Saturday, October 8, 2016

Our municipal golf course has reopened after Hurricane Matthew: Come and explore our charming, low-rise little City

At the City's municipal golf course is the Beach Club restaurant. An excellent place to have breakfast, lunch, or dinner inside or outside on the deck, and enjoy this charming, low-rise City of Lake Worth. The City's golf course is deed-restricted land and can never be sold—the people who donated the land to the City made sure of that.

However, like every other city in Southeast Florida we have our fair share of troublemakers and malcontents who like to spread rumors:
The troublemakers like to tell people the City's golf course will become a condo community some day. Not true. If someone says that to you respond with this: "liar, liar, pants on fire".

"The Beach Club restaurant is situated in the Beautiful Old Florida Charm of the Lake Worth Golf Course. We are a casual, affordable waterfront restaurant and bar. Serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner 7 days a week. Featuring various events and activities for children and adults with an 18 hole championship golf course. We are open to the public. No membership is required to enjoy one of Lake Worth's hidden jewels!"
Lake Worth City Manager Michael Bornstein and Mayor Pam Triolo with a recent award for the City's Municipal Golf Course.

Didn't get your newspaper delivered Friday? No worries. You'll get that paper today.

Friday's Palm Beach Post will be delivered along with the Saturday paper:
If you didn't know, the Sun Sentinel in Broward County prints The Palm Beach Post. In a cost-saving measure the Post shut down their printing presses in 2009. It's likely Hurricane Matthew delayed delivery of their papers north with Friday's coverage of this major storm.

On the topic of Hurricane Matthew media coverage, NBC5/WPTV set the bar very high once again. Watched several hours of their coverage and noticed something very interesting: not once did they mention their "news partners" at The Palm Beach Post.

Anyhow, the notice above appeared on the front page of Thursday's (10/6) edition, below the fold, along with an advertisement for a recliner: "Take your relaxation seriously".

FYI, look in the right-hand column for "This week's Lake Worth Herald is online, Print edition out each Friday". The Herald, our City's community newspaper was out yesterday. You can still pick one up at the City's newsstand located at 600 Lake Ave. (across the street from Starbuck's).

Friday, October 7, 2016

Important Information from Lake Worth City Manager Michael Bornstein: Vegetation pick-up tomorrow (Saturday)

Questions? For Lake Worth Public Services call 561-586-1720 or use this link:

"Just like maintaining a home, keeping an entire city neat, clean, and in good repair is a big job. Public Services fills the vital role of providing a safe and clean environment for residents, businesses, and visitors, alike."

From the City Manager: "STORM related vegetation ONLY will be picked up curbside tomorrow (Saturday). We have the whole city to pick up - Do not landscape and trim now. We will fine non-storm related piles. DO NOT put out bulk, household, recycling - that is on regular pickup schedule. DO NOT mix vegetation pile with bulk - fencing, plywood, construction debris - you will be fined. Storm Related Vegetation ONLY!!!!"

This Sunday: Help Lake Worth's PBSO District 14 fund their anti-gang and other charitable programs

PBSO's community efforts work. For proof see the Post article below from May 22nd. For a newspaper that primarily focuses on the negative about PBSO in Lake Worth, the article by reporter Hannah Winston is a rare positive one, one of the few ever written about PBSO since the takeover of LWPD in 2009.

If you have a gift certificate to donate or just want to help out in other ways, the contact information is below.
Click image to enlarge. To register or get more information, call Benito Gaspar at 561-202-9624 or email gasparb@pbso.org

PBSO District 14 and our good friends at the Atlantis Country Club team up to host their Annual Holiday Gift Giveaway on October 9th. Let's all make this year's Annual Gift Giveaway the most successful one yet. Please take a moment and read this article: "Anti-gang program raises hopes at Lake Worth elementary school".

Video from Hurricane Matthew's passing through last night (10/6/16)

Capturing the essence of the hurricane experience got me thinking of various ways to accomplish that task. Just prior to peak winds attached my waterproof camera to the north side of my house. This was done using a small flexible tripod and attaching it to a flag pole mount next to the front door. Then pushed the video button and let the camera run on its own for about 26 minutes.

Today I used the YouTube video editor tools and compressed the 26 minutes to almost 7 minutes. By applying the fill light and the black/white filter was able to see and amplify what was recorded. In the lower-left corner you can see my vehicle parked up against the garage door. In the center field you can make out the courtyard wall which is a distinctive feature. In the background palm trees sway in the mayhem caused by Hurricane Matthew, along with the sheets of rain that swept through during this period of time.

The little City of Lake Worth was very lucky not to have experienced the full wrath of a direct hit by Hurricane Matthew. I fear many of our fellow Floridians up north will not be as fortunate.

The video below is edited to make what Lake Worth experienced appear much worse that it actually was. . . however, it is also a reminder of what could have been if Matthew turned just slightly more west instead of tracking north like the storm did. Don't second-guess for one moment all the preparation and hard work done yesterday:

Another video of Hurricane Matthew last night (October 6th)

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Attention Lake Worth: Watch and share video below about City's preparation for Hurricane Matthew

City Manager Michael Bornstein gave an update at last Tuesday's (10/4) City Commission meeting on preparation for Hurricane Matthew. He begins his remarks at the 30 second mark. Please share this video with your friends and neighbors: copy & paste link: https://youtu.be/YyJ8Xkfl9vE

DO NOT PUT TRASH, VEGETATION, OR RECYCLING OUT FOR PICK-UP UNTIL NEXT TUESDAY (October 11th)

Next Monday is Memorial Day:
Keep the streets clear. Heavy fines will be given to anyone that places on the street for pick-up by the City prior to a major storm.

"Olive Branch" from The Palm Beach Post to City of Lake Worth for substandard, "incompetent" news reporting

After reading this blog post, please proceed to the one that follows for perspective: it will be illustrative to remember what happened to the 2014 bond referendum that failed by just 25 votes.

It's rare for any city manager to do what Michael Bornstein did, calling the Post beat reporter "incompetent", however Bornstein was here working for the City in 2014 and saw the shenanigans going on firsthand. Following the 'news' article that "infinitely aggravated" Bornstein (see the video below) the Post then published a series of positive articles as some sort of "olive branch" but it was too late. How much damage had already been done? No one knows.

The press likes to say, "keep elected's feet to the fire". It's up to the public to do the same to the press. It's no mistake the press in public opinion polls is ranked just slightly ahead of used car sales and about that of the U.S. Congress. Without further ado read more about what made our City Manager respond the way he did:
FYI: For this special event (still scheduled), and many others in this little City, use this link.

There was a real good, positive article about the City's new solar farm in last Monday's Post by Kevin Thompson, their beat reporter (see below). This is a far cry from another recent article published that City Manager Michael Bornstein called, "egregious", "incompetent", "skips over bunch of facts" and "we [the City] are held to a higher standard, they [the press] should hold themselves to a higher standard" too. In this Post article about the solar farm Bornstein is quoted several times, here's one:
“The city is financially strapped,” Bornstein said. “This was a way for us to get new equipment, save energy, reduce our carbon footprint and get the latest in technology.”
Possibly it was this quote about that "egregious" news reporting that got the Post's attention:

"The press is eager to print bad news about the City."
—City Manager Michael Bornstein, comment at City Commission meeting on Tuesday, September 20th, responding to that "egregious" article about Code Enforcement.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Latest on Hurricane Matthew: It's not looking good for Lake Worth (click on image to enlarge)

Look in the right-hand column for important information. Get prepared. This is a major storm about to hit us tomorrow.

[A timely re-post] What to do with all those hazardous, invasive Australian Pines?

The blog post below was first published in June 2015. Is was a "Clarion call", if you will, for all those who have Australian pines (and other similar non-native, invasive trees) on their property, or nearby, that have gotten taller and taller every year. Without further ado. . .

The Australian Pine isn't the only tree that's a public safety hazard in a hurricane or major storm but it is one of the most dangerous. The following comes from the Lake Worth file, "You Can't Make This Stuff Up".

Last June a resident of Lake Worth who lives on the outskirts of the City, as far away as you can get without falling into Lake Osborne, came to the defense of her precious, invasive Australian Pine before the City's Tree Board (see images below). It's a dangerous and nasty tree in south Florida and especially so the taller it gets. It can snap, or shear off, in high wind conditions and be a danger to people, structures, utility lines and if it lands on the road, vehicles (emergency vehicles, for example) can be impeded.

To make matters even worse, surrounding each tree is what's described as a 'death zone'. The needles are toxic and kill almost anything nearby stealing habitat from song birds and Gopher Tortoises. Despite all this information the City resident defended her position to save her Australian Pine:
First page from the minutes of the Tree Board meeting on June 11th.
Note that Australian Pines are "one of the 3 worst" trees to Florida's wildlife habitat. One of those affected species is the Gopher Tortoise.

The Tree Board defended the City's position on the Australian Pine. They also made recommendations going forward dealing with invasive trees that pose a danger to the public and environment.

If you have an Australian Pine, or if there is one nearby, consider having it removed. You wouldn't want that tree falling on your neighbor's home or car, or your own home and vehicles, or have to deal with a community-wide electric outage because the top of the tree sheared off in high winds.

Commissioner Chris McVoy, PhD, DID WHAT at the City Commission meeting last night?

Please note tomorrow's (Thursday, 10/6) City Commission Workshop at the Casino complex is cancelled until further notice.

Check back later today for the latest antics by McVoy at last night's (10/4) meeting. There will be videos as well.

He put his monkeywrenching tactics into overdrive vis-à-vis the upcoming bond vote on November 8th. And we also learned it was McVoy who leaked the email that started all the false rumors about the referendum coming up in 34 days.

By the looks of it, even Commissioner Ryan Maier is getting tired of this behavior:
Attempts to lecture "at great length", "raise the question", "haggle over precise wordings", and use "irrelevant issues as frequently as possible".

News from the White House: This will have big ramifications for cities and western sprawl in Palm Beach County

The blog post below is getting a lot of attention.

If there's any chance of saving the Everglades for future generations and stopping western sprawl then many of those in the environmental community will need to stop being obstructionists, re-think their tactics, and bring new ideas. A casual glance at any newspaper's Real Estate section is proof enough the tactics by the enviros have been a complete failure. 

Possibly what's needed is an entirely new leadership from the top down within many environmental organizations. The current course, a case could be made, is causing more damage to the environment rather than less. Without further ado. . .

There's a good reason why Drew Martin only got 31% of the vote last August. Read more about that after the news coming from the Obama Administration.

From an article by Robert Steuteville, dated September 26th in the CNU Journal titled, "Zoning reform is national priority, White House says"; the first 4 paragraphs:

The Obama Administration is calling on cities and towns to reform land-use regulations to allow denser development by right while recommending actions that new urbanists have long supported.
     The administration released a “toolkit” on housing development that recommends eliminating off-street parking requirements and allowing accessory dwelling units.
     The toolkit also calls for more “high-density and multifamily zoning,” “streamlining or shortening permitting processes and timelines,” and allowing “by-right development,” which are consistent with many form-based codes and new urban reforms.
     Antiquated land-use regulations, often dating from the 1970s or earlier, are holding back economic growth and increasing housing costs across America, says the administration. [emphasis added]

Many in the Palm Beach County (PBC) environmental community, and in cities like Lake Worth too, are becoming more and more irrelevant all the time. You simply cannot hold these positions and be a legitimate partner in the debate:
  1. Oppose western sprawl
  2. Oppose more development and density in coastal cities (a moratorium on development?)
  3. Oppose more development and density along the I-95 corridor
Probably nothing illustrates this better than the multi-year effort by Everglades EarthFirst! (EEF!, headquartered in Lake Worth) to stop development of the Alton tract (the former Briger "Forest") in Palm Beach Gardens. All the while they protested, marched, and had tree-sits in Palm Beach Gardens, further west the 39th city in the County was well on its way to being formed, Westlake. Many more communities out west are being constructed and even more are in the planning process.

The answer to slowing down western sprawl is a simple one. More in-fill development and more density in the cities along the coast and along the I-95 corridor. But what do we hear when new development and density are proposed on Dixie Hwy. in Lake Worth, in the Downtown, or in the Park of Commerce? NO! Not in my back yard (NIMBY). That's where the YIMBY's come into play. YIMBY means, "Yes In My Back Yard".

Here's a quote from the video below: "Housing is a national crisis. And I think just bringing everyday people together to work on this is the most effective way because it's uniting people rather than dividing people."
The debate in Lake Worth, for example, should be where to put in-fill development and density, not whether it should occur or not. If density isn't added to already established urban centers then the population will increase further out west. Period.

Where can density go in Lake Worth? See for yourself: Use this link to the City's Zoning map.

We need everyone, including the Drew Martin's in the environmental community, to be part of the answer to slowing down western sprawl. More people are coming to live in South Florida. A lot more people. The question is this: do you want them living in cities like Lake Worth or in a new community out west somewhere, adding more roads, new infrastructure, and taking much-needed tax dollars from our established cities?
Also note Martin didn't help himself much with his comment at the Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council that the City of Lake Worth was cutting down mangroves. A very serious accusation. Also very false.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

UPDATE, LATEST ON CLOSINGS: City of Lake Worth and Palm Beach County now under a Hurricane Watch

For the latest use this link to the National Hurricane Center.

For Palm Beach County's Emergency Management site use this link. 

Dr. Jeff Masters (use this link) at Weather Underground has an excellent blog called WunderBlog I highly recommend.

Note that any and all meetings or scheduled events on this blog for tomorrow and Thursday are subject to cancellation due to Hurricane Matthew. Err on the side of caution and get prepared for a major storm event. 

Update: the latest. 
  • Lake Worth Pier closed
  • Do not put trash, recycling, or vegetation out for pickup until further notice
  • Community Sustainability Dept. (Building, Code, Bus. Lic. & Planning) will close at 11:30 today
  • Electric Utility Advisory Board meeting today is cancelled
  • Planning & Zoning Board meeting today is cancelled
  • Commission Work Session on Thursday is cancelled
  • Evening on the Avenue on Friday is cancelled
West Palm Beach Mayor declares State of Emergency

***URGENT*** Big Dog Ranch needs FOSTERS because of Hurricane Matthew

BIG DOG RANCH IS IN URGENT NEED!
PLEASE PLEASE HELP IF YOU CAN.
THANK YOU.

WE SUPPLY FOOD YOU SUPPLY LOVE (click on image to enlarge)

Hurricane Matthew: Get the latest from the National Hurricane Center and Dr. Jeff Masters

For the latest use this link to the National Hurricane Center. For Palm Beach County's Emergency Management site use this link.

Dr. Jeff Masters (use this link) at Weather Underground has an excellent blog called WunderBlog I highly recommend.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

From the Greenfield News: Greenfield City Manager announces resignation

"GREENFIELD-City Manager Susan A. Stanton resigned for the City of Greenfield on July 29. The resignation is set to be effective on Oct. 1."

Lake Worth City Commission meets tomorrow (Tuesday, 10/4): A resolution on upcoming Nov. 8th referendum

Stay tuned for excerpts from the agenda later today. Something very interesting is going on with the Sister City board (scroll down for background or use this link). Also very important: note there is a Commission workshop this coming Thursday dealing with the Casino building. On tomorrow's agenda is this resolution: 

RESOLUTION NO. 47-2016* OF LAKE WORTH CITY COMMISSION. . . IDENTIFYING THE LOCAL ROADWAYS TO BE IMPROVED IF THE BOND REFERENDUM IS APPROVED ON NOVEMBER 8, 2016; IDENTIFYING THE FINANCE ADVISORY BOARD AS THE CITIZENS ADVISORY COMMITTEE. . .

WHEREAS, the City of Lake Worth City Commission has approved a bond referendum to be on the November 8, 2016 general election ballot; and
WHEREAS, the proposed bond referendum asks Lake Worth voters to either vote for, or against, the City’s issuance of general obligation bonds for the exclusive purpose of improving local roadways and eliminating potholes in an amount not to exceed forty million dollars; and
WHEREAS, the City Commission desires to identify the local roadways to be improved if the bond referendum is approved; and
WHEREAS, the proposed bond referendum also includes the creation of a Citizens Advisory Committee to review all expenditures from the bond proceeds if the bond referendum is approved; and
WHEREAS, the City Commission desires to identify the City’s Finance Advisory Board as the Citizens Advisory Committee if the bond referendum is approved; and
WHEREAS, the City Commission finds identifying the local roadways to be improved and identifying the City’s Financial Advisory Board as the Citizens Advisory Committee if the bond referendum is approved serve a valid public purpose.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE CITY COMMISSION OF THE CITY OF LAKE WORTH, FLORIDA. . .

*To see the entire agenda at next Tuesday's (10/4) City Commission meeting use this link. For the resolution above go to pp. 146–159.

Things to expect if you have a business, project, or planning a development in the little tiny City of Lake Worth in sunny South Florida

Was it really necessary to add “business terrible” to the headline?
 
In the Post print edition on Sunday, August 2nd, local ‘B’ section, front page above the fold): Is this really news or just a cleverly disguised ad to sell inventory before the store closes? Note the Post missed this story just a few blocks away.

Here’s a quote from the article: “People are going to get some super bargains,” he [former owner of the Carousel Antique Center] said. “Furniture will be heavily discounted.” [emphasis added]


What follows is another example, below is a quote from Lake Worth’s beat reporter for the Post on the opening of C.W.S.* on Lucerne Ave. earlier this year, his idea for an adult beverage in this article:

The City Commission: A rum-drenched cocktail best ordered before or after one of those contentious commission meetings when a lot is said, but nothing is accomplished. [Huh? Emphasis added] Drinking it before the meeting could make the experience more palatable. Downing it after will make you forget everything you’ve witnessed. Forever.

Nothing is accomplished? Anyone who attends or watches City Commission meetings would strongly disagree with that, take for example this Commission meeting last September.

But more importantly, what purpose is served by making a business opening political? Would the reporter be referring to all those contentious 3-2 votes with the two “Nays”, commissioners Ryan Maier and Chris McVoy, always being against the business community and economic development here in this City?

If you want to learn more about some of the headwinds those in the business community face (spin from the press, etc.), read this explanation then ask yourself this question: “Why won’t Maier and McVoy walk the walk with the business community”? The Downtown businesswoman in the video below, if you recall, created quite the stir in Lake Worth:


*To read Liz Balmaseda’s recent drive-by restaurant review of CWS Bar + Kitchen use this link.

TODAY. Lake Worth Mayor Pam Triolo is also "The Food Lady"! Her weekly TV show premieres at 10:00 a.m.


The first show hasn't even aired and "The Food Lady" is already a big hit. Pam's show got bumped up to the prime slot immediately after the Sunday news. Wow. The Mean Girls are already crazy with envy so when they hear this news. . .
Lake Worth Mayor Triolo. "The Food Lady" airs this Sunday on WFLX, Fox 29 at 10:00. Not 10:30!

Pam had me and my trusty camera over to see the production of one her upcoming segments that will be appearing on TV. For those of you who remember, this is nothing new for her. She had a very popular cooking show once before, about fifteen years ago.
At the table: Pam Triolo (left), "Mo and Sally" from Kool 105.5, and Taylor Morgan (in dark dress) from Local Dines. Jeff Aderman from AA Video set the scene (see below for everyone's website and additional information).

There were several takes and everyone had a fun time.
View from the kitchen.

In case you're wondering, the dish served was not baked ziti. Although that may be the subject of a future episode. And, no, having a cooking show on TV is not a Sunshine Law violation. Hopefully we won't have to rehash all that nonsense once again, Commissioner McVoy. 

Here is the additional information about those "at the table" for dinner with Pam:
  • Sally and Mo, host's of the popular Mo and Sally Morning Show on Kool 105.5.
  • Taylor Morgan is the owner and founder of Local Dines: "Dine Out. Save Money. Support Local."
  • Jeff Aderman: Videographer, editor, and producer at AA Video: "Over 30 years of experience".