Saturday, March 15, 2008

Ceremony and Ribbon Cutting - Historic 1916 Palm Beach County Courthouse

What a fantastically positive event I attended today. This was the grand re-opening of the historic Palm Beach County Courthouse. You might recall that this building was "encased" by a 1970s modern wrap around structure and served as the home of County government for many years. The building that exists today is the original 1916 building. Almost as soon as it opened, many realized that they needed more room, so in the 1920s they added almost an identical building on the east side of the structure as it sits today.

Luckily, they (Rick Gonzalez, architect and Hedrick Brothers Construction) were able to rescue trim and decorative pieces from the 1920s structure and use those in the structure that was saved. Being a member of the board of the Palm Beach Historical Society, I witnessed the gradual unwrapping of the building and some of the more significant stages of the restoration. I must have those pictures somewhere. If I can find them, I'll post them here.

Mayor Clemens was in attendance today and I saw Laurel and Herman Robinson from Lake Worth.

This will be an award winning project for everyone involved. Most importantly, it will be used to educate the County's residents about the rich history of Palm Beach County. One of the unique exhibits is a life-size barefoot mailman. Micheal Bornstein from the Town of Lantana served as the model!

It was good to see a project such as this completed on-time and under budget. It is a good example of what cooperation and more than a little patience, effort and financial resources can produce. Now we have to find a way to pull that off in our City of Lake Worth.

Remember, our Centennial as a city is coming up in 4 years. Let's be sure we have a lot to celebrate!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

CRA/City Commission Workshop Meeting

It's at the Shuffleboard Court building tonight, therefore no Internet stream of the meeting. I hear they are talking about priorities and the CRA redevelopment plan.

Just an FYI. I'll find out more tomorrow - but at least they are talking.

I'm listening, are you?

Dear Sally,

I saw the statement you released yesterday in which you said your “hate speech” is merely “free speech.” That’s kind of gross, but it’s also beside the point.

The point is this: your words have consequences. Ask Judy Shepherd — her son, Matthew, was viciously murdered ten years ago by people who think like you. Ask the parents of Lawrence King, an openly gay eighth-grader who was gunned down in school last month by a classmate whose fear was stoked by words like yours. Just this past fall, Steven Domer, a 62-year-old gay man was brutally murdered right in your home state of Oklahoma.

What you said is not okay, but that’s not because most sensible people disagree with it. It’s because your words give aid and comfort to those who would hurt, maim and even kill people who are different from you. Comparing gays and lesbians to cancer and terrorism and saying they are the “biggest threat to America,” gives license to others to treat us that way, especially given the leadership position you hold in your community.

I also read that some of your colleagues in the Republican caucus stood and cheered you as you entered their meeting yesterday. How odd and depressing. This isn’t a partisan issue; I know plenty of Republicans who were outraged at your comments, because they themselves are parents, friends and family to gays and lesbians who are at risk when people of your stature say the kinds of things you did.

Whether or not you agree that gay people deserve halfway decent treatment (the fact that you said we were destroying America implies that you don’t), what I want you to understand is that the words you said will have real life implications. Your speech can lead to the murders of more young people. You have outraged hundreds of thousands, but you may have inspired a few people, too. That’s not just sad, it’s evil.

The point of the Victory Fund’s releasing your speech was to draw attention to the fact that even elected leaders like you are saying some nasty and potentially dangerous things about your fellow citizens. Our mission is to elect people to counter your hate and bigotry with honesty and courage.

You may have been applauded by a handful of your colleagues, but more than a half million people are now listening. They heard you loud and clear, and they’re not clapping.

Chuck Wolfe

President & CEO
Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund

Monday, March 10, 2008

Bryant Park Neighborhood Meeting

I happened to be downtown with my friend Jim Stafford tonight. We were walking down Lake Avenue and realized that this was the night for the Bryant Park Neighborhood Association meeting at the Greater Lake Worth Chamber of Commerce building. So, we made ourselves comfortable and listened to our Mayor Jeff Clemens review what he considers as his achievements over the past year since his election. By the way, the anniversary of the last March general election is tomorrow. All future elections for the City of Lake Worth will be held in November.

Here is a picture of Mayor Clemens as he addressed those in attendance.
There were a lot of questions regarding the beach, the day docks planned for the north Bryant Park area funded through the County, the Gulfstream renovation and expansion and the Certificate of Use program.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Great Tour!

Here are some pictures from the tour of the EcoCentre last Friday night. Thank you to the Romano Law Group and Architect John Szerdi for a fine "show and tell" of the remarkable sustainable approach being used in the construction of the building. We found out the level of detail and commitment to sustainability that this building represents. It is truly a groundbreaking eco-friendly masterpiece that will be at home right in our own City of Lake Worth.

Thanks again for the great walk-through and I know that many left inspired. What a tremendous plus for the city.