Saturday, October 7, 2017

Help solve murder of Geovani Castro in suburban (unincorporated) Lake Worth. Contact information for CrimeStoppers below.


Sun Sentinel breaking news editor/reporter Doug Phillips has this terrible news:

A 15-year-old boy is dead following a shooting that happened outside Lake Worth.
     Deputies were called to the 4200 block of Davis Road about 3 p.m. Monday and found the teen, Geovani Castro, shot.

and. . .

     Investigators ask anyone with information about the shooting to contact Palm Beach County Crime Stoppers, anonymously, at 800-458-8477 or download PBSO’s new “Connect & Protect” app for smart phones in order to provide information.

Very sad. There have been 79 homicides in Palm Beach County thus far in 2017. West Palm Beach has been the most severely affected by this senseless violence. Use this link to learn more.

SOLVE CRIME.
Stay Anonymous. Cash Rewards.

“Every piece of information that comes into Crime Stoppers is examined by the appropriate law enforcement official(s). No tip is too small. Your tip may be the missing piece of the puzzle that helps to solve or prevent a crime.”

From beat reporter Kevin Thompson, more information on the murder of Jose Aguilar in the City of Lake Worth last June 17th:

LAKE WORTH — ■■■■■■ ■■■■■■■■■■ was watching “Orange Is The New Black” when he heard four gunshots in the early Saturday morning hours where he lives on North F Street in Lake Worth.

and. . .

     While ■■■■■■■■■■ was checking out the popular Netflix series, the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office said a man was shot and killed at 914 North F Street.

If you hear gunshots, immediately call 911.

That will log the time you call. What you’re watching on TV will not matter to investigators.
Use this link for PBSO District 14 headquarters. The address is 120 North G Street.

SCENARIO. You hear gun shots.
Here is what you do:

  • After your call to 911, write down everything else you remember right away.
  • Do not go outside to investigate!
  • Are you afraid of cooperating with deputies and detectives for fear of reprisal? Then stay completely anonymous and contact CrimeStoppers (see contact information above).
  • Go to the Neighborhood Assoc. Presidents’ Council website and learn more about “Make the Call” to PBSO.

REMEMBER!

NEVER confront suspicious persons yourself — let PBSO handle it — you DO NOT have to give your name if that makes you uncomfortable. But it’s a big help if you can provide descriptions:
  • Height
  • Weight
  • Clothing
  • Color and make of car
  • Direction they were headed, etc.
When you see or hear behavior that seems odd, suspicious or out of place, “Make the Call Y’all!”

Call 911 or contact PBSO at 561-688-3400.

Blueway Trail: News blackout at The Palm Beach Post remains in place.

“This is one of the strongest economic engines that can
possibly be imagined.”

—Quote by Lake Clarke Shores Mayor Robert Shalhoub, Dec. 24th, 2015, in an article by
Palm Beach Post reporter Eliot Kleinberg.

Since this article by Kleinberg (see excerpts below) — published nearly two years ago — very little has been reported in the Post about the Blueway Trail project. In the past year almost nothing at all. The beat reporter for the City of Lake Worth has never even referenced the Blueway Trail. Not one single time. The beat reporter for West Palm Beach, Tony Doris, brought up this project briefly in a news report about the West Palm Beach “Special Golf Commission Meeting” last July vis-à-vis their golf course in the South End.

Just this year there have been public meetings about the Blueway Trail at the South Olive Community Center in West Palm Beach, public meetings at the South Florida Water Management District headquarters, public meetings at the Lake Worth City Commission and C-51 Advisory Committee about the Blueway Trail. . . yet still no news from The Palm Beach Post.

So, yes. The Post is making the point that newspapers are more and more irrelevant all the time. Why? Because citizen reporters and elected officials, city staff, the PBC League of Cities, the County and many others are doing the job the Post should be doing, but much better.

For nearly two years now I’ve gone to meeting after meeting taking video, pictures, and voluminous notes about the Blueway Trail project. Why? Because I think it’s very important information for the public to know. And along the way I’ve had a lot of supporters. I want to say “Thank You” to everyone who has offered encouragement and kind words. The list would be too long to mention here; you know who you are.

I am not a reporter. Nor have I been trained to be a journalist. But here in Central Palm Beach County where there’s a virtual newspaper monopoly by The Palm Beach Post, it’s great to see other people, organizations, city and County officials, reporters such as Alanna Quillen at NBC5/WPTV, and small town newspapers like The Lake Worth Herald step up and fill the void.

So without further ado. . .

Here’s the latest news about the Blueway Trail:

  • To read the text of “Resolution 50-2017 supporting the C-51 boat lift” at the Lake Worth City Commission on October 3rd use this link.
  • To learn why Worth commissioners Andy Amoroso and Omari Hardy “saved the day” getting Resolution 50-2017 passed click on this link. And also very interesting, what happened to the C-51 Advisory Committee?
  • Use this link to find out why reporter Alanna Quillen’s news report from last August is fundamental to understanding what happened last Tuesday at the City Commission.

Now the news by Eliot Kleinberg datelined Dec. 24th, 2015.

Excerpts are below from the news report titled,
“Lift at spillway would allow boat traffic
from inland lakes to ocean”:

LAKE WORTH — Palm Beach County’s “chain of lakes” is a boater’s paradise already used by tens of thousands of boaters, kayakers, canoers and paddleboarders.
     It’s a 30-mile stretch of connected freshwater lakes comprised of West Palm Beach’s Pine Lake at the north end, Lake Clarke in Lake Clarke Shores, Lake Osborne and Lake Eden in [suburban] Lake Worth, and Delray Beach’s Lake Ida at the south end.
     But there’s one problem. You can’t get from them to the Intracoastal Waterway.
     A potential solution’s been around for years, but only on paper. But it’s starting to kick up a wake again. [emphasis added; use this link to the cited article by former Post reporter Willie Howard in 2013 referenced in Kleinberg’s 2015 news report.]

Back to Kleinberg’s 2015 article, another excerpt:

     West Palm Beach also has more than passing interest in a boat lift.
     The city owns seven acres of vacant land bordering the canal between Dixie Highway and the city golf course to the west. The city paid $2.9 million for the property at 8111 S. Dixie Highway — once the site of an International House of Pancakes restaurant [since demolished] — in hopes of selling it to a buyer who would redevelop it into a commercial anchor for the city’s south end.
     A boat lift just across Dixie Highway would mean boats could go from the municipal golf course to the Lake Worth Lagoon and could help with the development of the vacant property.

another excerpt. . .

     The lift would not be the first in use in Palm Beach County. Juno Isles has been using one since the 1970s to move boats up to 26 feet from the community’s freshwater lake and canals into the Intracoastal, giving waterfront homeowners with boats access to waterfront restaurants, marinas and the ocean.
     State Rep. Dave Kerner and State Sen. Jeff Clemens, both D-Lake Worth, whose districts include both sides of the spillway as well as parts of the chain of lakes, are working to get the money, Kerner said.

lastly. . .

[I]t could take as long as five years before the lift is in and operating. But, he [Kerner] said, “We’ve been moving quickly. We’ve got a great coalition.”

Please take note: If it “could take as long as five years before the lift is in and operating” per now-County Commissioner Dave Kerner in 2015, then that would correspond with what we’ve known for some time now, that the Blueway Trail project would begin between 3–5 years from now, 2020–2022. So, no, this project is not being “rushed” as some critics falsely like to claim.

Stay tuned, as they say, for more information about the Blueway Trail. Just don’t expect any news about this project in The Palm Beach Post any time soon.

Friday, October 6, 2017

City of Lake Worth Co-Ed Basketball and for Bitty Ballers (ages 4–6) too.

Registration ends December 20th.
Call 561-533-7363 for more information.

Click on image to enlarge:
Brought to you by the City of Lake Worth’s
Leisure Services Dept
.

UPDATE: “Did you know 85 more units of affordable housing may be coming to Lake Worth?”

But not any time soon.

The vote at the P&Z Board meeting last Wednesday was 3-3 with a member of this volunteer board absent. An even split vote means this project is a no-go for now. The developer has several options going forward so we’ll have to wait and see what will happen.

The City of Lake Worth’s Planning & Zoning Dept. can’t be a very happy place to be right now. A lot of staff time went into preparing this and, if you recall, this item was on the P&Z Board agenda last month but was cancelled because of Hurricane Irma. There must be a lot of disappointment from many quarters the prospect having to go back to square one.

And the editor at the Post will learn that a call to action, the “Housing Crisis!”, can run into a brick wall over just one issue: parking. I’ve talked to several people over the last couple of months about the parking situation on North ‘A’ St. and that was a big concern for nearby residents. They thought the project should have more on-site parking so on-street parking would not be impacted:

The proposed Banyan Court multifamily apartment community will be located in Lake Worth at 315 North A Street, 1716 3rd Ave N, 1731 4th Avenue North and 1737 4th Avenue North, just east of Interstate 95 and ¼ mile from the Lake Worth Tri-Rail stop. The current zoning is MF-20 [Multi-family], with a land use designation of MDR [Medium Density residential].

News about this affordable housing project never did get reported in the Post because of that distraction in early September:

“Cannabis”! “Marijuana”, medical “dispensary”
and a “charter school” too!
Oh My. Where?
It’s in “Lake Worth”!

So it does make one wonder what would have happened if the editor at the Post was more focused on educating the public about the importance of affordable housing in the City of Lake Worth than on much more minor items such as “Cannabis!”

But Cannabis! will generate more computer clicks and sell more newspapers than news about affordable housing, even during a “Housing Crisis!” However, is there another possible solution? Maybe more affordable housing here in the City using “re-purposed shipping containers”?

As reported in The Palm Beach Post
last June
, an excerpt:

During an affordable housing summit in West Palm Beach Wednesday, he [Craig Vanderlaan, executive director of Crisis Housing Solutions] told a ballroom full of county officials, lenders and developers that re-purposed shipping containers can be part of the answer to a problem they said has reached a crisis point.

Are shipping containers the answer to the “housing crisis”? No. As stated on this blog:

Before you get all excited check the zoning code first before diving ahead. More likely than not this type of structure is prohibited where you live. For instance, you couldn't build this in Lake Worth or most other cities in the County.
     No one is going to get approval to live in a shipping container here in a coastal city in Palm Beach County. Perhaps in the unincorporated County somewhere, but not here in the little City of Lake Worth.

Anyhow. Stay tuned for more updates about this affordable housing project on North ‘A’ St. and what the City and developer plan to do going forward.

Spread the word, Evening on the Avenues returns tonight (6:00–10:00)

Also tonight is the monthly Critical Mass ride! Use this link for more details about that. And. . . how much do you know about the “Snowbird Effect”?

Music, entertainment, food, and so much more. Evening on the Avenues returns to Downtown Lake Worth tonight at the Cultural Plaza beginning at 6:00 following a pre-Season break the month of September. What exactly is the “Season”? That is when our precious Snowbirds begin to return:

Getting ready for our annual migration of Snowbirds is hard work. Our City staff has a lot to do.

For example:
Don’t forget: “It’s the ‘Snowbird Effect’ that keeps Florida going.” And it’s always fun when the malcontents and pundits in the press get unhinged when they see our Snowbirds having so much
fun every Season!

Thursday, October 5, 2017

The City of Lake Worth’s Leisure Services Department Presents. . .


The exemplary, iconic, and inimitable Lauren Bennett at Leisure Services informed the public at the City Commission meeting last Tuesday to get ready for a new video about to be released.

Well, here it is!



To share this video with your family and friends up north preparing for another cold Winter, copy and paste this link and share it with them via email:

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C0s3d8e4rxg&feature=youtu.be

Refuse, vegetation pickup, and recycling in City of Lake Worth.


The City of Lake Worth Refuse collections are returning to normal. As of this week all carts are being collected on the normal schedule, the only difference is that the 6 cubic yard hurricane amnesty remains in place until the end of the week [Friday, 10/6]. Please be aware on Monday, October 9, the vegetation/bulk limit will be 4 cubic yards (roughly equivalent to 2 standard refrigerators).

HATCH 1121, LULA, and “Off the Wall” in LDub (see video below).


The Lake Worth Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) is moving its administrative offices to 1121 Lucerne Ave., the building is now called HATCH 1121.

“This will give the CRA and LULA Lake Worth Arts a better opportunity to further enhance the thriving and dynamic Lake Worth arts community. Community artists and Lake Worth leadership are currently discussing ways to further serve the local community with community-based arts programming.”

Let’s take a stroll back in time to when HATCH 1121 (formerly the Lake Worth Arts Center and site of the City’s former shuffleboard courts), got a very much-needed makeover in 2014:


Do you know what LULA means?

“LU” is short for Lucerne Ave. and “LA” short for Lake Ave. (our two main east-west Downtown streets), ergo “LULA”.

Know what “LDub” means?

The “L” is short for “Lake”, “Dub” short for letter “W” (double or ‘Dub’ letter “u”), hence the term LDub for the City of Lake Worth (not to be confused with cookie-cutter and condo communities out west).

Example in daily usage, “Have you been to World Thrift in LDub yet? The New Times ranks it the best thrift store ever. LDub is the Hipster Haven in Palm Beach County too and the official home of Apatharchism.”

From reporter Alanna Quillen at NBC5/WPTV: “New project could connect more boats to Intracoastal”.


After reading the news (see below) and watching the news segment video from two months ago about the Blueway Trail by reporter Alanna Quillen, ask yourself this question, “Why didn’t Lake Worth just pass Resolution 50-2017, supporting the C-51 boat lift on Consent and get it over with?” Why wait to bring up objections like Mayor Pam Triolo did?

Commissioner Omari Hardy publicly called for this resolution on August 15th after his patience wore thin waiting for the City to act. If anyone had objections why weren’t they brought up back then? Why wait for almost two months?

Thankfully, commissioners Andy Amoroso and Omari Hardy had enough of all this nonsense. The Palm Beach County Commission and most other neighboring municipalities passed their resolutions of support back in early to mid 2016.

Do you remember this news report by
Alanna Quillen
from last August 10th?

“For three years, Lake Worth, West Palm Beach and Lake Clarke Shores have been planning a boat lift to be built at Spillway Park in Lake Worth.”

Lake Clarke Shores Mayor Greg Freebold
was interviewed for this news segment:

“This will open up the access from the chain of lakes into the Intracoastal waterway”, said Greg Freebold.

West Palm Beach Commissioner Shanon Materio
was interviewed as well:

“In order for us to have gone as far as we have, we have had to address all those mitigation issues” [and then Materio is quoted] “We listened, over a year ago, of what the concerns were and we've been addressing them all along.”

When watching the video below do you see any “black” water? Three foot waves? Is the Blueway Trail a “dangerous project” as someone from the public said last night at the City Commission meeting?

The news segment video begins after
a short advertisement:

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Lake Worth Pier closed until further notice.

Press release from Ben Kerr, Public Information Officer, 561-586-1631; email: BKerr@lakeworth.org

The City of Lake Worth Pier will be closed today (Wednesday, October 4th), until further notice due to high wave activity causing unsafe conditions. The City of Lake Worth apologizes for any inconvenience caused.

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.”

Unanimous. Weak. And very sad.


Use this link to learn more about what happened last night at the Lake Worth City Commission meeting vis-à-vis agenda item 9G, “Resolution 50-2017 - supporting the C-51 boat lift”.

This item was on the Consent Agenda and moved to “New Business” by Mayor Pam Triolo and Commissioner Omari Hardy agreed.

Although the vote was a unanimous “Yes” for this resolution, with direction to City Attorney Glen Torcivia to add some clarifying language concerning an agreement signed with the South Florida Water Management District 31 years ago, this meeting will be one remembered for a long time; a black eye for our City for which we’ll take long to recover.

If you happen to be a resident, city official or elected representative from the Town of Lake Clarke Shores, or the City of Greenacres, or any other municipality that’s supportive or excited about the Blueway Trail and for a long time have distrusted the City of Lake Worth or were reluctant to partner with us, don’t blame you. You have good reason not to trust us, especially after what happened last night. It was a disgrace.

In November 2016 the City went out of its way to create the C-51 Advisory Committee (CAC) at the urging of Mayor Pam Triolo:
[F]ive member committee composed of one member appointed by the Mayor and one member appointed by each City Commissioner.
Every issue brought up last night could have been settled long ago by CAC. But that board directed to “meet as necessary or as requested by the City Commission or the City Manager” wasn’t even mentioned last night although one member of that board showed up in opposition to the C-51 boat lift project.

Why wasn’t CAC consulted or directed to answer questions or concerns prior to last night’s meeting? Was Kim DeLaney, PhD, asked to attend the meeting last night to answer any concerns or questions? In the image below, seated, facing, wearing glasses is Dr. DeLaney from the Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council.

CAC meeting on August 9th, the first and only meeting ever since being formed last year.
Why take so long in this process to “raise the question” about documents from over 30 years ago? Wasn’t a former commissioner roundly criticized for using this very same tactic, “raising the question”
to scuttle City business?

The unanimous vote last night was secured by commissioners Omari Hardy and Andy Amoroso. Hardy lost his temper last night (see link to video below) and the timing couldn’t have been more perfect.

You could see Amoroso was very displeased as well how this resolution was handled but he stayed cool and took control just at the right time. Hardy was angry because he had every reason to be angry and then brought up the issue everyone so far has been careful to avoid, but now it’s out there: socioeconomics, race, class, access, and privilege. But more on that later.

Last night can be summed up using this link to the City’s video of the meeting, one segment that stands out in particular.

To everyone out there supportive and excited about the Blueway Trail project, you need to contact commissioners Andy Amoroso and Omari Hardy. They both saved the day and you need to say to them, “Thank You”.

A theory: “The Rise of the Middle”. A seismic shift in City of Lake Worth politics.


Following the City Commission meeting last night, would this be more confirmation we’re seeing “The Rise of the Middle”? Continue reading — a blog post from 2 weeks ago — and decide for yourself.

If the theory below continues to hold up, get ready for another “seismic shift” next Election Day here in our little City. Everyone expected some upheaval following the recent elections last March but what hardly anyone expected to see happen was this to continue on for 6+ months. One commissioner in particular, Omari Hardy, is asserting himself and that’s upsetting some entrenched interests that had other plans.

Now with only 5½ months until the March 2018 elections “the trio”, commissioners Andy Amoroso, Herman Robinson, and Omari Hardy are firmly in control. And they know it. But “the trio” has a big problem too: getting people out to vote next March, but more on that later.

Mayor Pam Triolo, Vice Mayor Scott Maxwell, and Commissioner Amoroso are up for election on March 13th, 2018. The one thing off everyone’s radar right now is whoever wins election, or re-election, will serve a 3-year term instead of a 2-year term as it was previously. This is very significant.

New residents in this City will be surprised to learn this: Prior to the election of Omari Hardy this year, District 2 was represented by a self-proclaimed Anarchist (Cara Jennings) from 2006–2010 and then Jennings’ hand-picked successor, Chris McVoy, PhD, from 2010–2017.

Over those eleven years not much happened
between Dixie Hwy. and I-95.

Going forward many believe that will change in a very significant way, and in some ways, already has. And who would have thought the election of Herman Robinson and Omari Hardy would turn out to be the nightmare scenario for “Lake Worth West” and “Lake Worth East”.

Because there’s this theory about
“Lake Worth Middle”. . .

If this theory proves right (explained below), there has been a major shift of political power here in this little City. You can call it, “The Rise of the Middle”. A local politico (to go unnamed) has bandied about this theory for many years and it does help to explain a lot of things.

Our City has, or had, three major factions vying for political control. Two of them formed an alliance and were dominant for many decades. But the elections last March changed everything. They were indeed “seismic” according to news reports, which included the passage of a referendum extending terms of the electeds from two to three years. But maybe seismic for other reasons too, other than just the obvious.

Prior to the elections last March the mantra from “the other side” was Messrs. Omari Hardy and Herman Robinson would just be two more “rubber stamps” for the majority: Mayor Pam Triolo, Vice Mayor Scott Maxwell, and Commissioner Andy Amoroso.

However, commissioners Hardy and Robinson, if you’ve been paying attention, have wasted no time putting that ‘rubber stamp’ label to rest. Remember, these two were fresh off the campaign trail and they’ve heard all the complaints. Many of those complaints were about the majority on the City Commission, not just all about the former do-nothing commissioner in District 2, Chris McVoy, or former Commissioner Ryan Maier in District 4 (who opted not to run for re-election).

“We’re working on it”, isn’t going to fly with Omari and Robinson. They both clearly want to see results. A Commission meeting on April 18th, just a month after the elections, bears this out. Robinson took on the issue of body cameras for PBSO and Hardy dove right into the topics of a City Facebook page (the tortuous reasoning to not begin one) and he took on the issue of panhandlers as well, what the City is and isn’t doing to fix the problem. Read more about that meeting last April using this link.

Do both Hardy and Robinson have reason to be so confident pushing forward their issues of importance and concern? According to the theory the answer is “Yes, absolutely”. The balance of power is either 3-2 or 4-1 in their favor.

Here is the theory. The three competing factions are:
  • Lake Worth East (LWE): The boundaries are Federal Hwy. east to the Intracoastal, including the Casino and Beach.
  • Lake Worth West (LWW): West of I-95 in the City limits, including parts of suburban Lake Worth, and other groups west of the City with political interests at stake (e.g., in the Great Walled City of Atlantis).
  • Lake Worth Middle (LWM): Everything between Federal Hwy. and I-95 including the Downtown and Dixie Hwy. Corridors.
For at least 20–30 years, the theory goes, LWE and LWW both have held sway on the City Commission. Up until the elections last March both District 2 and District 4 remained both solidly in the LWE/LWW faction. LWE still has a significant presence on the Commission, but less so after the elections. For LWW, however, it’s a totally different story. They’re in total disarray as evidenced by their core members in the Lake Osborne area “laying on the charm”, to the new City Commission. A sudden change in demeanor that didn’t go unnoticed.

But LWE has little use for LWW now. The
future power arrangement will be one
between LWE and LWM.

Very few people here in Lake Worth expected this all to happen last March on Election Day. Chris McVoy, PhD, was the incumbent and would at least force a run-off with the newcomer, Omari Hardy. Herman Robinson’s race was seen as a toss-up. But Hardy and Robinson both won their elections outright and that shocked almost everyone. That night the word “seismic” started being used around the City. Why? Because the election results rocked the status quo over the last few decades.

No run-offs.
The conventional thinking was there would be
one run-off or possibly two. The referendum
extending terms for elected officials to
three years passed easily.

What’s to be determined now is if that new power of LWM translates into getting people out to vote. Because, except for select precincts in LWM, the vast majority of residents don’t bother to come out and vote (ergo the failed “LW2020” bond referendum in 2014). And that’s where commissioners Hardy and Robinson come into play: they both have to keep “The Middle” excited, engaged, and the public needs to see real and tangible results.

There’s little time left for “We’re working on it”, coming from the City Commission, administration, and staff.

The job of LWW now, if you follow the theory through, is to do everything they can to make sure that doesn’t happen, that both Hardy and Robinson don’t succeed and that every obstacle possible is thrown in their way.

If this theory above is valid — or until proven otherwise untrue — well, expect the political changes going forward to be indeed truly “seismic” for our little City of Lake Worth: The “Rise of the Middle”; that is IF “The Middle” shows up to vote next March, of course.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Lake Worth City Commission meeting tonight at 6:00.


To watch this meeting Live Streaming use this link at (or after) 6:00 tonight and scroll down for the “Live Broadcast Channel” (Commission meetings are also archived on YouTube).

Meet your elected leaders:
Contact your elected representatives some time soon and ask, “What can I do to help?”

To look over the agenda for tonight’s meeting click on this link and scroll down for “October 3, Regular Meeting” to download the Agenda & Backup.

By the way, seen this video yet?

“Cannabis”! “Marijuana”, medical “dispensary” and a “charter school” too. Oh My. Where? It’s in “Lake Worth”!

However. . .

Did you know 85 more units of affordable housing may be coming to Lake Worth? This will be a topic at the Planning & Zoning (P&Z) meeting tomorrow.

If you recall, this item was on the agenda at the September P&Z meeting that was cancelled due to Hurricane Irma (see excerpts from the agenda below).

Remember, over and over again we’ve been told by the editor at the Post how important it is for cities to step up and address the housing affordability crisis. Hopefully the editor has a reporter available to cover this news story tomorrow which will be of great interest County-wide to policy-makers and others on the front line addressing this important issue.

But don’t hold your breath. Talking about affordable housing, it seems, sells a lot more newspapers than reporting on the mundane efforts to actually go about doing it. News about the actual construction of new affordable housing gets lost in all the noise to try and sell a few more newspapers.

For example, noise like medical marijuana!

The topic of medical marijuana dispensaries in the City of Lake Worth has been reported quite extensively. Just a few of the reports are from the Post’s business reporter, Jeff Ostrowski, a very well-written article about this from back in July, County reporter Wayne Washington had another article soon afterwards, then came that editorial on August 27th about a nearby Charter school which had everybody scratching their heads, then a few days later a beat reporter had more ‘news’ which wasn’t really news at all, just Cliff Notes rehashing what everyone knew already.

This topic has been well-covered.
The public was informed.

However, thus far Frank Cerabino hasn’t chimed in with any satire about all this. Yet.



But, whilst on the subject of satire, did you know right down the street from that charter school, just about 2000′ away, is a crematorium that made news in the Post last March for, “Smoke complaint at Lake Worth Crematorium gets health review”? Now that’s good satire about smoke. And it’s true too.

Anyhow. . .

Following that editorial in the Post last August about THAT marijuana dispensary here in the City — an editorial that fell hard like a lead balloon (pardon the pun, balloons can be a sensitive topic) — it might be a good gesture on the part of the editor to take note of something that’s happening at the P&Z board meeting tomorrow: 85 units of affordable housing for “low to very low-income families in the area” will be on the agenda.

The Lake Worth P&Z Board meets the first Wednesday of every month, 6:00, at City Hall:

Members review site plans and make recommendations to the City Commission for the development of residential (≥3 units) and all commercial properties.

Here is Item H1 (New Business) on the agenda:

Consideration of a request for Major Site Plan Approval for a 85 unit multi-family complex on a +/- 183,453 square foot site located in the Low Density Multi-family (MF20) Zoning District, with a Future Land Use Map designation of Medium Density residential (MDR). . .

Background/Proposal [excerpt with highlights]:

The proposed Banyan Court multifamily apartment community will be located in Lake Worth at 315 North A Street, 1716 3rd Ave N, 1731 4th Avenue North and 1737 4th Avenue North, just east of Interstate 95 and ¼ mile from the Lake Worth Tri-Rail stop. The current zoning is MF-20, with a land use designation of MDR. Existing uses include a church on one parcel, a small building with associated parking lot, and a single family rental home, with vacant land on the balance of the site. Banyan Court will consist of 85-units of affordable, transportation-oriented, rental housing in four separate three-story, concrete, garden-style walk-up apartment buildings. One of the buildings will include an attached one-story clubhouse. Over 10% of the site is a conservation easement protecting a magnificent old-growth banyan tree. Banyan Court will serve low to very low-income families in the area, with 100% of the units set aside for families making incomes at or below 60% of Area Median Income (AMI). Additionally, 10% of the units will be set aside for families making 33% of AMI. Because of the location, the residents will have easy access to jobs and community services they may need while also contributing to local businesses.

To review this agenda item yourself, use this link and scroll down for “Planning & Zoning Board” and then click on “Agenda” for October 4th. When the download is complete, proceed to pp 38–71 to check out all the renderings and much more information.

Who knows, maybe even the beat reporter for the Post will write something about this? But probably not. The keywords “cannabis”, “marijuana”, “dispensary”, and “charter school” are still getting way too many clicks right now to give up just yet.

“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.

“Tree Board Switches to Gumbo Limbo!” Remember this exciting news from our little City of Lake Worth?

“If we want to have a world-class city, let’s have a world-class tree.”

Quote. Chair of Lake Worth Tree Board,
February 2015
(see tabloid article below).

If you haven’t heard, the Gumbo Limbo tree in our City’s Cultural Plaza was pushed over by Hurricane Irma as were many trees not of the palm variety. However, many people think a Gumbo Limbo was a poor choice for that location in the first place and are wondering once again, “Right Tree, Right Place”?

Wouldn’t now be a good time to try and find a Green Buttonwood, one of the other options back in 2015? Would a Green Buttonwood be the “Right Tree” in the “Right Place” or would another type of tree be better?

The tabloid article, “Tree Board Switches to Gumbo Limbo!” is below and Thank You for visiting today.

Do you remember that former silly tabloid that
littered our City 2½ years ago?*
“1 Year Subscription: Only $39!” But that tabloid was FREE, delivered for FREE (to select neighborhoods in the City) and shut down
after just 4 months.

Note wording on tabloid’s masthead: “Domine, ut videam” [Latin, “Lord, I want to see”].

A lot of people in the City of Lake Worth were praying for that day to come in early 2015 when the tabloid ‘editor’ would learn “to see”. For #1 in this series of excerpts from the “Worst Local Newspaper Ever” use this link. An excerpt:

“It’s a big deal for us,” said Laurel Decker, who filed suit against the city in 2013 . . . “We’d like to get the dais back, and get the city moving forward again.”

From Friday, February 27th, 2015, Volume 1,†
Issue 7, page 3, an article from the archives‡
“Tree Board Switches to Gumbo Limbo!”:

The city’s Tree Board has made a change, dropping plans for a green buttonwood to be planted in the Cultural Plaza in place of the ficus that was removed by city workers over two years ago [2013].
     They’re now going to look for a gumbo limbo.
     Tree Board chair Richard Stowe told the mayor and commissioners this month that he and David McGrew, the city’s horticulturist,§ had asked the board to come up with an alternative to the green buttonwood, as the city had been having trouble finding a green buttonwood the right size for the space, despite enlisting the help of local nurseries.
     The board chose a gumbo limbo.
     Stowe said the goal is to find not just any gumbo limbo tree, but one with character.
     “If we want to have a world-class city, let’s have a world-class tree,” he said.

Do you have any of those old tabloids left over from the
March 2015 election cycle?

 Click on image to enlarge:
Publix was first puzzled by the drop in sales of Windex® in early 2015. To clean windows with vinegar use 2 cups of water, ¼ cup of vinegar,
and ½ teaspoon of liquid detergent.

Footnote section:

*The “Premiere Issue!” of that tabloid first appeared on January 16th, 2015, with the headline, “Gallery Owner Pitches ‘Art Ship’ for Lake Worth’s Waterfront”.
There wasn’t another volume to follow. The tabloid failed from little advertising even though it was given away for FREE. Downtown littering became a big problem throughout the City following this tabloid’s release.
Several archival collections remain — separate from and not to be confused with The Lake Worth Herald — the City’s oldest business, “Established in 1912”.
§Please note: The City’s 13th Annual Tree Festival is on Saturday, February 17th, 2018. For any questions contact Dave McGrew at 561-586-1677 or by email: dmcgrew@lakeworth.org
Vinegar is a liquid consisting of about 5–20% acetic acid (CH3COOH), water, and other trace chemicals, which may include flavorings.” 
     Warning: For cleaning windows don’t use products containing sun-ripened grain, lemon pepper, or dried dill.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Public Notification: City of Lake Worth* to alter water chlorination process.


For more information contact Water Treatment Plant Manager Timothy Sloan at Lake Worth Water Utilities: 561-586-1710; email: TSloan@lakeworth.org

The City’s Public Information Officer is Ben Kerr. He can be reached at 561-586-1631; email: BKerr@lakeworth.org

Press Release:

To maintain high water quality in the City of Lake Worth water distribution system, the City of Lake Worth Water Treatment Plant will temporarily change the water chlorination methods through October 18 [process began October 1]. The City of Lake Worth will also increase hydrant flushing during this time.

This is a preventive maintenance process.

Starting October 1, a “free chlorine residual” water treatment method will be used to provide a stronger, faster acting disinfection process than the “combined chlorine or Chloramines” treatment which is normally used. The City will revert back to the “combined chlorine” method by October 18. As part of this process, the City will be flushing fire hydrants. This flushing will cause temporary water in the swales of the roadways. Please do not be alarmed by this water as it will dissipate within a few hours.
     The City and their Consecutive Systems water utility customers including Lake Osborne Estates, Hypoluxo Village, John Prince Park, Lantana Cascade and Palm Breezes Club may notice a slight chlorine taste or odor in their tap water during this period; however, these temporary conditions should not cause adverse health effects. If you are especially sensitive to the taste or odor of chlorine, keep an open container of drinking water in your refrigerator for a few hours to allow the chlorine to dissipate. Tropical fish tank owners, hospitals, dialysis patients and residents with pools should be aware of the chlorination changes and make adjustments accordingly.
     Any questions should be directed to the City of Lake Worth Water Treatment Plant: 561-586-1710.

*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.”

Quote by Michael Bornstein, “[U]nlike what Mr. Thompson wrote in the Post, who continues to prove his incompetence in how he writes things”.


You can watch and listen to Lake Worth City Manager Michael Bornstein yourself in this City YouTube video from the Commission meeting held on September 19th,
“Item 6C [added]. Presentation regarding Hurricane Irma”.
The quote below from Bornstein, transcribed from the Commission meeting (the first following Hurricane Irma), is in response to a very misleading and inaccurate article published by Post beat reporter Kevin Thompson.

Carl Stoveland, president of the Eden Place Neighborhood Assoc., was quick to ask Thompson for an apology that day (read more about that below).

[Please note: Bornstein’s “Presentation” about Hurricane Irma on Sept. 19th begins at the 1:03 minute mark in the City video and ends at 1:23 (20 minutes total); the transcription below is from 1:17–1:19 (two minutes).]

City Manager Bornstein
in his own words:

“I just want to address a couple of more things if I can. We had the incredible, gracious offer from several neighborhoods, they wanted to reach out and say, ‘Thank You’ linemen. ‘Thank You’ for such a great job . . . They wanted to cook for them.
     I just wanted everybody to understand that logistically these guys came in at 6:00 in the morning, they were fueled up, hit the street. We fed them there at the yard. We fed them in the field while they were working. Then they came home, we fed them and they went to bed. They got back up.
     That’s the life they’re living right now as mutual-aid [out-of-town] employees coming in. The more they work the more money they make, obviously. That’s something they’re focused on. They care about what they do. I think you met some of the folks, they’re really genuine people.
     But for me to try to figure out logistically, take in all this heavy equipment and cycle it through some spot in the City as well as get them out of the truck, it would have taken a lot of time and money out of their pocket, a lot of time and money out of the work day.
     It wasn’t like we didn’t appreciate it, unlike what Mr. Thompson wrote in the Post, who continues to prove his incompetence in how he writes things [crowd applause].”

Then referencing Mr. Stoveland, Bornstein says, “There is no need for an apology” from the
Eden Place neighborhood.

Bornstein continues,

     He [Thompson] took a crack at us. . . . Don’t worry about what the Post says. But I wanted people to understand that we’re trying to come up with something to do for those folks [out-of-town linemen]. 
     They have these long-sleeved shirts. They trade them like trading cards. Linemen are crazy about that. So we’re coming up with a way to send them [long-sleeved shirts] from Lake Worth with [Hurricane] Irma and we’d like to put all the neighborhood associations on the back.
     If we send that to them they’ll love that.

Here is the message from Eden Place’s Mr. Stoveland posted on Facebook, Sept. 19th:

Kevin D. Thompson [Post beat reporter] - You got this one all wrong. Kim’s [Lake Worth resident Kim Lingle’s] intent in speaking to you was to highlight the great people and businesses of Lake Worth who wanted to show our appreciation for the out of state linesmen. It was never meant to throw shade on the City Manager or the commission. We (Eden Place) tried to put together an event with the best of intentions, but an impossible deadline. I think you owe City Manager Michael Bornstein an apology. I for one apologize on behalf of the Eden Place Neighborhood Association.

City Manager Bornstein isn’t asking for much.

“We [the City] are held to a higher standard,
they [the press] should hold themselves
to a higher standard”:

The video below is Bornstein responding to another
“incompetent” and “egregious” article by Thompson
in September 2016:

Sunday, October 1, 2017

“Developer [Hudson Holdings] files, drops libel suit against Coastal Star”, by reporter Noreen Marcus at The Coastal Star.

Use this link to read the entire article datelined September 29th; here are several excerpts:

A developer sued The Coastal Star alleging libel and then abruptly dropped the lawsuit a month later.
    The suit filed Aug. 30 in Palm Beach Circuit Court by Hudson Holdings and its principal Steven Michael claimed the newspaper defamed both of them through a false connection to criminal activity. Editor Mary Kate Leming and reporter Jane Smith were named as individual defendants.
     The suit seeking $40 million in actual damages and $20 million in punitive damages was assigned to Judge David French.

and. . .

     On Sept. 28 Michael’s lawyer Scott Weires filed a two-paragraph “notice of voluntary dismissal” that doesn’t give a reason for dropping the lawsuit.

another excerpt. . .

     Robert Rivas, attorney for The Coastal Star, denied that his client published false information. He had planned to file a complaint that Michael’s lawsuit violated Florida’s anti-SLAPP law. An illegal “strategic lawsuit against public participation” — or SLAPP suit — is one that aims to silence critics engaged in a democratic process.
     “Hudson Holdings is trying to intimidate and frighten the opposition,” said Rivas, of Sachs Sax Caplan in Tallahassee, before the suit was withdrawn. “The Coastal Star story was accurate and did not link Hudson Holdings to any criminal activity.”
     The crux of the dispute was an Aug. 2 Coastal Star story about Michael’s proposed Midtown project [in Delray Beach]. In addition to reporting on the project’s status, the story included background on Midtown and another Michael project, the Gulfstream Hotel in Lake Worth. [emphasis added]

last excerpt. . .

     Under the sub-headline “Midtown ensnared in sober home action,” the story states that “Midtown became entangled with the Palm Beach County State Attorney’s Office’s Sober Homes Task Force” last fall. It says that brothers Bryan and Patrick Norquist “were arrested on patient-brokering charges” and states that two addresses were listed on the arrest document — “20 S. Swinton Ave., the headquarters for Hudson Holdings, and 48 SE First Ave.”

Have you heard about the “Lake Worth Advocates”?

A message from Mr. Chip Guthrie:

“A recent sting operation by PBSO arrested 7 known prostitutes. Members of the Lake Worth Advocate Group attended the 1st Appearance of these offenders. As a result ALL SEVEN offenders were given ‘No Contact Orders’. This is a court order prohibiting them from stepping foot in the areas they normally operate (‘mapping’ them out).
     They also received heftier bonds to get out of jail mostly because of our presence. Good job PBSO! We will now see 7 fewer street walkers in Lake Worth hopefully for a long time. The Lake Worth Neighborhood Assoc. Presidents’ Council (NAPC) is sponsoring this group and it has proven to be a very effective tool for businesses and residents to fight to reduce the blight of street walkers in our neighborhoods.
     If you’d like more information how you can be a part of the Lake Worth Advocate Group contact the NAPC by email at napcinfo@gmail.com

From reporter Alyssa Hyman at NBC5/WPTV: “E. coli found in Lake Osborne Estates Water”.

“I am flabbergasted. I am upset and now people are sick.” said [Kerri] Casper.

Quote from news segment datelined Nov. 15th, 2016.

Remember, Lake Osborne Estates (LOE) is not
in the City of Lake Worth.

Back in 2016 LOE was getting its water from another water utility, US Water Services. Starting this year LOE will be getting its water from the Lake Worth Water Utility. To learn more about this situation use this link or scroll down to the following blog post.

Please pause momentarily for Alyssa Hyman’s video to load, click play, and following a short commercial message is the video from WPTV:



Below are two excerpts from this WPTV news segment datelined Tuesday, November 15th, 2016 [follow the timeline and more information in brackets]:

Hundreds of Lake Osborne Estates families are frustrated. Their water tested positive for E. coli [Escherichia coli], but they say their water company [US Water Services] didn’t notified them directly.
     The health department says the notification protocols seemed to be followed properly, it is now investigating the matter.
     The neighbors say they learned about the E. coli and boil water notice from the “Next Door” app [on Nov. 14th], a notice that came nearly five days after the water main break happened. [emphasis added]
     Now, many say they’re feeling sick.
     “This explains why our entire family has been deathly ill since Friday [Nov. 11th],” wrote one neighbor on the app.
     It’s the same app Kerri Casper used to find out the water she's been drinking has been contaminated with E. coli. It’s an app used to post neighborhood updates.
     “I am flabbergasted. I am upset and now people are sick.” said Casper. “Normally when we have a boil water, we have a notice on the door.”

and. . .

     The company said it notified the two required state agencies, one news station [CBS12/WPEC misreported the location] and the neighborhoods association along with two schools. The spokesperson said they were following the direction of the Health Department.
     Though, even at that point not everyone in the Lake Osborne Estates got the message.
     “Only about a third of the residents are part of the association and we just can’t reach the entire neighborhood,” said the associations president Carlos Serrano. The neighborhood’s association is voluntary and not everyone is a member.
     Serrano said he got an email Monday [Nov. 14th] from the utility [US Water Services] and did his best to notify the 458 households through the app and social media. However, Serrano says it should have been the utility’s responsibility.
     “We feel US Water needs to do a better job distributing the notice,” said Serrano.

FYI: To learn how the City of Lake Worth’s Water Utility addresses “Boil Water Notices” use this link.

Please share this information with everyone you know who happens to live outside the City of
Lake Worth in that unincorporated area
called “Lake Osborne Estates”.

A look back, “Boil-water order lifted for Lake Osborne [Estates] after E. coli bacteria scare”.


See below for news in The Palm Beach Post by a beat reporter on November 18th, 2016. Note that Lake Osborne Estates is outside the City of Lake Worth in suburban (unincorporated) Lake Worth but starting this year is purchasing their water from the City of Lake Worth Water Utility.

For more requisite background on this story going back 3 years, do you remember former Post reporter Chris Persaud? From July 2014, use this link for Persaud’s article about, “Lake Osborne Estates water company sues Lake Worth”

By the way, Persaud was the beat reporter for Lake Worth until September 2014. He won the prestigious Society of Professional Journalism’s Sunshine State awards for exceptional election and public/charter school reporting County-wide and in Lake Worth as well.

Now back to the “E. coli bacteria scare” in
Lake Osborne Estates.

Here is a press release issued by the City of Lake Worth following reports of nasty, dirty, foul, smelly tap water in Lake Osborne Estates last year:

Dated Nov. 14th, 2016 from Timothy Sloan,
Lake Worth’s Water Plant Manager:


“The Lake Osborne drinking water system (aka US Water Services) purchases their drinking water from the City of Lake Worth. A water line repair was made last week by US Water Services in the Lake Osborne Subdivision (a consecutive water system of the City of Lake Worth). Following the repair, bacteriological samples were collected and the samples tested positive for the E. coli bacteria. US Water is collecting additional samples to determine the extent of the problem. Although [in 2016] the Lake Osborne water infrastructure system is not within Lake Worth jurisdiction, the City, in the utmost of caution, wishes to inform its end-users of this issue. US Water Services will be informing their customers via public outreach.” 

Use this link for the news report in the Post about that foul, nasty water in Lake Osborne Estates last November:

After testing positive last week for E. coli bacteria, the drinking water at Lake Osborne Estates near Lake Worth received the all clear Friday night [Nov. 18th, 2016].
     “We are pleased to report that the problem has been corrected and that it is no longer necessary to Boil Your Water,” US Water Services said in a release.

and. . .

     US Water Services has been flushing the water distribution system and working with the Palm Beach County Health Department. Brian Shields, Lake Worth’s water utility director, said the city had offered to help.
     The city [City of Lake Worth] on Monday [Nov. 14th] issued a drinking water notice, indicating that the notice only affected Lake Osborne residents.

and. . .

     Some residents, however, complained US Water Services didn’t alert residents soon enough, a charge Rendell [Troy Rendell, manager at US Water Services] disputes.
     “We didn’t find out until Sunday evening [Nov. 13th], and we notified the health department as soon as we found out,” he said. “They indicated we needed to post a notice to the media as soon as possible, which we did Monday [Nov. 14th] and we contacted the Lake Osborne Estates Civic Association on Monday for them to put the notice on their website.”
     On Wednesday afternoon [Nov. 16th], the company began placing boil-water notice door hangers on homes, Rendell said.

On the subject of water. . .

Starting this coming Sunday, October 1st, the City of Lake Worth will begin to “alter the chorination process” until October 18th. To learn more about this use this link or contact the Water Treatment Plant Manager, Timothy Sloan, at Lake Worth Water Utilities: 561-586-1710; email: TSloan@lakeworth.org