Saturday, May 7, 2016

François-Marie Arouet (Voltaire), 1694–1778, writer, historian, and philosopher known for his wit:

"I have never made but one prayer to God, a very short one: 'O Lord make my enemies ridiculous.' And God granted it."
Click here for more information on Voltaire.

Western sprawl and map below doesn't show the latest huge housing development proposed west of the City of Lake Worth

Where's the outrage from the enviros in the coastal City of Lake Worth? Talk about misplaced priorities, why all the angst and wringing of hands over our City's new project to replace the street lighting? To read more look in the right-hand column of this blog for Did you know 2 of "19 Best Environmentalists in South Florida" are in Lake Worth?
You know what a "NIMBY" is. Know what a "YIMBY" is? It's time to start planning for the future and at least slow down western sprawl. Sprawl is drawing too many resources from our coastal cities. Just saying "No" to everything in Lake Worth isn't going to cut it any more.

The Post enthusiastically endorsed the trajectory Lake Worth is moving. Then why all the negativity in the paper about the City since?

Prior to election day last March all three incumbents were endorsed, enthusiastically, by The Palm Beach Post and most every other legitimate and involved organization/group. In just one show of support for the direction the City was heading, campaign contributions, the incumbents took in dollars far outpacing any of the challengers. It wasn't even close. The prospect of just one of the incumbents losing, setting back all of the hard work the last several years, was a chilling thought for so many.

The Post editorial board acknowledged that reality (see image below).

In another gauge of support, volunteers, some noted they've never seen so many in the public volunteer for a slate of candidates seeking re-election. It was a precedent in a City that oftentimes is so divided politically. Now back to the Post endorsement:
"Lake Worth's current leadership has kept its eyes on the right goals. . ."
A few weeks after the election there followed at the newspaper, and continues to the present, a steady drip, drip, drip of negative letters to the editor and 'point of view', critical news articles, spin, a truly twisted editorial on the Sunshine Law, a general negativity towards the sitting majority and administration. Why would that be? Aren't there any letters or 'points of view' showing support for the City?

Then. . . in another interesting development, the Post began an "In Your Community" series where only six cities in Palm Beach County are featured each and every week and guess which one of those cities is? Lake Worth.
In the "round robin" following Lake Worth on Monday is Jupiter, Wellington, Boynton Beach, Palm Beach Gardens, and then West Palm Beach.
Would that be because they care about Lake Worth so much? Of course not. They're doing this "In Your Community" series because they hope to sell a lot more newspapers and make more money. Unless you're looking to find a used car, apartment, or interested in real estate how many people in Lake Worth even read the news in the Post? Fifty? A hundred maybe? So really, the paper's "In Your Community" news is meant for a much wider audience, right?

What type of news makes money for newspapers and gets the most interest? It's stories with drama, characters, and events that may be accurate, or even not. Are you following where this is going?

If the Post truly cared about the "community" in Palm Beach County they wouldn't be focusing on the same six cities. It would be different cities each week including news and information on the many large unincorporated areas that hardly ever receive attention in the County's paper of record. Doing that would be good for the community but wouldn't do much good for the paper's bottom line though.

So if you live in Jupiter, Wellington, Boynton Beach, Palm Beach Gardens, or West Palm Beach and scratch your head over a 'news' story about your city in the Post, just remember this:

It's nothing personal. It's just business.

What you can do to help stop crime in the little City of Lake Worth—Hint: A petition isn't one of them (but it might make you feel better)

Earlier this year, Michelle Quesada at NBC5/WPTV did a news segment in Lake Worth and she interviewed the city manager, Michael Bornstein, along with 'a woman' who wanted to remain anonymous on the issue of crime and street lighting in the City. The woman started a petition. No specific neighborhood was identified so a petition on Change.org didn't help a whole lot (to see what will actually work, see the information below). Here are two excerpts from the text of the news segment:

     "Help is on the way," said Michael Bornstein, city manager for Lake Worth.
     Bornstein says starting this spring the city is installing new LED lights to replace the old fixtures.
      "We've also identified some money as part of the project to replace lights that were knocked out in the storms and some of the areas where the sheriff's office is helping us say this is a dark spot," added Bornstein.


[and. . .]

     Lake Worth residents hope more people will report criminal activity when they see it. [emphasis added]
     "It's like everybody needs to call in and do the same thing when they are having the issue," said the creator of the petition.
      The city manager says more residents should also get involved with their city council members.


Use this link to reach any or all of the Lake Worth City Commission. Use this link to find out who represents you at the Neighborhood Assoc. Presidents Council. You can use this link for more information at Lake Worth's District 14 PBSO. Or. . . you can use this link to start a petition which doesn't solve anything but what it might do is get the attention of the news media on a slow news day.

Here is what you do if you see criminal activity in the City of Lake Worth:
Here are more ways to contact PBSO:
Address: 120 North G Street
Main Phone: 561-586-1611
Non-Emergency: 561-688-3000
Fax: 561-586-1763
Email: LakeWorth@pbso.org
I hope this helps.

Friday, May 6, 2016

Big news from Brightline and why we need more people like Lantana's Mr. Kovalsky to write letters to the editor

To learn how to get a "Letter to the Editor" published in The Palm Beach Post see how at the end of this blog post. Below is the press release from Brightline (formerly All Aboard Florida):

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: BRIGHTLINE FINAL PLANS APPROVED FOR BREVARD, INDIAN RIVER AND ALL THE TREASURE COAST
Wednesday, May 4, 2016

MIAMI – Brightline, an intercity passenger rail service in Florida, today made the following statement about the Federal Railroad Administration’s (FRA) review and approval [emphasis added] of the company's final grade crossing design plans for Brevard and Indian River counties.
     "Today we have achieved another significant step towards the completion of our project. Consistent with our initial commitment to the Treasure Coast, we provided final engineering plans that included safety improvements for FRA’s review. The agency has now completed its review of our plans for Palm Beach, Martin, St. Lucie, Indian River, and Brevard counties and affirmed that we are in full compliance with applicable requirements.
     [and. . .] We look forward to starting service mid-2017.”

Below is a letter to the editor about Brightline that appeared in the print edition on Friday, April 30th. But we'll get to that a little later. Yesterday (5/5) was a particularly bad day for the City of Lake Worth in The Palm Beach Post's editorial page and was topped off by this gem:

"Striving to find a creative and new way to solve the financial woes in Lake Worth has been illustrated recently by fifth-grade students at Hidden Oaks Elementary, who created a miniature city powered by renewable energy ('Students’ ‘Electric City’ teaches energy efficiency,' April 21)."

If the letter writer above was paying any attention at all would know Lake Worth is building a solar energy field at the old trash dump. And the logic of a city with "financial woes" retooling the Electric Utility on a model developed by 5th graders trends towards the delusional, the "Yellow Brick Road" variety. Sadly, in the minds of too many people in this City, the logic above would make him a perfect candidate to appear on a future City ballot.

Anyhow, back to Brightline. The letter below demonstrates why more people need to take time to write letters to the editor. As shown above, the paper is having some trouble in that department. Below, without comment, and in its entirety is this letter titled, "All Aboard’s coming; better get used to it":

In the April 22 letter “All Aboard won’t survive scrutiny,” the writer manages to restate fear-based talking points while sidestepping reality. [emphasis added] He says it’s not a done deal?
     Has he looked recently at the stations rising out of the ground in West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale and Miami? Has he noticed the progress, as crossings are upgraded and the second track is replaced all along the Florida East Coast Railway corridor in this area?
     Next he recounts how the bonds haven’t sold yet; that is a fact, but it’s nothing limited to the All Aboard Florida project. The speculative bond market is weak across the country.
     He then tries to scare people about the “toxic loads” that freight trains carry. The fact that toxic materials get transported is a fact of life. Perhaps the writer would prefer those materials move by truck, so that we can all pay more for them; then, we can be more likely to have the materials involved in a crash.
     Finally, he circles back to the “move it west” argument, to move the tracks to “less populated areas.” The CSX and the FEC tracks run through Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties, so the populations are the same there.
     But as CSX’s tracks veer to the middle of the state, they pass through downtown Orlando. So much for that “less populated” argument.

JIM KOVALSKY, LANTANA

To get your Letter to the Editor published in the Post send email to letters@pbpost.com (Letters are subject to editing and must include the writer’s name, address, e-mail address and daytime phone number. Preferred length is a maximum of 200 words.)

The Women for Women 5K Race is in Lake Worth tomorrow (Saturday, May 7th)

The Women for Women 5K Race is from 7:00–9:00 am. at Bryant Park. This event is for the whole family. To register use this link. The race is being presented by the Good Samaritan Medical Center. Questions about the race? Call Iva Grady at 561-312-2027.
  • Road closures: 1st Ave. South, Ocean Breeze, 5th Ave. South, South Palmway, 18th Ave. South, and South Lakeside Dr.
  • Parking: Most runners will park in Bryant Park and north of the park. Parking for boat trailers will be closed until 10:00 am.
There will be a DJ at the Bryant Park bandshell making announcements at a suitable volume from 7:00–10:00 am.

Florida Weekly's 2016 Best Of The Best and look what made the list!

Recall all the excitement last year when the grants were approved for the Little Free Libraries!
"Lake Worth’s Little Free Libraries No, that’s not a birdhouse. It’s a library. In August, three Lake Worth civic groups received $15,000 in grants to establish 'Little Free Libraries' — 34 tiny houses erected on posts stationed throughout the city. Book lovers stock them with used books; passers-by help themselves. The project was born in 2009 when a Wisconsin man built a small model schoolhouse. Now there are more than 32,000 little free libraries in all 50 states and more than 70 countries."

Below is news from the The Lake Worth Herald last year on the City's delivery of the Little Free Libraries:

     "On Saturday, October 24, more than sixty volunteers turned out to help paint twenty-two Little Free Libraries at the city’s utility warehouse. Despite a very short time frame to accomplish the task, all 22 libraries were painted and weatherproofed in the parking lot—turned artists’ studio! Neighbors from all over the city, ranging in age from six to 80 brought creativity and unbridled enthusiasm to each one. Installation throughout the city is expected to begin next week.
     These Little Free Libraries are brought to us by the nice people in the Friends of the Lake Worth Library, the College Park Neighborhood Association and the NAPC who all applied for and were awarded grants totaling $15,000 through the Palm Beach County Office of Community Revitalization, REAP program with incredible support and assistance from the City of Lake Worth."

1950s Era roadside architecture and one notable survivor: Blue Front BBQ on Dixie Hwy

Stumbled upon a postcard of a roadside motel and restaurant in Perry, Florida. The city, which is situated in Florida's Nature Coast about 50 miles south of Tallahassee, has a number of U.S. Routes, including U.S. 27, that meet and run through the city. Before the dawn of Interstate highways and turnpikes, these roads were how people traveled long distances by automobile. U.S. 1, or Dixie Hwy., played the same role in the middle part of the 20th century. This created demand for lodging and restaurants along these routes and the mom and pop motel and/or dining era began.

Some of these used particularly eye-catching Mid-Century Modern architecture which became its own genre commonly referred to as highway or roadside architecture. The resulting building design usually ended up being a "sign" itself, designed to attract the attention of travelers along these roads.

Here is a postcard of just such a roadside motel/restaurant called the "Skylark" in Perry, Florida during its heyday, and a picture of how the same buildings look today.
The "motel" presently with its signature arched sign.
What remains of the restaurant. You can still see the original sign with its unique outline, sans the neon.
We once had many examples in Lake Worth along U.S. 1. "Kristine's", now home to Blue Front BBQ, is a notable survivor. Here is a picture of that building during the mid-1950s.
Below is an early edition of the former "Patio" restaurant that once occupied the southeast corner of Cornell Drive and North Dixie Hwy. It was later expanded and lost some of its character and ultimately it was demolished. The property is a vacant lot today.
For the most part, time has not been kind to these structures. Most have been either modified beyond recognition or demolished. There are areas of the country that still retain and promote the architecture along these former highways. Route 66 and the Lincoln Highway are examples.

Collie Buddz Block Party coming to downtown Lake Worth tonight

Get ready! The Collie Buddz Block Party will be tonight (Friday, May 6th), from 6:00–12:00 on 'J' Street. Here is more information:

     "Propaganda will be closing off J St. from Lake Ave. to the South side of the alleyway for a J St. Block Party featuring Collie Buddz. In a continued effort to decrease the effect of noise our occasional events have on our neighbors, once again the stage will be moved to Lake Ave. and should have a dramatic effect of amplification of bass. 
     The barricades will be erected at 12:00 am Friday morning and will be removed approximately 8:00 am Saturday morning. Foot traffic will be allowed on J St. until 5:00 pm, an hour before the start of the event, and then all traffic will be blocked until the duration of the event. Please ensure all vehicles are parked south of Bamboo Room prior to this time. 
     As J St. is a one way street, and southbound traffic will be blocked by the event, you will still have access to your residences and parking from 1st Avenue South."

Bryant Park neighborhood's Derby Day Party is tomorrow (Saturday, May 7th)

"The Bryant Park Neighborhood Assoc. invites everyone to our annual DERBY DAY PARTY. It will be held at The Beach Club restaurant (located at the City's municipal golf course) in the main dining room and Tiki Bar.

The $25 per person includes a scrumptious buffet and a free drink ticket. There will be music, glitz, glamour, fun, hats, juleps, celebration, prizes, raffles, sweeps, laughs, and the big race.

Prize will be given for:
  • Best hat
  • Most creative hat
  • Loudest shirt
  • Best trackside attire
Please contact Karla Engel at bryantparkneighborhoodnews@gmail.com for tickets."

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Very important City meeting: Code enforcement (successes/shortcomings), compliance, and threats to neighborhoods and businesses

The upcoming workshop in Lake Worth to discuss code enforcement is on Tuesday, May 10th, at City Hall beginning at 6:00.

Much has been done to improve code enforcement and compliance since that department was gutted by a previous City administration.* You can read about the many improvements in a recent Worth Noting newsletter by City Manager Michael Bornstein. However, there remain challenges and that's why this workshop was scheduled in response to the very high level of interest by the public.

Whether or not public comment will be permitted is to be determined soon. Nevertheless, public comment or not†, this meeting needs to have a large turnout from everyone in the City: neighborhoods, business community, and everyone interested in solving the challenges that remain. Here is information from the City's website:

Lake Worth City Commission Work Session
Agenda:
1. Roll Call
2. Pledge of Allegiance
3. Updates/Future Action/Direction
A. Discussion regarding Code Enforcement
Summary:
Discussion of the state of Code Compliance in the City and its processes. Presentation will look at the rules governing the code process, our successes and our shortcomings, and the obstacles facing a successful program going forward.
Background and Justification [excerpts]:
  • The City of Lake Worth’s Code Compliance Division has undergone many fundamental changes over the past three (3) years including an aggressive Remediation Program implementation and increased compliance initiatives through the Use & Occupancy Inspection process as well as the City’s lien reduction incentives.
  • In addition, policy direction on necessary changes to ordinances and programmatic priorities will be sought to address continuing challenges with code compliance and threats to neighborhoods and the business community.
MOTION: Formal actions cannot be made due to the workshop nature of the meeting.

*Susan Stanton, the City's former city manager, later admitted to a resident that gutting code enforcement was 'a mistake but was acting under the direction of certain commissioners'. Read about that using this link.
If you have a code enforcement issue writing letters to the editor (sans the pertinent facts for the readers) isn't going to help very much unless, of course, you have political objectives. In that case the editor(s) at the Post will do anything to help.

The Post's beat reporter for City of Lake Worth pens article about blight. . .

. . . in Greenacres. This article pleasantly surprised a lot of people here in Lake Worth. Here is one quote from the article:
“We want to try to clean everything up like they’re doing in Lake Worth.”
—Greenacres Deputy Mayor Jonathan Pearce
Below are two short excerpts:

     "District I Councilwoman Lisa Rivera led the wide-ranging meeting, which covered everything from trash inside newspaper vending machines to unsightly medians along Lake Worth Road to pitch black streets on Haverhill Road.
     Several city department heads and Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office deputies were on hand to answer questions from Rivera on why her district looks the way it looks."

[and later. . .]

     "Rivera is also concerned that many of the businesses in her district, which runs from the L-10 Canal south to the L-15 Canal, and from Military Trail west to South 57th Avenue, look like they should be in a flea market, with their garish colors and tacky banner signs.
     'It looks horrid,' Rivera said."

And in other news, Brian Bandell at the South Florida Business Journal has this about the Sun Sentinel in Broward County (the Sun Sentinel prints the The Palm Beach Post's newspapers and ships them north to Palm Beach County in big trucks):
The Post reporter, Kevin Thompson, is the beat reporter for Greenacres, the City of Lake Worth, suburban Lake Worth, and the Lake Worth Corridor. If you have something you wish to share, here is how you contact him:
Email: kthompson@pbpost.com
561-820-4573
Twitter: @kevindthompson1

News from Amy Woods: "How South Florida Is Becoming A Burgeoning Market For Medical Tourism"

This in-depth and lengthy article appears in The Palm Beacher. Below are two excerpts:

     "An accomplished author, editor and speaker on the topic of destination marketing, as well as one of the founders of the Medical Tourism Association, Stephano [see below*] says her goal entails building a bridge between health care providers such as Jupiter Medical Center and Broward Health and their respective convention and visitor bureaus.
     'Collaboration is key,' Stephano says. 'Right now, every one of the health care providers is left to fend for themselves in creating business. It's not the hospitals' job to market the destination.' ”

[and. . .]

      "Experts says that medical tourists spend more and stay longer than traditional tourists and often bring extended family members to support them during the recovery process. Those relatives eat in local restaurants, patronize neighborhood stores and treat themselves to some form of entertainment during the length of their visits." [emphasis added]

*Renee-Marie Stephano is president of the Medical Tourism Association in Palm Beach Gardens.

Risk of disincentives/opposition to development in coastal areas of Palm Beach County: More urban sprawl and 'gentrification' too?

This blog post and the one following are re-post's from yesterday (5/4). If you've read these already please scroll down for new content. This created quite the stir and, hmmm, some creatively written emails as you can imagine. As always, Thank You for visiting. Enjoy:

[Please Note: This is a lengthy and thought-provoking post and if you're short on time visit later on to read in its entirety. The information below is especially relevant following the current news about another very large housing development outside the City on Lake Worth Rd. near the Turnpike. Read about that in the following blog post below (or use this link). This development news stands in contrast to the cries of "Gentrification!" once again as the City of Lake Worth begins fixing the substandard street lighting. For the enviros here it's about priorities. A question: Is resistance to development in Lake Worth and surrounding communities just causing, or pushing, home builders and housing into other areas out west in Palm Beach County? Like more and more western sprawl for example?]

The failure of San Francisco's 30+ year housing experiment is reverberating throughout the country. What was once a 'miracle' has imploded on itself. The very things they tried to avoid they created with their policies and those decisions are "coming home to roost": rising rents to name one. Development, which was once a dirty word in SF, is now the only answer left to dig themselves out of a very bad situation. Sadly, many long-time residents are being forced to move out of the city.

Below is an eye-opening excerpt from Michael Lewyn at Planetizen in an article titled, "The Failure of Preservation". This analysis might serve as a cautionary tale for those, such as residents in coastal Palm Beach County, who work so hard to stifle growth/development in the community and believe more housing and new residents damage their quality of life. Here is an excerpt:

     "Suppose a city freezes a neighborhood's housing supply in order to prevent gentrification and the resulting increase in rents. As long as demand is stagnant (for example, in a declining neighborhood) this policy has no real effect: no one will want to build new housing anyhow. But when demand is growing (either because of rising city population or rising city incomes) rents are likely, all else being equal, to rise in the absence of new construction. [emphasis added] If rising rents lead to more evictions, freezing supply is actually likely to lead to more evictions, not fewer evictions. (Of course, I am assuming that the new construction actually increases the neighborhood housing supply, which is not always the case. A new building that merely replaces an old building is obviously more problematic.)
     And if rents rise, that in turn defeats attempts to preserve the intangible 'character' of the neighborhood. Even if a neighborhood's housing stock is frozen in amber, its character will be very different if it becomes more expensive. At a minimum, the inhabitants will be richer. And in turn, this reality will affect the age, race, and even religion of the neighborhood's inhabitants, to the extent that some races, ages, and religions have more money than others. If the neighborhood has commercial blocks, the shops may look very different if the neighborhood gets wealthier. For example, a street catering to wealthy 50 year olds will have somewhat different shops than one catering to not-so-wealthy 25 year olds.
     Moreover, if housing restrictions in one neighborhood cause new housing to be built elsewhere in a region, the "receiving" neighborhood's character changes. Going back to Pedtown and Sprawlville: if Sprawlville was a rural, sparsely populated suburb in 2000, and zoning restrictions in Pedtown cause dozens of new subdivisions to be built in Sprawlville, obviously Sprawlville will feel very different in 2015. Thus, the restrictions in Pedtown are a classic example of a "beggar thy neighbor" policy—that is, a policy that shifts social harm from one neighborhood to another, rather than actually reducing the harm.

[In the last paragraph try substituting the City of Lake Worth for "Pedtown". You might enjoy this read too.]

Whilst our City's environmentalists whistle and celebrate over their delay tactics in this little slice of paradise called Lake Worth. . .

UPDATE: The videos from the City Commission meeting on Tuesday, May 3rd, are now available on YouTube. The video on the Siemens presentation is below. Why is that? Continue reading:

Guess what's happening west of the City on Lake Worth Road? If you didn't know, Lake Worth has 2 of the "19 Best Environmentalists in South Florida". The news about another massive housing development made the print edition of The Palm Beach Post on May 4th, page B6 above the fold, which is also available online. Here is an excerpt:

     "In a sale that could spur construction of modestly priced houses in central Palm Beach County, Pulte Homes paid $49 million for nearly 160 acres at Lake Worth Road and Florida’s Turnpike.
     The land deal includes the 60-year-old Gulfstream Polo Club and several neighboring horse farms, said Brad Scherer of Atlantic Western Realty Corp., who brokered the transaction. Pulte has a contract to buy an additional 70 acres from adjacent property owners, Scherer said."


And meanwhile some of the enviros right here in the City are complaining that the new Siemens street lighting is seeping through their blinds at night and if it's possible to adjust the new lights 5° one way or another. Below is the video on the Siemens lighting project and watch one of the "19 Best Environmentalists" here in south Florida try to disrupt, once again, a major City project. Who do you wonder it was?
Do you know how to whistle?

From The Real Deal, South Florida Real Estate News: "C.W.S. Craft Cocktails and Kitchen to open in Lake Worth"

Here is the link to read the entire article; an excerpt:

     "C.W.S. will feature 150 seats in indoor and outdoor dining, each with its own menu and feel. Inside will be a 'speakeasy setting,' with dishes such as Social — smoked bone marrow, radish, mushrooms, olive oil, lemon zest, parsley and garlic bread; and The Deal — Chef’s local catch, corn jus, native succotash, and Cajun rouille.
     The outdoor patio will have a beer garden, with a tented bar, picnic tables, gaming area, multiple TV’s, and a menu of bar-driven fare. It will also have a 10-seat 'Chef’s Table,' in a private, fenced in garden at the back of the restaurant, according to the release.
     C.W.S. is named after its fictional proprietor – gadfly, raconteur and barkeep Charles William Stache. Initially, dinner and Sunday brunch will be served, with lunch introduced later. And a Panther Coffee bar with light pastries will be available every morning." [emphasis added]

And what to expect in Lake Worth?

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Alert: Prior to reading the 'news', social media, and blogs about the City's street lighting project. . .

. . . visit the City's website to get the facts.* That way, instead of someone trying to explain, or "spin" what is happening, you can find out for yourself. The City has a free newsletter called Worth Noting that you can sign up for using this link.

To see the latest newsletter titled, "Street Lighting With A New Approach" use this link. Below are a some excerpts:

     "An appropriate street lighting system can increase traffic safety and the sense of wellbeing and security for members of the community. With this in mind, the City of Lake Worth – in conjunction with Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office – embarked upon an ambitious program of upgrading all street lights within the City. Gaps in lighting were mapped, dark areas identified, and work has commenced to Light Up Lake Worth."

Some bullet points from the article:
  • LED lights typically use 80–90% less energy than incandescent bulbs
  • Lake Worth is the 1st municipality in the State of Florida to receive approval for 2700k LEDs on FDOT controlled roadways
  • International Dark Skies Association (IDA) compliant
  • Reduced up-light, back-light, and glare
And a few FAQ'S:

How Will the New Lights Affect Safety?
The LED light will help support better detection of crime, as it improves images captured at night from CCTV (closed circuit television).
What are the Installation Impacts for my Neighborhood?
Residents and business owners will experience only minor impacts as a result of this project. There will be no permanent construction sites, as crews will be mobile during the installation phase.
Are the old lights recycled?
Yes. Lights removed during the installation of the new LEDs will be recycled.

*To see the video of the Siemens lighting presentation to the City Commission last night (5/3) use this link and scroll down.

West Palm Beach invites everyone to come out tonight and join the conversation: The documentary "Contested Streets"

UPDATE: Location has changed to 522 Clematis Street, just a few doors east of the original location which was to be the outdoor showing of the movie. This change is due to likelihood of rain.

"Join us for this fun look at how New York City made huge changes to make streets better. Tonight, Wednesday, May 4th, 8:00 p.m."

ABOUT THE DOCUMENTARY: Contested Streets explores the history and culture of New York City streets from pre-automobile times to the present. This examination allows for an understanding of how the city—though the most well served by mass transit in the United States—has slowly relinquished what was a rich, multi-dimensional conception of the street as public space to a mindset that prioritizes the rapid movement of cars and trucks over all other functions.

Central to the story is a comparison of New York to what is experienced in London, Paris and Copenhagen. Interviews and footage shot in these cities showcase how limiting automobile use in recent years has improved air quality, minimized noise pollution and enriched commercial, recreational and community interaction.

Ft. Lauderdale's development history parallels our own in central, coastal Palm Beach County


The Florida East Coast Railway made it there two years after its arrival in West Palm Beach. The emphasis was on agricultural production and moving freight on the new rails. Ft. Lauderdale, and all of south Florida, experienced the boom of the 1920s and then the terrible hurricanes that hit at the end of the decade. Likewise, World War II established a military presence here at Morrison Field (now Palm Beach International Airport) and also in the Ft. Lauderdale area.

Many of those people who were stationed here during World War II decided to stay. Years of post-war prosperity led directly to the south Florida we see and experience today. Remember, Palm Beach County is now part of the Miami-Dade/Broward Metropolitan Statistical Area for Census purposes. Even though this County is the largest (or second largest, depending on which reference you use) it is still within a region, south Florida. It's important to remember that.

The Great Give continues today for a short time (this is a "Pinned Post"; please scroll down for new content)

The Great Give (use this link for Lake Worth organizations on the list, for example, the City's Library and Playhouse) is extended until 2:00 p.m. today:
One on the list is LULA. To contribute to LULA use this link:

"The mission of LULA Lake Worth Arts will unify the existing arts community around a shared vision, implement goals for strengthening the property value, improve access to the arts through educational programs, and invest in partnerships that support the talent and the creative community in Lake Worth."
The upcoming Screen on the Green is just one of many events organized by LULA.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Come play pickleball in Lake Worth every Wednesday! And you might be surprised to learn about all the parks in this City

Use this link to learn more about the City's parks. Here is a list of some you might want to visit some day:
  • Bryant Park
  • Bryant Park South (which includes the boat ramp)
  • Constitution Park
  • Howard Park
  • Lend a Hand Park
  • Harlod Grimes Memorial Park
  • Northwest Park and ballfields
  • Tropical Ridge Fitness Park
  • Pocket parks: Small, passive parks are all over the City
  • South Palm Park
  • Spillway Park
  • Sunset Ridge Park (where pickleball is played, see below)
  • And, of course, the Casino and beach complex
Bring a couple dollar bills and show up at Sunset Ridge Park for pickleball. Call 561-533-7363 for more information:
To learn more about Pickleball use this link and here is a video from NBC Nightly News!

Begins this Friday (May 6th), the Clay Glass Metal Stone Gallery and new upcoming exhibit—A "Surfer's Paradise":

"My name is Jennifer Love Gironda (aka Jenny, aka 'da Muse) Nice to meet you! I am an artist, an art teacher and a contributor for Art Hive Magazine. I make a piece of art everyday...sometimes five or ten. Daily pieces within monthly 'themed' series, fashion illustrations...and some art just because."
Use this link for Clay Glass Metal Stone Gallery's Facebook page. The gallery is located in downtown Lake Worth.

Letter from president/CEO of PBC Cultural Council to County Commission: The Post is "irresponsible" and there were no "secret meetings"

The Palm Beach County Commission votes today on the proposed penny increase in the sales tax going on the ballot in November. The Post has done a real good job of "poisoning the well" so to speak about cultural organizations here in the County. Maybe in an effort to distance themselves from their handiwork they have two articles in support of the penny increase which includes funds for cultural organization. The articles are about Belle Glade Mayor Steve Wilson and Harry Howell at the Norton Museum of Art.

Hopefully their opinions aren't too late to be part of the debate.

Below is the letter written by Rena Blades, the president and CEO of the Cultural Council of the Palm Beaches, and she pulls no punches. You can read the entire letter written to the PBC Commission using this link.

The Post has taken an advocacy position against our cultural organizations instead of staying on the sidelines. Raising the specter of "secrecy" and "conflicts of interest" is clearly trying to influence public opinion. Below are 3 short excerpts from the letter written by Rena Blades:

"April 4, 2016

Dear Commissioners-

     The Palm Beach Post article of April 3, 2016 related to the portion of the sales tax initiative dedicated to cultural facilities has many inaccuracies, which I would like to clarify. 

     The article insinuates that secrecy and conflicts of interest may have tainted the planning and recommendations made by the Cultural Council for a variety of cultural projects that will be undertaken during the next ten years. Though the article implies that decisions were made in secret by a handful of self-interested people, nothing could be farther from the truth." [emphasis added]

[and. . .]

     "The reporting by the Post is irresponsible, both because of the inaccuracies and because of the facts left out, this despite more than six hours of meetings with Post reporters and sharing of hundreds of pages of information they requested including: tax returns, working papers, and survey results. When the Post requested meetings, cultural and business leaders were happy to meet with them and provide them with almost everything they requested."


[and. . .]

     "There were no secret meetings to develop the list of cultural organizations that might receive funding. The Council undertook a thorough Needs Assessment in a variety of areas, one of which involved future capital projects. A series of meetings then occurred to consider whether public funding, like strategies used elsewhere in the Nation, could and should be deployed here. Through those meetings and with the help of experts, a plan was developed. The Post reporters were welcomed to all meetings they requested to attend. Furthermore, Council Board meetings are publically noticed and the regional meetings were advertised widely.".

Monday, May 2, 2016

Attending the 3rd Sea Level Rise summit in Ft. Lauderdale? Please. . . try to keep to the facts and avoid the hyperbole (especially attendees from Lake Worth)

Here is the link to a Miami Herald article by Jenny Staletovich on the Southeast Florida Regional Climate Compact meeting in Key West last December. Representatives from four south Florida counties (Palm Beach, Broward, Miami-Dade and Monroe) were part of the gathering which included some reports of good news amidst "doom and gloom of climate change" from across the region. Lake Worth and Palm Beach County were mentioned in the article albeit with glaring errors:

     "Around the region, they [local, state and federal officials] said, advances are being made in the war on rising seas, and not just in Miami Beach where pumps have drawn national attention.
     In Fort Lauderdale, sea walls are being built higher. Palm Beach County teamed up with Lake Worth to replace a crumbling sea wall protecting a municipal golf course with a 'living shoreline' inhabited by wildlife."

First, there is no seawall "protecting" the City's golf course. That job is being done by mangroves, sea grass, and other natural processes. Second, I have no knowledge of a "crumbling sea wall" along our Intracoastal waterway. If it is crumbling it's news to me and I bet a lot of officials in Palm Beach County as well. If it was "crumbling" wouldn't warning signs be installed to protect the community? And lastly, the "living shoreline" is at Bryant Park, south of the City's golf course and also south of the Lake Worth bridge.  

Wonder who supplied the reporter with all this false information?

In short, the "living shoreline" has nothing whatever to do with climate change or the rising sea level debate. That effort is about restoring the environment for native plants and animals such as birds. The City's municipal golf course floods from time to time and has throughout its history. I've heard reports of golfers seeing schools of snook in large low-lying parts of the course. If you didn't know, the golf course was originally designed for water run-off from western parts of the City and only later was in-fill added to create a golf course.
Lake Worth City Manager Michael Bornstein and Mayor Pam Triolo: The City's golf course made the news.
Whether or not any Lake Worth residents will be attending the sea level rise summit in Ft. Lauderdale beginning tomorrow (5/3) isn't known as yet but hopefully, if any do, they'll keep to the facts and avoid the hyperbole/myth-making such as claims that the City of Lake Worth is cutting down mangroves. That's not true despite what was said at a recent Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council meeting.

And perhaps if Lake Worth Commissioner Christopher McVoy, PhD, attends the summit this week he can explain why the City never properly inspected our beach seawall when the Casino was rebuilt and why the structure isn't on pilings, especially with the prospect of coastal erosion and any possible rise in sea levels. And there's also the failed bond vote in 2014, thanks in part to McVoy, which would have made this City more 'resilient' if we should have a hurricane strike this year. Look in the right-hand column of this blog for "Sea level rise, North 'J' St. in Lake Worth, and 2014 bond vote that failed by just 25 votes. . ." to read all about that.

Galleria Gilda open on Dixie Hwy in Lake Worth: Classes/workshops on photography, digital editing, painting, and more

Here is the news and an excerpt from The Rickie Report:

     "Galleria Gilda offers paintings, drawings, three dimensional works, sculpture, ceramics, jewelry, textiles, mixed media, dance, performance art, glass and photography."

IF YOU GO:
2211 North Dixie Hwy.
561-839-3054
Tuesday to Saturday: 11:00–6:00
Sunday: 1:00–5:00
And they are also on Facebook

And while you're in town check out our new pastry chef in Lake Worth just a few minutes away, across the street and a short stroll north, the The Sugar Monkey!

The Compass Center in Lake Worth: They've been part of the community for a very long time.

The video below taken with a small handheld camera is from 2009 and there are a whole lot of other videos on my YouTube channel. The little City of Lake Worth and surrounding areas have many new residents and many of them may have heard a thing or two about Compass. In his own words along with a quite funny line is now-State Senator Jeff Clemens who was once the mayor of Lake Worth at Compass' dedication: Compass is involved in many efforts throughout Palm Beach County and also here in the City. You can find out all about them using this link. If you want you can stop by Compass, look around and pick up information on what they do. They are located at 201 N. Dixie Hwy. and reached at 561-533-9699. If you're familiar with the City their building is the blue one across the street from the downtown Publix which has a utility box that looks like this:

A reminder. . . From the City's newsletter, Worth Noting: "3rd Annual Great Give, Palm Beach & Martin Counties"

Worth Noting, the City's newsletter is free and delivered to your email inbox each week. To sign up use this link. To see this week's edition about the 3rd Annual Great Give, use this link. Here are some excerpts:

The fundraising event will be held on Tuesday, May 3rd from midnight to midnight. Last year’s event raised more than $68 million nationally and $3.1 million locally, with our area ranking 7th in the nation.

What makes this fundraising event different?
Gifts made during the 24-hour period will be multiplied by additional dollars from a bonus pool that have been raised by the Community Foundation of Palm Beach and Martin Counties!

Did you know?
That LULA, Lake Worth Arts received funding through the Great Give and was able to underwrite the Screen on the Green Movies, as well as other FREE art events for the community?


Other Lake Worth non-profits participating in the Great Give include [a partial list from the newsletter]: 

  • The Cultural Council of Palm Beach County: The Cultural Council has a strategic relationship with the City of Lake Worth and is located downtown. The Cultural Council promotes, supports and provides education about the arts. Give Here 
  • LULA Lake Worth Arts: LULA is another strategic City partnership. LULA seeks to unify the arts in vision and goals. Give Here 
  • Friends of the Lake Worth Library: Provides support to the Lake Worth Library. Give Here 
  • Compass LGBT Community Center: Provides education and empowerment for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. Give Here 
  • The Guatemalan-Maya Center: Assists families with the challenges of immigration, education and health care. Give Here 
  • Lake Worth Playhouse: The Lake Worth Playhouse has a strategic relationship with the City. The Playhouse provides live performances, independent and foreign films, and theater for students. Give Here

Information in an entertaining way: The folks at Vox do it again

You can subscribe to Vox and have this kind of information delivered to your in-box. They "Explain the News" with their own clever way of spinning things and you'll agree with some of their explanations and disagree with others. Regardless, it's always entertaining. They do other interesting things like explain stuff you've always wondered about, like "Why your laptop charger is so hot"? Enjoy this highly entertaining and informative explanation why that laptop converter box gets hot—the reason is rooted in decisions made many, many years ago:

This blog began on May 3rd, 2006. A look back—"Historical Overview of our Current City Hall (former Municipal Auditorium)"

Tuesday, May 3rd, will be the ten year anniversary of this blog. Hard to believe the very first blog post was on May 3rd, 2006. Looking back through some of those early posts found this one about Lake Worth City Hall from August 2006. Coincidentally, this coming Tuesday is also the next Commission meeting of which I've attended a few over the years. Enjoy this look back in our City's history and how the current City Hall came to be:


WORK IN PROGRESS - more on the way. Thanks to Tony Plakas for gathering these items from the Lake Worth Historical Museum. Remember, you can "click" on the images and they will appear larger in a new window.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

A factual error in the Palm Beach Post about the City of Lake Worth and union negotiations

[Update: A correction was never published and that's no surprise. But the error was a good one in that a lot of new residents got to learn more about the City's recent history and many of the past mistakes and bad decisions that were made. And. . . tomorrow is Monday, so that means it's Lake Worth's special day again!]

If you didn't know, Lake Worth is one of the six special cities in Palm Beach County, according to The Palm Beach Post. Every Monday from now on, each and every week, our City will be featured and other cities like Palm Springs, the Great Walled City of Atlantis, and Lantana will not. Why? Because we're very special for some reason.
The other special cities are Jupiter, Wellington, Boynton Beach, Palm Beach Gardens, and West Palm Beach.
In the print edition, which you can also read online, there's a factual error which needs a correction. Here is the excerpt:

     "In 2000, former City Manager Susan Stanton switched pension plans to save the city money, moving from a 20-year plan to a 30-year program. Workers say this was done without negotiating with the unions."

In 2000, 'Susan Stanton' was then known as Steve Stanton and hadn't undergone a sex change as yet. Stanton's tenure as the city manager only lasted 953 days in Lake Worth after being fired in December 2011 (in 2000 Stanton was probably still in Largo, FL). You can read about that and also learn more about the City's current city manager, Michael Bornstein using this link and an excerpt from a post from last December on this blog:

     "Today (12/23/15) marks 1,346 days since City Manager Michael Bornstein was hired on April 16, 2012. There is nothing significant about 3 years, 8 months, and 7 days except as a matter of perspective. The previous city manager, Susan Stanton, was fired on December 6, 2011 after 953 days on the job."

Hope that clears things up. Also note the recent union negotiations are another mess the current majority on the City Commission has to fix. It will take many more years to fix all the problems created by "The Best Commission Ever!"* led by Stanton.

If you happen to be a resident of Lantana, Greenacres, Palm Springs, or any other city that's not as special as Lake Worth and you're curious why, well, a lot of other people are also very curious. Seriously, how many times does the Post need to publish the phone number for the Parks Department?

If you have something you would like to share from the City of Lake Worth, suburban Lake Worth (unincorporated County), the Lake Worth Corridor, or Greenacres here is how you contact the Post reporter, Kevin Thompson:
Email: kthompson@pbpost.com
561-820-4573
Twitter: @kevindthompson1

*"The Best Commission Ever!" (or BCE for short) was the mantra by the sycophants during the Stanton era who ignored all the bad decisions being made and the consequences to come. For example, there is the failed Casino plan, unused Community Block Grant money, gutting of code enforcement, and many other terrible decisions as well.

The Tropical Ridge neighborhood meeting is tomorrow (Monday) at the Lake Worth Towers*

"Greeting Friends and Neighbors of Tropical Ridge Neighborhood Association (TRNA):

Our May meeting will be held on Monday, May 2nd, 7:00 pm., at the Lake Worth Towers, 1500 Lucerne Ave.

We will be discussing the rejuvenation/cleanup of TRNA's Fitness Park (and surrounding area) proposed for May 21st. Our guest speaker will be Darrin Engel who will tell us about Bryant Park's Derby Day Celebration.

Hope you can join us Monday.
 

Carolyn"

*About the TRNA:
The mission is to educate ourselves on matters of concern and interest to the people who live and work here.
Boundaries: The boundaries include the area from the east side of I-95 to the west side of Dixie Highway and from the south side of Lucerne Avenue to the south side of 10th Avenue North.
Membership: Everyone is welcome to attend meetings. Membership is open to all residents, property owners and licensed business owners within the neighborhood boundaries. We share more than simple geography; this is the special place we are proud to call home.

The 3rd Sea Level Rise Summit: May 3rd–5th in Ft. Lauderdale (and how many feet above sea level is Lake Worth City Hall?)

The last sea level rise summit in Key West, if you didn't know, was attended by our Lake Worth Vice Mayor Scott Maxwell and commissioners Ryan Maier and Chris McVoy. The presentation given at the City Commission meeting about that summit by Maier and McVoy didn't go very well. You can read all about that using this link.

Hopefully the next presentation given to the citizenry will be much better next time if any elected's from Lake Worth attend. Below is what the vice mayor took away from the summit in Key West:
If you want to attend the next summit in Ft. Lauderdale below is more information:

"On Day 1 we examine the science and impacts with experts from NASA JPL, NOAA, FWS and USF. Days 2 and 3 convene decision-makers and industry professionals to discuss public policy and private adaptation efforts."

Here is the link to see the full agenda and they're also promoting the summit on Twitter too:
There's no need to pack up and move if you live in Lake Worth any time soon. City Hall is about 16′ above sea level. Hopefully all of our elected's can concentrate on other things like the City's street lighting and fixing the roads to name just two.

Is your cat on a vegan diet? Have you ever been struck with the skull of a long-dead predator?

The bullet list below is from Facebook. The last item is quite satirically humorous. Enjoy!

"while I'm here:
  • aspartame does not give you cancer
  • gluten is not bad for you if you're not allergic/don't have celiac disease
  • superfoods aren't real, they're just healthy things with maybe some nicer levels of certain vitamins
  • vaccines do not cause autism or really anything else and the chemicals present in them that typically scare you are in such minute amounts that they do precisely ****-all in you body (we're talking scales of one part per million)
  • you cannot do a cleanse or diet to "rid your body of toxins," your kidneys and liver have that covered
  • GMO foods will not kill you; most genetic crop modification just makes our crops hardier and produce more food (and genetic modification doesn't inject more chemicals into your food, it's just minor altering of DNA that is made of the exact same stuff your DNA is made from)
  • if you feed your cat a vegan diet I will personally come to your home with the skull of a long-dead predator, point out the shape of it's jaw and teeth as indicators of predatory feeding habits, and then beat you with it"