Saturday, February 13, 2016

How big an impact does the arts & culture scene have on Palm Beach County? It's huge.

The Sun Sentinel's Arlene Satchell has this article titled, "New study: Arts and culture in Palm Beach County worth $538 million in fiscal 2015". Here are two excerpts:
     Palm Beach County's vibrant arts and culture scene packs a huge economic impact.
In the 2015 fiscal year, 3.1 million visitors to 19 of the county's main arts and cultural attractions spent an estimated $538 million on culture-related activities, a new report by the Cultural Council of Palm Beach County concludes.
[and. . .]
     The survey found that 36 percent of cultural tourists to the destination would go elsewhere if a specific activity or event of interest wasn't happening here. That could potentially mean a loss of about $180 million in economic impact.
     Palm Beach County is home to more than 200 arts and cultural organizations, including museums, art galleries and performance halls, according to the council, the county's official support agency for arts and culture.
     Attractions that helped conduct the surveys included the Henry Morrison Flagler Museum, Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens, Raymond F. Kravis Center for the Performing Arts and Palm Beach Zoo & Conservation Society.
In other arts/culture news Palm Beach County's first ever Cultural Concierge is located in downtown Lake Worth* at the Cultural Council of Palm Beach County.

*If you visit Lake Worth and want a hotel room please contact Visit West Palm Beach or the West Palm Beach Visitor Center using this link. They can also be reached at (561) 659-8814 (open 7 days a week). And Thank You! for visiting Lake Worth. Please come back and visit us again some time.

Why developers love urban farmers: Gentrification, the law of unintended consequences and market forces at work

Gentrification is one of the most misunderstood phenomenons in American culture. It's a term that's derogatory to some and a very hopeful one for others who live in persistently blighted areas. The logic by some is a certain level of blight is 'charming' because it makes the area undesirable to investors or 'outsiders'. People who believe this are then in the unenviable position of having to balance how much blight is necessary and where does it go.

Then to show how enlightened, resilient, and sustainable they are urban farms and urban gardens are encouraged which leads to what? Less blight. A bland, unkempt home doesn't look as bad when surrounded by a garden or a farm. Welcome to what's called the Gentrification Paradox. Here is one explanation of this phenomenon from the Strong Towns blog. To put it very simply: some tactics to stop gentrification actually do the opposite. They make neighborhoods, towns and cities more attractive rather than less. 

There is a whole grab-bag of tactics to try and stop, or at least slow down, the gentrification process. There are attempts to increase the crime rate (or the perception of crime), encourage the homeless to a downtown or city parks, under-fund schools and child education efforts, city-wide upzoning, rent controls, etc. and all of these tactics are ultimately unsuccessful. Gentrification rolls on why? Because the process is market-driven and that's why developers love activities such as urban farms—they help to increase real estate value over time. 

In the City of Lake Worth is the Grey Mockingbird Community Garden (GMCG). This garden located at the Scottish Masonic Temple has greatly increased visitors and interest in the area not only due to the garden but also with their educational and entertainment activities. The case can easily be made that the GMCG is discouraging blight and encouraging gentrification. How many people have visited the GMCG and decided to look around the City and liked what they saw and either decided to invest in or move to Lake Worth? That is hard to gauge but it certainly has happened.

To hammer this point home is an article that was written by Scott McFetridge at the Associated Press titled, "Urban farmers find that success leads to eviction". Here is an excerpt:
     Now the thriving farms are being routed by another urban phenomenon: the hordes of people moving back downtown to live, which is turning green spaces into prime real estate. Plots where low-income residents raised vegetables, where community groups trained at-risk youth and where small garden businesses took root are being snapped up for construction of new apartments and townhouses.
     “You have to plant as if you’re going to be there 10 years, even if you know it probably won’t work that way,” said [Ali] Clark, a co-founder of Big Muddy Farm. She added, “It stinks to put in the time in an investment that doesn’t last.”
     The evictions are sad but inevitable, said Amy Brendmoen, a City Council member in St. Paul, Minnesota, which recently booted an urban farm from city land to make way for housing construction. Even the most robust farms can’t earn enough to compete with a real estate development.
With election season approaching in Lake Worth no doubt the word "gentrification" will be bandied about. Some politicians will be blamed for promoting it and others will be praised for trying to stop it which is all nonsensebut it does play well "at the door" leading up to election day. But know this: the seeds (if you will) for gentrification were planted a long time ago by people who were claiming to "save" Lake Worth. That will be explained in a future blog post.

One of the best articles ever written about gentrification, in my opinion, is by Megan McArdle. No one can doubt any longer that the City of Lake Worth is gaining in popularity with investors and others looking for a place to live, either an apartment or house. On the other hand there are those that lament the lack of 'affordable' or as some call "work-force" housing. The hue and cry is "can't the government do something?" Is there a solution? Here is an excerpt from the article cited above:
     What’s the solution, then? If the problem we’re trying to solve is “gentrification,” I don’t think there is one. I think we can at best slow it, and ease the transition for displaced people. But gentrification will stop when demand ebbs, and not before. [emphasis added] We’ve given communities a lot of power over what gets built near them, and there is no easy way to take that power back.
     Long time readers will hear me harkening back to a theme I've discussed before, in many contexts: modern government is slow. It is designed to be slow -- much slower than modern gentrification. That’s why gentrification is winning the race in cities from coast to coast.
In conclusion, if someone tells you that your commissioner, mayor, or state representative is responsible for 'gentrification' they are lying to you. They have no more control over market forces than anyone else does. Period.

The Gulf Stream hotel re-zoning was big news. . .but did you miss another zoning ("Up-zoning") story in Lake Worth?

Below is an excerpt from a blog post in July, 2015, that got a lot of attention in Lake Worth and it later faded into the background during the Gulf Stream hotel re-zoning. Every now and then this issue about re-zoning (or "up-zoning" some call it) rears its head again vis-à-vis neighborhoods outside commercial districts here in Lake Worth.

Commercial businesses that are not currently allowed, if this re-zoning did ever occur, would be permitted within neighborhoods along with the traffic and added burdens on City services to name just two. To say there was some push-back against this idea is an understatement. Here is the excerpt from the blog post cited above: 
     I [Wes Blackman] could see certain areas identified where an overlay zoning district (something like the Arts Overlay District, but designed to a specific neighborhood or two) that would allow for an expanded and relaxed standard for home occupations, perhaps targeting particularly blighted areas. Or, one suggestion by ACE, a pilot "roll out" where only a limited number of these licenses are issued and there is more of an opportunity for close monitoring of the results (both positive and negative) with the City's limited resources in mind.
     I suggest further study at a very deliberate pace to allow a thorough vetting by everyone, including those that would be adversely impacted by these proposals. I believe the group plans a series of presentations before neighborhood groups. This is a good thing! Remember though, many of our Lake Worth homeowners bought a property in a residential neighborhood for that specific reason, it is residential, and they expect the City's zoning code to protect their investment.
If you recall the news about the Gulf Stream hotel re-zoning, this only concerned a very small area in downtown Lake Worth:
The tiny white dot is the Gulf Stream hotel and proposed project area.
A re-zoning of residential neighborhoods, if that is ever seriously discussed in the future, will affect neighborhoods throughout the City:
The entire City zoning map. Can you see the little white dot?
There is no need to be concerned about this now. However, if you think or someone else you know thinks that this sounds like a good idea remember how another 'good' idea turned out: The City's Casino building at the beach is still losing money after all the promises and projections that first began in 2010.

If you're wondering how the Gulf Stream hotel re-zoning to save the historic hotel fared at the Lake Worth City Commission here is the final result:

Friday, February 12, 2016

Wouldn't tomorrow at the Cultural Plaza in Lake Worth be a great opportunity for a protest by the Anarchist candidate?

If you didn't know the annual Tree Festival is tomorrow in Lake Worth's Cultural Plaza and it's very possible some or all of the homeless who congregate there will be displaced. This should anger the Anarchist candidate, Ryan Hartman, don't you think? He is running for a seat on the City Commission and this would be a great opportunity to promote his platform which is mostly all about the homeless and their rights.

In the video below is the Anarchist with his two-minute public comment at the City Commission on February 2nd:
According to the Anarchists, the homeless take priority over anyone and everyone else in the City of Lake Worth. And don't forget the new ordinance that was passed by the City Commission! What a great way for the Anarchists to register their displeasure especially with all the visitors and tourists coming in to see the festival.

Maybe a TV crew will come in and do a news segment about the Anarchists! Just think, this could be training for other City festivals coming up in the future.

Some truth serum for the District #3 challenger

Stuff to do at the Library and the City Hall Annex in Lake Worth, located at the Cultural Plaza in our beautiful downtown

Below is a partial list of activities at the Lake Worth Library courtesy of The Lake Worth Herald. Please note: If you or your child heard a word that begins with "C" and ends with "w"* in Lake Worth and are afraid to go downtown this information is NOT TRUE.

The Library and the City Hall Annex in Lake Worth are fun places for your child to see! The Lake Worth Historical Museum is there and so is the City's Visitor Center. Pick up some information and send it to all your family and friends to tell them about our special little City! Here is just some of the stuff to do:

Computer Classes
Microsoft Word 2013: Editing Text
Saturday, Feb. 13, 9–9:50 a.m.
Free. Classes limited to 6 students per class. Limit of 3 classes per student. Registration required. Call 561-533-7354.

3rd Saturday Book Club
Third Saturday of the month, 2 p.m.
February 20th at the City Hall Annex Meeting Room
"The 100 Year Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window & Disappeared" by Jonas Jonasson

Munchkins Storytime (Preschool 2–4 years)
Tuesday or Thursdays 11–11:45 a.m. at the City Hall Annex Program Room
Children Must Be Accompanied by an Adult

Bookworms Storytime
Wednesdays 3:30–4:30
City Hall Annex Program Room

For more information call 561-533-7354. Events/programs are held at the Library (15 North M St.) and the City Hall Annex Meeting/Program Room (414 Lake Avenue).
*There is NOT A CURFEW in Lake Worth as falsely reported by some in the local news media. Learn more about "Loaded Language" using this link.

Update: CITY OF LAKE WORTH MUNICIPAL POOL—Heater "on the Fritz"

"On the Fritz" is an idiom. Learn more where the phrase came from using this link.

Due to unforeseen circumstances, one (1) of the two (2) pool heaters at the Lake Worth Municipal Pool is out of service. Therefore, pool temperatures will remain unusually low until further notice.

Please call 561-585-6858 for more information.

Lake Worth Herald Endorsements For the City of Lake Worth Seats

"Contrary to what you will hear from some candidates, Nobody has tried to sell the beach, or any part of the beach complex. ITN meetings were held according to law and there were no 'backroom deals' made.

The City of Lake Worth has seen many improvements over the last four years with investments in property and new construction adding to the tax base to relieve some of the burden on longtime residents. With over 200 million in new investments slated for the near future. These investments are due to new ordinances passed by the current commission. The new ordinances made doing business with the City a more streamlined and consistent process.

The three incumbents vying to retain their seats, Commissioner Andy Amoroso, Commissioner Scott Maxwell and Mayor Pam Triolo have each earned your vote.

The previous commissions, members of which are supporting some of the challengers, produced zero investment dollars in the City.

Mayoral candidate Diane Jacques has not been very visible as a candidate and has not put forth any platform that would move Lake Worth forward in the effort to improve the city.

District 3 challenger Frank McAlonan, who has lived in Lake Worth for about a year, voiced his dislike for the three incumbents but has not offered any specifics or solutions to what he perceives as the problem. He appears to be supported by those who want no progress.

District 1 challenger Ryan Hartman is a relative new comer to Lake Worth and is laughable at best. His platform says nothing, which is exactly what he would like to see happen in the City. His history of protesting for the sake of protesting, and his Facebook postings about law enforcement officers are disgusting. Supported by former commissioners Cara Jennings and JoAnn Golden, Hartman is not fit for holding a position of decision making in a City that needs sound direction to remain affordable.

Mayoral Candidate Gary Antieau has not campaigned like he is serious about it.

The March 15 election is critical for Lake Worth, either continue to improve or turn backwards into the problems the city is in the process of recovering from. Either continue to gain allies in the County and State Governments or once again become the laughing stock of the state.

Jennings and Golden have continually tried to block progress in Lake Worth and their associates have recruited other 'anarchists' to the area to rent and register to vote. Once they have done the damage, they will move on to the next 'project.'

Keep the train rolling by re-electing three hard working, dedicated individuals."

New video and Twitter hashtag for the Street Painting Festival (and more on those false news reports about a 'curfew' in Lake Worth)

The Twitter hashtag for the Street Painting Festival is: #CanWeChalk?

Here is the website for the Street Painting Festival which is Saturday and Sunday, February 20th and 21st. Once again, if you heard anything about a 'curfew' in Lake Worth by a few in the media that information is completely false and should be ignored.
Below is the latest video to share with your friends and family about the festival which starts next weekend:

Thursday, February 11, 2016

What is going on with Diane Jacques? Did she suspend her campaign without informing the public?

This campaign report is from January 1st to the 31st. No activity at all?
Never has a legitimate candidate for Mayor submitted a Waiver of Report, meaning that there have been no donations or expenditures within 45 days before an election. You can always file an amended report but this seems to be a way to hide what is really going on with the campaign. This is the same candidate that has missed more candidate forums than she has made. This is from someone who has already submitted three amendments to her initial Treasurer's Report. This is the most coherent one. All that we can tell from this is that JoAnn Golden was her only contributor, other than herself.

Below is a picture of JoAnn Golden (with glasses on, smiling) from Monday night's South Palm Park candidate forum. The picture is taken at the moment she was called out for filing a lawsuit against the City regarding the rezoning of the Gulfstream hotel property.

Announcement regarding the Lake Worth Municipal Pool—Heaters are down

This just in from Sally Welsh, water exercise instructor, from Facebook:
I'll let you know when I hear that the heaters are working.

Florida Map from 1884

Interesting find showing the state of Florida c. 1884. This is ten years before Flagler's Florida East Coast Railway would make its way into Palm Beach. Notice the great span of nothingness between Lake Worth and Miami. This is also before the formation of Broward, Palm Beach and, much later, Martin and St. Lucie counties. All were part of a larger Dade county.

Just 20 years after this map, Lake Worth was a city and creating its own electricity.
Courtesy of Historic Boynton Beach

Palm Beach County smashes tourism records (and all the hotels in West Palm Beach to serve tourists visiting Lake Worth)

The Palm Beach Post has this news that's also on the front page, above the fold, in today's print edition:
     A record-breaking number of tourists came to Palm Beach County last year, shattering the 2014 benchmark by 10 percent, tourism officials announced Wednesday.
     Roughly 6.9 million people visited the county in 2015, marking the fifth consecutive year of record-breaking growth, according to Discover The Palm Beaches, the county’s official tourism marketing organization.
[and. . .]
     Meanwhile, the number of hotel rooms available in the county also continues to grow. There has been a surge in new hotel construction, particularly in West Palm Beach, Boynton Beach and Delray Beach. [emphasis added]
[and. . .]
     As part of its 2016 marketing plan, Discover has said it plans to encourage locals to use social media and other communication channels to encourage visitors to travel here.
If you've been following this blog you know the little City of Lake Worth has a new Visitor Center and is also home of Palm Beach County's Cultural Concierge, the first ever in the county.

However, if a visitor wants to stay the night at a hotel in Lake Worth? Good luck with that.

My recommendation is if you're looking for a hotel room or have family/friends from out of town contact our good friends to the north at Visit West Palm Beach or the West Palm Beach Visitor Center using this link. They can also be reached at (561) 659-8814 (open 7 days a week).

And Thank You! for visiting Lake Worth. Please come back and visit us again some time and maybe we'll have a new hotel available by then.

From the Lake Worth Herald: Lake Worth CRA Awarded $72,700 SWA Grant for the Armory Art Annex

From this week's Lake Worth Herald is this news about another Lake Worth CRA grant:
     At their regular board meeting today (Feb.10.), the Solid Waste Authority of Palm Beach County Governing Board approved seven projects totaling $500,000 for Blighted and Distressed Property Clean-up and Beautification Grants. The City of Lake Worth Community Redevelopment Agency was awarded $72,700 for the Armory Art Annex/Lake Worth Community Arts Center Exterior Improvements and Perimeter Fencing.
[and. . .]
     These improvements are to mitigate the amount of trash at the site and create a more welcoming experience for residents and visitors. Specific improvements include the addition of 450 linear feet of decorative perimeter fencing and gate around the former shuffleboard court area and 160 linear feet of vegetation covered fencing between the property and the railroad tracks. Additional improvements include the removal of an obsolete irrigation system, removal of old/dead plants, and planting of drought-resistant, low-maintenance ground covering.
For more information contact Emily Theodossakos, the Marketing and Program Manager, at 561-493-2550. She also can be reached at (copy & paste) etheodossakos@lakeworth.org

You can also ask about new murals and the new street signs that everyone is talking about!

4 Visions Exhibition at Rolando Chang Barrero Fine Art Gallery

4 VISIONS
Curator: Rolando Chang Barrero
Fine Art Photography Exhibition of works by
Philip Ross Munro, Adam Collier Noel, Brian Cattelle, Pat Swain

Lake Worth-The Rolando Chang Barrero Fine Art Gallery presents 4 VISIONS an exhibition of contemporary  fine art photography by Philip Ross Munro, Adam Collier Noel, Brian Cattelle, and Pat Swain. The exhibition focuses of the the personal expressions of four contemporary photographers and the styles that have made them some of the leaders in the photographic world. The exhibition opens with a reception on Saturday evening, March 19, 2016 at 6 pm during PRIDE FEST WEEKEND in Lake Worth and in conjunction with ART SYNERGY'S Palm Beach ArtForms 

Events during ArtBocaRaton at Rolando Chang Barrero Fine Art Gallery 
711 Lucerne Avenue, Lake Worth, Florida 33460


PRIDEFEST 2016 VIP RECEPTION
Saturday, March 19, 2016 Opening Reception Through April 8, 2016


ROLANDO CHANG BARRERO FINE ART GALLERY is a proud sponsor of PRIDEFEST WEEKEND LAKE WORTH

PrideFest features a full slate of exceptional live musical entertainment, fine merchandise from booth vendors, and an awesome selection of food from many local restaurants. Celebrate the generations, and celebrate LGBT pride in the annual parade starting at noon on Sunday in downtown Lake Worth at Lucerne & M Street. Among many attendees, local elected and appointed representatives including the mayors and commissioners of the city of West Palm Beach and the city of Lake Worth, have attended annually and shown their support for the event. Each year, the mayor of Lake Worth raises the Pride flag with Compass' Chief Executive Officer at City Hall during the week of the festival. More info at Compass Community Center.

Click here for more about the artists!

Another video from the South Palm Park debate on 2/8 (and why many of my YouTube audience are upset with me)

Here is the link to my YouTube channel and on the right side is a tab to become a subscriber and get updates on new videos and more. The next video is at the bottom of this blog post and I'll explain a little later why many of my YouTube audience is upset with me. First some things about the video and the candidate debate last Monday night:
  • The Anarchist Ryan Hartman was feeling ill and/or queasy and couldn't attend.
  • Diane Jacques missed this debate and that's 2 out of 3 now she's missed. Mayor Pam Triolo was there. 
  • At the beginning of the video Vice Mayor Scott Maxwell explains how elections in Lake Worth are non-partisan and everyone votes city-wide; not just for their particular district. 
  • At the 14:20 mark challenger Frank McAlonan praises PBSO and thinks the City should spend more money for more services from the Sheriff. 
  • At the 16:20 mark Commissioner Amoroso talks about the failed business plan at the Lake Worth Casino and explains the "disconnect" about beach parking revenue; the original plan was not for the City to rely on parking revenue to fund the Casino like it does now. 
  • At the 23:30 mark Mayor Triolo talks about the Park of Commerce (POC) and the myth about the City owning all the land in the POC. Much of that land is privately owned and pays taxes to the City of Lake Worth. 
Now. . .why so many of YouTube audience is upset with me and shouldn't be. I got to the debate early and set up the tripod, camera, and the sound device in a good spot to video the debate. It was afterwards that woman with the odd demeanor and strange antics sat in front of the camera. She's the one in the red, multi-piece jumper and brown, straight hair with puffy cheeks.

Throughout the videos (all 4 of them) the woman in red make faces, picks her nose (note the 26:1026:45 mark, for example), acts out inappropriately, and generally acts very uncivilized. She pretends to be Pinocchio at times, apparently when she thinks someone is lying. Some people think I set up the camera to get this show on video and that is not the case at all. For those of you offended by that woman's behavior the best suggestion is ignore her and pay attention to the questions and answers by the elected leaders and the challengers who think they have a better idea.

Enjoy the video!

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Important community news from Julie Parham at the Lake Worth Water Utilities Department

"I wanted to inform you all that survey crews are currently surveying portions of the following streets and alleys for the City’s 2″ watermain replacement project:
  • Columbia Drive, Cornell Drive, Yale Drive, Auburn Drive, Vanderbilt Drive, Wellesley Drive
  • 18th Avenue North between Wellesley Drive and 18th Avenue North including North J Street
  • North J Terrace, North K Street, North L Street, North M Street, Federal Hwy, North N Street, North O Street
Also including:
  • 16th Avenue North
  • The alley between North N Street and North O Street
  • The alley between North N Street and Federal Hwy
  • 13th Avenue North
  • The alley between North M Street and North L Street
  • The alley between North J Street and North K Street
  • The alley between North G Street and North H Street
Feel free to share this information with your neighbors.

Thank you in advance for your cooperation with this project. Contact me or call the project engineer (Matt Cigale) at Craven Thompson, 954-739-6400 x390 with questions."

Julie Parham, P.E., City of Lake Worth Water Utilities Department
301 College Street
Lake Worth
(561) 586-1798

Plan ahead in Lake Worth: Protect your home and family from selfish politicians who want to raise your electric rates

If you live in the Lake Worth electric service area you've seen a lowering of your electric rates the last few years thanks to the current majority led by Mayor Pam Triolo (along with Vice Mayor Scott Maxwell and Commissioner Amoroso). That downward trend in electric rates can dramatically change after any future election in the City of Lake Worth. But. . .there's a way to protect your family, home, and finances and eat better prepared food all at the same time! Switch to cheap, clean, affordable, and plentiful natural gas:
Lake Worth's electric rates are near the middle, slightly higher than Key West. And don't forget, 9 out of 10 professional chefs prefer clean and very affordable natural gas.
As it is right now the Lake Worth Electric Utility rates are right in the middle of the pack, between Key West and Homestead but the City received a shock when they heard the pitch below from two city commissioners: Ryan Maier and Chris McVoy. However, Mayor Triolo, Vice Mayor Maxwell, and Commissioner Amoroso put a stop to that nonsense:
Commissioner Maier and McVoy's pitch to raise electric rates failed. This time.
Here is the Florida Public Utility website to find out more about natural gas service for your home. If you wish call 800-427-7712 or email; but whatever you do don't waste any time and get cooking with natural gas.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Plan your day this Saturday (2/13) in Lake Worth!* Stroll the downtown, see the Gulfstream hotel, and so much other fun stuff to do

If you haven't been to downtown Lake Worth in a while, it's taken on a very quirky and cool vibe of late. If you happened to hear about a 'curfew' in Lake Worth that is completely false. Some in the news media like to cause trouble because they can. So ignore what you've read in the 'news' or seen on TV—come to Lake Worth and see for yourself.

One of the opening acts for the City's Street Painting Festival on February 20th/21st is the City's Annual Festival of Trees this Saturday. You can read more about that below.
Two of Lake Worth's "main streets", Lake and Lucerne avenues, become a canvas for artists from around the world.
Take a stroll down and check out the City's historic Gulfstream hotel which is going through the process to receive a long-awaited renovation.

Then proceed to the Cultural Plaza for the City of Lake Worth's Annual Festival of Trees from 9:00–4:00.*
Here is more information:
    “At the Festival of Trees, you can buy native trees and plants from local nurseries and get advice and information about proper plant placement and tree pruning,” said David McGrew, City of Lake Worth Horticulturalist and staff liaison to the board. “Nurseries and environmental organizations will offer information, advice, and much, much more. Come with your questions!”
And more about the City's Tree Board:
     The Tree Board is one of a number of advisory boards which assist the City Commission. Members of the public are encouraged to attend Tree Board meetings on the second Thursday of the month. Contact David McGrew at 561-586-1677 or email (copy and paste) at dmcgrew@lakeworth.org
Check out how cool and charming the little City of Lake Worth is this Saturday! 

*If you plan to spend the night and want a hotel room please contact Visit West Palm Beach or the West Palm Beach Visitor Center using this link. They can also be reached at (561) 659-8814 (open 7 days a week). And Thank You! for visiting Lake Worth. Please come back and visit us again some time.

In the Palm Beach Post today: Former Lake Worth commissioner on her vanity lawsuit to try and delay historic hotel restoration

First, there is a very important meeting at the Lake Worth Historic Resource Preservation Board (HRPB) next week and we'll need another big community turnout to support the Gulfstream hotel project. Note that Joann Golden's vanity lawsuit, besides being a delay tactic, is also designed to derail enthusiasm for the project. Don't let her lawsuit bring you down! Stay excited and involved.

FYI, here is the result at the City Commission to move the Gulfstream hotel project forward:
Mayor Triolo, Vice Mayor Maxwell, and Commissioner Amoroso (The Three) are all up for re-election on March 15th.
It's also illustrative to note that Golden has contributed money from her war chest to the Anarchist (Ryan Hartman) who is challenging Vice Mayor Scott Maxwell and also contributed money to another campaign that is challenging Mayor Pam Triolo.

Golden is quoted by the Post reporter Kevin Thompson with the same old litany from 2013. The good news is no one was surprised by Golden's lawsuit so any "shock and awe" she was expecting fell way short of that goal. Here is an excerpt from the article that's also on the front page of the B section, below the fold:
     “This is a project that needs to move forward to help revitalize downtown and to help our businesses,” Mayor Pam Triolo said. “It’s such an important project for the city and I hope the people who are developing the hotel don’t get disheartened by this action.”
     Added Commissioner Andy Amoroso: “We have someone who wants to invest in our city and open a hotel and there’s a group of people who just want to stop it. Unfortunately we now have to spend tax dollars to defend it.” [emphasis added]
Stay tuned to this blog for updates on the Gulfstream hotel project as it moves forward through the process of getting restored. And remember, Stay Excited!
Off topic and on a light-hearted note, on another continuing issue in Lake Worth, read what Mayor "Trillo", "Triollo" had to say about the Lake Worth Casino on CBS12/WPEC. Yes, that's right. A local TV news organization (the One to Turn Two) can't even get the mayor's last name right.
Former Commissioner Joann Golden when she was called out for her lawsuit against the city regarding the Gulfstream hotel (South Palm Park Candidate Forum 2/8/16).

Was a man shot by unknown suspects in Lake Worth last Sunday night? No. But ABC25/WPBF thinks it happened.

The man that was shot, if ABC25/WPBF is to be believed, has no life-threatening injuries. The only long-term damage to the community at large is WPBF and their false news reporting. If you're interested you can read my review of TV news reporting in central Palm Beach County (PBC) using this link.

The location of this shooting incident is well outside the city limits of the City of Lake Worth in what's called the Lake Worth Corridor which is in unincorporated PBC. A lot of reporters, especially of the TV news variety, have a difficult time wrapping their heads around the concept of "suburban Lake Worth". Here's what WPBF reported:
LAKE WORTH, Fla. —A man is hospitalized after being shot in Lake Worth Sunday night.
      Just after 8 p.m. deputies responded to shots fired in the 100 block of Fern Lane.
      When deputies arrived they found a male shot in the leg.
Here's how easy it is to find out where a property is located in PBC.

If public urination is "not that big a deal" then why not construct an open-air urinal in downtown Lake Worth?

The idea of an open-air urinal isn't going down too well, pardon the pun, in San Francisco. Watch this news segment from ABC7's Wayne Freedman:
And this open-air urinal isn't just for males only. There is new technology for females also. At the next City Commission meeting on February 16th maybe Commissioner Ryan Maier can raise the question of whether the City should build an open-air urinal. Remember what Maier said on January 19th:
As of today (Monday, February 8th), there are 37 days until election day (March 15th). If you haven't been paying attention to what is happening in Lake Worth politics it's about time you started. In the video below is Maier at the City Commission meeting on 1/19 that was all about the homeless and nothing about the neighborhoods that are in such need for services and funding (Maier speaks first and then Commissioner Amoroso responds):
So, it's OK for people to urinate on the front door of businesses as long as nobody sees it? Commissioner Andy Amoroso has a big problem with that and so should anyone who thinks that kind of behavior is acceptable in our downtown.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Fun at the Lake Worth Municipal Pool!

News from Jan Sjostrom, the Arts Editor at the Palm Beach Daily News (aka, the Shiny Sheet)

Below are two excerpts from this article in the Shiny Sheet about a very important Palm Beach County (PBC) County Commission meeting this Tuesday (2/9) concerning a one-cent sales tax increase to fund the arts, culture, schools, and other priorities:
     If passed, consumers could shell out more than $1.3 billion over 10 years to improve aging roads, bridges, schools and other publicly owned facilities, update school technology and finance the cultural building boom that’s on the horizon. The tax increase would end in 10 years or whenever the projects are paid for.
     The county commission will consider Tuesday joining the school district, cities and the Cultural Council of Palm Beach County in asking voters for a one-cent hike. It also will look at other means of financing more than $712 million in projects deferred during the recession, including a solo half-cent increase or bond. The commission must approve county sales tax referendums before they’re put on the ballot.
[and. . .]
     According to a recent study commissioned by the council, cultural groups plan to add more than 700,000 square feet of facilities in the next 10 years. “They are bursting at the seams,” council chief Rena Blades said.
     The council is asking for nearly nearly $190 million for 26 cultural building projects, plus an additional $38 million for projects that might qualify in the future.
And in other arts news, do you know where the new Cultural Concierge for PBC is located? It's in downtown Lake Worth at the Cultural Council.

If passed, consumers could shell out more than $1.3 billion over 10 years to improve aging roads, bridges, schools and other publicly owned facilities, update school technology and finance the cultural building boom that’s on the horizon. The tax increase would end in 10 years or whenever the projects are paid for.
The county commission will consider Tuesday joining the school district, cities and the Cultural Council of Palm Beach County in asking voters for a one-cent hike. It also will look at other means of financing more than $712 million in projects deferred during the recession, including a solo half-cent increase or bond. The commission must approve county sales tax referendums before they’re put on the ballot.

[A look back to August 4th, 2014] From Herman Robinson (Installment One): Why you should vote "Yes" for the LW2020 Bond

 [Note: The LW2020 Bond failed by 25 votes on August 26th, 2014, and you can learn why using this link. Continue reading the blog post below from August 4th, 2014. Now you can understand why so many neighborhoods and communities look the way they do.]

Mr. Herman Robinson, the Chair of the Lake Worth YES PAC, supporting the City's LW2020 Bond Vote this August 26, wrote a letter to me supporting the City's Plan. He titled the letter, "We are WORTH it!" I am going to post Herman's letter in two segments. This is the first segment (for the second segment use this link):

"We are WORTH it!", by Herman Robinson

The City of Lake Worth is finally facing up to the reality of long-deferred maintenance on our hidden assets: water and sewer pipes, drains and road infrastructure, as well as the equally long-deferred maintenance of visible assets as sidewalks, street lighting and streetscapes. To remain a viable community, all of our publicly-owned infrastructure must be repaired and brought up to modern standards, the sooner the better. Estimated cost: $63.5 million for the roads and about $20 million for water utility pipes, which the city already has.

The majority of involved citizens in Lake Worth do not take exception to the necessity of these repairs. However, there are some who disapprove of funding a maintenance plan that is beyond our annual budget limitations. Objections to the plan and funding options are:

1. This maintenance work should have been done before, it doesn't make sense to do it now.
2. There is a connection between other of the City's issues (utilities, rate of home ownership, etc.) and funding strategies for deteriorated infrastructure.
3. Our current City government is incapable of proper spending and completion of any projects.

To each of these objections, I answer:

1. Compare the City's maintenance needs to dental work, for example, "I know I should have had that filling done years ago but I didn't. Now I need bridgework and a plate." Repairs are always more expensive (and painful) the longer you wait.
2. The City does have many issues to address; each is interrelated with the other. Good stewardship and sound planning is to move forward and accomplish what can be done. Success in one area will form the foundation of future endeavors. Old, crumbling infrastructure leads backwards and will make future endeavors impossible.
3. It is easy to point fingers and complain about the flaws of government; mistakes will be made. Unless these mistakes are of the malicious or egregious sort, to deny your government the ability to maintain the public's assets is perverse. Our community cannot become paralyzed because people and results are not always perfect.

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This about sums up the latest kerfuffle created by the press about Lake Worth. . .from Facebook

Did you hear about a "curfew" in Lake Worth? And what is a 'kerfuffle'?