Saturday, March 12, 2011

Nuclear Plant To Revive Ghost Town

With nuclear plants in the news again, I thought this might be of interest. Click title for link to Preservation Nation article.

From Mad Men to Motor City, Advocates Hope Web Video Steers Rail Projects

A little promotion from the people of Mad Men for high speed train travel.  Click title for article on the promotional effort.  Click here for link to support high speed rail and get a bumper sticker to tell the world.

Check this video out too regarding the Detroit light-rail project:  A little home grown effort to promote one of the alternatives.  Light-rail is one of the options being considered for the FEC (east) railroad tracks through south Florida coastal cities, including Lake Worth.

From the article, pointing out how other states are jumping for the $2.4 billion that Florida turned down:

While citizens in Detroit debate how to rebuild their urban infrastructure, high-speed rail discussions nationally are of critical importance. The Obama administration seems dead serious about spending billions on upgrading rail infrastructure coast to coast. Florida Gov. Rick Scott turned down $2.4 billion in federal money last for high-speed rail initiatives in his state, and legislators across the country have taken to Twitter to try and build a case for U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood to divert that money to their districts. Last month, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) started an petition targeted at LaHood's Twitter profile — riding on the back of an official letter, of course. In California, Rep. Mike Honda and Rep. John Garamendi also circulated a petition via Twitter.
"There is line outside my door of governors, senators and congressmen," he said Thursday while speaking before the Senate Appropriations Committee's Transportation and Housing and Urban Development subcommittee, according to an item in The Hill by Keith Laing.
Sounds a little like the discussion regarding the takeover of the CRA and the potential loss of the city's $23 million grant award, doesn't it?

Note to those who support tree-sitters and 3 story height limitations:  You are essentially doing the same thing as Governor Scott in not supporting a viable rail alternative in south Florida. Height is a component of density.  In order to support the success of mass transit alternatives along the coast - in areas that have already been environmentally disturbed, communities along the transit corridor need to allow density near the railroad.  This would encourage its use as a convenient alternative to the single passenger automobile and help ensure the financial success of the mass transit system.  And at the same time, the density and height required would provide incentive for redevelopment that would return money to the city's general fund.  Going down the current path of saying "no" to everything and limiting height to 3 stories does not represent "sustainable" development.  If anything, it represents selfishness on the part of our elected officials that would encourage the waste of land and effectively push development further west toward more environmentally sensitive areas.

Continue to perpetuate the myth that you are pro-environment by limiting density and height to the future peril of our city, region and natural environment.  Try being a leader and tell the public the purpose behind wise land use decisions that support transit alternatives.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Norman bill would make farm photography a first-degree felony; animal-rights groups outraged

More proposed horrors courtesy of our state legislature.  Click title for link to article.

Click here for link to Town of Palm Beach's Centennial Website


NEW!!! Are you interested in working with the CRA as part of the NSP-2 program? Contractors and individuals should download and submit the following Section 3 questionnaire and forms:

Click here for link to questionnaire.

Click here for Section 3 qualification forms.

For more information:

Contact Mike McManaman  or the CRA office
Lake Worth CRA
29 South "J" St.
Lake Worth, Florida

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Representative Clemens representing his district...

Click title for details.


CONTACT: Beth Hartnett-Murphy
(850) 488-0260
Representative Jeff Clemens (D-Lake Worth) will hold a press conference at 11 a.m. Thursday outside the 4th Floor House chambers to discuss legislation he has filed to legalize the medical use of cannabis.
House Joint Resolution 1407 calls for the Legislature to place a measure on the ballot for voters' consideration. Several health care professionals and people with debilitative conditions are expected to join Representative Clemens at the press conference.
Details of the event are:
11 a.m. Thursday, March 10
Fourth Floor Capitol, outside the House chambers
Mark Hollis
Communications Director
Democratic Office, Florida House of Representatives

No to Jack Nicklaus Golf Trail: Golf courses have a place in Florida but not in state parks -

More land use and natural area preservation horrors proposed by our state legislature. It's going to be a long four years. Click title for link to Orlando Sentinel op-ed piece.

High-speed rail ridership study found line would have made profit - St. Petersburg Times

Despite studies that showed the high-speed rail line between Tampa and Orlando would make money, Governor Scott refused federal money that would have funded it. It reminds me of hearing my opponent during the last campaign say that "We don't need to do any more studies." Another corollary to this is the reluctance by the Commission, and especially the City Manager, to hire an Internal Auditor that would be answerable to the City Commission. The City Manager maintains that we don't need anyone pointing out more problems. Well, perhaps we need a check and balance over the biased and sometimes questionable approaches to financial "solutions" offered by our city administration. It also reminds me of the spirit expressed by the former Hometown Democracy movement - it would have allowed an ill-informed public to make the ultimate decision regarding land use issues - regardless of the data, analysis and facts that supported those decisions. Click title for St. Petersburg Times article.

Sea turtle nesting and sewage news

March 1st marks the beginning of sea turtle nesting season in Palm Beach County. Come help us celebrate the return of these ancient seafarers to our beaches on Saturday, March 12th, at the Boca Raton Gumbo Limbo Nature Center for the 6th annual Sea Turtle DayThis is a great event with educational displays and fun for the whole family. Visit the Reef Rescue booth, we will have plush sealife mascots and fish masks for the kids and where you can learn more about coastal ecology and coral reef conservation.
Hot topics:
  • Invasive lionfish control.
  • Coral reef anchor damage.
  • And most disturbing of all; the move by the Florida legislature to derail the 2008 sewage ocean outfall  legislation. We told you last week that a bill was filed by State Senator Miguel Diaz de la Portilla of Miami to delay the implementation of the 2008 legislation and allow the continued dumping of sewage into Florida waters until 2030. Well it just got worse, on March 8, the bill was introduced to the FL Senate as a first reading. This bill is moving forward and only you can help stop this misguide piece of legislation.
Gumbo Limbo Nature Center 1801 North Ocean Blvd, Boca Raton, FL 33432
Fun sea turtle links for kids:
Palm Beach County Reef Rescue

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Tropical Ridge Neighborhood Association - March Update

Hello Friends & Neighbors!
The Tropical Ridge Neighborhood Association has been busy and we have lots of news to share. Read on to get the scoop:
TRNA Meeting Signs - One of the Association's first quarter goals was to update the existing yard signs with the *new* location of TRNA meetings - Compass Center. After researching several different vendors, President Ryan Anderson purchased custom-made waterproof stickers. Once they arrive, they will be affixed to the signs and distributed to interested residents. If you would like a yard sign, please
TRNA Banners - Local graphic designer David Savage has created two new potential banners. These bold and colorful banners can be seen at All three potential designs can be viewed and we ask that you vote - once - for your favorite. Comments and suggestions on modifications can also be submitted along with your vote.
TRNA Banner Locations - Banner Committee members Steffanie Mayo & Carolyn Deli have submitted their suggestions for banner locations. You can view their 12 selected spots here. The Association will be purchasing a total of 14 banners; 12 for immediate display with 2 reserves.
Code Enforcement - Another first quarter goal of the Association was to systematically address ongoing code enforcement issues in the neighborhood. During the first two weeks of January, Block captains selected the worst offenders and submitted them through the City website. Phone call and email follow-ups have been with Edgar Caraballo ( or his boss Genia Baker( Unfortunately, we have not received any updates since February 17th. You can click  here to view a spreadsheet of the properties and follow-up actions taken along with Edgar's response. 
Kids Park - The City-owned lot on 6th Ave. North between D & E St. has long been a nuisance to near-by residents. Rodents, feral cats and negligent dog-owners along with some people using the property as an open-air compost pile have contributed to residents on-going frustration. After years of complaints, the Public Works department stepped in and cleaned-up the lot. Unfortunately, the City Manger has waived the mandatory site-plan and site maintenance plan required for use of City-owned property and,without notifying adjacent residents or the Association, turned it over to the same exclusive group that failed to maintain it.
The Association is recommending that this park be turned into a Kids park. With a combination of CRA donations and other local support, we can purchase playground equipment and turn this property into a true COMMUNITY asset. We are asking residents to write their Commissioners and City Manager and tell them that you want a safe, local place for kids to play. For more information about the proposed park and to find out how you can help make it happen, email
TRNA Donations - The Tropical Ridge has recently received two very generous donations - $100 from Mary Lindsey and $50 from Linda Allen. Thank you so much for your continued support of the Association! If you would like to contribute please visit us here.
Facebook - If you are not already a fan, please become one at News and information will be posted on facebook as well as the Association webpage
Upcoming Events -
1. March 15, 2011 - 8:30 - 11:30 pm - Lake Worth Towers -   Spaghetti Dinner Fund Raiser by PBSOto benefit Mrs. Harris to assist with medical supplies and home improvements - $7.00 per person includes Spaghetti & Meatball Dinner, Salad, Non-Alcoholic Beverage and Dessert.
2.  March 17, 2011 - 3pm - 12am - Downtown Corridor - St. Patty’s Day Celebration
3. March 26, 2011 - 2-4pm SOSA, meet @ South Grade Elementary - NAPC Community Crime-WalkProgram - PBSO will be present and residents from all neighborhoods are invited to walk.
4. March 26-27, 2011 - 12:00 - 6:00pm - Downtown Corridor - Pride Festival
5. April 2, 2011 - 7:00am - 11:00pm - Bryant Park - Reggae Festival
That's all for this month! We'll see you April 4, 2011 at 7pm for the next TRNA Meeting!

Lake Worth Warrior Football

Click here for link to Palm Beach Cultural Council's website. Note the banner picture - Jim Stafford honored with best picture from Street Painting Festival 2011

St. Pete Beach voters give development decisions back to City Commission - St. Petersburg Times

The town that experimented with Hometown Democracy ended it yesterday by removing the required referendum on development issues. Comprehensive Plan changes can now be made by the elected officials instead of the electors. Click title for link to article.

Sound familiar?

Michigan's solution to local communities in a "financial emergency" -  Could Governor Scott be getting the same idea?

Crisis creation as a catalyst for moving "real" priorities forward.  Do we not see that played out here in LW?  Could these candidates win if they campaigned on their real agenda? It is not just the province of the Republican Party - it is true for our local anarchists too.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Neighbors Helping Neighbors Project

Dear friends and volunteers,  because of your votes I have moved forward in the Prilosec sponsorship and should be receiving my packet from them soon.  Now I need your votes even more!  Please use this link to go to facebook and vote for my plan with Dockers to win $100K so I can continue to help our communities!

Thank You for helping me with my plan!

Robert Waples
Neighbors Helping Neighbors Project
Rebuilding Together of the Palm Beaches
Volunteer to make a difference today!

PBHRC Endorsements in West Palm Beach races...

The Palm Beach County Human Rights Council
Voters Alliance
Endorsements in the March 8. 2011 
West Palm Beach Municipal Elections


To visit the candidates' websites,
click on their names

To locate your polling place, call  (561) 656-6200 
or use Precinct Finder in our Quick Links

The Palm Beach County Human Rights Council Voters Alliance
is dedicated to electing public officials 
who will work towards ending discrimination based on 
sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression.

Monday, March 7, 2011

How to Make Cities More Livable - US News and World Report

W. Paul Farmer, chief executive officer of the American Planning Association and American Institute of Certified Planners on how to make cities more livable - and the role of planners. Click title for link.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Definition of "URGENCY"


 noun \ˈər-jən(t)-sē\
plural ur·gen·cies

Definition of URGENCY

: the quality or state of being urgent : insistence
: a force or impulse that impels or constrains : urge

Fiddling while...

Doing a slow burn...

Mulling over the arrogance of anyone in city government that would put words on paper that contemplated a $75,000 groundbreaking party for the casino rehabilitation, resuscitation, recapitulation, reconfiguration and/or regurgitation.  Whatever it ends up being.

First of all, here we are a city that has declared "financial urgency."  We are screaming "poor" to whoever will listen with the main purpose being to wrestle concessions from our unions with existing contracts negotiated in good faith, from PBSO for our stellar law enforcement services and to the County for our fire service.  One might question why we are even pursuing the prospect of re-doing the building given our "urgency."  But we are not supposed to question, we are to hail Caesar and follow.  Why the city has a bulging "cash portfolio" which will finance the project - we are being silly if we ask what that means.

Second, then we get rid of the leasing agent for the property that was going to pursue national, credit-worthy tenants in order to go with one that will pursue regional and local tenants, with preference to those that are current tenants.  Commissioner Mulvehill reminded all at the last Commission meeting these tenants have been there for 30 years and we owe them first right of refusal.  Just think, if all take the city up on its offer, how different will the project be after it is finished?  How big of an economic boon to the city will it be?  Will the project be able to pay for itself?  What about those parking projections again?  And there is this ethics ordinance that was passed late last year.  It states as follows:

  • "An elected official of the City of Lake Worth, who is a current sitting member of the City Commission and has accepted an election campaign contribution in an amount that is more than $100 from an individual or a business entity having an interest in a matter before the City Commission in which the City Commission will take action, must publicly disclose, both verbally and in writing, such contribution prior to any discussion or vote on the matter.  The written disclosure must be submitted to the City Clerk."
Clearly, this decision and others related to the beach project have been made since the adoption of this ethics ordinance.  These actions clearly benefited the existing tenants at the Casino building.  We haven't heard any disclosures by those elected officials that received significant contributions from these tenants and individuals related to those businesses.  Do we just enact ordinances for appearances only and when it comes to abide by them, look the other way?

Third, there is a lot of work that has to be done before we are clinking any champagne glasses.  How is the permitting coming along?  Will the State of Florida agree with the city's interpretation of the percent of reconstruction that is going to take place - given now that the building is essentially being demolished?  Instead of "golden shovels," can we employ a "golden wrecking ball?"
Fourth, would such a groundbreaking party lead those to proclaim themselves, falsely, as "saviors" of the building - continuing the ruse that this is somehow a restoration of the 1922 Casino building?  I think there are those that couldn't resist - how it was the "circle of light" that convinced the city to "save" the building.  We would hear that somehow this project is furthering the cause for historic preservation, which it doesn't.  All these pronouncements would further polarize the community which has been polarized long enough by the beach and the notion that it would see a new day by being reborn in some way, some day.

Fifth, we have a current law suit related to the former redevelopment plan for the beach that has yet to be adjudicated.  In fact, it is still in the "discovery" period and the city has spent around $250,000 up to this point in time.  This is without taking depositions or really spending any time in a courtroom.  What is the city projecting our total legal costs to defend the city's position?  Perhaps the city better save the $75,000 as a down payment for the rest of the legal work - a judicious choice.  What if the city loses and owes the other party a multi-million dollar judgement?  Will that come from the same "cash portfolio?"  Is there any prospect of the city settling given the steep legal fees the city is incurring?

Let's put off any celebration until we have a finished project, the tenants are moved in and paying their rents and the entire site is "improved" with the County's money.  Anything else reeks of political self-promotion and wastes precious money that the city, apparently, can't do without.  Somehow, this proposal reminds me of the awarding the Census Total Count duties to certain political operatives.  How much did we spend on that again?  People have asked but no one is getting an answer.

This is to be discussed at the City Commission work session this coming Tuesday - 3/8.  They can't take action on the item at this meeting.  Public comment is also not permitted this Tuesday.

Hmmmm...a little long, but interesting review of the cultural meanings of "choice" and the predicament of unlimited choices...

Perhaps this is what people are made to wear in the asylum?

Click here for link to "Living the Dream in Lake Worth" t-shirts and other trinkets.  How appropriate for the Commissioners, Mayor, City Manager and Attorney to wear during Commission meetings!  Note:  If you purchase anything, it looks like some of proceeds would go to the PBP - how ironic that they are "living the dream" too.  Caution is advised.

From our ex-patriot L-Dubber from Down-Unda - a little shaken and stirred...

Capt. Wm. S. Stafford (Ret.)
Master of Science Degree (AvSciTech)
Commercial Pilot ASMEL
Instrument Airplane
FCF Flight Engineer C-130B, E & H
Airframe Mechanic
Royal New Zealand Coast Guard Boatmaster # 38155


32 Kensington Avenue
Rangiora 7400

6 March 2011 

Mr. Wes Blackman
(via E-Mail)

G’Day Wes;

 Here in the Lands Down-Unda, we are holding our own at the moment on the outskirts of Christchurch.

 Since the day of the 22 February quake last week, we have not ventured into Christchurch; the roads are torn-up, roughly patched over and many arteries are no-go areas, causing traffic problems. The busses are running, albeit on minimised routes, and the CBD remains cordoned off.

 However, today the cordon shrunk.  Govt is now allowing homeowners and businesses to go in and gather their personal items, effects and business tools out of condemned buildings and the closed-off CBD. Many businesses have relocated to the western side of the city which still has some underground infrastructure and lots of warehouse space in steel framed buildings that average 15 years old.

 The Australian Police are here to assist, and they were sworn-in shortly after arriving at ChchInternational Airport.  The Royal New Zealand Army is also patrolling the worst hit areas along the coast as they have the ATV’s and Mercedes Unimogs that can traverse the heavily damaged areas. The New Zealand Police responded quickly from several surrounding towns, as did the Fire Brigades.

 The eastern side of town is basically munted, and liquefaction brought-up five times the amount of silt as did the September 4 Quake. University students from Canterbury were out with shovels cleaning up the streets, as many of their classroom and lecture halls are write-offs.

 Seismologists are calling this the world’s most destructive quake based upon it’s gravity acceleration, shallow depth and proximity to Christchurch.  Whilst the Richter Scale magnitude was over 6, the other factors such as loose soils, liquefaction, and 100 year old brick buildings contributed to the overall destruction.

 As a result, Prime Minister John Key has re-assigned many portfolios of the Right Honourable Gerry Brownlee (whose home was heavily damaged in the 4 September Quake) to other Cabinet members to allow Minister Brownlee to focus solely on the two quakes.  Minister Brownlee is cutting thru a lot of red tape to get the mess cleaned up ASAP. Those heritage buildings which were damaged are coming down as they pose a hazard to human life.

 This is the most costly natural disaster, far exceeding Hurricane Katrina in pay=outs from international insurance groups.  Katrina did a lot of wind, and surface damage, but the underground infrastructurewas left intact.  Not so down here.  There are a lot of health hazards (ie raw sewage in the streets, silt dust with bacteria and viruses that is blown-around by high winds, and the constant aftershocks that tip many of the building facades over into the streets.

 Another Minister, the Right Honourable Leann Dalziel, had her house on the east side trashed during the first quake in September, and her neighbourhood of Bexley is probably going to be a write-off, with no further houses being built on that sight.

 We are finishing-up on most repairs to our house this coming week.  We are the fortunate few being 45 km’s from the center of Christchurch, but many have packed what they could carry and have left the region for good, going to North Island, or to Aussie.

 Many of the schools which remained opened are now severely overcrowded due to taking-on students from the condemned schools.  We have seen a dramatic increase in the population of Rangiora overnight, along with the problems that overcrowding begets.

 There is a mathematician here whose name is Ken Ring. He predicted these quakes using astronomy, the moon’s apogee, gravitics and magnetic field variations.  He came within 2 days of each quake. The next big one is scheduled for 19-21 March of this year.  While many have dismissed his forecast (it’s bad for business and the local economy), others are leaving.  Air New Zealand is offering $50 seats to anywhere in New Zealand for quake survivors, and to those who feel the need to get out.

 That’s the latest from Christchurch.  Feel free to post this on the blog for those Kiwis and Brits who may happen to be in Florida.



Town ad listing property owners owing code enforcement fines nets no payments

Our rich neighbor is having trouble collecting code enforcement fines and went to the extent of publishing a list of delinquent property owners in the local newspaper - with no tangible result. Their "accounts receivable" pales in comparison with ours. At the last City Commission meeting, it was reported that only two code cases were presented before the magistrate at the last Code Enforcement hearing. Selective enforcement? Code equal to a charade? You decide.

The Commission, at the suggestion of Commissioner Maxwell, will be adding an update from Code Enforcement as part of their work session schedule.  A step in the right direction.

Click title for Palm Beach Daily News article.