Saturday, February 2, 2019

“Yes, Mother.”


Former City of Lake Worth representative Suzanne Mulvehill said this to Mayor Pam Triolo at the City Commission in July 2012 (see video below).

Mulvehill was not happy, you see.

On March 12th, 2019 will be two referendums on the ballot. The City Commission voted unanimously several times to send these questions to the voters: renaming the City of Lake Worth to become the “City of Lake Worth Beach” and the sale of public property at 501 Lake Ave. in the Downtown.

And exactly to the day six years earlier — on March 12th, 2013 — there were two referendums on the ballot:


“Question 1” was moving Lake Worth municipal elections from November back to March.

“Question 2” was the ‘heights vote’.


The ‘heights vote’ passed. More about that at a later time as we get closer to March 12th, 2019. The lengths to which some will go to confuse the electorate will truly amaze you.

Already there is mis- and disinformation about the two referendums next year. Already some are declaring “NO!” without hearing all the facts.

This is no different than what happened
six years ago in this City.


Some people new to City of Lake Worth politics think that things can get a little out of control at the City Commission now and then. But nothing at all you’ve seen in the present can in any way compare with what happened in 2012–2013.

We’ll go into more detail later about what exactly happened.

Mayor Pam Triolo has always given those who wish to speak their chance to speak. Some now are saying they weren’t given their chance to speak about the referendums in March 2019. Completely false. Some are declaring they were disenfranchised too. Completely false.

Many of the same things were said six years ago.

Watch the short video below from 2012 and pay close attention to what is said at the one minute and five second mark.





“Yes, Mother.”

Now the President Donald Trump has returned to the “Winter White House”.



Please note this blog post is a recurring one, posted prior to and then shortly after the president’s return to Mar-a-Lago.

Hmmm. But just wondering. Should the ‘p’ in “president’s” be capitalized? And what of First Lady Melania Trump? Should ‘First Lady’ be capitalized?

And briefly, if politics is of great interest to you then this blog post is also a reminder that if you don’t follow the news from political journalist George Bennett then you need to start.

Now, with the table set. . .

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


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

What are the errors? The answer is below.


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

Certainly, if you’ve been getting your news about President Trump’s visits to the Town of Palm Beach and Mar-a-Lago from The Palm Beach Post’s George Bennett you are already well-schooled on this topic and understand the proper usage.

So. Did you find the two errors above?


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

Did you get all that?













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

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

Once again, that is up to you to decide.

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


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

and. . .


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


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


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


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

and. . .

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

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


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

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

From the AP Style about “Presidential”:

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

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


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


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

Friday, February 1, 2019

Whilst on the topic of John Prince Park and Lake Osborne. . .


Rumor Control: “Is the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers about to begin dredging operations in Lake Osborne?”


The answer is, “No!”

Beware the rumors floating around in this little
City of Lake Worth and in places like the
Great Walled City of Atlantis too.


This rumor, revived and re-circulated over and over again from certain neighborhoods west of I-95 is nothing new and has to be regularly debunked: No. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is not going to “reconfigure” Lake Osborne into the shape of a dolphin:

The Army Corps of Engineers announced today that they plan to dredge and reconfigure Lake Osborne as part of a federal mandate to return lakes and waterways to their “pre-development” state.

There is not and never was a plan by the U.S. Army Corps to dredge and then reshape Lake Osborne to look like a snook, grouper, tuna or any type of fish or reshaped to look like a dolphin or any other type of mammal for that matter. Anyone even suggesting the Army Corps would do something like that is just plain silly.

The lesson is be very careful of rumors and wild speculation.

However, reconfiguring Lake Osborne to look like “Flipper (the “aquatic Lassie”) seemed like a really good idea to some people ten years ago who lived near the lake, according to Mr. Tom McGow. Read more about that below.

Please examine the two images below.

Lake Osborne, in its present state, following in-fill development efforts that began 80–100 years
ago in what would later become CPBC.

Lake Osborne, located in John Prince Park, is in unincorporated or “suburban CPBC roughly between the City of Lake Worth (Lake Osborne Dr. to the east; right in image) and the Great Walled City of Atlantis (to the west of Congress Ave., not in image).

Now to Lake Osborne in its ‘proposed’ Dolphin configuration WHICH IS AN URBAN MYTH!


There was never a plan to reshape Lake Osborne
into a dolphin like Flipper!

However, according to Mr. McGow, “Local resident ■■■■ ■■■■■■■■, who lives close to the lake,
added, ‘I like it!’ ”

And lastly for a little more history, if you are a new or recently new resident of this City of Lake Worth, please take a few moments and find out how our Downtown Publix came to be.


Another humorous and clever image from
the inimitable Tom McGow.

This one demonstrating how silly the arguments were that Publix would not become a huge success in Downtown Lake Worth:
Publix Works” was published by McGow in April 2010, prior to construction of our dependable, treasured, and reliable Publix supermarket
here in our City.

And more information about John Prince Park today.


Gopher tortoises in John Prince Park.


Threats: Cars and bikes, cats, curious kids, and golf balls falling from the sky.

WARNING: Never, ever try to save a Gopher tortoise by throwing it into the water. Turtles can swim.

Gopher tortoises can’t!

The reptile will sink and quickly drown. Also note:

The nearby John Prince Park, west of the City of Lake Worth, is known to be a habitat for Gopher tortoises and feral cats are a huge threat:

“[F]eral cats have been discovered chewing the back legs off a fully grown healthy adult tortoise.”

Another threat to Gopher tortoises is poaching which is a serious crime:


“Every year, thousands of poachers are arrested nationwide; however, it is estimated that only 1 to 5 percent of poachers are caught. Poachers kill wildlife anytime, anywhere and sometimes do so in particularly cruel ways.”

But there’s good news too!


From the South Florida Water Management District read about Resolution No. 720 to:


“Declare surplus land interest containing 142.61 acres, more or less, in Highlands County, and authorizing the grant to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) of a conservation easement as a condition of the District obtaining a permit from FWC for the purpose of establishing the subject property as a gopher tortoise recipient site.”
 

The future of this endangered reptile, well away
from urban areas, is something we all can
agree is necessary in Florida.

Gopher tortoise (image from Wikipedia): Tortoises are not ‘pets’ to be kept in the backyard for personal enjoyment or entertainment.


One reason that was given several years ago why the City’s Park of Commerce (POC) shouldn’t be improved upon or moving forward with the Neighborhood Road Bond and delaying upgrades to our water/sewer infrastructure too is because Gopher tortoise burrows may be in the vicinity of a project. Another claim is these tortoises can’t be relocated.

That is completely false.


An urban environment of which the POC and the City of Lake Worth are partmost reasonable people can agree is not the ideal place for this threatened species of turtles to live. The creature is trapped because of roads and development and has no way of escape. The near-constant interaction with humans is a safety issue. There are also nature preserves in Florida specifically for creatures such as the prehistoric Gopher tortoise; one is the spectacular Nokuse Preserve here in Florida.

Finding Gopher tortoise burrows, rescuing the reptile and taking them to a safer and more hospitable location is quite common.


Watch this short video of the process:




You can learn more about this reptile at the FWC and find out about the permit process for finding them a new home in a safe habitat. Let’s do all we can to help these tortoises in our little City of Lake Worth find a new, safe home to live in peace.

Last Wednesday night. Cara Jennings showed up. So did Chris McVoy, PhD.


Do you remember who Cara Jennings is? Remember Dr. McVoy? Continue reading to find out.

More information follows about the public meeting at City Hall vis-à-vis FY2019–2020 CDBG funding. This will be explained in much more detail below. And also below are photos from last Wednesday night, a violation recently handed out to Yours Truly, and more information.

Briefly, the meeting on Wednesday was about,


[A]llocation of CDBG funding for Fiscal Year 2019–2020 has not yet been announced. It is estimated that it will comparable to the CDBG allocation of $294,477 that the City received for Fiscal Year 2018–2019.


CDBG  =  Community Development Block Grant funding.

Mr. Jerry Kelly is the City’s grants analyst and he ran the meeting and took copious notes. In about four weeks he will present his findings to the City. Any notion that Mr. Kelly ignored anyone or did not listen to everyone’s ideas and concerns is just hogwash.

Enough said about that.

Before moving on, would you like to see an example of CDBG funds put to work? Then sometime soon head on down to the Downtown and see why this completed project is receiving rave reviews.

In the big scheme of things these Federal funds will not transform the City of Lake Worth but it does most certainly help and makes an impact. And also interesting is how this money has suddenly drawn out this City’s past, notably Cara Jennings and Chris McVoy, PhD.

As noted yesterday, in many ways last Wednesday was about the “New Lake Worth” vs. “Old Lake Worth”.

The New Lake Worth began in 2011 when “The Three” took over City Hall. Those three are Mayor Pam Triolo, now Vice-Mayor Andy Amoroso and Commissioner Scott Maxwell. Then in 2012 Michael Bornstein was hired to be the city manager. Ever since 2011–2012 it’s been all about fixing the terrible policies and decisions by the prior administration which included Jennings and Jo-Ann Golden et al. One of the most grievous policies was gutting the code enforcement dept. which has been well-documented on this blog.

This public meeting was a “Public Input Meeting” for the FY2019–2020 CDBG program. Due to the City being under 50,000 in population (≈37,000 presently), this Federal money is distributed by a formula through Palm Beach County. All cities in PBC receive some sort of contribution from the program based upon population. The City of Lake Worth’s projected share for FY2019–2020 is $294,477. This is roughly the same amount, plus or minus a few thousand dollars, the City usually receives on an annual basis.


More information follows. But let’s pause briefly.


Also worth noting two weeks earlier, at a public meeting of the City Commission on January 15th, Yours Truly was given a violation.


Here it is.

An actual violation handed me from the PBC Tenants Union. Learn more about this group below.

True. I do use the phrase “the ‘G’ word” and like wearing whimsical hats and acting like a dork sometimes. But do take offense to the other perceived violations.


As far as Twitter goes. . .


A Tweet from last Wednesday night:



Now moving on.


It should be noted if the City does not use this funding it can be taken back by the County missing an opportunity to benefit low- and moderate-income persons, preventing or eliminating slum or blight and/or meeting an urgent community need. Those are the national objectives of the CDBG program.

Eligible activities to be funded by the program include acquisition of real property for a public purpose, demolition/clearance, infrastructure installation and improvements, historic preservation and code enforcement. It was the “code enforcement” activity which brought out that group which calls itself the Palm Beach County Tenants Union (PBCTU) which some believe does more to protect slumlords than tenants.

Let’s digress momentarily. We’ll get back to the PBCTU a little later.

Remember, this blog post is, “About last night. Cara Jennings showed up. And so did Chris McVoy, PhD”.

Jennings is the former commissioner in District 2 (2006–2010) followed by McVoy, PhD (2010–2017) (see photos below). Mr. Omari Hardy defeated McVoy in 2017. Hardy’s argument to the voters was Jennings and McVoy paid so much attention to what was happening outside District 2 that they both lost touch with what was actually happening in their own district. It was a very good argument. Hardy defeated the incumbent McVoy who has a PhD by the way. Defeating an incumbent is a very difficult thing to do and especially so for a political newcomer like Hardy.

Interestingly, both Commissioner Hardy and his challenger Cathy Turk were present at this meeting about CDBG funding. The City’s municipal elections will be held on March 12th.

The voters City-wide will elect the commissioner for District 2. And whoever gets elected will serve a three-year term. It’s worth noting there are four City Commission districts in this City, Districts 1–4. So expect the topic of CDBG funding to be a topic of debate in the District 4 race as well. District 4 Commissioner Herman C. Robinson was also in attendance (see photo below).


Let’s pause briefly one last time before we get back to PBCTU and more about CDBG.

Here are photos from last night.


Click on all photos to enlarge:

District 4 Commissioner Herman C. Robinson was in attendance (left; blue shirt and glasses) and also in attendance was a former commissioner, Chris McVoy, PhD (along back wall, to left of window).


A wide view of the room at 6:00.

The public was still filling the room.

Some of you will notice a few notable notables including Mr. javier Del Sol, a former mayoral candidate (on left; wearing sweater).


And in this view. . .

Another former commissioner from District 2, Cara Jennings (along back wall under TV screen).


And did you ever hear about the unused CDBG funds while Jennings was a commissioner? Maybe we’ll get to that at a later time if this CDBG issue becomes a major one. Hopefully it will not but time will tell.

Now more about the PBC Tenants Union.

Due to PBCTU’s promotion of the event the room was standing room only, but only well after the meeting had already begun. It seems the bulk of their members like to arrive at meetings fashionably late.

This meeting was not before a City board, a committee or the City Commission, although commissioners Omari Hardy and Herman C. Robinson were in attendance.

Instead, the meeting was run by Jerry Kelly who is the City’s grant writer and analyst. After reviewing the parameters of the CDBG program Kelly opened the meeting to public comment. There were some new faces including the welcomed faces of children and staff representing For The Children.

However, there were other faces present as well that we haven’t seen for quite some time, including former commissioners Chris McVoy, PhD, Cara Jennings and Mr. panagioti (never capitalize the name as it gives too much importance to the self!).

Jennings and panagioti felt that their children would be worthy additions to the meeting. The children instead caused a lot of distractions and noise and contributed to the meeting’s lack of focus that was one of the complaints.

Commissioner Hardy made it a point that code enforcement, the ire of the PBCTU, was an eligible CDBG expense. And Hardy brought documentation showing that it was and also shared examples of other communities that use CDBG funds for code enforcement in Palm Beach County.

These comments by Hardy created much ire from Jennings as well but at no point did things get completely out of control. Hardy remained calm but members of the PBCTU were getting a little riled up too. So it didn’t hurt that two PBSO deputies showed up.

Hardy also made a distinction between the language in the City code and that maybe the issue with CDBG needs to be looked at later on, but the political will expressed by most citizens was to be vigilant and proactive with code enforcement, especially when it came to derelict vehicles, what is called “red tagging”.

Ms. Jennings inappropriately talked over Commissioner Hardy many times during the meeting and she questioned whether it was appropriate for him to even be talking since he was an elected official and gets to talk all the time anyway. She said that this meeting was for resident input. This notion goes back to the days when being an elected official in this City meant you had to craw into a hole between City Commission meetings which is just absurd. Besides being an elected official Hardy is also a resident of this City.

I thought the comments from Jennings were funny in retrospect how Jennings acted as an elected official, how things look when you are in someone else’s shoes. When Jennings was on the City dais she took great pains to make her voice heard and that continued when meetings were over. Her FREE SPEECH was protected but not so much for other elected officials when they disagreed with her.

PBCTU expressed they wanted CDBG money to go to parks, open space, trees, play equipment, community centers and WiFi. The group was upset that there was not an official “scribe” in attendance and wondered if all these ideas were being memorialized in writing. Although this meeting last Wednesday was not a board meeting or a Commission meeting it was still a public meeting. Anyone could have brought a tripod and camera. Remember, many of the PBCTU showed up late.

Several PBCTU members were on time for the meeting. Any one of them could have called another member and told them to bring a camera. But apparently, that did not happen.

PBCTU members also complained about lack of notice for the meeting which is a valid point. This meeting was not noticed on the City’s official calendar. The City’s official calendar has been a problem for a very long time.

However, PBCTU did get the word out to their members as many were in attendance. They made it seem as if hundreds of people would come to the meeting if they all knew about it. But the reality is more likely their membership is actually very small. It’s not unusual for groups like PBCTU to intentionally keep a low membership. It’s one of the ways to keep out potential informants working for PBSO and the FDLE.

So if PBCTU really has a large membership maybe we’ll see that some day. Maybe after Election Day on March 12th. It really is amazing how groups like PBCTU always seem to show up shortly prior to elections and never shortly after when the hard work of City government begins once again.

The long and short of it is that despite what happened and/or what did not happen at this public meeting this week there will still be plenty of time to give your input regarding use of the CDBG monies.

Mr. Kelly said that can be done over the next four weeks and ultimately the decision will be made by the City Commission. And those too will be public meetings.

And PBCTU is invited. Along with everyone else who has ideas about CDBG.

In conclusion, Thank You for visiting once again today.

The City of Lake Worth’s annual Tree Festival in only thirteen (13) days away.


On Saturday, February 16th.

Just two days after
Valentine’s Day!


And there is a very important public meeting of the City’s Tree Board in preparation for this 14th annual event. Below is more information.

The Festival of Trees in mid-February ushers in the annual Festival Season here in this City followed by the Street Painting Festival and the Midnight Sun Festival and many others, both large and small.


Remember: The Tree Festival
in this City of Lake Worth
is Famly-Friendly!


All Famlies, big and small!

Whilst on the topic of trees and expert knowledge, have you ever visited Amelia’s SmartyPlants located at 1515 N. Dixie Hwy. in this City? Below is more information about this spectacular place.

Now back to the Tree Festival.


The City’s Tree Board coordinates this festival with City staff and they are always looking for volunteers, sponsors and vendors. If you have a special talent or skill and would like to help there are only one Tree Board meetings left to prepare: Valentine’s Day (February 14th).

Tree Board meetings are held the second Thursday of each month, 5:30, in the City Hall conference room.

Recently the Chair of the board, Mr. Richard Stowe, and the staff liaison from the Parks Dept, Mr. Dave McGrew, had an update on the progress of the 2019 Festival of Trees and discussions on coming up with a native tree list, lining up exhibitors and putting together a cadre of dedicated volunteers.

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


Here are images from previous festivals:

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


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


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


Briefly, more information about SmartyPlants.

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

Who is SmartyPlants?


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


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


More information from the professionals at Amelia’s:


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

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


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


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

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

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


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


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


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

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

Click on image to enlarge:

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

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


Back to the news published in the Post. . .

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

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

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


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

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

City Manager Michael Bornstein: “You’re not off in some far off conceptual place like Washington or Tallahassee.”


And part of getting back to the basics in this City is relearning the meaning of “nonpartisan elections”. A refresher is later in this blog post.


Here is another quote:

“Commissioners, I applaud your willingness to step into the white hot spotlight of public office.
     “In an era of cynical media and in the shadow of the shenanigans in Washington and Tallahassee, local government is where things get done. The gridlock and lack of leadership there makes what you do here even more important.”

Quote. Lake Worth Mayor Pam Triolo addressing the entire City Commission at the State of the City Address on February 8th, 2018.


And then forty days later, another quote:


 
“Still have a lot to do but your political footing is solid.”

Lake Worth City Manager Michael Bornstein, March 20th, 2018, addressing the City Commission.



The entire quote by Michael Bornstein is below. But first a little background.

A short time after Bornstein was hired as city manager back in April 2012 to manage this City the long-time Palm Beach Post journalist Willie Howard wrote this opening line in a news report,

After six weeks on the job [Bornstein] is cutting through the tension at city hall, bringing a sense of calmness and teamwork to a city commission known for heated debates and red-eye meetings.

To read the entire news article by Willie Howard click on this link.

Before we get to Bornstein’s quote, briefly, what is going on at the Post now? And what happened to Willie Howard?


Of course, Howard is no longer at the Post but a lot of the public still wish he was. He took a buyout many years ago from Cox Media, the former owner of that newspaper.

GateHouse Media now owns the Post. The publisher wrote in November 2017 that, “It was a business decision, and a particularly tough one, because our [former] owners have personal ties to Palm Beach County.”

But the Post got sold to GateHouse anyway. So much for ‘personal ties’. Willie Howard’s decision to take that buyout looks like a real good one in retrospect.

Without further ado. . .


To Bornstein’s quote and the “[S]ense of calmness and teamwork” to get the work of small city government done, the entire quote from March 20th addressing the City Commission following the municipal elections held the previous week:


“Just congratulations on the return [re-election] of the three of you all, mayor, vice mayor, vice mayor pro-tem. I was speaking earlier to the Kiwanis breakfast and marveling about our election process.
     And for all its flaws and the campaigns that sometimes seem to be difficult, it’s a marvel that we have a peaceful transition of authority and power that occurs regularly and correctly and that the competition and the vetting of ideas and the talking about visions that candidates have when they put themselves up for elected office is something that is just amazing.
     When you look around the world you see people that wish they had representative government that was anywhere close to what we have. We see like in China, where now we have the president for life, I guess, or in Russia where no one dares question whether or not he’s going to be president for life, for all our flaws it [representative government] is a marvel and something we shouldn’t take for granted.
     Having been the student of government, and also my career for last almost twenty years being in government, it’s been a tremendous pleasure working with elected officials, particularly this body, this has been a difficult environment sometimes to work in and for you to work in. [emphasis added]
     You go to the store where your constituents shop and you’re readily accessible. You’re not off in some far off conceptual place like Washington or Tallahassee. And the gridlock and just the craziness, the partisan politics that goes on in those levels of government, we need to keep that out of here and you have done that successfully.
     You’ve stayed focused across party lines. You are all very different but you have a shared vision. And I just wanted to say as your city manager, it’s a privilege to work here and with you and for you. I think we work together very well as a team.
     I truly believe the fact that you did get re-elected, in many ways is an affirmation of the direction that you’ve been given to this organization and to this City. Just going back six years ago when I first got here it’s been a tremendous, tremendous turnaround. Still have a lot to do but your political footing is solid.
     You’re coming from a position of clearly having the people that you represent say, ‘continue on, you are doing a good job’.
     And I just want to say thank you on behalf of the organization and myself and look forward to the next three years or more.” 


Your City Commission. Mayor and
commissioners for Districts 1–4:

Take a few moments and contact your elected leadership. But instead of complaining, like everyone else does, ask what you can do to help.


And a timely reminder, because this City of Lake Worth has a tendency to begin the Election Season much earlier than most municipalities. . .

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


This is information “Worth Noting”. 

If you’re not exactly sure what ‘nonpartisan’ means, please contact the City of Lake Worth’s PIO,
Mr. Ben Kerr at 561-586-1631 or send email to: BKerr@lakeworth.org

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


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


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

From the City’s website, “Mayor & Commissioners”:


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


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

And one more thing. . .

The City’s voice to the public is public information officer Mr. Ben Kerr.

PIOs are essential to get the message out to the public. For example, about major weather events. We got spared a hurricane last year. But there is always this year.

The point is this: When is it time to prepare for the next Hurricane Season in 2019? The time is now. Don’t wait until June 1st. By then, as a lot of people learned from Hurricane Irma in 2017, it was too late.


Meet Mr. Ben Kerr and the City’s message in September 2017.

Is West Palm Beach a “world class city”?


Besides the fact that West Palm does not have a beach, is it a ‘world class city’? West Palm declared itself a “Welcoming City” too. But what exactly does that mean?

Let’s tackle one very important topic:


On homelessness:
First three sentences.
Last three sentences.
Source.


The first three.


As West Palm Beach we began a New Year, I was awakened by the cries of fear and panic from two of my constituents. A homeless, deranged person had attacked the woman and her dog, and a scary disturbance was unfolding on Flagler Drive. As the city commissioner for the downtown area, I am all too familiar with the homeless problem.

The last three.


We all know that the homeless problem has far reaching impacts on the economic health of our city. The first step to solving a problem is admitting that you have one. We have a problem.

The source.


The six sentences above are from a Point Of View published in The Palm Beach Post on January 3rd, 2018. It was headlined, “Less talk, more solutions to downtown West Palm Beach homeless problem”. The author of this Point Of View was Paula J. Ryan.

Paula Ryan is the District 3 Commissioner Paula J. Ryan in the City of West Palm Beach. 

Paula Ryan is running for mayor of West Palm Beach.

Former Lake Worth commissioner praises leadership in West Palm Beach for efforts to aid the homeless.


However, after steeping high praise on the City of West Palm Beach 3 years ago (see YouTube video below from Sept. 2015), this same former commissioner said this about the City of Lake Worth:


“If a boat load of refugees came across on our shore here [Lake Worth Beach], how would we feel? I’d be ashamed to say we would probably take out guns and get rid of ’em. [emphasis added] Just like we’re doing with the folks in our city who are homeless and don’t have homes.”

—Quote. JoAnn Golden, former Lake Worth commissioner first elected in 2007 and soundly defeated by Mr. Andy Amoroso (now Lake Worth’s Vice Mayor) in 2011.


Golden, at the 40 second mark in the video below, praises the City of West Palm Beach for all their incredible work to help the homeless there and then goes off the rails at the 1:15 mark with a terribly unfair characterization of the caring and giving people of Lake Worth:



Which begs the obvious question: Are the loudest critics of the efforts to help the homeless in the City of Lake Worth really about helping those in need or just political pandering? For example, do you remember ‘Mr. Snarky’? And since when did the rights of the homeless trump the rights of people and families to use City parks in peace? Business owners and their customers who frequent these businesses?

And think you’ll find this interesting: What happens when citizens, even those supportive of helping the homeless, get pushed to the breaking point:


An email to Lake Worth City Manager Michael Bornstein.

Click on image to enlarge.
From the email: “A rigorous cleaning program might also work with the sleepers on the Bryant Park tables. And we would have a cleaner park.”


And one more thing. . .
A tourist walks past homeless passed out on pier in City park to take photographs. Is this the future you want for our City parks?

Thursday, January 31, 2019

A public safety reminder.


It’s been some time since President Donald Trump has visited the Winter White House, what most people call Mar-a-Lago. You may wish to join a protest to voice your opposition to the president. That is protected FREE SPEECH.

Since November 2016, despite a few minor incidents, most protests thus far have been peaceful and non-violent. But one must always be prepared. So before joining a protest there is something you need to know.


 Joining a protest? Free Speech is your right. But always be vigilant.


Why? “Anarchists use and take advantage
of local citizens. . .”



Many residents of Lake Worth will be familiar with one Anarchist in particular, one who tried to get elected to the City Commission in 2016:


“It’s time you guys know that we are no longer playing around . . . we are about to start striking fear, shooting down all cops that we see by their selves . . . Happy F       The Police Day! Remember children. All Cops Are Bastards! Have a great day!”


It should be noted political speech is FREE SPEECH.


Click on political mailer to enlarge:

“LAKE WORTH COMMISSION CANDIDATE”

Without further ado, let’s proceed.


President Donald Trump is scheduled to be back in the Town of Palm Beach tomorrow. Protests against the president is about as American as you can get: peacefully protesting Trump’s policies, administration priorities, and many remain angry believing Hillary Clinton was wronged, the election in 2016 rigged. So far, protests in Palm Beach and West Palm Beach have ended up with no (or few) arrests, no one got hurt, and everyone went home. For the most part peacefully.

However, any peaceful gathering or protest — no matter how well organized — can be hijacked with just a few well-placed troublemakers. I saw this first-hand in October 2014 when the local Anarchists from Everglades EarthFirst! joined a protest by the Guatemalan Maya Center (GMC) in Lake Worth.

The GMC members organized to address what they perceived were abuses by law enforcement in their neighborhood. But shortly prior to their arrival outside PBSO headquarters a group of Anarchists had already hijacked that public space and made it a protest against PBSO instead, not about any particular incident or incidents, just PBSO and law enforcement in general.

There was no violence that day but you could feel the energy and how things could have changed very quickly. Also got the feeling the media there that day probably wouldn’t have minded one bit.


An Anarchist at the GMC gathering with the
sign,
PBSO Deputies Are Worthless!

Very charming, isn
t it?


Following this event someone sent me this interesting information concerning protests in Durham, North Carolina. There were many other protests occurring around the nation at the time after the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO. The interesting thing about the Durham protests is the authorities laid the blame squarely on the Anarchists for the violence that followed:


     The report, released by [Durham] City Manager Thomas Bonfield, suggests the demonstrations were escalated due to the interference of anarchist groups known that have been involved in previous protests in the city.
     “Anarchists use and take advantage of local citizens that are upset about a current event,” the report said.
     The report points to an incident earlier this year when protesters marched in response of the death of Jesus Huerta, who died from a gunshot wound to his head while handcuffed in the backseat of a Durham police cruiser.
     “During the Huerta marches, anarchists surrounded themselves with local citizens during marches, then changed into all black clothing to disguise their identity to commit criminal acts in anonymity, finally returning to the crowd to discard the black clothing and masks,” the report said.

[and. . .]

     Durham Police Chief Jose Lopez said he has “no doubt” that anarchist groups are behind some of the recent protests.
     “Everything that I’ve gotten through intelligence and social media and information from other people points to that,” Lopez said. “I think it’s also reflected in some of the people that we’ve arrested who have been involved in a lot of anarchist-type situations before. And if you look at their social spots, you’ll see that what they’re talking about is anarchist movements.”


Let’s say a protest is organized in Lake Worth, or elsewhere, and you wish to join and demonstrate your displeasure. As you are demonstrating peacefully, a rock is tossed over your shoulder towards the police. You didn’t throw the rock. Some Anarchist did. But you don’t know that. The police don’t know who threw the rock either. That one rock could turn a peaceful protest into something altogether different.

So what should you do? If you join a protest be vigilant. Watch out for troublemakers. If you see something that doesn’t look right call 911 or look around for a deputy. For example, if you join a protest in Lake Worth: 

If you see something suspicious,
“Make the Call Y’all”.

Prayers and insight from “The Interfaith Prayer Book”, expanded 2nd edition, published in 2014.


The Interfaith Prayer Book was compiled by Lake Worth resident Ted Brownstein and the Lake Worth Interfaith Network (LWIN). Learn more about this organization at the end of this blog post.

From p. 31 by Siddur Avodas HaLev titled,
“A Jewish View of Prayer”:


“Prayer: Its Hebrew name is, tefillah, a word that gives us an insight into the Torah’s concept of prayer. The root of tefillah means to judge, to differentiate, to clarify, to decide. In life, we constantly sort out evidence from rumor, valid options from wild speculations, fact from fancy. Thus, prayer is the soul’s yearning to define what truly matters and to ignore the trivialities that often masquerade as essential.”


From p. 69, the “Hymn of the Good Samaritan”:


From every race and land,
The victim of our day,
Abused and hurt by human hands,
Are wounded on life’s way.

The priest and Levite* pass
And find not time to wait.
The pressing claims of living call;
They leave them to their fate.

But one of different faith
To care he felt compelled.
His active love like Jesus’ own
Uplifted, healed and held.

May this example lead,
Inspire and teach us all
That we may find in others’ faith
The God on whom we call.


From p. 23 in the chapter titled, “Native American Prayer” is the ancient reading from the Popul Vuh, a region in South America now called Guatemala:


Make my guilt vanish,
Heart of Sky, Heart of Earth;
Grant me a favor,
Give me strength, give me courage
In my heart, in my head,
Since you are my mountain and my plain;
May there be no falsehood and no stain,
And may this reading of the Popul Vuh
Come out clear as dawn,
And may the sifting of ancient times
Be complete in my heart, in my head;
And make my guilt vanish,
My grandmothers, grandfathers,
And however many souls of the dead there may be,
You who speak with the Heart of Sky and Earth,
May all of you together give strength
To the reading I have undertaken.


To learn more about the “Reading of Popul Vuh” in The Interfaith Prayer Book and the Ancient History Encyclopedia click on this link.


The Lake Worth Interfaith Network (LWIN) is “[A] group of individuals and faith-based communities dedicated to promoting acceptance and understanding among our diverse spiritual traditions through devotions, education and compassionate action. . . . LWIN hopes that sharing our experience will be helpful to other communities who desire to create similar local interfaith organizations.”


*Levite: “[M]ember of the tribe of Levi; descendant of Levi, especially one appointed to assist the priests in the temple or tabernacle.” Learn more at Wikipedia.

JOIN THE DEBATE: The irresponsible use of balloons in West Palm.


The instructions, how to write a Letter to to the Editor, are below.

West Palm Beach does not have a beach but West Palm does proudly calls itself a “Welcoming City” but whether or not that ‘Welcome’ should be extended to plastic balloons along our treasured Lake Worth Lagoon is one worth debating.

And briefly, before we proceed, three very short updates: The protest march in support for Susan Bucher has been cancelled; please stand down. Following the brief outbreak of plague last Sunday in The Palm Beach Post editorial dept. all has been quiet, no plaguing, plaguers, plaguees or hints of anyone getting plagued. And is your city, town or village having elections next March? To look over that information about municipal elections and about the new Supervisor of Elections Wendy Sartory Link and the current state of post-plague at the Post please click on this link.


Thank You for your patience, now back to the plague of balloons in West Palm.

What follows are two excerpts from a Letter to the Editor published late last year in The Palm Beach Post.*

The following letter was submitted by a concerned resident from the Town of Palm Beach:


As I arrived at the West Palm Beach farmers market recently, I was dismayed to see hundreds of balloons festooning the amphitheater to commemorate a 5K race.

I saw one somewhat deflated balloon blowing past a few volunteers for the 5K, none of whom reached to pick it up as it made its way toward the Intracoastal, so I intercepted it myself, popped it and put it in a nearby garbage can.

and. . .


Certain single-use plastics are going to be hard to learn to live without, but balloons are not one of them. There are so many other ways we can choose to celebrate birthdays, open houses, 5K races and football games.

I hope West Palm Beach will consider adopting an alternative to balloons to celebrate its festivities in a more enlightened fashion. [emphasis added]


Would you like to chime in on this
crucially important topic?


Then get cracking and write your own letter today for consideration on the Post’s editorial page! Your letter could make tomorrow’s print edition or receive the biggest prize of all: Get published in the Sunday paper.

The instructions and helpful tips are below and the great news is it only takes about 5–10 minutes to submit a proper Letter to the Editor (LTE):


The Instructions:


How to properly compose and submit an LTE. The simple steps:


  • Keep your LTE to 150–200 words in length. The “shorter the better” is a good rule.
  • An LTE submitted by email (see below) is the best method and remember to include your name, daytime phone number and complete address.
  • To draw attention to your cause engage like-minded “average citizens” to write LTEs on the same subject.
  • Listing your credentials will help greatly; and then the part that so many people forget: Always follow up your LTE!

This is very important:

  • Once you have submitted your LTE follow up with an email or fax (fax number below) later that day or the next morning.
  • Then later, call or contact the editorial department and explain why your letter is important. The editor of the editorial page is Rick Christie: 561-820-4476; email: rchristie@pbpost.com
  • Don’t be timid! Stay pleasant and respectful but make a strong pitch.
  • And to hammer it home just ask outright, “Are you planning to publish my letter?”

So get cracking and have your LTE published in
the Post, hopefully some day very soon:

  • Email: letters@pbpost.com
  • Fax: 561-820-4728
  • Phone: 561-820-4476

Using snail mail:

Palm Beach Post
ATTN: Letter to Editor (LTE)
2751 S. Dixie Highway
West Palm Beach, FL 33405


Write an LTE today and remember to follow up with the editor!



*As reported by Post business reporter Jeff Ostrowski: “Fortress Investment Group LLC is contracted to manage and advise New Media Investments Inc., which owns GateHouse Media, the parent company of The Palm Beach Post.”

A blog post from yesterday. . .


Last Tuesday there was business news published in print edition of The Palm Beach Post:


Big News for
Small Business Owners.



Did you catch the news by business journalist Jeff Ostrowski in the paper the other day?

Would guess you probably did not. It was not a feature story in the Business Section by any means. But more about that later.

If the business community in this City is of importance to you then please continue reading.


A few members of the Lake Worth Business Committee, a recent meeting at TooJay’s.

And stay tuned for an event to be held at the
Lake Worth Beach and Casino Complex.

And much thanks to reporter Jeff Ostrowski for making the case for business chambers of commerce and being “Better Together” with neighboring municipalities and suburban neighbors too.


And of note if you have a business in this six square mile City and you have an issue, before you call a beat reporter at the Post or your contact at CBS12 (WPEC), please call Lynn first. The phone number, email, and more contact information is at the end of this blog post today.

As to the news published in the Post this week by long-time business reporter Jeff Ostrowski?


The timing couldn’t possibly have been better.

The news published by GateHouse Media in the Post is of utmost importance to the City and to our business community as well. The news was about one of the County’s smallest chambers of commerce that is merging with one of the largest. In a word, this is significant.

The fact that the City of Lake Worth was not mentioned one single time in the business news by Ostrowski does nothing at all to lessen the importance of what was reported. If anything, it should spur you to action, especially if you are a Realtor or an investor or even a potential developer.

To become stronger our City’s business community needs to be “Better Together” with our neighbors like the Town of Lantana. The traditional small town chamber of commerce is a thing of the past, unfortunate but true, as you will learn more about below.

Later in this blog post today is information about the Lake Worth Business Committee which has partnered with the Greater Lantana Chamber of Commerce. This business news has never been reported in The Palm Beach Post. Not even in the story this week by Ostrowski. Going back, has this news ever made the forever-weekly and tongue-in-cheek Lake Worth Very Very Special Monday Collector Print Edition (LWVVSMCPE)?

No. The only real reason for the Post to continue on with the LWVVSMCPE any more is as a distraction, to draw attention away from all the great things happening nearby in Greenacres and in Lantana too.

But the news this week about Boynton Beach and Boca Raton may have caught your eye last Tuesday. Or maybe not. The news by Ostrowski was buried on p. B7 below the fold near the gutter, what some refer to as the fold betwixt verso and recto, or the left side page and the right side page which together is called the spread.

Why is this important? Because it’s no mistake where news appears in a newspaper. Above the fold is what the editor(s) deem more important and below the fold much less so. From p. A2 going forward the eyes drift left to right on the spread and then to the next spread and the next.

Next time you pick up an actual print newspaper you can judge for yourself the priorities of your local or regional newspaper just by viewing each and every spread. Don’t bother with all the content. Just see where that content is on the spread.

The last news item on the pp. B6–B7 spread was an AP story about the “social media giant” Facebook. So if you were in a hurry you probably didn’t pay much attention to the headline,


“Boca Raton, Boynton Beach chambers of commerce merge”


The headline above was near the gutter below the fold.

Along with the story by Ostrowski was a photo of Mr. Troy McLellan who is president and CEO of the Boca Raton Chamber of Commerce. But being a small business owner in the City of Lake Worth you say to yourself, “OK. That’s Boca. So what?”

Well here’s what’s what. Two excerpts from the news by Ostrowski:


The Greater Boynton Beach Chamber of Commerce said this week that it is now part of the Greater Boca Raton Chamber of Commerce. The Boynton Beach group reported $202,000 in annual revenue, compared to $1.7 million in receipts for the Boca Chamber.

The Boca Chamber said the merger gives Boynton business owners access to a broader array of professional development courses.

“They just don’t have the resources to deliver what we can in Boca,” Boca Chamber President Troy McLellan said. “Their leadership said, ‘What’s our next step? What can we do?’”

To smooth the transition, McLellan said, Jonathan Porges, the chief executive of the Boynton Chamber, will stay on. The Boca Chamber also will keep the Boynton Chamber’s office space through the end of the year.

After the combination — which mirrors a national trend of consolidation among chambers of commerce — the Boca Chamber now has 1,700 members.


Ostrowski reports there are now five major business chambers in Palm Beach County: Palm Beach North Chamber of Commerce, Greater Boca Raton, Greater Delray Beach, Chamber of Commerce of the Palm Beaches, and Central Palm Beach County.

And in the article by Ostrowski is this line:


There are smaller chambers of commerce in Palm Beach and Wellington.


To read the entire article by Ostrowski in the online edition please click on this link.

And remember, “worth noting” in this business news in the Post there is no mention of the City of Lake Worth or the Town of Lantana either.


And that folks is what
needs to change.


To become a force, to become “Worth Noting”, the Town of Lantana and this City of Lake Worth — and everywhere else in this coastal region of Central Palm Beach County — the business community needs to get more involved and more active.

How? Become a member of the Greater Lantana Chamber of Commerce. Just one of the benefits are community events.

For example. . .


Worth Noting: Plans are in the works by the Lake Worth Business Committee to host a candidate forum in the ballroom at the Lake Worth Casino and Beach Complex prior to the municipal elections in the City of Lake Worth on March 12th.

The date and time has yet to be announced.
So please stay tuned.


When that information becomes available will post it in the top of the right-hand column of this blog.

Small businesses are encouraged to learn more about the Lake Worth Business Committee of the Greater Lantana Chamber of Commerce.

We’re excited to become a part of a well-known and respected business Chamber located in the Town of Lantana representing nearby municipalities and suburban areas in the LOCAL region here in Central Palm Beach County.

Why is the Lake Worth Business Committee part of the Greater Lantana Chamber?


Creating a new business chamber is a daunting task which can take many months if not years. And even then it may never become a success. For too long this City has been in dire need of a Chamber to represent the business community.

For small business owners in this City of Lake Worth you will meet the members, ask questions, and find out how the Lake Worth Business Committee can help make your voice heard.

Briefly, here is a short sample of new and renewing members:
  • Posh Properties: Jerilyn Walter
  • Kiwanis Club of Lake Worth: Brian Kirsch
  • Street Painting Festival: Nadine Burns
  • The Related Group: J. Nicholas Dusseau
  • Tacos Al Carbon
  • Illustrated Properties: Sally Ott
  • Palm Beach Yacht Center

Contact information is below.


The Lake Worth Business Committee and all the members of the Chamber in nearby municipalities and suburban areas are encouraged and excited to hear about what is happening in this City.

You may be interested to know with an additional $50.00 to your regular membership you can become a member with the Finnish American Chamber of Commerce located in Downtown Lake Worth.

This is important because the extremely popular annual Midnight Sun Festival celebrating our Finnish heritage will be held in Lake Worth’s Bryant Park once again next March. For more information about that click on this link.

Also worth noting the Town of Lantana WILL NOT be holding municipal elections in March. The two incumbents — the honorable councilmen Malcolm Balfour and Dr. Lynn Moorhouse — were both re-elected without opposition.


Congratulations to both of you!

To learn more about the Lake Worth Business Committee please contact Lynn Smith,
the executive director at the Lantana Chamber: 561-585-8664.


The Greater Lantana Chamber is located at 212 Iris Ave. in the Town of Lantana (office is on the east side of S. Dixie Hwy., south of E. Ocean Ave.):

The mission statement of the Lantana Chamber and Lake Worth Business Committee are these two words: “Better Together”.