Saturday, September 19, 2015

Lake Worth Commissioners McVoy and Maier are hell-bent on raising electric rates in our City

As promised, below are two excerpts from September 17th's Lake Worth Herald:
    The Lake Worth City Commission passed a tentative FY 2015-2016, $1,736,905 City budget by a 3-2 vote on first reading with Commissioners Christopher McVoy and Ryan Maier dissenting.
     McVoy and Maier were against the budget because it didn’t include increases in electric and beach parking rates.
[and. . .]
     McVoy suggested raising electric rates, which drew the ire of [Vice Mayor Scott] Maxwell. Maxwell reminded McVoy of the ordinance passed about three years ago requiring the City to bring electric rates into parity with Florida Power and Light rates. McVoy continued to insist upon raising the rates and wouldn’t vote for the budget unless an electric rate increase was included. Maier held fast in support of McVoy.
     City Manager Michael Bornstein took to the podium to moderate the negotiations, suggesting various compromises which brought the same results, McVoy and Maier voting against because they insisted on rate increases and Maxwell dissenting because he would not accept rate increases.
     Finally, a compromise was reached and the tentative budget was passed. Parking rates were not increased and the increases will be reconsidered in April, at the mid-fiscal year point. The second reading and public hearing is scheduled for September 22.
Remember when Lake Worth's electric rates were sky-high and took a huge chunk out of your household budget each month? Email McVoy and Maier and let them know you are not happy about this one bit.
Support Mayor Pam Triolo, Vice Mayor Scott Maxwell and Commissioner Andy Amoroso and let them know you support keeping the City's electric rates low and continue the effort to achieve rate parity with FP&L.

Shantel Middleton & Jason Hackett: Only reporters to get location of "Lake Worth" shooting correct (which didn't happen in Lake Worth)

Here is Shantel Middleton's bio at the CBS12/WPEC website. This is an excerpt:
Award-winning Anchor/Reporter Shantel Middleton worked in both North and South Carolina; Washington, DC; the Caribbean Island of Saint Thomas, New York City, and Illinois before joining CBS 12 News.
Here is the Tweet she sent out yesterday accurately identifying the correct location of this incident; she was the only one in the media to get it correct from the outset:
Even The Palm Beach Post got it initially wrong but they corrected it later:
Jason Hackett at NBC5/WPTV got the news correct which is the norm for him and his crew. Kudos to NBC5.

Of course, no surprise here, Chris Emma at ABC25/WPBF got the news wrong. But they're consistent at WPBF; they never correctly specify incidents happening in 'suburban' Lake Worth. It's always "Lake Worth" to them whether it's the City or not. I've made it easy for them: "if you are west of Lake Osborne chances are you are not in the City"; even that easy to remember rule is lost on them.

All our hearts go out to the victim and we all hope he recovers from his wounds and the perpetrator is apprehended.

Aftermath of SCOTUS' same-sex marriage ruling. . . opponents may have inadvertently shaped public opinion in favor

The other day I received a voluminous amount of information on a political group called the National Organization for Marriage (NOM). You wouldn't expect such an innocuous, harmless sounding group to be on the Southern Poverty Law Center's list of groups to monitor but they are. The organization is vehemently anti-gay and is led by a man named Brian Brown.

Following the SCOTUS ruling on gay marriage the analysis continues and there continues to be much hand-wringing by opponents to the ruling. An interesting theory has been bounced around that the outrageous tactics used by same-sex marriage opponents contributed to public opinion changing in favor of more rights and acceptance for gays. This can be called The Law of Unintended Consequences or "backfire" for short. Whether that's true or not, it is true there has been a major societal shift in favor of more rights for gays in America.

Here is an interesting excerpt from the New York Times:
      But gay rights advocates see Mr. Brown as the personification of evil, a man who traffics in distortions and smears with a smile.
     The Southern Poverty Law Center, which fights intolerance, says the National Organization for Marriage pushes the line of being labeled a hate group because it “continues to spread lies about gays” and uses its Web site to link to debunked research. The Human Rights Campaign, an advocacy group, devotes a portion of its Web site, headlined “NOM Exposed,” to tracking Mr. Brown and his group.
     “Even Governor Wallace in the end came around,” said Chad Griffin, the Human Rights Campaign president, referring to George Wallace, the segregationist Alabama governor.
I suspect Mr. Brown would have a very dim view of our little City of Lake Worth, FL. We have one of the largest gay pride parades in the country, have gay elected officials, gay-owned businesses and homeowners, and we're home to the Compass Gay and Lesbian Center. Below is former-Mayor Jeff Clemens (now a state senator) at the opening of Compass back in 2009:

Despite the incredible victories for human rights in this country it's important to remember that groups like NOM aren't going to fold up their tent and go away. It's important to stay vigilant—also here in the tolerant City of Lake Worth.

Newsflash: PBSO can't fix stupid and they can't fix lazy either

In a long line of articles about bike theft in Lake Worth here comes yet another one from Kevin Thompson at the Post. There's nothing new here except more breakdown of the numbers from PBSO—and they're not making you bike riders out there in Lake Worth look too good:
     Since the start of the year, 144 bikes have been stolen — of those 77 were unlocked, Baer said. Sixty-seven bikes were locked, and of those, 57 locks were cut off.
     (PBSO District 14 Captain) Baer said 43 bikes have been stolen since July 1, with PBSO making three arrests.
What's the answer? The same it always is: get a good lock and learn how to us it.
Now look at the picture below. I blocked out the person's identity. This is a stock picture taken by Bill Ingram the Post uses for all their articles on bike theft in Lake Worth. Notice anything missing?
That's right! A bicyclist without a bike lock. You should have a lock with you all the time. Imagine this cyclist decided to stop by a local pub to have a beer after a long ride and left the bike unlocked and out of view for just a few seconds? That's all it takes for your bike to get stolen. Recently a Lake Worth bicyclist stopped at Starbucks for just a few seconds and look what happened to that bike:
Bike thief just having stolen a bike parked (unlocked) outside Starbucks in downtown Lake Worth.
Do you have news in Greenacres or the little City of Lake Worth? Here is how you contact the Post's beat reporter Kevin Thompson:
561-820-4573

Joanne Kelly's Letter to the Editor in the Post

[Over the last several days the blog post below from 8/6 has gotten thousands of page views. Not sure exactly why. I am moving this up to the top of the blog because it demonstrates that throughout the Kabuki Dance and hysterical theater thus far there are still thoughtful people who can make cogent observations on very important topics in our community vis-à-vis the failed Casino project at the BEACH!. Enjoy this popular post:]

After yesterday's (8/5) sophomoric and nescient "Point of View" in The Palm Beach Post by Laurence McNamara the Post really had no option but to publish a mature letter addressing the issues at the Lake Worth Casino complex. Note that McNamara did not address one single issue with the current facility, not one. Were it not for the substandard structure, failed business plan, and "magnificent" (McNamara's word) pool we would not be discussing the Casino at THE BEACH! at all.

Here is an excerpt from Joann Kelly's Letter to the Editor:

     In response to the articles [by Kevin Thompson], “Proposals for Casino get crowd, and shrugs” (July 31) and “Casino proposals fail to impress residents” (Aug. 1), I was neither shrugging nor unimpressed. I was actually impressed and glad I managed to squeeze into the main Lake Worth City Commission chambers for the recent meeting.
     However, I was also frustrated because, contrary to what Mayor Pam Triolo had requested — that the session be an information one with questions to the developers from the audience — the evening turned into emotional opinion-voicing. [emphasis added]
     Lake Worth has a lot of caring people who lost an opportunity Tuesday night. When the majority of the audience is only interested in getting their opinion out there, not much real listening — at least to the proposals — goes on.
There are financial problems that have to be resolved, and a good partnership may offer a solution. The presentations I heard had me interested that, finally, some solution to the beach deficit was a possibility, along with gaining an addition to our beautiful Casino complex. I, for one, feel strongly that a pool needs to be part of it.
     Our present pool is aging and is in need of major work.
     Hudson Holdings would place a more reasonably sized pool in the area. Their presentation also included a parking garage with good placement down near the lower lot, allowing entrance from it to the new building.
     My husband and I still have questions and look forward to being able to ask them at a public meeting that Hudson Holdings plans on having. We hope discussion will bring a fruitful solution.

[Thank you Joann Kelly for taking the time to write this thoughtful letter, Wes.]
Men's bathroom/locker room at the municipal pool. Very charming, isn't it? Hear the women's facility is in much worse condition.

More false text deleted from the City of Lake Worth's Wikipedia page

You can read the latest hijack/monkeywrenching of the Lake Worth Wikipedia page here. Here is more propaganda that was deleted from the City's Wiki page:
Lake Worth has a bounty of public parks and open space. The Lake Worth Beach is one of the last remaining large tracts of open, public space on the ocean in Southeast Florida. In 2013, the Casino building at the beach was reopened with great fanfare. The neoclassical building approximates the original 1920s Casino building that had stood overlooking the ocean until it was replaced by a more modern, boxy building after the 1947 hurricane. It was revealed in the spring of 2015 that a committee was meeting behind closed doors to consider a proposal to build a convention center and private beach club at the beach, and to destroy the Olympic-sized municipal pool, the only oceanfront Olympic-size municipal pool in South Florida. Residents have rallied to prevent this from going forward.
The dark green text is questionable but the text in red was deleted. The information is intentionally misleading and no one even took the time to source the material. Why? Because the information is untrue. Isn't there anyone in the City monitoring their Wiki page?

In one of the more hilarious edits on the Wiki page, someone tried to suggest a former writer for the Broward New Times actually was a featured writer for the Village Voice. Again, completely false and more on that later.
The Hebrew Hammer has some thoughts about this former writer for the Broward New Times.

Friday, September 18, 2015

City of Lake Worth begins 2-inch water pipe replacement project

[From Larry Johnson, Water Utilities Director:]

Mayor, Vice-Mayor and Commissioners:

The City’s water utility staff began in-house construction of the first phase of the 2 inch steel water pipe replacement project this week. A 2 block section of pipe between 13th Ave. N and 15th Ave. N is being replaced in District 3, east of Federal. This piping segment is being replaced first because of many breaks that have occurred at this location. The attached photos show the city crew at work.  

This project is the first of a six year project to replace the 2 inch steel water piping throughout the city, which was approved by the City Commission. The City has requested a State Revolving Fund Loan to fund this project, because it has lower interest than normal loans. The design of the first phase is complete, and construction of the remainder of Phase 1 will be done in FY 2016. 

Thanks,
Larry A. Johnson
Water Utilities Director

Another neighborhood clean-up TOMORROW (9/19) in the little City of Lake Worth

Join Commissioner Andy Amoroso, the Lake Worth CRA, and the spectacular neighborhoods Royal Poinciana and Tropical Ridge along with many other volunteers. 
Picture of a previous clean-up event in the City.

Looking for information about Tri-Rail? There's an app for that

Tri-Rail has a new app for rider information:
  • Plan your trip (train arrival and departure times)
  • Locate your nearest train station
  • Calculate fares (includes transfers, discounts, etc.)
  • Receive notification on service interruptions
  • Access information to get you to popular South Florida destinations (beaches, malls, attractions)
  • Obtain general information (parking, bicycle lockers, customer service)
And. . .for no particular reason other than I enjoy this video very much, here is All Aboard Florida's tribute to Henry Flagler:

A Florida newspaper working hard to make our state safer for bicyclists

First let's all hope the terrible death of bicyclist Austin Gilliam will not be in vain.

Below are two excerpts from the Columbia Journalism Review titled, "How a Florida newspaper began advocating for better bike safety".
     Janine Zeitlin stopped biking on roads six years ago for a simple reason: She’s scared of cars, and not without reason. Zeitlin’s home state of Florida is the deadliest in the nation for cyclists. [emphasis added] And Florida’s southwest region, where Zeitlin writes for The News-Press in Fort Myers, is among the more dangerous in the state.
     Now, Zeitlin and her News-Press colleagues are trying to change that. The paper has taken on the issue of bike safety, going beyond the typical journalistic goal of informing readers to become advocates in the community and pushing drivers to “share the road.”
     The project started in the summer of 2014, when Zeitlin wrote a story about three bad bicycle crashes. Around the same time, she set up the Share the Road community page on Facebook, which invites visitors to join the newspaper’s campaign.
[and. . .]
     Editors at the Gannett-owned paper embraced the issue, freeing up writers to dig in. That paid off in a creative piece by Zeitlin in March that crunched five years of data to glean insights about the cause of bike fatalities in Southwest Florida, and a companion package by Zeitlin, Melanie Payne, and Laura Ruane profiling the 12 people killed in bike crashes in the area over a year. In June, another long story by Zeitlin and Ruane focused on places outside of Florida where bicyclists are safer. Other reporters turn in daily stories on new crashes or safety initiatives, collected on a “Share the Road” page on the News-Press site. Last fall, the newspaper also sponsored a “solutions booth” at a community bicycling event hosted by one of the local bike clubs.
Below is a sign near where Austin Gilliam was run over and killed by a large commercial vehicle:

No. The Lake Worth campus of Palm Beach State College IS NOT in Lake Worth

The college retweeted this "Pop quiz for media" confirming the fact: the college is located in "suburban Lake Worth", not in the City.
You'll find this confirmation on the City's Wikipedia page:
     The main campus of Palm Beach State College is located in unincorporated Lake Worth. It is the oldest community college in Florida, founded in 1933 as Palm Beach Junior College. It was at one time located on the campus of Palm Beach High School, at the present day Dreyfoos School of the Arts in downtown West Palm Beach. The school moved to its present location in 1956. The name was changed to Palm Beach Community College in 1988. In 2010, it was changed to Palm Beach State College to reflect that the school was offering four-year degrees.

Memorial at mass grave for victims of the Storm of '28—TOMORROW (9/19) at 25th & Tamarind Streets

[The Post's Eliot Kleinberg wrote the definitive book about this terrible storm called, Black Cloud: The Great Hurricane of 1928]
Bring your friends, family, blankets, and lawn chairs and join us as we listen to Gospel Music on the Green. There will be a small exhibit with pictures and descriptions on what happened before and after the storm. There will also be an informational booth with fans, roses for the memorial service, and information on the West Palm Beach CRA

Light picnic food will be available with refreshments. 

11 am12:30 pm Gospel Music 
12:30 pm1:00 pm Memorial Service 
• Storm of ’28 Coalition will take the stage to share their mission and why we must never forget the what happened on that Sunday September 16, 1928 
• Moment of silence 
• Ask crowd to lay roses on the mass grave 
1:00pm2:00pm Gospel Music

Thursday, September 17, 2015

PBSO (District 14) Presentation from Lake Worth City Commission Meeting, Tuesday 9/15


It turns out the Dodge vehicles are big targets for thieves. Bicycle thefts are addressed as are more violent crimes like robberies. Overall, the trend since PBSO took over for the ineffective LWPD continues in a positive direction.

Hudson Holdings backs out of ITN process in Lake Worth vis-à-vis the Casino/pool complex

[Below is the text of the letter from Steven Michael of Hudson Holdings to Lake Worth City Manager Michael Bornstein. The text from the pdf was somewhat difficult to read; here is the complete text from the letter:]
September 15, 2015

Mr. Michael Bornstein
City Manager
City of Lake Worth
7 North Dixie Highway
Lake Worth, FL 33460

Dear Mr. Bornstein,

Please consider this notice of our intent to withdraw from the Invitation to Negotiate (ITN) as it relates to the Lake Worth Beach Casino Complex.

We remain committed to the City’s progress through our significant commercial and residential holdings in Lake Worth, as well as our continuing support of community initiatives. Unfortunately, the current ITN process has been derailed by a lack of clear direction and structure. Additionally in our estimation the misinformation that has been propagated in recent months – specifically as it relates to the reality of the precarious financial stability of the beach complex, and ongoing questions about funding of the previous complex renovation which has raised the cost of water to every resident of Lake Worth. Further exacerbating the problem is the number of times the “goalposts have been moved” by staff regarding the size and scope of the project making it impossible for the ITN to be completed in a fair and responsible way.

The positive results from our recent open community meeting on August 24th attended by over 250 residents, as well as our ongoing neighborhood and small business outreach program have made it clear that stabilizing the current budget shortfall of the beach casino complex and responsible, reasonable and sustainable upgrades to the facility though a partnership with the private sector is desired by a large component of the public. We are hopeful the financial needs of the city, as well as the now well-documented desire of the residents to have an improved pool and casino property, can be addressed in a more structured, responsive way, and in a more timely manner.

Sincerely,
[signed]

Steven Michael
Hudson Holdings

[This is the public meeting referenced in the letter:]

Liz Balmaseda loves Aioli's!

If you haven't been to Aioli's yet you have to give it a try. I've been there many times for lunch—their wraps are spectacular. And there is a Lake Worth connection: the owners live in Lake Worth and tried hard to find a location in the City but couldn't find exactly what they were looking for in location or layout. 

They did find their perfect location at 7434 S. Dixie Hwy in West Palm Beach, just a mile north of Lake Worth on the east side of the road (corner of Dixie and Summa Rd in the plaza). Here are two excerpts from Liz Balmaseda's article:
     Chef/co-owner Michael Hackman’s daily special are posted online every morning, and they tell the story of an inspired local cook devoted to local ingredients. Hackman, who operates Aioli with his wife, Melanie, gives a luxurious touch to a strip-plaza, Dixie Highway lunch.
[and. . .]
     In addition to breakfast and lunch offerings (hot and cold sandwiches, soups, salads, fresh juices), the chef also prepares a “dinner to go” option daily for those who crave Aioli at night. Recent dinner options include whole roasted free range chicken, roasted tomatoes stuffed with Moroccan couscous, beef lasagna, roasted veggie lasagna and house-made veal cheek ravioli.
The phone number for Aioli's is 561-366-7741. Hope to see you there one of these days soon! 

Two versions of 1 Corinthians 6:9-10—the KJV and the Redneck version from the Common Ground (no 's') church

Here is the King James Version (KJV):
9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,
10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.
Here is the definition of 'effeminate'1. (of a man or boy) displaying characteristics regarded as typical of a woman; not manly 2. lacking firmness or vigour: an effeminate piece of writing.

Below is the Common Ground (no 's') church's Redneck version of 1 Corinthians 6:9-10:
Interestingly the Redneck version has no problem with lesbians, just "men who practice homosexuality". Makes one wonder, doesn't it?
Is there a redneck Old Testament too?

It's only a problem when it rains. . .and it rains a lot in south Florida

These pictures were taken at the Lake Worth Casino building this morning (9/17). See the email from Juan Ruiz and response from Michael Bornstein below. This has been a problem since the Casino building was finished and is one of the reasons the 5,000 square foot space has been difficult to lease.
Clearly water leaking from under the doors. Note that the chair shown in the picture is used during events and is stored there. There was no storage provided for these sorts of furniture and fixtures in the failed plan by a previous city commission. If a restaurant were to take this space where would this stuff go?
Water leaking under the door and more items (including cardboard boxes) being stored in the unfinished second floor space.
More water. In the picture are ballroom chairs that are stored there for events. Where would these items be stored if this space were leased? Staff also presently uses this space for their offices.
Water creeping under one of the many doors in the finished ballroom. Water and wood flooring materials are not a good mix.
Another door in the ballroom where there is water intrusion. Here you can see the damage to the wood after repeated leaks. 
This is the southeast corner of the unfinished second floor space. The rags stuffed under the doors tell most of the story.
Here is the email from Mr. Ruiz:

We have been told that legal action of some kind has been underway since the building was turned over to the city. Or has it been? I don't think a permanent Certificate of Occupancy has been issued yet. I am not sure what the next level of legal action would be. Again—there was no one watching out for the City's interests during the construction of this $6 million+ albatross paid for primarily from water utility monies (translation: the Lake Worth taxpayer/utility user). It's a bit ironic that the building suffers from water-related problems. Karma?

Who is to blame for this mess? Here they are:
Note that Commissioner McVoy (still a sitting commissioner) wants to raise electric rates to fix the mistakes for which he and his cohorts are responsible.

Encouraging the homeless into our downtown, trying to discredit PBSO. . .

. . .and now wanting to raise the electric rates. Is raising urban chickens in the City far behind?
For the text of the article go to the Herald website. Will publish excerpts of the article on this blog tomorrow.
Sounds familiar doesn't it? Remember when electric rates were through the roof, there was a day-labor center in our downtown, the code enforcement department was gutted, and no one with any sense would invest a dime in the City of Lake Worth? The people who created that dysfunction are still here; below are two of them:
Image from the inimitable blogger Tom McGow.

Suggested by a loyal reader—from a New Zealand Power Company


Last night I read about someone who presented a bottle of Tide at a door in Lake Worth in exchange for some gas money. This clever door knocker might take care of that inconvenience at the door.

Unbelievable news from Cpt. Baer of Lake Worth's District 14 PBSO: What is wrong with our City's bicyclists?

[See below for update: how quickly an unlocked bike can be stolen!]

You have to be burying your head in the sand not to know there is a bicycle theft problem in our City. Most, you'd think, would take the necessary precautions to protect their ride. Captain Baer correctly identified our City as a very bike-friendly City and many residents use bikes for exercise, enjoyment, and doing errands. Consequently there are a high number of bikes being used and, not surprisingly, a high number of bikes targetted for theft.

There have been 144 bike thefts so far this year. How many do you think were unlocked?

77!
For those of you without a calculator that's 53%. How many bikes were stolen because they used a cheap lock? 

Remember, these stolen bikes add to our crime rate in the City. When you don't lock your bike, or use a cheap lock, when your bike gets stolen you are contributing to the City's crime rate statistics (not to mention our reputation for ill-informed/indifferent bicyclists).

What's the answer? Go to one of our local expert bike shops and learn where and how to lock your bike properly. Stop playing the innocent victim and follow the wise advice given below by an expert in such matters:
Meet Mike Ogonowski of Relentless Bicycles. Stop by his shop and find out how to keep your bike from being stolen. Below is his bike shop location information.
Get a good lock and learn where and how to use it! There are 2 local bike shops in the little City of Lake Worth where you can purchase a lock that will better deter thieves from stealing your ride:
Relentless Bicycles
702 Lucerne Ave
561-547-1396
And
Family Bicycle
127 South Dixie Hwy
561-533-6040

Update:
From PBSO: On 08/30/15, the male shown in the attached stills stole the victim’s bicycle while he was around the corner making a purchase from Starbucks [downtown Lake Worth]. The building camera captured the entire incident. If you feel you know who the individual shown stealing the bike is, please reach out to me at any of the methods listed below. Thanks in advance for your assistance.

Detective Harper ID# 7643
Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office
PBSO Property Crimes Division
120 North G Street
District 14 - City of Lake Worth, FL 33460
Office: 561-202-9652 Cell: 561-889-5195
Fax: 561-586-1774 Email: HarperH@pbso.org

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

From last night's Lake Worth City Commission meeting—Commissioner Reports and Public Comment

I'm putting these two videos below together in the same post as the last portion of the Commissioner comments (the first video) begins the topic of the homeless in our City parks. Many residents in the City are dubious of the homeless 'advocates' true motivations and see their actions more political in nature and a tactic to delay projects such as the renovation and future reopening of the Gulfstream Hotel across the street from Bryant Park.

Much of the public comment (the second video) addresses the homeless issues raised at the last city commission meeting. At the 5:20 mark things take an entertaining course vis-à-vis the 'great conspiracy' against the homeless in Bryant Park:
  • "Puppet government"
  • "Proxy cousins"
  • "Aliens from outer space"
  • "Anarchist, marxist, and Catholic workers"
  • "Cliff Barnes shot JR"
Don't confuse entertaining with substantive. Enjoy the videos and more to come tomorrow and later in the week.

Are you an artist in Lake Worth? Is your home not zoned to be a home occupation? Here is the solution!

Get the required information together and contact the Lake Worth Armory Art Center. Here is the email for further information. Click on the images below to enlarge.
Private spaces for only $300/month in downtown Lake Worth.
Look at all the amenities included!

Introduction to last night's (9/15) Lake Worth City Commission meeting


This is important to listen to as it shows Commissioner Amoroso's attempt to sunset the ITN process as an addition to yesterday's regular meeting agenda. Watch what happens to his request. Look for this item to be on the next regular city commission meeting agenda.

The New Mural at La Joya Villages in Lake Worth

The La Joya Villages are located at 1105 6th Ave South. The artist is Eduardo Mendieta.

The Lake Worth Tropical Triathlon is THIS SUNDAY: Road Closures in City (6:30 am to 9:30 am)

Here is a link if you would like to participate, be a spectator, or be a volunteer. For City residents (and other municipal neighbors) here are the road closures for Sunday morning:

Videos to be posted later of Lake Worth city commission meeting last night here on this blog

Here is the Kevin Thompson article that appeared today in the print edition. The videos to be posted later on will be very illustrative. Here is some of what you'll be treated to:
  • The homeless 'advocates' continue their political grandstanding using the homeless as pawns 
  • "Who Shot JR?"—Peter Timm's replacement at city commission meetings has been assigned
  • Vice-Mayor Scott Maxwell fought and won to stop an increase in parking rates
  • Commissioners McVoy and Maier are determined to raise electric rates; they lost in last nights vote but are determined to get the rates raised in the City
  • Property values are increasing allowing City workers to get their only raise in pay in eight years.
Check back later today and more videos during the rest of the week.

The little City of Lake Worth's VisitFlorida website: send this to your friends and family up North

It's mid-October and around now many folks up North start thinking seriously about a Winter vacationmaking some broad plans such as where to go and for how long. The earlier you choose is when you lock in the best price for lodging and airfare.

Send this blog post to your friends and family up North. What Lake Worth lacks in hotel rooms we make up in other ways like many vacation homes for rent and plenty of Bed & Breakfasts. West Palm Beach has plenty of hotel rooms available and it's only a short bike ride or car ride from West Palm to Lake Worth.
This is an aerial view of the Lake Worth BEACH! on the Atlantic Ocean. This incredible photograph is by Skyline Aerials and here is their Facebook page.
Plus Palm Beach (33480) and Delray Beach are only minutes away too.

VisitFlorida is the most visited website for visitors and tourists considering or planning a stay here in Florida. The little City of Lake Worth has their very own site on VisitFlorida. Here is part of what people see when they check out Lake Worth:
Notice the description of Lake Worth. Whoever wrote this did a very good job.
Here is a picture yours truly sent to VisitFlorida last year.
Others who have uploaded pictures to the Lake Worth VisitFlorida page are:
Thank you everyone and look forward to all the tourists and visitors to our little City of Lake Worth!

[REDUX] Western sprawl and the incredibly successful efforts by NIMBY's (and enablers) in Palm Beach County to help fuel it

[This is a re-post from June; just as applicable now in September.]

Below is the New Home Locator (NHL) that you'll find each Friday in The Palm Beach Post, page R4:
Note all the new communities in western Palm Beach County. Continue reading the post below you'll discover some very surprising numbers.
A new community in "Lake Worth" was featured in the NHL [and again in the latest September issue] which is nowhere near the City of Lake Worth. Here is an excerpt which I penned humorously in response:
Last week the coastal City of Lake Worth was featured in the NHL. Lake Worth is near another coastal city called the Town of Palm Beach (33480); you may have heard of that town. Of course, everyone knows Lake Worth is a vibrant City recovering quite nicely from The Great Recession. The City has a gorgeous public "BEACH!", a hip and artsy downtown, and an activist community on the cutting-edge of performance art.
Here is the new community in "Lake Worth" that was featured in the NHL courtesy of PBC's newspaper of record:
Homes complete with resort-style pool and cabana.
Humor aside, 'Abbington' is another community being developed in western PBC, west of I-95. Why are all these new communities sprouting up out west? Partly due to the incredibly successful efforts in PBC by the NIMBY's along the I-95 corridor and east to Florida's eastern coast. Below is a video showing some NIMBY's in action (these particular NIMBY's are mostly composed of NIMBY's borrowed/shared from other communities in PBC [they're good at sharing resources]):

What the NIMBY's in the video above are protesting is a 'forest' in Palm Beach Gardens located immediately adjacent to I-95. The Kolter Group plans to in-fill the Alton Tract (formerly "Briger Forest") to build new homes in Palm Beach Gardens. The Alton Tract is in the general location of #3 in the map below:
This is from the NHL zooming in on PBC.
By the numbers will show how successful the NIMBY's have been at forcing development out west; what's called colloquially 'western sprawl'. First, note the #8#9, and #10 on the map (area in pink in the map) are in Martin County and will not be addressed. PBC is separated on the map into North county (in green) and South county (in yellow). Here are the numbers:
  • There are a total of 37 "New Communities" on the map
  • Number west of I-95: 26
  • Number west of the Turnpike: 10
  • Number east of I-95: 11
  • Number east of I-95 and north of Northlake Blvd (#14 on map): 9
  • Number east of I-95, south of Northlake Blvd, and all the way south to Boca Raton: 2 (TWO)
The NIMBY's have been extremely successful at saving their coastal charm but it has come at the expense of new roads, the environment, infrastructure out west, and more cars, trucks, and fossil fuels to service what is called 'Western Sprawl'. Congratulations.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Nicole Danna from the Broward New Times: review of Benny's on the Beach

Nicole Danna at the New Times loves the food at Benny's on the Beach:
There is a special going on from Thursday to Sunday (9/17 to 9/20). Note the highlighted text in the excerpt below:

     Benny’s on the Beach has enacted extended hours until 9 p.m., and the restaurant — which is largely outdoors — will offer an expanded, enclosed space for drinking, as well as a grill on the pier.
     Need another reason to hit up the oceanfront restaurant? From now until October, all patrons who mention the American Red Cross during dinner at Benny’s on the Beach will have the opportunity to dine out for a good cause, when 10 percent of the price of their dinner donated to the American Red Cross to benefit the Centennial Program in the Palm Beaches.
     *Oh yeah, Benny's has offered readers of New Times a little something extra — a complementary bottle of champagne. Just
order one of these [signature themed] lobster dishes this Thursday through Sunday and present a printed copy (or digital screen shot on your smart phone) of this post to your server.
     (*This not a paid advertisement. Sometimes good stuff just happens.)

[BY REQUEST] Homeless 'advocates' in Lake Worth getting some push-back from one of their own

[By request from a loyal blog reader, this post moved up to the top of the blog. Scroll down for new content below. As always, Thank You for visiting, Wes.]

Is this what former Lake Worth commissioners JoAnn Golden and Cara Jennings are 'advocating' for our City parks?
A birder has to walk past 'passed out' homeless people to enjoy our native birds at the wonderful Snook Islands.
Watch a homeless 'advocate' during public comment at a recent city commission meeting:
Many in the City took these comments to be a threat to public access and the freedom of citizens, including families with small children, to enjoy our City's parks in peace.

Now things start to get interesting: below are two screen grabs of an email exchange concerning the photograph above:
Email from Laurie Witkin to City Manager Michael Bornstein which was forwarded to other parties.
Public Record: Click image for larger view
Apparently the Cabal is not unanimous in its support for encouraging the homeless to populate our City parks. Some of its members would prefer using a hose and "rigorous cleaning" to address the problem. Expect visits from the Cabal hierarchy to keep their members in line.

Enjoy former Commissioner JoAnn Golden's take on this debate. You'll be particularly interested to hear what she says at the 1:20 mark in the video below. She says that City residents would "probably take out guns and get rid of " refugees that may happen to end up on our Lake Worth BEACH! So very charming isn't it?

News from Carolyn about what's going on in Lake Worth

Greetings friends and neighbors of Tropical Ridge Neighborhood Association (TRNA),

There are some neighborhood, and next door neighborhood happenings that I wanted to pass on to those of you who couldn't make last nights meeting. September 19th, a CRA sponsored cleanup. TRNA gets together with our southern neighbors (Royal Poinciana) for these events. We will be meeting at 113 S. D street at 8:00 am.

September 20th, watch how you drive around town. Many streets will be closed for the Triathalon. Also, be at the City Hall at 4:00 pm for the Peace Pole dedication.

September 26th, Paint Your Heart Out is coming to TRNA. We will be painting 120 N. E street starting at 9:00 am.

October 1st there is a very important Town Hall Meeting, at the City Hall at 6:30 pm. The meeting is sponsored by Community Partners, CRA, Bridges at Lake Worth and Bridges at Highland. The meeting is titled "Building Strong Neighborhoods Lake Worth". It will be an open discussion about issues important to your community and an invitation to take part in a six week dialogue group. Come to find out more.
There's a lot to do neighbors. Look forward to seeing you there.

Carolyn

News about the WPB Golf Course and the inevitable impact on the little City of Lake Worth

In April the Post's Tony Doris wrote an article about the West Palm Beach Golf Course that sent a small group here in Lake Worth on an unhinged, manic reaction. It was an incredibly spontaneous outpouring of nonsense which I chronicled on my blog. Here's an excerpt from that blog post on this subject:
As it is right now the cities of West Palm Beach and Lake Worth share a waterway [C-51 Canal] that does nothing but act as a drain. That's it. It serves no public purpose other than that. Kayakers never use it and neither do people in canoes. Once in a while you'll see a small watercraft in the C-51 turning around when they see the warning signs not to proceed any further. Now and then you'll see people fishing. That's about it.
There is more news! Things continue to move forward according to Mr. Doris. Here are two excerpts from the latest news about the WPB Golf Course and surrounding areas:
     At a city commission workshop Sept. 8, consultants from Redevelopment Management Associates laid out possibilities ranging from sprucing up the 196-acre championship course with new entrance ways and a few amenities to shrinking the course to add hundreds of homes and condos, bike trails, a waterfront clubhouse, fishing pier and kayak-launch area. [emphasis added]
     The price tags — to be shared by residential developers who partner with the city — range from an estimated $5.9 million to $19.5 million to redo the course, which runs from south of Forest Hill Boulevard to the C-51 Canal, just east of I-95.
[and. . .]
     The challenge, RMA economic development director Kevin Crowder said, is that a market study indicates the area doesn’t generate enough economic activity to support major commercial redevelopment. But he added, “the market analysis just tells you where you’ve been.”
     Different developers take different approaches in deciding whether to enter a market, he said. Some go strictly by current numbers but others look at a location and say, “What can I add to make it work?” he said.
Here is the area being discussed:
Note the C-51 Canal is the border between the City of Lake Worth and West Palm Beach. The yellow North-South road is Dixie Hwy. Immediately north of the canal to the west is a large open lot (8111 S. Dixie): that is being considered part of a future project along with the Winn-Dixie plaza across the street. Another excerpt from Mr. Doris:
     The city commission, by general consensus, authorized Economic Development Director Chris Roog to continue pursuing redevelopment plans for the 8111 S. Dixie property and the golf course. The commission also indicated its willingness to work with the adjacent Palm Coast Plaza owners in coordinating redevelopment plans.
This will have a tremendously positive impact on the City of Lake Worth. Stay tuned, as they say. The next time Mr. Doris has news will share it with you on my blog.

Consequences of urban sprawl and designing for the automobile

From CBS11 in Dallas is this nighttime view from space. It's of the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. This is the text that accompanies the photograph:
"When trying to explain to a visitor what it means to "drive across town" save this image on your phone so you can show it to them. This is the Metroplex at night. The yellow line is the outline of Connecticut."
Besides evidence of extreme light pollution, it shows how wasteful a car-dominated transportation system is to the use of land. Distances can become extreme and people end up sitting in their cars for most of the day just to accomplish routine commutes and errands.

DEMOLITION OF UNSAFE STRUCTURE IN LAKE WORTH TOMORROW MORNING (9/16)

Lake Worth, FL – The City of Lake Worth has scheduled the demolition of a structure that has been deemed unsafe by the building official. Located at 417 South D Street, the house has unsanitary conditions and there is fire hazard constituted by the lack of water. Further, the structure is damaged to the extent where it is a hazard to life and safety and is in danger to partial collapse. [Press release continues following the video.]

The City’s Chronic Nuisance Service Remediation Program allows the demolishing of unsafe structures, boarding and securing vacant abandoned buildings, and clearing vacant, overgrown lots. With more than 100 properties requiring these services, residents and property owners eagerly look forward to the removal of blight from across the City.

What: Unsafe Structure Demolition
Where: 417 South D Street
Date: Wednesday, September 16

Louisville, KY, the outrageously high number of pedestrian deaths, and what's to blame

From the blog called Broken Sidewalk is this article about the tremendously high number of pedestrian fatalities in Louisville. Here are two excerpts:
     Louisville is in the midst of a pedestrian safety campaign called Look Alive Louisville. And for good reason. The city’s pedestrian death rate is above the national average—last year alone, 18 pedestrians died on Louisville streets and another 483 were struck by motorists. [emphasis added] The numbers speak for themselves.
     But unsafe streets don’t just affect pedestrians—they’re dangerous for all of us whether we’re in a car, on a bicycle, or walking.
[and. . .]
     It’s not a pretty picture. Louisville ranks worse than sprawling Atlanta in traffic fatality rate. Nearly twice as many are killed in Louisville per 100,000 residents than in Chicago, three times more than New York City, and quadruple the number as in Washington, D.C.
     Internationally, Louisville’s safety numbers fall in line with cities like Montevideo, Uruguay; Accra, Ghana; and Kolkata or Delhi, India. We’re significantly more dangerous than places like Jakarta, Indonesia; Beijing or Shanghai, China; and Mumbai, India. World leaders in traffic safety—places like Stockholm, Sweden; Tokyo, Japan; and Berlin, Germany—experience a mere fraction of the death and injury on their streets as we do at home.
Why is this happening? Vehicle speeds, road design, and development sprawl are just a few reasons. West Palm Beach has taken major strides to make their streets safer ever since Jeff Speck's presentation to the City in May of 2014. I'll have more on what's happening on South Dixie Hwy soon.

Tourism in Palm Beach County is big news: more from Jamel Laneé at NBC5/WPTV

Everything is coming up roses for tourism in Palm Beach County this year. Here is another news segment:
If you didn't read the interview with Jorge Pesquera from Discover the Palm Beaches, here is a link to that news.

[UPDATE] City of Lake Worth's Wikipedia page under seige again! Being hijacked by small, radical church group

[No more major attempts have been made to hijack/monkeywrench our City's Wikipedia page but more, small items that were planted on the page were deleted. Stay vigilant. Some are determined to change the truth about what happened in this City earlier in the year.]

The City's Wikipedia page was hijacked previously by supporters and/or members of the 'Common Ground' (no 's') church led by 'pastor' Mike Olive.
The false information above was deleted from the Lake Worth Wikipedia page on 9/11 (9:00 am). Will they try to hijack the City's Wiki page again? Stay tuned.
It's a terrible shame the black eye this 'church' keeps trying to give our City and to the good people of faith in our community. 
The "Big Joke": pastor Mike Olive and his "War on Religion".
The Peace Pole to be installed soon in our City is happening at the perfect time.

Invocation at Lake Worth City Commission meeting today: Rev. Dr. Lea Brown of the MCC

Rev. Dr. Lea Brown, the Senior Pastor at the Metropolitan Community Church of the Palm Beaches, will graciously give the Invocation at our City of Lake Worth city commission meeting today (9/15). Here is the Reverend's biography:
     Lea is proud to be serving MCCPB as Senior Pastor since March 2011. She has also served as the Senior Minister of MCC San Francisco and as the Senior Pastor of Wichita Falls MCC in Texas. Before that, she was the Acting Executive Director of the Metropolitan Community Foundation in San Francisco. In addition to leading the foundation, Rev. Brown served as volunteer clergy at MCCSF following her ordination there in 1996. During that time, she preached, led retreats, served as the pastor of spiritual development, and taught many classes and programs on spiritual growth, and the intersections of gender, sexuality and spirituality, and social justice.
     Lea and her partner Sarah-Helen Land are grateful to be enjoying life in the MCCPB parsonage with their dog, Simche.
     During her years in seminary, Lea served as a Chaplain Candidate (2nd Lieutenant) in the U.S. Army from 1988 to 1989. She received her education from Oklahoma Baptist University, Shawnee, Oklahoma; Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary, Mill Valley, California; Pacific School of Religion, Berkeley, California; and the Episcopal Divinity School, Cambridge, MA.
Here is the location and contact information for the MCC:
4857 Northlake Blvd. Palm Beach Gardens, FL (one mile west of I-95, from exit 77); 561-775-5900; the MCC Facebook page; and here is their email.

Here is a video from one of their services:

Monday, September 14, 2015

Jennifer Sorentrue interviews Jorge Pesquera: CEO of Discover the Palm Beaches

This interview is a must read that appeared in Sunday's print edition of The Palm Beach Post. Here are the opening two paragraphs:
     Jorge Pesquera is the president and CEO of Discover The Palm Beaches, Palm Beach County’s official tourism marketing organization.
     Under his leadership, the county welcomed more than 6 million visitors in 2014 and the industry is on track for another record-breaking year. [emphasis added] Travel and tourism is one of the county’s top industries, with an annual economic impact of $7.1 billion. The industry employs more than 63,000 people, and generates roughly $42 million in tourism tax revenue.
I would encourage you to watch these videos and send one occasionally to your friends and family up north as a tease; here is a good one:
Out of all the videos ever done by Discover the Palm Beaches this one is a classic:

And one last thing. . .consider Lake Worth a destination for your next Florida vacation. Our City is conveniently located next to Palm Beach (33480), West Palm Beach is our neighbor to the North, and Delray Beach is only a few minutes South. Come Visit Lake Worth!