Saturday, August 3, 2013

For those that will live/stay above the 4th but at or below the 6th floor east of Federal and only if there are 50 or more hotel units...

Subject: Commission Approves 65' in Zoning Code: E-mail exchange between Laurie and Ramsay

Hi all-
I am writing to let you know that the commission will approve our new zoning code on Tuesday night Aug 6th with 65' heights in the downtown area east of Federal, and 45' heights in the first few blocks into neighborhoods north & south of Lake/Lucerne corridor west of Dixie. These heights are in violation of our charter.

The commission has decided that new state legislation gives them the authority to nullify the legal and state certified March election results. We (and our attorney) are confident that they 1) have purposely misinterpreted the intent and scope of the legislation and 2) are using it to exert authority they do not have. State law does not allow a local governing body to nullify a legal election.
Please come to the commission meeting and speak on public record to establish standing in case we have to take legal action to enforce our charter. They are focused on a hotel district in the Bryant Park/Parrot Cove area east, so please alert your friends in those neighborhoods and encourage them to join us at the meeting.
If you have questions you can contact me 561-305-6259 or Jo-Ann 561-628-7592.

Hope to see you there . . .

I know some of us have other plans next Tuesday, but if the commission acts like it did the first time, they will make us wait until 10:00p.m. to speak, so you could arrive after 6:00p.m. and should be allowed in.  This is a critical issue as they want to turn this area into a "hotel" district, which, in my opinion will have a seriously negative impact on the many mom-&-pop hotels/motels North of Lake Ave and South of Lucerne Ave on Federal Highway.

Additionally, this will create a concrete barrier to ocean winds that flow through the town.  It will also make this a very densely populated area, with transient individuals, which I'm sure the homeowners in that area will not be pleased with.  Do you really want to drive down a "concrete corridor" on your way to the beach?

You don't have to speak but your attendance will help show support for keeping our "small, old Florida" town feel.  I think there is a better way to increse our tax base income but the commission does not seem to be open to any other reccommendations but this one.

If you did not vote in support of this charter amendment in March, please do not be offended by my email.  I happen to live in the 1st block in from Lake Ave and prefer not to allow land developers to come in and start putting up apartment complexes where there are vacant lots or abandoned buildings.

           Hi Ramsay,
Hope to see you there. It shakes them up a little when they see a lot of unfamiliar faces at a meeting. They're used to their usual fan club! The meetings have actually become much shorter since this commission started. They don't debate or discuss too much, their priority is to get home by 9 pm. It seems that decisions are made long before any public discussion takes place. So the only reason the meeting would go longer is if there is a lot of public comment on this item, and I hope there is.
Thanks for letting your neighbors know . . . .
Ms. Decker rallying the troops. Conduct yourselves accordingly. That "Laurie" is Laurel Decker, head of the Respectful Planning PAC. You can reach her by e-mail at or the telephone numbers indicated above. The Jo-Ann identified in the first e-mail is a former City Commissioner who used part of her personal family fortune funding the petition and referendum campaign.

Proof Steve Ellman = FireAnt

The above comes from here.

You would think that if you wrote an article like this on the height issue in the downtown, you would want to disclose that you were part of the Respectful Planning PAC- in the interest of full disclosure and in the name of professional journalism.

See post below.

Read what is in the right-hand column >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

You can also comment on each new page, if you like. For example, here are a series of comments from 'City of Lake Worth Closed Door Attorney-Client Session December 3, 2008, Part IV'.

John Rinaldi said...
I am amazed that no one discusses the possibility of forcing GB to perform on the contract. Golden points out that it is clear to her that GB can't perform and is only doing this to get money out of the city. She says that maybe this is the way they operate. So why not go the next step and say to GB we will indemnify you should the zoning fail for any losses you sustain. Go out and get your financing within the next 60 days and prove to us you can get this done. ( This should have been done as soon as the law suits were filed. Come up with a solution that clears the title immediately so that GB can apply for financing.) The majority commission refused to take that route because they in reality did not want to change the zoning at the beach and were backing the parties who had started the law suits that held up the project. It was that action by our elected officials that amounted to a breach of contract. You can't be in an agreement with a partner and work behind the scenes to hurt that partner. This is why we ended up giving GB over a million dollars and it sucks.

Thu Aug 01, 09:28:00 AM EDT
Anonymous said...
Although I haven't seen the words "slam dunk" yet, it seems pretty close. At this point, we look pretty good in terminating the contract.

But the Larry Lawsuit is not at issue yet as he is only contesting the length of the 20 year less one day lease, right?

Your contention is that the zoning would have to be changed to BAC in any case and was changed and is now BAC, is that right? If so, GB would have been allowed to build.

I'm waiting for the parts that show bad faith and probably turned this whole thing on its ear.

How'd Joslyn go from almost a slam dunk, to we better settle?

Thu Aug 01, 10:02:00 AM EDT
Wes Blackman said...
John - You are right and I have maintained all along that the Commission should have been proactive and firmly put the ball in Greater Bay's court by doing what you suggest - make the rezoning lawsuit a non-issue. But that would have been against the political rhetoric of the time that the land use and zoning change would "over-commercialize" the beach - something anti-Greater Bay thought was sure to happen if we "lost control" of the beach for 20 years. You can also see it in the disconnect between We Love Lake Worth PACs t-shirts which talk all about the lease and how bad it is and that we lose control and nothing about the zoning and land use change they sought to repeal.

To the next comment, I think Josyln overplayed how solid the city's case was and I will even give him the excuse that he wasn't aware of all the shenanigans that were going on here in the local political scene. It was only after the 8 tons of paper through discovery, and attendant legal fees, that that started to change. The depositions came in 2011 - while the building that was "being saved" was laying in a dust pile - which was one of the reasons the city wanted to strike out alone and get out of the deal.

Stanton was around for this period too and between her and the dais, you couldn't even suggest that Greater Bay had a case - the word was the the city had a slam dunk case and it would all be thrown out of court. What we didn't know was all that hubris was costing us an additional $500,000 over the $300,000 original estimate for legal fees. Add to that the fact that we had a total puppet for a City Attorney and you have what results in a perfect storm.

There was also no downside for GB to continue as time was on their side - their attorney was working on contingency.

The bottom line is that the city should have stepped up and found ways to put the responsibility for moving the project forward squarely in Greater Bay's lap, but doing so would have gored too many sacred cows.

Thu Aug 01, 10:19:00 AM EDT

WPEC-TV CBS12 News :: News - Palm Beach County News - Lake Worth group petitioning to put a ceiling on building height

FireAnt quoted from last July. Click title for link to article.
Steve Ellman, a freelance writer, isn't getting paid a nickel for this. But the Lake Worth resident says he feels like he's got to do something.
Steve Ellman: We're gathering signatures for a petition to put a referendum on the ballot in the fall.
Ellman is a volunteer for a group called Respectful Planning Lake Worth. The group wants to get 1,500 signatures to clear the way for a ballot issue in November, so that voters can decide if they want to put a height limit on buildings.
Steve Ellman: I think Lake Worth has a special character and a special flavor and I think that would best be preserved by limiting the vertical development in the downtown corridor.
Mulvehill is quoted too, saying that all you would see is shadows in the downtown.
 Suzanne Mulvehill, Lake Worth commission: You really wouldn't get to see the sky, and you'd see a lot of shadows, which it changes the whole character of your downtown.
Funny, I thought most of this group liked the shadows. 

Your zoning code/map is out of date when… | Panethos

In light of this coming Tuesday's City Commission meeting where it will adopt a new set of land development regulations, I offer this bit of planner "humor." I have always maintained that planners can be just about as boring, dull and unfunny as accountants. Click title for a more-than-top-ten list of how you can tell that a zoning code is out-of-date, which ours won't be as much after Tuesday.

Excerpt from Part V of the December 3, 2008 Closed-door City Commission Meeting >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

VICE-MAYOR GOLDEN: Some statute was shown to me, I can't remember what it was, but municipalities can't be sued -- can't have something to be sued for over $100 thousand dollars?
MR. KARNS: The Sovereign Immunity Statute?
MR. KARNS: Yeah, it really doesn't apply on a contractural basis.
VICE-MAYOR GOLDEN: The other question is is the -- you mentioned before that if we terminate we can go ahead and we use that $5 million?
MR. JOSLYN: Well, I think you --
VICE-MAYOR GOLDEN: If we terminate -- or we have to wait until everything is settled? 
MR. JOSLYN: No. No. I think if you terminate you proceed as quick you can to do what you need to do. Until the Court tells you to stop, I think you guys proceed.
MAYOR CLEMENS: One of the things we need to do is we need to re-negotiate with the County because the County amendment calls for --
MR. KARNS: Completion.
MAYOR CLEMENS: -- our money and Greater Bay's money to be spent first before that $5 million dollars. So that's going to require a re-negotiation with the County to make sure that we stay in good relations with those Commissioners up there because they are not happy with how long this is taking.
MR. KARNS: And my guess is they're going to want to see concrete plans --
MS. LOWE: Plans for using that money.
MAYOR CLEMENS: Absolutely. Yeah. So, which means we're going to have to move forward if we're going to do something differently. I know we can't get into too much detail about that, but I think it does relate to whether or not we exit the Greater Bay contract, that we have -- you know, move forward on other plans. I don't want to belabor this, but what we'll probably have to do would be a revenue bond in the absence of that, is my guess. There might be some other financing instruments that we can look at, but if we decide to do a revenue bond we're going to have to show the ability to gain revenue up there at the beach, meaning we're probably going to have to look at those rev prices.
MS. JENNINGS: Definitely.

The moment heartbroken 12-year-old Jeopardy! finalist lost over a minor typo in his CORRECT answer | Mail Online

Why does this seem like a cry from the March "Yes" voters? Click title for link.

Medical Marijuana Push

On the ballot by November 2014? We'll see. Click title for link.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Lake Worth Commission Sticks Head Up Butt, Ignores Will of Voters on High Rises - Fort Lauderdale and Palm Beach - News - The Daily Pulp

O.K., folks, here is the problem. Here is an article, click title for link, that could have been written by anyone of the protagonists of the Respectful Planning PAC. First it makes the sweeping assumption that the current City Commission's answer to all of Lake Worth's problems is to have "high rise" buildings downtown. No one has every made that claim and, while the economic development and re-development our downtown may have indirect impact on the condition of the neighborhoods, there are other initiatives underway that are working on those issues independent of the height issue. It's as if the Respectful Planning people want to make it seem like some people think "all our eggs are in this one basket", just to make it a bigger issue - which in the end it is not.

Furthermore, the article repeatedly talks about "high-rise" buildings, but how many people really know what a "high-rise" building is? How many stories is it really? Is a four story building not a "high rise", but a six story building is? You wouldn't know by the article. The image portrayed here is that Lake Worth has a choice between staying "quaint and charming" or becoming another Miami, Ft. Lauderdale and West Palm Beach where most people can agree there are "high rise" buildings downtown. I think you would have some disagreement about whether or not a six story building is "high rise" or not. 

This is what is misleading people. The world won't continue to spin if we add a few buildings over time, through the ups and downs of the economic cycles, that may have over 50 hotel rooms (a requirement again not mentioned in the article) on a limited number of lots east of Federal. That would certainly not create a "high rise" downtown as it exists in other areas of south Florida.

It's been eight plus years of spending at least $1.5 million of hard money to get a comprehensive plan and land development regulations that work and can finally give some assurance to people with money to invest in our city that it is safe to do so and so that the residents of the city know what to expect. 

Yes, there was a vote on the matter in March. Yes, the state legislature and the governor deemed all such referenda "null and void" retroactive to the enactment of the law. But that is just how it is sometimes. Stop the political opportunism to turn every "populist" issue into one that divides the community and let's get on with the business of becoming a better Lake Worth.

Check out the results for "high rise building" definitions here - is this what we are talking about when we refer to the difference between four and six stories? Here are some more. This is the image created in someone's mind when they hear "high rise" - and it doesn't mean a six story building versus a four story building. It doesn't mean a difference of 20 feet either! It means many very tall buildings which no one is proposing here.

Can we stop the distortions, please? Right now?

Gulf Stream pays millionaire, issues apology over building... |

Wow! It takes a lot of personal resources to put up this kind of fight, but it does show the importance of a sound building code and interpretation of same. I once got involved in an issue in Gulfstream on a large estate involving the placement of a "whole house" electric generator. It ended well, but did take a lot of time and effort to resolve. Click title for link to article.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Jose Lambiet of Gossip Extra 08/02 by High Noon in Lake Worth | Politics Podcasts

Join your host Wes Blackman as he welcomes Jose Lambiet to the High Noon in Lake Worth studios. Mr. Lambiet is author of the "Gossip Extra" blog which covers south Florida. You can read about his background here and besides his blog, he has a regular column in The Miami Herald. He will be with us for the first half hour of the show. The second half will be devoted to continued selected readings from the Greater Bay Papers and a review of this coming City Commission's regular meeting agenda for 8/6.

Click title for live show between noon at 1 p.m. on 8/2 or for archived version after show airs. Leave questions as comments below.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Suzanne, where were you when we needed you?

Startup Weekend West Palm Beach

Can we finally put this to rest, Lynn?

CASE NO.: 50-2009-CA-039320
GREATER BAY GROUP, LLC, a Florida limited liability company,




(Deposition - August 19, 2011 - Part VI)


Q. [MR. CHASE] You also said that you had some disagreements with Mr. Joslyn about -- I guess they were philosophical disagreements. Is that fair to characterize it that way?
A. [CARA JENNINGS] I think we had had one conversation about recognizing that we're commonly on different sides of the fence.
Q. I've got to ask you this one too, and it seems like an appropriate time: Have you or are you or have you at any time been an avowed anarchist?
A. I am an anarchist. I identify with that political philosophy, yeah.

Next Greater Bay installment posted, Part IV of the December 3rd, 2008 Closed-door Meeting >>>>>>>>>>

MS. JENNINGS: I met with Mr. Willard on October 9th. He, you know, basically was suggesting to me that we pay them to get out of here and asked me how much I thought we should pay them. And one of the things he said to me was -- he reminded me that if they -- if we broke this lease agreement, that it would be a real damage to their potential loss of money because of the revenue they were anticipating from the property.

Editor's Note: Suddenly Ms. Jennings' memory seems rather acute.

33460 Home Prices and Home Values Zillow Home Value Index

33460 Zillow Home Value Index

The housing “recovery” is a total sham -

Worth reading as "Lake Worth" peppers the article, although some fact checking may have been well-advised prior to publishing. For example, the dates of the hurricanes are incorrect, although the correct dates would make matters seem worse. Also, forget about distinguishing between unincorporated Palm Beach County and Lake Worth. Blame the large geographic area covered by the Lake Worth mailing address for lumping the Strawberry Lakes subdivision (near Lantana and Jog) in as part of Lake Worth. Also, check out the Housing Justice Foundation which is based in West Palm Beach.

Yes, we know and are reminded by staff often about the 2,000  vacant and substandard homes in the city. These conditions were long in the making and were not all due to predatory lending.

Click title for link to article.

A Month of Citi Bike: A New Yorker Interactive

Super cool! Click title for link to an interactive map showing City-Bike use in New York over a period of a month. When you look at the map and hit play, you can see how the supply of bikes at various stations throughout the city undulates during the day and evening. Larger circles represent many bikes at the stations; smaller circles reflect less bikes. There are definite patterns throughout the day and weather conditions are also indicated. For a system that was initially maligned, it's good to see that it is serving a transportation need.

EXCLUSIVE — Palm Beach Post Drags Gossip Extra Before United Nations Panel!

Oh my! A war between the Palm Beach Post and one of its send-offs. Click title for link to story about original filing before the United Nations. Yes, that's right. Maybe that's where we need to go - the U.N. - perhaps they have a cabal disposal force? Here is a more current story on the hub-bub.

Aldi distribution center groundbreaking set for late August |

Click title for link to Palm Beach Post article. Have you ever been to an Aldi's? I have been to one in Indiana. They are a no frills, discount chain based in Germany that has made a real headway in the U.S. If you know what you are looking for and don't mind off brand merchandise, you can really save money. They also have a great frozen foods section. 

A Lake Worth location along Dixie Hwy. would be ideal, but would they use plastic bags and where do their tomatoes come from? Would the new store be greeted by stilt wearing protesters? Would Laurel Decker have to give her personal approval?

From the article:
Aldi operates 1,200 stores in 32 states. The company has made a significant investment in South Florida, with plans to open 60 stores in the region, including about 20 in the county. The chain opened a store in suburban Delray Beach in 2011 and one in West Palm Beach in December.

Historic Palm Beach – brought to you by the Palm Beach Post » “No tears shed as FEC passenger service succumbs”

Forty-five years ago tomorrow, the last passenger train ran on the FEC tracks. Apparently the event was done with little fanfare. Click title for link to small description on the Historic Palm Beach page maintained by the Palm Beach Post. Here is a picture from the day.
Of course, now there is going to be the high-speed train service between Miami-Ft. Lauderdale-West Palm Beach and Orlando, as well as plans for a commuter train to be run by the same organization that runs Tri-Rail along the same tracks.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

From the latest installment (Part III), Closed-door City Commission Meeting of December 3, 2008>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>


MR. KARNS: We -- we need the comp plan change and the re-zoning. Whether or not you go with the Greater Bay deal because John G's is not permitted, none of the other tenants up there are permitted under our present land use amendment or plan, but they are, in fact, that was -- I don't know why it was never done in the past other than I think because the beach has been on the -- the beach plan in one form or another has been in front of the Commission for how many years?
MS. LOOWE: Forty.
MR. KARNS: Long before I got here.
MS. LOWE: Forty.
MR. KARNS: So I think the previous planners felt that whenever a plan came in, that would be the opportunity to give -- to do the land use amendment. I mean, there's really no grandfathering of the land use, you know, so we need -- we do need the land use change and the re-zoning that have now been approved by the DCA. And the only thing preventing it from happening is the We Love Lake Worth lawsuit.
MR. BALDWIN: But that's presuming you want to continue the use that's being performed --
MR. KARNS: Yeah. Basically any use other than beach is not a permitted use.
MR. BALDWIN: So if they just want a beach --
MR. KARNS: Right, if you just want totally beach and nothing else there, you wouldn't need any land use or re-zoning changes.

Editor's note: Proof that the city needed the Beach and Casino land use and zoning change which was the subject of the repeal and petition drive of the We Love Lake Worth PAC to have any commercial business on the property.

Three Strategies for Refueling Abandoned Gas Stations | This Big City

Challenging sites, to be sure, which make up the urban fabric. One particularly sore thumb is at the northeast corner of North Dixie and 7th Avenue. This article at least identifies some options that are becoming popular re-use alternatives. Click title for link.

This is a CNN report on the explosion in Tavares, Florida...

Friends traveling in Cambodia sent me this picture of a typical electric/telephone pole in Phnom Penh...

This was not far from an open sewer. So, things could be worse here.

Monday, July 29, 2013

New All Time Readership Record Set!

Donate Your Car to Earth First! | Earth First! Newswire

From our local EF! news bureau, this is always an option. Check out some of the creative ways your former vehicle could be used to sabotage industrial processes. Click title for link.

Kyle Smith: Liberals say they care about the poor but drive up their cost of living -

Here an argument is made that the McDouble is the most nutritious, most widely available food known to exist. Click title for link. From the article - any resemblance to our brand of merry anarchists is purely accidental.
If the macrobiotic Marxists had their way, of course, there’d be no McDonald’s, Walmart or Exxon, because they have visions of an ideal world in which everybody bikes to work with a handwoven backpack from Etsy that contains a lunch grown in the neighborhood collective.
Or dumpster.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

CRIME ALERT from Robert Waples - Residents of Lake Osborne Heights (via Facebook)

914 Wright Drive had another vehicle (makes 4 now) pull up and knock on the door to see if anyone is home. Neighbors are keeping an eye on the house and they are away for the summer. PBSO called and spoke with a deputy to increase patrols.

Warning signs. If someone is knocking on your door you do not recognize them it is OK to call PBSO 688-3000 and ask for dispatch. One trick is to knock on a door several times during a period of several days to know when you are not home.

Cars backing up in your drive way and pretending to get a jump start is a major warning sign and PBSO or 911 should be called as a burglary in progress. Its another "Casing" technique.

Several different vehicles stopping and knocking on the door....this should not be happening.

Tonight....A red SUV pulled up and knocked on the door and a white car was near it. Black Male knocked on the door and saw a neighbor, ducked behind the bushes and got in his car an left.

We have Black and White Males casing this home and we all need to keep an eye out. If you hear a noise close to 914 Wright Drive please call 911 and report it.

If this is a similar pattern on your street you need to start calling the activity in....YOU know who belongs at what home and if there is an increase of traffic during working hours or at a home that is away please call. If they are working or "casing" Wright Drive they are working other homes in the area.

THANK YOU - Robert

Part of the latest installment in the right-hand column, from our then Mayor Jeff Clemens at the December 3, 2008 closed-door meeting...

MAYOR CLEMENS: Okay. Just making sure. Okay. Having said that, I do believe one way to resolve the McNamara McCauley lawsuit is to find a way to exit the Greater Bay contract. I think, in my estimation and I'm certainly open to hearing other suggestions, there are really two ways to do it and that is the carrot or the stick. And, you know, we can -- we can either say they failed to meet their obligations and as such we are going to terminate the contract. In that case, I'm 100% sure we would be sued. Maybe that's something that we're -- we're willing to take on and fight and we will hear advice from the attorney about whether or not they feel we could win that case. And the other would be the carrot and that would be to say we don't want to go into any type of legal proceedings and we're willing to offer you a certain sum of money so that we don't have to spend it on lawyers over the next year of two. So, I will just leave it open for discussion. Maybe we want to hear from Mr. Joslyn about what his interpretation of whether or not they -- they've lived up to their end of the contract and what we could expect if we decide to go that route.

Cannot forget this objective, insightful and incisive analysis from the mind of Annabeth Karson on the 2009 elections...

And this response from Jim McCauley.

From the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum

Hyannis Port, Squaw Island July 27–29, 1963

Silent motion picture containing informal footage of weekend activities of President John F. Kennedy and his guests at Hyannis Port. Guests include Press Secretary Pierre Salinger, Lem (Kirk LeMoyne) Billings, Charles Spalding, British ambassador to the United States (William) David Ormsby-Gore, Secretary of State Dean Rusk, W. Averell Harriman, Special Assistant to the President McGeorge Bundy, Stephen Smith, Jean Smith, Stanislaus Radziwill, and Lee Radziwill. Also included is footage of First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy, Caroline Kennedy, and John F. Kennedy Jr.

Speaker: Rising sea levels unstoppable |

Please read John Englander's High Tide on Main Street: Rising Sea Level and the Coming Coastal Crisis. He spoke at a local sea level rise conference this week. Click title for link.