Saturday, January 28, 2017

Today and tomorrow from noon to 4:00, it’s time to celebrate: Our City has a new flower shop!

Click on image to enlarge. It’s the Grand Opening Weekend!

To learn more about “Awe Flowers” use this link for the Facebook page or call 561-207-1498. SHOP LOCAL, SUPPORT LOCAL!

City of Lake Worth press release*: The 2017 Festival of Trees

For questions and more information:
  • Contact David McGrew, the City’s Horticulturist Technician
  • 561-586-1677
  • Email: dmcgrew@lakeworth.org
City of Lake Worth Annual Festival of Trees [excerpts from press release follow]:

The Lake Worth City Tree Board will hold its 12th Annual Festival of Trees on Saturday, Feb. 18, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Cultural Plaza, 414 Lake Avenue (between Lake & Lucerne avenues).

Admission is free and everyone is welcome. The theme this year is “Birds, Bees and Trees: how planting and properly caring for South Florida native trees, shrubs and ground-cover can serve as quality habitat for birds, bees, insects and butterflies.”

Mayor Pam Triolo will read the Arbor Day proclamation at 1 p.m.

The Lake Worth City Tree Board is composed of volunteers appointed by the Mayor and City Commissioners. The Tree Board is one of a number of advisory boards which assist the City Commission [to learn how to volunteer use this link].

*Media: Please note the City’s communications specialist is Ben Kerr if you have other issues you would like to address. Phone: 561-586-1631; email: bkerr@lakeworth.org

Friday, January 27, 2017

VIDEO: Another update to the Lake Worth City Commission on “The Cottages of Lake Worth”.

Please note: “The Cottages” Home Tour this Sunday is sold out. However, if you would like to stroll Downtown Lake Worth come to Bryant Park on Sunday near the western side of the Lake Worth Bridge and books will be on sale there starting at noon and during the tour as well.

Can you believe over 600 have been sold already! More about that in the video, see below.

Wish to stay in the Downtown? Stop by the City’s newsstand at 600 Lake Ave. and purchase one there. The entire purchase price for the book goes back to “The Cottages”.

A hardcover book can be purchased online as well. Hope you enjoy the latest update given to the City Commission on January 24th, Pat Ashlut* and Yours Truly were given the honor:

*Pat Ashlut is this year’s Chair of “The Cottages” Home Tour, sold out well in advance early in January.

Ever been to the Lake Worth pool at the BEACH? And let’s take a stroll down memory lane.

The pool is closed today (every Friday) but open Saturday and Sunday. Have you been to the pool yet?

Do you remember when the pool was shut down in 2010? Ironically, the very same people who shut it down back then now say the pool has to stay open no matter what the cost! Read more about that below.

The pool heaters are working too so that will please the early swimmers. The regular schedule is Monday, Wednesday and Thursday from 9:00–1:00; Saturday and Sunday from 9:00–4:00.

Have any questions? Contact Sally, the pool manager:
  • Pool office: 561-585-6858
  • Cell: 561-951-7037
  • Email: schapela@lakeworth.org
Image from the file, “If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.” Now for a stroll down memory lane, back to 2010:

Our precious amenity at the BEACH!, the municipal pool, was shut down to save money in 2010. JoAnn Golden was a commissioner in the City then and so was current Commissioner Chris McVoy, PhD. Our precious pool, you see, wasn’t making enough money to stay open!

Ironically, after the new majority was swept into office in 2012 (see image below), the elected’s (including McVoy) who closed the pool back in 2010 then said the pool was so important to the community it had to reopen, and stay open, at any cost.

What changed other than a new City Commission majority taking over in 2012? Which begs the question: If the pool was such a precious amenity why was it closed in 2010?

The majority on the City Commission: Mayor Pam Triolo, Vice Mayor Scott Maxwell, and Commissioner Andy Amoroso.

Old news is new again and the Big Myth debunked: The City of Lake Worth never was, and is not now, a sanctuary city

It was proven on this blog back in 2015, conclusively, once and for all that Lake Worth never was, and is not now a sanctuary city. It was a myth created by former commissioners, Cara Jennings is one, and others for reasons and tactics they’re not sharing. Anyone can speculate as to why the myth was given credence: depress the real estate market, flood the system, damage the City’s image. . .

The debunking of myths is nothing new on this blog. For example, like proving that yes indeed, former City Manager Susan Stanton did gut the code enforcement department. That decision is still one the City has to deal with all these years later.

But back to the sanctuary city nonsense; below is how The Obtuse Blogger (TOB) reacted to the news that Lake Worth isn’t a sanctuary city:

Lake Worth “IS[!] a Sanctuary City”. And talk about a “propaganda box”!
“I believe this myth started. . .”
Why won’t anyone at the City listen to me! Why!

A lot of the confusion about whether Lake Worth is a sanctuary city or not is because the City is home to the Guatemalan/Maya Center. Jupiter has the El Sol Resource Center and that city also gets confused as a sanctuary city as well. It’s not.

To be clear: Just because Lake Worth and the Town of Jupiter have resource centers to help immigrants and the undocumented doth not a sanctuary city make. Hope that clears things up.

Tonight! Another chance to win free tickets to Garlic Fest next month.

The NAPC Front Porch is at the Cultural Plaza in Downtown Lake Worth starting at 6:00. And do you know where this year’s Earth Day will be held? Find that out below.

Garlic Fest Poster Coloring Contest again tonight will award 4 FREE Garlic Fest tickets as prizes.

Our friends and neighbors from Eden Place will be selling tickets for Garlic Fest and half the proceeds will be returned to that Neighborhood Association for projects to celebrate the unique character of that beautiful neighborhood.

Stop by to say “Hello” and get all the news from Brian Kirsch about the upcoming Earth Day celebration on April 22nd this year to be held at the fabulous Gray Mockingbird Community Garden!

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Rest In Peace. Loretta Sharpe. November 4th, 1938–January 26th, 2016.

This won’t take long. It’s a short story about a woman and a hotel too, the Gulfstream Hotel. A story that will go down as legendary in Lake Worth history.

It was Loretta Sharpe, in very poor health even then, who first stood up 4 years ago to fight against THE BIG LIE about building heights in Lake Worth. Back in early 2012 THE LIARS got such a huge head start confusing the public that no one thought it was possible to get the truth out: excerpt for Loretta.

Downtown Lake Worth? A stealth propaganda campaign had gotten a huge head start back in 2012–2013, month’s in the making. But Loretta saw a way to challenge THE LIARS. How? It was spectacular! Please continue reading. 

How did Loretta do it? It all started with rallying the troops, “The Hanging of the Banner” from the Gulfstream Hotel (see video below).

Here’s the short version of the story: I got a call from Loretta in January 2013 and she told me there was a meeting at her house, she lived on South Palmway at the time, and my attendance was mandatory. When Loretta told you to be somewhere you better be there. She had ideas to talk about: one of them was hanging a gigantic banner atop the Gulfstream Hotel to win the ‘heights vote’. Everyone thought she had lost her mind. Including myself. But Loretta’s idea was brilliant and everyone noticed. . .



Loretta got fined by the State of Florida for that banner. And she paid it, all $200 of it, with pride and great fanfare. I recall she had a big party afterward. She was expecting a $500 fine I think.

Is the City of Lake Worth’s communications specialist a former Canadian politician that represented Malahat-Juan de Fuca?

Yours Truly, Wes, has a correction. The image above is from the inimitable Tom McGow.

No, it is not. Our City’s communications czar is BEN KERR, not “Brian” Kerr. A mistake from yesterday (1/25) for which Yours Truly humbly apologizes.

If anyone was confused, especially all our treasured Snowbirds from Canada who may have already started bragging about Lake Worth (as if there needs to be more to brag about to their friends and family up north!), correct this information before you drop that next postcard in the mail.

For City residents who wish, please take the time and send a short email or make a short call to Mr. Ben Kerr welcoming him to the City. However, if there’s information you need, please hold off for a couple of weeks. Being schooled in how the troublemakers in this City operate, I’m sure he’s being flooded with all kinds of requests for all kinds of mundane matters to try and rattle him.

But I’m sure he was brought up to speed on that before he took the job. Here is how to contact Mr. Ben Kerr:
  • Phone: 561-586-1631
  • Email: bkerr@lakeworth.org

The 1928 hurricane that devastated the City of Lake Worth. And when does Hurricane Season begin?

From the National Oceanographic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA):

“The Atlantic hurricane season is officially from 1 June to 30 November. There is nothing magical in these dates, and hurricanes have occurred outside of these six months, but these dates were selected to encompass over 97% of tropical activity. When the Weather Bureau organized its new hurricane warning network in 1935 it scheduled a special telegraph line to connect the various centers to run from June 15th through November 15th. Those remained the start and end dates of the ‘official’ season until 1965, when it was decided to start at the beginning of the month of June and run until the end of November.”

The map below is a more modern one showing the path of that terrible storm. Interstate 95 didn’t exist in 1928. Would the Herbert Hoover Dike that surrounds Lake Okeechobee survive a storm this strong? Almost a direct strike:

When it struck: Wind speed 130 miles per hour, 929 millibars of pressure, category 4.

This storm is called the 1928 Hurricane. Hurricanes weren’t given people’s names until later on. Pictures below show the local Lake Worth aftermath. This is the storm that killed thousands near Lake Okeechobee and remains the 2nd deadliest storm in American history.


Read more about the 1928 Okeechobee Hurricane at Wikipedia.

City of Lake Worth Press Release: “Municipal Gymnasium Grand Re-opening”

Media, please take note: Contact Lake Worth’s Communications Specialist, Ben Kerr, with your general or specific areas of interest.*
  • Phone: 561-586-1631
  • Email: bkerr@lakeworth.org
Press Release dated January 24th, 2017:

Lake Worth, Florida — Please join us as we celebrate the grand Re-Opening of the City of Lake Worth Municipal Gymnasium on Saturday, February 4, 2017. Doors will open at 10:00 am followed by a ribbon cutting ceremony, bounce houses, music and much more.
     The Municipal Gymnasium was closed for renovation of the floor. The renovations took three months to complete.
  • Event for the entire family.
  • When: Saturday, Feb. 4th.
  • Time: 10:00–Noon.
  • Where: Municipal Gymnasium, 1515 Wingfield St.
For more information contact Aundra Lowe, Recreation Athletic Coordinator
Phone: 561-533-7363
Email: ALowe@lakeworth.org

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

Election reporting about Lake Worth in the Post: “LOOKING AHEAD TO 2017” and it’s not looking good for journalism. Again.

Does the Post have a problem with Herman? Herman is not a “developer” and he’s not “Willy Wonka” either.

If you know Herman Robinson your reaction was “that’s just ridiculous” or just laughed like I did when you read what Post beat reporter Kevin Thompson wrote about Herman (see image below). If you don’t know Herman personally maybe “Willy Wonka” crossed your mind when you read this from Thompson: “Herman Robinson, a one-time chocolate shop owner”.

Just off the top of my head about Herman:
  • Recently resigned as Chair from the Historic Resource Preservation Board (HRPB) to run for District 4 on the City Commission
  • Prior to being the Chair of HRPB was a member of the board
  • Former member of the Planning and Zoning Board
  • Former Chair of the “Yes” PAC for the LW2020 bond
  • Countless volunteer and community efforts
But. . . the reporter writes Herman is a “one-time chocolate shop owner”? Really?

And the media scratches their heads and says, “Why doesn’t the public trust us?”

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Press Release, City of Lake Worth: Resignation of John “Jack” Borsch, Director of City of Lake Worth Electric Utilities

Press Release dated January 25, 2017

Please contact Ben Kerr, the City of Lake Worth Communications Specialist with any questions or comments.
  • Phone: 561-586-1631
  • Email: bkerr@lakeworth.org 
John “Jack” Borsch, the Director of the City of Lake Worth Electric Utilities has tendered his resignation with the City, effective February 26. Jack has served as the Director of Electric Utilities since August 2015 and during his tenure with Lake Worth, the Electric Utilities has celebrated multiple successes thanks to his leadership.

In Jack’s time with the City, Lake Worth Electric Utilities has closed the gap on FP&L rates bringing the City to the verge of rate parity for residential properties. Next month the ribbon cutting ceremony will be held for the Lake Worth Solar Field where the first phase of solar panels will begin to provide 2% of the City’s electric needs, a project that has been developed and led by Jack and his department. During Hurricane Matthew, and recent storms, Lake Worth Electric Utilities has managed to maintain power for most residents with only minimal disruption due in part to Jack’s planning before and actions during the storm.

Jack is moving to IHI Industrial based in California where he will manage a fleet of power stations along the US Eastern Seaboard.

“Jack has been a key part of my management team and a strong leader in transitioning Lake Worth Electric Utilities into a well-run operation. I wish him the best of success as he moves into his new position.”
~City Manager Michael Bornstein

“I love the City and have worked hard to make positive changes over the last two years. This decision was not one based on any malcontent with the City but rather was based on a positive opportunity that would allow me to be located closer to family.”
~Lake Worth Electric Utilities Director, John Borsch

Press Release from the City of Lake Worth, Jan. 24th, “FOR RELEASE UPON RECEIPT”:


“Power Outages in Lake Worth during storm on night of January 22, 2017”


For more information:
Contact Ben Kerr, Communications Specialist
Phone: 561-586-1631
Email: bkerr@lakeworth.org

The City of Lake Worth Electric Utility reports that during the storm on the night of January 22, 2017, only 144 customers lost power. This loss was due to a lightning strike to a pole that damaged a grounding wire. Officials determined, as a preventive measure, to replace the damaged grounding wire in order to lessen the risk of a larger outage if a second strike occurred. A team was dispatched to carry out the maintenance at 04:40 am and power was returned swiftly.
     The City of Lake Worth Electric Utilities serves ≈27,000 customers in the City of Lake Worth. Prior to the storm tree crews were dispatched to areas of concern to trim tree limbs reducing the risk of issues caused by high winds.

“Speaking as one of the Downtown merchants, we were very happy that there were no outages in the Downtown.”
—Commissioner Andy Amoroso, Owner of Studio 205.

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

Save The Date. January 31st:

City of Lake Worth Mayor Pam Triolo will give the State of the City Address. Tuesday, January 31st from 6:00–8:00 at the City’s Casino Ball Room (click on image to enlarge):

Admission is free. Free parking starting at 5:30. Seating and parking provided on a first come first serve basis.

The Mayor will discuss the City’s progress and exciting plans for the future. City staff will have tables with information and guests will be able to meet with the staff to learn more about what is being done to move the City forward.

LAKE WORTH: Volunteers needed quickly, for tomorrow at noon! Very, very important for the City.

A phone number is below to get registered. Call ASAP!

Many of you are aware of all the confusion over Zip Codes and the City of Lake Worth but in a case such as this (see below), we can actually use this situation to our benefit. The City of Lake Worth has 2 Zip Codes (33460 and part of 33461) but there are 9 ‘Lake Worth’ mailing addresses, some of which go all the way out west bordering on the Everglades.

So, in a case such as this we can use ALL 9 Zip Codes to our benefit to receive more County, State, and Federal funding. Those Zip Codes are:
  • 33449
  • 33454
  • 33460–33463
  • 33465–33467
Call 561-355-4766 TODAY for more information from the Homeless and Housing Alliance of Palm Beach County:

“Palm Beach County and other groups are looking for volunteers to help them conduct a count of the county’s homeless population.
     The point-in-time count, to be conducted during a 24-hour period starting at noon Thursday, is mandated by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.”

Come out and meet Herman Robinson TODAY. Candidate for Open Seat in District 4.

Click on image to enlarge:
Herman is running to fill the open seat in District 4. Would you like a yard sign to show your support? Call 561-651-1499. Send Herman an email at: votehermanrobinson@gmail.com

That big cloud of dust is The Palm Beach Post backpedalling. Remember that article about the Gulfsteam Hotel on January 17th?

The blog post below (following the image and caption) isn’t really about the Gulfstream Hotel at all. What it’s really about is which elected officials get the scrutiny and tough questions from the press, and more importantly, which elected official in Lake Worth never does: Commissioner Chris McVoy, PhD.

At the end of this blog post are some questions the press will never ask McVoy. Here’s another one:

Question: “Commissioner McVoy. You’re now claiming speeding cars in the City is the reason you opposed the bond referendum last November. Why didn’t you issue a press release or get this information to the public back then? Produce the data last year?”

Oddly enough, here’s a relatively inexpensive and simple solution to speeding cars from Yours Truly.

Look folks. Everyone knows McVoy is going to get the endorsement from the Post editorial board. It’s a given. But McVoy’s endorsement will be one with a lot of finger-pointing at other elected officials like Mayor Triolo et al.

The Gulfstream Hotel story in the Post last week, unfairly, pointed the finger at the City’s Code Enforcement. Now here’s a question the editors at the Post can ask McVoy (but won’t):

“Commissioner McVoy. You’ve been a sitting commissioner since 2010. Can you show us your accomplishments to make the Code Department better? More efficient?

Remember. McVoy has a PhD. 

The reaction to this news article unfairly attacking Code Enforcement in the Post was swift, both from the public and City government as well. The City of Lake Worth shouldn’t have to demand quality news reporting.

For the background on the “backpedalling” at the Post, use this link.

Premise:
It’s the fault of Code Enforcement that the Gulfstream Hotel still sits vacant.
Absolutely False. This is what happens when reporters and editors try to explain complex stories using simple narratives.

Premise:
Reporters and editors aren’t given the time and resources to verify the facts.
Absolutely True.

Remember this: It’s not the press’ job to pick winners and losers. There are only 48 days left until election day in Lake Worth. Elected leaders deserve accountability. Absolutely True. But so do former elected’s as well. However, there won’t be enough “time and resources” to verify those facts.

Remember. Mayor Pam Triolo, Vice Mayor Scott Maxwell, and commissioners Andy Amoroso and Ryan Maier ARE NOT UP FOR RE-ELECTION.

But Commissioner Chris McVoy is.

He deserves the tough questions too. But he doesn’t get those. For some reason McVoy gets a “free pass”. For example, you’ll never hear a question concerning McVoy’s observations about the Socialist Party last year:

“Commissioner McVoy. Can you explain why you support Nicolás Maduro and the Socialist Party in Venezuela?” Or this: “Why would you bring up term limits when you’ve been a commissioner since 2010?” Or. . . “Why didn’t you come to the defense of Mayor Triolo when one of your supporters posted an image of her burning in effigy?”

18th Annual Garlic Fest in John Prince Park: “The Best Stinkin’ Party in South Florida” is going to be huge.

We learned recently from Mary Lindsey, the former president (now President Emeritus) of the Lake Worth Neighborhood Assoc. Presidents Council (NAPC) that the NAPC will be featured with a prized location at Garlic Fest. Very high visibility to engage and promote our little City just to the east of John Prince Park.

Apparently, when the organizers of Garlic Fest heard about the NAPC they decided to learn more and were so impressed they wanted the NAPC to be a part of the BEST STINKIN’ PARTY IN SOUTH FLORIDA! And we also learned that Tri-Rail will play a much larger role than originally anticipated.

The amount of preparation that’s gone into Garlic Fest is amazing. Take a few minutes and check out their website. Remember, Delray Beach was home to Garlic Fest for many years and, well, their loss is our gain. Having this renowned event right next door in the County’s John Prince Park will draw many visitors and tourists to our BEACH! and to the Downtown as well.

For just one example of the preparation, use this link to learn about the “Free Shuttle” from Tri-Rail and Palm Beach State College, parking lots for the event, and they’ll have an “Uber drop off” as well:

Garlic Fest begins on Friday, February 10th at 5:00 p.m. and ends on Sunday, February 12th. To purchase tickets use this link.

From Post reporter Kevin Thompson: “Why you’ll find this Lake Worth reporter at RaceTrac [in the Town of Palm Springs] a lot”.

Well. It’s official. Live in Greenacres? Did you see the Post today (1/25)? If you did then you know for certain, barring a crime or vehicle crash, Greenacres has 0 (zero) chance of making news in that newspaper even though your city and our City of Lake Worth both have elections coming up in March. When was the last time the Post reporter showed up at one of your city commission meetings? Anyhow, for more on this is a blog post from last week:

Does anyone remember the last time there was any news about Greenacres in the print edition of The Palm Beach Post? Kevin Thompson is the beat reporter for the City of Greenacres as well. By area and population that City is nearly the same size as Lake Worth. But of course, for reasons unknown, the focus in almost totally on the City of Lake Worth.

For example, each and every Monday is the Post’s LWVVSMCPE, a weekly print edition special report. That’s right. Each and every Monday about Lake Worth.

However, also like the City of Lake Worth, the City of Greenacres has elections coming up on March 14th. To this point there has not been one single item in the Post about that. For any news on that you need to pick up The Lake Worth Herald. So. Do you live in Greenacres and want to know why your news is being ignored? Below is contact information for the Post reporter, Kevin Thompson, tasked with covering your city.
 
Remember “IN FOCUS: LAKE WORTH”? This RaceTrac isn’t in Lake Worth. It’s located in Palm Springs.

There’s more information to help the good people of Greenacres as well: Do you know about the “5 Tips” to get your community event, business, or service noticed in the Post? Use this link to learn more. The expert at the Post, Business Editor Antonio Fins writes,

“. . . the trick is reaching to the right journalist.”

Anyhow, here is the latest from beat reporter Thompson about the new RaceTrac convenience store in Palm Springs:

“I hang out at RaceTrac a lot because it’s a good, clean, and inviting place to plug in my laptop when I’m working in and around Lake Worth, [emphasis added] something I’m now doing four days a week — a new mandate from our editors to fully embed ourselves in the communities we cover.”

“. . . fully embed ourselves in the communities we cover.”? If you live in Greenacres and are scratching your head right about now, well, join the club. Anyhow, below is the contact information to contact your beat reporter. Good Luck!
  • Email: kthompson@pbpost.com
  • 561-820-4573

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

VIDEO: Meet the candidates in the Lake Worth District 2 race. Oh. . . and about that Wawa on 10th Ave. North and ‘A’ Street.

There are 3 candidates going into the election on March 14th. They are:
  • William Joseph
  • Omari Hardy
  • Chris McVoy
Hardy is the one that’s getting all the attention right now. Why? Be the judge for yourself when you watch the video (see below). William Joseph has a very heavy accent as you’ll hear for yourself. Chris McVoy is the incumbent, a commissioner since 2010.

The video starts off with the question about Code Enforcement in the City. McVoy goes first then next up is Mr. Joseph. Then from the 2:30–4:35 mark in the video are Hardy’s comments including his mention of a “ride-along” with PBSO Cpt. Baer (the only candidate to do so).

Interestingly, on the issue of the environment, at the 21:45–22:55 mark Hardy talks about doing “the little things”. For example, “we still use Round-Up at the golf course.” Makes you wonder where McVoy has been all these years being the one with a PhD in Soil Science.

And lastly, on the issue of a Wawa at 10th Ave. North and ‘A’ Street, Hardy at the 25:15–26:49 mark said, “it represents a challenge to the zoning map.” Hardy opposes a Wawa at that location in a residential area, especially with 2 schools nearby.

The video below is #2 of 5 videos total from the Bryant Park candidate forum on Jan. 23rd. If you have the time would encourage you to watch and share all the videos from my YouTube channel, use this link.

Stay tuned for more highlights and yes, some low-lights too, and as always Thank You for visiting my blog.

It’s absolutely clear now: McVoy’s campaign for re-election will be taking credit for all the hard work done by everyone else on the City Commission.

From the recently passed road bond, additional deputies, the new LED street lights, the Park of Commerce, the new solar field to be unveiled next month, you name it, Commissioner Chris McVoy, PhD, is trying to take credit for it all. And his claims are absolutely false, insulting really.

The credit actually goes to Mayor Pam Triolo, Vice Mayor Scott Maxwell, and commissioners Andy Amoroso and Ryan Maier. The fact is McVoy’s precious PhD has done little to help our City move forward, it’s mostly been obstructionism and delay, over and over again, to slow down or stop any initiatives and progress from moving forward.

It was back in 2010 when a former commissioner, Cara Jennings, tapped McVoy to run for the Lake Worth District 2 seat. And since 2010 it’s been the same tactics by McVoy. Are you getting tired of all this nonsense?

Sit back and listen. Pay attention to all the candidates and then on March 14th, Election Day, you get to have your say. Ask yourself this: “Does McVoy deserve 2 more years?”

It’s time for new ideas in District 2. Coming up on Jan. 30th is the Playhouse debate. Starts at 6:00, 713 Lake Ave. Try to be there. Elections are very important.

Candidate Omari Hardy at the Bryant Park forum last night (1/23) for District 2 candidates.

Omari Hardy “knocked it out of the park” last night. Use this link to see all 5 videos. Later will pull out shorter segments to focus on such as the opening statements and more. Stay tuned.

Below is a very short video from the Bryant Park candidate forum introducing the District 4 candidates, a Bryant Park forum that is scheduled for next month. Interestingly, out of all the candidates, Herman Robinson is the only one to get a hearty applause from the crowd:
To subscribe to my YouTube channel click on the red “Subscribe” button (play the video above) and you’ll receive an email when new videos have been uploaded.

And, as always, Thank You for visiting.

To learn more about Omari use this link.

City Commission meeting agenda for tonight, begins at 6:00

INSTRUCTIONS. How to watch this meeting Live Streaming:
  • At 6:00 click on this link, then
  • Look for “Video of Public Meetings” in right-hand column.
  • Click on that link and video feed will begin.
  • No video? Wait a few minutes and try again. Sometimes meetings begin a few minutes late.
The blog post from last week follows:

To view the agenda for yourself use this link. Here is the item that got my attention right away, Item 9 on the Consent Agenda pertaining the City’s Casino:
G. Extension of Tolling Agreement with REG Architects, Inc., and The Morganti Group, Inc.
For a short background on this use this link. A “tolling agreement” is basically a delay all parties agree to. Simply what it does is make certain the statute of limitations is not passed for the City to seek legal redress to fix long-standing problems, e.g., water leakage on the second floor. But it should be noted this is the fourth tolling agreement. That’s right. #4.

A few other things to take note of next Tuesday:
  • It’s Commissioner McVoy’s choice of an Invocation or Moment of Silence. What will he do? Invite the Atheist Preston Smith back for an encore? Choose a Wiccan? Maybe someone from the Interfaith Network?
  • Item 5A: “Accept a Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting by the Government Finance Officers Association.”
  • And, of course, there’s always Public Comment. Remember, the time limit is 2 minutes. Please be respectful of the mayor and mind your manners. For an example how to give public comment use this link, a very good example indeed.

“We’re not running a cruise line here”, said Lake Worth Vice Mayor Scott Maxwell. And do you know what an “open seat” election is?

The quote above is from the December 13th City Commission. Remember, tonight’s (1/24) Commission meeting begins at 6:00.

At that City Commission meeting last December was quite the moment. Towards the end of the meeting Mayor Pam Triolo called for a 10-minute break and everyone left the dais. Apparently, Commissioner Ryan Maier misheard and thought the meeting was over. After the break everyone returned except for Maier.

After a while, frustrated that Maier wasn’t answering the call to return over the loudspeaker, Maxwell said “We’re not running a cruise line here”, to the City Clerk. Maxwell wasn’t aware the mic was still on! Oooops. Read all about that using this link.

Maier did eventually return, without an explanation for his absence, and the meeting resumed.

Anyhow, the latest election news is Maier (on Dec. 27th) dropped out of his race for re-election in District 4 and was absent for the Commission meeting on January 10th as well. The only official explanation thus far from Maier is a letter that states, “After much consideration I have decided not to run. . .”:

 The commission meeting on Jan. 10th. Please note: The District 4 election on March 14th is an “open seat” election (an election without an incumbent), a rarity in Lake Worth. Come and see all the candidates at the Playhouse debate coming up on January 30th.

Commissioner Chris McVoy, PhD: Keep our LOCAL politics about our LOCAL issues. “Keep It LOCAL!”

UPDATE, Bryant Park candidate forum last night (1/23): Just as expected, Commissioner Chris McVoy, PhD, is running on the platform of successes by Mayor Pam Triolo, Vice Mayor Scott Maxwell, and Commissioner Andy Amoroso. No surprise there.

And it’s also no surprise he’s using the same old tactics that worked before to get elected, read more about that below. Take note of McVoy’s body language though (click on photo below), he looks worried doesn’t he? And maybe a little confused too? He’s concerned about Omari Hardy (standing in photo below) and he should be.

Remember there’s a City Commission meeting tonight and the elections are on March 14th.

Omari Hardy speaking to the crowd. Commissioner McVoy (in blue tie) looks on. Take special note of McVoy’s body language. The blog post from yesterday follows, posted prior to the forum last night, a prediction that turned out true:

Lake Worth, if you didn’t know, is just one of 39 cities in Palm Beach County. With under 40,000 residents and about 6 square miles it does stand out in a very big way: The City has more than its share of difficult problems to address. And it doesn’t help matters when one City commissioner in particular tries over and over again to distract the community.

It’s true. Lake Worth elections can be very entertaining for the rest of Palm Beach County, especially the skill and political savvy displayed by some elected’s to skirt, duck, or otherwise avoid the actual issues the City has to deal with. 

If you’ve been following this blog you know Commissioner McVoy is trying hard to find an issue to run on. McVoy was first elected in 2010 and one of his tactics to get re-elected is to hang on the backs of the majority and their successes, not his own. Why? Because he doesn’t have any or very few at most. Leadership is not part of McVoy’s skill set.

However, one of the ways McVoy tries to distract the community is to bring up issues like “sea level rise” (SLR), comparing Lake Worth to much larger cities like Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, and Hoboken, NJ. It’s no secret Lake Worth is not to scale of those cities..

Although a very important and timely topic many in Lake Worth have been very concerned that SLR is being used as a “wedge issue to distract the community from things like our crumbling roads and potholes, street lighting, and public safety. In 2014 this tactic did work when McVoy campaigned against the LW2020 bond to fix our roads. By just 25 votes that referendum failed.

Anyhow, now there’s this from a reader of this blog, something discovered on the City’s Wikipedia page* that was just recently added:
“The [Lake Worth] pier is home to a tide gauge with a sporadic history, showing an above average rate of sea level rise.[18]”
Here is footnote 18:
“Mean Sea Level Trend 8722670 Lake Worth Pier”. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved December 30, 2016. [emphasis added]
Hmmm. Would this be the lead-up to another lecture by McVoy at a future City Commission meeting? Stay tuned. However, for some perspective about the image below cited on the City’s Wikipedia page:
3.56 millimeters = 0.1401575 inches
The following image is from this website:

McVoy has a PhD and he reminds people all the time about that. But if SLR is brought up as an issue again can he stick to the “Imperial system” of inches for everyone to understand, instead of using the metric system?

*Please take note: If you visit the City’s Wikipedia page on a frequent basis always look at the very bottom of the page for a line like this: “This page was last modified on 9 January 2017, at 02:07.” That way you know when the page was last updated.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Storms that went through City of Lake Worth last night. How did our Electric Utility do?


A text message from Commissioner Andy Amoroso:

144 out. team out at 4:40 am. power back up fast.

Now contrast that with the Promised Lands of Palm Beach Gardens and the Town of Jupiter, news from reporter Susan Salisbury at the Post.

Hello.

Please spread the word:

The Bryant Park Neighborhood Assoc. will be hosting a candidate forum TONIGHT at 7:00.

Come and see District 2 candidates Omari Hardy, William Joseph, and Chris McVoy.

Location: The Beach Club located at the City’s municipal golf course, #1 7th Ave. North.

Chris McVoy is the incumbent, the sitting District 2 commissioner. He was first elected in 2010 succeeding Cara Jennings. At the City Commission meeting on January 10th McVoy brought up the topic of “term limits”. Just thought I would point that out.

Also note that ALL VOTERS in Lake Worth vote FOR ALL districts, not just the district you reside in.

The Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council (TCRPC) and remember the topic of mangroves along Lake Worth’s Intracoastal?

Too often the TCRPC, a crucially important and vital organization, is used as a stage by some at public comment to get false and very misleading information “into the record” about the City of Lake Worth, e.g., the mangroves along our Intracoastal. More on that below. 

Last Friday, January 20th, was the meeting of the TCRPC. The next meeting is on February 17th. Below is an interesting item from last January’s agenda. If the topic of Everglades restoration is of interest to you there was this item up for discussion, “Update on the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan by Lieutenant Colonel Reynolds, Army Corps of Engineers”:

Council has requested regular updates on implementation of the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP). The CERP provides a framework and guide to restore, protect, and preserve south Florida’s natural ecosystem while improving water supplies and maintaining flood protection. [emphasis added]

[and. . .]

Council staff has invited the Corps [U.S. Army Corps of Engineers] to make a presentation related to the current status of CERP projects. Staff has also requested an update on current projects or studies underway to increase surface water storage around Lake Okeechobee, specifically the Western Everglades Restoration Project, the Lake Okeechobee Watershed Restoration Study, and the nearly completed Kissimmee River Restoration Project.

To learn more about the crucial role of the TCRPC use this link. Lake Worth Commissioner Ryan Maier is the City’s liaison to this crucial board.* Several times the public comment portion of council meetings has been used as a stage for providing false and misleading information about Lake Worth.

For example, below is public comment† made at the TCRPC last year by Drew Martin (click on image to enlarge):

These minutes from the TCRPC include completely false and “moderately correct” information.

In the comments made by Drew Martin is a moderately correct statement and a completely false statement. First, correcting the absolutely false statement by Martin: The City of Lake Worth DID NOT remove any mangroves from along golf course shoreline. The mangrove removal was done by the County using a County permit.

Next about the City of Lake Worth stopping a “600-foot planting of mangroves along Bryant Park”. This planting was addressed during the County’s “Living Shoreline” project. When it was proposed to plant mangroves along the seawall. Neighborhood groups and others objected because it would obstruct the view of the Intracoastal by those who reside near the park and visitors as well.

Aerial view of Lake Worth municipal golf course, 1973. Note “gaps” along shoreline for a view of the Intracoastal waterway.

Now back to the golf course: The mangroves were removed because they were planted in the wrong place by volunteers. Along the golf course “windows” or “gaps” are needed for the public to see the water and enjoy the view. Why have a golf course next to the Intracoastal if you can’t see the water? Defeats the purpose of having a golf course with a “view of the water” does it not?

Commissioner Maier’s role as liaison is to make sure the TCRPC has accurate information about what is happening in Lake Worth and also to report, accurately, what happens at these meetings when he gives his update at the City Commission meeting. He’s had several opportunities to correct the record vis-à-vis the mangroves but he’s chosen not to do so.

*Commissioner Maier is not seeking re-election. A new liaison to the TCRPC will be chosen following the elections next March by the City Commission.
You can see this for yourself using this link to the minutes of the TCRPC. Scroll down to the February 5th, 2016, meeting and click on “Minutes”. The comments appear on page 20.

Awaiting the return of ‘Mr. Snarky’ to Lake Worth bringing his one and only issue that matters: the homeless.

What happened to Mr. Snarky? October of last year passed, then November, December, 2017 arrived. . . and no Mr. Snarky. You can draw your own conclusions why Mr. Snarky bailed on Lake Worth. Hope you enjoy this blog post last moved near the top of the blog last November:

It shouldn’t be too long now before ‘Mr. Snarky’ (learn about Mr. Snarky below) returns to Lake Worth. He’ll remind us again why letting the homeless populate our downtown Cultural Plaza and parks for the Winter is a good idea and why we’re all such terrible people for not caring enough. And peeing in public is OK too. We should all learn to be more tolerant of people urinating and defecating in front of your children, Mr. Snarky will tell us.

Mr. Snarky will already have his friends here to help him: former commissioners (see video), ‘concerned’ citizens, ‘advocates’, reporters, editors, and even satirists too. From newsrooms and offices filled with plush, comfortable armchairs we’ll be told we’re not doing enough and we need to do more for the homeless. Sure, streets and potholes are important. Sidewalks too for the children to walk to school. And public safety, of course, is a priority. But all these issues don’t rise to the level of importance of homelessness the ‘advocates’ will tell us again.

“You have to do more”, Mr. Snarky and his friends will say:
Mr. Snarky, et al., will say our City government and elected leaders like Mayor Pam Triolo, Vice Mayor Scott Maxwell, and Commissioner Amoroso hate homeless people. We’ll be told, “They say they care”, and then we’ll be reminded, “It's not enough”. This drama all played out in Lake Worth earlier this year leading up to the March [2016] elections much like it did in Ft. Lauderdale in 2014/2015.

Their mayor, Jack Seiler (D), also came under withering assault from the homeless ‘advocates’ and he was interviewed by WIOD’s Rick Sanchez about this. Use this link to hear that radio interview. The public was forced to watch all these theatrics, to the detriment of all their other issues that were also important, and then on February 10th, 2015, the voters got their chance to speak:
In the end, after all the drama and theatrics, the curtain drops and the voters have their one day to speak.

But why all the effort and focus on the just the homeless? There are government resources and so many volunteer/non-profit groups out there to help, right? Part of the reason for this is politics: to depress voter turnout. They want you to get disgusted and sick of the whole political process. Then what to do? Do the opposite.

Get excited about the political process to help fix ALL our problems and get friends and neighbors to get involved too. Don’t get distracted by the news media that always seems to gravitate to those with loud voices and protest signs—just laugh at them. They’re just a joke anyhow.

Now to Mr. Snarky (video below): He thought elected leaders from Lake Worth going to Tallahassee to get our slice of the pie from the legislature was a really bad idea. But he also told us Lake Worth should build our own homeless center to the tune of millions of dollars because:
“The last time I checked that [the Senator Philip D. Lewis Center] is in West Palm Beach.
Every other problem and issue in Lake Worth takes a back seat to the one issue that Mr. Snarky thinks is the most important. The City has and continues to do everything it can, with the limited resources available, to help the homeless. The private sector in contributing and so are groups like the Lord’s Place, Adopt-A-Family and many, many others. 

But that’s not enough for Mr. Snarky and his friends. The video below is Mr. Snarky at the Lake Worth City Commission meeting last January. The video is from the City’s website taken off a TV screen so the quality of the video is poor but you can close your eyes and clearly hear what he says. He wants more.

But your family and neighborhood also needs more too: Adequate street lighting, that missing fire hydrant and that pothole fixed, and a decent sidewalk for your child to get to school. Mr. Snarky doesn’t talk about that stuff. He doesn’t care.

Almost there. Twenty-three more to reach 3,000 YouTube views: School Board member Erica Whitfield.


UPDATE: Erica has broken the 3,000 mark! Only the 3rd time ever on my Lake Worth YouTube channel. To see that video for yourself please scroll down. But first. . .

If the schools in the City of Lake Worth are important to you strongly encourage watching the video below. But first, FYI (since it’s election season AGAIN!), if you’re running for elected office and think an endorsement from your “Paper of Record” is a big trophy along the way. . . think again:

Despite not getting that Post endorsement in 2014. . .

And you may be interested in reading the latest news from the Post’s Andrew Marra, charter schools aren’t all they’re cracked up to be.

Below is a look back to December 2015 when Erica Whitfield gave a presentation to the Lake Worth City Commission. Take special note when Whitfield talks about the data she received from the school district about “Lake Worth” schools. Apparently, the people in charge of collecting data didn’t even know where the City of Lake Worth is; they relied on Zip Codes instead of looking at a map.

Hopefully, under the leadership of Dr. Avossa, that problem has been corrected as well. Hope you enjoy this video:Please note: To subscribe to my Lake Worth YouTube channel use this link and then click on the red “Subscribe” button at the top of the page. Subscribers get an email when new videos have been uploaded.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Frank Cerabino takes another crack at satire about Lake Worth: That only means one thing.

When Cerabino writes about Lake Worth in the Sunday edition of the Post that’s likely a signal the latest circulation numbers came in and they don’t look too good. Writing about Lake Worth is akin to a “Hail Mary Pass” to try and get attention.

If you recall, our own Lake Worth resident Helene Jarvis took on Cerabino last year with her own satire on another issue: remember Commissioner Chris McVoy and the now-famous “Baked Ziti” incident? And do you remember the ranking of cities that fell flat like a lead balloon? Lake Worth came in at #6 with this “Random factoid”:
Home of “Madame Cleo,” the former pay-per-call TV psychic turned gay activist and spoken-word artist.
And Cerabino didn’t gain too many new fans from Greenacres which came in at #20. One reason is because they have “an extra dollop of Hispanic”:

More from Cerabino’s “Ranking cities, worst to best”: Belle Glade: “For the overwhelming majority of local residents who aren’t talented and driven enough to make it to the NFL.” And Boynton Beach: “. . . perpetually overshadowed and trying to catch up.”

Anyhow, now Cerabino weighs in on the email exchange between Lake Worth City Manager Michael Bornstein and the president of the ROLO neighborhood west of I-95 about the Atlanta Braves and spring training baseball in John Prince Park.

From the ROLO website today, Jan. 22nd. A very small area in ROLO is called the “Hermit Kingdom”. They’re known to send up smoke signals when major decisions have been made: black and white. No one knows what the signals mean though.

Although no one actually knows what happens in the “Hermit Kingdom” there are some theories:

Hudson Holdings, the Gulfstream Hotel, and August 24th, 2015. “Better Lake Worth”? “Better Life”?

[If you missed this blog post from earlier in the week, well, you’re probably one of the few. It’s not my intention to “pile on” but rather to put things into perspective. Understand that almost everyone in Lake Worth wants Hudson Holdings to succeed.

Let’s use a football analogy about the restoration of the Gulfstream Hotel: Last year team Hudson Holdings had the City of Lake Worth excited and pumped. City elected’s and staff prepared the field of play with zoning approvals and everything else team Hudson needed. The public was exuberant, yelling and stomping feet in the stands. The referees were on the field. But team Hudson never came out of the locker room. That would explain the public mood. The blog post from earlier this week follows:]

Following that very well-attended meeting at the Lake Worth Casino in 2015 (see video below) Hudson Holdings did receive much “open and honest feedback” as stated in the image below.

Hudson Holdings then wrote they were “hard at work refining a proposal that we believe will work for everyone . . .”, BUT their idea for a “Better Beach” though, was rejected (click image to enlarge):

Now fast forward to January 17th, 2017, an excerpt from an article in the Post titled, “Real estate company considers selling historic Gulfstream Hotel in Lake Worth” (with emphasis added):

 . . . City Manager Michael Bornstein, who called Hudson Holdings’ decision a “huge” disappointment, disputed Michael’s characterization, saying more than $100 million worth of new private investment and projects are underway in Lake Worth.
     “This is from a city that seven or eight years ago had no commercial permits pulled to now over $100 million,” Bornstein said. “(Michael’s comments) don’t match up with the realities.
     Bornstein also pointed out Lake Worth has $116 million in upcoming infrastructure improvements, including road, sewer, water and electric work.

The public listened to Hudson Holdings back in August of 2015. The problem is this: Are they listening to them any more?