Saturday, December 31, 2016

As the non-story about Hoffman’s Chocolate fades into obscurity. . . there’s a new market on Dixie Hwy.!

Just in case you missed this blog post (see below) from yesterday. . . I haven’t been to the De Vine Market as yet but apparently a lot of my blog readers have. Received several calls and emails yesterday from those who are just thrilled about this new business and I will go there some time next year, errr, next week, in 2017!

Wish everyone a wonderful New Year’s Eve and a Happy New Year. Thank You all for visiting my blog—2016 was a popular year for this blog in this little City of Lake Worth: Recently went over 2,000,000 views.

Stay positive about Lake Worth. There’s a lot to be positive about. And there’s still a lot of work to be done in 2017. Get involved. Stay involved. Try to attend a City Commission meeting or City board meeting. Attend at least one of the upcoming debates prior to the elections in March. Contact your neighborhood association and learn more about what they do. And always remember to SHOP LOCAL! too.

Wish everyone a Happy New Year,

Wes

[the blog post from yesterday follows. . .]

The latest news from The Lake Worth Herald is below.

News in this week’s Herald: Stop by and meet Chip and Andrea, the owners of De Vine Marketplace here in Lake Worth.

Nestled off of Dixie Highway is a New York style farm market. De Vine Produce Marketplace is located at 318 North Dixie. The couple has lived in the area for just over ten years relocating from rural Eastern Long Island.
     Since moving to Florida they had missed the ‘farmhouse markets’ and wanted to bring a little of their past to Lake Worth.

[and. . .]

     Enter the marketplace and the colors surround you. The arrangements of fruits and vegetables are carefully placed to please the eye. Displays of various fresh fruits, nuts, vegetables and cheeses greet customers as they peruse the aisles.
     Many of the fruits and vegetables are offered in an organic variety also. There are varieties of jellies, spices, juices, honey, and white truffle oil, to name a few. De Vine Marketplace also carries a wide variety of Latin products.
     The atmosphere is very friendly, the conversation delightful and if you have any questions about what to do, Andrea will offer ideas for fruit and vegetable pairings to delight the palate, and she is willing to explain the benefits of the various fruits and vegetables.

[and. . .]

     Visit De Vine Marketplace for the freshest produce at the best prices.

A message from Abigail “Abby” Goodwin: Stay tuned for more news in January.

Look for details about the Lake Worth community kick-off plans in the New Year. Again, Palm Healthcare Foundation is looking forward to supporting YOUR community change!”


For more information contact Abigail Goodwin, Vice President, Grants & Community Investments
  • Center for Philanthropy
  • 700 South Dixie Highway, Suite 205, West Palm Beach, FL 33401
  • Office: 561-833-6333
  • Cell: 561-837-2279
  • Email: agoodwin@phfpbc.org
     “I’m very pleased to share news that Healthier Lake Worth will be launching in January 2017! On behalf of Palm Healthcare Foundation’s Board of Trustees, the foundation’s Community Investment Committee and foundation staff as well as the greater Healthier Together family, we are very excited to be working with you to improve health in your community and neighborhoods.”

[and. . .]

     “Four other Palm Beach County communities are currently engaged in this work. We will be bringing forward their experiences to support the process in Lake Worth.”

Worth Another Look: January 1st, 1942. Celebrating the New Year at our Gulfstream Hotel: “Everything Florida Has — We Have”

Short on time? Scroll down to see the “Gala New Year’s Party” and other images from 75 years ago and, as always, Thank You for visiting and have a Happy New Year! Thought you might be interested in a tour I took of the hotel four years ago while under previous ownership. Toured the hotel from top to bottom and the structure is indeed impressive. From the roof the views are vast of “the Palm Beach Area” (note the first image below).

The roof was (and still is) used by a cell phone company with an array of equipment outside and inside the building that made a constant ‘whirring’ sound. The hallways and stairs I noticed were completely clear of any debris or obstructions but the individual rooms were torn apart like they were being renovated. It was like the crew doing the work went on lunch break, years ago, and haven’t returned to finish the work. On the top two floors there was some water damage which is to be expected.

Interestingly, the hotel had running water when I was there. The rooms have very small bathrooms, tiny closets, and barely enough room for common amenities the modern-day hotel customer is accustomed to. Most of the rooms I looked through were on the top four floors and surmised all the hotel’s rooms were in a similar condition. 

The lobby and first floor are incredible and you can imagine a visitors’ joy arriving to the hotel fresh off a Henry Flagler train to escape the northern cold. Most of the first floor, when I was there, was being used for furniture storage and it was all kept in an orderly fashion. Below the hotel’s first (main) floor is the boiler room and maintenance areas and that was like a step back in time, like a movie scene from the 1930s or 1940s.

I’ve made this observation many times on this blog and will do so once again: it’s a near miracle the hotel is still standing tall in our downtown. So many of these historic structures are long gone now and are just memories in a book or computer file that nobody, or very few, care to look at any more. 

I hope you enjoy at look back at New Year’s Day at the Gulf Stream Hotel 74 years ago:

“Everything Florida Has — We Have”
New Year’s Dinner at the Gulf Stream Hotel: January 1st, 1942.
The Gala: New Year’s party on the Gulf Stream Patio and Cocktail Lounge: December 30th, 1941.

UPDATE: Our municipal pool will re-open TODAY at 9:00!

The pool is scheduled to be closed on Sunday, New Year’s Day and the following Monday and Tuesday.

Don’t forget: the new pool heaters are up and working wonderfully. Hope to see everyone back tomorrow:

Image from the file, “If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.”

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Lygodium, the Loxahatchee Wildlife Refuge, and a Letter to the Editor that sums things up quite nicely.

First, have you always wanted to have your “Letter to the Editor” published in the newspaper? Maybe tried once or twice before and were unsuccessful? Below you’ll find information that will greatly increase your chances of accomplishing getting published. Maybe even have your letter published this Sunday, Christmas morning! How cool would that be?

Anyhow, back to the topic, on the Lygodium (climbing fern) infestation in the Loxahatchee Refuge this Letter to the Editor appeared in the Post recently titled, “Fed oversight turned refuge into a mess”; here are two excerpts:

     The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) is big on species management, but it seems to me that the single species they are managing to keep healthy in the Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge is Lygodium, which, ironically, is killing all the other species in the refuge.
     I give credit to FWS for their work to regulate and review permits that help protect wildlife across the country. As land managers, however, they are third-rate. [emphasis added] The Lygodium infestation blanketing tree islands and making an impassable mess of dead vines that entangles wildlife on the ground didn’t happen overnight.

[and. . .]

     I understand budgets are tight, but the management at this federal agency hasn’t had the foresight to so much as ask our Congress for money to fix the problem. In the end, this will cost everyone more money when the entire refuge becomes a Lygodium farm.
     I don’t know the exact answer, but the answer needs to be one that saves the Everglades and saves the refuge.

JIM HARVEY, WEST PALM BEACH

If you didn’t know, one of the most prolific and published contributors to the Post editorial page is Lake Worth’s own Drew Martin. How does he do it? He knows the trick: You have to follow up with the editor!

There are other things you can do as well. Please read these instructions (written for residents of Lake Worth but really apply to any City in the County). Get started on your letter today. Good Luck!

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Once again: The expert’s “5 tips” to get your Lake Worth business and/or event promoted in the Post

The “Five Tips”* are below. First, here is a quote from this article in today’s (12/28) Palm Beach Post print edition titled, “Online shopping hurts Lake Worth retailers over holidays”:

“We had days where we were super busy and those when it was really quiet,” said Carrie Childs, a store co-owner [CarriElle's Closet, 9 North ‘K’ Street]. “We should have advertised or done more promotion.” [emphasis added]

For an example how promotion works, on December 16th Post Staff Writer Alexa Silverman wrote an excellent article about “The Cottages of Lake Worth” book signing at the Cultural Council in Downtown Lake Worth. They sold almost 40 books that afternoon! So try contacting Silverman about your business or upcoming event and see what happens: email the reporter at asilverman@pbpost.com

There are other reporters at the Post who have penned very successful articles about Lake Worth businesses. Have you tried contacting Jennifer Sorentrue?† Jeff Ostrowski? Eddie Ritz? Liz Balmaseda?

Without further ado, from Antonio Fins, the Business Editor, the five tips:
  1. Know whom you want to reach out to, the editor writes, “. . . the trick is reaching to the right journalist.” For example, sending information to a beat reporter may not be the best option. Have you considered a business reporter?† An entertainment reporter?
  2. Who’s your audience? “So, tell us how many followers do you have on Twitter? How many friends/fans do you have on Facebook?”
  3. Local, local, local, “. . . there must be a direct and definite Palm Beach County connection.”
  4. Newsmakers, “Some of the best-read content we produce isn’t on the front page.” For example, per the Business Editor, the “weekly Newsmakers section”.
  5. Video, “So if your business has ‘good visuals,’ drop in a link to some B-roll video that we can attach to the story.”
Think you’re ready to get your business noticed in the Post? Then get cracking. It’s a very competitive business environment:

Last August IN FOCUS: LAKE WORTH” by beat reporter Kevin Thompson was all about “Icy treats” at a gas station located where? In Lake Worth? No. In Palm Springs!

Have questions or need more information? Send an email to the Post’s business editor: afins@pbpost.com

*This information was first published in the August 28th Sunday print edition, ‘D’ section, Local Business, front page above the fold.
Would it be better to contact a dedicated business reporter? Take for example this recent news by Jennifer Sorentrue about a new business here in Lake Worth. For a Lake Worth restaurant review try contacting Jeff Ostrowski: use this link for his latest, most recent review.

A Look Back. The Street Painting Festival. An email from March 3rd, 2016:

Hello Maryanne [Webber] and Nadine [Burns]:

Congratulations on your wonderful event this year. I just received a number of 3,550 riders on the shuttle bus service we provided. This is a big increase from last year
s 2,100. You werent kidding about an increase in demand. The train ridership also reflected an increase in passengers making 2/20 #5 in all time Saturday ridership and 2/21 #7 in all time for Sundays.


This was actually my first year attending and it was a whole lot of fun even with the little rain. 

Kudos! Looking forward to hearing about your results.
 
Victor O. Garcia
Corporate and Community Outreach Manager

South Florida Regional Transportation Authority/Tri-Rail

Lake Worth Street Painting Festival, Saturday, February 22nd, 2014.

[If I recall, no one was complaining to a reporter that day.]

Must see exhibit at the Cultural Council in Downtown Lake Worth: “15 Surfboards by 15 Shapers”

Exhibit runs through January 21st (details below):

Main number is 561-471-2901. The Council is at corner of Lake Ave. & ‘L’ Street. Plenty of free street parking nearby and a free parking lot behind Paws on the Avenue (across the street).

Learn more about the exhibit using this link:

“This exhibition features surfboards transformed into one-of-a-kind works of art, resulting from collaborations between artist Tony Arruza and surfboard hand-craftsmen from around the world.”
  • Location: Cultural Council of Palm Beach County, 601 Lake Ave., Downtown Lake Worth
  • Time: 10:00–5:00, Tuesday through Saturday
  • The Cultural Council galleries are open, the Visitor Information Center and Roe Green Uniquely Palm Beach store are open as well
For more information about the Cultural Council contact Judith Czelusniak, Public Relations:
  • Email: JCzelusniak@palmbeachculture.com 
  • Phone: 561-471-1602 
  • Mobile/text: 917-655-3217

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Update on the City’s pool. . . and why the City needs to seriously consider a Public Information Officer (PIO)*

An experienced PIO could have gotten this information out to the public in about ten (10) minutes last Thursday (December 22nd), here’s the latest about the pool I received this morning, Tuesday, Dec. 27th:

According to Juan Ruiz, the Leisure Services Director, a pool contractor is coming out at 8 a.m. tomorrow to repair the issue. The 12″ main return had burst. Ruiz said this is the kind of thing that shows the age of the pool. The pipe burst last Thursday and with the holidays the City had trouble getting the word out. He said there was a press release and that he would forward it to me.

Most PIO’s would probably discourage using this method to inform the public:

The official news from the City taped to the front door of the pool complex. If you’ve been having misgivings about the City’s ability to “control the message”, well, this is not a very hopeful ‘sign’.

I received a phone call last Saturday afternoon about the pool being closed and decided to drive over and check it out. Yes, the pool was closed until “further notice” without any explanation as to why. Was this news sent out on Twitter with a “#LakeWorth” hashtag. No. Any news about this on the City’s website? No.

If you recall, it was after terrible news reports and misreporting in social media, the City of Lake Worth hired a media specialist but that particular person and the City decided to part ways. Would it be time to reconsider another person to fill that role? A topic of discussion at the next Commission meeting on January 10th?

*Interestingly, on the topic, this press release is from the City of West Palm Beach yesterday (Monday, 12/26).

Monday, December 26, 2016

An excerpt from a Letter to the Editor in the Post today. . .

. . . that sums things up quite nicely:

     I support freedom of religion and of speech, and if this were another time of year, with some exceptions, like Easter and Yom Kippur, I wouldn’t care at all about the pentagram. But to place it now is simply unkind.
     The man might think he’s making a statement about others’ tolerance, but he might think a little more about his own. Thumbing your nose at Christians is not a social statement. It’s a personal one, and it’s just ugly. [emphasis added]

MOLLY BERNARD, GREENACRES

The Insulting Atheist has until next December to stage his next opportunistic show. Only question is where will it be and which crew of clowns will help him next time?

A reminder for all Realtors, potential homebuyers, and investors: Please ignore the occasional hysterics from the City dais

The vast majority of real estate professionals will laugh off Commissioner Chris McVoy’s nonsense about Realtors getting sued over sea level rise (more on that below) but there will always be a few that will buy in and fall for it. 

At a City Commission meeting last January commissioners McVoy and Ryan Maier gave their presentation on sea level rise (SLR) following their attendance at a conference in Key West. Maier totally flubbed his part and forgot his lines. Then McVoy chimed in with his pitch about Realtors putting themselves at risk for not disclosing that a home being sold or bought may be covered by water. The more likely outcome (if you think it through) is that both the Realtor and the homeowner will have passed away by then but those points get lost in riveting narrative.

A flurry of emails then bounced around on esoteric discussions about SLR and coastal real estate and here is one. The interesting thing about these articles is the information that should be at the beginning is added at the end where most readers will never take the time to read. Here is an excerpt:

     Instead of thinking about extreme events like hurricanes, some researchers are instead focused on the already occurring increases in roadway floods during heavy rains, extreme high tides, and other similar short-term events.

[near the end of the article. . .]

“There are a lot of places where you could buy a house now that maybe has never flooded, but by the end of the mortgage cycle, it could be flooding every other year,” he said. [emphasis added]

If you’re a Realtor don’t be in a hurry to find a lecture on SLR any time soon to protect yourself from a lawsuit. If anything, if you do feel the need to give a lecture, come up with one on how important it is keep elected officials focused on the present problems that have to be dealt with: potholes, street lighting, sidewalks, and fire hydrants come to mind.

And curiously, on the issue of real estate and preparing for the future. . .

That’s right. Commissioner Chris McVoy, PhD, supported constructing our new Casino east of the Coastal Construction Line. And it was Greenwashed too. Remember the water cistern to collect rainwater? Eliminated.

We got spared again this year. No time is good to be complacent. Hurricane season is just 5 months away.

There are images below of Lake Worth following the devastating 1928 Hurricane, for example, a “house tossed like a football”. Read the comment left by Capt. Wm. S. Stafford (Ret.); he references the sobering Lloyd’s of London report on the Herbert Hoover Dike which surrounds Lake Okeechobee:

“Much of the geophysical history of that time period are still visible around the lake. In 2003 I spent 2 days in my Jeep Wrangler driving the circumference of the lake looking for and finding the historic structures (ie old wooden navigation locks, parts of the old levee system, and places where entire towns / villages were washed away, the cemeteries of those taken by the storm, etc.). A visit to the museum in Belle Glade, seeing the memorial statue outside the Belle Glade library, and driving thru Pahokee trying to visualize the damage 75 years before was hard to imagine.

A “house tossed like a football”, flooded streets, and Lake Ave. with devastated structures are some of the images below. The traditional start of hurricane season is June 1st and peaks from mid-August to late October.

The 1928 Hurricane was a direct hit on cities such as Palm Beach, Lake Worth and Lantana. This was prior to hurricanes being given names. The storm continued towards Lake Okeechobee. In the end over 2,500 people died and this storm remains the second deadliest in U.S. history.

There is a mass grave in West Palm Beach for victims of that storm. Another sad legacy is only Black people are buried there. The White victims were buried elsewhere.

Click images to enlarge.




Images courtesy of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Remember Willie Howard? A short history of Post beat reporters in the little City of Lake Worth

There are many new residents in this City and every now and then will get a query like this: “Who is Willy Howard?”

Willy Howard was the City’s beat reporter at The Palm Beach Post for many years. Former Lake Worth blogger-extraordinaire Tom McGow chronicled one of Willie Howard’s many news items such as the one below, hard at work covering election results in November 2009:

Laurence McNamara lost big to René Varela in a landslide in November 2009.

The Post is a shell of what it once was. The paper went through a series of “bloodbaths” as Jose Lambiet at GossipExtra called them and the actual printed newspaper is published by the presses at the South Florida Sun Sentinel. There were also a series of buyouts and Mr. Howard was one employee who accepted and left the paper. 

Lona O’Connor was the City’s next beat reporter but by then she was already approaching retirement. She penned excellent news items about the City including an article on the then-newly-formed Cottages of Lake Worth

For a brief period of time Eliot Kleinberg was the beat reporter but he was also covering West Palm Beach as well. A herculean task.

The next beat reporter the Post sent to cover the City was Chris Persaud. He was honored with a coveted news award on election reporting and then he left the paper to go on to other things. Persaud is forever immortalized as one of the great reporters in Palm Beach County’s long history. 

The current beat reporter for Lake Worth is Kevin Thompson who is a long-time reporter at the Post. He is also tasked with covering Greenacres, the Lake Worth Corridor, and areas in between in suburban Palm Beach County but the focus, of course, is almost totally on the 6 square mile City of Lake Worth. 

So, that’s it for some history of beat reporters here in Lake Worth. If you live in Greenacres or an unincorporated area west of Lake Worth and are seeking news coverage from the Post for your community, well, good luck with that. You would have a much better chance contacting The Lake Worth Herald.

A Lake Worth commissioner gets a lecture from the City’s Electric Utility Director

Stay tuned, videos to come soon. . .

Commissioner Chris McVoy, PhD, at the City Commission meeting on December 13th said, “I did a bunch of research on this”. So. . .
  • Is the City of Lake Worth’s electric distribution system “like a military base”? No.
  • Is “salt spray arching” an issue that can’t be solved using 26.4 kV? Not true.
  • Does the City’s union contract have rules against working on 26.4 kV? Completely false.
Be very careful of elected officials who act real smart talking about things they know too little about. And stay tuned for some videos from this Commission meeting, more about this very important topic.

To read the backup material for yourself use this link and go to pages 885–894 near the end of the Commission agenda.

This master class given by Electric Utility Dir. Jack Borsch was on Agenda Item 13.D.5 - Dist. Voltage Upgrade Project, “The City of Lake Worth Electric Distribution System Upgrade from 4.16kV to 26.4kV”:

The Item provides for staff to perform a distribution voltage conversion from 4.16kV to 26.4kV and additional necessary upgrades required for system reliability, efficiency and ability to meet present and future demand loads.

Commissioner McVoy, who always has to remind everyone he has a PhD (it’s easy to forget), needs to learn more about “salt spray”, 26.4kV vs. 4.16kV, electric reliability, and many other subjects. This was also another example of his monkeywrenching in Lake Worth and why District 2 needs a new face on the City Commission:

How to monkeywrench a City meeting: Long anecdotes, talk “at great length”, “re-open the question” and then. . . “raise the question” again. Are you getting tired of all this?

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Did the Post make a “Colossal Mistake” when they shut down their printing presses?

Do you know where The Palm Beach Post newspaper is printed? Hint: It’s not in Palm Beach County; the answer is below. Senior media writer Jack Shafer wrote this must-read article in Politico Magazine titled, “What If the Newspaper Industry Made a Colossal Mistake?” Here are two excerpts:

What if the industry should have stuck with its strengths—the print editions where the vast majority of their readers still reside and where the overwhelming majority of advertising and subscription revenue come from—instead of chasing the online chimera?* [emphasis added]

[and. . .]

     As she [Iris Chyi of the University of Texas] explains, the circulation of the supposedly dying print product may be in decline, but it still reaches many more readers than the supposedly promising digital product in home markets, and this trend holds across all age groups. For all the expense of building, programming and hosting them, online editions haven't added much in the way of revenue, either.
     For years, the standard view in the newspaper industry has been that print newspapers will eventually evolve into online editions and reconvene the mass audience newspapers enjoy there. But that’s not what’s happening. Readers continue to leave print newspapers, but they’re not migrating to the online editions.

If you get the digital Post you can understand why serious newspaper readers would be unhappy. Below are just two examples from previous posts on this blog of ‘news’ in The Palm Beach Post, which is really just trolling social media for data that was aggregated, reworded and this is the result:

For those looking to travel and find love, West Palm Beach may not be the place to go. The Palm Beach County city was named the fifth least sexy city in the United States, according to a survey by travel dating site MissTravel.com that was published by college news site Coed.

This “news” by the Post is complete nonsense—note the sources. This ‘data’ is called aggregation which can be summed up this way: Garbage In Garbage Out (GIGO). The City of Lake Worth was subjected to this silliness last year (remember Neighborhood Scout?). Here is another excerpt from the ‘news’:

[I]t [West Palm Beach] was not seen favorably on lists ranking best performing metro areas and places to raise a family, which listed it near the bottom. Read more at Coed.

Coed? This sort of content never reaches the print edition. It’s used as clickbait to get readers to visit the online edition. So, do you know who the Post uses to print their newspapers? The Sun Sentinel in Broward County does and sends those papers north in big trucks.

UPDATE. Read about Post reporter John Kennedy and Palm Beach Daily News (aka, the Shiny Sheet) reporter David Rogers being let go, use this link. And datelined December 9th, herenews from Adam Smith, the Political Editor at the Tampa Bay Times (newspaper the winner of 12 Pulitzer Prizes), an excerpt:

Lousy news, via the talented John Kennedy of the Palm Beach Post, which for as long as I can remember has been one of the leading sources for state government news in Florida.
     “Dear Friends: The Palm Beach Post has decided to close the Tallahassee bureau. The paper’s future is local and digital, and coverage of the goings-on in the state Capitol don’t meld as well with this direction...,”

*Synonyms for the word Chimera: dream, fantasy, delusion.

Girls softball program at Lake Worth High School needs your help

Excerpt below from the news in last week’s Herald: Can you help? Please contact the head coach at Dianne.Saylor@palmbeachschools.org

“Dianne Saylor, the head coach for Lake Worth Community High School Girls Varsity Softball Team for the past three years is in the process of rebuilding the program but needs the community’s support.
     The program is in need of new uniforms, equipment bags, socks, cleats, hats/visors, balls, bats, catcher equipment, as well as practice equipment. The pitching machine needs repaired and the batting cage needs some tender-loving-care. Saylor is also looking for some pitching coaches to donate their time.
     Volunteers are needed to help keep the score book, assist with the BBQ during the games, and maintain the field (fertilizer, red ant killer).
     Donations of items (chips, drinks, hot dogs, hamburgers, chicken, cookies, candy, etc.) to sell in the concession stand are always welcome.”

Think it’s too early to be a sponsor at the 23rd Annual 2017 Street Painting Festival in Lake Worth? No way.

Lake Worth will be getting even more attention in Florida (and beyond) after the recent news of Garlic Fest moving to John Prince Park (February 10–12).

Each and every year the City’s Street Painting Festival attendance numbers go up significantly. To consider being a sponsor fill out this contact form or call 561-358-8501. About the festival:

“Downtown Lake Worth invites you to the annual Street Painting Festival, which claims bragging rights as the country’s largest. The 2-day event transforms the downtown streets with more than 200 street paintings sponsored by businesses, organizations, families and individuals, covering more area than any other festival of its kind in the U.S.
 
Images from the Jim Stafford Collection.

AquaX Jet Ski Racing in “Beautiful Lake Worth”! More news from the City

Beautiful Lake Worth was the host city for AquaX Jet Ski Racing on November 12th. AquaX is the fasted growing personal watercraft championship in the world. Its rapid growth is owed to a simple, yet challenging race format that appeals to today’s personal watercraft users.”

If you weren’t able to see the race live, you may enjoy the experience as it is broadcast on the following networks & times:
  • Wednesday 12/28 at 12:00 a.m. on Fox Sports Sun (SUN)
  • Friday 12/30 at 9:30 p.m. on SUN
  • Saturday 12/31 at 9:00 p.m. on Fox Sports Florida (FSFL)

My talk given at the Lake Worth Rotary on December 21st about our “unique” Cottages of Lake Worth

Already read this? Thank You for visiting and please scroll down.

Hope you enjoy reading this talk I gave last Wednesday. About 40 people showed up at Brogues in the Downtown for this Rotary meeting. I was invited to give a talk about The Cottages of Lake Worth, how the group formed, why it did, the tours, and the newly-published book:

Happy Holidays everyone. I’ve spoken to the Rotary several times in the past but it has been a while. I am a long-time resident, very active in the City, for many years a member and Chair of the Historic Resource Preservation Board but am no longer on the board. Not being on the board frees up time for my planning and zoning consulting and helps me to advance historic preservation in a different way.
     That is why I am here to talk to you today. The main topic is to introduce The Cottages of Lake Worth book but would like to share with you the story how we got to this point.
     Back in 2013 the City celebrated its 100th anniversary, or our Centennial. That renewed the importance of City of Lake Worth history. Those of you that have lived in Lake Worth for a while are well aware of the 25′ and 50′ wide lots with cottages that make up much of the central area of the City, as well as north, south and west of the Downtown.
     However, it is easy to overlook the ways these cottages, built in the period between 1920 and the mid-1940’s, create a unique environment when compared to other communities. The grid street pattern lends itself easily to walking and biking, for example. These are community assets that nurture a higher quality of life for its residents.
     Fast-forward to 2011. The Parrot Cove neighborhood got a new resident from Nashville, Tennessee, and he was fascinated with our beach cottages from another era. His name is Roger Hendrix. After Roger settled in he talked to other people about how Lake Worth could find a way to honor and celebrate these structures. A group formed and met informally a while, eventually becoming a 501c3 to promote these Lake Worth cottages. To this day Roger continues to serve on The Cottages of Lake Worth board along with myself and many other interested residents.
     The Cottages of Lake Worth mission statement is:

“The mission of The Cottages of Lake Worth is to educate the citizens and visitors of Palm Beach County by celebrating and promoting the history of these unique structures and its people and to assure that this legacy is passed onto future generations. To accomplish this we will educate and engage the public through a variety of programs and activities.”

     The first task for this group of volunteers was to canvass the entire area where the cottages were located. The survey started west of Dixie Hwy. and then east, north and south of the Downtown area. It has always been the group’s direction to be as inclusive as possible geographically. This was to include all parts of the City.
     We made a list of cottage street addresses to become part of a walking or biking tour so the public, visitors, and tourists could share our appreciation. A cottage owner, it was thought, could have signs in their yards telling the basics about their individual cottage which would add interest to the tour. This entailed getting permission from private property owners so the cottage could be located and identified on a map. We were hesitant at first then overjoyed by the positive reception we received.
     Our first maps were laid out as biking and walking tours. They were meant to be guided tours but now they are self-guided. The maps are available at City Hall and the Visitor Information Center at the City Hall Annex. Our current map includes routes for self-guided driving tours.
     This material is also included in the City’s welcome packet for new businesses and residents when they sign up for their utilities. The Cottages group has received grants through Palm Beach County’s Resident Education to Action Program (REAP) to help with design, printing, and distribution of the brochures.
     Each year we cycle through different cottages so we have a variety. We estimate there are approximately 1,000 structures in Lake Worth that fit this definition. As people got familiar with the outside of the cottages through the self-guided tours, interest grew about interior and garden areas. This led to our guided Inside the Cottages of Lake Worth Tour. Our first tour was last year, wildly successful and sold out quickly, 300 tickets purchased a month in advance.
     Sixteen cottages were specially selected for the tour and offered food and walks through the interiors and gardens.
     The next tour will focus on the Bryant Park and South Palm Park areas of the City and will take place on Sunday, January 29th from 1:00–6:00. Tickets can be purchased online using a credit or debit card. Tickets are also available Downtown at the corner of Lake Ave. and ‘L’ Street: Paws on the Avenue and at Studio 205 with cash or a check.
     As you can probably imagine interest in the cottages has greatly increased. Many are wanting their cottage to be included in the next tour.
     Now for The Cottages of Lake Worth book: Back in 2013 resident Ted Brownstein authored and published a book titled the Pioneers of Jewell. The book’s primary focus was the City’s very early history, a well-researched record of this era. Ted spoke at some early meetings of the group and the idea of a book intrigued members, a way to celebrate Lake Worth’s cottages.
     It was decided the best format was a photographic or “coffee table” book that would highlight the beauty and uniqueness of these cottages. A group of about 15 people started work on the book that took 3 years to create and publish, arriving in finished form last November. There are books here you can look through today and purchase if you wish. The price including tax is $35 and are also available online.
     Much of the text was written by Dean Sherwin who lived in a cottage as well. His background was architecture, construction and “green building.” Sadly, Dean succumbed to cancer in the final stages of writing. The book has a dedication in honor of him.
     The coordinator of the entire group is Janice Snearer. She spent her life as an artist, teacher and gallery owner before moving to her Lake Worth cottage. The book owes most of its visual content to the photographic work of Taylor Jones, an award-winning professional with a 20 year career.
     This book highlights and honors the Lake Worth cottage and also the experience of owning or living in one. There are interesting “before’s and after’s” as well, a Sears & Roebuck house purchased from a brochure, for example. A few still exist here in the City. All of this ties into the unique historical factors we continue to experience and enjoy today.
     Many others contributed to making this book possible including the owners of the cottages, local architects, designers, artists, and others interested in Lake Worth history. I wrote Chapter Two which includes the historical context of Lake Worth during the span of the 20th Century. I don’t want to give too much away so will wrap it up here. The book sales have caught fire especially during this holiday gift-giving season.
     We encourage giving them as gifts to people outside of Lake Worth so we can spread the word outside of our borders about this special and unique place in which we live.
     Thank you everyone and a special thanks to the Rotary for giving me this opportunity today.

Garlic Fest coming to the County’s John Prince Park: Spread the word!

Start getting ready all you vendors, food trucks, chefs, crafters, and garlic-lovers everywhere! The “Best Stinkin’ Party” is only 46 days away (from today, Christmas Day) and that’s not all: then follows the Street Painting Festival in Downtown Lake Worth later in February:

Proceeds benefit non-profit organizations staffing the event.

For more about Garlic Fest use this link. Here are two excepts from their Stinkin’ website:

     The South Florida Garlic Fest is the epitome of homegrown talent and a cultural showcase providing an outlet for local artists and chefs to express themselves. In a variety of mediums, Garlic Fest serves as a gathering festival focal point for musicians, artist of every genre and culinary artists. Each year over 40,000 local South Floridians attend to enjoy the premier food and entertainment event in South Florida.

[and. . .]

     The Garlic Fest, affectionately nicknamed the Best Stinkin’ Party in town, now graduates to the best Stinkin’ Party in South Florida! The Garlic Fest is turning eighteen years old, and we figure that it is time to grow up. So, we’re taking everything that you always loved about Garlic Fest and making it bigger and better than ever before! We have outgrown our old space and sought a grander location. Our friends at Palm Beach County Parks & Recreation found the perfect new home for us at John Prince Park near Lake Worth, FL.

For some the holidays are a good time for vehicle maintenance.

When was the last time you replaced the blinker fluid? Learn how:

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Christmas poem from the 1891 Tropical Sun:

Lotus Cove was a small settlement just north of Lantana, perhaps the southern part of present-day Lake Worth.

Little City of Lake Worth leads the way in renewable solar energy. A must-see video about the project:

Check back to this blog for further updates and date of the unveiling:
 
The unveiling scheduled for October was delayed.

Remember: The solar field is in addition to the Citys new LED Street Lighting program which is getting rave reviews from every neighborhood, the Countys attention, and throughout the State of Florida as well. Even the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada has taken notice.

The City of Lake Worth is just one little City. But why does news between our City and the Village of Wellington get mostly ignored?

A month ago an extempore ad libitum poll was taken. The results are clear. Lake Worth is willing to give up our very very special status (see below) in The Palm Beach Post and share that space with our friends in Greenacres, Atlantis, Palm Springs, Lake Clarke Shores, suburban Lake Worth, and the Lake Worth Corridor as well that are regularly ignored by the Post. It’s also important to remember we never asked for that special status in the first place. Lake Worth discovered one day we were very, very special and it was never explained to us why.

Sort of takes the ‘air out of the balloon’ when you’re so very special and don’t know why, right? Well, anyhow. . .

The print edition of The Palm Beach Post’s Lake Worth Very Very Special Monday Collector Print Edition (LWVVSMCPE) is on Monday. Every Monday. Each and every Monday. Again and again and again and no one knows why. Do you live in Greenacres or Palm Springs? Need the phone number for the Lake Worth sewer department? Parks and recreation? Recycling and trash pickup? That’s right. You’ll find it every Monday in the Post.

It’s never been explained why the little City of Lake Worth is so special and cities like Greenacres and Palm Springs aren’t.
Every Monday the City of Lake Worth is highlighted along with much larger cities. Greenacres is a little city too? So is Palm Springs. Why can’t those cities be special every now and then?

If you’ve been paying attention, read this blog, or get The Lake Worth Herald you have a real good idea what’s going on in Lake Worth. But imagine you live in Greenacres and have been trying everything to get the attention of their beat reporter. You grab that morning’s paper and it’s the LWVVSMCPE again. Really? This question is certainly being pondered by residents, City governments, and politicians in Greenacres, Palm Springs, Atlantis, and other cities. But now imagine you’re an official in Lake Worth (either elected or not) and you find this City the focus, or target if you will, of the County’s paper of record.

The logical question is “Why?”, right? That’s never been explained. Does Lake Worth deserve all this attention?

Six square miles. Six. 6. That’s the size of the City of Lake Worth. Palm Beach County is 2,386 square miles. Lake Worth is 0.25% of that. Lake Worth’s percentage of the County population? 0.0026. That’s it. However, if you’re a regular reader of the Post you’d think this City is a much bigger player on the stage. It’s not. We’re a blip compared to our neighbor to the north, West Palm Beach.

However, each and every week Lake Worth gets special attention along with 5 other cities and you have to wonder why (square miles/population from Wikipedia):
  • Lake Worth 6/35,000
  • West Palm Beach 58/100,000
  • Boynton Beach 16/68,000
  • Jupiter 21/61,000
  • Wellington 45/62,000
  • Palm Beach Gardens 55/49,000
Why the Post has decided to focus so much attention on this City is anyone’s guess. This is a disservice to the news reading public, especially to all those communities west of this City who get ignored for the most part.

Do you live in Greenacres? Palm Springs? The Lake Worth Corridor? Have news you would like to see published in the Post? There’s always next year. Keep the faith.

The City of Lake Worth’s left-handed big league pitcher: The legendary Herb Score

“Herb Score is the toughest pitcher I’ve faced. I just can’t hit him.
—Mickey Mantle

What a great article by Dave George at The Palm Beach Post:

“LAKE WORTH – There is a way to tell the story of Herb Score that doesn’t begin with the sensational lefty being struck in the eye by a line drive and, in that instant, forfeiting the kind of momentum that carried Sandy Koufax, his contemporary, all the way to Cooperstown. 
     You could start instead at a Dairy Queen that no longer exists in downtown Lake Worth, where Herb worked as a teenager and always made sure his friends got an extra scoop.

[and. . .]

      “The scene was Cleveland’s Municipal Stadium, a cavernous Depression-Era structure long since demolished and dumped into Lake Erie, piece by piece, to make an artificial reef. On this Tuesday afternoon, however, the place was alive and buzzing for a visit by Mickey Mantle and the defending World Series champion New York Yankees. 
     Cleveland Indians fans were more wound up than worried. 
     Their starting pitcher, 23-year-old Herb Score, was coming off consecutive shutout victories over the Yankees the previous season. In his two full seasons in the major leagues, Score had a 3-1 record against the game’s most glittering franchise, with 54 strikeouts in 56 2/3 innings pitched against the Yankees, and with Mantle’s endorsement as the toughest American League left-hander that he faced.

Thank you for a great story about Lake Worth!

Friday, December 23, 2016

Tough words from Lake Worth Mayor Pam Triolo: A “Proclamation” about the heroin epidemic

Lake Worth Mayor Pam Triolo didn’t hold back last August (see video below) following the proclamation: “Item 5B: Proclamation declaring August 31, 2016 as Overdose Awareness Day”. At the 1:50 mark she finishes reading the prepared words, pauses, and then has her thoughts. To say it hits hard is an understatement. I was there taking this video and you could feel the emotion in the room.
Please share this video with your friends, family, and neighbors. Send the video to people up North who may believe they’re sending family members to Florida for treatment of addictions. It’s not always the case. Many of them will never return home.

Here is the link to this blog post.
Here is the link to the video.

The video is less than 4 minutes. Maybe Mayor Triolo’s “Proclamation” will save someone’s life some day. Please share this video:

From Butch Ward: “Want your newsroom to collaborate? Help veterans and beginners learn from each other”

Here is the link to the entire article and an excerpt:

     Editors frequently ask me the secret to managing millennials.
     After all, they say, they act entitled, quit on a moment’s notice and seem more concerned with how much vacation they get than whether they should work some extra hours.
     Of course, editors also ask me how to manage veterans who, they say, are resisting the need to learn the skills everyone needs in a digital newsroom. 

[and. . .]

     Fact is, people of all ages and experiences populate newsrooms (as they always have), and they bring a variety of talents, motivations and ambitions to their jobs. Asking how to manage discrete groups of people is the wrong question.
     Instead, here’s the question I think editors should be asking:
     How can I best manage an entire staff of individuals — some young and inexperienced, others seasoned by work and life — and help them discover how to learn from each other, work with each other?

Just trying to help.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Do you live in Greenacres? Get your community news in The Lake Worth Herald.

This week’s Herald has another article about Greenacres titled, “Two City of Greenacres Employees Pay It Forward”. Here’s an excerpt:

     The two Greenacres city employees [Greenacres building inspectors] had gotten to know a man named Allen, as he rode his bike everywhere around the city.
     Allen’s bike was recently stolen leaving him without his joy of riding around Greenacres. Hearing of his plight, these two, kindhearted employees, Wayne and George, decided to pay it forward by presenting Allen with a new bike.
     Wayne and George reached into their own pockets and purchased a new bike for Allen. On Monday they presented him with a brand new bike. 

And did you know the City of Greenacres has an election coming up next March? It’s true. Read more about that below.

Check out the new website for The Lake Worth Herald and Coastal/Greenacres Observer.

Interestingly, the City of Greenacres and the City of Lake Worth both have the same reporter from The Palm Beach Post but you would be hard pressed finding any news about Greenacres in that newspaper. But almost every week in the Herald you’ll find community news about our friends in Greenacres. What gives?

The Post’s slogan is, “Real News Starts Here”. So the “Real News” only happens in Lake Worth? Anyhow, if you live in Greenacres did you know you have an election coming up next March 14th? Here’s more news from the Herald:

CITY OF GREENACRES, FLORIDA
NOTICE OF MUNICIPAL GENERAL ELECTION
TUESDAY, MARCH 14, 2017

The 2017 Municipal Election will be held on Tuesday, March 14, 2017, between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. for the purpose of electing the following public officials for two (2) year terms:

Office of the Mayor
Council District I
Council District V

All candidates must be registered voters of Palm Beach County and a resident of the City for one continuous year. Candidates for the Office of the Mayor must reside within the City’s boundaries. Candidates for Districts I and V must reside within their respective districts. The filing/qualifying period opens at Noon, Tuesday, January 31, 2017 and closes promptly at Noon, Tuesday, February 14, 2017. For more information, please contact the City Clerk’s office at 642-2006.

Signed:
Joanna Cunningham
City Clerk/Filing Officer