Saturday, December 20, 2014

"Un-American"? Not a term to lightly throw around, Commissioner McVoy

According to Commissioner McVoy, it is "un-American" to leave a meeting and choose NOT TO LISTEN to someone at the podium in a city meeting. Everyone will be very interested to discover that leaving a meeting and NOT LISTENING to someone is not new in Lake Worth. Look what I discovered here:
What I discovered is from the minutes of the Lake Worth City Commission meeting on October 4, 2011. By McVoy's standards something very un-American occurred at this meeting.
So, you see, what Mayor Pam Triolo, Vice Mayor Maxwell, and Commissioners Szerdi and Amoroso did last December 2nd during Preston Smith's atheist 'invocation' actually has precedent. 

Former commissioner Suzanne Mulvehill left the meeting on October 4, 2011, to NOT LISTEN to Suzanne Squire (7:32 to 7:35). And then former mayor Rachel Waterman left the meeting to NOT LISTEN to Mary Lindsey (7:35 to 7:37).

Will McVoy offer up an apology to Mayor Pam Triolo and the others. Of course not. 

Watch this video from Charlie Keegan at Channel 5 (WPTV) and fast-forward to the 1:15 mark where he calls his colleagues on the Lake Worth dais "un-American".

From a dark period in our nation's history: Hearings of House Un-American Activities Committee:

The Orchid City Brass Band at last night's Evening on the Avenues


Money pours into Scripps for groundbreaking research

More good news for Scripps Florida from Carolyn Susman at the Shiny Sheet (Palm Beach Daily News): 
The Esther B. O'Keeffe Charitable Foundation has become the largest local philanthropic donor to Scripps Florida, Scripps officials said.

The foundation has given more than $3 million in gifts and pledges to advance research that the Scripps Research Institute is doing on brain disorders from autism to Alzheimer’s to bipolar disease and other conditions, said Irv Geffen, director of Major Gifts & Planned Giving at Scripps.
[and later in article...]
“These disorders have an enormous impact on our economy and, of course, on any individual who suffers, as well as the family structure,” said Dr. Ron Davis, founding chairman of Scripps Florida’s Department of Neuroscience. “I am often asked when we will have a cure, or effective preventatives or therapies for Alzheimer’s disease, or other major brain disorders. We are not yet there, but what I am absolutely certain of is that we will never get there without research.”

The Lake Worth Project—Final month— Jan 2015 A Better Life for our Community Cats


The Latest Editorial in the Lake Worth Herald (12/18/14)

On Tuesday, December 2nd, atheist Preston Smith delivered his "invocation" before the Lake Worth City Commission. You can read about that and research done on invocations (or the lack of ) in other municipalities in Palm Beach County. For instance, Greenacres does not have an invocation while others do.

Just when you thought the 'invocation' kerfuffle was settling down this week's (12/18/2014) Lake Worth Herald editorial came out swinging and pulling no punches. Good for them. I strongly encourage all my readers to read this editorial. If you don't get the Lake Worth Herald delivered you can subscribe at LWHerald.com or pick up a copy at a newsstand (for instance, the newsstand immediately west of our downtown Starbucks).

Here are three excerpts from the Lake Worth Herald editorial:
     Being elected to any political office does not eliminate one's right to free speech. Neither does it preclude one's right to listen. Everybody is on a level playing field with those rights. 
     Choosing to not listen to someone exercising their right to free speech, for any reason, is not "un-American" as Commissioner Christopher McVoy would say. This was once again McVoy speaking just to promote "his" agenda and take "cheap shots" at his colleagues on the dais.
     McVoy never called his friend, former commissioner Suzanne Mulvehill un-American when she left the room every time Lake Worth resident, Suzanne Squire's turn to speak came around. This was just another example of McVoy's tactics to be a roadblock to progress in Lake Worth. It was completely disrespectful for him to call his colleagues actions "un-American."
     The Mayor and Commissioners who left the dais when Preston Smith stood to give an "invocation" from an atheist's view, did so with a right to listen or not, for ANY reason.
[later in the editorial...]
     Lake Worth has suffered enough of McVoy's diversionary tactics and it is time for him to depart his position on the dais. He has brought nothing constructive to the table since he was first elected, and has only served to interfere with the progress Lake Worth needs to make in order to remain a viable institution. The likes of McVoy and company only lead to the degradation of the quality of life in Lake Worth.
[and...]
     How many more times do we need to hear him [McVoy] talk about "sea level rise" for ten minutes when the discussion is whether to approve a "proximity waiver" or any other topic before the commission. 
Also in the editorial there are questions as to why Preston Smith did his 'invocation' in Lake Worth as opposed to another municipality and speculation as to who may have offered that invitation. I also have my suspicions. 

Lastly, the folks at the Lake Worth Herald offer this to the City of Lake Worth:

SEASONS GREETINGS!

Friday, December 19, 2014

Beware of local political campaigns. Some can be loose with the truth.


From the Tom McGow archives.

Town of Palm Beach Offices Closed on December 24th, December 25th, December 31st and January 1st

From an email from the Town of Palm Beach:

In observance of the Christmas and New Year holidays, all Town offices and the Recreation Center will be closed on December 24th, December 25th, December 31st and January 1st. 
Certain Town recreational facilities will be open per the hours below and the beaches will have lifeguards on duty from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.

December 24th and December 25th:
The Par 3 Golf Course will be open from 7:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. (closes at 12:00 p.m. on December 25th)
Phipps Tennis Center will be open from 8:00 a.m. until 12:30 p.m.
Seaview Tennis Center will be open from 8:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m.
Town Docks will be open from 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. (Closed on December 25th).

December 31st and January 1st:
The Par 3 Golf Course will be open from 7:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.
Phipps Tennis Center will be open from 8:00 a.m. until 12:30 p.m.
Seaview Tennis Center will be open from 8:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m.
Town Docks will be open from 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.

"All units, attention all units, be on the look-out for a lady who is a suspect in Santa's kidnapping..."

A woman in Boca Raton stole somebody's inflatable Santa and Santa's 7 reindeer too. The Boca PD needs your help finding what lawn Santa and his reindeer came from. Read the entire story here from Kate Jacobson at the Sun Sentinel. 
Boca Raton police said they caught Crystal Tessa stealing Santa Claus.

Police in Boca Raton saw a blue Ford Focus driving through a neighborhood early Wednesday with cords and a tent stake hanging out of the trunk. The driver, Tessa, 37, made a traffic violation and officers pulled her over, according to a post on the Boca PD Facebook page.
That's good news. I hear that Blitzen and Dancer both have chronic medical conditions, one is diabetic and the other has early signs of dementia. We can rest easy now that the culprit has been apprehended. Santa is resting comfortable in a hyperbaric chamber. Re-inflation pressures have been restored.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Coming to a door near you? "It makes our job easier" from 2012


The issues have moved on. Some haven't.

From the Town of Palm Beach - Midtown Beach has reopened

Midtown Beach has reopened. Per Assistant Manager Tom Bradford, the water samples taken yesterday were found to be of satisfactory quality, therefore, the beach has opened back up.

Don't forget the Evening on the Avenues tomorrow night...

Don't forget the Evening on the Avenues tomorrow, Friday at 6:00. It is a wonderful opportunity to meet all the peeps as they drop by the NAPC and find out more about our/your City.


City of Boca Raton routinely uses Twitter...


Greenpeace, EarthFirst!, and controlling the message

Greenpeace really stepped into the public relations nightmare with this stunt. This is on top of their other recent PR dilemma when one of their executive directors was found to be flying 250 miles to work. Not exactly the kind of carbon footprint a high level exec at Greenpeace wants to claim for himself.

Now we have this, an absolute mess for Greenpeace, the title of the news article says it all: 

Greenpeace May Have Permanently Damaged An Ancient, Sacred Site. Now What? 

Here is an excerpt from the article in ClimateProgress:
This [damaging a Peruvian cultural site] is the dispute that has preoccupied climate and environmental advocates since it was discovered last week that Greenpeace had trespassed on to the world-renowned Nazca Lines to lay a bright yellow banner urging a switch to renewable energy. The combination of banner-plus-Peruvian World Heritage site was meant to draw attention to the U.N. climate talks being held in nearby Lima. But the stunt backfired, and Peruvian officials say the activists’ footprints permanently damaged the area surrounding the ancient hummingbird geoglyph.

Along with riling the Peruvian government (which has pledged to file criminal charges against the offending activists) and damaging the site, the situation has drawn a rift between environmentalists.
Certainly, what our EarthFirst!ers did on November 7th wasn't nearly as bad as Greenpeace, but it still was a PR disaster for EF!. Here is the story about the "battery in the lake". There are about a thousand ways to disable a vehicle. Why they chose to remove the battery and throw the battery into the lake is anyone's guess. The Palm Beach Post actually posted a picture of this, courtesy of the Palm Beach Gardens police department. Oooops. 

This is all about controlling the message. It will take a very long time for Greenpeace to recover from this ill-advised stunt done on an international stage.

Peek-a-boo, I see you...


From AnnaMaria's blog...12/18

Click here for a great story about a new Habitat for Humanity/CRA house dedication here in Lake Worth, this one in Royal Poinciana. There have been 41 such houses built in Lake Worth and 184 in the county.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Lynn on the need to fill our prisons with college students...


Library Raffle Winners Collect Prizes!

Everything was Frozen at the City’s Tree Lighting event on Friday evening, December 12.  Andy Amoroso, Lake Worth City Commissioner, and Cindy Ansell, Children’s Librarian at Lake Worth Library, teamed up to help the children make their own Olaf the snowman or Sven the reindeer to take home.

While the children put on stickers and pasted antlers, parents entered their names in the raffle to win baskets full of special treats. The winners were: Karina Cortez, age 5, and Juan Sanchez (in photo), age 10, who live in Lake Worth.  Both winners have siblings who were as excited as the winners were when they picked up the baskets at the Library. 

Shooting in suburban Lake Worth

Sadly, a man was shot early this morning, and we all wish for his quick and speedy recovery.

Somebody at Channel 5 (WPTV) did their research and discovered that Crest Drive is just a stone's throw from Lake Worth, however not in the city limits of the City of Lake Worth. Thank you folks at Channel 5. Crest Drive is located in suburban Lake Worth, of course. 
Channel 12 (WPEC) and Channel 25 (WPBF) haven't reported on the incident yet.

More about panhandling

From the Sun Sentinel, a story about panhandling from road medians. County lawyers are drafting a proposed law now. From the article by Andy Reid:
In a new bid to curb roadside panhandling, Palm Beach County may evict everyone collecting money from road medians.

County commissioners through the years have shied away from outlawing panhandling at busy intersections because of concerns that they would also have to oust community fundraisers or risk a court challenge.

But on Tuesday, the commission agreed to consider a new proposal to keep everyone – from those holding a "Will work for food sign" to firefighters asking drivers to fill a boot with money for charity – from collecting money from just the medians of county roads.

That would still allow people to ask for money while standing on sidewalks or elsewhere at intersections.

Fane Lozman's case went to the jury; result returned quickly

Jane Musgrave of the Post has this story about Fane Lozman's lawsuit against the city of Riviera Beach. Yesterday, Jane Musgrave wrote this about the Lozman trial, just as it was going to the jury. From the article:
Since 2006, Lozman attended 121 council meetings and spoke 296 times, Bedard [attorney Ben Bedard] told jurors. “Does that sound like someone whose First Amendment rights are being impeded?” he asked.

The trial is unusual for many reasons. For starters, Lozman, a former Marine who made millions by inventing a financial tracking software program, is representing himself. Further, it isn’t often someone sues a city for First Amendment violations much less is afforded a month-long trial.

To illustrate the complex issues swirling around the case, it took U.S. District Judge Daniel Hurley nearly three hours to explain the legal aspects of the case to the jury of six men and two women — a process that usually takes about 45 minutes. After the lengthy jury instructions consumed most of the afternoon, jurors elected to return today [12/16] to begin deliberations.
The lawsuit by Mr. Lozman is about the First Amendment and free speech in a city government setting. For those of you unfamiliar with city commission meetings there are two types of public comment. The first is near the beginning of the meeting where the public gets to comment on anything not on the meetings agenda that day. And then there is comment opportunity after each item on the agenda. In Lake Worth for instance, when you enter the commission chambers you'll find these blue cards: 

In the excerpt above Jane Musgrave wrote that Mr. Lozman "attended 121 council meetings and spoke 296 times."

I have been to a Riviera Beach City Commission meeting representing a client on a zoning matter many years ago, but have never witnessed Mr. Lozman commenting at their meetings. I have however had Mr. Lozman as a guest on my podcast High Noon in Lake Worth. During our talk, Mr. Lozman came across as reasonable and highly intelligent, although some in Riviera Beach would disagree with my assessment. 

The reason I note the unusually high number of public comments by Mr. Lozman is that we had our own issue with "free speech" here in Lake Worth. In Lake Worth we have our own gregarious gadfly, Mr. Timm. I don't have a count of Mr. Timm's public comments at Lake Worth city commission meetings but suspect Mr. Timm may have Mr. Lozman beat in the public comment count. He offers some observations that are worthwhile, others maybe not as much, but he still has the right to his two minutes on any agenda item on which he wishes to speak.

There are some in Lake Worth who believe Mr. Timm's First Amendment rights were violated. Watch Mr. Timm here and I'll explain why this is not the case at all.
After watching the video please refer back to the comment card above with the rules for public comment. One such rule is this: "The result of inappropriate outbursts or interruptions will be immediate removal from the meeting escorted by a Police Officer."

Mr. Timm was commenting on an agenda item. Mayor Pam Triolo explicitly explained that only comments about the voting experience that day, August 26th, would be permitted. The result of the vote was not the agenda. The mayor made that very clear at the outset of the agenda item.

My point here is this, the First Amendment and the right of Free Speech is not all-encompassing. There are guidelines on free speech. From Jane Musgrave's article she quotes the Riviera Beach attorney Ben Bedard:
“He [Fane Lozman] wants to fight. He wants to debate. He wants to create a disturbance,” Bedard said, offering commentary to a video that showed one heated exchange between Lozman and council members. “It’s his conduct that’s causing the issue, not the viewpoint he’s expressing.”

Lucente, Specal Planning and Zoning Board meeting tonight

Tonight at 6:00 the Planning & Zoning board is having a Special Meeting. The meeting is held at city hall (7 North Dixie Highway); you can go in person if you want or watch the meeting online. One of the items under discussion is the plan for that large empty lot southeast of our downtown Publix. On the link above, starting on page 11, is the proposal to build 23 townhomes called the Lucenté. Here from the city's pdf is an image of the proposed buildings:
Great location. The Great Recession seems to be over and we are starting to see voids filled and our property tax value increase.

Town of Palm Beach Advisory

Midtown Beach is closed today due to high levels of bacteria.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Holiday Parade Award Recipients...

CONGRATULATIONS!!!! The Holiday Parade Award Winners have been Announced -- Just in from Juan Ruiz, Leisure Services Director for the City of Lake Worth:

"Just wanted to say 'Thank YOU' to all of the participants in this year’s parade, it was the biggest and best parade in the 49 year history! I’ve gotten nothing but positive feedback and everyone’s looking forward to next year’s 50th Anniversary parade. Next year will be bigger and better as we further develop the program."

"Attached are the results for the different categories as judged by the parade judges. The trophies can be picked up at the Osborne Community Center at 1699 Wingfield Street just south of 12th Avenue S. Monday- Friday 9:00am-5:00pm. Questions regarding the pick-up please contact Nicola Bohannon at 533-7363."

1st Place Adult Float ~ Tuppens Marine
2nd Place Adult Float~ Able Plumbing


1st Place Youth Float ~ Academy for Positive Learning
2nd Place Youth Float ~ For The Children, Inc.


1st Place Decorated Vehicle ~ Adam Raizin
2nd Place Decorated Vehicle ~ Dave's Last Resort


1st Place High School Band ~ Cardinal Newman
2nd Place High School Band ~ John I. Leonard 


1st Place Middle School Band ~ LC Swain
2nd Place Middle School Band ~ Roosevelt


1st Place Performing Group ~ Wellington High Majorettes
2nd Place Performing Group ~ Civil Air Patrol 


Best in Parade Overall ~ Cardinal Newman Marching Band

Mango Groves NA December Meeting update

Hello All-

Mango Groves will not be having a regular meeting this month, but will instead be manning the Beer Tent at Evening on the Avenue, on Friday, Dec 19th from 5-10p, the last for 2014! If you would like to stop by, please do so. If you are able to help out for a bit, we would appreciate the extra effort! Happy Holidays to all!

Please note we are still accepting nominations for elections in January for Executive Officers and Board Members. If you would like to nominate anyone, or yourself, please contact us!

Regards,
Mango Groves Neighborhood Association

Interesting. The economics of the West Palm Beach/Palm Beach County land deal for baseball stadium

Flagler County building cottages for "eco-tourism" in 1,200 acre preserve

Flagler County just approved building cottages to promote "eco-tourism". There are some that will think it ironic building structures in a pristine preserve to increase tourism. From FlagerLive, here is an excerpt from the article:
Nine months after granting approval for the concept, the Flagler County Commission on Monday gave its administration the go-ahead to start building three air-conditioned tourism cottages at the Princess Place Preserve, along Pellicer Creek, as the first step in a plan to build several more and foster a new kind of eco-tourism in one of the state’s most pristine areas. A 1988 voter referendum adding a surtax to buy environmentally sensitive land enabled the county to buy and preserve the 1,600-acre Princess Place preserve in perpetuity.

Some commissioners were concerned about the cottages’ footprint, location and effect on their surroundings.  Some of those details were not available Monday. But County Administrator Craig Coffey, who is driving the project, said the cottages’ impact will be limited.

This happened yesterday. Pedestrian hit, killed by train in Lake Worth

Click title for link to WPTV story. Unfortunately, this is not the first time for this sort of accident. We are still short on details.

The Post Editorial on the Briger Tract and EarthFirst!

Trust me, dear readers, you wouldn't want to be Panagioti Tsolkas, Cara Jennings, or frankly anyone in EarthFirst! (EF) this week. Or for the foreseeable future for that matter. Remember there was a time when Randy Schultz ran the editorial board at the Palm Beach Post and Willy Howard was the staff writer for Lake Worth. Back then, the peeps at EF could usually count on the Post for support. Times were good most of the time. Here is a piece on Ms. Jennings from that period. Interestingly, it refers to her not reciting the Pledge of Allegiance, something that she was known for. In light of the recent invocation kerfuffle, it helps put things in perspective.

However that was then and this is now. EF as you may know has protested several times the development of the Briger Tract in Palm Beach Gardens. The Briger Tract, with its (possible) green indigo snakes and tortoises is and always was the distraction from the actual story: EF's effort to rid much of Scripps and the biotech industry from here in south Florida. The Post editorial board came out strongly in yesterday's paper and detailed the entire story about Scripps and Briger succinctly. I strongly encourage all my readers to read the editorial. Here are two short excerpts:

There are gopher tortoises, which can be relocated, and possibly — based on the excitement of snake-sniffing dogs sent by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service — endangered Eastern indigo snakes.

Hearing the pleas of the Earth First! protesters, it’s easy to forget that building on Briger was deemed among the most environmentally friendly of options for the biotech city intended to be anchored by The Scripps Research Institute.
[and...]
These [plans by Scripps, the Kolter Group, Florida Crystals, et al.] are all positive developments for a piece of land that’s bisected by a highway and surrounded by malls and homes. It’s much more positive than building a sprawling development 10 miles from everything else in the county, a development that encroaches on the northern edge of the Everglades.

Though it’s easy to forget, it’s ultimately the compromise plan for Briger that has managed to put the Earth — and people — first.

The gem you'll get in the printed edition of the paper as opposed to the online editorial is a lovely picture of EF's Lynne Purvis, Lake Worth resident and part of the tribe.

Also in the editorial, the online edition, is a link to the Post's Tony Doris story about the plans for the Briger Tract


What's lost on some, and what EF hopes to capitalize on by causing confusion, is the Briger/Scripps story is not new by any means. The Briger/Scripps story is old news, more than 10 years old now. EF is engaged in a form of social media 'monkeywrenching' (misinformation and disinformation) going so far as to accuse the Palm Beach Gardens police of abuses which never happened. In ratcheting up the hysteria and hyperbole EF hopes to gain support and, of course, dollars. 

The Post's online edition has a link to the EF site, the EarthFirst! Journal. If you would like to help out EF you can do so by bidding on an item(s) in their auction! The auction ends today so act fast. I'm considering a bid on two items myself. Perfect timing for your holiday giving and consuming.

Ultimately, what the Post editorial addresses is this key question: The Palm Beach County population and business community is growing and where do we want these people to be? West of the Turnpike or east of the Turnpike? That is the question. 

For Panagiotti Tsolkas and EF they will not come to the table. For them the goal is simple: to get Scripps out of Florida. Period. In their writings of late they have taken on an angry tone and are not accepting defeat. What exactly does that mean for the future? Only they know that and I am not expecting a news conference by EF any time soon detailing their plans. Will EF employ a diversity of tactics? Expect more from this group in the coming year.

Walkable West Palm Beach Blog - Thanks for the mention!

One of my bi-weekly, thrice-weekly blogs to read is Walkable West Palm Beach (WWPB).  It's fun to go through their archives. Recently, I read this gem on WWPB about Donald Shoup, the author of “The High Cost of Free Parking”. You see folks, your free parking in downtown Lake Worth comes at a very high price. Free is not free. Just because you're not paying to park doesn't mean somebody else isn't picking up the tab. Here is the video I did last year when Dr. Shoup was in Delray Beach.

If you're like me and know who Jeff Speck is, desire a walkable/bikeable city, and think FDOT's 12' wide car lanes are a crime against humanity than I would strongly suggest you go to the WWPB blog. Here's the series of videos which I took last May when Mr. Speck gave his initial report to the West Palm Beach City Commission.
Just the other day when I visited WWPB, its author Jesse Bailey, was promoting my podcast from last December with Joe Minicozzi. Some of you old-timers in West Palm Beach will remember Mr. Minicozzi. 

Mr. Bailey did an excellent job of highlighting the topics Mr. Minicozzi and yours truly discussed:
  • How the Convention Center could have been better designed to show respect for the adjacent Grandview Heights neighborhood
  • Imagine getting off the plane at PBI and taking a ferry directly from PBI Airport to the convention center and downtown. It could have happened, if not for the county crushing the plan
  • The economic harm of arbitrarily giving away development rights, and the need for a consistent, non-political framework to guide development decisions
  • Chapel by the Lake site
  • Why the focus on density and height is misplaced. It’s about design.
  • How our downtown areas and urban places are our true economic engines, bringing in a tax yield that is orders of magnitude higher than suburban sprawl or big box development
Our Lake Worth downtown and our Lake Worth Park of Commerce are indeed "economic engines". 

Soon I hope to have Mr. Bailey as a guest on my podcast, High Noon in Lake Worth. High on my list of topics to discuss with Mr. Bailey are "one-way pairs" like our Lake Worth Lake and Lucerne Avenues. 

I appreciate Mr. Bailey promoting my podcast with Mr. Minicozzi and hope our talk added positively to the debate.  Be sure to visit his blog. As usual, you will discover that our two cities have more in common than we know.

Monday, December 15, 2014

We are a republic, after all...

Image from the Tom McGow archives, used with permission. 

State Senator Clemens at Kiwanis - Tuesday, December 16

Florida State Senator Jeff Clemens will speak at the Kiwanis Club breakfast meeting on Tuesday, December 16 to give us a legislative update and discuss issues relevant to the future of our City. All are welcome. Too Jays. Downtown Lake Worth. 8AM. You can order coffee or breakfast off of the regular menu.

Former Congressman Mark Foley getting some good press...

“I think I’m a fortunate person. I think God blessed me abundantly in ways that I can never measure, and I’ve had a very fortunate life,” he said. “I’ve virtually bounced back from any challenge thrown my way — Layne’s passing, my dad’s death, loss of job. These all are things I would rather have not experienced but they are part of life’s journey, so I don’t look at it as lucky."
Quote by Mark Foley in this week's Florida Weekly. This story about Mark Foley is a very long read and encourage everyone to read it. It's nice to be reminded during the holiday season about the power of redemption and recovery after overcoming life's challenges.

New Bike Trail network in Lansing, Michigan

This is from where I was born and raised. The region worked together to link various trails along rivers and streams, through park land and other areas to provide a dedicated bike/pedestrian way. When I lived there and worked as a planner for the city of East Lansing, the prospect of this "River Trail" was just being talked about. Almost 30 years later, all the parts have come together in an integrated system. This video is a narrated trip through part of the trail.

It also represents a fairly professional video prepared by a local government given newly available technology.
Join Lansing's Parks Director, Brett Kaschinske and Chief Operating Officer, Chad Gamble on a little mid-day adventure as they explore the newly created South Lansing pathway extension. You will also hear various pathway and park updates from the likes of Officer Bob Merritt, Kevin Shaw and Brett Kaschinske himself.

Palm Beach County reconsiders $135 million baseball stadium deal

Seems that this project is stuck in the same rut that it was before. Now, West Palm Beach is saying "come all offers" on the piece of land they were ready to see for a development project. This is perplexing County officials. And, reading the article, another stake has been placed in the heart of John Prince Park being a suitable location. The search continues! They will be talking about this at Tuesday's County Commission meeting. Click title for link.
County Mayor Shelley Vana said she opposes trading land as proposed, but said she is willing to continue talks with the city to try to reach a deal.
"We put everything up [that] we are going to do," Vana said. "West Palm Beach keeps giving us moving targets."
In response to the revived proposal for a potential land swap with the county, city officials issued a statement saying they are continuing talks with competing developers and that the county is also welcome to submit a proposal.
"Our position that we will not give away taxpayer land for free to build a baseball facility remains unchanged," the city's statement said.

Town of Palm Beach - Traffic Advisory - Flagler Memorial Bridge

Flagler Memorial (North) Bridge
The eastbound lane will be closed on the Flagler Memorial Bridge Thursday, Dec. 18 through Tuesday morning, Dec. 23, from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m., for bridge foundation work on the southeast side of the bridge. Flaggers will guide eastbound and westbound traffic across the bridge alternately. Drivers should expect delays and seek alternate routes if possible.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Lynn and Dee: Bringing us together...


MSU students turn backs on George Will at commencement

Click title for link to a Detroit Free Press article. Are those that turned their backs during George Will's talk "un-American"? Would Commissioner McVoy think so? From the article:
As conservative columnist George Will spoke during today's graduation ceremony, 18 Michigan State University students — wearing green caps and gowns — stood with their backs to him.
Several in the crowd of thousands at MSU's Breslin Center also did the same. Others sat in their seats, holding up newspapers and pretending to read.
It was part of a protest surrounding inflammatory statements the Washington Post columnist and commentator has made discrediting the severity of college rape. Protest organizers said the university should have canceled his appearance because of those statements.

Voices of Pride Performance from World AIDS Day Observance at Compass


Excerpts from yesterday's reading of "How the Grinch Stole Christmas"


Channel 12, Kathleen Walter - Poor taste never ready for prime time

Yesterday was the Lake Worth Holiday parade. This parade, along with the Street Painting Festival, are one of Lake Worth's signature events. Jodie Wagner at the Palm Beach Post wrote an excellent story about the parade you can read here. Here is an excerpt:
More than 5,000 spectators are expected to line downtown streets Saturday for the city’s annual holiday parade.

Featuring floats, antique cars, marching bands, twirlers and other performance groups, the 48th annual event promises plenty of family friendly fun, said Juan Ruiz, the city’s leisure services director.

“It’s probably our biggest event that provides a community bonding opportunity for everyone to come out and celebrate the holidays,” he said. “Parades in Lake Worth are really popular. They love parades in our town.”
This last Friday night, Kathleen Walter from Channel 12 came to Lake Worth to do a news story, something altogether different than the story by Jodie Wagner. Keep in mind the following day was the Lake Worth Holiday parade, however Kathleen Walter was determined to do a story on the controversial "invocation" issue in the City of Lake Worth. Remember, the atheist invocation by Preston Smith was 12 days ago. Not exactly what you would call "breaking news". A citizen in Deerfield Beach now wants to do a 'satanic' invocation in Lake Worth. [Note: Not reported by Kathleen Walter, Deerfield Beach has an invocation at their city commission meetings. Reverend Fulmore from the Church of the Living God gave the last invocation.]

This satanic 'invocation' could be months away, if it ever happens at all. From a news perspective, again, this story could be broadcast any time. I spoke with someone yesterday in the downtown who relayed their interaction with Kathleen Walter and her/his pleas for Channel 12 to do a positive story about Lake Worth and the Holiday Parade, to no avail. 

Instead Kathleen Walter reported this story on Lake Worth, the night before the Lake Worth Holiday Parade. We understand that she was trolling for a negative point-of-view during the evening. As part of Kathleen Walter's story she included the tree lighting ceremony from Friday night as a backdrop and here is the screen grab:
If you are not offended, you should be. If you are a resident of Lake Worth (or for that matter, a resident of Palm Beach County) I would strongly suggest you not watch Channel 12 news or communicate with anyone at Channel 12. For residents outside the City of Lake Worth know this: if this kind of offensive reporting could happen to our city, it could happen to yours too. 

Finally, Kathleen Walter has an impressive résumé. She knows how to do news reporting. Why shouldn't the City of Lake Worth get the same professional treatment she would give any other story? The City of Lake Worth deserves better.

If you make it to downtown West Palm Beach...

From Eliot Kleinberg at the West Palm Beat blog we have this about "parklets" in downtown West Palm Beach. How about this idea for downtown Lake Worth?
“Parklets” are in place again in downtown West Palm Beach.

Starting Thursday morning, local artists transformed a parking space at Rocco’s Tacos, 224 Clematis St., into a “street balcony.” It will stay there for a month, then move to Le Rendez-vous on Datura street and then to Field of Greens back on Clematis Street.

The mini-parks started in 2005 and have become popular in cities across the country. One in Oakland held bicycle racks and tables and chairs along with a row of planters. One in Vancouver, B.C., was surrounded by a wire fence and held blocks that served as benches. A San Francisco version held dining tables and was framed by a wood fence.
Two urban planner/artists are part of the team responsible for this placement. They are Sherryl Murriente and Beju Legobart.