Friday, July 27, 2007

Could this be our answer to rising sea levels?

1,500 ft. would give us more than a couple of years use of the new building at the beach. Imagine the view from the new "rotating" casino ballroom? How about it Commissioners Jennings and Golden??

By the way, this isn't to be taken seriously. Let's learn to laugh at ourselves once in a while.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Now for a little contrast...

I played around with Google Earth and Photoshop to get approximately the same view as the earlier postcard. This is looking south along the barrier island and the casino building is approximately in the middle of the picture. I don't think it's necessary to label them "Before" and "After".

In the top picture, you can see the substantial amount of new land that was created by dredging and filling the Lake Worth Lagoon. All of the area west of the western loop road on the City's beach property is fill, as shown in a previous post from the early 50s. To the north (closest to you in the above pictures) there is an area of fill east and west of A-1A. The area to the north of the Lake Worth bridge was done in two phases, with the western side coming last. Obviously there is a drastic difference between the 20s era postcard and the current picture in the way of construction and pavement. But the Lake Worth beach is amazing for standing the test of time and remaining a public piece of property - I think that we can all agree on. Remarkable.

And, it is my contention, that the Greater Bay plan will allow that to continue well into the future. Let's hope that as the project picks up momentum that we will come together as a community and everyone will see that is actually the case.

Let's consider the option for a moment of a purely passive public park with no commercial activity or with the exact same amount of commercial activity as there is today. First of all, if there is anything else other than recreation, we will need a building to house the commercial activity. As shown in a previous post, the current building's days and the tenant's futures there are limited. And, don't forget about the ballroom - a mainstay that is currently closed off in the building's current condition. And we are going to have a pool and it makes sense not to re-invent the wheel, like the Greater Bay plan, and leave that in the same place. We would still have a building and built area (the pool) of significant size.

Then, if public access is as important and we as a society are still getting around by the private automobile, then we are going to have to supply parking. Exactly how different would a "no commercial" versus "limited commercial" plan be against the Greater Bay plan? I would venture to say not that much. Unless, under the other options, we build a multi-level parking structure and consolidate parking - making more green space in the process. Are we ready to do that?? I am not so sure. Or, we consolidate parking in our downtown and shuttle people to the beach - which may have some ecological merit, but probably wouldn't fly with the beach-using public. Just a guess here, but think of the typical Wellington family that uses the beach.

One thing that the current photo shows is that whatever natural area was there in the 20s, you have to look pretty hard to find anything natural that resembles the pristine conditions of yesteryear. Ladies and gentlemen, this is a drastically altered eco-system that shows the impact of humankind over time. The Greater Bay plan actually adds back green area along the beach dune area as pointed out before.

And let's be clear here - I am not saying that pavement and building is good or bad. Can we just admit that the condition there is what it is and we can talk about who is to blame, etc., etc., for ever. But that is going to get us nowhere fast - like our history over the past 20 years. What is there is there - it just is. We have to realize that and do the best that we can with the options available to us.

Lastly, what Commissioner Jennings refers to as the dune (upon which the Greater Bay Casino Building will be built) is actually just the back of the former western extent of the barrier island. It is only a "dune" if you consider the barrier island a "dune".

Your comments are welcome.

Received: Anonymous Letter

Did anyone else get a package that looked like this in the mail this week? It's meant to look like a grass-roots, home-spun sort of effort however the highlighting and the writing is clearly mass printed upon close inspection. Looks like someone is igniting an organized effort to draw attention to Karen Marcus' dealings related to Palm Beach Aggregates and a $40,000 donation to the sea turtle sanctuary in her district. I guess she is the next target on the County Commission.

The other thing that gives it away as being a well-financed effort is a nice little turtle lapel pin with the international "no" symbol over "Pay-to-Play". It was affixed to the corner of the card with the "STOP PAY TO PLAY" printed on it.

I wonder what list I am on? Anonymous letters are creepy - no strange white powder, thank goodness!

Contents appear below:

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Examples of Transit Oriented Development Projects

Rail-Volution Conference - Coming to Lake Worth on 10/31!

This is part of a program for a conference scheduled for Miami. This national conference will take place for four days at the end of October through the first part of November. There is a special "charette" (a word meaning intensive, short-term planning effort) scheduled for Lake Worth on October 31, 2007. If you would like more information regarding the conference program, let me know and I will forward you a copy.

The focus of the session in Lake Worth will be on transit oriented development around the existing Tri-rail station - which is part of our master plan and Comprehensive Plan changes coming later this year.

Fun at Friday on the Avenues - Cultural Plaza - 7/20

A good time was had by all last Friday night at Evening on the Avenues. We took up space in the cultural plaza and did our part to help promote the Lake Worth website. Above is a picture from early in the evening with Dan Winkel (who works at Ed Morse Honda and had some great tote bags to give away) and Jim Stafford, owner of the website behind the table.

Here's Walter B. and Jim Stafford, hosts of the popular Lunch Box show, in front of the booth later on. In the background you can see frequent poster and mayoral candidate Mary Lindsey posting on the board in real time. Jim rigged a projector so that we could display the board as people passed by. In the far corner of the table, to the left, are Colleen Rinaldi's Snicker-doodles from the Sabal Palm Bed and Breakfast. Thanks Colleen! Those FLEW off the table. A lot of board users dropped by including Lynn Anderson. When Lynn picked up her cookie she asked if it was laced. Well, Lynn, yes it was laced - with love and kisses! Hope you enjoyed it.

Here's kind of broad shot of the Cultural Plaza. This vendor was about in the middle of the Plaza, at the western edge. There were selling lots of incense and in the thick July evening air, their incense perfumed the air.

Above is Matt Falvey who is the Fish Doctor on the show of the same name. He even brought his pole for demonstration purposes. The fist weren't really biting at the Plaza though. Here he is finishing up some original art. Matt's a nice guy and joined us on our ocean fishing adventure a couple of months ago.

Introducing one of Lake Worth's more colorful personalities and a fixture around the Cultural Plaza. Ladies and Gentlemen, meet the Rat Lady. She has a new one now - the older ones were home resting. I've known her for quite a while now from various Karaoke venues. I'm proud to report that she voted for me both times. You go girl!

Here is the plaza a little later in the evening. I am still experimenting with my camera and the different settings. I got some neat effects without using the flash.

Here is the bandstand and the band was unanimously thought to be great - kind of a rock-a -billy, country-ish sound. I'll get the name this week and let you know. They are local and I bet they do the wedding circuit.

This is one of the brighter lit booths that gave an interesting effect through the lens.

Nice to see the Cultural Plaza being used for this kind of activity. The lighting gives things a festive glow.

Here is a view of the "working" side of the booth. Still a nice size crowd which lasted through the entire evening.

One of Lake Worth's own shamen attended the event. Here caught on the move in trend setting attire.