Saturday, January 14, 2017

Come on out to our municipal pool at the BEACH(!) and. . . something to think about.

[Take Note: The pool will be CLOSED on Monday for Martin Luther King Jr. Day. . . And something to think about: Why is the pool closed on Monday? Isn’t MLK Day the perfect day to have it open for the public?]

To learn more about the pool at the Lake Worth Casino use this link—and you’ll also learn why and who closed down our pool back in 2010. Hint: You’ll be very surprised.

The pool is open Monday, Wednesday and Thursday from 9:00–1:00; Saturday and Sunday 9:00–4:00. For more information call Sally, the pool manager, at 561-585-6858 (office) or 561-951-7037 (cell).

The Atlanta Braves, Spring Training baseball in John Prince Park, TV news, and. . . “How To Handle The Hostile Reporter”.

Please note: Below are two (2) instructional videos.

With the Atlanta Braves back in the news (use this link for the article by Post reporter Joe Capozzi) it’s only a matter of time before some in the local TV news media come trolling in the City of Lake Worth for complaints and ‘concerns’ about John Prince Park: that park by the way, is outside the City, operated and maintained by the County.

If you’ve been following this blog over the years you know CBS12/WPEC is legendary for their hostile news reporting in Lake Worth; however, recently they’ve been getting better with a few hiccups along the way. To a lesser degree ABC25/WPBF has done their negative handiwork as well. With the elections coming up in March and now the Atlanta Braves back in the news!. . . this could push any reporter of the hostile variety over the edge.

So. . . how should you respond when a reporter asks you leading questions like, “Aren’t you concerned that Spring Training baseball in John Prince Park will negatively affect your quality of life? Threaten more Gopher Tortoises and create more noise and light pollution?”.

First pause! Never respond quickly. Take your time and think it out for a moment. Then. . .
  • “Rephrase the question”
  • “Give to Get”
This short video explains how these techniques work: Don’t let the media “spin”, or propagandize, what’s happening in and around our little City. 
  • Rephrase the question: “The Lake Worth Corridor has been an issue for decades, the County trying to find some way to improve many neighborhoods between the cities of Lake Worth and Greenacres, Palm Springs needs help too. Have you seen the neglect and poverty within just a few miles of John Prince Park? Spring training baseball would be a game-changer. In fact, the City of Lake Worth is moving ahead with the Park of Commerce to help that struggling area. Would you like to go and see this for yourself? I can give you directions?”
  • Give to Get: Give information to Get positive media coverage. “The public in Lake Worth is excited the bond referendum passed last November to fix our roads and potholes. But did you know a similar referendum failed in 2014 by just 25 votes? Those critics of the 2014 bond also opposed the referendum in 2016 as well. [then raise your voice for emphasis] And get this! This is the same group that’s against baseball in John Prince Park. Have you thought of asking why those people always try to stifle progress?”
Try this technique the next time a reporter approaches you for a comment. Take a deep breath, pause, and remember what to do:
Rephrase the question and then “Give to Get”.
Below is a good example of what to look for and anticipate. A news crew showed up at Lake Worth City Hall last year during discussion about moving forward with the referendum to fix the roads and potholes, a problem the public had demanded be addressed. However, despite all the efforts by Commissioner Chris McVoy, PhD, to put a negative “spin” on the referendum, he failed. The November referendum passed overwhelmingly. The positive message won the day.

And get this: McVoy opposes the Atlanta Braves opening a spring training facility in John Prince Park too. Shouldn’t the media be asking him why he opposes everything that will improve our local economy and promote the City of Lake Worth as well?

Spread the word. Important news for Lake Worth Utility customers: Phone scammers are back.

Use this link to read the entire news article from the City:

The phone scammers, “threaten to shut the power off unless a payment is made immediately with a Green Dot MoneyPak card or personal credit card. These calls are not from us.

and. . .

“If you ever receive a strange call and are in doubt, hang up and call us at 561-533-7300. Authorities have been notified of this scam . . . If you think you may have been a victim, please contact us at 561-533-7300 or make a Suspicious Incident Report with the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s office at 561-688-3400.

Friday, January 13, 2017

“Family Saturdays at the Cultural Council”.

More community news in this week’s Lake Worth Herald is below. First, things you need to know about “Family Saturdays”:
  • Saturday from 10:00–11:30.
  • Address: 601 Lake Ave. in Downtown Lake Worth.
  • $5 Admission per family.
  • Go to the front desk at the Cultural Council, call 561-471-2901 for more information, or pre-register using this link.
An excerpt from the Herald follows:

Arts in My Backyard Series: FUNdamentals of Dance with Palm Beach Atlantic University’s Dance Department. This intergenerational series of workshops at the Cultural Council galleries and Education and Training Center is open to all ages.
     Families are invited to discover the arts together, working side by side as they connect, create memories and acquire new skills through visual art, dance, drama and music.
     Workshops are presented once per month and feature arts and cultural education organizations from throughout Palm Beach County.

Remember: SUPPORT LOCAL, SHOP LOCAL, and support your LOCAL community newspaper as well:

To subscribe to the Herald use this link.

Important news from the Lake Worth CRA on upcoming “Commercial Grant Program Workshop”

The press release is below. The mission of our City’s Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) is:

The Lake Worth CRA is investing in our community to revitalize and rebuild our neighborhoods and commercial corridors. We are dedicated to maintaining the character of the City, responding to the community needs and encouraging sustainable economic growth to improve the quality of life for our residents and the future health of our City.”

For more information about this workshop:
  • Contact Marc Schlags, Business Development Coordinator
  • Phone: 561-493-2550
  • Email: mschlags@lakeworth.org
  • Address: 29 South ‘J’ Street (off Lake Ave. in the Downtown) 
“The Lake Worth CRA will be holding a public workshop to discuss their new Commercial Grant Programs. The workshop is meant to inform the business community of what programs are offered, the requirements and guidelines and the overall process of award.
     The workshop will take place on Thursday, January 19th from 3:00 pm–4:00 pm at the Lake Worth Arts Center located at 1121 Lucerne Avenue in downtown Lake Worth.
     The workshop will highlight the new Façade, Interior and Public Infrastructure Grant Programs.
     We encourage all businesses and property owners located within the CRA District to attend this informational workshop and learn more about these grant opportunities.
     Space is limited so please RSVP for the workshop before the 16th of January.

Neighborhood Clean-up tomorrow (Saturday): Meet at Rotary Park, 5th Ave. South & ‘F’ Street.

News in this week’s Herald online. Pick up the print edition every Friday at the City’s Downtown newsstand, 600 Lake Ave. The newspaper is still ¢50!

Royal Poinciana Neighborhood Association will conduct a neighborhood cleanup this Saturday, Jan. 14 from 8 a.m. to noon.
     Volunteers will be sprucing up the area of South F Street between Lake and 6th Avenue including Rotary Park at 5th Avenue South.
     Water, gloves, paint and snacks will be provided. Volunteer hours will be given for those who need them.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Congratulations Emeric Jeancome and Lauren Bennett at the Dept. of Leisure Services!

Here’s a review left on the website WeddingWire by a very pleased newlywed:

Decided last minute to use the Lake Worth Casino for my wedding ceremony on the beach and it was the best last minute decision I could have ever made! Lauren and Emeric were amazing! Set up was perfect and they really helped ensure the ceremony ran smoothly, Emeric even parked the car for my cousin so she wouldn’t miss anything Lol! Would definitely recommend this venue to everyone.

On the website WeddingWire: “The Lake Worth Casino is a wedding Venue from Lake Worth, FL servicing weddings throughout the local area, including West Palm Beach, Miami, and Jupiter. Lake Worth Casino is a professional venue that has been part of the South Florida wedding industry since 2013 specializing in beach ceremonies, wedding reception, rehearsal dinners, outdoor weddings, quince’s, bridal showers, engagement parties, Sweet 16’s.

Use this link for the City’s Dept. of Leisure Services. Have a question? Call Lauren or Emeric at 561-533-7395. Once again, Congratulations!

Upcoming exhibition by Phil Materio at the Cultural Council in Downtown Lake Worth.

Phil Materio, owner of McMow Art Glass,* will host the Kiln Formed and Slumped Glass Exhibition at the Cultural Council of Palm Beach County on Saturday, January 21st from 1:00–5:00. The event is free, as part of Art Walk 2017. From the press release:

Join local artist and founder of McMow Art Glass, Phil Materio, for a day to celebrate the beauty of glass fusing art. The exhibition, which will be part of 2017 Art Walk, will showcase some of Materio’s most recent kiln formed and slumped glass pieces.
     The exhibition is part of Art Synergy in collaboration with Art Palm Beach, an annual event showcasing artists throughout the nine Palm Beach County Art Districts during Art Palm Beach week.

*McMow Art Glass (701 North Dixie Hwy. in Lake Worth; 561-585-9011) is a world renowned art glass studio specializing in stained art glass installations and beveled art glass, as well as beautiful designs in carved, etched and faceted glass. Their portfolio of work includes the stained art glass windows for the Gianni Versace mansion in South Beach, and the newest installation in the private dining room at Café Boulud at the Brazilian Court in Palm Beach, among many others.

“We [the City] are held to a higher standard, they [the press] should hold themselves to a higher standard” too.

Interestingly, the editor of The Palm Beach Post, Rick Christie, is more upbeat and complimentary of our City of Lake Worth and its people than our very own beat reporter from the Post is. To read what the editor wrote last November, following the overwhelming passage of the bond referendum use this link.

The quote in the title above is by Lake Worth City Manager Michael Bornstein laying into Post reporter Kevin Thompson for an outrageously unfair article* last September about the Code Enforcement Department here in the City:Then later, on November 14th, Thompson had this quote in an article about the City’s bond referendum:
“Building more trust, after all, is still on the line.”
Huh? Almost 70% of the voters voted “Yes” for the bond. If that doesn’t demonstrate “trust” then what does? Does it need to be 75%? 80%?

It’s the issue of  ‘trust’ that needs to be examined and why there is this deep-seated mistrust within some quarters of our City. And that’s what is never, ever addressed by Thompson: the critics who had two years to come up with their own plan to fix our roads and instead did nothing. They just sat on their hands and complained.

Commissioner Chris McVoy’s role, or lack of a role for that matter, is never mentioned by Thompson. Ever. McVoy gets a free pass. McVoy never has to explain why he always says “No” without ever offering up an alternative. And that’s very unfair to the city manager, Mayor Pam Triolo, Vice Mayor Scott Maxwell, and commissioners Andy Amoroso and Ryan Maier as well.

It’s rare for any city manager to do what Michael Bornstein did, calling the Post beat reporter “incompetent” and his article, “egregious” (watch video above). But that’s what happens when things reach a boiling point. When the City keeps being put on the ‘hot seat’ and have to defend itself but the people who cause the trouble in the first place skip away whistling, “What? I didn’t do anything!”.

Remember, Bornstein was here working for the City in 2014 and saw the shenanigans going on firsthand. He had to sit there and listen to McVoy go on and on why ‘sea level rise’ was the reason we should hold off fixing our roads. There were PowerPoints and all kinds of ‘proof’ from self-described experts in other cities like Hoboken. Not exactly to scale of our little City.

The press likes to say, “keep elected’s feet to the fire”, but that doesn’t apply to McVoy? It’s no mistake the press in public opinion polls is ranked just slightly ahead of used car sales and about that of the U.S. Congress.

The City has a very hard job going forward. And it doesn’t help matters when a Post reporter keeps sowing the seeds of mistrust. What the Post should focus on is what happened between August 28th, 2014 and November 8th, 2016. And specifically the effort that people like Commissioner McVoy contributed: nothing. He stopped looking for answers to fix our roads in August 2014 and just sat on his hands for 26+ months.

Imagine if all Commissioner Andy Amoroso did was play the role of obstructionist? The Post would tear him apart. But there’s a double-standard when it comes to McVoy. And that’s very unfair to the rest of the City Commission, the City staff, and the public in Lake Worth as well.

Commissioner McVoy has a PhD. He’s a scientist. But since August 2014 how much has that diploma on the wall helped us? All the public can do now is sit back, watch and listen. Then on March 14th, Election Day, you get your chance to be heard.

I’m hoping the voters in Lake Worth keep paying attention and see through all this.

*Note: Link to the Post article was deleted. Draw your own conclusions why. Would strongly encourage you to read this article titled, “Code is Moving Forward”, by none other than City Manager Michael Bornstein in February 2016.

Looking for a home in south Florida in a city that has a BEACH!? Lake Worth is one of the “Hottest” Top Ten according to Realtor.com

First, a recent Tweet about a home for sale in one particular City neighborhood, College Park:
Below are excerpts from this article in one of the most influential resources for real estate in the world, Realtor.com:

     It may seem counterintuitive as you’re snowblowing your front walk or drying out your socks, but now is a great time to begin thinking about buying a beachfront home that you can use throughout the summer—or rent out to pay the mortgage and then some.
     To find the nation’s hottest (figuratively speaking) beach towns, our sand- and surf-deprived data team looked up cities and towns within 2 miles from a coast, using data from NOAA’s National Ocean Service, and filtered out the ones that are on inlets or without direct access to a beach. We excluded cities with over 100,000 population to focus on the ones that have a “small town” vibe [emphasis added], which left us with more than 1,000 beach towns.

[and. . .]

      To figure out which of these towns were drawing would-be buyers, we aggregated page view data on Realtor.com® in December 2015 to pinpoint where people are actually checking out houses online. With the homes in Hawaii and Southern California busting most people’s budgets, all eyeballs are now on the Sunshine State.

Here are the “Hottest waterfront real estate markets” with the ones in Palm Beach County highlighted in red:
  1. Sarasota, FL: $339,000
  2. Naples, FL: $479,000
  3. Myrtle Beach, SC: $168,950
  4. Delray Beach, FL: $248,950
  5. Vero Beach, FL: $309,000
  6. Miami Beach, FL: $569,000
  7. Jupiter, FL: $489,000
  8. Lake Worth, FL: $210,000
  9. Venice, FL: $265,000
  10. Palm Harbor, FL: $235,000
Way to go Lake Worth! Right on the heels of Jupiter and Delray Beach too. Use this link to find out more about the real estate market here in Lake Worth and our charming, quirky, low-rise downtown. And while you’re in town make sure to visit our City’s new Visitor Information Center:

Here is more information about the Visitor Center:
  • Call at 561-540-5304
  • Located at 414 Lake Avenue, the City Hall Annex
  • Hours: Monday–Friday, 10 am–4 pm
  • They are also on Facebook
  • Finding a hotel room is easy. Just a few minutes north is West Palm Beach and their Visitor Center will be happy to assist you.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Words to remember. Copy & paste, send to the printer, and worthy of framing.

At the bottom of this blog post are words written to ring in our New Year 2017 in Lake Worth from Rick Christie, the editor at The Palm Beach Post, in an editorial commentary titled, “A few quick takeaways from 2016 election”.

It’s unclear if it was Christie who wrote the words below (see image) in August 2014 leading up to the first bond vote to fix our roads but those words were so strong and so very clear the Post had nothing else to say leading up to the referendum on November 8th, 2016, that passed overwhelmingly. Without further ado:

“. . . this is a testament. . .”. Strong words from the Post in August 2014, days prior to the first referendum to fix our roads and potholes that failed by just 25 votes. Now these observations 27 months later, words worthy of framing:

“Lake Worth is poised for some major upgrades following residents’ approval — by a whopping 69 percent — of a $40 million road repair bond; and a little help from the sales tax hike.
     Finally, the city can get to the business of fixing and repairing its decaying roads that seem to have more potholes than cars.
     The Nov. 8 vote was in stark contrast to 2014, when a more bulky $63 million bond question failed by a slim 25 votes; mostly because antsy voters weren’t really clear where all the money was going.
     But the other reason city residents may soon be dancing in those repaired streets is because of the penny increase in the sales tax. Part of the proceeds — about $540 million — over the next decade will be split among the county’s 39 municipalities.
     That could be another $10 million toward roads, parks and other infrastructure repair in the city. While officials in cities like Palm Beach Gardens and Boca Raton snubbed the sales tax largesse, Lake Worth did no such thing. And residents should reap the benefits.[emphasis added]

City Manager Michael Bornstein: Reason why salaries need to rise for elected officials and. . . did Commissioner Maier quit?

At last night’s City Commission meeting (1/10) the vote was 3-1 to move forward with pay increases for the mayor and commissioners. The reason why this was necessary is explained by City Manager Michael Bornstein in the video below.

Mayor Pam Triolo, Vice Mayor Scott Maxwell, and Commissioner Andy Amoroso voted “Yes”, Commissioner McVoy voted “No” (surprised?), and Commissioner Ryan Maier was absent.

Maier dropped out of the race and it’s now official. Although we’ve known about this weeks, news about this has gone unreported in The Palm Beach Post, you know, their slogan is “Real News Starts Here”. Is Maier just not going to show up for Commission meetings any more? Did Maier quit?  

Election day is March 14th to fill the seat for commissioner of District 2 in Lake Worth.

Anyhow, back to the issue of pay increases, at the 1:00 mark in the video (see below) the city manager begins his presentation. Note that it’s been 12 years since the salaries of elected officials has been discussed in any serious or meaningful way here in the City of Lake Worth.

This first discussion occurred at the City Commission meeting on December 13th. Here are two handouts for the public given out for backup (click on images to enlarge):

Comparison: Salaries for mayors in Palm Beach County.
Salaries for commissioners.

This is an issue that’s been delayed for far too long principally because it’s a “hanging curve ball” for troublemakers, some with their own axe to grind against the mayor or a commissioner, and others like the editor(s) at the Post who are certain to chime in as they try to find a way to become relevant once again.

There will be much more written about this issue in the coming weeks and months. So, without further ado, listen to Bornstein yourself (he concludes his remarks at the 11:15 mark):

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Florida history: “The Road to Beauty” (1965)—Film sponsored by the Florida Citrus Commission.

Below is a video from the State of Florida Archives. Advertising and promotion of Florida’s citrus industry has, shall we say, evolved over time. Here is an excerpt from the text of the article:

“Health maintenance techniques are demonstrated, including how to walk properly, dance as exercise, nutrition (such as citrus), and sports. The film then moves on to discuss career, marriage, and home life. A wife announces that she is pregnant and the couple promptly drinks some orange juice to celebrate.”

Very depressing news: Good news about City news that’s not news on the City’s news page (or social media)


Why isn’t this big news? Why does it take a blogger to promote the City? Shouldn’t the City do that? If you don’t blow your own horn. . .

If any other town or city in South Florida had the Holy Cross College men’s and women’s swim/diving team using their municipal pool for the week it would be like the heavens opened up and the voices from the Gods bellowed and beckoned across the lands for all to heed. You wouldn’t hear the end of it from the electeds or anyone else at their City Hall.

But in Lake Worth? It’s ho hum.

Maybe it’s because the Gulfstream Hotel is still shuttered and the Holy Cross swim team from Worcester, Massachusetts is staying at a hotel in Palm Beach. That’s right. Lake Worth, Florida, still doesn’t have a hotel Downtown.

Also on topic, there’s an article in today’s (1/10) print edition of the Post by Jennifer Sorentrue headlined, “Tourism leaders seek locals’ help” [Heavy sigh]. Here's an excerpt from the article:

Palm Beach County’s tourism leaders are calling on local residents for help marketing the county as an international vacation destination on social media sites like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
     The push is part of a new advertising campaign, dubbed “Friends Trust Friends,” unveiled Monday by Discover The Palm Beaches, the county’s official tourism marketing arm.
     Under the plan, the agency hopes to use social media posts by both locals and out-of-town visitors to convince travelers to book a trip here. [emphasis added]

Now for the news the City of Lake Worth should be shouting out to the world (especially to all those Northerners freezing right now):

“Ring ring ring! Our alarms woke us at 6:05 a.m. for morning practice, and we ambled over to the [Lake Worth municipal] pool. Our silhouettes were highlighted by the heat lightening flashing across the sky. The pool deck was a flurry of activity as the team stretched and prepared their bodies for practice. It was time to go to work. The set was an IM set and a combination of mid-distance and sprints, which proved to be a great workout. After practice, the boys headed to breakfast at the team’s favorite spot, Benny’s on the Beach. [emphasis added] Following that, we hit the beach for some volleyball. Unfortunately, our game was cut short by some rolling thunderstorms that thankfully dissipated in time for our afternoon practice. It was time to go to work again. Afternoon practice was focused on sprinting and loosening up our tight muscles. Dinner was served up hot over at Mulligan’s as we ate with the sophomore class. We crawled into bed that night and fell asleep satisfied and ready for more the next morning.

Best,

The Sophomore Men”

Welcome to Lake Worth, Holy Cross College swim team from Worcester, Massachusetts! Hope you take time to stroll our Downtown. Make sure to call all your friends and family up North who are freezing cold right now.

Please Take Note—Candidate forum coming up in Lake Worth:

Make 2017 the year to attend at least one candidate forum. Elections are very, very important. The City Commission, remember, sets the electric rates.

How to watch tonight’s Commission meeting Live Streaming and. . . about that 2 minute limit at public comment too.

To watch this meeting Live Streaming:
  • At 6:00 click on this link.
  • Look in the top right-hand column for City Commission Meetings.
  • Then click on Video of Public Meetings.
  • No video? Wait a few minutes and try again. Sometimes meetings start a little late or too many are trying to log on at the same time. Be patient.
Now about that 2-minute limit at public comment (already read this? Thank You for visiting and please scroll down):

The two (2) minute limit is a holdover from a previous City administration, pushed forward by former Commissioner Cara Jennings, if I recall correctly. The limit was three minutes and then reduced to two.

At a recent Commission meeting, resident Peggy Fisher* brought the topic of a 2-minute up (of course, at public comment) when she came to City Hall to speak about the Wawa situation at 10th Ave. North and ‘A’ Street. She didn’t have enough time and suggested a 3-minute limit might be something to consider in the future.

What do you think? Why not show up at the Commission meeting and take 2 minutes to explain why the time limit should be 3 minutes? Keep it at two minutes? Or don’t care and have something more important on your mind?

You know, things are a lot different now. For example, ever since the cameras were installed by City Manager Michael Bornstein back in 2012, many of those like Weetha Peebull, for example, don’t show up any more. Something to think about. Hopefully we’ll hear this discussion in the near future.

For excellent examples how to give public comment at the City Commission, please watch the video below (to subscribe to my Lake Worth YouTube channel use this link and then click on the red “Subscribe” icon):To learn how not to behave at the City Commission, here’s a very good example: *Peggy Fisher, if you recall, is the citizen-reporter who pressed Commissioner Chris McVoy, PhD, on his unpaid campaign fines, first reported in The Lake Worth Herald. She is also the reporter who took CAUT PAC Chair Katie McGiveron to task; Fisher’s work played a major role, think most people would agree, in the overwhelming passage of the November 8th bond referendum last year.

Here’s the latest edition of, “Want to have a conversation about civility?”

In June 2015 former CBS12/WPEC reporter Jonathan Beaton did a news segment about this terrible incident in Lake Worth and, coincidentally, left that news organization a short time later. The link to Beaton’s news story was deleted a short time after airing but not before being recorded off a TV screen:

The Obtuse Blogger (TOB) expressing her support for Lake Worth Commissioner Ryan Maier along with Vice Mayor Scott Maxwell and Commissioner Andy Amoroso depicted in KKK robes. Very charming, isn’t it?

Beaton didn’t mention TOB by name. Here is an excerpt from the text of the story which was deleted by CBS12:

A Palm Beach County community is being rocked by a disturbing photo, depicting two local lawmakers as members of the Ku Klux Klan.
     CBS12 is investigating and learned the photoshopped picture first surfaced on a local Lake Worth blog and later spread on social media, sending shockwaves throughout the town.
     Disturbing, troublesome and downright despicable are just a few of the words residents and lawmakers are using to describe the photoshopped photo, which shows Vice Mayor Scott Maxwell and Commissioner Andy Amoroso wearing white KKK garb. In the middle is newly elected Commissioner Ryan Maier.
     Commissioners are fair game but it’s just so far from the truth that unfortunately some people will believe it, said Commissioner Andy Amoroso.
     CBS12 first found the picture on a Lake Worth blog, run by a local resident.

Here are other images TOB used in the past:
Lake Worth Mayor Pam Triolo depicted “engulfed in flames” following the first bond vote to fix our roads that failed in August 2014 by just 25 votes. (Note: I'll spare you the image of a high-velocity round striking a certain commissioner’s head.)
“Special Interests”? For wanting our roads fixed back in 2014 some Lake Worth residents such as Loretta Sharpe, who has since passed, had their names put on bullets. Ready to talk about civility? Be my guest.

Now playing at the Stonzek in Downtown Lake Worth: “Moonlight”, til Thursday, January 12th

To learn more and purchase tickets, use this link or call the Stonzek at 561-296-0382. Click on image to enlarge:

From Time Magazine: Moonlight Wins Golden Globe for Best Picture, Drama”.

Monday, January 9, 2017

In last Friday’s TGIF section: Headline editing remains an issue at our “Paper of Record”

First a question: Why is the Post (you know, “Real News Starts Here”), not reporting the election news that Lake Worth Commissioner Ryan Maier dropped out his District 4 race for re-election? But remember just a little while ago when that little chocolate store closed down? What gives? Anyhow. . .

“Famlies” ? “Famalies”? Headline editing is a weak link at the Post. For example, note that in the article by reporter Kevin Thompson (see link in caption below), not once did he mention the word “curfew”:

The City of Lake Worth never had a “Curfew. But the City did create a new ordinance. This headline was the basis for a hugely popular blog post titled, “One of the ways you know it’s getting close to election season in Lake Worth”.

Shooting last night in Lake Worth at North Federal Hwy. and 7th Ave., near headquarters of the Guardian Angels.

First, there is recent news about the Guardian Angels (GA) in The Lake Worth Herald (at the end of this blog post is more news and information about Lake Worth’s GA chapter):

Recruitment is ongoing to join the Guardian Angels. Call Lake Worth Chapter Leader Cobra at 954-881-7068. The program includes free martial arts, CPR, and a course in basic law. Patrol may be a bike patrol, foot patrol, or mobile patrol. “The Presbyterian Church [231 N. Federal Hwy.] is doing their part to make our community safer.”

Palm Beach Post reporter Charles Elmore has this breaking news from last night (Sunday), “Breaking: Four wounded in Lake Worth, Pahokee shootings”, an excerpt:

     The Lake Worth shooting occurred about 9 p.m. near Seventh Avenue North and Federal Highway, the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office said. Deputies responding to a shots-fired call found a victim struck by gunfire.
     There was no immediate word on the victim’s condition or a suspect.

This shooting occurred just a few blocks from where a CBS12/WPEC reporter had this recent news segment,

Guardian Angels take over Lake Worth”:

     CBS12 Luli Ortiz joined them as they canvassed the First Presbyterian Church along North Federal Highway, which according to the Guardian Angels, it’s the site of prostitution and drug-related crimes.
     They call themselves the ‘Wolf Pack . . . Residents tell CBS12 they feel safer with the Angels around.
     “It’s nice to know there are people out there who are watching our backs and taking care of things,” said Leona Navaroli, Lake Worth resident.

And lastly, more information from The Lake Worth Herald datelined December 29th titled, “Guardian Angels Find New Home”:

     The Guardian Angels are back. They were welcomed in Lake Worth during the early 1980’s. In 1975, Curtis Sliwar [sic] was the founder and CEO. When you meet [Lake Worth GA Chapter organizers] Cobra and Sensi, you know they are on a mission for a safer community. Cobra is a chapter leader for the South Florida Guardian Angels. [emphasis added]

[and. . .]

     Because of problems experienced in and around the First Presbyterian Church (FPC) of Lake Worth, Rev. Joan Abell, Pastor and the congregation ‘invited’ [sic] the Guardian Angels Safety Patrol, to be part of their church campus.
     FPC provides the space and electricity for them to work from. It is from this area that they will patrol the area.

[and. . .]

     The member group is called a Wolf Pack. A Wolf Pack is on 24 hour call. The Director of Florida, called Gladiator, can put out a call for anywhere, especially in the state of Florida.

[and lastly. . .]

     The uniform includes black pants, white shirts with the Guardian Angel Safety logo, black shoes and a red beret. Members are required to maintain a neat appearance.
     “At no time, does the Guardian Angels wish to replace the authority of the Police/Sheriff Department. We are the unarmed eyes and ears of the Police/Sheriff Department.”

Once again, Cobra’s phone number is 954-881-7068. Here is the contact information for the First Presbyterian Church:
  • Phone: 561-582-7755
  • Email: firstpresby60107@bellsouth.net
  • Location: 231 North Federal Hwy., Lake Worth, 33460
If you are in need of immediate assistance and don’t have time for the GA “Wolf Pack” to show up, contact Lake Worth’s PBSO District 14:
For more information about PBSO District 14 use this link. Have a tip? Call CrimeStoppers at 800-458-8477 anonymously to solve a crime.

Not ‘new’ news: A Lake Worth commissioner is not seeking re-election and. . . “Commissioner Maier to the dais please”.

First, Commissioner Ryan Maier has dropped out of the race and is not seeking re-election. This is not ‘new’ news by any means. Oddly, this election news is being ignored by The Palm Beach Post. This will be on the agenda at tomorrow’s Commission meeting and there was nothing about this in today’s Lake Worth Very Very Special Monday Collector Print Edition (LWVVSMCPE). “Stay tuned”, as they say.

The LWVVSMCPE is every Monday. Each and every Monday and no one knows why. It’s never been explained. What about news from Greenacres every once in a while? Palm Springs? Suburban Lake Worth?

Now back to “Commissioner Maier to the dais please”. Last December 13th the Commission took a break at about 2 hours and ten minutes into the meeting and that’s when I decided to leave with my camera and missed the best line of the night! I also missed the discussion on Agenda Item “13.D.5 - Dist. Voltage Upgrade Project”. There will be much more on that later.

Prior to the break Mayor Pam Triolo says “quick break” and the dais clears. Ten minutes later the mayor returns and signals to the clerk to begin the meeting. The clerk says,

“Please commissioners. To the dais please.”

Then the clerk turns the sound off. A minute later everyone is back except for Maier. The clerk turns the sound back on and says,

“Commissioner Maier to the dais please.”

After some awkward looks all around, still no Maier. You can see everyone wondering where Maier was. Did he leave City Hall thinking the meeting was over? Then Vice Mayor Scott Maxwell says,

“Let’s start without him.”

Maxwell pauses for a moment and then says the line of the night,

“We’re not running a cruise line here.”

Did Maxwell know the sound was turned on? Commissioner Andy Amoroso then says,

“I think he [Maier] left.”

Left City Hall? The meeting wasn’t over yet! The Commission goes ahead without Maier voting on agenda items 13.D.1, 13.D.2, 13.D.3, and then just prior to the vote on item 13.D.4, maybe after a frantic phone call from a supporter (one of the few left), Maier stumbles hurriedly back to the meeting and casts his vote before even sitting down, presumably unaware what he was even voting on. How would he know? He wasn't there.

So back to Maxwell’s point: “We’re not running a cruise line here.” Well said.

From the City of Lake Worth’s MuniCode: Demolition by neglect

“Demolition by neglect”* is:
  • Improper or inadequate maintenance of any designated historic resource which results in its substantial deterioration and threatens its continued preservation.
  • Avoidance of demolition by neglect; maintenance and repair of landmark property in historic districts: 
1. Minimum maintenance standards. Every owner of a landmark or a property in a historic district shall keep in good repair all of the exterior portions of such buildings or structures and all interior portions thereof which, if not so maintained, may cause such buildings or structures to deteriorate or to become damaged or otherwise fall into a state of disrepair. In addition, where the landmark is an archaeological site, the owner shall maintain his property in such a manner so as not to adversely affect its archaeological integrity. The owner shall repair the structure if it is found to have one (1) or more of the following defects:
  • Deterioration to the extent that it creates or permits a hazardous or unsafe condition, as determined by the building official.
  • Parts or elements of the building are so attached that they may fall and injure persons or property.
  • Deteriorated or inadequate foundations, flooring, floor supports, deteriorated walls or other vertical structural supports.
  • Defective or deteriorated floor supports or floor supports insufficient to carry imposed loads with safety.
  • Members of walls or vertical supports that split, lean, list or buckle because of defective material, workmanship or deterioration.
  • Members of ceilings, roofs, ceiling and roof supports or other horizontal members which sag, split or buckle because of defective material, workmanship or deterioration.
  • Members of ceilings, roofs, ceiling and roof supports and other horizontal members which are insufficient to carry out imposed loads with safety.
  • Fireplaces or chimneys which list, bulge or settle because of defective material, workmanship or deterioration.
  • Deteriorated or ineffective waterproofing of exterior walls, roofs, foundations or floors, including broken windows or doors, or deteriorated or crumbling exterior finishes such as stucco, shingles, paint or mortar.
  • Defective or insufficient weatherproofing or exterior wall covering because of lack of paint or other protective covering.
  • Any fault, defect or condition in the building which renders its structurally unsafe or not properly watertight.
2. Notice of violation; hearing. If the HRPB determines that a designated landmark or a contributing property within a historic district is in the course of being demolished through neglect, it shall so notify the owner of record immediately to cease any actions which contribute to such demolition by neglect and shall give him thirty (30) calendar days to commence repairs sufficient to rectify the problems identified. Such notice shall be by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the address of the owner shown on the latest records of the Palm Beach County Property Appraiser and by attaching notice to the exterior of the structure. If the owner fails to commence repairs within thirty (30) days of receipt of the notice, the HRPB shall notify the owner to appear at its next regularly scheduled meeting. At that meeting, the HRPB shall present the reasons for the notice and permit the owner to present rebuttal evidence, if desired. If the HRPB fails to receive adequate assurance that identified problems will be rectified in a reasonable time, the HRPB shall find that the site is being demolished by neglect and shall refer the matter to the city's code enforcement officer for action.
3. Supplemental to other maintenance standards. The provisions of this section shall be in addition to the provisions of any applicable building code requiring such buildings and structures to be kept in good order.

*Source: MuniCode, City of Lake Worth. Current. December 30th, 2016.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

March 14th elections: Second candidate forum scheduled in the little City of Lake Worth

To learn more about the first candidate forum coming up on January 16th, use this link. This forum will be a short one and a great way to meet all the candidates. Here’s information about the forum coming up on Monday, January 30th:

Always wanted to ask your Lake Worth candidates questions and concerns that are on your mind?
     The Neighborhood Assoc. Presidents Council (NAPC) will be holding a candidate forum on January 30th at the Lake Worth Playhouse. We are asking for input from residents on questions to be asked.
     All questions will be compiled by a committee. Some questions will be used in conjunction with other questions.
     Please submit up to 3 questions per person by email [see below] that will be forwarded to the NAPC committee for consideration.

Thank You,

Sarah Malega, president of the Royal Poinciana Neighborhood Assoc.
Email: binky0612@aol.com

Yours Truly quoted in a special to the Miami Herald about President-elect Donald Trump

People continue to stumble across a quote in the newspaper. . .
Yes, it’s true. Yours Truly was “Director of Projects” at Mar-a-Lago, 1993–2003.

I spoke with Alex Leary on the phone. He’s the Washington Bureau Chief for The Tampa Bay Times, here’s a quote from the article, a report published in the Miami Herald:

     President-elect Trump, whose political timing shocked the world, spent Thanksgiving at Mar-a-Lago, closing the loop on a cosmic fate. When the original owner, cereal heiress Marjorie Merriweather Post, willed it to the federal government in 1973, she envisioned a winter White House. Upkeep costs forced it on the market and into Trump’s eager hands.
     “It really is over-the-top architecture,” said Wes Blackman, who worked on restoring and converting Mar-a-Lago into a members-only club. “Someone can wear an expensive suit and look good while another person doesn’t. It takes a certain personality to wear the house. Marjorie Merriweather Post was a larger-than-life figure, ahead of her time. Some might say that about Donald Trump.”

To read the entire article use this link.

Now that it’s election season again: Is an endorsement from the Post a boost? Doesn’t matter? And why didn’t they endorse Hillary for President?

Please Note: The blog post below is originally from last year following the November elections and re-posted last January. The Palm Beach Post will begin rolling out their endorsements soon enough. But the looming question is: How necessary is an endorsement from the Post? 

It will be election season again in cities like Lake Worth. Candidates all over north and central Palm Beach County need to ask themselves some questions: “Is trying to get the Post endorsement worth the effort or just a waste of time?” and “Is my time better spent knocking on doors and talking with voters?” And others such as Omari Hardy need to wonder: “Should I bother? The Post is going to endorse McVoy anyway. So what’s the point?”

To help in making your decision about trying to get that endorsement, below is the scorecard for the Post editorial board following the elections last November 8th. If you’re short on time please scroll down to see the results, especially the County races.

Endorsements such as those from elected’s and community leaders are very important:

If you recall, State Senator Jeff Clemens racked up endorsements before he had a challenger. Clemens easily defeated Irv Slosberg. The voters said, “Don't Let Irv Serve” in Palm Beach County.

If you pay attention to articles published, ‘read between the lines’ if you will, can predict accurately who they plan to endorse anyway. So. . . did the Post editorial board endorse the winner in the Port of Palm Beach Board, Group 3 race? Tom Sutterfield in School Board District 1 was endorsed in the primary and then ingloriously un-endorsed in the general election. Who won that race? How about the County Commissioner District 1 race?

Dana Marie Santino for County Court Judge, Group 11 was treated pretty roughly by the Post. Did she win or lose? Continue reading and you’ll find that out.

In an odd twist the editor didn’t endorse Hillary Clinton in heavily Democrat-leaning Palm Beach County. And they didn’t endorse Donald Trump either. However, they did run full-page ads to “VOTE TRUMP!”, the last one on Sunday, November 6th, just two days prior to the election.

Interestingly, the Post had no endorsement for the top of the ballot on Nov. 8th and no endorsement for the bottom of the ballot here in the City of Lake Worth either.

In another interesting twist the editors did not make an endorsement in Lake Worth’s bond referendum to fix our roads and potholes either. But afterwards had nothing but glowing words for the City and the referendum that passed overwhelmingly. So did having no endorsement from the Post help? Would an endorsement to “Vote Yes” actually have scuttled the bond vote once again?

Without further ado, the Post’s scorecard:

Legend:
*  =  “No brainer”, the result was never in doubt.
Highlight  =  Post endorsement DID NOT win; winner shown in brackets.


U.S. Senator: Patrick Murphy (D) [Marco Rubio (R) won]
U.S. Congress, District 18, Randy Perkins (D) [Brian Mast (R) won]
*U.S. Congress, District 20, Alcee Hastings (D)

State races:
*Representative, House District 21, Lois Frankel (D)
*Representative, House District 22, Ted Deutch (D)
*Florida Senate, District 25, Joe Negron (R)
*Florida Senate, District 30, Bobby Powell, Jr. (D)
*Florida Senate, District 31, Jeff Clemens (D), no challenger
Florida House, District 82, Mary W. Higgins (D) [Mary Lynn Magar (R) won]
Florida House, District 85, Rick Roth (R)
Florida House, District 86, Matt Willhite (D)
*Florida House, District 90, Lori Berman (D)
*Florida House, District 91, Emily Slosberg (D), no challenger

Supreme Court, 4th District Circuit Court of Appeals and 4th District Court of Appeals (Post endorsed to “retain all” and all were elected).

County races:
Palm Beach County Circuit Court, Group 4:
Gregory Tendrich [Luis Delgado (NPA) won]

Palm Beach County Court Judge, Group 11:
Gregg Lerman [Dana Marie Santino (NPA) won]

Palm Beach County Commission, District 1:
Tony Bennett (D) [Hal R. Valache (R) won]

Meet your new County Commissioners. Dave Kerner (on right) standing next to Hal Valache. Commissioner Mack Bernard is on the left.

*Palm Beach County Commission, District 3:
Dave Kerner

*Palm Beach County Commission, District 5:
Mary Lou Berger

Palm Beach County School Board, District 1:
Barbara McQuinn

Port of Palm Beach Board, Group 3:
Sonny Maken (NPA) [Jean L. Enright (D) won]

The result:
“No brainers”  =  10.
Post endorsements that DID NOT win election  =  7.

So what does this all mean? Draw your own conclusions. But if you think an endorsement from the Post is a big step on your way to elected office you may want to reconsider. Tom Sutterfield, the losing candidate in the November 8th School Board District 1 race, would have a thing or two to say about that:

Tom Sutterfield was endorsed by the Post in 2014. He lost to Erica Whitfield. Did that endorsement for Sutterfield help or hurt? Something to think about.

From “Sunshine State of Mind”: The Sears Building, 1300 Biscayne Blvd., Miami


The Sears, Roebuck and Company Department Store in Miami, Florida was an Art Deco building built in 1929 for Sears, Roebuck and Company. The building was the first known implementation of Art Deco architecture in the county, predating the Art Deco hotels on Ocean Drive. It was followed a year later by the Shrine Building (1401-1417 Biscayne Blvd.), an application of Art Deco with local Seminole Indian motifs added as an interesting twist. Both were covered in a 1988 study of Downtown Miami historic resources, but were not NRHP-listed due to owner objections at the time. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in August 8, 1997. Only its tower remains.

After the areas drastic decline in the early 1980s, the building’s intense structural decay, and declining sales, the store closed its doors for good in 1983. The building remained vacant and abandoned and was the subject to graffiti and vandalism. Sears was unable to sell the property and it donated the site to Dade County in 1992. That same year, the Sears signs were removed.

The building listing was added to the National Register on August 8, 1997. By 2001, the only surviving part of the original structure was a seven-story tower. The original department store space had been demolished. The tower was preserved and incorporated it into the new Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, built in 2006.