Saturday, March 25, 2017

Dangerous, unhealthy alleys: Clean them up, reduce crime, make them a community asset for almost no money? Impossible?

This blog post is about ways a neighborhood can reclaim a dangerous, unsafe, and under-utilized alleyway in the City of Lake Worth. However, prior to making any changes to an alley you must contact the City first. Why? That is explained below.

So, is it impossible for a neighborhood to make an alleyway a community “backyard”? Try telling that to a creative group of people in Seattle who are reclaiming their alleys and making the community safer. Here is an excerpt from the article:

     [Todd] Vogel started with a small poetry reading. Sixty people showed up. It was the first in a series of events that included music performances, readings, cat adoptions, circus acts, and doggy costume parties. A few neighbors had liked the idea and helped orchestrate the first events. Soon, nearby business owners began to contribute as well. Windows that were previously boarded up were now open, a cinder block wall that blocked a doorway was removed, and neighbors put in planters and contributed to the upkeep. [emphasis added]
     “If you treat it as a place where nobody goes, then you’re inviting illicit activity and you’re inviting people not to respect it” said Vogel, who noted seeing changes in his ”backyard.” “The healthy activity meant that the unhealthy activity was self-policing.”

Seems like a worthy experiment for our Downtown and other neighborhoods in Lake Worth, doesn’t it?

However, prior to “reclaiming” an alley nearby you need to contact someone such as your City commissioner for advice or maybe someone at the Neighborhood Assoc. Presidents’ Council (commonly called the “NAPC). The vast number of alleys in the City of Lake Worth are owned by the City and it’s crucial to keep these alleys accessible for power line maintenance, clearing of vegetation, and in case of emergency situations as well.

So permanent structures will most likely not be permitted.

To find out what an easement is, the City’s responsibility and a citizen’s responsibility vis-à-vis an alley, and for a helpful Q&A use this link for the article titled, “Alleyways — The City’s Roadway to Utility Services”.

Are Hipsters really not hip at all? Or former non-conformists conforming? And what is a Hipster?

Are you a White Millennial living in an area that’s undergoing neighborhood and infrastructure improvements, or what some falsely decry as “gentrification”? How do you make yourself stand out amidst all the hubbub of activity? Make yourself noticed? Be a Hipster!

By standard definition a Hipster is White, born after 1980 (or so. . . still a matter of debate), and attracted to ‘blighted’ areas within up-and-coming cities: that’s Lake Worth, Florida!

Now the popularity of World Thrift makes all the sense in the world.



Or if Hipster isn’t your cup of tea you can take another path like the dwindling number of Anarchist Millennials (see example below). Many former Anarchists here in LDub (for the definition of “LDub”, cool slang for “the City of Lake Worth”, use this link) have been drawn to the life of Apatharchism, then later becoming business people, opening salons, big fans of Starbucks, and use the word “charming” a lot:

Look closely at the written instructions on how and when to empty the human waste bucket. Would this be considered “charming” to an Apartharchist?

What may be news for some people: Crematoriums are regulated by the Dept. of Health, not local governments.


UPDATES. The on-line story in the Post (see below) is in today’s Saturday (3/25) print edition, page B1, below the fold, as opposed to news Above the fold which is deemed by the editor(s) to be of more importance.

And also please note, to avoid any confusion. Crematoriums are in the City of Lake Worth because, at one point in our City’s history, there was nothing stopping crematoriums to operate a business in Lake Worth. The zoning has been changed and crematoriums are not longer permissible under our zoning code.

However, crematoriums already in operation at the time were, “grand-fathered in”, meaning they can operate only as long as they continue to pay their tax bill, utility bill, etc., keeping up-to-date with the City in general. If the business fails to comply they will lose their business license.

I hope that helps to clear things up like other issues, e.g., the false claim uttered once again by a resident recently at a City Commission the City of Lake Worth is a “sanctuary city”. It’s not. Never was. Simply and categorically false. If youre interested, use this link to learn more.

So without further ado, back to the issue of smoke coming from a crematorium, the story that made the print edition of The Palm Beach Post:

In news likely to be in Sunday’s Post [note: guessed wrong] is this item by Julius Whigham II titled, “Smoke complaint at Lake Worth crematorium gets health review”. This latest news stands in dark contrast to an article from another Post reporter about smoke from a crematorium in 2015 that started off like a dime-store novel:

The thick black smoke was hard to miss. It curled into the sky, swallowing the tops of palm trees and tumbling down like a shroud over the downtown streets around Lake Avenue just west of U.S. 1.

Anyhow, below are two excerpts from the most recent story from the Post reporter Julius Whigham about smoke and crematoriums in Lake Worth:

The operators of the facility [Premier Funeral Services and Cremations, Inc.], at North Dixie Highway and Eighth Avenue North, were asked to provide the health department with a report about a malfunction at the crematory. Comments posted on on Facebook said that black smoke could be seen from outside the facility Wednesday afternoon.

and. . .

     “I’ve gone out there and pounded their door down,” he [City resident Michael Flack-Fox] said. “There’s something profoundly wrong when (the crematories) emit that much smoke. … It’s a public safety hazard.”

If you ever see smoke coming from a crematorium there are much better options than calling the press, or going on Facebook to complain, or even contacting your local elected officials and City staff to complain. Contact the Palm Beach County, Florida, Dept. of Health, call 561-840-4500.

Why contact the Dept. of Health? Because they regulate crematoriums and are responsible for inspections. Not local governments. The City of Lake Worth cannot regulate crematoriums.

So if you see smoke coming from a crematorium and think it’s a good idea to to go there and pound “their door down”, you might have a PBSO deputy on the way and you’ll have a bigger problem to deal with.

Instead, contact the Dept. of Health and complain all you can. And get your neighbors to complain too.

Starting next Wednesday: City of Lake Worth to alter water chlorination process.

“Tropical fish tank owners, hospitals, dialysis patients and residents with pools should be aware of the chlorination changes and make adjustments accordingly.”

For questions or concerns from Water Utility customers: Contact Timothy Sloan, Water Treatment Plant Manager: 561-586-1710; email: tsloan@lakeworth.org

Media/press inquiries: Contact City’s Communications Specialist, Ben Kerr: 561-586-1631; email: bkerr@lakeworth@org 

To maintain high water quality in the City of Lake Worth water distribution system, the City of Lake Worth Water Treatment Plant will temporarily change the water chlorination methods for two weeks from March 29, 2017 through April 16, 2017. The City of Lake Worth will also increase hydrant flushing during this time. This is a preventive maintenance process.

Spread the word: City residents needed to “Walk The Walk” with PBSO and Pineapple Beach.

An upcoming neighborhood Community Walk in our City needs people to “Walk The Walk” with PBSO. Mr. Craig Frost from the Pineapple Beach Neighborhood Assoc. is coordinating this:
  • Sunday, April 9th at 3:45; Walk begins at 4:00.
  • Meet at South Grade Elementary (716 South ‘K’ St.).
  • PBSO will be there in force (with horse-mounted deputies as well).
  • To contact Pineapple Beach use Facebook; email: pbna561@gmail.com 
What can you expect? Below is a video when Cpt. Rolando Silva led Lake Worth’s PBSO District 14 (Silva is now the captain in Wellington). Cpt. Todd Baer now leads District 14.

Ride a stolen scooter? Warning: Don’t call PBSO for help or use a screwdriver to tinker with it (unless you have a fire extinguisher nearby).

Why not? The answer is below. And also:
  • Don’t let “a homegirl” you meet at McDonald’s take car keys for a vehicle you don’t own.
  • Don’t engage mentally-ill neighbors. Just walk away.
  • Have someone watch your home while on vacation for a week.
  • Leaving windows open while you take a stroll to the park with your children is also not advised.
Also good advice is this: If someone named “Gooz Adalwin Kenneth” sends you an email from Turkey asking for money there are better options than taking a PBSO deputy off the street to handle your issue. Like learning how to screen your emails better.

The ‘crimes’ in the image below are from an actual “Lake Worth Crime Blotter” published in a former tabloid that littered our City 2 years ago (click on image to enlarge):

To read the entire 5-part series from the City’s “Worst Newspaper Ever” that only lasted 4 months use this link. Don’t have time today? Then use this link to read #3 in the series: “LAKE WORTH CRIME BLOTTER!!!!!”

Business owner at the Beach and thoughts on Casino complex and pool. Observations almost 2 years ago remain relevant today.

The video (see below) is from May 2015, now one of the most-viewed all-time on my Lake Worth YouTube channel.

Mr. Lipton is the owner of Benny’s on the Beach. Now here we are 22 months later. The Casino complex at our Beach along with the municipal pool—now closed for safety and structural reasons—will be big items to address. A former commissioner last year chimed in with his ideas going forward:

“[D]o some things you can do with coats of paint and whatnot.”

Prior to even thinking about a new pool is whether or not a pool at the Beach is a good idea. An idea to consider is a municipal pool located centrally in the City and more accessible for the public.

Hopefully 2017 will be the year we put all or most of this to rest and move on as a community. We’ve been dealing with this mess for far too many years now.

Interestingly, at the 20 second mark in the video many of you will recall who that person is that walks past Mr. Lipton while he is making a comment at the City Commission podium. She is one of those from a previous City administration that made all those decisions in the first place, e.g., the Greenwashing due to an out-of-control budget.

All these problems are now left for the current City Commission to fix: Mayor Pam Triolo, Vice Mayor Scott Maxwell, and commissioners Andy Amoroso, Omari Hardy, and Herman Robinson.

One problem likely never to be solved. . . nice view from Mama Mia’s On The Beach, huh? Parking and/or a loading dock for large commercial vehicles was never part of the planning back in 2009.

Below the video is the blog post written back in 2015 that accompanied the post. You’ll hear Mr. Lipton say things you’ll agree with and maybe some things you don’t. Hopefully our City will rally around people with ideas and solutions—not all of them accepted or agreed upon—instead of following past ‘visionaries’.

Without further ado. . .
“It was good to see and hear Mr. Lipton and what he said appearing at his first City Commission meeting. This gentleman has owned Benny’s for the last two years and increased its employment from 21 to 76 employees. He’s made changes and been successful doing so: he has high standards.

Lipton looked at the restaurant space above Mulligan’s. His question: If it’s such a great place for a restaurant, why aren’t they lined up around the block waiting to sign a lease? He caused a stir at the 2:40 mark in the video when he said our municipal pool is an embarrassment, not because of what it is, but because of what is possible. ‘It could be great’, he said.

That concept of ‘potential’ strikes again. Tough to argue with what he says. Most definitely worth a listen.”

FYI: If you plan on going to Benny’s would highly recommend the Tuna Tostada. Excellent! And it also would be a good idea to make reservations to avoid a wait: call 561-582-9001.

Sushi-grade quality tuna along with a view of the BEACH!

Reside in City of Lake Worth? Know what the POC is? For daily readers of this blog it’s important to remember. . .

. . . there are many new residents of this City who know nothing of the POC, an issue we’ve been dealing with for decades. That’s why I re-post blog posts like this one every now and then.

Many involved and/or long-time residents of this City recall well the Park of Commerce (POC) over the years and efforts to do something, anything, to have that prime piece of real estate add tax dollars to our City’s coffers. Is the POC a new idea? The answer is No. Not even close.

Past city commissions have tried, and failed, to make this area (see map below) a major contributor to the City’s commercial tax base giving homeowners less of a burden. Some former elected’s were so desperate to have something happen in the POC, anything, even a chicken farm was suggested. Luckily, that idea didn’t go far.

This image will surprise you and explained later in this blog post.

New residents in this City, if they’re not cautious where they get their information from, will be misinformed by “facts” on other blogs, social media, or even news reporters that don’t understand the entire story. You may have heard this news about the Economic Development Administration (EDA) grant for $1.4 million. So where exactly is the POC?

To see this map for yourself go to the Citys zoning map. And while you’re at it you can see how your neighborhood is zoned.

In the map above is the POC: Roughly it’s the dark shaded area west of Boutwell Rd., east of the E-4 (Keller) Canal, north of Lake Worth Rd. (John Prince Park) and south of 10th Ave. North. Now that you understand where the POC is, how long has this been a matter of debate in the City?

Let’s look at one example of many (the first image above is the front cover of this “Citizens’ Master Plan”):

The Lake Worth Park of Commerce Citizens’ Master Plan, Charrette Draft Report prepared by the TCRPC in October 2001.

Fifteen years ago. I have this original report prepared by the Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council (TCRPC); if you would like to borrow it let me know (my email address is wesblackman@gmail.com). Here is another image from the report:

Recognize anyone? Ever heard of anyone named Dana Little?

There are names throughout this document many of you will recognize. Enjoy this charming video I did of the POC back in 2014, a small area in the City of Lake Worth with so much potential, “the P-word” if you will:

Friday, March 24, 2017

Saturday morning: Sharon Koskoff’s Walking Tour in our little City of Lake Worth’s unique and special Downtown.

The details for the tour are below.

Last Wednesday I was fortunate enough to be able to attend Sharon Koskoff’s talk at Brogues here in our Downtown Lake Worth. Koskoff is one of those rare people that brings everything to the table. She is knowledgeable about her field of study, passionate, engaging, and makes the time listening enjoyable and yes, entertaining as well.

Sharon Koskoff, if you’ve never met her or attended one of her events, is uniquely special in many ways. I still remember well when several years ago Koskoff returned from a trip to Cuba and gave a slide-show presentation at the Stonzek about the state of Art Deco architecture in that country. This was when Fidel Castro was still firmly in control.

The people who showed up for last Wednesday’s talk was a “Who’s Who” in the fields of history, preservation, and architecture here in Palm Beach County. Up until a few hours prior didn’t know if I would be able to attend. Very fortunate I did.

Sharon Koskoff will be leading a tour in our Downtown. I’m not able to attend but hope a big crowd shows up and an attendee or two takes down notes and a few photos for me. And there’s a special treat: while the tour is strolling our City you’ll be able to watch and experience all the buzz and activity prior to PrideFest which will be happening near the bridge crossing the Intracoastal that flanks our Bryant Park.

The “Walking Tour” guided by Koskoff begins to assemble at 9:45 outside the Lake Worth Playhouse (713 Lake Ave.) and begins at 10:00. The cost of the tour is $30 and refreshments are included. The tour is sponsored by the Historical Society of Lake Worth.

A slide from last Wednesday, “Art Deco Lake Worth!” (click on image to enlarge) 
To learn more about Sharon Koskoff use this link. For more information about the Art Deco Society of the Palm Beaches use this link

It was a packed house at Brogue’s Downunder:

Some of the “Who’s Who” in attendance.

While much of Sharon Kosskof’s talk last Wednesday was about Lake Worth’s unique character it was also about the characteristics of the Art Deco style. She talked about how the style morphed from Art Nouveau and became a product of the machine age with straight lines and geometric qualities.

The presentation also spanned beyond the boundaries of Lake Worth and included buildings like the original Norton Museum of Art and the Amory Art Center in West Palm Beach. If you have a chance, try to attend one of her talks. You will not be disappointed.

A major concern of mine is getting more Millennials involved in historic preservation, especially here in the City of Lake Worth. The “passing of the torch” so to speak will continue to happen and there aren’t enough people in line to hand that torch to. If you’re a young person or Millennial tomorrow’s walking tour may be the thing that inspires you to go to the next level, get involved, and help save our uniquely special history in this City for generations to come.

And lastly, if you didn’t know, the City of Lake Worth has the Lake Worth Historical Museum. Try to contact them some day or go and visit. Our Historical Museum is located at the City Hall Annex Building (414 Lake Ave., 2nd floor) across the Cultural Plaza from the City’s Library:
  • 561-533-7354
  • Hours: Wednesday and Friday from 1:00–4:00.
  • Tours by appointment.

Monday, March 27th: A neighborhood meeting about issue of crime in the City of Lake Worth.

Everyone in the City of Lake Worth is welcome to attend.

Come out and hear Lake Worth’s PBSO District 14 Cpt. Baer. He’ll have a Crime Watch update, talk about the issue of crime in the City, and will also discuss crime prevention.

This meeting will be on Monday, March 27th at 7:00 and is sponsored by the Bryant Park Neighborhood Assoc. and will be held at the Beach Club restaurant located at the City’s municipal golf course. The address is #1 7th Ave. North.

UPDATE: From the City of Pahokee, a Letter to the Editor in The Palm Beach Post today.


If you would like to just quickly read the Letter to the Editor today scroll down to the end of this blog post. And, as always, Thank You for visiting today.

Last Sunday, March 19th, was surprised the news from Pahokee, expecting to see on page A1, wasn’t. Instead the big news was an open-ended question and a big photo of Sheriff Ric Bradshaw. The news from Pahokee ended up on the front page — just not the “A” section — but in the “B” section instead.

An editor or editors made a very poor decision. The story about Bradshaw should have been in the “B” section and the news from Pahokee should have been front page news in the “A” section. And then it occurred to me we’re getting real close to addressing the “Elephant in the room”. A conversation and public debate that should have started many years ago.

Then put up a blog post later that day titled:
“One thousand people ‘turned out’ in Pahokee: News and photo that did not make the cut for front page today in Palm Beach Post”.
Below are the excerpts from a Letter to the Editor in today’s Post. But first, here is the blog post from last Sunday:

From Post reporter Susan Salisbury: “The auditorium was filled to its capacity of 400, and several hundred people who quietly waited outside were turned away. Police estimated the total number of people who turned out at 1,000.”

Click on image to enlarge:
However, this news from Pahokee in today’s Sunday Palm Beach Post did make it to the front page of the “B” section. The opening paragraph from Salisbury’s article:

“PAHOKEE — In a face-off Friday night at Pahokee High School, hundreds of Glades area residents came out in force to tell Florida Senate President Joe Negron his proposal to build a 60,000-acre reservoir on farmland south of Lake Okeechobee would kill jobs and economically devastate their rural communities.”


Excerpts from Letter to the Editor written by Robert Rease from Belle Glade titled, “Negron still giving short shrift to Glades”: 

I, along with many of my brothers and sisters in the Glades communities, attended the March 17 town hall meeting that state Sens. Joe Negron and Oscar Braynon conducted in Pahokee.
     It was thrilling to see nearly 1,000 of our residents and supporters peacefully attend the community meeting. It was disappointing to hear Negron repeat his talking points than actually listen to us, as we in the Glades are also members of his district.

and. . .

     Negron can now proclaim he came, he saw, and he left. Negron has checked the Glades communities off his list. Our work to protect our communities, our jobs and our lands continue despite the 90 minutes given to us in the seven months it took for Negron to visit.
     We will continue to pray for truth and equality to prevail in his bumper sticker campaign that seeks to upend our way of life. [emphasis added]

Powerful. The “bumper sticker campaign” mentioned above is, “Send the Water South!”.

Just in case you missed this from yesterday:

Your Little Free Libraries Need Your Help. To follow on Facebook and learn more about the Little Free Libraries in the little City of Lake Worth use this link.

Click on image to enlarge:
Have a book or books to donate? Call 561-585-6035 or email: LakeWorthLFL@gmail.com

“Since the first Little Free Library was planted in Lake Worth 18 months ago, more than 25,000 books have been placed in circulation in more than 80 Little Free Libraries throughout our neighborhoods. All of them through the kindness and generosity of nice people like you.

Please help our Little Free Library Stewards keep up with the great demand for books your Little Free Libraries have created by donating gently used books, especially children’s books, that you or your neighbors would like to share.”

Remember, “Take A Book ~ Leave A Book!”

The important role of “contributors” and “doers” and sage advice: Never let the “complainers” gain control.


“If you find yourself catering to complainers that do not have solutions you are going to face a quick descent.”
—Jeff Perlman. Quote from a talk given in Lake Worth last year.

Perlman, you may be interested to learn, wrote a book titled, “Adventures in Local Politics” and the profits from the book go to the charity Dare 2 Be Great.

A group of Lake Worth residents joined Perlman in our Downtown last year and he talked about his time in Delray Beach as a community leader, journalist, a commissioner and then later, mayor of Delray. The theme that ran through the entire talk was this:

How important it is to forge your own City identity.

One of the things stressed early on in Delray’s visioning process was not becoming another high-rise community like Boca—just like Lake Worth doesn’t want to be a clone of Delray or any other city. It’s hard to believe now, but Perlman is fond of reminding people there was a time you could throw a bowling ball down Atlantic Ave. in Delray and not hit anything. 

Perlman said he used to keep lists of strengths and weaknesses, opportunities, and a “threats analysis” in his drawer he would update every couple of weeks. He took a stab at Lake Worth’s strengths and weaknesses as an outsider “looking in” and made these points about Lake Worth’s strengths:
  • Lake Worth has many amenities including a “fantastic waterfront” on the Intracoastal
  • A “real downtown” with two main streets
  • Unique historic cottages
  • A walkable downtown and our own Beach
  • An engaged citizenry
  • Central location in Palm Beach County
Weaknesses he identified are:
  • Crime and vagrancy
  • More residential density is needed “which creates more eyes on the street”
  • The City needs more downtown housing to support the businesses in the downtown commercial core area
  • A lack of industry
He thought one of the biggest threats to Lake Worth’s future success was a “resistance to risk-taking”. Then there’s this sage advice that needs to be hammered home from Perlman’s blog:

Listen to critics but never “deflate the contributors”, or you'll “kiss progress goodbye.”

Following Perlman’s talk, judging by the positive reaction that followed, he got a lot of people thinking and talking. That’s exactly what’s needed to solve our pressing issues in this little City of Lake Worth.

We can never let the complainers, especially the ones without any solutions, be driving the debate. If they do, they’ll lead us right over a cliff.

Excellent take-out Guatemalan and Mexican food in our Downtown Lake Worth.

Jeff Ostrowski is a Business reporter and restaurant reviewer at the Post. He visited and wrote a review of Café Tecun located Downtown off the beaten path at 7 North ‘L’ Street. Hours: 6:00 a.m.–11:00 p.m.

The take-out items on the menu are indeed excellent, especially the tamales, two thumbs up from Yours Truly. From Ostrowski’s review:

“Café Tecun serves Guatemalan and Mexican food. There are tamales, tostadas, tacos, burritos, salads and sandwiches. The ceviche is the most expensive item, at $12. Everything else is $10 or less.

To read the entire review by Ostrowski use this link. Was his food review below helpful? Let him know using this link.

Attention Lake Worth: Don’t forget what happened last year and why our Annual Raft Race got cancelled.

And looking back wonder how much different things would have been if we had a City spokesperson like Ben Kerr, for example, sending out press releases to the community.

Last year leading up to July 4th was all a media frenzy about “news” that wasn’t news at all. It was all made up. But the City, the NAPC, and others were forced to react because not reacting and doing something would have been seen as irresponsible at the time. The City was on its heels and under tremendous pressure.

The news vans descended on us last year taking pictures, press news stories, and Live video from helicopters of algae that naturally occurs all the time when the sun comes up and the rays cause living matter, mixed with storm runoff, to change and turn green. The press all said it was “toxic” blue-green algae from Lake Okeechobee. It wasn’t.

A neighborhood ‘spokesperson’ that wasn’t a spokesperson at all released an unauthorized press release. And that was picked up by the press and media. Then the frenzy was on.

A City commissioner at the time, ostensibly an expert about such things as this, could have called a press conference and set all this right and get the facts to the public, the media and the press as well. But instead he did nothing and just sat back and watched it all happen.

Reporters like Mike Magnoli from CBS12/WPEC showed up and started asking questions like, “Is the algae toxic in Lake Worth?” Of course the answer was “No” as we later found out from the SFWMD. And reporters should be reporting the news, not raising open-ended questions. Remember back, did the suggestion and/or questions get you to change your July 4th holiday plans last year?

The Great American Raft Race then got cancelled and it didn’t have to be. But the City, the NAPC et al., had no choice. If they didn’t cancel the event they would have been hammered by the press and editors at The Palm Beach Post, naming names and maybe even demanding resignations.

Here is one example of the press coverage, the end of Magnoli’s news segment:

“For the past few weeks and until July 15th amateur photographers are flocking here --for the Lake Worth Lagoon photo contest. The winners will be featured in a 2017 calendar. Those trying to get winning snapshots shouldn’t get too close to the algae. It can cause health problems that range from itchy eyes to nausea.

Click on image to enlarge:
Picture taken soon after Magnoli’s news segment of the C-51 Canal at Spillway Park in the City of Lake Worth. See any blue-green algae?

Interestingly, the day after the Great American Raft Race was cancelled there were kayakers and people in canoes in our Intracoastal off Bryant Park. But the news vans and press were all gone by then, racing north to the Indian River Lagoon. None of them talked about septic tanks leaking, it was all about the water releases from Lake Okeechobee.

Last year at the height of the blue-green algae kerfuffle, if you did happen to experience “itchy eyes to nausea” it might be you’ve been paying too much attention to people who don’t know what they’re talking about. Take some time today and go to Spillway Park, the Lake Worth Lagoon, or the Snook Islands and try getting one of those winning photos!

In other news from last year, Oystercatchers and other wildlife returned to Snook Islands. Do you see any blue-green algae blobs of slime in this photo?

Thursday, March 23, 2017

McMow Art Glass Helping to Bridge the Gap Between Art & Literacy.

“McMow Art Glass to kick off BiblioArte Week in Lake Worth alongside the Little Free Library Project and famous artist Edel Rodriguez.”

The kickoff event to unveil the McMow Glass Art Little Free Library and the BiblioArte Bridging Art & Literacy event is on Saturday, April 15th from 11:00 am–3:00 pm at the Lake Worth Art Center, 1121 Lucerne Ave. in the City of Lake Worth.

More about this event below, following the YouTube video.

About McMow Art Glass: Since opening in 1976, McMow Art Glass has provided Palm Beach County with the highest quality stained glass windows, beveled art glass, and intricate glass designs. McMow’s range of offerings includes residential, commercial, and worship glass design, as well as providing restoration and etching services.

Located at 701 N. Dixie Highway in Lake Worth, McMow also hosts regular art glass classes and showcases rotating collections of retail pieces in the store. For more information call 561-585-9011.



March 21, 2017 – On Monday, April 10th, McMow will kick off the City of Lake Worth’s BiblioArte week, which aims to promote literacy through art.
     The event will take place from 4:30 to 5:30 pm at the intersection of C Street and 5th Avenue North in Lake Worth. McMow Creative Director, Taylor Materio, will present the glass art library to the city, and a donation to Highland Elementary to help fund literacy and education programs at the school.

“We are honored to help kick off this important week that will celebrate and promote art and literacy throughout our community,” said Taylor Materio. “There is a strong link between art and literacy, children identify words through imagery in picture books long before they learn how to read. Helping students of all ages fall in love with literature through art is a wonderful idea and something we are proud to be a part of.”

Following the elections last Tuesday: The City Commission liaison and board appointments.

There was a little reshuffling but not much. Note the appointments below for newly-elected Commissioner Omari Jamal-Hatchett Hardy and Commissioner Herman Robinson:
  • Mayor Pam Triolo: Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO)
  • Vice Mayor and District 1 Commissioner Scott Maxwell: Florida Municipal Power Agency
  • District 2 Comm. Omari Hardy: Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council (TCRPC) and Sister City Board
  • District 3 Comm. and Vice Mayor Pro Tem Andy Amoroso: Palm Beach County League of Cities, Community Redevelopment Agency, and the Downtown Cultural Alliance
  • District 4 Comm. Herman Robinson: Neighborhood Assoc. Presidents’ Council (NAPC)
Commissioner Robinson’s appointment to be the representative to the NAPC is a very good one with his history going way back working with neighborhood organizations. Going forward the City will also try to find a way for more than one elected to appear at neighborhood meetings on a regular basis.

Some in this City are quick to the yell, “Sunshine Violation!” if one commissioner just happens to be within 1,000′ of another elected official. The Sunshine Law was never intended to be a wall between the public and their elected officials. However, there are very specific rules for how electeds need to behave when together at a meeting or public event.

The appointment of Commissioner Hardy to the TCRPC is also a very good one. Although Hardy will not be an appointed member of that council, and cannot vote or participate officially, he will be able to observe and listen to discussion about topics that concern our City. That is very important.

There is no agenda as yet for the TCRPC meeting on April 21st, however, below are some examples of the topics and items from the meeting on March 17th:
  • Resolution for support of proposed House Bill 1087 and Senate Bill 1488.
  • Status of Florida’s KIDS COUNT data.
  • Intergovernmental coordination and review.
  • Comprehensive Plan amendments.
There is also public comment at these meetings. A chance for Comm. Hardy to discuss issues and concerns here in the City of Lake Worth and to get those comments into the record.

On the generally muddled, confusing, and specious final comments by a Lake Worth City commissioner: A “Ben Franklin” you are not.

Former Lake Worth Commissioner Chris McVoy’s concession lecture was a laundry list of things he could have helped to accomplish but never did. Following McVoy’s lecture at his final Commission meeting on March 21st was a round of applause. Many, including myself, were so happy to see him go away.

Mr. McVoy ever since being first elected in 2010, has harped on and on about having a PdD, using any and every opportunity to remind everyone. Why? Who knows. Maybe because it was so easy to forget. Here’s a quote from his final lecture from the dais at the City Commission, the opening line:

It is not often that a scientist is granted the opportunity and not every city that gets the benefit of a scientist!

As far as scientists who did “participate directly in the American experiment of democracy”, Ben Franklin came to mind. Ben Franklin was a scientist and a tremendously gifted one. And his contribution to American history is immeasurable. But he was an outlier, not the norm. Of all the Signers of the Declaration of Independence he was the only true scientist by profession. Ben Franklin was quoted saying:
“Yes, we must indeed all hang together, or most assuredly we shall all hang separately.”
Mr. McVoy, you are not a scientist in the tradition of American science like Ben Franklin was:


Anyhow, the most twisted line from McVoy, especially following his election loss was this:

I am honored to have been able to serve as “voice of reason,” as a “voice of the people,” unburdened by allegiances to vested interests.

The voters thought much differently.

Possibly, when writing his final lecture, Mr. McVoy should have done more empirical research. The information below was fairly easy to find. From Bill Steele at the Cornell Chronicle, Cornell University located in Ithaca, NY, is this information (use this link to read the entire thesis):

Whether it’s a line from a movie, an advertising slogan or a politician’s catchphrase, some statements take hold in people’s minds better than others. By applying computer analysis to a database of movie scripts, Cornell researchers have found some clues to what makes a line memorable.

and. . .

The study grows out of ongoing work on how ideas travel across networks. “We’ve been looking at things like who talks to whom,” said Jon Kleinberg, the Tisch University Professor of Computer Science, “but we hadn’t explored how the language in which an idea was presented might have an effect.”

and lastly. . .

Later analysis also found subtle differences in sound and word choice: Memorable quotes use more sounds made in the front of the mouth, words with more syllables and fewer coordinating conjunctions.

Interestingly, in McVoy’s lecture he made no mention of the referendums in 2014 and 2016 that he opposed and the principal reason he was booted out of office. In The Palm Beach Post endorsement for Mr. Omari Hardy, an opponent in that race, the editor called McVoy a “commission gadfly”.

Ben Franklin was a scientist but he spent his time trying to find solutions to the pressing issues of the day. Ben Franklin worked with his contemporaries despite the disagreements and opposing points of view. Ultimately, it came down to this: finding a solution to a problem. And isn’t that what scientists are supposed to do?

The most exquisite Folly is made of Wisdom spun too fine.
—Ben Franklin.

The Cultural Council of Palm Beach Council receives two competitive grants, more recognition to continue their work.

For more information and media inquiries contact Judith Czelusniak, Public Relations: 561-471-1602; email: Judith@palmbeachculture.com

“Generous grants from the Willian R. Kenan, Jr. Charitable Trust* and the Community Foundation for Palm Beach and Martin Counties will bolster our ongoing efforts to ensure that Palm Beach County communities, schools and families are enriched by art and culture,” said Rena Blades, CEO of the Cultural Council of Palm Beach County. “We are extremely grateful for this support.”

The Cultural Council of Palm Beach County is located in Downtown Lake Worth, 601 Lake Ave. Plenty of free parking nearby. Open Tuesday–Saturday, 10:00–5:00.

Lake Worth, March 22 – The Cultural Council of Palm Beach County is pleased to announce that it has been awarded two grants to help support its work in making art and culture accessible throughout the county.

“The Kenan Charitable Trust is happy to support the Cultural Council of Palm Beach County’s mission to nurture and promote the arts and art education across Palm Beach County. We are especially pleased at the partnerships that the Council has forged among the arts, the hospitality industry and locally-based businesses to enhance quality of life in the county,” said Douglas Zinn, executive director of The Kenan Charitable Trust.

“The Community Foundation for Palm Beach and Martin Counties is focused on its goal to endow the future of its local nonprofits. A matching challenge like this one provides our partners like the Cultural Council of Palm Beach County with future stability and a foundation from which to grow – one not contingent on the success of current or future fundraising efforts,” said Brad Hurlburt, president and CEO at the Community Foundation.

The Cultural Council presents exhibitions featuring Palm Beach County artists and provides additional programming at its headquarters in the historic Robert M. Montgomery, Jr. Building, an iconic Streamline Moderne former movie theater in Downtown Lake Worth. Also at the Cultural Council headquarters are the Roe Green Uniquely Palm Beach Store featuring products by Palm Beach County artists and the Jean S. and Frederic A. Sharf Visitor Information Center, a VISIT FLORIDA designated Florida Certified Tourism Information Center.

*The William R. Kenan, Jr. Charitable Trust is named for William R. Kenan Jr., a chemical engineer. As brother-in-law to Henry M. Flagler, Mr. Kenan established a strong interest in Florida and spent the majority of his later years in the state. Mr. Kenan also served for many years as president of the Florida East Coast Railway and the Florida East Coast Hotel Company. Following Mr. Kenan's death in 1965, a major portion of his estate was used to establish the Trust.
The Community Foundation for Palm Beach and Martin Counties is one of Florida’s largest community foundations, an organization created with gifts from generous people committed to local causes. The nonprofit organization has provided nearly $129 million in grants and scholarships over its 44-year history.

It was a dismal voter turnout the last election cycle, on Election Day, March 14th.

It’s difficult to analyze the last election results and come to any firm conclusions. The elections in March 2015 were dismal as well. However, the 2016 elections were a relatively high voter turnout and all the incumbents (Mayor Triolo, Vice Mayor Maxwell, and Commissioner Amoroso) were all re-elected in landslides. The 2016 Neighborhood Bond referendum was a significantly high voter turnout and passed by a “whopping” 69%.

The 2016 bond referendum was in November and that’s important. Back in 2013 elections of candidates in the City of Lake Worth were moved to March from November. One theory is there remains some confusion for voters here in the City. There could be some truth to that. Presidential election years also draw more attention.

However, voter turnout was terrible county-wide last March 14th, not just in Lake Worth. So it cuts both ways.

McVoy raised 25% more money than Omari Hardy, a political newcomer, who is now Commissioner Hardy. How much did McVoy spend for each vote? Find that out below. By far, now-Commissioner Herman Robinson raised the most campaign dollars.

It surprised a lot of people when Omari Hardy and Herman Robinson won their elections outright and both of them avoided a run-off.  The conventional wisdom is an incumbent will win, or have a big advantage, in a low turnout election since the incumbent has a base already in place and name recognition. My bet is then-Commissioner McVoy was very disappointed and surprised on the night of March 14th.

However, if there is a trend, I believe it’s this: The power and effectiveness of endorsements. This was quite noticeable in the 2016 Jeff Clemens race for the State Senate last year. The power of endorsements from other elected officials is on the rise. The more the better. And getting those endorsements lined up early is key. Prior to even having any challengers Clemens had a long list of endorsements and that payed off in the end.

And this last election on March 14th is showing something else: The power of a Palm Beach Post endorsement is dwindling here in Central Palm Beach County. Again, the conventional belief used to be a Post endorsement can draw 10% more votes. After tallying up the Post’s endorsements for last March 14th the likelihood of the candidate endorsed actually winning was about 50%, a coin toss.

And for organizations that make endorsements it’s time to take notice and reconsider who to endorse just by using a checklist and a candidates voting record. Sort of like picking the best horse in a race by just using recent race results and nothing else. If this trend continues then some of these organizations will find themselves ineffective and meaningless. Just check writers.

If you’re going to endorse someone let voters know why.

For example, the Realtors Political Advocacy Committee wrote $1,000 checks to then-Commissioner McVoy and Maryanne Polizzi. Did they take the time to call Realtors here in Lake Worth?

For elections going forward think another lesson is this: Raising money is very important. But just as important is having an excited, motivated, and well-organized campaign staff. Both the Hardy and Robinson campaign staffs were very well run with strong leaders coordinating everything.

Having a good group of volunteers can more than make up for the weaknesses of a candidate. For example, Robinson’s difficulty with communication never became an issue. His campaign staff was leaps and bounds ahead getting Herman’s message out. Hardy’s perceived weakness as a newcomer was turned into an asset. His campaign team took to the high road and never looked back. Any misgivings people had were quickly erased after hearing the message of Omari Hardy.

Hardy raised, from the latest G3 campaign report, $9,965. McVoy raised $13,091, about 25% more than Hardy, and approximately $13 per vote. Hardy? About $8 per vote.

Why does this mean? Nothing really except as a matter of perspective. Last year the money raised by Vice Mayor Scott Maxwell, a huge amount of money, was an issue for some in the press and others here in town upset the Anarchist Ryan Hartman basically got clobbered on Election Day.

But what the supporters of Hartman conveniently forgot to mention is when that money for Maxwell started pouring in. It was after it being discovered that Ryan Hartman had a big problem with police in general when he wrote about “shooting all cops we see by their selves”, and:

“Happy F%&# The Police Day! Remember children. All Cops Are Bastards! Have a great day!”

And on campaign signs: the public may becoming immune to them. McVoy signs went up all over the City the night before election day. And many of Hardy’s and Robinson’s signs disappeared. But signs don’t vote.

And going forward, it would probably be a good idea to consider more carefully which former commissioners for help to get elected. Former commissioners Nadine Burns and Retha Lowe were very helpful for Herman Robinson. On the other hand, McVoy reaching out to Cara Jennings was probably not very helpful at all.

Worth another look: Why it’s generally unwise to be disrespectful to City employees.

Watch the video below taken by a resident in the little City of Lake Worth and then read the legal opinion regarding the ‘concerns’ that are raised.

This is In response to your request for a legal opinion regarding the emails from Suzanne Squire below.
Here is the header line of the email; the text follows below.

Ms. Squire [emphasis added] states that she did not receive an opt out form to opt out of having her property included in the designation of the Northeast Lucerne Townsite Local Historic District. 

The Northeast Lucerne Townsite Local Historic District was created in December, 2002 when the City Commission approved Ordinance Number 2002-38.

Prior to the adoption of this ordinance and in accordance with the Lake Worth Code of Ordinances, the city took the steps required to implement the Lake Worth Comprehensive Plan as mandated by F.S. Ch. 163

1. A survey and inventory of historic resources within the city was done. The nomination of the historic district was based upon the survey.

2. In July of 2002 a Courtesy Notice was sent to all property owners within the proposed district. This Notice advised property owners of their ability to oppose the creation of the district. The Notice stated that if a majority of the eligible property owners oppose creating the historic district, no action would be taken to create the district, at that time. There was no ability to opt out. If less than a majority opposed the designation, the process of designation was moving forward.

3. Public hearings were then held. The Historic Resources Preservation Board held a hearing on August 21, 2002, and finding that the area met the code criteria for designation, recommended that it be approved by the City Commission.

4. The City Commission had two readings of the Ordinance approving the Northeast Lucerne Townsite Local Historic District, the second being a public hearing with notice pursuant to Statute, on December 17, 2002. At the second hearing the Commission declared the Ordinance duly passed and enacted.

5. The Ordinance Designating the Northeast Lucerne Townsite Local Historic District was then recorded in the public records of Palm Beach County at OR Book 14675 Page 1418.

6. Appeal of actions taken by the City must be made within thirty (30) days of the action taken. Given that the ordinance creating the historic district occurred in December, 2002, the appeal period has long since expired

7. There is no provision in the Lake Worth Code of ordinances to opt out of a historic district. 

Barbara Alterman 

TORCIVIA, DONLON,
GODDEAU & ANSAY, P.A.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Changes on the City website, tab City Commission, a “work in progress”.

If you would like to send Commissioner Omari Hardy and Commissioner Herman Robinson a short note or leave a short message congratulating them, that information is below. To contact everyone on the City Commission use this link.

Please be patient awaiting a reply. As you can probably imagine, there will be a lot of changes going on and time will be needed to sort everything out.

Mayor Pam Triolo flanked by Vice Mayor Scott Maxwell and Vice Mayor Pro Tem Andy Amoroso:

Ryan Maier (right side, blue shirt) opted not to seek re-election and Chris McVoy (far right) lost his bid for re-election to Commissioner Omari Hardy.

See below: Meet your new District 2 City Commissioner Omari Hardy (on the right) and District 4 Commissioner Herman Robinson (on left). To contact them:
  • Commissioner Hardy: 561-586-1732; email: ohardy@lakeworth.org
  • Commissioner Robinson: 561-586-1734; hrobinson@lakeworth.org
Leave a short message and they both will get back to you when things settle down a bit. And if there’s anything you think you can do to help, please let them know.

Click on image to enlarge:
Yours Truly (center, in red hat) just so happened to run across these two gentlemen after a performance of Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas in Downtown Lake Worth last December.

Video: The Swearing In of Messrs. Omari Hardy and Herman Robinson, now Lake Worth City Commissioners.


FYI: “Messrs.”, pronounced mes-erz is the plural for Mister, “a title of respect prefixed to a man’s name or position.” The plural of the term Miss is Misses, to “represent a particular attribute of the person, especially one excessively prominent”, for example, used in a sentence, “Misses Pam Triolo and Joan Oliva said. . .”.

The video of the ceremony (see below) begins during a soon-to-be former-commissioner’s final lecture. Here are the highlights to fast forward and watch:
  • At the 2:20–3:00 mark: Ryan Maier makes his final remarks as a commissioner, gracefully and respectfully, lasting all of 40 seconds. He then left the chambers.
  • At 3:40 begins the Swearing In of Omari Hardy.
  • At 5:30 is the Swearing In of Herman Robinson.
  • From 8:15 are the first comments from the dais from Commissioner Hardy. At one point he tried to thank the former commissioner in District 2 for his service but by then had already left the building.
  • At 16:00 begin the comments by Commissioner Herman Robinson. He was quite struck by the words of Comm. Hardy and was very humble as well about his election.
  • And in an interesting few moments, Commissioner Hardy asked Mayor Pam Triolo if he could make an additional comment which the mayor allowed. At the 19:45 mark Hardy talked about the first and best decision he made upon deciding to run for election: his choice of campaign manager, Tricia Mischler.
  • The last minute of the video is the mayor’s concluding remarks and the adjournment.
Enjoy the video:

What a wonderful day in the little City of Lake Worth.

Check back later on today or tomorrow morning for some of my thoughts about all the things that happened yesterday: the Swearing In of Messrs. Omari Jamal-Hatchett Hardy and Herman C. Robinson and the City Commission meeting that followed.

The City Commission had a new fresh tone thanks to the voters last March 14th.

The “fresh breeze” that Mayor Pam Triolo talked about at her State of the City Address last January finally made it through the front doors of City Hall.

Congratulations to both of you.
Commissioner Hardy with his family.

Commissioner Robinson.

Patience is wearing thin.

The pictures below were taken on January 1st, 2012:
“My New Year’s wish is our landmark historic hotel re-opens in time for the City’s Centennial celebration in 2013.”

2010 Flashback — Amendment 4: Anarchists on the economy, having children with cameo by ‘conservative blogger’ and fellow traveler.

Do you remember back in 2010 when the world as we know it was on the verge of total collapse if Amendment 4 didn’t pass? Well, here we are 7 years later. . .

What happened to all the panic about the fate of the world in Lake Worth? Pay special attention starting at around the 1:00 mark in the video below. Lake Worth’s ‘conservative’ blogger makes a cameo supporting her Anarchist friends and allies in “The Struggle”:


Only thirty-three percent of voters statewide voted for Amendment 4. It needed over 60% to pass into law.
Local governments like the City of Lake Worth would have been paralyzed if Amendment 4 had passed.

Imagine having elections for almost anything and everything?

To have even the simplest and mundane functions of government, like fixing street lighting, having to be put up for a vote. Need to purchase another vehicle for the fleet? Have a vote for that too? That’s what life would have been like in Florida had Amendment 4 passed. The business of government and governing would have ground to a halt.

Imagine life here in Lake Worth in perpetual election season. Never stops. The signs, mailers, and knocks at the door a constant fact of life. There are some people who like that idea. Imagine that.

When it comes to elections here in the City of Lake Worth we took a big leap forward. The referendum to increase the terms of mayor and commissioners from 2 years to 3 passed. We’ll have an election of candidates next year and another one in 2019. Then 2020 will be an off year.

Imagine that. A year off from elections. The people in the video above, The Obtuse Blogger (TOB), Cara Jennings, et al. were very much opposed to 3 year terms but the referendum passed easily. My position on the referendum was actually no position at all and advised people who asked just to do what they thought was the right thing to do.

I didn’t make up my mind until Election Day. And I think a whole lot of other people did the same thing. Remember things like Amendment 4 back is 2010.

Ultimately, elections are about a vision for the future and for others, it’s about having no vision at all, just endless upheaval and confusion.