Saturday, November 10, 2018

Infill development and City of Lake Worth history: The one constant is constant change.

Many of the things City residents take for granted wouldn’t exist today were it not for infill development: Bryant Park, the Snook Islands, ‘Hot Dog Park’*, the City’s Golf Course, Park of Commerce, and the County’s John Prince Park are just a few.

For another example of infill development, coastal hardening and protection, you’ll be interested to learn what happened after the hurricanes of 1947 and 1949: A1A used to hug the coastline east of the Casino building but was moved west, away from the ocean and closer to the Intracoastal.

Later on in the 1950s more areas west of the Casino building were “filled in”. That is where the large Casino parking lot is located and where the Farmer’s Market meets during The Season. This first image is from Facebook and the next two color images are courtesy of Frank Palen, a long-time City resident many of you know very well:

Aerial view looking south likely pre-WWII. A1A hugs the coast in front of the former Casino structure. Then later, in the 1950s. . .

Note location of the pool (rear of building). The pool at the Beach now is condemned. Due to modern trends and market forces, a municipal pool at the Beach is unlikely an option going forward (but one may be constructed somewhere else in the City).

Notice all the parking close by the former Casino and short walk to the beach. The present structure has parking and traffic problems of which most of you are aware. Those weren’t issues “back in the day”.

*Many residents of Lake Worth will fondly recall why that area (base of the former Lake Worth bridge) was called “Hot Dog Park”. It had to do with ‘free hot dogs’ on a July 4th back in 2009. Former resident and blogger-extraordinaire Tom McGow explained this quite well in a post titled, “PAC your lunch for the 4th of July. . .”.

Notice of General Election: Town of Lake Clarke Shores, Precincts 2127 and 3014.

PUBLIC NOTICE published in The Lake Worth Herald, datelined Thursday, November 1st:

The Town of Lake Clarke Shores, 1701 Barbados Road, Lake Clarke Shores, Florida, 33406, will hold a General Election on March 12, 2019 for the purpose of electing Council Members from Groups 1 & 2 for a term of two (2) years.

The polls will be open from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. If a Runoff Election is necessary, it will be held on March 26, 2019, utilizing the same times and precincts identified below.

Candidates for Council Member must reside in the Town of Lake Clarke Shores. Candidate qualifying is from NOON November 20, 2018 to NOON December 4, 2018. [emphasis added] Voter registration book closing is February 11, 2019 for the General Election. No person will be permitted to vote unless he or she is registered in Palm Beach County and residing in the Town of Lake Clarke Shores.

Both precincts 2127 and 3014 vote at the Town Hall in the Town of Lake Clarke Shores: The address is 1701 Barbados Rd., located on the north side of Barbados Rd. between Florida Mango Rd. and West Lake Drive.

For those of you wondering, “Where exactly is
the Town of Lake Clarke Shores?”

Click on map to enlarge:

This town is west of the City of Lake Worth and east of the Village of Palm Springs. For “Lake Clarke Shores Town History” click on this link.

Groups 1 and 2 up for election on March 12th, 2019 are incumbents Mayor Gregory Freebold (Group 1) and Vice Mayor Pro Tem Paul R. Shalhoub (Group 2). For the entire Town Council in our neighboring municipality of Lake Clarke Shores click on this link.

If you have any questions or want more information contact the Town Clerk in the Town of Lake Clarke Shores. About Mary Pinkerman, CMC:
  • Employed by the Town of Lake Clarke Shores since June 2001.
  • Obtained Certified Municipal Clerk (CMC) status from International Institute of Municipal Clerks in September 2005.
  • Appointed Town Clerk in January 2010.

And it is also worth noting a rumor two years ago that the Town of Lake Clarke Shores was planning a naval invasion of the City of Lake Worth is completely unfounded.

The rumor was the citizenry of Lake Clarke Shores was forming a flotilla of pirates and marauders to navigate the C-51 Canal in the dark of night, bypassing the S-155 Spillway structure in Lake Worth’s College Park neighborhood and then taking by force the boat docks and properties along the canal.

An invasion of Lake Worth by Lake Clarke Shores never did happen and never could happen. Palm Beach County forbids one municipality from invading another municipality. And besides, why would Lake Clarke Shores want the headaches.

The Lake Worth Herald is putting the elected leadership on notice.

But first, before we get to what appears on today’s front page of The Lake Worth Herald it is “Worth Noting”:

Now that the General Election midterms are over and done with, for the most part, it’s time for everyone in this City of Lake Worth to become familiar once again with the term, “nonpartisan elections”.

At the end of this blog post is a refresher.

The following excerpt appears today on the front page of the Herald penned by the ubiquitous Pelican Pete in the weekly column titled, “From Where I Sit”.

Pelican Pete can sometimes be cryptic and added some links to the excerpt that will hopefully guide you through today’s musings. Without further ado sans the multiple ellipsis. . .

Education in Lake Worth, meeting with [PBC School] Board was eye opening. Thanks Erica Whitfield forbringing a strong team. Meeting ran long but only because some time was wasted with politics. OK, a lot of the time was wasted with politics. Now the mid-terms are over, the next meeting can be as productive and stay on schedule. High hope politics won’t come into play.

Same goes for City Commission meetings. We elected non-partisan candidates only to have to sit through a triple dose of political maneuvering which only wastes valuable meeting time. Let’s get to City business for the good of the residents of Lake Worth and stop the political infighting and efforts to spread the politics of a particular party. The commission meetings are not the place for it. Go stand on a corner on your own time and politic, but don’t waste our time.

Support LOCAL small town journalism and support
your LOCAL business community.

The Herald print edition is still ¢50. Pick up the paper at the City’s newsstand located at Studio 205 at 205 N. Federal Hwy.

Now to the refresher:

City of Lake Worth holds what are called
“Nonpartisan elections”.

This is “Worth Noting”. 

If you’re not exactly sure what ‘nonpartisan’ means, please contact the City of Lake Worth’s public information officer, Mr. Ben Kerr at 561-586-1631 or by email:

From City of Lake Worth’s
City Charter. . .

“Lake Worth, Florida — Code of Ordinances —
Part I, Subpart A, Article V (Qualifications and Elections), Section 1, “Nonpartisan elections”:

All qualifications and elections for the offices of mayor and city commissioner shall be conducted on a nonpartisan basis without regard for or designation of political party affiliation of any nominee on any nomination petition or ballot.

From the City’s website:

According to the provisions set forth in the City Charter, Lake Worth operates a Commission–Manager form of government. Authority is vested in an elected City Commission, which, in turn, appoints the City Manager.
     The City Commission is comprised of five members who serve staggered three-year terms and are elected on a nonpartisan basis by residents of the City. The Mayor is elected by a city-wide vote to serve a three-year term as the presiding officer at City Commission Meetings and as the official head of the City of Lake Worth for legislative and ceremonial purposes. The City Commission is responsible for passing Ordinances and other policy directives necessary for the operation of the City.

As always, Thank You for visiting today and hope you found this information helpful.

Friday, November 9, 2018

From PBSO District 14 Captain Todd Baer:

"We are once again preparing for our holiday toy giveaway. Each year, the four public elementary schools in Lake Worth choose 25 families each. We then buy toys for their children. We end up giving toys to roughly 400 children who might not otherwise receive anything. It is a great day. This year we will be wrapping the toys on Wednesday, 12/5 and Thursday, 12/6. We will be wrapping toys at our district headquarters, 120 North G Street throughout the day from roughly 9 am until 4 pm."

Lake Worth CRA & City of Lake Worth Receive 2 State-Wide Awards for Redevelopment Projects

Lake Worth, FL; November 8th, 2018 - The City of Lake Worth and the Lake Worth Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) are proud to announce that 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 in 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. A cross section of Florida redevelopment professionals, individuals and business organizations judge and rank all of the entries and select the winners.

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 facility, 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.

CRA's and other economic development organizations exist to promote the improvement of downtowns and neighborhoods through redevelopment efforts. These organizations are overseen by appointed and/or elected members of the community. CRA's 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, CRA's are able to accomplish great achievements.

"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 good deal of communication and coordination. We are grateful to be acknowledged for our on-going 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." said Madlyn McKendry, Chair of the Lake Worth CRA.

For more information on these projects or for any CRA related questions, please call (561) 493-2550 or visit:

Veterans Day Parade - Tomorrow - Downtown Lake Worth

Please join us in downtown Lake Worth on Saturday, November 10, 2018 to celebrate Veterans Day!

The parade will kick off at 11AM throughout downtown Lake Worth!

The Ceremony of Honor will immediately follow the conclusion of the parade in the Cultural Plaza located at 414 Lake Avenue.

For more information or if you would like to participate in the parade please contact Sylvio Pierre-Louis at

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Two years ago today, Nov. 8th, 2016:

The Lake Worth Neighborhood Road Bond went to the voters.

Pull quote:

“Its current road repair projects amount to little more than covering the potholes that emerge daily through the city. In short, it has no way to pay for the massive repairs it has neglected doing for decades.”

Quote. Editor at Palm Beach Post, August 11th, 2014. More quotes below.

The editor(s) at the Post did not make an endorsement for the Neighborhood Road Bond vote two years ago. They decided not to get involved.

But this City of Lake Worth was not alone. Because in November 2016 the editor(s) at the Post did not make an endorsement for President of the United States either.

The 2016 Neighborhood Road Bond passed by a “whopping 69 percent” possibly because of what happened two years prior. Let’s set the stage.

Going back to August 2014. . .

On August 11th, 2014, the editor(s) at the Post had a lot to say about the very first bond vote to fix our roads in this City of Lake Worth. But despite that endorsement that bond vote in 2014 failed.

It failed by just 25 votes.

Just imagine for a moment how far ahead our City would be right now had that bond vote passed fifty-one months ago.

What follows is from this blog. . .

Posted on Sunday, Nov. 6th, 2016.

Two days prior to the General Election that year.

Following what the editor wrote in 2014 (see below) there’s not much else left to say.

It was so on-point the editor has nothing further to write on this topic and let stand these observations from 2 years ago. However. . . it would be interesting to know what the editor thinks about those critics who had all this time to create their own plan, but instead sat on their hands and did nothing ever since they won and defeated the bond vote in August of 2014, by just 25 votes.

The editor wrote on August 11th, 2014. . .

But it really didn't matter what the Post editor wrote. In the weeks and months preceding, their very own beat reporter “on the ground” had confused and misinformed so many people the PR damage had already been done by then.

Below are more excerpts from the Post editorial on August 11th, 2014. The editorial that didn’t matter.

This was 15 days prior to the vote on the LW2020 bond vote which ended up failing by just 25 votes. Here are excerpts from that editorial:

     Residents will vote on the matter Aug. 26 [2014], and it’s hard to overstate the stakes for the city, which badly needs to invest in fixing its crumbling infrastructure. To pull Lake Worth from its underperforming past, The Post recommends a vote For Bonds. [emphasis added]    
     Despite the popularity of its downtown strip and public beach, Lake Worth struggles to support basic city services. This city of 36,000 has the second-highest poverty rate in Palm Beach County, and many roads and sidewalks are crumbling and collapsing throughout it. Some of the city’s poorest neighborhoods have been so neglected that streets there have never been paved. 

and. . .

     Its current road repair projects amount to little more than covering the potholes that emerge daily through the city. In short, it has no way to pay for the massive repairs it has neglected doing for decades. 

and the editor continues. . .

     [T]he city needs to fix itself, and the cost of doing so will only grow if repairs are further delayed. The price tag for bringing Lake Worth into the 21st century is staggering, but this is a testament to just how long previous commissions have ignored the city’s basic needs. No one should expect road and sidewalk repairs alone to usher in a renaissance, but it is difficult to imagine one happening without them. 

The price tag for bringing Lake Worth into
the 21st century is staggering. . . .

     In a way, it’s a microcosm of a city that possesses so many attractive assets — a charming downtown, a public beach, waterfront parks, historic neighborhoods brimming with Old Florida charm — and yet has failed to improve its residents’ lives by fumbling or ignoring the hard decisions. This vote is a chance for the city to turn that disappointing history on its head.

Couldn’t have said it any better myself, especially these words that sum up the entire problem:

“. . . this is a testament to just how long previous commissions have ignored the city’s basic needs.”

Here’s one of those former City administrations. Recognize anyone? All that money used up for the Casino — legal fees, a $1.6 million settlement, Greenwashing, and construction mistakes — how many potholes would that money have fixed?

The Telling Tale of Two PACs: “Lake Worth Yes!” and “Save Our Neighborhood, Inc.”

About the last two reminders of the dueling PACs
in this little City of Lake Worth.

These two PACs both formed in January 2015. Almost four years ago. And many of you who follow politics will remember those former political battles.

The Lake Worth Yes! PAC just recently turned in a Termination Report (TR) ending its mission as a political committee. And it was indeed a job well done.

There was money still available in this PACs campaign account. So they donated this money via Donors Choose: “Support a classroom. Build a future”:
  • Lake Worth Community High School: $3,505.31
  • Highland Elementary School: $1,052.35
  • Barton Elementary School: $589.81
  • North Grade Elementary School: $109.03

TR from the Lake Worth Yes! PAC.

Click on image to enlarge:

The treasurer and chairperson of this PAC many of you know as City resident Peggy Fisher.

Now to the PAC Save Our Neighborhood, Inc.

Click on image to enlarge:

According to the latest treasurer report this PAC has about $1,025 available. What’s the purpose of keeping this PAC active? For the memories? Just terminate this PAC as well and donate the balance of the funds to a local public school.

The days of the dueling PACs is over.

The editor(s) at Palm Beach Post did not endorse Scott Ryan Kerner for Palm Beach County Circuit Judge.

But Scott Kerner won anyway.

UPDATE: Please note The Palm Beach Post endorsement for Amendment 1 was “No”, not “Yes” as originally posted on this blog. That has been changed later in this blog post. Amendment 1 failed to reach 60% of the electorate to pass. In Palm Beach County Amendment 1 received 57% of the vote and 58% statewide.

And the editor(s) at the Post endorsed Jim Bonfiglio in the District 89 race for Florida State Representative. Bonfiglio is currently trailing Mike Caruso, is still too close to call and may be heading to a recount according to reporter Lulu Ramadan.

Back to the blog post from yesterday.

So Scott Kerner won despite not getting the Post endorsement.

And the Post endorsed Allegra Fung for Palm Beach County Court too. Fung lost to Ashley Zuckerman.

Congratulations to both winners in the General Election for demonstrating once again the power of the Post endorsement and kudos to Alcolya St. Juste and Allegra Fung for throwing your hats into the ring and running for election. It’s an arduous process and can sometimes be heartbreaking.

And on the topic of endorsements the editor(s) at the Post did not endorse passage of Florida Amendment 6, “Rights of crime victims” and the Post did not endorse Florida Amendment 7 either, “First responder/military benefits”.

But in both cases the voters statewide disagreed and voted, “Yes”. In PBC the result was 62% and 64% respectively, in favor of passage of those two amendments on the ballot.

Now back to Mr. Scott Ryan Kerner.

What follows is a message from another Mr. Kerner and that would be Scott Kerner’s brother, Palm Beach County Commissioner Dave Kerner. Commissioner Kerner has this to say today:

Yesterday, the voters of Palm Beach County elected my brother, Scott Kerner [emphasis added], to the Circuit Court bench. In doing so, they have entrusted him to serve as Judge on the most profound and impactful disputes, cases, and controversies within our community, including death penalty. As a practitioner of the law myself, I can assume that the privilege of serving as a Judge is both burdensome and humbling at the same time.

What I am completely sure of, however, is that Scott Kerner will serve with the utmost care, diligence, and humility, and that the people of Palm Beach County will be well served by him. The Kerner family is immensely grateful that the voters have chosen him to enter this important public service, and we wish to thank all of his friends, family, and supporters that made this dream come true.

Congratulations to all the candidates, whether victorious or not. It takes sincere passion and courage to put your name on the ballot, and we are thankful for the opportunity to cast our vote. All rise!

FYI. Whilst on the topic of endorsements
by the Post editorial board. . .

For Florida Attorney General the Post endorsed Sean Shaw who lost to Ashley Moody in the General Election yesterday. And. . .

  • Florida Chief Financial Officer: The Post endorsed Jeremy Ring who lost to Jimmy Patronis.
  • Florida Agriculture Commissioner: The Post endorsed Nicole ‘Nikki’ Fried who lost to Matt Caldwell.
  • U.S. House of Representatives, District 18: The Post endorsed Lauren Baer who lost to incumbent U.S. Congressman Brian Mast.
  • Florida Amendment 1 (Homestead exemption): The Post endorsement was “No”. The voters statewide said, “No” too.
  • Florida Amendment 5 (Supermajority on tax raises): The Post endorsement was “No”. The voters statewide said, “Yes”.
  • Florida Amendment 6 (Rights of crime victims): The Post endorsement was “No”. The voters statewide said, “Yes”.
  • Florida Amendment 7 (First responder/military benefits): The Post endorsement was “No”. The voters statewide said, “Yes”.
  • Florida Amendment 10 (State/local government structure): The Post endorsement was “No”. The voters statewide said, “Yes”.

So what does this all mean? No one knows for certain yet. It will take a few weeks to sort everything out.

But in the meantime the editor(s) at the Post can take their minds off politics for a bit and maybe focus on other things of concern to the public.

Take for example the terrible and unacceptable homicide rate in West Palm Beach, the “Rights of crime victims”, and more help for “First responders” to help and provide care for all the victims of senseless violence happening in West Palm Beach.

A look back to 2014: Journalist Leslie Gray Streeter on Street Painting Festival in Downtown Lake Worth.

Pull quote:

I [Maryanne Webber] think Lake Worth is so diverse, so trendy and quirky. When we started (the festival) we were trying to change people’s perception of it.”

     Bruce Webber [Maryanne’s husband] recalls that at the time the festival began, “half of Lake Avenue was empty. [emphasis added] We wanted people to know this was a fun, quirky town rather than a dirty, seedy one.”

News by Streeter datelined August 13th, 2014, published in Palm Beach Post.

Now fast-forward to 2019 Street Painting Festival. . . 

Calling All Street Artists!

Get your application in for the 2019 Street Painting Festival in the City of Lake Worth.

Next year’s festival will be held on Saturday, February 23rd and Sunday the 24th. Would you like information on how to become a sponsor? Then click on this link.

And once again, about the Street Painting Festival. . .

Bruce Webber recalls that at the time the festival began, “half of Lake Avenue was empty.”

But not any more.

Enjoy the video:

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

The election result from last night.

Congratulations, Mr. Block.

Mr. Gibbs, please do not give up on politics. Just hang in there. Remember to congratulate the winner and try to stay nonpartisan. And take a few minutes to visit Lake Worth Beach today.

“A Florida Divided”

The image below is from the Facebook page,
Historic Florida X”.

Click on image to enlarge:
Learn why Florida was divided “by a line
drawn down the center of the state”:

“During WW II, Florida had many flying training bases with Navy and Army separated by a line drawn down the center of the state; Navy, Marine and Coast Guard bases on the east side, Army Air Forces on west side. If there had been no separation, mid-air collisions would have been much higher due to Inter-service rivalry between young men flying high powered, expensive machines and would have been worse than at Army-Navy football games. [emphasis added] Separation line was enforced by Gen. Hap Arnold, Chief of Army Air Forces.”

Scene: Dennis walks up to Mrs. Wilson and asked curiously, “Hi, Mrs. Wilson! Is Mr. Wilson busy today?”

. . . well, Dennis, you know Mr. Wilson gets up early and scoots like hell over to World Thrift every Wed-
nesday morning and lunch at Tacos Al Carbon!

That’s right. WEDNESDAY,
every Wednesday, is Senior Citizen
Day at World Thrift!

Looking for something to do tomorrow but you’re not sure exactly what? Maybe watching a few episodes of Dennis the Menace? Well, guess what! Senior citizens from all over the area go to World Thrift every Wednesday. And you’ll meet Hipsters there and Apatharchists too (they are completely harmless and highly entertaining!), and there are Millennials and families with kids there as well.

World Thrift is located at 2425 N. Dixie Hwy in Lake Worth, open Monday–Saturday, 9:00–6:00. Call 561-588-4050 for more information.

Following your shopping experience pack your stuff in the car and walk across the street for breakfast, lunch or dinner at Tacos Al Carbon. It’s the new hot spot everybody is raving about in Central PBC and the latest stop on the Taste History Culinary Tour!

When you get to World Thrift say,
“The Skipper and Gilligan” sent you!

So. You’ve been wondering where everyone goes every Wednesday? Well. Now you know.

That vacant block, a long-time eyesore on N. Dixie Hwy. between Dartmouth and Cornell drives in College Park.

Where is the College Park neighborhood in the little City of Lake Worth? Find out below. But first to that vacant eyesore which could be a nice parking lot too like the one across the road, cleaned up and looking nice when it finally catches the eye of a developer with a vision. . .

That prominent eyesore in the City is located in the Lake Worth Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) district. It wasn’t always an eyesore. It was once a popular destination for residents and visitors alike, like World Thrift is today here in this City.

Who would have thought when World Thrift opened it would attract so many customers from the Town of Palm Beach and West Palm Beach too?

That empty lot on one of our major thoroughfares entering the City — actually three lots which include 2302, 2314, and 2318 N. Dixie Hwy. — was once a thriving part of this region in Central Palm Beach County, the former Patio Coffee Shop:

Across the street at 2401 N. Dixie Hwy. is where the former Park Avenue BBQ once stood. But that lot is now a parking lot for World Thrift, a very nice parking lot, it’s nicely landscaped and kept clean and tidy. Meanwhile, the 2300 block remains a community eyesore.

Where exactly is College Park?

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

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

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

For those of you wondering. . .

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

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

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

Back to the CPNA. . .

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

Why is this neighborhood called College Park?

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

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

Paper towels are expensive. Recycling tip #47: How to use newsprint instead!

What is newsprint?

Newsprint is a “cheap, low-quality, absorbent printing paper made from coarse wood pulp and used chiefly for newspapers.” For example, see tabloid newsprint below.

Don’t just throw newsprint away.
Use old newsprint to clean windows on the cheap!

This former un-‘Worthy’ tabloid once littered the
City of Lake Worth. But now it has value. . .

Click on image to enlarge:

To clean windows using newsprint you need a newspaper and a spray bottle with this mixture:
2 cups of water, ¼ cup of vinegar (unflavored),
and ½ teaspoon of liquid detergent, e.g.,
Palmolive® works exceptionally well.

Stay tuned for recycling tip #48:
How to re-purpose those plastic straws!

Beach Bonfires at Lake Worth Beach and Sir Eddie Ritz at The Palm Beach Post.

Sir Ritz reports on “Gooey marshmallows and chocolate” at the Lake Worth Beach Bonfires.

The first Beach Bonfire of the 2018–2019 Season
is this Friday evening!

And stay tuned. Will the yammering and disagreeable business owners on J Street create another fuss this Friday too about too few customers? Maybe the City can help and move the bonfires from Friday night to the early morning hours on Saturday morning?

Of course that’s a ludicrous idea. The point is this:

Forget about the complainers!

The 2018–2019 Beach Bonfire Season
begins this Friday night! 

If you’ve never been to a Beach Bonfire — but been wanting to go — then Save The Dates below.

Click on image to enlarge:

Hear Ye, Hear Ye. Come Ye All to the Lake Worth Beach for another Beach Bonfire Season!

FYI: The City of Lake Worth is your OFFICIAL news source for events, entertainment, and other fun stuff. To learn more click on this link for the City’s website “Special Events”.

In TGIF breaking news last year the Post’s Sir Eddie Ritz reported in the Post there will be Graham Crackers and “Gooey marshmallows” at Lake Worths Beach Bonfire.

The headline, “Light up the night at
Lake Worth Bonfire”:

“Looking for that perfect evening? Want the ambience of the ocean but maybe a little short on cash?” and, “Gooey marshmallows and chocolate nestled comfortable between two Graham Crackers will round out the night”!

The greatest political feat ever in the history of this little City of Lake Worth.

It happened in the late afternoon on January 20th, 2013 on the top floor of the Gulfstream Hotel.

Here is a little background. . .

Back in 2013 the situation was dire. The ‘heights vote’ on March 12th, 2013 was later declared “null and void”. But the “Yes” crowd from the inaptly named ‘Respectful Planning Lake Worth’ (RPLW) had been on a seemingly unstoppable campaign to misinform and confuse the public.

Here are some of the images they used
to frighten the public:

Knock Knock. “Did you know your elected officials want to raise building heights all over the downtown?” Click on images to enlarge.

To learn more about that ‘overwhelming’ heights vote in 2013 that wasn’t overwhelming at all
click on this link.

Another one:

Gulfstream Hotel takes center stage with more tall big white boxes.

And another one. . .

Something had to happen. Some way to convince the public to vote “No”.

And something did happen. And it almost worked. But what did happen was the public started paying very close attention to what was happening.

Question 1 was moving municipal elections from November back to March. Question 2 was the so-called ‘overwhelming’ heights vote:

As reported by Post reporter Lona O’Connor: “On July 2 [2013], interim city attorney Glen Torcivia told commissioners that a new state law appears to nullify the election. At that meeting Laurel Decker, one of the organizers of the March 12 referendum, vowed to take the city to court.”

And they did take the City to court. And then they lost again.

Now back to the greatest political feat ever in this City of Lake Worth.

A true tour de force at the Gulfstream Hotel later on in this blog post. And also below is a lesson for everyone planning a run for elected office. Proofreading your election material is very important as well. For example:

“Please Vote on March 23th”
“For a ride to the pools call. . .”

Yes. The instructions above did make in onto an election mailer here in the City of Lake Worth, delivered to every single super-voter (one who votes in every election).

And there also is encouragement and forewarning below for everyone who is planning to run for election in the future. Losing an election can be devastating but if you are passionate about something keep moving forward, act like the election never happened. For example, let’s examine the case of someone who suffered a devastating election loss thirteen years ago.

Rest In Peace:
Loretta Sharpe, November 4th, 1938–
January 26th, 2016.

Loretta Sharpe was one of a kind. Raised in New England she grew up in an era when political entertainment was an art form in the tradition of politicians like Thomas ‘Tip’ O’Neill.

Loretta Sharpe was involved in City of Lake Worth politics for a very long time. And one of Loretta’s passions was the historic Gulfstream Hotel and the now vacant lot to the west where she envisioned a brand new hotel. Loretta would be thrilled to learn that Hudson Holdings is gone but the City’s approvals remain in place.

By May 2013 Loretta was very ill but that didn’t slow her down a bit, especially when it came to political causes important to her. For example, for many years she fought to get the roads and potholes fixed in this City, especially in areas west of Dixie Hwy. She went completely all-in to get the August 2014 Road Bond referendum passed but it failed by just twenty-five (25) votes. Following that loss — one that struck many of us supporters of the bond very hard — and in one of the lowest moments in Lake Worth politics Loretta’s name was put on a bullet by a self-described conservative blogger.

Yes. That really happened. Ask someone you know who was involved back in 2014 trying to get that bond referendum passed.

Maybe that bullet was a warning: don’t try and put another referendum on the ballot again. But if that bullet was a warning, it backfired in a big way. The ballot referendum on November 8th, 2016 passed by a whopping 69%. Sadly, Loretta was not here to celebrate.

Even after a very long illness and many trips to the hospital, it still came a big shock for everyone to hear of Loretta’s passing.

Because this City meant so much to her Loretta tried to get elected to the City Commission back in 2005 (see image below) but came in third in a three-person race. But politics was in her blood and she never gave up. The meetings at her home on South Palmway were the stuff of legends. And if Loretta was angry, everyone knew it. And sometimes it was just for show. If you knew what to look for she had that little wink of an eye. And. . . 

Loretta will always be remembered for the greatest political stunt in the history of this City: “Hanging of the banner from the Gulfstream Hotel (see video below).

Excerpt from mailer below: “There is no area of Lake Worth Ms. Sharpe has not ventured, and no issue on which she is not informed.”

A political mailer from 2005.

Click on image to enlarge:

Loretta lost this election. Maybe a more experienced proofreader would have helped:

“Please Vote on March 23th”

“For a ride to the pools call. . .”

Now to the greatest political show in this 105-year-old City.

It was back in May 2013, even though in very poor health, it was Loretta Sharpe who first stood up to fight against THE BIG LIE about building heights in Lake Worth. Back in early 2012 THE LIARS got such a huge head start confusing the public that no one thought it was possible to get the truth out: excerpt for Loretta.

And it all started with rallying the troops, “The Hanging of the Banner”.

Here’s the short version of the story: I got a call from Loretta in January 2013 and she told me there was a meeting at her house, she lived on South Palmway at the time, and my attendance was mandatory. When Loretta told you to be somewhere you better be there. She had ideas to talk about: one of them was hanging a gigantic banner atop the Gulfstream Hotel to win the ‘heights vote’. Everyone thought she had lost her mind. Including myself. But Loretta’s idea was brilliant and everyone noticed. . .

In Memoriam.

Oh — and by the way — Loretta got fined by the State of Florida for that banner. And she paid it, all $200 of it, with pride and great fanfare. After sending the check off to Tallahassee she had a big party. She was expecting a $500 fine.

Editor(s) at The Palm Beach Post: “Beach replenishment is kind of dumb.”

UPDATE: The editor(s) at the Post think beach replenishment is dumb. But they support doing it anyhow. And below is a blog post from last September which includes the twisted reasoning why. It is truly mind-numbing.

However, what you might find very interesting is the list of projects on the “County Penny Sales Tax Capital Improvement Projects” list. For example, the Lake Lytal Family Aquatic Center will be getting a new pool and playground area.

Being a regular visitor to the Lake Lytal pool can tell you it is very well maintained but is falling apart. It was constructed about the same time as the municipal pool at the Lake Worth Beach. The lifeguards tell me when they fix one thing another thing breaks. But the good news is Palm Beach County will be constructing a new pool and playground area while the current pool remains open. If you’ve never been to Lake Lytal you should go and check it out some time.

The County list of projects is seven pages long and funded by a ¢1 sales tax increase. If you recall, the referendum to increase the sales tax passed by a wide margin in November 2016. So maybe the editor(s) at the Post can go over this project list (note link above in 2nd paragraph) and strike through a few or a lot of projects to come up with the $5.2M to fix the beaches in some very wealthy towns here in Palm Beach County.

Without further ado, the blog post from last week. . .

In this blog post are excerpts from a mind-numbing editorial in the Post published on September 9th and excerpts from an article titled “The Folly of Beach Restoration” by scientist John Englander published on Sept. 11th.

The editor(s) at the Post think Palm Beach County and the coastal communities and cities need to spend more public funds on beach replenishment. To the tune of  $7.6M with matching funds from the state. The money for beaches will have to come from other priorities in the County and municipal budgets. Like infrastructure for example.

So the coastal municipalities facing budgetary constraints will have to contribute more funding to restore the beaches of some very wealthy towns along the coastline as well. The state is already limiting public access to beaches in South Florida and the public, according to the editor(s) at the Post, need to support more beach replenishment too. Mind-numbing.

For example, the Lake Worth Beach is a public beach. It is a regional beach in Central Palm Beach County. On top of all the issues and problems at the Lake Worth Beach how much will the City of Lake Worth have to pony up to help restore the beaches in South Palm Beach? Maybe one of the business reporters at the Post will come up with some rough numbers to inform the public.

Of course, this all delves into the ¢1 sales tax increase, the referendum that passed in November 2016.

Reporter Wayne Washington at The Palm Beach Post had this eye-opening news last year about the sales tax increase and what the County plans to do with their share of the pie, ≈30% of the total, about $810M:

     Those projects won’t reshape the county into a new age place of raised highways and buildings less vulnerable to the more potent storms and catastrophic flooding scientists are warning will come with climate change.
     Most of the projects are traditional, according to a report compiled by the county’s Office of Inspector General, which will assist with oversight.
     Building replacement and renovation will account for $335 million of the $709 million allocated. Roadway repairs — restriping, resurfacing, bridge repair and replacement and street lighting — will take up another $157 million.

This puts Palm Beach County’s Climate Change and Sustainability Dept. in a pretty tough spot. If they can’t convince the County Commission about the vulnerability to climate change and global warming then they’re not in the position to be giving any direction to the cities either. And what of the continuing series, “The Invading Sea: Can South Florida Be Saved?

What real impact are the editors at the Post, Miami Herald, Sun Sentinel and WLRN (public radio) having on the public? Apparently not much.

Is the public even listening, reading or heeding this “[E]ditorial collaboration to urge action on sea-level rise”? And beach replenishment is one of the key elements in the big plan going forward. Once again. Mind-numbing.

“The Invading Sea” series began in June. But the editor(s) at the Post are now encouraging more beach renourishment. No better plan for the future? The only plan is that municipalities like the City of Lake Worth have to pay more? Here is an excerpt from that recent editorial in the Post:

[T]he beach is essential not only to Palm Beach County’s economy — think tourists, fishing, luxury residences [emphasis added] — but also to our region’s very identity. Not for nothing does “beach” appear in our county’s name, and in the names of 12 of the county’s municipalities.

Last week we learned that the county has asked the state for about $7.6 million to pay for restoration projects at what have been labeled critically eroded beaches – dwindled sections of shoreline located northward of Juno Inlet and as far south as Ocean Ridge. If the state approves the money, the county would match it with about $5.2 million and roughly $2.4 million more provided by affected coastal cities.

Now to what scientist John Englander wrote on September 11th, two days after the editorial in the Post:

The worsening beach erosion is often blamed on rising sea level with some truth, but that hides the underlying problem. Beach erosion would be happening even without rising sea level — though rising sea level will surely make the problem worse.

What’s the problem?

Beaches have always moved, or migrated. Coastal geologists have can track historical beach and shoreline movements, even before human impact. Over a few centuries, shorelines can move greatly, hundreds of feet in either direction. Barrier islands can be created as well as disappear. Let’s look at a few very simple forms of beach erosion.

  • Strong coastal storms, like hurricanes, can do major re-sculpting of a beach in hours.
  • At the other extreme, along most beaches, there is a slow, inexorable movement of sand along the shore, moving sand down the beach. You can usually observe this, just by looking carefully where the ocean meets the beach, even with the smallest waves. This natural process takes sand from one area, depositing it elsewhere — depletion and accretion.
  • Humans introduce a major new effect, wherever we interrupt that natural movement of sand along the shore. Any rock jetty, such as at a marina entrance, stops the longshore movement of sand. Sand piles up widening the beach on one side, and on the other, the beach erodes dramatically.

It is only in recent times that we have built closer and closer to the sea, assuming that “insurance would cover our assets.” In olden times it was understood to be risky and dangerous so no one built that close to the sea. To add to the problem, in the last half-century, our structures became larger, more permanent, and expensive. Think of all the expensive condominiums that seem to have sprung up like sea oats, along gorgeous beaches all over the world.

[To learn more about John Englander, “[A]n oceanographer, consultant and leading expert on sea level rise” click on this link.]

But keep in mind, the editor(s) at the Post think that beach renourishment is still the best and brightest idea for coastal Palm Beach County. And municipalities like the City of Lake Worth need to do more. Mind-numbing.

Along with the ¢1 sales tax increase — the County referendum that passed in November 2016 — the Neighborhood Road Bond referendum in the City of Lake Worth also passed by a “whopping 69%”. The public focus was and remains about fixing our infrastructure much of which fell into disrepair during the Great Recession. But things are turning around.

So maybe in a future editorial in the Post they can explain to Lake Worth Mayor Pam Triolo and the City Commission and to City Manager Michael Bornstein and City staff what part of the City budget can be cut to make certain there is more funding for beach renourishment in South Palm Beach.

However. . .

On November 8th, 2016, the public in the City of Lake Worth was asked to approve a referendum:

The editor of the editorial board at the Post wrote shortly thereafter the referendum passage, “Lake Worth is poised for some major upgrades following residents’ approval — by a whopping 69 percent. . .”

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Classic Video: Landon McNamara, surfer, and all-around cool dude.

The video below of ‘Mac Daddy Landon’ in March 2015 is one of the most-requested in this City of Lake Worth, now up to over 130K views.

This is a special treat for everyone at the Lake Worth Beach hoping and praying the ‘red tide’ will come back some day — those missing the days being featured on the TV news and on the front page of newspapers — please take solace: the ‘red tide’ will come back some day. In about a decade or two. So just hang in there.

When another rare but naturally-occurring ‘red tide’  rolls along some day off the coast of Palm Beach County remember some people will experience temporary nuisances or a respiratory irritation such as coughing, sneezing, tearing of an eye(s) and an itchy throat when Karenia brevis is present and the winds blow onshore.

But what everybody really wants to know is how do you eat a slice of pizza when wearing a face mask?

But anyhow, if you’re completely stressed thinking that ‘red flag’ on the Beach will be folded up and put away soon, please take a few minutes and relax to the cool jammin’ of Landon McNamara in his Lake Worth classic, “Jam With You”.

To all of our surfers and lifeguards here in this City of Lake Worth make certain to invite all of your cool friends to the best surfing spot in all of South Florida: the Lake Worth Beach!

And always recall about the so-called ‘red tide’.

When everyone else cut and ran from the Beach it was the heroes that ran toward the potential irritation. All the wonderful and dedicated employees and staff at:

Thank you all for your dedication to the Lake Worth Beach, your loyal customers, and taking care of all those news crews and surfers.

Now to the classic. . .

Sit back, chill, and sing along with
“Mac Daddy Landon”!

Quiz. Most of you know the answer: “How long is the Lake Worth Beach?” And why a “BEACH” matters.

The answer to that question above is a little later in this blog post.

And why a “Beach” really does matter:

How many tourists, visitors and investors thought over the years — or maybe many still think to this day — that West Palm Beach has a beach? West Palm Beach likes people to think they have a beach. But they don’t. Imagine the surprise someone packing the family in the car one day to spend the day at the West Palm Beach to discover there is no beach in West Palm Beach. West Palm Beach is not even on the ocean. Really, shouldn’t that be one of the requirements to be called a city with a beach? Imagine a surfing museum in West Palm Beach. Imagine a mural of a beach in West Palm Beach. Imagine a newspaper headquartered in West Palm Beach called the. . . Well. You get the idea.

However, there are many future residents of the City of Lake Worth (a City with a Beach) who do not know West Palm Beach does not have a beach. And with so many new and exciting housing projects on the horizon this City of Lake Worth is getting a tremendous amount of attention from Millennials and young professionals that actually want to live in a municipality with a beach.

And to emphasize that point an elected leader in this City said recently at City Hall about renaming this City as “Lake Worth Beach”:

[I]t’s really interesting when you look at a lot of the names here in Palm Beach County. For example, Royal Palm Beach doesn’t have a beach. However we’ll have to give them credit for being proactive on sea level rise issue because maybe that will catch up with them one day. But Royal Palm Beach doesn’t have a beach. West Palm Beach really doesn’t have a beach.

We [City of Lake Worth] have a beach. And if there is one thing that folks that come to Florida are attracted to oftentimes is the word “Beach”. So if you’re visiting Palm Beach County or thinking about Palm Beach County and your kind of looking through all the thirty-nine municipalities and you don’t know any different you might just pass Lake Worth over because the word ‘Beach’ isn’t affixed to our name.

And there is exciting news. A straw poll was taken of the City Commission and the result was unanimous (5-0) to have City Manager Michael Bornstein and City Attorney Glen Torcivia draft language to put this to the voters on March 12th, 2019. Stay tuned as they say.

Now as to the question, how long do you think the Lake Worth Beach is?

The answer is below following
a short quiz.

Setting the quiz parameters.

Below is a short video by VisitFlorida of the open coast beaches in the State of Florida. When you add up the total miles of Atlantic Ocean beaches, the Straits, and the Gulf of Mexico it totals 825 miles. If you total the northeast, central, and southeast regions of the Atlantic Ocean beaches the total is 362.7 miles of beach.

How many of that 363 miles of Atlantic Coast beach do you think the Lake Worth Beach comprises?

POP QUIZ: Is our BEACH. . .
  1. Two miles long?
  2. 5¼ miles?
  3. 1½ miles?
  4. 0.26 miles (1,280 feet)?
  5. One mile and 98 feet?

STOP HERE. Watch two short videos; think about it.

The answer is 4! 0.26 miles/1,280 feet (approximately).

In other words, 1,280 feet more beach
than West Palm Beach has:

A party at the Lake Worth Beach! Photoshop by the inimitable former City blogger Tom McGow.

For some perspective, Florida’s Atlantic coastal beaches total approximately 363 miles.

But regardless, West Palm Beach still does not have a beach! And never will.

Your LOCAL source for plants, trees and pottery too: Amelia’s SmartyPlants in this “Green” City of Lake Worth.

SmartyPlants is a true gem on N. Dixie Hwy. To take a virtual tour click on this link. Amelia’s SmartyPlants is open Tuesday–Friday from 9:00 a.m.–6:00, Saturday 8:30–5:30 and Sunday 10:00–5:00. Closed on Monday.

Who is SmartyPlants?

We are Paul Harding and Marta Edwards. We have created a 2-acre environmentally-conscious garden center and design service located in the heart of Lake Worth.
     Our address is 1515 N. Dixie Highway in Lake Worth — just south of West Palm Beach — we can be reached at 561-540-6296 or by email:

Learn more about SmartyPlants below and please Save The Date:

Saturday, February 16th, 2019 will be
the 14th Annual Festival of Trees.

This major event is hosted by the City’s Tree Board and held the third Saturday of each February in the Cultural Plaza in Downtown Lake Worth. And just so happens the Tree Board is having their monthly meeting this Thursday at 5:30 in City Hall.

This week the Chair of the Tree Board, Mr. Richard Stowe, and the staff liaison from the Parks Dept, Mr. Dave McGrew, will have an update on the progress of the 2019 Festival of Trees and a call for sponsors and volunteers to help out. So if you wish to become a volunteer please attend the Tree Board meeting on Thursday to learn more.

Here are images from previous festivals:

The Festival of Trees will open the 2019 Festival Season in this City. The following weekend will be the 25th annual Street Painting Festival.

Amelia’s SmartyPlants is always one of the most popular sponsors and exhibits.

Always a serious topic at the Festival of Trees in February. The annual Hurricane Season begins on June 1st. So plant and plan accordingly.

Now back to Amelia’s.

For those with an interest in plants and pottery, but not just another pot or a bucket with dirt, at Amelia’s SmartyPlants is a modernistic and cutting-edge idea. A product of “Old World” ingenuity and modern craftsmanship.

SmartyPlants has introduced the exciting product called “Fiberstone” from the Netherlands — the brainchild of two Dutch brothers  — a high-quality line of planters and pottery. About the company called Pottery Pots:

We believe in basic forms and shapes without thinking of it as boring. This no-nonsense way of thinking and designing is the Dutch identity and is widely known as ‘Dutch design’.

About the company called Pottery Pots:

Pottery Pots has become a global player in the manufacturing of pottery made from fiberstone. This material is a combination of fiberglass and stone powder which ensures a durable material that is suitable for both indoor and outdoor use at any temperature. Fiberstone comes in natural colors with glossy or matte finishes. . . . [S]imple and elegant designs that are light weight and low maintenance as well as being a great alternative to glazed pottery.

Whilst on the topic of tree one of the most popular local trees is the Mango. So popular every year this City hosts the Lake Worth International Mango Festival.

More information from the professionals at Amelia’s:

Most mango trees will grow larger than 30′, but the Julie, the Juliette, and the Nam Doc Mai are considered dwarf of semi-dwarf varieties (10–15) that can be grown in a small yard or even in a container on a patio.

These are all delicious varieties that are sweet, juicy, and fiberless. Low nitrogen fertilizer is a good option for mango trees. Otherwise, too much growth is promoted on the tree itself thereby retarding the flowering and fruiting stages.

Now let’s take a short stroll down memory lane,
more information about trees and this City’s
all-volunteer Tree Board.

Do you remember when the City of Lake Worth, the City with a tree in its official logo, had an annual tree contest? It was a hugely popular and spirited challenge. Everyone got recognized except for those that wanted to feature a nasty tree like the invasive and dangerous Australian Pine which is now illegal in Florida to distribute without a permit.

Here is the news that appeared in the Post in 2005, thirteen years ago.

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

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

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

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

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

Click on image to enlarge:

Would you like this contest to return? Have your voice heard: Consider attending the Tree Board meeting this Thursday at 5:30 in City Hall.

There is currently a vacancy on the Tree Board. Interested in becoming a volunteer board member? Then click on this link.

Back to the news published in the Post. . .

Other winners of the tree contest (by type) as reported thirteen years ago:

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

What’s your favorite tree? Ever heard of
the native green buttonwood tree?

Then show up at Amelia’s SmartyPlants this week and learn more about the buttonwood and many other trees, plants and vegetation that are available at their facility located on N. Dixie Hwy.

Amelia’s is on the west side of Dixie. The entrance is off 15th Ave. North.