Saturday, February 7, 2015

Ella Baker

"Give light and people will find the way."

Ryan Maier, Lake Worth District 4 candidate, and his schtick at the door

From several sources, we learned of Ryan Maier's campaign schtick. He's taught by political professionals, you know. He knocks on the door and when someone answers he says this:
"Hi, I am Ryan Maier and I am running for commissioner. Do you know who this is?"
Maier then quickly produces a picture of Commissioner John Szerdi and says this:
"No surprise there. No one else has either. He is a do-nothing commissioner."
Then Maier goes on to promise the sun, the moon, and the stars. Consistent with what has gone on before. This is the same Ryan Maier that was kicked off the Sister City board for lack of attendance.

Opponents for District #4 Commission Seat

These videos were taken at the Genesis meeting on January 26th. I had posted them earlier as they happened, but here they are separated by candidate:

Ryan Maier

You should notice a few things about his remarks. He states that he has been an active member of the city while living in Lake Worth. We heard him at the podium during the August 6, 2013 Commission meeting. I remember seeing him at a few Commission meetings since he qualified as a candidate, but I don't remember him attending any before. He might have, but if so, I don't remember him adding to the discussion. At the 1:20 mark he presents an example of his involvement in the city as being member of the Sister City Board. He fails to mention that he was removed from that board due to lack of attendance and failing to complete the required ethics training for members of appointed boards. He re-applied to be on the same board, but failed to show up for the scheduled interview.

The thing that bothers me most about his talk is what he says at the 2:18 mark. After recognizing the passion of the residents of Lake Worth in the stewardship of the city, he declares "while we rarely agree." I challenge that observation. If you attended City Commission meetings, you would see that there is wide agreement on many items that come before the Commission. There are many 5-0 votes. There are points of disagreement, building height and infrastructure funding come to mind. However, do we want someone on the dais who thinks that our city has "sides" that "rarely agree." It doesn't sound like he would be a harmonious member of the Commission and would emphasize differences more than what we have in common.

It is also clear that his talking points are the same ones that we hear from the group that was once in control of the dais. At the 2:40 mark, he talks about the vote on building heights from March 2013. He refers to a "weak state statute" that overrides the vote that was taken. Click here for City Attorney Torcivia's explanation of how this state law makes that election "null and void," something that the proponents at the time knew was a possibility. At 3:16 in the video, he says the city "hired an attorney to fight you on your will." Truth be told, the city was defending itself, and its taxpayers, from a lawsuit filed by proponents of the height referendum. That lawsuit was later dropped by the plaintiffs. If it was such a "weak state statute", then why drop the lawsuit? Had the Commission changed the Charter to reflect the results of the election, they would be violating state law. Ultimately, such a change in the height regulations would have to be reflected in the city's Comprehensive Plan and Land Use Regulations. That is something that the people who filed the withdrawn lawsuit fail to understand. You do not regulate building height in the Charter. The vote would have led to a change in the Comprehensive Plan, which is illegal.

He mentions the failed bond plan and refers to it as a "bad" one, but fails to offer his own alternative. He only suggests that the plan should come from the "people." At the 4:08 mark, he talks about the lack of transparency as it relates to the plans for the Gulfstream Hotel. He asserts that it is a "public development, public information and public business." In reality, it is private property and a private business. Any changes proposed for the hotel will eventually be reviewed in full public view, when the plans are ready. Have you ever thought that the owners of the property themselves are still working out the details of what is possible and what they will be proposing?

He concludes by bemoaning the fact that there have been unopposed elections. Could it be due to people being happy with the direction the city is going in?

Craig Frost

I respect anyone that chooses to run for office. That is true of both these candidates. Mr. Frost and his family are long term residents of the city. He also owns a business in the city. I will refrain from any real critique of Mr. Frost's statements here as, clearly, it was his first time out and he showed that he was nervous. What talking points that did come through, particularly those concerning the sheriff, sounded like they were channeled from Mr. Dorsey himself. He happened to be in the audience that night.

What a wonderful dance night at the Lake Worth Casino Ballroom last evening

AnnaMaria was at the Lake Worth Casino Ballroom last night for the special Daddy/daughter and Mother/son Date Night and took a lot of pictures. Click title for link. This is what you call Community Journalism at its best. Thank you, AnnaMaria!

Crime in Lake Worth and the BIG LIE

Everyone knows how "the other blogger" (TOB) greatly inflates the crime issue here in our little City of Lake Worth.

This is how TOB attempts to manipulate her readers: along with actual crimes like assault and theft, TOB's latest rant includes these 'crimes' such as JUVENILE TROUBLE (3), SUSPICIOUS INCIDENT (3), and BEVERAGE VIOLATION (2). These are NOT CRIMES.

Then TOB does this:
Do you know where Lake Bass Circle is? Hint: it's not in the City of Lake Worth. Not even close. In TOB's zeal to highlight crime in Lake Worth, she fails to go through the list and identify which crimes actually occurred in our City.

Then TOB throws in crimes like a theft/larceny on High Ridge Road without specifying which side of the road. The north side is Lake Worth; the south side is unincorporated Palm Beach County. But it's Close Enough for TOB.

Now TOB has an ally in her attempt to smear our PBSO and Sheriff Ric Bradshaw to obfuscate the issue, Margaret Menge. Later next week I'll demonstrate how Margaret Menge manipulates her "Crime Blotter" to make it appear that the crime issue is worse than the reality.

Be very skeptical of people like TOB and Margaret Menge. They're trying to manipulate public perceptions of reality. Think of a Wannabe-FOX News, Lake Worth Bureau.

Beach Parking with a Debit Card

There are occasions that I do not ride my bike to the beach, but they are rare. When I do, like yesterday morning, I park in the lower lot, do the dance at the parking kiosk, put the receipt in the window and off I go to the pool. This is how the charge usually shows up in my bank account online:

It is a minimum of $4 for a length of stay up to two hours if you use a credit or debit card to cover the fees the city has to pay for a small charge such as this. Like I said, it is a rare event, but with the wind and bridge repairs being what they have been, I've used this method more frequently. I never have had a resident beach parking pass, but may consider it.

From yesterday's parking this is how the charge looked in my bank account this morning:
That's also an XL black Dunkin' Donuts coffee from this morning.
Why would the same machine, 4 days later have a charge for the beach parking meter as "Coca Beach Area Chamb...Merritt Isla...FL"?? I have never been but hear it's lovely. There is no other charge that could be the Lake Worth beach.

Is this some sort of skimming? A fluke? Are the parking fees still going to Lake Worth? Did the meter re-set itself to a previous owner? Are these meters part of a larger network?

 I just find this odd and have never seen this before.

Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office (PBSO) Operation to Deter Prostitution in Lake Worth

Lake Worth Prostitution Operation

Due to numerous citizen complaints of prostitution activity, PBSO – City of Lake Worth, conducted an operation designed specifically to combat street prostitution activity. This operation was designed to deter individuals from patronizing local prostitutes conduction activities in the City of Lake Worth.

Stats February 2 – February 5, 2015 - Lake Worth Prostitution Operation
February 2nd
Total Arrests – 18
Drugs/Narcotics – (1) Marijuana, (1) MDA
Warrants Arrests – 1
Guns Recovered – 1


February 3rd
Total Arrests – 17
Drugs/Narcotics – None
Warrants Arrests – 1
Guns Recovered – 1


February 4th
Total Arrests – 19
Drugs/Narcotics – None
Warrants Arrests – (1) “Coco” Travesty prostitute
Outstanding Felony PC – (1) Julio Soto
Guns Recovered – 0


February 5th
Total Arrests – 19 (18 Males & 1 Female)
Drugs/Narcotics –(2) Marijuana
Warrants Arrests – 0
Guns Recovered – 0

The lowly hyphen: a character inferior to an "en", but in the hands of Margaret Menge? A powerful tool

Stay with me here.

In publishing there are three "dashes":
An "em": —
An "en": –
And the lowly "hyphen": -

Margaret Menge knows the difference. She knows where 'dashes' are used and when, as importantly, when they are not to be used.

Here is an excerpt from Margaret Menge's newspaper on 2/6/15, her 4th issue, on page 4:
Register MondayThursday, 9:00 a.m.4:30 p.m. at the Osborne Community Center at 1699 Wingfield Street.
Registration ends Saturday, March 7. For more information, call Coach Osborne at 540-5133
 [...]
Note how Margaret Menge uses the em (—) appropriately, the en (–) in a range, and a hyphen (-) in a phone number.

Here is a line from Ms. Menge's newspaper on page 3 about the Lake Worth Street Painting Festival and the need for volunteers to help with the Trolley "Welcome Wagons" shuttling visitors to the festival:
Email Greg Rice at greg-rice33460@gmail.com to volunteer.
Only an intern or an amateur editor, surely not a 'journalist' with skill levels equal to Margaret Menge, would line-break an email address. A professional editor would edit to avoid. Well, she did and we think it was purposeful. This is what you see when you email greg-rice33460@gmail.com:
Here is Greg Rice's actual email address: gregrice33460@gmail.com

Question; the casual reader of Margaret Menge's newspaper would be expected to know the hyphen (-) in Mr. Greg Rice's email address is unnecessary? Of course not. 

Nice try, Margaret. Oh, and by the way, all the volunteers for the "Welcome Wagons" are already scheduled. At least that is my understanding, however, email Greg Rice to be sure.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Watch out for Negative Nellies...

On February 22/23 the annual Street Painting Festival will kick off in our downtown Lake Worth. This will be the 21st year of our signature City event. The festival that helped put our little City of Lake Worth on the map.

Last year's festival was the best attended Street Painting Festival ever, by most accounts. However, some were not happy. What if I told you on February 21, 2014, the day before last year's Street Painting Festival, a Lake Worth resident and blogger included a picture of a Hispanic male "conked out" drunk on Lake Avenue?

Well, that is exactly what the other blogger did:

Many bloggers use "keyword manipulation" to drive traffic to their blogs. Notice along with her tags of "street painting festival, city of lake worth", the other blogger also includes the tags "addictive substance, illegals, third world". This is intentional.

By adding the extra tags, that blogger was trying to increase that blog's traffic and attempting to manipulate visitors to her blog to not attend the Festival. Why include a picture of an 'illegal, third world' (according to the "tags"), Hispanic male 'conked out' on the day before the Festival, on Lake Avenue? That blogger tried to damage the image of the Festival. Some people can't help but spread their miserableness.

Some readers of that blog were tired of the antics and childish behavior and they let its author know it:
As we get closer to the Street Painting Festival, a small cadre of troublemakers may try to drive wedges in our community for their own petty political objectives. When you hear or read criticisms of the Festival and its organizers, understand their motivations aren't objective or ideologically pure.

Stay positive. Help your City. Leave the politics of envy and hate out of OUR STREET PAINTING FESTIVAL. Choose carefully that which you choose to read. The city you save may be your own.

Forget LA and NYC: This is the New Maker Hotspot [Lake Worth, FL]

Click title for link to a great article circulating on the Internet about Lake Worth and the LuLa program. The CRA is mentioned, along with the $23 million in NSP2 monies that were used to improve the city, and add to our artistic community. Love the headline! From the article:
A small city in South Florida is an under-the-radar, up-and-coming hotbed of makers. Miami obviously has a huge arts scene. Locals know that Ft. Lauderdale does, too
But Lake Worth, in Palm Beach County, is the one to watch. It’s a city on the verge.

Here is what you see on the "Commissioner McVoy for re-election" web page

Screen grab for Commissioner McVoy's web site taken on 2/6/15
I encourage everyone to get out and vote for Commissioner McVoy on November 6th. 

The 4th Edition of Margaret Menge's newspaper is out and what a mess!

Above the banner on Menge's newspaper is the line: Lake Worth's Best Local Newspaper. Ms. Menge claims this after only 4 issues. Four.

If you don't know, this is Ms. Menge's second attempt at publishing "the news" in Lake Worth. Read about her first try here in 2012.

The Lake Worth Herald, of course, is the City of Lake Worth's "Oldest Established Business", in their 103rd year and on issue number 6 this year publishing a newspaper in our City. Outlandish claims are one of Ms. Menge's journalistic talents, and if you've been reading my blog about Ms. Menge, you are aware of her issues when it comes to facts and the truth.

What better barometer of Ms. Menge's "Best Local Newspaper" than advertisers? Here is the number of ads in Menge's newspaper by issue:
January 16, issue 1: 8
January 23, issue 2: 8
January 30, issue 3: 7
February 6, issue 4: 4

The number of ads in The Lake Worth Herald this week: 38

And it gets curiouser and curiouser at Ms. Menge's newspaper: the Classifieds. In each of the categories, Jobs!, For Sale!, Sale/Rent Houses, Apartments, Community, and Dating (???) the same phone number appears in each ad: (561) 586-6643.

Here is the ad Ms. Menge published in her paper in the "Dating" section:
Dating: Call (561) 586-6643 to submit your classified ad for DATING and get results!
Ms. Menge doesn't clarify what she means by "get results!" But if you're living a life of loneliness I wouldn't recommend advertising in Menge's paper. You'd have a better chance for a love connection at The Lake Worth Herald. 

Show us the proof... [UPDATE]

[UPDATE AT END OF ARTICLE]
This image from Facebook was sent to me by a reader of my blog last night (Wednesday, 2/4/15).
Mrs. McGiveron: I never asked for such a list. I do not have such a list. I don't know if such a list even exists. Even if it did, it would have no basis on how I conduct myself on the Historic Resource Preservation Board. If you examine the record of the board's actions, you would find fair treatment across all of the applicants that appear before us. What and who people have supported at election times is immaterial to the board's decisions. I invite you to view the videos of our meetings that can be found on the city's website, or attend a meeting in person to see for yourself.

I would ask that you retract or delete your assertion on Facebook, as it is baseless.

Oh, and by the way, the word "lawsuit" is one word, not two. A 'lawsuit' is quite different from a "law suite".

[UPDATE: It has come to my attention that the entire thread on Facebook, including the offensive accusation by Mrs. Katie McGiveron, has been deleted.]

Essential resource for the Arts and events in Lake Worth

If you follow the art scene in Lake Worth at least once a week you need to visit Rickie Leiter's The Rickie Report. This week in The Rickie Report is this story on our Lake Worth treasure McMow Art Glass. From the article:
McMow Art Glass is proud to announce The Shari Lynn Soldano-Carney Scholarship Fund. Shari frequented classes and entered contests at McMow, as she found a place to immerse herself in creativity. Throughout Shari’s life she was always looking for new therapeutic and creative outlets to craft her expressionism and skills. McMow Art Glass is proud to partner with Shari’s family to honor her memory. Each April, in conjunction with the ‘Glass as Art Contest’, a scholarship recipient will be awarded. This scholarship will be utilized to provide a comprehensive glass arts education, including glass blowing classes through the Benzaiten Center for the Creative Arts, to a local student in need. The Rickie Report is honored to share the information and a few photos of Shari’s beautiful glass work.
To contribute to this fund please make checks payable to: McMow Art Glass
(Memo: The Shari Lynn Soldano-Carney Scholarship Fund)
Mail checks to: McMow Art Glass, 701 N. Dixie Hwy, Lake Worth, FL 33460

From The Coastal Star: City of Gulf Stream revising sign law

Dan Moffett writes this article titled, "Gulf Stream: Town revises sign law amid claims it quashes civil liberties". Two interesting excerpts from the article:
     Town commissioners gave unanimous final approval to a revised signage law at a Jan. 26 special meeting and — with only Chris O’Hare and Marty O’Boyle, the town’s litigious critics, on hand to offer opinions — immediately faced authoritarian comparisons.
     O’Hare likened the law to suppression of free speech worthy of the world’s worst totalitarian states. “In North Korea, anyone speaking ill of Kim Jong Un will be arrested and never heard from again,” he said. “In Cuba, anyone speaking badly of Fidel Castro or his revolution will be arrested and serve jail time.”
[and...]
   “Your comments are palpably absurd,” Morgan [Gulf Stream Mayor Scott Morgan] told O’Boyle and O’Hare. “Comments comparing this town to despotic regimes are insulting and absurd. Your comments are designed to take what is a good-faith effort by this town to pass a reasonable ordinance — and as always apply the ordinance fairly — but your attempts are to position as such so you can advance legal action against it, again costing us time, resources and money.”
     In October, the commission voted to pursue a RICO case against the two men, alleging abuses of public records requests and frivolous lawsuits.

Another Lake Worth Restaurant in the News: The Pelican Restaurant downtown

Staci Sturrock in the Post's TGIF section has a front page, above-the-fold story on the TOP 10 restaurants to get the best blueberry pancakes. The story is titled, appropriately in the print edition, "BERRY, BERRY GOOD".

And guess what? A Lake Worth restaurant made the list. The Pelican Restaurant at 610 Lake Ave in Lake Worth. Staci Sturrock had this to say:
Whole-wheat blueberry pancakes are a staple at this breakfast spot in downtown Lake Worth.
The reviews on TripAdvisor are off-the-charts excellent. Here is one (there are 8 pages of excellent reviews):
Make sure you stop by and get some blueberry pancakes...in the little City of Lake Worth!

Thank you Michele Quigley and Julius Whigham II at the Palm Beach Post

A Thank You to Michelle Quigley (Palm Beach Post news researcher/data interactive editor) and Julius Whigham II (Palm Beach Post news reporter).

Understanding the municipal boundaries of the City of Lake Worth is not easy. There are people who have lived in Lake Worth for many years and have no clue where the municipal boundaries of the City are in relation to the county. Confusing matters are the vast areas of Palm Beach County that have a "Lake Worth" mailing address. These areas are referred to correctly as "suburban Lake Worth".

It was a bank robbery on November 24, 2014 that spurred me to write this, a reference for the media on what is Lake Worth and what is not Lake Worth. This particular crime occurred near the Florida Turnpike and every news outlet reported this crime as happening in "Lake Worth". Of course, this crime location was in "suburban Lake Worth".

Last year Michelle Quigley and Julius Whigham II posted an Interactive Map of homicides in Palm Beach County. You could filter your search by city; Lake Worth showed 50 homicides from 2009 to 2014. The data Michelle Quigley and Mr. Whigham II used was correct if you go by mailing address. If you filter out the homicides that occurred in suburban Palm Beach County, however, the number of homicides in the City of Lake Worth from 2009 to 2014 was 30: not 50.

Last night only by accident I stumbled on the Interactive Map of homicides in Palm Beach County and clicked "Lake Worth". Here is what I saw:
Image of corrected Interactive Map in Palm Beach Post, location of homicides 2009 to 2015.
The above image is a screen grab of the corrected Interactive Map of homicides in Palm Beach County. The Map now accurately reflects the actual number on homicides in the City of Lake Worth from 2009 to 2014. 

Thirty homicides is unacceptable and note this: many of these homicides occurred before PBSO took over for the disbanded Lake Worth Police Department. 

The City of Lake Worth has less than 3% of the total residents in Palm Beach County. We are a small city in a very big county; a small fish in a big pond, if you will. Lake Worth is not asking for special treatment from the news media; only fairness and accuracy. 

The image and reputation of the City of Lake Worth has suffered greatly over the years and much work is being done to fix that. A tremendous amount of effort by people like Mayor Pam Triolo, City Manager Michael Bornstein, the NAPC, and many others has gone into changing long-held false beliefs about our little City. 

Thank you Michelle Quigley and Julius Whigham II.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Crime: Downtown Lake Worth. Ketchup heist.

Palm Beach County Sheriff. Crime. Theft/Larceny of ketchup in downtown Lake Worth. Read more here:
More on this horrific crime below. Product not identified; let's just hope it wasn't Heinz ketchup. Use your judgement when sharing with young children:
Will we ever reclaim our downtown from the ketchup & jelly thieves?

Urbanization and Smartphones Are Killing Car Culture

Interesting article from CityLab about the generational shift away from automobiles and how our future will be shaped by it. Good news for places like Lake Worth which is walkable, bikeable and has access to public transit. Click title for link.

Front Porch this Friday

Our good neighbors from Compass Community Center will be guest hosts on the NAPC "Front Porch" this Friday at Evening on the Avenues. Stop by any time from 6 to 10 pm to discover all the amazing services they offer and get your tickets for the Gay Chili Cook-Off on Sunday, February 8th and for the "Taste of Lake Worth" event on Friday, February 20th, sponsored this year by even more of our good neighbors from Compass!

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Greg Rice, Chair of the Planning and Zoning Board gives the Commission an update (2/3/15)

The Plate: Blackened chicken makes tacos a winner

Click title for excellent review of Bradley's Beach Club at the Lake Worth Golf Course. Review is by Scott Simmons for the Coastal Star. Congratulations, Mitch! It is one of my favorite places.

No sign that Margaret Menge's restaurant reviewer, Joseph Thompson III, has been there yet.

From the first part of the Lake Worth City Commission Meeting: 2/3/15


This includes the City's proclamation naming March as Ethics Awareness Month and a presentation from Planning and Zoning Board Chair Greg Rice on the status of development reviews in the city. I am making a separate video just of his presentation and you will be seeing that shortly. At the second meeting in February, on the 17th, yours truly (Wes Blackman) will give the Historic Resource Preservation Board report to the City Commission.

Road Construction, 10th Ave North (a County road) in Lake Worth

From the City of Lake Worth website:

Road Construction | 10th Avenue North at Boutwell Road
Friday & Saturday | February 6 - 7 | 9p - 8am
Public should expect delays & lane shifts.
For more information, please contact Palm Beach County Traffic Division at 561.684.4030

A Proper Tribute to Martin Luther King Jr., or a comparison in poor taste?

A few weeks ago was Martin Luther King Day, Monday, January 19th. Later that week I received the image below. This image is from the South Florida Wildlands Association (SFWA). A group in Miami-Dade County is protesting a proposed Walmart and, understandably, they are angry and want the project stopped; here is the image published by SFWA:
Is equating the monumental work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with the opposition to a proposed Walmart appropriate? On January 19, Martin Luther King Day? I visited the SFWA Facebook page recently and this post is still there so they have no problem with the comparison. That being said, I don't believe this is a proper tribute to the life and death of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

How effective were those television ads?

William Kelly and Alese Kopf wrote about the results of the elections in Palm Beach yesterday in the Shiny Sheet (Palm Beach Daily News). I think almost everyone was surprised by the ads Michael Scharf had on cable television. Despite the ads, the incumbent, Michael Pucillo won easily. From the article:
Pucillo [incumbent Michael Pucillo] had 2,026 votes to Scharf’s [challenger Michael Scharf, vice chairman of the Planning and Zoning Commission] 1,538 votes, according to Palm Beach County Elections Supervisor Susan Bucher’s Office. 
“I want to thank all the people who worked hard for us,” Pucillo said in an interview at the Peruvian Room at Renato’s Restaurant on Worth Avenue, where he was celebrating with supporters. “It was a great grassroots campaign and a wonderful effort by all the people supporting us.” 
Scharf, at a private gathering with his supporters, said he congratulated Pucillo in a phone interview. 
“Although I am disappointed, I intend to stay involved in town affairs and try to make as good a contribution as I can,” Scharf said.
Turnout was roughly 46 percent of the town’s 7,720 registered voters. [emphasis added]

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

You won't believe all the things to do in Lake Worth this week

Before you make any plans this week, make sure to check out AnnaMaria's blog. Evening on the Avenues is this Friday, group bike rides, art openings, the Farmer's Market and so much more to do in our little City of Lake Worth.

Not mentioned is the Lake Worth Critical Mass ride, always the first Friday of the month. I will have more on that tomorrow: time, location, and what you need.

Playing fast and loose with the facts: The Truth vs. Margaret Menge

On January 30, 2015, Margaret Menge had this on the front page of her newspaper, across 5 columns (of a 6 column paper) in boldface type:

Resident to City: Need Money for Roads? Sell the Golf Course! 

Here is the first paragraph of Ms. Menge's story: 
"Need money for road repair? Street lights? Sewers? Don't go to the bond markets. Sell the golf course(!), Marcus Kelly, a resident of Lake Worth, told the City Commission on Tuesday night at a special meeting at the Compass Gay & Lesbian Community Center."
Then Margaret Menge penned another 9 paragraphs about selling the Lake Worth Municipal Golf Course. A total of nearly 400 words. But if Margaret Menge had bothered to make a phone call (or two) or send an email (or two) she would have learned this:

The City of Lake Worth cannot sell the Municipal Golf Course. 

The Lake Worth Golf Course is deed restricted. If the City of Lake Worth decides it doesn't want the Golf Course any longer, the land reverts to the family and heirs that deeded it to the City. Period. End of story. The meeting where the comment was made to "sell the Golf Course" was held last Tuesday night (1/27/15) so there was plenty of time to discover the facts. But, no, Ms. Menge didn't take the time to find the facts. She would rather have the citizenry believe, for at least a week, or more, to think it was possible to sell the Municipal Golf Course. Hysteria and confusion ensued. Question: is that a role a community paper should play?

Here is one of the city deeds for the Lake Worth Municipal Golf Course. Read and you will discover that if the City golf course is not maintained as a golf course the land will revert to the "grantee" or "their heirs or assigns."


I (Wes Blackman) am not a trained journalist by trade. Yet Margaret Menge claims to be a trained journalist by trade. If I could find this information why couldn't Margaret Menge?

Here is what Margaret Menge wrote in her newspaper editorial about truth, fact-checking, and details. This editorial appears in the very same paper as her 'story' on "Sell the Golf Course!":  
     I [Margaret Menge] more or less started out in journalism at U.S. News & World Report in New York, and there I learned something about being sure of your facts. We had a fact-checking desk in Washington, and everything in every piece written for the magazine had to be faxed to Washington, with every fact underlined, and backup documentation provided for every fact
     The fact checker, Michael [cannot be fact-checked; no last name], said the desk used to laugh about the amount of material that I [Margaret Menge] would send down for even a very small feature piece. I [Ms. Menge] did not want to be wrong, not in any detail, and not in the larger storyline that was being advanced in the piece. This was U.S. News & World Report, after all, a magazine that I grew up with.
Sadly, the standards and experience Margaret Menge acquired at U.S. News & World Report were lost before she landed here in Lake Worth, Florida. 

Should journalists, much like physicians, subscribe to the oath of "First, do no harm?" Is "Michael" at U.S. News & World Report, or any other experienced fact checkers unavailable to help Ms. Menge get the facts straight? As much as Ms. Menge dreams of being a respected journalist she appears to be incapable of seeing more than one, single aspect of a story. She comes into a story with a conclusion and then collects and arranges the 'facts' to support the conclusion and willfully or haphazardly discards others.
I can see why some would like this brand of journalism here. Obscuring the truth furthers the aims of the malcontents among us.

The Lake Worth Art League: Outdoor Shows at Lake Worth Beach

If  you have any questions please call publicity chair Lynne Pittard at 561-586-6702 or by email at lynnepittardart@aol.com

Two more Charter Schools in PBC closing; one in Lake Worth

Karen Yi at the Sun Sentinel has more news on Charter Schools in Palm Beach County:
Two charter schools in Palm Beach County have shut their doors after one struggled to recruit enough students and the other failed to secure a permanent home. 
Transitions Elementary Charter school in West Palm Beach closed mid-year because it did not have enough money to continue operating, records show. 
Noah's Ark Elementary in Lake Worth never opened for students this school year after it was evicted from a church in Lake Worth, district officials said. 
The School Board will move to terminate its contracts with both schools during a Wednesday meeting.
No word if any Charter Schools teaching the Classics are in the pipeline.

Very good news for Lake Worth from Kimberly Miller

Kimberly Miller at the Palm Beach Post wrote this article today titled, "New home sales slow, but economy not the problem this time". From the article:
New home construction was sluggish in Palm Beach County last year with builders breaking ground on 2,132 new homes, a meager 3 percent gain from 2013. 
Economists from the Royal Palm Beach-based Metrostudy tallied 2014’s new home starts, blaming the small boost mostly on a lack of buildable lots [emphasis added], and, to a smaller extent, a dearth of skilled labor. 
David Cobb, Metrostudy’s regional director for South Florida, said 4,000 to 5,000 new home starts would be “easily doable” in Palm Beach County if there weren’t land constraints. 
“I don’t think these numbers are a result of a bad economy,” said David Cobb, Metrostudy’s regional director for South Florida. “Between Southern and Northlake there are 20,000 potential lots, but they’re not ready yet. It’s a process to get the land zoned and figure out density.”
Note the highlighted text above. Now what exactly does Lake Worth have an abundance of ? Buildable lots in an urban setting. In a bikeable/walkable city. Come visit Lake Worth and see for yourself.

Bring your pots and pans! A Noise Protest Today in West Palm Beach!

Here is the Facebook page EarthFirst! is using to promote their protest today in West Palm. And you will not believe who is on the "maybe" and "invited" lists to attend:

- Lake Worth Commissioner Christopher McVoy
- Former Lake Worth Commissioner Cara Jennings
- Former Lake Worth Commissioner Jo-Ann Golden
- Lake Worth Everglades EarthFirst! President Panagioti Tsolkas, with velvet robes, I hear.

The remnants of the former Lake Worth Cabal regime will have a heavy representation at the protest in West Palm Beach today, it seems.

IF YOU GO:
The protest is at the offices of Kolter located at 701 S. Olive from 12:00 noon until 2:00.

For your convenience here is a helpful map from GoogleMaps:
Note the proximity of Einstein Bros. Bagels. Nothing like a bagel with a hot cup of coffee to start off a protest!

Here is a description of the protest, what to bring, and what will be provided to you:
Join us outside Kolter Group's offices on Tuesday as we scream and chant to let Kolter know that their destruction will not be ignored! Bring your voices, loud instruments, pots and pans to hit, and a fire in your hearts! 
Signs and chants will be provided, but feel free to make and bring your own.
Before you leave to attend the protest make sure to print out one of these on-line coupons for Einstein Bros. Bagels! Protesting is hard work and you need to keep those sugar levels up. Check out this great deal:
Doesn't that bagel & "Shmear" look delicious?

Monday, February 2, 2015

Dateline...Lake Worth, Florida: World Record Attempt (research in progress to confirm)

Look, I don't want to get anyone's hopes up...however Lake Worth may once again make the news in a good way. Breaking a World Record! In the category: Largest Picture Of A Living Person Ever Printed In A Newspaper Editorial Page. 

Just consider how massive this photo is of our very own Lake Worth Gentleman, Jon Faust, that was printed by Margaret Menge:
It is a half inch shorter than a 12 fluid ounce bottle of Chrystal Hot Sauce
It is equal in height to a 16 ounce aluminum can of Miller Lite
It is almost equal in size to a 20 ounce box of Betty Crocker Bisquick mix.
It is almost equal in size to the book by Suzanne Mulvehill, MBA, titled, Employee to Entrepreneur: The Employee's Guide to Entrepreneurial Success.
It is larger than the children's book Pinkie Pie Throws A Party.
It is massive when compared to a State of Michigan license plate. 

I will keep everyone informed on the status and let's hope for the best!

And let us all wish Jon Faust a wonderful tenure as the new President of the Neighborhood Association Presidents' Council!

From Eliot Kleinberg: bike sharing program in West Palm is a GO:

From the story by Mr. Kleinberg:

The light is green for West Palm Beach’s bicycle rental program, even though the bikes probably will be blue.

The board of West Palm Beach’s Downtown Development Authority voted unanimously last week to close what would be a 10-year deal with consultant P3GM.

The consultant would cover all costs of installing the solar-powered stations and racks, with an estimated value of $1 million. P3GM would earn money from user fees, sponsorships and advertising on kiosks at stations.

Projected costs would be $120 to $155 a year for an annual membership, or $15 to $20 a month with a three-month commitment. The first 1,500 subscribers would get a $99 introductory annual rate, going up later to $125.

Congratulations West Palm Beach!

Read this from Barbara Marshall at the Quick Pulse blog on the high honor bestowed on West Palm Beach by the folks at Weather.com:
We’re #8!

Color us tickled pink.

In Weather.com’s new list of top 15 places in which to escape winter, West Palm Beach picked up the 8th slot, ahead of Tampa and Orlando but behind Miami and Ft. Myers.

Weird and wonderful Key West earned the web site’s top spot, beating out Honolulu and Maui, Hawaii.

The list was compiled even before more than two feet of snow began burying Boston and other Northeast cities yesterday.

The weather web site evaluated cities based solely on their winter escape virtues, such as average temperatures, days of rain and winter sunshine.
Just think, how many visitors to West Palm Beach make it to our Lake Worth downtown and our fabulous beach? What's good for West Palm is good for us in Lake Worth too.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Someone Needs a Civics Lesson:

Doctor to patient: "Sorry to tell you this Lake Worth, but it looks like you got a case of the Menges."

The City of Lake Worth is a small town. The City of Lake Worth has approximately 36,000 residents, 4 blogs, 12+ Facebook 'community' pages, and now? Another newspaper. In a City of 36,000 residents. It is also covered more "globally" through the Palm Beach Post. For some perspective, the City of Lake Worth is one of 38 municipalities in Palm Beach County (PBC). PBC has approximately 1.4 million residents and growing rapidly. Lake Worth accounts for less than 3% of the residents in PBC. Less than 3%. Think about that for a moment. Who would have thought that a market exists for yet another media organ, one in print, to cover our little community?

Lake Worth for some odd reason has become embroiled in a debate over the role of "Community Journalism" and why local news isn't hard-hitting enough. Let's examine why Margaret Menge was "asked to resign" from a community newspaper in 2005, forced out from another community newspaper in New York (Cornwall-on-Hudson), and has nothing but bad things to say about another community newspaper in Key West. From 2005 until 2010, Margaret Menge's experience in 'community journalism' was not very respectful or representative of the communities she purported to 'cover' in the 'news'. These reports come from various online sources that amount to digital footprints. Now Margaret Menge wants, once again, to engage in 'community journalism'. 

Here is an article that appeared in 2005 from CBS News about Margaret Menge and her very short stint at a New Hampshire community newspaper [text in red is emphasis added]:
"It's the tale of a reporter named Margaret Menge, who had contributed to U.S. News & World Report, the New York Press, and the New York Observer, and who took a job a few months ago at the Union Leader, in Manchester, New Hampshire. Eight weeks later, she was asked to resign. She told Jurkowitz [Mark Jurkowitz, Boston Phoenix] that the managing editor for news told her that she came to the paper 'with a New York attitude. We do community journalism here.' "
Later in the article:
In a small town, of course, you are much more likely to run into the people you cover in the supermarket than you are in a big city. Randy Hammer, executive editor of the Pensacola News Journal (circulation 63,257 morning, 80,317 Sunday), says that fact "prevents you from taking cheap shots. You have to be able to sit down at breakfast the next morning and be able to face the person you wrote about and defend what you wrote about. It doesn't make you back off of doing tough stories…It makes you think hard about being fair."
That delves perfectly into the terrible 'news story' Margaret Menge wrote about Nadine Burns on January 23rd. Would Margaret Menge have the integrity to sit down with Nadine Burns and explain why she wrote things about Ms. Burns, crossing the line of innuendo to accusations? Of course not. Ms. Menge accused Nadine Burns of theft. How do you steal something that is free?

And lastly, from the 2005 CBS Story:
"Elite journalists want to believe that their counterparts in Des Moines or Oxford, Ohio are under pressure to print good news," he [Jay Rosen, New York University Associate Professor of Journalism who authors Pressthink] says. But Rosen says it's more complicated than that. He dismisses such an attitude as the "sentimental, self-flattering view of the elite."
Elite? Like someone looking to open a Charter School teaching The Classics?

In the latest "House Editorial" by Margaret Menge titled, "Truth and Advertising" she writes:
     And what's truth?
     Truth is something you can pin down pretty securely with a FEW [emphasis added] facts.
Just which facts are those? The ones one chooses to print and the ones that you don't? Doesn't that one line by Ms. Menge explain much about one's state of mind and approach to journalism? A "FEW" select facts? A "FEW" convenient facts? And then Ms. Menge talks of people who "modify the truth":
You're a fibber. A member of the half-truth society. No better than the rest of them.
We don't really know who "the rest of them" are. A little paranoia? As far as modifying "the truth", what did Margaret Menge do to Dina Clingman-Bell? Didn't Margaret Menge modify Dina Clingman-Bell's TRUTH to fit the narrative Ms. Menge wanted to create? Did Ms. Menge dishonor the truth because it didn't fit the story she wanted her readers to see? In a moment of introspection (or lucidity) Margaret Menge writes this:
But then also I like to sit and think for a moment whether it's at all possible that something I'm writing, a sentence or a whole idea, could be wrong, even though it seems well-supported.
Then there is this, when the editor goes from introspection to what can only be called, nonsensical babbling, writing this:
     Media bias is often more to do with what newspapers decline to cover than what they do cover. There is almost no coverage whatsoever of churches or of faith in most American newspapers, except in articles about the African-American community.
Where has this person been? Did she miss the news and coverage about Pope Francis. Pope Francis is an obscure news figure in the simple world of Margaret Menge. In next week's edition of Margaret Menge's paper she promises to, "write about our churches, and the faith of the people who attend them." Clutching the beads as I type this.

Below the editorial by Margaret Menge, the one she starts with the line, "I'm in the business of telling the truth" are two corrections to a previous edition of her newspaper. 

To Ms. Menge, a question: Is your new Lake Worth newspaper really a 'community' newspaper? Or are there other motives, perhaps not solely of your own, involved? Your community spirit, Ms. Menge, didn't go over very well in Manchester, New Hampshire or Cornwall-on-Hudson, New York or Key West, Florida. And now you're giving 'community journalism' another shot in Lake Worth, Florida, just 53 days before a municipal election in Lake Worth? 

You have heard it said that there are no coincidences.

More about the Lake Worth art scene...

From The Rickie Report we have this about another Art Event in Lake Worth this week:
Fine artist, ceramic sculptor and instructor, Gail Erickson is the Featured Artist at Clay Glass Metal Stone Gallery in Lake Worth with an Opening Reception on Friday, February 6th. The public is invited to “Feminine Fusion of Fin, Feather and Leather”. Meet Gail, an enthusiastic artist whose “intent is to reveal, yet conceal, allowing the viewer to develop a personal connection to a piece.”

A blast from my past: East Lansing, Michigan and the "Habitrail" parking garage...

This is an article done by a local resident of East Lansing, Michigan from a blog recently started about goings-on in that city. It is a retrospective look at what is known as the "Habitrail" parking garage in the downtown area. The downtown area runs along the north side of the Michigan State University campus. I encourage you to look at the images from a Google search of the structure.

I worked at the city of East Lansing from 1986 to 1989 and was part of the team responsible for this parking garage. It is an unmistakable landmark on the city's comparatively low skyline. As you read the article, you will see that the city faced a parking challenge some 30 years ago and decided this was the way to address the issue. The aesthetics were left to others to decide, but there was a conscious effort on the part of city leaders at the time to make an artistic statement through a large, utilitarian structure. It's been there almost 30 years now and is in many ways a testament to a city taking chances and not taking the "safe" or "expected" route. It's still a topic of discussion today.

All 38 Cities in Palm Beach County Ranked Worst to Best

This comes from the New Times so it's not the very best source of news or information. It's good to be skeptical of what you read there. The top city in PBC according to the New Times is, of course, Delray Beach. Guess what #2 is? LAKE WORTH!

From the article:
Lake Worth is perhaps the epicenter of Palm Beach County's arts scene. The quirky city is a magnet for the artists and musicians of Palm Beach County, and thanks to venues like Propaganda, you can hear live music just about every day of the week. Tack on great food and a happening beach and you've got one hell of a city.
And...
Bottom Line: Lake Worth has that perfect mix of weird that makes a great city.
I agree wholeheartedly with the assessment of those at the New Times.