Saturday, March 21, 2009
Friday, March 20, 2009
I must point this out. Look which Commissioner is front and center for the photo-op - none other than Commissioner Cara Jennings. Let the record show that Commissioner Jennings voted against the lease for the Compass Community Center. For some reason her "right hand man" javier del sol is with her - along with elected officials and board members. Remember this come election time please.
I am glad that 4 of 5 of our city elected leaders were there. Everyone loves a success but don't be fooled. Again, Commissioner Jennings voted "no" on the lease to Compass.
Keep in mind, 13.25% each year for 5 years actually equates to an 86% increase to the contract customers.
It is similar to how interest compounded monthly derives an annual yield higher than the actual rate except this compounds annually for five years.
You know how each year around budget time we see a bar graph purporting to show our electricity as competitive with other utilities? It will not be possible with our water rates by the fifth year no matter how we distort the graph!
This will become an issue as soon as people start seeing the bill.
(ed: Note that the second reading of the ordinance that will raise water rates 86% is scheduled for April 7)
"It was truly a sham of a process," said Jeff Clemens, Lake Worth mayor and planning board member, who also came away empty-handed. "There was no good basis as to how they ranked those projects."
Cities that wound up with a share of the stimulus included Riviera Beach, Wellington and Royal Palm Beach, which had delayed the planning board's decision by missing the original deadline to submit stimulus proposals.
Clemens had proposed spreading the money across as many cities as possible, partially funding projects in cities that could afford to pick up the remaining tab.
But that and various other approaches to more fairly divvy up the stimulus cash failed, as board members grappled against a deadline under the uncertainty of whether partially funding more projects would meet legislative approval.
LW Beach Vision Workshop
City Hall Conference Room, 7 N. Dixie Highway
Saturday, March 21st
2 p.m. - 8 p.m. (stop in for 5 minutes or the whole day!)
The city has a five million dollar grant from Palm Beach County to improve our public beach site and we want your input on how to spend the money! Join us for a day long design workshop with our site plan design team Michael Singer studios. The design team will have sample drawings of possible improvements to the beach. We welcome your input on these initial designs. Sample designs will include many improvements such as changing the width of the loop road, building a parking deck to increase greenspace, dune restoration and park improvements.
This is a workshop to design the park and parking sections of the beach, NOT the casino building. We will be discussing the building at a later date.
Bring your ideas! Bring your neighbors! Bring the kids! Join our community collaboration to create the best public beach!
Please visit the City's website at www.lakeworth.org to complete an online survey regarding this project.
For more information, contact Jason Bregman of Michael Singer Studios at 561-865-7683 or via email at: email@example.com.
Thursday, March 19, 2009
Grounds must be based upon at least one the following:
3. Neglect of duty;
6. Permanent inability to perform official duties; and
7. Conviction of a felony involving moral turpitude.The way I read the statute one would need to gather 1,000 signatures. There are many other specific requirements identified in the state statute, including the provision for a 200 word defense statement prepared by the person who is subject to the recall.
Malfeasance: conduct by a public official that cannot be legally justified or that conflicts with the law. An unlawful act: an act carried out by a public official that cannot be legally justified or that conflicts with the law
Compass and the City of Lake Worth face a future full of opportunities. Last year, I had the opportunity to meet with the Board of Directors of Compass. I shared some of the broader trends and possibilities that the community will experience in the coming years. The gist of the discussion was the fact that Compass will now occupy a city-owned building is only the beginning of a long term, successful and synergistic relationship. The building finds itself in the center of a city with a rich history, an established gay and lesbian community and one that is positioned within the coastal geographic center of Palm Beach County. In short, Lake Worth and Compass are uniquely placed to take advantage of programs, policies and progress related to heightened environmental awareness in the world's population.
Founded in 1912, Lake Worth already has six distinct local and national historic districts. Restoration and new construction sensitive to the historic nature of those districts is regulated by the City's Historic Resource Preservation Board. This reflects the citizens' understanding of the authentic character of the city and the need to preserve that trait. Even so, creativity is encouraged in property owner's attempts to re-use and adapt these historic structures to reflect present day realities. The Compass building nearly sits in the shadow of the current Lake Worth City Hall which is housed in an ornate building, complete with towers and turrets, that originally served as the City's Municipal Auditorium. It is part of the Old Town National Historic District. Thus, our city's past creates a special fingerprint that is as distinct and unusual as a good portion of the city's residents.
Other physical qualities distinguish Lake Worth from more run-of-the-mill cities in the south Florida region. You would be hard pressed to find another municipality that has preserved as much public land along bodies water than Lake Worth. From it's own signature Atlantic Ocean beachfront property - with a special history all of its own - to the public golf course and Bryant Park along the west edge of the Lake Worth lagoon, Lake Worth offers more public water access and views than any other community its size. Even with these strengths, downtown Lake Worth still retains its small town look and feel.
In the next five to ten years, Lake Worth stands to gain from renewed emphasis on the importance of mass transit. The eastern rail line through the city (Florida East Coast) is likely to host a new short hop transit service to other downtown locations throughout the south Florida region. This will bring new opportunities for development with a transit, as opposed to single passenger automobile, orientation. Already there are private and public initiatives underway to make Lake Worth a leader in the green building and planning movement. Compass is now uniquely situated to be a participant and a beneficiary of all that is to come. I am sure that nothing but good can come from this collaboration.
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
We need a new phrase for "beyond the looking glass." It somehow seems inadequate to describe what is going on in our city.
CRA Board Members:
At last night’s City Commission meeting, the Commission voted 4-1 in favor of executing an agreement with the County for the provision of fire/ rescue services. Commissioner Mulvehill was the only dissenter. The full impact to the CRA is not determined at this point. It will depend on a few factors. These include the estimate of property values for 2009. The information provided to this Board indicated a 3% decrease in values. The likelihood that this number could be significantly higher is probable. In response to the valuations, the City may or may not increase their millage from the projected 4.7 (7.65 minus the 2.95 MSTU) to a higher millage. The higher the millage, the more increment the CRA will receive.
Once a City budget is prepared, it will be up to the City to determine how much of the “savings” or “supplement” to give back to the CRA. The information provided by the City Finance Director, Mr. Bates, indicates the CRA would receive approx. $1.1M less than 08/09. It has been indicated that the City may give the CRA anywhere from $300K to $700K to partially make up the $1.1 loss.
All that information will be discussed during the budgetary process.
In April, the County Commission will vote on the merger.
In fact, the Commission as a group was complaining about the material related to the fire department merger with the County being given to them last night at the meeting with no time to review. Commissioner Jennings suggested that it shows a lack of respect to the Commission that somehow their thorough review doesn't matter - but she voted for it anyway.
I pointed out that the agenda for this regular meeting last night (which had the 66% water rate increase, creation of a board that would limit the sheriff's authority, etc.) was made available at noon on Monday - the day before the City Commission meeting. Then, the announcement for the special City Commission meeting that was held at 4 p.m. yesterday came through an e-mail received at 3 p.m. This is clearly in violation of the City Charter that requires at least 24 hour notice and may be a violation of the Sunshine Law (looking into that now.) And finally, the add/delete wasn't available at all in advance of the meeting and was only available in the Commission Chambers - that's when the item regarding the fire department was added.
I asked if they don't have time to review the material prior to a decision being made, what about the public? How is this "open government?" In order to built respect of the residents of Lake Worth, you need to show them respect that their opinion matters.
Trust and transparency. We need to budget in time for general public review and have that be the unmovable object in the timeline - period.
Organizers of the Miami protest included the South Florida Palestinian Solidarity Network, which also organized a Dec. 30 protest in Fort Lauderdale in which a woman was captured on a widely circulated video telling pro-Israel demonstrators to "go back to the ovens."
A spokesman for the pro-Palestinian group, Muhammed Malik, said his group condemns racism on both sides of the Israel-Palestinian conflict and the woman in the video was "an individual" who did not speak for the group. Malik noted his organization has worked with a group called Jews For Justice, which also opposes the Israeli government's actions.
Andrew Rosenkranz, the Florida regional director for the Anti-Defamation League, said many of the rallies around the U.S. protesting the Israeli government's actions have attracted anti-Israel extremists. Because of that, Rosenkranz called Jennings' participation in the Miami event "disturbing at the very least."
The 13.25% annual increase in water rates (66% over five years) passed on first reading 4-1 with the Mayor dissenting. Second reading will be on April 7. He made some good points saying that this is paying for a Reverse Osmosis (RO) plant that we don't need, that we don't know if we can get permitted and we don't know how much will cost. He said that this is being pushed by the union at the water plant and they want a nice, new shiny plant - but that the city doesn't need it. Commissioner Mulvehill countered that we have spent $15 million on three wells for an RO plant that we can't use without a plant and that we are spending $14 million on a pipe to Lake Worth from the County source that we will only use for two years. The Mayor pointed out that it would only be for two years since that is when that scenario calls for the RO plant to go on-line - which we don't need.
During public comment, there were one or two people that said they didn't appreciate Commissioner Jennings behavior in Miami, being arrested, etc. She explained that she didn't go to Miami to be arrested, that she was reacting to a friend being injured by the Israeli military, that sometimes to stand up for your civil rights you have to be arrested and that if the need comes up again it may happen again. She then said it would be neat if sometime the whole commission could be arrested for a cause that they all thought was important. The Mayor pointed out that everyone on the dais is a representative of the city when they leave their house and they have to be mindful of that. It didn't sound like he appreciated being called by the media all day long either.
Representatives from Michael Singer Studios will be present with various design concepts formulated from previous studies performed by the City of Lake Worth dating back to the early 1980s through 2000 and 2001. Structured to allow an informal sharing of information, the Open House will afford interested individuals with the opportunity to stop by City Hall at their convenience and share their ideas for improving the Lake Worth Beach site and is presently not designed to solicit information on the Casino structure.
Beginning tomorrow afternoon, the public is also invited to visit www.lakeworth.org to complete an online survey regarding this project.
For more information, contact Jason Bregman of Michael Singer Studios at 561-685-7683 or via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
The "visioning" workshop will be held in the Pioneer Conference Room at city hall from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. The open house is intended to allow the public to stop by and share ideas for the public beach site.
The design firm also plans to create an online survey about Lake Worth Beach. A link to the design survey is scheduled to be posted later this week at www.Lakeworth.org.
Commissioner Jennings, the police were asking you to go to the other side of the street, along with the other protesters that already followed their direction. How is this repressing your freedom of speech?
Look what's just around the corner with this Commission - 66.25% increase in our already high water rates over the next five years - this to pay for the Reverse Osmosis and the County water deal. Then we have a 45.75% increase in sewer rates over the next five years. There are also changes in the thresholds of water use to discourage consumption - the less you use, the less per unit you pay.
How does this keep us competitive with other municipalities in the region? Aren't those firms that we should be targeting for the Lake Worth Park of Commerce going to be concerned about our water rates? Especially if they are dependent upon using water in the manufacturing process? What about restaurants? What about our own TIGHT household budgets?
Where is the indignation from those who complain about the doubling of the beach decal fee from $10 a year to $20 a year?
Click title for link to further back-up - remember, this was only made available on the city's website at noon yesterday.
Suggested Creative Ways of Expressing Grief
There are no limits to the imagination in finding creative ways or endeavors for expressing grief. Creativity can be expressed by using a variety of media e.g. molding clay, photography, fabric, collage. Several methods of expressing grief have already been mentioned—song, writing, poetry, statues, ceremonies, memorials, and advocacy. The following list is a sampling of suggestions for unique ways of expressing grief.
Write in a journal or diary
Write a letter to the lost loved one
Write the lost loved one’s story
Write a poem
Write lyrics or music
Write a memorial for the local paper
|Performance Art |
Write a play or an improvisational acting piece
Choreograph a dance
Film a video or a movie
Tape recollections of favorite stories,
old memories, or a conversation one might
have with the lost loved one
Compose music to sing or play
Play an instrument—alone, with others
Creating - Larger Projects
- Create a collage or decoupage to expresses grief using newspapers, magazine, painting, markers, photography, painting etc.
- Take photographs to illustrate grief, or encourage hope
- Make an album, a book of the lost loved one’s life - using photographs, recording family memories, photos, schoolwork, drawings, letters, mementos and favorite sayings.
- Collect mementos, photos, drawings, letters and other memorabilia and to display in a wall cabinet or glass-topped coffee table
- Paint emotions on paper- with whatever paints or colors and whatever technique feels right.
- Create a Memorial e.g. AIDS Quilt, Mural, Sculpture
- Mold or construct masks with different media to illustrate grief
- Express emotions using molding clay or in sculpting
- Sew a memory quilt or make a teddy bear using clothes from the one lost
- Build an Ofrenda or Altar
- Decorate a Memory Box and fill it with mementos that remind you of the lost loved one
- Sew, knit, crochet, quilt, embroider a quilt, wall-hanging, or teddy bear.
- Built a memorial bench
- Make special anniversary cards, candles, bookmarks, picture frames to remember the lost loved one
Commissioner Jennings, those people housed in the building in Miami, whose sidewalk you were "expressing" your grief upon, are they really responsible? Perhaps you can elaborate how employees of the Israeli Consulate in Miami are responsible for your grief and then explain the impact that this expression of grief made on the lives of the people with which you sympathize. Do you only express this grief when it is one of your own that is harmed? I don't remember hearing anything about the plight of the Palestinians during your campaign.
Monday, March 16, 2009
At 4:30pm, City of Lake Worth Mayor Jeff Clemens and Tana Ebbole, CEO of the Children’s Services Council of Palm Beach County, will welcome Compass’ organizational partners and discuss the growing need for public-private partnerships. Compass will then conduct a ribbon cutting ceremony at 5:30pm followed by an open house.
Compass’ grand opening is the kick-off to one of many events surrounding PrideFest of the Palm Beaches, which will take place March 28 & 29 in Bryant Park. In addition to the traditional PrideFest celebrations, Sonja Abrahamsen and Alfred Fiandaca, annual co-chairs for Cocktails for Compass, will also host a special evening with Morgan Fairchild at a private reception and dinner scheduled for April 2nd in Palm Beach, FL.
In budget size and staffing, Compass is the largest gay and lesbian community center in Florida and the Southeast United States and is the fifth largest in the country behind the Los Angeles, New York, Dallas and San Francisco community centers.
Compass aims to diminish stereotypes by challenging long-standing misconceptions about the character of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. We accomplish this by emboldening our youth, promoting pride in our community, and acting as an educator, advocate, health service provider, and focal point for community organizing. As good neighbors, effective partners, and respected participants in our civic responsibilities, Compass promotes awareness of the caring nature of our diverse community.
By adding my name, I join the growing list of fair-minded people who believe change is coming to Florida. We stand united in our commitment to:
- End legalized discrimination by adding sexual orientation and gender identity to Florida’s Civil Rights Law,
- End the anti-gay adoption ban that denies children the legal protections and security that come from being adopted.
- Create statewide legal protections for Domestic Partners, and
- Expand Florida’s Hate Crimes Law.
Click here for one suggestion: A Really, Really Free Market
This suggestion from another reader:
OK this probably won’t fly because it will probably have a price tag of $600-$1000. I think that for many of us it would be wonderful to have a more bicycle friendly city. What we are really missing is safe parking. This is one of the few towns in Florida where there is a downtown to do chores rather than strip mall hell. Also many many bike people ride through for coffee and beverages downtown. We have a rack at Paws on the Ave and of course at Fat Cat but there are so many areas where you can not even find a tree to lock up to.. not to mention that the trees really don’t like it very much.
There are very beautiful creative single to triple bike racks that we could station around that would make it much easier to come down town car free for dining or shopping. OF course this will only make Lake Worth nicer for bike riders but.. maybe it would allow for more people coming with out a car and freeing up parking spaces for those who have no options.
Here are a few ideas. J I have seen them as low as 80 dollars a rack (not the pretty ones). I think it would be great to have them dotted about. There is no place to park by the surf shop or going to eat at Saitos for example. Soma center could use one of these in a big way. Also note that there is one that has a little space for people to drop an ad for their business, maybe we can sell that space and make some of the money back. I ride all the time but often times don’t stop because I cant lock my bike. I have had a few stolen so I like to lock my bike in fairly close proximity to where I am. I know we are short on sidewalk space but there are many that really take no space at all. A bike friendly city is a happy city!
Promote your message
Keep sidewalks clear
Make a statement
Secure bicycle rack
Orderly bike parking
Design your own rack
On-street bike parking
Secure bike parking
Stackable bike rack
Park bikes in style
Superior bike support
Secure bike parking
Added bike security
Parks bikes and skis
96% recycled material
Secure bike rack
Double bike capacityKeep 'em coming!
Click title for link to City website re back-up for items. Take special notice of all the utility rate increases!
Also, BEWARE - another Trojan Horse floated by Commissioner Jennings. New business item A: Community Relations Board. Not what you think, post forthcoming.
The John M. DeGrove Eminent Scholar Chair
in Growth Management & Development
Invites you to a Symposium on
The Impact of Climate Change on South Florida:
Science & Practice for the Next Decade
Friday, April 3, 2009
1 – 4 pm
Location: FAU Higher Education Complex, 11th Floor,
111 E. Las Olas Boulevard, Fort Lauderdale
Space is limited. Please RSVP by March 30th to 954-762-5140 or email@example.com.
The Symposium features the following special guests and topics:
Introduction: Jaap Vos, School of Urban and Regional Planning, FAU
Rising Sea Levels in South Florida: Harold Wanless, Dept. of Geological Sciences, University of Miami
Climate Change in Marine Ecosystems: Marguerite Koch, Dept. of Biology, FAU
Urban Assets at Risk Due to Incremental Sea Level Rise: Diana Mitsova Boneva, School of Urban and Regional Planning, FAU
Introduction: Jim Murley, College of Architecture, Urban & Public Affairs, FAU
National Initiatives in Climate Change Adaptation: Dan Kimball, Everglades National Park
State Actions to Adapt to Climate Change: Jim Murley, Florida Energy and Climate Commission
Regional and Local Government Responses: Carolyn Dekle, South Florida Regional Planning Council
Water Supply in South Florida: Frederick Bloetscher, Dept. of Civil Engineering, FAU
Welcome and Closing Remarks
Efraim Ben-Zadok, John M. DeGrove Eminent Scholar Chair, FAU
Sunday, March 15, 2009
One would think it would be tomorrow...
I tried just a bit earlier tonight and can say, without a doubt, it is one of the things that you need to taste while you live in South Florida. Perhaps it should even make it on your "bucket list."
So that others can sample this delicacy, I am offering a jar to the first four (4) people who can come up with a positive contribution to the Lake Worth community that is easily implementable in a short amount of time, with little or no investment and one that would result in a noticeable improvement for those living, working and/or playing in the city of Lake Worth.
We will call this "Lake Worth's Low Hanging Fruit Award!"
Please submit your entries to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Winners will be announced here and, if really exceptional, will be presented during a future City Commission meeting's Public Comment on Un-agendaed Items by yours truly.
Put on those thinking caps and get ready for some tasty jam! All decisions final, void were prohibited!