Friday, August 11, 2017

Reporter Alanna Quillen* at NBC5 (WPTV): Developing news story on Blueway Trail project at C-51 Canal (S155 Spillway).

[UPDATE: Check back tomorrow for more on this story tomorrow, including video of the meeting at SFWMD.]

Excerpts from the text of the news segment are below. Quillen also references a very important meeting this morning at SFWMD headquarters (meeting details below as well).

West Palm Beach Commissioner Shanon Materio and Lake Clarke Shores Mayor Greg Freebold were interviewed in the City of Lake Worth’s Spillway Park (for Quillen’s news yesterday and watch accompanying video use this link).

Note: No similarly ranked elected officials from the City of Lake Worth were interviewed as part of this important news story.

Also take note. . .

The two-year news blackout at The Palm Beach Post† remains in place, not reporting any news about the Blueway Trail project. The irony about this is WPTV is the Post’s “news partner”.
Spillway Park is located at the end of Maryland Dr.
One can also get a good view of this project from West Palm Beach. Park on Arlington Dr.
and enter the park.

This morning beginning at 9:30 a report will be presented to the Blueway Trail Coalition at the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) headquarters in West Palm Beach.

Cover page for the 28-page report:
To learn more about Lake Worth’s C-51 Advisory Committee (CAC) meeting last Wednesday use this link. Soon we’ll know if CAC is effective or replaced by a board of representatives and stakeholders from multiple cities in the region.

Excerpts from the WPTV news segment titled,

“New project could connect more
boats to Intracoastal”

[Subtitle] “Project planning underway
this week”

LAKE WORTH, Fla. - A new project underway on the waters between Lake Worth and West Palm Beach could change the waterway as we know it.
     In as soon as three years or more, boaters from Lake Clarke Shores and beyond could have access to the Intracoastal waters for the first time ever with the help of a boat lift.
     The project is picking up speed this week. [emphasis added]

and. . .

     “This will open up the access from the chain of lakes into the Intracoastal waterway,” said Greg Freebold, Lake Clarke Shores mayor.
     For many like Freebold, who has lived and fished in the area his whole life, it’s a case of so close, yet so far away.
     “I’ve been fishing on this side for years and on this other side for years,” he joked.
     With the proposed boat lift, boats no more than 25-feet long and 3.5 dry tons can travel over.

and. . .

     There’s also concerns about increased boat traffic and the harm to manatees, something West Palm Beach City Commissioner Shannon Materio says the Chain of Lakes Blueway Trail Project has been working out.
     “In order for us to have gone as far as we have, we have had to address all those mitigation issues: the manatee, the speed of boats which is very slow, the number of boats, which is four an hour,” she said. “We listened, over a year ago, of what the concerns were and we’ve been addressing them all along.”

and. . .

     Mayor Freebold said the boat lift could mean endless commercial opportunities.
     “This whole property that runs along this access point is prime for development,” he said.

*Alanna Quillen started with WPTV in October 2016:
     “Before moving to sunny West Palm Beach, Alanna was an evening anchor and investigative reporter for KTBS 3 News in Shreveport, Louisiana. While there, she reported on two historic floods that happened within one year, devastating Northwest Louisiana. She also filed several reports from the state capital of Baton Rouge, including the state’s $2 billion budget shortfall and President Barack Obama’s tour of flood ravaged South Louisiana in August 2016.
     Before Shreveport, Alanna spent nearly three years anchoring and reporting in Monroe, Louisiana at KTVE NBC 10. She started her career at KMID Big 2 News as a weekend anchor and reporter, covering wildfires, immigration and the oil boom of West Texas.”
In July 2016 the editor at the Post did publish a ridiculous Letter to the Editor, an excerpt:
     “West Palm Beach has plans [not true, it’s not a city project] to connect the chain of lakes to allow small boats access to the Lake Worth lagoon. My concern is for the quality of marine life, human life [huh?] and tourism from discharge that will be flowing into the Intercoastal [sic, s/b ‘Intracoastal’] Waterway, eventually contaminating beaches.”

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