Monday, June 26, 2017

“That’s a whopping figure and stands out like Madonna at a convent.”

Remember this “whopping” $21M+ Outstanding in 2002 — adjusted for inflation $28.5M in 2017 — next time you see another one of those negative stories in The Palm Beach Post about our Code Enforcement Dept. here in the little City of Lake Worth.

Click on image to enlarge.
Commentary published in The Lake Worth Herald, May 23rd, 2002.

“Pride should kick in at some point and help clean up this mess.

THE FACTS: Mr. Mark Foley, the Blueway Trail project, and the C-51 Advisory Committee.

Is the role of the City of Lake Worth’s C-51 Advisory Committee to. . .

“. . . advise a slew of agencies, including the South Florida Water Management District and U.S. Corps of Engineers, on a project to build locks on canals between Delray Beach and Lake Okeechobee”?

Completely 100% False.

More about that below. First, the news blackout about the Blueway Trail project at The Palm Beach Post continues, however the Miami Herald published this news recently:

     An advisory board gig might sound like small potatoes for a regular at the White House for more than a decade. But Foley doesn’t see it that way.
     “A $250,000 house along a canal with that kind of access to the ocean and the lake [Lake Okeechobee] would double in value immediately,” Foley said. “It’s not unimportant. It’s a major project.”
     Can a return to bigtime politics be that far ahead for Foley.
     “I’m enjoying life right now,” he said.

For more background on this story and how the C-51 Advisory Committee (CAC) came to be use this link. What is Mr. Foley’s political background? It’s very extensive; from this blog:

Mark Foley was a City of Lake Worth commissioner from 1978–1979 and 1982–1984. Later he served in the Florida House of Representatives from 1990–1992; then the Florida Senate, 1993–1994. He returned to private life in 2006 after serving in the U.S. House of Representatives for 11 years. His most recent accomplishment was saving Spring Training baseball in Palm Beach County.

Here are the facts about CAC:

There is no CAC. Yet.
  • When you go to the City’s “Advisory Boards” website there is no “C-51 Advisory Committee” listed.
  • The CAC hasn’t held a single meeting and has never produced even one agenda since November of last year.
  • CAC ostensibly is to monitor the C-51 Blueway Trail project. The C-51 Canal is outside the jurisdiction of the City.
  • The Army Corps of Engineers doesn’t manage water flow in South Florida. That is the job of the South Florida Water Management District.
When, or if, an agenda is created and the first CAC meeting is scheduled will let everyone know. It should be a very well-attended meeting. And lastly, what is the CAC tasked with doing?

No one knows yet.

I hope that helps clear everything up.

In the meantime, have you heard a rumor about the Blueway Trail project?
Use this link to contact the expert at the Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council, Kim DeLaney, PhD, with your questions and concerns.

Keep the faith, Greenacres and Palm Springs, your time will come.

What will it take for the City of Greenacres to get a beat reporter from The Palm Beach Post covering their local government news? If you didn’t know, Greenacres is the same size in land area as the City of Lake Worth and has a higher population as well. How much do you know about the Village of Palm Springs? If you read the Post, not very much.

If the Post has so many resources why devote so much attention to just the City of Lake Worth? Are cities west of us just “flyover County” to the editor at the Post?
Aren’t you interested in what’s happening between the City of Lake Worth and the Village of Wellington?

The print edition of The Palm Beach Post’s Lake Worth Very Very Special Monday Collector Print Edition (LWVVSMCPE) is tomorrow. Every Monday. Each and every Monday. Do you live in Greenacres and need phone number for the Lake Worth sewer department? Parks and recreation? That’s right. You’ll find it every Monday in the Post.

Why can’t Greenacres and Palm Springs be special every now and then?
Every Monday the little 6-square-mile City of Lake Worth is highlighted along with much larger cities. Greenacres is a little city too. So is Palm Springs.

If you’ve been paying attention, read this blog, or get The Lake Worth Herald you have a real good idea what’s going on in Lake Worth. But imagine you live in Greenacres and have been trying everything to get the attention of a Post beat reporter. You grab that morning’s paper and it’s the LWVVSMCPE again. Really?

This question is certainly being pondered by residents, City governments, and politicians in Greenacres, Palm Springs, Atlantis, Lake Clarke Shores, and other cities as well.

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

So. Do you live in Greenacres? Palm Springs? Have news you would like to see published in the Post? You’ll just have to keep working hard to get some attention and maybe some day soon you’ll get your Special Day in The Palm Beach Post.

Just not Monday.

The historic Gulfstream Hotel isn’t the only Downtown “old hotel” in need of “new life”.

Click on image to enlarge:
The Palm Beach Post, July 27th, 1995, page B4.

Tonight: Hudson Holdings and Special Meeting in Delray Beach.

This Special Meeting is at the Historic Preservation Board to be held in the Delray Beach City Commission Chambers in City Hall, 100 NW 1st Ave. beginning at 6:00.

To learn more about this read the news report by Sun Sentinel titled, “Vote could decide fate of historic Delray Beach homes.

This Hudson Holdings project are the only 2 items on the agenda:
  1. Call To Order.
  2. Roll Call.
  3. Approval of Agenda.
  4. Comments from the Public. NOTE: Comments on items that are NOT on the Agenda will be taken immediately prior to Public Hearing Items. Speakers will be limited to 3 minutes.
  5. Action Items. A) Certificate of Appropriateness, Class V Site Plan, Relocations & Demolitions (2016-073). B) Conditional Use (2016-101).
For residents of the City of Lake Worth wondering what is happening with the Gulfstream Hotel you may recall this news by Dan Weil in The Real Deal titled, Lake Worth’s Gulfstream Hotel appears set for renovation. The article was subtitled,

Hotel will have two 87-unit hotel buildings, a restaurant, rooftop sky bar and parking garage.

Here are two excerpts from that article in The Real Deal datelined January 29th, 2016:

“This is an iconic Palm Beach County hotel with enormous history,” Steve Michael, co-founder of Hudson Holdings, told The Real Deal. Sitting several blocks away from Lake Worth’s downtown, “it’s a focal point of the Lake Worth community and at the edge of the [town of] Palm Beach community,” he said.

and. . .

Michael says the development will be crucial for revitalizing downtown Lake Worth, which like downtown West Palm Beach to the north, has some vibrant areas and also some vacant ones. “This is a catalyst to downtown renovation,” Michael said.

Heat #1: The little City of Lake Worth’s Great American July 4th Raft Race, 2015.

Press Release.

Boat ramp closings in Bryant Park and our 16th Annual Great American Raft Race.*

For more information contact Ben Kerr, the City’s Communications Specialist, call 561-586-1631; email:

Lake Worth, Florida — The 16th Annual Great American Raft Race will take place in Bryant Park as part of the City of Lake Worth 4th of July celebrations. This year’s theme is “Under the Big Top”.
     The race is preceded by a parade of competitors down Lake Avenue to Bryant Park starting at 11:30 am. The race itself starts at 1:00 pm. The Great American Raft Race is organized by the Neighborhood Association Presidents’ Council and is an opportunity for local groups to take part in friendly competition and celebrate life in the quirky City by the Sea.
     Please note that in order to accommodate the race the City will be closing down the Bryant Park boat ramps on Monday, July 3, 2017 at 9:00 pm and will reopen them on Monday, July 4, 2017 at 10:00 p.m.

Located in central Palm Beach County, Lake Worth is a dynamic, multi-cultural city with an individualistic style. People are drawn to the city by its acceptance of different cultures and lifestyles, historic districts, hip downtown and colorful arts district.

*Please Note: Due to the reckless and irresponsible news reporting last year by the local beat reporter from the Post — and from other local news media as well — the press and news media IS BANNED from this year’s Raft Race.
     However, following the Raft Race everyone from the press and media is welcome to our July 4th activities here in the City of Lake Worth following the race. That would be around 2:00. Thank you in advance for your cooperation.

Still big news about City of Lake Worth: “Jupiter’s unique connection with Guatemala showcased in Lake Worth”.

Just in case you missed this. . .

Below are excerpts from the terrific City of Lake Worth news by Palm Beach Post reporter Bill DiPaolo (to read his bio use this link).

But first, just a few short months ago reading an article about our friends in the Guatemalan community here in the City of Lake Worth — news about the City’s Guatemalan-Maya Center or the El Sol in Jupiter — and not having the term “sanctuary city” used in The Palm Beach Post would have been unimaginable.

But the unimaginable is happening: that terribly divisive term is being eliminated from local news reporting and in the media as well. And it’s about time.

“There’s a lot of confusion and emotion around the term,” Castor [Florida Rep. Katherine Castor, 14th District in Congress] said. “I think it’s a trap. I think it was a term that was created to divide people and to demonize diverse areas.”

Here are two excerpts from DiPaolo’s wonderful article and details about the exhibit at the Cultural Council of Palm Beach County* located in Downtown Lake Worth:

JUPITER — Paintings, weavings and the history of Guatemala are all rolled into the OneJupiter exhibit at the Cultural Council of Palm Beach County.
     “We are representing the people of Palm Beach County on our walls,” said Trish Halverson, manager of arts and cultural education at the center on Lake Avenue [in Downtown Lake Worth].
     The exhibit is a joint effort between the Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse & Museum, El Sol Neighborhood Resource Center and the Lighthouse ArtCenter Gallery and School of Art in Tequesta.

and. . .

     “Art can be an incredible icebreaker between cultures. People step out of their normal space and see what they have in common,” said Stuve [Jamie Stuve, the president and chief executive officer of the Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse & Museum].
     Paintings by Guatemalan artists such as Lorenzo Marroquin are also on display. Marroquin took art classes at El Sol. Many painters do their art work in between jobs at El Sol, said Andres David Lopez, El Sol communications director.

At the end of the article is, “If you go”:

  • What: OneJupiter exhibit.
  • Where: Cultural Council of Palm Beach County, 601 Lake Ave., Lake Worth.
  • When: Until August 5th.
  • Cost: Free.
*The Cultural Council galleries, visitor information center and store are open 10:00–5:00, Tuesday–Saturday. 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.

Additional recreational acres in western Palm Beach County.

More good news from SFWMD for County residents and tourism:

Now the public will be able to see Everglades Restoration, water storage, and southern sheet-flow up close. A press release datelined yesterday (6/8) from SFWMD is below.
For the entire press release use this link.

West Palm Beach, FL - The South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) Governing Board today approved public access to one of its major Everglades restoration projects, the A-1 Flow Equalization Basin (FEB). This action adds thousands of additional recreation acres in western Palm Beach County, where residents and visitors can enjoy the outdoors.
     “This Board remains committed to protecting public access of taxpayer-owned District resources,” said SFWMD Governing Board Chairman Dan O’Keefe. “This is a win-win. The A-1 FEB has been providing tremendous benefits to the Everglades ecosystem and now the public will be able to enjoy all the area has to offer with hiking, biking, hunting, wildlife viewing and other activities.”

Have you ever seen a Cape Sabal Sparrow?
Learn more about SFWMD’s efforts to save our birds and the “Tremendous Progress on Kissimmee River Restoration Projectusing this link.

This week’s schedule for pre-July 4th Raft Race parties and get-togethers.

Here are the pre-race meetings, parties, and get-togethers*:

  • Tuesday: “Trophy Recap” at Suri Tapas, 4:00–7:00.
  • A special treat at C.W.S. Bar + Kitchen on Wednesday, 4:00–7:00.
  • “Ocean Front Fun” at Benny’s on the Beach is Thursday, 6:00–8:00.
  • Next Friday is the “Presidents’ Cup Kayak Race” on the Intracoastal at The Beach Club from 4:30–6:00 (the City’s municipal golf course).
  • Pre-Race festivities conclude at Callaro’s Steak House on Saturday, 4:00–7:00.
Then next Sunday, July 2nd, is a day of rest and reflection. Because Monday, July 3rd, begins the City of Lake Worth’s activities.

Use this link for Darien Davies’ “Comprehensive Guide” in the prestigious Atlantic Current.

At 11:00 on July 4th is the Raft Race Parade and then at 1:00 is. . .

The Greatest Raft Race on Earth!

At the boat ramps in Bryant Park on July 4th.
Remember, if you come across press/news media stirring up trouble, e.g., “algae plaguing our City”, get the reporters contact information (e.g., name, business card, phone number) and forward that to the City’s Communications Specialist, Ben Kerr: 561-586-1631; email:

*Stay tuned for hours for next week’s activities. Check back to this blog next week starting Monday and look at the top of the right-hand column for the day’s event. And, as always, Thank You for visiting today.

Join the Lake Worth Jr. Lifeguards for a Summer of fun in the Atlantic Ocean.

Learn essential lifeguard skills from professional career lifeguards.
Contact Doug Yoakum for more information at 561-718-4304; email:

Program runs July 3rd–August 9th, Monday–Friday, 10:00–2:00.

  • Tryouts and registration: July 1st, 10:00, at the Lake Worth Beach.
  • Girls and boys 10–17 years old (must be able to swim 200 yards unassisted).
  • Cost: $400/child.

Local transit and Palm Beach County history.

If you are on Facebook I highly recommend joining a group called “Palm Beaches Remembered.” Information is posted from collections of Palm Beach County memories in the form of photos and other memorabilia. You never know what is going to appear and it’s interesting to read the recollections of others in the comments that follow.

There are many Lake Worth memories. Here is one I thought would be important to share. These are passes that were issued when the City had its own trolley system.
Passes used in the days of “Lolly the Trolley”.

The City of Lake Worth operated its own local transit operation in the form of “Lolly the Trolley”. Actually, I think it consisted of two trolleys that ran from the Beach, through the Downtown, past Lake Worth Towers, the High School, to the Tri-Rail station and the former Publix on Lake Worth Road. I believe the trolley also went north on Dixie Hwy. into West Palm Beach to the Winn-Dixie at Palm Coast Plaza. It cost about $1 to ride and was subsidized and operated by the City. I don’t think it received any money from PalmTran. It’s hard to pin down the details; it’s been a while since it ceased operation. The dates on the passes above are from 1996 and 1997.

Operations stopped sometime in the early-2000s. The excuse given was the cost was too-heavily subsidized by the City. Fare revenue made up only a very small portion of the cost to operate the trolleys. They were also said to be difficult to maintain as each was made by a different manufacturer and they didn’t share parts. The trolleys were in the shop and out of service many times which did not help the image of reliability. Regardless, they were a mainstay of Lake Worth for many years and provided a needed service.

Transit between our Beach and points further west including unincorporated County (for example, Palm Beach State College), has been identified as a recurring need: linking these destinations that are not adequately served by mass transit. Recently I recall hearing the City had grant money available to operate such a system but didn’t have the money to buy the equipment.

This talk of running a trolley service again began sometime last year or the year before when people were still excited about the Gulfstream Hotel re-opening and a new hotel expansion on the block’s western half. Demand for such a service made perfect sense. If something does begin to happen with the Gulfstream property it might be a good idea to get a trolley system up and running to the Beach and points Downtown and then on to the Tri-Rail station.

This picture emerged recently of a simpler time in the city of West Palm Beach’s history. Remember the ferry?
View of the downtown West Palm Beach waterfront with former library in background.

For many of you new to the area the picture above will look like one from a foreign land. The West Palm Beach City Library, the one built in 1962, used to sit at the east end of Clematis Street. It was a Mid-Century Moderne in some people’s eyes and an eyesore to others. I actually think the first years of the building, with the artwork suspended around it and fountains surrounding it, was quite attractive. Later years saw those features either removed or not maintained. Most people, including myself, agree the building was put in the wrong place. It blocked the view of the water from those using Clematis Street.

According to people commenting on Facebook, a ferry operated between downtown West Palm Beach and the Town of Palm Beach during the 1960s. With all the talk we heard recently during the “Point A to Point B” discussions about traffic in downtown West Palm Beach and the bridges to the barrier island, maybe resurrecting a ferry for people to cross over into Palm Beach is something whose time has come again.

Possibly instead of a traditional boat, such as the one pictured, it could be a hydrofoil or a hovercraft of some sort. Both would be faster and have a 21st century vibe. To use this method one would have to leave the car in West Palm Beach in one of the many downtown parking garages and then walk on foot to the water transport. There are already day-docks functioning along the current waterfront.

Just a few ideas from the past that could make our lives simpler to get around in the present day.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Hey Kids in Lake Worth! Hola niño! Ey Niños!

At Barton, Highland, North Grade, and South Grade elementary schools and Lake Worth High School too!

Es divertido leer mientras te alimentas.

Desayuno y Almuerzo Gratis en estas escuelas de Lake Worth todo el Verano!
Desayuno de 7:30–8:00
Almuerzo de 1100–11:30

Fe lekti pandam w′ ap manje se bel plezi.

Manje maten ak Manje midi Gratis nan lekol sa yo ki nan Lake Worth pandan tout ete a!
Manje maten 7:30–8:00
Manje midi 1100–11:30

It’s fun to read while you feed.

Free Breakfast and Lunch at these Lake Worth Schools all Summer!
Breakfast from 7:30–8:00
Lunch from 1100–11:30

And don’t forget our Lake Worth Little Free Libraries!
Have a book or books to donate? Children’s books are always in need. Call 561-585-6035 or email:

“Remains of Saint Andrew’s Episcopal Church at Lake Worth destroyed by hurricane.”

Image below is from Florida Memory: State Library & Archives of Florida, collection of photographs.

Year: 1928. General Note: “This original wood frame church was built in the fall of 1914.” (photonegative, b&w, 4 × 5″)
Use this link to see how St. Andrew’s looks today: “Serving God and His People for 103 years (1914–2017)”.

he photo above was taken following the 1928 Okeechobee Hurricane that struck this City with devastating consequences.

The City of Lake Worth’s Wikipedia page: A good source for information — but not all factual — do you own research.

One of the first things you’ll learn on the City’s Wikipedia page (links and more information below) is the present-day City of Lake Worth is named after General William J. Worth, a military hero.

For several reasons, residents and elected leaders have suggested changing the name of the City, for more about that use this link.

A person or persons have been doing yeoman’s* work for the most part on the City’s Wikipedia page. First, some things to be aware of:
  • Checking the page regularly is important. There have been multiple attempts to hijack the City’s Wikipedia page with false information and data.
  • When you visit the Lake Worth Wikipedia site scroll down to the very bottom and look for this (as the line appears today, 5/27): “This page was last modified on 20 June 2017, at 17:17.” Why? Because if this information changes the next time you visit someone has accessed the page and changed or altered some data.
  • The footnote section can be a clever “end-around” to get false/alt information onto the page.
  • Wikipedia pages can be edited by almost anyone: not all the information (e.g., history, statistics, percentages) is up-to-date or even factual. The lesson? Do you own research.
  • Page sections such as “Sister cities”: The City no longer has a Sister City program and “Sopot, Poland”, one of the cities listed, was never Lake Worth’s Sister City. 
  • “The [Beach] pier is home to a tide gauge . . . showing an above average rate of sea level rise.” Learn more about that using this link, learn that “3.56 mm  =  ≈⅛ inch per year”.
  • And, of course, there’s the ever-changing historical revisionism on Wikipedia. There should be a “Fiction” section on our Wiki page just for information such as this and titled, “For Entertainment Purposes Only (not to be taken seriously)”: 
Be very skeptical of all information about the Lake Worth Beach, Casino complex and pool:

For example: “The city’s public swimming pool has been restored. . .”. Not true.
The information about the City’s pool at the Beach is inaccurate. For the facts use this link.

Ready to check out the City of Lake Worth’s Wikipedia page for yourself? Use this link. Have fun and visit on a regular basis to learn more about our little City:

The city was severely damaged in the 1928 hurricane, toppling the bell tower on the elementary school (today the City Hall Annex) and destroying the beachfront casino and automobile bridge over Lake Worth. This led to a severe economic decline within the community, during the Great Depression. Things were so dire in the city in the 1930s, that President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Works Progress Administration built a striking, moorish-styled “City Gymnasium” on the corner of Lake Avenue and Dixie Highway. The building today serves as City Hall.

Learn more about the devastating 1928 Hurricane using this link. Hurricane season officially begins June 1st. Another image from that terrible storm:

For the City’s “Hurricane Planning” website use this link.

*Yeoman. Adjective: performed or rendered in a loyal, valiant, useful, or workmanlike manner, especially in situations that involve a great deal of effort or labor: “He did a yeoman job on the problem.”

Next Thursday is another “Lake Worth Road Program” meeting. Have fears and/or concerns?

When will construction be complete? What are the hours for construction? Will there be work during the weekends? Who is responsible for designing all the projects? What are the colored paint marks on my fence, driveway, steps, trees, etc.?

Are you frightened or concerned about what’s about to begin in your neighborhood?
Don’t be frightened and run out west! Attend the meeting this coming Thursday and City will explain what is going on.

Use this link to see the entire list of upcoming meetings:
  • Where: Lake Worth City Hall.
  • Time: 6:30–8:00.
  • Who can attend? Everyone is welcome.

How to get more information:

  • Phone: 561-713-1707
  • Email:
  • Use this link to submit a question online.

For more “Frequently Asked Questions” use this link.

“KEEP YOUR HANDS OFF OUR BRYANT PARK!” Secret plan exposed by a house painter at historic site.

The painter, I’m told, reached for something to clean a detail brush with when she saw the words, “Domine, ut videam” (translation: “Lord, let me see”). When she saw the headline news story in the tabloid screamed, “My Lord! This is the silliest thing I’ve ever seen in my life!”

What the painter didn’t know at the time is she stumbled across the “Premiere Issue!” of the worst tabloid in the long history of Lake Worth, Florida, “Vol. 1, Issue 1”, that was delivered FREE OF CHARGE on Friday, January 16th, 2015.

Click on “Gallery Owner Pitches ‘Art Ship’ for Lake Worth’s Waterfront”: 
The tabloid was “Always FREE, Delivered FREE” in 2015, had almost no advertising, and folded up shortly after the elections in March of that year.

Any correlation to the elections that year was purely by coincidence? Draw your own conclusions.

Below is an image from “Issue 9” on March 13th from that tabloid, following the elections in March of that year. Then-citizen, later a commissioner, and now-citizen-once-again Ryan Maier (beaming, on left) and now-former-Commissioner Chris McVoy, PhD (blue shirt, arms raised), celebrate Election Day victories at Mamma Mia’s On The Beach.

Click on image from tabloid in 2015:
Former commissioners Maier and McVoy along with jubilant already-former-commissioners JoAnn Golden and Cara Jennings. No word yet on any plans for a reunion.

“In their own words”. You decide.

Former Lake Worth Commissioner Ryan Maier:
     “I do not support aggressive panhandling ordinances.
     “I cannot see any definable loss through aggressive panhandling except that it’s maybe annoying.

District 3 Commissioner Andy Amoroso:
     “Aggressive panhandling means somebody that’s literally following someone down the street.
     “It does affect my business, the downtown businesses, City as a whole . . . and it’s the same ones over and over and over.

Latest about “The Cottages of Lake Worth” Just in case you missed this.

“I love self-publishing success stories.”

“Sometimes success comes just by chance and sometimes by thoughtful decisions and a commitment to quality. The book, Living Large in Small Spaces: The Cottages of Lake Worth is the latter case.”
—Quote. Book designer Michael Rohani, June 2nd, 2017.

An order for 2,000 more “Cottages of Lake Worth” hardcover books has been made and will be arriving in 2–3 months. This is an amazing publishing story. No one is regretting the decision to sell this book “locally” and not go “global” with an online bookseller.

All the thanks go to the “many local advocates, beneficiaries, and stakeholders” involved in this project, and of course, people like Michael Rohani who designed this wonderful book.

Two more quotes by Mr. Rohani in this article titled, “Book project, Living Large in Small Spaces: The Cottages of Lake Worth”:

The book brings together popular topics that are of interest to audiences everywhere—inspiring cottage photography, garden design ideas, and solutions for living in small spaces. But getting almost instant success comes from having many local advocates, beneficiaries, and stakeholders such as the cottage owners featured in the book, the Cultural Council of Palm Beach County, and various supportive individuals and local businesses. There are also many local venues and opportunities for selling the book. So, not surprisingly, I received this email shortly after the book was published:
Hi, Michael—“Can you believe it, we are going for our second printing of our book? On Monday, the board gave a collective thumbs up for more books. . . . We are down to fewer than 150! Thank you again for making our book so, so successful!”
and. . .

     A big part of the book’s success comes from the creators’ decision to go beyond self-publishing. That started with creating their own publisher identity to become an independent publisher. They carried this through, following publisher best practices with the editing, design, branding, printing, and marketing strategy. They were receptive to professional guidance and made decisions guided by marketing ideas that you would expect from an acquisitions editor at an experienced publishing house. The result is a book that anyone would find interesting and enjoyable to look through. Not only does it not look “self-published,” it is easily competitive with the best books in its category.

A creative design idea by Mr. Rohani is a printing technique called, “Spot Varnish” for the book covers.
From a book review by Carleton Varney in the Palm Beach Daily News (aka, The Shiny Sheet):

“If you delight in color, charm and old world Florida, The Cottages of Lake Worth is a must for your home library! I just cannot say enough good things about this book.”

Stay tuned. When the next order of books is ready for shipping you will be updated.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Our City of Lake Worth is THE place to be. Not Delray Beach any more.

The proof is very week in The Palm Beach Post:
Delray has been eclipsed by our City of Lake Worth, the cities of Boynton Beach, Palm Beach Gardens, West Palm Beach, Town of Jupiter and Village of Wellington as well.

Why is the City of Lake Worth in ascendance?

One reason is everyone is still talking about the 12-page “SPECIAL KEEPSAKE” published in the Sunday paper last March.
Do you know why that “KEEPSAKE” was published? Because our residents and businesses have been studying and learning the “5 Tips” .

For example, one business here in the City has employed these tips with great success. The world-famous and spectacularly popular World Thrift (located at 2425 N. Dixie Hwy; call 561-588-4050 for daily hours and more information). Read the reviews on Facebook. Awesome.

“Lake Worth is truly the place ‘where the tropics begin’ and the fun never ends.”
“Lake Worth is a dynamic, multi-cultural city with a strong social and environmental consciousness. People are drawn to the city by its independent character, acceptance of different cultures”. . .

When was the last time you visited our little City of Lake Worth?

City of Lake Worth news. Front page headline: “New CRA Chief Hopeful”.

LAKE WORTH — Imagine living in a one-stop quality Lake Worth that residents, business owners and all those involved with its redevelopment can be proud of.
     It can happen here for those are the goals of Joan Oliva, someone who has the experience and position to make it all come about.
     Oliva starts Monday as new executive director of the Lake Worth Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA).
     “Revitalization takes time, especially when it is done well,” Oliva says.

The front page news above is from reporter Leonard Saffir in The Lake Worth Herald dated January 3rd, 2008.

“Neighborhood revitalization, in concert with redevelopment, must be encouraged to increase value, stability and a sense of community pride.

For a stroll down memory lane, and to learn about some of the headwinds the Lake Worth CRA’s Exec. Dir. Joan Oliva had to face back in 2008–2009, please proceed to the following blog post.

Learn more about the Lake Worth CRA, Director Joan Oliva, and $23M NSP2 Grant.

Do you remember when former commissioners, Cara Jennings was one, wouldn’t lift a finger to help the CRA acquire a $23 million grant? Continue reading to refresh your memory.

Enjoy the video (below) about the CRA’s NSP2 grant. You’ll recognize more than a few people if you were here in Lake Worth during that time. At one point, if you pay close attention, you’ll see a few campaign yard signs of people you might know, including a current city commissioner. About the video:

This video is one in a series of case study videos intended for NSP grantees and partners interested in learning about how other grantees are successfully implementing NSP. In Lake Worth, FL, the NSP2 consortium has taken a comprehensive approach in their stabilization efforts. Nonprofits and community leaders featured in this video demonstrate the keys to running their NSP program, including homebuyer counseling, home-purchase assistance, and connecting stabilization with broader economic development and revitalization initiatives such as the Cultural Renaissance Program.

Now, about all those people who thought the NSP2 was a bad idea. . . like former city commissioners who didn’t make the effort to apply for the grant.

But the CRA did step up and apply for the grant.

Here is an excerpt from this blog:

Both the City and the CRA were eligible to apply for the funds. Leading up to the grant application’s deadline, it became apparent that the City administration (Susan Stanton was the city manager in September 2009) and the City Commission (which included Cara Jennings, JoAnn Golden, and Susan Mulvehill) had demonstrated no interest in assisting the CRA or applying for the grant money itself. Wanting to make sure Lake Worth didn’t miss out on this opportunity to address slum and blight in a big way the CRA went ahead and made the application itself, without any help from the City Commission at the time.”

“Emergency Lake Okeechobee back-pumping granted to save wildlife”.

To read the entire news story in The Palm Beach Post by weather reporter Kimberly Miller use this link. And below learn more about the Cape Sable Seaside Sparrow, one of the birds mentioned in the article.

The South Florida Water Management District was granted emergency permission today to back pump clean water into Lake Okeechobee to save animals and plants in bloated water conservation areas.
     District spokesman Randy Smith, said the district had hoped to avoid the back pumping by opening flood gates that would allow excess water to flow south into Everglades National Park and Florida Bay.
     But that option has so far been blocked to protect the Cape Sable Seaside Sparrow, [emphasis added] Smith said.
     “The obvious solution, the quick solution, is to open the gates and let it go into the park,” Smith said. “That is the logical thing to do to provide immediate relief, but so far we’ve gotten no response from U.S. Fish and Wildlife.”

To learn more about the Migratory Bird Act, Endangered Species Act, and past efforts to save our Cape Sabal Seaside Sparrow use this link.
Learn more about SFWMD’s efforts to save our birds and the “Tremendous Progress on Kissimmee River Restoration Projectusing this link.

You won’t believe a Letter to the Editor about Brightline published in the Post.

First, am very excited to be part of a tour next month at the Brightline Station in West Palm Beach prior to the new trains rolling the tracks with passengers.

However, back in 2015 if you recall, the rumors, mis- and disinformation about All Aboard Florida (now called Brightline) was at a fever pitch portending doom and gloom and the fall of Western Civilization. This all culminated in December 2015 when the editor at the Post published a letter (see below) that had some people laughing silly, others just incredulous, but mostly readers just wondering how something so ridiculous could make it through the editorial process.

Can you see the V in the photo below? Are you disturbed by that? Is it affecting your “calmness” in any detectable way?
The Brightline train station in 2015–early 2016 under construction in West Palm Beach.

Enjoy this letter that got published in December 2015. Click on image to enlarge:
Do you think the letter V is “disturbing” and “disrupting the calmness of our state?

Remember I had a mouthful of coffee which went spewing all over the table when I first saw this letter in the Post. My first thought was how happy the letter wasn’t written by a Lake Worth resident.

Second thing that came to mind is, “Hey, is that an image of Jesus on my toast?” The letter V is not a logo for Brightline. The image that is “disturbing” to the letter writer is a replica of one of the architectural structure supports that will hold up the train station. 

Image from 2015 of the proposed Brightline station in West Palm Beach.

Maybe to quell any public anxiety the architects should have turned the supports upside down to form an A?
The image inverted. What do you think? Does the A look better or do you prefer the V? Would letter Q have worked? Or J?

Highlights from Jeff Perlman’s talk at the Bourbon Sprawl gathering in West Palm Beach.

This blog post is a follow-up from last Thursday with more details about the monthly meeting at Hullabaloo on Clematis Street in West Palm Beach. Click the link above to learn about some exciting things happening in, of all places, the downtown parking garages in West Palm.

About 20 people interested in cities, local politics and emerging trends came to hear author and former Delray Beach Mayor Jeff Perlman.
A view of the monthly talk at the sub-culture “gastro-pub” Hullabaloo.

The following are some of the highlights of Perlman’s talk — this is not a verbatim account of what he said — but things that stood out from my point of view.

One of the more important themes of his discussion was that our cities in Palm Beach County are where things are going to get done and problems solved in the future. This will require collaboration on a new level among local governments. He proclaimed that Washington, D.C., meaning the Federal government, is broken and cannot be relied upon to help us. And the problems are not going away on their own.

He believes the current system that elects our representatives to go to Washington, D.C. does not attract the most qualified. Instead, it tends to attract individuals that have polar and opposite world views. He talked about how the public square has been made “toxic” and the best, brightest candidates are not going to take part of the political process to lead in that sort of environment. He pointed at the recent Georgia Congressional race where nearly $50M was spent, most of it on negative campaigning.

The conversation in Georgia was all about what was wrong with the opponent rather than a conversation about addressing problems in a positive way. He wanted us to think about all the ways $50M could be spent to address the real needs in our communities. This was just one political campaign in the State of Georgia: $50M — many more millions of dollars are going to be spent in future races just like the one in Georgia — here in the State of Florida too.

Then he talked about his local government experience in Delray. He remembered how before Delray’s turnaround many years back one of their residents opined Delray Beach was “circling the bowl”, or put another way, on death’s door. He added success doesn’t happen by accident. You have to get the right group of people together and then focus on outcomes rather than the process.

It is important, Perlman said, to “put things in the outbox”, realizing some projects and initiatives may not be perfect but you have to move on. You can always go back to adjust and make corrections later. Get things done! In order to do this you have to bring on the right people with the talent and the skills.

Perlman reminded everyone it can take 10–20 years to rebuild a city. But it can take as short as a year or two to tear down all that hard work and all those accomplishments.

When the wrong people get in office — the ones that just want to undo what others have done — you have to take on a defensive posture to try and preserve what you created. That’s why it is so important to recruit future leaders that share a position and a vision for the future and even more importantly, they have the skill sets and talent to bring those to fruition.

He then spoke about Benjamin R. Barber’s book, If Mayors Ruled The World. In the future cities will have to collaborate as never before. The right people have to be in the right places. The public square needs to be made attractive again to bring forward those people. We need to do this in order to respect the past, respond to the present, and prepare the field for future generations.

Locally, Perlman says one of our universities or colleges needs to create an “Institute for Public Leadership”. This will help produce the kind of leaders this collaborative future will demand. We also have to recruit people that show promise and encourage them to volunteer on local government boards. This will give them confidence and experience when they enter the public square and go on to be our future elected officials.

Lastly, following his remarks, he offered these important reminders:

  • You may have geographic divides, e.g. east/west in your city, but the downtown belongs to everyone. It is the center and a key part of your city’s identity.
  • He talked about the importance of neighborhood teams tasked with one year of planning and then one year of implementation.
  • He shrugged off questions about, “if he had any regrets” by saying, “the work is never done.”
  • Perlman praised the YIMBY movement, the group “Better Boulder” and Strong Towns as well.
It was a pleasure listening to Jeff Perlman and attend another of his enlightening and engaging talks. If you ever get a chance to attend one of these events I strongly encourage you to make the time and go hear what he has to say.

Palm Beach Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO): “Connecting Communities in Palm Beach County”.

Section 3 Workshop next month: Lake Worth, Lantana, Hypoluxo.

  • Location: Lake Worth Art Center, 1121 Lucerne Ave.
  • Presentation and Walking Audit: Saturday, July 22nd, 9:00–2:00.
  • Open Charrette: Monday, July 24th–Wednesday, July 26th, 10:00–7:00.
This is one charrette you do not want to miss:
Use this link for the Palm Beach MPO’s US-1 Multimodal Corridor Study. For the Facebook page use this link.

Our Mayor Pam Triolo is taking a diplomatic mission to Finland! Lauren Bennett receives prestigious award!

UPDATE: If you plan on attending the “Sauna Bucket Award” ceremony tonight here are the details: Festivities begin at 7:00. Tickets are $5. Address: 908 Lehto Lane in suburban Lake Worth. Call the American Finnish Club at 561-965-9792.

City Press Release:

Lake Worth – City of Lake Worth Mayor and Leisure Services Asst. Director to receive prestigious “Sauna Bucket Award”.

On June 24, 2017 the City of Lake Worth Mayor Pam Triolo, along with Leisure Services Assistant Director, Lauren Bennett, will receive the prestigious “Sauna Bucket Award” from the president of the Midnight Sun Festival,* Tom Kuutti, for their continued friendship to the Finnish American community. The award ceremony will be held at the American Finnish Club Midsummer Bonfire.
     With 1,026 people claiming Finn descent in 2000, Lake Worth has the second largest Finnish diaspora as a percentage of total population in the world. The Midnight Sun Festival celebrates Lake Worth’s rich Finnish heritage. The event has been hosted annually since 1983 in the City of Lake Worth and has become famous for its “Wife Carrying Contest”.
     Mayor Triolo indicates that,

“This award is a reflection of the strong relationship the City of Lake Worth has with Finland. I am heading to our Finnish Sister City, Lappeenranta, and I plan to use this sauna bucket in a traditional sauna in Finland!”

To learn more about this news contact Mr. Ben Kerr, the City’s Communications Specialist at 561-586-1631; email:

The City of Lake Worth is located in the United States, in the southern warm State of Florida, in central Palm Beach County next to the Atlantic Ocean. The City is dynamic, multi-cultural, with an individualistic style. People are drawn to the City by its acceptance of different cultures and lifestyles, historic districts, hip downtown and colorful arts district.

*To read the special report by Palm Beach Post reporter Michael Readling about the Midnight Sun Festival on March 3rd this year use this link.
†“Tervetuloa Floridaan! Taalla on paljon toimintaa. Suomalaisia klubeja on kaksi ja seurakuntiakin monta.”

Tonight. Special Evening Performance. Evenings at the Council. Summer Concert Series.

“Live Jazz from the Great American Songbook with Jazz on J Street and special guests”.
The Cultural Council of Palm Beach County is located at 601 Lake Ave. in Downtown Lake Worth.

Doors open at 6:30. Show begins at 7:00.
Admission: $20 in advance, $25 at the door. To order tickets call 561-472-3338.

“The performance will include vocal selections and instrumental improvisation by flutist Blanche Williams, musical director and jazz pianist Rick Moore, drummer Jeff Abbott, bassist Burt Boice, alto saxophonist Gary Levy, and vocalists Yvette Norwood-Tiger and Lynn Simone.”

Very important: Keep the City’s alleyways clear during hurricane season.

The City of Lake Worth’s Pioneers.
Early on the City was platted with alleys for deliveries and utility services to the rear of homes, off neighborhood streets. Vehicles are much larger now; demand for services has greatly increased.

From the City’s website: Lake Worth was platted in the early 1900s with an extensive network of alleyways. Historically, alleyways were used as service corridors for utilities and deliveries in the back of homes and businesses. Alleyways also provided a rear access to a property where a garage may have been located in residential areas.
     While times have changed - deliveries may no longer take place in alleys and garbage collection takes place out front – many of Lake Worth’s water and electric lines are still located in the alleyways.
     Lake Worth alleys are narrow, ranging in size from roughly 10 ft. in residential areas up to 15 ft. wide in commercial areas. They are barely wide enough to accommodate the big, burly trucks, equipment and teams for the efficient delivery of utilities services when clear.

Who’s responsibility are the alleyways?

City’s Responsibility:

  • Mow and grade alleyways.
  • Keep power lines clear of foliage.

Citizen’s Responsibility:

  • Keep alley clear of all trash behind your property.
  • Dispose of any bulk items in the proper manner – not in the alley.
  • Keep hedges, shrubs, and trees trimmed out of the alley.

Two items from the Q&A:

What is an easement?
Portion(s) of a property owner’s land where the City is provided legally granted access for utilities or other City essential services.
Who owns the easement anyway – the property owner or the utilities company?
Property owners own the land. As a property owner, it is your responsibility to keep all areas of the easement free of debris and structures so City utilities crews can do their work.

Look Back to June 2013: Craig McInnis, the City Seal, and our 100th Anniversary at Bryant Park Bandshell.

This one is my favorite. Note the cool shadow.