Saturday, June 9, 2018

Palm Beach Post about Lake Worth High School: “Project Lake Worth turns diversity into strength”.

At the end of this blog post is a question. But first consider this: the City of Lake Worth has a number of volunteer advisory boards, e.g., a C-51 Canal Advisory Board, an Electric Utility Advisory Board, a Library Board, a Recreation Advisory Board, and a Tree Board too.

But guess what this City doesn’t have? A board tasked with coordinating and working with our one charter school, the four public elementary schools, Lake Worth Middle, Lake Worth High School and the private school at Sacred Heart Catholic. And how many other private and faith-based schools are there in this City? Does anyone know?

The C-51 Canal Advisory Board has only met one single time since being formed in November 2016. Don’t you think it’s time for a school advisory board or a school coordinating board in this City?

There are four excerpts from Post reporter Scott McCabe about Project Lake Worth. Below is #1.

Without further ado. . .

A quote from the article by Mr. David Dale, former president of Project Lake Worth:

“People are wondering, ‘Have we done our job?’ Yes. But there’s so
much more to do.”

From excerpt #1, the news by former Palm Beach Post staff writer Scott McCabe (1998–2005), datelined Sunday, February 14th, 1999.

News published in the Post 19 years ago.

Click on newspaper clipping to enlarge:
 From the timeline: 1994, Wall of Unity Mural painted. “A mural designed by students depicts their vision of unity in the Osborne community.

LAKE WORTH — When the Palm Beach County School Board convened in the Spring of 1995, its members expected to hear from Lake Worth residents who wanted $30 million released to save their dying high school.
     They expected frustration. The school board, after all, held up voter-approved money for 10 years. In the meantime, Lake Worth High had moved from the top of the list of schools slated for improvements to the bottom.
     What they didn’t expect was 150 residents lined up in white T-shirts with identical logos waiting their turn to talk. They talked for three meetings, tying up other school business until the board hollered uncle.
     The school board couldn’t have known what it was up against. For what had begun six years earlier as a search for a way to save the high school had flowered into a movement to save the city itself — Project Lake Worth.

Check back next week for another excerpt about Lake Worth High School and Project Lake Worth.

Now ask yourself this: Is it time for “Project Lake Worth II”?

“From Where I Sit. . .”, by Pelican Pete.*

From The Lake Worth Herald in June last year,
two weeks before the July 4th Raft Race:
“Look over there, Mabel. That nasty blob floating in the water. Is that blue-green algae? Call CBS12! And what’s that beat reporters name again?”

Don’t be tricked by rumors and tall tales of blue-green floating blobs or a ‘plague’ of beta-Methylamino-ʟ-alanine either!

There are no rules in the July 4th Great American Raft Race. If you want, you can even make up buckets of blue-green jello blobs to pysch-out competitors, make them scream with fear!

*Please note: The electeds on the Lake Worth City Commission and City Manager Michael Bornstein WILL HAVE A RAFT in this year’s July 4th Raft Race as is the case every year but as is usually the case, it’s just for show. And also stay tuned for the schedule of pre-Raft Race festivities, the captain’s meeting which is mandatory but not really, and the heats coming up to test rafts which are supposed to be done in secret but never are.

Friday, June 8, 2018

Almost there. Putting our City of Lake Worth’s 2017–2018 Election Cycle “in the bag” after “much ink has been spilled”.

Bonus! Drew Martin will be marching in Washington, D.C. tomorrow!

Following Drew Martin’s ill-fated run for mayor of Lake Worth find our more about his latest endeavors.

Tomorrow Mr. Martin will be in Washington, D.C. to “March for the Ocean” (M4O). Learn more about M4O below, a “Plastic-Free March”.

And just a few days after the M4O march in Washington here in this little City of Lake Worth another Election Season will be ‘in the bag’. The final report all candidates on the ballot are required to file is called the “Termination Report” (TR). The deadline to file the TR is Monday, June 11th (ninety days following the elections on March 13th).

Thus far, Mayor Pam Triolo and Drew Martin are the only ones to turn in a TR. Click on this link to see the list of all campaign and PAC reports going back to 2015.
Drew Martin raised $7,383 in his failed race for mayor. Were any plastics used on the campaign trail? Still to come, the TRs from District 1 Commissioner Scott Maxwell and his intrepid and very worthy challenger, Sarah Malega.

For the latest endeavors of Drew Martin, below are excerpts from the Coastal & Greenacres Observer, the article titled “Every Day is Earth Day”.

“Martin is in demand as a speaker because of his manner he shares the current conservation and environmental news.”

Excerpts from this week’s Observer:

Martin is the Conservation Chair for the Loxahatchee Sierra Club. The Sierra Club was formed by John Muir in 1892. It is the “oldest, largest, and most influential grassroots environmental organization in the United States.”
     The Loxahatchee Sierra Groups with approximately 3,000 members serves Palm Beach, Martin, St. Lucie and Okeechobee counties. They are the voice of environmental issues.

and. . .

He [Martin] easily answered questions of current conservation concerns. Some of the topics Martin discussed were:
  • Property development and loss of open space in western Palm Beach County. [emphasis added]
  • The pollution problem with plastics at home and in our oceans. “Eighty percent of the marine trash, plastic, and debris comes from urban runoff.”

More details and information about Drew’s upcoming trip to Washington, D.C.:

Of great interest are the causes of the ongoing destruction of the reef and the marine life associated with the reef as an ecosystem. There has been a decline of coral over the last decade by 80 percent. The coral reefs are called the unseen “backbone of the Earth’s ecosystem.”

As reported in the Observer, Drew Martin will be an unpaid lobbyist traveling to Washington D.C. taking part in the March for the Ocean (M4O):

M4O in Washington, D.C. will be the first Plastic-Free March.

“On Saturday, June 9, 2018, join one of many simultaneous marches, flotillas, and water celebrations across the country and Wear Blue
for the Ocean!”

“March past the White House and around Lafayette Square before returning to staging area (60–90 minute walk or approximately 1½ mile loop). Wear comfortable walking shoes, blue clothing (Wear Blue for the Ocean), a shade cap, ocean-safe sunblock and carry a canteen.


Thursday, June 7, 2018

News from reporter McKenna Ross at The Palm Beach Post.

[UPDATE: The news below from Ross appeared in last Tuesday’s print edition on page B2. Gleaning from several sources in the Sun Sentinel and elsewhere, it’s apparent the incident that occurred June 1st on the FEC tracks was no accident. For more information about this incident is another article datelined June 5th by Post reporter Jeff Ostrowski that concludes with this sentence, “If someone has an agenda that day to cut their life short . . . there’s no amount of safety that can stop that from happening.”]

Very sad news in the Post. The name of the victim was removed from the news report. Here are two excerpts:

BOYNTON BEACH — Authorities on Monday [June 4th] identified the man struck and killed by a Brightline train Friday as a 49-year-old Lakeland man.
     Preliminary investigations found that ■■■■■■■■■■■ ■■■■■■ jumped in front of the train as it was traveling south from the FEC Railway crossing on Woolbright Road, Boynton Beach police said Monday.

and. . .

     Six people in Palm Beach County have been struck and killed by Brightline trains since last year, when the company began testing along the Florida East Coast Railway tracks. Three of those deaths, including Friday’s, occurred in Boynton Beach. In the five previous cases, officials say victims were on the tracks despite lowered gates, warning lights and train horns. [emphasis added]

More information about Brightline, public safety, and the editor(s) at the Post with their stance
on this important topic.

Attempting to cross railroad tracks at any location other than a designated crossing is illegal. It’s called trespassing. This latest tragedy was completely avoidable and so were all the others. But some critics of Brightline will attempt to use this terrible news as the editor(s) at the Post pointed out on May 30th, as another way to stop Brightline going north to Orlando, “[H]aving failed with environmental and safety questions, specious concerns about the federal deficit and lawsuits.”

Brightline will be connecting with Orlando. Explaining this journalist Scott Powers penned a piece this week in Florida Politics titled, “Brightline’s Orlando line could be settled in next few months”. Now it’s time to focus on the big picture. Saving lives. Not a specious concern by any means.

Educating the public about safety along the railroad tracks and at railroad crossings needs to be the top priority north of the Brightline station in West Palm Beach to the nearly completed train station in Orlando. The #1 message needs to be “See Tracks? Think Train!” Just more monkeywrenching trying to stop the inevitable just takes away from the #1 message.

Hammering the point home, here is another excerpt from the editor(s) at the Post:

     Brightline has its issues, to be sure. The Post has reported extensively on fatal accidents on tracks, delayed quiet zones and trains still seeking riders. But as evidenced by the recent opening of the Miami station, the project is plowing forward.
     Its chances for success, though, hinge on finishing the West Palm Beach-to-Orlando leg. It doesn’t make sense to derail that. Not when Florida is so close to realizing the potential of high-speed rail. Not when the state’s clogged highways are only getting more so. And not when our infrastructure needs are so great.
     The train has already left the station, so to speak.

To the critics of Brightline, “The train has already left the station”. So to speak.

Learn the signals and what they mean.

Click on image to enlarge:
“The fact is, the only safe place to cross rail tracks is at a designated public crossing, which are marked by flashing lights, a gate, crossbucks, or a combination of these safety signals.”

Today is the final day for “2018 Hurricane Sales Tax Holiday Week”.

Click on this link to see the front pages
of The Lake Worth Herald and the
Coastal & Greenacres Observer.
“Sales Tax Holiday Week” was big news in the Herald and Observer. Have a question about subscription and advertising rates? Contact the editor at 561-585-9387 or send an email to:

Below is the list of qualifying items for disaster preparedness during Sales Tax Holiday Week which began last Friday. Today is the final day. For more detailed information click on this link to download Florida Dept. of Revenue, TIPS publication #18A01-05.

During this tax free week Florida residents will not be required to pay sales tax on hurricane supplies that include the following:

Selling for $10 or less: Reusable ice (reusable ice packs).

Selling for $20 or less: Any portable self-powered light source* (powered by battery, solar, hand-crank, or gas),
  • Candles.
  • Flashlights.
  • Lanterns.

Selling for $25 or less: Any gas or diesel fuel container, including LP gas and kerosene containers.

Selling for $30 or less:
  • Batteries, including rechargeable batteries, sizes AAA-cell, AA-cell, C-cell, D-cell, 6-volt, 9-volt (excluding automobile and boat batteries).
  • Coolers and ice chests (food-storage; nonelectrical).

Selling for $50 or less:
  • Bungee cords.
  • Ground anchor systems.
  • Radios* (powered by battery, solar, or hand-crank), Two-Way, Weather Band.
  • Ratchet straps.
  • Tarpaulins (tarps).
  • Tie-down kits.
  • Visqueen, plastic sheeting, plastic drop cloths, and other flexible waterproof sheeting.

Selling for $750 or less: Portable generators used to provide light or communications, or to preserve food in the event of a power outage.

*Eligible light sources and radios qualify for the exemption even if electrical cords are also included.

Flag Day is Thursday, June 14th. Everyone is invited to the City of Lake Worth to honor the American flag.

The City’s American flag flying full mast in
Bryant Park for Flag Day last year.
But not so two years ago.
The City’s flag was at half mast.

The Flag Day event next week begins at 6:00 at the Bryant Park Bandshell. Below are two excerpts from an article in The Lake Worth Herald from 2016 about Flag Day in the City of Lake Worth. The public was still in shock that day almost two years ago. The Pulse nightclub shootings had just occurred two days prior:

     In 2008, then Mayor Rene Varela invited the Flag Day ceremony back home to Lake Worth, where it has been magnificently celebrated and greatly revered annually ever since. The ceremony this year was hosted by Scottish Rite General Secretary, Mike Cribbit who said he was pleased to see more people than ever in attendance.
     The brief but moving ceremony in recent years has included hailing the names of our sons and fathers who attended Lake Worth High School since the school began in 1922, and who have given their lives in service to our Country. Another treasured part of the ceremony is the recitation of “What the Pledge Means to Me,” written and originally performed by the late Richard “Red” Skelton [see video below], a 33 degree Mason in the Scottish Rite Fraternity.

[and. . .]

     A sizable crowd of patriotic Lake Worth Neighbors were on hand to witness and join together in a moment of silent reflection on the terrible wound we suffered as a nation just days before in Orlando. With one voice, the assembled body of men and women, children, seniors and all put their right hands on their hearts and pledged their allegiance to the American Flag hung respectfully and in mourning at half mast.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Planning & Zoning (P&Z) Board meeting tonight in City of Lake Worth.

Meeting begins in City Hall at 6:00. There are four items under “New Business” and here is the first one, item G1:

PZB 18-00500007 Consideration of a request for a Conditional Use permit to allow factory manufacturing, office, wholesale sales and distribution, research and development, and warehouse uses in an existing structure at 2201 4th Avenue North, within the I-POC zoning district.

To download the entire agenda click on this link and scroll down for P&Z June 6th “Agenda Package”.

And stay tuned for the minutes of the Finance Advisory Board (FAB) and Bond Oversight Citizens’ Advisory Board (BOCAB) that were held last night in the City Hall conference room. The minutes from these meetings should become available very soon.

Here were the presentations at the FAB:

Financial Services Department.
  • FY2018 Budget Development Overview: Major Funds Reviewed “Big 3”: Beach Fund, Electric Fund, Water Fund.
  • FY2018 Budget Calendar of Events.
  • Election of Officers.
  • Richard Guercio – Report Out on Work Performed as Previous Board Chair.

Under “New Business” at BOCAB were these items:

Neighborhood Road Program Citizens Oversight Board presentation:
  • Darren Portner [City Treasurer].
  • Brian Shields [Water Utility Director].
  • Jamie Brown [Public Services Director].


“PORT ST. LUCIE — The city may take legal action against the contractor that built its 10-year-old Civic Center because of premature structural deterioration.”
—News datelined June 5th in TCPalm.

At the groundbreaking of historic “Hummingbird” in Downtown Lake Worth yesterday.

Below is more information about this structure located at 631 Lucerne Ave., “[C]onstructed c.1922 and is a contributing resource within the Old Town Local Historic District.”

Photos taken yesterday. . .
Exactly what our Downtown has needed for a
long time: New office spaces (
±20) will make up
the new “Hummingbird”.

Access to these offices will be off Lucerne Ave. and ‘J’ St. as well which many in attendance were pleased to learn about.

Floor plans.

The invitation sent out announcing the event:

“Re-Purpose and Re-Use to Class ‘A’ Office Space”:
For more information send an email to:

The former Hummingbird Hotel was an agenda item on the City of Lake Worth’s Historic Resource Preservation Board (HRPB) last year:

HRPB Project Number 17-00100137: Consideration of a Certificate of Appropriateness (COA) for exterior alterations and a pre-construction approval for a historic preservation ad valorem tax exemption for the commercial structure located at 631 Lucerne Avenue . . . The subject property was constructed c.1922 and is a contributing resource within the Old Town Local Historic District.

The exterior changes proposed were consistent with historic guidelines and the City staff recommended approval which the HRPB did. Also, the plans include restoration of the “Hummingbird Hotel” sign on the building. Stay tuned for more information about that.

A rendering from last year:
From The Lake Worth Herald, more history about this historic structure in the Downtown:

“The Hummingbird Hotel was, since 1921, the McCarty or New McCarty Hotel. The original owner was Mary A. McCarty. McCarty was part of the company owned by A.D. Clark Insurance. Clark, Mayor from 1923–1926, sold insurance and was a prominent realtor in Lake Worth for 39 years. She was an active member of the Board of Realtors.
     The hotel remained the McCarty Hotel until c.1995 [see image below] when Rose Belanger and JoAnn Davis purchased the hotel. They changed the color, refurbished the rooms and renamed the hotel — The Hummingbird.”

Click on image to enlarge:
Newspaper clipping, Palm Beach Post, July 1995.

Photos taken at the “Hummingbird Hotel”
two years ago:

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Everyone wants to know, “Where O Where Have All the Protesters Gone?”

Can you believe there hasn’t been a protest in the City of Lake Worth since very early in 2016?

Hard to believe, but it’s true. Over two years since there’s been a protest in this City.

Let’s take a stroll down memory lane. . .

Do you recall the trailer park ‘forced relocation’ that wasn’t? The ‘curfew’ in January 2016 that never happened either? Read more about those staged protests that both failed spectacularly later in this blog post.

Note that prior to all these ‘protests’ Lake Worth’s former beat reporter, Mr. Chris Persaud, left the Post after being awarded multiple prestigious journalism awards for election reporting. After Persaud left almost a year passed before the Post sent another beat reporter to cover this City and then election reporting returned to normal once again: horrid.

The latest news is The Palm Beach Post was put up For Sale last year and earlier this year GateHouse Media agreed to buy the newspaper last May. Maybe GateHouse will bring on an ombudsman (public editor) which has been sorely needed for a very long time.

Anyhow, without further ado, always a big hit
with my readers: “Where O Where Have
all the Protesters Gone?”

To the question: “Where have all the protesters gone?” Our City hasn’t had a protest since early 2016, protests which began in January of that year and ended just prior to the elections. There hasn’t even been a protest by our friends who live in a local trailer park community in over two years! Is it because Mr. Snarky and all his friends have left town to stir up trouble somewhere else?

Then the next year, in March 2017, we all survived another election season. As you know, City elections can bring out the worst of some in the press and the media. Do you remember, “One of the ways you know it’s getting close to election season”?

There was never a “curfew” here in Lake Worth.
That was the Post’s headline editor trying
to stir up trouble:
The word “curfew” is an example of loaded language, “wording that attempts to influence an audience by using appeal to emotion or stereotypes.”

So what happened to all those protesters prior to our municipal elections? The signs, megaphone, bells, whistles, and banging of pots and pans? The answer to the question is, of course, obvious.

All of that silliness was about our Downtown Cultural Plaza being closed for certain overnight hours, ordinances created by cities and towns all across this nation every day. It’s not unusual despite what some protesters and others tried to claim and it certainly wasn’t “draconian”, or “criminalizing” people, or even as one protester said, “throwing the baby out with the bathwater”. Whatever that was supposed to mean.

Then a little later on the pictures began to arrive via email from all over the world. . .

Literal translation of sign in the image below using Google Translator: Evacuation plan Vigipirate 4:30 p.m. 5:00 p.m. closed park
A ‘curfew’ in France too?

And another one:
Translation: “Opening hours of the fountain gardens”. Again, no mention of a ‘curfew’.

Central Park CLOSED!

And remember the “trailer park” protest that turned into a dud? The advice for people back then was if they wanted to see what it’s like to be a protester, they better do it before Election Day. By the way, the next election of candidates in this City of Lake Worth will be held on March 12th, 2019.

You see, all those protests ostensibly about the homeless — who never did get any help from the protesters who were too busy protesting — the protests over trash pick-up at the trailer park, and all the others were just for show. It was all a stage act in front of the press, the TV cameras and the rest of the media who fell for it. Those protests were all about manipulating the results on election day in 2016. Period. And it all failed spectacularly as evidenced by the results: all the incumbents were re-elected by landslide victories.

To learn the truth about that “trailer park” nonsense The Lake Worth Herald explained it all quite well. Now. . . let’s take a look back at CBS12/WPEC’s hysterical take on what they thought that protest was all about:

“Seniors argue reduced city services all about forced relocation*

This ‘story’ was by Israel Balderas in February of 2016, just prior to our City’s elections. Here is an excerpt:

LAKE WORTH (CBS12) — Hundreds [?] of senior citizens voiced their fears outside city hall Tuesday night over feeling pushed out of their homes.

“Hundreds”? There were about ten or so. But isn’t it interesting how much news reporting can change leading up to an election in Lake Worth? And lastly, then came that Palm Beach Post article from last year that had to be retracted:

Click on image to enlarge:
It’s because of reporting like this that some newspapers have what’s called an ombudsman,
or a “public editor”.

Anyhow, stay tuned. Maybe before long the entertainment will begin all over again when the 2018–2019 Election Season begins!

Remember, this is the “quirky” little
City of Lake Worth! 

*When you hear the words “forced relocation” what comes to mind right away? An excerpt from Wikipedia: “The internment of Japanese Americans in the United States during World War II was the forced relocation [emphasis added] and incarceration in camps in the interior of the country of between 110,000 and 120,000 people of Japanese ancestry who had lived on the Pacific coast.”

Monday, June 4, 2018

Public meetings scheduled this week at Lake Worth City Hall.

The Finance Advisory Board (FAB) meets tonight in the City Hall conference room. Tomorrow (Tuesday, June 5th) is a regularly scheduled meeting of the City Commission and the Planning & Zoning Board meets on Wednesday. All meetings begin at 6:00.

Please note: The meeting of the City’s Electric Utility Advisory Board (EUAB) scheduled for next Wednesday has been rescheduled for June 18th.

The big surprise is not what is on the agenda at the City Commission tomorrow but what is not on the agenda. This is very good news. Check back tomorrow for more about that. And I think it’s time to increase the time limit for public comment to three minutes across the board. For all agenda items.

The experiment last year increasing the time limit from two to three minutes on just “Non-Agendaed Items and Consent Agenda” has worked. One could say the normal people have firmly taken control. Again. It was back during the administration of Mayor Jeff Clemens and a commissioner named Cara Jennings that the time limit was reduced from three minutes to two. The trepidation returning to three minutes again is understandable. It’s been that way for a long time.

True. Some will take advantage of that extra minute to the extreme. However, that extra minute will also be extremely beneficial for the majority of the public, most of whom are reasonable, deliberate and respectful and they shouldn’t feel like they are being rushed or brushed off. Most everywhere else in Palm Beach County the time limit for public comment is three minutes. All the City’s volunteer advisory boards, including the FAB and EUAB, have a three minute time limit.

We are the outlier. And that needs to end. It’s time.

So with a caveat or two like keeping public comment to forty-five minutes on any one item or a warning of some sort when people just get up to the podium and parrot what somebody already said, then it’s time for three minutes. Maybe this topic will come up at public comment tomorrow. Maybe somebody will get up and make the case for keeping the limit at two minutes? Stay tuned as they say.

Meet your elected leaders in this City of Lake Worth:
Not a long agenda at the City Commission this week. To look it over for yourself use this link and scroll down for “June 5, Regular Meeting”, then look for “Agenda & Backup” to download the full version.