Frank Cerabino columns

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...
Cerabino: Riviera Beach gadfly reigns Supreme in free-speech message

Cerabino: Riviera Beach gadfly reigns Supreme in free-speech message

For all you gadflies out there, all you fine citizens who speak up at public meetings, who use your allotted time during public comments to give your local elected officials a piece of your mind, you’ve got a new standard-bearer. His name is Fane Lozman. Lozman fought a long, losing battle with the city of Riviera Beach to keep his floating home at the municipally owned marina. In the course...
Cerabino: A children’s revolution in Florida is leading the way on guns

Cerabino: A children’s revolution in Florida is leading the way on guns

I wouldn’t bet against the kids. The teenagers of South Florida, led by the upper-middle class teenagers of one public high school in an affluent slice of South Florida, have been kicking butt and taking names for nearly two weeks now, and they’re just getting started. The kids of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland are turning out to be doing far more leading than following...
Cerabino: Arming teachers a half-baked, non-starter for schools

Cerabino: Arming teachers a half-baked, non-starter for schools

Dear Parents, Students and Teachers: As your principal, I am writing this newsletter to keep you all abreast of the exciting things going on at our school: Due to a recent national initiative, we along with other schools have been directed to arm at least 20 percent of our teachers. We are having trouble meeting this goal and are still looking for teacher volunteers. Don’t be shy, teachers...
Local Trump supporters shrug off being paid and played by Russians

Local Trump supporters shrug off being paid and played by Russians

The choir singer from Jupiter and the Leisureville retiree from Boynton Beach proved to be easy marks for the Russian meddlers. Two summers ago, it wasn’t hard finding Anne Marie Thomas and her politically active, pro-Donald Trump presence though her “Rainbow Angel” Twitter account. So when she got a direct message on that social media site from a group calling itself “March...
Cerabino: It’s pornographic. Lawmakers take aim at sex movies, not guns

Cerabino: It’s pornographic. Lawmakers take aim at sex movies, not guns

I’ve been trying to rationalize the news that the Florida House declared pornography a public health risk this week, minutes after rejecting consideration of whether to ban assault rifles in the wake of a school shooting in Parkland that left 17 dead. Most people, I think, would consider the largely unregulated sales of high-capacity, quick-reloading, military-style rifles to people as...
Cerabino: Robinson at FAU to talk about life in political spin cycle

Cerabino: Robinson at FAU to talk about life in political spin cycle

The way Pulitzer-Prize-winning columnist and frequent TV pundit Eugene Robinson sees it, we here in the media world let a good thing slip away. “It used to be you’d get to work in the morning, and not early in the morning, and you’d work on one story all day and then at 6:30, you went to the bar. “Now we pretty much work 24 hours a day,” he said. “How...
Cerabino: Russia’s misinformation show features West Palm Beach star

Cerabino: Russia’s misinformation show features West Palm Beach star

If you’re the person who got paid to portray a jailed Hillary Clinton at a Donald Trump rally in West Palm Beach a few months before the election, please call me. I’d love to hear what you think of things now, 18 months later. You remember? Right? You were at City Place on Aug. 20, 2016, sitting in the back of a pickup truck that was decked out in chain link to make it look like a...
Cerabino: Let’s put speed bumps on Lantana’s sex-for-service complaint

Cerabino: Let’s put speed bumps on Lantana’s sex-for-service complaint

Dear Town of Lantana residents: You might have read recent news reports about one of our citizens filing a complaint with the Florida Commission on Ethics over a request she made to have speed bumps put in her neighborhood. The complainant, Catherine Padilla, said that Mayor David Stewart had offered to get the town to install this safety measure in exchange for sex with the woman. As you might imagine...
Cerabino: Another time to wonder why assault weapons are legal

Cerabino: Another time to wonder why assault weapons are legal

When three masked intruders broke into the back door of a home in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, the person living there, Zach Peters, 23, picked up an AR-15 semi-automatic assault rifle and killed them all. The three would-be burglars turned out to be teenagers without criminal records or firearms, and the shooting was ruled legally justifiable under Oklahoma’s castle doctrine law. I was reading about...
Cerabino: Lake Worth bar buddies seek package deal with Trump Cheeto

Cerabino: Lake Worth bar buddies seek package deal with Trump Cheeto

So, it was another Friday night at Harry’s Banana Farm in Lake Worth, and Gerard Campbell was sitting at the bar with his two friends sipping a Miller High Life and listening to the jukebox. The only thing to eat at that Dixie Highway watering hole are bags of chips and snacks. Campbell, 61, got a bag of Cheetos and shared them with his semi-retired friend, Gary Wilson, 69, who aimlessly...
Mar-a-Uh,oh! Stormy Daniels takes stripping tour to Palm Beach County

Mar-a-Uh,oh! Stormy Daniels takes stripping tour to Palm Beach County

You knew this was coming. Porn movie actress Stormy Daniels, she of presidential hush-money fame, is bringing her bouncy “Make America Horny Again” strip-club tour to West Palm Beach. “We, being the closest club to Mar-a-Lago and directly across the street from Trump’s International Golf Course, feel she is going to be a huge hit!” said Stacy Saccal, the...
Cerabino: Keeping Trump’s military parade plans from going adrift

Cerabino: Keeping Trump’s military parade plans from going adrift

We might have to start re-imagining our holiday boat parades. I’ll explain. Soon after President Donald Trump reportedly dispatched the Pentagon to plan for a military march down Pennsylvania Avenue in the nation’s capital, some members of Congress sought to thwart him by legislation. The bill, called The PARADE Act — Prohibit Allocation of Resources for Absurd Defense Expenditures...
Cerabino: For EPA’s Pruitt, Florida visit just gives us the business

Cerabino: For EPA’s Pruitt, Florida visit just gives us the business

It would be nice to have notice the next time U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt slips in out of Florida like a ninja. Pruitt made an off-schedule, unannounced Florida visit last week. And it’s understandable why he didn’t want most Floridians to know about it in advance. After all, we here in Florida have lots of environmental concerns, things that we...
Cerabino: Early drafts of PBC Schools Supt. Avossa’s resignation letter

Cerabino: Early drafts of PBC Schools Supt. Avossa’s resignation letter

Palm Beach County Schools Superintendent Robert Avossa’s early attempts at dictating his resignation letter: Draft No. 1: Dear Chairman Shaw and School Board Members: After nearly 25 years in the public schools system, I have gone from teacher to principal to district administrator to superintendent. And now I feel it is time to take the next logical step. It’s time to toss away my $344...
Cerabino: Stop spreading the news; Florida seeking New Yorkers

Cerabino: Stop spreading the news; Florida seeking New Yorkers

Dear New Yorkers: I am writing to give you further context to a story you may have read this week in The New York Post. The story, titled, “Florida ready to take in New Yorkers seeking tax shelter”  seems to imply that we here in Florida are eager to have more former New Yorkers living here. This is not correct. I know this. I used to be a New Yorker. And people remind me...
Cerabino: Dear God, why am I allowing Twitter to punish me?

Cerabino: Dear God, why am I allowing Twitter to punish me?

I took a dive into the murky world of Twitter, that social media platform that makes fact and fiction hard to decipher at times. What got me started was reading a New York Times exposé about Devumi, a multi-million-dollar company founded by a Palm Beach State College graduate and run from an office suite above Rocco’s Tacos on Clematis Street in West Palm Beach. The company...
Cerabino: When getting on elevator for Florida guv race, press ‘down’

Cerabino: When getting on elevator for Florida guv race, press ‘down’

It’s nine months to Election Day, and Republican hopefuls in Florida’s race for governor have already started their descent. The alleged adult in the room, Florida’s Secretary of Agriculture Adam Putnam, has branded his campaign with the slogan, “Florida First.” Yes, that’s the problem. Too many of those past Florida governors were really sleeper cells for...
Cerabino: Wanna be Trump ambassador? Sing after me; ‘Dough, my dear …’

Cerabino: Wanna be Trump ambassador? Sing after me; ‘Dough, my dear …’

You might want to consider being the U.S. ambassador in a foreign country. It’s going to cost you a bundle, and you’ll have to devote a chunk of your life to watching movie musicals. But there may be a path for you. I’m judging this by Patrick Park, the Palm Beach philanthropist who joined President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club and professed his love for the &ldquo...
Counterfeit Twitter empire in West Palm, no ifs, ands — just bots

Counterfeit Twitter empire in West Palm, no ifs, ands — just bots

It’s a well-known axiom that if you dig deep enough, every weird or shady story has a Florida angle. And that has been the case when The New York Times investigated what appeared to be a Manhattan-based company that made millions of dollars by selling fake Twitter “followers” and “retweets” to celebrities desperate to appear more popular than they really...
Cerabino: Mastering cultural exchange in Riviera Beach; it’s Chinatown.

Cerabino: Mastering cultural exchange in Riviera Beach; it’s Chinatown.

When you think of Riviera Beach, does the country of China come to mind? Probably not. There’s nothing especially Chinese about Riviera Beach, which is more Outer Mangonia than anything else. If you Google “Riviera Beach and China,” the first entry that comes up is China Wok, a restaurant on Broadway that features a free krab Rangoon with the purchase of $25 or more. Which isn&rsquo...
Cerabino: Palm Beach oligarch’s guide to Trump’s Cabinet, from A to Zzzz

Cerabino: Palm Beach oligarch’s guide to Trump’s Cabinet, from A to Zzzz

I will be holding interviews for the next U.S. secretary of commerce. Interested Palm Beach oligarchs need to contact me as soon as possible to set up a time when we can meet in the Boynton Beach Mall for your interview. I’m doing this because the current secretary, Palm Beacher Wilbur Ross, may be on thin ice in President Donald Trump’s Cabinet. “Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross&rsquo...
Cerabino: Fake news? Here’s real story behind Trump’s porn-star payoff

Cerabino: Fake news? Here’s real story behind Trump’s porn-star payoff

This column goes out to the Mar-a-Lago Trumpettes and the assorted presidential motorcade wavers on Southern Boulevard sidewalks with their Make America Great Again signs and oversized American flags. Hang in there. Don’t let the “fake news” get you down. Especially that story about how then-presidential candidate Donald Trump’s lawyer set up a shell company in Delaware...
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. Yes, I worked for a new higher-speed commuter rail service in South Florida called Brightline...
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...
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