Saturday, July 27, 2013

John Muir

“Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop away from you like the leaves of Autumn.”

An example of the PAC cross-pollination that went on in this city...

These pictures were taken on the steps of City Hall, June 14, 2007. It was the "kick off" of the We Love Lake Worth PAC that was formed to gather signatures for a referendum on the land use plan change and the zoning district at the beach, referred to as "Beach and Casino." There were four petitions related to four actions the City Commission had taken a text change to the Comprehensive Plan, a change in the Future Land Use map designation for the beach from Public Recreation and Open Space, establishment of the Beach and Casino zoning district and rezoning the beach property from Public Recreation and Open Space to Beach and Casino. The former zoning designation did not allow ANY retail or commercial space at the beach and, in retrospect, was needed for what the city ended up doing anyway - the project that we see today.

The first thing to notice is that the white T-Shirts with read lettering read "No Beach Lease!" on the front and on the back they said "Lake Worth - Public Beach Public Control." If one just saw the t-shirt alone, you would not know the purpose behind the PAC was to revert the land use and zoning designation to what it was before. These t-shirts, and the real intent of the people associated with the PAC, was the dismantling of the development agreement with Greater Bay and the city.

You will see a lot of familiar faces in these pictures taken during this "kick off."


These pictures come after the "kick off" of the We Love Lake Worth PAC, but are taken in front of a table and a display for the Save Our Neighborhood PAC, which was formed to overturn the Sunset property land use plan and zoning change. They seem to have a large supply of the same t-shirts and are hawking the same cause. You will see some familiar faces here too.

From the family album...

More on the way.

From the Archives: Dee McNamara's "When I get burglarized and raped" letter...

Click on image to read.

Vehicle Accident at Lakeside Castle

Bill and I stumbled upon evidence of damage at the Lakeside Castle during a bike ride this week. It appears that some sort of vehicle barreled through the stop sign at South Lakeside Drive and 5th Avenue South. Parts of the vehicle were still among the debris pile. The velocity was such that the house was not spared as window openings were boarded up and there was some evidence of building damage below the window.

Does anyone have additional details as to what happened?

Snippet from Part VII - The final portion of Cara Jennings' Deposition re Greater Bay Lawsuit - Full Version >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Q. Did you see the pool in January of 2008?
A. I don't know. When was the -- There was like a ribbon cutting or something.
Q. That would have been after the renovations, correct?
A. Yeah.
Q. Do you remember when that was?
A. No.
Q. Do you remember what year?
A. No, and I feel foolish for not remembering, but I don't.
Q. Do you know a company by the name of Straticon?
A. Yeah, I'm familiar with them.
Q. How are you familiar with Straticon?
A. They have come before the City commission when I was on the commission.
Q. Did you know them before you went on the City commission?
A. No.
Q. Have you ever met them out in public?
A. Yes.
Q. Who would be the representatives from Straticon, what individuals?
A. If you said their name, I would remember that, but I don't know that off the top of my head.
Q. Has anybody with Straticon ever contributed to either of your campaigns?
A. I don't know. I don't think they contributed to -- I had never met them during my first campaign. I believe I met them before my re-election, but I don't know if they contributed or not. 
Q. Did you ever have discussions with anybody from Straticon about the beach project?
A. Yes.
Q. Tell me about that.
A. Yeah, I met them up at the beach once.
Q. Do you remember when that was?
A. I don't .
Q. Do you remember what year it was?
A. It really all just blurs together. I don't know what year, and they had read -- You know, maybe though it was some time -- Well, they had read in the paper about the building that it was going to be demolished.
Q. The casino building?
A. Yes, and I don't remember, because, you know there was this other thing going on with the building and what was it? The head building official was talking about having to condemn the building or something, and so I don't remember what article in the paper that they had read, but they had read about the building, and so they had gone to the beach, and I guess they had eaten at the restaurant there and felt like they could help with the building, and so -- I don't know if they called me or if someone else did, but regardless, I met with them up at John G's.

John Taylor Gatto

"Whatever an education is, it should make you a unique individual, not a conformist; it should furnish you with an original spirit with which to tackle the big challenges; it should allow you to find values which will be your road map through life; it should make you spiritually rich, a person who loves whatever you are doing, wherever you are, whomever you are with; it should teach you what is important, how to live and how to die."

Friday, July 26, 2013

Will Lake Worth follow the path of Dinkytown?

Check out these two articles on a six story building in the Dinkytown area of Minneapolis-St. Paul area and see if you find any similarities. This one is from Slate and this one from the local paper.

Seems like this week's Thorazine delivery didn't make it to Lake Osborne Drive...

In some corners of our city, hysteria abounds. Let's explore reality a little and what it means to "test" a set of zoning regulations.

In February of this year, a study was done with the assistance of the University of Miami architecture department to show "what if" analyses of the built environment if we had a provision in the Lake Worth land development regulations that allowed for buildings to go up to 65 feet in height which also had a minimum number of hotel rooms (50) or a mixed use building with the same minimum number of hotel rooms. Properties that were deemed to have the potential to redevelop, about 7 lots were examined in total, were "tested" by designing a hypothetical building that could be built under such a code.

There was another set of images, shown below, that were promulgated by those who were for the 45 ft. height limitation. These 65 foot high boxes were created with no basis in reality, code, market factors or anything resembling real world conditions in our downtown. They were created for one purpose - to scare and frighten the citizenry of Lake Worth. Organizers of the petition drive surely wanted to provide motivation so that people would vote "yes" when the charter limitation appeared on the ballot.  Let's just call this set of drawings the "ugly gray box" edition.

It has come to my attention that today, the "other" blogger, has used the following example from the study done legitimately by the University of Miami architecture department as an example of what would be possible under the code as written. She probably thinks its an example of another Lucerne. The subject property is currently vacant and sits at southeast corner of South Palmway and Lake Avenue.

When this presentation was made, I had a problem with one of the assumptions related to this particular building. If you read the fine print at the bottom of the slide above, it says that in order to have a building of this size, parking would have to be provided "off site" since the "site is probably too narrow for a structured parking garage." The key words here is "if this is permissible, a max-out of FAR on-sight might look like this."
First of all, this exercise was devoid of any market analysis. To have this building in downtown Lake Worth, along with the other buildings shown in the study, it would have to be a super-heated real estate market with per square foot prices for land far above what they are now. This was an academic "what if" exercise which tested the physical limits of the code - period. The off-site parking lot referred to here might be in the form of a public parking garage, which would take another set of extraordinary steps to achieve. 

So, had I performed the study, I would not have used the assumption that parking would be provided off-site and that it would be incorporated into the building in some manner - which would reduce the amount of leaseable square footage and change the economics of doing this size of building entirely. Again, this was a test of the extremes of the code and if you are talking about a bell curve of the distribution of how likely this sort of project would be in the downtown, I would put it on the far end of the likelihood scale.

But there are those people who continue to desire the fomenting of fear and anger and for them we should offer prayers of peace and healing.

Florida's beaches first in world to be mapped by Google |

Another reason to be careful what you wear to the beach and stock up on that cellulite cream. Click title for link.

Orlando Makes No. 2 on 'Most Sinful Cities in America' List | Sunshine State News

Strange that the number or percentage of high-rise buildings (those over four stories) was not a criteria. Living here, you would liken buildings over 45 feet in height as a sign of the coming Apocalypse. Click title for link to article.

With Lake Okeechobee level rising, Army Corps moves from...

Concern about a breach of the levee rises with rising lake levels. Tons of fresh water are being released in preparation for tropical weather systems and general rainy season storms. Click title for link.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Glenn Heran - Episode II - Vero Beach Struggles with FMPA 07/26 by High Noon in Lake Worth | Blog Talk Radio

Join your host Wes Blackman as he again welcomes Glenn Heran to the High Noon in Lake Worth studios.  Mr. Heran is a customer of the Vero Beach municipally owned electric utility, but lives outside the city of Vero Beach himself.  He put together a study of the rate differential between municipally owned utilities which are unregulated by the Public Service Commission.  If you don't live within the city, well that is just one of the problems.  Click here for the latest obstacles with FMPA in getting Vero Beach part of the FPL system. He has been at the forefront of the Vero Beach utility situation and can teach us a lot about what to expect as we examine alternatives here in Lake Worth, including the possible sale of the utility to FPL.

Click title for link to live show between 12 and 1 p.m. tomorrow (7/26) or for archived show after the show airs. Leave questions as comments below.

For those that question searching for the truth, listen to (read) what this 12 year old Egyptian boy says...

Dorian - worth watching...

Forecasters are saying that the Bermuda High will point the storm north, doing a right turn before we are affected by it. Hmmmmm.

Real Time real-estate blog | The Palm Beach Post » Blog Archive » Singer Island luxury condo sold out, average unit price $2.3 million

For those adverse to tall buildings, shield your eyes if you click title for link to the article. This building was built in 2005 and is now sold-out, after having a difficult time during the Great Recession. $2.3 million as an average price per unit is pretty impressive. Not quite in the same league, but it is worth noting that our empty townhouses that were built during the boom period of the early 2000s are selling and not too empty anymore. In fact, we are seeing previously approved projects coming back in to either finish up their total approval or they are reviving their old plans. Stay tuned.

Like it or not, we do have an attractive location and that cannot be hidden for long.

Change in State Law Prompts City To Reconsider Old City Hall Site | City of West Palm Beach

The same state law that thwarted our building height referendum is making West Palm re-think what they plan on doing on the old City Hall site. The CRA - which in West Palm Beach is their City Commission - received proposals from two developers for the site, but both came back with a plan showing buildings higher than five stories. They had planned to send the item to the voters, but looks like they can't now.

This comes from the city's own website, by the way, and looks to be written "in house." There are other issues surrounding the property related to height as well. Click title for link.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

CONFIRMED: Left Wing Plant at Houston Pro-Zimmerman Rally Is Far Left Activist | The Gateway Pundit

How many fomentors like this are reading this? Click title for link.

Check Part IV of the Cara Jennings' Deposition >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

I am sure you will agree that we can we collectively refer to it as the "I don't remember anything" portion. For someone who her supporters always said, and complimented her on, how well schooled she was on items on the Commission agenda, this just is incredulous. She doesn't even recall that Greater Bay's lease payment to the city was to be $500,000 a year.

Based upon this sworn deposition, I think she would qualify for the "Meals on Wheels" program.

Fatal Fungus Attacks Palms

Has anyone had problems with this? Click title for link to the Palm Beach County "Newsroom" webpage. Click here for more specific information on the fungus from the University of Florida.

Rolling Stone Article Says Goodbye To Miami Prematurely, Climatologist Says | WLRN

Remember the link to this Rolling Stone article that I posted a few weeks ago? Here is another view from someone with some climatological credentials and is worth reading. Click title for link. From the article:
My problem with the Rolling Stone article is its depiction of too much, too soon and the lack of any sign of hopefulness as to things that can be done to mitigate or adapt to the expected impacts. The article paints us as a bunch of hedonists who deserve our lot and may as well pack our suitcases and head to Colorado like Noah’s Ark to Mount Ararat. Why bother to write our elected representatives to demand action, or elevate our concern as voters to the level of other issues such as the economy? Why join in community efforts to adapt and mitigate? The article emphasizes the extremes of what could happen without pointing out how unlikely they are to happen or to happen as quickly as suggested.

Safety Meeting - July 26, 2013

Clay Glass Metal Stone Gallery is Breaking All Records - Friday, August 2, 6-9 PM 15 South J Street

Cooperative Gallery 
We Are Breaking All Records
Friday, August 2nd 6-9 PM
15 South J Street  Downtown Lake Worth

On Friday, August 2nd, Clay Glass Metal Stone Gallery will be Breaking All Records, and then making art out of them.  Several hundred those old vinyl records no one plays anymore wandered into the gallery one day.  A dozen of CGMS’ artists pounced on them making them into unique and unusual works of art.  The gallery will also be serving their usual sumptuous Gallery Feast from bowls formed from these discs.  This event takes place from 6-9 PM and is free to the public.

Studio Dance of Lake Worth’s Michael Puccio will be teaching Swing Dancing in the streets on this evening.  Dance to the tunes of the 60’s and 70’s from the Records Not Broken.  The section of J Street in front of the Clay Glass Metal Stone Gallery will be closed between 6PM and 9PM for this fun event.  Wear your dancing shoes and dance your heart out all evening.

Poutine Dog, the wonderful Canadian Hot Dog Restaurant next door to Clay Glass Metal Stone Gallery will be serving their usual Hot-Diggity-Dogs for this event. Drop in for a taste of the 60’s as you swing-dance outside and enjoy the art inside the gallery.

Art, food and dancing in the streets is what J Street is becoming.  Join in the fun.  Make Evenings on the Avenue, every first and third Friday, a part of your regular schedule of activities.  All events are free to the public.

On Friday evening, August 16, Craig McInnis of Jerry’s Artarama will be offering free art lessons using the remaining records to create one-of-a-kind paintings.  This will be part of a special event feature four of Clay Glass Metal Stones newest artists.
Clay-Glass-Metal-Stone Cooperative Gallery is sponsored by the Flamingo Clay Studio, a non-profit arts organization whose mission is to provide affordable studio and gallery space for three-dimensional artists.  The gallery is located at 15 South J Street in downtown Lake Worth. Hours are Sunday thru Tuesday, 10AM-5PM. Wednesday thru Saturday, 10AM-10PM.   Gallery openings are the first and third Friday of each month from 6-9 PM with many special events in-between.  For information call Joyce Brown-215-205-9441 or  Gallery phone: 561-588-8344.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Snippet of Part III of the Jennings' Deposition

A = Attorney Chase
Q = Cara Jennings

Q. Do you remember going into an executive session to discuss those lawsuits on December 3rd, 2008?
A. I'm sorry, I was reading this. Say your question again.
Q. Yeah, it's pretty interesting, I'll tell you that. Do you remember going into an executive session on December 3rd, 2008, to discuss the two lawsuits?
A. I don't remember it, but if it's in the public record, then that's the date. 
Q. Do you know what an executive session is?
A. Yes. 
Q. And that's under the Sunshine Law?
A. Yes.
Q. All right. And what it is is, is it fair to say, that the Sunshine Law means everything that the commission does has to be public, and it has all these rules, correct? You guys can't talk to each other outside of a meeting and that kind of thing?
A. Right.
Q. But the one time that you guys can talk to each other and your attorney is in an executive session when it's called to discuss settlement of pending lawsuits and the financing of lawsuits, is that fair?
A. Yes, and I think union negotiations.
Q. And that is completely outside of the Sunshine Law?
A. Yes.
Q. The union negotiations are exempt from the Sunshine Law.
A. Okay.
Q. The executive session is under the Sunshine Law, but it says that it's not made public until after the subject litigation is ended, correct?
A. Okay.
Q. Is that your understanding?
A. I don't know about that.
Q. That's all right. But you do remember going into this meeting with your attorneys or do you? I think you had said that you weren't sure, and that's why I need to try to help refresh your recollection as to this meeting so that we can talk about it, and that's why we're talking more about it. Do you remember on this ---
A This meeting? July 31st, 2010?
Q. This is actually December 3rd --
A. Oh, okay. That date?
Q. -- 2008.
A. I don't remember the dates of meetings because we had so many meetings when I was in public office, but I do remember going into an executive session around this issue. I vaguely remember that.
Q. Do you remember having a regular meeting of the commission on December 2nd, and the next day, going into a special session where the public was not allowed to listen and there being a court reporter there typing everything up, and then the next day, going into a special meeting to terminate the contract with Greater Bay? Do you remember that?
A. I don't.

Slideshow from June 2007: "We Love Lake Worth" Rally at City Hall.

The first slide is the first page of lawsuit against Christopher McVoy levied by the city of Lake Worth.  Notice t-shirts saying "NO Beach Lease" which had nothing to do with the petitions.  The petitions were for the repeal of the land use and zoning designations for the beach that the city is using now for the current project.

First published January 21, 2011 - MAKE SURE TO WATCH FULL SCREEN

Music to read by...

Snippet from Latest Installment - Cara Jenning's Deposition - Part II (full transcript in right-hand column)

Q = Attorney for city
A - Cara Jennings

Q. Before Tuesday, after you left office, until Tuesday, had you had any conversations with anybody from the City referencing this matter for which we're here today?
A. Not that I can recall.
Q. Today you had a conversation with Susan Stanton immediately before the deposition, correct?
A. Yes.
Q. About how long was that conversation?
A. When we were just in the other room?
Q. Yes.
A. Our general conversation?
Q. Yes.
A. About how long?
Q. Yes.
A. I don't know. Maybe we talked for -- I don't know. Maybe ten minutes.
Q. Had you talked or spoken with Susan Stanton prior?
     When was the last time you spoke to Susan Stanton prior to that discussion this morning?
A. I saw her very briefly at City hall. I've seen her briefly around town, but I haven't really had a meeting with her since I left office.
Q. Do you recall if at any of those brief encounters, you discussed this matter?
A. No.
Q. When you were in the room a little while ago, prior to your deposition, did you discuss this lawsuit?
A. When Brian was in there, he mentioned, you know, about being prepared. No, we were talking about stuff happening at City hall.
Q. Was there any discussion about Retha Lowe's deposition?
A. Yes.
Q. What was discussed about Retha Lowe's deposition?
A. Just that about going through a lot of minutes, that they went through a lot of minutes with her.
Q. And it was boring?
A. I don't know that anyone said that it was boring, but I presumed that it would be. Yes, just the same thing. That seemed to be the mantra, you know, try to remember, you know, that they're going to go through a lot of minutes and just remember what you can.
Q. Was there any discussion about what would be of particular importance and what wouldn't be?
A. Yes, there was mention about -- I don't think we've gotten there yet, maybe meeting minutes from -- I can't remember which meeting, but they were saying specifically that there were some meeting minutes that you would go into, might go into more depth about, and just the same thing, to recall what I could about what happened at the meeting and share that.
Q. Was there a discussion about the topic of that particular meeting?
A. There might have been, but I don't remember.
Q. Anything else that came out of that conversation that you had this morning?
A. When I got here?
Q. Yes, right before.
A. Because when you're talking about today and this meeting, I'm including when I got into this, to this office.
Q. Yes, that's what I'm talking about.
A. Not this room, but the office.
Q. Right.
A. Okay. Anything else regarding this issue or the other ---
Q. Yes, regarding this issue. The gossiping is not relevant unless you've got something good, and then we can go off the record.
A. No, no. Let me think. Not that I can remember. I mean, I mostly just remember them being like -- Maybe I was spacing out. I was eating a piece of candy, and you're going to go through this book, and you're going to go through a lot of minutes, and it might feel tedious, but just try to remember and that it probably won't take that long and that -- Because it was very repetitive ---
Q. Yes, but there wasn't any reference to any specific facts though, correct?
A. Not that I recall, but I also don't know what you mean by that.
Q. Thank you for asking me to clarify.
A. Yeah.
Q. When I say specific facts, I mean like punch list items from the pool or the zoning approval date or what one commissioner said or didn't say.
A. Well, I asked a question about -- I said something like: Well, the whole issue here is that there was a date that the contract -- There was a date that the contract didn't -- Or a date in the contract that wasn't upheld, and that was what caused the --
Q. -- termination?
A. -- termination, and I think it was Brian who responded, and he said like you might be referring to the zoning date.
Q. The zoning approval date?
A. Yes.
Q. As we sit here today, is it your understanding that the reason the City terminated the contract between Greater Bay Group and the City of Lake Worth was because the zoning approval date, which it was said, had to occur before June 30th, 2007, in the agreement, was not met?
A. I don't totally recall. I knew the issue very well when I was in office, and I was dealing with it and voting on it, but at this point, so many years later, I don't recall if that was the only thing, it that was the main thing. I remember that was an issue, but I don't remember if it was explicitly the only issue. 

Coming this Thursday, July 25th...

A follow-up to a previous meeting held a few weeks ago. Check earlier posts for video of that meeting. Hoping we someone from Code Enforcement there this week.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Within the last two days, I've visited our nation's automobile past...

My Dad and I caught the last days of the Corvair and Buick national car meets in Kalamazoo, Michigan and South Bend, Indiana, respectfully. Imagine some of these very cars might have plied their way through Lake Worth on U.S.1 before the days of I-95. Here are a few pictures of the cars from those events:

CORSA - Corvair National Meet - 2013

Buick Club of America - National Meet 2013