Friday, February 2, 2018

Palm Beach Post staff writers Alexa Silverman and Eddie Ritz: Important news about the City of Lake Worth.


As you’ll learn at the end of this blog post, reporter Greg Angel confirms Alexa Silverman’s report about what is happening today and tomorrow at 601 Lake Ave., at the historic Robert M. Montgomery, Jr., Building located in Downtown Lake Worth.

Mr. Angel should know. He interviewed Jason Newsted himself last December. See the video for yourself below. So. Are you looking for something to do today, tonight, and tomorrow?

Then seriously consider attending one or both of these events in the City of Lake Worth as reported by Angel, Silverman and Ritz:

First, from staff writer Alexa Silverman is news about “Last call for Newsted’s ‘Rawk’ exhibit”:

Rock enthusiasts and art connoisseurs may [sic] want to head to the Cultural Council this weekend, because “Rawk – The Art of Jason Newsted” exhibit is about to leave the building.
     Former Metallica bassist-turned-artist Newsted began his visual venture nearly 15 years ago, reworking everyday materials and canvases to imagine new landscapes and figures through a color palate of infinite possibilities.

and. . .

So stop by the council’s main gallery by Saturday [TOMORROW!] to see what’s all the rage.
  • When: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. today and Saturday
  • Where: Cultural Council of Palm Beach County, 601 Lake Ave., Lake Worth
  • Tickets: Free
  • Info: 561-471-2901 or click on this link.

Now about the reporter Mr. Eddie Ritz:

If you recall, it was Mr. Ritz who first broke the news about “Gooey marshmallows and chocolate nestled comfortable between two Graham Crackers” at the City of Lake Worth’s Beach Bonfires.

Well guess what?

There’s a Beach Bonfire at the Lake Worth
Beach TONIGHT!

Learn more about that and much, much more by clicking on this link.

Now, briefly, more about the “Rawk – The Art of Jason Newsted” exhibit at the Palm Beach County Cultural Council.

For more information call Judith Czelusniak at 561-471-1602 or send an email to: Judith@PalmBeachCulture.com

The Palm Beach County Cultural Council is located in the exciting and vibrant City of Lake Worth’s Downtown, 601 Lake Ave., at the historic “Robert M. Montgomery, Jr., Building”.
     Public hours are Tuesday–Saturday from 10:00–5:00, closed on Sunday and Monday.
     There is FREE, 4-hour parking along Lake Worth’s Downtown streets. There is also a public parking lot on the east side of ‘L’ Street across from the Cultural Council’s building.

Now. On a very sad note. . .

Former CBS12 (WPEC) reporter Greg Angel is no longer with us. One could say he moved on to what some refer to as “the Magic Kingdom”.

Below is a video of Mr. Angel’s final CBS12 news segment interviewing the artist Jason Newsted, former guitarist for the band Metallica at the Cultural Council on December 1st, 2017. The very next day the venerable reporter Greg Angel left us and he will be missed by everyone here in the City of Lake Worth.

Angel, in the video below, is wearing the red tie and blue shirt.

Mr. Angel will always be known as one of the best of the best, ever, all-time. However, to fill the void are a new wave of reporters such as the multimedia journalist Andrew Lofholm at NBC5 (WPTV) and Maxime Bentzel at CBS12 to carry on the torch. To follow Bentzel on Twitter click on this link.

If you would like to reach out to Greg Angel use this link to contact him on Twitter as well. He is now a reporter up in Orlando — very near “the Magic Kingdom” — doing news reporting for News13, an affiliate of Charter Communications.

Enjoy the video!

[By the way, the young lady in the video

Thursday, February 1, 2018

How to show your support for Lake Worth Mayor Pam Triolo’s re-election.


But first, here’s another endorsement
for Mayor Pam Triolo:
District 3 Commissioner Andy Amoroso was up for re-election this year as well. But he had no opposition. So by default, he was re-elected, but this time to a 3-year term because of the referendum last year that passed by a wide margin.

How does one show their support for Mayor Triolo? Here’s how. Call the mayor’s campaign team at 561-585-8668, use the “Re-Elect Mayor Pam Triolo” website, or send an email to: Jon@PamForMayor.com

You can show your support for the mayor like
City Commissioner Omari Hardy did last weekend.
Walking and talking is one way to show your support. Another way is to request a yard sign:

Election Day is March 13th.
“Mayor Triolo is committed to sustainability, both financial and environmental. She has taken a city on the brink of bankruptcy and turned it around.”

Political advertisement paid for and approved by Pam Triolo for Mayor.

Just briefly. . .

. . . for now.

Check back later on today or tomorrow for
more about what happened last night.

I was invited to speak at the Old School Square Fieldhouse in Delray Beach last night to talk about the The Cottages of Lake Worth volunteer organization and the “The Cottages” book at the invitation of the Delray Beach Historical Society as part of their “Heritage Lecture Series”. It was quite the honor to have so many people show up.

Delray Beach Historical Society Vice President Michelle Donahue introduced me to the crowd in attendance and in addition to many familiar faces in Delray Beach’s historical society it was nice to see City of Lake Worth Commissioner Herman C. Robinson in attendance, his wife Laurel, and Lake Worth Neighborhood Assoc. Presidents’ Council Chair Jon Faust, an excellent photographer in his own right, who showed up with his ever-present bag of camera equipment.

For the blog post leading up to this event click on this link for why,

“In addition to my usual presentation about the book — the activities of the Cottages group and Lake Worth’s history — I thought it would be good to include a little ‘Compare and Contrast’ section about the cities of Delray Beach and Lake Worth, both of whom share a very long and proud history.”

To learn more about the Delray Beach Historical Society click on this link. For more information about the Old School Square Fieldhouse, formerly the Vintage Gymnasium (circa 1925), use this link.

And just by coincidence!

This coming Saturday — the first Saturday of every month — is “Family Day” at the City of Lake Worth’s Historical Museum from 1:00–3:00. For more information about that click on this link.

Our shared history in the City of Delray Beach and the City of Lake Worth is and will always be very significant. Despite being separated by 11–12 miles (depending on what route one takes) and the historic towns of Lantana and Hypoluxo and the City of Boynton Beach, both cities share the Florida East Coast (FEC) railroad tracks, we share I-95 and we share waterways too.

Following my talk last night I took I-95 back to the City of Lake Worth. But some time in the future I look forward to taking the Coastal Link to Delray Beach and back. 

The view of the Old School Square Fieldhouse.
Click on photo to enlarge.
It was truly an honor to be invited to speak at this amazing venue, the Old School Square Fieldhouse. And it was also an honor to be recognized by Congresswoman Lois Frankel as well.

On the table in the very recent photo below is a “Cottages of Lake Worth” hardcover book in Congresswoman Frankel’s office in the United States House of Representatives in Washington, D.C.
Our District 21 Congressional representative at the U.S. House with her smiling staff and interns.

Medical marijuana in Palm Beach County: The little City of Lake Worth is one city leading the way!


From Post reporter Kristina Webb is more recent news, the headline reads “Wellington OKs rules to allow medical marijuana dispensaries”.

     Exceptions would be made for pharmacies or dispensaries, either freestanding or in shopping centers, with frontage along State Road 7. Compounding pharmacies and wholesale distributors who do not directly work with the public also are exempt.
     Medical marijuana dispensaries now are allowed in Wellington, Boynton Beach, Lake Worth and unincorporated parts of Palm Beach County. [emphasis added]

So. . . Give it up all you critics
and malcontents!

And advice for elected officials: Take Heed.
The public hath spoken.

Ignore the critics and malcontents still out there feverishly rushing with “buckets of water to yesterday’s fire.” Think instead about offering them some helpful advice, e.g., “Have you considered medical marijuana for your condition?”

In the Sunday, January 7th Sunday print edition of The Palm Beach Post another silly “POINT OF VIEW” was published and headlined, “Recreational use of pot is bad for kids”. The last time I checked, medical marijuana dispensaries are not permitted to sell marijuana to ‘kids’.

Anyhow, the use of the word ‘majority’ in that piece of work published on a Sunday last month vis-à-vis medical marijuana and Amendment 2 in 2016 is very inaccurate. Amendment 2 did not pass by a majority defined as 50% + 1; it passed by what’s called a “Supermajority”, a much higher standard:
“[A] specified level or type of support which exceeds a simple majority in order to have effect.”
According to the Post’s business reporter Jeff Ostrowski in an article last year (link to article and excerpts below), “Nearly 75 percent of Palm Beach County voters said yes to Amendment 2.”

So if you happen to be running for elected office this year in Palm Beach County, saw this piece in the Post and thought, “Hmmm. Maybe I should think about reconsidering my position on medical marijuana?”

Well. Don’t.

Because the public hath already spoken and
they hath spoken very loudly.

From Jeff Ostrowki is this article datelined October 2017 titled, “Which Palm Beach County cities like weed? Which don’t?”:

Nearly 75 percent of Palm Beach County voters said yes to Amendment 2 [in November 2016]. Among the county’s more than three dozen municipalities, voters in little Mangonia Park proved the most pro-pot. . . . The Village of Golf was the least favorable to ganja, but even there Amendment 2 grabbed more than half the vote.

Now feast your eyes on these numbers
provided by Ostrowski:

  • Town of Mangonia Park, 81.77%
  • Town of Glen Ridge, 79.05%
  • City of Lake Worth, 79.02%
  • City of Delray Beach, 77.72%
  • Town of Hypoluxo, 77.11%
  • Town of Lantana, 76.88%
  • City of Boynton Beach, 76.86%
  • City of West Palm Beach, 76.65%
  • City of Riviera Beach, 76.38%
  • City of Boca Raton, 75.59%
  • Town of Lake Park, 75.2%
  • Town of Highland Beach, 75.2%
  • Unincorporated Palm Beach County, 75.18%

And believe it or not, the number from the Town of Palm Beach? 68.21%! What was the number in Wellington? 72.45%.

So therefore, if you are an elected official and you support medical marijuana you have nothing to worry about from the critics and malcontents. Now they’ll be looking for something else to complain about. Like Brightline.

Frankly, if ‘kids’ and ‘smoke’ are your big concern then you should be looking around in your community for any crematoriums in operation that are emitting,

“[T]hick black smoke. . . . It curled into the sky, swallowing the tops of palm trees and tumbling down like a shroud over the downtown streets”!

Smoke from a crematorium?
What about the ‘kids’!

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Congresswoman Lois Frankel: “Proudly Serving Florida’s 21st District”.


Do you know all of the areas in Palm Beach County that make up the 21st District in the U.S. House of Representatives? For example, the little City of Lake Worth lies with the 21st Congressional District.

To see the district map and more information about Congresswoman Lois Frankel click on this link.
The Honorable Congresswoman Frankel (center) at her Congressional office in Washington, D.C. with smiling staff and interns. Now look real closely at the table with the books. Do you see anything familiar?
If not, click on the image to enlarge.

Do you see it now? It’s The Cottages of
Lake Worth
hardcover book
!  

In memory of Dean Sherwin. He lives on in our memories and in our history as well. Sadly, Dean passed away before seeing this book get published.
It was due to volunteers such as Dean, his hard work and dedication, that the story of “The Cottages of Lake Worth” was finally told.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

“Pinned Post” for today.

Below is a blog post from yesterday
that was titled,

“Compare and contrast. Two cities, Lake Worth and Delray Beach. And you heard what! Lake Worth is the next Delray Beach?
A “Pinned Post” is one kept at, or near, the top of the blog for a period of time. If you’ve already read this blog post Thank You! for visiting again today and please scroll down to learn more about the City of Lake Worth’s “Famly Festival Season” or click on this link.

So. Without further ado. . .

Is it true what you heard,
“Lake Worth is the next
Delray Beach”?

No. It’s not true at all.

Lake Worth will never become ‘the next Delray Beach’ and the proof lies in the historical context as you’ll read about below. But what Lake Worth and Delray Beach will always be are two very unique cities that both share a very long history and yes, enjoy a little friendly competition from time to time as well.

I’m in the process of preparing for a talk about The Cottages of Lake Worth book this coming Wednesday night at 7:00. It will take place in the Old School Square Fieldhouse at the invitation of the Delray Beach Historical Society.

Click on image to enlarge:
It was an honor to be invited to so many clubs and organizations, large and small, to come and talk about “The Cottages”. The first one was at the Boynton Beach Historical Society in January 2017 and there was an interview with the BBC as well (Briny Breezes Channel 8).

In addition to my usual presentation about the book — the activities of the Cottages group and Lake Worth’s history — I thought it would be good to include a little “Compare and Contrast” section about the cities of Delray Beach and Lake Worth, both of whom share a very long and proud history.

Did you know that Lake Worth City Hall and Delray Beach City Hall, depending on the route taken, are only 11–12 miles apart?

Even though our cities share basically the same geography, being coastal cities within Palm Beach County, these two cities and communities are really very quite different.

Did you know the City of Delray Beach has about 2½ times the land area than the City of Lake Worth does?

First, let’s examine relative size:
Source, 2010 Census.

Why is Delray Beach so much larger than Lake Worth? This can be quickly explained by looking at the maps below and identifying the western extent of each city’s municipal boundaries.

First, the City of Lake Worth (see image below).

North of Lake Worth Rd. the City of Lake Worth’s border extends west to the L-4 (“Keller”) canal, the canal connecting Lake Osborne to the major C-51 Canal that then drains into the Intracoastal.

By the way, the ‘Spillway’ (aka, S-155 water control structure) on the C-51 Canal is the future site of the Blueway Trail linking the inland chain of lakes, waterways and “Creating Access For All” which includes Lake Ida in the City of Delray Beach, Lake Osborne and other lakes as well.

South of Lake Worth Rd. the border is the County’s John Prince Park and Lake Osborne, both in unincorporated Palm Beach County, or what’s referred to in the region as “suburban Lake Worth”.

Note the position of I-95:
Source, Official Palm Beach County municipal map.

Note that about ¾ of the City of Lake Worth is east of I-95, which is significant. A much different situation than in Delray Beach as you’ll see below.

Much of the City of Lake Worth’s western municipal limit, or footprint if you will, is blocked in the southwest by a County park (John Prince Park) and waterways in suburban Lake Worth. To the east is the Lake Worth Beach. In Lake Worth there is no private property east of the Lake Worth Lagoon (aka, the Intracoastal Waterway).

The western footprint of Lake Worth is due to many decisions made by past City Commissions that chose not to aggressively annex property after I-95 was completed. It was only since the early 2000s that Lake Worth annexed much of the area that makes up the Park of Commerce, particularly west of Boutwell Rd. We also have the incorporated Village of Palm Springs and Town of Lake Clark Shores that limit our City’s expansion to the west.

Now to the City of Delray Beach,
a very different situation.

Looking at the map of Delray Beach we find their municipal boundaries extend all the way out to Military Trail and in some places, even beyond. Unlike the City of Lake Worth where its western expansion was blocked in many places, the City of Delray Beach had no such problem.

Here you see I-95 nearly goes through the
center of Delray Beach:
Note the Intracoastal Waterway in Delray Beach is part of what was known as the East Coast Canal and is much narrower than the “Lake Worth Lagoon”.

There is a lot of high-value commercial and retail property on the barrier island from A1A to the west. Delray Beach also has two exits off of I-95 but their main downtown street, Atlantic Ave., has an exit off I-95 and therefore direct access through their downtown to the beach.

This is not the case in the City of Lake Worth and one of the main reasons I point out in the “Cottages” presentation is that neither of Lake Worth’s two main streets, the east-west pairs Lake and Lucerne avenues have direct access to I-95. This, in essence, provided what I refer to as a “protective bubble” around our downtown areas which helped to preserve this collection of historic beach cottages that we enjoy today and celebrate in the book, “The Cottages of Lake Worth”.

The Town of Delray was incorporated in 1911. Lake Worth became a city two years later, in 1913. Linton, the name of the Post Office in Delray, had a passenger rail stop on the Florida East Coast (FEC) railroad in 1896. That is only two years after the train arrived in West Palm Beach. Lake Worth would not see a passenger train stop on the FEC until 1912.

Then, in 1923, the land east of the Intracoastal “canal” incorporated as “Delray Beach.” Finally, in 1927, the two merged into one city called Delray Beach. I thought the addition of the ‘Beach’ came much later on until reading recently about this period of time in history.

Now let’s look at population growth throughout the 20th Century and see the ‘horse race’ between the two communities. Remember, these two cities are just about 11 miles apart from their center.

Lake Worth and Delray Beach were ‘neck and neck’ throughout the first half of the century. At one point Lake Worth actually had a larger population.
It’s interesting to note where the two lines cross.

That point in time is during the mid-1970s when Delray Beach’s growth curve jumps ahead of Lake Worth. What else happened at that time? The completion of that section of I-95 through the southern part of Palm Beach County. That then ushered in more growth and Delray Beach took advantage by reaching out westward.

Below is a United States Geological Service (USGS) map from 1958 that shows how the two cities compared back then. The tan areas on the map indicate the general municipal boundaries at that time. You can visualize the extent of growth — particularly by the size of Delray Beach 60 years ago — and the development that occurred since to become the present day City of Delray Beach.

Click on image to enlarge:
So. In conclusion. . .

As much as these two cities are compared quite frequently to each other, and people like to say that oft-told mantra that “Lake Worth is the next Delray Beach”, this look back at the history of Delray Beach and Lake Worth shows quite clearly that is not the case at all.

Comparing cities is a worthy and helpful exercise. But in doing so one must keep in mind, in many ways, you’re really comparing “apples to oranges”. And who would have thought when the exits off I-95 were decided upon, those decisions would have such a dramatic effect on the future of cities such as the City of Lake Worth and the City of Delray Beach.

Courtesy of The Palm Beach Post: “BRINGING YOU EXCITING THINGS TO DO IN YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD”.

February 2017: “The West Palm Beach Gun and Knife Show”

“IN YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD”. Really?

Click on image to enlarge:
‘EXCITING’? Will there be another Gun and Knife Show next month, in February 2018?

Monday, January 29, 2018

Just a reminder. Special Primary Election tomorrow. The General Election is coming up on March 13th.

Where to go vote in City of Lake Worth?

It’s very easy to find out:

Click on this link.


Just briefly, this special primary election tomorrow is to fill the seat of former State Sen. Jeff Clemens who is on hiatus from politics for the time being.

Lori Berman, who is currently the District 90 State representative, is on the ballot next Tuesday to fill Clemens’ seat in the State Senate.

By the way, I’ve personally witnessed more legislative updates at the Lake Worth City Commission from Lori Berman than from probably anyone else except for a another former State Rep. who is now referred to as County Commissioner Dave Kerner.

There is another person on the ballot next Tuesday but I don’t know anything at all about him. I’ve never seen him at City Hall. But if Lori Berman gets elected I can guarantee you’ll see Berman many, many times for many years to come in this City of Lake Worth giving us updates on all kinds of things going on up in Tallahassee.

For example, here’s a legislative
update from May, 20th, 2015:

A true honor for our City of Lake Worth and “The Cottages of Lake Worth”.

The Cottages of Lake Worth book will be featured
at the Delray Beach Historical Society
on January 31st at 7:00.

To RSVP send an email to: programs@delraybeachhistory.org

For more information call 561-274-9578.
Click on image to enlarge:
In the past year it’s been a honor for “The Cottages” to be featured at places such as the Lantana Library and on the BBC (Briny Breezes Channel 8). The presentation before the Boynton Beach Historical Society in Jan. 2017 was the very first one. It was that evening everyone knew how very special
“The Cottages of Lake Worth” really are.

At the Boynton Beach Woman’s Club last January.
A view of the room:
And “Thank You” to the Flagler Rotary Club in Palm Beach, the Rotary Club in the City of Lake Worth, and to all the other organizations, large and small, so many to mention, that have given us those special opportunities to spread the word about
“The Cottages of Lake Worth”.

Hope to see a huge turnout for the event in Delray Beach at the Delray Beach Historical Society.

Hear Ye! Hear Ye! New news “Worth Noting” from your City of Lake Worth.

This month’s very worthy newsletter is titled, “Garlic, Chalk and Fire!”

Why is that? Click on this link to find out.

Remember. The City of Lake Worth is your OFFICIAL news source:
Not a subscriber to the Worth Noting newsletter? Then click on this link to subscribe and stay informed about whats going on in this little City.

Political news from Greenacres!


First posted 1½ years ago do your remember the blog post asking, “What happened to the news in the Post about code and law enforcement in Greenacres.” What happened is the Post began ignoring most political and policy news in Greenacres and began to solely focus on just the City of Lake Worth. Why? That has never been explained. But guess what!

UPDATE: There was political news Saturday in The Palm Beach Post about Greenacres!


But the news was wrong.

The Post reported there were four (4) questions on March 13th ballot in the fine city of Greenacres. There are actually six (6) questions on the ballot. This deserved a correction yesterday in the Sunday paper but of course that did not happen.

But it gets worse! The Post missed two candidate races too!

To read the article in the Post titled, “On the March 13 ballot in Palm Beach County” click on this link.

To see all six questions on the March 13th ballot in Greenacres it’s actually very easy. First click on this link and go searching around the Greenacres’ website yourself to download the ballot. Why not just post the link right here right now? The answer is because I would like to encourage everyone to learn a little bit more about that wonderful city to the west of our City of Lake Worth.

Now let’s get back to, “Miss any news in Post about code or law enforcement in Greenacres?”

Learn more about this quote later in this blog post:

“We want to try to clean everything up like they’re doing in Lake Worth.”
—Quote in The Palm Beach Post, May 4th, 2016.


If you are a resident of the fine city of Greenacres, below you’ll find information on how to locate and try to contact your former beat reporter. For example, there hasn’t been any news in the print edition about the switch to PBSO in well over two years, hardly any news about the upcoming elections next March, or any news at all about what is happening at the Greenacres Town Council.

Click on map of Central Palm Beach County:
By the way, when was the last time you read anything in the Post about code or law enforcement in the Village of Palm Springs? Lake Clarke Shores? Great Walled City of Atlantis?

About time for an update from your former Post beat reporter? Remember the news about “Blight, eyesores addressed at special Greenacres workshop”? The article (see excerpts below) surprised a lot of people in 2016 about the City of Greenacres and code enforcement. We don’t get much news from Greenacres any more even though that city faces many of the same issues our City of Lake Worth does.

Ever since the Post began publishing their Lake Worth Very Very Special Monday Cursory Print Edition (LWVVSMCPE; see image below) much of the local news outside the City of Lake Worth in Central Palm Beach County is going unreported in the print edition.

 How many articles have been written to date about Code Enforcement in our City of Lake Worth? A lot.
 How much news about code in Greenacres? None since May of 2016. Greenacres switched over to PBSO as well: How many news articles have
you read about that?

Maybe a good place to start would be an update from the Post about this situation

It’s no secret the Greenacres City Council has been splintered for some time. But for 90 minutes, at a special workshop Monday, the council, along with other city officials, played nice to talk about issues of blight and neglect in the city’s original section.

Below are more interesting quotes from that 2016 article:

“We want to try to clean everything up like they’re doing in Lake Worth.”
—Quote. Greenacres Deputy Mayor Jonathan Pearce [now former Mayor Pearce; Joel Flores is the mayor now].

And there’s more. . .

     “District I Councilwoman Lisa 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.
     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 lastly. . .

     “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.”

So. Do you live in Greenacres? Hoping to get more of your community and city news into the print edition at the Post? Here is how you contact your former beat reporter:
  • Email: kthompson@pbpost.com
  • 561-820-4573
“IN FOCUS” where? LAKE WORTH?
Click on image to enlarge:
Remember this “IN FOCUS: LAKE WORTH”?
This RaceTrac isn
’t in Lake Worth. It’s
located in Palm Springs.

“I hang out at RaceTrac a lot because it’s a good, clean, and inviting place to plug in my laptop when I’m working in and around Lake Worth, [emphasis added] something I’m now doing four days a week — a new mandate from our editors to fully embed ourselves in the communities we cover.”

“. . . fully embed ourselves in the communities we cover.”? If you live in Greenacres and are scratching your head right about now, well, join the club.

So. How much has changed in Greenacres
since 2016?

A whole lot and hope to see more news about Greenacres in the print edition some time soon about code enforcement, and PBSO, as well as what’s going on with politics in your fine city.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

WORTH ANOTHER LOOK:
“Things ‘pushed through to the other side’.” Question is, “Where are we now?”


“Florida’s first television station”

The image below is from Palm Beaches Remembered.
From Wikipedia: “The station first signed on the air on March 21, 1949 at 12:00 p.m. WTVJ was the first television station to sign on in the state of Florida, and the 16th station in the United States.”

Note the three words in the image above:

STOP
LOOK
LISTEN

In today’s Palm Beach Post is a highly interesting article by reporters Lulu Ramadan and Jennifer Sorentrue about news that will never go away in Florida: trains vs. people and motor vehicles. Here’s the opening paragraph:

Cities and towns along Brightline’s route will decide this spring whether to follow through with a plan to silence the company’s train horns — a choice some leaders say could force them to put public safety above quality of life following recent deaths along the railroad tracks.

In the never-ending debate about the role of trains in Florida the press and news media has always been in the center of the fray, which is both good and bad. On the one hand the media gets job security — they’ll never run out of news to report — both good news and bad news. But on the other hand train companies rely on the press and media to get it’s most important message out to the public as well.

THINK TRAIN!

Man vs. Train
Car vs. Train
It’s no contest.
From the Association of American Railroads: “What’s at Stake. Trespassing on rail and transit tracks or violating rail crossing laws is a
losing proposition.”

So what’s all this about, “Things have now ‘pushed through to the other side’.”?

There’s this saying in public relations about what happens when, for example, the press and news media doesn’t see that things have “pushed through to the other side”. What happens is one day an editor or editors will wake up and realize the public has abandoned them. The press and news media is on one side. The public is on the other.

It wasn’t hard to predict what would occur following all of the decidedly negative and skewed news reports about Brightline vis-à-vis the terrible news when people did not, tragically, heed the warnings a train was approaching. One reporter said the train was “barreling” down the tracks. Others used even more inflammatory adjectives and “loaded language” as well.

Now comes this from last Wednesday’s Palm Beach Post on the editorial page, “Letters: Brightline accidents tragic, but is railway really to blame?” Prior to the Post publishing all those letters on the editorial page was a blog post from three days prior even to that titled, “From editor at The Palm Beach Post: ‘Paranoia about All Aboard Florida train service misplaced’.”

Remember:
See Tracks, Think Train — All The Time Is Train Time.


In May 2014 the editor at the Post saw the future. And now that the future has arrived it may be good to remind the editor about what appeared on the editorial page almost 4 years ago now:

If the company’s business model sounds odd, it’s for good reason: There is virtually no precedent for it in the modern-day United States.
     Passenger train services have been money-losers in the U.S. for more than half a century. Most railroad companies dropped passenger service in the early 1970s, after the federal government eased requirements that they carry them and established the publicly funded Amtrak instead. Today, not a single private passenger-rail service still operates. [emphasis added]

and. . .

     Despite growing opposition in northern Palm Beach County and the Treasure Coast, there is little that can be done to prevent the company from running passenger trains along its own tracks if it wishes to. And in fact, there is no good reason to oppose it.
     If All Aboard is successful, it will be a boon to South Florida – a mass-transit alternative in an urbanizing region, established at no direct cost to the public. The plan’s novelty calls for skepticism. It does not call for paranoia.

To read the entire editorial published in
May 2014 click on this link.

Note that for several weeks prior to the most recent letters, the ones that made it to the editorial page were mostly negative about Brightline, all of them to one degree or another, “laced with not too subtle fear-mongering.” The most recent negative letter was the most absurd of all. The letter writer wrote, “the expectation of accident-free train service is not realistic.”

The letter was absurd because the writer was not referring to the public’s responsibility. The writer was referring to Brightline’s responsibility to somehow provide ‘accident-free’ transportation.

The officials at Brightline never promised ‘accident-free train service’. However, Brightline expects the public to follow the law vis-à-vis crossing the railroad tracks:

Remember: See Tracks, Think Train — All
The Time Is Train Time.

Then back on Sunday, Jan. 21st posted this message on this blog:

If this issue is of high concern for you, then please write your own letter to the editor at the Post. It only takes 5–10 minutes. To learn how, including tips on how to “follow-up” and explain why your letter is important, click on this link.

Did the message above spur all those letters to the editor this week? It would be nice to believe this blog has that much influence, but the answer is “No”. What happened is something much more powerful than this blog or any blog: the press and news media pushed too far and then the public responded by pushing back. Now we’re somewhere in the middle again, a sort of balance. For now.

So. If you’ve made it this far. . .

One can see how important it is to have the public involved and fully engaged as well. The press, news media, train companies, and the public should all be focused on saving lives and getting the word out about public safety and trains just like WTVJ did almost 70 years ago. The only difference now is the trains are faster. In the future they’ll be even faster. And everyone needs to focus on this age-old adage:

STOP
LOOK
LISTEN

Street Painting Festival, Neighborhood Road Bond, and about Community Development Block Grant funding too.

First a question, since when did road construction not cause at least some ‘pain’ for the public?

FYI: Fortunately for our City of Lake Worth’s management, staff, and Ben Kerr too, the Citys public information officer — the ones who would be left to explain all the public confusion — the editor(s) at The Palm Beach Post read the blog post below and ‘tweaked’ the story that appeared in last weeks Sunday edition. The story has been republished again today, Sunday, Jan. 28th.

However, the short quote by City Manager Michael Bornstein that would have greatly helped the public understand the issues of road repairs and road construction was not added to the story by beat reporter Kevin Thompson. Very unfortunate. To see Bornstein’s quote please continue reading.

Here is the headline that originally appeared in the online edition:
“How will Lake Worth’s road repairs affect street painting festival?
Read more about open-ended questions in headlines below. The editor changed that headline to read this way in the print edition last Sunday:
“Lake Worth road project to cause ‘pain’
Here is how the headlines appears today, Sunday, Jan. 28th:
“Lake Worths $40M roads project will not affect street painting festival”
Once again, note the editor eliminated the open-ended question.* But since when did road construction not cause at least some ‘pain’ for the public, e.g., dust and noise? I know. It’s just absurd.

Anyhow, here is the original blog post, the one that got so much attention in the first place:

Here’s another quote from that story in the online edition in reference to Lake Worth Commissioner Omari Hardy’s powerful message to the community at the City Commission meeting last Tuesday, January 16th:
Commissioner Omari Hardy said the project [Neighborhood Road Bond] will transform Lake Worth.
Below is another excerpt, but this one is from the entire quote by Commissioner Hardy last Tuesday, the part that didn’t get referenced in the Post:

I want to thank the commissioners who have been sitting on this dais longer than I have for having the courage to go for this [Neighborhood Road Bond] twice. And I want to thank the voters who approved this. Because this is going to really going to transform our City.

The reporter could have mentioned that Commissioner Hardy thanked the voters of this City. And Hardy also thanked Mayor Pam Triolo and commissioners Scott Maxwell and Andy Amoroso too for all their hard work, courage, and determination. But this is election season and guess the reporter is just trying to be fair.

What Commissioner Hardy was referring to in the quote above is that the first Neighborhood Road Bond referendum failed in August 2014 by just 25 votes. But Triolo, Maxwell, and Amoroso didn’t give up — despite the objections of a former commissioner with a PhD — the majority proceeded with a second referendum in November 2016. That second referendum passed by a huge margin prompting the editor at the Post to write,
“Lake Worth is poised for some major upgrades following residents’ approval — by a whopping 69 percent [emphasis added] — of a $40 million road repair bond. . .”

Whilst on topic, meet the
City of Lake Worth’s City Commission:

Flanking Mayor Pam Triolo are District 2 Commissioner Omari Hardy (left) and District 4 Commissioner Herman C. Robinson (they replaced Chris McVoy, Phd, and Mr. Ryan Maier, respectively,
in the March 2017 elections):
Next to Commissioner Hardy is Vice Mayor and District 1 Commissioner Scott Maxwell. District 3 Commissioner Andy Amoroso (also Vice Mayor Pro Tem) is next to Commissioner Robinson.

Below is the entire quote by Commissioner Hardy (and also below is the video).

In the story by beat reporter Kevin Thompson about this City Commission meeting last Tuesday is more very important information that should have been included in the Post article but was not reported. Here’s a quote by City Manager Michael Bornstein from the meeting:

Just a point of clarification and I hope people understand, 2nd Avenue South is not part of the Neighborhood Road Program. It’s not part of the bond issue.

The 2nd Ave. South project will be done using Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) money. Not money from the Neighborhood Road Bond! Please spread the word so no one in the public is confused about what is actually happening here in this City.

Anyhow, in this latest endeavor by the Post’s beat reporter about the upcoming Street Painting Festival, the Neighborhood Road Bond, “road repairs” and “when work would start on 2nd Avenue South” is this excerpt that needs to be clarified for the public as well. Here’s another excerpt from the story in the Post:

[P]art of the discussion of Brian Shields’ 4-minute update on the city’s mega project that will likely cause some frustration and disruption on the roads in 2018.

The beat reporter is referring to item ‘D’ on the City Commission agenda last Tuesday, “Update of Neighborhood Road Program by Brian Shields”. That would be Water Utility Director Brian Shields, P.E. who gave this presentation. Note the reporter references “Shields’ 4-minute update”.

This ‘4-minute update’ was actually a bit longer than four (4) minutes. It lasted 15 minutes and 35 seconds!

This Neighborhood Road Program update to the City Commission also included information provided by Jamie Brown, the Director of Public Services about the 2nd Ave. South CDBG project and the upcoming Street Painting Festival as well. All very important information you can watch for yourself in the video below.

Without further ado. . .

The full quote by Lake Worth Commissioner Omari Hardy and the video of that ‘4-minute update’ that was actually almost sixteen (16) minutes long.

“You [Commissioner Hardy addressing Water Utility Dir. Brian Shields] and the rest of the team [Public Services Dir. Jamie Brown et al.] are doing a really fantastic job. There might have been some disconnects here and there but I think overall you guys are doing an amazing job and I’m really glad that you’re on board while we’re going through this.
     I want to thank the commissioners who have been sitting on this dais longer than I have for having the courage to go for this twice. And I want to thank the voters who approved this. Because this is really going to transform our City.
     We talk about ‘curb appeal’ all the time. The street is the part that we have ownership of and we’re finally taking responsibility for that. So I appreciate everybody who was involved with the decision-making in this process and I appreciate all you doing such a great job in the execution of it.”

Hope you enjoy the video and share this information with all your friends and neighbors!


In conclusion, as far as the headline in the Post, “How will Lake Worth’s road repairs affect street painting festival?”, in the video above at the 50:15 mark City Manager Michael Bornstein sums it all up quite well about the Neighborhood Road Bond and CDBG money, two very different funding sources for infrastructure projects.

Unfortunately, however, a very short quote by Bornstein at the City Commission meeting this week was not cited in Kevin Thompson’s story:
Just a point of clarification and I hope people understand, 2nd Avenue South is not part of the Neighborhood Road Program. It’s not part of the bond issue.

*Note that it’s not proper journalism — or even proper editing — to use open-ended questions in a headline. For example, there’s this very unfortunate headline from a Post Sunday edition a few years back: “Could riot happen here?