Saturday, December 22, 2018

Poolside. The Colony Hotel, Town of Palm Beach, 1961.

Photo courtesy of Slim Aarons.

Christmas poem. Tropical Sun, 1891.

Click on newspaper clipping to enlarge.

Lotus Cove was a small settlement just to the north of what is now the Town of Lantana and later to become part of present-day City of Lake Worth.

News in The Palm Beach Post: “Join the historic Gulfstream Hotel for thrilling and spooky hunts.”

Later in this blog post see that absurdly ridiculous promotion published in the Post last year: “World’s Largest Ghost Hunt”. Why did it fail so badly? Here is why:

Another myth debunked:

It’s not true. There are no ghosts
in the Gulfstream Hotel.

That ghost hunt promoted by the Post at the Gulfstream Hotel in September 2017 fizzled out to no ones surprise. Ghost hunters all over the world don’t even bother with the Gulfstream any more. Read more about this topic below.

This latest ‘ghost hunt’ failed in spectacular fashion and just confirms what everyone knew already, there are no ghosts in the hotel any longer. They moved on to other haunts with more vibrancy and excitement.

But ghosts and apparitions, even fake ones,
are still very popular!

Consider the possibilities: What about having just a fun and vibrant ‘ghost hunt’ at the Street Painting Festival in February calling on world famous ghosts of artists past? Or a ghost hunt for old tabloids (see below for example) that have dried up and blown away? Or looking further out, start planning now for the renovation of the Gulfstream Hotel with celebrations at next year’s July 4th Raft Race?

Last year one idea on America’s Independence Day, in addition to the prepared music and band lineup, was to honor the American patriot Paul Revere but the very popular band Ghost of Paul Revere was fully booked and not available. Maybe next year?

The ideas and possibilities are limitless.

Now back to the ‘Ghost Hunt’ promoted
in the Post last year.

It was Post staff writer Julio Poletti as part of a “list of things to do” in an article titled, “Lake Worth has plenty of events to celebrate” over the 2017 Labor Day weekend had this absurd headline:

World’s Largest Ghost Hunt

In an attempt to bring about more vibrancy the “World’s Largest Ghost Hunt”, according to the Post reporter, was set to begin at 6:30 and go on til midnight.

It ended up no one showed at the Gulfstream for this ghost hunt anyway and around 7:30 or so learned the hotel had some new locks on the doors and there were no “ghost hunters” inside either. The myth about ghosts in the hotel has finally been debunked, once and for all.

The Post’s “ThingsToDo” crew last year
promoting the ‘ghost hunt’:

Not much vibrancy for ghosts going on here. But whilst on the topic of ghosts. . .

Do you remember that newspaper tabloid from 3½ years ago — the one that failed and was shuttered after a short period of time — that tried to bring back some vibrancy at the Gulfstream Hotel, promoted giving away the Lake Worth Beach and commercializing Bryant Park? What’s happened since? Very, very little. Which is very good news for our Beach and public parks.

From a March 2015 letter, “We would like to immediately get to an agreement. . .”.

Click on image to enlarge: 

This former tabloid that once littered the streets in this City is a ghost as well. But please take note: this ‘newspaper’ is not to be confused with The Lake Worth Herald, “Lake Worth’s Oldest Established Business – Established in 1912”.

Getting ready for the president’s next visit to the “Winter White House”.

Can you find the two errors in the press report below? A blog reader found this on Stars and Stripes, news about President Donald J. Trump:

“Trump purchased Mar-a-Lago, the 17-acre estate between the Atlantic Ocean and Lake Worth, in 1985. In 1999, he built a golf course nearby, the Trump International Golf Club in West Palm Beach.”

What are the errors? The answer is below.

Should the title of this blog post be, “Getting ready for the President’s next visit. . .”? When is it uppercase ‘President’ and when to use lowercase ‘president’ when referring to the President of the United States?

Certainly, if you’ve been getting your news about President Trump’s visits to the Town of Palm Beach and Mar-a-Lago from The Palm Beach Post’s George Bennett you are already well-schooled on this topic and understand the proper usage. By the way, if news about Mar-a-Lago and the “Winter White House” is of interest to you, Bennett’s Post on Politics blog is required reading daily or at least weekly.

So. Did you find the two errors above?

In the first sentence it should read, “between the Atlantic Ocean and Lake Worth LAGOON”. In the second sentence the “Trump International Golf Club” IS NOT in West Palm Beach. That famous golf club is located outside the city in unincorporated Palm Beach County, or what’s accurately called suburban West Palm Beach.

  • Donald Trump has visited Mar-a-Lago nine times as president. . .
  • The president — in a celebratory mood this week. . .
  • While the president is at Mar-a-Lago. . .

Nowhere in the article is it mentioned, “President Donald Trump. . .”. Is there anything wrong with that?

Once again, that is up to you to decide.

Now here’s another article by Bennett
with emphasis added:

Palm Beach County taxpayers will get a $3.4 million reimbursement from the Federal Emergency Management Agency for the costs incurred by local law enforcement agencies who helped protect President Donald Trump during his first seven visits to Mar-a-Lago as commander-in-chief.
     Trump is expected to return to Palm Beach on Friday and remain through New Year’s Day.
     Most of the FEMA money — nearly $3.3 million — will go to the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office, the lead local agency in assisting the U.S. Secret Service during presidential visits. Another $71,270 goes to the town of Palm Beach Police Department and $63,164 goes to the West Palm Beach Police Department.

and. . .

     Aside from the Florida money, FEMA approved a $36.4 million reimbursement to the New York Police Department for its costs when the president and first lady Melania Trump were in Trump Tower in New York City.

Hmmm. Should ‘first lady’ be “First Lady”? Actually no, but it really depends on house style. It could go either way.

Now here is an excerpt from Wikipedia. Can you find the error? The answer is at the end of this blog post.

The President of the United States is the head of state and head of government of the United States of America. The president directs the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces.
     In contemporary times, the U.S. President is looked upon as the world’s most powerful political figure; he is the leader of the only current global superpower. The role includes responsibility for the world’s most expensive military that has the second largest nuclear arsenal; the President also leads the nation with the largest economy by nominal GDP.
     The chief executive possesses significant domestic and international hard and soft power. Article II of the Constitution establishes the executive branch of the federal government. It vests the executive power of the United States in the president.

and. . .

     The president is further empowered to grant federal pardons and reprieves, and to convene and adjourn either or both houses of Congress under extraordinary circumstances.

Now. From the AP, “When to Capitalize President” and about the word ‘Presidential’ as well:

The AP Stylebook holds that you should capitalize president only as a formal title that is before one or more names. For example,
  • President Barack Obama
  • Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton

President should be lowercase is all other uses. Example,
  • The president will make an announcement tomorrow.
  • I am now announcing my candidacy for president.
  • Roosevelt was president during the Great Depression.

From the AP Style about “Presidential”:

Presidential should be lowercase unless a part of a proper name. For example,
  • This is a scandal of presidential proportions.
  • This is the 50th Presidential Inauguration.

Back to the question. Did you find the error above in the excerpt from Wikipedia?

It’s in the paragraph beginning with “In contemporary times. . .”: in the last sentence ‘the President’ should be lowercase, not uppercase.

Hope you found this blog post fun, and once again, Thank You for visiting today!

“Let me chime in, for the record, Ed Liberty, director of the utility. . .”

Watch and listen to Mr. Liberty for yourself. The City’s YouTube video is at the end of this blog post.

The public here in the City of Lake Worth, residents of suburban Lake Worth and customers of the Lake Worth Electric Utility (LWEU) in the Village of Palm Springs will find this video very informative (FYI: For the City’s Interactive GIS Web Mapping Gallery use this link).

Earlier this year was Budget Work Session #4. Several budget topics were on the agenda and one of those items were updates about LWEU from Dir. Liberty. Remember, this meeting was a Budget Work Session. No votes are taken at work sessions or workshops and a quorum is not necessary to proceed. The meeting began with only commissioners Omari Hardy and Herman C. Robinson present and later Mayor Pam Triolo was in attendance as well.

This Work Session lasted about 1½ hours and the video below begins at the twenty-minute mark. Near the end of the video, at the one hour and thirty-six minute mark is some very sobering news about the City’s municipal golf course, e.g., every year about $60–80K has to be refunded because of too much water on the course, another infrastructure issue to fix courtesy of The Best Commission Ever! or just BCE! for short.

You see, the golf course has too much water a lot of the time and the municipal pool at the Beach was losing water at the same time. The pool is now condemned and the golf course is still hanging on. Anyhow. . .

Without further ado, “Let me chime in, for the record, Ed Liberty, director of the utility. . .”

Friday, December 21, 2018

Keep the faith everyone in Greenacres, Palm Springs, Lake Clarke Shores and Lantana. Your time will come.

Gatehouse Media took over the operations at The Palm Beach Post on May 1st. Expect some big changes in the New Year 2019.

The change was very subtle and very quick. On March 2nd on p. 2 of the print edition, below the fold, “Gatehouse Media” replaced “Cox Media Group”:

Gatehouse Media took over the Palm Beach Daily News too. Luckily for both newspapers the property and offices at 2751 S. Dixie Hwy. were not sold off.

Anyhow. . .

Three years ago the Post had a beat reporter assigned to the City of Greenacres. One of the last issues covered by the Post was the merge of the Greenacres PD with PBSO. The merge must be working out spectacularly because the editor(s) haven’t assigned a reporter to this story for, you guessed it, nearly three years. For dutiful and faithful readers of the print edition an update about crime stats from Greenacres may be surprising news. Or not surprising at all.

On the topic of public policy. . . What if another village, town or city is considering merging their police department with PBSO. An update about what happened in Greenacres would be most helpful, would it not?

By the way, many of you will be surprised to learn the City of Lake Worth located right here in Central Palm Beach County (CPBC) is smaller in land area than Greenacres and has a lower population as well. So what makes Lake Worth so special probably just came down to a coin flip or it’s a much shorter drive from the offices at the Post on Dixie Hwy. in West Palm Beach.

On the topic of CPBC how much do you know about the Village of Palm Springs and Town of Lake Clarke Shores? If you rely on the Post’s ‘Local’ section, not very much. But that may change if Gatehouse Media decides big changes are in order for that newspaper.

If the Post has so many resources why devote so much attention to just the City of Lake Worth? Are cities west of us just “flyover County”?

Aren’t you interested in what’s happening between the City of Lake Worth and the villages of Wellington and Royal Palm Beach?

The print edition of The Palm Beach Post’s Lake Worth Very Very Special Monday Collector Print Edition (LWVVSMCPE) is Every Monday. Each and every Monday. Do you live in Greenacres and desperately need the phone number for the Lake Worth sewer department? Parks and recreation? That’s right. You’ll find those phone numbers for the City of Lake Worth, and others, every Monday in the Post. Every single Monday for the last three years.

More people in Greenacres by now could probably tell you the phone number for the Public Works Dept. in Lake Worth than know the phone number for their own Public Works Dept. in Greenacres (by the way, that phone number is 561-642-2071).

Why can’t Greenacres and Palm Springs
be special every now and then?

And Lake Clarke Shores too?

Every Monday the little 6-square-mile City of Lake Worth is highlighted along with much larger cities. Greenacres is a little city too. So is Palm Springs. And so is Lake Clarke Shores.

If you’ve been paying attention, read this blog, or get The Lake Worth Herald you have a real good idea what’s going on in Lake Worth. But imagine you live in Greenacres and have been trying everything to get the attention of a Post beat reporter. You grab that Monday paper and it’s the LWVVSMCPE again. Really?

“Ahhhhhhhhh! Ahhhhhhhhh! God!!!!!!!!!”

This question about why Lake Worth is so special is certainly being pondered by residents, city governments and politicians in Lantana, Hypoluxo, Greenacres, Palm Springs, Atlantis, Lake Clarke Shores and other cities as well. And ask yourself this, why isn’t Delray Beach special? Lulu Ramadan is the Post beat reporter in Delray. Can anyone explain why Ramadan and Delray don’t get a special day now and then?

Six square miles. Six. 6. That’s the size of the City of Lake Worth. Palm Beach County is 2,386 square miles. Lake Worth is 0.25% of that. Lake Worth’s percentage of the County population? 0.0026. That’s it. However, if you’re a regular reader of The Palm Beach Post you’d think this City is a much bigger player on the stage. It’s not. We’re a blip compared to our neighbor to the north, West Palm Beach.

So. Do you live in Greenacres? Palm Springs? Have news you would like to see published in the Post print edition other than about a crime or vehicle crash? You’ll just have to keep working hard to get some attention and maybe some day soon you’ll get your Special Day in The Palm Beach Post too.

Just not Monday.

Momofuku Ando: Inventor of instant ramen. Ando believed noodles could bring about world peace.

Below is an excerpt from an article in Vox on Momofuku Ando, the inventor of ramen instant noodles:

Momofuku Ando, who invented ramen instant noodles, has become an unlikely hero to foodies everywhere. In addition to inspiring hip restaurants (and Google Doodles), he’s earned the adoration of a nation. In a 2000 poll, Japanese respondents said instant ramen was the country’s top invention of the 20th century.

Ando died at 96 in January 2007, but his legacy endures — not least due to the widespread popularity of his most famous invention.

A video accompanies this article and note where Ando, “believed that noodles might bring world peace (he really said that)”:

Very cool video produced by City of Lake Worth with a splendid Beach: “Embrace the Art of Florida Living”:

One does not need to be an artist to live in this City. Just living here is an art form!

That vibrant video is below, but first. . .

Attention Millennials: Searching in South Florida for that perfect location? A new home, condo or apartment?

Millennials with children! Have you heard the news about Meritage Homes? Click on this link for the news about a “59-house subdivision in Lake Worth”. And also nearby is exciting news about attractive apartment residences, an upcoming project called “The MID” on Dixie Hwy., and there are trendy and charming condos available right now and others under construction in the Downtown too, for example, “Chic Coastal Living: Less than a Mile from the Beach.”

And please consider this. . .

In what other city in the nation can you:
  • Drop off the children at a top-rated charter school located right off a central busy corridor.
  • You can tell the kids to take the bus home. A Palm Tran bus stop is right across the street.
  • Pack the cooler with ice and adult beverages at the convenient One-Stop right next door.
  • Go right across the street (behind the bus stop) with your prescription for medical marijuana.
  • Stroll our vibrant Downtown and shop for a bit.
  • Have lunch at any number of cool restaurants and Hipster eateries.
  • And then spend the rest of the day chillin’ at the Beach just minutes away?


We have everything you need right here in the
little City of Lake Worth!

And what other city celebrates ITLAPD?*

Looking for an event venue? Then check out the Lake Worth Casino: It has a “3,000 square foot ballroom that offers breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean with wrap-around terraces and provides a perfect location for weddings, special occasions and other events.

About the video below:

“The City of Lake Worth turned a corner this year [2017] and is well on its way to the best version of itself. We may not be the wealthiest City but we have heart. This video captures various aspects of Lake Worth which contribute to the thriving quirky and fun culture that energizes the City.”

Enjoy the video!

*ITLAPD  =  International Talk Like A Pirate Day.

     This event is held every year in the little, vibrant City of Lake Worth on September 19th with a proclamation at City Hall.
     When a former commissioner raised an objection years back, City Manager Michael Bornstein said this:

“I’m so sorry you find this fun, silly proclamation anything more than that,” Bornstein wrote in his response [to former commissioner JoAnn Golden]. “I could easily become consumed with a sense of over correctness in almost everything involved in government. However, I refuse to become devoid of all the wonderful human emotions including, most importantly, humor.”

Thursday, December 20, 2018

PUBLIC SAFETY REMINDER: Stormwater and drainage.

“Most times there is not a problem, Mabel. It’s only a problem when it rains. Call that reporter again!”

In the City of Lake Worth if you are having problems with water drainage in your neighborhood don’t wait until the next major weather event to call CBS12 or a reporter from the Post. They cannot help you.

What will help is contacting the City’s Stormwater Division at the Public Services Dept. You can contact the supervisor and/or the office if you have a problem. For all that information click on this link. This is also very important:

Keep the City’s alleyways clear ALL YEAR,
not just during Hurricane Season.

The City of Lake Worth’s Pioneers
created the system of alleys.

Over 100 years ago, the City was platted with alleys for deliveries and utility services to the rear of homes, off neighborhood streets. Vehicles are
much larger now; demand for services has
greatly increased.

From the City’s website: Lake Worth was platted in the early 1900s with an extensive network of alleyways. Historically, alleyways were used as service corridors for utilities and deliveries in the back of homes and businesses. Alleyways also provided a rear access to a property where a garage may have been located in residential areas.
     While times have changed — deliveries may no longer take place in alleys and garbage collection takes place out front — many of Lake Worth’s water and electric lines are still located in the alleyways.
     Lake Worth alleys are narrow, ranging in size from roughly 10 ft. in residential areas up to 15 ft. wide in commercial areas. They are barely wide enough to accommodate the big, burly trucks, equipment and teams for the efficient delivery of utilities services when clear.

Who is responsible for
the alleyways?

City’s Responsibility:

  • Mow and grade alleyways.
  • Keep power lines clear of foliage.

Citizen’s Responsibility:

  • Keep alley clear of all trash behind your property.
  • Dispose of any bulk items in the proper manner. Not in the alley.
  • Keep hedges, shrubs, and trees trimmed. Out of the alley.

Two items from the Q&A:

What is an easement?
Portion(s) of a property owner’s land where the City is provided legally granted access for utilities or other City essential services.
Who owns the easement anyway? The property owner or the City utilities?
Property owners own the land. As a property owner, it is your responsibility to keep all areas of the easement free of debris and structures so City utilities crews can do their work.

Ventusky. The most amazing weather website/app you’ll ever use.

A few days prior to Hurricane Irma last year stumbled across the most incredible weather websites ever called Ventusky.

You’ll never look at TV and press weather reports in the same way ever again. Ventusky is a,

“. . . [C]ombination of two words. The first is Latin word, Ventus, means wind, the second is English word, Sky.”

You can customize Ventusky to your liking for the time of day, shows estimated wind speed, waves, etc. You can choose what you want to see on the left side of the page using various tabs. It will ask to follow your location (“Search for location. . .”) and works on mobile devices as well.

Once you enter your location into Ventusky (e.g., your zip code) you’ll be blown away (pardon the pun):

The Ventusky web application has been developed for you at our company, InMeteo, in collaboration with Marek Mojzík and Martin Prantl. We are a Czech meteorological company based in Pilsen. At our company, we focus on weather prediction and meteorological data visualisation. We have a wealth of experience in presenting weather data from our portal, In-počasí, which was founded in 2006 and is now one of the highest-traffic servers in the Czech Republic.”

This weather application is really amazing and encourage you to share it with all your friends and family.

Below is a political mailer from eleven years ago. “Hmmm. Look at this, Mabel. Is that who I think it is!”

“The city has a hard enough time getting anything of significance accomplished and the big decisions that are made often pass on a split 3-2 vote.”

—The South Florida Sun-Sentinel Editorial Board on March 7th. 2007.

Click on image to enlarge.

Recognize anyone opposed to
the “POWER GRAB” in 2007? 

The editor at The Lake Worth Herald on March 1st, 2007 wrote: “The city can ill afford to change its charter to conform to the whimsy and caprice of a few who see danger lurking under every rock.”

There was a letter to the editor published in The Palm Beach Post last Sunday.

Before we get to that letter . . . let’s set the stage.

“Imagine if a boatload of refugees came on our shore here, how would we feel? I’d be ashamed to say we’d probably take out guns and get rid of ‘em.”

Quote. Jo-Ann Golden addressing the Lake Worth City Commission on September 1st, 2015.

And then on April 3rd, 2016, in of all places the Atlantis Country Club, Golden and the Palm Beach Chapter of the ACLU met to discuss, “[A] three to two vote, Ordinance 2016-06 went into effect February 2, 2016.”

And briefly, just by coincidence, coming up on January 12th is an event on the theme “A Whole New World”. This fundraiser is being held in the City of Atlantis — a city protected by walls — but inside those walls will be a cash prize, raffles, and wonderful baskets.

This “Great Holiday Gift” only costs $50 and need RSVP by January 5th. For more details click on this link.

The letter published in the Post last Sunday (Dec. 16th, 2018) was by Jo-Ann Golden also referred to as ‘JoAnn’ as in Carson vs. Karson. The editor at the Post made an error that should have been corrected — or at least clarified — but wasn’t. Golden’s letter was the second negative letter in a row about the Lake Worth City Commission. A positive letter could have been published this week but that never happens.

Oftentimes the “seeds of discontent” about ‘Lake Worth’ are from outside this City in places like the City of Atlantis, from well-heeled communities out west with well-manicured golf courses, and from Lake Osborne Heights just outside the City. And many of those people, when we needed them most, fled the City of Lake Worth in the 60s and 70s.

Then what followed was many years of turmoil. Then about ten years ago things began to turn around. And now this City has come back strong. And to recognize all that this City will be having a referendum on March 12th, 2019 to rename itself “Lake Worth Beach”, shedding the old ‘Lake Worth’ that has haunted us for so very long.

And to no one’s surprise, Jo-Ann Golden has a problem with that.

Now that the stage has been set. To that letter to the editor published last Sunday.

Whilst trying to be a little too clever, in attempting to make the case against renaming this City as “Lake Worth Beach”, Golden actually makes the case for “Lake Worth Beach”.

That’s sort of what Jo-Ann Golden did in a Letter to the Editor published in The Palm Beach Post in last Sunday’s paper, a letter about a public meeting held in this City of Lake Worth. This blog post is a follow-up, clearing up some matters and some misconceptions vis-à-vis our long-time Mayor Pam Triolo. To learn more about that and Golden’s letter that got published click on this link.

That letter by Golden referenced a scheduled public meeting at City Hall on December 4th. Below is a Tweet from that night.

Please read the text in this Tweet. The press and media was present so claiming the public was “sequestered” is ludicrous:

[Please pause for Tweet to load]

Sadly. Also on the night of December 4th — just after the City Commission meeting had started — is when that terrible motorcycle crash happened near City Hall. So possibly Golden’s crowd en route to the meeting stopped to watch what was going on and that’s why so many were late.

WPTV reporter Andrew Lofhom ran out of the meeting to report on this incident and soon afterwards returned to City Hall. It’s worth noting that nothing about a contentious agenda item made the news that night on TV (Resolution No. 78-2018; see below).

And Resolution No. 78-2018 wasn’t mentioned anywhere else until Golden’s letter got published in the Post. But more about that a little later.

The meeting on December 4th was publicly noticed well ahead of time. That some of the public showed up late is not the fault of the City. On this Golden wrote,

“The overflow was sequestered [sic] in the hallway and conference room.”

Golden’s letter was mostly just a muddled collection of loaded words like the public being “sequestered” outside the City Hall chambers. The word ‘sequester’ means to separate, segregate or isolate. So already you see where things are headed.

The word sequester is a nine-letter loaded word just like ‘sanctuary’ is a nine-letter loaded word.

A crowd showed up in support of Resolution No. 78-2018, “Affirming Participation In and Acceptance of Community ID Cards”. If this issue was so critically important why didn’t the supporters of this resolution show up early to guarantee seating in the Chambers? Would this be more accurately called a political organizing failure?

But they showed up late and Golden said
they were ‘sequestered’.

Then after Resolution 78-2018 came Ordinance nos. 2018-18 and 2018-19. First Reading of:

Ballot language to change name of City to Lake Worth Beach by referendum on March 12, 2019, and setting the second reading and public hearing for December 13, 2018.

and. . .

Ballot language to allow the sale of 501 Lake Avenue by referendum on March 12, 2019, and setting the second reading and public hearing for December 13, 2018.

Of these items Golden said, “Two contentious ballot items were passed on First Reading with little public comment at close to midnight.”

It’s here where one has to ‘sequester’ one’s sense of space and time like in the Twilight Zone.

Let’s pause briefly. . .

Now back on topic. . .

Golden, her crowd of supporters, and the electeds getting clever with Robert’s Rules of Order pushed this discussion into such nonsense that Mayor Triolo had enough and left. Unfortunately a lot of voters will be reminded about what happened; there is an election of candidates coming up. We’ll just leave it at that.

And lastly, Golden ends that letter with this line,

The desire of the Commission to distinguish itself from the other Lake Worth zip codes is not by changing the name, rather it is by being uniquely Lake Worth . . . Authenticity is our brand.

And on that Golden makes a great point.

Monkeywrenching public meetings is, for some people, ‘uniquely Lake Worth’. And for those same people, ‘authenticity’ is their brand of troublemaking.

Remember, the unanimous vote by the City Commission on renaming this City the “City of Lake Worth Beach” came after the ‘contentious’ Resolution 78-2018 that Golden and her crowd supported.

Because of that one resolution, typically short items on an agenda, this public meeting at City Hall was pushed to almost midnight.

Back in 2011 the City Commission flipped and the administration led by former mayors and those representatives such as Golden and Cara Jennings were shown the door and ever since this City with a spectacular Beach has been improving and getting better every single day.

And on that we truly deserve to proclaim we are unique and authentic now. A truly special place.

On March 12th, 2019, vote “Yes”
for Lake Worth Beach.

FYI: Every vote, official votes and straw poll votes taken by the City Commission have been unanimous to move this referendum forward to the voters. Every single one. Including the unanimous vote at Second Reading held last week, on Thursday, December 13th.

At public comment last Thursday the public was permitted to speak their mind. Jo-Ann Golden did not show up.

Cara Jennings did show up. Be she was late and missed most of the meeting. She did not speak on any item.

Being late is sort of a thread in this blog post today.

The choice comes to moving this City forward or going back to when “Lake Worth” was just contentious all the time.

For example, there is this yard sign:

Another one of the stupid red and white signs.

To learn more about these illegal political signs
click on this link.

Now that the November General Election is finally far behind us. . .

It’s worth noting in an editorial published yesterday in The Palm Beach Post titled “DeSantis must either change course or leadership at SFWMD” the editor(s) ended with this paragraph:

This newspaper did not endorse DeSantis [Gov.-elect Ron DeSantis] because, among other things, we didn’t think him serious when he claimed to be a friend of the environment. We would love to be proved wrong. Surprise us, Mr. Governor-elect.

True. The Post did not endorse DeSantis. And they did not endorse DeSantis’ challenger in the August Primary either. That was Adam Putnam. Maybe an endorsement for Putnam in the 2018 Primary would have made a difference. The Sun Sentinel thought it would in their endorsement for Putnam. And it’s possible this world would be a better place today if the editor(s) at the Post made an endorsement for Hillary Clinton to be President of the United States in November 2016. But they didn’t. They made no endorsement for president two years ago.

Read more about that below.

And to the biggest question of all: Should newspapers even be in the business of making political endorsements in the first place?

How important is a newspaper political endorsement in your decision how to vote?

Looking back, how did the Post editorial board do with their endorsements in the General Election this year? The word dreadful comes to mind.

For example, the editor(s) at the Post did not endorse Scott Ryan Kerner for Palm Beach County Circuit Judge.

But Scott Kerner won anyway. In another race Allegra Fung did not get the endorsement for Palm Beach County Court either. She won too.

The editor(s) at the Post opposed Amendment 6 (rights of crime victims) and Amendment 7 (first responder and military benefits). But the voters statewide said, “Yes” to both amendments.

However, on the upside the editor(s) opposed Amendment 1 and that amendment 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 Post endorsed Jim Bonfiglio in the District 89 race for Florida State Representative. But that was not enough to help. By just thirty-seven votes Mike Caruso prevailed.

Which brings to mind the worst endorsement of all time by the Post was actually no endorsement. Back in 2016 the editor(s) made no endorsement for President of the United States. And they made no endorsement for the City of Lake Worth’s Neighborhood Road Bond in 2016 either. But it didn’t matter. That referendum passed by a “whopping 69 percent”.

So. Now that the November 6th General Election is finally behind us.

And with many municipalities holding nonpartisan elections in LOCAL municipal elections in Palm Beach County, elections coming up in March 2019, here is a question oft-posed on this blog:

Is it time for the editor(s) at the Post to stop the practice of making political endorsements?

This is not new by any means. For some time now newspapers around the country have stopped making political endorsements, opting instead to publish candidate positions and let the electorate decide.

Looking back the editor(s) at the Post made no endorsement in the Republican Primary Election for governor. But the Sun Sentinel did. The Sentinel picked Adam Putnam. They picked wrong. In the Democrat Primary the Post picked Gwen Graham. The Sentinel picked Jeff Greene. They were both wrong and the rest is history, as they say.

Now back to the case of Scott Kerner, the race for PBC Circuit Court.

Kerner won despite not getting the Post endorsement in the General Election. The Post endorsed Allegra Fung for Palm Beach County Court too. Fung lost to Ashley Zuckerman.

Congratulations to both winners and kudos to Alcolya St. Juste and Allegra Fung for throwing their hats into the ring and running for election. It’s an arduous process and can sometimes be heartbreaking.

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

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!

Here are more Post endorsements in the 2018 General Election.

  • Florida Chief Financial Officer: The Post endorsed Jeremy Ring who lost to Jimmy Patronis.
  • Florida Agriculture Commissioner: The Post endorsed Nicole ‘Nikki’ Fried who defeated 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 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? The public is still trying to figure that out. But in the meantime maybe 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 where the Post headquarters is located, 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.

Let’s digress for a moment. . .

Back in March 2016 the Post editorial board endorsed all three of the incumbents running for re-election in this City of Lake Worth. In March of this year the Post endorsed Mayor Pam Triolo once again for re-election. But Commissioner Scott Maxwell? They picked his challenger this time the reasoning being, “It’s time he made way for a challenger with fresher ideas.”

Is that enough of a reason?

But Maxwell won anyhow:

Commissioner Andy Amoroso was unopposed in the March 2018 elections. Mayor Pam Triolo should have been unopposed as well. The theory is Sarah Malega would have a better chance of winning without Drew Martin in the race.

Now let’s go back to November 2016 when the Post made no endorsement for president of the United States.

Following that election it was never explained why they made no endorsement for president. It could be there is no explanation. Maybe they just forgot. But in such a close election anything could have been the tipping point and to this day the speculation continues how that election turned out the way it did.

But the one big question is what role did Bernie Sanders have to play in all this? Was it a nod to the Sanders supporters why the editor(s) at the Post did not make an endorsement for president?

So many questions.

The primary results from 2016.

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

TONIGHT: Joint meeting of HRPB and P&Z: Recall what the mayor said, “Encourage. Educate. Don’t legislate.”

Before we get to what the mayor said,
two things worth noting.

The first is on this blog last week noted an upcoming Recreation Advisory Board (RAB) meeting tonight. THAT IS INCORRECT!

There is no RAB tonight.

The meeting was cancelled. This month’s RAB was moved to last week, prior to this year’s Christmas Parade. The RAB regularly meets on the third Wednesday of the month per the City’s website. Stay tuned for the meeting date and agenda in January.

And secondly there is a public policy debate going on right now in Gainesville. This most certainly will have significant ramifications on this City of Lake Worth, specifically all the damage done by hardwood and shade trees prior to, during and post-Hurricane Irma.

Going forward the Lake Worth Electric Utility, road design guidelines and public safety will continue to be a major focus. As noted many times on this blog, many in this City love trees and as reported by reporter Cindy Swirko at The Gainesville Sun it’s no different in Gainesville

“People talk about trees, are interested in trees, love trees,” Andreu said. “It can be very emotional. Spiritual, even. People engage in trees at all different levels.”

Michael Andreu, as reported by Cindy Swirko, “is an associate professor of the University of Florida’s School of Forest Resources and Conservation.”

Note: Hurricane Season begins once again on June 1st, 2019. And that tree you love so much now could become a public safety hazard in less than six months. It could take out a power line, break apart sidewalks, snap water and gas lines, and block a road needed for emergency access.

Now back to the mayor. . .

And Mayor Pam Triolo went on to say, “We cannot legislate our way out of every problem.”

Continue reading to learn more about what happened at the Lake Worth City Commission last October and how the Sunshine Law comes into play.

At the end of this blog post is the agenda for this week’s meeting of the Historic Resource Preservation Board (HRPB) and Planning and Zoning (P&Z) Board.

And what happens at this joint meeting will make it to the City Commission. And then hopefully to a work session. A productive one.

Two months ago at the Commission one could have called this public meeting a “clash of visions” between the City staff and the City Commission. The message from the Commission and the public in attendance last October was very clear: Put the stick down and start using some carrots instead.

Two days following that Commission meeting on October 16th put up this blog post titled, “IN CASE OF EMERGENCY BREAK GLASS”.

And then asked if it was time to “Break Glass” here in the City. No. You can put the hammer down.

Those ‘clashes’ of vision is one that makes the case for eliminating the Sunshine Law, or at least changing it in some way. It is a radical idea but one that’s brought up from time to time.

Because elected leaders and volunteer board members cannot communicate about issues outside a public meeting — specifically issues that may come up for a vote at a later time — many times members of the elected Commission and members appointed to volunteer boards think they are on the same page. But they’re not. And at other times people think they are not on the same page. But they are.

And then sometimes all hell breaks loose.

Maybe this week will be a reboot of some sort. Because the topics discussed at the joint HRPB and P&Z workshop will come before the City Commission.

You may want to attend this joint workshop on Wednesday. The agenda is below.

To look over the entire agenda and backup, click on this link and scroll down for the December 19th “Agenda Package” to download.

Here is the brief version of tonight’s workshop:

Joint Workshop.
City Hall Commission Chambers.
Dec. 19th, 6:00.

  • Roll call and recording of absences
  • Pledge of Allegiance.
  • Agenda: Additions, deletions, reordering and approval of agenda.
  • Planning issues.
  • Presentation and discussion regarding the Lake Worth Major Thoroughfares Design Guidelines (see below).
  • Public comment (3 minute limit).
  • Board member comments.
  • Adjournment.

Explained. Major Thoroughfares Design Guidelines:

“The current set of design guidelines for the major thoroughfares of the City of Lake Worth are nearly 20 years old and are not consistent with new Land Development Regulations (LDRs) adopted in August 2013 or the newly adopted City Comprehensive Plan, which went into effect June 2018.

“In order to develop a current set of design guidelines for the major thoroughfares, which include Lake Avenue, Lucerne Avenue, 10th Avenue North, 6th Avenue South, most of Federal Highway, Dixie Highway and Lake Worth Road, the City collaborated with the Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) to oversee the procurement of a design consultant to draft an updated document.”

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

Of note during this Christmas and Holiday Season there were two misfortunes in this City of Lake Worth Beach.

The first one, as reported in The Palm Beach Post, a store selling shaved ice cream is closing in the Downtown. They couldn’t cut the ice, so to speak. And secondly, crime has fallen dramatically in this City. That this has gone unreported in The Palm Beach Post is the second misfortune.

And wonderfully, as Christmas Day and the New Year approaches, am happy to report the Book Cellar Bookstore in the Downtown has been serving this City and its residents since October 2017.

Without further ado. . .

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 keep on requesting more books to this day.

To purchase tickets for The Cottages of Lake Worth Home Tour 2019 visit The Book Cellar.

For more details about The Cottages Tour
click on this link.

The hardcover book:

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.

On septic tanks and ‘red tide’: News published in The Palm Beach Post.

In the print edition this week the Post picked up big news by reporter Mark Young, an urban affairs reporter at the Bradenton Herald headlined, “Septic tank bill revived in House”. Two excerpts with emphasis added:

To what extent septic tanks are contributing to the overall problem [red tide] remains up for debate, but there’s enough scientific research in place that warrants attention, and it’s something that the Legislature can act upon now, Robinson [State House Rep. Will Robinson] said.

and. . .

While the original law [in 2010] was in effect, one report was filed with the state in 2011 that indicated out of the estimated 2.6 million septic tanks in Florida, fewer than 1 percent were being inspected and serviced by a licensed maintenance professional. In most cases, the report states, “They are only inspected after failure.

“They are only inspected
after failure.”

Does anyone know for certain how many septic tanks are near Lake Osborne in unincorporated Palm Beach County? How many homes in the City of Lake Worth are still on septic?

The good news is. . .

A map is being compiled for the location of all septic tanks in this City and surrounding suburban areas outside the City as well. Click on this link to learn more. The water tables are very low in the vicinity of Lake Osborne. For the safety of children and public health all those septic tanks need to be inspected for safety before there is a septic tank failure.

Martin County is just fine with septic tanks. But that doesn’t mean Palm Beach County should be just fine with septic tanks too.

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Historic Gulfstream Hotel. Highs and the lows. But the structure stands tall in Downtown Lake Worth.

First, about the name of this historic hotel: “Gulf Stream” (historic name for the hotel) over time became “Gulfstream”, two names ‘blended’ (a portmanteau) and both names were used interchangeably in different eras for many reasons, e.g., commonly accepted title by the public, news reports, public relations, advertising, etc.

Below are images from the menu and cocktails at the “Gala New Year’s Party” from 76 years ago at the Gulfstream Hotel in Downtown Lake Worth.

And also below are some of the highs and lows about this historic hotel in the Downtown. In 2012 I spent an entire day touring the hotel whilst it was under previous ownership and you can read more about that below.

The latest very good news is Hudson Holdings is finally history, out of the picture and no longer involved with the future of the Gulfstream Hotel.

Click on this link to find out the status of the current approvals from the City for the renovation of the Gulfstream Hotel and new construction.

It’s very important for the public to know that a designation of “historic” is no protection from the wrecking ball. I’ve been through this process before: documenting a structure’s significance, showing it once existed, then torn down and hauled away. And also, over and over again, the public is misled about historic preservation by those who should know better, like the editor(s) at The Palm Beach Post when they published this nonsense:

“The Gulfstream Hotel should be taken back by the city and made into an affordable destination for tourists who would generate income and provide jobs for our community.”

The City of Lake Worth, never in the history of the Gulfstream Hotel, has ever owned that structure. It’s always been private property and the City could not just ‘take it back’. But since that nonsense got published how many in the public think the City is responsible for this historic structure?

Since May 2014: The highs
and the lows.

For a brief time in August 2016 we gathered to celebrate good news on the hotel’s patio and to honor an old friend, Loretta Sharpe, who devoted so much of her time and energy to save this historic structure, our Gulfstream Hotel.

Sadly, Loretta had passed away, but her strong
spirit was there that day.

On March 31st, 2017 came the best news of all, or so we all thought at the time: “The Petition for
Writ of Certiorari is DENIED

Then on April 14th, 2017 came this news from Sun Sentinel reporter Arlene Satchell headlined, “Lake Worth’s historic Gulfstream Hotel slated for $80 million makeover”, an excerpt:

“Our plans are to rehabilitate this hotel [and] bring it back to its historic significance in the public areas, the lobby, corridors etc.,” said Steven Michael, principal of developer Hudson Holdings during a tour Friday. “We’ll do a complete rehabilitation of the whole building from top to bottom.” [emphasis added]

But of course nothing moved forward and the Gulfstream Hotel remained shuttered. However, since May 2014 no event or news has stood out more than what happened on January 5th, 2016 at the Lake Worth City Commission when a very well-respected land use attorney then representing the owners of the Gulfstream Hotel said:

“I have to tell you, in 23 years I’ve never, ever seen so many people come out, leave their homes at dinner time to speak in favor of an application. It just doesn’t happen. People come to speak against, but people don’t come to speak in favor. So I am overwhelmed by the volume of people that have been here this evening.”

A month later I published this video to YouTube:

Let’s take a stroll back to 2012. . .

I toured the Gulfstream Hotel from the roof all the way down to the maintenance room six years ago while under previous ownership and the structure is indeed impressive. From the roof the views are vast of “the Palm Beach Area” (note the first image below).

The roof was (and still is) used by a cell phone company with an array of equipment outside and inside the building that made a constant ‘whirring’ sound. The hallways and stairs I noticed were completely clear of any debris or obstructions but the individual rooms were torn apart like they were being renovated. It was like the crew doing the work went on lunch break, years ago, and haven’t returned to finish the work. On the top two floors there was some water damage which is to be expected.

Interestingly, the hotel had running water when I was there. The rooms have very small bathrooms, tiny closets, and barely enough room for common amenities the modern-day hotel customer is accustomed to. Most of the rooms I looked through were on the top four floors and surmised all the hotel’s rooms were in a similar condition. A renovation will lower the number of rooms and increase room sizes as tourists and business travelers expect in this modern era.

The lobby and first floor are incredible and you can imagine a visitors’ joy arriving to the hotel fresh off a Henry Flagler train to escape the northern cold. Most of the first floor, when I was there, was being used for furniture storage and it was all kept in an orderly fashion. Below the hotel’s first (main) floor is the boiler room and maintenance areas and was like a step back in time, like a movie scene from the 1930s or 1940s.

I’ve made this observation many times on this blog and will do so once again: it’s a near miracle this hotel is still standing tall in our Downtown. So many of these historic structures are long gone now and are just memories in a book or computer file that nobody, or very few, care to look at any more. 

I hope you enjoy this look back at New Year’s Day at the “Gulf Stream” Hotel 76 years ago:

“Everything Florida Has — We Have”

New Year’s Dinner at the “Gulf Stream” Hotel: January 1st, 1942.

The Gala: New Year’s party on the “Gulf Stream” Patio and Cocktail Lounge: December 30th, 1941.