Saturday, June 17, 2017

“POINT OF VIEW: Water managers are good at keeping public land public”.


Newton E. Cook, an officer and executive director of the United Waterfowlers Florida (UW-F) had this “Point of View” (POV) published in The Palm Beach Post yesterday (two excerpts below).

About UW-F:

United Waterfowlers Florida fights for the rights of all waterfowlers throughout the state of Florida.
     UW-F is the VOICE of Florida duck hunters in numerous meetings and hearings across Florida. We take a three-tiered approach to improving duck hunting by focusing on conservation, access, and legacy.

A little background: On June 9th happened to come across a press release from the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) and posted the news on this blog: “Additional recreational acres in western Palm Beach County”. What happened next was astounding. My blog went off the charts, and also interestingly, did not receive one single negative comment or even a nasty email.

However, because of this POV by Mr. Cook, tomorrow’s Sunday Post will almost certainly have a contrarian-POV by either Drew Martin or maybe even one of “The 19 Best Environmentalists in South Florida”. Stay tuned, as they say.

Without further ado, two excerpts from Mr. Cook published in the Post:

People flock to the Sunshine State to enjoy the abundant opportunities to enjoy Florida’s natural lands and waters. However, if properties have a “No trespassing” or “Closed to the public” sign, citizens and visitors are prevented access. These closures are particularly vexing on public lands paid for by taxpayers. Floridians and visitors want generous access to Florida’s public land. The word you hear at the public meetings on recreation opportunities are, “access, access, access.” [emphasis added]
     I applaud the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) Governing Board for members’ decision during the June 8 meeting to open the new 17,000-acre EAA 1 Flow Equalization Basin (FEB) in Palm Beach County to public access a year earlier than usual following completion of construction.

and. . .

     Currently, 86 percent of district land is open to the public for a wide mix of recreational activities.
     The SFWMD constructs parking, kiosks, camping areas, wildlife viewing decks, restroom facilities, boat ramps, corrals and many other improvements for visitors. However, the most important offering is the simple “Open to the Public” signs found at the SFWMD gates.
     Other government agencies should look to the SFWMD for an example of how to manage the taxpayer-owned natural lands in their care. Too much land in government control has restrictive rules regarding access for the public.

More proof Delray Beach is in decline and the City of Lake Worth is in ascendance.

How do we know this to be true? After reading this blog post use this link to find out.

When NBC5/WPTV reporter T.A. Walker gets into the act trying to steal some of our LDub* vibe you know we’re having a big impact (news report below). The first bombshell, if you recall, was when GarlicFest (formerly held in Delray), tried to find a location within our little City but couldn’t find one big enough. So they settled on the next best thing: John Prince Park just outside the City limits.

Reporter T.A. Walker knows the Skate Zone is not “in Lake Worth”:

Palm Beach Skate Zone is South Florida’s only Ice and Roller Skating Rink and is conveniently located just off the Florida Turnpike exit at Lake Worth Road. Address: 8125 Lake Worth Road, Lake Worth Fl. 33467.

The City of Lake Worth only has two Zip Codes: 33460 and part of 33461.

All the reporters at WPTV know about Zip Codes here in Palm Beach County.

This is just a blatant attempt by WPTV to try and steal some of our LDub and Hipster vibe. Why? Who knows.

However, once again this demonstrates why “municipal branding” is so important. You may recall recently on this blog what the city manager in the Village of Wellington said:

One of the reasons for doing community marketing is because the village needs to make sure that people are aware of the things the village does well, which include schools and parks, Schofield [Village Manager Paul Schofield] said.
     “We’re looking for a program that communicates our family lifestyle, the things that are unique about Wellington and our willingness to respond to the changing needs of our residents,” Schofield said.

Without further ado, the false news report at WPTV titled, “Meet the Dub City Roller Derby girls who practice at Skate Zone in Lake Worth”:

LAKE WORTH, Fla. - Please forgive all the 1980s references in this story. Roller Derby, yes that thing you may remember from the ‘80s, is still alive and well at Skate Zone in Lake Worth. And the team representing South Florida is called Dub [as in “LDub”; see footnote below] City.

This just proves the point.

Everybody wants to be a part of our City of Lake Worth!

*What does LDub (or “L-Dub”) mean? It’s slang for “Lake Worth”. The “L” is short for “Lake” and the “Dub” is short for “double-‘u’ ” as in the letter “w”, hence the term LDub.
     Have to keep reminding myself there are a lot of new residents in the City who don’t know this stuff. Welcome to LDub dude!

Just because. Worth Another Look: A positively positive person about Downtown Lake Worth.

Smacking down the perpetual “Negative Nelly’s”, the image below was posted to Facebook following that nonsense about Hoffman’s Chocolate closing their Downtown location due to “not enough business”.

Click on image to enlarge:
And don’t forget! If you’re a true chocolate lover visit Kilwin’s Chocolates. They have two locations: One at THE BEACH! and another location at 512 Lake Ave as well.

Lake Worth, Florida in 2009: Shhhhhhhhhhhhh! Stop that noise downtown! Quiet!

Following multiple efforts to make our Downtown “Quiet as a Dead Thing”, then-Commissioner Golden got trounced by Andy Amoroso in 2011; he remains the District 3 commissioner to this day.

Below is a classic photoshop by former Lake Worth blogger-extraordinaire Tom McGow of JoAnn Golden back in August of 2009. Remember when the mantra in our City was:

“There will be no merriment and beatings will continue until morale improves around here!
 
After Golden lost her race to Andy Amoroso in 2011 she then complained of wolves, errr, vultures at the door, wanting to suck the life out of every possible cubic foot of Lake Worths sky, water, sea, land, anything they can get.

Who exactly are the “vultures”?

I guess that would be anyone who wants our City’s Downtown to be a lively and vibrant place to be. A place where the public, visitors, and tourists actually want to visit and see. And come back again. And again.

Are you a new (or recently new) resident to the little City of Lake Worth? The City’s Annual Raft Race explained:


The editor at The Lake Worth Herald — from an editorial in 2015 — explains all this wonderful, spectacular and complete nonsense: the Annual July 4th Raft Race. . .
. . . and what of that City ‘spirit’ west of I-95 two years ago?

Of course, everybody wants to win and play by the rules. The only problem with the rules is the simple fact there are none. Well, there really are, there is the rule about not using store bought marine vessels, or having motors, you know, rules that make a raft a homemade raft. Other than that, it’s pretty much wide open for interpretation and creativity.
     The vast majority of the neighborhood associations enter rafts in the race, giving neighbors the opportunity to work together to build their entry and get to know each other better.

and. . .

     Through the years, there have been pranks pulled on groups by other groups in attempts to derail well laid plans. All in good fun.
     Winning the race is highly coveted, after all, it gives bragging rights to the victor for a whole year.
     Some of the best shows from the raft race happen after the race, when teams will complain and protest actions of another team. Yes, there will actually be protests, based on rules that do not exist. These protests will be heard and immediately be discarded, as they should. This is all for fun, there is nothing but bragging rights waiting at the finish line and there is no reason to get hot under the collar because someone got one over on you.

and. . .

     There are some in town who think it is all nonsense and, well, it is. Isn’t it great Lake Worth residents, usually pitted in ugly political nonsense can take time to enjoy life, even if just for one day. It is a shame that every neighborhood association can’t find the spirit to participate in one of the best days of the year in Lake Worth.

So. The point?
There will always be the “Negative Nellies”. There will always be those who will complain. Ignore them and focus on building your raft! The Kick-off “Captain’s Party” is on June 25th.

Have you picked your captain yet?

Today and tomorrow is that somber, bleak flea market near Lake Worth High School nobody knows about.

Why doesn’t anyone know about that flea market in distress near Lake Worth High School?

Why can’t they boost attendance? Do any of the organizers have the Internet available? Have they considered advertising other than having a reporter write a negative article about how bad things are at the flea market.

Who would want to go after reading about how bad and depressing things are?

Is there a solution to help these people?

Yes! The Palm Beach Post has the solution. It’s called the “Five Tips”.

The organizers need to learn the “Five Tips” and these tips really do work. Here are tips #1 and #2 from Antonio Fins, the business editor at The Palm Beach Post:
  • Tip #1. Know whom you want to reach out to, the editor writes, “. . . the trick is reaching to the right journalist.” For example, sending information to a beat reporter may not be the best option. Have you considered a business reporter? An entertainment reporter?
  • Tip #2. Who’s your audience? “So, tell us how many followers do you have on Twitter? How many friends/fans do you have on Facebook?”

To read tips #3–5 use this link.

So many people, neighborhoods and businesses here in our little City of Lake Worth have used the “Five Tips” and very successfully too. The Post even published a “Special Series” about our City!
Featured on the back cover: Meet the iconic Mr. Greg Rice during Our Centennial Year in 2013.

Remember that 12-page “SPECIAL KEEPSAKE SERIES” delivered on Sunday, March 26th, in The Palm Beach Post? Do you still have it? I DO!!!

Do you remember when Lake Worth’s beat reporter from the Post wrote about our City’s “hipster vibe”? Why not try promoting the flea market near the Lake Worth High School as a new “Hipster” venue here in our City?

Read more about that below and remember: Monday is the next Lake Worth Very Very Special Monday Collector Print Edition (LWVVSMCPE).

There are only 6 Special Cities in Palm Beach County and. . .

Delray Beach IS NOT a Special City any more! Delray has been eclipsed by the City of Lake Worth.
Remember you evil developers: Don’t even think about coming into our Special City “and messing with the city’s hipster vibe”. And that includes our Beach!
      
The Post beat reporter wrote: 

“Since the casino [sic] reopened in 2012, the city has been trying to figure out how to fill the vacant space. While some residents embrace the idea of a $15 million expansion by a local developer, others in this artsy town don’t want to see a big developer coming in and messing with the city’s hipster vibe. Stay tuned. . .”

If you go to the flea market today near the Lake Worth High School and don’t find what you are looking for, skip on over to World Thrift, the comments on Facebook? Marvelous! World Thrift is the greatest thrift store east of the Mississippi River according to the New Times, located at 2425 N. Dixie Hwy. Call 561-588-4050 for more information.

When you visit the flea market near Lake Worth High School or World Thrift try to “coordinate” your purchases.
This is an example of Hipster Anarchist Millennial style. Note the written instructions, “Please empty outhouse bucket when filled. . .”.

Charming, isn
’t it?

If you weren’t aware, following wave after wave of good news coming from our little City, the philosophy of Apatharchism has firmly taken hold here. Adherents include former 60s-style Anarchists, Millennial-Anarchists, Anarch sympathizers, and affinity members once focused only on the bad news, doom and gloom, and the “Wolf at the Door” that never appeared.

And guess what all you Hipsters? The July 4th Great American Raft Race is just 24 days away! So ride your LDub ‘fixie’ to the flea market or World Thrift today. Here are some fashion tips:

Note how scarves are used as a fashion enhancer. Look at the shoes!
Not sure what a Hipster is? Use this link to find out.

Purses, trendy belts, big sunglasses, and dots!!!!
Look around. What are all the other Hipsters wearing? Learn new fashion tips and remember, “don’t be messing with the city’s hipster vibe”!

Friday, June 16, 2017

“Palm Beach State College to continue Upward Bound with $1.35M Grant”.


To learn more about the “Upward Bound” program use this link. Here’s the latest news in this week’s Lake Worth Herald:

Palm Beach State College has been awarded another five-year $1.35 million federal grant to continue its Upward Bound program that helps steer high school students on the path to higher education.
     The College will receive $270,375 a year for the program that serves 65 participants per year from John I. Leonard, Lake Worth and Palm Beach Lakes high schools. Upward Bound is one of the programs funded by the U.S. Department of Education and collectively known as TRIO. It targets low-income and first generation college students. 

and. . . 

     “I’m very excited that we have another opportunity to roll up our sleeves and serve deserving students by helping them enroll in a college of their choice,’’ said Jim Culver, Upward Bound director. “Palm Beach State College provides an excellent platform for me to continue serving in this capacity.” 

Pick up the print edition of the Herald at 600 Lake Ave. in Downtown Lake Worth.
The City’s newsstand is right across the street from the Cultural Council of Palm Beach County.

NonProfits in City of Lake Worth. DON’T DELAY: Begin your grant applications for up $25,000.

Here are just a few of the grantees last year, grants from “Quantum in the Community” that helped nonprofits here in our City:

The Lake Worth community has come together to support a nonprofit, helping the founder, Patrick Livingston, make incredible progress with his vision for Arms of Hope.
     Livingston will be the first to tell anyone that cooking in the soup kitchen last summer was brutal. There was no air conditioning. The dining area was uncomfortable for guests, too, but now things are much different.
     “It’s a huge difference, a huge difference. Night and day from when we sat here last year,” Livingston said.

To learn more about “Quantum in the Community” and to see if you qualify use this link or call 561-832-7497.

Small, grassroots nonprofits here in the City of Lake Worth can receive a share of $750,000 in Palm Beach County. For the past 6 years Quantum Foundation committed $4 million for this project.

Here are the details:

Applicants: must be registered as a 501(c)3; have been working in Palm Beach County for at least six months; have an annual operating budget no higher than $500,000; and must provide basic needs like food, clothing, shelter, utilities and transport to the county’s most vulnerable residents.
     No one organization will receive more than $25,000 of the $750,000 total.
     All applications must be submitted using the Foundation’s online system by Aug. 18. Funding announcements will be made the week of Oct. 16.

City Commission meeting next Tuesday: “Changing the time limit for public comment”.*

Resolution No. 26-2017 — amending the Rules and Procedures for Commission Meetings for Non-Agendaed Items

Summary:

The resolution would amend Rule 6, Debate of Motions; Voting, changing the time limit for public comment from two minutes to three minutes during Public Participation of Non-Agendaed items.

Background and Justification:

The City Commission adopted Resolution 56-2013 to amend Rule 6 of the Rules and Procedures to allow the public to speak on consent agenda items (which are not removed by the Commission for discussion) during Public Participation of Non-Agendaed items for two minutes per speaker.
     The City Commission desires to afford the public three minutes to speak during Public Participation of Non-Agendaed Items.
     The proposed resolution would make this change from two minutes to three minutes for Public Participation of Non-Agendaed Items.

Motion:

I move to approve/not approve Resolution No. 26-2017:

Whereas, the City Commission has adopted rules and procedures for its meetings which include procedures govern public participation; and,
Whereas, based on Chapter 2013-227, Laws of Florida, the City passed Resolution No. 56-2013 to update its rules and procedures for public participation at City Commission meetings; and,
Whereas, the City desires to update its rules and procedures for public participation by amending the language added by Resolution No. 56-2013 to allow three (3) minutes for public participation on non-agendaed items; and,
Whereas, the City Commission’s adoption of rules and procedures for its meetings is necessary to comply with applicable law and preserve the professional-nature, orderly conduct and proper decorum of all such meetings and serves a valid public purpose.
Be It Resolved. . .

*For instructions on how to give Public Comment at the City Commission use this link, which includes an instructional video as well.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

TONIGHT: Everyone is invited to the Mango Groves Neighborhood Assoc. meeting.

Please remember, “Loose Lips Sink Rafts”.

Whatever intelligence and information gleaned from any neighborhood meeting is fair game and can be used to sabotage any neighborhood’s raft.*

About this week’s meeting:

Our District 3 Commissioner Andy Amoroso will be our guest speaker tonight at 7:00. He will be giving us an update on Sober Home legislation and other important issues here in our City. We will meet at Blue Front BBQ located at 1132 N. Dixie Hwy.
     Please spread the word. Everyone is welcome from every neighborhood. Invite your neighbors and we look forward to seeing everyone.

To learn more about the Mango Groves Neighborhood Assoc. use this link.

*Be very suspicious of anyone asking questions about this year’s Great American Raft Race on July 4th. The #1 Raft Race rule is THERE ARE NO RULES.

Exception to Rule #1: There is a rule about “not using store bought marine vessels, or having motors, you know, rules that make a raft a homemade raft. Other than that, it’s pretty much wide open for interpretation and creativity.”

Exciting news about Adopt-A-Family and artist Sharon Koskoff.


“We are thrilled to announce that Adopt-A-Family was one of 25 local nonprofits selected to participate in the The City of West Palm Beach’s “Aesop’s Tables” presented by the Art in Public Places Program. Local artist Sharon Koskoff illustrated the fable “The Mischievous Dog.”
     The tables will be on display and open for the public to enjoy on the waterfront in downtown West Palm Beach all summer. The tables will be auctioned off at the Summer in Paradise Finale on August 31st. We hope to see you there.”

To read more about this project use this link to read the article by Palm Beach Post reporter Linda Haase titled, “Picnic tables as storyteller? Aesop’s Tables put classic tales to test”.

Press Release: “Commissioner Andy Amoroso Appointed to Serve on Florida League of Cities.”


The Florida League of Cities has appointed City of Lake Worth Commissioner Andy Amoroso to serve on the 2017–2018 Transportation and Intergovernmental Relations Legislative Policy Committee.

“Municipal officials are the driving force behind the League’s legislative success. In addition to setting the legislative priorities, the League’s policy committee members help to provide League staff with a better understanding of the real world implications of proposed legislation,” said Florida League of Cities Legislative Director Scott Dudley. “We appreciate their willingness to serve, as there is a significant commitment of time and energy that goes into developing a policy direction for our legislative efforts.”

Founded in 1922, the Florida League of Cities is the united voice for Florida’s municipal governments. Its goals are to promote local self-government and serve the needs of Florida’s cities. Florida’s cities are formed by their citizens and governed by their citizens. The League is founded on the belief that local self-government is the keystone of American democracy.

Lake Worth news from Willie Howard: “Paddling the habitats of Lake Worth Lagoon”.


Willie Howard is a freelance writer and licensed boat captain. Reach him at tiowillie@bellsouth.net

Below is former Post reporter Willie Howard covering the City of Lake Worth election beat in 2009. Use this link and see if you can spot former Mayor Jeff Clemens, now State Senator Clemens.
By the way, Mr. Howard must be just as mystified as everyone else the Post is not reporting anything at all about the Blueway Trail project.

Anyhow, below are two excerpts from The Coastal Star datelined May 3rd. To read the entire story by Mr. Howard, which includes news about this year’s Lake Worth Lagoon Fishing Challenge, the STAR tournament, upcoming events, and the “Tip of the month” use this link. Without further ado:

     Anglers fishing around the islands of the central lagoon can catch snook, mangrove snapper, barracuda, sheepshead and small bait fish along with the occasional redfish and spotted sea trout.
     Restoration islands near the Lake Avenue Bridge include the Snook Islands project, [emphasis added] completed in 2005 (and later expanded); the two Grassy Flats islands on the east side of the lagoon near the Palm Beach Par 3 Golf Course; Bryant Park Wetlands islands south of the bridge near Lake Worth’s Bryant Park; and the Jewel Cove project southeast of the bridge across from Lake Worth Beach.
     To date, the county has overseen 49 environmental restoration projects in the Lake Worth Lagoon, the 20-mile-long estuary that stretches from Ocean Ridge to North Palm Beach.

and. . .

     Creating a place for paddling, fishing and nature observation is a side benefit of the restoration work. The Snook Islands Natural Area features a boardwalk and gazebo overlooking the mangrove islands, educational kiosks, day-use boat docks, a fishing pier and a kayak launch on the northwest side of the Lake Avenue Bridge.

and. . .

      Least terns nest on the Grassy Flats islands.
     That’s significant because least terns had never been found nesting on the ground in Palm Beach County until the Grassy Flats islands were completed in 2015. Previously, the threatened terns nested on the flat roofs of department stores and warehouses, where the nests were not likely to be disturbed.
     Ten pairs of least terns nested on the beach at Grassy Flats in 2015; another 31 pairs nested there last year. Because of bird nesting, paddlers and other boaters are not allowed to stop and walk around on the restoration islands.


Thank You for the wonderful news about our little City!

Do you remember former Post reporter Willie Howard? If not, learn more below about the history of Post beat reporters here in the little City of Lake Worth. If you’re new to the City of Lake Worth you may have learned by now elections in this City can be very entertaining. However, it’s nothing compared to years like 2008 and 2009. For example, what happened to former mayor René Varela:

 “No Dolphin Dealer Mayor for Lake Worth”. Please note: This is not a joke. An actual protest outside the Lake Worth Playhouse.
Remember Lona O’Connor who first reported about The Cottages of Lake Worth? Beat reporter Chris Persaud who won several prestigious journalism awards? Learn more using this link.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

My Dear Friend, Dustin.


Oh My! “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them”. ☝

This Friday in our Downtown Cultural Plaza!

“The adventures of writer Newt Scamander in New York’s secret community of witches and wizards seventy years before Harry Potter reads his book in school.”
More feature movies coming in July — “Screen on the Green  ‵ 17” — sponsored by LULA Lake Worth Arts and the City of Lake Worth.

“Join us for the City of Lake Worth’s Independence Day Celebration on July 4th”. ☝


Are you a vendor for just want more information? Contact Lauren Bennett, the City’s Special Events Director, call 561-533-7395; email LBennett@lakeworth.org
The Great American Raft Race Parade begins at 11:30; races in the Intracoastal (Bryant Park) begin at 1:00.

How is your
raft construction coming along? Do you know the protest rules? Use this link to learn more.

Lake Worth, Florida — Please join us for the City of Lake Worth’s Independence Day Celebration on Tuesday, July 4th from 11:30–9:00. The fun starts with the 16th Annual Great American Raft Parade and Race. The mainstage hosted by DJ Mike Locke will kick off at 3:00 with performances by the Gravel Kings, JM and the Sweets, the 3rd of July Showcase Winner, Brothers of Others and National Blues Phenomenon Matthew Curry!
     While listening to the live music enjoy the Next Generation Road Rascals Car Show & the Kid’s Area featuring face painting, a bounce house and much more! At 9:00 our Fireworks show will close out the evening with a bang!

For general questions and media inquiries contact Ben Kerr, the City’s Communications Specialist, at 561-586-1631; email: bkerr@lakeworth.org

We are LAKE WORTH. A hometown City that is committed to delivering the highest level of customer service through a commitment to integrity, hard work and a friendly attitude. We strive to exceed the expectations of our citizens, our businesses, our elected officials and our fellow employees.”

Worth Another Look: “The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly” at the Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council (TCRPC) meeting last month.


You’re not alone Mayor Pam Triolo, Vice Mayor Scott Maxwell, and our city commissioners Andy Amoroso, Omari Hardy and Herman C. Robinson.
But remember what the mayor said everyone: “We’re fighters!”

First, this month’s TCRPC meeting is this coming Friday (June 16th). To go over the “Preliminary Agenda” and to read the minutes from the meeting in May use this link and scroll down. You’ll also find the address where the TCRPC meets every month.

The Good.

Drew Martin did not make public comment last month which is good and a little bad too. We were all hoping for a clarification of his comments the previous month, in April, where he said:

He [Drew 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.

The Bad.

Commissioner Valeche [Palm Beach County Commissioner Hal Valache] with Palm Beach County stated he agrees with Commissioner Ryan that we need to wait for the budget to pass, and he supports the general sentiment that this was not a very good session for local governments. He noted he is happy the legislature finally created a statewide regulatory framework for transportation networking companies. With respect to having a competitive market for industry, he stated he is unhappy with the way the state has treated Enterprise Florida (EF). He noted he is a former board member of EF [not to be confused with “EF!”], so he is particularly sympathetic, and those counties that depend on tourism should be very concerned with what is going on not only with EF, but with Visit Florida as well.

The Ugly.

Mayor [Anne] Gerwig with the Village of Wellington stated the homestead exemption will mean a $900,000 reduction to the Village’s budget. She stated that the Village anticipates they may have to raise their millage rate to make up this loss to continue to provide services to its residents. She indicated the Village is currently considering a controversial development project, where there are a lot of people for and against the project, and neither side is being very truthful with their information, leaving the public in the middle. She said the reason a local government has elected officials is for them to make these decisions, which can be very complex.

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly.

Lake Worth Mayor Pam Triolo. You’re not alone. There are many others who feel your pain trying to lead a small city.

But remember what the mayor said at the City Commission meeting last Tuesday:

“We’re fighters!”

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Our City’s volunteers deserve better.


This is really nagging me.

There are people out there who think they can use our volunteers like their own personal punching bag to vet whatever frustration they have at the moment. Complaints are to be directed to City workers, staff, City leadership, and elected officials. Not our volunteers

If you have a problem with the City contact one of the above, or if the problem persists, find a Realtor to sell your home and move. Have a business and you’re not happy with the City? Don’t complain to our volunteers in the Annex, Library, helping out at City Hall, or anywhere else. Sell your business to somebody else. Now’s a good time to do that.

I happened to drop by the City Hall Annex building yesterday (for the details about what I saw, most of you know how to contact me). The Annex — for those of you not aware — is the historic, former City Hall at the northwest corner of Lake Avenue and Federal Highway. It’s just east of the Cultural Plaza. The Information Desk is staffed by volunteers and provides a needed service for those visiting the City of Lake Worth, or for residents who would like to know more about what is going on. They maintain a list of current events so the information is always up-to-date. It’s very impressive it is completely staffed by volunteers.

The Information Desk occupies a prominent area, just across from where people can pay their utility bills. There is a steady flow of traffic through the building which I can attest to with my visit yesterday. The thing about the appearance of the desk is it does look very “official”. It is behind glass, with a typical sliding window that is open while the area is occupied. This could be the “front desk” of any city hall in the United States.

It is important to remember the people that operate the Information Desk are volunteers and not officially part of the City’s bureaucracy. In other words, it’s not the place to submit your complaints or rail on about your experience with code enforcement, your utility bill, or if you other problems with an employee or a City commissioner or the mayor.

All these volunteers can do is point you in a direction — beyond that? — please spare these volunteers stories of woe about City operations. That is not their function.

We are very lucky and fortunate to have these volunteers serving as ambassadors for the City and dispensing needed information for visitors and residents.

City Hall is on Lake Ave. west of our City’s Annex building just across Dixie Hwy. Take a stroll some day. There are many very good, helpful, and knowledgeable Realtors along the way. They’ll be more than happy to listen to your complaints and find you some other city you can then complain about all day long.

Leave our volunteers alone.

IDEAS KEEP ON ROLLING IN: What to do with that “somber, bleak flea market near Lake Worth High School?”

What about moving the flea market to the Atlantis Country Club (or another community meeting place in our neighboring city)?

For example: If the Lake Worth High School Alumni Foundation can hold a “Hats On” event with a raffle and silent auction in the City of Atlantis to benefit Lake Worth High School, what better place to have a flea market to purchase all those hats and auction items?

Good idea isn’t it? Read more about this newest idea below.

Have you read the continuing news about that depressed flea market near our City’s high school?

There are so many creative ways for the organizers to turn everything around:
A good start for flea market organizers is to study the expert’s “5 tips” published by the business editor at The Palm Beach Post.

Here’s the latest idea and the justification:

Move that underperforming flea market to the Atlantis Country Club!

Since the flea market opens up and closes down so early on the weekend most of the residents in the Great Walled City of Atlantis would never even know it happened!

PBSO uses the Atlantis Country Club to help fund their anti-gang and Christmas Giveaway for children in the City of Lake Worth and so does a former Lake Worth commissioner and City resident when she attends her meetings with the ACLU. There are many other benefits and activities held in Atlantis to help our City.

A lot of former residents of the City of Lake Worth, including two former mayors, live in Atlantis. And many other long-time Atlantis residents are long-time supporters of our Lake Worth High School as well.

Now doesn’t it make perfect sense to move that flea market to the City of Atlantis? Find out more about the Atlantis Country Club using this link. They have a big parking lot and FREE PARKING too!

Wow. “Neighborhood Renaissance Receives $500,000 Project Reinvest Grant for West Village Art Lofts in Lake Worth!”

Amazing news for our little City of Lake Worth. “Calling All Artists!”
Join an established creative community across the street from the Lake Worth Arts Center and Urban Arts Lofts. Walk to the Downtown (2½ blocks), groceries (3 blocks; Publix!), Tri-Rail (½ mile), and ride your bike to the Beach too.

Neighborhood Renaissance, Inc. announced at its recent groundbreaking ceremony for the West Village Art Lofts the receipt of a $500,000 grant award from NeighborWorks America through Project Reinvest: Neighborhoods.
     The West Village Art Lofts is a mixed-use residential and commercial development that includes 8 three-story live/work artist townhomes and 2,000 sq. ft. of much needed ‘Class A’ commercial space. Designed to attract arts related businesses and amenities, the new commercial building as well as street level artist work space will add to the vibrancy* of the West Village commercial area through small business development.
     Lake Worth’s Art Lofts of West Village, is the second phase of live-work residences specifically for low and moderate-income working artists and has been made possible by funding from the Lake Worth Community Redevelopment Agency’s Neighborhood Stabilization Program 2 and the donation of distressed land. Project Reinvest grant funds will be used to construct the commercial building. Neighborhood Renaissance was one of 55 nonprofit organizations across the country to receive this neighborhood stabilization grant award through a highly competitive process.”


*Please take note of the word “vibrancy” as used in this sentence:

“We’re bringing back that vibrancy to the hotel, which in turn brings back vibrancy to the downtown district,” said the owner of the Gulfstream Hotel in an article published in the Sun Sentinel two months ago.

“Please join us for City of Lake Worth’s Star Spangled Band Showcase.” ☝


For more information contact Lauren Bennett, the City of Lake Worth’s Special Events Manager, at 561-533-7395; email: Lbennett@lakeworth.org
How is your raft coming along for the July 4th Great American Raft Race? To learn more about the race use this link.

Here’s the news from Lauren Bennett:

“Please join us for the City of Lake Worth’s Star Spangled Band Showcase on Monday, July 3, from 5:00–10:00. Enjoy live entertainment from the bands Sunny South, Rogue Theory and Jahzilla. The winner of the showcase will win a performance slot in our 4th of July Celebration line up!”

For general information and media inquiries contact the City’s Communications Specialist, Ben Kerr, at 561-586-1631; email: bkerr@lakeworth.org

Tonight at 6:00. Joint Work Session: City Commission and our Electric Utility Advisory Board. ☝


The agenda for this Work Session is very brief (see below). The next Regular City Commission meeting is on Tuesday, June 20th. Do you have a question about our City’s Electric Utility? Contact the mayor and/or your City commissioner: use this link to learn how.

It’s very important to remember that your Lake Worth City Commission also acts as a “utility commission” as well and the electric service area extends beyond the borders of our City. Did you know a large part of the Lake Worth Corridor is serviced by the Lake Worth Electric Utility?

Use this link to see the Electric Service Area.

Understanding the Lake Worth Electric Utility is very important. For example, not very long ago a former commissioner who said at a Commission meeting, “I did a bunch of research on this” received a very unpleasant lecture (or “master class”, if you will) from Jack Borsch, the former Electric Utility Director who had to set the facts straight.

The City does not take kindly to those who spread mis- and disinformation about our Electric Utility and voltage going through the lines to your home and/or business.

So, per a former commissioner:
  • Is the City of Lake Worth’s electric distribution system “like a military base”? No, it’s not.
  • Is “salt spray arching” an issue that can’t be solved using 26.4 kV? Not true.
  • Does the City’s union contract have rules against workers doing maintenance/upgrades on 26.4 kV? Completely false.
To learn more about this subject either show up in person next Tuesday or use this link and watch the meeting Live Streaming on YouTube. Without further ado, the agenda:

Lake Worth City Commission
Joint Worth Session with Electric Utility Advisory Board.
Tuesday, June 13th, 6:00 at City Hall.
  • Roll Call.
  • Pledge of Allegiance.
  • New Business: Update from Electric Utility Advisory Board to City Commission regarding current issues.
  • Adjournment.
The following day this meeting will be archived to watch on the City’s YouTube channel.

UPDATE: The Lake Worth campaign “Termination Reports” have all rolled in (well, most of them).

“So, Wes. Why are these campaign reports important?”

One reason is some of my blog readers like to get their calculators out and find out this sum:
$ (dollars spent), cost/vote; election winner vs. loser.
Another reason is because it takes away that “Gotcha!”, like when a certain former City commissioner and his friends tried to cast suspicion on Mayor Pam Triolo for a certain unspecified but “very suspicious” campaign contribution a few years prior.

Well. That claim by a former commissioner prompted some to learn how to find campaign reports on the City’s website. Then they looked through that commissioner’s previous campaign reports (and clever tactics too). Needless to say, we never heard any more talk of Mayor Triolo’s campaign reports again.

To read the final campaign “Termination” reports from the elections last March see the highlighted link and instructions below. Here are the latest turned in this week:
  • District 2 candidate William Joseph.
  • District 4 candidate Ellie Whittey.
  • District 4 candidate Maryann Polizzi.
  • District 4 candidate and now District 4 Commissioner Herman C. Robinson.
  • Caneste L. Succe? You’ll have to contact the City Clerk about that.
Commissioner Robinson, by the way, raised the most campaign money by far (≈ $20,000). Next closest was former-Commissioner Chris McVoy, PhD (≈ $13,000), with now-Commissioner Omari Hardy close on McVoy’s heels:

Then-District 2 commissioner, now citizen Mr. McVoy in happier times, back in March 2015 following his re-election for the second time. He was first elected in 2010. 
Use this link and scroll down for the candidate name on the ballot and look for the “Termination Report”.

Interestingly, McVoy did not create an “office account” which may be a clue he’s done with political office here in the City of Lake Worth. Frankly, after the editor at The Palm Beach Post called McVoy a “gadfly” that’s a hard hill to climb for anyone considering another future elected political office.

The editor endorsed a newcomer to politics, Mr. Omari Jamal-Hatchett Hardy, in the elections last March. And in what turned out to be a very good decision, Hardy hired Tricia Mischler to run his campaign. Read more about that using this link.

Just a reminder: this blog is an “election-free zone” until after the July 4th Raft Race.

So, if you’re wondering why I haven’t discussed anything about the elections in March of 2018, well, now you know why.

Are you getting your raft ready for the City of Lake Worth’s Great American July 4th Raft Race in just 3 weeks? Use this link for more details!

Monday, June 12, 2017

Did you see an article in the Post about a somber, bleak flea market near Lake Worth High School?

Did you read the depressing news about that open-air flea market here in the City of Lake Worth?

Do you know why that flea market cannot boost sales? There are two big reasons and one of them is World Thrift. Learn more about that below.

Can you imagine any flea market not being successful after the City of Lake Worth’s 12-page “SPECIAL KEEPSAKE SERIES” (see below) was published by The Palm Beach Post just a short while ago? Why didn’t that flea market take advantage of all that FREE publicity county-wide in the Sunday paper?

People far and wide are still talking about that Special Feature. Delray Beach has never gotten a special “KEEPSAKE” published and neither has West Palm Beach, Wellington, Boynton Beach or even Jupiter. Palm Beach Gardens never got one either. But the City of Lake Worth did.

Why? Find out below.

That “SPECIAL KEEPSAKE” was full of information, advice (learn about the “Five Tips” below), and tips that would help any flea market to soar and boost sales.
Do you know why that “KEEPSAKE” was published? One reason was the “Five Tips” everyone had been studying: the business community, neighborhood groups, and nonprofits too.

So why don’t organizers running that flea market know about these “Five Tips”? Everybody else does.

The beat reporter for Lake Worth knows about these tips because they were published by the business editor. Is there anyone available at the Post to teach these tips to the organizers of that flea market?

The other problem is this flea market is going head to head in competition with the world-famous and spectacularly popular World Thrift (located at 2425 N. Dixie Hwy; call 561-588-4050 for daily hours and more information). Read the reviews on Facebook. Awesome.

Why go to an outside flea market when you can browse the incredible selections and prices at World Thrift? It’s air-conditioned and has plenty of FREE PARKING.

The staff at World Thrift is very courteous and helpful. They have English/Spanish speakers always strolling the wide aisles to help customers. And did you know Thursday is senior-citizen day! You won’t believe the people you’ll recognize shopping there.

Hopefully soon the flea market organizers will come up with a workable plan and learn how to promote it as well.

“Lake Worth is truly the place ‘where the tropics begin’ and the fun never ends.”
“Lake Worth is a dynamic, multi-cultural city with a strong social and environmental consciousness. People are drawn to the city by its independent character, acceptance of different cultures. . .

. . . and maybe even a flea market some time soon with new organizers.

The City of Lake Worth needs to have a Facebook page for its residents.

The city of Greenacres is doing just fine with their Facebook page.

The City of Lake Worth’s city manager, Michael Bornstein, needs to be commended. Last year he hired a media spokesperson that didn’t quite work out. The final straw was that now-infamous press release about the “Heroine Epidemic”. Relying on “spell check” is part of the editing process, but just a small one.

But Bornstein was undeterred and hired another person: Mr. Ben Kerr. He’s done a spectacular job. Here is one of his first press releases:
“Power Outages in Lake Worth during storm on night of January 22, 2017”.
Here’s his latest press release titled, “First Neighborhood Road Program Project Complete”.

We’re heading into spectacularly exciting times in this City. However, along the way there will be pitfalls as well and City residents will need to be informed and updated quickly.

The City has a very good and well-maintained website. They issue regular press releases. They are on Twitter and are on Instagram as well. And have a YouTube channel too.

The missing link here is Facebook that ties all this together. Have the conversation.

How many more residents will begin to attend the City’s “Neighborhood Road Program” meetings if these are posted on Facebook as well?

Why more City residents don’t use Twitter is anyone’s guess. But one thing we know for certain: a lot of our City residents are on Facebook.

Invite the city of Greenacres’ Mayor Joel Flores to the Lake Worth City Commission on June 20th. Ask him about Facebook and whether or not it’s helped their city communicate with residents, neighborhoods, and communities.

As far as I know, they haven’t been sued for using their right to Free Speech.

Invocation. July 21st, 2016. Dr. Rev. Leah Brown.

“There’s always light in the darkness.”

“Local Artists Shine!” and news about the Lake Worth Playhouse, Street Painting Festival, and more grants from Cultural Council.


Please Note: The Cultural Council is closed on Sunday and Monday but reopens tomorrow at 10:00.* The Cultural Council is located at 601 Lake Ave. in Downtown Lake Worth. For more information contact Judith Czelusniak, Public Relations. Call 561-471-1602; email: Judith@palmbeachculture.com

Make plans this week to check out the new exhibit, “Local Artists Shine!”:

“This Biennial juried exhibition reflects the Council’s commitment to develop and nurture talented local artists and expose their work to collectors and the community.”
Rena Blades, President and CEO.

“Cultural Council of Palm Beach County Administers $4.37M in Grants to Cultural Institutions” (see excerpt from press release below).

Here are two of those cultural institutions here in our City of Lake Worth that received grants: The Lake Worth Playhouse ($35,824) and the Street Painting Festival ($31,291).
“These grants are funded with hotel tax dollars and demonstrate the important role the cultural sector plays in supporting a strong tourism-based economy,” said Rena Blades. And. . .

“Grant award amounts are based on the organizations’ budget size, grant application score and the funding available. The Cultural Council manages this process on behalf of Palm Beach County.”

Lake Worth, June 6 — The Cultural Council has recommended $3.89 million in grants to 22 major institutions and $481,000 in grants to 11 mid-sized arts and cultural organizations in Palm Beach County for fiscal year 2017-2018. These recommendations were approved by the Tourist Development Council of Palm Beach County’s board of directors at its May meeting.

*The Cultural Council galleries, visitor information center and store are open 10:00–5:00, Tuesday–Saturday. For a complete calendar of cultural activities in The Palm Beaches use this link or call 561-471-2901. To plan a personalized cultural itinerary, connect with the Cultural Concierge.

“Hmmm. I didn’t know the City can host a quinceañera at the Casino on the Beach.”

Can you schedule an anniversary party, bar mitzvah, bat mitzvah, sweet 16, or quinceañera at the Beach? Yes. You certainly can. Fill out a request for information using this link, contact Lauren Bennett at 561-533-7395, or by email: lbennett@lakeworth.org

Check out the City’s website a few days a week and you’ll be “plugged in” to what’s going on. And for events, exhibits, performances, and festivals (both new and ongoing) use this link.

Want to learn more about the City of Lake Worth? Can you spare a few moments a few days a week? That’s how long it takes to get news and more information straight from the source: The City of Lake Worth.

Did you know the City of Lake Worth owns an electric utility. Surprised? It’s true. To learn more about our Electric Utility use this link for:
  • Emergencies (561-586-1695) and outages (1-877-454-4480).
  • To learn about “Light Up Lake Worth” use this link.
  • Look over the map for the Utility Service Area which includes the Palm Beach County (“Lantana”) Airport and other unincorporated areas, e.g., Palm Beach State College and John Prince Park.
  • Contact information for Customer Service and Electric Utility Director, staff, and much more.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

The editor wrote, “The municipalities where many of these workers want to congregate must step up — now.”


Have you played NIMBY BINGO yet? They’re playing in Stockholm, Sweden too!
Learn more about NIMBY BINGO. The new playing sets have the block, “We need more housing, but just not there.

Have you visited The Palm Beach Post’s new home section lately? Let’s just say there’s a lot of western sprawl going on. The editorial in the Post today doesn’t mention the City of Lake Worth. And that’s a good thing.

Because if they did mention our City just might have to point out a blaring irony: the Post has not reported anything about an exciting new housing project in this City (the “Meritage Lake Cove Residential Development”) and the editors and beat reporters have yet to report anything about the Blueway Trail project either. As these projects roll out more and more people will say,

“I urge prospective buyers to look into the abandoned home market for their families. In the city of Lake Worth, a charming, diverse and culturally rich area, there are hundreds of abandoned homes looking for someone to love them. Ask your Realtor to show you some.”

News about the Blueway Trail and developers exploring existing urban centers like the City of Lake Worth is getting the attention of future residents and those already living in western communities. There’s more incentive and motivation now to look at places such as our Dixie Hwy. in a whole new way, just one example.

If you slow down a little bit when you drive south over the C-51 Canal you’ll see it’s already happening. Sure. It’s slow right now. But the next two years will be incredible. Just wait and see.

By the way, where did the quote above come from? Find out using this link.

Thank You for visiting today.