Saturday, April 30, 2016

"Baseball, soccer fields unveiled at Lantana’s new sports complex" and Lake Worth's City Manager Michael Bornstein is mentioned

Post reporter Alexandra Seltzer has this article on Lantana's new sports complex and below are two excerpts:

     "With the sun shining and a slight breeze to keep players cool on Thursday, it was a perfect day to play baseball, and in Lantana, there are finally fields to do so.
     Mayor David Stewart dressed in Marlins gear and carried a Louisville slugger youth baseball bat, and 'Take Me Out To The Ballgame' played in the background while town officials, developers and residents gathered on North Eighth Street to cut the ribbon to Lantana’s new sports complex."


[and. . .]

     "It took about 14 years to get the Holley property to where it could be developed, Stewart told the group of about 40 people. Four men have been governor since the journey started. Stewart reminisced of when it was he and former town manager Michael Bornstein, now Lake Worth’s city manager, trying to get the state to clean up the property and made many trips to Tallahassee." [emphasis added]

Beating a dead horse: the failed San Francisco housing experiment and soaring costs for housing

Followers of this blog will have read about the failed housing experiment in San Francisco many times over. The 'dream' actually turned out to have a "Shakespearean Flaw". By limiting growth and housing they increased demand in a culture that now prefers to live in cities; once the Great Recession ended the writing was on the wall, as they say, and the San Francisco dream to 'save' the  city failed.

Housing in San Francisco is at such a premium that costs have soared for apartments, condos, homes, etc. How much? This article by Gizmodo titled, "Could You Save Money By Commuting to San Francisco From Las Vegas?" says it all; here's a short excerpt:

     "Many of San Francisco workers are being priced far out of the city due to the housing shortage. But how far? According to one person’s calculations, rents are so high, it would be worth it to move to Las Vegas and fly back to San Francisco for work.
     Supercommuters—people who live in one city and fly to work in another—have been growing in numbers due to the seemingly incongruous trends of dirt-cheap airfare and outrageously high costs of living. But these choices usually have to do with family situations or job changes; it rarely pencils out economically. But sometimes, when cities are really expensive, it does."

Commissioner McVoy isn't the champion of transparency he claims to be: "The secrecy bothers McVoy—even though he voted for it"

The quote above is from The Palm Beach Post. More on that a little later.

At the end of this blog post is a happy picture taken at the Lake Worth Casino some time in late 2012. Those were very happy days but didn't last very long. It was taken before the reality hit that the Casino business plan was a failure and the project would end up costing the taxpayers huge amounts of money to keep it operating.

Below are excerpts from this article by Alexandra Clough on March 5th of last year. It was a fair and factual account of the now-ended "Invitation to Negotiate" (ITN) process and possible ways to help our struggling Casino/Beach Complex. Below are a two excerpts:
     Lake Worth’s restored casino complex boasts a winning view of the ocean. To the city’s coffers, however, the beachside center is a poor financial bet: It doesn’t make enough money to pay off $6 million borrowed for the 2013 redo.
[and...]
     The secrecy bothers McVoy — even though he voted for it [emphasis added]
     Last week, McVoy says he didn’t know the ITN would be so hush-hush: At the time he voted, McVoy said its description was “fuzzy . . . I would not say it was very adequately explained.”
But he voted for it anyway? The vote was a unanimous one.
Note that Commissioner McVoy, PhD, voted "Yes" for secrecy. Nothing "fuzzy" about this. Later, as part of the ITN process, all the information was made available to the public.
So the next time McVoy delivers one of his master classes on transparency and openness remember how he voted when it came to the ITN and his attempt to explain that vote by claiming it was "fuzzy".
Note that the Casino complex is now a confirmed business failure.

Friday, April 29, 2016

One-time special event at the Cultural Council: Evening Jazz Concert on Saturday, April 30th

"The Cultural Council of Palm Beach County will host a one-time-only concert featuring international jazz vocalist and recording artist Yvette Norwood-Tiger and her Jazz Ensemble, in honor of International Jazz Day. The ensemble features pianist and musical director Rick Moore of Jupiter Jazz Society, Burt Boice on contra bass, and Jose Roman Duque on drums, plus special guest trumpeter Michael Mackey, who is a senior at Dreyfoos School of the Arts."

More information:
  • Location: Cultural Council of Palm Beach County, 601 Lake Ave. in Lake Worth 
  • Time: 7:30–9:30
  • Admission: $15.00 per ticket (tickets may be purchased at the door or by phone in advance. Call 561-471-2901)

Penny Sales Tax to be Considered by the Palm Beach County Commission

This coming Tuesday, the Palm Beach County Commission will be deciding whether or not to put a 1 cent sales tax on this coming November's ballot. It will have a life of ten years. The revenue from the increased sales tax would go to fund certain School Board needs, infrastructure improvements and repairs, along with some additional funding for tourism and cultural institutions.

The important part for Lake Worth is that the revenue created would be allocated to all the municipalities in Palm Beach County. This would be based upon each individual city's total taxable value. It is estimated that would mean an additional $2 million per year for Lake Worth, based upon current figures. That money would be used for many road projects less the Park of Commerce. It would also allow the city to aggregate the future revenue stream into a lump sum at the beginning.

Since part of the burden would be placed upon tourists visiting Palm Beach County, a portion of the money generated would go to tourism and cultural institutions in order to make the area even more attractive.

Please contact all of your County Commissioners about the need to put this item on the ballot in November. The concern is that if the County Commission chooses not too, the Palm Beach County School Board would go after the same 1 cent increase. That could leave us paying the same amount and not getting the infrastructure improvements needed in the municipalities.

Here are some of the cities that want this to proceed to the ballot: Atlantis, Belle Glade, Boynton Beach, Delray Beach, Greenacres, Highland Beach, Jupiter Inlet Colony, Lake Clarke Shores, Lake Worth, Lantana, Loxahatchee Groves, Pahokee, Palm Springs, Royal Palm Beach, South Bay, South Palm Beach, Wellington, and West Palm Beach.

There are 7 county commissioners in all. The City of Lake Worth and surrounding areas are represented by Commissioner Shelley Vana. If you would like to contact her about this issue use this link and look on the right-hand side of the web page.

Starting Monday, May 2nd: More projects to fix the City's aging water system

To read more about this project use this link. Below is more information about the next phase:

Starting Monday, the city will start replacing more aging, 2″ water mains at four locations. The areas are:
  • 17th Street South from Lakeside Drive east to dead end.
  • The alley between South J Street and South K Street from 12th Avenue South to 11th Avenue South.
  • The alley between M Street and South N Street from 13th Avenue South to 11th Avenue South.
  • The alley between North L Street and North M Street from 8th Avenue North to 7th Avenue South.
The work is part of a $17 million, six-phase project the City says will be finished in six years. The first phase was completed last month.

The City said the work starting Monday should be finished by Nov. 28. Affected hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The City is encouraging people from parking in the area or placing items there.

City Commission agenda next Tuesday and what tactics will commissioners Maier and McVoy employ to delay and obstruct City business?

A lot will depend on whether everyone is present, or not. If you recall, Mayor Pam Triolo wasn't able to attend the last meeting due to a scheduling conflict. Ryan Maier and Chris McVoy took advantage of this and forced an important agenda item to go through the process, again. (Use this link or go to the next blog post to read about all the time and effort this will cost the City.)

Read about what these two commissioners did and watch the video by looking in the right-hand column of this blog for "Political Monkeywrenching: Taking advantage of absences at government meetings".

Below are excerpts from the agenda for the City Commission next Tuesday with some interesting items highlighted. To see the entire agenda, use this link and scroll down for "May 3, 2016 Regular Meeting" and click on "Full Version". 

City of Lake Worth Commission Agenda
City Hall Commission Chambers, 7 North Dixie Highway
Tuesday, May 3rd, 2016, 6:00 PM
1. Roll Call
2. Invocation or Moment of Silence: Moment of silence at the request of Commissioner Ryan Maier
3. Pledge of Allegiance: Led by Vice Mayor Maxwell
4. Agenda: Additions/Deletions/Reordering
5. Presentations (there is no public comment on Presentation items)
A. Introduction of Commission on Ethics Executive Director Mark Bannon and answer any Commission questions
B. Bryant Park Neighborhood Association
C. Sheriff's office update by Todd Baer
D. Historic Resources Preservation Board Update

[and later. . .]

10. Public Hearings:
A. Ordinance No. 2016-13 - First Reading and First Public Hearing - amend various sections and tables of the City's Land Development Regulations
B. Ordinance No. 2016-15 - First Reading and First Public Hearing - amend Downtown (DT) zoning district, permitted uses table and amend various sections of the City's Land Development Regulations.

[and. . .]

13. Lake Worth Electric Utility
A. Presentation (there is no public comment on Presentation items)
1) Update on the Siemens project.
2) Update on the electric utility system

What can everyone expect at the meeting next Tuesday? 
Will there be more delay and obstruction tactics employed on Tuesday? This image is from a CIA manual showing "General Interference with Organizations". Tactics are to talk "at great length", "raise the question", and advocate "caution". Remind you of anyone?

Tax dollars and City resources wasted as a result of political delay tactics and monkeywrenching

Below is from next Tuesday's (May 3rd) City Commission meeting, a chronology of events leading up to commissioners Ryan Maier and Chris McVoy tactical delay of an important agenda item and how much time, money, and effort will be needed to move this forward, again.

Maier and McVoy took advantage of Mayor Triolo's absence and you can read about and also watch a video of what they did using this link. Now. . . this is what the City has to do to fix all this:

The proposed amendments provide clarification, edits and additions to the LDRs’ definitions; notice requirements for public hearing; site plan review; zoning districts; development standards; off-street parking; sign code; and, landscape regulations.
     On February 3, 2016, the Planning & Zoning Board, at its regularly scheduled meeting, discussed the proposed amendments to the LDRs and voted 7-0 to recommend approval to the City Commission.
     On February 10, 2016, the Historic Resources Preservation Board, at its regularly scheduled meeting, discussed the proposed amendments to the LDRs and voted 5-0 to recommend approval to the City Commission.
     At its meeting of April 5, 2016, the City Commission voted 3-1 to approve the changes to the LDRs providing that modifications to the original home occupation section were removed.
     At its meeting of April 19, 2016, the motion to approve the ordinance died for lack of a second. Also, the motion to reschedule hearing to a date certain failed for a lack of a second. Consequently, the proposed ordinance has been re-advertised and is being heard as a first reading during a public hearing.

How were Maier and McVoy able to accomplish delaying and costing the City all this money and time? They just sat there, smiled, and said nothing. If you didn't know, both of those commissioners are up for re-election on March 14th, 2017. That will be your chance to let them both know how you feel about tactics and antics such as this.

Must read article about sober homes from the Post's Joe Capozzi: "Sober Home Invasion"

For the entire article use this link. The article is quite long and has a lot of very important information. Here are two excerpts:

     "Welcome to the suburban front line in the national heroin epidemic.
     It's right outside the living room window in neighborhoods across Palm Beach County, where homeowners say they're living under siege from a clandestine invasion of sober homes — an incursion spawned by the gold rush of the lucrative addiction treatment industry.
     From a gated development in Wellington to the oceanfront in Delray Beach, they say they're finding needles near their driveways, staying up nights because of lights and sirens and, in worst cases, watching the medical examiner wheel corpses from the house next door."

[and. . .]

     "Of the 199 sober homes across the state that voluntarily registered with the Florida Association of Recovery Residences, the vast majority — 118 — are in Palm Beach County, known for decades as the addiction treatment capital of America.
     But the actual numbers are much higher because many sober homes don't register with FARR. For example, 15 are registered in Lake Worth, but city officials say the actual number could be as high as 75."

This coming Monday, May 2nd, is a very important meeting that your elected representatives need to know about. Use this link to learn more.

Meet Jamie Brown, the little City of Lake Worth's Director of Public Services

The short video taken below of Jamie Brown starts off a little shaky. This was part of his performance at the Lake Worth Has Talent show at the Lake Worth Playhouse last November. Mark Easton, the publisher of The Lake Worth Herald, had to quickly switch cameras to get Jamie Brown's performance of this Blues classic:

Great job! Watch the Allman Brothers and their version of the classic song "Soulshine":

Myth-makers at work in Lake Worth: The "Living Shoreline" is a City project (it's not) and City is cutting down mangroves (not true)

You can read more about the "Living Shoreline" off Bryant Park in the Intracoastal (Lake Worth Lagoon) using this link. That project IS NOT the result of any City board despite what you may have heard. Here is an excerpt from the link cited above prior to the project beginning:

Rob Robbins, Director of Palm Beach County Environmental Resource Management, gives an update at the City Commission meeting last night (1/7/14). He highlighted a future "living shoreline" project along the Bryant Park seawall, which will involve the Michael Singer Group. You might recall that group was involved in the design of the downtown West Palm Beach waterfront and also our beach project site plan.

The City of Lake Worth has very little control over what happens in the Intracoastal without going through the county first for approval. One exception may be the derelict boats that were removed some time back. The boat ramps in Bryant Park are also controlled and maintained by the county. That's not to say there weren't efforts at lobbying for the "Living Shoreline" in Bryant Park but it is not a City project—it's a county project.

Below is part of a press release from the City last year. (click on the image to enlarge):
And despite what you may have heard about the City cutting down mangroves? Not true. Read what Drew Martin said at the Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council (and who are the other merry myth-makers spreading this false information?).

The Compass Center in downtown Lake Worth: A few of their upcoming events

The Compass Center is located on Dixie Hwy. right across the street from Publix. You'll see a colorful utility box on the corner:
Here are upcoming events:
  • May 3rd: Great Give is a day of online fundraising for non-profits in Palm Beach & Martin Counties. Use this link to help Compass with their fundraising.
  • May 25th from 6:00–8:30 at Honey in downtown Delray is our next Pride Business Alliance mixer. To register use this link.
  • May 27th: Compass Youth and friends have their Equality Prom at Compass. 
The Compass Mission: Compass aims to diminish stereotypes by challenging long-standing misconceptions about the character of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Come and play pickleball in Lake Worth! Make plans for next Wednesday.

Here is a letter from a big fan of pickleball in Lake Worth (he's also a big fan of the lowercase letters too):

"recently (due to a reference in the Palm Beach Post), i discovered the pickleball program run by your rec dpt at one of your many parks

while a big fan of Lake Worth for many reasons for many years, this discovery only furthered my appreciation of your city's progressive vision

you've done it right, and you've done it well - both the courts and program supervision are excellent (it must feel great to be so far ahead of the curve!)

just about the only way you could improve the current program, and i apologize for even bringing it up since knowing you, you've probably already thought of this and are implementing it even as i write, would be to add lights for evening play

bill cragun"


To learn more about Pickleball use this link and here is a video from NBC Nightly News!

Lake Front, Palm Beach (Sanford's Post Card Collection), 1918

Latest on development in the Ag Reserve and what's all that about a former Lake Worth elected and the "Forced to Farm" PAC?

Here is the article from Post reporter Wayne Washington and an excerpt:

     "The Palm Beach County Commission gave final approval to comprehensive plan changes that could spur more residential and commercial development in the Agricultural Reserve, a 22,000-acre farming and conservation zone west of Boynton Beach and Delray Beach.
     Commissioners voted Wednesday on two changes, one that makes it easier for small landowners in the reserve to sell developers the development rights attached to their property. The other change grants three specific property owners — Delray Growers, Steve and Rose Homrich, and Jim Alderman — the right to have commercial development on their property."

If you didn't know, former Lake Worth Commissioner Suzanne Mulvehill, the champion of resiliency, sustainability, anti-development, etc., while a commissioner here later became Chair of the Forced to Farm PAC that was organized to loosen regulations on land development in the Ag Reserve. Try to wrap your head around that one.
Image by the inimitable Tom McGow from May, 2010.
By the way, here is the Forced to Farm website. When you go through the site you learn there are many misconceptions about the Ag Reserve, like this one:
You might remember that Mulvehill, when she was running for elected office in Lake Worth, campaigned along with Cara Jennings. Can you say, "awkward"?
Vote for "Positive Change"?

"Something Out of Nothing" exhibit at the Palm Beach County Cultural Council until May 21st

"Artists are constantly challenged to create something new or innovative, a piece that is provocative or simply representational, a work that moves the viewer, explores ideas, expresses beliefs, confronts a movement. 'Something Out of Nothing' illustrates the diversity of 15 artists in Palm Beach County who have embraced these very concepts. Each artist in this exhibition was challenged to create a work specifically for this show or to display work that has recently been created and not yet exhibited. This exhibition is a testament to the creative process and the tremendous talent that is found within Palm Beach County."

The exhibition is at the Cultural Council, Main Gallery, 601 Lake Ave. in downtown Lake Worth. Call 561-471-2901.

The Cultural Council galleries, visitor information center and store are open 10:00–5:00, Tuesday through Saturday. For more information on exhibitions use this link.

Admission is free.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Update on the Lake Worth Municipal Pool and yes, the BEACH! is still there too

Been to the pool lately? Use this link or call 561-585-6858 to learn more.
I thought you'd be interested in my interaction with an out of town guest on Monday at our pool. After my exercise routine was chatting with one of the regular lap swimmers. We talked about how we plan our day around pool visits, trying to adjust our schedules to when the pool is open. We chatted about other pools in the area (Lake Lytal is one) and how they compare with the Lake Worth pool. It turned out to be a favorable comparison except for the limited hours. It just so happens that the swimmer I was talking to lives in Jensen Beach and regularly drives to Boca Raton. She plans her day so that she stops to swim at our pool in the mornings. That really is a testament to the destination, or drawing power, of a good pool.

A few feet from where we were talking there was a woman who I hadn't seen before. She introduced herself as she overheard us talking. It turns out she was from upstate New York, around Ithaca. She was here with her 14 year old son to escape the cold. When she woke up on April 5th it was −4° with snow on the ground; she decided to buy plane tickets for Florida.

She couldn't say enough good things about our pool and said she was jealous we had this available to us all year long. She has a mild medical condition and being in the sun helps. This is someone who is enough a regular swimmer that she had prescription swim goggles. She said she usually swims at the Ithaca College pool. If you check out that link you can see the jumble of different hours the pool is open to the public.

She joined our conversation by saying people who use pools frequently always talk about the same thing, "I wish the pool had more convenient hours." It turns out we're not alone.

For those of you who don't know, Sally Welsh is now the official pool manager employed by the City. She started last week, April 18th. Sally was a lifeguard at the beach, has taught swim lessons and now leads the water aerobic class. The current start time for the class is 10:00 on Thursday, Saturday and Sunday. By the way, she's looking for more lifeguards.

So. . . the pool is still there. So is the beach. And no one seems to be in a state of panic or hysteria about anything. By the way, if you happen to be visiting from out of town and see a red/white sign with something about the beach and/or pool look in the right-hand column of this blog for, "Is Lake Worth selling its BEACH! Of course not." That will help explain things.

Now to all you residents of Lake Worth: Been to the pool lately?

An upcoming musical event at the New Hope Baptist Church

This event is free and open to the public. Call 561-582-6609 for more information.
"The Core Ensemble, cello, piano, and percussion with actress Deltoiya Goodman, will perform the music theatre work Ain't I A Woman! celebrating the life and times of four powerful African American women: novelist and anthropologist Zora Neale Hurston, ex-slave and abolitionist Sojourner Truth, folk artist Clementine Hunter, and voting rights worker Fannie Lou Hamer. The music is drawn from the spiritual and blues of the Deep South and the Jazz Age."

The latest news about office space in Palm Beach County

Jeff Ostrowski at The Palm Beach Post has the latest in an article titled, "Office vacancies down, rents up, but new construction still lags":

     "Office vacancies fell to 18.9 percent in the first quarter, their lowest point in years, and rents have risen for 10 quarters in a row, reaching an average of $18.38 per square foot, according to a report by commercial real estate brokerage CBRE."

[and. . .]

     "As a result, Cushman & Wakefield said, Palm Beach County’s average office rent jumped nearly 12 percent from the first quarter of 2015 to the first quarter of 2016. And CBRE said landlords no longer offer concessions such as free rent, free parking or hefty budgets for tenant improvements.
     Real estate is local, as the saying goes, and the fortunes of Palm Beach County’s submarkets vary widely. Delray Beach’s vacancy rate is 46.5 percent, CBRE says. Royal Palm Beach’s vacancy is only 6.3 percent."

Every 18 months or so Jeff Speck writes an article. . .

For all the planners out there, those interested in walkability and bike-ability, and the Complete Streets folks, Jeff Speck has something you might be interested in:

"Hi, all. Here's a link to my latest article. If you like it, please share it. Please come to my Harvard course, June 23–24. Yeah, it ain't cheap, but you leave with something that looks like a Harvard diploma. And you learn to become a walkability expert in two short days. Here's a link:"

The Walkable City
Dates: Thursday, June 23, 2016 at 9:00 am to Friday at 5:00 pm.
Tuition: $1,300.00.
Location: Harvard University Graduate School of Design, Cambridge, Massachusetts.
CEUs:
  • 14 AIA/CES (HSW)
  • 11 AICP/CM
  • 14 LA/CES (HSW)
To learn more about "walkability" and on Jeff Speck's presentation before the West Palm Beach city commission in May of 2014 use this link. That work by Speck also had a tremendous impact outside the borders of West Palm and continues to this day in many ways here in central Palm Beach County.

Is your community talking about slowing traffic down on Dixie Hwy. or other main arterial roads? Changing the road design to make the road safer for pedestrians and bikes and getting the MPO and FDOT involved in the conversation too? You can trace much of that conversation back to May of 2014.

"Why you're safer on a bike share than a regular bike": Incredible news from Vox

Here is more news from Vox done in an entertaining fashion:
"Here's a remarkable fact: Not a single person has died using bike share in the United States. [emphasis added]
     Bike sharing has seen explosive growth since 2007, with systems in at least 94 cities and more than 35 million trips taken. There have been some serious injuries, yes. But — knock on wood — we've seen zero US deaths from bike sharing so far. Contrast this with the overall estimated cycling fatality rate of 21 deaths per 100 million trips."

From VisitFlorida, "River of Time: Everglades" in 60 seconds—and if you live up north, have you planned your Winter vacation yet?

Would you prefer shoveling snow or canoeing in the Florida Everglades?

You can watch more videos by VisitFlorida here. Send a link every now and then to your friends and neighbors up North and remind them it's going to be Fall and Winter soon enough. Here is another collection of videos from Discover the Palm Beaches, the official tourism organization for Palm Beach County.

If you're looking to relocate to south Florida or visit some day why don't you stop by and check out Lake Worth? Here is the City's VisitFlorida page. The little City is in the midst of an economic and artistic renaissance and now is the time to look for a home or office location here.

The City is located minutes from the Atlantic Ocean. The Town of Palm Beach (33480) is within walking distance but without the hefty price tag. Delray Beach and West Palm Beach are just a short drive, bike ride, or train ride away.
This image appears on the Lake Worth VisitFlorida page. Hope to see you soon.

The City's Hurricane Seminar is coming up soon—It's time to get ready.

The seminar will feature WPBF meteorologist Mike Lyons, 20 public service agencies, and many other professionals.
The seminar will be held on Wednesday, May 18th, from 5:00–8:30 at the City's golf course (One 7th Ave, North). For more information, or to be a speaker/vendor call Kevin Addison at 561-601-2730, 561-582-5162, or Sam Hamilton at halframe@hotmail.com

Parking is free, there will be door prizes, and The Beach Club is also located at the golf course.

The Lake Worth Herald, the City's oldest business (since 1912) moves to a new location

Below is news about our City's paper of record, The Lake Worth Herald, that appeared as news in The Lake Worth Herald:
,
     “The recent zoning change, which reclassified the property as Artisinal Industrial allowed us to re-brand the property which attracted all types of crafts’ people and industries to downtown Lake Worth,” said Carmel Commercial Real Estate’s Christina Morrison. 
     “With this new emphasis on The Arts, Lake Worth is now more attractive than ever to all types of new, creative businesses and many more are planning to move here.” The property, over the next few months, will be transformed into Lake Worth’s first micro-brewery by Mathews Brewing Company. Beer lovers can expect the brewing to start later this year.

[and. . .]

     “We are now in the fourth location of The Lake Worth Herald. Changes in technology through the past few years has enabled us to downsize the space required to operate,” stated Mark Easton, President of The Lake Worth Herald Press, Inc.

The new location is 1313 Central Terrace located off 13th Ave. North just east of the FEC railroad tracks. You can always pick up the latest issue of the Herald at Lake Worth's news stand located at 600 Lake Ave. in the City's charming downtown. A very nice man named Andy will assist you.

Subscribe to my YouTube Channel. Have you seen the video "LynnA is OBTUSE"?

If you want to learn more about "hostility" and civility here in the little City of Lake Worth use this link. It would appear that Commissioner Ryan Maier is suddenly very keen about civility but wasn't too very concerned when Mayor Triolo was burned in effigy and people names were on bullets. Now he's seeking help and guidance from the very same person who published all those violent and hateful images.

A little ironic, isn't it? Or is it hypocritical? Or maybe just obtuse?

Anyhow, below in the image caption is a link to my YouTube channel. What's good about these videos is you can see for yourself what happened instead of relying on someone else, with their own spin and political objectives, what they want you to think happened.
LynnA used the "LynnA is OBTUSE" video from my YouTube channel as you can see in the image above. How flattering! Use this link to become a subscriber. This video is just one of many to watch. And, as always, Thank You for visiting!

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Call for photographers—Upcoming exhibit to share your work: The theme is "Lake Worth"

Below is exhibit information from this article in Lake Worth every minute:

The Lake Worth Art League and PNC Bank in Lake Worth have joined forces to exhibit your work. The criteria:
  • You may submit up to two images "all about Lake Worth"
  • Size framed to 11×14
  • Matted in white
  • Framed in Black
  • NO GLASS
  • Up to 2 images for $25
Submission take-ins on May 1st and 2nd from noon to 7:00 at 604 Lucerne Ave.

Selections made by your peers. The top 20 picks will be exhibited at the PNC Bank with a hosted reception on Friday, May 6th, 7:00–9:00 during Evening on the Avenue.

All others will be exhibited at the Lake Worth Art League gallery with a joint reception on Sunday, May 8th, from 3:00– 5:00. Questions? Address them to lakeworthart@gmail.com

Water/Electric Meter Replacement Project in Lake Worth: Did you get a door hanger about this?

If you did get a door hanger you can expect to have your meter(s) replaced shortly. Use this link to learn more about the meter replacements. The door hanger reads:
In the next week, a representative from Pedal Valves, Inc. will be replacing your water or electric meter. Workers will be wearing blue shirts with the logo "Siemens/PVI Meter Team". Trucks will be identified in the same manner.
From the link above, some FAQ's:

Q: Will my service be interrupted during the installation?
A: Yes. There will be a temporary service interruption while the meter is replaced – typically about 15 to 30 minutes. A Pedal Valve representative will inform each resident prior to the installation of the new meter.

Q: Do I need to be home for the meter replacement work?
A: No, you don’t need to be home.

Q: How much will the meters cost?
A: There is no charge for the new meter.

[And no, Weetha. There will not be any black helicopters used as part of this project.]

News from Tony Doris at the Post that might interest some in a city south of the C-51 Canal

Can you imagine? A city in Palm Beach County along the Atlantic Ocean wants to go to the bond market to fix problems and address many of their concerns. If you live in Lake Worth you might be interested in scrolling up and down the right-hand column and looking for this image:
Picture of a pothole on 'J' Street in Lake Worth near Publix taken in 2014. How many times has this been patched since then?
To read about what the West Palm Beach commission did last night (Monday, 4/25) use this link. Here are two very short excerpts:

     "Some $40 million worth came closer to reality Monday, with the city commission’s approval of a bond offering that will help pay for roads, fire and police facility repairs, and police cars, among many other projects."

[and. . .]

     “The current interest rate environment for debt provides an opportunity to set the cost of funds at a desirable level,” Parks [finance director Mark Parks] told the commission.

Anyone care to chime in? This might be an interesting topic at the upcoming Sea Level Rise Summit in Ft. Lauderdale: Why future events or possibilities doesn't preclude elected and city officials from providing for the safety and well-being of their citizens in the present. You see, that's called leadership.

Learn more about the Port of Palm Beach (which isn't in Palm Beach—it's located in Riviera Beach)

About the video: Port of Palm Beach is the second fastest growing export port in the US, operating the nation's most efficient cargo throughput and creating more than 3,000 jobs.
Learn more about the port at Wikipedia. If you wish, you can also follow the Port of Palm Beach on Twitter:

Code enforcement in Lake Worth: The city manager writes how the City is "Moving Forward"

Contact and other information about the City's Code Compliance Division code is below. What follows are two excerpts from the City's newsletter, Worth Noting, written by the City Manager Michael Bornstein. The newsletter is free and you can sign up using this link. To read the entire article about code enforcement use this link. The city manager writes. . .

     "The history of Code enforcement in Lake Worth has been mixed and we have tried to adapt to the dramatic changes that have occurred within the City. Additionally, larger issues such as the bursting of the housing bubble and the resulting foreclosure crisis as well as trends in the Sober Home market have complicated enforcing the rules.
     Almost three years earlier, it was apparent that the City’s Code Compliance Division was having some serious problems. The Division’s operations were hampered by trying to enforce outdated and inconsistent City Codes and they did not have the resources and training necessary to deal with the difficult circumstances in our City.
     Since then, the organizational issues have been addressed with a complete reworking of the department. The clean-up of the Codes was affected by the City Commission with the adoption of over 50 new ordinances."

[and. . .]

     "Florida is a strong property rights state and has stringent guidelines on Notification of Violation and specific processes to ensure private property rights. This means that it can take many months to resolve a case and this creates a backlog and sometime delays. Code Compliance Officers spend lot of time in managing their case load as well as actively working out in the field to identify new violations.
     Maintaining community standards through Code Compliance is not an easy process. But it is one that we are committed to and one that we have made great progress in over the past several years. Thanks to new and enforceable laws adopted by the City Commission, the creation of the Code Remediation Fund, and a dedicated staff committed to the improvement of the City, we are working to make things better.
     If you have a Code issue you can contact the Code Compliance Division (561-586-1652) or visit their webpage.

In Public Service,
Michael Bornstein
City Manager"

Bolivia's answer to mass transit


Could something like this work in south Florida?

Monday, April 25, 2016

Lake Worth High School Class of 2016 to receive scholarships*

     "The Lake Worth High School class of 2016 will receive a total of $67,000 in scholarships on May 5 from the city's Dollars for Scholars Foundation. The event will be held in the school auditorium. Dollars for Scholars is part of Scholarship America, a national scholarship and educational organization.
     David Cantley, former Lake Worth High School principal, started the Lake Worth chapter of Dollars for Scholars in 1999. The foundation has awarded $970,000 since it began"


[and. . .]

     "For the first time, two vocational scholarships will be awarded for a total of $3,500, Cantley said."

*This item appeared in The Palm Beach Post on Sunday, 4/25, page B3 below the fold, by the Post's Kevin Thompson. The links above were added by Your's Truly.

The grumbling continues about loitering issues in downtown Lake Worth. So. . . what did Delray Beach do about their problem?

[Please Note: If the issue of sober homes is important to you, then contact your elected representative(s) and tell them about this meeting happening soon.]

Below are two excerpts from this article by the Post's Christine Stapleton titled, "Addiction treatment backlash: No outdoor seating at Delray Starbucks":

     "Starbucks has closed the outdoor patio at one of its stores on Atlantic Avenue and police have assigned an officer to the corner in response to complaints — especially on social media — that young, recovering drug addicts are loitering and harassing passersby.
     The decision to close the outdoor seating area Tuesday came after a meeting between the city, police department and district manager of Starbucks, said Jamael Stewart, the city’s downtown manager. Starbucks did not return calls and emails for comment."

[and. . .]

     “I don’t think anybody would have a problem with any of the kids if they were acting as customers of Starbucks should act,” said Bill Bathurst, a Realtor and lifelong resident of Delray Beach. “The reason they are there isn’t to get a cup of coffee.”

The rapid growth westward in Palm Beach County and the demand for housing is getting a lot of attention

The two excerpts below from this article are from Dan Weil at The Real Deal (South Florida Real Estate News). Three very large development project are cited: Westlake, Avenir, and Indian Trails Grove:

     "And it’s not as if the developments are overtaking pristine rural settings. 'You’ve got open agricultural land with gnarly trees and cow dung,' Merin [Neil Merin, chairman of West Palm Beach-based NAI Merin Hunter Codman] said. 'The real issue is traffic. We just won’t be able to have the kind of road system to accommodate that kind of development.'
     Indeed, Palm Beach County is growing by 25,000 new residents a year [emphasis added], he said, and given that traditional public transit systems are unlikely in the county, the focus has to be placed on ways to avoid one person per car, such as ride-sharing."


[and. . .]

     "Merin calculates that just in the last five months, the county has approved 15,000 homes, 4.5 million square feet of industrial space, 3.6 million square feet of office space and 2.5 million square feet of retail space on agricultural land about 20 miles west of the Intracoastal.
     Basically, 'growth is moving up from Dade and Broward counties,' Rebel Cook, president of Rebel Cook Real Estate in Palm Beach Gardens, told TRD [The Real Deal]."

Belle Glade, Greenacres, Highland Beach, Lake Worth, et al., not all too happy with Cerabino's 'satire'

By special request, a re-post from yesterday. . . Frank Cerabino's ranking and musings about Palm Beach County cities isn't sitting to well with many people if you've been reading the editorial page of late. The editor(s) at the Post must be rethinking the wisdom of 'ranking' the cities when their very own newspaper continues to lay off staff and can't even publish their own news. The Sun Sentinel in Broward County has to print the Post's newspapers for them. We'll likely never see a satirical column about that in the Post.

Along with Lake Worth's 'ranking' the public had to be educated that raising chickens in the City is not legal. Learn about that by looking the right-hand column for, "Raising chickens, aka 'Urban Chickens' IS NOT allowed in Lake Worth."

Below is an excerpt from the latest letter to the editor that appeared following the ranking of cities "from worst to best" by Lee-John Sobering:

     "His [Cerabino's] review and ranking of Greenacres, where I reside, is insulting, and any fact-checking is missing. Although I am not Asian, he neglected to include them in our mix of residents.
     And 'a little bit of everything and a lot of nothing' is so far off-base [emphasis added], it proves he not only knows nothing about our community but didn’t bother to find out. Just going to our city’s website would have enlightened him."

Here is the link to the Greenacres official website and a little information about the city:

"Located five miles from the Atlantic Ocean in Southeast Florida, the City of Greenacres is home to approximately 38,943 residents and over 1,000 small and medium sized businesses. The City was founded in 1926, and today is the 8th largest city of the 38 municipalities in Palm Beach County.
     The City of Greenacres is a well-planned, safe, and attractive community, with an efficient and effective local government."

The latest: "Boynton high school revamp delayed by lawsuit"

Attiyya Anthony at the Sun Sentinel has the latest news about the Boynton Beach historic high school:

     "The city's legal team says that discussing the project's potential costs and revenue could lengthen a pending lawsuit. That's because the plaintiff, who previously had plans for the site, is seeking 'monetary damages for the lost profits it believes it would have earned' had a prior project gone forward, city agenda documents state.
     In 2013, Juan Contin, of Boynton Old School Partnership LLC, presented the city with a plan to turn the vacant school into an entertainment and destination center. The city rejected the necessary zoning for the project, because they didn't believe that Contin could secure the $4.5 million to renovate the building, documents show."


[and. . .]

      "As part of the recently submitted plan, Straticon Construction would invest $4 million into the building, allowing REG Architects to save the school from demolition and transform it into a community focal point that would host most of the city's art, senior and civic classes.
      At a recent meeting, the City Commission asked the City Manager to find the remaining $1.5 million and at least $300,000 annually for 20 years needed to finance the building's redevelopment."

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Do you live in Monroe, Broward, or Miami-Dade county and concerned about rising sea levels? And. . . are you a fan of pickleball?

Many areas in the City of Lake Worth are well above sea level like the Sunset Ridge Park area, for example. That part of the City has some recently improved streets, new infrastructure, along with excellent sidewalks.

The downtown is very close to Sunset Ridge and there is easy access to I-95. Dixie Hwy. (the main thoroughfare) is a few blocks away, the beach is within biking distance, and a popular community garden is very close by as well. In addition, the nearby C-51 Canal may be getting a boat lift in the future giving everyone easy access by water to the Lake Worth Lagoon.

Sunset Ridge Park is located at 14th Avenue North between 'A' Street and 'D' Street. Here are the amenities: Two picnic pavilions, five lighted tennis courts, basketball court, multi-purpose field, BBQ grills, playground equipment, and there are restroom facilities. And now there is a pickleball league. How cool is that? Use this link to see all the parks in the City.

If you scroll up and down the right-hand column of this blog you'll learn about the great things happening here and find out more about the City. You'll also note we have challenges here as well. But doesn't every city?

However, with so many parts of this City at 15′ and 20′ above sea level you can scratch that concern off your list if you should decide to relocate to this little City. If you visit after dark just be careful. We have more than our fair share of potholes and issues with street lighting but we're working on that.

And don't forget about pickleball!

"We do not have blight on the western side of the community." The "lettered" streets are the problem in Lake Worth, you see.

The last time Spring Training baseball was proposed in John Prince Park, back in 2014, a few people in the Residences (note: not the "Residents") of Lake Osborne (ROLO) 'neighborhood' came to City Hall and complained that the City should focus their attention on the "lettered" streets because their neighborhood, ROLO, was perfect just the way it was. You see, there was no blight west of I-95 in Lake Worth. Enjoy the video:
So how does ROLO look these days? Is there any blight at all? Is it perfect just the way it is 2 years after the video above was taken?

A baseball stadium in John Prince Park, we were told, would affect the ROLO 'neighborhood' in a terribly negative way back in 2014 and will also have terrible consequences in 2016 now that the Atlanta Braves are interested in building a training facility in the park.

If you are one of those people who live on a "lettered" street in Lake Worth why don't you take a drive or a bike ride to ROLO and check things out over there. Does it look like a baseball stadium in the County's John Prince Park would destroy ROLO's quality of life?

If you live in that area of the City, west of I-95, the next ROLO meeting is on May 10th. That might be a good time to come out and speak your mind, don't you think? Learn more about ROLO using this link, the handful of people who are claiming to represent you.

Dixie Highway as a historic highway?

The Palm Beach Post published an article about the origins of Dixie Hwy. It is easy to forget that the development of Florida is a relatively recent phenomenon. First came the trains, ushered in by Henry Flagler on the east coast and Henry Plant on the west coast of Florida. With the advent and mass production of the automobile in the early part of the 20th century the burgeoning middle class needed more and more roads for travel and leisure. That was the genesis of Dixie Hwy., what we know as U.S. 1 that goes right through the center of Lake Worth. The article details some of the old routes that made up the original road and where you can find other sections in Palm Beach County.

That road meant opportunity for the communities that lined it. Lake Worth took advantage of that by having many hotels, restaurants and attractions (including signs over the highway pointing travelers to the beach, the Casino building, and the Gulfstream hotel), all in the hopes of snagging dollars from tourists and create a local economy that could sustain the resident population. As you have read here many times on this blog before, all that changed as the main source of vehicle travel switched to I-95 in the 1970s. Lake Worth, and other cities to a lesser extent, has been trying to recarve its niche in the "new" economy of the 21st century.

There are very few communities that celebrate the old road and its importance to their early development. As a redevelopment effort and focus, Lake Worth and West Palm Beach could designate a portion of the road as a Historic Highway. This might help attract new tourists that may be classic car enthusiasts, history "buffs", and others to our area, just as Route 66 and now U.S. 27 in the state of Michigan. 

The Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO), to name one organization, could be the catalyst for this type of redevelopment and marketing effort. It has worked in other locations and we are already an attractive tourist destination. This would be another way to put us on the map.

Click here for a documentary on Route 66 and the Iconography of the American Highway.