Saturday, December 10, 2011

[CPNA] TODAY Santa in our Cultural Plaza and TONIGHT "Light the Night" Holiday Parade

Downtown Lake Worth positively sparkles today with Santa's Workshop and the Children's Festival in the Cultural Plaza, sponsored by the City of Lake Worth and the Lake Worth Kiwanians. Festivities begin at Noon and last all day until 8:00 pm tonight. Santa Claus has promised to be there too!

You'll want to spend the day and share in all the activites up and down the Avenues. Shop windows and shelves are fully decked in Holiday Splendor and Great Gifts, many from our own local artists and craftsmen.

The 44th Annual Lake Worth Holiday Parade "Light the Night" starts at 6pm. If you'd like to be a part of the parade and walk together with friends from Neighborhood Associations all over the City, please be at the corner of Federal and 2nd Avenue North at 5pm. Please wear your College Park T-Shirt if you have one and if not, we'll have some on hand!

Happy Holidays!

Friday, December 9, 2011

From our Acting City Manager...

Importance of Quality Beachfronts to Tourism and the Economy...(re-post from2008)

I just happened to come across this information on the Florida Atlantic University Center for Urban and Environmental Solutions website. You can click here to access their January 2008 newsletter. As I was wandering around their site, I stumbled on these pages from a study done in 2005 related to the economic impact beaches have on our state economy.

In these increasingly trying economic times and with the dwindling of local government resources (refer to last Tuesday's election results and the passage of Amendment #1), we have to keep in mind what a rare economic asset we have in our 19 acre beachfront property. To not do so is to manifest the conditions that we see at the beach today. Looking at the conditions at the beach today many people say (I've heard them), "It looks like Lake Worth doesn't care about its beach anymore." Then they wonder what else Lake Worth doesn't care about anymore. Tourists don't want to see a run down set of beach facilities. They will be choosing the ones that are most attractive and ones perceived to be more safe over beaches that don't have those traits.

It's very easy to sit back and say a beach shouldn't be used in an economic calculation such as this. But it is reality folks. It is not a choice to be economically viable and environmentally sensitive - the two can co-exist. We will need to blend the two soon and make sure it betters the City of Lake Worth's strategic position as a municipality in Palm Beach County. If we don't, then our fate will be cast by others rather than through our own actions. It's not that far-fetched to say that the very future of the City hangs in the balance.

Let's change our frames of mind from "can't do" to "can do".

[CPNA] Holiday Parade this Saturday

Hi Neighbors, Please join in and march along with friends from Neighborhood Associations across the City in the 46th Annual Lake Worth Holiday Parade. Wear your College Park T-Shirt, if you have one and if you don't, we will have some on hand. Meet at 5:00 pm at the corner of Federal Highway and 2nd Avenue North to get all lined up. The parade starts festively at 6:00 pm.

Special Treat for the trivial blogger...

David Grayson

"It is a tender shoot, easily blasted by cold winds, the creative instinct: but persistent. It has many adventitious buds. A late frost destroying the freshness of its early verdure, may be the means of a richer growth in later and more favourable days."

Thursday, December 8, 2011

December Mango Groves Meeting 12/15/11 7pm Compass

Good afternoon,

The Mango Groves Neighborhood Association December meeting will be held next Thursday, 12/15, 7pm, at Compass Center on North Dixie Hwy. We have two special guest speakers this month! First, we have State Representative Jeff Clemons who will be reporting on the Snook Island project,  and giving us a preview of the upcoming Florida legislative session. Secondly, Joel Rutsky form Utilities will be presenting. We will also be holding our annual election for Officers. If you would like to be a Director please come to the meeting or email us with your name and address.

We hope to see you all there!

MGNA Board of Directors

From FaceBook: Local Volunteer Opportunity...

Click image for better legibility - a must read.


Innovations in Bike Parking

By the way, the bike rack in front of City Hall is too low to accommodate larger frame bikes.  When we were securing our bikes Tuesday night, both Commissioner McVoy and I had to lock our bikes to the outside frame of the rack - which is not how it was designed.  In practice, although it looks like there is space for four or five bikes, you would have a hard time fitting bikes beside each other - especially given racks and panniers commonly mounted on bikes.  Commissioner McVoy's bike has gigantic panniers and they take up a lot of space side-to-side.  If you had two large frame bikes and you came with a third one, you would have to look elsewhere to lock up your bike if you're attending a meeting at City Hall.

Remember this full scale retreat in response to the Great Uprising:

Lake Worth's firing of Stanton is a bad thing, done badly

From their cozy paneled corner offices, far removed from the realities we face on a daily basis, comes this from the PBP editorial board. Next time, if we want your opinion, we'll ask for it. Too bad my bird cage already has a clean liner. Click title for link if you are interested in what the know-it-alls have to say.  The comments are always more interesting then their opinion anyway.  And they even mention the press release, spoon fed article on the casino building progress appearing in their paper juxtaposed with the story on the City Manager's firing as some sort of proof of their point.  Sheesh!  Tell us more about that "renovation" project.  And tell us all about the importance of public input to this administration that was about to dump PBSO until the Great Uprising put a stop to that.  That, more than anything, sealed the fate of Ms. Stanton as a former City Manager.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Former Lake Worth city manager reflects on her accomplishments, hopes to stay in South Florida

Press Release Willie outdoes himself, click title for link.

Palm Beach’s 33480 ranks as nation’s richest ZIP code

Where the .01% reside. Click title for link.

Yesterday and my view from the bicycle seat...(long)

I might have mentioned here before that, as a New Year's resolution for 2011, I made the commitment to get back on my bike and ride it on a regular basis.

This bike riding is not a foreign activity for me - biking has been a big part of my life and at one time included a round trip of over two hundred miles.  Back in 1988, I rode with my significant other from Lansing to Saugatuck, Michigan.  I was riding regularly at the time, doing aerobics class and worked out on Nautilus equipment, so I was in pretty good shape and so was he.  He had gone ahead with a friend a few days before, by car, with what we would need for the few days we were to spend there (so we wouldn't have to carry gear with us) and also scouted our route for problem hills, bad pavement, etc.  It turned out that it was about 110 miles there and back.  We left on a Saturday morning early in August.  The first fifty miles flew by with no problem and we stopped in Hastings, Michigan for lunch - a Pizza Hut, probably a mistake.  And it was probably a mistake to leave for the rest of the trip that afternoon with the intent of arriving in Saugutuck for dinner.  We had friends in Hastings and could have easily stayed the night.

Michigan summers are hot and humid and there is a prevailing westerly wind, so as the afternoon passed we found ourselves riding into the wind and the sun.  As the miles crept on, we discovered that we had run out of water.  Our thirst had been made greater with our salty lunch.  We began stopping by closed businesses looking for hose bibs, which probably kept us from heatstroke.  I also envisioned Lake Michigan being high in a mountain seemed like we were never going down hill - only up.  At about the 88 mile mark of our trip, we found an intersection of a main Michigan highway and the rural two lane road we had been following - that had a few houses and a John Deere dealership.

This was the time before cellphones.  We were close enough and at a point where calling the friend that we'd be staying with and having him pick us up was a possibility.  Lucky to find someone home on a late Saturday afternoon, my partner went to a door and the resident kindly let him use the phone.  The friend responded that he knew right where we were and it would be about a half-hour or so before he could get there, but he had room for the bikes and it would be no problem.  So we waited in the John Deere dealership parking lot, expecting him in about 30 minutes.

Well, 30 minutes turned to THREE HOURS and it was getting dark.  Jerome and I were thirsty, hungry, tired and achy.  And when I say achy, those who bike know that after a long ride like that and not moving, your muscles become painfully stiff - especially if you don't keep properly hydrated.  We tried to call again from the house where we had made the first call and the people had left.  We tried other houses within walking distances and no one was home or answering their door.  We contemplated waving down passing cars, but discarded that idea due to memories of abduction stories, etc.  We had a map and the next major road looked to be about 6 miles away - if we went just 6 more miles we'd be that much closer and maybe find someone home and could try to call our "friend" again.

Those last 6 miles were the longest of the entire day.  We were both so stiff, it seemed like it might have been faster to walk our bikes than ride them.  It was dark now, so we didn't have the sun and the wind had calmed, but that didn't make that much difference.  As far as we could see were farm fields and no houses.  And there were hills too.  Finally, after about an hour or more, we made it to the next major road and there was a house with lights on.  We didn't have to convince the homeowners of our plight; it was quite obvious by then.  We used the phone and it turned out that our "friend" had fallen asleep and lost track of time.  He was very apologetic and appeared in about 20 minutes.  I just remember drinking lots of water back at his place and dropping in bed.

We stayed there a couple days and had a great time.  Saugatuck is an artist community (conservative western Michigan slang for "gay people live there") and we met up with a lot of people that were on vacation from the Chicago area.  During our downtime, we did think and talk occasionally about the ride back. Was it worth it?  How to get the bikes back if not?  When it came time to leave, we decided to get up early and head east toward Lansing on our bikes.

It turns out that heading east was a cinch compared to heading west.  Maybe our muscles were in better shape and after resting we had more energy.  This time we were going with the wind and those hills were going down, not up.  We made it all the way back to Lansing by 5 p.m. and celebrated the fact that the return trip was so easy.

I biked a lot yesterday.  I did my usual ten mile route through Lake Worth.  I attempt to do it everyday and have increased the pace from every other day when I began at the beginning of the year.  On the last leg of my loop, I was on North Palm Way.  A white pick-up truck passed me and I recognized it from previous campaign/election times.  It was Annabeth Karson.  She lives off of the street and when I passed her after she parked on the side of the road, she was busy gathering cabal paperwork and either didn't recognize me, didn't want to or was too busy to notice.  I just kept riding silently by.

When I got home, I brushed up the PowerPoint for my history talk at Parrot Cove.  Around 5 o'clock I was getting hungry and thought about how to best satisfy that.  I decided that I would mount my bike and head to White Apron for a take-out sandwich.  From there, with my back pack filled with my netbook, camera, cellphone, food and things, I headed toward City Hall.  Just after arriving there and locking up my bike, Commissioner McVoy pulled up on his bike.  As he was securing his, he said, "I'm glad to see you riding your bike."  I told him about my New Year's resolution.  I told him about my ten miles a day and he looked me up and down as if to assess if I was telling the truth - reading his mind I could hear him thinking about my body size.  And then he asked if I had been able to incorporate biking into my everyday routine.  And he answered his own question as he noted that I had ridden to the Commission meeting tonight.  I told him that I try to bike when I can, especially when in Lake Worth.  We then preceded to talk over each other for a minute or so which confirmed that neither of us wanted to hear what the other had to say.  He went in to City Hall and I sat on one of the benches outside and had a picnic dinner.

The videos show essentially what I was able to see while at the City Commission meeting.  I had to leave to bike to St. Andrews around a quarter of 7 for my talk at Parrot Cove.  When I got there, word had gotten out about what the Commission was talking about and I filled people in on what I had witnessed.  We had trouble finding an extension cord, but that problem was solved and the meeting, along with my presentation, went well.  According to Teresa Miller, it was one of the largest crowds that they could remember.

When leaving, I passed another person who was unlocking her bike and she said that she bikes everywhere in Lake Worth.  She has a car, but doesn't see the point of using it in town.  We rode together on North Palmway for a while until she got to her street.

The point of this long post is that having the bike so involved in what went on yesterday reminded me about that trip a long time ago.  And, in thinking about it, the trip west back in 1988 was probably a lot like Ms. Stanton's time in Lake Worth.  It was harder than she thought it was going to be, conditions were worse, communication was poor, people she thought she could count on weren't there when she needed them and her mistakes/missteps made things worse.  A trip against the wind, uphill and in to the sun.

Ms. Stanton - may the wind always be at your back.

City Commission Meeting 12/6/11 #8 (last)

It was at this time I had to leave the meeting to give my talk at Parrot Cove's meeting.

City Commission Meeting 12/6/11 #7

City Commission Meeting 12/6/11 #6

City Commission Meeting 12/6/11 #5

With construction on schedule, Lake Worth casino set to open in fall 2012

One of Press Release Willie's finest works - timing is great too. Remind me that if I renovate my house, not to tear it down first. Note to Willie and the PBP editorial board - the Office of Inspector General, the one that you continue to support and declare that municipalities should pipe down and pay for, found that this is NEW CONSTRUCTION.

Maybe with Stanton gone we will finally find out what the "cash portfolio" consists of - it is supposed to be funding the building's construction. Click title for link.

City Commission Meeting 12/6/11 #4

City Commission Meeting 12/6/11 #3

City Commission Meeting 12/6/11 #2

City Commission Meeting 12/6/11 #1

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Lake Worth city manager Susan Stanton fired in a 3-2 vote

The story as seen from Press Release title for link.


Pics from the meeting tonight...videos coming...busy night for me...on bike between City Hall and Parrot Cove meeting.  MORE LATER!

Mango Groves and Lake Worth Holiday Parade 2011

Good afternoon neighbors.

The Lake Worth Holiday Parade is scheduled for this Saturday, 12/10/11, through downtown Lake Worth. If you would like to participate with the Mango Groves Neighborhood Association please email us so that we have an estimate of the number of participants. To participate simply meet us no later than 5:15pm on Saturday at the 200 block of North Federal Highway. Also, please wear peach, orange, or yellow clothing so that we blend in. Anybody that has a Mango Groves Neighborhood Association shirt is encouraged to wear that too. Please email us with any questions.

Finally, the December Mango Groves Neighborhood Association Meeting will be held on 12/15/11, 7pm, at the Compass Center on North Dixie Hwy. We will be holding our annual election and if you wish to be a Director on the Board please attend the meeting. PBSO will be on hand again and we are in the process of obtaining a special guest speaker for the even! Stay posted for more details about this exciting meeting and please bring your neighbors!

Have a great day, MGNA Board of Directors

[CPNA] Year End Campus Life Newsletter and Meeting Reminder

It's that time Neighbors and the latest edition of the College Park Neighborhood Association Newsletter "Campus Life" is hot off the press. If you can help distribute copies (it's only one sheet of paper) to your block and maybe one more, please reply to this email and I'll get them to you in a big hurry.

Also a reminder (the first of many you will receive this week) that we are holding our 4th quarter meeting next Monday at 6:30 at our usual meeting place, the First Congregational Church at 1415 North K Street.

Steve Haughn from the City Recreation Dept. will be our guest speaker and will share with us all the new and exciting recreational programs and opportunities we can look forward to next year.

We will also be holding our election for our Association Board of Directors for 2012. All of our Officers and one of our 3 Directors have offered their names in nomination to continue their service next year and we will be taking nominations from the membership for the two open Director spots as well any nominations for all the Board positions.

Please Please Please carefully consider this opportunity to step up and help make a positive difference in our Community. Serving on the CP Board of Directors does takes time and commitment but the satisfaction of seeing the difference we can make by working together is simply priceless. We have so many talented and generous people in College Park and I hope to see many hands go up when nominations are called for Monday night.

As always, everyone is welcome at all College Park meetings, but you must be a resident of College Park and a member in good standing (dues paid) to vote. If you haven't paid your dues yet for 2011, you can do that very easily by visiting our website and clicking on the PayPal link.

See you Monday and do let me know asap if you can help distribute Newsletters.

How would this work as a Lake Worth management philosophy?

Simon Sinek: How great leaders inspire action

Come Walk in the Holiday Parade with Us! | TRNA

Happy Holidays TRNA,
There will be a full day of holiday fun in downtown Lake Worth this Saturday the 10th.  If anyone in our neighborhood is interested in walking in the parade please come and do so and wear youe TRNA shirts! You may bring your kids too!  Please let me know as soon as posisble if you can join.  All neighborhood assocsiations of Lake Worth are walking together.  We'll be meeting at 5pm at 2nd Avenue North and Federal on Saturday December 10th.
Bring your family and friends to downtown Lake Worth for the Holiday Wonderland Festival presented by the City of Lake Worth and Lake Worth Kiwanis Club.
Saturday, December 10
Noon until 6 PM
Downtown Lake Worth in the Cultural Plaza, Lake Ave and M Street
- Live Music Performances
- Games & Prizes
- Arts & Crafts
- Santa's Workshop
- Street Full of Bounce Houses
- Bike Raffle (The first 300 kids will receive a free raffle ticket and entered into a bike giveaway!)
Also, food and holiday gift craft vendors
The 46th Annual Holiday Parade will be held immediately following the festival with floats, marching bands, dance troops, holiday lights and the "real" Santa.   The parade will occur between 6-8pm.

Monday, December 5, 2011

From our "Everglades Scientist"...

He, who of all people would be the one most likely to know, has not responded to my question regarding water restrictions.  On another matter soon after he was elected, I sent him an e-mail that contained a question.  When I asked him why he didn't respond, he said that he knew that I would put his response on the blog.  I told him that is part of being a public official - your utterances are public information.  He smirked in response.

Anyone else bothered by this?

On tomorrow night's regular City Commission meeting agenda, there are two items - 9F and 9G related to not implementing the fire pension assessment and the street light assessment.  Back on August 23rd of this year, staff had the following to say about the fire assessment from the staff report that accompanied the item:

Now, mind you, I am for NOT going ahead with these special assessments, but what do we have a city staff for anyway?  Isn't their primary purpose to be objective and make the recommendation to the City Commission - ANY City Commission - that is based upon the best option given their educational background, accreditations and experience.  My point here, and it goes back to my post about the role of staff and appointed boards - along with the City Commission - is that a professional staff has to stand for something.  We were meant to assume, even though most did not agree with the idea of the assessments, that the staff thought it was the BEST option given the budget situation that the city is facing.

In tomorrow night's meeting packet, we are treated to the following professional analysis and opinion by Mr. Fry and all the heavy-hitters on City staff:
You know, I really don't care that "Based upon the consensus of the City Commission", staff is now recommending the City not proceed with the assessments.  DON'T WE PAY THEM FOR THEIR PROFESSIONAL OPINION?  This is what breeds and perpetuates myths that the Casino building is a "rehabilitation" and not new construction.  I do not care that staff does not want to appear wrong.  I want them to make a recommendation based upon their training.  What professional epiphany did they have between August and December - other than the election?  At least provide some sort of analysis of the impact of this change in policy - that would help the City Commission make future decisions related to the budget.  It makes me call into question all of their recommendations.

Are we to expect that just because ANY City Commission thinks that it is a good idea to order one of these for each city resident, that staff is going to recommend that we do it?  Think about it.

Rules changes could alter look and feel of Lake Worth's neighborhoods

It has been seven years and why are they still talking to Ms. Jennings? The article (click title) also makes it seem like we are eliminating historic districts - we are not. If anything, we are talking about making them larger. I do not understand how a de facto moratorium on development, due to crazy height restrictions citywide, does anything to protect someone's investment in the city. The reason we have to rely on assessments over and beyond our millage on property values is that we have a small commercial tax base. You cannot expect single family residents to shoulder the bulk of the tax burden of the city. We need reasonable height limits in certain areas, based upon sound standards and require certain public benefits that would allow commercial redevelopment. The existing regulations are UNWORKABLE - except if you live at 822 North C Street.

Lost and Found:

As I walked Mars this morning, I noticed this very tiny black buckled shoe placed neatly on top of the curb beside my house.  Its mate was no where to be seen.  Searching for its meaning...A Cinderella story?  Do I have small shoes to fill?  A "Footloose" prequel? Any other guesses?

Tropical Ridge Meeting Tonight!

Good Morning Friends & Neighbors!
Just a reminder that tonight is the regularly scheduled meeting of the Tropical Ridge Neighborhood Association. Our guest speaker will be Jaime Brown, Assistant Public Works Director. Mr. Brown will be telling us about some of the things the Public Works Department has planned for the year, in addition to taking your questions.
Also on tonight's agenda: next weeks Christmas Parade and nominations for the TRNA elections. We look forward to see you!
Who: Tropical Ridge Neighborhood Association
What: Monthly meeting
Where: Compass Community Center
When: Monday, December 5th @ 7pm!

Some good old-fashioned self-promotion!



We are closing out the year with Wes Blackman, who has researched South Florida and created a presentation that has been made to many groups.  Wonder about anything from the "Lake" in Lake Worth to the Casino to just about anything else?  Wes is the person to ask.  

Below is some information provided by Wes tied to the above images. 

The first image is of the old golf course club house, appearing as it did in the middle part of the 20th Century.  Also included is  one that shows the type of destruction that happened in Lake Worth after the 1928 hurricane - nearly all wood frame structures, which include the original St. Andrews church building, met similar fates.  The other is a before/after hurricane picture of the old band shell that was in Bryant Park.  There is also a post card from c. 1940s of Lake Avenue.  (see below)

The gist of the talk will be how the modern history of Florida really begins in the 20th Century, even though it is also home to St. Augustine which was founded in 1565 and is the oldest continuously occupied European-established city and port in the continental United States.  It wasn't until Flagler's railroad and then construction of US 1 in the early 20th Century that southeast Florida became populated to a significant extent.  Lake Worth and south Florida would not exist as we know the without the advent of the train and automobile. 
The meeting will open with an update from PBSO and community events.  Everyone is welcome at these meetings - you don't have to be a Parrot Cove Neighborhood Association member or resident.