Saturday, November 5, 2016

[UPDATE] Congratulations Tom Sutterfield! Somehow he got the Post to endorse his opponent, Barbara McQuinn.

The Palm Beach Post endorsement has been the kiss of death for Tom Sutterfield. Somehow he was able to shake off the Post editorial board and get them to endorse Barbara McQuinn instead for School Board District 1. McQuinn and her supporters apparently decided to keep the endorsement instead of trying to get the Post to take it back. Seems they don't see it as an insurmountable obstacle.

UPDATE: Now there's more news. McQuinn responds to Tom Sutterfield (see below). You can see this for yourself using this link, at the end of an article by Sonja Isger in the "Comments" section.

The reporter writes that Sutterfield is trying to, "take a second shot at the School Board after his last run for a different district, out of Boynton Beach, failed." What's not mentioned is who Sutterfield lost to. He got clobbered by Erica Whitfield. More on that after this response from Barbara McQuinn:

"I am saddened that a local school board race has resulted in relentless, defamatory robo calls about me that my family and many others have received over the past two weeks.
     Mr. Sutterfield says he cannot speak to what the PACs have done. He has no accountability for his campaign? I take total accountability for mine.
     I did not say he's profiting from charter schools; the management companies of the 3 boards he sits on profit from the students.
     I was not a director of a charter school; I was a volunteer board member.
     I am not against charter schools. There are excellent charter schools that offer innovative programs that students cannot receive in their district-assigned school."

[and. . .]

     "Finally, I have not failed students. Please visit my website www.votebarbaramcquinn.com to learn the true facts about my educational career and my endorsements from law enforcement, elected officials, the Classroom Teachers and Administrators Associations, and the Palm Beach Post.

Thank you.

Barbara McQuinn, Candidate for School Board District 1"

When Sutterfield ran against Erica Whitfield in 2014 he got the Post endorsement and then got clobbered by Whitfield. In the primary last August he got the Post endorsement once again and it wasn't enough. When the Post came calling the third time it was, 'Whoooaaaaa! Not me again.'

Stay tuned as they say. The election is this coming Tuesday.
School Board member Erica Whitfield at her victory party in 2014 after clobbering Tom Sutterfield.

Friday, November 4, 2016

“For Palm Beach County Commission, Dave Kerner would make real difference”. Sun Sentinel Editorial Board

To read this endorsement use this link.

In their endorsement, The Sun Sentinel stated, “electing Dave Kerner would give the Palm Beach County Commission a major upgrade,” and after spending four years in the Florida House, it has “helped him understand the relationship between state government and the counties.”

"The Cottages of Lake Worth" book was delivered yesterday. Remember, this all began with an idea back in 2009.

Stay tuned for a feature article in The Lake Worth Herald next week. Publisher Mark Easton showed up and was there when the driver from Wilson Trucking arrived. Kudos to the driver for doing an excellent job.

Everything went off without a hitch. Once the books were safely put away Janice finally relaxed. Books are selling now as Christmas gifts, one order came in yesterday for ten. If you would like to have a book suggest you order as soon as possible.
Call Janice at 561-586-6617 to order the book. Or send an email to: TheCottagesOfLakeWorthBook@gmail.com
Remember City of Lake Worth residents, there is no shipping charge. Arrangements will be made to get the book into your hands.

Also please consider one of these ways to tour our charming "Cottages of Lake Worth":
Use this link to learn about the self-guided tours, by walking, bike, or by car.

It was back on Nov. 10th, 2013, when Palm Beach Post reporter Lona O'Connor (now retired), wrote a wonderful article about the Cottages of Lake Worth giving this effort a huge boost. From the article:

     A small group of residents, led by Roger Hendrix, is working on a plan to catalog, publicize and organize tours of the cottages.
     “The idea came to me in 2009 when I moved here from Tennessee,” said Hendrix, who still retains his Volunteer State accent. “I wanted to feature one of our best assets.”

Congratulations everyone. A job well done.

Tomorrow: The Lake Worth CRA invites everyone to celebrate Día de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead)

For the event schedule see below.

For more information contact: 
Emily Theodossakos, etheodossakos@lakeworth.org
Cary Sabol, csabol@lakeworthcra.org
Phone: 561-493-2550

Lake Worth, FL; October 26, 2016 – The Lake Worth Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) and LULA Lake Worth Arts in cooperation with R Dot Photography, will be hosting the first annual Día de Los Muertos festival on Saturday, November 5th.
     Día de Los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, is a traditional time meant to honor deceased relatives, celebrate the living, and entice the spirits to visit with flower-decked altars and offerings of food. One of South and Central America’s most distinctive holidays, Dia De Los Muertos, is considered a day of cheerful celebration rather than one of mourning.
     Keeping with that spirit, LULA Lake Worth Arts invites the public to enjoy this FREE evening event which will be full of fun for the whole family. Join us on Saturday, November 5th at the newly renovated Lake Worth Arts Center located at 1121 Lucerne Avenue.
     The Day of the Dead celebration will feature authentic Central American cuisine, traditional folkloric dances, a classic car show, a processional walk, cultural arts and crafts, and children’s activities. The public is also welcome to wear their Halloween costumes to the event.
     The Armory Art Center will host an exhibition titled, 'Va!' that consists of several community built decorated altars. Featured artist Kyle Smile will also be hosting a secondary arts exhibition. The fun begins at 4:30 pm. 

The schedule of events is listed below:
  • 4:30 pm—Processional walk will begin at Lake Worth City Hall, 7 North Dixie Highway. Procession will end at the Lake Worth Arts Center located at 1121 Lucerne Avenue.
  • 5:00—Welcome by Mayor Pam Triolo
  • 5:15—Live entertainment from Mariachi Pancho Villa
  • 6:30—Live dancing by Fraternidad De Bolivianos
  • 7:30—Music by DJ Marimba
  • 8:00—Live entertainment from Marimbistas Maya Sin Fronteras
To learn more about LULA, use this link.

To all the loud critics of City's November 8th referendum: Where's your plan? You've had over 2 years to create one.

Critics of the failed "LW2020" bond back in August 2014 had a great opportunity and squandered it. They could have come up with their own plan but they never did. And they've had over 2 years to come up with one. That begs the question: Why not? 

"Maybe we can get Commissioner McVoy to point out what he proposed."

And. . . 

"I want to hear his [McVoy's] plan. I haven't heard his plan."
 Citizen/reporter Peggy Fisher questioned both Mrs. McGiveron and McVoy at a City Workshop about their plan to fix the roads and potholes. See this for yourself in the short video (3rd one) at the end of this blog post.


Also, interrupting meetings because you don't agree with something isn't a proper plan either. If you recall, Mrs. McGiveron, the leader of CAUT PAC, shut down a City Workshop in July with this inappropriate outburst:
Now, to all the vocal critics of the City's November 8th referendum to fix the roads and potholes. . . where's your plan?

One of those critics, McGiveron, instead of a offering a plan or a way forward to fix the streets and all the potholes was fortunate enough to get quoted by Kevin Thompson, the Post's beat reporter:
" 'Where the Tropics Begin' was the old Lake Worth motto," she [McGiveron] said. "Sit down, shut up and open your wallets is our new motto."
Pretty clever, huh? But there's a problem folks: clever motto's, shutting down City meetings, and not offering any realistic solutions won't do a thing to fix the City's streets and infrastructure.

Interestingly, following that outburst out in the hallway, McGiveron accepted a challenge from Vice Mayor Scott Maxwell. She agreed to craft her own plan and present it at the July 19th City Commission meeting:
"I [Vice Mayor Maxwell] challenge you. You give me a ballot initiative and I will present it to the commission. That was your offer, Katie. Give it to me. I would love to see it."
Did McGiveron complete the challenge with almost 2 weeks to do so? No. The citizen/reporter at the scene, Peggy Fisher, got it all on video. You can hear Maxwell for yourself at the 6:35 mark in this video:
Here is what we learned at July's Workshop:
  • Since the "LW2020" bond failed in 2014 it will now cost $9 million more to fix the City's roads
  • At a minimum the City will need $40–50 million
  • More delays will drive up future costs
Just being a critic isn't enough. And just saying we need more meetings isn't enough either. If you don't think a bond is the right approach to fix our roads then what is? That's what is lacking in the opposition to the City's referendum: any leadership whatsoever. Another video below from Peggy Fisher at the July Workshop and you can hear her say. . .
"Maybe we can get Commissioner McVoy to point out what he proposed." And "I want to hear his [McVoy's] plan. I haven't heard his plan."
Exactly (proceed to the 1:35 mark to see if McVoy even tries to answer the question).

[UPDATE] The City of Lake Worth doesn’t have an advisory board on crime.

CRIME UPDATE: News from Hannah Winston at The Palm Beach Post, article datelined Nov. 4th titled, “PBSO detectives investigating 65 cars with slashed tires in Lake Worth”, an excerpt:

     “This will not be tolerated in our neighborhood,” the the Royal Poinciana Neighborhood Association of Lake Worth said on its Facebook page. The group serves homeowners in an area bounded by Lake Avenue, Sixth Avenue South, Interstate 95 and Dixie Highway.
     Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers of Palm Beach County at 800-458-TIPS (8477).


No City advisory board on crime? And the City doesn’t have an advisory board for Sober Homes. Or heroin. And no advisory board on literacy. And not one for the Zika Virus either. But the City is moving ahead with an advisory board to monitor the Blueway Trail on the C-51 Canal? A waterway that’s not even in the City and over which the City has no jurisdiction whatsoever? This is a real bad idea and here’s why:

In The Palm Beach Post, a “Point of View” dated November 2nd by Stuart and Brian Fischer of Boynton Beach titled, “Cities, associations should take steps against Zika”; good reasons to form an advisory committee in Lake Worth don’t you think?

“[T]oday that battle has become much more than an inconvenience. It has become a looming health crisis as the Zika virus has invaded the tri-county area. Strategies involve much more than swatting mosquitoes, burning specialized candles, and having cans of spray handy.”

And if you’ve read Pelican Pete this week, he doesn’t seem too keen on a C-51 Canal Advisory Board either.

“An advisory committee with no one to advise...just what was created...Think the State or County will listen to them? The Blueway project doesn’t need a Starr performer...and doesn’t want one.”

The City Commission decided to move forward and it was a 4-1 vote with Commissioner Andy Amoroso dissenting at the meeting last Tuesday, November 1st.

What’s the basic problem with an advisory committee such as this? It makes the City and its elected leaders seem disconnected and out-of-touch. Of the 40,000 or so residents of Lake Worth maybe at most 2,000 (5%) know what the Blueway Trail even is. But if you asked those 2,000 residents what’s a major concern for them in this City how many would say, “the Blueway Trail”?

Will this turn out to be a “really, really bad idea”? We’ll have to wait and see. And hope this doesn’t distract from so many other serious issues that need to addressed. And also hope this doesn’t become another target of opportunity for the ever-present critics in this City trying to derail all the progress going on.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

In this week’s Herald: “Lake Worth Scottish Rite Honors Distinguished Members and Citizens”

This week also has an article and photos about Read for the Recordlast Thursday at the Sacred Heart School (410 North ‘M’ Street).

“The Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite held its annual award ceremony on Wednesday, Oct. 26 to acknowledge members of the Lake Worth Valley Lodge.

[and. . .]

     “The John Frederick Lund award was presented to outgoing General Secretary, illustrious Mike Cribbet, 33 degree, for his many years of devoted service and a special first time ever commendation was presented by the Knights of St. Andrews to Laura Simmons and Cathy Cribbet.
     Mark Easton, publisher of The Lake Worth Herald, Lake Worth’s oldest business, also received a Special Community Service Award for his service to Lake Worth.
     The Lake Worth Valley Lodge of the Scottish Rite is located at 2000 North D Street, and serves the entire community with a monthly Community All-You-Can-Eat for $5 Breakfast, meeting space for neighborhood associations and generously hosts the Gray Mockingbird Community Garden.

Note: Links and highlighted text above added by Yours Truly.

Video: Mayor Pam Triolo “Flips The Switch ON” for our new LED street lights and Politics 101, “When you can’t beat ’em, join ’em”

To see all the videos from last Tuesday's City Commission use this link. Click the red “Subscribe” button to get alerted when new videos are uploaded to YouTube.

It was exciting to be there last Tuesday and watch this event (see video below). The City continues to get rave reviews and kudos for this new LED lighting from outside the City limits as well. Along with this being a celebration, a victory lap if you will, there were a few comedic moments as well for those of you following this situation closely.

All of the elected’s showed up which was nice to see. Early on in the process back in 2014 to fix the street lighting, at the urging of neighborhoods and PBSO for public safety reasons, a few vociferously criticized the City with much the same complaints you hear now about the bond referendum next Tuesday.

Commissioner Chris McVoy was one of those critics and after the lights began to be installed throughout the City came to realize he made a very bad political decision and started back-pedaling so fast he left a vapor trail. Now McVoy is a big fan and thinks these LED lights are the best thing, well, since sliced bread.

It was quite funny to watch him at the City’s “Flipping Of The Switch” trying to get in front of the cameras and get noticed. If the referendum passes next Tuesday he’ll do much the same thing at another press conference. He’ll try to take credit for fixing our roads as well.

But that’s politics. Just the way it is.
The cavalry arrived in the College Park neighborhood last month to replace lighting with new LEDs.
Utility worker descends after replacing a very old, ‘dead’ incandescent. He was very courteous and told me everyone is very pleased with the new LED lights.

Interestingly, I don’t recall any of those complaints when all the roads and sidewalks were replaced around Sunset Park on North D Street two years ago. Enjoy the video:

Tonight at our Library: Come out and meet actress, director, and writer Cynthia Morrison

To learn more about this local author and very interesting person, use this link.
About the novelette: Adelia, a grecian prisoner of ancient Rome must win her freedom in order to find existence with her Roman love Germanus. She is unaware of the greatest obstacle to face her after she acquires this hard earned liberty.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Video: How cool! City Commissioner Andy Amoroso talks about being vetted by the Secret Service and meeting Hillary Clinton

Andy Amoroso got to meet the real Hillary Clinton last week at Palm Beach State College. Unlike the cardboard Hillary he greeted last month at his store on Lake Ave.

The short video (below) is highly entertaining. Amoroso’s been very involved in the Hillary Clinton campaign here in Lake Worth and the local Clinton campaign organizers wanted him to be part of the welcoming group at Palm Beach State College last week. He actually got to meet Hillary Clinton and briefly spoke with her. He complimented her, “hair looks great”, and wished her a Happy Birthday too.

There are other videos from last night’s City Commission meeting and to watch them use this link. One of the benefits of these videos is you can see and hear for yourself what happened sans the filters of the press and social media. Unfortunately, as is too often the case, things get taken out of context and relatively simple procedural matters can get blown out of proportion.

To be alerted when new videos are uploaded, become a subscriber by clicking on the red “Subscribe” button near the top of the page.

Enjoy the video:

Florida Flow Fest 2016: Next Saturday and Sunday in Bryant Park in the little City of Lake Worth

Planning to attend from out of town? Need a hotel room? Please contact our good friends in West Palm Beach: VisitWPB or the West Palm Beach Visitor Center located at 100 North Clematis Street (open 10:00–7:00 every day of the week, 561-659-8814). 
 
"Join us at Bryant Park in beautiful Lake Worth on November 5th and 6th for 2 days of flow arts/circus arts, dance and yoga." This festival is FREE. However, workshops are $40 for one day and $60 for both days. Use this link for more information.

The City Commission Workshop at the Casino tomorrow—Advice from The Great Walled City of Atlantis: Tear down the Casino building?

Please note: Parking is free for this event. The City Commission Workshop begins at 6:00 in the Ballroom on the 2nd floor of the Casino. Once you've walked from your car catch your breathe if you have to (Mama Mia's won't mind), then either take the stairs or one of the elevators. To learn more about this meeting use this link.

The Great Walled City of Atlantis is west of John Prince Park for those of you unaware. If you drive down 6th Ave. South leaving the City of Lake Worth and make a left (heading south) on Congress Ave. you'll see a very large wall. Behind that wall lies that mythical city.

There's a breach in that wall for cars to go through and a guard shack too. Two former mayors of Lake Worth live there and many former residents who left (or abandoned the City, if you will) back in the 1960's and 1970's. But I digress. Below are a few excerpts from a Letter to the Editor last year about our Lake Worth Casino building written by a resident from behind those walls to the editor of the Post:

     [T]he first time someone took me to Lake Worth Beach, I had found heaven. The sunshine, the sand and the few steps to the ocean — Lake Worth Beach had it all.
     Then a revision [the 'restored' Casino complex] mucked up the works; it added shops, places to eat and a little shopping. I could hear the sand, sunshine and the ocean, all crying. [emphasis added]

Later. . .

     Handicapped parking is inadequate as well. Bring back a short walk for families and seniors — not climbing up what seems like mountains to the disabled (try it with a cane or a walker), and then dodging cars to get your toes in the sand.

Then the letter writer has this cryptic line in the form of a question:

     [S]olicit debt help, and give us back a little part of paradise? Perhaps take the money from the investors and fix our streets and bridges, which are far more in need of help.

Is the writer suggesting that the Casino building be torn down? Seems like it. That some debt instrument be created to save us from the mountain of debt the taxpayers of Lake Worth are forced to shoulder by all those planning mistakes back in 2009/2010?

The letter writer is spot on about the handicapped access and the unsafe parking/traffic patterns at the Casino complex. It is a terrible mess. It breaks your heart to see the elderly and handicapped having to walk up that 'mountain' to the beach and THEN having to further put themselves at risk "dodging cars". It is very unfair and very unsafe and also a miracle there has not been a tragedy to date.

So who is responsible for this mess?
You're looking at them.

Lake Worth’s secret Le Dîner en Blanc (“The White Dinner”) is on Sunday, November 13th. Where? It’s a secret!

A secret until the night prior or morning the day of. What is a “White Dinner”? Michelle Young has this very good explanation. Here’s an excerpt:

“. . . the first official Dîner en Blanc took place in the Parc de Bagatelle in the Bois de Boulogne [in 1988], started by a man named François Pasquier, who invited a few friends to the Bois de Boulogne one day in June on his return to France after being abroad. To find each other in the park, they all wore white. The dinner was such a success that they decided the next year, each person would invite some other friends and the event grew organically into the 10000+ dinner it is today.”

Le Dîner en Blanc in Lake Worth will take place at 7:30. Or so. Hopefully under a full moon. The cost is $5 per person. You can come alone or bring as many people as you want. Hint: It's a lot easier and more fun as a foursome. Below are more details:

Following the November 8th referendum to fix the roads and potholes, our municipal elections follow on March 14th, 2017

November 8th is a crucial vote here in Lake Worth (go to top of right-hand column to learn more) and so are the municipal elections just 125 days later, in March of 2017. Two commissioners, Ryan Maier (District 4) and Chris McVoy (District 2) are both up for re-election. . . if they choose to have their names on the ballot again.

Nevertheless, several challengers have already decided to run for those 2 seats and Herman Robinson is one. Several more are mulling a run and before long the stage will be set for next March. November 29th at noon will tell us a lot how serious those people are. Why is November 29th important? Continue reading:
Imagine yourself in the image above replacing one of the two on the right side. Mayor Pam Triolo, Vice Mayor Scott Maxwell (white shirt, blue tie), and Commissioner Andy Amoroso (left) were all re-elected by landslide victories last March.

If you are a voter and reside in Districts 2 or 4 you're already on your way to qualifying. Here are the district boundaries:
  • District 2. All that territory lying west of Dixie Highway and north of Lake Avenue.
  • District 4. All that territory lying east of Dixie Highway and south of Lake Avenue.
Candidates for city commissioner shall file the paperwork with the city clerk:
. . .no earlier than noon on the last Tuesday in November [November 29th], nor later than noon on the second Tuesday in December [December 13th]
To find out more information here is how you contact the City Clerk:
Pamela Lopez, City Clerk
7 North Dixie Highway
561-586-1662
Email: plopez@lakeworth.org
Hours: Monday–Friday, 8 am–5 pm

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Wish everyone a joyous All Saints’ Day and Día de Todos los Santos

About All Saints’ Day in the United States:

     All Saints’ Day, which is celebrated globally, is closely tied with All Souls’ Day, which was first instituted at the monastery in Cluny, France in 993 CE* and quickly spread among Christians.

[and. . .]

     Many Latin American communities in the United States hold celebrations around November 1 and 2, linking with All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day (November 2). These celebrations are part of the Day of the Dead, also known as Día de los Muertos.


Celebrate Día de los Muertos this Saturday in Downtown Lake Worth. Gather at City Hall (7 North Dixie Hwy) and celebration begins at 4:30. For more details use this link.

*CE = Common Era. Learn more at Wikipedia.

Hard to believe. This Thursday just may be “THE” day. The Cottages of Lake Worth books are en route.

Janice (center) shows off the book to City Manager Michael Bornstein and Delores Key, the City's Economic Development Manager.

After all the meetings, paella parties, home and cottage tours, neighborhood get-togethers, late and early morning phone calls, head scratching over whether one picture is better than another, getting the words just right, celebrations, and sadly a few funerals too. . . the book will finally be here in just a few days.

If you’ve been following this, the books were delivered to Port Miami aboard the container ship “Swordfish”, and was anyone’s guess how long before the container was opened and shipment sent on it’s way. Many have been a nervous wreck, tracking this like a little child following Santa on Christmas Eve. But that's understandable. It’s been a long hard road.

This was a community effort. Don’t forget that. But this was also about leadership as well and hard decisions. Many of those decisions fell on Janice’s shoulders not because she wanted to be a leader, but because when everyone sat around wondering what to do about this or that, all eyes slowly gravitated towards Janice.

She’d laugh. Make a few funny comments. Try to get a consensus and then make a decision, maybe even after a few days, or longer. And things kept moving forward towards the goal. So many people deserve acknowledgement for this book. But for me, Janice deserves special acknowledgement.

Some egos got bruised along the way. But what do you expect in Lake Worth? Bruises heal. This book is something everyone should be proud of. A tremendous effort. And none of this would have ever happened were it not for our very special cottages here in the little City of Lake Worth.

Today’s (11/1) Lake Worth City Commission: How to watch Live Streaming

How to watch the Commission meeting tonight Live Streaming: At 6:00 use this link and then click “Video of Public Meetings”. No video? Wait a few minutes and try again (sometimes meetings begin a little late). 

Remember: At 5:30 tomorrow Mayor Pam Triolo “flips the switch” for our new LED street lights!

If you plan on making public comment pay attention for that little bell. When the bell rings your time is up. Be respectful to the mayor and return to your seat.

For the entire agenda use this linkBelow are excerpts and highlights:

City of Lake Worth
City Commission Meeting
City Hall Commission Chambers, 7 North Dixie Hwy.
Tuesday, November 1st at 6:00 pm
1. Roll Call
2. Invocation or Moment of Silence*: Led by Commissioner Andy Amoroso
3. Pledge of Allegiance: Led by Commissioner Ryan Maier
4. Agenda: Additions/deletions/reordering
5. Presentations (there is no public comment on Presentation items)

[and. . .]

C. Recognition of Palm Beach County Fire Rescue Station 91 for Station of the Year award presented by Palm Beach County Chamber of Commerce
D. Customer Service Initiative
6. Commission Liaison Reports and Comments

[and. . .]

9. Consent Agenda (public comment [two minute limit!] allowed during Public Participation of Non-Agendaed items). . .
C. Resolution No. 56-2016 - create a C-51 Canal Advisory Committee [see following blog post or use this link to learn more] 
D. Professional Services Agreement (Special Magistrate Services) with Melissa Anderson
E. Pre-litigation settlements with South Florida Tri-Rail and individual claimants
F. Purchase Order with Palm Truck Centers, Inc. for an automated side loader truck for the Refuse Division
G. Purchase Order with Lou Bachrodt Freightliner for a Petersen RS3 Grapple Loader Refuse Truck
H. Final plat map application for Boutwell Business Center located at the northwest corner of Boutwell Road and 7th Avenue North

[and. . .]

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

[lastly. . .]

15. City Manager's Report
A. December 13, 2016 draft Commission agenda
16. Adjournment

*At the last Commission meeting on October 18th it was Commissioner Chris McVoy’s turn in the order to have an Invocation or Moment of Silence but was late for roll call.

A really really bad idea: A “C-51 Canal Advisory Committee” in Lake Worth on tonight’s (11/1) City Commission agenda

If you already read this please scroll down and as always, Thank You for visiting. At the end of this blog post added a video which will explain a lot about this very important topic:
To learn more about the Blueway Trail project use this link. The Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council (TCRPC) has this helpful information about the project. For inquiries about the Blueway Trail call the TCRPC at 772-221-4060.

This City Commission agenda item is at the end of this blog post.

Once the door is open what will the next 'Advisory Committee' be? An 'Advisory Committee' on Spring Training baseball in John Prince Park? Or how about a committee to oversee what the Town of Palm Beach is doing with their beaches? A handful of people are upset about the new LED lights in the City. Form an advisory committee? The mangroves along the Intracoastal, form an advisory committee to find out what Palm Beach County Environmental Resource Management is up to? Construction along the FEC right-of-way have some people upset: form an advisory committee for that too?

Do we have to take a walk down memory lane: the "Citizen Review Board"? A year from now a lot of people who think this is a good idea will end up with "egg on their faces". If this advisory committee is formed those opposed to the Blueway Trail will do everything they can to get control. It will end up just another platform for high political drama. And the press will love it.

There are projects proposed all the time along with people who oppose them. Those opposed can form their own committees or even form PACs if they want to. They can organize their neighborhood and do other things to express displeasure. They can beseech elected officials here in the City and throughout the County as well explaining their position.

However, the City's taxpayers shouldn't have to foot the bill: staff time, money, free office space/equipment and a letterhead too.

Hopefully this idea will be discussed and the decision be not to go forward. And besides, with so many volunteer boards in this City do we really need another one? For more about that see the next blog post or use this link. Remember, the Sister City Board just had to lower its members from 7 to 5 because they couldn't reach a quorum and the Finance Advisory Board will be going from 7 members to 14 if the November 8th bond referendum is approved by the voters.

Below is an excerpt from this agenda item at next Tuesday's City Commission:

RESOLUTION NO. 56-2016 OF THE CITY OF LAKE WORTH, FLORIDA PROVIDING FOR THE CREATION OF A C-51 CANAL ADVISORY COMMITTEE
WHEREAS, the Palm Beach County’s “Chain of Lakes” is a boater’s paradise already used by tens of thousands of boaters, kayakers, canoers, and paddleboarders; and
WHEREAS, the 30-mile stretch of connected freshwater lakes comprised of West Palm Beach’s Pine Lake at the north end, Lake Clarke in Lake Clarke Shores, Lake Osborne and Lake Eden in Lake Worth, and Delray Beach’s Lake Ida at the south end; and
WHEREAS, the Palm Beach County Commissioners recently voted to support efforts to get the State legislature to pay for a boat lift on the West Palm Beach Canal at the Lake Worth spillway, where water from the freshwater canal drops into the lower brackish water of the Intracoastal and Lake Worth Lagoon; and
WHEREAS, the State legislature has funded an engineering and feasibility study; and
WHEREAS, the City Commission desires to create a C-51 Canal Advisory Committee with the task of monitoring and reviewing the results of the state’s engineering and feasibility or any other subsequent studies.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE CITY COMMISSION OF THE CITY OF LAKE WORTH, FLORIDA:
Section 1. That a five member committee is hereby created for the purpose of monitoring and reviewing the results of an engineering and feasibility study or any subsequent studies related to the C-51 Canal.
Section 2. That the C-51 Canal Advisory Committee shall be comprised of the following:
1) One member to be selected by the Mayor; and
2) One member to be selected by each City Commissioner.

For the entire agenda item use this link and go to pages 39–42. Here is the video cited above:

Monday, October 31, 2016

This Thursday: Lake Worth City Commission Workshop on fixing long-standing problems at the Casino complex

The Casino Workshop that was cancelled due to Hurricane Matthew has been rescheduled to this Thursday, November 3rd. It was the lack of vision and proper planning back in 2009/2010 that made this important Workshop necessary. Now it’s time to get it right:
CITY COMMISSION WORK SESSION
CASINO BALLROOM AND BEACH COMPLEX
10 SOUTH OCEAN BLVD.
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 3RD AT 6:00

From the agenda:

SUMMARY: Discussion with REG Architects, Inc., and The Morganti Group, Inc., on their proposed fixes at the Casino Building.
BACKGROUND AND JUSTIFICATION: In May 2015, the City attended pre-suit mediation with REG Architects, Inc. (REG) and The Morganti Group, Inc. (Morganti) to resolve issues related to the design and construction of the Casino Building. The mediation resulted in a Tolling Agreement between the parties to stay any applicable statute of limitations and to allow the parties time to resolve the issues without litigation.
     On February 16, 2016, the City Commission heard a request from City staff to declare REG, Morganti and Morganti’s surety in default. City staff made the request due to a lack of responsiveness from either REG or Morganti on a proposed solution for the issues. The City Commission tabled the request to its March 1, 2016 meeting. On March 1, 2016, the City Commission agreed to extend the Tolling Agreement to March 22, 2016.
     On March 22, 2016, the City Commission agreed to extend the Tolling Agreement to June 7, 2016. On June 7, 2016, the City Commission agreed to extend the Tolling Agreement four (4) months (until October 5, 2016).
     Since June 7, 2016, a proposed solution to the Casino Building’s leaky doors on the second story and the second story drainage issues has been designed by REG and installed at the north-east corner of the second story. The City’s experts, Will Smith (doors) and June Willcott (engineering), have reviewed the design and installation and have shared their comments and concerns with REG and Morganti.
     This discussion is REG’s and Morganti’s opportunity to provide the City with their proposed fixes for the issues.
Photo of Lake Worth Casino Complex by Skyline Aerials, LLC. Spread the word about this City Workshop and hope to see a huge community turnout. It’s finally time to clean up this mess once and for all. . . another mess left over from a previous City administration.

FDOT District Four: Project Development and Environment (PD&E) Study for I-95 Interchange at 6th Ave. South

For more information use this link.

"The purpose of this study is to identify short-term and long-term needs and develop design concepts to address traffic spillback onto I-95, improve interchange operations, reduce congestion, and increase safety at the study interchange. The proposed improvements will address pedestrian and bicycle modes and will ensure that the project corridor continues to meet mobility and safety goals as travel demand continues to grow."

Completion Date: September 2017
Cost: To be determined
Lengths and limits: Approximately 0.7 miles along I-95 from north of 12th Avenue South to south of Lake Worth Road and approximately 0.5 miles along 6th Avenue South from Michigan Avenue to South C Street

The City of Lake Worth is just one little City. But why does news between our City and the Village of Wellington get mostly ignored?

The print edition of The Palm Beach Post’s Lake Worth Very Very Special Monday Collector Print Edition (LWVVSMCPE) is tomorrow. Every Monday. Each and every Monday. Again and again and again and no one knows why. Live in Greenacres and need phone number for the Lake Worth sewer department? Parks and recreation? That’s right. You’ll find it every Monday in the Post.

It’s never been explained why the little City of Lake Worth is so special and cities like Greenacres and Palm Springs aren’t.
Every Monday the City of Lake Worth is highlighted along with much larger cities. Greenacres is a little city too? So is Palm Springs. Why can’t those cities be special every now and then?

If you’ve been paying attention, read this blog, or get The Lake Worth Herald you have a real good idea what’s going on in Lake Worth. But imagine you live in Greenacres and have been trying everything to get the attention of their beat reporter (contact information below). You grab that morning’s paper and it’s the LWVVSMCPE again. Really? This question is certainly being pondered by residents, City governments, and politicians in Greenacres, Palm Springs, Atlantis, and other cities as well. But now imagine you’re an official in Lake Worth (either elected or not) and you find this City the focus, or target if you will, of the County’s paper of record. The logical question is why. That’s never been explained. Does Lake Worth deserve all this attention?

Six square miles. Six. 6. That’s the size of the City of Lake Worth. Palm Beach County is 2,386 square miles. Lake Worth is 0.25% of that. Lake Worth’s percentage of the County population? 0.0026. That’s it. However, if you’re a regular reader of The Palm Beach Post you’d think this City is a much bigger player on the stage. It’s not. We’re a blip compared to our neighbor to the north, West Palm Beach.

However, each and every week Lake Worth gets special attention along with 5 other cities and you have to wonder why (square miles/population from Wikipedia):
  • Lake Worth 6/35,000
  • West Palm Beach 58/100,000
  • Boynton Beach 16/68,000
  • Jupiter 21/61,000
  • Wellington 45/62,000
  • Palm Beach Gardens 55/49,000
Why the Post has decided to focus so much attention on this City is anyone’s guess. This is a disservice to the news reading public, especially to all those communities west of this City who get ignored for the most part.

The Lake Worth City Commission, City management, and staff have weathered this hyper-focus well and they should be congratulated for how professional they’ve handled this situation. Below is a blog post from last October. It’s about zoning and development happening close to Lake Worth’s western border. After you’re finished reading ask yourself this question: “Why is Lake Worth so special?” It shouldn’t be.

To the east and south of Palm Beach State College (see image below) is the County’s John Prince Park. The City of Lake Worth’s western border is Lake Osborne Drive, not shown on the map, on the east side of the park (click on image to enlarge).
Image from the October 20th Lake Worth Herald, page 5. Read more about this below.

This is the kind of news you don’t read about in The Palm Beach Post. If you didn’t know any better you would think real estate news of any significance stopped at the western border of the City of Lake Worth and picked up again out near the Village of Wellington somewhere.

Most everything between Lake Worth and Wellington gets ignored for the most part but every now and then real estate news from a city other than Lake Worth gets attention like this news from business reporter Jeff Ostrowski about Greenacres.

Then you have that cabal of malcontents here in Lake Worth opposed to any development whatsoever but they do make a lot of noise and that gets the attention of the press. They’re keenly aware of what’s happening in John Prince Park and not happy about that either. You know, they’re the one’s upset about Garlic Fest next year, want to eliminate all human activity because of Gopher tortoises, tied up in knots over the new dog park under construction, all twisted over the possibility of Spring Training baseball. . .

Well, guess what’s happening right across the road (Congress Ave.) from John Prince Park in Palm Springs? From page 5 of last week’s Lake Worth Herald, “Legal Notice No. 30862, The Village of Palm Springs proposes to adopt the following Zoning Ordinance” to:

"ADD A NEW SUBDIVISION X 'COLLEGE-HOSPITAL OVERLAY' TO INCLUDE SECTIONS 34-1081 THROUGH 34-1084 ENACTING AREA SPECIFIC DEVELOPMENT ALLOWANCES FOR THE SOUTH CONGRESS AVENUE CORRIDOR"

[and. . .]

"A Public Hearing on the proposed ordinance will be held at the Village Council Chambers at Village Hall, 226 Cypress Lane, Palm Springs, Florida. Thursday, November 10, 2016 at 6:30 PM by the Village Council."

So, you see, there’s much more going on in Central Palm Beach County than just what's happening in the little charming City of Lake Worth:
Just three of the cities in “Central Palm Beach County”. The areas in white are unincorporated Palm Beach County (suburban Lake Worth) and the Lake Worth Corridor.

Greenacres is a lot of nothing”? A city between the glitzier Wellington and the cooler Lake Worth”? The City of Greenacres and their residents deserve better than that.

Live in Greenacres? Palm Springs? Have news you would like to see published in the Post? Here is how to contact the beat reporter, Kevin Thompson (also the beat reporter for the City of Lake Worth):
Phone: 561-820-4573
E-mail: KThompson@pbpost.com
Twitter: @KevinDThompson1

Did you vote “No” on the 2014 bond referendum because of fear-mongering over “sea level rise”?

On August 26th, 2014, voters had a choice, vote “Yes” or vote “No”. And. . .
Because of “concerns” over sea level rise Commissioner Chris McVoy campaigned against the City's 2014 bond to fix our roads. The bond failed by just 25 votes. The next time you go to Publix, commissioner, try taking North J Street.

If you live in Lake Worth and sea level rise is a concern for you, know the LW2020 bond, had it passed, would have brought this City up to current infrastructure standards that take sea levels into account. Vice Mayor Scott Maxwell, for example, understands sea levels are a concern and for that reason he attended the 7th Annual SE Florida Regional Climate Leadership Summit in Key West this year. Here is a quote from a City Newsletter:
“What is reassuring to me,” says Vice Mayor [Scott] Maxwell, “is that all levels of government are coming together to address the issues, each within their own individual capabilities.”
The City of Lake Worth isn't like Miami and isn't like Ft. Lauderdale either. Those cities have much more resources than Lake Worth to deal with multiple, complex issues but they're always brought up as examples of what Lake Worth should do. Sea level rise is an important topic but shouldn't, in my opinion, be any more important than neighborhoods with crumbling sidewalks, potholed streets, and too few fire hydrants—just a few of the many challenges our City faces.

The concern many have is fear-mongering of “sea level rise” will distract from health and safety in Lake Worth, what is essential and necessary for our City now. A balanced, thoughtful approach is necessary but with a keen focus on the current needs of our residents. Commissioner McVoy also attended the conference and he is quoted saying:
The gorilla in the room [emphasis added] is the rate of melting of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets, which would add tens of feet of rise.”
When it comes to the “gorilla in the room” think this is more appropriate as a topic of discussion:
If rising sea levels” truly concern McVoy why would he support constructing the new Casino east of the Coastal Construction Line without pilings?

Perhaps at the City Commission Workshop next Thursday (6:00 at the Lake Worth Casino) the voters of Lake Worth will be given a proper explanation why McVoy (who has a PhD we're reminded over and over), campaigned against the LW2020 bond in 2014 but supported spending millions of dollars on the Casino without pilings just a few years earlier?

To make matters worse the structure was also Greenwashed. And then there's the $1.6 million settlement to Greater Bay. And the substandard traffic/parking design. And the pool building which was never addressed. . . Stay tuned, as they say. I'm expecting a huge turnout next Thursday.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Information from Sally, the City's municipal pool manager at the Lake Worth Beach

UPDATE: The pool water is 76°. The pool closes at 4:00 today. Have you been to the pool yet? Today would be a great day to check it out. Is 76° too cold for you? Be patient. New pool heaters will be installed in December. Do you have a divers skin suit? That's what I use for water exercise and it works out just fine. 

“Today at 10:00 [Sunday 10/30] will have a water exercise class if the pool water is 76° or higher. Hope for the best. The wind has been relentless and the Casino pool has had very little sun this week. With that combination the water has little chance of being much warmer than 74–77°. By the middle of December the new pool heaters will be installed and hope to see you working out this Winter.

Starting this Monday is the option of a ‘stretch zone, balance core workout’ class from 10:00–11:00 when the water is below 76°. Take your pass to the pool office to get punched and then proceed to the ballroom on the 2nd floor. This class will be available Monday's and Thursday's.

On other days is the other option of a class on the pool deck in the sunshine. We could do a 30 minute deck workout and then 30 minutes in the pool.

I would like to schedule a Thanksgiving or holiday party this year. I am open to any suggestions at our water exercise facility.

Thank you for all the support you have given the Lake Worth Casino Pool.

Just Keep Moving!”

For more information and to contact Sally, call the pool office at 561-585-6858 or 561-951-7037 (cell). The pool hours are Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 9:00–1:00 and Saturday/Sunday from 9:00–4:00.