Saturday, October 15, 2016

[Pinned Post] Attention Lake Worth: Relief items needed for Haiti following Hurricane Matthew

Please spread the word:

Reginale Durandisse is from Haiti and runs the organization "For the Children" here in Lake Worth. She has many contacts in Haiti including Missionary Flights International and experience in disaster relief in that country (following the 2010 earthquake). Here is the information about "Haiti Relief 2016" and the link to Donate Now:

A group of our staff and volunteers from For The Children will travel to Haiti to visit Macabe, Port Salut, and other nearby towns to give helping hands. You are welcome to join us. Please contact Dr. Myriam Glemaud at 561-557-1184 or mglemaud@forthechildrenfirst.org

You can drop your donation at 1712 South Dixie Hwy, Suite 1., Lake Worth, FL 33460. For the Dade and Broward areas contact Britanny Lowe at BLowe066@sunmail.alibizu.com

Look through your home and garage for items to donate. Here are some of the items needed:
  • Clothing, blankets, shoes
  • Non-perishable food items (for example: protein bars, canned meat, pasta, crackers, peanut butter, dry rice/beans, dry cereal/granola)
  • Paper products (plates, cups, napkins, towels, toilet paper)
  • Baby supplies (diapers, wipes, formula, baby food)
  • Cleaning supplies (mops, brooms, buckets, sponges, non-hazardous cleaning agents)
  • Hygiene (toothpaste/brushes, shampoo, soap)
  • Medical supplies (bandages, band-aids, gauze)
  • Miscellaneous items (chain saws, hand saws, flashlights, batteries, tarps, shovels, work gloves)

Lake Worth business owner Jennifer Reed interviewed by a business reporter at the Post

Worth another look. . .

This article by Jennifer Sorentrue was a real treat (pardon the pun) in The Palm Beach Post. She interviewed Jennifer Reed, owner of The Sugar Monkey located at 2402 North Dixie Hwy here in Lake Worth. An excerpt from the article:

     Reed worked as executive pastry chef for chef Daniel Boulud at Café Boulud in Palm Beach before starting the business about 10 years ago.
     For seven years, Reed ran the shop from a building in West Palm Beach, but she moved the operation to a storefront in Lake Worth last year. The move was designed to put more emphasis on the bakery’s retail operation.
     Reed is known for blending classic French strokes and Midwestern flair into her confections.

Here are two excerpts from the Q&A:

What do you see ahead for Palm Beach County? I am so excited about where we are headed with the food scene. The bar just keeps getting raised by all these awesome local chefs. What’s happening along Dixie Highway is insane, and to be a part of it is super exciting. [emphasis added]
How your business has changed: We recently moved into a new space on Dixie Highway that allows us to focus on retail with grab and go items whereas before we only did preorders.
This positive business news comes on the heels of Kevin Thompson's recent nonsense about our City of Lake Worth being just "music and booze". Thompson is the Post's beat reporter for this City and he knows full well there is open hostility by some towards the business community here. Feeding into that negativity isn't the job of a reporter and only benefits a few malcontents and their anti-business agenda.

Over and over again on this blog posed this question, "Why won't commissioners Ryan Maier and Chris McVoy walk the walk" with business owner Michelle Sylvester? If you recall she caused quite the stir in Lake Worth when she confronted Maier and McVoy during public comment at a City Commission meeting (see video below).

However, we learned from Sylvester who did "walk the walk": Mayor Pam Triolo, Vice Mayor Scott Maxwell, Commissioner Andy Amoroso, City Manager Michael Bornstein, and PBSO Cpt. Todd Baer. Wouldn't this be an interesting business story for Thompson to write about? Why won't Maier and McVoy "walk the walk"? If they have a problem with our business community shouldn't we know about it?

More importantly why don't they understand how much our business community, and future businesses, contribute to our future success not just Downtown but all up and down roads like Dixie Hwy. as well?

Enjoy the video:

Friday, October 14, 2016

[UPDATE] Write a positive "Letter to the Editor" about our little City of Lake Worth (see instructions below)

Here's the latest: A positive letter about Lake Worth finally made it past the editor and on to the printed page. About time. This came to my attention yesterday. I missed this short letter by Lisa Stewart from Wednesday's paper and a blog reader dropped off this clipping:
The big news about our City's Electric Utility got little mention in the Post. For those of you who remember hurricanes Francis, Jeanne, and Wilma, Hurricane Matthew demonstrated the many improvements since 2004/2005.

Now get cracking with your positive letter about Lake Worth ASAP. Detailed instructions are below that will greatly increase your chances of having a letter published.

In other news from the Lake Worth Electric Utility a new video (below) was just released about our new solar farm. Although the unveiling scheduled for last Tuesday was postponed, this news about our City leading the way in renewable, solar energy continues to make news, as far away as Canada. Enjoy the video: Wouldn't this be a great idea for a letter to the editor at the Post? There are many reasons for Lake Worth residents to write a letter in support of our City. Learn how after the following bullet list:
The instructions below will greatly increase your chances of getting your Letter to Editor (LTE) published:
  • Keep your LTE to 150–200 words in length. The "shorter the better" is a good rule.
  • An LTE submitted by email is the best method and remember to include your phone number and complete address.
  • Engage like-minded "average citizens" to write LTE's on the same subject.
  • Listing your credentials will help greatly.
  • Write LTE's quickly about a local city or municipal event to stay timely; don't delay more than 13 days.
  • Stay relevant, vis-à-vis the latest "buzz".
Then always follow-up!

This is the mistake people make. That's why you always see those LTE's from the same people over and over again: They know the trick!
  • Follow up your LTE with an email or fax later that day or the next morning.
  • Then later, call the editorial department and explain why your letter is important.
  • Don't be timid! Stay pleasant and respectful but make a strong pitch.
  • To seal the deal, just ask outright, "Are you planning to publish my letter?". Remember your ABC's (Always Be Closing). 
Get your LTE published in The Palm Beach Post soon (maybe even this Sunday's paper!):
  • Email: letters@pbpost.com
  • Fax: 561-820-4728
  • Phone: 561-820-4441
Good Luck!

Question: Is this a true statement by former Lake Worth Commissioner Ron Exline? "The people who vote in Lake Worth. . . don't stick to the issues."

Are people in Lake Worth really this gullible? So easily manipulated by silly signs and clever lies? The eyes of the County will be on Lake Worth this November 8th: There is no such thing as The Infrastructure Fairy and. . .
. . . there is no "wolf at the door" either. If we don't fix our roads no one is going to step in to help us. No one. It's your choice November 8th: Either "stick to the issues" or endure "constant turmoil". 

So. . . as the little City of Lake Worth marches closer toward the November 8th referendum to fix our roads will the voters "stick to the issues"? Or be distracted by things like "they're stealing our BEACH!", climate change, sea level rise, "NO MORE TAXES!", water percolation, made-up 'Sunshine Law' violations, and the myriad of other lies told "at the door" to scuttle progress again?

We'll know soon enough. But if history is a guide consider this Sun Sentinel article by Sally Gelston from March, 1986 (note that "Dorsey" mentioned below was the former Treasurer of the CAUT PAC and a former City mayor who moved to The Great Walled City of Atlantis):

     "I'd like to see someone in there against the [Dennis] Dorsey regime," [Bob] Vaught said.
     If [Ron] Exline loses to challenger Roy Strohacker in the runoff, Vaught said, "It will be just like when Dorsey was in. I don`t know when this city is going to wake up."

[and. . .]

     "The people who vote in Lake Worth want constant change. They don't stick to the issues. They like the constant turmoil," said Exline, who considers himself part of the Andrews faction.
     Commissioner George Harrs said he read the vote as a mandate.
     "I really believe people want this city cleaned up faster," Harrs said.

Would you prefer "constant turmoil" or support those who "want this city cleaned up faster"? You'll have your say on November 8th by voting "Yes" for the bond to fix our roads.

Press release from yesterday (10/13): "Town of Palm Beach Schedules Mosquito Control Efforts"

"The Town of Palm Beach has contracted with Clarke Environmental Mosquito Management, Inc. to launch mosquito control efforts to minimize the threat of Zika Virus transmission in Palm Beach by targeting the aedes aegypti mosquito, which is a carrier of the Zika Virus.
     After careful consideration, Town Council has approved Town-wide ground-based application of the insecticide, DUET, via ultra-low volume spraying by trucks on all town streets to exterminate adult mosquitos. Town Council also approved the dispensing of the larvicide, NATULAR XRT, in over 700 Town-owned storm drains throughout the Town. [emphasis added] Both products are approved by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and recommended by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) as an effective means of reducing the aedes aegypti population."

To read the entire press release use this link.

Did you miss this news from yesterday? Press Release from City: Our municipal pool is open once again

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 12, 2016
LAKE WORTH MUNICIPAL POOL
     Lake Worth, Florida - The Lake Worth municipal pool has re-opened. The pool will resume its normal operating hours Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays 9 am to 1 pm. Saturdays and Sundays 9 am to 4 pm.
     For more information Please call 561-585-6858.

To learn why the pool was closed on September 30th, use this link. I used the pool yesterday and the water was spectacular. There were about 15–20 swimmers at 11:00 and everyone was thrilled to have the facility open once again.

Are you interested in water exercise classes, lap swimming, or just want to splash around at the City's municipal pool at the BEACH!? Contact Sally, the pool manager:
  • 561-585-6858 (office)
  • 561-951-7037 (cell)
  • Email: SChapela@lakeworth.org 
The future of the pool is tied to the Casino complex as a whole. Unfortunately, instead of addressing head-on the issues at the pool (the substandard structures, for example), the elected's back in October 2010 just closed it down and ignored it all: A community outcry followed and then, under the direction of Mayor Pam Triolo and City Manager Bornstein, the pool was re-opened when JoAnn Golden, et al., were swept out of office.

There's no ignoring the fact the pool facility is in terrible condition. Since 2010 things have only gotten worse. There's no question the public wants a municipal swimming pool. But where? Should there even be a pool at the Beach or have one located somewhere else in the City more accessible to the public?

The perfect time to address these questions was back in 2008–2010 and that opportunity was lost. Many believed a parking garage next to the Casino was the way to go and there's a lot of merit to that.

A big part of this conversation going forward will have to be the decisions that got us here, to the point where we have to "do some things you can do with coats of paint and whatnot", as Commissioner Chris McVoy recently said. McVoy was one of those elected's who kicked the can (errr, the pool) down the road when the new Casino was constructed.

Unfortunately for the public, if you're a reader of The Palm Beach Post, things that happened prior to 2012 vis-à-vis the pool complex don't get written about. Only things that happened after 2012 really matter to them. For instance, you'll never read a quote by McVoy about the pool for obvious reasons. Sad really but a political reality: It's left to people like Mayor Triolo and City Manager Bornstein to fix all this mess and take all the slings and arrows too.

But in the end I'm confident they'll be rewarded for all their hard work.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

A recent letter to "Dear Editor" published in The Lake Worth Herald

"Dear Editor: Enclosed is my subscription payment for another year. I've been away from Lake Worth since about 1946, a year after leaving Naval service, where I served in Manila and Corregidor, rousing the last of the Japanese off the island. I graduated from Lake Worth High School in 1941 where I served as Senior Class President and editor of "Hi Times" paper. I had a desk in the office of The Lake Worth Herald on North Dixie, and guidance from Karl Easton and the lady who owned the paper. Mr. Sentell (?) was a printer in the press room. Great memories. I left Lake Worth in the spring of 1947 to attend Penn State College. There I met a wonderful young lady, a teacher, Mae Jean Fordyce. We were married on April 15, 1948 and celebrated our 68th anniversary last April 15. We had a daughter, Julie, also a teacher in Va. schools, who died several years ago. I had a degree from Penn State in mechanical engineering, worked for several years for foundries in Ohio and New York, then went on the road as a consultant for 15 years. I finished my career as a manager and senior vice president of a blast furnace plant in Buffalo, retiring in 1983. My wife is in a nursing home now and I will join her in a few weeks. We’ve had a good life, except for losing our daughter. I enjoy The Lake Worth Herald. All the weekly papers in this area were closed recently. The Buffalo News bought them out of bankruptcy, but no word on what’s next.

Thanks for your patience!

Sincerely,

Theodore M. Frazell"

[Note: link added by Yours Truly]

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Take heed all you "vultures"* working to improve your neighborhood or that vacant lot in the little City of Lake Worth

Listen to former Commissioner JoAnn Golden in June 2012 which followed her election loss to Commissioner Andy Amoroso (proceed to the 1:40 mark to hear for yourself):

". . . the vultures are back wanting to suck the life out of every possible cubic foot of Lake Worth's sky, water, sea, land, anything they can get."Mr. Tom McGow, a chronicler of previous commissions in the City of Lake Worth, wrote this the very day after another City Commission meeting on September 1, 2009:

"While listening to last night’s City Commission meeting from home I was appalled to hear Vice Mayor Golden state, 'We all have to get used to change. Manny has to get used to living in a ghetto until things pick up around here.', or words to that effect. She was referring to a resident who spoke earlier in the meeting citing the deterioration of his neighborhood."
Image of then-Vice Mayor Golden produced by Tom McGow in 2009. Remember when it seemed like nothing would ever "pick up around here"?

*Who would the "vultures" (undefined) be?

The Blueway Trail: Excerpts from the Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council meeting last month

Use this link for the entire PDF and go to pages 6–8. The minutes of this September 16th meeting just became available last Monday. Yes, Drew Martin was at this meeting and made public comment. And yes, he opposes this project too just like every other infrastructure project anywhere in Palm Beach County. Is anyone really surprised he only got 31% of the vote in the August primary?

After reading this blog post proceed to the one following or use this link to learn more about the Blueway Trail. Please contact your elected officials and tell them you support this project. Excerpts follow with highlights:

     Staff noted for the past several years, Council has been assisting the Palm Beach Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) and PBC local governments with the planning and design of a boat lift at the C-51 Canal to enable access for vessels between the chain of lakes, which is a series of inland lakes in central Palm Beach County, and the Lake Worth Lagoon.

[and. . .]

     Staff indicated funding for the project is the result of an appropriation from the legislature through the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity. Staff stated Council’s responsibilities will include managing a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) process, and management of the engineering and preliminary design for the facility, cost estimates, data collection, surveys, and ultimately documents for permit submittal.
     Staff indicated the RFQ process has been completed with a recommendation by the selection committee that included local government representatives from Palm Beach County, the City of Lake Worth and the Town of Lake Clarke Shores, as well as two private sector representatives from the West Palm Beach Fishing Club and the Marine Industries Association of Palm Beach County.

[and. . .]

     [West Palm Beach] Commissioner [Paula] Ryan noted that recently the United States Senate passed the Water Resource Development Act of 2016, which is to help restore our ecosystems, create innovative technologies, and provide financing geared to clean water and protecting the waterways. She indicated this program would fit nicely into that.
     Staff indicated Congresswoman Frankel has been supportive of this project from its inception and has offered to help sponsor whatever may be necessary to secure federal funding. Mayor Gerwig asked if this project will impact local governments other than the City of Lake Worth and the Town of Lake Clarke Shores. Staff indicated several other municipalities in the area have passed resolutions in support of this project, because getting a blueways trail system in place will benefit everyone.

[and. . .]

     Councilmember [Douglas] Bournique moved approval of the staff recommendation. Commissioner [Paula] Lewis seconded the motion, which carried unanimously.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

The Lake Worth Herald online edition comes out on Thursday each week, the print edition on Friday

Use this link or call 561-585-9387 to have your meeting noticed, place a business ad, and subscribe to our City's community newspaper. Pick up the print edition at the City's newsstand: 600 Lake Ave. in the Downtown.

Below is a special report by Mary Lindsey published in the Herald last week. Here are two excerpts about what is happening at North Grade Elementary:

     Lots of growing going on at the North Grade Elementary School Community Garden. The Garden was initiated several years ago through the efforts of Healthy Kids, Healthy Communities, led by Erica Whitfield, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Quantum Foundation, Palm Health Care Foundation, the University of Florida IFAS Palm Beach County Extension, Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office, the School District of Palm Beach County, the Lake Worth Town and Country Garden Club and the City of Lake Worth.
     What was once an unkempt vacant lot strewn with trash and drug use debris has been transformed into a lush, green, living classroom for the children of North Grade Elementary. One of the very first efforts was to enclose the block size property with a fence, which has been very effective in allowing the garden to slowly emerge one back breaking labor at a time by a cadre of dedicated volunteers.

[and. . .]

     Sandra Ortega Alvarez, who works as a volunteer at the school has also been helping out in the garden, primarily with clearing and planting the perimeter with colorful beautiful plants as well as a coconut border.
     It was Alvarez who initiated the idea of having a Little Free Library at the Garden, located directly across the street from the school.

Monday, October 10, 2016

How did our trees fare during Hurricane Matthew? Save your input/ideas for the Tree Board.

It will be a lively Tree Board meeting this Thursday (meeting details below). The gumbo limbo in the Cultural Plaza fell over because of Hurricane Matthew. One of the few trees to topple in our little tiny City.

Other trees were considered for that location and those decisions will have to be re-visited. If you recall it was a tortuous, painful process choosing a tree to replace the rotting decades-old ficus that needed to be removed for public safety reasons. It took about 6 months for the board to make a decision and at one point the City Commission nearly stepped in to take control and get it over with.

The Tree Board always meets on the second Thursday of the month at 5:30. Meetings are held in the City Hall Conference Room. Here is the agenda and the gumbo limbo situation will definitely be an item added to the agenda.

Let's take a stroll back in time. . . the gumbo limbo transplanting on April 16th, 2015 at the Downtown Cultural Plaza. Here are a few of those in attendance:
From left to right: Richard Stowe, Chair of the Lake Worth Tree Board, Marta Edwards from SmartyPlants, Dave McGrew, the City's horticulturist, and resident Ted Brownstein.

Here are more pictures of the action that day last year.

UPDATE: The Lake Worth Pool will re-open on Wednesday at 9:00

Received this update on Saturday. This will be welcome news for many people after hearing the facility needed emergency repairs. Are you interested in water exercise classes, lap swimming, or just want to splash around at the City's municipal pool at the BEACH!? Contact Sally, the pool manager:
  • 561-585-6858 (office)
  • 561-951-7037 (cell)
  • Email: SChapela@lakeworth.org 
With limited resources Sally's making changes and the results are clear in the time she's taken over: attendance is up, there's more excitement, and you can expect many more changes and fun things going on in the future.

However, that wasn't always the case. The previous City administration led by Commissioner JoAnn Golden et al weren't as motivated to make the pool a success. They shut down the pool in October of 2010: Now, of course, under the direction of Mayor Pam Triolo and City Manager Bornstein the pool is the greatest thing ever and everyone wants to get on the bandwagon:
This image is from the file, "If you can't beat 'em, join 'em".

But. . . do you remember when the malcontents chimed in with their grand ideas last year? They lined up at City Commission meetings, had tabloid articles written about their grand ideas, the ideas gushed and flowed forth and got more and more exciting as time wore on and then. . . Poof! The flurry of grand ideas ended just like that. For example, here are a few:
  • "Push the fitness angle: Make the triathlon trail permanent (this can be handled by local businesses -- the city doesn't have to pay for everything)"
  • Create packages for the pool, "parties in the Casino, bowling, movies"
  • "Consider a subcontractor for Summer Learn to Swim. The county and/or private businesses that teach may be interested."
  • "Contact Men's Health Magazine and unabashedly lobby for a spot on America's Top Ten Fittest Cities.", and. . ."When that publicity kicks in, just answer the phones and check the mail."
Want to learn more about this? Use this link to read a blog post from March of last year. Below is another one of those grand ideas I actually think is a wonderful one:
Check out what they have at the Wellington Aquatics Complex.