Sunday, November 18, 2018

Journalist Chris Persaud has made a triumphant comeback!


Mr. Persaud has come back to The Palm Beach Post. And sorely needed he most certainly is.

And who knows, he might come back as the City of Lake Worth’s beat reporter once again. Learn more about Persaud’s news reporting below which garnered prestigious awards in the newspaper industry. With the March 2019 municipal elections looming his skills are sorely needed.

Why would that be?

Maybe it was because when Persaud left the Post was when a former commissioner, Cara Jennings, felt comfortable strutting her position on the ‘Urban Chicken’ once again. That news never made the Post but ridiculously absurd and downright inaccurate ‘news’ about the crime rate in this City was reported instead.

And to this day the City of Lake Worth is still dealing with the consequences.

GateHouse Media in their continuing effort to make the Post a better newspaper and relevant once again must be going through older records and looking for former reporters, talent that already knows the “lay of the land” so to speak.

GateHouse bought the Post and Shiny Sheet 6½ months ago (on May 1st) and before long the Snowbirds will begin arriving en masse and GateHouse will want to make a fresh, new and lasting impression with our annual migration of newspaper readers from the north.

Since coming back to the Post here is one of Persaud’s most recent contributions along with reporter Mike Stucka about the latest in the General Election recount:


While reporters, lawyers and police gathered in Riviera Beach where elections workers recounted thousands of votes, a couple dozen protesters rallied 12 miles south to bring about changes for the next election.

About 25 people congregated at the Supervisor of Elections Office in suburban West Palm Beach [emphasis added] on Saturday, chanting, “Count every vote” and “We will not concede” as noise from South Military Trail traffic nearly drowned them out.

and. . .


Two former Lake Worth city commissioners also attended.


The “Two former Lake Worth city commissioners” are not named by Persaud which is an unfortunate oversight.

Persaud, if you didn’t know, used to be the Post beat reporter for the City of Lake Worth. He followed in the footsteps of the greats: Willy Howard and Lona O’Connor.

But where Persaud excelled was at political and election reporting. Truly amazing work and it’s never been the same since he left the Post in 2015. In that year Peraud won two prestigious awards from the Society of Professional Journalism and soon thereafter penned the epic, “Florida NIMBYs Can’t Stop America’s First Private High-Speed Rail”.

After Persaud left the Post, that newspaper and many other news media outlets in Palm Beach County and Martin County went decidedly negative against All Aboard Florida, what later became Brightline and soon to become Virgin Trains USA.

But despite all that negativity for well over two years, when Persaud’s news in Next City hit the presses in October 2017 a paradigm shift occurred:


In Mar-a-Lago’s backyard, a fast new train and millions of dollars in transit-oriented development are reshaping the landscape.


The critics and malcontents began to look silly. And the critics that remain look even sillier still.

And on another front Persaud was trying to make major changes in how news was reported in Central Palm Beach County. He was the very first reporter at The Palm Beach Post to begin distinguishing between the City of Lake Worth and unincorporated areas outside this City.

For example in December 2014, correcting a false news report in the Sun Sentinel, Persaud edited and rewrote the story:


[D]uring a 1:45 a.m. incident outside an apartment in the Grant Park area of suburban Lake Worth [emphasis added], the sheriff’s office said in an arrest report . . . They recently had been staying with the son at the suburban Lake Worth residence, north of Melaleuca Lane and west of Davis Road, the report said.


But unfortunately when Persaud left the Post that effort to educate the public ended as well. And to this day we are still dealing with very poor news reporting in the Post vis-à-vis the difference between municipal City limits and unincorporated areas west in Palm Beach County.

But Persaud wasn’t without controversy.


Like when Persaud inaccurately labeled then-citizen Mr. Herman C. Robinson a ‘developer’.


Mr. Herman Robinson is now District 4 Lake Worth Commissioner Herman Robinson, elected to the City Commission in March 2017.

Calling someone a “developer” in Lake Worth can be like waving a blood-drenched flag in front of a bull having a really bad day. But that’s what Chris Persaud did to Herman Robinson in August of 2014 leading up to that bond vote to fix our roads. Herman’s only crime was being one of the founding members of the “Lake Worth Yes!” PAC formed to promote the bond and get our roads and potholes fixed.

But later Persaud reached out to Mr. Robinson and set the record straight. As reported on this blog:


Have it from a reliable source that Chris Persaud called Herman Robinson to apologize for misrepresenting his profession. In reality, Herman is a contractor, but more in the sense of a Mister-Fix-It, than a Morganti (the contractor that did the work on the casino building). In either case, he would not be classified as a developer.

In typical Herman Robinson style he took the high road I'm told and they talked like two gentlemen for a few minutes. 


And then there was this very unfortunate correction published in late August 2014:

To learn the latest about the “Lake Worth Yes!” PAC click on this link.


And here is Mr. Persaud back in 2014 grilling the Lake Worth City Attorney prior to that year’s bond vote to fix our City roads and potholes:




But 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%.

In conclusion. . .

For some time now the public here in the City of Lake Worth has been wanting a new beat reporter from the Post and it’s been quite some time since we’ve had a female perspective. A young woman reporter would be a welcome change.

But if that’s not possible due to staffing then our City can do a lot worse than Chris Persaud. He already knows the territory and he actually knows where the City of Lake Worth is located. A great start.

Construct a new massive reservoir in Palm Beach County or keep the acreage for farming of essential food?


As you’ll discover below Hurricane Maria created a dramatic shift in the demographics of Florida, especially so from the island of Puerto Rico. And along with that shift has come a huge demand for popular ethnic food. One food in particular is cited below.

And where is this food grown? Right here in Palm Beach County.

Briefly, before we get to whether or not taking land out of production to construct a new reservoir in PBC is a good idea or not, recall that Palm Beach Post journalist Mahima Singh projected in July 2017 that South Florida would become majority minority by 2025. What Singh didn’t count on was Hurricane Maria two months later in September 2017, a major storm that devastated the Caribbean forcing many to abandon the island for the mainland.

The Puerto Rican communities in Florida, especially those in the South Florida and Orlando markets, need to use their political clout and make their voice heard. Have you heard the news from journalist Charles Elmore in The Palm Beach Post? See excerpts from that recent news below.

To the question: Is it good public policy to take land out of production to construct a new reservoir to the tune of $1.4B, plus or minus a few hundred million dollars?

All Puerto Ricans and those from the Carribean who have settled on the mainland following Hurricane Maria need to encourage your elected leaders to say “No!” to another reservoir south of Lake Okeechobee.

Because Florida and the entire nation may very well need that land for other things. Two reasons:

First, because it’s dubious at best whether or not a new reservoir south of Lake Okeechobee is actually necessary when there are so many exciting projects north of Lake Okeechobee that will actually work and reduce water discharges east and west into the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie rivers.

And the second reason is rice. Yes, rice. Actually a specific type of rice of the medium-grain variety that is very popular in the Hispanic community and especially so in Puerto Rico.

Here are two excerpts from the news datelined Nov. 13th by Charles Elmore at the Post:


Puerto Ricans who came to Florida after Hurricane Maria have had one effect on Palm Beach County’s economy most people don’t realize — a tripling of the acreage West Palm Beach-based Florida Crystals Corp. devotes to a medium-grain rice crop it just harvested.

That particular type of rice serves as a culinary staple for many on or from the island, and Florida Crystals packages it for Goya Foods, which sells it through that brand name.

“This season, we increased the acreage we normally grow of medium-grain rice in order to supply the rising demand from Florida’s Hispanic market,” [emphasis added] said Luigi Trotta, Florida Crystals’ director of rice and organic farming.

and. . .


As for medium-grain rice, it now commands 1,550 acres at Florida Crystals, up from 469 last year and 278 in 2016.

Most of it goes to the Orlando market, and the most popular size is the 20-pound bag, officials say. It’s favored in a variety of meals, soups and puddings.

In Florida, rice is typically grown in rotation with sugarcane, with its flooded fields providing a habitat for more than 160 species of birds.


So besides rice supplying an essential food source, rice is also beneficial for the environment as well.

What can you do to make your voice heard?

Try contacting the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce in Palm Beach County:

Our Mission


The Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Palm Beach County is the Gateway to Connecting and Growing Business to the Hispanic Community. The Voice of the Hispanic Business Community in the Palm Beaches . . . is connecting people, commerce and community to build a stronger local economy.

Saturday, December 15th is the City of Lake Worth’s 53rd Annual Christmas and Holiday Parade!


The theme for this year
is The Nutcracker.


Does your neighborhood, organization, school or community want to be part of the big event, the Annual Parade down Lake Ave. to the Cultural Plaza?

Below are more details and who to contact.


Here is a short video from 2011:




Here are some of the floats and other entries that are part of the Christmas and Holiday Parade each year:
  • Adult floats
  • Kids float
  • Decorated vehicles
  • Classic cars
  • School bands
  • Marching groups
  • And always the highlight . . . Horses!

For more information contact the inimitable Sylvio Pierre-Louis at 561-533-7395 or send an email to: SLouis@lakeworth.org

Or if you wish stop by the Special Events office located at 501 Lake Ave. (across from the Cultural Plaza) on Monday–Friday from 9:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m.

And please note the Lake Worth Christmas and Holiday Tree Lighting will be on Saturday, December 1st in the Downtown Cultural Plaza from 6:00–9:00.

And whilst on the topic of Special Events:


Next Friday, November 23rd, the day after Thanksgiving is a very special day. There is another spectacular Beach Bonfire at the Lake Worth Beach and it’s the Food Truck Invasion too at the Cultural Plaza.

So start making your plans now for next Friday here in the fun and exciting City of Lake Worth.

Question for residents of the City of Lake Worth: “Do you really need another flimsy tote or pen?”


The question above is asked by writer Elizabeth Segran, PhD. And below are two highly interesting excerpts from the article datelined Nov. 2nd, which is labeled a “5 Minute Read”.

Why does this matter? Here’s why:


Over and over again we’re told our six-square-mile City — our elected leaders, the administration, business community and the public — need to do more to help save the environment.

We’re told we need to ban plastic straws and ban balloons too by ordinance frightening the bejesus out of little kids thinking their parents will receive a huge fine or even jail time.

We’re told we need to plant more shade trees. And we’re told that municipalities like this City need to contribute more money to help South Palm Beach replenish their beaches. But no matter what this City of Lake Worth does it’s never enough for some. We could always do more.

We’re told that plastic bags are bad too. That instead of using plastic bags to take your purchases and groceries home that everyone should use a tote bag instead.

So think about that for a moment or two. And then wonder if that tote bag is doing all that much to help save the environment.

The two excerpts below were published in the journal Fast Company by writer Elizabeth Segran and headlined, “It’s time to stop spending billions on cheap conference swag”:


Don’t get me wrong. I love a good tote bag, particularly if it’s from a brand I love. I have an NPR tote I got from a pledge drive. I confess that I canceled and re-subscribed to the New Yorker just so that I could get a new version of the tote that comes with membership.

But I’m also drowning in dozens of other totes that brands fling at me at conferences, product launches, and events. Most of them aren’t particularly sturdy or well designed, so they’re not that useful for bringing to the grocery store. And Goodwill doesn’t typically take random, flimsy tote bags. So every few months, I gather them and throw them out.


The article ends with this paragraph that instead of tote bags, all those marketing companies should, “Instead, consider offering experiences” instead:


Several well-reported studies show that millennials [sic; should be capitalized] are prioritizing experiences over stuff. For instance, I’d appreciate a back massage at a conference, or perhaps a yoga class, or a free headshot. I’d even enjoy a good meal instead of a swag bag. Give me a cold brew, awesome donuts, or a burger. If you wrap the event in your branding, there’s a good chance your target customer will remember that experience long after the tote bag is stuffed in a landfill somewhere. [emphasis added]


Those that want to ban plastic straws in this City of Lake Worth need to start ‘offering experiences’ instead, don’t you think? Like maybe purchasing several cases of paper straws and stroll the town and the Beach handing them out to people at restaurants and at events as well.

And maybe remind the public too that a refillable metal canteen is much more environmentally friendly than a plastic bottle of water. This was the message from the nationwide “March for the Ocean” last July with some scattered protests here in South Florida.

One of those marches took place in Washington, D.C. and included Drew Martin and friends from the Loxahatchee Sierra Club, an environmental organization located right here in Palm Beach County. Do you remember the March for the Ocean?

Nobody does. Just like “cheap conference swag” the protest march is no longer of interest to the Millennials.

So if banning things like plastic is a high priority for you then get creative and stop doing the same things over and over again. Like maybe offer experiences your target audience will actually remember.

Reside in City of Lake Worth? Know what the POC is? For daily readers of this blog it’s important to remember. . .



. . . there are many new residents of the City of Lake Worth who know nothing of the Park of Commerce (POC), an issue we’ve been dealing with for decades. That’s the reason why blog posts like this one are re-posted every now and then.


Anyhow, about that place called the POC. . .


Below is a map, and a video, helpful images, and much more information as well about that now-legendary place in this City.

The latest is last March Florida Gov. Rick Scott DID NOT line out an item in a spending bill, $1.4M in this year’s state budget for the POC which made Lake Worth Commissioner Scott Maxwell very happy. Despite all the slings and arrows Maxwell fought for the POC for many years and even lobbied the governor in person this year. Again.

This item in previous budgets was lined-out three times in a row by the governor three years in a row. Let’s just say former State Senator Jeff Clemens wasn’t entirely helpful and just leave it at that.

Maxwell wasn’t alone. Mayor Pam Triolo and now-Vice Mayor Andy Amoroso fought hard for the POC. Traveling to Tallahassee and back so many times everyone lost count. And to see their faces on learning that the governor lined out the POC for the third time last year was heartbreaking. But this year it finally made the state budget and was passed into law.

And for years groups opposed to the POC staged all kinds of nonsense and PR stunts, for example just a few years ago the POC was, according to a former ‘reporter’ at WPEC/CBS12 (no, not Jonathan Beaton!) was the site of a “forced relocation” akin to the internment camps for Japanese-Americans during WWII and a news report in The Palm Beach Post had to be retracted as well.

But most recently you may recall the “Boutwell Road Groundbreaking Ceremony” last March and prior to that news about the Economic Development Administration (EDA) grant for $1.4 million.

Many involved and/or long-time residents of this City recall well the POC over the years and efforts to do something, anything, to have that prime piece of commercial real estate add tax dollars to our City’s coffers.

Past city commissions have tried, and failed, to make this area (see map below) a major contributor to the City’s commercial tax base giving homeowners less of a burden. Some former electeds were so desperate to have something happen in the POC, anything, even a chicken farm was suggested. Really. That’s true. Luckily, that idea didn’t go far.

The POC one could say has had its share of “ups and downs” over the years which included floods, overflowing canals, mobile home residents fleeing ahead of major storms, crime, pestilence, and also home to many wonderful French-Canadian Snowbirds each Fall/Winter season and persistent talk of voters too with out-of-state vehicles who miraculously appeared every year just in time to send in their absentee ballot.


Welcome to the “Lake Worth Park Of Commerce”:

This image will surprise many of you and is explained later in this blog post.

New residents in this City, if they’re not cautious where they get their information from, will be misinformed by ‘facts’ on other blogs, social media, or even news reporters that don’t understand the entire story.

So where exactly is the POC?


By the way, the POC lies within the Lake Worth Drainage District although most of the City does not.

To see this map for yourself go to the Citys zoning map. And while you’re at it you can see how your neighborhood is zoned.


In the map above is the POC: Roughly it’s the dark shaded area west of Boutwell Rd., east of the E-4 (Keller) Canal, north of Lake Worth Rd. (the County’s John Prince Park) and south of 10th Ave. North. Now that you understand where the POC is, how long has this been a matter of debate in the City?

Let’s look at one example of many (the first image above is the front cover of this “Citizens’ Master Plan”).

Click on image to enlarge: 

The Lake Worth Park of Commerce Citizens’ Master Plan, Charrette Draft Report prepared by the TCRPC in October 2001.


Over seventeen years ago. I have this original report prepared by the Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council (TCRPC); if you would like to borrow it let me know (my email address is wesblackman@gmail.com).


Recognize anyone? Ever heard of a gentleman named Dana Little?


There are names throughout this document many of you will recognize. Enjoy this charming video I did of the POC back in 2014, a small area in the City of Lake Worth with so much potential, “the P-word” if you will:


Enjoy the video!

Gopher tortoises in John Prince Park. Threats: Cars and bikes, cats, 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!

The reptile will sink and quickly drown. Also note:

The nearby John Prince Park, west of the City of Lake Worth, is known to be a habitat for Gopher tortoises and feral cats are a huge threat:

“[F]eral cats have been discovered chewing the back legs off a fully grown healthy adult tortoise.”

Another threat to Gopher tortoises is poaching which is a serious crime:


“Every year, thousands of poachers are arrested nationwide; however, it is estimated that only 1 to 5 percent of poachers are caught. Poachers kill wildlife anytime, anywhere and sometimes do so in particularly cruel ways.”

But there’s good news too!


From the South Florida Water Management District read about Resolution No. 2017 - 0720 to:


“Declare surplus land interest containing 142.61 acres, more or less, in Highlands County, and authorizing the grant to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) of a conservation easement as a condition of the District obtaining a permit from FWC for the purpose of establishing the subject property as a gopher tortoise recipient site.”
 

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): Tortoises are not ‘pets’ to be kept in the backyard for personal enjoyment or entertainment.


One reason that was given several years ago why the City’s Park of Commerce (POC) shouldn’t be improved upon or moving forward with the Neighborhood Road Bond and delaying upgrades to our water/sewer infrastructure too is because Gopher tortoise burrows may be in the vicinity of a project. 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 also 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 habitat. Let’s do all we can to help these tortoises in our little City of Lake Worth find a new, safe home to live in peace.

“I have a question. I’m new to the City of Lake Worth. What does ‘L-Dub’ mean?”


This is a very frequent question, the
explanation is below.


You may have overheard someone saying, “I’m so happy L-Dub has a new bookstore.” This is referring to The Book Cellar, a bookstore that opened in Downtown Lake Worth late last year or maybe there was a conversation nearby and over heard, “Where did you get that cool blouse?” And the hushed response, “I found it at World Thrift. Isn’t it soooo L-Dub!

Yes, indeed, the City of Lake Worth is a very unique place in Central Palm Beach County (CPBC).


But what many in the public don’t understand — e.g., those living in unincorporated areas with a ‘Lake Worth’ zip code (correctly referred to as suburban Lake Worth), some in the press and news media that are still confused to this day, recently new residents, tourists, and visitors as well — is the difference between the City of Lake Worth and all those vast areas out west, almost to the very edge of the Everglades that some call falsely, ‘in Lake Worth’.

What follows is a short discussion about the term, or slang if you will, with real-life examples and variants of the oft-used term in this City, “L-Dub”.

City residents, especially so the Millennials and younger generations use terms like “L-Dub” and variations of the term (explained in bullet list below) to distinguish (also called “branding” in the start-up and business community) our very vibrant, charming, and special City of Lake Worth from all those cookie-cutter and boring suburbs out west in CPBC.

“L-Dub” defined and an everyday example:

  • The L is short for “Lake”.
  • DUB is short for double-“u” as in the letter “w”.
  • Hence the term L-Dub, slang for “Lake Worth”; once again, the actual City of Lake Worth, not any cookie-cutter western community in CPBC.

An example in speech, and note the variants,
explained in another bullet list below:


“Welcome to LDub! Have you been to World Thrift yet? It is soooooo cool and prices you won’t believe. And there’s a new Tacos Al Carbon L-DUB location right across the street. You made the right choice moving to LéDûb. Nobody cares about Delray any more. ElleDub is where it’s at.”

Other variations of the term “L-Dub” referring
to the actual City of Lake Worth are:

  • The Hipster feminine and formal Spanish variant, “Elle-Dub” [informal; Hipster male, “El-Dub”].
  • “LDub”, sans the hyphen, a British (199-) variant [informal, familiar].
  • The French/European Union variant [formal, proper], “LéDûb”; used in a sentence, “C′est si bon, Mademoiselle, Monsieur en charmant LéDûb.”

So. When was the last time you visited our little, vibrant, and exciting “City of Lake Worth”?

Certainly by now you’ve heard about Tacos Al Carbon and the ever-popular World Thrift just across the street where all the Millennials, Hipsters, and Apatharchists go for their clothes and accessories!

Everyone in L-Dub is looking forward to seeing you! What are you waiting for?

Do you remember when The Palm Beach Post used to oppose Brightline? Recall all those negative letters that got published?



“A flute without holes is not a flute.
A donut without a hole is a Danish.”


Quote. Chevy Chase in the classic movie Caddyshack.

So. You may be wondering, why is this quote by Chevy Chase significant to Brightline? Find out further down below in this blog post.

Hint: Recall that “donut hole” in downtown WPB as reported by Brian Entin, formerly of WPTV?


Well. Without getting into the weeds so to speak, the editor(s) at the Post saw the light — or rather the very bright and illuminating light coming from a train one could say — on May 1st this year when they were taken over by GateHouse Media.

And ever since May 1st the editor(s) at The Palm Beach Post just absolutely adore Brightline!

Which is soon to be renamed Virgin Trains USA.

You see, once upon a time the editor(s) at the Post had more in common with their fellow travelers in Martin County than they did with the public here in Palm Beach County. And maybe that is partly the reason why they were put up For-Sale by Cox Media last year.

For example, back in 2015 the rumors, mis- and disinformation about All Aboard Florida (later called Brightline) was at a fever pitch portending doom and gloom and the fall of Western Civilization. This all culminated in December 2015 when the editor at the Post published a letter (see below) that had some people laughing silly, others just incredulous, but mostly readers just wondering how something so ridiculous could make it through the editorial process.


Can you see the V in the photo below? Are you disturbed by that? Is it affecting your “calmness” in any detectable way?

The Brightline train station in late 2015–early 2016 under construction in West Palm Beach.


Enjoy this letter that got published in December 2015.

Click on image to enlarge:

Do you think the letter V is “disturbing” and “disrupting the calmness of our state?


Or did the letter writer portend the future? The V as in Virgin Trains USA maybe?

Remember when I saw that letter to the editor three years ago. Had a mouthful of coffee which went spewing all over the table. My first thought was how happy the letter wasn’t written by a Lake Worth resident.

Second thing that came to mind is, “Hey, is that an image of Jesus on my toast?”

The letter V is not a logo for Brightline. The image that is “disturbing” to the letter writer is a replica of one of the architectural structure supports that will hold up the train station. 


Image from 2015 of the proposed Brightline station in West Palm Beach.


Maybe to quell any public anxiety the architects should have turned the supports upside down to form an A?

The image inverted. What do you think? Does the A look better or do you prefer the V? Would letter Q have worked? Or J?


Anyhow. Without further ado.

Explained, the quote by Chevy Chase and the link (pardon the pun) to Brightline.

“A flute without holes is not a flute. A donut without a hole is a Danish.”


The editor(s) and business reporters at the Post need to recall that just about 3 years ago West Palm Beach had a big “donut hole” — an entire vacant city block in their downtown — until an entity called “All Aboard Florida” came along and turned that hole into a Danish.

All Aboard Florida, later to become Brightline, was and remains a significant “flute” welcoming the future revitalization of transportation and passenger rail not only in West Palm Beach but in all South Florida and beyond to Orlando, then Tampa, and then. . .

But 4½ years ago, prior to going negative, at least one of the editors at the Post understood the significance of the Florida East Coast (FEC) railway and how crucial this project was for passenger transportation. On the future profitability of passenger rail along the FEC here’s what that editor wrote in May 2014 on the “Paranoia about All Aboard Florida”:


     So what to make of the All Aboard push? And why should Floridians care?
     It is very possible that All Aboard Florida, which will include stations in West Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale, will not be profitable for years or even decades. Even so, it still may be a wise investment for FEC because the service will vastly boost the value of the property it owns around the service’s planned stops, including 9 acres in downtown Miami and land near Clematis Street in downtown West Palm Beach. [emphasis added] “I don’t know that they have to make a profit (on the rail service) for the project to be successful overall,” said Charles Banks, an Arlington, Va.-based railroad consultant.


But seems the editor(s) at the Post shortly thereafter came to discover they had more in common with their ‘fellow travelers’ in Martin County than they did with their own readership right here in Palm Beach County. Enter GateHouse Media to pick up the pieces.

GateHouse Media has taken over at the Post effective May 1st. Now that newspaper once again has the potential to become a Danish and a flute too in West Palm Beach.

Hope not to draw any more attention
than it deserves. . .


But just prior to being sold to GateHouse Media a truly ridiculous story appeared on the front page of the Post last April and nothing sums it up better than this comment that was posted by “Peter529” in the online edition:


A dozen reporters rode the train for 29 hours and that’s all you have for your article. Honestly? I would expect more from a high school writing class assignment. I don’t mean to be condescending but when you started off with “a dozen reporters” I was really looking forward to an in-depth article. Are they meeting their ridership goals? When does it get busy and when does it slow down? Were they on time? How were the prices on food and drink and quality. Sigh. . .


More information about Brightline. . .


The information below is from July 2017, nearly 1½ years ago, my tour of the Brightline train station in WPB prior to its Grand Opening. This tour was sponsored by the Palm Beach County Planning Congress in collaboration with the West Palm Beach Downtown Neighborhood Assoc. For parts 1–3 on this blog about that tour click on this link.

TV news reporter Brian Entin works for WSVN in Miami now but back prior to that he was a reporter for NBC5/WPTV. In November 2015 Entin had a news segment that featured the “Donut hole in downtown West Palm Beach” (unfortunately, WPTV no longer has a link to that story).

Following Entin’s “donut hole” report a lot of people had a lot of fun at first. For example, somebody came across the quote from Chevy Chase making fun of Entin and his news segment:

“A flute without holes is not a flute.
A donut without a hole is a Danish.”


But not long after the news from Brian Entin we all learned that “donut hole” the political elites in West Palm Beach made so much fun of initially was soon to become the “Danish” that city so desperately needed. And then later “all of a sudden”, the public started paying very close attention too.

Here are excerpts from the text of
Entin’s news back in 2015:


There is record development in Downtown West Palm Beach. But some people who live downtown still complain about what is known as the “donut hole” between Clematis and City Place. It’s darker than other, more popular areas downtown and there are some abandoned buildings and parking lots.

and. . .


Entrepreneur Tony Solo bought property in the donut hole years ago. “When I purchased the property back in 2005, that is what I was calling it. There is a donut in the city of West Palm Beach” and Solo continued, “As West Palm goes through this renaissance, this area holds the key to growth.”

Two years after Brian Entin’s news segment here are some photos of the Brightline Station, “the Danish”:


A view across the facility. Brightline courteously provided an array of food and a wine/beer bar.

The tour was sponsored by the PBC Planning Congress in collaboration with the WPB Downtown Neighborhood Assoc.

 The children’s play area.
Playing and waiting for the train.

Isn’t this view remarkable? On the 2nd floor is a 360° view of the entire downtown.

Closer look of the play area.

 “Quick. Convenient. Connected.”

“Getting to your destination has never been easier


Hope you enjoyed this stroll back in time to when that “donut” became a “Danish” in West Palm Beach.

SunSational 2018 Awards winner (3×): City of Lake Worth at Florida Festivals and Events Association (FFEA).


Below is a press release issued from the City along with the three category winners: a photo, a billboard and a YouTube video as well.


The SunSational news about this City was also front page news in The Lake Worth Herald, your LOCAL source for LOCAL news. The Herald is still ¢50.

Pick up the Herald at the City’s newsstand in Downtown Lake Worth at Studio 205 at its new worthier location: 205 N. Federal Hwy. Check out 205’s new digs with juice bar, café and newsstand too. You’ll get a kick out of the new menu. It’s fabulous.


For more information about
Florida Festivals and Events Assoc. . . .

Imagine that. This organization has a Facebook page! 

Connect with FFEA: “For over 20 years, FFEA has been promoting and strengthening the festival, event and fair industry in Florida.”

Press/news media. To request an interview or have an inquiry your contact is Mr. Ben Kerr, PIO. Call 561-586-1631; email: bkerr@lakeworth.org


LAKE WORTH, FL — The City of Lake Worth Leisure Services Department received three 2nd place awards at the Florida Festival & Events Association Convention and Trade Show in Bonita Springs, Fl.
     The competition this year was high with over 400 applications representing Florida’s best and brightest event organizers. Lake Worth’s awards were won in three categories [press release continues below].


Event Photo.

Easter Egg Hunt (photo by Sean Moss):

For the City’s list of “Special Events”
click on this link.


Outdoor Signage.

Beach Bonfire Billboard:

Last year Mr. Eddie Ritz at The Palm Beach Post penned an exclusive special report about Beach bonfires and “Gooey marshmallows and chocolate”.


Television Ad.

Biblioarte Event Ad:




Press release continues. . .


     Lake Worth is home to many of Palm Beach County’s most unique and popular events representing the diverse demographics and cultures that make up the City.
     The FFEA is a not-for-profit association dedicated to supporting and promoting more than 3,500 festivals, events, and fairs in the state of Florida through education, networking and dissemination of information and the cultivation of high standards. The FFEA awards program recognizes the creativity, innovation and excellence of member organizations.

“I am very proud of our Special Events team for these awards, their enthusiasm and creativity help give Lake Worth its unique character.”
—City Manager Michael Bornstein.

A Tweet:



More information about this little City: “Located in Central Palm Beach County, Lake Worth is a dynamic, multi-cultural City with an individualistic style. People are drawn to the City by its acceptance of different cultures and lifestyles, historic districts, hip downtown and colorful arts district.”

On the business of retail in Palm Beach County, “Join us in the former Macy’s space in City Place. . .


“. . . as we explore the future of retail and the retail spaces that inhabit our landscape.”



At an all-day forum last June examining the future of retail in this County were some names you may recognize: Dana Little, Natalie Crowley, Maria Marino, Anne Gerwig, William Waters, Brandon Schaad, Seth Behn, Raphael Clemente, Chris Roog, and David Harrison. Who are these people? See the bullet list below.

Below is more information including a video from that forum.

The ripples from this very well-attended forum could be felt in the City of Lake Worth this week at an all-day “Visioning Workshop” where the topic of retail and revitalizing Dixie Hwy. was a very big topic. Looking 5–10 years out new retail establishments will be essential for this City’s continued growth.

This forum was sponsored by the Palm Beach County Planning Congress, Inc. and meets on a regular monthly basis and features a variety of topics. Meeting formats vary and include presentations, panel discussions, field trips, tours, and/or a combination of formats depending on the topic.

This recent forum was titled:

“Planning Challenges 2018: Shapeshifting Retail. Facts and Fiction”.


The keynote speaker was Tony Carvajal, the Executive Director at the Florida Chamber Foundation. From the forum program:


“Tony Carvajal serves as Executive Vice President of the Florida Chamber Foundation, the research and solutions development arm of the Florida Chamber of Commerce. Working in partnership with state business leaders, the Foundation advances initiatives that envision a vibrant and sustainable economy in the Sunshine State.
     He is regularly called on to provide guidance and insights into state-level plans and has served on numerous policy steering committees covering topics as varied as education, early learning, workforce development, economic development, transportation, healthcare, volunteerism, civic infrastructure, philanthropy, and smart justice.”


The video of Mr. Carvajal is at the end of this blog post. There are eleven (11) videos total, the shortest video is eleven minutes and the longest is thirty minutes. Click on this link to see the entire list of YouTube videos.

Another keynote speaker was Bob Gibbs, founder of the Gibbs Planning Group, a leading thinker on retail development and author of the book Principals of Urban Retail Planning and Development. Other speakers and facilitators included:

  • Dana Little, Urban Design Director, Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council.
  • Dale Scott, Southern Division Lead, International Council of Shopping Centers.
  • Natalie Crowley, AICP, Planning & Zoning Director, Palm Beach Gardens.
  • Mayor Maria Marino, City of Palm Beach Gardens.
  • Mayor Anne Gerwig, Village of Wellington.
  • William Waters, Director of Community Sustainability, City of Lake Worth.
  • Brandon Schaad, AICP, Development Services Director, City of Boca Raton.
  • Seth Behn, AICP, Land Use Attorney, Lewis, Longman & Walker.
  • Raphael Clemente, Executive Dir. Downtown Development Authority, City of West Palm Beach.
  • Chris Roog, Director of Economic Development, West Palm Beach.
  • David Harrison, Vice President of Design & Construction, Related Companies


Without further ado, Mr. Carvajal with
the opening keynote:




As always, Thank You for visiting today and hope you found this blog post informative and helpful.

Very relevant now. From over 3 years ago: Business owner at Beach shares ideas about Casino Complex.


The video (see below) is from May 2015, now one
of the most-viewed all-time on my Lake Worth YouTube channel.


Mr. Lipton is the owner of Benny’s on the Beach. Now here we are 3½ years later. The Casino complex at our Beach along with the former municipal pool (closed for safety and structural reasons) are big items to address. The former commissioner in District 2 (Chris McVoy, PhD, 2010–2017) if you recall chimed in with his ideas on how to fix this mess of which he played a major role:

“[D]o some things you can do with
coats of paint and whatnot.”


Thankfully the people had enough of this nonsense and McVoy was rejected by the voters in March 2017. Now Commissioner Omari Hardy represents District 2 in this City. Prior to even thinking about a new pool at the Beach is whether or not a pool at the Beach is a good idea. An idea to consider is a municipal pool located centrally in the City and more accessible for the public. Another idea is a public pool located in the northwestern part of the City near the ball fields.

Whilst on this topic, about constructing a new lap swimming pool at the Casino complex Commissioner Hardy said, “We need to get very serious about this issue” and the editor at the Herald said, “Stop the bleeding!” Click on this link to read more about this topic.



Lovely scene at the Beach, is it not?

Another major issue to address: An all-too-common view from Mama Mia’s On The Beach. Parking and/or a loading dock for large commercial vehicles was never part of the planning back in 2009.

In the video below you’ll hear Mr. Lipton say things you agree with and maybe some things you don’t.

Interestingly, at the 20 second mark in the video many of you will recall who that person is that walks past Mr. Lipton while he is making public comment at the City Commission podium. That is none other than Cara Jennings, another former commissioner from District 2 (2006–2010) and another one of those from a previous City administration that made all those terrible decisions in the first place. For example, the “Greenwashing” that occurred due to an out-of-control budget.

Hopefully our City will rally around people with bold new ideas and possible solutions — not all of them accepted or agreed upon — instead of following those self-described ‘visionaries’ from the past.


Enjoy the video.

Lipton talks about the now-condemned pool and ‘potential’ of 2nd floor space at the Casino (more information below).




Here are excerpts from this blog from May 2015:

“It was good to see and hear Mr. Lipton and what he said appearing at his first City Commission meeting. This gentleman has owned Benny’s for the last two years and increased its employment from 21 to 76 employees. He’s made changes and been successful doing so: he has high standards.
     That concept of ‘potential’ strikes again. Tough to argue with what he says. Most definitely worth a listen.”

FYI: When you go visit Benny’s would highly recommend the Tuna Tostada. Excellent!



It also would be a good idea to make reservations to avoid a long wait: call 561-582-9001.
Sushi-grade quality tuna along with a
view of the BEACH!

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Help solve a homicide. Body discovered east of Palm Springs between Palm Beach State College and John Prince Park.


If you have any information that could help solve the murder of Jessica Medina please contact Crime Stoppers ASAP. Below is more information and a map.


Stay anonymous and be eligible for a reward.
The smallest tip could solve this terrible crime:

If you have a tip call 800-458-8477. To learn more about Crime Stoppers of Palm Beach County
click on this link.


Many news organizations including the Sun Sentinel are reporting the body of Jessica Medina was found ‘in Lake Worth’ which is absolutely false.


The body of a female was found floating in a canal in Lake Worth [sic] on Wednesday afternoon, the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office said.

“The female appears to be a victim of foul play,” said Teri Barbera, a sheriff’s office spokeswoman. “Detectives are investigating this death as a homicide.”


Find out the actual location of this crime scene below; it was not ‘in Lake Worth’.

Knowing the exact location is critical. Three days ago there may have been a witness in the area who saw something.

Here is what is known thus far: The body was found last Wednesday afternoon (Nov. 14th) floating in a canal between Palm Beach State College and John Prince Park (see map below). PBSO says it appears to be foul play. The victim was 33 years old and white.

The news today (Nov. 17th) published in The Palm Beach Post on p. B5 needs to be clarified in tomorrow’s paper.

The dateline incorrectly reads, ‘LAKE WORTH’. The correct dateline should read “SUBURBAN LAKE WORTH” because the body was discovered outside the City of Lake Worth nearest to the Village of Palm Springs. This unincorporated area (which includes Palm Beach State College) uses a ‘Lake Worth’ zip code but is not to be confused with the actual City of Lake Worth which is further east.

The Post’s homicide tracker database inaccurately cites the “Location of death” as Palm Beach State College (PBSC) located at 4200 S. Congress Ave. The location of death has not been determined as yet by investigators. PBSC is where the body was found


PBSC is indicated below bordered by red lines.
Note where red line abuts the L-4 Canal.

Click on image to enlarge:

John Prince Park is to the right (east) in this image. Note the north-south L-4 Canal. Not shown is Lake Osborne or the nearby bridge in the park. Also note the Village of Palm Springs (shaded blue) is located north and west of PBSC. 

From Drew Martin at the Sierra Club: East-west passenger rail in Palm Beach County and air-conditioned network of trolleys and platforms.


Passenger rail, the planning and construction of modern and convenient east-west transportation in PBC takes on all new significance coming on the heels of the exciting news yesterday about Brightline and Richard Branson, as reported by business journalist Jeff Ostrowski at The Palm Beach Post:


Brightline and Virgin Group said Friday [Nov. 16th] they will form a “strategic partnership” that includes a name change for the private rail service between West Palm Beach and Miami.

Brightline will rename itself Virgin Trains USA this month and adopt the Virgin Trains USA branding in 2019.


Let’t take a look back. An exciting and provocative idea: East-west rail in South Florida.


Imagine if you could take high-speed rail to West Palm Beach and then the trolley to Wellington? No traffic. No worries. And fast.

Drew Martin presented his ideas (see below) about improving passenger rail in Palm Beach County at the Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council (TCRPC) meetings in October 2016 and in June 2017. Learn more about that below. Mr. Martin is the media/press spokesman for the Loxahatchee Sierra Club and he can be contacted by clicking on this link.


[Take Note: The next TCRPC meeting is on December 14th. In the meantime the public is awaiting the minutes from the meetings held on September 21st and the one on October 12th: “Joint Meeting with the South Florida Regional Planning Council in Broward County”.

Hopefully those minutes will be available soon. Do you know who represents Palm Beach County on the TCRPC? To find out click on this link.]

Now to Mr. Martin and his ideas for improving
the passenger rail network in PBC:


It really came as a big surprise at first for many upon learning that Drew Martin is a supporter of expanding passenger rail service going east-west in PBC even though much of this construction could possibly impact environmentally-sensitive areas such as the Loxahatchee Wildlife Refuge, stormwater treatment areas and water sources such as Grassy Waters preserve.

But in the context of population growth, improving the environment, reducing greenhouse gases and making our transportation needs more sustainable, Mr. Martin’s idea makes perfect sense from the environmentalist perspective.

Mr. Martin brought up this idea at the TCRPC in June 2017. Read more about that below.

Another intriguing idea from Mr. Martin was providing air-conditioned bus stops and train platforms for the public to encourage more use of public transportation. Whether all that extra energy needed for air-conditioning provided mostly by FPL (generated by natural gas) would offset the use of gasoline and diesel fuel for passenger vehicles is something that will have to be studied, e.g., whether or not it’s carbon neutral and makes sense economically.

But on the topic of east-west passenger rail and public transportation it is worth noting that former Lake Worth commissioners Ryan Maier and Chris McVoy, PhD, two outspoken environmentalists in their own right and both of whom supported All Aboard Florida early on (later to become Brightline and the next phase of the project, the Coastal Link), it certainly makes sense that expanding passenger rail going east-west in this County is an idea worth considering.

From Mr. Martin about public transportation given at Public Comment at the TCRPC meeting in June 2017 on the topic of east-west transportation and commuter rail: 


“He [Drew Martin] stated he also attended the mobility conference in West Palm Beach and felt it was well done. He stated there was talk about public transportation and getting people out of their cars, but it was limited to I-95 and downtown West Palm Beach. He stated what we need to look at is some sort of trolley system that will run all the way out to the Village of Royal Palm Beach, because there really is no east/west public transportation. He also noted there was an interesting proposal to have air-conditioned train stations for the public to encourage more use of public transportation.”


And from a TCRPC meeting in October 2016 are these two excerpts:


He [Drew Martin] agreed it is not practical to always ride your bike or take transit in Florida, especially in summer, but until we get air conditioning at bus stops, it will be hard to get people to stand in the sun to wait for a bus. He said it is a good idea, but we would have to change how people live their lives.

and. . .


He stated he does not understand why people never turn off their cars. He stated he saw a woman yesterday park her car in the shade, leave the car running, and get out and smoke a cigarette. He suggested having the schools release the grades at different times. He said because everyone is released at the same time, there is gridlock anywhere near a school.


Do you like Drew Martin’s idea of air-conditioned bus stops and AC for passenger rail platforms? How about the idea of passenger rail going east-west in PBC?

Take some time and think about Martin’s idea of an east-west network of interconnected trolleys and how this could all fit in with Brightline passenger rail and the future project called the Coastal Link!

For example, you could get off a Coastal Link train in the City of Lake Worth and then take a trolley to Greenacres and then on to Wellington. Or. . .

  • Have a trolley connect Palm Beach Gardens to Westlake.
  • Connect West Palm Beach to Royal Palm Beach and Belle Glade.
  • Trolleys from Delray Beach to the US 27 Intermodal Corridor; then trains south to Miami or north to South Bay.

The ideas are limitless. Here is an environmental concern of Martin expressed in June 2017 at the TCRPC:


“He [Martin] indicated he attended an Oceans Forum presentation by the Nature Conservancy that showed the value of the reefs off Palm Beach County are particularly significant, because of their huge economic value. He noted another thing that is damaging the reefs is the use of sunscreen.”


Have yet to learn much more about the damaging effects of sunscreen on our reefs, but when that information becomes available will most certainly share the details and any alternatives to sunscreen available for local fans of our beaches and for visitors up north planning a vacation during the upcoming Fall/Winter Season later this year.

And maybe prior to considering Drew Martin’s idea of an east-west passenger rail trolley network. . .


. . . and maybe just slightly more important than the possible harmful effects of sunscreen came this information from the very same TCRPC meeting in June 2017 from Martin County Commissioner Doug Smith, news which came as a very big surprise for many of the public here in Palm Beach County:


“He [Commissioner Smith] stated one of the concerns is Palm Beach County getting their National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) accreditation, because the [Herbert Hoover] dike is not fixed.”


For more about the Herbert Hoover Dike and Lake Okeechobee click on this link to learn about what happened at the TCRPC meeting in July 2017.

For another interesting read click on this link for an article published in Risk & Insurance titled, “The Day the Dike Breaks” by reporter Dan Reynolds.

Getting ready for the president’s next visit to the “Winter White House”.


Can you find the two errors in the press report below? A blog reader found this on Stars and Stripes, news about President Donald J. Trump:


“Trump purchased Mar-a-Lago, the 17-acre estate between the Atlantic Ocean and Lake Worth, in 1985. In 1999, he built a golf course nearby, the Trump International Golf Club in West Palm Beach.”

What are the errors? The answer is below.


Should the title of this blog post be, “Getting ready for the President’s next visit. . .”? When is it uppercase ‘President’ and when to use lowercase ‘president’ when referring to the President of the United States?

Certainly, if you’ve been getting your news about President Trump’s visits to the Town of Palm Beach and Mar-a-Lago from The Palm Beach Post’s George Bennett you are already well-schooled on this topic and understand the proper usage. By the way, if news about Mar-a-Lago and the “Winter White House” is of interest to you, Bennett’s Post on Politics blog is required reading daily or at least weekly.

So. Did you find the two errors above?


In the first sentence it should read, “between the Atlantic Ocean and Lake Worth LAGOON”. In the second sentence the “Trump International Golf Club” IS NOT in West Palm Beach. That famous golf club is located outside the city in unincorporated Palm Beach County, or what’s accurately called suburban West Palm Beach.













  • Donald Trump has visited Mar-a-Lago nine times as president. . .
  • The president — in a celebratory mood this week. . .
  • While the president is at Mar-a-Lago. . .

Nowhere in the article is it mentioned, “President Donald Trump. . .”. Is there anything wrong with that?

Once again, that is up to you to decide.

Now here’s another article by Bennett
with emphasis added:


Palm Beach County taxpayers will get a $3.4 million reimbursement from the Federal Emergency Management Agency for the costs incurred by local law enforcement agencies who helped protect President Donald Trump during his first seven visits to Mar-a-Lago as commander-in-chief.
     Trump is expected to return to Palm Beach on Friday and remain through New Year’s Day.
     Most of the FEMA money — nearly $3.3 million — will go to the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office, the lead local agency in assisting the U.S. Secret Service during presidential visits. Another $71,270 goes to the town of Palm Beach Police Department and $63,164 goes to the West Palm Beach Police Department.

and. . .


     Aside from the Florida money, FEMA approved a $36.4 million reimbursement to the New York Police Department for its costs when the president and first lady Melania Trump were in Trump Tower in New York City.


Hmmm. Should ‘first lady’ be “First Lady”? Actually no, but it really depends on house style. It could go either way.


Now here is an excerpt from Wikipedia. Can you find the error? The answer is at the end of this blog post.


The President of the United States is the head of state and head of government of the United States of America. The president directs the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces.
     In contemporary times, the U.S. President is looked upon as the world’s most powerful political figure; he is the leader of the only current global superpower. The role includes responsibility for the world’s most expensive military that has the second largest nuclear arsenal; the President also leads the nation with the largest economy by nominal GDP.
     The chief executive possesses significant domestic and international hard and soft power. Article II of the Constitution establishes the executive branch of the federal government. It vests the executive power of the United States in the president.

and. . .

    
     The president is further empowered to grant federal pardons and reprieves, and to convene and adjourn either or both houses of Congress under extraordinary circumstances.

Now. From the AP, “When to Capitalize President” and about the word ‘Presidential’ as well:


The AP Stylebook holds that you should capitalize president only as a formal title that is before one or more names. For example,
  • President Barack Obama
  • Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton

President should be lowercase is all other uses. Example,
  • The president will make an announcement tomorrow.
  • I am now announcing my candidacy for president.
  • Roosevelt was president during the Great Depression.

From the AP Style about “Presidential”:

Presidential should be lowercase unless a part of a proper name. For example,
  • This is a scandal of presidential proportions.
  • This is the 50th Presidential Inauguration.

Back to the question. Did you find the error above in the excerpt from Wikipedia?


It’s in the paragraph beginning with “In contemporary times. . .”: in the last sentence ‘the President’ should be lowercase, not uppercase.


Hope you found this blog post fun, and once again, Thank You for visiting today!