Saturday, February 11, 2017

“BREAKING: Fire closes Lyons Road in Lake Worth”. Lyons Road doesn’t go through Lake Worth. It’s in Suburban Lake Worth.

Here’s the latest from the Post about that terrible fire today at the Sherbrooke Golf & Country Club. The initial report was this fire occurred “in Lake Worth”. The actual location was far outside the City limits.

Another reporter having trouble locating municipal boundaries is staff writer Jim Hayward at the Post with this “BREAKING” today. The location of this fire is not far from Wellington in Suburban Lake Worth:

Palm Beach County Fire-Rescue is battling a fire at the Sherbrooke Golf & Country Club in Lake Worth early today, forcing the closure of Lyons Road.

The location of this fire is west of the Florida Turnpike not far from the edge of the Everglades. To learn about the municipal boundaries of the City of Lake Worth use this link.

“Suburban Lake Worth” is everything located outside the City. The City has two zip codes: 33460 and part of 33461. The zip code for the Sherbrooke Country Club? 33467.

Attention Lake Worth residents and neighborhood leaders: Very important County meeting next Wednesday.

Would it be possible for someone to organize a car pool?

Residents looking for more ways to improve the neighborhood, make the community safer, and share concerns, ideas, and solutions should plan to attend an upcoming Countywide Community Revitalization Team meeting hosted by the Palm Beach County Office of Community Revitalization (OCR):
  • Wednesday, February 15th at 6:00.
  • Held at Vista Center, 2300 North Jog Road, Suite 1W-47, suburban West Palm Beach.
  • Contact Houston Tate at 561-233-5303 or email htate@pbcgov.org
“The purpose of this meeting is to allow a large number of residents to learn about the programs and services county agencies and departments offer. OCR will also be seeking input on what other programs and services citizens may want county government to provide.”

Friday, February 10, 2017

The pool is shut down at our Beach. Likely never to re-open. Why? Because in 2010–2012, “. . . it appears some corners were cut.”

Photo of Lake Worth Casino complex and pool by Skyline Aerials. Our pool always looks so lovely and charming—from 200′ away.

Now it’s time to move forward with a robust debate: “Engaging Youth to Create Community Places”. If we want a City pool where should it be? Somewhere with more public access? And the biggest question of all, “How did we get here?”

In 2010–2012 there was plenty of money to fix the pool. But “corners were cut” because the 2nd floor of the ‘new’ Casino building at the Lake Worth Beach was supposed to be much smaller than it is. Having the 2nd floor covering 100% of the ground floor added 33% to the project size.

With a $6 million budget that created major deficiencies, less quality and functionality, e.g., rainwater leaking under the doors on the 2nd floor.

The 2nd floor space above Mulligan’s was supposed to be an upscale restaurant “with a killer view”. Five years later it’s still vacant. Why? Can you see the sandbags?

You see, as more money got pushed to fund the Casino structure there was less and less money for the pool. The pool, locker rooms, bathrooms, and pump building were ignored or under-maintained.

Photo. 2012. Casino grand opening: 

Commissioner Chris McVoy, PhD (blue shirt), was one of those elected’s who ignored the problems at the pool while “corners were cut” in 2010–2012. McVoy was first elected in 2010. He’s up for re-election on March 14th.

There are many self-described “experts” who claim to know everything there is to know about Lake Worth’s municipal pool at the Beach. In early 2015 a lot of them packed the City Commission chambers; a now-defunct and silly “newspaper” back then had a story about what happened, or more accurately, a twisted version of what occurred:

“Look at other pools that have made it work and emulate them.” The Hall of Fame Aquatic Complex in Ft. Lauderdale? Where would you fit this monstrosity at our Beach:

After Lake Worth residents saw this artist rendering there was never talk again about the Hall of Fame pools (note the plural).

On March 7th when the news first broke about the pool being shut down again (this is the second time recently) and the increasing number of problems, it’s important to remember we’re well into election season as well.

Undoubtedly, some will try to take advantage of this: Commissioner McVoy, PhD, is up for re-election on March 14th. And knowing the Post editorial board is almost certain to endorse McVoy, this would seem a perfect opportunity to show how smart and “on top of things” he is.

But there’s a big problem with that. In a Post editorial dated June 29th, 2016, the editor(s) wrote this:

     Trouble has dogged this project for years. The goal was to transform a peeling 1950s-era concrete building, erected after a devastating 1947 hurricane, back to the casino’s [sic, “casino” should be capitalized] original 1920s-era Mediterranean Revival glory. (Gambling ended there in the 1930s.)
     But while tearing down walls to the skeleton, the builders found more damage than expected. The construction estimate soared to $8 million, but the city had only $6 million of borrowed money to spend. To make ends meet, it appears some corners were cut.

“. . . some corners were cut.”? You ain’t kidding.

The pool could have been upgraded and modernized back in 2011, or even 2012, but there wasn’t any money left over. All the money was spent on the Casino building instead: an overpriced and under-functioning structure:
  • The original Request for Proposal (RFP) was a “remodel” of a 2nd floor ballroom covering one-half (50%) of the ground floor (shops and John G’s restaurant [now in Manalapan]).
  • There was no commission approval to expand the RFP scope to include a 2nd floor covering 100% of the ground floor (shops and restaurant).
  • Adding 33% to the project size within the $6 million budget was unrealistic and created major deficiencies: quality and functionality.
And also, ironically, there was another plan back then the public never got to see. A plan that actually took a pool into consideration: the Greater Bay plan:

The Greater Bay plan was for the Casino in the center of the Beach property (note the traffic patterns), a new pool to the north, with a parking garage. This plan ended up costing the City a $1.6M settlement. The public never saw this plan.

In another ironic twist, the very same people who didn’t care a whit about the pool suddenly became big fans in 2012. One of those sudden cheerleaders was The Obtuse Blogger (TOB):

Image from the file, “If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.”

What changed so suddenly in 2012 that so many people became such big fans of the pool again? The new City Commission majority took over: Mayor Pam Triolo, Vice Mayor Scott Maxwell, and Commissioner Andy Amoroso.

In 2012 following those City elections, according to TOB et al, the pool had to stay open no matter what the cost. Interestingly, TOB and many of her supporters have never taken the time to visit the pool for an aerobics class or even a lap swim. Their “Love” of the pool has it’s limits you see—primarily political—nothing to do with swimming or exercise.

The majority that took over in 2012 remains the majority today. And who remains on the Commission today? Chris McVoy, PhD: He could have done something to fix the pool back in 2010–2012. But he didn’t.

Remember all the “experts” who lined up at the City Commission back in 2015 referenced earlier? Here is one of those ideas:

“Contact Men’s Health Magazine and unabashedly lobby for a spot on America’s Top Ten Fittest Cities.”, and. . . “When that publicity kicks in, just answer the phones and check the mail.”

Here is another idea that was actually quite a good one to “emulate”: the Wellington Aquatics Complex:

“In order to meet competitive standards . . . a larger 10,000 square foot structure that includes concession stands, showers, restrooms, a weight room, and classrooms for first aid, CPR and lifeguard courses.”

In conclusion: Commissioner McVoy has a PhD. He reminds people all the time about that.

Question: How much has that diploma on the wall from Cornell University helped our City of Lake Worth? Think long and hard about that before you cast your vote on March 14th.

Where is the location of WPTV’s “Overflowing sewage” story by Andrew Lofholm? In the City of Lake Worth or not?


UPDATE: Sixteen (16) days after this ‘news’ first aired on Jan. 25th there is still no location given. However, a source in the City’s Water Utilities department has this information:

“There are a couple of areas within our sewer service area that are still on septic, however they are not within the city limits.”

Anyone in the media looking for more information should contact Ben Kerr, Lake Worth’s Communications Specialist:
  • Phone: 561-586-1631
  • Email: bkerr@lakeworth.org
Below is an excerpt published on this blog shortly after the story aired by the WPTV reporter:

Have not heard back from reporter Andrew Lofholm yet. In the story that first aired on January 25th there was no address or even a City neighborhood given where this ongoing problem is occurring. However, speculation is it’s either outside the City in unincorporated County somewhere or if in the City then west of I-95 and south of Lake Worth Rd. somewhere.
     Residents are concerned about this as you can imagine on learning that, “Overflowing sewage reeking havoc on Lake Worth apartment complex”.

Below is an excerpt from the text of the news segment by the WPTV reporter which gives the incorrect location. The actual location is SUBURBAN LAKE WORTH:

LAKE WORTH, Fla. - This story stinks.
     Overflowing, fresh sewage pouring into a Lake Worth apartment complex parking lot. Tenants say it’s been happening for a year! A fed up renter called NewsChannel 5, saying nothing has been done about this health hazard.
     Around 6 p.m. every night, a toxic tide rolls in. [emphasis added]

Stay tuned. When this story is corrected will provide an update on this blog.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

The Tree Board meets TODAY (agenda below). Have you met our City’s horticulturist, Mr. McGrew?

This time of year is exciting for everyone interested in horticulture, trees, bees, plants, and shrubs. And the City’s Tree Festival is coming up on February 18th. Would you like to volunteer at this year’s festival? Get involved with the Tree Board? Information about that is below.

Already read this blog post from yesterday? Thank You for visiting and please scroll down.

The staff liaison for the Tree Board is Mr. Dave McGrew from the Parks Department and you can contact him for additional information at 561-586-1677 or email dmcgrew@lakeworth.org. Below is a short video of Mr. McGrew at the City Commission meeting last Tuesday (2/7) receiving the Arbor Day Proclamation from Mayor Pam Triolo:


Have you thought about attending a Lake Worth board meeting? Maybe even becoming a volunteer member? Here’s how:
  • Contact the City’s volunteer coordinator, Silvina Donaldson, at 561-586-1730.
  • Email: sdonaldson@lakeworth.org
  • Use this link for more details.
A good place to get started is the City of Lake Worth’s Tree Board. This board meets in the City Hall conference room at 5:30 and always on the second Thursday of the month. Meetings are typically short and a way to “test the waters” so to speak. This is what the Tree Board is tasked with doing:

“[E]stablishes policy and provides standards within the City Landscape Ordinance for tree preservation. Policy includes educational materials (proper planting, pruning, and insect and disease control), permit guidelines, and City tree sale program.

Here is the agenda:

City Hall Conference Room* (next to the City Commission chambers)
Call To Order: 5:30
Roll Call
Pledge of Allegiance
Agenda: Additions, deletions, reordering
Approval of minutes: January 12, 2017
Public participation of non-agenda items
New Business
Advisors Report
Old Business: 2017 Festival of Trees

If you have concerns about pollution and litter, the red & white SRS signs for example, you can bring that up as well. Besides being illegal these signs have been exposed to the environment so long they’re now leaching dangerous chemicals into our water supply.

*Members of the City Commission or any other City board may attend and speak at the Tree Board.

February Breakfast at the Chamber of Commerce of the Palm Beaches.

“The Chamber of Commerce of the Palm Beaches is pleased to announce another outstanding keynote speaker for our February Breakfast. The Business Development Board (BDB) of Palm Beach County President and CEO, Kelly Smallridge, will discuss Economic Development Projects in Palm Beach County: Recent Expansions and relocation projects and trends.”
  • Date: February 23rd.
  • Time: 7:45 a.m.–9:00 a.m.
  • Location: Palm Beach County Convention Center, 650 Okeechobee Blvd., West Palm Beach.
To learn more and to register use this link.

The Anarchist month-long ‘Musical’ and what to expect: If you see something, “Make the Call Y’All”.

[Please Note: Below is another stroll down memory lane. Remember the Anarchist ‘musical’ last year? This all happened leading up to the March elections in Lake Worth, almost 1 year ado today. The blog post below is from February 12th, 2016.]

The Anarchists have already sent clues they are planning to cause disruptions in Lake Worth in the lead-up to the elections in March.

“But some had opportunity to squeal.”

Anarchists don’t have the numbers of people to stage a protest of any memorable or newsworthy mention. However, what they are very good at is stealing the message of other groups and/or public gatherings. All it takes is a few people with bad intentions to steal the narrative of community and “neighborhood” to make that message something entirely different—just a few people with an agenda who also have allies and supporters in the local media as well.



Last year [2015] received this interesting information concerning protests in Durham, North Carolina. The interesting thing about the disruptions in Durham is that the authorities are laying the blame squarely on the Anarchists for the violence that occurred. The following excerpts are from the text from a WNCN news report. In the report they reference their city manager:

The report, released by [Durham] City Manager Thomas Bonfield, suggests the demonstrations were escalated due to the interference of anarchist groups known that have been involved in previous protests in the city.
     “Anarchists use and take advantage of local citizens that are upset about a current event,” the report said.
     The report points to an incident earlier this year when protesters marched in response of the death of Jesus Huerta, who died from a gunshot wound to his head while handcuffed in the backseat of a Durham police cruiser.
     “During the Huerta marches, anarchists surrounded themselves with local citizens during marches, then changed into all black clothing to disguise their identity to commit criminal acts in anonymity, finally returning to the crowd to discard the black clothing and masks,” the report said.

[and...]

     Durham Police Chief Jose Lopez said he has “no doubtthat anarchist groups are behind some of the recent protests.
     “Everything that I’ve gotten through intelligence and social media and information from other people points to that,” Lopez said. “I think it’s also reflected in some of the people that we’ve arrested who have been involved in a lot of anarchist-type situations before. And if you look at their social spots, you’ll see that what they’re talking about is anarchist movements.”

Here in Lake Worth, our local Anarchists from Everglades EarthFirst! joined a protest by the Guatemalan Maya Center (GMC). This protest occurred on 10/22/14 and I wrote this account the next day. That protest was peaceful however anyone who witnessed that gathering can see how things can get out of control very quickly with a few well placed troublemakers. 
 
The message is simply this: Don’t change any plans you have or alter your life in any way except keep an eye out for trouble-makers. If you see something, SAY SOMETHING!

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Why was the voting location for Precinct 7164 moved? How many other voting locations have been moved?

Please Note: With only 34 days until election day, March 14th, it’s very important to know and locate where you vote before election day, not the day off. Check back to this blog in a few days for the entire list: precinct number and location.

For the list of all voting locations go to the Supervisor of Elections website. Here is a screen grab from today:

Note precinct 7164. More on that below.

Not helping matters, note the location of precincts 7164 and then 7162 from the City of Lake Worth’s “Polling Locations”.

Received this information from a blog reader today:

A number of voting locations have changed in Lake Worth. Our 1st Baptist Church location has moved to the Osborne Community Center on Wingfield St. which many people don’t know the location. You might provide a map with updates for voters.

The email refers to the “1st Baptist Church” which is now called the Church By The Glades.

For the November 8th bond referendum last year the voters in Precinct 7164 voted at Church by the Glades at 127 South ‘M’ Street. Now those voters have to go to the Osborne Community Center at 1699 Wingfield St. on the other side of Dixie Hwy.:

“Osborne Community Center is located on the west side of Wingfield St, just under 1/2 mile south of 12th Ave S, or just south of the Lake Worth Municipal Gym.”

Here is the map of all the voting locations in the City:

Precinct 7164 (lower right-hand corner) has a high voter turnout for its precinct size. Just thought I would point that out.

Traffic Alert from the Town of Palm Beach for this coming Friday

U.S. Secret Service Mandates Temporary Road Closures and Adjusted Traffic Patterns Around Mar-a-Lago.

     Starting at 2:00 pm on Friday, February 10, 2017, all forms of travel, including pedestrian travel, will be prohibited on S. Ocean Blvd from the intersection of S. County Rd. to Southern Blvd due to the anticipated arrival of President Trump. The travel restrictions will also extend eastward to the ocean. If you are a resident living within this zone, you will be granted access with proper identification.
     To avoid delays, if you are north of midtown, please use the Royal Park (Middle) Bridge and Flagler Memorial (North) Bridge. If you are south of midtown, please use the Lake Worth Bridge to avoid the congestion around Mar-A-Lago. Please contact the Palm Beach Police Department if you have any questions at 561-838-5454.

Commissioner Ryan Maier: A lame duck throwing more red meat to his flock.

Maier’s thrown the red meat before. Remember Adopt-A-Family and the “Conservation and Rehabilitation Program” for needy homeowners? No, it was never a broad-based conspiracy to steal homes from City residents.

The videos from the Lake Worth City Commission meeting last night (2/7) have been uploaded to YouTube. Use this link and click on the red “Subscribe” button to become a subscriber (receive an email when new videos are available).

On the topic about the “2nd Ave. South Roadway Project” Maier referred to a neighborhood assoc. meeting location as “too political”—not the Downtown Jewel Neighborhood Assoc. being “too political”—just where they hold their meetings:

Meetings: Meetings are held on the 1st Monday of each month, except September, at Suri Tapas, 707 Lake Avenue at 6:30 PM.
Membership: Open to anyone who resides in the neighborhood.

On January 19th Downtown Jewel hosted a “public engagement meeting” at their usual meeting location, Suri Tapas:

“The City of Lake Worth is hosting a public engagement meeting on January 19th regarding the 2nd Ave. South Project. The segment of 2nd Ave. South from Dixie to Federal highways is in severe structural disrepair. The purpose of the 2nd Ave. South project is to undertake a full roadway reconstruction.”

When you visit the Suri Tapas website it’s hard to find anything political unless you have a problem with “Baked Mozz”, “Vegetarian Chili”, or the “N’awlins Caesar”. There is also this on the website about Suri:

We take the “farm to table” concept to the next level, literally with our rooftop herb garden. Our “Alt-American” cuisine also showcases many local farms and purveyors as well as many other responsible vendors offering the finest products available. We look forward to meeting each and everyone of you and have you experience our restaurant.

Commissioner Maier is not seeking re-election. In political parlance that’s called a “lame duck”. Maybe to set things right Maier can visit Suri some time soon and order the Argentinian-style Rib-eye:

Hand carved 12-ounce rib-eye, served with chimichurri made tableside, caramelized onions, sautéed porcini mushrooms, & house made truffle compound butter”

But make sure to order it rare though. Leave enough red meat for your flock. Instead of being grateful to Suri for offering their 2nd floor space for neighborhood meetings your flock will be on the prowl for the next restaurant they deem to be “too political”. Which Lake Worth restaurant would that be?

Perhaps the restaurant El Pueblo Chapin? That’s where the Royal Poinciana Neighborhood Assoc. meets the third Wednesday each month. Or the Beach Club located at the City’s golf course? That’s where the Parrot Cove neighborhood meets every month. And South Palm Park? They meet at the Beach Club too.

Not Good News: City press release about the municipal pool at the Beach

Videos from last night’s City Commission meeting will be uploaded to YouTube later today. City Manager Michael Bornstein’s remarks give more insight into this vexing problem. Stay tuned.

Please contact Ben Kerr, the City of Lake Worth Communications Specialist with any questions, comments or concerns:
  • 561-586-1631
  • Email: BKerr@lakeworth.org
February 07, 2017

City of Lake Worth Municipal Pool Closure Until Further Notice

Lake Worth, Florida — The Lake Worth Municipal Pool will be closed until further notice.
     The pool, built in 1971, has been suffering from rapidly deteriorating conditions including:
  • Pieces of the pump room ceiling falling on employees.
  • Pressurized water lines exploding.
  • Failure of the drives that control the motors thus leading to damaging vibrations.
“Due to these conditions, and others, the city has determined that the continued operation of the pool is putting City employees at risk and opening the City to liability, as such we have no choice but to close the pool until further notice. A consultant hired by the City will be providing a complete assessment of the pool, pump house and pool buildings on Tuesday, February 21st.
—City Manager Michael Bornstein

431 North L Street: Exciting project at the Historic Resource Preservation Board (HRPB)

This meeting is at City Hall tonight, 6:00, and is the first agenda item. Scroll down for a link to tonight’s agenda. Below is a blog post from last weekend about 431 North L Street:

There were many reasons to begin this blog back in July of 2006. The structure located at 431 North L Street was one of those reasons. Somehow, some way, this building survived. It’s a miracle.

This building is the first agenda item at the HRPB next Wednesday, 6:00, at City Hall. For many years I served the City as a volunteer board member. Many of those years was a member of the HRPB, becoming the Chair in time, and resigned from the board in July 2015. The current Chair and the HRPB get a chance to save an important part of our history—431 North L Street doesn’t look like much now—but it’s times like this wish I was still on the board to be part of all this.

The City took over ownership of this property from a notorious slumlord in 2006. Some may still remember the tenants living at and near 431 North L Street and the “terrorized” Mango Groves neighborhood back then.

Long-time readers of this blog will remember the many posts related to this property. It’s history is a notorious one for many reasons. In order not to be repetitive, below are links to some previous posts related to this property in chronological order: 
Here is how the item appears on the agenda for today’s meeting (click on all images below to enlarge).

The item makes up pages 11 through 66 of the HRPB agenda packet. If you look back at the previous posts above you will discover what makes this property important on multiple levels. First of all, it was built in 1925 by local architect G. Sherman Childs. Childs lived in Lake Worth, worked for Addison Mizner’s studio and designed many important structures in the City.

Childs’ other structures were the original 1922 Casino building, the City Hall Annex and former Municipal Auditorium which is now the current City Hall. He also designed La Florentia and the Lakeside Castle which occupy space on opposite sides of South Lakeside Drive and 5th Avenue South. There is also reason to believe he designed other less significant structures including many of “The Cottages” in Lake Worth. Another structure was designed as a four unit walk-up apartment building: 431 North L Street.

It should be noted that recently doing research preparing for my presentation on “The Cottages of Lake Worth book discovered that Lake Worth actually turned away visitors from the north during the Winter tourist season. Promotion of Lake Worth, Florida, as a vacation spot to escape the frigid north was so successful there wasn’t room to accommodate all the people arriving by train and the newly, mass-produced automobile.

It is now understandable in historical context how a “hot” land development market created the need for more apartments, and yes, “The Cottages of Lake Worth” as well.

Over its life the staff report indicates 431 North L Street was later subdivided into eight units, grandfathered into the zoning code, as it currently exceeds the current zoning maximum density.


The Palm Beach County Property Appraiser’s records show the recent chain of ownership of the property. As the blog posts above indicate, the property was subject to a nuisance abatement action which resulted in the City gaining title in 2006. The aerial photograph (see below) shows the location of the property in relation to neighboring properties, including proximity to the Sacred Heart Catholic Church parking lot two blocks to the east.

At the time of the nuisance abatement action on this property, another property owned by the notorious Mr. Dimauro was the subject of a similar action, just one block to the west at 431 North K Street. It too was a contributing historic property but had been significantly modified and did not retain enough historic character. Its condition was so poor a demolition permit was granted.

During the ten year ownership of 431 North L Street the City demolished various out-buildings on the property that served as additional dwelling units. None of them were of enough historic quality for salvation and presented an on-going nuisance for the neighborhood.

The condition and pedigree present in the remaining building, 431 North L. Street, has prevented its demolition.

Take note of the Sacred Heart parking lot, lower right corner.

The City finally acted and put the property on its surplus property list. During the tongue-in-cheek “Best Commission Ever (BCE) Years” prior to the current majority taking over in 2012, 431 North L sat off the tax roles as a forgotten and unloved piece of Lake Worth’s history.

Even being a member on the HRPB back then and voicing the opinion the City should sell the property to someone for restoration and preservation had little effect. But, looking back, maybe it did in the long run.

The City finally went through the proper process to sell the property which led to the present owner buying it in June of last year. The new owners have already removed an ungainly ficus tree from the front (eastern) part of the property along North L Street. The picture below is from the staff report for Wednesday’s HRPB meeting and is how the building appears today.

East Facade of 431 North L.
Following are various pictures contained in the staff report which show some of the historic details present in this structure.

Entryway details.

North elevation.

Northern entrance door with gable-roof overhang.

Western elevation.

Southern elevation.
Note the “Rafter tails”.

Two original blueprints:



Below are plans by the current owners submitted as part of their plan to renovate and restore the property. A major part of the Certificate of Appropriateness request is the changing out of windows and doors and the repair of window openings.

Proposed elevations (above) and layout (below).


The applicant/property owner is also wishing to take advantage of the City’s tax exemption program for historic properties. A portion of the code which lays out the details of the program appear below.


Recently the historic property/structure at 801 Lake Avenue appeared in The Palm Beach Post hailing its renovation. This property owner also took advantage of the tax exemption provision:


Once all is said and done the owner is relieved from paying City taxes on the value of improvements associated with the renovation. Some property owners have taken advantage of this in the past but is not that common a practice with small projects, but this program is very beneficial for medium- and large-value projects.

I am looking forward to attending this meeting and cheering the new owners on in their quest to re-use this important historic resource in our City.

But have deep reservations as well: Not with the new owners of 431 North L Street or the HRPB board. Some have worried for quite some time there’s a more systemic problem with historic preservation here in Lake Worth. What happens at next Wednesday’s meeting will tell us a lot—and send a strong signal to others looking to invest in and help preserve historic properties in this City—Yes. Lake Worth really and truly is “Open For Business”. Or not.

News! Save the Date: Friday, March 3rd: The Blueway Trail Coalition and Midnight Sun Festival 2017.

Look at what is on the City of Lake Worth’s calendar early in March:

March 3rd: The Blueway Trail Coalition Meeting and it’s also the start of the Midnight Sun Festival 2017 (details below).

Of course every Friday is Evening on the Avenues as well starting at 6:00. But guess what is happening earlier in the day? The Blueway Trail Coalition Meeting:

“Shake off the cob webs, we’re meeting again! We’ll be receiving an important update from Taylor Engineering as well as seeing the new draft of a new Blueway Trail power point presentation. A few other housekeeping items will need to be addressed as well. I don’t know whose turn it is to serve on the coffee and refreshments committee, but it will be straight by Friday [3/3]! Hope to see everyone there.”
  • Time: 10:00 a.m.–Noon.
  • Where: South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD), 3301 Gun Club Rd., West Palm Beach, 3rd Floor, Storch Conference Room.
Now some of the details about the Midnight Sun Festival:

“Live music and entertainment all weekend! Winners of Finland’s ‘Idols’ singing competition will be performing on stage. Variety of delicious food, merchandise vendors, Beer Garden, lots of fun activities for kids and adults! Friday night ‘Rock & Roll’ Car Show with live music.
     Saturday and Sunday more live music, food and vendor tents, kids’ pony rides, bounce house, rock climbing wall.
     Sunday the traditional Finnish Wife Carrying Contest. Come and join the fun! Everyone is welcome.”
  • Starts on Friday, March 3rd, 3:00 p.m.–9:00; Saturday, 10:00 a.m.–6:00.; Sunday, 10:00 a.m.–5:00.
  • Location: Bryant Park in the City of Lake Worth.
  • Admission $5. Kids under 4′ (1.2 meters) are FREE.
March 3rd is shaping up to be a very busy and exciting day.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Attention Commissioner McVoy: Mr. Omari Hardy’s thoughts on “obstructionism and endless talking”.


UPDATE: The “Omari Effect” is working! Six (6) weeks before the elections on March 14th Lake Worth Commissioner Chris McVoy, PhD, is acting completely different, shedding the tactics (see below) of past Commission meetings. Mr. Hardy, a serious challenger in District 2, certainly has gotten the attention of McVoy: ergo, the Omari Effect:

District 2 candidate Omari Hardy (3rd row from back; white shirt) attended the meeting, taking notes. District 4 candidate Herman Robinson (yellow shirt) attended the meeting as well.

To learn more about Omari Hardy’s campaign priorities use this link. Mr. Hardy is challenging Comm. Chris McVoy, PhD, in the Lake Worth District 2 race. Below is an excerpt from the end of the closing remarks by Hardy at the Lake Worth Playhouse debate on January 30th (for the entire 4-minute video of those remarks use this link).

“We have to put our best foot forward as a City. We have to close the gap between where we are and where we have the potential to be. That requires good leadership. We can do it. I believe we have to take a different path.
     Because the one we’ve been on, obstructionism and endless talking, it hasn’t worked and it’s not going to create the type of renaissance that we would like to see here in Lake Worth.
     So I am asking for your vote.
     On March 14th I’m asking for your vote and I’m asking you to make Lake Worth a place to be proud of and celebrate without qualification. That’s very important.
     My name is Omari Hardy and I’m running for City commission District 2. Thank you.” [big applause follows]

It will be interesting to see how many times Comm. McVoy lectures “at great length” at the City Commission meeting tonight; one of the tactics we’re all too familiar with to monkeywrench and slow down City meetings:

Tactics to create “General Interference with Organizations”.

Lake Worth Commissioner Maier and the important role of liaison to the Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council (TCRPC).

One of the roles of a City commissioner is to provide liaison reports, e.g., from councils, neighborhood meetings, Sober Home Task Force, and the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) are just a few. Very important information for the community.

The next TCRPC meeting is on February 17th. That will be Commissioner Ryan Maier’s last official liaison attendance. Maier has opted not to run for re-election and another commissioner will be tasked with attending these very important meetings following the elections next March.

The Blueway Trail on the C-51 Canal between the cities of Lake Worth and West Palm Beach is another example of an ongoing and very exciting project the TCRPC is tasked with addressing.

The preliminary agenda for the upcoming TCRPC meeting is now available, use this link. Here are some interesting items to be discussed:
  • Town of Lake Clarke Shores Comprehensive Plan Amendment
  • Town of Palm Beach Comprehensive Plan Amendment
  • Village of Palm Springs Comprehensive Plan Amendment
  • Resolution Addressing Locally Preferred Option for the Loxahatchee River Restoration Project
Commissioner Ryan Maier’s report to the City Commission about the TCRPC meeting on January 20th was very interesting, especially for cities in South Florida with a beach. The topic? Sand. No community has enough quality sand any more, especially for future needs.

Below is an excerpt from an article in the TCPalm dated Jan. 23rd titled, “Eroded Treasure Coast beaches, sand issues to be discussed in Washington”.

This was a very big topic of discussion at the TCRPC and Maier reported this at the last City Commission meeting on Jan. 24th. Representative Lois Frankel is a big supporter of importing dredged sand from the Bahamas and Maier is very supportive of this idea as well:

The Treasure Coast this year will take a second shot at changing federal law so Florida communities can buy sand from the Bahamas.
     Doing so could provide a solution for rapidly eroding Florida beaches and could help protect the Treasure Coast’s sand, which has been eyed by Miami-Dade County, where sand reserves are depleted.
     Earlier this month, sand advocates saw a partial victory with passage of the Water Resources Development Act of 2016, St. Lucie County Legislative Affairs Manager Nicole Fogarty told the Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council on Friday. [emphasis added] 
     The law allows the study of purchasing sand from foreign countries. For Florida, that country likely would be the Bahamas, Fogarty said.

With only 35 days to go a City commissioner seeks a divisive campaign issue to win re-election.

Election day in Lake Worth is on March 14th. So how does a sitting commissioner, with hardly no record at all to run on, convince voters to vote for him? The answer is that commissioner needs to create an issue, one that distracts the public and takes the focus off himself. That’s the situation facing Commissioner Chris McVoy, PhD: Find another wedge issue to divide and confuse the community. Remember the silliness about “baked ziti” and claims of Sunshine Law violations?

So how does one create a wedge issue? It’s actually very easy. And there’s a video (see below) to show how it’s done. Do you remember McVoy’s claim about a “burden of safety”, no specifics given about any threat whatsoever, and when Vice Mayor Scott Maxwell pressed for more information McVoy went silent? This actually happened at a City Commission meeting.

It was at this Commission meeting when McVoy talked about the sacrifices one must make being an elected official. I’d like to point out that during most of the meeting McVoy had a scowl on his face, many times with his head in hands. He really needed to turn that frown upside down.

Commissioner McVoy doing his impression of “Gloomy Gus.

He made very vague and cryptic references to it being a burden on ones safety being an elected official. He referred to “when certain things get used in ways that may not be strictly on the up-and-up.” And then he talked about the majority on the City Commission and whether they needed to help ensure the safety for those in the minority. That’s not an issue in Lake Worth.

When Vice Mayor Maxwell asks him to elaborate and give more specifics so they might be able to help him, McVoy refuses. The first part of the video is right from the start of the meeting as McVoy is arriving and the City Clerk is taking roll call. You can hear the Clerk say another commissioner, Ryan Maier, “is not feeling well” and that he will be absent, “for the record”. Watch the video for yourself:

It is irresponsible to act like this in such a public way. First of all, we are left to our imagination as to what these issues which confront his “feeling of safety” are. And by mentioning the “majority” he is certainly pointing fingers at fellow members of the Commission and maybe even their supporters as well. There are other ways to handle this situation, if there even is a situation, such as contacting PBSO.

Mayor Pam Triolo can expound on the “feeling of safety” quite eloquently after what she has been put through. Does anyone remember McVoy expressing any concern for Mayor Pam Triolo after one of his most ardent supporters, The Obtuse Blogger (TOB), posted this on a blog:

Where was McVoy’s concern for Mayor Triolo? Remember the names on bullets” and the depiction of Vice Mayor Maxwell’s head exploding from a high-velocity round?

If there’s an issue with ones safety, talking privately with law enforcement would be a start. But to bring this issue up in a public meeting in such a way is not the way to address the problem, if there is really a problem to begin with. The public was not given any details and it was left for everyone to make their own conclusions about McVoy’s “feeling”.

Everyone was confused, some were angry and others were upset.

That’s called the “Politics of Distraction”, or a “wedge issue” if you will. And this is the only way for McVoy to win re-election—all because he doesn’t have his own record of success to run on.

News from the City of Greenacres in The Lake Worth Herald: “2017 Educational Scholarship Program”.

First, do you remember the last time you read any news in The Palm Beach Post about a Greenacres City Commission meeting? And did you know Greenacres also has elections coming up on March 14th?

The City of Greenacres is part of “flyover County”. Even though Greenacres and the City of Lake Worth share the same Post reporter Lake Worth gets almost all the attention in print (if it’s something crime- or traffic-related every now and then you’ll see news about Greenacres in the Post). 

The news about the City of Greenacres on page 4 of last week’s Herald: The 2017 Educational Scholarship Program

The City of Greenacres is pleased to announce the 2017 Educational Scholarship Program consisting of five, $1,500.00 Educational Scholarships, including one to be awarded in memory of former City employee Denise Padgett to an applicant who has achieved athletic success and one to be awarded in memory of former Councilman Norman W. Rose.
     The Educational Scholarship program provides $1,500 in individual scholarships for academic, technical and vocational school tuition and books.

REQUIREMENTS:
  • Must reside within the municipal limits of the City of Greenacres.
  • Must be a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident of the United States.
  • Must be a high school senior/graduate, obtained a GED, or attending college.
  • Must demonstrate a financial need.
Note: Prior award recipients may re-apply; however, first-time applicants and high school
seniors will be given first consideration.
  • Deadline: April 1, 2017, 5:00 P.M.
  • Greenacres City Hall, 5800 Melaleuca Lane.
For more information call 561-642-2001.

Let’s take another walk down memory lane: The Lake Worth Police Department.

For details about the City Commission Workshop on Tuesday, Feb. 28th use this link.


Below are statistics published in 2007 of crime rates in the City of Lake Worth during the previous year. This is before PBSO took over policing the City. It’s alarming to think about what we lived through and there were some who later thought it was a good idea to go back to our own police department. We would then be free to make even more cuts regardless of the impact on crime on our resident and visitor population.


Public perception changes only over the long term. I am not suggesting that things are perfect now, but they are a lot better than they used to be. The high crime rate was one of the reasons our property values plunged so deeply during the Great Recession.


Things are still not perfect but the upward trajectory has been very positive ever since PBSO took over for ineffective Lake Worth PD. Some of you will remember this gem, the former city manager and a former commissioner in full retreat after trying to end the PBSO contract: Can the City of Lake Worth ever get it’s own police department back? It’s possible. But first a lot of things will have to change in this City.