Saturday, March 9, 2019

What you need to know about mobile home parks in the City of Lake Worth.


Mobile home parks are PRIVATE PROPERTY! These places are owned and managed by private companies, and in some cases major corporations. When you hear of people from a mobile home park protesting at Lake Worth City Hall they are protesting against and targeting the wrong people.

Instead, they should be protesting right outside the management office where they live.

But because these mobile home park residents run into a brick wall trying to work out problems with the management company they then march to City Hall. And then the public thinks that the City of Lake Worth is the problem, which is wrong.

Two years ago The Palm Beach Post published a story about the Palm Beach Mobile Home Park that later had to be retracted. At the same time TV news organizations showed up interviewing people and everyone blamed the City for all the problems. And soon afterwards posted this:


It’s crucially important to remember this mobile home park is private property, including the roads, owned and managed by a company responsible for addressing the issues there. Everyone, including myself, wishes the best for every resident there. However, the City already has its hands full maintaining and fixing our own public infrastructure and to finally after many years get the Park of Commerce to contribute to our City’s tax base like it should have been doing all along — money that could have been fixing our potholes.


Many of the public in this City were surprised to learn there are four (4) mobile home communities within the municipal limits of Lake Worth with a total number of units at a whopping six hundred and sixty-five (665).

Learn more about this below, a little later in this blog post, data presented at a Commission Budget Workshop in 2017.

Crime is a major issue in some of these trailer parks. Last September there was a homicide in the Orange Grove trailer park located in the Lake Osborne neighborhood west of I-95 near John Prince Park. Now the latest is someone is shooting cats in the Palm Beach Mobile Home Park.

By the numbers, about mobile home parks (MHP) in this City of Lake Worth:

  • Orange Grove MHP (120 units) on north side of 2600 block on 6th Ave. South and sad to report the location of recent homicide; the third in the City this year.
  • Palm Beach MHP (335 units) on east side of Boutwell Rd. in Park of Commerce.
  • Holiday MHP (70 units) on 1800 block of Lake Worth Rd. (west of Tri-Rail Station).
  • Holz MHP (140 units) on south side of 1700 block on 12th Ave. South.

The data above comes from information provided by the City. For example, below is the MHP Rate Structure for waste and refuse collection.


The previous rate prior to 2018–2019 budget
(click on images to enlarge):

Once again: None of these mobile home parks are managed or maintained by the City. They are all privately owned.


 The current MHP rate:

The City of Lake Worth provides trash pickup. And the City provides water and electricity at an agreed upon rate. However, services such as sewer and road maintenance are the responsibility of the owner of the trailer park.

“As I write this from the olive-laden hills of Kalamata. . .”


And as we once again approach the municipal elections.

Mr. Panagiotis Evangellos Nasios Tsolkas, also known as Mr. Peter Tsolkas, was the former leader of Everglades Earth First! (EEF!) and he used to like coming out with a communiqué every now and then for the citizenry of this City of Lake Worth.

For example, from Tsolkas’ 2011 treatise he was the:

  • Sierra Club, Loxahatchee, ExCom member
  • Everglades Earth First!, agitator
  • PBC Environmental Coalition, co-chair
  • Night Heron, steering committee member
  • Earth First! Journal, editorial collective
  • Lake Worth Community Relations Board, chair, etc.

And Mr. Tsolkas sums it all up this way,


“To put it succinctly, my agenda is putting an end to industrial civilization as soon as possible, and creating complete freedom and a society based on mutual aid rather than money: Anarchy. Some people believe in heaven. I believe making here and now better. Is that so hard to swallow?


In 2011 Mr. Tsolkas, “from the olive-laden hills of Kalamata” in Greece wrote, “please pass this on to whoever you think would appreciate it. Thanks, Panagioti”.

Without further ado, “Talkin’ strategy for funda-
mental grassroots change in Lake Worth. . .
to vote or to occupy?”

Excerpts from that rather long treatise follow:


So, election time is rolling around again in Lake Worth. I’m not around to be directly involved on this one. But I figure I might as well throw in my two cents from over here in Greece.
     Those who know me, or anything about me, know that I have an agenda. I should hope we all have agendas, otherwise the damn meetings could go on forever!

and. . .


     More than choosing a side, I’d like to see the following few issues/goals come up for discussion in the midst of the political dialogues surrounding election time, in hopes that whoever wins, these things get traction. . .

In bullet list form, some of Mr. Tsolkas’ “issues/goals” six years ago:

  • Figure out what it would take to get support on voting rights for undocumented residents. For example, there are 6 municipalities in Maryland that have done this. . . . This could very well change the face of elections for decades to come in this town.
  • Decriminalize chickens too. This is not really a campaign issue. But since it has been brought up so much, I think the best approach may be just to scratch ‘chickens’ from the books altogether (the same way iguanas and beta fish aren't listed as prohibited nor allowed pets). Perhaps there's no need for a special ordinance about this, at least not right now. It’s not a problem. Let the city stay out of it, and let local food activists do their thing. If it becomes a problem — which is highly unlikely, since cities all over the country allow it without issue — revisit it then.
  • The Park of Commerce… I actually think [former mayor] Rachel Waterman was on the right track in proposing agricultural use for that land, during the debates over the summer (as awkward as it came across at the time). Local agriculture won’t make the city rich, but it is the most stable and long-lasting form of “commerce” (I hate that word) that the human species has managed to figure out.

Later in Mr. Tsolkas’ 2011 treatise, “Not to
be doom-and-gloom”:


Not to be doom-and-gloom, but things are not looking up in the world of conventional economics. As I write this from the olive-laden hills of Kalamata, the European Union is on the verge of crumbling. The writing is literally on the walls of every city I’ve been through (usually with black or red spray paint. . .).
     And despite the state of the EU, the exchange rate for the dollar gets lower by the day. Which is another way of saying, things are worse here in the US. Globally, things are worse than we are admitting. . . . Surely you’ve noticed some signs of this yourself. Anyone else notice that Wall Street has been “occupied” all month?! Nearly 1000 people arrested in NYC amidst the growing rebellion against the dictatorship of the market. I hear the “occupy everything” fever might even be coming to Lake Worth.

In conclusion from Mr. Tsolkas:


Ok. Well that’s all for now. . . . No wait. I’ll leave you with a particularly poignant letter-to-the-editor, printed in the PB Post a few month back. I think it gives a good kick in the ass to those of us engaging the political process as grassroots activists and visionaries, “Lake Worth selling out, losing its earthy charm”:

The 2011 Letter to the Editor published
in The Palm Beach Post:


What’s going on in Lake Worth? An over-the-top noise ordinance, metered parking and now the banning of smoking at the beach and all parks (“Lake Worth moves to ban smoking at beach,” Wednesday story).
     I moved to Lake Worth from Homestead in 1985 to get away from narrow-minded people and their meddling tendencies, settling here mainly because of the high tolerance/population of hippies, students, gays and active, tranquil retirees. . . . But we started taking our city back. We had a couple of mayors and city commissioners who actually cared for Lake Worth and its residents.
     I guess with the economy going to hell it’s left us with a political vacuum, which has been filled by anal-retentive, politically correct yuppies.
     Where are the Anarchists when you really need them?
—■■■ ■■■■■, Lake Worth, April 22, 2011”

Anyhow. . .


A lot has changed in the City of Lake Worth since 2011, for example we have a lot of new residents in this City and it’s very popular for a number of reasons, including the City’s “high tolerance/population of hippies, students, gays and active, tranquil retirees” and Millennials, Hipsters, and Apatharchists too!

Friday, March 8, 2019

Excerpt #4 from Mayor Pam Triolo’s 2019 State of the City address.


As stated earlier on this blog, heading into the elections on Tuesday, March 12th, am going to pivot from Election Day next week and focus more on after the municipal elections this year and what we can hope to achieve in the year 2019 and beyond.

For Excerpts 1–3 from the mayor’s State of the City see that list at the end of this blog post.


Moving on to Excerpt #4 from the State of the City address titled,

“We are a Community of Neighborhoods”


The mayor continues. . .


As we work to improve the various components and pieces that make up this City, we remain focused on how we can improve conditions and your quality of life. So I will update you on some specific initiatives that are intended to make our lives better starting with the numerous infrastructure projects that are underway throughout our great City.

For over 40 years the condition of our roads, water, sewer and drainage systems were in a steady state of decline. I remember back fondly to the roaring debate over the potholes — I actually had a favorite one on K Street. The broken sidewalks, poor drainage, and dusty dirt roads like in a third world country plagued us. We also grappled with missing fire hydrants, poor water pressure, and discolored tap water.

While some investments were made in the past, the underlying true condition of these valuable assets was not addressed in a comprehensive way and things were just getting worse. Your Commission stepped up to the challenge of reversing decades of benign neglect which started with first clearly identifying the problems. Analysis of objective empirical data followed to create plans and the budgets. This resulted in executing contracts to putting these plans into action. All across our great City work is has been completed or is underway. We are following through on promises made and plans are not sitting on shelves in City Hall collecting dust.

The Neighborhood Road Program is one of the largest infrastructure programs of any city in the County and it is adding value to our neighborhoods. We are now entering Year 3 design work and $17.9 million dollars of the $40 million bond total has been invested so far. This has resulted in the rebuilding of 17.77 miles of the City’s roadways many of which you use everyday.

As we designed the Neighborhood Road Program we understood it was important to fix everything under the roadways so we would not come back and tear up new roads to fix pipes underneath them. The Water Utility Department, whose responsibilities include water, sewer and storm water drainage systems is facilitating significant investment into these systems. Throughout the City we are replacing our 50-year-old 2-inch steel water lines with larger modern piping as well as addressing leaking sewer lines. Our $10.62 million investment has replaced 10.8 miles of watermains and installed 60 additional fire hydrants just last year.

Another very important infrastructure effort is underway in the area west of I-95 known as the Park of Commerce. . . .


Tomorrow’s Excerpt #5 will address the Park of Commerce and more from the State of the City address.

And once again as noted in Excerpt #1 from last Tuesday,


It was a packed house for the mayor’s State of the City. And in attendance was journalist Julius Whigham II from The Palm Beach Post.

Click on the scene of the throng in attendance:

Use this link for more information about the State of the City address and the news report published in The Palm Beach Post the evening of February 26th.

Previous excerpts from Mayor Pam Triolo’s State of the City address:


To look over Excerpt #1 from last Tuesday, March 5th use this link which has additional information worth noting and why it is “time to settle down and relax” and get focused on the future.

To read Excerpt #2 where the mayor talks of the Strategic Plan for the City, “the process of developing key Policy Statements or Pillars” click on this link to learn more.

For Excerpt #3: Information about the City’s Comprehensive Plan, the policy document which sets forth goals, objectives, core responsibilities as a local government.

Archery Tag TONIGHT from 7:00–9:00 in the City of Lake Worth!


The playing field is at Harold Grimes Memorial Park. Directions to this public park (including a map) are at the end of this blog post.


To stay abreast of what is happening in this
City of Lake Worth become a Follower on Twitter.

Click on image to enlarge:

Archery Tag is sort of like Dodgeball but with a bow and arrow with a tip of foam rubber and a set of rules. Break the rules and you get to sit on the sidelines and watch all the fun.


Playing Archery Tag will teach teamwork and athletic skills one can use in every sport: Baseball and basketball and even prepare future football players and cheerleaders for the Lake Worth Jaguars football team and cheer program.

Want to learn more about this sport? Then contact Mr. Ben Kerr, PIO, at 561-586-1631 or send an email to: bkerr@lakeworth.org

And remember to say “Hello!” to Mr. Ben Kerr when you get there — he was a feature news story in The Palm Beach Post by long-time journalist Joe Capozzi last October — a must read for future All Stars of Archery Tag.

What follows is more information from the City’s Dept. of Leisure Services, Dir. Lauren Bennett said last month:


“Archery Tag provides a unique recreational experience and we here in Lake Worth are proud to be one of the first municipalities in South Florida to offer it.

“One of the key benefits is that participants of all ages can take part and play together, at last week’s session [referencing game on Feb. 22nd] children were playing alongside adults and all were able to have fun.”

Without further ado, directions to Harold Grimes Memorial Park.


The actual street address for Memorial Park is 515 South A Street.

If you choose to drive and take 6th Ave. please pay attention to traffic patterns and signage near I-95. The best option for many would be taking A St. south or north to play Archery Tag this evening.


Click on map to enlarge:

And the most important thing to remember about Archery Tag: Follow the rules and have fun!

Another really, really bad idea that just won’t go away. . .


“We’re in a housing crisis!”

“Why can’t we just live in shipping containers?”

This is a terrible idea that just won’t go away as evidenced by the increasing number of shipping containers being stored and used in the City of Lake Worth’s Park of Commerce and staged around the City for current and upcoming infrastructure projects,
“Hmmm, those shipping containers would make good homes for people.”

These containers, if you didn’t know, are those large containers that get placed on tractor trailers and trains for distribution of commodities, products, etc. throughout the country. You’ll also see these containers used by companies for storage, temporary and permanent, on back lots and work sites.

Many who have recently relocated permanently to Palm Beach County— many of whom have struggled to solve societal issues, unsuccessfully, such as homelessness or vagrancy in other areas of the country — can and do suddenly become the ‘experts’ on how to solve those same vexing problems here in South Florida. For example, many of you will recall Mr. Snarky.

But there’s a big problem with people living in shipping containers: it’s called the Building Code.

We’re prone to hurricanes in South Florida. By the time one secures a shipping container on a foundation, adds a sleeping area, bathroom, kitchen, water and utilities, one may end of wondering afterwards if hiring a developer to build more apartments to code would have made more sense.

All of this nonsense about using shipping containers as homes for people was fueled once again last year by an article that appeared in The Palm Beach Post. Here’s an excerpt:

During an affordable housing summit in West Palm Beach Wednesday, he [Craig Vanderlaan, executive director of Crisis Housing Solutions] told a ballroom full of county officials, lenders and developers that re-purposed shipping containers can be part of the answer to a problem they said has reached a crisis point.

Somebody or some group very soon here in the
City of Lake Worth is going to fall for this.
Again. Just wait and see.

This really bad idea gets recycled every now and then going back a decade or longer: groups of people here in the City of Lake Worth, for example, wanting to build small communities or find neighborhoods to place shipping containers for visiting fellow-travelers or as part of a neighborhood garden. The problem is there were some who actually believed it could happen. Before long somebody will throw out a line like this at a City meeting or write a Letter to the Editor at the Post:

“Perhaps this could be
replicated here?”


There’s just one problem, as was pointed out on this blog several years ago, a blog post titled, “Airbnb, eco-tourism, hipster cred, and shipping containers”:


But before you get all excited check the zoning code first before diving ahead. More likely than not this type of structure is prohibited where you live. For instance, you couldn't build this in Lake Worth or most other cities in the County.


No one is going to get approval to live in a shipping container here in a coastal city in Palm Beach County. Perhaps in the unincorporated County somewhere, but certainly not here in the little City of Lake Worth.

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Excerpt #3 from Mayor Pam Triolo’s 2019 State of the City address.


As stated last Tuesday on this blog, heading in the elections on Tuesday, March 12th, am going to pivot from Election Day next week and focus more on after this years municipal elections and what we can hope to achieve in the year 2019 and beyond.

To look over Excerpt #1 from last Tuesday, March 5th use this link which has additional information worth noting and why it is “time to settle down and relax” and get focused on the future.

To read Excerpt #2 about the City’s Strategic Plan, the key policy statements or “Pillars for the City” as the mayor called the plan click on this link to learn more.

Moving on to Excerpt #3 from the State of the City address titled,

“We are a Community of Neighborhoods”


The mayor continues. . .


On a larger scale, the Commission and I [Mayor Pam Triolo] also participate in the Palm Beach County, Florida, and National League of Cities organizations. It is through these important alliances with other Cities that we learn about cutting-edge ideas and best practices. Additionally, it is where the fight to protect our Home Rule from over reach and mandates by the state and federal governments.

Our City is fortunate to be served by nine citizen advisory boards. These dedicated volunteers give of their time and provide their perspective to help formulate policy and advise the Commission. Last year there were 73 meetings held by the Advisory Boards. We are so very grateful for the efforts and devotion of these Commission appointees. Thank you.

Volunteers make up an important part of City operations. Our volunteers donated a total of more than 16,640 hours, which represents $410,885.00 in value. We could not function without this significant help from our citizens.

All of this energy and effort put into our City government needs to be put into context in order to make some sense of why it is important. I’ll do so by quoting from an important policy document the Comprehensive Plan — which sets forth our goals and objectives for our core responsibilities as a local government. It states that we will “Develop and implement strategies that reinforce Lake Worth as a ‘community of neighborhoods’ ”. [emphasis added]


Ergo the title of the mayor’s State of the City address,

“We are a Community of Neighborhoods”


And once again as noted in Excerpt #1 from last Tuesday,.


It was a packed house for the mayor’s State of the City. And in attendance was journalist Julius Whigham II from The Palm Beach Post.

Click on the scene of the throng in attendance:

Use this link for more information about the State of the City address and the news report published in The Palm Beach Post the evening of February 26th.

Tonight at 7:00: Final candidate forum in City of Lake Worth prior to Election Day on March 12th.


The candidate forum this evening is being held in the Ballroom at the Lake Worth Casino and Beach Complex.

Event is FREE. And parking is FREE. This event is sponsored by the Lake Worth Business Committee (LWBC) and the Greater Lantana Chamber of Commerce.

If the business community in this City is of importance to you then please consider attending tonight’s event and learn why small businesses is this City are joining the LWBC and merging with a neighboring town which will make both of us “Better Together”.


Members of the Lake Worth Business Committee,
a recent meeting at TooJay’s.

And much thanks to reporter Jeff Ostrowski for making the case for business chambers of commerce merging with neighboring municipalities and suburban neighbors too.


The fact that the City of Lake Worth and the Greater Lantana Chamber of Commerce 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 in this coastal region.

For the City of Lake Worth and the Town of Lantana to become stronger the LOCAL business community needs to be “Better Together”. The traditional small town chamber of commerce is a thing of the past, unfortunate but true.

Hoping to see a big turnout from the business community in the City of Lake Worth this evening.

Airports and the afflicted with casadastraphobia: The fear of things falling from the sky.


Like helicopters and airplanes for example. Are you suffering from casadastraphobia in the Town of Lantana or City of Lake Worth? You have nothing to fear. But your friends on the other side of Lake Osborne do.

A little later on in this blog post are two maps.

Please Note: There is no ‘Lantana Airport’. That regional airport is called the Palm Beach County Park Airport (PBCPA) and is located outside the City of Atlantis in unincorporated Palm Beach County.

If you happen to be frightened of aircraft falling out of the sky don’t fear living in the Town of Lantana. And don’t fear the unincorporated area called Lake Osborne Estates either. The noise may be a bit bothersome though. The municipality you should avoid is that Great Walled City of Atlantis immediately west of PBCPA, a County-owned airport to the south of the County’s John Prince Park (JPP).

This airport (FAA Identifier: LNA) along Congress Ave. is about 200–300′ from Congress Ave (see map below). The area shaded blue is the Village of Palm Springs. East of the PBC Park Airport, across Lake Osborne, is the unincorporated area called Lake Osborne Estates and further east is the Town of Lantana (shaded red).


Click on images to enlarge.

Congress Ave. runs north-south;
Lantana Rd. runs east-west). 

The City of Atlantis is shaded Royal Yellow,
immediately west of airport:

North of Lantana is the City of Lake Worth.
Both JPP and the regional PBC airport are “unincorporated” or can also be called “suburban Lake Worth”.


Here are the municipal limits of Lantana (shaded):

Did you know. . . The Town of Lantana is 3 sq. mi. and has eight (8) public parks. What are the plans for ¢1 sales tax proceeds? Find out using this link. All this information and more can be found by browsing the Town of Lantana website.

“The Protest March”: A tactic that has lost its effectiveness in the modern era?


Whilst on topic, there hasn’t been a protest march of any significance in this City of Lake Worth since March 2016 (three years!) but there have been a few small marches to a Downtown park or to City Hall but barely worth any press or media attention.

In the social media era marches and marching has become much more difficult with so many young people looking at their phones all the time walking in circles and bumping into each other, not to mention obstacles like trees, storm drains, and stop signs.

Plus the counting of marchers has always been a dubious process. Some try and estimate the number and others do too but to a factor of ten. That’s why news reports are all over the place from 10 marchers to 100 or what can also be called a rounding error.

And how many of you reading this remember the nationwide “March for the Ocean” last July with some scattered protests here in South Florida? One of those marches took place in Washington, D.C. and included Drew Martin and friends from the Loxahatchee Sierra Club, an environmental organization located right here in Palm Beach County.

Read more about that later in this blog post.

As to the question, are ‘marches’ effective any
longer in the age of social media?


If the Millennials and young people were running the show, would there be marches in the street or some other tactic to try and alter public opinion here in South Florida to draw more attention to the environment and other political causes?

The ‘banning’ of plastic straws here in Palm Beach County has raised some awareness but the idea of creating new ordinances and fining the public comes across as way too draconian and may have very well backfired with the public as happened just recently in Jupiter. Every City has littering ordinances and law enforcement has more important things to do is what the public and policy-makers are questioning.

Some have suggested the environmental movement in Palm Beach County focus on things like plastic water bottles, encouraging the use of canteens when going out for a walk, going to the beach, or whilst marching for a cause. No new ordinances. Just educating the public about the alternatives to plastic bottles.

The young adults and twenty-somethings back in the late 1960s to late 1970s starting out in the news business, public relations and those who dedicated themselves to issues such as environmental awareness and political change are now well up in age, in their 60s and 70s.

And many of them who succeeded in the news business, PR industry, and environmental organizations now occupy very high places of influence. Are marches just their way of reliving the past? Sitting back and thinking about ‘the good ole days’ wearing tie-dye shirts and tattered blue jeans?


Are marches cost effective any longer?


For all the funding, planning and resources necessary to create a march do marches actually achieve the desired effect or result? For example, after going through all the hard work to stage a march it only takes one individual to screw the whole thing up as was recently reported in the Shiny Sheet. Or what if a march is scheduled to bring attention to over-development and western sprawl and only twelve people show up as was recently reported in The Palm Beach Post? Not exactly the urgent “call for action” to grab the attention and motivate the public.

Florida history is about the history of economics, specifically the cycles of boom and bust. We’re in a boom cycle now. One that could last for decades. Or it could end next year. So whilst the critics of development, increasing population growth and western sprawl try harder and harder to make their voices heard is ‘The March’ the best use of available resources?

Let’s take for example Mr. Drew Martin and the “March for the Ocean” (M4O), a nationwide “Plastic-Free March”.


The M4O organized by March for the Ocean and Earth Conservation Corps was a nationwide march in June last year and there were a few scattered marches in Palm Beach County. One march was in West Palm Beach and “about 30 people” showed up, which means the number was probably between fifteen and twenty:

Attendees held up signs that read, “Plastic Toxic,” “Straws Suck” and “Save the Seas.”

Question: The March for the Ocean was held on June 9th. How many of you reading this remember that march? How much of an impact, if any, did those efforts have to change public perception here in places such as Central Palm Beach County?

Drew Martin is one of the most well-known and respected environmentalists in South Florida. He’s been part of the environmental movement, politics, and public relations for many years, a former member of the Palm Beach Soil, Water and Conservation Board, and a frequent attendee at public meetings about the environment including the County Commission and the Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council as well.

Here is more information about Martin’s long and distinguished history working for environmental causes, in attendance speaking before a local advocacy group in suburban Lake Worth:


The excerpts below are from an article in the Coastal & Greenacres Observer last May with the headline, “Every Day is Earth Day”.

“Martin is in demand as a speaker because of his manner he shares the current conservation and environmental news.”


Martin is the Conservation Chair for the Loxahatchee Sierra Club. The Sierra Club was formed by John Muir in 1892. It is the “oldest, largest, and most influential grassroots environmental organization in the United States.”
     The Loxahatchee Sierra Groups with approximately 3,000 members serves Palm Beach, Martin, St. Lucie and Okeechobee counties. They are the voice of environmental issues.

and. . .

He [Martin] easily answered questions of current conservation concerns. Some of the topics Martin discussed were:
  • Property development and loss of open space in western Palm Beach County. [emphasis added]
  • The pollution problem with plastics at home and in our oceans. “Eighty percent of the marine trash, plastic, and debris comes from urban runoff.”

More from the Coastal & Greenacres Observer,
about the first “Plastic-Free March”:


Of great interest are the causes of the ongoing destruction of the reef and the marine life associated with the reef as an ecosystem. There has been a decline of coral over the last decade by 80 percent. The coral reefs are called the unseen “backbone of the Earth’s ecosystem.”


So on June 9th were the marches, flotillas, and water celebrations all across the United States and in Washington, D.C. and everyone was asked to “Wear Blue for the Ocean!” Do you live in Central Palm Beach County? Do you recall any of the marches? What other tactics do you think would have been more effective. . .


“March past the White House and around Lafayette Square before returning to staging area (60–90 minute walk or approximately 1½ mile loop). Wear comfortable walking shoes, blue clothing (Wear Blue for the Ocean), a shade cap, ocean-safe sunblock and carry a canteen.” [emphasis added]



Why a canteen?

No plastic bottles are allowed!




As to the question: Is it time for ‘The March’ to go away?


Are there more effective ways that advocacy groups can use to bring more attention to the environment? Ways that are more cost effective and reach more of the public? Certainly something to think about, especially so for all the Millennials out there waiting for the old guard to retire and make way for all the new voices in the environmental movement.

Briefly, back to Mr. Drew Martin. One of his latest endeavors to bring more attention to the environment was an ill-fated run for mayor in the City of Lake Worth.


Mr. Martin’s election loss to now-County Commissioner Dave Kerner in 2015 didn’t stop Martin. He just
set his sights on a smaller goal:

Martin successfully raised $7,383 in his race for mayor. But unfortunately, Sarah Malega may have been the collateral damage, the theory being all the grandstanding swung the deciding votes to the incumbent, Commissioner Scott Maxwell.


In conclusion. . .

Have ideas to improve public outreach, communicate better with the public and draw more attention to things like open space, stopping western sprawl and promoting environmental education and stewardship at places like the Loxahatchee Wildlife Refuge right here in Palm Beach County?

The LSC encourages everyone from the public to visit the refuge. To plan a visit to the Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge click on this link.

How many of you reading this have ever been to that wildlife refuge right in our backyard in Central Palm Beach County, located to the west of Boynton Beach?

Doesn’t that delve into the topic of communication and engaging the public? So take some time this week and reach out to your local environmental organization or contact the LSC and share your ideas, suggestions and concerns, especially so all the Millennials out there, the ones who will be in charge in the not so distant future.

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Excerpt #2 from Mayor Pam Triolo’s 2019 State of the City address.


As stated yesterday on this blog, heading in the elections on Tuesday, March 12th, am going to pivot from Election Day next week and focus more on after this years municipal elections and what we can hope to achieve in the year 2019 and beyond.

To look over Excerpt #1 from yesterday, Tuesday, March 5th use this link which has additional information worth noting and why it is “time to settle down and relax” and get focused on the future.

Moving on to Excerpt #2 from the State of the City address titled,

“We are a Community of Neighborhoods”


Mayor Triolo continues. . .


We also embarked on a Strategic Plan for the City last year, which is remarkable in and of itself. For the first time, we are in the process of developing key Policy Statements or Pillars for the City. These structured statements will establish a strong, concise, cohesive vision for the Commission and Staff to work together, discuss ideas, create the budget, develop work plans, and achieve and measure our results.

Our Strategic Plan is an important part of providing clarity to City Staff at all levels so they can understand the relationship between what they do each day and how it fits into the bigger picture. Successful cities and businesses have been using this process for many years and last year we took a big step towards catching up.

and. . .


As we look forward into 2019, the City will continue spending time defining what it means to be Lake Worth. For years that has been more about stating what we do not want instead of being specific about what we do want. [emphasis added] How many times have you heard: “We do not want to be Delray”, or “We do not want to lose our charm” or “We do not want to see skyscrapers” or “We do not want to become boring and normal”?

I understand that the intent of these cautionary statements are meant to avoid making mistakes as we perceive them, but you cannot build a vision based on what you do not want.

Starting this year, I want to charge my fellow Commissioners and our Citizens to start making positive statements about what we want to be. Together let us set about the work of painting the canvas of our City and creating something that is truly extraordinary.

Through working together and collective compromise, our successes with this amazing collaborative experiment called Lake Worth will be limitless.


And once again, as noted in Excerpt #1.


It was a packed house for the mayor’s State of the City. And in attendance was journalist Julius Whigham II from The Palm Beach Post.

Click on the scene of the throng in attendance:

Use this link for more information about the State of the City address and the news report published in The Palm Beach Post the evening of February 26th.

UPDATE: Electric Utility Advisory Board (EUAB) meeting on Dec. 5th, 2018.


There is audio available from the December proceedings on the City’s website plus the minutes were approved for the meetings held on July 11th, August 1st. August 15th and August 30th. At the meeting in December present were the Chair of the EUAB, Dir. Ed Liberty from the Lake Worth Electric Utility (LWEU), Vice Mayor Andy Amoroso and Commissioner Herman Robinson, City Attorney Christy Goddeau, volunteer members of the EUAB, staff from LWEU and one person was in attendance to make public comment.

A theme from these EUAB meetings are the guidelines and rules to follow under the Sunshine and the public records law. For example, City Attorney Goddeau, “[E]xplained that according to the Sunshine Law, members are unable to discuss City business outside of a public forum. And any conversation about City business posted on social accounts or sent through text must be kept by the member posting or sending the message. Ms. Goddeau suggested messages be shared with City’s staff to ensure compliance of the public records law.”

Check back later on for more information.

City of Lake Worth was named in honor of a military hero, General William Jenkins Worth, “Ducit Amor Patriae”.



Which translates to:

 

“The Love Of Country
Leads Me.”


The historical connections between New York City and the little City of Lake Worth are numerous including this interesting fact: There are only two historical monuments in Manhattan that serve as mausoleums: one is Grant’s Tomb and the other is an obelisk in honor of General William Jenkins Worth, who the City of Lake Worth, Florida is named for:


Image from Wikipedia.


See link below which explains this plaque (dado) on obelisk in NYC.


FYI: In 1842 then-Colonel William Jenkins Worth declared victory when the defeated Seminoles were forced far into the Florida Everglades seeking safety from the American forces. John Horse (1812–1882) was a fighter of African and Seminole Indian ancestry who fought in the Second Seminole War against the American Army. The vanquishing of John Horse was the deciding defeat for the Seminoles and for which officer then Col. William Worth was promoted to General Worth.

As a side note, the Town of Lake Worth was incorporated in 1913 which included the Beach. As the Seminole’s retreated many from the Town of Lake Worth from places up north headed west and draining the Everglades as they went creating what would later be called John Prince Park, further to the west the City of Atlantis incorporated in 1959 and the Village of Wellington was incorporated in 1995.


Click on this link for the website dedicated to information about General Worth’s obelisk in Manhattan; an excerpt:


     General Worth was a military hero who fought in the Mexican-American War between 1846 and 1848. He died of cholera in 1849 and was originally buried in Greenwood Cemetery in Brooklyn; but in 1857 his body was moved to Manhattan and placed under the Worth Monument.
     The monument was designed by James Goodwin Batterson and dedicated on November 25, 1857. The obelisk contains four sets of bands with the names of 16 places of importance in the life of Major General Worth. On the south facing front of the pedestal is a bronze tablet with a high relief of General Worth on horseback, with dress military uniform holding his sword in his right hand while pointing it forward. Above this figure is a complex trophy depicting cannons, swords, flags and eagles.


The dado on the east side of the obelisk contains the inscription:


DUCIT AMOR PATRIAE

Gatehouse Media: Important information worthy of LOCAL feature story in Palm Beach Post print edition.


Topic: Public safety and law enforcement
in the City of Greenacres.


Note that in October 2018 was the ten-year anniversary of merge between former Lake Worth Police Dept. and PBSO (see video below).


Then. . .


On February 1st, 2019 was the three-year anniversary of the merge between the former City of Greenacres’ Police Dept. and PBSO.

Question for the public in Greenacres: Have you seen any news about this in the Post print edition, like maybe a feature story in the ‘LOCAL’ section? The answer is “No”.


Here is why.


Back in 2016 The Palm Beach Post pulled their beat reporter off the Greenacres beat to focus exclusively on the City of Lake Worth. Why? Know one knows why. It was never explained by the editor(s) at the Post.

For many of you hoping things would change after Gatehouse Media became the owner and publisher of the Post things do not look good for the public in the City of Greenacres when it comes to issues of serious public policy and public safety. And it doesn’t look good for the Village of Palm Springs or the Town of Lake Clarke Shores or the City of Lantana either when it comes to serious news about serious public topics.

All of these fine municipalities deserve feature stories in the Post print edition, don’t you agree?


To submit your comment and/or concerns to an editor at Gatehouse please click on this link and remember to include your name, email address and, “What newspaper are you contacting us about?” which is The Palm Beach Post.

Or if you wish, contact Gatehouse Media using this email: subscriberservices@gatehousemedia.com


In conclusion to the video from Oct. 9th last year.



Let’s talk appliances today.


The Choice: Appliances that use natural gas vs. appliances that use electricity.


Not everyone in South Florida is fortunate enough to have this choice like many in the public do in the City of Lake Worth and in many areas west of this City. For example, in Hurricane Season, it’s a very practical choice for many of the public: Go all electric for appliances or make the choice to switch some over to natural gas? Learn much more about this topic below.

But first . . . this is very important.

Information from Florida Public Utilities (FPU):

ALWAYS REMEMBER:

Call 811 Before You Dig!


No matter how small the digging project, you MUST call 811 before you dig to avoid hitting underground utility lines — which are shallower than you may think.

  • Don’t risk losing your utility services, injury or worse.
  • Before you pick up a shovel, pick up a phone and call 811.
  • FPU will come and mark our lines within a few business days — at no charge to you.

Now back to natural gas vs. electric. . . 


For the City of Lake Worth’s “Utilities Service Areas” click on this link for GIS Mapping tools and scroll down the list.

Just as Lake Worth Water Utilities (LWWU) services a large and growing area west of the City so does LWEU. For example, a large area of Lake Osborne Estates in suburban Lake Worth uses LWWU and in the future many of those areas will be annexed. To learn more about that click on this link.


Now to natural gas, electricity and appliances. . .

There are so many scenarios to consider. For example, those who choose to hunker in place during major storms a natural gas stove might make sense to boil water if a “boil water notice” is issued. For outside grills there may be a run on propane tanks prior to a storm but with natural gas that is not an issue.

And for a connoisseur of Gallinas de Palo (Chicken of the Tree) — and the fact that most professional chefs prefer natural gas — that next iguana you bang over the head may be the best one ever cooked with natural gas instead of propane. Bon Appétit!

And switching from appliances that use electricity to those that use natural gas, for most of the public,
is a choice now.


LWEU rates are competitive with FP&L. But that wasn’t always the case. There was a time when switching to natural gas wasn’t a choice at all for many people. That is if they were fortunate enough to have gas lines from FPU available in their neighborhood or community to begin with (more information from FPU is at the end of this blog post).

Briefly, ‘back in the day’ when the LWEU rates were sky high prior to 2014 some electeds continued to hint they wanted the City’s already too-high electric rates to go even higher. That set off a panic in this City for both residents and business community as well because as other neighboring cities and towns were recovering from the Great Recession (2007–2009) this City continued to lag further and further behind.

The public who resided in areas with natural gas service lines, who were able to afford the initial investment, were switching over or “hooking up” new or pre-owned appliances to natural gas provided by FPU, e.g., emergency generators for electricity, stoves, cloth dryers, water heaters, pool heaters, gas fireplaces and things like outside lanterns as well.

Why did so many people switch over to natural gas? Primarily due to those terrible hurricanes back in 2004–2005: Frances, Jeanne and Wilma. Let’s take a little stroll down memory lane.



Newspaper clippings, Lake Worth Herald,
December 2005:

Click on clippings to enlarge:

For more about the Lake Worth Electric Utility, those terrible years from 2004–2011 click on this link.

Anyway. Enough of the history. Interested in finding out more about natural gas from FPU?


Call 888-765-4601 to contact Florida Public Utilities
or use this link and “Ask4Gas”.

For “Natural Gas FAQs” use this link.

Did you know:

  • Natural gas is cheap, clean, affordable, and plentiful.
  • Natural gas is extremely safe. And always remember to “Call 811 Before You Dig!”.
  • Nine out of 10 professional chefs prefer cooking with natural gas.
  • Natural gas is the “Green” choice.

In the video below, an expert from FPU explains the benefits of switching over to a natural gas range/oven:




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

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Election Day is one week away and it is time to settle down and relax.


Most of you have already decided who you will cast your vote for on Election Day in Lake Worth and whether “Yes” or “No” on each of the two ballot questions.

And probably THE most important factor of all, whomever is elected or re-elected will serve a three-year term on the City Commission due to a referendum that passed in March 2017.

From now going forward will focus less on Election Day on this blog and focus more on what will happen following the elections.

On that note check back every day and read another excerpt from Mayor Pam Triolo’s State of the City address held on Feb. 26th in the Ballroom at the Lake Worth Casino and Beach Complex.

Here is Excerpt #1 from the speech titled,


“We are a Community of Neighborhoods”


The mayor said,


Even though large state and national issues tear at the fabric of our society, at the City level good work is being done and fundamental issues are being addressed. Here in Lake Worth, we are busy staying focused on worthy goals and actively working towards achieving them.

As a City, we are charged with the responsibility of tackling local issues that affect you where you live. As local elected officials, we are uniquely capable because we live each and every day among the people whom we serve.

We experience the same things, see the same problems and feel the impacts of our decisions, and sometimes the lack of a decision. This close relationship is why I [Mayor Pam Triolo] continue to believe that the government nearest to the people is the best and most effective.

Here in Lake Worth I am proud of what we have accomplished.


A packed house for State of the City address which included a journalist from The Palm Beach Post.

Click on the scene of the throng in attendance:

Click on this link for more information about the State of the City address and the news report published in The Palm Beach Post that very evening.

Public meetings and other goings-on coming up in the City of Lake Worth.



Very Worth Noting: There was an editor error in The Palm Beach Post yesterday (Mon., 3/4) on p. B3 ‘LOCAL’. It was misreported there will be a Beach Bonfire at the Lake Worth Beach this coming Friday. For safety of nesting sea turtles the Beach Bonfire Season ends in late February.

However, there will be a Lake Ave. Block Party this coming Friday in Downtown Lake Worth. As noted in a press release dated Feb. 1st by Mr. Ben Kerr, PIO:

“Due to the event’s success the City will be expanding the event’s pedestrian zone to include J Street between 1st Ave. South and Lake Ave.”.

Now to recent election information
provided by the City.


Of note the most recent campaign treasurer reports for Feb. 9th–Feb. 22nd, called the G2 report, are posted on the City’s website. To look them over click on this link which also includes the March 12th sample ballot. Election Day is Tuesday, March 12th.

Of note is the race in District 4. Challenger Tom Copeland is surging once again taking in, by far, the biggest numbers on the G2 followed by incumbent Commissioner Herman Robinson. Going down to the wire it will either be a run-off election between Robinson and either Copeland or Richard Guercio.

Are you interested in watching the YouTube video of the City Commission work session last week on possible ways to use 2019–2020 proceeds from this Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding? If you are interested, that YouTube video is at the end of this blog post.

About all the scheduled upcoming public meetings and notable dates as well . . . Here we go!


TONIGHT: The regularly scheduled City Commission meeting HAS BEEN CANCELLED!

And then,

  • Planning & Zoning Board will meet tomorrow night, 6:00, in the City Hall chambers. To look over agenda click on this link and scroll down for March 6 “Agenda Package” to download.
  • The Lake Ave. Block Party is this Friday from 6:0010:00.
  • Another popular Farmers Market will be held next Saturday.
  • Daylight Savings Time will begin on Sunday, March 10th at 2:00 a.m.
  • Then on Tuesday, March 12th is municipal Election Day in Palm Beach County!
  • Also on March 12th is a Lake Worth Community Redevelopment Agency meeting, 6:00, at The HATCH, located at 1121 Lucerne Ave. (stay tuned for agenda).
  • Then on March 17th it’s St. Patrick’s Day.
  • On March 19th is the next regularly scheduled meeting of the City Commission.

Now to the public work session held at City Hall (public comment was permitted by the mayor).


FYI: The deadline to submit the 2019–2020 CDBG application is on March 15th. Not very much time.

This video is ≈ one hour and ten minutes. Watch in segments if you wish. At one point a former commissioner in District 2 makes a cameo appearance at public comment.


Enjoy!

Monday, March 4, 2019

News from the City of Lake Worth!


Remember about
this coming Friday!



“The hottest new event in South Florida is back! On March 8, get ready for another Lake Worth Block Party starting at 6pm in Downtown Lake Worth. Check out live bands, games, cars, bikes and so much more throughout Lake Avenue. Don't forget the fun continues through the side streets and on Lucerne Ave with all the downtown restaurants, galleries, boutiques and businesses taking part in helping to make this a fun night out for the whole family.”


For more news Worth Noting click on this link.


And on the topic of change here in the City of Lake Worth what follows is a message from City Manager Michael Bornstein,


Dear Merchants and Business Owners,

Downtown Lake Worth has been and continues to be a vital part of this wonderful community. As the geographic center and the historic place where people come to purchase goods and services, have drinks and a meal, or gather for community events, it has seen a lot of changes.

These changes have mirrored the ups and downs of the larger economy as well as changes in business models, technology and the spending habits of customers. Additionally, there have been changes that are the result of the political cycles within the City itself. Currently, we are in a period of adjustment as buildings are being purchased and renovated and the basic infrastructure including the roads, drainage, sewer, water and electric utilities are all being fixed after decades of neglect.

New businesses are joining our Downtown, while several long time ones are closing or are moving as a strategic business decision. It can be disconcerting to take all this activity into account and try and make sense of it without understanding the necessary next steps as the City of Lake Worth evolves.

The Mayor and Commission have spent much effort and time creating a context for investment and redevelopment to happen. There has been a positive response with new people moving in and redevelopment underway, including planned infill and refilling vacant properties. With the same commitment they have demonstrated with fixing our aging infrastructure, they are also now grappling with issues such as parking, easy to use way-finding signage, improving the poverty rate, and continuing crime reduction.

Much has been done and more is coming, but it cannot be successful without you. Over the coming months, there will be opportunities to find out more about what is happening and planned. Please be sure that City staff has your email address so you can be kept apprised and be involved.

Our upcoming newsletters will be tailored to our business community.


Best wishes for a healthy, happy and prosperous New Year.

Michael

PUBLIC NOTICE: Meeting today, 10:00 a.m., at Lake Worth City Hall on nuisance shopping carts.


This public meeting will be held in the City Hall Chambers by the City’s Dept. of Community Sustainability to discuss a proposed amendment to Chapter 15 of the City Code of Ordinances.

The proposed amendment addresses and sets forth shopping cart requirements and to find a way for business owners to retain shopping carts on their premises.

On this topic here is an excerpt from The Palm Beach Post from September 2018 when a City resident is quoted,


[H]e often speaks to the managers of Bravo and Family Dollar after rounding up carts himself to return them where they belong.

“It’s a bit tiring. . . . And one would think at their cost, the management would notice they have gone missing.”


The public and owners of retail businesses that provide shopping carts for their customers are encouraged to attend this meeting tomorrow and participate.

A public meeting was called due to consistent complaints from the public when shopping carts are removed from retail premises and left abandoned on public or private property and constitute a nuisance, potential safety hazard and can also impede emergency services.

On the topic of abandoned shopping carts learn more about what happened in Port Orange, FL from journalist Lurvin Fernandez at the Port Orange Observer in a news segment headlined,

“Businesses will need to find ways to keep shopping carts on property and retrieve them when left elsewhere in the city”:


The ordinance will require business owners to create a plan to keep shopping carts on their property, such as creating a physical barrier, equipping shopping carts with a protruding arm to keep the cart inside the building, creating a system that would require a small deposit, such as a quarter, to use a cart, or using carts with a wheel-locking mechanism triggered by an electric barrier on the edge of the business property. Businesses will also have to post signs warning people that they cannot take shopping carts.

Business owners will also be responsible for creating a retrieval plan. Once approved by the city, the business will have to implement the plan within 30 days.

and. . .


Florida Statute already has an ordinance that penalizes people who take shopping carts off business property, Grimaldi [Police Chief Thomas Grimaldi] said. However, the Port Orange ordinance would also place responsibility on business owners to keep track of their shopping carts.

Councilman Scott Stiltner said the ordinance is not meant to inconvenience business owners. He said it can prevent people from taking shopping carts but also keep carts out of ponds, lakes and wood lines in the long run.


Abandoned shopping carts left in drainage areas can also be a flooding hazard as well, trapping debris and impeding the flow of stormwater during emergencies such as hurricanes and strong storms.

The quote below from “Know the flow! Flood protection is a shared responsibility” is information about ditches or canals from the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) on reducing the risk of flooding:



Fill material, yard waste, clippings and vegetation, sediment, trash, appliances, garbage bags, shopping carts, tires, cars, etc. should be completely removed.

Transportation from the Downtown to the Lake Worth Beach and politics too.


Election Day is March 12th. To find out who all the candidates are on the ballot this year click on this link for the City’s website, these are the campaign treasurer reports that are required of all candidates.

And don’t forget, anyone who is elected or re-elected on March 12th or in the run-off election on March 26th will serve a three-year term.

Remember, by referendum in March 2017 the elected City Commission will now serve three year terms. Not two year terms like it used to be. In other words, make your choices wisely.

Of course, the Lake Worth Beach will be an issue. Again.


So in the spirit of the Beach and politics
here is a BLAST FROM THE PAST:


“Hot, Hot Diggity! A blast from the past: Laurence McNamara’s HOTDOG”


Hope you enjoy another look at past elections in this Quirky City of Lake Worth!


Click on image for a detailed look at a High Output Transfer Driven Oxygen Generator (HOTDOG):

The hot dog is actually the tank filled
with hot air sans nitrogen:

Classic image created by the inimitable observer of Lake Worth politics, Mr. Tom McGow.


This particular blog post (see below) by City of Lake Worth blogger-extraordinaire Tom McGow is from October 2009.

By the way, we learned at a City Budget Workshop the cost to construct a new Palm Tran bus stop at the Lake Worth Beach went from about $25,000 to about $250,000 give or take a few bucks. And don’t expect any help from the County or Palm Tran. It will be up to our City of Lake Worth to come up with all the funding.

Maybe a tip jar would help!

Or better yet, how about a fleet of HOTDOGs! Once again, this City of Lake Worth has gotten an early Election Season start. But more about that a little later. How about this idea for a campaign: a candidate on the upcoming ballot could just change the lettering on a HOTDOG to read:


“VOTE ■■■■■ ■■■■■■■■■■ FOR COMMISSIONER”


Without further ado, Mr. McGow’s observations from nine years ago:


Mayoral Candidate Laurence McNamara announced today that he has secured a 14 person mobility vehicle to provide transportation from the downtown area to the beach. [emphasis added] McNamara stated, “By dealing directly with the prior owners we were able to acquire a vehicle perfectly suited for our needs”.

Utilizing a state of the art High Output Transfer Driven Oxygen Generator the transporter actually returns oxygen to the atmosphere as it is driven.

The initial route for the service will be North Lakeside Drive to Old Bridge Park and the Casino.

“This is truly a win / win situation for Lake Worth”, said McNamara with obvious relish.



Hope you found this blog post today entertaining and informative. And don’t forget, Election Day is March 12th, in just eight (8) days!

And, as always, Thank You for visiting once again today.