Saturday, January 19, 2013

State says downtown Lake Worth cafes, restaurants put patrons... |

Apparently there is too much of a good thing.  There does seem to be a solution.  Click title for link.

Rather than rely on "revised" history, let's review some "actual" history...

This is a copy of an e-mail that I sent to the then sitting City Commission regarding the Casino financing plan from August 16th of 2010.  It lists my concerns, which were many - and it was still at a time when the Commission was awash in talk of "saving" the existing building.  It could also have been an opportunity to cost a new building in an entirely new location, but that was not done.  The most remarkable part of this e-mail is that it was only responded to by former City Manager Susan Stanton.  All she could utter is "Wow..." Click or hover over image to see larger version:

This was also a blog post from the same date.

This is another earlier e-mail regarding the Micheal Singer Group site plan and various proposals for traffic circulation.  It was sent to the City Commission on April 11th of 2009 and was also a blog post made on the same date.  This is the time when many of the site traffic circulation problems could have been dealt with and, instead of clinging to the myth that "we could save the building" - we could have realistically looked at alternatives to the location of the casino building and managed traffic circulation and parking in a more sensible way.  Notice that I bring up providing for "deliveries." .  By the way, building a new building in the "footprint" of the old building has nothing to do with historic preservation and certainly does not qualify as "saving" the building.  The building that exists there today is 96% NEW.

There were no responses to this e-mail.

Click here for the famous PowerPoint presentation made by then Commissioner Cara Jennings at the June 5th City Commission Meeting of 2007.  This was after the city had entered into the development agreement with Greater Bay and the land use/zoning were still in the balance for the beach property - the Beach and Casino zoning district and land use designation.  Both were subject to a petition drive to repeal both - since it allowed for the over-commercialization of the beach.  It still exists today as the land use and zoning district for the beach and was needed for the new project we are looking at today.

In her presentation, she points out the setback being too close to the seawall and argues for a "managed retreat" from the ocean and cites all sorts of examples of crumbling seawalls and the washing away of beaches as reasons to locate the building farther away from the Atlantic Ocean - definitely farther away than the footprint of the existing building.  It turns out that this would have been a smart move and allow for a more appropriate location for a NEW casino building - which is what we ended up with anyway.

Daddy Daughter/Mother Son Date Night - Friday, February 9, 2013 - 6 p.m. to 9.p.m.

Click here for press release.

Climate change response draws mixed interest from zoning... |

Click title for link to a previous Shiny Sheet article about the Southeast Florida Regional Climate Change Compact.  A presentation by representatives of the Compact occupied much of the Planning and Zoning Commission of the Town of Palm Beach.  Monroe, Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach Counties are already represented and make up the Compact.  Its designed to share information on the threat of global warming and the resulting rise in sea levels - for which our region finds itself vulnerable due to its low elevation.  Lake Worth should review the Compact's work to see how it can become more "resilient" - remember that term being bandied about the dais? - to the coming changes.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Expert shares ideas to retain Royal Poinciana Way character,... |

A planner shares some ideas about what makes an ideal urban, retail environment.  Interesting reading and some parts relate well to Lake and Lucerne Avenues.  Click title for link to Shiny Sheet article.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Chaz Stevens - Author of My Acts of Sedition Blog 01/18 by High Noon in Lake Worth | Blog Talk Radio

Daniel Chang of the Miami Herald wrote: "Prosecutors secretly admire him. Defense attorneys openly loathe him. And followers of Broward politics can't seem to get enough of him." This Friday on my radio show, High Noon in Lake Worth, I am thrilled, and a somewhat frightened, to welcome my guest, Chaz Stevens.

Chaz runs a blog named MAOS, which stands for My Acts of Sedition.  (NSFW)

Mr. Stevens helped get three politicians arrested and removed from office, two of which were convicted and one is pending trial. Mr. Stevens has also received countless  "cease and desist orders" and his response has been the same -- "eat me."

In 2012, Mr. Stevens worked with the Department of Justice to bring a $50,000 civil fine against a local pastor's non-profit and with Broward County officials in seeking a State's robust audit of the City of Lauderdale Lakes' General Fund and CRA.

Winner of the 2010 New Times Activist of the Year award, Mr. Stevens appeared on the Sunday front pages, featured in countless articles, and was a guest on radio and TV talk shows. He's now is a guest columnist for the New Times Broward Palm Beach. Chaz is also a member of the prestigious First Amendment Foundation's Citizen Brigade.

Mr. Stevens uniqueness is his use of technology, activism, political muckraking, and all-American ball-busting. If you take an oath of office, then you better not get yourself on his radar -- as the politicians in South Florida can attest.

Visit Chaz's blog and get treated to his Festivus celebration, profanity perfectly used for clarity and offensiveness, hard hitting journalism, a video of Al Roker that will have you laughing yourself silly, and content that has and continues to affect change.
The not-so-traditional after show picture - Chaz likes to limit his images on the web.
If you listen to the archived show, please understand that this show contains a lot of "strong" language which some people may find objectionable and is not meant for children.

Land purchase points to West Palm Beach location for train...

Article regarding the "fast" train which will be running on the FEC tracks from Miami to Orlando.  It will whiz through Lake Worth, with the nearest stop being West Palm Beach.  Click title for link to article that describes some recent land purchases around the future station area and some more specifics regarding the service.

At the joint Planning and Zoning and Historic Resource Preservation Boards meeting last night, we reviewed two different "Transit Oriented Development" - TOD zoning districts that will allow Lake Worth to eventually be home to a combination station with commercial or residential components - it is still unknown when exactly we will have a regular passenger service train on the FEC tracks and whether the area, density, intensity and height limitations would be enough to entice such a transit oriented development project.  According to William Waters, the FEC will have a station where they think there is a proven ridership base - it will cost them $200,000 a year for each station stop.  Ridership would have to be high enough to cover that cost for the transit line to be successful.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Lantana OKs bridge work until 11 p.m. |

Status report on the Lantana ICW bridge.  It should be finished by Thanksgiving of this year.  Click title for link.

Smart Growth Collides With Transit Planning In Alexandria

An affordable housing project, near a transit station, where tenants will pay to rent a unit, but also have to pay for their parking separately.  This is a way to encourage transit use, but it does raise some questions.  Click title for link.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Inaugural Gay Chili Cook Off - Last Sunday (1/13)

The first-ever Gay Chili Cook Off was hosted at The Bar Lake Worth this past Sunday with overwhelming success.  Raising over $3,000 for the Compass Youth Group, 15 chili contest cooks, 10 drag queens, 5 local gay bars and over 400 community members came together for an afternoon of country music, line dancing, drag shows and fundraising.

"We all set out to raise funds for the Compass Youth Group, but the day was truly a success in more ways than one," said Penny Johnson, co-owner of the lesbian bar, The Bar Lake Worth.  "We have never heard of a Gay Chili cookoff, so we thought it would be fun. This is the first time that all of the bars came together, men and women, to do something great for the community."  Participating gay and lesbian bars included The Mad Hatter Lounge, H.G. Rooster's, Fort Dix and New Moon from Wilton Manors. Everyone who came to the event said they would definitely support the event next year.

Winning Hottest Chili were Elaine Sayward and Michele Sweitzer, Most Unique Chili award went to Anie Velazquez and Best Overall Champion for their Island Chili, Bar Lake Worth owner and event sponsor, Cindi Brunot and Palm Beach County Fire Rescue Captain Jen Johnson.
Yours truly, chowing on chilli!

Yours truly with Julie Seaver of Compass.  Thanks to Julie and Penny Johnson, co-owners of The Bar Lake Worth for asking me to be a judge for the event.

Lake Worth City Hall once an auditorium

Nice article by Elliot Kleinberg on the history of the building we now use as City Hall - our former Municipal Auditorium.  I would like to see the building returned to its original use as an auditorium.  It seems as though it is difficult to find a space in Lake Worth to house a large group of people at one time.  The larger assembly space could be used for City Commission meetings.  We would avoid situations where there is standing room only - if that even exists - for some meetings.  It could also be programmed for community groups and whose to say we couldn't have special film nights, or performers of all kinds.  I really think that there would be room in our city for such a place, in addition to the Lake Worth Playhouse.

Of course, we would need another space for the administrative functions for City Hall - which might be found in the reuse of other buildings - the City Hall Annex comes to mind..  Or, we build a completely new building somewhere west of the current building.

Your comments are appreciated.  How best to do this?  Would it be worth issuing a general obligation bond to do so?

Click title for link to article.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Tuppen's c.1956

Bill Bachman, with Tuppen's, forwarded these to me this morning.  The top and middle picture are from 1956 - when they opened their boat sales yard.  The bottom photo might be from a little later on.  In his communication with me, Mr. Bachman included this information.  "Tuppen's has been on the corner I think since the 1920's.  The grand opening for boat sales was 1956.  We would also like to put the cartoons back up on the side of the building some time.  We had to paint over them because of code a few years back.  Tuppen's opened up as a wood shop that manufactured cabinets, then went into hardware and paint, then marine supplies, and now boats."

So, people are starting to contact me and forwarding historic Lake Worth photos to add to my already extensive digital collection.  What is hiding in your attic?

From Sharon Koskoff on FaceBook:

Professor Seth Bramson is coming to the Art Deco First Wednesdays Free Lecture Series at the Armory Art Center, West Palm Beach on Wednesday evening, February 6th at 7:00 pm. He is South Florida’s foremost and premiere historian. Seth is America’s single most-published Florida history book author with 16 of his 21 books dealing directly with the villages, towns, cities, counties, people and businesses of the South Florida Gold Coast. 

He is the Company Historian of the Florida East Coast Railway—one of only two people in the country who bears that title with an American railroad—and his book, “Speedway to Sunshine” is the official history of that famous line. His collection of FEC Railway and Florida transportation memorabilia is the largest in the world: it is larger than the State Museum’s collection and larger than the Flagler Museum’s collection.

A graduate of Cornell University’s famed School of Hotel Administration, he holds Masters degrees from St. Thomas University and Florida International University, both here in Miami. He is Adjunct Professor of History and Historian in Residence at Barry University and Adjunct Professor of History at FIU, where he teaches all of the University’s south Florida and Florida history courses. In addition he is Historian in Residence at FIU’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute.
Professor Seth Bramson

Understanding Autism: Current Research Developments Jan 17, 2013 12:00 PM - 2:00 PM

Event Summary

The tragedy of Sandy Hook Elementary School reminds us how little we understand about mental illnesses and about neuro-developmental disorders such as those along the Autism Spectrum (such as Asperger Syndrome).  This Lunch and Learn will feature a leading researcher in the field of Autism, Damon Page, Ph.D.  Dr. Page will describe his current research at the Scripps Research Institute regarding the Autism spectrum.

Following the lecture from Dr. Page we are offering a panel discussion, which will give people a chance to ask questions and learn about resources in our community. Our panelists will be:

Damon Page, Ph.D. Assistant Professor and Researcher at Scripps Research Institute
Richard Busto, Parent and President of The Autism Project of Palm Beach County (APPBC)
Jack Scott, Associate Professor at FAU and Executive Director of the Center for Autism and Related Disorders.

Members $10 (includes lunch) Non-members $15 (includes lunch)  (Become a member today and enjoy discounts at all our events for a year!)

Please call today to reserve your seat or sign up online. 561-832-3755 Parking is plentiful and free.

Tickets will not be sold at the door so please call TODAY to reserve your seat.  (Cancellations must be at least 24 hrs in advance for a refund.)

Click here for event flyer.  Click here to register.

Editorial: Tree-cutting says all the wrong things about Lake...

Word comes now from the paneled corner offices at the Palm Beach Post regarding the felled tree.  The most important part of the article is this:
"...but the fact that it was torn down should worry a city engaged in far more complicated endeavors than tree maintenance. So badly mishandling a sick tree in a downtown square is not likely to instill residents with faith in its running of, say, its electric utility or newly renovated public beach site."
I would suggest that the Palm Beach Post look into the beach project - its site plan deficiencies, how we got there by not saving the building, how the building is unprotected from the wild ravages of the ocean...stuff like that there.  We also have to recognize that some people in this city think it is important that the city run its own electric generators and maintain a power grid.  I am optimistic about the city's immediate future with the new administration in place, but we must be able to prove that we can do the basics right before we branch out into the municipal equivalent of rocket science or brain surgery.

Click title for link to editorial.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Regional group to address climate change, rising sea levels

The Southeast Florida Regional Climate Change Compact will be making a presentation to the Town of Palm Beach Planning and Zoning Commission this coming Tuesday (1/15/13) at 9:30 a.m. at the Council Chambers of Palm Beach Town Hall.  The compact consists of representatives from four south Florida counties - Palm Beach, Broward, Miami-Dade and Monroe.  It serves as a way the counties can coordinate their responses to rising sea levels and increased storm severity.

I might attend the meeting and it would be a good idea, perhaps, for one of our elected officials or someone from the city administration to attend as well.  

We, as a city, should at least be aware of what this group is talking about.  The city has a 19 acre public property - aka the Lake Worth Beach - and a five mile long frontage along the Intracoastal Waterway - aka the Lake Worth Lagoon.  We also just invested millions of public dollars in the refurbishment of the Lake Worth Beach property, including the construction a NEW Casino building.  The building is seaward of the Coastal Construction Control Line and is not fortified by structural pilings - it depends on being protected, according to the Florida Building Code, on a seawall that has not been studied to determine if it meets the requirements to be considered an "armoring device."

Click title for link to related Shiny Sheet article.

‘Dance Through the Decades’ event to christen new casino...

Nice article announcing the Centennial Ball at the Casino Ballroom on February 16th.  As part of creating the atmosphere for the event, I am putting together a digital slide show of my "Postcards from Lake Worth" collection, along with other pictures that I have accumulated which document Lake Worth history.  If you have any images like these and they can fit on a standard size flat bed scanner, I would like to borrow them to scan and use in the slideshow.  I will return them to you in the condition I received them and give you credit as part of the presentation, if you wish.

Contact me at if you have any images that you would like to contribute.  I am short on Lake Worth High School memorabilia, so images from old yearbooks would be fun to recover.

Click title for link to article.