Saturday, October 24, 2015

[PINNED POST] Roots Rock Reggae at the Bamboo Room TONIGHT: proceeds to family of Corey Jones

The Bamboo Room is located in downtown Lake Worth. The address is 25 S. 'J' Street off Lake Ave. There is plenty of free parking all over town.
To "Follow" the Bamboo Room click on the Follow icon in the Tweet above. The Bamboo Room recently re-opened and you can learn more about that here.

Status of lawsuits involving the City of Lake Worth as of 10/22/15


This is a fantastic bit of information prepared by the City Attorney. Under previous administrations and commission regimes, this information was very difficult to come by. I remember trying to do this on my own years ago through the Clerk's office and it proved to be an impossible task. These do not include all of the Charlotte Taylor related cases, which apparently there are many. Worth looking through and it is obvious that attempts are being made to resolve these issues as you read the status line.

This one case stood out under recently settled cases. It is the lawsuit by Laurel Decker concerning the vote (that was determined to be null and void by state law) to restrict allowable building heights in the downtown area.

Philanthropists looking for Palm Beach County students to create innovative solutions for community issues

This news appeared in The Lake Worth Herald's last edition dated 10/15. A group of philanthropists formed the Advisors for Philanthropic Impact and are seeking students with creative ideas to solve community issues. Here is an excerpt from the article:
     A new challenge that gives area students the opportunity to create innovative solutions to community issues and social problems in Palm Beach County is now taking applicants. Applications are being accepted from public, private and home-schooled students residing in Palm Beach County. 
     Philanthropy Tank will fund winning programs “pitched” by the student participants to a panel of four area philanthropists that include William Meyer, Julie Fisher Cummings and Danielle H. Moore of Palm Beach, and Eric Becker of Jupiter. Each philanthropist has committed $25,000 to fund ideas that directly achieve unique and creative solutions to community issues. A total of eight to 12 student finalists will have the opportunity to receive up to $10,000 for each idea, and will be mentored by the donating philanthropist for the year that follows the event.
Here is a link to the application form. The deadline for submissions is December 15th and the finalists will be announced on January 30, 2016.

Icon and biggest little man in Lake Worth: Everything you need to know about the problems at City's Casino complex

The Obtuse Blogger (TOB) posted a "Quote of the Day" and a comment from Mr. Greg Rice. So, without further ado or comment from me, read what Mr. Rice posted on another blog in Lake Worth:
Loretta's last name is "Sharpe". An innocent mistake I'm sure.

[UPDATE] Lake Worth's own Bob D'Arinzo on the "Lake Worth Has Talent" fundraiser for Children's Miracle Network

[UPDATE: Mayor Pam Triolo will co-host the Lake Worth Has Talent event with Bob per the Post's Kevin Thompson on November 1st.]

Most of you are familiar with Bob as one of our spectacular realtors in the City. In the short, 45-second video below he explains another of his passions, raising money for the Children's Miracle Network. To learn more use this link from a previous blog post. Now to the video:

Use the following link to learn more and buy tickets to the event on November 1st.

Please Note: If you have more positive, community news in the City of Lake Worth, suburban Lake Worth (including Palm Beach State College) and Greenacres here is how you contact the Post reporter:
Email: kthompson@pbpost.com
561-820-4573
Twitter: @kevindthompson1

From West Palm Beach Magazine: All Aboard Florida is transforming the Miami-Dade/Broward/Palm Beach Metro region

Here is a link to West Palm Beach Magazine and you can also follow them on Twitter. This video accompanies the article:

What is 'clickbait' journalism? Would you know it if you saw it?

Here is the Wikipedia definition of 'clickbait':
Clickbait is a pejorative term describing web content that is aimed at generating online advertising revenue, especially at the expense of quality or accuracy, relying on sensationalist headlines to attract click-throughs and to encourage forwarding of the material over online social networks. Clickbait headlines typically aim to exploit the "curiosity gap", providing just enough information to make the reader curious, but not enough to satisfy their curiosity without clicking through to the linked content.
First to make something very clear: I am not a professional journalist. This is a blog about things that interest me and people visit this blog because they are interested or curious about what is posted here. Recently a journalist at The Palm Beach Post, a very accomplished one at that, Tweeted about clickbait and then I followed the link to an article in the New York Times. Here are two excerpts from the article by Ravi Somaiya:
Since the days when most major cities supported multiple newspapers, the news media has long been subject to groupthink, and prone to search for sensation. But as more readers move toward online social networks, and as publishers desperately seek scale to bring in revenue, many have deplored a race toward repetitive, trivial journalism, so noisy that it drowns out more considered work. [emphasis added]
[and. . .]
[E]very publication now requires a greater number of readers to make ends meet. And perhaps the greatest potential resource are the billions who have turned to social media as a faster portal for information. That means journalists must now compete with entertainment, quizzes, gossip and baby pictures.
     The weapon of choice is often emotion. Specialists optimize and test multiple headlines and pictures. If they land on a successful formula — asking a provocative question, hinting at a profound experience, including a celebrity name — it is quickly echoed by other outlets.
So there you go. Readers of my blog will know what I'm referring to here: while I was at the Lake Worth municipal pool recently overheard a woman telling another woman that Lake Worth was the most dangerous city in the state of Florida. [It's not; not even close.] Goes to show how effective clickbait journalism can be. And then there's this:
You decide, is this Tweet an example of clickbait? CBS12/WPEC in Palm Beach County, FLORIDA Tweeted out this news story which occurred in MAINE. But you need to click the link to find that out.

Lake Worth's Blue Front BBQ and The Upper Crust bakery are Best Of in Palm Beach County

Here is the latest, a press release about the Blue Front BBQ:
Voted Best Of in the county are our Blue Front BBQ and The Upper Crust bakery. Stop by and congratulate both of them. They're both located on North Dixie Hwy a short distance from each other.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Considering or looking for a home in Palm Beach County? You need to pick up The Palm Beach Post today

The Palm Beach Post has a huge section ('D' section) on new homes in Palm Beach County today (10/23). You can also see this online using this link. Below is just one of the locations in Palm Beach Gardens:
The Home Show at the South Florida Expo Center starts today and runs through Sunday.

PBSO reached "Excelsior" status: highest rating for law enforcement in the State of Florida

About the video below: The Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office (PBSO) has earned Excelsior status from the Commission for Florida Law Enforcement. It is the highest possible achievement for a Law Enforcement/Corrections agency, meeting the highest possible standards instituted by the state. It is the sixth accreditation for PBSO representing its service over the last 15 years.

Congratulations Ric Bradshaw.

Some Lake Worth history is in order here. In 2011 then-Commissioner Suzanne Mulvehill and then-City Manager Susan Stanton tried to kick PBSO out of the City—fortunately for our City, they failed. 

Below is a video of the two in full retreat at a City Hall press conference in which I was in attendance:

At the 6:10 mark in the video I ask Stanton a question she clumsily tries to avoid answering. Enjoy the video!

Please Folks: Watch out for those trains—they can't stop

Scott Sutton at NBC5/WPTV has this latest on another fatality involving a train:
Tri-Rail service is severely impacted from Lake Worth north into West Palm Beach after a train hit and killed a pedestrian early Friday morning.
The Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office said the incident occurred at about 4:30 a.m. at 10th Ave North and Barnett Drive in Lake Worth.
Barnett Drive doesn't cross the tracks but it's apparently the closest street to the incident location off 10th Ave. North. Hard to believe but just yesterday (10/22) someone was killed by a train while walking across the tracks talking on the phone.

JP Sasser was right! It's the septic tanks destroying the Indian River Lagoon

[The blog post below was originally posted in May. Now comes this article from TCPalm titled, "Research: Septic systems ‘primary' source of river, reef pollution". The research hasn't been released as yet but hopefully this will get the Treasure Coast to finally install a county-wide sewer system for the sake of the lagoon and the environment. Here is the blog post from last May:]

On the heels of the grief at The Palm Beach Post over the end of the "sheet flow" debate the focus may now shift to our friends north and east of Lake Okeechobee. Here is how I ended my post from yesterday, 5/15, on the end of the Everglades land buy and the grief at the Post:
Now about all those septic tanks . . .
And wouldn't you know it, the VERY NEXT DAY this "Point Of View" appears in the Post editorial page by JP Sasser, the former Mayor of Pahokee:
JP Sasser was right all along.
Here is an excerpt from Mr. Sasser's contribution to the debate (with emphasis in red):
     The final point was that the cities of Belle Glade, Pahokee and South Bay pumped our raw sewage into the lake. We have had modern centralized sewer systems for over 40 years.
     The Treasure Coast needs to look in the mirror.
Some waters in Florida are polluted with human fecal matter — particularly the IRL.
     “Buy the land and send water south” is not the only road to water salvation.
     My question is: When are we going to get serious about our water? Florida’s agriculture-industry pollution is regulated statewide and has to meet specific limits. Our septic tanks are not held to the same requirements.
The following video has nothing to do with this debate but it is an interesting look back at the political career of JP Sasser:

[UPDATE] Commissioner reports from Tuesday night's Lake Worth City Commission meeting (10/20)

[UPDATE: In the link below to the Post article on the length of meetings in Lake Worth is a poll (at the end of the article). Do you recall when City meetings in a previous commission regularly went well into the night with some of the most important decisions being made after the people got tired and went home? Take the poll and will let you know the results.]

Here is Kevin Thompson's article from The Palm Beach Post on Commissioner McVoy's comments about the length of meetings. McVoy says he is willing to allow department heads to continue to buy a box of pencils or a ream of paper without asking the Commission. That's called efficient government! At the end of the piece, Mr. Thompson suggests that "cots" might be a good idea to bring to meetings should they go longer.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

The Palm Beach Post at the protest today in Palm Beach Gardens with a message for the community

Below is a Tweet The Palm Beach Post sent from the protest today (10/22) bringing attention to the tragic death of Corey Jones:
Here is an enlarged view of the photo embedded in the Tweet:
"This County Could Use an Uprising". Like in Ferguson? Baltimore?
Who would that be holding the "This County Could Use an Uprising" sign? That is none other than Lake Worth Anarchist Peter Tsolkas.
Here is the contact information for the Post:
Interestingly, here is something reposted from last year and moved up for blog readers early this morning.

Lost Kitty Cat In College Park

Please be on the lookout for "Dina", one of our College Park fur babies. Sorry, no picture to share. She skedaddled away from her home on Harvard Drive two days ago where she normally stays indoors. Dina is very friendly, declawed and mostly white with brown and black calico markings.

Please call Terry at (561) 758-9908 if you see Dina and Many Thanks!

The Post's Kevin Thompson on the failing Lake Worth Casino complex

Here's the link to the article in the Palm Beach Post. It's important to understand that the City Commission meeting on 10/22 had nothing to do with all the myriad structural failings at the Casino complex. The meeting only had to do with finances and that is all. A meeting to deal with the structural failings and functionality of the complex, of which there are many, will come later.

Here is an excerpt from the article in the Post:
     For fiscal year 2016, the city projects the property will be $152,999 in the red after it pays back $488,000 on the loan.
     There was some discussion about extending the term of the loan from 12 to 14 years, but Mayor Pam Triolo didn’t appear too keen on that idea.
     “We need to ask people, is it OK not to pay back our debts,” she said. “The flexibility is what makes me uncomfortable … and the going back and forth. It sets a poor tone.”
     [Vice Mayor Scott] Maxwell took exception that money generated from parking rate increases has been the main revenue source for paying back the loan.
     “Parking was never intended to pay back that note,” he said. “We haven’t paid back what we said we were going to pay back.” [emphasis added]
"That note" Vice Mayor Maxwell refers to are the $500,000 loan payments that were promised to be repaid; those payments have fallen well behind schedule. The parking lot is the only successful part of the Casino complex as far as revenue to the City is concerned. The 'renovated' Casino structure is financially unsustainable and so is the municipal pool.

The future meeting to discuss these issues couldn't be scheduled soon enough.

The Indigenous Role in the Context of an Emerging World Civilization - TONIGHT

Thursday, October 22
7pm
Quaker Meetinghouse, 823 North A Street, Lake Worth
Presentation by Latoka elder, Kevin Locke, known throughout the world as a visionary Hoop dancer, traditional storyteller, cultural ambassador, master of the indigenous Northern Plains flute, recording artist and educator.

ADMISSION IS FREE. 

Kevin will discuss Native American teachings that are essential to addressing humanity's environmental challenges and international conflicts.

October is fast becoming a month to celebrate and explore Native American culture as a supplement or alternative to Columbus Day. Come share & bring a friend.

Making the case for AAF and public transportation: how wide does I-95 have to be in the future? 6 lanes each way, 7? 8?

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

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

City of Lake Worth beefing up its Code Enforcement Department after being gutted by previous city commission

It's taken a while since former City Manager Susan Stanton gutted the Code Enforcement Dept. and it's taken a herculean effort to bring it back to a level of effectiveness. It was a terrible mistake she made and admitted as much to a Lake Worth resident who recalled a conversation he had with her:
The image above is from The Obtuse Blogger (TOB) who believes Susan Stanton was the best city manager Lake Worth ever had. Stanton was fired on December 6, 2011.
How much things have changed! In the City's Worth Noting newsletter is this information on the beefed up department. Here is an excerpt:

     For years, bringing properties into compliance with Lake Worth codes has been a challenge. Suffering from 1,000s of vacant, abandoned and foreclosed properties, years of deferred maintenance, and absentee landlords and property owners; the City’s overall character had become severely blighted. [emphasis added] Code Compliance also was attempting to manage hundreds of ongoing violations with properties running in fine to the tune of millions of dollars. The reputation of the Code Compliance Division was tattered and demoralizing. Drastic, proactive, and concerted efforts were required to turn the tide and reinvigorate and revitalize the city.
     Beginning in 2012, the City adopted a series of ordinances (laws) to address the many neglected properties. A Chronic Nuisance Program including Remediation for lot clearings, board & secures and demolitions was adopted. This program allows for the City to recoup its expenditures to undertake these activities by attaching the unpaid costs to the property owner’s tax cards. This attachment guarantees that the City will eventually be paid. The Code Compliance Division was reorganized and appropriately staffed and trained. Today, every officer has a certification from the Florida Association of Code Enforcement (FACE). Proactive positive customer service has become a priority. Other changes were made to streamline and encourage investment in the City and to resolve outstanding code violations. All were systematically implemented to support a full on attack of the deteriorating condition of the city.

To sign up for the City's newsletter use this link.

Discussion of Beach Budget, Revenues, and Expenses from Last Night's (10/20) City Commission Meeting


[At the top, left corner in the video is the icon "1/3". That's how you go from one video to another.]

This discussion took place at the end of the meeting and not much resulted. The one motion that was made and approved unanimously was not to consider the unsolicited public private partnership proposal, or any proposal, until the Commission has a better understanding about the needs at the beach, both operationally and, in the case of the Casino building, structurally. The City would then go out to the public and confirm those needs and conditions and look for possible solutions. You can hear the motion made by Vice-Mayor Maxwell and seconded by Commissioner Amoroso at the 20:30 mark of the first video.
The most glaring item in the report is the promised payments of $500,000 each year to repay the loan that were not made. Include those numbers and the beach fund goes deeply into the red. More on these numbers at a later time.
Above is some of the back-up prepared by the city manager that occupied a lot of time last night. Burton and Associates was there last night so that individual parts of this budget could be changed and you could see how that affected all the other numbers, throughout all the years. 

Commissioner McVoy had some interesting arguments, trying to prove that things at the beach are better than they seem. He seemed to hinge most of it on the $500,000 received in 2014 that closed out the County's grant to the City for work at the beach. That money should be reflected elsewhere since it really is for refunding capital expenses made during the renovation. It's not part of the revenue stream from operations. 

In the second video of the playlist, McVoy has a conversation with the finance director where he shows his confusion regarding what is an asset and a liability versus what are revenue and expenses. That begins around the 16:30 mark.

If we are including the $500,000 as revenue then where is the $1.4 million settlement to Greater Bay? Why isn't that money shown as an expense? Where did that money come from and is that being paid back? Or the $900,000 in legal fees to defend the city?

Expect more on this in the future. It was reiterated last night that the budget was approved with the expectation that the beach fund would be reviewed within a six month period after October 1st. In the meantime, it didn't seem like the City had any appetite to discuss the problems with the building due to the pending litigation, however, we are going to have to deal with those issues at some point. Plus we have to deal with the empty space on the second floor, the low revenue from the pool, the dependence on parking revenue to keep the Casino operational and a host of other issues. The big question remaining is. . .When?

Building Strong Neighborhoods in little City of Lake Worth: the dialogue continues

Tomorrow continues the dialogue to bring more neighborhoods and communities together in the City to address problems and concerns. You can read about the original meeting at City Hall where a large number of residents were in attendance:

Seats for All Aboard Florida trains ordered: ready for paying customers next year

All Aboard Florida has been moving along adding new track, constructing stations, engaged in many more promotional activities, and is considering more long-term opportunities such as a line to Jacksonville. Wouldn't be surprised to start hearing grumbling from politicos in south Florida for a line to Tallahassee. The problem with travel by rail is having the right-of-ways to lay track and if they don't exist that can be a very expensive and timely process. The right-of-way for the Florida East Coast (FEC) railway was established by Henry Flagler.

There isn't much grumbling from the anti-AAF crowd any longer. Some of you might remember this full-page below when the anti-AAF whirlwind of fury and disinformation/misinformation was at its peak:
Now Miami Today has an article about AAF and their President/CDO Michael Reininger you'll find interesting. Here is an excerpt:
     All Aboard Florida trains with all-reserved seats in various sitting arrangements and sizes are to be delivered here in the third quarter of next year and be ready to start carrying passengers at the outset of 2017, President and Chief Development Officer Michael Reininger says.
     “The minute we’re in service” the new railroad line will be looking for ways to expand and enlarge its services, Mr. Reininger told a Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce lunch last week in answer to questions about serving more points in Florida than are now planned.
     The new rail line is to run from the downtown Miami point where Henry Flagler planted the city’s main station on his Florida East Coast Railway more than a century ago through new All Aboard Florida station developments in Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach to the northern terminus at Orlando International Airport, Mr. Reininger said.
In case you missed this, here is AAF's tribute to the visionary Henry Flagler:

Followers of local history here in Palm Beach County: "Paradise in Peril" at the Lake Worth Library TOMORROW (10/22)

You can 'Follow' the Lake Worth Casino on Twitter. Click on the Follow icon in the image below. They Tweet out many excellent BEACH! pictures and also post local goings-on like in the information below:
Hope to see you at the movies.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

The Architect and Financier: History of the Gulf Stream Hotel in Lake Worth, FL (Continued), a series in the Coastal Observer

The banner for the Coastal/Greenacres Oberver.
The second installment on the history of the Gulf Stream hotel is in the October 15th edition of the Coastal Observer. You can read the first excerpt in the series here. From the Coastal Oberver (October 8th edition) here is another excerpt on the history of our iconic hotel in the City's downtown: meet the architect and financier

ARCHITECT AND FINANCIER
     The Gulf Stream Hotel was designed by G. Lloyd Preacher & Company, architects and engineers, and was financed by G. L. Miller Bond & Mortgage Company.
     Geoffrey Lloyd Preacher began architectural practice in 1910 in Augusta, Georgia, and eventually established offices in New York, Indianapolis, Memphis, Raleigh, Spartanburg, Miami, St. Petersburg, and San Francisco, with headquarters in Atlanta. Preacher organized his firm so that it had "departments for every class of architecture, engineering, finance and supervision" gaining the "confidence of financiers, developers, and builders". The firm was phenomenally successful, by some accounts grossing $12 million in the first quarter of 1923, worth about $55.6 million in 1981 dollars. Fees in that amount would suggest that in the first quarter alone of 1923, G. Lloyd Preacher & Company was responsible for $200 million in construction activity. If built in 1981, that work would cost roughly $928 million. At the time that the Gulf Stream Hotel was announced, Preacher was introduced as the architect of the recently completed El Verano Hotel and the Citizens Bank Building, both in neighboring West Palm Beach.

GULF STREAM CONSTRUCTION
     The building permit for the original design was taken out in the amount of $225,000 in May, 1923, the largest permit in Lake Worth's eleven year history. After two months of construction, during which the concrete frame was built, all work halted because of financial difficulties. Work resumed eight months later, in March of 1924, following design cutbacks by Preacher, reorganization of the El Nuevo Hotel Company Board of Directors, and selection of a new contractor.
     By the end of June, 1924, the building was identified as "the Gulf Stream, Lake Worth’s $400,000 fireproof hotel”, scheduled to open before October 1. Six weeks before the scheduled opening, the bond issue was increased by $65,000 with the consent of the G. L. Miller Bond & Mortgage Company. Scheduled opening date was moved to November 1, with much of the delay attributed to slow shipments of materials. The informal opening finally took place on December 10, with the formal ceremonies and dedication on January 20, 1925. At that point, the hotel was described as having been built "at a cost in excess of $600,000", 140% over the original contract amount.


Check back later on this blog for more on the history of the Gulf Stream Hotel.

Invocation tonight at Lake Worth's City Commission meeting: Pastor Peggy Heald, Believer's Victory Church


Here is more information about the Believers Victory Church at 918 N Lakeside Drive in Lake Worth. They are a church open to everyone in this quirky, funky city of ours with so many different different lifestyles. Stop by some day and take a look around.

Armory Annex Gallery in Lake Worth: Social and cultural art display with reception on Friday, 10/23 (6:00 to 8:00)

This news comes from Kevin Thompson at the Post.
     The works of 57 artists will be presented this month at the Artists of “Art Salon: A Collective Dialogue.”
     All of the artists have been presenters at Elle Shorr’s Art Salons. The works will fill three galleries at both the Armory Art Center in West Palm Beach and the Armory Annex Gallery in Lake Worth, 1121 Lucerne Avenue. [emphasis added]
If you have community news you want to share with The Palm Beach Post in the City of Lake Worth, suburban Lake Worth (including Palm Beach State College) and Greenacres here is how you contact the Post reporter:
Email: kthompson@pbpost.com
561-820-4573
Twitter: @kevindthompson1

Here is more information about the Armory Annex Gallery:
The lease of the 5,000 square foot building is, known by locals as the shuffleboard courts, was awarded to the Armory by the Lake Worth CRA. This award gives the Armory the opportunity to further enhance the thriving and dynamic Lake Worth art community. Community artists and Lake Worth leadership are currently discussing ways to further serve the local community with community-based arts programming. Contact Kim Harty with questions or comments at (561) 832-1776 x12 or kim.harty@armoryart.org.

Letter to the Editor from Leslie Blackner: Must the whole town be torn up 24/7?

A letter to the editor appeared in the Palm Beach Daily News (aka, The Shiny Sheet) this past Sunday. It is penned by Leslie Blackner, famous for being the proponent behind the failed Amendment 4 state ballot issue that would have required voter approval for any local government's Comprehensive Plan. Lake Worth's own Katie McGiveron, Lynn Anderson, Cara Jennings, et al. actively advocated for the proposal, working hand-in-hand with their Palm Beach attorney friend. The Sunset property case in Lake Worth was one of the poster children for their cause. Last I knew nothing has been resolved about that particular issue.

Click the title for a link to Mr. Blackner's letter. It seems that she has problems with living in paradise. Her nemesis now: Port-a-potties. To her, there is a direct correlation between the rate of construction on the island and these portable sanitary facilities for construction workers. Probably true but would she suggest chamber pots or just going in the lagoon? The hard-working people who are there to make sure new estate's Toto toilets, state of the art HVAC and automated home systems work flawlessly, besides doing heavy construction and just generally getting dirty making new buildings and renovations should have somewhere decent to relieve themselves, no?

The new construction and renovations don't last forever. But, for Ms. Blackner, she can only smell the urine and the feces of the workers, not the beautiful estates that fill the island, or the sunrises, or the posh eateries, or any of the other things that make Palm Beach a world-class resort and destination for the wealthy from all over the world. 

Like some people here in the City of Lake Worth, when they look around all they see is the crap and not the beauty in our surroundings.

Zipcar now available in West Palm Beach, Florida

Jesse Bailey at the Walkable West Palm Beach blog has this about a new car-share service in West Palm Beach, Zipcar. Here's an excerpt from the blog:
     Zipcar should make it that much easier for households to ditch one car or even go car-free. South Florida has a well deserved reputation for being a car dependent place, but West Palm Beach, especially downtown and the close-in historic neighborhoods, is an exception. This is great addition to the many mobility options downtown.
     Walkable West Palm Beach was provided a special promotion to share with our readership. Sign up now and get free driving time.
You can rent Zipcars for an hour or a day. Soon enough many in West Palm will be considering the benefit of even owning a car.

How is the Palm Beach Post editorial board going to explain away this one! They want to save the wrong 'Confederate' flag!

I'll have more on this later. The ivory tower editors think the 'Confederate' flag should stay on the Senate seal. But they got the flags confused! The Post's John Kennedy correctly identifies the flag in question as the 'battle' flag. The editors got the Confederate battle flag (the Southern Cross) mixed up with the "Stars and Bars". Not kidding. Read more about the difference below from a blog post in July when the "save" the 'Confederate' flag was at its fever pitch:

The Post's Eliot Kleinberg posted this on June 23rd. It's a lengthy article about the Confederate flag and what is causing so much confusion. Two flags are in question (both images below are from Wikipedia):
This is the official flag of the Confederacy, the "stars and bars".
This is the flag that so many confuse as the Confederate flag, the "Southern Cross", also called the Confederate Battle flag.
Here is a long excerpt from Eliot Kleinberg's article:
     The first casualty of any war, it often has been said, is the truth.
     First, this [the "Southern Cross"] is not the official flag of the Confederate States of America. That flag, the real “stars and bars,” had a circle of stripes on a blue bed in the upper left corner, with two half-stripes alongside, red and white, and a full red stripe along the bottom. [emphasis added]
     The flag that’s drawn all the attention, the “Southern Cross,” is a square banner showing diagonal blue bars and white stars on a sea of red. It started as a battle flag.
     In the last two years of the Confederacy, it created what later was called “the Stainless Banner.” It placed the “cross” in the upper left corner of a white flag. In the closing weeks of the war, to avoid the appearance of surrender, the Confederacy added a vertical red stripe on the far right.
     The “Southern Cross” spent 100 years in obscurity, then sprang to prominence in the 1950s. It was part of a movement scholars say had nothing to do with heritage and was instead an act of defiance to federal civil rights efforts.
     A big part of the problem is ignorance of the complexity of the Civil War and its causes, said Irvin Winsboro, a professor of history at Florida Gulf Coast University and author of “Florida’s Civil War: Explorations into Conflict, Interpretations, and Memory.”
     “The event is fact,” Winsboro said of the Civil War. “The causation is open to interpretation.”
     Many Floridians now are Northern transplants. But Florida in the 1860s had more black slaves than white people and was the third state to secede from the Union. And brutal Jim Crow practices continued for decades.
The "Southern Cross" is an act of defiance, not against 'Northern aggression' but against the civil rights movement in the 1950's. Period. End of story.

At a 'Confederate flag' rally in Loxahatchee on July 11th the attendees rallied around the wrong flag: the "stars and bars". Here is a picture from the rally taken by Bruce Bennett (including caption) from The Palm Beach Post:
"If the south would've won, we would've had it made". Who exactly is 'we'?

"Meet Me In St. Louis" playing at Lake Worth Playhouse in little City of Lake Worth and review by Dale King

Read the review by Dale King at the Palm Beach Arts Paper of this spectacular show at the Lake Worth Playhouse located in downtown Lake Worth, 713 Lake Ave. The image below is a screengrab from The Lake Worth Herald.
Note the kind sponsors of this show: Discover the Palm Beaches, Palm Beach County, Culture Builds Florida, and the Cultural Council of Palm Beach County. The Cultural Council is located one block east of the Playhouse and is definitely worth a visit.

FYI. . .Bike Theft Prevention in the City of Lake Worth

Lake Worth residents will be able to register their bike at various outreach events held by the City. At registration, residents will need to provide their contact information and an identifying number, such as a driver’s license number. That information will be collected into a database for use by PBSO. The ID number will be engraved into their bike in a discrete location. A uniquely numbered decal (sticker) will be issued and placed on the bike. The decal denotes that the bike is registered and will make it easily identifiable to PBSO.

How do I sign up?

The City will have a booth at many local events over the next few months, where residents may register for the program. The timing of the launch is in advance of the holiday season in anticipation bike purchases that may be made.

The First Registration:
A Strange & Unusual Night Halloween Event
Friday, October 30 | 6pm – 9pm
Cultural Plaza | 414 Lake Avenue

If signing up at an event is not convenient, Lake Worth residents may also stop by Family Bicycles located on 127 South Dixie Highway. The shop has bicycle registration forms that will be forwarded to the City, an engraver and the decals.

For more information, click here for a link to the city's website.

Monday, October 19, 2015

The Loxahatchee 'Confederate' flag rally, a blogger in Lake Worth, and breaking news from the Florida Senate

Here is the breaking news from John Kennedy at The Palm Beach Post. The Confederate battle flag is being removed from the official seal of the Florida Senate.

Some might recall recent rallies to "save" the 'Confederate' flag which isn't the Confederate flag; but more on that later. Jess Swanson at the Broward New Times had this article on a 'Confederate' flag rally last August. If you recall our good friends in Loxahatchee recently staged one of these rallies right here in Palm Beach County. From the New Times article:
     Chris Nicolaus used to drive around Fort Lauderdale with a Confederate flag proudly flapping on the antenna of his truck. But in the mornings, he’d find his vehicle had been keyed overnight. He started bringing the flag into his house in the evenings and putting it back up in the mornings, but that became too tedious, so he stopped. It’s a shame, Nicolaus says, because to him, the Confederate flag is an emblem of Southern culture, not racism.
     “For some people, it means one thing. For others, it means another,” Nicolaus tells New Times. The 35-year-old has lived in South Florida his whole life. “It might’ve meant something different 135 years ago, but for me it means that I’m Southern and enjoy fishing and hunting and being outdoors in the Everglades. We’re not the KKK.”
The flag being referred to is this one (a pleasant message from The Other Blogger [TOB]):
This flag, the 'southern cross' is confused with the authentic Confederate flag called the 'stars and bars' (See link in following paragraph).
The gentleman quoted in the article needs a history lesson. Here is an article about the 'Confederate' flag, a history much more recent than he's been led to believe.

Lake Worth's Little Free Library Project: Volunteers needed this Saturday at 10 a.m.

The Little Free Libraries above the fold in today's paper (10/19), A and B sections.
Hope you've all had a chance to read the article in today's (October 19th) print version of The Palm Beach Post about the Lake Worth Little Free Library Project.

This coming Saturday, October 24th starting at 10 a.m., 22 of the fully assembled but unfinished Little Free Libraries (LFLs) will come down off the shelves at the City's utility warehouse where they have been stored since their arrival and laid out on the loading dock ready to be painted, stained, embellished, mosaic-ed and otherwise prepared to be installed the following week.

Twelve of these LFL's will be placed on private propertyfully accessible by the public to serve their surrounding neighborhoods. Ten more will be placed in public parks, some of the new greenways, at the beach and the Snook Island nature pier and walkway.

The Friends of the Lake Worth Library are contributing top quality exterior latex paint in 8 colors as well as masking tape, caulking and other supplies. For these 22 libraries, we estimate that 4550 people will be needed to get it all done in the one day. All skill levels are needed.

We will have some brushes on hand, but not nearly enough for everyone, so please bring extras if you can. The mounting posts and platforms will be added when the libraries are installed.

PLEASE consider helping out in what promises to be a really fun event. We'll have coffee, donuts, fruit and juice.

The warehouse is located at 1900 2nd Avenue North. Follow the signs that say LFL EVENT and park in the warehouse parking lot. Any questions? Call Mary Lindsey at 585-6035 or send an email to napcinfo@gmail.com.

More sobering news about golf in Palm Beach County, the trend for the sport is way down

The City of Lake Worth's golf course has been getting a lot of press and attention of late with this news being the latest.
Babe Ruth played at the Lake Worth Golf Course.
City Manager Michael Bornstein and Mayor Pam Triolo with plaque from Southern Golf Central Magazine.
There's a lot of excitement about the course but the trends for golf generally in south Florida are not good. A huge housing project to be constructed in Palm Beach Gardens, the Alton Tract, will not include a golf course and that surprised a lot of people, but it shouldn't have—the public desire to play the sport has been going down for a while now (probably because the Millennials interests lie elsewhere like biking trails and public parks).

Now is this news from Alexandra Seltzer at the Post on the Boynton Beach Golf Course titled, "Outgoing Boynton golf course cafe vendor: ‘The writing’s on the wall' ":
     The number of rounds for the 18-hole championship course have been decreasing each year for the past three years, and to Foley [Terry Foley, the owner of the Ala Carte cafe], that’s a sign. A bad one.
     “The numbers don’t lie. The writing’s on the wall, and I just can’t be part of that anymore,” he said.
     The Links at Boynton Beach golf course on Jog Road is owned by the city, but runs on its own money and has a $2 million budget. It’s on land leased from the county. The course has had recent upgrades such as new Yamaha carts, GPS tablets, and improvements to the course itself. Also, the course will be getting 175 native trees with the help of a $5,000 grant.
     But the number of rounds are declining, and this year, the city will help the course try to get out of its financial struggles by giving it $240,000, said Tim Howard, the city’s director of finance.
The city of Boynton Beach is giving the golf course money to help solve its problems and hopes this won't be an annual request every year going forward.

Residents at Jupiter's Suni Sands fight to save their mobile homes. . .or way too little way too late?

Bill DiPaolo at the Post has more on this story that's been ongoing for many years.

Two very good stories highlighting Historic Preservation in Lake Worth

[This is a blog post from August thought my readers would be interested in reading once again. Enjoy:]

Earlier this week I was contacted by Emily Minor, a freelance writer for The Palm Beach Post. She started off asking about the neighborhood called the "North East Lucerne Historic District." The resulting article appears in today's Post.

As mentioned in the article, I indicated that most people would not recognize the area by that name. It is made up of a combination of Parrot Cove and Mango Groves neighborhood associations. The name actually comes from the designation report for the creation of the City's largest historic district. The district stretches from 2nd Avenue North on the south, the alley along Dixie Hwy. to the west, 13th Avenue North on the north, to the municipal golf course on the east. However, it jogs at 7th Avenue at Federal Hwy on its east side.

Click here for a map of all the City of Lake Worth's historic districts.

Plus, there is a nice feature article on Anton Avilez, who lives in the area and is a Realtor for the Corcoran Group.

Enjoy!

TODAY is the last day to vote for Lake Worth as a Florida "Great Place"—VOTE TODAY

This is also a link to vote for the City of Lake Worth.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Scene at a Lake Worth Commission meeting: BFF's So Happy!

Have you ever seen Lynn Anderson (center) so happy and gay? And Katie McGiveron (left), when did you ever see her so happy? Lynn Anderson and Katie McGiveron are pictured here with their old friend and comrade, Cara Jennings (right), checking out Cara's new I-Pad. It was just like the old days all over again.

Lynn Anderson and Katie McGiveron are "Allen West Tea Party Republicans". WINK WINK.

Here's a neat Tweet sent out by PBSO

Very clever isn't it?

Typical 1950s advertising for new Florida homes. . .

Many houses in Lake Worth, Florida were based upon the same model with some variation.

College football's version of 'Dewey defeats Truman'—Michigan ("Big Brother") defeats Michigan State!?

At the 45 second mark is priceless. The reporter said Michigan fans (who lost in the last play of the game) were streaming out of the stadium celebrating.
Our own Emerson Lotzia at NBC5/WPTV had this on Twitter last night on the results of the game:

From Miami Herald: Large chemical tanks found buried near old public swimming pool

Makes you wonder what's buried under or near our pool at the Lake Worth BEACH! which was built in 1971, 44 years ago. The standards were very different back in the day. Back then they just covered old tanks with dirt and that was that; out of sight out of mind.
Here an excerpt from the article by Theo Karantsalis:
     Miami Springs officials announced Oct. 12 that two chemical tanks — containing unknown contents — recently were discovered during excavation of the city’s 50-year-old swimming pool.
     “There was an old chemical tank — actually two tanks — in the ground,” said Tammy Romero, the city’s professional services supervisor, while addressing leaders at the Oct. 12 council meeting. “We finally did get that all removed and had DERM give us the thumbs up on that.”
     The Division of Environmental Resources Management (DERM) is a division of Miami-Dade County’s Department of Regulatory and Economic Resources.
     The tanks were found by contractors as they prepped the foundation for the new $5 million pool facility, which broke ground last April.

The Little Free Libraries coming soon to the little City of Lake Worth

You can read all about this at the Neighborhood Assoc. Presidents Council's (NAPC) website and on Facebook. The Post's Kevin Thompson has an article on this; here's an excerpt on why Lake Worth is getting these Little Free Libraries:
     That’s because this unabashedly quirky, artsy seaside city has officially embraced the Little Free Library movement, where tiny libraries filled with a variety of books are placed on homeowners’ lawns and in public spaces.
     The concept: Take a book, leave a book. The libraries, in a sense, serve as mini town squares.
     “It’s a community building exercise because it makes people come out of the woodwork and talk,” said Mary Lindsey, a College Park resident who was instrumental in getting 34 little libraries into the city. [emphasis added]
Watch The Mary Lindsey in this video talk about the Little Free Libraries and the REAP grants the City received:
If you have more positive, community news in the City of Lake Worth, suburban Lake Worth (including Palm Beach State College) and Greenacres here is how you contact the Post reporter:
Email: kthompson@pbpost.com
561-820-4573
Twitter: @kevindthompson1

BBQ at Lake Worth Scottish Rite Masonic Center—S/E corner of 22nd Ave N. and D Street

Time to put it on the spit! Lake Worth Scottish Rite BBQ. Come and get it. Pork and Chicken Cooked on Site in their BBQ pit. Drive thru open too from 11am2pm. Only $8 per person. Saturday October 17th. 11am-3:30pm. This ought be even better than the $5 All You Can Eat Breakfast! We'll see you there!

Pork or 1/2 chicken, Cole Slaw, corn on the cob, baked beans and a roll with butter....and of course, Great neighbors and friends!

The history of the Gulf Stream Hotel in the little City of Lake Worth

The latest edition of the Coastal Observer (10/15) is out. The series on the history of the Gulf Stream Hotel continues. I'll be posting this series on the blog in small segments with the kind permission from the good folks at the Coastal Observer; here are the first and second segments.
The paper is free and can be found at many locations. For instance, I picked up my paper at the Farmer Girl restaurant at 1732 N. Dixie Hwy. in Lake Worth.

City of Lake Worth's Parrot Cove neighborhood meeting—TODAY, Monday, October 19th at 7 p.m.

Our regular Parrot Cove meeting will be this Monday, October 19th at 7:00 pm at the usual place: The Beach Club at the Lake Worth Golf Course.

This month our speaker will be Dorothy Jacks, Chief Deputy Property Appraiser for Palm Beach County.

Ms. Jacks joined the Property Appraiser’s Office in 1988. She is responsible for the office’s public services functions. They include overseeing the five Service Centers, Ownership Services, Exemption Services, Information Technology, Mapping/GIS Sections, Public Records, and PAPA, the Property Appraiser’s award-winning website.

She is a past-President of the Florida Chapter of the International Association of Assessing Officers (FCIAAO), and a past-Board Member of the IAAO, where she serves as Chair of the International Committee.

Please bring your questions about how the process works, special designations for tax exemptions for improvements to historical homes, and anything else you would like to know about how our homes are valued for tax purposes.

As always, The Beach Club extends their happy hour pricing for our group, which includes drink specials, food discounts and it is also $.50 wing night.

Anthony Marotta