Saturday, November 9, 2013

Time Lapse Video of Veteran's Day Parade today (11/9) in downtown Lake Worth

Used with permission.

More good things coming to Lake Worth!

Re-use of historic landmark building on Dixie Hwy. And we get a barbecue place back as part of the deal. Good luck Blue Front!

Taxpayers blast 'lazy' city workers for painting white street lines straight over a pile of leaves | Mail Online

You will be happy to know that this example comes from Memphis, Tenn. Click title for link to article with pictures.

EDF Sells Green Cred to Walmart for $66 Million | Earth First! Newswire

EarthFirst! is all over the connection between the Environmental Defense Fund and their financial connections to the Walton Family Foundation. This foundation is the Walton family's personal philanthropic organization and the family just happens to own more than half of Walmart stock. EF! knows hypocrisy when they see it. Perhaps next time you are at Walmart you'll get to see our former "green" Commissioner loading up on Pampers as previously reported here. Click title for link.

Florida plans U.S. Bicycle Route traveling through South Florida. - Sun Sentinel

Great idea and it is not just along what we know as U.S. 1. Side routes would be part of the plan too. This explains the question asked by Channel 12 earlier this week. This is from the article:
The U.S. 1 bike route likely will be a mix of low-traffic roads and some busy urban sections. U.S. 1 mainly acts as a baseline for the proposed route, which will diverge from the road to county- or city-maintained streets and trails that can better accommodate cyclists.
So parts of State Road A1A could be part of the route. So could the East Coast Greenway, a mainly off-road system of trails stretching from Maine to Key West.
U.S. bike routes must be approved by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, which also designates U.S. highways and interstates.
This something that Lake Worth could really capitalize on, combined with the LULA program, our historic districts and Lakeside Gardens along Lake Osborne Drive. Click title for link to article. 

Realtors renew push to delay flood insurance hikes, but... |

More evidence of the dysfunction we have at the Congressional level. Everyone seems to know what the right thing to do is, but they are more interested in making political points rather than taking a studied approach to a problem. Implementation of these flood insurance rates could be catastrophic to the owners of some properties affected. Click title for link.

Muck is coalition's first target | FLORIDA TODAY |

Counties are banding together to find ways to rid brackish lagoons of muck - but it is going to be expensive. And what do you do with it once you dredge it. They think its existence causes harm to many species who depend on these waters for habitat. At last Tuesday's City Commission meeting, the city adopted fertilizer standards to be used by professionals that would help minimize nitrogen getting into the water which adds to the problem. Click title for link to full article.

FLORIDA’S FIRST MODERNIST: A museum exhibit honors Henry... |

If you haven't been to Whitehall, the Flagler Museum, you really need to go. And if you have been, you may want to go again to this exhibit that runs through January 5th. Click title for link.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Everglades Restoration Finally Getting Back on Track | Sunshine State News

Palm Beach County seems to be in the crosshairs of solutions to the state's water storage woes. Click title for link.

Another video on Detroit worth watching...

Dr. Bill Stronge - Noted Florida Economist 11/08 by High Noon in Lake Worth | News Podcasts

Technical Difficulties today - this show is rescheduled to next Friday 11/15 at noon. 

Join your host Wes Blackman as he welcomes Dr. Bill Stronge to the High Noon in Lake Worth studios. Dr. Stronge received his Bachelor's Degree in Economics from Iowa State University in  1971. A native of Ireland, Bill received his Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from the National University of Ireland in 1964. He was a professor in the Economics Department at Florida Atlantic University 1971-2006 (Chair, 1981-90). FAU Director of International Programs 1990-2003. He is now Professor Emeritus of Economics and engages in economic consulting and research for a variety of public sector and private sector clients. In 2008 he published The Sunshine Economy, an Economic History of Florida Since the Civil War, University Press of Florida. Recently, he was appointed a Fellow with the Economic Development Research Institute (EDRI) in Palm Beach County. For the past several years he has monitored economic trends in the county and regional economies for EDRI, contributing to the EDRI Quarterly Economic Reports and Economists’ Roundtable and Internet Chat Room. In 2009, he became an adjunct professor of economics at Nova Southeastern University in the Master’s in Real Estate Program and in 2011 in the MBA Program.

Click title for link to live show between 1 and 2 p.m. (NOTE DIFFERENT TIME) or after show airs for archived version. Leave questions as comments below.

TWAC Bail Fund

You can help the TWACs get out of jail by donating to the cause on this website. 10 people have already given a total of $260.55. I know this might compete with your other charitable interests, including the $30,000 EarthFirst! fundraiser so that they can resume publication of their newsletter from right here in Lake Worth. It might be a coin toss which is more worthy, I know. Click title for link. Just trying to help.

Final vote on zoning to move to bigger venue |

The Town Council is moving their meeting to the Society of the Four Arts auditorium which holds 710 people rather than the usual location in the Town Hall Chambers, which holds 126 people. This is about the new zoning category proposed for Royal Poinciana Way. It seems that everyone has an opinion. The Mayor and another Town Council member with real estate interests on the street have recused themselves from discussion of the topic. Note that they will be strictly enforcing their 3 minute public comment rule. I think a 3 minute limit is better than the 2 minute rule that our City Commission has used in recent years. And I would like to see Lake Worth resume the practice - it is pretty much standard throughout the County and in other municipalities. Click title for link to article.

Oh, and I would also like to see us convert the current building being used as City Hall in Lake Worth back to its original use as a municipal auditorium. The Commission could meet there and actually accommodate more people than the cheek-to-jowl configuration we have now. It could also be used for cultural events, films, performers, etc.

Real Estate Outlook: Warning — Sales pressure ahead |

Living is easy in Palm Beach, especially if you are dealing real estate. But is it a healthy market condition that will last a while, or the creation of another bubble? Time will tell. Perhaps today's High Noon in Lake Worth show with economist Dr. Bill Stronge will shed some light on the phenomenon.

Rising Seas - Interactive: If All The Ice Melted

Good-bye Florida. This map, click title for link, shows us what the new shoreline would be if all the ice melted on our planet. It also shows the history of the ebbs and flows of ice over a geological timeframe.

News from Benny's on the Beach...

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Will the Keystone pipeline be environmentalists' Waterloo? | The Daily Caller

Perhaps a case of overplaying your hand? FYI - Click title for link. Here's something from the article. It happens to be the first paragraph.
The disillusionment among environmentalists has been accompanied by polls that show strong public support for the pipeline, despite large sums of money spent on ad campaigns to vilify the project. The latest poll by the Pew Research Center found that 65 percent of Americans favor building Keystone, while only 30 percent of the country opposed the project.
Our local EarthFirst! peeps "invaded" a Palm Beach investment house in protest of this - since part of their portfolio was tagged to the Keystone pipeline. There are also looking for $30,000 by the end of the year so they can publish more newsletters.

Happy Birthday Joni Mitchell

Experts: Discharge From The West Ruining Lagoon

Good review by the Town Crier of what has happened to the Lake Worth Lagoon this year with all of the freshwater runoff from the west. Click title for link.

POST TIME: Kennedys often retreated to Palm Beach estate |

The Kennedy estate is one of the noteworthy properties along North Ocean Boulevard in Palm Beach. The current owner has done a magnificent job at restoring and updating the building. The family, up to a few years ago at least, employed a gentleman who was the estate manager during the Kennedy/Camelot era and he was filled with interesting stories. It is said that JFK spent many hours working on Profiles in Courage while in residence there. I was fortunate enough to work on a few issues at the estate in efforts to preserve its historic sanctity a few years ago. Click title for link to an Eliot Kleinberg article, which is a start of a series here commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Kennedy assassination.

Geoscientist says groundwater contamination via fracturing 'not physically plausible' | The Florida Current

Sounds like fracking is coming to Florida inch by inch. Click title for link to article. Here's a snippet:
The Sunniland Formation in southwest Florida, where hydraulic fracturing is being considered, is about 12,000 feet below the surface while the deepest aquifer in the area are about 2,000 feet deep, Cox said.
"That's a lot of protection for just this hydraulic fracturing piece in here," she said. Cox is a member of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists.
She said many problems associated with the practice can occur with all oil and gas drilling and exploration including inadequate casing of wells, inadequate handling of spills and disposal of wastewater. She said those practices are subject to strict regulations.

Hefty price for beach bungalow flood insurance |

This is happening around the state and country right now as federal support for flood insurance goes away. However, there are bills in Congress being prepared that would delay the impact, but rates are still going to rise.
Click title for link to article.

If you listen to the end of last Tuesday night's City Commission meeting (11/5) discussion during Reports and Liaison Comments, Commissioner McVoy reported how he went to a sea level rise conference and talked about the compact on climate change and sea level rise between the four large south Florida counties. He made it seem, I think he even said something like "even business is waking up to the fact." Well Dr. McVoy, if you look into it, it is the insurance industry that is really at the head of the train on this issue and it is going to pull a lot of people along with it. I agree that there is no doubt about sea level rise - and you can debate possible reasons forever. But planning for sea level rise is going to be an important focus over the coming decade and beyond. What I didn't like is that he was using this as a reason to be skeptical of the Lake Worth 2020 plan which is foolish since if such a thing passes through our electoral process as a bond issue, provisions can be made to address implications of sea level rise as part of that program - not just divert money to streets. He also hasn't seen the "data" that show good streets and infrastructure are correlated with higher property values. In short, he is still being a stick in the muck and his ears are listening to Bananabreath and others of her ilk. Disappointing to have a "scientist" with a "doctorate" from an Ivy League university show such ineptitude on the dais.

This is the same Commissioner that poo-pooed the notion of making sure the seawall at the beach was up to current standards - required by the Florida Building Code - since our NEW Casino building was built seaward of the Coastal Construction Line without pilings. How many sides of one's mouth can one have? I think we should be keeping count.

UPCOMING FRIENDS MEETINGS & NEWS Friends of the Lake Worth Pool, Inc.

Dear Members,

Please remember to update your contact information and come out for the following meetings.  Also, if you have friends or neighbors that support our ongoing mission to support water safety education and expanded use of the Lake Worth Pool, invite them to attend the meetings and pick themselves up a membership.

There will be an Annual Membership Meeting in January 2014 to elect new officers, set membership dues and chart out our course for the year.  2014 will be an exciting year.

To all those that have ACTIVELY supported our efforts to not only open the pool but to expand that use through water safety initiatives, thank you. 

Always wishing you the best,

Keiran O’Shay
President, Friends of the Lake Worth Pool, Inc.

PLANNING COMMITTEE MEETING for January 2014 Fundraiser: 
South Shores, Wednesday, November 13, 2013 at 7:00 PM
facebook invite link

South Shores, Wednesday, December 4, 2013 at 7:00 PM


Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Walkable Communities and the Future of American Cities - Community - Utne Reader

This is an excerpt of a book called Walkable City. The author Jeff Speck speculates on what he has come to see as the "General Theory of Walkability" in his career as a planner. He shares this definition. Click title for link to article. He talks about roaming Rome - interesting read.
The General Theory of Walkability explains how, to be favored, a walk has to satisfy four main conditions: it must be useful, safe, comfortable, and interesting. Each of these qualities is essential and none alone is sufficient. Useful means that most aspects of daily life are located close at hand and organized in a way that walking serves them well. Safe means that the street has been designed to give pedestrians a fighting chance against being hit by automobiles; they must not only be safe but feel safe, which is even tougher to satisfy. Comfortable means that buildings and landscape shape urban streets into “outdoor living rooms,” in contrast to wide- open spaces, which usually fail to attract pedestrians. Interesting means that sidewalks are lined by unique buildings with friendly faces and that signs of humanity abound.
Strangely, it does not address the health and well-being of Carolyn Deli's dogs and the adequacy of their breakfast time on her porch. Surely an oversight. 

Delray Beach: Petition to Limit Overbuilding

from the
Florida Coalition for Preservation

The City of Delray Beach is potentially facing a "Development Bubble"
that may affect EVERYONE who lives, works, plays, shops or dines in downtown Delray.

Last summer, the Florida Coalition for Preservation called for measures to restrict special incentives the City can grant to a developer which allows more residential unit density and taller buildings than permitted by current rules.  We also asked for a complete review of the Downtown Master Plan, and with it, the regulations and design guidelines that guide growth management planning. We expressed grave concern that unfettered growth could overwhelm the city's infrastructure, and forever change the charming small towncharacter that differentiates Delray from nearby communities.

We succeeded! The City recently announced an 18 month study to review all plans and regulations in the core business district.  The Planning & Zoning Department has now proposed a temporary pause on granting special incentives during the study period, or at least until new rules emphasizing quality growth are reviewed and adopted.  

You Should Support A Temporary "Time Out" On Major Downtown Projects

Residents, neighbors and visitors to the Delray Beach downtown are facing over 1.5 million square feet of new construction, including close to 1000 residential rental units, a few luxury condos, new restaurants, offices and retail stores, and even an 8 screen movie complex.  Will the already congested Atlantic Avenue be able to handle this additional amount of cars?  To that end, the Coalition's next initiative is to commission a traffic study.

More projects are likely to follow in upcoming years. This is the time to pause and reconsiderthe long term implications on how projects are approved;
whether they contribute quality architecture and needed benefits; and what impact they have on residents, neighbors and visitors who enjoy the unique lifestyle that Delray offers.

This is sent out by the Florida Coalition for Preservation. Delray Beach currently allows 48 foot tall buildings by right, but you can go up to 60 feet if you get a conditional use approval in their Central Business District. You can also go up to 40 units to an acre of residential units if you get a similar conditional use. This applies to any use, not just hotels like the Lake Worth land development regulations which allow 65 feet east of Federal. They are now calling a temporary halt to issuance of conditional uses based upon all the approved projects on the books. 1.5 million square feet is a lot of NEW development. Have you been on Atlantic Avenue recently?

By the way, Delray Beach was touted by the supporters of the height referendum in Lake Worth as a "lo-rise" city and an example of a system that allows compatible development - before calls for additional controls on height were made. It would be nice if they actually knew what they were talking about.

Not sure why they are asking this question...

This was posted on Facebook by Channel 12. I know that I try and avoid Dixie when riding, but I see many people doing it. Usually it is along the sidewalks which are not too wide to begin with. If this is a proposal, maybe there is talk about some improvements to make it safer for bikes. I didn't think that there was money for this kind of thing anymore. We still should designate Dixie Hwy. as a Heritage Highway regardless.

Commission Meeting of 11/5 - Discussion about beach parking and Kimley-Horn Contract amendment/payment

Be sure to check out Vice-Mayor Maxwell's comment at 5:29 in the video.

Lake Worth City Commission Meeting - The Benzaiten Center - FEC Depot Lease

This is a "win-win" anyway you look at it and helps the city in its next steps to become a destination for artists making art. Interesting information about how this fits into the national and international art world along with the city's strategic location and "potential" being discovered/realized. You can tell the organization which will be leasing the facility and doing nearly $2 million in improvements has done its homework. MUST WATCH- especially if you want to feel good about Lake Worth's future. Here are some exhibits from the back-up material from last night's meeting. Trying to get the PowerPoint that the architect presented so that I can post some images of the floor plan, etc.


LAKE WORTH, FL. — Last month the Lake Worth Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) was acknowledged by two prestigious statewide organizations due to our efforts to provide quality workforce housing in the City of Lake Worth. On October 30th, the Lake Worth CRA Consortium was named a Best Practice Award Finalist from Sustainable Florida for our recent endeavor to provide over 100 new affordable housing units within a three year timeframe. Sustainable Florida advances the vision of sustainability by identifying, supporting and communicating best management practices — those which protect and preserve Florida’s environment while building markets for Florida’s businesses by enhancing their competitive advantages today. An independent set of judge reviewed and scored numerous nominations. Judges were experienced and knowledgeable in the fields of sustainability, energy,
engineering, green building, corporate social responsibility and government.

In addition, and for the third consecutive year, the CRA was recognized by the Florida Redevelopment Association (FRA) for another outstanding redevelopment achievement. The FRA presents awards annually to projects that exhibit the best practices in Florida redevelopment over the past year. The winners were announced this year during FRA’s 2013 Annual Conference held in Tampa on October 31st
. Each year the FRA awards committee carefully selects the winners from dozens of entries submitted by agencies from across the State of Florida. All of the entries embody the spirit of successful community redevelopment and revitalization.

This year, the Lake Worth CRA earned the award for “Outstanding Affordable Housing Project” as a result of the multi-million dollar Urban Arts Lofts project which was completed in February 2013. The Urban Arts Lofts is a new 12-unit live/work development constructed in the heart of downtown Lake Worth. The Urban Arts Lofts is considered a signature project in the City and will act as a catalyst for the development of a true arts and cultural destination. The project was built using funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act meant to clean up abandoned and foreclosed properties in our most economically distressed neighborhoods. In addition to providing quality housing and workspace for artists, this project will significantly increase the local tax-base and provide much needed revenue for the City’s General fund.

The CRA recognizes that these projects would not have been possible without the help received from our numerous community partners including: The Urban Group, Adopt-A-Family of the Palm Beaches, Housing Leadership Council of Palm Beach, Housing Partnership, Habitat for Humanity of Palm Beach County, the City of Lake Worth and the Neighborhood Stabilization Program from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

For more information about either awards program please call the Lake Worth CRA office at (561) 493-2550 or visit: ; ; ;

Lake Worth City Commission Meeting - 11/5/13 - Commissioner Reports

Lake Worth City Commission Meeting - 11/5 - Fertilizer-Friendly Ordinance

Public Comment and Commission Responses from the 11/5/13 Meeting

Lake Worth City Commission Proclaiming December 1, 2013 as World AIDS Day

Lake Worth Commission OK’s Benzaiten Center for the Creative... |

Good summary of the discussion regarding the use of the former FEC Railroad Freight Depot. Look for video of the actual topic as it was discussed at last night's (11/5) City Commission meeting. It came right after the break and many people stayed just for that item. Luckily, the item was approved unanimously. Click title for link.

Here's a good place to let you know about other things that happened that I didn't catch on the coming videos. One is that Finance Director Steven Carr is "re-retiring" after being with the city for the past three years. He'll be here through January of next year. Last night, the city received the Government Finance Officers Association Distinguished Budget Document Award - for the fourth consecutive year. City Manager Bornstein heaped praise on Mr. Carr and his work directing the department and getting things in order. Here is a picture of Mr. Carr accepting the award.
Later on in the meeting, during a discussion on the Kimley-Horn contract amendment and parking situation at the beach, we learned of the following revelations. Some $38,000 of extras were actually incurred by the city back in 2010 - at the direction of those in charge at the time. Director of Public Services Jamie Brown said that Kimley-Horn discounted some of the services, which they didn't have to do, but that the city did owe them this money. The Commission approved the change order and agreed to pay the amount outstanding. Vice Mayor Maxwell made a snide comment that this amount was nothing compared to the $20 million and counting we paid for the beach renovation project. The real total was not revealed. It seemed to me like a lot went unsaid about the status of the punch-list for construction of the building and I hope that we are treated to that in the near future.

Complaints about the parking situation were raised from the public, especially the lack of handicapped parking spaces near the Casino building. They are required, but their placement is in the upper parking lot near Benny's and the pier - not near the Casino building. City Manager Bornstein said that the County is still holding back the final payment (about $500,000) for work there so nothing can be done to address the situation until that money is released. This led to a discussion about the city resident decal parking area that is just north of the Casino building - 50 spaces. It turns out that the slope in that parking area rules out handicapped parking there period. So the City is aware of the problem and it seems that the general public makes them aware of the issue on a daily basis. Some frustration was detected here. They are working on solutions, but it will not be immediate.

Don't get me started on how this site plan was approved by the City Commission and Planning and Zoning Board - but that was mentioned last night. All I will say now is this. Certain Kool-Aid drinkers at the time were all about "saving the building." Saving the building actually resulted in the construction of a brand new building in the exact same place as the old building. This did not allow for a "clean slate" approach to the site and there was a great disconnect between the location of the building in relation to parking and loading areas. Opportunity missed and we are paying the price now in the present dysfunctional layout to the detriment of the public. Those people who pointed out these deficiencies in the project at the time were essentially told that by pointing out problems with the plan, we wanted the project to fail and told metaphorically to "move to the back of the bus." Thus, we are living with the results of a flawed, politically-charged process. More money will need to be spent by the city to address this issue after-the-fact. Cheers!

The City Commission also wants to allow seasonal residents the chance to purchase a resident parking decal for one of those 50 decal spaces. We were told that over 900 such decals are out now. This item will be brought back after this coming tourist season. As the Mayor pointed out, we really haven't experienced the full impact of a winter season as the building and beach were finished in January of this year and in many ways is still being discovered by the public.

Proclamation of November 10-16 2013 as Neighborhood Association Awareness Week

Trailer for "Art at the Eco" Event on December 7th

This professional trailer for the event was put together by Mango Groves resident Sarah Winters who is all of 10 years old! Yours truly gets a cameo appearance here as I will be coming as the "Cat in the Hat" and reading Dr. Seuss for the kids around 3 p.m. This was announced during Public Comment on Unagendaed Items last night. I will soon have that video up so you will be able to meet Sarah and her mother when they publicized the event from the podium last night.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

One Mayoral candidate's literal translation of what it means to be transparent...

Stephanie Woodruff for Mayor of MPLS (Sm) from Dena Wetzel on Vimeo.

5 Things Toronto Mayor Rob Ford Has Done That Are Worse Than Smoking Crack

The horrifying history of the mayor of North America's 4th largest city. Click title for link. This guy is a piece of work. Below is his crack smoking confession:

Palm Beach County's Mayor Steven Abrams' Facebook post on the opening of the new Lantana Ocean Avenue bridge...

BREAKING NEWS — Palm Beach Post Circulation Plummets Amid Layoffs!

More bad news for the Palm Beach Post. Click title for link to Jose Lambiet's blog post.

Officials gather in West Palm Beach to tout rail connections... |

More news about changes to railways in south Florida. This is mainly about the connection of the FEC tracks to the Tri-Rail tracks which will move freight from the FEC to the western set of tracks. This will open up the way for increased passenger service on what is to be called the "Coastal Link." Here's some of the volume of what is planned. Click title for link to Emily Roach's article.
Local governments throughout South Florida are also developing plans for commuter traffic along the FEC tracks. Although FECI is double-tracking for the passenger rail project, a decrease of freight trains will ease scheduling of intercity and commuter service.
Currently the FEC tracks have about 13 daily freight trains and the CSX tracks have four. All Aboard Florida plans to run 32 trains a day and the Coastal Link would have 122 running between the two tracks, according to the grant application for the connectors.

Let Florida's Wood Market Thrive | Sunshine State News

Surprising barriers to consideration of locally sourced wood for LEED certifiable projects. There seems to be a reliance on only one rating agency, but things might change. This is the unintended consequence. Click title for link to article.
Too many policies do not allow for this. The LEED rating system, supported by hundreds of cities, blocks the entry of Florida wood into construction projects all across the country. This occurs because LEED only awards sourcing credits to wood certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), a program that recognizes only a small minority of American timber, and hardly any in Florida.

Scott wins support with creation of transportation planning task force | The Florida Current

One of Governor Scott's few attempts at organized planning. He was a leading force behind gutting growth management laws in the state of Florida. Click title for link to article. One of the transportation corridors will be along US 27 from central to southeast Florida. Here's what some environmental groups are cautiously saying:
Representatives of Audubon Florida and 1000 Friends of Florida said they were glad to see the planning initiative. Some environmentalists have been concerned that the Department of Transportation's corridor planning effort would focus on road-building rather than environmental protection or other forms of transportation, including mass transit or bicycling.
"They (DOT officials) kept emphasizing, and we are going to hold them to it, this is not just going to exclusively be another road-builing exercise," said Charles Pattison, president of 1000 Friends of Florida. "There may be some roadways that are needed but that is not the only consideration here."
"We think that is a major step forward for Florida transportation," said Eric Draper, executive director of Audubon Florida. "We want to monitor that to make sure it gets done and isn't an excuse for more road building."

Friends of the Library November 12th meeting

Hello Friends of the Library, 

June Evans asked me to email everyone to remind you that the next Friends meeting will be next Tuesday, November 12th at 5:30 pm at the South Shores Rest. located on the corner of North M and Lucerne Ave. It is across the street from the library. They have remodeled the inside restaurant recently.

Friends Used Book Sale will be Saturday, November 16th. Sorting will be on Friday November 15th at 1:00 pm. Persons wishing to volunteer please contact the library.

Food Give Away this Saturday (November 9th) and information on Food Pantries

Also, please find below a list of  locations where food and other services are offered throughout Palm Beach County throughout the year. Please contact individual locations for information on specific programs and availability.

CROS Riviera Beach Community Food Pantry – The Port Center
The Port Center, 2051 Dr. Martin Luther King Blvd. on the 2nd floor.
Hours: Monday , Wednesday, and Friday 9:30 a.m. to noon.

CROS North County Community Food Pantry - Jupiter Neighborhood Resource Center
106 Military Trail, Jupiter, FL (southwest corner of Indiantown Road and Military Trail).
Use the main entrance on the east side of the building. During pantry hours, a food pantry volunteer will assist you with food. Not only offers free food and groceries, but can direct individuals to social services and government assistance programs, such as food stamps, food for child, and more.
Hours: Tuesday and Friday 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

CROS LIGHTHOUSE FOOD PANTRY -  Community United Methodist Church
401 SW 1st St. in Belle Glade. During pantry hours, a food pantry volunteer will assist you with food.
Hours: Tuesday and Thursday noon to 3 p.m.
CROS Lake Worth Community Food Pantry
Adopt-A-Family of the Palm Beaches
1712 2nd Avenue North, Lake Worth, FL
Hours: Monday-Friday  11 a.m. - 2 p.m.

CROS Delray Beach Community Food Pantry
Neighborhood Resource Center
141 SW 12th Ave., Delray Beach.  Use the parking lot behind the NRC and walk along the north side of the building to use the main entrance. A food pantry volunteer will assist you with food.
Hours: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday noon to 3 p.m., Wednesday and Friday 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Open & Outstretched Hand of Jesus Ministry Church
Address - 168 West 13th Street
Riviera Beach, FL 33404
Dial - (561) 968-1023

Neighborhood Resource Center - CROS Delray Beach Community Food Pantry
Food center address - 141 SW 12th Ave
Delray Beach, Florida 33444
(561) 243-7634
Another non-profit organization that provides food and much more, such as rent help, financial assistance, clothing, and other support to low income and senior citizens.

Community United Methodist Church - CROS Lighhouse Food Pantry (Belle Glade)
Location - 408 SW 1st Street
Belle Glade, FL 33430
Dial the center at (561) 996-5568

Metropolitan Community Church of the Palm Beaches
Church address - 4857 Northlake Boulevard
Palm Beach Florida FL 33418
Call (561) 775-5900

Holy Name of Jesus Church – Call the church for meals, shelter, a soup kitchen and advice.
Address - 345 S. Military Trail
West Palm Beach, FL 33415
(561) 683-3555

Holy Redeemer Episcopal Church Pantry
Location of this church pantry is 3730 Kirk Road
Lake Worth, FL 33461
Phone number - (561) 965-8632

First Baptist Church
17 NW Avenue B
Belle Glade, Florida 33430
(561) 996-5596

St. Ann's Church
Address - 310 North Olive Avenue
West Palm Beach, FL 33401
Dial the church at (561) 832-3757

Gateway Community Outreach
Address - 660 Royal Pam Beach Boulevard
Royal Palm Covenant Church
Royal Palm Beach, FL 33411
(561) 793-1077 is the primary phone number. Call for hours.

First Baptist Church of Greenacres
Location - 201 Swain Boulevard
Green Acres, Florida 33463
Phone number of church - (561) 966-7531

St. Mary's Catholic Church
Address: 1200 E. Main Street
Pahokee, FL 33476
Telephone - (561) 924-0184

Emmanuel Deliverance Church of God
Address - 1309 Georgia Avenue
West Palm Beach, Florida 33401
(561) 832-5148
Free food, meals, and assistance is provided. Call them for hours or to make an appointment.

Community Caring Center
Address: 145 N.E. 4th Avenue
Boynton Beach, FL 33425
Telephone number - (561) 364-9501
Programs are administered from this office to help people with food, financial assistance, and senior assistance programs. This includes gifts for children at Christmas and Thanksgiving and holiday meals.

Agape Church of Loxahatchee
Address - 13390 Okeechobee Road
Loxahatchee, FL 33470
Phone number - (561) 792-2813

Lakeside United Methodist Church
Location is 1801 12th Ave. South
Lake Worth, FL 33461
Dial - (561) 585-7519. The church offers meals, clothing, counseling, and other resources for Palm Beach County families and people in the Parish.

Jesus and You Outreach Ministries
Location is 2831 Avenue S
Riviera Beach, FL 33404
Dial - (561) 842-4276

Care Ministry - St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church
Address of church - 370 S.W. Third Street
Boca Raton, FL 33432
Phone number: (561) 962-6000

Oasis Compassion Agency
Location- 4888 10th Avenue North
Lake Worth, Florida 33463
Primary phone number - (561) 967-4066
A number of services and resources are offered for the low income. A food pantry is on site for meals and perishables items, as well as government surplus food.

Lake Worth Corps
Address - 4051 Kirk Road
Lake Worth, Florida 33461
Call (561) 968-8189 for hours and details on the pantry

True Fast Outreach Ministry
638 6th Street
West Palm Beach, FL 33401
Phone number - (561) 856-6273

Holy Name of Jesus Church
Location is 345 S. Military Trail
West Palm Beach, FL 33415
Dial (561) 683-3555. Limited hours are available for the needy.

Christians Reaching Out to Society
Address of center is 301 1st Avenue South
Lake Worth, FL 33460
Phone number - (561) 233-9009

Metropolitan Community Church of the Palm Beaches
4857 Northlake Boulevard
Palm Beach Gardens, Florida 33418
Phone number - (561) 775-5900

Christians Reaching Out to Society
Address is 301 1st Avenue South
Lake Worth, FL 33460
Dial the center at (561) 233-9009

Holy Redeemer Episcopal Church
Location of the church is 3730 Kirk Road
Lake Worth, FL 33461
Call the church for food, meals, groceries, etc. at (561) 965-8632

First Baptist Church (Belle Glade)
Address is 17 NW Avenue B.
Belle Glade, Florida 33430
Phone number - (561) 996-5596. Call for information on free or low cost food, perishable items and groceries.

Emmanuel Deliverance Church of God
Address: 1309 Georgia Avenue
West Palm Beach, FL 33401
(561) 832-5148

First Baptist Church of Greenacres
201 Swain Boulevard
Green Acres, FL 33463
Dial (561) 964-3115

Servants of the Great I am Church
Location: 3822 Coconut Road
Lake Worth, FL 33460
Call - (561) 641-7845
Meals, food, clothing, and case management to low income and working poor.

Lakeside United Methodist Church
1801 12th Ave. South
Lake Worth, Florida 33461
Phone number - (561) 585-7519
Meals and boxes of food will be provided to the low income and needy in the region. Other basic needs, such as clothing, may be available or get referrals to assistance programs.

Families That Care
Address of program - 3701 Broadway
West Palm Beach, FL 33407
Phone number - (561) 594-9657

Oasis Compassion Agency
Main office address: 4888 10th Ave North
Lake Worth, Florida 33463
Phone number - (561) 967-4066
Hours/Eligibility:  Monday - Thursday 10 a.m. - 12 p.m., Must bring in drivers license or birth certificate, SS card, rental receipt, proof of income and utility bill.  Non-perishable food provided once a month and perishable items once a week for up to 6-8 months for qualified clients.  Seniors and disabled clients may stay in program and continue to receive perishable items after 6 months. Open to all who qualify.

Open & Outstretched Hand of Jesus Ministry Church
Riviera Beach, FL 33404
Call the church at (561) 968-1023 for the exact address and hours.

Divine Church of God of Prophecy
Location is 2845 N Military Trail, Suite 17
West Palm Beach, FL 33409
(561) 502-9226

West Palm Beach Corps
Address: 2122 Palm Beach Lakes Boulevard
West Palm Beach, Florida 33409
Main phone number - (561) 686-3530
A food pantry is on site. They also can direct families in Palm Beach to thrift stores, clothing, and maybe even programs for paying bills. They coordinate with other local charity organizations as well.

New Bethel Missionary Baptist Church
911 9th Street
West Palm Beach, Florida 33401
Call (561) 832-2101
May have food, groceries, and even other goods such as clothing.

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Monday, November 4, 2013

Everyone knows it's Windy...

Berlin Referendum on Buying Electricity Grid from Vattenfall Fails - SPIEGEL ONLINE

Can we draw some local parallels here? Click title for link Der Spiegel article. Here's a bit:
Germans already have the highest electricity prices in Europe, but, as a result of the Energiewende, they have continued to rise, placing a large burden on the country's poor. Although it is unlikely that the Berlin buy-back, had it been successful, would have lowered electricity prices for consumers, it is a sign of the growing popular discontent with the ways the electricity industry in Germany is run. A similar referendum recently passed in Hamburg, and the city's government is now forced to explore ways of buying its energy grid from Vattenfall and a company called E.on.

Suspend ethics commission, state audit committee tells Palm...

THIS IS BREAKING NEWS. Click title for link.

School district money woes stall renovations at historic West... |

This calls for another "Circle of Light." Click title for link, from the article:
According to an April school district report, when the school board approved the Northboro modernization, it budgeted a guaranteed maximum price for the historic building renovations of $976,955. But when builders took a closer look at the 1925 building, “significant deficiencies were found and degradation of critical structural components was identified in the walls and floors,” according to the report.
“The quality of the original work is questionable, leaving doubt as to the reinforcing, if any, in walls and beams,” the report said. “Visibly exposed reinforcing indicates that the constructor paid little attention to spacing of reinforcing bars and the depth of concrete covering them.”
As a result, early cost estimates from builders to take care of those issues and make the building usable were about $1.8 million. That was too high, Garrison said, so district planners are now trying to develop several lower cost options.

Gardens councilwoman pushes for artistic bus shelters |

Palm Beach Gardens: "They will know us by our bus shelters." An interesting idea, Palm Beach Gardens has a mandatory percent of private project cost that must fund public art. The thought here is that money could be used to build artistic bus shelters. Some don't agree that money should be used for this sort of improvement. Here's what one Palm Beach Gardens commissioner says in support of the notion.
Tinsley said she would like to see one design for bus shelters in the city.
“When you see that shelter, you would know you’re in the Gardens,” she said.

Commentary: Please don’t flush those ‘flushable’ wipes |

Don't touch that wipe! In fact don't buy them at all. All these "flushable" wipes are causing big problems in municipal sewer systems. Check out this open letter from people who run wastewater systems in the area. And the problems caused by them are not a local phenomenon, London has its share of problems with the wipes too. Click title for link.

West Palm Beach takes on smelly alleys downtown |

We occasionally have a similar problem in our downtown. This article goes into the challenges of keeping alleys clean. Lake Worth has tons of alleys. And our alleys are not limited to the downtown. According to the last presentation I heard regarding the Lake Worth 2020 plan, we have 23 miles of shellrock (maybe) covered alleyways. Some are in poor to very poor condition. Way back when, the standard was to run water down the alleys in 2" and 4" galvanized lines. Those don't hold up that long and are not used today for that reason. About a year ago we had a 2" galvanized line break along the rear property line. The city promptly fixed it when we called and they said that it was a very common service call. It's my understanding that the staff is trying to include alley upgrades in the capital improvements called for by the plan. Click title for link to article.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

On the way back from the pool today...

We stumbled upon something going on in Bryant Park.
Something called "Florida Flow Fest 2013" and there were all sorts of folks going with and discovering the "flow." There were various groups spread out through the park. A couple of yoga classes were being held, one on the stage. Here are some more pictures.

Kavasutra, one of the sponsors of the event, set up a booth where they were dishing out cups of kava. Ihad some and didn't feel that much of anything unusual. The Wikipedia article says that it can lead to an increase in liver enzymes.

Seventh Annual Ethics Seminar put on by the Palm Beach County Planning Congress

Last Friday (11/1), the Palm Beach County Planning Congress put on their 7th Annual Ethics Seminar. This was the most well-attended in the series with some 175 planners, elected and appointed officials and other interested persons participating in the all-day affair. For many professionals involved in land use law and planning, it was an opportunity to fulfill continuing education credits. Regardless of some being there for the requirement, much good and worthy material was covered. I'll share pictures of the event which took place in the City of Boca Raton's 6500 Building - which is perfect for such and event. It is usually used for police and fire department training.

The seminar's keynote speaker was Norman Braman. Mr. Braman is notable, not only for owning a successful series of automobile dealerships, but also for once owning the pro-football team known as the Philadelphia Eagles. Being part of that elite fraternity did not stop him from fighting against using public money for pro-sports stadiums. He took an active roll in unsuccessfully stopping the public financing of the Miami Marlins new stadium, but also helped block the proposed changes to Pro-Player Stadium, home of the Miami Dolphins. He ran two recall campaigns of former Miami-Dade Mayor Alvarez and another Miami-Dade County Commissioner for the public stands on the issue.
Norman Braman addressing the Ethics Seminar attendees
Here is Mr. Braman's biographical information:
We also had the privilege of hearing a closing talk by Thomas Pelham who headed the now defunct Department of Community Affairs twice, under two different Florida governors. His candid remarks are worth listening to as he reminisces about his two stints as director, the difference between those periods of service and the eventual demise of the agency. Here is what I was able to catch of his talk on video.
You will find his remarks frank and entertaining.

Fun Time at the Lake Worth Municipal Pool

Sally Welsh led the water exercise class today at the Lake Worth pool. Class times are Thursday 9 a.m. and Sunday and 10 a.m. She will have one more Friday class this coming week - 11/8 at 9 a.m. and then will be occupied by a new job opportunity. She will continue her Thursday and Sunday classes as usual. The fee to enter the pool for Lake Worth residents is $4 and non-residents is $5. General pool hours are Thursday and Friday 7 a.m. to 11 a.m.; Saturday and Sunday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Parking is additional. If you use your debit card you are obliged to pay $4 for your time there, no matter if you just stay for the hour long class. I usually ride my bike there so I save that expense.

Today was an unusually large class, I think partly due to the time change. Good to see everyone having fun and working on their fitness goals. You would be surprised the type of workout this really is and, after the first or second times, you will definitely feel it the next day.

Here are a few pics taking today.

Florida’s natural-gas powered vehicles and stations gaining... |

Another key part of our energy future: Cars that run on compressed natural-gas. There is over a dollar per gallon differential between the more expensive regular gasoline than CNG. The thing is, you need to have manufacturers producing cars with the capability to run on natural gas and you need the special station infrastructure in place. From the article:
CNG poses a chicken or the egg-type question. Which comes first, vehicles or stations? Without enough vehicles, there’s not sufficient demand for the fuel. But without a station nearby and places to fill up when they’re traveling, most people won’t buy a vehicle.
While there are no CNG stations open to the public in Palm Beach County, there are 14 public stations around the state and more are coming. At least three are slated to open in Palm Beach County in 2014.
Right now, operators of large truck fleets have the economies of scale to begin using CNG fueled vehicles. Very interesting article. Click title for link.

Golden age of rapid rail service envisioned for Florida

Excellent Florida Today article on the importance of rail service to Florida's past and our future. The article is written from the point of view of someone living in Brevard County, but touches on the entire rail corridor along the east coast of Florida, especially the FEC (eastern tracks). A MUST read for anyone living in the area. This should become one of the hallmarks of the 21st Century - the revitalization of train travel within the state of Florida. Click title for link.