Saturday, April 27, 2019

Commissioner Scott Maxwell and hilarity at the Lake Worth City Commission.


Lake Worth and Lake Worth Beach, the stories continue on Wes’ YouTube channel. . .


At the end of this blog post today is a hilarious moment three years ago shared by Maxwell with the electeds and the public in attendance that day in the chambers — a story about a phone scammer trying to get clever with a local business owner who knew better — this was prior to Messrs. Omari Hardy and Herman C. Robinson winning the District 2 and District 4 seats on the City Commission, respectively.

But when it comes to videos. . .


Still running away at #1: School Board member Erica Whifield at the Lake Worth City Commission, Dec. 8th, 2015.

At twelve thousand and five hundred views and counting Whitfield’s presentation before the Lake Worth City Commission 3½ years ago is the most-viewed video on Wes Blackman’s Lake Worth YouTube channel. The reason why this video has gotten so much attention over the years is because it gives a real good perspective on how far we’ve come looking back from the present day. To watch the video of Whitfield for yourself click on this link.

To look over the most-viewed Lake Worth YouTube videos all-time since 2007 use this link.

The funny story by Maxwell in May 2016 that brought the house down, the set-up. . .


Chris McVoy, PhD, was still the sitting commissioner in District 2 and Ryan Maier was the commissioner in District 4. Maier opted not to run for election in March 2017 and McVoy was narrowly defeated by Mr. Hardy. The open-seat election in District 4 was won by Mr. Robinson. Both Hardy and Robinson were re-elected last March to three-year terms on the Lake Worth Beach City Commission.

Back in 2016 phone scammers were targeting business owners in the Lake Worth region in a big way and local governments and law enforcement were all out in force getting the word out: Electric utilities DO NOT call electric customers demanding payment to continue service! But every now and then a business owner would drop everything and send money to someone over the phone anyhow.

Business customers of FPL and the Lake Worth Electric Utility (LWEU) were being targeted once again by the scammers and one day one of those scammers called a LWEU customer thinking that business owner was a customer of FPL. . .

At the ten minute and thirty second mark in the video below then-Commissioner Ryan Maier concludes his remarks and Mayor Pam Triolo gives Commissioner Maxwell the nod to begin his remarks. . .


“We bought Lake Worth electric utilities!”

City of Lake Worth history: Hurricanes and the original Benny’s on the Beach.


Find out more about the original Benny’s below. And take note: When you go visit Benny’s you just never know when Bon Jovi and other celebrities will show up for the World Famous Tuna Tostada (see photo below) and delicious items on the breakfast, lunch and dinner menu at this surfside gem at the Lake Worth Beach.

According to Palm Beach Post journalist Julius Whigham II:


Bon Jovi and Peddie [Richard Peddie, owner of the Toronto Raptors NBA basketball team] are not the first celebrities to visit the oceanside seafood restaurant [click on this link menu portfolio]. Lipton [owner Lee Lipton] said Fabio, Dr. Oz, Bob Saget and Serena Williams have frequented Benny’s. Last month, Vanilla Ice came for a meal.
     “We have a decent amount of well-known people who come through here,” Lipton said.

Now to those terrible hurricanes back in 2004:


From Post staff writer Nicole Janok, “Lake Worth moving to rebuild pier”.

Article subtitled, “The $2.8 million project is slated to begin in January and take approximately 10 months”.



LAKE WORTH — Longtime surfer James Linkins remembers the days when Lake Worth Beach had sandbars that produced killer waves. But ever since Hurricanes Frances and Jeanne destroyed the William O. Lockhart Municipal Pier two years ago, the waves haven’t been the same.”

Clipping from The Palm Beach Post,
October 28th, 2006.

Click on image to enlarge:

In 2004, on Sept. 4th, Hurricane Frances pummeled Lake Worth — then just two weeks later we got hit again by Hurricane Jeanne — winds estimated at 120 mph. To learn more about what it was like back then use this link.

BONUS! More City of Lake Worth history.

Do you remember the original “Benny’s on the Beach”?

In November of 2013 the 28-year-old Benny’s closed down, “the time has now come for us to say goodbye.” And the rest is history, as they say. Benny’s later reopened under new management and in August 2014 the Post’s Liz Balmaseda penned this article titled, “Benny’s on the Beach chef has new flavors to match killer view”.

Have you been yet? If you plan on going to Benny’s would highly recommend the Tuna Tostada. Excellent!

The owner of Benny’s is Lee Lipton; he has strong opinions about the Lake Worth Beach property, the Casino Complex, and particularly the since-closed and now-condemned municipal pool.


It would be a very good idea — when you’re planning to visit Benny’s — to make reservations. Avoid a long wait: call 561-582-9001.

The Tuna Tostada: Enjoy sushi-grade quality tuna with a “killer view” of our LAKE WORTH BEACH while watching the “killer waves” roll in!

Friday, April 26, 2019

1940s. View of Bath and Tennis Club Pool in Palm Beach.


This historic image is of the Bath and Tennis Club in Palm Beach which featured bathers and poolside revelers in the 1940s. Diving was popular at area resort pools back in the day:

 Photo courtesy of the Historical Society
of Palm Beach County
.

Whatever happened to the bells and whistles, pots and pans, bullhorns. . .


. . . protesters chanting slogans, clever signs, colorful papier-mâché costumes, and noisemakers from the dollar store?


The absence of protests here in Lake Worth Beach has the public all over the County asking, “Whatever happened to good ole Lake Worth?”


This little six-square-mile City was once known as ground zero for the protest movement in Palm Beach County. Almost anyone could start a protest for almost any reason. For example, somebody from ‘Food Not Bombs’ upset about development in the Ag Reserve could rally local radical environmentalists (aka, “rads”) and fellow-travelers from places like Ft. Lauderdale and Sarasota, make a few calls to the press and news media, show up outside Lake Worth City Hall one day and . . . Voilà! A protest!

Getting 40–50 supporters to show up and protest used to be the norm here in the City of Lake Worth until about nine years ago.

Below are newspaper clippings, examples of how it used to be, protesters circa 2003–2005 shutting down traffic and climbing up in trees!


It truly is incomprehensible there has not been a protest of any significance in this City since early January to mid-March 2016, over three years ago during that year’s municipal elections. The Election Season in 2017 was quiet. And so was 2018 and 2019 too. What gives?

Sure, there have been a few polite and non-confrontational gatherings at City Hall and at City parks and a couple of well-controlled and well-mannered ‘marches’ from one place to another, but nothing like what happened in Downtown Lake Worth in early 2016.

One reason could be the tradition of protesting, shutting down traffic and protesters climbing up into trees went by the wayside after PBSO took over in 2009. PBSO, one could say, is a bit less tolerant of such activities than the former Lake Worth PD was. No doubt law enforcement improved greatly after PBSO took over but the case can also be made it’s become a whole lot less entertaining.

For example, the former LWPD had their hands full “back in the day” when the news first hit about a structure called the Lucerne in Downtown Lake Worth.


Front page of The Lake Worth Herald
datelined April 10th, 2003.

Click on image to enlarge:

Construction of the Lucerne began in 2003. Despite lawsuits and quite frequent and very creative protests, the structure was completed in 2005.

Now from the archives: Newspaper clippings from The Palm Beach Post and The Lake Worth Herald, protests and protesters circa 2003–2005.


From the Post: An Anarchist suspended from a bamboo tripod being saved by LWPD.

Click on all images to enlarge:

“. . . [W]ho was protesting downtown condominium plans in Lake Worth.” LWPD allowed the protesters a lot of leeway for Free Speech . . . but not when it came to shutting down traffic.


Back then Rodney Romano was the mayor
of Lake Worth.

Clipping from The Lake Worth Herald:

“More than 65 percent of the
condos have been sold.”


Another newspaper clipping from the Post:

“Protester goes out on a limb”: Thankfully our former City horticulturist was trained in
crisis management.


Summertime is always a slow time of year for protesters. Remember, protests are open to the public. So if you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to join a protest everyone is welcome to participate. Maybe some time soon the call will go out:


“Hey! Let’s protest like it’s 2016 again!”

Curb Cuts: One of the great social victories in modern American history.


The National Museum of American History (Smithsonian) has this article titled, “Smashing barriers to access: Disability activism and curb cuts”. Curb cuts are everywhere now and taken for granted. After World War II though they were still very rare in America. Curbs were typically 6″ high and very difficult for those in wheelchairs and for others with mobility issues to go up and down.

The high number of handicapped veterans returning from WWII demanded change. Here is an excerpt from Julie Peterson's article:


Today, this seems like an odd thing to rejoice about, since curb cuts are now so commonplace in cities throughout the U.S. However, sidewalks and public spaces in the built environment were not always so accessible to people with disabilities. The development of curb cuts and the concept of accessible public spaces has been long in the making and has only become possible through the hard work of activists like Mr. Fisher [Jack Fisher of Kalamazoo, Michigan], the passage of federal legislation on accessibility requirements, and developments in design.
     Wheelchair-using individuals have navigated obstacles in the built environment since the first wheelchairs. In the 1940s and 1950s, a large contingency of veterans returned from World War II with mobility-related injuries. Many of these individuals pushed for changes to the built environment to make college campuses and public spaces more accessible to wheelchair users and other disabled people.


Click on image to enlarge:

This image is from the article by Julie Peterson
in the Smithsonian.

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Public meeting tonight, 6:00 at LWB City Hall: “Opportunity Zone Primer”.


The meeting tonight is generating much interest from the public and the business community in the City and beyond.

The information below and much more can be found in the City Hall Annex located at 414 Lake Ave. in downtown Lake Worth Beach. These are photos taken from the agenda posted for the public:


Click on all images to enlarge:

Topic of discussion this evening: “Discussion of Economic Investment Climate and the Opportunity Zone of the City of Lake Worth Beach.”


Here is the actual agenda:

No official action will be taken at
tonight’s Work Session.


The presenter: 

Marcela Camblor-Cutsaimanis is the principal at Marcela Camblor & Associates, Inc.


More information from the agenda:

“Incentives for infill development”


Maps and more backup information:


“Vacant Parcels”


“Census Tract 51.02”


Opportunity Zones in State of Florida:

Once again, the City’s new website is set to launch on June 1st. For the list of upcoming public meetings and more information use this link.

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


Photo courtesy of Slim Aarons.

Been to the LWB Visitors’ Center lately?


And what’s going on this month?

The Visitors’ Center is on the first floor in the City Hall Annex building located just east of the City’s public library and Cultural Plaza. Stop by and say “Hi” and find out what is going on too.

Pier at the beach in Lake Worth Beach is named in honor of William O. Lockhart, a former commissioner.


William Osborne Lockhart was the former pier master who passed away in 2003: “[I]t was the city’s pier that Lockhart spent many years of his life.”


The news below is from July 2003 by long-time South Florida editor and reporter Kari Barnett.

Click on image to enlarge:

Newspaper clipping from the Lake Worth Forum dated July 8th, 2003. The Forum is published by the Sun Sentinel for distribution in Palm Beach County.

The caption beneath the photo reads in part:


The pier at Lake Worth Beach, first opened in 1954, was recently renamed by the city commission for long-time activist William O. Lockhart, who died in April at age 71.

Article continues on p. 6 . . . three excerpts:


“William Lockhart was a friend of society and a proud member of this city,” said Paul Martin, who was overcome with emotion at the unanimous vote [July 1st, 2008 at City Commission] to change the name.
     Martin, along with others in Lake Worth, started a grassroots campaign months ago to raise funds to pay for the lettering on a new sign showing that the pier is named in Lockhart’s honor.

and. . .


     Along with his charitable efforts, Lockhart was a city commissioner in the late 1980s who attended many meetings around the city’s neighborhoods.
     After retiring from his city job in 1991, Lockhart was a volunteer with the Lake Worth Citizens on Patrol and was president of Lake Worth Citizens on Task.
     But it was the city’s pier that Lockhart spent many years of his life.

and the article concludes. . .


     Commissioner Nadine Burns took time at the end of last week’s commission meeting to recall what she thought Lockhart meant to the City of Lake Worth.
     “I was cleaning out one of the file cabinets here at city hall and I realized William Lockhart was one of the most repeated names,” Burns said.
     “We did a good thing tonight.”


The William O. Lockhart Pier was one of the sites visited by writer Lori Durante* of the Museum of Lifestyle & Fashion History in a blog post dated Oct. 2012 titled, “Black Bahamian descendants from Miami tour historic Lake Worth”. According to Durante former Palm Beach Post reporter Willie Howard provided research on Lockhart’s ancestry.

Another stop on the tour was the St. John’s Episcopal Church in the City of Lake Worth: “Lake Osborne Addition was once Lake Osborne ‘Colored’ Addition that was settled around 1917 by black Bahamians.” Durante then states that in 1999 the City deleted the derogatory term ‘Colored’ from City plat maps.

Durante’s tour also visited the Grant AME Chapel, “[E]stablished in 1922 and is the oldest black church in Lake Worth. The church organization originated in the neighboring Town of Lantana.”

More history about the William O. Lockhart Pier: the hurricanes of 2004–2005.


After the pier was renamed in 2003 and according to reporter Kari Barnett some thought the name change would be “confusing for some visitors” and others wanted the name to remain the “Lake Worth Pier” a much bigger issue came along in September 2004. What no one could have predicted and very few were prepared for: hurricanes Frances and Jeanne and then Wilma visited the very next year.

Here is news from 2006 as reported by Palm Beach Post staff writer Nicole Janok on, “Lake Worth moving to rebuild pier”.

“The $2.8 million project is slated to begin in January and take approximately 10 months”.


LAKE WORTH — Longtime surfer James Linkins remembers the days when Lake Worth Beach had sandbars that produced killer waves. But ever since Hurricanes Frances and Jeanne destroyed the William O. Lockhart Municipal Pier two years ago [2004], the waves haven’t been the same.”

Newspaper clipping from October 28th, 2006.

Click on image to enlarge:

On Sept. 4th, 2004, Hurricane Frances pummeled Lake Worth — then two weeks later we got hit by Hurricane Jeanne — winds estimated 120 mph. Then along came Wilma in 2005. Fast forward to 2009. . .


The William O. Lockhart Municipal Pier held its grand reopening on May 9th, 2009 and Lockhart has kept his place in City of Lake Worth history.



*Does the name Lori Durante sound familiar? It should. Durante is one of Lake Worth’s greatest ambassadors. She was featured in an article by Palm Beach Post business reporter Jennifer Sorentrue:


Delray Beach resident Lori Durante launched Taste History Culinary Tours in 2011, combining the idea of a narrated bus tour with the growing popularity of food tastings.
     She started the venture in Delray Beach, and then added tours in Boynton Beach, Lantana, Lake Worth [emphasis added], and West Palm Beach’s Northwood Village neighborhood and Arts and Entertainment District.

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Worth watching and worth noting: Presentations at LWB City Commission.


The City’s YouTube video is below of the PBSO Community Policing Initiatives Update by Cpt. Todd Baer (District 14–LWB). The presentation lasts ten minutes with five minutes of questions by the electeds including a very interesting back and forth between Vice Mayor Andy Amoroso and Baer about fentanyl and the coordination between the DEA and PBSO.

The video begins with Baer’s takeaways from his recent attendance at the FBI Academy and lessons that will prove helpful in LWB, the surprising stats from the camera program in January–March (all thirty cameras have been installed), the success of license plate readers (fourteen installed; nine others in legal limbo), and the March spike in overdoses which is cause for concern.

Following Baer’s community update is a presentation by Principal Mike Williams with an update on Lake Worth Middle School which begins at the twenty-four minute mark with additional presentations that follow:


Major league baseball: Lefty Herb Score from Lake Worth High School and sports columnist Dave George at the Post.



“If you’ve been reading my work in the Post for a while, and bless you if that’s so, I like to think that we’ve all grown up a little bit together.”

Quote. Dave George retired from the Post in April 2018; he began working for the Post in 1978. At the end of this blog post is George’s goodbye message to his loyal readers.


One of George’s massive collection of stories is about a left-handed pitcher from Lake Worth High School.


“Herb Score is the toughest pitcher I’ve faced. I just can’t hit him.”

Mickey Mantle.


This is just an incredible and true story about a
former pitcher from Lake Worth High School
who made it into the big leagues.

To read the entire article by sports reporter Dave George at The Palm Beach Post click on this link.


LAKE WORTH – There is a way to tell the story of Herb Score that doesn’t begin with the sensational lefty being struck in the eye by a line drive and, in that instant, forfeiting the kind of momentum that carried Sandy Koufax, his contemporary, all the way to Cooperstown. 
     You could start instead at a Dairy Queen that no longer exists in downtown Lake Worth, where Herb worked as a teenager and always made sure his friends got an extra scoop.
 

and. . .


      The scene was Cleveland’s Municipal Stadium, a cavernous Depression-Era structure long since demolished and dumped into Lake Erie, piece by piece, to make an artificial reef. On this Tuesday afternoon, however, the place was alive and buzzing for a visit by Mickey Mantle and the defending World Series champion New York Yankees. 
     Cleveland Indians fans were more wound up than worried. 
     Their starting pitcher, 23-year-old Herb Score, was coming off consecutive shutout victories over the Yankees the previous season. In his two full seasons in the major leagues, Score had a 3-1 record against the game’s most glittering franchise, with 54 strikeouts in 56 2/3 innings pitched against the Yankees, and with Mantle’s endorsement as the toughest American League left-hander that he faced.

Here’s more about Herb Score from the Baseball Almanac, “Herb Score Stats”:

After Score’s first two seasons he appeared headed to the Hall of Fame. He was the whole package. He threw a blazing fastball and a nasty curve. George Kell said of Score’s curve, “If he throws it over the plate you’re dead, because you’ve always got to set yourself for his fast ball.”
     Although Score’s fastball was never clocked, A.L. umpires had a rule of thumb for estimating a pitcher’s velocity. Former ump Larry Napp once stated, ‘The faster the pitcher, the more foul balls are hit in the stands. About for balls are used in an average game. When Score pitches, we need at least an extra dozen.’ ”

—Author Rich Marazzi in Baseball Players of the 1950s: A Biographical Dictionary of All 1,560 Major Leaguers


The legendary Herb Score passed away
on November 11th, 2008.



In conclusion, Dave George writes in April 2018,


Here’s my final post to Dave’s Digital Domain, a blog that started three years ago because those of us in the newspaper business have been pretty much told to blog or die. [emphasis added]

I’m retiring this week after 40 years at the Palm Beach Post, so the blogging and the tweeting and all the other digital doodling will cease forthwith, at my choice, just like stepping away from a great company that has taken good care of me and my family since 1978 is my choice. Considering the way things have been going in the industry it’s a real pleasure to be able to say that.


To read George’s “Here’s my goodbye with many thanks” click on this link.

Monday, April 22, 2019

This just in! PBSO - Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office

Couple BUSTED for several counts of burglary to Lake Worth Beach City Annex Mail Drop Box. Jorge Luis Delgado Fiallo and Isabella Montoya Ramirez Del Rosario were BUSTED while making not one, not two, but a THIRD attempt to steal checks from the mail drop box. The first two previous attempts were successful. When deputies began to approach, the suspects took off, driving recklessly into the annex building causing minor damage. Both were quickly apprehended and charged with several counts of Burglary of a Structure, Possession of Burglary Tools and Fleeing Law Enforcement. Welcome to PBC Jail.