Saturday, April 16, 2016

Earth Day in Lake Worth and the great news about green sea turtles

This news comes from Jim Waymer at Florida Today:
  
"Green sea turtles are no longer endangered in Florida."

[and. . .]

     "The change takes effect May 6, said Kate Brogan, a spokeswoman for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
     Two federal agencies issued a final rule Tuesday, changing the listing for green sea turtles under the Endangered Species Act. The change includes reclassifying turtles originating from two breeding populations — Florida's and those along the Pacific coast of Mexico — from endangered to threatened status, due to successful conservation."

Note: There is no curfew in Lake Worth. You are free to roam as you wish. Even through the Cultural Plaza for Earth Day!

Watch this news segment by Brian Entin to learn more about what happened in Lake Worth
vis-à-vis the efforts by the City to make parks safer and reduce criminal activity at night. Here is an excerpt from the text of the news segment:
     A new ordinance in Lake Worth will not allow people to be in some public areas [emphasis added] during the overnight hours.
     The areas include the Cultural Plaza and the space around some city buildings.   
 Here is the video from WPTV:
Please share this information with your friends and neighbors in Lake Worth. Thank you.
Note that in the news article by Kevin Thompson, the City's beat reporter, the word "curfew" is not mentioned at all. Then why did an editor add the word "curfew" to the headline?

Here's an idea: Go for a swim at the Lake Worth Municipal pool this weekend and there's more good news

For hours of operation, phone number, and prices use this link.

Sally Welsh will be taking over as the Pool Manager this Monday (April 18th). Several times a week I take her pool exercise class and everyone should give a it a try some day. It's a lot of fun. Here's a video of what you can expect:
There continues to be that small cadre of malcontents spreading rumors about the pool being closed down. This is completely false. But some people will believe it because the pool was shut down once before by a previous city commission on the pretense that the upkeep was too expensive. This move occurred in October of 2010:
The City has been investing money and time at the pool area. They recently installed metal-halide lights to accommodate swim teams. If you go, check out the brand new fence that encloses the northern and western sides of the pool. At the south end of the pool there is a small area where the marcite is delaminating. I'm told this is cosmetic and efforts are being made to address it.

[Pinned Post*] All Day Today—Lake Worth's Earth Day Festival 2016 (press release from the City)

*A "pinned post" is kept near the top of the blog. For new content please scroll down. And Thank You for visiting! 

The Lake Worth Earth Day Festival is presented by Kiwanis Club of Lake Worth and Gray Mockingbird Community Garden. The sponsors include: 
  • Siemens Corporation 
  • Florida Sugar Cane League 
  • The Lake Worth Downtown Cultural Alliance 
  • The City of Lake Worth 
  • Lake Worth Interfaith Network 
  • Lake Worth resident Betty Resch, Esq. 
  • The Lake Worth Herald 
  • Macaroni Kid 
  • Mel & Vinnie (Lake Worth's iconic musicians)
You don't want to miss the Earth Day Proclamation by Mayor Pam Triolo at 4:30 and the Tree Give-Away that follows!
     "The Earth Day Festival returns to Lake Worth’s downtown Cultural Plaza on Saturday, April 16th featuring family fun, rescue animal interactions, eco-exhibits, and an exciting lineup of live acoustic and jam bands.
     The Festival runs from noon to 9:00 pm beginning with children’s activities, crafts, Earth Ball Games, prizes, a kids' music circle, and an “all-in” kids drum circle.
     At 4:30 Mayor Pam Triolo will read the City’s Earth Day Proclamation, followed by the annual tree giveaway. Late afternoon and evening will feature more adult music.
     Plan on a day of celebration, music, green exhibits, healthy food and earth-friendly fun.
     The Cultural Plaza is located at Lake Avenue and M Street across from the Lake Worth Library. Admission is free."

To read the entire press release use this link and also look through all the other exciting things to do in Lake Worth.

Neighborhood Clean-Up in Lake Worth TODAY for Earth Day

Join the Royal Poinciana Neighborhood Assoc. for a clean-up:

"Come out Saturday for EARTH DAY from 8:00 a.m. to noon. Meet us at the corner of South 'A' Street and 3rd Ave. South. The clean up will focus on South 'A' and 'B' streets between Lake Ave and 6th Ave South. Refreshments, bags, and gloves will all be provided."

Friday, April 15, 2016

Temporary lane closure on Federal Hwy in Lake Worth (today [April 15th] and Monday)

April 14, 2016: Repair of Underground Sewer Line

For more information contact Brian Shields, PE: bshields@lakeworth.org 

Please be advised of a lane closure on Federal Highway at Fordham Drive in order to perform emergency point repair of the gravity sewer line. Work on the sewer line will begin on Friday, April 15th at 9:00 am and be completed at the end of the day.

Repaving work will commence on Monday, April 18th at 9:00 am and should be completed by the end the day.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

"God works in mysterious ways." Just when the little City of Lake Worth needed a comedic break. . .

Mike Olive, of "Jesus hates religion" fame, wants to take over the Bamboo Room in downtown Lake Worth. The Post's Kevin Thompson has this news that might be in the print edition tomorrow or they'll save it for Monday's Lake Worth special day. If you didn't know, six cities, the very same six cities in Palm Beach County, get their special day of the week. Every week. For who knows how long. Maybe until all the other cities get fed up with the lack of attention.
Lake Worth gets featured in the Post every Monday. Each and every Monday until the End Times?
In a spiritual twist, maybe all of Olive's prayers for Lake Worth did help after all. On March 15th the City was at a crucial crossroad, would Lake Worth move forward or regress back to the past? As you know, all of the incumbents won re-election by landslides. Just something to think about.

Here are two excerpts from the article:

     "Mueller [Ryan Mueller of RJM Real Estate] stressed nothing is final.
     'Right now it’s still in discussions and we’re talking about it,' Mueller said. 'We’re close but until it’s in writing, it means nothing.' "

[and. . .]
     
     "Commissioner Andy Amoroso, who runs Studio 205 and Java Juice Bar on Lake Avenue, has been critical of Olive in the past.
     'He’s catering to sober homes,' Amoroso said. 'I have a problem with him bringing in busloads of sober home people you’re supposed to be helping to an entertainment business. If that’s what he’s going to do, more power to him.' "

While on the topic, do know how many churches are in the City of Lake Worth? Using this link there are about 30 in the City (many on the list are in suburban Lake Worth). When it comes to churches there are a lot of choices.

The news about a Braves Spring Training facility in Belle Glade

The NBC5/WPTV reporter, Tory Dunnan, looks remarkable (see video below) after her long drive to Belle Glade. The city of Belle Glade is a nice place and I stop there often to walk around and stretch my legs. But after you've taken that drive to Belle Glade six or eight times the ride gets a bit boring.

So, if that city does manage to get the Braves to settle there, it might behoove them to come up with more interesting ways to get there from places along the I-95 corridor. Like Park and Ride for example. Park your car and. . .
  • Join a tour bus caravan
  • Make it fun! Fly people out and let them parachute onto the field
  • Helicopter shuttles
  • Have yourself sent by FedEx (is that legal?)
  • Get a special license arrangement with Uber
  • TriRail could add a westward spur
Really, the sky is the limit. Here is the video:

State Senator Jeff Clemens receives high praise

From Jeff Perlman's Facebook page...

He is a former Mayor of Delray Beach and had this posted today.

"Shared this slide with Leadership Palm Beach County to illustrate an example of the power of redevelopment. Great job by our CRA and City. One of many examples."
From the Delray Beach CRA

Sales tax, bed tax, Atlanta Braves and thank you to Commissioner Valeche for educating the public (and correcting the Post editorial board too)

Palm Beach County Commissioner Hal Valeche wrote a letter to The Palm Beach Post responding to their muddled and twisted editorial which appeared in last Sunday's print edition. It was another in a long line of editorials that have you scratching your head: "Are they doing this stuff intentionally to confuse the public?"

After reading that editorial immediately thought of what occurred here in Lake Worth leading up to the last March elections but more on that later. Below are two excerpts from the letter written by Hal Valeche that explains to the editors and the public the difference between a proposed increase in the sales tax and the bed tax that would likely fund a baseball stadium in John Prince Park:

      "The Post seems to be trying to conflate this issue with that of the sales tax proposal currently before us. These are two separate issues, which, because of critical timing for the Braves, happen to be coming before us at the same time. [emphasis added]
      As you mentioned, I and several of my colleagues are striving to find a creative financial solution for financing the Braves’ move here. If we find it, be assured that it would have nothing to do with the current discussion of the sales tax."


[and. . .]

     "We are talking about two separate pots of money: the bed tax, which is paid exclusively by tourists and was a major component of our successful financing of the Washington Nationals and Houston Astros; and a sales tax, which, although paid partly by tourists, falls most heavily and regressively on county residents."

Commissioner Valeche is opposed to an increase in the sales tax and he states that very clearly in his letter. But the point of the letter is made: There simply was no reason for the Post to combine the two issues of the sales tax and the bed tax. That leads to the next question: Was this purposefully done to confuse the issue in the minds of the public?

This is what immediately came to mind vis-à-vis informing the public on the issues and how easy it is to monkeywrench that process, the Gulfstream hotel redevelopment and the Casino at the beach. Two very separate issues that, in the minds of too many people, became linked together as one. One of the candidates in the last election (a winning one) was quite worried that so many people talked to "at the door" thought the historic hotel and the Casino were one issue being dealt with and the concerns the beach stay public. The candidate fretted about the City not doing enough to educate the public on the issues.

So how did this happen? Besides the mailers, the faces at the door, all those door-hangers. . . how did so many people get confused about the public beach/Casino and the Gulfstream hotel redevelopment? What follows will explain a lot. The video below is from the Bryant Park candidate forum held on January 25th. The question asked was as follows:
"Do any of you really believe that there is going to be a private beach club and convention center at the beach? If so, what documentation do you have to support that?
In response the incumbents and candidates went down the line and answered, one-by-one, including the Anarchist candidate Ryan Hartman. They all said "No." Vice Mayor Scott Maxwell went further and said, "Over my dead body." Then Frank McAlonan said the following:

The question was about the beach, remember, it was not about the Gulfstream hotel. But what did McAlonan focus his answer on? The hotel. This was all part of the intentional misdirection and disinformation that continues to this day. I'm not piling on McAlonan, all the candidates challenging the incumbents did the same thing in their own way. Which leads us back to these: 
Remember these signs in Lake Worth? "Hands Off Our Beach" and "Private Development".
The point is this: A possible baseball facility in John Prince Park is a very complex issue. And that's why it's so easy to get the public confused when issues like the sales tax are thrown into the mix. As the hard work continues coming up with a way to make this dream a reality just as much work has to be done to keep the public informed, accurately.

And thanks to Commissioner Valeche for taking the time to do that.

From reporter Kevin Thompson: "PBSO still getting Greenacres officers up to speed after merger"

Below are two excerpts from the article along with sage advice: Lock your car!

     "Before the city merged its 51-member police force with the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office, PBSO said city police officers were going to be trained in the way the sheriff’s office operates.
     Two months after the merger became official, that training is still happening.
     'It will take a little time to do,' Captain Sean Murray told the City Council at its April 4 meeting. 'We have extensive training to meet PBSO standards.' "


[and. . .]

     "In other sheriff’s office news, Murray said the city had saw a lot of burglaries in March. 'The majority of them are kids,' he said. 'Sixty-one percent are unlocked cars.' "

For a refresher on why Lake Worth disbanded its police department and had PBSO patrol the City use this link.

Kevin Thompson is the Post's beat reporter for the City of Lake Worth, Greenacres, areas in the Lake Worth Corridor, and also suburban Lake Worth (for example, continuing developments about Braves baseball in the County's John Prince Park). Here is the reporters contact information:
Phone: 561-820-4573
E-mail: KThompson@pbpost.com
Twitter: @KevinDThompson1

From the latest City of Lake Worth newsletter: "Benzaiten Center for Creative Arts: A Successful City Partnership"*

The City's newsletter, Worth Noting, is free and delivered to your email inbox each week. To subscribe use this link; it only takes a few seconds. To read the entire article about the successful partnership between the City and the Benzaiten Center use this link. Below are two excerpts:

     The Benzaiten Center for Creative Arts is a local treasure—a historic building that has been renovated to become part of the Lake Worth arts hub. A place educating and inspiring school children, college students, adults, locals and tourists—a place that inflames passion for the arts in all who walk through its doors. This IS the Benzaiten Center for Creative Arts.
     As a nonprofit organization, Benzaiten supports the creation of significant new works of art, collaboration between peers across multiple media and instruction from emerging to master artists. Benzaiten has four main facilities:
  • Glassworks Studio
  • Gallery and Gift Shop
  • Flame Working Studio (opening in July 2016)
  • Benzaiten Metal Works Studio (opening in late 2016)
[and. . .]

     The City of Lake Worth and Lake Worth CRA have been instrumental in the success of Benzaiten. From the idea that Benzaiten could find a home in Lake Worth, to the construction, they have helped the Benzaiten staff every step of the way.
     Upon approval by the Mayor and the City Commissioners, they made it possible for Benzaiten to move quickly into construction. Since Benzaiten leased the building from the City, the Center has invested over $700,000 in renovations.
     More information about tours, classes, and events can be found on the Benzaiten’s website or at 561-508-7315. Residents may visit the gallery Tuesday through Saturday between 10:00 am and 4:00 pm.

Here is a video about the Benzaiten Center: *FYI: The Benzaiten Center is an excellent venue to hold a conference or meeting. For example, in April of last year I attended and helped moderate a panel discussion there. I would highly recommend the Benzaiten to any group planning an event.

Interested getting involved with a Lake Worth volunteer board? Try testing the waters at the Tree Board tonight (Thursday) at 5:30 in City Hall

There are many volunteer City boards in Lake Worth and they are crucial for the City to function. The City Commission regularly recognizes their work and sacrifice.

For example, a few of the volunteer City boards are the Historic Resource Preservation Board, Planning & Zoning, and pension boards and they all have their particular topics to deal with. Some boards handle matters narrow in focus and others require skilled professionals with certain experience such as the Finance Advisory Board. Some meetings are very short (such as the Tree Board, see agenda below) and others can last well into the night depending on the agenda.

Tonight (Thursday, 4/14) the Tree Board is meeting in the City Hall conference room (next to where the City Commission meets) at 5:30. The meetings are typically short and here is what they are tasked with doing:
[E]stablishes policy and provides standards within the City Landscape Ordinance for tree preservation. Policy includes educational materials (proper planting, pruning, and insect and disease control), permit guidelines, and City tree sale program.
The staff liaison for the board is David McGrew from the Parks Department and you can contact him for additional information at dmcgrew@lakeworth.org (copy & past into your email browser).

This can be a way for someone who has an interest to "test the waters", so to speak and watch and maybe even participate in a City board meeting. Below is this weeks agenda:

Call to order: 5:30
Pledge of Allegiance
Agenda: Additions, deletions, reordering
Approval of minutes: February 11, 2016, March 10, 2016
Public participation on non-agenda items (3 minute limit)
 
New business
Advisors report
 
Report from Susan Mason on 17th Street Natural Area
 

Old business
Landscape Ordinance
 
Earth Day Tree Give-away—Ted Brownstein
Tree Board Talk review

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Letter to the editor at the Post from Lake Worth resident Helene Jarvis titled, "The city that dines together. . ."

That supremely silly editorial the Post published last Saturday is now entering the realm of satire. Lake Worth Commissioner Chris McVoy, his trusted advisor Cara Jennings, and presumably with the help of a friendly soul on the editorial board, tried to make Mayor Pam Triolo's baked ziti into a major scandal. It didn't work. You can read all about that using this link.

You see, just like a cigar is just a cigar, baked ziti is just baked ziti. And from what I'm hearing Mayor Triolo is coming up with another secret recipe for baked ziti. Were there "secret meetings" about that too? Is it possible for secret messages to be slipped into the middle of a ziti pasta hole? And how would anyone know which ziti in the dish had the secret message? What if McVoy showed up to have dinner with his fellow elected's and that secret ziti ended up on his dish! Then he would have proof of "secret meetings". Oh My!

I also heard someone is planning to attend the next City Commission meeting adorned in ziti. Ziti earrings, a belt made of ziti, a ziti hat, and shorts made of ziti. Talk about imagination.

Anyhow, below is the letter that appeared in the print edition of the Post today (and the link):

     "Before we use our imagination to try and figure out what our Lake Worth mayor and city commissioners may be discussing before a commission meeting, perhaps Cara Jennings, who stumbled upon this clandestine meal, can start an investigation and make sure they have not set up private servers at their homes to exchange city secrets.
     I think that to resolve any issues regarding the Sunshine Law and suspicions, it might be prudent that anyone attending a Lake Worth City Commission meeting bring their own dinner and a canteen filled with their favorite beverage. Jennings can ring a dinner bell, and the mayor and city commissioners and all in attendance — to a meeting that will go on, and on, and on — can eat together, hold hands, and thus avoid suspicions of secrecy. [emphasis added]"

Nicely done, Helene.

and. . .


"Hmmm, I've heard Lake Worth has a non-profit group that helps neighborhoods. Where can I learn more?"*

You've come to the right place! Continue reading about this spectacular neighborhood organization below, which is non-political, non-partisan, with the only goal being to make your neighborhood and the little City of Lake Worth a better place to live:
Visit the NAPC tent at Evening on the Avenue every 1st and 3rd Friday of the month (learn more on that below).
To read the history, purpose, and accomplishments of the Neighborhood Association Presidents Council (NAPC) visit this site. The site also includes a calendar of meetings and contact information. Here is the NAPC Facebook page and an excerpt about the NAPC:
     The City of Lake Worth is unique for many reasons. High on the list is the number of active and involved Neighborhood Associations that share common challenges as well as strategies and projects to address those challenges. Before the NAPC was formed in 2007, each neighborhood worked independently to organize, engage and represent their neighbors. That meant that the same wheel was often re-invented over and over again.
[and. . .]
     From individual neighborhood clean-ups to city wide efforts like the Little Free Library project, neighborhood street banners, crime walks, neighborhood watch programs and more, Council Members work together to make every corner of Lake Worth a place we can all be proud to call our home.
For more about Evening on the Avenue and other upcoming events, ongoing and new, use this link to the City's Events page:
As always, if you see anything suspicious going on here is what you do:
*You DO NOT have to be a member or even live in a particular neighborhood to attend any NAPC meeting anywhere in the little City of Lake Worth. Everyone is always welcome!

Where is the Illuminati? Have you seen any Illuminati? Δ

With so much talk about "secret meetings" over baked ziti (look in the right-hand column for "When Mayor Triolo shares baked ziti with fellow elected's. . ."), what about the feared "Illuminati"? How can we leave them out of all the 'secret' drama? You know, societies with secret symbols and secret handshakes, Oh My!

Below is another video from one of my favorite sources: Vox has "9 questions about the Illuminati you were too afraid to ask". Enjoy!

From Sharon Koskoff: Learn about "Fashion, Flappers & Fitzgerald!" at the Art Deco Armory Art Center

Today (Wednesday, 4/13) at 7:00 will feature Professor Terryl Lawrence, another in the Lecture Series at the historic Art Deco Armory Art Center:

"F. Scott Fitzgerald immortalized the glamorous young women who were hiking up their skirts; bobbing their hair, and partaking in once forbidden delights like alcohol, cigarettes, driving, and dancing together in clubs!"

The Art Deco Armory Art Center is located at 1700 Parker Ave. in West Palm Beach.

There is free parking and also refreshments are provided. For more information call 561-276-9925 or email Sharon Koskoff at art@artdecopb.org

A reception will follow and the suggested donation is $5.00.

More "communication" from the ROLO 'neighborhood' and my apologies to County Commissioner Shelley Vana

The public discussion about a possible Braves Spring Training facility in the County's John Prince Park has been lively and mostly civil. And then there's the Residences (not the "Residents") of Lake Osborne (ROLO) 'neighborhood' which is really just a small special interest group that has chosen a different path. My apologies to Commissioner Shelley Vana for posting this image but think it's important that this incivility and disrespect be seen:
". . . if your Piss is that Magical.....Let the Yellow water flow." So very charming, isn't it? Mr. Waples is the president of the ROLO 'neighborhood'.
Some time ago, I think when the basketball courts (or was it the water playground?) were added to the park, ROLO went ballistic with claims the park would be ruined. It wasn't. When another pavilion was added it was the same old, "They're trying to destroy OUR park!" It's the same thing every time the County proposes a change of any sort.

The truth is this, if baseball does come to John Prince Park the people at ROLO will hardly ever notice except for the occasional cheering sound after a home run. Baseball won't ruin their lives or be the end of the world. It's just a change. That's all.

The hysteria and panic needs to be replaced with lively and passionate DEBATE. For another example of ROLO and their "communication" watch the video below. At the 1:35 mark in the video, Lake Worth Commissioner Andy Amoroso responds to the allegations made by the woman in the first 1½ minutes. But she never got to hear what Amoroso said because she left City Hall before anyone could challenge her. It's the typical strategy we've seen a thousand times: Use the right of Free Speech to say whatever you want and then take off out the door before you can be challenged to provide any proof.

The woman goes on about the lack of communication between ROLO and the City Commission. Now for the truth about ROLO and "communication": Comissioner Amoroso pointed out that their meetings are by "invitation only". He further states that "ROLO never invited me" to any of their meetings and has never received an email from ROLO. He goes on to say that he regularly attends other neighborhood association meetings within the City.

Vice Mayor Scott Maxwell, who represents and also resides in that area (District One), you can see nodding his head during Amoroso's comments. Someone pointed out earlier in the meeting that Commissioner Maxwell was actually asked to leave a ROLO meetings since he wasn't invited.

If the latest discussion about a possible Braves baseball facility in John Prince Park proves anything, it's that ROLO's claim of representing a large group of Lake Osborne residents in Lake Worth is a myth; it's simply not true at all. Many residents in that area of the City are big supporters of the Braves. And, by the way, so is their elected representative on the City Commission: Scott Maxwell.

And I would guess there are many people in that neighborhood that will be very displeased about the image at the top of this blog post. Oh, and FYI, the next ROLO meeting is on May 10th. I'm guessing there's going to be a big turnout. Stay tuned.

Just in case you haven't heard, there's another one!

Let's flood the March 14th, 2017 ballot with quality candidates to defeat the obstructionists. Lake Worth deserves better representation than Ryan Maier and Chris McVoy have given us. See the instructions in the right-hand column of this blog (look for "Another name will be on ballot for March 2017 Lake Worth elections") to learn how to get your name on the ballot.

Here is the latest person to get into the arena in an email from the City:

From: Karen Hancsak [Lake Worth City Clerk]
Sent: Monday, April 11, 2016 4:15 PM
To: Pam Triolo; Scott Maxwell; Andy Amoroso; Christopher McVoy; Ryan Maier
Cc: Michael Bornstein
Subject: Candidate for Commissioner, District 4

Please be advised that Maryann E. Polizzi has declared her intent to be a Commissioner for District 4 in the 2017 Election.

Lake Worth Commissioner Ryan Maier's right to speak freely has been taken away by his handlers*

Please note: The next City Commission meeting is this coming Tuesday, April 19th.

Shortly after the video (see below) was taken at a City Commission meeting in January, Commissioner Maier's freedom of speech rights were taken away by his handlers. If you attend Commission meetings or watch the City's video, you know that Maier doesn't talk much any more, and NEVER if the opportunity to speak is an unscripted or spontaneous one.

It would seem the strategy is to keep him silent to not cause any further damage. If you didn't know, Maier is up for re-election next March (read about that in the right-hand column of this blog).

The mistakes and errors of fact by Maier are too long to list here but this is the latest one: He telling his constituents he's a member of the Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council (TCRPC). He's not. Maier is simply the City's liaison to the TCRPC. When he goes to the monthly meetings he sits in the public seating area just like the rest of the public that attends. He doesn't vote on anything at the TCRPC.

Maier's coaching crew must have been so displeased by his presentation speaking about his attendance at the Climate Summit in Key West when he says this starting at the 5:00 mark:
"One moment. I lost my place. [15 second pause] Sorry, I got a little lost here. And I'll be honest I'm not a numbers guy. But this did seem very crucial."
It may have been awkward for Maier but it was cringe-worthy for most of us in the City Commission chambers. Starting at the 7:20 mark Commissioner McVoy tries to pick up the slack for Maier and get things back on track vis-à-vis their sea level rise presentation. Here is the video and fast-forward to the 5:00 mark to hear Maier say, "Sorry, I got a little lost here":
Anyhow, starting at the 13:45 mark Vice Mayor Scott Maxwell gives a short (1:45) summation of his take-away from his attendance at the sea level rise summit in Key West. He essentially continues this theme that he maintained throughout his last campaign for re-election (which he won in a landslide):
The clear message from the people of Lake Worth is "Keep the focus Local!

*In the last development, Maier was absent at the last City Commission meeting. The City Clerk said he was not feeling well. Maier's absence is fueling more speculation that he's being kept from interacting with his constituents.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Purely by coincidence. . . Help and information available: Learn more about latest psychiatric Diagnostic and Statistical Manual

"Please sign up for this important training about the changes in the DSM presented by Mark Smith, PhD. Associate Professor, Barry University. Even the most experienced clinicians will need to understand the new DSM-5":

The newest version of the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-5) proposes profound changes in the way mental health practitioners engage in clinical assessment and diagnosis. Gone is the familiar 5-Axis system. Gone are other familiar diagnoses such as Aspergers, Mental Retardation, Hypochondriasis, and Substance Dependence or Addiction; likewise the familiar term “General Medical Condition” has disappeared.

Date and time: April 22nd from 9:00 am1:00 pm
Cost—Members $25; non-members $30 (includes lunch and 4 CEUs)
Location: Mental Health Association of Palm Beach County, 909 Fern St., West Palm Beach
For questions please contact: info@mhapbc.org or 561-832-3755

Big news for West Palm Beach: Okeechobee Blvd will be closed to traffic for four days in May

If you live, work, or play in West Palm Beach it might be smart to start making plans now. That Friday the 13th in May and the days that follow aren't going to be much fun. Here is an excerpt from the news by Tony Doris and Jennifer Sorentrue:

     "Downtown West Palm Beach’s main east-west artery — Okeechobee Boulevard — will be blocked for four days next month as All Aboard Florida’s Brightline service lays track for its passenger rail.
     A detour route has yet to be decided for the roadwork, scheduled to start Friday, May 13 at 8 p.m. and end Tuesday, May 17, at 6 p.m.
     Both eastbound and westbound Okeechobee will close at the Florida East Coast Railway tracks during that period, spokeswoman Ali Soule said. Workers will be at the site 24 hours a day, she said.
     'All Aboard Florida worked closely with the City of West Palm Beach and Town of Palm Beach to determine the schedule and closure details,' Spokeswoman Ali Soule said."

For more information on future road closures and maps of traffic detours all along the All Aboard Florida (Brightline) right of way, please visit their website.

All Aboard Florida is a transportation and real estate company creating urban living spaces and incorporating a passenger train service. The company is currently building Brightline, along with transit oriented developments in Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach. All Aboard Florida was established in 2012 and is a part of Florida East Coast Industries—one of the state's oldest infrastructure and transportation companies.

The Palm Beach Post editorial last Saturday, Commissioner Chris McVoy, and the ghost of U.S. Senator Joseph McCarthy

"When public men indulge themselves in abuse, when they deny others a fair trial, when they resort to innuendo and insinuation, to libel, scandal, and suspicion, then our democratic society is outraged, and democracy is baffled. It has no apparatus to deal with the boor, the liar, the lout, and the antidemocrat in general."
J. William Fulbright, his thoughts on Senator McCarthy and the tactics he employed.

I've had a lot of fun with that silly editorial The Palm Beach Post published last Saturday and you can real all about that using this link. The paper finally got around to making it available to their online readers on Monday afternoon. The Post acknowledges that the city manager, Michael Bornstein, Mayor Pam Triolo et al did nothing wrong or even inappropriate sharing baked ziti but they're still suspicious? Here is an excerpt about the meals that are held in City Hall prior to City Commission meetings:
But Triolo and Bornstein, in separate interviews, insisted that nothing was said then, or at any of the chow sessions, that involved public business. It’s perfectly legal, under the Sunshine Law, for officials to meet in private and discuss non-public matters.
At the end of this blog post are two videos for the editor(s). One is of Lake Worth City Attorney Glen Torcivia explaining the Sunshine Law which the editorial writer(s) is/are still having trouble grasping.

Mind you, less than a month after the Post wholeheartedly endorsed the direction Lake Worth was heading led by Mayor Triolo, Vice Mayor Maxwell, and Commissioner Amoroso they again raise the specter of "secret meetings"? Why are they engaged in an effort to try and drive a wedge between the public and their local government and leadership following such a glowing endorsement? The rights of Free Speech and assembly, according to the editors, don't apply to elected Americans? Hogwash.

The Florida Sunshine Law is being used as a weapon to squash Free Speech. Let's examine what led us to this point:

"It’s healing time, folks."
—Rick Christie, Editor, Palm Beach Post editorial board, 3/15/2015, five days after last year's municipal elections in Lake Worth.

Prior to last year's March 2015 Post endorsements for Lake Worth there were no news reports in that newspaper (or anywhere else for that matter) concerning any alleged violations of the Sunshine Law by City Manager Michael Bornstein or any elected official on the City Commission. Not one single reference. (One of the unelected, Mr. Bornstein, by the way, despite what happened continues to maintain a stellar reputation and has many supporters both within the City and throughout Palm Beach County.)

However, on March 3rd, 2015, one of the editors at the Post, Stacey Singer (with the presumed acquiescence of the rest of the board) penned the candidate endorsements for commissioners McVoy and now-Commissioner Ryan Maier. It is her freedom to endorse anyone she chooses, BUT it was completely unnecessary and unethical to lead the public to believe that the city manager and other elected officials violated the Sunshine Law using very clever, never-proven insinuations provided by McVoy to the editors. Why didn't they do any research to see if the allegations were even true or not?

McVoy started all this nonsense last year and he tried it again (see link above) just a few weeks prior to election day this year. McVoy again made false claims about the mayor, Vice Mayor Maxwell, and Commissioner Amoroso alleging Sunshine Law violations and these false accusations were not taken lightly. What was talked about and also written about on this blog on what McVoy did almost certainly contributed to the recent landslide elections here in Lake Worth.

Here is what Vice Mayor Scott Maxwell wrote in response to this unethical treatment last year:
     “The key issues in Lake Worth’s municipal election seem to be trust or the lack thereof.”
      It would appear that a key centerpiece of the quote above is your paper’s inference that elected officials sharing meals constitutes a violation of the State of Florida’s “Sunshine Law”—or some other unstated wrongdoing.
      The assertion of a Sunshine Law violation, the term The Palm Beach Post and you (Stacey Singer) carelessly used within your endorsement as an example of the trust concerns expressed by Christopher McVoy (without the benefit of fact checking for validity) is irresponsible and damages the reputations of innocent, hard-working elected officials who, in my experience and in fact, operate well within the provision of the Sunshine Law Statute and/or the State and Local Ethics Codes.
The Post editorial board set a very bad precedent last year and continues to do so:
     Argument from ignorance (Latin: argumentum ad ignorantiam), also known as appeal to ignorance (in which ignorance stands for "lack of evidence to the contrary"), [emphasis added] is a fallacy in informal logic. It asserts that a proposition is true because it has not yet been proven false (or vice versa). This represents a type of false dichotomy in that it excludes a third option, which is that there is insufficient investigation and therefore insufficient information to prove the proposition satisfactorily to be either true or false. Nor does it allow the admission that the choices may in fact not be two (true or false), but may be as many as four,
  1. true
  2. false
  3. unknown between true or false
  4. being unknowable (among the first three).
In debates, appeals to ignorance are sometimes used to shift the burden of proof.
Does the word hypocrisy come to mind? How about the term "Ivory Tower"? Did the Post even think about picking up the phone and calling the Inspector General for advice on having ziti at City Hall?

Note that many people have been working very hard and making very difficult decisions in Lake Worth on many issues and the Gulfstream hotel is just one on a very long list. Here is how that vote turned out:
Voting "Yes" and making hard decisions makes elected officials easy targets for the "slings and arrows".
Maybe the Post could examine why commissioners McVoy and Maier oppose nearly everything the majority on the City Commission and the public also supports? Now that would make for an interesting editorial. Just don't hold your breath.

For a concise and clear explanation of the Sunshine Law please watch this video:

The video below is also quite interesting. If you're short on time fast forward to the 1:00 mark and see what Commissioner McVoy does when all the other elected officials are not in the room. He was unaware that during breaks at City Commission meetings the sound is turned off but the video keeps on recording. Hope you enjoy the music that accompanies the action!

Frank Cerabino ranked all the cities in Palm Beach County! How did Lake Worth do? And the truth about chicken farming in this little City.

Just in case you happened to read that Sunday Cerabino column and thought, "Hey, I'm going to Lake Worth to chase my dream of my own chicken farm!", and for everyone else who doesn't think it's the least bit humorous the Post has a 'satirist' after how many reporters, copy editors, and all those dreaming of a career at a newspaper have been given pink slips?:

Really now, who cares how Cerabino ranks the cities of Palm Beach County? True, there are some people who might be interested, so here is the link. The only reason this is being pointed out is that Cerabino gets it completely wrong about the 'urban chicken' situation here in Lake Worth. 

This really needs to be corrected but asking for that is pointless. The City is still waiting for a correction about that "curfew" nonsense The Palm Beach Post published. Here is what Cerabino falsely reports about "chicken farming" in Lake Worth:

"It’s the place where backyard chicken farming is proposed, local anarchists plot strategies, and snowbirds from Finland mix with refugees from Guatemala."

Chicken farming "is proposed"? Nonsense. Backyard chickens are illegal in Lake Worth. But more on that later.

By the way, the "local Anarchists" plotting "strategies" didn't work out too well. The Anarchist Ryan Hartman lost in a landslide to Vice Mayor Scott Maxwell (see image below). Our wonderful Finnish and Guatemalan friends do get along quite well in this charming City. But Cerabino gets the 'urban chicken' issue absolutely, 100% wrong with much thanks to that paper of record, The Palm Beach Post (Oh, and did you know the Post is published by the Sun Sentinel in Broward County? It's true. The papers are shipped north using really big trucks that damage the environment).

Anyhow, continue reading the truth from an earlier blog post if you're someone considering raising chickens or opening up a chicken farm here in the City of Lake Worth:

If you thought raising chickens within the city limits of Lake Worth was legal you are wrong. That activity is illegal and if it is a problem in your neighborhood you need to contact the city.

The 'Urban Chicken' is a really bad idea if you just take into consideration the health issues and nothing else. The future health of your children, the elderly, and those with compromised immune systems, to name a few, has been well documented. But for some reason this issue continues to raise its beak now and then with references to the cost of eggs at Publix (which have been coming down of late). 

If you recall, then-candidate and now-Commissioner Ryan Maier was founder of the Lake Worth Chickens Facebook page. Thus far Maier has not given any public support for urban chickens but he clearly aligns himself with the 'fowl' side on this issue—note that he hasn't taken a stance against raising chickens in an urban environment either. And with the current majority on the City Commission we're very unlikely to hear Maier ruffle any feathers any time soon.

Besides health there are many problems with raising chickens within city limits (as opposed to suburban farming communities) that far outweigh the few pennies saved by a homeowner such as insufficiently trained "farmers", neighborhood nuisance and noise complaints, attracting predators (humans included), the additional burden on city staff, etc.

But do you remember a previous city commissioner (Cara Jennings) and her big issue of the day?

"Chicken Tacos or Omelets will be served depending on the outcome of the match" --Tom McGow
Newly re-elected Vice Mayor Maxwell fought valiantly against the Urban Chicken and continues, to this day, to be vigilant.
The image above is from the talented and gifted Tom McGow. Mr. McGow published this on his blog in July, 2011. For the most part the public has had little tolerance for this nonsense but the issue is far from a cooked one. Stay vigilant!
Another classic from the inimitable Tom McGow.

Monday, April 11, 2016

The City of Lake Worth's Wikipedia page: Take time to visit and learn more about your City

Here is a link to the City of Lake Worth's Wikipedia page. At the bottom of the web page you can see the last time it was edited. For instance, as of today (Sunday, 4/10) it was last "modified on 6 April 2016, at 20:04."

Thankfully, there is a person or persons that are doing a very good job of keeping the page from being hijacked as it was three times or four times previously. That's old news and won't go into that again except to show one example of what to look for when you read the Wikipedia page, such as this:
It was revealed in the spring of 2015 that a committee was meeting behind closed doors to consider a proposal to build a convention center and private beach club at the beach, and to destroy the Olympic-sized municipal pool, the only oceanfront Olympic-size municipal pool in South Florida. Residents have rallied to prevent this from going forward.
This text was deleted from the page. Someone was trying to do some not-so-clever monkeywrenching. The information added was intentionally misleading and no one even took the time to source the material. Why? Because the information is completely untrue.

A big Thank You to everyone that is involved in keeping our City's Wikipedia page fresh, with interesting historical information, and all the other facts and factoids that make this little City of Lake Worth so special.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

"That's messed up. I'm spending $60 at this place for lunch and that guy just parked his truck so I can't see the ocean."

It's been well documented how badly the Lake Worth Casino was designed in 2009/2010 vis-à-vis the parking and traffic patterns. With the tourists and Snowbirds packing up and going back home, hopefully soon the conversation will begin on how to fix the failed Casino project once and for all so they'll have a better experience next year.

The issues cited above are in addition to future discussion of possibly restoring features that were Greenwashed out of the project and the looming prospect of a possible default declaration also. Yes, a previous city commission created quite a mess for the current majority, staff, and city manager to fix.

Below is a video put together to demonstrate what many tourists and visitors got to see while having a slice of pizza at Mamma Mia's by the Beach or lunch at Mulligan's Beach House.

So what exactly is the problem? Parking for commercial vehicles, both large and small, wasn't adequately designed into the plan and neither was short-term parking for quick deliveries and pick-ups. So what do these drivers do? The same thing any reasonable person would: they park in front of the Casino complex obstructing the view of visitors and tourists who came to the Casino why? Drum roll please. To look at the ocean, of course.

Enjoy this video of beverage deliveries, limo drivers, city vehicles and more parked in front of our charming Casino building next to the Atlantic Ocean:

Oh, and by the way, there are "No Parking" signs all along the stretch of road. The vehicles are parked in the bike lane. Another 'visionary' gift from a previous city commission.

[UPDATE] More "secret meetings" and 'murky' meals! Seriously, are those ridiculous Post editorials a team effort or one rogue editor?

[UPDATE: Should the public demand higher quality (properly researched) editorials from The Palm Beach Post? The silly one published in print on Saturday, April 9th, is the perfect example of a low quality editorial and for some reason it's still not available for their online readership as of 7:30 Monday morning. Why would that be? Anyhow, the reaction around Lake Worth is one of comedic laughter, an increase in interest about recipes, with a mix of disbelief at how petty the Post editor(s) can be. The editorial was a waste of print space.

You don't have to be a rocket scientist, or even a soil scientist, to see through the hypocrisy of that editorial. All McVoy has to do is show up and have some ziti or meatloaf with his fellow elected's. But he won't. It's the silly issue he holding onto like one possessed. And also note the editorial states that elected officials having meals together is not improper in any way. Then why write it in the first place? Except if the intention is to try and form, or mold, public opinion. Is that proper or ethical for an editor to do?

Anyhow, continue reading how the Post is trying to create an issue ("Wag the Dog") along with trying to give Lake Worth Commissioner Chris McVoy some political cover heading into his (maybe) campaign for re-election:]

First, Commissioner Chris McVoy has yet to answer this challenge made on this blog on March 18th. The Palm Beach Post is clearly trying to throw McVoy a lifeline; if you didn't know he's up for re-election and you can read about that in the right-hand column of this blog, near the top.

If you have any awareness of the goings-on of Lake Worth politics, you are no doubt aware of the meme 'secret meetings'. These secret meetings are really the worst kept secret in Lake Worth since everyone has heard of them.* During this last election, the losing side clung to claims about secret meetings during the Invitation to Negotiate (ITN) process. With the ITN process, we even eventually found out exactly what went on during those meetings. No secrets there.

And now the Post gets to regurgitate the 'meals before meetings' issue. Both of these non-issue issues were raised during the last election cycle. McVoy, who initially participated in the meal program, suddenly got indigestion and decided he wouldn't participate anymore due to perceived impropriety due to possible violations of the Sunshine Law. Complete nonsense brought up two times, conveniently in the weeks prior to an election.

The tactic worked in 2015. The second time it backfired in spectacular fashion on McVoy and his favorite candidates, including the Anarchist Ryan Hartman.

In the Saturday (4/9) print edition of the Post, we are given seconds and thirds of the "secret meals" story. These have to be the most talked about secret meetings, ever. McVoy and the "leaders from headquarters" like to put the opposition in a position where they have to prove something didn't happen during these meetings. That is called trying to prove a negative, which is an age old political ploy that's rolled out when nothing else works or you have little to show for your time in office.

Here's how it works: Raise the specter of misdeeds, but choose things that are impossible to prove, either true or false. Have friends in the press "raise the question" to try and create public suspicion. There was a famous movie about this tactic, Wag the Dog.

Note that these claims are being made by the same person, Commissioner McVoy, PhD, you can watch in the video in the blog post below (or watch using this link).

*The "secret meetings" tactic was also employed recently against the Cultural Council of the Palm Beaches too. Interestingly, the council is also located in downtown Lake Worth. Just worth noting.

A special treat for the editor(s) at the Palm Beach Post (note: the fun starts at the 1:00 mark!)

When all the other elected officials were out of the room on break during a City Commission meeting, Commissioner Chris McVoy, well. . . you can watch for yourself.

You see, during breaks the sound is turned off but the video keeps on recording! McVoy was unaware of that. How he reacts when Commissioner Andy Amoroso re-enters the room in very interesting as you'll see. So, hope you enjoy the music that accompanies the video.