Saturday, January 11, 2014

Karaoke starting at The Mad Hatter - Sundays 4 to 8 p.m.

 16th Avenue North and Dixie Hwy.

Nice to have karaoke start in the afternoon. I used to host karaoke here, as some may remember, and we always had a good crowd. I will be sure to stop in and sing a few.
Update: I have been there a few times and it's starting to catch on. Come check it out tomorrow and have a little fun. Walk or ride your bike if you live near by.



1 WSW HYPOLUXO 22.21 800 AM 1/10 
1 SW PALM BEACH 16.03 800 AM 1/10 
LANTANA 15.04 800 AM 1/10 MESONET
1 ESE LANTANA 14.79 700 AM 1/10 
1 E LANTANA 12.46 800 AM 1/10 MESONET
2 NW BOYNTON BEACH 11.00 800 AM 1/10 
PALM BEACH 10.75 800 AM 1/10 MESONET
1 NNW LAKE WORTH 8.72 800 AM 1/10 
1 N LAKE WORTH 8.58 800 AM 1/10 COCORAHS
JUNO BEACH 7.94 800 AM 1/10 CO-OP 

Heavy rains lead to flood of calls to safety officials |

Impacts from the recent deluge, told in Palm Beach style, as reported in the Shiny Sheet. Click title for link.
The couple decided to have a drink and wait it out. “It was a bloody lake between the church (Bethesda-by-the-Sea) and the north side of The Breakers,” Doug Anderson said. “We had cars in front of and behind us. At that time, I was just south of The Breakers’ main entrance, and I realized that The Breakers was on high ground, so I drove up the hill and in.” But when the hotel offered a $90 “emergency rate” to anyone wanting a room for the night, they thought, “Why not?”While the Andersons were lucky not to get stranded, dozens of others were not so fortunate after a historic amount of rain fell late Thursday and Friday morning, including more than 13 inches in at least one island location.

The Slow-Motion Lynching Of President Barack Obama | FlaglerLive – Your News Service for Flagler County News Palm Coast News Bunnell Flagler Beach Beverly Beach and Marineland

Interesting and astute observations by Frank Schaeffer, a former right-winger, about the trials and tribulations of our 44th President. I will be hosting Claire Conner as a guest on High Noon in Lake Worth this coming Friday. She is author of Wrapped in the Flag which she refers to as "a personal history of America's radical right." Ms. Conner's father was a national spokesman for the John Birch Society for more than 30 years. She says that such a world view tore apart her family and we now see it tearing apart our nation.

This is from Frank Schaeffer's article, click title for link.
One famous liberal commentator wrote a book on how Ronald Reagan and Tip O’Neil could disagree and still be friends. Why, he asked on many a TV show promoting his book, couldn’t President Obama be like that?
Because, I yelled at the screen, those two men were white Irish Americans and part of a ruling white oligarchy.
Because, I yelled, you might as well ask why Nelson Mandela didn’t talk his jailers in South Africa into seeing reason.
Because, I yelled, the President is black and anytime he’s reached out he’s pulled back a bloody stump.
Because, I yelled, liberal white commentators have been as bothered by a black man in the White House, who’s smarter than they are as much as right wing bigots have been bothered.
Because, I yelled, President Obama has been lied about, attacked, vilified, and disrespected since Day One.
Because, I yelled, this country may have passed laws so blacks can vote and eat in a white man’s world, but in our hearts are stuck in a place more like 1952 than 2013.

No TV airing for Gardens meetings, but maybe web video |

This should be a "no brainer" for Palm Beach Gardens. You don't need to haul in all the heavy television infrastructure, like dealing with cable companies and expensive cameras. To his credit, City Manager Bornstein saw the need for video broadcast of meetings upon his arrival to Lake Worth. I remember him telling me that he was getting all these outrageously high estimates from the city's IT department on what it would take to do it. Upon hearing this, he told his people to get to Office Depot and pick up a webcam. It ended up being about $50, I think. Now, most of the time, we can enjoy live-streaming of meetings that are held in the City Commission chambers. 

Anyone can take video or record any meeting as long as it doesn't interfere and draw attention to itself in some way. I've gotten into the habit of videoing the City Commission meetings on top of what the city is already doing and putting those on YouTube. By having them in short segments, I think it makes it more accessible for people who are looking for just a specific item. And all the investment there is really my time and the initial cost of good camera, which can be used for other things.

It seems that one Palm Beach Gardens resident has taken matters into his own hands by doing the same thing that I am doing. Click title for link to article.
Webcasting could cost $13,000 to $25,000 for cameras, depending on now many and their quality; the city also would face service charges of $3,000-$25,000 per year, Holdt said. There also could be costs for computer storage of meeting footage for on-demand viewing.
Tarr videotaped most of Thursday’s meeting with a handheld camera and posted some of it on the website YouTube to show how easily it could be done. His tape can be viewed by going to and searching the terms “Palm Beach Gardens City Council Meeting.”
“I don’t think it should be a controversial issue,” he said. “Shouldn’t every city council member want to be open with their constituents?”
This is Mr. Tarr's video of their January 9th meeting - I would recommend investing in a tripod. I applaud his efforts.

The City of Boynton Beach also videos their meetings as a regular part of city operations. It is done fairly professionally and those are posted on YouTube as well. Here is an example of a recent meeting there.

Check out the December issue of the Palm Beach Sun

Fane Lozman, formerly of Riviera Beach and two time High Noon in Lake Worth guest is featured on the cover. Fane also has a section of the paper called The Fane Lozman Report.

Gov. Scott wants $100 million for Visit Florida | The Florida Current

The amount seems a little excessive in light of other state priorities. This would include greater outreach in the form of advertisements in targeted national and international markets. This seems contrary in a budget year that Governor Scott is naming what he's naming it. See below, click title for link to article.
“We are on track for another record (tourism) year, and we hope to build on this incredible momentum and make the Sunshine State the No. 1 travel destination in the world.  To do that, we are going to recommend an historic $100 million in our 'It’s Your Money Tax Cut Budget' this year,” Scott said.

FIUSM | Student Media at Florida International University

Set your DVRs. Click title for link to article.
The documentary will air January 15, 2014, at 8 p.m., on WPBT2 and it will be followed by a half hour panel discussion where Pinto and four experts, including three interviewed in the documentary, will address sea level rise in South Florida.
Both the documentary and the panel will be available to stream online at
As for what’s next for the professors, they envision “South Florida’s Rising Seas” as the first of a series of short documentaries about environmental and science communication, and it will be accompanied by an annual report and a website informing the public about updates in the issue.

Friday, January 10, 2014

10 abandoned hotels -

The Gulfstream Hotel in Lake Worth did not make this international list. Click title for link.

Preview - E-mails from Dee - Item One

Just because the public can do so and has a right to see public records, I requested recent e-mail correspondence between members of the City Commission, our City Manager and Dee McNamara. The request yielded about 50 exchanges. The above is just one of the collection. Click for larger image. Expect more to be published periodically. Enjoy!

Coming attractions...

I just finished an interview with Claudia Jane Klein, a Lake Worth artist/sculptor, about some of her private and public commissions. This picture is taken in front of her work called Mermaid. It is in the Triangle Park at the west side of the Lake Worth bridge, between Lake and Lucerne Avenues. Here is some information about her recent public installation in Sarasota.

Stay tuned for the video, coming soon.


Bharata a large scale aluminum sculpture by Claudia Jane Klein of Lake Worth was recently purchased by the City of Sarasota and permanently installed opposite the Selby Public Library and Sarasota Opera House in Selby Five Points Park in the heart of the downtown historic district.

In 2010 this abstract figurative sculpture was first displayed for a year in Sarasota when it won Second Place from among a hundred entries in Sarasota's nationwide public art competition 'Intersections'.

Bharata represents the yoga pose called the scorpion. It continues the artist's theme promoting exercise, yoga, dance, sports, and mediation to achieve harmony and well-being. The sculpture was inspired by her yoga instructor Bharata for his dedication and relentless efforts to help his students gain inner peace.

For twenty years Ms. Klein has fabricated sculptures and fountains in her downtown Lake Worth studio. Locally she is well known for her often photographed large patinaed Mermaid sculpture installed in 2001 in Triangle Park between Lake and Lucerne Avenues adjacent to the Intracoastal Waterway.

She is continually creating new work for public and private collections including Art in Public Places throughout the Southeastern United States. Currently her sculptures are on display in Columbus Georgia, Ocala, and Safety Harbor Florida, and at the Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art in Auburn Alabama.

She readily accepts public and private commissions, and looks forward to new challenges and clients to help further her passion for sculpture. More examples of her sculptures can be viewed on her website and she can be contacted by email at

Friends of the Library Meeting and Meet the Author Evening Series

Dear Friends,

The Lake Worth Friends of the Library will meet Tuesday, January 14, at 5:30 p.m. in the dining room of the South Shores Tavern (Corner of M Street and Lucerne - across from the Library). The meeting will end by 6:30 p.m.

We will be making plans and signing up volunteers for our upcoming book sale. We need helpers to sort books on Friday, January 24 in the City Hall Annex from 1 - 3 p.m. And we need volunteers to help at the book sale on Saturday, January 25th, in shifts from 9 a.m. till 3:30 p.m. 
Meet the author evenings are held at the Lake Worth Public Library, 15 North M St., Lake Worth on Thursdays beginning at 7:00 pm. Authors will have copies of their books available for sale and you may have them autographed if you wish. Light refreshments will be served sponsored by the Friends of the Lake Worth Library.

Thursday, January  23rd
This book offers a blueprint for dramatically improving student achievement in an urban elementary school. It tells the story of a school's dramatic transformation, in one year, from being among the lowest performing into a school whose standardized test scores were impressive and competitive. Author, Dr Janice Scott Cover, veteran educator, using her proprietary transformation model, affirms that children can overcome academic weaknesses when effective instructional and administrative strategies are employed in a supportive, collaborative and organized school environment. The book also asserts that students can take responsibility for their own learning and behavior, and experience school success. Whether your school is urban or rural, and you are a school administrator, teacher, policy maker or education advocate, this book will prove an invaluable resource.
Dr. Cover has had an extensive career as an educator and school administrator.  Currently she is the President & CEO at Improving Schools Consulting Services and an adjunct instructor at Nova Southeastern University. She has been a teacher, assistant principal, principal and Director of Elementary School District of Palm Beach County Schools.
Thursday, February 6th “Scary Story: an Anthology by Cynthia Morrison, et al.
Summer's fading, and there's more than the bite of autumn in the air. Zombies are biting in ‘Last Dawn,’ and that's just a taste of Scary Story, a collection of twisted fiction and dark fantasy that's guaranteed to keep you turning pages and checking your back. The undeads in ‘The Path of Dead Roses’ are more ethereal, but whether or not the posy-plucking polters have the key to helping the heroine's troubled father is as uncertain as their very existence, and can only be discovered by readers brave enough to wander down that path. An extra-sensual treat is detailed in ‘The Wrinkled Duplex Halfway up the Hill,’ unveiling suburban secrets and mysteries particular to those wild enough to explore. ‘Silent Night’ turns frightful when a young girl left alone on Christmas Eve improvises her own holiday cheer. From the haunted coal mines in ‘Paradise Lost,’ to iffy experiments on a med student’s trusting wife in ‘Fire of Faith,’ there's something for every horror fan in this anthology. Ms. Morrison has written the story Fire of Faith.
Thursday, February 13th
The Cottages, a fun-loving community, offers every conceivable excitement but murder. That changes when Ralph Albano snatches a jeep during an early bird special without realizing an elderly woman is in the back seat until she begins snoring. But he can’t turn back. This can’t be happening. Not now when he was so close to completing the deal.
Hilarious story with zany characters residing at The Cottages. What a fun place to live!
Fred Lichtenberg is a native New Yorker who lives with his wife in Jupiter, Florida. He has one son. A passion for writing, Fred, who worked for the Federal Government, exchanged hats and is currently writing full time. He is the author of Hunter’s World, a murder mystery set on New York’s Long Island, which was released by Five Star Publishing in May 2011. Fred’s next novel, “Murder 1040: The Final Audit” will be released in 2014.
Thursday, February 20th,TopRight,1,0_SH20_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg “From One Place to Another “ by Carol White
Dina and Mark Marshall, a nouveau riche couple in their thirties, live at Boca Forest, the top country club in Boca Raton, Florida, where they vie to keep up with wealthier residents. Mark, a financial planner and popular golf partner, regularly invites club members to partake in Dina's gourmet dinners in an attempt to further his business that affords them a luxurious Florida lifestyle. When Mark suddenly leaves his wife for the hot, younger blonde Taffie and the two take off for Key West, Dina finds little solace in her family and "friendships"--instead, she trumps her initial self-doubt and turns her obsessive list-making tendency into a flourishing home-catering business. Intent on keeping her head above the water and winning back her husband, Dina encounters a dashing young fellow chef and all-around great guy, Dex Ryder. Now everyone's talking--and not just about her fantastic cuisine. Dina's life is definitely on the upswing...until it all comes crashing down. Laugh, cry and cook with Dina as she discovers her true friends and decides where and with whom her future lies.

Carol White, a Delray Beach resident, is an award-winning novelist, playwright and free-lance writer. Her essays, stories and columns have been published by The Sun Sentinel, Writers Journal, Insight for Playwrights, Working Writers, Woman's World, The Florida Writer, and Senior Scene. She is a frequent fiction contributor to the East Hampton Star Newspaper. Carol is also a member of the prestigious boutique group of authors, The Booklovers Bench - Carol’s previous book was titled Hidden Choices. Her third novel, "Sitting Pretty" due out later this year will include a variety of short stories plus a bonus novella.


We hope to see all of you there!

Thank you,

June Evans

Florida pizzeria offers Everglades pie topped with alligator, frog and PYTHON | Mail Online

They could also add iguana (aka chicken of the tree) and Lion Fish (invasive species reeking havoc on our reef system). Click title for link.

Weather Matters by John Nelander » Blog Archive » Collision of warm front, low over Palm Beach triggers ‘historical’ flooding

From the Shiny Sheet, a recounting of the flooding on Palm Beach island and an explanation by a meteorologist on what happened to cause such heavy rain in so short a period. Click title for link.

Wellington’s Trash Trucks Switching To Natural Gas Power

I believe that Lake Worth's run on  bio-diesel. Click title for link which explains Wellington's approach.

Anyone know about how strong our seawall is?

A portion of Indian River Drive in St. Lucie County has collapsed. We're told that Indian River Drive from Midway Drive to County Line is closed. More than a dozen intersections in St. Lucie County are experiencing flooding. What's it like where you live? Click here for latest on the flooding, road closures and pictures: Photo Courtesy: Will Greenlee, TCPalm

Proposed bills would end fireworks ban in Florida | Tallahassee Democrat |

You wouldn't know that they were banned around here come New Year's Eve or the Fourth of July. Click title for link.
Current state law allows the sale of only sparklers and devices considered “novelties and trick noisemakers,” forcing serious fireworks aficionados to travel across state lines for more explosive fare. Fireworks that would otherwise be illegal in Florida also are available at retail locations as long as customers fill out a form saying they will use them for agricultural purposes only, namely to scare away birds.

Festival of Trees coming to Lake Worth |

Notice in the Post about our Festival of Trees. Click title for link. Here is Richard Stowe, chair of the Tree Board telling the City Commission about the event at this week's City Commission meeting. The Festival is Saturday, January 18, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Cultural Plaza.

This in from the Town of Palm Beach - note that it was sent out at 4 a.m.

Flash Flood Warning for the Town of Palm Beach

National Weather Service Doppler radar indicated Heavy rain will continue over already flooded areas of the Town of Palm Beach and will extend the Flash Flood Warning through the early Friday morning hours. Heavy rains caused flash flooding beginning at 8:00pm. and caused several areas of the island to be completely incapacitated. Roads were blocked at County Rd. near the Breakers Hotel, N. Lake Way from Wells to Country Club, the 1800 block of South Ocean Blvd, and the 1100 block of S Ocean Blvd. An additional 2 to 4 inches with locally higher amounts will remain possible through daybreak, especially if the band of heavy rainfall persists or lifts back to the north along the Palm Beach Coast. Locations In the warning include but are not limited to Palm Beach. Port of Palm Beach, North Palm Beach, West Palm Beach, Tequesta. Riviera Beach, Palm Beach Gardens, Jupiter and Juno Beach precautionary/preparedness actions.

Palm Beach Police advise resident and visitors to never drive your vehicle into areas where the water covers the roadway. Flood waters are usually deeper than they appear. Just one foot of flowing water is powerful enough to sweep vehicles off the road. When encountering flooded roads make the smart choice, turn around.

Be aware that flash flooding can occur. If there is any possibility of a flash flood, move immediately to higher ground. Do not wait for instructions to move.
If you must prepare to evacuate, you should do the following:

- Turn off utilities at the main switches or valves if instructed to do so. Disconnect electrical appliances. Do not touch electrical equipment if you are wet or standing in water.
- Secure your home. If you have time, bring in outdoor furniture. Move essential items to an upper floor.

Be aware of stream, drainage channels, and other areas known to flood suddenly. Flash floods can occur in these areas with or without typical warnings such as rain clouds or heavy rain.
If you have to leave your home, remember these evacuation tips:

- Do not walk through moving water. Six inches of moving water can make you fall. If you have to walk in water, walk where the water is not moving. Use a stick to check the firmness of the ground in front of you.
- Do not drive into flooded areas. If floodwaters rise around your car, abandon the car and move to higher ground if you can do so safely. You and the vehicle can be swept away quickly.

Please contact the Palm Beach Police Department with any questions at the non emergency number 561-838-5454.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

From FPL's Power Tracker Page

Click title for real time link.

Weather Alert!




Worth watching and listening to. From last Tuesday's meeting, second reading on regulating what can take place in the right-of-way.

Seems that Commissioner McVoy likes the idea of people on push carts and bicycles selling things like falafels. He says it comes from his experience in the developing world. He voted "no" on an ordinance that would require people conducting business to be in a specific, previously identified location - they couldn't roam about. This is meant to prevent people stopping in front of someone's house and start selling seafood out of their trunk.

Second reading on the fine tuning changes to the LDRS, from last Tuesday's (1/7/14) City Commission meeting...

Last Tuesday's City Commission discussion on Item 10(b) - Land Development Regulations - Clean up

From last Tuesday's City Commission meeting (1/7/14), discussion about distance waivers for alcoholic beverage establishments...

A lot of discussion and a lot of confusion related to regulation of bars and restaurants in the downtown. Mr. Waters asserts that there is only one bar that has come for review and that was the day that he began work with the city. Restaurants that serve liquor have had the distance requirement removed two years ago. Commissioner McVoy had a lot of questions and halted the proceedings prior to the vote being taken. In the end, the vote was unanimous regardless. It is a discussion that is worth listening to.

How air travel used to be...Miami International Airport, 1955

"This clip includes footage shot in 1955, and airport operations almost sixty years ago may have more closely resembled those of 1929 than today's. For one thing, nobody in this footage is taking his or her shoes off, although it looks like a lot of walking was a feature of air travel -- mainly walking across the bare tarmac from terminal to aircraft and vice versa.

This video and audio is copyrighted/owned by the Lynn and Louis Wolfson II Florida Moving Image Archives."

Picture taken during the City Commission's first break - Meeting of 1/7/14

Ian Lockwood P.E., Livable Transportation Engineer 01/10 by High Noon in Lake Worth | Politics Podcasts

Join your host Wes Blackman as he welcomes Ian Lockwood to the High Noon in Lake Worth studios. Some of you may recall that Mr. Lockwood was the transportation planner for the City of West Palm Beach and while there instituted some significant changes to the city's transportation network. According to his bio, Ian has Bachelor & Masters Degrees in Civil Engineering from Carleton University & is a Harvard University Loeb Fellow. As the former City Transportation Planner for the City of West Palm Beach (1996 to 2001), Ian led changes to the state arterials & local streets to help evolve the City’s blighted condition into one of economic & social health. Ian’s current work includes aligning infrastructure investments with community goals through walkability projects, restoring 1-way streets to 2-way, shared spaces, main street design, taming arterials, campus design, downtown design, parking strategies, & policy reform. Ian has guest lectured at several universities & is occasionally interviewed on National Public Radio. For fun, he does photography, cartooning, & road cycling. 

It should prove to be an interesting show in light of the city of Lake Worth's preparation of the 2020 plan. Click title for link to live show tomorrow, Friday at noon or afterward for archived version of the show. Leave questions as comments below.

Editorial: Protect open space by again rejecting development... |

Contrary to the Miami Herald editorial I just posted this morning, the Post is saying "no" to the redevelopment of a golf course property in the eastern part of the county that would be converted to a residential project. The Mizner Trail project is before the County Commission today. Click title for link.

Tri-Rail first rolled out of the station 25 years ago |

Eliot Kleinberg recalls the initial slow start to Tri-Rail back in 1989. In 2009, the transit rail line had about 50 million riders. It has always been held back by its western location and distance from most of the population and employment centers that are along the eastern part of the three county area. He notes the coming of transit service that we have talked about here many times that will link the eastern municipal centers by starting a passenger transit service on the FEC tracks. Click title for link to article.
A more practical route would have been along the Florida East Coast Railway tracks, which follow U.S. 1 and would have brought people to within walking distance of the many government buildings and businesses lining that road. But the FEC wouldn’t make its track available.
This past fall, officials unveiled a $47 million plan to connect the FEC and Tri-Rail tracks in West Palm Beach’s Northwood neighborhood. That will enable Tri-Rail’s extension to Jupiter and a downtown commuter rail along the East Coast.


Our state agricultural commissioner is headed to Panama to check out progress on enlarging the canal. It is thought that larger ships going through the canal will increase cargo traffic in ports along the east coast of the United States. Here our agricultural commissioner is attempting to identify the sorts of goods from Florida that can fill ships for their return voyage. Click title for link.

Making progress - Editorials -

This editorial makes a like of good points and provides of summary of where we stand in many areas related to Everglades restoration. One of the most important points is the one made as the last paragraph, click title for link to article:
Another potential environmental threat is population growth. Florida will soon surpass New York as the third-most populous state. More people equals more development, especially along our coasts. Rather than easing growth-development rules, as the Republican leadership in Tallahassee has been doing in recent years, the state should prepare for more residents with smart-growth plans that discourage sprawl on undeveloped land and direct redevelopment in established urban areas, concentrating demand for expanding roads and schools and increasing other public services. We must grow wisely, without endangering our precious natural resources.
Can someone tell me how overly restricting building heights in Lake Worth is consistent with smart growth principles?

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

The eVolo 2014 Skyscraper Competition is Now Accepting Submissions! | Design Competitions

The registration period ends January 14th and submissions are due on January 20th. FYI - get those nominations in now! Click title for more information.

Comments by the Public on Unagendaed Items and Commission Response from last night's meeting...(1/7/14)

This is worth watching as the issue of the lawsuit on the height limit election is discussed. First up, Ms. Anderson comments at the 15 second mark about how the December 2013 hearing before the judge was cancelled and it was her understanding that a new date needs to be set and she asked if the city has done anything to get with the Judge to come up with a new date. I think it's important to note that there are two parties to this lawsuit and the lawsuit is against the city. The person who filed the lawsuit is being represented, one would suppose, by an attorney. That party is equally as capable as the city to make contact with the judge for a new date. One would think that the onus would be on the party that feels aggrieved enough to file a lawsuit to make sure things move along quickly, not necessarily the city. I think she may be asking the question to the wrong person.

At the 9:40 mark in the video, the Mayor asks Mr. Torcivia, in response to Ms. Anderson question regarding a new hearing date for the lawsuit. Mr. Torcivia responded that the parties were notified shortly before the December hearing by the judge that he had a scheduling conflict and the hearing would be cancelled. Mr. Torcivia did not know the exact status, but indicated that he would get with the judge. He said that getting back on a judge's calendar can be a 6 to 8 week wait at times.

Then, as if we hadn't already heard enough of the issue, at the 14 minute mark in the video, cue the violins. Commissioner McVoy talks about the importance of this election held back in March and attempts to re-iterate what has already be iterated enough and the Mayor, rightly, attempts to quell the discussion. However, Commissioner McVoy asks if there is another way to get around state law and, by changing our land development regulations (that took eight years to do when we did it last), or some other measure. Mr. Torcivia was a bit fuzzy in his memory as this issue was discussed some six months ago, but he recalled Mr. Waters saying that it could be done, but through the required quasi-judicial hearings, re-doing the Comp Plan and the LDRs. He was also careful to give a general answer that would not affect the pending lawsuit. The Mayor then recalls, as do I, that the period of time estimated to consummate such a process would be two years.

And one asks what would we gain from such an exercise? No six story building proposals are on the horizon. However, the hysteria in the community remains. Again, the big, bad developer wolf is not at the door and is not attempting to destroy our town with an additional 10 or 20 feet in building heights. And one has to ask if such a limited allowance for buildings of that height is worth the fight to begin with. I guess the ultimate answer to that question resides with the plaintiffs.

City Commission Liaison Reports and Comments from last night's (1/7/14) meeting...

Mayor Triolo reports that the Metropolitan Planning Organization (transportation planning agency) has projections that show Lake Worth lagging in population growth projections compared to other municipalities, but out-gaining others in job creation in the future. Commissioner Szerdi also has an update from Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council on the Seven50 planning exercise.

Neighborhood Association Presidents Council Presentation at last night's (1/7/14) City Commission meeting...

Mary Lindsey addresses the City Commission with a presentation on the activities of the NAPC. I've added a link to their website in the righthand column of the blog. Enjoy! Note that the early part of the video is dark before the camera focused on the laptop which had the PowerPoint presentation on it. That happens at about the 3 minute mark.

Rob Robbins' Presentation on the Living Shoreline along Bryant Park and other joint projects with the city...

Rob Robbins, Director of Palm Beach County Environmental Resource Management, gives an update at the City Commission meeting last night (1/7/14). He highlighted a future "living shoreline" project along the Bryant Park seawall, which will involve the Michael Singer Group. You might recall that group was involved in the design of the downtown West Palm Beach waterfront and also our beach project site plan. It might be part of a National Endowment of the Arts grant project, with Michael Singer Group as the lead. We will hear more about that from staff in the future. He also talked about installing floating docks by the boatramp.

He also addressed the mangrove trimming issue along the golf course. He is actually meeting with South Florida Water Management this Thursday about removing some of the mangroves and replacing them with Spartina grass, which would not require as much maintenance and only grows waist high. There has already been some removal of exotics in the area. I was impressed how the county is responding to the city's concerns about maintaining views. Really must listen to his presentation. He stayed until later in the meeting to talk about the submerged lands on the west side of the barrier island that appeared as item 12 C on the agenda.

He also talks about water quality in the Lake Worth lagoon and that they are looking at the water control structure at the C-51 canal. It sounded like they are studying changing it from a bottom-opening structure, which allows a lot of silt and muck into the lagoon.

Activists play Agent Orange scare card in hopes of derailing USDA approval of 2,4-D resistant corn and soybeans | Genetic Literacy Project

Creative use of the public ignorance of chemistry and a good way to stoke fear in the hearts of consumers. How is this different than someone who lives on Montague Street, in the southwest part of Lake Worth, made to be so concerned about an additional 20 feet of allowable height in the downtown for a hotel east of Federal? It's because opponents are fighting facts with an emotional appeal. Who needs facts when we are teaching children that our world is 7,000 years old and that our ancestors walked with the dinosaurs? Click title for link.
New genetically modified corn and soybean seeds, already approved in Canada for rollout this year, are closer to being greenlighted in the United States—unless activist protests derail the process yet again.
Last Friday, a draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) released by the US Department of Agriculture recommended that full deregulation is the “preferred alternative” for Dow AgroSciences’ corn and soybean traits resistant to the herbicide 2,4-D–products known as the Enlist Weed Control System.
What is 2,4-D? According to scientists, it’s an effective herbicide and plant growth regulator widely and safely used for decades in household weed killers, such as Scotts TurfBuilder, and also by farmers. To opponents, it’s “Agent Orange”.

FPL to begin charging extra fees in May to customers who... |

I wonder how this fee affects the relationship between FPL and City of Lake Worth rates? Is the city still rolling out its smart meter program. I remember some talk about it a few years ago, but it seemed like a "pilot" project. This arrangement with FPL is a compromise with the Public Service Commission - an organization that the city doesn't have to report to. From the article:
Florida Power & Light Co. customers who decline a smart meter will be charged a one-time $95 enrollment fee and a $13 monthly surcharge beginning in May, regulators said Tuesday.
The Florida Public Service Commission unanimously approved its staff’s recommendation to reduce Juno Beach-based FPL’s original request for a $105 up-front fee and $16 a month. Approximately 33,800 residential and small business FPL customers — including 2,193 in Palm Beach County — have refused a smart meter or failed to allow installers access, but FPL officials have said they expect that to dwindle to 12,000 once the extra fees take effect.

Judge sides with feds against environmentalists on pollution limits | The Florida Current

Click title for link. The state can now set its own water quality standards. From the article:
A federal judge on Tuesday sided with Florida and the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency on their agreement in 2013 allowing the state to set water quality standards in waterways.
And this:
 DEP issued a statement saying that the judge's decision allows the state's rules to be implemented. "This is the necessary catalyst to move beyond litigation and end needless delays that prevented us from applying these additional protections," the department said.

Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control educates the public on the effects of sea level rise

Lake Worth apartment building fire located at 1400 block of South Federal Highway

BREAKING NEWS - no more details available. Click title for link to video.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

New York Pastafarian Christopher Schaeffer Sworn Into Town Council Wearing Colander

He declares himself a member of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. Click title for link of the swearing-in picture. It doesn't look like a Bible is being used in the ceremony. Feeling like you are leaning toward the Pastafarian? You can become a minister. Click here for more information.

Coastal Palm Beach County

Coastal Hazard Statement
Statement as of 5:01 AM EST on January 07, 2014

... High risk of rip currents in effect through this evening... 

The National Weather Service in Miami has issued a high risk of rip
currents... which is in effect through this evening.

* Timing... surf along the East Coast of Southeast Florida will
build through the day today as the strong northerly winds shift
to onshore and seas continue to build. This will lead to
hazardous rip currents by the end of the day.

* Impacts... hazardous swimming conditions will be expected by the
end of the day. 

Precautionary/preparedness actions... 

There is a high risk of rip currents.

Rip currents are powerful channels of water flowing quickly away
from shore... which occur most often at low spots or breaks in The
Sandbar and in the vicinity of structures such as jetties and
piers. Heed the advice of lifeguards and the beach patrol. Pay
attention to flags and posted signs.

If you become caught in a rip current... do not panic. Remain
calm and begin to swim parallel to shore. Once you are away from
the force of the rip current... begin to swim back to the beach.
Do not attempt to swim directly against a rip current. Even a
strong swimmer can become exhausted quickly.

Scouts, others clean up 1928 hurricane gravesite in West Palm... |

Great article by Eliot Kleinberg recognized the efforts of Palm Beach County residents to honor and preserve an important and grim chapter in the county's history. Click title for link. From the article:
The great 1928 hurricane, Palm Beach County’s most profound event, killed as many as 3,000, ranking-second only to the 1900 Galveston storm as the single biggest killing event in U.S. history. While whites were interred with dignity at the city’s Woodlawn Cemetery, the black dead went into the hole at 25th Street and Tamarind Avenue.
The city bought the site in 2000. It installed fences, a winding sidewalk, palm trees and benches and spread fresh mulch, all in time for the 75th anniversary in 2003. A marker and pillars went up; many of them saying, simply, starkly, “1928.”
Be sure to check out the video too. I am not embedding it here since it is on "autoplay" once it is shared. 

Famous Festivus Pole Is for Sale on eBay

Don't look now, but you can buy Chaz Stevens's slightly used Festivus pole from e-Bay. This is the one that was on display in the Capitol rotunda and mentioned on Colbert and the Daily Show. Proceeds will go to the organization Women in Distress. Click title for link.

Christians, Atheists Say 'Keep Capitol A Free-Speech Zone' | WLRN

Despite the clutter in the Capitol rotunda, and the fact that one group was denied display space due to being "grossly offensive," most want the "free speech zone" concept to stay. They are looking at adjusting the policy but there doesn't seem to be a rush to do so. Click title for link to article where all the displays are mentioned that were installed this season. From the article:
The policy review will be undertaken as the ACLU of Florida continues to warn the Department of Management Services that a lawsuit remains an option over the department's rejection of an exhibition proposed by the New York-based Satanic Temple.
“What we hope happens is that the department will realize you can’t pick and choose which messages or organizations get represented if you create an open forum --- or that they make the determination after all that’s happened that maybe creating a venue for religious messages isn’t the best use of a government building in the first place," said ACLU of Florida spokesman Baylor Johnson.

Great Lakes wetlands restoration efforts paying off as acreage grows | Detroit Free Press |

Some good news coming from the Great Lakes - source to another inland body of freshwater, akin to Lake Okeechobee. Through a long term program of many states and Canada working together, acreage of wetlands along the lakes is increasing. This is especially true compared to other areas of the nation where the same sorts of natural areas are decreasing in acreage. Click title for link to a Detroit Free Press article.
Crews are building levees, canals and pumps that will regulate water levels and upgrade fish passageways in a 946-acre section of Erie Marsh, making it a better home for wildlife and limiting the spread of invasive plants.
It’s an example of decades-old efforts by government agencies and private groups to rebuild Great Lakes coastal wetlands such as swamps, bogs and marshes that have been depleted by development. A federal report released in November suggests the work is beginning to pay off.

Monday, January 6, 2014

West Palm Beach OKs development at President Country Club |

More amenities for residents and tourists approved by the West Palm Beach City Commission tonight. Click title for link. From the article:
The President Country club’s north golf course — now known as the Patriot Golf Course — would convert to a 119-acre commercial zone with a three-story, 250-room hotel, 23 resort rental villas linked to the hotel, 94 single-family homes and a 15,000 square-foot spa.
The golf course development comes after the investor group paid $11 million in 2011 for the President Country Club and its two courses, which are surrounded by the Lands of the President, a mix of houses and condominiums.
The proposed resort hotel would include meeting and banquet facilities, pools and tennis courts, snack shops, delis and day care centers. The current golf clubhouse would be razed to make way for a new 20,000 square-foot one built at the south end of the property and linked to the remaining Eagle course.
Click here for link to some graphics that show what the project will look like. I remember some CRAZY ruminations during the boom period that this was the destiny for the Lake Worth golf course.

Old Florida Post Card...

Losing NYC Political Candidate Argues She Was 'Cursed' By Rival - ABC News

This story is clearly for the birds. Someone needs to get over it. Click title for link.
The image of a large chicken head, held up with wooden slats was part of the Los Muros Hablan, a multi-borough project, which Mark-Viverito was affiliated with.
Goodwin alleges that Mark-Viverito worked with her landlords at the Eastside Manager's Associates to put up an image on her east Harlem apartment building that would "inflict emotional distress" on Goodwin.
She also alleges the image can be interpreted as threatening or as a "curse."

POINT OF VIEW: Quiet zones good, but let’s think underground rail |

Bruce Helander suggests, in this op-ed appearing in the Post, to look at going putting the rails underground in anticipation of greater amounts of train traffic. This increase in traffic will be due to the All Aboard Florida high-speed project and the eventual transit traffic on the FEC railroad that will serve the eastern municipalities along the coast. He points out the traffic that would be blocked at the Okeechobee railroad crossing in West Palm Beach.

Such an undertaking would add an enormous cost to the overall project, especially given the north-south length of the run. The geometry and depth versus the water table would surely be another complicating factor. While it might be a partial solution to the increased congestion and noise, I don't think it is being looked at in any serious way due to the overwhelming cost considerations. Click title for link.
Now is an opportune time for serious analysis to be given to the practical safety and efficiency of an excavated track that could go under a major traffic artery. It might just provide an unconventional solution for and different perspective on the heightened inconvenience, decreased efficiency and diminished productivity caused by the amplified roadblocks we surely are facing. With a multimillion-dollar budget announced for this new rail service, it would be worth the effort to invest a modest sum for an engineering study that might just present a viable alternative.
I lived in Kalamazoo, Michigan during the mid-1980s and there was a pivotal community issue about bridging or submerging train tracks or a major road, a number of alternatives were being looked at, to alleviate what were consistent traffic snarls due to freight trains and automobiles both vying for access to downtown. Click here for one of the flyover proposals.

Patrick Murphy raises $500K for re-election campaign for 4th straight quarter - SaintPetersBlog

Congressman Murphy is doing well in the fundraising effort for his re-election campaign. His race, where he beat Allen West, turned out to be the most expensive of any Congressional race in the nation. Click title for link to SaintPetersBlog article. Here is a bit:
“The support for Congressman Murphy this past year shows that the American people were fed up with the partisan bickering and ‘my way or the highway’ approach taken by party extremists,” said Murphy’s finance  director Mandi Karp.  “His constituents continue to support his independent thinking in Congress and dedication to serving the residents of the Treasure Coast and Palm Beaches.”

Independents approach GOP’s voter registration totals in Palm... |

Perhaps the smaller rise in Republican voter registrations to Democrat registrations in Palm Beach County is due to some slavish devotion demonstrated by a local blogger to someone like former Congressman Allen West? Who knows. But it is an interesting assessment and report on where things stand right now in our County. Click title for link.
As of Friday, Elections Supervisor Susan Bucher’s office reported 250,947 registered Republicans in Palm Beach County — only a smidgen more than the 249,729 voters registered with minor parties or no party affiliation. Countywide Democratic registrations totalled 392,623.
The number of voters who aren’t signed up with a major party increased 5.4 percent in the county during 2013, while Republican registrations increased only 0.6 percent during the year. Palm Beach County Democratic registrations increased 1.1 percent in 2013.

Par 3 golf clubhouse opening to be ‘historic’ |

Do you think this $3.1 million building will have the problems that we have with the Casino building? Maybe someone should wander over there and look at the kind of materials used in the their construction. It might be handy information if the city gets to the point of suing for use of inferior materials. The architect for this project was Smith and Moore. The builder was Hedrick Brothers. Click title for link to article.
“It’s a historic occasion for the town,” Boodheshwar said. “The story behind the new building is something so unique and so telling of Palm Beach, we want people to experience this with us and have the opportunity to see the new clubhouse. We encourage anyone who wants to have dinner that night to make a reservation. Anyone who wants to eat there in the next couple of months should make reservations, because we really expect it to be very busy.”
The 154-seat restaurant, on the second floor of the Key West-style building, will be open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and includes indoor and covered outdoor seating.
The pro shop will move into the first floor of the clubhouse. The balconies on the second-floor restaurant provide spectacular views all around, Boodheshwar said. Arlene Desiderio, owner of the clubhouse’s Al Fresco restaurant and bar, also owns Pizza al Fresco and Renato’s.
And what is happening with the empty second floor space? 

Ex-GOP power broker Jim Greer now on work release, selling recliners for $8 an hour - SaintPetersBlog

This was a significant fall from grace for a high-flyer in the Florida ranks of the GOP. It sounds like he is doing well, considering the circumstance. Click title for link to a SaintPetersBlog article.
With seven months left on his prison sentence for stealing $125,000 Republican Party of Florida, Greer is working at a local furniture store for $8 per hour plus commission, reports Rene Stutzman of the Orlando Sentinel.
It was a significant fall from grace, from prominent Tallahassee power broker to convicted criminal.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Latest update on the current controversy swirling through our downtown area...or the Facebook post that won't go away

A Look at 10 Historic Sites Saved, 10 Lost in 2013 - ABC News

Click title for link to an informative list put out by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. They used to issue an "11 Most Endangered" list each year as it related to historically important properties that were under threat of destruction or demolition of some kind. I believe they have gotten away from that program and instead are issuing lists such as this to highlight properties saved and those that have met a more sorry fate.

Fight over citrus canker payments may resume - Sun Sentinel

My tangerine tree received the telltale white spray mark around the base of its trunk. That's how far state workers got before the program was abandoned sometime back in 2006 or so. I remember them coming on my property unannounced leaving leaflets on my door about how any citrus I had was doomed. Seven years later, I can report that the tangerine tree is still alive and well and this year pushed out a solid crop of tangerines. According to this story, click title for link, others weren't as lucky and are still seeking compensation from the state. There is also talk about reviving the program.
From 2000 to 2006, Agriculture Department crews roamed Florida neighborhoods and cut down trees found within 1,900 feet of infected ones, in an attempt to halt a disease that threatened some of the state's most economically significant crops. But homeowners fought back in court, saying their private property was being sacrificed to protect a powerful agricultural interest. They won injunctions that temporarily shut down the chain saws and went to court to win compensation for trees that had been destroyed.

Editorial: PBC now has chance to figure out need for spring... |

County Commissioner Hal Valeche has a chance at calming the waters and getting information out to those that would be impacted by the baseball stadium, as well as keep looking for appropriate sites. The Post concludes in this editorial that the entire issue was not handled well by the Palm Beach Gardens city commission. Click title for link.

But the Gardens City Council largely mishandled the proposal almost from the beginning; for months, giving the impression it was hiding something before bowing to public — and political — pressure and handing it off to the county.
Now, Valeche has a chance to do it right.
While that doesn’t mean that a stadium won’t land back in Palm Beach Gardens, there is at least the opportunity now to ask and fully vet such important questions as: Does the stadium complex really need to be two teams?

Antique Row among Top 10 tourist shopping draws |

West Palm's Antique Row is mentioned in the same breath as Palm Beach being a shopping destination for tourists. And, according to this Palm Beach Post article, tourism is up for the area and West Palm Beach is one of the top cities for travelers. What would it take for Lake Worth to contribute to the draw? The Cottages group is a good start, but what about tumbleweed-ready North Dixie Hwy? Adventure consumerism at World Thrift? Click title for link to article.
To be accurate, Palm Beach was the tony location that made the list. And Worth Avenue was clearly the top draw for the 80,000 people who voted in the survey. But Conde Nast’s Traveler website explained that West Palm Beach’s Antique Row Art and Design District helped bring in those on a budget and those ready to splurge.

A new attitude |

Editorial from the Shiny Sheet, about challengers for Palm Beach Town Council positions. They see it as a good thing and a natural part of the political process, which it generally is. Click title for link. Here is how the sum up their position.
Each of the announced hopefuls cited strife on the council as motivation for running. The reasons ranged from a noticeably terse tone that some board members had taken toward the public, to overly complicating issues, to discord between the board and some citizen factions.
Whether such statements ring true or are just campaign posturing is up to voters to decide. Regardless, the number of challengers makes it clear that residents are not as satisfied with the town’s elected officials as they used to be.