Saturday, May 11, 2019

I-95 Interchange at Lantana Road

The Florida Department of Transportation is kicking off a planning study for improvements to the I-95 Interchange at Lantana Road. The purpose is to address existing deficiencies, safety issues, and accommodate future travel demand. FDOT will hold a public meeting Tuesday May 14th 5:30-7:30pm at the Lantana Road Branch Library, 4020 Lantana Road. LOE residents are encouraged to attend!

Monday, May 6, 2019

2020 Elections in Palm Beach County.

“Fun Fact: As your County Commissioner, I voluntarily provide direct access to all my sent and received email boxes to the local press corp so that they can monitor and report on my actions with little delay and less wasted effort.”

Quote. District 3 County commissioner and Palm Beach County Vice Mayor Dave Kerner.


You reside in Lake Worth Beach or the nearby suburban metro area. Do you know who represents you on the County Commission? And when are these seats up for election and/or re-election?

So you say, “Who cares? The 2020 elections are a year and a half away!”

Well, the Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections is Wendy Sartory Link and she thinks the 2020 elections matter.

Meet your mayor and vice mayor
of Palm Beach County.

The honorable Mayor and District 7 Commissioner Mack Bernard (left) and the honorable Vice Mayor and District 3 Commissioner Dave Kerner:

What is significant about District 3 and District 7? They both represent Lake Worth Beach and nearby areas in suburban Lake Worth as well as Palm Springs, Lantana, Lake Clarke Shores and other municipalities.

Some time next year will provide a detailed map of County Districts 3 and 7. But just briefly if the Lake Worth Beach and Casino Complex is of special interest to you and you disagree strongly with constructing a brand new pool at the beach or think building a new pool is a grand idea then contact County Mayor Mack Bernard. Also in Bernard’s District 7 is Bryant Park and many neighborhoods south along the Intracoastal.

Kerner’s District 3 covers most of Lake Worth Beach, including the Downtown and City Hall and all areas west of I-95 in the City. And the district goes further west into unincorporated areas including John Prince Park and Palm Beach State College and into the Village of Palm Springs as well to the border of District 2 which is represented by County Commissioner Gregg Weiss who was elected for the first time in 2018.

In the endorsement for Dave Kerner in 2016 the Sun Sentinel editorial board wrote:

District 3 includes Lake Worth, Palm Springs and suburban areas west of I-95 south almost to Boynton Beach Boulevard. It is one of the less affluent districts, which means that it needs especially good representation.

Kerner strongly supported the ¢1 County sales tax increase in 2016. His opponent Sean Hogan did not.

Click on image to enlarge:

The image above is from a political mailer prior to the General Election in November 2016.

Moving on.

The mayor of Palm Beach County is chosen by the seven County Commissioners at the first meeting following the General Election in November 2020. Could Kerner become Palm Beach County Mayor Dave Kerner? It is very possible. Bernard became mayor in 2018 succeeding Melissa McKinley in District 6.

To learn more about all the members of the County Commission and what this elected body is tasked with doing click on this link.

Bernard and Kerner, if they receive a Primary challenger or challengers, will be on the ballot next year. Districts 1 and 5 will also be on the ballot, however District 1 Commissioner Hal Valeche and District 5 Commissioner Mary Lou Berger are both term-limited. County commissioners are limited to two (2) four year terms. Elections are staggered and Districts 2, 4, and 6 will be up once again in 2022.

Hard to believe, isn’t it? We just got past the 2018–2019 municipal Election Season. And just around the corner is the 2019–2020 Election Season!

Sheriff Ric Bradshaw just recently entered the race for re-election and in his first campaign treasurer report raised an astronomical percent more than all his challengers combined. Wendy Sartory Link has not entered the race to remain the Supervisor of Elections. Yet. But the public just may demand it. And there is one candidate thus far in both County Commission Districts 5 and 7.

Thus far no one is challenging County commissioners Bernard and Kerner but one can expect more than a few old names to pop up again. Like Drew Martin for example.

The very good news is, much thanks to Mr. Drew Martin, the issue of plastic straws is officially off the table and will not be an issue any longer. On March 16th Mr. Martin had a letter to the editor published in The Palm Beach Post on that very topic. For more about that and much more information click on this link.

Some of you may recall Mr. Martin ran for a seat on the County Commission. He didn’t win in the 2016 Primary against then State House Rep. Dave Kerner who got 69% of the vote. Kerner then went on to clobber his challenger in the General Election getting 70% of the vote. And then Martin ran for mayor of Lake Worth in 2018 and lost to Mayor Pam Triolo who got 73% of the vote. Could Martin pivot once again and run for the District 3 seat on the County Commission? Certainly.

Drew Martin is a voice for the environmental community and he should be commended for entering the fray.

The process for becoming a candidate for a seat on the County Commission is not a complicated one. And if one wishes you could become a candidate by having your supporters sign a petition and the cost is minimal.

So please check back later in the year for more information how to become a candidate.

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

PUBLIC SAFETY: Alligators are not pets. Respect that reptiles home and then leave with only your footsteps left behind.

For more information about two alligators in particular, Elvis and Ripples, please enjoy this eye-popping edition from a former ‘Lake Worth’ tabloid that has been recently discovered!

This latest one is Issue No. 10
from March 20th, 2015.

Do you remember Elvis the Alligator?

Continue reading to learn more about Elvis, the reptilian celebrity at the municipal golf course that would stop by and entertain Canadian tourists and golfers from all over Palm Beach County (see newspaper clipping below). After a show he would head over to the par 3 in the Town of Palm Beach, make the rounds along the Intracoastal and then head on back to the LWB course, a par 70.

How the history of Elvis came to be. . .

Once again a crew of painters doing work all over Lake Worth Beach has boxes and boxes of old newspapers and every now and then they find something very special like this recent news about City Manager Michael Bornstein from Issue No. 12, April 10th, 2015.

By the way, that former tabloid which used the Latin banner, “Domine, ut videam” [translated, ‘Lord, that I may see’] was always FREE and delivered for FREE and had hardly any advertising. It remains a mystery why it went out of business. However, from that effort came an incredible new way to clean windows using newsprint, water, liquid detergent and vinegar!

Now back to the painting crew finding all
that old news worth noting.

Typically the crew will show up and put old newsprint down to protect the floor and every now and then will come the yell from one of the painters, “Gee Wiz! Look what I found!”

But please note this former tabloid “Published in Lake Worth, FL” beginning with Vol. I in late 2014 is not to be confused with The Lake Worth Herald or The Palm Beach Post still available for the public in Lake Worth Beach.

See the newspaper clipping below with the headline,

Elvis the Alligator Spotted at
Lake Worth Golf Course

This news about Elvis could provide some clues how Ripples the Alligator ended up in Lake Osborne! Were Ripples and Elvis somehow separated? We’ll delve into that question later on.

But first to the news from four years ago from that former tabloid which went out of business 3½ years ago. There never was a Vol. II.

The newsprint was damaged by paint but fortunately
not enough to ruin the story.

Click on newspaper clipping to enlarge newsprint.
Read all about Elvis, the orphan alligator:

Front page news below the fold: The text in the last column before jumping to page 4. . .

“Elvis was getting some sun, a raccoon walked quickly across the parking lot, and disappeared into the dumpster enclosure, and a baby raccoon, appearing to be orphaned, was seen crawling around on the . . .”

Then the story about Elvis picks up on p. 4 describing the orphaned raccoon crawling around the, “[G]rass near the 11th hole.”

The gripping comma-laden story continues. . .

But Elvis gets the most attention. All good.

“People have told me that gators don’t eat people,” says Mike, a Canadian. “They find ’em too salty.”

Bartender ■■■■■ ■■■■■■■ says Elvis disappeared for a while, but that with the warm weather in the last few weeks, he’s returned to his pond, or resurfaced, anyway.

But where did he come from?

“I heard theories that the last bad storm we had, he got washed up,” says The Beach Club’s assistant manager, ■■■ ■■■. He says the restaurant looked into relocating him, but that they were told he’s too small.

Elvis is thought to be about 3½ feet long, nose to tip of tail.

Employees say he appears to be a bit bigger than last year, when they used to see him.

There’s no sign of any other family members.

“The theory is that there is a 10′ gator over there,” says ■■■■■ ■■■■■■■ [Beach Club bartender], pointing to the shoreline.

American alligators live in freshwater, and sometimes in brackish water, a mixture of salt and fresh water. They are only found in the Southeastern [sic] United States, with the largest number of them in Florida and Louisiana.

Female alligators, on average, are around 8′ in length while males reach an average size of about 11′ feet, according to The Smithsonian Institution. Alligators typically grow about a foot a year.


UPDATE: Could it be Elvis was orphaned by Ripples?

Of course everyone by now has read the news in The Palm Beach Post about Ripples the Alligator, a pet 12′ alligator kept in Lake Osborne by some residents of Lake Worth Beach.

Lake Osborne is in John Prince Park. John Prince Park and the lake are managed and controlled by the County. But one day trappers took Ripples out of the lake for so-called ‘public safety’ reasons and Ripples’ owners didn’t want their massive pet alligator to end up as gator nuggets on an appetizer menu somewhere.

Follow along. Were Ripples and Elvis separated in 2015 along the City’s golf course and then Ripples headed west looking for Elvis? Remember, in the story above about Elvis the bartender at The Beach Club bistro cited the theory, “[T]here is a 10′ gator over there” pointing at the Lake Worth Lagoon.

And what’s the problem with alligators anyhow? Really! As we learned in the story about Elvis alligators don't like eating humans anyhow, information from a Canadian tourist who said alligators think humans are ‘too salty’.

And in The Palm Beach Post recently is was reported that,

“Gators really don’t like humans to eat. They eat other things like fish.”

—Quote. Published in The Palm Beach Post on Jan. 31st, 2019, in a story headlined, “Harmless or harmful? Massive 12-foot gator dragged out of Lake Osborne”.

Hope you found this information helpful today and stay tuned.

It’s only a matter of time before another edition of that former Lake Worth tabloid shows up!

Sunday, May 5, 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 rumors in Lake Worth Beach 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 Lake Worth Beach (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!’ ”

“What is SNMREC?”

A question from a blog reader:

“I came across something on your blog recently called SNMREC. A potential Ocean Wave Energy Generation project at our beach in Lake Worth Beach. Can you help explain what that is?”

The short answer is SNMREC  =  Southeastern National Marine Renewable Energy Center. 

This is a cutting-edge research center at Florida Atlantic University exploring ways to create renewable energy from ocean waves. The reader was wondering about this line in a blog post from October 2017 titled, “Lake Worth Beach Complex Conceptual Plans Design”:

This project was a big part of Mayor Pam Triolo’s State of the City Address in January 2017 (see excerpts below) and was also the subject of a very high-level meeting at the Lake Worth Casino on February 12th later that year.

Click on image to enlarge.

Recognize anyone?

This “Ocean Energy Round Table Discussion” was led by State Rep. Kathleen Peters. Others in attendance were PBC Commissioner Dave Kerner, then-State Senator Jeff Clemens, then-State Rep. Lori Berman (now a State Senator), Lake Worth City Manager Michael Bornstein, Mayor Pam Triolo, and other electeds, officials, and staff as well.

And by the way — whilst on the subject of our City’s Casino complex, on the issue of sea level rise and fortifying dunes — one of the big ideas proposed by a former Lake Worth commissioner several years ago was constructing a parking garage into the west side of the dune at the Lake Worth Beach:

“One innovative approach that the Netherlands has taken in the face of sea level rise is to build parking garages under some of the dunes. . . . According to Maier [former Commissioner Ryan Maier], there are several benefits of building parking areas [parking garages] this way. ‘You don’t see the parking structure and it increases the height of the dune.’ ”

Here are excerpts from Mayor Pam Triolo’s
2017 State of the City Address held at
the Casino Ballroom:

“The New Lake Worth is a City that embraces the future. On my recent trip to Washington [also in January 2017] I also met with the US Department of Energy about our partnership that began last year with Southeastern National Marine Renewable Energy Center, or SNMREC, at Florida Atlantic University.

In this video Mayor Triolo explains her travel to Washington, D.C. (excerpts from the mayor’s State of
the City Address continue below).

[Please note: Chris McVoy, PhD (on left, blue shirt), first elected in 2010, lost his bid for re-election 3 weeks after this video was taken. Lake Worth Commissioner Andy Amoroso is to the mayor’s right; Amoroso is now Lake Worth’s Vice Mayor. The City’s Vice Mayor Pro Tem is Scott Maxwell who also traveled to Washington, D.C. on this important topic which followed the mayor’s trip a week earlier in 2017.]

Mayor Triolo continues:

     “SNMREC is one of three entities created through the Department of Energy to promote private sector development of three types of power generation from the ocean. Wave, Tidal and Current driven energy has tremendous promise to provide clean and consistent power from the ocean. While the Wave program in Hawaii and the Tidal program in Washington State have advanced, SNMREC has had the challenge of locating an offshore site where private companies in partnership could test designs and develop proof of concept.
     While they currently have a buoy off Broward County, an actual mooring connected by cable to the grid does not exist, until now. Working together with SNMREC, Lake Worth would be a significant part of propelling this effort to develop ocean current driven power as a viable source.
     It turns out that after studying and developing detailed computer modeling, the Gulfstream Current is at its closest and in a most consistent strength offshore of . . . you guessed it . . . Lake Worth.”  

and. . .

     “As an oceanfront community our Electric Utility [City owns its own Electric Utility] can receive the power generated offshore. However how do we get it from out there to in here? Well it turns out we also have an old abandoned sewer outfall that goes ¾ of a mile offshore and we have applied for a grant to study and engineer a way to pull a cable through it to connect to the test site.” 

the final excerpt. . .

     “In many ways, this is about clean renewable energy and economic development. Coupled with increasing the availability of feeding renewable energy into our grid for use in the City, we may be able to add power from the Gulfstream [Current] to our solar [see video below] and one day have the highest level of renewable energy of any city in the state or even the country.” 

I hope this helps to explain this project and hopefully soon we’ll get an update about funding available and where this “proof of concept” is in the planning process.

“Stay Tuned” as they say.