Saturday, February 18, 2017

Shhhhhhhhhhh! Don’t tell anyone.

Commissioner Andy Amoroso (see next blog post) is the leader on the City Commission doing everything he can to solve the Sober Home/Heroin Epidemic problem here in the little City of Lake Worth.

This hasn’t gone unnoticed by Comm. McVoy, PhD, who’s decided to his key to re-election is “riding Amoroso’s coattails”. One of McVoy’s supporters is using one of my YouTube videos to try and give some credibility to McVoy’s outrageous claims.

What this supporter of McVoy doesn’t know is this: I changed the title of the video. Don’t tell anybody!

Use this link to see the title of the video!

#3 in series from the Worst Local Newspaper Ever*: “LAKE WORTH CRIME BLOTTER”!!!!!

“Domine, ut videam” [Latin for “Lord, I want to see”]. A lot of people in the City of Lake Worth were praying for that day to come in early 2015. But it never did:

“1 Year Subscription: Only $39!” But tabloid was FREE, delivered for FREE to select neighborhoods in the City and shut down 4 months later? Hmmm.

For #1 in this series of excerpts from the “Worst Local Newspaper Ever” use this link. An excerpt: “It’s a big deal for us,” said Laurel Decker, who filed suit against the city in 2013 . . . “We’d like to get the dais back, and get the city moving forward again.”

For #2 use this link: “Tree Board Switches to Gumbo Limbo!” Remember when the rotting ficus tree in the Cultural Plaza was removed in 2013? In 2015 the Tree Board replaced it with a Gumbo Limbo.

From Friday, February 13th, 2015, Volume 1,† Issue 5, page 2, more from the archives‡ “LAKE WORTH CRIME BLOTTER”. Can you believe we made it through that crime spree in 2015?§

MONDAY, FEBRUARY 2[Note: this ‘crime’ and ones that follow are from 2015, word for word from the City’s Worst Newspaper Ever.]
Stolen car: A man told police that his maroon Intrepid was stolen in front of his apartment complex at 101 South Palmway. He said he’d parked the vehicle on First Avenue South the day before, and left the keys in it, and that it had been left unlocked. He explained that he was sick the day before, and so was in a hurry to get inside and go to sleep.
Burglary: A man living on the 100 block of 18th Avenue North told police [sic] that while he was out of town, his roommate called him to tell him that someone had taken his tool boxes containing about $2600 worth of tools from the deck, and from the inside of the home, near the kitchen door. It appeared that the home had been left unlocked.
Burglary: A man living on the 1700 block of 4th Avenue South said a television and hand-held vacuum had been taken from his home. The man said he suspected his girlfriend, with whom he’d just had a fight, had taken them.
Stolen car: A woman told police [sic] she’d let a Hispanic-looking man named Tae drive her car from Checkers across the street to get cigarettes in January because her license had been suspended. When she came out of the store after getting the cigarettes, Tae and the car were both gone. She entered rehab the next day, and now out, had been unable to get her car back from Tae.
Stolen car: A man on South C Street reported that someone had stolen his Dodge Neon from his parking spot. He said he’d returned home from a nightclub in the early morning, and sometime after, someone had come into his house and thrown water in his face. When he woke up the next day, the car was gone. He said the only person with keys to the apartment was his girlfriend, the mother of his baby. When contacted, the girlfriend told police [sic] that the man, Amilcar [name redacted], has been having a lot of prostitutes in the apartment.

Do you have any of those old tabloids left over from the March 2015 election cycle? Click on image to enlarge:

Local stores were first puzzled by the drop in sales of Windex® in early 2015. To clean windows with vinega use 2 cups of water, ¼ cup of vinegar, and ½ teaspoon of liquid detergent.

The footnote section for #3 in this series has been updated:

*The “Premiere Issue!” of this tabloid first appeared on January 16th, 2015 with a restaurant review by Joseph Thompson III. He later disappeared and was never heard from again. Whereabouts unknown.
There wasn’t another volume to follow. The tabloid failed from little advertising even though it was given away for free. Downtown littering became a big problem throughout the City following this tabloid’s release.
Archives remain—separate from and not to be confused with The Lake Worth Herald—the City’s oldest business, “Established in 1912”.
§Many believe TOB and this
‘newspaper’ were in cahoots to damage the reputation of our Lake Worth PBSO: “Remember when The Obtuse Blogger (TOB) used to post those ridiculous lists of ‘crime’ in Lake Worth?
‖Back in 2015 Rolando Silva was the PBSO Cpt. in Lake Worth (now the Cpt. in Wellington). For the latest message from PBSO Cpt. Baer, his “Captain’s Corner”, use this link. 
Vinegar is a liquid consisting of about 5–20% acetic acid (CH3COOH), water, and other trace chemicals, which may include flavorings.” For cleaning windows don’t use products containing sun-ripened grain, lemon pepper, or dried dill.
**For future use.

Heard a rumor about the “Blueway Trail”? Contact an expert (see below) with your questions and concerns.

Please take note: Many in the public, including some homeowners along the C-51 Canal, believe their property lines is the waterline along the canal. Not true. The South Florida Water Management District (aka, SFWMD) has an easement on both sides of the canal. An easement is, “a right held by one property owner to make use of the land of another for a limited purpose. . .”. If you recall, this was once a major issue in Wellington; read this news from May 2015 by former Post reporter Kristen M. Clark (now covering the Florida Legislature and state government for the Tampa Bay Times [winner of 12 Pulitzer Prizes]/Miami Herald Tallahassee bureau).

Ever been to Spillway Park in Lake Worth? Take Maryland Drive off N. Federal Hwy, the park is at the end of the street. Have you ever seen the Spillway (S-155) on the C-51 Canal up close? Have you heard a rumor. . .

Learn myth vs. FACT about the Blueway Trail: To verify whether what you heard was true or not about the Blueway Trail, send your questions to:

Kim DeLaney, PhD, Director of Strategic Development and Policy, Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council. Use this link and fill out the “Contact form” to have your question answered.

If anyone hands you literature or if someone knocks on your door with literature about the Blueway Trail and you are suspicious, this is what you do:
  • Please write down what you were told (all pertinent details).
  • Make sure to ask what organization or group this person is representing. Just ask outright, “Are you being paid to do this?” or “Can I see your walking list?”.
  • Save any literature that was given to you. Don’t throw it away!
  • Keep all this information handy. It could come in handy later on.
To learn more about the Blueway Trail here is a video which gives a broad overview of the project:

The Big Myth: JoAnn Golden’s ‘overwhelming support’ to stop a hotel from being built to 65′ next to the Gulfstream Hotel.

First, before JoAnn Golden’s ‘overwhelming support’ in the community is debunked, to learn the facts about building heights in Downtown Lake Worth use this link:
Within the 12 block hotel district east of Federal Hwy, the limit is 45′ with one exception: Only a hotel of 50 rooms or more can go to the 65′ allowed in the Charter.
For example, that would be the block where our historic Gulfstream Hotel is located:

Can you see that little white dot? That’s the block where the Gulfstream Hotel sits. Per the Charter, a hotel can be built up to 65′ there, now a vacant lot with some derelict structures.

So, how much community support does JoAnn Golden have here in Lake Worth? For example, let’s take a look back when she was still a sitting commissioner:

In 2011 JoAnn Golden got clobbered by then-citizen Andy Amoroso, who continues as a City Commissioner to the present day.

Now let’s go to forward to the ‘overwhelming’ heights vote in 2013. The votes “Yes” are to limit building heights:

Doesn’t look so very overwhelming, does it? Also note the voter turnout. So much for “rallying the troops” to limit building height in our Downtown.

Remember, it was the so-called heights vote in 2013 that the state legislature deemed to be “null and void” (City Attorney Glen Torcivia explains this quite well in a video, use this link).

Then in 2015 these red & white signs (illegal per City Code) started popping up around Lake Worth and believe it or not, some still do to this day:

This is one version of the SRS sign. Can you guess who still has one of these signs up? You guessed right. 

You see, the story goes “at the door” if a hotel gets built to 65′ that would set the stage for the “vultures” to steal our BEACH! Silly. Now do you see how all this nonsense comes together? And sadly, this nonsense has been going on for 4 years now.

Remember this?
Just one piece of propaganda used to confuse voters into voting “Yes” to limit building heights.

A reminder: Health concerns related to raising chickens in an urban environment

Raising chickens, aka ‘Urban Chickens’ IS NOT LEGAL in Lake Worth despite what you may have heard. However, like the myth about Lake Worth being a “sanctuary city”, the myth about it being legal to raise chickens within the City limits gets suggested by some in the press every now and then, by those who probably know better.

Last year there were news reports of coyotes as close by as Greenacres killing cats and other small small animals as well. What do coyotes like to hunt? You guessed right. Chickens (see “Attraction of predators” below).

The argument for raising chickens is to save a few pennies on eggs. Have you seen the price of eggs lately?

The ‘urban chicken’ is not merely a nuisance. The animals present very serious health concerns for young children and the elderly, issues with food safety, infectious diseases, biosecurity, not to mention the added burden on local Code Enforcement to answer complaints and educate the public about the facts.

The following information comes from a well-researched document about human health concerns associated with raising chickens in an urban environment:
  • Bacterial diseases: Salmonella and Campylobacter are common public health hazards potentially associated with chicken contact.
  • Histoplasmosis: Histoplasmosis can cause a respiratory disease with cough and shortness of breath.
  • Avian influenza (bird flu): Avian influenza is a theoretical public health hazard potentially associated with urban chicken farming.
  • Attraction of predators: The attraction of predators is a public health hazard potentially associated with urban chicken farming (e.g., coyotes)
  • Attraction of rodents: The attraction of rodents is a public health hazard potentially associated with urban chicken farming.
  • Nuisance issues
Management and handling of poultry in small backyard flocks:
  • Keep baby chicks and adult poultry away from persons with weaker immune systems, including the elderly, pregnant women, diabetics, patients receiving chemotherapy and people infected with HIV.
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that person not keep chickens if the household has children less than five years of age.
  • Make sure that people who handle the chickens or their droppings, wash hands properly with soap and water following contact.
  • Do not eat or drink around the poultry.
  • Keep poultry away from food preparation areas.
  • Do not wash items, such as water or food dishes, from chicken coops in the kitchen sink.
  • Do not allow poultry to roam in the house.
  • Maintain the area where the poultry are present in a sanitary manner.
  • See your physician if you experience fever and diarrhea.
Communities that permit urban chicken farming are advised to ensure that flock owners receive educational materials on infectious diseases, animal husbandry, food safety and biosecurity. These communities also should have a system in place for responding to community complaints.

Are those few pennies saved for a few eggs really worth exposing your neighbors to avoidable health risks and safety issues?

Image from the blog of Tom McGow, a former blogger-extraordinaire in the City, who chronicled Cara Jennings’ 2009 urban chicken crusade to degrade the quality of life here in the City of Lake Worth.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Meet the candidates! Greenacres, Lake Clarke Shores, Lantana, Palm Springs, Lake Worth. . .

Every city in Palm Beach County having elections on March 14th needs to check voting locations. Some in Lake Worth were changed, maybe a few in your city as well.

The County’s Elections office has started filling in information for the elections on March 14th. Use this link to see how this is progressing. As of 6:00 a.m. this morning they’re up to Hypoluxo. Then it’s Jupiter, Lake Clarke Shores, Lake Park, and then. . . Lake Worth.

[UPDATE: All the cities elections and voter questions for March 14th can now be viewed. Click on the link in the paragraph above.]

Other cities are also having elections you need to know about: Boynton Beach, Greenacres, Lantana, and Palm Springs.

Check back to this blog soon for all the voting locations here in the City. For now, let’s just say there have been some changes you need to know about. Stay tuned.

The closing of Lake Worth’s municipal pool at our Beach: It’s not a problem. It’s an opportunity.

WARNING: New ideas follow that may be disturbing for some readers. If you begin to feel queasy, start feeling upset or angry, please stop reading this blog post immediately and scroll down to the next post below. You’ve been warned.

And, as always, Thank You for visiting and making last year the best ever for this blog which began in May of 2006 with a very bleak look at the “Pace of Building Permits” in our little City.

Many of you know I’m a big fan of our municipal pool at the Beach. But after the pool was shut down last week, possibly never to re-open, I’m a big fan of the pool at Lake Lytal now.

It’s a little further away and things are much different, there’s free parking at Lake Lytal, open Tuesday to Saturday, only $2.44/visit if you purchase a pass, planes fly overhead to and from PBIA, and always a cheerful staff scrubbing and brushing the pool inside and out—maintenance of the Lake Lytal pool is a priority—it was built around the same time as our pool in the 1970’s.

And whereas the novelty of someone 6′4″ splashing around with a large blue pool noodle and floating barbells at the Lake Worth pool has worn off, trust me, I’m quite the source of curious onlookers and befuddlement at Lake Lytal doing my water exercise routine. That’s a lot of fun right now but before long no one will notice me any more.

The one question being drowned out right now (pardon the pun) is whether or not we should have a pool at the Beach. If a new pool and aquatic facility is constructed at our Beach we’ll be handing it off to the Millennials. They need to be a big part of this debate. Would they prefer an open theater or a sports facility with volleyball and a skate park? The possibilities are endless but whatever is built has to work hand-in-hand with our Casino next door.

Due to infill development the City of Lake Worth is much different now than it once was, e.g., Bryant Park, ‘Hot Dog Park’*, the City’s Golf Course, Park of Commerce, and the County’s John Prince Park nearby are just a few.

The reason for having a pool at the Beach is much different, it once served a different purpose. Our City’s pool once served tourists and travelers on A1A prior to construction of the Florida Turnpike and I-95. A1A used to hug the coastline east of the Casino building until the hurricanes of 1947 and 1949:
Aerial view looking south likely pre-WWII. A1A hugs the coast in front of the former Casino structure. Then later, in the 1950’s. . .
Note the location of the pool later, at rear of the former Casino structure.
Notice all the parking close by the former Casino and short walk to the beach. The present structure has parking and traffic problems of which most of you are aware. Those weren’t issues “back in the day”. Now for the big question:

If it’s decided to build a new pool, where should it be?

For some time now many of us have known this day would come when the pool was shut down. It was only a matter of time. And a lot of people have thought about where our City’s community pool should be located. Here are two of those ideas: 1) Bryant Park. 2) Downtown west of Dixie Hwy. and east of the FEC railroad tracks.

Next Tuesday’s City Commission meeting will be a big day around City Hall. Expect a lot of signs and maybe even a bullhorn too. No doubt a few news vans will show up with reporters vying for that special scene for the 11:00 segment. The next day’s Post will have a banner headline above the masthead directing readers to the ‘B’ section. An editorial will soon follow, hopefully well-researched.

For some people, and some in the press as well, the history of Lake Worth began in 2012 when the new majority took over City Hall and decisions prior to that are conveniently forgotten or glossed over. You can’t factor out the elections coming up on March 14th in all this.

Why all the attention? Because this is big news. Many residents want to keep a pool at our Lake Worth Beach and that’s understandable. We’ve had a pool at the Beach for many, many years.

But that shouldn’t be the reason to construct another pool in the very same place, at our Beach. Remember, we “renovated” (actually constructed a new building) where the former Casino structure once sat and we’re still having problems since that project was ‘completed’ in 2012.

Were the Millennials brought into that conversation about where and how our Casino should function for the community back in 2010–2011? 

I’m not opposed to a pool at the Beach!

We have time to figure this out—and get it right for the entire community now and future community of the City of Lake Worth to come—that includes the Millennials, their kids to follow, and the many future residents who don’t know, or possibly even care, why people “Love” a pool at our Beach so much.

*Many residents of Lake Worth will fondly recall why that area (base of the former Lake Worth bridge) was called “Hot Dog Park”. It had to do with ‘free hot dogs’ on a July 4th back in 2009. Former resident and blogger-extraordinaire Tom McGow explained this quite well in a post titled, “PAC your lunch for the 4th of July. . .”.

Congratulations, Juan Ruiz, now the Assistant City Manager for Lake Worth.

For any questions or comments contact Ben Kerr, the City’s Communications Specialist: 561-586-1631; email: bkerr@lakeworth@org

“Juan has a true passion and love of Lake Worth. His efforts running a very diverse set of complicated, high profile and difficult operations give him a depth of knowledge and experience necessary for this next step. Juan not only demonstrates on a daily basis his care for the citizens and businesses but also through our major City events such as the Holiday and Veteran’s parades. He understands our challenges and will be a great asset to helping me fulfill the commission’s policy direction and moving the City in the right direction. I look forward to having him serve in this new capacity on my Team.”
City Manager Michael Bornstein.

“I absolutely love this City, the residents and all the cool quirky things that make this City unique. The excitement that we all see on the horizon makes coming to work every day to serve the public that much easier. 2017 marks my 17th year in the public service arena and I look forward to continuing many, many more years serving our residents and ensuring that we’re doing everything we can to deliver a high level of service to the community, as simply put it’s what they deserve.”
—Lake Worth Assistant City Manager Juan Ruiz.

The City of “Lake Worth Beach”? Was Vice Mayor Scott Maxwell a visionary, ahead of his time back in 2012?

Remember Post reporter Willy Howard? He sat down with Maxwell to talk about changing the name of our City and the reasons why back in 2012. Read more about that below.

Historic sign at the Lake Worth Auditorium, which is now City Hall. Tourists and visitors saw this sign back in the day when driving south on Dixie Hwy (U.S. 1).

The idea of changing the name of Lake Worth comes up from time to time. Interest seems to spike after a sensational news story “in Lake Worth” that isn’t in the City of Lake Worth. There’s the always-stuff-happening at the Palm Beach State College “Lake Worth” campus that isn’t in Lake Worth—the college is located in unincorporated Palm Beach County, or called, “suburban Lake Worth”. Garlic Fest wasn’t “in Lake Worth” either.

John Prince Park is not in Lake Worth. Neither is the South Florida National Cemetery, the Lake Worth Tax Office, or the Lake Worth Swap Shop. And, no, there is no such thing as “western Lake Worth” when referring to anything outside the City. That new, and false, geographic designation is one of the latest from our friends in the news media.

By the way, the city of Hollywood debated changing their name to something like “Hollywood by the Sea”, but more on that a little later.

Back in April of 2016 was part of a conversation/debate about changing the name of Lake Worth and learned there were other discussions, albeit quietly, about bringing this up again. Who was it that made the last major push to do this? It was none other than Vice Mayor Scott Maxwell. Below is an excerpt from a Willy Howard article in 2012:

     Vice Mayor Scott Maxwell is suggesting changing the city’s name to Lake Worth Beach to help distinguish Lake Worth from parts of unincorporated Palm Beach County that have Lake Worth mailing addresses. According to postal officials, places as far west as Wellington can use Lake Worth mailing addresses. [emphasis added]
     In a memo to the commission about the name change, Maxwell notes that crimes committed west of the city in unincorporated parts of Palm Beach County are sometimes reported by the media as happening in Lake Worth. Residents with Lake Worth mailing addresses who live west of the city mistakenly come to city hall seeking solutions to their problems.
     Maxwell said Lake Worth is distinctive, with its walkable downtown and beach, and that the new name would create an
instantly recognizable brand for the city.
     With the 100-year anniversary of the city next year and the opening of the renovated beach site and casino scheduled for this fall, he said, this is a good time to change the city
’s name.
‘The timing is just about right,’ Maxwell said. ‘It kind of gives us a renewed since of pride for the next 100 years.

Now to what the City of Hollywood debated as reported by the Sun Sentinel:

     “What if Hollywood ditched the name it’s had since 1925 and changed it to Hollywood By The Sea?
‘I think it’s catchier than just plain old Hollywood,’ said Commissioner Patty Asseff, who has already pitched the idea to the city’s marketing firm and plans to bring it up at a commission meeting in May.

More helpful information:

     “South Florida cities have a long, proud tradition of tacking bodies of water onto the end of their names so dim-witted [emphasis added, and please note, not my words] tourists will be reminded that, yes, there are beaches in South Florida. Some examples:
1939: Deerfield becomes Deerfield Beach
1941: Boynton becomes Boynton Beach
1947: Pompano becomes Pompano Beach
1998: Dania becomes Dania Beach
2005: Cutler Ridge becomes Cutler Bay


If the City of Lake Worth became “Lake Worth Beach” that would go a long way towards helping those in the media that can’t get their news reports accurate, would it not? And. . . what better way to let everyone know our City has a Beach?
Or do you have a different idea for our City’s name? Like “Jewel” or “Jewell” perhaps?

Another reason why changing the name of our City is a good idea, let’s talk about that big fire recently at a golf club that’s not ‘in Lake Worth’. . .

City Press Release: “Ribbon Cutting—Lake Worth Solar Energy Project”

Press release follows:

On Tuesday, February 28th at 2:00 Mayor Pam Triolo will unveil the Lake Worth Solar Energy Project located at 1200 Washington Avenue. The initial project developed 5 acres of an unused 63 acre landfill into a high capacity solar energy field.
     The 2 megawatt (MW) solar plant is the first step in a long-term investment in solar that will make Lake Worth’s rates more competitive and position the City as a leader in renewable energy in Florida. While a few Florida cities, such as Jacksonville and Orlando, are buying solar power, Lake Worth is the state’s first municipality to own and operate a solar farm.
     Lake Worth expects the initial 6,490 solar panels to generate about two percent of the City’s load—enough to power more than 230 homes per year and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by more than four million pounds. That’s the equivalent of taking 445 cars off the road. Under its contract with Siemens, the city has the ability to increase the solar farm’s capacity to as much as 10MW at the same location.

“In addition to helping the City achieve energy and financial savings, this project also marks a major commitment to diversifying our energy portfolio to include clean and renewable energy sources.”
—City of Lake Worth Mayor Pam Triolo.

Code enforcement is a major campaign issue, but it shouldn’t be a “race to the bottom”.

Please take note: Below are some questions for voters and candidates concerning the issue of code enforcement.

Code compliance and enforcement is a major issue, as well it should be. Code compliance has been a long-standing issue in Lake Worth, one a previous City administration never got around to fixing, or one would also be accurate in saying the ones who created this problem in the first place:

 Quote by a well-respected resident concerning Lake Worth’s previous city manager. On the issue of Code Enforcement, “it was no longer a priority.”

However, a few questions for the voters and candidates leading up to election day, March 14th:
  • Commissioner Chris McVoy, PhD, was first elected in 2010. Why is this issue such a major one for him now?
  • Have any of the candidates contacted Code Enforcement and requested a tour or a meeting for more information?
  • And what role do voters play in all this?
The role voters have is to find the facts. For example, in a Palm Beach Post article dated January 17th it was suggested that Code Enforcement is responsible for the Gulfstream Hotel re-development project not moving forward. Hogwash.

Thankfully, most of the candidates are coming up with good ideas and the issue of Code Enforcement hasn’t turned into a “race to the bottom”, blaming every conceivable problem in the City on that department:

The candidates at the Playhouse Debate on January 30th.

And it was because of another report about Code Enforcement the City Manager, Michael Bornstein, was forced to respond after he became “infinitely aggravated”, calling that article “egregious” and “incompetent.

But out of all this is good news. The City has a new communications specialist and his name is Ben Kerr. And it’s no surprise the reaction. Hopefully after the next incident when Code Enforcement, or any City department for that matter, is unfairly blamed by any candidate or the press they will be set right forthwith by the City.

It’s not about taking sides. It’s about sticking to the facts.

Full page ad for Lake Worth’s Street Painting Festival in the Post’s TGIF insert today! Fun for every famaly.

However, unfortunately there’s no mention of tomorrow’s familie-friendly Tree Festival in the Post’s TGIF section. So get busy and spread the word (see blog post that follows).

For a video about the history of Lake Worth’s Street Painting Festival use this link. Watch it together with the entire famlie.

After the Tree Festival the Street Painting Festival follows on Saturday (2/25) and Sunday, a festival every famalie has to experience together. Then from March 3rd–5th is the Midnight Sun Festival in Bryant Park, can you believe it!

Do you have children in your famelie under 4′ tall (1.2 meters)? They get into the Midnight Sun Festival FREE. Admission for everyone else is just $5. Bring the whole famly!

Remember, the TGIF section in the Post is a good source for festivals and famlie fun for festive famalies:

Spread the word: Our Tree Festival is tomorrow. More femalie fun in the little City of Lake Worth!

Thursday, February 16, 2017

#2 in series: One of few decent articles from the Worst Local Newspaper Ever*

“1 Year Subscription: Only $39!” But tabloid was FREE, delivered for FREE to select neighborhoods in the City and shut down 4 months later?

“Domine, ut videam” [Latin for “Lord, I want to see”]. A lot of people in the City of Lake Worth were praying for that day to come in early 2015.

For #1 in this series of excerpts from the “Worst Local Newspaper Ever” use this link. An excerpt: “It’s a big deal for us,” said Laurel Decker, who filed suit against the city in 2013 . . . “We’d like to get the dais back, and get the city moving forward again.”

From Friday, February 27th, 2015, Volume 1,† Issue 7, page 3, an article from the archives‡ “Tree Board Switches to Gumbo Limbo!”:

The city’s Tree Board has made a change, dropping plans for a green buttonwood to be planted in the Cultural Plaza in place of the ficus that was removed by city workers over two years ago [2013].
     They’re now going to look for a gumbo limbo.
     Tree Board chair Richard Stowe told the mayor and commissioners this month that he and David McGrew, the city’s horticulturist,§ had asked the board to come up with an alternative to the green buttonwood, as the city had been having trouble finding a green buttonwood the right size for the space, despite enlisting the help of local nurseries.
     The board chose a gumbo limbo.
     Stowe said the goal is to find not just any gumbo limbo tree, but one with character.
     “If we want to have a world-class city, let’s have a world-class tree,” he said.

Do you have any of those old tabloids left over from the March 2015 election cycle?

 Click on image to enlarge:

Local stores were first puzzled by the drop in sales of Windex® in early 2015. To clean windows with vinegar use 2 cups of water, ¼ cup of vinegar, and ½ teaspoon of liquid detergent.

Footnote section (please note, footnote order and content may change):

*This “Premiere Issue!” of the tabloid first appeared on January 16th, 2015, with the headline, “Gallery Owner Pitches ‘Art Ship’ for Lake Worth’s Waterfront”.
There wasn’t another volume to follow. The tabloid failed from little advertising even though it was given away for free. Downtown littering became a big problem throughout the City following this tabloid’s release.
Several archival collections remain—separate from and not to be mixed with The Lake Worth Herald—the City’s oldest business, “Established in 1912”.
§Please note: The City’s annual Tree Festival is this Saturday (2/18). For any questions contact Dave McGrew at 561-586-1677 or by email:
Vinegar is a liquid consisting of about 5–20% acetic acid (CH3COOH), water, and other trace chemicals, which may include flavorings.” For cleaning windows don’t use products containing sun-ripened grain, lemon pepper, or dried dill.
For future use.

Update on the Royal Poinciana Neighborhood Assoc. candidate debate last night (2/15)

Please note: The videos are now available from the candidate forum held last Monday, Feb. 13th, at Lake Worth’s Golf Course. To view those use this link for Wes’ Lake Worth YouTube Channel.

If you would like to see the most-viewed videos all-time, e.g., past Street Painting Festivals, the Taco Lady, or “Holiday Parade 2008, Horses!”, use this link.

About 25 people showed up for the candidate forum at El Pueblo Chapin Restaurant to hear the six candidates running in this years Lake Worth municipal elections. As you know, the District 2 and 4 seats are up this year. District 4 Commissioner Maier is not seeking re-election so that is an “open seat”.

I wasn’t able to attend but received reports from various sources that did. One of the notable happenings was the incumbent commissioner for District 2, Commissioner McVoy, arrived about a half-hour late. The format was more informal than previous forums and allowed for some spirited exchanges. One was between candidate Omari Hardy and McVoy. The question about the proliferation of sober homes in the City and code enforcement led to McVoy explaining what he did to address the problem. Well. . .

Omari Hardy reminded everyone that McVoy has been in office for three terms (first elected in 2010). Since 2012 Mayor Pam Triolo, Vice Mayor Scott Maxwell and Commissioner Andy Amoroso have led the charge to fix this problem with some significant successes and now McVoy is trying to take credit as well. The word “coattail” comes to mind.

McVoy also claimed the ballot question last November for the Neighborhood Road Bond, approved by 69% of the electorate, gave the City the ability to bond up to $40M for road improvements but will end up paying $30M in interest. Hogwash. The uniformed would conclude there will be only $10M left to fix the roads. Complete nonsense but am sure this is what McVoy and his supporters are saying “at the door”.

Another example of mixing up the numbers was District 4 candidate Ellie Whitey telling those in attendance the Beach project in 2011–2012 cost $6M. The real numbers are $6M for the Casino building (which is still operating on a “temporary” Certificate of Occupancy and still has a host of construction/design issues to be addressed). Whittey’s numbers also don’t include $5M for site improvements from the County’s cultural facilities bond, the additional $1.5M for utility infrastructure improvements, or the $1.6M settlement to Greater Bay for breaking a contract. Did I miss anything?

You may also recall it was Whittey who claimed at least twice that Morganti, the company that constructed the Casino, could pack up their business operations and go back to Athens because they’re “not an American-owned company”. Completely false. 100% untrue.

Various reports also indicated District 4 candidate Herman Robinson had a strong performance. After checking through my notes noticed no one brought up anything that Maryann Polizzi said at the debate. She is another candidate in the District 4 race—because there was nothing worth noting maybe?—draw your own conclusions.

Myself and Commissioner Maier on different sides of important issues: Broadening the zoning code for “home occupations”.

Although Commissioner Maier is not seeking re-election that doesn’t mean his issues go away as well. We’ll all welcome Maier’s continuing work to help the homeless, for example, although there continues to be a strong debate how to go about achieving that in the best, most effective way possible.

Early in March 2015 after Maier was elected, as I was leaving a Historic Resource Preservation Board meeting (I was Chair of the HRPB then, my resignation letter), I passed a group of people entering City Hall at the invitation of Maier. Being the curious one later found out this would become the group, Artist & Cottage Entrepreneurs (ACE).

Please note the video below of Maier is from an August 2013 City Commission meeting, much prior to him getting elected. In light of the proposed idea by ACE to change zoning (some call “upzoning”) to allow for ‘home occupations’ in the City gives these comments by then-citizen Maier much more significance. Maier supporting an idea that will contribute to parking problems, increase traffic and require more demand for City services is puzzling, as you’ll see below.

Remember, the ‘heights’ group composed of former Commissioner JoAnn Golden et al. with all their banging of drums about the City not recognizing the referendum in March of 2013, is a group Maier supported from the very beginning. A state law later was passed and called any such referenda “null and void”, retroactive to June 2011. Therefore, the City Charter wasn’t amended and the height possible east of Federal, along Lake and Lucerne Avenues remains at 65′ in the land development regulations, but only when there is a hotel use or a mixed use project with more than 50 hotel units.

Maier was (and presumably still is) a supporter of the height restriction and in the video below talks about the conditions in his neighborhood related to property access and on-street parking:

These are the very same concerns people have about allowing home occupations that would increase traffic, use up more neighborhood parking, and put more demand on City services.

Even now, in early 2017, continue to see this very disturbing disconnect of some people being against the Gulfstream Hotel redevelopment and opposing a possible revived and expanded hotel downtown which includes a parking garage (!), while at the same time ignoring the city-wide impacts from the intensification, increased traffic, infrastructure demands, etc., in single family neighborhoods by supporting the ‘home occupation’ ordinance to be greatly broadened.

Can someone, anyone, please help me out with the logic here?

An upcoming zoning issue on North ‘A’ Street in Lake Worth: Remember the advice from Matt Morgan?

There was a situation with a sidewalk in Wellington and a lot of people decided letting a Post reporter know about this was the way to go. Wrong. Here is how reporter Matt Morgan responded:

     “Make your own decision whether you want it, and tell your elected officials. They represent you and want to hear what you have to say. Think this will be a great way to build on a vacant property, raising the home values of the surrounding neighborhoods? Tell them that.”

[and. . .]

     “If you show up a month after the project is approved and tell the council that you don’t want it, you waited too long.”

Below is an item in this week’s Lake Worth Herald online edition:

Legal Notice No. 31410
PLEASE TAKE NOTICE that the Planning and Zoning Board City of Lake Worth, Florida, will hold a public hearing in the City Hall Commission Chambers at 7 N. Dixie Highway, Lake Worth Florida 33460, at 6:00 PM or as soon thereafter as possible, on March 1, 2017, to consider the following: PZB 17-00500002:

Request for a Conditional Land Use permit, pursuant to 23.2-29 and 23.4-13 of the Land Development Regulations, to establish a Child Day Care Center as an accessory use to a Place of Worship in a Single Family Residential (SFR) Zoning District. The subject property address is 1325 North “A” Street; PCN# 38-43-44-16-00-000-7060.

Written responses can be sent to the Lake Worth Planning & Zoning Board at 1900 2nd Avenue N, Lake Worth, FL 33461 and must arrive before the hearing date to be included in the formal record. You also have the opportunity to attend the meeting to provide oral testimony. For additional information on the above issues, please visit the City of Lake Worth Division of Planning, Zoning and Historic Preservation located at 1900 Second Ave. North, Lake Worth, Florida 33461 or contact City Staff at 561-586-1687.

Remember: “If you show up a month after the project is approved and tell the council that you don’t want it, you waited too long.”

TODAY: Downtown neighborhood meeting at C.W.S., 522 Lucerne Ave., begins at 7:00.

The Mango Groves Neighborhood Assoc. meeting is at C.W.S. Bar + Kitchen. Everyone is welcome.

There will be some neighborhood assoc. business to address and a PBSO update as well:

The goals of Mango Groves Neighborhood Association are to bring together the community both socially and civically, to address the needs and concerns of the neighborhood, and to effectively interact with the proper city officials in order to meet these needs and concerns. We are also always ready to get together to have a good time and enjoy our community.
     Mango Groves’ motto is “Good Neighbors Make Great Neighborhoods.”

The “environmental movement is stubbornly White” with racist history and biases, opines writer at TruthOut.

It’s been almost 2 years since the following blog post got some so riled up. How much has changed within the environmental movement since then? The following comes from an article by Olivia Aguilar at TruthOut titled, “Diversifying the Environmental Movement Isn’t Enough”:

“We have known for quite a while the environmental movement is stubbornly White. Most recently, Barbara Grady, of GreenBiz Group, noted that improvements are in the works, citing that the leaders of the EPA and NRDC were women of color. Unfortunately, this doesn’t address the elephant in the room.
     Environmentalists don’t have a diversity problem, they have an identity problem. And it’s rooted in a racist history and unchecked biases.” [emphasis added]

It’s interesting that in the debate as to whether the state of Florida should spend over $1B+ to buy land south of Lake Okeechobee the discussion has mostly White people on one side of the argument and mostly White people on the other side. You don’t see many African-Americans or Hispanics, for example, on either side of the debate. In reality though, don’t they have as much at stake as anyone else?

When you go to websites of the Everglades Foundation, the Loxahatchee Sierra Club, or even more radical groups like EarthFirst!, they are mostly composed of White people although down on some staff levels you may see an African American or a person of color. Are you aware of any environmental groups that represent Florida demographically from the top down? The public wouldn’t tolerate an organization like PBSO, for example, having a leadership that’s overwhelmingly White. There would be outrage.

So this begs the question: what and whose interests do the environmentalists truly represent? It’s certainly not all of Florida and definitely not the demographic of our City of Lake Worth. Do I need to post the racial breakdown of South Florida?

Maybe soon we’ll see some major changes in the leadership at groups like the Loxahatchee Sierra Club, like an African American spokesperson for instance.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

#1 in series: Excerpts from Lake Worth’s Worst Local Newspaper Ever*: “Domine, ut videam” [Lord, I want to see]?

“1 Year Subscription: Only $39!” But tabloid was FREE, delivered for FREE to select neighborhoods in the City and shut down 4 months later?

From Friday, March 13th, 2015, Volume 1, Issue 9, front page above the fold:

“I am your voice in City Hall,” he [newly-elected Commissioner Maier at election party with Commissioner McVoy] told them.
     Maier hugged a number of those gathered, who included former commissioners JoAnn Golden and Cara Jennings, and at one point, wiped his eye.

     “We all get along,” said Laurence McNamara, a former mayoral candidate who is friendly with both sides. “There was no animosity.”

     “It’s a big deal for us,” said Laurel Decker, who filed suit against the city in 2013 . . . “We’d like to get the dais back, and get the city moving forward again.”

Have any of those old tabloids left over from the March 2015 election cycle?

 Click on image to enlarge:

Or used them all to clean windows? Local stores were first puzzled by the drop in sales of Windex® in early 2015.§ To clean windows with vinegar use 2 cups of water, ¼ cup of vinegar, and ½ teaspoon of liquid detergent.

Footnote section (please note, footnote order and content may change):

*This “Premiere Issue!” of the tabloid first appeared on January 16th, 2015, with the headline, “Gallery Owner Pitches ‘Art Ship’ for Lake Worth’s Waterfront”.
There wasn’t another volume to follow. The tabloid failed from little advertising even though it was given away for free. Downtown littering became a big problem throughout the City following this tabloid’s release.
Several archival collections remain—separate from and not to be mixed with The Lake Worth Herald—the City’s oldest business, “Established in 1912”.
§Vinegar is a liquid consisting of about 5–20% acetic acid (CH3COOH), water, and other trace chemicals, which may include flavorings.” For cleaning windows don’t use products containing sun-ripened grain, lemon pepper, or dried dill.
‖For later use.

This won’t take long. Doesn’t the Greater Bay plan in 2009 for our Lake Worth Beach look really good right about now?

However, the public was never allowed to see this plan. Why? Because a previous administration (see the “happy” photo below) thought they could come up with a better plan than Greater Bay did.

Because the contract with Greater Bay was broken that later cost the City a $1.6M settlement (how many potholes could that money have fixed?), countless bills for lawyers, embarrassment for the City of Lake Worth and “egg on our faces” as Mayor Pam Triolo, first elected in 2012, likes to say.

Note the location of Casino. The Greater Bay plan included a parking garage with a new pool facility to the north plus ample access for the handicapped and emergency/commercial vehicles.

The majority elected in 2012, Triolo, Vice Mayor Scott Maxwell, and Commissioner Andy Amoroso were left to pick up all the pieces.

In 2010–2012 “. . . it appears some corners were cut”, said the editor(s) at The Palm Beach Post. You ain’t kidding.

When Commissioner McVoy comes knocking on your door asking for your vote again, just say “I think I’ll pass.

Commissioner McVoy, PhD (beaming, next to former City Manager Stanton) was once so pleased with himself. He was first elected in 2010. Are you ready to give McVoy a raise and 2 more years on our City Commission?

Huh? The City of Greenacres was left out again in the print edition of the Post?

In today’s print edition of The Palm Beach Post is this article with contribution from staff writers Sarah Peters, Lulu Ramadan, Wayne Washington, Kevin Thompson, Alexandra Seltzer, Matt Morgan, Tony Doris and Eliot Kleinberg.

The article cites in order: Glen Ridge, Palm Beach, Wellington, Riviera Beach, Pahokee, Westlake, Palm Beach Shores, Jupiter, Royal Palm Beach, Lake Worth, Boynton Beach, Palm Beach Gardens, Boca Raton, Gulf Stream. . .

But guess what city isn’t mentioned at all? A city that has, or it’s claimed has beat reporter Kevin Thompson covering their local politics: The City of Greenacres! (learn about Greenacres’ form of government using this link).

From the Post’s online edition, which has far less readers than the print edition, is this informative item titled, “Who’s running for municipal office in Palm Beach County” (emphasis and links added): 

Joel Flores
Jonathan Pearce
City Council District 1
Lisa Rivera (i)*
City Council District 5
Paula Bousquet (i)
Michael Albert
William Kluth

Also from the cited article above: “Those marked with an asterisk (*) have no opposition and are automatically elected. Incumbents are indicated with an (i).”

Congratulations Councilwoman Lisa Rivera!

Another stroll down memory lane: Remember the Anarchist who ran for a Lake Worth City Commission seat?

The blog post below is from early February, 2016 (some links below updated). Candidate Ryan Hartman later went on to get clobbered by Vice Mayor Scott Maxwell in that District 1 race. The theory is when Hartman turned from radical Anarchist to preppy Hipster, “I’m Chuck Bass”, it all went downhill from there. Without further ado, Enjoy!

Ryan Hartman and two young girls disabled a van at a protest in Palm Beach Gardens. What happened next was hilarious. Instead of drawing attention to a plot of land being proposed for development he made Everglades EarthFirst! (EEF!) a joke throughout south Florida and the country as well.

Here’s what Hartman and his little band of merrymakers did: Instead of reviewing the Anarchist library for ways to disable a vehicle they removed the battery and threw it into a lake! This is not a joke. It really happened. The Palm Beach Gardens PD even took a picture of the battery in the lake and a HazMat team was assembled to remove it. Luckily, no acid was released.

And remember the protest in West Palm Beach that a Lake Worth commissioner and 2 former commissioners were invited to attend?

But the story gets better. Hartman and the girls go on trial and they were all found guilty. The judge even felt sorry for them and didn’t sentence any of  them to jail time. So what does Hartman do next? He cleans himself up, turns into a Hipster, and decides to run for office and challenge Lake Worth Vice Mayor Scott Maxwell. 

Hartman prior to his Hipster makeover.

Knowing full well the people of Lake Worth wouldn’t vote for him looking like an Anarchist, Hartman then changed his appearance to make himself more palatable:

Hartman has a whole new look and beams with delight. Note he shaved, got a haircut, and sports trendy new clothes. [The Obtuse Blogger (TOB) was a big fan of Hartman and even contributed money to his campaign.]

And in another later development, the dwindling Anarchist community in Lake Worth put the callout for Anarchists everywhere to descend on the City and help to get Hartman elected by staging a “musical”:

If you see a “musical” about to begin contact PBSO and enjoy the show!

Which makes you wonder why Hartman, an anti-government Anarchist, would run for a political office in the first place. Would there be a bigger objective like obstructing and hampering law enforcement in Lake Worth? Not so funny and entertaining any more is it?

A sign at an EEF! 2014 protest in Lake Worth outside PBSO District 14.