Saturday, January 11, 2020

The Koreshan Unity: A religious utopian community in early Florida history.


“Among the most interesting beliefs of Koreshanity was the cellular cosmogony, or the hollow earth.”

Click on image to enlarge:

Image from the Florida Memory collection.


The State Library and Archives of Florida has fascinating documentation of the Koreshan Unity. They have links to pictures and documents about this religious group that no longer exists. Here is an excerpt:


     With its warm climate and seemingly endless coastline, Florida was a natural magnet for settlers from colder northern climates and all manner of pioneers. In the 1890s, Florida became home to one of the state’s most interesting and influential pioneering communities: the Koreshan Unity. [emphasis added]
     The Unity was a late-19th/early-20th century religious utopian community originally founded in upstate New York by Dr. Cyrus Teed and later headquartered in Chicago before finding its permanent home on a 320 acre plot of land in Estero south of Fort Myers, where Teed intended to found the “New Jerusalem.”
     Among the most interesting beliefs of Koreshanity was the cellular cosmogony, or the hollow earth. According to the cellular cosmogony, the earth was not a convex sphere but instead a hollow, concave cell containing the entire universe with the sun at its center and Earth's populace living on the inside surface of the hollow cell.

Friday, January 10, 2020

“AT THE LETTUCE PATCH, 1976”


A young Mark Foley at his store on 502 Lucerne Ave. Image below from The Palm Beach Post. 


Click on image to enlarge:

Mark Foley was a City of Lake Worth commissioner from 1978–1979 and 1982–1984. Later he served in the Florida House of Representatives from 1990–1992; then the Florida Senate, 1993–1994.


Foley returned to private life in 2006 after serving in the U.S. House of Representatives for eleven years. His most recent accomplishment was saving Spring Training baseball in Palm Beach County and following Veterans Day in 2017 Foley was a feature story in The Palm Beach Post noting his attendance and contribution to the military memorial monument installed in the Downtown Cultural Plaza.

Thursday, January 9, 2020

News in The Coastal Star: Lake Worth Beach and Lantana take leadership role in Central Palm Beach County.


Being municipal neighbors and coastal communities how vulnerable are the Town of Lantana and the City of Lake Worth Beach to weather events and any potential shifts in the climate?

What are the vulnerabilities of the beaches in Lake Worth Beach and Lantana? On a policy matter, for example, should LWB construct a new swimming pool at the beach or instead focus on fortifying the beach property and seawall protecting the Casino and Beach Complex?

On these questions and more what follows are two excerpts from a piece by journalist Mary Hladky datelined Dec. 31, 2019, published in The Coastal Star:


Boca Raton, Boynton Beach, Delray Beach, Highland Beach, Lake Worth Beach, Lantana [emphasis added], Ocean Ridge and the county have approved an agreement to conduct a climate change vulnerability assessment. The County Commission was the last to sign on, voting Dec. 17.

Once the municipalities and county have data on the threats they face, they will take up the task of making the region more resilient.

and. . .


The municipalities and county set a Jan. 15 deadline for consultants to submit proposals on how they would conduct the vulnerability assessment, and will select one in February to do the work.

The consultant’s tasks will be completed in two phases, with two tasks to be completed by June 30. The remaining tasks will be finished and a final report issued by March 31, 2021.

The consultant also will create a geographic information system-based interactive mapping tool that can be updated with new data and will allow users to zoom in on a specific neighborhood to see climate change impacts or zoom out to see regional impacts.

The assessment will evaluate the vulnerability of people, property, water and transportation infrastructures, critical facilities, the economy and natural resources.

The governments have budgeted $366,797 to do the work and will share its cost, supplemented by a $75,000 Florida Department of Environmental Protection grant to Boynton Beach.


To read the entire piece published in The Coastal Star by Mary Hladky click on this link.

As noted in the first excerpt above the consultant’s final report will be issued at the end of March, in just about eleven weeks.

Whilst on the topic of resiliency and preparing for future weather and climate challenges, what of all those millions of dollars some think should be used to construct a new swimming pool at the beach in Lake Worth Beach?


Or put another way. . .

Build it and they will come?

Build it and they will come?


Five years ago during some of the most wonderful weather in South Florida the municipal pool adjacent to the Lake Worth Beach and Casino Complex remained for the most part empty of people.

As some consider going down the same lane once again it’s worth wondering whether or not a pool scene in March–May 2025 would look any different than the scenes below in March–May 2015.

When we had a pool open to the public at the beach in Lake Worth. . .


It was a pool that needed people. . .

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 City Hall one day and . . . Voilà! A protest!

Getting 40–50 supporters to show up and protest used to be the norm here in this City until about ten 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, almost for 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!”

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Press release from the Cultural Council for Palm Beach County headquartered in downtown Lake Worth Beach.


Take note. The formerly titled Cultural Council of Palm Beach County has changed its preposition to become the,

Cultural Council for Palm Beach County


Here are two excerpts from the press release issued by Hannah L. Arnst (see contact information below):


CULTURAL COUNCIL FOR PALM BEACH COUNTY WELCOMES NEW YEAR, NEW CHAPTER WITH REBRAND

LAKE WORTH BEACH, Fla.  — The Cultural Council for Palm Beach County is pleased to announce the launch of its new brand. This change comes at a time when the organization is evolving to better meet the needs of Palm Beach County’s growing cultural community.

The Cultural Council identified the need for a rebrand two years ago while developing its current strategic plan. The plan focused on responsible growth and effective stewardship of talent and resources. It also recognized the need to intentionally market the Council and increase public awareness for the organization’s programs and services.

To mark the next chapter in its 40-year legacy, the organization has refocused on service to cultural organizations and creative professionals in Palm Beach County. In 2019, the Council embarked on a 10-month journey to create a new brand that better articulates its mission and service area. Work included an in-depth audit, consumer survey, industry research, focus groups, new messaging and a new logo.

and. . .


Looking ahead, the Council will work to provide more opportunities to creative professionals and cultural organizations, grow its membership, develop a five-year plan for Council programs and events, work with the Tourist Development Council to firmly establish The Palm Beaches as a cultural destination, and enhance its grantmaking program.

The Cultural Council’s new direction comprises the following four pillars:


  • Defining the Cultural Council and articulating its mission and messaging to its respective audiences.
  • Enhancing the Council’s programs and services to meet or exceed the needs of all its constituencies.
  • Championing innovation across the cultural sector by creating new funding opportunities and making Palm Beach County a viable place for creative professionals to live, work and thrive.
  • Demonstrating excellence and making sure everything the Cultural Council does for the community is efficient, effective and responsible.

To learn more about the Cultural Council for Palm Beach County’s rebrand [the press release in full], visit www.palmbeachculture.com



The Cultural Council for Palm Beach County is located at 601 Lake Ave. in downtown Lake Worth Beach and is open on Tuesday–Saturday from 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

There is plenty of FREE parking nearby. Click on this link for more information when planning your next visit.

Hannah L. Arnst is the PR & Social Media Specialist at the Cultural Council for Palm Beach County. Contact information:

561-471-2902 or 561-471-2901
email: hannah@palmbeachculture.com

Once again, from the oft-cited file, “We all have to keep in mind. . .


. . . there are many new residents in the City of Lake Worth Beach that have no knowledge of things that preceded them.”



Many blog readers have seen this blog post before. Some of you many times. Thank You for visiting once again today and please scroll down.

For everyone else, once every 2–3 months like to remind new and recently new residents why long-time residents don’t get annoyed when they hear PBSO helicopters overhead, especially at night.

Hearing PBSO helicopters was a sign of hope for many people. Things are much different today in this City as Cpt. Baer explained at a Commission meeting recently.


Ten and a half years ago. . .

On August 26th, 2008, then-Mayor Jeff Clemens signed the agreement to begin the process of turning over law enforcement responsibility to PBSO and subsequent disbanding of Lake Worth PD. In response to Cara Jennings (former commissioner, 2006–2010) who supported keeping the LWPD, JoAnn Golden (another former commissioner, 2007–2011) said about the out-of-control crime at the time:

“[W]e have allowed the gangs to get ahead of us.”

Prior to PBSO taking over for the LWPD, crime in the City was so bad a resident actually proposed that LWPD set up checkpoints and vehicle searches on all roads leading into the City.


Listen for yourself:




That never happened. But crime was so bad prior to PBSO taking over many residents and community leaders seriously considered police checkpoints. Now let’s take a stroll down memory lane to 2007:


Check out these crime “Clearance” rates, especially for homicides. . . “but having our own police department was just so charming”. Maybe in a few neighborhoods. But not so much in others.

Oh, and by the way, that PBSO helicopter flying around at night that some people find ‘annoying’ isn
t so annoying in the context of history, is it?

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Welcome Aboard!


Take the public bus to the beach in Lake Worth Beach!


Palm Tran bus Rt. 62 has returned public transportation to the beach following a ten-year hiatus. Rt. 62 runs east and west, anchored by the Village of Wellington and the Casino and Beach Complex at the beach in Lake Worth Beach (see map below).

Enjoy this thirty-second video produced by Palm Tran:



Here is the Rt. 62 map:


Click on map to enlarge.

Palm Tran bus Rt. 62 now runs seven days a week to the beach. For the daily, Saturday and Sunday schedule click on this link.

“1948 Gulf Oil Map”


Click on image to enlarge: 

From the David Rumsey Map Collection.

Sunday, January 5, 2020

It’s the ninth year of the Taste History Culinary tours and as popular as ever!


Have you been on the Taste History tour yet?

The City of Lake Worth Beach/Town on Lantana tour is the second Saturday of each month. To purchase tickets for the upcoming tour on Saturday, January 11th click on this link.


The Taste History Culinary Tours of Historic Palm Beach County, Florida offers a fun and multi-sensory cultural experience with tastings at family-owned eateries and bakeries. As you eat, learn about food culture and foodways infused with local history.


Here is a new video just posted on YouTube:




To follow Lori Durante and the Taste History Culinary Tours on Twitter use this link.