Saturday, November 18, 2017

Get ready for “Lake Worth’s First” craft brewery in early December.


To learn more about Mathew’s Brewing Co. click on this link and check out the FAQ page too. For example:

“Do you fill growlers? Yes. We fill quarts, half-gallons and gallon growlers of our craft beers.”

To follow Mathew’s Brewing on Facebook use this link.

You can also contact Mathew’s Brewing by
calling 561-762-7293 or send an email to: info@mathewsbrewingcompany.com
“Putting Lake Worth on the map with its first craft brewery. We’re bringing great beer to a great city! We’re easy to get to, hard to leave. Stay tuned for our opening event details.”

It’s time to get vibrant, creative: Ring in New Year 2018 on rooftop of the Gulfstream Hotel, host a Ghost Hunt!


Just because there’s no political will right now to get this structure open once again doesn’t mean this landmark can’t be used to help Downtown merchants. The City of Lake Worth has adjusted quite well to being a little side-trip for those staying in West Palm Beach and Palm Beach hotels. So why not try and up the game? Use the Gulfstream Hotel for parties? Maybe even a Ghost Hunt!

Cities and towns all over Palm Beach County are planning with their business community to attract tourists and visitors and keep them coming back far into the future. However, there will always be a need for other cities, e.g., Lake Worth, to provide services like a few hours of entertainment, party services, or for use on a sight-seeing brochure.

That frees up other cities to focus on the important things, like trying to catch up and fill the need for hotel rooms here in Palm Beach County:

“Tourism surge lures 6
new hotels to area”

“An eight-year stretch of record-breaking growth for Palm Beach County’s tourism industry has led to a surge in new hotel construction.”
—News from business reporter Jennifer Sorentrue. Use this link to read entire article.

Of course, our City of Lake Worth is not mentioned in this article. However, things looked promising last April for a new hotel in our Downtown:

“Demolishing the derelict structures on the neighboring [Gulfstream Hotel] property began Thursday [March 30th], said Jeff Mustard, a Hudson Holdings spokesman.”

But later we learned the Lake Worth CRA paid to demolish those eyesores — derelict structures on the western side of the property — not Hudson Holdings.

Going back even further, to a former tabloid that’s since gone defunct:

“This seems to call into question whether the developer would re-open the Gulfstream Hotel . . . and build a ‘second hotel’ if not awarded the beachfront project.”

Click on image to enlarge:
“We would like to immediately get to an agreement,” the developer writes in a March 2 [2015] letter. . .

If our City of Lake Worth is not going to join the “Hotel boom” here in Palm Beach County, why not at least do something with the Gulfstream Hotel property to attract visitors and tourists to our Downtown? Like maybe host the “World’s Largest Ghost Hunt” on New Years Eve?

Click on image to enlarge.

This event was abruptly cancelled last September.
Resident ghosts weren’t properly notified?
A “Ghost Hunt” would at least be something. New Years Eve is just two months away. Search for ghosts and then have a big party on the roof to welcome
in the New Year!

After the elections next March, time for a big decision: Should the City of Lake Worth take over the CRA?


The political battle over Community Redevelopment Agencies (CRAs) is shaping up to be a huge one next year. Below is just one of the many news items resurrected recently to remind everyone about what’s to come up soon in Tallahassee. From Kate Payne at WFSU News, “Lawmaker Repeats Call For CRA Transparency, Accountability”:

     Under [District 57 State Representative Jake] Rayburn’s bill, CRAs would have to conduct ethics training, open competitive bids, and file annual performance reports. Agencies would have to post project lists and funding plans, as well as changes in property values and vacancy rates.
     The bill would also phase out active CRAs by September 2038 or earlier. And the Legislature would approve any new CRAs, instead of local governments.
     The bill is largely similar to a House plan that emerged last session, but failed to get traction in the Senate.

Remember, the ultimate success of a Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) is to go out of business; no longer be necessary.

Are we reaching that point when the City needs to say “Thank You” to the Lake Worth CRA and take it over? Who can better allocate that tax revenue going forward, elected officials who deal with constituents every single day or the un-electeds at the CRA?

Consider this:

  • Beginning next March, elected members to the City Commission will begin serving 3-year terms. The hope is this will create a more deliberative body without the pressure having to run for election every two years.
  • Our City Commission received a well-deserved pay raise. The reasoning by City Manager Michael Bornstein is this will attract a better pool of candidates and retain the most qualified people to run for seats on the Commission. We’ll know if that’s true on Election Day, March 13th, 2018.
  • April 16th, 2018, will mark Bornstein’s 6th year as the city manager. A positive sign of stability and good management.
  • January 2018 will mark 10 years running the CRA by Exec. Director Joan Oliva. Back in 2008 the City was “dysfunction junction” and Oliva was a big part of changing all that.
So. Back to the question, after the elections next March — and if the City Commission continues its positive trajectory — is it time for the City to take over and capture that tax revenue from the CRA?

A lot will depend on what the voters do next March. Because of several vexing, long-ongoing issues the Commission is having difficulty grappling with, am starting to sense impatience bubbling up, which is nothing new to this City. However. . . it should be noted, taking into consideration the last 25–30 years of Lake Worth political history, these last 5 years have been a welcome but very unusual time of political stability, comparatively speaking.

Oh, and by the way. . . whilst on the subject of elections, the two-week Qualifying Period to get your name on the ballot for the March 2018 elections begins at noon on November 28th and ends at noon on December 12th. For more details use this link.

Former sign at our Lake Worth Beach.

“The pooch in this 1940s photo seems to take exception to the posted notice at the Lake Worth Municipal Beach. Pets are still barred from the beach, with the exception of service animals.” (Photo courtesy of the Lake Worth Historical Museum)

Table Talk: “Another outstanding FREE program” in the City of Lake Worth.


To register call Miriam at 561-899-1652.

Click on image to enlarge:
Please note and show your support for the sponsors (see below) of this upcoming bi-monthly event.

“Another outstanding FREE program conceived and organized by Cindy Ruth Ansell, the Lake Worth Children’s Librarian: On the second and fourth Tuesdays in January, February and March, families are invited to come for dinner and a discussion. Each evening a different topic based on articles in The Lake Worth Herald (Lake Worth’s oldest business) will be read aloud during dinner and then discussed.
     Each family will be joined with a bi-lingual facilitator at their table to keep the conversations lively! Bringing back a wonderful tradition of families reading together and sharing interesting news in the community. Special Thanks to all the generous sponsors for making this happen!”

Sponsored by:

“Lake Worth’s Oldest Established Business —
Established in 1912”
To see this week’s front page of the Herald use this link. To contact the editor call 561-585-9387. Pick
up the print edition at the City’s Downtown
newsstand: 600 Lake Ave. (still ¢50!).

“It’s a SCAM!”


Do you have a business in the City of Lake Worth? Have you received a phone call, someone threatening to “shut the power off unless a payment is made immediately”?

It’s a SCAM!
Hang up immediately!

Really folks. This is not making our City of Lake Worth’s business community look very good. The last thing we need right now is Dr. Phil (aka ‘Cpt. Obvious’) coming to our City to do an intervention. And isn’t this one more reason we need to create a “business alliance” to get information out to our commercial establishments and businesses in Lake Worth?

Once again. . . if someone calls saying they’re from the Lake Worth Electric Utility and threatens to “shut the power off unless a payment is made immediately with a Green Dot MoneyPak card or personal credit card” HANG UP THE PHONE IMMEDIATELY AND CALL 561-533-7300 (or make a Suspicious Incident Report with PBSO, call 561-688-3400; hopefully your first call isn’t to the press or news media).

or. . .

Do you ride a stolen scooter? Warning: Do Not call PBSO for help or use a screwdriver to tinker with the engine (the one caveat is, unless you have a fire extinguisher very close nearby with the arrow in the indicator pointing to the green. If it’s pointing to the red it won’t do much good if the scooter catches fire).

and. . .

Be suspicious of emails or phone calls from somebody in Africa or Turkey, or anyone with an odd name like “Gooz” asking for money. Why?

It’s a SCAM!

also. . .

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

The ‘crimes’ in the image below are from an actual “Lake Worth Crime Blotter” published in a former tabloid that littered our City three years ago.

Hard to believe but it’s true!
Click on image to enlarge.
Note: This tabloid is not to be confused with
The Lake Worth Herald, the City’s newspaper “Established in 1912”
.

Update: Next meeting of the Lake Worth Business Alliance has been scheduled.

The next meeting will be on Tuesday, Nov. 28th
(more details below).

Everyone in the City of Lake Worth’s business community, those concerned about the future of our businesses, and everyone looking to possibly open a new business here in Lake Worth are invited and strongly encouraged to attend the next and future meetings of the Lake Worth Business Alliance.

It’s very important to understand this IS NOT a meeting to address any one problem or particular issue a business or investor may be having. However, following the meeting there will be many in attendance who will be very able and eager to give you good ideas and possible solutions.

The Lake Worth Business Alliance is about THE BIG PICTURE. How everyone working together, an alliance, can bring about the changes necessary so the next time when you hear the words “Lake Worth is open for business” you know those words are true and not just a slogan.

The initial get-together of those interested in starting a business alliance met at Tacos al Carbon on October 18th. About 30 people were in attendance on a rainy night it needs to be noted. Following that meeting a small group of volunteers met twice to talk about the organizational structure. The last one happened yesterday (Nov. 14th) at TooJay’s in the Downtown to discuss more about the beginning stages and narrow the focus of the group, e.g., a mission statement.

Lake Worth City Manager Michael Bornstein is highly supportive and has attended two meetings thus far. It’s his belief the business community here in this City needs to be more engaged and involved plus the City needs a clear, reliable, and consistent way to communicate its message to the entire business community and vice versa, City-wide, something that’s been lacking for far too long.

It was encouraging to see new faces with fresh ideas at the meeting yesterday and it was great hearing what they all had to say. A lot of great ideas emerged like using the hashtag #mylakeworth to promote good news and positive messages about the City of Lake Worth. We concluded the meeting asking everyone to come up with concepts for a Lake Worth Business Alliance mission statement. These will be collected via email from everyone already on our list and shouldn’t take very long. Check back in a few days and will share some of those suggestions. 

We need everyone’s input! If you want to be involved and are not yet on the mailing list send your contact information via email to: wesblackman@gmail.com

These ideas will be printed out and shared with everyone at the next meeting.

The next meeting will be held on Tuesday, November 28th at 8:00 a.m. at Toojay’s on Lake Ave.
in Downtown Lake Worth.

We would like each person to bring along someone new that hasn’t attended a meeting thus far.

Some of the themes discussed about the focus of the Lake Worth Business Alliance are paying very close attention to what is coming up at City Commission meetings and at City boards as well that impact the business community. The geographic area covered by this business alliance is limited to the municipal limits of Lake Worth to help better define the City’s identity and branding, improve business-to-business networking and for attracting more customers for all businesses.

Events can be promoted and businesses can coordinate activities, advertising, and marketing related to those activities, the idea being the better “branded” the City of Lake Worth is the better “branded” our business community and services will become. Some upcoming events discussed included the Tree Lighting ceremony coming up on December 1st at the Cultural Plaza as well as the Holiday Parade on December 16th.

Hope to see a big crowd on November 28th at Toojay’s. FYI: we’ll be running a very tight meeting with an agenda focused on the goals moving forward. These meetings will not be an “airing of grievances”; it’s time to move forward. The most important part of the meeting will be comments and suggestions regarding how best to achieve this new organization’s goals. So be prepared to speak your mind or come with your ideas written down and turned in at this meeting. You are encouraged to email them ahead of time.

Not sure if you can attend the meeting coming up? Then send your ideas to me and I’ll forward that information on to the organizers. Once again, the email address is: wesblackman@gmail.com

FREE from the Poynter Institute*, a self-directed course for reporters: “Sources, Verification, and Credibility”


Time estimate for course: 1–2 hours. “You can start and stop whenever you like, progressing entirely at your own pace and going back as many times as you want to review the material.” 

Course Instructor: Candace Perkins Bowen.

This $24.95 course is FREE thanks to funding support from the Radio Television Digital News Foundation, the Robert R. McCormick Foundation and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

To register use this link. Some of the course material covered is:
  • Who else do you need to talk to?
  • Does this make sense?
  • What’s missing?
  • Have you kept opinion out of the information—or clearly labeled it as opinion?
  • Have you eliminated your bias and your sources’ bias as much as possible?
  • Have you filled in the gaps in information?
  • Have you made your reporting transparent?
  • Have you put the information in context?
  • Did you avoid sensationalism and are you showing why the topic is important in a clear and concise way?
*To learn more about the Poynter Institute, “A global leader in journalism”, use this link.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Lake Worth Vice Mayor Scott Maxwell said about PBSO in 2011: “I’m not going to take the sunshine away.”


Below is an excerpt from an oft-cited 2012 blog post titled, “Why does Lake Worth have PBSO and not its own police department?”

Commissioner [now Vice Mayor] Scott Maxwell, who voted against the study in January, said he will continue to support the sheriff’s contract because the sheriff’s District 14 office has helped reduce gangs and the crime rate in Lake Worth.
     “The PBSO is the best thing that’s happened to Lake Worth since sunshine,” Maxwell said. “I’m not going to take the sunshine away.”

Within the 2011 Willdan report (more details below) there were clues a previous City administration’s
 effort to end the contract with PBSO wasn’t
the smartest of things to do:
“PBSO responded to the public’s demands
for better law enforcement.”

The Willdan report was a huge topic in the City of Lake Worth and well-chronicled on this blog back in 2011. To learn more about this history in our City click on this link to read, “It’s not about the money; it’s about control” and about a City Commission Work Session in May of 2011 when,

“I [Yours Truly] was one of the moderators at last Saturday’s “Voice of the Choice” meeting, along with Bob Lepa and Karri Casper. The major weakness of the Willdan report was the complete lack of public input in its creation. The meeting we organized Saturday to fill that void.
     We designed the meeting to be informational and friendly to all points of view. We included ways to contact all of you and talked about future meeting dates. There was overwhelming support for the sheriff by the over two hundred people in attendance.”

You see, a lot of people back then didn’t appreciate at all a previous administration’s efforts to “take the sunshine away.”

Just to be clear: The City of Lake Worth and Town of Jupiter are not, and never were, a ‘sanctuary city’.


UPDATE: As stated at a PBSO news conference today [11/17], following this news from reporter Olivia Hitchcock, law enforcement is going after gang members, murderers, and street criminals. If you have been the victim of a crime:

PBSO IS NOT INTERESTED IN YOUR IMMIGRATION STATUS!

Residents, community leaders, and our electeds need to get this message out to our immigrant communities: You are urged — whatever your immigration status is — to contact PBSO immediately or contact Crime Stoppers, remain anonymous, and be eligible for an award up to $USD1,000:

Help stop crime in your neighborhood:
Call Crime Stoppers at 800-458-8477.

The City of Lake Worth and the Town of Jupiter both welcome our immigrant neighbors and are doing everything they can to protect you. But first, you have to report crimes; staying silent will only make the gang and crime problems in your community worse. This is very important as well:

“Because a city or town has a center to help immigrants, DOTH NOT a ‘sanctuary’ make.”

To learn more about this illogical nonsense (A  +  B  =  C ?), dis- and misinformation and just complete silliness about ‘sanctuary cities’ in Palm Beach County click on this link:

A [Lake Worth/Jupiter]  +  B [the Guatemalan Maya Center/El Sol Resource Center]  ≠  C [‘sanctuary city’] (symbol  ≠  means “does not equal”).

The editor at The Palm Beach Post irresponsibly used the term ‘sanctuary city’ in an editorial recently. Why? Probably to confuse the public, get everybody worked up, draw some attention and maybe sell a few more newspapers. But that newspaper is up For Sale now and it’s not hard to figure out why when a rogue reporter or an editor keep trying to confuse the public about ‘sanctuary’ cities.

Remember: The term ‘sanctuary city’ is one “that was created to divide people and to demonize diverse areas.”

Below is a quote by a reporter at SaintPetersBlog on that term, ‘sanctuary’, used to “demonize diverse areas”:

Regarding the issue of sanctuary cities and/or counties, Castor [U.S. Representative Kathy Castor (D), 14th District of Florida] told the crowd they should stop using that phrase, as it was intentionally divisive. . . . “There’s a lot of confusion and emotion around the term,” Castor said. “I think it’s a trap. I think it was a term that was created to divide people and to demonize diverse areas.”

To learn more about this topic of ‘sanctuary’ cities click on this link:

     Lake Worth City Manager Michael Bornstein was mystified to learn this month [July 2015] that his city has been labeled a sanctuary city.
     “It caught us all by surprise,” he said. “I asked if there was any ordinance or proclamation in the past, and there was nothing. I think we just got roped up with a bunch of other cities.”

Why isn’t the press and/or news media educating the public about “gunshot detection technology”?


Breaking news from Post reporter Olivia Hitchcock: “Six gang members arrested in recent Lake Worth killings

Six gang members, five of whom are juveniles, have been arrested in two recent Lake Worth killings, the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office said.

Blog post from earlier today:

From the editor at The Palm Beach Post in the Sunday editorial last week:

     “The death toll understates the violence. As charted by Post reporter Olivia Hitchcock, gunfire has injured 12 people as well as killed two, just since Oct. 20. The mayhem has resulted in only two arrests.
     The shootings stem from the drug trade, sure, but for other, depressingly mundane reasons as well: a domestic dispute, an insult. Minor provocations that used to prompt a fistfight now end in semi-automatic fire. [emphasis added]
     It’s clear that there are too many guns around and too little sense.”
November 12th editorial titled, “Unacceptable rise in WPB homicides requires quicker action”.*

From Wikipedia: “A gunfire locator or gunshot detection system is a system that detects and conveys [in real time] the location of gunfire or other weapon fire using acoustic, optical, or potentially other types of sensors, as well as a combination of such sensors. . . . Systems used in urban settings integrate a geographic information system so the display includes a map and address location of each incident.

West Palm Beach has had twenty-five homicides so far this year, in 24 of those senseless crimes firearms were the weapon. Two weeks ago — over just a one-week period of time — there were two more homicides in the City of Lake Worth bringing the total number of homicides to six in 2017, 5 of those murdered were victims of firearms. Twenty-nine people murdered by guns in WPB and Lake Worth.

Just like injuries and homicides by gunfire are clustered in areas of West Palm Beach, that’s also the case in the City of Lake Worth. Only one homicide was east of Dixie Hwy.; the others were west of Dixie in District 1 and District 2.

[Click on this link for the map of Districts 1–4 in the City lf Lake Worth.]

Instead of looking at gun violence and shootings as a “Lake Worth problem” or a “West Palm Beach problem” could the solution be Lake Worth’s District 14 PBSO and the West Palm Beach Police Dept. working together and collaborating to acquire gunshot detection technology to help solve a regional problem here in Palm Beach County? Wouldn’t you like to know more?

But has a beat reporter from either Lake Worth or West Palm Beach taken up this topic? No.

This topic of gunfire detection technology is not a new one by any means. Gunshot detection technology (for example, ShotSpotter, “Real-Time Intelligence to Fight Gun Violence”) was a topic of discussion several times at the Lake Worth City Commission and possibly funded by the County’s ¢1 Sales Tax proceeds.

Last June after a homicide in Lake Worth, in City Commissioner Omari Hardy’s District 2 (the City’s 4th homicide of 2017), Hardy brought up the topic of “ShotSpotter” technology and District 1  Commissioner Scott Maxwell (also the City’s Vice Mayor) also came out in strong support of the idea and agreed to discuss this idea further.

However, in August at a City Commission budget work session we learned,

“This is a subscription service and is quite expensive. However, it was decided to work with PBSO and find out if there was a way to get around this problem.”

So. . .

As to the question — if an enterprising reporter is up to the task — how much does acquiring gunshot detection technology cost? If the cost is prohibitive is there a way for cities to pool resources? “Is it possible for the West Palm Beach PD and Lake Worth PBSO District 14 to work together and solve this very serious problem?”

Or is the real problem, for some who’ve become accustomed to the status quo, is the thought of West Palm Beach and Lake Worth working together to help stop gun violence just completely unimaginable?

*On the issue of crime the editor at The Palm Beach Post recently praised PBSO Sheriff Ric Bradshaw who “smartly requested $1.8 million to hire 15 entry-level deputies” applying for a highly coveted federal grant for COPS.
     Community Oriented Policing Services: This program is “the component of the U.S. Department of Justice responsible for advancing the practice of community policing . . . through information and grant resources.”

City of Greenacres merged with PBSO two years ago. Wouldn’t your community or city like an update?


A reporter from The Palm Beach Post was there to cover it all in 2015 and keep the public informed. But it’s now two years since the merge and little if any news in the Post since about this very important issue here in Central Palm Beach County. Isn’t it about time for a feature story in the local ‘B’ section? Maybe even the Sunday paper with a leader over the banner on the front page?

Wouldn’t you like to learn more about
what is happening?

And early in 2016 the Post even had a reporter covering the topic of code enforcement in Greenacres too:

     “District I Councilwoman Lisa Rivera [now former Councilwoman Rivera] led the wide-ranging meeting, which covered everything from trash inside newspaper vending machines to unsightly medians along Lake Worth Road to pitch black streets on Haverhill Road. [emphasis added]
     Several city department heads and Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office deputies were on hand to answer questions from Rivera on why her district looks the way it looks.”

and. . .

     “Rivera is also concerned that many of the businesses in her district, which runs from the L-10 Canal south to the L-15 Canal, and from Military Trail west to South 57th Avenue, look like they should be in a flea market, with their garish colors and tacky banner signs.
     ‘It looks horrid,’ Rivera said.”

Stay tuned. When the Post finally gets around to providing updates about PBSO and code enforcement in the City of Greenacres will let everyone know.
Wouldn’t you like to learn more about how the merge with PBSO is working out? Maybe you think your city should be having that debate too? Merge the police department with PBSO if it makes
sense for your municipality.

Our City of Lake Worth’s popular Tree Festival is only 3 months away.

Would you like to volunteer and help?

Between now and the upcoming festival there are only two (2) Tree Board meetings left. The next meeting is December 14th; below is more information (location and time) and contact information as well.

The 13th Annual Festival of Trees is on February 17th, the weekend prior to the City’s Street Painting Festival. Sounds like a long time away but it’s not. There is much work left to be done:
  • Community outreach.
  • Coordinate with City? Lake Worth Electric Utility Dir. Ed Liberty, “Right Tree Right Place”.
  • Line up vendors and speakers.
  • Roll out a PR campaign with print material and maybe “B-roll” video too (one of the “5 Tips” published by the business editor at the Post).
  • Start a Facebook page? Use Twitter?

Have you ever attended a Tree Board meeting?

The Tree Board meets the second Thursday of each month at City Hall, meetings begin at 5:30; the agenda is publicly noticed the week of. The staff liaison for the Tree Board is Mr. Dave McGrew from the Parks Department and you can contact him for additional information at 561-586-1677 or by email: dmcgrew@lakeworth.org

Are you a long-time resident of this City? Do you remember when the City had its own annual tree contest?

“Officials said they hope to make the contest
an annual event”.

“Lake Worth Tree Board winners”
by Post reporter Lady Hereford.

“Tall and short, flowering and spiky, majestic
and just plain odd.”

“Anyone could nominate a tree, regardless of who owned the property”, and the “oddest tree category yielded two first-place winners: A strangler fig and a spiky Madagascar palm.”

Two-page spread, feature article in the Post,
August 10th, 2005:

Would you like this contest to come back? Attend the Tree Board meeting next week. Request this be a topic of discussion and added to the agenda.

Other winners of this tree contest (by type) as reported in the Post 12 years ago:

  • Most Beautiful Flowering Tree: Royal poinciana.
  • Most Useful Tree: Jaboticaba.
  • Best Native Tree: Slash pine.
  • Oddest Tree (tie): Madagascar palm and strangler fig.
  • Historic Tree, Most Majestic Tree, Most Sheltering Tree, and Biggest Tree: Banyan.

What’s your favorite tree? The Green Buttonwood?

Show up at the Tree Board meeting next week at City Hall and tell your favorite story about a tree or trees in your neighborhood.

Wouldn’t everyone like to see a press release about the “Jewel of Lake Worth”?


“Once referred to as the ‘Jewel of Lake Worth’ and on the National Register of Historic Places, this elegant property is undergoing a multi-million dollar face lift.”
—Quote from Hudson Holdings’ Gulfstream Hotel website, “A glimpse into the past”.


“With its site plan approved for the renovation of the historic [Gulfstream] hotel. . .

. . . Hudson [Holdings] is estimating it’ll begin construction by this fall [sic] on the main building following completion of construction drawings and the finalization of its construction loan, [Steven] Michael said.”
—Quote from the Sun Sentinel by reporter Arlene Satchell, datelined April 14th, 2017.

There really is no Fall season in Florida. However, the official start of Fall in the United States began with the Fall Equinox on September 22nd, almost 2 months ago now.

Pictures taken last July.
Click on images to enlarge.
The public deserves answers, some information about what is happening, if anything. A City press release at least acknowledging the restoration of
our Downtown historic hotel remains a priority
would be nice to see.

Using one of the creative tools on my phone:
Will next February be another Street Painting Festival, one more festival or big event in our City’s Downtown, with the Gulfstream Hotel closed
and shuttered?

Send your questions to Hudson Holdings, a company specializing in “adaptive reuse of premier historic structures”, using this link or call 561-768-7621. For the Gulfstream Hotel’s Facebook page use this link. Email: info@hudsonholdings.com

“What is SNMREC?” If you get your news about Lake Worth in the Palm Beach Post you would have no clue.

A question from a blog reader recently:

“What is SNMREC? An Ocean Wave Energy Generation project at our Lake Worth Beach?”

The short answer is SNMREC  =  Southeastern National Marine Renewable Energy Center. 

This is a cutting-edge research center at Florida Atlantic University exploring ways to create renewable energy from ocean waves. The reader was wondering about this line in a recent blog post titled, “Lake Worth Beach Complex Conceptual Plans Design”:

This project was a big part of Mayor Pam Triolo’s State of the City Address last January (see excerpts below) and was also the subject of a very high-level meeting at the Lake Worth Casino on February 12th:

Recognize anyone?
This “Ocean Energy Round Table Discussion” was led by State Rep. Kathleen Peters. Others in attendance were PBC Commissioner Dave Kerner, then-State Senator Jeff Clemens, State Rep. Lori Berman, Lake Worth City Manager Michael Bornstein, Mayor Pam Triolo, and other electeds,
officials, and staff as well.

And by the way — whilst on the subject of our City’s Casino complex, on the issue of sea level rise and fortifying dunes — one of the big ideas proposed by a former Lake Worth City Commissioner several years ago was constructing a parking garage into the west side of the dune at the Lake Worth Beach:

“One innovative approach that the Netherlands has taken in the face of sea level rise is to build parking garages under some of the dunes. . . . According to Maier [former Commissioner Ryan Maier], there are several benefits of building parking areas [parking garages] this way. ‘You don’t see the parking structure and it increases the height of the dune.’ ”

Excerpts from Mayor Pam Triolo’s 2017 State of
the City Address last January:

“The New Lake Worth is a City that embraces the future. On my recent trip to Washington [also last January] I also met with the US Department of Energy about our partnership that began last year with Southeastern National Marine Renewable Energy Center, or SNMREC, at Florida Atlantic University.

[Mayor Triolo explains travel to Washington, D.C.;
excerpts continue below.]


[Please note: Chris McVoy, PhD (on left, blue shirt), first elected in 2010, lost his bid for re-election 3 weeks after this video was taken. Lake Worth Commissioner Andy Amoroso is to the mayor’s right; Amoroso remains Lake Worth’s Vice Mayor Pro Tem. The City’s Vice Mayor is Scott Maxwell who also traveled to Washington, D.C. on this important topic, following the mayor’s trip a week earlier. Then-Commissioner Ryan Maier opted not to run for re-election in the 2017 election cycle.]

Mayor Triolo continues:

     “SNMREC is one of three entities created through the Department of Energy to promote private sector development of three types of power generation from the ocean. Wave, Tidal and Current driven energy has tremendous promise to provide clean and consistent power from the ocean. While the Wave program in Hawaii and the Tidal program in Washington State have advanced, SNMREC has had the challenge of locating an offshore site where private companies in partnership could test designs and develop proof of concept.
     While they currently have a buoy off Broward County, an actual mooring connected by cable to the grid does not exist, until now. Working together with SNMREC, Lake Worth would be a significant part of propelling this effort to develop ocean current driven power as a viable source.
     It turns out that after studying and developing detailed computer modeling, the Gulfstream Current is at its closest and in a most consistent strength offshore of . . . you guessed it . . . Lake Worth.” 

and. . .

     “As an oceanfront community our Electric Utility [City owns its own Electric Utility] can receive the power generated offshore. However how do we get it from out there to in here? Well it turns out we also have an old abandoned sewer outfall that goes ¾ of a mile offshore and we have applied for a grant to study and engineer a way to pull a cable through it to connect to the test site.”

the final excerpt. . .

     “In many ways, this is about clean renewable energy and economic development. Coupled with increasing the availability of feeding renewable energy into our grid for use in the City, we may be able to add power from the Gulfstream [Current] to our solar [see video below] and one day have the highest level of renewable energy of any city in the state or even the country.”



I hope this helps to explain this project and hopefully soon we’ll get an update about funding available and where this “proof of concept” is in the planning process.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

“Your Community Shopping Center” in WPB and “Looking Eastward Across Lake Worth” at Town of Palm Beach.


Have you joined the Facebook group called “Palm Beaches Remembered”? If local history is an interest of yours, strongly suggest you begin following this Facebook page. Many of the “memories” will truly amaze you.

Below are two more images from
Palm Beaches Remembered.

Expect some exciting things to happen in the next few years at and nearby “Your Community Shopping Center” in West Palm Beach. Once again, this plaza will be a vibrant part of our community and neighborhoods in WPB and the City of Lake Worth much like it was 50 years ago.

“Where Lake Worth Meets West Palm Beach” in 1968.

Click on image to enlarge, PALM COAST PLAZA.
Notice all the shops!
In September 2015 Post reporter Tony Doris provided hints about the future of this plaza on Dixie Hwy., north of the City of Lake Worth, just across the C-51 Canal.

Tony Doris’ article was titled, “Homes, links to area and water among options for WPB golf course”:

“The [West Palm Beach] city commission, by general consensus, authorized Economic Development Director Chris Roog to continue pursuing redevelopment plans for the 8111 S. Dixie property and the golf course. [emphasis added] The commission also indicated its willingness to work with the adjacent Palm Coast Plaza owners in coordinating redevelopment plans.”

“Palm Coast Plaza Store!”
This plaza was once a regional destination, serving West Palm Beach and other nearby cities and towns, e.g., Lake Worth and Palm Beach.

And also interestingly, a few months later (in December of 2015) Post reporter Eliot Kleinberg wrote this article titled, “[Boat] Lift at spillway would allow boat traffic from inland lakes to ocean”, referring to a project that is now called the Blueway Trail project (expected to begin in 3–5 years).

Now to “Looking Eastward Across Lake Worth”.

Back in the day there was a body of water the public called “Lake Worth”. Of course, this is what we call the Lake Worth Lagoon now, part of the Intracoastal waterway.

This image is c. 1940:
For some perspective, use this link for a photograph taken from the former Pennsylvania Hotel in West Palm Beach in 1937. The former Royal Worth
Hotel was prominent in the Town of Palm Beach
“back in the day”.

As far as “Lake Worth” goes, to this day some still call the Lake Worth Lagoon ‘Lake Worth’:

“The Avenue [Worth Avenue in Palm Beach], which encompasses four blocks between the Atlantic Ocean and the edge of Lake Worth [emphasis added] as well as its pedestrian side-street vias, was founded in the 1920s by Addison Mizner and boasts more than 200 shops, restaurants and galleries that epitomize the best of high-end merchandise and lavish amenities.”

Lecture this coming Saturday, 2:00, at Palm Beach County Main Library.

Do tree islands in Florida Everglades, “[H]ave the potential for permanent, year-round occupation”?

Meet at the Main Library located at 3650 Summit Blvd. in West Palm Beach (use this link for directions and more information). The lecture is titled, “The Archaeology of Everglades Tree Islands” by Palm Beach County Historic Preservation Research Intern Jessica Baker:

“During this presentation, we will be exploring the archaeology of Everglades tree islands through time, with particular focus on the genesis and prehistoric occupation of this network of islands which spans ~12,000 square miles of wetlands.”

and. . .

     “It has long been held that Belle Glade and the surrounding Everglades area was largely a series of short-term occupational areas of those traveling from coast to coast; this discussion will illuminate the incredible amount of potential habitation area and the resources available, which have the potential for permanent, year-round occupation.”

Whilst on the topic. . .

Have you ever visited the Lawrence E. Will Museum of the Glades, “exploring the total Glades experience”? The museum will record history-in-the-making, an excerpt from the museum’s website:

     “The water and sedges [south of what’s now called Lake Okeechobee] created feet of rich muck, which when eventually drained, turned into an agricultural wonder. Now some of that land close to the lake is beginning to be used for manufacturing in South Florida’s industrial expansion. This is sure to bring cultural and economic change in the next decade to the Glades.”

Worth another look: From earlier this week about Palm Beach County history.

A blog post titled, “Origins & History of the Palm Beaches” by Robert I. Davidsson (Ret.).

Robert Davidsson is retired manager of the Palm Beach County Library System’s Government Research Service (GRS) and author of the book “Indian River: A History of the Ais Indians in Spanish Florida” and related articles about Florida’s past.

Below is an excerpt from Davidsson’s blog, Origins & History of the Palm Beaches about “the mysterious and poorly charted inland sea known as Lake Okeechobee.” At the end of this blog post is the link to read in its entirety.

‘Democrat River’:

Belle Glade’s Everglades Gateway

By Bob Davidsson

The late 19th century was the last great age of exploration. It was an era when newspaper publishers not only reported sensational adventures in faraway lands, but sponsored expeditions to Africa, the Arctic and other unexplored regions to beat the competition.
     The best known of these journalistic expeditions was the dispatching of Henry Morton Stanley by the New York Herald to find and “rescue” missing missionary-explorer Dr. David Livingston from the unknown depths of central Africa in 1871.
     Not to be outdone by their northern rival publications, the editors of the newly merged New Orleans Times-Democrat newspaper (1881–1914) decided to launch two expeditions to the mysterious and poorly charted inland sea known as Lake Okeechobee. It was hoped journal reports from the expeditions would increase national readership, while new outlets to the sea would be discovered for future economic development.
     Times-Democrat correspondents kept journals of the expeditions. Their articles were printed in installments in the newspaper. A summary editorial entitled “North and South Through the Everglades in 1883” was published in the Jan. 6, 1884 edition of the newspaper.
     The editorial summarized, “These articles in the Times-Democrat introduce the whole country to Florida, and a general desire we felt to know more about this country and particularly about the Everglades.”
     The Lake Okeechobee expeditions were led by Major A.P. Williams. The journalist-explorers sailed from New Orleans to the cattle town of Punta Rassa on Florida’s west coast. Both expeditions then paddled up the Caloosahatchee River to Lake Okeechobee.
     The first expedition sailed north and explored the Kissimmee River to its source. It was followed by a second journey to the southern shore of Lake Okeechobee in November 1883. The explorers searched for a water gateway that would lead them through the Everglades to Florida Bay and the Gulf of Mexico.
     Their waterway of choice was christened the “Democrat River” in honor of their newspaper. The river led not to the sea, but into the heart of the Everglades.

Hope you enjoyed reading about the “Origins & History of the Palm Beaches”.

To read the entire article about the “Democrat River” click on this link.

Once again, from the file, “We all have to keep in mind. . .


. . . there are many new residents in the City of Lake Worth that have no knowledge of things that preceded them.”


In 2008, prior to PBSO taking over for the LWPD, crime in the City was so bad a resident actually proposed that Lake Worth PD set up checkpoints and vehicle searches on all roads leading into the City. Listen for yourself:



That never happened. But crime was so bad in 2008 many actually seriously considered police checkpoints. Now let’s take a stroll down memory lane to 2007:

Check out these crime “Clearance” rates, especially for homicides. . . “but having our own police department was just so charming”. Maybe in a few neighborhoods. But not so much in others.

Draw your own conclusions: Why does Lierre Keith draw so much attention on this blog?

Learn more about Lierre Keith below, but first
just a little bit about western sprawl here in
Central Palm Beach County.

The City of Lake Worth, if you didn’t know, according to the Palm Beach New Times in April 2016 had not one but two of the “19 Best Environmentalists in South Florida”. However neither of those two “Best Environmentalists” has ever responded to a blog post from November 2016 about “Eastward Ho!”:

We need to have an open conversation about development in Lake Worth. But that’s a difficult task when so many in the environmental community just say “No” over and over again to development along the I-95 corridor and east towards the coast. Cities like Lake Worth are being severely hurt by urban sprawl out west, taking much-needed tax dollars needed to fix our crumbling infrastructure, ergo the $40 million that Lake Worth voters agreed was needed last November 8th [2016].

Have those two celebrated environmentalists checked out the “New Homes” real estate section in The Palm Beach Post lately? And Palm Beach County has 39 cities now and another is looming on the horizon.

However, who came under almost constant withering attack and brutal criticism from the environmentalist and ‘red enviros’ several years ago and maybe still does? That would be none other than Lierre Keith, a radical environmentalist herself. Could it be a strong, outspoken woman with controversial ideas threatens a lot of people and institutions? Should she just shut up and go away?

And consider this: Consistently, blog traffic about Lierre Keith draws a tremendous amount of traffic on this blog. Why would that be?

It could be her organization, Deep Green Resistance, is one filling the void in the radical environmental community left by groups like EarthFirst! and others. Whether you agree with her or not she does have big ideas and thoughts, something that’s lacking for many who are looking for debates in the radical space.

Lierre Keith is a radical environmentalist, author, feminist, member of Deep Green Resistance, and an ex-vegan recovering from years of not consuming animal protein. In the video below she explains why she chose to be a vegan in the first place and the terrible health consequences that lifestyle had on her health.

She wrote a wildly popular book titled The Vegetarian Myth: Food, Justice, and Sustainability in 2009. Ms. Keith makes a compelling case against vegetarianism and why animal protein is essential to a healthy lifestyle.

Lierre Keith has “stirred the pot” if you will in other ways as well. She was in the forefront of a vociferous and acrimonious debate about transgenderism — suffice to say she’s not a big fan. Here is an article in The New Yorker subtitled, “The dispute between radical feminism and transgenderism”. She is a very interesting woman with strong beliefs and is not shy about sharing them with the world.

Enjoy the video and remember, Free Speech isnt just for people you agree with:

Tonight at 7:00: Mango Groves Neighborhood Assoc. meeting at Blue Front BBQ, 1132 N. Dixie Hwy.


Tonight’s special guest speaker is Lake Worth
Mayor Pam Triolo:
Remember, the Blue Front is more than just excellent BBQ, “it’s a step back in time” to what is called mid-20th Century “roadside architecture”.

Learn more about the Mango Groves Neighborhood Assoc. using this link. This is a public meeting and everyone is invited to attend:


“Hi everyone, once again it’s time for a meeting and we are a bit late making the announcement. We will meet at Blue Front tonight at 7:00. Mayor Pam Triolo will be in attendance to give us an update on our fair city. Hope to see you all there!”

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

A look back. Blog post from holiday season 2013 titled, “Mail Art”.


Send your Mail Art to:

Lake Worth City Hall
7 North Dixie Hwy.
Lake Worth, FL 33460

The deadline is now looming. We’ve had lovely responses and hope you will send us an embellished envelope.
     We set up a web site where we post all those that arrive. We have showcased the envelopes in Libraries and made presentations to Calligraphy guilds.
     One more large Christmas exhibition is planned and then they will be presented to the Lake Worth Historical Museum. Dont hesitate to send another piece of mail art, if you already have.
     The deadline is Nov. 15, 2013. None will be rejected if they are a bit wee late. We so enjoyed getting the envelopes from around the globe.

Thank You.
AnnaMaria
Project art consultant




Former Palm Beach Post beat reporter Chris Persaud: One of the all-time greats in Palm Beach County journalism.


UPDATE: Mr. Persaud’s latest is a spectacular piece of work published in Next City titled, “Florida NIMBYs Can’t Stop America’s First Private High-Speed Rail” about Brightline; click on this link to read the article datelined Oct. 23rd.

Every now and then somebody will ask about former City of Lake Worth beat reporters, “Whatever happened to Willie Howard?” And when it comes to political reporting and election reporting every now and then, “What happened to Chris Persaud?”

Mr. Persaud was simply the best ever. Hands down. Especially so when it came to reporting about politics and elections here in the City of Lake Worth.

Persaud received several well-deserved awards for his news reporting. And, of course, that gained him recognition and wide acclaim; then shortly later he went on to other things. Although Persaud had some issues early on with his reporting he later performed outstanding collaborative work, especially election reporting. If you’ve been following this blog you know how bad election reporting can be at the Post.

Watch Persaud in action back in September 2014 grilling the Lake Worth City Attorney prior to that year’s bond vote to fix our City roads and potholes:


[Sadly, due to concerns about sea level rise back in 2014 that bond vote ended up failing by just 25 votes. But later in November 2016 the Neighborhood Road Bond passed by a “whopping” 69%.]

For all Persaud’s diligence and attention to detail, he was honored and will be forever among the greats in journalism:

Society of Professional Journalism’s 2015 Sunshine
State Awards
:

Beat Reporting – Elections

Christine Stapleton, Chris Persaud, Sonja Isger, Ballot troubles

Infographic – Online

Kavya Sukumar, Michelle Quigley, Fedor Zarkhin, Chris Persaud, Property values, insurance safety and charter schools

As many of you know, we’re once again in the pre-election season in Lake Worth. This is the period of time prior to the 2-week Qualifying Period (which begins on November 28th), also called “The Silly Season”. Election Day is March 13th, 2018.

So, as they say, Stay Tuned!

Poolside. The Colony Hotel, Town of Palm Beach, 1961.

Photo courtesy of Slim Aarons.

News from Post reporter Kimberly Miller: “Icky brown waters off Palm Beach County concern tourism leaders”.

“A local newspaper is really a public trust, part of the fabric of the whole community. . . . The value of a local newspaper – a local watchdog with the resources to do real reporting on local government and issues — is greater today than ever.”
Timothy D. Burke, “Mission of Post, Shiny Sheet will not change”.

As reported by Palm Beach Post reporter Tony Doris on Oct. 31st, “Rains cause 1.2 million-gallon overflow at West Palm sewage plant”, is there a connection to the “Icky brown waters” off the beaches of Palm Beach County? In a recent Letter to the Editor a resident of West Palm Beach wondered following the report by Doris:

[D]oes this recent sewage spill have anything to do with last week’s health department closing of county beaches from Jupiter to Boca Raton, the entire Palm Beach County shoreline, due to elevated bacteria levels of “unknown” origin?

Here are two excerpts from Post reporter Kimberly Miller’s article datelined Nov. 14th:

The topaz-blue waters off Palm Beach County have had more noticeably brown days this fall – an opaque sea of tea that is less inviting and even dangerous as high bacteria levels have forced a handful of temporary no-swimming orders.

and. . .

     “I’m seeing a polluted coastline from Jupiter to I don’t know how far south,” said Jack Corrick, a Singer Island resident. “Visitors are starting to come back and if people won’t go in the water, it would be a quick death for us.”

Should Town of Palm Beach be worried about the water supply and sewage spills?

Another question, should the town seriously consider getting its drinking water supply from the City of Lake Worth instead of from West Palm Beach? Below is a Letter to the Editor published in the Post last Sunday titled, “Sewage spill shows serious problem”, written by Anne Kuhl of West Palm Beach:

Re: “Rain causes 1.2 million-gallon overflow at West Palm sewage plant” (Wednesday), reporting that Tropical Storm Philippe caused a sewage spill of 1.2 million gallons at the West Palm Beach regional sewage treatment plant.
     With the sewage plant’s location off Roebuck Road just east of the Florida Turnpike and at the edge of the city’s main water supply, the Grassy Waters Preserve, the city’s wastewater operation appears to be a serious threat to its own public water supply. [emphasis added]
     With this major sewage spill and the sewage worker’s drowning death at this same plant, it would seem that all the millions of dollars the city has spent to stop the State Road 7 extension would be better spent repairing and improving their own sewage treatment plant. Instead, a city commissioner chooses to blame the spill on climate change.
     Additionally, I just have to wonder out loud, does this recent sewage spill have anything to do with last week’s health department closing of county beaches from Jupiter to Boca Raton, the entire Palm Beach County shoreline, due to elevated bacteria levels of “unknown” origin?

If this issue is of grave concern to you, please take the time and write a Letter to the Editor. Use this link to learn how.

Gopher tortoises in City of Lake Worth. Threats: Cars and bikes, curious kids, and golf balls falling from the sky.

WARNING: Never, ever try to save a Gopher tortoise by throwing it into the water. Turtles can swim. Gopher tortoises can’t! They’ll sink to the
bottom and quickly drown.

The future of this endangered reptile, well away from urban areas, is something we all can agree is
necessary in Florida.
Gopher tortoise (image from Wikipedia).* Another threat to these reptiles is poaching, a serious crime with severe penalties. Also, these tortoises are not ‘pets’ to be kept in the backyard for entertainment.

One reason that was given several years ago why the City’s Park of Commerce (POC) shouldn’t be improved upon or Neighborhood Road construction and our water/sewer upgrades delayed too is because a Gopher tortoise burrow may be in the vicinity. Another claim is these tortoises can’t be relocated.

That is completely false.

An urban environment of which the POC and the City of Lake Worth are partmost reasonable people can agree is not the ideal place for this threatened species of turtles to live. The creature is trapped because of roads and development and has no way of escape. The near-constant interaction with humans is a safety issue. There are nature preserves in Florida specifically for creatures such as the prehistoric Gopher tortoise; one is the spectacular Nokuse Preserve here in Florida.

Finding Gopher tortoise burrows, rescuing the reptile and taking them to a safer and more hospitable location is quite common.

Watch this short video of the process:


You can learn more about this reptile at the FWC and find out about the permit process for finding them a new home in a safe place. Let’s do all we can to help these tortoises in our little City of Lake Worth find a new, safe home.