Saturday, December 6, 2008

Follow-up from friend that sent "Weekly Report" from their city...

"The guy that sends this to us it is our own commissioner, famous for his efforts to mitigate early morning golf course noise in and around the city:). The document itself is created by city staffers from data provided by the various city departments for the purpose of public distribution.

It’s funny, I wouldn’t know any of this stuff was going on around here unless I read this each weekly letter – really gives the citizenry a feel for what their elected officials and tax dollars are doing for them. That whole communications things is really underrated!"

Example of one community's "Weekly Highlights" report sent out by City Commissioner

Click title for link to document. This came attached to the following e-mail. The community is Punta Gorda, Florida. Is it that difficult to provide timely and accurate information on a regular basis from the City of Lake Worth?

Once again the city has provided us with a lot of information in the weeks report.

Inside you will find details on the council’s decision to have day docks installed within the Laishley Park Marina basin. They will be floating concrete docks with no amenities as they are not for overnight use. They are expect to be totally funded through a grant.

The council also decided to respond back to the Army Corp. of Engineers regarding a project being proposed by Aqui Esta Development our concerns were regarding a public boat launch ramp and narrow canals in the proposed area.

During the past several months we have experienced an increase in the normal amount of water line breaks that necessitate a boil water notice. Inside the attached you will find details on why this is happening and what measures are being taken to lesson the impacts.

For those of you who may not have heard a second airline, Allegiant Airlines will begin service to Punta Gorda in March. Allegiant has been in business for over 12 years flying to numerous locations in the US, Canada and Mexico.

Have a great weekend.

Bill Albers

Guilty of empty principles

Click title for PB Post editorial on the FPL protesters. Maybe now the editorial staff starts to understand how difficult this "no compromise" group is to deal with in our humble Lake Worth. It would be nice to able to work together someday and tackle some of our city's problems.


The Sleazy Lackey for Corporate Greed and Fascist Xenophobpia.

Scary Reminders...

Click title.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Tree Lighting in the Cultural Plaza

Up-date from Tom Wranke, Surfrider Foundation

News tonight on TV channel 34, wtvx, Reach 8 project

Although the DEP Judge has not yet ruled on the case, and his deadline was Dec. 3rd, Channel 34 is doing a short segment this evening on the project, filmed this afternoon at Phipps Park, site of the last dredge and fill disaster....

Thanks for your support!

Tom Warnke

City Advisory Board Vacancies

Announcement from City of Lake Worth:

The City of Lake Worth is currently seeking volunteers to serve on City Boards with vacancies, as follows:

City Recreation Advisory Board
Construction Board of Adjustments and Appeals
Firefighters' Pension Trust Fund - Division 1
Library Board
Planning & Zoning/Historic Resources Preservation/Nuisance Abatement Boards

If you are interested in serving on the above Boards, please contact the City Clerk's Office at 586-1663 for further information, or the Board Application can be downloaded from the City of Lake Worth's website at All applications must be received by the City Clerk's Office no later than Monday, December 29, 2008, at 5:00 PM.

A Special Meeting will be held on Thursday, January 8, 2009, at 5:30 PM to interview those board applicants who applied for vacant positions.

Pics from Today's Groundbreaking Ceremony on 10th Avenue North

This was fun to do today. I'm the tall guy in the line-up. You can click on the frame above for a full size slideshow if you wish.

The project is following the same pattern as the 6th Avenue South improvements completed about a year and a half ago. The $8.5 million dollar project, with a $250,000 grant from Palm Beach County will completely redo the right-of-way along 10th Avenue North - one of the gateways to the city from I-95. The CRA funded project will replace existing archaic water, sewer and drainage infrastructure, install wider sidewalks and landscaped area along the edge of the road itself. Overhead utilities will be placed underground - making for more pleasing aesthetics and hardening of the electric distribution system so that it is more impervious to hurricane damage.

This effort has been long in the making and also includes newly rezoned land on the block immediately north and south of 10th and north and south 6th Avenues. The rezoning calls for mixed use office and residential projects that will provide a visual and sound barrier from the heavy traffic on the major thoroughfares - protecting the interior neighborhoods.

The improvements will run from A street to Dixie Hwy. and include pavers and other pedestrian improvements. The project will take a little over one year to fully complete.

A timely, seasonal wish for Lake Worth...

Lake Worth votes to end contract to rebuild beachfront casino building

Click title for PB Post article.

Wisdom stands at the turn in the road and calls upon us publicly, but we consider it false and despise its adherents.

Kahlil Gibran

By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest.

Some folks are wise and some are otherwise.
Tobias Smollett

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Click here for link to my latest article in the South Florida Blade

Report on the commemoration of World AIDS Day, December 1, in Lake Worth.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Instead of the Sunshine Law, in Lake Worth we have...

Trial underway for FPL plant protesters

Click title for Palm Beach Post article. Click here for "Open letter" from P. Tsolkas.

Click for Residential Real Estate Sales Info for Past 30 Days - 33460 Zip Code

Just released - Special City Commission Meeting Agenda 12/4

This is an open meeting, thank you very much.

Hmmmm...No formal agenda out yet but...

City Commission
Thursday, December 04, 2008 at 5:30 PM

The purpose of the special Commission meeting is to discuss the Greater Bay Group, Inc. agreements and the McCauley/McNamara vs. City of Lake Worth lawsuit
This appears on the City's website. Perhaps they realized the error of their ways?

Closed Door Special City Commission Meeting 12/3

Can they meet to discuss a matter when the city is not party to litigation? I also understand that Commissioner Cara Jennings asked, regarding discussion on the outstanding pool items (totaling a measly $1,850), if their discussion last night "would affect anything they do tomorrow morning?"

"Jennings said the casino contracts are expected to be discussed today when commissioners hold a closed-door workshop with lawyers." PB Post 12/3 article.

Section 286.011(8) Florida Statutes

(8) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (1), any board or commission of any state agency or authority or any agency or authority of any county, municipal corporation, or political subdivision, and the chief administrative or executive officer of the governmental entity, may meet in private with the entity's attorney to discuss pending litigation to which the entity is presently a party before a court or administrative agency, provided that the following conditions are met:

(a) The entity's attorney shall advise the entity at a public meeting that he or she desires advice concerning the litigation.

(b) The subject matter of the meeting shall be confined to settlement negotiations or strategy sessions related to litigation expenditures.

(c) The entire session shall be recorded by a certified court reporter. The reporter shall record the times of commencement and termination of the session, all discussion and proceedings, the names of all persons present at any time, and the names of all persons speaking. No portion of the session shall be off the record. The court reporter's notes shall be fully transcribed and filed with the entity's clerk within a reasonable time after the meeting.

(d) The entity shall give reasonable public notice of the time and date of the attorney-client session and the names of persons who will be attending the session. The session shall commence at an open meeting at which the persons chairing the meeting shall announce the commencement and estimated length of the attorney-client session and the names of the persons attending. At the conclusion of the attorney-client session, the meeting shall be reopened, and the person chairing the meeting shall announce the termination of the session.

(e) The transcript shall be made part of the public record upon conclusion of the litigation.

Lake Worth Bike Night debuts Dec. 4, 2008

Bikers near and far soon will be rolling into downtown Lake Worth—for a good cause. The inaugural Lake Worth Bike Night, benefiting the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, is scheduled for Thursday, Dec. 4. The event—inspired by the Lake Worth Community Redevelopment Agency and Downtown Cultural Alliance, and organized by Adam Raizin—calls to mind the "can-do" American spirit of the 1940's as retailers, residents and the biking community come together to support Lake Worth and jump-start the holiday shopping season. Tough times take tougher folk.

Downtown merchants of Lake Worth will throw open their collective doors to salute the bikers and welcome them to town. Events for Bike Night include blue-plate specials at Nature's Way, Downtown Pizza and The Taco Lady. Heralded local tattoo artist Mike "Pooch" Pucciarelli from Altered States Tattoo will be on hand. And Havana Hideout will host live music, sponsored by Budweiser, from The Dillengers.

That's not all! Starbucks is giving away free beverages and visiting bikers will be treated to discounts from participating downtown sponsor merchants via a discount "Cherry Card." Pin-up girls will welcome the Harley, BMW, custom choppers and road bikes to town. Lake Worth's own custom chopper builder, Adam Chandler, will have a special display of his unique bikes lined up as well. Body Painting of pin-up girls will draw a crowd to the ML Salon on Lake Ave. Proceeds from the evening's various activities will go to the local Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

Downtown Lake Worth stretches from Dixie Highway to Federal Highway on Lake Avenue. Start time is sundown. The event is free and open to bikers and non-bikers.

Lake Worth Bike Night will continue every Thursday night after its debut. On Dec. 11, check out live music from Slip and the Spinouts.

Sponsored by Adam Raizin/Century 21 Coastline Realty, Studio 205, Lake Worth CRA, Downtown Cultural Alliance, Budweiser and Chandler Originals.

This just in: Elvis will play a special headline act at The Cottage on the Thursday night to welcome Bike Night to Lake Worth.

Leaky LW shuffleboard building to get only essential repairs

Lake Worth, developer plan to discuss casino site future

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Men arrested could be tied to Lake Worth College Park robberies

Support for 'undocumenteds' a slap to citizens

Click title for letter to the editor regarding the prospect of pouring unbudgeted money into the Shuffleboard Court building. Here is the back up for the item that appears on tonight's City Commission agenda.

When the item last appeared on the City Commission agenda (under "Consent Agenda"), the item was pulled and discussed. There was a lot of talk about what is triggering the need for the improvements, why the improvements haven't been done anyway, why this wasn't considered before entering into a lease and prior to the opening of the center, how the certificate of occupancy could be pulled in a month if the improvements are not funded, where the estimates came from and who would do the work, etc., etc.

All of these items are questions worthy of discussion. The staff back-up does little to address these issues other than to provide a rough breakdown of the proposed expenditures. There is a suggestion that some of the work would be done by the City's own labor force - but if that happens what are they being taken away from that might be of a higher priority. And, who gave the bids and how did that abide by our procurement procedures?

By way of contrast, look at Compass and the work they are doing to the former Senior Center. They, not the City, are putting in at least $1.5 million into a city building in the way of mold eradication, installation of an elevator, and other building improvements without any compensation from the City's coffers. Another non-profit that has a favorable lease due to the services they will provide the community.

Now, according to the regime in charge on the dais now, anyone who raises any question about the "resource center" is a racist or a "sleazy lackey for corporate greed and fascist xenophobia." How can we expect to address any of the pressing issues that face our City if we rely on divisiveness to reign on our Commission? I wish more people had thought through their vote before casting it for the likes of Commissioner Cara Jennings et al.

But I can see how the voters could be fooled by Commissioner Jennings - on the campaign trail it was an "employment center" - one that everyone in the City could use and one that was needed in this tough economy.

Yeah, right.

How about we all meet up there and see what sorts of services are rendered for the benefit of all citizens?

Monday, December 1, 2008

Pictures from World AIDS Day - Lake Worth

These were taken today in what was the largest display of the AIDS Names Project Quilt in the state. The panels were to be displayed outside, but the threatening weather all day necessitated the move indoors. A good move it was too as many who passed through the sanctuary at Calvary First United Methodist Church commented that it looked as if the church was filled with the spirits of those represented on the panels. Eric Miller, Co-Chair of the Names Project South Florida Chapter spoke at the candlelight vigil. Along with Scott Fox, Executive Director of Compass, Eric presented a panel dedicated to the late Micheal Brown who was murdered earlier this year. Micheal Brown served on the board of directors for the South Florida chapter of the NAMES Project, bringing the AIDS Memorial Quilt to distant locations such as South Africa, in addition to cities all over the United States. He is the only person known to be memorialized with a panel that did not die from HIV, the virus which causes AIDS.

More pics are available by clicking here.

Sheriff's Helicopter as seen over Columbia Drive today...

This was going on for about an hour or so today - flying in the same circle. Anyone know what was going on?

Later the same day...I just heard that the Sheriff's department caught the group that was burglarizing College Park today. Over 20 homes had been broken into during the day over the past couple of months.

Lake Worth politics: Change gives mandate to Jennings

Classy article by Tony Plakas in the Sun Sentinel. Click title for link.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Upcoming City Commission Meeting - 12/2

Here is the agenda for this coming Tuesday night. We have the pledge of allegiance being led by Commissioner Jennings. That is always a thrill to see/hear which words she chooses to say. Sometimes she does say "...and freedom and justice for all..." or she'll just come in a little late and miss the opportunity entirely.

Since this is the first regular meeting after the results of the elections are known, they will go through the decision of who is Vice Mayor and Vice Mayor Pro Tem. Basically ceremonial titles, they do come into play when the Mayor is absent and cannot run a meeting. If that's the case, then the Vice Mayor takes the gavel. Likewise if the Mayor wants to make a motion, he can pass the gavel to the Vice Mayor to run the meeting while the motion is made. Since the Vice Mayor can be absent as well and the Commission can still have the required quorum when three elected officials are in attendance, we also need a Vice Mayor Pro Tem. Watch for a power play by Commissioner Jennings to get her "favs" those titles. The current Vice Mayor is Commissioner Lowe.

They also will run through the list of various outside organizations where the city of Lake Worth has a seat at the table and re-assign places, if necessary, to accommodate the new Commissioner.

Under presentations, the most notable item listed there is an update from Greater Bay on the Beach property redevelopment project. The Mayor will also present a slide show about his trip to Haiti and put in motion steps for the creation of a sister city relationship.
Under the Consent Agenda, these items pop out. One is the appointment of people to boards where there are existing vacancies. There is a vacancy on the Planning and Zoning et al Board for the last alternate among the list of positions. It will be six more months at least before those seated now have to reapply if their term ends this year. Applications will be taken starting in April or May most likely for the general public.
Under unfinished business, we have the return of the item related to what are now $300,000 worth of necessary improvements to the shuffleboard court building in order to house the day labor center. This is down from the $350,000 that first appeared on a consent agenda previously, but still a significant amount. More on that later before Tuesday's meeting.
Under new business, there is an important item related to the updating of our historic districts through the use of grant funds. This is something that I have been a big proponent of doing. Time does not stand still and as each year passes structures age and more pass into the minimum 50 year age necessary to be a contributing structure in a historic district. The update will also include a look at some of the historic preservation portion of the code and recommend various changes and updates. Long past due but no time like the present.

Expect a lot of conversation about payment of fees to FMPA our electric co-op.

Absent on this agenda is the appeal by Mr. Celi of the Planning Board, HRPB latest decision on the Gulfstream Hotel improvements. Perhaps postponing it until January will dilute some of the reaction from people when they are reminded of Mr. Celi's contributions to Commissioner Jennings and Mulvehill campaigns. He individually contributed $1,500 total in support of their campaigns and so did someone else aligned with his cause. Pay to play anyone??

Man stabbed in Lake Worth supermarket parking lot

ESA and Surfrider update

Contest: The next ESA Palm Beach County District contest, sponsored by Ocean Magic Surf Shop in Jupiter, is set for Sunday, December 7th in Jupiter. Entry deadline is 5 P.M. Wednesday, December 3rd. All ESA divisions will compete for Regional qualifying points. Backup date is the weekend of December 13th and 14th. Entry forms are at, Ocean Magic, or your local Palm Beach County Surf Shop. ESA Palm Beach County District Directors Jen Surgener, Jim Miller and Tom Warnke remind everyone that in order to qualify for Regional slots at Sebastian this spring, all memberships must be current or renewed in December! PBC District info line is 561-324-2812.

Legal ruling: This week ESA will receive the judge's ruling on the legal battle to save surfing at the Lake Worth Pier. ESA, Surfrider Foundation, The Snook Foundation and the City of Lake Worth have all been battling in court over plans by the Town of Palm Beach and DEP to bury the areas surrounding the Lake Worth Pier with poor quality, muddy, dredged material. After weeks of court hearings, and many thousands of dollars in legal fees, December 3rd is the deadline for the judge to rule on this precedent-setting case.

Party: By coincidence, December 4th (Thursday evening) is the "Respect The Beach Party", hosted by the Palm Beach County Surfrider Foundation Chapter. It's an open-to-the-public fund raiser for that same legal battle, and includes the presentation of four "Ocean Warrior Awards" for people who have significantly helped protect our local ocean, waves and beaches. The awards will be presented to Kane Baker, Ed Tichenor, Don French and Jay Cashmere during the party. A week in Tamarindo Bay, Costa Rica, fishing trips, scuba trips and a new surfboard will be part of the items offered at the raffle and silent auction. The Respect The Beach Party is at The Palm Beach Steakhouse, 191 Bradley Place, in Palm Beach, (on the island) from 5:30 until 9:30, and dress is business casual. For more info click on or call 561-236-0155.

Historic Lake Worth Postcards

I put together a quick YouTube video of the postcard collection I scanned. These are in addition to the ones that you have seen before that appear in the upper right hand corner of the blog. There are some duplicates, but I wanted to keep these all together. I'll have more commentary later, but this will give you a taste of what we were. Feel free to share with friends and family.

Woman found dead in Lake Worth apartment

Click title for link to article. A neighbor in the area where this happened is out of town for the holidays. She just called me - a little frantic - to tell me about this.