Thursday, December 14, 2017

Timely reminder for press and TV news media: City of Lake Worth holds what are called “Nonpartisan elections”.

From the City Charter. . .

“Lake Worth, Florida — Code of Ordinances —
Part I, Subpart A, Article V (Qualifications and Elections), Section 1, “Nonpartisan elections”:

All qualifications and elections for the offices of mayor and city commissioner shall be conducted on a nonpartisan basis without regard for or designation of political party affiliation of any nominee on any nomination petition or ballot.

From the City’s website, “Mayor & Commissioners”:

According to the provisions set forth in the City Charter, Lake Worth operates a Commission–Manager form of government. Authority is vested in an elected City Commission, which, in turn, appoints the City Manager.
     The City Commission is comprised of five members who serve staggered two-year terms* and are elected on a nonpartisan basis by residents of the City. The Mayor is elected by a city-wide vote to serve a two-year term as the presiding officer at City Commission Meetings and as the official head of the City of Lake Worth for legislative and ceremonial purposes. The City Commission is responsible for passing Ordinances and other policy directives necessary for the operation of the City.

Any questions?

*On March 14th, 2017, a referendum passed in the City of Lake Worth (55%–45%) increasing terms for electeds from two to three years.
sic. As of Dec. 2017 the City’s website has not been updated.
Also called a ‘weak mayor’ form of government. The city manager is in charge of day-to-day operations but the mayor runs City Commission meetings and performs other “legislative and ceremonial” roles for the City.

If you don’t think Drew Martin has any chance to beat Mayor Triolo you could be in for a very big surprise next March.

Just because Martin got clobbered in the primary last year by now-County Commissioner Dave Kerner doesn’t mean anything at all now.
Now Martin has his eyes on a smaller prize. Becoming mayor of Lake Worth. If you’re still laughing, you better stop.

If by now you haven’t contacted Mayor Pam Triolo’s campaign to ask “How can I help?” you’ll find that information at the end of this blog post. And if you happen to believe Drew Martin can’t possibly beat the mayor please continue reading, because if you do think that, you are delusional.

Why? Because if Drew Martin is actually “in it to win it”, and not just another shill* in another City of Lake Worth election, than he is most definitely a threat to beat Mayor Pam Triolo on March 13th, 2018 in the General Election.

How? With just a few phone calls Martin’s campaign team could have a small army of door knockers in this City from all over South Florida, all of them dressed up like well-behaved preppies with new haircuts, big smiles, and a memorized script. We’ve seen this all before. For example, remember “Mr. Snarky” and all his friends from the west coast supporting candidate Ryan Hartman in the District 1 race against the vice mayor in 2015?

Or? Maybe Martin’s team will decide to resurrect another ‘newspaper’, send out the “Dear Neighbor” letters once again, and so many more tactics from the grab bag of election tricks like stealing or vandalizing as many “Re-Elect Mayor Triolo” campaign signs they can possibly find in the dark of night.

For Drew Martin to win he would only need “50% + 1” of the vote. To avoid an automatic recount he would need a margin of ½ of 1% more of the votes cast to beat the mayor. The key is voter turnout. Who turns out and who doesn’t turn out will decide this election. And don’t forget the absentee and early voters. They could end up deciding this race.

Another way Drew Martin’s team could
beat the mayor:

By campaigning on various issues and a platform that excludes one topic in particular: the actual City of Lake Worth. On the issues here in this City Martin’s team can’t win. But employing a series of distractions he very well could win by taking the focus off the issues here in this City. If Martin is forced to talk about the condition of our roads, the cost of electricity, and how best to use assets like the Park of Commerce he’ll lose badly.

You see, LOCAL LOCAL LOCAL is not Martin’s strength. Expect him to be absent, ‘unable to attend’ most of the debates and public forums one-on-one with Mayor Triolo.

But if Martin’s campaign organizers can succeed in distracting as many voters as possible, which has succeeded in the past, then he certainly could get the votes to win. What kind of distraction? Do you remember the now-infamous “baked ziti” incident at City Hall? And if Mayor Triolo and her campaign team decides to follow Martin down that rabbit hole, taking time to address issues that are not LOCAL LOCAL LOCAL, she could end up helping Martin win the election.

Remember what happened in August 2014.

Due to stoking fear in the public about sea level rise, water percolation and seepage ‘concerns’, and somehow convincing the public potholes served a public purpose by slowing down the speed of cars, a former commissioner and his supporters defeated a referendum in 2014 to begin fixing all our roads and potholes by just 25 votes.

That’s right. By just twenty-five votes a former commissioner, Chris McVoy, PhD, defeated that
bond referendum.

Now imagine for a moment how far ahead we would be right now if that referendum had passed?

If you don’t think Drew Martin and his supporters, some of whom are still here in this City (albeit very quiet of late) can’t rally a small army of volunteers from all over South Florida to knock on doors, wave signs, hold rallies, collect hundreds of $20 contributions and beat Mayor Triolo next March you are delusional.

So. Are you a little worried right now? Good.

If the thought of the City of Lake Worth being referred to as “dysfunction junction” once again is a concern of yours, like it was just 5+ years ago, then you need to get involved. Now. Don’t wait until next year. Contact Mayor Triolo today or call 561-585-8668 and find out how you can help.

This is no time to be going backwards, erasing years of progress. We’ve come too far for that.

*A ‘shill’ candidate is someone who qualifies to get on the ballot but has no intention of winning but moreso to gain a platform for some other agenda or issue.

Worth Noting. Worth Knowing.
Worth Your Support.

Evening on the Avenues is tomorrow.
The Christmas/Holiday Parade is this Saturday.
To see all events use this link to the City’s website.

Stay tuned. The City of Lake Worth’s official
Facebook page will be unveiled soon.
Click on this link to subscribe to
the City’s newsletter. Why?

It’s Worth Noting.
Worth Knowing what’s going on.
And Worth Your Support.

Upcoming: A primary in January, the General Election in March, and a Special Election in April.

It’s almost that time again, “Hmmm. Where do I go to vote in the little City of Lake Worth?” This is especially important now since there are so many new and recently new residents here in this City.

Below is a helpful map of all seventeen precincts
in the City plus a list including the location
of all nine voting locations.

Why are there 17 precincts but only 9 voting locations? That is explained below.

Why is this so important? Because of what happened in the elections earlier this year held on March 14th. A brief explanation:

The closing down of one particular long-time voting location last March in District 4 (east of Dixie Hwy., south of Lake Worth Rd.) created confusion, but where those voters were directed to go vote, west of Dixie Hwy. in District 1, well, one could say that was an interesting decision by the Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections office (SOE).

That voting location in question was the former First Baptist Church at 127 South ‘M’ St. — by the way — an area with a very high density of long-time voters here in the City’s Downtown, precincts 3066 and 7164 (see map below).

Be rest assured going forward, the candidates and political campaigns vying for election wins on March 13th, 2018 will be paying very close attention to any more changes by the SOE.

[For the City of Lake Worth’s map of Districts 1–4 click on this link and take note — all voters vote for mayor and commissioners City-wide — not just for a commissioner in your particular district. The district dividing line is Dixie Hwy., Districts 1 and 2 are west of Dixie, Districts 3 and 4 east of Dixie Hwy.]

Where one goes to vote in
City of Lake Worth.

Briefly, later on next year heading into the March 2018 elections will delve more into voting patterns, past election history, and also about the clever ways voters can be intentionally misled and confused (sometimes referred to as ‘voter suppression’) in order to swing an election or referendum one way or the other. This actually happened back in August 2014, but once again, more about all that later on.

The map of all voting precincts in the City.
Click on image to enlarge:
Note precincts 3066 and 7164 on the map, east of Dixie Hwy.: Voters in precinct 3066 were directed to Our Savior Lutheran Church (see precinct list below); voters in 7164 were sent to the City’s Osborne Community Center.

Both, once again, located west of Dixie Hwy.

Explained: The City of Lake Worth has 17 precincts but only 9 voting locations. Why?

Because five voting locations are where multiple precincts vote. For example, precincts 3052, 3058, 3060, 3066 and 3076 all vote at the same location, the church at 1615 Lake Ave., Our Savior Lutheran Church.

Here’s the list (refer to the map above):

  • 3034 3040 Scottish Rite Masonic Center, 2000 North ‘D’ Street.
  • 3036 3038 Sunlight Community Church, 1325 North ‘A’ Street.
  • 3042 3064 1st Congregational Church, 1415 North ‘K’ Street.
  • 3052 3058 3060 3066 3076 Our Savior Lutheran Church, 1615 Lake Ave.
  • 3062 Lake Worth Towers, 1500 Lucerne Ave.
  • 3068 St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, 100 North Palmway.
  • 3078 Lakeside United Methodist Church, 1801 12th Ave. South.
  • 7160 St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church, 928 South ‘E’ Street.
  • 7162 7164 Osborne Community Center, 1699 Wingfield Street.

Lastly, the elections coming up, so far:

  • Primary, Special Election for State Senate District 31 is January 30th, 2018.
  • City of Lake Worth General Election for mayor and commissioner for District 1 is March 13th, 2018.
  • Special Election for State Senate District 31 is April 10th, 2018.
Check back to this blog leading up to these election days for more information and details. And, as always, Thank You for visiting today.

Brightline and letters to the editor “laced with not too subtle fear-mongering.”

UPDATE: Another silly letter was published in The Palm Beach Post editorial page today ‘laced’ with more nonsense about Brightline: The letter writer starts of with this line, “I think we all know the train traffic will be freight, not passenger Brightline trains.” Then concludes with this line, “Horns are not needed and are obnoxious.”

The first line uses what’s called the bandwagon fallacy and the second sentence is so illogical there is no logical name for it; but the hasty generalization and subjectivist fallacies come close.

As inane as this latest letter is today about Brightline, what would be even more pointless is anyone such as Mr. Myers or Mr. Kovalsky responding to it. Who are Messrs. Myers and Kovalsky? Please continue reading.

Or one could also refer to this “fear-mongering” about Brightline as, “bringing buckets of water to yesterday’s fire.” Find out why a little later.

What follows is the blog post from
yesterday, December 13th:

Tequesta resident Dennis Myers and West Palm Beach resident Jim Kovalsky both deserve a lot of credit. If you didn’t know, one of the not-so-clever ways the editors at the Post try to stir up trouble is by publishing ‘letters’ on the editorial page, “laced with not too subtle fear-mongering.”

Brightline was the target last year for several weeks and was once again the target recently with this gem of a letter, “With Brightline, 32 more train trips a day: Do the math”. A logical question to ask the letter writer is why did you wait so long to ‘Do the math’?

Ergo the reference above to “bringing buckets
of water to yesterday’s fire.”

Anyhow. Back in June 2016 Mr. Myers of Tequesta dealt with all that illogical hysterics and bandwagon fallacies concerning letters published with so-called ‘concerns’ and fears about the Brightline passenger rail service project:

Recent weeks have seen letters to The Palm Beach Post voicing renewed outrage [emphasis added] over the potential damage expanding the local railway system will bring to the quality of our lives. Sentiments range from exaggerated speculation countered by point-of-fact responses to earnest opposition laced with not too subtle fear-mongering. For me, however, all the hand-wringing comments miss several key points in the argument.

To read Mr. Myers’ “key points in the argument” click on this link.

Now comes Jim Kovalsky
to the rescue!

Following the letter published recently in the Post about the soon-to-begin Brightline passenger rail service and ‘Do the math’, Mr. Kovalsky fired back with his own letter titled, “Don’t stop on tracks: Train problem solved; here are excerpts from that letter which appears in yesterday’s (12/13) print edition:

I applaud Jack Felton for being concerned for the public’s safety as Brightline prepares to start their new express train service here in South Florida, but his math is mistaken and his fear misplaced. [emphasis added]
     He attempts to use mathematics to make his concern appear valid, but as someone with a degree in mathematics and computer science, I would paint a different picture.
     The FEC Railway currently runs approximately 20 trains daily between Jacksonville and Hialeah, and each of those trains crosses almost 500 crossings in every trip. That tells us that already the crossing signals protect us successfully at 3.5 million grade crossing activations each year.
     When there are incidents at a grade crossing, the horn or lack of horn is not the cause — 100 percent of grade crossing accidents are caused by people stopping their vehicles on the tracks. Here’s a simple solution for everyone — and it’s also a state law (FS 316.1945) — never stop on the tracks.

and. . .

     Remember, the train does not swerve off the tracks to hit a car. The car must be in the train’s way to get hit, and we are all responsible for maintaining our own safety.

Well put, Mr. Kovalsky. And a big Thank You to Mr. Myers as well for addressing those ‘concerns’ and open-ended speculation “laced with not too subtle fear-mongering.”

By the way, have you ever wanted to write a Letter to the Editor (LTE)? It’s easy and only takes 5–10 minutes. Click on this link for the details with helpful tips and most importantly, explains how to “follow up” your LTE and get your letter published.

Whilst on the topic of Brightline hope you enjoy the video below and find this blog post informative as well about our tour last July of the West Palm Beach station sponsored by the Palm Beach County Planning Congress in collaboration with the West Palm Beach Downtown Neighborhood Assoc.:

Coats and blankets needed for the homeless in Central PBC.

Help the homeless in suburban Lake Worth, Village of Palm Springs, City of Greenacres, and the needy in County’s John Prince Park near City of Atlantis
(see map below).

If you have any used coats, blankets, or sleeping bags drop them off at Saint Vincent de Paul Thrift Store located in the City of Greenacres.

Directions: Take Lake Worth Rd. to Military Trail. Then head north towards the intersection of Military Trail and Bowman Rd. (approx. ½ mile) and look for a “Thrift Store” sign on the left (west) side of the street. For more information call 561-469-7922.

Open Monday–Friday 9:00–5:00; Saturday 10:00–5:00; closed Sunday.

Click on map to enlarge:
St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Store is nearby the
Town of Lake Clarke Shores and the Great Walled
City of Atlantis (note: areas shaded white
are unincorporated PBC)

Once again, just to be clear, please refer to the map above: suburban Lake Worth — unincorporated areas in Central Palm Beach County (CPBC) west of the City of Lake Worth — are very different from the actual City of Lake Worth. Areas shaded white in the map above ARE NOT municipalities.

The public is regularly confused by press and news media reports, e.g., this particulary egregious one about an incident of rabies last month that DID NOT HAPPEN “in Lake Worth”. False news reports such as these confuse the public about these two very different places here in CPBC: the City of Lake Worth and unincorporated areas west of the City.

Radical environmentalists you’ve supported in the past now just a disappointment? Then consider Deep Green Resistance (DGR).

Please Note: The following blog post is not an endorsement for DGR or for tactics such as “Decisive Ecological Warfare”.
     However, since so many of our coastal communities in Palm Beach County are the home base for radical environmentalist (rad enviro) cells, instead of them trying to monkeywrench local city politics and initiatives (which only drains rad enviro resources, money, and personnel), the rads need to try and focus on the big issues such as western sprawl, the Ag Reserve, and saving the Florida Everglades.

Are you a supporter of radical environmentalism
and looking for bold ideas?

Are you tired of protesters banging pots and pans, obnoxious noise-makers from the dollar store?

Tired of reading about another lawsuit against FPL that everyone knows is just a fallback and delay tactic? Money to fund these lawsuits drains resources and money that are desperately needed elsewhere.

Tired of retelling old stories of tree-sits? Public relations fiascos like a rad enviro throwing a battery into a lake? Confusing ‘musicals’ sending mixed messages too?
“Yes! It is Happening!”

A year later, what did this ‘musical’ accomplish except for a well-written account by Rachel Monroe in the Oxford American?

“Community Action Group”?
Click image to enlarge. Pretty clever, huh?
The 1960’s is calling and they want their
Lake Worth hippie back.

The self-described rad enviros in Palm Beach County are a big disappointment, especially when it comes curbing or at least slowing down western sprawl. You would be hard-pressed finding any proof of their success if you read the newspaper every day. Especially the “Real Estate” section.

If you’re looking for new ideas “outside the box” then consider donating much needed funds to DGR. Consider this:

     Throughout history all resistance movements have faced ruthless enemies that had unlimited resources. And, unlike the past, now everything’s at stake.
     We are battling those who are destroying the planet for their profit, not ours. Not all of us can participate on the frontlines. Many people have important reasons to stay back – families, children, or character traits. [emphasis added]

[and. . .]

     We are a young organization, but we have a message that is more unique and strategic than anything else we have seen. The DGR strategy – Decisive Ecological Warfare – lays out a simple (though not easy) plan to get from here – a society based on wholesale exploitation and destruction of human communities and the natural world – to there – thousands of local communities based on respect, human rights, and balance.
     As an aboveground organization, our work is strictly nonviolent. 
     Our tasks are simple: to promote the need for an underground, to shift the culture of activism, to normalize resistance, and to build movement towards true justice, sustainability, and equality.
     Join those of us who cannot be on the front lines in supporting the struggle for life and justice. With your help, we will make this dream a reality.

To help, send a check or use one many other options:

Deep Green Resistance
PO Box 925

City of Lake Worth’s RFP 18-201: “Compass Community Center HVAC Replacement Project”.

Learn more below about this Request For Proposal (RFP), and “Small business participation is strongly encouraged”.

An interesting website to follow is the City of Lake Worth’s “Bids & Proposals” page:
Lake Worth’s procurement process is managed by the Finance Department . . . responsible for contracts and services related to construction or services provided to the city.
If you recall, another recent posting on this City website was an Invitation For Bid (IFB) for the “Wayfinding Signage Project”. When this ‘Wayfinding’ project is complete one of the benefits will be, hopefully, that beat reporters and the TV news media can just follow the signs into the actual City of Lake Worth and learn when they are exiting the City as well.

Anyhow. . . here’s one of the latest RFP’s
on the City website:

Compass Community Center — HVAC Replacement Project:

The City of Lake Worth is seeking proposals from qualified HVAC/Mechanical contractors to replace the existing air conditioning system at the Compass Community Center facility. The goods and/or services being sought include, but are not limited to: Replace the existing chiller system with a new 40 ton, 2 stage air cooled TRANE chiller system.
     Work includes materials, installation, wiring, piping, controls, sensors, thermostats, coil coatings, mounting hardware, and applicable work. A non-mandatory pre-bid meeting will be held on 10:30 a.m., Wednesday, December 13, 2017 with all potential bidders to review the project scope and general project information.

and. . .

Interested parties may obtain a copy of the RFP by contacting the Financial Services Office at 561-586-1651 or from the City’s website. All proposals must be hand-delivered or mailed to:

City of Lake Worth Financial Services
2nd Floor
7 North Dixie Hwy.
Lake Worth, FL 33460

Envelope must be identified as RFP #18-201. Small business participation is strongly encouraged.

Questions? Call 561-586-1654 or send an email:

The New Yorker, “Environmentalism’s Racist History” as a white movement
for the élite.

Next time you go to a meeting organized by an environmental organization here in Palm Beach County, look around. . .

Here in South Florida, as recently reported by the Post’s Mahima Singh, the demographics are changing but that news — really not news at all — has had little impact over the years on the racial makeup of environmental organizations here in our region.

As stated on this blog before, there would be outrage if PBSO looked like the membership of [place name here].

Without further ado, here is this article from Jedediah Purdy published by The New Yorker:
an excerpt:

Bernard [Mitch Bernard, director of litigation at the Natural Resources Defense Council] attributes some of the misgivings to environmentalism’s history as an élite, white movement. A 2014 study found that whites occupied eighty-nine per cent of leadership positions in environmental organizations. [emphasis added]
     Some of the awkwardness of environmental politics since the seventies, now even more acute in the age of climate change, is that it lays claim to worldwide problems, but brings to them some of the cultural habits of a much more parochial, and sometimes nastier, movement.
     Ironically enough, Madison Grant [Wikipedia page], writing about extinction, was right: the natural world that future generations live in will be the one we create for them. It can only help to acknowledge just how many environmentalist priorities and patterns of thought came from an argument among white people, some of them bigots and racial engineers, about the character and future of a country that they were sure was theirs and expected to keep.

Infill development and City of Lake Worth history: The one constant is constant change.

Many of the things City residents take for granted wouldn’t exist today were it not for infill development: Bryant Park, the Snook Islands, ‘Hot Dog Park’*, the City’s Golf Course, Park of Commerce, and the County’s John Prince Park are just a few.

For another example of infill development, coastal hardening and protection, you’ll be interested to learn what happened after the hurricanes of 1947 and 1949: A1A used to hug the coastline east of the Casino building but was moved west, away from the ocean and closer to the Intracoastal.

Later on in the 1950s more areas west of the Casino building were “filled in”. That is where the large Casino parking lot is located and where the Farmer’s Market meets during The Season. This first image is from Facebook and the next two color images are courtesy of Frank Palen, a long-time City resident many of you know very well:

Aerial view looking south likely pre-WWII. A1A hugs the coast in front of the former Casino structure. Then later, in the 1950s. . .

Note location of the pool (rear of building). The pool at the Beach now is condemned. Due to modern trends and market forces, a municipal pool at the Beach is unlikely an option going forward (but one may be constructed somewhere else in the City).

Notice all the parking close by the former Casino and short walk to the beach. The present structure has parking and traffic problems of which most of you are aware. Those weren’t issues “back in the day”.

*Many residents of Lake Worth will fondly recall why that area (base of the former Lake Worth bridge) was called “Hot Dog Park”. It had to do with ‘free hot dogs’ on a July 4th back in 2009. Former resident and blogger-extraordinaire Tom McGow explained this quite well in a post titled, “PAC your lunch for the 4th of July. . .”.

Natural gas service and the little
City of Lake Worth.

Thinking about converting to natural gas
in your home?

One of the benefits of natural gas (NG) is during long electric outages or following a hurricane you can still cook and boil water.

Learn more below how to switch over to NG. Gas is “cheap, clean, affordable, and plentiful”.

Back in the day, when the Lake Worth Electric Utility rates were sky high prior to 2012 some electeds continued to hint they wanted the rates to go even higher. That set off a panic in this City. Back in 2015, once again, two commissioners suggested spiking up rates to fund their ‘wish list’. Both of them are no longer on the City Commission. Learn more about that below.

Before 2012, residents who lived in areas with NG service lines who were able to afford the initial investment, began switching over or “hooking up” new or pre-owned appliances to NG provided by Florida Public Utilities, e.g., stoves, cloth dryers, and water heaters.

“Leading the Fight to Lower Electric Bills”?
After Cara Jennings got re-elected in 2008 electric rates continued to spike. Remember, political speech is Free Speech, one can claim almost anything
on a political mailer.

Homeowners previously on full-electric in their homes in NG service areas, who later converted over to gas, saw their utility bills drop significantly. But others in areas without NG were out of luck. It came as a surprise to many when they found out their neighborhood didn’t have gas lines but other areas in the City did.

Prior to 2012, City administrations used the Electric Utility to fund their wish lists, ergo the term “cash cow” that our City’s Electric Utility used to be called. Then in September 2015, well, all hell broke loose again when this news hit:

After all the work to lower electric rates since 2012, two commissioners wanted to spike up rates again in 2015.
Of course, this “push” came as the Summer heat was winding down. Later, then-District 2 commissioner, Chris McVoy, PhD, lost his bid for re-election and then-District 4 Commissioner Ryan Maier
opted not to run again.

Anyway. Enough of the history how we got here. Interested in finding out more about NG?

Call 888-765-4601 to contact Florida Public Utilities or use this link and “Ask4Gas”.
Ask4Gas! “Better meals. Longer baths.
Softer laundry.”

Here are more benefits:

  • NG is cheap, clean, affordable, and plentiful.
  • NG is extremely safe. Remember to “Call 811 Before You Dig!” or use this link.
  • Nine out of 10 professional chefs prefer cooking with NG.
  • NG is the “Green” choice.
In the video below, a Florida Public Utility expert explains the benefits of switching over to a NG range/oven:

Is City of Lake Worth, a little 6-square-mile municipality, the “bike theft capital of world”?

No. Of course not. This is an example of what’s called hyperbole. Below is the headline that appeared in The Palm Beach Post from a beat reporter about bike thefts here in the City of Lake Worth:

Is Lake Worth really ‘bike theft capital of world?’ Some think so.

First off, asking a question in a newspaper headline is a big no-no and something headline editors should never do. Here are two more excerpts from that article back in 2015:

     City Manager Michael Bornstein said it’s an issue the city needs to address.*
     “Do I think it’s a problem?” Bornstein asked. “Yes. It skews our crime statistics and it’s downright aggravating.”

and. . .

     “People won’t buy the bike they want to buy,” he [Mike Ogonowski, owner of Relentless Bicycles at 702 Lucerne Ave.] said. “They’ll buy a cheaper one because they just feel it’s going to get stolen.”
     But Ogonowski said riders need to invest more money in better locks to deter thieves. Too many bicyclists, he said, are opting to buy an $18 braided steel lock that can be easily clipped as opposed to a $36 chain lock that is harder to break.

For new residents of Lake Worth and others concerned about having their bike stolen below is information that is very useful to protecting your ride. 

If you just read the silly headline in the Post and scanned the text by their beat reporter you might come away thinking we’re indeed leading the world in bike thefts. We’re not. Not even close. Here’s a link to a short blog post I penned that day in September 2015 when this ‘news’ first came out.

The issue of bike theft is an easy one to understand but you had to get far into the article to learn about that. One of the clues why people are having their bikes stolen can be found in this video that accompanied the Post article. A bicyclist tells his story about his bike being stolen and in a dramatic scene the cyclist gets on his new bike and rides down the road. Guess what’s missing?


Really folks, doesn’t that explain it all? To secure a bike you need a quality lock. Get a lock affixed to your bike or in a pouch so it’s always there. Bike riders in South Florida have known for many years there is a problem with bike theft so take the necessary precautions.

If you’re a Lake Worth resident go to one of our local expert bike shops and learn where to lock your bike and just as importantly, how to lock your bike properly:

Meet Mike Ogonowski of Relentless Bicycles.
Stop by his shop and learn ways to keep
your bike from being stolen.

There are two local bike shops in the little City of Lake Worth where you can purchase a lock that will better deter thieves from stealing your ride:

Relentless Bicycles
702 Lucerne Ave

and. . .

Family Bicycle
127 South Dixie Hwy

Best of luck or you can do what a server at Brogues DownUnder did as quoted in the Post article after his bike was stolen from the back lot of the restaurant:

“I take Uber now,” he said.

*FYI: The City of Lake Worth has a new ordinance which states that, “any bicycle left over 48 hours is considered abandoned”.
     Report any abandoned bicycles on City of Lake Worth public property, e.g., sidewalks, street signs, bike racks. If you know of a bicycle that has been left on a public right-of-way for more than 48 hours please call 561-533-7383. 

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Congratulations, District 3 Commissioner Andy Amoroso!

No one filed to run against Commissioner Amoroso. So he’ll begin serving another term on the Lake Worth City Commission but this time for 3 years following the referendum that passed last March.

Clearly, the public is content with the direction the City is moving in and this is certainly a nod to City Manager Michael Bornstein hired back in April 2012 to turn things around. One could say the ‘last hurrah’ in opposition began in 2015 and ended convincingly one year later.

Do you remember March 2016? Mayor Pam Triolo,
Vice Mayor Scott Maxwell and Commissioner Andy Amoroso all won in landslide elections.
Then in March 2017 the “gadfly” in District 2 was ushered off the City Commission and in came Commissioner Omari Hardy. Commissioner Herman C. Robinson won the open-seat election in District 4.

In other election news — dealt with briefly here today but much more later — Drew Martin, yes, that Drew Martin, is running against Mayor Pam Triolo. One could say with some degree of certainty the oft-expected opposition here in the City of Lake Worth has drained the pool completely dry of talent and enthusiasm. But do expect some ecotheatrical reruns or maybe even a musical or two. Entertaining distractions.

The ballot was not certified at the City Commission meeting last night. At the end of the meeting learned why. Very deftly from City Manager Michael Bornstein. It had to do with the order on the ballot in the District 1 race, specifically the letters ‘M’ and ‘P’. Stay tuned as they say.

Another election record was set yesterday
here in this City.

For “The Shortest Political Campaign Ever”: Richard Stowe, Chair of the City’s Tree Board (which, by the way, meets tomorrow at 5:30 in City Hall) filed his papers to run against Commissioner Amoroso on Dec. 11th and then filed his campaign “Termination Report” the next day before noon. The good news is Mr. Stowe got his $25 back.

To see all the candidates for the “2018 General Election” click on this link.
Before long the Playhouse and some neighborhood debates will be scheduled. Drew Martin needs to prepare his “Opening Statement” and maybe he will explain to the public why we need an
election for mayor in 2018.

Because, apparently, he is one of few that does.

Grand opening tomorrow, 7-Eleven in City of Lake Worth. An invitation from Mr. Roger Posey:

“With the guidance of your team, we have achieved an incredible new XXI Century facility with upgraded architectural design.”

FYI – Another Grand Opening of 7-Eleven!

Dear Mayor, Vice-Mayor, City Commissioners, City Manager and Officials:

Please save the date: Thursday, December 14th at 929 N. Dixie Hwy. at 10:30 a.m. with the ribbon cutting at 11:00.

We are looking forward to the completed construction of our new 7-Eleven located at 929 North Dixie Hwy. With the guidance of your team, we have achieved an incredible new XXI Century facility with upgraded architectural design.

The store will be opening its doors to the public on December 13th with the Grand Opening Ceremony on December 14th.

We are honored to invite you to our grand opening ceremony, and we would be delighted if you could attend to cut the ribbon and join us wishing the best of luck to our new franchisee-business owner.

We will be inviting different vendors and providing free products to appreciate our customers and celebrate our community in Lake Worth.

Thank you,

Roger Posey
Creighton Construction & Management

What happened to News Guy Greg?
He’s moved on. A huge loss for TV news reporting in Central Palm Beach County.

Below is the parting message from Greg Angel, two photos from his last day at CBS12, and a video of Jason Newsted at the Cultural Council being interviewed by “News Guy Greg”.

For residents here in the City of Lake Worth it’s especially hard-hitting losing a TV news talent that could locate our actual City of Lake Worth without smoke signals or a trained Sherpa guide.

So now we’ll probably end up with another revolving door of CBS12 anchors and reporters who will be told that everything south of West Palm Beach, north of Boynton Beach, and west up to the Everglades is ‘in Lake Worth’. There’s always reason for hope though, it’s possible the City’s upcoming “Wayfinding” project might help, but don’t count on it.

Here’s Greg Angel at the Palm Beach County Cultural Council in the City of Lake Worth on November 30th,
his last day on the job.
Here is News Guy Greg interviewing former Metallica band member Jason Newsted who has an ongoing exhibit at the Cultural Council.

To learn more about this exhibition
click on this link

The message from Greg Angel:

It is with bittersweet excitement that I announce I am leaving WPEC CBS12 in West Palm Beach at the end of my contract, which is November 30.
     My time here has been filled with some incredible assignments and awesome opportunities, alongside some world class people. I challenge myself every day to find ways to add value to society; to help others find answers, purpose, hope, and reason.
     It’s not always easy, and often times you would have more success trying to sip from a fire hose.
     In this line of work, you’re always pressed on deadline. You’re always asked “what’s next?” [emphasis added] So, what IS next? I’ll finish out my final few weeks in West Palm Beach, and then take a digital diet. . . . After that – well, a new journey begins. As we say in TV… stay tuned…

Best of luck! And make sure to let everyone
know where you end up:
To follow Greg Angel on Twitter
click on this link.

Enjoy the video:

Is the City of Lake Worth too complex for the press and news media to understand in this time of quick news cycles?

Oft-repeated on this blog, our City of Lake Worth really deserved positive recognition from the press and news media following Hurricane Irma, for example, on the Post’s editorial page. But because of several factors, most notably because the City of Lake Worth owns its own Electric Utility, that adds an element of “complexity”:

“I think one of the greatest casualties of the high metabolism of the news business is complexity. That’s a big loss.”
Quote by Bill Keller, journalist and former editor at The New York Times.

Also of note, local beat reporters at The Palm Beach Post were absent leading up to, during, and post-Hurricane Irma, except for reporter Joe Capozzi who helped the City get its news out on Twitter to local TV news organizations. Also remember, for several days delivery of the Post’s print edition was stopped due to windy conditions.

Despite all this, the City performed spectacularly and kept the public informed and updated with all the latest information. And for this they deserved some special recognition in the Central Palm Beach County “paper of record”.

Following Hurricane Matthew in 2016 a Letter to the Editor (LTE) by Lisa Stewart made the print edition (see below). But following Irma there’s not been one single acknowledgement or even “a nod” from the editor at the Post to the City of Lake Worth or the Electric Utility.

A few weeks after the storm encouraged my readers to send a Letter to the Editor (LTE) or a Point of View about their positive experiences and the swift, professional response from the City, for example:

“Were you pleased how well the City of Lake Worth and Public Information Officer, Ben Kerr, got so much information out to the public and to the media as well? Write an LTE about that!”

Remember the Hurricane Irma updates posted on YouTube by the City? This is just one of many:

Here’s the LTE published in The Palm Beach Post following Hurricane Matthew in 2016:
So. Do you have a recent positive story to tell? Maybe about the CANVAS Outdoor murals?
Write a LTE about that!


How to get your LTE published in the Post.

  • Keep your LTE to 150–200 words in length. The “shorter the better” is a good rule.
  • An LTE submitted by email (see below) is the best method and remember to include your phone number and complete address.
  • Listing your credentials will help greatly.

Then always follow-up!

  • Follow up your LTE with an email or fax later that day or the next morning.
  • Then later, call the editorial department and explain why your letter is important.
  • Don’t be timid talking to the editor and be polite.
  • Just ask outright, “Are you planning to publish my letter?”

Who knows, maybe your LTE will get published
in this week’s Sunday edition?

  • Email:
  • Fax: 561-820-4728
  • Phone: 561-820-4441
Snail mail:
Palm Beach Post
ATTN: Letter to Editor (LTE)
2751 S. Dixie Highway
West Palm Beach, FL 33405

Good Luck!

This Friday: There’s a “Book Signing”
at The Book Cellar bookstore in
Downtown Lake Worth.

Details are below for the hardcover book signing, Living Large in Small Spaces: The Cottages of
Lake Worth
by Janice Snearer, Dean Sherwin,
and photographer Taylor Jones.

Yours Truly will be there this Friday to give a brief talk about how “The Cottages of Lake Worth” came to be. So how did this all start?

“The idea came to me in 2009 when I moved here from Tennessee,” said [Roger] Hendrix, who still retains his Volunteer State accent. “I wanted to feature one of our best assets.”

In 2013, former Palm Beach Post reporter Lona O’Connor penned this article that put “The Cottages of Lake Worth” on everyone’s radar:

A cottage, in Lake Worth, is usually set on a 25-foot lot, narrower than standard. It would be a narrow wood frame house with one or two bedrooms and crawl space below, said Wes Blackman, a member of the Lake Worth historic resource preservation board.

It was about that time people like Janice Snearer, Dean Sherwin, Helene Jarvis started wondering, “You know, maybe we should do a book about these cottages in Lake Worth?” Anyhow, as they say, the rest is history.

By the way, this corner of Lake Ave. and “Jumpin’
J Street”, where The Book Cellar is located, is part of classic movie history worldwide:
Mr. Ned Racine (actor William Hurt) walking north on ‘J’ St. in a scene of the 1981 classic film noir Body Heat. The white structure on west side of the street is now The Book Cellar at 801 Lake Ave.

Book signing in December 2016. The Cottages book coordinator Janice Snearer said, “We didn’t know anything about publishing” and she then memorialized Dean Sherwin. Sadly, he passed away in March 2016.

And now here we are.
Click on image to enlarge:
Hope to see a large crowd at The Book Cellar this Friday. It’s been a long journey since 2009, now the second printing of “The Cottages of Lake Worth”.

Never in the history of Palm Beach County has there ever been a
‘sanctuary city’.

So therefore. If you’ve ever read or ever heard that the City of Lake Worth or the Town of Jupiter was a ‘sanctuary city’ that is completely false.

To learn the facts click on this link to learn more about the divisive term ‘sanctuary city’ used to demonize areas here in Palm Beach County.

U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor (D), 14th District of Florida, said. “I think it’s a trap. I think it was a term that was created to divide people and to demonize
diverse areas.”

Keep Bryant Park PUBLIC! No beer kiosks, no hot dog stands, and no billboards in our City parks.

Remember two former commissioners (see below) and that now-failed tabloid that promoted giving away our Bryant Park?

Click on “Gallery Owner Pitches ‘Art Ship’ for
Lake Worth’s Waterfront”: 
Remember this former tabloid? “Always FREE, Delivered FREE”, and had almost no advertising. What kind of business model is that?

Below is an image from “Issue 9” on March 13th, 2015, from that tabloid following the elections that year. Then-citizen, later a commissioner, and now-citizen-once-again Ryan Maier and now-former-Commissioner Chris McVoy, PhD, celebrate Election Day victories at Mamma Mia’s On The Beach.

But the public later responded. The public spoke and spoke loudly:



Giving away our parks is nothing to
laugh or smile about:
Former commissioners Maier (beaming, white shirt) and McVoy (blue shirt, arms raised) along with jubilant already-former-commissioners JoAnn Golden and Cara Jennings. No word on any
plans for a reunion.

Demise of the shuffleboard courts in Downtown Lake Worth, the place now called “HATCH 1121”.

No history topic about any structure in this City has generated more interest since 2006 on this blog than the very short post below. Not even close. I’ll just throw the question out there: Should Lake Worth plan for a shuffleboard venue in the future? If so, where? Maybe the Beach?

At the height of its popularity the shuffleboard courts once occupied the northwest area of the current City Hall — back then it was the City’s Municipal Auditorium.

That area is now a parking lot. Here are some pictures from postcards back in the day.
For those of you unfamiliar with shuffle-
board learn more here.

Lake Worth’s courts at the City’s former Annex northwest of City Hall (now called “HATCH 1121”) began falling into disrepair “back in the day”, fewer and fewer people showed up to play.

In 2008 the end of the shuffleboard era was over for good when it was turned into a day labor center — another in a long line of terrible decisions by a previous City administration and a very sad era in our City’s history as well.

By the way. . . The City of Lake Worth’s current Annex building is located at 414 Lake Ave. in the Cultural Plaza (just east of the Lake Worth Library) and is home to the Lake Worth Historical Museum as well, on the second floor: To schedule a tour call 561-533-7354; walk-in hours are 1:00–4:00 on Wednesday and Friday.

Another in the series: “Why doesn’t City of Lake Worth have its own PD?” Newspaper clipping below will help to answer that question.

On August 26th, 2008, then-Mayor Jeff Clemens signed the agreement turning over law enforcement responsibility to PBSO and disbanded the LWPD.

Why? The short answer is the former LWPD was simply overwhelmed and didn’t have the resources. Many present residents of this City were not here during that tumultuous time prior to PBSO taking over.

The crime and gang situation was so bad prior to PBSO there were some publicly calling for police roadblocks on roads leading into the City. Absurd? Don’t believe it? Use this link. The latest beat reporter from the Post, one fond of asking open-ended questions like, “Does Lake Worth have a gang problem?”, didn’t even begin reporting about this City until about two years ago and the reporting about crime in this City by that reporter in particular has been loaded with mis- and disinformation.

Let’s take a stroll down memory lane. . .

“According to Mayor Jeff Clemens, the city is at least 10 officers short of the same time in 1997, a significant number when translated into street presence.”
—Quote from reporter Patrick Parrish in the Lake Worth Herald, April 2007, front page story above the fold. An excerpt from the article:

“The Lake Worth City Commission, 4-1, passed a resolution supporting the bill [House Bill 1363] to strengthen gang-fighting techniques by law enforcement.”

“I don’t feel comfortable voting on this tonight” [former commissioner Cara] Jennings said. “This could be a civil rights issue.”

Click on image to enlarge:
Another former commissioner, JoAnn Golden, quoted in the same 2007 article: “I can understand [Cara] Jennings’ concern on civil rights, but we have allowed gangs to get ahead of us.

One more quote:

“We walked the area [neighborhood in District 1] many years ago, block by block, and flushed out these criminals. We drove them out out of our neighborhoods and we might have to do that again.”
ibid. Quote by former Lake Worth Vice Mayor Retha Lowe.

By the way, the last “Walk the Walk with PBSO” was on April 9th, almost 6 months ago.

About time for another one? Maybe in District 1? Has there ever been a “Crime Walk” in District 2?

Worth another look: When considering any “minor zoning adjustment” engage the public quickly.

The “Official Zoning Map” for the City of Lake Worth:
Use this link to the City’s website for Planning & Zoning, Land Development Regulations, helpful links, contact information and much more.

A “minor zoning adjustment” isn’t always so minor when it happens next door. Below is a cautionary tale — how not to go about changing zoning in a city, any city — not just here in the City of Lake Worth. Below are two excerpts from this article that appeared in The Palm Beach Post last March titled, “Lake Worth: City of art, artists”, and Jan Rodusky from the Palm Beach County Cultural Council is quoted:

     “We [the Cultural Council of Palm Beach County] looked at their branding and how they [Austin, Texas] leveraged art and culture to develop their own identify and brand,” Rodusky said. “That could be used as a foundation for city’s brand strategy.”

and. . .

     That’s how Lake Worth wants to be known. The city wants to allow artists to create in their own homes, which would result in a minor zoning adjustment and to the existing occupancy permit process [emphasis added], Rodusky said.

The key words are “minor zoning adjustment”.

Now let’s take a stroll back, what happened back in 2015:

Despite the City Commission’s work in recent years to tighten zoning ordinances, there was and still is in this City public concern over the talk of expanding the definition and allowing more types of home occupations (what some call ‘upzoning’, which confuses the issue even more), especially as it relates to residential property values, increased traffic, and what role code enforcement would have in all this, to name just a few.

The group called the Lake Worth Artist and Cottage Entrepreneurs (ACE) had been promoting the expansion of home occupations and I met with them in 2015. You can read about that using this link. What I found interesting about ACE was their goal of engaging the public by beginning a community-wide discussion about changing the zoning to attract more artists to this City.

But, for some reason, that never happened.

Instead what they did is try to gain political support through various channels but not in a very public way with community involvement. Then later, all hell broke loose.

Part of the confusion was created by comparisons way out of scale to such a small city like Lake Worth. For example, former Commissioner McVoy’s mention of Portland, Oregon (and other large cities) just confused and muddled the issue even further. Then there’s always that special place, the mecca for artists working out of their homes, the beacon on the hill and shining example for home occupation proponents everywhere, Key West.

Just one problem. It’s not true.

It is easy to get carried away with what you think a situation may be in another city. The viewpoint you hold may be influenced by anecdotal evidence, word of mouth, tourism advertising, etc. There seemed to be the expectation that Key West would be a thriving home to people working out of their homes in sort of an artists’ Garden of Eden.

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

There were other possible examples around the nation that could have served as models for home occupations, places more in scale and layout to Lake Worth. But I cautioned everyone back then to not get carried away with romantic notions that may not actually be based in reality. I know that can be a challenge here in the charming little City of Lake Worth.

Another former Lake Worth commissioner, Ryan Maier, was one of those proponents of expanding home occupations in this City. However, prior to being elected in 2015 he had much concern for traffic and congestion in his own neighborhood. How one squares expanding the zoning code to allow more artists (one example) to work out of their homes, having deliveries made, clients visit, and possibly adding employees (without additional parking) didn’t make any sense coming from someone who was already worried about congestion and traffic in his neighborhood.

That is what’s called a “disconnect” and why the public became so worried and confused in 2015 and 2016. Zoning, when it’s discussed and debated in a public way, doesn’t have to be confusing. It can also be a great way to educate and engage the public going forward.