Saturday, July 20, 2013

Pictures of the casino building site at the peak of demolition...

These were taken July 25, 2011 - within a month of the Mulvehill and Jennings' depositions.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Goetsch-Winckler House - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

My Dad and I attended a fundraiser for the Michigan State University Museum last evening. It was held at one of the four local Frank Lloyd Wright designed houses in the area. Click title for link for a quick description of the house. It is an example of his "Usonian" concept - a new way of living and planning communities which broke from past constructs. This was supposedly his favorite small house. Of course, he is known for much more elaborate projects - commercial ones like the Johnson Wax headquarters in Racine, Wisconsin and the Imperial Palace Hotel in Tokyo - the latter now demolished. He was also known for many private residential commissions around the Mid-West and Arizona.

I am traveling today and rushing to get this post up. There is so much to talk about Frank Lloyd Wright and his legacy, his importance in guiding 20th Century architecture and this will have to do for now. Please study the links.

So, I thought it best to leave you these pictures of the house and event last night. It was an exceedingly warm evening with temperatures in the humid mid-90s. The house is very simple and the previous and the current owners have kept this property true to its design direction. 

A few basics about the house: It has heated concrete floors (off last night and the open windows attest to no air conditioning), a modular concept of construction where wall panels were shipped from off-site, use of redwood plywood in four foot squares for the ceiling and the floor was also done in four foot segments - something Wright learned from his time in Japan. All of these were cutting edge in 1940 when the house was built.

The house/property is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

My Dad was asked to bring his 1940 Packard to add atmosphere to the event. Ironically, it is a car that was built with factory air conditioning - a first among auto manufacturers and something we definitely could have used last night.
Arriving in style under the cantilevered carport. The Packard would probably not have been a car of the original owners, as they were of modest means and perhaps the car was not part of FLW's Usonian vision, but it did add a nice dimension to the event.

The car received a lot of attention through the evening.

Northern facade perspective

In all these pictures, notice the various horizontal planes, particular of the flat roof, a signature of Wright.

The property is heavily wooded now. When originally built, there was no shade as it was converted pasture land.

The activity space or "living room"

Many of the furnishings are original or based upon the original.

The lanai - the caterer's tables, chairs and the "Lasko" plastic fans were there for the event. 

The redwood plywood 4 x 4 foot ceiling panels. Plywood was a new innovation in 1940.

The modular 4 x 4 foot concrete floor, heated during the cooler months.

Hallway leading from the activity area to the two bedrooms.

Studio area off the activity area.

The present owners, hosts of the event, are associated with the university and are also professional musicians - recently from California. They entertained the crowd with a "Name that Tune" game of 40s era music.

My father at 87 enjoying the event - not the best picture of him.

These three, above, show door details and the latching system from the master bedroom.

All of the above are various views of the more dramatic southern elevation which looks down a small hill.

An outside view of the lanai.

More Annabeth or Anabeth or Anna Beth or Karson or Carson at the podium...

Re the Community Relations Board, trying to get around the Sunshine Law.

Advocating to keep our own Lake Worth police force and for "checkpoints" throughout the city instead of the city entering into the agreement with PBSO for police and public safety services.

She was heavily involved in both the Mulvehill and Jennings campaigns in 2008, among countless others. She is the missing link in the depositions - perhaps the cause of faulty memories on the part of our former elected representatives?

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Former Commissioner Mulvehill's Farewell Address, along with Annabeth Karson's Thank You

Your city and environs...from Jon Faust

Super cool! Someone's got a hold of one of those drone-based cameras! Love the music too expect more. Must watch full screen.

I like the idea of a lending library...

Bring a disk over and we'll have a copying party! Make that forty if you are ambitious.

Another Ancient Chinese Secret Revealed...

You remember the late Ping Zu from Dr. Alinsky's clinic - the one who succumbed to unfathomable levels of B.S. Well, I had the strangest experience. Ping Zu's spirit came to me in a dream last night and he pulled the curtains back on some memories that had been discarded long ago. I think it was after his spirit read the latest installment - Part V of the Tasty Tidbit Summer Installment Readings posted last night, found on the upper part of the right-hand column of this blog.

In the dream, he kindled a memory of Suzanne Mulvehill contacting me back in later 2006, she said that she wanted to reach out to me after reading the blog, which I had just started. I can probably find the e-mail exchange. At the time, Jeff Clemens was Chair of the CRA and I was Chair of the Planning and Zoning Board. It was well known that Jeff was going to run for Mayor in March of 2007 and I had mused about the possibility of me running for Mayor with some people. After reading my blog, Ms. Mulvehill wanted to meet me for lunch to talk about this "great potential" and "encourage me to go for it all and run for Mayor." Imagine, being urged by this entrepreneurial genius to "grab the brass ring" and not run for a lowly City Commission seat. At the same time, the woman with five names, Patricia Fitzpatrick Oliphant Eisenhower, "Pearl" for short, met me a few times for lunch urging me to do the same thing. "Nothing ventured, nothing gained." At the time, the existing Mayor Marc Druatz, the one who two years before beat out incumbent Mayor Rodney Romano, was planning on running for re-election. He turned out to be "that side's" choice for Mayor.

I had long buried the revelation that this was a way, if I were to run for Mayor, to split the vote of Jeff Clemens' supporters, so that their candidate Mr. Drautz would have an easier time in his re-election campaign. Of course, we now know that didn't happen and the results are what they are.

But the REAL revelation was that a few weeks after lunch, Ms. Mulvehill contacted me and invited me to a holiday party at her house on South N Street. I arrived early so there weren't too many guests there at first. Imagine my surprise when in walks, not only the Woman with Five Names, but Lawrence and Dee McNamara! It was obvious that they and Ms. Mulvehill were old 'buddies" and Dee turned out to be the life of the party. From where Suzanne and the McNamaras met, I don't know.

Given Ms. Mulvehill's vehement denial of any association with Mr. McNamara prior to her initial campaign and that he was "just a campaign volunteer," gives rise to many questions. One of them is, what is the "BIG" lie that is so important not to reveal?

Also, in Ms. Jennings' deposition, you will read some VERY foggy recollections of the day she went to the Casino to meet representatives of Straticon. They were to be the contractor/savior of the Casino building, part of the "Circle of Light" and stopping "them" from "tearing this building down." Who called her? - Jennings doesn't remember.

The name that you don't hear in any of these depositions is Annabeth Carson - the common link between all three - Straticon, Ms. Mulvehill and Ms. Jennings.

So, why all the foggy memories and no mention of Ms. Carson? What really was/is going on here?


Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Commissioner Maxwell, look here! Shiny objects...

I took this video of a mirrored mobile at the contemporary Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum at MSU. More on that later, but this is a bit of a taste of what is there. By the way, they were taking a survey where I was from and I was proud to give my 33460 zip code.

In East Lansing...

The edge of the second block to the east of that parking garage.
This set of pics shows the development characteristics of the one block, transitional area between a rather dense downtown commercial area and a residential area, single family in character, but carrying multi-family zoning. Part of it is also a historic district.
These houses are in the frame vernacular style and have been "put through the ringer" by use as student housing. East Lansing is known for its strict code enforcement and strong absentee owner regulations and rental licensing programs.
 These pictures are one block north of the "Habitrail"parking garage that has been there for 24 years.
 East Lansing is known for its leafy streets.

 Turning the corner, looking south toward the "Habitrail" parking garage.
This is the bed and breakfast in the first block east of the parking garage, operating out of a historic structure. It is surrounded by a surface parking lot.
Here is the historic district map for the area around the downtown. The central business district is the white area in the center, with the various historic districts surrounding it. South of the downtown is university property.
You can see the close proximity of historical residential neighborhoods in relation to the downtown core. Also note that the downtown is very shallow in depth and linear in nature.

From Historic Palm Beach County via Facebook:

It looks as if the 'Kings' were running ....
These rather well dressed fishermen display their catch aboard a boat in Palm Beach in 1900. “There is perhaps no state in the union whose fishes have attracted more attention than those of Florida,” said Barton W. Evermann, ichthyologist of the US Fish Commission at the turn of the century.
Photo: State Library and Archives of Florida

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

It's been a while. More "Tasty Tidbits" >>>>>>>>>>>>

Update from Glenn Heran - Vero Beach Electric Utility Customer - From Today's Vero City Council Meeting

Below is a link to today’s City of Vero Council meeting.  This was a very important meeting that I believe is a watershed moment in battle to sell Vero Electric.

The first 2 links are discussions by the attorneys for FPL and the City Transactional Attorneys.  Those first 2 sections are pretty long and very technical.  But if you are interested, it involves the FMPA which Lake Worth is also a founding member of.  In my opinion, both attorneys are being very lawyerly and polite about the FMPA negotiations.  But make no mistake, we are encountering resistance in those negotiations.  Clearly, they have met FMPA opposition on Plan A and are working on a Plan B.

3rd link (short and concise), our State House Representative, Debbie Mayfield, gets up and shares her views on the FMPA and her experience with them in Tallahassee.  Her comments are very direct.

The last (4th) link are comments by me where I discuss political options to dealing with our (and your) FMPA entitlement assets.

There is also some interesting comments by Charlie Wilson (2009 city councilman) reinforcing the need for political action.

Links 3 and 4 are short and probably more digestible to the public.

Each link has commercial for the first few seconds, then you can skip the ad and see the meeting.

Comments by Patrick Bryan FPL attorney Time 9:45 am
Comments by John Igoe(Part 1)  City of Vero Transactional Attorney Time 9:51 am

Comments by John Igoe (Part 2) City of Vero Transactional Attorney

Comments by Rep Debbie Mayfield Time 10:59 am

Comments by Glenn Heran         Time 1:19 pm and 6 seconds

Comments by Charlie Wilson      Time 1:42 pm and 36 seconds

The answer to our "Guessing Game"

Lovingly referred to, now for the most part, as the "Habitrail" parking garage, this was the City of East Lansing, Michigan's answer to a downtown parking crisis in the 1980s. But it wasn't to be any parking garage, it had to be a piece of "art" as the city began promoting itself as City of the Arts way back then and continues to this day. As we know, the 80s were the decade of the "big" and this certainly was a big statement.
I worked in the city's planning department at the time and did a lot of analyses about parking demand in the downtown area which is immediately adjacent to Michigan State University. Then, students would use parking in downtown East Lansing as it was more accessible than the highly restricted campus parking. The city also restricted parking in its zoning code based upon twice annual surveys of parking utilization which would meter out redevelopment at a slow pace. Too slow for the city's collective vision for its downtown and the financial future of its parking system. The city maintained a monopoly on parking and no private providers were allowed.
It was also at a time when a new hotel, office and retail complex was in the last stages of completion immediately northwest of this property. There was a lot of concern that parking was inadequate in that project and additional parking would be need to accommodate overflow from that project, existing demand in the downtown and catalyze future redevelopment in the downtown area. Below is a picture of the mixed use project kitty-corner to this parking garage.
I was standing on the sidewalk along side the parking structure looking toward "University Place" as it was known then when I took this picture. Notice the Dutch Colonial two story house that is immediately across the street from the gigantic 6 story, 550 space+ garage. Here is how the rest of that block looks:
These are likely student rentals but they are co-existing for 24 years after construction of what some thought was a gargantuan mistake. If you check out the link above in the first paragraph, you can see the change in perception over time, at least by the editorial board of the State News, the official University student-run paper. It has become a landmark and the community has grown to like this colorful addition to the downtown. It has held up pretty well. The material is a corrugated metal with a baked-on finish that has already stood a political test of re-painting it green and white, the Spartan's team colors. Here is a detail of the columns of the structure.
The first floor is dedicated to commercial space and has been relatively successful through the years. Yes, some people still don't like it, but there are others that do - and it has become a landmark. Search for "habitrail parking East Lansing" - especially images. You will find a large collection of photos and comments about the structure. In the next block to the east, you have a bed and breakfast operating in a historic structure.

So, before some people get all twisted about how by showing this, it somehow says I think it is a good example for what can be done in Lake Worth in terms of height and compatibility, you are wrong. These are two very different communities with very different needs, pasts and futures. I just know that every election in East Lansing you don't hear "Remember the Habitrail!" That is all that I am continues.

And, tomorrow, my Dad and I will be going through this new art museum built on the campus of MSU - right across the street from downtown East Lansing. It's been referred to as a "monstrosity", but perhaps we live in monstrous times? We'll see. I will have more pictures tomorrow of this building. But, here are two now. One has the parking garage in the background.

More excerpts from Cara Jennings' Deposition - 8/19/11 - Greater Bay Lawsuit

These are on their way to being put in an easier to read format and will appear under the "Tasty Bits" portion of the blog, found in the upper right-hand column of the blog. Meanwhile, these are some of the most juicy - but there are more!

If you are using Google Chrome, I highly recommend the Hover Zoom plug-in. That will automatically make the image bigger when you mouse over it, without the need to click on the image. 

Q = Attorney; A = Cara Jennings. Ms. Jennings did not run for a third term in 2010 and Dr. McVoy has been the District #2 Commissioner since.