The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida on March 30, 1998 · Page 95
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The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida · Page 95

West Palm Beach, Florida
Issue Date:
Monday, March 30, 1998
Page 95
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Page 95 article text (OCR)

msl SECTION B MONDAY, MARCH 30, 1998 SLOW DOWN Palm Beach County is installing speed humps in Jupiter Farms to slow traffic. STORY, 3B The Palm Beach Post L0GA1 MIGWG II ft .i Martin road, rule wrangles leave ' developers curbside "The (existinc) numbers are lower Rut it's the comprehensive growth After playing the fool in the county's approval process, some developers are tired of the hard-to-define rules. than other government agencies," said Gary Roberts, the county's transportation administrator. "When they were accepted these were one of the sets of numbers the (Department of Transport tation) was using. Since then, however, DOT has shifted to higher volume numbers." Those higher volumes are the resuft; of more criteria. ;; While the county uses blanket max: mum capacities, DOT uses several means of determining a road's capacity, said Bill Cross, a Fort Lauderdale-based DOT planning manager. If. "Our methodology is the national methodology," he said. "We put variables More disturbing than the uncertainty is the lack of answers coming from the county, said Jim Morgan, broker manager for Fenton and Lang in Stuart. "In defense of the county staff, they have been good to work with," he said. "But they have gotten their marching orders to be critical of anything that is submitted, and that takes time." Morgan estimates the time it takes to gain site plan approval for any project in the county has gone from 12 to 20 months to up to twice as long. "It's just sad," Hayes said. "Nobody wants Martin County to look like Broward County, but there has to be reasonable management. If you tell me what the rules are and I can depend on the rules, then that would be OK No one is asking the county to not comply with their comprehensive plan." plan that is part of the problem. Within the county's long-range planning document are maximum traffic capacities for each road. , When those capacities are reached, a virtual building moratorium goes into effect along that road. Such is the case along some of the county's more heavily traveled roads. Mainly along U.S. 1 and State Road A1A, almost all building has ground to a halt as the county works to update its traffic capacity figures. The problem was discovered in December 1996 when state planners caught a difference between the numbers the county has on record and those submitted in changes to the long-range planning document. traffic. Where's the punch line? That's what developers and investors want to know. After playing the fool in the county's development approval process for more than a year, some developers and investors are tired of the county's hard-to-define rules. The unknown is what kills everything," said Michael Hayes, senior commercial lender at First National Bank and Trust of the Treasure Coast. "If you knew that if you came in and abided by all the laws you would be approved, then that would be fine, but right now there is uncertainty that anything would be By Howie Paul Hartnett Palm Beach Post Staff Writer STUART Stop if you've read this orte before: A developer walks into Martin County asking permission to build something grand. The county commission has concerns about the environmental impacts of the project and sends the developer away to answer its questions. The developer returns, but the commission has more questions. , . ; -, The developer returns again. This time the commission says all that work was fSr naught because the roads around the development can't support any more Please see RULES5 Civil-rights lawyer chastised over tactics These teachers just can't stay away ' By Mary Ellen Flannery Palm Peach Post Staff Writer PORT ST. LUCIE Far worse than wind, rain and snow, teachers at Windmill Point Elementary deliver their lessons despite aches, pains and sniffles. Eleven Windmill Point teachers haven't missed a day of work yet, and for those flawless records they stand to earn an extra $40 at the end of the year. All St. Lucie teachers and sunoort I I I - Norman Ganz, who has filed nine lawsuits against Treasure Coast employers, faces sanctions in a suit against Subway sandwich shops. By Susannah A. Nesmith PTST"-H staff em r 'J ploy e e s with perfect attendance will share in two $10,000 pots. Windmill Point has the most winners of any elementary 4: Vogel Palm beach fost Staff writer A Fort Lauderdale attorney who has filed at least nine civil-rights lawsuits against Treasure Coast employers is facing sanctions for filing a frivolous lawsuit and using tactics that a judge labeled "blackmail" in a Broward County case. I : U.S. District Judge Kenneth Ryskamp called Norman Ganz's tactics "guerrilla litigation" and chastised him for his "terrorist" acts in a civil-rights lawsuit he filed against the owners of several Subway sandwich shops in and around Fort Lauderdale. Ganz has sued the Fort Pierce police, the St. Lucie County School District, Port St. Lucie, the Department of Corrections and BellSouth on behalf -of Treasure Coast employees. He has also sued the Boynton Beach police and the city of Lake Park. Ganz declined to comment on the Subway suit or on any of the local suits because the judge is still considering whether to impose sanctions in the Subway case. "I have a lot to say about St. Lucie County and its employment practices, but I don't think it's appropriate for me to comment at this time," Ganz said last week. A federal magistrate recommended Ryskamp fine Ganz $116,000 for suing a host of people and companies who had nothing to do with his case and for allowing his paralegal to threaten the defendants during settlement negotiations. Federal Magistrate Ann Vitunac also recommended that Ganz's clients pay the $64,000 in attorneys' fees of the people and companies Ganz shouldn't have sued. r The magistrate's report doesn't surprise local attorneys, who say they have been stunned by Ganz's tactics in their cases. - -. Joe Mancini, the attorney who represents Port St. Lucie, said Ganz and his paralegal, Brian Neiman, used the Fort Lauderdale branch of the NAACP as a threat. "We would have settlement discussions and then later there would be comments made about how the NAACP might be interested in the case," Mancini said. "The clear import was there They would say -' school. But Principal Rita Johnson, who must whisper through a sore throat that hasn't kept her home yet, says, They're not doing it for financial gain. They're doing it because of their high level of professionalism and commitment, for personal gratification." In August, Schools Superintendent Bill Vogel set aside the "pots of gold" as incentive for better attendance. The employees must not take any personal or sick days, or vacation days while students are in school, to qualify. As of March 3, 268 teachers stood to split one $10,000 pot, giving them $37.31 each, and 197 support staff employees were hanging onto $50.76 each, said Alice West, personnel coordinator. ' At this time last year, just 87 teachers and 134 support staffers had perfect attendance, West said. The district has 1,533 teachers and 1,620 support staff employees. v CYNTHIA WALLACESpecial to The Post Aerial artistry STUART - Janna Roukhmanova of the Clyde Beatty Cole Bros. Circus swings high above her captivated audience Sunday at the Martin County Fairgrounds. Later, the circus left town for shows in Ormond Beach. Please see LAWYER5B - - Please see ATTENDANCE25 When lawyer's not practicing the Bar, he's humming a few Jim Butler sets his island dreaming to music Mr M Goombay, was inspired by the popular and potent Goombay Smash cocktail that's served at Miss Emily's Blue B Bar on Green Turtle Cay. Super Grouper Trooper was no doubt motivated by Butler's love of conch fritters. He writes of being on "conch patrol" to "arrest" the docile creatures as they lay motionless on the ocean floor. There's even a tune about lawyer bashing. Legal Limbo calls them "sharks" and "pinstripe bimbos." After three decades as a lawyer, Butler said he's entitled to poke some fun at his profession. His Bahamian roots go back to the age of 14. In 1938. his father was president of international operations for Outboard Marine Corp. in Nassau. For 10 That's just a sampling of what brings Butler and his wife, Lish, back to the Bahamas year after year. And Butler expresses his feelings for his beloved islands in his debut CD, Abaco Sound. "Sailing in the Abacos is where I recharge and decompress," says Butler, 53, of Palm City. "Instead of the clock, your life is regulated by the wind, the tide, the sun and the moon not the artificial stuff we impose on ourselves." Butler, who has sailed the Caribbean, wrote eight of the CD's 10 songs. Accompanied by a melodic blend of reggae, calypso and Cuban folk, the lyrics are light-hearted, humorous and sprinkled with hxal haunts. The title song, Gimme Gimme By Sharon Wernlund palm beach Post Staff Vmlfr When attorney Jim Butler closes his eyes, the island magic of the Aba-cos dominates his mind and se- ducinely calls him back again and again. ; -Within seconds, Butler is whisked away from the hustle and bustle of his Stuart firm to the gentle swaying of his 33-foot sailboat. Dream Weaver. Salty surf fills his nostrils. Balmy breezes stroke his thinning hair. Spicy conch fritters stir his taste buds. ' Kinging telephones cease. There are no more briefs to file. Suddenly, nothing much matters as Butler's fast-paced tempo of clients and litigation drops to a styw crawl. K PAUt MILETTEStaff Photographer se any day. The Stuart attorney Jim Butler would prefer conch fritters over a cheeseburger in paradi just released a CD, Abaco Sound, inspired by his many trips to the banamas. ing career. Traditionally, he and his buddies sing Christinas carols for bar patrons. Three years ago, Butler got bored and chal- Hfose see MUSJC5i Green Turtle Cay. That's their destination for summer vacations and Christmas holidays. Christmas Eve is always spent at Green Turtle Club, the birthplace of Butler's songwrit- years. Butler's back yard was a water wonderland of snorkeling, diving, boating and fishing. Now 40 years later, Butler is still enchanted by the islands. The couple's sailboat stays at "ks tii rti jifi i" jrft .iiti ttTb- C i

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