Saturday, February 29, 2020

Election Day is March 17th: Public notice published our LOCAL Lake Worth Herald.


What follows is a “Notice of Referendum Election” publicly noticing the three referendums on the upcoming March ballot for voters in Lake Worth Beach:


NOTICE OF REFERENDUM ELECTION

CITY OF LAKE WORTH BEACH


Pursuant to F.S. 100.342, notice is hereby given that the City of Lake Worth Beach, Florida, will hold a referendum election on Tuesday, March 17, 2020, to consider three pro-posed amendments to the City Charter, as set forth by Ordinances 2019-10 and 2019-11 passed by the Lake Worth Beach City Commission on December 3, 2019 and Ordinance 2019-16 passed on December 12, 2019:

In order to reduce the City’s maintenance costs and enhance City facilities, shall Article II, Section 3, of the City of Lake Worth Beach charter entitled “City-owned Property East of the A1A Roadway” be amended to allow for a lease of up to 30 years with all proceeds used exclusively for the City-owned property east of the A1A roadway?

Yes [  ]

No [  ]


In order to continue the county’s management and maintenance of the Jewell-Steinhardt Cove as a nature preserve, which preserve is generally located adjacent and west of A1A and adjacent and south of the Lake Worth Beach Bridge, shall the City be authorized to extend its current lease with Palm Beach County to a total lease term of 99 years?

Yes [  ]

No [  ]


To make the renovation and reopening of the historic Gulfstream Hotel financially feasible, shall Article IV, Section 11, of the charter entitled “Building Height Limitation” be amended to allow a maximum height of 87 feet (matching the existing height of the Gulfstream Hotel) instead of 65 feet, for those properties located north of 1st Avenue South and south of Lake Avenue and east of South Lakeside Drive and west of South Golfview Road?

Yes [  ]

No [  ]


Polls will be open from 7:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m. and all qualified electors in the City of Lake Worth Beach are eligible to vote. Polling locations will be the same as those used for the General Election. Absentee ballots may be obtained from the Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections, 240 South Military Trail, [suburban] West Palm Beach, Florida 33416, or by calling 656-6200.



End of public notice.


To look over the LOCAL front page news in
this week’s paper click on this link.

The LOCAL Lake Worth Herald is still ¢50! Pick up the print edition at the City’s downtown newsstand called Studio 205 located 205 N. Federal Hwy. in LWB. To contact the editor at the Herald call 561-585-9387 or by email: Editor@lwherald.com

“It ain’t over till it’s over.” —Yogi Berra


Enjoy the video!

Friday, February 28, 2020

FREE Event for kids in Lake Worth Beach tomorrow: Learn how to garden organically!


The public event below was published in this week’s LOCAL Lake Worth Herald:


GARDENS AND THE ARTS FOR CHILDREN — Saturday, Feb 29, and learn to garden at the “Chief Sitting Bull” community organic garden at 525 South D St., Lake Worth Beach, from 11 ᴀᴍ to 12 noon. This garden is one of three “Gardens for Everyone” in District One in the city of Lake Worth Beach. Come and plant seeds, transplant seedlings, and do general garden tasks, and sing the garden song. This event is sponsored by the Palm Beach Religious Society of Friends, the Lake Worth Community Development Corporation (LWCDC), and the Griffis Foundation. “Kids on the Go” will have yoga and dancing with Angélica Fabian; singing with Ketia Lartigue; and storytelling, theater and face painting with Javier Del Sol until 1:30 ᴘᴍ. Recommended age group: 5–11 years of age. Parents are encouraged to accompany their children and also participate. These activities are free. For more information contact Javier Del Sol at (561) 533-5287.


To look over the front page headlines in this week’s LOCAL newspaper click on this link.

Have an upcoming event to promote or LOCAL news to share? Contact the editor at the The Lake Worth Herald by calling 561-585-9387 or by email: Editor@lwherald.com

The three-day Midnight Sun Festival in Lake Worth Beach begins today!


The hours for the festival are Friday 5:00 ᴘᴍ–10:00, Saturday from noon–10:00 and Sunday 10:00 ᴀᴍ–5:00 ᴘᴍ.

The link to the Midnight Sun Festival website is at the end of the press release (see below).


Kids ≤12 years old are FREE!

Press release from City of Lake Worth Beach:



PRESS RELEASE

City of Lake Worth Beach
7 North Dixie Highway
Lake Worth Beach, FL 33460

Contact: Ben Kerr, public information officer.
Phone: 561-586-1631
Email: bkerr@lakeworthbeachfl.gov


Lake Worth Beach, FL — The Midnight Sun Festival will take place Feb. 28–March 1, 2020 in Lake Worth Beach’s Bryant Park on the Intracoastal Waterway. This unique cultural festival celebrates the Finnish heritage of Lake Worth Beach.

“We have booked Laura Voutilainen, one of the top recording artists in Finland,” explains Tom Kuutti, head of the organizing committee. Laura is a Finnish singing sensation who has recorded thirteen albums, many of which have gone gold or platinum. She is also a regular on one of Finland’s most popular TV shows, the Finnish version of “Dancing with the Stars”. Laura will be performing every day at the Midnight Sun Festival together with her five-piece band. Her show is spectacular!

The festival opens Friday evening, Feb. 28th, with the Taste of Finland culinary competition. “People get to vote for their favorite dish,” says Tiina Rogers, who has been on the festival organizing committee since 2016. “There will be a Beer Garden as well as activities for all ages,” she says, “including bounce houses and a kid’s performance stage.”

On Saturday, Feb. 29th, the Car & Bike Show will allow auto enthusiasts to get a close-up view of supercars, antique, classic, and custom vehicles and motorcycles, all displayed on the open-air lawn in Bryant Park.

The Florida Championship Wife-Carrying Contest will be held on Sunday, March 1st as part of the Midnight Sun Festival. This traditionally Finnish event requires competitors to navigate a 280-yard obstacle course while carrying their wives or girlfriends the entire time! The fastest time wins! “From the hilarious Wife-Carrying Contest to concerts, kids’ activities and fabulous delicacies from Finland and around the world, you’re sure to find something for everyone,” says Lake Worth Beach Mayor Pam Triolo. Everyone is welcome!

For performance times and more information visit the website using this link or send an email to: info@midnightsunfest.org


Be in the loop!


Get your news and information straight from the City. To join the City’s mailing list click on this link.

To look over the list of recent news from the City use this link.

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

This evening at 7:00 ᴘᴍ: “Save the Historic Gulfstream Hotel”. Event sponsored by Lake Worth Beach Business Committee.


WPTV journalist Todd Wilson produced a news segment about this event which aired Monday evening. To watch the video of that news report from downtown Lake Worth Beach click on this link.

From the segment by Mr. Wilson, here are the concluding paragraphs from the text of the story:


The Gulfstream Hotel has a height issue because back in the ‘90s the city charter was amended that all buildings east of Dixie Highway could be no higher than 65 feet. The Gulfstream is over 80-feet tall. So, in order for the hotel to be a viable business again, the amendment has to be overturned. A measure on next month's ballot will decide on the 90’s amendment will be overturned.

Regan [Rod Regan, owner of Brogues DownUnder, 621 Lake Ave.] says it’s time to bring new life into a high profile property.

“We need a hotel, we need hotels,” he said.

Wednesday at 7 p.m. at the Lake Worth Casino you can attend a meeting and hear prospective buyers talk about what their plans are for the building.

For more about the public meeting tonight:


The partial image below is from The Lake Worth Herald.

This event at the Casino has
FREE PARKING!


To read Question 3 on the upcoming March 17th ballot click on this link.

A little history about the little City of Lake Worth Beach.


The blog post below is one that’s re-posted every 2–3 months since it was first posted back in 2010. This blog began in 2006 and the letter from Cpt. Stafford remains one of the most requested all time. Many of you have read the letter from Capt. Wm. S. Stafford (Ret.). Some of you many times.

But for new residents of this little City of Lake Worth Beach the letter below gives an interesting perspective in the context of history.

First, a short excerpt, the entire letter is below:

“Dad also had larger water mains installed downtown, thus lowering the fire insurance rates, and gave Lake Worth the best drinking water in the State”.


The streets, sidewalks, and other infrastructure long-ignored and under-maintained for so many decades is now being addressed following the passage of Lake Worth’s Neighborhood Road Bond in Nov. 2016 and then the passing of the County ¢1 sales tax increase.

The public decided to tax themselves because we needed to fix our streets and sidewalks. The first Neighborhood Road Bond in August 2014 failed by just 25 votes. The majority on the City Commission — Mayor Pam Triolo and commissioners Scott Maxwell and Andy Amoroso — decided to go for a second Road Bond in Nov. 2016. That one passed by a “whopping 69%”:

“I want to thank the commissioners who have been sitting on this dais longer than I have for having the courage to go for this twice. And I want to thank the voters who approved this. Because this is really going to transform our City.”
Quote. District 2 Commissioner Omari Hardy from a City Commission meeting on Jan. 16th, 2017.


I hope you find this informative and worth your time. One of the most-viewed posts ever on this blog, the letter from Capt. Wm. S. Stafford (Ret.) from 2010:


Capt. Wm. S. Stafford (Ret.)
Master of Science Degree (AvSciTech)
Commercial Pilot ASMEL
Instrument Airplane
FCF Flight Engineer C-130B, E & H
Airframe Mechanic
Royal New Zealand Coast Guard Boatmaster #37155

 
Canterbury,
South Island,
NEW ZEALAND

20 January 2010

Mr. Wes Blackman

Dear Wes;

I visited your blog site last night and found it quite interesting.

I also found the historical slide show [see below] of Lake Worth that you put together with what appears to be sincere dedication and due diligence on your part even more fascinating. Well done!

Thank you for making the images available to former Lake Worth residents. Many of those sights I had only in my fading memory from years ago, but seeing them again really balances the perspective of the ‘then & now factor in the element of times passed.

My father was Jim Stafford; by that I mean Lake Worth’s then-youngest mayor who was elected in 1953. Dad was instrumental in many now-forgotten improvements in the Lake Worth of the 1950’s & 60’s. He worked with Russell & Axon Consulting Engineers in the context of better water quality, water treatment, and electrical power. I’ll send you his obituary shortly. 

My grandfather was William M. Stafford, the owner and publisher of the long-gone Lake Worth Leader newspaper. He purchased the newspaper from P.O. Gorder in 1922. My family of Stafford’s from that era saw the Florida land boom, the bust, and survived the 1928 hurricane on what is now 7th Avenue North & North ‘K’ Street. He was referred to by his family as ‘Chief’, He was appointed Fire Chief of the Everglades Fire Control District on 7 December 1941.

He closed-up the Lake Worth Leader in either the late 40’s or early 50’s, and went to work for the Palm Beach Post Times, retiring in 1964. He passed away 30 October 1981 at age 93. He was an avid hunter, fisherman and taught me about practical survival living in the Everglades.

I donated a few items to the Museum of Lake Worth, and I enjoyed seeing Beverly Mustaine. I do hope that she in time will cover Lake Worth’s next 50 year period in history from the 1940’s to the 1990’s with a follow-on book to her original.

I recently wrote to Eliot Kleinberg and Lake Worth resident Robert Mykle congratulating them on their books of historical record concerning the 1928 hurricane.

I have also been in touch with Jim Stafford (Lake Worth Talk) and his dad Larry in the recent past. The parallels of our different family lines are coincidental and amazing.

I was born in WPB, then raised and schooled in the Lake Worth of the late 50’s and 60’s. I attended Barton Elementary, and the now-gone Lake Worth Junior High School, and LWHS Class of ’73.

My time in Lake Worth was simply due to my parents living there. I consider Okeechobee and Buckhead Ridge to be my U.S. home beginning when I was 10 years old. LW and Okeechobee are very different worlds when compared to each other.

I left LW in 1973, volunteering for service in the USAF whilst Vietnam was still ongoing. I retired in 1990 as a Service-Connected Disabled Veteran. I flew C-130’s and simultaneously held part time jobs in General Aviation.

My Mother taught at Forest Hill High School, (1958-1982) where Jim’s mom Mayra is now the principal.

As I have read the blogs, LW websites, etc., much of the same political and socio mechanisms never seem to change. This adds credence to the observed phrase that “The more things change, the more they stay the same”.

BTW, my Dad and attorney Bill Martin were great friends. Is this the same Bill Martin who wrote in your blog?

With regards to the Lake Worth Casino, I believe that Dad had a bond issue to upgrade the Casino in the early to mid 1950’s. I remember going there in the early 60’s and distinctly remember the pools being salt water. The wooden pier came a few years later.

Dad also had larger water mains installed downtown, thus lowering the fire insurance rates, and gave Lake Worth the best drinking water in the State, and their own affordable electricity from the city-owned diesel generators. He was also quietly instrumental in getting rid of the rest of the Jim Crow ordinances in his administration and bringing in city water and paved streets to what was then considered to be ‘colored town’. The museum has quite a bit on file, as does the city historian, I’m sure.

Anyway, thanks for uploading the photos.

Cheers from New Zealand

Kind Regards,

Will


[Here is the video referenced above, uploaded to YouTube on November 30th, 2008.]

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Two historic hotels in two downtowns. The Gulfstream Hotel stands tall. The Pennsylvania Hotel stands tall no longer.


Here is an excerpt from a Letter to Editor in The Palm Beach Post dated April 4th, 1994 written by “Wes Blackman”:


“It [the Pennsylvania Hotel] is one of the few remaining structures from the city’s glorious but fading past.


Click on image to enlarge: 

Gulfstream Hotel in the City of Lake Worth, the Pennsylvania Hotel, and the Belleview Biltmore in Belleair: What history teaches us about historic preservation.


Newspaper clipping, front page of Palm Beach
Daily News (aka, The Shiny Sheet), Sunday,
February 19th, 1995:

The process of demolishing the Pennsylvania Hotel began much earlier than 1995. There is a name for that. It’s called “demolition by neglect”.

Monday, February 24, 2020

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 four 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!”

Lake Worth Beach Bonfires. 2019–2020 Bonfire Season is nearly over.


Next Friday is the final
beach bonfire of the Season!


Please share this important and topical update
with all our loyal Snowbirds!

How to stay current with all the news and upcoming events in Lake Worth Beach? Very simple. Receive email updates and the latest press releases from the City by clicking on this link.

Saturday, May 16th, 2015: “Today at the Lake Worth pool”.


How the “charming” municipal pool at the beach
looked most of the time.

Should our City construct a new pool at the beach? Or somewhere else in the City? You decide. Enjoy the blog post below from four years ago prior to the pool being condemned:


I went for some self-paced water exercise today. The lanes are still in the north/south direction, which creates about nine 50-meter lanes for lap swimming. Two of the lane dividers were down for people who just wanted to enjoy the pool, so lap swimming lanes were reduced by two. There were 25 people inside the pool area but only about 10 in the pool at any one time. There was a mixture of families and individuals. This during the time from about 12:30 to 1:30.

It should be noted the pool facility is approved for a maximum occupancy of 312 people. At the most, and I go there two to three times a week, I’ve seen about 60 people. That amounts to about 20% of what the pool and surrounding areas could hold. Here is the sign that shows the capacity of the pool:




And you really have to keep in mind that if the pool is set up for lap swimming, the capacity is significantly reduced as only one or two people can really occupy one lane comfortably. Most of the time it is just one person in a lane. When the lane markers are switched east/west, you have a large area in the center that can be used for “free” swimming, but it’s 10 feet deep, frightening for many people.

So you don’t find parents with their children in this area of the pool unless they are using the diving board. There are more lanes in this configuration, but it’s this 25-meter distance which lap swimmers do not like as much; they have to turn around more frequently.

The question has to be asked: is such a large pool really the kind of pool the city needs going into the future?

Sunday, February 23, 2020

“A Riddle”. Poem by poet unknown. Guest at Gulfstream Hotel. Lake Worth, Florida. 1963.


           “ A lake ~ and swinging palm trees,

                                      The Ocean ~ deep and green ~ ”



Click on image to enlarge:
The image above is from the 2015 Coastal Observer series about the history of the Gulfstream Hotel. The first issue was titled, “Dog Days and Glory Days”.

From that series, a poem. . .


. . . can you guess My riddle?*


Some folks, they like a riddle,
Now here is one for you.
It’s square, not deep, but open
Soft breezes blowing through.

Beyond the sky is lovely,
While clouds go sailing o’er.
I hear the call of song birds,
A distant train’s low roar.

A lake ~ and swinging palm trees,
The Ocean ~ deep and green ~
Now can you guess My riddle?
It’s my window ~ at Gulf Stream



*Poem about the Gulfstream Hotel from December, 1963 titled, “A Riddle”, written anonymously by a visitor to the hotel. Poem reprinted in the Coastal/Greenacres Observer (publisher: Lake Worth Herald) on October 29th, 2015.

One could call this blog post, “How not to do a project at the Lake Worth Beach.”


What you’ll see below is from:

April 13th, 2012.


So as we proceed forward let’s hope we never see anything like this ever again. . .


I took a drive up to the beach Friday afternoon [in April 2012] and captured these pictures. Below you will see a group of people trying to navigate the main walkway from the lower parking lot to the PEDESTRIAN ACCESS leading to the actual beach. I say “navigate” since the walkway was covered by water from some unknown source (this was before any of yesterday’s rain).


Click on all images to enlarge.

The former Casino had been demolished by 2012. And the new Casino was nearing completion. And officials said the Beach ‘was open’. 


Moving into the future, whatever is decided to do at the Beach, let’s make certain the Beach truly remains open for the public.







You can check out the video of these girls trying to negotiate the water covered path.



































Benny’s on the Beach.