Saturday, October 1, 2011

Posted on my Picasa account - Historic Lake Worth Pictures

"A large swiming pool in back.
Upper floor was huge dance floor. In the late '30s the County 4- H club used upper floor as a "camp". We had sleeping cots. At night the sand gnats flew in and tried to eat us alive!
I spent a week there"

Separated at birth?

Friday, September 30, 2011

Lake Worth swaps restaurants with Manalapan: John G's out, Callaro's in

The mythology continues, despite the Inspector General finding that the casino building is "new construction" - not a "renovation." The term closest to reality is "rebuilt" that appears in this Press Release Willie article. I guess he thinks that Ms. Stanton will cut off the flow if he reports the opposite of something that she is "adamant" about. Click title for link. By the way, I think Callaro's is a great fit and it's run by a family that lives here - imagine that!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Let's take a little break...

I have a long history of instrumental music and I thought that some people here would appreciate this - music and non-music readers alike.

Delray Beach: From sparse beginnings, a century of progress - The Coastal Star

Interesting recollection of the beginnings of Delray Beach. Their Centennial is this year as Delray - it became Delray Beach later. Click title for link.

I thought this was funny. This provision was included in Delray's early Code of Ordinances. It, of course, has long since been removed.  What would happen to our Commission if we enacted a similar provision today?

“Sec. 9 — All rogues and vagabonds; idle and dissolute persons, tramps who go about begging; persons who use juggling or unlawful games or plays; common pipers or fiddlers; stubborn children; runaways; common drunkards; common night-walkers; pilferers; thieves; lewd, wanton and lascivious persons, in speech or behavior; common railers or brawlers; persons who neglect their calling or employment, or have not visible means of support, or who misspend what they earn, or do not provide for themselves or families; and all other idle or disorderly persons... shall be considered vagrants, and upon conviction of vagrancy, shall be punished by a fine not exceeding fifty dollars or imprisonment not exceeding thirty days, or both.”

Now being seen in New York City...

This is a stencil that is being spray-painted around NYC.  I have kept up my bike riding that was part of a New Year's resolution for 2011.  I hope to be incorporating biking more and more into my everyday routine.  I try to do at least 10 miles a day, sometimes more.

aGuyOnClematis Blog

Click here for link to his blog.

Part of the 9/26 City Commission Meeting where Commissioner salaries are discussed...

Click here and then go to the 38:00 mark.  You will hear the end of public comment and then the Mayor explains her position on the issue around the 42:00 mark.  Essentially she is saying that the salary increase is linked to the extended three year term idea.  That to ask someone to serve for two years at the current salary is one thing, but to ask them to serve one more year at that salary is "unfair."

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Lake Worth to hold workshop on raising salaries for elected officials

Oh my! Don't we feel self-important. Apparently our Mayor doesn't think too highly of receptionists:

"I do think it's embarrassing that we make less than the lowest-paid receptionist," said Waterman, who earns $15,400 annually as mayor. "My day care cost alone is more than I make in a month."

Receptionists have children too. And they actually may be more important than the electeds.  All of our officials were well aware of the salary when they ran for office. I do think that meetings are out of control in terms of number and time of day - and I think that the Commissioners themselves could do a lot to control their frequency and length, but they choose not to. And they can be controlled by not further restricting public comment.

If anything, we should index their salaries to some sort of performance measure. Do we really want to enter the world of a full-time Commission with salaries commensurate with that? I don't think so.  They also receive full health coverage.  I also don't buy into the argument that more people would run if the position paid more - that is not the point in running for office.

As for three year terms, the voters have spoken loud and clear multiple times on saying "no" to extending the term beyond the existing two years. Many of the supporters of the dais majority led the effort to defeat that measure. Funny how the world looks when the shoe is on the other foot. Do we really need a more "Imperious" Commission?

Click title for link.

Dolce Vita, the ‘Cheers’ of wine bars

More things to love about Lake Worth - nice piece on Dolce Vita -now in our oldest downtown building. Click title for link.

2011 NAPC Candidates' Debate

Candidates’ Debate
Neighborhood Association Presidents' Council (NAPC)
Candidates for office to interact and debate on stage.  Make sure to have your questions asked by submitting them to the NAPC at today!
Monday October 24, 2011, 7pm
Lake Worth Playhouse
713 Lake Avenue

Is the Housing Market Even Worse than it Seems?

The first and only word(s) I have heard from Dustin Zacks, Mayoral candidate.  Click here for link to article.

Lake Worth Candidate Forums and Debates Schedule

Tropical Ridge
Monday October 3, 2011 at 7pm
Compass Community Center
201 North Dixie Highway

South Palm Park & Bryant Park
Monday October 10, 2011 at 6:30pm
Lake Worth Golf Course
1 7th Avenue North

College Park, Parrot Cove & Eden Place
Monday October 17, 2011 at 6:30pm
First Congregational Church
1415 North K Street

Neighborhood Association Presidents' Council (NAPC)
Monday October 24, 2011 at 7pm
Lake Worth Playhouse
713 Lake Avenue 

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

5 reasons to revisit The Bamboo Room

Great exposure for the Bamboo Room and "little Lake Worth." Click title for link.

Scary...there are bigger issues than those within our municipal borders

Broadcasted on the BBC yesterday.  This reminds me of the following dialog from Gone with the Wind:

Scarlett: But you are a blockade runner. 
Rhett Butler: For profit, and profit only. 
Scarlett: Are you tryin' to tell me you don't believe in the cause? 
Rhett Butler: I believe in Rhett Butler, he's the only cause I know. 

Bar wins battle with Lake Worth, can stay open past 2 a.m.

Can we pick better hills to die upon? Another failure in an attempt to defend a defenseless position on the part of the City Commission. Notice that those voting to deny the bar's request were Jennings, Golden and Mulvehill - supporters and representatives of the current dais majority. Stanton apparently still is having trouble deciding whether or not to appeal. I always thought it was interesting how the churches in the area were so concerned about a bar open until 5 a.m. What does a church have going on from midnight to 7 a.m.? What would an inside bar have as an impact to a near-by church at those hours of the night? Aside from a moral judgement on the activity by the church, the City Commission and a few neighbors, what business is it of theirs to impinge on a long-standing pattern of business by a bar at this location.

What is the overall strategy in management of the many (160 plus and counting) lawsuits the city is facing? Is there any awareness that it might be good to cut the city's losses in some of these cases? Up until now, it seems to be a policy to blindly follow what might be a series of indefensible actions on the part of the city. The Greater Bay lawsuit is likely the next one to bear bitter fruit, after spending $600,000 in defense of the city's position.

Click title for link. At least the Post is publishing this, I guess they think they have to.

Martina Navratilova

"The difference between involvement and commitment is like ham and eggs. The chicken is involved; the pig is committed."

Political newcomer raises most money so far in Lake Worth races

The fundraising wars represented in various campaign reports through 9/16. Interesting math when reporting the results of the run-off election in July. True, Waterman received 313 more votes than Ramiccio, but I always felt that it is better, in a two person race, to divide that number in half. Those not voting for one candidate would vote for the other, so really we are talking the difference between 150+ people. Click title for link. Again, the Post referred to this election as a trouncing back in July.


Deceptionbeguilementdeceitbluffmystificationbad faith, and subterfuge are acts to propagate beliefs that are not true, or not the whole truth (as in half-truths or omission). Deception can involve dissimulationpropagandasleight of hand. It can employ distraction, camouflage or concealment. There is also self-deception as in bad faith.
Deception is a major relational transgression that often leads to feelings of betrayal and distrust between relational partners. Deception violates relational rules and is considered to be a negativeviolation of expectations. Most people expect friends, relational partners, and even strangers to be truthful most of the time. If people expected most conversations to be untruthful, talking and communicating with others would require distraction and misdirection to acquire reliable information. On a given day, it is likely that most human beings will either deceive or be deceived by another person.  From Wikipedia.

The sequence in the Inspector General's Report is important...

Reading the report, it is clear that the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) did not accept the city's argument made in its 9/16 response that the project is a rehabilitation.  They calculated the substantial improvement to the building at 96% - a figure that represents reality.  Not the city's fictional calculation of 43%.  Here is what the city said in support of its claim:
Just because the City Manager is "adamant" doesn't mean that it is so.  Then, at the end of the letter, there are a lot of "mea culpas" about the need for training staff and reorganization of departments - but don't we contract out to West Palm Beach for our inspection services?

This letter, as part of the report, appears more like an exhibit and this paragraph written by the OIG actually comes BEFORE the copy of the city's response:

Up until now, I guess the city thinks that it can ignore this interpretation.  I wonder how long they will get away with it.  Maxwell called for a special "review" meeting on the beach at last Thursday's work session - in line with the OIG's recommendation.  There was no willingness to do that from anyone else on the dais.

Casino Building NEW Construction Pics - 9/23

 These are from the latest City Manager's Report from 9/23.  Notice that the two pictures above and below are the only parts of the old building that remain.  It seems that the city is placing some editorial emphasis on them.  I wonder why?  This is the 4% of the building that remains, according to the Inspector General's report.

Lake Worth property taxes to rise with new budget approved

Why does this headline read more like good news than what it is? Bias, that's why. Click title for link.  Sort of goes along with Golden's "city on the rise" statement.

Monday, September 26, 2011

If you want to listen the budget hearing...

Click here.

Maxwell notes that the general fund is larger than it was last year and we are layering assessments on top of that.  Stanton confirms this.  He notes that 72 positions were eliminated and pay raises were given out...along with hundreds of thousands of last minute money being added in.

Waterman said that she wanted to be sure that the only increases are part of union contracts or for two people that are getting promotions.  Stanton confirmed that there are no across the board increases.  Golden says that Maxwell missed some meetings and he could have brought any concerns on line items at that time.  McVoy said essentially the same thing.  Golden says that everyone needs to be a cheerleader for the city.  She says that Lake Worth is a "city on the rise" in south Florida.  Campaign speech, essentially.

Waterman says that they have gone line by line, page by page and, during the process, eliminating or reducing items.

Maxwell asks about the budget prospects for next year.  He asks where the five year projections are in the document.  Stanton hems and haws and says that they will be out in three days, by the end of the fiscal year.  No other local government has cut more according to her.  She says they have stopped the bleeding.  Maxwell says her talking points are getting old.

Maxwell says that the Commission should check itself before they "lecture" the public instead of taking their comments seriously.  Maxwell says Stanton lectures him too, and he is tired of it.  McVoy may stand "guilty as charged" on lecturing -  he is just explaining how they reach decisions.  The trolley sounds like toast.  McVoy says that he didn't hide that he didn't like the added a position of an Internal Auditor - he doesn't see that as a value added position.  Golden says that Marketing and Special Events should be one position - Maxwell says that those were important to Mulvehill and it may be convenient to combine since she is not there tonight.  Waterman says that nothing is really tied to an individual - that can be inflammatory.  Speak objectively she says.  She is disappointed that the trolley program is misunderstood - it was to be a shared cost with others, not entirely run by the city.  Waterman mentions ice cream again, for some odd reason.  Not anything about her consuming it, this time it is the city.  Can someone get her some ICE CREAM please!

Lack of Yearly Pass at LW Boat Ramp: Kryptonite for Kayakers...

From: Stanley Sands, 907 18Th. Ave. N. , Lake Worth
To Rachel Waterman
Reference: Coffee with the mayor at Farmer Girl.
    Thank you for allowing me to discuss my complaint concerning the city not following through with Ord # 2009-23 section 7-54 C ( concerning letting city residents purchase a yearly $50 boat trailer parking permit for Bryant park in lieu of buying a daily $10 pass)
    You explained to me that because the county financed the project that they won't allow the city to allow only city residents to buy the yearly pass.
    I have a very simple solution to the problem. Lake Worth would establish the yearly permit in such a way that any resident of Palm Beach county could purchase the permit.
     Palm Beach county can't prevent that from happening because no county resident is being excluded.
 The county already furnishes annual boat trailer parking permits for 5 other boat ramp sites in PBC for $37 per year. 
    It seems to me it would be a simple matter for Lake Worth to do the same for it's one boat ramp at $50 per year!
    In the meantime, I ,as a Lake Worth tax payer, will drive to the nearest PBC boat ramp site which is "Jim Berry Light Harbor park in Riviera Beach" to launch my Kayak instead of enjoying a local  site much closer to my home. I refuse to pay a hefty $10 fee each and every time  I want to enjoy our local waterway
    If you, as mayor and the city commission were to institute such an easy modification to that ordinance, it would certainly make me a happier Kayaker. Many other Lake Worth small boaters who have complained about this issue will come to know that there are elected officials that make things happen.They will know that no city or county is trying to nickel and dime us out of enjoying the many natural waterway attractions that  we have here.
    Thank you in advance for taking positive action on this issue and good luck with every initiative you take on that improves life here in Lake Worth.

This was sent to the entire Commission and the City Manager, as well.

Lake Worth mayoral candidate speaks with the Libertarians

I am proud of my neighbor Pam Triolo and I am supporting her run for Mayor. Here she is reaching out to a group of interested voters. Click title for link.

Developers once again eyeing new condominium projects

A review of residential projects on the drawing boards or underway in Palm Beach County. Click title for link. We, Lake Worth, have to get our Land Development Regulations and Comp Plan in sync and complete. That way, we will be able to tell people what is allowed, what the process is and the community will have an assurance about what it is getting in return. If we don't, then we will continue to lose property tax value, be forced to increase our millage rate to the maximum and rely on more assessments - which will all have further negative impacts on property values, quality of life and lower levels of municipal service. Or, maybe we should be up front about the current prevailing "no to everything" attitude of the City Commission and Planning and Zoning Board. Why not just issue a moratorium on everything - instead of pretending to encourage redevelopment for campaign purposes?

Sunday, September 25, 2011

GPS Puts Hollywood Sign on the Beaten Path -

Some unintended consequences of saving a landmark combined with ubiquitous information technology impact a neighborhood. Those affected have dueling approaches to the problem. Click title for link to article.

LULA arts promotion project to foster exhibit, living spaces

Nice article on LULA, downtown Lake Worth, the CRA and the arts. The townhouses presented to the Planning and Zoning Board last week are mentioned in the article. Click title for link.

Wait. What? Already? Cleveland Walking it Back on Complete Streets | Rust Wire

And in other planning related news, Cleveland hits a barricade on dedicated bike and pedestrian ways. Click title for link.

Wave of apartment construction set to sweep South Florida

Hmmm...not here. No one would know what they could do according to our code and Comp Plan. On purpose? Click title for link to article.

City's Reaction to Beach Project Revelations...

Rolling my eyes at seeing the "Re-Elect Waterman" signs...

If you don't recall, we last decided our choice for Mayor way back on July 12, 2011 in a run-off election where 2,727 voters came out to the polls.  Those that came out chose Mayor Waterman by almost a 6% margin - that's about 155 votes above the margin that would have claimed the minimum majority (The Post referred to this as a trouncing.)  So, less than three months later, the Waterman camp is proclaiming the need for perhaps a whole different set of voters to come out and in November and re-elect her.  Well, that group of voters can't re-elect her if they didn't elect her in the first place.  I think that the composition of that voting group in November will be different than the one that appeared in the middle of July.

Then consider the "pre-baked" notion of the election in the first place.  The June/July series of elections originated from former Mayor Varela's premature departure which, I firmly believe, was conspired and hatched by those wishing to sneak one of their favorites in the Mayoral slot without all of the candidates that usually flood the Mayoral race in Lake Worth.  Instead of the usual choice between ten or more hopefuls, we have a choice of three this time.  Probably voter/candidate fatigue?  I think so.  I am sure that this whole scenario was done with complete forethought and planning by those hungering for more power in our little hamlet.

But what about the condition of that hamlet?  Whoever proclaims "Re-Elect" on an campaign sign surely must think that the voters see a rosy glow when they look at the condition of that hamlet.  After threats related to breaking the contract with PBSO and Fire Rescue, two new assessments with others in the works, one might wonder how rosy that glow is or if that glow is indeed rosy, or if it is more like the glow from a nuclear waste facility.

Remember, our current Mayor Rachel Waterman proclaimed that she couldn't be held responsible for the decisions of others.  We saw this played out this week during the meeting on the beach budget - I wonder  if she can claim responsibility, in her current leadership role, as not being responsible for the indecision of others, including herself now.  We are still left without a strategy to incorporate site lighting and understand options/alternatives to the surprise $2 million cost over-run.  And all we can hear is crickets in response to the finding by the Office of the Inspector General that the casino building is NEW construction.  Regardless, we can predict what is being said at doorsteps around our fair city.

No, this time Rachel will have to rely on more than just being placed on a Marketing Task Force (which I understand was disbanded over the summer and now will actually be made into a legitimate board.) and having appeared in a Palm Beach Post fluff piece about her triumphal return to Lake Worth.  She will have to run on her record and the fact that she still enjoys the endorsement of three of her four dais mates.  Also consider this, her voting on the dais, should Rachel be re-elected, would not be constrained by the need to prepare for an upcoming re-election campaign within the next three and a half months.