Friday, December 21, 2012

A view from the past...

From the July 25, 1963 Palm Beach Post: "Which way can you go? Directional signs at Lake Avenue and Dixie Highway in Lake Worth are just slightly confusing. The large sign which overhangs the road tells the traveler to turn left to reach the beach; the smaller sign tells the traveler not to make a left turn. The smaller sign must be obeyed because Lake Worth police will be enforcing the no-left-turn ban beginning Monday."

Pothole of the Week

Just west of Federal on Wellesley...

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Paul Gionfriddo - Mental Health Policy Advocate 12/21 by High Noon in Lake Worth | Blog Talk Radio

Join us Friday, December 21, 2012 at 12:00 p.m. when I welcome Lake Worth resident Paul Gionfriddo to discuss public health policy questions - especially those related to identifying and treating those with mental health disorders.  Can a sound U.S., state and local mental health initiative help prevent the horrible events we have witnessed - like the Newtown, CT mass shooting last Friday?  One week later, I am pleased to have Mr. Gionfriddo as a guest on the renewed show.  He has quite a background in the area of public health - and has served as a Mayor of Middletown, CT and as a Connecticut State Legislator.

You may call in with your questions during the show, or leave them as comments to this post.  Click title for link to the live show during the hour long 12/21 show, or listen to the archived show after it airs.

I hope that you can join us.
Paul and yours truly visiting after the show.

Postcards from the Lake Worth Beach (12 19 12)...

My father and I enjoying the ocean view after lunch at Mulligan's.  Thank you Mark Parrilla, who
works there, for taking this picture with my camera.

We ended up parking in the Kreusler Park (County) parking lot - along with what seemed like everyone else whose ultimate destination was the Lake Worth Casino building.  In a previous post, I showed the brightly colored signs that the county installed saying that there is no parking after sunset - looking like they were recently installed upon the advent of our building coming to life.  They may want to re-think that policy since the opening of the Lake Worth building will likely continue to provide a windfall for their parking revenue account - after all, it is closer than the parking on the Lake Worth side of the line.  The two pictures above show the "walkway" between the southern edge of the county property and the Lake Worth property.  Pedestrians are neatly dumped into the traffic circle/bike lane and have to jump a curb to do so.  One could walk along the ocean where there is more of a direct connection, but a little more circuitous if the Casino building is your ultimate destination.  We made it, but the route definitely seemed "improvised."

We saw many people with mobility issues - canes, walkers, oxygen tanks - having to be dropped off in front of the building.  More able members of their party then parked the car in Kreusler Park (Why go back to where you came from, opposite from the direction your car is pointed, and park in the city's lot which is farther away?  And we aren't even talking about the inferiority of our automated parking kiosks in comparison.) and could be seen 15 minutes later joining the rest of their party after having negotiated the automated parking kiosk.  Their money, of course, would be going to the county's coffers and not to Lake Worth's - was this part of the business plan?  The pictures above are just a few examples of people following this pattern.

While we were enjoying our lunch outside, we were treated to more symptoms of a poorly, politically driven site plan design process.  Having the placement of what turned out to be a NEW building in the same location as the old building left little specified area for deliveries to the retail establishments at the beach.  So this means that, periodically, your ocean side experience will include vehicles that look more at home on the Interstate than at a beach front location.  Here an 18 wheel semi delivers goods to the Lake Worth Beach Tee Shirt Shop Company, blocking the view of many who were there for about 20 minutes.

Now these problems are expensive or impossible to fix - I suppose you could designate delivery times during  what would be low volume visitor periods, but this is difficult to coordinate with suppliers.  Again, many of these problems could have been dealt with during the site plan review process - and by the Micheal Singer Group - but any mention of potential problems or re-thinking the location of the building were written off as coming from the mouths of people that were "against the project" or "against preservation" or "just being negative."  So, we are living with the result - hope those that made these decisions are happy now.

As far as our lunch at Mulligan's, service was prompt, efficient and attentive.  We were encouraged to choose the lobster salad, which my Dad had in the form of a sandwich - which he said was quite good.  I had the Mahi-Mahi sliders, which was o.k. - a little dry and a little on the skimpy side considering the price.  Our total bill was just under $40, including tax, tip, a diet Coke for me and water for my father.

After lunch, I wanted to check out the other retail tenants to see how their build-out was coming along and whether they were open or not.  The t-shirt is open and has been for a few days, Kilwin's is well underway - but not ready to open yet - and Mama Mia's was open for business.  Here are some pictures along with a description or two.
Inside the t-shirt shop - most (70%) of the items contain "Palm Beach" as the main message/design element
of the garment.  You had to look a little more for the "Lake Worth" items.  Such is life as a tourist destination that is part of  the island of Palm Beach.
I got this shirt as a gift for Bill - it has the city's birth year prominently displayed, along with a distinctive "LW" as part of the design.

This is one I got for me - I liked the retro-looking design, but here the city's birth year is 1912. No biggie, must be referring to when the city's library opened.  This is the back of the shirt - the front has a smaller image of the same design over the left breast.

Looking through the northern door of Kilwin's with work underway.

This is the view through the southern door of Kilwin's.

Mama Mia's - open for business and serving pizza.  There were some customers there who seemed to be enjoying what they were eating.
Upstairs, it appears, is clearly off limits.  There is a series of tapes strung across the stairway leading to the second floor.  I could hear mechanical sounds - something akin to grinding/sanding? coming from above as I walked back to Mulligan's.  Apparently, the fix to the water problem and the ballroom is being worked on, but what are they doing to address the issue?  It would be interesting to know what the fix actually is and how much work is required to address it.  Strangely, as I walked in front of the building, my face was lightly pelted with debris from whatever was going on upstairs.  Hmmmm.
One last thing...I know that the parking lights are "turtle friendly" but they are a little bit "turtle ugly" too.  Black?  At a beach?  One of the regulars at the beach said he has been there at night when they are on and they give what he referred to as "light as bright as a flashlight."

It was a beautiful day weather-wise.  You need to go there and experience it yourself.  Let me know what you think about it after your visit.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Enjoying the patio last night...

 Bill and I enjoyed having dinner al fresco last night with my father.  He is visiting for a few days.  He flew to Orlando with friends of the family on Monday, stayed with friends in central Florida and yesterday hopped on Amtrak from Winter Haven to West Palm Beach.  The fare was all of $26 one-way for the two and a half hour ride.
 Shhhh...don't tell anyone, but he was born about 12 years after Lake Worth came into being.  You can do the math.
In the background of the last shot is the TV that blasted out during the Monster Surge we had in College Park about a month ago.  It's waiting for bulk pick-up day to come around this month.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Home | City of East Lansing Michigan

Click title to go to the webpage of the city where I worked for a few years while in Michigan.  I just stumbled on it today.  Besides being well-organized, with a lot of accessible information, look to the left of the page above the various social media links.  There is a great, big DONATE button - which when clicked on takes you to a page where the city has designated projects for which it is seeking funding.  If you don't ask, you don't receive.  Why not try it?  We got a large donation for the library recently without asking - what if we actually asked?

How one city in Finland is promoting itself...

Delray's downtown project seen as catalyst for redevelopment

I know, I know.  We are not Delray Beach.  If you want further proof that we are NOT Delray Beach, click the title and read the article.  A few excerpts:
"Very seldom does a project garner the kind of support that the SOFA buildings have from nearby residents and business owners. At a recent City Commission meeting where the developer was asking to build more units than are normally allowed per acre, residents and business owners addressed city officials with an outpouring of support for the project."
The project was praised for its sustainability features: a bicycle sharing program for residents, unbundled parking — residents who do not own a car can qualify for lower rents — and 32 apartments set aside as workforce housing, with lower rents offered to firefighters, teachers, police officers and government workers.
"This is an example of how we should be doing business in Delray Beach," said Commissioner Al Jacquet, who lives in Osceola Park. "I'm in support of this project not just because of the [sustainability] component, but because these folks came and did it right."
I raised the concern during a recent joint Planning and Zoning Board and Historic Resource Preservation Board meeting that our "community benefit" requirement - which in theory would be the only way to allow new buildings to exceed two stories or 30 feet - may be the wrong medicine to administer to the patient.  It might in fact "do harm" and be exactly what we do not need to encourage investment, jobs and redevelopment in our city.