Saturday, March 8, 2014

Dan Cary, 64, made his mark in Palm Beach County as town planner

A local champion of New Urbanism, Dan Cary has died. He worked for the Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council, then the City of West Palm Beach and eventually the South Florida Water Management District. He really was a trailblazer here in south Florida and will be missed by many. Click title for link.

Zoning plan foe takes fight to the street

Why does this sound so familiar? Click title for link to the Shiny Sheet article.
Michael Ainslie, chairman of Save Our Main Street, said the demonstration also was a misrepresentation, because only two buildings on Royal Poinciana Way could have third floors under the zoning ordinance: Testa’s Restaurant and PNC Bank.
Cooley acknowledged that fact. But eight of the 12 buildable parcels on Sunset Avenue could go up to 43 feet, he said. “It will create a ‘canyon of darkness’ and congestion on Sunset,” he said.

Lake Worth: City wrestles with expenses exceeding casino expectations - The Coastal Star

Christine Davis of the Coastal Star reports on the status of the Lake Worth Casino building and beach property. She also talks to Juan Ruiz, Leisure Services Director and with the owner of Mulligan's. It seems that our anchor tenant faced some surprises once open. Click title for link to article.
 Mulligan’s Beach House Bar & Grill, however, has experienced some belt-tightening, but it’s not all bad.
    Owner George Hart has five other waterfront restaurants, and, last year, he said, he was “sold” on this property. He invested $1.5 million; he’s paying $21,000 a month on a 20-year lease; his property taxes last year were $45,000.
    “We liked the property, but the Realtor told us that the north parking lot would be available to us; we would be involved in a valet service; and that we would have ample light for our night business. None of that happened.
    “I spent $10,000 on a golf cart to get people up the hill from the parking lot. We don’t have sufficient lighting, and it’s scary to bring your children out there at night. We were never provided valet service, which we were willing to pay for. We were never allowed usage of the parking lot to the north, so, now, you have to move your car in the middle of dinner or you are locked in.
    “We should get together to solve the problems. We are watching our sales go down.”
The city says that the issues with the site will be addressed, but does not say when.

"The lady doth protest too much, methinks"

Note that the person owning the property above doesn't pay any taxes to the City of Lake Worth or Palm Beach County Fire Rescue.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Check this out: West Palm Beach doing even more to connect with residents...

Friends of the Library Election, Meeting

Dear Friends,

To all Friends of the Library members, this is a reminder that the Annual Meeting and Election of Officers is this Tuesday, March 11, at the South Shores Tavern and Patio Bar at 5:30. Just a reminder, it is time to pay your annual dues for 2014 before you can vote.


Vickie Joslin

On behalf of 
June Evans, President of the Friends of the Library

Nighttime Bridge Closures on Flagler Memorial (North) Bridge

The Flagler Memorial (North) Bridge will be closed and traffic will be detoured Tuesday, March 25 through Thursday, March 27 and again Monday, March 31 through Thursday, April 3, between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m., weather permitting. 

These closures are necessary to shift eastbound traffic over the bridge and establish a safe work zone in the median on Royal Poinciana Way, west of Cocoanut Row/Bradley Place in the Town of Palm Beach. While the bridge is closed, all eastbound and westbound traffic will be detoured to the Royal Park Bridge to cross the Intracoastal Waterway. 

When the traffic shift is completed, there will be one lane in each direction between North Olive Avenue in West Palm Beach and Cocoanut Row/Bradley Place in the Town of Palm Beach. Westbound traffic will continue to exit the bridge at N. Flagler Drive. Traffic will remain in this pattern for the next several months. 

For more information about the Flagler Memorial Bridge Replacement Project, please call Public Information Officer Tish Burgher at (561) 702-9096 or email her at Project information can also be found on the project website:

Additional Information on Today's High Noon in Lake Worth Guest Dr. Ginger Pedersen

Dr. Ginger L. Pedersen, a native Floridian, grew up in South Florida among the palms and pines in Jupiter, Florida. Her interest in Florida history was sparked through her grandparent's theme park Africa USA, a 1950s roadside attraction in Boca Raton, Florida. Dr. Pedersen is an administrator at a State College in Lake Worth, Florida and holds a Doctoral degree in Educational Leadership from Florida Atlantic University in addition to Masters and Bachelor's degrees in Psychology. In 2012 she published, with co-author Janet M. DeVries, Pioneering Palm Beach: The Deweys and the South Florida Frontier. In this book she presents an incredible, inspiring story of pioneer life in early Palm Beach County that was hidden for more than a century.

Dr. Pedersen continues her research on Palm Beach County history, specializing in pioneer history and the acquisition of historical documents, maps and photographs for museums. She serves on a local historic preservation board and conducts history tours in locations throughout Palm Beach County. She is currently finishing research for two books, and writes a history blog at

Click here for link to show.

Note: We will reschedule the show for sometime next week. There was a glitch that allocated only 15 minutes for the show. You can listen to the archived version to get a sense of what we will be talking about. I will let you know the date and time as soon as possible. Thanks!

Fun night! The future looks bright...

New spring training plans in Palm Beach County face money...

I guess it is a moot point after all, but at least Lake Worth was out there and being talked about as a potential location. Check this out from the article:
And county officials said John Prince Park, west of Lake Worth, is not a potential site for a new spring training baseball complex because of issues related to state money that was used in the past for park improvements.
Here are the sites Palm Beach County is looking at. These will be discussed at their meeting next Tuesday. Note that one just happens to be the A.G. Holley property.
The eight county sites on the list: the South Florida Fair; land on Northlake Boulevard west of the Palm Beach Gardens golf course; 45th Street and Military Trail in West Palm Beach; Highland Dunes along Southern Boulevard; Sansbury District Park; land at Belvedere and Jog roads; AG Holley and Howard Park in Lantana; and land in Boca Raton near Glades Road and State 441.

In brief: Friday, March 7, 2014 | The Asheville Citizen-Times |

This property sits just over the southern boundary of the Lake Worth in the town of Lantana. It has been sold to a developer out of Miami. Lantana has lease which expires in 2024 for their ballfields which make up part of the property. When the property is developed, the owner will pay for relocation of the ballfields. Click title for link to short article.
Without comment, Gov. Rick Scott and the Florida Cabinet on Thursday approved the sale of the former A.G. Holley state tuberculosis hospital in Lantana for $15.6 million.
Lawmakers decided in 2012 to close the decades-old facility, after years of debate about whether to keep it operating. Scott and the Cabinet unanimously approved selling the property to Southeast Legacy Investments, a land development and construction company.
The approval came as the Florida Department of Environmental Protection looks to sell such properties to raise money to buy environmentally sensitive sites for land-conservation efforts.

Lake Worth City Commission Swearing-in Ceremony 2014

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Pics from Swearing-in Ceremony 2014

Video to follow.

"We do not have blight on the western side of the community"

After hearing this pronouncement, I took fifteen minutes to tour the ROLOH area. I was amazed at how many examples of blight were actually in the area west of I-95 and east of Lake Osborne Drive. It didn't take long to find these examples. I could have documented more, given the time, and the video could be much longer. The point is, despite Ms. Marcel's declarations, blight is not limited to the "lettered streets" in Lake Worth.

Dr. Ginger L. Pedersen - Boynton Beach Historian 03/07 by High Noon in Lake Worth | Politics Podcasts

Join your host Wes Blackman as he welcomes Dr. Ginger Pedersen to the High Noon in Lake Worth studios. I met Dr. Pedersen at Ted Brownstein's talk on his book Pioneers of Jewel. We talked then about getting together and there is no time like the present to talk about the past. We plan to focus on the shared history of the region between Lake Worth and Boynton Beach, which will include discussion of the importance of US 1/Dixie Hwy. and the FEC railway for both our communities.

Click title for link to live show between noon and 1 p.m. tomorrow (3/7) or after the show airs for archived version. Leave questions as comments below.

Mr. Cioci's snide side shows up at the podium...

Mel and Vinnie's Rousing Rendition from Last Tuesday's City Commission Meeting

Happy Maya New Year - March 6

Dear Friends:

Miguel Angel, our friend and Maya Spiritual Guide, could not be with us this year to commemorate the Maya New Year. You may, as I have done, commemorate the day with a small fire ceremony of your own.

Simply light a candle and give a short prayer towards the four cardinal directions. East may be considered the direction of the future and the unborn. West, the direction of the past and a place of offering prayers of remembrance to our loved ones who have departed this world. South is the direction of life and growth. North, the direction of storms and tests.

In behalf of the Lake Worth Interfaith Network, Happy Maya New Year 5130!
-Ted Brownstein

Below is a New Year message from Miguel:

This sixth of March, we celebrate the Maya New Year in the Energy of 2 AJPU, the grand clarity that comes to orient humanity, toward the real spiritual light, for the renewal and purification towards life and rebirth. In this year of 2014, on the sixth of March, we enter a solar cycle of 365 days, guided by 2 AJPU, which represents  the balance in our lives of the four aspects of our being, that is physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. AJPU contains the concept in Maya cosmology symbolizing Grandfather Sun, also the twin Warriors who obtained wisdom to pass the tests of the five houses of the underworld. In this year we should make fire ceremonies each 40 days in the energy of AJPU, one of the four major carriers that travel the spiritual path with humanity for the next 52 years until 2064.

Happy Maya New Year, as we journey together in the cosmic path of the Fifth Sun. May the Great Spirit of the Heart of Heaven bring you many blessings.

Miguel Angel Chinquin Yat
Maya Spiritual Guide

Mayor Muoio Questioning New State Road 7 Sign | City of West Palm Beach

In what may be the way of Palm Beach County pushing the issue, Mayor Muoio is upset regarding the placement of a future State Road 7 sign along Northlake Boulevard. The city has long opposed the extension and an environmental assessment was performed but it is unclear what the findings of that study were. This is part of the Mayor of WPB's weekly meeting with representatives of the press. Eliot Kleinberg, who has been assigned the Lake Worth beat, is present and asks the Mayor questions in the YouTube clip, produced by the city on the city's website. What is preventing our City Manager and/or Mayor from doing the same sort of video on a bi-weekly basis? Click title for link.

Gardens’ candidate Peragine: I did not approve anti-Obama message

Something fishy going on in the Palm Beach Gardens' city council race. Is this representative of the creeping influence of partisan politics at the municipal level? If so, it shouldn't be. Or, is it someone who refused to take direction from the candidate? Or did the candidate actually know that the mailing was going out in the first place? Lots to sift through here. Click title for link to article.
Strategist Pedicini, listed in state records as an officer of Constituent Services LLC of Jensen Beach, confirmed Peragine’s account in two terse emails sent Wednesday in response to “Post” questions.
“Mr. Peragine rejected a mailer I designed citing the number of residents registered as Democrats who currently support him,” the strategist wrote. “He told me he believes partisan politics has no place in the Gardens.”
Pressed on whether he had taken it upon himself to mail out the flier, or whether it was a dirty trick by someone, Pedicini replied only: “As I have previously stated, Mister Peragine did not authorize the mailing of the piece in question. Per his request, I am looking into this situation and have been in contact with the postal service.”
Pedicini is unabashedly anti-Obama, at least judging from his Twitter account. A recent Tweet he posted calls Obama “the weakest Prez in modern age.” Another says “USA was safer w/ Carter as Pres.”

Researchers aim to resolve inequity in Miami’s flood preparation | Al Jazeera America

Keren Bolter, former High Noon in Lake Worth guest and TED talk presenter is mentioned in this article. Click title for link. It describes the process underway now to combine FEMA flood maps with other property and demographic information. During our show, we talked about the social impact of sea-level-rise and possible migrations caused by it. From the article:
Mention Hurricane Katrina and no one needs to hear more to remember the poorest residents of New Orleans who were immobilized and left in squalor following the hurricane and subsequent flooding. Although the city has rebuilt significantly since the storm struck in August 2005, the disproportionate impact on low-income, mostly black communities was a lesson that officials in Florida took to heart.
“When you look at some of these low-income communities in South Florida, you imagine what $3 million could do to retrofit their homes or neighborhoods,” said Keren Bolter, a researcher from FCES who is creating sea-level vulnerability maps of Broward and Miami Dade counties. “But it’s tough. How much do you want to invest into a home that is such low value? But at the same time, the people who live there, they need to be safe.”
FEMA awards flood mitigation grants to property owners who have filed a previous flood insurance claim on a benefit-cost basis. FEMA essentially calculates the financial award as an investment that must be offset by the amount of a future loss in the case when an owner files a new claim.

WPEC-TV CBS12 News :: News - Top Stories - Lake Worth cleaning up vacant homes

Channel 12 finally gets it right, interviews the Mayor and she knocks it out of the park. Click title for link.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

The whole spring training stadium location discussion at last night's City Commission meeting

This is somewhat confusing as public comment on this item, resolution to support a major league baseball training camp at John Prince Park, was lumped in with other items on the consent agenda where the item remained. So, public comment includes other items that were on the consent agenda as well as items that were not on the agenda.

I pulled out Mel and Vinnie's leading of the crowd in Take Me Out to the Ballgame and it will be its own video. For now, you can view it by going to the 11 minute mark of this one.

At the end, Commissioner McVoy voted against adopting all the items on the consent agenda and everyone else voted in favor, which included the resolution on the baseball stadium. He had wanted some acknowledgement in it that took into consideration the concerns of residents in neighboring communities. The resolution stands as is.

Palm Beach County officials to meet Thursday with Houston...

Click title for link to Palm Beach Post story on the hunt for a spring training location for the major league team Houston Astros. Here some of the details of the meeting and the potential John Prince Park location is mentioned.
One source said Nationals principal owner Mark Lerner was believed to be attending, although that could not be immediately confirmed. The meeting will take place near Kissimmee, where the Astros have a spring training complex.
The purpose of the meeting is “to have an open dialogue and try to find out what the teams are looking for,’’ said Assistant County Administrator Verdenia Baker.
Audrey Wolf, the county’s Facilities Development & Operations director, and Ross Hering, the county’s Real Estate Management director, will represent the county. Baker said she will try to attend, too, if she can finish meetings she has today in Tallahassee.
Crane told reporters on Tuesday that he expected the county to discuss at least three potential sites. One of those sites will be John Prince Park just west of Lake Worth, although it is not clear whether the teams or the county, which owns the land, consider that a viable site.
They also include snippet from the meeting where Mel and Vinnie lead the Commission meeting crowd with a rousing version of Take Me Out to the Ballgame. You'll be able to see it shortly on one of my videos too.

This FRIDAY - Yale Whiffenpoofs Musicale in Pan's Garden

Friday, March 7, 2014
Musicale: Yale Whiffenpoofs
Pan's Garden
Free to public

Each year, 14 senior Yale men are selected to be in the Whiffenpoofs, the world's best known a cappella group. Made famous by their signature "Whiffenpoof Song," (which has since been covered by artists like Elvis Presley, Bing Crosby, and Rudy Vallee), the 'Whiffs' carry forward their century-old tradition each year with over two hundred performances in such venues as Carnegie Hall, Broadway's Lincoln Center, and the Rose Bowl. They have been featured on television shows such as NBC's The Sing Off, The West Wing, The Today Show, 60 Minutes, Gilmore Girls, Jeopardy!, Saturday Night Live, and most recently on the Season 4 finale of the hit television show Glee. Last year, the Whiffenpoofs sang for President Obama at the White House and toured to over twenty-five countries on six continents.

Pan's Garden is located in Palm Beach between Chilean and Peruvian Avenues; one block north of Worth Avenue. From I-95, take the Okeechobee Boulevard East exit and travel on Okeechobee Boulevard through the city of West Palm Beach. Cross the Intracoastal Waterway via the Royal Park Bridge (Okeechobee Boulevard becomes Royal Palm Way once on the island of Palm Beach) onto Royal Palm Way. Travel east on Royal Palm Way to Hibiscus Avenue. Turn right (south) onto Hibiscus and proceed three blocks. The main gate of Pan's Garden is located at 386 Hibiscus Avenue, just past the Chilean Avenue intersection. 

Alexander C. Ives
Executive Director
Preservation Foundation of Palm Beach

Pineapple Beach Neighborhood Association presentation at last night's (3/4) City Commission meeting...

West Palm Beat blog | The Palm Beach Post » Blog Archive » West Palm Beach pushing #iLoveWPB

West Palm Beach's Downtown Development Authority roles out another techie way to promote the city. It created a hashtag phrase #iLoveWPB. Now, how difficult is this to do? Not very and it wouldn't take someone 40 hours a week to manage Lake Worth's social media presence. Forty minutes a week, yes, forty hours a week, no. In the meantime, it is left to others to carry the Lake Worth presence around the interwebs. Click title for link.

Preservation a challenge in ever-changing culture

Long-time Palm Beach Daily News (the Shiny Sheet) cartoonist, David Willson, pulls a cartoon from his archives that points to the difficulties of historic preservation in Palm Beach. Ever-changing tastes and a seemingly unending supply of financial resources, make preserving structures a challenge in the town. He recalls the story of the Four Winds, a landmarked house that went through the approval process with the Landmarks Commission. Then, during construction, it was discovered what had been officially approved could not be built and the building ended up being demolished. It was then re-built, using some of the same materials, to look like a bigger version of its former self. That is not historic preservation. When it was discovered what had happened, a big brouhaha erupted and the Town spent a lot of time investigating to see who was at fault and came up with a large report about the whole affair. The conclusion was essentially "mistakes were made."

We had a similar situation with the Lake Worth Casino building. We were told that it would be a restoration (of something that ceased to exist long before), then we were told it was a rehabilitation of the building that was there (it wasn't). Then all but 4% of the existing building was demolished. What exists there today may be more pleasant to look at, but that is not historic preservation.

Click title for link to an interesting historical recollection.

Raising the Gay Pride Flag at Lake Worth City Hall - March 2014

La Joya Villages Groundbreaking 3/28/14 10:00 a.m.

Some pictures of the Gay Pride 2014 Proclamation and Flag Raising, Lake Worth City Hall


Proclamation of Pride Month 2014 in the City of Lake Worth

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Mel and Vinnie's Gift to the City

You will see their presentation in the videos from the City Commission tonight. But this is "Feels Like Home to Me" on YouTube with pictures of Lake Worth as a slideshow during the song. Lake Worth's first music video? Thank you Mel and Vinnie, that is quite a gift!

Town of Palm Beach - News Releases: Fatal Traffic Crash

Palm Beach Police were notified at 9:19 AM of a traffic accident involving a pedestrian near the intersection of Royal Palm Way and South County Road. The vehicle, a forty ton crane, had struck and killed a pedestrian in the roadway. The driver of the crane, unaware that someone had been struck, continued south on County Road to a construction site located on Jungle Road in Palm Beach.

The pedestrian that was pronounced dead at the scene has been identified as James Brennan of West Palm Beach. The driver of the crane was identified as Christopher Geroda of Royal Palm Beach. The investigation is on-going at this time to determine what factors contributed to the accident. The roadway was reopened to traffic at 2:40 PM.

Statement from Integrity Florida on passage of legislative residency requirements

(SCR 954: Joint Rules of the Florida Legislature)

"The public benefits when every Florida community has a representative," said Dan Krassner, executive director of the nonpartisan government watchdog group Integrity Florida. "We need to know that our elected officials live amongst us, understand our concerns and will go up to Tallahassee to ensure our voices are heard.

Integrity Florida applauds Senate President Don Gaetz and House Speaker Will Weatherford for their development of clear guidelines on residency requirements for lawmakers.  Senator John Thrasher, Senator Jack Latvala and Representative Rob Schenck are to be commended for their leadership to deliver this good government reform for the people of Florida.

Citizens need to know that the officials they elect live in their communities and will be committed to their interests. Lawmakers are protecting the principle of representative democracy and we applaud their continued bipartisan action on ethics reform."

Integrity Florida is a nonpartisan research institute and government watchdog whose mission is to promote integrity in government and expose public corruption.  More information

Tomorrow night at the Lake Worth Playhouse (3/5)

A fundraising event for the Lake Worth Playhouse!

Baseball HERITAGE | | Palm Beach & West Palm Beach Florida Weekly

Great recounting of the Major League Baseball Spring Training history in Palm Beach County by the Florida Weekly. It takes you back to the beginning in the 1920s with the St. Louis Browns. There were economic arguments being made back then, as they are today. Here is a bit from the article that talks about the regional repercussions if we lose too many teams on the east coast of Florida.
That would be welcoming news for the four teams training on Florida’s east coast. Once there were seven teams on the coast. Now, the only other east coast teams are the New York Mets in Port St. Lucie and the Nationals in Viera.
The Nationals, who used to be the Expos and who used to train in West Palm, have been flirting with other communities and may leave their Brevard County home.
If that happens, only three teams would remain on the east coast. That could signal an end to the local spring training tradition because teams like to be fairly close to other teams. That facilitates travel and cuts down on hours spent on buses riding around Florida. That’s time that could be better spent on what is called in baseball lingo, PFP, or pitchers fielding practice.
“From our standpoint, we just need teams to play,” said Mike Bauer, general manager of Roger Dean Stadium.
If the Nationals leave, it could open a door for the Marlins to follow. Although they have a contract to keep them in the county through 2027 there is an option that would allow them to leave after 2017 spring training if fewer than four teams remain on this coast.
“That’s always a concern,” said Jeff Castner, general manager of the Jupiter Beach Resort. “We hear the rumblings.”
Mr. Castner is well aware if that one more team leaves the east coast the great history of local spring training could end.

“That’s scary,” Mr. Castner said.
The ideal situation for Mr. Castner would be adding two more teams to the local mix. But he also knows what is the minimum that must be done.
“We got to keep the teams we have,” Mr. Castner said.
Mr. Bauer expects news about the future of teams such as the Blue Jays, Astros and Nationals is not far off.

Thanks to our local EF! office for pointing out this wanted poster on the I-95 electronic billboard...

UPDATE: Crane driver didn’t know he had hit, killed person on...

Terrible! This happened at the corner of Royal Palm Way and South County Road today in Palm Beach around 9:30 a.m. Click title for link.

I have plenty of baseball hats, in Spring colors, no less...

I'll bring these to the City Commission meeting tonight. You can wear one if you support the concept of Spring Training baseball in Lake Worth. I got a dozen of them and I am reserving the pink one for me. Consider it my gift to you which you can keep after the meeting.

Dalai Lama

"Whether we follow a religious path or not, as human beings we all need affection. Warm-heartedness gives rise to the self-confidence and inner strength that supports a calm mind. Peace of mind in turn contributes to our physical health. This is based on the fostering of the basic human values that I promote as secular ethics."

Let's not have reality get in the way of fiction, shall we?

This appeared on the other blog and it is just so ridiculous and has no basis in reality, I had to share it here. Here this comment is juxtaposed to the other blogger's "NO NAME CALLING WILL BE ALLOWED by those commenting on this blog!" policy. She then refers those readers to what she refers to as "that bully blogger's site."

Here is the absurdity:

West Palm Beach planners seek ideas for improving city’s north...

Eliot Kleinberg reviews a planning process underway by the West Palm Beach CRA from 15th Street to the northern city limits. You might recall the mega-development's claims around the Rybovich marina about how it would have a positive impact economically in this area. Here is what is going on this week. If you have an interest in the area, you might want to drop by. Click title for link to full article.
“North End Visioning Week,” continues this week. The public is welcome from 9 to 11 a.m. and from 6 to 8 p.m., through Thursday, at the Center for Creative Education, 425 24th St. A “Work in Progress” presentation is set for 6 pm Friday at the center. The group will report to the city commission, sitting as the CRA board, at its April meeting. Call 561-822-1436.

This just in from the NAPC website:

Click title for link to complete site.

NAPC Volunteers Star in 20th Annual Street Painting Festival

125 Volunteers from the NAPC Neighborhood Associations came out to serve the Street Painting Festival by serving beer, checking in volunteers and restocking the beer stations throughout both days of the Festival held February 22nd and 23rd. The Associations earned a total of $1,660.79 in tips that will be distributed among the participating Associations based on how many hours Volunteers from those neighborhoods worked. Congratulations to the Lake Worth Street Painting Festival organizers, Maryanne Webber and Nadine Burns, for another fabulous event and Thank You for the opportunity to serve the Festival and help the Neighborhoods at the same time! 

WOW!! Lake Worth Neighborhood Leaders Bring it HOME!

Lake Worth NAPC Neighborhood Leaders who attended the Palm Beach County Office of Community Revitalization Resident Education to Action Program last November just received notification that eight of the grants they applied for totaling  $15,500  have been recommended for approval by the Board of County Commissioners in July. That total does not count the $7,800 in grants recommended for approval from our Good Lake Worth Neighbors at Neighbors Helping Neighbors, Fernsworth Gardens and The Cottages of Lake Worth.

Congratulations to these NAPC Neighborhood Associations: College Park, Eden Place, Pineapple Beach, ROLOH, Royal Poinciana, South Palm Park and to the NAPC who was also awarded a grant for the "Front Porch" and a special grant to help fund street banners for many of our Associations.

Gulf Stream millionaire wins legal fight to post campaign...

According to a judge's ruling, a candidate in Gulfstream Town Council can post his campaign signs within the Delray Beach city limits. City officials were picking them up as he wasn't a candidate in Delray Beach, but he claimed freedom of speech. He got a hearing so quickly since time was of the essence, given that the election is next week.

The ruling makes sense on First Amendment grounds. And I remember many times seeing overlap between West Palm Beach and Lake Worth candidate signs, especially in the area of south West Palm Beach and the north part of Lake Worth. Click title for link. I guess the Gulfstream candidate is quite notorious.

Commentary: All Aboard Florida a chance to capitalize on...

Click title for link to a great "rah rah" article about the historic importance of rail transit in the state's development and how it is working to our benefit in the 21st Century. Seth Bramson, author of the article and two time High Noon in Lake Worth guest, even says:
 "Where there is infrastructure, there is promise. Where there is a thoughtfully planned solution to an existing need and growing demand, there is success. And where there is both promise and success, there is future opportunity for all."
And he is just referring to the All Aboard Florida service that is about to begin which will link Miami to Orlando. Later on, we will have the opportunity for more transit opportunities on the FEC right-of-way through the addition of local trains that will link the older, coastal downtown areas.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Field(s) of Dreams

There is an item at the end of the consent agenda for tomorrow night's City Commission meeting. Here is how it appears on the agenda.
Here is the back-up and associated resolution related to the item. It is essentially a formal statement by the City of Lake Worth that has been approached by a Major League Baseball franchise(s) in locating a spring training facility in John Prince Park. Palm Beach County owns the land for this park and would have to give its ultimate approval of such a facility in this location. The resolution points out that the area surrounding John Prince Park is economically depressed (it is) and that the city wants to continue to explore the possibility and "work diligently with Palm Beach County to develop such an interest." It merely expresses the city's continued exploration of such a facility.

This is the memo from staff which accompanies the resolution.
And here is the resolution:

There is nothing in the resolution committing city resources, other than staff time, to this effort. There is nothing wrong with this. Details will come in the future and everyone will be able to have a say in the matter, most importantly the Palm Beach County Commission who owns and maintains the park. It will likely be pulled from the consent agenda for discussion tomorrow night.

This issue, by the way, has not been a secret and the story appeared on the first page of the Palm Beach Post.

It reminds me of President Kennedy's call for space exploration and setting his, and the nation's sights, on a goal of a lunar landing within a short eight years. This resolution is like that speech. It sets a goal. President Kennedy didn't know how it would happen, he just knew that it could happen. He had faith in our nation. We need to express faith in the future of Lake Worth and pass this resolution. There are those among us, who we have heard from before, that dare not to be great, but dare to be safe with what was, not what can be.

"We choose to go to the moon in this decade, and the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard."
So, come to the City Commission meeting tomorrow night. Wear a baseball hat if you believe that Lake Worth is worth dreaming about. You may end up singing this song.

Lake Worth Municipal Pool Hours

Municipal Pool | 10 South Ocean Boulevard

Hours of Operation:
Thursday & Friday | 8am - Noon
Saturday & Sunday | 9am - 4pm
Monday | 8am - Noon

Admission Cost
Adult | 17 years & over | $4
Youth | 4 - 16 years | $3
Infants | 3 years & under | Free

Non-Resident Adult $5

I am posting this since many have asked and seems to be a consistent question on Facebook, even though this information is available on the city's website. Additionally, the water exercise class led by Sally Welsh is at 11 a.m. on Saturdays and 10 a.m. on Sundays.

Special City Commission Meeting this Thursday - 3/6/14 6:30 p.m. - Swearing-in Ceremony

Mark Your Calendars: Hearing Date Set in Decker vs. City of Lake Worth - 3/28/14 AT 330 PM Judge McCarthy

Filing Date:18-FEB-2014
Disposition Amount:

Filing Date:24-FEB-2014
Filing Party: 
Disposition Amount:
Docket Text:AMENDED - SET ON 3/28/14 AT 330 PM DTD. 2/21/14 BY T MCCARTHY

Happy 169th Birthday Florida!

Golf Course Shoreline Clean-up April 5

Volunteers are needed for the Great American Cleanup effort in Lake Worth. On Saturday, April 5, join your neighbors to help clean up the shoreline of Lake Worth Lagoon and Snook Islands area, adjacent to the Lake Worth Municipal Golf Course. The area is littered with old tires, broken bits of lumber, plastic and paper trash. All are welcome to participate in this clean-up effort spearheaded by the Kiwanis Club of Lake Worth in conjunction with Keep Palm Beach County Beautiful.

Volunteers will meet at the clubhouse (located at 7th Ave N and the intracoastal) at 8 AM. You don’t have to be a Kiwanis member to join in the effort, but volunteers must be 18 years old or accompanied by a parent.

The Snook Islands area contains some of the most environmentally sensitive shoreline in Palm Beach County, providing fish hatchery and habitat for dolphins and wading birds.

All participants are asked to park in the golf course parking lot the morning of the event. Golf carts will be used to shuttle volunteers to the cleanup locations along the length of the shoreline. Plenty of garbage bags and latex gloves will be provided. Please be sure to wear old clothes, closed-toed shoes, sunscreen, sunglasses, and hats if you have them.

Pre-registration is suggested for groups of five or more. Registration form and attached.

Great American Cleanup, America is the largest litter reduction and community improvement project in the USA. This national event is sponsored by more than 500 affiliates of Keep America Beautiful. Keep Palm Beach County Beautiful is assisted locally by the Solid Waste Authority.

Kiwanis is a global organization of volunteers dedicated to changing the world, one child and one community at a time. There are over 350,000 members in 84 countries.

Awake the State plans opening-day rallies around Florida | Post on Politics

John Prince Park will be the location of one of these rallies starting at 5 p.m. tomorrow night. Click here for a link to the group's Facebook page.

Delray marketing group launches mobile app - Sun Sentinel

Delray Beach continues to show that it is way ahead of the curve when it comes to using electronic communications with its residents and now its visitors. Click title for link.
Delray is the only city in the United States playing guinea pig for the new Rand McNally "Best Town Travels" program, which highlights "must sees" in different cities through a mobile app.
The app can be downloaded free in iTunes and provides people information on attractions to catch, places to grab a bite and where to stay in Delray.
"If you're on the road and on your way to Florida, you now can plan your whole visit to Delray Beach before you even get here," said Stephanie Immelman, executive director of Delray's Marketing Cooperative.
And this is probably the most telling part of the article:
 When the company planned its new app series, set to officially launch next year, it selected Delray over 60 other cities to help build and try out the app at no charge.
"They chose us out of all of them," she said. "It's just one more channel to bring people to Delray."
Immelman said Delray landed the first app because the city had a marketing firm in place, which made it easy for the groups to quickly build the app together. Delray also benefited from its strong online presence.
Besides the website, even the revamped one leaves something to be desired, the City of Lake Worth has an anemic e-mail blast system. Is anyone still getting anything from Topics in the Tropics? No official presence on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube etc. It seems that there is no desire on the city's part to participate in these technologies, so it will be left to others to carry the water.

I can see this sort of app being very useful for the Cottages of Lake Worth group.

Editorial: Peragine, Deaton for Palm Beach Gardens City Council

The Palm Beach Post comes out and backs the challengers in the two seats up in the City of Palm Beach Gardens. And the reason revolves on the current Commission and administration's refusal to broadcast meetings. The excuses for not doing so fall flat on an increasing tech-savvy, or a least tech-using, constituency. Most people know that meetings can be broadcast and archived, and that most communities of any size do so as a matter of course. I happen to know one of the incumbents and I wish her well, but a more open attitude to public engagement would have served her well. We'll see what the public has to say on election day. Click title for link.

Bill Gives Pedestrians, Bicyclists Special Designation « CBS Miami

More protection for people not in vehicles that use the roadways and more punishments for people in vehicles that violate the new rules. This is meant to address Florida's terrible rate of pedestrian and bicycle accidents. Click title for link.
Bills (SB 1312 and HB 1159) by Sen. Greg Evers, R-Baker, and Rep. Dwight Dudley, D-St. Petersburg, would impose a second-degree misdemeanor charge on any motorist who commits a moving violation that causes serious bodily harm to a “vulnerable road user.” The designation would go to pedestrians, including people engaged in work on highways, and people lawfully on the road riding bicycles, motorcycles, scooters, mopeds or animals, or operating farm equipment, skateboards, in-line skates, horse-drawn carriages, electric personal-assistive mobility devices or wheelchairs.
The penalty would grow to a first-degree misdemeanor, with the potential loss of a motorist’s driver’s license for at least one year, if a “vulnerable road user” dies. The penalties wouldn’t replace other charges motorists could face.

Fly Rod and Reel Magazine 2007 March - Reforming the Corps of Engineers

This article goes back a few years but lays waste to the Army Corps of Engineers by identifying all of the wasteful and harmful projects it has undertaken in the name of flood control and drainage. This comes from an outdoor sports magazine that is concerned about the preservation of wildlife habitats, especially fish that have been adversely affected by decisions of the Corps. It's a little on the long side, but definitely worth the read. Click title for link.
America called the destruction of New Orleans "an act of God," too. But it should have blamed the Corps and Congress (which funds and authorizes its wasteful, destructive and counterproductive projects). For the five millennia before the Army engineers "improved" the Mississippi, as they like to say, the river had built its own flood control--a rich mosaic of forests, ponds, swamps, sloughs, and five million acres of flood-absorbing, fish-and-wildlife-rich delta marsh. But with its levee system the Corps has converted the river into a sluiceway that shunts marsh-building sediments into the Gulf and over the lip of the continental shelf. Corps projects (along with oil-and-gas access canals) have destroyed 1,900 square miles of delta marsh, thereby bringing the sea 30 miles closer to New Orleans.
Immediately after Hurricane Katrina, Corps brass and President Bush expressed astonishment that the levees had failed. But everyone who had been paying attention, including a few rank-and-file Army engineers, had been predicting that failure for years. In 1999 about 50 conservation leaders--later to gel into the "Corps Reform Network"--met in Louisiana to strategize about how best to encourage the Corps to protect instead of destroy natural resources. Their first action was to go to the district engineer and implore him to close the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet (aka "Mr. Go"), a dangerous and essentially useless 76-mile navigation channel connecting the Gulf of Mexico to the Port of New Orleans' Inner Harbor Navigation Canal in eastern New Orleans.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

EXTRA SPECIAL MEETING - Tropical Ridge Neighborhood Association

Greetings Neighbors and FriendS,

I have been so busy trying to help make Monday's meeting a success that I forgot one of the most important things which is your invitation!!!

You are invited to a very special neighborhood Meeting:        Monday, March 3rd

                 1st Church of the Nazarene

                 2nd Ave N. and N. 'D' street 


                          (please note the special time for this meeting only)

This meeting is hosted by Tropical Ridge and Royal Poinciana Neighborhood Associations and the Guatemalan-Maya Center.



This get-together is the perfect opportunity for us to voice our concerns and offer ideas for topics and speakers in future meetings.

Hope to see you all.

Carolyn Deli    

Hooray for Hollywood: Florida taxpayers could hand film industry $1B tax break «

Integrity Florida's efforts are mentioned in this article that seek to make expenditures by the state in support of the film industry more transparent. Dan Krassner, Integrity Florida's Executive Director and co-founder was a recent guest on High Noon in Lake Worth. Click title for link.
As Tinseltown readies for Oscar night, Florida‘s film and entertainment production industry is reportedly lobbying lawmakers for $1 billion in tax perks.
Everyone else will pick up the difference, Matthew Mitchell, senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, told
The giveaways, or subsidies, allow for selected companies producing films, commercials, music videos, “high-impact” television shows and interactive websites to skip out on as much as 30 percent of their tax bills as long as they’re working in Florida.


An excellent review and summary of our state legislative delegation that represents areas within Palm Beach County. Click title for link.

You may also want to check out this legislative forum put on by the Palm Beach County Planning Congress and other host organizations. This Legislative Breakfast took place at the end of last month and is an annual tradition. While not representative of the full contingent, it is a good summary of some of the planning and environmental issues being addressed.

Residence Inn in downtown West Palm Beach looks to fill niche

More information contained in this Palm Beach Post article related to the Marriott Residence Inn being built in downtown West Palm Beach. If I am counting correctly, it will finish out at nine stories. They are looking to serve a market of families and leisure travelers that may want to stay longer than the average hotel guest. Relationships are being formed with hospitals that might have patients undergoing longer term stays where the family wants to be close to patient. Click title for link.

Some key county intersections especially risky for pedestrians |

Grim statistics about pedestrian/car accidents resulting in injuries and deaths in Palm Beach County. The County ranks fourth in the state in the number of pedestrian accidents. And there seem to be some particular hotspots in Palm Beach County where engineers have optimized vehicle traffic to the detriment of pedestrians. Click title for link to article.
The Okeechobee-Military intersection is the worst in Palm Beach County for pedestrian crashes, according to a Palm Beach Post analysis. And the county is the fourth-most dangerous in a state that is the deadliest in the country, recent data show.
The reasons for pedestrian crashes are many, but some experts believe problems began when the county’s roads — and their massive intersections — were planned.
“We’ve optimized the roads for cars,” said former county planner David Goodman. “But for a pedestrian it’s deadly.”
Urban Planner Jeff Speck has been hired recently by the West Palm Beach Downtown Development Authority to address "walkability" issues within its boundaries. Mr. Speck was recently on a High Noon in Lake Worth episode which might be worth a listen if you haven't already.

Sounds like Katie isn't getting enough beauty sleep...

From Lynn's blog regarding the clean-up on South L Street yesterday:
Unfortunately or not, depending on your point of view, we live in a society that respects the rights of private property owners. Even with our "beefed up" code enforcement laws on the books, the city just cannot enter a property whenever it wants to and address a problem. A property owner must be offered due process to address items related to the condition present on the property. Otherwise, the city can be accused of trespassing, unreasonable searches and seizing of property. Someone might call the city Monday and ask where all their tires went. You multiply this by the number of properties in the city that are vacant and/or is some sort of foreclosure limbo and you have what amounts to an intractable problem. At this point, intervention by neighbors and other concerned citizens is the only way to accomplish things. The work done yesterday was in cooperation with the firm that was "managing" this particular property.

It doesn't help to have malcontents, showcased regularly on the other blog, whine and yell to desparate local media outlets saying "look at that mess over there!" And Lake Worth is not the only south Florida city with these type of problems. Ms. McGiveron prefers to let them eat cake rather than roll up her sleeves and help with the situation.

How is the Sunset property mediation going, by the way?

Landmarks debate brews: Is town doing enough to protect its... |

This article comes from the Shiny Sheet, click title for link. It recounts the continued battle to save houses worth preserving in the Town of Palm Beach. Many owners fear the landmarking process as it restricts their right to demolish or alter their structure once officially landmarked. The article reviews the guidelines that are applied for landmarking status. Depending on that status, changes to buildings or new construction is either reviewed by the Architectural Commission (ARCOM) or the Landmarks Preservation Commission. If the town wants to landmark a property, it really needs acceptance by the owner to do so and some are reluctant. Most have the resources to fight the town and usually prevail.

Generally speaking, we do things differently here in Lake Worth, as most of our historic resources lie within districts and are classified as contributing or non-contributing. Regardless, an owner can request demolition of even a contributing structure if it meets certain criteria. One of them is the condition of the structure. In Palm Beach, you don't run into too many cases of demolition by neglect, but we do have that situation in Lake Worth. Some properties are just too deteriorated to save.

Anyway, it looks like the Town of Palm Beach is about to bolster their Landmarks budget to see if it can do more to preserve buildings that add to the unique historic character of Palm Beach. Recently, ARCOM has been chastised by the Town Council for holding up demolitions of non-landmarked structures where they really don't have that ability. It sounds like this struggle will continue.

Florida Rep. Bracy to introduce recreational marijuana bill - Orlando Sentinel

There is concern on both sides that this would bolster claims that having medical marijuana available and legal with a state eventually leads to further legalization. Ultimately, it has lead to full legalization for recreational use in some examples. Pushing this now may make it more difficult to provide the drug to people who really have a medical need for it. Click title for link.

Lake Worth FL crime rates and statistics - NeighborhoodScout

This is a ranking of the 100 most dangerous cities in the nation based upon FBI crime data. Click here for detailed breakdown of various types of crime. It is important to note that the area classified as part of Lake Worth includes areas west of the city limits, but those areas are actually deemed safer than those within the city. So including just city statistics would make things worse, one would think. According to this, the least safest areas of the city are the Tropical Ridge area and what would be the future Park of Commerce area. You can also compare Lake Worth to other similar-sized cities.