Saturday, April 25, 2015

Video: "Cars and Coffee" event this morning at Gonz Auto Collision Center, 1401 N. Dixie Hwy.


The classic car show at Gonz this morning (Saturday, 4/25) was well-attended and many interesting vehicles, at least 40 by my estimate. Robert Gonzalez, the owner of Gonz, was there and he was an excellent host. Gonz has been around since 1979.

Hopefully there will be many more of these shows in the future.

Henry Miller

“Every day we slaughter our finest impulses. That is why we get a heartache when we read those lines written by the hand of a master and recognize them as our own, as the tender shoots which we stifled because we lacked the faith to believe in our own powers, our own criterion of truth and beauty. Every man, when he gets quiet, when he becomes desperately honest with himself, is capable of uttering profound truths. We all derive from the same source. there is no mystery about the origin of things. We are all part of creation, all kings, all poets, all musicians; we have only to open up, only to discover what is already there.”

At the Benzaiten Center in the City of Lake Worth last Saturday (re-post from 4/25/15)

This is a re-post which talks about the event I led early this year through our downtown. I am re-posting it today as the Palm Beach Post has an article on Post Office art found throughout the County. Lake Worth Post Office has one of the more interesting murals that were a product of the Works Project Administration. The example in our downtown generated a little controversy between the artist, Joseph D. Myers and the person he had to answer to that was part of the government program. Interestingly, Mr. Myers went on to become a fairly well known artist in stained glass. You can read today's article by clicking here.

The Palm Beach County Planning Congress held a panel discussion on redevelopment and the arts. It is the second in a three part series that this group of professional urban planners is holding during 2015. The first was a gallery walk-along on Lake and Lucerne Avenues on the first Friday in February. In addition to it being an "Evening on the Avenue" night, about 30 or so planners from south Florida were treated to a presentation by Joan Oliva, Lake Worth CRA Executive Director at the Cultural Council of Palm Beach County headquarters in our downtown. From there, we circulated to the Lake Worth Art League, Rolando Chang Berrero's gallery, and the Clay Glass Metal Stone gallery. We also made a quick detour to check out our mural found in the Lake Worth Post Office. Make sure to see it yourself if you haven't.
The second in the series (Saturday, 4/25) focused on using planning and zoning tools in order to foster economic development. We had the following panelists give presentations before about 20 urban planners that attended the session:

Nancy Stroud, AICP, JD, Partner, Lewis, Stroud & Deutsch, PL
Mrs. Stroud's practice focuses on land use law, with an emphasis on the representation of local government. She is a member of the Florida Bar and the American Institute of Certified Planners. Ms. Stroud has more than two decades experience in writing and implementing new urbanism regulations and plans. She was part of the City of Miami’s Miami21 Form Based Code team, which won awards from the APA, Congress for New Urbanism and the Form-Based Codes Institute, and Florida APA. She began work for the City of Lake Worth in 2006 with visioning and master planning efforts which resulted in comprehensive plan amendments and the complete overhaul of the City land development regulations.

William Waters, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP BD+C, Director for  Community Sustainability, City of Lake Worth
Mr. Waters serves as the City of Lake Worth’s Director for Community Sustainability. His education includes studies at the University of Virginia and the University of Miami. He obtained Master’s Degrees in Urban Planning and Architectural Design as well as a Bachelor’s Degree in City Planning. He also received a Historic Preservation Certificate. He is both a Florida licensed architect and interior designer, has received certification from the National Council of Architectural Boards. He also been recognized as a LEED Accredited Professional by the U.S. Green Building Council and received a SEED certificate from the Harvard Graduate School of Design. His twenty plus year professional career includes urban design, architectural and preservation work both with the public and private sectors in North Carolina, Georgia, Virginia, District of Columbia, Florida, the Bahamas and the United Kingdom. He also is the co-author of Jon L Volk, Palm Beach Architect and the City of West Palm Beach’s first Historic Preservation Design Guidelines.

Doug McCraw, Founder and developer of FAT Village (Flagler Arts and Technology)
Mr. McCraw is the founder and developer of FAT Village, an arts district located in a city designated four block area in the Ft Lauderdale city center. The area was developed out of a warehouse district in 1999, and has some of the oldest buildings in the city. It has developed into a community of artists, galleries, theatres, studios (photography, film, graphics design, media management, arts technology incubation), and other arts centric businesses. Prior to FAT Village, he was the founder of DAS Records and Data Storage, a South Florida company acquired by Iron Mountain Group in 1996. He is active in the venture capital community in Alabama and has founded a new company, Art + Light + Space Studios with partners Peter Symons, Leah Brown, and Lutz Hofbauer. Mr. McCraw is a graduate in Marketing (1972) from the University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, and remains active with board work on the campus.

Sherryl Muriente, MURP, Associate AIA
Mrs. Muriente currently works as an Instructor in the School of Urban and Regional Planning at Florida Atlantic University and is an artist collaborator of the art duet LeJobart. She obtained her Master’s Degree in Urban and Regional Planning and her Bachelor’s in Architecture. Currently, she serves as the Associate Director for the Florida and Caribbean Regional American Institute of Architecture Chapter, for which she has introduced regional competitions and programming for emerging professionals. In 2013, she received Instructor of the Year Award for her “hands on” approach to teaching, from the American Institute of Architecture Palm Beach Chapter. Aided by her "contagious enthusiasm", Muriente has embarked in creating collaborative cross-disciplinary live art projects under the lens of Urban Acupuncture. Through the process of grounded theory, she identifies a story or "local knowledge" from which inspiration to create a small-scale intervention serves as a catalyst to transform the larger urban context. These subtle interventions can resonate into a broader impact on the collective subconscious of those living in the city. Muriente’s creativity focuses on happenings, performance art, art installations, and live art in both solo shows and in directing others as a group in collaborative work. Her passion for generating local awareness of our profession through small scale urban intervention projects generates a new sense of participatory activities in the city.Some of her accomplishments include art installations and performances in Italy from which part of the documentary ReGeneration City was filmed, performances in the Projects at FATVillage with LeJobart, and Creative Placemaking installations and short urban pilot programs in the City of West Palm Beach.

Yours truly, Wes Blackman, moderated the event. Here is Sherryl Muriente's presentation which I am sure you will find of interest:

After a nice box lunch provided by Lake Worth's own TooJay's, the group moved to the area of the Benzaiten center devoted to glass blowing. Here are a few pictures from that part of the day.
Some of the attendees waiting for the glass blowing exhibition.
Doug McCraw, Founder and developer of FAT Village.


The finished project.

2015 Earth Day in the little City of Lake Worth: TODAY starting at noon

Earth Day 2015 is sponsored by Kiwanis. This is a special day at the Cultural Plaza and there will be many people and vendors there. There will be activities and entertainment all day long starting at noon. 

So many people work tirelessly to make this event happen each year. Ted Brownstein, of course, comes first to mind. The volunteers at the Tree Board, the City of Lake Worth, and sponsors such as The Lake Worth Herald, the CRA, and LULA all deserve our thanks for stepping up and helping out.

I'll be there. You can learn a lot about plants and trees natural to Florida. You can also learn much about the plants and trees you don't want in your yard. You'll see the City Horticulturist Dave McGrew and he can answer your questions or direct you to a booth that will have literature available to take home. I'm sure SmartyPlants will have a nice set up with a collection of interesting specimens. 

And don't forget the NAPC Front Porch! No festival would be complete without them in attendance. You might find the Muck Monster having some popcorn in their tent. 

See you there! This is a Lake Worth event you can't miss. 

Here comes All Aboard Florida to West Palm Beach

Very big news in West Palm Beach about All Aboard Florida. By next year the link from West Palm to Miami will be in operation and the next year after that (2017) the link to Orlando will be complete. By 2018 the Coastal Link should be in operation also.

Here is the news from Jennifer Sorentrue on the structures to be built in West Palm to accommodate AAF:
     All Aboard Florida and West Palm Beach officials struck a deal this week that will allow the private rail venture to build a 285,000-square-foot residential tower next to its downtown train station, ending a year-long string of intense negotiations over the project.
     The deal, which was unveiled Thursday, requires All Aboard Florida to pay for a key access road linking the train station just north of CityPlace to Clematis Street. During the negotiations, West Palm Beach Mayor Jeri Muoio said it was critical that All Aboard Florida pay for the road and the property needed to build it.
     West Palm Beach city commissioners are expected to vote Monday on the plan.
 

Planetizen: More on the Cost of Anti-Growth Policies

This article in Planetizen absolutely nails it. I think most people, to one degree or another, are troubled by the western sprawl in Palm Beach County. Communities are popping up everywhere out west and there's even talk of widening the Florida Turnpike. Why? You can sum it up to market forces, or it's an act of God and leave it at that, or even be thoughtful and consider the public's addiction to the single passenger automobile trip.

The real problem is it's too much trouble building near the coast. Too expensive and an avoidable headache, with multiple barriers including property hazard insurance, aging infrastructure (which could be financed but for the funding of new infrastructure in our western communities), etc. In face of these challenges the home builders and "evil" developers say "Westward Ho!".

Here is an excerpt from the article (not for the faint of heart):

     An upswing in the fortunes of American cities has been widely noted, along with exploding land values in economic centers. As the article notes, "In the 20th century, tumbling transport costs weakened the gravitational pull of the city; in the 21st, the digital revolution has restored it. Knowledge-intensive industries such as technology and finance thrive on the clustering of workers who share ideas and expertise."
     In spite of this, new construction is comparatively scarce. A cocktail of outdated zoning and NIMBYish objections, according to the article, is to blame for blockages in urban land maximization. While acknowledging the political difficulty involved, the article points to a two-pronged solution:
  • City planning decisions should be made at the city level, from top down, to minimize objections from specific localities.
  • Governments should levy higher land taxes, creating an incentive to put land to better (economic) use.
This is going to get some people riled up. However you can't have it both ways like I've demonstrated with Drew Martin and the Loxahatchee Sierra Club's opposition to the Alton (former Briger) Tract (to site one glaring example). The Alton Tract is east of I-95 which is where we should be encouraging people to live. Most reasonable people can agree with that.

The City of Lake Worth, for example, is perfectly poised for added housing: homes, condos, apartments, etc. There are so many buildable lots available in the downtown, and we're a fun, walkable, and bikeable City. But when something gets proposed an opposition machine ramps up which translates "urban land maximization" into acres of 10 story buildings; the unsuspecting public gets those knocks at the door with nicely dressed and pleasant people saying "They're stealing our charm" and "You won't be able to see the sun rise any more" and on and on it goes. 

Sure, you look around the City and you see construction but it is, as the article in Planetizen states, "comparatively scarce." Eight hundred people, it's estimated, are moving to Florida each and every day. And they all want a nice place to call home.

We need to direct investment towards the coast, preferably east of I-95, and alter policies to achieve this. You hear all the time about irresponsible development and developers but somehow groups like the Loxahatchee Sierra Club get a pass and they're never challenged. They should be at the table encouraging coastal development but they're not. Their answer to any development is always "No". That's irresponsible too. 

Lake Worth: Get yourself prepared for Hurricane Season

Very important: during Amnesty Week it doesn't matter what day your usual vegetation pick-up is. Starting Tuesday, May 26th, you can put vegetation out on any day and not be cited by the City. 

Advertise & promote in Lake Worth: the 2015–2016 NAPC Neighborhood Guide

The City of Lake Worth Neighborhood Association Presidents Council (NAPC) is now accepting ads for our new expanded 20152016 Edition of the NAPC Neighborhood Guide. The New GuideBooks will debut at the 4th of July Raft Race Celebration and will be available at City Hall, The Lake Worth Library, the Utilities Customer Service office, the Visitor Information Center and always on the NAPC "Front Porch" at Evening on the Avenue events and at Neighborhood Association meetings throughout the city and throughout the year.

Email or call Mary at (561) 585-6035.

Friday, April 24, 2015

"Anyone Better Out There"? Elderly man as "Peter"-board at City Commission meeting

Mr. Peter Timm, elderly Lake Worth resident, stunt/prop at city commission meeting on Tuesday, 4/21 (Photo in Ms. Menge's tabloid. No credit given and photographer unidentified.) 
More stunts, drama, and clever misinformation from self-described 'reporter/editor' Margaret Menge. The image above of Peter Timm appeared in her House Editorial titled, "Anyone Better Out There?". The same can be said of Ms. Menge and her tabloid.

Lake Worth Vice Mayor Scott Maxwell at a city commission meeting on Tuesday, 4/21, had enough of the misinformation and disinformation about "the Beach!" and let his thoughts be known. Ms. Menge lamely responded this way in her editorial three days later:
     Three members of law enforcement—Capt. Rolando Silva and two deputies—sat on the back bench. They should have taken Maxwell out and charged him with domestic abuse. It's our house, after all, City Hall.
This is what goes for high-minded editorial content at Ms. Menge's tabloid.

This week we learn that PJ Stevens is no longer at the tabloid. In Vol. 1/Issue 13 she was the "Account Executive". This week, Issue 14, she's gone. There are a total of three ads in her tabloid this week. Three. The tabloid still has no price and is free of charge but she's advertising a "1 Year Subscription". Figure that one out.

In a front page, below the fold item titled, "TRIOLO, I Didn't Know Anything About Proposal for Convention Center" she apologizes to Mayor Pam Triolo for a misleading story the week before: albeit lamely. The apology is in the very last paragraph, on page 4 at the bottom of the page where the story is "continued from Page 1".

I'll examine this story in depth next week. Probably no better example of how information is manipulated to confuse the public.

Ultimately, Ms. Menge and her tabloid is a sad story. It's a story about a woman who desperately wants to be a respected "community journalist" but she fails to understand what community journalism is. You can read about that in "the tale of a reporter named Margaret Menge". Community journalism is one of those things that are hard to define precisely—"you know it when you see it".

Ms. Menge just doesn't "see it" and she never will. Very sad.

The Palm Beach Post editorial board: Confusing the public

This appeared in The Palm Beach Post today, a "Point of View" on Everglades restoration:
Our state is proud to be the Sunshine State. Our “Sunshine Laws” are second to none. Let’s have this debate — in the sunshine. Shady deal-making in Tallahassee is not the way.
Who wrote these lines isn't important. What's sad is it got past the editorial board in the first place. Public confusion about the Sunshine Law abounds; even people involved in government sometimes misunderstand. Two things get confused quite often: the Sunshine Law and the open records laws.

Simply put, the Sunshine Law doesn't apply to the state legislature. Period. But many people believe it does. It applies to those elected or appointed persons, on the same advisory or governing board, and they may not communicate about matters that may or will come before their particular board. If more than two are gathered to talk about an issue, there has to be a published agenda, notice of the meeting and minutes need to be taken. But this only applies to county and local governments, not the state legislature.

You would think that Post editorial board would know this. Maybe they don't. Maybe they do. The Sunshine Law is very specific and very clear on what elected and appointed officials can and cannot do. The Sunshine Law is also very specific about who must comply with the law. Those four sentences published in the Post confuse the public.

From the Benzaiten Center today...




If you own a Trek bike you need this information

Melissa Chan at the New York Daily News has this article titled, "Trek recalls nearly 1 million bicycles after rider becomes paralyzed". From the article:
     Trek Bicycle has recalled nearly 1 million bikes in the United States and Canada after a rider was paralyzed and two others were injured.
     The recall, issued Tuesday, affects 900,000 bicycles in the U.S. and 98,000 in Canada from model years 2000 through 2015.
     The bikes' front wheels can "come to a sudden stop" or separate from the bicycle if the open quick release lever on the front wheel hub comes into contact with the front disc brake assembly, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission said.

The Lake Worth bridge is now open to two-way traffic

I posted the following on Facebook this morning:
By the way, I rode to and from the beach today on my bike. They were still taking down the traffic devices, cones, barrels, etc. But both spans were open to traffic. Wouldn't you know, someone insisted on using the south span to go west, right into oncoming traffic. I am going west over the north span and all of the sudden hear all these car horns going off. The driver of the car seemed confused and just decided to stop right after the drawbridge part. People that were working on the bridge were going up to the car to orient the driver.
God looks out for babies and fools.

New charter school approved west of Delray Beach

From Andy Reid at the Sun Sentinel on a new charter approved by the Palm Beach County Commission:
     A charter school can be built on an agricultural preserve, despite concerns about sacrificing more farmland for suburbia, Palm Beach County commissioners decided Thursday.
     The school is proposed on a former tree farm on Happy Hollow Road, west of Lyons Road and a half mile north of the Delray Marketplace shopping center.
     An exception allows building schools on the land, which developers of the shopping center were required to set aside for agriculture.
School backers say it's needed to serve students expected to move into thousands of new homes in neighborhoods already approved nearby.
     "This is the right place for a school," said Lori Vinikoor, of the Alliance of Delray Residential Associations, which supports the school. "There will be people asking for it."

Kudos to Lake Worth staff re the Cultural Plaza tree planting...

Hello Mr. [Jamie] Brown,

I just want to take a moment to extend my thanks and gratitude for a job well done by you and your staff. The tree in the public square and the plaque turned out just the way I envisioned it.

Your guys David, Brian and Randy handled the occasion with such care and concern for my feelings. I really appreciate it and it makes me proud to be a resident of Lake Worth. 

Thanks again.

Patricia "Patti" Sheldon

Patti Chung Sheldon, LLC Realty

Save the Date: LULA and the Screen on the Green is back

Matt Reed at FloridaToday: "We love to hate trains"

Matt Reed writes that Brevard County is all aboard with All Aboard Florida. Brevard County is east of Orlando. A few counties to the south of Brevard, St. Lucie is one, are opposed to the passenger train and if you've been following this story you know the reasons why. Early on Brevard County chose to work with All Aboard Florida and they've been very cooperative with the company. Not surprising, Brevard has gotten many benefits in return.

Here's a very clever excerpt by Matt Reed in FloridaToday:
     I don't know anyone here who would ride it, is what I usually hear in Brevard about passenger rail.
     To which All Aboard Florida has responded, You're right. That's why we're not bothering to stop in your county.
     To which Brevard has replied, No fair – we deserve to ride, too.
     So the company now says, Show us the fare money.
     Stop here, don't stop here. Quiet zones, no quiet zones. Those are mostly business decisions now. All Aboard Florida is a subsidiary of the company that has owned the tracks for 125 years and still decides how and whether we may cross its property with our cars. State and local governments can meddle, but they have no real power to block the fast trains.
     Nevertheless, Brevard leaders said they have enjoyed good cooperation from All Aboard Florida to secure favorable conditions for residents while the company is still willing to pay. [emphasis added]

A song to accompany the Theodore Roosevelt "Man in the Arena" quote. . .


Inside joke: A treat for Pam Triolo, Michael Bornstein, Scott Maxwell, et al

This appeared on TOB's blog yesterday. The hypocrisy is TOB has spent her entire life on the sidelines encouraging others to enter that "arena". Not once has she ever done so herself. She's never volunteered for a City board, never volunteers any time for the City at all, and has never run for political office. Writing a blog isn't to be confused with being "in the arena". They are two completely different things. Writing a blog is easy in comparison. 

Being "in the arena" is not for everyone; and there's nothing wrong with not entering that 'arena' and having your own perspective on things. Many people, due to family commitments and other factors, just don't have the time to volunteer for our City or run for a political office.

Being involved in the City gives one a different perspective is all I am saying. You see the level of commitment and the hard work it takes to run a City. And the rewards are very few. The one reward is the satisfaction of serving your community. 

Here is the full quote by Theodore Roosevelt, which is one of my favorites:
It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat. 
TOB self-edited this quote for obvious reasons. Her small excerpt does the thoughts of Theodore Roosevelt a great injustice.

And I also hear that Mayor Pam Triolo and Vice Mayor Scott Maxwell are offended by the poor quality of TOB's photoshops of late. What do you think?

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Sneak Peek! See it here first, tomorrow's Cribune and editor's apology!

Rumor is Marge Mange's Cribune might go up a nickel next week. So before you pick up a stack and chuck 'em in the trash make sure you have the total right: 11 papers at 17 cents each will set you back $1.87. Of course if there's no price on the paper it's FREE to do with as you wish. 

You can't steal something that's FREE!

PBSO—Case of Interest

On 4/21/2015, district fourteen deputies responded to the 300 block of North Dixie Highway in response to a fight. During the fight a man was doused with an accelerant and set ablaze. The victim was taken to the Jackson Memorial burn unit and is expected to survive his injuries. A perimeter was quickly established. A PBSO K9 unit and helicopter responded. The case is being investigated by the PBSO homicide unit.

Sgt. P. Immler

Two subjects were arrested in reference the above case:

Attempted 1st degree murder-

Guillermo Alonso, DOB: 7/14/1992
Erbin Miranda-Hernandez, DOB: 2/06/1992

Jamel Laneé at NBC5/WPTV and excellent news segment in City of Lake Worth

Jamel Laneé at NBC5/WPTV did a segment about a large tree, a homeowner in Lake Worth (on North 'C' St), and a City water line. On the face of it sounds like a non-story but it's actually not. This topic is very important in the City due to the vast amount of water lines that need to be replaced. In College Park for instance (in the northeast part of the City), many of the City's water lines run through easements between houses on a block instead of being located in the street. Many of these easements have large trees now. 

Mayor Pam Triolo recently addressed the issue of the aging water lines and you can read about that here. Very soon this will be a major topic of discussion.

I encourage all my readers to watch this segment and share it with your neighbors. Do you know where the water line is that services your home? You might want to find out before you plant that next tree. Could end up costing you a lot of money down the road.

2015 Lake Worth Earth’s Day Fest

The Lake Worth City Tree Board will be overseeing the Tree Giveaway at the 2015 Lake Worth Earth’s Day Fest taking place on Saturday April 25th at the Lake Worth City Hall Annex Cultural Plaza located at 414 Lake Avenue.

The 65-70 trees to be given away will be distributed on a first come, first serve basis commencing at 10:00 a.m., not at 4:30 p.m. as indicated on the LULA Lake Worth Earth Day Fest poster.

Certified arborists will be on hand starting at 9:00 a.m. for residents interested in information about the trees to be given away.

Only residents, homeowners and property owners within the city limits of Lake Worth will eligible for the Tree Giveaway. This includes all of 33460 zip code and sections of 33461.
At 1:00 p.m. Mayor Pam Triolo will dedicate the Gumbo Limbo planted in the Lake Worth Cultural Plaza on April 16th.

The City of Lake Worth is most appreciative of the Tree Board, whose members are volunteers appointed by the City Commissioners and the Mayor.

Mayor says Chapel payment “borders on extortion.”


Click here to the city of West Palm Beach website. The city did not participate in the settlement arrangement.

Who remembers the Fiesta del Sol parade in Lake Worth?

Today's Palm Beach Post features an excellent article about Lake Worth history. Eliot Kleinberg has a question from a reader and here is the link to the story with the answer. The question is:
Question: “My mom passed away (recently) and while going through her things I found several scrapbooks that she kept during the ’40s, ’50s and ’60s … I came across this clipping for something called the Fiesta del Sol Parade. It sounds like a huge event … Was this a one-time parade or an annual event that stopped before the ’60s?” — Carole A. Morey, Palm Springs
The archives of the Post and The Lake Worth Herald were used to answer the question. For those of you unaware, the Herald is the oldest business in the City of Lake Worth, established in 1912.

The Lake Worth Herald editorial: time to re-arrange the city agenda

Timely and it can't happen soon enough. Below is an excerpt from The Lake Worth Herald this week about changing the City Agenda to better get done the important business of the City. There are many good reasons for making this change; just one is city staff, some of whom have been working all day, will be more alert and better able to communicate information to the City Commission and the public.

Here is the excerpt from the Herald:
     City Attorney Glen Torcivia threw out a suggestion to re-arrange the City Commission Agenda by moving the “Commission Liaison Reports and Comments” and “Public Participation of Non-agenda Items and Consent Agenda” to take place after the business of the Commission has been completed. [emphasis added]
     This will receive resistance from some of those attending the meetings because they will have to wait until later in the evening to have their say. There will still be public comment on each agenda item as they are being considered by the commission so it would only affect those with something to say about items the commission is not considering during the meeting, and items on the consent agenda which receive no comment or discussion. Consent agenda items for which the commission wishes discussion are pulled and made part of the meeting’s business. 
     This re-ordering of events will bring Lake Worth back to previous ordering and it is the common ordering in most other municipalities. 
     Taking care of business first will allow the commission to consider things before they are exhausted and fresher minds make better decisions.
Let the hysteria begin! This is going to be fun to watch, folks. 

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Commissioner Comments and Reports from last night's (4/21) meeting...


This is a must watch portion of last night's meeting. First, we begin with Commissioner Maier's description of the train horn problem. It's right at the beginning, so it is hard to miss and it is part of his report from the Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council meeting. Usually, the portion of the meeting dealing with Commission comments and liaison reports is pretty mundane and lasts maybe 15 minutes in total. This one lasted a little short of an hour.

The downhill slide starts at the 10:20 mark of the first video when Commissioner McVoy brings up the Invitation to Negotiate (ITN) Selection Committee meeting coming up next Tuesday, April 28 at 6 p.m. He suggests that another meeting be scheduled immediately after the committee's meeting to generate comments from the public that will be assembled there, since there has been so much talk about the ITN process related to the beach. He is reminded by the Mayor and other Commissioners that a workshop on the recommendation from the Committee was agreed to at the last Commission meeting and that public comment would be taken then. That meeting has not been scheduled yet. Commissioner Amoroso reviews the process and the status of the Committee, twice. He points out that the ITN process has exceeded its time limit and therefore is now public. He also indicated that the Committee may, or may not, choose to make a recommendation after the meeting on the 28th.

Worth a listen or a watch if you weren't there or missed the live broadcast on-line last night.

Palm Beach Post circulation: the numbers might surprise you

Last Monday wrote about The Palm Beach Post circulation numbers and how surprised I was. The Post reported in last Sunday's paper that two of their reporters were up for awards "in the category for newspapers with circulation of less than 150,000". A search turned up the Newspaper Data Exchange, or NDX, for short. They report the print circulation for the Post is approximately 85,000.

NDX provides this background:
For over a decade, newspaper circulation has been a topic of lively conversation for the media industry and its stakeholders. Beginning with circulation scandals and the heightened accountability they provoked, significant declines in print circulation and the new product development that followed, and the emergence of the ‘multi-platform’ newspaper, traditional weekday and Sunday paid print circulation has gone from ‘the’ story to an increasingly less prominent part of the evolving story of newspaper circulation. And yet, for a large group of marketers for whom traditional print circulars remain a primary driver of store traffic and sales, that aspect of the larger story is still of primary importance. 
This information from NDX is really quite interesting.

The circulation numbers of a long list of newspapers from 2013 and 2014 are broken down with numbers of print papers and digital access. Using only the print numbers from 2014 this will give you some idea how the Post stacks up in the industry:
  • Wall Street Journal: 1,356,292
  • Tampa Bay Times: 217,597
  • "South Florida" Sun-Sentinel: 115,172
  • "West" Palm Beach Post: 85,043
This is where it gets interesting. The total number of subscribers to the Post in 2014, both print and digital was 105,335. How many subscribers, such as myself, are counted twice? No doubt many people subscribe to the Post with offers which include both print and on-line access. The data from NDX doesn't break this information down for any newspaper. In other words, if you get the paper delivered and also have on-line access, you're counted twice. If this conclusion is inaccurate please feel free to comment.

Here are the numbers for the Post in 2014 compared to 2013 (the first set of numbers is print and the second digital):

2014: 85,043
2013: 93,759
Percent change: -9.3%

2014: 20,292
2013: 7,653
Percent change: +165.2%

From the numbers above it's hard not to see the trend. As NDX points out, the issue of newspaper circulation is extraordinarily complex. The data is crucial to advertisers and many others as well.

Recently I had communication with a person on the Post editorial board and was told, and this is paraphrasing, that the City of Lake Worth was not adequately covered by the paper. Which begs the question: how many other towns and city's are not adequately covered. The last reporter here, who was more an intern than a reporter, was Chris Persaud. Before that was Lona O'Connor who took a buyout and left. Before that was Willy Howard who also took a buyout (he writes articles now and then for the Coastal Star).

What we'll never know are intangibles such as news reporting and how that affects advertising. And of course, there's always the politics. How much influence does The Palm Beach Post really have and are they being given too much credit in the public debate here in Palm Beach County? And my issue with the Post, should they be making endorsements if they don't know what's going on?

The numbers are very surprising to me and I bet many others are surprised also.

Emily Badger: "The rise of singles will change how we live in cities"

Emily Badger has a blog at The Washington Post called Wonkblog. If issues such as planning, Complete Streets, and other similar wonkish subjects interest you then I suggest you check out her blog every now and then. Here is an excerpt from one her latest articles:
     Over the last half-century in America, it's become acceptable, then increasingly common, then entirely unremarkable, to live alone. Women who once lived with their families until their wedding day now live alone. Men delaying marriage later into their 20s live alone. Divorcés, more common today than in 1950, live alone. And seniors who live longer now than ever before — and who are less likely to spend those years in a retirement home — increasingly live alone, too.
     As a result of all these shifts, more than a quarter of households in the U.S. now contain one person, alone. In 1940, it was about 7 percent.
     This trend has all kinds of consequences, including a particularly problematic one for where we live: Our housing stock wasn't built for a society full of singles. Our communities instead are full of homes meant for the traditional nuclear family — two-bedroom starter homes, three-bedroom houses, apartments with more bathrooms than a singleton needs, full-service kitchens when 25-year-old bachelors now primarily dine by microwave.
     We're increasingly a nation of single people, but we're still living, quite literally, in a world built for families.

Lake Worth Commissioner Ryan Maier at Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council

Comm. Maier attended the Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council (TCRPC) meeting on April 17th. The minutes are not yet available. The next meeting is on May 15th. The City of Lake Worth's presence at the council is very important and we need to make certain our City is represented properly. Former Commissioner Szerdi was the former representative from our City at TCRPC and he is well-known and well-respected.

Later today or tomorrow morning will have video from last night's City Commission meeting. Maier's account of his presence at TCRPC was that train horns were a top priority there and he vowed to make this issue a priority in Lake Worth. He was unaware that this issue has already been addressed and no doubt many on the TCRPC were aware of that. This information took me 2 minutes to find:

Check back later to hear Maier's explanation of how train horns work. It's entertaining and not very enlightening. 

Lake Worth High School receives $2,000 from Friends of Lake Worth High School

Nadine Burns, on behalf of the Friends of Lake Worth High School, presented the high school with a check yesterday for their arts and athletic programs. This money comes from proceeds of Reggae Fest earlier this year. Here are a few pictures from yesterday morning:
Left to right, Lake Worth Vice Mayor Scott Maxwell, high school Principal Dr. George Lockhart, Nadine Burns, and Commissioner Andy Amoroso.
Outside Principal Lockhart's office in front of school logo.
Commissioner Amoroso touring the facility.
The check from "Friends of Lake Worth High School".
Above is the contact information for Lake Worth High School Principal Lockhart and Assistant Principal Cooper. If you wish to find out more about their arts and athletic programs or wish to help out in some way, please feel free to contact them. 

The Bristol Will Rise: construction at former Chapel by the Lake site begins

No surprise here. Remember this was a 5–0 vote at the West Palm Beach city commission and the project had broad support from the city. There were even voices from the Town of Palm Beach concerned that their municipal neighbor, West Palm, was acting irresponsibly. The Citizens for Thoughtful Growth who opposed the project had their web page and Facebook page, got a lot of friendly press and TV interviews, there must be a manual out there, it has become all so predictable. Act 1, scene 2. . .

Anyhow, the show is over and here is the final act, from The Palm Beach Post's Alexandra Clough and Tony Doris is this report titled, "Citizens group drops suit against Chapel by Lake condo, in settlement":
     The developer of proposed 25-story condo on the former Chapel by the Lake site has settled the lawsuit by opponents Citizens for Thoughtful Growth and plans to start construction by the end of the year.     According to the developer, Flagler investors, the settlement clears the way for design and construction of the tower, to be called the Bristol, just south of downtown West Palm Beach along the Intracoastal Waterway, at 1112 S. Flagler Drive.     Neither side would disclose how much the developer paid the group to dismiss the suit and end all legal sparring between the group, the developer and the city, which approved the development plans. A spokesman for West Palm Beach, Elliot Cohen, said the city did not participate in the negotiations or contribute to the settlement.     “We were looking at a year-and-a-half to two years of litigation, and in development, time is money,” Flagler attorney Michael Burman said Tuesday. “Now we get to build our building. Right now.”

PBSO Arrested Guillermo Alonso & Erbin Miranda-Hernandez, on 1st Degree Murder charges for setting victim on Fire

LAST NIGHT!

Arrested for 1st Degree Murder: Guillermo Alonso, DOB: 7/14/1992
Erbin Miranda-Hernandez, DOB: 2/06/1992

Deputies responded to 301 N Dixie Hwy to a report of a person on fire. Upon arrival the victim was encountered with severe burns to his upper torso and face. He was transported to St. Mary's Hospital and eventually to Jackson Memorial in Miami where he is in critical condition.

Witnesses described two Hispanic males as waiting behind a fence at 314 N H street (directly parallel to 301 N Dixie) and then attacking the victim by throwing a liquid on him and then throwing a flame onto the victim. Several witnesses identified Miranda-Hernandez as being the subject who lit the victim on fire. Alonso was identified as being his accomplice based on information provided by the witnesses and visible injuries he had sustained from an incident on April 19 in which he fought with the victim.

Both suspects were interviewed at VCD. Based on statements of the witnesses, physical evidence, interviews with the suspects, both suspects were charged with Attempted 1st Degree Murder. Investigation cleared by arrest.

Living Colour and the "Cult of Personality": The Lemmings of Lake Worth, FL On the March Again


Appropriate and timely. False prophets come in many forms: a camera-hogging 'pastor' or even in the form of a self-proclaimed 'journalist' promising TRUTH: "They're stealing our BEACH! Lemmings Unite!"

Are people in Lake Worth, FL that easily manipulated? It appears so. The Lemmings of Lake Worth.

Line up for your instruction. Swallow your talking points. Suckle at that teat and then blindly follow your fellow Lake Worth Lemming.

Truth is Truth and no facts matter. "I'm a Lemming after all and the TRUTH is what I am told."

March On the Lemmings of Lake Worth.

March On.

The Lemmings of Lake Worth, Florida. On the March Again.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Panel Discussion: The "end of the world" and being sustainable—if lucky, refreshments follow

In last week's Lake Worth Herald is a story about an interfaith panel discussion tomorrow [TODAY] in Lake Worth. One of the issues to be discussed is highlighted in red below. It should be a spirited discussion, no pun intended.
    The Palm Beach Quaker Meeting, the Network of Spiritual Progressives and the Lake Worth Interfaith Network will present Spirituality and the Environment, an Interfaith Panel Discussion on Wednesday, Apr. 22, 6 p.m.
     The meeting will be held at 823 North A St., Lake Worth.
     Some of the issues to be discussed include: What does your faith teach about the end of the world and how does that effect efforts towards environmental sustainability?
[here is more information:]
     Panelists include Baha’iLordes Leahy; Buddhist Kathy Bishop; Catholic-Paula Winker; Earth First-Onion; Indigenous-Emily Andari; Jewish-Rabbi Barry Silver; Quaker-Barbara Letsch; MC and moderator-John Palozzi.
     Refreshments will follow the meeting.
 
Earth First will be there with "Onion" their representative on the panel. Earth First uses the Palm Beach Quaker Meeting House regularly as part of their training. In fact, they recently had a training class there:

Katie McGiveron: The Lake Worth Herald deserves an apology

Of course, Margaret Menge confirmed that the incident involving Mrs. Dee McNamara vis-à-vis the use of the 'N-word' did in fact occur. Mr. Laurence McNamara, Mrs. McNamara's husband, confirmed it. You can read about that here

Mrs. McGiveron, you can submit your letter here, send in a letter by mail (LW Herald, 130 South H Street, Lake Worth, FL 33460), or send an email

Thank you in advance for your cooperation.

Downtown West Palm Beach Sky Bike bikeshare locations finalized

More transportation news out of West Palm Beach. The story here is about the new bike sharing program coming soon to West Palm. Also on the blog today is a story from Tony Doris at the Post on the surprising traffic numbers in the city: they're down.

If you've been paying attention to what's happening in West Palm Beach you see how they're preparing for big changes, All Aboard Florida is one. As West Palm gradually adapts to New Urbanism and concepts like 'Complete Streets' other cities in Palm Beach County will do the same. They'll have to; the public will demand it.

All Aboard Florida is a game changer. It's going to fundamentally shift how people think about where to live and work. The train hardly anyone is talking about is the Coastal Link which will begin construction after All Aboard Florida is operating.

There will be a Coastal Link station located in downtown Lake Worth (see map below). The next few years are going to be very exciting here in Palm Beach County. Probably not so much though if you're in the business of selling cars.

Real estate news: Key West sales up for 63 months!

This is an eye-opening real estate story out of Key West. A certain person in the City of Lake Worth has published all kinds of reasons for moving from Key West. Most of you who follow this blog know who I'm talking about. Take this excerpt, for example:
Key West has the largest collection of pretty historic homes that I've ever seen, and a number of other preserved historic buildings like the San Carlos Institute on Duval Street. But it also has sold out in recent years to developers and to the cruise ship industry. Thousands of cruise ship passengers flooding a small downtown tends to change the feel of things.
[and . . .]
I've lived in Lake Worth since 2010, when I moved here from Key West. I was the deputy editor of a terrible little newspaper there, a job that tied me down to an ugly office in a strip mall next to a Ross store. And that's about all I have to say about Key West. . ."
Key West isn't a city where you move to get a job unless you have access to wealth. For many reasons, including the favorable tax structure in Florida, Key West has become a city where people with wealth go to live; much like the Town of Palm Beach but with a funky vibe. In Key West you can be rich and cool at the same time.

The reality in Key West now is this: you can work there but if you don't have access to wealth it is very hard to live there. Many people commute to their jobs from other keys and even as far as Homestead I've heard.

Check out this information from John Parce at his real estate blog:
     Old Town sales of single family homes continue a steady climb. Number of Old Town homes sold this quarter (46) is up 24% over the 1st Quarter of 2014 and the highest recorded [emphasis added]. (The average sale price of $978,000 is 7% less than 2014, 3rd highest since 2008). Average number of days to sell varies by home type but is generally taking longer as sellers set their price ahead of buyers' desire to pay, especially for larger homes.
[and. . .]
     Five, 1Bed/1Bath homes have sold in the Old Town area thru 3/31/2015. The average sale price of $539,000 is 21% above the average sale price for 2014. In 2014, eleven 1/1 homes sold, the most since 2010! Buyers are very choosey about buying smaller Old Town homes. The average size of the five for sale is 814 sq.ft., 31% larger than the 2010 - 2014 average. Yet, the average sale price of $636,000 is 70% higher, than the 2010 - 2014 average of $375,000.
     Six, 2Bed/1Bath homes have sold in the Old Town area thru 3/31/2015. The average Sold price of $459,000 is 2% less than 2014 which was 13% more than in 2013. Six 2/1 homes are for sale with prices from $499K to $822K. Fifteen 2/1 homes sold in 2011, sixteen in 2012 and twenty-one in 2013 but only fourteen in 2014! Why? Overpriced. Even so, since 2009, 2Bed/1Bath homes have been the 3rd most popular selling home in Old Town.
Can you imagine? An average sale price of $539,000 for a home about 814 square feet. The point is this, residents moving out of Key West aren't running from cruise ship passengers or "evil" developers. Key West has become a haven for people of wealth. Mr. Parce concludes with this:
     The year before Presidential elections is traditionally an up year for the markets as incumbents pump the economy. Since many buyers of Key West real estate rely more on wealth than income, this should be a good thing. Additionally, boomers and near-boomers continue to buy second homes that serve two purposes; a balancing element to their investment portfolio and a second home to which they can eventualy [sic] migrate and convert into their primary home (in a no personal income tax state!). 

Picture of Palm Beach's former "Lido Pools"

These pools were at the end of Worth Avenue, near the former Palm Beach Pier. In the picture above, you can see the Colony Hotel in the background. This is the block where Charlie's Crab is now.

Traffic calming? The solution might be easier than you think...

More and more information is coming in that confirms one-way city streets may be good for cars, but not necessarily good for the people who live there or for the value of properties along them. This Washington Post article points out examples in Louisville, Kentucky where one-way streets were returned to their original two-way pattern. Many city roads, including some in our own City of Lake Worth, were changed to one-way during the 1950s and 60s to encourage automobile traffic and speedy point A to point B travel.

Many of Lake Worth's residential streets are wide enough for two lane traffic, with parking on one or both sides of the road. On the street where I live, on the block to the west, we have traffic going two ways and parking on both sides. Many times, cars wait for another car to pass going the opposite direction, at a slow speed. What is the result? Traffic calming without the bulb-outs or traffic humps.

Look at some of the benefits identified in the article:
In 2011, Louisville converted two one-way streets near downtown, each a little more than a mile long, back to two-way traffic. In data that they gathered over the following three years, Gilderbloom and William Riggs found that traffic collisions dropped steeply — by 36 percent on one street and 60 percent on the other — after the conversion, even as the number of cars traveling these roads increased. Crime dropped too, by about a quarter, as crime in the rest of the city was rising. Property values rose, as did business revenue and pedestrian traffic, relative to before the change and to a pair of nearby comparison streets. The city, as a result, now stands to collect higher property tax revenues along these streets, and to spend less sending first-responders to accidents there.
Here's another article which confirms the results discussed in the previous article.

Think about our one-way streets near the downtown, both east and west of Dixie Hwy. Imagine if they were two-way. I am sure vehicle speeds would decrease and there would be less high-speed rear-end accidents involving parked cars. That's something happens more than it should here. I bet that there would be other benefits, like the ones mentioned in the articles.

Also, think of the amount of extra driving, over time, involved when you have an alternating one-way street pattern. You find yourself going "around the block" to get to your destination more so than if it was possible to go both directions on the same street. This extra driving adds to wear and tear on the streets, but it also adds up in fuel burned multiplied by the number of vehicles that have to follow the same movements, day after day after day.

By subjugating the car to second class status, the pedestrian and bike become safer and more attractive alternatives.

The Bamboo Room may open again this summer!

Joe Capozzi at The Palm Beach Post with this breaking story titled, "Bamboo Room music club could re-open this summer under new owner":
     The Bamboo Room, the trendy blues club that closed in May, could be hosting live music again this summer, this time under new ownership.
     Russell Hibbard, who has co-owned the Lake Worth club with his wife since 1999, said he has reached a deal to sell the club and the building that houses it to an investment group. He expects the deal to close by the end of the month.
     “It’s going to happen. Money has been deposited in escrow,’’ Hibbard said Monday. “We’re just excited that it’s somebody who is enthusiastic about re-opening it as the Bamboo Room.’’
     Ryan Mueller of RJM Real Estate in Delray Beach said he is purchasing the Paradise Building and the club, which is on the second floor of the building, from the Hibbards. But he declined to comment further until after the sale closes.

Tony Doris with the proof: vehicle traffic can be lowered by proper planning

Tony Doris at The Palm Beach Post with news that will have many cheering. It was thought if you increased a city's downtown population then car traffic will increase. Sure it will unless you plan ahead and discourage motor vehicle use. West Palm Beach's plan is working and this article by Tony Doris proves it:
     Though far from reaching the heights of San Francisco cable cars or the Boston T, West Palm Beach’s trolley buses are rolling up big ridership numbers.
     Numbers compiled by the Downtown Development Authority show a 65 percent increase in trolley use between 2005 and 2014, to 582,000 riders.
     That includes 447,000 on the Clematis-CityPlace route, known as the Yellow Line, and nearly 135,800 on the “commuter circulator” Green Line route downtown. The city on Wednesday rolled out a new fleet of six red, liquid propane-powered trolleys, replacing its larger, blue diesel vehicles on those routes.
     Raphael Clemente, the DDA executive director, said the trolley ridership numbers, along with an apparent dip in car traffic, are encouraging for city efforts to encourage downtown living. Road traffic on South Dixie Highway, between Belvedere Road and Okeechobee Boulevard, for example, was down to 16,559 average daily trips this past year, from 18,761 in 2005.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Quote: Margaret Singer (1921–2003): expert on religious cults and brainwashing

"[Cults] prey on the most lonely, vulnerable people they can find, cage you with your own mind through guilt and fear, cut you off from everyone...they don't need armed guards to keep you. Liars, tricksters, it's been the same ever since Eve got the apple, and I doubt it will ever change. They're all basically, really the same, con men. "
Margaret Singer, Ph.D.

NAPC: From our Nice Neighbors in Parrot Cove—Meeting Tonight.

We will have our regular meeting TONIGHT at 7:00 pm at the Beach Club located at the Lake Worth Golf Course. Our meeting is open to all neighbors. Our speaker this month will be City of Lake Worth Preservation Manager Aimee Sunny.

Aimee will be speaking to us about our historic neighborhood, preservation efforts, facts of local interest and how to navigate the process of performing improvements to historic homes and how that affects those who own them. Also the role of City staff in the process and what resources are available to homeowners. She will give a short presentation and answer questions from our membership.

Editor's note: As chair of the Historic Resource Preservation Board, I highly recommend that people attend this talk. I find that there is a lot of confusion out there about what historic preservation is and what it isn't. The more you know the less likely it will seem to be just another set of hoops to jump through but more like a way to increase the value of your home and neighborhood. It also will eliminate surprises as you make plans to improve your house in a historic district.

Congratulations Pat Beall and Lawrence Mower at the Palm Beach Post

In Sunday's paper (4/19) is a short story in the 'A' section about two Palm Beach Post reporters, Pat Beall and Lawrence Mower, who are finalists for the "prestigious Investigative Reporters & Editors national awards to mark the best investigative reporting in newspapers in 2014." (Could not find a link to the Post story in the on-line edition.) Good luck to the both of you.

What caught my eye was this: they are finalists "in the category for newspapers with circulation of less than 150,000". I don't know about you but that was a shock to me. Under 150,000? Palm Beach County is the second largest county in the United States east of the Mississippi River. How could the circulation be so low?

So did a few minutes of research (Google search). The Tampa Bay Times is the best newspaper in Florida and one of the best in the nation so would expect a high circulation. How they stack up against newspapers in south Florida might surprise you:

Tampa Bay Times: 240,024
Sun Sentinel: 226,591
Miami Herald: 147,130
Palm Beach Post: 88,231

People can speculate as to why the number is so startlingly low. I have my thoughts and if you're a reader of this blog you probably know what they are: if they're interested in increasing their circulation they might want to consider a new editorial board. 

Kim Miller: must read article about the "boomerang buyers"

This is absolutely amazing. With so much focus on new residents from out-of-state moving to Florida to escape the miserable Winters there's been less attention paid to those that live here and lost a home due to a foreclosure or some other reason. We're talking about a lot of people and families. From the article in the Real Time blog:
     Foreclosures and short sales devastated America’s housing market following its 2006 peak, taking down borrower credit and personal savings with it.
     But a National Association of Realtors report released today found that 1.7 million homeowners nationwide who lost a property to short sale or foreclosure between 2006 and 2014, will likely return to the market by 2023.
     That includes 277,000 in Florida, which ranks second only to California in the number of so-called “boomerang buyers.” [emphasis added]

Not for the lo-rise crowd. See what you are missing?


Click here for related article about the elevator in the One World Trade Center building in New York. It includes an amazing historic panorama of Manhattan island from the 1500s on. The video is built into the elevator itself.

Lake Worth City Commission meeting tomorrow night: DZ, the Monitor Lizard, and CATS!

You can look at the agenda for tomorrow's meeting here (Tuesday, 4/21). Some interesting things are moving the floating docks closer to the boat ramp (about time) and designating the ficus trees in the Cultural Plaza as "historic"; that should be interesting.

Of course what everyone is talking about is what DZ is going to say. DZ, as well as many others, are concerned about the feral cat population. It's a terrible problem in some parts of the city. As soon as the news hit about the Monitor Nile lizards eating feral cats some reacted with horror; some saw this as an opportunity.

On an entirely different topic Mr. John Schrade of Port Saint Lucie had a Letter to the Editor published in the Palm Beach Post titled, "Use rabbits to bait pythons, lizards"; here's an excerpt:
     Over the past several months, there has been much talk about the Burmese python crisis. Recently, there also has been talk about the Nile monitor lizard. I think an opportunity has been missed here.
     There was also a study where rabbits were fitted with tracking devices. None of the rabbits was found, but many of the devices were found in the pythons. Solution: Have many many rabbits neutered, then fitted with the tracking devices. (Neutered, so they don’t just feed the the snakes with their offspring.)
Not trying to give you any ideas DZ!

Gonz: Free Car Show this Saturday

This time of year is always good for car shows. The weather is key, of course. I'll be there with camera in tow and maybe take some video. The time to get there is as early as you can. They'll have coffee and breakfast bites. 

Sunday, April 19, 2015

[UPDATE] Sneak Peek at Lake Worth tabloid, see it here first!

[SHOCK: The Cribune is STILL FREE! We're at Vol. 1/Issue 13, why would anyone subscribe if you pick it up for FREE? Is it, "You Get What You Pay For?"]

Now if you see a pile of Marge Mange's tabloids at a news shop you can legally throw them all in the trash. If there are 10 just pay $1.20 and away they go! 18? Then it's $2.18. You get the idea. 

Can't wait to read about that "shocking scene" at the Cultural Plaza! Maybe it's on video? 

Dive: Pictures of underwater cleanup off Lake Worth shoreline

PBSO in City of Lake Worth: it's time to re-evaluate

My faith in PBSO and Captain Silva has taken a huge hit this week. Each week's Crime Blotter by Margaret Menge has taken its toll on me and I don't know how much more I can take.
Crime is a huge issue in Palm Beach County and as we all know most of the crime takes place in Lake Worth. 

Along with reports of "Stolen Tag", "Neighbor Trouble", and "Drug arrest" there were two crimes reported by Margaret Menge that have me especially frightened:
Stolen Vehicle: A man told police that he had a party on April 7 and became "extremely intoxicated." When he woke up, his 2001blue [sic] Ford Mustang was missing, along with the keys. He was told that he had loaned the car to a black man named "Zoe Blood." He had no memory of loaning out his car, he said, and had left many messages for Blood, asking for his car back.
And this one:
Internet Scam: A woman reported to police that she believed she was being targeted by a scammer, who was e-mailing, she said, from Turkey, where he said he was just approved to construct a shopping mall and needed money to "tip" a local elected official before the contract could be signed. The man identified himself as Gooz Adalwin Kenneth.
Seriously now, Margaret. Have you lost your mind? You mention some fella named "Gooz Adalwin Kenneth" from Turkey in your crime blotter? Would you like to inspect my spam folder for similar messages? I am sure there are about a dozen there, probably more than a few from "Gooz." An intoxicated man thinks he may have loaned his car to "Zoe Blood" and you call it a "Stolen Vehicle"? Some might think this is a stab at comedy, but it's not. These are "crimes" in Margaret Menge's Lake Worth Crime Blotter.

Pretty soon we will have to revisit why PBSO is policing the City of Lake Worth. There are many people who live in our City who don't remember those very dark days when there was the Lake Worth Police Department and how the gangs had taken over many parts of the City. 

14th Annual Lake Worth Great American Raft Race Theme is Reading Is Fun (RIF)!

Mary Lindsey has the latest special report in The Lake Worth Herald on the upcoming Great American Raft Race:
      A theme for this year’s Raft Race has been chosen by the Neighborhood Association Presidents Council, The 14th Annual Great American RIF-Raft Race! RIF stands for Reading Is Fun! Raft entries will select a favorite book, author or literary character(s) as a theme to decorate their homemade rafts for the parade downtown and the raft race at the Boat Ramp on the Intracoastal on the 4th of July. 
     Last year’s Art on the Water Raft Race brought out 26 entries, many for the first time. Neighborhood Associations, other non-profit service organizations, local businesses and even the City of Lake Worth are expected to be among this year’s participants in what can only be described as Lake Worth’s most chaotic and cherished annual event. 
     Rafts are homemade with no manufactured hulls and people powered only, no motors. Huge slabs of styrofoam, plastic barrels lashed together, air mattresses stuffed inside wooden pallets and origami inspired folded coroplast canoes are but a few of the many raft designs used in the past.
[and some history about the Great American Raft Race]
     From 2002 until 2009 each entry chose whatever theme they wanted. Beginning in 2010, an overall raft race theme was chosen and each entry designed their raft accordingly. Here are the Raft Race Winners from every year: 
     2002, 2003, 2004 Bryant Park 
     2005, 2006, 2007 Kiwanis 
     2008, Tropical Ridge 
     2009, Bryant Park 
     2010, “Movies”, Sabal Palm House and Mango Inn with Pajama Game 
     2011, “Nursery Rhymes”, A tie for First with South Palm Park and Tropical Ridge 
     2012, “Broadway Musicals”, Kiwanis 
     2013, “The Lake Worth Centennial”, South Palm Park 
     2014, “Art on the Water”, Kiwanis (with ongoing and everlasting protest by Downtown Jewel) 
     Trophies are also awarded for Best Decorated, Crowd Pleaser, Best First Timer, Best On-shore Performance, and the Run Aground trophy, awarded to the raft team that perseveres in the face of insurmountable odds, like sinking! It’s been rumored that a new Trophy may be awarded this year called The Paddle for the team voted by the crowd who displays unneighborly sportsmanship. Tough call in a race with no rules, but in the Great American Raft Race, the Golden Rule reigns supreme.
You know one of the themes is going to be Fifty Shades of Grey, wonder who will be first to pick that theme? See you at the Raft Race!