Wednesday, January 28, 2015

EXCLUSIVE! Sneak Peek, see it here first: the Lake Worth Cribune's "Valentine's Issue"!

Commissioner John Szerdi fundraiser TONIGHT at the EcoCentre...

RSVP me and I will forward your expected attendance to the Commissioner Szerdi campaign for re-election to District 4 in Lake Worth. Contact me on Twitter: @WesBlackman or email: wesblackman@gmail.com

Political advertisement paid for and approved by John Szerdi, non-partisan for City Commissioner

Some pics from the infrastructure meeting last night...

Commissioner (District 4) John Szerdi speaking. (Left: Commissioner Andy Amoroso)
City Manager Michael Bornstein (standing, in bow-tie) with maps of city where infrastructure repairs are necessary.
Lake Worth Mayor Pam Triolo with Vice Mayor Scott Maxwell (far left) and all other city commissioners present.
Crowd shot of meeting. Phil Materio, of McMow Art Glass on Dixie Highway, standing with arm raised with question.

"Fire crotch" strikes again!

This person, who happens to have a truck driver's vocabulary (nothing against truck drivers here), thought that the meeting was "premature." So why would a meeting be "premature" on an item that has been discussed for almost 2 and a half years. After complaining about how the city hasn't listened to them up until now, it may not be the best idea to turn down the opportunity once it is given. Newsflash: This particular person spoke early during the meeting and did not "vomit" at the podium. She did say that the meeting was "nice" but "unnecessary." The $800,000 that was to be used by the various district commissioners, would actually have paid for direct improvements to this person's neighborhood, as they desired. I guess that was lost in translation.

This person also wore a McVoy t-shirt to the meeting.

Lauren Hills, WPEC, Channel 12: Lake Worth asks residents for road funding ideas

Channel 12's news segment on the infrastructure meeting. This aired Monday night. Click title for link. I purposefully avoided watching the segment by Lauren Hills because Lake Worth has, well, a history with those at WPEC; like this for instance. A reader sent me a link to the segment by Lauren Hills and informed me it was a real news story and very fair, and it is indeed that.

City Manager Michael Bornstein is interviewed by Lauren Hills and he comes across as very informative and highly knowledgeable: which he is, of course.

Fourth in the series of videos from last night's infrastructure meeting.


In this one, Joe Egly, former City Commissioner, makes his way to the podium to share his thoughts, as does Tammy Pansa. Then the conversation goes back to the Mayor and the Commission, along with the city's legal and financing experts that they brought in for the meeting. They react to some of the comments and the ideas raised by those who spoke.

"Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth." - Buddha

My personal favorite on-line dictionary is Dictionary.com. Here is how this on-line dictionary defines "hearsay":
noun
1. unverified, unofficial information gained or acquired from another and not part of one's direct knowledge:
I pay no attention to hearsay.
2. an item of idle or unverified information or gossip; rumor:
a malicious hearsay.
Synonyms [of "hearsay"]
1. talk, scuttlebutt, babble, tittle-tattle.
Note that 'hearsay' is not 'journalism'. Here is the title of an article published in 2006, titled "Presidential Hearsay" and our 'Tribune editor', Margaret Menge is an important character in this story of hearsay. From the article:
Does gubernatorial front-runner Eliot Spitzer already have his eye on the White House?

Publicly, he's always said, "No." But, the word is, he recently confided his ambitions to, of all people, St. Luke's Cornwall Hospital CEO Allan Atzrott.

Both U.S. News & World Report magazine and the New York Daily News last week carried items about the supposed exchange that read like dispatches from the telephone game.

According to the publications, Spitzer told Atzrott that he would like to be "the first Jewish president." Atzrott then told Cornwall Local Editor Margaret Menge, who told U.S. News & World Report, where she used to work as a researcher.

When asked about it via e-mail, Atzrott's reply was brief. "Not true!" the hospital executive wrote. He did not respond to repeated requests for clarification.

Menge, however, stood by her story. She said Atzrott told her the tale, then repeated it as he related a conversation he'd had with Spitzer in an Albany cafeteria.

"(Atzrott's) probably not happy it's in there," Menge said. "But he said it."
How do we know Allan Atzrott said what really happened in this incident? How can we judge his credibility, or that of the reporter's? We don't and we can't. So it comes down to a matter of 'who do I believe'? Do you trust Allan E. Atzrott, Vice Chair of Greater New York Hospital Association or do you believe the 'journalist'?

Note that Margaret Menge, as far as we know, is not working for The Palm Beach Post, The Sun Sentinel, The Tampa Bay Times or The Miami Herald. Margaret Menge's last journalism job was with "a terrible little newspaper" in Key West, Florida, according to her Letter from the Editor in the paper's "Premiere Issue." Too much information, methinks. She is now editor of the burgeoning new, free weekly Lake Worth newspaper and exercising her journalistic skills in our little town.

Consider this: The first issue of this new newspaper was released on an unsuspecting public on January 16th. This happens to be only 53 days before a municipal election in Lake Worth. More questions than answers here.

First of the video series from last night's meeting at Compass regarding infrastructure funding...


I will be posting these throughout the day and ultimately putting together a playlist. There are two limiting factors to my recordings. One is the space available on my 32 GB disk and the other is the life of the battery. Last night, it was the disk size that held me back, but I was still able to get most of the meeting. It was conducted in a unique way in that people were not limited by the usual 2 minute rule. It was a way for the Commission to solicit as many ideas as possible to address the city's acknowledged precarious infrastructure conditions. I would say that at the peak, there might have been 80 or so people there. Experts that the city uses related to financing and legalities thereof were there and added to the discussion toward the end of the meeting.

The ironic thing is that some comments made at the meeting indicated that some thought this meeting was premature, others thought that it was a long time coming. This will lead to a future meeting, or meetings, about laying out alternatives. One idea that seemed to catch hold was some sort of hybrid assessment (based upon property characteristics) and a traditional general obligation bond. A surprise idea was considering the sale of the golf course, or other city assets.

Second video of series from last night's meeting on infrastructure...


Third video in series from last night's infrastructure meeting...


This was generally the end of the public comment period, but comments were still taken from the public after this point in the meeting as cards were submitted.

Part 3 of the Genesis Meeting held 1/26/15 at 6 p.m.: St. Andrews Lutheran Church


This third video brings former Commissioner Retha Lowe to the podium to discuss the history of neighborhood associations in the southwest part of the city and the expansion of the Genesis area. She also talks about the need for traffic calming in the area.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Yoo-Hoo, Other Blogger...Look over here!

You published this article regarding Serge Jerome, Jr., with a marriage license showing a Deerfield Beach address. Here it is, followed by a copy of the marriage license:

This is the address Serge Jerome, Jr. used in his qualifying paperwork:
It shows the address being 1520 Lake Avenue. However, I don't believe you looked at the birth dates of either of these Serge Jerome, Jrs. The one with a Deerfield Beach address was born on 10/16/84 and Serge Jerome, Jr. who lives in Lake Worth was born on 12/05/83.

They are two different people.
Better get with the publisher of the Lake Worth Tribune. She'll put Joseph Thompson III on it right away!

Why Ryan Maier was removed from a Lake Worth City board

Ryan Maier, a candidate challenging Lake Worth City Commissioner John Szerdi, states on his campaign website that he...
"[W]as a member of the Sister City board in Lake Worth.

'I have the energy, enthusiasm and experience needed to represent our multi-faceted city.' "
During Mr. Maier's introduction at the candidate forum on 1/26/15, he mentions his time on the Sister City Board as evidence of his city involvement. His enthusiasm for being in that position apparently was low, as he was removed from the board due to lack of attendance and not participating in mandatory ethics training. Here, from the Lake Worth City Clerk:
Mr. Maier was removed from the Sister City Board for not participating in the mandatory ethics training and his membership was declared vacant due to excessive absenteeism on March 19, 2012.
From the Minutes of the City of Lake Worth Special Meeting (City Commission) on 8/29/2012, page 2 at the top of the page:
Note the line, "Ryan Maier was absent for his interview."

I videotaped the candidates at the candidate forum on 1/26/15 and will share my thoughts on the comments made by all of the candidates present, including Mr. Maier. Stay tuned. 

For Immediate Release from the Lake Worth CRA --

Lake Worth, FL; January 27, 2015 – The Lake Worth Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) is thrilled to announce that our agency was recently awarded a $10,000 grant from the Walter & Adi Blum Foundation. The CRA applied for this grant to further enhance the Tropical Ridge Fitness Park located at 211 North ‘H’ Street in downtown Lake Worth. Funding from the Walter & Adi Blum Foundation will specifically be used to install an irrigation system, new landscaping and benches at the park.

This grant will enable the Agency to fulfill a promise made to the neighborhood that included the development of park space for adults and children. Parks offer residents a quantifiable range of advantages including quality of life, neighborhood vitality and economic benefits. The CRA believes that unstructured, child-directed play has been proven to help kids develop physically, socially and cognitively, yet today’s kids have less time and fewer opportunities to play than any previous generation.

Three years ago, the Tropical Ridge Fitness Park was nothing more than a vacant, City-owned lot located on the 200 block of North ‘H’ Street. However, the CRA Board and Staff, along with their numerous community partners, realized that this lot had the potential to become an ideal pocket park for the residents living in the surrounding neighborhood. 


In November 2012, the CRA, the Trust for Public Land, and the Palm Beach County School District, opened the first phase of the park by installing a new ‘fitness zone’ at this location. This outdoor fitness zone consisted of nine pieces of workout equipment which are free for the public to use. The second phase of development at this park happened in April 2014 and consisted of a new children’s playground. The playground project was made possible thanks to grants and participation from KaBOOM! Inc., Cannatelli Builders Inc., the Dr. Pepper/Snapple Group, Keep Palm Beach County Beautiful, Publix, Habitat for Humanity and Community Partners of Palm Beach County. The CRA anticipates the new improvements funded by The Blum Foundation to begin later this year.

Part 1 of the Genesis Meeting held 1/26/15 at 6 p.m.: St. Andrews Lutheran Church


I will put the series of videos in a playlist so that you can watch the meeting in its entirety. But for expediency, I am posting them as I review them. This is an index by minute mark of the general content of the meeting.

Beginning: Invocation and Pledge of Allegiance

2:45 - Jamie Brown, Public Services Director, gives a talk on the status of road projects in the area, noting that 10th Avenue South, just outside the church, was completed through to A Street. He also said that, based upon community meetings, 7th Avenue South is being redesigned from a two way road, to a one-way road west, along with a meandering walkway. This will be coming back to the Commission for review. He distributed waste collection fliers and took questions regarding condominium waste collection rules, the reason for the bollards on some of the east/west roads in the neighborhood and the functional life of roads. He said that a new asphalt road is designed to last 20 years. His presentation concludes at the 12:45 minute mark.

14:10 PBSO Report. Deputy reports that two major incidents happened in the area within the past 30 days. One was a shooting on the railroad tracks and another was a high speed auto accident on D Street that scattered debris over three residential lots. There have been four residential burglaries, four vehicle burglaries, three stolen cars within the same period in the same area. He reminded people about the importance of locking doors to cars and keeping valuables out of sight or take them inside, do not leave them in your vehicle. He also talks about the difficulty seeing people at night and how sneaky perpetrators can be. He says that the sheriff can respond within 30 seconds if there are no priority calls ahead of the call. He encouraged people to call the non-emergency number (right hand column) for suspicious activity. He also talks about the difficulty deputies have with anonymous calls and how noise complaints and barking dog calls are challenging to resolve.

There is a general crowd shot (360 degrees) at the 26 minute mark if you are interested in the number of people and who attended. There were few residents from the area in relation to the size of the group there last night.

The sheriff deputy continues to the end of the video.

Part 2 of the Genesis Meeting held 1/26/15 at 6 p.m.: St. Andrews Lutheran Church


This is the second part of the video from last night's meeting. The sheriff deputy continues his talk and wraps up at the end of the video. In this segment, the deputy responds to questions from the audience related to drug dealing. He says that much of the work there is done by undercover officers and care is taken that what is done is within a legal framework that eventually leads to the arrest of dealers. The deputy says that most burglaries are prevented or solved with citizen input and information.

At the 4:20 mark, discussion turns to sober houses, their prevalence and what can be done, if anything, about them and that goes to the end of the video.

Genesis Neighborhood Meeting from Last Night (1/26/15) - Candidate Forum


This is the last portion of the Genesis meeting where the current candidates running for the District #2 and #4 seats gave their first introductions to the general public, in one place. Ryan Maier appears first (candidates drew numbers to determine their speaking order), Commissioner John Szerdi is second, Commissioner Christopher McVoy is third and Craig Frost appears last. Serge Jerome, Jr., according to the moderator, had a family emergency and wasn't able to attend the meeting. Each candidate was given five minutes

I will be commenting on the individual candidate statements in a later post. To review, these are the seats broken down by candidates:

District #2:
Commissioner Christopher McVoy
Serge Jerome, Jr.

District #4
Commissioner John Szerdi
Craig Frost
Ryan Maier

Whatever happened to Margaret Menge's restaurant critic: Joseph Thompson III?

It appears Mr. Joseph Thompson III, Margaret Menge's restaurant critic, has set a world record for the shortest career in 'food criticism' history. Margaret Menge published this review by Joseph Thompson III on 1/16/15 and Mr. Thompson III hasn't gotten another bite, pardon the pun, at the apple. Maybe he will be resurrected for the next issue which we anxiously await for. Friday can't come soon enough!

As part of her 'newspaper' policy, Margaret Menge, "[W]elcomes Letters to the Editor. Letters should be no more than 250 words". 

In Margaret Menge's FIRST LETTER EVER PUBLISHED she published a letter by Lee Lipton. Mr. Lee Lipton, along with his son, Max Lipton and chef Jeremy Hanlon are the management team at the fabulous restaurant Benny's on the Beach. (Read the review of Benny's on the Beach by Liz Balmaseda here.) Mr. Lee Lipton's "Letter to the Editor [Margaret Menge]" was more than 250 words: like close to 700. Mr. Lee Lipton's "Letter to the Editor" was likely one of the longest ever in American history.  And thank goodness it is, since it had to cover a lot of territory, given the honorable Joseph Thompson III's review of his gyro and hot dog. I hear that Mr. Thompson's nickname is simply "Tres", by the way. We think "Tres" may be a fictional character, perhaps to protect his/her identity at future restaurant visits.

Anyway, here are some of the things that Mr. Lee Lipton pointed out in his "Letter to the Editor [Margaret Menge]":
Last year, myself, son Max and an amazing Chef and friend Jeremy Hanlon purchased Benny's on the Beach. This location in Lake Worth is a dream come true for all of us. Our goal was to take a building that has been worn down from the salt air and Florida sun and improve many aspects. Working with the folks at the city has been wonderful.
[and...]
While creating a new and very special Benny's on the Beach, we increased our staff, not only to help with the kitchen preparation but to work on better service for our guests. So far, we have already hired an additional 20 local employees to aid in our efforts to make this a great place to spend time. 
[and...]
We do not pretend to be perfect, but thrive to make all of our guests happy as our mission statement. When we do not achieve this, we do everything in our power to fix it. We work with our staff every day on improving efficiency and customer service, which are so important in our industry.
[and...]
Our goal is to give our guests the feeling of being on vacation each time they come to visit! And part of that is putting every effort we can to make the atmosphere, food, drinks and service the best we possibly can.
[and...]
The one issue we still can't fix is that quite often the demand is so large for a table that people do get upset with us for having to wait. We are only so big! Of course, that is what is called a golden problem. 
[and lastly...]
[W]e are working hard trying to build a better home for both the local community and our friends here visiting! Have a great 2015!!
-- Sincerely, Lee Lipton
So, we await further reviews by Joseph Thompson III, affectionately known as "Tres."

From Delray Beach, a murder threat on Facebook lands suspect in jail

From Adam Sacasa at the Sun Sentinel, not exactly the kinds of things you want to read on Facebook:
Delray Beach man is in jail after posting on Facebook that he wanted an officer dead, according to Delray Beach police.

Clinton Evans, 40, posted to the social media site on Jan. 14 and said in all caps, that an officer, who he said was harassing his family, needed to die. He also included a photo of the officer's car parked outside of his home.

Evans accused the officer of trying to intimidate his family by parking next to and across the street from his family's home

Three days before that post, police said Evans made another post, complaining about the officer's behavior, saying the officer had pointed a gun at children having dinner.

That post had what appeared to be a photo of the officer, taken from a video of a Dec. 27 melee on the 800 block of Southwest Third Court. That's where residents started arguing with officers and blocking officers from arresting Evans.

Two Briger protesters arrested after refusing to leave WPB office

Click title for link to the report of the protest yesterday. This is how it was reported on Channel 12 at noon. I don't think this did much to advance their cause, other than to draw attention to themselves. No word as yet if batteries were used at this protest.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Are Margaret Menge's benefactors raising the white flag? Signaling defeat?

The ink on the 2nd edition is barely dry and Lynn Anderson labels The Lake Worth Tribune "sunrise-sunset". 
Also note that Lynn Anderson deleted The Lake Worth Tribune Latin line under the masthead: Domine, ut videam (Lord, that I might see). Appropriate to erase as Margaret Menge only sees what she wants to see: 
Ignorantia est beatitudo [Latin: "Ignorance is bliss"]

Tonight: Meet the Candidates! Genesis' Neighborhood Association meeting

Genesis' neighborhood association quarterly meeting is tonight at St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church, 928 South E Street, Lake Worth. The meeting will commence at 6:00 PM.

Try to be there on time to hear the invocation by Pastor Serge Jerome. After the Pledge of Allegiance by Mark Anthony Parilla (Genesis President), a presentation will be given by Jamie Brown, the Lake Worth Public Services Director.

Following several interesting agenda items, towards the end of the meeting, you will meet the incumbents and candidates running for Commissioner of Districts #2 and #4. Each will have five (5) minutes to address the community. There will be a Q & A after the completion of the Genesis NA agenda.

See you there. And try to be on time for the invocation by Pastor Serge Jerome.

'Editor/journalist' taking a Lake Worth resident "out of context" and twisting "tone" of story

Margaret Menge's 2nd Edition of her 'newspaper' came out on Friday (1/23/15) and it is, being kind, sort of a mess. Typos, missing text, inaccurate leaders, a "Correction" (already!) to the 1st Edition, and now a Lake Worth resident, Dina Clingman-Bell, who was "taken out of context" to identify just a few missteps. Margaret Menge's newspaper is only 8 pages but I need a staff to keep on top of this amateurish effort from a purported professional. One can only imagine a Charter School, proposed by Ms. Menge, specializing in the Classics and how that would be run on a day-to-day basis.

On January 16, Margaret Menge, in her story about the house fire at 313 North Palmway, deceptively quoted Dina Clingman-Bell and took her observations out of context. Anyone who has participated in an emergency situation knows how these settings are fluid and change in seconds. However, Margaret Menge had the opportunity to besmirch Lake Worth Fire Rescue and she did so with zeal. Ms. Menge wrote this on 1/16/15, taking Dina Clingman-Bell (North Palmway resident, immediate neighbor to the south of fire location) out of context:

Ms. Menge reported Dina Clingman-Bell saying: " 'Why isn't this [the existence of a gas-powered generator] something the fire department knows immediately?' asked the neighbor, Dina Bell. She [Dina Clingman-Bell] says she watched as the firefighters got the fire under control, and then saw it reignite again and flames shoot into the air [...]".

To Ms. Dina Clingman-Bell's credit she wrote a "Letter to the Editor [Margaret Menge]" on Ms. Menge's "out of context" and "negative" portrayal of the events of the house-fire on January 9th on the 300 block of North Palmway:

Ms. Dina Clingman-Bell wrote:
I do feel some of the article [by Margaret Menge] may be taken out of context. The affected home and ours are less than 10 feet apart. The brave men and women, of the thirteen fire crews responding, persistently not only battled the blaze at 313 against many odds, but also managed to protect our home and I am certain, many others, as well.
Ms. Dina Clingman-Bell ended her "Letter to the Editor" with this:
Any reference to the negative [by journalist/editor Margaret Menge] was certainly not implied by me personally.
Here is what Margaret Menge wrote about her last real journalism job: "I was a deputy editor of a terrible [emphasis added] little newspaper there [in Key West], a job that tied me down to an ugly office in a strip mall next to a Ross store. And that's all I have to say about Key West". I guess this is the sort of job you get when no one else will hire you, unless you want someone to distort the truth prior to an election in a small town. This seems to be this editor's niche.

Everglades EarthFirst!ers (EEF) storm offices of Kolter! Arrests and appeals for bail money shortly

From Tuesday Gilliam, spokeswoman for EEF, comes this BREAKING NEWS:
West Palm Beach, FL: Two activists with Everglades Earth First! have just locked their necks together with bicycle u-locks inside the 701 S. Olive Avenue offices of Kolter Group's "Kolter Urban" division after a group of more than twenty people stormed the building with signs, banners, air-horns and other noisemakers, demanding that the permits for Kolter's development of the Briger Forest be revoked.

The group opposes Kolter's plans to build 360 houses and townhomes in the Briger Forest, a 681-acre tract of land that runs along Donald Ross Blvd. and I-95. The protestors claim that the developers are working off deeply flawed permits and have cleared a massive access road which was never approved by South Florida Water Management District. They are also concerned about the recent relocation of the area's gopher tortoises and the destruction of the tortoise's burrows, which provide habitat for several other species, including the endangered Eastern indigo snake.
It appears the folks at EEF are getting clever and learning from mistakes. Last night Ms. Gilliam sent out a newsflash at 10:00 about a protest in Palm Beach Gardens. I reported on it last night. At 10:00 this morning Ms. Gilliam reports on a protest and arrests at 701 S. Olive in West Palm Beach! For some odd reason I am on their list of contacts. Hmmmm. Was this news release by Ms. Gilliam misdirection? Trying to throw off the authorities?

This is the link to the Channel 12 report of the incident. It is on-going.

Greenfield, CA, half the size of Lake Worth, must have twice the number of crimes - serious ones too

The former Lake Worth city manager, Susan Stanton, is now the city manager in Greenfield, California. She always wanted to get rid of the Lake Worth PBSO to have her own police department. Stanton has her own police department in Greenfield, CA. I bet the scanner in her office is busy. This is over a period of 12 days.
Theft
01/12/2015
41600 Block 13TH ST & WALNUT AV


Assault with Deadly Weapon
01/13/2015
200 Block 8TH ST

Assault
01/13/2015
500 Block 12TH ST & WALNUT AV

Breaking & Entering
01/14/2015
1200 Block OAK AV

Assault with Deadly Weapon
01/18/2015
1 Block 5TH ST

Theft
01/18/2015
100 Block EL CAMINO REAL & OAK AV

Theft
01/19/2015
500 Block WALNUT AV & EL CAMINO REAL

Assault with Deadly Weapon
01/20/2015
1 Block 5TH ST

Theft of Vehicle
01/20/2015
400 Block CLIFTON CT

Assault
01/20/2015
700 Block PALM AV & 7TH ST

Breaking & Entering
01/22/2015
700 Block CHERRY AV & APRICOT ST

Theft
01/22/2015
500 Block WALNUT AV & 7TH ST

Theft
01/23/2015
41400 Block 12TH ST

Breaking & Entering
01/24/2015
1200 Block VICTORIAN CR & APPLE AV

Theft of Vehicle
01/24/2015
200 Block 8TH ST

What do Lynn Anderson, Katie, Dennis Dorsey,...

...Dan Liftman, Drew Martin, Jennifer Marchal, and Christopher McVoy all have in common? Dee McNamara! Here is an email Dee McNamara sent out slandering District 2 Candidate Serge Jerome. I blacked out innocent names and everyone's email addresses:
I can forward the email to anyone who requests it; just give me a valid reason. Here is the text from the email by Dee McNamara:
Dr.McVoy is a responsible, moral scientist, not a belle Glade car mechanic, who has to preach what people want to hear to hustle money out of them.Belle Glade may be the perfect education ground for primitive liars,hustlers,con artists.I have the privilege,good fortune, of not knowing it.
I prefer the highest Academic level of education for our Commission positions with extensive knowledge of our City and its' Municipal Laws.
Only his inferiro , would smear his name with the usual lies.
Liars are dangerous,toxic elements..

Dr Christopher McVoy(Phd.Cornell and M.S., F.U., is South Florida Watermanagement District Environmental Scientist (not environmentalist, educated people know the difference, primitives don't.).
I think it goes to Dee McNamara's state of mind when she refers to Mr. Serge Jerome, a successful Haitian-American, as a "primitive". Tomorrow night you can watch for yourself as this "primitive" Mr. Serge Jerome gives the invocation at the Genesis Neighborhood Association meeting. I wonder if the people Dee McNamara communicated with agree with the thinking of Dee McNamara? If they are willing to stand up against it, which is what most honorable people should do, they should do so in a meaningful way. Silence equals complicity. That includes you Larry.

Makes you wonder doesn't it?

Sunday, January 25, 2015

URGENT URGENT URGENT...EARTHFIRST! PROTEST TOMORROW 08:30 PALM BEACH GARDENS

From Tuesday Lee Gilliam, Everglades EarthFirst! spokeswoman: press release at 9:51 PM TONIGHT!!!!! PROTEST TOMORROW IN PALM BEACH GARDENS. 
PROTEST TOMORROW MORNING AT 08:30! IN PALM BEACH GARDENS! 

Most Everglades EarthFirst!ers don't stir out of bed until noon on a busy day. But to rally them out of bed at 05:00 or 05:30? On a Monday? 

WE CAN ONLY HOPE THE PBSO AND PALM BEACH GARDENS PD TAKES THIS SERIOUSLY! 

IS EARTHFIRST! GOING TO EMPLOY DIVERSE TACTICS TOMORROW? 

STAY TUNED, AS THEY SAY.

Lake Worth District #4 Commissioner John Szerdi on a neighborhood cleanup

From last night's Paella Party at "Lady Grace": Fundraiser for the Cottages of Lake Worth


Everyone that came out (70+ people) seemed to have a good time at the Paella Party fundraiser for the Cottages of Lake Worth. Thanks go out to Regina Miller who graciously hosted the event and showed off her historic cottage that is part of the Old Lucerne historic district, shown in purple below.
Portion of Historic District Map from the City of Lake Worth
This is one of six historic districts within the city. Its southern boundary darts in and out north of Lucerne, generally between Lakeside Drive and Federal Hwy, and ending at 7th Avenue North.

Prior to the party, Ms. Miller shared an early photo of the house which appears below.
And here is a photo of how the building and property look today:
The city's designation report for the district says that the house was originally built in 1925. The Property Appraiser's website indicates 1932 as the year of construction. You could make a case for either for this frame vernacular building. It was built from available, generally local materials by the owner or a contractor. This particular example shows the decorative raftertails and brackets under a deep eave. There are also elements of the bungalow style, clearly seen in the older picture. You can see some of that detail here:
In the older picture, you can clearly see the gable on the south end of the house. There was an addition constructed in the late 40s and early 50s that extended the first floor of the house and expanded the second floor. Either then, or sometime before, the original sleeping porch on the east side of the building was weatherproofed and closed-in. This is common with many of the city's historic structures, particularly cottages. Most were originally designed with open air porches. Over time, especially with the advent of air conditioning, many of these were closed in. Back in the day, an eastern porch was preferred for sleeping as it caught the ocean breeze and kept the occupants comfortable during our subtropical nights.

Most of our collection of cottages show this adaptation over time to add more living space or a garage for the car, as the automobile became more predominant during the 20th century.

So, "Lady Grace", as the current owner lovingly refers to her house is indeed a survivor. Last night I wondered what other events and family gatherings happened over the 90 year history of this cottage and the yard. Here is a description by the current owner of some of the recent trials the house has experienced:
I like to refer to her as Lady Grace as she has faced head strong the many storms straight off the intracoastal. Most recently, Francine, Jeanie and Wilma left her for demolition with sinking foundations gaping holes from roof to first floor. But even then she emanated a charming architectural character that couldn’t be refused and was restored in 2008.
Renovations included new engineering to the foundation by lifting first and second floor joists and re-roofing the front half of the house. Also the rebuild of the caved in s/e side that left nothing to tie the roof in. She further received a new configuration to the upstairs master bed room, then the kitchen, and bathroom to allow for a laundry room. Although all the original wood flooring in the home could not be saved, the modern finishes created more flow throughout and enhanced her inner beauty. By the will of man, Lady Grace prominently withstands tests of time as with many of Lake Worth's historical homes. I am blessed to be her keeper in a most beautiful neighborhood. 

Violations of the SPJ Code of Ethics: More Yellow Journalism by Margaret Menge

Ethical lapses abound in the latest issue of our new "rag" in town and we will get to those in a minute. Let's examine one of her latest 'articles' as a background. On Friday, January 23rd, the latest issue of her free Lake Worth newspaper, Ms. Menge writes a story titled, "Townhouses Are Back!" This is written not in the tone of welcoming the possibility of new investment and quality housing in an underutilized area of the city, in and around the downtown, and on the city's edge. It is more written in a tone as if a new scourge had descended on a city unprepared.

Here is how Ms. Menge describes the location of one townhomes project that was approved: 
"They'll be built on land north of Wayne Akers Ford, just across the water from Lake Clarke Shores, west of Detroit Street."
It would have been much more clear to readers to write, "off 10th Ave North behind Wayne Akers Ford", would it not? To be clear, here is a city-produced map with labels added to show the location of the Townhouses to be built:
On January 7th, at the Lake Worth Planning & Zoning board meeting, as reported by Margaret Menge "A woman" and "the woman" was there at the meeting. Here is the video of the Lake Worth 1/7/15 P&Z meeting. I haven't watched the video yet but you can. Did "the woman" and "a woman" speak at this public meeting? Margaret Menge didn't indicate in her article that "the woman" requested anonymity. Then why not give the name of this "woman", Ms. Menge? That is a standard requirement of anyone providing testimony or comment on items being reviewed by a board. The chair says something like, "Please state your name and address for the record." Most comply. Some notable people leave out their address number, like the ones that stand up and say they are so-and-so from "North Lakeside Drive" or "Lake Osborne Drive." Those are the exceptions. Even still, they speak and one has a sense of where they reside.
Here is what Margaret Menge reported "A woman" said in her news story:
"A woman who attended the meeting, whose backyard will be looking across the water at the townhomes, disagreed.
     "You cannot get through. Its just total gridlock," she ["the woman"] said of traffic on 10th Avenue North."
Here is where Margaret Menge's "the woman" resides:
The unidentified, anonymous "woman" Margaret Menge references (a Will-o'the-wisp?) lives in one of six houses in Lake Clarke Shores. How would one deduce this? There are only six houses in Lake Clarke Shores that have backyards "looking across the water at the townhomes". Here are those six houses on East Mediterranean Road in Lake Clarke Shores (courtesy of the Palm Beach County Property Appraisers website):
The strangest thing is, unless Margaret Menge's "woman" has a boat or a zipline over the canal, she is completely unaffected by what happens across the canal, in another municipality. Look at the map above! Margaret Menge's "the woman" would need a GPS device, and a working knowledge of same, to get her from Mediterranean Road in Lake Clarke Shores to 10th Ave. North. Margaret Menge couldn't find one single Lake Worth resident upset about these townhomes? So she includes anonymous testimony just because.

In response to Margaret Menge's "A woman" our Lake Worth Sustainability Director, William Waters outlined how, "It will get better" due to infrastructure upgrades. Then Margaret Menge quoted 'the woman' saying, "I lived in Miami and they said that too". Hmmm, Margaret Menge, could that be considered Advocacy? Or is it Commentary? Either way, Margaret Menge, what "the woman" said is NOT NEWS. And Miami is a big place. Who is "they" and what was "that" which they said? And how can we interpolate whether whoever said what applies in this instance? Are we just to read between the lines and know?

By including that ONE LINE Margaret Menge, by an anonymous source, a self-described reporter/editor/journalist discredits themselves and any professional integrity they may have. 

Margaret Menge violates these 4 codes in the long-standing Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) Code of Ethics:

1: Consider sources’ motives before promising anonymity. Reserve anonymity for sources who may face danger, retribution or other harm, and have information that cannot be obtained elsewhere. Explain why anonymity was granted.

2: Identify sources clearly. The public is entitled to as much information as possible to judge the reliability and motivations of sources.

3: Provide context. Take special care not to misrepresent or oversimplify in promoting, previewing or summarizing a story.

4: Label advocacy and commentary.

And consider this my Dear Fellow Citizens in Lake Worth:

Margaret Menge is publishing a newspaper. She is paying for an office and at least two staff members. She has bills to pay.
She is not charging for advertising.

Question: In full disclosure shouldn't a journalist disclose who is paying for this venture? 

Or are rules for other people?

AnnaMaria Windisch-Hunt writes a lovely article on my presentation at Suri (Jan. 15)

Here from AnnaMaria's blog:
Recently I attended a presentation by Wes Blackman at Suri and there he gave this very informative talk. Why do I share this? It’s come to my attention that I have a readership that is interested in Lake Worth. Checking I found that it is being followed by approx 95 regular daily readers but most interesting was that going back a month 30 some foreign countries are also listed having checked in and obviously interest in my subject matter. Well not my blog per say but in our City of Lake Worth. For them, who do not daily read my blog, here is what we are all about in the City of Lake Worth.
The special part about AnnaMaria's blog post isn't so much my presentation, but the wonderful pictures she added to the story. Thank you so much, AnnaMaria.

You can see these great pictures and the text of my presentation on The Cottages of Lake Worth at AnnaMaria's blog here.

An idea from Ryan Maier (candidate for Lake Worth commissioner) that needs to stay in the coop...

Imagine walking out your back door and seeing this in the neighbor's yard...
Image from the Lake Worth Chickens facebook page, 3/16/2013
In 2009, Lake Worth came very close to allowing chickens, ducks, and bees to be farmed for 'personal' use IN THE CITY. Lake Worth even had a mayoral candidate (Rachel Waterman) who thought the Park of Commerce would be great for a large chicken breeding/egg production facility. Besides chickens needing much maintenance and coop cleaning, chickens spread viruses/bacteria and also attract predators. Raising poultry in an urban environment is a public health issue. In a city that is plagued with blighted properties, it doesn't need one more thing to regulate. And, in fact, the chickens are out of the hen house already as many readers can attest by sightings in their neighborhoods. And then there are the roosters...

For some historical perspective, here is a blog post from Tom McGow on April 18, 2009 titled, tongue-in-cheek, Farm Living Is The Life For Me. . . 

In the image below from Mr. McGow's blog, notice item 'C' from the Lake Worth Commission agenda back then:
Then-commissioner Cara Jennings was a big proponent of raising chickens within the municipal boundaries of Lake Worth. Below is one of Tom McGow's classic photoshops, note the image of Cara Jennings (top right).
So why the big deal about the raising of chickens in Lake Worth? One of the District 4 candidates challenging Commissioner John Szerdi is Ryan Maier. Mr. Maier founded the Facebook site Lake Worth Chickens. You can read the article here about Ryan Maier where Cara Jennings is quoted saying:
"There's a whole clandestine chicken army out there," said former City Commissioner Cara Jennings, who mother-henned the 2009 effort but is lying low this time.
On election day in Lake Worth this coming March there are 2 commission seats and 5 candidates seeking election. One candidate, Ryan Maier, is a reminder of an era in Lake Worth we would all rather forget. Onto the important business in front of us as a city, like fixing our infrastructure and streets. 

Saturday, January 24, 2015

What is Commissioner Christopher McVoy doing? He thought the video was turned off

Watch Lake Worth District 2 Commissioner, Incumbent, Christopher McVoy very closely during this break at a City Commission meeting on 8/19/14. During a break the city video was still on. After watching this would you vote for this man? Leave him alone in your office? Trust him with your city's future? Commissioner McVoy's behavior here is inexcusable.

Just imagine the howl and cry if another Lake Worth Commissioner went through Commissioner McVoy's personal papers without HIS PERMISSION? A double standard?

Journalists and Wannabe Journalists Must Watch - Paging Ms. Menge


Here's the story about these high school students that put together this video.

Cottages of Lake Worth Paella Party Fundraiser tonight: a ticket or two MAY BE AVAILABLE

Call 561-310-5290 for ticket availability. If you have ten minutes please listen to Allan Mason and me on radio station WBZT talking about The Cottages of Lake Worth. Here is information on the event tonight:
Recently, I was asked to give a historical presentation on The Cottages of Lake Worth. You can read the text of that here. Progress is being made on the book about the Cottages also. See you at the Paella Party Dinner!

Margaret Menge and Yellow Journalism: Defined

Per Wikipedia:
Yellow Journalism is: 
exaggerations of news events, scandal-mongering, or sensationalism. By extension, the term yellow journalism is used today as a pejorative to decry any journalism that treats news in an unprofessional or unethical fashion.
Look at what Margaret Menge (self-proclaimed editor, reporter, journalist extraordinaire and raconteur) did on the front page of her FREE (for now?) newspaper delivered to innocent and unsuspecting households in Lake Worth:
Note A where Margaret Menge opens a quote by Nadine Burns responding to a charge of "theft" and the important part of the quote by Nadine Burns is....GONE. Note B. What happened to Nadine Burns' quote? This is an old, dirty journalism trick called MY FRIEND THE PRINTER. The My Friend the Printer trick protects the publisher/editor so Margaret Menge can say, "Gosh, Gee Wiz, I tried to publish what Nadine wrote but the printer screwed up." This is Dirty Trick #1 by Margaret Menge. Clearly, the editor is trying to suppress the rights to freedom of speech and expression owed to Ms. Burns.

Here is the second trick by Ms. Menge:
When you proceed to page 7 to read the balance of the story? It is not there. You have to search through the entire issue to find the REST OF THE STORY buried on PAGE 5 at the bottom below the fold. The interesting thing about the balance of the story is this: no 'theft' occurred at all but Margaret Menge tricked the readers. How many people couldn't find the rest of the story and didn't bother to look for it? How many took the time to search for THE WHOLE STORY by Ms. Menge, the Yellow Journalist? A small percentage of the supervoters for which this "publication" is targeted, I would think. 

Some questions for Ms. Menge?
- Why are you suppressing what Nadine Burns wrote?
- What did Nadine Burns say that frightened you enough to obfuscate?
- What, Ms. Menge, are you hiding from your readers?
- Were Nadine Burns' words too dangerous to your 'narrative'?
- How can someone STEAL a free newspaper? (This might go all the way to the Supreme Court)
- Where is the listed/suggested price for your newspaper, Ms. Menge? Is it $.50 when convenient and free other times? What is the business model for your paper? Who pays your light bill?


And lastly, Nadine Burns is a respected member of our community. Call Margaret Menge at 561-586-6643 or 561-891-4161 and tell her just one story about what Nadine did for you and our community over the years. 

Must watch: James Wieland from Channel 5 (WPTV) at Benzaiten Center


James Wieland did this report during installation and construction of the new Benzaiten Center here in Lake Worth. President Joanne Berkow, Benzaiten Center for Creative Arts Founder, is interviewed. Read about James Wieland here; other TV stations covering Palm Beach County can learn a lot from stories like this, especially as it relates to the 'gloom-and-doom' stories on Channel 12 (WPEC).

Glass Blowing from last night at the Benzaiten Center...


From the Post's Eliot Kleinberg about a major project in downtown West Palm

A huge transportation hub coming to West Palm Beach? Read more from Eliot Kleinberg:
The latest vision to turn 6 acres in downtown West Palm Beach into a “transit village” will feature a staggering 1.1 million square feet of hotel, retail and dining, developer Michael Masanoff revealed Friday.

Masanoff detailed his plans to The Palm Beach Post just after the board that runs Tri-Rail voted unanimously to bless his site plans. He also will need approval from West Palm Beach and filed the plans with city planners this week.

Masanoff is president of a group of investors selected by Palm Beach County commissioners to develop the $300 million retail, dining and entertainment hub surrounding the station at the CSX Railroad track, that houses Tri-Rail, Amtrak and buses. The station is on the west side of Tamarind Avenue, just south of Banyan Street.

Can two expert foodies be wrong?

First it was Liz Balmaseda advising you to go to Mama Gizzi's today for their Grand Opening and now it's "That Girl", Leslie Gray Streeter telling you to go to Mama Gizzi's too!

From the article:
“So there’s a new place called Mama Gizzi’s,” The Mister says to me the other day. “I’ve taken the liberty of doing the grocery shopping.”

Mama Gizzi’s isn’t exactly new — it is well-known for its Greenacres emporium of fresh-made pastas, other Italian specialities and decadent desserts — but its moved to Lake Worth.

It’s open now, but Saturday [TODAY] is the grand opening. And my fridge is indeed now full of full-bodied sauce and shells and ziti so fresh it’s like you made it yourself. Except you don’t have to!
IF YOU GO:
Mama Gizzi’s Gourmet Pasta: 2212 N. Dixie Highway, Lake Worth. If you know where World Thrift is (and who doesn't!), Mama Gizzi's is just South (about a 1/4 mile) on the opposite side of Dixie Hwy. Call 561-642-9996 for more information. This is an easy walk from anywhere on the west side of College Park and from the Worthmore area, west of Dixie Hwy.

Friday, January 23, 2015

From Lake Worth Dame Dee...

Ladylike random thoughts on our Palm Beach Post and more thoughtful musings from a Lady here:

From today's opening of the Benzaiten Center...


Social progress in Lake Worth or elitism on display?

What if I told you a new Charter School was opening in Lake Worth. A school teaching trades such as carpentry, masonry, or plumbing to name only a few? Good idea you might say. Or how about a new Charter School teaching recent immigrants to Lake Worth, Guatemalans and Mayans the English language and how to integrate into modern American society? That also seems to be a good idea. Most of us in our little City of Lake Worth know the issues facing us and how it's possible that Charter Schools could help fill that void. Charter Schools for those of you unaware are subsidized with taxpayer money. 

Here is an idea for a Charter School in Lake Worth that failed and it is very easy to see why. Here is an idea from 2012 by Margaret Menge (Ms. Menge is editor of the Lake Worth Tribune and moved to Lake Worth from Key West in 2010): 


How is it possible to instill a sense of community teaching young children the languages French, Latin and Greek? French is understandable but Latin and Greek? In twenty years we will we not need an abundance of antiquities scholars. And 18 children per class; no doubt well outside the affordability of most Lake Worth residents. 

I would encourage you to read Ms. Menge's blog on her proposed Charter School and also her musings in 2012 on starting a new print newspaper in Lake Worth. Here we find her in the grip of putting the school of schools together. Notice the reference to "bank account."
According to the latest issue of the Tribune, she is looking for reporters. Perhaps I should apply? I wonder what it pays? I wonder what it costs to publish this free paper with free advertisements? I wonder who is paying the rent for the paper's office space? I just wonder about a lot of things.

Joy of Joys! Look what was delivered to my front door this morning...

The new edition of the Lake Worth Tribune. And I'm not even a paid subscriber. Really flattered here. It caught Mars' interest too.
I also understand that advertisers in the "Premiere Edition" weren't charged. Ms Menge must have some deep pockets!

According to this second issue, this is being delivered to 3,000 homes around Lake Worth in addition to piles being left for the taking around town. I am sure it is just a coincidence that happens to be just about the number of supervoters, those that don't miss any election, in Lake Worth. I happen to be on that list. Hmmmmm...

Mama Gizzi! Mama Gizzi! Get your spectacular pasta at Mama Gizzi's

Last week I was invited to the "soft opening" of Mama Gizzi's here in the College Park neighborhood, Lake Worth, and here is a short video that I took that evening. It was a very well attended event with many notables. The food was spectacular.

The GRAND OPENING is tomorrow (Saturday) from 4 pm to 9 pm. Liz Balmaseda, the food reviewer from the Palm Beach Post wrote a lovely piece about Mama Gizzi's today. From the article:
Leah “Mama” Gizzi, who for years made her popular pasta by hand in a Greenacres storefront, has moved her pasta shop to the College Park area of Lake Worth.

“It seems like the perfect location for my foodies and the business,” Gizzi said in an email.

The new Mama Gizzi’s Gourmet Pasta shop, which opened quietly earlier this month, will celebrate its grand opening Saturday from 4 to 9 p.m. Expect live music, a buffet (for purchase) and Mama’s usual selection of stellar pastas.
IF YOU GO:
Mama Gizzi’s Gourmet Pasta: 2212 N. Dixie Highway, Lake Worth. If you know where World Thrift is (and who doesn't!), Mama Gizzi's is just South (about a 1/4 mile) on the opposite side of Dixie Hwy. Call 561-642-9996 for more information. 

And Thank You Liz Balmaseda for giving my neighborhood, College Park, a shout-out!

Our very own Lake Worth resident Lisa Maxwell made history

Jane Musgrave at the Palm Beach Post has a must read article about our Lake Worth residents Lisa Maxwell and Christine Stephens-Maxwell. Lisa and Christine are officially parents! Last year I was honored to attend the baby shower for Lisa and Christine's child. The Post article today has a large, above-the-fold photo of them and their baby in the local section. From the article:
By most definitions, Lisa Maxwell and Christine Stephens-Maxwell are married.

They have a bonafide license from the state of New York and albums bursting with photos of their 2012 nuptials in Central Park. They own a house together in the College Park section of Lake Worth. They love each other deeply.

But when Stephens-Maxwell gave birth to their daughter, Satori, last month at Good Samaritan Medical Center, hospital officials refused to put Maxwell’s name on her birth certificate.

“They said they were following the law,” Maxwell said.

All that changed this week.

In a decision that several legal experts agreed could have reverberations throughout the state, Palm Beach County Circuit Judge Lisa Small replaced “husband” with “spouse” in two Florida laws. The simple — but, some say, ground-breaking — action allows Maxwell to get legal recognition as the parent of the child she and her spouse brought into the world through in vitro fertilization.

A very interesting read, considering the location of the EarthFirst! Journal

On January 30th, our EarthFirst! friends will stage another protest/rally in Palm Beach Gardens. Anyone following this story understands that the Briger "Forest" is a Logical Fallacy called 'An Appeal to Pity'
An appeal to pity attempts to persuade using emotion—specifically, sympathy—rather than evidence. Playing on the pity that someone feels for an individual or group can certainly affect what that person thinks about the group; this is a highly effective, and so quite common, fallacy.
That small tract of land, east of I-95, is a distraction from the real focus of EarthFirst! leaders Panagioti Tsolkas and Lynne Purvis: the biotech industry here in Palm Beach County. The Green Indigo Snake, Snowy Egret, and Gopher Tortoise are the pawns in this curious sideshow.

Our EarthFirst!er friends' actions of late have taken a clownish, almost naïve, look. Bungled protests, mixed messages, 60's-retro-esque-exaggerated claims could lull some into dismissing people like Panagioti Tsolkas as irrelevant and silly. That is a huge mistake. Read about EarthFirst! history and their long list of ecoterrorist activities here.
From ActivistFacts: Earth First! (EF!) is a “warrior society” that takes a “by any means necessary” approach to “defending mother earth.” The group declines to participate in the democratic process, preferring instead to damage, disable, and destroy the property of its ever-growing list of enemies. EF! targets include, but are by no means limited to, loggers, ranchers, and farmers — especially those who grow genetically modified crops. Earth First!ers’ crimes include assault, arson, and untold acts of sabotage.
In 1998 there was this article titled: Unabomber [Ted Kaczynski] admits ties to Earth First! eco-terrorists

From the article: 
On Jan. 22, following weeks of newspaper drama regarding his mental stability and fights with his lawyers, Unabomber suspect Theodore Kaczynski pleaded guilty to 13 counts that centered on charges of transporting explosive devices with the intent to kill or maim. He pleaded guilty to all Federal charges against him, involving five bombings. He also admitted in court that he had placed or mailed another 11 bombs, for which he was not charged. Kaczynski accepted a sentence of life in prison without possibility of parole, and gave up the right to appeal any rulings in the case.

While the press concentrated on human interest stories about the “solitary” bomber and his victims, the most important element of his trial was covered up: the fact that he was but one operative in a vast network of terrorists deployed to destroy modern civilization under cover of environmentalism. In fact, as his plea bargain details, Kaczynski was an active follower of the eco-terrorist group Earth First!
EarthFirst (EF) is headquartered in Lake Worth, FL. EF is a known ecoterrorist organization. The EF has been known to employ a diversity of tactics

And, completely off topic (eh-hem), those same people (and their useful friends) in our little City of Lake Worth continue to think we should have our own police department. We know the big "why" of that and have for quite some time.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Reminiscing...the Good Ole Days

Does anyone remember Lynn Anderson and Katie McGiveron being so deliriously happy? Look at their unscripted moment, completely at ease, with their best friend and colleague, former commissioner Cara Jennings. Familiarity and trust are the foundations of any lasting human bond. 

François-Marie Arouet (Voltaire), 1694–1778, a writer, historian, and philosopher known for his wit:

"I have never made but one prayer to God, a very short one: 'O Lord make my enemies ridiculous.' And God granted it."
Click title for link to more information on Voltaire.

A life lost due to an uncapitalized "i"?

In the wake of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, it's important to remember that Lake Worth is a small community that can come together and make a statement. The march from City Hall to the Cultural Plaza was the largest group in recent memory. The observance and remembrance reminded me that Dr. King's dream is still not fulfilled. There is still much work to do. We were reminded of this when Mr. Woodley Erilas' life was cut short; he was only 27 years old when he died, just this month.

I've waited before saying anything about this mournful event for fear my thoughts might be misunderstood. I wish to offer my most sincere condolences to the family of Mr. Erilas and to also apologize for the callous and insensitive editor/journalist Margaret Menge. She seems to think that if this gentleman had the benefit of a charter school education, such as one requiring Latin be taught (beginning in the fourth grade) this tragic event somehow would not have happened.

For some illogical reason, Margaret Menge, in her reporting on Mr. Erilas' untimely death (Lake Worth Tribune, January 16th) felt it necessary to add the "Summary on his [Woodley Erilas'] LinkedIn page". It's only a little bit "insensitive" to look at a deceased person's LinkedIn page, isn't it?

But, here in all its glory for the world to see is what Mr. Erilas wrote on his LinkedIn page, courtesy of the Premiere Edition of the Lake Worth Tribune: "My Objective is not only to learn as much as i can [...]". Margaret Menge reserved her anger not for Mr. Erilas' passing but instead for Mr. Erilas' use of the uncapitalized "i". At no time does Margaret Menge offer any condolences to the family or the friends of Mr. Erilas. 

Then she chooses to connect the dots in a way that revolves back to her "cause" of ubiquitous charter schools and giving those with resources a chance for a tailored education of their choosing. The 'news' story about Mr. Erilas is on page 2 of Margaret Menge's 'newspaper'. When you get to page 6, the Opinion page and Margaret Menge's Letter From the Editor, Mr. Erilas' sad passing becomes a twisted Margaret Menge logic lesson: A + B = C

A (Mr. Erilas) + B (Charter School) = C (if Mr. Erilas went to a Charter School, he would alive today)

Margaret Menge's failed dream is to start a Charter School teaching a classic curriculum, including Latin. Her dream was denied and she angrily lashes out in her 'editorial', manipulating the somber death of a young man, an uncapitalized "i", and her hatred of the Palm Beach County School Board to write this:

By Margaret Menge, Editor & Publisher: "He [Mr. Erilas] doesn't understand what a sentence is, and when to use capitalization. So he couldn't get a job. So he was living with his [M]other on North H Street, walking around in the dead of the night, and someone shot him."

We are left to conclude that, per the logic of Ms. Menge, but for an uncapitalized "i", Mr. Erilas wouldn't have been walking the street that early morning. Really? Let's ponder what the real reason is for the death of a young man that happened on that morning and the state of a system that allows young men with promise be taken away by a single act of senselessness. I don't think that speaking Latin, or capitalizing an "i", would have altered the trajectory of these events for the victim.

Rest in peace, Woodley Erilas, and May God Be With You. Let's hope that the perpetrator is ultimately found and brought to justice.