Saturday, June 21, 2008
Friday, June 20, 2008
Thursday, June 19, 2008
That stop is by McDonalds, part of the Arbor Shopping Plaza. I got there around 12:50 p.m. or so. At about 1 p.m., the southbound bus appeared.
I, along with a mother and child, climbed aboard.
Once inside the bus, I paid the fare. The woman in front of me had a pass that she just waved at the driver. I put a dollar bill in the fare box, along with 50 cents in the coin drop slot and took a seat about midway back, on the aisle. The bus was about 70% full and was made up all ages, races and descriptions of people that you could think of.
The woman seated directly ahead of me was a familiar face for those that travel north and south on Dixie Hwy. She was the woman in the blond wig and overcoat that saunters up and down the sidewalk all day long. Besides the odor emanating from her, the bus was clean and the air conditioning was refreshing after waiting outside for the bus to arrive.
About half way to my destination at Lucerne and Dixie Hwy., a young man got on board and started talking very loudly about equality, genocide and mass killings. The bus driver gave him a warning to be quiet or he would have to get off the bus. That worked for about a minute, then he started up again. By then we were where I needed to get off. The bus stopped and many people exited and entered the bus in front of the CVS right across from City Hall. The guy with the loud voice got off and went south on Dixie Hwy.
From there I walked to the Shuffleboard Court building and waited for my appointment. The entire trip on the bus was about 7 minutes. With the walk to the stop and the wait for the bus, the total trip time was about 20 minutes. I was early for my meeting with the folks from Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council concerning the Charrette this coming Saturday (see previous post). So, that gave me time to look over the maps they had laid out to stimulate thought and discussion.
Once the meeting finished, I walked out into the larger room where I overheard part of a conversation between Miss "T" and another lady. She was telling her about how the day before someone got robbed at gunpoint right outside the door to the shuffleboard courts. She had called the police immediately, but after 20 minutes they had yet to show up. The guy who pulled the gun had gone off and walked west down Lake Avenue. There was more to the story, but I didn't stay around to hear it all as I was a little late for my next appointment.
That appointment was with Joan Oliva, Exectuive Director of the CRA. She had called earlier in the week to set up an orientation meeting with me related to my appointment to the CRA. We talked about coming meetings and likely agenda items. I talked about some of my priorities that I would like to see come about. She was able to give the packet for next Tuesday's meeting to me as well.
So, I headed back to the bus stop, with a quick side trip to CVS for something cold to drink. The northbound bus came in about 15 minutes. While waiting, I bumped into a neighbor of mine that uses the bus quite frequently to take care of errands. She is older and has trouble seeing. Her children a few years ago encouraged her to give up her car, which she eventually did. I usually see her walking her dogs around the neighborhood. Instead of getting off the bus around College Park, she went on to Winn Dixie to do her weekly shopping.
Otherwise, the trip north was uneventful and after a brisk walk from the Dunkin Donuts, I was home a little after 3 p.m.
Would I do it again? Sure. I'm not sure that it is economical for short trips like this one. I don't think that I would have used $3 worth of gas getting to and from downtown from my house. But to and from downtown West Palm Beach might be another story. If I was headed to the Tri-Rail stop, it would be worth it. I would've had to transfer to the east/west route at Lake and Lucerne to do that. In no way was it objectionable to me, especially if you keep in mind this is a public bus. As long as you are comfortable being with people of all types, it's a good way to get from here to there.
The time of the charrette is from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. A follow-up presentation will take place the following Friday, June 27. Time and location will be announced later.
and fuel efficiency really drops off at speeds over 60
mph. Each 5 mph you drive over 60 mph reduces
mileage by about 7 percent.
2. While you are waiting in line at the drive-thru, you are
getting zero miles per gallon. Park the car and go inside
the restaurant. You’ll save gas and get some exercise!
3. Maintenance is the key to peak performance. A
dirty air filter and under-inflated tires can increase
your fuel cost up to 13 percent.
4. When it’s time for a long trip, think about what
you really need to take. A loaded roof rack can
decrease your fuel economy by 5 percent because of
the drag. An extra 100 pounds in the trunk reduces
a typical car’s fuel economy by 1-2 percent.
5. If you can eliminate just two discretionary trips per
week, you can save several dollars at the gas station.
Combine trips by share driving chores with neighbors
or carpooling to work. Several short trips from a cold
start can use twice as much gas as a longer, combined
trip to the same places when the engine is warm.
6. “Flooring” the gas pedal while moving away from
the light usually doesn’t get you to your destination
any faster, and it wastes gas. Drive evenly and sensibly.
7. Don’t start and stop your engine needlessly. Idling
your engine for one minute consumes the gas
amount equivalent to when you start the engine.
8. Drive steadily. Avoid tailgating. The driver in front
of you is unpredictable. Not only is it unsafe, but it
affects your economy if you have to slow down unexpectedly.
Slowing down or speeding up wastes fuel.
Sources: www.howtoadvice.com/savinggas, fycs.ifas.ufl.edu/
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
At Club A.J.s, South J Street.
The official start of hurricane season was June 1st and I would like to remind everyone the importance of being prepared! County officials and staff have worked diligently on a comprehensive Web site and manual providing essential information on hurricane preparedness such as shelter locations, generator safety, pet shelter locations, etc. Please take some time to review the information provided which will help to insure the safety for you, your family and friends.
For pet owners, please visit www.pbcgov.com/pubsafety/animal for details on preparing your pets/animals in case of an emergency.
In addition, the 2008 Storm expo is scheduled to be held at the South Florida Fairgrounds on June 14 (9:00 am – 5:00 pm) and June 15 (10:00 am – 2:00 pm). The event includes educational seminars, local hurricane preparedness exhibitors, children’s activities and much more. Admission and parking is free. For further information, please contact 561-712-6378 or email: email@example.com.
From the PB Post article:
Citing the series of local investigations into political influence-peddling in recent years, Jennings asked commissioners to "take a proactive stance on what I see as a prolific ethics problem in our county."
State law limits campaign contributions from individuals and committees, other than political parties, to $500 per election.
With the tougher ordinance, she said, "We won't have to sit here and worry about conflicts of interest. They wouldn't exist."
Earth to Commissioner Jennings - there is more to conflict of interest than who supports your campaign!
Check out all the information regarding Commissioner Golden's attempted take-over of the CRA and then her employer's grab at $300,000 of un-budgeted CRA money in the form of a "grant or forgivable loan" to bail out a mismanaged project. Click here for details.
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
Thanks Commish, great advice.
Called by many Lake Worth's most popular Commissioner ever, Colburn "Mac" McKinnon gave Jim Stafford his endorsement for the District #2 Commission seat recently. In his letter, Mac noted Stafford's "energy" and "knowledge" as true assets. The note itself can be viewed at jimfor2.com. Commissioner McKinnon was a multi-term commissioner and a favorite coach and Athletic Director during his employment at Lake Worth High School. "Mac" still lives in District #2 which he represented as Commissioner.
Jim Stafford, age 31 is married (Gina) and has two younger boys. He has lived in Lake Worth for the past five years. Stafford is running for the City Commission seat to improve the conditions of District #2 - specifically improving the City's ability to address code enforcement problems and to improve the City's recreation facilities and programs. This is the first year that the Lake Worth Municipal elections will be held to coincide with the National elections scheduled for November 4, 2008. Information on how to donate or other campaign events can be found at jimfor 2.com
*Political Advertisement Paid for and Approved by Jim Stafford for Lake Worth Commissioner District 2
Can we try to do better at customer service, rather than appear before the Supreme Court?
Let me say this before going further. We need to have an ethics task force, formed and only to be in existence for a limited time. This task force would make recommendations on the ethical standards and behaviors of persons appointed and elected in the City of Lake Worth. It would be a wholesale look at what constitutes our definition of what is considered ethical behavior - much in the same way that West Palm Beach did in the wake of the ethics crisis facing their elected officials.
This represents a piece meal measure that is meant to address what? A specific instance? Would it apply to all "professional business entities"? Does that include police and fire unions? What about the time frame here? Let's say some "professional business entity" contributes to a candidate's campaign. That person is elected. Does that mean that the "professional business entity" is precluded from doing business with the City of Lake Worth in any capacity as long as that person retains office?
Or, are we governing by press release - so that we can say that Lake Worth has a "pay to play" ordinance so that after that anyone of a number of evils can pass for being ethical? Hmmm.
And who would really benefit from this ordinance? It would be those groups and campaigns which rely on human capital rather than financial capital to win elections. Under whose name is this memo authored? Hmmmm. Is this the same person that would stand up for someone who is applying for a $300,000 grant or forgivable loan for their employer (whose project is 71% over budget) from the same agency that they beat up two months before for financial accountability?
We need to see this measure as exactly what it is - another roundabout way to grab power. Remember the super-majority? Remember how decisions can be repeatedly revisited by the non-prevailing side? And on and on and on...
Again, we need a task force formed with a limited time horizon to come up with comprehensive recommendations on the conduct of elected and appointed officials. We also need to be careful when we attempt to challenge something that might have Constitutional implications.
And while we're at it, can we ban political yard signs? Nothing saps more of a campaign budget than those, it does nothing but create visual clutter and it gives people the opportunistic temptation to mess with opponent's signs. Trust me, I know. Remember, signs don't vote, people do. And as long as we are trying to out "green" all others, let's pause to think of the impact to the waste stream that these nearly indestructible signs create.
Monday, June 16, 2008
The article highlights some of the reasons and the ingredients involved in turning around Delray Beach. No, we don't have to become another Delray Beach in order to be successful. What we do have to become is a better Lake Worth - doing so would outshine all the other communities that share this South Florida region.
The property is just west of the alley from Lupita's at 4th Avenue North and Dixie Hwy. Here is what I first saw as I got out of the car.
From what I could tell, there were two people in the building at the time, one male and one female in separate units. The man I knew from the Mad Hatter and friends Dale and Terry were there already making sure their friend was o.k. The Red Cross was there too and they will give temporary aid for a few days. Both tenants had cats and the animals were safely rescued.
WPBF was there as well and interviewing the firefighters and investigators. Apparently, a representative from the State Fire Marshal's office had already visited the site and it is likely a case of arson. The fire started in the downstairs apartment. The guy upstairs heard noise from downstairs just before the fire began and heard "sloshing" of some liquid. The female tenant smelled gasoline right before the fire started - sometime after 5 a.m. this morning. According to accounts, the tenants of the downstairs apartment were a source of trouble and hadn't been seen in a while.
Above: one of the rescued felines in the travel cage along with one of our firefighters. Below are views of the north side of the building. I was offered a chance to go in the upstairs apartment, but declined.
Other notes: There are no historic districts on the west side of Dixie Hwy. Sneakers has cameras mounted outside the building that might have captured some of what happened. The Fire Department responded quickly. Remember to make sure you have a working fire/smoke detector - especially if you rent!
I tired to pull up the property appraiser's data for this property and couldn't find the address on 4th Avenue North. If you have better luck, print the card to a .pdf file and forward it to me. Thanks.
Please include the people affected by this fire in your thoughts and prayers.
Sunday, June 15, 2008
Tri-Rail Trip Planner
Tri-Rail Dump the Pump Promotion
Public Transportation Facts for the Third Annual National Dump the Pump Day
Public Transportation Ridership:
In 2007, Americans took 10.3 billion trips on public transportation - the highest ridership level in 50 years.
34 million times each weekday, people board public transportation.
Since 1995 public transportation ridership is up 32 percent.
Energy Conservation - Reducing National Dependence on Foreign Oil:
Each year, public transportation use in the U.S. saves 1.4 billion gallons of gasoline. This represents almost 4 million gallons of gasoline per day.
The “leverage effect” of public transportation, supporting transportation efficient land use patterns, saves 4.2 billion gallons of gasoline – more than three times the amount of gasoline refined from the oil we import from Kuwait.
Public transportation use saves the equivalent of 300,000 fewer automobile fill-ups every day - 108 million fewer cars filling up annually.
Each year, public transportation use saves the equivalent of 34 supertankers of oil, or a supertanker leaving the Middle East every 11 days.
Individual Cost Savings:
Public transportation provides an affordable, and for many, necessary alternative to driving.
Each year public transportation households save over $1,399 worth of gas.
Transit availability can reduce the need for an additional car, a yearly expense of $6,251 in a household budget.
The average household spends 18 cents per dollar on transportation, and 94 percent of this goes to buying, maintaining and operating cars.
Americans living in areas served by public transportation save $18 billion annually in congestion costs.Public Transportation Reduces Greenhouse Gases and Conserves Energy:
The “leverage effect” of public transportation reduces the nation’s carbon emissions by 37 million metric tons annually – equivalent to the electricity used by 4.9 million households. To achieve similar reduction in carbon emissions, every household in New York City, Washington, DC, Atlanta, Denver and Los Angeles combines would have to completely stop using electricity.
People living in households within one-quarter mile of rail and one-tenth of a mile from a bus stop drive approximately 4,400 fewer miles annually as compared to persons in similar households with no access to public transit. This equates to an individual household reduction of 223 gallons of gasoline a year.
Tell why you decided to "dump the pump" due to high gas prices and ride public transportation.
Tell how this decision has made a difference in your life, what you are doing with the extra money you have saved or what public transportation means to you.Please send to firstname.lastname@example.org
Separate posts coming on "pay to play" ordinance and attendance policy re advisory boards.
For those of you who may have forgotten, the "Blue Marlin" was a Lake Worth bar famous for its after hours business due to its 5 a.m. license. Now Sneakers has cornered that market a little farther south, but about 10 or more years ago the title belonged to the "Blue Marlin". If any of you have pictures of the building or of its interior back in the day, forward them to me and I will post them here.
After the bar ceased to exist, the building languished. Actually, the building continued to languish - the bar was the working definition of a "dive". Once used as a kitchen supply retailer, the building stayed mostly vacant much of the time. However, now the building has two new tenants. One is a bathroom supply showroom which occupies the south end of the building. I popped my head in there and it looked like they had some nice products if you are looking at redoing your bathroom.
The other, on the north side of the building, is called the "Shred Shed". It's a place for skateboards, supplies, clothing and shoes. Check out the pictures. I chatted with the owner and one of the guys that works (and lives - upstairs) there. They came from the shopping plaza at the northwest corner of Congress and Forest Hill. They had an o.k. amount of business there but the landlord starting jacking them around so they looked for a new place and landed in Lake Worth. They're very optimistic about the prospects for success here and are looking for ways to promote skate parks locally. I'm going to lend my hand to see if there are some creative locations we can capitalize on.
Drop in and say "hi". By the way, they have a whole section of shoes on sale for $25. I was lucky enough to find a cool pair in my circus animal size (13) so they may have some that would fit your needs for just bopping around.
They are also giving away a retail showcase that they do not have a need for after the move. It's probably about 6 to 8 feet long, lighted with sliding glass doors.
It's nice to see this building put to use again and by retailer - all on Dixie Hwy!
This from WOFS.com, the first on-line fung shui magazine (click title for link),
"most things associated with birds tend to spell good fortune, such as when birds fly to your home and start making nests in and around your house. While bats bring abundance, birds bring good news and opportunities. The next time a flock of ravens, pigeons or magpies come to your home, feed them with bird seeds. Birds are also said to be powerful protectors and guardians. Even crows are said to be messengers of the Gods. So welcome birds with open arms."There are other memorable bird messages and symbols in my life. The day that I left Michigan, as I walked down the sidewalk to my car loaded with things to take to Florida, I spotted a dead Robin in my front lawn. That always said to me that I wasn't meant to come back to live in Michigan - the Robin is the state bird.
My mother loved to see Cardinals in the yard and would make an effort to point them out whenever she saw them. She grew up in the State of Ohio whose state bird is the Cardinal. Upon her death, we decided to have a Cardinal etched in her gravestone. On the stone, the Cardinal is resting on a White Pine, the state tree of Michigan - which is where she spent most of her adult life. Now, whenever I see a Cardinal, I think of her.
Probably too much information, but never forget to look for clues and symbols from nature in our everyday life, they can serve as powerful reminders or confirmations.