Saturday, August 30, 2008

Surprise E-mail from Iraq

A civil engineer friend of mine, who I used to work with when I lived in Kalamazoo, has apparently taken a job in Iraq. He is currently working on rebuilding a bridge that was blown up by a car bomb. He didn't go into a lot of detail as to his location - I hope to find out soon. But, I thought you would be interested in some of the pictures he sent from there.

He didn't send along any descriptions with the photos, but you can get a sense of what life and the environment are like there.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Lake Worth Auditorium Pic from early 1960s

See message below regarding a visit to the Lake Worth Museum:


It is fine to use that photo I sent to you. I will plan to make you a DVD of the entire presentation when we get it completed. I took your advice and visited the museum this morning. I was greeted by Beverly Mustaine who apparently is the curator (or at least employee) – the only employee. At first she told me she would have to charge me for any photos I wanted. I brought my digital camera in hopes of taking a picture of a picture – if one was to be found. After I showed her my scrap book for our church and some of the early photos – she became friendlier and allowed me to take a photo of the auditorium (which is attached).

She also informed me that the museum was being closed the first October – and that she was being laid off. She apparently knows you and seemed to be surprised that you had a collection of photos.

I was surprised there is not a Historical Society in Lake Worth. Since I am no longer a resident of Lake Worth – I guess I would have no influence, but I’m just very surprised that the city is not going to take care of its historical collection and that some group is not coming forth to save/preserve what is there.


Thanks , that's a great picture and I especially like the sign. Yes, I have heard that the museum was threatened with closure - however, I thought there was some question regarding it. From what Beverly said, it sounds like it is more of a sure thing. That concerns me. We do have the Historical Society of Palm Beach County and they recently opened a museum in the 1916 courthouse that was just restored in West Palm Beach. They would have the ability to store and have Lake Worth items available for review and study, but it would be nice to keep it in Lake Worth. I'll do some snooping and see what I am able to find out.

Yes, I know Beverly - I used to live near-by her and would see her walk to work everyday. She did some research for me on owners of my current home, which I found fascinating!

Have a good weekend and good luck with your project. Let me know if there is something else I can help you with.

Wes Blackman

Compass nominated by a local community leader for the 2008 Dorothy H. Wilken BEST PRACTICES AWARD

Winner of the Best Practices Award will be announced October 22 at Best Practices 2008: Great Organizations ... Great Communities.
The Dorothy H. Wilken Best Practices Award honors a business, government or non-profit organization that strives for continuous improvement and excellence. The award, originally called the Dorothy H. Wilken Outstanding Leadership Award, was established in 2004 to honor the former Clerk's 30-year career in community and organizational leadership. The name was changed in 2007 to the Best Practices Award to better capture the spirit of the annual event in which it is presented.
For more info call 561-355-2468 or click here

Sun Sentinel, PB Post and Miami Herald will share content

Reinforcements worth cost for Lake Worth

Thank you Palm Beach Post for not swallowing what the opposition has offered up. Can we stop being obstructionist for the sake of being obstructionists, Commissioners Jennings and Golden?

Thursday, August 28, 2008

FYI: Distributed by Panagioti Tsolkas at Tuesday night's meeting:

Panagioti in one of his moments
amongst officers of the law.

Not trying to tempt fate...

But this is an artifact dated 2005 from the city's website. It's a color-coded map of the electric utility service area that indicates the approximate time for restoration of power after Hurricane Wilma. After that particular storm, I was without power for 18 days due to damage to the meter connection to my house. This serves as a good reminder of the perils we face this time of year. It's also a good visual image of the geographic area covered by our electric utility and how it is much greater in size than the roughly 5 mile by 5 mile city boundary.

Help with Historic Photos

A gentleman contacted me who is doing a historical video presentation on the Lake Worth First Church of the Nazarene. I was able to help him out with some photos of the Lake Worth Municipal Auditorium, our current City Hall, where the group first met. They paid the city the princely sum of $10 a week for the privilege of holding services there. Here is a picture of the group in front of the building from 1948.

They would like to find a higher resolution street view of the building from any era. One of the photos that they could use in the video is the one below, but it needs to be in a higher resolution. If you can help, please e-mail me at Thanks.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

In Denver, Obama nominated by ACCLAMATION!

This was the song played after Hillary Clinton, representing the New York delegation, made a motion to suspend the rules and nominate Barack Obama by acclamation.

Some of the "deliberations" from last night's Commission meeting re Sheriff

Surfrider Press Conference Announcement - 8/27

Press Conference Announcement

Town of Palm Beach Snubs “Reach 8” Olive Branch

PALM BEACH August27th- Rumors that the Surfrider Foundation, Snook Foundation and three individuals challenging the Reach 8 dredge-and-fill project had “initiated” the settlement are untrue. Surfrider et al. had simply returned to the table Friday afternoon with a written compromise, similar to those offered at various intervals in this fight, after the Town attorneys’ last-ditch request for a settlement option. A press conference will be held today to discuss the case and the proposed settlement terms.


12:10pm,Wednesday, August 27, 2008


Palm Beach Town Hall Steps, 360 South County Road, Palm Beach, FL

The Chapter had offered the Town possibly the best collection of coastal science minds in the Country, to explore the most sustainable and cost-effective ways to manage and balance the Town’s coastal resources. The offer included the following:

The Petitioners, Surfrider Foundation, Snook Foundation, Terry Gibson, Tom Warnke, and Captain Danny Barrow hereby agree to withdraw their challenge to the current draft Reach 8 permit and not initiate any challenge to the joint Army Corps of Engineers Permit for Reach 8 if the Town and DEP agree to do one of the two following options:

1. Perform dune restoration only for the proposed Reach 8 beach segments.

2. Perform dune restoration and additional fill for the area south of the Lake Worth Pier only.

a. For the areas that the DEP has declared dune restoration only, this remains in effect.

b. Reduce the amount of fill by starting the project area 500 feet south of the southeast corner of the municipal parking lot using the same taped design. In accordance with the Town’s expert Dr. Dean method 1 model, as stated in his report, using 100 cubic yd/foot would only require approximately 250-260,000 cubic yards of fill material.

c. To ensure compatible sand, the sand used for the fill must be trucked in from an inland compatible sand source. Use Palm Beach County’s methodology and criteria for trucking inland sand and have a third party present for monitoring

All dune restoration shall include immediate plantingof native species to ensure dune stabilization. To help cover the costsassociated with the dune restoration, Surfrider volunteers will help plant thedunes to save additional costs to the Town.

Use the money that the Town had appropriated for the legal costs associated with the Reach 8 project for helping to restore the sand transfer plant at Singer Island and begin the process to revise the outdated Beach Management Plan. Surfrider will also work with the Town on restoring the sand transfer plant.

If Borrow areas V and VI are proposed in the future, new proper vibracore sampling will be necessary to ensure sand compatibility.

Surfrider Foundation would make their top experts from across the country available to discuss and plan for the preparation of the project as proposed herein.

This offer must be presented to the entire Town of Palm Beach Council for vote.

In the interest of keeping engineers and lawyers from fleecing Palm Beach taxpayers ofupwards $20 million, the Town still refused the settlement offer. Surfrider et al. have rock-solid evidence provingthat the project designed by Coastal Planning& Engineering (CPE) is fatallyflawed. “The only possible result of this project is the destruction ofthe beach/reef ecosystems, displacement of surfing/fishing/diving communities,and a colossal waste of Town and State tax dollars” said plaintiffCaptain Danny Barrow.

The administrative court process is not the only or last place the project is likely to be challenged. “The federal (Army Corps) permit still has not been issued, and the petitioners will challenge its issuance if necessary” said Petitioners’ attorney Jane West. Win, lose or draw, these decisions will likely face appeals by either losing both party. This is a process that could have been avoided by the Town. However, now the end is nowhere in sight.

The trial will carry on at the Town of Palm Beach, Emergency Operations Center, 355 South County Road, Palm Beach, Florida. The trial will continue through August 29, September 2 through 6, and Sept 8 to 12, 2008.

Tonight: Truth Matters Show - 8/27 - 7 p.m.

Click here for stream. Visit the message board for related thread for comments and questions during show.

Thanks for visiting.

This program is brought to you by:

Ed Morse Honda
Call Today: 866-466-0408
Visit website

Two Frank Lloyd Wright homes featured in the L.A. Times

Message from Joel Morganstern re: Status of C.O.P. Program

Hello Everyone,

I hope everyone had a great summer. I just wanted to let everyone know that the contract with the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Department was signed last evening.

Our Department will be changing over to P.B.S.O. Please continue with your patrols as usual and as more information becomes available I will let you know. The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Department probably has the finest C.O.P. program in the country. I am sure our program will continue, but just how it will be tweeked I don’t know yet.

Thanks again for all you have done, and I am sure this program will only get better.


Joel Morganstern

Crime Prevention Specialist

Lake Worth Police Department

Election Results - Palm Beach County - 8/26

Do we know where we're going to?

Commission Ratifies Sheriff Contract - 3 to 2

After a seemingly endless string of questions from Commissioners Jennings and Golden, the City Commission voted to execute the agreement that would allow the takeover of police operations in the city of Lake Worth by the Palm Beach County sheriff's office.

I am still retrieving the information that was made available early yesterday afternoon. I plan to talk on the experience of being at the meeting during my Truth Matters show tonight at 7 p.m. I will also report some of what was discussed at our CRA meeting that was held at the same time.

In the meantime, here are some phrases that were heard in the crowd last night, along with a link to their associated definitions:



eleventh hour


From Tom Warnke: Closed-door session in Palm Beach reveals 500K cash offer, Press Conference set for noon on Wed.

Here is an update from the Town of Palm Beach closed-door Town Council meeting held tonight. The meeting was to consider a possible settlement in the ongoing legal case challenging the proposed Reach 8 dredge and fill project.

As a result of revelations during tonight's meeting, and to further detail the proposed settlement, petitioners in the case have called a news conference for 12:10 P.M. Wednesday, August 27th, in front of the Town of Palm Beach Town Hall. Attorneys for the Surfrider Foundation, the Snook Foundation, and three other individual plaintiffs called the press conference. The City of Lake Worth and the Eastern Surfing Association have joined the legal action as intervenors opposed to the proposed dredge and fill project.

Although the Palm Beach Town Council voted not to accept a proposal from the petitioners, it was revealed that private attorney's hired by the Town recently offered $500,000.00 to the plaintiffs if they would drop the legal challenge. Although the offer was refused, it was unknown to the Town Council until tonight's meeting, and caused considerable consternation among council members. Additional details about the actual offer put forward by the plaintiffs will be announced during the news conference, as well as recent efforts and proposals by the plaintiffs to preserve Palm Beach's native sand beaches.

At 9:00 A.M. on Wednesday all parties to the case will continue with the third day of the expected three-week Florida DEP hearing on the case, being held at the emergency operations center on the third floor of the Town of Palm Beach Fire Department. The hearing is open to the public.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Town of Jupiter's Millage Rate Compared with other Municipalities

Jupiter's 2007-2008 Millage Rate

General Fund

Capital Improvements .1528
Debt Service .2442
TOTAL 2.4939

2007-2008 Millage Rates for Palm Beach County Municipalities

Boca Raton 3.3057
Palm Beach 3.3637
Lake Worth
7.2959 (operating)
Wellington 2.3400
Palm Beach Gardens 5.2540
Tequesta 5.7671
Boynton Beach 6.4803
Delray Beach 6.5783
West Palm Beach

For those who like to say that the Town of Jupiter is "just like" the City of Lake Worth when it comes to the provision of a Day Labor Center, I offer the comparison above. This information comes from the Town of Jupiter's website - with the addition of Lake Worth as a comparison. The millage rate shown for Lake Worth does not include debt millage, where the others do.

So, one can conclude that Jupiter is in a far better position than Lake Worth in terms of its ability to sponsor services intended for the undocumented resident population. Furthermore, its facility was a church formerly and not a recreation facility used by its residents on a daily basis. It is also part of a larger property that is part of the community's master plan for its governmental complex - this could be seen as a similarity between the two if the intent is to move City Hall further west eventually and use the current Shuffleboard Court property as part of it. But, that is where the similarity ends.

I also encourage you to surf around the Town of Jupiter website - complete with an RSS feed, on-line building permits, lien searches, bids, RFPs etc. And, even though it is light years ahead of the City of Lake Worth website, they are taking on an upgrade of it. Click here for an on-line survey asking residents how it can be made better.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Remember to Vote!

Parking Meters in Downtown - Proposed as part of 2008-2009 Budget

Above are pages from the proposed budget which shows a new addition to the city, at least for the time that I have lived here. As far as I can remember, I don't recall parking meters in the downtown. In the budget projections above, there is no itemization of the number of spaces/meters - other than a rough cost estimate of almost $.5 million. The meters are supposed to work in twelve hour cycles, along with the staff to watch them. If you think about the pattern of use in our downtown over the course of day, it is greatly weighted to the evening hours. So does that mean that the meters start working at noon and go to midnight? If anything, we should be encouraging daytime uses in our downtown - or traditional retail stores.

This might serve as a motivating factor for the merchants, restaurant and property owners to come together and organize programs that might include parking validation and the like. If we do end up going to this alternative - which in this sort of economic climate isn't wise - we should combine it with other policies about transportation in and out of the downtown. We will need other transportation alternatives including community bikes, available of rental cars on-demand in the downtown, etc. - all in an effort to be a leader in the green revolution. If we don't pair it with other programs and policies to support, it ends up being an empty new program that will take business from the downtown.

Let's think about this and do some PLANNING before jumping into implementation.

Tropical Storm GUSTAV

RE: Reach 8 Project, Surfrider Lawsuit and Town of Palm Beach Meetings this week

Meetings to be CLOSED DOOR - Not open to the public.

Meetings to be CLOSED DOOR - not open to the public.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Pics from Beach - Lunch at Benny's today - 8/24

Endorsement Letter: Mary Lindsey Campaign

This from Tom Wranke re Reach 8 Dredge and Fill, Town of Palm Beach

The link to the latest Palm Beach Daily News story about the Reach 8 dredge and fill case that I forwarded to you earlier today should have included a note that we take exception to a fact in the story.

According the the News, petitioners approached the Town about a compromise, when actually I believe the Town approached the petitioners.

Please take this possible correction into account when reviewing the story, since it may change the complexion of the case.

The News also reported that a Town meeting early this week would be closed to the public, while it is my understanding that the Tuesday night emergency Town Council meeting is open to the public for participation.



Note: The following is from the Town Calendar on the Town of Palm Beach website - it appears that the Tuesday meeting is closed. I will monitor and tell you of any changes.