Friday, December 16, 2016

Remember the Annex Protest! And on painting of the CRA’s Annex: “It’s not to my liking and, ummm, Yikes!” And then she said, “Harrrumphhhh.”

Remember the protest in Lake Worth after the painting of the CRA’s Armory Art Annex building, or as some recall it, the former shuffleboard courts? The signs read:
  • “Stop The Andy!”
  • “Eliminate the CRA!!!!!”
  • “I’m SO ANGRY I made a sign!”
  • “Luddites Of Lake Worth UNITE!”
Former City reporter Larry the Lenz caught all the action!
Following that protest in 2014 a concerned citizen appeared at the City Commission meeting during public comment with a “true story” and she said, “It’s not to my liking . . . Yikes!”

News in this week’s Herald: Lake Worth High School part of Sprint’s “1 Million Project”

“Lake Worth Community High School was the only high school in the state of Florida to be included in this program.”

The entire article is on page 10 of this week’s Herald; here are two excerpts:

Lake Worth Community High School has been selected as one of 11 high schools across the country to be part of Sprint’s new pilot program entitled the 1 Million Project.
     The 1 Million Project is designed to help close the homework gap by giving one million disadvantaged high school students free mobile devices and internet.
     Five hundred (500) Lake Worth High School students will be enrolled in the project which kicks off in January, 2017. Sprint will be providing a mix of free smartphones, tablets and LTE data per month to each of the students for four years.

[and. . .] 

     Claudio Hidalgo, Sprint’s Florida Region President stated, “High school is a critical period in the lives of our young people as it marks the time they begin to build the skills needed to prepare for college and the world ahead.”

A look back to 2011. Wonder if this group is still looking to replace that truck battery?

Been to Palm Beach Gardens lately? After the “battery in the lake” fiasco in 2014 things went downhill fast trying to ‘save’ the Briger Tract, or Briger Forest if you will. Here is a look back to when “Defend this Forest” was at its peak: Embedded in the video:
The fight to save the Briger Forest in South Florida is ongoing! We are in the midst of making a documentary about saving this 682 acre forest, and this is the first release for the documentary. [Scheduled for a 2015 release in North Korean theaters?]

A 682 acre endangered and threatened species habitat, the Briger forest is the largest unprotected wild space in the eastern corridor of 95 as far south as Miami. We have put our sweat, blood and tears into protecting this forest from the biotech research company Scripps and developers that want to turn it into a Biotech city, with strip malls, housing, and vivisection labs.

Join our campaign today to fight to save the Briger Forest!

Explained: Building height limits in the little City of Lake Worth.

The image below is a nice recap. Please remember this next time you hear “Knock Knock” at the door and then get handed a flyer (like the one later in this blog post), and that smiling face says a high-rise is going to be built down the street from you:

Our height limits keep our little City “charming”. Isn’t that a lovely word? But it’s true. Lake Worth will never be like downtown West Palm Beach or Boca.

Let’s take a look back to what many people found on their door back in 2013 leading up the ‘heights vote’ that had nothing to do with keeping “Lake Worth LOW RISE”:
Lake Worth was already “LOW RISE” in 2013. The ‘heights vote’ was about one thing: Making sure our City would never have viable, successful hotel in the Downtown.

As we continue to deal with the twisted ‘facts’ let’s examine the propaganda above from the ‘Respectful Planning’ PAC that tricked people into voting to reduce the Downtown height limit to 45′:

“Provides clear, community-supported guidelines
What “community” are we talking about? It would have been imposed by a small minority within a City of 35,000+ residents.
“Increases tax base without burdening City services
No evidence whatsoever for this claim. How does reducing building height in the City’s core increase the tax base? The height limit in the Downtown hotel district is 65′. Lowering that to 45′ would increase the tax base? What additional infrastructure would be required for a 65′ structure that would not be required for a 45′ one?
“Promotes reinvestment in historic and vacant properties
How does a height limit ‘promote’ reinvestment Downtown? Vacant properties are less likely to be built on if they are made less economically attractive.
“Protects the Gulfstream
Yes, we all Love the Gulfstream. But a 45′ height limit would have made redevelopment of the Gulfstream less likely because it seriously reduces development capacity (i.e., land value) on the adjacent properties along Lakeside Drive. These lots are an integral part of the Gulfstream property. Let’s get real. The Gulfstream may be an iconic property but it is not economically designed for modern standards. If it were it would have been restored already.
“Allows construction of a new boutique hotel
A meaningless statement. What exactly is a boutiquehotel? Where exactly would it be built in the Downtown? Is one of the characteristics of a “boutiquehotel that it is no taller than 45′? Who devised that rather convenient rule?
“Does not limit development in the Park of Commerce
An irrelevant and gratuitous statement.
“Supported by residents during the Master Plan process
Completely untrue and patently dishonest. Height limits city-wide were discussed as part of the Master Plan process (you may recall the multi-year process squandered $1.2 million in public funds). The proposal to limit heights Downtown was never discussed in any way and would undoubtedly have been rejected had it been proposed.
“1700 registered voters signed the petition
So what? What were they told? What scare tactics were used to get signatures? Its less than 5% of the City's population.
“Follows the low-rise trend of many Florida coastal communities
Trendin coastal communities? Some are high rise, some are low rise and everything in between. Each community has its own vision. Also keep in mind our coastalcommunity is limited to the length of the beach. The communities cited by Respectful Planning’ are communities with actual oceanfront coastlines. Many of these cities are struggling with redevelopment where existing single family neighborhoods exist. That is not Lake Worth’s problem.

Once again, the lies, mis- and disinformation continue. The names of the PAC’s may change but the goal is the same: to confuse the public. Don’t be fooled again.

The view west from Golfview and 1st Ave. South? This is one of the images passed out in 2013 to trick people into voting to limit heights in the Downtown.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Santa spotted at Highland Elementary School

“Santa Claus visited the good little boys and girls of BRIDGES at Highland Elementary to take pictures, spend some quality time with the kids and make sure their Christmas wishes were heard!
     Kris Kringle tells us that heard about the event from our good friend, City of Lake Worth Commissioner Andy Amoroso and that he couldn’t resist coming to the BRIDGES pot luck to see our families.
     In addition to posing for pictures, he also helped us write thank you letters and shared some holiday cheer.”

Former sign at our Lake Worth Beach

“The pooch in this 1940s photo seems to take exception to the posted notice at the Lake Worth Municipal Beach. Pets are still barred from the beach, with the exception of service animals.” (Photo courtesy of the Lake Worth Historical Museum)

Video from my YouTube channel last year: Yes, there is a lot of interest in our schools here in Lake Worth.

Just a few days after I posted the video below of PBC School Board member Erica Whitfield at the City Commission on December 8th, 2015, it was up to almost 40 views or so. Now, a year later? It’s closing in on 3,000. Here is a link to my YouTube channel for other videos that may interest you. Look for the red “Subscribe” icon to become a subscriber. Following the video is the blog post written last year about the video, with emphasis added:

I post these video because, as opposed to others who tell you what they think happened at City Commission meetings, with my videos you can see for yourself what happened without the fuzzy filter, revisionism, spin, and nonsensical ramblings.

Lake Worth’s own Erica Whitfield, who lives in College Park, gave an informative talk at this week’s City Commission meeting. Early on in the video you will hear that the Palm Beach County School Board has a problem defining what is actually “Lake Worth.” In preparation for her talk she asked for demographic and other information for Lake Worth schools. That yielded many more schools than are actually in the City of Lake Worth—some way out west, far beyond the City limits.

Her talk focuses on the actual schools where City of Lake Worth children attend. It is clear we are a very diverse population and speaking multiple languages. We are also an area that has many impoverished students with the majority of them on free or reduced lunch programs. She identifies principals and talks about the number of students in each school and how they are graded. She also confirmed that the quality of schools can be a key determinant of property values. The maxim seems to be that the better the schools the higher the property values.

Erica Whitfield’s presentation is a wide-ranging overview of our public school system and really is a “must watch.” Some excellent questions came from the commission as well.

Just in case you missed this from yesterday

Now that commissioners Ryan Maier & Chris McVoy have decided to run for re-election. . .

. . . when the editor at The Palm Beach Post took a good, long, honest look at the City of Lake Worth’s leadership, even he came to the same conclusion the voters in the City did last March. The editor wrote:

Lake Worth’s “leadership has kept its eyes on the right goals. . .”

The voters in Lake Worth re-elected Mayor Pam Triolo, Vice Mayor Scott Maxwell, and Commissioner Andy Amoroso by landslide margins last March.

It’s been nine months since the elections last March and watching things shake out is extraordinarily heartening. The community, supporters of the re-elected majority along with many former critics are coalescing and debating the issues of the day. The City Commission, unfortunately, doesn’t yet reflect the community mood ergo all those 3-2 votes with commissioners Ryan Maier and Chris McVoy dissenting on so many issues. The good news is another election is coming up next March; Maier and McVoy are both up this time.

There will always be those few in denial or still shell-shocked who will act like the elections last March and the referendum last November 8th never happened, throwing out things like ‘secret meetings’ nonsense, insinuations of wrongdoing, distraction tactics. . . same stuff, different day in Lake Worth. Some things will never change.

Remember the image and words above next time you see one of those ridiculous editorials or ‘satirical’ Frank Cerabino articles, a bizarre letter to the editor, or news article spun this way or that. They’ll all get a collective case of amnesia heading into the elections next March regarding their papers’ glowing endorsement of the majority on the City Commission. . . but no one else will who is paying attention and involved here in this City.

This is an exciting time to be in Lake Worth. There is much good news and great things happening all the time. All kinds of positive changes are going on, community and neighborhood meetings all the time, and problems that once seemed intractable now are manageable and being discussed like a healthy community should. Attend all the City meetings you can, keep involved, and above all: Stay Excited!

The media needs another lesson. Just because you think you’re in Lake Worth, that doesn’t mean you are.

The media, especially the TV news, is getting sloppy again. And their editors who should be finding these mistakes are not doing much good educating the reporters. When it comes down to it, this is a disservice to the public. It’s no fluke that in poll after poll the news media gets ranked right there with used car sales and the U.S. Congress.

Frequent readers of this blog will know this is a recurring topic. For new residents of this City this is more important than you may realize at first since this affects the City of Lake Worth’s image and how the rest of the County sees us. The City of Lake Worth covers an area just over 6 square miles along the extreme eastern portion of Palm Beach County. It does not cover the vast areas west of Congress and south towards Lantana, as you will hopefully learn here.

As the City goes about re-branding itself, it doesn’t help matters when the news media reports on crime, accidents, and other mayhem occurring in other parts of Palm Beach County as having occurred in “Lake Worth”. Incidents outside the City should correctly be labelled as “suburban Lake Worth”, or “unincorporated Lake Worth”, or “unincorporated County”.

When I googled Lake Worth zip codes, came up with a list and they are below with a google map showing the area covered. Interestingly, once believed there were three Lake Worth Zip Codes: 33460, 33461, and 33462. I was wrong as you’ll see below.

33460 This zip code covers the vast majority of the City from the C-51 Canal south to Lantana and west to I-95. Also in this area is a small pocket of the City west of I-95 and east of Lake Clarke Shores:
33461 Most of this zip code is Palm Springs and unofficially named the “Lake Worth Corridor” (suburban Lake Worth). A small part of the City of Lake Worth west of I-95 is in this zip code; for instance some mobile home communities and the condos along Lake Osborne Drive are located in the City along with some single family residential neighborhoods. The Lake Worth Park of Commerce is also located in this area:
33462 This “Lake Worth” zip code includes no part of the City of Lake Worth. Atlantis, Lantana, and Hypoluxo are some of the municipalities in this area, and some are unincorporated Palm Beach County. For a long time believed a small part of the City was in this zip code but I was wrong:
33463 Another “Lake Worth” zip code area exists well outside the City limits, west of Military Trail and the Great Walled City of Atlantis. Notice where Greenacres is to the north on this map:
33465 This is the southern part of the town of Lantana, but it has a “Lake Worth” mailing address. It is not in the City of Lake Worth (Notice the location of the landmark “Friendly Greek” restaurant along U.S. 1 [Dixie Hwy.]):
33466 Another area that is not in the City. This is along a stretch of Lake Worth Road. There is some Village of Palm Springs in this area as well as unincorporated Palm Beach County. It also is known as the “Lake Worth Corridor”:
33467 This is one of the more problematic areas as far as the media is concerned. Many incidents in this area are labelled as “Lake Worth” in news reports; notice the Florida Turnpike. Again, well outside the municipal borders of the City by many miles:
33449 This zip code is on the edge of the Everglades and south of Wellington. Most definitely not “Lake Worth”:
33454 Another zip code outside the City. Notice “Planet Fitness Lake Worth”. Yes, it can be confusing:
The location of the dot on the above map is one of the county’s main north/south streets, Jog Road. 

I hope this information was helpful. When you boil it down, this over-use of the “Lake Worth” name has its roots in the sprawl development pattern that began in the 1960’s and continues today. Below is a USGS Map of the same areas indicated above from 1956. The orange on the map is considered “developed” or “urban” area; the green area indicates where the type of vegetation has been identified. The rest, ladies and gentleman, is essentially swamp land. Also note that this is prior to I-95 coming through. The Florida Turnpike is here by this time but no development leading up to it on the major east/west roads.
As areas developed over time and pushed west there was obviously a need to deliver mail to those areas. No one thought to call it anything else but “Lake Worth.” The unintended consequence of that is many things that happen at “Lake Worth" mailing addresses is attributed to the City, in the minds of many people. The news media is doing a better job of late, with assistance from time to time, to make the distinction between what is in the City of Lake Worth and what is not.

Can we come up with a name for the vast area that is “Unincorporated Palm Beach County” that does not rely on whether it is west of Lake Worth or West Palm Beach? Or does this fuel the argument by some to change the name of the City to something such as “Lake Worth Beach?”

But then again if the City had it’s own PIO, or media specialist, it wouldn’t be up to me to teach the media. They could learn to do it themselves.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Video: Meet Omari Hardy, candidate for District 2 in Lake Worth. Election Day is March 14th, 2017.

This was at public comment on unagendaed items at the City Commission last night (12/13). Dustin Zacks, at the 1:00 mark in the video, had a few things to say about my Michigan State Spartans. Remember Dustin my friend, there’s always next year.

At the 4:40 mark Omari Hardy comes to the podium:Following Hardy’s remarks Peggy Fisher has some interesting thoughts on the two-minute time limit for public comment. She thinks it should go back to three minutes again. The time limit was 3 minutes back in 2009 or so. It was commissioners Cara Jennings, Suzanne Mulvehill, et al. that lowered the limit to 2 minutes.

Maybe it’s time for 3 minutes again. Something for the City Commission to seriously consider.

The videos from last night’s (12/13) City Commission meeting

Here is the link to my Lake Worth YouTube channel. All the videos (11) are labeled and available for viewing.

When you click on the link above look for the red “Subscribe” button at the top right corner. Subscribers get an email when new videos are available.

If you hear or read anything about what happened last night you can watch the videos for yourself instead of being spoon-fed what someone else thinks happened or the all-too-familiar spin from the press and some social media sites. For example, most involved residents of Lake Worth are now very aware of what loaded language is and how that tactic is used by the media et al. And. . .

As always, Thank You for visiting.

Dark underside of ‘environmentalism’: “Enviro activist calls for ‘death of thousands’ in Lake O discharge controversy”

A scathing Point of View was published in the Post by Hendry County Commissioner Janet Taylor earlier this year with strong criticism of two influential environmental groups: the Everglades Coalition and Everglades Foundation. She pulls no punches.

In the editorial by Commissioner Taylor she mentions an email referencing the Herbert Hoover Dike which surrounds Lake Okeechobee:

Some activists’ desires apparently go far further than wanting to end Florida agriculture. A Feb. 11 post of a Sierra Club email exchange suggested that “a dike failure would fix everything. The human toll would be inconceivable. The benefits to our environment would be immeasurable.”
     “Inconceivable” is right! More than 39,000 people live in Hendry County.

It sounds inconceivable anyone would think a breach and resulting collapse of the dike would be a good idea but that is exactly what one ‘environmentalist’ suggested. If you didn’t know there is a mass grave in West Palm Beach with bodies recovered when a previous dike collapsed. You can learn more about that here.

Peter Schorsch at the Florida Politics blog broke this story last February and here are some excerpts:

For those of paying attention, however, they have no doubt been aware of the release of excess water from Lake Okeechobee, a result of historically high El Niño rainfall in South Florida.
     Unsurprisingly, environmentalists have been vocal in opposition. But this time, the rhetoric may be getting out of hand.

[and. . .]

     In one email, an activist named Mike Elfenbein goes beyond the pale.
     Elfenbein, in an especially nasty rant, wishes death via a disastrous Herbert Hoover Dike failure, resulting in the death of thousands of South Floridians. Such a catastrophe would “fix everything,” [emphasis added] noting the human toll would be “inconceivable.”
     But the benefits to the environment would be “immeasurable,” he concludes, drawing a line in the sand. “Question is … Which side are you on? Human or nature?”

[lastly, Mr. Schorsch has this observation. . .]

     It may seem passe to say so, but wishing death on opponents is not the most efficient way of winning hearts and minds.
     When forced to choose between living with humans or going down with Mother Nature, I may be selfish, but I’ll side with humans.

Understandably, there is a lot of frustration about the Lake Okeechobee, “Send It South!”, and water releases but there needs to be some perspective also. In the article cited above is a reference to Godwin’s Law: What happens when the debate gets out of control. Good advice.

A year later—debunked and unchallenged—The Palm Beach Post feature on the number of homeless in the City of Lake Worth

The blog post below is from December 2015, debunking the Post’s ‘news’ on the homeless situation in the City of Lake Worth and no one has challenged these conclusions. Several times this has been re-posted, at least 5 times (or more) moved to the top of the blog.

There is more information that will interest many of you. The City of Lake Worth is getting help from many sources to solve the homeless issue such as transitional housing—getting people off the street and into a home. But. . . did you know when someone is placed in a home they are still counted as homeless? Multiply that by a factor of five or ten and you see where this is going.

The cities and County are spending a lot of money to get a person off the street and statistically that money doesn’t show up as a result

Without further ado. . . the original blog post from December 2015:

First off, the front page, above the fold story in Sunday’s (12/6/15) Palm Beach Post is not new news. The Post’s Matt Morgan reported on this in April 2015. You can draw your own conclusions why this story was a big splash in the paper eight months later.

As to the question, is the homeless count of 142 in Lake Worth bogus? It is likely so and the clue can be found in this news release from April 23rd, 2015 titled, “County Releases Numbers for 24-Hour Homeless Point-in-Time Count”. The Post story on December 6th relied heavily on this information and it’s dubious at best. Here is an excerpt from the news release:

     The 2015 Point-in-Time Count indicates that across Palm Beach County during a 24-hour time period, 1,421 individuals and families were considered homeless as defined by the federal “Homeless Emergency Assistance and Rapid Transition to Housing Act.The count included those staying in emergency shelters, transitional housing and places not meant for human habitation.
     This year, the Point-in-Time Count was undertaken by a total of 220 individuals including staff from Palm Beach County, the Homeless Agency, Veterans Administration, School District of Palm Beach County, Homeless Coalition, and United Way; agency board members; a local city commissioner; college students and volunteers. They completed 1,214 surveys in the field along with initial vulnerability assessments. Surveys were completed on paper and with a mobile application.
     Field outreach efforts were conducted by 17 teams that traveled throughout the county with the assistance of law enforcement officers from the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office, the City of Boca Raton, Riviera Beach and the City of West Palm Beach. The teams were also joined by staff from Palm Beach County departments including Parks and Recreation, Youth Services and Community Services. Teams searched in wooded areas, abandoned buildings, alleyways and parks, and spoke with individuals at intersections and in front of stores. A targeted outreach was conducted at midnight in John Prince Park[you’ll see why this is important later] In addition, counters traveled across the county to survey in places where homeless tend to go, including food pantries, soup kitchens, and libraries.

When the data in Sunday’s Post indicated that Lake Worth had 142 homeless as opposed to Delray Beach having 63 my radar immediately went up. Delray Beach in land area is approximately 2½ times the size of Lake Worth and Lake Worth has approximately 27,000 fewer residents than Delray Beach. Then how could Lake Worth, a small city in southern Palm Beach County (PBC), have 142 homeless?

The data can’t, by any means, be called scientific. It’s a “snapshot in time”. Here is the final report submitted to Tallahassee by the PBC Human Services Executive Director. Below is an image from the PBC website:

Interestingly all of the above links work except for one [link no longer works], the scoring tool:
It’s an innocent error and will likely be fixed soon but you can’t truly analyze the data when the tool isn’t available to see how the data was collected in the first place. Was part of the tool” a person’s address/location with Zip Code? This is a crucial point.

As most everyone knows John Prince Park has a high number of homeless people and many of these people go into the downtown of Lake Worth for a multitude of reasons and return to the park. Lake Worth has the closest downtown from the park, easily walked, biked, and is also along a bus route. When you search for John Prince Park on the PBC website this is what you find:

John Prince Park IS NOT in Lake Worth. The park is unincorporated PBC or suburban Lake Worth. The park’s address is a mailing address. The City of Lake Worth uses 2 Zip Codes: 33460 and a part of 33461. If you Google for Lake Worth Zip Codes a total of 9 show up and here is an explanation.

Once again from the information above, here are the people tasked with counting the homeless:

. . .[t]he Point-in-Time Count was undertaken by a total of 220 individuals including staff from Palm Beach County, the Homeless Agency, Veterans Administration, School District of Palm Beach County, Homeless Coalition, and United Way; agency board members; a local city commissioner; college students and volunteers.

Some questions: Were these homeless counters trained on the difference between municipal borders and unincorporated PBC? One of the guidelines in counting homeless are people living in campgrounds—were campers staying in tents in John Prince Park Campground counted as homeless? There are anecdotal reports of homeless people being dropped off in our City’s Bryant Park; where did they come from? The Homeless Point-in-Time Count raises more questions than answers.

The number 142 is a snapshot in time. A front page picture in the Post of the homeless in our Bryant Park is also a snapshot in time 11 months after the County's homeless count. An hour earlier or an hour later the homeless may have decided to go somewhere else, like John Prince Park or West Palm Beach or Boynton Beach. 

And once again, why is a news story from January, reported in the Post first the previous April now a front page, above the fold “POST EXCLUSIVE on December 6th? Raises more questions than answers does it not?
In December, “Cities look for remedies as homelessness rises”. The previous April, Matt Morgan had this article in the Post titled, “Homelessness continues to decline in Palm Beach County”.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Post editorial board tries to appease the Trump voters: Let’s “bridge that gap”, and please, “with no prejudgment”

UPDATEThere’s a newspaper executive “Post-election analysis” tomorrow:

“On Dec. 14 at the Palm Beach County Convention Center at 7:45 a.m., join our South Florida newspaper executives as they discuss their coverage of the recent presidential election . . . as well as how they combat perceptions of media bias propagated during the recent campaign.”

To register for this Chamber of Commerce of The Palm Beaches event use this link. The newspaper executives will be from:
  • The Palm Beach Post
  • The Miami Herald
  • Sun Sentinel 
  • Scripps Treasure Coast Newspapers
    If you recall, on December 7th (and this is not a joke), The Palm Beach Post editorial board held a “Facebook live chat with Trump voters” and. . . 

    “We narrowed our invitation down to a dozen or so [emphasis added] Palm Beach County voters.”

    However, that brings up the obvious question: Will the editors invite a “dozen or so” Democrats in for a Facebook live chat? Possibly discuss why the editorial board didn’t endorse Hillary? And they didn’t endorse Mr. Trump either. Why didn’t they make any endorsement?

    And maybe the editors will discuss this too:

    A full page ad in the Post on Sunday, November 6th, page A5, two days before election day. The editors need to “bridge that gap” with Democrats too, don’t you think?

    From Facebook: State Senator Jeff Clemens on that decision by The Palm Beach Post

    “This is a TERRIBLE decision by our local newspaper. Evidently, what happens in our state capitol is of little interest to them.”

    Many people are upset about what happened to reporters John Kennedy and David Rogers. And many in the media are talking about this, well, except for the Post. After the initial announcement there hasn’t been any mention of this in our local newspaper. From reporter Jim Rosica at SaintPetersBlog is this article titled, “Palm Beach Post closes capital bureau, lets John Kennedy go”; an excerpt:

         His [John Kennedy’s] wife, Miami Herald capital bureau chief Mary Ellen Klas, added in her own post: “Sad news for us this holiday season as the troubling trend continues. It’s one more chapter ended but another to come for my resilient, talented and respected (husband).”
         POLITICO Florida scribe Matt Dixon quickly noted on Twitter: “The (Post’s) decision leaves the state’s third largest county without any full time reporters covering state government.”
         The Post is owned by Cox Media Group, which also publishes the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Austin American-Statesman and other papers, as well as holds an array of television and radio stations, websites and direct mail companies.

    And so it goes. . . How is it Palm Beach County ends up with one of the worst newspapers in Florida? Wouldn’t it be nice to have a paper like the Tampa Bay Times here?

    Jazz vocalist Yvette Norwood-Tiger: Special concert this Friday in Downtown Lake Worth

    Acclaimed jazz vocalist Yvette Norwood-Tiger and her jazz ensemble will perform works by the late Billie Holiday plus a few holiday standards.

    “A special concert will take place next Friday night (12/16) at the Cultural Council of Palm Beach County featuring jazz vocalist Yvette Norwood-Tiger. The last time she performed here it was sold out. This local artist is a huge hit.

    Use this link or call 561-472-3338 to purchase tickets and to learn more. But hurry. Tickets won’t last long.

    Get ready for some Christmas Cheer in Downtown Lake Worth!

    Lake Worth City Commission meeting tonight, excerpts & highlights from the “Agender”

    Ever watch a City Commission meeting online? Learn how below.

    The Consent “Agender” (Item 9) is very long, from A–Z then AA up to FF. It’s a long one. Plenty of opportunity for one particular commissioner to pull some items for monkeywrenching (see below).

    To watch this meeting Live use this link and click on “Video of Public Meetings” at the top right of the page. Meeting doesn’t show up? Wait a few minutes and try again. Commission meetings are later archived for the public. See that list using this link.

    If you hear or read something about tomorrow’s meeting take a few minutes and see for yourself if what you heard is true or not. Here is the link to the agenda.

    When you open up the agenda look on the left side for the “Bookmarks” menu bar. Instead of scrolling through the entire agenda you can go directly to that item. For example, look in the bookmarks section for Item 12B - Ordinance 2017-02 on pages 705–707. This agenda item will be getting a lot of attention.

    Below are excerpts and highlights, things you may want to pay special attention to, starting with Item 5 [highlights added]:

    5. Presentations (there is no public comment on Presentation items)
    A. Proclamation recognizing Farmer Girl Restaurant for supporting the community every year on Thanksgiving Day
    B. Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office Community Police update
    C. County Fire Rescue Station 91 recognition for Station of the Year award presented by the County Chamber of Commerce
    D. Palm Beach County Cultural Council update
    E. South Palm Park Neighborhood Association update
    6. Commission Liaison Reports and Comments
    7. Public Participation of Non-Agendaed Items and Consent Agenda (public comment allowed during Public Participation of Non-Agendaed items) Note: Two (2) minute limit!

    [and. . .]

    9. Consent Agenda 
    A. Resolution No. 58-2016 - record the official results of the municipal bond referendum election
    B. Resolution No. 59-2016 - set the general election ballot for March 14, 2017

    [and. . .]

    E. Resolution No. 62-2016 - authorize the process for the issuance of General Obligation Bonds in an aggregate principal amount not to exceed $40,000,000

    [and. . .]

    12. New Business
    A. Ordinance No. 2017-01 - First Reading - call for a charter referendum election and schedule the public hearing date for January 10, 2017
    B. Ordinance No. 2017-02 - First Reading - prohibit conversion therapy on minors and schedule the public hearing date for January 10, 2017
    C. Ordinance No. 2017-03 - First Reading - compensation adjustment for elected officials and schedule the public hearing date for January 10, 2017
    13. Lake Worth Electric Utility:
    A. Presentation (there is no public comment on Presentation items)
    1) Update on the electric utility system

    [and. . .]

    D. New Business
    1) Agreement with Turbine Technology Services Corporation for the Gas Turbine Unit-2
    2) Annual Florida Municipal Electric Association membership dues for Fiscal Year 2017
    3) Professional Service Agreement with Spectrum Systems
    4) Proposal with Mock Roos & Associates, Inc. for Park of Commerce Phase 1A design engineering services
    5) The City of Lake Worth Electric Distribution System Upgrade from 4.16kV to 26.4kV

    This meeting will be a long one. But expect it to go way into the evening if one commissioner, Chris McVoy, PhD, thinks everyone needs a another long lecture on one thing or another, aka “monkeywrenching”. And expect to be reminded several times by McVoy that he has a PhD. It’s easy to forget:

    Talk “at great length” and “raise the question” are two of McVoy’s favorites. To really slow things down, he’ll bring up matters “decided upon at the last meeting”.

    I had a very good conversation with Mr. Buddy Tuppen last week

    [Received several emails yesterday about this subject from those with memories of the C-51 Canal prior to construction of the S-155 Spillway structure (see first image below). One of those observations was this: the City of Lake Worth once faced the C-51 Canal. The canal was an integral part of our community. Since the S-155? Our City has turned its back on this once-important asset.

    Prior to construction of the Spillway there was once boating and waterway access between the Intracoastal and further inland. Construction of the S-155 ended that. The Blueway Trail with a boat lift and canoe/kayak trail would restore an important part of this areas heritage and history as a boating, fishing, and tourism community.

    And this is important as well: learning more about this history helps to explains Lake Worth’s steep economic decline starting in the 1960’s which you can still see to this day. It wasn’t just the construction of I-95 that choked off the once-vibrant Dixie Hwy in this City, there were other contributing factors as well. The C-51 Canal, for most people now, is just a waterway that defines the border between Lake Worth and West Palm Beach. It wasn’t always that way.

    Hope you enjoy reading, “I had a very good conversation with Mr. Buddy Tuppen. . .”]

    That would be Buddy Tuppen, the son of another Mr. Tuppen who founded Tuppen’s Marine and Tackle on Dixie Hwy. here in Lake Worth. It was an earlier conversation with Mr. Joseph “Jay” Fearnley at the Lake Worth Rotary that set all this in motion. 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 after speaking with Mr. Fearnley: the Blueway Trail in the context of history. There once was a marina on the C-51 Canal in Lake Worth. More on that below; first some images to put this in perspective:

    Inside the hashed box: Spillway Park, C-51 Canal and the S-155 “spillway” 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?

    Buddy Tuppen is in his 80’s now. His family used to live on 15th Ave. North and would ride his bike with other kids to fish around what is now Spillway Park. Doing the math that must have been around the late 1940’s.

    He remembers the era when the picture was taken (see image above from the 1950’s). This was south and east of the previous Dixie Hwy. bridge. You can see that on the aerial. He said there was also a “lock” so that boats could pass through. He said the land was owned either by the City or the County (Jay Fearnley said the City owned that land). He remembered boats in slips that were perpendicular with the dock which ran parallel to the shoreline of the C-51.

    The marina was run by a fellow named Bill Murrelle. After the City or County made him leave he set up shop in Lantana and had a place called Murrelle Marine which is still in business today. Murrelle sold that business but it kept the same name. He has since passed after moving to Sebastian.

    Buddy Tuppen went on to give more interesting history: his Grandfather bought the land where Tuppen’s Marine is today. The business began in either 1936 or 1937. His grandfather bought the land for past due taxes, about $38. Buddy said his Grandfather had to borrow the money from friends to make the purchase and wondered how he was going to pay it back.

    Prior to being Tuppen’s Marine that lot had been a Ford dealership that was wiped out by the 1928 hurricane. The property sat idle after that hurricane until it was purchased by the Grandfather Tuppen’s in the mid 30’s.

    Do you have any more history and/or pictures of this area along the C-51 Canal is Lake Worth? Please feel free to contact me: 561-308-0364; email:

    The showroom “Grand Opening” at Tuppen’s in the 1950s. Its still there at 1006 N. Dixie Hwy.

    Will another marina open up on the C-51 Canal? If so, customers will be heading to stores like Tuppen’s, eating at our restaurants, and looking for hotels. Just like it used to be in the little City of Lake Worth.

    Monday, December 12, 2016

    Another stroll down memory lane: Remember when the Post reporter wrote that Herman Robinson is a “developer”?

    Remember this from the file, “Could only happen in Lake Worth”?
    No. Herman is not a ‘developer’. This is called “spin” or loaded language. Remember when the Lake Worth ordinance to curb drug use in Downtown parks was reported a ‘curfew’? Just one word can spin “the news” in a negative way.

    Calling someone a “developer” in Lake Worth can be like waving a blood-drenched flag in front of a bull having a really bad day. But that’s what Post reporter Chris Persaud did to Herman Robinson in August of 2014 leading up to that bond vote to fix our roads. Don’t believe me? Use this link. Herman’s only crime was being Chair of the “YES” PAC formed to promote the bond and get our roads and potholes fixed.

    In an ironic twist, Mr. Persaud was later nominated for two prestigious journalism awards for election reporting at the Post and won! Not joking. Read about that using this link. Persaud is forever immortalized now as one of the greats in Palm Beach County journalism. If you recall, that bond vote in 2014 failed by just 25 votes.

    The latest news is Herman is running for a seat on the City Commission, the elections to be held in March of 2017. Judging by the attendance at his campaign kick-off event last week many people are very excited.

    Anyhow, following is a blog post from August 2014 when Herman was described as a ‘developer’:

    I have it from a reliable source that Chris Persaud called Herman Robinson yesterday afternoon to apologize for misrepresenting his profession. In reality, Herman is a contractor, but more in the sense of a Mister-Fix-It, than a Morganti (the contractor that did the work on the casino building). In either case, he would not be classified as a developer.

    In typical Herman Robinson style he took the high road I'm told and they talked like two gentlemen for a few minutes. I'll see Herman tonight at the Commission Meeting. Unsure if there was an official apology or if a retraction is coming yet we'll discover that soon enough. [There never was a correction or retraction published.]

    Now for the illogical nonsense of The Obtuse Blogger (TOB). She comes to the defense of Persaud and in a twisted process of thought she equates having a “contractors license” to being a “developer.” Using her logic you can call someone with a fishing license a “harvester”; someone with a vending license a “venture capitalist”; or even someone with a hunting license has a “license to kill.” It is almost as illogical as an Atlantis resident forming a PAC to keep our City looking like a “third-world country". [Which actually did happen.]

    Now, sit back and be prepared for what TOB wrote on her blog. This, better than anything, illustrates just how illogical this whole issue is.
    Hey, this is election time. And . . . the bully blogger is giving the Palm Beach Post reporter hell today and wants to nit-pick everything to death.

    Only in Lake Worth: A City where a contractor is an evil developer and the reporter goes on to win a prestigious award for election reporting!

    Photo of Lake Worth, FL: View is east towards Atlantic Ocean from the Northwest Ballfields

    Photo courtesy of James Stafford Photography. Note the Lake Worth Lagoon in the distance and the Town of Palm Beach (33480).

    Tonight: Food Truck Invasion at the Cultural Plaza in Downtown LDub

    “LDub” is a good-hearted, short-hand nickname for “Lake Worth”. We all have to remember from time to time there are many new residents of this little City. To learn more see below for an explanation and three (3) usage examples in speech.

    The Food Truck Invasion is every second Monday in the City. Check out their website. South Shores? Ask somebody about that when you show up.

    LDub explained with 3 usage examples. LDub, or L-Dub, is the nickname for “Lake Worth”. The ‘L’ is short for “Lake” and ‘Dub’ is short for “double-‘u’ ” as in the letter “W”, hence the term LDub.

    1. Used in a sentence by a Hipster Millennial: “Welcome to LDub dude! Been to World Thrift yet?” 
    2. By an Anarchist Millennial: “Hey! That’s not fair. Who didn’t clean out my LDub poop bucket!”.
    3. By a convert to Apatharchism: “That’s it. I’ve had enough of this LDub Anarch bs. I’m going to be a Citizen on Patrol (COP) for PBSO or move to Cuba.”.
    Try using the slang “LDub” yourself at the Food Truck Invasion this Monday!

    Sunday, December 11, 2016

    “Bad News” about 2 tremendous reporters. Did the Post make a “Colossal Mistake” shutting down its printing presses? About that ‘curfew’ too. . .

    UPDATE. Read about Post reporter John Kennedy and Palm Beach Daily News (aka, the Shiny Sheet) reporter David Rogers being let go, use this link. And datelined December 9th, herenews from Adam Smith, the Political Editor at the Tampa Bay Times (newspaper the winner of 12 Pulitzer Prizes), an excerpt:

    Lousy news, via the talented John Kennedy of the Palm Beach Post, which for as long as I can remember has been one of the leading sources for state government news in Florida.
         “Dear Friends: The Palm Beach Post has decided to close the Tallahassee bureau. The paper’s future is local and digital, and coverage of the goings-on in the state Capitol don’t meld as well with this direction...,”

    And no. There never was a “curfew” in the little City of Lake Worth. To read about that “Bad News” in the Post and loaded language use this link.

    Anyhow, do you know where the Post newspaper is printed? Hint: It’s not in Palm Beach County; the answer is below. Senior media writer Jack Shafer wrote this must-read article in Politico Magazine titled, “What If the Newspaper Industry Made a Colossal Mistake?” Here are two excerpts:

    What if the industry should have stuck with its strengths—the print editions where the vast majority of their readers still reside and where the overwhelming majority of advertising and subscription revenue come from—instead of chasing the online chimera?* [emphasis added]

    [and. . .]

         As she [Iris Chyi of the University of Texas] explains, the circulation of the supposedly dying print product may be in decline, but it still reaches many more readers than the supposedly promising digital product in home markets, and this trend holds across all age groups. For all the expense of building, programming and hosting them, online editions haven't added much in the way of revenue, either.
         For years, the standard view in the newspaper industry has been that print newspapers will eventually evolve into online editions and reconvene the mass audience newspapers enjoy there. But that’s not what’s happening. Readers continue to leave print newspapers, but they’re not migrating to the online editions.

    If you get the digital Post you can understand why serious newspaper readers would be unhappy. Below are just two examples from previous posts on this blog of ‘news’ in The Palm Beach Post, which is really just trolling social media for data that was aggregated, reworded and this is the result:

    For those looking to travel and find love, West Palm Beach may not be the place to go. The Palm Beach County city was named the fifth least sexy city in the United States, according to a survey by travel dating site that was published by college news site Coed.

    This “news” by the Post is complete nonsense—note the sources. This ‘data’ is called aggregation which can be summed up this way: Garbage In Garbage Out (GIGO). The City of Lake Worth was subjected to this silliness last year (remember Neighborhood Scout?). Here is another excerpt from the ‘news’:

    [I]t [West Palm Beach] was not seen favorably on lists ranking best performing metro areas and places to raise a family, which listed it near the bottom. Read more at Coed.

    Coed? This sort of content never reaches the print edition. It’s used as clickbait to get readers to visit the online edition. So, do you know who the Post uses to print their newspapers? The Sun Sentinel in Broward County does and sends those papers north in big trucks.

    *Synonyms for the word Chimera: dream, fantasy, delusion.