Saturday, April 7, 2007

Coming Attractions..."TRUTH MATTERS"

Next Sunday (April 15) I will start my Internet radio program called "Truth Matters". It will air from 8 to 9 p.m. every week on Lake Worth, right after the Live Show with Jim Stafford.

Content will focus on current events and topics related to the City of Lake Worth. I plan to do a lot of education on the role of zoning, land use law and historic preservation to clear up a lot of misconceptions. We will explore how other communities have met the challenges of redevelopment and how they have successfully attracted investment dollars. We'll examine market forces and how they affect the quality of life that we experience here in Lake Worth, along with global and national trends. We'll also look into green building and its role in the future redevelopment of our City.

I am hoping to use this as a venue to educate in order to prepare residents for the large number of Comprehensive Plan and Zoning Code changes that will be considered by the Planning and Zoning Board and the City Commission later this year. We can even use the show to go over the changes proposed as a result of the Master Planning process that has been on-going for the past two years.

It will be interactive and I plan on using this site, in combination with the Lake Worth Talk discussion board, to field questions. Great news - as of today Lake Worth Talk is offering blogs on that site. So, I can post all show related information there under "Truth Matters". I will be testing out various formats this week. But that will turn out to be a great place to display items that we are talking about on the show - and allow for the interaction - like a classroom!

All this is part of an attempt to get out an objective, timely and reliable set of facts regarding the various situations we face here in the City of Lake Worth. I am hopeful that this will help combat the efforts of those seeking to manipulate reality through misunderstandings or outright distortions of fact.

It should be a fun and interesting time. If you have suggestions on some of the topics we should cover, let me know.

The first show will cover the basics of Growth Management legislation in the State of Florida, the importance of the City's Comprehensive Plan and Future Land Use Map, Future Land Use designations, the Zoning Code and Zoning districts within the City of Lake Worth.

Thanks - and let's look forward to a better Lake Worth!

Thursday, April 5, 2007

District #1 Meeting on Crime

I missed last night's meeting at Brogue's due to my following of the Gulfstream project being reviewed by the Planning Board at the same time. The meeting at Brogue's has gotten excellent coverage on Channel 5. When they run that story, they also promote the above meeting tonight. The church is at the northeast corner of E and 9th Avenue South and is the major polling location in District #1.

This is in response to our crime wave and gang violence, made even more urgent through the multiple shootings last week (the evening of the run-off election) in the area. Please try to attend as a show of solidarity against the ravages of violent crime.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Let's Ban or Limit Political Yard Signs...

I just see political signs as being a waste in a campaign. They're expensive and do disappear - sometimes due to natural causes and over a period of three months that can mean even more money. Which means more fundraising and increased reliance on PAC contributions.

Signs don't vote, people do.

Some candidates insist that a homeowner put one in their yard, etc. - which is uncomfortable for some people to accept. I also know that many businesses along Dixie were told that even if they didn't want them there, they had to stay - the reason given was that it was a "City thing" or that it was in the right-of-way, etc. They are a pain to pick up afterwards and none of them are really environmentally friendly - a lot of waste stream created for a very short period of time. And they create a lot of visual clutter. They also clue in the opposition of who your supporters are.

It also encourages school yard behavior "oh, he touched my sign..."

Now, if we prohibited them entirely, there might be constitutional issues - freedom of speech, etc.

I don't know if it will go anywhere, but that was my pet peeve during the election - anything related to signs.

I brought this up at the City Commission meeting last night under Public Comment on non-agendaed items.

PZHRPB Meeting Tonight regarding the Gulfstream Hotel Property

Below you will find a copy of the staff report in response to the request to demolish a contributing historic structure on property owned by the owners of the Gulfstream Hotel. You will notice that staff is encouraging the relocation of the structure and the applicant says that they have someone interested in moving it - so demolition would be the last resort. I post this here as I have had trouble with the City's website recently and wasn't able to download the Planning Board packet for tonight's meeting. You should be able to click on the images and make them larger and more legible. If that doesn't work, I can e-mail them to you. Just contact me at

I won't post them here due to space constraints, but I also have the other staff reports related to all of the Gulfstream items including Community Appearance and their variance requests. Let me know if you are interested in those and I can send them out via e-mail, as well.

City Commission Goals Formulation...

The City of Lake Worth has commissioned Dr. Ralph Lewis to assist in the development of Commission goals for the period 2007-2012. These goals will be based on input from citizens, professional staff, and elected officials and identifies: 1) strategic service areas, 2) goals, 3) measures and/or Milestones, 4) strategic initiatives.

The Commission goals will enable the City Commission to identify service areas for the City; prioritize major initiatives; effectively allocate human, financial and capital resources; select goal-specific strategic initiatives to support your major policies and ongoing operations.

Public Forums will be facilitated by Dr. Lewis to allow participants to provide input concerning their priorities concerning: quality of life factors that they view important, priorities for government functions and services, and their vision for the City of Lake Worth in the year 2012.
Public Forum dates are: Many of us received this message from the City. The dates originally proposed had the public forums beginning next week. At last night's Commission Meeting it was decided to postpone this to a time after the new City Manager is hired and in place. The best guess for when this will be is the middle to later part of May, 2007. I'll be sure and let you know what the new dates, times and places will be.

Dr. Lewis is a retired member of the Public Administration faculty at Florida International University with extensive experience in strategic planning and management.

Sunday, April 1, 2007

Venus and Mars Say "Hi"

Here we are, out for a walk today. That's Venus looking towards the camera; Mars is on the left.

This is Venus on the move - she's so low she's kind of like a hovercraft, very badger-like.

This is Mars. It was hard to get him to look at the camera - this is the best one.

User Stats on this Blog

Sometime in early February, I installed tracking software on this blog. Before, I had no way to guess how many people were using it and using it on a regular basis. I did know that my message was getting out there, but had no idea to what extent. The above table shows that since early February, there have been 1506 "unique" visits to this blog - people entering the site through a specific computer. This probably is an over-estimate of the total people using the site as IPs can be dynamic and people access the site from more than one computer. Of those unique visits, most people (58%) return every day or so to check it for new material and to read the latest entry.

This information is portrayed graphically below:
The chart below indicates that most visitors to the site stay for approximately 1 to 5 minutes:

Another interesting statistic is that around 800 come to the site from no other page on the Internet. This means that number of people likely have this blog saved in their "Favorites".

Just thought you would be interested in how this site is being used. I hope that you find the information here useful and that you keep coming back. It represents my effort to get the word out on important matters happening in the City of Lake Worth.

Thanks for visiting!