Saturday, July 4, 2009
If you read the article, you'll know that Mr. Lang, Sr. has no interest in the business now. It was run by his family as a bar for many years and the attorney representing Mojito's is going back to him for his recollection on their hours of operation - back when. Other than being a member of the family that formerly owned the business - back when, the principal with the Sunset property has no tie to this property. This doesn't stop the blogger from using the son's picture and tie-in with the Sunset property as evidence of some dark "good old boy" conspiracy.
This is a good example of the type of fiction offered as truth told at many a doorstep during campaign season.
When there is a Commission Meeting, you can find the link under the regular meeting agenda - City Manager Report. Going to the website on the off weeks, they can be found under City Manager (left side of page) - then click on the link that says "City Manager Reports."
And these letters to the Editor re Hometown Democracy - Amendment 4 on 2010 Ballot
Amendment 4 threatens to bury voters in piles of land-use changes
Blackner's rebuttal of Post writer strays off the point under debate
This comes from a good friend of mine in Windsor, Ontario. Think of it as a Canadian Fourth of July gift to the USA. Downloadable to your portable digital music devices!
Friday, July 3, 2009
Thursday, July 2, 2009
The Gangland episode will air tonight at 9 on the History Channel. For more information about the program visit www.history.com/content/gangland.
After the inspection, the day finally came when I got a call - around 10 p.m. that the crew was ready to put in the meter and connect the house to the main power line. Two guys get here with a truck "the size of Denmark." They get out and start connecting the three leads to the new power line they strung from the pole. I chat with them. They said they were from Ohio and they'd been working "two shifts plus" everyday since the storm. They said they had just come from the southwest part of the city and had been doing the same thing all day.
A couple of thoughts came to mind - wouldn't it be more efficient to assign crews based on location rather than who was next in line. If you had a crew in one geographic area, more time could be spent doing what needed to be done hooking up houses rather than driving from one of the farthest reaches of town to another. They said they had been doing this all day but didn't have a meter in the truck so they had to go by the shop - which they probably just passed on the way here - to get one. They left and came back in about 45 minutes. Finally, I was back on line after about 20 days without power.
Why do I tell this story now? Last week, during one of the rain storms, I noticed my lights flickering, but not completely losing power. This happened a couple of times - enough so that I started wondering if there was something unique to my property. I went out and looked at the connection to the house and at the line between the meter and the city's pole. Something didn't look quite right with the "neutral" line - the silver wire. It looked "loose" for lack of a better term.
So I called Utilities Customer Service and they sent someone out. They were here in about two hours. They decided to replace all of the leads coming into the house. They said something about corrosion, being close to the ocean, but I think it comes down to sloppy work by the contractors the city employed in the storm's aftermath. If you suffered the same fate as I did, I would recommend having someone who knows what they are looking at check the work that was done. I understand that had the "neutral" feed come completely off, there could have been a catastrophic fire if not detected soon enough.
Hope this helps prevent a disaster.
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
Last April, a start was made to the clean up of the intracoastal shoreline along the Lake Worth Municipal Golf Course, as 25 volunteers removed 25 trash bags full of litter from the area south of the clubhouse. On Saturday July 11th work will continue to the north. The area is littered with old tires, broken bits of lumber, plastic and paper trash. All are welcome to participate in this clean-up effort spearheaded by the Kiwanis Club of Lake Worth. Volunteers will meet at the clubhouse (located at 7th Ave N and the intracoastal) at 8 AM. You don’t have to be a Kiwanis member to join in the effort, but volunteers must be 18 years old or accompanied by a parent.
All participants are asked to park in the golf course parking lot the morning of the event. Golf carts will be used to shuttle folks to the cleanup locations along the length of the shoreline. Plenty of garbage bags and latex gloves will be provided. Please be sure to wear old clothes, closed-toed shoes, sunblock, sunglasses, and hats if you have them.
Kiwanis is a global organization of volunteers dedicated to changing the world, one child and one community at a time. There are over 350,000 members in 84 countries.
New Orleans was Nation’s Fastest-Growing City in 2008 Population Getting Closer to Pre-Katrina Levels
This leaves very little time for any other outcome other than the City Commission taking over the functions of the CRA. Existing CRA board member terms expire on July 31, 2009. If the City Commission does act to disband the existing CRA, it will be another example of the Commission consolidating power, discouraging public input via volunteer boards and taking on another specific and often complicated function. It would essentially squelch any opposition voice - a continuing trend where we actually have little or no debate on major issues. This also comes after two joint CRA/City Commission meetings when City Commissioners never discussed this possibility.
The City Commission already has trouble focusing on what it needs to do to manage the functions of the city and utilities. The CRA will become a "grab bag" for Commissioner Jennings' et al projects which will deplete the funds necessary to spur re-investment in our community. The promise of the CRA becoming a self-sustaining financial entity will all but disappear.
More later on this important topic.
CITY OF LAKE WORTH BOARDS
The City of Lake Worth is currently seeking volunteers to serve on City Boards with vacancies, as follows:
Construction Board of Adjustments and Appeals (Electric Contractor)
Firefighters' Pension Trust Fund -- Division 1
If you are interested in serving on the above Boards, please contact the City Clerk's Office at 586-1663 for further information, or the Board Application can be downloaded from the City of Lake Worth's website at www.lakeworth.org. All applications must be received by the City Clerk's Office no later than Friday, July 10, 2009, at 5:00 PM.
A Special Meeting will be held on Tuesday, July 21, 2009, at 5:30 PM to interview those board applicants who applied for vacant positions.
Please note the P&Z mtg. on July 1st was canceled, the Recreation Bd. meeting was rescheduled to July 2nd, and a Special Commission mtg. was added on July 20th
CITY HALL CLOSED City Hall will be closed on Friday July 3, 2009 in observance of Independence Day
Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Monday, June 29, 2009
Sunday, June 28, 2009
Above is an aerial view of the city that shows the residence locations of the current members of the PZHRPB. There are seven (7) regular members and two (2) alternate members of the Planning and Zoning Board. There are nine (9) regular members of the Historic Resource Preservation Board. These are two boards that are currently combined together, but there is a movement afoot to make them separate boards - which will be further discussed during budget considerations. It's surprising that this interview process is not taking that into account, but it hasn't happened officially yet. This board is one of the more important boards of the city and deals with many zoning/land use/site plan and preservation issues.
There are a total of five (5) terms expiring on July 31, 2009 - these are seats currently held by full members McGunagle, Foreman and LeBlanc. The two alternate PZB and full HRPB seats are up for re-appointment every year. City Clerk Lopez, in her cover memo, indicates that only one there is one vacancy since only Foreman has chosen not to re-apply. But, in reality, there are five (5) open positions.
Historically speaking, there has always been a lack of representation from the western half of the city. Of the current members, only McGunagle and Exline live west of Dixie Hwy. While I was on the board for eight years (Chairman for five, resigning in December 2006 in order to run for the District #3 Commission seat), there was NO representation from west of Dixie Hwy.
This imbalance was a major flaw as planning and zoning is such a geographic-based discipline and in a city the size of Lake Worth, your view of the physical and social world is related to where you happen to be living. The concentration of members east of Dixie Hwy. distorts the decision making process of the board and, in a very negative way, can contribute to an "us against them" dynamic that really has no place on such a board or our city. I have always maintained that if we had balanced representation from various geographic areas of the city, we would not have had the situation with the Sunset property. It might have been the same ultimate recommendation, but with broader geographic representation, including members from the southwest part of the city, the decision would have been more credible and not as subject to claims of "they didn't listen to the neighbors, etc.."
Above is the same aerial of the city with the locations of the current applicants to the PZHRPB. These include those current members that are seeking re-appointment due to an expired term. The aerial below shows the applicants' residence locations along with members of the board that do not have expiring terms - Paxman, Spinelli, DeVito, Hoctor - all of which live east of Dixie Hwy.
Beyond qualifications and experience, which you can review by clicking on the title of this post, I really believe that the variable here that is most important is geographic location. We are lucky to have a lot of qualified applicants in this batch of applications - some of which live west of Dixie Hwy. I wouldn't mind seeing all the appointments coming from there, however it is important to have representation of an architect on the board and there are two - one existing and one potential member - that are architects. Both happen to live east of Dixie Hwy. And, besides the east and west distinctions, you need to take into account a north and south potential bias. I have always thought it is good to have a few around the traditional downtown area as lots of requests spring from that area.
It's actually good news that we have an opportunity to correct a distortion of representation on one of the most important city boards. Let's hope the City Commission feels the same way after the interviews when they make their appointments. I'll be sharing this sentiment with them via e-mail.
It struck me after hearing the various presentations that the ocean outfall was not that bad of an alternative - but the perception of dumping what is called "wastewater" in the ocean is difficult to overcome in the eye of public opinion.
This is a piece that Pat Parrish asked that I put together regarding the Reverse Osmosis ocean outfall. Drew Martin was to put together one against issuance of the permit. Don't forget to pick up a copy of the Herald to read both points of view!
Our problem began about 100 years ago when the human population of
Now, think about our geography as a region. We have another honor in that we are one of the longest urbanized areas in the Country. We are about the same length as the
Like the 1971 Earth Day “Pogo” Cartoon so succinctly put: “We have met the enemy and he is us.” We are placing more demands upon a sensitive eco-system with every new person that moves here. Each drink of water, flush of the toilet and turn of the spigot is more than nature or man ever anticipated. The results have been most recently demonstrated by our current record drought situation, the shrinking of
In search of a stable source of potable water, a previous City Commission chose to go forward with its own reverse osmosis plant instead of contracting with Palm Beach County Water Utilities as a supplemental source of water due to probable saltwater intrusion into the surficial aquifer. This became necessary by the South Florida Water Management District’s reduction of our permit to draw water from the surficial aquifer – from 7.5 million to 5.5 million gallons per day. Our City of
Regardless of your position on whether or not going forward with the reverse osmosis plant was a good idea for the City of Lake Worth, $40 million in bonds have been issued, plans have been drawn, work has been started and a permit to discharge 4 million gallons a day of “concentrate” – the waste product from the reverse osmosis treatment of the salty water drawn from the Floridan aquifer – may be issued by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). For a whole lot of money and possible impact to our off-shore natural resources, we are hanging on to our status as a “full service city”. Hopefully this will guarantee our own municipal water source for a future generation - maybe. Hubris and necessity have a price.
In reviewing a discharge permit application, DEP officials examine four main criteria to determine whether or not such a permit would be in the public interest. One is reduction upon the reliance on the surficial aquifer which is vulnerable to saltwater intrusion. With the reverse osmosis plant taking its water source from the shallower Floridan aquifer, this criterion is met. Another criterion is that the discharge of concentrate does not create a public health hazard. The concentrate would not have bacteria or suspended solids, so it meets this criterion according to DEP. A third criterion is that the discharge of this concentrate would not have an impact on the Surface Water Management Plan and, given the ocean location of the existing dormant outfall, it wouldn’t impact that resource.
Nutrients have been linked to reef degradation and algal growth, which smothers reefs. Concern about the release of the concentrate through the existing ocean outfall relates to its potential impact on the coral reef system. This includes the Horseshoe Reef that is approximately 5,000 feet (slightly less than one mile) from the discharge point. In DEP’s opinion, based upon the experts working on the City’s behalf and their own professional experience, the scientific modeling showed no impact to the reef system – the final criterion upon which an application is judged. Experts concluded that the additional nutrients carried within this lighter-than-ocean-water concentrate would be ten times less nutrient laden than the next closest source of nutrients – that being rainwater. It is further dwarfed by other point sources of nutrient contamination along
Other alternatives to the discharge have been examined and discarded due to excessive cost, impracticalities or other negative environmental impacts. Also being discussed is a possible Lake Worth Lagoon discharge.
The point here is that we really need to do all we reasonably can to control the large point-source contributors of nutrients to the ocean’s ecology from
Taking all this into consideration, DEP should issue the discharge permit with these and other applicable conditions to safeguard our reef system for future generations – along with a providing a reliable and relatively economical supply of drinking water for the 40,000 residents of Lake Worth.