Saturday, September 13, 2008

Pictures from Paradise - Fishing Trip - 9/12

From the Florida Red and Blue/SayNo2 Team

Saying the impact of Amendment 2, “…could cause great harm to the education of the children of Broward County…” the Broward County School Board unanimously voted to oppose passage of the amendment.

Click here to read their resolution:

And today, the City of Miami officially added its voice to the chorus of growing opposition by passing their own resolution to oppose Amendment 2.

Click here to see their resolution:

Their opposition follows similar public condemnation of Amendment 2 by the Broward County Commission and the City of Miami Beach whose combined 1.8 million residents could lose access to basic benefits if Amendment 2 passes.

Together, at least 5.1 million Floridians could lose access to basic legal protections or existing earned benefits if Amendment 2 passes.

We’re standing up for them – and all Floridians – by standing up to Amendment 2.

Will you stand with us today by making a financial commitment to stop Amendment 2?

The Florida Red and Blue/SayNo2 Team

P.S. Recent polling shows the race is VERY close. So we need your help! Here are two ways to help right now.

The SayNo2 Facebook Team is happy to announce our new "Be a Top Recruiter" contest on Facebook! Over the next few weeks, we need everyone to invite all of their friends to our cause:
Or our group:

The top recruiters will win a "Say No 2" prize pack with tons of campaign goodies!! So get recruiting and check back daily to see who takes the lead in the SayNo2 Hall of Fame!!

Join and ask others to join our on-line campaigns on:

Missing Palm Beach County ballots are located – and then some

Friday, September 12, 2008

Palm Beach closes parts of Phipps Ocean Park after erosion leaves beach 'cliff'

NY City - Summer Streets Program

Click title for link. Not quite the same thing, but a grander scale version of Park(ing) Day which will be taking place right here in Downtown Lake Worth next Friday the 19th. Come down from 2 to 7 p.m. to the parking lot across from the Post Office. As of last Tuesday, all the parking spaces but two were taken by various community groups to plant the parking lot for day. I volunteered to be a judge for the event and will have my camera handy. It'll be a whole YouTube affair where communities around the nation/planet will post videos of their own Park(ing) Day to share with the world! Don't miss this!!

This is from Bogota, Colombia where they have what is called a "Ciclovia" - they were the first city to start this program of turning over city streets to pedestrians and bicycles one day a week:

New wave of Baby Boomers ready to descend on Florida

From the University of Florida's Bureau of Economic and Business Research

The Sunshine State is about to boom with Boomers.

Between 2010 and 2030, Baby Boomers, born between 1946 and 1964, are expected to descend on Florida in even larger numbers and will increase their standing as the state's largest age group. The reason: They are nearing retirement age, the state's housing prices have become more affordable and Florida's tropical climate remains a draw.

Boomers made up about 23 percent of Florida's 15.9 million population in 2000, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. In 2010, they will account for 27 percent of the 19.6 million people expected to be living here.

"The first of the Baby Boomers are just barely over 60 now, so over the next 10 or 15 years you'll see a real increase in that group," said Stan Smith, director of the University of Florida's Bureau of Economic and Business Research. "Lower [housing] prices could have some impact because historically Florida has been a relatively low-cost place to live but that has been going up in recent years."

New wave of Baby Boomers ready to descend on Florida - Sun-Sentinel - August 4, 2008

More on this topic:

Boomer boom in the Sunshine State - Tampa Bay News- August 5, 2008

After decades' rise, county population likely to dip by 933

Friday Treat - Josh Groban

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

City Commission Workshop on Budget - 9/15

Apparently set at the urging of two Commissioners. Any idea who? You get four guesses and the first two don't count.

From our correspondent on N. L. Street...

Posted as a comment under the most recent 431 post.

Lots of activity at 425 N. L today. This morning I called Det. Carreiro and had a very good talk with him about 431 and 425 N. L st and he gave me some good guidelines on what could be done.

Later today I noticed activity in front of 425 and being the inquisitive type I went outside to take a look. A neighbor told me that someone who had lived at 425 asked him to call the police for him. The person said that the people at 425 had "ripped him off" and that there was "major drug dealing" going on there.

A patrol car with a LW officer and a PBSO officer arrived. They spoke with the gentleman and also with my neighbor and I. The officer (I am sorry but I can't recall his name) was great. He seemed interested in what we had to say, and said that the fellow who had called the police had a story that "didn't add up".

I went inside and after a while noticed that three or four more police cars had arrived along with a supervisor's truck and two city trucks. In all there were ten or twelve officers and they were investigating the property. I saw that they posted a bright yellow notice on the back building (can't read it from my property). They were speaking at length with an older tenet who has been at the 425 for at least four or five months.

It was quite a busy scene and I was unable to ask then what the outcome was. However they made the person who called in the complaint vacate the premises and as of 8:00 pm tonight there appears to be nobody home at 425.

Later I spoke with a friend who told me that she had contacted police about someone trespassing at 431 this afternoon and they arrested someone for trying to steel the wiring from the outside of the building.

Big kudos to the Lake Worth Police Department, PBSO and the concerned citizen who alerted police to the trespasser.

Lively times on North L!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

From Joel Morganstern, LW Police: Gas Stations and Publix's W/Generators

Thanks Joel!

By the way, there is only one gas station in the 33460 zip code that has a generator. Many communities now are requiring them - note to Planning staff.

Tri-Rail ridership up 28.8 percent over same time last year

Click here for for report - click title for Sun Sentinel article.

Delray Beach's CRA to help fund tennis tournaments

Excerpts from article:
The community redevelopment agency will dole out a half-million dollars to help pay for the city's high-profile tennis tournaments next year.

CRA board members said their financial investment in tennis is sure to return to the city through increased business from visitors.

The board tonight also discussed other aspects of its $23.7 million budget, which includes only the second decrease in tax-increment financing dollars in two decades.

Parking gets more pricey in downtown West Palm Beach

Monday, September 8, 2008

Commissioner Cara Jennings' Private Club

You know, many people may find this hard to believe, but I was a Cara Jennings supporter during the last election cycle for District #2. Many may ask how this could be in that we are apparently so different ideologically and have opposing views on many issues. Well let me tell you why I voted for her last time and, just in case you're not getting the message through this blog, why I am not voting for her this time and why you shouldn't either.

During my long involvement in City and civic activities, particularly my involvement with the Planning, Zoning and Historic Preservation Board, I got to know Cara Jennings. Cara Jennings was someone who would come to many of our P&Z meetings and express her positions regarding various issues - and at that time, it was usually with what appeared to be sincerity and she did represent a segment of the community that wasn't really represented. She also showed that she was involved, followed meetings and was working for something - that part was a little vague. But, compared to her run-off opponent at the time, at least showed a track record of involvement in city meetings, issues and activities.

I also thought Commissioner Cara Jennings supported the concept of public input in the decision making process. How wrong I was about that! I remember, when I was still on the Planning and Zoning Board, getting involved in a heated conversation with then Commissioner Cara Jennings and some of her followers outside of City Hall. The conversation revolved around the beach and about the Sunset property. Commissioner Cara Jennings, while talking a good game about public input, discounted the public process afforded through review by the Planning and Zoning Board.

She, Commissioner Cara Jennings, always wants to set up a "high noon at the O.K. Corral" scenario at the City Commission meeting. She really doesn't care that she could have gotten out the word to the public about the process leading up to the City Commission discussion - where details and items could be worked out in advance. No, she would rather take the opportunity to grandstand and filibuster ad nauseum and complain how there have to be workshops and special meetings and delays and lawsuits so that people know about the issue. So what Commissioner Cara Jennings is actually saying is that the volunteer boards that make recommendations to the Commission really don't matter, it only matters when she has the final "say so" - and then that's based upon her closely knit group of followers and supporters. Why can't she do more to acknowledge the importance of, and promote, the role of advisory board in leading to a recommendation to the Commission? I guess that isn't in the Anarchist agenda; something I should have realized before I voted the last time.

This was most recently displayed in her approval of the Day Labor Center in the Shuffleboard Court building without addressing the zoning of the property - which would have involved the public in the decision making process much more than just one or two meetings at the City Commission level. It might have helped to diffuse some of the hysteria surrounding the decision - but no, Commissioner Cara Jennings wanted it her way.

Now here is Commissioner Cara Jennings running for re-election and does she have an operable website? No! You have to be a member of her "private club" in order to get access. What is going on behind the veil? This I found out by visiting another local website today. Here are some examples:

Why all the secrecy Commissioner Cara Jennings? What's going on behind those closed doors? What are you cooking up for the City of Lake Worth? What are your band of disciples ready to unleash on an unsuspecting city? Where is the openness? Where is your blog? Where is your outreach to citizens? Where is your attention to the conditions in your own district? Why do you hide behind a firewall before your election? Why do you use the immense resources of major multi-media conglomerates to get out your message - like Cox Enterprises? What are you really about Commissioner Cara Jennings?

What is Cara Jennings really about? You'll have to be admitted to her private club to find out.

CRA Meeting Agenda - 9/9

Click title for link to back-up material on City website.

Residential Real Estate Sales in Lake Worth (33460) - past 30 days

Click title for link.

Blustery, rainy conditions ahead for South Florida, thanks to Ike

Lake Worth's new theme songs reflect budgetary and economic conditions

"Brother, Can You Spare a Dime," lyrics by Yip Harburg, music by Jay Gorney (1931)

They used to tell me I was building a dream, and so I followed the mob,
When there was earth to plow, or guns to bear, I was always there right on the job.
They used to tell me I was building a dream, with peace and glory ahead,
Why should I be standing in line, just waiting for bread?

Once I built a railroad, I made it run, made it race against time.
Once I built a railroad; now it's done. Brother, can you spare a dime?
Once I built a tower, up to the sun, brick, and rivet, and lime;
Once I built a tower, now it's done. Brother, can you spare a dime?

Once in khaki suits, gee we looked swell,
Full of that Yankee Doodly Dum,
Half a million boots went slogging through Hell,
And I was the kid with the drum!

Say, don't you remember, they called me Al; it was Al all the time.
Why don't you remember, I'm your pal? Buddy, can you spare a dime?

Once in khaki suits, gee we looked swell,
Full of that Yankee Doodly Dum,
Half a million boots went slogging through Hell,
And I was the kid with the drum!

Say, don't you remember, they called me Al; it was Al all the time.
Say, don't you remember, I'm your pal? Buddy, can you spare a dime?

Or a little more positive spin:

"Life is Just a Bowl of Cherries," lyrics by Lew Brown, music by Ray Henderson (1931)
People are queer, they're always crowing, scrambling and rushing about;
Why don't they stop someday, address themselves this way?
Why are we here? Where are we going? It's time that we found out.
We're not here to stay; we're on a short holiday.
Life is just a bowl of cherries.
Don't take it serious; it's too mysterious.
You work, you save, you worry so,
But you can't take your dough when you go, go, go.
So keep repeating it's the berries,
The strongest oak must fall,
The sweet things in life, to you were just loaned
So how can you lose what you've never owned?
Life is just a bowl of cherries,
So live and laugh at it all.
Life is just a bowl of cherries.
Don't take it serious; it's too mysterious.
At eight each morning I have got a date,
To take my plunge 'round the Empire State.
You'll admit it's not the berries,
In a building that's so tall;
There's a guy in the show, the girls love to kiss;
Get thousands a week just for crooning like this:
Life is just a bowl of . . . aw, nuts!
So live and laugh at it all!

A zoning issue being experienced by one of our (richer) sister municipalities...

City Council to approve 22,500 sq.ft. bldg with only 22 parking spaces in residential area-Tues.Sept.9th@6pm

Dear Boca Raton Neighbors:

The newly formed Golden Triangle HOA has worked diligently for months with the city on creating language that is responsible for the safety of the citizens of single family neighborhoods in Boca Raton.  There is an attorney who has stepped forward in the eleventh hour who is working against this HOA.  He represents a developer that is planning to tear down six homes in their residential neighborhood and build a 22,500 sq ft building with only 22 parking spaces.  This Tuesday's Council meeting  is a very important Final Hearing on Ordinances 5040 and 5045. The residents impacted have the official support of the Federation of Boca Raton Homeowners Association, but the city council needs to see a strong turnout from opposing residents/voters---you all know how important this is---to attend in support of residential interests in the city.

Tuesday, September 9th at 6:00pm at City Hall is the final hearing and vote.  The HOA is requesting AS MANY PEOPLE AS WE CAN GET, to overflow the council chambers.  It is not necessary to speak, but the presence of as many people as you can get would be GREATLY APPRECIATED.  Please RSVP if you can attend...wear your green SBRGS shirt if you are a member of Save Boca Raton Green Space.

Thank you for your interest and support of protecting the residential character of the areas in the city that are zoned for residential development.

Robert DuKate
Chairman of the Public & Environmental Affairs Committee
Save Boca Raton Green Space

PS - If you are not able to attend the meeting, then please send an email to the city council members and/or the city manager and request they deny this development proposal in order to protect the residential character of the community.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

The palm trees are loving all this rain...

I took this picture early this morning.  Between the fertilizer and rain, things are looking pretty green around my house!

In honor of my favorite month...

Up-Date as of 9/5 - 431 N. L. Street

Latest correspondence from neighbor:
Good Morning Wes:

Just read the most recent comments on 431 N. L st.  Attached is a photo taken today around 9:30 am of the front of the building.  As you can see people are still sleeping right out in front.  Last night while I was taking my daughter back to her mothers there were two woman and the person who sleeps in front of 431 hanging out on the corner of 5th and L, they appeared to be soliciting "business".  The condition of the property directly south of 431 N L is appalling and the "traffic" there goes on day and night.  The occupants have moved their derelict pickup truck back into the ally after there have been several red stickers placed on it by the city.
On a side note the sober house that is directly to my south is a very nicely maintained property.  I am friends with the owner of the property, the pastor that runs it as well as most of its occupants. It is well run, and mostly drama free. It's quite interesting living between a crack house and a sober house!  I wish the police would crack down on the people abusing this fine neighborhood and make it the great place to live it could be.

Keep the faith!
My response:
Thanks for the update Tom.  Have you or any of your neighbors contacted the Police department directly about the problems there.  I would be interested in the response you received from them.  The last e-mail communication I had with the Commissioners included a response from the staff that it would be "faster" to contact the Police directly than to inform the elected officials.  I'd like to know your take on that.
So far over the past few weeks I have not witnessed anyone actually sleeping or trespassing at 431. And while the individual and the "ladies" are often haning around I do not know that I would be able to tell the police that they were breaking the law. But if I do I will call the police at the drop of the hat, and let you know the results.

Ethics Seminar 11/7

South Florida foreclosures mean many live next to eyesores

Interesting interactive map showing concentrations of subprime loans and foreclosures in Broward and Palm Beach counties.  You can also search by zip code.  Surprisingly, Lake Worth does not seem to be as affected as other communities in the area.