Saturday, December 23, 2017

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

Photo courtesy of Slim Aarons.

A timely message from Lake Worth Commissioner Andy Amoroso in this week’s Lake Worth Herald.

“Thank You!

Residents of Lake Worth for your Support & Confidence in allowing me to serve as your Commissioner for 3 more years.

I wish you a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous
New Year!

Happy Holidays!”


To congratulate District 3 Commissioner Amoroso call him at 561-398-8340 or send an email to: aamoroso@lakeworth.org

To see the front page news in this week’s Herald and Coastal & Greenacres Observer click on this link. Have news or an upcoming event to promote? Interested in subscribing or advertising in the Herald? Contact the editor at 561-585-9387 or email: Editor@lwherald.com

“Table Talk” reading the Lake Worth Herald begins on
January 9th. Click on this link to register. It’s free.
Want to pick up the print edition? Go to the City’s newsstand at 600 Lake Ave. and say “Hello” to
the proprietor, Commissioner Andy Amoroso.
The Herald is still ¢50!

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Those full-page ads published in The Palm Beach Post in early November last year, “VOTE TRUMP!”

All of us Democrats in Palm Beach County were in stunned disbelief when Mr. Donald Trump was elected President of the United States on
November 8th, 2016.

Readers of The Palm Beach Post supporting Hillary were in stunned disbelief two days prior as well, on Sunday, November 6th, when they turned to page A5 (see image below; note: may be disturbing for some readers), a full-page ad with that blaring message in BOLDFACE!, ALL CAPS! with the message:


“DRAIN THE
WASHINGTON SWAMP!”

Ads for then-citizen Donald Trump appeared in the Post, three total, the last one on Sunday, Nov. 6th, two days before election day.
Following the election the editor held a “Facebook Live Chat” with Republicans to discuss concerns about the Post’s reporting. The editor never reached out to us Democrats to explain why Hillary Clinton was not endorsed.

However, the big unanswered question is why didn’t the Post editorial board endorse Hillary Clinton in heavily Democrat-leaning Palm Beach County? They didn’t endorse then-citizen Mr. Trump either.

The big question is, why didn’t the editor at The Palm Beach Post make an endorsement for
President of the United States?

Did the decision of no endorsement for Hillary Clinton simply come down to appeasing the Bernie Sanders supporters?

If that’s the case, the editor forgot about the
primary results in 2016.

Is the City of Lake Worth too complex for the press and news media to understand in this time of quick news cycles?


Oft-repeated on this blog, our City of Lake Worth really deserved positive recognition from the press and news media following Hurricane Irma, for example, on the Post’s editorial page. But because of several factors, most notably because the City of Lake Worth owns its own Electric Utility, that adds an element of “complexity”:

“I think one of the greatest casualties of the high metabolism of the news business is complexity. That’s a big loss.”
Quote by Bill Keller, journalist and former editor at The New York Times.

Also of note, local beat reporters at The Palm Beach Post were absent leading up to, during, and post-Hurricane Irma, except for reporter Joe Capozzi who helped the City get its news out on Twitter to local TV news organizations. Also remember, for several days delivery of the Post’s print edition was stopped due to windy conditions.

Despite all this, the City performed spectacularly and kept the public informed and updated with all the latest information. And for this they deserved some special recognition in the Central Palm Beach County “paper of record”.

Following Hurricane Matthew in 2016 a Letter to the Editor (LTE) by Lisa Stewart made the print edition (see below). But following Irma there’s not been one single acknowledgement or even “a nod” from the editor at the Post to the City of Lake Worth or the Electric Utility.

A few weeks after the storm encouraged my readers to send a Letter to the Editor (LTE) or a Point of View about their positive experiences and the swift, professional response from the City, for example:

“Were you pleased how well the City of Lake Worth and Public Information Officer, Ben Kerr, got so much information out to the public and to the media as well? Write an LTE about that!”

Remember the Hurricane Irma updates posted on YouTube by the City? This is just one of many:



Here’s the LTE published in The Palm Beach Post following Hurricane Matthew in 2016:
So. Do you have a recent positive story to tell? Maybe about the CANVAS Outdoor murals?
Write a LTE about that!

Instructions:

How to get your LTE published in the Post.

  • Keep your LTE to 150–200 words in length. The “shorter the better” is a good rule.
  • An LTE submitted by email (see below) is the best method and remember to include your phone number and complete address.
  • Listing your credentials will help greatly.

Then always follow-up!

  • Follow up your LTE with an email or fax later that day or the next morning.
  • Then later, call the editorial department and explain why your letter is important.
  • Don’t be timid talking to the editor and be polite.
  • Just ask outright, “Are you planning to publish my letter?”

Who knows, maybe your LTE will get published
in this week’s Sunday edition?

  • Email: letters@pbpost.com
  • Fax: 561-820-4728
  • Phone: 561-820-4441
Snail mail:
Palm Beach Post
ATTN: Letter to Editor (LTE)
2751 S. Dixie Highway
West Palm Beach, FL 33405


Good Luck!

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

On December 11th Drew Martin, yes, that Drew Martin, qualified to run for mayor of Lake Worth.


Now here it is 9 days later and the beat reporter from The Palm Beach Post has yet to report this election news.

“Real News Starts Here”?

Remember. Martin ran against County Commissioner Dave Kerner last year in the primary. And lost. By a huge margin. Now Martin has his eye on a smaller prize, mayor of Lake Worth.

Political mailers, by the way, are FREE SPEECH. Other than a disclaimer (in 6′ type grayscale) a candidate can pretty much claim anything. And did you know reporters and editors just hate pull quotes!

But, once again, pull quotes are FREE SPEECH as well. “Pull Quotes are Fair Use”. 
Click on this link to learn more: “Explained: What happened on Tuesday, December 12th, the final day of qualifying to be on the ballot?”

But will Martin remain on the City of Lake Worth ballot? Stay tuned as they say.

A month later and still nothing in the press about “gunshot detection technology”?


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.”

The topic of  “gunshot detection technology” came up once again after this editorial in the Post datelined November 11th: titled, “Unacceptable rise in WPB homicides requires quicker action”:

“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. [emphasis added]
     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.
     It’s clear that there are too many guns around and too little sense.”

To read the entire blog post from Nov. 17th click on this link for an idea that might deserve some consideration:

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?

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Explained: What happened last Tues-
day, December 12th, the final day of qualifying to be on the ballot?


Apparently, the beat reporter from The Palm Beach Post is still trying to figure it out too. A week later and there’s still no news about what happened at Lake Worth City Hall at the meeting of the City Commission vis-à-vis the ballot for March 13th, 2018.

But that’s not unusual for election
reporting in this City.

Earlier this year it took the Post thirty-five (35) days to report that former Commissioner Ryan Maier had decided not to run for re-election after the ballot was certified and sent to the Supervisor of Elections. Maier dropped out of the race on Dec. 26th last year and the Post got about to reporting this election news on Jan. 30th. That’s right. Thirty-five days. To read more about that click on this link.

Anyhow. . .

Drew Martin filed to run for mayor of Lake Worth and about now he’s probably thinking he made a big mistake.

Martin originally filed to run against District 3 Commissioner Andy Amoroso, thought twice about it, and then ran back to City Hall to file a run against Mayor Pam Triolo instead. There’s still time for Martin to get off the ballot since it hasn’t been certified yet due to a minor procedural matter.

So yes. There may not be an election for mayor next year in the City of Lake Worth.

It ended up no one filed to run against Commissioner Amoroso. So he’ll begin serving another term on the Lake Worth City Commission but this time for 3 years following the referendum that passed last March.

Clearly, the public is content with the direction the City is moving in and this is certainly a nod to City Manager Michael Bornstein hired back in April 2012 to turn things around. One could say the ‘last hurrah’ in opposition began in 2015 and ended convincingly one year later.

Do you remember March 2016? Mayor Pam Triolo,
Vice Mayor Scott Maxwell and Commissioner Andy Amoroso all won in landslide elections.
Then in March 2017 the “gadfly” in District 2 was ushered off the City Commission and in came Commissioner Omari Hardy. Commissioner Herman C. Robinson won the open-seat election in District 4.

So. As it is right now, Drew Martin, yes, that Drew Martin, is running against Mayor Pam Triolo. One could say with some degree of certainty the oft-expected opposition here in the City of Lake Worth has drained the pool completely dry of talent and enthusiasm. But do expect some ecotheatrical reruns or maybe even a musical or two. Entertaining distractions.

The ballot was not certified at the City Commission meeting last week. At the end of the meeting learned why. Very deftly from City Manager Michael Bornstein. It had to do with the order on the ballot in the District 1 race, specifically the letters ‘M’ and ‘P’. Stay tuned as they say. Maybe a special meeting will be scheduled to address this matter and send the March 2018 ballot to the Supervisor of Elections.

And there’s more! Another election record was set here in the City of Lake Worth.

In the category of “Shortest Political Campaign Ever”: Richard Stowe, Chair of the City’s Tree Board filed his papers to run against Commissioner Amoroso on Dec. 11th and then filed his campaign “Termination Report” the next day before noon. The good news is Mr. Stowe got his $25 back.

To see all the candidates for the “2018 General Election” click on this link.
Before long the Playhouse and some neighborhood debates will be scheduled. Drew Martin needs to prepare his “Opening Statement” and maybe he will explain to the public why we need an
election for mayor in 2018.

Because, apparently, he is one of few that does.

Palm Beach Post promoting our City: “This is not the Lake Worth of old.”


First, there’s some new news about
Downtown Lake Worth:
The café on the second floor of The Book Cellar bookstore is now open. Learn more about
this exciting new business below.

Did you used to read a blog called “Central Palm Beach County” or maybe recall that Post
platform for local City news?

This was a very popular blog created by The Palm Beach Post, was very helpful, got a lot of attention during last year’s holiday season and is credited with boosting sales here in the City. The operative word is ‘was’ (explained below).

For example, on Dec. 16th, 2016 one of Post beat reporters posted this news on the Lake Worth blog:

LAKE WORTH — Earlier this year, the city passed an ordinance banning stores from selling prepackaged alcohol between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m. The ban upset many local convenience store owners who said it would cut into sales.
     But the new law, according to [Vice Mayor] Scott Maxwell, seems to be doing what it was meant to do — help clean up the city. . . . “This is not the Lake Worth of old. Things are getting better.” [emphasis added]

And the result as reported by PBSO Cpt. Todd Baer:
If you’re interested in learning about “com-
ments and feedback from many neighborhoods”
click on this link.

Plus that isn’t the only blog at the Post that’s been neglected. The blogs “Western Palm Beach County” and “Real Time” stopped adding new content last August as well. And then there’s the “Eye on Palm Beach County” blog too.

Has the Post given up completely on these popular social media platforms?

“Journalists document change in real time. Sometimes, the change is about us.
     Last week [Oct. 31st], the owners of The Palm Beach Post and the Palm Beach Daily News put our newspapers up for sale.”
Timothy D. Burke, publisher, commentary titled “Mission of Post, Shiny Sheet will not change” dated Nov. 4th, 2017.

On this blog you’re reading now, “Lake Worth City Limits”, have been focusing recently on the ways businesses can get attention from business reporters at the Post, help promote the business community here in the City and along the way help the public in Central Palm Beach County better understand what and where the City of Lake Worth actually is.

For the list and contact information for the five business reporters at the Post click on this link and discover helpful tips too, information about ways to boost holiday sales and actual examples from the 2016 Christmas and holiday seasons, for example: What one business did wrong and what another organization did right! Briefly, knowing how to contact the right business reporter with quality and news-‘Worthy’ information makes all the difference, for instance, do you know what “B-roll video” is?

Now back to the blog created by the Post to promote the Lake Worth business community.

Do you remember all the excitement when the Post’s blog focusing on the City of Lake Worth was rolled out in late 2015? It created quite the stir and excitement for the 2016 holiday season and then, for some reason, just fizzled out. The last entry posted was in late August this year. Now the effort is on to have the Post begin using that blog once again promoting the business community.

It was a news story on December 16th last year, promoted by the Post’s Alexa Silverman, that helped sell over 40 Cottages of Lake Worth hardcover books at an event held at the Palm Beach County Cultural Council located at 601 Lake Ave. in the Downtown.

Whilst on the topic of the business community here in the City have you been to The Book Cellar yet? This is a new bookstore in the Downtown located at the corner of Lake Ave. and “Jumpin’ J Street”. The Cottages of Lake Worth hardcover book is there for you to look over and maybe purchase. It makes an excellent Christmas and holiday gift. To learn more about the book and The Book Cellar bookstore click on this link.

So. Stay tuned. Maybe some time soon the Post’s blog highlighting the City of Lake Worth will begin stirring once again. And scroll back up for the list of business reporters earlier in this blog post. Why? Because if your business hasn’t tried contacting a business reporter by now, maybe your competition already has.

Monday, December 18, 2017

What’s so very unique about the City of Lake Worth and why elections are so very important.


Because whomever gets elected has a say in what you pay for electricity. Why? Because the City has its own Electric Utility. This is the “element of complexity” that’s befuddled so many beat reporters and editors over the years.

How does the City make decisions about the electric rates and other topics related to the Electric Utility? They rely on the Electric Utility Advisory Board (EUAB). Learn more about the EUAB below.

The Lake Worth City Commission is unlike any of the other thirty-eight municipal governments in Palm Beach County in that they can lower or raise electric rates; they do not need to get approval from the State or from the Florida Public Service Commission. The Lake Worth City Commission has the final say on electric rates. Period.

Yes. The City does have a power plant — albeit a very old one — and there is the new solar field as well. But like everyone else in Florida, what mostly powers our City are the big three sources: natural gas, nuclear power, and yes, coal too. And almost all of the City’s electric power is delivered via a tie-in line with FPL. The City needs two tie-in lines. But for the foreseeable future will have to depend on that one tie-in with FPL.

Then when it comes to environmentalists, for example, promoting solar power as the answer to our energy needs suggesting it’s even possible to be ‘off the grid’, that creates even more confusion.

That’s why elections are so important.

In September 2015, 6 months after being elected, two City commissioners dropped this bombshell:
Then, 1½ years later, Ryan Maier opted not to run for re-election and Chris McVoy, PhD, lost his bid for re-election. Every time there is talk of raising electric rates that pushes more of the public to consider switching over to natural gas.

Now. What exactly is the Lake Worth Electric Utility Advisory Board? From the City Charter:

The board’s purpose is to advise the city commission, on behalf of and for the benefit of the citizens and residents of the city, on electric utilities policies, plans and programs. The board will advise the city commission on the establishment of:
  • Fair and equitable policies.
  • Plans and programs that are consistent with customer needs.
  • Legal mandates, public policy, operational requirements and the long-term financial stability and viability of the electric utilities.

Powers and duties. The powers and duties of the electric utility advisory board shall include the following:

  • Serve as a channel of communications between the city commission, utility department staff, and the citizens of the city and the business owners of Lake Worth, in order to understand and solve the many complex problems relating to water, sewer and electric utilities.
  • Promote public access to information on the city facilities, services, policies and programs concerning the future energy needs of the community with respect to the electric utilities.

The EUAB’s role is to review:

  • Existing and proposed policies, plans and programs of the city utilities department for electric utilities.
  • Proposed capital improvement plans and programs of the utilities department for the electric utilities and electric power plant.
  • Existing or proposed electric rate changes, electric rate structures, and the electric utilities portion of the annual budget of the utilities department.
  • Assist utility staff by suggesting and reviewing policies affecting programs and services that affect acquisition, delivery or utilization of electric utility resources within the community.
  • Perform any other duties which may be within the purview of the committee which may be assigned by the city commission.

Hope this helps to explain the role of the City Commission and your electric rates.

And it’s time to start paying close attention. March 13th, 2018, is Election Day once again. Click on this link to see the candidates for mayor and District 1 commissioner (Commissioner Andy Amoroso had no opposition and will serve another term).

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Remember when we were told the “upscale Curio Collection brand” was going to manage the Gulfstream Hotel?


Read more about that below. But first, here’s interesting news from reporter Samantha Tatro about the historic Hotel Del Coronado in San Diego:

“The iconic Hotel del Coronado, with its
red turrets, is one of the most recognizable
hotels in the world.”

     The 129-year-old historic property, known by many across the world, will join the Hilton's smaller Curio Collection, an ensemble of upscale properties, according to Curio’s website.
     The Hotel Del is expected to become a part of the Curio portfolio by the end of July, according to a statement from The Del. The Curio Collection includes dozens of four- and five-star independent hotels across the world, like the Boulders Resort in Arizona. Three of those are in California, including the Hotel La Jolla.

Remember this news from reporter Dan Weil at The Real Deal in June of last year titled:

“Developers flock to middle cities of
Palm Beach County”

One of the “Notable projects” listed by the reporter was this one, datelined June 7th, 2016:

     A $70 million renovation of Lake Worth’s historic Gulfstream Hotel by Delray Beach-based developer Hudson Holdings. It plans to restore the crumbling [sic], six-story hotel, built in 1925, shrinking its room count to 87 from 106. And the developer intends to wipe away two nearby buildings so it can erect a five-story, 87-room annex to the hotel instead. Both buildings will carry Hilton’s upscale Curio Collection brand.
     “We started working three years ago in Boynton Beach and Lake Worth, and there’s a lot of value, especially in Lake Worth,” Steve Michael, co-founder of Delray Beach-based Hudson Holdings, told TRD.


“. . . there’s a lot of value, especially
in Lake Worth”