Tuesday, September 16, 2014

NAPC Note from the Chair - Last night's, Sept. 15th, Parrot Cove Neighborhood Association meeting

District 3 Commissioner Andy Amoroso kindly recognized all the Neighborhood Associations for the work they do in neighborhood clean-ups, assisting residents with code compliance issues and other community beautification efforts.

He spoke about the inherent difficulties that cities and all government agencies face in trying to get things done. He said, "Twelve people have to touch every project", meaning that twelve different people from twelve different departments have to coordinate, communicate, reevaluate and finally cooperate to accomplish any worthwhile objective and that takes time.

"Twelve" may be a small exaggeration, but the point he made is that the Lake Worth Neighborhoods, acting independently or in unison, have demonstrated the ability to swiftly accomplish what government sometimes cannot do without untangling miles of red tape.

The NAPC and our Member Associations are not government agencies. Each and every one is made up of volunteers who give their time and dedicate their energies for one reason - to make our neighborhoods more attractive for residents and less attractive to vandals and criminals.

We cannot do what we rely on our city officials and Electeds to do; make law, set policy, fund and deliver City services. But my oh my, what the Neighborhoods and the City can accomplish together, each doing what we do best within the parameters of our very different organizations is nothing less than astounding!

So, Thank You to the entire Lake Worth City Commission, our city's administration and dedicated staff for choosing to pro-actively partner with the Neighborhoods and helping us achieve our goals.

Mary Lindsey, Chair of the NAPC

Theodore Roosevelt

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

Fire aims to kill non-native plants in Everglades - Sun Sentinel

Actions being taken to rid the Everglades of invasive plant species, in particular the Old-World climbing fern. Click title for link to more details.
Ten thousand acres of Everglades National Park will burn Tuesday, as the park attempts to destroy an infestation of plants from Asia and Africa that can kill native vegetation.
Unless bad weather forces a postponement, a helicopter will drop plastic spheres of combustible chemicals over an area of sawgrass and tree islands just north of the main park road. On the ground, an engine crew will use drip torches to dribble flaming liquid on vegetation along about 200 feet of the road.
The object of this assault by fire is a plant called lygodium, or Old-World climbing fern, a plant that has overrun parts of the Everglades, from the southern end of Everglades National Park to the Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge in western Palm Beach County.
The fern covers trees and plants with macabre green shrouds, killing them by depriving them of sunlight. It can kill mature trees, climbing up their trunks to smother them with dense green mats.

All Aboard's request to close rail crossings approved by WPB | www.mypalmbeachpost.com

West Palm Beach City Commissioners approve road closings to make way for the All Aboard Florida train station in downtown. Click title for link.

“Walkability” scholar submits report for downtown West Palm Beach | West Palm Beat

Former High Noon in Lake Worth guest Jeff Speck's walkability report for downtown West Palm Beach is out and will be available shortly. Click here for the archived version of Mr. Speck's time with me. I will share the report once it is widely available. Click title for link to Eliot Kleinberg's article.

This just in...


Here's the Channel 5 report on the coming demolitions

City ordinances to rid Lake Worth of abandoned, run-down properties | Local News - WPBF Home

Click title for link to Channel 25's coverage of the demolition yesterday at 105 South D Street. Our Mayor is featured and sounds great!

Late yesterday afternoon - Demolition at 105 South D Street



Monday, September 15, 2014

More from Mayor Pam Triolo


Mayor Pam Triolo's Monday Message - This one is about the demolition of blighted structures.


Forgiveness abounds on the other blog...keeping it classy...


And here is Ms. McGiveron commenting on this item posted on Facebook:
And for just a heads up on what the Sunshine Law is and isn't, click here. It applies to appointed or elected members of the same board or commission communicating with each other about things that are likely to come before that board or commission. It does not apply to conversations and communications between people on other appointed boards or elected bodies. It does not apply to members of the state legislature, and it does not apply to members of Congress, which would include Lois Frankel.

And as long as the word "ethics" is being bandied about, here are some frequently asked questions regarding the Palm Beach County Ethics Commission and applicable laws.

Next Monday - Joint Neighborhood Meeting - 6:30 p.m.


Real estate: Developer buys Delray Beach land for hotel, condos - Sun Sentinel

Click title for link. Another hotel/mixed use project coming to downtown Delray Beach.
Hotel developer Alan Mindel wanted to boost his portfolio beyond New York, so he flew to South Florida last winter in search of deals.
He figured Fort Lauderdale and Hollywood might offer the best opportunities, but then his brother suggested he consider Delray Beach.
"I landed in Delray one night, and I was out on Atlantic Avenue, and I just fell in love with the place, plain and simple," he said.
Mindel, managing member of Long Island, N.Y.-based Samar Hospitality, ended up spending $2.54 million for a 39,000-square-foot lot at 202-232 S.E. Fifth Ave. He's expected to close on another parcel immediately to the south this month.

Neighborhood Appreciation Thanksgiving Dinner - 11/15


All Aboard Florida to ask West Palm Beach to close rail crossings | www.mypalmbeachpost.com

One of the first steps of many to establish the West Palm Beach All Aboard Florida station. Click title for link. From the article:
All Aboard Florida will ask West Palm Beach commissioners Monday for permission to close two downtown railroad crossings so it can build a train station for its express passenger service planned to run between Miami and Orlando on the Florida East Coast railway tracks.
City officials, however, caution that the decision is largely ministerial. Ultimately it will be up to state’s Department of Transportation to determine whether railroad crossings at Evernia and Datura streets are permanently closed.
“They can do it with or without us,” West Palm Beach spokesman Elliot Cohen said. “Doing it with our consent just makes the process easier.”
The item was pulled from the consent agenda to allow for additional discussion.

Click here for an address given by our Supervisor of Elections on June 28, 2013

The report was given to the Presidential Commission on Election Administration when they came to Florida. The Commission has since issued a report that you can find on their webpage. Below is an infographic of what their goals are:
Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections Susan Bucher gave a talk on June 28, 2013. The following is the text of the talk she gave to this group a little over one year ago. Parts of the text are highlighted for emphasis, but I encourage you to read the entire text.
After doing some simple math, it turns out the Ms. Bucher gave this talk late during her fifth year in office. I don't know about you, but had I been in a job for almost five years, I wouldn't consider myself "fairly new." This could be in relation to the audience she was talking to, but I think it shows that she feels that she is still learning the ropes after five years. And then she acknowledges that her office is probably one of the "most scrutinized in the country when it comes to elections."

This is the second page of her report.
Here, more than a year ago, Ms. Bucher mentions "off-the-shelf" technology that will be employed soon in the form of "mini ipads." This was the new technology that caused many of the delays, especially early in the day of August 26th. She claims that "a picture will be taken." This means that some sort of electronic record would be available created by those mini iPads. Those pictures and information should be available as a check and balance to see who came out to the polls. So far, people have been told that information is unavailable or will cost $400 to retrieve that data. Furthermore, Ms. Bucher claims that this system "will go a long way in moving our voters more quickly", that it will be less difficult to use and is "a great example of moving election equipment forward using current technology." It seems that she is heavily invested in this new technology.

This is the third page of her report:
Here we find out that the manual process for counting Provisional Ballots is more "detailed and time consuming than absentee ballots." Really? From the descriptions of the experiences we heard from Friday night's special City Commission meeting, it sounded like the process was time-consuming, secretive, and less than detailed in the review of those Provisional Ballots.

Here is a report about Palm Beach County's election process and its standing, compared to other counties in Florida. Many factors are examined and you should really read the entire report. It just so happens that the number of Provisional Ballots taken in and the percent that are discarded are listed. Here are some snippets from the report that pertain to Provisional Ballots: (Data from 2012 election).
Title of Report
 
"...the high rates at which Palm Beach and Miami-Dade rejected provisional ballots raise questions as to why those counties found provisional ballots to be invalid much more frequently than other counties." Of the provisional ballots issued in Lake Worth on August 26th, more than 80% were found to be invalid, many due to clerk error.

At the bottom of the third page of her report, she briefly mentions the major snafu with the Wellington municipal election that "caused us to call the wrong winners." The blame is firmly placed upon the "vendors." Earlier in the page, she refers to another problem with a printer/vendor that incorrectly printed 25,000 absentee ballots that couldn't be scanned, requiring the hiring of temporary personnel to hand count the ballots. The Palm Beach Post's account of that mishap reported that it involved 60,000 ballots.

Back to Ms. Bucher's talk in June of 2013. This is the final page of her report:
Here Ms. Bucher proclaims that "future voting systems will use more current technology that contains off-the-shelf items, at decreased cost, that allows for improved administration of elections." How is your level of trust related to that prediction? "Finely," (instead of finally), Ms. Bucher concludes with one of the loftiest, and best Ted Kennedy quotes, as if she is of that caliber of public official. Why am I reminded of Dan Quayle?

She ends by sharing her email address, complete with a typo.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Commissioner McVoy sees the light, after the bond election...his Plan B? Raise taxes and utility rates.

An earlier email from Mr. Waples that went everywhere but nowhere at the same time.

Notice that the entire hierarchy of NBC and CBS News, along with the White House, was copied. I'm surprised that the Secretariat of the United Nations was left out.

Discussion from last Tuesday's City Commission (9/9/14) regarding the Capital Improvement Program budget

The entire discussion here lasts about 15 minutes. I will be making a separate video of the last 3 minutes where Commissioner McVoy seems to have an "ah ha" moment about how to fund infrastructure. That is, through higher millage and utility rates. This comes after the realization that, while there are road projects identified in the Capital Improvement Program budget, there is no money beyond what comes from the sewer fund now to address road repairs. Didn't we just go through all this in preparation for the vote on the bond issue?

Collection of items from the City Commission meeting agenda of 9/9/14


This segment includes minor changes to the LDRs, elections, adoption of minutes and consent agenda items.

College Park New and Replacement Street Banners

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

In 2011, ten banners were placed on street lights around the College Park Neighborhood. Over the years, three of those banners went missing and all seven remaining banners required cleaning and re-stitching. Eight new banners have been ordered and all 15 banners will be hung by the City's Public Services Dept. in the next two weeks at the same previous ten locations and at five new locations. Click here to visit the College Park Facebook page and view the photo album with the new and replacement banners in their virtual locations.

Thank you again to our College Park neighbor, Laura McGlynn for designing our beautiful street banner.

Monday, September 15th meeting of the Parrot Cove Neighborhood Association

LAKE WORTH CITY COMMISSIONER ANDY AMOROSO IS THE GUEST SPEAKER  at the Monday, September 15th meeting of the Parrot Cove Neighborhood Association.  

The meeting, which begins at 7:00pm, takes place at Believers Victory Church, 10th Avenue North and north Lakeside Drive.

Commissioner Amoroso will discuss the general state of the City and District 3.  At the end of his presentation he will take questions from the audience.

All residents are encouraged to attend for this informative meeting.  EVERYONE is welcome, you don't have to be an Association member or live in Parrot Cove. 

Always remember this...


Stealth meeting in Lake Worth last Tuesday?

There was a ROLO (Residents of Lake Osborne) meeting last Tuesday at the Lake Osborne Presbyterian Church. Curiously the only public mention of the meeting is the graphic shown here. The meeting is not listed on the NAPC calendar, nothing in print (i.e., the Lake Worth Herald), no yard signs, and even the ROLO didn't mention the meeting on their own website.

The president of ROLO is Robert Waples and the treasurer is Katie Mcgiveron. Maybe they'll post some pictures of the meeting with some explanation of what was discussed and who was in attendance?

Also curious, why would ROLO schedule the meeting on Tuesday during a city commission meeting? The commissioner who represents ROLO, Scott Maxwell, wouldn't be able to attend. Was this done on purpose to exclude the commissioner from attending?

CHRONIC NUISANCE SERVICES REMEDIATION – DEMOLITION DAY in Lake Worth

From a City press release (mentioned by Channel 5 here):

The City has scheduled a formal kick off for its Chronic Nuisance Service Remediation Program on Monday, September 15, 2014 at 9:00 am. With slit fences in place and permits issued, the demolition of 105 South D Street will be a welcomed sight. 

The City’s program includes demolishing unsafe structures, boarding and securing vacant abandoned buildings, and clearing vacant, overgrown lots. With more than 100 properties requiring these services, residents and property owners are eagerly looking forward to initiation of work and the removal of blight from across the city.


Initial activities include the demolition of three (3) unsafe structures including one (1) each at 105 South D Street, 315 South F Street and 124 Ocean Breeze as well as lot clearings and boarding & securing of many other properties. The demolitions are being done under continuing services contracts with Arbor Tree and Land and Cross Construction.

Commissioner McVoy's "Plan B?" - as reported by the Lake Worth Herald

In a front page story, above the fold, in this weeks Lake Worth Herald was a bombshell article titled, "[Commissioner] McVoy Suggests Raising Millage Rate and Electric Rates To Fund Roadwork"

Some excerpts from the article:

"Commissioner Christopher McVoy Ph.D stated he had been hearing requests from people for traffic calming on many of the city's streets. Without funding available, McVoy suggested there were a couple of ways to fund the road projects. He said Lake Worth could raise the millage rate and increase the electric rates to get the money to do the roadwork." [emphasis added]

[later...]

"The bond referendum recently voted down by Lake Worth voters was for 63.5 million dollars to fix the infrastructure in Lake Worth on a five year plan. The first phase included about 20 million dollars for roadwork."

[and later...]

"During the debate over the budget, Commissioner Scott Maxwell was talking about Lake Worth Electric rates, when he was elected, being the 'highest on the planet', a figure of speech. Commissioner McVoy said that was not true, taking Maxwell literally. McVoy then said there are countries in the world where they charge 30 cents per kilowatt hour. Asked during a break what country he was referring to he said Italy."[emphasis added]

To read the entire article, more news about Lake Worth, and the enigmatic musings our Lake Worth "Pelican Pete" visit LWHerald.com.

Eric Holder asked to investigate Palm Beach County sheriff office | www.mypalmbeachpost.com

Click title for link to article citing multiple complaints about PBSO treatment of the Guatemalan community of Lake Worth. From the article:
Scarola’s letter also asserts that PBSO does not have one deputy of Guatemalan ancestry stationed in Lake Worth. That district includes 80 sworn officers, according to the PBSO website. Guatemalans make up 13 percent of the population in the city of 36,000.
“There is not a single uniformed officer drawn from the Guatemalan community to mitigate the ‘us — versus — them’ mentality and to bridge the war zone boundaries,” Scarola writes.
The Rev. Frank O’Loughlin, director of the Guatemala center, echoed Scarola’s criticism in an interview.
“Police are supposed to reflect the communities they are in,” he said. “But the sheriff’s deputies in Lake Worth are like aliens in the Guatemalan community and are uncomprehending of the people they are dealing with. That lack of comprehension is dangerous.”

Poll worker error disenfranchises 14 Lake Worth voters | www.mypalmbeachpost.com

Click title for link for a story that will appear in tomorrow's edition of the Palm Beach Post. Joe Engelhardt writes about the high number of provisional ballots used in Lake Worth on August 26th and includes a breakdown of their ultimate fate. The Supervisor of Elections office remains defensive, but also indicates that one of its Lake Worth poll workers was terminated as a result. There is also this at the end of the article:
While voters casting provisional ballots are supposed to get paperwork describing their right to prove within 48 hours that they were entitled to vote, Matullo said she got nothing. Almost two weeks after the election, she didn’t know until told by a Post reporter that her vote had not counted.
What the article does not say is that the Canvassing Board met the day after the election, prior to the end of the 48 hour deadline after the Tuesday election. Voters were not told of their rights, but the door had been closed on them anyway. Voters were only given a website to go to where they could enter their name to see if their vote WAS counted. They were also given the main Supervisor of Elections office phone number, but that proved to be a run around for most.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Lessons in respectful blogging...from the last City Commission meeting (9/9/14)

Response from Lake Worth City Attorney to Supervisor of Elections Attorney dated 9/12/14


This is a strong letter which ends with a request for a meeting. It addresses the rather defensive stance taken in the September 9, 2014 letter from the Supervisor of Elections attorney.

Second part of budget discussion at the 9/9/14 City Commission meeting...


Lots of important things to catch from this video. It starts with City Manager Bornstein talking about the relationship between the general fund, property values and how the city is absorbing increasing costs. He also talks about making electric rates on par with FPL and how many things are in the works concerning the operation of the utility. Vice Mayor Maxwell brings up some historical facts related to contributions from the utility to the general fund. That begins around the 2:30 mark. At 3:33 he talks about the highest rates on the planet. He finishes his comments by saying that we don't have the highest taxes around, we have the highest tax rate (5:50). Commissioner McVoy responds at the 6:24 mark.

Since this came up at the last Commission meeting, here are average electricity prices around "the planet"

Statistic: Electricity prices in selected countries in 2013 (in U.S. dollar cents per kilowatt hour) | Statista
Find more statistics at Statista

Commissioner Maxwell made a claim at the 9/9/14 Commission meeting, which he knew was an exaggeration, that Lake Worth had the highest electric rates on "the planet." As a coming video will show, Commissioner McVoy corrected him by saying that "We certainly weren't the highest on the planet. Most other countries are paying at least 30 cent per kilowatt hour. We are paying on the order of 10, 11, 12. They're paying three times more. We are no where near the highest on the planet. Let's not put out information that is just not factual."

I agree. Let's not do that. Italy pays the highest electric rates on the planet and, as the above graph shows, they are around 20 cents per kilowatt hour. That is roughly two times what our rates are, not three. We are higher than the U.S. average, which should not come as a surprise.

A Railroad Expert Challenges Safety and Ridership Numbers for All Aboard Florida




Expect to start seeing these ads on television soon.

Palm Beach County: Roads neglected in city budgets. - Sun Sentinel

Click title for link to an article that reviews the plight of many Palm Beach County municipalities when it comes to keeping up with repairs to their road infrastructure. It appears that they're not. It is a consistent problem up and down the coast, and Lake Worth is mentioned for its attempt to address the issue through the failed bond attempt. From the article:
No city knows that better than Lake Worth. After years of neglect, poor construction and spotty maintenance, the city is facing an infrastructure crisis.
The potholes forming on city streets have become so prevalent that the city has created a pothole hotline for residents to report them. Also, sidewalks all over the city are broken. With little money for resurfacing — about $200,000 a year — city crews resort to patching, creating checker board patterns on city roads.
The city tried to tackle the problem by including $37.8 million worth of road construction, resurfacing and sidewalk projects as part of a $62.3 million bond focused on repairing critical infrastructure. But when it went before voters in August for approval, they rejected it.
And yet, Mayor Pam Triolo said she gets complaints every day from residents asking her to do something about the city's roads.
"This didn't happen overnight. It happened over 50 years," she said. "Unfortunately, road issues and infrastructure is not a sexy subject. Past city councils did not invest money in it ... We forgot about the basics."

The first reading of the budget from last Tuesday's meeting (9/9/14)


Around the 18 minute mark, Commissioner McVoy engages in questions related to how much money the electric utility contributes to the total budget. At the 22 minute mark, Mayor Triolo reminds us that changes were made back in the 1980s that allowed the city to use utility monies to supplement. This was earlier in the meeting and laid the groundwork for what was discussed later on regarding the subject of infrastructure repairs.

All Aboard chooses builder for its trains | www.mypalmbeachpost.com

Some interesting details are revealed about the actual trains that will run on the All Aboard Florida tracks. Things definitely seem to be on the "fast track." There is also a review of some of the changes for the West Palm Beach station. Click title for link.
All Aboard Florida’s express rail service connecting Miami to Orlando will use locomotives and passenger coaches built by Siemens, a global company with strong ties to central Florida.
The diesel-electric locomotives and stainless steel coaches will be built at Siemens solar-powered rail manufacturing hub in Sacramento, Calif., the companies announced Thursday. All Aboard Florida initially plans to purchase five train sets, each consisting of two locomotives and four passenger coaches.
Siemens has a long-standing alliance with the Walt Disney Company, where several of All Aboard Florida’s top executives previously worked. All Aboard’s President and Chief Operating Officer Donald Robinson, President and Chief Development Officer Michael Reininger, and Vice President of Design & Construction Eric Claussen all have ties to Disney.

West Palm Beach garden won’t get grants | West Palm Beat

An urban garden in West Palm Beach may go unrealized, due to lack of water and no business plan. But help is on the way. Click title for link.
Community Development Block Grants to pay for a $5,000 water hookup for the city’s first planned urban garden won’t work. The catch: profit.
Commissioners heard at their Aug. 25 work session that organizers need a new connection to the city’s water supply. It will cost about $5,000, and organizers would like the city to pay.
 In September 2013, commissioners voted for a three-year, $10-a-year deal to lease to Urban Growers the 1.52-acre city-owned parcel at 1400 Henrietta Ave., north of Palm Beach Lakes Boulevard and west of Dixie Highway.
Urban Growers founder Stewart W. Bosley, Jr., hoped to grow seeds off-site, transplant them by the spring of this year, have a formal dedication in November and see his first harvest by late December. But nothing’s been planted yet. Delays set in, chief among them the water issue.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Newly minted bullets from the other blogger...is an intervention necessary?


Today's High Noon in Lake Worth episode (9/12/14)

Check Out Politics Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with High Noon in Lake Worth on BlogTalkRadio

This is the archived edition of the show which was live from noon to 12:45 p.m.today. The show featured Michele L. Jawando Vice President, Legal Progress at American Progress, who spoke with me from her Washington, D.C. office. In our discussion, she points out that Miami-Dade and Palm Beach Counties have the highest discard rates of provisional ballots in the State of Florida. Much of the reason for that, it turns out, is the need for additional poll worker training. The letter from the Supervisor of Elections office attorney is discussed at the end of the episode.

These Are The 10 Happiest Small Places In America - Movoto

It seems to be that one of the common links to high ranking communities of this list is level of education or access to institutions of higher learning. For example, State College, Pennsylvania and East Lansing, Michigan are the number one and two highest ranked smaller communities in this survey. Both are homes to major public universities. Coincidentally, both Penn State and Michigan State vie for the title of the first Land Grant universities under the Morill Act. Beyond the top ten, Coral Gables, Florida was the only city to make the longer list from the state of Florida. Perhaps its rank is influenced by the proximity to the University of Miami. Click title for link.

Mike Adams' crazy train goes off the tracks | The Progressive Contrarian

A story of when social media and the anonymity afforded by the Internet exceeds levels of decency, and can be considered criminal. Click title for link.

Edward Frederick Lindley Wood

"True merit, like a river, the deeper it is, the less noise it makes."

Letter from Supervisor of Elections Attorney re Special City Commission Meeting of 9/5/14

Judge: Rybobich can intervene in lawsuit | West Palm Beat

Consistent with the Chapel-by-the-Lake lawsuit, the developer of the 14 acre Rybovich property will be intervening in the lawsuit filed by citizens against the project. Click title for link. From the article:
Developers of the massive village planned for the Rybovich yacht center can fully participate in a resident’s suit challenging the city’s approval of the complex in April, Palm Beach County Circuit Judge Meenu Sasser ruled Monday.
The 14-acre Rybovich development is a joint project by Huizenga Holdings, which owns Rybovich, and the Related Group.
Their lawyers had asked the judge in July to grant standing “due to the direct and immediate impact the decision in this case will have upon the property owners.”

Picture from a Facebook friend...


Things are getting completely out of hand in Greenfield

Assault
09/09/2014
1100 Block ELM AV

Assault with Deadly Weapon
09/07/2014
1 Block EL CAMINO REAL

Robbery
09/05/2014
100 Block EL CAMINO REAL & MAPLE AV

Assault with Deadly Weapon
09/05/2014
500 Block MADERA AV & CALAVERAS WAY

Theft
09/04/2014
900 Block WALNUT AV & 10TH ST

Assault
09/04/2014
1100 Block ELM AV & 10TH ST

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Michele L. Jawando Vice President, Legal Progress at American Progress 09/12 by High Noon in Lake Worth | Politics Podcasts

Join your host Wes Blackman as he welcomes Michele L. Jawando, who is the Vice President for Legal Progress at American Progress, to the High Noon in Lake Worth studios. Legal Progress is the legal policy program at the Center for American Progress. No matter the issue—health care, immigration, marriage equality, offshore oil drilling, privacy, ethics—the judiciary will continue to play an increasingly important role in the lives of hardworking Americans as well as in the success of the progressive legislative agenda. Through legal and policy analysis, communications and public education and convening key stakeholders, Legal Progress is helping to push the American legal system in a more progressive direction and educate the public about the impact of the courts on issues they care most about.

In the wake of the August 26th election, we will share experiences and talk about voting rights and voter disenfranchisement. Click title for link to live show between 12 and 1 p.m. Friday, September 12th, or after the show airs for the archived version. Leave questions as comments below.

Exchange during break from last Tuesday's City Commission 9/9/14 meeting...


I should learn to keep my camera rolling during break. You never know what you will stumble upon. This is an interesting exchange between Palm Beach Post reporter and our City Attorney, particularly the gesticulating. You can see the other blogger follow Chris Persaud out of the room soon after he leaves. Hmmm. This is his article from the meeting.

Playing around with the YouTube video editor. The second half of the video is a slow motion version of the first. This happens to be one of my favorite songs. You can select from quite a library there and all the rights are taken care of. If you want to "monetize" your videos, you can't use their music.

Enjoy!

All Aboard to modify design for West Palm Beach station | West Palm Beat

Changes to the design of the West Palm Beach All Aboard Florida station are in the works. Staff suggested reducing the number of crossbeams that were included in the initial design. This will allow more light in and create a lighter looking structure at the same time. Click title for link. From the article:
Although the station can be constructed without the city commission’s approval, All Aboard officials have agreed that the plan would be reviewed by city officials. The review, known as the “plans and plats” process, typically allows city officials to recommend changes to a project based on a host of issues, including traffic impact and public safety.
The changes were presented at a “plans and plats” meeting Wednesday, city officials said.
Plans for the station call for a sleek narrow facility of stacked concrete and glass at Datura and Evernia streets to the west of the Florida East Coast Railway tracks. An elevated lounge the length of the 800-foot train platform will have seats for 180 people, while a U-shaped drop-off area will ease departures and pickups.

Today's 9/11 Anniversary - from the White House

Maybe time for a community clean-up at the pier? Update

Juan Ruiz points out that it is in Benny's lease to maintain the pier. They have been contacted and shown these pictures. This is the section of the lease that applies to pier maintenance.

A friend of mine posted these on Facebook. Many people are commenting and expressing their disgust. Does someone regularly clean the pier?








These pictures have been sent to the Mayor, Commissioners and the City Manager.

Saw this ad for Callaro's last night. Snappy!

Examination of Supervisor of Elections' attorney letter coming soon...

A five page letter received Tuesday. Apparently they watched the video...

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

By request...

Commissioner Comments and Liaison Reports from last night's meeting (9/9/14)


Commissioner McVoy begins this segment of the meeting by reviewing his thoughts about last Friday's meeting on the election, but extends his comments to the bond issue and finding a way to fund the work that the city needs to do. Commissioner Maxwell shares what he has learned about the sober house proliferation issue after meeting with congressional representatives. Commissioner Szerdi talks about the importance of spreading the neighborhood watch concept throughout the city. Commissioner Amoroso mentions the success of the beach clean-up and dedication of the new fire truck. The Mayor expresses her dismay at the Chamber of Commerce unilaterally cancelling the Tropical Triathlon. Watch the video to catch things that I have not mentioned here.

Mango Groves First Meeting after Summer Break

Hello Mangos-
We will be holding our first neighborhood meeting after the summer break next Thursday, September 18th at Compass on Dixie and 2nd Ave North (across from Publix). It will be at 7pm.   We invite all to come. 
Regards,
Mango Groves Neighborhood Association.

Here is Greg Rice's presentation from last night's 9/9/14 City Commission meeting. He is president of the Neighborhood Association.

Library Board Report from last night's City Commission meeting...


At the beginning of the video, the City Manager clarifies some items that are on the Consent Agenda regarding utility rates. He reminds the Commission and the public that these are mostly continuations of already existing rates, and where there are changes, these are consistent with discussions that preceded during the budget preparation process. He noted that the increase in sewerage charges includes a pass-through increase from the East Central Regional Sewer and that water rates will increase at a rate of 5% a year. That was determined by a rate study that was undertaken by the city and discussed at one of the many budget-related meetings.

This New Bridge In Portland Was Built For Everyone... Except Cars

Intriguing review of bridges in the Portland, Oregon area where a new one is about to open. Taking the "complete streets" notion a step further, it is designed for every mode of traffic BUT automobiles. It may soon become most people's favorite bridge in the area. Click title for link. From the article:
The Steel Bridge, however, will soon be getting some serious competition in the multimodal department in the form of Tilikum Crossing, Bridge of the People. Due for completion in the fall of 2015 at an estimated cost of $134.6 million, Tilikum Crossing is the first Willamette River-traversing bridge to be built in the Portland metro area since the double-deck tied-arch Fremont Bridge opened to traffic in 1973. When Tilikum Crossing officially opens for business it will accommodate city buses, MAX Light Rail, the Portland Streetcar, cyclists, pedestrians, and unipipers.
Notice something missing from that list?
Tilikum Crossing will not be open to private cars and trucks (emergency vehicles are permitted) making it the longest —17,000 glorious, gridlock-free feet — car-less transit bridge in the U.S.
Sorry other Portland bridges, but it looks like in a year or so you may be bumped from the top of many a “favorite” list.
By the way, you can find out what a "unipiper" is here.

Public Comment from last night's City Commission meeting (9/9/14)


Notable are Bob Lepa's remarks at the 3:00 minute mark. His comments are continued by Peggy Fisher at the 8:58 minute mark. It relates to the behavior of the other blogger. Commissioner Szerdi responds to them at 14:50. The Mayor's comments afterwards, at the end of this segment, summarize her reasons for pursuing infrastructure comments in the manner the city did.

Canceling triathlon mistake for chamber - Palm Beach Post 9/10/14

I was distressed to read Sunday about the cancellation of the Tropical Triathlon (“Chamber cancels triathlon, cites costs”).

The Tropical Triathlon was a boom to the local Lake Worth economy for nearly 18 years, attracting world-class athletes from all over the world. Local hotels and bed and breakfast were filled during the race weekend, restaurants were bustling each day and shops were filled with shoppers. Dr Alex Keith shared his vision with the city to help with its image at a time when Lake Worth had very few events. He worked hard in building a world-class event.

The Central Palm Beach County Chamber of Commerce cites the reason it canceled the event was that businesses did not want to sponsor this event. Rather, they want assistance from the chamber. What assistance has the chamber given since it merged with the Greater Lake Worth Chamber of Commerce? Businesses sponsored this event for 18 years, making it profitable for the chamber.

The real underling issue the triathlon was canceled is the Central palm Beach chamber doesn’t support Lake Worth businesses.

When the merger accrued nearly four years ago, officials promised to keep a presence in downtown Lake Worth, continue hosting the city’s signature events, and support local businesses with networking opportunities. Events are being canceled, and networking events are held out west.

Maybe it’s time either for new leadership at the helm of the chamber or the birth of a new Lake Worth Chamber of Commerce. I prefer the latter.

TOM RAMICCIO

LAKE WORTH

City Attorney Update from Last Night's City Commission - Report on Status of August 26th Election Problems


The City Attorney reviews the list of problems identified during the City Commission meeting last Friday night (9/5/14). He also reports that the Supervisor of Elections watched the meeting and "took umbrage" at the issues raised by the city. According to what we heard, the Supervisor of Elections office thinks the election was one of the "smoothest" in recent memory. There is still dialogue between the city and the supervisor's office regarding requests for information and the cost of retrieval. The $400 cost is considered high and the city wants to know how that amount came about. And the Supervisor of Elections says that poll-workers who were found trying to influence the vote will be terminated, if true.

Not very responsive, to say the least. And this report happened at the end of the City Commission meeting after I removed the camera from the tripod, so please forgive the camera movement. The content is what is important.

Lake Worth City Attorney sets the stage for discussion of August 26th Election Day problems...

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

From the archives...


Ceremony putting Fire Engine 91 into service for the City of Lake Worth

Upcoming Adult Programs at the Lake Worth Library

Meet the AuthorCynthia Morrison.
This gothic, steampunk and murder mystery writer will discuss American author Edgar Allan Poe and present her latest anthology 
The Passion of Poe 
Thursday, October 16 7pm | Lake Worth Public Library | 15 North M Street 
Free, open to all.
 Refreshments

Acupuncture & Longevity Lecture Series
With Maria Chah, Licensed Acupuncturist 
Stress & Anxiety Wednesday, September 24 10am
Acute & Chronic Pain Wednesday, October 22 | 6pm
A Natural Wellness | Wednesday, November 12 10am
Hormonal Imbalances Wednesday, November 19 6pm
Free | City Hall Annex Meeting Room | 414 Lake Avenue
Please Call 561.396.9085 for Reservations

Ask the Tech!
If you have questions about basic Microsoft Windows computing; Android tablets and smart phones; the Internet (no Facebook or Twitter); Microsoft Office software; ask your questions at our “Ask the Tech” open forum. You will be able to ask your questions and the instructor will answer them as best as possible. Sorry, no Apple product questions.
Saturdays | September 27 | October 4 | November 1 | December 6 | 2pm - 3:30pm
Free, open to all | City Hall Annex Meeting Room | 414 Lake Avenue 

Computer Classes | Bring Your Own Laptop or Tablet
Mouse Basics Saturday, September 20 2pm - 3pm
Keyboard Overview Saturday, October 11 10am - 11am
Microsoft WordPad:  The Very Basics Saturday, November 8 | 10am - 11am
File Management Basics
 Saturday, December 13 10am - 11am
Free | City Hall Annex Meeting Room | 414 Lake Avenue 
REGISTRATION REQUIRED, call 561-5337354
Computer Classes
Mouse Basics Thursday, September 18 | 6:30pm - 7:30pm
Keyboard Overview | Thursday, October 2 | 6:30pm - 7:30pm
Microsoft 2013:  The Very Basics Thursday, November 20 6:30pm - 7:30pm
Microsoft 2013:  Editing Text Thursday, December 2 | 6:30pm - 7:30pm
Free | Lake Worth Public Library | 15 North M St.  
REGISTRATION REQUIRED, call 561-533-7354

DIY Crafts… For Uncrafty Adults
Calligraphy with Feather Quills Thursday, October 9 | 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm
Glass Etching Using Etching Cream Thursday, November 6 | 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm
Miniature Succulent Terrariums Thursday, December 11 | 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm
Concrete Stepping Stones Thursday, January 8, 2015 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm
Mason Jar Herb Garden Thursday, February 12, 2015 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm
Kokedama Moss Balls Thursday, March 12, 2015 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm
Seating limited to 15 participants, call to reserve your spot
FREE | Lake Worth Public Library | 15 North M Street 
REGISTRATION REQUIRE, call 561-533-7354

3rd Saturday Book Club
The following titles have been selected for the fall Book Club discussions. Books are available at the library.Orphan Trainby Christina Baker Klein | Saturday, October 18, 2014 | 2:00 pm
Echo Park, by Michael Connelly | Saturday, November 15, 2014 | 2:00 pm
Tell the Wolves I’m Home, by Carol Rifka Brunt | Saturday, December 20, 2014 | 2:00 PM
Regeneration, by Pat Baker | Saturday, January 17, 2015 | 2:00 pm
The Dali Lama’s Cat, by David Michie | February 21, 2015 | 2:00 pm
Let the Great World Spin, by Colum McCann | March 21, 2015 | 2:00 pm
The Traitor’s Wife, by Alison Pataki |  April 18, 2015 | 2:00 pm
Unbroken, by Laura Hillenbrand | May 16, 2015 | 2:00 pm
FREE | City Hall Annex meeting room | 414 Lake Ave |

Friends of the Library Books Sale
The Friends will be holding their fall used book sale on Saturday, November 15th from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm in the Cultural Plaza at 414 Lake Ave. Prices range from 50 cents to 5 dollars with some specially priced items. We appreciate your kind donations, but please sort your donated items before bringing them to the Lake Worth Public Library at 15 North M St during regular hours. Volunteers are also needed to help with the sale. Please call the library at 561-533-7354 for additional information.
We do not take…
* books with covers falling off
* books with damp, brittle, or missing page
* books with markings in them
* buggy books
* textbooks older than 5 years
* travel guides older than 5 years
* DVDs and music CDs not in original media cases
* Items on recorded media
* Encyclopedias older than 5 years
Musical Discussions
Please come and join Mr. Marc Solomon for a fun, lively discussion of the career, music and lyrics of Barry Mani low and Billy Joel.
Barry Mani low’s Career, Music & Lyrics | Saturday, October 11 2:00 pm
Billy Joel's Career, Music & Lyrics Saturday, November 8 | 2:00 pm
Free | City Hall Annex Meeting Room | 414 Lake Avenue