Thursday, April 6, 2017

New blog policy: What to do if you see or hear a false news report about the City of Lake Worth.

If you see a false news report about our City here is what you do, please forward that information to:
  • Mr. Ben Kerr, the City’s Communication Specialist
  • 561-586-1631
  • Email:
Another option is to contact your City commissioner or even the mayor if this topic is a concern of yours. Not satisfied with the response or received no response at all? Then go up the chain of command and contact the City Manager, Michael Bornstein (please note: will continue to monitor media/press reports and forward those to the City when necessary).

City of Lake Worth and reporter errors: Crime, blazes, and “Toxic Tide”? Some in media/press try to tell our City’s story. . . but don’t know where our City is (for more examples and why this issue is important, use this link).
The areas in white are the Lake Worth Corridor (census-designated) and other areas west of the City are unincorporated Palm Beach County: Suburban Lake Worth.

Just one example, one of many:

“A 25-year-old Florida man is accused of setting fire to a suburban Lake Worth country club last week and posted videos on Snapchat during the blaze [and. . .] Palm Beach County Fire Rescue crews found the Sherbrooke Estates clubhouse fully engulfed in flames early Feb. 11.” 
Post reporter Olivia Hitchcock reported this news accurately; however, the initial report by Jim Hayward was false and drew this comment from a reader, “How is that considered Lake Worth?

There are local breaking news reporters at the Post, e.g., Julius Whigham II and Hitchcock who understand the western municipal border of our City is rather confusing; however, for a reporter to find the actual location — if it’s in the City or outside the municipal border — takes only a minute or two to verify. Find out how below. A hint? The numbers “00” and “38” give the answer.

Below is a zoning map of the City of Lake Worth. The western border is the one that’s confusing for many in the media and press. That border is roughly Lake Osborne Drive along the County’s John Prince Park and the L-4 (Keller) Canal leading into the C-51 Canal:

The City of Lake Worth has two Zip Codes: 33460 and part of 33461. There’s a ‘Lake Worth’ Zip Code on the edge of the Everglades: 33467. Use this link to learn more about this.

John Prince Park is in unincorporated Palm Beach County. Interestingly, the City of Lake Worth still has a County “enclave, a small unincorporated area within the City.

The items below (see bullet list) demonstrate the media’s confusion about the City of Lake Worth versus the vast unincorporated areas west not located within the City’s municipal limits. Those areas outside the City that confuse the media are Suburban Lake Worth, the census-designated Lake Worth Corridor, and “flyover County”*, none of which are located within the City’s municipal borders. Here are three examples of false media reports:
How are these mistakes made? It’s very simple: reporters relying on zip codes. But how do reporters such as WPTV’s Charlie Keegan and the Post’s Julius Whigham II always get it right? My guess is they take a few moments to type the news location address into the Palm Beach County Property Appraisers website and Voilà!

If the first 2 numbers of the Parcel Control Number are “38 that is the City of Lake Worth. If the first 2 numbers are “00 that is unincorporated Palm Beach County.

So why don’t all reporters take those few simple steps to find out this easily-found information? That folks is anyone’s guess.

*“Flyover County” is the unincorporated area between the City of Lake Worth and the Village of Wellington. Unless the news is about a crime or a vehicle crash many of these areas are regularly ignored by the press and media.