Saturday, March 7, 2015

Palm Beach County's tourism blitz already set for our friends up North

Click title for TV commercial to air later this year. Here is the site that is promoting Palm Beach County tourism.

Jennifer Sorentrue at the Palm Beach Post has a story about the tourism effort already ready to unleash on our Northern comrades seeking relief from the cold next Winter. From the article:
     Discover The Palm Beaches, the county’s tourism marketing arm, has unveiled a 60-second commercial set to hit airwaves early next year in Boston, New York, Baltimore and Washington, D.C. Those markets are among the county’s most important tourism generators because of the large number of flights to Palm Beach International Airport.
     Although the television spot is designed to appeal to a wide variety of travelers, county tourism leaders hope mothers and families will find it especially captivating. Women typically control a family’s travel decisions, tourism leaders said.
 
Welcome to Palm Beach County!

Important Distinction—What an Advisory Opinion is:

Get this: The City of Lake Worth asked for an ADVISORY opinion from the Palm Beach County Commission on Ethics when the City and Commissioner Szerdi knew that a CLIENT of his in ANOTHER CITY was going to have ownership of the Gulfstream Hotel. Commissioner Szerdi and the City were PROACTIVE, and he was told that he could not work for them in Lake Worth and that he would have to recuse/abstain from voting if something came before the Commission that concerned his client. THIS WAS DONE TO AVOID A CONFLICT OF INTEREST. That's a big distinction. THIS IS NOT A VIOLATION OF ANYTHING, MERELY A GUIDE TO PROPER CONDUCT.

If you received one of these letters you are being lied to; Commissioner Szerdi has no Conflict of Interest with the owners of the Gulfstream Hotel:


To date, nothing has come before the City Commission regarding his client. He is NOT working for them on their Lake Worth projects.

The Invitation to Negotiate (ITN) could have been answered by anyone and is governed by its own State Law about a "cone of silence" during the review process. The whole ITN will be publicly vetted when it is time to be presented to the City Commission and the public.

Below is the letter in response to the request by the City—almost one year ago—from the Palm Beach County Commission on Ethics explaining how Commissioner Szerdi should conduct himself as a Commissioner should a client of his, from another city, come before him at the City Commission.

He has followed this opinion to the letter.

And, here is the actual letter:

Political Advertisement paid for and approved by John Szerdi, non-partisan for City Commission

[UPDATE 4] [UPDATE3] [UPDATE2] [UPDATE1] Ryan Maier's lie too big for Lake Worth, spreads wings and goes county-wide

[New New Update:] This post about Ryan Maier, proving conclusively he is lying about his experience, combined with the story on the silly endorsement in the Palm Beach Post has lit up my blog like you cannot believe. Just thought you might like to know that. Forward this post to your family and neighbors. 

[New Update:] Up to now the lie by Ryan Maier about his experience in city government has been reserved for us here in the City of Lake Worth. Maier's lie has now gone county-wide; his lie was published as a material true fact on Wednesday, March 4, in a story written by Eliot Kleinberg (note: if Mr. Kleinberg knew the truth he wouldn't have published Maier's claim).

The fact is this, Ryan Maier is claiming he has experience in city government: this is an outright lie. Here is a letter from former Lake Worth Commissioner Retha Lowe:
See image below published in the Palm Beach Post. Note: "Member, Lake Worth Sister City Board".
[See end of this post for previous updates; original post starts here:]

Here is a link to a video from January 27th where Ryan Maier touts his City board experience. He also lists this 'experience' on his website and on his door hangers. As recently as Monday, 2/9, at the South Palm Park candidate forum, Maier repeated his 'experience' on a City board as a qualification to be a City of Lake Worth commissioner.

All of this information and statements are untrue.
This is Ryan Maier in one of his few appearances at the city commission. Note how much different he looks than in the video above and on his campaign literature. Which is the real Ryan Maier?
On July 28, 2011, Ryan Maier signed this form which affirmed, "I understand the responsibilities with being a board/committee member, and I have adequate time to serve if appointed." 
Eight months later Ryan Maier was removed from his position. Ryan Maier was removed for non-attendance and refusing to take the required Ethics Training. Ethics Training is required by any member of a city board in order to participate.

Question: Ryan Maier knew on his application that Ethics Training was required when he submitted his application. This is stated on the application. Why then did he refuse this mandatory requirement? 

Ryan Maier applied for three City boards: the Planning and Zoning Board, the Tree Board, and the Sister City Board. The City board he was deemed qualified to serve on was the Sister City Board. Here is page 4 of his application:
Ryan Maier wanted to bring "a different approach" to the Sister City Board. He might have been able to do that if he attended meetings. 


Ryan Maier door hanger: he is demanding "transparency" and claims he "Served on City Advisory Board".
UPDATE 1: On Monday 2/16, at the South Palm Park Neighborhood Association Candidate Forum, Mr. Maier once again cited his "city board" experience. This coming Monday, 2/23, the Bryant Park Neighborhood Association will host their Candidate Forum. Yet another chance for Mr. Maier to set the record straight. I have all of these statements on video; it will make a nice video loop.

UPDATE #2: Ryan Maier lied again at the Lake Worth Playhouse on 3/2/15. More on this later.

[UPDATE 3] The next candidate forum is tomorrow at 7:00, sponsored by the Parrot Cove Neighborhood Association at the Lake Worth Municipal Golf Course. Will Ryan Maier once again tout his City board 'experience' to be a City of Lake Worth commissioner? Stay tuned as they say. 

The Residences of Lake Osborne (ROLO) Neighborhood Association: Working with PBSO to improve our city

Note: The ROLO Neighborhood has changed their meeting from Tuesday, March 10th to Monday, March 9th. It would be wonderful if someone could videotape the meeting to share with the entire city; I've a prior commitment that evening. If not a videotape could someone send me pictures along with whatever literature is distributed? Thank you.

Here is the updated meeting information:
Time: Monday, March 9, 2015 at 7:00 PM
Location: 2101 6th Ave South (Lake Osborne Presbyterian Church)

[Below is information from a previous post about ROLO and the terrific job PBSO has done in our precious western communities:]

Good news from ROLO! When you see lists of crimes that is only part of the story. The subtle message is there is crime but that PBSO is unable to stop it. That is not the case at all. Here we have a crime in ROLO and the whole story: arrests were made. Below is from the ROLO Neighborhood Association:
Great job, PBSO and Captain Silva from District 14!
Note: the meeting date is no longer on March 10th. It will occur on Monday, March 9th at 7:00.
If you see suspicious activity look here for what to do.

That is how crime is managed: PBSO and the community working together. Thank you, ROLO!

The one thing silly Marge Menge doesn't mention in her silly little paper about the Beach/Casino

Marge's paper has a lot of words but the most important material fact is not even mentioned. Commissioner McVoy is opposed to the secrecy needed in the "Invitation to Negotiate Process" (ITN) concerning the Lake Worth Beach/Casino. This is the beginning where ideas are discussed: there is no planning. There isn't anything to submit to the City yet.

McVoy was fine with process. He voted for it; the vote was unanimous.

McVoy was "for it before he was against it". I'll translate for you, Marge: "McVoy was for the ITN process before he was against it".

From the Palm Beach Post:
     The secrecy bothers McVoy —even though he voted for it
     Last week, McVoy says he didn’t know the ITN would be so hush-hush: At the time he voted, McVoy said its description was “fuzzy…I would not say it was very adequately explained.”
McVoy has a PhD and claims he was "fuzzy". Marge, how could your silly little paper not mention the most material fact in this entire debate?

This following letters by James Tebbe and Connie Stahl do more to explain what is happening than anything Marge has written on this subject:

The Palm Beach Post editorial board says a Lake Worth race is about "Trust"

Here is the first paragraph from the Palm Beach Post editorial board about the choices in the City of Lake Worth:
The key issue in Lake Worth’s municipal election seems to be trust, or the lack thereof. The question is, which candidates are best positioned to improve that trust?
Below is a short video of one of the candidates the Palm Beach Post endorsed (Stacey Singer wrote the endorsement): Ryan Maier. He lies over and over about being a member of a City Board:

Below is a letter from former Lake Worth Commissioner Retha Lowe confirming Ryan Maier is lying to the community:
Read the list below and you decide: do you think Ryan Maier has proven a high degree of trust (click link after each item for the reference)?

– Ryan Maier has the endorsement of the Florida NOW PAC? False.
– Maier falsely accused Commissioner John Szerdi of an ethical violation from the Inspector General of Palm Beach County. True.
– Maier later claimed he didn't make the accusation above. True.
– Maier has falsely claimed, repeatedly, having experience in city government. True.
– Maier has falsely accused Commissioner John Szerdi of "hiding" information from the public. True.

The Palm Beach Post editorial board (Stacey Singer) has made a huge mistake. Endorsements such as this contribute to the cynicism and apathy when it comes to politics in Palm Beach County. 

The Post acknowledges incumbent Commissioner John Szerdi's "talent and technical skills"; however, since he is in the majority, that simple matter alone makes him unqualified and untrustworthy. 

This endorsement is shameful.

Political advertisement paid for and approved by John Szerdi, non-partisan for City Commissioner

Lake Worth story slipped under radar—"Want to watch movies on the green in Lake Worth? Donate!"

Saw this Lake Worth story the other day and forgot to put it on the blog. Anyhow, here it is, a story by Eliot Kleinberg on the Screen on the Green summer film program in our City. From the article:
     The film event, similar to those in West Palm Beach and other cities in Palm Beach County, brings in arts and culture during the “off-season” and encourages residents and visitors to spend an evening downtown.
     This year the foundation, which was created by the Lake Worth Community Redevelopment Agency, decided not to seek the grant.
Instead, LULA — its nickname is a combination of Lake and Lucerne, downtown Lake Worth’s two main east-west roads — has submitted to Power2Give,” an online site that helps raise money for community art and culture projects.
     The goal: $5,600. The budget: $4,000 for movie rights and screen rentals, $1,000 for promotion and advertising, and $682 in fees to Power2Give.
     As of Feb. 27, Lake Worth had raised $995, or 18 percent.
     “If we don’t make the goal, I know we’re going to come pretty close,” Joan Oliva, executive director of the Lake Worth Community Redevelopment Agency, said that day.
UPDATE: Since yesterday the effort is now up to 20% of the total needed.

Here is a video promoting the Screen on the Green in our little City of Lake Worth.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Please contact me if you received a letter from Annie Bussinger or Ed Grimm (and others?)

In the right hand column of this blog you'll find my email address. If you received the following letter, or one similar, please send it to me, asap:


Politics in our little City of Lake Worth has taken a malicious turn for the worse. Incumbent Commissioner John Szerdi is being accused of a conflict of interest. The letter indicates that some of the information in the letter came from candidate Ryan Maier, Commissioner Szerdi's opponent.

This letter is a personal attack on Commissioner Szerdi. Remember, Commissioner Szerdi also has a career outside his public service to the City. A long career in which he's gained much credibility and respect.

This letter is, without a doubt, one of the lowest dirty tricks this City has seen in many years.

Most of us have grown up with Community newspapers—what's wrong with Margaret Menge's paper?

Most "Community Newspapers" follow a standard format: they'll have a front page story, maybe an editorial, lots of ads for local businesses, and many pictures (pictures of first responders, local students excelling, and local war veterans, for example).

That describes The Lake Worth Herald exactly. This weeks Lake Worth Herald had 35 ads. Thirty-five. Everything from Judith Just advertising "Wills, Trust & Probate" to the "18th Annual Schützenfest Pig Roast".

In contrast, how many community ads appeared in Margaret Menges Tribune, not including political ads (which were likely free of charge)? 5.

Only 5 ads (paid?) appeared in Margaret Menges 'community newspaper'. Five. And three of those ads were tiny little ads at the bottom of the very last page.

How many pictures does Ms. Menge have of first responders, local students excelling, and local war veterans, etc., from Lake Worth?

Zero. None. Zilch.

The Lake Worth Herald is a true "Community" newspaper in the classic American genre. Ms. Menge's 'newspaper' is a political tool designed more to tear our community apart than bring us together.

Don't forget that.

Misinformation and Disinformation in the City of Lake Worth: Manipulating the Public

Read the truth about crime in Lake Worth—what the critics of PBSO don't want you to know. 

T R A N S P A R E N C Y Song

Short Notice. . .Critical Mass Bike Ride, TODAY (Friday 3/6): Downtown Lake Worth

Join other bike riders and let's BREAK 100 bike riders.
Meet in front of the City of Lake Worth Gulfstream Hotel at Bryant Park. Socialize from 6:00 to 7:00. Ride leaves at 7:00 SHARP. Check your bike lights. Click here for more details.

Quote by Serge Jerome, Jr. and comments left on Palm Beach Post story about the Lake Worth Beach/Casino

Yesterday I posted this about the Lake Worth Beach/Casino story in the Palm Beach Post. The story didn't make today's printed paper; maybe tomorrow it will be in the print edition (it is available online).

There was an update in the story by Alexandra Clough (with Eliot Kleinberg contributing); in the original article candidate Serge Jerome, Jr. couldn't be reached for comment but he later was, and here is what Serge Jerome, Jr. is quoted as saying:
     The issue has become a major point in the Lake Worth city elections, to be held Tuesday, March 10.
      McVoy is running against Serge Jerome Jr, who said the idea is only a proposal. “McVoy is trying to use it for his political gain by claiming the city is selling the beach to rile up the voters,” Jerome said. “The city is not looking to privatize our beaches. But it is looking for ways to make the beach more profitable.” [emphasis added]
     City officials say they’re just trying to find a way to make the complex generate money to pay down its debt.
At the end of the story are some comments. Here are two:

Greg Rice wrote:
Commissioner McVoy, a Cornell University PhD graduate said "I didn't know that the Invitation To Negotiate would be so hush-hush: At the time he voted, McVoy said its description was “fuzzy…I would not say it was very adequately explained.” Then here's the question that should have been a follow up question to that statement; 1. Then why did he make a motion to the commission to be appointed to the ITN committee as the city commission member reprehensive [sic]? That motion died for a lack of a second. 2. Then, if the explanation of what and how an ITN works and why proposals are not immediately made public was still "fuzzy" to him, why did he vote to approve the city requesting ideas from interested parties using the ITN method?
Then this comment from "ThatDowntownGuy":
BOTTOM LINE: No one knows how the final project would look because it hasn't been formally presented. Everything else is just a scare tactic or utter ignorance. 
The City of Lake Worth will keep the beach public, that's what everyone want's anyway, but a public-private partnership is necessary for the Casino to become soluble. KEEP CALM AND FOLLOW ALONG... something good will come out of it all.
Thank you for your efforts Mr. Greg Rice and ThatDowntownGuy. The message is getting through.

[Re-Post for those who missed this:] Palm Beach County Human Right Council (PBHRC) has endorsed Lake Worth Commissioner John Szerdi

Here are some recent endorsements (2014/2015) from the PBHRC:
  • U.S. Congressman (Dist. 18) - Patrick Murphy
  • U.S. Congresswoman (Dist. 22) - Lois Frankel
  • State Representative (Dist. 86) - Mark Pafford
  • School Board (Dist. 4) - Erica Whitfield
  • Palm Beach County Board of County Commissioner (Dist. 2) - Paulette Burdick
  • Palm Beach County Board of County Commissioners (Dist.4) - Steven Abrams
  • Palm Beach County Board of County Commissioners (Dist. 6) - Melissa McKinlay
Here is the PBHRC endorsement letter for Lake Worth Commissioner John Szerdi:

Thursday, March 5, 2015

An 'Affinity Group'—The Good Ole Days

[Answer: I posed this question earlier today] What Lake Worth resident wrote the following lines?

"I'm in the business of telling the truth."

"And what's truth? Truth is something you can pin down pretty securely with a few facts."

"There is almost no coverage whatsoever of churches or of faith in most American newspapers, except in articles about the African-American community. Churches don't get written about."

"I do want to write about our churches, and the faith of the people who attend them. And I want to write about many other things, as well, to tell the larger truth of our community, and to make a more complete record of what is happening here. I think it's for the best."

The answer: Margaret Menge, self-described "editor/journalist". Her content is digitized and searchable. The subscription rate TBD. You'll be able to download, save, & copy every single word she's written since the first edition on 1/16/15; including the CRIME BLOTTER!

Lake Worth Commissioner Christoper McVoy, PhD, did a "flip-flop"

According to Wikipedia a "Flip-Flop" is:
[a] sudden real or apparent change of policy or opinion by a public official, sometimes while trying to claim that both positions are consistent with each other. Often it will occur during the period prior to or following an election in order to maximize the candidate's popularity.
Here is McVoy's Flip-Flop as reported by the Palm Beach Post:
     The secrecy bothers McVoy —even though he voted for it
     Last week, McVoy says he didn’t know the ITN would be so hush-hush: At the time he voted, McVoy said its description was “fuzzy…I would not say it was very adequately explained.”
McVoy "was for it before he was against it".

More clear days ahead...

Stacey Singer, Health Writer, wrote the Palm Beach Post endorsement

Have it on good authority that Stacey Singer wrote the endorsement for candidate Ryan Maier in Lake Worth. The Palm Beach Post editorial board approved this endorsement using the following flawed logic:
The key issue in Lake Worth’s municipal election seems to be trust, or the lack thereof. The question is, which candidates are best positioned to improve that trust?
Here are some of the lies, untruths, and outrageous statements by candidate Ryan Maier (there are others):

– Ryan Maier has the endorsement of the Florida NOW PAC? False.
– Maier falsely accused Commissioner John Szerdi of an ethical violation from the Inspector General of Palm Beach County. True.
– Maier later claimed he didn't make the accusation above. True.
– Maier has falsely claimed, repeatedly, having experience in city government. True.
– Maier has falsely accused Commissioner John Szerdi of "hiding" information from the public. True.
– Maier thinks Lake Worth should build another college. True.
– Maier thinks Lake Worth's Bryant Park should have concession stands. True.

Below is a letter from City of Lake Worth resident/volunteer/board member and former City Commissioner Retha Lowe that proves conclusively that Ryan Maier lied about his experience:
Ryan Maier is unfit for office. The Palm Beach Post sacrificed their integrity to prop up a candidate; a record that cannot stand on its own, ergo the endorsement. 

In her endorsement Ms. Singer takes a clever shot at "the majority". My question to Ms. Singer is this: Wouldn't your criticisms be more useful directed at those who chose a terribly flawed candidate in the first place?
 Political Advertisement paid for and approved by John Szerdi non-partisan for City Commission

Let's focus on bottom half of the full page ad in The Lake Worth Herald (3/5)—An accurate view of the past. . .

William Waters, Lake Worth Community Sustainability Director: Letter to Pastor Mike Olive

Please download this pdf or share this blog post with your contacts. 

The City of Lake Worth has received an undeserved black eye, nation-wide, due to the antics of Pastor Mike Olive and the Common Ground Church. Read here the latest from The Raw Story. The entire narrative by the pastor is debunked in the following letter from the Lake Worth Community Sustainability Director William Waters. [Note there is no mention of a "$500 fine".]

This letter by William Waters stands in dark contrast to the report by Kathleen Walter at CBS12 (WPEC) who wrote [in the text of her story]:
Members of several Lake Worth congregations say they're being targeted by city officials and are asking if there is a war on religion?
Is anyone else getting angry with this nonsense?

Full page ad in today's edition of the Lake Worth Herald. . .

Pick up your copy today! Only 50 cents. Support your local businesses. The Lake Worth Herald is the oldest operating business in the City of Lake Worth. They endorse John Szerdi.
Political Advertisement paid for and approved by John Szerdi non-partisan for City Commission

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Great song!

Did you catch this story from Brian Entin at Channel 5/WPTV about the Lake Worth Beach/Casino?

Watch video here: Changes Coming to Lake Worth Beach?

This is an excellent report by Brian Entin. Question: how much are you as a taxpayer willing to subsidize a complex with a failed business plan?

The Lake Worth Beach/Casino is losing money and is deeply in debt. All thanks to a previous commission and a city manager (since fired) that didn't know what they were doing. You might recognize a familiar face in the picture below:
What's interesting is this: since this photo was taken there has never been a reunion by those responsible to celebrate their work. It's like they all scurried from a crime scene; they hope no one remembers they were the ones responsible for the mess we have today.

Look closely at the photo above: these people have cost you a tremendous amount of money. You're still paying for their mistakes; and many others like this one here:

[UPDATE] Will the Palm Beach Post issue a correction & clarification tomorrow? District 4 race in Lake Worth

[See letter below from former Lake Worth Commissioner/city board member Retha Lowe who confirms that candidate Ryan Maier is lying about his city board experience.]

Eliot Kleinberg wrote a piece about the two races for City Commission in the City of Lake Worth. Ryan Maier's bio (2nd bio below) has a falsehood and a misleading statement. 

First, here is the bio for Lake Worth Commissioner John Szerdi:
Mr. Szerdi's bio is straightforward. In fact, if you go to Commissioner Szerdi's website you can actually download his résumé. Here is Commissioner Szerdi's experience.

Mr. Craig Frost's bio is accurate. Click link above for Mr. Frost's bio by the Post's Eliot Kleinberg.

Here is candidate Ryan Maier's bio that was printed in the Palm Beach Post:
Lie: Ryan Maier was appointed to the Lake Worth Sister City Board; however, he was never a member of that city board. Ryan Maier refused to take his Ethics Training and therefore was never qualified to cast a vote. He was removed from the Sister City Board for excessive absenteeism. This was proven as early as February 9th, nearly 2 months ago on this blog.

[UPDATE: Here is the letter for former Lake Worth Commissioner Retha Lowe:]

Clarification: It is against State Law—Florida Statutes Chapter 163 (8) (a) and (b)—to regulate building heights in the city charter. A city cannot have a referendum which would result in an amendment to a local government's Comprehensive Plan. That is how land use is regulated (like building heights) in Florida. Heights were actually lowered in Lake Worth from a maximum of 65' to 45' between Dixie Hwy and Federal Hwy, along Lake and Lucerne Avenues. The area in question was really the area east of Federal Hwy to Golfview where there are taller buildings already.

The chair of the Respectful Planning PAC, Laurel Decker, sued the City of Lake Worth to force it amend its charter and send the results to Tallahassee. But then Laurel Decker withdrew her lawsuit after these realities became evident. The retroactive provision of the 2013 State Law made all such votes "null and void."

To recap: Mr. Maier's claim of being a member of the Sister City Board is FALSE. Maier's campaign promise to limit building heights using the city charter is misleading, to put it kindly.

Tomorrow I'll address the Eliot Kleinberg bio's for the District 2 race in Lake Worth, candidate Serge Jerome, Jr. and incumbent Commissioner Christopher McVoy. A quick scan and the information is accurate and fair. 

Chicken Run in Lake Worth: Cara Jennings, Ryan Maier, and the Urban Chicken

Former Commissioner/Anarchist Cara Jennings was a big proponent of raising chickens within the municipal boundaries of Lake Worth. Below is one of Tom McGow's classic photoshops, note the image of Cara Jennings (top right).

One of the District 4 candidates challenging Incumbent Commissioner John Szerdi is Ryan Maier. Mr. Maier founded the Facebook site Lake Worth Chickens. You can read the article here about Ryan Maier where Cara Jennings is quoted saying:
"There's a whole clandestine chicken army out there," said former City Commissioner Cara Jennings, who mother-henned the 2009 effort but is lying low this time.
Ryan Maier is a reminder of an era in Lake Worth we would all rather forget.
This is Ryan Maier prior to his new political campaign look.
Onto the important business in front of us as a city, like fixing our infrastructure, streets, sidewalks for kids walking to school, and the water pipes throughout this city (to name only a few necessities).

From the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ)—a journalism lesson for Margaret Menge

Here are two letters in response to Margaret Menge's inaccurate and fabricated 'news story' she published last week:

Here are some excerpts from Ms. Menge's 'report':
– . . ."the owner of the Gulfstream Hotel, held a quiet little meeting"
– "According to Commissioner Christopher McVoy who chanced upon the meeting". . .
– . . ."meeting to which only property owners were invited."
– "I'm livid at the rest of the commissioners, he [McVoy] said."
Here is what actually happened: The new owners of the Gulfstream Hotel held a private meeting with owners of neighboring condos and other neighbors. The Gulfstream Hotel owners are being good neighbors and discussing what they are thinking of doing with the property. No plans are finalized. Nothing has come before the city commission. Nothing has been voted on. This is the pre-planning phase when ideas are discussed. Period. End of story.

Ms. Menge's 'story' is a fabrication. She didn't have the time to verify the information she published. [Also note she was not present.]

This private meeting occurred on Wednesday afternoon. Menge's paper (always free) gets distributed on Friday morning. Ms. Menge simply hadn't the time to get the story correct before going to press. But she published it anyhow.

Here is what the SPJ Code of Ethics says a true journalist should do [in no particular order]:
– Recognize that legal access to information differs from an ethical justification to publish or broadcast.
– Balance the public’s need for information against potential harm or discomfort.
Pursuit of the news is not a license for arrogance or undue intrusiveness. [emphasis added]
– Diligently seek subjects of news coverage to allow them to respond to criticism or allegations of wrongdoing.
Remember that neither speed nor format excuses inaccuracy.
– Provide context. Take special care not to misrepresent or oversimplify in promoting, previewing or summarizing a story.
– Identify sources clearly. The public is entitled to as much information as possible
to judge the reliability and motivations of sources.
Label advocacy and commentary.
[and...]
Respond quickly to questions about accuracy, clarity and fairness.

Does Eliot Kleinberg and the Palm Beach Post editorial board need more proof? Read on...

What does it take to get the media's attention? Ryan Maier is a candidate for office in Lake Worth and he is lying about his experience. Even when confronted with the truth he continues to lie. Does it take a former Commissioner WHO WAS THERE to finally convince you?

Big news on the Florida presidential primaries next year

Ryan Day at the FloridaPolitics blog has this highly interesting story about the State of Florida primaries:
     Two proposed committee bills to move back the date of Florida’s presidential primaries have sailed through legislative committees in as many days.
     The House version of the proposal, PCB RCEC 15-05, was introduced and approved in the House Rules Calendar & Ethics Committee without questions or debate in under three minutes on Monday, resulting in one of the fastest gavel-to-gavel hearings this observer has ever seen.
     In the Senate, there was slightly more discussion, but not much. SPB 7036 was briefly presented by the Senate’s Chief Attorney Jonathan Fox.
[and...]
     Moving the dates back would allow Florida Republicans to apportion their delegates in a winner-takes-all fashion, rather than proportionately according to the share of the vote each candidate receives. That would make the state’s primary a huge prize for either Jeb Bush or Marco Rubio, who would be heavily favored to win their home state and take home Florida’s hundreds of delegates all at once [emphasis added].

FDOT to Host Open House for Southern Boulevard ICWW Bridge Replacement Project

West Palm Beach – The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) is holding an informal open house to discuss the upcoming project to replace the State Road 80/Southern Boulevard Bridge over the Intracoastal Waterway and the adjacent Tide Relief Bridge. The open house will be held Wednesday, March 11 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the St. Catherine Greek Orthodox Church, Community Meeting Room, 112 Southern Boulevard in West Palm Beach.
The project includes:  
     Building a temporary bridge on the north side of the existing bridge over the Intracoastal Waterway to minimize traffic impacts during construction of the replacement bridge
     Replacing the existing moveable bridge over the Intracoastal Waterway with a two-lane moveable bridge with 12-foot-wide travel lanes. The new bridge will be built on the same alignment as the existing bridge. Also, the new bridge will provide 21 feet of vertical clearance and 125 feet of horizontal clearance between the fenders for vessels.
     Replacing the Tide Relief Bridge with a similar two-lane bridge located parallel to and slighting south of the existing bridge. The new Tide Relief Bridge will provide approximately 11 feet of vertical clearance and 48 feet of horizontal clearance for vessels.
  • Building 10-foot-wide shoulders, which will accommodate bicyclists, and six-foot-wide sidewalks on both sides of both bridges 
  • Building a new left-turn lane from the ICWW bridge onto Flagler Avenue Building roadway and drainage improvements along Southern Boulevard, Flagler Drive and the Post Memorial Causeway 
  • Enhancing parking areas, revising median access, paving the shoulders, installing new sidewalks, and upgrading the signs and pavement markings along the Post Memorial Causeway 
  • Installing mast arm traffic signals at the Southern Boulevard intersections with Washington Road and Flagler Drive 
  • Upgrading the roadway lighting system through the project limits 
  • Installing infrastructure at the intersection of Church Street for potential future signalization
This project is currently being designed. Construction is anticipated to begin in Summer 2016 and to be completed in approximately three years. The estimated construction cost is $78 million.

No formal presentation will be made during the open house, attendees may come and go at their convenience. Project plans and diagrams will be on display and FDOT staff will be on hand throughout the open house to discuss the project and answer questions.

Public participation is solicited without regard to race, color, national origin, age, sex, religion, disability or family status.

Persons that require special accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act or require translation services (free of charge) should contact Ms. Vania Saini, P.E., FDOT Design Project Manager, at least seven days before the open house. She can be reached by phone at 954-777-4468 or toll free at 1-866-336-8435 ext. 4468 or email at Vanita.Saini@dot.state.fl.us.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

The Palm Beach Post editorial board says, "The key issue in Lake Worth’s municipal election seems to be trust"

I guess they didn't watch this video of Commissioner McVoy sneaking through the papers of other commissioners during a break at a Lake Worth City Commission meeting. McVoy thought the video was turned off; it wasn't. During breaks the audio is turned off but the video keeps on recording.

Here is an excerpt from another comment left for the editorial board:
     These endorsements are clear evidence that the Palm Beach Post does not know and/ or care about the truth concerning Lake Worth.
     Commission McVoy is nothing but a puppet for former Lake Worth officials. If he asked the Inspector General about the pre-meeting dinner hosted by the City Manager, why does the complaint show the names of two LW residents and not Commission McVoy's name? Of course, the residents are supporters of Commission McVoy. Did the Post get a copy of the response from the Inspector General? If it had, the Post would have learned the Inspector General stated 'that no information was presented that would indicate a violation of law, policy, or rule." Case closed.

Candidate Ryan Maier: You were right, your lie is "easy to prove." Read/watch this:


The video above is from the Bryant Park candidate forum at the Municipal Golf Course Clubhouse on 2/23. Check out what Ryan Maier says at the 1:04 mark. This came up at last night's Lake Worth Playhouse Debate. The first video of the playlist below is Commissioner John Szerdi's response to the question of how informative/entertaining these debates are. In his response, Commissioner Szerdi references the allegation made by Mr. Maier at that forum on 2/23.

This is Mr. Maier's accusation:
"In fact, he [Commissioner John Szerdi] recently received word from the Inspector General of Palm Beach County, that his relationship with the developer of this project is an ethical violation."
This video where Mr. Maier makes this claim has been on YouTube and this blog since last Tuesday (2/24) and served as the impetus for Commissioner Szerdi to have the "cease and desist" letter served to Mr. Maier last week—along with a request for a written apology.

Last night, yours truly (Wes Blackman) was called out by Mr. Maier, referencing the videos that I take of candidate forums. That is the second video of the playlist here:


This is what Mr. Maier says at the start of his closing remarks:
"My opponent speaks the truth this time. He did have his attorney recently serve me with a “cease and desist” order because of a statement that he claims that I made in the last candidate forum. I did not say that Mr. Szerdi's connection to the developer was an ethical violation. I said that it was an ethical conflict. Because it is a conflict. And that is exactly what the Inspector General informed Commissioner Szerdi. Now all of this can be easily cleared up by Mr. Blackman over here, a paid campaign consultant for Mr. Szerdi's campaign. Because as you see Mr. Blackman videotapes all of the candidate forums and typically posts that videotape the very following day on YouTube. Now this would be very easy to prove or disprove with that videotape. And the response that my attorney has delivered to Mr. Szerdi's attorney is that we are waiting for you to prove that I made that statement. What I said was that it is a conflict and I stand by that statement. And I believe a “cease and desist” letter is an intimidation tactic. And I am not intimidated."
First, let's start with definitions. A violation is not a conflict. A violation is:
–the act of doing something that is not allowed by a law or rule–the act of ignoring or interfering with a person's rights
–the act of showing disrespect for something (such as a holy place) usually by damaging it
A conflict, Mr. Maier's word used last night to describe the situation, is:
–a struggle for power, property, etc.
–strong disagreement between people, groups, etc., that results in often angry argument
–a difference that prevents agreement, disagreement between ideas, feelings, etc. 
I think he was referring to what is known as a conflict of interest, to be exact. From Wikipedia:
"The presence of a conflict of interest is independent of the occurrence of impropriety. Therefore, a conflict of interest can be discovered and voluntarily defused before any corruption occurs."
This is exactly what Commissioner Szerdi did when the city attorney requested an advisory opinion on this topic. This letter was issued last March, almost a year ago, by the Palm Beach County Commission on Ethics.

This is the letter that Commissioner Szerdi had with him last night and you can see that in the video. It is also important to note that the Inspector General of Palm Beach County, as referenced repeatedly by Mr. Maier, is not the same thing as the Commission on Ethics. This is a symptom of Mr. Maier's naiveté of local government, since his only experience was a brief stint on the Sister City Board, that we also heard AGAIN last night. He was removed from that board due to excessive absence and not taking the required ethics training. Had he done that perhaps he wouldn't confuse the two agencies.

A public records request from the OIG produced only these letters related to a baseless complaint filed by Lynn Anderson and Katie McGiveron.

So, there is the proof, Mr. Maier. You said it was going to be easy and it was. When will you start telling the truth?

Yet another letter from a Gulfstream Condominium resident with "rest of the story" Margaret Menge didn't report

Connie Stahl and a friend dropped this letter off to me today. They really just want the hotel to re-open, is that so wrong?
She doesn't think too highly of Commissioner McVoy or his actions.

Comment left at the Palm Beach Post today in response to their editorial board. . .

"Palm Beach Post your are [sic] disconnected with the residents of Lake Worth [emphasis added]

[and...]

Your input is like people playing a board game and have no skin in this game. 

[and...]

Please get real, live the life then maybe you would understand."

Lake Worth, we have a very big problem—"Common Ground" at our City Hall tonight?

Our little City of Lake Worth recently had a new church open up its doors in our City called the "Common Ground Church"; you can read about this church here

This is a line from the "Common Ground" Facebook page:

"We will not surrender the City of Lake Worth to the forces of darkness uncontested."
The "forces of darkness" are not identified.
This is what was written on their Facebook page: "Remember to join us for prayer on the steps of city hall Tuesday evening [TONIGHT] at 6pm. We will be PRAYING, NOT PROTESTING. Love > hate."

Margaret Menge, a self-described reporter, wrote the article about the Common Ground Church that is being picked up by media all across the United States. Below is an example:
Do you agree: "Lake Worth is a God hating City"?
Consider this sequence: the recent formation of the Common Ground Church late last year, the article by Ms. Menge on February 20th giving our City a black eye on the national stage, and a Lake Worth Municipal election on March 10th.

Draw your own conclusions.
"War on Religion?"

Was Lake Worth candidate Ryan Maier endorsed by Florida NOW? The answer is NO

Ryan Maier claims (at candidate forums and on campaign literature) that he has the "endorsement" from Florida NOW. This is NOT TRUE. 
The Florida NOW PAC wasn't comfortable giving Maier a full endorsement and just gave him a "recommended". You can see this for yourself at the Florida NOW website

You can judge for yourself why Ryan Maier is taking credit for an endorsement he never received; plus add to the mix his dubious endorsement from Democracy for America. Mr Maier has a problem with word definitions, apparently.

HYSTERIA tactic exposed in the City of Lake Worth; plus, electioneering without a disclaimer

Prior to each debate at the Lake Worth Playhouse some in the City of Lake Worth try to pull off these low, inflammatory political hoaxes to confuse the citizenry in our City; this year was no different. Read about this latest political hoax; if you have already read this, forward it to your neighbors, family, and friends: 

"The degree of one's emotions varies inversely with one's knowledge of the facts."— Bertrand Russell

You can reacquaint yourself with what is really going on with the Lake Worth Beach by reading this posted a few days ago.

Note the following image below posted just a few days ago on a website:
This is the original image of a website that directs you to a Facebook page. Later, after being made aware that this violated campaign rules, the page was changedquickly.
Note what was done which had the intent/potential to deceive and manipulate the public in the City of Lake Worth:
–Whoever created this website, either a person or group, is not identified.
–The title is an outright lie: the City Commission is not "going forward with more development on our public beach." Anything being considered is in the "idea stage", per Commissioner McVoy from an October 7, 2014 Lake Worth City Commission meeting.
–Although Commissioner McVoy and candidate Ryan Maier were mentioned on this webpage, there was no disclaimer, which is required.
–When the absence of a disclaimer was pointed out the webpage was quickly changed.
This political tactic is an old one. Remember, for example, when former Lake Worth candidate René Varela was accused of being a "Dolphin Killer" at a Lake Worth Playhouse debate? This is an example of what these people are capable of:

[There is more to say on this; will update later]

Amazingly, when directed to a Lake Worth Facebook about the Lake Worth Beach from this deceitful website, one comment managed to get by this Facebook page's censors that explains what is really happening, a little over a week before elections in the City of Lake Worth:
Please share this information with your neighbors, family and friends.