Saturday, November 26, 2016

Worth another look. . . An easy target for myth-makers: Re-zoning (or upzoning) to allow ‘home occupations’ and that mythical city called Key West

Zoning can be a confusing thing to understand. And it doesn’t help when some who purport to “know the code” get the facts wrong. There remains a persistent buzz about zoning in Lake Worth that continues to churn in the rumor mill, albeit quietly of late, about some elected’s desire to change zoning to allow for ‘home occupations’ throughout the Citylike some other wonderfully ‘tolerant’ cities do—Key West is always on that short-list.

There's just one problem: it’s not true.

It’s easy to get carried away with what you think a situation may be in another city. The viewpoint you hold may be influenced by anecdotal evidence, word of mouth, tourism advertising, political manipulation, etc. There’s the belief by some that Key West is a thriving place for artists and crafters working out of their homes akin to a Garden of Eden and Lake Worth should follow their example.

Well. I checked their code and Key West is as strict or moreso than Lake Worth’s when it comes to home occupations in residential neighborhoods. So the image some have of Key West’s ‘progressive’ artsy mystique is untrue as it relates to what you can do. It’s also easy to not know what is zoned residential and what is zoned commercial if you are just visiting a town and you don’t have a zoning map with you. How many people carry zoning maps around with them?

There are other cities around the nation that can serve as models for such an ordinance if it ever does become a legitimate topic of debate, but I caution everyone not get carried away with romantic notions that may not be based in reality. I know that can be a challenge here in the charming little City of Lake Worth, especially for those such as Commissioner Ryan Maier who. . .

. . . prior to being elected complained about traffic and congestion in their own particular Downtown neighborhood. And also complain about traffic and congestion in other neighborhoods throughout the City. So. . . ‘home occupations’ with employees, visitors, customers, and deliveries is a good idea? Try to square that logic.

“Thank You” to our good friends at Discover The Palm Beaches

“Linger in Lake Worth, take your time and enjoy the pace in this diverse community of form and function.”
“This diverse enclave is a true haven for artists and free spirits. Built around a tree-shaded square, this eclectic downtown boasts a colorful collection of boutiques, galleries, and inventive culinary options . . . The Street Painting Festival, with its graffiti of a different kind, lasting only until the next raindrop, transforms asphalt and sidewalks into living art in a centuries-old tradition.”

To see the Lake Worth page at Discover the Palm Beaches use this link.

Youth basketball registration in the City of Lake Worth

A community news item from The Lake Worth Herald:

     Registration for the City of Lake Worth Youth Basketball is now in progress. Registration is ongoing until December 12. Season starts December 19.
     Registration is $70 and you can register at two locations:
  • Norman J. Wimbley Gymnasium, 1515 Wingfield Street, Monday–Friday from 3:30 til 8:30 and Saturday from 12–4 p.m.
  • Lake Worth Recreation Department, 501 Lake Avenue, Monday–Friday from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m.
[and. . .]

     For additional information contact Anthony Marshall at 561-540-5133 or Aundra Lowe, 561-533-7363.

Use this link to contact the Herald with your latest community news. Place an ad, have your event promoted, and send in news about whats happening in your neighborhood.

Read more about the plane crash in Lake Worth that wasn’t in Lake Worth

Over a year later and The Palm Beach Post still can’t get it right. Did you see the front page today (11/26)? This blog post is from October 16th of last year:
This plane crash did not happen in Lake Worth. It occurred in suburban Lake Worth. Well outside the City.

The Palm Beach Post, the areas paper of record, made a significant error in their headline above the fold today (10/16/2015). That terrible tragedy, the recent plane crash occurred in suburban Lake Worth, not in “Lake Worth”. As you can see in the image below the crash location is within walking distance of Palm Springs.

Coming soon on this blog is an explanation of what the Lake Worth Corridor is. A reader of my blog believes this is the main reason there is so much confusion in both the public and the press vis-à-vis municipal borders and unincorporated Palm Beach County.

For a more detailed explanation of how badly the media bungled the location of this plane crash in suburban Lake Worth use this link.

More excerpts from writer Rachel Monroe’s article in the Oxford American titled, “Monkeywrench”

To read the entire article which is quite lengthy, very well written, and highly entertaining, use this link. Two more excerpts from the article are below.
 
Remember the Anarchist (“I’m Chuck Bass”) running for a seat on the Lake Worth City Commission? The ‘musical’ that had so many people concerned? The article by Rachel Monroe is a look back to those heady days leading up to the elections last March. Bonus! Read about the Anarchists’ honorary “Wes Blackman Memorial Shitter” in the second excerpt below:

     “Most people in the room were not Floridians; instead, they lived in fringe towns—Ithaca, Bloomington, Oakland—where the rent was cheap enough that radical politics could flourish. They wore black boots and rode bikes; they all seemed to know each other from protests and actions and summers spent picking blueberries in Maine.
     They were here because, in October 2015, just as the winter chill had started to creep into people’s bones, a flyer began circulating among activists, inviting anyone willing and able to travel to sunny Lake Worth for the month of February ‘to help devise, build, perform and otherwise scheme on’ a musical that celebrated the history and philosophy of the radical environmental group Earth First! (In 2010, Earth First! had moved its publishing operation from Tucson to Lake Worth, making the town the de facto headquarters of the diffuse, controversial organization.) ‘The show will involve audiences writing to political prisoners, cast members repelling [sic] down cardboard redwoods, and seating based on willingness to risk arrest,’ the flyer promised. ‘Hurrah!’ ”

[later, near the end of the article. . .]

     “I left Florida early the next morning. When I talked to Donna later, I learned that during the remaining weeks of rehearsal, Wes Blackman doubled down on his angry blog posts; there was no question of inviting him to watch the musical. There’s an Earth First! tradition of naming the toilet in honor of the enemy of the moment, and so at the final performance in late February, the musical’s audience was invited to use the Wes Blackman Memorial Shitter.
     In March, Ryan Hartman lost the election by a 2-to-1 margin.”

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Attention all “Doers” in the little City of Lake Worth: Register for FREE course on leadership & learn how to solve problems in your neighborhood.

Please note: Seating is limited for REAP classes. Get registered ASAP. That information is below.
To learn about the amazing REAP grants last year to organizations here in Lake Worth use this link.

“Palm Beach County’s Office of Community Revitalization will offer a five-week, hands-on educational program providing community revitalization and civic leadership development.
     Through this course residents will learn of innovative ways to solve neighborhood issues. The course and all materials are FREE but a commitment for the entire five-week course is required.
     Seating is limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis.

The Residential Education to Action Program (REAP) will take place every Thursday from March 9th to April 13th, 6:00–8:30 at the Vista Center, 2300 N. Jog Rd. in West Palm Beach.

Use this link for more information and to register.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

City of Lake Worth municipal offices closed for Thanksgiving Day and Friday as well

For more information use this link for “Special Announcements” and for Things To Do in our little City use this link.

Neighborhood Crime Watch in the City of Lake Worth and how to become a subscriber to Wes’ YouTube Channel

To subscribe to my Lake Worth YouTube channel use this link and look at the top-right corner of the page for the red “Subscribe” icon. Subscribers get an email when new videos have been uploaded.

One of the benefits of these videos, for example those of City Commission meetings, is hearing and watching for yourself what happened instead of getting information filtered by the news media and social media as well. The next Commission meeting is on December 13th with what’s certain to be a long agenda.

To learn how to set up a neighborhood Crime Watch below is a video from 2 years ago. Contact the Neighborhood Assoc. Presidents Council (NAPC) for more information: NAPCinfo@gmail.comAnd here’s one of my personal favorite videos, now-State Senator Jeff Clemens and former mayor of Lake Worth at the opening of Compass seven years ago with a very funny opening comment:If you go to the right-hand column of this blog you’ll also find several other videos. So far I have 135+ subscribers and am very appreciative.

Wish everyone a wonderful Thanksgiving!

To the “makers” and true artists everywhere: Why you need to consider Lake Worth, FL, your future home

Jennifer Conlin in The New York Times’ Fashion & Style section had this piece last year titled, “Last Stop on the L Train: Detroit”. The ‘creative class’ is abandoning Brooklyn and looking for better environments to work. The article is about Detroit which has become a popular place for artists. Here is the paragraph that stood out to me, a resident of the little City of Lake Worth, Florida:

It is now well-documented that some of Brooklyn’s much-written-about creative class is being driven out of the borough by high prices and low housing stock. Some are going to Los Angeles (or even Queens), but others are migrating to the Midwest, where Detroit’s empty industrial spaces, community-based projects, experimental art scene and innovative design opportunities beckon, despite the city’s continuing challenges. [emphasis added]

What does Lake Worth have?
  • Empty industrial, commercial, and neighborhood spaces (but they’re filling up!)
  • Community-based projects are occurring all the time
  • An experimental, innovative art scene is here
  • Design opportunities abound
  • And yes, the City does have some continuing challenges
This is what Pari Chang had to say about Lake Worth:

This small South Florida city is an under-the-radar, up-and-coming hotbed of makers. Miami obviously has a huge arts scene. Locals know that Ft. Lauderdale does, too. But Lake Worth, in Palm Beach County, is the one to watch, a city on the verge.

Lake Worth has everything artists are looking for. All they have to do is discover our little City here in Florida.
Lake Worth beckons muralists from everywhere.

The information below is a great start! Click images to enlarge:
Thank you for all the great work you do, LULA!

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Still waiting for a response. One from any environmental activist will do.

Or don’t any enviro activists in Lake Worth have a response to this blog post from almost 3 weeks ago? That’s a big problem. Because many are getting tired and weary of just hearing “No” to everything. Either you have a solution to the housing problem and western sprawl or you don’t. The Millennials are getting restless.

Because of western sprawl, New infrastructure must be built to accommodate a scattered pattern of low-density land uses, while older infrastructure is undermaintained and abandoned.Ergo the $40 million bond that was recently approved by the voters in Lake Worth. Hello.

“Yes. We are interested participating in #SHOPSMALL in Lake Worth!”

A message from Mr. Marc Schlags at the Lake Worth CRA: “We are celebrating Small Business Saturday on November 26th. Be sure your Downtown Lake Worth/Dixie Highway business is participating.” Please email the following information to mschlags@lakeworth.org
  • Contact name
  • Business name
  • Address
  • Phone
  • Email 
Or look for one of these flyers around town:
November 26th is “Small Business Saturday” and remember to #ShopSmall in Lake Worth.

Can Lake Worth ever get its own PD back? And. . . “Hmmm, what if Lantana or Palm Springs had to deal with what Lake Worth went through?”

If Lantana or Palm Springs had to deal with an Anarchist element like Lake Worth had to do the answer is obvious: they would have no option but to have PBSO come in and help. There is no local, small town police department that can deal with what happened in Lake Worth in 2008/2009. And that’s why Lake Worth has PBSO (note: Greenacres recently switched to PBSO also).

It was due in large part to the monkeywrenching (see below) by Everglades EarthFirst! (EEF) of the Lake Worth Police Dept. that made the department ineffective and the neighborhoods so unsafe.

That leads to this question: If Anarchists and their radical allies (affinity groups) for some reason just happened to pack up and go somewhere else could Lake Worth go back to having its own police department (LWPD)? Remember, it was the radical group EEF that took advantage of and caused so much havoc for the then-City police department. Those efforts (such as having officers racing to fake crime calls back and forth across town) undermined the already overworked LWPD making them ineffective dealing with other problems, like the gang violence in the City back then.

Understand that EEF has been in retreat for some time now and is a small and ever-dwindling organization, but they remain very active trying to destabilize neighborhoods in District One and other small areas in District Two also. So, while you’re pondering the last question if Lake Worth could go back to having its own police department. . .
Everglades EarthFirst! (EEF) is an Anarchist group with their headquarters in Lake Worth, FL. They have connections with anti-government groups worldwide.
“Direct Action Training” at the Quaker Meeting House. How fair is it that a little city like Lake Worth got drawn into all this?
“Looks like today won't be business 
as usual”
“It crushed them all to blood. But some had the opportunity to squeal.”
A Lake Worth Anarchist holding a sign at a protest in the City. So very charming, isn’t it?

Monday, November 21, 2016

The NAPC’s 4th Annual Thanksgiving Banquet & Food Drive last Saturday, on 2nd thought. . .

Had plans for a write-up this morning about this wonderful event and then discovered someone had done that already (see below). Thank you everyone for attending and supporting our Neighborhood Assoc. Presidents Council (NAPC) and all the neighborhood associations here in the little City of Lake Worth!

On the stage at CJ’s: NAPC President Jon Faust and the ubiquitous Mary Lindsey.

“Big Big Thank You to everyone who helped make the 4th Annual NAPC Thanksgiving Banquet another fabulous community event! First of all to Bryan and Karine, Chef Andre and all the staff at CJ’s Island Grill. No feast was ever finer and no crowd of people ever felt more welcome than we did.
     To Andy Amoroso, who couldn’t attend because he is out of town tending to our City’s business, for selling tickets at his newsstand; to The Lake Worth Herald, Mark and Judy Easton for their generous contributions to our door prizes, likewise the Lake Worth Golf Course, Downtown Jewel Neighborhood Association who donated two Flolfing tickets, the NAPC Front Porch and the amazing Mel and Vinnie for the CDs and for leading us all in a sing along to ‘Feels Like Home To Me’. 
     To the LW Little Free Libraries for donating the LFL totebags and to Jon Faust for emcee excellence; to Marc Pickering and Marshall Pass for selling 50/50 raffle tickets, and to the NAPC for donating a copy of the Cottages book and 7 bottles of champagne for door prizes; to Publix bakery which went way overboard in baking and decorating our wonderful dessert cakes.
     To Meredith Abrams and her first grade class at North Grade who dropped off 4 huge bags of canned goods to get us started on our food drive and to everyone who brought canned goods and participated in the raffle to help fund even more food and to everyone who helped carry it out and load it into the truck. Happy Thanksgiving!”

Sunday, November 20, 2016

The Thanksgiving Banquet at CJ’s Island Grill last night

Check back tomorrow for more about this wonderful and very-well-attended event in Downtown Lake Worth.
The front of the program from last night. The evening ended with a rousing rendition of “Feels Like Home To Me” by Mel & Vinnie. Another great NAPC event.

Two excellent articles, but very sad news as well, about the Farmer Girl: A long tradition coming to an end

This Thanksgiving will be the last free dinner for the homeless and others in need at the Farmer Girl restaurant here in Lake Worth. The Post’s Jennifer Sorentrue has a real good article about this and so does The Lake Worth Herald:

     “He [Pete Roubekus] has fed tens of thousands through the years, sharing blessings and happiness money just can’t buy.
     All who come to the restaurant will be treated to a traditional Thanksgiving dinner of turkey or ham with all the trimmings, without cost or obligation, as the guests of Pete Roubekus and his employees. The restaurant will be open Thursday [11/24] from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.”

The “Guardian Angels” in Lake Worth

This won’t take long. Over the years in Lake Worth we’ve seen the Guardian Angels show up and this is far from the first time. Of course they get attention from TV news and maybe a Post reporter will show up too. I checked the Guardian Angels website and there is no Lake Worth chapter.

If you find yourself in need of help call 911. If you have a concern or a tip call the PBSO non-emergency number:
The main phone number for Lake Worth’s PBSO is 561-586-1611. Email: LakeWorth@pbso.org