Saturday, June 18, 2016

25th Annual July 4th Raft Race at Bryant Park now only sixteen (16) days away

Note the sponsors of this year's Raft Race (click on image to enlarge).
Shirts are available at Andy's newsstand (corner of Lake Ave. & 'L' Street) and other locations as well.
     "Since the Neighborhood Assoc. Presidents Council (NAPC; on Facebook too) was founded in 2007, we've come to truly value our special partnerships with our Neighbors in the Lake Worth business community. Nowhere is the evidence of those partnerships more apparent than in our signature event—The Great American 4th of July Raft Race!
     In 2013, the NAPC assumed the leadership role for this annual Splash Bash and every year since then we've turned to our partners to sponsor the event with fabulous T-shirts that have become highly collectible and worn with pride year round.
     This year's T-shirts celebrate the playful nature of our NAPC Neighborhoods with 'Toys! Out of the box' as our overall theme. Roberta Millman-Ide from the South Palm Park Neighborhood graciously created our theme image on the front of the T-shirts and we are honored to showcase the logos of our sponsors on the back of our 2016 T-shirts."

Wow. Video about Brightline's locomotives: "Cummins diesel-electric locomotive. . . 42,000 pound powerplant’s 16-cylinder engine"

The video in this article by Wired is amazing. Can just imagine seeing one of these incredible machines rolling through Lake Worth for the first time. Below are two excepts and note the size of the engine and what it's engineered to do:

     The Siemens factory near Sacramento, California, is building some of the most modern, high tech, high speed trains to hit US rails. It takes 6,000 work hours to build just one coach from scratch, but a team of welders, electricians, painters and engineers is pumping them out at the rate of four per month. In a country hardly known for its trains, this rolling stock will deliver high-end, feature-packed comfort.
     The trains are the centerpiece of Brightline, a privately-funded venture in Florida that will connect Miami, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, and Orlando starting this time next year.

[and. . .]

     The drivetrain is one of the latest available—a Cummins diesel-electric locomotive. The 42,000 pound powerplant’s 16-cylinder engine operates purely as a electric generator. 42 miles of cable feed electric motors for movement, as well as for the lights (and laptops) in the passenger carriages. This efficient configuration means the engine meets the Federal Railroad Administration’s tough Tier IV clean air standards.

"Delray Beach to install cameras throughout city in crime-fighting program"

Sun Sentinel reporter Lois Solomon has this interesting news; here is an excerpt:

     Atlantic Avenue revelers, take note: Delray Beach has begun installing security cameras throughout the city as part of a crime-prevention program pinpointing key sites often connected with illegal activities.
     The entertainment district that radiates from Atlantic Avenue, along with parking garages, the beach, City Hall and recreation centers: All will become part of a closed-circuit surveillance system that hooks up to a monitored room in the police department, supervised by a detective checking for misdeeds.
     "If someone's wallet is stolen, we can go back and look at where it happened," said Capt. Tom Mitchell of the police department. "This is not Big Brother; it's the wave of the future. Technology is the way to reduce crime now."

"Kenya is on the brink of approving GMOs"

This surprising turnaround by the Kenyan government is reported by Nathan Siegel at Grist:

     Just four years after banning imports of genetically-modified crops, Kenyan officials have come full circle: They’ve moved a big step closer to introducing genetically modified crops into Kenyan fields. Earlier this year, the country’s National Biosafety Association approved Monsanto’s genetically-modified, drought-resistant corn for field trials that will test whether it is safe and has sufficient nutritional value.
     As a journalist who recently moved to Kenya, I’m constantly reminded that few things are as important to Kenyans than corn. I was not surprised to find out that Kenyans eat more corn than almost any other national population on the continent – about 194 pounds per year.
Have questions about GMO? Use this link.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Update: Lake Worth Sister City Board

Despite not one, but two pleadings by Commissioner Ryan Maier on the dais at City Commission meetings for members to attend the Sister City Board meeting it was the same result again: no quorum. Makes me wonder what our Sister City Lappeenranta, Finland will think about this.

Maier is the Commission liaison to the board and it would seem he's not inspiring and/or motivating people to any degree. Or possibly many are all too familiar with the hypocrisy having Maier be the City's liaison in the first place?
Sad. There was a level of excitement that the board was going to resume its work and it would certainly aid tourism since there is such a long history with Finland and large community of Finnish here in Lake Worth and surrounding communities.

Part 2: Jeff Perlman's thoughts about the City of Lake Worth and Delray Beach

First a recap: This is the second blog post about the talk given by Jeff Perlman in Lake Worth on Tuesday, June 14th. Use this link for the previous post. Check back for another post or two about this. If you're interested, Perlman wrote a book titled, "Adventures in Local Politics" and the profits from the book go to the charity Dare 2 Be Great.

A group of Lake Worth residents joined Perlman in downtown Lake Worth and he talked about his time in Delray Beach as a community leader, journalist, a commissioner and then the mayor. The theme that ran through the entire talk was how important it is to forge your own City identity. One of the things stressed during Delray's visioning process was not becoming another high-rise community like Boca just like most of us in Lake Worth do not want to be a clone of Delray Beach or any other city.

Perlman explained how important community events are because they help identify the personality of a community. Delray Beach is now having a re-evaluation about the number of events they have in the downtown. He thinks it's important to have events in a central downtown location, or public spaces, that are safe, attractive, well-designed and welcoming to art and culture.

"You can think of art as both import and export", he said. You can import art and artists for special installations and resident artists can export the art made within your community.

On business and change he brought up the example of Boston's on the beach that was once locally owned and a popular community hangout. The owner sold the business and it was bought by the Marriott chain. Changes like this are an economic reality and are going to happen. It's important for City leaders to keep reminding people and the business community about what the goals are and keep the message consistent. You have to guard against complacency, know when it's time to tap on the brakes, and most importantly remember your work is never done.

You need a team with the right people in the right seats on the bus and everyone has to be in sync. You can agree to disagree and then move on. Everyone is not going to agree on everything. Compromise is not a dirty word and don't let any one disappointment or disagreement "burn the bridge".

Perlman told a story about what he did before the advent of social media: When he was mayor of Delray he was hearing a lot of rumors and was trying to track down where they were coming from. It turned out most of the rumors were coming from a certain barber shop. So he decided to go there and address what was being said. That's how you did things before social media.

And on social media he cautioned how easy it is for the wrong messages to be sent to the community and how newspapers are not covering local politics, policies and issues like they did in the past. So most people have to rely on social media for information and a city has to stay current with up-to-date information using many platforms.

He mentioned how politically polarized the situation is now, both nationally and locally, and it's one of the great challenges of our time. He spoke of the racial divide that is present in Delray Beach and cautions about setting up situations where people can overtake the political process and alter the message.

And then there's this sage advice that needs to be hammered home from Perlman's blog:
"What it takes for an elected official to succeed"
To be continued. Check back tomorrow for Perlman's thoughts on Lake Worth's strengths and weaknesses.

"We have to look out for tomorrow's neighbors"

David Whitehead at Strong Towns has this blog post titled, "There's an empty seat at your community meeting. Whose is it?". This quote perfectly describes the situation here in Palm Beach County and in Lake Worth as well:
"Growth is coming to our city and region; we must focus on how to shape our cities to accommodate this growth in equitable, beautiful, and smart ways."
Another excerpt (substitute Lake Worth for a neighborhood in Washington, D.C.):

     "The idea that there is no room for more housing is fantasy; the idea that there is no political room to build more housing is reality.
     Groups around the country are starting to form to fight for the needs of the newcomers and the often-excluded. In other words: more housing at diverse affordability levels. These YIMBY groups are gathering for an inaugural national conference to share strategy, learn from and engage with each other. Greater Greater Washington is excited to be there. We know what we need; how to get there is our next question.
     In the meantime, neighborhood leaders, next time you sit in a meeting with empty seats, keep the next 1,000 in mind."

About the Flag Day ceremony this week, an article in the Lake Worth Herald by Mary Lindsey

Below are two excerpts from the article in this week's Herald. This edition gives special attention to the vigil at the Cultural Plaza last Monday on the front page. If you don't subscribe to the Herald use this link or pick up the print edition at the City's newsstand at 600 Lake Ave across from the Starbuck's:

     In 2008, then Mayor Rene Varela invited the Flag Day ceremony back home to Lake Worth, where it has been magnificently celebrated and greatly revered annually ever since. The ceremony this year was hosted by Scottish Rite General Secretary, Mike Cribbit who said he was pleased to see more people than ever in attendance.
     The brief but moving ceremony in recent years has included hailing the names of our sons and fathers who attended Lake Worth High School since the school began in 1922, and who have given their lives in service to our Country. Another treasured part of the ceremony is the recitation of “What the Pledge Means to Me,” written and originally performed by the late Richard “Red” Skelton [see video below], a 33 degree Mason in the Scottish Rite Fraternity.

[and. . .]

     A sizable crowd of patriotic Lake Worth Neighbors were on hand to witness and join together in a moment of silent reflection on the terrible wound we suffered as a nation just days before in Orlando. With one voice, the assembled body of men and women, children, seniors and all put their right hands on their hearts and pledged their allegiance to the American Flag hung respectfully and in mourning at half mast.

The Southern Baptist Convention "just voted to stop displaying the Confederate flag"

This mind-numbing news is from Vox. Also hard to believe there will be a tiny crew in our City of Lake Worth disappointed to learn about this
Here are the opening paragraphs from the Vox article datelined June 16th, 2016:

     On Tuesday, the US Southern Baptist Convention, the largest Protestant Christian denomination in the country, voted that members stop displaying the Confederate flag.
     Black Texas pastor Dwight McKissic proposed the Confederate flag resolution to the SBC in April, to honor the nine black parishioners who were shot and killed at the historic Mother Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina; it was passed on the eve of the tragedy’s one-year anniversary.
     The SBC was created in 1845 after a group of churches, unwilling to remain neutral on the moral standing of slavery, created their own association that allowed them to both praise God and support the institution. [emphasis added]
     "The SBC supported the Confederacy and was emotionally and philosophically attached to the Confederacy," McKissic wrote. "The Dylann Roof love affair with the Confederate [flag] and his murdering of nine innocent Black Kingdom-citizens (Christians) has brought this matter back to the forefront."

So. . . you think you had a bad day at the golf course?

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Part 1: Jeff Perlman's thoughts about the City of Lake Worth

This is the first blog post about the talk given by Jeff Perlman in Lake Worth on Tuesday, June 14th. Check back for more over the next few days. If you're interested, Perlman wrote a book titled, "Adventures in Local Politics" and the profits from the book go to the charity Dare 2 Be Great.

A group of Lake Worth residents joined Perlman in downtown Lake Worth and he talked about his time in Delray Beach as a community leader, journalist, a commissioner and then the mayor. The theme that ran through the entire talk was how important it is to forge your own City identity. One of the things stressed during Delray's visioning process was not becoming another high-rise community like Boca just like many of us in Lake Worth do not want to be a clone of Delray Beach or any other city.

He stressed that for a city's vision to work people have to see tangible results. If nothing happens they lose their trust in the leaders and the process as well. Most cities veer off the path when there is opposition and there will be resistance. And city's also have to deal with unplanned things such as hurricanes, economic cycles, and other societal events so flexibility is also key.

When he was first elected to the city commission after going through the visioning process in Delray Beach he looked at the budget and started asking questions, "Well, where's all this money for neighborhoods that we talked about as part of our visioning process?", and he was told that money was not budgeted. What he discovered was a disconnect between the staff and the elected leaders. Delray's 'vision' wasn't reflected in the budget nor were the priorities of the community.

He noted how crucial it was to have help from outside resources such as the Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council to facilitate the process. Another point he stressed was the importance of an inventory of city assets.

He noted many similarities between Delray Beach and Lake Worth in the scale of buildings, beach access, both city's have a deep sense of history and are also very open to artists, designers, and others who like to experiment and try new things.

Lastly, on a personal note, never once was it suggested or proposed that Lake Worth follow in the steps of Delray Beach. Even though the two city's are close geographically they're very different in many ways. Everyone appreciated what Perlman had to say from a man with so much experience making a "vision" happen. And here is more good advice from Perlman:
"What it takes for an elected official to succeed"
To be continued.

News from Parrot Cove about two important upcoming meetings

Parrot Cove is part of the Neighborhood Assoc. Presidents Council (NAPC) in Lake Worth.
Note that these meetings are open to everyone from any neighborhood in the City and all are encouraged to attend:

     "This coming Monday at our monthly Parrot Cove meeting the City of Lake Worth will be hosting the first in a series of Neighborhood Association workshops about historic preservation, its effects on our neighborhood and soliciting feedback from residents on their feelings about being in a historic designated neighborhood. This affects the vast majority of Parrot Cove with only a few small spots not designated historic.
     This is an opportunity for our members and residents to express their feelings about this designation directly to City Officials as they consider the future of this program. Please be sure to attend so your voice can be heard.
     Also, please note on your calendars for our July 18th meeting. Our guest speaker will be Florida Representative Bill Hager and he will be speaking to us about the Sober Home legislation that has passed as well as an update on this topic that is of great concern to our community.
     As always, these meetings are on the 3rd Monday of the month, at 7:00 at The Beach Club restaurant located at the Lake Worth Golf Course."

"Poor people pay for parking even when they can’t afford a car"

Emily Badger at Wonkblog has this fascinating article about the cost of 'free parking'. It's not free. Donald Shoup is quoted and you can learn more about him using this link and there is a video below. Here are two excerpts from the article in Wonkblog:

     Free parking makes it cheaper to own a car. But, as UCLA economist Donald Shoup has long argued, it makes everything else more expensive. Parking at the supermarket is embedded in the cost of groceries. Parking attached to an apartment building is built into the price of rent.
     And because cities typically require developers to build a minimum amount of parking — say, one spot per bedroom in each housing unit, or two per thousand square feet of commercial space — you may pay for the cost of parking even if you never drive a car.

[and. . .]

     "People who are too poor to own a car," Shoup writes in the University of California's ACCESS Magazine, "pay more for their groceries to ensure that richer people can park free when they drive to the store."
     To put this in perspective: The cost of constructing above-ground parking in a major American city runs about $24,000 per space, in Shoup's research (this doesn't include the cost of buying the land underneath).

Donald Shoup is the author of "The High Cost of Free Parking": 

Tomorrow: Opera Fusion's "Not In My Town" and activist Romaine Patterson to speak at FAU

In response to the massacre Sunday of patrons at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, LGBTQA activist and radio personality Romaine Patterson will speak on a panel at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton Friday afternoon (June 17) before attending Opera Fusion’s Matthew Shepard musical drama, “Not In My Town,” at Sunshine Cathedral in Fort Lauderdale that night.
Romaine Patterson
Patterson, who lives in New Jersey now, is coming to South Florida as a guest of Opera Fusion, producers of “Not In My Town,” by Fort Lauderdale composer and librettist Michael W. Ross. Patterson was the best friend of Matthew Shepard, the gay Wyoming college student who died in 1998 after he was left beaten and tied to a fence; her character is the heroine of the “Not In My Town” story.

The Friday afternoon panel discussion at FAU, which includes Patterson as a speaker, is scheduled from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. in the Student Union on the Boca Raton campus. It caps three days of events—called “We are One Pulse”—organized by the Division of Student Affairs, College of Medicine, and Peace, Justice and Human Rights Initiative in response to the Orlando mass shooting. Panelists are:
  • Dr. Jane Caputi, professor in the Center for Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies
  • Rev. Durrell Watkins, senior pastor at Sunshine Cathedral in Fort Lauderdale (where the Matthew Shepard musical drama will be performed Friday night.)
  • Romaine Patterson, LGBTQA activist and radio personality
  • Dr. Cristobal Salinas, assistant professor in the Department of Educational Leadership and Research Methodology
South Florida startup company Opera Fusion Inc. will perform portions of its upcoming Matthew Shepard musical drama, “Not In My Town,” on Friday, June 17, 2016, at the Sunshine Cathedral in Fort Lauderdale as part of the 2016 Wilton Manors Stonewall Festival.
The gala preview of “Not In My Town” offers show-only tickets for $38 and VIP tickets for $100 that include dinner at 6 p.m., an open bar, the show at 8 p.m., and a post-performance meet-the-artists reception. Sunshine Cathedral and the Walter Lawrence and Stephen Lewis Performing Arts Center, where the dinner will be held, are at 1480 Ninth Ave., Fort Lauderdale. Tickets can be purchased online at OperaFusion.org.

WORLD PREMIERE: The world premiere will be presented on Saturday, Sept. 24, at 7 p.m. and Sunday, Sept. 25, 2016, at 3 p.m. at Florida Atlantic University’s University Theatre on the Boca Raton campus at 777 Glades Road.

THE OPERA COMPANY: Opera Fusion Inc., a nonprofit artist-driven company, is based in West Palm Beach and will mount shows throughout South Florida. It aims to invite and encourage new audiences to experience opera and other classical singing by presenting its performances at intimate and nontraditional venues.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

"Hurricane event set for June 17 at mass grave for victims of 1928 storm"

You can find out more about this on Facebook also. This news below comes from the West Palm Beat blog:

     A hurricane awareness and preparedness event is set for 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, June 17, at the mass grave for victims of the 1928 Okeechobee Hurricane.
     The grave is part of a city memorial and park at Twenty-Fifth Street and Tamarind Avenue in West Palm Beach. It is believed to hold as many as 700 victims of the storm, which killed up to 3,000 in Palm Beach County, making it the state’s greatest natural disaster and likely the second deadliest natural disaster in U.S. history, behind the 1900 Galveston, Texas, storm.

Call 561-881-8298 for more information.

To learn more Jeff Klinkenberg at the Tampa Bay Times has this article titled, "Unmarked but not unmourned, 1928 Hurricane's victims get memorial 80 years later".

"Light Done Right"—A must read by Lake Worth City Manager Mike Bornstein (for those who may have missed this City news)

Now that we've gotten past the issues of "Dark Skies", completed all the "critical thinking" (a newly-minted meme), and made sure all the turtles will be just fine, the City of Lake Worth is proceeding with the installation of new street lighting in the City. If you recall this was a recent item that made the news on NBC5/WPTV recently by reporter Michelle Quesada. 

If you didn't know, the City has a weekly newsletter that you can sign up for here. All that's required is your email and first/last name. If you want to you can sign up as Daffy Duck and you'll still get the newsletters.

In this newsletter by the city manager he explains how the new lighting project will be rolled out (also there's more news on the City's photovoltaic power generation); here are two excerpts:

     All of the street lighting owned and operated by the City will be replaced with high efficiency LED lights. By now, most people are familiar with the benefits of LEDs, both in terms of energy efficiency to produce the same amount of light as traditional fixtures, but also because they last much longer than the lights we are currently using. LEDs are also better at placing the light only where it is needed and does not spill light in all directions causing that annoying glare in your eyes and in your windows. There have been many requests for improved lighting in the neighborhoods and commercial areas. This project is our effort to address these issues citywide. The Sheriff’s Office is playing an instrumental role in identifying dark areas where new or replacement lighting is needed based on the safety of our residents.

[and. . .]

     The City went through a competitive selection process, and Siemens was chosen to conduct a review of all of our energy and water usage. That information was then used to create a detailed plan identifying specific equipment, its performance, and how it would yield enough savings to pay for itself. We are now in the implementation phase of these projects and they will be completed within a maximum 18-month period.
 

In Public Service,
Michael Bornstein, City Manager

Tomorrow—I-95/6th Ave South Interchange Project: Development and Environmental Study Kick Off Meeting

The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) is holding a Public Kick Off Meeting for the Project Development and Environmental (PD&E) Study to consider improvements to be made to the I-95 Interchange at 6th Avenue South, along I-95 from north of 12th Avenue South to south of Lake Worth Road and along 6th Avenue South from South C Street to Michigan Avenue in Palm Beach County FL.

The study will identify short term and long term needs and develop design concepts to address traffic spillback onto I-95, improve interchange operations, reduce congestion and enhance safety. The study is expected to be complete in September 2017.

Persons wishing to submit comments, in place of or in addition to oral comments, may do so at the meeting or by sending them via US mail to Fernando Morales, P.E., 3400 West Commercial Boulevard, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33309, call 954-777-4687/1-866-336-8435 ext. 4687, or by email to Fernando.Morales@dot.state.fl.us

For more information visit the project website.

IF YOU GO:
Date: Thursday, June 16, 2016
Time: 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm
Location: Club Managers Association of American, Therapeutic Recreation Complex
Address: 2728 Lake Worth Road, suburban Lake Worth, 33461

1947 Saginaw Powerbike

SMART NEW POWERBIKE – GETS YOU THERE SAFELY & ECONOMICALLY!

The ease and simplicity of control, of starting-stopping makes the Powerbike a favorite of all ages.

Designed by automotive engineers, with positive type brakes, automatic clutch, easy starting 4-cycle air-cooled motor, it provides dependable, safe transportation.

Economical to buy, to operate – 80 to over 100 miles per gallon . Positive lock prevents tampering.

Order your Powerbike today!

– Advert from Saginaw Agent C Klarsfeld, 67 Hudson Ave, Albany, NY

[PINNED POST*] Quote—Lake Worth City Attorney Glen Torcivia to Morganti representatives on faulty construction at City's Casino:

"I think you're misunderstanding the point gentlemen. You guys have to get a slope away from the building and the doors so they don't leak. I'm being a nice guy here but frankly your comments are irking me."

And from Mayor Pam Triolo:

"You were paid for your expertise. Fix the problem. Fast!"

*A "Pinned Post" is kept at, or near, the top of the blog. Scroll down for new content.

The quotes above and much more you'll hear in the video below. This all happened at the City Commission meeting on June 7th vis-à-vis the building's water leaks and other construction problems. The Lake Worth Herald has a front page feature article on this. For more background use this link.

Here are some highlights, or 'lowlights' if you will, in the video (at the end of this blog post):
  • City Attorney Torcivia starts off and at the 1:40 mark explains the process for moving forward with a lawsuit, if necessary, and he says, "It's taking longer to fix the building than it took to build it".
  • At the 5:35 mark Vice Mayor Scott Maxwell let's loose his frustration: "You knew it was on the waterfront. You know it rains in South Florida. And here we are having this conversation?", and later, "I'm not buying all this."
  • At the 9:30 mark Mike Olenik, Vice President of Morganti, comes to the podium to speak.
Ironically, the image of the City's Casino is still on Morganti's website.
  • At 15:20 Commissioner Chris McVoy, PhD, makes a snide remark about "not necessarily educated folks" and then goes on to suggest a 40-mph wind standard? Along the east coast of Florida? He later makes a pitch to "come up with something reasonable".
  • At 17:10 Commissioner Ryan Maier makes his pitch to the Morganti representatives to "make customer [City] feel like you care and you are taking action." Later Maier shows how involved he is and says, ". . . whatever is going on in engineer land."
  • At 18:30 is Olenik pleading again.
  • At 19:40 Mayor Pam Triolo makes her comments including, "We've put up with this for four years." She also has a great analogy on why she thinks this issue is not of great concern to Morganti.
  • At 21:30 Maxwell asks an excellent question.
  • At 22:15 City Manager Michael Bornstein makes his comments. He says, "The fact of the matter is the way it [the Casino] is built and the way it is designed, it can't be delivered as promised." Later he says, "For God's sake, give us your final offer."
  • At 24:30 Torcivia's frustration becomes very evident. He instructs the City Commission to give Morganti until October 6th to fix the problems. The vote was 3-1 to take Torcivia's advice.
Here is the video to watch for yourself:

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Pictures to music: Lake Worth vigil for the Orlando nightclub victims

What happens when editors at The Palm Beach Post let down their very own reporters

Woman's body "found near Lake Worth"? Not even close. The murder scene was west of Greenacres and the Turnpike.
Here is an excerpt from the article by The Palm Beach Post reporter Hannah Winston:

     Judge Krista Marx ordered 30-year-old Dernard Hall to be held without bail on first-degree murder charges nor have contact with anyone in Miller’s family. Hall, of Opa-Locka, was arrested on a felony warrant, according to the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office.
     On May 29, a woman’s body was found near Blanchette Trail, west of Florida’s Turnpike and north of Lake Worth Road, by a passerby at about 8 a.m., PBSO said.

This is the false headline that appears in today's (6/14) print edition:

Lake Worth body leads to man's murder charge

"Lake Worth body"? The reporter obviously has no clue what the municipal borders of Lake Worth are, but the editor's know:
Once again, a lesson for the media on the municipal borders of the City of Lake Worth.

News from Nicole Danna: "Bx Beer Depot Reopens Bigger and Better in Downtown Lake Worth"

Use this link to read the entire article by the food writer Nicole Danna* at the BPB New Times:

     Bx Beer Depot, Palm Beach County's first and only home-brew shop, is back in business in downtown Lake Worth. The new store opened at 21 J street on Saturday, June 11. 
     New owners and husband-and-wife team Ben and Kem Smith-Meyers said they were originally considering a space in Boynton Beach before they decided to move the 30-year-old business to downtown Lake Worth.
     "One of our goals [when we took ownership] was to expand the craft beer bar, and Lake Worth's walking traffic combined with the network of other small, local businesses nearby seemed like the best fit for us," says Ben. "We love this community." [emphasis added] 

IF YOU GO (also from the article): Bx Beer Depot is located at 21 South J St., Lake Worth. Hours are Tuesday and Wednesday from noon to 7 p.m.; Thursday through Saturday from noon to 9 p.m.; and Sunday from noon to 6 p.m. Call 561-513-9907, or visit bxbeerdepot.com.

*Nicole Danna is a food writer covering Broward and Palm Beach counties. To get the latest in food and drink news in South Florida, follow her on Twitter at @SoFloNicole or find her latest food pics on the BPB New Times Food & Drink Instagram.

Oystercatchers in the Lake Worth Lagoon, news from the County's Environmental Resource Management

Learn more about oystercatchers using this link.
"Two pairs of American oystercatchers, state-listed imperiled shorebirds, have been observed this spring nesting in the central Lake Worth Lagoon. Department staff recently snapped this photo of one pair with their two chicks at Bryant Park Wetlands. Keep an eye out for these colorful birds if you are on the water in Lake Worth. Use this link for tips from the FWC for helping to protect beach-nesting birds."

“This gentrification stuff is happening in very few places, affecting a small number of people.”

The quote in the title is by Beth McConnell, policy director of the Philadelphia Association of Community Development Corporations.

Below is more information about 'gentrification', a phenomena that is very misunderstood and ergo why it's used to confuse and misinform the public so often, even in cities like Lake Worth. To see how the "wolf at the door" is used as a political tactic look in the right-hand column for 'Gentrification!' & politics of fear or use this link.

Below are three excerpts from this article by Rachel M. Cohen titled, "Poverty, Not Gentrification, Is the Biggest Barrier to Affordable Housing":

     When the mainstream media cover housing affordability issues, journalists often hone in on gentrification. Young, mostly white, college educated people are moving into urban cities, they say, followed by yoga studios, coffee shops, and luxury apartments. This influx of affluent individuals allegedly fuels the displacement of the poor.
     These narratives may be popular, but research studies have shown that gentrification is rare and, in some cases, beneficial. The biggest housing problems facing America’s low-income residents have little to do with wealthier people moving in and everything to do with low-income residents falling even further behind. [emphasis added] Last month, a new Pew Charitable Trusts report found that just 15 of Philadelphia’s 372 residential census tracts gentrified between 2000 and 2014.

[and. . .]

     In the Pew report, Beth McConnell, policy director of the Philadelphia Association of Community Development Corporations noted, “This gentrification stuff is happening in very few places, affecting a small number of people.” She added, “We have many more poor neighborhoods where there is no change.” 

[and. . .]

     Nevertheless, housing affordability problems and solutions vary from region to region, and they cannot be properly addressed by blaming poverty on gentrification. . . If we are serious about changing these dynamics, then a more nuanced focus on housing simply has to be on the agenda.

From NBC5/WPTV: The vigil at the Cultural Plaza last night

"Palm Beach County State Attorney Dave Aronberg and a number of other lawmakers joined residents in Lake Worth Monday night for a prayer vigil to remember the victims of the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando.
     Songs and prayers were shared to try to help comfort the many people reeling from the tragedy.
     Many in the local LGBT community were on hand as a show of solidarity for all those whose lives were lost."

Tomorrow: Join Commissioner Andy Amoroso and Herman Robinson at Callaro's Steak House

Monday, June 13, 2016

An invitation to discuss "how to bring out the BEST of Lake Worth"

Please Note: This is a meeting about "ideas". Just the thought of new ideas can be very frightening for some in this City as most of you know.

"Want to hear ideas from Jeff Perlman on how to bring out the BEST of Lake Worth? If so, attend the meeting Tuesday (June 14th) at 7:30 at the Lucerne Building (corner of Lucerne Ave and 'L' Street).

Jeff has been intimately involved with the redevelopment and resurgence of Delray Beach at many levels. He is a past Mayor of Delray Beach, author of "Adventures in Local Politics", and served on many boards. To sum it up—he wears many hats! Let's hear some of his ideas from a proven and successful track record.

This is a PUBLIC invite. Seating is limited to approx 40–50 people." 

FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Call 561-602-0193 or use this Facebook link.

Tremendous grief. . . A vigil tonight at the Cultural Plaza in downtown Lake Worth

Lake Worth Commissioner Andy Amoroso is organizing a Candlelight Vigil tonight at 8:00 p.m. at the Cultural Plaza, located at the corner of Lake Ave. and Federal Hwy, to keep those lost and injured in Orlando at Pulse nightclub in our thoughts. Please join us to mourn and come together in peace.

Must read article: "The Politics of Mass Murder" and the Liberty Counsel in Orlando is cited

Emma Green at The Atlantic has this article subtitled, "After Sunday’s shooting in an Orlando gay club, some politicians and advocates have emphasized homophobia and gun control, while others have focused on Islamic extremism." Here is an excerpt:

     And many American conservatives have widely condemned these murders, but some have also been at the forefront of rhetoric against same-sex marriage and bathroom restrictions. Mara Keisling, the head of the National Center for Transgender Equality, said in an interview that this kind of rhetoric creates a culture of fear.
     She pointed to a April tweet from Anita Staver, the head of the conservative legal-advocacy organization Liberty Counsel, who said she would bring a “Glock .45 to the ladies room” because of the transgender-bathrooms issue in North Carolina. [emphasis added] “We’re creating a super-heated environment here,” Keisling said. “People are calling us predators. It is not surprising that some unstable people are going to think something of that.”
     [Chad] Griffin, the head of the HRC, argued it this way in his statement on Sunday:
Let’s get one thing clear. And this is what disgusts me most about this whole tragedy. The maniac who did this was somehow conditioned to believe that LGBT people deserve to be massacred. And he wasn’t just hearing these messages from ISIL. He was hearing it from politicians and radical anti­-LGBT extremists here in our own country. Every time we see legislation that puts a target on the back of LGBT people; every time a preacher spews hate from the pulpit; every time a county clerk says that acknowledging our relationships violates her “religious beliefs”—it sends a signal that LGBT people should be treated differently, and worse.
“No one is born hating,” he added in an interview. “One is taught to hate.”

"Lake Worth Has Big Problem With No Easy Answers"*

Below are excerpts from a hard-hitting editorial about 'sober homes' in the recent edition of The Lake Worth Herald. This is a problem that adversely affects the City and every single person and business here. Below are excerpts from the editorial:

     It seems the term “Sober Homes” is offensive. During the June 7 Lake Worth City Commission meeting, Commissioner Scott Maxwell said it was no longer acceptable to use the term “Sober Home” when describing “Halfway Houses” or “Rehabilitation Facilities.” It seems there has been a lawsuit filed somewhere.
     Many of the facilities, which have popped up everywhere, Lake Worth, Delray, Lantana, Greenacres and the list goes on and on, have created uncomfortable living conditions for residents in these neighborhoods.
     Heroin overdoses have become a plague in Lake Worth [emphasis added], and with them, the problems that go along with addiction have multiplied in the city. Drug dealing, burglaries, home invasions, car jackings, murders and other crimes are on a rise and can be directly related to heroin addiction.
     These problems are not unique to Lake Worth but it seems Lake Worth has become “Ground Zero” for heroin. This social problem is not just a problem for law enforcement, it is a problem for all residents of the city and until a solution is found, it will only deteriorate.
     Politicians and residents who bury their head in the sand are only contributing to the problem. There is no solution to the problem that will happen overnight.
     Addiction is a disease and it seems the accepted practice of insurance companies to feed the “facilities” only adds to the problem. Federal regulations prohibit discrimination and this has become the stumbling block to regulation of these facilities.

[and. . .]

     Lake Worth will soon have wireless cameras and “shot spotters” to help law enforcement battle the crime that accompanies the heroin trade. Rivera Beach and Belle Glade have the cameras and shot spotters and they are very effective. What has Lake Worth become.

[and. . .]

     The greed of many of the sober home operators is presenting unparalleled problems for the commission and residents of this great city. Lake Worth needs economic development programs aimed at improving the conditions in the city and it needs them now. It needs jobs and it needs them now. Most of all, it needs to find a way to deal with the scourge of facilities that are bringing more trouble than they are worth.

*To subscribe to the Herald use this link or pick up the print edition at the City's newsstand at 600 Lake Ave., downtown, across the street from the Cultural Council.

For all those City residents clamoring for more street lighting in their neighborhoods with too much crime. . .

“The lights go out sideways,” McVoy said. “You don’t want that intruding into your property.”
—Quote by Commissioner Chris McVoy, PhD, in The Palm Beach Post.

When you're done shaking your head. . . Where does McVoy think the criminals lurk? On the sidewalks and streets where everyone can see them? Of course not. They go behind people's houses and troll the alleyways where there's not enough lighting, right? About now, thanks to the City, there are a lot of people very happy there's more light "intruding" into their property.

Here is another excerpt from the Post article by beat reporter Kevin Thompson:

     "As part of an ambitious $23 million project to brighten the city’s skies, Lake Worth is replacing all old city street lights — more than 4,100 — with LED bulbs officials say will save the city $250,000 annually in energy costs.
     The city is also switching out 950 lights on Federal Department of Transportation-controlled roads — Lake Avenue, Dixie Highway, Federal Highway and Lucerne Avenue.
     'Brighter lights, safer streets,' City Commissioner Andy Amoroso said."

Hopefully McVoy will spare us all the embarrassment and jokes by announcing he's not seeking re-election. But then again, if he's really this disconnected from the public mood he might think he actually has a chance.

Compass responds to massacre in Orlando

This article in The Palm Beach Post by Alexandra Seltzer didn't make the print edition today (Monday, 6/13) but Kevin Thompson's vapid 'news' about the City's new street lighting did. If you would like to contact Compass and show them support call 561-533-9699, send an email to compass@compassglcc.com and for their website use this link. An excerpt from the article:

     “In response to this horrible tragedy we want people to feel safe and still come together,” said Julie Seaver, Compass’ chief financial officer.
     Sunday’s event [at the Mad Hatter] was previously planned as a luau, and Seaver thought about canceling after she heard about the killings. But community members said they wanted to be together, she said.
     “The community, the LGBT community around the nation is strong and rallying together in support for Orlando,” Seaver said. “We don’t know why this tragedy happened if it was specifically a hate crime and obviously it’s an ongoing investigation but the community wants to be together and we’re all just glued to the news. It’s just horrible. I honestly have never seen anything like this in my lifetime.”
     June is LGBTQ Pride Month. Seaver said some of the community members were in Orlando this past week celebrating the Gay Days festival.

"You attack one of us, you attack us all"

Sarah Burris at RawStory has this article titled, "LGBT, NAACP and immigration activists powerful statement: You attack one of us, you attack us all"; an excerpt:

     “While the crime has not yet been labeled a hate crime, more than 20 percent of hate crimes reported nationally in 2014 targeted people based on their sexual orientation or gender identity, according to the most recent FBI statistics available,” The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) said in a statement.
     “Hate crimes based on sexual orientation currently account for 22 percent of all hate crimes in Florida, according to a report by Equality Florida, trailing only race as the most common motivation. As a percentage of the state population, LGBTQ Floridians are at the highest risk of being targeted with a hate crime. Florida law provides increased penalties for hate crimes based on sexual orientation.”
     Chad Griffin, president of the HRC, appeared along with Mara Keisling,  Executive Director, National Center for Transgender Equality, Janet Murguía, President and CEO, National Council of La Raza (NCLR), Cornell Brooks, President, NAACP and Sharon Lettman-Hicks, Executive Director, National Black Justice Coalition to denounce the violence and demand the incident be labeled as a hate crime.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Patrick Rutter, new Executive Director of Planning, Zoning, and Building in Palm Beach County

The video below is from the seminar, "2016 Planning Challenges: The Dynamics of Density in the New Millennium" on June 7th at the City of West Palm Beach's Commission Chambers. As you'll hear in the video this is a new position for Mr. Rutter as Kim DeLaney from the Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council, the moderator, starts off with Rutter's experience in south Florida which is extensive.

This was part of a broader panel discussion. I've been pulling out certain speakers to highlight such as Rick Greene (Development Dir. for West Palm Beach), Raphael Clemente (Exec. Dir. for West Palm Beach's DDA), and others you can watch on my YouTube channel. This video is 12:40 minutes:
This presentation was part of a seminar put on by the Palm Beach County Planning Congress. The event was also sponsored by the City of West Palm Beach, the West Palm Beach Downtown Development Authority and the Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council.

"A place for the hungry and the neighborhood dealing with it: the dilemma of Trinity Cafe"

Below is from a well-written, balanced column about a tough issue by Sue Carlton at the Tampa Bay Times. If you're a newsie and enjoy news and commentary then you should add the TBT to your favorites list; use this link. Here is an excerpt:

     Trinity Cafe faces hardscrabble Nebraska Avenue. Behind it is a neighborhood called V.M. Ybor, just north of the Ybor most people know. It's a scrappy community of historic bungalows now burglar-barred, with others restored to glory, an old city neighborhood with good bones. This is not high-end South Tampa, to be sure, or even the nearby Heights neighborhoods flourishing lately, but a place with promise.
     Neighbors say the cafe's clientele can mean washing urine off your porch and sometimes discovering trash and worse in your yard. It can mean people hanging out and drinking on your streets. Maybe you could argue this was already an urban core neighborhood before Trinity moved in, but seriously, would you want this in your back yard?
     And so the dilemma: a place doing nothing but good, and some neighbors suffering for it.
The problem is what happens on surrounding streets after Trinity closes up shop and some of its patrons wander, says Tampa City Council member Frank Reddick, whose V.M. Ybor constituents regularly send him photo evidence of garbage and even feces. "Trinity has done just about anything they can do to clean up the place," he says. "But it's difficult once they stop feeding people.

If you like, you can also follow TBT on Twitter using @TB_Times:

Editorial: "State legislators should help keep Netflix’s ‘Bloodline’ in the Florida Keys"

For all the fans of the drama Bloodline this second season may be the last one. Below is an excerpt from this editorial in the Miami Herald:

     Netflix’s acclaimed dark family drama Bloodline, which is filmed in the Florida Keys, just premiered its second season. While this is the beginning of a new season, it may mark the end of any appreciable future film-making in the Keys and the infusion of dollars that follows.
     Despite the tremendous success of Season 1, it’s a distinct possibility the series will conclude with Season 2 because the state of Florida discontinued its film production tax-credit plan earlier this year.
     Our conservative Florida Legislature considered the credits Hollywood handouts. We disagree.
     Here’s how things have changed. In 2006, Florida ranked as the third-largest film-making state in the United States, behind California and New York. [emphasis added]
     Now, it’s unlikely Florida would even be in the Top 10 since production spending has plummeted from $366 million in 2011 to $175 million in 2015. And that’s in Miami-Dade alone.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt aboard train—Jacksonville, Florida (1944 or 1945)

From the State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory collection.