Thursday, September 3, 2015

Looking to buy real estate? A home in sunny south Florida? Lake Worth, FL is the place to be

This wonderful news comes from NeighborhoodScout and it's solid information. The Palm Beach Post, Palm Beach County's paper of record, references NeighborhoodScout so we can count on this data as verifiable. If it's good for them then it's good for me. Here is an excerpt about the hot real estate market in Lake Worth, FL:
     Real estate appreciation rates in Lake Worth's have tracked to near the national average over the last then years, with the annual appreciation rate averaging 1.08% during the period.
     Appreciation rates are so strong in Lake Worth that despite a nationwide downturn in the housing market, Lake Worth real estate has continued to appreciate in value faster than most communities. Looking at just the latest twelve months, Lake Worth appreciation rates continue to be some of the highest in America, at 12.31%, which is higher than appreciation rates in 95.92% of the cities and towns in the nation. Based on the last twelve months, short-term real estate investors have found good fortune in Lake Worth. Lake Worth appreciation rates in the latest quarter were at 1.65%, which equates to an annual appreciation rate of 6.75%.
Please share this information with your friends and family up North considering purchasing a home or investing in Florida. Viva Lake Worth!

Former Lake Worth City Commissioner Jo-Ann Golden SAID WHAT!?!?

Would suggest you sit down before watching this video of Jo-Ann Golden at the last city commission meeting on Tuesday 9/1. At the 1:20 mark she states that if refugees landed on the Lake Worth beach she thinks your response as a City resident would be to "probably take out guns and get rid of 'em". Not kidding.

Very charming, isn't it? And note in the video she makes reference to 'toning down the rhetoric' or something like that. Makes me wonder if she's looked in a mirror any time recently.

And she uses West Palm Beach as an example of how to handle a situation with the homeless:
Just wait until you see the video of Katie McGiveron!

I took Uber to the airport!

[Note that Eliot Kleinberg has an article today about Uber you may find interesting, titled "Broward (County) tentatively relaxes rules for Uber".]
Here is part of the receipt you receive via email after your drop-off.
So I'm going out of town for a few days and caught a plane out of PBIA. Sometimes I take a taxi which is $25 with a tip one way. Sometimes, if I'm not gone for long I'll take my car and park in the long term parking lotbut I'm not a real fan of that for a number of reasons. Cost is one and the long walk to the terminal with luggage is another. It's also hard to get around that parking garage and find an empty space. So this time I decided to try Uber.

Uber is a smartphone app that links you to a network of Uber drivers that use their private car to pick you up. It's considered part of the new, sharing economy. When you install the app on your phone you register the way you will be paying. There are many options. I used a debit card. When you get dropped off you get your luggage and go; you've already been charged for the ride and no need to fumble for cash or a credit/debit card.

On Tuesday I turned on the Uber app and it immediately presents a map that shows your current location. You touch on an arrow that shows where you want to be picked up and it tells you how many minutes away an Uber driver is. I learned from this driver that the app immediately connects you to the nearest available driver. In seven (7) minutes he was at my house in a nicely kept, late model Honda Accord. I put my bags in the trunk and we were on our way.

It turns out that this driver had been "active" for the past three hours. I asked him what caused him to start driving for Uber and he said that he had been released from a job where he made about $8.50/hr; with Uber he averages about $16.00/hr. On weekends he can make $150 to $200 in a full day. It is at his complete discretion when he activates as a driver and he can do it for as long or as short a time period he chooses.

My total fare to the airport was $10.25 which is less than half the fare a taxi would charge for the same service. The driver was a pleasant gentleman. In his experience dropping off people at the airport was easier than picking them up. Taxis still hold sway at the airport due to an agreement they have with the County; they don't appreciate the competition and they let the Uber drivers know it. He didn't show me but if you know what to look for there is hardware on a vehicle that gives it away as an Uber vehicle.

It looks like Uber is here to stay. If you have used the service or another similar one and want to share your experience, email me and I'll publish your comments here on this blog.

[PINNED POST—SCROLL DOWN FOR NEW POSTS BELOW] The Lake Worth Casino Complex at the BEACH! wouldn't be a topic of debate. . .

. . .had a previous city commission not dropped the ball and left our City with this terrible mess to fix:
Here is a partial list of the problems at the Casino building. And this doesn't include the issues with the municipal pool which were never addressed. One final point, THE BIG LIEThe Palm Beach Post editorial board continued the big lie as recently as August 27th this way, the "casino building, a nearly century-old landmark that was saved from the wrecking ball and restored in 2013 to a Mediterranean magnificence." The structure was 94% demolished:
Looks like a fine 'restoration' doesn't it?

Henry Flagler sent me a Tweet yesterday!

Henry Flagler was responding to this blog post published on 9/2. All Aboard Florida did a video tribute to the great Florida visionary:

Lake Worth Commissioner Maier makes the case for doing nothing because things get old and break

One of the shockers from last Tuesday's (9/1) city commission meeting is Maier is consulting with the former director of the City's Electric Utility. I'll have more on this down the road.

At the 1:10 mark on the video we learn something about water heaters. When you buy one at Home Depot they can predict, almost to the day, when the appliance will stop working. That's news to everyone including myself.

Maier makes the case that fixing infrastructure is a bad idea because new technology will come along that is better. So if only we wait five years better software, equipment and parts will be available. The problem is in five years, according to Maier's logic, we'll have to wait another five years, and then another and another and another. So basically Maier is telling the City the policy should be to do nothing. Ever.

Enjoy this short video; it's very enlightening:

Northwood Hills’ 90th Anniversary! Hosting “1925…and All That Jazz” on Sunday, October 18

The proceeds of the event will be used in a number of initiatives, here are two:
  • The re-establishment our “Legends of the Past” Home Tour, celebrating the architectural history of the neighborhood
  • The initiation of “Project: Front Porch” a program to beautify and improve the aesthetics of Thirty-Sixth Street within Northwood Hills. Improvements would include a new branding campaign with banners as well the installation of new street trees and other plantings in the area
Click here to order your tickets online!

Sheriff Bradshaw, PBSO, and THE LINE OF FIRE: Analyzing the data

You have to admit, LINE OF FIRE: BULLETS, BADGES, AND DEATH ON THE STREET! is a catchy line.

The number 252 is/was used a lot by Lawrence Mower at The Palm Beach Post and Katie LaGrone at NBC5/WPTV. And many people are believing falsely that 252 is the number of people who have been shot at by a PBSO deputy. Not even close.

The number 252 is the number of times a deputy or police officer fired his weapon during an incident in Palm Beach County AND the Treasure Coast. Here is an excerpt from The Palm Beach Post:
In an unrivaled look at police shootings in Palm Beach County and the Treasure Coast since 2000, The Palm Beach Post and WPTV NewsChannel 5 detail more than 250 incidents of officers firing guns. The shootings killed 86 people and wounded 97.
Here are the categories the discharge of a weapon by officers fall in to:
  • Unknown
  • No injuries
  • Injured
  • Fatal
Since 2000 the number of people fatally shot by a PBSO deputy who was "shielded" by his badge: 45. Since Sheriff Bradshaw was sworn into office in 2005? 37. The number of Blacks fatally shot: 12 since 2005. That number is statistically higher than the Black population which hovers about 20%. The reason for that number is a subject of debate and not the reason for this blog post. The numbers are what they are.
You can search the data yourself using this link of shootings by deputies who were "shielded" by their badges.
Below you can see how massive the area/population PBSO serves and the number of deputies who are "shielded" by badges:
The number '45' is misleading. These numbers start from 2000. Sheriff Bradshaw wasn't sworn in until 2005. 
Now things get interesting. The City of Lake Worth you would think having the reputation for crime it had would have many fatal shootings by PBSO. FALSE. Since 2009 there have been 3 fatal shootings. How many Blacks? 0

So the next time you see former Lake Worth Commissioner Cara Jennings wearing her "Black Lives Matter" T-shirt you can say she is absolutely right. They do. They matter as much as everyone else's life, including the law enforcement officers who are tasked with protecting her and her Anarchist friends:

Lake Worth Critical Mass Trashes Good Old Lake Worth: And all this time we thought you cared

For so many, from City residents and even our City's paper of record, we'll always be "good old Lake Worth". Even when the crime rate plummets some will find a way to blunt the good news. It's a terrible shame some just cannot acknowledge the great strides this City has made the last few years and now our friends in Critical Mass join that sad group.
Very clever Lake Worth Critical Mass (LWCM). Trashing our little City. All this time we thought Lake Worth was a place you wanted your friends in Ft. Lauderdale to see and show off. I know, because I've met many of them on my 8+ Critical Mass rides to date.
You've blocked traffic all over the City with your bikes and the people here mostly enjoyed the show and wished you well. Many waved and honked horns in support. Our PBSO stayed out of the way and let you do what you wanted to do. Everyone turned a blind eye to children not wearing helmets and all those bikes without the required lights.

How many people showed up thinking the purpose of LWCM was to engage the public and teach them to share the road with bikes. We thought it was about 'bikeability' and Complete Streets and showing people that a culture without a motor vehicle is possible. Many thought the LWCM, mostly composed of Millennials, were trying to make a statement. The image above isn't quite the statement the good people of Lake Worth were expecting.

You stopped traffic (illegally) with 'corkers' on FDOT right-of-ways, Dixie Hwy, Federal Hwy, and disrupted traffic downtown but Lake Worth said 'fine', have fun and we wish you well because Lake Worth is a cool place and what's not to like? Lake Worth welcomed you into our cool, funky town and in return you end up trashing us? That is very sad.

All Aboard Florida pays tribute to Henry Flagler: a backwater swamp is now a modern phenomena due to his vision

Learn more about Henry Flagler and the museum in his honor located in Palm Beach, Florida:
Image from Wikipedia.
Here is an excerpt from the Henry Morrison Flager Museum's website. The museum is located in Palm Beach, FL (33480):
     The transportation infrastructure and the tourism and agricultural industries he [Flagler] established remain, even today, the very foundation of Florida's economy [emphasis added], while the building of the Over-Sea Railroad remains the most ambitious engineering feat ever undertaken by a private citizen. When Henry Flagler began his work in Florida, it was perhaps the poorest state in the Union. Today, thanks in large part to Henry Flagler, Florida is the third largest state in the Union with an economy larger than 90% of the world's nations. Indeed, no individual has had a greater or more lasting impact on a state than Henry Flagler has had in Florida.
If you would like to visit the museum here are the directions.

The Obtuse Blogger (TOB) is indeed obtuse—and the proof is below

[NOTE: This was first published on Tuesday, 9/1 at 7:00 a.m. Despite a few feeble attempts to challenge the proof below. . .no one has. So therefore we've established that 1) TOB's claims about the BEACH! fund are false and 2) TOB (aka, Lynn Anderson) is indeed obtuse.]

First, here is the definition of 'obtuse'. TOB goes through phases where she takes on the role of expert and now she is an 'expert' in finances. Here is her latest claim, so ridiculous, and it took less than 10 minutes to prove FALSE:
Notice the tag, "money grab". A little unhinged are we?
TOB is getting confused by words like "fund", "enterprise", and "budget" to name a few. Below is the definition of an "enterprise fund" (and note these funds go by other names as well) which is an accounting technique used by governments, including tiny city governments such as Lake Worth:
     Under enterprise accounting, the revenues in expenditures of services are separated into separate funds with its own financial statements, rather than commingled with the revenues and expenses of all other government activities.
      Enterprise funds may be established, "for a utility, health care, recreational transportation facility." Examples of which include the following.
  • Public utilities - water, sewer, trash disposal
  • Health-care - ambulance service, nursing homes
  • Recreation - skating rinks, pools, golf courses [eh-hem, THE BEACH!]
  • Transportation - airports, dock and wharf facilities
Now note the two images below, which TOB didn't know how to find or didn't bother to look for:
Above is the General Fund: note the BEACH! isn't part of this fund; the big giveaway are all the hyphens that go across the row.
Above is the BEACH! Fund. For taxpayers you might want to focus on the bottom right corner and all those negative numbers.
In conclusion, TOB is absolutely wrong. The BEACH! Fund is separate from the City's General Fund and the proof is right before your eyes. 

Keep this in mind when TOB tells you something about Hudson Holdings and the BEACH!, the Park of Commerce, crime/PBSO, or most anything else happening in the City. If she can't do her research about mundane things like a city budget then what else is she getting wrong?

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Information to pass on to the homeless in Lake Worth: cannot vouch for its accuracy

Dear Wes, when I see a homeless person that needs help I tell them to ask a PBSO deputy where to go, go to a church, or look for a house with a red and white sign that says "Hands off our beach". It's a secret symbol that really means the homeowner will offer them sanctuary. Spread the word.
From my image library: this is the sign the helpful person is referring to.

Homeless advocates declare war on family park in Lake Worth; but what West Palm Beach is doing is just fine?

At a Lake Worth city commission meeting (8/18) the City was given a warning, or some might take as a threat, to make our Bryant Park ground zero in the continuing debate about homelessness in south Florida.

Again at last nights commission meeting (9/1) people like Cara Jennings, Jo-Ann Golden (both former city commissioners), and Katie McGiveron ramped up their rhetoric. They are determined to use our City's family park, Bryant Park, as a pawn in their fight against "homelessness".

Here is the reality: this drama is a Kabuki dance and has nothing at all to do with the homeless. The homeless, innocent actors, are being used as pawns in a political struggle to regain control of City Hall once again. And if they can drive tourism away, damage businesses in the City, and stop a hotel from re-opening (across the street from the park) that would be an added bonus.

Here is proof this has nothing at all to do with the homeless: just north of Lake Worth is West Palm Beach and the city there is taking steps to reign in the out-of-control homeless along Flagler Drive. What has been the response from the 'homeless advocates'? Silence.

Here is a news segment from Rachel Leitao at NBC5/WPTV, and an excerpt from the text of the news segment:
"Basically we're trying to discourage people [the homeless] from hanging out here and turning this into a make shift camp," says Elliot Cohen, Communications Director for the City of West Palm Beach.
So it's OK for West Palm to take steps and make their public spaces better for the public but not OK for Lake Worth? It's not hypocrisy; it's just politics.

[UPDATE] Authorities need information on fatal shooting in suburban Lake Worth (and WPBF gets location wrong again)

Below is a comment left on the ABC25/WPBF website yesterday:
WPBF is consistently the worst at knowing municipal boundaries vis-à-vis the City of Lake Worth. The City is working very hard to rebuild its image and news reporting like this is unfair and unprofessional.
[This is the original blog post from 8/31:] Jacqueline Powell at NBC5/WPTV and a staff report from CBS12/WPTV report a fatal shooting in suburban Lake Worth.

If you have information contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-458-TIPS.

No big surprise here, ABC25/WPBF got the location wrong. At least they're consistent:

Note Lake Osborne to the left of the big "W". If you're west of the lake your most probably not in the City of Lake Worth. That vast area out west is called "suburban Lake Worth".

Attention Lake Worth: Traffic Advisory

Click on images to enlarge.
Email the Water Utility if you have any questions.