Saturday, April 11, 2015

Barbara Walters' interview with President Barack Obama: the reason Margaret Menge is a blackballed journalist

Newsmax Deceptively Edits Obama's 'Laziness' Quote:
Margaret Menge does a little deceptive editing in a Dec. 23 [2011] Newsmax article:
     In a pre-Christmas interview with Barbara Walters set to air tonight on ABC, President Barack Obama refers to himself as lazy, saying it’s the result of having grown up in Hawaii, with the sun and beach.
     Walters interviewed the president and the first lady in the Green Room of the White House on Dec. 15 in a special called “One-on-one with the Obamas.”
     In the interview, Walters asks each: "What's the trait you most deplore in yourself and the trait you most deplore in others?"
     "Laziness," the president replies.
     "You're lazy?" Walters asks.
     "You know, it's interesting,” says the president. “There is a deep down -- underneath all the work that I do -- I think there's a laziness in me. It's probably from, you know, growing up in Hawaii and it's sunny outside, and sitting on the beach”
     “Sounds good to me,” Walters replies.
     The president left for Hawaii today on a 10-day vacation with his family. He was scheduled to leave earlier and to stay in Hawaii for 17 days, but changed his plans after Mitt Romney, a leading contender for the Republican nomination for president, rapped him for leaving town before a budget deal had been reached.
     Romney has repeatedly criticized the president for his lax work ethic and for taking long vacations, saying earlier this month: “Obama’s idea of a hands-on approach to the economy is getting a grip on his golf club.”
[Margaret] Menge curiously failed to include the entire Obama quote:
     Q Okay. What's the trait you most deplore in yourself and the trait you most deplore in others?
     THE PRESIDENT: Laziness.
     Q You've lazy?
     THE PRESIDENT: It's interesting, there is a -- deep down, underneath all the work I do, I think there's a laziness in me. I mean, probably --
     MRS. OBAMA: If you had your choice --
     THE PRESIDENT: It's probably from growing up in Hawaii, and it's sunny outside, and sitting on the beach --
     Q Sounds good to me.
     PRESIDENT: Right. But when I'm mad at myself, it's because I'm saying to myself, you know what, you could be doing better; push harder. And when I -- nothing frustrates me more than when people aren't doing their jobs. Although -- sorry, I shouldn't provide two answers. The thing actually that I most dislike is cruelty. I can't stand cruel people. And if I see people doing something mean to somebody else just to make themselves feel important, it really gets me mad. But in myself, since I tend not to be a mean person, if I get lazy, then I get mad at myself.
     So Obama actually uses his feelings of laziness as motivation to "push harder." Menge not only didn't mention that, she reinforced the misleading impression that Obama called himself lazy by repeating Romney's criticism of Obama's supposedly laziness.
     Politico's Ben Smith is calling this the "next anti-Obama talking point." Menge proves Smith right. Too bad Menge can't be bothered to fairly report the quote in full.

The entire little City of Lake Worth IN SHOCK!!!

No, not really. The ones in SHOCK are the misinformed. Mark Twain said it best: "A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes." The same can be said for half-truths and obfuscations which is exactly what Margaret Menge is doing with her 'community' newspaper. This is more yellow journalism by her designed to intentionally mislead the public; a public which deserves better.
I've written plenty on this process called the "Invitation to Negotiate" or ITN. And tomorrow I'm going to address this silliness from Margaret Menge just not in the way you might think. I won't belabor the point now but here is the short version:

Consider this from Menge's 'House Editorial' titled, "Betrayal at the Beach":
     No matters [sic] what orders he [City Manager Bornstein] is being given by the Commission majority, Bornstein is still sworn to uphold the laws of the state of Florida, and our Sunshine laws say that the business of the people must be done in the open. Why isn't it?
In one sentence Menge alleges impropriety by Mayor Pam Triolo, Vice Mayor Scott Maxwell, and Commissioner Andy Amoroso. Anyone not aware of what is happening would conclude City Manager Bornstein is complicit in this 'unlawful' activity and not following the Sunshine Law or the laws of Florida.

Completely irresponsible, Ms. Menge. [And it's no wonder Ms. Menge publishes her own 'community' newspaper; she can't get hired anywhere else as a journalist or an editor.]

What results from this nonsense is the debate gets lost. Menge's precious Free Speech becomes a club to stifle ideas and creativity. She writes the Municipal Pool "lost just $123,000" and the Casino complex "will have a very healthy balance if all goes well." If all goes well?

The truth is the Casino complex has become a huge burden for the taxpayers of Lake Worth and it was designed to do just the opposite. If the taxpayers knew back then what they know now, that they would be subsidizing the Casino to such a degree, would there have been such broad support to build the structure in the first place? I think not.

No doubt, Margaret Menge is a very talented writer. However, she is also an unscrupulous reporter and editor. The Society of Professional Journalists Code of Ethics isn't high on her list of reference materials. She's cleverly using her Free Speech to confuse the public on a very important topic in our City. And that's my topic tomorrow.

Discussion from last Tuesday's City Commission meeting vis-à-vis City Manager's contract. . .


Play the video to hear the glowing reviews about City Manager Michael Bornstein's tenure in Lake Worth. The comments begin with Mayor Dave Stewart of Lantana. Mr. Bornstein worked for Lantana as their City Manager for 14 years or so. He reminded people of what a true professional we have now after a number of others that have filled the same position over the years. Mayor Stewart also pointed out that Mr. Bornstein is currently the third least-compensated City Manager in Palm Beach County. This fact was later confirmed by the city's Human Resources Director.

There were many others that spoke Mr. Bornstein's praises and I was able to get most of them. This came at the end of the meeting. Unfortunately, the camera battery gave up the ghost after Lisa Maxwell's comments. So, you are missing some other positive comments as a result. If you want to hear the entire discussion, you can find it on the city's website by clicking here.

Of course, there was one detractor from the high praises. That happened to come from the reigning "Ms. Stick-in-the-Mud 2015", JoAnn Golden. I guess she thinks it's more important for the city manager to write reports, like Susan Stanton did, rather than do things that improve the operational qualities of the city. You can hear her 'illuminating' comments at the 14:25 mark of the video.

What started as a simple two year extension of the City Manager's contract evolved into a discussion of extending the contract to five years and throwing in an additional $10,000 per year in compensation. Concern was expressed how many of the city's employees have gone without raises in a very long time and given the head administrator of the city a raise at this time might send a confusing message. However, the final motion was 3-2 to approve a five year extension, with the $10,000 per year increase. It probably would have been unanimous had it not been for the change in compensation, with the other two votes (McVoy and Maier) indicating that they would consider a longer contract but were concerned about the increase in salary.

The 'N-word' at Lake Worth City Hall and Buddy Nevins: "The Fight To Replace Alcee Hastings"

Buddy Nevins has the blog called Broward Beat. He penned a post on April 9th that I encourage all my readers to read: it's about U.S. Rep. Alcee Hastings. This article aligns perfectly with the issue surrounding Mrs. McNamara's use of the 'N-word' at Lake Worth City Hall recently: how much work there's left to do. (Even Margaret Menge, who claims to be a 'journalist/editor', is excusing this terrible behavior [more on that tomorrow].)

Alcee Hastings represents parts of Palm Beach County also, including areas in the City of Lake Worth. Mr. Nevins focuses on the early work of Hastings in Broward County:
     Hastings is one of the few true Broward County political heroes.
     As a 1960s era civil rights attorney, Hastings helped pry the door open for blacks. He fought hard-core segregationists who controlled the business and political community in the courts and with his melodious speech.
     Young people in today’s liberal Broward County can not even imagine what it was like just 60 or 50 years ago.
     Racists like Ben Klassen, the author of The White Man’s Bible who founded the self-proclaimed white supremacist Church of The Creator, was elected to the state Legislature from Lighthouse Point.
     Hastings, an outspoken attorney, was a target of those who wanted no change. He was called a radical “monkey” [emphasis added] in a hate sheet regularly distributed by the conservatives in the Broward GOP.
     This was an era when the Fort Lauderdale newspapers segregated news of blacks under a headline “black news” deep inside the paper.  Working for one of those papers, this then-very young police reporter was told by a casually racist editor that we don’t cover murders in “that neighborhood.”
     Hastings was fighting this ugly status quo.

     Mostly as a symbolic gesture, he ran for U. S. Senate in 1970 for the seat left open after Spessard Holland retired. He campaigned in places where blacks had never entered the restaurants and hotels through the front doors, much less appeared on a ballot.
On January 19th, only 83 days ago, the City of Lake Worth held its largest Martin Luther King March ever and it was great to be there and write about it. Fifty-three days later Mrs. McNamara demonstrated how there is still much ugliness and bigotry in our little City of Lake Worth. Here is an image from Mrs. McNamara's Facebook page (which was later taken down):
Mrs. McNamara had an opportunity to apologize and she chose not to take it. Now she's left it to her band of allies and friends to defend her. Her defenders are more upset that Mrs. McNamara lost her job than having the word 'N****r' used in our Lake Worth City Hall. 

Retha Lowe was one of the organizers of the Lake Worth Martin Luther King March this year. At a City Commission meeting on 3/24 she had a few choice words for Mrs. McNamara during public comment on this very subject:

DZ: The news you've been waiting for; the Nile Monitor lizard has arrived

David Fleshler at the Sun Sentinel has this article which will be welcome news to some. The C-51 Canal is mentioned in the article. For those of you unaware, the C-51 Canal is the border between Lake Worth and West Palm Beach (you drive over it on Dixie Hwy). From the article:
     These carnivorous lizards are big enough to eat cats. [emphasis added] And now shotgun-toting wildlife officers plan to kill as many Nile monitors as they can before breeding season.
     The African reptiles, which can grow to 5 feet long, have established a breeding population along the C-51 canal and nearby waterways in central Palm Beach County, where they devour native wildlife.
     Although state wildlife officials have been hunting them down for several years, they plan a new push now, since the approach of breeding season makes the lizards more active and easier to spot.
     "We have found that the population hasn't spread very far from the C-51 Canal, and if we increase the pressure, we might be able to eradicate them," said Jenny Ketterlin Eckles, non-native wildlife biologist for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
You can read much more about the Nile Monitor lizard at the Florida Fish and Wildlife website. Here is a picture from their site:

A real news article title: "Solar Eclipse A Warning To America About Relationship With Israel"

We're all still here. The sun came up today and there was a line at Dunkin Donuts. Life is normal: Everyone was oblivious how close we came to THE END TIMES! The website Right Wing Watch recently had this story about WorldNetDaily (WND) and ominous warning signs:

Although WorldNetDaily frequently reminds its readers that the earth is just 6,000 years old, the far-right outlet reports today that an event which “only takes place once every 100,000 years” is “an unmistakable sign of judgment.”
According to WND, “biblical experts” are excited that a solar eclipse on Friday [March 20th] “will darken the sun just in time for the sunrise at the North Pole,” which obviously means that God is about to punish Europe, and possibly the U.S., for its allegedly poor treatment of Israel and growing “anti-Israel sentiment.”:
A solar eclipse coming on March 20 won’t just be an astronomical wonder – it will be an event that may be unprecedented in human history, according to biblical experts who say it is an unmistakable sign of judgment.
They're not called "wingnuts" for no reason. Right Wing Watch is one of those websites you need to look at now and then. What you see there is sobering and wildly entertaining at the same time.

Governor Scott heads West: not for good though, he's coming back

John Kennedy at the Post On Politics blog has this article titled, "Scott goes West — in search of jobs":
     Gov. Rick Scott heads this weekend to California on his latest business recruiting trip — with Enterprise Florida already trying to woo Golden State companies in advance with a radio ad touting this state’s low taxes.
     But a spokesman for Gov. Jerry Brown, a Democrat, is shrugging off Scott’s air and land invasion.
     “As one of the 60 million tourists expected to visit California this year, we hope the governor’s stay is both enjoyable and educational,” said Evan Westrup, Brown’s press secretary.
If you've been reading up on Governor Scott's travels around the country encouraging businesses to relocate to Florida, he's been very successful. Given the drought conditions and terrible winters the last few years it's not a hard sell.

Do you remember this gem from Jennifer Sorentrue when the Ithaca, New York tourism page had this: That's it. We surrender. Winter, you win. Key West anyone?

Friday, April 10, 2015

Three Local Mayors Deliver Lunches In Support of Meals on Wheel’s March for Meals

Annual Event Brings Attention to Senior Hunger and Local Need for Meals on Wheels Volunteers
     Three local Palm Beach County mayors joined with Meals on Wheels of the Palm Beaches for March for Meals, an annual national event designed to bring attention to the problem of senior hunger in America.
     Palm Beach County Mayor Shelley Vana, West Palm Beach Mayor Jeri Muoio and Lake Worth Mayor Pam Triolo each spent a few hours in March delivering meals to homebound Meals on Wheels clients in central Palm Beach County.
     For the mayors, March for Meals was an opportunity to learn more about the local Meals on Wheels program, whose volunteers now make more than 500 home visits a week. It was also a chance for them to get to know a few seniors who depend on the program for a nutritious noontime meal up to five days a week.
     “We brought them lunch and they brought us inspiration,” said Vana, who praised the work done by Meals on Wheels volunteers. “If everyone did something like this, we would have a more cohesive community.”
     Now in its 13th year, March for Meals is a national celebration led by Meals on Wheels America that mobilizes hundreds of local Meals on Wheels programs across the country to reach out to their communities to build the support that will sustain them all year long.
     This is the third year that Meals on Wheels of the Palm Beaches has participated in the program, with both Muoio and Triolo having participated in the past.
     “We’re extremely grateful to our three local mayors for taking time out of their busy schedules to meet a few of our clients and to see first hand the need for programs like Meals on Wheels in our community,” said Executive Director Charlie Ring. “Both our clients and the mayors really enjoyed the opportunity to get to meet one another.”
     Through their visits, the mayors had an opportunity to learn about Meals on Wheels of the Palm Beaches’ continuing need for volunteers to make deliveries and to help prepare meals. The mayor also learned that the organization does not receive government funding and is dependant on community support.
     “We’re always looking for additional volunteers but our need is especially great this time of year when many of our seasonal volunteers have returned to their homes up north,” Ring said.
     To find out more about volunteer opportunities, visit the Meals on Wheels website or call 561-802-6979.

SHOCK the Monkey!

SHOCK! SHOCK! SHOCK! Margaret Menge still doesn't understand ITN process. Did she not watch video?

This video has gotten a tremendous amount of views and the one person who most needed to watch it, Margaret Menge, somehow missed this. Lake Worth City Manager Michael Bornstein concisely explains how we got to this point in time and why the Invitation to Negotiate (ITN) process was chosen.

The Lake Worth Casino complex (and pool) are hemorrhaging money. The second floor remains unoccupied and the pool building is an absolute mess.

It's important for anyone who is serious about this topic to know this: the current City Commission is tasked with fixing a mess left by those such as former City Manager Susan Stanton and current Commissioner McVoy. No serious discussion is complete without the historical context. And nothing has come out of the ITN process other than recordings of meetings. That is called "transparency." We will find out more on April 28th.

Another building coming down in the little City of Lake Worth

This one is on Lucerne Ave just east of 'D' Street. Another One Bites The Dust!

Great American Cleanup Tomorrow: Snook Islands & Lagoon Shoreline

     Volunteers are needed for the Great American Cleanup effort in Lake Worth. Tomorrow, April 11, join your neighbors to help clean up the shoreline of Lake Worth Lagoon and Snook Islands area, adjacent to the Lake Worth Municipal Golf Course. The area is littered with old tires, broken bits of lumber, plastic and paper trash. All are welcome to participate in this clean-up effort spearheaded by the Kiwanis Club of Lake Worth in conjunction with Keep Palm Beach County Beautiful.
     Volunteers will meet at the clubhouse (located at 7th Ave N and the intracoastal) at 8 AM. You don’t have to be a Kiwanis member to join in the effort, but volunteers must be 18 years old or accompanied by a parent.
     All participants are asked to park in the golf course parking lot the morning of the event. Golf carts will be used to shuttle volunteers to the cleanup locations along the length of the shoreline. Plenty of garbage bags and latex gloves will be provided. Please be sure to wear old clothes, closed-toed shoes, sunscreen, sunglasses, and hats if you have them.

Anti-KKK march in Tallahassee and Confederate flag burned

Ryan Ray at SaintPetersBlog has this account of the demonstration:
     A group of around 60 protesters marched from Florida State University to the Capitol this evening in a show of force against recent Ku Klux Klan-related activity in Tallahassee. The event, organized by Students for a Democratic Society, culminated in the burning of a Confederate flag near the steps of the Old Capitol building.
     Referring to recent reports of neglect and abuse in prisons overseen by the Florida Department of Corrections, chants of “DOC, KKK, how many people did you kill today?” and “Indict, convict, send these racist cops to jail; the whole damn system is guilty as hell!” filled College Avenue as the sun set over Downtown Tallahassee.
     A mixture of anti-racist exhortations, militant rhetoric and homespun political economy was voiced over a bullhorn as officers from the Tallahassee Police Department and Florida Department of Law Enforcement looked on, mostly unperturbed.
A group called the Republic of Florida Militia threatened a counter-protest but that didn't happen. I wouldn't recommend anyone visiting their website however it's a real problem in Florida and can't be ignored. You've been warned; here it is.

The Sierra Club losing the PR battle—not looking good for Everglades land buy

If you've been following this story you know the Sierra Club, to name one environmentalist group, has spent an enormous amount of money and time trying to convince the SFWMD and the legislature to buy land south of Lake Okeechobee. Resources, no doubt, that will leave other efforts wanting.

Christine Stapleton's sobering article in the Palm Beach Post gives 10 reasons, all of them strong, for the land buy not happening. Now Andy Reid from the Sun Sentinel has this article titled, "Water district balks at Everglades land deal":
Buying more Big Sugar land for Everglades restoration could cost taxpayers up to $700 million and slow other efforts to save Florida's River of Grass [emphasis added], South Florida water managers warned Thursday.
     Environmental groups for months have been calling for state leaders to buy 46,800 acres of U.S. Sugar Corp. land south of Lake Okeechobee and use it to restore water flows needed to replenish the Everglades.
     But the South Florida Water Management District, which leads Everglades restoration, estimates that the cost of buying the land could be nearly twice as much as once projected.
And don't forget the little matter of the Cape Sabal seaside sparrow:
Cape Sabal Seaside Sparrow, Sourse U.S. FWS.

DVR ALERT: Lake Worth business to appear on ABC's “Shark Tank” tonight at 9:00

This is an excerpt from reporter Celia Ampel's article in the South Florida Business Journal:
     Lake Worth entrepreneur Alex Furmansky will appear on ABC’s “Shark Tank” next month to pitch his startup that turns children's drawings into custom plush toys.
     Budsies will appear on the April 10 episode of the reality show, which gives entrepreneurs a chance to attract investors such as Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban. The episode airs at 9 p.m.
     For Furmansky, the “Shark Tank” experience has been a grueling 18 months in the making. The entrepreneur auditioned in September 2013, shortly after launching his company.
Here is a video about Budsies:

Congratulations for getting on the Shark Tank!

I've done a little research and may have some unfortunate news. I'll take a ride out there in a day or two to confirm this but . . . Budsies is likely not in the City of Lake Worth. The address 2328 10th Ave North, the street address for Budsies, doesn't show up on the PBC Property Appraisers website. However 2290 10th Ave North, those 2 tall business buildings just west of Boutwell Road do. That property is in unincorporated Palm Beach County.

But it's close enough for me!

Federal Railway Admin. confirms FEC train horns OK

No big surprise here. Now on to the issue of quiet zones which will takes years to work out. Kimberly Miller has the article on the train horn volume today; here's an excerpt:
     The Federal Railroad Administration confirmed Thursday that horns on new locomotives being used by Florida East Coast Railway are sounding well within required guidelines at 103.6 decibels.
     Engineers from the Federal Railroad Administration performed tests on the horns this week following dozens of complaints from residents living along the FEC corridor that train horn noise has increased with the addition of 24 new GE locomotives to the line in December.
     FEC announced the 103.6 decibel level on its website, but did not respond to questions about the level of noise produced by the company’s older locomotives. Palm Beach Post public records requests to FRA for its decibel level report and noise complaint information have not been filled.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Mrs. Dee McNamara had something to say. . .

Tuesday's (4/7) City Commission meeting: public comment & Comm. Maier's odd reaction (responding to a message?)


Much to point out what happened during public comment at last Tuesday's City Commission meeting. The most important thing is we got some clarity on the Invitation to Negotiate (ITN) regarding ideas for the beach. The meeting has been rescheduled to 6 p.m. in the Commission Chambers on Tuesday, April 28, 2015. It is open to the public but public comment will not be taken. This might or might not be the last meeting of the selection committee. If it is the selection committee will make a recommendation to the City Commission at a workshop at a yet to be determined date. Public comment will be taken at that workshop and the City Commission will not vote at that meeting. If any action is eventually taken, it would either have to be at one of the regular two monthly City Commission meetings or the City Commission could call for a special meeting.

Now, as to the comments made Tuesday night. People are still taking about the Dee McNamara incident and the fallout from it. At the 6:55 mark of the first video, there are two in this playlist, Tennant Davitian comes to the podium. She gets her facts terribly wrong. First she says that Mrs. McNamara "carelessly, mindlessly misspoke", but she says that she did so on Election Day. The incident, beyond the racist rants posted on Facebook and other places, actually occurred before the special meeting on March 16th, six days after the election and was reported by the Lake Worth Herald. You can about that here.

She referred to her neighborhood being "under siege" by the two peaceful protests that took place. The first one she said was on the 5th of May, which we haven't quite gotten to yet, and she said it was on Easter, which the first one was not. It was occurred on Saturday. She then said there was another one "the next day", which was actually on Monday: two days after the first protest. She said that the McNamaras had been good neighbors for 20 years and appeared distressed that undercover law enforcement were in her neighborhood observing the goings-on. You can hear the rest of what she says on the video, but clearly she was confused about the actual facts involved, which should surprise no one. She ends with the quote from the Bible which says, "Let he without sin cast the first stone."

The next speaker, Mark Parrilla, used the same verse from the Bible to begin his comment and said that if people subscribed to that we would have ended up supporting tyranny through the years by mentioning some notable historic figures. He vowed to continue these peaceful protests so that racist attitudes in the City are pointed out until there are no more. I encourage you to listen to his full remarks in the video. He starts at the 9:30 mark of the first video and ends at the 11:40 mark. Other speakers follow including former Commissioner John Szerdi and Tammy Pansa.

At the 16:20 mark of the first video the Commission begins offering their own responses. The Mayor begins with the news about the ITN on the beach meeting and continues with other remarks. At the 17:55 mark, importantly, Mayor Triolo states that it is her job to run the meetings. You will see why that is important later on. She further explains how meetings are to be run and will be run in the future. At the 20:20 mark she responds to Mr. Szerdi's comments about the impact that words have through different media and the effect that they have on people. Sometimes the effects can be substantial.

Vice-Mayor Maxwell comments next. After other issues he discusses and clarifies his remarks made at the previous City Commission meeting at the 24:10 mark of the first video in relation to people who supported the bond issue.

Commission Maier follows and responded to comments related to his putting the ITN item on the agenda at the last meeting. He said that his request wasn't done at the last minute from his end and that it was submitted prior to noon on the Friday before the meeting. He also goes on to say that long meetings are fine and that perhaps the city should have more of them. The first video ends and he continues his remarks on the second video. At the 1:45 mark, he talks about the "Dee McNamara situation."

Commissioner McVoy begins at the 2:50 mark of the second video. He begins by commenting that he wasn't aware that the ITN included the words "beach expansion" in its title. Please. And there is further clarification about the selection committee and the ITN process which Commissioner Amoroso responds to. Commissioner McVoy then says he has a few other items. He talks about the city's reputation in how it deals with the public and the perception the public has of the city, then he talks about the length of meetings. He notes that the city is more than just about "numbers" and that there are people that care. . . He then trails off and his body language shows he was finished speaking at the 9:45 mark of the second video.

Mayor Triolo then speaks and says everyone needs to their homework and be prepared for meetings so that the meeting can be run in an efficient manner.

When the camera view widens watch Commissioner Maier. He is looking intently at something on the upper left corner of his area on the dais. He reaches for it, then at the 10:55 mark, he visibly reacts to something as if he has received news or a message about something:
Maier is on the right; after inspecting a message of some sort he gets "cartoon eyes".
This is completely independent of what the Mayor is talking about at the time. It is soon after this that he puts up his hand to speak.

At the 11:53 mark, Maier interrupts the Mayor with a "Point of Information" per Robert's Rules of Order. This is what that means, along with another parliamentary term that it sometimes gets confused with:
Point of Information: Generally applies to information desired from the speaker: "I should like to ask the (speaker) a question."
Point of Order: Infraction of the rules, or improper decorum in speaking. Must be raised immediately after the error is made.
It turns out that this, I believe, is more of a Point of Order, as Commissioner Maier wondered if the Mayor interrupted Commissioner McVoy's comments, but if so, it should have been made immediately. He only made the point after, perhaps, being prodded by a third party (in the chambers?). Commissioner McVoy, following the lead, acts as if he may not have been finished.

You must watch the rest to the end. It doesn't last much longer as the Mayor quickly adjourned the meeting for a 10 minute break.

[UPDATE] Sunrise Celebration: Easter Day at the Lake Worth Beach, Lake Worth, Florida

UPDATE: I received this wonderful picture on Easter Day.
This picture has gotten a lot of attention from readers of my blog judging by the number of visits. Here is more information about this picture: The Lake Worth Our Savior Lutheran church located at 1615 Lake Ave had their Easter service at the beach and this is an image from the service that morning. 

If you would like to learn more about Our Savior Lutheran church:
You can read their mission statement here.
You can view more photos from their Easter service here.

Congratulations Lake Worth City Manager Michael Bornstein!

Read more about it in The Lake Worth Herald, Lake Worth's only community newspaper. 

Later I'll have the video up from this part of the City Commission meeting on Tuesday 4/7. The amount of praise from the community for CM Bornstein's work was inspiring. Check back later and thank you for visiting my blog.

Editorial in The Lake Worth Herald titled, "Here We Go Again!"

Lake Worth Commissioner Ryan Maier's antics haven't gone unnoticed by The Lake Worth Herald or many others for that matter. He's obviously being coached on the monkeywrenching tactics from commissions past. Here are two excerpts from the Herald 's editorial this week:
     If the first two commission meetings since the election are any indication of what’s to come, it’s going to be a long year.
     Through the past couple of years, it has been an exercise in Commissioner Christopher McVoy going against the grain, just to go against the grain. He never appeared to have a direction in which he was heading, just going the other way from his colleagues on the dais.
     Now comes Commissioner Ryan Maier, skipping to the same beat. It is remarkable how these two work in the same way. It seems the only goal of either of these is to derail a train.
     Maier even went so far as to interject how much Susan Stanton would have appreciated the public speaking so highly of her. All we can say is Stanton is gone and if you are attempting to bring her back, you are only trying to destroy Lake Worth.
[and. . .]
     Maier, prior to his first meeting had added an agenda item at the last minute, annoying other commissioners. Tuesday night he said from the dais, “I asked the City Attorney what the absolute latest time was that I could place an item on the agenda.” 
     This would indicate his effort to make it as difficult for other commissioners to have time to prepare for the topic. [emphasis added] This type of tactic could be considered gorilla [sic] warfare and it is exactly what went on when a previous commission, members of which are showing their faces around commission meetings again, were in control. And these were the same commissioners who hired Susan Stanton, the one Maier is so enamored with.
The Lake Worth Herald is exactly right. You can read here about Lake Worth City Manager Michael Bornstein's performance on the job in relation to the terrible performance by Stanton. We can all thank Mayor Pam Triolo, Vice Mayor Scott Maxwell and Commissioner Andy Amoroso for having the courage to do what had to be done: firing Stanton.

To read the entire editorial go to LWHerald.com. Not a subscriber? You can subscribe here and have the Herald delivered to your mailbox or for on-line access if you prefer.

Calling all Lake Worth Artists!

From the Neighborhood Association Presidents Council (NAPC):

Allrighty Oh! Here We Go! The NAPC has chosen a theme for this year's 14th Annual Great American 4th of July RIF Raft Race. Raft entries will choose a favorite book, author or literary character(s) as a theme to decorate their rafts. As always, neighborhoods, businesses and other non-profit organizations are welcome to enter the race and be a part of the Raft Race Parade on July 4th. Rules (hahahahaha) for the Raft Race will be posted on the NAPC website and here on Facebook.

Because the raft race t-shirts were so popular last year (and we sold out so early!) we are offering even more T-Shirts this year - but we're adding something NEW!!! A Rif Raft Race theme artwork contest for the official RIF Raft Race T-Shirts. Art work submitted must reflect the OVERALL theme and not one particular book. Open to everyone! The NAPC will select the top five entries and the final choice will be made by who else but our fine and fabulous assortment of Riff-Raff Rowdy Neighbors at Evening on the Avenues, Friday, May 15th. Deadline for submitting original artwork is Friday, May 8th and we really really really mean it! FRIDAY MAY 8th! See the T-Shirt image contest flyer for more details.


Planetizen: "Two-Way Streets Can Fix Declining Downtown Neighborhoods"

Planetizen is reporting that this article from June of 2014 is one of the most viewed articles ever on the blog; the article went viral and once again there is renewed interest on this topic. This is the first two paragraphs:
America’s multi-lane one-way streets are a disaster for neighborhoods. A recent study, released at the International Making Cities Livable Conference and led by John Gilderbloom, finds benefits to converting such streets to two-way traffic flows.
     Here is one simple and affordable strategy to renew our downtown neighborhoods: immediately convert multi-lane one-way streets back to two-way traffic. Such conversions reduce car speeds and encourage greater pedestrian and bike mode-share. As a response of calmer residential streets, neighborhoods become more livable, more prosperous, and safer.
Converting Clematis Street in downtown West Palm Beach from one-way to a two-way street produced dramatic results. Many in the business community and public were opposed at the time but you won't find many critics any longer.

Media Alert: Name change—The Briger Tract is now called the "Alton Tract"

Never did get the memo on this one. A lot of websites and printed materials are going to have to be updated now. For instance, EarthFirst!'s website will need to reflect the name change and so will all government documents in Palm Beach Gardens.

This information comes from an article in The Palm Beach Post by Tony Doris. Here is the pertinent excerpt from the article titled, "Palm Beach Gardens planners want rec complex on biotech site reworked":
     The Alton tract, a wooded expanse formerly known as the Briger tract, straddles Interstate 95 south of Donald Ross Road. It is just across Donald Ross from the Scripps campus and was set aside as part of a vast “biotech city” envisioned by Gov. Jeb Bush and county leaders in the early 2000s. While much of Alton has been parceled for housing, retail and a town center, Parcel B was restricted by covenants allowing only biotech-related uses — for Scripps spinoff companies or other firms that serve them.
The reason for the name change is not specified. If more information becomes available will certainly pass it along.

Rand Paul for President of the United States of America

Not so fast. Below is an image from Facebook. But he calls himself a Libertarian and that's OK for some people. 

Wal-Mart opening new location in Rockland Key (4 miles East of Key West)

Anthony Cave at the Florida Keys Keynoter reports on a Wal-Mart opening in Monroe County. [It's not mentioned in the article but the real challenge will be finding the 250 to 300 people to work there who can pass a drug test.] Here is an excerpt from the article by Anthony Cave:
     The Wal-Mart plan is part of the larger proposed 33-acre shopping center on Rockland that would need 1,258 parking spaces. The developers say the shopping center would need around 600 workers.
     Key West land-use consultant Owen Trepanier, who represents developer Rockland Investment Corp., said Wal-Mart will be the "anchor tenant" for the shopping center, which will include about 18 other stores.
     Rockland Investment Corp., which represents several property owners on the Lower Keys island, filed its first site plan with Monroe County in November. Belaire confirmed at the luncheon that Wal-Mart signed a letter of intent with lead developer David Garfunkel of Savannah, Ga.
     During Wednesday's talk, she touted the proposed store as being a "smaller-sized footprint supercenter" estimated at about 123,000 square feet with a completion date of 2017. She said store would employ between 250 and 300 people.
In the image below from Google Maps you can see where Rockland Key is, due east from Stock Island and Key West:

City of Lake Worth Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for the new Greenway Project at 5th Avenue North

The City of Lake Worth will be hosting a ribbon cutting ceremony for the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funded greenway project on Tuesday, April 14, 2015. 

The ribbon cutting ceremony will take place on 5th Avenue North and North B St. at 3:00 P.M.

5th Avenue North – North A Street to North C Street: this project consisted of converting the existing unimproved right-of-way into a greenway by means of clearing and grubbing the entire site, fine grading to provide positive surface drainage, construction of a multi-use pathway, and the installation of sod/landscaping/irrigation system. This is the second location to be implemented by the City’s new greenway concept.

All are invited to come and take part in celebrating this exciting new project as we continue to improve our City infrastructure! Please contact Public Services with any questions or comments.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Courtesy of previous irresponsible "Visionary" commissioners:

Honoring Lake Worth lifeguards who saved a life on March 19th...

The Cottages of Lake Worth: Cheese & Wine Party this Saturday

Anne Pascone is opening up her beautiful cottage this Saturday, April 11, from 6 to 8 p.m. Please note the address is 1529 North O Street (in the image below the street number is incorrect). I'll be there and hope to see a lot of our friends from The Cottages of Lake Worth. Here is The Cottages of Lake Worth Facebook page.
If you would like to learn more about The Cottages of Lake Worth below is a radio interview I had with Allan Mason on WBZT:

And here is a presentation given on the history of our Lake Worth Cottages given at Suri Tapas on January 15th of this year.

See you on Saturday!

Very bad news if you support the Everglades land purchase

Christine Stapleton at The Palm Beach Post has not one, not two, but 10 reasons why the land purchase will not be passed by the legislature, from the article:
     Today in Tallahasee, throngs of Everglades advocates who want the South Florida Water Management District to buy 46,800 acres of land south of Lake Okeechobee from U.S. Sugar will talk to lawmakers and listen to Everglades advocates Jimmy Buffett and Carl Hiassen champion their cause.
     Despite their enthusiasm and the muscle of the powerful Everglades Foundation behind them, the effort has gained little support among decisionmakers.
Here is reason number 10:
Environmental concerns: Federal laws requiring the district to protect the habitat of migratory birds and endangered species put strict limits on the amount of water allowed in nesting areas to protect food supplies and prevent nests from being flooded. This limits the amount of water that can be stored and moved south from Lake Okeechobee.
For one example of an "environmental concern" please read the post that follows.

Report from the Lake Worth Tree Board by Richard Stowe from last night's Commission meeting...

Opposition to All Aboard Florida: down to the last gasps?

From this story in the New Times by Chris Joseph it would appear so:
     Count amateur archaeologists among those who oppose All Aboard Florida. In a 44-page lawsuit filed by Old Vero Ice Age Sites Committee, a nonprofit archaeology group, the group alleges that the U.S. Department of Transportation illegally approved funding for the privately run high-speed rail project, which is projected to run 32 express passenger trains a day from Miami through Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach to Orlando. The lawsuit says it’s illegal, because the environmental impact the trains would bring has yet to be fully determined.
     The lawsuit, filed in Indian River County, asks a federal court to void the Transportation Department's approval of $1.75 billion in tax-exempt bonds. The bonds will be used to replace an as-of-yet approved Federal Railroad Administration loan.
     According to documents filed with the IRS, the Old Vero Ice Age Sites Committee is chaired by Randy Old, an army vet and banker who has lived in the Far East and Jordan. It's unclear from the group's website whether any of the board members have scientific experience in archaeology.
The meeting date and time has been set for All Aboard Florida's request for the tax exempt bonds. Kim Miller at the Real Time Blog has all that information.

See it here first! Sneak Peek at this week's Lake Worth Cribune

The Lake Worth Cribune is real big on "Death" and crime too. However, the City of Lake Worth is fortunate to have a real "community" newspaper called The Lake Worth Herald. You can subscribe here for delivery to your mailbox, on-line access, or a combination of both. I'm a subscriber and a big fan of "Pelican Pete".

The Newsboys: Popular Christian rock band co-founder is now an atheist

This is from the file, "You Can't Make This Stuff Up". Here in the little City of Lake Worth, Florida, the Newsboys became an item when a small local church, operating out of a coffee shop, declared John James of the Newsboys was going to be a guest at their recent Easter service. What wasn't made clear was John James had left the band 18 years ago. You can read all about that here.

Now the story takes a turn for the bizarre. George Perdikis, who co-founded the Newsboys published this on January 21, 2015, titled: I Co-Founded One of the Most Popular Christian Rock Bands Ever… and I’m Now An Atheist

Here are two excerpts from the post written by George Perdikis:
     In 1985, I co-founded Newsboys, one of the most successful Christian rock bands in history. You may have heard the band’s music in the film God’s Not Dead. The band’s album of the same name hit No. 1 on the Billboard Christian Albums chart.
     And I’m now an atheist.
[and later. . .]
     The Christian music scene is populated by many people who act as though they have a direct hotline to a God who supplies them with the answers to the Universe. [emphasis added] There seems to be more ego and narcissism amongst Christian musicians than their secular counterparts.
     Recently, the Newsboys were featured in the movie God’s Not Dead. The movie demonstrated the pervasive attitude of Christians. They demonized everyone while giving a pass to their own particular brand of Christianity, making themselves look like fluffy white angels with perfect, synchronized lives.
     The truth is — from someone who knows what went on then and what goes on now — the Newsboys aren’t as holy as they profess. Instead of wearing a mask of “righteousness,” they should acknowledge that they are struggling as much as everyone else.
     Now that’s a movie I’d like to see.
Here is the movie Mr. Perdikis is referring to, God's Not Dead. John James, for those who are interested, left the band in 1997 for treatment of alcoholism and drug abuse. Here is one of the most popular songs by the Newsboys from 1996 when John James was still the lead vocal for the band:

So, what does all this have to do with the City of Lake Worth, FL? Other than an interesting story not a whole lot. Lake Worth is one of the most diverse and accepting communities you'll find in the State of Florida. You'll see more COEXIST bumper stickers here, per capita, than any other city in the nation. And if you've heard Lake Worth requires a tax to operate a church, well, that's not true. More on that later.

The Patrick Murphy U.S. Senate campaign racking up endorsements

George Bennett at the Post On Politics blog had this story yesterday:
     Democratic Rep. Patrick Murphy‘s effort to create an aura of inevitability for winning Florida’s 2016 Democratic Senate nomination got a boost today when he received the endorsement of Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, a rising star in the party and potential 2018 gubernatorial candidate.
     Murphy, who announced his Senate candidacy March 23, has rolled out endorsements from former Gov. Charlie Crist and fellow Florida Democratic House members Ted Deutch, Lois Frankel, Alcee Hastings and Frederica Wilson. Murphy has also publicized PAC contributions from Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid and Sen. Jon Tester of Montana, who heads the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Panagioti Tsolkas, reason activist environmental community is fractured: position on transgenderism (not kidding)

You can read Mr. Panagioti Tsolkas' entire treatise here in the Anarchist News. Here is an excerpt where he describes how essential it is to have a correct position on transgenderism. Why this is important in saving the planet from destruction isn't explained. From Mr. Tsolkas' treatise:
     When Deep Green Resistance (DGR) came on the scene, it was not uncommon to hear EF!ers expressing high hopes that they would bring new energy and strategic thinking … and boy was that a let down!
The people at the top of DGR consistently disrespect potential allies in transgender, anarchist and animal rights circles, then preach ad naseum against “horizontal hostility” (meaning the denigration of other activists’ efforts) whenever they were challenged.
     In 2013, the EF! Journal Collective adopted a position explicitly taking issue with the persistent anti-transgender attitude of [Lierre] Keith and [Derrick] Jensen, and the policies they enforce for DGR, using their influence as renowned authors. [emphasis added] DGR’s position against trans people stems from adherence to a theoretical trend of second wave feminism. This view thinks that if gender is a social construct designed to repress women, any expression of gender is therefore an affront to women. While EF! has long held a critique of patriarchy, seeing it as having cleared a path for industrialism, it takes more than the absence or presence of a penis to maintain patriarchy. The controlling and dominating behavior exemplified by DGR’s authority figures is a far greater concern than the fabricated threat of transgender people against a particular sect of feminism.
     Thankfully the debate surrounding DGR has presented another opportunity for today’s anarchist and ecological resistance movements to clarify and strengthen its position of solidarity with trans people. Making strides towards the queering of activist counter culture has become a priority for many EF! organizers. 
The treatise by Mr. Tsolkas was footnoted. Here is the first footnote:
1 The perspectives presented come from a first-hand perspective. The author has no credentials in academia. On the contrary, he doesn’t have a High School diploma.

La Joya Villages Apartments in the City of Lake Worth, opening this Fall

If you're interested in the La Joya Villages Apartments in the little City of Lake Worth, FL, here is the application form to fill out.

Will the City of Lake Worth once again become a "chicken battleground"?

Lake Worth Commissioner Ryan Maier is the Founder of the Lake Worth Chickens Facebook page. Frank Cerabino wrote about this in 2011. [Note that Ryan Maier didn't start a Infrastructure Facebook page or a Code Enforcement Facebook page]. Here from the article by The Palm Beach Post's Frank Cerabino:
Lake Worth has once again become a chicken battleground.

The pro-chicken forces in the city were rebuffed two years ago when the city commission rejected an ordinance that would have allowed Lake Worth residents to raise a few egg-laying hens in backyard coops.

A hen that appeared to be unattended and homeless wanders a vacant lot near the intersection of 2nd Avenue and G Street in Lake Worth. A Facebook group is seeking to change the city's code to allow residents to keep "a small number" of hens in their yards.

But now, with a special election for mayor looming at the end of the month, the chicken squawking is back.

"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.

Freelance hairstylist Ryan Maier, 31, started a Facebook group called Lake Worth Chickens recently because of his interest in growing his own food.
You can read about ex-Commissioner Cara Jennings' involvement in the chicken issue here.
Photo courtesy of the Tom McGow Archives.
An example of a chicken coop from the Lake Worth Chickens Facebook page, March 16, 2013.

Jeff Speck, David Dixon, and "new urbanism" in Tampa Bay, Florida

There is a Q&A in this article published in the Tampa Bay Times. I encourage anyone interested in walkability, bikability, and urban planning to read this article. Here are the first few paragraphs:
     David Dixon and Jeff Speck are two of the best urban planners in the business.
     That's why Jeff Vinik hired them.
     The Tampa Bay Lightning owner is planning a $1 billion transformation of the downtown waterfront. He wants to spend the next decade turning 40 acres of empty land and existing development into a livable space that will appeal to two important demographics: millennials and empty nesters.
     That's the speciality of "new urbanists" like Dixon and Speck. They're leading practitioners of "new urbanism," the movement to make cities more appealing and accommodating to human activity in order to generate economic activity.

An Indiana company who challenged Indiana's RFRA puts together moving "Thank you, Indiana" video

Today, Salesforce released this beautiful video thanking the State of Indiana.

The audio is none other than Harvey Milk, delivering his "Hope" speech.

Indiana hasn't extended full protections to LGBT people, but thanks to Salesforce and all the corporations, small businesses, politicians, grassroots activists, and ordinary citizens, that genie is now out of the bottle, and it seems impossible an anti-discrimination bill won't cross Gov. Pence's desk during the next legislative session.

Click here for link to related article.

The Glam Pad, "Where Hollywood Regency meets Palm Beach Chic": the 2015 Red Cross Show House

Andrea from The Glam Pad blog attended the last day (Saturday, 4/4) of the Red Cross Designer's Show House in the little City of Lake Worth. Most of us here in the City know that spectacular structure as the "Birthday Cake Castle". From Andrea's blog post about her visit:
     The 7,000+ square-foot Mediterranean-style home, built in 1925 by Addison Mizner's protege Sherman Childs, was the first historic estate in the Lake Worth registry. It was nicknamed the "Birthday Cake Castle" in 1954 when past owner Upton Close gave the home to his wife, Margaret Fretter Nye, as a birthday present in 1954. The home is known for its cake-like qualities including two birthday candle-like pillars on either side of the grand entrance, thick plaster-work swirled to resemble frosting, and a birthday cake stained glass window.
     The Birthday Cake Castle is nestled on over one acre of land directly on the Intercoastal [sic] Waterway with incredible views of Palm Beach.
The post includes many wonderful pictures of the structure, inside and out. The word "glam" for those of you not aware is short for 'glamorous'. If you're interested in learning more about the history of the 'Birthday Cake Castle' you can also read the glamorous article by Mary Lindsey in The Lake Worth Herald.

Future of manhole flowers to be discussed by Beaufort City Council

Seems that someone or some people are taking creativity into their own hands and painting streets in this South Carolina town. Other random acts of art are some blue benches and playful puns on some streets signs. Looks like too much merriment is going on here and now these incidents will be getting the attention of the City Council there. Click title for link.
Public works director Lamar Taylor said council is expected to discuss the guerrilla art at Tuesday's work session.
Questions have blossomed around the flowers since they appeared overnight. Are they art or vandalism or something else altogether? Should they be painted over or otherwise removed?
Council members can discuss projects and issues during work sessions and give staff guidance, but can take official action only during voting meetings.
On Monday, Taylor said he needed to know more about the flowers and why they were painted before public works took any action.
This reminds me of the kerfuffle over painting rainbow crosswalks across Lake Avenue, which went ahead despite attempts to squash it. Our Pride painters kept themselves confined to city streets to avoid a problem with FDOT.

Associated Press: "Jewish groups pull support of Holocaust exhibit"

This story appears in The Palm Beach Post on-line edition:
     Jewish leaders in Florida say they're pulling their support for a Holocaust exhibit because of its association with a North Carolina church where five members have been indicted on charges that they kidnapped and beat a man because he's gay.
     Students at Word of Faith Fellowship church in Spindale created art commemorating Holocaust victims. Ron Shelton, a retired pastor in Cocoa, Florida, is helping bring the exhibition to the Space Coast Convention Center.
     But David Pelzman, president of the Temple Beth Shalom, said Monday that he's troubled by the church's past. So are others who say they didn't know about the charges before the event was announced in January.
     Sixteen Jewish and community leaders signed an "open letter" to let people in Brevard County know their concerns. The five-day exhibition opens April 19.
Here is the website that is promoting the exhibit and here is the "official" website for the World of Faith Fellowship. This church has had its share of controversy and you can read all about that here and watch this video:

Upcoming Art Events in Downtown Lake Worth

Artisans On The Ave Gallery 
630 Lake Ave 
Lake Worth, Fl. 33460 
561-582-3300
Friday April 17th 2015, 6pm-9pm 

Featuring artists–Gail Johnson, Philip Rodano, Dennis Tishkowsky, 
Barbara Winkle and Deb Yager

Free event open to the public. Complimentary refreshments will be served. Music will be provided by Bo Reynolds for your enjoyment 

There will be an art demonstration by artist Deb Yager

For more information please call 561-762-8162

And...

Arté Cuba!
The work of Cuban artist Pedro C. Ortiz (1932-2001)
Reception: Friday, April 24, 2015 | 6-9 pm

RSVP 
This exhibition is free.
Exhibition dates: April 24-May 15, 2015

Rolando Chang Barrero Fine Art Gallery
711 Lucerne AvenueLake Worth, Florida 33460
Contact: Rolando Chang Barrero


RCBfineart@gmail.com for more information

How many Burmese pythons in south FL? Even the experts don't know

The Florida Weekly has this article by Lindsey Nesmith titled, "Invasion of the exotics": 
     Because of the [Burmese] python’s elusive nature, it’s practically impossible to know how many are established locally or in South Florida. There could be anywhere from 10,000 to 100,000 in Florida, all the way up to the Alabama and Georgia borders, but the current breeding population probably only extends to Lake Okeechobee, Bartoszek [Conservancy of Southwest Florida staff biologist Ian Bartoszek] said. The ability to escape short-lived freezes has been crucial to the snakes’ survival in South Florida, but it’s difficult to tell whether they have been able to expand their territory any further.
     Utilizing the underground refuges of burrowing mammals might help Burmese pythons expand their range farther to the north than previously thought possible, Mr. Bartoszek said. “If these microhabitats allow them to survive through a freeze event, then the snakes will continue to adapt to their new environment and gain ground.”
     Burmese python sightings in the Everglades extend as far back as the 1980s, but experts at the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission think the problem was exacerbated when a breeding facility in Homestead was destroyed in Hurricane Andrew in 1992.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Love > Hate: Another peaceful protest against bigotry and racism today in Lake Worth

This protest, of course, is in response to Mrs. Dee McNamara's racist rant at Lake Worth City Hall. A quick apology could have settled this; however Mrs. McNamara and her supporters have chosen the path of double-down denial instead. 

Very sad considering that one of Mrs. McNamara's supporters, Lynn Anderson, attended the Common Ground Church Easter service yesterday in the Lake Worth Cultural Plaza. It would seem the message of "Love > Hate" by Pastor Mike Olive didn't quite resonate with Mrs. Anderson. Too bad. 


On City of Lake Worth agenda tomorrow: City Manager Michael Bornstein's contract


Today marks 1,086 days since City Manager Michael Bornstein was hired on April 16, 2012. There is nothing significant about 1,086 days except as a matter of perspective. Consider this, the previous city manager, Susan Stanton was fired on December 6, 2011 after 953 days on the job. Stanton's tenure was marked by divisiveness and a lack of outreach to the greater community in Lake Worth. To put it bluntly, Lake Worth continued to be a mess under the tenure of Susan Stanton.

Under Stanton, the relationship between the business community and the city was strained, to non-existent. The relationship with the CRA was contentious, at best. Stanton caused such a rift with the neighboring communities that to this day some are still wary of partnering on projects fearing Lake Worth will be too much trouble. Under direction of then-sitting commissioners (Jennings, Golden, Mulvehill) Stanton cut the code department and sent neighborhoods already on the brink on a downward spiral for almost three years. A local blog at the time, referencing the coming Christmas holiday season and the firing of Stanton, wrote:
"In this joyous season, I am celebrating the potential for renewal in Lake Worth which began with a bold move to clean out city management from the top down.
From Paul Boyer, Bob Baldwin to Susan Stanton… inept, corrupt, wasteful and often cruel leadership disregarded the public and common sense honesty and openness.
Yes, I know there are those who are disappointed to see Stanton fired but dwelling on one side of her performance while ignoring the other side of the story… is delusional."
Let's focus on one aspect of City Manager Michael Bornstein's performance in comparison to then City Manager Stanton: outreach to the community. In the months before Stanton's firing she refused any invitations to neighborhood meetings. Except for her supporters she rarely engaged the public. On rare occasions when she did engage the public outside city hall she requested a PBSO escort. Stability is key to the future of Lake Worth and we finally are experiencing the results of that. It is no time to wobble.

Community outreach changed dramatically under the direction of City Manager Bornstein: Bornstein has engaged the public at every level. Under his tenure the city commission, staff, city employees and the NAPC have worked to educate and involve many citizens in our city. It is rare to have a public event in Lake Worth and not have the presence of Bornstein, and if not, he'll have a representative there in his place.

The form of government we have in Lake Worth requires a confident and engaged city manager. We as a city simply cannot solve our problems without such an individual. There is a respect Michael Bornstein has outside Lake Worth, in surrounding communities and the county government. It is significant as the city goes forward.

First Annual Dive Against Debris on Saturday, April 18th

CITY OF LAKE WORTH BEACH CLEAN UP AND DIVE AGAINST DEBRIS

WHEN: SATURDAY, APRIL 18, 2015, 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM

WHERE: LAKE WORTH BEACH
                       
THIS EVENT IS FREE FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:      

Lake Worth, FloridaThe City of Lake Worth and Wet Pleasures Dive Outfitters present the First Annual Dive Against Debris on Saturday, April 18th from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM.

Certified divers please join us for an underwater pier clean up. A dive master and reef clean up specialist will be on hand to teach you how to clean up the pylons. Non Certified Divers can participate by picking up the trash on our beach!

A free event for the entire family!  For more information or to sign up please call Wet Pleasures Dive Outfitters (561) 547-4343.

[UPDATE] 7th Ave. S road proposal and other road improvements in City of Lake Worth

[UPDATE: The new road proposed for 7th Ave South will once again come before the City Commission tomorrow night:
The City has done everything they can to address concerns of residents and here is the new proposal: a one-way street west with a 6' multi-use path. This will be a very interesting item. Back on October 28th, 2014, I wrote the following about this topic:]

For many years past commissions in Lake Worth have neglected or postponed investment in the southwest part of the city. This area is known as District One (represented by Vice Mayor Scott Maxwell). This is not to say that other areas of the city have not been neglected, but this area stands out over others. On the October 7th City Commission agenda, the final steps in improving road rights-of-way that had never been improved—ever—were finally being funded through long-unused Community Development Block Grant monies. The present commission led by Mayor Pam Triolo and City Manager Michael Bornstein, when learning of this money available, went to work to find how this CDBG money could be best utilized. The federal money, channeled through Palm Beach County, sat there through previous City Commissions. The city had to re-assure the County that it did intend on using this money after being dormant.

A series of four neighborhood presentations by Public Services Director Jamie Brown, an assessment completed by the county and DOT, four previous discussions at public commission meetings, and lengthy discussions with neighbors in the area near 7th Ave. South were all accomplished while Commissioner McVoy was in office, taking in everything that was happening and thought to have been keeping tabs and displaying tacit approval of what was going on. Not until nudged by his narrow group of supporters, did he protest about the lack of community engagement and need for more planning and study - prior to the money being spent. Money already simmering on the back burner for years.

From the minutes of the October 7th meeting: "Commissioner McVoy commented that there was a lot of support in the community for greenway; however, he [Commissioner McVoy] said he did not know if the 7th Avenue South neighborhood had any input." McVoy's observations are dishonest and untrue.

Here is the link to the minutes of the October 7 city commission meeting from the agenda on the October 21 city commission meeting. The subject matter begins on page 17.

The crowd at the city commission meeting on October 7 included former commissioner/Anarchist Cara Jennings, Anarchist Panagioti Tsolkas. Former Commissioner Jo-Ann Golden (and Cara-clone) had her comments read into the record in absentia, a petition was presented from "23 mothers in the area", and neighbors claimed they had no idea a road was being proposed. (At this point you may want to re-read the second paragraph above.) Some neighbors had become accustomed to having 7th Ave. South their private park for walking dogs, a playground for children, their neighborhood "green" space, etc.

The need for a road on 7th Ave. South can be demonstrated quite easily. Following is a map and some pictures of the area in question.

The map above shows the new La Joya Villages project, 6th Ave. South (a major thoroughfare), the FEC tracks, and it's relationship to what would be an improved road along the 7th Ave. South right-of-way. This improvement can alleviate congestion and give the neighborhood improved access, as a reliever of traffic on 6th Avenue South (called a "demilitarized zone" by Commissioner McVoy during the meeting due to its lack of safe pedestrian crossings north and south of the roadway). Having a 'greenway' (no vehicular traffic) on 7th Ave. South doesn't solve the problem. Some neighbors suggested a traffic light at 6th Ave. South and 'F' St. Having a traffic light that close to the FEC tracks is problematic and would likely not be approved by the county.

Now let's examine some pictures of the area in question:


La Joya Villages, currently under construction, is a new residential development at the southeast corner of 6th Ave. South and 'F' Street. Along with the new road proposed new water lines and drainage will be addressed. Note that 7th Ave. South is not an "avenue" at at all; it is a neglected dirt path overgrown with foliage and littered with trash and debris. It is not the Garden of Eden some would have you believe.

There was concern expressed at the meeting about the excessive width of the new road. It was thought that the paved area of the street would contain 12 foot travel lanes. Recent evidence and research suggests 10' lanes are safer because they encourage lower speeds and increased driver awareness, especially in urban areas where walkability is important.

It turns out, in the actual plans shared with me by Jamie Brown, the city has designed the vehicular lanes at 11 feet. This was done in order to accommodate 4 foot bike lanes on either side of the road, and a sidewalk on one side of the road. See below:


Some time in the near future (I am told in November), another meeting will be held with the neighbors about the 7th Ave. South road construction. This will be the fifth neighborhood meeting. I will do my best to be there and record the meeting for those of you interested in these proceedings. On a final note, the tactic employed by Commissioner McVoy, Cara Jennings, and Panagioti Tsolkas on October 7 is not a new one. Some of the faces have changed but the tactic is an old one us veterans of Lake Worth politics have seen many times. One of the desired outcomes of this tactic is to cause anger and frustration by elected officials and staff - usually at the last minute, after multiple opportunities to be tuned into the process earlier. Thus we are left with a spectacle of finger-pointing and "how could you let this go so far" verbiage. All this to spend long dormant monies that could improve this area of the city.

Let's hope this next meeting is productive and compromise is not something to avoid. Two words of advice: stay calm.