Saturday, April 14, 2018

HEAR YE, HEAR YE ALL! ATTENTION EVERYONE IN THIS LITTLE CITY OF LAKE WORTH.


You have to be on your best behavior next Tuesday at the Lake Worth City Commission.

We have a visitor:

Our State Senator-elect
Lori Berman!


On the agenda next Tuesday is Item 5B: “Legislative Update by Senator-elect Lori Berman”. And below is a special treat, a video of then-State Representative Berman.

When soon-to-be State Senator Lori Berman was State House Rep. Berman she — like School Board Member Erica Whitfield and County Commissioner (and former State Rep.) Dave Kerner — were and remain the three most frequent and highly visible elected leaders to visit the Lake Worth City Commission on a regular basis.

By the way, in the video below are two former Lake Worth commissioners. One is the former commissioner for District 2, Chris McVoy, PhD (wearing blue shirt, ruffled hair) and the other is former District 4 Commissioner Ryan Maier (dark suit jacket, dark shirt and wearing a tie).


Hope you enjoy this look back to when then-State Rep. Lori Berman visited the City Commission back in
May 2015 to give a legislative update:



Who is representing Districts 2 and 4 in this City of Lake Worth now?


Posted on Facebook last month
by District 2 Commissioner Hardy.

Click on image to enlarge:
Commissioner Herman C. Robinson represents the City’s District 4.

City of Lake Worth Commissioner Hardy and Commissioner Robinson are both running for re-election. Election Day is March 12th next year.

So. Are you considering running for a seat on the Lake Worth City Commission in 2019?

The two-week Qualifying Period begins on November 27th this year and ends on December 11th. But you can get your name on the ballot any time prior to November. Just stop by and visit the City Clerk on Monday–Friday, 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. or call 561-586-1662 and ask what you need to do to get your name on the ballot.

If you think you can do a better job than commissioners Hardy and Robinson, don’t be just another one of those ‘new’ voices that always seem to show up at the last minute. Be an involved voice and start learning more about this City NOW and start getting involved NOW. Attend Commission meetings, become a volunteer for a City board, start attending Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) meetings, learn more about the Lake Worth Electric Utility and the City’s Water Utility, get involved with the Neighborhood Assoc. Presidents’ Council (NAPC) and the League of Cities, call up Cpt. Baer and say you’re thinking of running next year and you would like a ride-along with a deputy some day in a neighborhood with crime problems, do some neighborhood cleanups, go to the Grey Mockingbird Garden and ask about community gardens, learn more about the role of County Commissioner Dave Kerner and State Rep. David Silvers and where the Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council (TCRPC) fits into all this and learn more about the impact of County Impact Fees, visit businesses and ask them what they need to be more successful and what the Cultural Council of Palm Beach County does and why the ‘bed tax’ is so important for small towns like the City of Lake Worth and try to understand what the Future Land Use Map is and the City Charter and zoning and variances and. . .

Pretty much do what Messrs. Omari Hardy and Herman C Robinson did to get elected.

And lastly, below is the YouTube video from March 17th, 2017, when then-Messrs. Omari Hardy and Herman C. Robinson were both Sworn In to represent the City of Lake Worth on the City Commission:


Then Messrs. Hardy and Robinson in 2016–2017, now commissioners Hardy and Robinson, “hit the ground running” last year when they were both elected.

They weren’t ‘new voices’ to the community.

Just saying. Enjoy the video:

“AT THE LETTUCE PATCH, 1976”


A young Mark Foley* at his store on 502 Lucerne Ave. Image below from The Palm Beach Post. 


Click on image to enlarge:
Mr. Mark A. Foley is once again serving the City of Lake Worth as a volunteer on the C-51 Advisory Committee. The Sun Sentinel’s Skyler Swisher has recent news on the Blueway Trail and, as always, The Palm Beach Post continues to drag their feet reporting anything of substance about this very exciting project on the C-51 Canal.


*Mark Foley was a City of Lake Worth commissioner from 1978–1979 and 1982–1984. Later he served in the Florida House of Representatives from 1990–1992; then the Florida Senate, 1993–1994.
     He returned to private life in 2006 after serving in the U.S. House of Representatives for 11 years. His most recent accomplishment was saving Spring Training baseball in Palm Beach County.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Will next Wesnesday be the new story, “RAB Redux”? Or the same old story, “RAB Prolix”? You demanded RAB be there for you. Will you be there for RAB?


At both City Commission meetings last month City Commissioner Herman C. Robinson made it quite clear to the public that IF NOT ENOUGH PEOPLE SHOW UP NEXT WEEK at City Hall the City’s Recreation Advisory Board (RAB) will be eliminated for good. Kaput.

Were you one of those who wanted to save RAB? Next week, on Wednesday, April 18th, is your FINAL CHANCE.

Meet at City Hall, 6:00, and do your part
to help save the RAB.

Why does this matter?

Because RAB will be “Sunset” for lack of public interest. The word ‘sunset’ is a nice way of saying:

Eliminated, erased, expunged, wiped out, disposed of, gotten rid of, liquidated, exterminated, bumped off, set aside, stamped out, ousted, eradicated, and/or taken out for all time.


So if your desire was to save the RAB because it was in the public interest to resurrect the RAB, show up next week, or if you cannot attend this meeting contact Commissioner Robinson as quickly as possible, or “ASAP” as they say. Like really really quick. And ask Herman what you can do to help save RAB.

Call Commissioner Robinson at 561-586-1734 or send an email to: hrobinson@lakeworth.org

“For The Love of Lake Worth!“


Prior to being elected in March 2017, here is one
of then-Mr. Herman C. Robinson’s campaign flyers,
“For The Love of Lake Worth!”
“Let’s work Together”!

Help Commissioner Robinson:
Volunteer and help Save The RAB!

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Join Sharon Koskoff for a walking tour (no trolleys!) this Saturday morning in Downtown Lake Worth.


This coming Saturday morning, April 14th, is Sharon Koskoff’s Landmarks of Lake Worth (details below).

And this Saturday also happens to be the final day of the American Association of Architect’s “National Architectural Week” as well. What better way to observe and extol this week than to take a tour with Sharon Koskoff:

“A Walking Tour” examining and learning about the City of Lake Worth’s Art Deco architecture.


Sharon Koskoff is one of those rare people that brings everything to the table. She is knowledgeable about her field of study, passionate, engaging, and makes the time listening enjoyable and yes, entertaining as well.

I’ve attended many events hosted by Koskoff over the years. Last year I was fortunate enough to be able to attend her event in our Downtown. Those who showed up were a “Who’s Who” in the fields of history, preservation, and architecture here in Palm Beach County.

I still remember well when several years ago Koskoff returned from a trip to Cuba and gave a slide-show presentation at the Stonzek about the state of Art Deco architecture in that country. This was when Fidel Castro was still firmly in control.

While much of Koskoff’s event last year was about Lake Worth’s unique architectural character it was also much about the characteristics of the Art Deco style. She talked about how the style morphed from Art Nouveau and became a product of the machine age with straight lines and geometric qualities.

Without further ado, the details about the upcoming event.

Landmarks of Lake Worth
“A Walking Tour” — Saturday morning, April 14th.

Meet at 9:45 a.m. at the Lake Worth Playhouse,
713 Lake Ave. The tour will begin promptly
at 10:00 sharp.*

The tour will be led by Art Deco Society of the Palm Beaches (ADSPB) president Sharon Koskoff and she advises everyone:

“Wear your walking shoes, sun tan lotion, and a hat!
     Visit the Lake Worth Playhouse, the Cultural Council Art Gallery, the Museum of the City of Lake Worth, public murals and art galleries.
     Refreshments will be served. Learn about the history of Art Deco and see the Streamline Moderne Buildings of Lake Worth.”


Tickets are $24 per person or $18 in advance. For ADSPB members the cost is $15. Call 561-699-7899 for more information or visit the ADCPB website.


*Optional at 1:00: End the tour with Koskoff at Brogue Downunder located at 621 Lake Ave. and buy your own lunch and enjoy more talk about Art Deco architecture in the City of Lake Worth.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Just in case you may have missed this from yesterday. . .


About the trolley tour and history talk last Sunday: An event planned and organized by the Historical Society of Lake Worth.

Last Sunday (April 8th) the Historical Society of Lake Worth (HSLW) held an event which included two trolley tours, an opening of the Lake Worth History Museum in the City Hall Annex building and two history talks as well by Ted Brownstein and Yours Truly (Wes Blackman).

This entire event was planned and organized by the Historical Society of Lake Worth — including the trolley tour — and Mr. Brownstein and myself were both invited by HSLW to give talks about the history of the “Town of Lake Worth” prior to and after the town was first established in 1913.

If you have any comments or suggestions about Sunday’s tour please contact the Historical Society of Lake Worth by clicking on this link or send an email to: historicalsocietylw@hotmail.com


Mr. Brownstein and myself took no part of the trolley tour as we were tasked with giving two talks inside the City Hall Annex: one to the group waiting for the trolley to return and another talk later on for those returning from the first trolley tour.

Brownstein talked about the pre-history of the City of Lake Worth, starting with the indigenous peoples that inhabited the area up until the time of the City’s incorporation in 1913. His presentation was based upon research related to the creation of his book, Pioneers of Jewell published in 2013. I then continued with a talk about the physical development of this City from Henry Flagler’s railroad to the present day with special emphasis on the era between 1913 and World War II. That was the period when most of the Lake Worth cottages were built and featured in the book, The Cottages of Lake Worth — Living Large in Small Spaces (published in 2016, reprinted in 2017).

Prior to Sunday’s event the board of the Cottages of Lake Worth, Inc., a 501c3, voted last week to donate four Cottages of Lake Worth books to the City of Lake Worth Library and one to the Lake Worth Historical Museum for their permanent collections.

If you would like to arrange for a presentation for your group, club, or association to which you belong that is interested in the history and the physical development of the City of Lake Worth and how the Cottages of Lake Worth miraculously survived the 20th Century, please feel free to contact me by email: WesBlackman@gmail.com

Presentations can be adapted to the time available and even a particular topic of interest. It was a real pleasure working with Mr. Brownstein and it was even suggested after the event that Brownstein and I “take the show on the road” which is actually a very good idea given there is so much interest these days about this little six square mile City of Lake Worth that “is truly the place ‘where the tropics begin’ and the fun never ends.”

Last night’s power outage explained by the Sun Sentinel, news report from early morning hours.


What a coincidence!

Just yesterday signed up for the Sun Sentinel’s digital paper and already that newspaper is making an impact!

Here is the news in the Sentinel headlined, “More than 25,000 customers affected by Lake Worth power outage”:

Power outages reported overnight affected more than 25,000 customers of Lake Work utilities and restoration efforts were continuing Tuesday.
     In a Twitter posting the city said there was a problem with the Hypoluxo Station and that — to help restore power until repairs are completed — the Lake Worth Power Plant was being brought online.
     Before dawn, Lake Worth crews were joined by crews from Florida Power & Light in making repairs at the power plant near Interstate 95 and Hypoluxo Road where debris from a blown transformer could be seen on the ground.

Once again, as a public service, public meetings scheduled today through Thursday in City of Lake Worth.


The following public meetings are “Open to the Public” and anyone from the public can attend: CRA, HRPB, and Tree Board (please see bullet list below).

THIS IS THE BIG NEWS: After a huge public outcry, the Recreation Advisory Board (RAB) is meeting later this month after years of inactivity!

Find out more about the RAB at the end of this blog post. For a list of all the volunteer advisory boards in the City of Lake Worth click on this link. Thinking about becoming a volunteer board member? Use this link or contact Olivia Brown, the Volunteer Coordinator by email at: obrown@lakeworth.org

Anyhow, the meetings scheduled this week are:

  • CANCELLED. TONIGHT (Tuesday, April 10th) the Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) meets at The HATCH at 1121 Lucerne Ave. at 6:00.
  • Then tomorrow (Wednesday) the Historic Resource Preservation Board (HRPB) meets at City Hall in the Commission chambers at 6:00.
  • The following day, on Thursday, April 12th, the Tree Board meets in the City Hall conference room at 5:30. And. . .

Then next month a whole bunch of people will show up at City Hall at a City Commission meeting all upset and saying the City Commission is not being transparent. People will say things like, “Nobody told me about an urgent care facility on N. Dixie Hwy near City Hall. You can never trust elected officials in Lake Worth. They’re always trying to sneak things past the public.”

On Tuesday, April 17th is the next regularly scheduled meeting of the Lake Worth City Commission. And it’s here that our elected officials have to hear those same old gripes over and over and over again.


A view of the dais at the City Commission earlier this week, on Tuesday, April 3rd.
From left to right: Vice Mayor Pro Tem Scott Maxwell, Commissioner Omari Hardy, Mayor Pam Triolo, Vice Mayor Andy Amoroso, Commissioner Herman Robinson and City Attorney Glen Torcivia.

A view of the Commission chambers last Tuesday night:
At the far end of the dais is City Manager Michael Bornstein, the wall of commissions past and the present City Commission.

A wider view:
Lots of people are excited the Recreation Advisory Board may be coming back to life after a long hiatus. People stopped going because they stopped caring. How many of the public do you think will show up on Wednesday, April 18th, 6:00, at City Hall? More likely than not, not enough for a quorum.

Monday, April 9, 2018

Former Lake Worth commissioners Ryan Maier and Chris McVoy, PhD, were both opposed to Brightline. Right?

Well. Actually. . .
That’s not true at all.


In the photo below, on the far right, is the former commissioner for the City’s District 2, Chris McVoy (2010–2017). To McVoy’s side is former Commissioner Ryan Maier who once represented District 4 (2015–2017).

The Lake Worth City Commission following
the March elections in 2015.
Just last month Mayor Pam Triolo, Vice Mayor Scott Maxwell and Vice Mayor Pro Tem Andy Amoroso were all re-elected to three year terms. For the current City Commission click on this link.

FYI. The election results from last March:
By the way, are you looking for a home out west in PBC? Like maybe a new “agrihood” between the Florida Everglades and Village of Wellington? Please click on this link. Learn why you might want to reconsider and take another look at coastal cities like this little City of Lake Worth.

Now back to February 2016. . .

Here in the City of Lake Worth two years ago the vote at the City Commission was unanimously in support of a passenger rail service then called All Aboard Florida (and the future Coastal Link too!) which was officially launched to wide acclaim.

So one would think former City of Lake Worth commissioners Ryan Maier and Chris McVoy. . .

Who both frequently cautioned ‘the people’ about almost all and any development would oppose this project. Right?

Wrong.


On the issue of passenger rail service here in South Florida, after hearing the facts, both Maier and McVoy, PhD, came out in support of Brightline and passenger rail service here in South Florida.

And they both supported the idea of
a “Coastal Link” as well.

What’s the Coastal Link? Learn more about the below. Here’s an excerpt from this blog dated February 7th, 2016:
On the discussion that followed at the City Commission about Brightline (formerly All Aboard Florida) the vote taken was 5-0 to support rail transit going forward.

Note that another topic up for discussion in February 2016 was something called the “Coastal Link”:

Click on image to enlarge.
This is the future “Coastal Link”:
The Coastal Link will follow Brightline service and link all of the coastal downtown’s together
in Palm Beach County.

For example, you’ll be able to take the Coastal Link from Lake Worth to Jupiter’s Loggerhead Marinelife Center. Or you could take the Coastal Link to West Palm Beach and then take Brightline to Ft. Lauderdale, Miami, and to Orlando as well  in the near future.

By the way. I still remember that meeting back in early 2016. And remember how refreshing it was to see the entire City Commission working together, albeit very briefly. Two years ago though nearly every important vote at the City Commission was a 3-2 split with the ‘2’, Maier and McVoy opposed to nearly everything.

But on the topic of Brightline? It was unanimous. You see, back then, even Maier and McVoy saw how important Brightline was for the future of this City and for all of South Florida.