Saturday, May 3, 2008

Our Special Tree

Here are some pictures of our Ficus altissima. Clicking on the title of the post will take you to This picture was taken yesterday. The close-up shows the tree providing shelter for someone. This is on private property and may soon become a new City park, once the owner of the property wins their soon-to-be-filed lawsuit against the City.

Just a prediction.

Latona Avenue

Pictures taken yesterday. Click title for story.

Tri-Rail loses chance for cash (click for story)

Friday, May 2, 2008

Hammon Park Receives CWHIP Grant from State of Florida

I just received word that the State of Florida awarded Hammon Park the grant applied for in January of this year. This will help underwrite the cost of the units in Hammon Park so that they are available to essential service workers and bring more residents near our downtown. Here is the e-mail I received from one of the principals in the project. There were 49 applicants applying for money through this competitive program.

Total Grant Award: $5.5 Million


I wanted to let you know we just received word that we were awarded a CWHIP grant. We placed second under the High Cost category and we came in second in the Innovation category. We finished 2nd overall in the state with a total score of 194 out of 200 possible points.

Thank you for all you hard work and the passion you brought to the team. It’s great news for us and the City of Lake Worth.

Kevin Rickard


America 2050 is a national initiative to meet the infrastructure, economic development and environmental challenges of the nation as we prepare to add 120 million additional Americans by the year 2050. In 2005, the Regional Plan Assocations convened the National Committee for America 2050, a coalition of regional planners, scholars, and policy-makers to develop a framework for the nation's future growth that considers trends such as: rapid population growth and demographic change; global climate change; the rise in foreign trade; sprawling and inefficient land use patterns; uneven and inequitable growth within and between regions; infrastructure systems that are reaching capacity; and the emergence of megaregions. In recent months, the focus has been on the nation's over-reliance on fossil fuels and the need for incorporating renewable sources of energy to fuel our cars and buildings. Additionally the importance of federal transportation policy to meet the challenges of climate change, competitiveness and social equity has been underscored. Go to to learn more.


A new interactive mapping website launched by the Center for Neighborhood Technology in partnership with The Brookings Institution shows how affordability changes from neighborhood to neighborhood based on housing and transportation. It is a map-based tool offering information on housing and transportation costs for 52 metropolitan areas, including Miami-Fort Lauderdale, Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, and West Palm Beach-Boca Raton areas. The tool looks at housing and transportation costs as a percentage of income, with an affordability goal of housing and transportation between 0-45% of area median income. The website can be found at

Friday "Sweet" Treat...

This was one of my favorite songs when in elementary school. This video is sort of a tribute to Sammy Davis Jr. as well, showing all of his various album covers over the years. Enjoy!

Wednesday, April 30, 2008


Are we going to lose this money? I'm gravely concerned after reading this letter.

Not sure what entirely is going on here, but it recalls something I heard Mayor Clemens say at the Bryant Park neighborhood association. In answer to questions regarding the status of this project, Mayor Clemens commented that during the three months that Warren Newell was still in office, he was able to get a lot of things done and work cooperatively. Not so with Commissioner Kanjian.

Doesn't seem to be the case Mayor. Are some extra- territorial politics coming into play here, something that we were all concerned about if Jeff became Mayor? We need our Mayor to concentrate on the needs of Lake Worth, before any other consideration.

From "Lake Worth, the Musical", I offer the following selection:

Comment left on Street Painting Festival Slideshow Post

I want to bring this forward, as it was a left as a comment that you might not stumble upon.

Here it is - check out the link!

Hi Wes,

If you are a fan of street painting, you should take a look at; a niche video channel for all street painting artists, festivals, and fans.

We interviewed local Lake Worth street painting artist Jeanie Burns who did a nice 3-D anamorphic piece at San Rafael last year for a series of long and short videos.

Hope you like them!

Historical Society of Palm Beach County - Annual Meeting

Yesterday, I attended the Annual Meeting of the Historical Society of Palm Beach County. It was held at the St. Ann's School Gymnatorium in Downtown West Palm Beach. I have been a member of the Historical Society's Board of Directors since 2002. The by-laws dictate that you can only serve a maximum of two consecutive three-year terms. In recognition of my service to the organization, I received an award that you can see pictured below.

If you haven't been there already, I urge you to visit the restored 1916 Courthouse in Downtown West Palm Beach. There you will find the Richard and Pat Johnson Palm Beach County History Museum. The Society's administrative offices are found in the same building. You can schedule an appointment to review parts of their extensive archival material that document the County's history. I understand, with the addition of this new facility, the demand for archival research is high and there is a waiting list stretching into June.

Here are some pictures from the meeting:

Click on the frame to see a full screen slide show where you can control the display speed.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Macro/Micro - Lake Worth Cannot Face Same Fate this November!

Click title for New York Times story.

Click here for CNN item.

Click here for Divided We Fail website.

How about a Tuesday song?

Here's one. It's a cover of "Ruby Tuesday" in a live performance by Thelma Houston. Yes, Thelma Houston the disco queen. Great performance - her own interpretation - a powerful singer:

I hear that people play these snippets while they are reading other parts of the blog. Remember we have the search function, the day and date of the post and a listing of topics from which to choose. This blog is rapidly approaching 700 posts! So, if nothing interests you on the front and top of the page, don't forget about other information and commentary contained within the whole.

Here is the song that Thelma Houston made famous in the 1970s - another one up there with "I Will Survive." Enjoy!

Monday, April 28, 2008

A Monday Morning in Downtown Lake Worth...

This was an interesting morning. My car is in the shop getting a new top put on it. Herman Robinson was nice enough to pick up from the shop after dropping off the car. We then went to a Kiwanis Committee meeting on improvements to the Sunset Ridge Park at Toojay's. From there, after the meeting, I wandered down to Starbucks and hung out there while catching up on some work.

Then I went for a walk around downtown while waiting for my 11 meeting at City Hall. The pictures were taken during the walk. You can click on the frame and see larger versions of the pictures. You can also control the speed of the slideshow that way. I added captions and commentary to some of the photos, as well.

The meeting went well. I'm trying to help someone in dealing with the aftermath of their home catching on fire.

I planned to take the bus back home, but Herman came by just as the bus was approaching and he offered me a ride back to my house.

Enjoy the pictures. We really do have a lot going for us. I think the glass is half full.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Update - City vs. We Love Lake Worth Lawsuit - Beach

The document above was filed on behalf of the defendants on April 15, 2008. With the number of lawsuits swirling around our City, it is difficult to keep them all straight and know where they are in the process. That is why the City Commission needs regular updates from the City Attorney about the status of them. I don't think that I have ever been at a Commission meeting where Mr. Karns, our City Attorney has went down the list of standing lawsuits. Anyway, it would be a good tradition to start.

This lawsuit springs from the attempt by petition gatherers to force the land use and zoning change related to the beach property to a referendum. This land use and zoning change would allow the Greater Bay project to move forward since the current land use and zoning only permits "open air recreation" and related uses. Commercial uses present in the Casino building would not be allowed under the existing land use and zoning designation. This should have been taken care of long ago, but it wasn't and we are experiencing the result of that oversight or attempts to postpone the inevitable.

The Political Action Committee (PAC), We Love Lake Worth, filed over the minimum number of signatures at which time, the City wondered what to do. The same Florida Statute that is involved in the Sunset property lawsuit is at issue here. That particular Statute says that local governments cannot hold a referendum on a development order that affects 5 or fewer parcels. If the property affects 6 or more parcels, then a referendum can be held. The City's Charter allows referendums on ordinances but does not single out development orders for special treatment.

What the defendants are attempting to do here is convince the Court that there are more than 6 parcels here and therefore, a referendum should be allowed.

What a shame that we are made aware of this after the good faith effort shown by the City and Greater Bay in working cooperatively towards a real deadline on the pool work so that a State of Florida grant would not be lost. That deadline was April 30th and according to all accounts that I have heard, they will make that deadline.

There is another lawsuit regarding the provisions of the lease and development agreement between Greater Bay and the City. I haven't heard a report on where that stands, other than the City made amendments to the agreement in response to that lawsuit, but that will not deter those that filed the suit.

Have you ever been to the Cove Restaurant in Deerfield Beach, it's on the Intracoastal and has a delightful nighttime dining environment? I recently went there with friends and we thought how nice it would be to have such a place on our Lake Worth beach. Until these lawsuits are resolved, I guess we will just have to imagine the possibilities.