Friday, May 12, 2017

News from State House Representative Lori Berman.


Rep. Berman at the Supervisor of Elections office:
“It’s official. I’m running!” Elect Lori Berman, Democrat for Palm Beach County Commission, District 2.

Please note: Rep. Lori Berman and State Sen. Jeff Clemens are scheduled to give a “Legislative update” next Tuesday at the Lake Worth City Commission. Let’s hope for good news about the City’s Park of Commerce. Keep your fingers crossed it’s not lined out in the State budget. Again.

Tomorrow: The 7th Annual Women for Women 5k/10k race.

The Chamber of Commerce of the Palm Beaches will host the 7th Annual Women for Women 5k/10k race from 7:00–9:00 a.m. at Bryant Park in Lake Worth.

For the safety of the participants the following street closures will be in effect from 6:00–8:30 a.m.:
  • 1st Ave. S.: Between Ocean Breeze and S. Golfview Rd.
  • Ocean Breeze: Between 1st Ave. S. and 5th Ave. S.
  • 5th Ave. S.: Between S. Federal Hwy and S. Lakeside Dr.
  • S. Palmway (southbound): Between 5th Ave. S. and 18th Ave. S.
  • 18th Ave. S.: Between S. Palmway and S. Lakeside Dr.
  • S. Lakeside Dr.: Between 18th Ave. S. and 1st Ave. S.
For more information contact Ben Kerr, the City’s Communications Specialist at 561-586-1631; email: bkerr@lakeworth.org

The Lake Worth CRA’s “Green Up Clean Up” is tomorrow at 9:00.

For more information contact Chris Dabros: 561-493-2550; email: cdabros@lakeworth.org (the Lake Worth CRA is located at 29 South ‘J’ Street in the Downtown).

Please join the Lake Worth Community Redevelopment Agency on May 13th at the Tropical Ridge Fitness Park (211 North ‘H’ St.) for another park cleanup. Representatives from Memory Trees will also be on hand to answer your questions about proper planting/gardening techniques. The event begins at 9:00.

Volunteer hours will be provided if requested. Free t-shirts will also be available to attendees while supplies last.

More “Corrections & Clarifications” in The Palm Beach Post.


This appeared in yesterday’s paper, on page A2, below the fold.

“Because of a data reporter’s error, two comparisons were incorrect in a story Saturday on the skyrocketing number of heroin deaths in Palm Beach County and throughout Florida. County deaths from heroin-related overdoses in a two-year period, not a six-year period, were as great as in 2015. [emphasis added] And the average monthly toll of deaths across the state was 63, slightly more than reported in March 2016, when 57 people died in Palm Beach County. A chart showing the number of deaths from 2009 to 2014 should have said 427 people died in Palm Beach County. The story ran on the front page.”
Use this link to read the story published in the Post last Saturday, May 6th, on the front page, above the fold.

Important topics at the last TCRPC meeting. And more befuddling public comment by Drew Martin.


Drew Martin was at the April meeting of the Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council (TCRPC) trying to make the connection between trees and the opioid crisis. Not kidding. Read that public comment for yourself below.

The minutes are now available from the April 21st TCRPC meeting. To look those minutes over use this link to download. The next meeting is on May 19th at 9:30:
Location: Wolf High Technology Center, Indian River State College Chastain Campus, 2400 SE Salerno Road in Stuart.
Here are three very interesting items from the April meeting:
  • Resolution addressing the locally preferred option for the Loxahatchee River watershed restoration project, discussing “restoration of the Grassy Waters Preserve and enhancement of water supplies for local governments in Palm Beach County”.
  • Approval of Southeast Florida Transit Oriented Development pilot program grant application rankings and authorization to execute interlocal agreements. “Commissioner [Hal] Valeche asked for an explanation of the difference between the coastal link and the extension of Tri-Rail through this grant. Staff noted Tri-Rail operates on the CSX corridor, which is called the South Florida Rail Corridor and is owned by the State of Florida. In this corridor, Tri-Rail operates 18 stations within 72 miles, and exists for the most part west of I-95. Staff noted Tri-Rail Coastal Link is the project name for all the service that will occur on the FEC corridor.
  • U.S. Highway 27 Multi-Modal Corridor project update: “U.S. Highway 27 must be widened to accommodate future Intermodal Logistics Centers, potential rail demand is 15 to 22 trains per day, no fatal engineering or environmental flaws identified, and adding a railroad was determined to be feasible. Staff indicated the benefits of moving forward include: reducing freight traffic through the population centers between Fort Pierce and Miami; capacity will be freed up for commuter passenger trains; truck traffic will be diverted from U.S. Highway 27 and I-95; and this project will support economic development and job creation for the distressed communities along the south and east sides of Lake Okeechobee.”
Now for your enjoyment and/or befuddlement. . . an excerpt from Drew Martin’s public comment:

He [Martin] said at one point the county was going to buy the former Briger Tract, which is now called Alton, as a nature area. He indicated now everything has been removed and ponds were put in, which are being treated more as toxic waste sites than actual ponds. He noted even the historical site of Walden Pond has turned into a garbage dump. He stated he hopes Council will begin to change how the site plans are done so we stop cutting down and removing all the trees. He stated people will actually pay more to live next to trees, this is an economic issue as well as a health issue. He stated that although he cannot draw a direct connection to the opioid crises, he suspects we might have less opioid addiction if we protected more trees and people had something to look at to invigorate and help them.


“[W]e might have less opioid addiction if we protected more trees”

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Deadline is tomorrow: TWO FREE GOLF PASSES at the Lake Worth Golf Course.


From Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation: Come join us and play golf in Lake Worth!


Prior to or after your exciting golfing experience in Lake Worth stop by and visit “Arden”, a new “master-planned community” right here in scenic Palm Beach County. Lake Worth is excited to have 2,000 new homes so close by with recreation amenities and a working farm too.

To learn more about the new community of Arden (named after singer, model, actress Arden Cho [“Kira Yukimura” on Teen Wolf]), read the blog post immediately following this one.  

Remember, you haven’t golfed in Palm Beach County til you’ve golfed the “pace of play” in Lake Worth!


Enter for a chance to win TWO FREE GOLF PASSES. The deadline is Friday, May 12th. Details below.
Want to book a Lake Worth Tee Time today? Use this link or call 561-966-7044.

To win FREE PASSES “Follow” Palm Beach Parks & Recreation on Twitter (@pbcparks) and look for the amazing image above. Retweet (RT) and you will be notified by direct message.

And please remember, when you RT use the hashtags below (copy and paste):

#lakeworth  #golf  #pbcgolf  #pbcparks

More information about Lake Worth’s Park Ridge Golf Course:
  • For office manager, tee times, and Pro Shop: 561-966-7044.
  • 18-Hole, regulation golf course (231 acres).
  • Driving range.
  • Outside deck.
  • Parking.
  • Practice putting green, chipping area.
  • Restroom facilities.
  • Snack bar.

“Very, very nice! One of the only courses in South Florida with elevation changes. Pace of play was great and the course was in very good shape. What’s not to like!”

How exciting! Arden, a new master-planned community, is coming soon.

You really need to check out all the pictures at the Town-Crier Online, “2,000 Visit Arden For Neighborhood Opening”. It was a huge, big-time party last Saturday.

For more information about this new residential community visit Arden’s website, a “new master-planned community in Palm Beach County” located at 19425 Southern Blvd. in the Village of Wellington:

Arden, a new residential community off Southern Blvd., opened its gates for its “First Neighborhood Opening” on Saturday, April 29. More than 2,000 people attended and enjoyed tours of home models, animal encounters from Lion Country Safari, face painting, balloon animals, a corn maze, a bounce house, Home Depot craft projects, food from Chick-fil-A, Kona Ice, country music from 103.1 WIRK, homemade ice cream, gift bags and more. Arden, being developed by Freehold Communities, will have 2,000 homes, along with recreation amenities and a working farm.

And get this! From Arden in Wellington it’s only about 45–55 minutes to the Beach here in the little City of Lake Worth. How cool is that?


Is Arden really IN the Village of Wellington? No. It’s not. This is not just a problem the City of Lake Worth has to deal with. Use this link to learn more.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

“Oh man. Wow. I am so happy now I lost my race for re-election last March.”


If a former 3-term City commissioner (first elected in 2010) watched the Commission Work Session last night you can just imagine him saying the words in the title. He may have been stung initially losing to a political newcomer last March, but now it must look more like a gift from the Heavens.

Last night was the “Budget and Comprehensive Plan Work Session”. Later on will get to the “Comp Plan” portion of this meeting which was very well presented and more about the Water Fund as well.

[Please remember: this is very early in the budget process. There will be much more information and news to come later from the City. Be very skeptical of what you read on social media and in press reports as well, e.g., about rate increases, deficits, and City revenues. Part of the budget process is exploring IDEAS. Use this link to watch the City’s YouTube video of the meeting last night; use this link to download the agenda.]

Out of the eight City funds, three were addressed: Water, Electric, and Beach. The others will be looked at later in the budget process. My citizen reporter at the scene last night took notes and sent them to me. Yours Truly is out of town for a few more days.

It’s very possible the City will have a municipal pool in the future, but fixing the old pool — or constructing a new one at the Beach — looks to be highly in doubt. It all depends on how much the public is willing to continue and subsidize a Casino/pool complex that was promised to add money to our City coffers, not the other way around.

Here’s the bombshell news: the Commission may consider forgiving the balance of the $6M loan to construct the ‘renovated’ Casino, a loan from the City to the City from the Water Fund, because the Beach isn’t making enough money to pay the loan back. We all knew that. Nothing new. But in order to do that, using preliminary calculations, they would have to raise water rates to 4% instead of the 2¾–3% from the modeling to make up the difference. The image of pitchforks comes to mind.

The former commissioners and former city manager who created this mess are gone now, but in many ways, they’re still with us.
A former commissioner claimed he wasn’t part of the Casino/pool debacle back in 2010. “It wasn’t me. I was doing a soil survey in Mongolia and my phone was turned off.” Recognize anyone else?

Below are more of the notes sent to me, in list form, in no particular order:
  • The budget modeling is being done by Stantec, which acquired Burton & Associates (who many of you are familiar with) back in 2016.
  • Stantec will “telescope” each fund over 5–10 years and look at minimum reserve levels (next funds up for review: Regional & Local Sewer, Sanitation, Stormwater, and the General Fund).
  • Ten or fifteen minutes into the Beach Fund review The Obtuse Blogger (TOB) left the meeting “looking nauseous”.

Electric Fund

  • Lake Worth Electric Utility will reach 1,000 kilowatt residential parity with FPL in FY2018! The new Solar Field is “a wash” per City Manager Michael Bornstein and doesn’t affect rates.
  • New electric meters have made a big difference in “electron capture” per Walt Gill, the acting director.
  • Vice Mayor Scott Maxwell about electric rates: “This is a big day for Lake Worth” and a “big win for everybody”. Mayor Pam Triolo: “Removes the disincentives for moving to Lake Worth”. Commissioner Andy Amoroso: “More people want to be here”. Commissioner Herman Robinson: “Lake Worth is competitive”.

Beach Fund

  • A Commission Work Session to address problems at the Beach is scheduled for May 23rd.
  • The loan payback to ‘renovate’ the Casino is $550,000/yr plus interest. Biggest revenue source is parking ($1.6M): not part of the original ‘solid’ business plan we were promised back in 2010. Without substantial changes the Beach Fund will be fully depleted by 2019.
  • One of the electeds said, “Stop the bleeding”. Commissioner Hardy: “Can’t keep kicking the can down the road”.
  • Also not part of the ‘solid’ business plan we were promised: City is relying heavily on parking citations at the Beach, $250,000/yr.
  • Renegotiating leases and leasing the 2nd floor will not help in any meaningful way.
  • From the City Attorney: a “settlement agreement” with the construction company and architect within the next few months.
  • Leases are bringing in $300,000. “We cannot continue to keep losing money”, said Asst. City Manager Juan Ruiz, and “the [Beach] fund is still hurting with the pool closed.”

And in conclusion. . . “stay tuned” as they say. 

“Can’t keep kicking the can down the road”.

Message from Lake Worth Democratic Club: “Our guest speaker is County Commissioner Dave Kerner.”


We are back meeting at Brogues DownUnder in Lake Worth (621 Lake Ave.). Our next meeting is on Saturday, May 13th at 11:30. Please come early to order food and chat.

We have two time critical items to complete before the speaker starts. We have to accept the revised bylaws of the State for our club and any board member who has not signed their oath must do so.

Our guest speaker is County Commissioner Dave Kerner. For information relevant to our County Commissioner and the City of Lake Worth follow this link.

Future speakers? You tell me.

Sam Goodstein, President
Lake Worth Democratic Club 

 
District 3 County Commissioner Dave Kerner at a Parrot Cove meeting last February. Click on “follow this link” above to learn more.
FYI: District 7 County Commissioner Mack Bernard also represents the City of Lake Worth: the Lake Worth Beach, Bryant Park, and other areas south and west in our City.

FREE event tonight at the Lake Worth Playhouse, “Jukebox Saturday Night”!


Watch a performance by students from a charter school in Royal Palm Beach.
Come join us on Wednesday, May 10th, at 7:00”. Would this be a challenge to our local public schools here in the City of Lake Worth? A future After School Jukebox Challengeat our Downtown Playhouse maybe?

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

How to address our Casino and pool at the Beach: “[D]o some things you can do with coats of paint and whatnot.”


Whap! Whap! Whap!
Who first used the words “white elephant” about the pool at the Beach? And said “stop clinging to the past and install features that will attract people and revenue”? Find out below.

To the quote in the title, Mayor Pam Triolo responded to a now-former commissioner this way:
“This is something which we actually have to do business to make money in this [Beach] fund. That’s all I’m saying. Let’s be consistent across the board.”
This exchange happened at a City Budget Work Session in August of last year (see below for the mayor’s entire response). It was during these budget meetings when a former commissioner, Chris McVoy, PhD, said to use “coats of paint and whatnot” to fix the Casino and pool. Later he claimed the City was trying to “torpedo” the Beach Fund.

Mayor Triolo set him right saying the City is done with “band aid” solutions. McVoy’s answer to fixing the Casino/pool complex was the same all along: raise rates for parking and electric rates too. Will increased parking rates increase revenue? Sure. In the short term. But what about long term? The answer to that always is, “We’ll have to wait and see.”

Here is Mayor Triolo’s entire response to McVoy:

“I don’t think you reacted the same way in the Electric Utility conversation did you? That we should just kind of go wing it and see how we do? I think it’s inconsistent. I think it’s disingenuous to ask for higher electric rates and larger reserves in the Electric Utility Fund to make sure that we have money to prepare for and to maintain it when you’re willing to go willy-nilly on the Beach Fund and not worry about maintenance. I think it’s disingenuous. You [McVoy] completely changed your philosophy on how you think a professional organization should run by your conversation on the Electric Utilities from how you’re handling this [Beach] Fund. I find that inconsistency is something that the City can’t bear as a professional organization as a whole. . .” [McVoy tries to interrupt]

Mayor Triolo continues: “I have the floor. I’ve sat and listened to all of you all night. I very barely spoke all evening so please give me the floor when I’m speaking. So now going back to it. We have to build in the maintenance. We have to look at it from that direction and be consistent across the board. But we have reserves for things. We have maintenance for things. And this is a fund [Beach Fund] that doesn’t have guaranteed revenue increases as they [Burton and Associates, accountants] so eloquently talked about. It’s not like a revenue bond where you know you have that money and you get it paid back because that money is coming in. This is something which we actually have to do business to make money in this [Beach] fund. That’s all I'm saying. Let’s be consistent across the board.”

The most important thing to remember going forward addressing the problems at the Casino complex and pool is this: When the City had the money to fix the pool back in 2010–2011 they didn’t plan for a proper renovation. The pool and pool buildings were left to decay and fall apart; then the pool was shut down as a “cost-saving measure”.



And remember it wasn’t City Manager Michael Bornstein who coined the term “white elephant” about the pool at the Beach. That phrase was first used by the inimitable former blogger Tom McGow back in March of 2010:

“The Olympic sized pool at the beach is a white elephant whose time has passed. Let’s view the entire beach property with 21st century eyes and stop clinging to the past and install features that will attract people and revenue.”

All these things are good to remember as we head into another budget debate. Yes — about the pool too — once again.

Another location nearby the City of Lake Worth to swim and do water exercise.

The County pool at Lake Lytal is closed on Sunday and Monday. So yesterday went and checked out the County’s Therapeutic Recreation Complex (“T-Rec”) just outside the City of Lake Worth, east of Congress Ave. (on the same side as Lake Osborne at 2728 Lake Worth Rd.).

Like Lake Lytal (use this link to learn more), parking is FREE at T-Rec so you don’t have the hassle of paying for parking and then paying to swim (for example, to use the now-closed Lake Worth pool at the Beach).

Click on images to enlarge:
Entry is $6 and must sign a waiver. Passes are also available for $40 (8 visits).

Pool is kept at 86°. There are water jets also at this pool (note in image above).

For more information about T-Rec call 561-966-7015.

Enclaves, unincorporated County “pockets”, and annexations: Very big issues for municipalities in Central Palm Beach County.


Please Note: The TCRPC’s Preliminary Agenda is now available online. This next meeting is on May 19th at 9:30. Items of local interest are:
  • 3D. City of Greenacres Comprehensive Plan Amendment No. 17-1ESR.
  • 7. Legislative Update 2017 - U.S. Senator Bill Nelson’s Office - Michelle Oyola McGovern, Director of Outreach.
  • 9. Florida Department of Transportation Complete Streets Policy.

The Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council (TCRPC) has addressed the issue of “enclaves” several times recently, the last time at their March meeting this year, “Presentation by Richard Reade, Village Manager, Village of Palm Springs”. Here are two excerpts:

Mr. Reade indicated because his community is built-out and there has been a large population growth they do a lot of infill redevelopment and annexation. He stated there are a number of ways to annex property that are allowed by statute, but in areas that are more developed the involuntary annexation process is a key economic development tool.

and. . .

Mr. Reade indicated the involuntary annexation process is critical for annexing in the small pockets of land, because within these pockets there are code enforcement and policing issues that the municipality cannot handle until the areas are made part of the city.

Below is an example of an unincorporated area of the County within the City of Lake Worth. The 2100 block of Collier Ave. off Lake Osborne Drive is in the City of Lake Worth BUT one block east the 2000 block is unincorporated Palm Beach County.

Going east on Collier, make a right turn onto Sunset Dr. and you’ll find the vacant lots of the “Sunset” property (within the City limits), another looming issue.
The topic of County enclaves (also called “pockets” or “fingers”) was discussed at the TCRPC meeting last October as well. Read more about that below.

Reading the last published minutes of a TCRPC meeting is like reading news that hasn’t been written yet. It’s a good look into the very near future, issues to be brought before local commission and council meetings. Strongly encourage everyone to peruse these minutes and agendas to get a feel for the big issues being grappled with by leaders, counties, and cities here in South Florida.

On page 7 from the minutes of the October 2016 meeting was more discussion about unincorporated County areas within municipal areas. The concern is whether these County residents are getting services for which cities and towns are not getting reimbursed:

Staff provided an overview of annexations and enclaves. Staff indicated annexation is the process whereby property that lies outside of the boundary of a municipality is brought within municipal limits; and an enclave is unincorporated land surrounded by a municipality or a barrier such as a canal that prevents access to the area, except through the municipality. Staff indicated there are five types of annexation: voluntary is when the property owner requests to be part of the city; majority voluntary is for non-residential properties whereby a majority vote of the owners determines annexation; referendum where the citizens of the affected area vote on the annexation; legislative when the Florida Legislature adopts a special bill to make that area part of a city; and enclave interlocal where the municipality that surrounds an enclave, and the county work together to transition the area into the municipality. Staff noted some of the concerns with enclaves is an inefficient service delivery for the city and county; difficulty in planning for orderly development; jurisdictional confusion; and unfair benefits without tax payments.

Stay tuned as they say. Expect to see this issue on an upcoming agenda for the City Commission here in Lake Worth.

Friederike Mittner and historic preservation: “A Nuisance or Beneficial?”

Use this link to hear a 32-minute podcast produced by the city of West Palm Beach called “City Voice”. About the interview:

This week on the City Voice Podcast I [interviewer Bill Newgent] talk with Friederike Mittner, the City of West Palm Beach Historic Preservation Planner.
     We talk about why the historic preservation of historic homes and commercial buildings is more than a permitting nuisance. She outlines:
  • Economic benefits.
  • Job creation.
  • Environmental benefits.
  • Increasing property values in a variety of West Palm Beach neighborhoods.
  • Paint color guidelines?
  • Tax exemptions that come with your remodel and more.

Palm Beach Post: “Editorial: Next chapter of Everglades restoration history starts now”.

Use this link to read the entire Palm Beach Post editorial from two years ago which cites many of the same problems and concerns State Senator Jeff Clemens wrote about just two weeks ago.

Here are two excerpts from the Post editorial, dated May 14th, 2015:

     “It was a magnificent dream — restore the historic sheet flow of Lake Okeechobee into the Everglades by converting sugar cane fields back to marsh. On Thursday, the South Florida Water Management District Governing Board voted unanimously to drive a stake through any lingering hopes that Crist’s plan would survive Rick Scott’s governorship. The board ‘irrevocably terminated’ its 2015 option to buy an additional 46,800 acres of sugar cane fields at fair-market value.
     We grieve the death of this particular dream, [emphasis added] alongside the dozens of dedicated activists who showed up for the meeting. But ultimately, we believe that history may show the water district made the right decision, because, in the end, the details really did matter. The purchase apparently would have cost far more than contemplated, accomplished far less, and encumbered the resources needed to more quickly solve the system’s most pressing environmental problems.”

and. . .

     “The solutions will be multifaceted and complex. Significantly more land is needed north of the lake to clean farm discharges. Significantly more land is needed south of the lake to collect rainwater. But also, serious measures are needed to drop the source of much of the pollution in the Indian River Lagoon — septic tanks and lawn fertilizer.”


Not once in this 2015 Post editorial is the Herbert Hoover Dike mentioned. You can draw your own conclusions. Also not mentioned are the cities of Pahokee, Belle Glade, and South Bay. Again. Draw your own conclusions.

In 2017, not until very late in the debate, were the people in western Palm Beach County asked what they thought.
But when they did speak, it was a voice heard all the way to Washington, D.C. And beyond.

Enjoy watching this 2015 video from the Post. Drew Martin, members of the Sierra Club, et al., dramatically drop quarters into a bucket and talk about the “small cost” to “Send The Water South!”.

However, in the video there’s no mention of the people who live in Western Palm Beach County and nothing about leaking septic tanks along the Indian River Lagoon either. Again, draw your own conclusions.

How about a few quarters in a bucket to fix that problem north of Palm Beach County?
Image from the video cited above. The Sierra Club’s Drew Martin dropping a “quarter into the bucket”. Any quarters left over to fix leaking septic tanks along the Indian River Lagoon?

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Have you attended a volunteer board meeting? Tomorrow the Sister City Board meets and the Tree Board on Thursday.

Would you like to help reinvigorate the City of Lake Worth’s Sister City Board and help re-establish a bond with our good friends in Finland? Other Sister Cities are Saint-Marc, Haiti and Southend-on-Sea in England (the city of Sopot in Poland was never a Sister City; that was a rumor started by a former commissioner).

Sister City meetings in Lake Worth are always the 2nd Monday of each month at 5:30. For the last 7–8 months reaching a quorum has been an issue and maybe it’s finally time to turn that around. To learn how to become a board volunteer for any City board here is who to contact at the City:
Next Thursday the Tree Board meets as well (at 5:30). The staff liaison for the City of Lake Worth’s Tree Board is Mr. Dave McGrew from the Parks Department and you can contact him for additional information at 561-586-1677 or by email: dmcgrew@lakeworth.org

Lake Worth, FL, Then and Now — Evelyn’s Apartment Court: 709 South Dixie Hwy.

Image circa 1960.
The same address via Google Maps Street view.

When I first moved to Lake Worth, I lived at 714 South ‘H’ Street which is just behind, to the left, of this motel. These motels were common back in the day and lined much of Dixie Hwy. through Lake Worth. Typically “Mom and Pop” operations, they served middle class tourists driving down U.S. 1, which was the primary route through South Florida traveling by automobile.

Each motel was unique in its own way to attract tourists and visitors: ornate signs, colorful entrances, and welcoming landscape.

There are a few that still survive but most have gone through a multitude of changes. One way was to accommodate more vehicles with the addition of pavement instead of the lawn area during the middle part of the last century.

When non-local, long distance traffic moved to the then-newly constructed I-95 in the early 1970s many of these motels were demolished and became some of the used car lots we see today along this stretch of road. In many ways the City is still adjusting to this shift of traffic from what used to be the only road through South Florida.

Some old-timers think the City of Lake Worth has never fully recovered from the effect I-95 had on the City and I think there is some truth to that.

However, there are some notable survivors of what is called “highway architecture” here in the City of Lake Worth. The Blue Front BBQ, which was the former “Kristine’s”, is one of them.

“Corrections & Clarifications” in today’s Sunday Palm Beach Post.


“Because of a reporting error, a story in Saturday’s Palm Beach Post about a protest at the office of Rep. Brian Mast, R-Palm City, said Ian Wellinghurst of Tequesta is a Republican. Wellinghurst said he is a constituent of Mast, but didn’t say he was a Republican. The error appeared on page B5 [link added] of the Local & Business section.”

You may have missed this news, the Post had another round of layoffs, as reported by Jose Lambiet:

“It’s tough to get exact numbers these days: The Atlanta-based owners of the Post hide behind its status as a private company to avoid reporting things like personnel cuts — never mind that the paper has plastered labor cuts in other companies on the front page.”

“Gee Wiz. I’m just so tired of elections all the time.”

Be patient citizens of the little City of Lake Worth. Change is coming.

If you didn’t know there was a referendum last March to increase the terms of our electeds from two to three years. The referendum did pass, and quite easily, this is what will happen as a result:
  • There will be another election of candidates on March 13th, 2018 for mayor and commissioners in Districts 1 and 3.
  • Another election of candidates will be held on March 12th, 2019, for Districts 2 and 4.
  • There will be no election of candidates in the City of Lake Worth in 2020. Going forward there will be a year of rest and reflection between each City election.
City Manager Michael Bornstein’s reasoning for 3-year terms was solid. My thoughts prior to the vote was supported the idea in theory and didn’t think it would pass. I think a lot of people made up their minds in the voting booth when they saw the ballot item, paused for a moment, and then voted “Yes”.

Frankly, my hesitancy was the prospect of another Anarchist like Cara Jennings getting elected, having 3 years on the Commission, a frightening thought. True, the Anarchist Ryan Hartman lost in a landslide in 2016 but until that group is thoroughly discredited they are still a threat, but much less so now.

Also, curiously, the issue of the pay raises for elected officials was shaping up to be a campaign issue, but never did become one. Interesting.

“Club Meetings and Other Points of Interest” in the City of Lake Worth.

Below are just four upcoming and ongoing events in this week’s Lake Worth Herald:

The Civil War Round Table of Palm Beach County upcoming monthly meeting, Wednesday, May 10. Meet at the Scottish Rite Masonic Center, 2000 North “D” Street, Lake Worth, at 7 p.m. The topic will be Fascinating Facts About President’s Who Served in the Civil War. This event is free and open to everyone. For more information use this link.

LAKE WORTH ROTARY CLUB meeting every Wednesday at Brogues DownUnder, 621 Lake Ave., downtown Lake Worth. Noon. Come visit, become a member! For info call Ron Leeds at 561-969-9600.

FREE ADULT ENGLISH CLASSES. Tuesdays 6:00–8:00 p.m. Compass Community Center, 201 N Dixie Hwy, Lake Worth. To register call 561-863-5778. Everyone is welcome.

GRAY MOCKINGBIRD COMMUNITY GARDEN. 2000 N. “D” St., Lake Worth (Located on the grounds of Scottish Rite Masonic Center). We pick daily, come by and see what we have available. For more information call 561-246-0148.

To contact the Herald use this link.
Pick up the print edition (still ¢50!) at the City’s newsstand located at 600 Lake Ave. in the Downtown.

Chris McVoy, PhD, a former Lake Worth commissioner gets quoted in the Tampa Bay Times.

Two excerpts from reporter Craig Pittman’s article are below and McVoy is quoted twice about a reservoir in Palm Beach County to “Send The Water South!”. A future reservoir is not looking so promising now (more about that below). The Tampa Bay Times, by the way, is the winner of 12 Pulitzer Prizes.

Don’t expect to see any quotes from McVoy in The Palm Beach Post any time soon.

Prior to city elections this year in Lake Worth the editor at the Post called McVoy an “ineffective gadfly” as an elected commissioner. The Post endorsed a young newcomer to politics who went on to win. In 2016 no doubt many here in the City questioned the need having a scientist on the Commission following the now-famous “inglorious demise of Consent Agenda item 9C”:
Resolution No. 38-2016 - implement a solution to long standing water discharge issues plaguing the City.
Within the first 2 minutes of that Commission meeting “Resolution No. 38-2016” was pulled from the agenda never to be seen again. All the people who came down from Martin County in support of that agenda item were quickly ushered out and sent back home. The whole thing was well. . . let’s say it was indeed inglorious.

Not even a week has gone by and already supporters such as McVoy of a reservoir south of Lake Okeechobee see the reality: chances are it’s never going to be constructed. And even if it is, it probably won’t work. For 1½ days after SB10 passed and Gov. Scott signed the bill there was much jubilation by supporters of a reservoir — then the celebration stopped — apparently they all got around to reading what the bill actually does.

Without further ado, use this link for the article in the Times; here are the two excerpts:

     In horse-trading with the House, the reservoir that [State Sen. Joe] Negron got is a smaller entity than he one he originally wanted. It won’t provide the full range of benefits for the entire Everglades as the original one would have.
     And instead of being built on property now planted in sugar, it will be on a former sugar plantation called Talisman that was bought by the taxpayers in 1996 — to become a reservoir.
     “Twenty years later we’re still talking about the same parcel,” Eikenberg [President, Everglades Foundation] said.
     If Congress says yes to the project too, then figure five to seven years for construction, based on the Army Corps’ track record for building similar projects.

and. . .

     McVoy [Chris McVoy, PhD] also questioned how the new reservoir will release unpolluted water into the Everglades when the state’s current treatment areas for stormwater are already at capacity.
     He noted that Negron’s bill didn’t specify where the water will flow out of the reservoir, and pointed out that both the Everglades and the sugar companies may wind up fighting over who gets that flow in dry times.
     “That’s a barn-door size loophole,” McVoy said. [emphasis added]
     The thing to remember about the reservoir in particular and Everglades restoration in general, he added, is that “this whole thing is part science and part what you can get politically.”

On the subject of “what you can get politically”* you may be interested in reading what State Sen. Jeff Clemens wrote as SB10 moved through the State Senate prior to being signed by Gov. Scott:

     My opinion is that this bill will not result in a fix for the problem. Instead of using this bond money to accelerate planned and approved environmental projects, it is dedicated to projects that have not been appropriately studied, because the push for southern storage has become more political than science-driven. [emphasis added]
     FYI, the bill also potentially privatizes water that will now be moved to the C-51 [canal], and also bans any potential future use of eminent domain in the Everglades Agricultural Area. And for those who want to take sugar land out of production, it doesn’t do any of that either.
     There are many projects currently on the CERP list that would have a more positive environmental effect on the problems we’re experiencing, including work in the C-43, the C23/24 reservoirs (north and south) and STAs [stormwater treatment areas], and projects in CEPP.
     I believe those things would be a better approach.


“[T]he push for southern storage has become more political than science-driven”, wrote Sen. Jeff Clemens.


*Also on the topic of the Indian River Lagoon (IRL) and a reservoir south of Lake Okeechobee, read an editorial in the TCPalm that calls all this work a “cusp of a fix.”
     The word cusp means, “a point that marks the beginning of a change”. Residents in the cities of Pahokee, South Bay, and Belle Glade may have a problem with that choice of words. Also note that septic tanks leaking along the IRL was not addressed in the TCPalm editorial.