Saturday, January 14, 2012

Marilyn Monroe

“I believe that everything happens for a reason. People change so that you can learn to let go, things go wrong so that you appreciate them when they're right, you believe lies so you eventually learn to trust no one but yourself, and sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together.”

Thursday, January 12, 2012

New Jersey cosmetics manufacturer relocating headquarters and manufacturing operations to the City of Lake Worth

Lake Worth, FL -- In partnership with Palm Beach County and the City of Lake Worth, the Business Development Board of Palm Beach County (BDB) today announced that Radical Cosmetics, LLC, will relocate its corporate headquarters and manufacturing facility from New Brunswick, New Jersey to a 26,000 square foot building in the City of Lake Worth Commerce Park.  The company selected Palm Beach County and Lake Worth over locations in California and Virginia.
Radical Cosmetics is a USDA certified cosmetics manufacturer whose contract manufacturing services include custom and stock formulations, cosmetics color matching, package development and sourcing, bulk cosmetic filling, product labeling, pack-outs, re-work and kit assembly.  They are recognized as one of the premier cosmetic contract manufacturers of pressed powders in the U.S. and a bulk cosmetic supplier of a variety of other cosmetic and beauty products.
Fenton Baijnath, CEO of Radical Cosmetics said, “The decision to relocate to the City of Lake Worth was based upon access to major highways and ports, and the affordable cost of doing business. “The City of Lake Worth and the Business Development Board of Palm Beach County had such a business-friendly attitude which was a refreshing change from past experience in other states.”
Kelly Smallridge, President and CEO of the Business Development Board, reports that Radical Cosmetics purchased the 26,000 square foot building at 1942 8th Avenue North in Lake Worth. They will create 40 jobs with an average annual wage of $45,000.  Ms. Smallridge added, “The BDB is delighted to have landed the 9th company in 4 months and another corporate headquarters to the county. We will continue to work with the company and Workforce Alliance to identify training grants for the employees they will hire.”
About the BDB
The Business Development Board of Palm Beach County is the official public/private economic development organization for Palm Beach County and Enterprise Florida.  Founded in 1982 as a not-for-profit corporation, its primary purpose is to attract and retain new industry, business investment, and high quality jobs through corporate relocations, expansions and international trade.  During the past five years, the BDB has assisted companies that have created more than 7,700 direct jobs with average salaries greater than $55,400, resulting in more than $355 million in capital investment to Palm Beach County and an economic impact that exceeds $1.8 billion. Additional information can be found at the BDB’s website,

Scott meets with Palm Beach County officials, mulls riding Tri-Rail | Post on Politics

Sheesh, it seems like our Governor wanted to be a Tri-Rail conductor for a day, maybe. He probably wanted to be a fireman too when he grew up. Click title for link to article.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Mayor Pam Triolo on the Radio

Good Afternoon Folks!

Tune in to “The Mayor Show” on WPBR 1340AM and listen to Mayor Pam Triolo today and every Wednesday at 12:00 pm 
and call in with your comments by dialing (561) 588-0675.

Log onto to learn more!

Listen to WPBR Radio over any phone in the US by dialing (712) 432-6625

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

By the way...

My Texas friend left this afternoon and hopped on Tri-Rail to get the Ft. Lauderdale Airport.  We looked at the schedule to make sure he had plenty of time - two hours away from take-off when he arrived at the station, at the scheduled time.  However, they stopped his train at the Boca station with a report that an AmTrak train had been in an accident - it turns out it was a train/pedestrian accident at the Pompano station.  So, his train wasn't going to move for a while.  Panic ensued, he called me and I couldn't get through due to a busy network.  We eventually made contact and somehow he found a cab to share with someone, for a flat fare of $60, would take him to the Fort Lauderdale airport.

So, it is not a perfect system - what is?  But, if you are adventurous, it is worth a try.  If you do try it, try to build in a lot of lead time and maybe find something productive or interesting to do or visit while you wait.  He made it on the plane in plenty of time using the alternative mode of transport.

Governor Rick Scott 01-10-12 STATE OF THE STATE ADDRESS (FULL)

Lantana bridge set to close March 18 with town-sponsored party

What is Lake Worth doing to capitalize on this bridge closing? Click title for link to PBP article.

Chance meeting with Assistant City Manager Margoles yesterday...

In city hall for another meeting during the day yesterday, I happened to bump into our Assistant City Manager Margoles.  Seems as though yours truly was the reason she was up at 2 a.m. attempting to form a response to the revelations regarding the parking meter system at the beach.  There was then an 8 a.m. meeting between the various "higher-ups."  Seems as though there is indeed a "2 hour minimum" stay at the beach.  When I asked if this was formally acted upon, she indicated that the idea was presented and no one objected so it found its way into city policy - one of those "consensuses" from a work session on the budget.  In response, the city is fashioning a sign that will indicate that there is a 2 hour minimum stay and word-smithing the sign is underway.  Some of the Commissioners have already seen some version of it.  She also said that they are planning and getting another machine for the top lot.

Parking revenue, not surprisingly, is way up and the "actual" figures generated by today's system are being used "going forward" for future revenue projections...hmmm.  Maybe someone thought there would be a shortfall otherwise?  Parking revenue from the beach is supposed to be paying for the lifeguards and the subsidy for the non-revenue producing pool.  The Casino building tenant leases are designed to pay off the debt and operating costs related to the Casino building itself, according to Ms. Margoles.

Foreshadowing in March 7, 1950 article on "new" casino building...

"The story of reconstruction is a long one, with the path of progress by the present city commission often beset by difficult problems and what appeared at times to be insurmountable handicaps.  The wreckage and salvage problem alone following the storm presented a tremendous task.
Then came the mapping of plans for a new, more beautiful and more spacious structure to rise in the place of the old Casino, which for many years has served as a landmark for passing ships, plying the sea lanes to all parts of the world, both in time of peace and in time of war.
After many long and arduous sessions, many of them lasting far into the night, Lake Worth's City Commission...devised ways and means whereby Lake Worth could again have a Casino to accommodate thousands of home folks as well as thousands of visitors who come to Lake Worth every year..."

The Lake Worth Leader, March 7, 1950

Tonight's CRB Meeting - Comment from an eye-witness...

"Have no idea where is the right spot to post this, but I witnessed the CRB meeting tonight and it was a nightmare.
Tsolkas, the chair, wound up showing his true colors toward the end of the meeting, and it turned into a fiasco.
While he tried to push forth his personal agenda, all of a sudden, 3 people on the board began to ask why...why he wanted an investigation into PBSO regarding youth attacks...on and on, until it became ( quickly) a realization that he had his own agenda and just wanted the board to push his own ideals through.
It wa shameful and unbelievable to witness.

If this town allows him to continue, then I have NO faith in this town. He is an avowed anarchist and showed a comp,etely rude and condescending manner toward the crb meeting tonight.

After tonight's meeting, he should in NO way remain Chair of this Board. Period. "

Monday, January 9, 2012

Can't forget this!

From March 1950....

Try this link to the full front page.  I suggest downloading it to your hard drive and using your photo viewer software to zoom in.

Nicely produced video on the Lake Worth NSP2 Program

E-mail to the City Commission and Staff: Parking Meters at Beach - City Thievery?

I have out-of-town guests in town this week and we made a trip to the beach on both Saturday and Sunday.  It was the first time that I had been to the beach, by car, for any length of time so it required that we use the parking meter system.  Beyond the long lines and the grumbling by patrons about the confusing user-interface, I was appalled that the city is apparently flagrantly using a bait-and switch tactic as it relates to parking rates at the beach.  The advertised rate is $2 per hour but it is impossible to only indicate that you want to stay one hour and pay two dollars to do so.  No, everyone is only given the option of two hours at $4.  This is LYING!  There is not even a sign, which would go a distance to solve the problem, saying that there is a two hour minimum.

It is my understanding that this is not news to the former City Commission, as it was discussed during the 2011 budget considerations.  Furthermore, I understand that the former City Manager was aware of the situation, but apparently did nothing to address the matter - apparently satisfied that the City would automatically collect 2X the minimum rate every time someone bought a ticket.

It is important that our public institutions set a proper example.  For many, this could be their first and only exposure to the organ known as the City of Lake Worth.  What sort of impression does this leave in the mind of the general public about how the City manages its affairs?  It is my sincere wish that this matter is addressed as soon as possible.

If someone could direct me to the meeting where this particular situation was discussed, I would appreciate it.  Thank you!

See attached pictures showing the user interface which declares that parking is $2 per hour and the display screen which shows $0 at first and then $4 next after hitting the "add time" button.  I would like to point out that there is not a corresponding "subtract time" button.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Lake Worth Beach Music - $4 per hour parking

It happened again today - $4 with NO $2 option for one hour.  Happened to the person in front of me too.  Pic to follow.

The air/ground transportation interface...

My friend arrived from Texas this past Friday night.  One night in December, he was checking out flights and fares on the Internet and discovered that Spirit Air had a $40 round trip fare from Dallas to Ft. Lauderdale.  He immediately snatched it up, called me and gave me the date that he was arriving.  This was a spur of the moment decision for him, and me, but I delightfully looked forward for the opportunity to visit with him in person.  His plane was scheduled to arrive around 8:30 p.m.  The planner side of me got to thinking that he might be able to take advantage of our Tri-Rail commuter railroad with a shuttle from the Ft. Lauderdale airport to the nearby Tri-Rail station, and then on to the Lake Worth station where I could pick him up.  Looking at the schedule (it takes some study), it appeared that he would be here with time to spare before the last train leaves the station at 10:18 p.m.  That would put him in Lake Worth around 11 p.m.  We both thought that was workable and planned accordingly.

Friday came and he made the plane in Dallas.  I monitored the progress on a flight tracker found on the web.  It increasingly became apparent that he would be late, as the plane was shown as still being on the ground.  It turned out to be about an hour's delay due to what I later found out was the inability of the front cabin phone to communicate with the rear cabin phone.  I knew that the hour's delay would probably result in a "photo finish" - even if everything clicked and my friend found his way and navigated the the ticket process.

He called me once he landed, while still on the plane.  It was just after 9:30 p.m. and I told him that I thought he could make it as he had 45 minutes until the last train left.  He said the plane was taking time to unload.  According to the schedule, the last shuttle left at 10:08 p.m., which leaves 10 minutes for the shuttle to get from the terminal to terminal.  He ended up making the shuttle, but in the shadow of the Tri-Rail station, he got to witness the last train leaving the station while still on the shuttle.  The driver took him back to the terminal so that he could rent a car for a day and we would return it the following day.  I was disappointed in my practical planning experiment and sorry that instead of maybe a $5 to Lake Worth, it was going to be more than 10 times that for a rental car for a day.

So he got up here o.k. and the next day, in the mid-afternoon, we headed to Ft. Lauderdale to return the car.  He rented from E-Z Rental which has no branch in West Palm Beach.

After the hour's drive, we winded through the serpentine access ways of the Ft. Lauderdale airport in search of the rental car return area, which we finally found (near Terminal 1 of 4.)  Once that was taken care of, we had to go the opposite way of the usual sign and pedestrian traffic flow to find the shuttle pick-up and drop off point.  After two or three false starts, we found the Tri-Rail Shuttle stop for Terminal 1 and waited there about 20 minutes until the 5:20 p.m. shuttle arrived.  Here are some pictures I took during the process:
This is the sign that you need to look for indicating the Tri-Rail shuttle stop.  It is not very obvious.
This is the bus - sorry, not the full view - it is one of the short shuttle buses, sort of like the rental car companies use.  There is no fare to ride from the airport to the Tri-Rail terminal.
This is a picture of my friend from inside the bus.  He is not as despondent in real-life as he looks in this picture.

This is at the station.  I took a picture of the bike locker facilities located outside the station.  These are for people to lock and store their bikes that they ride to the station and who do not need them at the other end of their trip.
In order to use the bike lockers, you need to register for them ahead of time by calling an 800 number or going to the SFRTA/Tri-Rail website.
This is a view of the Ft. Lauderdale/Hollywood Airport Tri-Rail station.  We had to wait about 45 minutes for the northbound train - the second last of the day on weekends.  The last train leaves there at 9:03 p.m.  Notably, weekend fares are a flat $5 - period.  This means no matter how far you go or how many times you get off and on the train in any direction, you only pay once!  So, you can leave West Palm Beach early Saturday morning, go to Miami and return the same day for $5 - period.  The only regret yesterday is that I could have brought my Kindle to read during the wait, but the wait also gave us more time to visit.
Once on the train, at the front of each car, there is space for bikes.  This seems limited and I am no sure about the security, but it would be possible to ride to a station, board with your bike and have use of it at the other end.  Might be part of a nice weekend jaunt.
The train was FULL - we ended up on the second level.  It took about 45 minutes from the Ft. Lauderdale airport station to the Lake Worth station.  I thought ahead and called a cab company from the train once we left Delray.  They told me not to bother that there were plenty of cabs that would be waiting for passengers de-training at the station and that we would have our pick.  When we got off at the Lake Worth station, we were confronted with a bit of a Moroccan market of cab drivers all vying for our hire.  The first cab we got into had too low a battery to start, so we ended up exiting that one, which I thought could have provoked a fight between taxi drivers.  That didn't happen, but it seemed like a possibility.  The cab fare from the station to my house in College Park was $15 with tip - which was three times the cost of the weekend Tri-Rail fare.

A day at the beach, Lake Worth Style

Yesterday, being one of those days weather-wise that you would like to capture and save in a bottle, sent out a clarion call to go to the beach.  Also contributing to this compulsion was the fact that I am entertaining someone from Dallas for a few days.  He used to live in south Florida and we ran around together some twenty-two years ago.  We got up at a rather leisurely hour, given that he, another friend and I had sampled the rich and fecund night life offerings of our fair city.  Upon meeting our immediate biological and hygienic requirements, we sought a place to satiate our hunger for food.  After tossing around a few ideas, we decided that the Benny's at the Beach would be a good place and it would offer my Texas friend a chance to re-acquaint himself with the Atlantic Ocean.  We scampered to our vehicle and arrived at the beach, making sure that before I left that I brought my camera with us.

As we passed the crest of the Lake Worth bridge and continued east, we notice the Lake Worth Farmers Market still in full swing.  And my guest mentions that after brunch, we should drop by there.  For no particular reason, we didn't take advantage of the suggestion.  My Texas friend notices the construction taking place at the casino building site and asks me how's that going.  Not wanting to spoil a pleasant morning with a long explanation, I said, "The devil is in the details."  And that seemed to satisfy his curiosity enough that there were no further questions.  We rounded the curve at the south end of the property, got the first clear glimpse of the ocean and then we went to park in the upper parking lot.  At this time, my friend points out some long lines in the middle of the parking lot and asks, "What is that about?"  I said that the city took out the meters and that the BCE and BCME recently replaced the automated meters with a different kind of automatic meter system.  He said that seems like a faulty system if there are lines like this all the time.  I agreed.

We park and get in line at the nearest meter station.  You must remember your parking space number, spray painted in faded yellow at the entrance to your parking space, and enter it into the machine.  But, before you do that you have to wait in line.  I took some pictures of the sort of line that we experienced and saw in other areas of the parking lot.

There was a lot of chatter in the line that we were in about the process.  "Why is this taking so long?"  "Oh, it's the city, they decided these things."  "I guess it's not the city, but all cities are like this."  "Two dollars an hour to park? WOW!" etc.

We were in line about 15 to 20 minutes after a lot of multiple exasperated attempts to get a ticket by those ahead of us in line.  The guy immediately in front of us tried to use his debit card no fewer than four times and the machine said that his card was unreadable.  He said wouldn't come back - it was a new card that shouldn't have any problems being read.  He didn't want to take the risk of getting a ticket - so he and his family of four left.

We had a little more luck in one way, not so much in another.  You enter your space number first, then it asks you for the amount of time that you want.  The screen starts at 0 hours and there are various buttons there - one saying "add time."  When you hit that button, it adds time, but suddenly you see that it says $4.00, for two hours, instead of $2.00 for one hour.  There is no "subtract time" button.  The number pad buttons didn't do anything to change the display, so the city, in essence, was forcing us to pay $2 more for an hour we didn't need.  I guess now we understand the optimistic parking revenue estimates presented by the BCME and included in the business plan for the casino building.  We finally got our ticket and the next person in line started grumbling about the machine.

And, this got me to thinking of this being just one of the many legacies of the BCME and how the personality of these parking meters strangely reflected her limited skills in dealing with the public in a fair and honest manner.  Unfortunately, we will all be able to identify, with stunning frequency, a number of similar legacies, some with severe financial consequences.  Then I thought how much of a waste of opportunity it was to insist that the casino building location was a given in the design of the beach redevelopment plan.  If the city had exercised more flexibility in the location of that building, it could have developed a workable site plan that would have allowed for attended parking lots (or at least the most heavily utilized lot) - 100% collection, lines (if there were any) would be at the end of one's visit to the beach and it could also employ a parking validation program on the part of the beach businesses where they essentially pay for their customers parking.  My friend pointed out to me that the city is already paying money to someone to enforce parking there - couldn't that money be spent for an attendant?  Apparently, that whole idea made too much sense and there were more political chits to fry by the BCE in doing it the way it is being done.  Well, we are living with the result and will be for quite some time.

I love Benny's and we had a very nice meal - but forget any notion of it being an "egalitarian" diner for the masses.  Our brunch for three was $50 with tip.

Other pictures from our visit:
There is no working shower north of the pier.  The small print of the sign directs you to go south of the pier where one was working.

After we left, my local friend, who is not an urban planner, pointed out that Rudy Guiliani helped turn around New York City by focusing on the little things  - like customer service, working showers at the beach, etc - and that the big things will take care of themselves.  We would be wise to focus on these "little things."