Saturday, February 5, 2011

I am now riding my bike 50 miles plus a week - FYI


6:30pm election of Board
7:15pm guest speaker
Joseph Kroll, Public Services Director, will be the guest speaker.  Joe will address issues including citywide and Parrot Cove specific projects, how current economic condictions are effecting his department, updates on the golf course, swimming pool, pier, how the community can work with the City to get projects completed and any other information he can share with us.  Bring your questions to the meeting.  The general meeting begins at 7:15pm. 
If you are a member of the Parrot Cove Neighborhood Association and either wish to run for a position on the Board or vote for candidates, be there at 6:30pm.  The first item on the agenda will be election of 2011 Board followed by a Treasurer's report,  short review of 2010 then an update from PBSO.

A little Saturday music...

Friday, February 4, 2011

Lake Worth's 'coffee with the mayor' meeting set for Monday

This was mistakingly published as being held last Monday - it is this coming Monday at Smarty Plants. Click title for link.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Invasive Lionfish News

Lion Hunter Safety-Spear Update * Now shipping Caribbean wide. 
Since the introduction of the Lion Hunter Safety-Spear at the December 2010, West Palm Beach Dive Show, volunteers have been working overtime assembling spears and shipping orders. Good news; production has ramped up and there is no longer a backlog.  
In the last few weeks we have shipped to dive shops and divers in Cozumel, Bahamas, Puerto Rico, Turks and Cacaos, Antilles; to mention a few. Florida divers and shops have been supplied from Jupiter to the Keys. And the feedback we are getting is glowing. A diver in the Virgin Islands emailed:This Safety-Spear was awesome! My first kill with your tool; after getting in the mail the night before.  I showed to about five instructors and they all tried to find flaws, but nothing. I wish I would have got this on video! Thanks.
Most coral reef scientists agree the exponential spread of the Pacific lionfish across the Caribbean represents a significant threat to the stability of the regions already compromised coral reef ecosystem. NOAA has launched the Eat em to Beat em campaign to encourage divers to help control the invaders population and lionfish derbies are being held from Mexico to Barbados. 
While derbies are useful in raising awareness, it is our opinion that effective lionfish population control may only be accomplished with a constant pressure from the recreational diving community. That is why we helped develop the Safety-Spear; a spear gun for divers who do not normally spearfish. Small and compact, the pointed spear is sheathed in a safety tube making it easy to stow in your gear bag and to clip to your BCD, so you can take it with you on every dive. 
Support your local dive shop
Want a Safety-Spear? Check with your dive shop first. If they do not have them in stock encourage them to contact: to place an order. 
No dive shop? Buy online at: 
Regardless where you get your Safety-Spear profits will go to Reef Rescue coral reef conservation projects. Reef Rescue is beginning to develop a lionfish database where divers will be able to enter lionfish observations and lionfish take data. We believe we may already be seeing a reduction in lionfish numbers on some Palm Beach County reefs where divers have made a concentrated effort to hunt lionfish. It is too early to assess what impact divers may have had on the lionfish population, but with the launch of the Reef Rescue lionfish data base we will be able to track trends and supply researchers with much needed information. 
We are constantly updating the Reef Rescue Coral Reef Blog with the latest lionfish information as well as other important issues.  
 Click here to stay in touch with all the RR Blog reports.
Palm Beach County Reef Rescue

Lake Worth Public Library Hosts Author Author Mr. Ace Abbot

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 10:00 am on Saturday, February 5th.

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.

Ace will have his book available for sale and will be autographing them at the end of the program. Visit his website at For more information please call the Lake Worth Public Library at 561-533-7354.

Thank you,

Vickie Joslin
Library Services Manager
Lake Worth Public Library
15 North M St.
Lake Worth, FL 33460
Phone: 561-533-7354
Fax: 561-586-1651

St. Andrews Episcopal Church - 2/5/11 - Activities start at 6 p.m.

Riveria Beach critic sues: Closed-door vote on marina issue violation of state law

State Attorney opens investigation of Riviera Beach closed-door meeting
More - click title.

Lake Worth garden center puts faith in community to thrive

Positive article on Smarty Plants. Click title for link.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Government corruption: Ethics, inspector investigations shifted away from government - South Florida

Op-ed piece on Ethics Commission and Inspector General. Click title for link.

#1 Worst Fear re Beach:

We go ahead with this phase and approve the next, including the demolition of the casino building.  Then, the City Commission declares that we don't have money to finish the project.  The remains then sit there for 5 to 10 years.

World's Greatest Fairy Tales: The Emperor's New Clothes

Click here for copy of City of Lake Worth's Addendum to County Ethics Commission Ordinance:

I read it that both Commissioner McVoy and Commissioner Mulvehill, perhaps Commissioner Golden, should have disclosed contributions from casino building tenants before discussing the agreement with the leasing agent.  What do you think?

Palm Beach County - From the desk of Commissioner Steven L. Abrams

"As your county commissioner, economic growth and stimulus will continue to be an important focus for 2011. 

It has been reported that in the past six months, numerous industries experienced job growth in the County: private education and health services category (+ 2,400 jobs); retail trade (+2,200); leisure and hospitality (+2,100); and professional & business services (+1,600).  Additional reports have indicated that the average weekly wages in Palm Beach County have risen by 2.5% from the second quarter of 2009 to the second quarter of 2010. 

But until full economic prosperity returns to Palm Beach County, we will continue our efforts to create job opportunities.  This means pursuing a strategy to leverage both private and public resources.

The county has and will continue to provide incentives and assistance to existing local businesses in their efforts to expand, grow and create new jobs.  Some of these incentives include low interest loans and local matching funds in conjunction with state grants. 

Over the past year, we used matching incentive funds to retain and create jobs for companies large and small, including Office Depot, UTC Fire and Security, and National Healing Corp., to name a few.  The City of Boca Raton has provided matching dollars as well.  While I am pleased to say that these companies are based in my district, their workforces draw from all over Palm Beach County.

Once we land a company, or a company decides to expand, the County Commission has adopted “fast-track” permitting to ensure that companies creating 30 or more jobs get up and running quickly.  Many of the cities in my district have also adopted this model so companies can cut through the red tape.

I have supported major economic development projects throughout the county, such as the Inland Port in the Glades area and the Wellington Medical District.  Even in a dreary residential market, south county will be the location of the first new planned condominium in the county since the recession began--The Palm Beach Post says it may be the first new condo in the entire southeast United States.

We will also continue to leverage public dollars for local infrastructure projects that meet community needs.  Some examples include hiring local companies to add guardrails to roads next to canals and resurface the dangerous patches on I-95. 

In the end, the best job creation plan is to hold the line on taxes and reduce government spending.  Higher taxes prolong a sluggish economy, and putting more money in people’s pockets will help us to get us out of it.  As your County Commissioner, I remain committed to leaving no stone unturned to restore economic growth to our county so we can all truly have a happy, prosperous new year. 

Please contact me if I can be of assistance or if you have any comments and/or suggestions.  I can be contacted at or at my office at 561-355-2204 (West Palm Beach) or 561-276-1220 (Delray Beach). 

Also, please visit my Web site at for updates and links to county divisions and other governmental agencies."

UF survey finds real estate market more optimistic

From the article:
"Timothy Becker, director of the school's Bergstrom Center for Real Estate Studies, attributes the sunny outlook to defeat of the Hometown Democracy Amendment and the election of Republican Gov. Rick Scott in November.
The citizen initiative would have required voter approval for changes in development plans."

Click title for link.

List of EGREGIOUS things related to the Lake Worth Beach

  • Then citizen Christopher McVoy leads signature gathering effort to repeal three ordinances, getting 2,500 signatures and then being sued by the city for interference, upon which the current beach rehabilitation was approved and does not acknowledge this glaring fact.  Hometown Democracy, who heard of it?
  • Commissioner Suzanne Mulvehill trumpets her "greatest accomplishment" as saving the casino building from demolition yet the plan they approved demolishes at least 80 percent of the building. No one acknowledges this from the dais other than one Commissioner.
  • No cost/benefit analysis performed about rehab of existing building seaward of the Coastal Construction Control Line (CCCL) versus building a new building further west - outside of the CCCL. Building west would be less complex and therefore less costly.
  • Former Commissioner Cara Jennings prepares an elaborate presentation about "managed retreat" from the coastline, but is mute on re-building the existing building in its seaward CCCL position.
  • All of the above received ample contributions from the casino building tenants - McVoy and Mulvehill think keeping rents low for the existing tenants is the main goal for leasing the building - not charging market rent.  Go figure.
  • Rehabilitation of the building is being funded by the city's "cash portfolio", with no guarantee of end financing.  This is the same city that is facing a projected budget deficit of almost $5 million. Amount of financing need from the "cash portfolio" equals $6 million.  The city claims a financial emergency and is in a fist fight with all their bargaining units.
  • City faces an unfunded multi-million dollar contingent liability in the form of a lawsuit levied by the city's partner on a previous beach plan.  Unknown amounts of money are being spent defending the city's position.
  • If the Comprehensive Plan is found "not in compliance" - the judge sides with the petitioners in their challenge to the finding - then the land use designation and future land use map that identify the "Beach and Casino" future land use designation disappear.
  • Many of the LEED certification items rely on expensive studies by engineers, special materials and reliance on tenant behavior - which do not guarantee LEED certification, which can come up to two years after the C.O.  Not being certified would violate F.S. 255.2575 Energy-efficient and sustainable buildings (2) as follows:  All county, municipal, school district, water management district, state university, community college, and Florida state court buildings shall be constructed to meet the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system, the Green Building Initiative’s Green Globes rating system, the Florida Green Building Coalition standards, or a nationally recognized, high-performance green building rating system as approved by the Department of Management Services. This section shall apply to all county, municipal, school district, water management district, state university, community college, and Florida state court buildings the architectural plans of which are commenced after July 1, 2008.
  • Beach plan approved in dark of night before a sparse gathering of residents without a special meeting.  This for a property that has a bloody 30 + year history of public contention.
  • Can you think of others?  Please add until we exhaust the list.

Lake Worth meeting goes to dogs: city allows dogs in parks, passes puppy mill prevention

If only the city had a selection of retail stores and a functional economy, this measure might actually mean something. Click title for link to PBP article.

Lake Worth could begin layoffs, cutting employee hours in March to stem red ink

"Our problem in Lake Worth is we spend money we don't have and demand services we can't afford," Stanton said in an e-mail. "We are slowly losing the ability to say it does not matter what it it recreation, beach development or police protection."
Click title for link to PBP article.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Scott Proposes Streamlining State Government

Article on News 4 Jacksonville's website - Department of Community Affairs to be under control of Department of Environmental Protection according to Governor Scott's restructuring proposal - other changes discussed.  Click title for link.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Click here for Beach Casino Building PowerPoint Presentation for 2/01 City Commission Meeting

Notice that the demolition plans are not included in the PowerPoint.

The "Mission Impossible" theme makes more sense now...

As previously predicted on these pages: WE ARE NOT SAVING THE CASINO BUILDING!

First Floor DEMOLITION Plan

Second Floor DEMOLITION Plan

Click on images above for greater detail.  If you look closely, you will notice that the ONLY part of the existing building that will remain are the areas in black.  All the other areas will be demolished and part of new construction.  I estimate that 25 to 30% of the existing walls, less than 20% of the exterior walls, will remain.  The entire second floor is being demolished.

WE ARE NOT SAVING THE CASINO BUILDING - This is another fraud perpetrated by those that did not appreciate the poor condition of the building documented in eight different structural reports and that chose to re-build a building seaward of the coastal construction line.  This is NOT historic preservation - period.  Instead of having the flexibility of putting the building where it fits best, we are left with the existing location as the only alternative.

After the demolition is finished, the building will look like a rectangular version of this:
Which is appropriate for the full moon rituals taking place at the beach.

City Commission Meeting Agenda 02 01 11

Click here for link to full agenda and back-up from city's website.  If that takes too long to download - it took about 45 minutes for me to download the nearly 500 megabit file on a cable modem - you can try clicking here.  The second link is to my own Google storage account which might be faster, maybe or maybe not.

Add Delete for 02/01

I am reviewing the beach related items now and will have an update soon.

Fewer people moving to Florida, census estimates show - South Florida

Click title for link to Sun Sentinel article. One of the key sections:

The Great Recession and housing bust prompted Florida promoters to realize they could no longer rely on climate and low taxes to foster growth. And they decided that Florida's economic triad — agriculture, construction and tourism — is not enough to employ all those who want to come to the state.

"The Florida you knew three years ago is gone, and it's not coming back," said Bob Swindell, CEO of the GreaterFort Lauderdale Alliance, which tries to draw businesses to the region. "Our challenge is to create high-skilled jobs to accommodate people who want to move to Florida."

The strategy means going beyond "a retirement mentality of people coming to Florida for the quality of life," he said. "You also need employment opportunities."

Insurance decision worries Lake Worth commissioner, not mayor

Click title for link to PBP article. More whistling by the graveyard by our Mayor. Does anyone know if he has left town yet? Nobody seems to hear from him on a day-to-day basis. The exception seems to be the Mayor's planned coffees, or this morning's meeting with potted plants. Oh, and then there is the State of the City address coming up next week where we will all be relieved to hear how things are not "really very catastrophic" here in Lake Worth. Sometimes I think that our Mayor made some sort of deal with the devil where he promised to be ineffectual throughout his entire term to help the forces of darkness continue to make headway.

The point to all this about the judgement against the city is this:  Why did the City go to the mat with this issue?  Why pay for the attorneys, upsetting our workers and violating union contracts?  That has a real cost.  Then we find out that the decision to stiff employees for out-of-pocket medical costs wasn't material anyway.  I'd like to see what the City spent to defend its indefensible position.  Who made the decision to go against the contract in the first place?