Saturday, January 12, 2019

UPDATE: A blog post from yesterday with additional information.


The blog post was titled,

Attention Lake Worth: How to take on the problem of feral, roaming and out-of-control ‘community’ cats.


Before we get to yesterday’s post there are several additional matters worth mentioning and worth noting here in the City of Lake Worth.

Domestic cats should always be kept indoors. And walking a cat on a leash is the preferred method when taking a cat outside. For example, here is a news report by WPBF (ABC25) demonstrating how it’s done. Pet cats should never come in contact with wild or feral cats.

There is an effort now to promote more shade trees in this City which is a wonderful thing. And it would be a wonderful thing to attract more birds and native animals to these trees and canopies. But until the issue with cats is settled once and for all the trees will attract birds and the birds will attract cats which is why so many have given up bird feeders. Just making it easier for the cat.

Back in May 2015 The Palm Beach Post editorial board and reporters Eliot Kleinberg and Wayne Washington were on top of this important topic and that started the big debate about whether or not TNVR is effective.

If you don’t know what TNVR is, learn more about that below.

And if you’ve been following the news since 2016 it looks more and more as if Mother Nature has come up with its own solution in the meantime.

If you happen to have a number of stray cats in your neighborhood or community and you happen to see something that sort of looks like a dog — but you’re not sure if it’s a dog or not — what you probably saw was a coyote. And if it was a coyote you won’t have a cat problem for long. Coyotes are exceptionally good at hunting cats.

However, one must NEVER FEED COYOTES!

Coyotes have a tremendous fear of humans. So much so they are very difficult to spot and have developed strategies to hide in plain sight. They only hunt at night and rest/sleep during the day. The coyote is here to stay. They have been spotted in the Florida Keys and reported south of the Panama Canal. Extremely adaptable in urban environments, coyotes do not compete with pet dogs and tend to avoid them to not draw attention.

However, the same does not go for pet pigs and pet goats. Coyotes will attack them so be aware. And a fence is not enough. Coyotes are very, very smart. Learn more by clicking on this link.

Recently it was reported someone is shooting cats with a pellet gun west of I-95 in this City. This is happening in and nearby a mobile home park. Mobile home parks are private property!

The City does not manage or control mobile home parks but does provide essential services such as trash pickup. If you are a resident in a mobile home community and you have issues with roaming and feral cats you need to notify the management of your mobile home community immediately. Then management can then deal with the situation as they see fit. Marching to City Hall will not help but if you call a TV station ahead of time you just might get lucky and be interviewed on TV.

For those of you interested, there are four mobile home parks within the City limits. One is east of I-95 and the other three are west of I-95.

Now. Without further ado, the blog post from yesterday. . .


Do you have a cat problem?


There are better ways to solve the problem than grabbing a weapon or firearm. If you didn’t know, PBSO has a big problem with people going around shooting things.

And each day there is news about cats in the press and news media makes it more and more likely Dustin will show up at the City Commission meeting next Tuesday at 6:00. So please keep that in mind.

For those of you who are new, or recently-new residents, several years ago this City had a very big problem with cats. It was a serious, sometimes rancorous, and very long public health and public safety debate. There was the pro-cat faction vs. the anti-cat faction. Neighborhood meetings were called, community outreach educating the public about cats, the City Commission got involved and so did the County Commission.

Yes. It was a very big deal.

Now we discover from WPTV reporter Ryan Hughes that someone near the Palm Beach Mobile Home Park (located west of I-95 off Boutwell Rd.) is shooting cats with a pellet gun. If you have a cat problem, or think you have a cat problem, a weapon should be one of the last things you consider. Please continue reading to learn what those options are.

Because hunting and killing iguanas — within a strict set of guidelines is legal — maybe someone thinks that culling cats is legal too. No. It’s not. And it could be someone is raising chickens nearby. Cats, just like coyotes, are big fans of fresh chicken. Raising chickens, whether for eggs or any other reason, is strictly forbidden within the municipal limits of Lake Worth. Learn more about iguanas and chickens at the end of this blog post, in the section “Worth Noting”.

This City of Lake Worth has a lot of issues to tackle. So before cats become a major problem in this City once again let’s re-examine some major points.

The public needs to be reminded now and then: Do not feed feral and roaming cats! Instead call the County’s Animal Care and Control (see below). A small ‘community’ of cats can turn into a very big problem as we learned back in 2016–2017. And that spurred a very long and interesting debate that may become a big topic once again: “Does Trap, Neuter, Vaccinate and Release (TNVR) work?”

That’s for you to decide. Read more about TNVR a little later.

If you spot a ‘feeding station’ and an increased number of cats in the neighborhood or community contact Palm Beach County Animal Care and Control, call 561-233-1200 or 561-233-1212. Contact the City’s Code Enforcement Dept. too and ask if there is anything they can do to help.

Several years ago when cats were a vexing problem the Neighborhood Assoc. Presidents’ Council was very helpful in getting the City and County involved. See a lot of cats around? Contact your local neighborhood association and see how they can help. Found a cat and want to try and find it a home? Contact the Peggy Adams Animal Rescue League.

Every cat let outside the home must be spayed/neutered, vaccinated for rabies and other feline viruses.

The problem of feral and roaming cats was once a regular topic on this blog, especially as it relates to the devastation of our native bird populations (see “Worth Noting” below) and human health concerns. Just prior to Hurricane Irma in 2017 that was preceded by a lot of “cat-dumping” from evacuees leaving the barrier islands. For a while after that storm the cat problem was terrible.

Prior to Irma when cats were a major problem in Palm Beach County the editorial board at The Palm Beach Post chimed in. Here is an excerpt which brings up the topic of TNVR:


That [TNVR] sounds like the perfect solution, except that it’s not really. Even well-fed cats retain their hunting instinct, and continue to kill significant numbers of wild birds and animals. One study found an outdoor domestic cat is capable of killing 60 birds and 1,600 small mammals in an 18-month period.

There are so many species of animals that are vulnerable to predation by house cats: ground foraging brown thrashers, oven birds, palm warblers and water thrushes; tiny tree frogs and green anolis; marsh rabbits and Florida mice.

While TNVR theoretically should cut down feral cat populations, several studies have shown that they rarely do. [emphasis added]


In May 2016 the Lake Worth City Commission got involved in the form of a Palm Beach County proclamation. Here is an excerpt:


"WHEREAS, Section 125.01, Florida Statutes, authorizes the Board of County Commissioners of Palm Beach County to adopt ordinances to protect the health, safety, and welfare of the citizens and animals of Palm Beach County"

and. . .


"WHEREAS, in order to reduce the overpopulation of cats, which are euthanized every year at alarming rates, the Board has determined that all cats must be spayed or neutered by four months of age unless certain exemptions apply; and
WHEREAS, spaying and neutering all cats by four months of age, before they are sexually mature and able to reproduce, will prevent unintended breeding and unwanted litters of kittens; and
WHEREAS, the Board recognizes the need for innovation in addressing the issues presented by the overpopulation of cats and, to that end, it recognizes that there are often community members providing care for cats that have no apparent owner"

and. . .


"[T]o amend provisions related to hearings before special masters; to shorten the time in which the Division must hold an animal impounded when an owner is involuntarily unable to care for the animal; to amend regulations pertaining to trapping animals and to make other changes necessary for the efficient operation of the Division and in the best interest of the citizens and animals of the county."


In conclusion: If you happen to spot anyone shooting or hunting cats, or any animal for that matter, do not hesitate. Call 911 immediately or stay anonymous and contact Crime Stoppers: You may be eligible for a reward:


For Crime Stoppers: Call 800-458-8477.

Have questions or concerns about the use of firearms or any other type of weapon in this City or west in suburban Lake Worth? Then please contact PBSO District 14: click on this link.


Information “Worth Noting”:


Once again. Raising chickens, aka, “The Urban Chicken”, is not legal in the City of Lake Worth. A very timely reminder: Health risks and concerns related to raising chickens in urban environments.

The 2018–2019 iguana infestation was big news in the Sun Sentinel (one of the top news stories in 2018), The Coastal Star, and other press outlets but incredulously this news has yet to be reported in The Palm Beach Post.

For more information about the devastation of Palm Beach County’s native bird populations, e.g., the Florida Scrub Jay, click on this link.

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


Please take some time and visit the Lake Worth Beach this weekend. And listen to the man himself, ‘Mac Daddy Landon’. The legend.

In memory of that slight irritation in the air.

That temporary nuisance that is no more.


The video below of ‘Mac Daddy Landon’ in March 2015 is one of the most-requested in this City of Lake Worth, now up to almost 106K views.

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


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


Now to the classic. . .


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

Friday, January 11, 2019

Gardening. Who’s Who & What’s What: The Town & Country Garden Club in this City of Lake Worth.



Please Note: This coming Monday is the next meeting of the Town & Country Club of Lake Worth. This truly special club meets from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the First Congregational Church, 1416 North K Street.


Below is a Special Report published in The Lake Worth Herald about the meeting in December and please continue reading to learn more about this City’s truly authentic garden club which meets through April and sprouts up once again each October.

And it is worth noting the City’s annual Festival Season will begin soon. The Tree Festival is coming up on February 16th. That’s only thirty-six days away and two days after Valentine’s Day!

Please note the Town & Country Garden Club of Lake Worth actually meets in the City of Lake Worth and is a very unique club. This month other garden clubs in West Palm (sans a Beach) and meetings in Palm Springs will begin “popping up” as well.

So prior to considering a garden club outside this City and learning more about Who’s Who and What’s What in this unique place. . .

Learn more about the Town & Country Club. All that information in a Special Report.


Here is the news published in The Lake Worth Herald:


Town & Country Garden Club
December Event


By Erin Allen
Special to the Herald

 
The Town & Country Garden Club of Lake Worth opened its December meeting with a surprise visit from children enrolled in the preschool program of For The Children who delighted the members with their holiday singing. The December meeting always includes a plant exchange amongst members. Each year gifts are collected for residents at Crest Manor nursing facility and are hand delivered by the club members after the meeting. The gifts are passed out to residents and members sing Christmas carols to the residents. One resident told a member, “It was the best Christmas I ever had.”

The club takes several organized field trips throughout the season. One of the trips this year was an evening visiting the Mounts Botanical Gardens Festival of Lights.

It’s not too late to join. If you’d like to find out what the garden club is about, please be a guest at one of our meetings. There are still five meetings in the 2018–2019 season.

The next meeting will be held January 14, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at First Congregational Church, 1416 North K Street, Lake Worth. Meetings include lunch and a guest speaker.

The Town & Country Garden Club of Lake Worth, is a non-profit whose mission is to promote an interest in gardens, their design and management, and to cooperate in the protection of wildflowers, birds, native trees and shrubs, to encourage civic planning and to fund and award scholarships, meets the second Monday of every month October through April. New members welcome. Annual dues are $30.

To find out more about Town & Country Garden Club of Lake Worth call Erin Allen at 561-312- 5929 or email: erinallen.realtor@gmail.com

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Public meetings tonight at Lake Worth City Hall: City Commission Work Session and Tree Board.


This is news “Worth Noting”.

Per the City’s official calendar there are three public meetings next week. A Citizens’ Advisory Committee meeting (2016 Bond Oversight) on Monday (see agenda below), a regular City Commission meeting on Tuesday and a P&Z meeting on Wednesday. Stay tuned for more information.


The Tree Board and a City Commission Work Session tonight will begin at 5:30 and 6:00, respectively. These two public meetings on are especially important vis-à-vis landscape regulations.

To download the agendas click on this link and scroll down to download all that information.

Here is a quick summary of the Work Session by the City Commission tonight:

Updates/Future Action/Direction:

  • Land Development Regulations Section 23.3-6, Use Tables.
  • Proposed amendment to Section 23.6-1 Landscape Regulations.

Following Hurricane Irma in 2017 and Hurricane Michael last year the focus has shifted to public safety and hardening infrastructure. The debate over shade trees and aesthetics is now much less of importance than making the public safer and protecting essential infrastructure in case of a major storm event (e.g., fallen trees and limbs and damage from tree roots).

In short, almost the entire code section on landscape regulations has been simplified and updated since first proposed last year.

Here is the agenda for next Monday’s CAC meeting:


Citizens’ Advisory Committee — 2016 Bond Oversight.

Location: City Hall Conference Room.
Date: Monday, Jan. 14th.
Time: 6:00.
  • Roll Call.
  • Pledge of Allegiance.
  • Agenda: Additions/deletions/reordering.
  • Opening Remarks.
  • Presentations: A) Corinne Elliott, Asst. Finance Director. B) Brian Shields, P.E., Dir. of Water Utilities. C) Jamie Brown, Dir. of Public Services.
  • Member Reports.
  • Approval of Minutes: October 1st, 2018.
  • Unfinished Business.
  • New Business: Set next meeting date.
  • Public Comment  (three minute limit).
  • Closing Comments.
  • Adjournment.

NOTE: One of more members of any volunteer City board, or any member of the Lake Worth City Commission may attend and speak at this public meeting.

Officially official: Cottages of Lake Worth Home Tour 2019 is SOLD OUT.


Thank You to everyone who purchased a ticket. And hope to see everyone on Sunday, January 27th outside The Beach Club bistro located at the City’s municipal golf course.

And turns out having the tour begin and end at the golf course suited many just fine. In a time-splitting arrangement of sorts while fans of the Cottages are on tour their favorite fan of golf will be playing a round or two. They’ll have a lot to talk about in the bistro afterwards.


For example,


“Gee Wiz, Mabel. Did you know Babe Ruth played golf right here! Right here at this very golf course!”


On behalf of Lake Worth City Manager Michael Bornstein and Mayor Pam Triolo come and check out the City’s municipal golf course:

The City’s golf course was a feature story by journalist Mike May, “Lake Worth Municipal Golf Club. A Coastal Paradise”. An excerpt:


“Opened on November 12, 1926, as a nine-hole course designed by the tandem of Theodore J. Moreau and William Langford, Lake Worth Municipal is perched on one of the most scenic parts of south Florida – adjacent to the Intracoastal Waterway, along the eastern edge of Lake Worth. In 1948, golf course architect Dick Wilson redesigned the existing nine holes and added nine more to create today’s par-70 layout.” 


The municipal golf course is just across the Intracoastal from Lake Worth Beach:



Babe Ruth golfed here in Lake Worth! He really did:

For the City of Lake Worth’s municipal golf course click on this link.

“To this end, the proposed Ordinance simply acknowledges the State Legislature’s preemption of this area of the law.”


The quote above is from an executive brief provided to the Lake Worth City Commission and is explained in detail below.


Question: What is the likelihood or probability that the City government will be thrown off course, or rattled if you will, by a political or social crisis?


It’s inevitable. Only a matter of time. It could be for just a brief period of time or even weeks and months. It could be a political crisis that throws our City “off the rails”. It could be a tragedy. It could be public angst over any issue.

For example, just last December PEACE came to town and they nearly started a political war. We gave PEACE a chance but they screwed it up. Now PEACE is going back to West Palm Beach and Jupiter and see if PEACE has any luck in those municipalities.

But West Palm has its own crisis going on right now and maybe PEACE will have to take a break for a while. The big problem now in West Palm is the terrible problem of out-of-control homelessness as was evidenced by this recently published in The Palm Beach Post.

Getting back to the City of Lake Worth what could become the next issue that grabs everyone’s attention? It could be plastic.

Or it could even be something mundane as balloons at the Beach or a proposed ban on ‘plastic straws’ to get the public all riled up on both sides, pitting the business community against the enviros.

Or it could be bees. Yes. Bees. That actually happened in this City. Read more about that below.


The big question is how long it will take to get back on focus once again when reason and public confidence is restored.

An example given many times before was the Pulse Nightclub shootings. This City reacted very quickly in June 2016 to restore calm doing everything and anything they could. And it worked. Everyone, including all of the electeds, rallied together to show support for the victims and the city of Orlando.

On a local level, within municipal borders, it’s very important for a city’s elected leaders to voice concerns over any issue, especially one of great concern to the community or a neighborhood. But when trying to set policy — suggesting or leading the public to believe one can set policy — is when things can go very, very wrong. Specifically, what a local elected body can control and what they can’t.

And just as important about policy is educating the public about what a city can do and cannot do, e.g., what our Lake Worth City Commission can regulate and what they cannot regulate: overstep the authority of County, the State, and Federal governments. The rules were laid out in the United States Constitution.

One of the best examples of this is the problem with sober homes and the heroin/opioid epidemic. Local and County officials can do everything they can but if Federal laws, like the ADA, protect the ‘bad players’ in many cases there is nothing local governments can do. The good news is there have been many positive changes since 2015–2016 when our local, County, State, and elected officials in Washington, D.C. all got to work to put new policies in place.

This is important to understand because if our local officials, elected or otherwise, makes the mistake of overstepping their authority they could very well send the City of Lake Worth into court.

However, this “veering off course” can happen on a much smaller scale, confusing the public and potentially distracting the Commission off the issues and concerns that got them elected and the goals set forward at the beginning, leaving the public to think their elected officials have more power than they actually do.

Many of you will recall this classic example, what happened after smoke was spotted coming from a crematorium, a business on Dixie Hwy. here in the City of Lake Worth. Crematoriums are regulated by the State, not local governments.

Two more examples: Like when former Commissioner Ryan Maier suggested trying to regulate the volume of train horns. Those pitch and volume levels are set by the Federal government. Even the State of Florida cannot regulate the sound levels of train horns. But now we have Quiet Zones on the Florida East Coast railway. Problem solved.

Now to bees. Another example of what happened back in 2015.

If you didn’t know any better you would have thought back then the 6-square-mile City of Lake Worth took a major step forward in the protection of the honeybee colonies. Nothing of the sort happened. The first reading of Ordinance No. 2015-17, “to regulate, inspect, and permit managed honeybee colonies” is already regulated by state law and there’s nothing anyone in Lake Worth can do to supersede that.

This was city government looking like it was trying to do something, something that the City can’t do anything about at all. However, that doesn’t mean officials can’t look for help from other electeds in the County or State with more power to change things or fix a problem.

But “I’m protecting bees” does play well with certain constituents that can be confused or convinced into believing otherwise that one can do more to regulate an issue. I believe the item below (see image) was brought forward by then-District 2 Commissioner Ryan Maier.

The problem, once again, with taking on any issue of concern for the community is leaving constituents thinking you have some special powers you don’t have. In many ways, the little City of Lake Worth has very little control over what happens within our borders, but when they concentrate and focus on the things they can change, remarkable things can happen. But. . .


Click on image to enlarge:
“To this end, the proposed Ordinance simply acknowledges the State Legislature’s preemption of this area of the law.”

And lastly, how much staff time and taxpayer money was used
to “simply” acknowledge State law?

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Information about HRPB meeting tonight in City of Lake Worth.



The Lake Worth Community Redevelopment Agency has withdrawn their application for the demolition or relocation of 6 structures located on South L and M streets from the Historic Resources Preservation Board [HRPB] meeting tonight. As such, the applicant (CRA) is asking for these item to be removed from the agenda. Any further action on these properties will be brought forward with a new application.

“Who Relies on Lake Okeechobee?” Answer is everyone in South Florida.


Must watch video from the South Florida Water Management District. About the video and the “Liquid Heart of Florida” called Lake Okeechobee:


“The ‘Liquid Heart of Florida’ is a critical part of South Florida's flood control and water supply system. Millions of people, businesses, tribal interests and the environment depend on the lake to help protect them from floods and ensure they have enough water.”


Please share this video:

“IT’S ALL ABOUT RISK!”


Does this phrase sound familiar, “. . . an expensive and perhaps risky gamble”?

Maybe recently in the context of regional passenger train service here in South Florida? Anyhow, do you remember all the angst and hand-wringing over Palm Beach County’s newly-constructed trash incinerator several years back?


The newspaper clipping below is from a full-page ad published in The Palm Beach Post back in 2015.

Click on image to enlarge: 
“IT’S ALL ABOUT RISK!”
Does the Loxahatchee Sierra Club have any gas masks in children’s sizes too? The one shown above is too loose-fitting to provide any health benefit.

Anyhow, learn more about the County’s Solid Waste Authority using this link.

The banner headline in that full-page ad published in 2015 was:

“IT’S ALL ABOUT RISK!”


During that unhinged debate back then the Sun Sentinel published an article about this trash incinerator that would burn trash, turn that waste into energy, and extend the life of existing landfills. Here is an excerpt from the article:


     Nearly a decade in the making, the incinerator on Jog Road will reduce the amount of waste dumped in the county's landfill by more than 90 percent. It’s expected to extend the life of the landfill by about 30 years and, at the same time, generate electricity to be sold to FP&L, officials said.
     In an average day, the incinerator will burn more than 3,000 tons of trash. That’s in addition to the 2,000 tons already incinerated at the county’s existing waste-to-energy plant, built in 1989.
     Between the two facilities, the Solid Waste Authority expects to annually generate enough electricity to power about 40,000 homes for a year.
     Though some environmental groups have raised concerns about potential air pollution, officials say the incinerators are a clean and safe alternative to landfills.

and. . .  

     In addition to reducing the garbage put in the county landfill, their use will reduce greenhouse gases.

But remember,
“IT’S ALL ABOUT RISK!”

Lesson Module 112. City of Lake Worth elections: Time Management.


Below is the #1 lesson for campaign time management. The strategy called “Let’s talk” is a time-tested one that has bedeviled and bogged down many a campaign. For campaign managers having a candidate who likes to talk is fine, but having one that just won’t shut up is a recipe for disaster. Especially a candidate who thinks his or her mission is to enlighten the “great unwashed”.

Below is more information about “Let’s talk” and time management.

First, let’s briefly take a look at the previous lesson: Campaign signs. Free Speech MUST BE RESPECTED. So therefore,


The sign’s political message, no matter how silly or stupid, must remain untouched by the City.


There are no rules in the City of Lake Worth for campaign signs, except for one:

Campaign signs CANNOT be put out until the first Monday following New Year’s week.

So campaign signs are now permissible but even that rule is superseded by the Red Sign Rule (see below).

Worth another look: Re-purposing signs.


Remember, plastic straws are old news. In 2019 the efforts will be more focused on Chloroplast of which most varieties of campaign signs are manufactured. So to show an enlightened-environmentalist, Earth-friendly approach try re-purposing old signs. For example, take the sign below.


This sign is a Cara Jennings re-purposed sign:

To sum up campaign signs: Campaign signs CANNOT be put out until January 7th. But due to the Red Sign Rule even that is not enforced. To learn more about the Red Sign Rule click on this link.

Now to campaign time management and
the tactic called, “Let’s talk”.

One side in Lake Worth politics understands the value of time and campaigning all too well. The other side does too but they’re more inclined to fall into the trap: “Let’s talk”.

There are many people in this City genuinely interested and want to learn more about you as a candidate but there are others who will NEVER VOTE FOR YOU, EVER, no matter what you say or do. The problem is this: how do you tell the difference? It’s not easy.

One side has been using a devilishly clever tactic for many years now: the conversation “at the door” to bog down an opposition campaign. Here’s how it works, an example: The candidate (and this goes for the campaign volunteers as well) are canvassing a neighborhood:

  • Knock Knock
  • Door opens, “Hello”.
  • “Good afternoon. I’m a candidate for City Commission”.
  • “Wonderful. Can you tell me about [any current topic will do]?”

Then a conversation will ensue for 15–20 minutes, or even longer. Doesn’t sound like a big deal, but what if this happens just 5 times a day? That is:


≈1½ hours a day for the candidate and
each canvasser or ≈44 hours a month
for each person in the campaign! 


How many other people could have been contacted by the campaign in that time? A lot. So keep this in mind as you get those campaigns up and running especially if you’re up against an incumbent with name recognition and an actual record of success and achievement: train your people how to canvass properly.

In conclusion: When you hear someone say, “Let’s talk” do they really want to hear what you have to say? Or are they just trying to bog you down?

Stay tuned for more about this later on.

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

News from Jennifer Sorentrue. “County to golf tour operators: This is the place to play your game”.


“This is the place to play your game” was published three years ago.


In citing this news by Jennifer Sorentrue many times on this blog is how so very far this City is behind in the game: hotel stays. West Palm Beach does not have a beach but they are so far ahead of Lake Worth they can’t even see us any more. They are breaking records for hotel stays every year.

But now and then we get tour groups from the Palm Beach Convention Center. And branding this City as “Lake Worth Beach” will most certainly help.

The good news, and there is plenty of good news as well, this City is making big strides when it comes to housing for Millennials and young professionals. A project called “The MID” at 1601 N. Dixie Hwy. will be breaking ground in the near future. And for those of you interested the City and the CRA were recently honored at the annual Florida Redevelopment Association Awards.

Last September when that convention tour group from the American Planning Assoc. came to visit, the City of Lake Worth rolled out the welcome mat. Mayor Pam Triolo greeted them and so did other officials as well. It was a wonderful tour and everyone enjoyed it. But at the end of the day the question was, “Why don’t you have a hotel in the downtown?”

Back in 2015 when referencing the article by Sorentrue the historic Gulfstream Hotel was still shuttered and the City was still refunding golfers when the nearby municipal golf course flooded out. But if they came and walked around they could get lucky and find a snook in one of the holes, the “Catch Of The Day”.

Now three years later not much has changed. Still many are looking for solutions. And still many are saying “The Arts” is the solution. But are “The Arts” the cart before the hotel. More about that later.

The news below from December 2015 is amazingly prescient today. There are two excerpts from that news later in this blog post.

Jennifer Sorentrue is a former reporter at The Palm Beach Post. If you would like to follow Sorentrue on Twitter use this link.

We were all very fortunate to have her reporting on tourism and tourism marketing here in Palm Beach County and she was often cited on this blog. I’ve never met her but it would be a pleasure to some day.

Sorentrue reported often about Discover The Palm Beaches and the Cultural Council of Palm Beach County. And I think it was Sorentrue who saved them. Back in 2015–2016 there was a push to make “The Arts” a big part of the County’s ¢1 sales tax increase. That referendum passed by a wide margin. But what many in the public objected to was infrastructure money going to cultural groups. When that push ended the debate settled down and all proceeded smoothly on to election day.

And several times on this blog have wondered about the Cultural Council, is “The Arts” still the answer for this City of Lake Worth?

Or do we need hotels in the Downtown to make “The Arts” work. We can mural up every wall in the Downtown. But if people come, visit, walk around and then leave what is the point?

To Focus Lake Worth.


We’ll see in time how successful the recent “Focus Lake Worth” events have been drawing attention to this municipality and making the case why a hotel or hotels would be successful. Mayor Triolo, City Manager Michael Bornstein, City staff, the Community Redevelopment Authority, the Cultural Council et al. have emphasized that this City is where “The Arts” are made and making this City the destination for the arts community nationwide.


On that topic here is Mayor Triolo
explaining what the goals are:




Of note, back in late 2015 into early 2016 the City of Lake Worth made national news on CNBC, CNN, MSNBC and other news outlets. An article by writer Pari Chang created quite the “buzz” so to speak. She wrote a piece titled, “Where the Makers Are: Lake Worth, Florida”:


This small South Florida city is an under-the-radar, up-and-coming hotbed of makers. Miami obviously has a huge arts scene. Locals know that Ft. Lauderdale does, too. But Lake Worth, in Palm Beach County, is the one to watch, a city on the verge.


How many artists came to Lake Worth? How many ended up in some other place like Miami or even West Palm? Delray Beach? FATCity in Ft. Lauderdale?

As to the question: Will “Art, Music and Design” be what it takes to bring hotels to Downtown Lake Worth?

Or is it time to pivot to the traditional trades?

Historically, this City was the home of tradesmen and tradeswoman. Architects, doctors, home painters, electricians and plumbers and every other trade imaginable. One such person said to me he had never been to the Cultural Council. But if that location was a hardware store he and everybody else he knows would be there every single day.

And if “The Arts” is indeed the answer we would most probably have a hotel in the Downtown under construction right now or in the planning stages. As it is now all those visitors coming to town are staying in West Palm (sans a Beach) and in the Town of Palm Beach too.

And in the latest effort to make this City of Lake Worth an arts and artist destination, an article in the Post was not all too enthusiastic and alluded to, Our ‘city says’ vs. ‘city hopes’.

To be clear: The Cultural Council has been a great neighbor and contributor to this City. The new president and CEO is Mr. David Lawrence. He certainly has the vision and experience to make things happen. But the Cultural Council represents all of Palm Beach County, it’s thirty-nine municipalities and unincorporated areas too like national and County parks. Opening a hotel in the Downtown is a joint effort by all the stakeholders.


Now moving on. . .

What follows are two very informative excerpts from Sorentrue’s news three years ago. Now imagine our City had a renovated historic hotel. And the tourist dollars to envision a new, modern municipal golf course:


More than 30 golf tour operators from around the world are in Beach County this week as part of a trip organized by Palm Beach County tourism leaders in an effort to bring more golf-loving tourists here.

Discover The Palm Beaches, the county’s official tourism marketing corporation, planned the first ever “American Cup” tour in hopes of showcasing the county as a vacation destination for golfers — both domestic and international.

“One of our key attributes in The Palm Beaches is that we’re Florida’s golf capital with more than 160 golf courses,” said Jorge Pesquera, Discover’s president and CEO. “Our American Cup event hosts influential golf tour operator decision-makers, representing some of our main international markets such as Latin America, Germany and the United Kingdom.”

and. . .


“We market The Palm Beaches as ‘the best way to experience Florida,’ and this event spotlights golf as one of those best-in-class experiences that few other destinations can offer catering to this high value niche clientele,” Pesquera said. “It’s said that ‘business is made on the golf course,’ so we hope to entice these tour operators to help us sell the destination to their targeted audiences.”


Whilst on that topic. . .

On behalf of Lake Worth City Manager Michael Bornstein and Mayor Pam Triolo I invite everyone to come and check out the City’s municipal golf course. But pay close attention to weather reports. Especially rain projections.

In the image below, “City Manager Michael Bornstein and Mayor Pam Triolo pose with a framed article from Southern Golf Central Magazine. The Lake Worth Golf Course is the second oldest municipal course in the State of Florida and boasts of a fellow named Babe Ruth who frequented the course years ago.”


Lake Worth’s golf course was featured in Florida Golf Central Magazine.


Did you know Babe Ruth golfed here in
the City of Lake Worth? He did.

Click on “A Coastal Paradise”:

Here is the website for the City of Lake Worth’s municipal golf course. From the website:


Located at One 7th Avenue North Lake Worth Golf Course and Pro Shop has been in business since 1927. The golf course is comprised of a unique old Florida design with a scenic 6,100 yard, par-70 course located along 1.2 miles of the Intracoastal Waterway. 

  • 18-hole, par 70
  • Course Flyover
  • Pro Shop
  • The Beach Club restaurant
  • Golf Lessons
  • Rental Clubs
  • Annual Memberships for residents & non-residents (memberships start on date of purchase and end one year from that date)
  • Seasonal Membership
  • Mens and Ladies Golf Associations

Tee Time Reservations contact the ProShop: 561-582-9713


Here is a video of the course Hole #1.

To follow the City of Lake Worth’s
Municipal Golf Course on Twitter use this link.

PUBLIC NOTICE: Published in The Lake Worth Herald.



PLEASE TAKE NOTICE that the Planning & Zoning Board, of the City of Lake Worth, Florida, will hold a public hearing in the City Hall Commission Chambers, 7 North Dixie Hwy., at 6:00 PM or as soon thereafter as possible, on Wednesday, January 16, 2019 to consider a request by Jeremy Anderson for the following:

PZB Project# 18-01400009: a request for a Major Site Plan to allow the construction of a 7,441 square foot “single destination retail” use at 1615 10th Avenue North. The subject property’s PCN is 38-43-44-21-15-262-0031.

Written responses can be sent to the Lake Worth Planning & Zoning Board at 1900 2nd Avenue N, Lake Worth, FL 33461 and must arrive before the hearing date to be included in the formal record. You also have the opportunity to attend the meeting to provide oral testimony. For additional information on the above issues, please visit the City of Lake Worth Division of Planning, Zoning and Historic Preservation located at 1900 Second Ave. North, Lake Worth, Florida 33461 or contact City Staff at 561-586-1687.

Monday, January 7, 2019

PUBLIC SAFETY: A reminder.


Below is very important information for everyone in this City of Lake Worth. Trying to challenge a train is a very bad idea. No matter how hard you try, you will never win a challenge against a train. And it’s also important to remember. . .

If a train has passed and the crossing arms remain in the down position and warning signals continue, DO NOT CROSS THE TRACKS! A train could be coming from the opposite direction.

Quiet Zones along the Florida East Coast (FEC) railway ARE IN EFFECT.


  Getting this information out to our non-English speaking communities in this City is especially important (Spanish and Creole; see below).


For more information contact Mr. Ben Kerr, PIO, at 561-586-1631; email: BKerr@lakeworth.org

The message always is:
“See Tracks? THINK TRAIN!”


PLEASE TAKE NOTE:


Lake Worth, FL — On the Florida East Coast (FEC) railway trains will no longer sound their horns routinely within the City boundaries except in instances where the engineer deems it necessary due to an emergency or for the safety of workers on the tracks. As train horns will no longer sound at crossings it is of utmost importance that people obey the barriers and stay alert whenever they are crossing the tracks.
     The City reminds all that it is illegal and highly dangerous to trespass on rail tracks. Train speed and distance is deceptive and without the use of the horn a train is extremely quiet which can lead to accidents when people attempt to “beat” the train and ignore the safety barriers. In addition it takes many trains over a mile to come to a complete stop. Trains on the FEC tracks will be traveling at speeds up to 79 mph.
     Further information about Railroad Safety in English, Spanish and Creole click on this link.


Message is always:

“See Tracks? THINK TRAIN!”

“Lè w wè ray tren?
SONJE TREN AN!

“¿Ves rieles? ¡PIENSA TREN!


From the Palm Beach Transportation Planning Agency (TPA) and Operation Lifesaver:

To become a volunteer for Operation Lifesaver
click on this link.

Sunday, January 6, 2019

Photography, children and protecting the environment in Palm Beach County.


Please Note: An upcoming event on Thursday, January 24th at the Findlay Galleries on Worth Ave. in the Town of Palm Beach.


Later in this blog post is news published in The Lake Worth Herald about an expedition last Fall into the Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge west of Boynton Beach for environmental education by science experts from the Everglades Foundation and an “[E]ducator to discuss photography and camera usage from the Norton Museum of Art and in-class discussion and instruction from Sacred Heart School teachers.”

The result from this project will be on display at the Findlay Galleries, the top 24 photographs taken by the students at Sacred Heart.

For more information about, “The Everglades: Through the Eyes of Children Photo Project” contact Milka Santos at the Sacred Heart elementary school: call 561-582-2242; email: santosm@sacredheartfamily.com


And on this topic of children and the environment, what follows is a blog post from last November about Mr. Rick Clegg, a true visionary: Realizing the potential of our natural spaces and Nature-Deficit Disorder (NDD).

NDD is explained later in this blog post. But be forewarned. NDD is controversial.

The powers-that-be in the fields of psychology and education refuse to accept the premise that the outdoors can treat behavior problems in children related to overuse of technology, smartphones and the lure of social media. However, Richard Louv in his 2005 treatise titled, “Last Child in the Woods” disagrees. Read more about Louv and NDD below.

In short, draw your own conclusions.

And one more thing. . .


Before we proceed this is crucially important. At the end of this blog post is a map showing the location of the Loxahatchee River in Jupiter and the Arthur R. Marshall (ARM) Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge further to the south.

Although these two wildlife areas in Palm Beach County have “Loxahatchee” in their name they are both very different natural spaces and located in very different places in Palm Beach County.

These two public parks are often confused by the public:

  • The Loxahatchee River is located in northern PBC and is part of the County Park system. It is located to the south of Martin County and is east of Lake Okeechobee.
  • The ARM Loxahatchee Wildlife Refuge is a national park located west of Boynton Beach in Central PBC and southeast of Lake Okeechobee.

Just by coincidence, later in this blog post are excerpts from an article in this week’s Lake Worth Herald about students from the Sacred Heart School who went on an exploration of the ARM. Sacred Heart is located in the City of Lake Worth. To learn about their curriculum click on this link.

And also by coincidence. . .


Datelined Nov. 20th, 2018, is this news from journalist Hannah Morse at The Palm Beach Post about the Loxahatchee River in the Town of Jupiter. Mr. Rick Clegg is cited by Morse:


The Loxahatchee River, teeming with alligators, otters and birds, offers a new exploration option for Jupiter Outdoor Center customers.

“We’re very excited,” said owner Rick Clegg. “We feel we have the two best locations in all of Palm Beach County for paddling.”

Aside from rentals, Jupiter Outdoor Center also offers kids outdoor adventure camp [emphasis added] and guided tours at Riverbend.


Now to the news in the Lake Worth Herald headlined, “Sacred Heart Students Explore Wildlife Refuge”. Two excerpts:


LAKE WORTH — Fifty-two students in the fourth and seventh grades at Sacred Heart School had a chance to explore the Everglades and its unique environment, through the lens of a camera. On November 7, the students were taken to the Arthur R. Marshall National Wildlife Refuge in western Palm Beach County, [emphasis added] with photography mentors, teachers and parent chaperones for a hands-on nature experience.

Each student was provided with a digital camera and on-site additional photography equipment. Afterwards, students roughly edited their photos to have one printed to take home and then they submitted their photo cards for judging by professional photographers.

This annual Sacred Heart School program, The Everglades: Through the Eyes of Children Photo Project is a community effort working with The Everglades Foundation, the Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge and the Norton Museum of Art.

and. . .


The Project begins earlier in the Fall, with environmental education provided by science experts from the Everglades Foundation, an educator to discuss photography and camera usage from the Norton Museum of Art and in-class discussion and instruction from Sacred Heart School teachers.

The Photo Project program culminates with a private, gallery reception and photo exhibition at Findlay Galleries, Palm Beach, January 24, 2019.

James Borynack, chairman and CEO of Findlay Galleries is hosting the event for Sacred Heart School and will display the top 24 photographs and recognize the first, second and third place winners.


For more information about, “The Everglades: Through the Eyes of Children Photo Project” contact Milka Santos at Sacred Heart: call 561-582-2242; email: santosm@sacredheartfamily.com


Now back to Mr. Rick Clegg, Nature-Deficit Disorder, educating children about the natural environment and. . .

Promoting ecotourism, boosting visits by families, young adults and children to our County and national parks.


Question: Could making PBC the world leader in the treatment of Nature-Deficit Disorder be the answer?


Please note. A disclaimer:


NDD is not recognized in DSM-5 and has been criticized by malcontents high up in tall buildings as a misdiagnosis that NDD is a “problematic contemporary environmental discourse that can obscure and mistreat the problem.”

NDD was first coined by Richard Louv in his 2005 classic “Last Child in the Woods” meaning that children as reported in Wikipedia, “[A]re spending less time outdoors resulting in a wide range of behavioral problems” such as careening on skateboards into parked cars and walking around in circles texting.

However, Louv claims that causes for the phenomenon (NDD) include “parental fears, restricted access to natural areas, and the lure of electronic devices.” Bolstering Louv’s claims is research demonstrating the contrast between the declining number of park visits in America and increased use of electronic media by children.

Draw your own conclusions about NDD but err on the side of promoting and encouraging more visits to public parks.



Please pause here.


Yes. The ‘disclaimer’ above is a little tongue-in-cheek with a slight dab of satire.


But!


Could Mr. Clegg be on to something? This same businessman cites an actual published book titled, Saving Our Children From Nature-Deficit Disorder, a 2005 best-seller by Richard Louv. Could our public parks in PBC be used as a draw nationwide for treatment of NDD in children and young adults and increasing ecotourism as well?


Continue reading and you decide.


Getting more visitors and tourists to visit our County and national parks in PBC has been a problem for a very long time. The Loxahatchee Sierra Club is one group that has been out in the lead trying to solve this problem at the Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge located in suburban Boynton Beach.

Now back to the Loxahatchee River in
northern Palm Beach County.


Here is news from business journalist Alexandra Clough datelined August 28th and headlined, “Jupiter businessman Rick Clegg pursues his passion for the outdoors”:


Clegg, the owner of Jupiter Outdoor Center . . . will tap into Palm Beach County’s growing eco-tourism industry by offering guided tours, including bird-watching tours at Riverbend Park.

“Our mission is to create a convenient, safe and fun way for people to experience nature,” Clegg said. “We’ll be giving people more of a reason to come into the park.”

Clegg is partnering with the River Center, which provides the expertise on the river and its many inhabitants. Educating people about the river isn’t just for adults. Clegg runs day camps for children, too.


and another quote from Clough’s news. . .


     “I [Clegg] see north Palm Beach County, and especially Jupiter, becoming a known eco-tourism destination that attracts visitors from around the world and continues to provide those that live here an ‘out-of-this-world’ natural experience.”


[Briefly consider this: Couldn’t the Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee Wildlife Refuge in suburban Boynton Beach also become a “known eco-tourism destination that attracts visitors from around the world”?]


When asked by the reporter (Clough) what one of his favorite books is Clegg recommended the best seller The Last Child in the Woods, subtitled Saving Our Children From Nature-Deficit Disorder.

More information about the Loxahatchee River.


Below is a press release and video from the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) about the restoration of two historic dams along the Loxahatchee River in Jupiter for the ecosystem of this federally designated “wild and scenic river” for public recreation, e.g., access for kayaking, fishing, ecotourism and possibly helping children with NDD.

The Loxahatchee flows through Riverbend Park in Jupiter (in Palm Beach County) and north into Jonathan Dickinson State Park between Hobe Sound and Tequesta. Both of these parks are wonderful assets with Jonathan Dickinson being the largest state park in Southeast Florida and Riverbend Park having such a long history here in PBC.

Near Riverbend Park, also on the Loxahatchee River, is the popular historical site of Battlefield Park:


Since acquiring the land, the Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation Department’s goal has been to preserve the natural, archaeological, and cultural significance of these properties and to provide access and education to the public. . . . The parks [Riverbend and Battlefield] are also officially recognized as sites of two Second Seminole War battles and were home to pioneers and farmsteaders after those battles.


Press release datelined May 2018,
“SFWMD Completes Restoration of Historic
Loxahatchee River Dams”:


Jupiter, FL — [T]he South Florida Water Management District’s (SFWMD) Water Resources Analysis Coalition [WRAC] received a detailed presentation about the recently completed restoration of two historic dams on the Loxahatchee River in northern Palm Beach County.
     The dams, first built in the 1930s by local families, control and regulate upstream flow stages of the Northwest Fork of the river, the state's first designated “wild and scenic” river. The dams also maintain the hydrology of the riverine floodplain ecosystem. Modeling has shown that without the two dams in place, the upstream water levels would be about 1.5 feet lower, draining the freshwater swamp and encouraging saltwater intrusion.
     “One of SFWMD’s primary missions is the protection of natural systems and these dam renovations are crucial to ensuring the future of the Loxahatchee River," said Governing Board Vice Chair Melanie Peterson, a Palm Beach County resident and former member of the Loxahatchee River Management Coordinating Council. “These dams are not only living parts of Palm Beach County's history, but they are essential to protecting the cypress swamp floodplain that makes the Loxahatchee so unique.”


The video from SFWMD:




For reference: Note the Loxahatchee River Watershed Project in the map below (top right) and the “Mecca Parcel” to the west.

Click on image to enlarge:

The Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge is southeast of Lake Okeechobee (see WCA 1 on map). FYI: The Loxahatchee Sierra Club and SFWMD have been coordinating together to control the spread of Lygodium. To learn more click on this link.


Hope you found this information helpful today.

And as to the question, “Who relies on Lake Okeechobee?”

The answer is millions of people and every community in South Florida, businesses and the environment all rely each and every day on the “Liquid Heart of Florida”: