Sunday, April 30, 2017

Deadline is tomorrow. Attention all families with children in the City of Lake Worth: “2017 Summer Camp Scholarships”.


The deadline to apply for “Cultural Summer Camp Scholarships” has been extended to Monday, May 1st at 11:59 p.m.


“The Palm Beach County Cultural Council [located at 601 Lake Ave. in Downtown Lake Worth] and our partner organizations provide various scholarships and prizes to Palm Beach County families looking to participate in the county’s many summer cultural offerings.”

To read the guidelines and apply for a scholarship use this link.

Calling All Artists: The 2017–2018 Palm Beach Charity Register Cover Competition.


“We are now accepting submissions for the fourth annual Palm Beach Charity Register Cover Competition. Entries should be original works that convey the concept of philanthropy, community, sharing or charitable giving.”

The 2016–2017 Cover.
For more about the contest use this link. For questions send an email to Nicole Ehrlich: nehrlich@palmbeachmedia.com

“The winning image of the Charity Register Cover Competition will be published on the front cover of the 2017–18 edition of the Palm Beach Charity Register. A photo and brief story of the artist will appear inside the magazine and this year’s winner will be awarded a $500 cash prize.”

“Engaging Youth to Create Community Places” and bold ideas needed for the future of our City’s Casino and Beach.

More and more people are questioning the idea of a new municipal pool at the Beach when there are so many other and better options for community access. One location bandied about is Bryant Park and there are other locations Downtown as well. Starting some time in June the debate will begin about the pool and the questions need to asked in order: 1) Should the City even have a municipal pool? 2) Where should the pool be located?

Just having a pool at the Beach because we’ve always had one there is not justification enough. For most families here in the City of Lake Worth a trip to the pool costs too much. For a family of four each day at the pool is $16 with parking.

Remember, the pool was shut down once before in 2012 because the City was running out of money to keep it open and going forward the public will be tasked with subsidizing a municipal pool. But what about the Beach? Could something be constructed there to attract more people and get more interest? What do Millennials want at our Beach? Teenagers and “young people”?

Below is an excerpt from the Project for Public Spaces written by Cheryl Millard:

     “Young people use public spaces just as much as anyone else, if not more. And yet, too often young people, or young adults between the ages of 12 to 25, are not included in the process of Placemaking and end up “loitering” in other spaces. [emphasis added] Some communities frown upon loitering, which can create a negative image for young people and just contributes to the stigma surrounding them, especially those who are at risk. By being actively engaged in youth-friendly spaces, young people can feel like they have investment in their community and they can develop a strong sense of ownership in these places.
     Parks and public spaces are often built with small children and adults in mind, with an emphasis on playgrounds for the children and benches for the adults watching them. Alternatively, some public spaces are simply devoid of activity or amenities – conducive to picnicking or maybe playing ball, but offering little else for young people. With nothing to do after school, they hang out at train stations, shopping centers, and local parks.


The conversation will begin soon on how to fix all the problems at the Lake Worth Casino and the future of the pool. As part of that conversation wouldn’t part of that discussion be how to keep the younger people, teenagers for instance, more “busy” and engaged? What better place, or space, for that than the Casino complex at the beach?

If the City is going to have a public amenity at the Beach, is a pool the best option?
Photo of Lake Worth Casino Complex by Skyline Aerials, LLC. Where else can you envision a public pool in the City of Lake Worth?

What could be at the Casino complex to attract more young people and keep them excited? Not all of the younger people get excited about laying on the beach or surfing. How about a skate park? There is plenty of space for one. Volleyball courts with stands for the community to watch? Or an outdoor auditorium for plays and other activities?

Start coming up with ideas. Before long your elected officials will asking you what you think. Here’s another idea: How about shuffleboard courts as part of a sports complex?

Artists and Musicians: “Get Involved, Get Connected, Get LULA”.

LULA  =  LUcerne  +  LAke, our two east-west Downtown avenues in the little City of Lake Worth.

To become a member of LULA Lake Worth Arts use this link to download the “Artist/Musician Membership Information Form”. For more information contact Emily Theodossakos at 561-493-2550; email: etheodossakos@lakeworth.org

“LULA Lake Worth Arts is looking for local artist. Lake Worth is fortunate to be sited as a community with an abundant interest and support for the arts. The Community Redevelopment Agency is seeking to revitalize the downtown by infusing arts with other economic development efforts, including live-work studio spaces for artists, new opportunities for artists, and LULA, an arts program geared to making this all happen.”

Twenty-Six Sunday’s Ago. Published in The Palm Beach Post: “DRAIN THE WASHINGTON SWAMP! VOTE TRUMP!”

All us Democrats here in Palm Beach County were in stunned disbelief when Mr. Donald Trump was elected President of the United States last November 8th. Readers of The Palm Beach Post who were Democrats were in stunned disbelief two days prior as well, on Sunday, November 6th, when they turned to page A5 (see image below; note: may be disturbing for some readers) — a full-page ad with that blaring message in BOLDFACE!, ALL CAPS! — “VOTE TRUMP!

When Mr. Donald Trump was elected President of the United States two days later the editors at the Post were consumed with grief. Then for Democrats, to add insult to injury, the editors hosted a Facebook forum to appease Trump supporters who felt they were disparaged and maligned by the newspaper.

Didn’t Hillary Clinton supporters deserve an explanation why the Post published full-page ads for Trump?

However, the big unanswered question is why didn’t The Palm Beach Post editorial board endorse Hillary Clinton in heavily Democrat-leaning Palm Beach County? They didn’t endorse then-citizen Mr. Trump either. Why didn’t they make any endorsement for President of the United States?

Did the decision of no endorsement for Hillary Clinton simply come down to appeasing the Bernie Sanders supporters? If that’s the case, maybe they forget this election result:

Bernie Sanders: 27.2%.
The primary results from 2016.

Didn’t Clinton supporters in Palm Beach County deserve an explanation or even a Facebook “Live Chat” like the supporters of once-citizen and now President Donald Trump got? 

Did you spill your coffee all over the place when you turned the page from A3 that day and saw this image on the spread?
Maybe Hillary Clinton supporters should purchase an ad in the Post next Sunday, a full-page one titled, “DRAIN THE WASHINGTON SWAMP AGAIN!”

Two PACs are no more: Citizens Against Unfair Taxation (CAUT) and Forced To Farm.

To see the current list of Political Action Committees (PACs) here in Palm Beach County use this link to the Supervisor of Elections website. Imagine my surprise to find out two PACs in particular are no longer on the list. One of those not listed any longer is the “Forced To Farm” PAC.

Former Lake Worth Commissioner Suzanne Mulvehill, the champion of resiliency, sustainability, anti-development, etc., while an elected commissioner here in the City of Lake Worth later became Chair of the Forced to Farm PAC that was organized to loosen regulations on land development in the Ag Reserve. Try to wrap your head around that one.

Here is an article from Post reporter Wayne Washington from back in 2016, an excerpt:

     "The Palm Beach County Commission gave final approval to comprehensive plan changes that could spur more residential and commercial development in the Agricultural Reserve, a 22,000-acre farming and conservation zone west of Boynton Beach and Delray Beach.
     Commissioners voted Wednesday on two changes, one that makes it easier for small landowners in the reserve to sell developers the development rights attached to their property. The other change grants three specific property owners — Delray Growers, Steve and Rose Homrich, and Jim Alderman — the right to have commercial development on their property."

Come on Lake Worth!
The image above is by the inimitable blogger-extraordinaire Tom McGow from May 2010.

And there’s another PAC that’s not on the list any more: Citizens Against Unfair Taxation (CAUT). You may recall the kerfuffle when the Chair of CAUT lost control at a City Commission workshop last year:

We learned at this City Commission workshop that because that Katie McGiveron's CAUT PAC scuttled the LW2020 bond to fix the roads and potholes BY JUST 25 VOTES in 2014 it will now cost $9 million more to fix the City’s roads.
     At the end of the City’s workshop McGiveron went completely nuts to the shock of nearly everyone in the chamber and the meeting was shut down. At one point Vice Mayor Maxwell was heard saying, “Is there a doctor in the house?

The CAUT PAC is no more:
CAUT may be gone, but there’s still the “Save Our Neighborhood” PAC:

A “Waiver of Report” from last year. Click on image to enlarge:
Use this link to download one of this PACs latest treasurer reports. By the way, where exactly is “Our Neighborhood” they’re trying to “Save”?

Saturday, April 29, 2017

“The Avenue, which encompasses four blocks between the Atlantic Ocean and the edge of Lake Worth. . .”


“Sitting pretty on the 16-mile-long stretch of opulent mansions, impeccable landscaping and fountain-lined streets in Palm Beach is Worth Avenue, perhaps one of the most luxurious shopping districts in the country. Between the whitewashed stucco and red-tiled shingles of the courtyard ‘vias’ and the Mediterranean-esque sculptures and fountains that embellish its quaint streets, Palm Beach’s premier shopping destination is an enclave for style and grace with all the charm of the town’s historic flair. The Avenue, which encompasses four blocks between the Atlantic Ocean and the edge of Lake Worth [emphasis added] as well as its pedestrian side-street vias, was founded in the 1920s by Addison Mizner and boasts more than 200 shops, restaurants and galleries that epitomize the best of high-end merchandise and lavish amenities.”
—Read more from an article in Haute Living titled, “A look at Palm Beach’s Luxe Worth Avenue”.

The City of Lake Worth is Palm Beach’s neighbor to the west which also has it’s own unique “charm of the town’s historic flair” since becoming a municipality in 1913. A City that Carleton Varney at the Palm Beach Daily News (aka, The Shiny Sheet) wrote last month in this article,


“Visiting Lake Worth is a trip into Florida’s past, and the town is home to many new residents who wish to live in simple comfort among the delights of the flora, the Intracoastal Waterway and the beach fronting the historic Lake Worth Casino.”

Tomorrow at 4:00: “Zimmermann’s Café: Music Written Today; Composers Here and Now at St. Andrew’s”.

Below are two excerpts from this week’s Lake Worth Herald:

Back by popular demand for a second event to complete its inaugural season, Zimmermann’s Café Chamber Music will present a concert at 4 p.m. on Sunday, Apr. 30 in the parish hall of St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, Lake Worth.
     Emulating J.S. Bach and the Collegium Musicum he directed in Leipzig, Germany, who gathered regularly to perform recent works for one another and discuss them with friends in the informal atmosphere of a local coffeehouse, Zimmermann’s Café Chamber Music will present new works and works-in-progress by South Florida composers Ferdinando DeSena, Clare Shore, Gregory Stepanich, Timothy Thompson and Donald Waxman.

and. . .
 
     Tickets are $20 payable at the door (no reservations will be taken); Free for students w/ID.
     St. Andew’s Episcopal Church is located at the corner of Lucerne Avenue and Palmway, just three blocks west of the Lake Worth Bridge.
     For additional information call 561-586-0532.


Use this link to contact the Herald or call 561-585-9387.
Pick up the print edition at the City’s newsstand, 601 Lake Ave., across the street from the Palm Beach County Cultural Council.

“Hmmmm. Only 66 days until the July 4th Raft Race. Should we be getting ready?”

The theme for this year’s 16th Annual July 4th Great American Raft Race is “Under The Big Top:

Noun: “A large tent at a circus under which the main attractions are featured. Used figuratively to refer to the location where a primary or major event, show, or attraction is held, often in the phrase under the big top”. Adjective:Featured as the primary or major event, attraction, show, etc.

We’ll have two new electeds in the race this year: District 2 Commissioner Omari Hardy and District 4 Commissioner Herman Robinson. Here’s a video from July 4th, 2015.



Don’t forget what local reporters in press and media did last year to cancel our Raft Race. Dont let that nonsense happen again.


And also don’t forget the sponsors last year who stood by the Neighborhood Asssoc. Presidents’ Council (NAPC) and did their best to make it a great holiday weekend after all:

Click on image to enlarge from last year’s Raft Race:
“Thank You to Our Generous Sponsors”.

Found this Lake Worth postcard of the “Tropical Inn” (see below).

The “Tropical Inn” location is described as follows:  

“Lake Worth FL Hotel Tropical Inn Federal Highway and Lucerne, opposite the City Hall. Enjoy the comfort of a hotel with home atmosphere. Modern hotel rooms with private bath. Short distance to beach, fishing, 18-hole golf course and shopping district. Owner Management Mr. and Mrs. Harold Chamberlain.

By the description, it would seem to be the property north of the current City Hall annex at the Downtown Cultural Plaza (the former City Hall), or perhaps across the street to the east. The current City Hall used to be the City’s Municipal Auditorium.

Click on postcard to enlarge, the “Tropical Inn”:
Prior to I-95 our main roadways in the City of Lake Worth looked very different. It was called the “Mom & Pop” era of motels and eateries for visitors and tourists. There remains one notable survivor, now called the Blue Front BBQ on Dixie Hwy.

A little something special to share with my blog readers: Lake Worth’s “Municipal Anthem”.

I stumbled on this way back in September of 2011. I think it’s to the tune of “O Tannenbaum”:

Lake Worth, Florida
By Dr. W. H. Cotton [circa 1920]
 
1
The nation
’s eye is on thy sands
Florida, O Florida!
Thy lovely shores and fertile lands,
Florida, O Florida!
The future whispers in thy pines,
It beckons in thy
“white coal” mines,
The pioneer to thee inclines
Florida, O Florida!
Oh, My Lake Worth, Florida!

2
Lake Worth
’s the place for you, to go,
Florida, O Florida!
They
’ll put you up a bungalow
Florida, O Florida!
The interest takes not a cent,
You pay the cost instead of rent.
What better plan could man invent?
Florida, O Florida!
Oh, My Lake Worth, Florida!

3
Adieu to bleak and frozen lands,
Florida, O Florida!
Adieu to wastes and desert sands,
Florida, O Florida!
In Florida I
’ll make my home,
Nor want the placer sands of Nome;
Her gold is in her fertile loam;
Florida, O Florida!
Oh, My Lake Worth, Florida!

4
Lake Worth will greet you with a smile,
Florida, O Florida!
She
’ll fix you up in bully style,
Florida, O Florida!
Beneath the kindly southern sun,
She
’ll see your fortune well begun;
You
’d better be upon the run.
(To) Florida, O Florida!
Oh, my Lake Worth, Florida

5
The Lake Worth Herald helps along,
Florida, O Florida!
It's editor is R. E. Strong.
Florida, O Florida!
he keeps things moving in the way
Of doing something day by day,
And renders service as he may
(For) Florida, O Florida!
Oh, my Lake Worth, Florida!

6
Our Governor reflects the hour,
Florida, O Florida!
He stands for Okeechobee
’s pow’r
Florida, O Florida!
Great Edison is with us, too,
And Bryan is of that great crew
That makes the prospect good to view,
(In) Florida, O Florida!
Oh, my Lake Worth, Florida!

7
Why falter, then? There
’s no excuse,
Florida, O Florida!
The
“Wizard” will turn on the “juice”.
Florida, O Florida!
The light and pow
’r are on the way,
And when they come they
’ll come to stay,
To usher in a brighter day,
(For) Florida, O Florida!
Oh, my Lake Worth Florida!

8
The
“Commoner’s” not here for fun,
Florida, O Florida!
He sees the chance-- sixteen to one ---
(In) Florida, O Florida!
With Trammal, Bryan and the rest
Lake Worth shall flower with the best -
Lake Worth, In Florida, the blest --
Florida, O Florida!
Oh, my Lake Worth, Florida



The image below is from The New York Times that mentions Trammell and Bryan from 1922. Trammell was the 21st Governor of the State of Florida and served as U.S. Senator for almost 20 years. The NYT article is near the date when the lyrics were authored, which would correspond with the “boom” period of 1920s Florida. Our Democratic Party roots run deep in our City:

Click on image to enlarge:
Special to The New York Times.

Did you know The Palm Beach Post increased rates for delivery? What will subscribers get in return?

Also, who do you contact when you see a false, inaccurate, or misleading news report in the Post? Find that out below.

Two weeks ago I cancelled the delivery of the print edition of The Palm Beach Post after receiving a notice they were raising their rates. Interestingly enough, they did this just as the last of the Snowbirds left for home back in Canada and elsewhere up north. Our Snowbirds had already cancelled their subscriptions until they come back in the Fall. The Post is keeping their fingers crossed they won’t notice the increased cost when they return.

Frankly, paying more for substandard local news reporting just didn’t make any sense. How many articles can you read about Code Enforcement here in the City of Lake Worth and meanwhile other cities in Palm Beach County are struggling with many of the same issues and that goes unreported?

Click on image to enlarge. Ending of letter from the “Director of Audience” at the Post:
The letter from Mr. Mark Sasser, the “Director of Audience”. “The cost to you” is going up because “we need to make adjustments to our delivery rates.” Reply with an email to “Dear Audience Director”: msasser@pbpost.com

Anyhow, earlier this week readers of my blog asked me if I’ve seen this item below in the Post, here’s the opening paragraph from a blurb last Tuesday in the print edition:

LAKE WORTH — The Lake Worth Pioneers’ Association will be honored at the Historical Society of Palm Beach County‘s annual meeting Tuesday at the Richard and Pat Johnson Palm Beach County History Museum, the old county courthouse at 300 N. Dixie Highway.

Two little problems with this item: No time was given for the meeting and the Palm Beach County History Museum isn’t in Lake Worth. The museum is located in West Palm Beach. How many people drove up and down Dixie Hwy. in Lake Worth looking for the museum last Tuesday?

It’s great that my readers care enough to notice false and inaccurate news reports; however, going forward it’s time for the City to step up and get more involved in monitoring the news media and the press. So. . . If you see a false, inaccurate, or misleading news report about our City here is what you do: Please forward that information to:
  • Mr. Ben Kerr, the City’s Communication Specialist
  • 561-586-1631
  • Email: bkerr@lakeworth.org
The actual “City of Lake Worth”. A mysterious concept for a lot of reporters:
Why do reporters such as Julius Whigham at the Post and Charlie Keegan at NBC5/WPTV understand municipal borders and so many other reporters don’t? Use this link to find out.

Another option is to contact your City commissioner or even the mayor if this topic is a concern of yours. Not satisfied with the response or received no response at all? Then go up the chain of command and contact the City Manager, Michael Bornstein.

And don’t forget this. Journalists should:
  • “Encourage the public to voice grievances against the news media.”
  • “Make certain that headlines, news teases and promotional material, photos, video, audio, graphics, sound bites and quotations do not misrepresent. They should not oversimplify or highlight incidents out of context.
  • “Disclose unavoidable conflicts.”
  • “Clarify and explain news coverage and invite dialogue with the public over journalistic conduct.
—Source: New York TimesLearning Network, Chapter 4.11: “The Society of Professional Journalists’ Code of Ethics”.

Very interesting item at the TCRPC. Addressing truck traffic on I-95 and train traffic on FEC/CSX lines: The “U.S. 27 multi-modal corridor initiative.”

Again. What happens at the Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council (TCRPC) is very important to cities like Lake Worth. The next meeting is on May 19th; the agenda is not yet available.

The two excerpts below are from the minutes of the meeting on March 17th (with emphasis added):

Staff also provided information on Commissioner Fielding’s [Ed Fielding Commissioner, Martin County] U.S. 27 multi-modal corridor initiative. This initiative is to add rail and improve the U.S. 27 corridor between PortMiami and cities around Lake Okeechobee. Staff noted this initiative is trying to bring more jobs to the Glades community as well as add a level of transportation for locating a logistics facility in the area. Staff explained this will relieve some of the truck and rail traffic on our coastal routes like I-95 and the Turnpike.

and. . .

Staff also noted the South Florida Regional Planning Council, which represents Broward, Miami-Dade, and Monroe counties, has expressed interest in participating in this project. Commissioner Valeche [Hal Valeche, Vice Mayor, Palm Beach County] asked if there is current rail service on that line. Staff indicated not on U.S. 27, but around Lake Okeechobee there are a lot of rail spurs, and the CSX line is very close to that corridor. Commissioner Valeche asked who will be the owner of the proposed rail. Commissioner Fielding indicated they are looking at getting federal and state funding. He said he sees this as having the operators lease the lines.

Stay tuned as they say.

Save The Date: Monday, May 22nd. Forum and Public Discussion. “West Palm Beach’s Growing Traffic Challenges”.

This meeting will be hosted by Town of Palm Beach Mayor Gail Coniglio, West Palm Beach Commissioner Shanon Materio, and Palm Beach County Commissioner Mack Bernard.

Use this link to learn more. The forum will begin at 8:00 at the Palm Beach County Convention Center, 650 Okeechobee Blvd.

Who should attend:
  • Urban planners
  • Traffic planners
  • Developers
  • General public
  • Neighborhood associations
  • Land use professionals
Topics include:
  • Infrastructure overview
  • Future development
  • Road closures
  • Pedestrian safety
  • Innovative solutions

News from the Cultural Council: Spread the word.


Press Release: Free Grant Application Training for Small and Emerging Nonprofits.

The Palm Beach County Cultural Council* is located in Downtown Lake Worth, open Tuesday–Saturday, 10:00–5:00.
For more information about grant application training leave a message with Judith Czelusniak at the Cultural Council: 561-471-1602: email: judith@palmbeachculture.com

Cultural Council of Palm Beach County Offers Grant Application Training to Small and Emerging Nonprofit Organizations

Lake Worth On May 8 and May 10, the Cultural Council of Palm Beach County will provide free training for its C-I grant application process for small or emerging nonprofit organizations offering community cultural programs and projects.
     As Palm Beach County nonprofit organizations prepare to submit FY 2017/2018 grant applications that are due in July, the Cultural Council invites Category C-I grant applicants to in-person and Webinar training.
     The training schedule for FY17/18 Category C-I Round 1 Application Training is:
     The deadline for application is July 7 for projects covering all of Fiscal Year 2017/2018. There are later deadlines in November and March for organizations requesting partial year funding. Applicants are eligible for up to $15,000, depending on their operating revenues. This is a matching grant program for Palm Beach County-based nonprofit organizations to promote and expand cultural activities for residents.

The Cultural Council of Palm Beach County administers the Category C-I program under contract with the Board of County Commissioners. Total program funding is dependent upon County Commission approval each fall.

*The Cultural Council galleries, visitor information center and store are located at 601 Lake Ave. in Downtown Lake Worth. For a complete calendar of cultural activities in The Palm Beaches use this link or call 561-471-2901. To plan a personalized cultural itinerary connect with the Cultural Concierge at the Cultural Council of Palm Beach County.

Artsy Fartsy! Visit Mr. Schlitz today. Sit in THE BIG CHAIR and say, “I’m acting like Lily Tomlin!”

Below is an interview with Mr. Brian Schlitz in a recent Lake Worth CRA newsletter Up Front, the article is titled, “Business Highlight: Artsy Fartsy Décor & More”:
“Lake Worth’s top business assets are the public officials in place”.
Mr. Schlitz invited me last month to come visit and take a seat on “The Big Chair”. So I hopped on down to our Downtown and met and talked with Brian for a bit and then he asked me to take a seat in the big, REALLY BIG, red Adirondack chair in front of his store. To say I was honored is an understatement.

To put the chair in perspective, my shoes are size 13 and Yours Truly is 6′5″:
Meet Wes! This photo reminds me of the character Edith Ann, played by Lily Tomlin on Laugh-In in the 60’s.

Here are excerpts from the interview with Mr. Schlitz:

Tell us about yourself?
I was born and raised in Staten Island, New York. I came from a large family; my brothers, sister and I longed for a warmer climate and Florida was the answer. After originally making Boca Raton home, I stumbled upon this one of a kind, close knit and charming town of Lake Worth.
What made you choose Lake Worth?
Lake Worth is a very artsy, charming town and the perfect place for a specialized, fun décor store. The locals and tourists, alike, love our pieces and feel right at home.
What do you like best about having your business within the City of Lake Worth?
Lake Worth’s top business assets are the public officials in place, the downtown (two downtown streets running east/west which allows for double the amount of walkability and opportunity), the beach casino and the artistic, quaint and close knit feel that makes Lake Worth so unique.

Thank You for choosing our little City of Lake Worth!

“Gentrification!” was not a factor in our City elections last March. Why? And explained: Politics of fear and what’s called “The Gentrification Paradox”.

The blog post below is quite lengthy. If you’re short on time today please check back later on. As always, Thank You for visiting today.

The word “gentrification”, once a favorite loaded word to create fear in past elections was not a factor at all in the last election cycle here in the City of Lake Worth. A loaded word is one,

that attempts to influence an audience by using appeal to emotion or stereotypes. Such wording is also known as high-inference language or language persuasive techniques.

Do you know what gentrification is? No one does. There is no accepted definition. Another interesting thing is how this word can show up in the strangest of places, even when there are much better words to choose from, like in this article about The Cottages of Lake Worth.

Emily Badger at The Washington Post wrote an article titled: “It’s time to give up the most loaded, least understood word in urban policy: gentrification”:

These questions get at a fundamental problem with one of the most controversial (and fuzzy) concepts in urban policy: Even researchers don’t agree on what ‘gentrification’ means, let alone how to identify it. (And this is to say nothing of its even more problematic derivative, the “gentrifier.”)

Think about this, since urban gardens are so popular with some, are they actually promoting gentrification? Because developers love urban gardens. Have you read this article, “Urban farmers find that success leads to eviction”? This is called “The Gentrification Paradox” (read more about that below).

One last question: Is it possible there were people or groups here in Lake Worth intentionally using tactics like “Gentrification!” to suppress neighborhood improvements, increase the crime rate, and create fear for political objectives? A shocking thought isn’t it? Or maybe not so much for others.

Everyone knows the naysayers and malcontents here in Lake Worth. The ones that have nothing good to say about the majority on the City Commission, swept into office in 2012. Some of those naysayers, once upon a time, were in control of this City and you may be wondering how such negative people ever got into positions of power. They accomplished that with the politics of fear, also called “The Wolf at the Door”.

Photo taken of prior administration in 2012 at the Lake Worth Casino:

“Gentrification!” was a word Cara Jennings (on right, facing) was fond of using. Chris McVoy (beaming, blue shirt) managed to hold on for a while but lost his election bid last March. Recognize anyone else?

But the people in Lake Worth woke up one day 5 years ago and realized there was no “Wolf at the Door”, or “Vulture at the Door” if you will. The real problem was a few commissioners in City Hall and in 2012 they got tossed out. Unsurprisingly, the mood in this City began to change beginning back then. A much more positive outlook about our future.

So. . . why isn’t the cry of “Gentrification!” working any more? Also in this blog post are more of the tactics used to stop neighborhood improvements and ways to discourage people from being more involved in their communities. And. . . why blaming elected officials for ‘gentrification’ is a fallacy, merely a tactic to gain political advantage.

Gentrification is one of the most misunderstood phenomenons in American culture. It’s a term that’s derogatory to some and a very hopeful one for others who live in persistently blighted areas. The logic by some is a certain level of blight is ‘charming’ because it makes the area undesirable to investors or ‘outsiders’.

People who rail and frighten a neighborhood against gentrification (G) are then in the unenviable position of having to balance how much blight is good to deter more people from moving in but still keep the area in a state of limbo: not getting better and not getting worse either. Because if the neighborhood gets too blighted the people who live there will move out. On the other hand, if one person decides to do a home renovation and improve his or her home, another home will have to decay further to maintain that balance. And what if, God forbid, a homeowner decides to replace the roof!

If one property increases in value, the anti-G logic is, then that is a threat to all the other homes on the street. Then to show the neighborhood how enlightened, resilient, and sustainable they are, then they encourage urban farms and urban gardens which leads to what? Less blight. A bland, unkempt home doesn’t look as bad when surrounded by a garden or a farm. Welcome to what’s called the Gentrification Paradox.

Here is one explanation of this phenomenon from the Strong Towns blog. To put it very simply: Some tactics to stop ‘gentrification’ actually do the opposite. They make neighborhoods, towns and cities more attractive rather than less.

However, the ‘anti-G’ folks have other tactics from the grab-bag to try and stop, or at least slow down, the process of a neighborhood improving that do terrible long-term damage and truly affect people’s lives in a negative way:
  • Upzoning (destabilize residential neighborhoods)
  • Increase the crime rate (or the perception of crime in an area)
  • Encourage the homeless to take over a “space”, like the Cultural Plaza downtown
  • Promote needle exchange programs to attract more drug addicts (another tactic in Lake Worth from the bag of tricks)
  • Try to make it easier for sober homes to operate without supervision and less scrutiny
  • Under-fund or obstruct education initiatives for children and recent immigrants
All of these tactics, and there are many others, are ultimately unsuccessful. Why? Because the process is market-driven and as the economy improves people want a better quality of life. Those who who live in blighted areas will do things like paint a house, clean up the front yard, remove abandoned cars, and engage in activities like forming neighborhood groups, request bike lanes, and become interested in things like community policing. All these changes increase real estate value over time.

In the City of Lake Worth is the Grey Mockingbird Community Garden (GMCG). This garden located at the Scottish Masonic Temple has greatly increased visitors and interest in the area not only due to the garden but also with their educational and entertainment activities. The GMCG is discouraging blight and encouraging neighborhood improvements. How many people have visited the garden and decided to look around the City, liked what they saw and either decided to invest in or move to Lake Worth? That is hard to gauge but it certainly has happened.

In the 2015 election cycle the word “gentrification” was used almost constantly by the ‘anti-G’ faction who knocked on doors to frighten certain neighborhoods in Lake Worth. They blamed some politicians for promoting it and others were praised for trying to stop it which is all nonsense, but it did play well ‘at the door’ in 2015. However, the tactic was ineffective in the 2016 elections and not used at all in the 2017 elections. Why?

The answer is easy: They simply overplayed their hand and ‘crying Wolf!’ had lost its effectiveness.

In conclusion, if someone tells you that your commissioner, mayor, or state representative is responsible for ‘gentrification’ they are lying to you.

And on the issue of trust:

Why would you ever trust anyone who told you that your neighborhood can’t aspire to be better for your children, friends, and family?

Are you a golfer? Then visit the Lake Worth municipal golf course. Babe Ruth golfed here!

First, two things: There’s another article written about the City of Lake Worth’s golf course getting a lot of attention throughout the golfing community nationwide. Please share this article with friends and family up North considering a vacation or trip here later this year. And. . . here we go again, folks: 

What some of you are being told, e.g., new residents of this City IS NOT TRUE: Our City’s golf course IS NOT and WILL NOT be sold to developers — in fact, the golf course cannot be sold at all — Why? Because it’s deed-restricted land.

We all have to be reminded from time to time how many new residents are in this little City of Lake Worth and the many others who are considering a relocation here. If they come across the wrong person, let’s say an over-eager bird watcher at Bryant Park or the Snook Islands, they may come to learn that a condo community is being considered to replace the City’s golf course. Just one problem: That can never be done.

You see, the truth is the Lake Worth Golf Course is deed-restricted and cannot be sold — the people who donated the land to the City made sure of that:


Click on images below to enlarge:
If anyone tells you condos can be built along the golf course just turn to them and say, “Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire”.

And did you know the New York Yankee legend Babe Ruth was a regular visitor to the little City of Lake Worth to play golf? It’s true:

To book a tee time use this link and also learn about the course’s “South Palm Beach charm”. The Lake Worth golf course clubhouse is located at #1 7th Ave. North along the scenic Intracoastal waterway.

YouTube videos about the little City of Lake Worth you might find interesting.

For the most-popular videos (30 in all) on my Lake Worth YouTube channel use this link. Along with each video is a red “Subscribe” button. Subscribers get an email when new videos have been uploaded.

Coming in at #9 is “Historic Postcards from Lake Worth — early to mid-20th Century”. At #21 is “The Cottages of Lake Worth”, Yours Truly with Allan Mason from WBZT. And hope you enjoy this one as well, “Why it’s generally unwise to be disrespectful to City employees”.

The video below needs a short explanation. A story that’s legendary in Lake Worth. Loretta Sharpe has since passed away but 4 years ago, in very poor health even then, it was Loretta who took up the fight against THE BIG LIE about building heights in Lake Worth. Back in early 2012 THE LIARS got such a huge head start confusing the public that no one thought it was possible to get the truth out.

One piece of propaganda used to confuse the public about building heights in Downtown Lake Worth:
A stealth propaganda campaign had gotten a huge head start back in 2012–2013, many month’s in the making. But Loretta saw a way to fight back. How? It was spectacular! 

Here’s the short version: I got a call from Loretta in January 2013 and she told me there was a meeting at her house — she had an idea to talk about, hanging a gigantic banner atop the Gulfstream Hotel to win the ‘heights vote’ — everyone thought she had lost her mind, including myself.

But Loretta’s idea was brilliant and everyone noticed. . .



Loretta Sharpe.
November 4th, 1938–January 26th, 2016.

An excerpt from The Lake Worth Herald: “Loretta was born on November 4, 1938 and hailed from South Portland, Maine. No one knows how much of her legendary feistiness, uninhibited temperament and fierce loyalty were imbued in her character by the geography and culture of her New England childhood home. But what everyone who ever met and admired this woman knew without doubt, Loretta elevated those qualities to an art form and brought them all to Lake Worth when she settled here almost three decades ago.

Friday, April 28, 2017

City Commission agenda for next Tuesday, May 2nd, now available online.

And there’s another big meeting next week as well. Read more about that below.

Use this link to download the Commission agenda and look it over. There’s not much that really stands out as a “hot button” issue but only time will tell. Commissioner Amoroso’s appointment of Michelle Sylvester to the ‘C-51 Canal Advisory Board’ is a good sign though. If we’re going to have boards like this in our City it’s good to know there will be people on the board to closely watch and monitor what’s going on.

And we also get a look at what’s likely to happen at the Commission meeting on May 16th; hopefully we’ll get some good news:
Item 5A. Legislative update provided by Representative Berman and Senator Clemons [sic]
When the official agenda becomes available it might be a good idea to spell the name of Lake Worth’s former mayor and current State Senator correctly. Just pointing that out.

The big news about City meetings is the Planning and Zoning Board meeting next Wednesday:

Item G2. PZB Project# 17-01000001 and 17-01400006 requests for a rezoning from Single Family Residential (SFR) to a Residential Planned Development District (RPDD) and a Major Site Plan to allow for the construction of a 53 unit single family subdivision.

This folks is a very big deal. Why? This will be a new community here in our City east of I-95 (see image below). After all that’s been going on in Palm Beach County with western sprawl it’s good to see a new housing community proposed within a coastal city. What will be interesting to see is who lines up in opposition. Stay tuned for more about that.

To look over the agenda and backup material for this project at the Planning and Zoning Board use this link to download and go to page 29:

“The vicinity in which the project site is located is a single family residential community. The applicant is undertaking the redevelopment of the site that will result in a viable single-family development. The type of compact urban development proposed by the applicant is consistent with the Single Family Future Land Use Element of the Comprehensive Plan. The redeveloped site is expected to serve as a catalyst for investment in Lake Worth.

Click on image to enlarge:
“This project is located at 1728, 1730, 1732 and 1734 19th Ave. North, the subject property is a vacant ± 12.85 acre site consisting of four separate parcels.” The area to the north is called Vernon Heights in the northwest area of the City, east of I-95.

Glass Quest 2017: Presentations, exhibitions, and roundtables from “glass visionaries and industry leaders.”

The news below comes from Tony Doris at the Post:

Glass Quest 2017 is produced by McMow Art Glass and Wardell Products. Event sponsors include the West Palm Beach Downtown Development Authority, the West Palm Beach Arts & Entertainment District, Bullseye Glass Co., Habatat Galleries and Jen-Ken Kilns. It will take place May 26–28 at 522 Clematis St.
     “Glass Quest 2017 will give local artists the opportunity to network and learn about the evolving world of art glass from industry leaders from around the world,” said Taylor Materio, Creative Director of McMow Art Glass.

To learn more about this conference and to register, contact McMow Art Glass using this link or call 561-585-9011. McMow is located at 701 North Dixie Hwy. in the City of Lake Worth.

“McMow Art Glass offers the best in stained glass windows and beveled art glass, as well as beautiful designs in carved, etched and faceted glass. Located in Palm Beach County, Florida since 1976 McMow Art Glass maintains an excellent working relationship with top builders, architects and designers and regularly ships their work throughout the US, Europe and South America.”

Just because. Worth Another Look: A positively positive person about Downtown Lake Worth.

Smacking down the perpetual “Negative Nelly’s”, the image below was posted to Facebook following that nonsense about Hoffman’s Chocolate closing their Downtown location due to “not enough business”.

Click on image to enlarge:
And don’t forget! If you’re a true chocolate lover visit Kilwin’s Chocolates. They have two locations: One at THE BEACH! and another location at 512 Lake Ave as well.

This Sunday: All-You-Can-Eat Breakfast. Just $5.*

News in this week’s Lake Worth Herald:

“Eggs, pancakes, sausage, bacon, fruit and more! Everyone is invited.”

Sunday, April 30th from 8:00–11:00 at the Scottish Rite Masonic Center (2000 North D St. in Lake Worth). Courtesy of the Gulf Stream Masonic Lodge #245.

Looking to purchase a home in Palm Beach County? Why you need to seriously consider Lake Worth:


“There are so many people throughout this community, throughout Palm Beach County generally, who would probably love to make Lake Worth home but who won’t give it the time of day because we’ve made it too hard for them to understand what makes Lake Worth a great place to live and that has to change. And that is why I am running. We have to put our best foot forward as a City. We have to close the gap between where we are and where we have the potential to be. And that requires good leadership.”
—Quote. Then-citizen Omari Hardy, now District 2 Commissioner Hardy, at the Playhouse debate on January 30th:

“What’s in a name: is Delray Beach really the ‘recovery capital?’ ”

Pay attention, Lake Worth, below are excerpts from this news report by Charlie Keegan at NBC5/WPTV:

Attorney Jeffrey Lynne represents some owners of recovery residences. He wanted to create a council within the Delray Beach Chamber of Commerce for leaders in that community to collaborate.
     Lynne sent out invitations for Tuesday’s inaugural meeting with the words “make Delray Beach the recovery capital once again.” [emphasis added]

and. . .

     The jargon quickly caught the attention of city hall. Mayor Cary Glickstein said the label takes away from the work the city’s done to clean out bad players in the recovery industry.
     “Those same people would love the city to retain the label of recovery capital of the U.S. as well as their enablers, as well as all the money sloshing around to prop up this industry,” Glickstein said.

and. . .

     “This is not in any way directed to those suffering from addiction,” he clarified. “What our efforts are directed toward are those profiting off that misery.”

In order to solve this problem it’s important to pay attention to what’s happening in other cities as well.
Remember the meeting at the Scottish Rite last September when everyone thought nothing would ever change? A lot has. As evidenced by the recent community meeting with West Palm Beach Commissioner Shanon Materio and Lake Worth Commissioner Andy Amoroso. Stay vigilant.

Worth Another Look. “Broken Planning: How Opponents Hijacked the Planning Process”.

The post below is one of the most-viewed ever all time since I began this blog in 2006, first posted in early 2015. What I think struck a chord is it speaks to truth: it only takes a few people with clever tactics to alter public perception. And the other truth is this: even people who know what is happening and are involved can be manipulated to believe something that is untrue.

In the lead-up to the Lake Worth City Commission vote on the rezoning of the Gulfstream Hotel property in January of last year the rumor mills were on fire. Social media was filled with open-ended questions and wild theories; there was even the suggestion if the rezoning was approved the Gulfstream property could get “sold to ISIS” or maybe even to a “Russian oligarch”.

But when the day came for the Commission to vote, on January 5th, 2016, something exciting happened: the public came out en masse in support of the Gulfstream Hotel redevelopment project. Sadly though, much of the public support and goodwill has since been squandered by the owners of that property, but last year it was a much different mood in the community.

Ultimately, the problem comes down to this: The scenario above with the Gulfstream last year was one of the rare exceptions and not the rule.

Without further ado. . .

“Municipal leaders understand that passionately motivated opponents, who fill hearing rooms, write letters, and circulate petitions to stop new development, are a newly empowered breed of local activists. Not only will these angry constituents remember the politicians who stood against them on Election Day, organized citizen activists often use their new grassroots movements to mount a direct challenge by running for office themselves.
     The key fact is this: Supporters of development do not participate in the political process, while today’s activist opponents show up and dominate the process.
Excerpt from an article in Planetizen by Patrick Fox subtitled, “An op-ed describes the broken state of the planning and development approval process where opposition politics rule and the answer is usually ‘no.

If you live in a small city in south Florida such as Lake Worth and you’ve wondered how even the most reasonable and popular projects get thwarted or scuttled, the excerpt from an op/ed below will explain a lot. This is a sobering op/ed by Patrick Fox, another excerpt:

     “Grassroots movements do not organically spring up to support a project, but opposition groups driven by fear, self-interest and cynicism can take off like wildfire. The proliferation of digital tools like Facebook and Twitter give average people the ability to find like-minded project opponents and to build effective grassroots opposition movements. While project supporters certainly have access to these same tools, they are far less motivated to use them. The process is overwhelmingly dominated by opponents.
     Why should an elected official support a project and subject him or herself to the slings and arrows of angry opponents? Standing with opponents and harnessing their passion and energy is the politically expedient path. Standing with opponents and dramatically pounding your fists in opposition is the right political posture for today's elected official seeking to build a political base and grab headlines.
     Imagine a grocery store is proposed in your community that will redevelop a vacant retail site. The developer is well known and respected and promises major site improvements and community amenities.
     On a Tuesday night, a public hearing is held at Town Hall by the Planning Board or the City Council to get public input prior to voting on the developer's application. Who shows up and makes their voices heard? Not the supporters. While the vast majority of residents may fully support the project and welcome it to their community, the hearing is packed with those who vigorously oppose it.”

So. . . how do popular and necessary projects in the planning process get hijacked and thwarted so easily? The opponents show up at city meetings. It’s as easy as that.

They show up, make a lot of noise and make it seem like their numbers are much bigger then they really are. Add in a ‘journalist’, maybe a TV news crew, a sympathetic ally on an editorial board, and you can see how it all plays out. How many times have you seen this show?

It doesn’t have to be this way. It’s just that supporters of projects are simply less motivated to show up or contact their elected officials. Very sad.

TOMORROW: “The Art of Brew — Zoning and the Craft Beer Revolution”.

FREE lecture and discount tickets to the Northwood Village Beer Festival:
  • When: Saturday, April 29th from Noon to 1:00.
  • Where: Northwood Village Main Street, 2501 Spruce Ave., West Palm Beach.
  • For more information contact Adam Kerr, P.E., AICP, President, Palm Beach County Planning Congress, Inc.: 561-523-0677; email: adam.kerr@kimley-horn.com
  • 1.0 CM-AICP credit will be applied to this event.
Join Palm Beach County Senior Planner Scott Rodriguez, and craft cidermaker Matt Stetson from Accomplice Brewery as they discuss the challenges of zoning for breweries along with the benefits and obstacles they bring to communities. This free event comes with a $10 discount to the Northwood Village Craft Beer Festival which starts immediately after this lecture.

The Beer Festival organizers are offering a discount to all Planning Congress members that register for our pre-event lecture from noon to 1:00. This lecture will discuss how communities are addressing the rapidly expanding craft beer industry in South Florida, which often has both retail and industrial/distribution elements.

Hope and pray for the citizens and city leadership of Greenacres and West Palm Beach.

Very sad news. In 2016, by April 28th, there were 30 homicides in Palm Beach County. So far this year there are 41. The hopes that last year may be setting a new downward trend for murders in this County is still very possible but the numbers so far do not bode well.

Sadly, there were 2 more murders yesterday of young men in the City of Greenacres. 

There have been 9 homicides in West Palm Beach so far this year. By this time last year there was one. To put this in perspective, in all of unincorporated Palm Beach County there have been 7 homicides this year.

Of the nine homicides in WPB so far this year, 7 were Black males, and 5 of them were between the ages of 20–34; the weapon used was a firearm.

Several years ago the Post database, “Homicides tracker”, had a search filter for ages of murder victims. That was removed. Why? Draw your own conclusions.

In early April the banner headline in The Palm Beach Post was “County to tackle heroin epidemic”. Don’t recall seeing any banner headlines in the Post warning about all the Black males being murdered in Palm Beach County — fully half of all homicides — almost all Black males between the ages of 20–34.

Something happened last year in Palm Beach County when the number of murders dropped so significantly, from 109 in 2015 to 87 in 2016. This should be front page news in The Palm Beach Post: You know, “Real News Starts Here”. They should have reporters scouring the County and cities to find out why that happened last year. Possibly, there’s a lesson to be learned.

However, back in 2015 and well into mid-2016, the Post reporters and editors were reporting and editorializing about things even more important to them than the “Opioid Epidemic” — which by then was already tearing apart our cities and communities — do you remember what was so important to them in 2015–2016? Use this link to find out.

By the time the Post took up reporting about the scourge of “Opioids” last year, they were already too late for cities like Lake Worth, West Palm Beach, and the rest of Central Palm Beach County.

Remember. The heroin epidemic didn’t begin in 2016. It began much further back than that.

“Stop using divisive term ‘sanctuary city’ Kathy Castor tells immigration advocates”.

Above is the title for the news story (see below) by Mitch Perry at SaintPetersBlog. Why is this important? Because the little City of Lake Worth, Florida, IS NOT and NEVER WAS a “sanctuary city”, despite what anyone says to the contrary. The Town of Jupiter is/was rumored to be a “sanctuary” as well. Not true.

Simply put, as stated on this blog many times over:

Because a city or town has a center to help immigrants, doth not a ‘sanctuary’ make.

To learn more about this situation in the City of Lake Worth use this link:

In 5+ years of searching has one single piece of documentation ever been produced that Lake Worth IS a sanctuary city? No. Not one. Zero. Nada.
    And is it proper journalistic method to have elected leaders and City staff prove a negative?

But. . . If. . . And. . . !, suggest local reporters at the Post, for example, who try over and over again to cleverly try and make the case (A  +  B  =  C) for their readers that the opposite is true. The facts are: 
A  [Lake Worth]  +  B  [the Guatemalan/Maya Center]  ≠  C  [a ‘sanctuary city’] (the symbol  ≠  means “does not equal”).

Anyhow. Two excerpts from the article in SaintPetersBlog follow and “Kathy Castor” is quoted (if you didn’t know, “Castor” is Katherine Castor, the Democrat U.S. Rep. for Florida’s 14th congressional district since 2007).

“It appears that some of the mean-spirited rhetoric out of the Trump administration has emboldened certain immigration agents to act outside of their typical powers, and we really need to hear that if you of these cases locally,” [emphasis added] Tampa Congresswoman Kathy Castor told several dozen activists and citizens who jammed into the Blind Tiger Cafe on Ybor City’s 7th Avenue Wednesday morning.
     When an audience member talked about a local detention that lacked specifics, Castor said she would need more information before acting.
      “That’s the only way that I’m empowered to ask Secretary Kelly and say,’ they’ve overstepped their bounds,” she said, referring to John Kelly, who heads the Department of Homeland Security.

and. . .

     Regarding the issue of sanctuary cities and/or counties, Castor told the crowd they should stop using that phrase, as it was intentionally divisive. The loosely defined term is best described as local government limiting cooperation with the federal government to help undocumented immigrants avoid deportation.
     “There’s a lot of confusion and emotion around the term,” Castor said. “I think it’s a trap. I think it was a term that was created to divide people and to demonize diverse areas.”
     The Tampa Democrat said the real question to ask is what are the responsibilities of the local law enforcement compared to federal officers.

Once again. . . “the real question to ask is what are the responsibilities of the local law enforcement compared to federal officers.”, and. . .stop using that phrase [‘sanctuary city’], as it was intentionally divisive.”