Saturday, January 17, 2009

Robert Frost's Poem from JFK Inaugural

For John F Kennedy's inauguration as President of the United States Robert Frost wrote a new poem entitled, "Dedication".

"... The glory of a next Augustan age
Of a power leading from its strength and pride,
Of young ambition eager to be tried,
Firm in our free beliefs without dismay,
In any game the nations want to play.
A golden age of poetry and power
Of which this noonday's the beginning hour."

But the poet was old (87) and he couldn't see the words because of the sun's glare that bright, cold January day. The poem's newness to him and his unfamiliarity with and uncertainty about the way it went caused him to stumble uncertainly with his voice and tone and he gave up. Instead he fell back on an old one and recited it impeccably:

~ The Gift Outright ~

The land was ours before we were the land's.
She was our land more than a hundred years
Before we were her people. She was ours
In Massachusetts, in Virginia.
But we were England's, still colonials,
Possessing what we still were unpossessed by,
Possessed by what we now no more possessed.
Something we were withholding made us weak.
Until we found out that it was ourselves
We were withholding from our land of living,
And forthwith found salvation in surrender.
Such as we were we gave ourselves outright
(The deed of gift was many deeds of war)
To the land vaguely realizing westward,
But still unstoried, artless, unenhanced,
Such as she was, such as she would become.

~ Robert Frost; 1874-1963 ~

Friday, January 16, 2009

Affordable housing cut could halt Lake Worth project

Click title for link to PB Post article. I helped write the grant for New Urban Communities. They came in second in the state out of 47 applications. To cut this program now is irresponsible. The article suggests that Governor Crist may veto the cut.

Click here to send e-mail to the Governor.

If the link doesn't work, it's - cut and paste into e-mail.

Reminder: Festival of Trees Tomorrow!

The 4th Annual Festival of Trees returns this Saturday, January 17th from 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. at
the Lake Worth Cultural Plaza located at 414 Lake Avenue in historic downtown Lake Worth. This free family event will feature live music throughout the day as well as educational opportunities stressing the environmental and personal health benefits of trees and plants. Local nurseries and plant societies will be offering a stunning array of native trees and plants for sale to the public.

“This is a great opportunity for residents to buy directly from local nurseries, learn how to prune and care for their trees, and ask that nagging question ‘what’s eating my plant?’” said Gael Silverblatt, Chair of the Lake Worth City Tree Board. “People have a lot of fun, listen to great music and it’s all free. Don’t have a green thumb? Attend the Plant Clinic from 11 a.m. - Noon, hosted by expert gardener and author Robert Haehle. In addition to being the author of two books, “Native Florida Plants,” and “A Garden Diary: A Guide to Gardening in South Florida,” Haehle hosts a Sunday morning radio show “Garden Talk” and has been a Garden Columnist for the Sun-Sentinel for over a decade.

City of Lake Worth Grounds Maintenance Supervisor David McGrew believes the event is a wonderful way to provide the public with educational information about tree care and canopy restoration. “People don’t realize how important a vibrant tree canopy is, not only for the aesthetic value, but also the benefits of shade, animal habitat and carbon reduction in urban areas.” Instructional opportunities will include demonstrations on proper tree pruning, planting techniques, yard birdscaping, water harvesting, composting, the restoration of hurricane damaged tree canopy and much more. “We’re stewards of the environment, and this event gives us the information we need to be responsible ones,” McGrew adds.

This year’s live music will run the gambit from jazz to folk to rock. Local band Sound Proof will take the stage from 9 a.m. - 11 a.m. and again from 12 Noon - 2 p.m. According to Jason Hanley, spokesperson and band member, the music of Sound Proof can be described as “impromptu, good feeling music, spiced with jazz, blues and world music.” At 2 p.m. a trio of local artists will entertain guests with their lively combination of blue grass, jazz and contemporary rock ‘n roll.

Attendees will also have the opportunity to view the colorful new nylon banners depicting native leafs and flowers which line the light poles on Dixie and Federal Highways. These banners were commissioned by the Lake Worth City Tree Board and handcrafted by renowned American artist Bill Godfrey. Throughout the event informational materials will be available to all, and environmental educational opportunities will be provided by the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, the Native Plant Society, the Sierra Club, the Marshall Foundation, the Solid Waste Authority, the South Florida Water Management District and the Department of Environmental Resource Management. Event sponsors include the City of Lake Worth, Lake Worth Community Redevelopment Agency, Lake Worth City Tree Board, and the Palm Beach Post.

FEC (east RR tracks) Study - Continuing Public Input Opportunities

Saturday 1/17 Community Meeting re: CDBG funds

(This is part of an e-mail - origin unknown)

Please attend a community meeting to help decide how the city should spend approximately $250,000 in Community Development Block Grant Funds (CDBG).

Saturday January 17th, 10am – 1pm at the Shuffleboard Courts Building

The city receives CDBG funds from the county and can use them on a wide range of infrastructure projects and/or neighborhood programs. In recent years we have used the money for street calming, sidewalks, and park improvements. We will explain the guidelines as to how money can be used, offer some project ideas from our city staff, and take your project suggestions.

Please attend this meeting to share your ideas on how the money should be spent!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Troubled hotel project faces at least 4 more years of delay

Click title for link to PB Post article. We heard from the Convention and Visitors Bureau at the last Commission meeting about the importance of the Gulfstream to the regional tourist economy. The delay of the convention center hotel in WPB makes it more so.

Outlook bleak for South Florida's housing market

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Greater Bay Group: No other contractor should work on rebuilding Lake Worth casino

Click title for link to PB Post article re December 23, 2008 Greater Bay letter.

Good News from CRA Meeting - Merger with Sheriff's Office Saves $240,000

As the memo above indicates, had we stayed with our former City of Lake Worth Police Department, the CRA would have spent about $340,000 for additional patrols throughout the CRA district in this current fiscal year. When the CRA board considered and approved its budget, it was at a time when the impact of the sheriff department take-over hadn't been realized and no one was sure what the arrangement would be with the sheriff department in terms of additional patrols.

Due to the increased visibility and sense that level of service is much improved under the sheriff, the CRA is now able to fund one special officer, designated for work within the CRA district. This person can also work with code enforcement on certain CAT team matters and patrols. To fund this position costs $100,000 for the rest of this year - thus opening up other funding possibilities for the un-needed $240,000 remaining portion of the contractual services line item.

I made it a point that this represents a savings due to the merger with the Sheriff's office and should be included in any sort of "plus and minus" analysis of the merger.

The CRA also contracted with a consulting group "Hands-on." This group will work hand-in-hand with CRA staff in a 30 block yet-to-be-identified area, targeting artists and low and moderate income persons for housing and studio needs. Some people who attended the meeting left thinking that this group will just be putting together a study for the CRA. Their scope is much broader than that and includes getting Lake Worth put on the map nationally and internationally as an artist-friendly community. More news on this later. We will be having a joint City Commission/CRA workshop on January 27th where we will discuss this effort and other marketing/redevelopment items. In deference to the Commission, execution of the contract with the consulting group is delayed until after our workshop.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Gay reverend retires Lake Worth Rev. Nolan bids well

Click title for South Florida Blade article.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Letter from my Grandfather to family - 1918

Click title for a link to a letter transcribed by my cousin. It is from my Grandfather to his family after his first week in the Army. He was drafted to fight in WW I and spent much of his time in France. He ended up becoming a Methodist minister. The family moved from town to town in his effort to build up churches around Ohio in the 30s, 40s and 50s.

A peek back into time. Thank you Dawn!

From last night's downtown LW trip...

No, George Benson was not in town, not that I know of. But, hey, it's a cool song and a cool town.

Trash Pick-up in Lake Worth: "This week was next week last week."

Here it is Sunday afternoon and there are still vegetation piles and green cans dotting the neighborhood streets. Few people can figure out what I refer to the "Ouiji Board" Waste Collection Calendar. New Year's week was to be household pick-up on Friday here - which never happened. So, people left out their household goods out during during week that just passed. Those items were picked up yesterday. Others, thinking that it was vegetation week, set out the green stuff on Friday. No one came. A friend of mine who lives south of me, but east of Dixie and north of downtown, said that yesterday someone from the city came around looking at his vegetation pile he had out yesterday. He was told that it was put out a week early and that he had 24 hours to pick it up - or he would be fined. Within the hour, a truck came by and picked up the same vegeation.

Can someone please introduce the right hand to the left? Can someone please put together a coherent schedule and get the message out?