Saturday, February 25, 2017

The City of Lake Worth’s Solar Energy Project*: “Community owned, community pride.”

“Lake Worth will be a leader in municipal renewable energy and only the 3rd city in Florida to construct a solar farm.”
—Quote from the City of Lake Worth’s website.

“The project has taken a 63 acre landfill that was an environmental scar and turned it into a producing solar energy field.”

“Lake Worth’s solar photovoltaic panels will generate enough clean energy to reduce carbon emissions by 4 million pounds.” Enjoy the video:

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

Stop by and say “Hi” to a new artist in our little City.

You are cordially invited to join the Lake Worth Community Redevelopment Agency [CRA] and the City of Lake Worth. . .

Click on image to enlarge.

Welcome “Art Studio Cafe” to our Downtown. Ribbon Cutting on Friday, March 3rd, from 5:309:00 at 410 2nd Ave. North. RSVP by email:

Street Painting Festival begins today.

One of the most popular videos on my Lake Worth YouTube channel is the Street Painting Festival in 2015. See the selection of all these Most Popular by using this link. Other ones are Holiday Parade 2008 (Horses!), the Taco Lady (2014), Anarchist candidate speaks at City Commission meeting and “Katie’s Outburst” (2016), and the always popular former Commissioner Mulvehill at John G’s on the Beach in 2010.

Here’s another popular video from November 2014, an exciting arts project by LULA Lake Worth Arts:

Interested in becoming a subscriber to my YouTube channel?

Click on the red “Subscribe” icon that accompanies any video from my YouTube channel, become a subscriber, and you’ll get an email when new videos have been uploaded. For example, to learn more about the City of Lake Worth, the Department of Energy, FAU, and the Southeastern National Marine Renewable Energy Center (SNMREC) click on this link to watch that recent video of Lake Worth’s mayor and vice mayor at a recent City Commission meeting.

The little City of Lake Worth is considered an ideal location to become the worldwide “epicenter” of ocean wave and Gulf Stream Current research and energy generation. To learn more about this exciting news use this link.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Suitable for framing, place where everyone can see it as a reminder: Stay focused on fixing our roads and potholes.

Remember the words below (copy, paste, then send to printer) next time someone tries to convince you a pool is THE most important issue (it’s not) in our City of Lake Worth, from Palm Beach Post editor Rick Christie,* “A few quick takeaways from 2016 election”:

Lake Worth is poised for some major upgrades following residents’ approval — by a whopping 69 percent [emphasis added] — of a $40 million road repair bond; and a little help from the sales tax hike.” . . .

“But the other reason city residents may soon be dancing in those repaired streets is because of the penny increase in the sales tax. Part of the proceeds — about $540 million — over the next decade will be split among the county’s 39 municipalities.
     That could be another $10 million toward roads, parks and other infrastructure repair in the city. While officials in cities like Palm Beach Gardens and Boca Raton snubbed the sales tax largesse, Lake Worth did no such thing. And residents should reap the benefits.”

And don’t forget the observations from the Post editorial board from back in 2014 about how badly a previous City commission neglected the needs of so many neighborhoods, “[T]his is a testament. . .”:

Remember. It was left to the majority elected in 2012 to put this City back on track. While the roads in the City crumbled the previous administration wasted millions of dollars on “shiny objects”.

*Rick Christie is “THE Editor” with the big office at the Post, not to be confused with the rank and file who have a title “editor” on their ID badge.

Curb Cuts: One of the great social victories in modern American history

The National Museum of American History (Smithsonian) has this article titled, “Smashing barriers to access: Disability activism and curb cuts”. Curb cuts are everywhere now and taken for granted. After World War II though they were still very rare in the country. Curbs were typically 6″ high and very difficult for those in wheelchairs and other mobility issues to go up and down.

The high number of handicapped veterans returning from WWII demanded change. Here is an excerpt from Julie Peterson's article:

Today, this seems like an odd thing to rejoice about, since curb cuts are now so commonplace in cities throughout the U.S. However, sidewalks and public spaces in the built environment were not always so accessible to people with disabilities. The development of curb cuts and the concept of accessible public spaces has been long in the making and has only become possible through the hard work of activists like Mr. Fisher [Jack Fisher of Kalamazoo, Michigan], the passage of federal legislation on accessibility requirements, and developments in design.
     Wheelchair-using individuals have navigated obstacles in the built environment since the first wheelchairs. In the 1940s and 1950s, a large contingency of veterans returned from World War II with mobility-related injuries. Many of these individuals pushed for changes to the built environment to make college campuses and public spaces more accessible to wheelchair users and other disabled people.
This image is from the article by Julie Peterson in the Smithsonian.

Celebrate Finland’s 100 Years of Independence in our neighboring Village of Palm Springs tomorrow.

Below is the news from this week’s Lake Worth Herald:

Celebrate Finland’s 100 years of Independence at Palm Springs Library [address below] on Saturday, Feb. 25 beginning at 12:15 p.m. Enjoy a dramatic adaptation of the epic poem Kalevala, special guests Peter Makila, Honorary Consul of Finland, and the Katrillit folk dance group. Refreshments sponsored by the Friends of the Palm Springs Library.

The Palm Springs Village Public Library is located at 217 Cypress Lane. For more information call 561-965-2204.

And remember, the Midnight Sun Festival celebrating our long Finnish heritage in Lake Worth is on March 3rd–5th at our City’s Bryant Park.

This week’s print edition will be available today at our City’s newsstand located at 600 Lake Ave. in the Downtown.


Evening on the Avenues is every Friday and starts at 6:00 in the Cultural Plaza. Make sure to visit the NAPC tent and say, “Hi”.

The City does a real good job with their “Events” website. To see all that news use this link. Are you a vendor? Have a question, want to add an event, or need more information? Email Lauren Bennett at the Department of Leisure Services: 

Ever been to a Beach Bonfire? If you miss the one tonight will have to wait until next November.

Pictures of Lake Worth Beach: 1969, 1975, 2017 (click on images to enlarge).

Photos above courtesy of Historical Palm Beach County. 

January 19th, 2017.

To see how our Casino, Beach, and municipal pool have evolved over time use this link.

Because of in-fill development the City of Lake Worth’s Casino has evolved over time and the City’s golf course, Bryant Park, and Park of Commerce came to be. The County’s John Prince Park was created from in-fill as well.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

What is the status of those 2 rogue PAC’s in the City of Lake Worth? Find out below.

What is the status of those two PAC’s? If you recall previous elections here in Lake Worth a bundle of checks could fly into one of these rogue PAC’s overnight, something to keep in mind with the elections just 19 days away.

You may recall when the Chair of the CAUT PAC lost control at a City Commission workshop last year:

We learned at this City Commission workshop that because Katie McGiveron’s CAUT PAC scuttled the LW2020 bond to fix the roads and potholes BY JUST 25 VOTES in 2014 it will now cost $9 million more to fix the City’s roads.
     At the end of the City’s workshop McGiveron went completely nuts to the shock of nearly everyone in the chamber and the meeting was shut down. At one point Vice Mayor Maxwell was heard saying, “Is there a doctor in the house?

Click on images to enlarge:

The latest treasurer’s report on February 5th, 2017, shows no activity. Use this link to keep checking what the CAUT PAC is up to.
Here is a report from the ironically named ‘Save Our Neighborhood’ Inc PAC. The latest report (received April 1st, 2017) shows a loan of $61.50.

[PINNED POST] The exciting “new” news that went largely unnoticed at last Tuesday’s City Commission meeting.

A “pinned post” is one kept at or near the top of the blog for a period of time as determined by Yours Truly. If you’ve already read this Thank You for visiting and please scroll down.

While so many were distracted at this City of Lake Worth Commission meeting last Tuesday by the never-ending old news, the decrepit municipal pool at the Beach (aka, our City’s “White Elephant), the new news went mostly unnoticed by so many in attendance. The blog post below is getting a tremendous amount of attention and you’ll discover why:

The prospect of the little City of Lake Worth becoming the research and development “epicenter” of Ocean Wave Energy Generation worldwide is a very real one:

Mayor Pam Triolo: “[W]e are no longer the ‘old’ Lake Worth.” Since this news first broke on Feb. 13th it’s gone unreported in The Palm Beach Post (but was reported in The Lake Worth Herald). 

The topic of the Southeastern National Marine Renewable Energy Center (SNMREC) and the Dept. of Energy was discussed last night by Mayor Pam Triolo and Vice Mayor Scott Maxwell. The reason why Maxwell missed the Commission meeting on February 7th was because he was in Washington, D.C. discussing this crucial topic with Federal officials.

How big is this news? Real big. County Commissioner Dave Kerner talked about this at his recent neighborhood meeting in the City and when it’s great news about the City of Lake Worth and The Palm Beach Post is ignoring it you know it’s big (note: this news was reported in The Lake Worth Herald on Feb. 16th ).

Below is what Mayor Pam Triolo* said at her recent State of the City Address on the topic of Ocean Current Energy, the City’s proximity to the Gulf Stream, having its own Electric Utility and existence of an outfall pipe that extends a ¾-mile into the Atlantic Ocean:

On my recent trip to Washington [in January] I also met with the US Department of Energy about our partnership that began last year with Southeastern National Marine Renewable Energy Center, or SNMREC, at Florida Atlantic University. SNMREC is one of three entities created through the Department of Energy to promote private sector development of three types of power generation from the ocean. Wave, Tidal and Current driven energy has tremendous promise to provide clean and consistent power from the ocean.

For more perspective, this important meeting at the Casino on February 12th was less than 2 weeks after the Post reported that Mayor Pam Triolo’s State of the City was “nowhere which couldn’t be further from the reality.

This is as real as it gets. The prospects and implications for Lake Worth and the future of energy could be revolutionary. Below are photos taken at the meeting on Feb. 12th:

Recognize anyone? One of those in attendance was County Commissioner Dave Kerner (in blue shirt with back to camera). This “Ocean Energy Round Table Discussion” was led by State Rep. Kathleen Peters.

Lake Worth City Manager Michael Bornstein was part of the discussion as well as Mayor Pam Triolo.

Others in attendance were Florida State Rep. Lori Berman and State Senator Jeff Clemens.

Another quote from Mayor Triolo from her State of the City Address:

We may become the place in the world that makes ocean current power a reality. We are also looking to change state law to be able to create an Efficient Energy Economic Zone in the City to encourage the companies to locate here and bring jobs. In many ways, this is about clean renewable energy and economic development.
     Coupled with increasing the availability of feeding renewable energy into our grid for use in the City, we may be able to add power from the Gulfstream to our solar and one day have the highest level of renewable energy of any city in the state or even the country. This is a strategic approach the old Lake Worth would not have been able to imagine much less make happen.

The theme of Mayor Triolo’s State of the City Address was, “I believe we have truly turned the corner, we are no longer the ‘old’ Lake Worth.”

*Expect Commissioner McVoy, PhD, to “ride the coattails” of Mayor Triolo and Vice Mayor Maxwell on this issue. He’s already “riding the coattails” of Commissioner Andy Amoroso on the issue of Sober Homes, the Heroin Epidemic, and many other issues as well to try and get re-elected on March 14th.

Re-post by request. “Images of America: Boynton Beach”.

Contact the Boynton Beach City Library at 561-742-6390 to find out more about this wonderful book and where to pick one up: 

Amazing photographs and historical information from author “M. Randall Gill in conjunction with the Boynton Beach City Library”.

This book was given to me as a gift following my presentation on “The Cottages of Lake Worth” book for the Boynton Beach Historical Society on January 16th. M. Randall Gill is the president:

“The Boynton Beach Historical Society is the common thread that binds Boynton Beach’s past, present and future. Founded in 1968, we seek to preserve Boynton’s history through a broad spectrum of programs and special events such as guided history strolls and partnering with city art celebrations.”

Have you seen “The Cottages of Lake Worth” hardcover book yet? To see the book:
  • Go Downtown and visit Andy at the City’s newsstand located at 600 Lake Ave. (corner of Lake Ave. and ‘L’ Street).
  • Go across the street to the Cultural Council (open 10:00–5:00, Tuesday through Saturday).
  • Or visit Awe Flowers at 5 North ‘L’ Street in the Downtown also.
To learn more about the book or purchase a book(s) online use this link.

Commissioner Chris McVoy, PhD, and his nonsensical, illogical leaps. But he’s asking for your vote on March 14th? Again?

Back in 20122016 when the City was looking for experts to fix our roads and potholes Commissioner McVoy sat on his hands but when the news broke recently about the City’s pool at the Beach being shut down due to neglect he scurried to find an expert to fix THAT problem?

That’s right. Last night at the City Commission meeting McVoy suddenly found an expert to fix the pool. But he couldn’t find an expert to fix our roads?

McVoy left the problem of our crumbling roads to the majority on the Commission to fix: Mayor Pam Triolo, Vice Mayor Scott Maxwell and Commissioner Andy Amoroso (in order to the mayor’s left in photo):

Commissioner McVoy, PdD (far right, beaming) played the role of obstructionist and self-described ‘critical thinker when it came to fixing our roads. . .
. . . but beamed with delight at the Casino “Grand Opening” while the pool was ignored back in 2012? How can anyone with a PdD square that logic? And how does one square “term limits” when McVoy was first elected in 2010?

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Another endorsement for Herman Robinson, candidate for District 4 in Lake Worth.

A reminder: ALL voters vote for ALL 4 City Commission districts, not just the district you reside in. Districts 2 and 4 are up on March 14th. And stay tuned for information about changes to voting locations: For example, one precinct that voted in the last election east of Dixie Hwy. now have to go and vote on the other side of Dixie. Stay tuned for important information on that, news you won’t read about in The Palm Beach Post.

Lake Worth Vice Mayor Pro Tem, District 3 Commissioner Andy Amoroso, is latest endorsement for Herman Robinson in District 4:

Learn more about Herman Robinson using this link. Herman is a long-time volunteer serving on City boards and giving back to the community.

This latest endorsement follows that of PBC School Board member Erica Whitfield, State Senator Jeff Clemens, Lake Worth Vice Mayor Scott Maxwell, and a long list of others.

Much of Lake Worth’s early tourist trade came for the fishing. Looking toward our future: The Blueway Trail

Important dates: March 3rd, Blueway Trail Coalition meeting; June 30th, Project Design and Permit Filing Deadline with the State of Florida.

Have you heard about the Blueway Trail? If not, learn more about this exciting project below.

Boats full of fishermen were a common sight in the Lake Worth Lagoon and freshwater lakes during the first half of the 20th century. Competition for tourist dollars was just as fierce then as it is now. Dixie Hwy. back then was lined with motels and restaurants for as far as the eye could see.

Here’s an advertisement from that era touting fishing in a tongue-in-cheek manner, this one coming from Fort Pierce. Fishing was an important economic driver to southeast Florida’s economy.

An ad like this wouldn’t go over very well in the modern era.

Here’s our own Chamber of Commerce sign in front of what is now City Hall from the mid-century period which emphasized Lake Worth’s access to water.

“Turn left” for saltwater or “TURN HERE” for freshwater.

It’s no accident that Tuppen’s occupies a prime corner on Dixie Hwy. This picture is from the 1950’s:

Learn more about Tuppen’s using this link.

“Tuppen’s Marine & Tackle is celebrating our 60th year serving South Florida! We have been in Lake Worth, Florida since 1956. Tuppen’s is one of the oldest and largest marine and tackle stores in Palm Beach County and maybe even South Florida. When you walk into Tuppen’s for the first time it is like going back to the 1960’s. But remember that you’re only a stranger once. After that your part of our Tuppen’s family.”

Now about the Blueway Trail, “Linking our waterways. Creating Access FOR ALL”. The project has not yet begun but you can go and see for yourself the location:
  • From West Palm Beach: Take Olive Ave. heading south (Olive Ave. is called Federal Hwy. in Lake Worth), take a right turn on the very first street after crossing the C-51 Canal (Maryland Drive). Go to the end of the street and make a right turn into Spillway Park.
  • From Lake Worth: Take Federal Hwy. heading north and make a left turn onto Maryland Drive, the last street in Lake Worth before you cross the C-51 Canal into West Palm Beach.
Since the 1950’s the S-155 Spillway structure on the C-51 Canal has blocked public access between the Intracoastal and the inland “Chain of Lakes”. The Blueway Trail is going to change that.
More benefits of the Blueway Trail. Want to learn more about this exciting project? Use this link.

Drew Martin had ANOTHER “Letter to the Editor” published in the Post! How does he do it?

Stay tuned. It can’t be long now before Drew has another Letter to the Editor published. How does he do it? He know The Trick!

In recent memory Drew Martin, by far, is one of the most published of any letter writer to The Palm Beach Post. So how does he do it? He knows the trick: To learn that trick use this link.

Maybe you can have YOUR letter published next week in the Post. Or if real lucky and already know the trick maybe even have one published in next week’s Sunday print edition, the most read paper of the week. When you follow up with the editor about your letter don’t be timid. Tell the editor what day of the week you want to have your letter published. For example, if it’s on Saturday almost no one will see it.

Mr. Martin’s prolific letter writing, however, didn’t translate into votes last year. Dave Kerner is now our County Commissioner.

Drew Martin’s Letter to the Editor supporting Senate Bill 10 is in stark contrast to the “Point Of View” in yesterday’s paper by former County Commissioner Priscilla Tayor titled, “Glades residents must be part of discussion about land purchase”. Below are two excerpts from Taylor’s very strong opinion on this matter:

     The purchase of 60,000 acres of land south of Lake Okeechobee can and will be devastating to the area. The purchase would close a mill in operation, and cause more than 1,000 people to lose their jobs.
     The unemployment rate is already high in the area. At one point, it was as high as 30 percent. When you hear those numbers, one should ask, “What about the people?” [emphasis added]

[and. . .]

     I understand that there are no absolutes, no guarantees that the water will be clean even after the 60,000 acres are purchased and used.
     It is astonishing that no public discussion has taken place as to what will happen to the area. What happens to the worker who has a child in school, or someone who is barely making it now? My question becomes even louder: “What about the human element of this bill?”

By the way, the title of Martin’s Letter to the Editor is, “Senate Bill 10 is good first step”. If the “first step” will cost $2B+ (that’s “B” for “billion”) then how much will the 2nd step cost? The 3rd?

And a question for Lake Worth Commissioner McVoy, PhD, who also supports Senate Bill 10:

How do you square supporting Senate Bill 10, a plan to ‘Send The Water South!’ from Lake Okeechobee (that may not even work) but oppose Lake Worth’s Neighborhood Road Bond to fix our City roads? Why would one project take priority over a much lesser one right here in the City?

Thankfully, an overwhelming number of voters in Lake Worth (69%) passed the road bond last year despite all the arguments by Comm. McVoy to vote it down.


The videos from last night’s City Commission meeting will be delayed until later this afternoon. This happens now and then when an upload to YouTube is interrupted for some reason.

Check my YouTube channel later on using this link. To become a subscriber click on the red “subscribe” icon with the video. Subscribers get an email when new videos have been uploaded.

Public comment at last night’s Commission meeting went without much of the obligatory “name calling” and “pointing of fingers” that we’ve become so accustomed to in the past from some regulars at meetings. The reason for this is likely two-fold: 1) The Commission chambers has been outfitted with more cameras:

One of the new camera views of the Commission chambers.

And 2) This blog post from yesterday morning got a lot of attention on this blog.

Back in 2015 Commissioner Andy Amoroso was treated in quite an appalling manner. You can watch that yourself using this link for the video. And who can forget this terribly un-“charming” disruption leading up to the November Road Bond referendum last year?

#4 in series from Worst Local Newspaper Ever*: “Need Money for Roads? Sell the Golf Course!”

“Domine, ut videam” in Latin means “Lord, I want to see”. But a self-described ‘reporter/editor’ didn’t know or care the City’s golf course cannot be sold?

The City’s municipal golf course can never be sold because it’s deed-restricted. Hello.

Excerpts from Friday, January 30th, 2015, Volume 1, Issue 3, front page below the fold, more from the archives:‡ “Resident to City: Need Money for Roads? Sell the Golf Course!”

     Ginny Powell, a county [Palm Beach County] employee, presented information about grants that could be used to fix roads.
     “I won’t pretend I’m an expert, but I can tell you, based on my limited experience, that grants could pay for a lot of this. . .
     She ticked off Snook Islands and Bryant Park as county projects done in conjunction with the city almost entirely with the use of grant money from organizations such as the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.§


     Mayor Pam Triolo addressed the crowd of about 50.
     She said it’s difficult to classify the “worst” infrastructure in the city.
     “What do you classify as the worst?” she asked.
     “Is the worst the streets that have never been touched, paved, sidewalks, traffic calmed or anything. Is that the worst? Because the city never cared enough to put the infrastructure in there. That’s number one. Or is the worst where theres a problem with infrastructure that already existed and is now being torn up or now potholes are opening up? Is that the worst? Is the worst what affects you, only? Or affects the whole community? . . . Whatever it is, we’re all coming together now. We have to figure out a way to do this.

Do you have any of those old tabloids left over from the March 2015 election cycle or used them to clean windows with vinegar? Click on image to enlarge:

To clean windows with vinegar use 2 cups of water, ¼ cup of vinegar, and ½ teaspoon of liquid detergent.¶

Please Note: The footnote section for #4 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 businesss, “Established in 1912”.
§If anyone would like to contact the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission to see if they have $40–60M available for municipal road repairs that would be very helpful.
“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.
Puzzling for many in the public was the City’s Worst Tabloid Ever sold a “1 Year Subscription: Only $39!” But the tabloid was FREE, delivered for FREE to select neighborhoods in the City and shut down after only 4 months? Hmmm.
**For future use.

To review Series #1–#3, here is a bullet list:
  • 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!”
  • For #3 use this link: “LAKE WORTH CRIME BLOTTER”!!!!!

Omari Hardy: Working hard for your vote on March 14th.

Whether you plan on voting for Omari Hardy or are undecided, he’s definitely someone with new, bold ideas and his vision for this little City of Lake Worth.

Mr. Hardy is challenging Commissioner McVoy for the District 2 City Commission seat. What he says in the video below are practical, realistic and most certainly well-thought out and researched positions on issues we deal with today:

Another historic hotel: “April 1, 1965, was a day of sadness and nostalgia for many as the grand old hotel breathed its last.”

The overwhelming (?) heights vote” in 2013. Note the not so ‘overwhelming’ voter turnout. All these years later, thanks in large part to former Commissioner JoAnn Golden and her frivolous lawsuit, our Gulfstream Hotel has a looming “day of sadness”.

The Gulfsteam Hotel is on the National Register of Historic Places. Is that protection from demolition? No. And do you remember the Pennsylvania Hotel in West Palm Beach? My father visited over the holidays and he brought with him a box of old postcards. Here is one about a “grand old hotel breathed its last”:

From Sagas of the Shire: Recalling the Wendell Hotel: “From early afternoon into that evening, some of the hotel’s most faithful regulars gathered in the lounge to say their farewells.” 

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Notes from District 3 County Commissioner Dave Kerner at the Parrot Cove meeting in Lake Worth.

Is the Lake Worth Casino, Beach and pool complex in Commissioner Dave Kerner’s district? No, it’s not. The Casino is in District 7, represented by County Commissioner Mack Bernard. District 7 in Lake Worth is north of Lantana to 6th Ave. South with a small area along the Intracoastal to the Robert A. Harris (“Lake Worth”) Bridge.

This meeting was on Monday, Feb. 20th, about 40 of the public in attendance at Believer’s Church. The notes below were compiled by Deb Null, on the Board of Directors of the Parrot Cove Neighborhood Assoc:

Special Guest: Dave Kerner, County Commissioner for District 3

His father was a Lake Worth police officer. Commissioner Kerner was previously a member of the Florida House of Representatives and practices civil law in West Palm Beach. The district he covers is from State Road 7 east to a large portion of Lake Worth (including west of the Lake Worth Bridge) and reaches south to Boynton Beach and north to Lake Clark Shores. [Use this link to see the District 3 map.]

There are 7 Palm Beach County commissioners. The County is the largest in the state by square miles.

One of the biggest challenges now is dealing with sober homes and the heroin epidemic: trying to get more money to support PBSO and Fire Rescue.

Turbines for energy: Ocean energy generation is possible and Lake Worth is being considered for this project due to its proximity to the Gulf Stream current, having its own electric utility, and a former outfall pipe into the ocean that could be used to house the conduit for energy generation equipment.

The state is more powerful than local governments now. For example, there is a new city in Palm Beach County called West Lake, its own incorporated community near The Acreage. Developers went to Tallahassee and got approval to become their own municipality. This was seen as an end-around.

Other issues:
  • The Lantana Airport is severely affected by President Trump’s visits to Palm Beach County and need to find a way around this situation.
  • Looking for incentives to bring more industry to the County.
  • The Lake Worth municipal pool: Are there funds for that? Will look into that.
Thank you Deb Null for taking these notes to share with the community.

Quite the stir was created yesterday.

The blog post title was: “For many residents of Lake Worth topics like the Beach, Casino, and pool are esoteric, mundane, and irrelevant.”

“The People” spoke last November 8th—“Get rid of the potholes, we want our roads and sidewalks fixed”—they spoke overwhelmingly, so loud and so clear they got the attention of Rick Christie, the editor at The Palm Beach Post (see his words below).

The images below are from 2016, a mailer sent to residents leading up to last November’s Neighborhood Road Bond referendum:

Many voters didn’t “Miss It!”. Many of those voters live every day with substandard streets and broken sidewalks their children have to use every day walking to school.
Don’t get “Tired” of the big issue: “the condition of your neighborhood roads”. Many who voted last November couldn’t afford $4 parking and $2 for each kid to go swimming at our City’s pool.

Rick Christie is The Editor” with the big office at the Post, not to be confused with the rank and file who have a title “editor” on their ID badge. Below are two excerpts from this blog post posted soon after last year’s November elections, from a commentary by Christie titled, “Words to remember. Copy & paste, send to the printer, and worthy of framing”:

“Lake Worth is poised for some major upgrades following residents’ approval — by a whopping 69 percent [emphasis added] — of a $40 million road repair bond; and a little help from the sales tax hike.” . . .

“But the other reason city residents may soon be dancing in those repaired streets is because of the penny increase in the sales tax. Part of the proceeds — about $540 million — over the next decade will be split among the county’s 39 municipalities.
     That could be another $10 million toward roads, parks and other infrastructure repair in the city. While officials in cities like Palm Beach Gardens and Boca Raton snubbed the sales tax largesse, Lake Worth did no such thing. And residents should reap the benefits.”

And don’t forget the observations from the Post editorial board from back in 2014 about how badly a previous City commission neglected the needs of so many neighborhoods, “[T]his is a testament. . .”:

It was left to Mayor Pam Triolo, Vice Mayor Scott Maxwell, and Commissioner Andy Amoroso—the majority elected in 2012—to put this City back on track. While the roads in the City crumbled the previous administration wasted millions of dollars on “shiny objects”.

“I suspect his stamina has not yet been tested.”

Image of City Manager Michael Bornstein created by one of his biggest fans.

“Michael Bornstein seems to be a happy soul and seems to be happy with the job,[Barbara Jean] Weber said. “I suspect his stamina has not yet been tested.
—Ms. Weber quoted by reporter Willy Howard on 6/3/2012 in a Palm Beach Post article titled, New City Manager Michael Bornstein makes welcome changes in Lake Worth, published 4 years, 10 months, and 5 days ago.

Today, February 21st, 2017, marks 1,772 days since City Manager Michael Bornstein was hired on April 16, 2012. There is nothing significant about that except as a matter of perspective. The previous city manager, Susan Stanton was fired on December 6, 2011 after 953 days on the job. Stanton’s tenure was marked by divisiveness and a lack of outreach to the greater community.

Under Stanton, the relationship between the business community and the City was strained to non-existent. The relationship with the CRA was contentious, at best. She created such a rift with our neighboring cities that only until a few years ago are they no longer wary of partnering on projects fearing Lake Worth would be too much trouble.

A classic photoshop from the inimitable Tom McGow from 2011 poking fun at the self-described ‘progressives’ as the City continued to fall apart all around them.

A local blog at the time referencing the coming Christmas holiday season and the firing of Stanton, wrote:

“In this joyous season, I am celebrating the potential for renewal in Lake Worth which began with a bold move to clean out city management from the top down.

[and. . .]

“Yes, I know there are those who are disappointed to see Stanton fired but dwelling on one side of her performance while ignoring the other side of the story… is delusional.

One of the least remembered and bungled efforts by Stanton was the “Fire Assessment”. Here is an interview NBC5/WPTV did with Commissioner Andy Amoroso after Stanton’s firing and he references the failed Fire Assessment initiative by Stanton. Here are some initiatives Stanton supported:
  • “Day Labor” Center (succeeded)
  • Gutted the Code Enforcement Department (succeeded)
  • “Street Light” Assessment (failed)
  • Red Light cameras (failed)
  • Eliminate PBSO and restore the LWPD (failed)
  • Regional Sewer billing fiasco
Without doubt one of the worst policy decision by Stanton was being an obstructionist thwarting the CRA’s acquisition of NSP2 funds. Thankfully that effort failed. She along with commissioners Golden, Mulvehill and Jennings did not want the CRA to acquire the $23 million available.

Another classic from McGow. This one from 2009 where The Obtuse Blogger (TOB) left this short observation: Very unfortunate comment. Indeed.

It was only action by the CRA to apply for the funds that allowed many blighted areas to be home to new residents and families. Since then the CRA, led by Joan Oliva, has received national recognition for their outstanding efforts.

Bornstein with Mayor Pam Triolo receiving recognition for the City’s municipal golf course.

There are many new residents of this City and many don’t know how we got to this point. In many ways, such as the code enforcement department, there is still a lot of work to be done. However, when you understand things in perspective, code being gutted and needing to be rebuilt from the ground up, you can understand how much hard work has been done.

That’s why some people complain this blog focuses too much on the past. Why? They don’t want you to know what happened “back in the day”:

Quote by a well-respected City resident.

Instructions: What to do if you see inappropriate and aggressive bahavior at the Commission meeting tonight.

First, important information regarding this meeting:
  • To watch this meeting Live Streaming use this link at 6:00 then look for “Video of Public Meetings” in right-hand column of the City’s website. If the video does not begin wait a few minutes and try again.
  • To review the agenda, with excerpts and highlights, use this link.
  • If you plan on making comments use this link to learn the rules and includes a fine example how to give public comment before the Commission.
Below is a video from a Lake Worth City Commission meeting. During breaks the sound is turned off, however the video keeps on taping. If tonight is your first time attending a Commission meeting and you see outrageous behavior such as displayed in the video do not attempt to get involved! Stay calm and do not get upset.

How Commissioner Andy Amoroso was treated is truly appalling; you can see that part using this link.

Since the audio was turned off added a composition by Modest Mussorgsky* with the classic Night on Bald Mountain.

Please share this information with anyone you think will be attending the meeting tonight so they will be prepared if any not-so-very-“charming” behavior occurs.
*Modest Petrovich Mussorgsky (1839–1881) was a Russian composer, one of the group known as “The Five”. He was an innovator of Russian music in the romantic period.

The demise of the shuffleboard courts in downtown Lake Worth

No history topic on this blog generates more interest than the short post below. Not even close. Might be that shuffleboard is gaining popularity again or maybe there’s still resentment over what Cara Jennings et al. did to the City’s last remaining Downtown court (see below), maybe a combination of other reasons as well.

I’ll just throw the question out there: Should Lake Worth plan for a shuffleboard venue in the future? If so, where?

At the height of its popularity the shuffleboard courts once occupied the northwest area of the current City Hall—back then it was the City’s Municipal Auditorium. That area is now a parking lot. Here are some pictures from postcards back in the day.

For those of you unfamiliar with shuffleboard learn more here. Lake Worth’s courts at the City’s Annex northwest of City Hall began falling into disrepair “back in the day” and fewer and fewer people showed up to play. In 2008 the end of the shuffleboard era was over for good when it was turned into a day labor center—another sad decision by a previous City administration and a very sad era in our City’s history.

Monday, February 20, 2017

UPDATE: Commentary and opinion IS NOT NEWS and should be clearly labeled either “commentary” or “opinion”.

The headline editor at the Post did not clearly identify in today’s print edition the opinions by beat reporter Kevin Thompson on recent developments concerning the City’s municipal pool as “Commentary” or “Opinion”. That is essential for newspaper readers to unambiguously understand (read more about that below, a blog post from yesterday). The last line by Thompson is this: “And the city has been drowning in it far too long.”

The quote above is not “news”—although it may be accurate for some “the city has been drowning in it”—that is clearly opinion. The blog post following this one has more helpful and timely information regarding tomorrow’s Commission meeting on this topic. There will likely be a large crowd; if you want a seat you’ll want to show up early prior to this 6:00 meeting. Without further ado, yesterdays blog post:

Tomorrow [today] is Lake Worth’s Very Very Special Monday Collector Print Edition (LWVVSMCPE). Again. Each and every Monday. Did you know Greenacres (best wishes re-elected Councilwoman Lisa Rivera!), Lake Clarke Shores, Lantana, and Palm Springs are also having elections on March 14th? But they’re not special. Lake Worth is. The Post has never explained why some cities are so special and others are not.

The cities of Greenacres, Palm Springs, Atlantis, and Lake Clarke Shores aren’t special. Those citizens should understand the LWVVSMCPE was not Lake Worth’s idea. The editors at the Post made that decision . . . sans public debate and participation.

In tomorrow’s print edition the Post’s beat reporter, Kevin Thompson, will very likely have a piece that is now available online. In the online edition it’s clearly labeled “Commentary” and in the print edition the headline editor needs to clearly identify this as either “commentary” or “opinion” for readers. It would be a disservice for the community if it weren’t labeled appropriately.

From The New York Times Clear Thinking, Clear Writing” is this:

“Distinguish between advocacy and news reporting. Analysis and commentary should be labeled and not misrepresent fact or context.

Why should it be labeled?

Always question sources’ motives before promising anonymity.[Here is a line from Thompson’s commentary, There have been whispers among some residents. . .”.]

And if you think some in Lake Worth are too critical of The Palm Beach Post:

“Encourage the public to voice grievances against the news media.

It’s important to remember most subscribers of the Post get the print edition and eschew the online version. And, if you weren’t aware, Thompson is also the beat reporter for Greenacres as well. If you live in Greenacres how can you get the reporters attention? Try the Racetrac gas station in Palm Springs.

A recent “IN FOCUS: LAKE WORTH” was all about “Artsy Fartsy”:

“I hang out at RaceTrac [2791 S. Congress Ave.] a lot because it’s a good, clean, and inviting place to plug in my laptop when I’m working in and around Lake Worth, something I’m now doing four days a week — a new mandate from our editors to fully embed ourselves in the communities we cover.”