Saturday, March 1, 2014

South L Street Clean-up from Today (3/1/14)

Today a group of volunteers from the Lake Worth community did what Bank of America couldn't, or wouldn't, do. They cleaned up Bank of America's property at 1231 South L Street. Despite years of calls and letters the property fell into neglect. Used by prostitutes, squatters, and drug users the property was thorougly trashed, inside and out. Then the illegal dumpers got in on the act: used oil in containers, scores of tires, busted up concrete, discarded TV's, you name it.

A lot of people helped out today, mostly volunteers. There was Nadine Burns, Craig Frost, Tammy Pansa, Glenn Schneeberger, Marshall Pass, Brian Hirsch, Ted Brownstein, and many others. Caroline Tires donated a truck and a crew of three to haul tires away. The disposal fee for each tire cost Caroline Tires $1.25 including the expense of a vehicle and a crew. Mark Easton from the Lake Worth Herald was there as well as a WPTV news van. They took plenty of video.

Gigantic piles of rubbish and vegetation were hauled off the site by the City of Lake Worth. At the end of the cleanup a crew from the management company arrived to board up the buildings. The very same crew that filled the building from floor to ceiling with the tires in the first place. Ironic.
Another great job by the citizens of the City of Lake Worth!

Here are some pics of the work in progress:











Lake Worth Dixie Hwy. Business Spotlight: Cocoanut Palm Cleaners

I had the pleasure meeting with Bob Salerno with Cocoanut Palm Cleaners at 1714 N. Dixie Hwy. He and Gene Salerno added this location to the Ultra Cleaners family of stores which include outlets in Wellington, Boynton Beach and Boca Raton. The original Cocoanut Palm Cleaners was founded back in 1958 by Clarence Roeser and its been at its current Lake Worth location since 2002. Gene and Bob purchased this store in 2013 and are making significant upgrades.
They specialize in processing men's business shirts - calling their final product the PERFECT men's shirt. They process about 12,000 shirts on a weekly basis. This includes storefront, walk-in customers and several wholesale dry cleaning accounts from Palm Beach Gardens to Boca Raton. They use state-of-of-the-art pressing equipment made by Sankoska Corporation. At the Lake Worth location, they have three large washing machines which are capable of washing almost 400 shirts on an hourly basis. They currently have ten employees at the Lake Worth location.

Here are some pictures of their equipment inside the building.


I asked Bob how his utility bills were and was surprised to hear that his electric bill is not out of line with his other stores, but that the water bill is higher. He said that business was hit hard during the past recession, but things are bouncing back.

They are running a special on men's business shirts for $1.49 a piece, no limit. Make sure you mention that you saw this on Wes Blackman's blog. Thanks for the tour Bob and wishes for continued success at this Dixie Hwy. location.
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South Florida Gay News names top 50 of South Florida's Most Influential "Out" People

Click here for link to list. Congratulations to Lake Worth peeps Commissioner Andy Amoroso and Tony Plakas, CEO of Compass for making the list. Many people would also recognize Rand Hoch who heads up the Palm Beach County Human Rights Coalition and Charlie Frederickson, who is always out and about with his camera at various local events.

In tour of Glades, out-of-town site consultants learn there’s more to Palm Beach County than the beach

It is good to see some targeted effort from on-high for economic development for western Palm Beach County and the Belle Glade area. Those that visited saw potential more than problems according to this article. Many people are not aware that the area around Lake Okeechobee had far more development and population than the coast during the county's formational years. With the advent of the train, automobile and then airplanes, that soon changed. Click title for link to article.
The idea, said Business Development Board President Kelly Smallridge, was to showcase a corner of the county that needs all the economic development it can get. Unemployment in the Glades tops 30 percent.
While residents of coastal Palm Beach County think of the Glades as far from civilization, site consultants who visited the farming community had a different take.
“I don’t see it as a remote area,” said Juan Gallardo, principal at Hickey & Associates in Miami. “You’re surrounded by a huge population and great infrastructure.”

Palm Beach County’s underwater borrowers regain equity

Things are improving for Palm Beach County in terms of the percentage of people owing more on their mortgage than the value of their property. However, at 36 percent, Lake Worth (33460) is still more than the average Palm Beach County rate of 24 percent. Check out the selective zip code list below or click title for link to article for a more extensive listing.
Underwater in Palm Beach County
Percent of homeowners with a mortgage who owe more on the loan than their home’s value by ZIP Code
33415 Greenacres, 46
33461 Palm Springs, 44
33407 West Palm Beach, 41
33409 West Palm Beach, 41
33417 Century Village, 40
33404 Riviera Beach, 39
33463 Greenacres, 38
33435 Boynton Beach, 36
33460 Lake Worth, 36
Oh, and Dan Liftman is interviewed for this article and happens to be underwater with his condominium. He also happens to be the staff person at Congressman Alcee Hastings' office. He also dabbles in local politics and swims with what is sometimes referred to as the "other side." He and AnnaBeth Karson are on a first name basis, among others. The question is why would the Post seek him out to be quoted for the article and then not mention his affiliation? He talks about a federal bill that expired which was designed to help people in that situation. My advice to the Palm Beach Post and to Kimberly Miller would be that there are other people to talk to other than Dan Liftman and their other favorite, Drew Martin.

Sea-wall repair plans advance

To pay for this, the Town of Palm Beach would assess 15 private property owners and the Town would pay for its share along public right-of-way. And realize that this is not a major rebuilding effort and even then the cost is high. Imagine getting hit with this kind of assessment, even if it is Palm Beach. Oh, and what condition is our seawall in by the new Casino building? Click title for link.
George Cloutier, 240 N. Ocean Blvd., whose assessment would be nearly $196,000 under the town’s plan, noted that his was among the highest on the list. “The bulk of the assessments on here fall on four or five property owners,” he said. “Keep in mind these are large sums of money.”
He questioned the necessity of the repairs, given that there’s no imminent danger of failure and that, according to the town, sand from the upcoming nourishment will cover most of the wall. Brazil replied that the sand fill will provide some protection but won’t prevent further deterioration.
Harvey Kinzelberg, 260 N. Ocean Blvd., is facing a nearly $308,000 assessment, the highest on the list. He questioned the distribution of the cost. Four properties representing 30 percent of the lineal footage of the wall would pay about $850,000, or more than half of the total cost, he said.
He suggested the cost be divided on a per-lineal-foot basis instead of by parcel.
Brazil said that approach also would be valid, “but our way is most logical to us.”

Check out lower, lefthand corner of the City's website homepage...

The City has posted another survey. Click here to take you to the website. Must click on link to access survey. Who knew?

Friday, February 28, 2014

Lake Worth mayor cites ‘shocking’ state of the city | www.palmbeachpost.com

The Palm Beach Post article by Eliot Kleinberg on the Mayor's state of the city address. Click title for link. Remember, there were no challengers to three incumbents. No election this year. We are on the right path.

Dems seek probes into Sinclair plan to air anti-Kerry film - Oct. 12, 2004

Some interesting background on the parent company, Sinclair Broadcasting, that owns WPEC-TV 12 in West Palm Beach. This is from back in 2004, but somehow seems consistent with their news-gathering practices. Click title for link.

This just in from PBSO, through the NAPC - Operation Night Train

Operation Night Train received information regarding drug activity at 901 South Federal Hwy. (Apt #16). Surveillance revealed foot traffic coming and going from the property. Two controlled purchases of narcotics from the residence were used to obtain a search warrant for the location. The search warrant was executed on Friday, 2/28/14 at approximately 1100 hours, misc. drug paraphernalia were seized and placed into Evidence.

The resident was arrested for the following charge:
Possession of Drug Paraphernalia

We also received information regarding to drug activity at 1202 South Federal Hwy. (Unit #3). Surveillance revealed subjects coming and going from the property. Two controlled purchases of narcotics from the residence were used to obtain a search warrant for the location. The search warrant was executed on Friday, 2/28/14, at approximately 1130 hours, 2.8 grams of Marijuana, 0.7 grams of Crack Cocaine and misc. drug paraphernalia were seized and placed into Evidence. 

The residents were arrested for the following charges:
Possession of Cocaine with the intent to Sell
Possession of Marijuana less than 20 Grams
Possession of Drug Paraphernalia

Miami Mayor's Office threatens citizen with arrest for making a public records request - law suit filed

PRESS RELEASE

For Immediate Release
February 28, 2014

Citizens Awareness Foundation
info@CitizensAwarenessFoundation.org

On Wednesday February 26, 2014 the Citizens Awareness Foundation, Inc. filed suit against the City of Miami alleging the Mayor’s Office committed serious violations of Florida’s Public Records Act.  The civil complaint maybe viewed on-line.

The allegations stem from an incident that occurred on Tuesday February 25, 2014.

Acting on behalf of the Foundation, Joel Chandler visited the Mayor’s Office in order to make a public records request.  Specifically, Chandler was seeking to inspect and photograph the Mayor’s appointment calendar for January 2014, the Visitor’s Sign-in log for January 2014 and the Visitor’s Sign-in Log for February 2014.

The complaint alleges that in response to the public records requests members of the Mayor’s staff gave conflicting instructions to Chandler.  First, Chandler was ordered to make his public records request to the Director of Communications.  Then Chandler was ordered to make his public records request to the City Clerk.  The lawsuit also alleges the Mayor’s staff acknowledged that the Mayor’s Office had custody of the requested public records at the time of Chandler’s visit.

During the incident the Mayor’s staff summoned Sergeant At Arms Raymond Carvil who serves as the Mayor’s bodyguard and chauffer.  Carvil is reportedly a Commander with the City of Miami Police Department.

The Foundation’s lawsuit claims that Carvil became aggressive when Chandler asked for clarification of the conflicting instructions given by the Mayor’s staff.  During the encounter Carvil used the telephone to summon other police officers for a code “39” and a code “15.”  A code “39” is for a prisoner and an arrest and a code “15” is for backup.  Carvil is also alleged to have made racial comments about Chandler.

The lawsuit seeks declaratory and injunctive relief as well as attorney’s fees.

This is the second time Chandler has been threatened with arrest for making a public records request at City Hall in Miami.

Chandler is the Executive Director of the Citizens Awareness Foundation, Inc.   The Foundation is a non-partisan, not-for-profit organization dedicated to the proposition that members of the public have a right to know what their government is doing in their name and at their expense. To that end the Foundation seeks to empower citizens to exercise their right to know by providing free educational materials and programs, and when appropriate, taking legal action to enforce the public’s right of access to public records and public meetings.  The Foundation is privately funded.

The O’Boyle Law Firm in Deerfield Beach, Florida is representing the Citizens Awareness Foundation, Inc. in this matter. The firm specializes in open government litigation.

Note: Joel Chandler is a two time guest on High Noon in Lake Worth.

Senator Soto, DEP trade letters over Everglades oil drilling concerns | The Florida Current

Despite rumors, it looks as though no oil and gas exploration have been issued for the area encompassed by the Everglades, according to this article in the Florida Current. Click title for link.
Sen. Darren Soto, D-Kissimmee, wrote to DEP Secretary Herschel T. Vinyard on Monday requesting that the department suspend approved oil exploration permits in the Everglades to allow the House and Senate to review the risks and effects.
The letter followed a report Saturday in the Orlando Sentinel saying that the search for oil on the western edge of the Everglades is raising hopes and fears of an emerging oil boom.
"In addition, please clarify whether any of these permits relate to fracking or other similar methods," Soto wrote.  "These permits were issued without meaningful dialogue with your legislative partners and represent a major change in policy without our approval."
In response, Vinyard wrote that there are 162 oil and gas wells operating in six counties. But he said no exploration or drilling permits have been issued for The Everglades.
"While there are challenges to restoration efforts in The Everglades, oil and gas exploration is not one of them," Vinyard said.

A Study Claims Global Warming Could Cause 180,000 More Rapes by 2099

Interesting study which forecasts violent crime rates over the next 89 years, in a warmer world. Some of the relationship between rates of crime and higher temperatures make sense. Warmer temperatures allow for people to be outside and interact more socially, and create opportunities for violent crime more so than in colder temperatures. But there is also a theory that higher temperatures may make people more aggressive. Click title for link to article. Be sure to check out the graphs.
Just how much more crime can we expect? Using the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's warming projections, Ranson calculated that from 2010 to 2099, climate change will "cause" an additional "22,000 murders, 180,000 cases of rape, 1.2 million aggravated assaults, 2.3 million simple assaults, 260,000 robberies, 1.3 million burglaries, 2.2 million cases of larceny, and 580,000 cases of vehicle theft" in the United States.
Ranson acknowledges that those results represent a relatively small jump in the overall level of crime—a 2.2 percent increase in murder and a 3.1 percent increase in rape, for instance. Still, says John Roman, a senior fellow at the Urban Institute's Justice Policy Center, those numbers add up to "a lot of victims" over the course of the century.

MUST LISTEN - Today's High Noon in Lake Worth show with Jeff Speck - City Planner and Urban Designer

Note: 2/28 - No live show today. Instead, I encourage you to listen to this show from December of 2013. Mr. Speck is an urban planner and walkability specialist that has since been hired to do more work for downtown West Palm Beach. We talked about many issues, including the one-way pair of streets that Lake Worth has as its downtown main streets. We will be back with a live show next week.

Jeff Speck, who has given a TED talk on walkability and has a book out on the same topic, was my guest on today's show. He was also brought in recently by the City of West Palm Beach for advice on the walkability of their urban area and will apparently be back in the future to consult with them. Why you must listen to the show, and the reason Mr. Speck took time out of his busy schedule, is that while considering whether or not to do the show, he looked at Lake Worth through the eyes of Google Maps. In doing so, he discovered that we have a pair of one-way streets through the downtown. It was then that he decided to be on the show. He had something he thought important to share with us.

I started out by wanting to talk about Dixie Hwy, my experience with PalmTran's route #1 yesterday and how we can make Dixie Hwy a more walkable, enjoyable experience. He acknowledged that was a challenge, but then quickly focused on the fact that we have a pair of one-way roads in our downtown. He strongly suggested that is likely making our downtown easier to drive through than to walk in or less likely to attract people. And he cited many real-world examples of why this might be the case. That is the reason to listen to this show (click title for link to the archived version).

I explained that this is counter to the conventional wisdom people have here: This one-way pair is one of the things that ISN'T broken in Lake Worth. I also mentioned how FDOT came through fifteen years ago and got rid of one of the three lanes in each direction and added parking on both sides. We also don't have bike lanes on either street. And I also told him about the issue with FDOT right-of-way and getting our sidewalk seating to comply with those requirements.

He was fairly adamant that turning those one-way streets back to two-way would encourage retail and pedestrian activity in our downtown. We talked about how Clematis was turned from a one-way to a two-way flow about 20 years ago and how that started that street's turn-around. Mr. Speck has worked with Raphael Clemente of the West Palm Beach Downtown Development Authority and is also a former High Noon in Lake Worth guest.

So, it is worth a listen to be sure. Should we add this to our list of improvements as part of the Lake Worth 2020 Plan? He made it seem like the switch might not break the bank. He also didn't have much good to say about FDOT, period. However, things may be improving there too.

Official: Plan to deepen inlet could worsen flooding threat

Nothing in the Shiny Sheet article, click title for link, talks about the impact of sea level rise, but the focus here is to prevent the widening and deepening of the channel leading to the Port of Palm Beach. The town of Palm Beach's public works director points out that during major storm events, the towns pumps are working overtime to get the extra water out, but can't do so during periods of persistent high tide. They point out that some older homes are only built to an elevation of 5 feet above sea level. An increase in the height of the seawall won't help. Interesting article that seems to skirt the real issue.



How strong is our seawall at the beach?

Army Corps: Even a category-1 storm could inundate A1A - The Palm Coast Observer

The northeast part of Florida is trying to save A1A from being overcome by the ocean, even in a small or weak hurricane event. That's a problem for many reasons since much of the road is also the only designated evacuation route. There are portions of A1A near St. Augustine that the state will not rebuild due to frequent inundation. 


How strong is our seawall at the beach again? Click title for link to article.

Those frequent storms, the Corps says, are one reason renourishment is important: Right now, storm surge from any direct hit by a hurricane, even a category 1 storm, could wash over State Road A1A. Sand acts as a buffer.
Right now, the road, the sole north-south hurricane evacuation for people living on much of the barrier island, is ailing, threatened by erosion.
Communities and the state have tried to push back the sea with revetments, sea walls and breakwaters, some of them funded by the Florida Department of Transportation, which spends about $1.5 million per year maintaining a shrinking 9,000-foot-long granite revetment between Seventh Street South and 23rd Street South in Flagler Beach, according to the Army Corps report.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Monday FILM NIGHT: Cuba (1979) starring Sean Connery

On Monday, March 3rd, at 6pm in the Rosenthal Lecture Room at the Preservation Foundation of Palm Beach’s offices, the drama Cuba will be shown.

The showing is FREE to all.  However, only reserved seating is available.  Those who wish to attend must call 561.832.0731, ext. 110 to reserve a seat.  Email responses are not accepted.

In the film mercenary Robert Drapes, played by Sean Connery, travels to Cuba at the request of the corrupt General Bello, played by Martin Balsam. Although cynical by nature, Drapes cannot help but be revolted by the brutality he witnesses. Drapes also meets up with old flame Alexandra Pulido, played by Brooke Adams, now married to a wealthy landowner. As their affair is rekindled, they find themselves caught up in the imminent, fiery revolution. Surrounded by volatile guerilla fighters and the human vultures present at all coups, Drapes must come to terms with his shifting views if he has any thought of getting out alive.

The Hollywood Reporter found it “thought-provoking, fast-moving and totally absorbing” while Roger Ebert called it “an intelligent thriller.”

The Foundation’s Executive Director Alexander C. Ives will present a short introduction, linking the film with the causes and work of the Preservation Foundation.
  
The showing will begin at 6pm.
  
Please note, doors lock at 6:15pm.

The film’s approximate runtime is 2 hours and 30 minutes.

Refreshments will be provided.
  
As with all events, the Preservation Foundation expects attendees to act respectfully.  We reserve the right to turn away anyone.

From the Town of Palm Beach comes this reminder...Lights Out For Sea Turtles

To protect endangered sea turtles which nest on local beaches and the hatchlings which come from those nests, the Town Council adopted an ordinance requiring all oceanfront property owners to ensure that their lights are not visible from the beach anytime from March 1st through October 31st. Artificial lighting confuses the sea turtle hatchlings causing them to veer off course from their intended destination, directly to the Atlantic Ocean. It is believed that the resulting disorientation of sea turtle hatchlings from artificial lighting sources is a major cause in the decline of sea turtle populations worldwide.
To comply with the “lights out” policy, oceanfront property owners are requested to shield or redirect any lights illuminating any area of the beach or water that may be used by nesting sea turtles, or simply turn off the lights during the period of March 1st through October 31st. Some limited use of low pressure sodium lights or red, orange or amber LED bulbs may not be a threat to turtles. Robert Walton, Lead Code Enforcement Officer, should be contacted at 227-7080 before allowing such lights to be illuminated.
The rule of thumb is “When in doubt, turn it out.” The cooperation and compliance of the public will be appreciated.
A notice reminding property owners of these requirements has been mailed to all oceanfront property owners in Town.

Volunteers and Meal Recipient Clients Sought As Meals on Wheels Expands into Lake Worth

Meals on Wheels of the Palm Beaches, a non-profit organization that has been serving homebound seniors in the West Palm Beach area for three years, is expanding to provide service to Lake Worth residents. 

“We’re pleased to be able to offer weekday delivery of hot nutritious meals to residents of the downtown Lake Worth area,” said Executive Director Charlie Ring. “Based on recent surveys, we know there are many people in these neighborhoods who are unable to provide meals for themselves and who may be homebound or living alone. At Meals on Wheels of the Palm Beaches, we provide daily visits by volunteers who may be the only people clients see that day.”

Currently serving about 15,000 meals annually, Meals on Wheels of the Palm Beaches plans to serve 20,000 meals a year by the end of 2014. 

“Our ability to expand is due in large part to the generosity of the community, which has supported us both financially and with volunteers,” Ring said. “We currently have close to 80 volunteers but as we continue to expand, we will need at least another 25 volunteers helping us to serve the Lake Worth area.”

Volunteers are needed to deliver meals as well as to help in meal preparation, which takes place at Good Samaritan Medical Center in West Palm Beach. Drivers deliver meals beginning at 11 a.m. Monday through Friday, and usually volunteer on a weekly basis. Meals on Wheels also has an Adopt-a-Route program for businesses and service clubs seeking ways to support their community.

“Our trained volunteers are the wheels behind our meals,” said Debbie Emerick, volunteer manager for Meals on Wheels of the Palm Beaches. “They provide our meal recipients with compassion and caring while offering their families peace of mind in knowing that someone is looking in on them every day.” 

To find out more about receiving Meals on Wheels or about becoming a Meals on Wheels volunteer, visit www.mealsonwheelspalmbeaches.org <http://www.mealsonwheelspalmbeaches.com> or call 561-802-6979.

About Meals on Wheels of the Palm Beaches
Meals on Wheels of the Palm Beaches is a non-profit organization dedicated to nourishing and enriching the lives of the homebound in the West Palm Beach and Palm Beach areas. An affiliate of the Meals on Wheels Association of America, the organization provides nutritious mid-day meals to those who are unable prepare their own.  A community-based organization, Meals on Wheels of the Palm Beaches relies on local residents for both financial support and for volunteers, and operates without government funding.

Cottages make an appearance in Street Painting Festival | Lake Worth every minute

AnnaMaria Windisch-Hunt spotlights the Cottages of Lake Worth entry in this year's Street Painting Festival in her special way. She also points out what it is like to be part of the festival as an artist. Lots of great pictures, always, in this local gem of a blog.

Point of View: Smart meters key to FPL modernization

FPL's response to those that believe smart meters affect health and are an invasion of privacy. FPL allows people to "opt out" of installation of the meters by paying a one time fee and a recurring charge on their bill. This article, click title for link, appears on the editorial page of the Palm Beach Post.
The 4.6 million smart meters and other cutting-edge technologies that FPL has installed are crucial to its modernization program, which provides customers with several key benefits:
Reliable service. FPL can predict and prevent many outages.
Faster restoration. FPL can detect outages faster and restore service more quickly.
More customer control. Customers have unprecedented control over their energy use and costs. Many customers use FPL’s online “energy dashboard” to save on their electric bills.

Boynton Beach changes zoning on old high school building

Boynton Beach seems to be having similar problems that we had with the redevelopment of the beach. Their problem revolves around the former, closed Boynton Beach High School. Many times people have rallied to save the building, most recently proposing it be used as an entertainment venue. Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council, who also has assisted Lake Worth many times on the beach, the Park of Commerce and, most recently a transit-oriented development plan for the downtown area, is doing a study. Mayor Taylor wants the building down before the study gets underway so that saving the building is not an option. Click title for link.

Letter sent to Arizona Governor Jan Brewer from Wilton Manors Mayor

Click here for link to article and a copy of the letter.
The news of Arizona going all Alabama Circa 1963 is resonating nationwide, including in Wilton Manors, where Mayor Gary Resnick has written and sent a letter to Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer.
In the letter, Resnick asks Brewer to veto SB 1062 and encourages her to lead the way in sending a message that discrimination of any kind is wrong.
The bill, which has been slathered with the most 'Murica name ever, "The Religious Freedom Bill," would straight up give business owners the right to refuse service to gays and lesbians.
The good news here is that Governor Brewer did veto the legislation. But there are other similar efforts bubbling up in other states.

Ocean City testing TrapBags on southend beach | News

These devices are used for dune stabilization and protection of beach dune areas during storm events. They may serve to protect beaches once renourished. Think of them as very large sand bags. Click title for link.
Sentinel Barriers manufactures the TrapBag barrier system. Based in Fort Myers, Fla., Frank Donato, the city’s emergency management director, said the company contacted city officials about a month ago.
“The company was looking for some areas on the East Coast to install some demonstration projects,” Donato said. “They had been in our area, meeting with the Atlantic County engineer. They contacted us and asked if we had a stretch of beach that might need protection.”

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Mayor Triolo's State of the City of Lake Worth Speech 2014

Johnny Cash

“You build on failure. You use it as a stepping stone. Close the door on the past. You don't try to forget the mistakes, but you don't dwell on it. You don't let it have any of your energy, or any of your time, or any of your space.”

Houston Astros, Washington Nationals look to Lake Worth for new potential spring training stadium - wptv.com

This was on Channel 5 last night. Must watch the video! Click title for link.

Atlanta, GA: Tractors Sabotaged for the ZAD, No Tav, Hambach Forest | anarchistnews dot org

Anarchists against mass transit? Yes. Click title for link to anarchistnews dot org. The real target of their ire?

On the night of February 22nd, we poured a mixture of sand and water into the fuel tanks of two tractors used in the construction of a new Atlanta streetcar. The streetcar is one of many major development projects the city has initiated in the past few years as a part of a general plan to revitalize downtown. We know that this plan only means more police and unaffordable housing.

Bringing the Heat: ANGA CEO Talks Extreme Weather, Stable Natural Gas - America's Natural Gas Alliance

Marty Durbin, CEO of America's Natural Gas Alliance talks about how supply of natural gas is not a problem, but getting more pipelines and infrastructure where natural gas is. And the industry is addressing that.


Homes selling fast in Jupiter, Gardens | www.mypalmbeachpost.com

Residential property values have rebounded in the northern part of Palm Beach County, with the building of new units underway to meet demand. What is encouraging is that areas where values took the largest hit seem to be rebounding the fastest. And there are three large, newly approved or planned projects in the works. Click title for link to the lengthy article.
“Today, a salesperson can’t tell a buyer if the lot they want will be available next week,” McDade [Jim McDade, Florida east coast division president for Toll Brothers] said. “Homes are selling that fast.”
From modest communities of 1970’s-era ranch homes to the exclusive Frenchman’s Harbor where multi-million-dollar mansions have their own deep-water docks, home values and sales in northern Palm Beach County rocketed through 2013 and are expected to climb another 8 percent in some areas this year.
Countywide, values are expected to gain 5.8 percent in 2014.

Andel drops out of GOP primary race for Murphy congressional seat | www.mypalmbeachpost.com

Allen West's best bet for a challenger to Congressman Patrick Murphy's seat backs out of the primary race. Click title for link. From the article:
While West [Allen West, Tea Party, lost to Representative Patrick Murphy last year] was a prolific money-raiser in his campaigns, his endorsement didn’t boost Andel’s fundraising. She collected only $45,532 through Dec. 31 and began 2014 with $5,537 in her campaign account.
Murphy [Rep. Patrick Murphy, D-Jupiter] has raised $2.1 million and began the year with nearly $1.8 million cash on hand.

The Ebullient and Enthusiastic Crowd Mixing and Mingling after the Mayor's 2014 State of the City Address

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Video Coming Tomorrow: Mayor Pam Triolo's State of the City Talk











Check this out: Patrick Moore


"Patrick Moore is one of the early members of Greenpeace. He left in the 1980s after he felt the organization had lost its way. In the last few years, he has come out in favor of GMOs and changed his stance on such issues as nuclear power.
As proof the environmental movement is more like a cult rather than an unemotional, rational thinking movement, his former ideological comrades and their fellow travelers take every opportunity to try and discredit him and his reformed views. He left the fold and started thinking independently, which is heresy to the cult." - The Progressive Contrarian

Gulf Stream millionaire sues Delray Beach for removing his...

Unlike West Palm Beach and Lake Worth, other Palm Beach County municipalities are going forward with election contests this March. And along with elections come campaigns and certain levels of shenanigans. Here there is a candidate in Gulf Stream, who has quite a history and has some deep pockets, who is placing his political signs in Delray Beach for visibility. Delray Beach workers, in turn, are removing them saying that the only signs that can be put up in the city are for Delray Beach candidates. Click title for link to article. Here is a little bit about the Gulfstream candidate.
O’Boyle, who moved to Gulf Stream from New Jersey where he made millions in real estate development, became known as “Banner Man” when he hired a plane to fly over the Palm Beach County Courthouse trailing signs blasting then-State Attorney Michael McAuliffe. He was angry McAuliffe prosecuted his daughter for drunk driving. He assisted - and then hindered - Dave Aronberg in his successful campaign to became state attorney. He also got into a very public battle with Gulf Stream by painting cartoons on his house, mocking city officials. He has buried Aronberg’s office and other local governments with public records requests.

Mayor Pam Triolo's State of the City Address - Tonight, 6 p.m., Casino Ballroom

Note that PARKING WILL BE FREE AT THE BEACH and the event itself is FREE too! This comes from the Mayor's FaceBook page and was posted yesterday. Also, several department heads will be there to present data and answer questions.

90-degree highs pop up around South Florida peninsula

Interesting weather observations by John Nelander on a warmer than usual February. Click title for link.
The calendar says late February, but summer-like conditions began popping up around the southern peninsula over the weekend. Not only did we get a few late-afternoon showers as daytime heating collided with a cooler sea breeze, but 90-degree temperatures spread into the interior. 

Blue Jays no longer looking in Palm Beach County; Astros... | www.mypalmbeachpost.com

Vice Mayor Scott Maxwell, baseball bat in hand, is going to bat for the Nationals and Astros to land in John Prince Park with a spring training facility. He points out that it is county land, which ultimately would have to be on board with such a plan. However, it would be in Lake Worth's utility service area. Palm Beach State College, already an electric customer, may be a partner to the plan as well. Click title for link. 
“We don’t want to create any false expectations. We’re only in the exploratory stages,’’ said City Commissioner Scott Maxwell. “Pardon the baseball pun, but we’re just trying to figure out who’s on first and what’s on second.’’
Still, city officials say they are cautiously optimistic about the prospect of the Houston Astros and Washington Nationals sharing a spring training complex on 80-some acres in the 728-acre park just south of Lake Worth Road and west of Lake Osborne.
It is noteworthy that the story on the possible spring training facility appeared on the front page of the Palm Beach Post's print edition today, slightly above the fold. The story about the EarthFirst! protesters at FPL's Juno Beach headquarters had a picture of them on page B1, with the story on B6.

L. A.'s attempt to suppress attendance at the Street Painting Festival - Not Effective




Monday, February 24, 2014

Our local EF! peeps participate in protest...


Five arrested in Juno Beach protesting FPL’s plans to generate...

I guess they got all juiced up from their Fisheating Creek outing in Palm Dale, Florida. The EarthFirst! Organizers' Conference and Rendezvous just happened to end today, so why not do an action! Apparently, many left carpooling from Lake Worth. Not all people at the event supported the protesters. Click title for link. Bail money anyone?
Paul Foglia, 48, a visitor from Denali National Park in Alaska, argued with several of those toting signs reading “Defend the Panther.”
“The world needs electric power. Yes, we need to look at alternatives. But protesting like this is no way to gain credibility,” said Foglia, nodding toward the five protesters sitting on the ground. 

Proverbs 16:18 - KJV

"Pride goes before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall."

Rain doesn’t wash away fun at Lake Worth Steet Painting Festival | www.mypalmbeachpost.com

Great write-up on the Street Painting Festival by the Palm Beach Post. Make sure to check out the video too. They make a lot about the potential rain hazard, but it seemed to be short-lived and had little effect on the artists. Kudos to all involved.

One big plus was the Tri-Rail connection to the downtown area. I heard that every trolley was full! Great way to promote mass transit. More evidence that Lake Worth has turned a corner, in a good way. Click title for link.

Mini-parks would fill downtown West Palm Beach parking spaces

This is a neat idea that West Palm Beach is trying. However, due to FDOT owning the rights-of-way for Lake Avenue, Lucerne Avenue and Dixie Hwy., implementation in Lake Worth would be difficult. Click title for link to article by Eliot Kleinberg in the Palm Beach Post.

National Historical Register by Florida County – Where does your county rank? | The Florida Squeeze

Click title for link to an interesting map showing the concentration of historic properties by Florida counties. Palm Beach County is represented as having 68 National Register listed properties. Three of these are in Lake Worth: The Gulfstream Hotel, the City Hall Annex and the Osborne School. The map is somewhat misleading if you consider that Palm Beach County is the largest county geographically east of the Mississippi and, therefore, the largest in Florida. This is due to the concentration measure used is per 100 square miles. Educational, none-the-less.

And lest we forget this...Note the stomping out of the room at the end of the video..."It's going to make my job easier."

Memories...


You know, with the swirl of events around our annual Lake Worth Street Painting Festival, it is easy to overlook some events of our not-too-recent past. Why it was just last year, right before the festival that a large banner was raised along the westside of our landmark Gulfstream Hotel. It was done by a group of ambitious Lake Worthians to underscore the charter height amendment question and the importance of voting "no" to save the future of the hotel. Those for the amendment decried the need for a special election and the expense that would cost, rather than have it at our former, usual November election time.

Well, things have a way of working themselves out, don't they? Most of the people behind the charter amendment decided not to run any candidates against three incumbent commissioners. Thus, there will be no election this year. These were by-and-large the same people that chastised the Commission for not changing the height regulations to reflect the results of the election. The Commission did not make the change since it would have violated a new state law that made such elections "null and void." So, in the big picture of things, we broke even on the cost of an election and, in a way, it is indeed as if it never happened.

Here are some Palm Beach Post articles from last year that help us memorialize the event. Click here and here.

Here are some pictures from the roof of the Gulfstream Hotel that has been there since 1925.


And it just so happens that we are starting to hear murmurings from many quarters about a possible buyer for the property and that their intent is to return it to a hotel operation. Nothing official yet, but stay tuned!

In the meantime, let's keep having those high hopes!