘military’ parade for Trump in Palm Beach County

*** Dear Mr. President: Fret not. We’ve got your parade. Right here in Palm Beach County. Instead of a military parade in November, we are offering you something better. Yes, I’m talking about a Military Trail Parade. Think of the pageantry, the pomp, the circumstance, and a viewing stand being within aroma distance to the KFC at the corner of Belvedere Road. You want flyovers? We...
Cerabino: Blackened, bungled justice in wake of Parkland massacre

Cerabino: Blackened, bungled justice in wake of Parkland massacre

There are few things in Florida that have a more vital public interest than trying to understand how a school system dealt with a troubled child who would end up returning to his high school to commit a mass shooting. The Broward County School Board commissioned such a report from the Collaborative Educational Network in the wake of the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland...
Cerabino: Palm Beach runs the marathon out of town, naturally

Cerabino: Palm Beach runs the marathon out of town, naturally

It’s understandable why Palm Beach is banning the area’s annual marathon from including a 1.2-mile stretch of the race within town limits. “It’s not in the interest, I think, of our residents,” Town Council member Bobbie Lindsay explained at meeting this week. “It’s a small town. It’s quiet. They’re here to have peace and quiet.” Amen...
Cerabino: Florida candidate blunders into major issue with diploma

Cerabino: Florida candidate blunders into major issue with diploma

Melissa Howard decided to end her campaign for the Florida House on Tuesday due to her amazing knack for incompetent dishonesty. It’s too bad. While dishonesty is widely viewed as an unattractive trait for someone seeking elected office, incompetent dishonesty could actually be an asset. If you’re too careless to be a credible liar, you’re, in a sense, an oracle of the...
Cerabino: Trump’s talk of a Space Force is a launching of merchandise

Cerabino: Trump’s talk of a Space Force is a launching of merchandise

News item: The Trump administration ramped up its call for a sixth branch of the military, called Space Force, to protect America from attacks launched from outer space. *** Space Force merchandise! Now, it makes sense. This is the zero-gravity version of Trump University. “President Trump wants a SPACE FORCE — a ground breaking endeavor for the future of America and the final frontier...
Cerabino: Florida Dems running for governor running after Graham

Cerabino: Florida Dems running for governor running after Graham

If you were lucky enough to miss the fifth and final debate among the five Democrats running for Florida governor, fear not. I have a condensed recap of this hour-long event featuring Tallahassee mayor Andrew Gillum, former Miami Beach mayor Philip Levine, Palm Beach businessman Jeff Greene, former North Florida Congresswoman Gwen Graham, and some guy named Chris King. The debate, held in Palm...
Cerabino: Palm Beach County Schools has your name, but not your number

Cerabino: Palm Beach County Schools has your name, but not your number

The Palm Beach County School Board is considering streamlining its school-naming policy to allow wealthy, living individuals to have schools named after them in exchange for a “significant contribution.” These “legacy naming rights” would replace a policy that gives the school’s advisory council (SAC) a say on the name change, sparing a “substantial benefactor&rdquo...
Cerabino: Finding a companion program to doggie crackdown at Publix

Cerabino: Finding a companion program to doggie crackdown at Publix

The CAVE Society applauds Publix for its new signs aimed at keeping most dogs out of the supermarkets. We Citizens Against Virtually Everything have been annoyed by the gradual inclusion of canines into the shopping experience, especially those transported in baby strollers or infant harnesses. These dogs are almost never service animals, which are highly trained and disciplined dogs that perform...
Cerabino: Blue-green algae bloom creates a fishing hole in Stuart

Cerabino: Blue-green algae bloom creates a fishing hole in Stuart

Irony alert: This summer’s algae bloom shut down the Stuart office of Florida Sportsman magazine, a publication that celebrates fishing in the state’s waters. “The algae started coming in late June, and then it just grew in the water,” said David Conway, the magazine’s managing editor. The magazine’s office is on one of the many canals off the St. Lucie River. The...
Cerabino: Judge spoils Florida’s plan to ban early voting on campuses

Cerabino: Judge spoils Florida’s plan to ban early voting on campuses

Bad news, folks. Your Florida government’s ingenious plan to keep young people from voting hit a snag last week. It came in a ruling from one of those activist federal judges doing a lot of yammering about “the Constitution” or whatever. Sheesh, and it was such a clever plan. As your state leaders know, young people frequently don’t vote for the right people, so it’s...
‘Trump hate’ costs elected official in Palm Beach County her seat

‘Trump hate’ costs elected official in Palm Beach County her seat

There’s a vacancy on the board of the Palm Beach Soil and Water Conservation District. I know. I know. Who would ever step down from such a plum post? I mean, it’s the go-to board for wet dirt in the county. We’re not talking about a piddling post on the Indian Trail Improvement District or one of the elected seats on the Journey’s End Community Development Board. When you...
Cerabino: Florida in spotlight again over its not-so-polite gun laws

Cerabino: Florida in spotlight again over its not-so-polite gun laws

I think science fiction writer Robert Heinlein got it wrong. “An armed society is a polite society,” Heinlein said. It’s a line frequently echoed by gun-rights groups. But we got a good reminder how questionable that assertion is after another “stand your ground” shooting in Florida that has become national news. Michael Drejka is the 47-year-old Florida man you may have...
Cerabino: New Florida law on beach access a chance to “sand a message.”

Cerabino: New Florida law on beach access a chance to “sand a message.”

Going to the beach has never been so political as it is this year in Florida. That’s because the Florida Legislature took a swipe at the longstanding doctrine of “customary use” for beachfront property. The public has always had access rights to the high-water mark on Florida’s shorelines, which is considered state-owned property. But the dry sand beyond that high-water mark...
Cerabino: Florida’s NRA mouthpiece reaches for a silencer

Cerabino: Florida’s NRA mouthpiece reaches for a silencer

Florida’s chief NRA lobbyist Marion Hammer is standing her ground in a whole new way. This month, the 79-year-old grandmother and the guiding hand of permissive gun legislation in Florida for decades, filed a 129-page federal lawsuit that is mostly a compilation of the bitter, profane and sometimes threatening emails she received after the February massacre of 17 people at Marjory...
Cerabino: Weak on borders? Letting the Canadians stay in Florida

Cerabino: Weak on borders? Letting the Canadians stay in Florida

I know the news has been crazy lately, and the last thing you need right now is one more bizarre news story, but that’s why I’m here. It turns out Florida’s two U.S. senators, Marco Rubio and Bill Nelson, have put aside their political differences to co-sponsor a bill that would allow older Canadians to vacation in Florida for eight months a year, instead of six. I was hoping this...
Cerabino: Dear Prez Trump: There’s a Florida angle to judging Putin

Cerabino: Dear Prez Trump: There’s a Florida angle to judging Putin

More good news from the Trump-Putin summit. Remember the video simulation that Russia unveiled four months ago? It showed what purported to be a new long-range Sarmat cruise missile that Russian president Vladimir Putin called “invincible.” The video simulation showed a shower of these nuclear missiles raining down on South Florida. At least that’s what we thought it showed...
Racial slurs in Florida’s courts are thing of the past, the past month

Racial slurs in Florida’s courts are thing of the past, the past month

It was shocking to be reminded of the word “moolie” again. It has been probably 40 years since I heard that well-worn racial slur being spoken. If you grew up in an Italian-American community in Long Island, like I did, you heard it a lot. Moolie is a slang version of “mulignan”, which is itself a permutation of the Italian word, “melanzane”, the word for eggplant...
Water bottle fight at condo pool a drop in bucket to larger conflict

Water bottle fight at condo pool a drop in bucket to larger conflict

South Florida condominium disputes are rarely about one thing. It might look like there’s a fight over some specific issue, but dig deeper, and a rich history of conflict awaits. That’s the case at Abbey Village in suburban Delray Beach, where for five years, resident Bruce Petricca, 60, has been fighting to allow his 86-year-old mother to have a plastic water bottle on the edge of...
Cerabino: A dark cloud appears over the rainbow flag of Lake Worth

Cerabino: A dark cloud appears over the rainbow flag of Lake Worth

There’s a wrinkle in the tolerance force field in Lake Worth. This is shocking. Lake Worth is arguably the most LGBTQ-friendly city in Palm Beach County. Lake Worth claims the highest percentage of same-sex households in the state. It’s the headquarters for the Compass Community Center, the area’s comprehensive LGBTQ resource facility. And every year the city hosts PrideFest, the...
Cerabino: Legal abortion in Florida? Ask the women.

Cerabino: Legal abortion in Florida? Ask the women.

We should all agree right now — before we get too deep into the political morass — that Florida’s women ought to decide this one. No men, just women. It’s the right thing to do. I’m talking about abortion. The retirement of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, who has been the swing vote keeping the landmark Roe v. Wade decision intact for the past 45 years...
Cerabino: Florida must switch to other side of breast-feeding issue

Cerabino: Florida must switch to other side of breast-feeding issue

Florida’s going to have to crack down on breast-feeding. We’ve been way too progressive in lactation matters, and now find ourselves glaringly out of step with the country’s new efforts to elevate industry-produced baby formula over mothers milk. Over the weekend, U.S. officials reversed 40 years of scientific consensus by trying to get the World Health Assembly in Geneva to...
Cerabino: Shamed columnist finds readers’ cold commentary a dying art

Cerabino: Shamed columnist finds readers’ cold commentary a dying art

Notes from hell; Volume 102: *** — Faith Campbell Dear Faith: It’s a great honor to know that I rank higher than the death notices, and also the photos of the dead. I often wonder where I fit in among readers. Usually, they tell me I’m somewhere between the crossword puzzle and the comics. And almost always being read in a seated position in the bathroom. But to rise above the...
Rob Hiaasen: An exemplary life, a violent death in Annapolis

Rob Hiaasen: An exemplary life, a violent death in Annapolis

No, not Rob. I spent a few hours Thursday afternoon telling myself not to imagine that the gunman who blasted his way into the Capital Gazette newsroom killed my old friend, Rob. Of all people. Not Rob. Not a man who’s way too gentle and kind to deserve a violent death at the hands of a deranged gunman. Rob Hiaasen was one of my first friends at The Palm Beach Post. It was 1989. He was a feature...
Cerabino: Finding an exit strategy for human hood ornaments on I-95

Cerabino: Finding an exit strategy for human hood ornaments on I-95

It’s hard to rise to the top when the category is Doing Something Stupid on I-95. There is such a rich history in South Florida, and so many worthy contenders for the title, that to come up with a fresh form of stupidity is nearly impossible. Nearly. Not completely. As was proved last weekend when Patresha Isidore,24, of Lauderhill, took a spat with her live-in, ex-boyfriend Junior Francis...
Cerabino: Will you be my neighbor, Pam Bondi?

Cerabino: Will you be my neighbor, Pam Bondi?

Leave Pam Bondi alone. Florida’s attorney general should be able to roam public places without a small group of people clustering around her to shout at her. I know. I know. She’s no saint. And there’s so much to say. She’s been unreasonable on gay marriage, wasting nearly $500,000 in taxpayer money to launch appeals far beyond the point of reason. And, yes, she took $25...
Cerabino: Mar-a-Lago comes to mind as Trump blasts Virginia restaurant

Cerabino: Mar-a-Lago comes to mind as Trump blasts Virginia restaurant

President Donald Trump’s words have invited a comparison between his Palm Beach private club and a small restaurant in rural Virginia. Trump probably wasn’t thinking of the big picture. As usual, he was in retaliatory Twitter mode on Monday morning when he took on the Red Hen, a 26-seat restaurant in the Shenandoah Valley, because the restaurant owner there refused to serve his press...
Cerabino: Legalizing pot not a high priority for fixing schools

Cerabino: Legalizing pot not a high priority for fixing schools

I wouldn’t be surprised if legalized marijuana becomes the next Florida Lottery. As state-taxed sales of recreational marijuana become legal in other states, the pressure on Florida to follow suit will be strong. It’s already a talking point among the Democratic candidates for governor. “A Democrat who doesn’t call for the full legalization of marijuana I do not believe...
Cerabino: Gov. Rick Scott crosses rhetorical border on caged children

Cerabino: Gov. Rick Scott crosses rhetorical border on caged children

Every once in a while, it’s worth translating Gov. Rick Scott into English. Scott has a tendency to string words together in ways that defy meaning, mask intent or signify nothing. For example, here is Scott’s take on President Donald Trump’s recent zero-tolerance policy that is separating children from their undocumented parents at the Mexican border. These isolated children are...
Cerabino: Florida’s oil exploration plans are all wet — and that’s good

Cerabino: Florida’s oil exploration plans are all wet — and that’s good

It appears that Mother Nature has taken matters into its own hands in Florida. For the second year in a row, the summer rains have put a temporary halt to man’s plan to explore for oil in the Big Cypress National Preserve, which borders on Everglades National Park. Burnett Oil, a Texas company looking for oil in Southwest Florida, has fought off a lawsuit by a slew of environmental organizations...
Cerabino: The foundation of Trump’s charity is self-promotion

Cerabino: The foundation of Trump’s charity is self-promotion

This week’s undressing of the Donald J. Trump Foundation by the New York Attorney General’s Office  made me think of that time I found myself gazing at the giant model of Trump’s yacht inside Mar-a-Lago It was the first time I was inside Mar-a-Lago in the mid-1990s, and a few years after then-real-estate developer Donald Trump was forced to surrender his 282-foot yacht...
Cerabino: The conventional wisdom on alligator tactics takes a turn

Cerabino: The conventional wisdom on alligator tactics takes a turn

It’s unsettling to discover that something you’ve “known” for a long time isn’t true. It happened to me this week when reading a newspaper story titled, “What to do when an alligator attacks.” I’ve been living in South Florida for more than 30 years now, more than enough time to master this basic citizenship skill of alligator countermeasures. Or so...
Cerabino: Gunshine State special: Permits before background checks

Cerabino: Gunshine State special: Permits before background checks

Late last year, an item was inserted into the bowels of mind-numbing 98-page piece of legislation about agricultural practices in Florida. The item from Florida’s Secretary of Agriculture and Consumer Services Adam Putnam was included near the end of Senate Bill 740. The item followed changes on how germination tests for seeds in hermetically sealed containers are conducted and the reimbursement...
Cerabino: Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the Trumpiest of them all?

Cerabino: Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the Trumpiest of them all?

If you’re a Republican looking to be Florida’s next governor, you’ve got to get Trumpy. But good luck finding a way to wrestle that title from the other contenders. Things tightened up recently when candidate Bruce Nathan, a Palm City physical therapist, branded himself “Florida’s Donald Trump.” “That’s what people tell me,” Nathan said. &ldquo...
Cerabino: D’oh, Canada! How The War of 1812 turned into The War of 2018

Cerabino: D’oh, Canada! How The War of 1812 turned into The War of 2018

31 — President Donald Trump announces 25 percent tariff on Canadian steel and 10 percent tariff on Canadian aluminum. Canada’s Department of Finance responds immediately by threatening to impose $12.8 billion in tariffs against U.S. for products ranging from wood to maple syrup to mattresses. 1 — Canada complains to World Trade Organization that U.S. steel and aluminum tariffs violate...
Cerabino: County schools chief sounds his horn about arts education

Cerabino: County schools chief sounds his horn about arts education

You probably don’t know what a euphonium is. Even some musicians don’t. Think of a euphonium as the tuba’s little brother, or maybe what would happen if a French horn and a sousaphone had a baby. It’s a low-brass instrument you typically find in marching and concert bands but practically nowhere else. I got to thinking about euphoniums while listening to the graduation...
Cerabino: Can Florida handle Parkland kids rounding up young voters?

Cerabino: Can Florida handle Parkland kids rounding up young voters?

I guess those idealistic young activists from Parkland haven’t gotten the memo. On Monday, the student movement that began with the Valentine’s Day massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, turned into a nationwide drive to register young voters for the upcoming midterm elections. “By empowering millions of young people eligible to vote for the first time this year...
Cerabino: Everybody’s saying this hurricane Q & A is a total wind hunt!

Cerabino: Everybody’s saying this hurricane Q & A is a total wind hunt!

The 2018 Atlantic hurricane season has started, marking that time of year when tropical cyclones develop in the North Atlantic, Floridians test their generators, and Americans wonder if Melania Trump may be lost in a storm. As a full-service local news columnist and a long-time South Florida resident, I am here to answer your not-frequently-asked questions during this hyper-political year: Q: ...
Cerabino: Getting the hang of Florida’s politics is rough business

Cerabino: Getting the hang of Florida’s politics is rough business

The regressive ignorance of political discourse in Florida can be breathtaking. That was the case over the weekend when a Ron DeSantis campaign speech in Citrus County turned toward a return to lynching. DeSantis, a North Florida congressman who is running for governor, was in the middle of painting “the four liberals” on the Florida Supreme Court as political bogeymen with a truncated...
Cerabino: Rocky reception for Florida school lesson on raccoon killing

Cerabino: Rocky reception for Florida school lesson on raccoon killing

I’m generally in favor of schoolteachers enriching the curriculum by bringing their own expertise into classroom discussions and lessons. But not when it involves demonstrating the proper technique to drown a raccoon. That’s what happened this month at a Florida public high school when Dewie Brewton, an agricultural science teacher at Forest High School in Ocala, took his class outside...
Cerabino: A dream job for those who aren’t movers or shakers

Cerabino: A dream job for those who aren’t movers or shakers

Current job posting: *** To Whom it May Concern: I am writing in response to a job listing from Palm Beach State College that seeks workers for part-time employment as models for drawing and anatomy classes. I will admit right from the start that I have no past job experience in this area, but I’ve been told by my wife on numerous occasions that I have a real talent for remaining motionless...
Cerabino: Palm Beach County has immigrant story fitting for president

Cerabino: Palm Beach County has immigrant story fitting for president

President Donald Trump took a brief trip to Long Island this past week. He should have gone to Jupiter instead. “We’re here today to discuss the menace of MS-13,” Trump said to begin his remarks at a round-table discussion in Bethpage, a city in Suffolk County, New York. If you didn’t know anything about the millions of undocumented Hispanic immigrants living in the United...
Cerabino: Dead wrong to alert Lake Worth about power-zapping zombies

Cerabino: Dead wrong to alert Lake Worth about power-zapping zombies

News alert! There are no zombies on the loose in Lake Worth. “As far as we know,” clarified the city’s public information officer Ben Kerr. The city had issued a zombie warning after a widespread power failure early Sunday morning left nearly 8,000 customers without electricity for about a half hour. Here’s the city advisory: “Power outage and zombie alert for...
Cerabino: The disarming story behind Publix cash for gun-loving Putnam

Cerabino: The disarming story behind Publix cash for gun-loving Putnam

Publix needs to let its employees work with loaded firearms at their sides. It’s the only way to save face at this point. The grocery chain has been trying to explain why it suddenly started functioning as a super(market) PAC for the self-described “proud NRA sellout” Adam Putnam. Publix has given the Republican gubernatorial candidate $670,000 in the past three years &mdash...
Cerabino: Toughening rules for “emotional support animals” on flights

Cerabino: Toughening rules for “emotional support animals” on flights

It’s good to see that American Airlines is taking a stand against the expanding roster of creatures brought aboard commercial airlines as “emotional support animals.” This past week, the airline issued comprehensive restrictions on these animals while outlining the kind of unacceptable behavior that won’t be tolerated in the cabin of a commercial flight. I think these...
Cerabino: Popcorn lobby responds to panic at Boca Raton movie theater

Cerabino: Popcorn lobby responds to panic at Boca Raton movie theater

Dear Cinemark management: I am writing on behalf of the National Popcorn Association (NPA), a group of kernel-loving patriots who seek to preserve our precious rights to possess and fire heated corn. These rights were enshrined by Thomas “Jeffy Pop” Jefferson and the rest of our Foundering Fathers, or as we like to call them our Founding Pop-pers It has come to our attention that popcorn...
Cerabino: Old women don’t get a breather from the gig economy

Cerabino: Old women don’t get a breather from the gig economy

You may have heard that we are increasingly living in a “gig economy.” Rather than hiring workers for full-time jobs, some employers are opting for independent workers engaging in freelance short-term work. Brad Smith, the chief executive of Intuit, predicted that these untethered hired hands will make up about 43 percent of the workforce by the year 2020. Which brings me to Florida&rsquo...
A Fairgrounds address to (remember / forget ) for the Class of 2018

A Fairgrounds address to (remember / forget ) for the Class of 2018

Dear High School Graduates of the Class of 2018: You made it! You’ve come all the way to the ( end / South Florida Fairgrounds), for this, your commencement ceremony. You thought you’d never get here, with all the (obstacles / traffic) you had to face, passing all those (tests / junk yards) and the ( final projects / Double Dee’s strip club) along the...
Cerabino: Pres. Trump club in Palm Beach County not sanctioned nyet

Cerabino: Pres. Trump club in Palm Beach County not sanctioned nyet

I feel sorry for former Palm Beach Gardens Councilwoman Annie Marie Delgado. She started a local President Donald Trump club, calling it the “Trump Team 2020 Florida Republican Club” and took the trouble to get the sanctioning blessings of the Republican Party of Florida. And the club’s first meeting earlier this month seemed to be a success. About 300 people attended,...
Cerabino: Bullied Palm Beach County Schools misfires on safety forum

Cerabino: Bullied Palm Beach County Schools misfires on safety forum

The Palm Beach County School District has become gun shy. And by that I mean shy about gun discussions. That’s why the district rescinded its previously granted permission for a school safety forum this week at Olympic Heights High School, a forum titled “Town Hall for Our Lives.” The name, the district belatedly noted, mirrored the name used in dozens of gatherings around...
Cerabino: Have a wild time at Palm Beach County’s future wedding venue

Cerabino: Have a wild time at Palm Beach County’s future wedding venue

Dear Future Wedding Guests: Welcome to the Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee Wildlife Refuge. We trust that your wedding experience here in the last remnant of the northern Everglades in Palm Beach County will be a memorable one. The misson of the refuge is to preserve and protect Florida’s native wildlife and landscape, and lately to provide visitors with an expanding menu of recreational opportunities...
Cerabino: Finally, ‘old white guys’ get a seat at the victims’ table

Cerabino: Finally, ‘old white guys’ get a seat at the victims’ table

Finally, now even “old white guys” can feel like victims. I know. I know. We’re usually the perps. But this week, the Florida-based parent company that operates Seasons 52 restaurants has agreed to pay $2.85 million to settle a complaint by the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on behalf of 254 job applicants who alleged that the chain used a centralized hiring process...
Cerabino: When it comes to bank robberies, the bigger the better

Cerabino: When it comes to bank robberies, the bigger the better

If you’re going to pull a bank job, you might be safer going for hundreds of millions of dollars than a hundred bucks. Just consider what happened to Russell Cooper, who was 77 years old four years ago when he ambled with the help of a walker into a Boynton Beach branch of PNC Bank, expecting to withdraw $130 from his account to pay a car mechanic, who was waiting for the money outside. But...
Cerabino: Florida high school girl launches bra rebellion

Cerabino: Florida high school girl launches bra rebellion

Does the U.S. Constitution cover a Florida high school girl who shows up for classes without wearing a bra under her shirt? This is not an idle question. The girl is Lizzy Martinez, a 17-year-old junior who went to her Braden River High School classes one day last month in a loose, dark T-shirt and jeans. She Tweeted about what happened next. “I decided not to wear a bra today and got pulled...
Cerabino: If you think the comedian Michelle Wolf was outrageous …

Cerabino: If you think the comedian Michelle Wolf was outrageous …

I’m going to get to sex education in Florida’s public schools. But in a related matter, I first need to say a little something about the ridiculous uproar over the comedian hired to entertain at the annual White House Correspondents’ banquet over the weekend.
Cerabino: Please don’t recoil over Florida latest fashion accessory

Cerabino: Please don’t recoil over Florida latest fashion accessory

When you think of a signature item of Florida apparel, what comes to mind? Maybe one of those Jimmy Buffett parrot-head hats, a Lilly Pulitzer sundress, or a Canadian snowbird Speedo. Well, there’s about to be one more. You may have heard that we have a snake problem in the Everglades. So much so that the the state of Florida has been paying trappers to wander the swamps and capture those...
Cerabino: Foolish for Boca Raton Mayor Haynie to leave county race

Cerabino: Foolish for Boca Raton Mayor Haynie to leave county race

I’ve got some advice for Boca Raton Mayor Susan Haynie. Run, Susan, run! No, I’m not suggesting you hide in the jungles of Thailand to avoid those felony counts of official misconduct and perjury over $335,000 income you failed to disclose — a chunk of it from a local developer who did business with the city. Yes, you’re in the soup over that. But don’t let this trifling...
Cerabino: Chance of UFO sightings in Florida is a $10 million question

Cerabino: Chance of UFO sightings in Florida is a $10 million question

It doesn’t seem right that Florida is dead last among states when it comes to UFO sightings. I would think that this metric, as opposed to, say, teacher pay, would be an area where we would excel. But that’s the finding of a study by Casino.org, an internet gambling site that looked at the past 78 years of reported sightings of unidentified flying objects in America, and calculated...
Cerabino: Let me venti about racial sensitivity training at Starbucks

Cerabino: Let me venti about racial sensitivity training at Starbucks

May 30, 2018 Dear Starbucks customers: Yesterday afternoon we held some terrific training at thousands of our stores. And we want you to know some of the changes that will be taking place, changes that we hope will make Starbucks a more tolerant and inclusive place to treat your caffeine addiction. From now on, if any customer walks in one of our stores and asks to use our restrooms without purchasing...
Cerabino: ‘Press 1’ for relief from those annoying robocalls

Cerabino: ‘Press 1’ for relief from those annoying robocalls

These days, when my cellphone or landline rings, I’m never surprised that it’s a robocall. Even with being on a do-not-call list and having a call-screening application on my mobile phone, day in and day out, I’m bombarded by the “Hi, this is Tom” health-care guy, some lucky news about a vacation resort, or “Rachel, from card services.” So I was happy to learn...
Free Melania! First lady needs some relief during Mar-a-Lago trips

Free Melania! First lady needs some relief during Mar-a-Lago trips

It’s during these presidential trips to Mar-a-Lago that I feel sorry for first lady Melania Trump. OK, I always feel sorry for Melania. But when she’s with her husband in Palm Beach, I feel extra sorry. Donald Trump’s in his glory down here. He gets to occupy most of his days with leisurely outings to his nearby golf course punctuated by high-level strategy briefings from his...
Cerabino: Seeing through mist of oil derricks will be a vapid exercise

Cerabino: Seeing through mist of oil derricks will be a vapid exercise

It’s not crazy to ask voters whether to ban offshore oil drilling in Florida’s waters. And it’s not crazy to ask voters whether to expand the ban on indoor smoking to include vaping. But it is crazy to ask both those questions in one take-it-or-leave it ballot measure. Welcome to Crazyville. This week, the Florida Constitution Revision Commission, which meets every 20 years to update...
Cerabino: Is Florida about to break a 31-year lock on local gun laws?

Cerabino: Is Florida about to break a 31-year lock on local gun laws?

It started with Joe Carlucci. The New York transplant spent a decade in Jacksonville city politics before becoming a state legislator. Carlucci was an avid hunter who became the National Rifle Association’s Legislator of the Year in 1984. Two years later, at the age of 57, he died of a heart attack while hunting in Georgia. His colleagues in the Florida Senate marked his passing by naming a...
No politics, just porn star Stormy Daniels at West Palm strip club

No politics, just porn star Stormy Daniels at West Palm strip club

Stormy Daniels, the most politically relevant porn star in America, drew a crowd of curious patrons to a West Palm Beach strip club Friday night — husbands and wives, political junkies, celebrity hounds and others who found their attendance a delicate matter that might be better kept quiet. “This is just a spur-of-the-moment decision,” said John Powell, 63, of Lake Worth, who...
The president and the porn star: You think you know all the details

The president and the porn star: You think you know all the details

This will be an epic weekend in the history of Palm Beach County. We’ve never had a sitting president visiting on the same weekend that his porn-star albatross is booked at a local strip club. But that’s what’s happening. Stormy Daniels will be doing back-to-back strip shows at Ultra Gentlemen’s Club, across the street from the Trump International Golf Club in...
Cerabino: Gov. Scott’s NAVY ball cap? It makes this Navy vet want to barf

Cerabino: Gov. Scott’s NAVY ball cap? It makes this Navy vet want to barf

Does it bother me that Gov. Rick Scott is a mumbling autocrat who constantly undermines Florida’s public institutions to better serve deep-pocket private interests? Sure. But not as much as his Navy ball cap. Scott has already dusted off his cap, the blue one with the letters N-A-V-Y spelled out in yellow, big enough to be seen and read by TV cameras. It’s his defining campaign-costume...
Please let the Russians know my Facebook info isn’t worth stealing

Please let the Russians know my Facebook info isn’t worth stealing

Dear Cambridge Analytica: I am writing you in the event I am one of the tens of millions of Americans who unknowingly had their Facebook information appropriated for political purposes. If you have used my Facebook account to develop a comprehensive profile of me I feel it’s only fair to correct some of the misinformation you will have undoubtedly gleaned by trying to figure me out through...
Cerabino: From soup to nuts, reader mail takes a disturbing turn

Cerabino: From soup to nuts, reader mail takes a disturbing turn

Notes from hell: Volume 101: * — Maria Massimi Dear Maria: Thank you for representing those who are “too ignorant” to appreciate the “disturbing experience” of reading my column. *** — Frank Kessler Dear Mr. Kessler: You’ve got this all wrong. Being roadwork-adjacent can transform a mediocre column into a special one. It’s competing with Stormy...
Chinese-food indigestion? It’s the chicken, the rice. No, it’s a boy!

Chinese-food indigestion? It’s the chicken, the rice. No, it’s a boy!

News item: A Florida woman woke up in the middle of the night with abdominal pains she blamed on a bad batch of Chinese food. But it wasn’t the General Tso’s chicken. It was labor pains. Her boy was born on the way to the hospital. The woman later told the Pensacola News Journal she had no idea she was pregnant. *** Dear fertile women of Florida: Please let’s not make this a trend...
Harry’s Banana Farm takes a (half) serious turn for gun control

Harry’s Banana Farm takes a (half) serious turn for gun control

Lou De Stout would rather be funny. After all, he’s the Bard of North Dixie Highway, the guy who comes up with all those funny messages you see on the sign outside of Harry’s Banana Farm, one of Lake Worth’s venerable watering holes. “Cremation, the only time you’ll have a smokin’ hot body.” Coming up with messages like that is Lou’s gift. But he has...
Setting the record straight on Channel 12’s fake-news editorial

Setting the record straight on Channel 12’s fake-news editorial

Here’s the script for the next on-air editorial I’d like to see from Liz Quirantes and John Discepolo, the co-anchors for WPEC Channel 12 news in West Palm Beach. *** Liz: Recently, John and I delivered an unusual on-air editorial warning viewers to be wary of fake news by “some media outlets.” John: That’s right, Liz. I believe I called it a “troubling trend...
Season ends on Southern, boulevard of dreams, screams as Trump goes by

Season ends on Southern, boulevard of dreams, screams as Trump goes by

It looks like another weekday afternoon on this stretch of Southern Boulevard, but it’s not. John “Johnny Flawless” Price is washing a BMW in the parking lot of the Sunoco station near the corner of U.S.1. Down the block, William Tighe, has a customer in his chair at Studio Hair Design. And at the La Familia Grocery on the other side of the railroad overpass, Maria Gonzalez is buying...
Cerabino: Sappy treenuptial; Florida woman marries a tree

Cerabino: Sappy treenuptial; Florida woman marries a tree

There was a lot of news this past weekend, so you might have missed that item about the Florida woman who married a tree. It happened Saturday in Fort Myers, and it appeared to be a rather traditional wedding, complete with a ring bearer, a bride in a white gown, flowers, music, and a wedding cake that had the words, “Higher Love” on it. It was an outdoor wedding, which I guess happens...
Cerabino: Not to be dramatic, but remember those Votomatics?

Cerabino: Not to be dramatic, but remember those Votomatics?

Bring back the dangling chads. It’s becoming clear that we were too hasty in getting rid of all those Votomatic punch-card ballot machines after the 2000 presidential election and its infamous 37-day Florida recount. Now, nearly 18 years later, the old Votomatics are starting to look good again. That’s because this week, the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee issued a set of recommendations...
Cerabino: How Donald could Trump weekend’s ‘March for Our Lives’

Cerabino: How Donald could Trump weekend’s ‘March for Our Lives’

It’s great to be back in Florida. Up north, it was a little stormy … … but the weather here is beautiful as usual, and we’re looking forward to a very productive weekend. As you all know, I have been the only elected leader in America who isn’t afraid to stand up to the folks at the National Rifle Association, who are, by the way, some really great people...
Could Trump billboard-battle bring tourism dollars to tiny town on Mar-a-Lago route?

Could Trump billboard-battle bring tourism dollars to tiny town on Mar-a-Lago route?

The election of President Donald Trump has made the billboard near the intersection of Southern Boulevard and Interstate-95 the most enviable one in Palm Beach County. Before Trump, the billboard was home to ads for Burger King and Keiser University, but now it has become prime real estate for sending a message to the president as he travels to and from Palm Beach International Airport and his...
Cerabino: Keeping guns out of the tiny hands of kindergarten kids

Cerabino: Keeping guns out of the tiny hands of kindergarten kids

Dear kindergarten parents: I’m writing to update you on the exciting year we’re having in your child’s kindergarten class, and to let you know what you can do to continue to support us. Thanks to your generous donations, we are nearly 80 percent of the way to funding our class metal detector. Please continue to give what you can. It’s so important we get this done. Once we...
Cerabino: Sansbury’s Way too colorful for Palm Beach County Commission

Cerabino: Sansbury’s Way too colorful for Palm Beach County Commission

John Sansbury wants back in the public arena as a county commissioner. The idea of having Sansbury with his hand on the wheel of local government again is both exhilarating and frightening. It’s like the circa 1980s Palm Beach County back from the ashes. What’s next? Maybe we can persuade bank-fraud-artist Tom Waldron to run for tax collector. At one time, Sansbury was the boy wonder of...
Cerabino: Dear God, we don’t trust the people who want to put up signs

Cerabino: Dear God, we don’t trust the people who want to put up signs

I wish the Republicans in Tallahassee would be more discerning when it comes to the Democrats they choose to ignore. For example, Democrats offered many of the 231 amendments to the school safety bill — worthy amendments that would have banned AR-15s and limited the capacity of magazines — but they were brushed aside. If you want to ignore Democratic lawmakers in the future, allow me to...
Cerabino: Seeing daylight in move to make Florida its own time zone

Cerabino: Seeing daylight in move to make Florida its own time zone

OK, I’ll admit it. I like the idea of Florida being severed from America in its own time zone. Florida time. There’s a ring to it. It’s an apt metaphor and a worthy reminder for travelers that once they arrive here, they will discover that things are a bit off from the rest of America. The Florida Legislature, which has been grappling with a bunch of contentious issues this...
Cerabino: Gun debate in Florida shows wisdom doesn’t always age well

Cerabino: Gun debate in Florida shows wisdom doesn’t always age well

There was a great moment of theater during the heated debate this week in the Florida House. A gun and school-safety bill prompted by the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland was making a bunch of state lawmakers consider the unthinkable. Events were drawing them to vote against the interests of the National Rifle Association. Oh, the horror. And to make things worse...
Cerabino: Ageless ‘inclusion riders’ for my super Hollywood movies

Cerabino: Ageless ‘inclusion riders’ for my super Hollywood movies

If you watched the Oscars telecast this past weekend, you may have noticed best-actress-winner Frances McDormand call for an “inclusion rider” in movie contracts. This is a little-known and rarely used provision in an employment contract that requires movie projects to reflect the demographics of the real world. In number terms, that means for a movie to be truly inclusive, 50 percent...
Cerabino: Duck! There’s another Florida-first gun law in the making

Cerabino: Duck! There’s another Florida-first gun law in the making

If ever you hear that Florida is about to be the first in the nation to adopt some new gun law, it’s not a reason to celebrate. When Florida trailblazes on a gun law, it’s a distinction akin to being the first high school girl in the neighborhood to get pregnant. And so it’s happening again, Florida lawmakers are getting themselves knocked up by their daddies at the NRA, who have...
Cerabino: Fla. Congressman reveals NRA scorecard not the whole score

Cerabino: Fla. Congressman reveals NRA scorecard not the whole score

What does U.S. Rep. Tom Rooney think about gun control regulations? Well, let’s go to the scorecard. The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence has given Rooney a zero percent on its political scorecard while the National Rifle Association has given him an “A” with a 93 percent rating. This might lead you to believe that Rooney is a real ally of the NRA and no friend of any...
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