Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Protest today at 5:00 at LW Sheriff Department - District #14 PBSO

Click title for link to Facebook event announcement.
When it comes to the PBSO there is no love lost between them and our local Anarchist community led by Panagioti Tsolkas (EarthFirst!) and their affinity group, TWAC.

Here is just a partial list of who is "going", "maybe", and "invited":
Panagioti Tsolkas
Cara Jennings
Lynne Purvis (Elle Purv)
Rachel Waterman
EarthFirst Journal
Suki DeJong
Annabeth Karson
Lake Worth Chickens
Urban Growers Community Farm

This is Lake Worth Past rearing it's head up again. I'm sure our local Guatemalan/Mayan neighbors have issues with our PBSO. Yet, in my opinion joining forces with people like Panagioti Tsolkas is the wrong approach. Mr. Tsolkas is not the kind of person you go to and try to heal relationships. There are other ways to make change, if needed, without this sort of cry for attention.

Remember the positive aftermath of PBSO taking over police services in Lake Worth


Commissioner McVoy's comments from last night's (10/21) meeting re changes to the beach/Casino building

If you're planning a trip to Tallahassee next week,

Don't forget to visit Tallahassee Gun & Pawn! They have a huge collection of fine jewelry too. Here is how Tallahassee Gun & Pawn describes themselves:
"Tallahassee Gun & Pawn has been in this same location since 1984! We’re proud to be living and running a small business based on the principles this country was founded on and we want to keep it that way! Come see us in the bright yellow store front. 5 blocks south of the Capitol Building on South Monroe St. You can’t miss it."

Crime in the little town of Greenfield CA

Homicide
10/11/2014
300 Block HUTCHISON DR & HICKS DR

Theft
10/12/2014
300 Block OAK AV

Theft of Vehicle
10/13/2014
600 Block WALKER LN

Breaking & Entering
10/14/2014
200 Block SAN SIMEON CT

Assault with Deadly Weapon
10/14/2014
1200 Block APPLE AV & 13TH ST

Theft of Vehicle
10/15/2014
100 Block 5TH ST

Breaking & Entering
10/15/2014
200 Block 6TH ST

Gangs in Greenacres? Mayor, councilman spar about comments

Things got a little testy at the City of Greenacres council meeting between their Mayor and a council person. Councilman Pearce challenged Mayor Ferreri back in 2009. So, there is some history with these two. The comments concerned the amount of gang related activity in the city.
Mayor Samuel Ferreri angrily chastised Councilman Jonathan Pearce at Monday’s council meeting for comments the councilman made last month about the city having the No. 1 gang problem in Palm Beach County.
“I was offended by the comments and I know staff was offended,” Ferreri said. “I don’t believe the comments had a factual basis…and statements without a factual basis will not be tolerated. They are disruptive to our staff and our city.”
Pearce made the comment at the Sept. 15 council meeting in reference to the basketball courts possibly being moved at the community center on 501 Swain Blvd. Pearce said he didn’t want the courts placed along the road because he was concerned about potential drive-by shootings and gang activity.
[Later...]
After that meeting, Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office Spokeswoman Teri Barbera told The Palm Beach Post the city does have a gang problem, but the sheriff’s office sees bigger gang issues in West Palm Beach and Riviera Beach.

Palm Beach County supports building new baseball stadium - Sun Sentinel

The County Commission voted to allocate $135 million toward a new Spring Training baseball stadium project. The location of that stadium remains un-addressed but there are a handful that are still being considered. Click title for link. From the article:
Even before deciding where to build a new baseball stadium, Palm Beach Countycommissioners Tuesday endorsed spending up to $135 million on creating a local field of dreams intended to attract two more spring training teams.
The Houston Astros and Washington Nationals have proposed moving to Palm Beach County for spring training if the county will build a new baseball stadium and training facility that they could share.
Where to build the stadium remains unresolved, and how to pay for it still poses a hurdle to finalizing the deal.
But even with those uncertainties, the County Commission in a 5-2 vote Tuesday agreed to spend money on the new stadium and gave the teams the go-ahead to try to find a site to build.
"Let's do it already," Commissioner Shelley Vana said. "Let's play ball."

Planning board to study creating more parking options

The Town of Palm Beach Planning and Zoning board discusses the intricacies of providing parking in the commercial areas of the town. Click title for link. From the article:
Several members spoke in favor of researching the land available and the cost associated with building a parking garage.
“We’re not going to put in land fill and create more land on Palm Beach to put the cars,” Commissioner Carol Mack said. “The absolute problem is the lack of space. The only solution really is multi-tiered parking. Multi-level parking garages can be a thing of beauty. You can get very good architects to design them so that they’re not an eyesore.”
A garage could help solve an issue with retail employees, particularly on Worth Avenue, who often use the two-hour spaces instead of leaving them for customers. The board discussed several ways of regulating employee parking, including having the town require businesses to say how many employees they have and how they will provide parking for them before issuing a business-tax receipt.

Public Comment on non-Agendaed Items from last night's (10/21) City Commission meeting


Congratulations to Joyce Brown on receiving $51,000 of Community Foundation funds for low income seniors to access artistic opportunities through her gallery. That is at the beginning of the video. The Mulligan's folk's comments begin at about the 9:15 mark. Commissioner responses follow.

Commissioner Comments and Announcements from last night's meeting (10/21)


Two items to listen especially close to are the reports from Commissioner Szerdi from Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council and some of the review process related to All Aboard Florida. The other is from Mayor Triolo regarding joggling of project priorities related to road projects as planned by the Metropolitan Planning Organization. It turns out that Boutwell Road improvements related to the Lake Worth Park of Commerce was "bumped up" in priority - that's at about the 9 minute mark.

Some of the preliminaries from last night's (10/21) City Commission Meeting








Tuesday, October 21, 2014

We heard from Mulligan's tonight about issues with the Casino building/parking/operations


October 21, 2014 1:51 PM Heavy Rain and Flooding in Palm Beach

All residents are encouraged to stay inside due to heavy rain and localized flooding in the Town of Palm Beach. Additional alert updates will be sent.

No begging on buses, at ATMs under proposed Lake Worth...

Click title for Chris Persaud's prelude to tonight's City Commission meeting. This item seems to be drawing some attention. I'm not sure how enforcement of this would work. Click here for the full agenda packet.

Click here to hear what Mrs. McGiveron thinks about homeless here in Lake Worth.

Early voting up sharply in PBC

Click title for link to a short blurb in the Palm Beach Post this morning.
Monday’s first day of early voting in Palm Beach County drew 5,317 voters.
That’s a 32.5 percent increase over the first day of early voting in 2010, the last non-presidential election year, when 4,011 voters showed up in Palm Beach County.
Since Palm Beach County is a Democratic stronghold, the big increase is probably good news for Democrat Charlie Crist‘s bid to unseat Republican Gov. Rick Scott. The busiest early voting site was the Hagen Ranch Road Library, which is in the deep-blue south county.

Palm Beach County: More like Broward or neighbors to the north?

Click title for link to a Sun-Sentinel article on the topic. The debate about the "Broward-fication" of Palm Beach County has been going on for years. Back in the 1970s, when Palm Beach County joined the Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council, it was part of the mantra that said we don't want to be another Broward County. I remember when I first moved here in 1989, there was a serious political debate about limiting Palm Beach County's population to under a million people. If we were to surpass that, we would surely be an urban county. We are now at around 1.4 million people and we do have a lot more in common with our neighboring counties to the south. Ignoring that would be at our peril. The negative reaction of the counties north of Palm Beach County to All Aboard Florida draws attention to this issue now.
A Palm Beach County identity crisis has local officials debating just how “South Florida” they want to be.
Is the county that stretches all the way from Jupiter to Boca Raton more like Stuart and the small-to-medium-town neighbors to the north? Or is Palm Beach County’s future more in line with Fort Lauderdale, Miami and the hustle and bustle to the south?
The debate stems from the Palm Beach County Commission proposing to withdraw from the Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council and instead join the South Florida Regional Planning Council.
That would mean instead of collaborating with Martin County, St. Lucie County and Indian River County to plan for development’s regional growing pains, Palm Beach County would join forces with Broward, Miami-Dade and Monroe counties.

Port plans emergency dredging Tuesday

This activity will take place at the northernmost point of Palm Beach island. A good place to watch some of it would be the small park over-looking the inlet. Might be a good reason for a bike ride there and back today. Click title for link for the Shiny Sheet announcement.
Sand that has collected at the bottom of the Port of Palm Beach entrance channel has caused the need for an emergency dredge beginning Tuesday.
A contractor with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is scheduled to begin dredging by noon, according to Port spokeswoman Julie Houston Trieste. The contractor will operate over a 24-hour period to complete the maintenance work, which involves lights and noise, she said.
The Lake Worth Inlet has experienced severe shoaling over the past several weeks, prompting the Palm Beach Pilots’ Association to issue draft restrictions last week. Boats can’t sink below 25 feet in some areas.
Photo courtesy Palm Beach Reef Rescue

For anyone planning a trip to Tallahassee next week...

I suggest you try to arrive there on Monday, a day before your special appointment. You're a lucky guy cause: It's All You Can Eat (AYCE) crab legs at Crystal River Seafood! After a long drive up the peninsula, you can pamper yourself with luscious crab legs, dripping with soothing hot butter and the sweet smells of the sea like no other. As they say, you haven't lived until you had your fill of crab legs at Crystal River Seafood! Here is their website.


Here is a review off of TripAdvisor:
If for some reason you can't make it to Tallahassee on Monday for those gigantic, savory, delicious crab legs don't be upset. Crystal River Seafood has a 10% off coupon for you on their website.

See you there in your most garish outfit and 1970's style hat! Take a picture and share it with your friends and neighbors.

Even so, there are still a lot a chickens, and a few roosters, out there

From the Tom McGow archives

Monday, October 20, 2014

From: Employee to Entrepreneur--The Employee's Guide to Entrepreneurial Success (page 27)

I hope that you all have your own copies of this book. The Author: Former City of Lake Worth commissioner Suzanne Mulvehill, MBA.
"I hate preparing budgets and here I am still doing them. No one even knows that I don't like doing this job. It's time for me to speak up, be brave and stop doing what I don't like doing."
It seems that she got her wish! To get your own copy, follow this link to Amazon.com.  Only $21.45, but you can used and other new books for less than $7.

From Facebook: I wonder what show this would be?


“Operation Green Light” waives collections fees for Palm Beach County citations

ONE DAY ONLY! SAVE 40 PERCENT ON OVERDUE TRAFFIC TICKETS ON NOVEMBER 8! 

“Operation Green Light” waives collections fees for Palm Beach County citations 

WEST PALM BEACH, FLA. (October 20, 2014) – If you’ve got an overdue Palm Beach County traffic ticket, the Clerk & Comptroller’s office is giving you a break by putting the brakes on collection fees – for one day only!

The Clerk’s office is offering convenient Saturday hours and opening two offices to the public for “Operation Green Light” on November 8. This special program allows anyone with a Palm Beach County traffic ticket assigned to a collection agency to pay that ticket in full without paying the 40 percent collections surcharge. They will also be able to restore their driving privileges which may have been suspended, once the outstanding fines and late fees are paid.

“We know there are thousands of people with overdue Palm Beach County traffic tickets. As a result, many are driving with suspended licenses,” said Clerk Sharon Bock. “Operation Green Light is a chance for people to pay their fine without paying the 40 percent collections surcharge, and the opportunity to restore their driving privileges. By opening on a Saturday, we’re making it convenient for those who need it.”

Late fees will not be waived, but anyone paying overdue tickets during Operation Green Light won’t have to pay collections surcharges. That’s a savings of $82.40 on a $206 ticket for going 10-15 mph over the speed limit. 

“Operation Green Light” is scheduled from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, November 8 at two convenient locations: the South County Courthouse, 200 W. Atlantic Avenue, Delray Beach and at the Palm Beach County Criminal Justice Complex, 3228 Gun Club Road, West Palm Beach. 

Payments in full will be accepted by cash, check, money order or credit card. 
Learn more about Operation Green Light at www.mypalmbeachclerk.com/greenlight

The Florida Constitution established the independent office of the Clerk & Comptroller as a public trustee, responsible for safeguarding public records and public funds. Clerk Sharon Bock is directly elected by and accountable to Palm Beach County residents. In addition to the roles of Clerk of the Circuit Court, County Recorder and Clerk of the Board of County Commissioners, the Clerk & Comptroller is the Chief Financial Officer, Treasurer and Auditor for Palm Beach County.

Large Metros Have Generated the Lion's Share of Employment Since the Great Recession - CityLab

Even though some live within the fantasy that Lake Worth exists solely in and of itself, independent of any other city, we are part of a metropolitan area of almost 6 million people. Click title for a link to an article that equates economic and job growth after the recession to the size of a metropolitan area. Larger, more dense ones are performing better economically. The embedded link above confirms this so far this decade, at least in terms of population growth. From the article:
More recently, the pattern may have returned to more normal conditions that seem to favor large metros. “[G]ood economic things—agglomeration effects, knowledge spillovers, clustering, etc.—happen in certain locations, which are usually bigger cities,” Lehner adds.
Larger metros, it seems, are the main beneficiaries from the ongoing clustering of talent, industry and investment that are part and parcel of our increasingly spiky and unequal geography.
I think that the more that we realize we are part of the regional economy, we will do better with job and investment creation locally in Lake Worth.

Bryant Park Neighborhood Association meeting - Today, Monday, Oct. 20th at 7:00PM

BPNA meeting - Monday, Oct. 20th at 7:00PM. Glass House bldg located at the corner of 1st Avenue South and Golfview Road.

Guest Speakers: Q&A Session with City Mgr. - Michael Bornstein, Comm. John Szerdi and Comm. Andy Amoroso.

MyFloridaCapitol.com: Home

Click title for link to a comprehensive and official website about the Florida Capital complex. Information on tours and history are all there for you on this convenient source of information. If you are attending a hearing there, you are there anyway, be sure to look around and make the most of your visit!

Tickets for this event are already scarce!

Contact your Neighborhood Association on availability.

Do you remember this letter?

If you've been around Lake Worth for awhile you'll remember this letter from the Department of Housing and Urban Development to Joan Oliva, the Executive Director of the Lake Worth CRA. Note that this was $23,237,500 that would have gone to another community in the United States were it not for the CRA's hard work and gumption that allowed them to have the CRA apply for it themselves. That's right. Nearly $24 million dollars went to our community to improve its physical housing stock, and to help families and individuals find decent, affordable housing.
Note that the city commission and city manager at the time were opposed to this grant coming to Lake Worth. Why? You'll have to ask some of the high-achievers on the Commission in 2009 why that was the case.

Great news Lake Worthians!

AnnaMaria Windisch-Hunt is back. She has a very nice post with pictures and some comments from visitors and new residents about our charming city. AnnaMaria also has a picture from the NSP2 home dedication last Friday. Check out her blog here and wish her the best. She also happened by the Cottages meeting last night at the golf course and we got to sit together for a while.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Pool Side. The Colony Hotel, Palm Beach, 1961

Photo courtesy of Slim Aarons.

In today's Sunday edition of Palm Beach Post...

In today's Post, there is a very interesting article about a community health event in Lake Worth at the Shuffleboard Courts. Also worth noting is the reporter who wrote the article, Liz Balmaseda. Ms. Balmaseda is the recipient of not one, but two Pulitzer Prizes for reporting. You can read about her extensive career here.

From the article in today's Palm Beach Post, click title for link:
At first glance, the small community health fair set up in the Lake Worth Shuffleboard Courts Saturday seemed a simple collection of information booths, medical displays and pamphlets.
But this effort by Palm Beach Atlantic University’s Lloyd L. Gregory School of Pharmacy was quite a big deal to Saul Lopez, an uninsured farmworker concerned about his blood sugar, his blood pressure and a flash of localized pain.
[Later in article...]
Mara Martinez, a community outreach worker with the Guatemalan-Maya Center in Lake Worth, says sometimes an undocumented immigrant’s hesitation in speaking to medical workers is rooted in a simple language barrier.
“There’s a lot of fear. When they are asked if they are a ‘resident,’ they may not understand they’re simply being asked if they live here, not if they have a green card,” said Martinez, who staffed the center’s colorfully decorated table at the fair. “This is why events like this are so important.”

Lake Worth's Fab Five getting in the Halloween mood...

Click here for a portion of the Vermont Governor debate that is getting some attention.

Does candidate Cris Ericson remind you of anyone here in Lake Worth?

What a difference a city manager makes [an update to a previous post]

Today marks 916 days since City Manager Michael Bornstein was hired on April 16, 2012. There is nothing significant about 916 days except as a matter of perspective. Consider this, the previous city manager, Susan Stanton was fired on December 6, 2011 after 953 days on the job. Stanton's tenure was marked by divisiveness and a lack of outreach to the greater community in Lake Worth. To put it bluntly, Lake Worth did little but continue being a mess under the tenure of Susan Stanton.

Under Stanton, the relationship between the business community and the city was strained, to non-existent. The relationship with the CRA was contentious, at best. Stanton caused such a rift with the neighboring communities that to this day some are still wary of partnering on projects fearing Lake Worth will be too much trouble. Under direction of then-sitting commissioners (Jennings, Golden, Mulvehill, and an assortment of do-nothing Mayors), Stanton cut the code department and sent neighborhoods already on the brink on a downward spiral for almost three years. A local blog at the time, referencing the coming Christmas holiday season and the firing of Stanton, wrote:
"In this joyous season, I am celebrating the potential for renewal in Lake Worth which began with a bold move to clean out city management from the top down.
From Paul Boyer, Bob Baldwin to Susan Stanton… inept, corrupt, wasteful and often cruel leadership disregarded the public and common sense honesty and openness.
Yes, I know there are those who are disappointed to see Stanton fired but dwelling on one side of her performance while ignoring the other side of the story… is delusional."
One of the least remembered and bungled efforts by Stanton was the "Fire Assessment". Here is an interview Channel 5 News did with Commissioner Andy Amoroso when Susan Stanton was fired and he references the failed Fire Assessment initiative by Stanton.


The other blogger, who to this day lionizes former City Manager Stanton, still cannot avoid attempts to resurrect Stanton's tenure with delusional logic, misinformation, and outright disinformation. The romantic notion of her Golden Haired era would be enough for some sort of clinical diagnosis. Here are some initiatives Stanton supported that the other blogger will not tell you about:
- The "Day Labor" Center (succeeded)
- Gutted the Code Enforcement Department (succeeded)
- The "Street Light" Assessment (failed)
- Red Light Cameras (failed)
- Paid parking on the downtown streets (failed)
- Eliminate PBSO and restore the LWPD (failed)
- The Regional Sewer billing fiasco

In the near future, we will go back and research what was undoubtedly, in retrospect, the worst policy initiative by Stanton. Susan Stanton played an obstructionist role in attempting to thwart the CRA's acquisition of NSP2 funds. Stanton, along with Commissioners Golden, Mulvehill and Jennings, did not want the CRA to acquire the $23 million dollars available to rehabilitate the City of Lake Worth. It was only action by the CRA to apply for the funds that allowed blighted areas of our city to be home to new residents and families. Subsequently, due to the NSP2 funding, our CRA led by Joan Oliva, has received national recognition for their outstanding efforts.

Let's focus on one aspect of City Manager Michael Bornstein's performance in comparison to then City Manager Stanton: outreach to the community. During the balance of Stanton's term, she refused any invitations to neighborhood meetings. Except for her closest supporters (including the other blogger), she rarely engaged the public. On rare occasions when she did engage the public outside city hall, she requested a PBSO escort.

Community outreach changed dramatically under the direction of City Manager Bornstein: Bornstein has engaged the public at every level. Under his tenure the city commission, staff, city employees and the NAPC have worked to educate and involve many citizens in our city. It is rare to have a public event in Lake Worth and not have the presence of Bornstein, and if not, he'll have a representative there in his place. While a more consistent flow of public information would have helped in the lead up to the bond issue, you cannot accuse the current administration of lack of effort.

The form of government we have in Lake Worth requires a confident and engaged city manager. We as a city simply cannot solve our problems without such an individual. I'll leave unsaid for now the respect Michael Bornstein has outside Lake Worth, in surrounding communities and the county government. I'll discuss that at a later time. But it is significant and important as the city goes forward.

My favorite college football team, the Michigan State Spartans, just celebrated their 70th win out of 100 games under Coach Mark Dantonio yesterday. Sunday, January 11, 2015 will mark Michael Bornstein's 1000th day as city manager in Lake Worth. I would compare Mr. Bornstein's record in Lake Worth to Mr. Dantonio's on the football field. Both are part of turn-around stories that are still gaining steam.

I don't know about you, but I think that's a good reason for a party. Mark the date!

Are you planning a trip to Tallahassee?

Are you planning a trip to Tallahassee towards the end of the month? Are you fretting about what to wear? Which accessories to choose? Will it be cold or warm and should you pack a scarf? A plain one or garish? No problem!

Visit your fashion professionals in Tallahassee at Fashion Pointe Women's Upscale Consignment!!!
"When shopping at the Upscale Consignment Sale you will find brands like: AnnTaylor, Anthropologie, Anne Klein,  Lily Pulitzer, St.John, Escada, Eileen Fisher, Ann Taylor, Calvin Klein, DKNY, Tahari, Misook, Flax, Dana Buchman, Valentino, Jason Wu, Marc Jacobs, Jimmy Choo, Prada, Talbot’s, Ellen Tracy, Inc, Chico’s, Jones New York, Kasper, Banana Republic, JCrew, Benetton, Abercrombie, BCBG, bebe and more."
Why waste a trip just taking care of important, official business? We'll be offering more advice on what you can squeeze in to help justify and enjoy that long trip to our state capital over the next few days.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Sharing tree-sit stories?


Lake Worth Farmers Market is starting soon!


Lake Worth Herald editorial this week (10/16/2014) titled, "Don't Look Back"

Excerpts from the Lake Worth Herald editorial this week (10/16/2014) titled, "Don't Look Back" concerning the necessary roadway projects on the south side of the city:
     Staff had recommended paving 7th Ave South to enable some traffic relief from the impending traffic congestion anticipated with the opening of LaJoya, a 50 plus unit apartment complex at the corner of 6th Ave South and F St.
     Commissioner McVoy has been seated throughout the planning stages for these projects and never voiced any objection. Now he comes in with allies, some of which McVoy filled out "blue cards" for, to voice objection to the plans, without regards for money already spent while he sat idly by.
     This has been his method of operation throughout his terms as a commissioner and it is time to stop his diversionary tactics. Lake Worth is still suffering from a time in the not so distant past when a commission, loaded with McVoy sympathizers squandered money and thwarted growth in Lake Worth.
     Many of the McVoy allies were familiar faces from not so long ago.
[Later...]
     Unless someone from this vocal minority has a blockbuster idea that just blows the socks off anything staff and the engineers have presented, this commission needs to proceed as planned. Just listening to "I don't like this", or "I'll have to look at this out of my bedroom window," or a "Make it one way with lots of room for bicycles" should not sway the plans or delay the projects any further. Not everybody in Lake Worth rides a bike. We still need roadways for automobile traffic.
     The commission should move ahead with the projects.
To read the entire editorial, read other news in Lake Worth, and ponder the clever musings of Pelican Pete, visit LWHerald.com.

Join Commissioner Amoroso thisTuesday!


The dangers of tree-sitting protests; for future protests in the Briger Forest TAKE HEED!

In the wake of the seminar this morning at the Quaker Meeting House on North A street, please remember that tree-sitting comes with perils. It's not all lights and glamour, not like the red carpet.

I found this article of all places in the EF! Journal. On the heels of the story in the Palm Beach Post yesterday concerning plans to develop the Briger Tract (or as EF! calls it, the Briger "Forest") our EF! friends need to be very careful as they stage their protests. Tree sitting, tree spiking, equipment sabotage, and confronting PBSO/private security firms can put someone's health and safety at risk. So be careful out there! We don't need anyone falling out of a tree and landing on "Fire Ant" Ellman's head as he's covering the story for his two dozen readers. From the story:

On Monday, a French activist fell down from a 8 metre high platform at a forest occupation near the clearcut border of the open cast mine Hambach. A helicopter brought the conscious accident victim to the nearby hospital.

[Later in article...]

“Our yearlong experience, tutorials, training sessions and international security standards, show: We are professionals. The security of the activists is our first priority.“, explains Nina Wagner, climbing trainer and forest occupant. The activists now want to clear the case completely and search for failures in the security procedures. It’s the first serious accident since the start of the protest, which is held daily in the forest, elevated from at least 8 metres. “Our activists know, why they do their protest in the top of the trees. We are determined to resist the climate killer brown coal, even at high personal risk.” continues Wagner.

That's right. When it doubt, throw it out...advice from Greenfield, CA


Dredge projects to bring disruption to North End

What of Buffy's tea parties? Will the work rattle the fine china? Click title for link to a Shiny Sheet article on dredging that will occur during this coming season in Palm Beach.
North End residents might have to put up with additional noise and lighting issues this winter from dredge contractors setting up in the Lake Worth Lagoon.
Council members waived construction dates, hours and noise levels for U.S. Army Corps of Engineers contractors and the town’s contractor for the Midtown Beach nourishment project to stage in the Intracoastal Waterway this season.
The Corps awarded a contract to Marinex Construction Inc. to perform beach nourishment projects for several locations in Palm Beach County. . Work is scheduled to begin around Nov. 1 and continue through Feb. 20. Contractors will stage in the Intracoastal Waterway south of Peanut Island and the Port of Palm Beach’s turning basin, about 1,800 feet from the town’s lagoon-front shoreline.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Lovely Desmond Tutu quote:

On the back of this flier, found in one of our downtown establishments
Bright and early tomorrow morning. Attention all snitches!

This didn't take long...

Change to the Qualifying Period for Candidates

Recently the City Commission voted 4 to 1 to change the qualifying period to run for office in Lake Worth. Commissioner McVoy was the lone dissenting vote. The qualifying period is 14 days. That is how you go about getting your name on the ballot and become an official candidate. You work with the City Clerk (Pam Lopez) and she guides you through the process. Some, Mrs. McGiveron for one, will have you believe the City Clerk is a person to be feared. This is not the case.

The next election day is Tuesday, March 10, 2015; District Two Commissioner McVoy and District Four Commissioner John Szerdi are up for re-election if they choose to run again.

With the change to the election rules, a person can qualify starting 11/25/14 through 12/9/14. If someone chose to qualify to run for office on 11/25/14, they would have 105 days to actively and openly campaign until election day, on March 10, 2015. The Lake Worth commission voted to extend the campaign time frame by 63 days (105 days [new rules] versus 42 days [old rules]), if someone chose to qualify on the first qualifying day, this coming November 25.

Commissioner McVoy, as previously noted, voted against the change. Using his twisted logic he sees this as disadvantage for someone considering a run for elected office. Commissioner McVoy is a Cornell University graduate and it's possible he learned something at Cornell that is a mystery to the rest of us, The Great Unwashed.

Could it be 42 days is just a short enough period of time to hide behind smoke and obfuscation? Doesn't a longer campaign period add in the local democratic process in terms of providing more information for voters regarding candidates, where they stand on issues and how they are going to lead the city forward? Isn't more time better than less time? Of course, you could declare your candidacy whenever you want, but the most recent system allowed for people to wait in the shadows, essentially until the last minute, and then attempt to mount a campaign. By this time, campaigning and the legendary telling-of-stories could go on with abandon and it would be hard to get the cows back in the gate. I am all for the new change.

Oh, on an entirely unrelated note, I hear tell that the other blogger's content has taken a decidedly different tone of late. And also interesting Cara Jennings is showing up at the most unlikely of places about town. Hmmmmm.

Fort Lauderdale-area employers forecast continued growth in 2014 - Sun Sentinel

Good news! A strong forecast for the south Florida economy, even looking two and three years out. Click title for link.
With tourism, retail and construction booming, Fort Lauderdale-area businesses forecast solid growth through 2014, according to a quarterly report Thursday by the Council of Economic Advisors.
Challenges will be recruiting and retaining employees as competitors raise wages, said the council, a group of 29 leaders representing 18 market segments.
"There was a lot more confidence not only for next three months, but also for next two to three years," said Richard Clark, chairman of the group.
Of the Council members, 68 percent said they were experiencing upward pressure on wages, compared with the same quarter in 2013, with 21 percent reporting "much more pressure."

Thomas Frieden, Director of the CDC

“I think there are two different parts of that equation [the Ebola epidemic]. The first is, if you’re a member of the traveling public and are healthy, should you be worried that you might have gotten it by sitting next to someone? And the answer is no. Second, if you are sick and you may have Ebola, should you get on a bus? And the answer to that is also no. You might become ill, you might have a problem that exposes someone around you.”

Does this inspire confidence?

Apartment complex proposed for Briger site, near Scripps

This is the same tract of land also known as the "Briger Forest". Remember this story from when our local EF! peeps thought it would be a good idea to spike the trees here. What is described in the article is the materialization of part of the total plan for the acreage. Click title for link.
An apartment and townhouse proposal has been submitted to city planners for another piece of the 681-acre Briger tract, land designated for growth sparked by the Scripps Research Institute.
A Florida Crystals apartment division has proposed the 10-building, 361-unit complex, called Atlantico at Palm Beach Gardens. The development is just east of I-95, across Donald Ross Road from the future Phase 2 of the biomedical campus, whose employees the developer hopes to attract as tenants, said Caroline Villanueva, South Florida external affairs manager for Florida Crystals.
The 13-acre Atlantico site is just north of a 58-acre site where developer Kolter Group won city council approval in June to build 360 houses and townhomes.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Precious memories...

From the Tom McGow archives

Message from Mayor Pam Triolo 10/16


Fourth of four videos from the joint City Commission/EUAB meeting (10/14)

From Walkable WPB: FDOT August 27th open house meeting regarding the project to resurface and restripe Quadrille Boulevard from Clematis Street north to Dixie

"At one point in the meeting,after listening patiently to the engineers explain their plan for their stretch of roadway ad nauseum, I interjected strongly to state our position for what we want, as a resident and representative of our neighborhood. It was apparent that the officials were merely going through the motions, checking off the necessary boxes in a process to lead FDOT to where they want to end up. Unsurprisingly, the response letter I received reflected this, essentially dismissing all of the comment myself and others made. At least I included Speck’s recommendations for this segment of Quadrille and it is in the public record, for what it’s worth.
This is a very timely debate as the public’s simmering discontent over dangerous by design county and FDOT roads builds to a boil. Jeff Speck’s article last week puts the onus on FDOT to prove why 10′ lanes shouldn’t be built in an urban setting, with ample evidence to back up the safety benefits. For its part, FDOT has recently issued a memo supporting Complete Streets, a positive move in the right direction for which they are to be applauded. Meanwhile, on a project for which they could make a safer and more responsive choice, today, by simply restriping lanes differently, FDOT is ignoring this mandate. Cognitive dissonance, anyone?"
Don't get me started about engineers. We are dealing with a similar issue here on the newly planned paved streets in the southwest part of the city, but I think it will be more receptively greeted locally than it would be if we were dealing with FDOT.

A low point in Florida politics...

Placemaking, on Lake or Lucerne?

Public wants open space at Suni Sands site on A1A in Jupiter

Click title for link to article:
Jupiter Island resident Charles Modica bought the 10-acre Suni Sands property on the Jupiter Inlet last summer for $17 million. Modica plans a historic inn with restaurants and shops. Plans also call for renovating the 1906-built Sperry boathouse, with a second-floor ballroom and rooftop deck that could be rented by the public.
“We are reconstructing the history of the building, like the Lake Worth Casino,” said architect Rick Gonzalez.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

From a loyal and concerned reader of my blog who requests anonymity

Here it is:

Good afternoon, Mr. Blackman. I read with great interest the story on your website concerning the efforts moving a historic house from West Palm Beach to Lake Worth. Thank you to everyone for all the hard work. Certainly this new addition to Lake Worth will add to the historic character and charm of your fine city. The resulting publicity will be positive as well. 
     The article in the Palm Beach Post was well-written and balanced; that is, until the very last sentence. I was quite dismayed to read the reporter quoting Mr. Mark Marcello saying: "We’re gonna make it a lovely home.” 
     It is entirely possible Mr. Marcello used the slang "gonna". The word "gonna" is short for "going to." Rarely do the exact words a person speaks make it to the print edition. Journalists often omit phrases as "you know", "well", "you see". It is a very fine line. The general rule in journalism is to respect the intent of the person being quoted. In journalism a quote that is published is often "cleaned up".
     From the American Journalism Review I found this article. LINK:  From the article: 
     Palm Beach Post Managing Editor Tom O'Hara: "They think that what is between those quote marks is what the person quoted said. But you know and I know and everyone knows that if the county commission chair says, 'I'm gonna vote against this,' it's going to show up in the paper as, 'I'm going to vote against this.' I think that readers have no problem with that and, in fact, expect their newspaper to make that kind of change in a quote."
     The Palm Beach Post reporter, in my opinion, did a disservice to not only his newspaper but also to Mr. Marcello personally. There was no reason to use the word "gonna" in the article. The word "gonna" makes Mr. Marcello appear silly and unflattering. The difference between "gonna" and "going to" is one type space and two characters. 
     For a man spending $500,000 of his own money saving a historic house? He deserves more respect in the Palm Beach County Paper of Record. 

Third of four videos from last night's joint City Commission/EUAB meeting (10/14)

West Palm Beach wavering on baseball stadium deal - Sun Sentinel

The Sun-Sentinel's take on the court of West Palm Beach's location for spring training baseball complex. Click title for link. From the article:
The Houston Astros and Washington Nationals have proposed that the county build a $140 million, publicly funded stadium in West Palm Beach to be shared by the two teams.
The deal hinges on West Palm Beach agreeing to contribute 160 acres, south of 45th Street between Military Trail and Haverhill Road.
But the city has a competing $14 million offer for the property from a developer proposing to build town houses and apartments as well as new businesses and a city park.
Late Tuesday, West Palm Beach city commissioners agreed to take 90 days to try to come to terms with backers of the competing development proposal, while still entertaining other offers for another 30 days after that for the land.
Baseball stadium backers say they have not given up and may offer a competing proposal for the city's property.

Mango Groves Neighborhood October Meeting, Thursday the 16th

Hi everyone,

Sorry for the short notice but this months meeting will not be held at Compass. We will instead have a social gathering at South Shore. No speakers, just fun. 

Come to South Shore at 7 p.m. and lets meet up on the front patio or inside. See you all there!

Current cross-section proposed by city for the construction of 7th Avenue South

This is the current plan, prior to the upcoming meeting with residents of the area. The money for this is coming from long-unused CDBG monies from Palm Beach County. This is what Jamie Brown wrote in the email that transmitted this cross section.
The proposed section is actually 11’ lanes.  The original goal was to provide both an east and west bound bike lane in lieu of creating a larger landscaping area which would require additional maintenance.  There are a few different combinations with bike lanes and sidewalks that are feasible, but we’ll have to see what comes out of this upcoming meeting.

Mr. Jamie Brown, LEED AP BD+C, ENV SP
Public Services Director
City of Lake Worth - Department of Public Services

Second of four videos from last night's joint City Commission and Electric Utility Advisory Board meeting (10/14)

CRA home dedication on Friday: 222 South 'C' Street



Click here for link to joint City Commission and EUAB meeting back-up material

Here is a summary of pros and cons of the three options related to the future operation of the electric utility:

 




First of four videos from last night's joint City Commission and Electric Utility Advisory Board meeting (10/14)


The EUAB shares the results of their brainstorming session coming up with pros and cons regarding three options the city has related to the electric utility. These are: Continue buying power from an outside provider, rebuild our plant and produce our own power, or sell the electric utility. I will post other videos during the day and put them together as a playlist.

Hey folks, if you're not busy on Saturday...

Click title for Facebook page link for the March on Governor Scott's home in Naples. Only two thousand more needed to meet their goal.

Important! Florida Elections Commission Meeting coming up on October 28:


Keep checking for the meeting agenda by clicking title for link. It should be available soon.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

This was discussed tonight at the joint City Commission/EUAB Meeting - Video to follow


Hmmmm...


Astros, Nationals rule out Lake Worth

BREAKING NEWS - Click title for link. The teams still want to pursue the Haverhill site in West Palm Beach, but the city said that is has moved on. Check out the renderings of the once-potential baseball stadium location in John Prince Park. It's the first time that I have seen these. This is from the article:
Muoio also has encouraged the teams to look at John Prince Park – owned by Palm Beach County and located just west of Lake Worth – as an alternative.
But the Astros and Nationals, in a statement released this morning to The Palm Beach Post, said they were again ruling out John Prince Park as a potential site for their shared complex. The statement said the teams remain focused on the West Palm Beach site.
“At the request of community leaders and elected officials the Houston Astros and Washington Nationals revisited the possibility of locating their spring training facility at John Prince Park,’’ the statement said.
“After a comprehensive review, John Prince Park is no longer being considered as an option because of the geographical limitations and environmental restrictions which make it unfeasible for this project.
“We thank community leaders in and around Lake Worth for their sincere interest and we hope they will support our vision to build a facility at the Haverhill site in West Palm Beach.”

Why 12-Foot Traffic Lanes Are Disastrous for Safety and Must Be Replaced Now

This is an article by Jeff Speck, click title for link, about the need for 10 ft. wide lanes in urban and neighborhood settings, where traffic speed should be slower. He argues that 12 ft. lanes encourage motorists to speed at the peril of bicyclists and pedestrians. He is also the person that the West Palm Beach Downtown Development Authority hired to address the "walkability" of downtown West Palm. Here is a bit from the article:
In some cases, a state or county controls only a small number of downtown streets. In other cases, they control them all. In a typical city, like Cedar Rapids or Fort Lauderdale, the most important street or streets downtown are owned by the state. In Boise, every single downtown street is owned by the Ada County Highway District, an organization that, if it won't relinquish its streets to the city, should at least feel obliged to change its name. And states and counties almost always apply a 12-foot standard.
Why do they do this? Because they believe that wider lanes are safer. And in this belief, they are dead wrong. Or, to be more accurate, they are wrong, and thousands of Americans are dead. [emphasis added]
They are wrong because of a fundamental error that underlies the practice of traffic engineering—and many other disciplines—an outright refusal to acknowledge that human behavior is impacted by its environment. This error applies to traffic planning, as state DOTs widen highways to reduce congestion, in complete ignorance of all the data proving that new lanes will be clogged by the new drivers that they invite. And it applies to safety planning, as traffic engineers, designing for the drunk who's texting at midnight, widen our city streets so that the things that drivers might hit are further away.
Mr. Speck was also guest on an episode of High Noon in Lake Worth. Below you can view his presentation to the West Palm Beach City Commission from late May of this year.


Who knew? If you want to know more, go to the meeting at City Hall tomorrow:


This is what we have come to expect from the Supervisor of Elections office

Gubernatorial longshot’s 15 minutes of fame now includes arrest

As we all know, you must be careful about what you put on campaign treasurer reports. This candidate for governor wasn't so careful. Click title for link to story.
A Tallahassee woman’s 15 minutes of fame running for governor against Rick Scott has resulted in her arrest Monday for elections fraud.
Yinka Adeshina, 43, who received just under 2 percent of the Aug. 26 Republican primary vote challenging Scott, is facing felony charges for submitting two fraudulent campaign finance reports with state officials.
Adeshina claimed she collected $182,080 from 408 contributors, according to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, which conducted the investigation. The amount she claimed to have collected could have made her eligible for state campaign matching funds.
But many of the names or addresses of the purported contributors were fraudulent, investigators said.  The Palm Beach Post earlier reported that several donor’s addresses on Adeshina’s report corresponded with Publix stores and another with a Best Buy, while one donor listed had the same name as the president of Nigeria.

Big jumps in traffic happening on some Palm Beach County roads

This is why I don't like driving west of I-95. When I do, I usually say I'm packing a lunch. The most recent Palm Beach County traffic counts confirm that there is a positive correlation between traffic and economic recovery. The higher traffic counts also reflect residential developments either re-populating after the recession or coming on line as building resumes again. I was just driving on Glades Road last weekend and there was actually a bike lane along it, between the right-hand lane and the curb. I can't imagine using it. Click title for link to the Sun-Sentinel article.
To the chagrin of commuters, traffic is booming again in southern Palm Beach County.
Long waits at traffic lights and cars chugging along bumper to bumper are back on many roads due to several factors: the end of the Great Recession, new developments being built and even a popular new shopping center in one area.
"You have to plan on an extra half-hour," said Shifra Rosen, who lives in Boca Raton and has seen more cars lined up on roads like Spanish River Boulevard, Federal Highway and Boca Raton Boulevard. "Boca just generally seems to have more traffic."
An annual count is done early in the year when experts think traffic is at its peak. Overall, traffic in Palm Beach County jumped 3.7 percent this year, the highest increase the county has seen since 2004. But many roads in Boca Raton and Delray Beach are seeing much larger increases.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Joint EUAB and City Commission meeting tomorrow night (10/14) 6 p.m.

Tomorrow night will be an important meeting at City Hall and I advise everyone who is interested in the future of Lake Worth's electric utility to attend. For many years, Lake Worth has struggled with the questions of whether we stay in the electricity business or find another alternative? The Lake Worth Electric Utility Advisory Board [EUAB] (Lisa Maxwell is the Chair) is tasked with advising the City Commission on "public policy, operational requirements and the long-term financial stability and viability of the electric utilities."

The background for this meeting can be found here. 

As you scroll down the document, you will see the PowerPoint presentation to be given by the EUAB tomorrow night. The three options are:
"1) To Rebuild and Upgrade the Tom Smith Power Plant
2) To Sell the Electric Utility
3) To Extend the current Orlando Utility Commission’s contract."

For each of these options the EUAB chose the top five pros and cons. How they arrived at these was the EUAB had a meeting with community leaders on July 9 and later, on August 6, "[A]fter much discussion" the EUAB prioritized the list to come up with their top 5 pros and cons for each option for the City Commission to consider. For many of us, this dilemma has been going on years. The difference now is Lake Worth has come finally to the fork in the road. Whatever decision is made will affect the city for decades to come.

For some historical context note the following images from a presentation by Lake Worth Utilities in 2011. Pay particular attention to the age of the electricity generating units (one was installed in 1965) and the types of fuels used: black oil, diesel, and natural gas.

Check out the ages of some of the equipment.


Nationwide company invests in Boynton, Lake Worth to promote...

This is a great idea to extend exercise facilities beyond those that can afford gym memberships. It also allows people to explore and discover our public parks. Click title for link.
A nationwide nonprofit on a mission to help the country become more healthy and active is sharing its movement with Boynton Beach and Lake Worth.
The Trust for Public Land plans to install Fitness Zones at The Congress Avenue Barrier Free Park in Boynton Beach and at John Prince Park in suburban Lake Worth.
The outdoor gym could be open in Boynton Beach by March, said Wally Majors, the city’s director of recreation and parks.
“We want to get people out and we want to get them out to the parks and we want to get them active,” Majors said. “It’ll be something very unique to this part of the county, and hopefully it’ll get people outside and get ‘em moving.”

Letter to the Editor regarding All Aboard Florida...

This past Sunday, in the Palm Beach Post, a Letter to the Editor by Suzanne E. Houghtaling of West Palm Beach was published concerning AAF. Click title for link to page where it appears. Here are two excerpts:
     “I travel throughout Florida on a regular basis by car, but not by choice, since there are few other convenient travel options. Florida is finally becoming a highly competitive and progressive state for commerce. If we are going to be successful in competing both nationally and globally, we need to focus on improving mobility across Florida.
     As I travel between Miami, Palm Beach County and Orlando, I experience constant traffic delays from congestion. We can only put so many more cars on Interstate 95 and Florida’s Turnpike. It seems the answer is always to just add more lanes.”
[Later...]
     “It appears that the majority of opposition is from Martin County, which for decades has resisted any type of change or progress. Many people there prefer to stay a small, Old Florida-style fishing community. That is their choice and I respect that, but there is a greater statewide benefit that needs to be considered. Yes, passenger trains will run through their community, but at least they will be similar to Tri-Rail — shorter and much quieter than the freight trains.
     We have been talking about developing a modern and efficient high-speed passenger rail project for close to 25 years. It’s time to stop the rhetoric and do it, especially with a longtime Florida based company stepping up to the plate to fund it and build it.”

Speed up Florida pipeline approval, NextEra subsidiary tells feds

NextEra, parent company of FPL, is asking for expedited permit approval for this large pipeline. Click title for link.
Florida Southeast Connection LLC, the NextEra Energy subsidiary seeking to construct, own and operate a 126-mile natural gas pipeline from Central Florida to Martin County, has submitted a massive formal application to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.
Florida Southeast Connection is asking for a shortened approval procedure so that the pipeline can be in service by May 1, 2017. NextEra is the parent company of Florida Power & Light, which would be the pipeline’s main customer.
Sabal Trail, the pipeline’s northern 465 miles, would originate in Alabama and run through Georgia and North Florida. NextEra and Houston-based Spectra Energy are partners in that portion.

West Palm man plans to spend six figures moving and restoring...

This is an intriguing project in which I have been involved. I will continue to assist in the logistics of the relocation, which are substantial. Click title for link for Chris Persaud's article in the Palm Beach Post.
From the article:
Blackman estimates it would cost about $500,000 to move and renovate the house and to buy the vacant O Street lot.
The historic house at 205 Pilgrim Road, West Palm Beach, will be moved to 1306 N. O St., Lake Worth.
“Whether or not he’ll make any money remains to be seen,” Blackman said. “He is willing to step up with his own money and do this. And that is really extraordinary.”
Marcello said he has no plans yet on making back the money he’ll spend.
“It’s a good example of how you can work with your city,” Marcello said. “We get to keep the trees and we get to keep the house. It’s a win-win for everyone. We’re gonna make it a lovely home.”