Saturday, December 22, 2018

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.

“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.

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

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.”

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.

Monday, December 17, 2018

The City of Lake Worth (with a “Beach”) takes our Mexican food, tacos and “Hipster” status very seriously.


For those of you who may have missed this, a blog post that’s ‘stirred up a pot of beans’ one could say:


Have you been to Tacos Al Carbon yet? They have the best authentic Mexican food in the County. But first, before we get to Tacos Al Carbon located here in the City of Lake Worth, did you happen to catch this ‘news’ in the Post

“Dining review: D■■ C■■■■’s brings hipster tacos to Wellington”


Don’t fall for this ‘hip taco’ headline in
The Palm Beach Post!


The devil, as they say, is in the details. The reporter ‘gives up the beans’ so to speak with this line buried in the food review:

Perhaps these were not the most authentically Mexican tacos I’ve had. . .

And this food/restaurant ‘news’ is just one more lame attempt to try and become a “Hipster Haven”. This is nothing new. West Palm (WITHOUT A BEACH) tried to claim being a ‘Hipster Haven’ and that failed. Delray Beach tried and failed as well and even Westlake gave it a try once upon a time.

There is only one Hipster Haven in Palm Beach County: the City of Lake Worth. We have communities of Hipster Apatharchists (former Anarchists one can now find at Starbucks), Hipster Millennials including families with children, a vibrant Hipster art community, and Hipster fashion designers drawn to the world famous World Thrift on Dixie Hwy. located right across the street!

Tacos Al Carbon (more details below, address and contact information) is one more indication, more proof that our City has eclipsed Delray Beach and West Palm! Why else would Tacos Al Carbon, the best Mexican food in the United States, skip over those cities to open a brand new location here in this City of Lake Worth?


This City is one of the few “Hometown
Destinations” in Palm Beach County:

The food and service at Tacos Al Carbon is incredible. Located at 2200 N. Dixie Hwy; call 561-812-3565: “100% Comida Mexicana”.

The inside of Tacos Al Carbon is impressively spacious with plenty of seating, bright and colorful. The acoustics in the two dining rooms are very pleasant as well.


Did I say “two dining rooms”? Yes!
There are two rooms with high-def TVs.

Even though a lot of people were picking up orders called in, the seated guests dont feel crowded in. There’s plenty of room for everyone to
mingle and dine.


The view from the back dining room which
leads into the kitchen.

When I took a peak beyond the kitchen door one of the cooks said, Hola! Bienvenidos a Tacos Al Carbon!”

Everybody loves shade trees. And everybody loves being near the water.


The 2018 Hurricane Season is over. But the work never ends at the Lake Worth Drainage District. This is a very large district in Palm Beach County. However, only a small part of the City of Lake Worth Beach lies with the district, mostly west of I-95.

So one day you’re sitting home and you hear a loud noise in the backyard. . .


“Gee Wiz, Mabel! What happened to our tree in the backyard? It’s gone. Call CBS12!”



Below are excerpts from an excellent news article in the Sun Sentinel by reporter Marci Shatzman headlined, “Some stunned to see tree-free canal banks as they’re cleared for storm season”.

This news from Shatzman is about the Lake Worth Drainage District (learn more about that water district below) and a thing called an “easement”. If you own, live in property, or own a business along a canal or waterway and think you have control over that property all the way to the water line, well, think again. You better check first to see who controls that canal. Because that tree, or shed, or boat dock you enjoy so much may disappear some day and there is little or nothing you can do to stop it.

Without further ado, the news in the Sun Sentinel:


Workers are removing trees, foliage and other items lining South Florida’s canal banks — concerned a hurricane could knock them into the water and pose a flood hazard.
     Hurricane season began June 1. And the Lake Worth Drainage District, which manages 500 miles of canals across Palm Beach County, is removing trees and woods or anything else that could topple into waterways. [emphasis added] There are 29 projects underway in several cities from Boca Raton to West Palm Beach to clear canal banks.

and. . .


     In 2015, the Lake Worth Drainage District completed an inventory of its canals and identified about 180 miles of district-owned land that was “encumbered with nuisance vegetation and other encroachments,” said Rosemary Rayman, in charge of the district’s public information and outreach.
     The district has cleared about 55 miles of canals so far, removing anything encroaching on district-owned land. Cities “could be impacted if a nearby drainage canal is blocked by a fallen tree or debris,” Rayman said.


“Mabel, our shed is gone too! Get the mayor on the phone, quick!”



Calling a public official to complain about the Lake Worth Drainage District may make you feel better but clearing the easements along canals to make certain your city, town, village or unincorporated area in Palm Beach County does not flood in Hurricane Season (or a major storm event) is the top priority. Just one tree falling across a canal, restricting the flow of water has the potential to flood an entire region in this County.

Just like roads and highways must remain clear during major storm events, the same is true for canals. The LWDD needs access to canals and waterways at all times. In emergencies there is little time for a bucket truck, chipper, and a crew with chainsaws to make certain the water flows out to tide as it should.

Now for residents of coastal Central Palm Beach County, more information that may interest you. For example, ever heard of the Blueway Trail?

First, briefly, how water flows out to tide. . .

Find out how the LWDD system of canals is all connected to lakes (e.g., Lake Osborne), the C-51 Canal (between the cities of Lake Worth and West Palm Beach), and the water that then flows into the Intracoastal (Lake Worth Lagoon) and how these waterway networks all connect with an exciting project that is 3–4 years off called the Blueway Trail.


To “Follow” the LWDD on Twitter use this link.
Some cities in Central PBC are entirely within the
district, but not the entire City of Lake Worth:

To view the LWDD “Conveyances Web Mapuse this link: see the district boundaries and what is controlled by the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) as well.


Contrary to what many believe, there is a small area of the City of Lake Worth within the LWDD — west of I-95 along the E-4 (Keller) Canal — and one of those areas is the City’s Park of Commerce. Below you’ll see how this all relates to future exciting projects to enhance tourism and ecotourism and attract more businesses to this region (see video below).

Further north in the City (see image below) you can see where the E-4 Canal meets the C-51 Canal, a waterway which is controlled by SFWMD. The E-4 Canal connects to Lake Osborne, goes north and intersects with the C-51. However, this area is not within the LWDD.


The thin blue line is the E-4 Canal; the thick blue line is the eastern LWDD boundary. Note these in relation to Dixie Hwy. (U.S. 1) and Federal Hwy. further east.

Water from canals such as the E-4 flows to the C-51 and then into the Intracoastal past the S-155 “Spillway” structure.

Now back to the LWDD, use this link for their website, an excerpt:


South Florida is fortunate to receive over 50 inches of rainfall a year on average. Most of that amount is concentrated during the 6-month rainy season (May–October). While much of the runoff from these rains is discharged to the ocean to avoid flooding, a significant amount soaks into the ground and recharges the freshwater aquifers that supply our drinking water wellfields, lakes and wetlands.

and. . .


Without adequate drainage, human health and safety would be jeopardized and extensive property damage could occur. Similarly, if regional groundwater levels were not properly maintained, wellfields would be unable to deliver water to homes and businesses and the underground inland migration of salt water from the ocean could permanently contaminate the drinking water supply rendering it unsafe for potable uses.


Now you get a better idea how the canal systems all work together in relation to the “Inland Chain of Lakes” and the Intracoastal and the future Blueway Trail “Creating Access for All”:


The vision for the Chain of Lakes Blueway Trail experience is to finally link Palm Beach County waterways by providing two-way access for small boats and non-motorized watercraft between the Chain of Lakes, Lake Worth Lagoon and the Intracoastal Waterway, which is just a few hundred yards away. In Palm Beach County, 80 percent of registered small boats meet this criteria – and that doesn’t include the thousands of kayakers, paddleboarders, canoers and others who use the local waterways every year.


Sunday, December 16, 2018

Mayor Pam Triolo was first elected as mayor in November 2011.



Please note. As you are reading this blog post today a former Lake Worth administration back in 2011 is pertinent. So at any time you are encouraged to scroll down to the very end of this blog post and see who sat on the dais eight years ago.


Another negative letter was published in The Palm Beach Post today. Another negative one about the City of Lake Worth. Two in a row going after the mayor.

One could say, when it comes to the editorial page, the word “balance” does not come to mind.

And one can expect a protest or two coming up at City Hall leading up to the municipal elections in March 2019. In a City once known for its entertaining and sometimes hysterical protests the prospect of “Lake Worth Beach” may push some over the edge. Hard to believe. It’s been almost three years since there has been a protest in this City. The last one being in early March 2016.

There are two major inaccuracies in that letter published today in the Post that need to be addressed. So check back tomorrow. And the editor(s) at the Post did not identify this person as a former elected official which is proper practice when editorializing. That needs to be corrected in tomorrow’s print edition. And most interestingly, in trying to make the case against renaming this City to “Lake Worth Beach” this former elected actually makes the case for calling this place “Lake Worth Beach”. Why that is will be explained tomorrow.

Briefly, without getting too far into
the watermelon patch. . . 


Former Mayor Jeff Clemens (1987–1989) served for one term prior to winning a seat in the Florida House. Mayor René Varela (1989–2011) served an incomplete term and then ‘Mayor Watermelon’ took control for the remaining three months of Varela’s incomplete term.

That three-month period of time was called “a seedy period”. Mayor ‘Watermelon’ was actually Mayor Rachel Waterman for three very long months.


Then Waterman decided to run for mayor.

The burning question in that three-month term was the price of ice cream cones at the Lake Worth Casino. Not kidding.

Now moving forward. . .


Then-citizen Pam Triolo won that election for mayor in 2011 by 53% of the vote. Rachel Waterman got 45%. Mr. Dustin Zacks got 2% despite begging the voters not to vote for him. But sixty people did anyhow.

In the District 3 race that year a Downtown merchant named Andy Amoroso got 60% of the vote defeating the sitting vice mayor at the time. Jo-Ann Golden got 40% of the vote. Amoroso is now Vice Mayor Amoroso and the rest is history as they say.

Then Mayor Triolo was elected again in 2013 by a wide margin. In that year a referendum passed moving elections from November back to March. “Mayor Pam”, or just “Pam” as most people call our mayor, ran for election again in March 2016. She won going away in a landslide. Ever since winning re-election in 2013 she says she is not running again. Two terms is enough.

Then Pam ran again this year and became Mayor Pam Triolo once again. But this time for three years following a 2017 referendum extending terms for electeds another year. She will face the voters once again in March 2021. Of course she’ll say she is not running again. And then in 2022 Mayor Pam said. . .

The public likes our mayor. A lot.

Along the way there have been some rough weeks as was alluded to by Jo-Ann Golden in a Letter to the Editor published in The Palm Beach Post today. Golden is unhappy about the prospect of this City becoming the “City of Lake Worth Beach”. Golden said instead of renaming this City we should be “uniquely Lake Worth”.

Golden’s quote is on the editorial page, A20. Just a few pages later, on page B1 ‘LOCAL’ is another error in the Post.

County reporter Alexandra Seltzer penned an exceptional article about the event yesterday at the South Florida National Cemetery called “Wreaths Across America”. This is a very good read by Seltzer and encourage everyone to read it.

However, in a photo caption it reads this event happened “in Lake Worth”. This event happened south of Wellington on the edge of the Florida Everglades. And the previous week in the ‘LOCAL’ section, as was noted on this blog, there was this about Wreaths Across America.

There are fallen veterans in our City of Lake Worth. We have a cemetery in this City called Pinecrest Cemetery.

Now back to Mayor Triolo.


Renaming this City to “Lake Worth Beach” is not trivial. It’s a serious policy issue to fix a problem that one could say has been ‘plaguing’ this City for a very long time. For example, Triolo said recently she gets calls from people out near Hypoluxo Rd. and Jog Rd. complaining about street lights not working.

Mayor Triolo is not the mayor out at Hypoluxo and Jog. 

That is just annoying but there serious problems caused by people being confused about where ‘Lake Worth’ is.

On Monday of this week the editor(s) chose to publish a Letter to the Editor critical of renaming this City and mentioning Mayor Triolo by name. And now another critical letter today from Golden. And today marks one year, three months, and sixteen days since the last editorial was published in the Post about this City.

Don’t be surprised if tomorrow is the day.

A little while back the editor(s) at the Post took a shot at County Commissioner Dave Kerner. The Post is a newspaper with virtually no competition in Central Palm Beach County. But when the editor(s) associated Kerner with the loaded word ‘slush’ as in “slush funds” encouraged everyone to remain calm and asked this question:

Did you know an annual subscription to The Palm Beach Post cost $683.79?



FYI: If you wish to share your thoughts with the editor(s) scroll back up and click on the link above. That link also provides instructions on how to compose and submit a Letter to the Editor, including contact information.


It would be nice to see some balance on the editorial page. Like maybe a reminder why Jo-Ann Golden got booted out of City Hall back in 2011.

And when this City becomes Lake Worth Beach let’s start having more fun in this Beach community. Like former elected officials once did:


Without further ado. . .


 The mostly-former electeds back in 2011,
prior to the elections in November:

Click on bath line to enlarge:

In the water barrel is former Mayor René Varela.

First in line is Vice Mayor Pro Tem Scott Maxwell (still serving cleanly as an elected leader to this day),
Jo-Ann Golden (a former vice mayor), and former representatives Suzanne Mulvehill and Cara Jennings fill out the bath line.

Invitation For Bid (IFB) 19-102.


This IFB was publicly noticed in The Palm Beach Post. Deadline: Bids must be received by Tuesday, Dec. 18th at 3:00 p.m.


City of Lake Worth
Pier Repairs Project


The City of Lake Worth is soliciting bids from responsible and experienced entities to make various structural repairs to the City of Lake Worth Pier.

Bid documents may be downloaded at the City’s website & www.demandstar.com

Time is of the essence. Any bid received after 3:00PM on Thursday [sic; should be “Tuesday”], December 18, 2018, whether by mail or otherwise, will be returned unopened. The time of receipt shall be determined by the time clock located in the Finance Office. Bids shall be placed in a sealed envelope, marked in the lower left-hand corner with the bid number, title, date, and hour bids are scheduled to be received. Bidders are responsible for ensuring that their bid is stamped by office personnel by the deadline indicated.

All bids must be delivered or mailed to:

City of Lake Worth
Finance Office – 2nd Floor
7 North Dixie Hwy.
Lake Worth, FL 33460


DEADLINE FOR QUESTIONS:
Deadline has passed.


Are you a “responsible and experienced” entity interested in doing business with the City of Lake Worth making structural repairs to the City of Lake Worth Pier?

Then to get an early start familiarizing yourself with the Lake Worth Beach please visit Benny’s on the Beach. Their Tuna Tostado is the bomb! Highly recommended. It’s where Bon Jovi goes as reported by Post reporter Julius Whigham.

And please, to avoid a wait, make reservations ahead of time:


With our smack-dab-on-the-beach location, Benny’s will soothe your soul. We are located on the Lake Worth Pier [west end, furthest from the beach]. Benny’s on the Beach is a hidden gem! The food and cocktails are always delicious and portions very generous. Our management and staff strive for 100% satisfaction to you, our customer. Benny’s is a favorite with the locals & tourists alike, so come on in and let us make Benny’s your favorite as well!