Monday, September 26, 2016

[PINNED POST] Please. Take note. This is very important news for ALL RESIDENTS of Palm Beach County.

Bring the family and neighbor(s) with you tonight. Let's pack the Scottish Rite and send a strong message. Please see media instructions below.

 The meeting at the Scottish Rite starts at 7:00. The presidential debate starts at 9:00.

Today (Monday, 9/26) is the first Clinton/Trump debate (see below). Also today is this very important community meeting:
To learn more about this community event use this link. You'll learn big news about an upcoming joint statement by HUD and DOJ. Lake Worth Vice Mayor Scott Maxwell was in Washington, D.C. recently and gave a hint about this (use this link) at the last City Commission meeting.

It is crucial we have a big turnout on the issue of sober homes. We, all residents of Palm Beach County, need to send a strong and united message to our local elected leaders, those in Tallahassee, and to Washington, D.C. as well.

Following the meeting at the Scottish Rite there is the Debate Watch Party at C.J.'s Island Grill located at 606 Lake Ave. in Lake Worth. To learn more contact Brett Lake, Lake Worth's field organizer for Hillary Clinton. Call 818-314-5446, on Facebook, or email blake@flvictory2016.org

Media Instructions: Show up if you want but we really don't need you there. And we'll probably need those parking spaces as well. So, if you're trolling for news to make our City look bad, well, carry on.

UPDATE—November 8th referendum to fix our roads: the AD VALOREM TAX CALCULATOR is available on City's website

Use this link for the Ad Valorem Tax Calculator.
Do you live on North 'J' Street? Find out how much it will cost you to fix that pothole in front of your house.
Remember 2 years ago when all these red/white signs lined North 'J' Street, Lakeside Drive, and North Palmway? With only 43 days to go until the Nov. 8th referendum those critics still can't answer that question: "How to fix our roads?"
Vote "Yes" on November 8th.

Update: Debunked, faulty logic gets published in Post today. Get cracking on YOUR Letter to Editor today!

If this Lake Worth resident can get a Letter to the Editor published (see below) then so can you. It's so simple a child can do it.

This shows once again how easy it is if you know the trick: look at the top, right-hand column of this blog for "Your 'Letter to Editor' didn't get published?" or use this link. If you hurry you can make tomorrow's print edition!

The faulty logic in that letter has already been debunked as you'll read in the blog post that follows this update. First, here are two excerpts from that letter:
True statement: "The city of Lake Worth plans to take a 30-year loan for $40 million to re-do roads."
[and. . .]
Faulty logic: "Sadly, before this debt has been repaid, those roads are going to wear out."
Commissioner Chris McVoy (who always has to remind everyone he has a PhD, it's easy to forget), is the one pushing this illogical nonsense about road repairs wearing out after 15 years. 

For an explanation why that is NOT TRUE please continue reading:

The map is now available showing which streets will be fixed by the referendum in November. North 'J' Street is one of them! Go to the City's website and click on "Interactive Map".
The second anniversary of failed "LW2020" bond was last month (8/26). North 'J' Street on way to Publix is now in even worse shape. The reason given back then to vote against the bond by a still-sitting commissioner (McVoy) was his 'concern' over sea level rise. The bond failed by just 25 votes. 


Below are excerpts and commentary related to the PowerPoint presentation that was given at the Lake Worth City Commission Workshop on August 25th. Click here for link to full PDF file of the report.
Cover slide. Brent Whitfield, P.E., of A.D.A. Engineering gave the report.
This analogy was used during the presentation: It's less expensive to buy a new car and maintain it over time than it is to repair one that has had too little maintenance during its useful life. As it relates to the City its network of streets have not been maintained, or were of marginal quality to begin with, ergo the situation we're in now.
Maintenance is key to prolonging the life of a road. Once the base and sub-base are in place.

The City is at a point where it is just repairing the asphalt now. Asphalt is the protective layer for the base and sub-base of the road. If the asphalt is compromised, just like a roof on a house, it is going to become more expensive and harder to repair than had it been maintained properly over time. 
According to Brent Whitfield, P.E., it costs $20 per square yard to repair the surface asphalt. It costs $70 per square yard to repair the base and sub-base of a road.

Information from 2013: If nothing is done the costs will only increase over time and more roads will fall into disrepair.

It was asked if the City increased maintenance of the roadway network after failure of the 2014 bond vote (which was for $63 million, not the currently proposed $40 million that would just be for roads). In response, Public Works Director Jamie Brown responded with the following information:
Clearly, funding increased after the failure of the bond in 2014 (see difference between 2013 and 2014 above), to the current level which is about twice what it has been historically. The City is in a better position financially now and is able to allocate additional funds to road maintenance, but it is not catching up.

In reality, the City is still falling far behind. City Manager Michael Bornstein pointed out that the earlier years shown above reflect a workforce with a relatively high pension burden. The later year numbers reflect a more efficient deployment of workforce dollars. So that means that the increase in dollars is greater.


Even given increased spending more roads are becoming deficient in 2016 and that will continue. Many already were deteriorating in 2013 when this analysis was done and more roads now require the more expensive base rehabilitation.

The City needs to be at a point where it can maintain an overall network of roads that are in good condition by maintaining the asphalt portion so that the base and sub-base are protected ($20 per square foot versus $70 per square foot going forward). 

Doing so would prevent the scenario that Commissioner McVoy (who is a soil scientist, remember) is painting that we are going to be paying 30 years for roads that will last 15 years. That's just not true at all—completely disingenuous. Roads will last much longer given proper maintenance just like, "maintaining that new car" or in this case, maintaining new roads the City has needed for many years.

Bonus! More faulty logic: McVoy wants public information made public. To follow that logic the City would have to hide public information that's already public and await a request from McVoy to make it public again. That way he can claim he forced the City to release information to the public that's already public anyhow. It might be time for him to go on another spiritual retreat just like in 2014, a month before that bond referendum:

To the "makers" and true artists everywhere: Why you need to consider Lake Worth, FL, your future home

Jennifer Conlin in The New York Times' Fashion & Style section had this piece last year titled, "Last Stop on the L Train: Detroit". The 'creative class' is abandoning Brooklyn and looking for better environments to work. The article is about Detroit which has become a popular place for artists. Here is the paragraph that stood out to me, a resident of the little City of Lake Worth, Florida:

It is now well-documented that some of Brooklyn’s much-written-about creative class is being driven out of the borough by high prices and low housing stock. Some are going to Los Angeles (or even Queens), but others are migrating to the Midwest, where Detroit’s empty industrial spaces, community-based projects, experimental art scene and innovative design opportunities beckon, despite the city’s continuing challenges. [emphasis added]

What does Lake Worth have?
  • Empty industrial, commercial, and neighborhood spaces (but they're filling up!)
  • Community-based projects are occurring all the time
  • An experimental, innovative art scene is here
  • Design opportunities abound
  • And yes, the City does have some continuing challenges
This is what Pari Chang had to say about Lake Worth:

This small South Florida city is an under-the-radar, up-and-coming hotbed of makers. Miami obviously has a huge arts scene. Locals know that Ft. Lauderdale does, too. But Lake Worth, in Palm Beach County, is the one to watch, a city on the verge.

Lake Worth has everything artists are looking for. All they have to do is discover our little City here in Florida.
Lake Worth beckons muralists from everywhere.

The information below is a great start! Click images to enlarge:
Thank you for all the great work you do, LULA!

"There's so much going on in the little tiny City of Lake Worth. Is there a list of everything?"

Yes. There actually is. The City does a real good job with their "Events" website. To see all that news use this link. 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
For example, there's this upcoming event at St. Andrew's Episcopal Church (est. 1914) in our Downtown.

So. Lake Worth is just a "jumping off place"? Only "music and booze"? Have you ever been to the Cultural Council in the Downtown?

The Post's beat reporter for Lake Worth takes another cheap shot at our City. This isn't anything new. This latest 'news' in today's print edition about Rolando Barrero's gallery has this untrue, unfair, and completely unnecessary quote about our City:
It’s a jumping off place for young people. Lake Worth is music and booze. [emphasis added] The art scene is more arts and crafts . . .
Hmmm.
Just "arts and crafts"? What about the Cultural Council in the Downtown? LULA and our CRA? The Core Ensemble at St. Andrew's? The Benzaiten Center? The McMow Art Glass Gallery? Flamingo Clay Glass Metal Stone Gallery? The Lake Worth Playhouse? The Stonzek Theatre? And Art Al Fresco to name just a few.

Anyhow, Lake Worth is much more than just "music and booze". For example, there's the Cultural Council at the Robert M. Montgomery Jr. building at 601 Lake Ave:
  • 561-471-2901
  • Open Tuesday–Saturday, 10:00–5:00
  • Free street parking
  • Public parking lot east of the Cultural Council's building (across 'L' Street)
  • Cultural Council is a "VisitFlorida Certified Tourism Information Center"
Exhibits at the Cultural Council

Selections from the Armory Art Center until this Wednesday (9/28): 

     "This exhibition features new or unseen work by 41 talented artists that are current faculty at the Armory Art Center."

Artistic Visions: Women in the Visual Arts

     "Now through October 1st: Women In The Visual Arts (WITVA) is a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to support professional women artists in South Florida. Founded in 1989, WITVA strives to share the visual arts with our community and to sponsor student artists with scholarships and awards."

And don't forget the Roe Green Uniquely Palm Beach Store is located in the Cultural Council building. Here is more information about this unique shop: 

     "The Roe Green Uniquely Palm Beach Store, located in the Cultural Council’s lobby, features beautiful artist-made jewelry, handbags, accessories and books. All items are made in The Palm Beaches, either by professional artists who live and work in this county or by cultural organizations in Palm Beach County. 
     Proceeds support the Cultural Council’s artist programs."

Press Release: Lake Worth Library with "Fine Forgiveness Program". Ends October 31st.

Contact: Vickie Joslin, Head Librarian
Phone: 561-533-7354
Email: vjoslin@lakeworth.org

Library is located at 15 North 'M' Street (across from the Downtown Cultural Plaza)

"Many residents” said Vickie Joslin, Head Librarian “have been unable to use the library due to fines on their account and have been unable to pay them due to their economic situation. The Fine Forgiveness Program will give library users the opportunity to clear their accounts and again be able to use the library’s resources."

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

An idea for Lake Worth from our good friends in Boynton Beach:

Click on image to enlarge. On the subject of historic photographs and Lake Worth history. . .

Think it's too early to sponsor the 23rd Annual 2017 Street Painting Festival in Lake Worth? No way.

Lake Worth will be getting even more attention in Florida (and beyond) after the recent news of Garlic Fest moving to John Prince Park (February 10–12).

Each and every year the City's Street Painting Festival attendance numbers go up significantly. To consider being a sponsor fill out this contact form or call 561-358-8501. About the festival:

"Downtown Lake Worth invites you to the annual Street Painting Festival, which claims bragging rights as the country’s largest. The 2-day event transforms the downtown streets with more than 200 street paintings sponsored by businesses, organizations, families and individuals, covering more area than any other festival of its kind in the U.S." 
Images from the Jim Stafford Collection.

The Blueway Trail is a "game-changer" for cities like Lake Worth, all of Palm Beach County, and the State of Florida as well

The impact of this project, when completed, will be tremendous. From tourism, ecotourism, the marine and water-sports industry, hotel bookings. . . a true game-changer. Get excited and involved. Contact your elected leaders and let them know you support this project. The naysayers and troublemakers are already at work—don't let them be your voice.

Use this link for the official Blueway Trail website that has a very good video about this project.

Below is the latest exciting information about the Blueway Trail and more information will be forthcoming.

But first, the critics of the Blueway Trail, the few out there, will be ramping up their mis- and disinformation rhetoric to all new levels of nonsense. For example, Lake Worth Commissioner Ryan Maier is suggesting manatees will be at risk, brings up salt water intrusion (the water in the C-51 Canal flows east, not west), and suggests some nearby mangroves will be at risk (more on this and a video is below).

This ridiculousness follows other debunked claims made at the Lake Worth City Commission earlier this year when the Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council's Kim DeLaney gave an update on the Blueway Trail (to learn more about the TCRPC use this link).

Now for the latest from the TCRPC, the following image is the new boat lift conceptual plan. Take note of the kayak launches, boat lift, new fishing piers, and water barrier locations to protect the public (click on images to enlarge):
The current fishing piers are closed due to safety concerns. Along with a boat lift will be kayak launches for the public and eco-tourists.

Below are excerpts from the TCRPC memorandum dated September 16th, "Chain of Lakes Blueway Trail Project Consultant Agreement":

      The purpose of this item is to request Council approval to execute a new contract for professional engineering and related services for the Chain of Lakes Blueway Trail project.

[and. . .]

     For the past several years, Council has been assisting the Palm Beach Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) and Palm Beach County local governments with the planning and design of a boat lift at the C-51 Canal to enable access for vessels between the “Chain of Lakes” and the Lake Worth Lagoon.

[and. . .]

     The C-51 Canal lies on the border of the cities of West Palm Beach and Lake Worth,
and the Chain of Lakes includes a series of inland lakes in central Palm Beach County (e.g.,
Lakes Ida, Eden, Osborne, Clarke, and Pine Lake), all of which are connected by waterways and canals. Within the C-51 Canal, a saltwater control structure, installed in the 1970s, currently prevents boating access between the two waterways. [emphasis added]

     A preliminary analysis completed by Council on behalf of the MPO in 2015 concluded a boat lift to move motorized and nonmotorized vessels around the control structure was a feasible method to reintroduce access between the two waterways. This improvement would expand mobility, improve recreational and fishing opportunities, and provide economic enhancement in the area.

[and. . .]

     Improving access within regional waterways will improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the transportation network, expand ecotourism potential, and enhance opportunities for economic development and quality of life. The Chain of Lakes Blueway Trail project and boat lift concept for the C-51 Canal could serve as a model to enhance connectivity in other locations within the region and across the state.
Just a few of the benefits.
Note location of the S-155 Spillway in relation to Dixie and Federal highways. West Palm Beach is north and Lake Worth south of the C-51 Canal.

Now back to Commissioner Maier's claims. He was at the TCRPC meeting on September 16th and he chose to focus on some public comment (the minutes of the meeting are not yet available). Apparently someone claimed that salt water intrusion was a risk due to this project. Just one problem. The water in the canal flows towards the Intracoastal. So unless the planet starts spinning in the opposite direction this will not be an issue.

Manatees at risk? Nonsense. Mangroves at risk? Again, nonsense. Water has been flowing past the S-155 Spillway structure since the 1970's. As far as homeowners east of the Spillway along the C-51 Canal it won't be like, "Hey, we were just thinking of putting I-95 right there" as Lake Worth Commissioner Chris McVoy, PhD, said at a City Commission meeting. It's true. He really said that.

Oh, and by the way, both commissioners Maier and McVoy may be up for re-election next year (March 14th, 2017). No word yet on what they plan to do. Enjoy the video:

At some point Lake Worth has to answer that question once and for all: "What is possible in this City?"

"Somehow just asking the question is taboo and I think that's what I keep hearing from people. Don't ask the question, 'What is possible in this City?' Don't ask the question about what is possible, be it the beach, be it road infrastructure. . ."
—Quote by City Manager Michael Bornstein at City Commission meeting on July 30th, 2015.


You can hear Bornstein for yourself in the video below at the 2:00 mark. This discussion had to do with the previous City Commission and their flawed business plan for the Casino complex and pool. Since that time many more disturbing facts have been uncovered about what occurred in 2008–2010:
Fast forward to March 2016, following the municipal elections Bornstein wrote the following in Worth Noting, the City's newsletter.* Here is an excerpt from the article:

     "City elections are over, the results are in, and now we move to the next chapter.
     The Mayor and Commissioners have wasted no time in laying out several ambitious items for the City staff to get to work on. Along with the ones we are currently implementing, the new list of projects will take a lot of effort and will require everyone to work together to ensure the best outcomes. Therefore, in the coming months, Lake Worth will be a place alive with activity and debate. We will be a community striving to explore exciting and wonderful opportunities and resolve longstanding and difficult problems. I encourage you to get involved and help create the best version of Lake Worth possible."


Bornstein writes that the "Mayor and Commissioners [emphasis added] have wasted no time in laying out several ambitious items", and Lake Worth will be a community working to "resolve longstanding and difficult problems." He's being very generous. The only ones on the City Commission sticking their necks out are Mayor Pam Triolo, Vice Mayor Scott Maxwell, and Commissioner Andy Amoroso.

Keep this in mind leading up to the November 8th referendum to fix our roads and then the March 14th elections in 2017. We're at a pivotal point in our City's history when the answer to the question, "What is possible in this City?" will either be answered or the problems just "kicked down the road", just like what's been going on in this City for far too long.

*Use this link to sign up for the Worth Noting newsletter. It's free and delivered to your email inbox.

Images after 1928 Okeechobee Hurricane: Lake Worth's City Hall, Masonic Temple, Lake Worth Bridge. . .

Read the entire comment left by Capt. Wm. S. Stafford (Ret.) below. Very interesting. He also references the sobering Lloyd's of London report on the Herbert Hoover Dike which surrounds Lake Okeechobee:

"Much of the geophysical history of that time period are still visible around the lake. In 2003 I spent 2 days in my Jeep Wrangler driving the circumference of the lake looking for and finding the historic structures (ie old wooden navigation locks, parts of the old levee system, and places where entire towns / villages were washed away, the cemeteries of those taken by the storm, etc.). A visit to the museum in Belle Glade, seeing the memorial statue outside the Belle Glade library, and driving thru Pahokee trying to visualize the damage 75 years before was hard to imagine."

A "house tossed like a football", flooded streets, and Lake Ave. with devastated structures are some of the images below. The traditional start of hurricane season is June 1st and peaks from mid-August to late October.

The 1928 Hurricane was a direct hit on cities such as Palm Beach, Lake Worth and Lantana. This was prior to hurricanes being given names. The storm continued towards Lake Okeechobee. In the end over 2,500 people died and this storm remains the second deadliest in U.S. history.

There is a mass grave in West Palm Beach for victims of that storm. Another sad legacy is only Black people are buried there. The White victims were buried elsewhere.
Click images to enlarge.




Pictures courtesy of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Pam Triolo, the mayor of Lake Worth, and two of her nasty critics. No surprise: both of them unlady-like, classless, crass, and rude.

Read this already? Thank You for visiting and please scroll down. For everyone who may have missed this from yesterday (the traffic count would suggest there aren't too many of you). . .
Lake Worth Mayor Pam Triolo.

If you didn't know, Lake Worth Mayor Triolo is also "The Food Lady"! See the blog post following or use this link to learn more.
DVR alert: Sunday, October 2nd at 10:30 a.m.

The Post's beat reporter penned a rambling, overly-effusive piece about "The Food Lady" which reads more like something from Creative Writing 101 than from an actual newspaper reporter:

     She [Mayor Triolo] said she would recuse herself from any city votes concerning the sponsors.
     Despite being skilled at talking in front of an audience, Triolo flubs a line as she shows Sevareid ["Sally" from Kool 105.5] why it’s important to rinse capers well.
     “I knew I was going on too long,” Triolo says, giggling as her rescue dog, Buster, an 8-year-old Chihuahua-Boston terrier mix, scurries under foot [sic].

By the way, "under foot" is one word, not two.

In the comment section of this Post article two classless females felt the need to chime in. The great part is the smackdown comment by "WhaaatThe" (see that below). Here are excerpts from the disrespectful 'kitkat21' and 'yardmam', both dripping with envy of our City's mayor:

kitkat21: "Well the incestuous [sic, emphasis added] behavior has moved out of Lake Worth city hall and onto the big screen. Other local officials, local restaurants ,etc. [sic] can now cozy up to our Mayor in public. Excuse me while I go vomit."

And from yardmam who is punctuation challenged: "first of all her last name is ❚❚❚❚❚❚❚❚ second her house has a for sale sign on the corner third where is she moving to"

Then WhaaatThe sets the record straight with this powerfully poignant comment:

Jeez, have you 2 no lives?
     yardmam - First, she [Mayor Triolo], like many professional women who married after establishing her brand, uses her maiden name, as does my wife, by the way.
     Second - do you know why they're selling the house? I'm sure you don't. They need to have a house on one level. If you want to know why that is, do a little research of your own. It's not for Ss and Gs.
     Third - they ain't lookin' anywhere but here [in City of Lake Worth for a home].
     Fourth - you wouldn't feel that way if you weren't on the Dark Side. We already tried what I'm gathering is your way and look where that got us.
     kitkat21 - Tell me. With whom shall our Mayor get "cozy"? Though she's actually a homebody, spending time with townfolk is part of the job. She'll talk with anyone, critical of her, or otherwise. Seeing more of her around the block will only increase the goodwill she does her best to spread. I'm guessing you know nothing about that.
     Maybe you 2 should get to know her, rather than spewing nonsense while in your robes in front of your computer. (That's more about the spewing of nonsense than the robes. I'm currently naked myself).
     There. All without calling you names, or dropping an F-bomb. Remarkable.

Thank You WhaaatThe for taking the time. Like everyone who has met or knows Mayor Triolo, she has nothing but grace and charm for everyone, even for trolls like kitkat21 and yardmam. That's part of the reason she was re-elected by a landslide last March against not one, but two challengers for her seat on Lake Worth's City Commission:
Mayor Triolo following the election results last March with Vice Mayor Scott Maxwell (left) and Commissioner Andy Amoroso. Both of these gentlemen were also re-elected by landslide margins (image courtesy of The Lake Worth Herald).

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Email from a blog reader, from someone who actually knows about street lighting and public safety

If you recall, it was Commissioner Chris McVoy, PhD, who suggested that our new LED street lights would make people sick and need to be hospitalized. Another former commissioner chimed in saying the these new lights would distract drivers, careening into buildings and running over people. All complete nonsense, of course.

The real issue is Mayor Pam Triolo, City Manager Michael Bornstein, the majority on the City Commission, staff, et al. came up with this plan (use this link to the City's website) and others like McVoy didn't—even though the previous 'Best Commission Ever (BCE)' back in 2009/2010 had plenty of opportunity and then squandered it on the Casino at the Beach.

Anyhow, the email I received:

"I was reading this piece from IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers Spectrum (of which I was a long time member) recently about cities converting to LED lighting. It’s a very pleasant non-technical read. After reading it one can readily conclude that Lake Worth did a great job of selecting and implementing our new LED street lighting system. Job well done to all involved."

An excerpt from the article (see link in paragraph above):

     "Most of us who grew up with streetlights tended to think of them as uninteresting utilitarian objects, when we thought of them at all. The turbulent early years of LED lighting have forced us to take another look at what nighttime lighting could—and should—be. Because of that, the future looks brighter, and it will also be much easier on the eye."

Everyone is invited to attend upcoming Town Hall meetings in West Palm Beach, first one next Tuesday

Palm Beach County Commissioner Paulette Burdick, West Palm Beach City Commissioner Shanon Materio, and County School Board members Erica Whitfield and Chuck Shaw will be in attendance.

Some of the topics for discussion:
  • Update and information on the Zika virus
  • The heroin epidemic
  • Amendments 1, 2, 3, and 4 on the November ballot
  • Judges on the November ballot
Where and when:
  • Tuesday, 9/27 at the Vista Center, 7:00–8:30, located at 2300 Jog Rd. in West Palm Beach
  • Thursday, 10/6 at the South Olive Park Recreation Center, 7:00–8:30, located at 345 Summa Rd. in West Palm Beach