Thursday, November 23, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving Day! Below is a look back to another Thanksgiving Day eighty-one years ago.

“President Franklin Roosevelt and his wife
at a Thanksgiving dinner”

On November 26th, 1936: “President Franklin D Roosevelt and his wife, [First Lady] Eleanor Roosevelt seated at a dinner table during a Thanksgiving gathering in the United States.”

Pause for a moment for the video to load:

“Music In the Garden”, an upcoming Community Yard Sale, “All-You-Can-Eat Breakfast” for just $5 and BINGO too!

All these exciting and fun “Things To Do” (see below) are at one convenient location in the little City of Lake Worth. Where?

At the Gray Mockingbird Community Garden and The Scottish Rite of Freemasonry* both conveniently located in the City at 2000 North ‘D’ St.

The directions are easy: At the traffic light where Tacos Al Carbon is located on Dixie Hwy. head west on Worthmore Drive over the FEC railroad tracks and the Scottish Rite will be ¼-mile further up on the left (at the corner of Worthmore Dr. and ‘D’ St.); enter using the ‘D’ St. entrance.

So what’s going on at the Scottish Rite and
the Gray Mockingbird Garden?

  • Another “$5 All-You-Can-Eat Breakfast” is coming up next Sunday (Nov. 26th) from 8:00–11:00: “Eggs, pancakes, sausage, bacon, fruit and more! Everyone is welcome.”
  • Community Yard Sale, “Sign Up Now!” Saturday, Dec. 2nd from 8:00–Noon. “Get rid of all your unwanted items just in time for the holidays!” A 10 × 10 space is $10 and proceeds benefit renovations at the Scottish Rite Center. For more information or to sign up call 561-246- 0148. 
  • Music In The Garden” returns Dec. 6th from 3:00–6:00. “Mel and Vinnie are back! Bring your instrument and join in on the fun or just come by and enjoy the music.” Bring a snack or beverage to share. Ice, water, and cups will be provided. For more information call 845-399-4630 or send an email to: spittoonstudios@gmail.com
  • BINGO! is every Saturday night from 6:00–10:00 presented by Gray Mockingbird Garden. The Special Prize this week is a gift certificate to Lisa Marie Owens Salon on Lucerne Ave. in downtown Lake Worth. “Come join the fun, everyone is welcome!”

And as always at the Gray Mockingbird, “We pick daily. Come by and see what we have available.”
For more information call 561-246-0148.

These events and many more “Things To Do” in
and around the City of Lake Worth can be found in
this week’s Lake Worth Herald.
To see the Herald’s front page this week click on this link. Have news or an upcoming event? Contact
the editor at
561-585-9387. Our local newspaper is
still ¢50 at the Downtown newsstand
located at 600 Lake Ave.

*To follow the Lake Worth Scottish Rite on Facebook click on this link. For the Gray Mockingbird’s Facebook page use this link.

Have you been yet? Lake Worth’s “Farmers Market Waterside” is open every Saturday til April.


Do you like organics, Peruvian ceviche, fresh juice, beekeepers, vendors and crafters too? Or how about books to learn more about our little City of Lake Worth? Learn more about location and hours of the “Farmers Market Waterside” below.

Stop by and check out “The Cottages of Lake Worth — Living Large in Small Spaces” hardcover book
at the Farmers Market this week.
Two other convenient places to find the Cottages book in Downtown Lake Worth are the City’s news-
stand at 600 Lake Ave. and bookstore
located
at 801 Lake Ave. (The Book Cellar just
recently opened
in our City).

The Farmers Market in Lake Worth is open every Saturday until April from 9:00 a.m.–1:00 in Old Bridge Park* across A1A from the scenic Lake Worth Beach and Casino complex (10 S. Ocean Blvd.). Each week the market features between 45 and 60 booths, including fresh produce, mini-donuts, Southern shrimp and grits, sweet and savory foods, and local artisans as well.

Learn more about the Farmers Market
using this link to Facebook.

Lake Worth City Manager Michael Bornstein encourages everyone to attend and published a special City newsletter titled, “Farmers Market Waterside Returns”:

“Relationships are central to the market’s culture. Eliminating a third party distributor allows residents to have a close relationship with the person who is growing or making their food. As residents return to the market on a weekly basis, they will get to know the vendors, leading to a better understanding of local produce, food, and art.”

*If you’re coming from the west, take Lake Ave. to Old Bridge Park (also called “Hot Dog Park”) located over the Robert Harris (“Lake Worth”) Bridge on the east side of the Intracoastal. The Farmers Market is the park and parking lot at the base of the former Lake Worth bridge on the north side of the road.

News from reporter Eddie Ritz plus a timely reminder, “Save The Dates everyone”: Friday, December 1st and Saturday, December 16th.

Please Note: If you are a fan of Lady Gaga
below is very important information.

Did you see the news from Eddie Ritz? There’s another Beach Bonfire tomorrow in the little City of Lake Worth!
Many were very sad the first Beach Bonfire of the Season was washed out by rain and high winds. However, tomorrow is another bonfire
at our Beach in Lake Worth!

To look over all the weekly, monthly, and upcoming events in the City of Lake Worth click on this link for the City’s official website “Special Events”.
In last week’s TGIF it was reported in the Post there will be Graham Crackers and “Gooey marsh-
mallows” at Lake Worth
s Beach Bonfire tomorrow. And that’s TRUE!

However, there was another correction published in The Palm Beach Post about an item in last week’s TGIF section. The TGIF editor reported the Lady Gaga concert was happening tonight (Nov. 23rd); here is the correction:

Because of an editing error, the incorrect date for the Lady Gaga concert in Miami appeared in Friday’s [Nov. 23rd] Palm Beach Post. The concert is at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 30. [emphasis added] The item appeared in the TGIF section.

Anyhow, did you happen to see the news by reporter Eddie Ritz in last week’s Post TGIF section about Lake Worth’s Beach Bonfire tomorrow?

The headline on page 2 is, “Light up the
night at Lake Worth Bonfire”:

“Looking for that perfect evening? Want the ambience of the ocean but maybe a little short on cash?” and, “Gooey marshmallows and chocolate nestled comfortable between two Graham Crackers will round out the night”!

And Save The Dates everyone:

December 1st is the City of Lake Worth’s Christ-
mas Tree Lighting ceremony and December
16th is the Holiday Parade.

Were you there in 2008 to see the elves on horses!

November 26th to December 2nd: CANVAS Outdoor Museum in the City of Lake Worth.

CANVAS Outdoor Museum brings together the most innovative con-
temporary artists from around the world.

“Championing art in public places, CANVAS transforms landscapes into an interactive art experience, activating spaces and engaging with the city from concept to completion.  Colossal murals and installations punctuate the landscape, along with a complement of public and private events as a nexus between the artists and the community.”

Get the most out of your CANVAS experience by downloading the official CANVAS Out-
door Museum App:

“Billed as the nation’s largest outdoor museum show, CANVAS brings together the most innovative contemporary artists, collectors, and art influencers from around the world.
     Championing art in public places, CANVAS transforms landscapes into an interactive art experience, activating spaces and engaging with the city from concept to completion. Colossal murals and installations punctuate the landscape, along with a complement of public and private events as a nexus between the artists and the community.”

December 2015: The press, elections, and the politicizing of art (“monkeywrench-
ing”) for political advantage.


Check back later on this week to find out more about what happened in the City of Lake Worth in December 2015. Now almost exactly two years later, in 2017, consider this:
  • Murals are once again big news here in our City of Lake.
  • Like in 2015, we’re just about 3½ months away from City elections, this time the March 2018 elections.
  • And the beat reporter whose ‘news’ back in 2015 about ‘one Lake Worth woman seeing red’ was accompanied by this gem of a headline: “Lake Worth resident: Boy’s face on mural too white for neighborhood”.
Two years later, will some look at this as another opportunity to create and stir up trouble here in our City of Lake Worth, “the politicizing of art” for political advantage?

The iconic mural which still exists on 6th Ave. South that was ‘news’ in the Post back in 2015 which “shows the face of a blue-eyed white boy looking to the heavens’ was, according to the artist Eduardo Mendieta, a Cuban-American boy.

Another quote from that 2015 ‘news’:

“It would’ve really been symbolic and wonderful if it had been a child of color because that’s who predominantly lives there,” said the ‘one Lake Worth woman seeing red’.

Question: Does this Lake Worth mural give you some sort of weird vibe or have you “seeing red”:
Another quote from the ‘news’ in 2015:
“It just sends a weird vibe.”

Since when is a ‘weird vibe’ news in The Palm Beach Post? Or do you get a
‘weird vibe’ that this was even published in the Post to begin with?

Good news, reason for optimism: Par-
rot Cove meeting last Monday about City’s Historic Preservation program.


But first, on another timely topic, there will be a Joint Workshop between the Planning & Zoning Board and Historic Resource Preservation Board next Wednesday, Nov. 29th at 6:00 in City Hall to address changes to the City’s Land Development Regulations (LDRs). I’ve been told the backup material for board members hasn’t been supplied yet. There’s a lot of material for these volunteer board members to look over, so hopefully they’ll receive this backup material as soon as possible and have enough time to study it all.

Now back to last Monday’s meeting
at Parrot Cove:

The guest speaker at the Parrot Cove Neighborhood Assoc. meeting last Monday night was Mr. Mark Stivers, the Asst. Dir. for Planning, Zoning, and Historic Preservation. I was unable to attend this meeting but received several reports from citizen/reporters that were in attendance.

It needs to be noted one of the reasons for this meeting is because of the City of Lake Worth’s ordinance, “Section 23.5-4 Historic Preservation”. This is a new ordinance to address public concerns about the administration of the Historic Preservation program and passed unanimously at first reading on November 7th; second reading is coming up on December 5th.

The most surprising thing about the Parrot Cove meeting was the topic of “opting out” of a historic district never came up.

Although brought up at the Commission meeting on Nov. 7th that would suggest the public is more focused on fixing the Historic Preservation program, getting the City to do it’s responsibility: Make this program work for everyone and of course, “Customer Service” needs to be a high priority of City staff as well. A resident or business owner with property in a historic district thinking they can just fill out a form and check the “I want to opt out” box just confuses and muddles things even more, plus no one really knows for sure if there is a way to legally “opt out” of a historic district. That’s a matter for the legislature and the courts to decide.

Anyway. . .

A group of about 50 people came out on a Monday night, which says something in itself. This meeting at Parrot Cove lasted about an hour and Mr. Stivers began by introducing himself and his role with the City for about fifteen minutes. What followed was a “decent exchange of ideas” with the public, I was told, for the rest of the hour. The public is still clearly frustrated and impatient, wanting to get things moving in the right direction faster, but Stivers said, “That’s why we’re here today” and that he’s still finding out about how things used to operate and to make the changes necessary going forward. This is a bureaucracy remember and bureaucracies have never been known to act in a swift manner.

Stivers told the crowd he is forming his own vision for the future of the City’s Historic Preservation program and many of the public pointed out, as has been pointed out over and over again, the biggest issue is “consistency” and “decision-making” at the staff level.

A reminder, second reading of “Section 23.5-4 Historic Preservation” is coming up on Dec. 5th.

Following first reading at the City Commission on Nov. 7th, an excerpt below from this blog, something for the electeds to consider:

Related to the changes in the historic preservation ordinance, I couldn’t help but notice a few things. First and most glaring, Pamala Ryan, a senior associate lawyer for City Attorney Glen Torcivia gave the presentation for the City’s Community Sustainability Historic Preservation Dept. I can’t recall anything like this ever happening before.
     The staff at the Historic Preservation Dept. should have been out front in the lead taking the questions and “slings and arrows”, not an attorney. Someone on the dais should have at least questioned why this was the case last Tuesday [Nov. 7th].

So the message can be summed up this way, we have “Known Knowns” and some “Known Unknowns” and we’ll have to trust for now the Historic Preservation staff is going to do what they said they’re going to do, because if they don’t the public message will most certainly be,

“We want to opt out”.

As mentioned on this blog, the very surprising recent news from Charleston, S.C. needs to be kept in mind about a “huge shift in our mindset” with regards to historic preservation in Charleston. And Hurricane Irma’s track predicted early on up along the Florida east coast brought with it a renewed call to speed up a “shift in our mindset” as well how the Historic Preservation program is being administered here in the City of Lake Worth.

For example. . .

To read the news segment which includes an embedded video produced by NBC5/WPTV reporter Alanna Quillen from Sept. 29th following Irma click on this link:

     Marotta, who serves as president of the Parrot Cove Neighborhood Association, lives in a 105-year-old home but because the home has been designated “historic”, he has faced some roadblocks in installing storm shutters.
     “Things that should be very simple such as hardening ones homes against hurricanes, we’re being hamstrung by decisions people made 100 years ago,” he said. [emphasis added]

and. . .

     Marotta said people are spending thousands of dollars on costly upgrade requirements, permits and push back from the board on what you can and can’t do.
     “There are people in favor of the historic program but they just want it balanced better to where the costs are so high and the challenges aren’t as great,” he said.

Excerpts: Panagiotis Evangellos Nas-
ios Tsolkas’ 2011 treatise, “To vote or to occupy. Shouldn’t that be the question?”


Mr. Panagiotis Evangellos Nasios Tsolkas, also known as Mr. Peter Tsolkas, the former leader of Everglades Earth First! (EEF!), likes to come out with a communiqué every now and then, especially the closer it gets to election day here in the City of Lake Worth (aka, “L-Dub”). From Tsolkas’ October 2011 treatise, he was the:
  • Sierra Club, Loxahatchee, ExCom member
  • Everglades Earth First!, agitator
  • PBC Environmental Coalition, co-chair
  • Night Heron, steering committee member
  • Earth First! Journal, editorial collective
  • Lake Worth Community Relations Board, chair, etc.

And Mr. Tsolkas sums it all up this way,

“To put it succinctly, my agenda is putting an end to industrial civilization as soon as possible, and creating complete freedom and a society based on mutual aid rather than money: Anarchy. Some people believe in heaven. I believe making here and now better. Is that so hard to swallow?

In 2011 Mr. Tsolkas, “from the olive-laden hills of Kalamata” in Greece wrote, “please pass this on to whoever you think would appreciate it. Thanks, Panagioti”.

Without further ado, “Talkin’ strategy for funda-
mental grassroots change in Lake Worth. . .
to vote or to occupy?”

Excerpts from that rather long treatise follow:

So, election time is rolling around again in Lake Worth. I’m not around to be directly involved on this one. But I figure I might as well throw in my two cents from over here in Greece.
     Those who know me, or anything about me, know that I have an agenda. I should hope we all have agendas, otherwise the damn meetings could go on forever!

and. . .

     More than choosing a side, I’d like to see the following few issues/goals come up for discussion in the midst of the political dialogues surrounding election time, in hopes that whoever wins, these things get traction. . .

In bullet list form, some of Mr. Tsolkas’ “issues/goals” six years ago:

  • Figure out what it would take to get support on voting rights for undocumented residents. For example, there are 6 municipalities in Maryland that have done this. . . . This could very well change the face of elections for decades to come in this town.
  • Decriminalize chickens too. This is not really a campaign issue. But since it has been brought up so much, I think the best approach may be just to scratch ‘chickens’ from the books altogether (the same way iguanas and beta fish aren't listed as prohibited nor allowed pets). Perhaps there's no need for a special ordinance about this, at least not right now. It’s not a problem. Let the city stay out of it, and let local food activists do their thing. If it becomes a problem — which is highly unlikely, since cities all over the country allow it without issue — revisit it then.
  • The Park of Commerce… I actually think [former mayor] Rachel Waterman was on the right track in proposing agricultural use for that land, during the debates over the summer (as awkward as it came across at the time). Local agriculture won’t make the city rich, but it is the most stable and long-lasting form of “commerce” (I hate that word) that the human species has managed to figure out.

Later in Mr. Tsolkas’ 2011 treatise, “Not to
be doom-and-gloom”:

Not to be doom-and-gloom, but things are not looking up in the world of conventional economics. As I write this from the olive-laden hills of Kalamata, the European Union is on the verge of crumbling. The writing is literally on the walls of every city I’ve been through (usually with black or red spray paint. . .).
     And despite the state of the EU, the exchange rate for the dollar gets lower by the day. Which is another way of saying, things are worse here in the US. Globally, things are worse than we are admitting. . . . Surely you’ve noticed some signs of this yourself. Anyone else notice that Wall Street has been “occupied” all month?! Nearly 1000 people arrested in NYC amidst the growing rebellion against the dictatorship of the market. I hear the “occupy everything” fever might even be coming to Lake Worth.

In conclusion from Mr. Tsolkas:

Ok. Well that’s all for now. . . . No wait. I’ll leave you with a particularly poignant letter-to-the-editor, printed in the PB Post a few month back. I think it gives a good kick in the ass to those of us engaging the political process as grassroots activists and visionaries, “Lake Worth selling out, losing its earthy charm”:

The 2011 Letter to the Editor published
in The Palm Beach Post:

What’s going on in Lake Worth? An over-the-top noise ordinance, metered parking and now the banning of smoking at the beach and all parks (“Lake Worth moves to ban smoking at beach,” Wednesday story).
     I moved to Lake Worth from Homestead in 1985 to get away from narrow-minded people and their meddling tendencies, settling here mainly because of the high tolerance/population of hippies, students, gays and active, tranquil retirees. . . . But we started taking our city back. We had a couple of mayors and city commissioners who actually cared for Lake Worth and its residents.
     I guess with the economy going to hell it’s left us with a political vacuum, which has been filled by anal-retentive, politically correct yuppies.
     Where are the Anarchists when you really need them?
—■■■ ■■■■■, Lake Worth, April 22, 2011”

Anyhow. . .

A lot has changed in the City of Lake Worth since 2011, for example we have a lot of new residents in this City and it’s very popular for a number of reasons, including the City’s “high tolerance/population of hippies, students, gays and active, tranquil retirees” and Millennials, Hipsters, and Apatharchists too!

Next meeting of Lake Worth Business Alliance has been scheduled, how to use the “5 Tips”, and “Icy treats” too!


Learn more about the newly-formed Lake Worth Business Alliance below. First a question: You have a business here in the City of Lake Worth selling icy treats, why is it you’re losing customers to a gas station/convenience store in Palm Springs?

Or you have a Downtown shop selling women’s clothes. Are you losing business to a thrift store on Dixie Hwy.? What can you do to change that? There is a way. It’s called the “Five Tips” from The Palm Beach Post and there’s a list of reporters at the Post below that can actually help you.

Today, once again, we’re going to revisit those “Five Tips” (see below) by Palm Beach Post business editor Antonio Fins and also below is the contact information for five business reporters at the Post that, if contacted and become interested (learning and using the 5 Tips!), may be very helpful growing your business and attracting more customers.

Many of you are already familiar with the new Lake Worth Business Alliance (LWBA). This group of interested and engaged business owners has had three meetings thus far and this alliance — not to be confused with a ‘Chamber of Commerce’ — is making very good progress. If you recall the history of the former Lake Worth Chamber of Commerce here in this City you would know why we’re using the word “Alliance” instead. It’s a break from that very sad past.

The next meeting of the LWBA is next Monday, Nov. 28th, 8:00 a.m. at Toojay’s in Downtown Lake Worth. To learn more about what the agenda is, and about THE BIG PICTURE, click on this link. We’re hoping to have a lot of new faces and this will not be an “airing of grievances”. This meeting will be tightly run from input received and focused on moving forward with plenty of time for those assembled to comment on the direction of the group.

If you’re interested in being added to the LWBA email list send your information to me, Yours Truly, and I’ll forward that on: wesblackman@gmail.com

Later on, after the Mission Statement is created, will come things like a logo, a website, and maybe even a small office with a volunteer staff to get “off the ground”. One last thing, the LWBA is receiving much encouragement and support from people like Lake Worth City Manager Michael Bornstein whose goal is to establish a clear and understood line of communication with the business community and vice versa.

Once again, Antonio Fins’ “Five Tips” to get
your Lake Worth business noticed
and promoted in the Post:

First, below is a quote by a Post beat reporter about the 2016 holiday season titled, “Online shopping hurts Lake Worth retailers over holidays” and a retailer that’s also in competition with other local Downtown businesses selling women’s clothing and maybe even in competition with the hugely popular World Thrift on N. Dixie Hwy. as well:

     CarriElle’s Closet, a new upscale designer store that opened on North K street in June [2016], also struggled to find holiday shoppers.
     “We had days where we were super busy and those when it was really quiet,” said Carrie Childs, a store co-owner. “We should have advertised or done more promotion.” [emphasis added]
     Elle Horigan, Childs’ business partner, said most customers came in mostly to style and buy clothes for themselves.
     “We wanted more people buying gifts,” Horigan said. “It was slow.”

How could have CarriElle’s Closet attracted more customers? By using the Five Tips!

Without further ado, from Mr. Fins, the five tips:
  1. Know whom you want to reach out to, the editor writes, “. . . the trick is reaching to the right journalist.” For example, sending information to a beat reporter may not be the best option. Have you considered a business reporter? An entertainment reporter?
  2. Who’s your audience? “So, tell us how many followers do you have on Twitter? How many friends/fans do you have on Facebook?”
  3. Local, local, local, “. . . there must be a direct and definite Palm Beach County connection.”
  4. Newsmakers, “Some of the best-read content we produce isn’t on the front page.” For example, per the Business Editor, the “weekly Newsmakers section”.
  5. Video, “So if your business has ‘good visuals,’ drop in a link to some B-roll video that we can attach to the story.”
Now for an example how promotion and the Five Tips work: On December 16th last year Post Staff Writer Alexa Silverman wrote an excellent article about “The Cottages of Lake Worth” book signing at the Cultural Council in Downtown Lake Worth. They sold almost 40 books that afternoon! So try contacting Silverman about your business or upcoming event and see what happens: email the reporter at asilverman@pbpost.com

There are other reporters at the Post who have penned very popular and widely read articles about Lake Worth businesses. Many of you are familiar with business reporter Jeff Ostrowski and Jennifer Sorentrue. Below is the full list of reporters with phone number and email address you can contact using the “Five Tips” to get your business noticed and attract more customers:
  • Jeff Ostrowski, 561-820-4581; jostrowski@pbpost.com
  • Susan Salisbury, 561-820-4577; ssalisbury@pbpost.com
  • Jennifer Sorentrue, 561-820-4526; jsorentrue@pbpost.com
  • Charles Elmore, 561-820-4811; celmore@pbpost.com
  • Alexandra Clough (real estate/business reporter), 561-362-5557; aclough@pbpost.com
  • To reach out to Business Editor Antonio Fins: 561-820-4439; afins@pbpost.com
So. After going over the “Five Tips” do you think you’re ready to try and get your business noticed in the Post? Get cracking. It’s a very competitive business environment.

For example, if you’re in the business of selling
“Icy treats” you don’t want your customers
going to Palm Springs!
Remember this IN FOCUS: LAKE WORTH” by beat reporter Kevin Thompson about “Icy treats” at a gas station located where? Here in Lake Worth?

Sadly no. It’s i
n Palm Springs!

Why go all the way to Palm Springs for “Icy treats” when you can get icy treats right here in the City of Lake Worth like at wonderful establishments like Toojay’s at 419 Lake Ave. in Downtown Lake Worth?
In conclusion, if you have a business here in the City of Lake Worth you shouldn’t be losing local customers to businesses outside our City. Hope to see you at the Lake Worth Business Alliance meeting on Nov. 28th, 8:00 a.m. at Toojay’s IN LAKE WORTH.

When pressed by a beat reporter on Nov. 10th, Lake Worth’s PBSO District 14 Cpt. Baer “declined to elaborate”.


Cpt. Todd Baer “declined to elaborate” with a beat reporter, Kevin Thompson, on November 10th. Why? Because exactly one week later, on Nov. 17th, we learned why from the Post’s Olivia Hitchcock, “PBSO says gang members arrested in killings linked to MS-13”.

To learn more about the huge breaking news last week and why “Cpt. Baer declined to comment for a very good reason” on Nov. 10th click on this link.

UPDATE:

Read the latest news from Olivia Hitchcock that’s also in the print edition on the front page of the ‘B’ Local section today (Nov. 23rd).

And remember: PBSO is always looking for volunteers to help keep their communities and neighborhoods safer. Click on this link for the phone number and email address of PBSO’s Volunteer Headquarters.

And remember. . .

“No tip is too small”. If you have information to
help solve a crime, remain anonymous, and
claim a reward up to USD$1,000: 
Learn more about Crime Stoppers or call 800-458- 8477 if you have a tip, “No tip is too small”.

Worth Another Look, “Join Us for a Public Discussion about Our Traffic”.

Event held at the Palm Beach County Convention Center . . .
over 4½ months ago.

From the program on May 22nd:

“How did we get here? Traffic congestion used to be a topic of discussion when talking about Miami or Ft. Lauderdale, but West Palm Beach? This panel discussion will help us understand the contributing factors that got us where we are today, and if we do nothing, will we become one big megatropolis from West Palm Beach to Miami.

and. . .

“We were reminded again by former West Palm Beach Mayor Graham [1991–1999] that a vision had been in place when she was in office — she thinks that has since been lost — the city she thought needs a vision so developers and city officials don’t make decisions ‘willy nilly’.”

“Getting from Point A . . .
to Point B”.

To read more about this “Public Discussion”
use this link.

Hosted by Town of Palm Beach Mayor Gail Coniglio, West Palm Beach Commissioner Shanon Materio, and Palm Beach County Commissioner Mack Bernard. Moderator: Dana Little (see video below).

Featured speakers:

  • Jorge Pesquera, CEO, Discover the Palm Beaches.
  • Nancy Graham, former Mayor of West Palm Beach.
  • Verdenia Baker, Administrator, Palm Beach County.
  • Michael Busha, Executive Director, Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council.
  • Ali Soule, Director of Public Affairs, Brightline.
  • John Renne, Director, Professor, Center for Urban and Environmental Solutions, FAU.
  • Tom Bradford, Town Manager, Town of Palm Beach.
  • George T. Webb, P.E., County Engineer, Palm Beach County.
  • Mark Press, Operations Engineer, Florida Department of Transportation, District 4.
  • Nick Uhren, Executive Director, Metropolitan Planning Organization.
  • Clinton Forbes, Executive Director, Palm Tran.
  • Juan Mullerat, Design Director, Plusurbia.
There are 5 videos of this event in total, this one is #4 titled, “Tomorrow Land” moderated by Dana Little, Land Planner at the Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council:



To watch the other videos from this event:

Hope you found this blog post informative. And, as always, Thank You for visiting today.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Does anyone remember the last time Drew Martin had a Letter to the Editor published in the Post?


Or even a “Point of View”? For a time, Mr. Martin was the most prolific and published letter writer to the editor at The Palm Beach Post prompting some to wonder, “How does he do it?

However, Martin took a break from letter writing last year as well. Remember when he ran for the Palm Beach County Commission District 3 seat when former Commissioner Shelley Vana was term-limited out? Read more about that below.

It was one particular “Point of View” published by Drew Martin in the Post, one that got the ire of a lot of people including former County Commissioner Priscilla Taylor about Senate Bill 10 earlier this year vis-à-vis Lake Okeechobee and the fact that the Glades communities in western Palm Beach County were left out of the discussion for far too long. Commissioner Taylor wrote:

It is astonishing that no public discussion has taken place as to what will happen to the area [communities south of Lake Okeechobee]. 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?” [emphasis added]

So stay tuned, it shouldn’t be long before another Letter to the Editor or ‘Point of View’ by Drew Martin gets published in the Post. And Martin taking a break from writing letters to the editor is not unusual at all:

Do you remember when Mr. Martin ran against
then-Florida House Rep. Dave Kerner
in the primary last year?
Remember, pull-quotes are fair use and drive newspapers nuts. And also, political mailers are Free Speech, except for the required disclaimer a can-
didate can pretty much claim anything.

And maybe that’s why Dave Kerner got almost
70% of the vote and is now Palm Beach
County Commissioner Kerner:
What is Palm Beach County Commissioner
Dave Kerner up to these days? Click on
this link to find out
.

Sea level rise, the City of Lake Worth, and what was learned at the Regional Climate Summit.

Opening sentence from a
City newsletter,

“Sea level rise has long been recognized by the South Florida Water Management District and by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers as an increasing threat to low lying, porous South Florida.”

“Worth Noting”, a newsletter published by
the City of Lake Worth.
To read more news from the City use this link.
To subscribe to this newsletter click on this link. More excerpts follow:

“So far, the effects of sea level rise have
been most visible in Fort Lauderdale,
Miami Beach, and in the Florida Keys. . .

. . . [P]ortions of Fort Lauderdale experience flooding and has built ‘Adaptation Action Areas’ into their planning process. Miami Beach is experiencing problems because of its southern location. Although many other Florida cities and towns have yet to experience damage, scientists and engineers at the conference [Annual SE Florida Regional Climate Summit] predicted that within 40 to 50 years, Florida will be inundated with problems related to sea level rise.”

A former Lake Worth commissioner, Chris McVoy,
is quoted saying in the newsletter:

“The real challenge is not whether sea level will rise, but how far and especially how fast will it rise. The gorilla in the room is the rate of melting of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets”.

and. . .

“One thing that I took away from the conference was the blend of scientists and politicians,” said [former] Commissioner Ryan Maier, “Sea level rise is no longer a partisan issue. For years, climate change and sea level rise were considered a Democratic issue. At this conference, we had Republican leaders delivering the message that sea level rise is real.”

and. . .

“What is reassuring to me,” says Vice Mayor Scott Maxwell, “is that all levels of government are coming together to address the issues, each within their own individual capabilities. In Lake Worth, we need to focus on practical solutions and protect citizen’s property and well-being while balancing the fact that we must live within our means.”

The newsletter continues. . .

“What kind of preparations can be made to address the growing problems associated with sea level rise? In addition to looking to other South Florida communities, we can look to the Netherlands, much of which was built below sea level, well before sea level rise became a concern. Sea water there is held back by levees, dunes and continuous pumping. One innovative approach that the Netherlands has taken in the face of sea level rise is to build parking garages under some of the dunes.

According to [former commissioner] Maier, there are several benefits of building parking areas this way. ‘You don’t see the parking structure and it increases the height of the dune. One reason that we are experiencing difficulty with sea level rise is that we have destroyed the dune. Dunes typically are 30 feet high. In Miami they are now 8 feet, as a result of over-development too close to the water.’ ”

And on the subject of the Lake Worth’s carbon footprint, according to Vice Mayor Scott Maxwell:

“We are replacing city owned street lights with energy efficient ones.” And. . .

“This may be a small step, but if this were done by every city in the Nation, the impact would be substantial.

About the Qualifying Period, City of Lake Worth elections, the “pitfalls” of a runoff and also. . . “What is a shill?”


Please Note: Below is a blog post from yesterday titled, “Another look back to 2016–2017 election season. . .” which got quite a lot of attention. Today is a postscript about “shills”; a ‘shill’ is explained below. Also of note is the Qualifying Period to get ones name on the ballot begins next Tuesday, Nov. 28th at noon. Who is already in the three races for election day on March 13th, 2018? Use this link to find out from the City’s website.

Also cited in the post below, “Another look back. . .” were three candidates running in the 2016–2017 elections, William Joseph, Maryann Polizzi, and Ellie Whittey. In no way do I believe Joseph, Polizzi, or Whittey was not in the race to win. In fact, in the case of Mr. Joseph, wouldn’t be the least surprised to see him on the ballot again next year.

I’ve met and talked with Mr. Joseph and know for a fact Polizzi tried her very best to win. Of all the candidates Whittey was the most, well, let’s say interesting. But Whittey had the endorsement of the mayor and don’t think Mayor Pam Triolo would ever tolerate for long having a shill in any Lake Worth election.

However, as evidenced in previous City of Lake Worth elections, there have indeed been shills.

A shill, also called others things that can’t be mentioned on this blog, is someone who qualifies to get on the ballot but has no intention of winning — but just to get a certain percentage of the vote — whatever that number is deemed necessary to stop someone else from getting “50% + 1”.

In some cities and towns in Palm Beach County, to win an election outright you only need to get the majority of the vote to win. So if five or six people are running for a seat on a commission or council the winner would only need 30–40% to win, or maybe even less. However, in most cities in PBC the winner needs 50% of the vote +1 which would then trigger an automatic recount (the winner needs a margin over ½ of 1% to avoid a recount).

That’s where the shill comes in.

The shill may be in the race to help someone get 50% + 1 or, in other cases, the shill’s job is to damage another candidate and force a run-off election between the two top vote-getters that would be held two weeks after the general election. If the candidate being targeted is politically damaged enough two weeks may not be enough time to recover and beat the second-place finisher.

Now it gets more complicated: What if people think there is a shill in the race but instead all of the candidates are truly in it to win it ? And now, the most complicated possibility of all that any serious candidate needs to plan for: the dangers and pitfalls of a runoff election!

This topic will be discussed and debated quite a lot leading up to the elections in March 2018 if one or maybe all three of the elections for mayor and commissioners in Districts 1 and 3 have three or more candidates. But remember this: the shill doesn’t always have to be the third person in the race.

You see, some people like to plan ahead here in the City of Lake Worth.

Without further ado. . .

Below is a blog post from yesterday, just in case you missed this, about City of Lake Worth elections and with the Qualifying Period less than a week away (Nov. 28th at noon). . .

“Another look back to 2016–2017 election season in the City of Lake Worth: The curious case of a District 4 candidate.”

Of course Mr. Herman Robinson, now Commissioner Robinson, won the District 4 race quite handily last March. And Mr. Omari Hardy was able to garner enough votes to avoid a run-off with former District 2 Commissioner Chris McVoy, PhD.

If you recall, the editor at The Palm Beach Post called McVoy a “gadfly” in the endorsement for Hardy. No one will ever know if the ‘gadfly’ label hurt the three-term McVoy (first elected in 2010) all that much, but one things for sure, it didn’t help.

Well, guess what! We get to do it all
over again on March 13th, 2018.

The big difference this time are those elected next March will begin serving three-year terms instead of a two-year term like it’s been for so many decades in this City. And if you haven’t heard by now the Qualifying Period to get ones name on the ballot begins on Tuesday, November 28th at noon and ends at noon on Tuesday, December 12th. Click on this link to learn more about the Qualifying Period.

[FYI: Click on this link for the boundaries of Districts 1–4. The mayor of Lake Worth is the honorable Pam Triolo. Who represents each one of the four districts? To find out use this link.]

On March 13th, 2018, will be the elections for mayor of Lake Worth and for City commissioner in Districts 1 and 3. If you do decide to get into the race here is just one of the things you need to prepare and practice for:

The Neighborhood Assoc. Presidents’ Council debate (or maybe debates) at the Lake Worth Playhouse.


Now for the curious case of District 4 candidate
Ellie Whittey last March:

Ellie Whittey didn’t get mentioned a whole lot on this blog after qualifying and leading up to Election Day. Frankly, could never quite figure out why she was in the race to begin with. What Whittey had though was the endorsement of Mayor Pam Triolo and a message, or platform, that few really understood and maybe that’s why Whittey got less than 10% of the vote.

But. . . everywhere Whittey went she attracted a large crowd and much enthusiasm. However, on election day all that enthusiasm never translated into many votes.

In a curious twist, Mayor Triolo also endorsed
William Joseph as well:
The “Question” on the ballot last March was to increase term limits for City electeds from two years to three years. The referendum passed convincingly.

The District 4 race between Robinson, Polizzi, and Whittey was already an odd one to begin with — a rarity in Lake Worth — an “open seat” election due to then-Commissioner Ryan Maier exiting his re-election bid. Robinson ended up winning outright avoiding a run-off and Ellie Whittey came in a very distant third.

What may have ultimately sealed the fate of Whittey was a claim she made about the Lake Worth Casino complex at the Beach which was already a debacle to begin with. And to make matters worse she then doubled-down and made the same claim again in front of a packed City Commission meeting in January 2016 during public comment: 

“I can understand the hesitation of wanting to get involved with this company [Morganti] legally. Morganti is not a United States owned company. They're based out of Athens. So again, they don’t have to comply with our rules. I would be hesitant. I don't believe people knew this going into this contract. Again, we learn from our mistakes. NEVER [Whittey raises voice] have a contract with a company which is not an American-owned company. Because again, what can we do when they mess up? They don’t have to comply with our laws as you know. Thank you.”

So was Morganti, the construction company that built the newer Casino in 2012, replacing the previous structure at the Beach, going to skip town and screw over Lake Worth? Maybe go back to Athens and give our City the shaft? No. Not at all. Whittey said, “They don’t have to comply with our laws.”

ABSOLUTELY FALSE. 

The public, the City of Lake Worth electeds and staff that were working so hard to fix all this mess, as well as Morganti, all deserved an apology but they never got one. Unfortunately, mis- and disinformation leading up to elections is all-too-common in this City. Like the rumors spread on social media days prior to Election Day that Mr. Omari Hardy wasn’t a resident of this City and therefore wasn’t “qualified” to be on the ballot. Total nonsense.

In the end I think all this was a hopeful sign. The voters seemed to be paying very close attention to what’s going on in this City, and instead of acting viscerally, were making their choices wisely.

The message is this: Pay close attention to what is going on and attend as many debates and neighborhood meetings with candidates the NAPC will be hosting following the conclusion of the Qualifying Period on December 12th. And make sure to do your homework too when an incumbent or challenger makes a claim about this or that, like this mailer from the 2016 election season:

Likely the silliest political mailer in the
history of Lake Worth politics.
This mailer by the Frank McAlonan campaign targeting Commissioner Andy Amoroso ended up generating more jokes than votes. It was called the “Five million dollar mystery”.

And lastly, sort of on topic, do you know why politicians like to say, “That’s a great question”? Click on this link to find out.

A blog post one could say, “Ruffled a lot of feathers” and an update below.

“From where I sit. . .”

Published in The Lake Worth Herald (Issue No. 41, Oct. 19th, 2017; 105th Year, “Established in 1912”), an observation by Pelecanidae*:

“74 PBC schools earn 5 star award . . . the award for incorporating family and community members into the school environment. . . . Sadly, only one school in Lake Worth made the list. . . . Why the lack of involvement? . . . Lake Worth can and should do better.” 

Which school was the only one in our City to make the list, qualifying for the “Five Star School Award”? North Grade Elementary School came in at #45. “A 5 Star School for 18 years!”

The City’s only charter school, Academy for Positive Learning, did not make the cut. For a short list of other schools on the list see below.

From this blog, a question posed many times over,
“Is the Education Council more important now
given recent events
?”:

The City of Lake Worth’s Education Council (EC) was quite popular with the community. Students, children, and their families were invited to City Hall and council members visited and toured our local public schools as well (just a few of the activities).
     Now with the resurgence of interest in our local public schools — and the efforts to boost school attendance a big priority now — this would be the time for a City board to tackle these crucial issues.

Enjoy this video.


A few other schools that qualified for the “Five Star School Award”:
  • Bak Middle School of the Arts, #1.
  • Belle Glade Elementary School, #3.
  • Equestrian Trails Elementary School, #23.
  • Forest Hill Elementary School, #25.
  • Jupiter Elementary School, #35.
  • Palm Springs Community Middle School, #51.
  • South Olive Elementary School, #61.
  • Wellington Elementary School, #69.
  • Wellington Community High School, #70.
  • Wellington Landings Middle School, #71.
  • Wynnebrook Elementary School, #74, in last place.
*Pelecanidae from the genus Pelecanus. “Pelican Pete” is a sometimes biting bird with a clever wit. You’ll find this birds weekly musings, or droppings if you prefer, on the front page every week in The Lake Worth Herald.
     To pick up the print edition of the Herald today, go to the City’s newsstand located at 600 Lake Ave. in Downtown Lake Worth. To contact the editor use this link or call 561-585-9387.