Saturday, September 26, 2015

POINT OF VIEW: All Aboard Florida a link to better future for Delray Beach

Supportive Point of View article that appeared in The Palm Beach Post. It is written by Bruce Bastian, who is vice chairman of Human Powered Delray. He makes the point that it is important to remember All Aboard Florida will bring quiet zones to the FEC rail corridor, where they have been difficult to fund up until now. The biggest benefit eastern municipalities throughout south Florida will see is jumpstarting the Coastal Link. This will be the commuter railroad that will serve communities like Delray Beach, Lake Worth and Ft. Lauderdale, to name just a few.
Once again, there's been a resurgence of complaints about the added wait times for the AAF trains. The video below shows how long you can expect to wait for an AAF train at a crossing (NOTE: it's a very short video so don't bother looking for popcorn):
Below is a news segment from Brian Entin at NBC5/WPTV on the Coastal Link that is in the planning stage (the impression of a train horn by the 'train horn guy' illustrates quite well the need for quiet zones):

Kristopher Neild, expert on what's happening in Palm Beach/West Palm Beach on the best waterside dining

And, no big surprise, Benny's on the Beach is in the top 5. Here is an excerpt from the review:
     When it comes to ocean-front dining, one can't get much closer than Benny's on the Beach. With the restaurant sitting on the Lake Worth Pier, it's easy to be completely immersed in the nautical vibes. Sitting so close to the water means it's no surprise that seafood makes up the bulk of the menu. The lobster benedict and raspberry French toast are decadent splurges for the most important meal of the day. Stop in seven days a week for breakfast or lunch and then walk it off on the pier or sandy beaches. Benny's is also open for dinner Thursday–Sunday, just plan ahead to enjoy one of their creative cocktails. Call 561-582-9001.
You can follow Benny's on Twitter also:
Click on the "Follow" icon in the image above to follow Benny's on Twitter. You can read about one of recent dinners at Benny's here.

A sign of the times: Kolter's Alton Tract (formerly known as the Briger Forest) being developed without a golf course

Another sign that the Millennials are having a major impact on the real estate market here in south Florida. Just a few years ago it would have been unimaginable to see this land developed for housing in Palm Beach Gardens without a golf course. Here is an excerpt from an article by Jeff Ostrowski at the Post:
     At its new Alton development, Kolter Homes touts walking trails, parks and proximity to shopping and restaurants. [emphasis added]
     One feature that’s conspicuously absent from the community at Interstate 95 and Donald Ross Road: a golf course.
     Such an oversight once would have been unthinkable. For decades, links were a surefire way to sell homes in northern Palm Beach County, a world capital of golf.
     But amid waning participation in the sport and a glut of courses, developers have begun to shun golf courses.
     “A lot of buyers want to be in a community where they don’t have to be part of a golf club,” said Rick Covell, president of Kolter Homes.
     The shift away from golf courses began even before the Great Recession. Evergrene, a community just east of Alton on Donald Ross Road that was completed a decade ago, includes an expansive clubhouse and large pool but no greens, bunkers or links.
Here is a recent video produced by Kolter about their plans for the Alton Tract:
Does the Alton Tract and the Briger Forest sound familiar? They should—they're the same piece of land. That was the location for the incredulous "battery in the lake" episode where our dwindling number of Anarchists in Lake Worth (Everglades EarthFirst!) went to protest the development in that area which is east of I-95. Out of the thousands of ways to disable a vehicle during a protest one of them came up with the brilliant idea to take out the battery and throw it into a lake!

The image below gives you a good idea where the location of the new Kolter development is located (note: this piece of land is now called the Alton Tract):

Bamboo Room holding fundraiser for dog rescue efforts TODAY

The music starts at 6 p.m. at the Bamboo Room. Here is an excerpt from Kevin Thompson's short article in the Post:
     [T]he first annual Bark Back Benefit on Saturday to raise money for the Big Dog Ranch Rescue and Share-A-Pet.
     Four acts are scheduled to play: The Mark Telesca Band (6 p.m.);The Kinected (7 p.m.); The Copper Tones (9 p.m.) and Spred The Dub (10:30 p.m.).
     The night will feature adoptable dogs, prizes, and, of course, music.
     Tickets are $10 in advance; $15 at the door.
Don't forget to try one of these (for those in recovery I'm sure they have a non-alcoholic alternative):
If you have more good news in the little City of Lake Worth, suburban Lake Worth, or Greenacres here is how you contact the reporter:
Kevin D. Thompson, beat reporter
Email: kthompson@pbpost.com
561-820-4573
Twitter: @kevindthompson1

Did you miss what former Lake Worth City Comm. JOANN GOLDEN SAID IN PUBLIC!?!?!!

[This is a re-post, by request, from a loyal blog reader. As always. . .Thank You for visiting my blog, Wes.]

Would suggest you sit down before watching this video of JoAnn Golden at the the city commission meeting on Tuesday 9/1. At the 1:20 mark she states that if refugees landed on the Lake Worth beach she thinks your response as a City resident would be to "probably take out guns and get rid of 'em". Not kidding.
Very charming, isn't it? And note in the video she makes reference to 'toning down the rhetoric' or something like that. Makes me wonder if she's looked in a mirror any time recently.

Jo-Ann Golden has become one of the biggest advocates, along with Commissioner Ryan Maier, for the homeless in our City parks. The taxpayers, families with children, and others who enjoy our parks have taken a back seat, or so it would appear. Is this what they envision for our City?
A 'birder' at the Snook Islands has to walk around the homeless passed out on the dock. Is this JoAnn Golden and Ryan Maier's vision for our City parks? 
Here is a homeless person who has taken up residence in our park. Is this your vision for the City of Lake Worth?
BONUS CONTENT: Here is a link to see Mrs. Katie McGiveron's take on the homeless. It's priceless! And there's more! Read why Mrs. McGiveron is upset with reporter John Dzenitis at ABC25/WPBF!

“Plie, then passe. Releve. Balance, girls.” Barbara Marshall with a spectacular Lake Worth story

[Update: this article is in the print edition of today's (9/26) paper.] This is a must read article by the Post's Barbara Marshall; below are the first 5 paragraphs in a highly interesting article which includes some of the history of dance right here in the City of Lake Worth:
“Plie, then passe. Releve. Balance, girls.”
     In an old Lake Worth ballet studio where newly-installed “sprung” floors rebound with each step, Deborah Marquez calls out a dance sequence. Her students move through the classical ballet exercises while balanced on two-inch rectangles of cardboard and satin at the tips of their pointe shoes.
     Marquez changes the angle of a dancer’s foot as she gently rotates it from the hip for a deeper turn-out. She steadies another dancer as the teenager arches lower, lower, lower until her torso is bent backward, parallel to the floor.
     Earlier this month, this renovated vintage dance studio on a moribund stretch of N. Dixie Highway became the new home of the School of Ballet Arts, Marquez’ 5-year-old ballet school. [emphasis added]
     The Cuban-born former professional ballerina, who danced with the Cuban National Ballet and Ballet Florida, has dreams for the school as lofty as her advanced students’ jetes.
The ballet school is located at 924 Dixie Hwy in Lake Worth. The phone number is 561-582-3100 and they also have a Facebook page.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Jane DeCoursey, former Aquatic Facility Operator: How to make our Lake Worth community pool a success

[Note: this blog post was originally published in March 2015.]
The image above is from Margaret Menge's now-defunct tabloid published on Friday, April 10, 2015 (Vol 1/Issue 12; front page, below-the-fold).
Jane DeCoursey is an expert on pools. She was an Aquatic Facility Operator (AFO), former lifeguard/water safety instructor at the Lake Worth Pool, and is a Lake Worth homeowner since 1998. She is more than qualified to offer her expertise on this current debate about our under-performing city amenity, our municipal pool, that sits just south of the under-performing Casino building.

Here is what she wrote on Friday, April 10, 2015:
Look at other pools that have made it work and emulate them. (Hall of Fame, Wellington, Plantation Park).
Jane DeCoursey makes an excellent observation and let's examine each one starting with Wellington's Aquatics Complex on their renovation in 2010:
     Aquatics Complex consists of a state of the art Olympic size pool which was recently redesigned to meet competitive standards. The renovations included deepening areas of the pool, raising and widening the pool deck, and the installation of stainless steel gutters to absorb waves.
     In order to meet competitive standards, electronic touch pads connecting to a scoreboard were also installed. The project also included replacing the old aquatic building with a larger 10,000 square foot structure that includes concession stands, showers, restrooms, a weight room, and classrooms for first aid, CPR and lifeguard courses.
Here's a picture of the Wellington Aquatics Complex:
You can see more pictures of Wellington Aquatics Complex at this website.
Now let's examine the Fort Lauderdale Aquatic Complex (FLAC). Fort Lauderdale is planning on constructing new pools and here is a rendering of that new structure:
You can see more of these lovely images here.
Here is more information about the history of FLAC:
In 1965 Fort Lauderdale welcomed the first hall of fame for swimming with the opening of the then National Swimming Hall of Fame and Fort Lauderdale Municipal Pool. Since then, 10 world records have been set in Fort Lauderdale while serving as host to hundreds of national and international events.
     At this time, current construction plans for the venue will allow continued operations. During construction, all SFTL programs will continue at local community pools. The current design plans and construction updates are available via the City’s website at www.fortlauderdale.gov/flac.
Now let's examine the Plantation Aquatics Complex in Plantation, Florida. The following is from their website:
Central Park Aquatics Complex boasts two Olympic size pools, each 50 meters by 25 yards, and a 500 square foot water playground for toddlers. The facility regularly hosts competition swim and dive meets and is home to the Plantation Swim and Dive Teams – both ranked among the top in the nation. Both pools and the water playground are open to the public year round, and lifeguards are always on duty. Water Aerobics and Arthritis Aquatic Programs are offered, in addition to an extensive swim lesson program for children and adults of all ages and skill levels. Locker rooms, a pro shop and bath house facilities are available as well. Picnic tables and canopied areas compliment the facility and encourage family visits. 
 Here's a picture of part of the pool complex in Plantation:
You can find more pictures and information about the Plantation Aquatics Complex here. 
So that's the three pool complexes that Jane DeCoursey wants the City of Lake Worth to emulate. What they all seem to have in common are features that attract families, modern amenities, and shops of some sort, whether they're pro shops or concession stands.

Here are other ideas Jane DeCoursey had to make the Lake Worth Municipal Pool successful (with emphasis in red):
  • "Push the fitness angle: Make the triathlon trail permanent (this can be handled by local businesses -- the city doesn't have to pay for everything)"
  • Create packages for the pool, "parties in the Casino, bowling, movies"
  • "Pool guards should be all part-time, to keep costs down."
  • "Consider a subcontractor for Summer Learn to Swim. The county and/or private businesses that teach may be interested."
  • "Contact Men's Health Magazine and unabashedly lobby for a spot on America's Top Ten Fittest Cities.", and. . ."When that publicity kicks in, just answer the phones and check the mail."
Lake Worth Leisure Services Director Juan Ruiz will certainly be inspired by these ideas. Unfortunately, because the recently-constructed Casino project was bungled by a previous city commission there is little money to make any improvements. However, there may be some funds available in the travel budget to send Mr. Ruiz to Wellington, Ft. Lauderdale and Plantation to further investigate.

Many people would be curious to know if Jane DeCoursey shared this information with any previous city commissions and what type of reception she received. Did she meet with former City Manager Susan Stanton and share her concerns and ideas? Going forward that would be very important to know. 

FDOT has a "Transportation Innovation Challenge" for you: take the survey

This is from their website which includes a link to a survey:
The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) continually strives to enhance all areas of its operations. In support of these efforts, the department recently moved into a bold new era for innovative ideas, research and accelerated implementation. Success will depend on our ability to carefully evaluate or implement the products and services provided to the users of Florida's transportation system. Our goal is to utilize newly developed technology or employ creative thinking to generate greater value for every transportation dollar invested.
Here is what I would like to know: What is FDOT's plan to reduce speed, add bike lanes and make Dixie Hwy in Lake Worth/West Palm Beach more pedestrian-friendly?

Here is a link to the survey by FDOT. If you have any additional questions send FDOT an email.

Please put on blinders—new ideas may induce panic and fear

Why would The Other Blogger (TOB, aka Lynn Anderson) be intentionally trying to cause hysteria and fear among her small band of followers? This might help explain it:
[W]hy terrorize your own audience? Because it is the fastest way to bypass the rational brain. In other words, when people are afraid, they don't think rationally. And when they can't think rationally, they'll believe anything.
The latest fear/panic mongering by TOB is directed at the Gulfstream Hotel. She is suggesting all matters of silliness and the spreading of mis- and disinformation is a thing of wonder to behold.
New ideas can be frightening for some people. A few need special equipment to handle the situation.
But, alas, some common sense and reason was able to make it through the wall of hysterical nonsense by none other than John Rinaldi. Below are two comments that inextricably made it through the thirty or so (mostly 'anonymous') unhinged comments on TOB's blog:
Of course, Mr. Rinaldi's suggestion that people "keep an open mind" will fall on deaf ears at TOB's blog. That's why I'm sharing his thoughts here. 

And while we're on the topic of hysterical, enjoy the video below of TOB when the BEACH! was the panic du jour on her blog. This video is accompanied by the music "Flight of the Bumble Bee", an orchestral interlude written by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov for his opera The Tale of Tsar Saltan.

“Artists Of Art Salon: A Collective Dialogue”—Exhibition/Lectures At Armory Art Center’s Two Locations

This news is from The Rickie Report:
“Artists of Art Salon: A Collective Dialogue” will exhibit the works of 58 South Florida artists, from Miami to Martin Counties, all of whom have been presenters over the last three years at Elle Schorr’s Art Salons at the Armory, held at the Armory Art Center in West Palm Beach. The works will fill three galleries at both the Armory Art Center in West Palm Beach and the newly renovated, mural covered Armory Annex Gallery in Lake Worth, FL. Parking is available at both locations, and admission is free. The Rickie Report gives you the details and some sneak peeks. Mark your Calendars NOW!
Here is the address and reception details at the Lake Worth Armory Annex Gallery:

A new kind of communal eating takes off in Miami

This is sort of like AirbnB, but in a restaurant sort of way. People sign up through EatWith which is a service designed to vet hosts/chefs and potential diners. Diners are paired with chefs based upon what sort experience or cuisine they are looking for. Some are locals looking for a culinary adventure, others are people vacationing who are looking for a home cooked meal experience. The result is a "pop-up" party at the host's house. People pay around $60 per person for the meal, depending on its cost and complication. It's also a way for ordinary people to show of their culinary skills.

The impact on a residential area where these would take place is about the same as someone having a dinner party at their home. Click here for the Miami Herald article.

William Faulkner (born this day, September 25, 1897)

“You cannot swim for new horizons until you have courage to lose sight of the shore.”
Learn more about William Faulkner here.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Progressive San Francisco and the 'Shakespearean flaw' that is its undoing (and the parallels to cities like Lake Worth)

This article in CityLab is a cautionary tale of 'progressive' policies gone unchecked. During periods of growth, when other cities and developers built new housing and new buildings, San Francisco decided not to. Now when people choose to move back into cities such as San Francisco there are few places to live and the rents have skyrocketed. Land, the actual space that structures occupy is at a premium. Those who have lived in the city for decades are forced to move out. 

The grand plan envisioned for San Francisco in the 1970's is over. Read this excerpt from the article:
     At its apex, progressive San Francisco accomplished amazing things. [emphasis added] It invented new models of delivering affordable housing and health care. It invested deeply in public space, from parks to bike lanes. It adopted a transit-first policy. It pioneered all kinds of equal rights for the LGBTQ community. It did its best to create a high-tax, high-service public sector that could generate the funds to provide a more generous social safety net, at a time when the national government was moving in the other direction. At times, it felt like San Francisco was working toward a form of social democracy in one city, proving to the rest of the country that a more European-style economic model could thrive within the confines of the United States.
     It was also a haven for people from all over the world: Refugees from Central American wars, migrants from Asia and Latin America in search of a better life, gays and lesbians from across the country. A large chunk of the population moved here as adults; San Francisco was a consciously chosen destination.
     But progressive San Francisco had a fatal, Shakespearean flaw that would prove to be its undoing: It decided early on to be against new buildings. It decided that new development, with the exception of publicly subsidized affordable housing, was not welcome.
Emily Badger at Wonkblog has more on this problem that has been getting worse for decades: housing hasn't kept up with the expected future demand.

For many years now the "no growth" faction in Lake Worth has been emboldened by their successes (or perceived successes) at stopping development in the City. But as I've been warning for quite some time they're taking credit for something entirely out of their control: market forces. The Great Recession, for example, had more to do with stopping development here than any other tactic or strategy that was employed by group(s) to stop it.

That has led to the gentrification paradox. In short, those in the City who have rallied and fought to stop 'gentrification' have created the very foundation for gentrification to occur. Instead of a healthy, reasonable approach to development and housing all along (translation: compromise) the City now has vast areas and empty lots rising in value that are attractive to investors and builders alike.

When looking for villains look no further than the 'visionaries' of past city commissions here in Lake Worth who worked so diligently to stop anything from built, including housing, and discouraged nearly all commercial and business investment.

Save the Date: Halloween Party at the Benzaiten Center in Lake Worth

Here is the website for more information. You can also call 561-508-7315 or send an email if you wish.

New "Recovery Church" opening up in a bar in Lake Worth

You can't make this stuff up.
The process of recovery can be a difficult one. Is the journey made any easier meeting at a bar? That's why on this blog am making the case that the little City of Lake Worth is less than ideal for those in recovery. Those in recovery (or families searching for a location for a loved one to recover) would be better off finding a city in Florida other than Lake Worth.

Lake Worth Commissioner McVoy: the roar that became a whimper

The attempt to raise the City's electric rates by commissioners McVoy and Maier failed spectacularly, so much so that Commissioner Maier barely uttered a word at the last city commission meeting on 9/22 in defense of McVoy and his plan. He was out there on the ledge all by himself. Here is the headline from The Lake Worth Herald on 9/17 after the first meeting to approve the City budget:
What also made things very difficult for McVoy and Maier was their cheerleaders complete ignorance of how a City budget works vis-à-vis the Beach Fund, the Casino complex (including the pool), parking revenue at the BEACH!, etc., all of which is separate from the General Fund. Their cheerleader, The Other Blogger (TOB), has been in full retreat ever since I exposed her ignorance on the subject. 

Simply put, McVoy and Maier want to raise the electric rates and the parking rates so at some point they'll have the money to cover up the failing Casino complex at the BEACH! The failed business plan continues to lose money and the loan is increasingly difficult to repay. The Post's Kevin Thompson mentioned this in his article on 9/22 after the budget was passed (on a 3-2 vote with McVoy and Maier dissenting):
     [Vice Mayor Scott] Maxwell said he would not support a budget if it included a hike in parking rates. Water rates were increased 3.5 percent. [emphasis added]
      The city said it intends to use the money to help pay back a $6 million loan [from the water fund] it took out to help repair the Lake Worth Casino building.
     At last week’s meeting, the commission voted to keep the beach parking rates the same and revisit the impact of that decision in April.
     In the new budget, more than 300 workers will get a 4 percent raise — the first pay increase in eight years. The city said rising property values is one of the main reasons why it was able to boost salaries.
     The city said the 2015 taxable value of property increased to more than $125 million, 10.5 percent more than the previous year, making it the third consecutive increase since the market collapsed in 2008.
     The city approved a tax rate of $5.49 per $1,000 of a property’s taxable value, a figure that will generate $6.9 million in revenue, up from $6.3 million the previous year.
Of course, if you're a regular visitor to this blog you know the Casino building was never "repaired". It was 94% demolished and you can read all about that here. Here is a picture of the Casino building as it was being 'repaired':
As you read the balance of the article by the reporter you see the financial situation in the City continues to improve. The one thing that is holding our City back is that albatross at the BEACH! The failed Casino project was delivered to you, the taxpayer, by this previous city commission (do you recognize anyone?):
Note the Casino business plan is not 'failing'. It is now a confirmed failure.

You're going to be hungry later on. . .try one of these spectacular Lake Worth restaurants

Two of our iconic restaurants in the City use Twitter to get the word out. Click on the "Follow" icon to get the latest:

You can read about Nicole Danna's recent review of Benny's here. Last night had dinner at Callaro's and it was spectacular. The smell of steaks was in the air but I decided on the lump crab/shrimp appetizer with the crab cake entrée. The lump crab was more like small boulders of luscious crab and the baked potato was gourmet. It's definitely worth a visit.

Here is a picture of the appetizer:
Lunch at Callaro's is one of the best in the City and the service, as always, was splendid.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

The HQ for the "War on Jesus" is moving locations in the little City of Lake Worth

Now everything is starting to make sense. pastor (lower case intended) Olive of the 'Common Ground' (no 's') church is still fully engaged in the "War on Jesus" in Lake Worth. He's had plenty of opportunities to clarify his nonsensical ramblings but he's passed on every chance. So the 'War on Jesus' continues with him and his silly band of followers.

Here is a letter pastor Olive sent to an official here in the City:
Blacked out letter recipients name; if you want to contact the 'church' you can find that information easy enough on your own.
Here is a handout being passed out (no pun intended) in the community:
The 'Common Ground' church is now a "Recovery Church" having a church service in a bar. What kind of message does that send to the community? Especially to those in the recovery community? More on that later. Why is pastor Olive moving his flock? Here's why:
Here are three comforting images from the 'Common Ground' church:
pastor Olive's brief dance with fame on the national stage trashing our City. Fortunately, no other network in the country took the bait.
There was never a "War On Religion" in Lake Worth. The pastor never needed a "License To Pray". It was all a big joke.
"Man is at war with God"? Another comforting message from the 'Common Ground' church.

Tuesday 09/22/15 Severe Weather and Outage Event

Madame Mayor, Honorable Commissioners and CM Bornstein

Here is a synopsis of the event that occurred last night:

Severe weather rolled into the Lake Worth Service Territory, bringing torrential rains, heavy winds and frequent lightning strikes.

At 19:17pm the electric system received 3 simultaneous lightning strikes, one in the main yard, one on the 26B1E09 circuit and one on the 11th Ave North Substation, causing the system relays to respond, preventing equipment damage, as well as allowing for personnel and customer safety. This caused a major outage affecting approximately 13300 customers in the Eastern portion of the Service Territory.

After investigating the cause and performing system checks to verify no equipment damage, Systems Operations and Field Personnel began the restoration process within 23minutes.

19:40pm, 8870 customers were restored – 23 minutes
20:19pm, 1350 customers were restored – 62 minutes
20:34pm, 500 customers restored – 77minutes
20:50pm, remaining 2580 customers restored – 93 minutes

Total outage time for all customers ranged from 23mintues to 93 minutes

Communications from field staff and operations flowed smoothly allowing for me to keep the Mayor, CM and the media informed of all restoration throughout the event

Electric Utilities Department
Your home town service people
Walt Gill
Assistant Electric Utilities Director

Lake Worth's Newsletter, 3rd edition: "Martin Luther King, Jr. Globe Restored to Former Glory"

If you haven't signed up for the Lake Worth email newsletter, Worth Noting, you can sign up here.
Here are two excerpts from the latest issue:
     Any Lake Worth resident, who has been to the Cultural Plaza for Evening on the Avenue, Screen on the Green, or just for a casual stroll through downtown, is probably familiar with the large, and until recently, inoperable, water globe feature located on the plaza.
     The Martin Luther King, Jr. Globe is part of a large scale community project which was designed in 2003 and completed in 2005. The design of the Cultural Plaza added a stage, pave stones, sidewalks, and pergola, as well as, the site work and necessary infrastructure to accommodate electric hook-ups and water. Since its completion, the Cultural Plaza has hosted many of Lake Worth’s most important events.
[and. . .]
     Not only does the Martin Luther King, Jr. Globe serve as a memorable downtown monument, it also carries an important message to Lake Worth Residents: unity. Its central location serves as a constant reminder that the Lake Worth community is united. On any given weekend, residents flock to downtown for the unique events that make Lake Worth special. While they gather, they will now be able to enjoy the Globe in all of its intended glory.
     “The Globe carries the message of the Martin Luther King, Jr,” said Brown [Jamie Brown, Public Services Director]. “No matter your race, gender, age, or background, it’s a timeless message of unity. It brings people together.”

What happened to the "LINE OF FIRE: Bullets and Badges and Death on the Streets"?

Well, the Post's Lawrence Mower (the go-to-guy for anything negative about Sheriff Bradshaw/PBSO) is on to other things and so is NBC5/WPTV's Katie LaGrone (the big issue now is medical billing). Jack Scarola is back doing TV commercials and the Post editorial board gave it their last hurrah with some nonsense about "bias" like they're experts on the subject and they found an expert to prove it. Oh, and who can forget when the Post/WPTV went bananas over Bradshaw's video "to his troops".

A riot never did occur and PBSO went on about their jobs like they always do. The graphics departments are trying to find a place to store all that "LINE OF FIRE!" stuff and the good people who work at Walgreen's are all breathing a sigh of relief. In the end what was the point? Other than trying to damage Sheriff Bradshaw's chances for re-election?
Since then there's a continuing gang turf war in West Palm Beach, PBSO caught a terrorist before he could hurt anyone, and Greenacres merged their police department with PBSO. Now all of a sudden Bradshaw seems like a decent and reasonable guy. And so it goes.
An 8-page special insert on April 26th.
A word of caution or a subconscious wish?

Effort to Save the historic Boynton Beach High School: Looking for a silver lining

There isn't a whole lot of encouraging news in this article by Alexandra Seltzer at the Post. The architect tasked with finding a solution to saving the building is considering adding structures in Riviera Beach to the project (moved by barge) and the high school itself is in worse shape than originally thought.

With time running out for a solution it was just last week a team entered the historic high school to do an inspection. The supporters who want to save the structure were given 4 months to find a way to save it; if my math is correct there's a little over 11 weeks left. Here are two excerpts from the article:
     Architect Rick Gonzalez is already on a mission to find a way to save the historic Boynton Beach high school. And now he’s taking on saving Rivera [sic] Beach’s historic Spanish Courts cottages. [emphasis added]
     He thinks the two sites can work well together and is proposing the Riviera properties be put on a barge to Boynton where they can be placed next to the high school and be used as artists’ cottages.
[and. . .]
     For the first time in four years, Gonzalez’s team went into the building on Ocean Avenue last week and were disappointed to see the site has deteriorated even more from water damage.
     “Stabilizing the building will be more expensive than we thought,” he said, adding that it could take between $6 million and $8 million.
If you are interested in helping to save the historic high school here is a link with contact information.

Paving Project has begun on Royal Palm Way in Palm Beach—Seek Alternate Routes

The paving project has begun on Royal Palm Way. Drivers heading east bound into town are encouraged to use the Southern or Flagler Bridge for the next three days. 

Drivers using the East bound lanes on Royal Palm Way should expect lengthy delays over the next three days.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

The scourge of Alzheimer's and the bullying of those afflicted: how low some in Lake Worth can go

Before I get to the bullying aspect of this let's take a look at a recent article in the Sun Sentinel. Dottie Carson is a former employee for the City of Lake Worth and she retired due to health concerns. The reporter, Deborah Work, writes an excellent article and in the following excerpt you'll learn why Dottie is no longer able to work:
     Dottie Carson took the microphone, looked out over the crowd and spoke boldly of her struggle dealing with early onset Alzheimer's disease at 57.
     "I have plaque on my brain, and I have some of the traits and symptoms that make it a problem for me to work, so I'm no longer working," [emphasis added] said Carson of Lake Worth. "I haven't settled into that relaxation which comes from retirement, because this is not retirement. This is disability."
     A crowd of about 70 residents from Broward and Palm Beach counties gathered last week at Park Summit, a senior living community in Coral Springs, for coffee and serious conversation about the ravages of Alzheimer's disease with U.S. Rep. Ted Deutch (Fla.-21).
     The advocates, caregivers and those afflicted met with Deutch, who has been a strong supporter of Alzheimer's research and whose northwest Broward and southwest Palm Beach district is home to more senior citizens than almost any other in the state.
     "I must speak up now. In a year I might not be able to, so I need to make sure that I get out what I want to say," Carson said to strong applause. "I encourage you, Congressman, to push for more clinical trials and to do what you can to help us."
Here is more from reporter Deborah Work on the Alzheimer's Association (Southeast Florida Chapter):
     The Alzheimer's Association supports the five local Walks to End Alzheimer's: Boca Raton Walk at the Mizner Park Amphitheater, Sept. 27; Treasure Coast Walk, Oct. 3; West Palm Beach Walk, Oct. 10; Broward Walk at Hollywood North Beach Park, Oct. 24; and Miami- Dade Walk, Nov. 7. The walks are annual events that raise community awareness and money for research.
     To learn more about the Southeast Florida Chapter of the Alzheimer's Association, call the hotline at 800-272-3900 or visit Alz.org/seflorida.
Now it gets ugly. You would think people with early-onset Alzheimer's who go public and do everything they can to cure this disease would be deserving of our respect and admiration. True, unless you are The Other Blogger (TOB, aka Lynn Anderson) who got hold of this news about now-private citizen Dottie Carson and posted a comment you'll find highly offensive and incredibly disrespectful:
Bullying the disabled now TOB? How does the saying go. . ."but for the grace of God go I".
Remember, TOB is the one that accuses everyone of bullying her. This is a tactic called "Projection/Flipping" furthering the theories/tactics first developed by Saul Alinsky in the 1960's. In short this is how it works: accuse your enemy of using the tactics you are using. If you're a bully (like TOB) then play the victim card and claim you're being bullied. It's a cleverly simple tactic. 

If you've been following TOB's antics over the years playing the victim card is a big stretch:

Mayor Pam Triolo receives our Peace Pole proclamation for Lake Worth

Did you miss the Peace Pole dedication in the little City of Lake Worth? You can read about it all here. You can follow the City on Twitter by clicking the "Follow" icon below:
And don't forget to sign up for the City new newsletter, the Worth Noting!

Coming Soon! New townhomes in Greenacres? No! They're in the City of Lake Worth!

Is the city of Greenacres trying to steal our thunder? I'm throwing the flag on this one! These new townhomes are being constructed in the City of Lake Worth and here is the proof:
The blue dot is east of the E-4 (Keller) Canal; clearly within the limits of the City of Lake Worth.
A loyal reader of my blog sent me this. Below is the actual location in detail:
Image from the Lake Worth P&Z board.
If you recall these townhomes were the subject of silly article by Margaret Menge back in late January. If you have the time it's a fun look back at Menge's loose journalistic standards.

This just in from the Palm Beach County Commission meeting (9/22)


What a great idea from that Guy On Clematis and our good neighbors to the north of us

If you haven't been to the a guy on clematis blog (aka Aaron Wormus) you should check it out now and then. He is in West Palm Beach and does a lot to promote their social scene. Below is a great idea to promote their city and maybe someone in Lake Worth can get some ideas and come up with something similar. Here is an excerpt from Mr. Wormus' blog post:
     Looking for something to do this Friday. Want to check out the local food/drink scene, listen to some music and meet up with friends? Look no further the Bus Loop is coming once again to downtown West Palm Beach, get your tickets and make sure you get in on the fun.
     Check-in begins at 5:30 pm. WPB Bus Loop lasts from 6-11pm and the trolleys will run until midnight. Designated drivers receive free admission.
Venues Include:
Tin Fish
The Sports Page
The Wine Scene
Off The Hookah
Shout
Longboards
O’Sheas
Respectable Street Cafe
Bohemia AG
Moonlight Radiance
Think of a bus loop in Lake Worth including these venues: the Benzaiten Center, the McMow Art Gallery, participating restaurants in the downtown and Benny's on the Beach? This would be a great way to showcase our City.

Here is a piece of their promotional material for the Bus Loop:
Get creative Lake Worth! Think of more good ideas to promote our little City

Second reading on Lake Worth budget TONIGHT: will McVoy & Maier try to monkeywrench the process again?

Note that commissioners McVoy and Maier are hell-bent on raising your electric rates and parking fees. Will they try to monkeywrench the process to get what they want? You'll find out tonight starting at 6:00. This is what happened at last week's meeting on the budget:
McVoy and Maier didn't succeed last week but that doesn't mean they don't have any more tactics left in their bags of tricks. Let your voice be heard! Say no to increases in your rates. Enough is enough. Here is a link to the agenda.
Unfortunately I won't be able to attend this crucial meeting tonight. However, will be closely monitoring events and will let you know what happened tomorrow. As always Thank You for visiting my blog, Wes.

From Jeff Ostrowski: "Tight inventories translate to fierce competition for Palm Beach County homes"

Even in the little City of Lake Worth have heard homes are selling sight unseen. That's how hot the market is for housing here in Palm Beach County. This is all market-driven—southeastern Florida is a very desirable place to live for people and families from all over the world.

This news from Jeff Ostrowski at the Post made the front page, above the fold in today's print edition. Here's an excerpt:
     The median sale price in August was $295,000, up 9 percent from a year ago. With demand outstripping supply, buyers face fierce competition for homes at the low end of the price range.
     “You can’t buy something if it’s not there,” said Myles Minns, president of Continental Properties in West Palm Beach.
     Houses priced at $150,000 to $200,000 needed only 22 days to sell, while homes sold for $200,000 to $250,000 were on the market for a median of only 23 days.
     Condos and townhouses take a bit longer to sell, but there’s strong demand for them, too, Minns said. Buyers have grown so fearful of losing the race to make an offer that they’ll submit a contract even before touring a property.
The Great Recession is becoming a distant memory here in south Florida.

Historic Northwood Hills to Celebrate 90th Anniversary with Party of ‘Historic’ Proportions

WEST PALM BEACH, Florida—September 13, 2015— In honor of its 90th Anniversary, Historic Northwood Hills is celebrating by hosting a historic fundraising event: ‘1925…And All That Jazz!!!’, to be held Sunday, October 18 from 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. at three secret locations within the Northwood Hills Historic District in West Palm Beach. Tickets are $90 each with a small handling charge and are available on line at www.NorthwoodHills.net.

“We are going to party like its 1925!” said event chair Bob Beaulieu. The 1920’s prohibition era-styled progressive dinner event will feature three historic homes, great food with live music of the time and, of course, “giggle water”. There will be a live auction and grab bag with the proceeds going to Peggy Adams Animal Rescue League.

Jim Ponce, the locally renowned historian of Palm Beach and Northwood Hills resident since 1957 will be honored that evening as the city of West Palm Beach will designate a portion of 36th Street as ‘Jim Ponce Way’.

For further information please call 561-758-5414.

Monday, September 21, 2015

[UPDATE] If you support affordable, clean ride-sharing services in PBC make your voice heard TOMORROW (Tuesday, 9/22)

Kinda, sorta good news today. Uber to operate until March of next year on present agreement with the county. Try an Uber ride as soon as you can, you'll see what you've been missing. [Read about the latest developments from Post's Eliot Kleinberg here.]

Spread the word—click the "Follow" button below and ReTweet (RT) this information to your followers:
Am happy to report this blog post about my ride to the airport (PBIA) using Uber was a big hit with my readers. Uber, and other popular ride-sharing services, are a result of dirty vehicles, high rates, substandard service, and oft-ignored complaints from the public about taxi service here in Palm Beach County.

If you're not worried about losing our ride-sharing services you should be. Read Eliot Kleinberg's article; this is an excerpt:
     If Palm Beach County, which is scheduled to vote for new rules Tuesday for Uber and similar outfits, was hoping for a Kumbaya moment this week from its southern neighbor, it didn’t happen.
     The Broward County Commission on Thursday night went through about six hours of often-onerous debate, but quit around midnight without a final vote on a stack of rules it hopes will bring Uber back.
All of us (residents, tourists, and snowbirds) benefit from competition here in PBC. It makes our restaurants better, our hotels, and services too. Why not apply that same standard to our automobile transport needs as well?

Here is how you contact your county commissioner. This important meeting starts at 9:30 TOMORROW (Tuesday, 9/22). It is item 4A on the agenda. Here is the location:
Government Center 
Jane M. Thompson Memorial Chambers 
301 N Olive Ave 
6th Floor 
West Palm Beach FL

The underutilized Lake Worth Municipal Pool, this morning at 11:20, Monday, September 21st

Not a very encouraging sight:
The Lake Worth Municipal Pool at the BEACH! without any swimmers. This is a pool that needs people.
Some notes:
  • I'm told there are 6 people or so waiting to use the pool when it opens at 8:00
  • There were 4 swimmers in the pool when I arrived at 10:15
  • When I got out of the pool? Zero swimmers
  • There were at least two lifeguards present
  • There was a cashier
  • The total revenue from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon: $50 to $60? (approx.)
Many get very angry with me when I post pictures of an empty pool. Maybe this will make you feel better:

The 'Visionaries': The future of our public parks in downtown Lake Worth?

Lake Worth Commissioners Ryan Maier and Chris McVoy and former commissioners Cara Jennings and JoAnn Golden have no problem with the homeless populating our public parks. In fact, they encourage the practice. A homeless person has recently taken up residence in one of our parks just south of the City's municipal golf course between Lucerne and Lake avenues. 

Maybe the 'Visionaries' will all chip in for a "welcome" basket. 

As we all know, according to the 'Visionaries' the rights of the homeless trump the rights of the public, including families with children, to enjoy the parks in peace.
A homeless person has taken up residence in the bushes. Are the 'Visionaries' OK with this practice in our City's parks? 
This photo and the two following were taken on 9/18. You can see the person's feet protruding from the bushes.
Doing laundry. The drying process after washing in the fountain?
Very charming, isn't it?

Arts Garage in Delray Beach has until March to find a solution

Marisa Gottesman at the Sun Sentinel has this latest news on the Arts Garage in Delray Beach. The Arts Garage has been incredibly successful and popular in the community but that popularity, sadly, hasn't translated into donations to save the space they occupy in the downtown. Here is an excerpt:
     Ushe [Arts Garage executive director Alyona Ushe] said it hasn't been easy to raise funds for what is ultimately a real-estate transaction. She said art lovers are willing to donate money to the programming offered by the Arts Garage, but it has been challenging to attract donors interested in helping purchase the space.
     "I went up in the front of the commission and said we could raise this money," she said. "We were 2 years old and were in such an infant stage. We asked a lot of donors to help, but it didn't materialize."
The Arts Garage started in 2011, with its array of performing-arts programs and classes. It filled a building in the city's budding arts district no one would invest in during the recession.
     That changed in 2013, when a law firm offered to buy the building for $2.5 million.

More on Jorge Pesquera from Jennifer Sorentrue at the Post

The Post reporter recently did an interview with Jorge Pesquera of Discover the Palm Beaches you can read here.

Here is the latest about the effort to attract tourists and visitors to Palm Beach County in an article titled, "Tours for travel agents, writers designed to lure visitors to county":
     “A great measure of our success is dependent on our ability to showcase the Palm Beaches to travel influencers,” said Jorge Pesquera, president and CEO for Discover [emphasis added], the county’s official tourism marketing organization. “There’s no better way to seal the deal on potential visitors than by enticing travel media, meeting planners, travel planners and tour operators to come here for themselves. Once they experience firsthand the beauty, hospitality and diversity of experiences this destination offers, they fall in love with our area — which results in attracting future visitors to the Palm Beaches.”
     Tourism officials across the country offer similar tours to writers, travel agents and other industry representatives.
     In Palm Beach County, Discover has helped host six group tours and 30 individual writers this year. The trips include representatives from both niche and trade publications as well as mainstream media, including The Washington Post.
Here is a link to an array of videos from Discover the Palm Beaches you can send to your friends and family up North as a tease. If you haven't seen this one courtesy of Mr. Pesquera, it's my personal favorite:

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 this Winter.

NBC5/WPTV's Jacqulyn Powell at the Lake Worth beach yesterday (9/20) for the Tropical Triathlon

Thank you to reporter Jacqulyn Powell and the crew at NBC5/WPTV for doing a spectacular news segment about our Lake Worth Tropical Triathlon on Sunday. I went to their staff directory to find her bio to share with my appreciative readers but there is no bio for her. Maybe they'll fix that in the near future. Below is the news segment from yesterday (9/20).

Rotary Club of Lake Worth—Peace Initiative Day and Peace Pole Dedication (9/20/15)


Sunday afternoon at 4 p.m., a crowd of over one hundred people gathered east of the steps to Lake Worth City Hall. They came to experience the dedication of the Peace Pole. The pole is located in front of City Hall, just south of the three flag poles on the west side of Dixie Hwy. It proudly proclaims "Peace prevail on Earth" in four different languages: English, Spanish, Haitian Creole and Finnish. If you watch at about the eight minute mark, speakers of other world languages stepped up to the microphone to say "Peace Prevail on Earth" in other tongues. Of the city commission, the Mayor was there, accepted a proclamation from the Rotary Club of Lake Worth and said a few words expressing the desire for peace in our city and our world. Other Commissioners attending included Vice Mayor Maxwell and Commissioner McVoy.
A shout out goes to the Lake Worth High School chorus who performed a rendition of Let There Be Peace on Earth on the steps of City Hall. That's at about the 11:30 mark of the first video.