Wednesday, December 31, 2014

My sentiments exactly! Happy New Year Lake Worth! And May 2015 Be Our Best Year Ever

Courtesy of Tom McGow, from his post in 2010 titled, Accentuate The Positive, Why I Love Lake Worth. Let's accentuate the positive going into 2015!

Port of Palm Beach to Commence Emergency Dredging of the Inlet

The Port of Palm Beach issued a news release today to announce the commencement of emergency dredging to address shoaling in the Lake Worth Inlet.  Work is scheduled to begin today, December 31, 2014.  See the full news release for more information.

The Hidden Hand

Certainly you've heard by now about the posters placed downtown in Lake Worth with the message, "Black Lives Matter" and other related messages. Let's be clear - All lives matter.

To my knowledge those responsible haven't been contacted by the Sheriff as yet but the pair is clearly shown on video. These posters will have to removed by the city and FPL at some considerable expense. Of course, many say that these posters are part of free speech and even going so far as to compare these posters to taped notices of lost dogs and neighborhood yard sales. There is a big difference here: these posters were affixed with glue and very hard to remove. So, was this pair engaged in free speech or vandalism at 2:00 a.m. in the morning? Some people like pushing the envelope as far as they can.

As I perused the local blogs and websites came across this from the Anarchist element in Lake Worth in the Everglades Earth First! site:
Read here how the Anarchists caused the violence in Durham, North Carolina.

As one famous political tactician and current Chicago mayor, Rahm Imanuel once said, "You never let a serious crisis go to waste. And what I mean by that it's an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before."

There are some in our city, we need to honest here, who will take advantage of the current national unrest to their own political advantage and attempt to play it out here, in our city. Those of us aware of their antics expect nothing less. Opportunists all.

The Post editorial today on the invocation issue...

The Palm Beach Post has weighed in on the invocation drama here in Lake Worth. Frankly I am surprised it's taken so long. Here are two excerpts:
At the time [allowing a Christian Nativity display in the Capitol], an official [unidentified] with the American Civil Liberties Union warned that state officials may not “fully appreciate the door they’ve opened up.” Allowing a relatively innocuous religious display, he said, could lead to other displays intended for shock value. After all, allowing certain religious displays while rejecting others can violate the constitutional requirement that speech regulations be “content-neutral.”
Not long afterward, displays went up in the Capitol celebrating the winter solstice, the “Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster” and the Seinfeldian pseudo-holiday “Festivus.” This year, the distinguished list was joined by a diorama of a fallen angel being cast into hell — courtesy of a group called the Satanic Temple.
City Manager Michael Bornstein told The Post this month that he just wants to “go to a moment of silence to stop all this stupidity and madness.”

For most cities, that’s the right call. There’s little need, and less place, for religious prayer in government meetings. To start off public meetings in a multicultural society, sometimes silence is golden.

New Year's Eve and it's bad news from Lulu

How could you possibly expect bad news from somebody named "Lulu"? Prepare yourself, because Lulu has bad news for us in Lake Worth, the Lake Worth bridge repair is going to take longer than expected. Lulu Ramadan from the Post has this:
Slow traffic on and near the Lake Worth Bridge, which crosses over the Intracoastal Waterway, won’t be eased just yet. Officials say a repair project that closed the eastbound side of the bridge in early November has been extended through January.

The bridge was shut down in order to repair concrete, and allow for repainting and the addition of anti-corrosion material.

The repair project began on Oct. 2, but the eastbound bridge was not closed until November. The repairs on the bridge were originally expected to be complete by the end of the year, but according to Andrea Pacini, public information officer at the Florida Department of Transportation, the project was extended through January because of weather conditions.
Serious reminder AGAIN: The current condition of the Lake Worth bridge makes it unsafe for bike traffic. Please dismount your bike and walk across the bridge, especially if you are heading east. I see people biking both directions each time I cross. Besides the possibility of car/vehicle accidents, a bike/bike or a bike/pedestrian accident can be serious too. People are actually going at speeds down either side as if the other span was still open. DO NOT DO THIS!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Click here for the Lake Worth CRA's downtown walker's map and guide...

This is a great effort and highlights the LULA program.

How the City of Delray Beach communicates to the public about downtown parking...

Click title for link to a page from the City of Delray Beach's website regarding downtown parking. Click here for an informative map, complete with estimated walking times from the center of the city's grid street pattern (Swinton and Atlantic Avenues).

Here are a few glimpses at part of the map.

Clearly, there are no worries about Lake Worth becoming the next "Delray", at least in the near future. By the way, this was posted on the city's official Facebook page, which remains in the dreamworld for Lake Worth residents.

Pedestrians beware at night. A pedestrian was killed last night - wear something reflective or light-colored clothing

On a routine trip from Publix or City Hall to the north part of the city, you regularly see shadowy figures dressed in dark colors. These people are crossing Dixie Hwy., riding their bikes on the street or sidewalk without the benefit of any lights or reflective material. It is a miracle that more people are not injured or killed just for not being visible. I did see a child, walking with adults, and she had a white light mounted on her head which is a great idea! Just please be careful, especially on Federal, Dixie, Lake/Lucerne, 10th and 6th Avenues after dark.

Sadly, a pedestrian was struck and killed by a vehicle last night, this time outside of the city limits. Initial reports are the driver remained at the scene. My prayers go to the deceased and to the driver.

The location of an incident is very important as we all know; it's a material item in a news story. This accident happened on Lake Worth Road near the Lake Worth Drive-In. Choose where you think this accident occurred: 
_ Lake Worth 
_ Suburban Lake Worth
_ Palm Springs

If you picked Palm Springs, you would be correct. That's right, the Lake Worth Drive-In on Lake Worth Road is located in Palm Springs. When Palm Beach Post staff writer Kavya Sukumar writes this headline on Christmas Day you can see how these misconceptions continue. Ms. Sukumar's headline is factually incorrect and contributes to the public confusion. 

Last night at 9:00 Palm Beach Post staff writer Josh Hyber got it partially correct. Here is what Mr. Hyber wrote in the Post:

LAKE WORTH — A pedestrian was struck and killed just after 7:30 p.m. Monday night on Lake Worth Road WEST OF THE CITY [emphasis added], Palm Beach County Fire Rescue said.

Channel 5 (WPTV) is the only news outlet, thus far, to get the location correct. Here is what WPTV reported:
Channel 25 (WPBF) always gets it wrong so there's no need to even look. Recently, one of their reporters, Ari Hait, reported he was in Lake Worth while standing in front of a sign that read: "Palm Beach County Parks & Recreation Department". Not joking. 

The moral of the story here is that if you are going out, especially during the early nightfall period of the year, you must take precautions. If you are driving, make sure that you are paying attention to what is in the road in front of you. Make sure your headlights are working well enough - you might have to clear your headlight lenses with a product available from an auto parts store if they are foggy. If you are walking, wear or carry something with reflective material and try to wear light colors.

A scoop for AnnaMaria! Lake Worth is going to be on national TV!

Read about it here. Spread the word around! Tell all your friends about our cottages here in Lake Worth. This could be just the thing we've been waiting for.

By the way, the Cottages of Lake Worth group is working on a book about "Living Large in Small Spaces - The Cottages of Lake Worth." Writing, photography and editing is taking place as we speak. Watch for more information over the coming months.

A "Farm to Table" story about...spinach

Farm to table is not a fable! The Post's Susan Salisbury has this story about harvesting spinach in Belle Glade. You learn that the spinach you buy in our downtown Publix was harvested only 48 hours prior to placement in the display case. Who would have thought the farming spinach was so high-tech? From the article:
The Fresh Attitude brand of salad blends in the distinctive clear plastic boxes is sold in Publix Super Markets and Costco year-round. During the winter, all the product comes from the muck fields of Belle Glade in western Palm Beach County.

Chances are the baby spinach and other leafy greens produced by Veg Pro International were harvested just 48 hours before being placed in the retail display case, said Sylvain Racette, Veg Pro’s vice president of sales and marketing.

The quick turnaround is true for Veg Pro’s product produced in the Glades during the winter and being sold within Florida.
Also from the story is a video of the harvesting process.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Cara Jennings and her Lake Worth chickens

Courtesy of the Tom McGow archives. Former commissioner 
Cara Jennings wanted to allow chicken coops in the City of Lake Worth. 
Luckily, reasonable people prevailed.

Official's Emails and the public - "No emails, please."

From the Naked Politics blog in the Miami Herald is this about emails:
Miami Beach Police Chief Dan Oates refused an interview this week with Miami New Times reporter Michael Miller because the chief believed Miller had already made up his mind about a story and was not giving him enough time for a proper response.

Then the chief emailed his staff, telling officers to keep the issue in-house and refrain from sending emails about it, since they can become public record.

“I encourage you to talk to me about it. No emails, please. Stop by and see me in the office or call Tricia and she’ll arrange for us to talk by phone,” he wrote.

The emails were soon leaked and first reported by Random Pixels blogger Bill Cooke.

Channel 5's Charlie Keegan in Lake Worth last night, again

Click title for link to more on the story about the posters being placed around town which say "Black Lives Matter," etc.

Click here for the related Palm Beach Post story.

Harriet Lerman, "Voice of the People" - Talk Show Host - Guest on High Noon in Lake Worth

Join your host Wes Blackman as he welcomes Harriet Lerman into the "High Noon in Lake Worth" studios for a special edition of the show. Ms. Lerman hosts talk shows called "Voice of the People" and "Peas in the Pod" that air on the She comes from a varied political career which included a ten year stint as a state legislator in Maine and she also ran for a Palm Beach County Commission seat, narrowly losing to former County Commissioner Warren Newell. Ms. Lerman is a progressive voice within Palm Beach County Democratic circles. Mr. Blackman will return the favor and appear on Ms. Lerman's show January 20, 2015.

Click title for live link to show from 12 to 1 p.m. today (12/29) or later for an archived edition. Leave questions as comments below.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

What REALLY happened to Code Enforcement under the Stanton regime

Mr. John Rinaldi correcting historic revisionism. 

More low journalism in Lake Worth...

From Lake WorthLife we have this news about Channel 25 (WPBF) in Lake Worth trolling for a story:


Get Ready...
Here it comes once again...
Lake Worth in the news...
This time watch WOBF
[sic, WPBF] CHANNEL 25, for a LIVE BROADCAST from the Cultural Plaza...
The reporter says it's about the Black Lives Matter posted all over downtown...
How much more are we supposed to keep taking from a local news media of news stations always hammering our city of Lake worth, which is striving to positively move forward on so many levels in so many ways, and on so many fronts...

Well, it appears PBSO has images of a black male and female at night downtown plastering them, so rather than discuss anything with the city they would rather try to tie our city to a nationwide campaign in a city that is arguably the most culturally, spiritually, economically, sexually, and politically diverse than any other community anywhere in the state... Yet we are also a very openly accepting community for the most part...

Mel and Vinnie - Lake Worth and Other Florida Gigs!

Here are some dates to come out, hear us, hear others, be with us ....details to follow where needed. News at the end.

Sunday December 28  King Mango Strut in Coconut Grove. Parade starts at 2pm. This year we honor Fred Hunt, friend, artist, husband to AnnaMaria and an original marching Fred. He passed in September.  We will be with the Grateful Fred Heads with kazoos-probably walking in front of the Coconut Grove Drum Circle float.

Monday Dec 29 The Living Room Mel and Vinnie with Dan Berger on harmonica. Bill Hartmann Showcase 6:30 - 9:30, 35 minute set between 7 and 9. Boynton Beach.

Tuesday Dec 30  Brewhouse Gallery Showcase, Mel, Vinnie and Bill Hartmann in the round 8:30 - 10. Come early for the first set - other musicians 7 - 8:30. Lake Park.

2015 Happy New Year
Tuesday Jan 6  Brewhouse Gallery Showcase, 7-8:30 Mel and Vinnie duo in the round with two other performers.  8:30 - 9 another group of performers in the round. Lake Park.

Monday Jan 12 The Living Room Mel and Vinnie duo.  Bill Hartmann Showcase 6:30 - 9:30, 35 minute set between 7 and 9. Boynton Beach.

Friday Jan 16 7-7:30pm and 8:30-9pm Evening on the Avenue Intermission Spotlights, Cultural Plaza, Lake Worth. M Street and Lake Ave.

Monday January 19 Lake Worth’s 21st Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Celebration.  Interfaith breakfast, candlelight march, commemorative program, fellowship dinner. Free. Mel and Vinnie duo have a song at the Interfaith Prayer Breakfast, 7:30 - 9am at St. Andrew's Lutheran Church (South E Street and 10th Ave South). The Candlelight March gathers at 5pm at Lake Worth City Hall (Lake Avenue and Dixie Hwy) to walk down Lake Avenue to the Cultural Plaza (Lake Ave and M Street). At 5:30 in the Cultural Plaza is the MLK Commemorative Program.  From 6 -8 pm is the MLK Fellowship Dinner at the First Baptist Church (M Street and 2nd Ave South).

Thursday January 22 Mel and Vinnie duo 7-10pm on the patio at South Shores Tavern corner of Lucerne and M Street.

Monday Jan 26 The Living Room Mel and Vinnie duo. Bill Hartmann Showcase 6:30 - 9:30, 35 minute set between 7 and 9. Boynton Beach. Rick and Donna Nestler duo are in town and in the showcase too.

Tuesday Jan 27  Brewhouse Gallery Showcase, Mel and Vinnie duo in the round one set, Rick and Donna Nestler duo in the round the other set.  7 - 10.  Lake Park.

Wednesday January 28 Vinnie C on the patio 7-10pm at South Shores Tavern corner of Lucerne and M Street.

Wednesday February 11 Vinnie C on the patio 7-10pm at South Shores Tavern corner of Lucerne and M Street.

Saturday February 21 Mel and Vinnie duo on the patio 2 - 6pm at South Shores Tavern corner of Lucerne and M Street.  The Street Painting Festival is Saturday and Sunday February 21 and 22nd. 10am - 7pm both days.  Leave time to find parking, tens of thousands of people come to this event.

March 13-15 is the 26th Annual Will McLean Festival. we will again volunteer as stage emcees and host a Sunday morning workshop "Sing Out for Pete". Come check out this festival in Brooksville, (North Florida) great folks, nice campground, Florida folk music.

Record Store Day at Top Five on J Street in Lake Worth April 18th

Earth Day Celebration in the Cultural Plaza in Lake Worth.

We are over 1100 views on our "Lake Worth Anthem", It Feels Like Home to Me. Thank you each and everyone who promotes the YouTube of it.  It was one of ten songs in the songbook for holiday bike carols the Thursday Night Pedalers in Lake Worth used this year. Feeling the love.

Wishing you health, happiness and sufficiency in the New Year

Mel and Vinnie

Go Green! Special to DZ

We're making progress!!!

Adam Sacasa at the Sun Sentinel got it wrong. No surprise there for the Sun Sentinel. But the Palm Beach Post reporter got it right! Note this story from Chris Persaud:
Lisa Adams and Walter Petro took the silver Chevrolet Impala without permission and refused to return the keys to her son and his girlfriend during a 1:45 a.m. incident outside an apartment in the Grant Park area of suburban Lake Worth [emphasis added], the sheriff’s office said in an arrest report made public Wednesday.
They recently had been staying with the son at the suburban Lake Worth [emphasis added] residence, north of Melaleuca Lane and west of Davis Road, the report said.
Keep up the hard work folks. When you see a reporter about town, especially from Channel 12 (WPEC), kindly teach them the difference between Lake Worth and suburban Lake Worth. They'll get it right at some point. The reporters will go back to the office and then teach the Channel 12 assignment editors the difference.

Pinkie see, Pinkie do...Plagiarization Pinkie-style

[UPDATE! Read this post originally published on 12/19 and see the update at the end!]

On Thursday, December 18, Pinkie in the fReNZy of President Obama's change in Cuba policy, posted this on her blog:

Then, after expelling her thoughts, four comments were posted on her blog. Three were "anonymous" and there was one from the "Pinkie" - aka Lynn Anderson. (Why an "author" needs to comment on a post 'that author' presumably wrote shows a high degree of either defensiveness or mental instability. This is a common practice "over there" which makes one wonder how many authors contribute material on a regular basis, but I digress.)

Now for the evidence of Pinkie's plagiarism. Note this screen grab from her blog:

Note she "writes" three paragraphs. Here is the first paragraph which IS original content and not taken: 

I don't have time to disagree with you on your comments but I will say you have NO clue what Bush did for Florida. He was a great governor--and I was a diehard Dem at that time.

Now, here is the second paragraph on her blog. On the face of it, you think to yourself: "My this person is a real policy wonk to remember abstract statistics from Florida governor administrations, three editions past." Then you realize what she did here: 

While Governor, Jeb Bush reduced taxes by $19 billion, reduced the size of state government by 6.6 percent, vetoed $2 billion in new spending, and presided over Florida receiving the highest possible bond rating.[30]

When you go to Wikipedia about Jebb Bush here is what you see:

While Governor, Jeb Bush reduced taxes by $19 billion, reduced the size of state government by 6.6 percent, vetoed $2 billion in new spending, and presided over Florida receiving the highest possible bond rating.[30]

Lynn Anderson plagiarized word-for-word from Wikipedia with no attribution. Now the third paragraph from Lynn Anderson:

In May 2006, as part of a $448.7-million line-item veto of state funding, Bush cut a total of $5.8 million in grants to public libraries, pilot projects for library homework help and web-based high-school texts, and funding for a joint-use library in Tampa

This is from the Jeb Bush Wikipedia page:

In May 2006, as part of a $448.7-million line-item veto of state funding, Bush cut a total of $5.8 million in grants to public libraries, pilot projects for library homework help and web-based high-school texts, and funding for a joint-use library in Tampa.[36]

Again, Lynn Anderson plagiarized word-for-word from Wikipedia, except for the end punctuation and the footnote number "36". Duh, leaving trails Ms. Pinkie.

Wikipedia has firm principles and one of those is "never plagiarize from sources." Even from Wikipedia. Wikipedia has very simple rules for attribution, just mention the sourced material is from Wikipedia and no other permissions are necessary. Links are a good way to do this.

So, the question now much "intellectual" content has Lynn Anderson stolen? We may never know. The abacus would have a meltdown if we were to try.

Here is the Update! Lynn Anderson responds to my post...
The new standard on Pinkie's blog is "plagiarizing in 'comments' is acceptable." Well, that's news. Not the part about plagiarizing. The part about her having a set of standards.

From the NAPC

From the NAPC we have this good news:
Congratulations to the Pineapple Beach Neighborhood! Their new street banners are up and they are beautiful! PBNA participated in last year's REAP series of classes and was awarded a grant to fund these banners. Additional banners for Pineapple Beach were funded through a similar grant awarded to the NAPC. What an excellent way to begin a new year demonstrating pride in this wonderful neighborhood.
Congratulations Pineapple Beach! 

Saturday, December 27, 2014

This could lead to Lake Worth's own CNG facility $$ - More later

It was a rough few days in Greenfield, CA

Assault with Deadly Weapon

Breaking & Entering


Breaking & Entering

Breaking & Entering
100 Block 12TH ST

Breaking & Entering
1100 Block HEIDI DR


Breaking & Entering
200 Block AVA ST

Palm Beach looking for volunteer board members

David Rogers at the Shiny Sheet has this story today about the Palm Beach Architectural Commission and the Landmarks Preservation Commission. They are in need of new board members and the deadline for applications is February 27th. If you are interested or want more information visit or contact the town clerk (838-5416). From the article:
The town is accepting applications for positions on the Architectural Commission and the Landmarks Preservation Commission. Architectural Commission seats now held by vice chairwoman Ann Vanneck and architect-member Richard Sammons expire in March, as do the landmarks seats held by that board’s chairman, William Cooley, and architect Jacqueline Albarran, who holds the nonresident expert position.

The architectural board reviews and approves changes to existing structures and approves new construction projects. The board has seven regular members and three alternates.
This applies to Town of Palm Beach residents only, unless you are considered an expert and can qualify for the "nonresident" position.

Tsolkas in the Post

Everglades EarthFirst! leader Panagioti Tsolkas wrote a Commentary article in the Palm Beach Post today, answering the Post's editorial supporting the Scripps/Kolter project for the Briger Tract. If you have been following the Briger drama, this is akin to waving the white flag. Mr. Tsolkas makes some good points but mostly the commentary is a rehash of old history. The train, as they say, has left the station. From the Commentary by Mr. Tsolkas:
Now that clearing land has begun on Briger, and the developers know that Everglades Earth First! and the Palm Beach County Environmental Coalition have been collecting data (and using motion-detecting cameras which, I might add, are much more reliable for detecting wildlife than supposed “snake-sniffing dogs”), they have admitted to the presence of 75 tortoises in the area where the current work is anticipated to have an impact.

This new information places the actual number of burrows in Briger at likely over a hundred, with each one providing habitat for literally hundreds of other species — including some of Florida’s most endangered critters. It’s also worth noting that gopher tortoises are on the brink of being uplisted from “Threatened” status to “Endangered,” for the exact reason of developments like this.
I am sure that all of their work is not "results oriented" and adheres to all scientific and biological research protocols and methods. Remember, this group was the one that said nothing should be done at the beach due to the presence of ancient archeological resources, including the possibility of human remains. None were ever found during the process that was overseen by archeological experts.

No mention of that battery in the lake

Friday, December 26, 2014

The Holidays can be lonely times...

Something to keep in mind...

Check out the Lake Worth VisitFlorida website

Somebody has been working the VisitFlorida site that promotes Florida worldwide. VisitFlorida is the number one website for tourists to discover our wonderful state. You can upload your own pictures from Lake Worth and VisitFlorida has one picture I sent them. This is what you see now when you visit the VisitFlorida page for Lake Worth:

Thursday, December 25, 2014

A Christmas present to Lake Worth from Channel 5

[UPDATE! Ari Hait at Channel 25 (WPBF) got it wrong too. And read how Channel 12's correction is also incorrect at the end of this post!]

Yesterday there was a fire in Lake Worth. A house was destroyed on the 8000 block of Marshwood Lane. The good news is no one was injured. If you are familiar with Lake Worth, you might say to yourself, "Hmmm, I didn't know the City of Lake Worth had a Marshwood Lane." There is no Marshwood Lane in Lake Worth. The unfortunate fire occurred at a house with a Lake Worth mailing address west of the Turnpike, also called "suburban Lake Worth".

Last night the Channel 5 (WPTV) story about the fire by Tamara Phillips initially got it wrong. She reported that the fire occurred in Lake Worth. But guess what! This morning the story was changed and Channel 5 edited their story. Tamara Phillips changed the location in the story to "suburban Lake Worth"! Thank you Tamara Phillips and Merry Christmas to you and your colleagues there at Channel 5.

Then there is Channel 12 (WPEC).

Not only did Israel Balderas get the location wrong (and it is still incorrect as of 10:00 a.m. today) he has "Lake Park" labelled below his live screen shot. The problems at Channel 12 have reached crisis levels. And don't forget, it was Israel Balderas who recently reported on a "Holy War" in Lake Worth in the days leading up to Christmas. Usually during holiday periods, the second and third string staff members are at the controls at the TV stations, so such gaffs are partially excusable.
Ari Hait at WPBF also got the location of the fire scene wrong. Like Channel 12 he is unaware of the municipal boundaries of the City of Lake Worth. (Recently Ari Hait misreported John Prince Park as being in Lake Worth. It is not.) Mr. Hait is not new to the news business; according to his bio he is a 20-year veteran in the news business. Location, of course, is an integral part of a news story. 

Channel 12 has corrected their news story. Unfortunately, the correction is incorrect. They changed the location of the fire scene from Lake Worth to Lake Park. 

For our friends at Channel 12 and Channel 25 the fire scene location is thus: Suburban Lake Worth. Here is a link where you can learn about the difference between the City of Lake Worth and suburban Lake Worth.

Happy Holidays from the President and First Lady

The Queen's 2014 Christmas Message...Reconciliation

Delray cops getting clever with bike thieves

Read this from the Sun Sentinel how the police in Delray are handling bike thefts:
After a surge of bike thefts in Delray Beach, police left an unlocked bike against a tree Monday and waited for someone to steal it.

Police said they put an electronic surveillance device in the bike left on the 100 block of South Ocean Boulevard and waited. Then at 8:05 a.m., an alert told police the bike was moving.
Police said the bike is valued at $189.76 but due to the $450 surveillance device inside, the total value of the theft is raised to $639.76, landing Pierre with a grand theft charge.
I know that our local PBSO uses decoy bikes, but not sure if they employ the surveillance device or not.


From the NAPC:
Thank You PBSO! Captain Rolando Silva, Detective Monique Wilson, Sgt. Rick Ponce, Deputy Joseph Durso, Lt. David Moss, police artist Paul Moody and all the PBSO men and women who made this a high priority. Not only has the suspect been apprehended, but PBSO has again gone above and beyond in communicating with this community they serve. If you'd like to express your thoughts about this excellent work, please email Capt. Silva at

A favorite seasonal hymn of mine...

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Lake Worth's Palm Beach Post beat reporter, copy and paste journalism?

Today our local beat reporter Chris Persaud hit the big time! He has a Palm Beach Post front page below the fold story about the release of the movie The Interview. Maybe you have heard about it. Below the news story byline and preceding the first paragraph was this: "NEW YORK". Why is that I thought to myself ? 

I copied a sentence and Googled it, here is what I found. This is an Associated Press story from December 23rd. When I printed out the story from the Associated Press and compared it to the story by Chris Persaud I found more than a few similarities. 

What I have below is the text from Chris Persaud's story in the Palm Beach Post and, highlighted in yellow, is the exact same wording, WORD FOR WORD, from the Associated Press article:

At the end of Chris Persaud's article is the line: "The Associated Press contributed to this story."

The Associated Press did in fact contribute to the story by Chris Persaud, most of it.

High honor given to local Palm Beach County Haitian minister...

John Kennedy from the Post On Politics blog has this story about a high honor given to local Palm Beach County Haitian minister:
A Haitian minister from West Palm Beach will deliver the benediction at the opening event of Gov. Rick Scott’s inaugural ceremonies, county Republican leaders said.

Rev. Mathieu Jean-Baptiste, senior pastor of United Haitian Baptist Church on Parker Avenue, is scheduled to help preside over the Jan. 6 prayer breakfast at Florida A&M University in Tallahassee, which precedes the governor’s noontime swearing-in.

Scott and Jean-Baptiste bonded earlier this year when the governor attended a pastors’ meeting in West Palm Beach and later a Haitian-American religious gathering in Greenacres, according to the county GOP.

Florida is the state with the third largest population - Now official

This is big news not because it's unexpected (everyone knew it would happen) but because it is now official: Florida has surpassed New York State in population. As Christine Stapleton reports the county-by-county numbers aren't out yet. This story in the Post today will fire up the debate about where all these people are going to reside, in our existing urban areas or in new westward sprawl. Here is an excerpt from the article by Christine Stapleton and pay particular attention to the last paragraph:

Sorry New Yorkers: There are officially more of us than youse.

Census population estimates released Tuesday show the population of Florida — 19.9 million — has surpassed that of the Empire state — 19.7 million, making Florida the third most populous state in the country.

Florida earned a spot among the top three by adding 293,000 new residents between July 1, 2013 and July 1, 2014, an average of 803 a day. By contrast, New York added 51,000 residents during that year.

California remained the nation’s most populous state, with 38.8 million residents, followed by Texas at 27 million. Overall, the U.S. population increased by 2.4 million to 318.9 million.

County-level numbers were not released. However,
Palm Beach County’s estimated population of 1.3 million is greater than the population of nine states, including Rhode Island, Montana, Vermont and Wyoming.

Check this out - Google's self-driving car

Click title for link and check out this video:

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

From PBSO - Have you seen this man?

"This is not cool. Do you recognize who this is in this sketch? This unknown male enters occupied residence and assaults husband and wife.

The unknown black male, is 5’10” to 6’0” tall, 25 – 33 years of age, stocky build with shoulder length dreadlocks. He was wearing a dark colored shirt and dark pants.

This occupied burglary occurred on December 21, 2014, 2:39 am, in the 300 block of South K Street, Lake Worth.

If anyone can identify this suspect they are urged to contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-458-TIPS.

Please #Share and together we could catch this bad guy."

Breaking news from Christine Stapleton at the Post!

Remember Lake Worthians the last August 26th's bond vote when all those provisional ballots were not counted due to clerk error? What if you discovered in the November 4th election, only 71 days later, voters cast votes that the poll workers knew were wrong but the votes were counted? That would sound on the face of it like a double standard, right? In a story in the Palm Beach Post that will be in tomorrow's print edition THAT IS WHAT HAPPENED! Oddly enough, one of the precinct locations where the most errors were made was the Scottish Rite Masonic Center, precinct 3040, in Lake Worth.

Here is an excerpt from the article by Christine Stapleton:
Poll workers at 11 Palm Beach County precincts gave the wrong ballot to more than 100 voters on election day, according to a report compiled by county Supervisor of Elections Susan Bucher.
Of the 109 wrong ballots issued, precinct 3040 at the Lake Worth Scottish Rite Masonic Center in Lake Worth topped the list with 46 wrong ballots. Precincts 3042 at the First Congregational Church on North K Street in Lake Worth and 7204 at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Delray Beach each had 21 wrong ballots issued.
I am sure there will be much more to come on this.

Must read from the Washington Post - How Miami Beach attempts to build itself "safe" from sea level rise...

Click here for link to entire article. Here's a portion:
But Miami Beach needs this penthouse — and many more like it. The more developers build here, the more taxes and fees the city collects to fund a $300-million storm water project to defend the shore against the rising sea. Approval of these luxury homes on what environmentalists warn is global warming quicksand amounts to a high-stakes bet that Miami Beach can, essentially, out-build climate change and protect its $27 billion worth of real estate.
The move makes budgetary sense in a state with no income tax: Much of South Florida’s public infrastructure is supported by property taxes.
And there's this. Remember how those against the bond issue wanted more analysis and facts?
The $300 million project is ambitious for a city with a $502 million annual budget. A new stormwater utility fee on homeowners, hotels and stores helped Miami Beach save enough money to borrow the first $100 million.
The project started before planners worked out all the funding. It’s unclear how the city will raise the rest. “We don’t have time for analysis-paralysis,” said Levine. We are going to have to get creative.”

Another Palm Beach County municipality that not only received the message, it's broadcasting it.

Time for some good news...

From Bill Gates in his Good News You May Have Missed in 2014 wrote about this good news you probably didn't hear about:
To me, one of the best ways to measure progress is to look at how many children are dying of preventable causes. And today, more kids are living to see their fifth birthday than ever before. This year, for at least the 42nd year in a row, the child mortality rate has fallen. And it’s not just moving in the right direction—it’s falling faster than anyone expected. The Economist ran a great article about this in September, where it estimated that just since 2001, the world has saved 13.6 million children’s lives. It’s hard to think of a better sign the world is improving.

Desperately seeking Susan in Greenfield...

This cat has nine lives! Spring Training baseball coming to John Prince Park?

For those of you following the Spring Training baseball story in Palm Beach County (PBC), an interesting story appeared in the Palm Beach Post yesterday. It comes on the heels of many stories in the Post and the Sun Sentinel on Spring Training in PBC. First, everyone can agree that the PBC Commission is going to find a location for the Washington Nationals and Houston Astros, that is a given. Second, the talks between the county and West Palm Beach have taken on a Kabuki flair which lead some to surmise those talks are a purposeful misdirection and obfuscation for the real objective: a baseball stadium and a practice facility in John Prince Park.

First, here is the title from Joe Capozzi's article: "Palm Beach County parks director with baseball past walks fine line in stadium talks". Notice that Mr. Capozzi didn't write, Palm Beach County parks director with baseball past WALKED a fine line in stadium talks. The headline by Mr. Capozzi would lead one to conclude that Eric Call, the director of the Palm Beach County parks department, is now walking a "fine line" in "stadium talks". 

Then there is this from the article:
“Eric [Call] handled it beautifully,” said Glen Torcivia, the city attorney for Lake Worth, which continues to support a John Prince Park site. “He realized baseball could be good. But he always advocated his wish to preserve the park.”
Now read the following from Mr. Capozzi's article:
The teams say the north-end site is too small. Tthe [sic] southern site would require filling in “navigable waterways” including those connecting Lake Osbourne [sic] to Square Lake, something the teams said in a Dec. 5 letter would take “an enormous permitting effort,” including permits from the Army Corps of Engineers.

But IF THE PARK DOES COME UP AGAIN [emphasis added], the teams might ask Call about his baseball background. He said it never came up during meetings earlier this year.
For those who strongly support Spring Training in John Prince Park keep up the faith! Don't throw away those colorful baseball caps and get ready for a celebration somewhere with Mel and Vinnie singing "It Feels Like Home To Me". 

"It ain't over till it's over." --Yogi Berra

Monday, December 22, 2014

Ho-Ho-Ho! Happy Holidays!

From Facebook, Jupiter PD recognizing appreciation for their service to the community...

Violent Home Invasion in Lake Worth. From the NAPC...

On December 21st at 2:30 AM, one of our Lake Worth families suffered a vicious home invasion. The husband was attacked and rendered unconscious. The wife was attacked but fought back hard trying to lead the attacker out of the house. She suffered a black eye and bruises and loosened teeth. The 13 year old daughter retreated to her bedroom where she immediately called 911. The attacker fled the scene but the description and details provided to PBSO will surely help in apprehending this criminal. 

The NAPC joins with all our neighbors in expressing our deepest concern for this family and many of us will be calling on them in the days ahead to offer what assistance we can as they put their lives back together.

One of our greatest assets in this city is the partnership our Neighborhoods have with PBSO. They have the resources, but more importantly, they have the commitment to follow through on this crime and bring that particular vicious criminal to justice. There is also so much we can do to help PBSO protect our homes and families and our neighbors before this happens again.

Last year, all the Presidents of all the Neighborhood Associations met with PBSO and were given a tour of the entire City and the dangers we all face. What we learned is that the threat to our neighborhoods come from multiple factors - The appalling number of vacant and abandoned homes used by drug dealers, prostitutes and thieves. That alone touches on the complexity of the problem. Poor or non-existent lighting in the neighborhoods at night. Houses (occupied and not) shrouded in unkempt vegetation providing cover for criminal activity.

The inordinately high percentage of rental properties, many owned by absentee landlords who care NOT! This is not a slam towards renters! We are a very accepting and welcoming Community. No one cares if neighbors own or rent their homes - what creates stability in a neighborhood are people who engage regardless of whether they pay a mortgage or rent! Everyone is welcome at Neighborhood Association meetings and it is through those Associations that we can help ourselves and help PBSO.

So what can we do as neighbors? Make The Call Y'all every time and any time we witness suspicious activity. Get a Neighborhood Crime Watch up and running. The NAPC knows how to do this and we can help! Identify your neighborhood as a NEIGHBORHOOD - get street banners up! The NAPC has received a grant to help pay for these. The County is about to start a new series of neighborhood improvement classes and there is a $5,000 grant opportunity attached to this program. Sign up! 

Help each other clean up and clear out runaway vegetation. Through your Neighborhood Association, request street lights where there are none. Make it a habit to turn on porch lights and check on neighbors whose homes remain dark after dark. They may just need a little help installing lights. Sign up for the PBSO Citizens On Patrol (COP) program. Volunteers are trained and allowed to patrol when they wish, where they wish in specially marked PBSO cruisers. These COP volunteers use cell phones to report suspicious activity directly to PBSO.

What's easy is to sit back and blame PBSO or the City when terrible things like this happen. Easy - but not very productive. We have to take an active role in our own security and we have to do it SAFELY. Never ever confront suspicious persons yourselves! NEVER. Here's a link to the NAPC website page detailing some of the PBSO programs and services that we have access to.

This time, it was one of our Downtown Jewel Neighbors that was attacked, but it could have been any of us. At the NAPC, we recognize that our neighborhoods have boundaries, but we affirm that our commitment to each other does not. All the best in the new year to this brave family from the entire family of Lake Worth Neighbors.

The Florida Panther is coming back and it is hungry

From Christine Stapleton at the Post comes this story about the Florida Panther and the rising number of these native predators. In the article it is noted there have been no attacks on humans and also no sightings in Palm Beach County. From the article:
Endangered Florida panthers killed more pets and livestock this year than ever recorded, an indication that efforts to save the big cats have been successful, biologists say.

More than 50 domestic animals were killed in 32 incidents according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

All but one of the incidents occurred in Collier County, with the most frequent spot being Golden Gate Estates, a vast Acreage-type community neighboring the Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge, Everglades National Park and the Big Cypress National Preserve. The one other report was a calf killed in Hendry County, just west of Palm Beach County.

Pinkie Delving into foreign policy?

Anyone with even a pedestrian knowledge of press freedom knows that China is one of the most oppressive regimes on the planet. You can read about the Chinese oppression of bloggers here from The Guardian. A blogger convicted of "separatism" was recently sentenced to life in prison. The source Reporters Without Borders has their 2013 World Press Freedom Index where they list 179 countries in order of press freedom from best to worst.

Number one on the list of countries for freedom of the press is Finland. The United States comes in at the rank of 32. North Korea comes in at 178 (eh-hem to my friends at Lake Worth Community). Cuba and China come in at 171 and 173, respectively. 

If you are a reader of Lynn Anderson's blog and excitedly purchased your plane ticket to Beijing you might want to reconsider. To further clarify how incorrect she is, here is another news report from The Guardian:
Michelle Obama on Saturday [March 22, 2014] told students in China, which has some of the world's tightest restrictions on the internet, that freedom of speech and unfettered access to information make countries stronger and should be universal rights.

The first lady was speaking Saturday at Peking University in Beijing during a week-long trip aimed at promoting educational exchanges between the US and China. The trip also took on political overtones when she was granted a previously unscheduled meeting with Chinese president Xi Jinping on Friday.

Mrs Obama said the free flow of information is crucial “because that's how we discover truth, that's how we learn what's really happening in our communities and our country and our world”.
I suggest that we contact the Chinese embassy in Washington, D.C., flooding it with letters urging the authorities to send the other blogger to China for five years and give her the same Internet privileges that the average Chinese citizen has. Rosetta Stone would be a great gift for her so that she can master Mandarin, one of the easier languages to learn. Then, her main focus should be the need for Taiwanese independence and self-determination, along with a free Tibet.

Holiday Message from ROLO

We have a lovely message from our ROLO neighborhood association to everyone in the City of Lake Worth. They wish us all a "Happy Hanukkah, Joyous Kwanzaa, and Merry Christmas" in "our [respective] neck of the woods". Sadly, the ROLO neighborhood has had a rise in burglaries of late and they mention that in their Holiday message, in the first paragraph. Burglaries, of course, are crimes that have and will always occur and that is one of the reasons for the Lake Worth Neighborhood Association Presidents' Council (NAPC). For example, the College Park Neighborhood Association has created a Neighborhood Watch that can be a model for other neighborhoods in our City of Lake Worth. 

We all wish ROLO the best of luck keeping their neighborhood safe and wish them...Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas ROLO!!!

Here is the ROLO Holiday Message:

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Motto of a few in our community..."There shall be no merriment!"

Former commissioner JoAnn Golden in one of her classic photoshops from the Tom McGow archivesused with permission

The city taketh away and giveth at the same time - the Lake Worth Utility App.

People were surprised to get this announcement from the city.  Some posted it on various Lake Worth pages on Facebook and it generated some keyboard ire. I believe they had them at the counter where you pay your utility bill.

I used to pay regularly on-line, but within the past two months, I've had trouble with accessing the website payment portal. It says it can't confirm my password and I try to reset it, to no avail. (Ultimately I had to reset it and found a way to do it was to install what I am about to describe.) And, if you do pay online, you need to use Microsoft Explorer as your browser, which I haven't used in years. When it was working for me, it was fine and you got a confirmation which you could print out or save, which gave you a bit of assurance. Oh, but you couldn't save your payment information, even if you told it to save the information in your "billfold." You had to re-enter it every time.

Since having my on-line problems I have decided to pay in person. The cashier area in the City Hall Annex has been removed from the customer service area (a blessing). And the area is actually attractive, with a nautical or seaside theme, complete with ropes and seashells.

After January 1st, per the notice above, you will pay $2 per bill as a "convenience fee" each time you pay your bill as a "walk-in". You can see other methods that do not carry a charge including online payments, drop box, etc. in the notice above. The downside to any non-attended payment method is that you really do not get a receipt and are unsure of whether or not your transaction happened and when.

There are also many people in Lake Worth that use cash regularly and do not have bank accounts. Thus, a $2 fee may be more of an impact to our population compared with other cities. And, as you will read below,  I don't think that the average Lake Worthian will be able to navigate through the process that I describe in order to avoid the fee.

So, imagine my surprise when I received this included with this month's utility bill.
I will skip to the chase and tell you that I was able to install the scanner and the app on one of my devices, and eventually was able to pay my bill via the device. But there are some things of which you must be aware before starting down this road. It is not an easy trip. This is coming from someone who is more tech savvy than average, IMHO.

These suggestions apply only to Android devices. Your experience on an iPhone may be different.

Do's and Don'ts:

  •  Do not type "City of Lake Worth" into the Google Play app. These are the sorts of results you will get if you do - see above. The City of Lake Worth utility app will not be one of them.
  • Do install the QR Scan app first. This is an easy search on Google Play and there are many options. I chose the one that was listed first and it worked as intended.
  • Do activate the QR scanning app, tap on the appropriate area that says something like "Scan QR Code". Then hover your device over the QR code on the bottom left part of the sheet that the city sent with your utility bill. It will instantly recognize the QR code. Then click the lower left area of the screen that says "Go to Website."
  • Do that and your screen will look like this.
    Notice that it says that "Your device is not compatible with this version." This was first attempted with a new Galaxy Note 4. I tried it on my Galaxy 3 and it would have worked. I tried it on my Nexus 7 tablet, which was compatible, and I was able to install it on that device.  Eventually, like I said, I was able to pay my bill.
    • Do have your Google password ready as it will ask you for that before it installs the app. That is the prompt after you hit "install." 
    • Do have your utility bill handy as it will ask you for your utility account number. You can find that on the upper right-hand part of your bill. However, if you enter that number once you activate the app, it won't recognize the account. It turns out that you have to enter 4 leading zeros to the first set of numbers left of the dash and 5 leading zeros after the dash. For example, if your account number is XXXX-YYYY, you would enter 0000XXXX-00000YYYY. Nowhere in the app does this tell you to do this. I stumbled upon this fact while trying to change my password to a new one using the city's existing system on the website. There you can see the leading zeros on the screen you use to change your password. This will be lost on many who try this. I have already submitted a comment to the app provider through the app itself, along with other suggestions, so I will let you know what sort of response I get.
    • Do use a capital letter in your password and follow all other instructions as to number of letters, etc.
    • Do not use the full name of the state the credit card bill is sent to. It will not process the payment and give you an invalid response. Do only use the two letter abbreviation for the state. 
    • If successful, you will get a notification on your screen that will acknowledge that your payment was made. My first successful attempt was done on a Sunday, so you can pay your bill anytime of the week or time of day.
    • The main screen will also display your last month's bill, which is nice. There are also ways to check your historic consumption of water and electric back to January 2013, which is also a nice feature. This feature is also available online if you care to check it out there.
    The good news is that if you get through the installation process, you will be emailed a coupon! It turns out the coupon will look like this and it is for a Dunkin' Donuts treat:
    The "oops" here is that the coupon is not for a business in the city of Lake Worth. It isn't good for the one that replaced the one that we did have in the City that is now on South Dixie Hwy. in West Palm Beach. These are the locations where you can redeem your coupon. [Added later: the 10th Avenue North location is within the city limits of Lake Worth. I would recommend you go there.]
    So, remember IT CAN BE DONE. EVERYTHING IS POSSIBLE. You just need to devote a lot of time to it, it is not intuitive and you need the correct device.

    I hope that this helps someone before they think they've hit a dead end.