Saturday, June 30, 2018

“That’s a whopping figure and stands out like Madonna at a convent.”


“Code Violations Real Shocker”


Remember this “$21 Million Outstanding” next time you read another one of those verbose, repetitive, and tiresome stories in the Post and from the usual suspects about our Code Enforcement Dept. here in the City of Lake Worth.


Click on image to enlarge.
Commentary published in The Lake Worth Herald, May 23rd, 2002.

“Pride should kick in at some point and help clean up this mess.

*Adjusted for inflation, $28.5M in 2017.

‘Balloon Police’ and frightening the bejesus out of little children.


Or switch out plastic straws for balloons
and you get the idea. . .

Balloons are like ‘kicks’! They’re more that just exciting at parties.


Balloons can also used as a political tool to distract
the public from the real issues at hand.


We’ll get to those political ‘balloons’ a little later in this blog post, an account of one actual political ‘battle of ideas’ that occurred at Lake Worth City Hall vis-à-vis turning some of our PBSO deputies into the “Balloon Police” and more silliness here in the L-Dub.

Politics of late in this little City has turned into a polite parlor game which must be very confusing for new and recently news residents, especially for those who moved here for the political entertainment. After what happened on Nov. 8th, 2016, it was just expected this City would be torn apart because of its ‘spirited’ past and become at least politically, just more collateral damage.

But that never happened.

It’s important to keep in mind that despite the occasional political skirmishes at City Hall, the last 6–7 years here in the City of Lake Worth has been an era marked by unimaginable stability and unfathomable progress considering the politics of previous years leading up to 2011–2012. A previous administration led by a former city manager and a “gadfly” commissioner that lost his re-election bid last year come to mind.

But as much as stability is a good thing for many in the public there are also those who believe stability is a bad thing. And this political battle of ideas is regularly scheduled: it’s called Election Season.

And as much as the issues are the issues for some, for others it’s better if the issues were not the issues. So. If the big issue is fixing the streets and potholes in this City how does one make that issue not the issue? It’s actually very easy. For example, just throw in some ‘kicks’ to try and distract everyone. But whether it works or not is an entirely different issue.

It’s called creating a political ‘wedge’.

A former commissioner, Chris McVoy, PhD, would have likely won his re-election bid last year but his fate was sealed when the editor at The Palm Beach Post called him a “gadfly”. Why? Primarily because in 2014 McVoy was key in defeating the Lake Worth 2020 bond that year to begin fixing the streets and potholes in this City.

How did he and his supporters do it? He created the wedge issue of “sea level rise” and that was enough to convince 25 more people to vote “No” and that 2014 referendum went down to defeat. But it was what McVoy did next that cost him his fourth term on the City Commission. He tried his best to defeat the road bond referendum in 2016 as well. Why? Once again the issue of ‘sea level rise’ was suggested as a reason to vote “No”.

The ‘wedge’ worked in 2014. It didn’t work in 2016.

Do you remember back in November 2016 as our City of Lake Worth was preparing and educating the public about the Neighborhood Road Bond referendum and when our electeds, City staff, and the public were forced to address another topic a few months previously: balloons?

That’s right. Just 2½ months before the Nov. 2016 referendum the big issue was. . . balloons!

So. Did that ‘wedge’ issue about balloons work? Yes. But just briefly. Fortunately, the public quickly refocused on THE ISSUE and the rest, as they say, is history.


Remember the 2016 referendum result? An “over-
whelming” 69% voted “Yes” to fix our roads.
Remember Palm Beach Post editor Rick Christie’s, “A few quick takeaways from 2016 election”?

In retrospect that “balloon ordinance” in
August 2016 was all silly now.

But what wasn’t silly at all was using all that taxpayer money, pulling City staff and managers from other essential duties, and the public getting distracted by press and media reports about. . . balloons.

Who would enforce this ordinance if it was actually adopted? Our PBSO deputies. Even more people pulled from other essential duties.

But reason prevailed and that “balloon ordinance” and the “balloon police” never became a reality.

That surreal drama at the City Commission in 2016 about balloons had many thinking the City of Lake Worth was banning all use of balloons city-wide. A headline in The Palm Beach Post (see below) reinforced that misinformation and do did their beat reporter. It was only later on, when the article in The Lake Worth Herald came out (excerpt below), was all this put in proper perspective.

It was decided to have existing policy reworked so that when a City facility is rented and balloons are improperly used the City will keep the $150 (or so) rental deposit. And, mind you, there is already a state law with penalties for releasing balloons.

But in 2016 the public all over Palm Beach County was left scratching their heads wondering why Lake Worth, a City with so many pressing issues to address was spending so much time and effort to ban balloons. Here is part of an eye-catching headline in the Post print edition on August 18th, 2016, page B1, above the fold:

LAKE WORTH BANS BALLOONS


Shortly afterward The Lake Worth Herald published an accurate article about what happened at the Commission meeting in August 2016.

In the Herald: The Loggerhead Marine Center “offers three levels for municipality participation.” Was this reported in the Post? No.

An excerpt from the article in the Herald:

     Loggerhead Marine Center offers three levels for municipality participation.
     Level one consists of signage or educational material distribution. Level two consists of signage and educational material to distribute and level three has the added inclusion of an adopted ordinance.
     Lake Worth City commissioners stopped short of adopting an ordinance after debate brought out the fact an ordinance would have no “teeth” as written and would create nuisance calls to PBSO.

Simply having signs IS public education and sufficient to deter potential “balloon” violators.

Crime is an issue here in the City of Lake Worth as well. Although many of our deputies would enjoy and get their ‘kicks’ spending all day at the Beach being the “balloon police”, there are many neighborhoods here in our City that may believe there are much more important things for them to do.

And that folks, in conclusion, is how a political ‘wedge’ is created. Sometimes they work and sometimes they don’t.

In conclusion, just stay focused and try real hard not to be distracted by any balloons and ‘kicks’. Or plastic straws either. Or sunscreen.

Friday, June 29, 2018

A Look Back: Lake Worth Centennial Fireworks, July 4th, 2013.




“Taken from the equivalent of a six story building, this is the 24 minute long fireworks display from last night’s festivities. I put the display to the Music for the Royal Fireworks by Handel. If it’s any indication, the music ends before the the fireworks. That’s a good sign we got our money’s worth. The auto-focus on the camera occasionally freaks out since it has nothing to focus on, but it snaps back quickly enough and creates a certain artistic flair.

A great day in our City’s history and one for the record books!”

Rockin’ Saturday! News about “Rockin’ Saturdays” for kids age 5–10 and it’s FREE!


The Lake Worth Library presents Rockin’ Saturdays for kids age 5–10 as part of the Libraries Rock! Summer Reading Program.

On Saturday afternoons from 2:00 to 3:00 on June 30th [TOMORROW] and on July 13th, 20th and 27th kids will participate in Rockin’ Summer Songs, Lego Building, Rock Painting and so much more.

Where? Right at the Fabulous Lake Worth Library downtown across from the Cultural Plaza.

Kids should bring their library card (or a parent so they can get a library card) and sign up for the Libraries Rock! Summer Reading Program.

All kids will get a Goodie Bag and a Reading Log so they can check out books right away. Each book they add to their Reading Log will earn them a prize when it’s returned to the Library.

The Lake Worth Library is open Tuesday and Wednesday 10:00 a.m.–7:00 p.m., Thursday 10:00  a.m.–6:00 p.m., Friday and Saturday 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. Closed Sunday and Monday. For more information call 561-533-7354; email: lwlibrary@lakeworth.org

Concerned beta-Methylamino-ʟ-alanine (BMAA) will ‘plague’ our water and Lake Worth Lagoon next week?


Are you worried about participating in the City of Lake Worth’s 17th Annual July 4th Raft Race because of something mysteriously ‘plaguing’ the water or maybe even a ‘plague’ of BMAA?


Don’t be distracted by this
silly nonsense!


Why? Because another neighborhood participating in the race or a Raft Race crew being sponsored by a local business or group in this City (and even outside agitators) will be trying to trick your Raft Race team into dropping out of the race by cleverly planting the seeds of doubt and/or distracting your crew of rowers in an attempt to sap their will to win. Remember: A big part of the Raft Race are the tactics and strategy to gain an advantage weeks and even months prior to the race to throw off and confuse all the other teams in the race.

To learn more about the City’s Annual Great American Raft Race click on this link. The editor at The Lake Worth Herald explains it this way:


Winning the race is highly coveted, after all, it gives bragging rights to the victor for a whole year.
     Some of the best shows from the raft race happen after the race, when teams will complain and protest actions of another team. Yes, there will actually be protests, based on rules that do not exist. These protests will be heard and immediately be discarded, as they should. This is all for fun, there is nothing but bragging rights waiting at the finish line and there is no reason to get hot under the collar because someone got one over on you.


A short video from last year’s 16th Annual Great American Raft Race (please take note of all the people splashing around and having fun in the water):



The Parrot Cove Neighborhood was the big winner last year. It was their pre-Race planning, gathering of intelligence, mis- and disinformation, and well-planned sabotage on July 4th which is credited for Parrot Cove’s well-deserved win. In the spirit of Independence Day it’s “worthy” to keep in mind:


Intelligence in the American Revolutionary War was essentially monitored and sanctioned by the Continental Congress to provide military intelligence to the Continental Army to aid them in fighting the British during the American Revolutionary War.

Attention everyone here in the City of Lake Worth, especially all participants in this year’s Great American Raft Race:

Beware the words “plague” and “plaguing”! Do you remember former Commissioner Chris McVoy and his silly Resolution No. 38 in 2016 to “[I]mplement a solution to long standing water discharge issues plaguing the City”? Was that an attempt to sabotage a crew or crews in the Raft Race?

Don’t get distracted by any nonsense ‘plaguing
the City’ unless it’s a reporter from CBS12
planning a plague of silly news.

Concentrate on making the best raft you can to win the Raft Race for bragging rights until next year!


FYI: If you happen to spot anyone from the press or news media and suspect they’re trying to stir up trouble ahead of this year’s Raft Race please do not hesitate! Contact the City’s Public Information Officer, Mr. Ben Kerr. Call 561-586-1631 or by email: BKerr@lakeworth.org


With our City of Lake Worth’s spectacular, nonsensical, and iconic Raft Race only 56 days away this is the stuff (see excerpt below) you have to be aware of from the press and media. This item that was published in the Post last year does not even rise to the standard of Chris McVoy, PhD, an expert on Everglades restoration who warned of “part science and part what you can get politically.”

In fact, in March 2016 the “firebrand ethnobotanist Paul Alan Cox” said in The Palm Beach Post about BMAA:


No one is claiming BMAA is the only cause,” [emphasis added] he [Cox] said. “There has been all kinds of hypotheses in the past. Aluminum, brain trauma. There are probably lots of different things that lead to these neurological diseases.”


And it wasn’t our City that had a problem with BMAA in the first place. It was BMAA in the St. Lucie River that possibly created that “spike in emergency room visits” and the public there was forced to “escape to more distant lodgings” to cities in Central Palm Beach County that had any hotel rooms available:


“The algae bloom in the St. Lucie River and its estuary certainly appeared and smelled toxic. It caused an overpowering, noxious smell, burning eyes, headaches, flu-like symptoms, respiratory problems, and rashes. The local hospital weathered a spike in emergency room patients. People were forced to evacuate waterside properties and escape to more distant lodgings.”


Have you decided to stop working on your raft for the July 4th Great American Raft Race because of BMAA? Are you considering an “escape to more distant lodgings.” Worried about “burning eyes, headaches, flu-like symptoms, respiratory problems, and rashes” too?

Don’t do that! Our precious Lake Worth Lagoon is doing just fine!


For example, former Post reporter Willy Howard (now a reporter with The Coastal Star) wasn’t all too concerned about health issues or the quality of the water in the Intracoastal when he went, “Paddling the habitats of Lake Worth Lagoon” in May 2017.

Concentrate on making your raft more “Worthy” in the water and faster too! Our Great American Raft Race is on Independence Day, July 4th!

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Brochure from Christie’s dated March 1995, auction of items in New York City: “Property from Mar-A-Lago”.


“Marjorie said she was going to build a little cottage by the sea, look what we got!”

—E. F. Hutton, the husband of Marjorie Merriweather Post,
a quote from Christie’s
auction book.* 


From the history of Mar-a-Lago† included
in the Christie’s brochure:


“On her death in 1972, she [Marjorie Merriweather Post] left the estate to the Federal Government, hoping that it would make Mar-A-Lago into a place for Presidents and visiting dignitaries to use away from Washington, D.C. However the government returned the property to the Post Foundation, and, after many years of remaining shuttered, the estate was sold to Donald J. Trump in 1985.”


Click on all images to enlarge.

“The history of Mar-A-Lago in inexplicably entwined with that of its first owner, Marjorie Merriweather Post.”


Christie’s chronicled the long history of Mar-a-Lago in their 145-page color brochure, including black & white images of Palm Beach history. 

“. . . Palm Beach, January 31, 1930.”

Mrs. Post would fly down from Washington, D.C. for The Season in her private plane called Merriweather.

From page 17. . .

“Marjorie was born in 1887 in Springfield, Illinois, the only child of C. W. Post and his first wife, Ella.”


The “Living Room” in 1995;
another image from the Christie’s brochure:

The structure Mar-a-Lago was completed in 1927 but the landscaping took an additional two years. The final construction cost was $2.5M, well over the initial estimate of $1M.


An item for auction in 1995:

In addition to being a noted philanthropist Mrs. Post was a collector of items world-wide.


From page 132:


Mrs. Post wrote in 1927, in another quote from the Christie’s brochure, “Apparently, building estimates are not worth the paper they are printed on. . .”

Mrs. Post’s husband, E. F. Hutton wrote in a 1927 letter included in the Christie’s auction broshure, “Marjorie said she was going to build a little cottage by the sea, look what we got!”

*The source material used by Christie’s
for historical background:


  • The Post Family Collections. Michigan Historical Collection, Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan.
  • Nancy Rubin, American Empress, the Life and Times of Marjorie Merriweather Post (New York, 1995).
  • Randolph Carter & Robert Reed Cole, Josef Urban (New York, 1992).
  • Donald W. Curl, Mizner’s Florida American Resort Architecture (Cambridge, 1992).
  • William Wright, Heiress: The Rich Life of Marjorie Merriweather Post (Washington, D.C., 1978).
  • Nettie Leitch Major, Mar-A-Lago (privately printed, 1969).

The original Spanish “Mar-A-Lago” (Sea-To-Lake) and “Mar-a-Lago” (with lowercase ‘a’) depend on the context: historic or present-day. Taken from source material always keep to the original usage. Over time, however, the lowercase ‘a’ has become the standard in modern American English. But again, that also depends on the context.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

“The Donald”: From journalist George Bennett at The Palm Beach Post.


News datelined
February 23rd, 1995.


Click on newspaper clipping to enlarge:
Did “The Donald” request that the County Commission move the Palm Beach County Jail one mile further away for longer drives and wider bunkers at the future Trump International Golf Club in suburban West Palm Beach?

It’s not true! Not George Bennett, but others
in the press actually fell for it.

City of Lake Worth’s Library Advisory Board meets tonight.


Briefly, have you considered becoming a volunteer board member or volunteering in other ways for this little City of Lake Worth? To learn more about the City’s Volunteers in Public Service program click on this link or contact Olivia Brown, the Volunteer Coordinator by email: obrown@lakeworth.org

The Library Advisory Board meets at 6:00 in the City Hall Annex building located at 414 Lake Ave. (in the Downtown Cultural Plaza across from the Lake Worth Library).

The agenda:

  • Roll Call.
  • Approval of Minutes.
  • Discussion: A) Librarian’s Report. B) FY 2018 budget report. C) FY 2018–2019 budget requests report.
  • Public Participation of Non-Agendaed Items and Consent Agenda [three minute limit for public comment].
  • New Business.
  • Board Comment.
  • Adjournment.

Note: One or more members of any volunteer board, authority or member of the City Commission may attend this meeting and speak.

Budget Work Session #2 last night at the Lake Worth City Commission.


The topic at this meeting were the funds: Local Sewer, Stormwater, Sanitation, and the General Fund. The meeting only lasted thirty-six minutes with an interesting back-and-forth between Commissioner Herman Robinson and City Manager Michael Bornstein at the conclusion of the meeting.

The presentations and budget models were delivered by Stantec with Brian Shields, P.E., Director of the Water Utilities Administration in attendance to answer any questions from the dais.


Without further ado. . .

Message from the Clay Glass Metal Stone Gallery in Lake Worth, “Dear Friends in the press and news media.”


“You have been so kind to Clay Glass Metal
Stone Gallery over the years. For that
we are very grateful.”.


See an excerpt below from a Letter to the Editor published in the Coastal/Greenacres Observer.

The Clay Glass Metal Stone Gallery is located at 15 South ‘J’ St. in Downtown Lake Worth.

However, the CGMS artist studio located at 216 South ‘F’ St. (west of Dixie Hwy.) has been put up For-Sale by the owner. Without a studio the artists will have nowhere else to go and the CGMS Gallery in the Downtown may be forced to close.

Despite being heavily and widely promoted in The Palm Beach Post the folks at CGMS have yet to attract a “knight in shining armor” with enough money and interest in the arts to purchase the studio on South ‘F’ St. But it’s quite possible another wealthy benefactor here in South Florida (outside Central Palm Beach County and beyond), could be found to purchase that property and find a way to keep rent low enough so artists can continue to work there. And that’s where YOU come in.

Here is the excerpt from a Letter to the Editor with contact information at the end from Joyce at the CGMS gallery:


     Our building is being sold and we have not been able to raise the funds to purchase it. It is not for trying. We have looked into every crack and under every stone we could to find the funding to purchase our building.
     We will hold on for as long as we can. Without the studio, it is unlikely we will be able to carry on the gallery [on South ‘J’ St.]. Without the studio many of us will cease being artists again. There is no other facility that most of us can afford to become a part of. It is our hope that you will help us promote our gallery shows and our artists until we reach a point that we cease to exist.
     It is also our hope that a knight in shining armor will step up and purchase the building for us and that person will be etched into the walls of history as one of the great patrons of the arts. [emphasis added]

Can you, or someone you know, be that “knight in shining armor” and save the CGMS studio?

Do you know any reporters at the Sun Sentinel, Miami Herald, or even the Tampa Bay Times?

Please share the Letter to the Editor above and include the contact information for Joyce. Call 215-205-9441 or reach out by email: Joyce@FlamingoClayStudio.org

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

March / April / May 2003 edition of the much-anticipated magazine in Palm Beach: “The Mar-a-Lago Club, L.C.”


Let’s take a break from politics and take a look back to that very special place in Palm Beach County. . .


Entertainment during “The Season”
at Mar-a-Lago fifteen years ago.

Click on image. . .
 Paul Anka is currently on tour with “Anka Sings Sinatra: His Songs, My Songs, My Way”.

In memoriam: Comedian, actress, writer
and producer Joan Rivers sadly passed away on Sept. 4th, 2015.


The monthly calendar of events was a very big deal:
March 4th, 2003: “Beginner Bridge 8:20 a.m. - 9:30 a.m. Bridge - 9:30 a.m. ‘Collegiate Sports Night’ Theme Dinner 6:30 p.m.”


On page 10 of The Mar-a-Lago Club
magazine in 2003.

Click on image to enlarge:
Each edition of this magazine took special care to highlight the staff employed there and the history of Mar-a-Lago as well: “The Historical Society of Palm Beach County will soon announce. . .”

Sunday, June 24, 2018

“Lido Pools” in Palm Beach.


These pools were at the end of Worth Avenue near the former Palm Beach Pier. In the photo you can see the Colony Hotel in the background. This is the block where Charley’s Crab is, or was; it closed down in April of this year.


Click on image to enlarge:
“Lido Pools, Palm Beach, Florida”

Re-post: For those of you who may have missed the big news this week.


Straight from the source. News about crime in the City of Lake Worth from District 14 PBSO Cpt. Todd Baer.



PLEASE NOTE: Below is very good news from PBSO about our City of Lake Worth. But please DO NOT be lulled into thinking it’s time to sit back or celebrate. It’s not. There is still much work to be done. So whatever you’re doing to improve things in your community or neighborhood keep doing what you’re doing because what you’re doing is working. CARRY ON!

Below is a YouTube video and slides from Cpt. Baer’s Quarterly Update and presentation before the Lake Worth City Commission last Tuesday, June 19th.


But first, briefly, there is new City of Lake Worth crime news from Palm Beach Post staff writer McKenna Ross about the electric outage last Wednesday night into Thursday morning headlined, “PBSO says laser ‘blinds’ helicopter pilots during Lake Worth blackout”.

Click on this link to read that breaking news story from Thursday (June 21st). By the way, Ross is believed by many to become the new beat reporter covering this City of Lake Worth and it’s about time. The last female beat reporter in this City was Lona O’Connor way back in 2013. Plus it seems everybody at the Post of late is trying everything they can to get more ‘clicks’ about the “Zombie Alert” in this City on May 20th, but what most people don’t know is it was Ross who first broke this story that went viral (to follow Ross on Twitter click on this link).

Without further ado. . .


Instead of relying on word of mouth or accounts that read like ‘Cliff’s Notes’ you can see the news for yourself straight from PBSO District 14:


The following slides are from the
Quarterly PBSO Update:
At the end of this blog post is the video of Cpt. Baer at the City Commission last Tuesday.


UCR  =  “Uniform Crime Report. Data and statistics from Florida Dept. of Law Enforcement:

Notice the “DOWN” button for the elevator. The trajectory for crime is DOWN in this little City which makes for UP in many other ways.


Thus far this year — compared to 2017 — crime is down is almost every category except for homicide (one this year in City of Lake Worth; click on this link for Post’s “Homicide Tracker” database). By way of comparison, there have been twelve (12) homicides in West Palm Beach so far this year. Crime is also up in the category of burglaries on property under construction (see image below).


Click on images below to enlarge:

Green DOWN arrow  =  “Good”.
Red UP arrow  =  “Bad”.


Going back to 2017. . .

Red  =  January–December 2016.
Blue  =  January–December 2017.




More news about 2017. . .
“Total Arrests Up”.

Calling that elevator again. This time going UP. Comparison 2016 (left) vs. 2017 (right).

PURPLE, RED, AND YELLOW. . .

And that elevator keeps going UP UP UP.

And that means GOOD GOOD GOOD.

Now for the terrible news.

Many people are still dying in our City.

And yes, per Lake Worth Vice Mayor Andy Amoroso,
many are being sent back up north in body bags:
A terrible problem in 2015–2016 is still a terrible problem now. Read about Mayor Pam Triolo’s “Proclamation declaring August 31 as Overdose Awareness Day” . . . from two years ago in City Hall.


Some of the major problems and challenges
to be addressed this year:

Learn more about the Royal Poinciana and Tropical Ridge neighborhoods. The “Washington Area” is in the southern part District 1 west of Dixie Hwy.
Use this link for the City’s GIS map.


Looking forward in the second half
of 2018 and beyond. . .

“What can I do to help?”

Consider becoming a volunteer for PBSO this year. To find out how click on this link.


The bigger picture. . .

Stay tuned for news about pilot program Real Time Crime Center (RTCC); DEA  =  Drug Enforcement Administration; AUSA & SAO  =  Asst. Attorney from U.S. Attorney Dave Aronberg’s office.


Working together and getting results. . .

“Hmmm. Who is the Code Enforcement official in my District?” To find out click on this link
for the City’s GIS map
.


And for important developing news. . .

News from the Lake Worth City Commission this week: “Purchase of Automated License Plate Readers [ALPRs] and Surveillance Camera System”. Stay tuned. This is a developing story.

In conclusion. . .

Are there any questions?


If so, then please watch this video of PBSO Cpt. Todd Baer’s quarterly presentation before the Lake Worth City Commission on Tuesday, June 19th.


This PBSO Quarterly Update is twelve minutes of
video followed by questions and comment
from the City Commission:


Hope you found this information helpful.

And as always, Thank You for visiting
once again today.