Saturday, July 7, 2018

“I AM LAKE WORTH”


Yours Truly, Wes Blackman, will be returning this weekend from my annual trip to visit my father in Michigan. Whilst away in “Pure Michigan”* for two weeks did the annual shuffling of stuff on the blog to keep it interesting for readers: Lot’s of old stuff, some new stuff, and some sort-of-new-stuff too.

Here’s new stuff to report!


Last night whilst preparing for the trip back to the L-Dub was the opening reception of the “I AM LAKE WORTH” exhibit of photographs by Carl Stoveland. Heard a lot of great things about this “showcasing Lake Worth’s greatest asset . . . the people who live, work and play here.”

This exhibit is being held at HATCH 1121† located at 1121 Lucerne Ave. in Downtown Lake Worth. See the remaining exhibit schedule below.


Here is a photo taken in 2018 for the exhibit,
“I AM LAKE WORTH”:

“Name:
Wes Blackman”


If you’ve been following the blog this week, maybe you saw this photograph from 1995.

Click on image to enlarge.
Recognize anyone?

To learn more about this photograph taken
twenty-three years ago click on this link.

Well, anyhow, now back on topic. . .


Here is the remaining schedule for the exhibit at The HATCH:

  • Friday, July 13th, 3:00–5:00.
  • Saturday, July 14th, Noon–4:00.
  • Sunday, July 15th, Noon–4:00.
  • Tuesday, July 17th, 3:00–5:00.
  • Friday, July 20th, 3:00–5:00.
  • Saturday, July 21st, Noon–4:00.
  • Sunday, July 22nd, Noon–5:00.

Welcome to LULA at HATCH 1121!


“The mission of LULA Lake Worth Arts is to unify the existing arts community around a shared vision, implement goals for strengthening the property value, improve access to the arts through educational programs, and invest in partnerships that support the talent and the creative community in Lake Worth.”


*Pure Michigan — if you didn’t know — has “[T]he nation’s longest freshwater coastline, lakes that feel like oceans, shimmering beaches, miles and miles of orchards, glorious sunrises and sunsets, daytime skies of the deepest blue, and nighttime skies scattered with stars.”

For information on upcoming shows at The HATCH click on this link for the event calendar.
     For all other inquiries, including information on renting the gallery space, contact Emily Theodossakos by calling 561-493-2550 or send an email to: etheodossakos@lakeworth.org

LULA  =  “LU” for Lucerne Ave. and “LA” for Lake Ave., the two main east-west pairs in the City linking the Beach and the Downtown to all those areas out west in Central Palm Beach with a ‘Lake Worth’ zip code that wished they actually lived in this little 6-square-mile town that’s “Quirky with a capital ‘Q’ ”!

Sad. Just when the Letters to the Editor published in The Palm Beach Post were improving in quality. . .


. . . after Gatehouse Media took over the Post on May 1st.


Well, things have gone downhill and fast
on the editorial page in the Post.


It must be the editor(s) at the Post are not receiving enough quality Letters to the Editor (LTE) to fill up the entire editorial page. So, for example, if you have something positive to write about the little City of Lake Worth click on this link to learn how to write and submit an LTE. If you follow the instructions it will only take 5–10 minutes and if you hurry you can make this week’s Sunday print edition!


[PLEASE NOTE: You can write and submit an LTE today and have it published in the Post for Sunday but you have to hurry and it’s OK to write nice things! Write and submit your letter so the editor has enough time to verify all the required information which should only take a few moments.]

Why write and submit a quality Letter to the Editor?

Somehow this nonsense got published, making it past the editorial board and making the paper over the July 4th weekend with the silly cliche of a headline, “Lake Worth leaders should listen to people” which begs the question which ‘people’ aren’t being listened to and which particular ‘leaders’* aren’t listening? Here’s a short excerpt which sums that letter up:


A photograph is worth a 1,000 words [another cliche], as to what our beach and pool used to look like back in the 1930s and ’40s, and could look like again, if only our current mayor and commissioners [emphasis added] would start listening to the people . . . The mayor says we don’t have the money to fix it ourselves, which to me is ludicrous.


What is truly ludicrous is the letter writer goes on to decry “public-private partnerships”. Ironically, if the 2014 “Invitation To Negotiate” (see below) was allowed to play out the letter writer could have been swimming on the Fourth of July in a new pool at the Lake Worth Beach.

Why was that ITN issued four years ago? Because the City didn’t have the money to fix all the problems at the Beach and was looking for help from the private sector.

It’s not the fault of “our current mayor and commissioners” the municipal pool was closed down for good in 2017. Click on this link to find out which former mayor and commissioners got us into this terrible mess.


Back in 2010 the pool was shut down by a previous administration because there was no money in the City budget to keep it open.

Beginning in 2011 pressure was put on the ‘current’ City Commission to come up with a plan to re-open the pool.

One possibility was reaching out to the private sector:

ITN 14-211 was issued in Sept. 2014: Once again, the pool was shut down in 2010. City Mgr. Michael Bornstein was hired in April 2012. Question for the critics of the ‘current mayor and commissioners’: Why didn’t you come up with a better plan to ‘fix’ the pool between 2010 and 2014?


*To contact your ‘current leaders’ in the City of Lake Worth it’s actually quite easy. Just click on this link. Now here’s an idea! Contact your ‘current leaders’ and ask what you can do to help improve our little City of Lake Worth.

Friday, July 6, 2018

City of Lake Worth residents: You are strongly urged to attend an upcoming “Town Hall Traffic Meeting”.


On Thursday, July 26th from 6:00–8:00 join District 3 Palm Beach County Commissioner Dave Kerner and City of Lake Worth’s District 2 Commissioner Omari Hardy at the Lake Worth Casino:


Click on image to enlarge:

Attending along with County Commissioner Dave Kerner will be staff from PBC Engineering and Public Works and representatives from the Florida Dept. of Transportation (FDOT).

Here is a message from Commissioner Hardy:


“I’m breaking my Facebook fast* to let everyone know I’ve organized a town hall meeting about traffic congestion at:

  • 10th Ave. North and North A St.
  • 10th Ave. North and North D St.
  • Worthmore Dr. [22nd Ave. North] and North Dixie Hwy.

Why these locations? Because we [the City of Lake Worth] do not control the traffic signals at those intersections and I thought we should give our residents the opportunity to talk with the organizations that do control them: Palm Beach County and the FDOT.”


Commissioner Hardy believes this conversation will be a fruitful one and hopes everyone who is affected and concerned will attend this upcoming Town Hall: Palm Beach County and the State of Florida need to hear your frustration.


*Hardy wrote last month, “I have a lot to accomplish this Summer and cannot have any distractions. So I’ll begin a hiatus from social media.” Hardy’s social media hiatus will last at least through the month of July. If you don’t have his phone number you can reach him through the messenger app on Facebook.
     Whilst on the topic of social media, at the June meeting of the Mango Groves Neighborhood Assoc. it was learned from Ben Kerr, the City of Lake Worth’s Public Information Officer, that an official City Facebook page will soon be up and sharing information with the public. e.g., upcoming public meetings and community events.

The College Park neighborhood: It’s long history and the present day.


College Park in the little six-square-mile
City of Lake Worth is,

“Between the Dixie and the Lake, South
of the Palm Beach Canal”:

The “Dixie” is now a major thoroughfare (U.S. 1; Dixie Hwy.), the freshwater “Lake” is now the Intracoastal and “the Palm Beach Canal” is now the C-51 Canal managed by the South Florida Water Management District.


Fast forward to 2018 . . . the College Park Neighborhood Assoc.
(CPNA) recently held a Block Party. . .
Learn more about College Park below.
And follow the CPNA on Facebook or for more information send an email to: collegeparkboard@collegeparklakeworth.com


For those of you wondering. . .

Where exactly are the borders of the College Park neighborhood within the greater Neighborhood Assoc. Presidents’ Council?

This historic neighborhood in the City extends from Dixie Hwy. east to the Lake Worth Lagoon and north from Wellesley Drive (north side of street) to the C-51 Canal which includes the City’s Spillway Park. The C-51 Canal, by the way, is the historical border between the City of Lake Worth and our neighbor to the north, West Palm Beach.


Click on image to enlarge:
“The College Park subdivision was created by plats filed between December 1924 and May 1925. Edgewood Realty Co. of West Palm Beach opened the College Park development.”


Back to the CPNA. . .


“Our goal is to protect and improve the neighborhood by building strong relationships among neighbors, our neighborhood merchants, our City government, local law enforcement [PBSO] and other neighborhood associations throughout the City of Lake Worth.”

Why is this neighborhood called College Park?

“Unique to College Park is the naming of each street after prominent American colleges and universities. From Wellesley to Maryland; from Holy Cross to Vanderbilt, and from Carolina to Notre Dame. . .”.


If you have any more questions about the CPNA and the neighborhood College Park click on this link for the official website.

Thursday, July 5, 2018

1937: View of the Downtown West Palm Beach waterfront.


The view below, probably taken from the former Pennsylvania Hotel, looks northeast towards the Town of Palm Beach. The white building in the center background is the former Royal Worth Hotel that was part of Flagler’s Whitehall mansion. The multi-story hotel addition was removed around 1960.

 Click on image to enlarge.
Robertson and Fresh Collection

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

John Phillip Sousa: “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band


About the video: “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band recorded John Philip Sousa’s march “The Washington Post” on March, 3, 2009, in the John Philip Sousa Band Hall at Marine Barracks Annex in Washington, D.C.

Have a wonderful July 4th!


July 4th festivities in L-Dub*: News from Lauren Bennett and Ben Kerr.


But first, here is very important information
from the City of Lake Worth:


The City advises those attending the 4th of July celebrations in Bryant Park: Do not attempt to park in Bryant park as parking will be extremely limited.
     Attendees should make use of FREE parking available in Downtown Lake Worth — park and make your way on foot to Lake Ave. — and then head east to Bryant Park (basically, just follow the crowds).

All vehicles: Pay close attention to road closures and detours.

Bryant Park Boat Ramp: In order to accommodate the Great American Raft Race the City closed down the Bryant Park boat ramps and they will reopen today (Wed., July 4th) at 10:00 p.m.

In order to accommodate the July 4th Fireworks Display the Lake Worth (Robert Harris) Bridge will be closed from 8:30 p.m.–10:00. Traffic will be detoured either north to the Southern Blvd. Bridge or south to the Lantana Bridge.

Without further ado. . .


For the events on July 4th click on this link 
for the Facebook page:

Click on image to enlarge.
While listening to live music enjoy the MG Productions Car Show, a child play area featuring Rec2Go by the Recreation Dept., inflatable games, a water slide and much more! At 9:00 the Fireworks Show will close out July 4th with a bang!


Check out this video from ten years ago!



*L-Dub  =  slang for “City of Lake Worth”. ‘L’ stands for “Lake” and ‘Dub’ for double-‘u’ as in letter W. This slang term was first popularized in The Palm Beach Post.

WELCOME TO THE L-DUB:
Where SMALL delights create BIG personality!”
Very important: “L-Dub” refers to the actual City of Lake Worth, not one of those cookie-cutter ‘communities’ out west somewhere with a Lake Worth zip code.

We are LAKE WORTH. A hometown City that is committed to delivering the highest level of customer service through a commitment to integrity, hard work and a friendly attitude. We strive to exceed the expectations of our citizens, our businesses, our elected officials and our fellow employees.”

A reminder. News from The Lake Worth Herald: PBSO Urges Fireworks Safety.


“The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office is urging Palm Beach County residents to think about safety as they make plans to celebrate the Fourth of July.”


“Every year thousands of people and animals are killed or critically injured by fireworks. Keeping horses and pets comfortable is important!”

For the latest front page news in the Herald click on this link. Have community news or want to contact the editor? Call 561-585-9387 or send an email to: Editor@lwherald.com

Another excerpt from the news from PBSO about fireworks and public safety, did you know. . .


If you are using legal sparklers, novelties and trick noisemakers there is still a risk of injury. When lit, some sparklers can reach temperatures between 1,300 and 1,800 degrees, which are at least 200 degrees hotter than standard butane lighter.
Follow these precautions to celebrate safely:
  • Use sparklers and other legal novelties on a flat, hard surface. Do not light them on grass.
  • Use sparklers in an open area. Keep children and pets at least 30 feet away from all ignited fireworks.
  • Light only one item at a time and never attempt to re-light a dud.
  • Don’t purchase or use any unwrapped items or items that may have been tampered with.
  • Keep a fire extinguisher or water hose on hand for emergencies.

Have a fun and safe July 4th!


Go and watch the professionals put on a July 4th fireworks show in the City of Lake Worth. Gather at Bryant Park along the Lake Worth Lagoon (Intracoastal). The show begins at 9:00.


Check out this show from ten years ago!

From AFNS: Nation’s Dogs Vow To Keep Their S■■■ Together During 4th Of July Fireworks


Press Release from America’s Finest News Source (AFNS): 


WASHINGTON—Admitting that their behavior in previous years had left them embarrassed and ashamed, the nation’s dogs announced Thursday that they intend on keeping their s■■■ together during this year’s Fourth of July fireworks displays. “Though we recognize we have not always demonstrated the most poise and self-control on this particular holiday, we want to assure everyone that this will finally be the year we don’t completely lose it and freak out upon hearing the booming of distant fireworks,” said Duchess, a 6-year-old cocker spaniel, adding that the country’s 80 million dogs aim to avoid cowering under the coffee table or uncontrollably urinating on the kitchen floor in a moment of pure panic after neighbors light off firecrackers or bottle rockets.

“The Avenue, which encompasses four blocks between the Atlantic Ocean and the edge of Lake Worth. . .”


“Sitting pretty on the 16-mile-long stretch of opulent mansions, impeccable landscaping and fountain-lined streets in Palm Beach is Worth Avenue, perhaps one of the most luxurious shopping districts in the country. Between the whitewashed stucco and red-tiled shingles of the courtyard ‘vias’ and the Mediterranean-esque sculptures and fountains that embellish its quaint streets, Palm Beach’s premier shopping destination is an enclave for style and grace with all the charm of the town’s historic flair. The Avenue, which encompasses four blocks between the Atlantic Ocean and the edge of Lake Worth [emphasis added] as well as its pedestrian side-street vias, was founded in the 1920s by Addison Mizner and boasts more than 200 shops, restaurants and galleries that epitomize the best of high-end merchandise and lavish amenities.”
—Read more from an article in Haute Living titled, “A look at Palm Beach’s Luxe Worth Avenue”.


The City of Lake Worth is Palm Beach’s neighbor to the west which also has it’s own unique “charm of the town’s historic flair” since becoming a municipality in 1913. A City that Carleton Varney at the Palm Beach Daily News (aka, The Shiny Sheet) wrote about, click on this link for the article,



“Visiting Lake Worth is a trip into Florida’s past, and the town is home to many new residents who wish to live in simple comfort among the delights of the flora, the Intracoastal Waterway and the beach fronting the historic Lake Worth Casino.”

From reporter Mitch Perry, quote from his news article: “Stop using divisive term ‘sanctuary city’ Kathy Castor tells immigration advocates.”


Learn more about the quote above, and where it was cited, in the blog post that follows.

So far. So good.

The media and press here in Palm Beach County (including The Palm Beach Post, which is worth noting) is avoiding that “divisive term”.


And heading into the August 28th Primary and November 6th General Election later this year politicians seeking office here in Palm Beach County are avoiding that term as well.

Ever since April 2017 the term “sanctuary city” has been mostly eliminated from the press’ lexicon. Prior to that point in time that “divisive term” was thrown around like cheap confetti in the press and news media, especially concerning the City of Lake Worth and the Town of Jupiter.

What happened last April to change all that?

It was because of a news article published by Mitch Perry at SaintPetersBlog (see below) and “Kathy Castor” was quoted in the article. Castor is the Democrat U.S. Rep. for Florida’s 14th congressional district since 2007.

Why is this important? Because the City of Lake Worth and the Town of Jupiter in Florida ARE NOT and NEVER WERE a “sanctuary city” despite what anyone said to the contrary. Simply put, as stated on this blog many times over:

Because a city or town has a center to help immigrants, doth not a ‘sanctuary’ make.


To learn more about this unfortunate situation in the City of Lake Worth use this link:


In 5+ years of searching has one single piece of documentation ever been produced that Lake Worth IS a sanctuary city? No. Not one. Zero. Nada.
    And is it proper journalistic method to have elected leaders and City staff prove a negative?

But. . .  If. . .  And. . . !

Local reporters last year cleverly tried to make the case (A  +  B  =  C) for their readers that the opposite was true. The facts are: 

A  [Lake Worth]  +  B  [the Guatemalan/Maya Center]  ≠  C  [a ‘sanctuary city’] (the symbol  ≠  means “does not equal”).

Anyhow. Two excerpts from the article
in SaintPetersBlog follow:


“It appears that some of the mean-spirited rhetoric out of the Trump administration has emboldened certain immigration agents to act outside of their typical powers, and we really need to hear that if you of these cases locally,” [emphasis added] Tampa Congresswoman Kathy Castor told several dozen activists and citizens who jammed into the Blind Tiger Cafe on Ybor City’s 7th Avenue Wednesday morning.
     When an audience member talked about a local detention that lacked specifics, Castor said she would need more information before acting.
      “That’s the only way that I’m empowered to ask Secretary Kelly and say,’ they’ve overstepped their bounds,” she said, referring to John Kelly, who heads the Department of Homeland Security.


and. . .


     Regarding the issue of sanctuary cities and/or counties, Castor told the crowd they should stop using that phrase, as it was intentionally divisive. The loosely defined term is best described as local government limiting cooperation with the federal government to help undocumented immigrants avoid deportation.
     “There’s a lot of confusion and emotion around the term,” Castor said. “I think it’s a trap. I think it was a term that was created to divide people and to demonize diverse areas.”
     The Tampa Democrat said the real question to ask is what are the responsibilities of the local law enforcement compared to federal officers.


Once again. . . “the real question to ask is what are the responsibilities of the local law enforcement compared to federal officers.”, and. . .stop using that phrase [‘sanctuary city’], as it was intentionally divisive.”

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

A blog post from yesterday and more from the boxes labeled “Mar-a-Lago”.


Yesterday’s blog post was titled, “The Mar-a-Lago Club, 1994–1998: From the ‘King of Clubs’ to the legendary crooner Tony Bennett.”


Yes, it’s true. Yours Truly, Wes Blackman, worked at Mar-a-Lago for a man named Donald J. Trump, the man I used to call “Mr. Trump”. Mr. Trump is now properly referred to as “President of the United States”. Please take a deep breath. The blog post that follows is not about national politics. This blog post is about boxes of memorabilia I’ve collected from my ten years working at Mar-a-Lago beginning in 1993 and until recently boxes that have remained unopened in storage. The boxes are filled with promotional material and newspapers and magazines about the people and events that created so much interest and wonder about that very unique historic place.

Mar-a-Lago is a very special place in American history. A structure that first broke ground in 1924, rising from the “underbrush of jungle-like growth” in the Town of Palm Beach along a strip of land between the sea (in Spanish, “mar”; “to” in Spanish is ‘a’) and what used to be the freshwater Lake Worth (the word for lake in Spanish is “lago”), ergo “Mar-a-Lago” as it was christened by Marjorie Merriweather Post.

In what could only be called one of the most amazing twists from history, from an earlier blog post about the 1995 Christie’s auction held in New York City of items from Mar-a-Lago was this historical background:


“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. [emphasis added] 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.”


Photograph circa 1995 taken at Mar-a-Lago
(information on the back of photo has faded away).

Click on image to enlarge:
From left to right: Paul Rampell, Esq., Attorney at Law; Mr. Donald Trump, now President of the United States; cannot recall who the man in the center is; Yours Truly, C. Wesley Blackman, Dir. of Projects at Mar-a-Lago; Howard C. Willson, Operations Manager at Mar-a-Lago.


The year 1993 marked a turning point in my life, advocating and speaking in favor of the Mar-a-Lago estate becoming a private club and thereby avoiding subdivision of the estate, or worse. Once the Town of Palm Beach approved a private club began the ten-year adventure working for then-“Mr. Donald Trump” directing restoration efforts and the intricate work necessary to convert the property from a private residence to a private club working closely with the Town of Palm Beach, the Landmarks Preservation Commission and the National Trust for Historic Preservation in gaining the approvals for amenities and projects necessary to move forward. In 1998 the Florida Trust for Historic Preservation recognized, “Mr. Blackman for Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Historic Preservation/Rehabilitation”.


Now to the Mar-a-Lago Club, 1994–1998.

From the “King of Clubs” to the legendary crooner Tony Bennett.


Keep in mind, this blog post is not a political statement. What follows are snapshots in time about a very special place in American history. The snapshots that follow are from a popular magazine, a newspaper, and from promotional material and “Club” brochures. Hope you enjoy this look back in time starting in late 1994 which includes other information you may find interesting as well.

December 1994. Published in “The Magazine South Florida Lives By”:


The front cover title and subtitle in South Florida magazine:

King of Clubs

Will Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Shake
Up Palm Beach?



Opening page of article, p. 28.

Click on magazine page to enlarge:
Find out what former journalist Glenn Albin is up to now: “[L]ives a life today that’s the polar opposite of the one he lived just years ago”.


Page 31.

[Click on images to enlarge if necessary.]

In caption “$25 million” is a typo. The final cost to construct Mar-a-Lago in the 1920s was $2.5M, well above the $1M estimate given to Marjorie Merriweather Post.

December 1995. Front page, above the fold news story in the Palm Beach Daily News (aka, The
Shiny Sheet
):


[FYI: Franz Barwig “the Elder” (1868–1931) is cited in the newspaper clipping below. Barwig the Elder was one of Austria’s most important sculptors of his time.]


“. . . erty while they sculpted monkeys with eye glasses reading books for the library, parrots for the swimming pool, and pages to hold lanterns at the estate’s front gates.”


Fall 1996. “Volume 1 Issue 1”


Front page from “The Official Club Newsletter”:

December 7th, 1996: “Opening Gala,
Diana Ross performing”.


On page 2 from the Mar-a-Lago Club Newsletter.

“Growing the Membership”

“A few firm guest rules apply.”

1997. Letter published in “The Jewel of Palm Beach” magazine, Vol. II:


On page 70 a letter from Marjorie Post Dye, the
“First Grandchild and Namesake of
Marjorie Merriweather Post”.


A Love Letter to The Mar-a-Lago Club”,
written in 1995.
“I took my first steps as a baby at Mar-a-Lago almost 70 years ago.” Those first steps would be circa 1925. Marjorie Post Dye passed away
on April 14th, 2015
.


“In 1924, legend has it, Marjorie Post ‘crawled through the underbrush of jungle-like growth’ until she uncovered a site that was large enough for her grandiose plans. . . . The land was an 18-acre parcel that ran the width of the island, from the Atlantic Ocean to Lake Worth. Hence the name Mar-a-Lago (Spanish for ‘sea-to-lake’).”


[FYI: “Lake Worth” in no longer a freshwater lake as it was in the 1920s. “The lake” as it was once called is now the Lake Worth Lagoon, also appropriately referred to as the Intracoastal waterway.]


On page 71:

“Mrs. Post”

“ ‘Mrs. Post could seat 50 guests for dinner 30 days in a row without ever having to repeat a China pattern.’ Simpson recalls.

That would be Robert Simpson, assistant to the operations manager at Mar-a-Lago in 1988.

Now for a change of pace!


March/April 1998. “Special Events” at Mar-a-Lago Club, L.C.:


Sunday, March 14th, 1998, “THE BEACH BOYS”!
Also at Mar-a-Lago in March 1998: Wayne Newton,
Tom Jones, and Don Rickles.


Delta Burke:

“Eve Wasn’t a Size 6 and Neither Am I”
Saturday, April 4th, 1998: “Tony Bennett”.

Hope you enjoyed this “look back in time” and stay tuned for more interesting stuff from those boxes of archive material.

“Gentrification!” A word used to confuse and sometimes frighten the public.


The “Politics of Fear” explained plus something called, “The Gentrification Paradox”.


What follows is a fairly long read with a brief introduction to that “loaded word”: Gentrification. Later on in this blog post is about a “paradox” (self-contradictory, false proposition) and how the public can be manipulated by a looming threat or fear that doesn’t exist, e.g., “The Wolf at the Door”.

The word gentrification, once a favorite loaded word to create fear and instability in neighborhoods throughout the City of Lake Worth in years past, flares up now and then, but has mostly disappeared from the lexicon. Why? We’ll examine that a little later. But first:

A loaded word is one, 

[T]hat attempts to influence an audience by using appeal to emotion or stereotypes. Such wording is also known as high-inference language or language persuasive techniques.

Do you know what gentrification is? No one does.

There is no accepted definition. Another interesting thing is how this word can show up in the strangest of places, even when there are much better words to choose from, like in this article about The Cottages of Lake Worth.

Emily Badger at The Washington Post wrote an article titled: “It’s time to give up the most loaded, least understood word in urban policy: gentrification”:

These questions get at a fundamental problem with one of the most controversial (and fuzzy) concepts in urban policy: Even researchers don’t agree on what ‘gentrification’ means, let alone how to identify it. (And this is to say nothing of its even more problematic derivative, the “gentrifier.”)

Think about this, since urban gardens are so popular with some, are they actually promoting gentrification? Because developers love urban gardens. Have you read this article, “Urban farmers find that success leads to eviction”? This is called “The Gentrification Paradox” (read more about that below).

One last question, a very troubling one: Is it possible there were people or groups here in Lake Worth intentionally using tactics like “Gentrification!” to suppress neighborhood improvements, increase the crime rate, and create fear for political objectives? A shocking thought isn’t it? Or maybe not so much for others.

Everyone knows the naysayers and malcontents here in Lake Worth. The ones that have nothing good to say about the City Commission first swept into office in 2012. Finally this year the last of the holdouts (see image below), lost his District 2 seat held since 2010. Some of those naysayers, once upon a time, were in control of this City and you may be wondering how such negative people ever got into positions of power. They accomplished that with the politics of fear, also called “The Wolf at the Door”.

Photo taken of prior administration in 2012 at the Lake Worth Casino:

“Gentrification!” was a word Cara Jennings (on right, facing) was fond of using. Chris McVoy, PhD (beaming, blue shirt) managed to hold on for a
while but lost his re-election bid last March.
Recognize anyone else?

The public in Lake Worth woke up one day 5½ years ago and realized there was no “Wolf at the Door”, or “Vulture at the Door” if you will. The real problem was a few commissioners in City Hall. Unsurprisingly, the mood in this City began to change beginning back in 2012 and despite some setbacks and disappointments, the outlook going forward is mostly positive about our City’s future. The passing of the Neighborhood Road Bond in Nov. 2016 by a “whopping 69%” was proof a new positive attitude had swept over the City.

So. . . why did the cry of “Gentrification!”
stop working?

Also in this blog post are more of the tactics used to stop neighborhood improvements and ways to discourage people from being more involved in their communities. And. . . why blaming elected officials for ‘gentrification’ is a fallacy, merely a tactic to gain political advantage.

Gentrification is one of the most misunderstood phenomenons in American culture. It’s a term that’s derogatory to some and a very hopeful one for others who live in persistently blighted areas. The logic by some is a certain level of blight is ‘charming’ because it makes the area undesirable to investors or ‘outsiders’.

People who rail and frighten a neighborhood against gentrification (G) are then in the unenviable position of having to balance how much blight is good to deter more people from moving in but still keep the area in a state of limbo: not getting better and not getting worse either. Because if the neighborhood gets too blighted the people who live there will move out.

On the other hand, if one person decides to do a home renovation and improve his or her home, another home will have to decay further to maintain that balance. And what if, God forbid, a homeowner decides to replace the roof!

If one property increases in value, the anti-G logic is, then that is a threat to all the other homes on the street. Then to show the neighborhood how enlightened, resilient, and sustainable they are, then they encourage urban farms and urban gardens which leads to what? Less blight. A bland, unkempt home doesn’t look as bad when surrounded by a garden or a farm. Welcome to what’s called the Gentrification Paradox.

Here is one explanation of this phenomenon from the Strong Towns blog. To put it very simply: Some tactics to stop ‘gentrification’ actually do the opposite. They make neighborhoods, towns and cities more attractive rather than less.

However, the ‘anti-G’ folks have other tactics from the grab-bag to try and stop, or at least slow down, the process of a neighborhood improving that do terrible long-term damage and truly affect people’s lives in a negative way:
  • Upzoning (policies to destabilize residential neighborhoods).
  • Increase the crime rate (or the perception of crime in an area).
  • Encourage the homeless to take over a “space”, like the Cultural Plaza downtown.
  • Promote needle exchange programs to attract more drug addicts (another tactic in Lake Worth from the bag of tricks).
  • Try to make it easier for sober homes to operate without supervision and less scrutiny.
  • Under-fund or obstruct education initiatives for children and recent immigrants.

All of these tactics, and there are many others, are ultimately unsuccessful. Why? Because the process is market-driven and as the economy improves people want a better quality of life. Those who who live in blighted areas will do things like paint a house, clean up the front yard, remove abandoned cars, and engage in activities like forming neighborhood groups, request bike lanes, and become interested in things like community policing. All these changes increase real estate value over time.

In the City of Lake Worth is the Grey Mockingbird Community Garden (GMCG). This garden located at the Scottish Masonic Temple has greatly increased visitors and interest in the area not only due to the garden but also with their educational and entertainment activities. The GMCG is discouraging blight and encouraging neighborhood improvements. How many people have visited the garden and decided to look around the City, liked what they saw and either decided to invest in or move to Lake Worth? That is hard to gauge but it certainly has happened.

In the 2015 election cycle the word “gentrification” was used almost constantly by the ‘anti-G’ faction who knocked on doors to frighten certain neighborhoods in Lake Worth. They blamed some politicians for promoting it and others were praised for trying to stop it which is all nonsense, but it did play well ‘at the door’ to some degree but was much less effective than in previous elections.

However, the tactic was completely ineffective in the 2016 elections and not used at all in the 2017 elections. Why?

The answer is easy: They simply overplayed their hand and ‘crying Wolf!’ had lost its effectiveness.

In conclusion, if someone tells you that your commissioner, mayor, or state representative is responsible for ‘gentrification’ they are lying to you.

And on the issue of trust:

Why would you ever trust anyone who told you that your neighborhood can’t aspire to be better for your children, friends, and family?

Monday, July 2, 2018

“[I]t’s not a black thing, it’s not a white thing, it’s not a Haitian thing. It’s a people thing.”


The quote above is from a news report by Palm Beach Post staff writer Nicole Janok published in August 2007.


Click on newspaper clippings to enlarge:



Blue-green algae, Flolfie, press/news media, and the Great American Raft Race on Independence Day, July 4th.


Now is the time to start paying very close attention to beat reporters and press/news media! In just two days is the 17th Annual Great American Raft Race and they’ll all be sneaking around looking for green stuff in the water.

Please remember, this is very important. The 2016 Great American Raft Race in the City of Lake Worth didn’t have to be cancelled. The Neighborhood Assoc. Presidents’ Council (NAPC) was forced to quickly move the event to the now-condemned pool at Beach and Casino complex. Why?

The event was sabotaged!


However, the Raft Race last year went off with no problems at all because City officials, the NAPC, and the public were well prepared and informed ahead of time about that harmless green stuff in the Lake Worth Lagoon.

So to make certain nothing happens again like what happened in 2016 — counting the hours before the big day — now is the time to become vigilant, especially along the Intracoastal and the C-51 and L-4 (Keller) canals here in the City of Lake Worth.


For example, remember the monkeywrenching
by Flolfie two years ago?



The closer it gets to the Raft Race everyone needs to monitor reporters and the media looking around for green stuff. However, The Lake Worth Herald is exempt from scrutiny and can be trusted completely when reporting about green stuff, which is mostly harmless algae that occurs naturally when the rays from the sun cause a reaction with organic matter like decaying grass floating around.

Back in June/July 2016 it was ‘reporters’ at The Palm Beach Post and other local media outlets who acted irresponsibly and misreported about that “blue-green algae” nonsense and forced City officials to cancel the Raft Race, which once again, never had to be cancelled in the first place.


It was images like this that were circulated by the media to frighten the public here in our City.
False ‘news’ reports in The Palm Beach Post fueled the frenzy about “blue-green algae plaguing” our City. Plaguing?


Please remember. It was because of nonsense like this in the press and news media that the City of Lake Worth had to hire a Public Information Officer (PIO).

So if you happen to come across a reporter asking about algae ‘plaguing’ our City get the reporters contact information (e.g., name, business card, phone number) and get that information to the City’s PIO, Mr. Ben Kerr: 561-586-1631; email: bkerr@lakeworth.org

The best thing everyone can do is begin working together to educate the public, press and news media about algae and how beneficial algae can be for our waterways. Not all algae is ‘blue-green algae’ like the algae that is plaguing the Treasure Coast and Indian River Lagoon.

From Facebook: “Palm Beaches Remembered”.


Click on image to enlarge:
Does this lot look familiar? This is now the Gonz Auto Collision Center at 1401 N. Dixie Hwy.
in the City of Lake Worth.

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Prior to the Zombies in L-Dub there were the Dummies from Eden Place!


Please watch the instructional YouTube video below, entertainment prior to the July 4th Great American Raft Race in the little City of Lake Worth.


Before we get to the Dummies, what follows is standard protocol and times for the upcoming July 4th Great American Parade heading east on Lake Ave. from Downtown Lake Worth towards Bryant Park along the wonderful and scenic Lake Worth Lagoon, the staging area for the world-famous Independence Day Raft Race:

  • Between 10:00 a.m.–11:00 a.m.: Pre-assembly on ’J’ St. between Lake and Lucerne avenues for rafts and crew in the Raft Race Parade. This is the final opportunity for friendly and light-hearted sabotage.
  • 11:00 a.m.: Formation and jockeying for position. Blocking out encouraged. Pointing raft race crews in the wrong direction and making up fake rules is perfectly OK.
  • 11:30: Official start time of Raft Race Parade down Lake Ave. Troublemakers enter the fray, e.g., using small cups of fake blue-green algae to create little ‘blooms’ along the route. Dont be frightened! Its only Lime Green Jello!
  • Noon: Arrival of Parade in Bryant Park and pre-Raft Race entertainment begins in earnest.
  • 1:00 p.m.: Raft Race in the Lake Worth Lagoon begins, Heat #1.

Prior to the Raft Race here is one example of entertainment one can expect in Bryant Park, the Dummies from Eden Place!


Enjoy the video!

“If the residents of Lake Worth are informed of progress and procedure and made part of the solution, most likely, the public will respond in kind.”


History about the Lake Worth Electric Utility. The public
vs. the City.


LAKE WORTH Residents and users of Lake Worth’s electric power are ready to pick up the pitch forks, light the torches and charge the castle on the mount.
     The villagers are upset, and rightly so.


Click on newspaper clipping to enlarge.


From November 10th, 2005:

“Welcome To Pioneer Days
Courtesy LW Utilities!”

Continued on pg. 4

The article from 2005 in the Herald continues. . .


     The city is saying it is performing as well as can be expected given the age of the electrical distribution system in Lake Worth. The citizens, especially those in the dark and those who see a quantum leap in their utility bills, aren’t so quick to applaud.
     Residents of Lake Worth pre-1995 know the utility company was on the sales’ block, but encumbrances of bonds, etc., precluded the city from getting out from under.

Utilities Gutted

     Many will not remember a utility board in the 1970’s which designated what repairs would be made and what funds would be set aside for improvements. A shallow-thinking commission and even shallower mayor later dismantled the citizen-appointed board and gutted the utility funds to avoid municipal bankruptcy, leaving Lake Worth with its current, rusting system.
     Now residents would like to just give the department to Florida Power & Light.
     Of course, the legal mechanisms won’t allow the city to gift the utility department to anyone.
     But just as important as the lack of juice flowing to residences, is a perceived attitude that city hall is insulating and isolating itself from blame.
     One irate citizen came straight to The Lake Worth Herald after a visit to city hall and labeled those with whom he dealt, “Supercilious and patronizing.”
     He said he was made to feel he was a small child, being calmed down by a “fat aunt” who “. . . didn’t know what she was talking about.” Said citizen said he received no information, except Lake Worth was doing what it had to do and was ahead of schedule.
     Still another businessman visited the paper and wanted to know how one began a referendum to force the city to sell the power plant. He came back the next day with papers for a political action committee, a precursor to initiating a referendum.
     Yet another resident has already started a petition drive, and no doubt the two parties will meet up . . . probably at the castle with pitchforks in hand.
     It is unfortunate the city imposed charges to bolster the rebuilding of its aging infrastructure in the same breath the city went dark.
     The fuel adjustment charge — which is in place for six months — is more salt in the wound.
     Some folks are complaining they can’t pay their utility bills and have anything left over for food. Or medicine.
     Lake Worth’s City Commission is in juxtaposition with itself.
     The city is saddled with the surcharges and infrastructure charges, and the public is raising hell over the lack of productivity. Even the most hasty generalizations by the public — like “I haven’t seen a Lake Worth utility truck in two weeks” or “Why am I paying all this money for no service?” — has some importance.
     The city just concluded stem-winder* sessions with a company which billed itself as helping to define the mission of the city and getting employees to better understand that mission. Better understanding, better service.
     That seems to have gone with the wind of Hurricane Wilma and replaced by an attitude, unbecoming service personnel who must meet the public.
     City Manager Paul Boyer is a competent administrator, but he is not running a mini-White House, replete with spokesman and designated authorities. The buck stops with Boyer and he should know that. He should know that, especially when the mayor puts out smoke screens, rather than facts. The mayor is one vote on a commission that sets policy. The city manager is the chief operating officer.
     There are no policies to be set during a crisis like hurricanes. Just procedures.
     Boyer should also understand the perception is reality, an old saw, but a true one.
     Lastly, the public should be part of the disaster plan, not excluded from it.
     As Eric Severide said of the 1st Amendment, “There’s no such thing as my end of the boat is sinking.”
     We are all in the same boat.
     If the residents of Lake Worth are informed of progress and procedure and made part of the solution, most likely, the public will respond in kind.
     Wilma punched great holes in Lake Worth’s power plant, and greater holes in its disaster plan.
     For one thing, the stem-winding didn’t work.
     For another, when the city commission meets on Nov. 15, don’t bother telling those assembled what a great job Lake Worth did.
     . . . those assembled Nov. 15 already know.


*Acronym “stem”: Science, technology, engineering, mathematics. Sessions on ways to improve education and competitiveness.

Radical environmentalists you’ve supported in the past now just a disappointment? Then consider Deep Green Resistance (DGR).


Please Note: The following blog post is not an endorsement for DGR or for tactics such as “Decisive Ecological Warfare”.
     However, since so many of our coastal communities in Palm Beach County are the home base for radical environmentalist (rad enviro) cells, instead of them trying to monkeywrench local city politics and initiatives — which only drains rad enviro resources, time, money, and personnel — don’t you think the rads need to focus instead on the big issues such as western sprawl, the Ag Reserve, and saving the Florida Everglades?

Are you a supporter of radical environmentalism
and looking for bold ideas?

Are you tired of protesters banging pots and pans, obnoxious noise-makers from the dollar store?

Tired of reading about another lawsuit against FPL that everyone knows is just a fallback and delay tactic? Money to fund these lawsuits drains resources and money that are desperately needed elsewhere.


Tired of retelling old stories of tree-sits? Public relations fiascos like a rad enviro throwing a battery into a lake? Confusing ‘musicals’ sending mixed messages too?
“Yes! It is Happening!”

Two years later, what did this ‘musical’ accomplish except for a well-written account by Rachel Monroe in the Oxford American?


“Community Action Group”?
Click image to enlarge. Pretty clever, huh?
The 1960s is calling and they want their
Lake Worth hippie back.

The self-described rad enviros in Palm Beach County are a big disappointment, especially when it comes curbing or at least slowing down western sprawl. You would be hard-pressed finding any proof of their success if you read the newspaper every day. Especially the “Real Estate” section.

If you’re looking for new ideas “outside the box” then consider donating much needed funds to DGR. Consider this:

     Throughout history all resistance movements have faced ruthless enemies that had unlimited resources. And, unlike the past, now everything’s at stake.
     We are battling those who are destroying the planet for their profit, not ours. Not all of us can participate on the frontlines. Many people have important reasons to stay back – families, children, or character traits. [emphasis added]

[and. . .]

     We are a young organization, but we have a message that is more unique and strategic than anything else we have seen. The DGR strategy – Decisive Ecological Warfare – lays out a simple (though not easy) plan to get from here – a society based on wholesale exploitation and destruction of human communities and the natural world – to there – thousands of local communities based on respect, human rights, and balance.
     As an aboveground organization, our work is strictly nonviolent. 
     Our tasks are simple: to promote the need for an underground, to shift the culture of activism, to normalize resistance, and to build movement towards true justice, sustainability, and equality.
     Join those of us who cannot be on the front lines in supporting the struggle for life and justice. With your help, we will make this dream a reality.

To help, send a check or use one many other options:

Deep Green Resistance
PO Box 925

Districts 2 and 4 are up for election next year in this City of Lake Worth.


Election Day is March 12th, 2019.

Click on image to enlarge:
District 2 Commissioner Omari Hardy has a challenger: Cathy Turk. The official two-week Qualifying Period is Nov. 27th–Dec. 11th. Commissioner Herman C. Robinson represents District 4.

“Keep our Bryant Park PUBLIC!” No beer kiosks, no hot dog stands, and no billboards in our City parks.


Remember that failed tabloid that promoted giving away our Bryant Park to developers?


“Gallery Owner Pitches ‘Art Ship’ for
Lake Worth’s Waterfront”: 
This former tabloid was “Always FREE, Delivered FREE” and had almost no advertising. What kind of ‘newspaper’ was that?

Below is an image from “Issue 9” on March 13th, 2015, from that tabloid following the elections that year. Former commissioners Ryan Maier and Chris McVoy, PhD, are shown celebrating their Election Day victories at Mamma Mia’s On The Beach.

But the public later responded. The public spoke and spoke loudly when plans were discovered to let developers take control of Bryant Park. Luckily, the majority on the City Commission — Mayor Pam Triolo and commissioners Scott Maxwell and Andy Amoroso — would have none of that nonsense and the response was loud and clear:

KEEP OUR BRYANT
PARK PUBLIC!

KEEP THE DEVELOPERS OUT OF OUR PARKS.

Giving away our parks is nothing to
laugh or smile about:
Former commissioners Maier (beaming, white shirt) and McVoy (blue shirt, arms raised) along with jubilant already-former-commissioners JoAnn Golden and Cara Jennings. No word on any
plans for a reunion.