The Ritter Report

The Ritter Report - April 2011

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In this Issue

Courthouse Construction Update

The new Broward County Courthouse continues on its road to completion. Approved by the County Commission in June 2010, the first piece of construction is expected to start very soon when they begin working on a temporary parking lot for judges. The wrecking ball of the judicial parking garage is expected in August. The tower construction should start in November and the entire complex is planned to be completed in March of 2014.

The project will bring about 800 construction jobs to Broward County; that’s 800 different jobs over the life of this project.

Port Everglades Named Best U.S. Homeport

Broward County’s Port Everglades has been selected for the third consecutive year as the Best U.S. Homeport by Porthole Cruise Magazine, a world-class leading cruise travel magazine.

The award is timely, as Port Everglades just announced a record 25 percent increase in cruise travel during the first quarter of fiscal year 2011 (October through December 2010) over the same time period last year. Since welcoming its first cruise ship in 1931, Port Everglades has grown to become the second largest cruise port in the world, with nearly 3.7 million passengers passing through in 2010.   

Details on the latest cruise offerings are available at http://porteverglades.net.

Dancing with the Stars of Broward

Last year, Commissioner Ritter helped raise $137,000 for the Pantry of Broward. This year, although she won’t be dancing, she will still be supporting the event and participating as a judge.  The 3rd annual “Dancing” will be held on Saturday, April 9, at 6 p.m. at the Harbor Beach Marriott.  For tickets, call Frank Fernandez at 954-358-1481, or go to http://www.thepantryofbroward.org/

Broward Tourism Facts

flipflops.jpgTotal visitors in 2010; 10.8 Million
Total visitor spending in 2010;
$8.7 Billion

• That’s $23,814,000 per day
• Or $992,000 each hour
• Or $16,500 each minute

Improved Parks in District 3

Several parks in District 3 are being upgraded with new lighting, playground equipment, paths, boardwalks, picnic tables, benches and landscaping.  It’s all thanks to grant money received over the past two years from the “Parks for People” Program. 

These upgrades are being done with the environment in mind, too.  The lighting is solar powered. The boardwalk, benches and picnic tables are all made from recycled plastic. Even the playgrounds are built with recycled steel. Low flow water fixtures and irrigation are all incorporated into the upgrades.

In the past two fiscal years, Broward County has provided a total of $225,000 for the Land Stewardship Program in District 3. For FY 2011, the County will provide another $179,000 for even more improvements.   

Sites upgraded using these funds include parks along N.W. 44th St. and Oakland Park Blvd. in Sunrise and the Tamarac Sports Complex. The county is working closely with cities to develop green and open spaces.

Cuba Travel from FLL

You will soon be able to travel to Cuba from the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL). U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Department of Homeland Security has given approval authorizing air service to and from Cuba through FLL.

The air service to the island nation will not be regularly scheduled commercial service, but rather charter service. Up to two flights per week are expected to start this spring or early summer.

Not all Americans are legally allowed to travel to Cuba, but for those who have family on the island, FLL will offer an excellent and less expensive alternative. 

New Technology Saves the County Money

Voip PhoneBroward County has installed a completely new phone system. The VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) is similar to the Vonage and Magic Jack phones you see advertised on line and on TV for home use. Instead of using standard telephone lines from AT&T, it uses the Internet to place all calls, including calls within the county buildings or from facility to facility. The cost savings thanks to this new phone system is estimated to be at least $500,000 per year and could top $1 million.

If you would like receive an email version of this newsletter, send an email to kpauli@broward.org or call Commissioner Ritter’s office at 954-357-7003.

Download a Print Version

Broward County District 3 serves parts of the following cities:
• Parkland • Coral Springs • Tamarac • Sunrise

§  Commissioner Stacy Ritter Web site

§  News Center

§  At Your Service

§  Broward County Charter

§  Community Update

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Commissioner Ritter participates in the annual Teen Political Forum at the Coral Springs Center for the Arts. Panel members included Coral Springs Commissioner Tom Powers, Coral Springs Mayor Roy Gold, Broward Commissioner Stacy Ritter, Coral Springs Vice Mayor Claudette Bruck, Broward School Board Member Dave Thomas, Coral Springs Commissioner Vincent Boccard and Coral Springs Commissioner Larry Vignola.

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Commissioner Ritter hosts Coffee with Stacy the second Wednesday of every month at Westside Bagels in Coral Springs. Pictured here with Westside Bagels Manager Howie Prost and Professor Robert Watson from Lynn University, a guest for the videocast. Watch the video at http://YouTube.com/stacyritter3

ComcastNewsmakers.jpg

Commissioner Ritter was a guest on Comcast Newsmakers with host Spero Canton to discuss security at the Broward County Government building.

StacySusan.jpg

Commissioner Ritter at the recording of “Coffee with Stacy” with Susan Myers, Broward County’s Human Services Director.

If you would like to get on the Commissioner’s email list, which includes copies of The Ritter Report, please go to http://broward.org/stacyritter and enter your name, zip code and email address.