Saturday, January 16, 2016

[RE-POST BY REQUEST] Information to pass on to the homeless in Lake Worth* (cannot vouch for its accuracy)

[*NOTE: This is a re-post as a public service. Scroll down for new content. As always Thank You for visiting my blog, Wes.]

"Dear Wes, when I see a homeless person that needs help I tell them to ask a PBSO deputy where to go, go to a church, or look for a house with a red and white sign that says 'Hands off our beach'. It's a secret symbol that really means the homeowner will offer them sanctuary. Spread the word."
Note: There are two versions of the 'sanctuary' sign for the homeless. Both have a solid red background with boldface white (sans serif) lettering such as the ones shown above.

Curious thing: When something happens to the Lake Worth Electric Utility it's news but when something doesn't happen it's not

[Oooops. Note that Jack Borsch is the Director of Lake Worth's Electric Utility and Walt Gill is the Assistant Director. I corrected that error in the post below (note the comment below). And Congratulations! all of you at the Electric Utility for doing such a great job.]

Yesterday (1/15) terrible storms rolled through the Lake Worth Electric Utility service area and what many people expected to happen didn't happen. There were no widespread outages. There may have been a few small ones and you can comment below on your experience if there was an outage.

However, FPL had some outages you can read about here.

The City of Lake Worth now has a "Power Tracker" to monitor outages and Walt Gill, the City's Utility ASSISTANT Director penned a newsletter about this very subject.

If you've been paying attention the biggest concern for many who depend on Lake Worth for their electricity is the possibility of a future spike in electric rates:
Lake Worth commissioners Ryan Maier and Chris McVoy made a failed pitch to raise the City's electric rates.
Many neighborhoods in the City have Florida Public Utility natural gas line access and if you have the resources you can switch out your electric appliances to gas and save a ton of money. Any future spike in electric rates will be blunted due to less dependence on electricity like an electric dryer or stove. The other benefit of having natural gas is you can still cook if the electric service is disrupted.

Note that Mayor Pam Triolo, Vice Mayor Scott Maxwell, and Commissioner Andy Amoroso have worked hard to bring electric rates down and try to achieve parity with the rates that FPL charges. It might behoove you to pay attention: If the current majority on the City Commission is flipped you could very well end up paying a very high price when you get a future electric bill in the mail.

From Vickie Joslin, Lake Worth's Library Services Supervisor: Public Library Winter Adult Programs

"Dear Friends and library supporters,

Well, the new calendar is full of things to do. Please join us for fun, learning and literature. To register for any of the programs please call the library at 561-533-7354."
Vickie Joslin can be reached at 561-533-7354. The address for the library is 15 North 'M' Street.

Below are a few examples of programs available at the City's library:

Saturday, January 16th
3rd Saturday Book Club
City Hall Annex Meeting Room at the Cultural Plaza at 2:00 pm
Book: The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair by Joel Dicker 

Free. No registration required

Saturday, January 23rd
Computer Class: Keyboard Basics

Location: Library
9:00
9:50 am
Free. Registration required

Saturday, January 30th
Scrabble Fun Day!
City Hall Annex Meeting Room
2:00
4:00 
Free. No Registration Required

CBS12/WPEC changed the format on their website: Now it's more difficult to find the latest news segments

It was quite a terrible weather day in Palm Beach County yesterday and here is a Tweet sent out by a CBS12 reporter:
Of course, the picture tells the story: the tree fell on the car. But if a car did fall on a tree somewhere that would be a huge news story.

CBS12 changed the format on their website a week or so ago. It used to be you could simply scroll down and find their latest drive-by news segment done in Lake Worth. As it is now you need to type "Lake Worth" in the search bar and this is the first news that shows up, a segment by Michael Buczyner from last August.

So I'm going to need help from my blog readers. If you see the latest drive-by news from CBS12 send me the link so I can check it out. I don't want to miss anything. They might need to be corrected again like I have to do with ABC25/WPBF all the time.

If you're new to the Lake Worth/central Palm Beach County area and are looking for a really good TV news station to watch you need to turn to NBC5/WPTV. You can read my review of local TV news here.

Flashback: The disgruntled and disaffected from the March 2013 election

Oh, and about that glorious myth of the "overwhelming" heights vote that is just that. A myth:
An "overwhelming" vote to limit heights downtown? Hardly. And how did your elected representatives vote to save the Gulf Stream hotel in downtown Lake Worth? 

Friday, January 15, 2016

Press Release from City of Lake Worth: Monday's Martin Luther King March

To read the entire press release go to the City's "Special Events" page and scroll down for the news on Monday's Martin Luther King March. Last year was the largest march ever and the Post's Julius Whigham II was there to document the event. You can read about that here.

Here are excerpts from the City's press release:

Contact: Retha Lowe
Phone: 561-586-7276

 
MLK Day Declares – United We Are the World


This year Lake Worth will honor the transformative power of Martin Luther King Jr’s dream on January 17th and 18th under the theme, United We Are the World. The theme was selected to correspond with the rededication of the MLK Globe Fountain after the City’s recent renovations.

[and. . .]

      The highlight of the day will be the 22nd annual Candlelight March through downtown Lake Worth. Participants will gather at 5 PM at City Hall and parade down Lake Avenue to the Cultural Plaza. A brief commemorative program in the Plaza will feature the rededication of the MLK Globe Fountain. The Fountain, originally installed in 2005, has been refurbished and rebalanced so that the 4-ton granite globe will once again float freely and be rotated by hand. To mark the occasion, a children’s choir will perform a heart-warming rendition of We Are the World in recognition of the progress that the City of Lake Worth has made toward fulfillment of Dr. King’s dream.
     Following the rededication program, a Fellowship Dinner will be enjoyed at First Baptist Church. The church is located at Second Ave. South and M Street, just a block south of the Memorial. Musical entertainment is planned. The free dinner will provide an opportunity for warm fellowship across religious and racial lines in the spirit of Dr. King. Sponsoring religious and civic organizations will provide the food and beverages. Members of the general public are invited to help with the dinner preparations which will begin at First Baptist at 4 PM or to contribute a dessert.


[and. . .]

All events are free of charge to the public, sponsored by the City of Lake Worth, Kiwanis Club, Lake Worth Interfaith Network and the Lake Worth MLK Committee.

A "Point of View" in the Post and the now "Null and Void" heights vote three years ago WAS NOT "overwhelming"

"Overwhelming" support to limit heights in downtown Lake Worth? Hardly.
The latest one to carry the myth forward on the "overwhelming" turnout for the 'heights vote' is Lake Worth Commissioner Ryan Maier. It's hard to know if he believes the myth or not, but if he does believe it he's delusional. I remember the day after that vote on heights downtown and no one was celebrating. The "No's" could have gotten more people to turn out and the "Yes's" were in a state of despair. They won but their expected and hoped-for landslide never happened. Not even close.

The "Yes's" victory was a lame one and then the entire effort was deemed "Null and Void" by the state legislature. One thing that isn't pointed out much is what the leaders of the height limit side knew but didn't tell their supporters: They were told well-prior to the vote and prior to the gathering of signatures that there was a risk that a victory could be overturned by the state. They weighed the options and chose to go forward. It ended up being a terribly bad choice.

Mark Horne has a "Point of View" in the printed edition of The Palm Beach Post today about the Gulf Stream hotel project which makes some very good points. The downside is the Post will likely print another letter from Lawrence McNamara on Sunday saying something like, "They dishonored my vote!" or "Listen to the people!" which is all complete nonsense just like the "overwhelming" vote to limit heights in Lake Worth's downtown.

Here are two excerpts from Mr. Horne's letter which makes very good points:
      The developer’s representative [Land use attorney Bonnie Miskel] did an excellent job of explaining the goals, and potential outcome, of this project [the Gulf Stream hotel renovation]. It will become the anchor for the downtown business district, providing international exposure and flooding the downtown area with new customers and, ultimately, new businesses.
      It is clear that what has been tried in the past with this gem has not worked. The only other option would be to level the building.
      It will now have the opportunity to stand on its own. Plus, most people are not aware of the “bed tax” dollars that would be generated, and ultimately come back to our community.
[and. . .]
     For too long, this town has been divided by opposite factions: growth vs. status quo. I would not like to see Lake and Lucerne avenues turn into six-story buildings everywhere. However, I say it’s time to find a balance, and I vote for “smart” growth.
     This single project has the potential to be the smartest thing city leadership has done in decades. It isn’t about thinking big or thinking small — it’s about thinking smart.
     MARK S. HORNE, LAKE WORTH
Thank you for taking the time to pen your thoughts, Mr. Horne. Use this link to learn more about how the City Commission stands on the the Gulf Stream hotel project and one woman who voted to limit heights and now regrets her vote. Here is how the Lake Worth City Commission voted on the rezoning necessary to save our historic downtown hotel:
How your elected representatives stand on the Gulf Stream hotel renovation project.

I owe an apology to my blog readers: Did you attend the Road Rascals Car Show at the Lake Worth Casino because you saw it on my blog??

To say the "Car Show" at the City's Lake Worth Casino last night (1/14) was a disappointment is an understatement. I didn't even get inside with my newly road-ready '63 Buick Riviera. Understand this, car shows are nothing new to me. I've been around classic cars my entire life and can still remember my parents telling about how they strapped me into a "Chinese red" Packard V12 convertible in a caravan through Canada to Montreal in 1962. I drove a '69 Corvair all through high school and it is still in my father's collection. You can see his 1985 Cadillac Biaritz convertible behind it. Throughout my life I have been to many, many car shows.
Only 6,000 Corvair's were made in 1969 and this one is #3375. Despite its reputation it's still my favorite car ever.
So I pulled into the Casino parking lot and I don't see any evidence of a car show going on. The weather wasn't good, it was windy and drizzling so thought nobody turned out. Drove up to Benny's and didn't see a show going on there either. As I approached the Casino building, I saw that the road blocked off with traffic cones and the car show was happening there, in front of Mulligan's! Why did they have to shut the road down for a car show?

There were two people at the "check point" and I was asked if I wanted to get into the show. I was told that it cost $25 to get in. That was a "discount" from the $35 that was the original price to get in. Anyway, $25 is still outrageous for someone who wants to display a car in a non-judged show. Below is the image I used on my blog to promote the car show. Do you see any mention about a cost of admission? How many "Family Friendly" events do you know of on a weekday night that cost $25 just to get in? Checked the City's website last night and there was no mention of any cost except that the "Parking is Metered". There is an email for more information and a lesson learned: I should have gotten more information.
No mention of a cost of admission.
It wasn't a "car show" at the Casino; it was actually a "car club". It would have been fun to see all the cars but given the weather and my sudden change in mood turned the car around and left. What bothered me was thinking any of my blog readers attended the 'show' and had to pay out the $25 they weren't expecting to. . .like me. Actually at least one of my blog readers did show up and he was none too happy either as you'll read in the comments below.

To all the people who showed up because you read about the "Car Show" on this blog, I apologize. And the City should also apologize for not disclosing the cost of admission. Plus the folks from the "Road Rascals" should at least make note that there is/was a cost to attend. The people at the gate also said that the money was being used to "pay the city" for the space. My suggestion is get a row of parking spaces blocked off at the top parking lot and save the money plus keep the road open. This event is supposed to take place on the second Thursday of every month until June. Hopefully the next event will be organized differently.

As far as the $25? Lesson learned.

Ever see movie "Harry and Son" with Paul Newman, Joanne Woodward, and Robby Benson? Was filmed in Lake Worth, FL!

The movie wasn't well received and Robby Benson was nominated for a Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actor in the 1984 movie. Film critic Roger Ebert gave the movie one star and wrote, "This movie looks like the aftermath of an explosion in the story department." But get thisthe movie was filmed in Lake Worth. Here is the movie trailer:

Here is more about this movie from Wikipedia:
Harry & Son is a 1984 American drama film directed by Paul Newman, who also stars. The screenplay by Newman and Ronald Buck focuses on the relationship between a blue-collar worker and his son (Robby Benson), who fails at various odd jobs while aspiring to be a writer.
     Joanne Woodward, Ellen Barkin, Ossie Davis, Wilford Brimley and Judith Ivey also star.
     Much of the film was shot in Lake Worth, Florida. The movie set construction site was the demolition of the sister hotel affiliated with the Gulf Stream Hotel named The Inn.
Maybe the Stonzek Theater can screen this movie? It will be a lot of fun and get tons of attention here in Lake Worth.

Parts of the movie Body Heat were filmed in Lake Worth also. This was the movie many believe launched the career of Kathleen Turner. William Hurt starred in this film along with Ted Danson, J.A. Preston and Mickey Rourke.
Actor William Hurt with Lake Worth City Hall in the background from the movie Body Heat. In the movie the city was called "Miranda Beach".

Does psychology explain the reason "Sea Level Rise" isn't gaining traction in south Florida?

It seems every day another study comes out about 'sea level rise' in south Florida and the net effect seems nil on the populace. Pictures showing Miami under water and a little sliver that will remain of Florida in the future don't have any impact on the present. Miami continues to grow and so does Palm Beach County, All Aboard Florida is sinking (pardon the pun) almost $2 billion into a new rail project, and there is no slowing of future population growth projected. It's boom time in the state again despite the appeals from the 'sea level rise' and 'climate change' believers.

Is the sea level rising? Who knows, maybe or maybe not. This article in CityLab seeks to explain how people perceive risk and they use the example of earthquakes in the Pacific Northwest. Here is the subtitle of the article: Terrible natural disasters will come someday, but most people have a hard time worrying about stuff that isn’t imminent.

One of the ways people identify with risk is emotionally. Here is an excerpt from that part of the CityLab article:
     Studies show that when people calculate risk, especially when the stakes are high, we rely much more on feeling than fact. [emphasis added] And we have trouble connecting emotionally to something scary if the odds of it happening today or tomorrow aren’t particularly high. So, if an earthquake, flood, tornado or hurricane isn’t immediately imminent, people are unlikely to act.
     “Perceiving risk is all about how scary or not do the facts feel,” says David Ropeik, a risk-perception consultant who has written multiple books on the subject. “A risk in the future feels a lot less scary than a risk that’s presented right now.”
     This feeling also relates to how we perceive natural, as opposed to human-made, threats. We tend to be more tolerant of nature than of other people who would knowingly impose risks upon us—terrorists being the clearest example.
Larry the Lenz in Lake Worth, FL, has his own take on sea level rise you may or may not find amusing but does present some interesting facts in an entertaining fashion.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

The Lake Worth Cribune makes publishing history—turns accepted economic theory upside down

[Hard to believe but it will be a year ago this Saturday (1/16) since that silly tabloid hit the streets for the first time in Lake Worth. The tabloid didn't last very long; it folded up shop shortly after the elections in March. Quite a few spoofs of the tabloid were posted on this blog and below is one of them. Enjoy reading about the tabloid in Lake Worth that defied economic theory in the business of publishing!]

All eyes in the publishing industry are on the City of Lake Worth as The Lake Worth Cribune continues to defy accepted economic theory:
  • The Cribune is FREE
  • The Cribune has few advertisers 
  • The Cribune has a scattering of classified ads
  • The Cribune has a staff, office, and bills to pay
Yet, despite these challenges The Lake Worth Cribune continues to stay in business! The cynic might conclude the Cribune is not a newspaper at all but instead a clever promotional tool pushing an agenda under the guise of a 'newspaper'. That's jumping to conclusions; there's no evidence to suggest that charge. 

This could be an exciting story for a business reporter at The Palm Beach Post.

Next week: Will the paper still be Free? When will final issue be? Is this a new business model for publishing industry? How come no one figured out how to do this? So many questions!

Lake Worth resident discriminates against native trees and supports poisoning small rodents, songbirds, and gopher tortoises

Sounds absurd, doesn't it? Just about as absurd as The Obtuse Blogger's (TOB's) silly nonsense about the Neighborhood Assoc. Presidents Council (NAPC) debate coming up soon. One or more of the challengers seeking a City Commission seat is getting cold feet and they came up with a red herring: The NAPC is doing something wrong.
Here is the Wikipedia definition for the red herring tactic/strategy:
A red herring is something that misleads or distracts from a relevant or important issue. It may be either a logical fallacy or a literary device that leads readers or audiences towards a false conclusion.
The NAPC is being completely in The Sunshine and has duly contacted everyone and set the rules for the debate. So what's the problem? Here is what TOB writes:
It should be evident to everyone in this city that power can be a dangerous thing and hearing both sides of a problem or giving possible solutions by all the commission, well forget about that. McVoy and Maier can attend but they cannot comment.
Note that commissioners Maier and McVoy are not up for re-election. But TOB thinks they should be part of the debate? Huh? What kind of silly, ridiculous logic is that? The debates are for what exactly? To hear the elected City leaders and their challengers on the positions they have on issues, of course. Maier and McVoy will get their chance in early 2017. Would they support having elected officials that are not on the ballot be part of the debate? Of course not.

The title of this blog post was meant to be funny and absurd. But is it really? Check back to this blog soon for the minutes of the Lake Worth Tree Board in June of last year. You'll be amazed and surprised about TOB's position on the invasive Australian Pines that dot the landscape all over town.

Now THAT issue, invasive species in Lake Worth and how to deal with them, would be a really good topic for another upcoming NAPC debate!

More Perfomances Scheduled from the St. Andrew's 2016 Concert Series

This information and so much more can be found on the City of Lake Worth's "Special Events" page.

The St. Andrew's Episcopal Church is located at 100 North Palmway in downtown Lake Worth and the phone number is 561-582-6609. If you wish, you can "Follow" St. Andrew's on Twitter for the latest on all their events and news items:

Pick up this week's issue of The Lake Worth Herald: The Commission Update from Shelly Vana

In this week's issue of The Lake Worth Herald is the Palm Beach County Commission Update from Commissioner Shelly Vana. Here are two excerpts:
     In the next few months I will be writing about Palm Beach County and the issues government leaders and staff work on to provide for the health, safety and general welfare for our constituents. Palm Beach County is a Charter County and because of this the Commission has more freedom to enact ordinances as long as they do not conflict with the Florida Constitution, or the action is not specifically prohibited to do so by statute.
     You may have heard the term ‘Home Rule’ which means that our county can enact specific ordinances without going to the state legislature for a local bill. In reality, the legislature can preempt county governments from enacting ordinances for some issues. For example, the ban on smoking in buildings was an action by the legislature to preempt local control of the issue. This action made the regulation of cigarette smoking uniform throughout the state.
     In the 2016 Legislative Session, the legislature may preempt local government’s ability to regulate vehicle for hire companies such as Uber and Lyft. The Board of County Commission has not taken final action on the issues of ride sharing because it is awaiting the decision of the legislature. Hopefully they will act because it will be much more efficient to have one uniform rule across the state.
[and. . .]
     Palm Beach County is a good place to live and do business. In the coming weeks I will demystify the workings of what some may say is a huge bureaucracy, but in reality it is a huge family that is working to make sure that you have a great environment in which to live, work and play. 
Respectfully, Commissioner Shelley Vana

PBSO Sheriff Ric Bradshaw wins a huge legal victory

PBSO Sheriff Bradshaw won a huge legal victory and you can read all about that in The Palm Beach Post. This news also appears in the printed edition of today's paper (1/14) on the front page, below the fold. The irony is that the nearly year-long campaign by the Post coincided with one of the highest murder rates in many years in West Palm Beach, where the paper's main office is located. Over 20% of all the homicides in Palm Beach County occurred in West Palm Beach, within minutes from the paper's front door.

Here is a short excerpt from the article by Jane Musgrave:
     “From our point of view, the court has dismissed the most significant claims against the Sheriff’s Office,” said attorney Richard Giuffreda, who represents the agency.
      The rulings are nearly identical to ones that have been made in other recent excessive force cases against the Sheriff’s Office, including one that will go to trial this month. In each case, the court paved the way for the families or, in some cases, the survivors to pursue individual deputies for multi-million-dollar judgments, Giuffreda said. But the judges have protected the Sheriff’s Office, and ultimately taxpayers, from what could have been budget-shattering verdicts, he said.

From the News Service of Florida: The "agriculture-backed water bill" passes unanimously

Here are two short excerpts from the article by Jim Turner at the News Service of Florida:
     The Florida Senate on Wednesday unanimously passed a massive bill intended to protect and restore Florida’s springs, waterways and groundwater, despite objections from environmentalists who say the bill was weakened by the influence of industry and agriculture interests.
[and. . .]
     Despite their concerns, critics said they still considered the bill a good first step for protecting Florida’s waterways and the northern Everglades.
     “You could be waiting a very long time for a bill that does everything you want it to do,” said Sen. Jeff Clemens, D-Lake Worth. [emphasis added]
So there you go. It goes back to the question I've posed many times over: What do you want—
progress or perfection? You'll hear and see a lot of hand-wringing and a general state of bottomless despair from some of the environmentalists who wanted a different result. Undoubtedly, a letter from Drew Martin is already in the queue for publication at the Post.

However, for the little City of Lake Worth to get a piece of the pie from the Republican-controlled state legislature our elected representatives have to give and take. Remember, if the Liberal Democrat Progressives in Palm Beach, Broward, and Miami-Dade counties had done what they said they were going to do. . .

The Lake Worth Herald editorial: About that Anarchist running against Vice Mayor Scott Maxwell

[To the top of the blog (originally posted 12/26), per popular request. And, as always, Thank You for visiting my blog, Wes.]

Apparently, to make himself more palatable to voters, the Anarchist candidate will donate his City paycheck to charity (likely one he works for) and will refuse any expense accounts like travel and any allowances from the public trough. Anarchists are anti-government, you see. But those standards are flexible: for example, the Anarchist candidate used a public defender at his recent trial:
Note that the Anarchist looks much different now (see below): he cut his hair, shaved, showered, and has Hipster new clothes and sports a wide beaming smile.
Here is the cleaned up Anarchist who will smile at you on the campaign trail. 
Here are two excerpts from the Lake Worth Herald editorial dated 12/24:
     Only months ago, this candidate stood before the City Commission stating that he knows he has an odor, one from not showering regularly, doesn’t shave or cut his hair, wears dirty clothes.
     Why he was there was to complain to the commission about a water fountain that had been removed from Bryant Park and he was there fighting for the homeless. He said he regularly feeds homeless in Bryant Park and he was going to push back against the City’s war on homeless.
     At the next meeting, he appeared. Also appearing at the meeting was an ACLU lawyer. The future candidate told the commission that this was the beginning of the push-back.
     This same individual parked a van at a construction entrance in an effort to stop development in another city. To disable the van and save the trees, he took the battery out of the van and placed it in the lake. Save the trees but pollute the water? Just a reason to protest.
     Now as a candidate he has cut his hair and shaved his beard in an effort to be more attractive to voters. This tactic worked for a young lady a few years ago, and if voters in Lake Worth don’t pay attention to the campaign rhetoric and confirm what they hear, Lake Worth will have another commissioner who is wearing a mask.
     Dear voter, if you vote for a nice smile, keep a smile on your face as your city deteriorates beyond repair. Lake Worth is still trying to find a way to make major repairs that would not have been necessary if previous commissions would have paid attention to infrastructure instead of shiny objects.
[and. . .]
     Look through each and every candidate, they all have their campaign rhetoric. Check what they tell you. If you can’t corroborate what they say, it probably isn’t true.
     Talk with your neighbors, get other opinions and vote wisely.
Remember when the City of Lake Worth had one lawsuit after another threatening to bankrupt the City? This Anarchist candidate is threatening the City with another one:

The City of Lake Worth is doing everything it can to help the homeless and we all know full well the budgetary constraints the City has to deal with. Knowing that, is this the type of person you want making decisions for you from the dais on the City Commission?

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Since there is already an "uncomfortable" discussion about race scheduled let's add another item to the agenda

Lake Worth's beat reporter from The Palm Beach Post, Kevin Thompson, has this item which is curiously only a few days prior to the City's Martin Luther King March. In case you didn't know, the MLK march in Lake Worth last year was the largest in the history of the event. Here is an excerpt from the article in the Post:
      On Jan. 29, First Congregational United Church of Christ is hosting what it’s billing as a “Lake Worth Talk” on black activism.
      The keynote speaker is Mark Solomon, Professor Emeritus of History at Simmons College. Solomon is an associate at the W.E.B Dubois Institute of African and African American Research at Harvard University.
You can learn more about Professor Mark Solomon here. I have a suggestion: Since there is already a discussion scheduled why not talk about those few White people who have been disrespecting and disparaging Black people right here in Lake Worth? The images below are from a hateful blogger in Lake Worth. So should this topic be added to the agenda on January 29th: "Why are people trying so hard to divide our City?"
This was posted on a Lake Worth blog the week prior to Lake Worth's Martin Luther King, Jr. in March of 2015.
"You could be the next target."? If this isn't disturbing enough try this one.

That silly crew of lemmings who don't like the NAPC continue marching on to that special place called "Stupid"

The Neighborhood Assoc. President's Council (NAPC), if you listen to the malcontents, are hell-bent on world domination. The truth is they're a whole bunch of really good people who are working very hard to improve each of their respective neighborhoods here in the little City of Lake Worth. The critics of the NAPC try constantly to drive a wedge between the public and the NAPC and really any excuse or tactic is part of the arsenal no matter how petty or inconsequential.

For example, the Bryant Park neighborhood is hosting a debate and they did everything right. Everyone was noticed and it is well-publicized and even commissioners not up for re-election were publicly invited. But the critics are still not happy.

Someone might get the idea that the challengers trying to be elected to the City Commission (the Anarchist Ryan Hartman, Diane Jacques, Gary Antieau, and Frank McAlonan) are getting skittish about attending debates.

The NAPC really should be honored. The near-constant snipes and grumbling from a small group of malcontents really demonstrates how effective they've become at making so many of our neighborhoods a better place to live. Carry On! Check back tomorrow for more on this and other stupidity that always precedes elections here in the City.

Frank McAlonan: the District 3 candidate challenging Lake Worth Commissioner Andy Amoroso

There's not a whole lot to say except the impression many people got was Frank McAlonan wasn't very comfortable with the positions he took on many issues. Put another way, he looked like he was coached at the first debate and he'll have another chance coming up soon at the next debate.

If you attended the last debate or have been paying attention you've heard the term, "critical thinking". This is the latest meme being used that doesn't mean anything. However, when you call yourself a 'critical thinker' you imply the person opposite you on a topic isn't a 'critical thinker', or if you prefer, a stupid person. Anyone who knows or has listened to Commissioner Amoroso knows how smart he is and hopefully Mr. McAlonan isn't trying to imply that Amoroso's intellect is impaired in any way. Maybe McAlonan will clear that up at the next debate.

Here is someone's views on McAlonan's performance at the last debate from The Obtuse Blogger's (TOB's) unhinged blog:
Anyhow, Lake Worth's local beat reporter for The Palm Beach Post has yet to report anything about the first debate and maybe he'll report on the second debate. Or he can just watch my videos on YouTube. At some point he's going to have to mention that an Anarchist is challenging Vice Mayor Scott Maxwell. Or maybe that pertinent fact will never be reported like then-candidate Ryan Maier's claim he was a member of a board in the City?
Ryan Hartman looks very different now. He's become a Hipster!

Why doesn't Palm Beach County have a "VISIT FLORIDA Certified Travel Information Center"?

Somebody needs to get to work in Palm Beach County. Found this tourism information from Sunshine Matters and here is an excerpt:
The Official Florida Transportation Map, produced in conjunction with the Florida Department of Transportation, is the No. 1 requested publication in our Welcome Centers. An addition to the Florida Map this year is a listing of our new VISIT FLORIDA Certified Travel Information Centers. The Certified Travel Information Centers received both an information icon at their location, as well as a legend on the map providing contact information. CTIC certification brings VISIT FLORIDA recognition to Visitor Services facilities around the state, providing these facilities and their staff with benefits that enable successful promotion of travel to and throughout Florida. [emphasis added]
I hear there's room available at the Lake Worth Welcome Center and they're having a celebration this Friday!

My thoughts on our Florida governor and please understand Governor Scott: The "Raging Grannies" don't speak for me

On second thought, I'll continue to bite my tongue about the governor. And it's pretty damn sore 'bout now. There isn't a day that goes by when I don't want to start off the day with a rant against the governor. But I don't because of two simple facts in Lake Worth: We need Gov. Scott more than he needs us and Scott has nothing to fear from Liberal Progressive Democrats like me.

That's right. I am and have always been a Progressive Liberal Democrat (PLD) with a capital "D". I was one of those people who was bewildered when groups like the 'Raging Grannies' abandoned Nan Rich in her campaign against Crist. I campaigned for Nan Rich and her Lake Worth headquarters was my living room. I believed then and still believe Nan Rich could have defeated Crist but watched as Progressive after Progressive abandon any principle and go for the "guy that could win". Nan Rich could have defeated Scott but she never got the limelight thanks to press who rallied around the "guy that could win".

Governor Scott is the governor of Florida because the PLD's in Palm Beach County, Miami-Dade County, and Broward County dropped the ball. Every progressive in the state of Florida needs to get mad about that. Not at Gov. Scott but at people like the 'Raging Grannies'. They talk the talk but can't walk the walk. And that's why Scott is the governor of Florida.

Now I'm in the position of keeping quiet about what happens in Tallahassee because people like Jeff Clemens have to eat crow, be nice, and play nice to get the help Lake Worth needs. Clemens made the PLD's real happy once when he made fun of Gov. Scott on the national stage and he got a lot of press out of it. Then the governor got his revenge and Lake Worth lost the money it needed for a major infrastructure project. So there 'Raging Grannies'. See how it works now?

The 'Raging Grannies' were in Lake Worth yesterday. They made a lot of noise but not one word made any difference for a neighborhood that needs a fire hydrant or a family that's stuck inside their home all night because of no street lighting. Gov. Scott and the Republicans in Tallahassee couldn't give a rat's ass what the 'Raging Grannies' think and that situation isn't going to change any time soon. Making noise and getting the attention of George Bennett is all for show. After the show was over none or our City's infrastructure was improved and if the show gets the attention of the wrong people the prospects of anything getting done can diminish in a flash.

In conclusion, a message to our governor and the Republicans in Tallahassee from a Progressive Liberal Democrat in the little City of Lake Worth: The 'Raging Grannies' don't speak for me. Lake Worth has a lot of problems to address and curing the ills of the state and nation are way beyond our capabilities. I'm a 'raging' PLD that's still upset over the funding request that the governor vetoed last year. If the 'Raging Grannies' become your 'voice' in Lake Worth you can bet Lake Worth will never get another dime from the state if they can avoid it.

That's why I continue to bite my tongue.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

I called out the "saber rattlers" and they've gone completely silent

On January 9th I penned this post in response to The Obtuse Bloggers (TOB's) threat to tie up Lake Worth in lawsuits once again. Here is an excerpt:

     They are willing to risk the continued deterioration of the Gulf Stream hotel, place our local economy in a continued handicapped state due to the lack of appropriate lodging for guests, to preserve the principles of 'democracy'. They are willing to use the resources of a Golden goose and others to monkeywrench the City's future. To tie this issue up in the courts and waste our tax dollars to defend it is a foolish and cowardly act.
     We need a first class hotel in Lake Worth. The Gulf Stream hotel sits shuttered for ten or more years on our most prominent property in the City, on our waterfront, our main street and at the foot of one of the City's finest parks and its golf course. There are tall buildings all around this area of the City and a building of similar height would be in harmony with the surrounding built environment.
     That means nothing to the people who would file a lawsuit to halt progress on saving our National Register historic hotel and having a decent place to house visiting family, friends and tourists. They would rather bleed the City's legal defense fund for the sake of their own vanity and chutzpah in preventing progress. They will also delight in making this a divisive election issue.


This would be a good question at the next candidate forum, wouldn't it?
No comments? Why not? Maybe a long hard look at the odds got you thinking twice?

The little City of Lake Worth is not alone dealing with false news reports in Palm Beach County

Loxahatchee Groves is a town in Florida of approximately 12 square miles. The good folks at Palms West Press have also taken on the lazy media for their inaccurate reporting:
This is very heartening to see and more people need to get involved. The City of Lake Worth has been treated terribly, especially by the TV news, when it comes to municipal borders. If you didn't know "Lake Worth" has 9 Zip Codes but only two are the City of Lake Worth: 33460 and a part of 33461.

By far, ABC25/WPBF is the worst offender when it comes reporting actual locations in their news reports followed closely behind by CBS12/WPEC. The news station NBC5/WPTV has made great strides taking the time and effort to get it right; also, in many instances they've corrected their news reports when they were given the correct information.

If more people get involved this can be fixed and the reporters/assignment editors will learn to do their jobs. Or, as has been suggested, all the major news outlets will join together and create an ombudsman to police themselves—or. . .the county will step in and do that work for them.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Wonkblog explains: "Why taxi drivers are suddenly getting nicer"

Personally, I wouldn't know if taxi drivers are getting nicer or not. These days whenever I need a rideshare I call Uber and so should you. Emily Badger at Wonkblog has this very interesting take on why "taxi drivers are suddenly getting nicer" and here is an excerpt:
     Taxi drivers are hamstrung in their ability to compete with Uber. They don't control the major lever of competition, the ability to lower their fares. They aren't allowed to surge price either, which can boost the supply of cars when and where passengers need them. In many markets, they can't let riders pay by smartphone or order a car that way.
     But taxi drivers do control many aspects of the quality of a ride. And in one fascinating consequence of the rise of Uber, it looks — in passenger complaint data — as if taxi drivers under new competition may be trying harder to give you a pleasant ride.
What happened in Palm Beach County last year vis-à-vis Uber vs. the taxi companies can generally be summed up this way: the public went into revolt. The public got fed up with the terrible service and demanded change and they got it. Now Uber is here to stay and the county is a better place for it. Undoubtedly, the taxi companies tried cleaning up their act when Uber gained a foothold here but by then it was too late—they didn't understand or care there was a shift in public opinion.

The tipping point may have been when a well-known West Palm Beach resident (I won't give his name but some of you will know who I am talking about) went ballistic one day after another terrible cab ride and he let everyone know about it. He'd had enough. It seemed after that the flood gates opened and there was no going back. Plus a large number of prominent Millennials started chiming in fed up with the status quo.

Two other things: With all the money and work organizations like Discover the Palm Beaches do to attract tourists is one of the first things a tourist sees on arrival at the airport a dirty taxi good for tourism? Of course not. And lastly, I hear it's still difficult to order an Uber ride from Palm Beach County's airport but some have found a clever way around that. What they do is take a short cab ride from the airport to a location nearby and then order an Uber ride from there to their final destination.

For people who live out in Wellington, for instance, that can be a significant amount of money.

Fundraising event for Lake Worth Mayor Pam Triolo TODAY (Monday, 1/11) from 5:30–8:00 at The Beach Club

To sign up for future updates from Mayor Pam Triolo use this link.
"Please join me for my fundraiser event!"
Monday, January 11, 2016
5:30–8 P.M.

Hosted By:
The Beach Club
Lake Worth Golf Course
1 7th Avenue N.
Lake Worth, FL 33460

RSVP: Ellie at 561-585-8668

The mayor says, "I would be honored to see you there!"

Political Advertisement paid for and approved by Pam Triolo, Mayor

A message from Joan Oliva on the "Discovering Our New World" exhibit at Lake Worth's City Hall

Here is the information from Joan Oliva, the executive director of the Lake Worth CRA:
     Thanks to the Armory Art Annex of Lake Worth, the City of Lake Worth, the Palm Beach Photographic Center, the Guatemalan Mayan Center and the CRA/ LULA, the Exhibit “Discovering Our New World” will be displayed at Lake Worth City Hall until the end of January. This unique exhibit includes photographs taken by Lake Worth youth. These young residents, originally from Central America, took photos here in our beautiful City and each tells a story about their new home, their family and/or their new environment.
     If you did not get a chance to see this Exhibit while it was on display at the Armory Annex (LW Arts Center), please take a few moments sometime over the next month to see this meaningful and thoughtful exhibit.
     Thank you to the City Manager, Mike Bornstein, for the offer to display and to all our partners who made this possible.
     Staff at the CRA wish you and yours a Happy Holiday season. Thank you for your continued support.
     We look forward to working even harder this next year to bring you more exciting projects and programs!
You can read more about this exhibit when it was at the Armory Art Annex.

This would be a great opportunity for some in the news media to experience and report on, don't you think? The arts are such an important part of our City and is a tool to bring us all together as a community.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

More about the movie "Hogzilla" and that candidate for mayor in the City of Lake Worth

This story falls into the category, "You Can't Make This Stuff Up". Below is an excerpt from the biography that Dianne Jacques (candidate for mayor) supplied for the NAPC/Lake Worth Municipal Election Candidate Forum held on January 6th at the Lake Worth Playhouse:
Diane Jacques is a veteran film and television producer. Through projects like Sudden Terror for ABC Network and Splitsville for Bravo Network, she’s created millions of dollars in jobs and economic stimuli for numerous Florida communities. She’s struck deals with such luminaries as Ben Stiller, Oliver Stone and Johnny Depp, and is currently developing a cooking show for Inlet Grove High School where she works as a teacher.
The term "name dropper" comes to mind. To see all of Jacques' work in the movie business use this link for IMDb (Internet Movie Database):
  • 1996 Sudden Terror: The Hijacking of School Bus #17 (TV Movie) (producer) 
  • 1999 Chapter Zero (producer)
  • 2008 Rock and a Hard Place: Another Night at the Agora (Documentary) (producer)
  • 2014 Hogzilla (Video) (producer)
The 'movie' Sudden Terror was a made-for-TV movie almost twenty years ago. Jacques was a producer for the movie along with ten other people:
  • Executive producers: 4
  • Associate producers: 3
  • Producers: 4
The show Splitsville that Jacques takes credit for doesn't look like it ever made it on TV. Maybe it was eventually produced but under a different name. My query to the Bravo Network hasn't been answered yet.

As far as Oliver Stone is concerned, it appears Jacques traveled to California to meet with Oliver Stone but a deal was never made and she returned to Florida empty-handed. You can read about this is an article written back in December of 2000:
     Novice filmmakers [Diane] Jacques and [Laurie] Hannan-Anton took the story, retitled "Mr. Perkins," to Hollywood and knocked on doors until they came to the attention of associates of [Mel] Gibson and [Oliver] Stone. [emphasis added]
     However, Jacques said, Gibson never could line up the director he wanted to make the movie and it went into limbo. Meanwhile, Jacques and Hannan-Anton returned to Florida to make "Sudden Terror."
At the next debate maybe this will all get cleared up. And possibly the issue of the objectification of women will be brought up? Have you seen Jacques' latest work, Hogzilla?
I told you, "You Can't Make This Stuff Up". Note that in the movie no hogs are seen but there are a lot of women shown running around the Everglades in bikini tops and bras. The best part is the screen shot with the lines, "The Other White Meat Bites Back". Clever writing.

[Pinned Post: Please scroll down for new content.*] A message of hope from a young woman who is excited about Lake Worth's "potential"

Likely every reason possible has been proffered objecting to the Gulf Stream hotel project moving forward including this one:
This is an actual quote made during public comment at the Lake Worth City Commission in opposition to the Gulf Stream hotel rezoning request.
We can conclude now that every possible reason(s) why our historic Gulf Stream hotel project shouldn't proceed have been exhausted.

However, there are a lot of very hopeful and excited people in Lake Worth who are looking forward to seeing our historic hotel open for business once again. In the video below from the City Commission's second reading of the rezoning request last Tuesday, 1/5/16 (which passed on a 3-2 vote) is a young woman who looks forward to "finally showing off our town's incredible downtown and one of the best assets Lake Worth has to offer."

Enjoy this hopeful video and please share it with your friends and neighbors:
*And, as always, Thank You for visiting my blog. An important thing to note: Whereas other bloggers, reporters, and editors tell you what THEY THINK happened in Lake Worth, I post the videos on this blog and Facebook so you can see for yourself. Use this link to see all the videos on my YouTube channel.

Staci Sturrock on special "Spacey" Sacred Heart School mural in Lake Worth

Staci Sturrock sent out this very nice Tweet yesterday:
The Sacred Heart School and Catholic church is one of the almost thirty Christian churches/faith-based organizations in Lake Worth that quietly go about their mission to make our City a better place to live for many residents. It's rare to see news about most of these churches—instead of chasing for headlines and self-promotion they concentrate on their mission:
We, the Roman Catholic family of Sacred Heart Church in Lake Worth, empowered by the Word and the Sacraments, are a welcoming, Christ-centered, culturally diverse community. Together, we answer our Christian calling to worship God, grow in holiness and share our faith in Christ by loving and serving our brothers and sisters.
Last year a rare article was penned about a major renovation their church had completed. If you would like to stop by and see the church's renovations and the new mural here is the contact information:
Sacred Heart Catholic Church
425 North M Street in Lake Worth
Phone: 561-582-4736
Parish hours: Monday–Friday, 9:00 am–4:00 pm; closed Saturday and Sunday.
And they're also on Twitter!

Wow, how did I forget to make mention of this on my blog?

There likely is no better example of redemption than the story of Mark Foley. Joe Capozzi has the latest on Mr. Foley. My wish is one of these days an article or news segment will not make mention of the "scandal". It's old news that's been rehashed a million times and think most people are sick and tired of hearing about it.

Anyhow, a couple years ago I met Mark at the Bluefront BBQ after not seeing him around for a long time. Our paths didn't happen to cross for whatever reason. When I saw him I was amazed and surprised. He looked like one of happiest and go-lucky men you can imagine. We talked for a while and had a good time catching up on things. I asked about 'that rumor' of political ambitions and that query was treated with some good-hearted laughter.

Even to this day the mention of Mark's name brings out the slings and arrows from the usual suspects and all that jealousy and negativity have had a cumulative impact nearing zero. Mark's back doing what he does best—doing his part to make Palm Beach County a better place to live.

The next time you hear the song, "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" in south Florida remember it was the hard work by people such as Mark Foley that made it happen. 

So. . .Carry on Mark! And never forget you have a lot of friends in Lake Worth that appreciate all the work you've done over the years.

A solution on the horizon for one of the big real estate problems in Palm Beach County: Office space

Business reporter Alexandra Clough recently penned an article on the good and bad about real estate and the business climate here in Palm Beach County. Some of the bad news is rising housing costs and the looming November elections that will create some turmoil in the market. Another area of concern is the dearth of quality, modern office space.

On that issue Brian Bandell at the South Florida Business Journal has this latest news from West Palm Beach:
     West Palm Beach’s growth spurt has ramped up as another tower has been proposed downtown.
      The city received an application in December for Cosmopolitan West Palm Beach, a 19-story building with 201 hotel rooms, 125,191 square feet of office space and 364 parking spaces. It would be located on the 1.13-acre site at 419 to 435 Gardenia Street and 415 to 417 S. Dixie Highway.
[and. . .]
     The Cosmopolitan would total 269,825 square feet, with the developer proposing to purchase 134,785 square feet of transfer of development rights to achieve that density. The project would include a 4,883-square-foot bank space. One of the office spaces would be a separate one-story building.
If you're interested in the latest business news "Follow" Alexandra Clough and Brian Bandell on Twitter:

1/10 Today in Florida History from the Florida Historical Society!

1926 – The 241’ steel-hulled schooner “Prinz Valdemar” capsized inside the Miami ship channel on this date, blocking larger vessels from entering and exiting the port for over a month. The ship proved difficult to right due to her large masts. City officials began digging another channel to allow much needed building supplies into the harbor. Dredging operations were halted however, when two of the dredges hit reefs. The masts were then cut off of the vessel and shipping continued around the capsized hull. A devastating hurricane which struck Miami later that year and the sinking of the “Prinz Valdemar” helped spell an early end to Miami’s 1920s land boom. The “Prinz Valdemar” was eventually re-floated and moved near Biscayne Boulevard. The ship was then dry-docked and used as an aquarium, restaurant and a bar until finally being scrapped in the 1950s.

Drew Martin got a letter published AGAIN! in The Palm Beach Post

Lake Worth's own Drew Martin is one of the favorite and most prolific letter writers/opinion-havers that get published by the editors at The Palm Beach Post. And did you know that he's running for the District 3 seat on the Palm Beach County Commission?

On a serious note, here is how the Post describes Drew Martin below his published letter on Saturday, January 9th:
DREW MARTIN, LAKE WORTH
Editor’s note: Drew Martin is the conservation chairman of the Loxahatchee Group of the Sierra Club.
Note that the Post doesn't disclose he is running for the PBC commission seat. The last I heard State Rep. Dave Kerner and Lake Clarke Shores Council member Greg Freebold are also campaigning for the seat that Shelley Vana is term-limited from running for again.

Question: Should Dave Kerner and Greg Freebold get equal time or should the Post publish a correction/clarification?

Palm Beach County's new Climate Change Coordinator and the polarizing of debate about climate change

If Palm Beach County was expecting to quiet the debate on climate change and rising (maybe) sea levels by hiring a Climate Change Coordinator they got a very different result. If anything that decision has further polarized the issue and made people dig in their heels on whichever side they fall on.

If you're a reader of this blog you know my position is that I don't have the answers. Maybe the climate is changing and maybe it isn't. Maybe the seas are rising and maybe they aren't. However, what I do know is this: The debate about rising seas and the climate isn't doing anything to fix our streets in Lake Worth and also not doing anything to make our neighborhoods any safer. Two commissioners in the City, Ryan  Maier and Chris McVoy, are fixated on the issue and are losing focus on the local, pressing issues at hand.

The residents of Lake Worth deserve better.

Echoing the frustration many have about this issue is Randy Lundi of Jupiter. He penned a "Point Of View" that was published in The Palm Beach Post. Here are two excerpts:
     Here is rationale, according to an email that Natalie Schneider [the Palm Beach County Climate Coordinator], who holds the new position, sent to County Administrator Verdenia Baker and other county government executives: “the purpose of this (internal county sustainability action) team is to drive county climate resilience and sustainability initiatives, capturing countywide and site-specific activities that support that initiative.”
     What? It will take a year to figure out what that means. [emphasis added] Or is it deliberately open-ended so that it can mean anything, at any time, for bureaucrats? Meanwhile, time, energy, money and resources will be spent to further the narrative of supposed climate change due to man and sea levels rising.
     First it was global cooling; then it was global warming; and when neither phenomenon proved sustainable in the environment, the narrative changed to “climate change.” This is an environmentalist retreat to a safe zone, where the “climate change” definition can satisfy either global cooling or warming — whatever trend is happening at the moment — to promote an agenda and political narrative.
[and. . .]
     America has cleaned up her act. Don’t depend on other nations to do the same.
Lake Worth Vice Mayor Scott Maxwell has these thoughts on the issue and hopefully this will carry the day in the little, 6 square mile City of Lake Worth with so many issues to address:

Do you have a pet cat? DO NOT let the animal outside—they're destroying our Florida habitat

Are any environmentalists in Palm Beach County courageous enough to save our dwindling bird populations?

[Below is a blog post from August of last year. Our local environmental groups, like the Loxahatchee Sierra Club in Palm Beach County, are curiously and awkwardly silent on this terrible problem. In the not-too-distant future more species of Florida birds will only exist in the history texts—most of them killed and eaten by feral cats. Who is going to step up and do something, anything about this?]

Aleese Kopf at the Palm Beach Daily News (aka, The Shiny Sheet) penned this article in 2013 subtitled, "Institute: Free-ranging domestic cats kill millions of birds, mammals".

The institute the reporter references is the Smithsonian National Zoological Park Conservation Biology Institute. Here is an excerpt from the report:
We estimate that free-ranging domestic cats kill 1.4–3.7 billion birds and 6.9–20.7 billion mammals annually. Un-owned cats, as opposed to owned pets, cause the majority of this mortality. Our findings suggest that free-ranging cats cause substantially greater wildlife mortality than previously thought and are likely the single greatest source of anthropogenic mortality for US birds and mammals. Scientifically sound conservation and policy intervention is needed to reduce this impact.
Here is an excerpt from the article by the Shiny Sheet reporter:
     Local groups — such as Palm Beach Island Cats — that care for feral-cat populations contest the study, while wildlife agencies say it may have some valid points.
     “I’m not surprised at the numbers,” said David Hitzig, Busch Wildlife Sanctuary director. “I would say that cats are responsible for the most unnatural deaths in the U.S.”
     During bird migration and baby season, Hitzig said, he sees 10-15 injured animals a day, and that at least one, if not more, was attacked by a cat.
     “It’s a serious issue. We hear comments on a regular basis now that we don’t see the birds we used to. I think you’re going to start seeing a decline. So many of these animals are doomed.”
     As an example, Hitzig said feral cats pose a threat to Florida scrub jays, which are at risk of endangerment. He said they also pose a threat to other wildlife because it’s unnatural for cats to feed on prey such as birds, mice and snakes.
Below is an image of the Florida Scrub Jay from Wikipedia:
On May 27th of this year The Palm Beach Post editorial board came out strong in defense of our native bird population but their advice was not heeded. An all-too-common reaction to the editors' opinions there but particularly sad on this important subject.