Saturday, November 28, 2009

"Greenwashing" - Lake Worth Style

Reading the article about how Governor Crist has flipped-flopped on his environmental agenda got me thinking about Lake Worth and recommendations from the Mayor's Climate Control Task Force. You remember - this is the task force that was formed soon after the last "1-3-Mayor" election in 2007. The task force assembled, met, made their recommendations and then was dissolved. One unsuccessful Mayoral candidate this time made the fact of him being chair of the task force a continual theme in his campaign literature and candidate forum appearances.

Supporters of the current majority on the Commission often point out attempts at "greenwashing" by organizations such as FPL, developers, etc., but fail to cast a critical eye on the city's efforts at following its own recommendations. This is one definition of "greenwashing" I found courtesy of Wikipedia.

Greenwashing (green whitewash) is the practice of companies disingenuously spinning their products and policies as environmentally friendly, such as by presenting cost cuts as reductions in use of resources.[1] It is a deceptive use of green PR or green marketing. The term green sheen has similarly been used to describe organizations that attempt to show that they are adopting practices beneficial to the environment.[2]

Below are the fifteen (15) recommendations made by the Climate Control Task Force from March of 2008.

Reading through this list, it would be great to have a report on how the City is doing meeting the stated goals. I am not sure about how these numerous recommendations add up to fifteen, but the task force said there were fifteen so it must be so.

I'd be really interested to know about the City's power consumption. I know just by running around town the the City seems to be the number one violator of watering restrictions - not setting a good example for residents to follow. In fact, I was told that the city water truck was going down Lake Avenue this past week - WHILE IT WAS RAINING - and watering the street trees. The water truck wouldn't have been necessary had the city installed the proper underground watering system, but that's a story for another day.

Perhaps the newly composed Commission will ask for an up-date on how the city is meeting its own environmental recommendations. Perhaps this could be included in a "State of the City" address by our new Mayor?

A small, but practical and symbolic, step would be to have the City Commission packets delivered to the Commission electronically - saving preparation of 3 inch plus thick notebooks of paper each time the Commission meets.

The Commission should also consider building a LEED certified NEW Casino building at the beach - landward of the Coastal Construction Control Line.

For Gov. Charlie Crist, it's not easy being green - St. Petersburg Times

For Gov. Charlie Crist, it's not easy being green - St. Petersburg Times

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Friday, November 27, 2009

Park of Commerce related item on 12/1 City Commission Agenda

One of the items on the next Commission agenda is to extend a contract to Donna Brosemer for assistance with organizing and shepherding the City's progress with the development of the Park of Commerce. This is a good thing and the Commission should approve this unanimously, one would hope.

The City received a $250,000 matching grant in August from the Economic Development Administration to inventory the public infrastructure needs in the future Park of Commerce (an area of about 400 acres, west of I-95, south of 10th Avenue and north of Lake Worth Road). The City had to come up with a cash match in order to take advantage of the grant. This was in no way guaranteed. There was a lot of reluctance and hemming and hawing about where the money would come from and if it fit in to other City priorities. The City Manager got over the reluctance and found the matching money and the City is going through with the project. All this is a good thing, except for the initial reluctance.

If you read the back-up material on the item, you might find the following a little unusual - especially in light of the Sunshine Laws under which the City operates.

This line appears at the end of the "Reviewed by and Recommendation" of the transmittal memo. I don't remember ever seeing a reference to how other elected officials are leaning as part of a memorandum from staff. Isn't this telegraphing how certain members will vote? It makes one wonder if this is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of the behind-closed-doors conversations that take place at City Hall.

Again, nothing against this particular item, but there are many things in Lake Worth that "make you go hmmmm...."

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

A little giving of thanks by ABBA...

A mentor figure of mine today referred to me as a "swashbuckling urban planner"...

This is one definition of that term that I was able to find:

"The word "swashbuckler", in the modern sense, generally describes a fearless romantic archetype, a fictional, adventurous, sword-wielding, male character who seeks to win the heart of a beautiful lady while rescuing society from the clutches of a dastardly villain. A classic swashbuckler exhibits exceptional courage and swordfighting skill, a strong sense of honor and justice, a chivalric romantic sense, and the capacity for wit, style, and resourcefulness under pressure."



National and local initiatives partner to create HIV prevention message for World AIDS Day

LAKE WORTH, FL – In recognition of World AIDS Day, the NAMES Project and Compass have once again joined together to display the largest collection of the AIDS Memorial Quilt in Florida at Compass’ new home in downtown Lake Worth. This year, the display has been extended to include an array of events starting November 30th and culminating with a very special room dedication ceremony and Quilt closing ceremony December 12th. The AIDS Memorial Quilt, founded in 1987, is the largest piece of community folk art in the world, a 54-ton collage affixed with the names of 91,000 victims of AIDS.

Compass will host a candlelight vigil with a Quilt Induction ceremony November 30th at 6pm and have the 256 panels on display thru December 12th. Palm Beach County Department of Health Director, United Deliverance Executive Director, Treasure Coast Health Council Executive Director and Newly appointed Lake Worth Mayor will be among other local community leader to participate in Compass’ annual Calling of Names on November 30th. Other events include a Youth Education Day, Wellness Empowerment Luncheons, Palm Beach County Substance Abuse Coalition presentation and an Interfaith service; for complete list please go to

“Compass is always looking for opportunities to work closer with national and local initiatives to provide Palm Beach County with resources needed to educate our residents about HIV and how to live a stronger and healthier life,” said Tony Plakas, Compass’ CEO. “The AIDS Memorial Quilt is one of the strongest tools in raising awareness and helpings cope with the loss of loved ones.”

The quilt panels on display will include a panel for youth called “Children Around the World”, a Compass HOPE Youth group panel, Connors Nursery Block and Sandpiper Shores Elementary School block. Compass is expecting group visits from local Gay-Straight- Alliances as well as groups from organizations like Pace Center for girls.

­ “Palm Beach County ranks in the nation’s top 10 counties for people living with HIV/AIDS,” said Eric Miller, Compass’ HIV Prevention and Testing Coordinator and the southeast regional director of the NAMES Project. “By joining together locally to promote awareness about AIDS, we can make a global impact in the effort to end AIDS.”

Compass was founded as The Stop AIDS Project in 1988 and has provided HIV prevention since. World AIDS Day at Compass sponsors include Wal-Mart, Gilead, Walgreens, Commcare, EMD Serono, Tibotec, Canthus Inc, H.G. Roosters and Palm Beach County Substance Abuse Coalition. Compass is located at 201 N. Dixie Hwy., Lake Worth, FL 33460, for more information, call (561) 533-9699.

Nearly 33.4 million people in the world are living with HIV/AIDS. The UNAIDS has estimated that approximately 2.7 million have been infected with HIV in 2008 and the CDC reports that there are over one million Americans living with HIV/AIDS of which a quarter of those do not know that they are infected.


In recognition of World AIDS Day, the NAMES Project and Compass have once again joined together to display the largest collection of the AIDS Memorial Quilt in Florida at Compass’ new home in downtown Lake Worth. This year, the display has been extended to include an array of events starting November 30th and culminating with a very special room dedication ceremony and Quilt closing ceremony December 12th. For more info, call 561-533-9699 or visit


Compass is the largest gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community center in the Southeast United States. Compass aims to diminish stereotypes by challenging long-standing misconceptions about the character of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. We accomplish this by emboldening our youth, promoting pride in our community, and acting as an educator, advocate, health service provider, and focal point for community organizing. As good neighbors, effective partners, and respected participants in our civic responsibilities, Compass promotes awareness of the caring nature of our diverse community.

Two people have asked...

About street signs along 10th Avenue North and why the lettered side streets are labeled with quotation marks. Above is the sign detail that guided the design of the signs. I have asked and will continue to follow through. My guess is that it is used to distinguish the "initial" from the "direction" so that if the street is a vowel, a word is not formed. I have looked through FDOT's handbook and haven't found a reference to this. You can check yourself. I'll let you know if I find out more.

I would suggest that in the meantime one should concentrate on other things, as this does not rank as one of the most burning issues of our time.

John Fitzgerald Kennedy

"As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them."

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Samuel Adams

"It does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires in people's minds."

Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for 10th Avenue North - 12/11 @ 1:30 p.m.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Click here for Casino Building-related posts.

Too many to bump all of them. Any questions, please post under comments here.

Lake Worth Holiday Parade - December 12th

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Do you have any luck downloading this from the City's website?

DO NOT ATTEMPT! Read below!

Click here to go to the City's website page where the solicitation for letters of intent and statement of qualifications can be found regarding rehabilitation of the casino building. This went up on Thursday. I have repeatedly tried to download the document and keep getting an error message.

Is anyone else having the same problem? If you are fortunate enough to get it to work, can you e-mail me a copy?

Update: Do not attempt to download this document! It has serious flaws that could mess up your computer system. Thank you Mr. Tibbs (see comments) who found the "real" file. Click here to go to a pdf of the document - which is safe to download.

Think of this. This is the link given by the city so that architects and engineers can respond. What sort of impression will they have when they encounter this problem?

By the way, there has been a lot of editing and moving things around on the website recently - so if you knew where things were before, it is probably more difficult to find them now. There is also much new "editorial" content about what sort of city Lake Worth is that may or may not be appropriate for a website that should be a neutral way to access city information.

MEDIA ADVISORY November 21, 2009

PBSO is actively working a shooting in the City of Lake Worth..PBSO received a 911 call of a shooting in the 100 block of “K” Street about 6:50pm. Deputies found a B/M adult victim in the alley with a gunshot wound to the arm. The victim was transported to JFK Hospital with non life threatening injuries. Deputies are looking for a B/M suspect that is approx 6’ tall average weight and wearing a blue top who was last seen getting into a white vehicle. There is no motive for this shooting at this time. Detectives are on their way to investigate. Anyone with information is asked to call PBSO at 688-3400 or Crimestoppers at 800-458-TIPS.
D/S Eric Davis
PBSO Media Relations