Thursday, December 8, 2016

Thank You everyone so much for showing up last night for “The Cottages” book launch


“Theres nothing like volunteerism” and “This is for you Dean.”
Janice Snearer (watch the short video below).


Last night was the launch event for “The Cottages of Lake Worth” hardcover book. A book years in the making. (Use this link to see a presentation by Roger Hendrix to the City Commission about “The Cottages” back in December 2013.)

About 50 people showed up and everyone had a very good time.

The party was held in one of our historic treasures, the Lake Worth Castle. Attendance was by RSVP and the owner of the home was very nice in letting the event be held in her home. A public event is coming up at the Cultural Council in Downtown Lake Worth. Here is an excerpt from The Coastal Star:

A book signing will be held from 3 p.m. Dec. 17 at the Cultural Council of Palm Beach County, 601 Lake Ave., in Lake Worth.

[and this. . .]

     “We were having a committee meeting and somebody said, ‘Who would like to do a coffee table book?’ ” Janice Snearer recalls. “And I looked and my hand was up.”
     Snearer, an artist and former gallery owner, became the coordinator, hosting meetings in her 1931 home on Lakeside Drive.

A special thanks to Ruby Hummingbird for providing the wonderful music and to Ken Keffer for the excellent food catering; everyone enjoyed both of their work.

Here is a short video taken holding the camera of Janice’s short speech for the assembled, it’s a little shaky but still very watchable:To watch more videos from my Lake Worth YouTube channel use this link. When you go to the page look for the red “Subscribe” icon at the top right corner. Subscribers get an email when new videos have been uploaded.

Ever been to the City’s Farmers Market? Come and see the book every Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. until the end of December. Meet and chat with Janice!

How cool is that! Check out the new Lake Worth Herald website

Check out the new Herald website using this link. Pick up the print edition tomorrow at the City’s newsstand at 600 Lake Ave.

Here’s news about an upcoming event on December 13th, “LW Completes Another Greenway Project”:

The City of Lake Worth has announced the completion of the 11th Avenue South Greenway Project.

[and. . .]

     There will be a ribbon cutting ceremony at 1 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 13, at the intersection of 11th Avenue South and D Street.
     Everyone is welcome. Contact the City of Lake Worth Public Services office at 585-1720 with any questions or comments.

[PINNED POST] Spread the word. Important news for Lake Worth Utility customers: Phone scammers are back.

Use this link to read the entire news article from the City:

The phone scammers, “threaten to shut the power off unless a payment is made immediately with a Green Dot MoneyPak card or personal credit card. These calls are not from us.

and. . .

“If you ever receive a strange call and are in doubt, hang up and call us at 561-533-7300. Authorities have been notified of this scam . . . If you think you may have been a victim, please contact us at 561-533-7300 or make a Suspicious Incident Report with the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s office at 561-688-3400.

Tomorrow: The THIRD Beach Bonfire of the Season and Evening on the Avenues as well.

Evening on the Avenues starts at 6:00 in the Cultural Plaza. Make sure to visit the NAPC tent and say, “Hi”. It’s also another Beach Bonfire of the season (see below).

If you didn’t know, Lauren Bennett is the “go to” person for City events, renting the Casino ballroom, and so much more. The City does a real good job with their “Events” website. To see all that news use this link. Are you a vendor? Have a question, want to add an event, or need more information? Call the Department of Leisure Services at 561-533-7395 or email lbennett@lakeworth.org

Ever been to a Beach Bonfire?

CRA Press Release: National Trust for Historic Preservation grant for the historic 1000 Lake Ave. building

“The Lake Worth CRA is investing in our community to revitalize and rebuild our neighborhoods and commercial corridors. We are dedicated to maintaining the character of the City, responding to community needs and encouraging sustainable economic growth to improve the quality of life for our residents and the future health of our City.”
—Mission of the Lake Worth CRA.

Press release below. For more information contact Deputy Director Chris Dabros:
  • 29 South J Street, Unit 1
  • 561-493-2550
  • cdabros@lakeworth.org
December 7, 2016

Lake Worth, FL – The Lake Worth Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) was awarded a $2,000 grant by the National Trust for Historic Preservation from the Daniel K. Thorne Intervention Fund. These grant funds will be used to help support financial analysis planning of the historic 1000 Lake Avenue project. [emphasis added]
     The 1000 Lake Avenue building was constructed in 1927 and contains over 20,000 square feet of potential mixed-use space. It is a designated historic structure by the City of Lake Worth and is located in the Old Town National Historic District. The CRA hopes to redevelop 1000 Lake Avenue and has secured a variety of potential funding sources to assist in this process.

[and. . .] 

     “Organizations like the Lake Worth CRA, help to ensure that communities and towns all across America retain their unique sense of place," said Stephanie Meeks, president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. "We are honored to provide a grant to the Lake Worth CRA which will use the funds to help preserve an important piece of our shared national heritage.”
     Grants from the National Trust Preservation Funds range from $2,000 to $5,000 and have provided over $15 million since 2003.
     These matching grants are awarded to nonprofit organizations and public agencies across the country to support wide-ranging activities including consultant services for rehabilitating buildings, technical assistance for tourism that promotes historic resources, and the development of materials for education and outreach campaigns.

Tomorrow: “Christmas Carol Edition: Beer and Hymns.”

This news is from 2 weeks ago. The print edition is always available on Friday. Pick up your copy tomorrow to find out what’s going on here in our little City:

Pick up The Lake Worth Herald print edition at our City’s newsstand located Downtown at 600 Lake Ave. Its still ¢50!

Below is an excerpt about an exciting event sponsored by the First Congregational Church (1415 North ‘K’ Street) here in the City of Lake Worth coming up on December 9th. The entire article is on page 7 in this week’s Herald (link and highlight added by Yours Truly):

The First Congregational Church of Lake Worth (FCCLW) will sponsor the “Christmas Carol Edition: Beer and Hymns.” Once again, Ailoi’s, owned by a Lake Worth family, Melanie and Michael Hackman, will be the host location. Aioli’s is located at 7434 South Dixie Hwy., across from the Palm Coast Plaza.
     Not only does Aioli’s have great food, but this year all profits from the Beer and Hymns evening will be donated to North Grade Elementary School in Lake Worth. North Grade has helped Melanie and Michael select six needy families to experience the Christmas spirit.
     “Beer and Hymns: the Carol Edition” is under the watchful, professional eye of Richmond Schmidt. It was Schmidt that introduced Beer and Hymns.
     The concept was not original, but it was for the FCCLW church family. Everyone had such a good time. Let’s do it again!

For those of you still stinging, hopping mad and angry that Donald Trump is President-elect of the United States.

Are you a Democrat and/or Hillary Clinton supporter? Still angry about the election of Mr. Trump and not sure who to get mad at? Proceed to the next blog post or use this link.

[Note: This blog post is originally from just a few days after the November 8th elections. FYI: I know a thing or two about being on the losing side.]
 
The Lake Worth “Nan Rich for Governor” phone bank and field office was hosted by none other than Yours Truly. But the powers-that-be got behind Charlie Crist instead. And the rest as they say, “is history”.

I did my part back in 2014 to get a Democrat governor but my side lost. In the time since haven’t complained except to make this point: I still think Nan Rich was the better opponent to run against Rick Scott.
I wasn’t the only one that thought so.

The powers-that-be in the Democrat Party disagreed and chose Crist over Nan Rich. Now Rick Scott is the governor of Florida and no amount of angst or hand-wringing will change that fact. Calling him an “a--h---” will get you attention but again, it’s not going to change the political realities any time soon: the Republicans control Tallahassee and Washington, D.C. now as well.

My heart truly goes out to those like State Senator Jeff Clemens when he takes that long ride north. It can’t be much fun for a Democrat.

Our elected representatives and City leadership have gone to Tallahassee to plead our case for giving Lake Worth more help and to a degree they’ve had success. It’s not any different now. They’re going to have to keep taking that long drive north and keep pleading our case for the City of Lake Worth.


So, the point is? Democrats alone are not going to solve Lake Worth’s problems and neither are the Republicans, alone. Others like self-described Libertarians hem and waffle, and try to come up with solutions whilst their neighborhood roads like North ‘J’ Street continue to degrade each and every day. Then there are Anarchists, Maoists, and the Communists too:

A flyer handed out in Downtown Lake Worth leading up to the elections last March.

Amidst the noise and clamor what can a resident of ‘quirky’ Lake Worth do to help solve its problems? Below is one idea from a community activist, former commissioner and mayor, entrepreneur, author, and speaker who recently gave a talk in Lake Worth:

     . . . determine who is busy making a positive impact and do what you can to help them. Those people are not hard to find. They serve on boards, mentor children, seek to heal those who are hurting, raise funds for good causes, work hard to advance ideas and create jobs. They aspire. Oh, how I love that word. It makes all the good in this world possible.

In Lake Worth there are the complainers and there are the doers. And neither of them is “hard to find” here in this City. If you’re looking for ways to make this City a better place to live it’s the doers you need to listen to and follow.

They, the doers, don’t have a lot of time left over to complain about who the governor is or who the President of the United States is either. They have other things to do. Like improve the quality of life for so many of our residents.

The City of Lake Worth is non-partisan. We don’t make election choices because of who is a Democrat or who is a Republican, liberal or conservative, or “middle of the road”. The choice is about who makes the hard decisions and gets the hard work of governing and government done.

And let’s all work equally hard at keeping the national political dysfunction out of our City as well. We have more important things to do. And we also don’t need any more distractions, there are enough of those already:

To learn more about the Silly Red Sign (SRS) platoon use this link. They still think there’s a “wolf at the door”. There never was.

Post editorial board tries to appease the Trump voters: Let’s “bridge that gap”, and please, “with no prejudgment”

Last night (Wednesday, 12/7), and this is not a joke, The Palm Beach Post editorial board held a “Facebook live chat with Trump voters” and. . . 

“We narrowed our invitation down to a dozen or so [emphasis added] Palm Beach County voters.”

However, that brings up the obvious question: Will the editors invite a “dozen or so” Democrats in for a Facebook live chat? Possibly discuss why the editorial board didn’t endorse Hillary? And maybe discuss this too:

A full page ad in the Post on Sunday, November 6th, page A5, two days before election day. The editors need to “bridge that gap” with Democrats too, don’t you think?

The Palm Beach Fellowship of Christians & Jews: “Interfaith alliance will send volunteers into community.”

An article about the Palm Beach Fellowship of Christians & Jews was a small news item amidst all those circulars, Black Friday deals, real estate listings, and cars for sale in the Thanksgiving Day print edition of the Post. Here is the link to the article by reporter Michael Readling, an excerpt:

“Basically, it is kind of our mission in action. What we are doing is pulling people together from all different backgrounds, faiths and cultures to work side-by-side on volunteer projects,” said Sherri Gilbert, executive director of the Palm Beach Fellowship of Christians and Jews. “We’re getting to know our neighbors, we’re doing a good deed and making our community livable, making it better.”

Use this link or call 561-833-6150 for future volunteer efforts at the Palm Beach Fellowship and to learn more about their mission: 

“The Palm Beach Fellowship of Christians & Jews is dedicated to promoting fellowship, understanding, and respect among all religions and cultures; bringing the community together through education, dialogue, and interaction; and addressing issues rooted in intolerance, anti-Semitism, and unjust discrimination.”

The ‘G’ Word: Time for a moratorium? And why would you trust anyone who said your neighborhood can’t aspire to be better?

Below is a quite lengthy blog post. If you’re short on time please scroll down and read this later on today or tomorrow. And, as always, Thank You for visiting.

On the heels of, “The word gentrification shows up in the strangest of places. . .”. And think about this, since urban gardens are so popular with some, are they actually promoting gentrification? Because developers love urban gardens. Have you read this article, “Urban farmers find that success leads to eviction”? This is called the “Gentrification Paradox” (read more about that below).

And ask yourself this question: “Is it possible there are people or groups here in Lake Worth intentionally trying to increase the crime rate for political objectives?” A shocking thought isn’t it? Or maybe not so much for others.

Everyone knows the naysayers and malcontents here in Lake Worth. The ones that have nothing good to say about the majority on the City Commission, swept into office in 2012. Some of those naysayers, once upon a time, were in control of this City and you may be wondering how such negative people ever got into positions of power. They accomplished that with the politics of fear, also called “The Wolf at the Door”.

But the people in Lake Worth woke up one day 4 years ago and realized there was no “Wolf at the Door”, or “Vulture at the Door” if you will. The real problem was a few commissioners in City Hall and in 2012 they got tossed out. Unsurprisingly, the mood in this City began to change beginning back in 2012. A much more positive outlook about our future.

So. . . why isn’t the cry of “Gentrification!” working any more? Also in this blog post are more of the tactics used to stop neighborhood improvements and ways to discourage people from being more involved in their communities. And. . . why blaming elected officials for ‘gentrification’ is a fallacy, merely a tactic to gain political advantage.

Gentrification is one of the most misunderstood phenomenons in American culture. It’s a term that’s derogatory to some and a very hopeful one for others who live in persistently blighted areas. The logic by some is a certain level of blight is ‘charming’ because it makes the area undesirable to investors or ‘outsiders’.

People who rail and frighten a neighborhood against gentrification (G) are then in the unenviable position of having to balance how much blight is good to deter more people from moving in but still keep the area in a state of limbo: not getting better and not getting worse either. Because if the neighborhood gets too blighted the people who live there will move out. On the other hand, if one person decides to do a home renovation and improve his or her home, another home will have to decay further to maintain that balance. And what if, God forbid, a homeowner decides to replace the roof!

If one property increases in value, the anti-G logic is, then that is a threat to all the other homes on the street. Then to show the neighborhood how enlightened, resilient, and sustainable they are, then they encourage urban farms and urban gardens which leads to what? Less blight. A bland, unkempt home doesn’t look as bad when surrounded by a garden or a farm. Welcome to what’s called the Gentrification Paradox.

Here is one explanation of this phenomenon from the Strong Towns blog. To put it very simply: Some tactics to stop gentrification actually do the opposite. They make neighborhoods, towns and cities more attractive rather than less.

However, the ‘anti-G’ folks have other tactics from the grab-bag to try and stop, or at least slow down, the process of a neighborhood improving that do terrible long-term damage and truly affect people’s lives in a negative way:
  • Upzoning (destabilize residential neighborhoods)
  • Increase the crime rate (or the perception of crime in an area)
  • Encourage the homeless to take over a “space”, like the Cultural Plaza downtown
  • Encourage needle exchange programs to attract more drug addicts (another tactic in Lake Worth from the bag of tricks)
  • Make it easier for sober homes to operate without supervision and less scrutiny
  • Under-fund or obstruct education initiatives for children and recent immigrants
All of these tactics, and there are many others, are ultimately unsuccessful. Why? Because the process is market-driven and as the economy improves people want a better quality of life. Those who who live in blighted areas will do things like paint a house, clean up the front yard, remove abandoned cars, and engage in activities like forming neighborhood groups, request bike lanes, and become interested in things like community policing. All these changes increase real estate value over time.

In the City of Lake Worth is the Grey Mockingbird Community Garden (GMCG). This garden located at the Scottish Masonic Temple has greatly increased visitors and interest in the area not only due to the garden but also with their educational and entertainment activities. The GMCG is discouraging blight and encouraging neighborhood improvements. How many people have visited the garden and decided to look around the City, liked what they saw and either decided to invest in or move to Lake Worth? That is hard to gauge but it certainly has happened.

In the 2015 election cycle the word “gentrification” was used almost constantly by the ‘anti-G’ faction who knocked on doors to frighten certain neighborhoods in Lake Worth. They blamed some politicians for promoting it and others were praised for trying to stop it which is all nonsensebut it did play well ‘at the door’. However, it didn’t work in the last election cycle, March 2016. Why? They simply overplayed their hand and ‘crying Wolf!’ had lost its effectiveness.

In conclusion, if someone tells you that your commissioner, mayor, or state representative is responsible for ‘gentrification’ they are lying to you.

And on the issue of trust: Why would you ever trust anyone who told you that your neighborhood can’t aspire to be better for your children, friends, and family?

Another stroll down memory lane: A ‘grand government conspiracy’ here in the little City of Lake Worth?

The City of Lake Worth “is deliberately attempting to make residents ‘feel the pain’ of inadequate road repairs in order to get their $40 million infusion of cash”? See the entire quote below.
 
Thanks to almost 70% of voters in Lake Worth on November 8th, roadways like North ‘J’ Street on the way to Publix will finally be made safe for the public once again.

But remember all those red/white signs that lined North ‘J’ Street leading up to the bond vote in August 2014?
The cost to repair Lake Worth roads increased $9 million since the “LW2020” bond vote failed in 2014 by just 25 votes. Mr. Mudd didnt mention that:

“I call shenanigans. Could it be that the city [Lake Worth] is deliberately attempting to make residents ‘feel the pain’ of inadequate road repairs in order to get their $40 million infusion of cash that they can control? I can’t prove it so I have to leave it as an open ended question but the underlying facts are more than suspicious.”

—Quote by Brian Mudd on podcast “The Cheat Sheet”, July 26th, 2016 . . . I can’t prove it. . .but the underlying facts are more than suspicious” he said.

Underlying facts? Maybe Mr. Mudd can share his ‘underlying facts’ with Jamie Brown, the City’s Public Services Director: 561-586-1720. Or City Manager Michael Bornstein: 561-586-1689. The mayor? Her phone number is 561-586-1735.

Worth another look: Why it’s generally unwise to be disrespectful to City employees

Watch the video below taken by a resident in the little City of Lake Worth and then read the legal opinion regarding the ‘concerns’ that are raised.

This is In response to your request for a legal opinion regarding the emails from Suzanne Squire below.
Here is the header line of the email; the text follows below.

Ms. Squire [emphasis added] states that she did not receive an opt out form to opt out of having her property included in the designation of the Northeast Lucerne Townsite Local Historic District. 

The Northeast Lucerne Townsite Local Historic District was created in December, 2002 when the City Commission approved Ordinance Number 2002-38.

Prior to the adoption of this ordinance and in accordance with the Lake Worth Code of Ordinances, the city took the steps required to implement the Lake Worth Comprehensive Plan as mandated by F.S. Ch. 163

1. A survey and inventory of historic resources within the city was done. The nomination of the historic district was based upon the survey.

2. In July of 2002 a Courtesy Notice was sent to all property owners within the proposed district. This Notice advised property owners of their ability to oppose the creation of the district. The Notice stated that if a majority of the eligible property owners oppose creating the historic district, no action would be taken to create the district, at that time. There was no ability to opt out. If less than a majority opposed the designation, the process of designation was moving forward.

3. Public hearings were then held. The Historic Resources Preservation Board held a hearing on August 21, 2002, and finding that the area met the code criteria for designation, recommended that it be approved by the City Commission.

4. The City Commission had two readings of the Ordinance approving the Northeast Lucerne Townsite Local Historic District, the second being a public hearing with notice pursuant to Statute, on December 17, 2002. At the second hearing the Commission declared the Ordinance duly passed and enacted.

5. The Ordinance Designating the Northeast Lucerne Townsite Local Historic District was then recorded in the public records of Palm Beach County at OR Book 14675 Page 1418.

6. Appeal of actions taken by the City must be made within thirty (30) days of the action taken. Given that the ordinance creating the historic district occurred in December, 2002, the appeal period has long since expired

7. There is no provision in the Lake Worth Code of ordinances to opt out of a historic district. 

Barbara Alterman 

TORCIVIA, DONLON,
GODDEAU & ANSAY, P.A.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Began this blog in 2006 and still get surprised: “Thank You Alex Hagan. . .”

The blog post below from last Monday rocketed to the top for blog traffic and remains there. Why? The Nov. 8th referendum was a month ago but would seem there remains a lot of interest in this topic. Without further ado, the post titled, “Thank You Alex Hagan at WPTV/NBC5 for news segment about our City’s bond referendum”:

After an election or vote it can sometimes take many months before the results can be seen in perspective: what went right and what went wrong. On September 28th Alex Hagan did a news segment that received a tremendous amount of attention on this blog leading up to the November 8th bond referendum.

How much did it help? It’s hard to tell. But one thing is for sure: it didn’t hurt. Here are two excerpts from the text of the TV news segment:

LAKE WORTH, Fla. - A crucial vote deciding the fate of Lake Worth’s roads is coming soon.
On November 8, voters will decide whether to approve a 40 million dollar bond referendum.
     The city posted a tax calculator on their website to give residents the chance to estimate how much more in taxes they would be paying the next few years.
     “Time for new roads.”
     David Richert is clearly aware of the issue, but as he plugs in the taxable assessed value of his home he's not too thrilled about the dollar amount.
     “Looking at $109 annually.”

[and. . .]

     However, Mike Luciano is okay with how much he would have to pay.
     “$187,” says Luciano. “It’s not so bad for the service that we’ll be getting. Think it will bring more investment.” [emphasis added]

The media gets a lot of things wrong. But they get a lot of things right too. So kudos to Alex Hagan for taking the time to educate the voters on a very important topic here in the little City of Lake Worth.

And “Letters to the Editor” like this didn’t hurt either:

The Nov. 8th referendum passed overwhelmingly. Now the City can fix that “shabby street surface” on 1st Ave. South because the car started rattling and will probably cost about $100 to fix.

A Letter to the Editor* that didn’t make the print edition today, “Don’t let satanic mark spoil holidays”.

There were 3 letters in yesterday’s Post online edition but the one below by Patty Delaney of Boca Raton didn’t make the cut for the print edition; two excerpts:

     In mid-December, an individual representing the group Freedom From Religion will display a sign of the satanic symbol, the pentagram, in Sanborn Square Park in downtown Boca Raton. This satanic blood-red symbol and an anti-religious faith message will be positioned in the area next to the Jewish menorah and the Christian Christmas Nativity scene.

[and. . .] 

     A recommended action is that believers reverence and spend time in reflection at the site of the menorah and the Christmas Nativity scene and in their own houses of worship.

May God bless all of us,

PATTY DELANEY, 

BOCA RATON

Editor’s note: Patty Delaney is the communications ministry director to Monsignor Michael D. McGraw at St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church and School.


*Ever wanted to write a Letter to the Editor? Learn the most effective way using this link. Hint: You need to follow up.

“Butterflies in my stomach”, “out to lunch”, “sitting duck”, “ball is in your court”. . .

“It’s not rocket science.” Have your own idiom to share?

CRA, Finance Advisory Board, Library Board, Recreation Advisory Board, Sister City Board, Tree Board. . . where are the minutes?

See for yourself. Use this link.