Sunday, October 23, 2016

Is the City of Lake Worth special? No. It's not.

Six square miles. Six. That's the size of the City of Lake Worth. Palm Beach County is 2,386 square miles. Lake Worth is 0.25% of that. Lake Worth's percentage of the County population? 0.0026. That's it. However, if you're a regular reader of The Palm Beach Post you'd think this City is a much bigger player on the stage. It's not. We're a blip compared to our neighbor to the north, West Palm Beach.

Each and every week Lake Worth gets special attention along with 5 other cities and you have to wonder why (square miles/population from Wikipedia):
  • Lake Worth 6/35,000
  • West Palm Beach 58/100,000
  • Boynton Beach 16/68,000
  • Jupiter 21/61,000
  • Wellington 45/62,000
  • Palm Beach Gardens 55/49,000
Why the Post has decided to focus so much attention on this City is anyone's guess. This is a disservice to the news reading public, especially to all those communities west of this City who get ignored for the most part. The Lake Worth City Commission, City management, and staff have weathered this hyper-focus well and they should be congratulated for how they've handled this.

Below is a blog post from yesterday. It's about zoning and development happening close to Lake Worth's western border. After you're finished reading ask yourself this question: "Why is Lake Worth so special?" It shouldn't be.

To the east and south of Palm Beach State College (see image below) is the County's John Prince Park. The City of Lake Worth's western border is Lake Osborne Drive, not shown on the map, on the east side of the park (click on image to enlarge).
Image above from this week's (10/20) Lake Worth Herald, page 5. Read more about this below.

This is the kind of news you don't read about in The Palm Beach Post. If you didn't know any better you would think real estate news of any significance stopped at the western border of the City of Lake Worth and picked up again out near the Village of Wellington somewhere. Remember the Post's "Central Palm Beach County" blog that's almost all about Lake Worth?
The little City of Lake Worth is also special each and every Monday too. Highlighted along with much larger cities. Palm Springs is a little city too? Why can't they be special every now and then?

Most everything between Lake Worth and Wellington gets ignored for the most part but every now and then real estate news from a city other than Lake Worth gets attention like this news from business reporter Jeff Ostrowski about Greenacres.

Then you have that cabal of malcontents here in Lake Worth opposed to any development whatsoever but they do make a lot of noise and that gets the attention of the press. They're keenly aware of what's happening in John Prince Park and not happy about that either. You know, they're the one's upset about Garlic Fest next year, want to eliminate all human activity because of Gopher tortoises, tied up in knots over the new dog park under construction, all twisted over the possibility of Spring Training baseball. . .

Well, guess what's happening right across the road (Congress Ave.) from John Prince Park in Palm Springs? From page 5 of this week's Lake Worth Herald, "Legal Notice No. 30862, The Village of Palm Springs proposes to adopt the following Zoning Ordinance" to:


[and. . .]

"A Public Hearing on the proposed ordinance will be held at the Village Council Chambers at Village Hall, 226 Cypress Lane, Palm Springs, Florida. Thursday, November 10, 2016 at 6:30 PM by the Village Council."

So, you see, there's much more going on in Central Palm Beach County than just what's happening in the little charming City of Lake Worth:
Just three of the cities in "Central Palm Beach County". The areas in white are unincorporated Palm Beach County (suburban Lake Worth) and the Lake Worth Corridor.

Greenacres is "a lot of nothing"? A city "between the glitzier Wellington and the cooler Lake Worth"? The City of Greenacres and their residents deserve better than that.

First meeting of the new Historical Society of Lake Worth is today (Sunday, 10/23) in Downtown Lake Worth

Below is video from the October 18th City Commission meeting, Mayor Pam Triolo's reading of the proclamation. Many have high hopes for this to succeed, including myself. But only time will tell. If this topic is important to you show up today (details below): For this effort to be successful will take a lot of hard work, dedication, and focus. Show up, learn what the goals are, mission statement, and find out more about who is leading this effort:
Another example why community newspapers are so important. . . news like this would otherwise go unreported by the press "of record". Use this link for contact information at the Herald.

     "After many months of planning, the Historical Society of Lake Worth has been announced.
     The purpose of the Society is to collect, research and preserve the history of Lake Worth and thereby foster a deeper understanding and appreciation of the city’s history."

[and. . .]

     "The Society’s aim is to work with and assist all area historical societies and museums, through publications and educational programs. They will provide and organize a communications network to foster cooperation and coordination among those with similar interests." 

[and. . .]

     "On October 23rd [Sunday], everyone is welcome to join the Society for their organizational meeting at 7:30 p.m. at Brogues Restaurant, 621 Lake Ave., Lake Worth."

At St. Andrew's Episcopal Church later today. . . a free and open public event

Click on image above to enlarge. St. Andrew's is "Celebrating 102 years (1914–2016)". Use this link to learn more about the history of this church.

"On January 25, 1914, William Henry Sampson, the first settler of Lake Worth township, along with fourteen other communicants, founded St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church. The first services of the mission church were conducted by the Rev. Gilbert Ottman, who came from Holy Trinity Church in West Palm Beach. The first building was constructed on the existing site in the fall of 1914, and a small concrete parish hall was added in 1920. This building was destroyed in the disastrous hurricane of September 16, 1928, but a new church took its place a year later. The handmade altar, an 18th Century Italian eagle lectern, and the cypress pews that furbished this new church are still in use today."

[UPDATE] Get excited about the Blueway Trail: Connecting our Intracoastal to the inland Chain of Lakes in Palm Beach County, from Delray Beach to Town of Jupiter

Check back later today for more news about this exciting project:
Visit Spillway Park in Lake Worth to get a close-up look. From Federal Hwy. go west on Maryland Ave. to the dead end. Park has a walking trail, picnic tables, BBQ grills, pet station, plenty of parking, and restrooms.

Where is this project? In between the cities of Lake Worth and West Palm Beach. From Dixie Hwy. you can see the S-155 Spillway structure looking east and from Federal Hwy. looking to the west: Here is more information (click on images to enlarge):
Use this link for the latest news, including the recommendations and support of the Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council (TCRPC). Take note of the boat lift and new fishing docks.
The TCRPC's Kim DeLaney gave a presentation to the Lake Worth City Commission. Learn more about that using this link.
Once the project is complete small boats, kayakers, canoers, and ecotourists will be able to bypass the S-155 Spillway. Since the 1950's that structure has blocked public access.
For many County residents, among them former Lake Worth City commissioners, the Blueway Trail is a dream come true.

"Lake Worth Has Talent II" next Sunday at the Lake Worth Playhouse

Bob D'Arinzo says, "Big talent show. I'm the co-host along with Mayor Pam Triolo. It's going to be awesome."
Use this link to purchase tickets.

Below is Jamie Brown's performance at the Lake Worth Has Talent show last November. If you didn't know, Jamie is the City's Director of Public Services. Mark Easton, the publisher of The Lake Worth Herald, had to quickly switch cameras to get Jamie Brown's performance of this Blues classic, Soulshine:

The City of Lake Worth's municipal golf course is featured once again: "A Coastal Paradise"

Have family and friends up north who like to golf? Send this link to them (copy/paste to your email):
Or use this embedded link. As always, Thank You for visiting my blog. Don't forget to mention Babe Ruth liked to play golf here in the charming little City of Lake Worth:
The writer of this superb article about Lake Worth's golf course is Mike May (more about the writer below).

Below are excerpts from an excellent article about our City's golf course and club. First, here is information the writer sent to Dolores Key, Lake Worth's Economic Development/Marketing Director:

Hello Dolores,
     Wellington-based golf writer Mike May touching base. I am the correspondent who wrote the story about the Lake Worth Golf Club which appears on the wall in City Hall.
     I want to let you know that I have another editorial affiliation in the world of golf, as I'm now a staff writer with
     One of the sections of this website is going to focus on my stories about the golf courses which are part of the Florida Historic Golf Trail many of which are in Palm Beach County. My first story which has been posted is on the Lake Worth Golf Club. Here's the link. Enjoy and share the link with others.

[Mike May is a south Florida-based golf writer. He can be reached at]

Here are three excerpts from the article:

     While golfers in Palm Beach County, Florida have access to a number of well-known, nicely manicured layouts such as Emerald Dunes, Madison Green, Osprey Point, and PGA National, one of the forgotten ‘gems’ is actually one of the oldest golf courses in the area -- Lake Worth Municipal Golf Club (, which is also one of the 53 courses on the Florida Historic Golf Trail in the Sunshine State. It’s ‘worth’ noting that Lake Worth Municipal (17th Avenue, Lake Worth, FL; 561-582-9713) was a winter golfing destination for former baseball slugger Babe Ruth, back in the day!

[and. . .]

     While the championship tees measure less than 6,200 yards, short by today’s standards, the course will play longer and tougher than it appears on paper. One other twist worth noting is that in 2014, the course went through a switch. The original back nine became the new front nine and vice versa. Why the change?
     According to Christopher Fletcher, the director of golf at Lake Worth Municipal, there were two reasons for the switch: tradition and customer service.
     According to Christopher Fletcher, the director of golf at Lake Worth Municipal, there were two reasons for the switch: tradition and customer service. “The south nine was the original front nine in the ‘20s,” says Fletcher. “More importantly, my bag staff can better see the golfers coming down the par 4 (of the north nine), rather than over by the par 3, which allows them to be better prepared when people finish. Thus, providing better customer service.”

[and. . .]

     When you walk off the 18th green, I highly suggest that you check out the spectacular views are and the menu at the club’s ‘19th hole’ -- The Beach Club [link added] On the Waterfront, which overlooks the Intracoastal. In addition to enjoying the views, I highly suggest you enjoy what’s on the menu, especially the Nachos Beach Club and the Beach Club Catch.
     The Lake Worth Municipal Golf Club awaits your arrival.

Thank you for the article, Mr. May. Share this article (here is the link) with your friends and family up north. It won't be too long now before they'll miss being able to play a few rounds of golf outside in the warm air.
Photo from the Jim Stafford collection: View looking north of our golf course, Snook Islands, and the Intracoastal. To the east is the Town of Palm Beach and Atlantic Ocean.

Save the date: Another presentation by the City on November 8th bond referendum. Live in District One? Know where you vote?

At this meeting it's crucial the City inform District One residents about their polling locations. Why? You'll find that out below.
Please spread the word about this meeting next Wednesday.

I attended a presentation on October 17th hosted by the Parrot Cove neighborhood and another one on the 20th by College Park. Highly recommend everyone attend one of these meetings. Using facts instead of hyperbole, City Manager Michael Bornstein, City staff, et al., explain this referendum to fix our roads and potholes. The last bond vote in 2014 failed by just 25 votes and the situation has only gotten worse.

On August 28th, 2014, I worked several of the polling locations and heard many reports of voters being turned away at the polls or directed to the wrong polling location in District One, east of I-95. It's likely those voters would have made the difference in the outcome. Very sad.

And it doesn't help matters when the City's very own website has polling location 7162 at the Oasis Health Center, 1201 12th Ave. South. That is wrong:
How many voters went to the wrong polling location on August 26th, 2014 and didn't vote that day?

Polling location 7162 is the Osborne Community Center at 1699 Wingfield St. From the Supervisor of Elections website:

"Osborne Community Center is located on the west side of Wingfield St, just under 1/2 mile south of 12th Ave S, or just south of the Lake Worth Municipal Gym. The entrance to Wingfield St is on the south side of 12th Ave S, just west of the railroad tracks."

Don't let history repeat itself. There is no such thing as The Infrastructure Fairy. It's up to us as a community to fix all the roads and potholes. Vote "Yes" on November 8th.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Spread the word: Herman Robinson's Campaign Kickoff Event, next Thursday, October 27th

"What can I do to earn your vote?" Give Herman a call at 561-352-4252. Next election of candidates in Lake Worth is March 14th, 2017.

Stop by Callaro's Steak House (Downtown at 717 Lake Ave.) next Thursday from 6:00–7:00. Show your support for Herman, candidate for Lake Worth City Commission, District 4. Bring your family and friends.

Political advertisement paid for and approved by Herman Robinson for Lake Worth City Commission, District 4.

Notes and observations from the College Park neighborhood meeting last Thursday, October 20th

The main item of interest was the presentation by the City on the upcoming November 8th bond referendum (more information about that below). About 30 people were in attendance at CWS Bar + Kitchen in the Downtown. Prior to the presentation there were other items discussed you'll find interesting.
  • The Sheriff's update reported there were no major incidents in College Park during the previous month other than residential and auto burglaries, mostly due to unlocked doors. We learned the Eagle (PBSO's helicopter) is now doing night patrols when there is not an active pursuit with a night vision camera to spot unusual activity. For example, people going around to different properties trying to open car or home doors. There was an apprehension in a grand theft case involving $10 million in artwork and paintings. We were reminded that the victim of a crime has to follow through and press charges in order to get a conviction.
  • City Manager Michael Bornstein gave another presentation on the street bond ballot issue. The ballots are printed and sample ballots are arriving in mailboxes. Important to note the Lake Worth ballot item appears on the back of the last page. Such a position may make it easy for some people to forget and not turn the page.
  • Brent Whitfield of ADA Engineering, responsible for the roadway assessment, talked about how they quantified the condition of the City's roadway network. For a more thorough description, you can click here for that presentation last Monday night at the Parrot Cove neighborhood meeting.
  • In short, after the survey performed in 2013 the average condition of all roads was around a pavement condition index (PCI) rating of 70. Ten percent of the City's roads are in a state of complete failure. The goal of this program is to rebuild roads under a 55 PCI. Whitfield reminded us the road project is made up of five components (click on photographs below to enlarge).
  • Whitfield also pointed out maintenance in the 15th year after a road is completed makes it less expensive to repair and gives the road a much longer lifespan. This is shown in the chart below:
  • This is the projected roadway maintenance budget going forward into the future. The increases will allow the City to keep up maintenance of the roads:
     There is a calculator for your particular property on the City's website you can access here. Follow the instructions to determine your property's taxable value (net of any deductions for homestead, senior, etc.).
     Regarding the County's proposed 1¢ sales tax increase for infrastructure, 50% will go to the school district, 30% to unincorporated areas of Palm Beach County, with the remaining 20% to be split proportionately among the municipalities. If the sales tax vote passes then more City roads can be added to the program.

The demise of the shuffleboard courts in downtown Lake Worth

No history topic on this blog generates more interest than the short post below. Not even close. Might be that shuffleboard is gaining popularity again or maybe there's still resentment over what Cara Jennings et al. did to the City's last remaining Downtown court (see below), maybe a combination of other reasons as well.

I'll just throw the question out there: Should Lake Worth plan for a shuffleboard venue in the future? If so, where?

At the height of its popularity the shuffleboard courts once occupied the northwest area of the current City Hall—back then it was the City's Municipal Auditorium. That area is now a parking lot. Here are some pictures from postcards back in the day.
For those of you unfamiliar with shuffleboard learn more here. Lake Worth's courts at the City's Annex northwest of City Hall began falling into disrepair "back in the day" as fewer and fewer people showed up to play. In 2008 the end of the shuffleboard era was over for good when it was turned into a day labor center—another sad decision by a previous City administration and a very sad era in our City's history.

Those aggressive panhandlers Downtown: Commissioners Amoroso and Maier in their own words (2 short videos)

Traffic for this blog post continues to soar. Why? Draw your own conclusions:

First, the short background: Commissioner Ryan Maier at the City Commission discussion about a "curbstoning" ordinance on September 20th used the "Red Herring" tactic to try and confuse the public by linking the issue of curbstoning with aggressive panhandling. City Attorney Glen Torcivia did a real good job of keeping the discussion on point, explaining that this ordinance is a simple yet necessary change to an existing one, already used by the County to curb the illegal selling of used cars.

However, Maier used this item on the agenda as a way to bring up his most important topic of all, to the exclusion of all others, the homeless. In Maier's world view the rights of the homeless trump all others.

So far it's unknown whether Commissioner Maier will seek re-election or not. But if you're OK with aggressive panhandling and public urination (remember, "It's not that big a deal") then Maier is the candidate for you. If you didn't know, Maier is up for re-election on March 14th, 2017, municipal election day for candidates.

Commissioner Maier:
     "I do not support aggressive panhandling ordinances."
     "I cannot see any definable loss through aggressive panhandling except that it's maybe annoying." Commissioner Amoroso:
     "Aggressive panhandling means somebody that's literally following someone down the street."
     "It does affect my business, the downtown businesses, City as a whole . . . and it's the same ones over and over and over."

To the "makers" and true artists everywhere: Why you need to consider Lake Worth, FL, your future home

Jennifer Conlin in The New York Times' Fashion & Style section had this piece last year titled, "Last Stop on the L Train: Detroit". The 'creative class' is abandoning Brooklyn and looking for better environments to work. The article is about Detroit which has become a popular place for artists. Here is the paragraph that stood out to me, a resident of the little City of Lake Worth, Florida:

It is now well-documented that some of Brooklyn’s much-written-about creative class is being driven out of the borough by high prices and low housing stock. Some are going to Los Angeles (or even Queens), but others are migrating to the Midwest, where Detroit’s empty industrial spaces, community-based projects, experimental art scene and innovative design opportunities beckon, despite the city’s continuing challenges. [emphasis added]

What does Lake Worth have?
  • Empty industrial, commercial, and neighborhood spaces (but they're filling up!)
  • Community-based projects are occurring all the time
  • An experimental, innovative art scene is here
  • Design opportunities abound
  • And yes, the City does have some continuing challenges
This is what Pari Chang had to say about Lake Worth:

This small South Florida city is an under-the-radar, up-and-coming hotbed of makers. Miami obviously has a huge arts scene. Locals know that Ft. Lauderdale does, too. But Lake Worth, in Palm Beach County, is the one to watch, a city on the verge.

Lake Worth has everything artists are looking for. All they have to do is discover our little City here in Florida.
Lake Worth beckons muralists from everywhere.

The information below is a great start! Click images to enlarge:
Thank you for all the great work you do, LULA!

Can Lake Worth ever get its own PD back? And. . . "Hmmm, what if Lantana or Palm Springs had to deal with what Lake Worth went through?"

If Lantana or Palm Springs had to deal with an Anarchist element like Lake Worth had to do the answer is obvious: they would have no option but to have PBSO come in and help. There is no local, small town police department that can deal with what happened in Lake Worth in 2008/2009. And that's why Lake Worth has PBSO (note: Greenacres recently switched to PBSO also).

It was due in large part to the monkeywrenching (see below) by Everglades EarthFirst! (EEF) of the Lake Worth Police Dept. that made the department ineffective and the neighborhoods so unsafe.

That leads to this question: If Anarchists and their radical allies (affinity groups) for some reason just happened to pack up and go somewhere else could Lake Worth go back to having its own police department (LWPD)? Remember, it was the radical group EEF that took advantage of and caused so much havoc for the then-City police department. Those efforts (such as having officers racing to fake crime calls back and forth across town) undermined the already overworked LWPD making them ineffective dealing with other problems, like the gang violence in the City back then.

Understand that EEF has been in retreat for some time now and is a small and ever-dwindling organization, but they remain very active trying to destabilize neighborhoods in District One and other small areas in District Two also. So, while you're pondering the last question if Lake Worth could go back to having its own police department. . .
Everglades EarthFirst! (EEF) is an Anarchist group with their headquarters in Lake Worth, FL. They have connections with anti-government groups worldwide.
"Direct Action Training" at the Quaker Meeting House. How fair is it that a little city like Lake Worth got drawn into all this?
"Looks like today won't be business 
as usual". 
"It crushed them all to blood. But some had the opportunity to squeal."
A Lake Worth Anarchist holding a sign at a protest in the City. So very charming, isn't it?

Today at 3:00. Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright will visit the little City of Lake Worth

Remember all the excitement when Hillary Clinton stopped by Commissioner Andy Amoroso's Downtown shop last month? Today Madeleine Albright will help kick off a local canvassing effort, details below:
The Hillary Clinton campaign office in the City of Lake Worth is located at 1828 N. Dixie Hwy.

Below is the news from Brett Lake, the Lake Worth ​Field Organizer for the Hillary Clinton campaign. To contact Brett call 818-314-5446 or email:

"Today, Saturday October 22nd at 3:00, Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright will be at our east Lake Worth Office on Dixie Hwy. to meet with volunteers and launch a canvassing event."

All are welcome to the event. To sign up use this link.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Did The Palm Beach Post make a "Colossal Mistake" shutting down its printing presses?

Do you where the Post newspaper is printed? Hint: It's not in Palm Beach County; the answer is below. Senior media writer Jack Shafer wrote this must-read article in Politico Magazine titled, "What If the Newspaper Industry Made a Colossal Mistake?" Here are two excerpts:

What if the industry should have stuck with its strengths—the print editions where the vast majority of their readers still reside and where the overwhelming majority of advertising and subscription revenue come from—instead of chasing the online chimera? [emphasis added]

[and. . .]

     As she [Iris Chyi of the University of Texas] explains, the circulation of the supposedly dying print product may be in decline, but it still reaches many more readers than the supposedly promising digital product in home markets, and this trend holds across all age groups. For all the expense of building, programming and hosting them, online editions haven't added much in the way of revenue, either.
     For years, the standard view in the newspaper industry has been that print newspapers will eventually evolve into online editions and reconvene the mass audience newspapers enjoy there. But that’s not what’s happening. Readers continue to leave print newspapers, but they’re not migrating to the online editions.

If you get the digital Post you can understand why serious newspaper readers would be unhappy. Below are just two examples from previous posts on this blog of 'news' in The Palm Beach Post, which is really just trolling social media for data that was aggregated, reworded and this is the result:

For those looking to travel and find love, West Palm Beach may not be the place to go. The Palm Beach County city was named the fifth least sexy city in the United States, according to a survey by travel dating site that was published by college news site Coed.

This "news" by the Post is complete nonsense—note the sources. This 'data' is called aggregation which can be summed up this way: Garbage In Garbage Out (GIGO). The City of Lake Worth was subjected to this silliness last year (remember Neighborhood Scout?). Here is another excerpt from the 'news':

[I]t [West Palm Beach] was not seen favorably on lists ranking best performing metro areas and places to raise a family, which listed it near the bottom. Read more at Coed.

Coed? This sort of content never reaches the print edition. It's used as clickbait to get readers to visit the online edition. So, do you know who the Post uses to print their newspapers? The Sun Sentinel in Broward County does and sends those papers north in big trucks.