Saturday, July 6, 2013

Chief Justice Roberts Says Fane Lozman's Supreme Court Case About Houseboat Was His Favorite - Fort Lauderdale and Palm Beach - News - The Daily Pulp

Guess what case makes Chief Justice Roberts most favorite list? None other than Fane Lozman and his fight with the city of Riviera Beach over his house, or vessel, depending on your point of view. Mr. Lozman won a victory at the Supreme Court by having it declared a house. He is still skirmishing with the city about compensation. You might recall that Mr. Lozman was a guest on a High Noon in Lake Worth show. Click title for link to article. You can listen to the C-Span interview where the Chief Justice mentions the case below:

Views from the sixth floor...

Clutch the pearls peeps! These are a rare series of photos, for sure, taken from atop a five story building here in Lake Worth, by Bryant Park. These could be worth millions one day! Actually, practicing with a new camera prior to the fireworks display.
Looking northeast to Brant Park and the boat ramp.

Zoomed in on the Casino complex.

Looking north.

The West Palm Beach megalopolis lurking in the horizon, waiting to pounce.
South side of Bryant Park.

A more angular view of the above.

Later on in the evening.

Twilight cloud formations.

The artificial "sun" made by the Pinkie Borealis, otherwise known as the electronic billboard along I-95. It casts an eerie glow on the city's water tower. 

Casino building complex after sunset.

Waiting for the fireworks.

Zoomed in view of the temporarily closed bridge in anticipation of the fireworks.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Informative for bikers. Notable for use of a Corgi as cargo...

Have you ever noticed Commissioner McVoy's bulging yellow panniers? What does he keep in there? They are large enough to carry entire ecosystems. They just might!

Lest we forget...

These cartoons use some of the actual musings of our former City Commissioner Suzanne Mulvehill contained in her now "null and void" webpage and blog.

Something's up?

Seems that all those tasty morsels about our former City Commissioner Suzanne Mulvehill's "Europeanization" have been scrubbed from the Internet. Check out this link: and

The last link provides this welcoming display on your screen:
Could her self-publicized move to District #3 be an indication of future political intentions? We'll wait and see.

Tropical murals planned for Dave’s Last Resort & Raw Bar in... |

More mural art coming to downtown Lake Worth - this time on K Street. Click title for link.


From the "Local Government Topics" Listserve:

Blog on Koontz from Professor John Nolon
Editor’s Note: Special Thanks to Pace Law Professor John R. Nolon for posting his summary here:

Koontz v. St. Johns River Water Management District

U.S. Supreme Court 570 U.S.___ (2013)

June 25, 2013

Brief and Analysis

John R. Nolon – Professor of Law

Pace University School of Law

Introduction: Prior to this case, courts did not subject the denial of land use permits or the imposition of monetary conditions upon them to heightened scrutiny under its previous decisions in Nollan and Dolan. Those cases involved the imposition of a “title exactions:” a requirement that an easement or title to some of the property be dedicated to the public. To require such a title transfer, if done outside the land use permitting system, would be a taking of property requiring just compensation. Because of this, permit conditions that accomplished the same result were subjected in these cases to heightened scrutiny. Other actions, such as permit denials or monetary exactions, under U.S. Supreme Court jurisprudence, were deferred to by the courts, presumed valid, and the burden of proving that they constituted takings was borne by the applicant. Nollan established that title exactions must bear an essential nexus to the harm prevented; Dolan required that the condition imposed be roughly proportional to the adverse impact of the project on the community. This case, Koontz, extends the principles and standards of Nollan and Dolan to permit denials and monetary exactions greatly expanding the reach of Federal constitutional concerns deeply into the state and local land use system. Justice Alito wrote the majority opinion for 5 members of the court; Justice Kagan wrote for the 4 member minority.

Brief: Mr. Koontz owned 14.9 acres of highly constrained land at the intersection of two major thoroughfares in Florida. He proposed building on 3.7 of the less constrained acres. To build, he needed a permit from the St. John’s River Water Management District in compliance with two separate state statutes designed to protect water resources, including wetlands. Koontz offered to impose a conservation easement on 11 acres and to conduct other engineering work as mitigation measures. The District thought these were insufficient to protect the affected water resources in accordance with the relevant statutes. Using words such as “proposed” and “suggested,” the majority opinion of the Court describes the two concessions the District asked of the petitioner. One involved developing only one acre and building costly stormwater management facilities on site, and enlarging the land subject to the conservation easement to over 13 acres; the other would allow the 3.7 acre development, but require petitioner to consider methods of doing off site mitigation enhancing about 50 acres elsewhere in the watershed. The District suggested some such work including paying contractors to replace culverts and fill ditches indicating that it “would favorably consider” alternatives to its “suggested” offsite mitigation projects, if the petitioner proposed something “equivalent.” (Where a conservation easement is required, it exacts a property interest from the petitioner and is a title exaction; while asking an owner to pay for off-site mitigation work subjects her to a monetary exaction.)

Koontz stopped negotiating at this point saying that his proposal was “as good as it can get.” The District denied the permit and Koontz brought an action under a Florida statute that allows owners to recover monetary damages if a state agency’s action is “an unreasonable exercise of the state’s police power constituting a taking without just compensation.” Although he won in the trial and intermediate appeal court levels, the Florida Supreme Court supported the District’s actions and found that the higher scrutiny standards of the Nollan and Dolan cases were inapplicable because the District did not approve the project on the condition that petitioner accede to demands, but rather denied his application because he refused to make concessions. The Florida Supreme Court distinguished a demand for an interest in real property as found in Nollan and Dolan from a demand for money. As a result, that court held that neither the denial nor the monetary demand were subject to higher scrutiny. The majority of U.S. Supreme Court disagrees on both counts.

The Court holds that under the unconstitutional conditions doctrine, which prevents governments from coercing people to give up their constitutional rights, courts cannot distinguish between approving a permit on a condition and denying a permit because the applicant refused to agree to a concession. The Federal Constitution can be violated in permit denial cases, the Court notes, not because property interest were taken, but because extortionate demands burden the right not to have property taken without just compensation. “The impermissible denial of a government benefit is a constitutionally cognizable injury.”

The Court also holds that where “there is a direct link between the government’s demand and a specific parcel of property” the requirements of Nollan and Dolan apply. “Such so-called ‘in lieu of’ fees are utterly commonplace,…, and they are functionally equivalent to other types of land use exactions.”

While noting that land use agencies in the permitting process have vast discretion that can be abused, the Court also recognizes the legitimacy of land use requirements that require “landowners internalize the negative externalities of their conduct.” It notes that this practice is a “hallmark of responsible land use policy, and we have long sustained such regulations against constitutional attack.” Subjecting exactions of property interests and cash in lieu of to higher scrutiny under the essential nexus and rough proportionality tests of Nollan and Dolan, in the Court’s view, both allows internalization of externalities and prevents the abuse of discretion.

The Court does not discuss what remedies might be available for a “Nollan/Dolan unconstitutional conditions violation either here or in other cases.” It did not decide whether the conditions complained of by Koontz would violate the nexus and proportionality standards of Nollan/Dolan. It did not find that the conditions subjected were demands. In fact, the majority refused to characterize precisely how the conditions to the permit were communicated. “We decline to reach the respondent’s argument that its demands for property were too indefinite to give rise to liability under Nollan and Dolan.” The boundaries of what constitutes a monetary exaction were not made clear by the majority. These matters were remanded to the Florida courts for resolution, to the extent that they are relevant to Mr. Koontz’s claims, which must now decide whether the suggestions made by the District were sufficiently distinct to constitute demands; whether those demands meet the nexus and proportionality requirements of Nollan and Dolan, and whether Mr. Koontz suffered any damages for which there is a state remedy.


Higher Scrutiny Now Applies to Permit Denials and Monetary Exactions: It is not clear whether Koontz is a regulatory taking or due process case. It is sufficient for the moment to recognize that the principles and standards of Nolan and Dolan, concededly takings cases, were applied to the facts of Koontz under the unconstitutional conditions doctrine, which applies to many settings having nothing to do with takings. Saying that citizens do not hold their constitutional rights subject to unconstitutional conditions fundamentally sounds in due process. Permit denials and monetary exactions bear no constitutional relationship to title exactions, which can “take” fundamental property rights including the right to exclude others. In one sense, this distinction doesn’t matter because under Koontz permit denials and monetary exactions are now subject to higher scrutiny.[1] From this flow several other consequences and concerns.

Land Use Decisions are Subject to Doubt Rather than Deference: The case extends the reach of Federal constitutional law deeply into the state and local land use system. There is a fundamental and far-reaching difference between deference and doubt as a judicial attitude toward land use decisions. Before Koontz, all but title exactions were subject to a judicial presumption of validity and a burden imposed on the applicant to prove that denials or monetary exactions were unreasonable, arbitrary, or capricious. Post-Koontz, denials of permits where applicants fail to properly mitigate project impacts by following suggestions made by agency representatives and any monetary conditions imposed on permits are now subject to higher scrutiny, a judicial standard that requires the government to prove that its actions bear a “essential nexus” to the property’s impacts and that the monetary conditions required are “roughly proportional” to the project’s impact on the community. One serious concern here is that Federal takings law is notoriously vague and flawed. All of the many conflicting, perplexing, and complex doctrines of this body of law are now seated at the head of the table regarding the many land use decisions to which Koontz might be applied. This will not benefit developers uniformly because it may sap the system of predictability, could lead to more restrictive zoning standards, and might require them to pay the costs of the now-required municipal studies.

Land Use Decision Processes are Subject to Doubt: Post-Koontz the land use decision-making process, which has been characterized by give-and-take negotiations among applicants, affected stakeholders, and land use boards, is also subjected to doubt. Under the majority’s decision and using its terminology, suggestions that the applicant modify the proposed project to mitigate environmental conditions or enhance its sustainability are potentially unconstitutional conditions that will be subjected to higher scrutiny and that can result in monetary damage awards against state and local agencies. This consequence of Koontz will impose a near-term chill on the land use decision making process to the detriment of communities and developers. Lawyers for land use boards will be extraordinarily cautious about authorizing discussions about project modifications that will be more beneficial to the community. The twin prospects here are that more projects may be simply turned down or inferior projects approved.

Corollary Matters:

·         If Koontz imposes new costs to conduct studies to prove the proportionality of conditions, will these costs be imposed on developers as additional permit fees?
·         How much will Koontz affect the SEQRA process? Will developers have to pay more fees here as well to pay for municipal studies needed to carry the burden of proof that lead agencies now have?
·         Are legislated exactions, such as wetland banking, solid waste impact fees, or mandatory affordable housing requirements, that apply through some formula, subject to Koontz, or is the case limited to individual permit conditions aimed at a specific project’s impact such as those involved in Nollan and Dolan? If legislated and formulaic exaction systems are subject to Koontz, will the “individualized determination” requirement of Dolan, not mentioned by either the majority or dissent, be implicated? If so, how greatly will this affect area- or community-wide impact fees and other exactions?
·         What constitutes a monetary exaction? Does anything that costs a developer money impose a monetary condition? Did the majority truly intend such a consequence?
·         Will Koontz lead to new forms of negotiations? Will pre-application processes become routine in order to divorce suggestions made from the formal permitting process? Will the effect of this be to prolong the land use approval process to the developer’s detriment?
·         Will local governments be tempted to make zoning standards more restrictive if they fear losing the ability to negotiate community benefits in the decision-making process?
·         Will non-regulatory community- or area-wide plans, floating zones, and more flexibility techniques be relied on that offer developers choices that they may voluntary choose as an alternative to the now more-restrictive zoning?
·         Was it wise for a 5-4 decision of the U.S. Supreme Court to subject thousands of state and local land use agencies to all this doubt and prospect of further litigation? What benefits to developers and the public does the Koontz case realize? The majority fails to say.
[1] In another sense it does. Under Lingle, the Court carefully distinguished due process from takings law, setting aside decades of confusion over how a regulation that fails to advance a substantial governmental interest can possibly be a taking. Substantive due process claims, Lingle points out, are subject to rational basis testing with courts deferring to regulators.

Children as Urban Problem Solvers

Must watch! We talked about the importance of involving children in neighborhood enhancement planned by our CRA in some of our most challenged areas in the city. Here, it looks like the children have become the leaders that are literally "putting themselves on the map."

Mary Lindsey, President of CPNA 07/05 by High Noon in Lake Worth | Blog Talk Radio

Join host Wes Blackman as he welcomes Mary Lindsey to the High Noon in Lake Worth Studios. Wes' neighbor Mary is coming to visit and will talk about the Neighborhood Association Presidents' Council and some of their recent activities. It seems that they have been on a tour around the city and we'll hear about that. And we are sure to talk about the College Park entry into yesterday's Lake Worth Centennial Great American Raft Race. Tune in for a fun discussion over what amounts to a long holiday weekend for many.

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

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Pics from Today's Raft Race 7/4/13

Report from the 2013 Raft Race

College Park "Friends" Raft
Link to more photos on the way. That's me in green; Bill is in red; Brent Whitfield is in Yellow and Michael Arevalo is in blue - we were the College Park Centennial Raft Race team (Photo taken by Tom Johnson). The neighborhood drew the decade of the Nineties. So, we choose an iconic sitcom "Friends" as the theme. Mary Lindsey did a great organizing everything from the shirts, hats, paddles, chairs, banner and the raft itself.

After assembling on J Street, participants with rafts and vehicles marched down Lake Avenue toward Bryant Park, everyone got their rafts in the water. Suddenly, people were headed out into the Lake Worth Lagoon and we thought the race had officially started. So we worked against a headwind to make it to the buoy in the middle of the Lagoon, trailing one other contender. We turned around and headed back in, sure for a solid second place finish. We get to the throngs at the boat ramp, only to be told that was a "warm up!" We were ready to put the raft back in the truck, but it was only 4 minutes after 11 and the "official" race was yet to be run. We were sort of tuckered out. But, like troopers, we got back on the raft, changed sides to work a different set of muscles, and we were off with the sound of the horn.

We think the raft took on a little more water during the second run. It was harder to navigate, but we were still being respectable in our position with other rafts. The city boat had a hose that squirted that tasty grunge water all over other rafters. Anyway, we were one of the few to complete the entire course by going around the buoy. We didn't win, not sure who did - maybe South Palm Park? But at least we can say we're legit. And we looked colorful too.

Nice to see such a crowd lined up along the seawall. Like I said, more pics to follow.

Oh, and during the parade Mary Lindsey had this blaring from her truck carrying the raft.

Lona O'Connor |

Our new Lake Worth reporter for the Palm Beach Post. Met and chatted with her at last Tuesday's meeting. She said, "Oh, you are the blogger!" Click title for link.

Happy Fourth of July Everybody!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

News on former Lake Worth resident Tom McGow (author of Tom's Page)

Hi Lynn and Wes (in alphabetical order!),

I'm not sure if you know that Tom has suffered a major brain aneurysm.  It happened early Father's Day and he has been in the hospital since.  First, the emergency ward, then surgery  ( a "thread" that went from his groin all the way to his head where they wrapped a coil around the aneurysm).  Then, two weeks being tethered and heavily sedated in the intensive care unit.  Last night he was moved to a "regular" floor.

His daughter, Tessa, flew down from Maine after the doctors told her he had a 50-50 chance.  Of course, they told me nothing as we are not related in any way.  

We have beat the odds so far and his sense of humor is still intact, although he couldn't remember the name of the best little city in Palm Beach County!........just kidding.  I saw him take four steps today with a walker and two therapists present and it is hard to watch.  His nurse made him feed himself.  This is the therapy phase after two scary weeks.  

We want him home soon since all infections are gone and he has no insurance.  We will have a therapist or two visit everyday until ...when?.........I don't know.

His daughter Tess, has set up a donation page at  That is his professional name as he is the internet go-to guy for Bennett Marine, a company he has worked for for the last 15 years.  The boating community has been generous in their condolences and donations.....but, you know how hospitals and health care are!

Anything you guys can do to help Tom will be MORE than appreciated.  Tom's Page was the editorial cartoon of Lake Worth for a time.  He tried to pick on everybody equally!  We'll be watching the raft race...........well, I will and will tell him about it.

Hello to everybody.  I know he wishes he were there taking photographs instead of this.

Thank you,

Donna Ross

(Donna is a former Lake Worth resident and still a property owner here. We served on the CRA together for a time - Wes)

Eight years equals 416 weeks or 2,290 days or 70,080 hours or 4,204,800 minutes

That is the time that the city of Lake Worth has taken to reformulate its Comprehensive Plan and its Land Development Regulations (LDRs) and we still are not finished. According to William Waters, the city's Director of the Department of Community Sustainability, last night we are five weeks away from having a completed set of LDRs. First reading at the City Commission is scheduled for July 16th and, if all goes well at the first reading, second reading will be August 6th. The new LDRs would then go into effect 10 days later.

We are that close to ending a process that, conservatively speaking, has taken eight years and directly cost the city $1.5 million. The indirect costs are incalculable. What is the dollar value of the projects, investors, businesses, goods and service providers and jobs that the city has missed out on over that period of time - just short of a decade? What services has the city not been able to provide due to dwindling revenue from ad valorem taxes - revenue derived from our millage rate being applied to the value of property within the city? How much would our utility rates have been able to be lowered since they wouldn't have to compensate for the anemic condition of the city's general fund? How has this contributed negatively to the quality of life we attempt to enjoy in Lake Worth? How has it created a situation where we find ourselves awash in foreclosed and vacant properties that are proving to be a breeding ground for desperation - the breeding ground for criminal activity? Why were we one of the thirty-eight Palm Beach County municipalities that lost the most property value over the past eight years?

We will never have definitive answers to those questions. But, the fact that we have had no significant commercial development over the past two full calendar years should be worth a few canaries in the coal mine. It also indicates that the uncertainty in the city's regulatory environment has not attracted investment activity. If anything, it has alienated it.

We also find out that HB 357 outlawed referenda that result in changes to communities' comprehensive plans. Last night's City Commission agenda item 10 A would have changed our comprehensive plan as a result of the referendum on height. Had the item been approved, our entire comprehensive plan would have been in jeopardy of being challenged, resulting in more uncertainty and creating a disincentive to investment in Lake Worth.

We need to straighten out a few facts from the discussion last night. Ample evidence of what went on is provided in the selection of videos on this blog, so that if you have any question of what I correct here, you can refer to them.

The Mayor said nothing, as reported by the Palm Beach Post this morning, that indicated she felt the city's charm would not be affected by taller buildings. In attending the meeting, watching and re-watching these videos, she did say that she "didn't have a dog in the fight" and could come down of "either side of fence" as it relates to this issue. She said that the "city has measures to prevent big, tall buildings." She identified the area in contention as being east of Federal, between 2nd Avenue North and 1st Avenue South and west of Dixie Hwy. This was corroborated by Mr. Waters - the west of Dixie Hwy. area was more specifically in the area of the proposed transit oriented development (TOD) area. She said that this doesn't close the door on discussion of future changes and that we need to maintain our charm in the process. We must also be honest about who we are and attack those situations where the city is weak.

Ms. Anderson pointed out that the will of the people is supreme and the people voted to charge the charter - the city's Bible - not the comprehensive plan. The changes contemplated by the City Commission in item 10 A would have changed the comprehensive plan based upon the referendum. What doesn't she get about this? In order to do it right or correctly and legally now, we were told that it would be an eighteen month process, that would include hiring of a consultant (more money, which we would have to find), public hearings, findings of fact, submittal of the large scale change of the comprehensive plan to the Department of Economic Opportunity with other review of the changes by the appropriate agencies. If everything indicated, in a procedurally sound fashion, then we could lower permitted building heights in these areas and have an unassailable comprehensive plan.

Ms. Golden had trouble with math last night. She pointed out that this has been eight months since the election and the city attorney just now is telling us that we can't go forward. Actually, Ms. Golden, the election was held on March 12th. Today is July 3rd. April, May, June and part of July have passed - that is almost four months, not eight. In the interim we had the passage of HB 357 which required some legal analysis - which was done by more than one attorney. I understand how someone could be loose with the counting of passing months given the delay of adopting coherent comprehensive plan and land development regulations during her time on the dais. She also pointed out that the City Commission brought up "out of no where" that they wanted "tall buildings below Federal." Ms. Golden, the City Commission did nothing to raise heights in this area, as later pointed out by Commissioner Maxwell. 65 feet was the allowable height in this area for as long as anyone can remember. The Commission lowered allowable heights between Dixie Hwy. and Federal. And, what is a tall building, anyway? Is it six stories or 65 feet, is it four stories or 45 feet or is it ten stories or 100 feet as defined by this Vancouver architect in a recent post about how a wooden 30 story building would be the most eco-friendly building around? 

Ms. Decker should also check her knowledge of local zoning codes. In today's Palm Beach Post article, she cites Delray Beach as an example of balancing building height and community character. Let it be known to all that Delray Beach's Central Business District zoning district allows up to 48 feet "by right," but can allow buildings of up to 60 feet in height if the project meets certain standards. This is not unlike how Lake Worth's coming LDRs are structured, the major difference being that ours would be more restrictive in what is permitted "by right" to two stories. But that doesn't help the Respectful Planning PAC's argument so you will not hear about that.

Commissioner Szerdi said that the referendum in March provided a "clear answer to an unclear question." He pointed out that we are in a position of agreement on 99% of what the comprehensive plan and the LDRs would allow. In my opinion, that 1% of disagreement shouldn't hold the rest of Lake Worth hostage. He suggested a survey as a way of eliminating confusion on the issue and quell the fear of those that do not understand what height limits are allowed where.

Commissioner Maxwell asserted his support for municipal "home rule" and that cities should not be subject to such state and federal mandates. He emphatically said that he does not like misrepresentations of fact that for the "five-hundredth" time, this Commission "did not raise heights in the downtown, we lowered them." Saying and suggesting that this Commission raised heights is just plain wrong. They did what they did to protect the charm and character of the city.

Ms. Sharpe reminded everyone that the current limit in the charter of a maximum of 65 feet east of Dixie Hwy. and 100 feet west of Dixie Hwy is still there and was voted on through a referendum. She agreed with Mr. Szerdi that the whole notion of height throughout the city should be clarified.

So, I ask you, is it really worth extending this debate one more second over the "possibility" of the redevelopment of four or so parcels which "could" contain a hotel that would offer a place for people to stay and spend money in our downtown that "might" have a total of six stories? I say no.

If you say "yes." Then you probably are a lot like the princess in this fairy tale.

Entire Discussion of Item 10 A - Comprehensive Plan/ Height Referendum - City Commission Meeting 7/2/13

City Commissioner and Mayor Responses to Public Comment - 7/2/13 Meeting

Public Comments on Items not on the City Commission Agenda - 7/2 - Part II

Palm Beach County ethics commissioner resigns over political... |

A very fine line to walk, indeed. Click title for link to Palm Beach Post article.

Public Comment on Items not on the City Commission Agenda 7/2 - Part I

Last night's City Commission Meeting (7/2) - Commissioner Reports

This comes near the top of the agenda. It is notable that Commissioner McVoy attempted to get Item 10 A pulled and scheduled for a date certain since there was no back-up given in the agenda packet. His motion failed due to lack of a second. The item was fully discussed at its appointed time later in the meeting, as you can see by the forgoing videos.

Public Comment and City Commission Discussion on Height Referendum being "Null and Void" - Part II

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

City Attorney's Explanation of Why Height Referendum "Null and Void" - Part I

Mayor Triolo Cutting the Centennial Cake - Celebration at City Commission Meeting

Lake Worth won’t fight nullification of building height... |

Videos coming. March 12th's vote never happened - due to recently passed state legislation. Keyword "void." Click title for link.

Comedian Fabrizio Goldstein turns Citi Bikes into spinning class for homeless people | PIX 11

An innovative and creative application of New York City's public bike program. Click title for link.

Official Proclamation on the City of Lake Worth's Centennial Celebration

To be read tonight:

The book "Pioneers of Jewell" Available July 4th!

From Facebook, a brief description:

The Lake Worth Centennial Committee is proud to announce the release of a new publication, Pioneers of Jewell. The 254-page book contains previously unknown stories about our city’s forgotten first settlers during the decades when the community was known as Jewell, prior Lake Worth's incorporation in 1913. 

Pioneers of Jewell will go on sale at the City’s exhibition booth in Bryant Park starting at noon on July 4th as part of the LW 100 Celebration. Author Ted Brownstein will be available to autograph copies from 5 to 6 PM. Rumors have been flying that first pioneer, Fannie James, and the Barefoot Mailman (in costume) may put in an appearance. 

In 1885, Samuel and Fannie James, an African American couple, reported to be ex-slaves, fled the increasing racial polarization of Northern and Central Florida for the sparsely settled everglades frontier. They were the first to settle in the area that would later become the City of Lake Worth, arriving with just the clothes on their backs and $50 in their pockets. While local history buffs may have heard their names, until now virtually nothing was known of their doings, character, or relations with others in the Jewell community. Their story is explored in Pioneers of Jewell in the context of their times. Details of their land dispute with Dr. Harry Stites, their friendship with original Barefoot Mailman Edwin R. Bradley and the quirkiness of hermit Michael Merkle are told for the first time. This motley collection of settlers braved the swamps, the floods, the mosquitos and the isolation to pave the way for later development.

Groundbreaking research reveals…
• Biographies of more than a dozen previously unknown Jewell pioneers.
• An in-depth look at the Jameses’ stunning financial success.
• Investigation of the Jameses’ slave background.
• The history of the segregated Osborne Colored Addition.
• Klu Klux Klan activity in Lake Worth during the 1920s.
• The fate of Jewell and its pioneers.

Pioneers of Jewell also goes on sale at Lake Worth City Hall after July 4th. Proceeds will benefit the Lake Worth Municipal Library.

Dalai Lama

"Everyone wants a happy life without difficulties or suffering. We create many of the problems we face. No one intentionally creates problems, but we tend to be slaves to powerful emotions like anger, hatred and attachment that are based on misconceived projections about people and things. We need to find ways of reducing these emotions by eliminating the ignorance that underlies them and applying opposing forces."

Monday, July 1, 2013

Lake Worth Municipal Pool To Open July 4th (Yeah! A Press Release from the City!)

1121 Lucerne Avenue · Lake Worth, Florida 33460 · Phone: 561-533-7363
Lake Worth Municipal Pool To Open July 4th


FROM: Lake Worth Leisure Services Department
CONTACT: Lake Worth City Hall 586-1600
DATE: July 1, 2013
RE: Lake Worth Municipal Pool Re-Opening

In celebration of the 100th Centennial Celebration for the City of Lake Worth, the Lake Worth Municipal Pool will re-open Thursday, July 4th at 10am. We invite the community to come out and enjoy the pool at the newly renovated Lake Worth Beach Complex in addition to the various events taking place throughout the day in celebration of the City’s 100th Birthday.

The Municipal Pool hours for July 4th ONLY will be 10:00 am-3:00 pm. The Municipal Pool will remain open from July 4th through September 27th. The pool will operate on the following days and hours:

 Thursdays 7:00 am - 11:00 am
 Fridays 7:00 am - 11:00 am
 Saturdays 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
 Sundays 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Admission Fees:
 Adult 18 and over $ 4.00
 Youth 4-17 yrs old $ 3.00
 Infants 3 and under Free
 Summer Pass $125
 Ea. additional family member $ 25

Pool rentals for parties and privately held functions are available please inquire with staff for rental rates.
For more information on the Municipal Pool call the Lake Worth Beach Complex Aquatics Division at 561-586-6858.
Please check the “Meetings and Events” calendar on the City of Lake Worth’s official website, for further information.

PRESS RELEASE - Lake Worth CRA Wins $15,000 Park Grant


Lake Worth, FL, July 1, 2013 – Dr Pepper Snapple Group (DPS) and national non-profit KaBOOM! has awarded the Lake Worth Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) a $15,000 Let’s Play Community Construction Grant as announced on June 28, 2013.

The grant is part of ‘Let’s Play’, a community partnership led by Dr Pepper Snapple Group to get kids and families active nationwide. In 2011, as part of ‘Let’s Play’, Dr Pepper Snapple Group made a $15 million, three year commitment to KaBOOM!, the national non-profit saving play by ensuring there is a great place to play within walking distance of every child. Together through Let’s Play, Dr Pepper Snapple Group and KaBOOM! will build or fix up 2,000 playgrounds by the end of 2013, benefiting an estimated five million children across North America.

“Lake Worth has seen so many improvements these past few years but further development of the Tropical Ridge Fitness Park has special meaning to me. This grant will enable the Agency to fulfill a promise made to the neighborhood that included the development of park space for adults and children. Parks offer residents a quantifiable range of advantages including quality of life, neighborhood vitality and economic benefits”, stated Cary Sabol, CRA Chair. “I am both proud and thankful to our Board and Staff and the many partners in this project including the Tropical Ridge Neighborhood Association, who never tire in improving the sense of pride and identity in our community.”

This grant will be used to assist with the creation of a new children’s playground to be located at the new Tropical Ridge Fitness Park. A year ago, the Tropical Ridge Fitness Park was nothing more than a vacant, City owned lot located on the 200 block of North ‘H’ Street. However, the CRA Board and Staff, along with their numerous community partners, realized that this lot had the potential to become an ideal pocket park for the residents living in the surrounding neighborhood. In November 2012, the CRA, the Trust for Public Land, and the Palm Beach County School District, opened the first phase of the park by installing a new ‘fitness zone’ at this location. This outdoor fitness zone consisted of nine pieces of workout equipment which are free for the public to use. The second phase of development at this park will consist of the new playground which has been designated to be built in the north-west section of the park.

The playground will be built using the KaBOOM! community-build model, which requires using community volunteers to plan for, design, fundraise for, and build the community playground. Planning and design for the new playground will take place later this year. The CRA anticipates opening the new park by summer 2014. Unstructured, child-directed play has been proven to help kids develop physically, socially and cognitively, yet today’s kids have less time and fewer opportunities to play than any previous generation. Via Let’s Play grants and projects through 2012, Dr Pepper Snapple Group and KaBOOM! built or improved 1,154 playgrounds, benefitting an estimated 2.8 million children during the lifetime of the playgrounds. People are encouraged to visit Let’s Play at to join the conversation and learn how to apply for the various available grants to make their communities more active and playful.

About The Lake Worth Community Redevelopment Agency

The Lake Worth Community Redevelopment Agency is governed by a seven (7) member Board of Commissioners which is appointed by the City of Lake Worth Commission. Their role is to direct CRA activities within the Community Redevelopment Area in accordance with the approved Lake Worth Redevelopment Plan. Revenue is generated for CRA projects through Tax Increment Financing (TIF). For more information, visit

About Let’s Play

Let’s Play is a community partnership led by Dr Pepper Snapple Group (NYSE: DPS) to get kids and families active nationwide. The first Let’s Play initiative is a $15 million, three-year commitment to KaBOOM!, the national non-profit that’s saving play. Together, through Let’s Play, DPS and KaBOOM! will build or fix up 2,000 playgrounds by the end of 2013, benefiting an estimated five million children across North America. For more information, visit or

About Dr Pepper Snapple Group

Dr Pepper Snapple Group (NYSE: DPS) is a leading producer of flavored beverages in North America and the Caribbean. Our success is fueled by more than 50 brands that are synonymous with refreshment, fun and flavor. We have 6 of the top 10 non-cola soft drinks, and 13 of our 14 leading brands are No. 1 or No. 2 in their flavor categories. In addition to our flagship Dr Pepper and Snapple brands, our portfolio includes 7UP, A&W, Canada Dry, Clamato, Crush, Hawaiian Punch, Mott's, Mr & Mrs T mixers, Peñafiel, Rose's, Schweppes, Squirt and Sunkist soda. To learn more about our iconic brands and Plano, Texas-based company, please visit For our latest news and updates, follow us at or

About KaBOOM!

KaBOOM! is the national non-profit dedicated to giving kids the childhood they deserve by bringing play to those who need it most. Children today spend less time playing outdoors than any previous generation, a fact that is having disastrous consequences on their health, achievement levels, and overall well-being. Social entrepreneur Darell Hammond founded non-profit KaBOOM! in 1996 in Washington, D.C. with a vision of creating a great place to play within walking distance of
every child in America because children need to play actively every day at home, in school and in their communities. Since then, KaBOOM! has mapped over 90,000 places to play, built more than 2,200 playgrounds, and successfully advocated for play policies in hundreds of cities across the country. KaBOOM! also provides communities with online tools to self-organize and take action to support play on both a local and national level. Hammond chronicles the founding of the organization and
the importance of the cause of play in his The New York Times Best Seller KaBOOM!: A Movement to Save Play, now out in paperback. The book details how businesses and communities can work together to save play for children across the country. All author proceeds support KaBOOM!. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., KaBOOM! also has an office in San Mateo, Calif. For more information, visit

Audit slaps Lake Worth’s code enforcement as city grapples for...

THIS IS WHY WE HAVE NEEDED AN INTERNAL AUDITOR! Such a position, called for by the City Charter some otherwise worship with a vengeance, was thought of as not necessary or required due to budget considerations. Well, that has finally changed with this Commission. The "other" blogger will offer vague excuses. Click title for link to article - perhaps one of Willie Howard's last in covering the Lake Worth city beat.

Some of the "in-your-face" findings:
Some of the code enforcement problems noted by the Lake Worth’s internal auditor:
— Most code fines are never collected. Some outstanding code fines are many times the value of the properties. There is no effort to collect code fines.
— Properties that are clearly public nuisances remain that way because no abatement or foreclosure procedures are initiated.
— The prior work experience and skills of code enforcement employees “may not be conducive to fulfilling the mission” of the division.
— Anonymous complaints about code violations are not accepted.
— There are no field supervisors in the division.
— There seems to be a “philosophical divergence” regarding the purpose of code compliance and the day-to-day activities that support the purpose.
I believe that it was Susan Stanton, the Best City Manager Ever according to some, who fired the Internal Auditor and eliminated the position saying that we "didn't need anyone else pointing out problems." Thus, we live the legacy of that decision, but at least we are making headway now.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Pics today from bike ride as storm threatened, moody seas and sky...

And Biking in the "Land of the Midnight Sun..."

This will run as a series of promotional videos from the VisitFinland YouTube Channel. Enjoy! (Best viewed full screen)

Winter Biking in Helsinki, Finland

Monument to Finnish Immigrants in Bryant Park

This pair of geese is forever flying south in Bryant Park. Geese are migrating birds that follow the warmer weather by spending the Winter here in the United States. This is an appropriate representation of the profound impact Finnish people have had on the development and character of Lake Worth. It is universally recognized that, at one time, the city had one of the largest concentration of Finns outside of Finland.
An image of the country of Finland appears on the east side of the monument.
To commemorate that fact, in 1985, Thor and Saimi Soderholm, gifted this monument to "commemorate the immigrants from Finland." The monument exists in the middle of the park, north of the band shell and south of  Lake Avenue.
We are also one of a list of cities that has an Honorary Finnish Consulate. The Honorary Consul here in  Lake Worth is Peter Makila who has an office on Lake Avenue.

The contribution of the Finnish people is an important part of Lake Worth's history to remember as we celebrate our city's centennial year.