Saturday, December 3, 2016

I met a gentleman named Joseph “Jay” Fearnley at the Rotary last Wednesday. . .

This will not take long today; there will be much more to come later about this. To read about my conversation with Mr. Fearnley use this link.

The Blueway Trail project on the C-51 Canal between the city’s of Lake Worth and West Palm Beach has been getting a tremendous amount of attention on this blog and took an unexpected turn this week: the Blueway Trail in the context of history.

The first image below is of Spillway Park in Lake Worth and the S-155 structure that blocks public access between the Intracoastal and the inland Chain of Lakes (for example, Lake Osborne is one of those lakes). The S-155 was constructed in the 1950’s. I believe this structure, along with the construction of I-95, ushered in the long period of decline that this City still experiences today along N. Dixie Hwy. and elsewhere.

Examine the following pictures for yourself and if you have more information to share please feel free to contact me: 561-308-0364; email: WesBlackman@gmail.com

Inside the hashed box: Spillway Park, C-51 Canal and the S-155 structure as it is today. To see this for yourself take Maryland Ave. off Federal Hwy in Lake Worth.

Note the change in orientation and C-51 Canal (on right). This image is from 1937. In the center you can see the early platted streets of what is now the College Park neighborhood in Lake Worth.

This image is from the 1950’s. Compare with the first image above. See the marina on the Lake Worth side of the C-51? How many businesses supported this marina? Motels? Restaurants? Fishing supply stores?

Would it be a stretch to call former-Commissioner Suzanne Mulvehill a visionary? She was an early proponent of kayak access from the Intracoastal to the Chain of Lakes. Stay tuned as they say.

Pool heaters are working again and there’s a party tomorrow! From Sally, the pool manager:


“The heat is back on! Already the water is nice & warm in the Casino swimming pool at the Lake Worth BEACH. Don’t forget the Casino ballroom holiday party is tomorrow.”

For information about the party on Sunday and how to contact Sally see below. Remember the good ole days? When the water was so wonderfully warm? “Our Casino Pool Holiday Party is next Sunday, December 4th from 1:00–3:00 in the upstairs Ballroom. Please bring beverages, appetizers, and/or desserts. Feel free to bring along a guest. We need hot/cold cups, plates, Christmas decorations, table cloths, napkins, and utensils. And all pool buddies, come early if you can to help set up. Thank You.”

Image from the file, “If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.” To learn more about the Citys municipal pool use this link.

The pool hours are Saturday and Sunday from 9:00–4:00; Monday, Wednesday and Thursday from 9:00–1:00. Days the pool will be closed over the holidays are Christmas Day (falls on a Sunday this year), the following Monday, New Year’s Day and Monday following.

Here is Sally’s contact information:
Pool office: 561-585-6858
Cell: 561-951-7037
Email: schapela@lakeworth.org

What happened to Commissioner Maier’s idea for a “new college”? His promise to focus on investment and opportunity in Lake Worth?

Friday, December 9th, is the next scheduled meeting of the Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council. Why is that important? Continue reading.

After more than 1½ years in office Commissioner Ryan Maier’s supporters have to be wondering what happened to the guy they supported. As a candidate he promised more economic opportunity but his actions have been exactly the opposite. But. . . guess what one of Maier’s ideas on how to create “more opportunity” was? He proposed putting all sorts of concession stands in Bryant Park.

That’s right. The public park that's there for the public and visitors to enjoy. Peacefully. That was one of his gaffes his handlers were able to successfully squash.

Maier’s opposition to the City’s Park of Commerce as an elected commissioner is curious when you consider his other big idea to bring “more opportunity" to the City: He pitched building a “college” and you can see that for yourself in the video below. Since being elected he hasn’t raised that idea one single time. So much for ideas on how to bring more investment and “opportunity” to our City.

The video below is short and has a very funny moment. When you watch closely one of the other candidates tries very hard to control himself when he hears Maier’s grand idea about a new college for the first time. Another hilarious part is at the 1:05 mark, right near the end, when you hear mumbling and disbelief from the assembled crowd. 

Also note at the 40 second mark when he makes reference to attracting the “right type of clientele”. Who exactly would those “right type” of people be?
All the gaffes made by now-Commissioner Maier during his campaign for office take on all new significance now that he’s an elected official representing our City. Another of Maier’s claims is he’s a “member” of the Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council (TCRPC). He isn’t. Maier is the City's liaison to that crucially important council. When he goes to the TCRPC he sits with the general public and can’t vote on anything.

The next TCRPC meeting is next Friday (use this link for the agenda). Many are very concerned how Maier is representing, or rather misrepresenting, the City of Lake Worth. You can understand why.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Couldn’t believe my eyes. Two blog posts on fire. Traffic off the charts.

Below is more proof there are more things going on in Central Palm Beach County than just what’s happening in the City of Lake Worth. Why is the blog post below and this one too getting so much attention? You’ll have to draw your own conclusions.

If you follow the news in the Post’s local ‘B’ section or their Central Palm Beach County blog you would think the only things that matter from the City of Greenacres and all the way east to the coast are what’s happening in this one little six square mile City of Lake Worth. Here’s more proof that is not the case at all, news in the Lake Worth Herald:

NOTICE OF GENERAL ELECTION

TOWN OF LAKE CLARKE SHORES, FLORIDA

     The Town of Lake Clarke Shores, 1701 Barbados Road, Lake Clarke Shores, Florida, 33406, will hold a General Election on March 14, 2017 for the purpose of electing Council Members from Groups 1 & 2 for a term of two (2) years. The polls will be open from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. If a Runoff Election is necessary, it will be held on March 28, 2017, utilizing the same times and precinct identified below. Candidates for Council Member must reside in the Town of Lake Clarke Shores.
     Candidate qualifying is from NOON November 22, 2016 to NOON December 6, 2016. Voter registration book closing is February 13, 2017 for the General Election. No person will be permitted to vote unless he or she is registered in Palm Beach County and residing in the Town of Lake Clarke Shores, Precinct #3014 and #2127.

Mary Pinkerman, CMC
Town Clerk

Remember the ‘homeless advocates’ last year? Protests, packing City meetings, and media who adored them? Where did they all go?

You might recall the video below of former Commissioner JoAnn Golden who, at the 40 second mark, praises the City of West Palm Beach for all their incredible work to help the homeless there.

Unfortunately, at the 1:15 mark she goes off the rails with a terribly unfair characterization of the caring and giving people of Lake Worth:
This happened leading up to last March’s elections and interestingly, the ‘homeless advocates’ have been very quiet ever since. Thanks in large part to Ft. Lauderdale Mayor Seiler and his political experience dealing with ‘advocates’ (the very same tactics were used here in Lake Worth), it’s time to ask the obvious question: Were the loudest critics of the City’s homeless efforts really about helping those in need or just political pandering?

I think everyone knows the answer now.

Without question the homeless in Lake Worth were used as political pawns. Now that the homeless are not as valuable a tool right now it’s on to other things like trying to scuttle efforts to fix the roads and potholes, scaring the gullible about what the City’s new LED streetlights can do to ones health, and the continuing effort to undermine law enforcement, the CRA, and pretty much anything else that’s improving the lives of residents.

And you might find this interesting: What happens when people, even those out front in efforts to help the homeless, get pushed to the breaking point and had enough of ‘one-issue’ politics here in Lake Worth:
A tourist walks past homeless passed out on pier in a City park to take photographs.

From Raphael Clemente*, an event today at noon (Friday, 12/2) in West Palm Beach:

On November 27 the traditional Hawaiian voyaging canoe Hōkūle‘a safely arrived to Florida. Tomorrow we welcome Captain Kalepa and Hōkūle‘a Crew to Downtown West Palm Beach!
     This sail is part of a historic Worldwide Voyage covering more than 60,000 nautical miles, 125 ports, and 27 nations. Track them on their LIVE map.
     On Friday, December 2, hop aboard Hōkūle‘a for a free, in-depth canoe tour between 12 p.m.–4 p.m.”

*Raphael Clemente is Executive Director of the West Palm Beach Downtown Development Authority.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

JP Sasser did it again! Got a “Point of View” published in The Palm Beach Post.

UPDATE: Here is the link to the editorial piece published in the Post on Tuesday, Nov. 29th.

JP Sasser, if you didn’t know, is the former mayor of the City of Pahokee. In the Post Mr. Sasser has another editorial piece titled, “Everglades restoration principals freezing out Glades communities”. You may recall another submittal to the editorial board by him last year (note: blacked out the text for those interested to read for themselves; use this link):

JP Sasser in 2015: Let’s talk about all those septic tanks in the Treasure Coast too.

Here is an excerpt from Mr. Sasser’s contribution to the debate last year:

     The final point was that the cities of Belle Glade, Pahokee and South Bay pumped our raw sewage into the lake. We have had modern centralized sewer systems for over 40 years.
     The Treasure Coast needs to look in the mirror. Some waters in Florida are polluted with human fecal matter — particularly the IRL [Indian River Lagoon].
     “Buy the land and send water south” is not the only road to water salvation.
     My question is: When are we going to get serious about our water? Florida’s agriculture-industry pollution is regulated statewide and has to meet specific limits. Our septic tanks are not held to the same requirements.

The following video has nothing to do with this debate but it is an interesting look back at the political career of JP Sasser:

Too funny! “Neighbors said to fear ‘transient academics’ ”

This isn’t new, it’s from 2014, but in today’s environment as the YIMBY’s rise up. . . Read the first 2 paragraphs below and then go to the comment section in this article published by Evanston Now:

     Plans for an extended stay hotel in downtown Evanston are drawing fears from some that it will attract the wrong kind of academics as guests.
     The Southeast Evanston Association, in an email message to its members, says neighbors need to assure that the establishment will carry “a hotel brand that will maintain a high quality of business, and not devolve into cheap housing for transient academics.

Here are some of the comments at the end of the article:
“Frankly, you all sound like mathematicians to me, with your weird half-language that nobody else can understand. Down with hard science! Up with humanities!
“That’s just the kind of riff-raff we’re trying to avoid, with their interpretations of Faust and their ruminations on the meaning of life. And don’t get me started on the existentialists. HARUMPH!

One of my favorites:
“It is the standard deviations that worry them.”

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

“Inspiration Lake Worth”: About the meeting last night at the Casino

As part of its regular series of events, the Palm Beach County Planning Congress held an event at the Lake Worth Casino building last night (11/29/16) on redevelopment in Lake Worth. It was another follow-up to an event from 2014 when the Department of Community Sustainability reached out to groups of investors, urban planners, engineers and land use attorneys to promote the City’s development review process.

This particular meeting was for government/urban planners and others in related fields to learn how the City of Lake Worth is working to turn things around. Remember, the many successes since 2012 when the new LDR’s went into effect followed 8 years of nearly no commercial investment whatsoever.

The RSVP’s were around 60 or so but the turnout was little disappointing. In hindsight scheduling a meeting on a Tuesday night maybe wasn’t the best of decisions. Thirty-five to 40 people showed up.

Lake Worth’s Community Sustainability Director William Waters, Economic Development Director Dolores Key and Maxime Ducoste (the Assistant Director for Planning & Preservation) made presentations about the changes the City made to the land development regulations and the development review process. The videos are worth watching but it’s important to understand that some of the discussion was of a technical nature and targeted to a specific audience.

William Waters, Director of Community Sustainability (click on images to enlarge).

From a period of nearly zero new investment prior to 2012 the City has since processed and approved many projects which Mr. Waters reviewed. This begins at the 14:20 mark of the first video. He emphasized the ease at which a number of new projects went through the development review process and the amount of investment totals since. He also highlighted many projects in the Park of Commerce area west of I-95. That amounts to a total investment of $103 million in the City of Lake Worth.

Maxime Ducoste, Assistant Director for Planning & Preservation.

Perhaps the most interesting part of the presentation were those projects either recently reviewed, currently being reviewed, or on the horizon. Maxime Ducoste took care of that portion of the program. You will be surprised by the number and location of these projects, many of which will fill long vacant lots in commercially-zoned areas of the City. His portion of the presentation begins at the 25 minute mark of first video (see link above) and continues in the second video.

Dolores Key, Economic Development Director.

Thank You to everyone who attended this meeting. If you have any comments or observations please send me an email: WesBlackman@gmail.com

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Bathers at Lake Worth Casino and Baths c. 1920’s

Image from the State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory collection.

The Florida Memory website is fun to peruse for archival material. Check out the chicken wire between the columns in the image. What purpose do you think that served?

How does a reporter misspell a mayor’s name? Twice! And there’s more from CBS12: “Where am I?”

One of the clues, if you didn’t know, that it’s getting close to election season in Lake Worth are the number of CBS12/WPTV news vehicles driving around town. Every now and then they’ll do a decent news segment. However, remember that fuss about the “ ‘Backroom’ Beach Development Proposals”? A classic even by the standards of CBS12.

Anyhow, this is a decent news segment by Mike Magnoli from earlier this year on the very complex issue of the City’s Casino complex at the Beach but with two glaring errors. How did the reporter misspell the last name of Mayor Pam TRIOLO? Not once BUT TWICE!

“Mayor Pam Triollo said.”?

Here is an excerpt from the text of the segment:

     “It [the Casino] can be [profitable] with proper business handling this building will be profitable or the very least, pay for itself.” Mayor Pam Triollo said.
     Right now the city is battling with the architect and contractor. And with an election a month away, the casino has become a barb to throw from the aspiring political set at the current administration. Some say this project has been mismanaged from the start.
     “There’s been a lot of misconceptions over this project and if anybody has any questions, they can feel free to call me,Trillo said.

“Trillo”? The mayor will get a big laugh out of this. Not so sure City residents will be amused. This CBS12 story followed another one with the recurring theme, “Where am I?.

LAKE WORTH (CBS12) — A lot of homes in South Florida are built up higher than the road to keep the flooding from getting inside.
     Unfortunately, a few homes in Lake Worth, had to deal with some flooding.
     [Name removed] lives at the end of Helyn Road in Lake Worth.
     His property becomes waterfront living when the rain is heavy.

Helyn Road isn’t “in Lake Worth.” Helyn Rd. is in unincorporated Palm Beach County, or just as accurately suburban Lake Worth. Maybe some day in the future that property will be annexed into the City. Now that the bond referendum passed we might be in a position to help.

The house that flooded “in Lake Worth” that isn’t in Lake Worth is west of the E-4 Canal, also called the “Keller Canal”, that feeds into the C-51 Canal (the City’s northern municipal border with West Palm Beach):

There are some exceptions but the L-4 Canal is generally the dividing line between the City of Lake Worth and suburban Lake Worth. To all my friends at CBS12, just trying to help.

Monday, November 28, 2016

City to alter water chlorination process this Wednesday until December 18th: Community news in this week’s Lake Worth Herald.

Have questions about this upcoming temporary change in water chlorination starting Wednesday? Call the City of Lake Worth Water Treatment Plant: 561-586-1710. To learn more about the Lake Worth Water Utility use this link.

Below are two excerpts from a notice in this week’s Herald. To subscribe to the newspaper use this link or pick the newspaper up at the City’s newsstand located at the corner of Lake Ave. and ‘L’ Street in the Downtown (it’s still just ¢50!):

     To maintain high water quality in the City of Lake Worth water distribution system, the City of Lake Worth Water Treatment Plant will temporarily change the water chlorination methods for two weeks from November 30, 2016 through December 18, 2016. The City of Lake Worth will also increase hydrant flushing during this time. This is a preventive maintenance process.
     Starting November 30, 2016 a “free chlorine residual” water treatment method will be used to provide a somewhat stronger disinfection process than the “combined chlorine or Chloramines” treatment which is normally used.

[and. . .]

     The City of Lake Worth and their Consecutive Systems water utility customers including Lake Osborne Estates, Hypoluxo Village, John Prince Park, Lantana Cascade and Palm Breezes Club may notice a slight chlorine taste or odor in their tap water during this period; however, these temporary conditions will not cause adverse health effects.

A clarification: “Inspiration Lake Worth” at the Lake Worth Casino tomorrow (Tuesday, 11/29)

In today’s (11/28) print edition of the Post (page B3 below the fold) is a short item about the “Inspiration Lake Worth” meeting below. The last day to RSVP was yesterday. However, if the topic of LDR’s and our City’s renaissance is of interest to you please call 561-758-2252 and inquire about seating still available. If you are attending please consider a donation to the Palm Beach County Planning Congress to help stage future events such as this:

“The City of Lake Worth and the Palm Beach County Planning Congress (PBCPC) invite you to explore the success of the City's new Land Development Regulations which were adopted in 2013.
     Lake Worth has experienced a resurgence of private investment that in two years eclipses the total private investment in the City during the previous ten years. [emphasis added] The City's new code has set the foundation for an exciting vision and process for rebuilding Lake Worth and enhancing its future.
     Come see what the City has created, how it has been implemented, and explore with us the future possibilities.”

There is no charge to attend this event (donations for PBCPC welcome at the door). To register use this link. For more information contact Nilsa Zacarias at 561-758-2252 or email: nilsa@nzconsultants.net

Details
  • RSVP required by Sunday, November 27th
  • Date and time: Tuesday, November 29th from 5:30–8:00 pm
  • Where: Lake Worth Casino, 10 South Ocean Blvd., Lake Worth 33460 (free parking available)
More information
  • AICP credits applied: 2
  • Networking begins at 5:30
  • Presentation and panel discussion from 6:00–8:00
Further discussion and socializing will continue at Benny’s on the Beach (a short walk away) following the event.

“Come see what the City has created, how it has been implemented, and explore with us the future possibilities.”

Worth another look. . . Remember that horrific plane crash last year? Who was the only reporter to get the correct location?

The answer to that question is below. If you saw the front page of the Post last Saturday (11/26) you know this Palm Beach County ‘paper of record’ still can’t figure out municipal boundaries. No wonder the public gets confused when the Post has difficulty grasping the concept of suburban Lake Worth and the actual City of Lake Worth.

If you didn’t know, the Lake Worth Swap Shop on Lake Worth Rd. is not in “Lake Worth”. It’s located in the Village of Palm Springs. You would think after that terrible plane crash last year (see below), very close to this location, the Post’s headline writer/editor would have learned about the Lake Worth Corridor by now. But apparently that’s not the case. Here’s another recent error in the Post:

“The Real News Starts Here”? Interestingly, the reporter who first reported this shooting wrote, “The man who was shot this morning in unincorporated Lake Worth . . .”.

If you recall that horrific plane crash last October the only reporter to accurately report the location was NBC5/WPTV reporter Charlie Keegan. While every other reporter was stumbling around saying “where am I?”, Keegan reported the location as “suburban Lake Worth”. How did he do it? It’s not magic:

The zoning may have changed since last year, but then the “Lake Worth” Swap Shop located in Palm Springs had unincorporated County areas west, south, and to the east as well.

The reason why the Lake Worth Swap Shop is called the “Lake Worth” Swap Shop is rooted in history. The “Lake Worth” is a mailing address. The short explanation is this: “back in the day” after people established a Lake Worth mailing address and later moved west, they took a Lake Worth mailing address with them, just a different zip code. Why? Because there were no other post offices nearby. That’s why there are 9 Lake Worth zip codes but only two are the City of Lake Worth: 33460 and part of 33461.

One “Lake Worth” zip code is on the edge of the Everglades. That’s why so many reporters get the location of the South Florida National Cemetery wrong.

The reporter cited above (Hannah Winston) went on to write, “Rescue crews responded to a shots-fired call on the 4000 block of Davis Road [emphasis added], just south of Lake Worth Road between South Congress Avenue and Kirk Road”. And again, she reported this accurately as “unincorporated Lake Worth” but “suburban Lake Worth” is also correct.

If you’re not sure, enter a nearby street address into the Palm Beach County Property Appraiser’s website or check the City’s Zoning Map. Or. . . take the easy route and call everything west of the County’s John Prince Park “Lake Worth”.

The actual borders of the 6 square mile City of Lake Worth.

Did you miss this news from the Herald? There’s a big party in Atlantis this Wednesday and everyone’s welcome!


Please note: This party is OUTSIDE the Great Walls of the City of Atlantis.

Free hot dogs, taquitos, single serve chips, and more! Use the coupons in this week’s Lake Worth Herald. Not a subscriber? Pick the paper up at 600 Lake Ave. in Downtown Lake Worth today!

The City of Atlantis will have a new convenience store on November 30. 7-Eleven Atlantis, located at 5965 South Congress Avenue, will hold a grand opening ribbon cutting at 10 a.m. Officials from the City of Atlantis and the Atlantis Police Department will join Starlight Cove Elementary School students in welcoming 7-Eleven Atlantis to the neighborhood.
     Grace Geloso, 7-Eleven franchisee is the owner/operator of the new store.
     Geloso said, “It has been smooth and pleasant working with the City of Atlantis through the preparations for opening. During the grand opening, there will be plenty of samples of the foods that will be available on a 24 hour basis.

[and. . .]

     “The donuts are fresh daily” boasted Geloso. “We will have quality food and fresh hot coffee 24 hours a day.”

[lastly, looking for a new place to get fuel?]

     The new store will be equipped with eight gas pumps and four diesel pumps.
     Geloso would like to invite the public to the grand opening/ribbon cutting to see the new store and enjoy some fresh food.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Yesterday and #ShopSmall Saturday was spectacular at Lake Worth’s Farmer’s Market!

UPDATE: It was a spectacular day for the “Cottages of Lake Worth” book yesterday at the City’s Farmer's Market (see below). Lot’s of books were purchased and many who pre-ordered stopped by to pick up their book(s). Everyone involved is most grateful and appreciative of the overwhelming community support. Thank You!

Did you meet Yours Truly around town with the “Cottages” book and wanted one for yourself? There’s an easy way to make that happen (see below).

Every Saturday you can check out the “Cottages of Lake Worth” book from 9:00 a.m.–1:00 at the Lake Worth Farmer’s Market through the end of December. Meet and talk with Janice, Taylor and other members of “The Cottages” who worked so hard to put this wonderful book together. The market is at the base of the Lake Worth Bridge (east side) on the north side of the road. The Lake Worth Casino is close by, within walking distance.

There are several other ways to purchase the book which just arrived a few weeks ago, see how below:
With tax the book is $34.93 (list price is $32.95). Have a check payable to “The Cottages of Lake Worth”. Thank you everyone and stay tuned for more upcoming events featuring the book.

To pick up “The Cottages of Lake Worth” book. . .
  • Call Janice at 561-586-6617
  • Send an email to: TheCottagesOfLakeWorthBook@gmail.com
  • Go to “The Cottages” website, use this link.
  • Or. . . contact Yours Truly (write out a check and we’ll figure out a way to get a book to you).