Saturday, January 25, 2014

From the old school Florida post card file...

Nothing New as of Today in the case of Laurel Decker vs. City of Lake Worth - FYI

Last entry from Clerk of the Court website:


Filing Date:12-DEC-2013
Filing Party: 
Disposition Amount:

Welcome to Helltown, Ohio - The Abandoned Town Filled With Ghosts and Legends

Some of the rumors and legends surrounding this ghost town in Ohio sound like the sorts of things we hear in Lake Worth around election time. Apparently, this town in Ohio was acquired by the federal government in the 70s through eminent domain, but for what reason, really? Click title for link.

The incredible, shrinking Charlie Crist campaign | Tampa Bay Times

The Tampa Bay Times is wondering out loud when we are going to see evidence of Charlie Crist's campaign for governor. Seems that things are in a bit of disarray. Click title for link. From the article:
But it's been nearly three months since Crist officially announced his candidacy and at least 10 since everyone knew he was preparing to do just that. Where the rubber meets the road: there is for all purposes no Charlie Crist campaign except for a fundraising operation that so far appears fine but hardly daunting.
Crist Campaign headquarters? Coming soon. Campaign manager?  Coming soon. Halfway decent Web site? Coming soon. Press operation? Coming soon. Grass roots organizing? Who knows. Weekly announcements of Florida County leadership teams? Dream on.

US Army Corps of Engineers favors Flagler coast restoration

Again we ask the question, what do we know about the condition of the seawall which protects our unfortified Casino building? When are we going to hear about the status of the punchlist, money being withheld by the County and any fixes to some of the problematic design issues related to our coastal treasure?

Click title for link to article about Flagler coast's problems with A1A falling into the ocean.
After a decade of studies, the plan now is to reinforce just over two and a half miles beach in Flagler Beach.
By extending the dune 10 feet with sand brought up from the ocean floor some seven miles out, it's believed that will keep State Road A1A from failing.
Important, because the road is the only major north-south evacuation route along the coast.
There are a lot of government agencies involved in this project. Normally, you'd think that'd be a hindrance. But actually, in this case, it could help.
If this project gets the go-ahead, it'll cost $43.5 million over 50 years. That money would be spread among local, state and federal budgets.

Investors drawn to ArtPalmBeach |

Friday through Sunday this weekend the Palm Beach County convention center will be the site of ArtPalmBeach. This is an assemblage of pricey art, mostly contemporary, which will attract many "island" buyers. It is being said Lake Worth's LULA program, Palm Beach may be where the expensive art is sold, but Lake Worth can be where that art is made. And now we have the zoning in place to encourage that effort. Art is a vastly unregulated market, as Bruce Helander reminds us in the article. Click title for link.
“It is highly secretive,” Helander said. “It is the most unregulated commodity in the world. These are primarily objects of cotton canvas with some wood frame around it that magically turn into millions of dollars.”
The more valuable the item, the cagier dealers are about revealing prices. Asked about a Marc Chagall oil painting and a Paul Klee watercolor on display at ArtPalmBeach, Howard Brassner, owner of ArtLink International in Lake Worth, would say only that the price tags “are approaching $1 million” apiece.

Financial race heating up for Town Council election |

Combined treasurer report totals for the Palm Beach Town election total almost $250,000 in all races. Much of that comes from personal loans from candidates. That's what happens when you have to deal with such items of import as decorative lion statues being six inches too high. Click title for link.

You would think they could at least send us some leftover cake from their parties.

Exxon Mobil TV Spot, 'Sources of Electricity'

Interesting to note that 1% comes from oil - which probably represents our one diesel fired generator at Lake Worth Smith plant.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Keystone XL backers hail government's warning on oil-by-rail | Al Jazeera America

This just in from Aljazeera. Click title for link to article.
Pipeline supporters said the stern joint warning by the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board and the Transportation Safety Board of Canada highlights the need for Keystone XL, which would carry oil dredged from tar sands in western Canada to refineries on the U.S. Gulf Coast.

Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., said the years-long review of Keystone has forced oil companies to look for alternatives to transport oil from the booming Bakken region of North Dakota and Montana to refineries in the U.S. and Canada.

A planned branch that would connect Keystone to the Bakken region would carry as much as 100,000 barrels of oil a day.

"Clearly, because this project has been held up, that is creating more (oil) traffic by rail," Hoeven said Thursday. "Those companies are being forced to deliver their product by rail because they don't have the pipelines."

Out and About today in LW...

New bike racks sprinkled about downtown. This one is near the City Hall Annex.

This one is at the northwest corner of the Cultural Plaza.


Block identification signage and LULA-colored planter

This one is at the southeast corner of the cultural plaza. All these are welcome additions.

More, this one is across from Starbucks. The street trees say "Thank you!"

Commissioner Andy Amoroso, behind the counter with Ted Brownstein's book - now in hardcover.

Early set-up for the Seaside Celebration and bonfire tonight.

The section of the road just east of the Casino building is closed off to traffic.

Sand Sculpture begins this afternoon and goes through Sunday.

A novel spelling of Cleveland.

Anonymous couple enjoying the beach, still a little cool and breezy today.

Ended up driving north on A1A and found the lions that have been cited for being six inches too tall.

This is the other one with the similar affliction.

Dont forget - this Sunday! ART POP at the LOFTS

Art POP this Sunday, the 26th at the Urban Arts Lofts from noon to 7pm.
Come join Lake Worth’s new and talented residents – live air sculpture, music, dance performances, custom-built furniture and more!
Part of Art Synergy and Art Palm Beach or

The Urban Lofts are located on Lucerne Avenue and F Street in Lake Worth

New Ethics Complaints Agt. Sen. Maria Sachs :

These new complaints were filed by none other than Chaz Stevens, who has been a radio guest on High Noon in Lake Worth is a fellow blogger in Broward County. Chaz was the force behind the Festivus Pole in the State Capitol's rotunda this past holiday season. Next week's episode of HNLW will feature Chaz Stevens in the first half hour and Fane Lozman, Riviera Beach activist in the second half hour. Click title for link for more details on the complaints. Click here for a link to Chaz Stevens' blog for the actual complaints filed with the state.

Proposed environmental amendment first to make it on Florida’s... |

For what it is worth, mine is one of the signatures on this petition. I signed it a couple of months ago at the Lake Worth Green Market. It would help create a stream of funds to acquire environmentally important land around the state. Click title for link to article.
The Water and Land Legacy campaign’s proposal was officially designated as Amendment 1 by Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner.
“We are pleased to be slated as Amendment 1 on the ballot because water and land conservation deserves to be a top priority for our state,” said Will Abberger, the campaign’s chair and director of conservation finance for The Trust for Public Land.
“Florida is home to one-of-a-kind natural waters and lands and voters now have an opportunity to make a commitment to conservation that will last for generations of Floridians to come.”

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Homebuilding: Antique Row townhomes opening - Sun Sentinel

Success seems automatic once you get north of the C-51 canal. Notice that all the "for sale" storefronts are sold and look at the prices they are getting for townhouses fronting on, and with no setback from, Dixie Hwy. Explain that. I guess Lake Worth can be considered one of the "rough patches" along U.S. 1. Click title for link to article.
"I saw the potential for a great mixed-use site with townhomes and retail that would complement and enhance Antique Row," Posin [Homebuilder Harry Posin] said Tuesday.
Posin's Fort Lauderdale-based firm, Label & Co. Developments Inc., bought the land from a Palm Beach Gardens real estate company last year for $3.6 million and will formally launch Villas on Antique Row this weekend.
The project, at 3608 S. Dixie Highway, has 46 townhomes priced from the low $300,000s to the low $500,000s. There also are 11 for-sale storefronts, all of which have been sold.

Good review of Blue Front Barbeque in the Palm Beach Post...

Click title for link to a generally positive review of the new Blue Front Barbeque restaurant on Dixie Hwy. I have been and enjoyed their tropical garden and patio area to the south of the building. I also thought that the portions were a little small for the price, as noted in the article. We are lucky to have this building as a survivor of the heydays of Dixie Hwy. It was a period when highway architecture, such as this, was used to attract tourists coming and going through south Florida. Here is a picture of the building in its prime, when U.S. 1 was the only north/south way to travel by car.

ALDI opens new grocery store in Palm Springs |

Good news, for Palm Springs. I have been to an Aldi in Indiana and you'd be surprised what you can find there at less than usual grocery market prices. Cross your fingers that we can land one of these on Dixie Hwy. in Lake Worth. More are in the works for Palm Beach county. Click title for link.
The U.S. offshoot of the German-founded grocer plans to add 650 stores in the United States over the next five years. Local expansion will be aided by the distribution center under construction in Royal Palm Beach.
Jeff Williams, Aldi’s Florida director of real estate, said the chain should add 15 stores in Palm Beach County over the next few years. The Palm Springs one was the 11th store in Florida.

Lake Worth moves to transform its gateway |

Eliot Kleinberg's article appeared in today's Palm Beach Post about the City Commission taking action on the Trojan House and property. It is located at the traffic circle at A Street and Lake Worth Road. This is a long-standing issue where the oldest structure in the city was left to deteriorate under the auspices of the Palm Beach County School Board. The city will gain the property and demolish the structure. The school district will use the money to fund building trade training programs for students. Click title for link. Here is part of the article:
“What’s been sort of a blighted-looking property at a very prominent part of our city, for quite a while, we would be able to clean it up, basically, and make it nice with the circle and then we would talk about certain plans for what the circle would look like,” Bornstein told the city’s Jan. 7 meeting, where commissioners approved the transaction.
The vote was 4-1. Commissioner Christopher McVoy agreed the dilapidated building needs to go, but noted, “apparently we would be in the position of paying for it twice.”
Local Realtor and former city commissioner Bo Allen, who donated his time to negotiate the deal, reminded the commission the property could have been sold to a private entity and become a home, convenience store, flea market or parking lot.
Here is the actual discussion on the item from the City Commission meeting of 1/7/14 if you missed it. You can also hear about how the original deal came about and how the city isn't, despite Commissioner McVoy's assertions, paying for something twice.

Council OKs zoning referendum for ballot |

The Palm Beach Town Council reaches a compromise on the ballot language on the PUD-5 zoning issue that will appear on the ballot on March 25th. Click title for link to article. Here is the final language of the referendum:
Shall Ordinance 6-2013 amending the Town’s zoning code creating an optional PUD-5, an Historic Mixed use Development within the C-TS Zoning District between Royal Poinciana Way, Sunset Avenue, Bradley Place, and County Road be approved? PUD-5 requires specific design guidelines be met and incentivizes owners in part with greater density, potentially greater height and fewer parking requirements in return for preservation of buildings or parts thereof which contribute to the historical character of the area.

Scott says he wants $130 million for Everglades as environmental groups rally for clean water | The Florida Current

The state seems to be loosening the purse strings on a variety of water projects related to Everglades restoration. The amount is higher than previously announced. Click title for link to the Florida Current article.
Gov. Rick Scott announced Wednesday that he's requesting $130 million for Everglades restoration and cleanup projects in fiscal year 2014-15, which is a $60 million increase from the current state budget.
Scott already had announced $70 million in 2014-15 spending requests for the Everglades last summer as discharges from Lake Okeechobee were being blamed for polluting Indian River Lagoon and the Caloosahatchee River. Everglades restoration projects will divert more water flow away from those estuaries.

Anthony Garcia, Principal of the Street Plans Collaborative 01/24 by High Noon in Lake Worth | Politics Podcasts

Join your host Wes Blackman as he welcomes Anthony Garcia to the High Noon in Lake Worth studios.Anthony leads many of the Street Plans Collaborative local projects, and is a leader in the field of pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure. Prior to launching the firm’s Miami office, Anthony was Project Director for six years at the architecture firm of Chael Cooper & Associates. His work there gave him a strong background of urban planning that includes urban design, policy writing and code analysis. He has experience in hosting public meetings, and has completed a number of bicycle and pedestrian plans at the scale of city, neighborhood, and campus and contributed to the codes and policies that help shape the resulting spaces.
As a writer, and advocate, Tony’s work has appeared in or been featured by The Daily Business Review, Atlantic Cities, Next American City Magazine, New Urban News, The Real Deal, Momentum Magazine, Streetsblog, the Miami Herald, the El Paso Times, and The Miami New Times, among other publications. 
Most recently he was invited to be part-time adjunct faculty at the University Of Miami School Of Architecture, teaching an online New Urbanism class, as well as architecture studio. From 2008 to 2012 he was the Publisher and Managing editor of the transportation blog, a web journal dedicated to public participation and discourse in South Florida. He is on numerous Miami-Dade based organizations that advocate for greater use of active transportation throughout the region, including the Green Mobility Network and Bike/Walk Coral Gables. 
Click title for live show between 12 and 1 p.m. tomorrow (1/24) or afterwards for the archived version of the show. Leave questions as comments below.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

"From a reader of your blog" - Received today

Monday, January 20 of this year was a holiday, memorializing the life and death of Martin Luther King.

On Tuesday, the day after the holiday, Lynn Anderson had some thoughts to share about Martin Luther King. Lynn Anderson wrote the following:

“Yesterday was the Martin Luther King march down Lake Avenue. Starting from City Hall, the marchers ended up at our Cultural Plaza. The street was flooded with every liberal, socialist, do-gooder, anti-war sympathizer, social justice Democrat, sprinkled in with politicians and those who are all 'politically correct.' King was known as a radical and was investigated for being a communist as well as his many extra-marital affairs.”

Lynn Anderson commenting on her own blog post wrote the following: “What he [Martin Luther King] did back 50 years ago was very brave. He ended up by the giving of his life to a racist..the ultimate sacrifice. And through his activism, the civil Rights Act was passed and integration began. We have come a long way. I personally do not know anyone who judge's someone by the color of their skin but judges their character and their intent.”

OK, Lynn Anderson, are you memorializing Martin Luther King as a “communist” and “adulterer”? Or are you celebrating Martin Luther King as a “brave” man who made the “ultimate sacrifice”?

Which is it?

Let's go back through some past comments Lynn Anderson has made about “the blacks”:

“Retha [former African-American Lake Worth Commissioner Retha Lowe] wasn't elected because she was black although I would bet every single black in this city voted for her.” June 8, 2013

“A child [Trayvon Martin]? He was a punk. And a criminal in the making. Stand up, black America. Stand up for what is right. If they're jumping and beating people for kicks, sometimes they're going to get shot.” July, 2013

“For the past 30 years a large segment of black America has waged a war of violent retribution against white America.” September 2013

“With every chance at success as every other American, these violent crimes [by the “blacks” Lynn Anderson says] are being committed by angry black men who are taking out their frustrations on Whites. You could be the next target.” September 2013

“It's not just men. Black women are also joining in the hate. Everyone needs to be very, very careful, and consider carrying a weapon.” September 2013

“The rules of the 'knockout game' are typically the same no matter where it happens: Start with a group of black people. Find a white person. Punch him in the face. Don’t stop until the person is knocked out or your arms get tired … or the person is dead.” October 2013

“When groups of blacks pick out whites for random violent attacks, as is happening in every city across this country, then it IS about race. Deal with it.” October 2013

“Tell black people not to let their kids throw their trash on the ground? I'd rather not have a punch in the face today. Thanks. Hispanics you can say something to. And I have. They apologize sincerely. Not blacks. Personal experience. I said something to a young black girl after I saw her throw a paper plate on the ground. She said something to her older friend, a black boy age about 12, about not littering, and he told her to Shut the EFF up.” November 2013

In conclusion, citizens of Lake Worth, you decide. Is Lynn Anderson a “Uniter” or a “Divider.”

Tomorrow, Thursday, January 23, the Lake Worth Trojans Men's High School basketball team will be hosting Palm Beach Lakes. Before the game maybe Lynn Anderson and her friends: Dennis Dorsey, Katie McGiveron, Laurie Decker, Dee McNamara, Helen, Barbara Jean........and the rest of that racist crew can “nuance” their “position” about “the Blacks.”

Don't hold your breath.

Mother Teresa

"Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier. Be the living expression of God's kindness: kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile."

Came across something Palm Beach does...

In an effort to control people sending out anonymous mailings during campaign and election periods, the Town of Palm Beach passed the above resolution in 2009. The can't do more than "condemn" the practice and then direct people to make their own complaints to the Florida Commission on Ethics for violation of election laws, which include anonymous mailings. They publish the resolution every time that they have a local election.

Not sure how effective this is. I do know of some instances where people have sent out blanket mailings that couldn't be sourced. Of course, these do not have the required disclaimer. Don't get any ideas!

Fracking Protesters Arrested for Gluing Themselves to the Wrong Petrol Pumps

All that I can say is that you can't fix stupid. Even other environmental groups are upset about these antics and they take away from their work on preventing fracking. Click title for link to article.
On Monday, four members of an anti-fracking group wound up in jail for using bicycle locks and glue to fasten themselves to gas pumps at a petrol station in Great Lever, England. The group sacrificed themselves in order to protest the hydraulic fracking activities of Total, a French petroleum company.
But, to their embarrassment, the group sacrificed themselves to the wrong petrol station, which was no longer owned by Total. The petrol station was owned by Certas Energy, who neglected to take down the signs after buying the station.

Potential GOP challengers to Rep. Patrick Murphy meet in West Palm Beach today | Post on Politics

Congressman Murphy is looking strong going into election season with the amount of money he has amassed compared to his potential challengers. Click title for link to article.
Since narrowly defeating former Rep. Allen West in 2012 in a district that leans slightly Republican, Democrat Murphy has been identified as a top target by national Republicans. But the Republicans who have opened campaigns for the District 18 seat do not appear to have gained much traction with contributors while Murphy has amassed a warchest of more than $1.5 million.

Ocean Gate, NJ Residents Get an Innovative Precast Concrete Solution to Their Region's Beach Erosion Problems - MarketWatch

Unique design allows what are referred to as "prisms." Click here for an example of what these structures look like that are designed to prevent beach erosion. Click title for link to article. Here is a bit.
"Ocean Gate is a progressive community," says Smith-Midland's National Sales Manager, Jay McKenna. "We've been discussing this project with the municipality for three years and are very pleased that they decided to test out this innovative solution to an ongoing and very serious problem."
Shaped like highway barriers, the beach prisms are made with a built-in parabolic curve that scatters waves away as spray instead of allowing them to crash up onto the vulnerable shoreline. Weighing roughly 10,000 pounds each, the prisms are more economical and durable than other shore preservation methods.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Palm Beach County Home Values: An Interactive Map |

Handy interactive map which shows the effects of the Great Recession on home values per zip code. 33460 has had a 25% increase from the nadir of the period, but still is around $83,000 on average, which is much lower compared to other zip codes. Click title for link.

1954: A Major Meteorologist Comments On a Miami Cold Snap

(Audio begins around the 30 second mark)
"In early February 1954 Miami was feeling the effects of a cold snap, with late-night temperatures dipping to the high 40s. TV station WTVJ followed the story to weather forecaster Grady Norton at the Lindsey Hopkins Vocational School and followed him to the building's roof, where Norton consulted his instruments and gave a forecast.

That makes for an amusing old weather clip, but you never know who you'll meet when you're digging around looking for amusing old weather clips. Grady Norton, as it happens, was an important figure in what was, in Florida, a very important field: Tracking and forecasting hurricanes.

Norton was inspired to research hurricanes after witnessing the catastrophic Okeechobee Hurricane of 1928. He was a well-known forecaster when he came to Miami in 1943, moving with the hurricane warning office from Jacksonville. Norton had already forecast the 1935 Labor Day Hurricane and served as the chief forecaster until he died later in 1954 after a long night forecasting Hurricane Hazel, which struck Haiti, the Carolinas and Canada in October.

Although the National Hurricane Center was not established until after his death, Grady Norton laid much of the groundwork for the Center and his forecasts were credited with saving many lives. "Grady Norton Robbed Hurricanes of Victims" was the headline of Grady's obituary in the Sarasota "Herald-Tribune." And it was true.

This video and audio is copyrighted/owned by the Lynn and Louis Wolfson II Florida Moving Image Archives."

Every once in a while...

Someone sends me a copy and paste version of a post made by Lake Worth's trivial blogger. I long ago gave up reading it myself for reasons purely related to sanitation and sanity. However, there are times where I must point out the various "out takes" of history that this local blogger makes. One such example comes from the 1/20/14 post entitled "Blast From the Past - The Rest of the Story." In it, history is so contorted that there is barely any resemblance to the realities present at the time.

Let's go back to the time period of 2010, the time frame referenced in the post. Remember that before Commissioner Maxwell made his tour explaining the content of electric bills, we had the cabal couple of Shauna Coolican and Annabeth Karson marching around town being paid $26,000 + or - to "educate" people on the importance of being counted by the U.S. Census that was taking place that year. As such, they were given access to all sorts of community groups, condo associations and others that would normally be "off the radar" in terms of contact information, etc. This information was not only helpful to the U.S. Census but also helpful in accumulating data for future municipal elections. Maxwell's community engagement was in the shadow of this shadowy effort, of which the community still hasn't seen a full reporting of how the money was spent and what effect it had the success of the Census count. By the way, what started out as a quest to prove that Lake Worth had a population of at least 50,000 so that we could have access to more unrestricted CDBG funds (no County involvement), failed miserably. The results of the Census showed that the city of Lake Worth had a little over 34,000 people in 2010.

We must also recall, and it is completely ignored by the trivial blogger, that 2010 was an election year for McVoy and Mulvehill, Districts 2 and 4 respectively. They both were re-elected to two year terms. Commissioner Maxwell's launched a purely educational program that reviewed what goes in to preparing utility bills, where the city gets its power from and what is coming in the future in terms of finding another power provider. If it was his intent to "knock McVoy and Mulvehill out of power", then he failed in that effort. Then City Manager Stanton's over-reach by restricting city staff from being part of these events was one brick in the foundation of her future termination.

Flash forward to the year 2011 - that's the one right after 2010. This is when we had the famous "Wildan Study" for some $40,000 which was commissioned to determine the feasibility of recreating the city's own police force in a matter of 8 months and ditching PBSO in the process.

This is when the community rallied around keeping the services of PBSO. Green signs were on planted on most yards that sent the message "Keep PBSO." The community gathered at Compass during May of that year by the hundreds to make sure that the residents would have a "voice in the choice" of whether or not to keep PBSO. The response was overwhelming in support of continuing with the sheriff. This turned out to be the only public hearing on the issue - not sanctioned by the City Commission. Stanton and the majority of the Commission at the time (McVoy, Golden, Mulvehill) were in full retreat claimed that getting rid of the sheriff was never a real option (ha!) and that it was all part of the city's negotiation strategy. (Remember that Mayor Varela resigned prior to this imbroglio - preordained or just prescient?)  Sheriff Bradshaw saw right through this and was willing to compromise on his budgeted amount anyway, without the city having had gone through these machinations and riling up the residents. Stanton was wrongly given credit in the reduction of the sheriff's budget by those on the dais as a face-saving measure.

But that whole FIASCO - and don't forget about the same drill with fire rescue and the idea of a special assessment for County fire rescue services - completed the rest of the foundation for the ouster of Stanton once the "adults in room" showed up after the November 2011 election. Stanton was shown the door in December of that year.

So that, my friends, is the real "rest of the story."

South Florida hotels post gains in occupancy, rates - Sun Sentinel

The Palm Beach Zoo and other attractions are doing well. Broward County more than doubles the number of total visitors. Noted too is the impact of out-of-state and international tourists. Click title for link.
Palm Beach County hotels had 71.6 percent occupancy for the full year and an average daily rate of $145.84. By comparison, Palm Beach county inns were 67.4 percent full in 2012, with average rates of $140.92.
Can someone check the Breezeway, Ixora and Silver Lions motels along Dixie so that we can get comparable figures on occupancy and room rates in Lake Worth?

Lake Worth marks MLK holiday with downtown march |

Wonderful article about the walk from City Hall to the Cultural Plaza last night in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. day. Former Commissioner Retha Lowe is quoted throughout the article and talks about the first walk when she became a Commissioner in 1995. Great video to the impromptu "We Shall Overcome" anthem showing various high points of the parade.

Click title for link. Way to go Lake Worth!

The Palm Beach Post » Blog Archive » WPB Mayor: financial district planned downtown

Eliot Kleinberg writes about Mayor Muoio's dedication of a "financial district" to be designated in downtown West Palm Beach. It includes a fairly large area of the downtown. Click title for link.

Army Corps of Engineers to discuss Sandy recovery program in 2014 - SYS-CON MEDIA

Announcement from the Army Corps of Engineers regarding beach reconstruction projects of historic proportions in relation to damage from Hurricane Sandy. Click title for link. 2014 will be a big year!

In 2014, the Army Corps will complete its remaining work along the Atlantic coast to restore previously constructed beach projects to their authorized dimensions and start work on 18 new engineered beach projects in areas that previously did not have engineered beaches. These 18 new projects, including a large portion of the New Jersey coast, will complement the previously constructed beach projects and reduce risk to areas that were vulnerable when Sandy hit.
In total, the 2014 coastal program of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers North Atlantic Division, headed by Army Brig. Gen. Savre, will likely be the largest beach-building program ever in the United States.

Getting biblical with Exodus...

Monday, January 20, 2014

Lantana Bridge Bike-friendly, but not so the road leading to it.

Approach looking west from nearest intersection, ample bike lane.
On bridge, really two choices for bikes and pedestrians, going in both directions.

West of bridge high-point, still ample bikeway(s)

West of bridge, entering downtown Lantana. Bike lane disappears.
It gets worse as you go further west. Parallel parked cars along each side of road and two vehicular travel lanes - with no room for bikes. One would think that a better solution could have emerged during the two years the bridge was under construction. Granted, the right-of-way is constrained and the decision for parking on both sides of the street really prevents an adequate solution. Just be careful when traveling on bike west of the bridge.

Inaugural Sand Sculpting & Seafood Festival To Take Shape on Lake Worth Beach January 24-26

Call for Local Amateur Castle Building Competition 

Lake Worth, FL (January 13, 2014) – The Inaugural Lake Worth Beach Sand Sculpting and Seafood Festival will be on Friday, January 24 through Sunday, January 26 at the Lake Worth Casino Building and Beach Complex.

This creative new three day event, on the Lake Worth Beach, features the experts who produce the world famous Ft. Myers Sand Sculpting events; The Sand Lovers, bringing the same level of professional sculptors who will build sand castles from scratch beginning on Friday and progress throughout the weekend for a final competition on Sunday afternoon.

Amateur sculptors can compete on Saturday, January 25 in several categories – Sea Turtles (Children up to 8); Dolphins (Children 9-12); Sea Horses (Groups of 6); Rays (Teens 13-17); Manatees (18 & over).  Entry fee is $15.00 per person/team and includes a roped off sand plot. All other utensils, buckets, etc. must be provided. Those interested in entering can apply in person on Saturday from 10 am – 12 noon on the main stage. The competition begins at noon, with sculptors having until 4 pm to finish for judging. Awards will be presented at 5 pm. For a full list of rules and an application visit www.lakeworth/

Additional activities include the finest mouth-water seafood such as lobster rolls, grilled mahi-mahi, grouper fingers, conch fritters, conch and clam chowder, fried clams, fried shrimp and more. Plus nautical vendors, a lil’ guppies play area for kids, live music and a beach bonfire on Friday night.

Festival hours are Friday, January 24 12 noon – 9 pmSaturday, January 24 & Sunday, January 25 10 am – 5 pm. Admission is free, metered parking and some activities have a fee OR park downtown and ride the free shuttle from Bryant Park Saturday and Sunday 10 am – 6 pm.
Entertainment Schedule:

Friday, January 24
6 pm – 9 pm  Bonfire and The People Upstairs
Saturday, January 25

1 pm – 900 Seconds
3:30 – Sweet Justice
5 pm - Amateur Awards Presentation
 Sunday, January 26
1:30 pm  - Ed Stephen & Steel Drum Culture
3 pm -  Professional  Sand Sculptor Awards Presentation

The Lake Worth Beach Sand Sculpting and Seafood Festival is produced by the City of Lake Worth. Sponsors include Marriott Fairfield Inn, The Lake Worth Herald, WRMF Radio, WIRK Radio and The Palm Beach Post. The Lake Worth Casino and Beach Complex is located at 10 South Ocean Blvd. Lake Worth, Florida. For more information visit or call 561-533-7395.

Parrot Cove Neighborhood Association Meeting - Tonight - 1/20/14

“The Parrot Cove Neighborhood Association meeting is this Monday, January 20th at 7:00pm at Believers Victory Church located at the corner of 10th and N. Lakeside. This is an extremely important meeting discussing attempts for the possibility of a ‘group home’ within the Parrot Cove boundaries. All residents of Parrot Cove are strongly encouraged to attend to ask their questions and voice their feelings on the topic.

Everyone is welcome - you don't have to be a member of the Parrot Cove Neighborhood Association or live in Parrot Cove.”

European Commission Move Away from Climate Protection Goals - SPIEGEL ONLINE

Click title for link to Der Spiegel article on the adjustment of "green goals" throughout the European Community. From the article:
The EU's reputation as a model of environmental responsibility may soon be history. The European Commission wants to forgo ambitious climate protection goals and pave the way for fracking -- jeopardizing Germany's touted energy revolution in the process.

Debbie Wasserman Schultz

"This is the day we devote to solemn remembrance of the man whose words and actions struck a chord in the conscience of our nation. Dr. King dared to dream of a more equal America, one free of discrimination, where everyone could enjoy the same opportunities to achieve prosperity, and participate in democracy."

"As we honor Martin Luther King, Jr.'s legacy, we must also reflect on how we can do more to bend the arc of history toward justice. We must keep fighting for good-paying jobs, common sense immigration reform, and to be sure every eligible citizen is able to cast their vote and have their vote counted. As we confront those challenges, let us strive to live as he did, acting out of compassion, with grace and humility, in fulfillment of his vision of a more equal America."

Tampa Bay Times only major newspaper in Florida without tribute to MLK on its front page - SaintPetersBlog

Oops! Peter Schorsch of the SaintPetersBlog points out that the Tampa Bay Times offers no recognition of the MLK holiday on its front page. All other major Florida papers have stories highlighting Dr. King's life and leadership. It does have a story about recognizing Union soldiers who lost a Civil War battle in Florida. What were they thinking? Here's what Mr. Schorsch says, click title for link to article.
The Tampa Bay Times was the only major newspaper in Florida today without a tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on its front page.
[and this]
But on the front of the Tampa Bay Times, regarded as one of the most progressive newspapers in the South, the story which dominates is about a USF medical student who turns her “passion for medicine and performing into a fundraiser for the student-run free clinic.” There are also stories about Edward Snowden and the debate over in-state tuition rates for undocumented students. Just no MLK.

West Palm Beach to hold momentous vote on waterfront condo |

The vote is coming this Tuesday on this controversial and tall waterfront condominium project in West Palm Beach. The tower proposal is smaller than what was initially proposed and the developer will incorporate a public walkway along the eastern property line along the Intracoastal. But that is still too much building and not enough for the community for some. I think that the design could be more innovative and relate to the street better than a traditional multi-family residential building perched on a pedestal - its parking garage. Anyway, click title for link to article and to view the revised rendering. This is what Mayor Muoio says about the project and the property.
Muoio repeated what she’s said before: Something will be built at that spot.
“I get emails and phone calls from people that think nothing should go in there,” the mayor said Wednesday. “I understand that sentiment, because it’s a beautiful spot. But we don’t own that land.
“If the church and its congregation determines to sell that and have something built on it, our only option is to make sure that whatever built is in the purview of our plan. The important thing is to get the best development we can get there.”

Decision on zoning referendum deferred |

Palm Beach delays finalizing the referendum ballot language related to the implementation of what is called PUD-5 zoning along Royal Poinciana Way. This is an optional path to redevelop the area which would come up for review five years after it is enacted. The issue now is how to word what appears on the ballot so that it is neutral, but still explains what the PUD-5 will allow. It seems that we are not the only ones that turn into award-winning storytellers when it comes to initiatives on the ballot, or candidate for that matter. Click title for link to article.
Rosow said he personally heard petitioners misleading people while gathering signatures at St. Edward Catholic Church and at Publix. Rosow said the petitioners claimed the PUD-5 would cause Royal Poinciana Way to resemble Miami Beach and CityPlace. “I listened to what they said, and they lied,” he said.

Crisafulli questions Senate water proposals, says House working on own bills | The Florida Current

Many potential water-related projects surface as the state legislature reviews resources (money) and priorities. As usual, it's a case of too much to address with too little in the way of funding. Click title for link.
During an interview about water issues Thursday, Rep. Steve Crisafulli, R-Merritt Island and the House Speaker-designate for 2015, said he expects the House to deal with springs, farming practices that affect water quality, agricultural water storage, Indian River Lagoon and other water projects. He also questioned Senate proposals to spend $220 million on Indian River Lagoon and nearly $380 million a year on springs.
Crisafulli said he doesn't expect a rewrite of Florida water laws or changes in how water is managed and regulated.
"That is not going to happen," Crisafulli said. "There is not a silver bullet to fix all these problems. It's just a matter of working with the current situation."

Martin Luther King Jr

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” 

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Broward commissioners support video-on-demand of meetings, want a plan from Henry | Broward Bulldog

From the Broward Bulldog, we hear this report about foot-dragging by the County administration about the archiving of videos of County Commission  meetings. I don't understand why the Broward County government is having such a problem with such a widely implemented application of current technology used by many local governments. It is rare for a large County, with significant resources, to be behind the curve on this. This is especially true since they are videoed anyway. Click title for link to article.
Henry told the commission that video copies of commission meetings are available. “We can provide it, at any time.”
Those who want a video copy of a Broward County Commission meeting must file a public records request. A DVD copy can be retrieved at county hall in downtown Fort Lauderdale or mailed. The cost is $8, plus postage if mailed.
The Broward County Commission broadcasts live regular meeting and public hearings on its web page and on cable television. The meetings are re-webcast and most of the time re-broadcast on cable once at 5:30 p.m. the Friday following the meetings.

Boynton booms from coast to glades

Lots of activity out there compared to the bottom of the bust we just came through in the local real estate economy. Boynton Beach is the focus of this Palm Beach Post article. GL Homes has remained a big player in its build out of western Boynton. Look here:
Since 1996, GL Homes has planted 12 communities — some 7,200 homes — in the area west of Jog Road and bordered by Boynton Beach Boulevard to the north and Lake Ida Road to the south. Seven of the strongholds, often fronted by impressive faux waterfalls and babbling brooks, are age-restricted.
So, if you figure an average of 2 persons per household, that is over 14,000 people. That figure is a little less than half of city Lake Worth's total population of 34,000. Check out what the article pulls out from on values of an assortment of Boynton zip codes.

Click here for what the same site is reporting for the 33460 zip code. Improvement yes, but interesting that it indicates that our market temperature is "cold." Values, according to the site, are up almost 26% over the last year and expected to increase a little over 8% over the next year. Check out the graph to see how low we went, for how long, from where we were, due to the Great Recession.

Lookin' Out my Back Door...

Keeping bridge nightmare at bay |

The Shiny Sheet applauds the Palm Beach Town Council for delaying other projects which would impact traffic in the northern part of the island. This was done in the shadow of uncertainty surrounding the use of the north, Flagler Memorial, bridge. Click title for link to editorial. This is the same newspaper that shouted out congratulations to all on the miracle work surrounding the $9 million project to shore up the bridge which resulted in its temporary closure a few months ago.

Delray looks to save money by planning ahead for storms - Sun Sentinel

A Delray Beach resident, and expert on climate change, school the City Commission on the need to be resilient in the face of the impacts from climate change. The City Commission largely agreed with her assessment and they will be forming a committee to make recommendations. Click title for link. From the article:
Schneider said it is also important to form a committee dedicated to enacting money-saving changes. And she stepped away with more responsibilities when Glickstein asked her to lead the pack.
"I will begin working on that," she said, accepting the role.

The Fable of Hawaiian Frankencorn -

Let's not let the facts get in the way of the argument. Like the fact that cancer rates are lower on Kauai than other islands. Reading about this interaction, it sounds like it could happen in our little burg in shops, at doors, at the cultural plaza or wherever tongues choose to wag. Click title for link. This is the most telling part:
Anti-biotech signs and literature were scattered across the Hawaiian Islands. The Crystals and Gems Gallery in Hanalei, a trendy little town on Kauai, displayed several protest posters and offered fliers urging a ban on biotech crops. The gallery is the sort of place where, when my wife picked up an attractive stone and asked a clerk what it was, the reply was, "Do you mean, 'What does it do?' Apparently, that particular rock can dispel negativity.
After being advised on the therapeutic properties of various crystals, we asked the clerk what all the anti-biotech literature around the shop was about. She informed us that biotech crops cause cancer, stating emphatically that Kauai's cancer rates were exceptionally high, especially among people who live close to the seed company fields where biotech crop varieties are grown. She added that eating foods containing these ingredients disrupts satiety signals to the brain, causing people to eat too much, resulting in the obesity epidemic. Don't ask me to explain.
It seems to me that the propulsion of the anti-GMO issue comes from people that see it as a way we can sustain a larger human population on this plant and some people think that this is a bad thing.