Thursday, February 23, 2017

Celebrate Finland’s 100 Years of Independence in our neighboring Village of Palm Springs this Saturday.

Below is the news from this week’s Lake Worth Herald:

Celebrate Finland’s 100 years of Independence at Palm Springs Library [address below] on Saturday, Feb. 25 beginning at 12:15 p.m. Enjoy a dramatic adaptation of the epic poem Kalevala, special guests Peter Makila, Honorary Consul of Finland, and the Katrillit folk dance group. Refreshments sponsored by the Friends of the Palm Springs Library.

The Palm Springs Village Public Library is located at 217 Cypress Lane. For more information call 561-965-2204.

And remember, the Midnight Sun Festival celebrating our long Finnish heritage in Lake Worth is on March 3rd–5th at our City’s Bryant Park.

Subscribe to The Lake Worth Herald using this link. This week’s print edition will be available tomorrow at our City’s newsstand located at 600 Lake Ave. in the Downtown.

“SAVE OUR POOL!!!”, they all said on Tuesday, February 21st, 2017 about that “White Elephant”.

“There has been a lot of talk about turning Lake Worth’s liabilities back into assets . . . when it comes to the City Swimming Pool at the beach the Commissioners need to take a hard look at the economic realities of our pool and the national trend towards municipal aquatic parks.
     Stand alone ‘rectangular pools’ are a thing of the past . . . older municipal pools are being shut down, often replaced by aquatic parks that cater to whole families. No amount of ‘out of the box marketing’ can succeed in bringing people to a facility that is no longer viable in today’s recreation market.

Who said this and when? And who first came up with the words “White Elephant” about the pool?

Was it Wes Blackman or another blogger in Lake Worth you think? Take a few moments and read the quote above once again and then play the “Jeopardy Theme Song” if you need more time:
—Quote by the inimitable Tom McGow, from “Tom’s Page“, March 2010.

Almost 7 years later is it finally time to start a new conversation in our little City of Lake Worth? Or just keep on rehashing the same old arguments from yesteryear?

Below is another quote from Mr. McGow:

The Olympic sized pool at the beach is a white elephant whose time has passed.  Let’s view the entire beach property with 21st century eyes and stop clinging to the past and install features that will attract people and revenue.”

Pay special attention to the comments following the words by McGow in this blog post from people you may remember: Loretta Sharpe, Joanne Kelly, and the very first comment is from none other than The Obtuse Blogger (TOB) herself, making the case for hotels in our Downtown.

Lake Worth Pool Refugees: There is an alternative nearby.

The Lake Worth municipal pool at the Beach is closed due to safety and structural concerns and will not re-open for several years, or just as likely, ever re-open again for the public.

Recently I tried out the Lake Lytal Park pool. Click this link for the hours of operation, call 561-233-1426 or 561-233-1427. The pool is closed on Sunday and Monday.

Parking is FREE at the Lake Lytal Aquatic Center. I understand if you have unused visits on your Lake Worth pool pass you can get a refund.

Admission for adults is the odd amount of $4.02. Bring two pennies so you don’t get a handful of change in return. If you wish get a 20-visit pass for only $48.75. That brings the cost/visit to $2.44.

The Lake Lytal pool is very similar to the Lake Worth pool: 50 meter Olympic-sized with 25 meter swimming lanes side to side. The pool is well-staffed. There is a slide for kids that opens up later in the year. The pool is heated as well. There is a very prominent digital clock that counts down by seconds for serious lap swimmers and includes the actual time of day too. A nice feature.

The sight and sound of planes coming and going from PBIA is prominent. The airport is just to the north. The surroundings are pleasant and park-like, slash pines and a variety of palm trees. About half of the lanes were being used when I was there. The water was very clear and there was always a lifeguard scrubbing the floor of the pool in one section or another.

I have bumped into some familiar Lake Worth pool people who have made the switch already. And FYI, carpooled recently with another refugee from our pool. Something to think about.

[PINNED POST] The exciting “new” news that went largely unnoticed at last Tuesday’s City Commission meeting.

A “pinned post” is one kept at or near the top of the blog for a period of time as determined by Yours Truly. If you’ve already read this Thank You for visiting and please scroll down.

While so many were distracted at this City of Lake Worth Commission meeting last Tuesday by the never-ending old news, the decrepit municipal pool at the Beach (aka, our City’s “White Elephant), the new news went mostly unnoticed by so many in attendance. The blog post below is getting a tremendous amount of attention and you’ll discover why:

The prospect of the little City of Lake Worth becoming the research and development “epicenter” of Ocean Wave Energy Generation worldwide is a very real one:

Mayor Pam Triolo: “[W]e are no longer the ‘old’ Lake Worth.” Since this news first broke on Feb. 13th it’s gone unreported in The Palm Beach Post (but was reported in The Lake Worth Herald). 

The topic of the Southeastern National Marine Renewable Energy Center (SNMREC) and the Dept. of Energy was discussed last night by Mayor Pam Triolo and Vice Mayor Scott Maxwell. The reason why Maxwell missed the Commission meeting on February 7th was because he was in Washington, D.C. discussing this crucial topic with Federal officials.

How big is this news? Real big. County Commissioner Dave Kerner talked about this at his recent neighborhood meeting in the City and when it’s great news about the City of Lake Worth and The Palm Beach Post is ignoring it you know it’s big (note: this news was reported in The Lake Worth Herald on Feb. 16th ).

Below is what Mayor Pam Triolo* said at her recent State of the City Address on the topic of Ocean Current Energy, the City’s proximity to the Gulf Stream, having its own Electric Utility and existence of an outfall pipe that extends a ¾-mile into the Atlantic Ocean:

On my recent trip to Washington [in January] I also met with the US Department of Energy about our partnership that began last year with Southeastern National Marine Renewable Energy Center, or SNMREC, at Florida Atlantic University. SNMREC is one of three entities created through the Department of Energy to promote private sector development of three types of power generation from the ocean. Wave, Tidal and Current driven energy has tremendous promise to provide clean and consistent power from the ocean.

For more perspective, this important meeting at the Casino on February 12th was less than 2 weeks after the Post reported that Mayor Pam Triolo’s State of the City was “nowhere which couldn’t be further from the reality.

This is as real as it gets. The prospects and implications for Lake Worth and the future of energy could be revolutionary. Below are photos taken at the meeting on Feb. 12th:

Recognize anyone? One of those in attendance was County Commissioner Dave Kerner (in blue shirt with back to camera). This “Ocean Energy Round Table Discussion” was led by State Rep. Kathleen Peters.

Lake Worth City Manager Michael Bornstein was part of the discussion as well as Mayor Pam Triolo.

Others in attendance were Florida State Rep. Lori Berman and State Senator Jeff Clemens.

Another quote from Mayor Triolo from her State of the City Address:

We may become the place in the world that makes ocean current power a reality. We are also looking to change state law to be able to create an Efficient Energy Economic Zone in the City to encourage the companies to locate here and bring jobs. In many ways, this is about clean renewable energy and economic development.
     Coupled with increasing the availability of feeding renewable energy into our grid for use in the City, we may be able to add power from the Gulfstream to our solar and one day have the highest level of renewable energy of any city in the state or even the country. This is a strategic approach the old Lake Worth would not have been able to imagine much less make happen.

The theme of Mayor Triolo’s State of the City Address was, “I believe we have truly turned the corner, we are no longer the ‘old’ Lake Worth.”

*Expect Commissioner McVoy, PhD, to “ride the coattails” of Mayor Triolo and Vice Mayor Maxwell on this issue. He’s already “riding the coattails” of Commissioner Andy Amoroso on the issue of Sober Homes, the Heroin Epidemic, and many other issues as well to try and get re-elected on March 14th.

Ever been to The French House Café in Downtown Lake Worth? “C′est si bon” [translation: IT IS SO GOOD!]

Do you have a restaurant here in the City of Lake Worth and having no luck getting any attention from the City’s beat reporter from the Post? Following the video below are the “Five Tips” that could change all that. The anecdotal evidence is these 5 tips really do work.

Do you know what a croque monsieur is? This outstanding sandwich was one ordered yesterday at The French House while doing an interview with a Boca Magazine reporter about “The Cottages of Lake Worth”. Roger Hendrix was there as well. Because of Roger, after looking around one day and thinking to himself Lake Worth had something very special and unique, “The Cottages of Lake Worth” group later formed and the rest is history as they say.

Below is a Post restaurant review penned by business reporter Jeff Ostrowski of The French House, an excerpt:

“This breakfast-and-lunch spot serves such standard fare as crepes, baguette sandwiches, salads and cheese plates. The most expensive item on the lunch menu is $16.50, and most sandwiches and salads cost less than $14. Beer and wine are available.
     The French House feels like the quirky family-run café it is. The eatery is at the corner of Lake Avenue and Dixie Highway. There are tables inside, and more outside. We had lunch on a Sunday, and the restaurant was mostly full.”

[and about the service. . .]

“Friendly. Several servers visited our table regularly. One downside: Hours are limited.”

IF YOU GO:
The French House
821 Lake Ave. (corner of Lake Ave and Dixie Hwy.), 561-345-2559.
Hours: Tuesday to Friday, 10 a.m.–2:30 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 9:30 a.m.–2:30 p.m. Closed Monday.

Having no luck getting the attention of Lake Worth’s beat reporter at the Post? The Business Editor at the Post, Antonio Fins, has a creative way around that problem: Learn the “5 Tips from the expert himself.

Here is one of those tips: You might have more luck contacting another reporter. Remember that wonderful article about The Sugar Monkey located at 2402 North Dixie Hwy. by business reporter Jennifer Sorentrue? Or try contacting Liz Balmaseda, Alexa Silverman, or Eddie Ritz?

Get cracking and don’t give up! One of these days Jeff Ostrowski may walk into your restaurant and change everything.

Re-post by request. “Images of America: Boynton Beach”.

Contact the Boynton Beach City Library at 561-742-6390 to find out more about this wonderful book and where to pick one up: 

Amazing photographs and historical information from author “M. Randall Gill in conjunction with the Boynton Beach City Library”.

This book was given to me as a gift following my presentation on “The Cottages of Lake Worth” book for the Boynton Beach Historical Society on January 16th. M. Randall Gill is the president:

“The Boynton Beach Historical Society is the common thread that binds Boynton Beach’s past, present and future. Founded in 1968, we seek to preserve Boynton’s history through a broad spectrum of programs and special events such as guided history strolls and partnering with city art celebrations.”

Have you seen “The Cottages of Lake Worth” hardcover book yet? To see the book:
  • Go Downtown and visit Andy at the City’s newsstand located at 600 Lake Ave. (corner of Lake Ave. and ‘L’ Street).
  • Go across the street to the Cultural Council (open 10:00–5:00, Tuesday through Saturday).
  • Or visit Awe Flowers at 5 North ‘L’ Street in the Downtown also.
To learn more about the book or purchase a book(s) online use this link.

“Captain’s Corner”: A must read for anyone affected and/or concerned about “Sober Homes” and the Heroin Epidemic.

“Captain’s Corner”: A message from PBSO Cpt. Baer on the Heroin Epidemic in the little City of Lake Worth.* There remains a tremendous amount of interest in this topic. Please feel free to copy and paste this link and share with your friends and neighbors.

Make the City of Lake Worth a source for timely and important information affecting your daily life.

You’ll find Cpt. Baer’s latest message and more very important information using this link. And remember, for the latest news from the City use this link and scroll down for “Special Announcements”. Also look for “Special Events”, “News”, and things like “Services & Departments” as well. Without further ado. . .

Captain’s Corner

Greetings,

     The United States is currently dealing with a heroin epidemic. As you know, Lake Worth is no exception. The resurgence of heroin, coupled with other drugs such as fentanyl and carfentanyl, along with many unscrupulous treatment providers has created a perfect storm. Drug dealing crews are fighting over this lucrative turf with new addicts arriving every day.
     Last year in the City of Lake Worth we had 396 overdoses, 78 of which were fatal. What is PBSO doing about it? We are attacking this crisis using a multi-prong approach:
  • Assigning a District 14 Deputy to the State Attorney’s Office Sober Home Task Force.
  • Commissioner Amoroso is a member of the Civilian Sober Home Task Force.
  • Assigning a member of our Behavioral Services Unit to District 14. Dr. Lamotte is meeting with overdose victims and enrolling them in treatment.
  • Multiple narcotics enforcement operations each year and use of nuisance abatement.
  • Membership on the Heroin Task Force (myself and Commissioner Amoroso).
  • Working closely with Fire Rescue and the city’s Code Enforcement.
Yours in Service,

Captain Todd Baer
District Commander, District 14, City of Lake Worth
Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office

*This is election season here in our little City. Please be aware of any candidate taking credit for their role helping solve the Heroin Epidemic. Commissioner Andy Amoroso is one of those taking a leadership role solving this problem. When others not-so-involved try to take credit that’s called “riding on the coattails” of other elected officials.

Tomorrow: LAST BEACH BONFIRE OF THE SEASON.

Evening on the Avenues is every Friday and starts at 6:00 in the Cultural Plaza. Make sure to visit the NAPC tent and say, “Hi”.

The City does a real good job with their “Events” website. To see all that news use this link. Are you a vendor? Have a question, want to add an event, or need more information? Email Lauren Bennett at the Department of Leisure Services: lbennett@lakeworth.org 

Ever been to a Beach Bonfire? If not, after tomorrow you lost out and will have to wait until next November.

Time to pivot as a community and focus on our roads and potholes.

Another very important meeting about the future of our City is today (details below): public meetings concerning the Neighborhood Road Improvement Program. How important are these meetings? So important the editor at The Palm Beach Post wrote last November:

“Lake Worth is poised for some major upgrades following residents’ approval — by a whopping 69 percent — of a $40 million road repair bond . . .”.

Last November a whopping 69 percentof voters said our roads and infrastructure were priority #1. We need to honor that vote:

For many residents of Lake Worth topics like the Beach, Casino, and pool are esoteric, mundane, and irrelevant. They have bigger problems to deal with, like substandard streets and broken sidewalks for example.

The City’s Press Release about these meetings: Do you have ideas for traffic calming or do you like your pothole just the way it is, “HANDS OFF MY POTHOLE!”.* Or would you prefer to have your neighborhood roads fixed? If so, these meetings are a chance to speak your mind.
  • When will the program begin?
  • Will traffic safety be a priority during construction?
  • Will any streets be converted back to two-way or will that happen later?
  • How and when will residents be notified when their street is next?
Write down your questions and concerns and bring them with you to the Community Involvement Meeting, 1121 Lucerne Ave. (the Annex building), from 6:30–8:30 today:

Are you tired of, “Something started rattling . . . because of this shabby street surface” but can’t make these meetings? Visit the City’s website to learn more.

*Have you seen any red & white “Hands Off Our Beach/Pool” signs around town? The original version of these signs was in opposition to the any future pothole repairs and road improvements. The signs read, “HANDS OFF MY POTHOLE!” Needless to say, that message didn’t go over very well with the public.

Commissioner Chris McVoy, PhD, and his nonsensical, illogical leaps. But he’s asking for your vote on March 14th? Again?

Back in 20122016 when the City was looking for experts to fix our roads and potholes Commissioner McVoy sat on his hands but when the news broke recently about the City’s pool at the Beach being shut down due to neglect he scurried to find an expert to fix THAT problem?

That’s right. Last night at the City Commission meeting McVoy suddenly found an expert to fix the pool. But he couldn’t find an expert to fix our roads?

McVoy left the problem of our crumbling roads to the majority on the Commission to fix: Mayor Pam Triolo, Vice Mayor Scott Maxwell and Commissioner Andy Amoroso (in order to the mayor’s left in photo):

Commissioner McVoy, PdD (far right, beaming) played the role of obstructionist and self-described ‘critical thinker when it came to fixing our roads. . .
. . . but beamed with delight at the Casino “Grand Opening” while the pool was ignored back in 2012? How can anyone with a PdD square that logic? And how does one square “term limits” when McVoy was first elected in 2010?

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Referendum on March 14th: Commissioners and mayor elected for 3-year terms.*

This notice was published in The Lake Worth Herald on February 9th:

Pursuant to F.S. 100.342, notice is hereby given that the City of Lake Worth, Florida, will hold a referendum election on Tuesday, March 14, 2017, to consider the following proposed amendment to the City Charter, as set forth by Ordinance No. 2017-01 passed by the Lake Worth City Commission on January 10, 2017:

COMMISSIONERS AND MAYOR ELECTED FOR THREE YEAR TERMS*

The present Charter provides that commissioners and the mayor are elected for two year terms. The Commission has proposed that commencing with the March 2018 election the commissioners and mayor shall be elected for three year terms.

Shall the above described amendment be adopted?

Yes [ ]   No [ ]

Polls will be open from 7:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m. and all qualified electors in the City of Lake Worth are eligible to vote. Polling locations will be the same as those used for the General Election. Absentee ballots may be obtained from the Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections, 240 South Military Trail, West Palm Beach, Florida 33416, or by calling 656-6200.

*Support the idea in theory but don’t think it will pass; maybe in a few more years it will. Frankly, the prospect of another Anarchist like Cara Jennings getting elected is a frightening thought and even more chilling is one having another year on the City Commission. True, the Anarchist Ryan Hartman lost in a landslide last year but until that group is entirely discredited they are still a threat. The upcoming election of candidates on March 14th will tell us a lot.

Another endorsement for Herman Robinson, candidate for District 4 in Lake Worth.

A reminder: ALL voters vote for ALL 4 City Commission districts, not just the district you reside in. Districts 2 and 4 are up on March 14th. And stay tuned for information about changes to voting locations: For example, one precinct that voted in the last election east of Dixie Hwy. now have to go and vote on the other side of Dixie. Stay tuned for important information on that, news you won’t read about in The Palm Beach Post.

Lake Worth Vice Mayor Pro Tem, District 3 Commissioner Andy Amoroso, is latest endorsement for Herman Robinson in District 4:

Learn more about Herman Robinson using this link. Herman is a long-time volunteer serving on City boards and giving back to the community.

This latest endorsement follows that of PBC School Board member Erica Whitfield, State Senator Jeff Clemens, Lake Worth Vice Mayor Scott Maxwell, and a long list of others.

Much of Lake Worth’s early tourist trade came for the fishing. Looking toward our future: The Blueway Trail

Important dates: March 3rd, Blueway Trail Coalition meeting; June 30th, Project Design and Permit Filing Deadline with the State of Florida.


Have you heard about the Blueway Trail? If not, learn more about this exciting project below.

Boats full of fishermen were a common sight in the Lake Worth Lagoon and freshwater lakes during the first half of the 20th century. Competition for tourist dollars was just as fierce then as it is now. Dixie Hwy. back then was lined with motels and restaurants for as far as the eye could see.

Here’s an advertisement from that era touting fishing in a tongue-in-cheek manner, this one coming from Fort Pierce. Fishing was an important economic driver to southeast Florida’s economy.

An ad like this wouldn’t go over very well in the modern era.

Here’s our own Chamber of Commerce sign in front of what is now City Hall from the mid-century period which emphasized Lake Worth’s access to water.

“Turn left” for saltwater or “TURN HERE” for freshwater.

It’s no accident that Tuppen’s occupies a prime corner on Dixie Hwy. This picture is from the 1950’s:

Learn more about Tuppen’s using this link.

“Tuppen’s Marine & Tackle is celebrating our 60th year serving South Florida! We have been in Lake Worth, Florida since 1956. Tuppen’s is one of the oldest and largest marine and tackle stores in Palm Beach County and maybe even South Florida. When you walk into Tuppen’s for the first time it is like going back to the 1960’s. But remember that you’re only a stranger once. After that your part of our Tuppen’s family.”

Now about the Blueway Trail, “Linking our waterways. Creating Access FOR ALL”. The project has not yet begun but you can go and see for yourself the location:
  • From West Palm Beach: Take Olive Ave. heading south (Olive Ave. is called Federal Hwy. in Lake Worth), take a right turn on the very first street after crossing the C-51 Canal (Maryland Drive). Go to the end of the street and make a right turn into Spillway Park.
  • From Lake Worth: Take Federal Hwy. heading north and make a left turn onto Maryland Drive, the last street in Lake Worth before you cross the C-51 Canal into West Palm Beach.
Since the 1950’s the S-155 Spillway structure on the C-51 Canal has blocked public access between the Intracoastal and the inland “Chain of Lakes”. The Blueway Trail is going to change that.
More benefits of the Blueway Trail. Want to learn more about this exciting project? Use this link.

Why do some homicides receive diligent reporting and attention from the news media and others don’t?

It’s a mystery why some homicides get the overwhelming attention of reporters and news outlets and others, like the murder of Woodley Erilas for example, don’t. Remember the murder of Thomas Altman last year? That case, still unsolved, received multiple articles in The Palm Beach Post and from several TV news stations for well over a week. News about that murder was well-publicized by social media as well.

The good news, if you can imagine any good news about the subject of homicide, is the homicide rate in Palm Beach County dropped significantly in 2016. For more about that use this link. Hopefully that trend will continue in 2017.

The murder of Woodley Erilas, however, received scant attention from the news media. He was murdered on January 9th, 2015, in the early morning here in Lake Worth. The case remains unsolved and the family continues looking for leads. This crime occurred on the 900 block of North ‘H’ Street. The family wants anyone with information about this homicide to call Palm Beach County Crime Stoppers at 1-800-458-8477.

Woodley Erilas was only 27 years old when he was murdered in 2015.

There was one news station, NBC5/WPTV and their reporter Jacqulyn Powell that covered this news, including an update from July 2016 about the family and friends of Woodley Erilas. Here is an excerpt from the text of a news segment:

“His sister says her family won’t rest until detectives find the person who is responsible for his death.
     ‘He accepted everybody,’ Vanesa Erilas says. ‘He looked at the bright side of every situation, and for him to leave the earth this way is heartbreaking.’
     Anyone with information about Woodley Erilas’s death is asked to call Palm Beach County Crime Stoppers at 1-800-458-8477.”

Drew Martin had ANOTHER “Letter to the Editor” published in the Post! How does he do it?

Stay tuned. It can’t be long now before Drew has another Letter to the Editor published. How does he do it? He know The Trick!

In recent memory Drew Martin, by far, is one of the most published of any letter writer to The Palm Beach Post. So how does he do it? He knows the trick: To learn that trick use this link.

Maybe you can have YOUR letter published next week in the Post. Or if real lucky and already know the trick maybe even have one published in next week’s Sunday print edition, the most read paper of the week. When you follow up with the editor about your letter don’t be timid. Tell the editor what day of the week you want to have your letter published. For example, if it’s on Saturday almost no one will see it.

Mr. Martin’s prolific letter writing, however, didn’t translate into votes last year. Dave Kerner is now our County Commissioner.

Drew Martin’s Letter to the Editor supporting Senate Bill 10 is in stark contrast to the “Point Of View” in yesterday’s paper by former County Commissioner Priscilla Tayor titled, “Glades residents must be part of discussion about land purchase”. Below are two excerpts from Taylor’s very strong opinion on this matter:

     The purchase of 60,000 acres of land south of Lake Okeechobee can and will be devastating to the area. The purchase would close a mill in operation, and cause more than 1,000 people to lose their jobs.
     The unemployment rate is already high in the area. At one point, it was as high as 30 percent. When you hear those numbers, one should ask, “What about the people?” [emphasis added]

[and. . .]

     I understand that there are no absolutes, no guarantees that the water will be clean even after the 60,000 acres are purchased and used.
     It is astonishing that no public discussion has taken place as to what will happen to the area. What happens to the worker who has a child in school, or someone who is barely making it now? My question becomes even louder: “What about the human element of this bill?”

By the way, the title of Martin’s Letter to the Editor is, “Senate Bill 10 is good first step”. If the “first step” will cost $2B+ (that’s “B” for “billion”) then how much will the 2nd step cost? The 3rd?

And a question for Lake Worth Commissioner McVoy, PhD, who also supports Senate Bill 10:

How do you square supporting Senate Bill 10, a plan to ‘Send The Water South!’ from Lake Okeechobee (that may not even work) but oppose Lake Worth’s Neighborhood Road Bond to fix our City roads? Why would one project take priority over a much lesser one right here in the City?

Thankfully, an overwhelming number of voters in Lake Worth (69%) passed the road bond last year despite all the arguments by Comm. McVoy to vote it down.