Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office Lieutenant Pfeil told us some PBSO personnel went to the Keys to assist local first responders. During Hurricane Irma we had no episodes of looting but there were some burglaries of valuables from cars including a gun.

New Fire/Rescue Chief Kimberly Hude also went to the Keys to assist local first responders. She told us we should find out which of our neighbors are home, away or need help.

There was a brief ceremony honoring our elected officials who helped during Hurricane Irma. Plaques were awarded to U.S. Congresswoman Lois Frankel, Congressman Ted Deutch and State Representatives Emily Slosberg, Joe Abruzzo, Bill Hager and Lori Berman and Palm Beach County Commissioners Steve Abrams and Mary Lou Berger.

Alliance President Bob Schulbaum made us aware that four new assisted living facilities are planned for our area.

The first featured speaker was Sarah Funck, Nonnative Fish and Wildlife Coordinator, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. She told us there are about 600 nonnative wildlife species in Florida of which more than 150 are thought to have a reproducing population. Most have escaped or been released from captivity. One of these, the Burmese Python, native of SE Asia, can grow to 20 feet long and lay 50 to 100 eggs. They are hunted by python removal contractors and public participation, but are hard to find as they blend into the environment.  Another is the Nile Monitor, a large lizard that can grow over five feet in length and weigh close to fifteen pounds. Their diet includes mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish and eggs as well as occasionally domestic pets. Iguanas, which are native to Central and South America, thrive and reproduce in our subtropical climate. They are lizards that can grow to over four feet in length. They can be a nuisance to homeowners by damaging landscape plants, leaving droppings in yards and pools or causing property damage by digging burrows.  They eat fruits, plants, small animals and eggs.

The next speaker, Rory Feeney , South Florida Water Management District Bureau Chief told us that they hired 25 highly trained python hunters who are paid by the length  of pythons killed. Since March 597 pythons have been killed by these hunters, the total length of which was 4,059 feet.

The final speaker was Tommy Shroud, Director of Engineering Maintenance, Lake Worth Drainage District. He told us a staff of about 90 maintain, monitor and operate water control structures and pumping facilities for 500 miles of canals. These canals are abundant with wildlife, mostly harmless but some are nuisances and some are dangerous. They include ducks, snakes, raccoons, turtles, alligators as well as iguanas and Nile monitors.

The next meeting of the Delray Alliance will be Wednesday, November 1. The topic will be “Taxes: The Collection Process” with Tax Collector Anne Gannon plus a presentation from the Metropolitan Planning Organization. There will also be status reports from elected officials. Doors open at 9:00 AM when refreshments are served and the meetings begin at 9:30 AM. The public is invited and welcome.

 Stan Goodman – Vice President and Acting Recording Secretary