Islamophobia panel to promote peace at Gardens college campus

An Interfaith Rally Against Extremism and Terrorism was held at the Palm Beach County Vista Center in West Palm Beach Thursday, January 21, 2016, featuring a panel discussion. Here, Wilfredo Ruiz  speaks as Ghazala Salam, President, American Muslim Democratic Caucus of Florida; Rev. Gerald Kisner, pastor, Tabernacle Baptist Church; and Rabbi Mark Winer, president of FAITH, the Foundation to Advance Interfaith & Harmony) listen. (Bruce R. Bennett / The Palm Beach Post)
Wilfredo Ruiz speaks at an Interfaith Rally Against Extremism and Terrorism at the Palm Beach County Vista Center in West Palm Beach Thursday, Jan. 21. (Bruce R. Bennett / The Palm Beach Post)

Local Muslim leaders want people to know the true teachings of their faith and dispel the stigma people with Middle Eastern cultural backgrounds sometimes experience.

To that end, they’re participating in a “Islamophobia: Voices from the Muslim Community” panel discussion from 2 to 3 p.m. March 30 in the Meldon Lecture Hall at the Palm Beach Gardens campus of Palm Beach State College, 3160 PGA Blvd. It’s free and open to the public.

Last year, leaders of the Islamic Center of Palm Beach in North Palm invited the community for an open house at the mosque at Castlewood Drive. Police in December said Joshua Warren Killets broke the windows of the mosque and left it in disarray as a hate crime.

Panelists at the panel next week include:

-Imam Abdul Hakim, the spiritual leader of the Muslim Community of Palm Beach County

-Maha A. Elkolalli, a family law and civil rights attorney; Wilfredo Ruiz, communications director and former civil rights legal counsel for the Council on American-Islamic Relations

-Dr. Bassem Alhalabi, a professor of computer engineering at Florida Atlantic University and adviser of the Muslim Student Association

-Deema Gichi, a library assistant at PBSC and FAU engineering student

Todd Wodraska becomes Jupiter’s new mayor


Todd Wodraska, standing with his wife Tracy and sons Jackson and Tanner, takes the oath of office Tuesday night at the Jupiter council meeting. (Photo by Bill DiPaolo)

Wodraska replaces Karen Golonka, who served eight straight three-year terms.


Seminole War history presentation planned Saturday near Jupiter


The Loxahatchee Battlefield Preservationists present History in the Park, Saturday, March 19th at 10 a.m., Riverbend/Battlefield Park, 9060 Indiantown Road.

The presentation is free and donations are accepted.

The presentation features author/historian Richard J. Procyk in a living history presentation in costume as General Thomas S. Jesup: “Jesup: the maligned General”-Osceola captured under a white flag of truce.”

Procyk plans to discuss that General Jesup was in sympathy with the Seminoles plight in Florida.

Jessup  was of the few who was against Indian removal and was finally recalled from active duty when he suggested in writing that the Seminoles be allowed to remain in Florida.

A battlefield tour will follow the presentation. For information, call 561- 741-1359.


Election 2016: Reminder — Florida is a closed primary state!

Dozens of would-be voters who are not registered as a Democrat or Republican have realized today that Florida is a closed-primary state and they cannot vote, says PBC Elections Supervisor Susan Bucher.

Florida law requires voters to be party affiliated at least 29 days in advance of a primary. That was by Feb. 16, Bucher said.

“We have dozens and they’re really mad. Traditionally they haven’t voted in primaries,” Bucher said.

Where is Amanda the sea turtle?


Amanda, an adult loggerhead sea turtle was rescued by a group of divers about a mile offshore from the Lake Worth Inlet on December 28, 2014. She was brought to the Loggerhead Marinelife Center for treatment.

Amanda’s latest position is 130 miles (211 km) south of Key West.

To track Amanda and other sea turtles that have been released from LMC, go to

Amanda suffered from mechanical trauma to both front flippers. The wounds were healed at LMC and she was medically cleared for release.


A cell phone-sized radio transmitter is attached to her shell that allows LMC officials to track her location.

The 300-pound sea turtle was successfully let go back into the Atlantic Ocean off of Juno Beach on June 11, 2015.


Winners announced in Young Entrepreneurs Academy in Jupiter


A 16-year-old Benjamin School sophomore who overcame an affliction that drove her to pull out her hair was awarded $1,200 at Thursday night’s Young Entrepreneurs Academy to help other young people with mental illness.

“People will be able to relate to me. It’s a silent battle,” said Sophia DeRosa, a Jupiter resident who was chosen to advance to the YEA regional competition in May in Rochester, New York. Her business, Beat the Stigma, will be an on-line learning center for teenagers.

See the full story in The Palm Beach Post.


Public invited to grand opening for DuBois Home on Wednesday


The DuBois Pioneer Home is open for public tours (Photo by Bill DiPaolo)

After a $600,000 renovation, the DuBois Pioneer Home is scheduled for a grand opening Wednesday, March 2 at 10:30 a.m.

The DuBois Home is located in DuBois Park, 19075 DuBois Road, Jupiter.

The event is free and open to the public.

Built on an ancient Indian shell mound in 1898 by north county pioneers Harry and Susan DuBois, the two-story, historic home attracted a steady stream of visitors until tours were halted after damage from hurricanes led to its closing in 2008.