Saturday, February 8, 2014

Second Annual Gay Chili Cook-Off Promises To Be A Spicy Good Time | Local | News | SFGN Articles

I happened to be a judge for this event last year. Click title for link. We plan on showing up mid-afternoon. Note the new location!
A five-dollar cover is suggested to attend. All proceeds will benefit Compass Youth Group, an organization that supports LGBTQ kids and teens ages 6 to 17 years old. Headquartered in Lake Worth, Compass offers a youth a center to hang out in, work on homework, and meet new people in a safe environment.
Last year’s event raised $3,000 for the Compass Youth Group. Cooks are from area venues such as H.G. Rooster’s, The Mad Hatter, and various LGBT and straight allied community groups.
The second annual Gay Chili Cook-Off takes place from 1 to 7 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 9 at Penny’s at the Duke, 902 N. Dixie Highway, Lantana.

Everybody spread the news!

From the Boynton Beach Historical Society's Facebook page comes this part of Lake Worth history...

Bryant and Greenwood were the original developers of Lake Worth. These post cards were sent to people in the north to sell 5 acres in the "garden spot of the world." Those five acres were essentially swamp land in the area now known as Greenacres.

Note that the postcard promises that "We give a town lot FREE to each purchaser" of those agricultural lots. It turns out that the "town lots" were the 25 ft. lots in and around our downtown area, which ultimately turned out to be more popular than the agricultural land to the west at the time.

Broward commissioners tell Henry to come up with a plan for video-on-demand of meetings | Broward Bulldog

This is not 1960 and it's not like Broward County is attempting its own space program. We have the technology. The foot-dragging means that someone likes to hide government goings-on from the public. Our own Lake Worth provides on-demand video access to past Commission meetings, along with other board meetings happening in the Commission Chambers. Click title for link.
The Broward County Commission has directed the county administrator to prepare a cost analysis and implementation plan to create an on-line, video archive of commission meetings.
Commissioner Lois Wexler asked her fellow commissioners to act after County Administrator Bertha Henry failed to present her own plan, which Wexler asked for last month. Wexler originally asked Henry to study the issue on Oct. 8, with a Dec. 15 due date, records show.
Wexler doesn’t know why the county administrator did not follow through. “There may be an inherent resistance…to make this type of…meeting information immediately accessible to the public,” Wexler said in an interview Wednesday.

Rise and fall of the mall: Palm Beach Outlets opens Friday as... |

This piece from the Palm Beach Post presents a good retrospective of Palm Beach County history, especially as it relates to commercial/retail development. Palm Coast Plaza is mentioned as the first major shopping center outside of downtown West Palm Beach. It is a shadow of its former self now, but still houses a Winn-Dixie which many still go to just over the line from Lake Worth. Click title for link.
From the days Clematis Street had the Comeau Building arcade and nearby Harris Building and Via Jardin, shoppers have looked for a variety of stores, some protection from the weather and a snack to keep going. How people live and shop has changed from those days, and the retail establishments built in Palm Beach County reflect those cultural changes.

Candidates to be sworn in at Tuesday council meeting |

And to the winners go the spoils. This was an unusually uncivil campaign with campaign war chests bulging to the six figure range. I hope everyone think that is was worth it. Good luck Palm Beach. Click title for link.

From last night at the Urban Arts Lofts - Art Fusion (2/7)

We ended up at the Arts Lofts as the last part of a long bike ride last night. We got there a little after 7 p.m. and things were still gearing up. About three artists had their spaces open and a band was in the process of setting up. We had been downtown to the Cultural Plaza earlier and talked up this event while we were there. It is supposed to repeat next weekend, so we might try again when it is a little later so that we can hear the band, etc. Enjoy the pictures!

Friday, February 7, 2014

WPEC-TV CBS12 News :: News - Top Stories - City of Delray Beach doing away with "block parties"

Delray Beach is changing its policies towards drinking on Atlantic Avenue during events - no outdoor drinking of alcohol. Seems that the Commission is split over the decision, but the first effect of the change will come during "The Village by the Sea" - eh hem - St. Patrick's Day festivities. Click title for link.

City of Deerfield Beach - Movies in the Park program...

What a great idea that could be applied in our own Byrant Park - using the bandshell for the screen area. It would be a great family draw and fairly low cost. Something to think about. It also could be suited for the downtown area, using some unadorned wall for the evening, possibly closing off a side street?

I found this from the official City of Deerfield Beach Facebook page.

Make The Call Y'all - from the College Park Neighborhood Association

Hello Neighbors, 

As reported at our meeting in January, Operation "Night Train" by the PBSO is in full swing. In addition to beefed up regular patrols, there are more deputies assigned to this operation using ATV's (all terrain vehicles) and unmarked cars to apprehend criminals who are helping themselves to the contents of vehicles parked in our neighborhood. 

We can help ourselves by making sure our vehicles are locked and we can help PBSO by keeping an eye out for suspicious behavior - like people walking down the street trying one car door after another to see which are unlocked and then calling the non-emergency number to report it. 688-3400 Just yesterday, thieves helped themselves to loose change they found in several unlocked vehicles right here in College Park. Sometimes though, even locked car doors won't deter these criminals, and more than loose change is taken. Read this report that just came in from PBSO: 

"On 2/5/14, at approximately 2027 hours, District 14 deputies responded to the 600 block of North L Street, in reference to a vehicle burglary that had just occurred. A witness observed two subjects walking down the street checking all the car door handles to see if they were left unlocked. The witness saw the subjects enter an unlocked vehicle. The witness immediately contacted PBSO, and gave dispatch a detail description of the two subjects. 

A perimeter was set up. Operation Night Train units responded to the call on ATV?s and in unmarked cars. Captain Silva was patrolling the area in his unmarked vehicle and located one of the subjects. The second subject was located by an Operation Night Train unit (unmarked vehicle). A positive identification was made by the witness. Both subjects were arrested for multiple vehicle burglaries/thefts and were transported to the jail. A total of four victims had their vehicle broken into." 

"Make The Call Ya'll" is a campaign to encourage neighbors to call the PBSO non emergency number 688-3400 anytime and every time we witness suspicious activity. ALWAYS call 911 to report an immediate threat to life or property. NEVER confront suspicious persons yourself. You MAY remain anonymous if you wish. To learn more visit this link. 

Let's keep College Park safe!

Commentary: Quieting the anti-Semitism echo chamber |

Commentary in the Palm Beach Post by Abraham Foxman about the insidious nature of hate speech on the Internet and its corrosive effects over time. He also talks about First Amendment freedoms and how it is difficult to track down the originators or the organizations behind them. The fluid nature of the Internet is a problem too - these sites can pop up somewhere else as soon as they are taken down. The other blogger frequently posts information from such sites. That is a choice she must live with. Here is a bit of the article - must read, click title for link.
 The communications revolution, which has brought us all the wonders of the iPad, Google Earth, smartphones and social media, has also been a tremendous boon for anti-Semites and racists.
The tools that have enhanced our lives have also enabled bigots to spread their hatred, often under the cover of anonymity, faster and broader than ever before. In the span of 20 years, haters who once handed out fliers on street corners can now disseminate massive amounts of data in nanoseconds globally.
Hate groups were quick to adapt to new online methods. One early adopter, the South Florida-based forum for anti-Semites and white supremacists called Stormfront still exists. 

Michelle Wolf, acoustic performer

Click title for link to her website for more information.

It was great to have live music performed by such a professional at Commissioner Amoroso's event last night. Michelle is just getting started on her south Florida adventure and is looking to be booked. Nice choice for a coffee house atmosphere or private party. Thanks Michelle - we enjoyed your music!

Pictures from the first stop on the Dine Around for Commissioner Andy Amoroso event...

Michelle Wolf played guitar and sang - see separate post on how to contact her.



Commissioner Andy Amoroso talks to the crowd.

Pd. Pol. Ad. Paid and approved by Andy Amoroso for Lake Worth Commission District #3

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Bret Baronak - Bicycle/Greenways/Pedestrian Coordinator 02/07 by High Noon in Lake Worth | Politics Podcasts

Join your host Wes Blackman as he welcomes Bret Baronak to the High Noon in Lake Worth studios. Mr. Baronak works for the Palm Beach Metropolitan Planning Ogranization (MPO) and has been in this position since 2006. His main assignment is to oversee the MPO's Non-Motorized Transportation Planning Program, with activities centered on improving accessibility for bicyclists and pedestrians in Palm Beach County through public outreach. Bret raced road and mountain bikes for 15 years, enjoys helping to educate cyclists to improve their skills and confidence, and rides daily for fun. He bikes for commuting, touring, some competition among friends and explores trails in Florida's forests.

Click title for link to live show between 12 and 1 p.m. on Friday 2/7, or afterwards for the archived version of the show. Leave questions as comments below.

Mango Groves - Elections and February Meeting

Hello All-

We will be having our February Meeting on Thursday Feb 20, 2014 at Compass, on the corner of Dixie and 2nd Ave N across from the new Publix at 7pm. Elections will be held for 2014.   If oyu have any other nominations for Offices, or would like to be a member of the Board, please contact us.   Also, if you have any nominations for Mango Groves Pick of the Crop, please let us know.   we like to recognize any special effort in Home or Garden that our neighbors take, and share our beautiful neighborhood with the rest of the city.

Please also remember that Street Painting Festival is on Feb 22, and 23 this year, and we are looking for volunteers to help in the beer tents that the City is sponsoring.  If you would like to assist, please let us know.

See you on the Avenue!
Mango Groves Neighborhood

Art Fusion - Urban Arts Lofts - Friday, February 7 - 7 to 10 p.m.

Friends of the Library Meeting

Dear Friends,

Just a reminder,

The Friends of the Lake Worth Library will meet Tuesday, February 11, in the garden (back) at South Shores tavern from 5:30 till 6:30. Everyone is welcome.

Thanks you,

June Evans & Vickie Joslin, Library Services Supervisor

Purple flags go up as man-of-war float onto Palm Beach... |

A reminder for those that use the beach that this is the season for Portuguese Man-of-War. Do not go near what looks like clear, blue plastic on the beach. These are being carried in by the predominant southeast wind we are experiencing recently. Click title for link.
Even the shore can be treacherous when the balloon-like creatures wash ashore. Wotton warns beachgoers to resist temptation to prick the bubbles with sticks — the exhale of gas can send out a tentacle in the process. And digging near a beached man-of-war can uncover a tentacle. Even when the man-of-war is dead, the tentacle continues to pack a sting.
That sting can at the very least can bring even the most stalwart beach-goers to tears and at worst trigger an anaphylactic reaction that requires quick action and a visit to the hospital.

Plan to save A1A from Flagler’s shifting sands |

This is in Flagler County, which is just north of Daytona Beach on the Atlantic coast. Part of A1A is falling into the ocean due to shifting sands and sea level rise. It is interesting to note that our section of A1A was further east, for the most part, than it is today. When you drive along the east side of the Casino building, you are actually driving along the old right-of-way. After a series of storms in the late 1940s, the decision was made to move the road further west on Palm Beach island. That was also when fill was placed in the area west of the Casino building and west of the newly laid out A1A north of the Lake Worth bridge. This article, click title for link, explains some of the options when dealing with this situation. None of them are cheap and none are really that permanent. 

How is our seawall again? Is it adequately protecting our seawall?
Undulating sand dunes topped with sea oats and palmetto, weathered decks and wooden stairways to the beach, the occasional beach cruiser leaned against a speed-limit sign ... a lovely view to the east.
When the road was laid out in 1927, it was too close to the ocean to allow much development between the road and coast. The result is a nice approximation of pre-motel, pre-condo Florida.
Too bad parts of the highway are about to fall into the ocean.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

If you are on Linked-In, this might be someone you want to connect with, or not...

My courtyard today, after a light rain...

You’ll Be Amazed by these Surreal Things to Wash Up on Florida’s Beaches… | Direct Villas Florida

The operator of this website sent me this link. It is amazing what washes upon the shores here. Also note that this website is based  in the U.K. and is all about short-term rentals in Florida. Click title for link.

Hope to see you tomorrow!

From the Netherlands...

This spectacular circular cycle bridge in the Dutch city of Eindhoven has recently been opened to the public. The cable-stayed bridge, designed by ipv Delft, offers cyclists and pedestrians an exciting crossover. With its impressive pylon, 72 metre diameter, thin deck and conspicuous lighting, the cyclist roundabout is a new landmark for the city.

Click here for more information on how it was constructed. How about something like this one day over the intersection of Okeechobee and Military? Locally, and something you can experience right now, is the nice bicycle/pedestrian underpass at the Royal Palm Park (middle) bridge. That was done when the bridge was reconstructed about 10 years or so ago.

Video best viewed full-screen.

EPA abandons major radiation cleanup in Florida, despite cancer concerns | Broward Bulldog

In-depth article by the Broward Bulldog about the state taking control of radiation cleanup of former phosphate mines near Lakeland. The fear is that the state will do nothing. People argue about the cost benefit of the clean-up. Click title for link.
The Environmental Protection Agency is walking away after a decades-long battle with Florida politicians and industry officials over cleaning up phosphate-mining waste in an area that could expose more than 100,000 residents to cancer-causing radiation levels.
Under a decision quietly finalized two weeks ago, the federal agency will leave it to state officials to decide the fate of the sites in and around Lakeland, an approximately 10-square-mile residential area midway between Orlando and Tampa.

Justice Alito: People should know more about Supreme Court |

One of the Supremes was in town on Monday. I understand that our own Commissioner Amoroso was in attendance, perhaps other of our electeds too. Sounds like a fascinating talk and look into the nation's high court. Click title for link. From the article:
More Americans can name more Snow White’s dwarfs than U.S. Supreme Court justices, but Associate Justice Samuel Alito said the names aren’t important, just the job.
“It’s not important for the American people to know the names of every U.S. Supreme Court justice, but it is important to know something about the Constitution and the structure of our government, and, therefore, something about the Supreme Court and what we do,” he said.
While the lawyers, political followers and civic leaders attending a joint meeting of the Forum Club of the Palm Beaches and the Palm Beach County Bar Association might be more informed than most, Alito spoke to the group Monday about “things that many people may not know about the Supreme Court.”

Passenger train service will increase time boaters blocked...

Some unintended consequences emerge related to increased train traffic on the FEC or eastern railroad tracks as All Aboard Florida creeps its way down the tracks. Click title for link. From the article:
“The Environmental Impact Statement Process being led by the Federal Railroad Administration will analyze and evaluate any potential impacts resulting from increased train service and determine mitigation efforts as appropriate. We recognize the importance that the marine industry contributes to Florida’s economy and job creation,” All Aboard Florida said in a written statement.
Numerous agencies, including the U.S. Coast Guard which is responsible for bridge permitting and oversees bridge operations, are involved in the environmental study.
A revised draft of the study is expected in late spring, Railroad Administration spokesman Mike England said. The public will be able to comment formally at that time.

Kleid and Townsend Win Town of Palm Beach Election

Kleid is an incumbent, Townsend wins empty seat.

Boca Raton Police Use Social Media to Build Public Trust

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Republicans resort to trickery to outfox Democrats (fake Dem websites send contributions to Repubs) - Democratic Underground

"Danger, danger, Will Robinson!" Make sure your political donations are going to the candidates you want to support, and not to those on the other side. Click title for link.
If you donate to a candidate online, pay attention to the fine print to make sure your donation goes to the candidate you want and not his or her opponent.
The National Republican Congressional Committee has launched a series of websites that look like they support a Democratic candidate for Congress, but instead direct contributions to the Republican Party instead.
The Tampa Bay Times interviews one donor who thought he was giving to Alex Sink's (D) congressional campaign. It even used the same blue and green color scheme as the candidate's official website.
But he didn't see the small print, which said, "Make a contribution today to help defeat Alex Sink and candidates like her." 

West Palm Beach gives tentative approval to massive Rybovich... |

Six new towers get the initial go ahead along North Flagler Drive in West Palm Beach. The project is billed as one that will help Northwood and Broadway corridor, which is need of a boost. But will six tours perched on their own parking garages be the solution? Click title for link. Here is a bit about the large scope of the project.
The joint project by Huizenga Holdings — which owns Rybovich — and the Related Group would comprise 1,000 residences in six 25- to 30-story towers, along with more than 15,000 square feet of restaurants, 61,500 square feet of offices and 10,000 square feet of retail operations, as well as a beach club, a boat dock and six mega-yacht slips.
Developers have said the project would generate 964 jobs and an economic impact of $153 million. They project that construction would generate $3.8 million in permitting and other fees to the city and $7 million to the county and school board, and would generate $3.4 million and $5.8 million, respectively, per year after that.
While 25 and 30 story towers clearly qualify as "high rise", I still assert that 6 story buildings are not "high rise" buildings.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Keystone XL Vigil - Palm Beach - Solemn, Sedate, Dark

The "vigileers" appeared around 7 p.m., in the dark and in probably one of the more out of the way places in Palm Beach. It was very dark and difficult to read their signs. A very inwardly focused group, they did not engage anyone else, but could be heard talking about how oil can still get to British Columbia by other means.

We were just packing up and heading out on out bikes when Commissioner Christopher McVoy showed up on his bike. Did you know he suffers from bulging yellow panniers? Well, he does. I don't think he saw us and unfortunately the camera was already tucked away.

 Another successful vigil, complete with candles, by our Lake Worth contingent.