Saturday, October 27, 2018

Public Notice of public meetings published in The Lake Worth Herald.


PLEASE TAKE NOTICE that the Planning & Zoning Board [emphasis added] City of Lake Worth, Florida, will hold a public hearing in the City Hall Commission Chambers, in said City at 6:00 PM, or as soon thereafter as possible, 7 North Dixie Highway on November 7, 2018 to consider the following requests.

The Historic Resources Preservation Board will also hold a meeting to consider the requests on November 14, 2018 in said City at 6:00 PM, or as soon thereafter as possible, 7 N. Dixie Hwy., City Hall Commission Chambers.

PZ/HRPB Project # 17-0000006 – A collaborative request by the City of Lake Worth, Lake Worth Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) and Cultural Council of Palm Beach County for Murals to be placed on the blank walls of the buildings in the general vicinity of downtown Lake Worth including, but not limited to, the following addresses: 1121 Lucerne Ave.; 1120 Lucerne Ave.; 202 North H St.; 521 Lake Ave.; 409 Lake Ave.; 1013 Lucerne Ave #1; 501 Lake Ave.; 522 Lucerne Ave.; 529 South L St.; 15 North M Street.; pursuant to the City of Lake Worth Land Development Regulations (LDR’s) Section 23.5-1.

and. . .


For additional information on the above issues, please visit the City of Lake Worth Division of Planning, Zoning and Historic Preservation located at 1900 Second Ave. North, Lake Worth, Florida 33461 or contact City Staff at 561-586-1687. 

“View of bridge leading to downtown area. Lake Worth, Florida. 1953.”


Black & white photoprint, 9 × 10″. Image from the State Archives of Florida. “Florida Memory adds approximately 100 photos weekly.” To see recently added photos use this link.

The Gulfsteam Hotel is in this view from the former bridge over the Intracoastal. During this era there were visitors staying at our Downtown hotel.

“At first I thought it was a joke,” board member Phillip Spinelli said. . .


“[T]hey were dead serious, and then I was like, ‘Oh my God.’
It’s like calling the Vatican
Church Joey.”


Below is more recent history about the Gulfstream Hotel in the City of Lake Worth many of you will find hilarious. And many long-time residents will recall a name or five from an old newspaper clipping published in the Post 12½ years ago. This clipping had to be cut and pasted the old-fashioned way for this blog because the news article in print spanned recto with five very short columns above the fold.

You’ll also note the spelling, “GulfStream” with a capital ‘S’ as some liked to title this famous landmark. The historic name for the hotel was ‘Gulf Stream’ (two words) and blended over time into one (called a portmanteau). The current and most commonly accepted usage is “Gulfstream” with a lowercase  ‘s’. What will this historic structure be called when the renovation begins? That decision will be up to the owner.

Without further ado. . .

Hope you enjoy this blog post about
“Frank discussions”.


Take special note of the date,
December 23, 2005:

“Frank” as in Frank Zappa? Frank Sinatra?
Or other famous “Franks”?


Column one under banner headline.
Click on image to enlarge:


CSC Lake Worth was the developer that owned the Gulfstream in 2005. The Great Recession began in 2007 and the rest is history as they say.

And the balance of the article by staff writer
Tanya Wragg continues. . .


“At first I thought it was a joke,” board member Phillip Spinelli said Thursday. “Then they were dead serious, and then I was like, ‘Oh my God.’ It’s like calling the Vatican Church Joey.”
     Spinelli, who said he otherwise thought the project was “a great idea,” added: “That may be OK in South Beach or downtown Clematis with a brand-new hotel of something, but this is the GulfStream. It’s a historic building.”
     During the meeting, which lasted more than five hours, CSC Lake Worth, which paid $13 million for the hotel in July [2005], asked the board to approve modifications to the 1925 structure. They include adding French doors and balconettes, reducing its units from 160 to 90, and demolishing three adjacent buildings.
     Hotel Frank would be a tribute to famous “Franks”, such as Frank Zappa, Frank Sinatra and comedian Frank Miller, said CSC Lake Worth President Adam Schlesinger, adding his attorney, former CRA board member Frank Palen, to the list.
     “Frank is such a great name and so many great people in American history have been named Frank. It’s (Lake Worth) a city that is receptive and warm to everybody,” Schlesinger said Thursday.
     Board member Jon MacGillis said he would have liked an emphasis on The GulfStream, rather than Hotel Frank.
     “The applicant did stand up and give a good explanation behind Frank,” he said Thursday. “Some board members were concerned that maybe residents would be offended by taking out the GulfStream name. It’s a new hip idea and concept they’re trying to float to attract a new type of clientele they see is in that area.”
     The announcement was made at an otherwise empty meeting, which only a handful of residents attended. The city might have seen more had the locals Schlesinger said he planned to pay to speak for his project showed up.
     Schlesinger on Wednesday confirmed reports he planned to hire local actors to talk for the project meeting. He said he went through an advertising agency to look for extras. He planned to show them the project. Then, if they were in favor of it, he’d pay them to support him at the meeting, he said.
     “We just want to get as many permanent residents as excited as we are,” he said.
     The historic board approved many of CSC Lake Worth’s modification requests, but deferred voting on the demolitions until February.
     Sharon Jackson, the city’s community redevelopment director, said the preservation board may negotiate on the name with CSC, which does not need the board’s approval for the name.


Thank You for visiting today and on a
more serious and somber note. . .


Excerpt from a Letter to Editor in The Palm Beach Post dated April 4th, 1994 written by “Wes Blackman”:


“It [the Pennsylvania Hotel] is one of the few remaining structures from the city’s glorious but fading past.


Click on image to enlarge: 

Gulfstream Hotel in the City of Lake Worth,
the Pennsylvania Hotel, and the Belleview Biltmore in Belleair: What history teaches us about historic preservation.


Newspaper clipping, front page of Palm Beach
Daily News (aka, The Shiny Sheet), Sunday,
February 19th, 1995:

The process of demolishing the Pennsylvania Hotel began much earlier than 1995. There is a name for that. It’s called “demolition by neglect”.

Viva La Vida has begun: Learn how to make traditional three-tiered altar.


To see the exhibit visit The HATCH located at 1121 Lucerne Ave. in Downtown Lake Worth. More information and details are below.


First, a brief recap about upcoming events.

Here in the City of Lake Worth Viva La Vida is in preparation for Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead; not to be confused with Halloween on Oct. 31st). A proper Viva La Vida altar has three levels and a diagram is below. And this year is special. A portion of the entry fee will go towards a contest for “Best Altar” and other prizes!

Last year Palm Beach Daily News writer Carla Trivino penned the definitive account about the festival Day of the Dead coming up on November 3rd. That and more information can be found by using this link: this year’s Día de los Muertos will be the 3rd annual festival of Central American culture which has become a special part of our City and regional identity in Central Palm Beach County — an annual event celebrated by everyone — no matter which of the seven continents one hails from.

So without further ado, begin making plans to visit this little City to honor and celebrate the lives of the dead, two of the most sacred festivals in Central American culture: Viva La Vida and Día de los Muertos.

Viva La Vida celebrates
the Souls of Children.


Click on image to enlarge, the levels
of an altar and the meaning:

Once again: the celebration Viva La Vida began Oct. 20th and continues for two weeks until Día de los Muertos. More details below.


Click on image. Learn more about
the “Structure of the Altar”:

Día de los Muertos: Para más información o oportunidades de venta llaman 561-493-2550.
Or contact Emily Theodossakos, LULA’s Marketing Program Manager by email: etheodossakos@lakeworth.org

The Basics about Viva La Vida:

When is it celebrated?

The Viva La Vida celebration is from October 20th–November 3rd. The Souls of Children are believed to visit the Earth from October 31st–November 1st.

What is the cost?

The entry fee is $20 per altar. Half of the proceeds will go towards the “Best Altar” contest winner.

Where is the Viva La Vida Altar Exhibit?

The exhibit will be located at The HATCH, 1121 Lucerne Ave. 


More information about Central American culture and religion from The Interfaith Prayer Book: “Reading of Popul Vuh”.


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.


Video from 1st Annual Festival of Día de los Muertos here in this City of Lake Worth.

We all need to do our part: Help our returning Snowbirds settle in and adjust for the Winter.


If you spot a Snowbird, just smile and say, “Welcome back. Is there anything I can do to help?”

Or. . . “Tervetuloa takaisin. Voinko auttaa?”


This is a community effort. The faster our Snowbirds get back moved into places like their condo on Lake Osborne Drive, relearn the parking rules, call up Lynn and say, “Hi! We’re back!”, get their utilities and cable hooked up. . . then it’s off to our local restaurants, the Beach, monthly Lake Ave. Block Party, and spending money at our local shops, the money that keeps these business people in business all year long.

Then they’ll start thinking about exercise.

Welcome Back, Snowbirds! Excited about
exercising in our gorgeous, warm, sunny
South Florida weather?


Let’s say public pools don’t excite you and that chlorine smell is just annoying. Running is out, too rough on the knees and back. Going to parks is boring, repetitive and bicycling is just working the same muscles over and over. What to do?

Kayaking sounds interesting and there are all sorts of water sports available . . . but you’re just looking for something simple, inexpensive, easy to learn, and FUN!

Is there a sport here in South Florida you can do alone, with a friend, or in groups small and large?

Yes!


And what’s great about this sport it’s for young and old and for every age group in between, for the very healthy and even those convalescing from an injury or illness.

What is this sport? It’s called “Prancercise”,
a novel way of prancing.

Please watch this instructional video.




For example, if you’re a Snowbird in the Lake Worth area here in Central Palm Beach County you can meet up at Bryant Park and prance over the bridge to the Beach! How cool would that be?


Or prance to the Beach for a bonfire! 

The City of Lake Worth has been very busy
getting ready for Snowbirds.


Think about all the people that would come out from their condos in Palm Beach just to watch all the prancers prance proudly on by!

Then there’s this variation on the theme:


Even year-round residents can create clubs like the “LDub Prancers”, the “Prancing Mangos”, or even the “Pineapple Prancettes” and they can prance gleefully around the neighborhood or exercise up and down the Robert Harris (Lake Worth) bridge.

After all the fun they can prance over to Benny’s on the Beach or prance back downtown to TooJay’s or any one of our other prime lunch venues in the City.

However, there’s one place you can’t prance to any longer: the City of Lake Worth’s municipal pool at the Beach.

The pool is now condemned due to structural issues
and safety concerns.

 The good news is you might be able to prance to
a brand new aquatic facility at the Beach in another Season or two with all kinds of things like water slides, a cabana, and water playground too!

Friday, October 26, 2018

A historical timeline and for those of you wondering, “What’s going on with that pool at Beach and Casino Complex?”


It’s hard to believe but some still think that constructing another lap swimming pool at the Lake Worth Beach is a good idea. But it’s not. It’s a terrible idea and continue reading to find out why.

There is a timeline below beginning in 1912 about the Lake Worth Beach and the structures built on that City property and there is also an update and more background explaining how we got to this point in 2018 for those of you who would like a refresher.


[Are you a regular reader of this blog and familiar with this topic? Or just fed up with this mess going on for so many years now and just want to see that very interesting timeline? Then please scroll down to when back in 1912, “A two-story bath house, known as the Old Casino opens. . .”]


Unless something occurs in the meantime to delay or alter the schedule it looks as though December or January something will happen. The Season is upon us and that’s what most people are focused on right now.

It would have been nice to have had the pool buildings razed a few months ago, the pool filled in and the whole thing just paved over and forget about it. Once the public gets used to not seeing a pool visioning of other things for that space can begin, e.g., like more parking on top of the dune, an outside stage for shows and/or movies, shuffleboard which is catching on with the Millennials, or maybe an open space for things like car shows.

The results from the charrette held on April 21st at The HATCH were formally presented to the City in early August. The parking and traffic flaws have been well-documented at the Beach. The second floor remains un-leased. You know, that space with the “killer view” of rainwater that leaked underneath the doors for several years. The grease trap and trash area is in the wrong place and then there are the ADA issues and some other problems too as many readers of this blog will recall.

The big hope is our Lake Worth City Commission will boldly take a new path for the City’s Beach and Casino especially as it relates to having an Olympic-sized pool for lap swimming and ending up with another “white elephant”, a term first coined about that facility back in March 2010:


The Olympic sized pool at the beach is a white elephant whose time has passed. Let’s view the entire beach property with 21st century eyes and stop clinging to the past and install features that will attract people and revenue.


The public frustration was summed up quite well by the editor at The Lake Worth Herald who pulled no punches last year in an editorial titled, “Stop The Bleeding!”


Lake Worth needs a pool, but they also need some staffers with some creativity. How many times do we have to fail at the same thing before we realize it is the taxpayers who suffer in other areas so we can keep failing?


Simply put. The argument comes down to whether or not this City of Lake Worth needs a large municipal pool at the Beach or one constructed somewhere else in this City for swimmers, water exercise and for public safety, e.g., teaching children how to swim.


And really now folks, seriously!

Does the Town of Palm Beach need another large pool nearby for lap swimming and to teach water sports like synchronized swimming?

Click on image to enlarge:

Image courtesy of Tom McGow from eight years ago. Some of you will recognize a former city manager, a former mayor and commissioners, and a current Vice Mayor Pro Tem who has been working hard ever since 2009 to fix all this mess at the Lake Worth Beach and Casino complex.


Now. . .

Without further ado!


About the timeline created by Scott McCabe who is a former Palm Beach Post reporter (1998–2005). Does the name Scott McCabe sound familiar? It should if you’ve been around a while. To see what he is up to now click on this link for his LinkedIn page.

McCabe sent me this historical timeline in 2007. Besides being interesting it’s also a bit troubling as well. Sort of a reminder about all the political squabbling and grandstanding that’s held this City back for so many years like after the Great Recession in 2008–2010 and all those split 3-2 votes on almost everything of importance:

“A two-story bath house, known as the Old Casino opens. . .”


Note the tower on the north side
of the former Casino:

This image is prior to the 1928 Okeechobee Hurricane which damaged much of the second floor and destroyed the former Casino’s tower.

Enjoy reading this timeline and keep in mind the current situation in historical context:

  • 1912: City leases oceanfront property from Palm Beach resident E.M. Brelsford.
  • 1913: A two-story bath house, known as the Old Casino, opens and serves as a gathering place for bathers and Saturday dances. Gambling is allowed until 1928.
  • 1918: Fire destroys the structure.
  • 1922: Lake Worth Casino and Baths opens, featuring a saltwater pool and an underground passage to the beach.
  • 1928: Boardwalk built; hurricane damages Casino tower.
  • 1947: Hurricane tears open the Casino’s roof.
  • 1949: Casino remodeled with $185,000 in bond money; upper level parking lot built near Casino building; pool changes from salt to freshwater.
  • 1951: Concrete promenade replaces boardwalk.
  • 1959: Pier opens.
  • 1973: John G’s Restaurant opens in Casino building, becomes famous for its huge breakfasts.
  • 1982: City Commission pays architects Peacock & Lewis $45,000 in January for plan to revitalize the Beach and Casino. The $3 million plan includes a restaurant, recreation area and pedestrian promenade. In June, residents petition Commission to stop Beach improvements.
  • 1983: Peacock & Lewis plan estimated to cost $8.5 million.
  • 1985: Commissioners accept renovation at $6.6 million in February, then finally cancel it in April. City then plans to build a convention center at Municipal Beach Complex.
  • 1986: Commissioners agree with consultants Botkin & Associates, Inc. that Casino should be demolished and rebuilt but take no action.
  • 1990: Underground passage filled in; commissioners contemplate building a miniature golf course at the beach.
  • 1993: Developer Pugliese Co. proposes movie theater, restaurant and apartments at the Beach.
  • 1995: Commissioners end talks with Pugliese in April; Bridge Design Associates submits study in July on the Casino building, reports it needs to be repaired but is salvageable.
  • 1996: Developer David Paladino proposes 160,000 square feet of shops and restaurants in August; the city takes no action; city surveys voters in November about their visits to the beach and what they’d like to see there.
  • August 1998: City officials ask more than 100 developers for ideas to improve the beach area.
  • November 1998: Four development teams, including Paladino, submit plans that include a hotel, park, timeshare, shops and restaurants.
  • December 1998: Commission aborts multi-million dollar plan for any redevelopment after residents complain.
  • March 3–4, 2000: City to hold public meetings to find out what residents want for the area.

Interesting timeline, is it not?

The photograph below is the former Casino in 2000. Note the pool building on the left side of the image. A former City administration built a new Casino without taking the aging municipal pool into consideration. Now the pool is shut down for good and will never reopen at the Beach.


However, the outlook is not so bleak. There is a very good possibility another location in the City will
be found for a municipal pool.

The rest as they say, “is history”? Hopefully so. Our newly-renovated Casino’ was actually 94% demolished in 2010, and to make matters worse,
it was
“Greenwashed” too.


Hopefully another use will be found for the area where the pool is located at the Beach so it doesn’t turn into another ‘white elephant’, unable to survive the next recession or downturn in the economy like the former pool, a facility that needed care and maintenance for many years but the City ended up running out of funds.

The pool didn’t close because it was old. It closed because the City couldn’t afford to take care of it properly for so many decades.

One last thing. A developer seeking to renovate the Gulfstream Hotel may want to read over the timeline several times. The Beach in the City of Lake Worth — you could say — can be problematic. And it’s also a good idea to have a track record to demonstrate to the public you can complete a project here in the little City of Lake Worth before looking at the Beach to be part of the business plan.

One can also say the public here in the City is not in a trusting mood these days, especially after what happened when a developer had their eyes on the Beach back in August 2015.


The lesson is, when the public speaks, it’s a
good idea to try and listen:

Do you have the right insurance for “the Rapture”? “The End Times”?


The image below is from 3 years, 4 months,
and 19 days ago. But. . .

Are you prepared for “the End Times?”
What about insurance?

If you’re reading this you survived 2015–2017 and are most of the way through 2018. However, still concerned about “the Rapture”?

So much to worry about: the Rapture, or as some refer to it, the End Times.

However, you can ease your mind a bit by having the right insurance for your home or condo, slip and fall coverage, etc. Read this article titled, “Types of Insurance Needed for the Rapture”; two excerpts:


     It would be a very smart idea to be prepared for the aftermath of the Rapture. Christians who will be operating machinery will be taken by Jesus in the blink of an eye. [emphasis added] The unmanned machinery will go astray and will cause mass destruction on earthBeing properly insured for such a disaster is a must if unsaved people want to survive the Rapture event.

Here are some examples of insurance to consider:

  • Life insurance: “If the missing person does have life insurance, the beneficiaries in the insurance can claim and receive a payout from the insurance agency.
  • Personal accident insurance: “To be able to endure post-rapture events and be able to have at least somewhat of a chance at getting through the majority of the tribulation, a person needs to have personal accident insurance.
  • Home insurance: “Commercial and private planes will crash into homes. Automobiles will smash into homes. Stoves and ovens will be left on after people are taken by Christ and they will catch the homes on fire.
  • Car insurance: “After the rapture takes place, there will also be many thieves roaming the streets due to lack of police staff. There will be a good share of car thefts that will take place during that time.
  • Salvation insurance: “Getting saved is the best insurance policy a person can obtain for the Rapture event.

Best of luck the rest of 2018!

Great advice from The Palm Beach Post, “Lake Worth: Stay local”.


The topic of this post is about political distractions: Geopolitical, nation- and state-wide crises and the importance of small towns and municipalities staying focused on solving unique and pressing problems. A very small city in the United States, for example, which owns and operates an Electric Utility would be a very good example of one such town that would need to focus on the problems at hand and not worry so much about what’s happening outside the nations borders like . . . well . . . the Middle East would be one such place left to the State Department to worry about.

Without further ado. . .


Excerpts from the former Editor of the Editorial Page, Randy Schultz, an editorial published in The Palm Beach Post on January 22nd, 2007:


“Now that Lake Worth commissioners have solved Iraq, they can get back to working on problems closer to home.”

and. . .


     “There’s still plenty of opportunity for the electric upgrade and beach project to go wrong, so competent leadership is essential. But competent leadership has to start with the commission. And it will be measured by what happens in Lake Worth, not Iraq.” [emphasis added]


“Commission ‘solved’ Iraq, passed buck”


Newspaper clipping from 2007.

Click on image to enlarge:

Fast forward to May 1st, 2018: Gatehouse Media now owns The Palm Beach Post. And it’s now up to one year and ninety days since an editorial was published in the Post about this tiny City. And guess what the hot topics are once again? You guessed it: Lake Worth Electric Utility and Lake Worth Beach.


By the way, the bullet list below was the leadership of the Post eleven years ago, this was from when no one was talking about or even considering selling that newspaper and prior to when the editor(s) at the Post decided it was more important to “carry the water” for Martin County on several important issues instead of backing the interests of Palm Beach County. To no ones surprise that County paper of record was put up For-Sale in Nov. 2017.

Oh. And not making an endorsement for President of the United States in Nov. 2016 didn’t help much either.

The former leadership at the Post:

  • Tom Giuffrida, Publisher.
  • John Bartosek, Editor.
  • Charles Gerardi: General Manager.
  • Bill Rose: Managing Editor.
  • Randy Schultz: Editor of the Editorial Page.
  • Jan Tuckwood: Associate Editor.

Why are so many in the press so quick to write off the southeast coast of Florida?


Or worded another way . . . putting the ‘red tide’ and other challenges from Mother Nature in context.


Remember last year as Hurricane Irma approached? Recall when the pundits and naysayers were writing us off suggesting it was nature’s way of telling us to pack up and leave South Florida and never return? One such missive was published in September 2017 as Irma was churning west across the Atlantic Ocean written by journalist Michael Grunwald and was titled: “The thing is, it’s really nice here [in South Florida], except when it isn’t.”

Sometimes, however, it’s better to wait a little while before penning a “Requiem for Florida. . .”


Further down below is an excerpt from that ‘requiem’, a requiem is also called the “Mass for the Dead”.

Here in Palm Beach County and in coastal cities such as the little City of Lake Worth, just days away from a hurricane the so-called ‘experts’ kept on predicting would pummel the Atlantic coast, there were already local, regional, and nationally-read pundits predicting death and mayhem and suggesting we all should have found somewhere else to live and we deserve a massive hurricane to teach us a lesson.

And did you get the sense there were ‘experts’ here also in Palm Beach County disappointed we didn’t get a direct hit from Hurricane Irma?


Or at least have taken much more of a
“punch” from that storm?


And do you think some people thought, or maybe still think, that 10, 20, or even 30+ days without power would have been better to teach us a lesson or that the storm surge expected — that never did impact our City of Lake Worth — would have wiped out Bryant Park and the municipal golf course forcing neighborhood residents into canoes for days or weeks after the storm?

Most of the public here in this City only went 4–6 days without electricity, had to endure some nights under curfew, looking for ice daily and every few days the trek for gasoline to fuel the generator.

Was that enough to teach us all a lesson that we all should be living somewhere else? I would guess not considering no one left and people are still relocating in droves to South Florida.

Now all this begins to get interesting.

Do you remember just days after Irma when the venom and all those “disgusting” things were said about our City and Electric Utility as our City officials and workers were getting more and more people hooked back up to electric? For example,


“I do not normally post, but decided to do so due to a lot of complaints I have read about electric [Lake Worth’s Electric Utility].”

and. . .

     “The negativity I have been reading on my phone is disgusting. I myself am grateful that I only lost my fence, tree branches and power. How about positive help for those in need!”


Possibly it sounds inconceivable to you there were some who were wishing us more harm and damage from Irma. But would you believe an environmentalist actually suggested in 2016 that if the Herbert Hoover Dike collapsed it would “fix everything”, as reported by journalist Peter Schorsch,


“But the benefits to the environment would be ‘immeasurable,’ [the environmentalist] concludes, drawing a line in the sand. ‘Question is … Which side are you on? Human or nature?’ ”

To this Peter Schorsch wrote,

“When forced to choose between living with humans or going down with Mother Nature, I may be selfish, but I’ll side with humans.”

Now back to the “Requiem” as Hurricane
Irma approached.

Shouldn’t the ‘requiems’ have waited until after a complete analysis had been completed of Irma’s impact? What you’ll read below is very interesting, some might find compelling and others may find tasteless and crass, considering the timing just a few days prior to the arrival of Hurricane Irma:

“A Requiem for Florida,
the Paradise That Should
Never Have Been”


This piece by Michael Grunwald in Politico Magazine was subtitled, “As Hurricane Irma prepares to strike,
it’s worth remembering that Mother Nature
never intended us to live here.”


Below are the first two opening paragraphs from this latest “Requiem”. There’s really nothing new in this article that hasn’t been said 10,000 times before — but it is very well written and excellently composed — and for that reason it’s certainly worth reading.

However, the timing of this “Requiem” is a bit unsettling, don’t you think?

A Requiem or Requiem Mass, also known as Mass for the dead (Latin: Missa pro defunctis) or Mass of the dead (Latin: Missa defunctorum) . . . is frequently, but not necessarily, celebrated in the context of a funeral.

The opening two paragraphs:


ORLANDO, Fla. — The first Americans to spend much time in South Florida were the U.S. Army men who chased the Seminole Indians around the peninsula in the 1830s. And they hated it. Today, their letters read like Yelp reviews of an arsenic café, denouncing the region as a “hideous,” “loathsome,” “diabolical,” “God-abandoned” mosquito refuge.
     “Florida is certainly the poorest country that ever two people quarreled for,” one Army surgeon wrote. “It was the most dreary and pandemonium-like region I ever visited, nothing but barren wastes.” An officer summarized it as “swampy, low, excessively hot, sickly and repulsive in all its features.” The future president Zachary Taylor, who commanded U.S. troops there for two years, groused that he wouldn’t trade a square foot of Michigan or Ohio for a square mile of Florida. The consensus among the soldiers was that the U.S. should just leave the area to the Indians and the mosquitoes; as one general put it, “I could not wish them all a worse place.” Or as one lieutenant complained: “Millions of money has been expended to gain this most barren, swampy, and good-for-nothing peninsula.”

This latest ‘requiem’ for all us here in South Florida won’t be the last. We’ve been through this stuff
many times before. . . . But remember:


“Together we can make it through whatever comes our way,
we are Lake Worth!”


Thursday, October 25, 2018

A blog post from yesterday asking questions about the direction and policy.


Is “The Arts” still the answer for this City of Lake Worth? And our ‘city says’ vs. ‘city hopes’.


Re-posted again today for those of you who missed this new development (see below) about “Significant changes coming to downtown Lake Worth, city says”.

First, before we proceed, a few brief questions: Who runs the City of Lake Worth? Who makes things happen? When a policy is decided upon are the electeds always in front or are they in the back of the van going along for the ride?

It seems the default position always is “The Arts” will pave the way to the future. But has it? Will it? Time will tell. And the public needs to stay involved and watch what is going on. Or not going on. And as we go along this path keep asking the question, “Is ‘The Arts’ still the answer for this City of Lake Worth?”

Without further ado. . .


The headline in The Palm Beach Post yesterday was “Significant changes coming to downtown Lake Worth, city says”.

Our ‘city says’ vs. ‘city hopes’.


This blog post is about the press and media event on Tuesday in Downtown Lake Worth. Read more about that below.

Note that about this event the Post’s headline reads “city says” in the online edition but in the very first paragraph it reads “city hopes” as reported by the beat reporter about the upcoming FOCUS event.

So maybe before this story makes the print edition the headline editor and beat reporter will “get on the same page” so to speak.

Is it “says” or “hopes”?


Here is the first paragraph in the Post story:


After 18 months, Lake Worth, the Lake Worth Community Redevelopment Agency and the Cultural Council of Palm Beach County on Tuesday morning finally announced the launch of the Arts and Cultural master plan for downtown Lake Worth, an initiative the city hopes [emphasis added] will be key for economic development.

Defined in Dictionary.com:

say: to utter or pronounce; to express in words; to state as an opinion or judgment; to be certain, precise, or assured about.

hope: the feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best; a particular instance of this feeling; grounds for this feeling in a particular instance.


Searching through all the material available at the presser last Tuesday did not read or see anything about ‘hopes’ from the City. Everybody seemed pretty confident but of course the “key for economic development” hinges on getting the Gulfstream Hotel renovated and another new hotel constructed on the lot to the west.

On that point there is indeed a lot of ‘hopes’.


Here is the first paragraph from the press release issued by the City of Lake Worth’s public information officer Ben Kerr headlined, “New plan offers strategies to enhance, grow and diversify Lake Worth’s downtown region”:


LAKE WORTH, FLA (Oct. 23, 2018) – After an 18-month planning process, the City of Lake Worth, Lake Worth Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) and the Cultural Council of Palm Beach County today announced the launch of the Arts & Cultural Master Plan for Downtown Lake Worth.

Press release concludes with this paragraph. . .


In celebration of the plan’s launch, the City of Lake Worth, Lake Worth CRA and Cultural Council, will host its first-annual FOCUS, a celebration of art, music and design from Nov. 29 to Dec. 1 throughout Lake Worth. The weekend’s events include new murals painted by 19 local artists, live music at multiple venues, art exhibitions, gallery openings, lectures and an architectural design competition. The event ends with the City’s annual Holiday Tree Lighting and artist market.


Our ‘city says’ vs. ‘city hopes’.


Our City of Lake Worth can ill-afford to come up with another plan. And we can ill-afford to keep doing things that fill the hotels in the Town of Palm Beach and in West Palm Beach too. This administration and the CRA and the Cultural Council need to show results.

It’s wonderful having artists in this City. But right now what we really need are drywallers, electricians, plumbers, construction workers, masons and other trades getting to work. This City and the CRA and the Cultural Council have to do everything they possibly can and get those two hotels opened up in the Downtown.

Until then it’s all ‘city hopes’.

City of Lake Worth and mangroves along the Intracoastal. And can the municipal golf course be sold to developers?


Dispelling some of the more common myths.
Once again. . .

  • Did the City of Lake Worth remove mangroves along the Bryant Park seawall? No.
  • Did the City remove mangroves from the municipal golf course? No.
  • Was the “Living Shoreline” a City project and responsibility of the City to maintain? No.
  • Can the City’s golf course be sold? No. Find out why at the end of this blog post.

How did the issue of mangroves become an issue in the first place? The answer is several years ago it was discovered some in the environmental community and even a former Lake Worth commissioner were attending meetings held at the Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council (TCRPC) to get misleading and sometimes completely false information “into the record” about our City at public comment.

The effect this had on our City is difficult to gauge but it most certainly was an attempt to make the City Commission and staff look irresponsible and seemingly uncaring about the environment which was completely false.

For example, was it true as was stated
at a TCRPC meeting that:


“. . . the City stopped a 600-foot planting of mangroves along Bryant Park, leaving just the seawall and riprap and that it also took out 1,500-feet of mangroves along the golf course shoreline.”

NOT TRUE.


Read more about this in a blog post titled, “The TCRPC and remember the topic of mangroves along Lake Worth’s Intracoastal?


Aerial view of Lake Worth municipal golf course, 1973. Note “gaps” along shoreline for a view of the Intracoastal waterway.

Volunteers made mistakes and planted mangroves
in the wrong locations along the Intracoastal and
those had to be removed by the County
with a County permit.


You can also read more about the “Living Shoreline” off Bryant Park in the Intracoastal (aka, “Lake Worth Lagoon”) using this link. That project IS NOT the result of any City board despite what you may have heard.

The City of Lake Worth has very little control over what happens in the Intracoastal without going through the County first for approval. That’s not to say there weren’t efforts at lobbying for the “Living Shoreline” along Bryant Park but it was not a City project — it was a County project.


Below is part of a press release from the City two years ago. Click on image to enlarge:

Oh. And by the way, despite what you may have been told, our municipal golf course CANNOT and WILL NOT be sold to developers. Why? Because it’s deed-restricted land and can never be sold. 

When the sparks went flying two years ago in this City of Lake Worth. . .


Have you ever heard of Donald Shoup? Learn more about him below. Briefly, whilst everyone else was researching cars in motion Shoup was researching what cars do over 95% of the time instead: parked.

Journalist Emily Badger is now a writer for The New York Times. Two years ago however she was a writer for Wonkblog, a blog part of The Washington Post organization.

It was in June 2016 that Emily Badger posted this item on Wonkblog one could say created quite the stir here in the City of Lake Worth after excerpts were posted on this blog. After just suggesting this City should put parking meters on Lake and Lucerne avenues all hell proceeded to break loose. And that is put mildly. The arguments were never about the merits of charging to park in the Downtown. The arguments were that anyone would even suggest such an absurd idea in the first place.

Just like having a municipal pool at the Beach was important because we always had a pool at the Beach, free parking on our two main east-west pairs should always be free too went the logic. It’s just the way it is people said.

Most everyone now acknowledges there is a very high public cost and very low public benefit having an Olympic-sized lap swimming pool at the Lake Worth Beach. One of the disincentives for the public going to the pool at the Beach was the cost to park. For too many families the cost was just too high and there are other public pools in the area that don’t charge to park.

Having a public pool somewhere else in this City just makes more sense. Then what about parking meters in Downtown Lake Worth?

Donald Shoup is quoted in Badger’s post and you can learn more about him using this link and there is a video below as well. Here are two excerpts from the article:


     Free parking makes it cheaper to own a car. But, as UCLA economist Donald Shoup has long argued, it makes everything else more expensive. Parking at the supermarket is embedded in the cost of groceries. Parking attached to an apartment building is built into the price of rent.
     And because cities typically require developers to build a minimum amount of parking — say, one spot per bedroom in each housing unit, or two per thousand square feet of commercial space — you may pay for the cost of parking even if you never drive a car.


and. . .


     “People who are too poor to own a car,” Shoup writes in the University of California’s ACCESS Magazine, “pay more for their groceries to ensure that richer people can park free when they drive to the store.”
     To put this in perspective: The cost of constructing above-ground parking in a major American city runs about $24,000 per space, in Shoup’s research (this doesn’t include the cost of buying the land underneath).


Donald Shoup is the author of “The High Cost of Free Parking”:


Enjoy the video:

Making the case for changing the name of our City to “Lake Worth Beach”.


There are two more public meetings coming up at the City Commission: First Reading on Tuesday, December 4th and Second Reading on December 13th. To learn more about this topic click on this link.

The question of renaming this City of Lake Worth to the “City of Lake Worth Beach” will most certainly be on the ballot next year, a referendum to be held on March 12th, 2019.

So in the meantime. . .


Taking on the critics.


People think it’s a great idea. Other people don’t.

There is a truly American way to solve
this debate once and for all:

Let the voters decide.

 
But there are critics who don’t want this question to go to ballot on March 12th, 2019. Why? What are they afraid of? The beat reporter from The Palm Beach Post reports events in this City as happening in “Lake Worth Beach”. There are many press and news media reports about Lake Worth Beach.

So what is really the issue? Continue reading and let’s try to solve this question. 

There are some spreading untruths, false claims, mis- and disinformation about this debate. And that needs to be cleared up.

One claim is this will incur a lot more legal fees but these are the very same ones who opposed putting the Neighborhood Road Bond on the ballot in November 2016. No one is upset about those legal fees any more.

And some of these critics are the very same ones who put the ‘Heights Vote’ on the ballot when they were told by City Attorney Glen Torcivia that if it did go to the ballot and pass it would tie the City up in court for many years. It did pass. And the City ended up in court for many years.

Cities changing their names in Florida is nothing new. It’s happened many times before.

And the critics were recently hard at work when the City presented ideas about what to do with the condemned municipal pool too. Once you’re finished reading this blog post scroll back up and click on this link to read all about that.


As to the question, “Where We’re Going”?

From the City of Lake Worth’s recent Visioning Work Session: “Branding/Name Change Add ‘Beach’ ”? Ignore the critics of this going to ballot. The voters need to decide this question on Election Day, March 12th, 2019.


When this question does go to ballot and pass someone will get their five minutes of fame. They will file a lawsuit and get quoted in The Palm Beach Post. Maybe they’ll even get on TV. But then their five minutes will be up and you’ll never hear from them again. 

The other claim is that crime outside the City of Lake Worth that is reported in the press and news media as happening “in the City of Lake Worth” or “in Lake Worth” does not negatively affect our City’s image. Hogwash. Enough said about that.

Another claim is this topic comes up every 15–20 years. Nonsense. It’s been a constant matter of debate.

Commissioner Scott Maxwell brought up changing the name of this City to “Lake Worth Beach” six years ago. But those same critics put the pressure on and stopped it from going to ballot.

And another claim is changing the name of this City will be expensive. Most all the signage in this City needs to be replaced anyhow. So take this question to ballot and make the new signs for “Lake Worth Beach” or “City of Lake Worth”. Let the voters decide. Then the issue is no longer an issue. Then it’s on to the next big issue. For the critics the work is never done. Because that’s what critics do. 

And the critics of changing the name of this City have even taken a trip to ‘silly town’ suggesting Social Security checks might get lost in the mail. Hello. The City’s name would change. Not the zip code.

No. The Fed-Ex guy will not get lost and neither will the mail carriers. And the Snowbirds will still manage to find their way here every year.

And then the critics claim our City Commission is trying to change our history. Changing the name of this City will do just the opposite and this is why: If the voters approve changing the name of this City it will make this place a special place, unlike all those other places out west that wish they were located in the City of Lake Worth.

And all those Realtors taking advantage of this City of Lake Worth promoting a home or condo “in Lake Worth” will get a rude surprise when potential clients tell them “Go fly a kite.”

If this City does become Lake Worth Beach a lot of people will not be amused upon learning that property ‘in Lake Worth near the Beach’ is not “in Lake Worth Beach” which is the place they were actually looking for in the first place. You know, that “five minute drive to the Beach” which is actually forty-five minutes or longer from that latest ‘planned’ community of cookie-cutter housing units where each and every mailbox looks exactly the same and all the window treatments in every unit have the very same “earthy” hue.

And it needs to be pointed out referring to this City as “Lake Worth Beach” with the ‘Beach’ capitalized is already style at The Palm Beach Post, the County paper of record. For example, the beat reporter from the Post recently quoted a City business owner in the Downtown saying she, “[L]ikes spending time at Lake Worth Beach, taking her daughter to Mulligan’s Beach House or Kilwins for a few hours.”

Pretty much the only thing the critics point out that is factual and not silly is this City was founded one hundred and five years ago. And there have been a lot of changes since. This City used to have its own police department but PBSO took over in 2008. The critics opposed that too.

The critics oppose a lot of things. That’s what they do. But what they don’t do is offer up any alternatives. They wait until someone makes a move. To actually try and solve a problem. And that’s when they pounce.

So what exactly are the critics afraid of? That it will actually pass? But if it does pass and it doesn’t work and our City Commission ends up with “egg on their faces” the critics can then go to work and scream to the high heavens: “Throw the bums out!”

But the critics have been working real hard to ‘throw the bums out’ since 2011 anyway. And that hasn’t worked out very well either.

Well, just to be clear, meaning it hasn’t worked out well for the critics of Mayor Pam Triolo, Vice Mayor Andy Amoroso and Commissioner Scott Maxwell. But for most everyone else it’s been a real good seven years.

And for Maxwell he’s been at work on the City Commission for a lot longer. Eleven years. And he’s still at it. If this issue goes to ballot and passes Maxwell will become “Vice Mayor Pro Tem Scott Maxwell of Lake Worth Beach”. It does have a nice ring to it. . .

And Lake Worth Beach Mayor Pam Triolo, Lake Worth Beach Vice Mayor Andy Amoroso, and on March 19th, 2019 there will be an election of candidates in Districts 2 and 4 as well. Just pointing that out.

So. In conclusion. Let the question go to ballot. Change the name of this City or don’t change the name of this City. A simple “Yes” or a simple “No”.

Thumbs Up. Or Thumbs Down. Let the voters decide.

Oh. And one last thing about crime ‘in Lake Worth’:


“Crime Lake Worth”

Once upon a time there was a blog that looked like this:

Don’t you just love that little doggie!


CRIME! CRIME! CRIME!

“Lake Bass Cir” is not in the City of Lake Worth.

Lake Bass Circle is located in suburban Lake Worth west of the Town of Lantana.

Wow. Looks like Lake Bass Circle is
a pretty dangerous place!

“Juvenile Trouble” in Lake Worth! Oh My!


One last thing “Worth Noting”.

For a City so supportive of “The Arts” just think of all the creative people we’ll need to redesign our logos! Contact your elected leaders. Send this question to ballot on March 19th, 2019.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Knock Knock.


Who’s there?

City of Lake Worth.

What do you want?

Just saying “Hi”.

Tell me a joke.

Sorry. We’re all out of jokes.

Then why are you here?

There is a big project on Dixie Hwy.

What’s the punchline?

There is no punchline.

Then why are you here?

Have you heard the news?

No.

No one is joking about ‘good ole Lake Worth’ any more.

Why not?

Did you see that item in the Herald last week. . .


An excerpt published in last week’s
Lake Worth Herald
:


PLEASE TAKE NOTICE that the City Commission, of the City of Lake Worth, Florida, will hold a public hearing in the City Hall Commission Chambers, 7 North Dixie Hwy., at 6:00 PM or as soon thereafter as possible, on Tuesday, October 30, 2018 to consider a request by Jeffery Burns of Affiliated Development for the following:

Ordinance No. 2018-xx: An Ordinance of the City of Lake Worth City Commission, Lake Worth, Florida proposing a Major Site Plan, Planned Development, and Sustainable Bonus Incentive Program for the construction of 230 apartment units, ± 9,700 square feet of ground floor retail space, and off-site improvements to surrounding streets at 1601 North Dixie Highway [emphasis added], in the Mixed Use-Dixie Highway (MU-DH) zoning district. The subject property’s PCN is 38-43-44-16- 06-016-0010.

At said meeting interested persons may appear and be heard with respect to the proposed ordinance. The proposed ordinance may be inspected by the public Monday–Friday from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM at the City Clerk’s Office, 7 North Dixie Highway, Lake Worth, Florida.


Click on image to enlarge:

The MID will provide new, attractive housing opportunities in the district that will attract professionals and couples . . . and also provides an opportunity for the attraction of additional retailers to the area.”

Today’s “CORRECTION” published in The Palm Beach Post.


Yesterday’s blaring front page headline below the masthead spanning the entire page beneath the logo “REAL NEWS STARTS HERE” was this:

PBSO to pay Dontrell Stephens $25M


And here is today’s correction:


Because of an editing error, a headline in Tuesday’s Palm Beach Post incorrectly said that the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office would pay Dontrell Stephens $25 million. PBSO paid the statutorily required amount of $200,000 based on the verdict. Stephens must get the balance of the $22 million-plus verdict from the Florida legislature. The story appeared on the front page.

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  • Who else do you need to talk to?
  • Does this make sense?
  • What’s missing?
  • Have you kept opinion out of the information—or clearly labeled it as opinion?
  • Have you eliminated your bias and your sources’ bias as much as possible?
  • Have you filled in the gaps in information?
  • Have you made your reporting transparent?
  • Have you put the information in context?
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