Saturday, March 20, 2010

Click here for Part 3 of Bill McGoun's Series "Palm Beach County as it was: Before the urban sprawl"

Click here for link to copyrighted old postcard collection owned by the PB Post.

From the 3/19 City Manager's Report: Official Explanation of Power Outage on 3/16

They are using the "small animal" defense.  Also a lot of verbiage about improved information during outages.  We'll see.  Click for larger image.  Click here for link to the 3/19 City Manager's Report.

By the way, previous City Manager Reports seemed more objective and balanced.  This one seems heavy on the propaganda side of the scale.  It reminds me of the same self-congratulatory breaking each other's arms patting-on-the-back that goes on amongst some members of the City Commission and now extends to members of the CRA too, I understand. 

All is not well in River City!

Lake Worth Public Library Hosts Author Event

The Lake Worth Public Library and Mr. Ace Abbott author of "The Rogue Aviator: In the Back Alleys of Aviation" invite pilots, and everyone to take a wild ride with him on a unique and improbable aviation career spanning over 36 years in his new book. Ace has visited 44 countries with 25 different employers; he takes his readers from Five Star hotels and restaurants to noisy, greasy cargo ramps, and a visit to a Venezuelan jail. He also presents an insider's look at the dark underbelly of the FAA and commercial aviation. This author event will be held at the Lake Worth City Hall Annex at 414 Lake Avenue, Lake Worth in the meeting room at 2:00 pm on Saturday, April 3rd.

Readers may find themselves slack-jawed with amazement as Abbott reveals implausible aviation anecdotes including interesting encounters with celebrities and iconic musicians. Abbott also tells of his many experiences and "war-stories" from his early career as an F-4 Phantom fighter- pilot based in the Far East.

This aviation adventure story/expose' will also reveal the "muck and crud" of the smaller commercial airlines as they slide profitability in front of safety. Abbott also freely exposes several accounts of unethical and often "reactive" response by the FAA and its effects on commercial flight safety, especially situations involving flight crew fatigue.

“The 8 am crew show time (was followed by a lengthy maintenance delay). At approximately 6 pm the flight launched for Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, with a fuel stop in Texas. The return flight to Philadelphia also required a fuel stop, and the bedraggled flight crew did not finish their duty day (and night) until the following morning at 9 am. When Ace suggested to the company check airman that a 25 hour duty day was pretty ridiculous, the check airman responded, "I couldn't agree more but you are singing to the choir.”

From an adrenaline-pumping night airborne refueling mission in the F-4 Phantom, to numerous close encounters in a Learjet, to his final 727 flight, when he briefly flirted with catastrophe during landing at Boston's Logan Airport, Ace Abbott brings his readers in for a final smooth landing as his text validates the idealistic premise that the quality of one's life experiences trumps material wealth and possessions.

Author Bio: Ace Abbott (pen name) was born and raised in the Finger Lakes area of upstate NY and entered the U.S. Air Force in 1965. He served as an F-4 Phantom pilot based in the Far East and returned to the civilian world in 1971. He then flew corporate/charter Learjets until 1979 and after a short stint as a G-159 (turboprop) pilot he transitioned to the Boeing 727. He accumulated nearly 11,000 hours as a 727 Captain with 14 different airlines until he reached the FAA mandatory retirement (age 60) in 2002.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Lake Worth's Pad Mounted Transformers

Tucked into the last page of the March 11 City Manager's report was a series of pictures of pad mounted transformers found in the city.  One would assume this is a representative sample of the condition of these important pieces of our electric utility infrastructure.  Typically, these are placed by the city for larger users of electricity - commercial and industrial clients.  When I supervised construction, these were one of the last things to be delivered by the power company - in my case it was FPL - and then they would issue a temporary release of power so that we could get our final certificate of occupancy.  

The point here is that the pad mounted transformers are owned by the power provider, not the private customer.  Periodic inspection, maintenance and replacement is required by the electric power provider in order to assure safe delivery of electricity and continued functioning of the transformers.  

This is the text that accompanies these pictures:
Looks like these procedures haven't been followed for a long time.  These pictures represent "just a few" of the conditions discovered.  

We need to be concerned.  The top picture looks like someone built a wooden structure over an existing transformer in an attempt to protect it from the elements - which may be akin to pouring gasoline on the fire, so to speak.

Bill Vaughan

"If there is anything the nonconformist hates worse than a conformist, it's another nonconformist who doesn't conform to the prevailing standard of nonconformity."

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Tuesday's Power Outage

I happened to be coming back from a business meeting around 5 p.m. on Tuesday.  My phone rings and it is a good friend who was in downtown Lake Worth - getting ready, she thought, to eat at one of our dining establishments.  She said that the power was out and wondered if I had power at my house, which I didn't know at the time since I wasn't there.  She said that people were wondering, customers and the restaurant's management, how long it would be, whether they should stay and whether the place should stay open, or send their employees home.  She had already called the city's outage "hot line" number and all it said is that there was an outage in the Eden Place area of the city and power would be on at 3 p.m.  I met up with her yesterday and we called the "hot line" number again and it had the same message from the day before.  And this is after the outage.

It turns out that she stayed a while longer, with the other customers staring at each other and the management, wondering what to do.  I won't name names, but someone playing the role of "Town Crier"
was going door to door in the downtown, including this restaurant, barging into the establishment and yelling that the problem was at the main plant, that is was bad and transformers were tripping all over town.  My friend also had called a Commissioner, the one mentioned in the PB Post article from yesterday, and the Commissioner promised to get back with her on the cause and about how long the power would be out.  She never called back.

So, we had a situation in our downtown on Tuesday in the hour leading up to peak dinner time, where businesses didn't know whether to open or close, customers didn't know whether to stay or go and no information was coming from the city - which left a vacuum that was filled by someone hysterically running through town making up what was happening.

By the way, earlier today the message from the outage "Hot Line" was the same as it has been for the past three days, at least.
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The Workforce Alliance Mobile Unit will be at the Lake Worth Public Library on 3/25

Today's visit was cancelled.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Oh Danny boy, the pipes, the pipes are calling
From glen to glen, and down the mountain side
The summer's gone, and all the flowers are dying
'Tis you, 'tis you must go and I must bide.
But come ye back when summer's in the meadow
Or when the valley's hushed and white with snow '
Tis I'll be here in sunshine or in shadow
Oh Danny boy, oh Danny boy, I love you so.
And if you come, when all the flowers are dying
And I am dead, as dead I well may be
You'll come and find the place where I am lying
And kneel and say an "Ave" there for me.
And I shall hear, tho' soft you tread above me
And all my dreams will warm and sweeter be
If you'll not fail to tell me that you love me
I'll simply sleep in peace until you come to me.

The SS United States - her days may be numbered...

Current owner NCL is shopping around for scrapping bids.  The ship is currently berthed south of Philadelphia.  Check out the SS United States Conservancy website for more information.

Click here for an episode of "The Story" - this program aired Tuesday on NPR

Two interesting stories are told.  One is about an Arizona gentleman who is a mortgage broker that is walking away from his home.  He decided that it didn't make sense to keep making payments on his house since his mortgage balance is so much higher than the value of his house.  The other is a lighthearted story about someone who filled out Starbuck's comment cards everyday for five years, with some interesting and funny results.  The program is about an hour long.
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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

From a loyal reader: This is a CITY OWNED property an artist is interested in buying/assuming???

Not @ home right now - but I hear large sections of Lake Worth are without power - especially downtown.

Monday, March 15, 2010


Lake Worth, Florida – March 12, 2010 –   Workforce Alliance is on the road again with a Mobile Resource Unit.  They will be visiting the Lake Worth Public Library on Thursday, March 18 from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm. The mobile unit will parked on the northeast corner of Lucerne Ave and North M St. The goal is to make its employment services more accessible to job seekers in the local community, which augments the services of the three Workforce Alliance Career Centers. Reservations are encouraged but not necessary. Please call the Lake Worth Public Library to reserve a time or for more information at 561-533-7354.

The Mobile Resource Unit is equipped with internet access computer stations, and staff professionals are available to help job seekers with resume advice, do on-line job searches, register on the employment website, Employ Florida (, and provide current information on available jobs. 

The Workforce Alliance Mobile Units are also available for local businesses.  Pre-employment screening, assessment or orientation, hiring events and training for current employees, can be made available at nearly any business location.  For more information, please contact 561-340-1060 ext. 2312.

Workforce Alliance is the non-profit company chartered by the State of Florida to develop and manage a workforce system in Palm Beach County.   It operates three Career Centers and offers its professional services to all employers and job seekers in the County.

PBSO Training -and- City Composting Program

PBSO Training:
The Palm Beach Sherriff’s Office is offering a free nine week course from 3/31 - 5/26.  The classes will be held every Wednesday from 6:30-9:30pm.  They'll be reviewing subjects that include Homeland Security, Bomb Squads, K-9 Units, Financial Crimes, Violent Crimes, Narcotics, Jail Intake, Crime Lab and much more.  The classes and demonstrations will be held at various PBSO locations so visual demonstrations and tours can be given to participants.

For more information on the course you can download the class syllabus and application form here:  The last sheet of this document is the application.  If you're interested, please fill out the sheet and either return it to me via email or arrange a meeting time with me via email and I will come pick it up from you to submit.  Please note that all submissions must be made by Friday, March 19th. 
Lake Worth Composting Program:
Lake Worth’s Public Services Director, Joe Kroll, is looking for five people from the Tropical Ridge Neighborhood to take part in a new composting program that the city is beginning. This program will consist of a class where participants will learn about composting and will include the opportunity to get a City rebate on a composter. The composter is ~$75 and it is anticipated that the City will rebate up to ~$50. Please send Joe an email at if you wish to partake in this program.

Census Up-date:

This just came from the city saying that it is "Last Call" for Census jobs.  I was told about three weeks ago, when I took the supervisor's test, that they were not taking any "new" people into the system.  You could re-take the test, but they weren't accepting anyone new.  That might have been for the supervisory level jobs only.  I am all set, after having passed both tests.  So, I'm ready when they are.  I'll let you know when and if I get a call to start.

According to press reports today, the first forms should be on the way to households this week.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Nude Men At The Edge of Manhattan Rooftops

Click title for link to CNN iReport on this urban art installation.

NEW FIND: Click here for Mock-Roos website re progress on Reverse Osmosis plant

This is still a mistake...

The above is a clip from the latest (3/11) City Manager's report.  At least the PZHRPB is still discussing this - next time will be at their March 17 meeting - this coming Wednesday.  This represents another solution in search of a problem.  The direction from the City Commission is to split the function of the boards by establishing a separate HRPB.  Staff objected to this when the item was presented to the City Commission at a recent work session due to funding and staffing concerns - all valid reasons.  This is especially true given the budget crisis the city is currently facing.  Other aspects of this proposal are more confusion by property owners in a historic district that need Certificate of Appropriateness approval and then perhaps other approvals - variances, site plans etc.  It also lengthens the process.  Representation on the new board would be an issue too since the city has to maintain its Certified Local Government status with the state by having certain professions represented on the board.  Here is the list of local governments dating from 2005.

For obstructionists that want obstacles at every turn in city processes, this is just what the doctor ordered.

CNN will have additional showings of this special at 8 and 11 p.m. 3/14