Saturday, June 6, 2015

Making the case for All Aboard Florida: how many lanes does I-95 have to be in the future? 6 each way, 7? 8?

From Joseph Stromberg, in an article titled, "The 'fundamental rule' of traffic: building new roads just makes people drive more". Here's an excerpt:
Image from the article by Joseph Stromberg.
     For people who are constantly stuck in traffic jams during their commutes, there seems to be an obvious solution: just widen the roads.
     This makes intuitive sense. [emphasis added] Building new lanes (or new highways entirely) adds capacity to road systems. And traffic, at its root, is a volume problem — there are too many cars trying to use not enough road.
     But there's a fundamental problem with this idea. Decades of traffic data across the United States shows that adding new road capacity doesn't actually improve congestion. The latest example of this is the widening of Los Angeles' I-405 freeway, which was completed last May after five years of construction and a cost of over $1 billion. "The data shows that traffic is moving slightly slower now on 405 than before the widening," says Matthew Turner, a Brown University economist.
     The main reason, Turner has found, is simple — adding road capacity spurs people to drive more miles, either by taking more trips by car or taking longer trips than they otherwise would have. He and University of Pennsylvania economist Gilles Duranton call this the "fundamental rule" of road congestion: adding road capacity just increases the total number of miles traveled by all vehicles.
UPDATE: A kind reader of my blog left a comment about All Aboard Florida (AAF) not helping smaller cities between the larger cities of Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, West Palm Beach and Orlando. What is proposed after AAF is what's called the Coastal Link. Here is what the Coastal Link will look like in Palm Beach County:
NBC5/WPTV's Brian Entin did a top-notch news segment on the Coastal Link. 

Kevin D. Thompson, beat reporter for City of Lake Worth, with community news: Free Golf Lessons

This should be welcome community news for some in the City of Lake Worth who have been considering taking up the sport of golf: Free 15-minute golf lessons in Lake Worth!
Now that we have our own beat reporter in the City of Lake Worth it's nice to see our community news appearing in the City's newspaper of record

If you have a community event in our City, such as a neighborhood meeting or a resident effort and would like Mr. Thompson to know, here is his contact info:
561-820-4573
@kevindthompson1 (Twitter)

There are so many events in the City of Lake Worth each week and there's no way he can publicize all of them. But we know he'll do his best. So get cracking and spread the good news.

Another 'comforting' message from The Other Blogger (TOB)

Can't some people in our little City of Lake Worth be so very charming and accepting of others different than themselves! [Heavy sigh.]

Featured on the Rickie Report: Free Demo Day And New Summer Glass Classes At McMow Art Glass

Rickie Leiter has this information about the new summer glass classes at McMow. There are many classes available this summer for everyone from novices to the more experienced. 

Here is some background on McMow:
     McMow Art Glass offers the best in stained glass windows and beveled art glass, as well as beautiful designs in carved, etched and faceted glass. Located in Palm Beach County, Florida since 1976 McMow Art Glass maintains an excellent working relationship with top builders, architects and designers and regularly ships their work throughout the US, Europe and South America.
     With our experienced staff of glass craftsmen and designers, McMow Art Glass is able to take every client's concept and create a clearly outstanding work of art for any residence, commercial building or place of worship.
Here is their contact information if you're interested in learning more:
McMow Art Glass, Inc.
701 North Dixie Hwy., Lake Worth, FL 33460
Phone Number: (561) 585-9011
Fax Number: (561) 586-2292

State effort to remove Florida panthers from endangered species list

David Fleshler at the Sun Sentinel has an article sure to get some riled up. The Florida panther population has recovered and is thriving too much for some. The state wants to have more control over the animal to avoid future interactions with people and their private property. Here is an excerpt:
     Nick Wiley, executive director of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, said he will propose seeking a relaxation of "unrealistic" federal criteria so panthers could be removed from the list and management turned over to state of Florida. The commission, a seven-member board appointed by the governor, plans to discuss the issue at its June 23 meeting in Sarasota.
     "A lot of people feel like the only way to save an endangered species is to keep it on the endangered species list as long as you can," he said. "I respectfully disagree with that. An endangered species means a species that needs to be under critical care, like in the emergency room. Panthers no longer, in my view, need critical care.''
     Free of federal restrictions, he said, Florida could focus more on the critical issue of panthers' interactions with people. Many landowners don't want an endangered species on their property, he said, because it would impede development or otherwise alter the landscape.
     Although there has never been a confirmed attack by a panther on a human being, Wiley said the state wants the authority to kill panthers that become persistent problems. 

VIDEO: Artist Clarence Measelle presents art to City and other presentations from Lake Worth Commission Meeting (6/2/15)


Lake Worth High School Class of 1965 Artist Clarence Measelle presented donated historical art work to the City of the former H.C. Pence 5 and 10 Store that was downtown. He shares a little bit of Lake Worth history and reminds us that Lake Worth was more of a full service city back in the day. He recalls former fixtures and institutions downtown and around the city. We also learned more about the Lake Worth Scottish Rite Masonic Center and their Flag Day celebration on June 14th. Mark Parrilla also provided a presentation for the Library Board. Vice Mayor Maxwell also presents and highlights the large number of REAP grant recipients in the city from this year's County program.

Editor's Note: Two things I'd like to point out about the videos from last night. I was able to find a zoom mic that attaches to the camera itself and disables the one that is built into it. The audio quality is noticeably clearer and without as much echo than with the standard mic. In doing so, I also changed some of the camera settings so that the video results in a "warmer" color picture and helps make up for the fluorescent lighting in the Commission Chambers. It is my understanding that the video went off-line from the city's Internet feed last night, so this is a good place to see what happened at the meeting. Enjoy!

From Bill DiPaolo: Coyotes more commonplace in Palm Beach County than you might think

And they eat feral cats too. Bill DiPaolo at The Palm Beach Post has this article about how common coyotes are in the county. Here's an excerpt:
     Most areas of the continental United States and Canada are dealing with coyotes these days – from Boston to Toronto to Chicago to San Diego. Coyotes are native to the Midwest, west of the Mississippi River. As their predators and natural enemies such as mountain lions, panthers and wolves declined, coyotes began to spread out, according to local animal officials.
     Coyotes are swimming in canals, walking in fields and climbing over fences into backyards of homes in gated communities, said Capt. David Walesky of Palm Beach County Animal Care and Control.
     “We started seeing them in the sugar cane fields. Now we are seeing them in residential areas. Coyotes are established in Palm Beach County. They are here to stay,” [emphasis added] Walesky said.
     Growing to about 35 pounds, the agile animals sometimes target small and weak animals, such as small dogs, feral cats and ducks, Walesky said. 

NBC5/WPTV's Brian Entin on West Palm Beach's effort to attract artists: old is the new cool

Here is the video of Brian Entin's segment. Below is an excerpt from the text of the article:
     There is plenty of new construction in Downtown West Palm Beach, but is 'old' becoming the new 'cool' downtown?
     One of the oldest buildings in the downtown area is revamped into loft style living.
     Alexander Lofts was once the Southern Bell building built in 1926.
     It will soon open as downtown's first historic, loft style development.
     "The building had such great character and it was an opportunity for us to use design and art to create value in an existing building," Jennifer Stull-Wise with RAM Real Estate said.
     The loft style apartments have open layouts with huge windows in the historic space.
Here is a wonderful piece by Pari Chang. It was this article that put the City of Lake Worth on the national stage. Attracting artists to cities in south Florida is serious competition.

DEVELOPING STORY: New homes in a vibrant coastal city in south Florida

And you won't believe the adjectives used to describe this coastal city: a "vibrant downtown", "great shopping", and "antiques".

And this new housing in Lake Worth will have a "resort-style swimming pool with cabana". Who would want to go to that boring, obsolete pool at the "BEACH!" anyway. And this pool has a cabana! Plus a new school bus shelter will be built for the little children going to school. 

Later will have more information. I wonder if I should call NBC5/WPTV and let them know about this news in Lake Worth?

Friday, June 5, 2015

Neighborhood Week 2015 Kick-Off in Lake Worth—Downtown Cultural Plaza: 11:00 am to 2:00 pm

There is a free lunch tomorrow, along with family activities, games, and demonstrations. 

Dale E. Gawlik, Certified Wildlife Biologist, on cats and TNVR (Trap, Neuter, Vaccinate, Release)

The fur has been flying, so to speak, ever since May 27th when a Post editorial was published questioning the TNVR program and cats. Our unique south Florida bird populations are being decimated by both pet cats and feral ones also. Something has to be done and almost everyone, including environmentalists and activists you would think organize and make this a "Call to Action", are stepping around this issue.

Dale E. Gawlik, a Wildlife Biologist, has a Letter to the Editor in the Post with his thoughts on the hypocrisy of efforts by Palm Beach County on this issue:
     As a professor and researcher on wetland birds, I have been aware of a growing body of science showing that TNVR policies degrade our environment by increasing predation on native animals. [emphasis added]
     By approving the TNVR policy, Palm Beach County effectively undermined its other conservation efforts. Environmental protection is one of the county’s goals and is a priority in its 2015 budget, giving justification for the $39 million it appropriated for environmental resources management.
     This funding supports a strong program of removing invasive species on conservation lands. But at the same time, the county approved $200,000 for TNVR, effectively stocking our environment with feral predators. These two policies are inconsistent.
[And later. . .]
     The most effective solutions supported by the conservation community require difficult and sometimes unpopular decisions: 1. recognizing that cats are an invasive species; 2. imposing fines on owners who refuse to control their pets; 3. mandatory sterilization of pets, except for breeding purposes; 4. prohibiting feral-cat colonies and feeding stations; 5. increasing cat-adoption efforts; and 6. acknowledging the legitimate role of euthanasia, when necessary.
Lake Worth is one city with a terrible problem when it comes to feral cats. Could this be the main reason you see so few birds in the City? Here is a recent news segment by Jonathan Beaton at CBS12/WPEC.
The threatened Florida Scrub Jay; image from Wikipedia.

The Real Deal, Q&A with Jeff Greene: “I’m all in on West Palm Beach”

Dan Weil at The Real Deal has a Q&A with Jeff Greene. You might know Mr. Greene better as "the next Henry Flagler". He is very optimistic about West Palm Beach and sees the opportunities that All Aboard Florida will present. Here are two excerpts from the Q&A:

Jeff Greene on West Palm:
I now see the pieces in place to become a viable and dynamic South Florida city. It’s pedestrian-oriented, the All Aboard train line is coming through. [emphasis added] I think the town will really go to the next level soon, with extra sophistication to draw people who will create more jobs and businesses.
Question: Has West Palm been overlooked?
Answer: Yes, I think it’s a very unique part of the South Florida experience, and most people don’t know it exists. I’m in California as we speak, and most people here say they’ve been to Miami, and maybe they’ve been to the Breakers for a wedding, but they haven’t experienced what it’s like in downtown West Palm Beach. The nightlife on Clematis isn’t New York City, but it’s cool for a city of its size. You have CityPlace, the Kravis and an airport that’s just five to 10 minutes away. The Mayor and city commissioners know what the problems are and are addressing them.
Below is a video that has some readers of my blog very upset. Am hearing more Nervous Nellies about being late for doctor visits and other innumerable ways All Aboard Florida (AAF) is going to negatively affect peoples lives. Watch this very short video of an AAF train crossing:

Evening on the Avenue in Lake Worth tonight: music by Michaela Paige

Music tonight by Michaela Paige:
Make sure to stop by the NAPC Front Porch for some fresh popcorn. 

Miami: Largest parcel of undeveloped land east of I-95 to be developed with two 10-acre swimming lagoons

And it will be called SoLeMia. Appears the message of 'climate change', rising sea levels, and salt intrusion isn't quite resonating with the investor class. Read this real estate news in the Miami Herald. Here's an excerpt:
     Three months after purchasing the long-troubled 183-acre North Miami site formerly known as Biscayne Landing, developers are set to break ground Thursday on the residential-retail enclave now called SoLeMia. [emphasis added]
     Owners Turnberry Associates, led by siblings Jackie and Jeffrey Soffer, and LeFrak, led by New York developer Rickard LeFrak and son Harrison, said they have started construction on the former Superfund site’s infrastructure, including roads, utilities and ground preparation. The companies plan to begin on the first residential and retail buildings within the next 12 months.
     Details released Thursday call for multiple residential and commercial complexes set amid 37 acres of parks and two 10-acre swimming lagoons. Retail will be anchored on a pedestrian main street and include a gourmet grocery, high-end cinema and Warren Henry auto dealership.
     The site, off Biscayne Boulevard at Northeast 151st Street in North Miami near Oleta River State Park, is the largest parcel of undeveloped land in Miami-Dade County east of I-95.
Eastward Ho
Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/news/business/real-estate-news/article23075109.html#storylink=cpy

Staci Sturrock: Downtown West Palm Beach rolls out bike-sharing tomorrow

More big news for West Palm Beach. Staci Sturrock with the roll-out tomorrow of the long-anticipated bike-sharing program:
     West Palm Beach’s long-awaited bike-sharing program finally goes for a ride this Saturday.
     A 10 a.m. press conference at Centennial Square and Fountain Park will get things rolling.
     Sky Bike will make more than 150 bikes available for rent at 14 stations throughout downtown, and will offer yearly and monthly memberships, as well as daily rentals.
 

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Blogger references Obambi.com to smear State Senator Jeff Clemens (also former mayor of Lake Worth)

Lake Worth blogger/malcontent Lynn Anderson referenced the antisemitic and racist website called Obambi.com in a political attack against State Senator Jeff Clemens:
Here are some headlines in Obambi you'll find both insulting and revolting examples of political 'Free Speech':
  • 98% of Black people are fucking idiots
  • Fox News = Israeli News
  • Michelle Obama, the penis is well tucked in
  • Mainstream media tries to brainwash you with the, "Michelle Obama grace" bullshit
  • jews attack a little boy
  • How jews keep people under prison while at home
  • Video of israeli jews throwing rocks at little children
So very Lake Worth charming isn't it?
This is an image from Obambi; it was this website that Lynn Anderson shared with the community of Lake Worth. [Next , Lynn Anderson poking fun at the death of Michael Brown.]

Greenacres Councilwoman Judy Dugo: go with PBSO? City seeking options

The biggest local news this week came from Greenacres. From what I can gather prior to the Greenacres City Commission meeting on Monday (6/1) their beat reporter got a tip that Councilwoman Dugo would bring up the topic of possibly going with PBSO for their police services. What is very interesting about the article written by Kevin Thompson is the reference to Lake Worth and our city's experience with PBSO.

Here is an excerpt from the article:
     At Monday’s City Council meeting, Councilwoman Judy Dugo made a motion for the city to solicit two bids from the sheriff’s office on how much it would cost to run Greenacres’ police force.
     The city has 51 sworn-in officers, with a plan to add six more. Dugo said she wants the sheriff’s office to come back with two bids — one for 51 officers, the second for 57.
     “This will give us perspective with our budget planning and our priorities,” she said. “And it’s an apples to apples comparison.” [emphasis added]
     Dugo cited how Lake Worth was able to reduce its crime rate after the sheriff’s office took over its police department seven years ago.
     “They found it very valuable,” Dugo said. “They cleaned up a lot of crime and it became more cost effective for them.”

Lake Worth City Commission discussion on 6th Avenue South improvements—6/2/15


The first two minutes are about the previous section of the meeting and how the Commission is not responding to public comments, as had been the practice before. The item will be discussed at the next regular City Commission meeting. The remainder of the video contains discussion of the improvements that the City will do to the pavement on 6th Avenue South between Federal and Dixie Hwys. However, most of the focus was on the higher speed on the section between A Street and Dixie on 6th Avenue South and the lack of a pedestrian crosswalk or traffic lights on that segment of road

Last part: Lake Worth City Commission meeting of 6/2/15—City Manager Michael Bornstein's report


Most people do not stay for the last part of the City Commission meeting to hear the City Manager's report. In the first part of this video, City Manager Bornstein compliments City Attorney Glenn Torcivia on an award for exemplary achievement issued by the Palm Beach County League of Cities. He then introduces the notion of the City splitting the residential parking area at the Casino complex in two: a north and south area. A total of 25 resident spaces would be moved from the northwest part of the property to the southwest portion. The thinking behind this is to make the southern area more accessible for residents who would otherwise have to walk from the north part of the beach further south. That's at about the 1:10 mark of the video.

Around the 3:30 mark, a round-robin discussion of various Casino complex issues, a possible traffic/parking study, charrette, etc., are all discussed. At the end and throughout the last part of the meeting, it looks as though the City Manager has something important on his mind but didn't get a chance as the meeting was adjourned. Hope to find out what it was at the next City meeting.

Lake Worth beat reporter Kevin D. Thompson on "good old Lake Worth"?

Here is a Tweet from Lake Worth beat reporter Kevin Thompson:
Below is a Tweet sent out by The Palm Beach Post yesterday with a link to a news article by Kevin Thompson:
If you're hoping that The Palm Beach Post will see the light and celebrate our City's resurgence, think again. Reading good news stories in the paper of late is encouraging and exciting such as news of road work and trolleys. Ultimately though it's bad news about Lake Worth that is good news for the Post. Simply put, don't count on the people at the Post to help in rebuilding our City's image; or any mainstream news outlet for that matter. 

I'm certain the Tweet about "good old Lake Worth" wasn't sent out or even approved by Kevin Thompson. But this "horrifying" message displays the mindset of many who work at that newspaper, especially editorial, prevalent in the past and will undoubtedly continue. 

If you're one of those people working hard to make Lake Worth a better place to live keep focused on your work. Don't get too worked up by anything the Post publishes, whether it's positive or negative. 

[RE-POST] A city sign, Free Speech, and role of government: What some Libertarians will never understand

Here we go again. There are sensible, thoughtful Libertarians (mostly I'm certain) and then there are the others who aren't so sensible and thoughtful and misinterpret the meaning of "Free Speech" using the most mundane of examples. Free Speech doesn't trump the Constitution of the United States or vice versa:
We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
Here is a conversation, a screen grab from Facebook, that illustrates how "Free Speech" in misinterpreted to be something it is not:
Mr. Bollier tears apart the argument that Free Speech is all-encompassing and trumps the role of government in our society. It's just absurd. This line by Mr. Bollier says it all: "Your sad and misguided view of freedom of speech would keep us all in a verbal lawless state where direct emotional verbal assaults would be common place I dare not live in that world."

For some perspective below is a post from this blog in December of last year addressing "profane language" and what the role of government is. The ridiculous comparison between the City of Lake Worth and North Korea is especially entertaining and also quite sobering at the same time. Enjoy. . .

On Friday, 12/12/14, this item appeared on a local Facebook page called Lake Worth Community:
The penalty referenced is for a second degree misdemeanor, the same penalty one would get, in theory, for riding a bike or skateboard on a sidewalk in the city. Those signs were at the beach, but came down when the city realized that they were confusing and actually directed bikes to areas that were unsafe. One example would be encouraging bikes to ride behind cars parked, facing in, at a 90 degree angle. So, some common sense was applied there. 

It sounds like we need some additional common sense to be applied in this area. Some seem to have a problem with "profane language" being banned from the Lake Worth Pier and the Snook Islands recreational area. There are already decorum standards for City Commission meetings. You can find those here on the city's website. The standards appear below:
Those commenting on Lake Worth Community are referencing a website posted on April 5, 2012, almost three years ago. Three years ago does not qualify as "new." The Internet can breed people that become experts when it comes to embellishment. For instance, read this warning posted on Lake Worth Community to evacuate the City due to the coming controlled burn at one of the city's vacant homes

So let's simmer down about the implications of what is actually going on here. Research actually takes time and effort. The Palm Beach County Park rules, that would apply to John Prince Park, are more restrictive than even Lake Worth's rules:
Sec. 21-39. - Noise. (Ord. No. 04-022, § 24, 8-17-04): No person shall make such loud, excessive, unnecessary noise so as to create a nuisance in any county park. Noise shall be considered a nuisance where it produces actual physical discomfort and annoyance to persons of ordinary sensibilities.
When you're dealing with other local sources on the Internet, and that includes blogs, including some comments left on this one, and Facebook pages along with other sources, it's important to remember that many times hype trumps fact. For example, here are two excerpts from comments on Lake Worth Community's 'profanity' rules post (I will not identify the poster):
Lake Worth City Hall's obsessed with behavior modification, just like all authoritarian regimes are.
Huh? And then there is this:
Are these the new rules for Lake Worth, N. Korea, and they got posted here by accident? I didn't know there was a Lake Worth in N. Korea.
So we're to conclude, from a 3-year-old website, that our City of Lake Worth is now an "authoritarian" regime and akin to a North Korean city government? Here's some North Korean propaganda, let's compare and contrast.
Lake Worth is a medium-sized  municipality in Palm Beach County. There are 38 municipalities in Palm Beach County. For those of you who see Lake Worth, a City of just over 35,000, as a crucial link in some grand conspiracy...I say, "some perspective is in order". 

If anyone in Lake Worth, a resident or non-resident, would walk up and down the Snook Island floating dock yelling George Carlin's Seven Dirty Words and a Sheriff deputy appeared you could be arrested and charged with violating Florida Statute 877.03 which states:
Breach of the peace; disorderly conduct.—Whoever commits such acts as are of a nature to corrupt the public morals, or outrage the sense of public decency, or affect the peace and quiet of persons who may witness them, or engages in brawling or fighting, or engages in such conduct as to constitute a breach of the peace or disorderly conduct, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
Lake Worth's rule prohibiting "profane language" seems a reminder to park visitors to engage in proper conduct and to not "outrage the sense of public decency". Something most citizens would consider common sense. 

Baby black bear recovers from burned paws; returns to the wild

The bear is named 'Cinder' and was found by a homeowner in Washington state after a large wildfire there. The bear has recovered and will be returned to the wild once again.

Continuation of discussion on 6th Ave South improvements from Commission's 6/2/15 meeting...

Public Comment from Tuesday Night's City Commission Meeting—6/2/15

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

A sad video about a pool that needs people

Palm Beach Post reporter Julius Whigham II with terrible news for PBSO haters

The Other Blogger (TOB), one of the leading PBSO haters around, was so excited to hear about a carjacking at the Lake Worth "BEACH!" that she couldn't control herself. She left a vapor trail to her computer and quickly produced this on her unhinged blog:
Julius Whigham II now produces this terrible news for TOB. This incident had absolutely nothing to do with Lake Worth or PBSO. The carjacking occurred in Palm Beach (33480) and not in the City of Lake Worth (33460) which is patrolled by PBSO. And it gets worse for TOB. The man arrested for the crime doesn't live in the City of Lake Worth! He lives in suburban Lake Worth. 
The hate this woman has for PBSO knows no bounds. It stems from former city manager Susan Stanton's failed effort to end the contract with PBSO in our City. You might remember this mea culpa by Stanton and Suzanne Mulvehill as they backpedaled from that ledge in 2011:

At the 6:14 mark you can hear me (Wes Blackman) ask a question of Stanton that she cleverly evades answering.

Lake Worth REAP* Grant Recipients Show of their Check at the 6/2/15 City Commission Meeting

*REAP is Palm Beach County's "Resident Education to Action Program".

You can watch the entire video of the presentation using this link.

Critical Mass Bike Ride through City of Lake Worth TONIGHT at 7:30

Folks, if you've never been in a Critical Mass (CM) ride you don't know what you're missing. It's very safe (my experience to date) and you don't have to be an athlete to participate. The pace can be brisk at times but the leaders of the ride stop now and then so everybody can stay together through some of the more challenging parts, like crossing Dixie Highway. I've been in six CM rides and lived to tell about it.

Remember though, this ride is "At Your Own Risk". Don't forget that.

You'll hear the term "corker" a lot. 'Corkers' make sure the ride gets through intersections safely and they always encourage everyone to be courteous and wave at the traffic that's inconvenienced for a minute or two. Most of those drivers that have to wait actually seem to enjoy the show and wave back and honk their horns.

You might say, "Hmmm, isn't stopping traffic illegal?" Yes it is. I can't speak for PBSO but what I can say is this: I've never seen PBSO interfere with the ride and I've never seen them participate either. I would guess their position is "have fun and don't be stupid". 
Note: The ride begins at 7:30 SHARP!
Here is the Facebook link for the Lake Worth Critical Mass ride

Very Important: Make sure you check the batteries in your bike lights. Bike lights are required, front (white light) and rear (red light). 

At 6:30 or so go to Bryant Park in front of the Gulfstream Hotel where the bike riders meet up. The ride starts at 7:30 sharp! So be on time. 

Hope to see you on tonight! Let's break a hundred bike riders this week.

Lake Worth City Commission: Comments and Liaison Reports—6/2/15


A couple of noteworthy items during this section of the meeting are discussion of the ITN process related to the Casino complex/beach and some revisionist history by certain Commissioners. At about the 9:45 mark, Commissioner Amoroso brings up the ITN status and reviews the recommendations by the ITN Selection Committee. It will likely be talked about again at a future meeting and it sounded like the Commission would like to have presentation by the respondents.

At the 21 minute mark, Commissioner McVoy applies some revisionist history in referring to the Greater Bay settlement saying that he doesn't want to get into the position where the city is seen as promising something and creating an excuse for a developer to sue us. My advice would then be to not enter a contract with a private entity and then unilaterally break it. He seemed to want the City Attorney to give some sort of assurance that the city won't be in that position if they even go forward with a meeting. Argh!

Towards the end of the first video (this is a playlist of two to include the Mayor's comments as the videos are limited to a little over 27 minutes), we are treated to another claim that Commissioner Maier was on the Sister City Board (he was, but in name only). It does seem like the whole advisory board appointment process will be looked at in the future.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Drip, drip, drip. . .why PBSO took over the Lake Worth Police Dept.

There are some in the City who will do just about anything to convince you otherwise about PBSO:
Picture from a protest in Lake Worth organized by EarthFirst! et al.
Go to the 8:00 mark of the video above and learn about Lake Worth in 2009. Lake Worth was national news then due to the high level of crime and violence. There was even talk back then of a state takeover of the City. PBSO was brought into the City and solved the problem the LWPD was unable to. 

Sort of makes you look at PBSO District 14 a little differently doesn't it? The real "LINE OF FIRE" in Palm Beach County was in 2007 to 2009. 

Hijacking the planning process in the City of Lake Worth

Probably no better explanation of this than what occurred in October of last year. A road project had been in the works for some time, 7th Ave South, and at the very last opportunity every objection that could have been made earlier in the process (but wasn't) suddenly became an issue near the end. The political process was hijacked and the plan was stalled yet again. You can read about what happened here.

Here is an excerpt:
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.
Lake Worth Commissioner McVoy sat through all the meetings on this project and the suddenly "saw the light":
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.
Here is the video of that meeting; go to the 14:48 mark to see Tuesday Gilliam and her comments:

Which leads us to the city commission meeting tonight. For years now many in the city have complained about 6th Ave South, myself included. The city has responded and has come up with a plan to fix the situation. Will that be acknowledged by the community and the commission thanked for taking all this into consideration? Probably not.

More likely than not the line to the podium will be critics of the project and cries to spend the money on more worthy projects somewhere else. And when those projects come before the city commission the cries will be to spend the money somewhere else once again. And the process grinds to a halt and nothing gets done. You can see the result of that inaction. Call it what you wish: monkeywrenching, paralysis by analysis, hijacking the process, etc.

Note that at the last meeting the City set with the residents of that area to discuss the 7th Ave South project no one showed up I'm told. Isn't that telling.

Hopefully tonight some residents of the City will stay for this agenda item and show their support for this 6th Ave South project. No doubt Cara Jennings, Panagioti Tsolkas, and many others will show up on their bikes to register their displeasure. And also note it's usually all the same crew.

Those red & white signs with appeals to save "THE BEACH!"

Here come more red & white signs in Palm Beach County:
Red and white sign for "Save Boca Beaches". Picture from Alexandra Seltzer's story in The Palm Beach Post.
Hysterically unhinged red and white sign in Lake Worth.
Are you getting the drift? Both of these signs are about issues that have nothing at all to do with "THE BEACH!". "THE BEACH" language is called a meme, a clever process to manipulate people into believing something untrue. Who doesn't want to save "THE BEACH"?

Here are just three logical fallacies being used here:
Would it be coincidental two coastal communities in Palm Beach County are using almost the same tactic to change public opinion? Rabbi New's synagogue in Boca has already been approved and some are doing everything they can to stop it. You can read about that in Alexandra Seltzer's article in the Post.

Big news from Palm Beach Post reporter Kevin Thompson

Before I get to the really big news, Mr. Thompson has the latest on the trolley service that may be returning to the City of Lake Worth. This is a big deal for many in the City and has generated some excitement. He also interviewed Tuesday Gilliam on the proposed changes coming to 6th Ave South in an article today in the print edition (section B, page 3). This will be on the agenda at tonight's City Commission meeting (page 103 of the agenda).

However, the item on the agenda deals with the area of 6th Ave South between Federal and Dixie Hwy. Ms. Gilliam lives on South D Street, which is the section between A Street and Dixie Hwy. I'm not sure why Mr. Thompson would reach out to Ms. Gilliam for a comment on this item since her complaints, many of them valid, have to do with the western section of this road. Here is the item as it appears on the agenda:
Tuesday Gilliam, and I'll have more on this later today, is on video from last October in opposition to the new road to be constructed on 7th Ave South, west of the FEC railroad tracks. She spoke along with Richard Stowe, Cara Jennings, Panagioti Tsolkas and some others suggesting that road improvements would hurt their quality of life on that section of 'D' Street and nearby areas.

Ms. Gilliam is also an EarthFirst! activist here in the City of Lake Worth. Certainly not someone you would expect to see cheering upon seeing truck after truck of asphalt rumbling down the street. She must have been in former reporter Chris Persuad's Rolodex.

Below is a picture of Ms. Gilliam at a protest in Palm Beach Gardens in opposition to the proposed in-fill and development of the Briger (now 'Alton') Tract. She was there with Cara Jennings that day:
Above is one of the many "FlockNotes" I've received over the last 6 months. Why I would be on their list is anyone's guess.
But the really big news from Mr. Thompson had nothing to do with Lake Worth. He was at the Greenacres City Commission meeting last night and was keeping his followers informed via Twitter. This is one of his Twitter posts last night:
Dugo is Councilwoman Judith Dugo. Unfortunately, the City of Greenacres has experienced a significant spike in crime lately and some (Dugo is one apparently) are considering other options. This is very big news for the area and we'll be hearing more about this later in the month. 

Stay tuned as they say.

From Kolter Homes: Why buy a home in Alton (formerly known as Briger) Tract? "Why Here? Why Now?"

Kolter Homes and CEO Bobby Julien has an incredibly well-produced and convincing video on why central Palm Beach Gardens is the optimal place to buy a home in northern Palm Beach County. I discovered this video here which also contains additional information on Kolter and their plans for this large in-fill site which straddles I-95:

Save the Date: June 13th, DJNA's neighborhood clean up

On Saturday, June 13th, the Downtown Jewel Neighborhood Association (DJNA) will have a neighborhood clean up. You don't have to be a member to participate. If you've thought of joining your own neighborhood association visit the Lake Worth Neighborhood Association Presidents Council (NAPC) to find out which NA represents you. 

Still have questions? Send the NAPC an email

One World Trade Center's progress over 11 years. . .

In recognition of the opening of One World Observatory in New York City, we have released a special edition of our One World Trade Center video. Watch and share this commemorative time-lapse movie showing the completion of construction from October 2004 to Memorial Day 2015. Hundreds of thousands of high definition images were captured over the past 11 years and hand-edited for this exclusive time-lapse movie.

SFWMD News Release: June is "Flood Awareness Month" in south Florida

Here is the news release from the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD):
     With a $13 billion flood control system stretching from Orlando to the Florida Keys [emphasis added], the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) recognizes June as Flood Awareness Month to highlight what residents can expect during the rainy season. 
     “The District’s core mission is to ensure thousands of miles of canals and hundreds of structures are providing flood protection for more than 8 million residents,” said SFWMD Executive Director Blake Guillory, P.E. “Each June, we remind residents how this extensive regional system interacts with local drainage systems to protect communities across South Florida.”
Here is more about the SFWMD and their mission:
The South Florida Water Management District is a regional, governmental agency that oversees the water resources in the southern half of the state – 16 counties from Orlando to the Keys. It is the oldest and largest of the state’s five water management districts. The agency mission is to manage and protect water resources of the region by balancing and improving water quality, flood control, natural systems and water supply. A key initiative is cleanup and restoration of the Everglades.
The news release also includes helpful links as south Florida heads into the rainy season.

Last Night at the Suri Loft: Downtown Jewel Neighborhood Association Meeting—June 1st 2015


Over 40 people attended last night's regular monthly meeting of the DJNA. Captain Silva and Commissioner Amoroso were there and spoke on topics ranging from prostitution, trespassing, the ITN process, to the status of the Casino building.

If the stars align, today I should be receiving a new microphone. The one that is built into the camera is o.k., but it does not filter out extraneous noises very well (A/C) and does not do well in a "live" room without much sound deadening material (like this room over Suri's and the Golf Course Clubhouse). So, while still audible, expect an improvement in the quality of audio with these videos soon.

The Onion Scores a Goal!

Every once in a while a satirical piece in The Onion gets believed by someone and then all hell breaks loose. The video below was posted and then taken down 2 hours later when someone realized they had made a mistake. By then it was too late:

The Climate Change Candidate: "Climate Change is Gonna Kill Us All"


You can read the entire article on Grist. The following is from Mike Beitiks' candidate statement:
I will be the first to admit that I’m not a perfect candidate. I’m barely qualified, and a survey of my personal history will undoubtedly expose me as an embarrassment to myself in almost every regard that does not include this singular act of rationality.
How long before we get one of these single-issue candidates in the City of Lake Worth?

Monday, June 1, 2015

From Katie McGiveron: Please review following instructions when dealing with the Press:

Questions? Comments? Reference materials here.

Downtown Jewel Neighborhood Association Meeting 6/1/15

Video soon. Commissioner Amoroso and Captain Silva spoke. About 40 or so in attendance.

TONIGHT: Downtown Jewel Neighborhood Association Meeting

Special guest speakers at our Downtown Jewel Neighborhood Association meeting: Captain Silva and our City Commissioner Andy Amoroso
Andy, returning with updates from Palm Beach County, Tallahassee and Washington... They did not do much this term at the state and federal government levels but what they did do impacts us tremendously... find out about new Sober Home legislation and how it will impact the City of Lake Worth and an update of the new development(s) at our beach and the new gun carry law find out when anyone can carry a weapon openly without a permit. Also new classroom start and end dates of our school year and more !!
Our meeting is always the first Monday of the month

Upstairs in the SURI Loft 
707 Lake Avenue
Monday 6:30 pm
We try to keep meetings to an hour or less.
Social time at 6pm and afterwards

Remember community news in The Palm Beach Post about the City of Lake Worth?

Over the next few weeks and months will go back and look for community news in The Palm Beach Post about the City of Lake Worth from years past. The Post has changed quite a bit and so has our City; some years back the City's paper of record had the luxury of writing a lot of community news but no longer; mostly due to buyouts that reporters such as Lona O'Connor and Willie Howard took advantage of. That's how our City ended up with an intern last year. . .we'll leave it at that.

Many of you are familiar with the Cottages of Lake Worth. The organization has been incredibly successful and just received a major REAP grant. Lona O'Connor wrote an article about the Cottages group back in November of 2013. How much impact did the article have? It's hard to tell but the publicity certainly helped.

Here is the article Lona O'Connor wrote and following is a short excerpt:
     The city’s cottages, painted in whimsical pastels and draped by a canopy of trees, are not only its gems but also may be a way to draw positive attention to Lake Worth.
     A small group of residents, led by Roger Hendrix, is working on a plan to catalog, publicize and organize tours of the cottages.
     “The idea came to me in 2009 when I moved here from Tennessee,” said Hendrix, who still retains his Volunteer State accent. “I wanted to feature one of our best assets."
Below is a photograph by Gary Coronado that accompanied the article:
Following is the caption that accompanied the photo by Gary Coronado: Janice Vedernjack (left), secretary, Teresa Miller, vice president, and Roger Hendrix, president, are leaders of Cottages of Lake Worth, a group trying to preserve and promote the city’s smaller, informal historic homes near the water. They’re visting one of them — the home of Janice Snearer, a 1931 cottage on North Lakeside Drive in Lake Worth.
Community news can have a long-lasting and positive impact on a city. In the last few years much effort has been put into improving our neighborhoods and rebuilding the City's image, much of that work done by volunteers; most of those efforts you'll never read about in the City's paper of record which claims the "REAL NEWS STARTS HERE".

Kristina Webb with the poll results: "How many would pay All Aboard’s planned ticket prices?"

The number of respondents to Kristina Webb's poll was quite surprising: over 4700.
  • 82% would pay the fares
  • 17% would not
  • 1%, the always surprising number of people who go to a poll and are undecided
Some readers of my blog become quite upset when I post the following video. Maybe I should do a poll to see if I should stop?

Science and data: 10 Worst Places to Live in Florida (where does Lake Worth rank?)

In what can only be described as terrible news for Peter Timm and Katie McGiveron, the City of Lake Worth did not make the top ten in this compilation. Here from the website:
     Florida takes some abuse. Not just from its own residents, but from the general public, the media, and on social media.
     We’re not here to debate Florida’s merits. As far as we’re concerned, it’s a warm place that’s quite beautiful almost all year long.
     But, for those who are considering a relocation within Florida, or who are thinking of moving to the Sunshine State, this list should provide some value.
The top ten worst cities in Florida are (according to the data):
  1. Fort Pierce
  2. Palatka
  3. Four Corners
  4. Florida City
  5. Haines City
  6. Daytona Beach
  7. New Smyrna Beach
  8. New Port Richey
  9. Poinciana
  10. Palm Coast
West Palm Beach came in at #125; Lantana is #145; Riviera Beach is up there at #35; and the City of Lake Worth? #91. Not bad considering Lake Worth was one of the hardest hit cities in all of Florida by the Great Recession. There are a total of 301 cities ranked. Next year we'll be in the middle third, no doubt.

What does Peter Timm have to say about that?
Peter Timm at a Lake Worth city commission meeting with tape over his mouth holding a now-defunct tabloid.

From Vox: Video shows why "Expensive wine is for suckers"

Watch the video and form your own opinion. Interestingly the video also demonstrates how powerful the movie industry is to the wine business. One movie in particular, Sideways, increased sales for Pinot Noir and hurt sales of Merlot say the folks at Vox.

From the AP—"The flip side of years of no hurricanes: Good luck runs out"

Seth Borenstein, an Associated Press science writer, has this sobering take on so many years without a direct hit by a hurricane in the United States:
     For millions of Americans living in hurricane zones on the Gulf and East coasts, recent decades have been quiet — maybe too quiet.
     Cities like Tampa, Houston, Jacksonville and Daytona Beach historically get hit with major hurricanes every 20 to 40 years [emphasis added], according to meteorologists. But those same places have now gone at least 70 years — sometimes more than a century — without getting smacked by those monster storms, according to data analyses by an MIT hurricane professor and The Associated Press.
     These are places where people may think they know what to expect from a major hurricane —with more than 110 mph winds, such as Katrina or Andrew — but they really don't. They are cities where building construction has boomed but haven't been tested by nature at its strongest. In the Tampa region, an Andrew-sized storm could cause more than $200 billion in damage, according to a local government study in 2010.
     Few of Tampa's current residents witnessed the last major hurricane that hit there in October 1921. Movies were silent, booze was illegal and Warren Harding was president. For northeast Florida and southern Georgia, the last major hurricane was sometime in the 19th century.
     "We've been kind of lucky," said MIT meteorology professor Kerry Emanuel, who along with the AP crunched numbers on how often hurricanes have hit metro regions and compared them to when the last time they were hit. "It's ripe for disaster. ... Everyone's forgotten what it's like."
     "It's just the laws of statistics," said Emanuel. "Luck will run out. It's just a question of when."

Rosalind Readhead on a mission in the city of London (less cars and more bikes)

Laura Laker at the Road.cc blog has this article on Rosalind Readhead's "deliberately provocative" campaign for political office:
     Rosalind Readhead, who founded Ban Private Cars in London in September, says her campaign is deliberately provocative because she feels politicians aren't taking bold enough decisions to tackle pollution, congestion and health problems [emphasis added] in the capital.
     She said London is dragging its heels on reining in the private car. Her manifesto includes raising residents' parking permits to pay for "world class cycling infrastructure" and turning car parks over to affordable housing.
     "I think the aim to get at least 40-50% of people cycling in London is something we have to do, for the pollution, for the congestion, for the health of children and people in general, but because the car issue is so taboo politicians just won't go there, and if they won't go there I feel like I have to. I hope it will open the debate out," she told Road.cc.
Readhead says while the Mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, restricted private cars in Paris during air pollution spikes despite pressure from national politicians, at the same time London was "dragging its heels".

Sunday, May 31, 2015

The Borowitz Report: "Louisiana Breaks Off Trade Relations with Ireland"

Andy Borowitz of The Borowitz Report has this breaking satirical news on Louisiana Gov. Jindal reacting to the recent vote in Ireland:
BATON ROUGE (The Borowitz Report) – In the aftermath of Irish voters legalizing gay marriage, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal has used his emergency powers to ban all Irish products from the state.
[and. . .]
     Jindal explained that breaking off trade with Ireland was necessary to protect the sanctity of marriage in Louisiana.
     “Every time someone takes a sip of Guinness, a part of straight marriage dies,” he said. [emphasis added]

Will Seccombe, President/CEO of VisitFlorida on All Aboard Florida

With 122 million tourists expected to visit Florida by 2020, Florida needs more transit options, says Will Seccombe, President/CEO of VISIT FLORIDA. All Aboard Florida (AAF) will have express passenger rail service between Miami and Orlando, with stops in Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach.

The question Florida residents have to ask themselves is this, "Do we want these tourists in cars instead? Clogging our highways and streets?" And as far as the inconvenience at rail crossings AAF provided this demonstration of what you can expect wait times will be for a train to pass:

Old News at the Broward New Times: "KILLING STRAY CATS WITH TYLENOL IS 'HUMANE,' AUDUBON WRITER SAYS"

Why is the New Times resurrecting this old story from 2013? This story keeps appearing at the top of their Popular South Florida News section, again last month (April 2015). Deirdra Funcheon published this originally on March, 28, 2013.

On March 26, 2013, two days prior to the piece in the New Times, the "Audubon Writer" Ted Williams wrote an apology concerning his Op/Ed in the Orlando Sentinel that was titled, "Trap, neuter, return programs make feral-cat problem worse".

Here is the apology from Ted Williams that can be found on the National Audubon Society website:

     For 33 years it has been my honor and privilege to write for Audubon magazine – often taking controversial stances on behalf of wildlife.
     Like you, I am passionate about protecting birds. In my recent op-ed in the Orlando Sentinel, I let my passion get the best of me, calling into question the scientific credibility of Audubon and squandering some of my own.
     I regret that in the Orlando Sentinel op-ed, I:

  • Used the brand name of a common over-the-counter painkiller and described it as a humane way to euthanize feral cats. Using the name of the painkiller was irresponsible, and characterizing it as humane was inaccurate, according to veterinarians and scientists.
  • Left room for the interpretation that my reference to that painkiller was a recommendation that the public take action into its own hands. That wasn't my intent, as I said in a correction I asked the Orlando Sentinel to post.
  • Neglected to state that “editor-at-large of Audubon magazine” was a freelance, not salaried, title and that my opinions about lethal control of feral cats were my own. By that oversight – and twice citing my affiliation with Audubon in the text – I implied I was speaking for Audubon. I was not.
  • Defined trap-neuter-return (TNR) as “illegal.” There is currently scant case law proscribing TNR.
     I wrote the op-ed in haste, without the care and precision my editors and readers expect. The result was that I called Audubon’s reputation into question. I got benched and earned the suspension; it was bad journalism and bad judgment.
     I apologize and will work to rebuild your trust.


Ted Williams is still writing. Here is a piece he recently wrote about non-indigenous fish in Yellowstone National Park.