Saturday, September 15, 2018

Today. Wreath laying for ninetieth anniversary of worst hurricane to ever hit Palm Beach County.



Published recently in The Palm Beach Post was a staff report about today’s wreath laying at a mass gravesite by the mayor and commissioners of West Palm Beach.

Note the Okeechobee Hurricane — as this storm is oftentimes referred to following destruction of the original dike which kept Lake Okeechobee in check — officially struck Palm Beach County on September 16th, 1928.

Two excerpts from the Post:


The City of West Palm Beach Community Redevelopment Agency, in partnership with the Storm of ’28 Memorial Park Coalition, will host a 90th anniversary community memorial event [emphasis added] to remember the victims who lost their lives to Florida’s Hurricane of 1928.

and. . .


     The burial site in West Palm Beach recognizes the African-American victims of the storm who were laid in a mass gravesite at 25th Street and Tamarind Avenue, and is the final resting place for 674 victims.
     The site was listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places in 2002 and a state historical marker was added in 2003 during the 75th anniversary of the hurricane.


If you wish to attend this wreath laying:
  • Date and time: TODAY (Sat., Sept. 15th) at 3:30.
  • Location: 924 25th St., West Palm Beach.
  • “[C]ommunity gathering will follow with beverages and music” according to Post staff report.
  • For more information about this historic tragedy: “1928 Lake Okeechobee Hurricane: African American Mass Grave”.


And more about this second largest loss of life from any storm in American history. . .


“But how many people have ever heard about it? I’m guessing
not many.”


September 16th, 1928: “He [Robert Hazard] has made it his life’s purpose to tell the story.” See and hear Mr. Hazard for yourself in the video below.


Below are excerpts from an article written by
Jeff Klinkenberg at the Tampa Bay Times.


To this day the 1928 Okeechobee Hurricane remains the 2nd deadliest storm in American history. No one knows for sure how many people died.


There is a mass grave in West Palm Beach for the black victims of that storm almost 90 years ago.

Click on image to enlarge:

From Wikipedia: “The cyclone remains one of three Atlantic hurricanes to strike the southern mainland of Florida with a central pressure below 940 mbar, the others being the 1926 Miami hurricane and Hurricane Andrew of 1992.”


This mass grave and memorial is located at Twenty-Fifth St. and Tamarind Ave. To read the entire article by Jeff Klinkenberg at the Tampa Bay Times, written 9 years ago and headlined “Unmarked but not unmourned, 1928 Hurricane’s victims get memorial 80 years later”, click on this link.

Here are the opening paragraphs:


WEST PALM BEACH — Robert Hazard, a gray-haired community activist of 60, hates to miss the weather report. This time of year, when something seems to be brewing in the Atlantic by the hour, he is especially vigilant.
     He has experienced a few hurricanes in his four decades in Florida, though never a bad one. But he has spoken with his elders about the Storm of 1928 — the hurricane of their nightmares. He also has communed with the spirits of the ones killed by that very hurricane. “Oh, they talk to me,” he says with a shy smile.
     You can find Robert Hazard almost every day at the one-acre lot at the corner of Tamarind and 25th streets in the black section of town. He saunters through the field in a hurricanelike counterclockwise direction, meditating about what happened.
     Like the spirits of the dead always tell him: “It was quite a hurricane.”
     The dead folks who talk to him were killed by that hurricane eight decades ago, then pitched into a hole and forgotten.
     Before a great storm named Katrina came to symbolize nature's fury and human folly, there was the Hurricane of 1928.
     “As we saw on television, Katrina was bad,” Hazard says. “The one in 1928 was probably worse. But how many people have ever heard about it? I’m guessing not many.”


“He has made it his life’s purpose to tell the story.”



About the 3-minute video below: “Remarks by Robert Hazard and Palm Beach Post reporter Eliot Kleinberg from the documentary ‘Lord, Somebody Got Drowned’ by Daniel Cheatham.” [To watch the entire 8-minute video on Vimeo click on this link.]





And in conclusion. . .

The nightmare scenario in Palm Beach County:

Herbert Hoover Dike is breached and fails. Few want to even think about this possibility just because it is so horrifying. From last June click on this link for a blog post titled, “Not for the faint of heart. You’ve been warned.”

“Emergency Estuary Protection Wells”: Strategy and science to help end water releases east and west from Lake O.


Below is a video from this week and a press release that explains this new technology.


The information below is about Lake Okeechobee and a planned strategy to end water releases into the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie rivers.

Following a press release (see below) from the South Florida Water Management District is a recent video, an explanation by Ansley Marr, the District’s Office Chief of State Policy and Coordination at last week’s SFWMD Governing Board meeting in suburban West Palm Beach.

First, excerpts from the press release headlined, “Emergency Estuary Protection Wells and Their Effect on Estuary Releases During High Water Emergencies” (to read the entire press release click on this link).


West Palm Beach, FL — The South Florida Water Management District has been working around the clock to lower water levels in the water conservation areas to create capacity for sending additional Lake Okeechobee water south, all in an effort to alleviate South Florida’s high water emergency.

“[O]ne of the strategies being explored by SFWMD to reduce releases to the coastal estuaries during
high water emergencies . . .”:


The strategy, known as Emergency Estuary Protection Wells, would use deep injection technology to put water underground into the “boulder zone.” The wells would be used during events like the current situation when Lake Okeechobee has risen so high that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has no other option but to release water from the lake to the coastal estuaries [emphasis added] in order to protect residents surrounding the lake from flooding. The water injected using these wells would otherwise have been discharged to the estuaries, where it may cause ecological harm.

SFWMD staff such as Verrastro [Principal Hydrogeologist Robert Verrastro] are working on a plan to build two test wells to prove deep injection technology can be used for stormwater applications. The test wells would help SFWMD gather more scientific data so the emergency wells could be used on a larger scale to protect the estuaries in the near future.


Background:


May’s record rainfall caused Lake Okeechobee to rise more than a foot, which led the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to begin releases from the lake on June 1 to the northern estuaries. At the same time, this record rainfall inundated the water conservation areas, causing them to rise considerably above their regulation schedules. To combat this, SFWMD continues to take every action within its authority to lower water levels, including storing water on public and private lands. Additionally, every available structure is being utilized and temporary pumps have been installed to move additional water.

Since May 14, SFWMD’s actions have moved more than 44 billion gallons south from lake Okeechobee and more than 205 billion gallons out of the water conservation areas either to tide or into Everglades National Park. These actions will help create capacity to move more water south and reduce the need for estuary releases.


End of press release. Now to the video
produced this week:


An update to the SFWMD Governing Board on September 13th explaining the planning for “Emergency Estuary Protection Wells”, wells using deep injection technology to move water 3,000′ below ground into the boulder zone:


In unincorporated PBC: “[A] very controversial project just outside the city limits of the City of Atlantis.”


The information below is from the Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council (TCRPC):


“Commissioner Valeche [PBC District 1 Commissioner Hal Valache] noted that Palm Beach County has a very extensive comprehensive plan hearing scheduled that includes a very controversial project just outside the city limits of the City of Atlantis. [emphasis added] He stated Atlantis will be using the findings from one of Council’s charrettes as part of the discussion for the agenda item.”

—Excerpt from the Draft Minutes of TCRPC meeting held on July 20th, 2018.


Stay tuned for an update and possibly new news about this “very controversial project” from business reporter Brian Bandell at the South Florida Business Journal, reporter Keith Larson at The Real Deal, or maybe even a business reporter at The Palm Beach Post will report on what is happening just outside the City of Atlantis.


So you’re wondering, “Where is the City of Atlantis?” A map is further down.


FYI: The next regularly scheduled meeting of the TCRPC is on Friday, Sept. 21st. For the preliminary agenda use this link and scroll down.

Please note: The TCRPC meeting in August was cancelled. Click on this link for more about a major topic of discussion at the TCRPC in July, “Management Alternatives for Human Wastewater Biosolids — Resolution”.

About the delegation from Palm Beach County at July’s meeting: County Commissioner Hal Valeche is a member of the TCRPC. Also in attendance representing the County at this meeting was PBC Vice Mayor Mayor Mack Bernard, Wellington Mayor Anne Gerwig, Royal Palm Beach Councilman Jeff Hmara, and West Palm Beach Commissioner Paula Ryan (alternates: Palm Beach Gardens Mayor Maria Marino and Lake Worth Commissioner Omari Hardy).

For all the members of the TCPRC, which includes St. Lucie and Martin counties, click on this link.


 The City of Atlantis (shaded yellow) is located directly west of the PBC Park Airport (Congress Ave. runs north-south; Lantana Rd. runs east-west).

Click on image to enlarge:

The Village of Palm Springs (shaded blue) is north of Atlantis. East of John Prince Park and the County regional airport are the City of Lake Worth (green) and Town of Lantana (red). Un-shaded areas are unincorporated (aka, “suburban Lake Worth”).

The Lake Worth City Commission meetings this week.


This is a re-post today for those of you who missed this information from yesterday.


The Lake Worth City Commission meetings last Thursday began with procedural budget items at 6:00 and then at 6:30 was the scheduled City Commission meeting. These were two separately publicly noticed public meetings open to everyone from the public.

Andrew Lofholm from NBC5/WPTV showed up and here is one of his observations via Twitter:



International Talk Like A Pirate Day (ITLAPD) is officially held every year on September 19th. For more information about ITLAPD and a quote from Mahatma Ghandi use this link.

Unfortunately, an assignment editor sent Lofholm to report on the old, tiresome story about medical marijuana dispensaries in this City of Lake Worth. That’s too bad with the change in recycling methods happening on October 1st of which there are still too many in the public unaware. More focus on this change in recycling methods in the media can only help.

The recycling switch from single-stream recycling to dual-stream will be very big news in sixteen days with news vans and reporters scouring the City for interviews with people who somehow missed this news which began on May 1st, four and half months ago. But there will be some people crying and upset and this will be chronicled for days in The Palm Beach Post and on the TV news as well.

However, Lofholm and his cameraman did a very good job covering their assignment. If you want to watch the WPTV news segment from last Thursday night click on this link.


The cameraman is stage left under
the overhead TV screen.

Click on image to enlarge:

FYI: It’s very rare for any reporters from the Post to show up at City Commission meetings any more. And also it should be noted that multimedia journalist Andrew Lofholm denies it was Commissioner Omari Hardy who contacted him to show up at Thursday’s Commission meeting.


When the 11:00 news came on there was a very noticeable change at WPTV. And that would be Ann Sterling is the new anchor. Ahead of the sweeps this will have CBS12 (WPEC) and ABC25 (WPBF) scrambling to find new talent. Ann Sterling is on Twitter as well.

Note that in the video at the 8:45 minute mark, at the end of the Budget Hearing, the City Commission had to wait before proceeding for approximately 16 minutes. This is because the scheduled Commission hearing was publicly noticed to begin at 6:30. The Commission reconvenes at the 24:55 mark in the video below.


Watch the video at your pleasure throughout the day:




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

“Meals on Wheels Needs Kitchen Volunteers” on Monday, Tuesday and Friday mornings from 8:30–10:30.


See the news below published in the
Coastal & Greenacres Observer:

Meals on Wheels of the Palm Beaches delivers meals to homebound* seniors. For more information contact Stefanie Raifman at 561-802-6979, ext. 3.

“Our clients depend on our kitchen volunteers to prepare their meals for delivery,” says Volunteer Coordinator Stefanie Raifman, “They are the first part of a process that ensures homebound seniors remain independent in their home and receive healthy noontime meals.”


Meals on Wheels needs community-minded people to help plate and package nutritious freshly made meals delivered to more about 200 homebound seniors in the area five days a week.
     Kitchen volunteers usually work one day a week, arriving in the West Palm Beach kitchen beginning at 8:30 a.m. and are usually done by 10:30.
     Volunteers are currently needed to work on Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays. All new volunteers, 18 years old and over, attend an orientation session where they receive an overview of their responsibilities.


*Homebound is defined as “confined to one’s home, especially because of illness.”

Please share news with the homeless about “The Way Cafe”: FREE hot meals available in Downtown Lake Worth.


This new program is available for all the homeless in Central Palm Beach County and for all those in need of a FREE hot meal (see map of CPBC below).

News about FREE meals for the homeless was recently front page news in The Lake Worth Herald. Continue reading for all the details.


First, do you have anything you would like to donate and help the homeless, e.g., blankets and clothing? Also below, at the end of this blog post, is important information about the Saint Vincent de Paul Thrift Store.

On FREE hot meals for the homeless the Grand Opening of “The Way Cafe” was in July. This popular FREE dinner service was previously located at Calvary Methodist Church in our City of Lake Worth and then relocated to Holy Redeemer Episcopal in the Village of Palm Springs serving clients in that municipality and clients from surrounding areas in suburban (unincorporated) Lake Worth.

Here’s the latest news:

“The Way Cafe” has returned permanently to Downtown Lake Worth courtesy of St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church.


Share this news with everyone you know here in the City and out in suburban Lake Worth as well, for example, to those wanting FREE hot dinners in the County’s John Prince Park and other places where the homeless congregate. Share this news in the cities of Greenacres and Atlantis, the Village of Palm Springs, and the towns of Lake Clarke Shores and Lantana as well.

Below is a helpful map of coastal CPBC. Note The Way Cafe is located conveniently near Bryant Park at the base of the Robert Harris (“Lake Worth”) Bridge. The Lake Worth Casino is also nearby.

The address is 100 N. Palmway (at the corner of Palmway and Lucerne Ave.). Below is more information from the Herald.


Unsure where the City of Lake Worth is located?

Click on image to enlarge:

For more information call St. Andrew’s Church at 561-582-6609. Excerpts from The Lake Worth Herald:


Free dinners will be offered on Tuesdays beginning July 31 at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in downtown Lake Worth.
     Dinner will be served free of charge at 1 p.m.
     The program, known as The Way Cafe, has been providing hot meals for homeless and working poor individuals for several years.

and. . .

     Following a renovation and expansion of kitchen facilities, the program will be permanently housed at St. Andrew’s. [emphasis added]
     Supported by donations and staffed by volunteers, the Tuesday meal will often be the only hot food Cafe clients will receive all week.


Please share this news about “The Way Cafe” with everyone you know that is involved with helping aid the homeless here in CPBC.

Whilst on the topic of homelessness, a convenient drop-off site for clothes, blankets and other materials for the homeless is the Saint Vincent de Paul Thrift Store located in the City of Greenacres and very close to the Village of Palm Springs. Click on this link to learn more about Saint Vincent de Paul’s drop-off location.

Friday, September 14, 2018

For those of you who may have missed the news about an upcoming marathon. . .


Thumbs Down. Town of Palm Beach rejects Palm Beaches Marathon this year, not “town-serving”.


But Thumbs Up for our
City of Lake Worth!



UPDATE! The blog post further down below is from last month. First, a special Thank You to everyone who got involved, contacting your elected officials, and making the case that the upcoming Palm Beaches Marathon needs to include more of our City of Lake Worth. Our City deserves a better seat at the table! We are not an afterthought and it looks as though that message was heard loud and clear.

The not-so-good news is the upcoming full marathon race will not quite make it to Lake Ave. or over the Robert Harris Bridge to the Lake Worth Casino. But this year’s race will make it to just a few blocks north of Lake Ave. into the Parrot Cove neighborhood before the turnaround.

Other neighborhoods included in the course this year:

The Palm Beaches Marathon 26.2 mile race is scheduled for Sunday, December 2nd (see map of last year’s race below; a big improvement this year). For the Palm Beaches Marathon event information click on this link (note that neither the half marathon, 10K, 5K will enter City of Lake Worth; only the full marathon on Dec. 2nd).

But keep the faith. Maybe that will happen next year.

Without further ado, the background for how we got to this point starting off with the news in the Palm Beach Daily News:


Last month organizers of this marathon had a glimmer of hope the Town of Palm Beach would allow the race to enter the town according to journalist William Kelly at The Shiny Sheet (see excerpt below). But those hopes were dashed on August 15th.

Here is the news from reporter Ian Cohen at the Palm Beach Daily News (aka, The Shiny Sheet), two excerpts:


     The Town Council on Wednesday [8/15] voted 4-1 to reject a permit request [emphasis added] by the marathon’s managing director, Kenneth Kennerly, to allow the annual race to run through about 1.2 miles of town.

and. . .

     “It’s the weekend after Thanksgiving. The president will be in town,” Moore [Council President Danielle Moore] said. “This would just be another piece of a very complicated weekend in Palm Beach. It causes me great consternation to think about the things that could possibly go wrong.”
     Other council members said the race would not be town-serving.
     “It’s not in the interest, I think, of our residents,” Lindsay [Councilwoman Bobbie Lindsay] said. “It’s a small town, it’s quiet, they’re here to have peace and quiet … it’s a drain on our police and also the rest of our staff.


Our City of Lake Worth on December 3rd, 2017 was used as part of the Palm Beaches Marathon with runners racing through neighborhoods. Or come up with better route to show off our Downtown and attract more visitors and tourists? Fill up our restaurants and shops?

The Lake Worth Tropical Triathlon every year uses the Robert Harris (“Lake Worth”) Bridge and the Casino as part of the course for runners. So why can’t the organizers of the Palm Beaches Marathon find a route to include our Casino in this City?

The race in 2017 didn’t go anywhere near the Lake Worth Casino or even Bryant Park in the Downtown. It was sort of like the organizers tweaked the race to make it exactly 26.2 miles and that was our City’s only role. The stars of the show, of course, were the Town of Palm Beach and West Palm Beach last year.

From long-time reporter William Kelly at the Palm Beach Daily News (aka, the Shiny Sheet) is this recent news about that marathon datelined July 18th:


Deputy Town [of Palm Beach] Manager Jay Boodheshwar said marathon organizers must meet several conditions to receive a special event permit from the council that would allow bringing the marathon into town. Councilman Lew Crampton suggested last week that marathon organizers make a donation to the town in return for being able to bring the race here. [emphasis added]


About the race last year from the organizers of the Palm Beaches Marathon:


“We [2017 Palm Beaches Marathon] have worked to improve the course from previous years, in order to make the route the best and most scenic as possible. [emphasis added] The Marathon course will be a Boston Qualifier, and fast, flat and beautiful. For the first time in the event’s 14 year history we will be crossing into the Town of Palm Beach!”


Below is the Lake Worth leg of the
2017 full marathon race.

Click on image to enlarge:

Full marathon runners in 2017 entered the City, headed east on Duke Dr., then south on Lakeside Drive to 10th Ave. North. and then at the turn exiting the City on Federal Hwy.

In this year’s race runners will head seven blocks further south prior to the turnaround. To see the 2018 map of the full marathon race click on this link. In 2019? Further on to the Lake Worth Casino!


*There are a total of sixteen (16) neighborhoods in the Neighborhood Assoc. Presidents’ Council (NAPC). For the color-coded geographic information system (GIS) map of all neighborhoods click on this link.
     The NAPC is also on Facebook; to contact the NAPC send an email to: napcinfo@gmail.com


“Our Neighborhoods Have Boundaries.
Our Commitment To Each Other Does Not.”

UPDATE. Think a straw ban is a good idea in Lake Worth? Or back to basics: Teach public how to recycle properly!



Update: Have you ever dreamed of being quoted in a newspaper? You can real soon if you want. Find out how below.


For example, you can be quoted on what you think about Deerfield Beach banning plastic straws and at the same time treating all other recyclables like regular trash (see news from Larry Barszewski and Anne Geggis below). Maybe it makes perfect sense to you. Maybe it doesn’t.

It would seem, apparently, Broward County has now taken the lead on banning plastic straws. Palm Beach County was a tougher nut to crack as you’ll read about further below in this blog post. In Broward the municipality of Hallandale Beach already has a plastic straw ban and Dania Beach might soon as well.

Below are two excerpts from journalist Dan Sweeney at the Sun Sentinel datelined yesterday (8/30) about what just happened in Broward County:


Deerfield Beach became the latest city to ban plastic drinking straws in city limits Wednesday [Aug. 29th].

Sweeney wants to know what YOU think. . .

Should these sorts of regulations be handled at the state level instead? Let us know by emailing dsweeney@SunSentinel.com or tweeting @Daniel_Sweeney. Your response could be used in a future story. [emphasis added]


Please note: For everything you need to know — and much much more — about the upcoming change to the recycling program in the City of Lake Worth (in Central Palm Beach County) starting October 1st click on this link.

Whilst on the topic of making planet Earth more sustainable, have your been thinking about composting? Well, guess what! On October 1st in Lake Worth you can have your very own 55-gallon composting container and it’s FREE! Continue reading to learn more about this exciting new development.

Now to the Straw Ban Police in Palm Beach County.


Case examples: Town of Jupiter and what
occurred in City of Lake Worth.


More good news is other municipalities in Palm Beach County are leading the way showing how inane and unnecessary a ban on plastic straws really is. Approving a resolution is one thing; creating a new ordinance is something else entirely. With another ordinance on the books what is the next step? The plastic straw police scaring the bejesus out of little kids? Threatening to fine parents or even throw them in jail?

“Ma’am! One last time. Drop the straw, raise your arms and back slowly away from the children.”

Well, anyhow, here is more good news from reporter Sarah Elsesser at The Palm Beach Post, an excerpt:


The details of the resolution aren’t dictated by the [Jupiter] beach committee. The committee just makes a recommendation [to Jupiter Town Council] about what it thinks is best based on the research they’ve done and been provided with. The majority of the committee agreed that an ordinance, which comes with fines, was too strong of an action to take.


Because of Budget Season the next regularly scheduled City Commission meeting here in the City of Lake Worth is not until October 2nd. But in the meantime if you should happen to spot Drew Martin in the parking lot at City Hall and a lot of bumper stickers from Jupiter High School you can pretty much figure out what the next plan is to try and push a municipal ban on plastic straws. If the past is any clue, the Lake Worth Beach would be the logical next step. Remember the political kerfuffle about banning balloons?

Forget about banning plastic straws here in the L-Dub! It’s just a silly distraction and don’t we have a long list of our own problems to fix? Like finally fixing that white elephant at our Lake Worth Beach once and for all.

And doesn’t this City have litter laws anyway? The bigger picture is trying to save recycling programs in general here in South Florida. For example, a recent article in the Sun Sentinel by reporters Larry Barszewski and Anne Geggis titled, “Recyclables become trash in two South Florida cities”; an excerpt:


If you live in Deerfield Beach or Sunrise, the stuff in your recycling cart is going to be treated like trash: Dumped in a landfill or burned in an incinerator. [emphasis added]
     Rather than have the material sorted and prepared for reuse as has been the case in the past, Deerfield Beach will bury its recyclables and Sunrise will take its material to a waste-to-energy incineration plant.


Because of too much contamination mixed in with recyclables (pizza boxes, soiled diapers, non-recyclable plastic, etc.) the City of Lake Worth is having to ditch its popular single-stream recycling program. Wouldn’t more focus on teaching the public how to recycle be more efficient than just focusing on a ‘plastic straw ban’ so more material actually gets recycled and reused in the future?


Get ready for a big change. Starting October 1st the City of Lake Worth is returning to “Dual Stream Recycling”.



The City will return to using 18-gallon recycling containers for curbside collection in October.

The vast majority of Palm Beach County uses these smaller bins for recycling (blue  =  plastic, cans, glass; yellow  =  paper products. Remember “No plastic bags please!” in either container:

Why is this happening? One of the big reasons is many residents of this City have been using the large 55-gallon recycling bin as a second trash receptacle. Please continue reading to learn more.


The Lake Worth Herald: The City of Lake Worth’s best LOCAL source for LOCAL news you can use.


“Oldest Established Business Established in 1912”
To see the latest front page LOCAL news click on this link. Pick up the print edition at the City’s newsstand located at 600 Lake Ave. and say “Hello” to Vice Mayor Andy Amoroso. And guess what?
The Herald is still ¢50!

From last May here is the news from the Herald, news that will most certainly upset and befuddle a lot of people here in this City. . .


On September 16, 2008, the City Commission approved an agreement with Waste Management Inc. of Florida (WM), for a single stream recycling program. Prior to the single stream agreement the City had a dual stream recycling program through SWA [Solid Waste Authority].
     The Commission voted 4-0 [Vice Mayor Pro Tem Scott Maxwell absent] to approve the Interlocal Agreement and will return to dual stream recycling on October 1. The City will engage in significant public outreach and educational programs in order to make this recycling transition.

To the question everyone is
asking themselves right now.


What to do with that big 55-gallon
green/yellow recycling bin?

The City will come by and take it away if you want. Stay tuned for news about that soon from the City of Lake Worth and the Solid Waste Authority.

By the end of September that big recycling bin won’t be worth a hill of beans, right? WRONG! 

Be creative and start thinking of ways to re-purpose that big container.


Stay tuned for more tips to come.

Here is tip #1.

Prayers and insight from “The Interfaith Prayer Book”, expanded 2nd edition, published in 2014.


The Interfaith Prayer Book was compiled by Lake Worth resident Ted Brownstein and the Lake Worth Interfaith Network.*

From p. 31 by Siddur Avodas HaLev titled,
“A Jewish View of Prayer”:


“Prayer: Its Hebrew name is, tefillah, a word that gives us an insight into the Torah’s concept of prayer. The root of tefillah means to judge, to differentiate, to clarify, to decide. In life, we constantly sort out evidence from rumor, valid options from wild speculations, fact from fancy. Thus, prayer is the soul’s yearning to define what truly matters and to ignore the trivialities that often masquerade as essential.”


From p. 69, the “Hymn of the Good Samaritan”:


From every race and land,
The victim of our day,
Abused and hurt by human hands,
Are wounded on life’s way.

The priest and Levite pass
And find not time to wait.
The pressing claims of living call;
They leave them to their fate.

But one of different faith
To care he felt compelled.
His active love like Jesus’ own
Uplifted, healed and held.

May this example lead,
Inspire and teach us all
That we may find in others’ faith
The God on whom we call.


From p. 23 in the chapter titled, “Native American Prayer” is the ancient reading from the Popul Vuh, a region in South America now called Guatemala:


Make my guilt vanish,
Heart of Sky, Heart of Earth;
Grant me a favor,
Give me strength, give me courage
In my heart, in my head,
Since you are my mountain and my plain;
May there be no falsehood and no stain,
And may this reading of the Popul Vuh
Come out clear as dawn,
And may the sifting of ancient times
Be complete in my heart, in my head;
And make my guilt vanish,
My grandmothers, grandfathers,
And however many souls of the dead there may be,
You who speak with the Heart of Sky and Earth,
May all of you together give strength
To the reading I have undertaken.


To learn more about the “Reading of Popul Vuh” in The Interfaith Prayer Book and the Ancient History Encyclopedia click on this link.


*The Lake Worth Interfaith Network (LWIN) is a group of individuals and faith-based communities dedicated to promoting acceptance and understanding among our diverse spiritual traditions through devotions, education and compassionate action. . . . LWIN hopes that sharing our experience will be helpful to other communities who desire to create similar local interfaith organizations. This publication of interfaith prayers is one step towards that end.
Levite: “[M]ember of the tribe of Levi; descendant of Levi, especially one appointed to assist the priests in the temple or tabernacle.” Learn more at Wikipedia.

Dangerous, unhealthy alleys: Clean them up, reduce crime, make them a community asset for minimal cost.


Impossible? Not at all.


This blog post is about ways a neighborhood can reclaim dangerous, unsafe, and under-utilized alleyways in the City of Lake Worth. However, prior to making any changes to an alley you must contact the City first. Why? That is explained below.

So, is it impossible for a neighborhood to make an alleyway a community “backyard”? Try telling that to a creative group of people in Seattle who are reclaiming their alleys and making the community safer:


     [Todd] Vogel started with a small poetry reading. Sixty people showed up. It was the first in a series of events that included music performances, readings, cat adoptions, circus acts, and doggy costume parties. A few neighbors had liked the idea and helped orchestrate the first events. Soon, nearby business owners began to contribute as well. Windows that were previously boarded up were now open, a cinder block wall that blocked a doorway was removed, and neighbors put in planters and contributed to the upkeep. [emphasis added]
     “If you treat it as a place where nobody goes, then you’re inviting illicit activity and you’re inviting people not to respect it” said Vogel, who noted seeing changes in his ”backyard.” “The healthy activity meant that the unhealthy activity was self-policing.”

Seems like a worthy experiment for our Downtown and other neighborhoods in Lake Worth, doesn’t it?

However, prior to “reclaiming” an alley nearby you need to contact someone such as your City commissioner for advice or maybe someone at the Neighborhood Assoc. Presidents’ Council (NAPC). The vast number of alleys in the City of Lake Worth are owned by the City and it’s crucial to keep these alleys accessible for power line maintenance, clearing of vegetation, and in case of emergency situations as well such as hurricanes.

So permanent structures will most likely
not be permitted.

To find out what an easement is, the City’s responsibility and a citizen’s responsibility vis-à-vis an alley, and for a helpful Q&A use this link for the article titled, “Alleyways — The City’s Roadway to Utility Services”.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

On hurricane forecasting. How much have things improved since 2016?


In September 2016 there was Hurricane Matthew.

The media, both TV and the press, went absolutely nuts here in Palm Beach County. And then the public went nuts too. Everybody went nuts. That storm had the potential to be a major storm like Hurricane Andrew but instead the storm ended up skirting the coast and becoming a major rain event for most parts of this County. Matthew did cause major damage along the coastline. However, after Matthew some started wondering about things like the Gulfstream Current and how much power that current has, e.g., can it change the direction of storms?

Further compounding the issue of hurricane models were these observations in August 2016 that one could say, created quite the stir here in South Florida. . .

Getting Ready to Get Ready”.


A quote by Brian Norcross* from August 2016:


“An unfortunate artifact of modern television weather-graphics systems is that it’s just as easy for a weathercaster to show a model forecast for a week from now as it is to show a map of the weather at this minute. The problem is, we are pretty sure about the current weather, but the forecast graphic for a week from now is almost certainly wrong.
     It’s inflammatory and misleading and upsetting to coastal residents, and I humbly propose that we quit it, especially in scenarios like this one that are wildly uncertain except for the broad strokes.
     We can be reasonably certain that high pressure is going to build to the north and push the system west, and we have some confidence on the timing for South Florida, plus or minus a day or so. But that’s it. And we're not 100% about those.
     The key question is, when do residents need to prepare and for what? If the academic question of whether the Euro or the GFS is better or worse gets in the way of a clear answer, weather reporters are doing a disservice to their readers and viewers.


*Learn more about Bryan Norcross using this link.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Today is an exciting day.


Will be leading a mobile workshop through one of Lake Worth’s historic cottage neighborhoods. These are planners from around the State of Florida that are here for the annual Florida Chapter of the American Planning Association conference being held in West Palm Beach. We’re getting on a bus at the Palm Beach County Convention Center and begin our time travel back to the early part of the 20th Century.

I’m referring to our bus ride from what I refer to as Manhattan to Mayberry: We all know the little City of Lake Worth is the Ying to West Palm’s Yang. After a short orientation we have made special arrangements to tour Lake Worth’s Historical Museum in the City Hall Annex on Lake Ave. at the corner of Federal Hwy.

After that we make a stop at The Book Cellar bookstore, then brave the heat with a walk down ‘Jumpin’ J St. and then throughout the area south of Downtown where most of the cottages on 25′ wide lots are located.

About the Downtown in Lake Worth is recent news by journalist Ron Hayes about the resurgence of the local bookstore in South Florida and The Book Cellar in “[T]he heart of Lake Worth’s bustling downtown.”

A very special Thank You to Ashley Alshut, Jon Faust, Sandy Weston, Lake Worth Mayor Pam Triolo, Herman C. Robinson, Erin Fitzhugh Sita, Barbara Resch Aubel for joining us today. The tour leader is Wes Blackman.

Our guests will get be welcomed by Mayor Triolo at 501 Lake Ave. the City’s Recreation Dept. On the return to the Convention Center our visitors today will each receive The Cottages of Lake Worth book.


FYI: The book subtitled, “Living Large in Small Spaces” is available at two locations in Downtown Lake Worth: At The Book Cellar bookstore and at the City’s newsstand located at 205 N. Federal Hwy (stop in and say “Hi” to Vice Mayor Andy Amoroso).


The blog post following is another look back
to the letter written by Capt. Wm. S. Stafford (Ret.) and a video montage of historic postcards of the City of Lake Worth.

Public meetings today and tomorrow in the little City of Lake Worth.


Tonight (Wed. 9/12): Historic Resource Preservation Board (HRPB) meeting at City Hall. Meeting begins at 6:00. Agenda available.

Tomorrow (Thur., 9/13). Three (3) public meetings:
  • Tree Board meets in the City Hall conference room at 5:30. Agenda not yet available. Learn more information about the Tree Board below.
  • City Commission meets at 6:00 for Budget Public Hearing (the final hearing for the FY2018–2019 City budget will be held on Tuesday, Sept. 25th).
  • At 6:30 a scheduled City Commission meeting begins.

To download the agendas for the public meetings today and tomorrow click on this link and scroll down for City Commission and HRPB.

    Have you ever attended a City of Lake Worth
    Tree Board meeting?

    The Tree Board always meets the second Thursday of the month. The staff liaison for the board is Mr. Dave McGrew from the City of Lake Worth’s Parks Dept. and you can contact him for additional information at 561-586-1677 or by email: dmcgrew@lakeworth.org

    The Tree Board is just one of many volunteer boards in this City. If you’ve been thinking about becoming a volunteer board member use this link or contact Olivia Brown, the Volunteer Coordinator, by email at obrown@lakeworth.org

    Are you a long-time resident of the
    City of Lake Worth?

    Do you remember the City’s Annual Tree Contest when residents had a friendly competition for best native tree, most useful and hurricane-resistant tree and a contest for most beautiful, majestic, oddest, and best historic tree too. To refresh your memory here is a short stroll down memory lane. . .

    “Officials said they hope to make
    the contest an annual event”.


    “Lake Worth Tree Board winners”
    by Post reporter Lady Hereford.


    “Tall and short, flowering and spiky, majestic
    and just plain odd.”


    “Anyone could nominate a tree, regardless of who owned the property”, and the “oddest tree category yielded two first-place winners: A strangler fig and a spiky Madagascar palm.”

    Two-page spread, feature article in the Post,
    August 10th, 2005:

    To learn more about the jaboticaba fruit tree
    click on this link.

    Other winners of the tree contest (by type)
    reported in the Post:

    • Most Beautiful Flowering Tree: Royal poinciana.
    • Most Useful Tree: Jaboticaba.
    • Best Native Tree: Slash pine.
    • Oddest Tree (tie): Madagascar palm and strangler fig.
    • Historic Tree, Most Majestic Tree, Most Sheltering Tree, and Biggest Tree: Banyan.

    Show up at the Tree Board meeting tomorrow at City Hall and tell your favorite story about a tree or trees at public comment.

    What is the future for the City of Lake Worth? Does the past give any clues?


    Whilst on topic of the past, the Lake Worth Historical Museum is reopening today at 1:00. The venue was remodeled over the Summer for the upcoming Season. To learn more about this very popular museum use this link.

    Before we get to the Arts Cultural Master Plan recently unveiled for the Downtown (see below) and how the “Visioning” process works, let’s briefly take a look back at news published in the Lake Worth Herald:


    One month ago citizens of Palm Beach and Dade counties were elated over the fact that the contract had been let by the State of Florida for the construction of the West Palm Beach canal.

    and later in the article. . .


         It will be three years from this month before the canal is completed if it is run through on schedule time. If the canal is started from the west end first the property owners within miles of the canal will be flooded for three long years with water that will be continually pouring out of Lake Okeechobee thru the canal on the lands below.

    News headlined, “The Importance of P. B. Canal” and subtitled, “Property Holders to Start the Palm Beach Canal From Lake Worth West to Lake Okeechobee.” Published on January 23rd, 1913, from The Lake Worth Herald online archives.



    For the most recent news in The Lake Worth Herald use this link or pick up the print edition at Studio 205, the City’s newsstand located at 205 N. Federal Hwy. To contact the editor at the Herald call 561-585-9387 or by email: Editor@lwherald.com

    For more information about the “P. B. Canal” cited in the Herald one hundred and five years ago, a waterway which is now called the C-51 Canal and the future Blueway Trail click on this link.

    Now on to, “What exactly is Visioning”?
    Below are two examples.


    Next Wednesday on the agenda at the Historic Resource Preservation Board (at City Hall, 6:00) will be another look at the Arts Cultural Master Plan for Downtown Lake Worth.

    This is all part of a very long visioning process and it should be no cause for alarm. Unless you think there is some ‘scheming’ going on. Take for example the recent Lake Worth Beach and Casino Complex presentations, a short story about a silly cat and a dog house and a prediction that came true.


    What is visioning?


    Here are some visions, a list compiled last July
    in City Hall. Click on visions to enlarge:

    The City held an all-day Visioning Work Session on July 24th. Some liked the visions. Others didn’t. One local editor acerbically dubbed the L-Dub Vision facilitator “Carnac the Magnificent”.


    This is the process of “Visioning” the future. It’s all about ideas, ideas, and more ideas.

    Here are more ideas:

    So what is the public’s role in all this? Attend public meetings. Contact your elected officials. And then in 6 months and 3 days comes March 12th, 2019. Municipal Election Day. To see who is running in District 2 and 4 click on this link

    Continue spreading the message from County Commissioner Steven Abrams.



    Take note: Palm Beach County Commissioner Steven Abrams is term-limited and will not be on the ballot this coming November. A new commissioner will take his place in District 4 (to learn more about the upcoming November General Election click on this link).

    But the fact that Abrams will not be on the upcoming ballot in no way takes away from his message to everyone in Palm Beach County. The message remains the same, “[I]t makes absolutely no sense whatsoever for anyone to ever consider trying to beat a train,” Abrams said

    News from reporter Mike Magnoli,


    “Spreading the message” about Brightline and Tri-Rail.

    This same message applies to freight trains as well.


    From a CBS12 (WPEC) news segment here is the message you want the public to hear from every elected official in Palm Beach County and everywhere else in Florida, Palm Beach County Commissioner Steven Abrams said,

    “. . .it makes absolutely no sense whatsoever for anyone to ever consider trying to beat a train,” Abrams said.


    This is NOT THE MESSAGE YOU WANT TO HEAR from any elected official in Palm Beach County:

    “. . .and you know you might’ve been able to outrun a Tri-Rail train, but you can’t outrun a Brightline train”


    And even at normal transport speed, whether empty or transporting heavy freight cars, there is no one in Palm Beach County that can outrun a freight train either.

    Below are two excerpts from reporter Mike Magnoli’s news segment titled, “Spreading the message: Don’t try to outrun trains”.


    WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (CBS 12) — People in Palm Beach County have been living alongside Tri-Rail since 1989. The trains run from West Palm Beach to Miami.

    and. . .

         West Palm Beach’s Mayor Jeri Muoio and other officials are trying to get the public to take train safety more seriously, “see tracks, think train”, the mayor said:
         “. . .and you know you might’ve been able to outrun a Tri-Rail train, but you can’t outrun a Brightline train,” [emphasis added]
         Palm Beach County Commissioner Steven Abrams is the Chairman of the South Florida Regional Transportation Authority, which oversees Tri-Rail, he says that message could be taken the wrong way.
         “A lot of people don’t think that the Tri-Rail train can go as fast as Brightline trains, the Tri-Rail trains on some stretches of the track can and do go that fast, the difference though is that Tri-Rail stops every 3 miles,” Abrams said.
         And the commissioner says regardless of the train’s speed or which company owns it, if the gates are down, a person should never try to outrun a train. “So it makes absolutely no sense whatsoever for anyone to ever consider trying to beat a train,” Abrams said.
     

    Here is an excerpt from County Commissioner Steven Abrams’ “Train Safety Press Conference”:

    Commissioner Abrams currently serves as chairman of the South Florida Regional Transportation Authority and is extremely familiar with the importance of train safety which is Tri-Rail’s top priority. Last year, 17 people were killed by Tri-Rail trains from Miami to northern Palm Beach County. While most of the fatalities were suicides, some were the result of people who disregarded the safety warnings and tried to beat the train.

    Brightline has been working with Tri-Rail, local law enforcement, municipalities and the county governments to educate the community about rail safety. In addition, Brightline plans to deploy employees to key intersections from Ft. Lauderdale to West Palm Beach to promote safety and educate the public about the need to steer clear of railroad crossings when trains approach.

    Tuesday, September 11, 2018

    Downtown Lake Worth will have visitors tomorrow afternoon.


    The annual conference of Florida’s American Planning Association (APA) starts today and runs through Friday in West Palm Beach. During this four-day conference will be several “Mobile Tours”. The Cottages of Lake Worth tour was sold out and the actual Cottages that are part of the tour are getting prepared for the event.


    A guided tour tomorrow.

    To learn more about APA Florida click on this link.

    Here is more information about the tour
    of Downtown Lake Worth:


    Enjoy walking through the time-capsule that is Downtown Lake Worth and nearby residential areas. The guided tour starts at the City Hall Annex, listed on the National Register. Winding around north and south of the Downtown, the tour will show off the City’s cottages built on 25- and 50-foot wide lots prior to WWII. Explore three local historic districts laid out in a traditional grid pattern. Many of the structures appear in The Cottages of Lake Worth book.

    UPDATE. . .


    From yesterday on this blog. . . 


    Front page news in Palm Beach Post: Clarification needed for readers in tomorrow’s [today’s] print edition.


    Update: Was a clarification issued by the editor(s) at the Post. No and no regular readers of the Post expected one.

    Clarifications and corrections in the Post, when they are issued, are published on page A2 below the fold. There is not a prominent link for the online readership to look over recent and past clarifications and corrections like other newspapers do. Many newspapers also employ what is called an ombudsman on the editorial board to keep the public updated and informed.

    The tragic plane crash last Sunday in John Prince Park was front page news in Monday’s Palm Beach Post. This incident occurred in what is called “suburban Lake Worth”, or unincorporated Palm Beach County (see map below). Here is a paragraph in Monday’s paper, on the front page:


         The NTSB [National Transportation Safety Board] and the Federal Aviation Administration – which said the plane came from Key West – will work to determine the cause of the crash that happened about a mile northeast of the Palm Beach County Park Airport in Lantana. [emphasis added]


    The PBC Park Airport is not
    ‘in Lantana.’


    This airport (FAA Identifier: LNA) is along Congress Ave. immediately to the east of Atlantis about 200–300′ from Congress Ave (see map below). The area shaded blue nearest the crash site is the Village of Palm Springs. East of the PBC Park Airport, across Lake Osborne, is the unincorporated area called Lake Osborne Estates and further east is the Town of Lantana (shaded red).


    Click on image to enlarge.

    The crash site is south of 6th Ave. South and east of Palm Springs (Congress Ave. runs north-south;
    Lantana Rd. runs east-west).

    North of Lantana is the City of Lake Worth.
    Both John Prince Park and the regional PBC airport are “unincorporated” or can also be called “suburban Lake Worth”.


    Here are the municipal limits of Lantana (shaded):

    If you are interested in learning more about the Town of Lantana and neighboring areas contact the Greater Lantana Chamber of Commerce.

    Monday, September 10, 2018

    Once again, John Prince Park is not in the City of Lake Worth.


    John Prince Park is a County park managed and maintained by Palm Beach County.

    For example, the Sun Sentinel got the story wrong:

    Video shows plane engulfed in flames moments after it crashed in Lake Worth park.

    The City of Lake Worth has many public parks but John Prince Park is not one of them.



    Pause momentarily for Tweet to load:




    But following this incident it took some time before the press and news media figured out how to inform the public where this incident occurred. It happened in suburban Lake Worth well outside the municipal limits of the City of Lake Worth not far from Congress Ave. The nearest municipality is the Village of Palm Springs just west of Congress.

    Within moments anyone could find this information.

    How?

    Ever heard of the Geo Nav mapping tool? Learn more about it below. After a few tries using this tool, in just seconds you will be able to find out if a location is in a municipality or in an unincorporated area of Palm Beach County, and lots of other helpful data as well.

    For example, in last week’s weekly edition of the Lake Worth Very Very Special Monday Cursory Print Edition (LWVVSMCPE), in the section titled “IN FOCUS: LAKE WORTH” is this excerpt:

    Winefest 2018: The American German Club at 5111 Lantana Road, will be transformed into wine village on Sept. 8.

    One would or could assume, of course, this event is “in Lake Worth”. But it’s not. Not even close (FYI: the actual City of Lake Worth uses two zip codes, 33460 and a very small part of 33461).


    The American German Club of the Palm Beaches
    is located in suburban Lake Worth, it has
    a 33463 zip code.

    Click on image to enlarge:

    The American German Club is a wonderful facility. If you’ve never been you should check it out some day. However, this club is located west of the Great Walled City of Atlantis and south of Greenacres.


    It is very easy to verify and/or clarify if a press or news media story is accurate — or not — when reporting about any location in Palm Beach County

    It’s called the Geo Nav mapping tool (link to site below) from the PBC Property Appraiser’s Office.

    For example see the map below. Just by clicking on the “County Parks” tab (explained below) the County’s John Prince Park shows up as light green. Use the municipal parks tab and every park within a municipality will appear. Click on the “Municipalities” tab and each municipality shows up a different shade of color.

    The areas not shaded? Those are unincorporated areas in PBC such as suburban Lake Worth where the German American Club is located, clarifying the news today in the LWVVSMCPE.


    Click on image below to enlarge.

    See the legend in the top left?
    Go to the Geo Nav mapping tool and click on
    “Layers” tab (far left) and have fun!

    The Geo Nav mapping tool will come in helpful for viewers of one TV news station in particular, e.g., a person was recently struck by a vehicle on Congress Ave. “in Lake Worth” according to CBS12. Congress Ave. does not go through the City of Lake Worth.

    Now go and check out the Geo Nav mapping tool!

    The City of Lake Worth and Sea Level Rise: A small City making a huge impact.


    UPDATE: “The City of Lake Worth owns and operates a 5 acre 2MW solar field on an unused landfill which provides green energy to all customers of Lake Worth Electric Utilities.” To see an up-to-date report of the energy being produced click on this link.

    Here is more very important information:

    Opening sentence from a
    City newsletter,


    “Sea level rise has long been recognized by the South Florida Water Management District and by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers as an increasing threat to low lying, porous South Florida.”


    “Worth Noting”, a newsletter published by
    the City of Lake Worth.
    To read more news from the City use this link.
    To subscribe to this newsletter click on this link. More excerpts follow:

    “So far, the effects of sea level rise have
    been most visible in Fort Lauderdale,
    Miami Beach, and in the Florida Keys. . .


    . . . [P]ortions of Fort Lauderdale experience flooding and has built ‘Adaptation Action Areas’ into their planning process. Miami Beach is experiencing problems because of its southern location. Although many other Florida cities and towns have yet to experience damage, scientists and engineers at the conference [Annual SE Florida Regional Climate Summit] predicted that within 40 to 50 years, Florida will be inundated with problems related to sea level rise.”
     

    A former Lake Worth commissioner, Chris McVoy,
    is quoted saying in the newsletter:

    “The real challenge is not whether sea level will rise, but how far and especially how fast will it rise. The gorilla in the room is the rate of melting of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets”.

    and. . .

    “One thing that I took away from the conference was the blend of scientists and politicians,” said [former] Commissioner Ryan Maier, “Sea level rise is no longer a partisan issue. For years, climate change and sea level rise were considered a Democratic issue. At this conference, we had Republican leaders delivering the message that sea level rise is real.”

    and. . .

    “What is reassuring to me,” says Vice Mayor Scott Maxwell, “is that all levels of government are coming together to address the issues, each within their own individual capabilities. In Lake Worth, we need to focus on practical solutions and protect citizen’s property and well-being while balancing the fact that we must live within our means.”

    The newsletter continues. . .

    “What kind of preparations can be made to address the growing problems associated with sea level rise? In addition to looking to other South Florida communities, we can look to the Netherlands, much of which was built below sea level, well before sea level rise became a concern. Sea water there is held back by levees, dunes and continuous pumping. One innovative approach that the Netherlands has taken in the face of sea level rise is to build parking garages under some of the dunes.

    According to [former commissioner] Maier, there are several benefits of building parking areas this way. ‘You don’t see the parking structure and it increases the height of the dune. One reason that we are experiencing difficulty with sea level rise is that we have destroyed the dune. Dunes typically are 30 feet high. In Miami they are now 8 feet, as a result of over-development too close to the water.’ ”

    And on the subject of the Lake Worth’s carbon footprint, according to Vice Mayor Scott Maxwell:


    “We are replacing city owned street lights with energy efficient ones.” And. . . 


    “This may be a small step, but if this were done by every city in the Nation, the impact would be substantial.