Saturday, November 3, 2018

PINNED POST: About public schools and education in the City of Lake Worth.

A “Pinned Post” is one kept at the top of the blog
for a specific period of time.

In this case for the rest of the day.

Already informed about the topic of public education in the City of Lake Worth? Then Thank You for visiting again today and please scroll down to the next blog post or peruse the right-hand column and find out more about what is happening in this City➜➜➜➜➜➜➜➜➜

Without further ado. . .

Last Thursday’s Joint Work Session: Lake Worth City Commission and Palm Beach County School District.

The must-watch video of this meeting is at the end of this blog post.

Please share this information with everyone who is concerned about public education.

Every public school in this City is rated a “C”.

Briefly, the big takeaways from this meeting: The two main goals are increasing school attendance at each and every public school in the City and early childhood education (VPK) is key so kids are ready for kindergarten. We learned from this Joint Work Session way too many kids are showing up to their first day of public school and from Day 1 have to try and catch up.

Our elected officials and City government MUST GET MORE INVOLVED! The presentation by School Board member Erica Whitfield (see video below) was in a word spectacular.

Our City of Lake Worth has allies in this effort to improve our schools: Belle Glade, Pahokee and Riviera Beach. Kids want to learn. Poverty is not the obstacle. Money is. But enough about that for now.

Stay tuned for more information to come over the next several days. And don’t expect any news about this meeting in The Palm Beach Post. The school news in Wellington, Jupiter and Palm Beach Gardens sells more newspapers.

The only press at this meeting was editor Mark Easton from The Lake Worth Herald. Early on in the video he is introduced to great fanfare. Easton is an alum of Lake Worth Community High School.

The Who’s Who in attendance.

The Key Players at the table:

  • District 4 School Board member and City of Lake Worth resident Erica Whitfield.
  • Deputy School Board Superintendent and Chief of Schools Keith Oswald.
  • District 7 School Board member Debra Robinson.
  • Attorney present: Senior Associate Pamala H. Ryan of Torcivia, Donlon, Goddeau & Ansay.
  • City of Lake Worth Mayor Pam Triolo.
  • City of Lake Worth Vice Mayor Andy Amoroso (District 3).
  • City of Lake Worth Vice Mayor Pro Tem Scott Maxwell (District 1).
  • Lake Worth Assistant City Manager Juan Ruiz, Class of ’95 from Lake Worth Community High School.
  • Lake Worth District 4 Commissioner Herman C. Robinson.
  • Lake Worth District 2 Commissioner Omari Hardy.

Note that following the introductions at the table the staff and other Notable Notables are introduced in the Chambers.

The video. . .

Press Release from City of Lake Worth and City’s Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA).

This very informative press release datelined Thursday, Nov. 1st is below. And also below is the answer to the oft-posed question, “What is the purpose of the CRA?”

Also of note the Lake Worth CRA was the top news story last Thursday by multimedia journalist Alanna Quillen at NBC5/WPTV with the headline,

Lake Worth approving first luxury
apartment complex in the city

The news on WPTV was sub-headlined, “Effort to diversify the city’s real estate market” and one of our elected leaders was quoted by Alanna Quillen:

“If you’re into cute cottages, we have lots of things for you. If youre into historic homes, we have lots of things for you. But if you’re a young professional that’s not ready to buy a home or not ready to take care of a yard, we have nothing for you and this is the first opportunity that we’re going to give to them,” said Lake Worth City Commissioner Omari Hardy, whose district [District 2] includes the project area. 

Briefly, about the mission of the Lake Worth CRA:

We are dedicated to maintaining the character of the City, responding to community needs and encouraging sustainable economic growth to improve the quality of life for our residents and the future health of our City.

The CRA is headquartered at The HATCH, 1121 Lucerne Ave. in Downtown Lake Worth. Press and news media contacts:

  • Joan Oliva, Executive Director of CRA: 561-493-2550;
  • Madlyn McKendry, CRA Board Chair,
  • Emily Theodossakos is the Lake Worth CRA marketing and program manager.

What is the purpose of the CRA?

Community Redevelopment Agencies and other economic development organizations exist to promote the improvement of downtown areas and neighborhoods through redevelopment efforts. CRAs have certain powers that cities may not have, including establishing tax increment financing and leveraging public funds with private dollars:

“Working alongside and in partnership with our municipalities, CRAs are able to accomplish great achievements.”

The Lake Worth CRA is governed by a seven (7) member board appointed by the Lake Worth City Commission. Their role is to direct CRA activities within the Community Redevelopment Area in accordance with the approved Lake Worth Redevelopment Plan. Revenue is generated for CRA projects through Tax Increment Financing (TIF).

Joint press release issued by the City of Lake Worth and CRA:

Lake Worth, FL; Nov. 1st, 2018 — The City of Lake Worth and Lake Worth Community Redevelopment Agency are proud to announce two new redevelopment projects: The Royal Poinciana Trail at 5th Ave. South and the new Shops at Downtown Lake Worth were awarded the 2018 winners of the best new Transportation, Transit Enhancement and Outstanding New Building categories at the annual Florida Redevelopment Association (FRA) Awards.*

The CRA is incredibly thankful for this honor and appreciate everyone whose dedication and hard work made this possible.

Each year FRA accepts entries for the annual awards from its members in a variety of categories ranging from outstanding housing project to cultural enhancement. The entries are examined for effectiveness and completeness — including the narrative, supplemental material and compliance with the submittal instructions — by a cross section of Florida redevelopment professionals. Individuals and business organizations judge and rank all of the entries and select the winners.

 “The Board and Staff of the Lake Worth CRA are extremely proud to be recognized by the Florida Redevelopment Association for our work. Both were multi-year projects that required a great deal of communication and coordination. We are grateful to be acknowledged for our ongoing efforts. It is a very exciting time in the City of Lake Worth as there are many new exciting projects in the planning stages or underway in the CRA District.”

—Quote. Madlyn McKendry, Chair of the Lake Worth CRA Board.

The Royal Poinciana Trail at 5th Ave. South

Originally envisioned in 2012 by Mayor Pam Triolo and Palm Beach County School Board Member Erica Whitfield, The Royal Poinciana Trail is the newest non-motorized, shared use pathway in Lake Worth. This 1,500′ linear pathway, which was completed in February 2018, winds through one of the most economically distressed areas of the City.

The project resulted in one of the most attractive linear greenspaces within the City. Primarily funded with grant dollars from FDOT, this project was completed on-time and under budget. By taking a former unimproved right-of-way and turning it into the beautiful Royal Poinciana Trail, the CRA and City were able to accomplish a magnificent transformation of formerly blighted conditions and provide a safe route for children and residents to get through their neighborhood without a motorized vehicle.

Shops at Downtown Lake Worth

By accepting a bank-foreclosed property that had been vacant for twelve years and working with a private developer, the CRA was able to help assemble a large parcel of land near Downtown, generate jobs, create 10,000 square feet of retail space, spur development in an area that sat idle for over a decade and create a harmonious transition from the Downtown to the new Lake Worth Arts District.

In 2017 development began on a retail shopping center that would eventually house a new Starbucks with a drive-thru, a T-Mobile store, an urgent care medical office and a nail salon. The grand openings for the Shops at Downtown took place in June 2018 and created approximately 55 jobs.

End of press release.

*The Florida Redevelopment Association (FRA) is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to assisting Florida professionals and volunteers in community revitalization efforts. With its mission of “transforming spaces, revitalizing places,” FRA is committed to providing a forum for its more than 300 members to share knowledge and common experiences regarding revitalization opportunities and issues throughout Florida.

From The Interfaith Prayer Book: “Reading of Popul Vuh”.

And get excited!

Today is the 3rd annual Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) festival.

Remember: Día de los Muertos is everyone’s festival, no matter your culture or heritage:

The traditional Reading of Popul Vuh is below.

Everyone in South Florida including tourists and Snowbirds are encouraged to visit this City and participate in all the festivities and events.

The fun starts at 1:30 with FREE Face Painting for the first 125 participants in the Día De Los Muertos procession called El Camino. The festivities continue on til 9:45 when the 50/50 Raffle Winner is announced. In between are costume contests for adults, children and pets, lots of traditional music and dancing too!

About the Popul Vuh.

A prayer from the Popul Vuh is further down below in this blog post. This ancient prayer is from a compilation of prayers by author Ted Brownstein and the Lake Worth Interfaith Network* in the 2014 expanded edition of The Interfaith Prayer Book:

This Expanded Edition adds prayers from eight additional traditions; Native African, Native American, Zoroastrian, Taoist, Confucian, Shinto, Jain and Sikh.

Additional information about the Popul Vuh.

According to Joshua J. Mark writing for the Ancient History Encyclopedia the Popol Vuh is,

[T]he story of creation according to the Quiche Maya of the region known today as Guatemala. [emphasis added] Translated as ‘The Council Book’, ‘The Book of the People’ or, literally, ‘The Book of the Mat’, the work has been referred to as “The Mayan Bible” although this comparison is imprecise. The Popol Vuh is not regarded by the Maya as ‘the word of God’ nor as sacred scripture but rather as an account of “the ancient word” and the understanding the Quiche had of cosmology and creation before the coming of Christianity. The Quiche referred to the book as an Ilb′al — an instrument of sight — and it was known as “The Book of the Mat” because of the woven mats the people would sit on to hear the work recited at the council house. One such building, at Copan, features stone lintels ‘woven’ to look like such matting.

A prayer from the Popul Vuh is included in the chapter titled, “Native American Prayer” in The Interfaith Prayer Book:

Harmony with nature is a predominant theme in many native traditions, ranging through North, Central and South America. The world is structured according to the four cardinal compass points, east, west, north and south, and by the vertical axis linking Mother Earth below with Father Sky above. All of creation, mountains and plains, plants and fruits, humans and animals are seen as interconnected sacred elements. The well-being of each is dependent upon the whole. 

Now to the “Maya prayer for visitation to sacred sites and reading the creation epic, Popul Vuh” from p. 23 in author Ted Brownstein’s prayer book:

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.

*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.

Just for kicks: Neil Young & Crazy Horse, “Don’t Spook the Horse”.

From the 1990 vinyl album Ragged Glory included in the “1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die”. Los Angeles Times music critic John D’Agostino called the record “impressive primitivism coming from a 45-year-old rock icon”:

From Wikipedia: “Crazy Horse is an American rock band best known for their association with Neil Young. Beginning in 1969 and continuing to the present day, they have been co-credited on a number of Young’s albums, with 11 studio albums and numerous live albums being billed as by Neil Young and Crazy Horse. They have also released six studio albums of their own, issued between 1971 and 2009.”

Who would have thought. . .

. . . this blog post would get so much attention?

The topic:

Palm Tran and public access
to the beach in Central
Palm Beach County.

First, for returning Snowbirds and others who are wondering, “What’s going on with that pool at Beach and Casino Complex?” When you finish reading this blog post scroll back up and click on this link for the latest information.

Now to Palm Tran bus service to the beach. . .

For those of you unaware Palm Tran used to run a bus to the Lake Worth Casino and Beach Complex. But due to construction activity at the top of the dune that bus service was discontinued about nine years ago. The bus then turned around at the east side of the Robert Harris Bridge and the public had to walk the rest of the way.

Then later the bus stopped going as far as the bridge and turned around at City Hall instead. That bus route continues to this day.

There was talk earlier this year of constructing a new Palm Tran bus stop at the Lake Worth Beach but unless something has changed the last we heard the City would have to pay up to $250,000 and fund the entire project. But there are organizations like the Palm Beach Transportation Planning Agency and the Treasure Coast Regional Planning Agency that could help find funding or a grant for such a project.

Taking a bus to the Beach would be a viable option now for many people. You may recall the price to park went up this year. The beat reporter at the Post wrote about parking a vehicle going from $2 to $3 per hour at the Casino and Beach Complex:

Many of the residents The Palm Beach Post spoke with were fine with the rate increase. [emphasis added]

“[F]ine with the rate increase”?

Wonderful news, right? Not so much for low-income families west of Dixie Hwy. with transportation by car being one of the only viable options. But what about that family just hopping on the bus? Have kids learn about the value of public transportation?

Remember, it was Lake Worth Commissioner Scott Maxwell who first hammered the point home several years ago: the public beach here in this City is a regional beach. The public as far out as Wellington consider this public beach to be their beach too. And so does every person in CPBC that uses Palm Tran Route 62 except the bus doesn’t go that far.

This bus route, Route 62, serves Lake Worth Rd., a main County arterial in the County. Major bus stops include The Mall at Wellington, Nassau Square, Wellington Regional Medical Center, Greenacres Library, Greenacres Post Office, vast areas of suburban (unincorporated) Lake Worth, Palm Beach State College, Lake Worth Tri-Rail Station, Lake and Lucerne avenues to Lake Worth City Hall, and potentially the Lake Worth Beach and Casino Complex.

As of now the last eastern stop on Route 62 is Lake Worth City Hall on Dixie Hwy. One could continue to the Beach using a ride-sharing service like Uber. By bicycle using the Palm Tran “Bikes On Buses” program the Lake Worth Casino Complex is about ten minutes away (≈1.5 miles).

By foot it’s a brisk 25–30 minute walk further east, up and over the Robert Harris Bridge (unless there is a bridge opening for ships to pass), and then the pedestrian making it thus far has to dodge traffic on A1A and then up another incline to the Casino Complex by which time that person might wish for ropes and a Sherpa escort.

The Beach bus stop would also provide a benefit for Palm Tran and their bus drivers. This bus stop, if constructed, will be what is called the “pee stop” for bus Route 62. There are plenty of necessary facilities for drivers at the Casino Complex. But the main purpose of the so-called ‘pee stop’ is for drivers to have time to catch up on their records, plan the next drive out west, and return calls to supervisors as well.

Do you support restoring Palm Tran bus service? If so contact the good folks at Palm Tran and let them know what you think. And you could also contact the elected leaders in the City of Lake Worth as well.

But whomever you contact please be nice and respectful and remember to ask what you can do to help.

‘Sober home’ resident murdered and stuffed into a trash can. This case remains unsolved. Video by PBSO below.

Just about three years ago, on September 9th, 2015, Tyler Etue was found murdered in the City of Lake Worth. It was this news that shocked a lot of people and had the public wondering what was actually happening in these so-called ‘sober homes’ being bought all over town. The people buying these properties called themselves “investors”.

Then a so-called ‘church’ opened up in our Downtown attracting even more drug addicts promising they could get help here in our City. And then the ‘counseling centers’ and self-described treatment centers opened up in this City known as having a “Key West attitude” as some would call it. A party town.

Yes. People did come to this City to get help. And yes, many of them did go home in body bags. The murder of Tyler Etue remains unsolved. Somebody knows what happened:

September 2015—While PBSO deputies and detectives handed out information to the public in Lake Worth trying to find a missing person (Tyler Etue) they discovered his body in a trash can. The public is asked to call the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office or Crimestoppers (800-458-8477) with any information they may have to solve Tyler's murder.

This video is in two parts. One is of the initial investigation and the second concerns the events leading up to the discovery of the body:

Just a reminder about PBSO and our LOCAL neighborhood volunteers.

Volunteering for PBSO is powerfully effective keeping neighborhoods and communities safer.

“[T]here is no debate about
the result.”

The short excerpt above is from a recent quote (see below) by the editor at The Palm Beach Post.

In the Post is just the latest of observations and acknowledgements by the editors, staff writers and beat reporters about the effectiveness of Sheriff Ric Bradshaw, PBSO, and all the volunteers who have made such a big impact on the quality of life here in Central Palm Beach County (CPBC).

It’s important to remember there are now six (6) cities, towns, and villages — including all those vast areas of unincorporated CPBC — that have PBSO as their LOCAL law enforcement agency:

From just east of the Herbert Hoover Dike to the malls of Wellington and onward to the east, to the bright Shores of L-Dub!

Below, at the end of this blog post, are the instructions. Everything you need to know about, “How to become a volunteer for PBSO”.

Volunteers are making a huge impact on public safety in neighborhoods and communities from the Glades region in CPBC to the villages of Wellington and Royal Palm Beach eastward into suburban (unincorporated) Lake Worth, in the fine City of Greenacres as well and eastward still into the ‘Quirky’ City of Lake Worth “with a capital Q” where no one quibbles or quips annoyingly of the quizzicalities any more about merging with PBSO nine years ago.

In short, the quixotically-challenged have fallen into their own quicksilver of false quintessence. So quick quivering all you malcontents and quibblers!

Everyone has noticed the result of all those volunteers. Even The Palm Beach Post. For example, on the merge with PBSO in the City of Greenacres,

[T]here is no debate about the result. Overall crime is down, and available law-enforcement resources are far better.” [emphasis added]
Quote. Editor at The Palm Beach Post, March 10th, 2018.

Also recently on this topic, the editor at the Post recently praised PBSO Sheriff Ric Bradshaw who “smartly requested $1.8 million to hire 15 entry-level deputies” applying for a highly coveted federal grant for COPS: Community Oriented Policing Services.

This program is,
“[T]he component of the U.S. Department of Justice responsible for advancing the practice of community policing . . . through information and grant resources.”

Do you or someone you know have time to
volunteer with PBSO?

Then contact PBSO’s Volunteer Headquarters or the Neighborhood Assoc. Presidents’ Council (NAPC; see below for contact information):

  • PBSO Volunteer HQ: Call 561-433-2003
  • Email:
  • Or visit the Volunteer Services Unit at 2601 S. Military Trail, Ste. 29 in West Palm Beach: open Monday–Friday from 9:00 a.m.–noon and 1:00 p.m.–4:00.

Volunteers are needed for the Citizen Observer Patrol (COP), media unit, traffic monitoring, parking enforcement, Volunteer Emergency Response Team (VERT), honor guard, mounted unit, and bike patrol.

On your own you can contact the NAPC and try to organize another “Walk The Walk” neighborhood event with PBSO. The last one was back in April 2017 and very successful.

Neighbors walked the streets with PBSO reminding residents that, “No tip is too small”, you can remain anonymous (no fear of retribution), and collect a reward for solving a crime even homicides from past years. Do you remember Thomas Altman? Tyler Etue? Woodley Erilas?

To contact the NAPC visit their Facebook page or
send an email to:

You may have that one small tip to help solve the murder of Thomas Altman. Refresh your memory: read the Post article by reporter Hannah Winston from March 2016.

Volunteers are needed from every community and neighborhood here in our City of Lake Worth:

“Volunteering not only fosters a great feeling of accomplishment but helps your community
become a safer place.”

UPDATE! Another ‘sign’ of progress here in the City of Lake Worth.

Guess what! Two more Silly Red Signs (see three examples of SRS below) have disappeared from front yards here in this City, this time on Palmway.

Previous to these latest two signs that vanished there were six SRSs on North Lakeside Drive — there were three on the one side of the road and three on the other — and each was spray painted over in white with black stenciling and a gigantic arrow pointing at the sign across the street that read,

“I’m not stupid. They are!”

Please, keep your eyes out. One more SRS is unaccounted for at this point in time. But the theory is City Manager Michael Bornstein has it in his office next to another Silly Red Sign from 4 years ago.

Click on image to enlarge, one of the more
ridiculous of the Silly Red Signs:

Continue reading to learn more about SRS and another recent update as well about the SRS squad, which used to be a platoon, but that was prior to all the defections four years ago.

Before we proceed, how much do you know about:

  • Silly Red Signs (SRS)?
  • Red Sign Syndrome (RSS)?
  • Sthaltus signentititis robrusistiticus (SSR)?
  • Use this link to learn more about these topics and much more.

Do you still have a SRS? Maybe behind a bush in the backyard next to the outhouse with all the fans from World Thrift that no longer work?

Remember, there is a manual available (includes index and color tabs) with the schedule of maintenance and care requirements, e.g., bi-monthly waxings, red color enhancers (non-toxic ingredient recipes), and emergency repair instructions.

Very important:

Never, ever, use bleach on the whites!

Some SRSs have been out so long they’re leaching dangerous Chloroplast chemicals into the Lake Worth aquifier. Don’t they care about Lake Worth’s drinking water? Your pets?

You may have noticed some signs by the SRS squad are being re-purposed with cheap red spray paint. The shaky white stenciling is advertising properties “For Sale” or “For Rent” now, and sometimes both at the same time.

What must be confusing for people looking for a home, condo, or apartment is one can still see the “Hands Off” in the sign through the cheap paint. Talk about a mixed message.

Anyhow, Mark Twain understood the power of lies, like those of SRS. Here is a quote attributed to him:

A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is still putting on its shoes.

So when you go around the City and see a yard with a SRS, think of them like the WWII soldiers that emerged from the jungles in the Philippines looking very confused still thinking the war was going on — years after it ended.

Anyhow, the SRS below reads, “HANDS OFF Our BEACH & POOL”? Hello. The pool was shut down and condemned last December.

Should the sign read. . .


Do you remember the original SRS? It read “HANDS OFF OUR POTHOLES”. As you can imagine, that message didn’t go over very well with the public here in this little City.

A very timely reminder: Health risks and concerns related to raising chickens in urban environments.

Although many of my blog readers are all-too-familiar with the history of the ‘Urban Chicken’ we all have to be reminded from time to time there are many new and recently-new residents who know little or nothing about this political fight that once raged in this City.

Yes. The story about the ‘Urban Chicken’ is funny. And yes, it’s a little tongue-in-cheek too. But what’s not so funny is thinking about all the people — including infants, young children and the elderly — who have gotten sick and ended up in the emergency room:
Seven outbreaks of salmonella linked to live poultry in backyard flocks have caused 324 cases of illness in 35 states since January, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday. Sixty-six of the ill individuals have been hospitalized. . . . “Results from these investigations showed that contact with live poultry in backyard flocks was the likely source of these outbreaks,” the agency said.

Without further ado. . .

Raising chickens, aka ‘Urban Chickens’ IS NOT LEGAL in the City of Lake Worth despite what you may have heard. However, like the mythical “red herring” about Lake Worth being a ‘sanctuary city’, the myth about it being legal to raise chickens within the City limits is still believed and even promoted by some in the community.

Besides the many health problems created by raising chickens in an urban environment is attracting predators. Last year there were news reports of coyotes as close by as Greenacres killing cats and other small small animals as well. What other animals do coyotes especially like to hunt? You guessed right: chickens (see “Attraction of predators” below).

Some people argue that raising chickens in the backyard makes economic sense. To save a few pennies on eggs? Have you seen the price of eggs lately at Publix?

The ‘urban chicken’ IS NOT merely a nuisance.

The animals present very serious health concerns for young children and the elderly, issues with food safety, infectious diseases, biosecurity, not to mention the added burden on local Code Enforcement to answer complaints and having to take the time and educate the public about the facts.

The following information comes from a well-researched document about human health concerns associated with raising chickens in an urban environment:
  • Bacterial diseases: Salmonella and Campylobacter are common public health hazards potentially associated with chicken contact.
  • Histoplasmosis: Histoplasmosis can cause a respiratory disease with cough and shortness of breath.
  • Avian influenza (bird flu): Avian influenza is a theoretical public health hazard potentially associated with urban chicken farming.
  • Attraction of predators: The attraction of predators is a public health hazard potentially associated with urban chicken farming (e.g., coyotes)
  • Attraction of rodents: The attraction of rodents is a public health hazard potentially associated with urban chicken farming.
  • Nuisance issues

Management and handling of poultry in small backyard flocks:
  • Keep baby chicks and adult poultry away from persons with weaker immune systems, including the elderly, pregnant women, diabetics, patients receiving chemotherapy and people infected with HIV.
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that person not keep chickens if the household has children less than five years of age.
  • Make sure that people who handle the chickens or their droppings, wash hands properly with soap and water following contact.
  • Do not eat or drink around the poultry.
  • Keep poultry away from food preparation areas.
  • Do not wash items, such as water or food dishes, from chicken coops in the kitchen sink.
  • Do not allow poultry to roam in the house.
  • Maintain the area where the poultry are present in a sanitary manner.
  • See your physician if you experience fever and diarrhea.

Communities that permit urban chicken farming are advised to ensure that flock owners receive educational materials on infectious diseases, animal husbandry, food safety and biosecurity. These communities also should have a system in place for responding to community complaints.

Are those few pennies saved raising chickens for eggs worth exposing your neighbors to avoidable health risks and safety issues?

This image is from the blog of Tom McGow, a former blogger-extraordinaire here in this City.
It was Mr. McGow who chronicled Cara Jennings’ 2009 crusade promoting the ‘urban chicken’. Note that it was during this time the City’s Code Enforcement Dept. was being gutted as well. Ergo why home values plummeted so deeply in this City 8–10 years ago.

Friday, November 2, 2018

Tonight from 6:00–10:00 is the monthly Block Party on Lake Ave.

Traffic and Parking Alert: Lake Ave. in Downtown Lake Worth will be shut down at 4:00 today. Cars parked on Lake Ave. must be moved prior to road closure. There will also be road closures on Saturday and Sunday. For more information about that click on this link.

And a brief message to those planning to attend the Block Party on Lake Ave. this evening:

Please don’t be distracted by any Downtown business owners in this City of Lake Worth complaining about this monthly event in the L-Dub.

Why? Because you’ll hear the same litany of complaints the following Friday (Nov. 9th) when the 2018–2019 Beach Bonfire Season begins once again at the Lake Worth Beach!

And if you happen to be a business owner in the Downtown and you think Lake Ave. being closed one Friday night a month is destroying your business plan then please consider attending an upcoming Chamber of Commerce meeting on Nov. 9th from 10:00–11:00.

Save The Date: The first Friday of each month. . .

In Downtown Lake Worth it’s the Lake Ave. Block Party.

Click on image to enlarge:

For the comprehensive list of Special Events in this City click on this link and learn more about the City’s Dept. of Leisure Services.

Sunday is Tropical Triathlon in the City of Lake Worth: Important information for spectators and athletes.

And note the Palm Beaches Marathon will be held on Sunday, December 2nd. At the end of this blog post is more information about this annual race the Town of Palm Beach rejected this year.

The Tropical Triathlon held in the City of Lake Worth is one of the top triathlons in Florida and a USA Triathlon (USAT) sanctioned event.

Below are the eleven most commonly violated rules from USAT that everyone should be looking out for to keep the race safe for race participants and spectators and course rules to avoid time penalties and disqualifications.

Also below is a video of what can go wrong when people are not paying attention.

Remember parking at the Casino and Beach Complex is $3/hour so plan accordingly. Parking is FREE in most areas of the Downtown.

The triathlon will begin at 6:45 at the Lake Worth Beach beginning with a ¼-mile swim in the ocean, thirteen mile bike race, and 5K foot race. To sign up for the race click on this link.

Following the swim participants in the race will ride their bikes over the Robert Harris Bridge into Downtown Lake Worth.

For contact information click on this link.

For the complete list of USAT rule violations use this link. The top eleven most common in brief:

  • Helmets. Only helmets approved by the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) may be used in USAT sanctioned events. Helmets must be worn at all times while on your bike. This means before, during, and after the event. Penalty: Disqualification.
  • Chin straps. Chin straps must be buckled at all times when on a bicycle.
  • Outside assistance. No assistance other than that offered by race and medical officials may be used.
  • Transition area. All equipment must be placed in the properly designated and individually assigned bike corral.
  • Drafting. Keep at least three bike lengths of clear space between you and the cyclist in front. If you move into the zone, you must pass within 15 seconds.
  • Course. All competitors are required to follow the prescribed course and to stay within all coned lanes. Cutting the course is an obvious violation and going outside the course is a safety issue.
  • Conduct: Foul, harsh, argumentative or abusive language or other unsportsmanlike conduct directed at race officials, USA Triathlon officials, volunteers, spectators or fellow athletes is forbidden. Penalty: Disqualification.
  • Headphones. Headphones, headsets, Walkman, iPods, mp3 players, or personal audio devices, etc., are not to be carried or worn at any time during the race.
  • Race numbers. All athletes are required to wear race numbers at all times during the run. Numbers must face the front and be clearly visible at all times.
  • Wetsuits. Each age group participant shall be permitted to wear a wetsuit without penalty in any event sanctioned by USA Triathlon up to and including a water temperature of 78°F.
  • Abandonment. All personal equipment and belongings taken onto the course must stay on the athlete the entire time.

Below is a short video from the triathlon in 2015. To keep the course safe PBSO will have deputies at major intersections and along the race route there will be course officials and volunteers giving instructions and directions to all the race participants.

But something can always happen to create a potential hazard. Like what happens a little after the one minute mark in this video:

Luckily there was not an incident and no one got hurt. Except for a few seconds added to a few racers’ times.

So the lesson is stay alert at all times. And watch out for that old man on the bike!

Now to the Palm Beaches Marathon in December.

Organizers hope this annual event will some day rise to the level of the Boston and New York marathons.

However, this year the Town of Palm Beach rejected the Palm Beaches Marathon saying it wasn’t “town-serving”.

So the City of Lake Worth stepped up to complete the full 26.2 mile marathon. The course route in this City is east of Dixie Hwy. and the runners will not get one single glimpse of the Lake Worth Lagoon off our shore.

Runners will see a lot of the Intracoastal in West Palm Beach though. It’s not called the ‘West Palm Beach Lagoon’ for a reason. And West Palm Beach doesn’t have a beach.

The upcoming full Palm Beaches Marathon race in December will not make it to Lake Ave. in Downtown Lake Worth or go 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 and back to WPB.

Other Neighborhood Assoc. Presidents’ Council (NAPC) neighborhoods included in the course this year are the College Park neighborhood just south of WPB, next is Eden Place and then Mango Groves.

The question oft-posed on this blog is. . .

Why not 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 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 world-class Casino and Beach Complex in this City?

How to make this happen? A good place to start would be contacting the Cultural Council of Palm Beach County located in Downtown Lake Worth. For all that information click on this link.

Journalist Ron Hayes on “Resurgence of the Local Bookstore” and The Book Cellar in Downtown Lake Worth.

The news by Mr. Hayes is about our local bookstore in “[T]he heart of Lake Worth’s bustling downtown.”

And a little later in this blog post learn more about Mr. Ned Racine, “Jumpin’ J Street”, the Cottages of Lake Worth hardcover book, and more about this very popular bookstore in the City of Lake Worth’s bustling Downtown.

Here is an excerpt from Correspondent Ron Hayes at Florida Weekly, “IN THE KNOW. IN THE NOW”:

Yes, the traditional neighborhood bookstore is deader than Monty Python’s parrot, felled by an online predator named
     Everybody says so.
     Fortunately, Tami Ayraud hasn’t heard, or simply refuses to believe it.
     On Oct. 6 [2017], Ms. Ayraud and two co-owners opened The Book Cellar, an actual independent neighborhood bookstore at the corner Lake Avenue and J Street in the heart of Lake Worth’s bustling downtown. [emphasis added]
     “I was living in Miami and moved here two years ago because of the small-town, funky atmosphere,” Ms. Ayraud explained on a recent Wednesday morning as one customer arrived to collect a title he’d ordered and others browsed the shelves. “It had a good vibe.”

It’s because of all the new establishments like The Book Cellar in the Downtown our two main streets, Lake and Lucerne avenues are “Jumpin’ ” once again!

Have you been to our Downtown bookstore yet, located at the corner of Lake Ave. and ‘J’ St.?

Do you remember who “Mr. Racine” was?
He was a fixture around ‘J’ St. back in the day.

In the image below is Ned Racine having a conversation with Peter Lowenstein at Stella’s near City Hall in 1981. Often they frequented a bar/liquor store on ‘J’ St. too (there is another image of Racine later in this blog post).

Click on image to enlarge:

These two men are the actors William Hurt (on left, “Ned Racine”) and Ted Danson in the 1981
classic film “Body Heat”. Lake Worth City Hall is the backdrop in this classic scene.

October 2017 was the Grand Opening of The Book Cellar bookstore in Downtown Lake Worth, a short walk from where Stella’s was located. Some people think Stella’s was the former Junior’s on Lucerne Ave.

Now we have a restored building at a prominent corner in our City. And its tenant happens to be a bookstore which is a nice addition to the Downtown located at 801 Lake Ave. Plenty of FREE Parking is nearby in this little walkable City.

One street in particular, ‘J’ St., is a happening place once again, thanks to new vibrant establishments such as The Book Cellar.

This street in our City — both north and south ‘J’ in the Downtown — was once one of our major hubs for business and entertainment in this City and was even the focus of the classic film noir, “Body Heat”. This movie starred William Hurt, Kathleen Turner (this was the film that launched her career), Ted Danson, J.A. Preston and Mickey Rourke:

Does one building in particular look familiar?
That 2-story white structure is now The Book Cellar!

Click on image to enlarge.

“Ned” with a cigarette in hand walks down
‘J’ Street. He was rarely without
one in this movie.

The scene above is “Ned” walking north. For more about this famous street in our City use this link for a blog post from back in June 2013 about “Jumpin’ J Street!

Back to the Grand Opening of The Book Cellar
bookstore last year:

There were eight Cottages of Lake Worth books on display and all of them were sold. The proprietors requested more books the very next day. And kept on requesting more books. A year later they are selling 8–10 books a week which is a testament to the City’s historical cottages and what they represent.

Stay tuned for details about more upcoming Cottages events, a list of places to go and thumb through the Cottages book, maybe purchase one or more.

In the meantime suggest you go to The Book Cellar
and support a local Downtown business that just
opened up in our vibrant little City:

See more photos from the Grand Opening of
The Book Cellar below.

What’s truly amazing about this book is what publishing executives said: things like this are not supposed to happen; it’s just not possible for books like The Cottages of Lake Worth to sell so many books without the help of an online retailer. It just doesn’t happen. But it did. Now the advice from the experts is the price of the book (USD$32.95, CAD$34.95) was just too low.

But that’s not true either. The Cottages of Lake Worth book was and remains (sans the photographer and other professional help) an all-volunteer effort with very low overhead and money raised goes back to the organization for other things . . . like maybe ordering another delivery of books next year!

Hanging out at The Book Cellar:

Friendly residents of our City and smiles aplenty.

Everyone wishes The Book Cellar a bright
future here in our City! Use this link
for their Facebook page.

“Your Community Shopping Center” in WPB and “Looking Eastward Across Lake Worth” at Town of Palm Beach.

Have you joined the Facebook group called “Palm Beaches Remembered”? If local history is an interest of yours, strongly suggest you begin following this Facebook page. Many of the “memories” will truly amaze you.

Below are two more images from
Palm Beaches Remembered.

Expect many new and exciting things to happen in the next few months and years at and nearby “Your Community Shopping Center” in West Palm Beach. Once again, this plaza will be a vibrant part of our community and neighborhoods in WPB and the City of Lake Worth much like it was 50 years ago.

“Where Lake Worth Meets West Palm Beach” in 1968.

Click on image to enlarge, PALM COAST PLAZA.
Notice all the shops!

In September 2015 Post reporter Tony Doris provided hints about the future of this plaza on Dixie Hwy., north of the City of Lake Worth, just across the C-51 Canal.

Tony Doris’ article was titled, “Homes, links to area and water among options for WPB golf course”:

“The [West Palm Beach] city commission, by general consensus, authorized Economic Development Director Chris Roog to continue pursuing redevelopment plans for the 8111 S. Dixie property and the golf course. [emphasis added] The commission also indicated its willingness to work with the adjacent Palm Coast Plaza owners in coordinating redevelopment plans.” 

“Palm Coast Plaza Store!”

This plaza was once a regional destination, serving West Palm Beach and other nearby cities and towns, e.g., Lake Worth and Palm Beach.

And also interestingly, a few months later (in December of 2015) Post reporter Eliot Kleinberg wrote this article titled, “[Boat] Lift at spillway would allow boat traffic from inland lakes to ocean”, referring to a project that is now called the Blueway Trail project (expected to begin in 3–5 years).

Now to “Looking Eastward Across Lake Worth”.

Back in the day there was a body of water the public called “Lake Worth”. Of course, this is what we call the Lake Worth Lagoon now, part of the Intracoastal waterway.

This image is c. 1940:

For some perspective, use this link for a photograph taken from the former Pennsylvania Hotel in West Palm Beach in 1937. The former Royal Worth
Hotel was prominent in the Town of Palm Beach
“back in the day”.

As far as “Lake Worth” goes, to this day some still call the Lake Worth Lagoon ‘Lake Worth’:

“The Avenue [Worth Avenue in Palm Beach], which encompasses four blocks between the Atlantic Ocean and the edge of Lake Worth [emphasis added] as well as its pedestrian side-street vias, was founded in the 1920s by Addison Mizner and boasts more than 200 shops, restaurants and galleries that epitomize the best of high-end merchandise and lavish amenities.”

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Press release: Upcoming road closures in the City of Lake Worth.

The press release is below from the City about road closures on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, November 2nd–4th in Downtown Lake Worth.

But first, please note: If you have a business in Downtown Lake Worth and road closures make you really upset then be advised there is a meeting coming up that can provide very helpful tips. For example, if you have an issue with the City contacting the press and/or news media is not the best and first option. Learn more at the Lake Worth Business Committee meeting coming up on November 9th at 10:00 a.m.

Without further ado. . .

Upcoming events that will require road closures:

Lake Ave. Block Party: Friday, Nov. 2nd.

The second Lake Ave. Block Party, held the first Friday of each month, will be taking place in Downtown Lake Worth from 6:00–10:00 p.m.

Lake Ave. will be closed to traffic so that patrons can enjoy live music and vendors. Lake Ave. will be closed between J Street and Federal Hwy. starting at 4:00 and no cars may be parked on the street after 4:00. All eastbound traffic will be diverted to either 2nd Ave. North or 2nd Ave. South.

Heroes for Education 5K: Saturday, Nov. 3rd.

The Education Foundation of Palm Beach County will host the 5th Annual Heroes for Education 5K Run & Walk in the vicinity of Bryant Park. To facilitate the race South Palmway and South Lakeside Drive will have restricted access between 1st Ave. South and 18th Ave. South from 7:00 a.m.–8:30 a.m.

LULA’s Día de los Muertos Celebration: Saturday, Nov. 3rd.

LULA Lake Worth Arts presents its 3rd annual Día De Los Muertos celebration at The HATCH, 1121 Lucerne Ave. In order to facilitate aspects of the event, such as the El Camino walking parade, it will be necessary to close North F St. and North G St. between Lake Ave. and Lucerne Ave. from 3:00 p.m.–10:00.

Bill Bone Tropical Triathlon: Sunday, Nov. 4th.

Over 350 athletes will be competing in the 20th annual Bill Bone Tropical Triathlon starting at the Lake Worth Beach. To facilitate the safety of the athletes the following streets will be temporarily restricted between 6:30 a.m.–9:45 a.m.:

  • Lake Ave. from Dixie Hwy. to A1A.
  • Lucerne Ave. from A1A to Dixie Hwy.
  • Federal Hwy. from 12th Ave. South to Wellesley Drive.
  • Streets J, K, L, M, North O, Ocean Breeze from 1st Ave. South to 2nd Ave. North.
  • Palmway from 2nd Ave. North to 5th Ave. South.
  • Traffic over the Robert Harris Bridge will be detoured north to the Southern Blvd. Bridge in Palm Beach and south to Ocean Ave. Bridge in Town of Lantana.

Have any questions or need more information?

Then please contact Mr. Ben Kerr, the City of Lake Worth’s public information officer: Call 561-586-1631 or by email:

Hear Ye. Hear Ye. Public meeting this afternoon at Lake Worth City Hall.

Today at 4:30 will be a “Joint Work Session” with the Lake Worth City Commission and the PBC School Board for a discussion on various educational issues. This meeting is open to the public and backup material will be provided at the meeting.

And whilst on the topic of elementary public schools in the City of Lake Worth:

Barton Elementary School was an issue addressed by the Palm Beach County Transportation Planning Agency (TPA) on October 18th at the meeting of the Governing Board.

 School Hazardous Walking Conditions:

Click on image to enlarge:

To learn more about the TPA and “Connecting Communities” click on this link. For more about traffic and walking conditions in the area of Barton Elementary School contact transportation planner Alyssa Frank at 561-478-5744 or by email:

Please Note: All the information below was provided at the TPA Governing Board meeting held this month at the South County Civic Center located in suburban Delray Beach.

About House Bill 41, “Gabby’s Law
for Student Safety”:

  • Updated to include metropolitan planning agencies in the School Hazardous Walking Conditions analysis process.
  • TPA has completed analysis of all 107 Palm Beach County public elementary schools.

Florida Statute 1006.23 — Hazardous
Walking Conditions:

  • Within two miles of school and attendance boundary.
  • An area at least 4′ wide having a surface upon which students may walk.
  • Crossings where the traffic volume on road exceeds the rate of 360 vehicles per hour per day.
  • Crossings where the total traffic volume on road exceeds 4,000 vehicles per hour through an intersection.

Next Steps

  • Meet with PBC School District to review profiles and confirm findings and determine next steps.
  • Work with schools and local partners to plan, prioritize and fund projects to fix hazardous walking conditions.

FYI: The next meeting of the TPA Governing Board will be held on December 13th at the Jupiter Community Center. The meeting agenda will be posted one week prior to the meeting.

“All members of the public are encouraged to attend the meeting and will be provided opportunities to speak.”

The “General Comments” section of the TPA Governing Board agenda is for members of the public to speak on issues that are not specifically listed on the meeting agenda but are directly related to transportation planning and funding within the jurisdiction of the Palm Beach TPA.

It would be a very good idea to have a presence at the TPA meeting in December from the City of Lake Worth. Parents, residents, stakeholders and the electeds to make it known that walking conditions for students attending Barton Elementary is a high priority.

There will always be a place of honor for Jan Tuckwood in City of Lake Worth.

It was journalist Jan Tuckwood at The Palm Beach Post who heralded in the “New” City of Lake Worth with our very own Special Keepsake (see below).

It was the piece by Tuckwood that got everyone’s attention in Palm Beach County, especially so in West Palm Beach, Delray Beach, Jupiter, and the news shook the ground as far west as the Village of Wellington and the garden community of Arden too.

The City of Lake Worth is and remains to this day the only City in PBC to ever receive an 8-page Special Insert published in the Sunday edition titled, “Hometown Destinations”. See that front page headline below.

You see, whilst beat reporters and self-described satirists and columnists were focused on the Lake Worth’s past and all the doom-and-gloom, it was Tuckwood who broke through all the noise and the clutter.

For example, from page S5 of “Hometown Destinations” (click on image to enlarge):

“The Day” was Sunday, March 26th, 2017.

The caption under the second photo reads,
“Michael Bornstein portrays the iconic Barefoot Mailman at the Historical Society’s Barefoot
on the Beach event.”

 Here it is! The front page:

Delray Beach was never given such a high honor. In fact, Delray is not even one of the Post’s six Special Cities even though one of their best reporters, Lulu Ramadan, is the beat reporter in Delray!

To give you an idea how much work went into this “Special Keepsake” consider this:

  • The tremendously talented cover design was produced by the famous Kevin van Derr Werff and the graphics by the equally-talented Steve Lopez.
  • Eight (8) photographers contributed to this Special Insert! Jan Tuckwood, Damon Higgins, Bruce R. Bennett, Gary Coronado, Ellie Gutierrez, Richard Graulich, Melanie Bell, Allen Eyestone, and beat reporter Kevin Thompson contributed photos too.
  • Feature writer Liz Balmaseda’s contribution was amazing news about the restaurant and food scene here in the L-Dub.

Seen any news recently about a restaurant
closing in L-Dub?

The next time you read any news about a restaurant closing in this City of Lake Worth, well, sadly, that happens all the time in the Palm Beach County food scene. For example, according to Liz Balmaseda, a restaurant recently closed in Wellington. But guess what! Also according to Balmaseda a new, exciting restaurant just opened up in the City of Lake Worth!

From the restaurant review titled, “A rebel chef’s grand return: Jewell sparkles in Lake Worth”:

Some of the county’s most brazen cooking is happening at a small, casual restaurant in Lake Worth. It’s easy to blur by Jewell Bistro [830 N. Dixie Hwy.], which opened early this year in the former Zapata space on North Dixie Highway — it’s the squat, black structure that’s tucked between a car wash and a botánica. But I’m glad I stopped in on a recent night.
     The rebel chef behind this enterprise is no stranger to local-food lovers. Dak Kerprich earned cult-hero status when he ran Pizzeria Oceano, [emphasis added] the Lantana restaurant that preceded chefs Jeremy and Cindy Bearman’s Oceano Kitchen.

Thank You for visiting today and please take note: Tomorrow night is the Lake Ave. Block Party in the Downtown, held the first Friday of each month. Stop on by and take a stroll!

2010 Flashback — Amendment 4: A ‘conservative blogger’ protesting with “fellow travelers”, anti-government Anarchists and affinity friends.

Remember back in 2010 when the world as
we know it was on the verge of total collapse if
Amendment 4 didn’t pass?

Well, here we are, 8 years later. . .

What happened to all the panic about the fate of the world in Lake Worth? Pay special attention starting at around the 1:00 mark in the video below. Lake Worth’s ‘conservative’ blogger makes a cameo supporting her Anarchist friends and allies in “The Struggle”:

Only thirty-three percent of voters statewide voted for Amendment 4. It needed over 60% to pass into law.
Local governments like the City of Lake Worth would have been paralyzed if Amendment 4
had passed.

Imagine having elections for almost
anything and everything?

To have even the simplest and mundane functions of government — like fixing street lighting — having to be put up for a vote. Need to purchase another vehicle for the fleet? Have a vote for that too. That’s what life would have been like in Florida had Amendment 4 passed. The business of government and governing would have ground to a halt.

Imagine life here in Lake Worth in
perpetual election season.

Never stops. The signs, mailers, and knocks at the door a constant fact of life. There are some people who like that idea. Imagine that.

When it comes to elections here in the City of Lake Worth we took a big leap forward. A referendum in 2017 to increase the terms of mayor and commissioners from two-year terms to three-year terms passed passed by a comfortable margin.

What that means is we’ll have an election of candidates in March of 2019 and the year 2020 will be an off year, no election of candidates until 2021.

Imagine that.