Thursday, July 2, 2015

Lake Worth, Florida in 2009: Shhhhhhhhhhhhh! Stop that noise downtown! Quiet!

Blogger-extraordinaire Tom McGow did this classic photoshop of JoAnn Golden in August of 2009. I'd be curious to know if anyone complained about the Earth Day festival in Lake Worth earlier this year? 

Lake Worth Launches Official Twitter Account

Here is the text from the press release:

     The City of Lake Worth will be launching an official Twitter account on Saturday, July 4th to document events and local culture in Lake Worth. The launch of @LakeWorthPBC will begin with a live tweeting session of the Great American RIF Raft Race, including visual content and information, starting at 10:30 AM.
     Twitter will be the first of several new social media platforms that will be implemented by the City over the next several months in an effort to strengthen the City’s brand and communicate relevant news and features to residents. City events as well as culture will be documented in a fresh way using photography, video, text, and graphic design. The various social media accounts will be linked to the City’s website and promoted on printed materials.
     All content on social media will contribute to the City’s brand, “The Art of Florida Living,” by demonstrating the original, quirky, artistic, and environmentally beautiful elements of life in Lake Worth. Frequently published content will include festivals, art shows, performance and musical arts, footage of landscapes and the outdoors, youth and school related events, and soft news.
     City employees and residents are invited to follow @LakeWorthPBC, and enjoy a new way of connecting with their local community.

Lantana reviewing A.G. Holley redevelopment plan

An article in The Palm Beach Post tells how town officials are giving a cool reception to the redevelopment plan for the A.G. Holley site. The site is nearly 70 acres and has been off the tax rolls as a state hospital. The plan submitted for the property is underwhelming to town officials:
From a planner's perspective, this could be the development pattern at any major intersection in Palm Beach County. The first plan even included a gas station. The town is concerned by the separation of retail, residential and office uses. Although the developer says they are making an attempt with office space being on the second floor. In my view, looking at this, suddenly it's 1980 all over again; and it's missing the mark and the high expectations of Lantana's planning staff. For one of the last remaining large developable areas east of I-95 in Palm Beach County the town of Lantana wants more imagination and new ideas—and I agree with them. 

Check this out from the Strong Town's website on what is an urban place versus a non-place. Parking and "green space" areas qualify as non-places.

July 4th Great American Raft Race: the Official schedule starting with the Parade

For more information visit the NAPC website or the NAPC Facebook page

Anyone surprised? Maybe TOB will hoist one from her condo window

The Other Blogger (TOB) is at it again: poor taste, living in her own revisionist world of realities that never were. Everyone knows how fond she is of the 'good ole days'.

The Governing Institute: "The Transportation Choices That Millennials Want"

This is the subtitle to Bob Graves' article: "To attract young professionals, cities increasingly are going to have to think multi-modal." Here is an excerpt:     
     The APTA [American Public Transportation Association] study also looked at "hot spot" neighborhoods in an effort to understand what motivates the millennials flocking to them. Residents of these neighborhoods, the study found, are less likely to personally own a car, drive one regularly or frequently use car-sharing services. [emphasis added] They are more likely to use a bus or subway a few times a week. And they are more likely to cite the need to save money and avoid traffic, as well as environmental considerations, as motivations for their transportation choices and routines.
     Clearly, communities that attract millennials are increasingly going to be those that provide a multitude of transportation choices to support multi-modal lifestyles. Some, like Portland, Maine, are even starting to promote themselves as cities where young professionals can live without a car; it may be no accident that Portland also happens to lead the nation in declining vehicle ownership. 

[UPDATE] Interactive graphic: what Dixie Hwy could look like in the future

UpdateThis short post from yesterday generated a lot of buzz: 

This is a must-see graphic from Tony Doris' article in the West Palm Beat. Dana Little from the Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council is working with residents and businesses to remake South Dixie Hwy in West Palm Beach.
     The proposal covers the stretch of South Dixie from Okeechobee Boulevard south to Albemarle Road.
     The design varies in different sections of South Dixie, but the overall concept calls for more than 90 shade trees, narrower lanes to slow traffic — and only one traffic lane in each direction — wider sidewalks, room for bikes, more on-street parking where possible, a central left-turn lane to reduce rear-end accidents, and scattered medians with more shade trees.
The Palm Beach Post editorial today (7/2) couldn't be more timely. Here is an excerpt:
     We shouldn’t let that delay us from encouraging more bike riding now, especially in cities with distinct downtowns, like Delray Beach, Boca Raton and Lake Worth. In other cities in America and Europe, data have shown that an increase in bicycles can actually bring an increase in safety.
     “The more people you put into the transportation environment who are walking and bicycling, the safer and safer it gets,” Clemente [Raphael Clemente, executive director of West Palm Beach DDA] told The Post Editorial Board, “because the motoring public becomes more aware and more courteous.” 
Stay tuned.

Tri-Rail is big news: Sun Sentinel and Palm Beach Post

Angel Streeter has this welcome news:
     Getting to Palm Beach International Airport from Tri-Rail is going to get a lot easier.
     A new shuttle service is starting in the fall that will take passengers between the airport and Tri-Rail's West Palm Beach station.
     The West Palm Beach airport has been the only major South Florida airport that had no direct connection to Tri-Rail.
     Tri-Rail provides shuttle service to the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. And from its new Miami International Airport station, passengers can take a quick ride on a people mover to the terminal.
The Post's Jennifer Sorentrue has this about Tri-Rail in Miami:
     If there were any doubts about whether All Aboard Florida would be able to pull off it’s planned rail line linking southeast Florida to Orlando, the sheer size of the company’s station planned in the heart of downtown Miami might be enough to dispel them.
     Construction fencing spanning six-city blocks now hides much of the work going on at the site, located within walking distance of the American Airlines Arena and a short shuttle ride from PortMiami, which processed more multi-day cruise passengers than any other port in the world last year.
     Soon there will be another link — this week the Miami-Dade Commission pledged $13.9 million to connect Tri-Rail to the planned MiamiCentral project.

PBSO District 14 Cpt. Silva taking another position with the Sheriff's Office

Cpt. Silva at a recent crime walk in the City.
Cpt. Silva will be missed. Whoever replaces him has big shoes to fill. He took over the policing duties of the Lake Worth PD when the crime situation was about the worst it had ever been. The Post's Kevin D. Thompson has this news about Cpt. Silva and here is an excerpt:
     PBSO didn’t say who’s in line to replace Silva, who was named District 14 captain in 2008 after the sheriff’s office took over the city’s police department.
     Silva, a 25-year sheriff’s office employee, wasn’t available for comment. PBSO didn’t give a reason for the change.
     Many residents, however, will be sorry to see Silva go, saying he played a key role in starting several neighborhood crime watch programs throughout the city.
     “His dedication to law enforcement and community policing is unparalleled,” said Mary Lindsey, former president of the College Park Neighborhood Association. “He helped make Lake Worth a model for community policing.”
     Tammy Pansa, a member of the Mango Groves Neighborhood Association, said Silva attended many neighborhood meetings and was responsible for getting the association’s Crime Walk started again.

Evening on the Avenue TOMORROW in Lake Worth—music by Turnstiles and Screen on the Green ('The Sandlot')

The movie this week is The Sandlot.

Critical Mass bike ride in the little City of Lake Worth TOMORROW

There was an excellent ride in the City of Lake Worth on June 5th with Critical Mass. The number of riders was 90+; just short of the 100 I was expecting. Lake Worth Critical Mass is always on the first Friday of the month:
Remember! This ride is AT YOUR OWN RISK as you can see in the image above.
The following pictures were taken on Worthmore Drive heading east towards Dixie Hwy. Just as the ride made the turn off North 'D' Street the lights and crossbars came down for a freight train to pass. Everybody got an unexpected 5 minute break.
Yours truly at the traffic light, Worthmore Drive and Dixie Hwy.

NerdWallet Research: "Miami named America’s Fifth-Greenest City"

Miami got beat out by San Francisco in this research while Orlando came in at number 8. This story highlights passenger rail and residents there eschewing the motor vehicle lifestyle. All Aboard Florida is also seen as a major factor in Miami's 'Green' momentum. Here's an excerpt from the article:
     Miami also shined in comparison to other cities with its percentage of carpooling residents and housing density. About 10 percent of Miami’s population carpools, which tied for fourth-best in the nation. Honolulu had the highest carpool rate, with 13 percent. Miami’s number of high-density developments is also decreasing transportation needs, another boom to a green lifestyle. About 41 percent of Miami’s residential buildings have 10 or more units, which ranked fifth-best in NerdWallet’s study. Honolulu had the best high-density percentage at 51 percent.
     The completion of All Aboard Florida, a planned 35-mile, $2.5 billion rail system from downtown Miami to Orlando International Airport, should only increase Miami’s green lifestyle. All Aboard Florida’s rail system is expected to be completed by 2017. The express passenger rail will enhance Miami’s 25-mile Metrorail, which already services the airport and myriad cities.
     America’s Greenest Cities: 1.) Honolulu, 2.) Washington, D.C., 3.) Arlington, Va., 4.) San Francisco, 5.) Miami, 6.) New York City, 7.) Boston, 8.) Orlando, 9.) Seattle, 10.) Jersey City, N.J.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

The River of Grass Greenway . . . a future pathway across the Everglades: Become a 'FROGG'

This is one of those great ideas that come along and make you want to cheer. If you've ever driven the Tamiami Trail (US-41) you know it as an unfriendly road for pedestrians and bicycles. Now that could change. You can become a FROGG: a Friend of the River of Grass Greenway. This is the FROGG mission statement:
     Our mission is to promote the establishment, preservation, and safe use by the general public of a non-motorized transportation and recreation corridor across the Everglades between Naples and Miami.
Here is more information about the River of Grass Greenway:
     Parallel to the Tamiami Trail (US. 41), the ROGG [River of Grass Greenway] will be a hard-surfaced 12-14 foot wide corridor (separated from the highway) suitable for a range of non-motorized recreation activities such as bicycling, walking, bird-watching, photography, fishing, and general enjoyment of the greater Everglades natural area.
     The goal of the ROGG is to extend from Krome Avenue (eastern edge of Everglades National Park near Miami) to the outskirts of Naples/Marco Island (western terminus to be determined). In the middle, there will be a three mile spur to Everglades City.
[and. . .]
     ROGG is much more than a recreation corridor. An important facet of the pathway is the potential for environmental education and stewardship. The pathway will be designed and built for sustainability, with acute awareness of potential environmental impact.
Become a FROGG today! Here's how:
     The ROGG is an ambitious goal that is attainable only with widespread support. Join the Friends of the ROGG (FROGG) today to increase our support base.

Pastor Mike Olive and the Common Ground (no 's') church. Very welcome change in tone. Praise the Lord, LOVE>HATE

[Truer words were never spoken:]

When we speak publicly, we open ourselves up to both public praise and public criticism. Everybody has that right and opportunity. But when we use that opportunity to call people out, we must understand that we are risking aggravating the situation.

I am speaking for my own benefit about this as well. I deeply regret the many times that I have violated the guidelines below and the damage that resulted.

How to avoid escalation of a conflict:

  • Never pre-emptively attack.
  • Never retaliate.
  • Say as much good about your adversaries as you can.
  • Be clear about specific actions that people took (past-tense only) that bothered you.
  • Never call people out publicly unless you have done EVERYTHING in your power to resolve the matter privately. (See Matthew 18)
  • Never call people out publicly unless you have other people who are actively and publicly holding you accountable (meaning that your relationship to them is easily verifiable using public sources and in that relationship it is clear that they have the power to reprimand you if you behave inappropriately) for such action.
  • Never speak out against anyone's sin unless you are simultaneously being honest about your own (current) sinfulness.
It's time to stop blaming each other when our worst enemy is our own evil desire. (See John 8, Matthew 7, James 1:14)


Residents of Lake Worth: Do you want to "get used to living in a ghetto"

Mr. Tom McGow, a chronicler of previous commissions in the City of Lake Worth, wrote this the very day after a City Commission meeting on September 1, 2009:
While listening to last night’s City Commission meeting from home I was appalled to hear Vice Mayor Golden state, “We all have to get used to change. Manny has to get used to living in a ghetto until things pick up around here.”, or words to that effect. She was referring to a resident who spoke earlier in the meeting citing the deterioration of his neighborhood.
Image of then-commissioner Jo-Ann Golden produced by the blogger-extraordinaire Tom McGow in 2009.