Security Director’s Report – June 2015

In the past few months, I’ve had the opportunity to attend a couple of very insightful meetings. Meetings that dealt with an issue that is becoming a common threat to our everyday way of life and that is computer crimes or cybercrimes. Cybercrimes have been defined as crimes that are committed against individuals or groups of individuals with a criminal motive to intentionally harm the reputation of the victim financially or cause mental harm to the victim directly or indirectly, using the internet. These crimes are committed by a select group of criminals commonly known as “Hackers”.

Government and local officials have documented a significant increase in Internet scams since early 2001. In recent cases, hackers have been posing as service providers, sending victims computer messages claiming that their computer has been infected with a virus. To avoid loss of computer stored information, contact the provider at the number contained in the message to correct the problem. When the unsuspecting victim calls the number provided, hackers demand payment. Some victims reported paying as much as $800 dollars. The same occurrences took place in two major U.S cites and the victim was the local Police Department in which thousands of dollars was paid to avoid loss of critical information.

We have become more reliant on modern technology. Yet, for all its advantages, it comes with increased risk of theft, fraud, and abuse. The speakers at these meetings could not provide any concrete method to avoid becoming a victim of a cybercrime. However, they did offer some suggestions that I would like to share with you, that may help reduce your chances of becoming a victim. They suggested that you backup you computers information onto a disk or USB drive often. Limit the amount of important information that is stored on your computer. Completely shut down your computer when not in use. Consult your local IT professional to find ways to improve securing you information.

Remember to secure your vehicle when not in use, never leave valuables in your vehicle in plain sight, secure your home and set your alarm before leaving. You are always encouraged to report all suspicious vehicles, person(s), and activity and never hesitate to call security at 627-1600. Any information on the person(s) involved or vehicle description will be helpful.

Property Managers Report – May 2015

Party On!
I am writing this before the 29th Annual Children’s Party in the Park but next month I will try to get some photos in from the event. Although I don’t have children and I don’t live in PGA National, I still come out every year to watch activities. It is always fun. Don’t tell anyone but my first year at PGA National (17 years ago when I was younger and thinner) I went down the giant slide with the then POA President, Siro DeGasperis. It’s true that you’re never too old to enjoy your childhood!

The Rumors
Coventry Lane: I know you read this to get the scoop on what’s happening so here it is: First, yes, it is true that Coventry Lane will receive curbing next year (just like most of Avenue of the Masters). This should prevent the inconsiderate ‘fools’ who intentionally pull onto the grass west of Heather Run just to spin circles or “do donuts”…well the NUT half is right! It will also keep the legitimate drivers from pulling off the road and accidentally sinking. The curbing will be done by Northern Palm Beach County Improvement District (“NPBCID”) during their new fiscal year (October 1, 2015 – Sept 20, 2016.)

Road Rights of Way: The “soft shoulder” signs were replace with “no driving or parking on grass” signs. Amazingly, many people didn’t know what soft shoulders meant….until their car got stuck! Other than the aforementioned malicious damage, the new signs will hopefully keep drivers off the grass rights of way.

Other Signs: Northern Palm Beach County Improvement District is in the process of installing a speed limit warning sign at the south end of Ryder Cup Blvd. in an effort to alert drivers when their speed exceeds the posted 25 mph limit. For those who think “it’s ridiculous” that the speed limit is only 25 at the end of Ryder Cup Blvd, I invite you to pull into the Preston entry area then try to exit to go north on Ryder Cup. You will see that you must time your exit with cars entering PGA from Northlake (and racing where the road merges from two entry lanes to one) and cars leaving PGA who either made a turn off Ave of the Masters or came down the overpass hill and are in the bend in the road and racing to “make the light” at Northlake. In other words, you can’t see the cars heading south until you are pulling into the road to turn.

I constantly remind drivers to slow down (at least inside PGA) but the aforementioned sign will help remind drivers and, if that doesn’t work the police will again be issuing speeding tickets. Better a ticket than an accident, right?

Northlake at Ryder Cup Blvd: The POA Maintenance Committee and Board of Governors have been finalizing plans to completely update the landscaping along Ryder Cup Blvd from Northlake Blvd to just past the guardhouse. Plans include a low stone wall (similar to the main PGA National entry but only about 2-3 ft. tall) and replacing all the Bischofia trees along the sides of Ryder Cup with different trees. In summary, it will be quite beautiful and no longer look like a “back entry” to the community!

Getting Stoned: No they didn’t legalize anything… I’m talking about stone surfaces on the guardhouses. The Northlake Blvd guardhouse will be the next one to receive the stone finish used at the main security “Comm Center” (by the traffic circle). Once that guardhouse is done, the others will be done one at a time.

Money?: All of the above projects are paid for in the budget under Capital Improvements (except curbing which is paid for in your taxes to NPBCID). Speaking of MONEY – I’m happy to report that the POA Board has adopted the 2015-16 budget at the same $700.00 per lot. This is the 5th year that the POA assessment has remained at the same rate.

Reminders
You know I can’t write an article without nagging just a little; it’s in my DNA so here goes. Don’t worry, there are only two but you know how I harp on things:

Paths: If you ride a bicycle or skate (or use any wheeled means) and you ride on the paths along the main roads, please warn walkers when you are approaching from behind them. A Simple “coming on your left – or right” is not only common courtesy, but it might just prevent someone from getting hurt when the walker/jogger is zigging and you are zagging! Speaking of wheels – motorized equipment is not allowed on the pedestrian/bike paths or sidewalks except for the use of vehicles specifically designed for the disabled.

Pets: The POA and City both require owners to pick up after their pets and to keep them on a leash when outside of a fenced yard. This not only applies to dogs….it means any pet. By the way, Masters Park is not a “dog park”. The POA doesn’t want to create a rule prohibiting dogs so please keep them on a leash. If you can’t think of another reason for it (such as the rules require it; perhaps it will prevent a fight between your dog and another person or dog; etc.) then consider this: I was just referring to the people speeding along the roads. What would happen if your happy, playful pup noticed something really fun to chase after (like a squirrel, a bird or for some dogs, a leaf) and they took off after it – right into the roadway? It would be a terrible tragedy and would break my heart (and I don’t even know your dog) so please, please, keep your pets on a leash at all times.

As to cleaning up after your pet, the POA janitorial staff is tasked with picking up debris along the main roadway/walkways). It is amazing how many conscientious pet owners pick up their pet waste then just toss the bag along the walkway or into the bushes or even in the lakes/canals! Really? Yes! Please note that the POA has a good number of trash receptacles along the walkways. Please properly dispose of the bags – meaning in a trash receptacle (whether along the main roads or at your home).

Bye Bye Birdies
To all our seasonal residents – We wish you a happy and healthy summer. Don’t worry about us – we will be here cooking in the South Florida heat! We will hold the place together until you return.

Ken Kennerly – A Review of Safety and Security at The Honda Classic

This year’s Honda Classic, the thirteenth here in Palm Beach Gardens, drew 16 of the top 25 golfers on the PGA TOUR and was perhaps the finest ever. We drew 165,200 confirmed spectators over eight days including the rain-delayed finish on Monday that saw Padraig Harrington become the fourth repeat champion in the history of the event… [READ MORE]

Veterans Garden – Dedicated and Open!

The official dedication ceremony for PGA’s new Veterans Garden in Masters Park took place on Sunday, November 10th – a bright, sunny, wonderful day!

With an estimated 400 PGA residents and their friends as well as Federal, State, County and City officials in attendance, the Board of Governors of the PGA Property Owners Association (PGA-POA) formally dedicated the newly created garden.The purpose of the garden is to provide an area to honor, remember and reflect on the sacrifices provided by those PGA residents who have proudly served our great nation.

PGA-POA President Bob Hodgson was there and introduced the various officials in attendance and spoke briefly about the Board’s decision to create this garden, recognizing those who have served.

Ms. Cristy McKillop, Associate Director of the Veterans Administration Medical Center in West Palm Beach addressed the audience and thanked those in attendance for their past military service and gave special thanks to those courageous men and women who are currently serving our nation both at home and abroad. She spoke of the facilities available to Veterans at the West Palm Beach Medical Center and of other benefits available to those who have served.

At the end of the ceremony, PGA Veterans committee chairman, Paul Slepakoff thanked the PGA POA Board of Governors for their foresight and patriotism and in particular, Board President, Bob Hodgson for his overall guidance and support.

More information about the PGA Veterans organization can be found on their website at PGA Veterans.org

Veterans’ Recognition Garden Update #2

As you may have noticed, our Recognition Garden is coming together nicely!

The markers for the 5 branches of the Military have been put in place … and most recently, the flagpole and lighting were installed.

Once installed we went ahead and put up both the United States flag and the POW/MIA flag. Our thinking was that we’d put them up now, as a “soft opening” and then start planning for a more important “grand opening” once the landscaping and other design items were completed.

Right now we are looking at Flag Day-2013 as our date for a “Grand Opening”.  There is a lot of work and planning to be done between now and then and soon we will be calling for volunteers to help make this a memorable day.

In the meantime, why not stop by and have a look at the “work in progress”.


Veterans’ Recognition Garden Update #1

Phase I of construction of the new Veterans Recognition Garden in PGA National’s Masters Park has been completed.

The area has been cleared and the 5 large stones, each one with a disc representing a branch of the US Military, have been delivered and placed.

Click on each of these two pictures for a larger view.

Stone Markers

Military Insignia

PGA Masters Park

Rocks in place

(Special thanks to our Veterans Committee photographer Jim Milicia)

There is still a lot of work to be done…. but the hope is to have the area completed and ready for a dedication ceremony on Flag Day 2013 (June 14th.)

Keep watching this space for further updates.

Veterans interested in helping to plan activities for the Recognition Garden should contact Paul Slepakoff at organizer@pga-vets.org

2011 Annual Art Festival and Craft Fair

Some wonderful photos taken at the Annual Art Festival and Craft Fair.

 

Annual Children’s Party in the Park

Some wonderful photos taken at the Annual Children’s Party in the Park.

Miscellaneous PGA National Photos

Some wonderful photos taken in and around PGA National.

Property Manager’s Report – March 2011

HAPPY 25th!!!!!!
Can you believe the PGA POA Special Events Committee has been providing the Annual Children’s Party in the Park for twenty-five years?! The only requirement is that you must live in PGA National to participate (renters welcome!). Most of the residents of PGA National turn out for this event in Masters Park on the 4th Saturday each April – even if they don’t have children. I even come in on my day off just to watch all the residents having such a great time.

This year the Committee has outdone themselves! In addition to the usual clowns, face painting, balloon animals and giant slide, you will also find a number of inflatable adventure ‘rides’ that the kids go inside of and climb, jump and explore and there will be a LOT of carnival type rides. The ‘bungee trampoline’ is always fun and the spinning, rocking and swaying rides are enough to make you dizzy. This year the kids can enjoy Frisbee spin art (and keep the Frisbee they design), sand art, and about ten different games where some great stuffed animals and other prizes can be won. If you work up an appetite, you will find hotdogs, hamburgers, snow cones, cotton candy, popcorn and other treats the dentist loves. Then, after you are full and exhausted just cozy up under a big oak tree or in the gazebo and rest.

This event is truly a great time so mark your calendar now: Saturday, April 23rd, 10:am – 4:pm in Masters Park. You must R.S.V.P. to 627-2800 then stop by the POA office and pick up your $1.00 food pass if you want a hot dog or hamburger.

PLAY NICE, PLEASE
In another couple months school will be out again. This is good and bad: Good because the school buses and all the cars illegally parked on the grass and obstructing traffic will be off for the summer with the kids but bad because now the kids don’t have a place to be all day. Many get up to no good while just looking for something to do and those who ride their bikes and play in the beautiful parks can be in danger from all the cars. Bottom line: Drivers can take a break from watching out for kids at the bus but you can NEVER take a break from just generally watching out for kids!

The residents of PGA have a beautiful community with wonderful parks and great bicycle/walking paths. Unfortunately they are bicycle AND walking paths…..shared. Be courteous! If you are on a bicycle, ring a bell or give a shout out to those walking so they don’t step in front of you. If you are a walker, runner or skater, watch out for others. Bottom line again: be courteous – share the space.

THE LATEST RUMORS
Paving on General Drive: No, it isn’t a rumor – it is a FACT. I wanted to get it done immediately but at the Annual Meeting and the Council of Presidents meeting, the majority wanted to wait until “after season” so as soon as the “snowbirds” start heading north, you should hear news about the paving start date. Northern Palm Beach County Improvement District also plans to pave Tournament Blvd sometime after October (maybe next season?).

LA Fitness Plaza: At the Council of Presidents meeting, the new Property Manager for the new owners of the plaza introduced herself. She reported that they are interested in feedback from PGA residents so you may be hearing from her soon. In the mean time, they have announced an ARTS AND CRAFTS FESTIVAL on April 2nd at the north end of the plaza. Most of the artists and crafters from PGA POA’s December event will be there in April so if you found something you wanted and didn’t buy stop in and check out the event.

SOMETHINGS TO THINK ABOUT
As a resident of PGA National you have the privilege of living in a beautiful, safe community. That doesn’t mean you can’t be the victim of crime. Last month I told you about 13 cars that were “broken in” to (really every one was unlocked). A PGA resident sent me a list of “things your burglar won’t tell you”. I’ve taken some of the information that I think residents need to know. Here are some things the burglars won’t tell you:

1. That worker who asked to use your bathroom just might have been checking out your home and might have even unlocked the bathroom window for easy entry later.
2. They really do watch for newspapers on the drive or flyers in the door. They might even leave their own flyer to see whether or not it is picked up or how long it takes.
3. If you have glass at your entry that allows your alarm keypad to be viewed from outside either be sure there is a window treatment that totally hides the view or have the keypad moved! Obviously you should set your alarm but if you forget, do you really just want the bad guy to look thru the window to see if the alarm is set or not?
4. If you have a 2nd floor, be sure those windows have alarms too. No one gives a second thought to someone with a ladder during the day!
5. Don’t you love Facebook? So do the bad guys: don’t announce your vacation there!
6. Do you really think you’re the first person to think of hiding valuables inside clothing in your closet; in the freezer; in the bathroom? Nope! These are some of the first places they look.
7. Do you think that that home safe is protecting your valuables? IF you locked it (and it is surprising how many don’t!) and IF it isn’t bolted to the floor, the whole safe just might be gone when you get back.
8. Two things the bad guys hate most – barking dogs and nosy neighbors. If you are home (especially during the day) and you see ANYTHING suspicious call security or the police!

MY FIRST GOODBYE
Did you read this and think I was leaving PGA – well either hold the tears or the party (whichever is applicable) you are stuck with me! I am saying my first goodbye to the early-exiting “snow birds”. Hope you had a wonderful winter in sunny South Florida but before you go be sure you have stopped your newspaper (Heellooo! Didn’t you read the above info?) and be sure your property is nice and clean and pretty so you don’t get a letter right after you leave asking you to clean the roof or driveway or to replace worn landscaping.

For those who will be here in April, don’t forget: Arts & Crafts April 2nd at LA Fitness Plaza and Children’s Party April 23 in Masters Park.