Saturday, October 9, 2010

From Loyal Reader: Question about Nationwide Insurance...

"Do you know what is going on with our regular Homeowners Ins? Nationwide sent me a cancellation Notice, and referred me to another Company. I just got my premium and it is through the roof just like my blood pressure since I opened the envelope. Last year I paid $604, My new premium is $1386.00. I have never had a claim with my regular homeowners policy? I'm sure I need to look around, do you have any suggestions?"

From my experience, when my house had to be inspected for renewal of my Citizen's windstorm policy, they required a "four point" inspection - which included the major systems in your house, including electric. My house was built in 1951 and has much of its original electric. It is on my list to upgrade, but it amounts to a very tidy sum. Well, it turns out they cannot write a "windstorm only" policy if one of your systems does not meet current standards. However, it had no effect on whether I could still carry property/casualty insurance. So, if God forbid, my house burns down due to an electrical fire, my property/casualty policy will cover the damage. Citizens wouldn't be on the line for a cent, since it wasn't caused by wind. Does this make sense to you? I see it as the insurance industry mandating reduced risk through legislation to lessen their exposure. It stinks.  I am insured by Nationwide and just paid my policy for the year without a drastic increase.

Feel free to add comments if you have a similar story or suggestions.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Frozen in Time, a Palace Worthy of the Packard

Frozen in Time, a Palace Worthy of the Packard
Published: October 8, 2010
What began as the premier Packard dealership in Dayton, Ohio, then lay dormant for decades, is now a center for all things Packard.

This article appears in the New York Times today. It happens to be about a museum that I am assisting with transit and geothermal utility issues, along with interfacing with the city of Dayton. Thought you might be interested in what else I did during my summer vacation.  Great spotlight on a unique place.

Communication with Lynn A re: Mayor's Stipend

Click here for link to .pdf of conversation.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Traveling today - many comments in queue.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

My take on the Mayor endorsing candidates...

If you think a while on how our system is set up, all of the Commissioners and the Mayor are elected by the same people.  No Commissioner is elected just from the district that they serve.  Other than running meetings, making a little more money and being the titular head of the city, nothing really distinguishes the Mayor from a Commissioner.  The Mayor position does not carry an automatic pledge of neutrality.

There is a long record of Commissioners supporting other candidates.  Case in point:
So showing preference for a certain candidate has been done for a long time by sitting City Commissioners.  Our last Mayor chose not to engage in the practice so Mayor Varela's current endorsement of Blockson and Maxwell seems new, but it really isn't.  The argument that somehow this is inappropriate is more sour grapes or wishful thinking than anything else.

Lake Worth tells day-labor center, three other organizations to move out of City Hall Annex

Results of the meeting last night reported in the PB Post, click title for link.  Jennings' comments about how closing the center in these economic times is "inappropriate."  The biggest problem that I had with the labor center is that it was using a city recreation facility intended for ALL the residents of Lake Worth.  My visit there after it opened was meant to show that it really wasn't serving the needs of the entire city.  I was one person in College Park that was in need of employment, I registered and never received a call or even an acknowledgement.  This was then used against me as being "sneaky" by my opponent in the Commission race last year.  And, Commissioner Jennings, it was inappropriate to put this facility in this location due to it not being permitted by land use and zoning.

How much city money was spent upgrading the building due to the arrival of the labor center?

Dalai Lama

We can think of honesty and dishonesty in terms of the relationship between appearance and reality. Sometimes these synchronize, often they do not; but when they do, that is honesty, as I understand it. So we are honest when our actions are what they seem to be. When we pretend to be one thing but in reality we are something else, suspicion develops in others, causing fear. And fear is something we all wish to avoid.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Public Information Sessions Available on Upcoming Ballot Questions

In addition to the long list of candidates, there will be many complicated ballot questions on the November ballot.  The County’s Legislative Affairs Department will be  conducting countywide public information sessions on the state and local ballot amendments/initiatives  appearing on the November 2nd ballot. 

Below is the schedule for these upcoming workshops. Please note that these are education sessions and are not intended to advocate either for or against any particular amendment. 


In case you didn’t notice……..It’s Election time!
In addition to candidates, several ballot initiatives will be voted on this year. Often times these can be confusing.
Come learn about the different initiatives from the County’s Legislative Affairs Department and get a clearer picture of what you’ll be voting on come November. An educated voter is the best voter!
Preregister by contacting the telephone numbers provided below (as requested).  The program will take approximately 60 minutes. 
USA Flag
Tues., Oct. 12, 2:00 p.m.
Hagen Ranch Rd.

14350 Hagen Ranch Rd., Delray Beach
Phone: 894-7500
(No preregistration necessary at Hagen Ranch Road program.)

Wed., Oct. 20, 2:00 p.m.
Glades Rd. Branch

20701 95th St., Boca Raton
Phone: 482-4554

Tues., Oct. 5, 2:30 p.m.
Lantana Rd. Branch

4020 Lantana Rd., Lake Worth
Phone: 304-4500
Tues., Oct. 5, 6:30 p.m.
Jupiter Branch

705 Military Tr., Jupiter
Phone: 744-2301

Thurs., Oct. 7, 2:30 p.m.
Belle Glade Branch

530 S. Main St., Belle Glade
Phone: 996-3453
Wed., Oct. 6, 6:30 p.m.
Okeechobee Blvd. Branch

5689 Okeechobee Blvd., West Palm Beach
Phone: 790-6030
Thurs., Oct. 7, 6:00 p.m.
Wellington Branch

1951 Royal Fern Dr., Wellington
Phone: 790-6070
Commissioner Steven L. Abrams
Palm Beach County Board of County Commissioners

Monday, October 4, 2010

Boil Water Notice

A precautionary boil water notice will be issued for the area served by the Lake Worth potable water distribution system described below. The reason for this notice is: Repair of 6 inch water main and new installation of 6 inch water valve. Water will be turned off from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM on October 4th 2010. Therefore, as a precaution, the Utility is advising that all water used for drinking, cooking, making ice, brushing teeth, or washing dishes be boiled. A rolling boil of one minute is sufficient. This notice effects 36 customers and includes the following addresses: 3rd Ave North 1733-1746-1751 multiple units. This precautionary boil water notice will remain in effect: for 72 hours until September 7th 2010. Residents will be notified if additional water samples need to be taken and if the City needs to extend this notice. Door hangers will be passed out Should you have any questions please contact the Water Systems Department at (561) 586-1719.

Stephen Wiltshire draws large cities from memory

From the City's RFQ for Construction Manager at Risk...Documents by Dr. Cut N. Paste?

"The term "professional services" means those services of architects, auditors, dentists,
engineers, landscape architects, lawyers, physicians, psychologists, surveyors and any
other professional service as determined by the City."

This definition of professional services appears on page for the RFQ - I found it funny that the list of professionals would include dentists, physicians and psychologists.  The need for psychologists I think we all understand, a doctor in case someone has a heart attack from stress and a dentist since getting the city to cooperate is like pulling teeth.

Message from Tropical Ridge Neighborhood Association

Good Morning Members!

Tonight's regularly scheduled Tropical Ridge Neighborhood Association meeting is canceled. We will be sending out an email update later this week to bring everyone up to date on some of the Association activities and upcoming events. We apologize for any inconveinence and look forward to seeing you at the next meeting on Monday, November 1st @ 7pm.

Message from Tropical Ridge Neighborhood Association

Good Morning Members!

Tonight's regularly scheduled Tropical Ridge Neighborhood Association meeting is canceled. We will be sending out an email update later this week to bring everyone up to date on some of the Association activities and upcoming events. We apologize for any inconveinence and look forward to seeing you at the next meeting on Monday, November 1st @ 7pm.

E-mail from Robert Waples re: List of Volunteer Opportunities This Coming Saturday! BIG DAY In Lake Worth!!!!

Dear Volunteers we have a lot going on next week.....and I am sending this email so you may, as your availability allows, to give of your time to one, two or all as you deem that your time is allowed....Also please note that we fully understand that individuals have other things going on and respect that you can not always give for every event or every week for that matter.  With that said we Thank All of you soooo much for the time that you have given and for the time that you will give. 
2212 Collier Ave - Provided that Trixie's is ready to move forward with the clean out we are ready to go into the Master Bedroom for clean out AND clean the bathrooms so they are useable.  We need 5-8 people for this project that may take 2-4 hours to complete starting at 9AM.  If you would like to volunteer for this event please email me or Joanna Aiken at  We will update you by Tuesday this week if this even will move forward or post-poned as we know that our neighbor is having medical treatments done that may postpone this event......
Volunteers needed at Lake Worth High School Football Field for Gate and Concession - we need 2-4 people at different times through out the day up till 9pm to help with collecting for entrance at the gate and helping out in the Concession Stand.  I helped at the gate this past Saturday and trust me this was fun!, I saw people I haven't seen in years! and get the excitement of our Lake Worth Football League.  The members of the League are great people and if this is your "thing" please volunteer to help at the games!  If you would like to volunteer for this event please email Me or Deputy Mike Mahoney
NATIONAL CRIME OUT at the Cultrual Plaza Downtown Lake Worth - National Nightout 2010 October 9, 2010 from 1p.m. to 6p.m. at the Cultural Plaza located at 400 Lake Ave, Lake Worth, Fl 33460 -  If you would like to volunteer for this event please email me or Joel Morganstern at

I will be personally volunteering for this event along side my COP members to help promote safety and Crime Prevention with in the city of Lake Worth and any where that you may live.  This will prove to be a very educational event on home safety and crime prevention and a big shout out to Joel Morganstern for putting together a great event!
With a lot going on next weekend and Season right on our door step please help pass the word so that everyone is in the know of what is coming up for THIS weekend and that our "snow birds" are in the know as well.
We all thank you in advance for any assistance and remember = "Vounteer to make a difference today!"
Robert E. Waples II - President
Planning & Zoning Board Lake Worth
Vice-Chair NAPC -
PBSO C.O.P Volunteer Unit 109  

Volunteer to make a difference today!

Michio Kaku

I explored my nerdy side over the weekend and watched BookTV on C-SPAN2.  There is a three hour interview on line - the same one that was on BookTV that you can reach by clicking Michio Kaku above.  He is a physicist and a proponent of string theory.  I am not going to attempt an explanation here, but it is an attempt at a unifying theory of the universe.  If you can watch some of it, I encourage you to do so.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Recent Palm Beach Post Items

Lake Worth cost-cutting could mean heave-ho for day labor center, other groups occupying city space

Endorsement: No on Amendment 4: Reject Hometown Democracy

We knew that the labor center (aka Mentoring Center) and the other groups mentioned were getting the boot from city space.  I remember when the city bent over backwards to get the Mentoring Center in the building and paid for improvements private businesses would have to make prior to opening.  They also let them move in prior to the work being done - something unheard of in Lake Worth.  Then there were the zoning issues that didn't allow a labor center - it happened to have the same land use and zoning designation that the beach used to have PROS - Parks, Recreation and Open Space.  Nothing was done to address this issue, even though this city has a charter amendment limiting the private use of public land.  And people against anything different at the beach didn't care, even though the situation had many similarities.  The Center also didn't have to pay for any utilities.  And, if you pointed any of this out, you were labelled as a "racist" and against illegal immigration.  It was a poor location for a host of reasons that apparently came home to roost, resulting in the current action.  The whole episode is an example of what is wrong with the lack of public involvement in city decisions in Lake Worth - and of the divisive, malicious labeling of anyone who opposes your position on an issue.

And no one has mentioned the Lake Worth CDC and its use of a city building or the status of its lease.  Is it now officially an arm of the city?

The PB Post gets in right on rejecting Amendment 4.  What I am hopeful for is that the amendment will not get the 2/3 vote that they need and then we will actively engage in a re-making of our growth management statutes in the state of Florida.

Commissioner Suzanne Mulvehill on YouTube

Truthing Suzanne...

Received a mailer yesterday - my first for the November 2nd election - from Commissioner Suzanne Mulvehill's re-election campaign.  Besides the Chesire Cat grin and looking like she swallowed the canary, front and back, she makes some of the typical claims proffered by the City Commission.

The first claim is that she, one assumes, makes is "Restoring the beach and casino - Groundbreaking 2011."  I always have a problem with the use of the word "restore" especially as it relates to historic preservation.  Restore has a specific meaning that someone is returning something, in this case a building, back to its original condition or to a certain period of time.  That isn't being done here in the plans that I have seen regarding either the beach or the building.  If and when the project is finished, neither the beach or the building will be like what they were before.  That is not restoration.  To announce to the public that the city is restoring the building and the beach conjures pleasing visions that may entice people to support your efforts, but it isn't accurate.  If you think it's o.k. to mislead the public, then this isn't an issue for you.

Oh, and can you explain for us how we are paying for it again, I didn't quite get it.  Something about raiding our cash portfolio?

The next: "Negotiating new electric contract - Because you deserve lower electric bills"  Well yes, Suzanne, we deserve lower electric bills, but according to the work session meeting I listened to, if we go with a feed-in-tariff, our electricity rates may actually go up and the city's leaving FMPA may cost us more money!  So, while we deserve it, Commissioner Mulvehill and the city are going down a different path.  It would be nice if she use her re-election monies to educate residents about what is really going on with not only our electric rates, but the 5 year series of rate increases for our water.

The third: "Investing in our neighborhoods - Secured $23 million federal grant to convert foreclosures into stable, owner-occupied homes"  IT WAS THE CRA THAT APPLIED FOR THE MONEY - NOT THE CITY COMMISSION.  While marginally more supportive of the effort than her Commissioner cohort Golden - who chastised the CRA for applying for the money, the city has not been cooperative in getting the program moving and spending the money.  Commissioner Mulvehill is doing little to encourage this needed cooperation but followed Commissioner Golden's lead and used the grant in her campaign materials as an accomplishment anyway.  This might be explained since the same people probably put together the mailers for both campaigns.

Lastly:  "Strengthening code enforcement - Increased staff and training to address community concerns"  The last I heard, we had four active code enforcement officers and one vacant position and this is less than we have had in previous years.  I am not sure about the training that has been going on.  But I think that people in her district (which isn't mentioned at all on her literature or signs - that she is the Commissioner for District #4, the southeast quadrant of the city), would like to know why the structure at the southwest corner of 12th Avenue South and South Palmway still looks like it did at the start of her current term, some two years ago.

So we super-voters now possess a misleading mailer with broad platitudes, which is what we have come to expect from candidates backed by our local political machine.