Saturday, June 29, 2013

STARKE, Fla.: Atheists unveil Fla monument near Ten Commandments - Florida Wires -

This article, click title for link, tells about the dedication of the atheist monument in Starke, Florida today and the counter protest. David Silverman, president of the American Atheists attended and is widely quoted in the piece. He was my guest on the last episode of High Noon in Lake Worth which you can check out here.

Click here for photos taken at the event.

PBCHRC: Palm Beach County (Florida) LGBT History Timeline ...

Given the momentous ruling by the Supreme Court this week which overturned the Defense of Marriage Act, it's time to look at the trajectory of the gay rights movement in Palm Beach County. The list is prepared by the Palm Beach County Human Rights Council. Click title for link.

Friday, June 28, 2013

CRA Neighborhood Meeting - NET Program 6/26/13

This is a video of most of the meeting held last Wednesday night at the Shuffleboard Board Court building, put on by CRA staff Chris Dabros - Project Manager, Emily Theodossakos - Project Coordinator and CRA Board Member Oswaldo Ona. It was fairly well attended as these meetings go, with about 25 -30 in attendance throughout the meeting and discussion. There was a substantial representation from PBSO, but no one from Lake Worth city staff. Most conspicuously absent was any representation from Code Enforcement. Commissioner Andy Amoroso attended the meeting and ended up fielding the bulk of questions and comments from those in attendance. The focus of the meeting was forming a Neighborhood Enhancement Team (NET) for the area west of Dixie Hwy. and from 7th Avenue North to 7th Avenue South, east of I-95 as a way to further improve the area and address some chronic problems.

Editor's note: It is probably better to listen to this video than to watch it, since I kept the camera on those that were at the head table rather than turning to get the many responses, comments and questions from those in attendance. The first part is a PowerPoint presentation prepared by the staff that didn't come out too well on the video. But, the content of the discussion should really be the focus here and for the most part that came through loud and clear. I got all that I could given the life of the battery in the camera. I probably only missed the last few minutes. 

This comes in the wake of the CRA's successful $23 million NSP2 grant program that improved dilapidated structures in this general area, built some new homes and the artist loft project. The program also brought a lot of homeowners to the area and housed them in these rehabilitated structures. Some of these residents attended this meeting.

We heard recurring themes of problem properties and absentee landlords, challenges in communicating to a diverse community which uses languages other than English, social norms present in other cultures that are different than our own, the importance of children in the communication link to the parents, clean-up efforts and how to encourage participation in those. Some suggested grant monies to fund the clean-ups, others thought of a social "block party" where food is provided as a means of promoting community improvements.

There was frustration expressed at the large scope of some of the problems and the city's apparent inability to solve them - and the bureaucracy and laws that impede enforcement and compliance with codes. Caution was expressed about use of pronouns such as "them" and "those people" as we really are talking about the quality of living conditions in a geographic area of the city rather than something intrinsic to the populations that live in this area. And, again, one of the main themes is the challenge of bridging the communication gap between the city and its residents and the manifold problems inherent in that effort.

Yet another example of the city of West Palm Beach using social media...

Found on Facebook, the city of West Palm Beach is directing people to their Twitter account for a special giveaway during their 4th on Flagler event. They are encouraging people to re-Tweet for two tickets to get in. Note too that the post comes from somewhere near Palm Beach Gardens, which says to me that the city of West Palm Beach has contracted an outside provider for these social media services.

Cool "time capsule" view of what streets looked like in the 1930s...

This was shot with a movie camera by someone sitting in a rumble seat as the car was being driven down Wilshire Blvd., in Beverly Hills, CA sometime during the 1930s. I've looked at it a couple of times and note that a gallon of gas appears to be 9 cents. There are also no lanes marked.

I am sure that U.S. 1, our Dixie Hwy. through Lake Worth wouldn't have looked that much different than this view. Interesting to ponder as we think about our city's past during our centennial year.

Could 30-Story Wood Skyscrapers Be the Ultimate Green Building?

Take this Respectful Planning PAC peeps. Click title for link. Here's a preview and WATCH THE VIDEO!
So what exactly is Vancouver-based architect Michael Green thinking when he proposes using wood to erect urban skyscrapers and multifamily structures of up to 30 stories? “Earth grows our food,” he says in his 2013 TED Talk. “We should move toward an ethic that the earth should grow our homes.”
For one thing, Green argues, using wood in a more systematic way would be good for sustainability. Buildings account for nearly 50 percent of all global greenhouse gas emissions. In the construction process, 3 percent of the world’s energy is used for making steel, and 5 percent for concrete. 

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Picked up at CRA Neighborhood Meeting

If you think that Lake Worth's overgrown lots are bad...

Check out Detroit's. This particular one had the added benefit of a broken water main that went unfixed for months, and might continue to this day. Sort of an impromptu water sprinkler system.
This image comes from
By the way, I attended the CRA neighborhood meeting last night at the Shuffleboard Court building. The meeting's focus was on the western neighborhoods of the between 7th Avenue North and 7th Avenue South. I'll have more later on the meeting in the form of video and some still shots. Fairly well attended, as these meetings go.

First of Lake Worth’s artist lofts now occupied |

Nice article highlighting the new owners moving into the units and how they will use the space for artistic and creative pursuits. That is, if people are still reading the Palm Beach Post. Click title for link.

TRNA meeting (Tropical Ridge)

"Our next meeting is Monday,July 1st, 7:00pm at the Shuffleboard Courts.

We have planned something special for this month.

We will be having a 'Popcorn and a Movie Night'. The movie is 'The Goonies' which is an 1980's movie that is our theme for our 4th of July raft.

Which brings me to the 4th of July    The parade starts at 10:00am at J street and Lake. The raft race starts at 11:00am at Bryant Park and the festivities continue at Bryant Park until the 9:00pm fireworks flash their final sparling showers and boom their final deep resonating crashes.

Hope to see you all there,      Carolyn"

Don't Miss Shakespeare by the Sea XXIII: "Coriolanus" at Seabreeze Amphitheater

The Shakespeare Festival and Palm Beach County Parks & Recreation present Shakespeare by the Sea XXIII: Coriolanus . Performances will be held Thursday through Sunday, July 11-14 and July 18-21, 8 p.m., at Seabreeze Amphitheater in Carlin Park.

Blankets, beach chairs, coolers, picnic baskets, and pets on leashes are permitted. Concessions will be available on the park premises. Performances may be cancelled due to inclement weather. Gates open at 6:30 p.m. Admission is free.

Seabreeze Amphitheater is located at 750 South State Road A1A, Jupiter.

Bryant Park anyone? Hello?

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

David Silverman, President of American Atheists 06/27 by High Noon in Lake Worth | Blog Talk Radio


It’s charming. It’s alarming. It’s love-it-or-leave-it Lake Worth |

Nice piece about Lake Worth and our quirkiness in the Palm Beach Post. Click title for link. Let me know if you can still see if you don't have a subscription.

5th of July in Downtown Lake Worth 4th Annual Pie Baking Contest

The City Of Lake Worth invites the best pie bakers in the county to enter Lake Worth’s 4th Annual July 4th  Pie Baking Contest.  The contest will take place on the 5th of July at  South Shores Tavern, Lucerne and M Streets.  Pies must be delivered by 2 PM.  The judging will take place at 4 PM.  The three top pies will win prize baskets of goodies and gift certificates.

South Shores Tavern joins the Lake Worth Arts League, The Cottage and La Bonne Bouche in bringing a festive July 4th weekend to Lucerne Avenue.  At the end of Friday evening on the 5th of July (Evening on the Avenue) South Shores will launch Peace Balloons into the air simultaneously with Clay Glass Metal Stone Gallery on J Street.  This will create a colorful end to a busy holiday weekend.

The DCA (Downtown Cultural Alliance) of Lake Worth, the City of Lake Worth and LULA (The Lake Worth Arts Corridor) work together to bring family events to Downtown Lake Worth on a weekly basis.  All events are free.
The Downtown Cultural Alliance (DCA) is a non-profit association of Downtown merchants and residents working together to keep Downtown Lake Worth vibrant and welcoming. 

For additional information contact DCA:   Andy Amoroso Studio 205 561-533-5272   or Joyce Brown – 15 South J Street – 215-205-9441

Lake Worth Downtown Cultural Alliance (DCA) & LULA Presents 5th of July in Downtown Lake Worth Lake Worth Patriotic Explosion

The City of Lake Worth can never let a good holiday go to waste.  The 4th of July Weekend is no exception.  LULA, The Neighborhood Associations, the City of Lake Worth and the Downtown Cultural Alliance have two days of FREE events planned that include raft races, contests, picnics, music, fireworks and fire lanterns.  Family friendly Lake Worth is the place to be on both the 4th and 5th of July.  Free parking and free events; contests and prizes; waterfront fireworks and shops filled with holiday discounts and give-aways are all designed to entertain visitors and keep them coming back.

On Friday, July 5th, the Downtown Merchants and LULA take over.  

The DCA celebrates its 4th annual Patriotic Explosion.  Evening on the Avenue begins at 6PM with celebrations in the Downtown Cultural Plaza, J Street and Lucerne Avenue between L and M Streets.  Bands and live music, dancing in the streets, pie baking and watermelon contests, Haitian drummers, will take place throughout the downtown area.    The evening ends with lit paper lanterns that will ascend into the sky marking the end of a peaceful and joyful 5th of July end to the holiday weekend.  Laterns will be launched from J Street in front of the Clay Glass Metal Stone Gallery and from Lucerne in front of the South Shores Tavern,

J Street Happenings: At 9 PM J Street Joins Lucerne in the holiday launching of Peace Lanterns.  This beautiful sight will unite both ends of the LULA downtown arts district in the conclusion of this holiday event.  Leading up to this display of light will be:

One if by Land- Two if By Sea: Clay Glass Metal Stone Gallery: J Street rocks with holiday excitement as the gallery grills corn on the cob, prepares surf and turf foods and explodes with an exhibit that featuring art created from Florida’s natural discards of the sea and the earth.  Good food, great art, music and holiday fervor.

Coastars Coffee Shop: Plant yourself in front of Coastars at 12 South J Street.  Local performers will provide a non-ending evening of music and entertainment.  Coastars will be giving out FREE Iced Coffee samples and pastries to celebrate this holiday. 

Fat Sal’s- For some of Lake Worth’s tastiest Italian treats, Fat Sal’s at 16 South J will be serving up FREE Italian Food samples.  Buy one/ get one ½ off Subs will be served.  Look for samples of their outstanding Canolis as well.  

Lucerne Street Events: Lucerne anchors the Northeast end of town with great food and music throughout the evening.  The 9 PM launch of Peace Lanterns will flank the city from this location along with J Street at the Southwest end.  Joining in the festivities are the Lake Worth Arts League, The Cottage, La Bonne Bouche and South Shores Tavern.

Pie Baking Contest- South Shores Tavern : Bring your home baked pies to the Southshores Tavern, 502 Lucerne Avenue, at 4 PM for the Fourth Annual Pie Baking contest.  Local Chefs and celebrities will be judging this contest. Judging will take place at 5PM. Prize baskets will be awarded for the top three pies.  Both Southshores and La Bonne Bouche have been recognized by local press as top eateries in the county.  Stay for the food and the live music at all three venues.

Lake Avenue Events: 

Pig Kissing Booth- Paws on the Avenue: The iconic Pet Shop, Paws on the Avenue welcome back the real Miss Piggy.  On Friday evening you get a chance to smooch with her and have your picture taken at the same time

Turtle Racing- (wager for prizes) - The Bees Knees- Huge pet turtles are lured down Lake Avenue with promised of vegetable and lettuce.  Bet on your favorite turtle and win wonderful treats for your children.  The Bees Knees is located at 704 Lake Avenue.

The Sunflower Room-Cold Beer and Sparklers: The Sunflower room will be giving away cold beer and huge holiday sparklers to the first 76 (1776 after all) visitors. Sunflower Room goes all out for every holiday celebration  

The Cultural Plaza: Vendors and Music all Evening.

Watermelon Eating Contest- Cultural Plaza- Eat your heart out and win both a belly ache and a gift basket.  There might also be a pit spitting contest depending upon the prowess and the power of the contestants who show up for this event.  Live bands throughout the evening will end with Tou Rouj, and outstanding Haitian Drumming Group.

The DCA (Downtown Cultural Alliance) of Lake Worth, the City of Lake Worth and LULA (The Lake Worth Arts Corridor) work together to bring family events to Downtown Lake Worth on a weekly basis.  All events are free.

The Downtown Cultural Alliance (DCA) is a non-profit association of Downtown merchants and residents working together to keep Downtown Lake Worth vibrant and welcoming. 

For additional information contact DCA:   Andy Amoroso Studio 205 561-533-5272   or Joyce Brown – 15 South J Street – 215-205-9441

From our Commissioner Andy Amoroso off of Facebook...

"The federal statute is invalid, for no legitimate purpose overcomes the purpose and effect to disparage and injure those whom the State, by its marriage laws, sought to protect in personhood and dignity. By seeking to displace this protection and treating those persons as living in marriages less respected than others."

Today is the Day!

5-4 :DOMA is unconstitutional as a deprivation of the equal liberty of persons that is protected by the Fifth Amendment.

Tony Plakas: GOP needs Supreme Court bailout on gay marriage issue - South Florida

Click title for link to Tony Plakas', CEO of Compass, article. This is from the last portion:
Republicans are in dire need of a Supreme Court bailout on marriage. They need the Court to resolve this conflict for them, because doing it any other way will be the harder road to travel. After years of relying on marriage as a hot-button issue to drive voters to the polls, Republicans are now either running from the issue altogether, or coming out in support of same-sex marriage.
 As I've said before, "When your horse is dead, dismount. And never let anyone see you check for a heartbeat."
This issue is on its deathbed. The best most Republicans can hope for is for the conflict to die in a courtroom just the way the conflict over interracial marriage did in 1967.

Jon Faust's Video from Last Weekend on "J" Street - Inland Wake Boarding!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

"Simplicity in character, in manners, in style; in all things the supreme excellence is simplicity."

Five Robotic Bike Parking Systems That Solve an Urban Dilemma

If you want to encourage urban biking, and after reading this article it doesn't seem to need much help in some metropolitan areas, you must address bike storage. Some focus on security, others on bike service and some a combination of both.  From the article:
The uproar over New York’s new bike share system is mostly due to very human shortcomings (one crotchety human in particular, actually). But it can also be blamed on the shortcomings of city infrastructure, which hasn't quite caught up to the demand for new, more efficient ways of storing velocipedes.
But if we look to other biking cities, we see that this problem has already been solved—by robotic parking systems that store bikes underground or vertically, in towers. Robotic parking for cars is already catching on in some American cities (it’s been around in China and Europe for years). But bikes are a relatively new addition to the market.
Check out this solution in Washington, D.C. by Union Station. How cool is this?! (Click title for link to full article)

David Silverman, President of American Atheists 06/27 by High Noon in Lake Worth | Blog Talk Radio

Special day - Thursday at 12 p.m.

Join your host Wes Blackman as he welcomes David Silverman to the High Noon in Lake Worth studios. Silverman is President of American Atheists and was the creator and Executive Producer of the 2012 Reason Rally. He attended Brandeis University, where he completed his Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science while honing his debating skills with theists in numerous informal debates. Dave served as a professional inventor at Bell Labs for 8 years (74 issued patents) and a Marketing Director for Natural Microsystems.He has been an atheist since he was 6-years-old. Dave became an activist in 1996 and soon became New Jersey State Director. He also founded the Alliance of Lucent and AT&T Atheists and Secularists, the first employee club of its kind. 

Click here for information on the Atheist Monument being built in Starke, Florida, near a Ten Commandments monument.Mr. Silverman has appeared on most major news programs including The O'Reilly Factor (spawning the famous "WTF meme-face"), Scarborough Country, The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer, CNN's Paula Zahn NOW, Nick News, Hannity and Colmes, FOX and Friends, NPR's All Things Considered, and many more. David hosts the Atheist Viewpoint TV show with co-host Dennis Horvitz.

Click title for link to live show, Thursday at 12 to 1 p.m. or for the archived show after it airs. Leave questions as comments below.

Yeah Shanon, Yeah Phil, Yeah Materio family, Yeah McMow Art Glass, Yeah Lake Worth!

Keeping up with the Joneses...

Everyday, my e-mail in-box is filled with information from other communities in Palm Beach County, using their Public Information Officers or the like to get information on what is going on in their communities. This is just one example I received today from the Town of Palm Beach via Constant Contact.

I know. It is earth-shattering news that "rocks your world." But, imagine if Lake Worth put out 4 or 5 press releases a week on regular things such as this. It would create a constant "drum beat" of information that would make it seem like Lake Worth is on top of what is going on within its domain as a municipality. Then, when we have the unusual news that the city of Lake Worth owes the federal government millions of FEMA dollars - and we know about it when it happens to be noticed publicly, not six months after it is announced - then maybe the public would be a little more understanding about the city's predicament.

I happened to be on Linked-in this morning. Just between you and me, I have never gotten much benefit from being on that site, even though I have almost 500 connections. But I guess some people find it useful and you never know where a connection will lead. So, imagine my surprise as I was looking at my profile there when I see a suggested connection - City of Lake Worth!

I nearly fell off of my chair. Gathering myself, I clicked on the link and, of course, it is too good to be true. It is the "City of Lake Worth" - but the one in Texas with a population of about 5,000 people. Lake Worth, Florida is seven-times the size and can't be heard from. Perhaps I should start looking for messages in a bottle when I am at the beach. Maybe that is our city's preferred method of communication?

Monday, June 24, 2013

College Park Neighborhood Association Meeting tonight - First Congregational Church - North K Street - 6 p.m.

Results of neighborhood survey will be presented.

So, what's another half a million dollars between friends?

Click title for link. Why is this coming to light now? What has been the city's response? I only hear crickets.

Neighborhood Meeting

1 | An Underwater Hotel For When The Seas Are Too Damn High | Co.Exist: World changing ideas and innovation

A vision of the future south Florida?

Bar-sponsored street festival brings wakeskating, live bands... |

Article on the festival requiring the closure of J Street this past weekend. Two more events are planned for June. Click title for link.

Lantana to debate language to deter sober houses |

Addiction is included as a disability in the Americans with Disabilities Act and also protected under federal fair housing laws. I have, from time to time, been utilized as an expert in these cases as cities and towns do not allow for "reasonable accommodation" of these sorts of group living situations. The definition of what is a "family" is usually the center of the issue and that is what Lantana is grappling with now.  In Lake Worth, a "family" is defined as no more than three unrelated people living in the same household. Studies show that many addicts undergoing treatment need the social interaction of a larger group that is dedicated to sobriety to keep them on the path to recovery. It is usually there that reasonable accommodation is made to allow occupancy of more than what the definition allows. Mayor David Stewart of Lantana is right, it comes down to a federal and a constitutional issue and one that is difficult to navigate for many communities. Click title for link to article.

President John F Kennedy Secret Society Speech

"Listen to this incredible audio recording of a speech made by JFK before the American Newspaper Publishers Association where he warns the press about the secret societies that are the real power in global affairs."

On my Facebook news feed this morning:

Yet another leftover from the Best City Manager Ever and those that came before. Check this official audit report from the Department of Homeland Security, Office of the Inspector General.

$7.7 million is a lot of money to cough back up. 

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Super Moon 2013

For contrast, my favorite karaoke song...

The Idapalooza 2013 pickup dance crew, Ass Consent, led by SoFUQD (South Florida United Queer Dancers) presents "Bad Grrlz"

Caution: Not suitable for work and adult content present. Some of these people are our own brand of merrymakers, conforming by being non-conformist.

Time Capsule Automobile Dealership in Pierce, Nebraska

Code board fines Omphoy over unapproved remodeling |

How code enforcement is done by our barrier island neighbor - with an iron fist. Click title for link to article in the Shiny Sheet.

Editorial: Civility codes can’t outlaw criticism. |

I don't always agree with Randy Schultz, but he makes some good points regarding public discourse and opinion during public meetings. Click title for link. He notes the following:
The best civility codes are simple and fairly enforced. Lake Worth bans “name-calling, obscenity and shouting,” and speakers can’t use “fighting words which might incite violence.” Palm Beach County forbids speakers from making “impertinent or slanderous remarks” or becoming “boisterous.” But recently Mayor Steven Abrams refused to let speakers criticize County Administrator Bob Weisman by name for saying that Inspector General Sheryl Steckler should be fired. That is unfair enforcement.
Riviera Beach offers a cautionary tale against obsessing over gadflies. The city took revenge against Fane Lozman by seizing and destroying his houseboat. The case went to the Supreme Court, and the city lost.
Profanity, slander and threats are off-limits. Criticism related to the office, even by name, should not be. Perhaps those who don’t want criticism shouldn’t run for office.