Saturday, August 12, 2017

News from the City of Greenacres: “City gets a Little Free Library!”

And guess what! Officials from the City of Lake Worth are cited in this news story (see excerpt below). 

You won’t find this news on the City of Lake Worth’s Facebook page. Why? Because the City of Lake Worth doesn’t have one.

However, here is the news from the City of Greenacres’ Facebook page:

A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held on Friday, August 11, 2017 at the Community Center to unveil the first Free Little Library in the City [of Greenacres]. Collaboration with the City of Lake Worth was instrumental in assisting Greenacres with obtaining their first one.
     Many officials were present for the ribbon cutting: Greenacres’ Mayor Joel Flores, Deputy Mayor Paula Bousquet, and City Manager Andrea McCue, City of Lake Worth Vice Mayor Scott Maxwell, and Assistant [Lake Worth] City Manager Juan Ruiz participated in the ribbon cutting.

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

“Take a Book  ~  Leave a Book”
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 almost 2 years 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!”

Blueway Trail project and two meetings this week: Check back through the month of August for more information.

Please note, this is very important:

The Blueway Trail project is in the “Design” phase, NOT the “Operational” phase.

Questions such as these below will be addressed later as the project pivots to operations:
If for some reason you remain troubled please use this link to have your questions answered about the Blueway Trail. As always, Thank You for visiting today.

Stay tuned. There will be video of yesterday’s presentation at SFWMD as well.
For the news by WPTV reporter Alanna Quillen and more about this meeting yesterday at the South Florida Water Management District use this link.

View of meeting at SFWMD:
Use this link to learn more about the C-51 Advisory Committee (CAC) meeting in the City of Lake Worth last Wednesday.

Murders of Woodley Erilas, Tyler Etue, Thomas Altman, and Jose Aguilar Juarez. Reporters don’t do stories about these men any more.

See below for more information about one homicide in particular, the murder of Woodley Erilas in the City of Lake Worth.

Question: Why do some murders get the overwhelming attention of the press and news media — selling newspapers and blaring headlines for a week or even longer — but other families suffering news of a loved one being murdered can’t get the press and news media to tell their story for more than a day or two, if their story is told at all?

Does it really all come down to what sells newspapers and what doesn’t?

Do you have information on any homicide? The murder of Tyler Etue? Etue was young man, a recovering drug addict, dumped into a trash can and left to die. Just two months ago Jose Aguilar Juarez was murdered. When was the last time you read any news or updates about that?

Do you fear neighborhood retribution? There is a way to help solve these terrible crimes, remain anonymous, and claim a reward.

Click on image to enlarge:
Call 800-458-8477. To learn more about CrimeStoppers use this link.

Remember the murder of Thomas Altman last year? That case, still unsolved, received multiple articles in The Palm Beach Post and from several TV news stations for well over a week. News about that murder was well-publicized by social media as well.

The murder of Woodley Erilas, however, received scant attention from the news media. He was murdered on January 9th, 2015, in the early morning here in Lake Worth. The case remains unsolved and the family continues looking for leads. This crime occurred on the 900 block of North ‘H’ Street.

Woodley Erilas was only 27 years old when he was murdered in 2015.

West Palm Beach: By mid-August 2016 there were 3 homicides. Thus far in 2017, 21 homicides (a 600% increase).

By comparison, this time last year in the City of Lake Worth there were seven (7) homicides. So far this year: four (4). Almost a 50% decrease.

To verify these numbers for yourself, use the “Homicide Tracker”, a database provided by The Palm Beach Post. Use this link for an article by Post reporter Julius Whigham II titled, “County homicides on pace to be deadliest year in past decade”:

“The county reached 61 homicides as of Friday morning [June 30th], close to the mid-point of the year. The second-deadliest mid-year total was 2014, when there were 55 homicides through June. The county finished with 98 homicides that year. The county has not reached 60 homicides before August in at least a decade, according to Palm Beach Post records.
     If the second half of 2017 matches the first, the county would exceed 100 homicides for just the third time since 2007. The county had 107 homicides in 2007, 105 in 2008 and 109 in 2015, Post records show.”

As of August 8th from the Post database:

  • Total homicides in Palm Beach County (PBC) in 2016: 87.
  • Total homicides so far in 2017: 72 (by this time in 2016 there were 51).
Three cities in PBC account for half (36 of 72) of all homicides so far this year:
  • West Palm Beach: 21 (by this time in 2016 there were 3 homicides in WPB).
  • Riviera Beach, 10
  • Boynton Beach, 5
West Palm Beach, Riviera Beach, and Boynton Beach have their own police departments.

All other cities listed in the Post database with their own police departments (13 cities total):

  • Jupiter: 4 homicides
  • Delray Beach: 3
  • Boca Raton, Lantana, Palm Beach Gardens: 1
  • Lake Clarke Shores, Loxahatchee Groves, Palm Beach Shores, Palm Springs, Tequesta: 0

Total homicides* in the nine cities patrolled by PBSO and including unincorporated County areas: 25 (versus 46 in seven cities with their own police departments).

  • Unincorporated PBC: 12 homicides
  • Lake Worth: 4
  • Belle Glade, Greenacres, Mangonia Park: 2
  • Pahokee, South Bay, Wellington: 1
  • Lake Park, Royal Palm Beach: 0
  • “Loxahatchee” (not a city but listed in the database): 0

Breakdown by race:

  • Black: 44 homicides
  • White: 15
  • Hispanic: 5
  • Native: 1
  • Other: 1
  • Unknown: 6
Note the Post’s database used to have a search tool by age but that was eliminated. When that was available it showed most homicides, by far, were in the age group 20–34.

So. What does all this mean? Draw your own conclusions.

You’ll notice in the database there are many cities not on the list. There are 39 cities in PBC. Going back to 2009, the first year in the database, that would suggest there has not been a homicide in the following cities (17 total):
  • Atlantis
  • Briny Breezes
  • Cloud Lake
  • Glen Ridge
  • Golf
  • Gulf Stream
  • Haverhill
  • Highland Beach
  • Hypoluxo
  • Juno Beach
  • Jupiter Inlet Colony
  • Manalapan
  • North Palm Beach
  • Ocean Ridge
  • Palm Beach
  • South Palm Beach
  • Westlake
The year 2016 was a sign of hope and progress, clearly showing a downward trend of homicides in PBC. Sadly, that trend is not continuing this year. Another excerpt from the article by Whigham:

     “Palm Beach County State Attorney’s Office spokesman Mike Edmondson noted that the cases involving multiple victims have been a contributing factor to this year’s spike. He added that ‘it would be difficult to suggest common denominators’ in assessing the spike.”

*One homicide location in PBC is undetermined, “Unknown location, possibly in or near Belle Glade or Pahokee, an unknown community”.

Just a reminder. On the subject of Code Enforcement here in the little City of Lake Worth.

First, is the Gulfstream Hotel still sitting vacant because of Code Enforcement?

No. That’s complete nonsense. Maybe later on The Palm Beach Post will blame Code Enforcement for the weather and bridge openings too.

After beat reporter Kevin Thompson’s article about the Gulfstream Hotel last January the Post backpedaled and fast. It was completely nonsensical to report blaming Code Enforcement for the problems ongoing with that hotel. The reaction if you recall was swift from both the public and the City’s electeds and staff.

Soon thereafter the City hired a communications specialist. A coincidence? Draw your own conclusions.

It was just last September, in response to another article about Code Enforcement, City Manager Michael Bornstein became “infinitely aggravated” and took Thompson to task and calling his news report, “egregious” and “incompetent”.



Some City of Lake Worth history is in order:

Palm Beach Post article from October, 2005.

Click on image to enlarge:
Fast-forward 12 years later. . . at the City Commission on June 20th, 2017, there was a proclamation for “Code Enforcement Officers Week”. Those in attendance from the Code Dept. received the biggest applause I’ve heard in a long time at City Hall.

They deserve it.

There’s news below from the editor of The Coastal Star.

Just in case you missed this.

“Developer [Hudson Holdings] buys Railway Exchange Building downtown”

[Please Note: See below for an update datelined August 2nd from Mary Kate Leming at The Coastal Star.]

The title above is from a news article datelined January 31st, 2017, by reporter Tim Bryant at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch; here is an excerpt:

“A Florida-based developer completed on Tuesday [Jan. 24th, 2017] its purchase of the century-old Railway Exchange Building in downtown St. Louis.      The new owner is Hudson Holdings* of Delray Beach, Fla. A real estate source said the company paid just above $20 million for the building that occupies an entire block in the middle of downtown.
     Hudson Holdings did not respond to requests for comments about its plans. The company put the building under contract last spring.
     Real estate sources in St. Louis have said the most likely redevelopment would include a mixture of residences, stores and, perhaps, a hotel.

UPDATE:

St. Louis: Railway Exchange Building (built in 1912) — Hudson [Holdings] paid $20.4 million for it in January after nine amended purchase agreements; it has 21 stories with 1.2 million square feet. Plans call for apartments, stores and a hotel. In June, two Boca Raton mortgage brokers sued, claiming they were not paid as promised for arranging a $10 million loan from a Hungarian company. Their lawsuit alleges that the money did not go to help the developers buy the Railway Exchange, that instead the money was misused.

To read the entire article in The Coastal Star use this link.

*Use this link to read the latest Weekly Progress Report on Gulfstream Hotel in the City of Lake Worth.

Vintage postcards: Visitors to the little City of Lake Worth from “back in the day”


Below is a blog post from 2011 (and so are the four comments that follow, remember The Inimitable Tom McGow?). Thought you might enjoy browsing through some of the messages from tourists in Lake Worth from long ago: an interesting glimpse into our past.

A special thanks to Frank Palen for allowing me to borrow and scan these historical postcards:

Click on images to enlarge.



















“Images of America: Boynton Beach”.


Contact the Boynton Beach City Library at 561-742-6390 to find out more about this wonderful book and where to pick one up: 
Amazing photographs and historical information from author “M. Randall Gill in conjunction with the Boynton Beach City Library”.

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

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

“IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the parties hereto execute this instrument, at the time set forth below.”


On August 26th, 2008, then-mayor, now State Senator Jeff Clemens, signed the agreement turning over the City of Lake Worth’s law enforcement responsibilities to PBSO.

Click on image to enlarge:
Crime and gangs were so out of control in Lake Worth prior to PBSO taking over, citizens were calling for checkpoints to stop and search cars entering the City (watch the video).

Going back to 2005 wasn’t much better in the City of Lake Worth:
Many neighborhoods (those fortunate with the means) and community groups as well began searching for ways to provide safety patrols.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Save the Dates!

It’s almost that time of year again.

Remind all your Snowbird friends and relatives!
Don’t forget: “It’s the Snowbird Effect that keeps Florida going”!

Reporter Alanna Quillen* at NBC5 (WPTV): Developing news story on Blueway Trail project at C-51 Canal (S155 Spillway).


[UPDATE: Check back tomorrow for more on this story tomorrow, including video of the meeting at SFWMD.]

Excerpts from the text of the news segment are below. Quillen also references a very important meeting this morning at SFWMD headquarters (meeting details below as well).

West Palm Beach Commissioner Shanon Materio and Lake Clarke Shores Mayor Greg Freebold were interviewed in the City of Lake Worth’s Spillway Park (for Quillen’s news yesterday and watch accompanying video use this link).

Note: No similarly ranked elected officials from the City of Lake Worth were interviewed as part of this important news story.

Also take note. . .

The two-year news blackout at The Palm Beach Post† remains in place, not reporting any news about the Blueway Trail project. The irony about this is WPTV is the Post’s “news partner”.
 
Spillway Park is located at the end of Maryland Dr.
One can also get a good view of this project from West Palm Beach. Park on Arlington Dr.
and enter the park.

This morning beginning at 9:30 a report will be presented to the Blueway Trail Coalition at the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) headquarters in West Palm Beach.

Cover page for the 28-page report:
To learn more about Lake Worth’s C-51 Advisory Committee (CAC) meeting last Wednesday use this link. Soon we’ll know if CAC is effective or replaced by a board of representatives and stakeholders from multiple cities in the region.

Excerpts from the WPTV news segment titled,

“New project could connect more
boats to Intracoastal”

[Subtitle] “Project planning underway
this week”

LAKE WORTH, Fla. - A new project underway on the waters between Lake Worth and West Palm Beach could change the waterway as we know it.
     In as soon as three years or more, boaters from Lake Clarke Shores and beyond could have access to the Intracoastal waters for the first time ever with the help of a boat lift.
     The project is picking up speed this week. [emphasis added]

and. . .

     “This will open up the access from the chain of lakes into the Intracoastal waterway,” said Greg Freebold, Lake Clarke Shores mayor.
     For many like Freebold, who has lived and fished in the area his whole life, it’s a case of so close, yet so far away.
     “I’ve been fishing on this side for years and on this other side for years,” he joked.
     With the proposed boat lift, boats no more than 25-feet long and 3.5 dry tons can travel over.

and. . .

     There’s also concerns about increased boat traffic and the harm to manatees, something West Palm Beach City Commissioner Shannon Materio says the Chain of Lakes Blueway Trail Project has been working out.
     “In order for us to have gone as far as we have, we have had to address all those mitigation issues: the manatee, the speed of boats which is very slow, the number of boats, which is four an hour,” she said. “We listened, over a year ago, of what the concerns were and we’ve been addressing them all along.”

and. . .

     Mayor Freebold said the boat lift could mean endless commercial opportunities.
     “This whole property that runs along this access point is prime for development,” he said.

*Alanna Quillen started with WPTV in October 2016:
     “Before moving to sunny West Palm Beach, Alanna was an evening anchor and investigative reporter for KTBS 3 News in Shreveport, Louisiana. While there, she reported on two historic floods that happened within one year, devastating Northwest Louisiana. She also filed several reports from the state capital of Baton Rouge, including the state’s $2 billion budget shortfall and President Barack Obama’s tour of flood ravaged South Louisiana in August 2016.
     Before Shreveport, Alanna spent nearly three years anchoring and reporting in Monroe, Louisiana at KTVE NBC 10. She started her career at KMID Big 2 News as a weekend anchor and reporter, covering wildfires, immigration and the oil boom of West Texas.”
In July 2016 the editor at the Post did publish a ridiculous Letter to the Editor, an excerpt:
     “West Palm Beach has plans [not true, it’s not a city project] to connect the chain of lakes to allow small boats access to the Lake Worth lagoon. My concern is for the quality of marine life, human life [huh?] and tourism from discharge that will be flowing into the Intercoastal [sic, s/b ‘Intracoastal’] Waterway, eventually contaminating beaches.”

Erica Whitfield is giving another presentation to the Lake Worth City Commission next Tuesday (video below).

There are also several other interesting items on next week’s City Commission agenda. Check back in a day or two and will have more details.

Erica Whitfield is running for re-election. She was first elected to the School Board in 2014.
In 2014 the Post editorial board endorsed Tom Sutterfield. He got clobbered by Whitfield. When running for election sometimes a Post endorsement “can be the kiss of death.”

Erica Whitfield is a City of Lake Worth resident and also the District 4 representative on the Palm Beach County School Board. Whitfield’s presentation in December 2015 (see video below) remains the 2nd most-viewed all-time on my Lake Worth YouTube channel.

Back in 2015 remember posting the video on YouTube and later that day the video got 10–20 views, which was the norm. The day after another 20 or so and then. . . hundreds more every single day after that. When the video reached one thousand views thought I was seeing things. And the numbers kept going up.

But soon afterwards found out why the
video was so popular.

The video struck a nerve because it showed just how completely out-of-touch the school board administration was leading up to 2014–2015 vis-à-vis schools in the City of Lake Worth. Prior to Whitfield’s presentation to the City Commission in 2015 she asked for data on Lake Worth schools and she was given the data for every school “in Lake Worth” all the way out west with a Lake Worth zip code.

Basically, the Palm Beach County school administration didn’t know where the City of Lake Worth was.

At next Tuesday’s meeting I’m sure the school board administration has learned a thing or two about schools here “in Lake Worth” since Whitfield’s last presentation.

Enjoy this video from 2015:

Ribbon Cutting TODAY: “Greenacres to Receive Little Free Library”.

News in this week’s Lake Worth Herald:

“The event will be held at Greenacres Community Park, 501 Swain Boulevard, at 1 p.m.”
Pick up the Herald print edition every Friday
at the City
’s newsstand, 600 Lake Ave.

Mary Lindsey, Director of the Lake Worth Little Free Library Project said, “The City of Lake Worth and the Lake Worth Little Free Library Project are thrilled to have donated this first Little Free Library in Greenacres and hope it inspires many more.”

Remember, “Take a Book  ~  Leave a Book”
To learn more about the Little Free Libraries use this link. Congratulations to the City of Greenacres!

Do you have the right insurance for “the Rapture”? “The End Times”?

The image below is from 2 years, 2 months,
and 5 days ago. But. . .

Are you prepared for “the End Times?” What about insurance?
If you’re reading this you survived 2015, 2016, and more than half way through 2017. However, still concerned about “the Rapture”?

So much to worry about: the Rapture, or as some refer to it, the End Times.

However, you can ease your mind a bit by having the right insurance for your home or condo, slip and fall coverage, etc. Read this article titled, “Types of Insurance Needed for the Rapture”; two excerpts:

     It would be a very smart idea to be prepared for the aftermath of the Rapture. Christians who will be operating machinery will be taken by Jesus in the blink of an eye. [emphasis added] The unmanned machinery will go astray and will cause mass destruction on earthBeing properly insured for such a disaster is a must if unsaved people want to survive the Rapture event.

Here are some examples of insurance to consider:

  • Life insurance: “If the missing person does have life insurance, the beneficiaries in the insurance can claim and receive a payout from the insurance agency.
  • Personal accident insurance: “To be able to endure post-rapture events and be able to have at least somewhat of a chance at getting through the majority of the tribulation, a person needs to have personal accident insurance.
  • Home insurance: “Commercial and private planes will crash into homes. Automobiles will smash into homes. Stoves and ovens will be left on after people are taken by Christ and they will catch the homes on fire.
  • Car insurance: “After the rapture takes place, there will also be many thieves roaming the streets due to lack of police staff. There will be a good share of car thefts that will take place during that time.
  • Salvation insurance: “Getting saved is the best insurance policy a person can obtain for the Rapture event.

Best of luck the rest of 2017!

“Newspapers’ Stand Against Tech Giants Won’t Save Them”

“But it could help them resolve their existential crisis.”

—Headline and subtitle in this article by Will Oremus at Slate; two excerpts:

     It’s astounding how slow most newspapers have been to realize that they need to fundamentally reinvent themselves for the internet age. The Times and Washington Post have realized it, but they’ve only just started to actually do it. And they’re naturally in the vanguard, since they have both more resources than smaller papers and are in a much better position to capitalize on the internet’s economies of scale.

and. . .

     One path is to embrace the profit motive, ditch huge swaths of their operations, and reorient themselves around the portions of their businesses that could realistically make money online. That might mean shamelessly covering and promoting the most crowd-pleasing stories. [emphasis added] It might mean pumping up their online video operations and winding down their print operations, as long as that’s where the money is. It might mean building platforms for user-generated content and helping local businesses develop native ads. What it probably won’t mean is robust, daily coverage of such institutions as city hall, the statehouse, and the local schools. But there could still be room for sharp commentary on local hot-button topics and perhaps even the occasional hard-hitting investigation. In short, they might have to become little, local BuzzFeeds.

A cautionary tale. Zoning, home occupations, and that mythical City of Key West.


Talk of changing a city’s Zoning Code can rattle neighborhoods, homeowners, and the business community like few other things can. It has to be done very carefully and with as much community input and education as possible.

Remember: A “minor zoning adjustment” isn’t always so minor when it happens next door.

Below is a cautionary tale — how not to go about changing zoning in a city, any city — not just here in the City of Lake Worth.

The “Official Zoning Map” for the City of Lake Worth:
Use this link to the City’s website for Planning & Zoning, Land Development Regulations, helpful links, contact information and much more.

Let’s take a stroll back to 2015, a cautionary tale, when all hell broke loose:

Despite the City Commission’s work in recent years to tighten zoning ordinances, there was and still is in this City public concern over the talk of expanding the definition and allowing more types of home occupations (what some call ‘upzoning’, which confuses the issue even more), especially as it relates to residential property values, increased traffic, and what role code enforcement would have in all this, to name just a few.

The group called the Lake Worth Artist and Cottage Entrepreneurs (ACE) had been promoting the expansion of home occupations and I met with them in 2015. You can read about that using this link. What I found interesting about ACE was their goal of engaging the public by beginning a community-wide discussion about changing the zoning to attract more artists to this City.

But, for some reason, that never happened.

Instead what they did is try to gain political support through various channels but not in a very public way with community involvement. Then later, all hell broke loose.

Part of the confusion was created by comparisons way out of scale to such a small city like Lake Worth. For example, when Chris McVoy (former District 2 commissioner; lost his re-election bid last March) cited Portland, Oregon and other large cities as examples to emulate, that just confused and muddled the issue even further.

Then there’s always that special place — the mecca for artists working out of their homes, the beacon on the hill and shining example for home occupation proponents everywhere — Key West.

Just one problem. It’s not true.

It is easy to get carried away with what you think a situation may be in another city. The viewpoint you hold may be influenced by anecdotal evidence, word of mouth, tourism advertising, etc. There seemed to be the expectation that Key West would be a thriving home to people working out of their homes in sort of an artists’ Garden of Eden.

Well, I checked their code and Key West is as strict or moreso than Lake Worth’s when it comes to home occupations in residential districts. So the image that some had of Key West’s residential ‘progressive’ artsy mystique was a myth. It’s also easy to not know what is zoned residential and what is commercial if you are just visiting a town and you don’t have a zoning map with you.

How many people carry zoning maps around with them?

There were other possible examples around the nation that could have served as models for home occupations, places more in scale and layout to Lake Worth. But I cautioned everyone back then to not get carried away with romantic notions that may not actually be based in reality. I know that can be a challenge here in the charming little City of Lake Worth.

Another former Lake Worth commissioner, Ryan Maier, was one of those proponents of expanding home occupations in this City. However, prior to being elected in 2015 he had much concern for traffic and congestion in his own neighborhood. How one squares expanding the zoning code to allow more artists (one example) to work out of their homes, having deliveries made, clients visit, and possibly adding employees (without additional parking) didn’t make any sense coming from someone who was already worried about congestion and traffic in his neighborhood.

That is what’s called a “disconnect” and why the public became so worried and confused in 2015 and 2016. Zoning, when it’s discussed and debated in a public way, doesn’t have to be confusing. It can also be a great way to educate and engage the public going forward.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

First meeting of the C-51 Advisory Committee in Lake Worth City Hall yesterday.


It will take some time to see how effective this committee is and how information is disseminated to the community. The message to the public needs to be clear: this project is at the design phase, not the operational phase.

For example, if the public gets too narrowly focused now on questions such as what entity will be operating this future facility or the cost for boaters, then the need for this committee needs to be brought into question. The better option may be a board with representatives from each city along the C-51 Canal bringing together their ideas and concerns to the same table.

We’ll know better in 2–4 weeks how effective this board is and whether or not this is the best way to educate and inform the public.

The meeting in progress yesterday.
The meeting occurred in the City Hall Conference Room with a full compliment of board members present. The committee’s roster appears below.


The board elected Michelle Sylvester as Chair and Laura Starr as Vice Chair as its first order of business. Most of the meeting consisted of a presentation on the history of Blueway Trail Coalition and project by Kim Delaney of Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council. Then, Brett Whitfield of Chen-Moore Engineering went through the design development process related to the proposed boat lift and kayak/canoe facilities.

You can attend a meeting at the South Florida Water Management District headquarters in West Palm Beach tomorrow at 9:30 a.m. The full presentation will be given for the Blueway Trail Coalition attendees.

Below are some highlights from the presentation to give you an idea of some of the alternatives examined, the resulting design, and estimates of the capital costs. Operation, maintenance costs and responsibilities still have to be addressed. Many of the questions from the committee concerned these issues.

Here is a quick checklist that reflects the design evolution of the project. A hybrid of Alternatives 5 and 6 emerged as the final preliminary design for a number of reasons.


Rather than focus on the alternatives that were discarded, here are the slides from the presentation that represent the refined and latest design.

Click on images to enlarge.
 Let’s begin with the fishing pier design.

The new design is shown in the black line overlay on the above picture. Gone will be the rickety wooden piers that served the public for many years. The pier on the West Palm Beach side is already demolished while the one on the Lake Worth side awaits demolition as well. These new piers will be of fixed poured concrete construction and include a lower “catch and release” area at the east end of the piers. Access to the Lake Worth pier will be reoriented to come from the west.


One of the key design elements will be a living shoreline which reduces the need for a bulkhead and will provide area for the establishment of native species. The canoe/kayak areas will be around the outer, or south edge of the boat lift area. It will consist of a natural “beach” area with enough reach to accommodate high and low tide periods.

Integrated plans showing the canoe/kayak area, boat lift and fishing piers.

We learned the boat lift mechanism will be able move 4–5 boats/hour. There was some discussion about how this would operate when boats are waiting to go both east and west. The lift will be operated by an attendant and may have a kiosk for payment. Whether a new agency, a combination of local governments or just one, like Palm Beach County, will pay for the attendant still needs to be determined. These were the types of questions asked by the committee.


These two views are closer and show the detail of the western (above) and eastern (below) of the project. One of the details we learned during the meeting is debris west of the Spillway now directed and collected on the south side of the canal will be redirected to the north. The location of the entrance to the boat lift and the canoe/kayak area are incompatible with the current configuration.


In the picture above, Mr. Whitfield is pointing at the enhanced wetland habitat area. If you look closely, you can see a manatee gate at the eastern end of the channel that will be used for the boat lift. By the way, the Committee asked for the cost of the boat lift and the canoe/kayak area be broken out of the total project cost.


Through the design generation process a better idea of the overall costs of the project emerged. How and who will be paying for the project has yet to be determined. It was pointed out all the permitting agencies were involved in the process and their comments/directions were incorporated into the resulting design. This should help in the next steps that include the permitting process.


A firm date was not been set for the next meeting of the C-51 Advisory Committee.