Thursday, October 19, 2017

FREE Presentation: “Great Native Plants for Your Garden”. And don’t forget:

It’s BINGO BINGO BINGO! by the Gray Mockingbird Community Garden every Saturday night.

Read the news (see below) in this week’s Lake Worth Herald, in the “Upcoming events” section.
Free listing for service clubs’, charitable organizations schedules, & special events open to
the public. Send (or drop off to) “About Town”,
1313 Central Terrace in Lake Worth, 561-585-5434 or email: lwheraldje@gmail.com

The news below is in this week’s Herald. A “FREE PRESENTATION”: An event coming up on Thursday, Nov. 2nd, 2:00, at the Lantana Road Branch Library, located at 4020 Lantana Rd., west of Lantana.

“Great Native Plants for
Your Garden”:

Pre-registration encouraged! Call 561-304-4500.

Discover the beautiful, intriguing plants that call Palm Beach County and Florida home. You’ll learn what species adapt well to your garden’s conditions and how planting them can help local ecosystems and wildlife.
     Participants will receive a voucher for two free three-gallon native plants per household (some restrictions apply).

Speaker, Laurie Albrecht:

From the PBC Dept. of Environmental Horticulture. Call 561-233-1748 for more information or send an email to: lalbrecht@pbcgov.org

And don’t forget every Saturday night in the
City of Lake Worth at the Scottish Rite!

Also courtesy of The Lake Worth Herald:

BINGO BINGO BINGO! Presented by Gray Mockingbird Community Garden. Every Saturday night, 6 p.m. Scottish Rite Masonic Center, 2000 N. D St., Lake Worth. Special this week: Gift Certificate to Callero’s Steak House located in downtown Lake Worth! Come and join the fun! Everyone welcome!

“From where I sit. . .”


A short observation in today’s Lake Worth Herald:

“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.”

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). But for some reason the EC has gone dormant.

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.

Clarification needed: “Get the facts on medical marijuana”.

[Please note: The LTE referenced below appeared in last Tuesday’s print edition. As yet, there is no link for online readers. Check back later for that link — to read the letter in its entirety — when it becomes available.] 

A recent Letter to the Editor (LTE) from a City of Lake Worth resident published in The Palm Beach Post needs clarification.

For example, here is the final paragraph:

“Maybe these commissioners* should do further research or visit one of the many treatment centers around the state before making decisions against the 71 percent.”
  • Who are “these commissioners”? A sweeping generalization, most definitely not Lake Worth elected officials. Which city, town, or village is the letter writer referring to? Not one single elected official — currently in office in our City — has come out publicly against medical marijuana dispensaries.
  • Is this letter piggybacking on the excellent article by Post business writer Jeff Ostrowski datelined Oct. 16th? If so, this article by Ostrowski needed to be cited by the Post editor (by the way, per Ostrowski, the City of Lake Worth came in 3rd place, at a whopping 79.02% in the list of “most weed-friendly” municipalities in Palm Beach County.
  • From the LTE writer, “[N]o one wants to have a medical treatment center in their town.” Partially true. A lot of people’s minds were changed in Lake Worth after reading another article by Jeff Ostrowski titled, “Weed is good for home values, real estate economists find”.
Other than the issues noted above, it was a very good LTE with helpful information and encourage everyone to read it; will provide a link when it becomes available.

On the subject of LTEs: Have you ever wanted to write one to the editor? It’s very easy and only takes 5–10 minutes. It doesn’t have to be very long either.

Here’s one that was published after
Hurricane Matthew last year:
To learn how to write a LTE use this link.

Maybe write a positive one about how well our
Lake Worth Electric Utility performed
after Hurricane Irma!

*To further clarify: Not all cities, towns, and villages in Palm Beach County have “commissioners” like the City of Lake Worth does. The City of Greenacres has “councilwomen” and “councilmen”. For example, District III “Councilwoman Judith Dugo”.
“[T]he 71 percent” refers to Florida Amendment 2 (2016) that passed by 71.32% of the electorate.

More news today: Dedication of Military Memorial Monument in the City of Lake Worth’s Cultural Plaza.

Front page news in today’s (Oct. 19th)
Lake Worth Herald,* an excerpt:

“The Lake Worth Rotary Club held a ground breaking for a Veterans Memorial in the Cultural Plaza. Rotarians were joined by elected officials and City employees from Public Services. . . . The dedication will be held Veterans Day.”

The groundbreaking for this monument (see photos below) was held last Monday (Oct. 16th) at the City of Lake Worth’s Cultural Plaza near the southwest corner of the City Hall Annex building. More information about how this memorial came to be is below.

[NOTE: The City of Lake Worth’s “Veterans Day Parade & Ceremony of Honor” is coming up on Saturday, November 11th in our Downtown.]

This military memorial monument (rendering below) was approved unanimously by the Historic Resource Preservation Board (HRPB) following a short discussion on August 9th. Information from the HRPB agenda:

The Applicant has submitted plans for the construction of a new 6′ × 5′-6″ Military Memorial Monument, and an associated 9′-4″ × 17′-2″ paver hardscape area with two benches. The Rotary Club of Lake Worth is sponsoring funding the Military Memorial Monument. The monument will be constructed of granite and will sit on a poured concrete pad. The paved area and two benches will be installed in conjunction with the monument in order to facilitate viewing and access to the monument.

Rendering of this future monument.
Click on image to enlarge:
See below for a “birds-eye view” where
this monument will be placed.

Photographs from the “Military Memorial
Monument” groundbreaking:

From left to right: Lake Worth Commissioner Herman Robinson; Ron Leeds, Lake Worth Rotary; Chris Dabros (partially obscured), Lake Worth CRA; former Lake Worth Commissioner Retha Lowe; Lake Worth Mayor Pam Triolo; John Endrushat, Lake Worth Rotary; and Suzanne Holmes, Public Services Office Manager, City of Lake Worth.

Click on image to enlarge:
Note the southwest corner of the City Hall Annex.
In the background is the intersection of
Lake Ave. and Federal Hwy.

In this photo is Lake Worth Vice Mayor Scott Maxwell (far left) and Felipe Lofaso (second from right), Asst. Director, Lake Worth Public Services.

More from the HRPB agenda last August:

Consideration of a request by the City of Lake Worth, Public Services Department, for a minor site plan amendment and a Certificate of Appropriateness for new construction of a Military Memorial Monument, on the property located at 414 Lake Avenue (City Hall Annex).

This military memorial will honor the U.S. Army, Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, and Merchant Marine. Memorial will have the words:

DEDICATED BY
THE CITY OF LAKE WORTH
AND THE ROTARY CLUB
OF LAKE WORTH
[THIS DAY] 2017

It should be noted the City of Lake Worth and the Lake Worth Lagoon are both named in honor of General William Jenkins Worth.

“DUCIT AMOR PATRIAE”
[The Love Of Country Leads Me].
Use this link to learn more about General William Jenkins Worth (1794–1849). The cities of Fort Worth and Lake Worth, Texas, are also
named in honor of General Worth.

More historical background from the HRPB agenda: The subject property at 414 Lake Avenue contains the City Hall Annex building, a large public plaza, fountain, pergolas, and public green space. The two-story Annex building was designed by architect Floyd King and constructed in 1929.

Click on image to better see this monument location.
Note the red box with yellow hash marks. This military marker will also include two benches.

Stay tuned for the official unveiling.

*Pick up The Lake Worth Herald print edition (still ¢50!) every Friday at the City’s newsstand located at 600 Lake Ave. in Downtown Lake Worth. To see the subscription rates use this link.

“Your Community Shopping Center” in West Palm Beach and “Looking Eastward Across Lake Worth” at the Town of Palm Beach.


Have you joined the Facebook group called “Palm Beaches Remembered”? If local history is an interest of yours, strongly suggest you begin following this Facebook page. Many of the “memories” will truly amaze you.

Below are two more images from
Palm Beaches Remembered.

Expect some exciting things to happen in the next few years at and nearby “Your Community Shopping Center” in West Palm Beach. Once again, this plaza will be a vibrant part of our community and neighborhoods in WPB and the City of Lake Worth much like it was 50 years ago.

“Where Lake Worth Meets West Palm Beach” in 1968.

Click on image to enlarge, PALM COAST PLAZA.
Notice all the shops!
In September 2015 Post reporter Tony Doris provided hints about the future of this plaza on Dixie Hwy., north of the City of Lake Worth, just across the C-51 Canal.

Tony Doris’ article was titled, “Homes, links to area and water among options for WPB golf course”:

“The [West Palm Beach] city commission, by general consensus, authorized Economic Development Director Chris Roog to continue pursuing redevelopment plans for the 8111 S. Dixie property and the golf course. [emphasis added] The commission also indicated its willingness to work with the adjacent Palm Coast Plaza owners in coordinating redevelopment plans.”

“Palm Coast Plaza Store!”
This plaza was once a regional destination, serving West Palm Beach and other nearby cities and towns, e.g., Lake Worth and Palm Beach.

And also interestingly, a few months later (in December of 2015) Post reporter Eliot Kleinberg wrote this article titled, “[Boat] Lift at spillway would allow boat traffic from inland lakes to ocean”, referring to a project that is now called the Blueway Trail project (expected to begin in 3–5 years).

Now to “Looking Eastward Across Lake Worth”.

Back in the day there was a body of water the public called “Lake Worth”. Of course, this is what we call the Lake Worth Lagoon now, part of the Intracoastal waterway.

This image is c. 1940:
For some perspective, use this link for a photograph taken from the former Pennsylvania Hotel in West Palm Beach in 1937. The former Royal Worth
Hotel was prominent in the Town of Palm Beach
“back in the day”.

As far as “Lake Worth” goes, to this day some still call the Lake Worth Lagoon ‘Lake Worth’:

“The Avenue [Worth Avenue in Palm Beach], which encompasses four blocks between the Atlantic Ocean and the edge of Lake Worth [emphasis added] as well as its pedestrian side-street vias, was founded in the 1920s by Addison Mizner and boasts more than 200 shops, restaurants and galleries that epitomize the best of high-end merchandise and lavish amenities.”

Today is the big day!

“We have a great surprise
for you!”

President Greg Rice of the Mango Groves Neighborhood Assoc. has organized “a little field trip” to Mathews Brewing Company:

“Dave from Mathews Brewing Company has kindly
agreed to show us around what will be
L-Dub’s first craft brewery!”
Today (Thursday, Oct. 19th) at 7:00: Meet out
front of Mathews Brewing Co. located at
130 South ‘H’ St. in our little
City of Lake Worth.  

Whilst on the subject of craft beer use this link for,
“Some notes from my recent trip to Michigan and the popular scene now: micro-brewing.”
For anyone looking to open a new Hipster and cool bar serving craft beer and food on Dixie Hwy. in the City of Lake Worth, the vacant lot north of Tacos Al Carbon and across the street from World Thrift — between Cornell and Dartmouth drives — would be the ideal spot with outstanding potential.

However, that too-long-vacant lot on N. Dixie Hwy., the former “Patio Restaurant”, does have some issues (contact the Dept. of Community Sustainability Dept. for more details).

To the folks at Mathews Brewing:

Welcome to our little
City of Lake Worth!

A cautionary tale. Zoning, home occupations, and that mythical City of Key West.


Talk of changing a city’s Zoning Code can rattle neighborhoods, homeowners, and the business community like few other things can. It has to be done very carefully and with as much community input and education as possible.

Remember: A “minor zoning adjustment” isn’t always so minor when it happens next door.

Below is a cautionary tale — how not to go about changing zoning in a city, any city — not just here in the City of Lake Worth.

The “Official Zoning Map” for the City of Lake Worth:
Use this link to the City’s website for Planning & Zoning, Land Development Regulations, helpful links, contact information and much more.

Let’s take a stroll back to 2015, a cautionary tale, when all hell broke loose:

Despite the City Commission’s work in recent years to tighten zoning ordinances, there was and still is in this City public concern over the talk of expanding the definition and allowing more types of home occupations (what some call ‘upzoning’, which confuses the issue even more), especially as it relates to residential property values, increased traffic, and what role code enforcement would have in all this, to name just a few.

The group called the Lake Worth Artist and Cottage Entrepreneurs (ACE) had been promoting the expansion of home occupations and I met with them in 2015. You can read about that using this link. What I found interesting about ACE was their goal of engaging the public by beginning a community-wide discussion about changing the zoning to attract more artists to this City.

But, for some reason, that never happened.

Instead what they did is try to gain political support through various channels but not in a very public way with community involvement. Then later, all hell broke loose.

Part of the confusion was created by comparisons way out of scale to such a small city like Lake Worth. For example, when Chris McVoy (former District 2 commissioner; lost his re-election bid last March) cited Portland, Oregon and other large cities as examples to emulate, that just confused and muddled the issue even further.

Then there’s always that special place — the mecca for artists working out of their homes, the beacon on the hill and shining example for home occupation proponents everywhere — Key West.

Just one problem. It’s not true.

It is easy to get carried away with what you think a situation may be in another city. The viewpoint you hold may be influenced by anecdotal evidence, word of mouth, tourism advertising, etc. There seemed to be the expectation that Key West would be a thriving home to people working out of their homes in sort of an artists’ Garden of Eden.

Well, I checked their code and Key West is as strict or moreso than Lake Worth’s when it comes to home occupations in residential districts. So the image that some had of Key West’s residential ‘progressive’ artsy mystique was a myth. It’s also easy to not know what is zoned residential and what is commercial if you are just visiting a town and you don’t have a zoning map with you.

How many people carry zoning maps around with them?

There were other possible examples around the nation that could have served as models for home occupations, places more in scale and layout to Lake Worth. But I cautioned everyone back then to not get carried away with romantic notions that may not actually be based in reality. I know that can be a challenge here in the charming little City of Lake Worth.

Another former Lake Worth commissioner, Ryan Maier, was one of those proponents of expanding home occupations in this City. However, prior to being elected in 2015 he had much concern for traffic and congestion in his own neighborhood. How one squares expanding the zoning code to allow more artists (one example) to work out of their homes, having deliveries made, clients visit, and possibly adding employees (without additional parking) didn’t make any sense coming from someone who was already worried about congestion and traffic in his neighborhood.

That is what’s called a “disconnect” and why the public became so worried and confused in 2015 and 2016. Zoning, when it’s discussed and debated in a public way, doesn’t have to be confusing. It can also be a great way to educate and engage the public going forward.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

News from Lake Worth Electric Utility Director Ed Liberty.


At the City Commission meeting last night (Tuesday, 10/17) we learned from Electric Utility Dir. Liberty that starting last Monday many workers on the day shift were moved to the night shift to complete a survey — street by street — of the City’s street lights. Beginning next Monday (Oct. 23rd) the City will begin to repair the damage done from Hurricane Irma and address other issues discovered as well.

Use this link to see the video of Dir. Liberty
for yourself.

As your watching the YouTube video think about this, “The legacy of Hurricane Irma: Power lines and Right Tree Right Place”:

“Planting the right tree in the right place is the
single most important thing [electric utility]
customers can do.”

—Quote by FPL spokesman Bud Fraga.

The City of Lake Worth, of course, has its own Electric Utility. Many of you will recall this video from September 10th now watched nearly 1,300 times:

Outage Update following Hurricane Irma.

Pamela S. Goodman, “It’s time to hold charters accountable”.

“Florida’s underfunded public school system will be left to pick up the slack. It’s time to protect taxpayers and children from potentially nefarious forces undermining the quality of our school choices.”
—Quote: Published in The Palm Beach Post.

Check back later for the link (not yet available) to read this powerful “Point of View” in its entirety.

Pamela S. Goodman (use this link for bio) is president of the League of Women Voters of Florida:

“She served as president of the League of Women Voters of Palm Beach County from 2005 to 2009 and has served on the League of Women Voters Florida Board of Directors from 2007 to the present.”

and. . .

     “Goodman has also served on the League of Women Voters of the United States Nominating Committee and Membership Recruitment Committee.”

and. . .

     “Goodman also serves as President of The Homeless Coalition of Palm Beach County [emphasis added], a nonprofit organization that has more than quadrupled its revenue under her guidance and now serves as the key fundraising, education, and advocacy organization in Palm Beach County supporting the Ten Year Plan to end homelessness.”

City of Lake Worth press release: “CANVAS Outdoor Museum Show expanding to Lake Worth”.


To everyone in the press and news media, below is a 24-minute video taken yesterday (Tuesday, Oct. 17th) of this event at the PBC Cultural Council located in Downtown Lake Worth. Please feel free to use this information in your press/media reports: Share this link with press and news media.

On Monday (Oct. 16th) Mr. Ben Kerr,* the City
of Lake Worth’s Public Information Officer,
issued a press release about this event;
excerpts from that press release:

LAKE WORTH, Fla. — CANVAS Outdoor Museum Show, the nation’s largest outdoor museum show, is expanding to the City of Lake Worth this year. Artists from around the globe will assemble in Downtown Lake Worth for one week from November 26 – Dec. 2 to transform the City’s streets into a world-class outdoor museum.

and. . .

     “We are very excited to welcome the expansion of CANVAS to the City of Lake Worth”, said City of Lake Worth Mayor Pam Triolo. “Since its inception, Lake Worth has been the place in Palm Beach County where art is created. CANVAS joins our Street Painting Festival and Biblioarte in attracting world renowned artists to our streets and continuing our artistic vision. We couldn’t be more excited and honored.

another excerpt. . .

     The City, CRA and Cultural Council are also working on finalizing an Arts & Cultural Master Plan for Downtown Lake Worth, which will be the first of its kind in Palm Beach County when it is released early next year. Adding CANVAS to the city’s lineup of major cultural events supports the strategic plan.

Lastly. . . about this CANVAS Outdoor Museum:

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.

Without further ado. . . the video taken yesterday morning at the Cultural Council:


*For more information contact Mr. Ben Kerr, the
City of Lake Worth’s Public Information Officer at 561-586-1631; email: bkerr@lakeworth.org

“Located in central Palm Beach County, Lake Worth is a dynamic, multi-cultural City with an individualistic style. People are drawn to the City by its acceptance of different cultures and lifestyles, historic districts, hip downtown and colorful arts district.”

Lake Worth City Commission meeting last night: A few brief notes.

Great job, Cheryl Rashkin!

Who is Cheryl Rashkin? She is president of the South Palm Park Neighborhood Assoc. and gave an update last night to the Commission about what has happened in the neighborhood over the past year. One of the standout observations is how happy she is to see so many families with children move into the neighborhood!

About the neighborhood called “South Palm Park”:

South Palm Park is Lake Worth’s oldest incorporated Neighborhood Association in the City of Lake Worth. . . . Our boundaries are from 5th Ave South to the City’s southern border and east of Federal Highway to the Intracoastal Waterway, comprise single family homes, apartments and condominiums.

To watch Rashkin’s presentation yourself
use this link.

The meeting only lasted 1 hour, staff promptly uploaded the video to the City’s YouTube channel, and will watch the rest of it later on today.

So. Check back later on today for “Notes, news, and observations”. I was not in attendance last night but did get reports from citizen-reporters on the scene, like this one:
Quote of the night!!!!!! ■■■■■ said “nobody ever talks to me!”
There is no Commission meeting next week but there is a CRA Board meeting next Tuesday, Oct. 24th, stay tuned for items from that agenda later this week.

UPDATE: “Help Wanted: Leaders Who Can Provide Stability”, by Jeff Perlman.


Maybe a coincidence. Maybe not. Excerpts from the blog post by Jeff Perlman dated October 9th are below. Datelined yesterday, Oct. 17th, is this article by Lulu Ramadan titled, “Delray mayor won’t run for re-election; others vie for vacant seat”:

Delray Beach Mayor Cary Glickstein won’t be campaigning to retain his seat at the top of the city, he announced Tuesday.
     “Whoever takes my place, I’ll be rooting for you,” Glickstein said at a city meeting.

If you don’t have 15–20 minutes to spare right now to read, absorb, and understand the entire blog post dated October 9th by Jeff Perlman, then save this link into your browser and read it all in its entirety later on. It’s a lengthy and fascinating read.

Below are 3 excerpts from Perlman’s post and just this short read will shock many of you.

Briefly, the oft-told narratives in the press are that Delray Beach is a political nirvana and that other cities like our City of Lake Worth are a dysfunctional mess. What you’ll read below will shatter that myth once and for all, especially for residents of our City of Lake Worth, and elsewhere, who’ve come to believe Delray is the “Beacon on the Hill”, a “city on the cutting edge” in County politics.

Also note that the “spin” The Palm Beach Post likes to weave about ‘Good Ole Lake Worth’ using their newspaper monopoly in North and Central Palm Beach County isn’t just one tool in the box. “Spinning”, or trying to “Wag the Dog” is a tool that cuts both ways as you’ll read in the last excerpt below.

One last thing before delving into
Perlman’s blog post.

If you ever get the opportunity to attend a talk by Mr. Perlman, make the time and go. I’ve attended several, including one at the “Bourbon Sprawl” in West Palm Beach where Perlman talked about how crucial it is for local governments in the County to collaborate in planning and problem-solving. Maybe it’s just a coincidence — but a lot of things began to change after his “Lake Worth Talk” early in 2016 — and most everyone will agree for the better.

Without further ado. . .

We [Delray Beach] are about to choose a city manager from what everyone seems to think was a pretty thin list of candidates.”

And, “Delray was the city on the
cutting edge. . . . A city of vision,
promise and innovation.”

“When government organizations get frightened, they seize up like an engine without oil. It’s safer to keep your head down than to rock the boat. The best minds — if situations permit — will leave as soon as they can. We are losing talent to Lake Worth, Boynton Beach and other cities. [emphasis added] That hardly ever happened.”

and. . . 

    I get the desire of a City Manager to control the flow of information, but I remember learning an immense amount from listening to and reading the work of our planning, financial, engineering, parks and public safety personnel. There is a middle ground which always includes the manager, but also enables policymakers to glean knowledge from subject area experts so they can make good decisions.
     I was a young reporter here in the 1980s when we last suffered from instability at City Hall caused by strife on the dais. City Hall was a revolving door in those days. Then we had a landmark election that saw Tom Lynch, Jay Alperin and David Randolph sweep into office and we enjoyed a long run of stability, innovation, achievement, civic pride, community unity and problem solving. They set an example for future leaders.
     At the time, staff remarked at how civil the Mayor and commission were — respectful of their professional acumen while still able to hold people accountable. I went to every meeting in those days. And I can tell you the mayor and commissioners questioned staff vigorously, but always respectfully. Assumptions were challenged and decisions were made. Not all were correct, but the batting average was really good and so we had progress. Lots and lots of progress.”

and the final excerpt. . .

     “A follow up story in the Post covering Commissioner Shelly Petrolia’s run for Mayor noted the ‘chaos’ and turnover at City Hall. That’s a good story — but the Post enabled Commissioner Petrolia too artfully — but falsely — shift the blame to Mayor Glickstein. People all over town had a good laugh over that spin.
     Sorry, but you own your fair share of the chaos after 5 years. Readers of this blog know I am no fan of Mr. Glickstein. But in fairness, he can’t be blamed for all of the chaos, dysfunction and lack of progress on everything ranging from Congress Avenue to the Old School Parks Plan. It takes three elected officials to tango.
     Coincidentally, that’s how many seats are up this March.

Interestingly, the City of Lake Worth also has its fair share of challenging issues to deal with, e.g., the Historic Preservation program and all the issues with the Lake Worth Casino.

And like Delray, “that’s how many seats [three] are up this March” in the City of Lake Worth’s elections on March 13th, 2018, just 153 days away. And as Mr. Perlman noted in the final excerpt above,

“Sorry, but you own your fair share of
the chaos after 5 years.”

Myth vs. Fact: Florida Sunshine Law (two informative videos below).


One of the ways troublemakers try and shake public confidence in City government and elected officials is to plant the seed of wrongdoing, e.g., just suggest a “Sunshine Law” violation, not even an actual allegation. Say things like, “so-and-so was spotted with so-and-so over lunch at such-and-such restaurant”.

There is nothing wrong with elected officials having lunch together. Or talking. Or acting like a regular human being in general. But there are rules for electeds (explained in a video below).

If you ever hear an electeds name mentioned and the Sunshine Law cited, it’s very important to know what the law is and what it’s intended to do — and just as importantly — what the law does not cover and is not intended to do.

Lake Worth City Attorney Glen Torcivia gave an excellent summation of the Sunshine Law. The video below is highly-recommended viewing for anyone interested in learning more about this subject.

Glen J. Torcivia, “Serving Florida clients
for over 25 years”:


The political theater of “Sunshine Law Violation!, or “Wag the Dog” tactics to manipulate the public aren’t new by any means:

A former Lake Worth commissioner prowling
for a Sunshine Law violation:


Sadly however, there remain some in the public left “scratching their heads” when allegations of Sunshine Law violations are alleged and misunderstand or are confused about what is actually happening.

So take the time and watch the video of “The Florida Sunshine Law” above if you haven’t done so already and share it with your neighbors, friends, and family. If you know anyone in the press or news media — share it with them too — just as a refresher.

“What is SNMREC?”

A question from a blog reader recently:

“What is SNMREC? An Ocean Wave Energy Generation project at our Lake Worth Beach?”

The short answer is SNMREC  =  Southeastern National Marine Renewable Energy Center. 

This is a cutting-edge research center at Florida Atlantic University exploring ways to create renewable energy from ocean waves. The reader was wondering about this line in a recent blog post titled, “Lake Worth Beach Complex Conceptual Plans Design”:

This project was a big part of Mayor Pam Triolo’s State of the City Address last January (see excerpts below) and was also the subject of a very high-level meeting at the Lake Worth Casino on February 12th:

Recognize anyone?
This “Ocean Energy Round Table Discussion” was led by State Rep. Kathleen Peters. Others in attendance were PBC Commissioner Dave Kerner, State Senator Jeff Clemens, State Rep. Lori Berman, Lake Worth City Manager Michael Bornstein, Mayor Pam Triolo, and other electeds,
officials, and staff as well.

And by the way — whilst on the subject of our City’s Casino complex, on the issue of sea level rise and fortifying dunes — one of the big ideas proposed by a former Lake Worth City Commissioner several years ago was constructing a parking garage into the west side of the dune at the Lake Worth Beach:

“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 Maier [former Commissioner Ryan Maier], there are several benefits of building parking areas [parking garages] this way. ‘You don’t see the parking structure and it increases the height of the dune.’ ”

Excerpts from Mayor Pam Triolo’s 2017 State of
the City Address last January:

“The New Lake Worth is a City that embraces the future. On my recent trip to Washington [also last January] I also met with the US Department of Energy about our partnership that began last year with Southeastern National Marine Renewable Energy Center, or SNMREC, at Florida Atlantic University.

[Mayor Triolo explains travel to Washington, D.C.;
excerpts continue below.]


[Please note: Chris McVoy, PhD (on left, blue shirt), first elected in 2010, lost his bid for re-election 3 weeks after this video was taken. Lake Worth Commissioner Andy Amoroso is to the mayor’s right; Amoroso remains Lake Worth’s Vice Mayor Pro Tem. The City’s Vice Mayor is Scott Maxwell who also traveled to Washington, D.C. on this important topic, following the mayor’s trip a week earlier. Then-Commissioner Ryan Maier opted not to run for re-election in the 2017 election cycle.]

Mayor Triolo continues:

     “SNMREC is one of three entities created through the Department of Energy to promote private sector development of three types of power generation from the ocean. Wave, Tidal and Current driven energy has tremendous promise to provide clean and consistent power from the ocean. While the Wave program in Hawaii and the Tidal program in Washington State have advanced, SNMREC has had the challenge of locating an offshore site where private companies in partnership could test designs and develop proof of concept.
     While they currently have a buoy off Broward County, an actual mooring connected by cable to the grid does not exist, until now. Working together with SNMREC, Lake Worth would be a significant part of propelling this effort to develop ocean current driven power as a viable source.
     It turns out that after studying and developing detailed computer modeling, the Gulfstream Current is at its closest and in a most consistent strength offshore of . . . you guessed it . . . Lake Worth.” 

and. . .

     “As an oceanfront community our Electric Utility [City owns its own Electric Utility] can receive the power generated offshore. However how do we get it from out there to in here? Well it turns out we also have an old abandoned sewer outfall that goes ¾ of a mile offshore and we have applied for a grant to study and engineer a way to pull a cable through it to connect to the test site.”

the final excerpt. . .

     “In many ways, this is about clean renewable energy and economic development. Coupled with increasing the availability of feeding renewable energy into our grid for use in the City, we may be able to add power from the Gulfstream [Current] to our solar [see video below] and one day have the highest level of renewable energy of any city in the state or even the country.”



I hope this helps to explain this project and hopefully soon we’ll get an update about funding available and where this “proof of concept” is in the planning process.

Tonight: Inaugural Lake Worth Business Alliance meeting is at Tacos Al Carbon.

This meeting introducing the Lake Worth
Business Alliance is tonight at 7:00.

Tacos Al Carbon is located at 2200 N. Dixie Hwy. Business owners and business representatives are encouraged to attend.

And by the way, Yours Truly, Wes Blackman, will be in attendance.

For example, do you have a business on N. Dixie Hwy.? Wondering when the long-expected Dixie Hwy. Corridor improvements promised long ago in our City of Lake Worth are finally going to take off, instead of the piecemeal projects here and there thus far?

Or do you have a business on the S. Dixie Hwy. Corridor — or certain parts of the Downtown — and wondering, “Is Lake Worth really ‘open for business’? Is everybody reading from the same script?”

Then you should show up tonight as well.

Been to Tacos Al Carbon yet?

What are you waiting for!
The staff is absolutely dazzling and courteous,
smiles all around at Tacos Al Carbon!

The inside of Tacos Al Carbon is impressively spacious with plenty of seating, bright and colorful. The acoustics in the two dining rooms are very pleasant as well.

Did I say “two dining rooms”? Yes!
A view of the recent Grand Opening.

The view is from the back dining room
which leads into the kitchen.
When I took a peak beyond the kitchen door one of the cooks said, Hola! Bienvenidos a Tacos Al Carbon!” The kitchen is also spacious
and very bright.