Saturday, June 25, 2011

No one can say this any better...thank you Russ!

To those that think the political and financial shenanigans to promote this project are acceptable:

Some of us have long histories of promoting historic preservation, investing substantial amounts of time money and effort to the cause. Too often preservation can be stultifying and dogmatic, but when executed thoughtfully is about protecting culturally important achitectural fabric and reinforcing a community's sense of place. Projects like the beach casino are sold to the public on that premise, but artificial recreation for the sake of skirting zone and code requirements is a far cry from "saving" a landmark. Knowledgeable advocates of historic redevelopment aren't upset that this is finally being built... we're disturbed by the misinformation used to convince the public that will pay for it, and a profound lack of integrity with nearly every aspect of it's execution. 


These pictures were taken in October of 2006.

Discussion on these historic columns and arches was a large part of the decision process in picking an architect and the design of the building.

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"I didn't ask you that question, I want to know how we are going to keep this building open?" Commissioner Suzanne Mulvehill

"And that's how even I got elected into office, it's such a political move in this city, cause the politics of this city wanted it torn down."  Commissioner Mulvehill

"...being gutted, but not torn down..."

This is what Channel 5 was saying on this morning's newscast.  They are taking their cue from the caption that appeared in the PBP article this week.  So goes the spin on what is happening to the Casino building...ha!

Here are the demolition plans from the set of plans for the project:
Click on these images for greater detail.  The dashed lines on the plan indicate the building's existing, or once existing walls for the second floor.  Everything on the second floor is being demolished!  Nothing will be left, not even the floor.  Here is the call-out on the "DEMOLITION PLAN KEY NOTES:"
This is the project management table from Morganti's Report #5:
You can see the from the table that the entire roof, 2nd floor walls, 2nd floor and roof of 1st floor are all being demolished.  The only "selective demolition" that is taking place will be on the 1st floor.  See the demolition plan for the 1st floor - below:
These are the only things being spared from demolition on the first floor - that I can tell by reading the plan:
  • The columns along the current portion of the building that is two story - the building's southern half.  All the columns on the north half of the building are gone.
  • The columns that are currently buried within the structure along southern wall - with minor portions of wall attached to those columns.
  • An 8 foot long and a 16 foot wall running east to west along the southern wall.
  • A series of six, 2 foot wall portions where the eastern wall was.
  • A series of eleven 2 foot to 3 foot 8 inch sections of wall along where the western wall used to be.
  • Two walls in the middle of the building running east to west of undetermined dimension.
  • A total of sixteen wall sections measuring between 2 feet to 3 foot 8 inches where the northern half of the building was.
  • Two walls about 12 feet long running north to south along the western wall of the northern half of where the building was.
  • Two walls about 12 feet long running east to west along the northern extent of the building.
That's it - that is all that will be left of the building once demolition is completed.  I really question whether or not the small portions of the building "selectively" being saved can be incorporated in to the new structure.  To what end?  Just to be able to say that this was not a complete demolition?

Now, the building official's interpretation is that since there were existing code deficiencies in the building, the demolition is "curing" those deficiencies so that value is not included the total project cost.  Due to this interpretation, the city does not have to bring the building up to current code requirements as it relates to the foundation.  That means that the building - which is being "renovated" with public money - will not have the protection of being on pilings and a fortified slab.  This could result in the entire building being washed out to the ocean should a strong hurricane or other storm come along - wasting the public money that was spent on the building.

Remember Cara's PowerPoint presentation on sea level rise and "managed retreat" from the ocean?  So much for that concept.

People got elected based on "We are saving the historic Casino" line.  The Commission and the administration - and the Palm Beach Post  - are still saying that is true.

We all should be OuTrAgEd!

Endorsement: In Tuesday's election, Waterman for Lake Worth mayor

The Palm Beach Post again proves that it is not good enough for use even as bird cage liner. Funny that they refer this four month period as a "trial" - perhaps a veiled reference to all the lawsuits the city faces. If you want to read the dribble, click title for link.

More Casino Building DEMOLITION Pics...from today (6/25) at 7:00 a.m.

"Miami Beach - once you say hello, it's hard to say good-bye..."

Just have to share this tourist propaganda film from 1964 highlighting all the wonders of Miami Beach.  Amazing record of Mid-Century Modern hotel/motel/resort architecture.  You can also see how people spent their time once there - lots of campy music too.  Really documents the end of an era before the resurgence of the area in the 1980s.  Enjoy!  (Best watched full screen)

Friday, June 24, 2011

Pictures of the Casino Building DEMOLITION taken by yours truly on 6/24

Screening material is going around the fence now...hmmm.

Demolition begins on historic Lake Worth Casino building


Investigative Reporter Mr. Howard says in the picture's caption that the building is being "gutted", not torn down and then a whole bunch of other babble in the body of the article, including quotes by the "other blogger." We'll see what things look like in a week and then we'll make an independent assessment. THIS WAS PASSED OFF AS SAVING THE BUILDING AND IT IS ANYTHING BUT! (Click title for article)

Hear the love from the County Commission...

Click here for a link to the Board of County Commissioners meeting from this past Tuesday, June 21st.  Starting at the 2 hour and 43 minute mark, Commissioner Aaronson lights in to Lake Worth about what the County can do in recourse to difficulties in dealing with our city.  His chief concern currently is our non-payment of the supplemental fee for fire rescue.  He wants to find a way to link Lake Worth's non-performance in contractual matters to other County contracts - you default on one, you default on all of them.  Clearly his patience is used up as he cites the water, PBSO and now fire rescue contracts.  He calls out city management as the problem.  Commissioner Vanna enters the conversation as well.  She tries to defend the indefensible.  The big target is the $5 million the County has pledged for the beach project.  Anyway, it is interesting to listen to how our actions create a perception of what Lake Worth is all about - which affects the city's image in the eyes of the bigger marketplace and political spheres.

Commission Chair Marcus says that in the future they will need to "put a bunch of asterisks by their name next time, that ability to pay thing..."  Our behavior may have grave consequences going forward.

Thursday, June 23, 2011


This keeps getting better or worse...depending....

That is Vice-Mayor Mulvehill featured.  FYI - the building is being torn down and John G's is moving to Manalapan, never to come backLiana Gray, an Australian actress, was on an Earth Diet while she was here and thinks it's great that Dick comes there everyday and eats sausage.  I could go on...

Your city's "cash portfolio" dollars at work...

More Casino Building DEMOLITION Pics...from today (6/23) at 9:30 a.m.

Instead of "selective demolition" this is more like SELECT ALL DEMOLITION.  The historic arches and columns on the west side are now in the debris pile- I'll retrieve and post pictures of those so that we can remember what they looked like.  Videos coming.

Lisa just got Mars' and Venus' votes!

Lisa in the laundry room...

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Synopses, Snippets and Summaries from Monday's (6/20) Special Mayoral Election Candidate Forum

Like I said, and the pictures attest, it was a packed house at the Congregational Church last Monday night.  In between taking videos and stills of the candidate forum, I took some notes during the affair.  For the blog, I thought that I would just separate responses according to candidate and not by question.  We'll see how well this works.  The order below is how the candidates were seated from left to right as looking at the stage from the audience.

javier del sol:   Said that he would "hit the ground running," reminding everyone again that he has lived here for 34 years.  He's running for Mayor since other communities are not represented adequately - or here on this particular night.  He continually noted throughout his responses that the sheriff takes 50% of the city's budget and more could be spent on education as a way to prevent crime. He said that as far as utilities, you have to pay for what you use and conservation is the key to the future.  He noted that the room was too cold and doors were left open before the forum began.  He said that the city has neglected code compliance and that education about the codes would help with compliance.

Lisa Maxwell:  Lisa said that she would concentrate on the budget during the first four months in office before the November election.  She told a story about her clothes dryer catching on fire right before coming there that night and it reminded her of the importance of the fire department and is concerned about the renegotiation of that contract.  She is running for Mayor because she feels she has a background and experience that qualify her to tackle and solve the city's problems.  She is tired of the "politics of distraction" employed by the Commission and she would end that if elected.  She referred to city utilities as a "cash cow" referencing a term used by Mulevhill to explain its function in the city's budget.  She thought that was reprehensible and that the city had no discipline around the budget.  Saying that you should pay for the cost of what you use and no more, she pointed out the with the city using utility money to make up for shortages in the general fund makes that impossible.  She said that the cost of utilities is out of control and perhaps there should be an independent authority to rule over the city's utilities.  She thinks that code enforcement has essentially been shut down for the last two years and that she would restore it back to where it was functional.  Related to the question  on agricultural zoning, she said that she was not for down-zoning of property since that is going in the opposite direction of increasing property values throughout the city.  "Lake Worth is not a good place for animal husbandry." - it is an urban area.  The "chicken issue" is one of those "politics of distraction" and we need to rally around the critical issues, and there are many.  She said having a $4 million dollar budget shortfall and investing $6 million in our Casino building is an example of the city's financial problems.  There is no permanent financing for the renovations on the building and that the money for it could be coming from utility deposits, which is wrong.

Tom Ramiccio:  Tom said that he would focus on the budget during the first four months and utilize his experience gained in the position he held previously to do so.  He would explore the sale of the electric utility to FPL, attempt to settle the numerous lawsuits against the city and bring needed stability to the City Commission.  He said that the city has lost over $1 billion in taxable property value over the past few years and this has to stop.  This has led to record layoffs of city personnel, cutting way back on public works services.  He would be aggressive with economic development to reverse the trend.  Regarding code enforcement, he noted the existence of "Third World neighborhoods", that code enforcement had been gutted by the current administration and Commission and he said that the city should be about collecting fines already levied.  He mentioned the fact that the CRA received the $23 million NSP2 grant that is designed to address many of these problem properties and get them in the hands of working families.  He would work closely with the CRA and the neighborhoods to make conditions better.  He reminded people that Rachel thought that chicken farming was a good idea in the  Park of Commerce.

Rachel Waterman:  She backtracked on her statement made at the Playhouse saying not that she would run for Mayor in November - I wonder if this is a win or lose proposition.  She said that she would concentrate on the budget during the four months before November, looking at individual departments for ways to streamline functions, while improving customer service.  Being a fresh face, she can bring in new ideas and not fall into the pattern identified in the famous Einstein quote.  She would try new approaches to deal with the "pots of money" and said that the budget is too small and needs to get bigger through redevelopment.  She said that commercial utility rates are too high and something needs to be done since that deters economic development.  In response to Ramiccio's comment, she said that she lives in one of those "Third World neighborhoods" and that she would go after absentee landlords and bank foreclosed  properties with renewed code enforcement.  She noted that she has trained code enforcement people.  She said that we didn't need to reinvent the wheel and there are a lot of best practices out there to pull from for ideas.  She says that you wouldn't have to rezone the entire city to allow chickens, but that she would not propose that issue if elected as she saw it as being divisive.  Work on the beach is a good investment and that the rents will pay for the improvements.

Pics taken today of "selective demolition" of Casino building...

Lake Worth library to stay open 40 hours a week, but with less paid staff

Click title for link to PBP article. Funny how the total amount saved for the rest of the year is less than the cost of the two studies related to police and fire service prepared by Willdan Homeland Solutions.

Lake Worth approves another two years with Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office

Click title for link to PBP's short account of the action taken last night. Things to remember: the study was unnecessary and had nothing to do with the concession offered by PBSO. McVoy, Golden and Mulvehill would have plowed ahead and given the city manager her own police department without the organized outrage expressed by the community. Remember, Ms. Waterman is supported by the same three Commissioners.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

javier del sol's Closing - Eden Place/College Park Candidate Forum

Rachel Waterman's Closing - Eden Place/College Park Candidate Forum

Oops...Rachel is out of focus, but you can definitely hear her.  Her voice boomed over the PA system last night. In her closing, she seems to suggest that the $23 million NSP grant, and others like it, can make up our city's $4 million budget deficit.  Ms. Waterman, I think the federal government would think differently about spending that money on that purpose.  The only grant that could make up a budget shortfall would involve a takeover by the State of Florida, and that would not be pleasant.  This idea came from a professional grant writer by the way.

More on the forum later.

North Miami Beach considers declaring “financial urgency” - North Miami / NMB -

The ranks of Florida cities facing a "financial urgency" are likely to grow. Click title for link.

Tom Ramiccio's Closing - Eden Place/College Park Candidate Forum

Lisa Maxwell in the field...telling it how it is...

Lisa Maxwell's Closing - Eden Place/College Park Candidate Forum

The "Where do you live and for how long?" Question from Eden Place/College Park Candidate Forum

Rachel Waterman's Introduction - Eden Place/College Park Candidate Forum

Tom Ramiccio's Introduction - Eden Place/College Park Candidate Forum

Lisa Maxwell's Introduction - Eden Place/College Park Candidate Forum

This is the shakiest video of the bunch - many sorries...

javier del sol's Introduction - Eden Place/College Park Candidate Forum

Standing Room Only last night...videos and more on the way...

Monday, June 20, 2011

Happily back in Lake Worth, she's named to city's marketing task force

Things that make you go, hmmm. Check out this She (capital "S") Returns article by Willie Howard - dated Febuary 9, 2011. Would a mere mortal deserve a mention, let alone an article complete with Q & A including "What is your favorite childhood memory?" How did she become a member of the anointed class? Obviously, the FIX was in earlier than her formal announcement and perhaps even Rene's early departure fit part of the plan. There is no doubt who the PBP will endorse. How is that not corruption? Click title for link.

Click here for link to Rachel Waterman's Resume

Mayoral Candidate Forum | College Park & Eden Place

The College Park Neighborhood Association along with our friends from the Eden Place Neighborhood Association invite you to attend:

Mayoral Candidate Forum
Monday, June 20th
7 - 8:30 pm
First Congregational Church,
1415 North K Street

Neighbors from College Park and Eden Place will have the opportunity to write their questions for the candidates at the beginning of the meeting. Candidates will each give two minute opening remarks followed by the Q&A and finish up with three minute closing statements. As far as we know, there are no other candidate forums scheduled with all the candidates before Election Day and we hope you will all come out for this event. Of course, we will immediately send out notice if we hear of any other Neighborhood Association sponsored forums.

Please feel free to forward this notice to all your friends and neighbors who may not be on our email distribution list. The forum is open to all residents of the city, but in the interest of time, preference will be given to questions submitted by Eden Place and College Park residents. Index cards and pens will be provided.

Election day is Tuesday, June 28th. The Candidates are:
javier del sol
Lisa Maxwell
Tom Ramiccio
Rachel Waterman

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Meet Lisa's Family...

Riviera Beach FPL plant implosion from this morning...

Krazy Locos Ruffians Combine for 237 Years Up the River - Broward/Palm Beach News - The Daily Pulp

Lake Worth gang title for link.

Cerabino: Feathers flying as Lake Worth weighs proposal for backyard hens

When will it end? Please, for the love of title for link.

Can we all agree that if we were a city that ran like a well-oiled machine, we could then think about allowing chickens in yards? We can't take care of the blight that we have now and, apparently can't make obligated payments to governmental agencies.

Lake Worth defaults on fire-rescue contract

This money was in the budget approved for this year. This was an individual decision by our city manager not to pay the supplemental fee - while we can charge ahead with the Casino building out of a $6 million "cash portfolio." Again, we are sending another signal to the world that you can't trust Lake Worth to abide by any agreement.  When are we going to address our taxable property value and make Lake Worth a place where people are willing to invest their savings in our city's future?  Click title for link to PBP article.