Why wait till next season for the heavily attended Boca Raton Historical Society's annual house tour that'll cost you big bucks (that's because it's a fundraising event) when every Sunday at the non-security-gated Royal Palm Yacht & Country Club in Boca Raton, you can casually walk through at least four open houses. Call it a self-guided tour through lavish homes for sale. It's usually held from 1 to 4 p.m., is never crowded, and is always free. That's because real-estate agent David Roberts is hoping that you're in the market to buy, but certainly he must realize that he's providing a golden opportunity for Mr. and Ms. Just Curious, who want to see how the other half (make that 1 percent) lives. Well, maybe not so famous, but definitely rich. Many of these places are going for two or three million dollars or more. And of course the homeowners have all used interior designers, so this is a golden opportunity to pick up some decorating ideas -- furniture placement, floral arrangements, use of mirrors. Or just ogle. Imagine, a fireplace in the master bathroom! And 18 karat gold faucets. Go ahead; try them. Yup, cold and hot water come out -- just like in your bathroom. Don't worry, nobody's going to ask to see your assets. Still, it's a good idea to dress as if you have some.

It's here that the people of Broward County, and indeed all the world, can come to find out God's stance on all the hot political issues of the day. The good Rev. D. James Kennedy calls his white, towering church, "God's house," and that's where the Creator lets his political views be known. Gay rights? Not on your eternal life. Disney World, with its "Gay Days," has become a "Gomorrah with rides," according to God as told to Kennedy. God's having none of this abortion stuff, either. Just look at one of the church's Websites (www.reclaimamerica.org), where God has a hand in telling antiabortionists how to "control the debate" and "sell" their image, which needs to be changed from one of "intolerant, inflexible, unintelligent religious fanatics." Coral Ridge tells all those unintelligent religious fanatics, "We must become a NEW pro-life movement…, reasonable people with a credible position." While God has a big problem with abortion, Coral Ridge reminds us that there are few things the Big Guy likes better than a good execution of a sinner. Violence is OK, too, as long as it's against the young. ("He who spares the rod hates his son," Coral Ridge reminds us on that Website.) And finally, never, ever watch the act of human coitus. God knows pornography is a damnable thing -- even if He did invent it.
Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church
It's here that the people of Broward County, and indeed all the world, can come to find out God's stance on all the hot political issues of the day. The good Rev. D. James Kennedy calls his white, towering church, "God's house," and that's where the Creator lets his political views be known. Gay rights? Not on your eternal life. Disney World, with its "Gay Days," has become a "Gomorrah with rides," according to God as told to Kennedy. God's having none of this abortion stuff, either. Just look at one of the church's Websites (www.reclaimamerica.org), where God has a hand in telling antiabortionists how to "control the debate" and "sell" their image, which needs to be changed from one of "intolerant, inflexible, unintelligent religious fanatics." Coral Ridge tells all those unintelligent religious fanatics, "We must become a NEW pro-life movement…, reasonable people with a credible position." While God has a big problem with abortion, Coral Ridge reminds us that there are few things the Big Guy likes better than a good execution of a sinner. Violence is OK, too, as long as it's against the young. ("He who spares the rod hates his son," Coral Ridge reminds us on that Website.) And finally, never, ever watch the act of human coitus. God knows pornography is a damnable thing -- even if He did invent it.
You, too, can get taken -- in this case for a three-hour ride on a river no wider than a couple of back yards, past some houses owned by rich people (and known as Millionaires Row) and a couple of thatched-roof buildings known as "Indian Village." It's all very nice and safe, and the big double-decker boat waddles along the New River from the Intracoastal Waterway west past the Broward Center For the Performing Arts like a fat town crier, shrieking all the way. But a cruise on the river beats just sitting on the sidelines and watching it flow by. Maximum load: 527 passengers, a population greater than many towns in the state of Wyoming. The kids love the whistle, you can buy food and drink on board, and the price ($11.50 for adults and $7.75 for children) is worth it if your out-of-town tourists get seasick and hate boats but want to say they "cruised" in Florida. At Christmas the owners put reindeer atop the boat and blare carols at the shore as the boat passes.

You, too, can get taken -- in this case for a three-hour ride on a river no wider than a couple of back yards, past some houses owned by rich people (and known as Millionaires Row) and a couple of thatched-roof buildings known as "Indian Village." It's all very nice and safe, and the big double-decker boat waddles along the New River from the Intracoastal Waterway west past the Broward Center For the Performing Arts like a fat town crier, shrieking all the way. But a cruise on the river beats just sitting on the sidelines and watching it flow by. Maximum load: 527 passengers, a population greater than many towns in the state of Wyoming. The kids love the whistle, you can buy food and drink on board, and the price ($11.50 for adults and $7.75 for children) is worth it if your out-of-town tourists get seasick and hate boats but want to say they "cruised" in Florida. At Christmas the owners put reindeer atop the boat and blare carols at the shore as the boat passes.

Before the sign went up, most people drove past this vacant lot and didn't give it a second thought. Shame on them. Actually, shame on all of us. Shame on the South Florida history we never learned and still don't teach. This is no empty lot. This is a mass grave -- unmarked -- where almost 1000 African-Americans, all victims of the hurricane of 1928, most from Belle Glade, are buried. This was the closest dumping ground, literally. These poor people were brought to this site (white folk were buried at a real cemetery -- Woodlawn), dumped, and, well, forgotten for almost 70 years. Until recently, when a group of concerned citizens decided to form a coalition to create a proper memorial park with a hurricane education center. Of course you can visit the site even before it's a park. And think about it.
Before the sign went up, most people drove past this vacant lot and didn't give it a second thought. Shame on them. Actually, shame on all of us. Shame on the South Florida history we never learned and still don't teach. This is no empty lot. This is a mass grave -- unmarked -- where almost 1000 African-Americans, all victims of the hurricane of 1928, most from Belle Glade, are buried. This was the closest dumping ground, literally. These poor people were brought to this site (white folk were buried at a real cemetery -- Woodlawn), dumped, and, well, forgotten for almost 70 years. Until recently, when a group of concerned citizens decided to form a coalition to create a proper memorial park with a hurricane education center. Of course you can visit the site even before it's a park. And think about it.
Are you convinced that illegal drugs are a Chinese plot to destabilize American society? That public schools are nothing but indoctrination camps for liberal ideology about gays, premarital sex, and revisionist American history? Do you think the United Nations is Satan's presence on Earth? Then you need to pay a visit to Fred Gielow's Web page, You Don't Say. Based in Boca Raton, Gielow is a conservative's conservative -- and he's assembled an impressive array of screeds that all come to the same conclusion: The world is going to hell in a hand basket, and if we don't get back to good ol' family values damn quick there ain't gonna be much left to squabble over. Agree with Gielow or not -- frankly we think he's a bit loony -- you have to admire the man's conviction. The perfect antidote to mealy-mouthed Internet pages that are all flash and little substance.
Are you convinced that illegal drugs are a Chinese plot to destabilize American society? That public schools are nothing but indoctrination camps for liberal ideology about gays, premarital sex, and revisionist American history? Do you think the United Nations is Satan's presence on Earth? Then you need to pay a visit to Fred Gielow's Web page, You Don't Say. Based in Boca Raton, Gielow is a conservative's conservative -- and he's assembled an impressive array of screeds that all come to the same conclusion: The world is going to hell in a hand basket, and if we don't get back to good ol' family values damn quick there ain't gonna be much left to squabble over. Agree with Gielow or not -- frankly we think he's a bit loony -- you have to admire the man's conviction. The perfect antidote to mealy-mouthed Internet pages that are all flash and little substance.
Nothing like being direct, we always say. This Broward County business has a moniker that, emblazoned on the side of its van, certainly inspires curiosity from other motorists. Walter Philbrick, a former Hialeah police officer who worked in homicide, decided to cash in on an untapped market when he retired. It seems the last thing relatives want to do after a family member has been shot or killed, he found, is grab a bottle of Fantastik and clean blood and scrape bits of brain off the wall. So two years ago he started Crime Scene Clean-Up, also known as PSI (Professional Sanitation International). Philbrick has contracts with nearly all South Florida police departments and charges roughly $400 a job. Two of his famous cases: cleaning the Cunanan houseboat ("the mattress was so full of blood it had to be thrown away") and the house of an Aventura doctor who was shot by a patient. The worst case: a man who jumped in front of a train in Miami, spewing body parts for 50 yards. Philbrick hopes to franchise his operation around the country. We're just glad he didn't choose an even more direct name like Body Parts Clean-Up or Dried-Blood Removal.

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