Saturday, April 13, 2013


The City Commission has a number of positions they are asking those that are interested to apply for:

For those not familiar with how this part of our local city government works; The city commission, made up of the Mayor and the 4 commissioners representing one from each of our 4 districts relies on a number of boards that have been created to help in an advisory capacity in looking into different issues affecting or involving our community. While they do have staff, limited as it is, it's important for our community as a whole to also be involved through a series of their own meetings to work through what residents and business owners would like and see as challenges, or opportunities in accomplishing different goals going forward.

This brings me to the current list to follow. There are 20 open positions, opportunities for all of you to get involved and help out our fellow residents and community members, city staff, and city commission.... Please contact city hall for an application to one of the boards with openings that you would like to help out on. You may also choose a 2nd or 3rd board as alternative choices. So check out the city website if you want to to download the application. The sooner you apply, the sooner we help out the existing board members with their responsibilities.

Here's a copy of the current openings as taken directly from this weeks upcoming Tuesday nights commission meeting....

On February 5, 201.3, the Commission adopted an ordinance amending the board member appointment process to allow for the selection of board members by individual elected officials. In accordance with the ordinance, the board appointments would be effective upon ratification by the Commission as a whole.

If ratified, the following vacancies still need to be filled:

City Recreation Advisory Board: 2 vacancies (Mayor and Vice Mayor’s appointment)
City Tree Board: 2 vacancies (Vice Mayor and CommissionerDistrict 2’s appointments)
Community Redevelopment Agency: 1 vacancy (Mayor’s appointment)
Construction Board of Adjustments and Appeals: 1 vacancy (Mayor’s appointment)
Electric Utility Advisory Board: 1 vacancy (City Commission’s appointment)
Finance Advisory Board: 5 vacancies (Mayor, Vice Mayor, and Commissioners from Districts 2, 3, and 4’s
Library Board: 2 vacancies (Mayor and Vice Mayor’s appointments)
Planning & Zoning Board: 2 vacancies (Mayor and Vice Mayor’s appointments)
Sister City Board: 2 vacancies (Vice Mayor and Commissioner District 2’s appointments) (copied from Lake Worth Live on FaceBook)

Talk about low hanging fruit!

 Some pics taken today of our garden and yard.  We are soon to be awash in fruits and vegetables of all kinds.  See if you can identify some of what we have growing.

 These two (above and below) are from our neighbor's mango tree, but we seem to get most of the Mangos on our side.  And, it looks like a double crop this year as the tree is just getting over its second blooming.

 These trees (above and below) are avocados of two different varieties.  We planted them last summer.  Bill began composting, so wherever that soil is used, we seem to have tomato plants sprouting up everywhere.  The tree below seems not to mind sharing company,  Tomatoes and avocados are a good combination on the table anyway.

Everglades restoration costs may outpace South Florida property taxes - South Florida

Follow-up from recent post.  Click title for link.

Tourism taxes signal record season for Palm Beach County |

Not only does this point out that the tourism economy is back, it is also a reminder that Lake Worth plays little role in it due to its lack of decent hotel facilities with amenities expected in today's marketplace.

For those with their Lake Worth "blinders" fully attached, note the glaring omission in the list of events in February credited for this record setting increase in tourism and visits to Palm Beach County.  From the article:
Bed taxes for 2013
Compared to 2012, bed taxes seeing jump
Jan 2013 $3.187 million up 28%
Feb 2013 $3.454 million up 5%
March 2013 $4.006 million up 9%
Source: Palm Beach County Tourist Development Council
February events that drove tourism
FTI Winter Equestrian Festival and International Polo Club polo season/Wellington
Honda Classic/Jupiter
Allianz Championship/Boca Raton
Delray Beach International Tennis Championships
Cardinals/Marlins spring training at Roger Dean Stadium/Jupiter
World Series of Poker/West Palm Beach
Two art shows at convention center/West Palm Beach
That's right.  Our signature event, the Street Painting Festival, nary gets a mention.  But we still have our potential to think about!  Click title for link.

And maybe we wouldn't have the type of clientele depicted in this other blogger's post and we could actually have tourists who pay for things and support our downtown businesses rather than rob from them.  But then we were told that we only need four stories for a hotel in that area and we shouldn't be greedy.  I guess we will wait for Laurel, Jo-Ann, Gael and Lynda to recruit just such a hotel to help solve these problems.

House ban on growth referendums cedes control to cities, developer activist says | The Florida Current

Our height referendum skirted this issue, but someone could still make an issue of it.  The legislature seems certain in its resolve to eliminate the possibility of citizen referendums on growth issues in local governments.  It seems that the Hometown Democracy people really over-played their hand.  Click title for link.

Friday, April 12, 2013

From the 4/4/13 EPA Building Blocks for Sustainable Communities Presentation

This is the overall presentation given to those gathered at the Shuffleboard Court Building last Thursday.  Click here for access to their PowerPoint presentation so that you can follow along.  The most important thing to note is that, according to their research, high end single family residences and downtown apartments are net contributors to communities' general funds.  More coming...

Seven things a community must do to become a Festival City | Better! Cities & Towns Online

As we are coming up to ReggaeFest this weekend, and in light of other festivals we have here, are we considered a "festival city?"  According to this article, click title for link, a city has to have "200 event days" per year.  For example, the Street Painting Festival would be considered one event with three event days.  You can include parades, Gay Pride, etc.  Do we meet that standard?  The point is that to be known as a "festival city," you need to have something going on so people know that they can go there and something would likely be going on that weekend.  Whatever festival it is, you also have to ask the question if it is worth someone driving from at least 50 miles away.  Something to think about.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

From a loyal and concerned reader...

TWAC/EarthFirst! and the elections in Lake Worth 2014

There is much information about TWAC and EarthFirst! (EF), and all of the information used here is found searching TWACs website, blog, and Facebook  Much of the information comes from the EF Journal. The office for the EF Journal is right here in Lake Worth FL (PO Box 964, Lake Worth FL; the office for TWAC is 701 South F St, Lake Worth, FL). TWAC and EF are anarchist organizations, “organization” being a term but an inaccurate one, since these groups avoid “hierarchy,” tactically to protect the leaders and avoid scrutiny by law enforcement and the government, both local and national.

The “leaders” of these anarchist groups are well known in Lake Worth, Cara Jennings, Panagioti Tsolkas, Lynne Purvis, Ana Rodriguez, to name a few. Have concluded TWAC is not a stand-alone group, formed with their own goals and strategies, but what is called an “affinity” group, supported and trained by EF. EF and TWAC are one and the same with TWAC executing the plan, the “boots on the ground,” so to speak.
The recent protest in Boca Raton by TWAC (April 9) was preceded by multiple events, fundraisers, protests, and week-long planning sessions, all of which is documented. The four people arrested were the ones determined well in advance to be detained by the police. The protest in Boca Raton was well-planned and extremely well-executed.

Do not want to belabor the readers with the history of EF in Lake Worth but rather to explore their tactics and goals, specifically with respect to the elections next March, which will have profound consequences. This will be one of many articles, with kind permission from the Blogmaster, Wes Blackman.

TWACs protest in Boca Raton was staged to get the most attention possible. Coming on the heels of the GEO Stadium controversy it provided a highly public stage. And, no doubt, will increase TWACs fundraising and membership. An organization as TWAC is difficult to infiltrate and the members are trained well to detect infiltrators.

I've concluded TWAC/EF are forming a strong, core group of 15 to 20 people, each of whom will have their own pool of workers under them (each with limited knowledge and access), the goal being to elect a sympathetic city commission in next March 2014 elections. To the anarchists, TWAC/EF, the election next March is not just about regaining some control over the “process” but also demonstrating to the entire country that anarchist tactics and strategy are sound going forward.

The major impediment to EF is the Sheriff's office (PBSO). If somehow EF were to eliminate the Sheriff and institute a city police department the level of scrutiny and monitoring would drop significantly. In order to accomplish this next year's elections are critical in their efforts. It is a long range effort, but if EF were to not be successful, and the current 4/1 majority remains, this would be a major blow to the anarchists here in Lake Worth.

Skeptical? Answer this question. EF and TWAC have been staging protests, scheduling week-long secluded conferences, raising money on the web and hosting fund-raising events, doubtless getting volunteers and generating interest which will generate more funds, and...they are not going to use their resources, both human and money, to create a favorable outcome in March 2014? In their hometown? Lake Worth? Want to reread this paragraph?

This is naïve thinking. And dangerous. Doubtless the Facebook page will be taken down forthwith, yet direct you to facebook and look up, “elle purv”. This is Lynne Purvis' Facebook page. All of the members use not only aliases but a nickname along with the alias. And few, if any, have profile pictures. Now look at Lynne Purvis' friends. Notice anyone? Maybe someone who knocked on your door last election?
Don't let the disheveled look and ragged dress throw you off. When these young people knock on your door, their tattoos are covered, their hair is nice, makeup, and dressed like responsible citizens.

There is more to come, as long as Wes Blackman will post these articles. But one more thing, note Lake Worth's position as relates to poverty and property values in Palm Beach County, one of the richest counties in all of the United States. Of 38 cities in Palm Beach County, Lake Worth is in the bottom three in both categories, along with Belle Glade and Riviera Beach. Does EF and TWAC help us as a community? Do they contribute? And if so, exactly what?


Wake Up Lake Worth

City employees, mayor clean streets in Lake Worth |

"City Manager Michael Bornstein, who found a live chicken while picking up litter, said he was pleased to see that so many city employees volunteered for the cleanup."

Click title for link.

A Miami Neighborhood Begins to Bristle at its Own Success - Alesh Houdek - The Atlantic Cities

Unintended consequences unleashed.  Click title for link.  From the article:
This is Miami's Wynwood neighborhood on "Second Saturdays." Sidewalks are dense with people and food trucks with long lines are scattered up and down the street. Vendors sell tacky jewelry. A strange vehicle glides by. It's a beer bike—10 or so people on bar stools mounted to a car frame, pedaling while a bartender in the middle serves drinks and a driver up front steers.

The World's First Algae-Powered Building Opens in Hamburg | Inhabitat - Sustainable Design Innovation, Eco Architecture, Green Building

This would be a winner in Lake Worth's Sustainable Bonus Incentive Program, for sure!  Click title for link - nothing over four stories though.


Michael Bornstein, City Manager for the City of Lake Worth, is the guest speaker at the Parrot Cove Neighborhood Association Meeting on Monday, April 15. The meeting will be held at Believer's Victory Church, 10th Avenue North and Lakeside at 7:00pm.

City Manager Bornstein will provide an update on his year serving as City Manager and share information on issues impacting the community. Questions will be taken at the end of his presentation.

The meeting is open to everyone - you don't have to be a member of the Association or a resident of Parrot Cove.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Mayor Muoio’s Media Availability – April 10, 2013 | City of West Palm Beach

West Palm Beach's Mayor Muio boasts about her weekly press briefings - click title for link to the latest one from today.  This comes from the city's website - much more comprehensive in content than our own. In this particular video, she talks mostly about how she can't say anything about an inquiry by the Office of Inspector General, that it is a small matter, is not related to anything criminal or financial, etc.  I appreciate the effort represented by her weekly briefings, but if this is what they turn out to be, I question their effectiveness.

Lake Worth Mayor Pam Triolo 04/12 by High Noon in Lake Worth | Blog Talk Radio

Join host Wes Blackman as he welcomes Mayor Pam Triolo to the High Noon in Lake Worth studios.  Mayor Triolo will review her and the Commission's priorities as the city makes its way into the budget preparation season.  Your questions and comments are welcome. It is sure to be an interesting show, especially for Lake Worth residents.

Click title for link to listen during the live show or for the archived show after it airs.  You may leave questions under the comments section of this post below to be asked during the show.  There is also a live, toll-free call-in number that will be active while the show airs.

New study finds public redevelopment investment creates 20x the amount of private redevelopment investment

Click title for explanation and more information on the study.  It looked at spending by Community Redevelopment Agencies (CRAs) from 2008 to 2013 in seven south Florida municipalities, not including Lake Worth.

What detractors of the CRA here in Lake Worth fail to understand is that CRA spending is meant to attract private investment that, in essence, helps fund the public improvements needed to support redevelopment.  Those infrastructure dollars, if they didn't come from the CRA, would have to be paid by regular local government funds.  One of the many fallacies spread around about the height referendum was that money from new development in the downtown area would be captured by the CRA and not be available for the city's general fund.  The same people went on to say that it would be the city that would be picking up the tab for infrastructure improvements necessary to support taller buildings.  No one has performed an empirical (one of Commissioner McVoy's favorite words) study showing the increased infrastructure burden added by two stories of additional potential building height.  And, eventually, once the CRAs obligations are met and redevelopment has occurred in critical areas - Dixie Hwy., hotels east of Federal for example - it can put itself out of business and then the property tax does eventually to the general fund.  Tax increment financing created by the CRA allows the city to capture dollars that would otherwise go to Palm Beach County government and keep that money in the city - to spur redevelopment and investment by paying for public infrastructure.

The CRA's strategic investments made to lure Publix so that we have a downtown grocery store and be home for the Palm Beach County Cultural Council all will have manifold returns on that investment in the form of jobs, economic activity and through addressing slum and blight conditions.  We need to get the thought out of some peoples' heads that redevelopment on Dixie Hwy. is a bad thing since it contributes nothing to the general fund.  Its current appearance weighs down the property values citywide, helping to contribute to the 2/3 loss of taxable value here in Lake Worth over the past years - roughly coinciding with the years of the referenced study.

Editorial: Riviera Beach should end city’s vendetta against... |

Editorial from the PBP about Fane Lozman's situation.  Regular readers will remember that Mr. Lozman appeared on a recent edition of "High Noon in Lake Worth."  It appears that egos are getting in the way of the Commission's ability to carry out its fiduciary responsibility to the electorate.  Click title for link.

Monday, April 8, 2013

More video from the Building Sustainable Communities Program from the EPA - last Thursday 4/4/13

This video includes the venerable Peter Timm and Commissioner Amoroso talking about some of the economic and fiscal challenges facing the city, along with some achievements.


LAKE WORTH, FL. — Late last week, the National Development Council (NDC) officially announced the semi-finalists for the NDC Academy 2013 Awards. The Lake Worth Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP-2) Consortium is one of six semi-finalists in the Housing Development category. Projects were submitted by communities from across the country. The fifth biennial NDC Academy is a three-day training and networking event that will take place April 16-18 in Washington, DC. The NDC Academy brings together professionals in economic and housing development from all over the nation. The Academy’s theme is “Delivering Community Results in Difficult Times . . . More Important than Ever.” The NDC Academy 2013 Awards is a special feature of the Academy which allows attendees to learn about innovative community development projects from the people who made them happen, as well as celebrate the important work done in under-served communities throughout the country. NDC has selected six projects in each category that exemplify work in Creative Financing, Job Creation, Housing Development and Community Development. Voting will take place during the Academy sessions, and attendees will be given the opportunity to vote for the project they believe to be most impactful. One project in each category will be awarded the top honor at an Academy 2013 Awards luncheon on Thursday, April 18. “Response to the call for projects this year was overwhelming and the quality of projects and work done to improve communities across the nation are truly impressive,” said Robert W. Davenport, President of NDC. “Congratulations to all of our semi-finalists. We are looking forward to the learning more about their projects at the Academy. ”The Project Beginning in 2010, the Lake Worth NSP-2 Consortium undertook a significant housing redevelopment effort. With just over $23M from the federal government through the Neighborhood Stabilization Grant, the CRA,

“The Lake Worth CRA is investing in our community to revitalize and rebuild our neighborhoods and commercial corridors. We are dedicated to maintaining the character of the City, responding to community needs and encouraging sustainable economic growth to improve the quality of life for our residents and the future health of our City.” The lead agency, put together a team of almost twenty partners that together, acquired foreclosed dilapidated property in a very specific and targeted area of the City, completed substantial rehabilitation on the homes and then sold or rented the units to income qualified families or individuals. Main development partners included Adopt-a-Family of the Palm Beaches, Habitat for Humanity of Palm Beach, the Urban Group, the City of Lake Worth, Housing Partnership, Stuart and Shelby, Cannatelli Builders and Housing Leadership of Palm Beach County. While creating this comprehensive implementation plan, careful thought and consideration was given to providing a complete program of stability and self-sufficiency. Classes and opportunities were incorporated into the program, such as budgeting, credit counseling and individual deposit accounts were offered to help people save. Training was also offered for residents at Palm Beach State College. The CRA was responsible for purchasing all the properties for the program and conveyed most to partners, while keeping 20 for development by the CRA. In conjunction with another CRA program, called LULA – Lake Worth Arts, the CRA focused on a specific group of individuals to help revitalize the area: artists. By integrating arts and arts-related activities into the stabilization plan, the local arts community was able to not only participate but grow in strength and numbers, providing additional opportunities for artists to live and practice their craft. Due to the diverse community, the Consortium took specific efforts to engage people of all ethnic backgrounds. By marketing the program in various languages and in a multitude of ways, the program was able to attract a very diverse and culturally rich mix of new residents. The project also paid close attention to the CRA/ City’s commitment to the environment and embraced not only cost cutting improvements to benefit the homeowners but environmentally sensitive materials, appliances and methods, leading to green certification. “The City’s rebirth is underway with over 100 new homes and homeowners now experiencing the unique and charming qualities of this City. Nowhere else can you enjoy an authentic downtown, a newly renovated beach complex, unmatched recreational opportunities, cultural arts and the sense of community that exists in Lake Worth. This was a remarkable opportunity for the CRA, the City and all our committed partners and I hope we can continue to work together and be the catalyst for more positive change here in the City,” says Joan Oliva, Executive Director of the Lake Worth CRA. “The CRA is honored that such a prestigious organization as the National Development Council would recognize our Neighborhood Stabilization efforts in creating jobs, reconnecting under-served communities and becoming a catalyst for future economic development and investment in the City,” said CRA Board Chair Cary Sabol.

The Big Squeeze: Can Cities Save The Earth? : Krulwich Wonders... : NPR

So, you think that "low rise" is eco-friendly - it is actually eco-selfish since land is a finite resource.  Click title for link to an illuminating article with some real scary pictures for the "Yes" crowd.  From the article:
Because cities, even the ugliest ones, have an obvious efficiency. After all, if all 7 billion of us had to live side-by-side in two story ranch houses, or yurts — no towers allowed — we'd overrun the planet; we'd strangle the forests, the meadows, the plains. So until we learn to have fewer babies, cities may be our salvation, no?
Also take a look at the Per Square Mile blog, very minimalist but has some enlightening information.

Reprinted with kind permission Lake Worth Herald April 4, 2013 Editorial "Clean Up the Politics"

     The recent referendum on building heights does nothing to protect neighborhoods outside the downtown corridor. The charter still remains 100 feet west of Dixie and 65 feet east.
     This doesn't mean there will be 100 foot buildings in Lake Worth. There is a Comprehensive Plan and Land Development Regulations that will protect the neighborhoods. There were these same regulations before the referendum, and they were and still are in the process of being revised to better protect the neighborhoods. 
     The only thing the referendum did was insure Lake Worth would not have a hotel district.
     It was said the other night that people were told the referendum would protect their neighborhoods. People on both sides of the issue have accused the other side of providing misinformation and lying to the public. This is typical of Lake Worth politics.
     What is more disturbing are reports of Hispanic and Haitian residents being told if they voted for anything the mayor wasn't in support of the mayor would have their family members deported by the end of the year.
     If, in fact this happened, and the mayor claims to have evidence and people willing to step up and testify, Lake Worth politics have hit a new low. Other commissioners claimed to have heard the same stories and one commissioner claimed to see no indication of that happening. 
     Unfortunately, in elections, the side with the most boots on the ground manages to be heard the loudest.
     The minority of the population, the voting public (about 10 - 15 percent of eligible voters) make 99 percent of the decisions for the rest of Lake Worth. This lack of enthusiasm at the local polls can be attributed to the fact most people only care about what affects their own property. The majority of Lake Worth's citizens don't give a darn about City Hall. They don't care what effect decisions will have on the future of Lake Worth.
     The only way they know something is happening at the polls is from political advertising and the knock on the door by campaign workers. An impassioned plea from a face to face meeting will always carry a stronger message than a newspaper ad, TV ad, radio ad or a direct mail piece. There is no way to control what campaign workers tell people when they interrupt their dinner. Unfortunately, campaign workers don't always tell the truth, or give a fair depiction of the issue. Who would expect them to? It is their passion for the issue that has them out walking neighborhoods. Or is it?
     It seems every year during election season, a new issue that divides the public pops up. This does its job by deflecting the true issue away from the forefront. These deflective, disruptive issues are always raised by the same people, and these are the people who have plenty of time to knock on doors. 
     Until the working candidates can find time to knock on doors, they will have a quieter voice and Lord knows, the squeaky wheel gets the grease.

Lake Worth Halfway Houses Announced by the Best Halfway House Network

I am not sure who is behind this "network" but it says something that this even exists.  This is something poignant from the article:
Lake Worth is a mecca in recovery, and is close to the drug rehab capital of the world which is Delray Beach. So it is very important that the Best Halfway House add Lake Worth, Florida, to the area that they cover. There are many Lake Worth halfway houses, but not all of them meet the criteria to be included on the list.
I didn't find the list of criteria and the link to only "Lake Worth" houses seems like it still is under construction.  Interesting reading, to be sure.  Check out the video too.  Click title for link.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

For some reason, this post is getting looked at a lot today...originally posted on February 5, 2013

McVoy in the muck.

From last Thursday's (4/4) meeting at the Shuffleboard Court Building...

This is just one of a series of videos I will be sharing from this session related to the city's engagement of the EPA's program "Building Blocks for Sustainable Communities." The city was awarded this assistance by making application to the federal government for some critical strategic planning.  Lake Worth was one of only three communities, out of total of 127 applicants around the nation, that is part of this program.  The other two are Omaha, Nebraska and Fargo, North Dakota.

This graphic was used as part of their PowerPoint presentation:
What do you think these numbers represent?  They represent values which could be the average amount of ad valorem property tax dollars received by the city per property.  Which do you think the real number is?  The answer is "A" - $130 per property.  Many properties in Lake Worth have fallen below the $50,000 homestead exemption enjoyed by many property owners.  How sustainable a condition is that?

Here is former Commissioner Nadine Burns on the need to understand Lake Worth's characteristics and take a real look at its serious economic plight, the implications for residents trying to make a living here and the conditions present.
More to come in the next few days.

Volunteers needed for Lake Worth cleanup |

More information on the Mayor's clean-up program coming this Thursday.  Click title for link. Click here to register.