Saturday, April 26, 2014

Flagler Bridge Public Meeting - West Palm Beach City Hall from March 19, 2014

Adding some light to the topic of blue trees...

Click here for more on the artist and the message.

Ultra Alert Larry the Lenz walks in on what evolved into a Tree Sit!

I don't know if it was the color that attracted him, but Larry was on patrol today and spied a tree that had been painted blue about 15 feet or so up from the ground. It was found on North H Street by the outdoor gym.  I mention the color since the paint used was a hue very close to Larry's dermis (that's just south of his epidermis). He was able to get an overall shot of the situation, while he heard the roar of the protesters.
After poking his sensitive lens around the base of the tree, there they were! It looked like the same group of protesters; the ones that have been seen a few times in Bryant Park. They had set up a base camp to plot their next move and Larry was able to catch them before the real action started.

As if previously orchestrated, they actually mounted the subject tree and started one of their famous "tree sits." Check out these breathtaking pictures. These protesters turned out to show the skills of mountain goats!

How a vehicle got up where it was is anyone's guess!

Somehow, Larry managed to wiggle up the tree himself. This photo may not be suitable for work. You can see the protesters' holes. Larry maintained his propriety, but he'll sleep well tonight fer sure.

Thanks for your great work Larry - you're the best!

West Palm Beach announces its property value projection:

I wonder what Lake Worth's projection is?

This just in from Greenfield,California. Sound at all familiar?

This could have been our future with our former Best City Manager Ever! Think about it and breath a sigh of relief.

Dalai Lama

"For many people, the only tangible value is money. And of course money has its place, but the value of cultivating a compassionate attitude is much more effective. When we only pay attention to material values, there’s little room for concern for others, or for mutual regard."

Friday, April 25, 2014

Miami-Orlando rail service on track for 2016 debut - Travel Weekly

This is another way to meet the need for speed. This is a positive tourism-related article on the All Aboard Florida fast train service that is stirring up some opposition. Click title for link. From the article:
All Aboard Florida, a privately owned, operated and maintained venture, would offer a 21st century take on Flagler’s legacy, with clean-diesel-burning locomotives and WiFi onboard.
The train would whisk riders from one city to the other (with planned stops in Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach) in under three hours, at speeds of up to 110 mph.
The service is scheduled to begin in 2016.
“This is a combination of a transportation and a hospitality project. It’s an opportunity to connect the state and think of Florida as a destination, not just a pick one location,” said Don Robinson, president and COO of All Aboard Florida.
Chief Marketing Officer Julie Edwards added, “Central Florida to Miami is too long to drive and too short to fly. This is a great answer for the state of Florida.”

Florida Senate approves raising speed limit to 75 mph on most highways

The 75 mile per hour speed limit bill heads to the state House of Representatives. Click title for link.
Sen. Jeff Clemens, D-Lake Worth, a co-sponsor of the higher speed limit, said traffic deaths in Florida are lower today than in the mid 1990s, when the universal speed limit was 55 mph.
"Most people innately understand how fast they can travel, and how safe they can drive," Clemens said. "This bill allows DOT to set the speed limit based on engineering and science, not based on the whims of politicians."
The nationwide standard for setting speed limits is known as the 85th percentile rule, the speed at which 85 percent of traffic moves in a given area.

Lessons from our Local Tea Partier...

Marcus Aurelius said, "Leave another's wrongdoing where it lies." Wise advice. However, lest anyone forget what this person is capable of, see the "bullets" picture in the right hand column. I am convinced that this woman drinks battery acid for coffee. Here is her latest.

Let's delve into the irrational, nonsensical world of Tea Party politics. The world inhabited by Glen Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Mark Levin, and Fox News. Locally we have our own Tea Party/Allen West aficionado, the other blogger.

Do you recall the rancher in the news from Nevada? The other blogger mistakenly cites Colorado but, for her, facts are just inconvenient irrelevancies. Cliven Bundy became the darling of the Tea Party and was used as an example of all that ills "Obama's America." He was grazing his cattle for free on YOUR public land but irrelevant when you're having fun Obama bashing. Until just a day ago Mr. Bundy was the modern American Hero who defeated the Bureau of Land Management. Or so it seemed.

Here's what the Other Blogger had to say.
But it gets worse. A whole lot worse. The other blogger continues to make comparisons between Cliven Bundy's "battle" and a whole lot of other things like: the Lake Worth City Commission, the Lake Worth City Attorney, the Lake Worth Park of Commerce, tyranny, and drum roll please! Jim Jones and the drinking of Kool-Aid!!!!!
Cliven Bundy and the Other Blogger have a lot in common as you'll see in the following video. They both have terrible things to say about our African-American neighbors.

You know, if the other blogger is looking for friends, I think it would be a good match. It would be a good reason to get her out to Colorado, err, Nevada. Maybe she could move to Greenfield, California and live happily ever after.

Dr. Seuss

“Waiting for the fish to bite or waiting for wind to fly a kite. Or waiting around for Friday night or waiting perhaps for their Uncle Jake or a pot to boil or a better break or a string of pearls or a pair of pants or a wig with curls or another chance. Everyone is just waiting.” 

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Mail Art Exhibition and Reception Commemorating Lake Worth Centennial

Lake Worth, Florida -- The Lake Worth Museum, located at 414 Lucerne Avenue, will 
exhibit the collection of Mail Art received over the last two years in tribute to the City’s 
Centennial. The exhibit opens on Wednesday, April 30th with a reception from 6-8pm. 

More than 100 artistically embellished envelopes were delivered by the US Postal Service 
to Lake Worth City Hall from well wishers around the world as far away as China and New 
Zealand. Each envelope is a unique expression using drawings, calligraphy, collage or 
photography. Some are not even envelopes. One in particular uses a dried sea grape leaf 
as a canvas for their Centennial tribute.  
The collection will remain a permanent part of the Museum’s historical collection of art and 
artifacts from the first 100 years of the City’s history. The Lake Worth Historical Museum in 
the City Hall Annex Building is located on the second floor. The Museum is open on 
Wednesdays and Fridays from 1-4pm and tours are available by appointment. For more 
information about the Lake Worth Museum, please call (561) 533-7354. 

More news from Greenfield, California. Does any of this sound familiar?

Earth Day weekend | Lake Worth every minute

Click title for link to AnnaMaria Windisch-Hunt's rundown of events this coming weekend. You'll also find out about the painted tree and the event surrounding it.

National Day of Prayer Breakfast with Mayor Pam Triolo Thursday, May 1st ~ Lake Worth Casino Ballroom

Presented in Cooperation with
Lake Worth Interfaith Network
Kiwanis of Lake Worth
Sponsored by E.R. Bradley's Beach Club

Join Us in Prayer & Celebration
RSVP by April 28
Parking Compliments of City from 7AM - 9:30AM

Request from Facebook: Do not call Compass about the painted tree...

This appeared on Facebook a few minutes ago.

Folly Beach renourishment sand disappears in storm – The Post and Courier

Ironic name for a city that lost about $30 million worth of recently placed sand in a recent storm. This follows a previous effort in 2005 and plans for continual renourishment through 2043. That's a lot of money. Click title for link. From the article:
Sand doesn't stay put; that's the bottom line. But the rapid vanishing of the berm rubs salt into the controversy over the gullies and a larger controversy over the viability of the continuing project that calls for renourishment every eight years or as needed until 2043.
Since its start in 1993, costs have escalated over each successive renourishment and now have both federal and local officials leery. The last time the work was done, in 2005, the cost was $12 million - little more than a third of the current cost.
The gullies were left unfilled when the contractor stopped pouring sand at the "public" boundary. City officials and the Army Corps couldn't reach an agreement on whether the owners of 35 beachfront lots should have to sign over easements to the portions of their properties that are now beach, or pay an estimated $2.5 million or more for the work.
The gullies were not filled despite concerns that drainage and erosion exacerbated by them could undermine the renourished sand in front, compromising the ability to form dunes and potentially shortening the lifespan of the renourishment.
How strong is the seawall by the Casino building, again?

Familiar faces appear in Hendry County...

Multi-tasking with babe in arms and a megaphone, our former Lake Worth City Commission and her baby's Daddy take to the streets in Labelle, protesting what smells like it could become an FPL power plant in Hendry County. There is a 3,000 acre property that was rezoned by the county that FPL later purchased. The Seminole tribe is taking the county to court in attempt to reverse the rezoning. Our local opportunists wasted no time jumping in front of this parade, as things just aren't going to well for them over on this coast. Ms. Jennings' back is conveniently facing the camera. Gone, but not forgotten.

On a related topic, this is just in on public opinion related to the Keystone pipeline:
Sixty-two percent (62%) believe it will be good for the U.S. economy if the pipeline is built. That’s up from 56% at the beginning of the year and also a new high. Unchanged are the 10% who think the pipeline will be bad for the economy. Twelve percent (12%) say it will have no impact, while 16% are not sure.
Thirty-two percent (32%) think the pipeline will be bad for the environment. But 54% disagree, with 13% who feel it will be good for the environment and 41% who say it will have no environmental impact. Fourteen percent (14%) are not sure.
Fifty-seven percent (57%) of voters say the pipeline is at least somewhat important to how they will vote in the next congressional election, with 23% who say it is Very Important. Thirty-eight percent (38%) say the Keystone project is not important to their vote, including 11% who say it is Not at All Important.
Click here for more from the article.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

West Palm Beach announces new financial employer - paying average salaries of $54,000/year

Army Corps delays key Everglades restoration project - Sun Sentinel

Andy Reid writes about some bad news in the effort to re-direct water south towards the Everglades. Click title for link.
Federal officials on Tuesday potentially derailed a nearly $2 billion plan intended to help the Everglades and curb coastal water pollution.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' Civil Works Review Board, in an unexpected move, refused to sign off on the Central Everglades plan, which would redirect more Lake Okeechobee water south to replenish Florida's famed "River of Grass."
That postponement threatens to torpedo efforts to convince Congress to split the $2 billion cost with the state to help restore lake water flows to the Everglades – cut off by decades of drainage to make way for South Florida development and farming.
The Everglades Foundation environmental group called the delay "a staggering failure of duty and responsibility" that threatens to set back the Central Everglades plan for years.

WPTV honored with two 2014 Regional Murrow Awards -

Not a real fan of local TV news, but they do come up with some important stories and some stations are better than others. Click title for link. Congratulations Channel 5!
According to the RTDNA, The awards recognize the best electronic journalism produced by radio, television and online news organizations around the world.
The group awarded a total of 661 regional Edward R. Murrow Awards in 14 categories.
"The Murrow Awards honor journalism at its finest," RTDNA Executive Director Mike Cavender said on the organization's website. "Local newsrooms serve their communities 365 days a year, and we're proud to recognize the great work they do."


The Lake Worth Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA), in cooperation with the City of Lake Worth, would like to invite the public to the dedication of the new Tropical Ridge Playground at 211 North “H” Street on Saturday April 26th. For the past year, the CRA has been planning, designing and fundraising to provide a new place of play for families living in this area of Lake Worth.

Thanks to generous donations and grants from KaBOOM! Inc., Publix Supermarkets and Keep Palm Beach County Beautiful, our agency is able to create a new children's playground in one of the City's most historic neighborhood. We will also be using residents and volunteers to help construct the actual playground throughout the morning of the 26th.

This project would not have been possible without the support of our sponsors including, KaBOOM! Inc., the Dr. Pepper/Snapple Group, Publix Supermarkets, Keep Palm Beach County Beautiful, Community Partners of Palm Beach County, Bridges at Highland Elementary, Cannatelli Builders and the Tropical Ridge Neighborhood Association.

The CRA, and its partners, is dedicating to improving this neighborhood and creating additional places of recreation when funding is available in the years to come.

The dedication ceremony will take place at noon in front of the park which is located at 211 North “H” Street. All Lake Worth residents and members of the media are invited to attend. Parking is available along side streets or at the Compass Center (202 North “H” Street).

For more information on the Tropical Ridge Playground, please call the Lake Worth CRA office at (561) 493-2550 or visit

Sea Level Rise - Miami Most at Risk

video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

From the Lake Worth CRA's YouTube channel...

Follow-up post on Lake Worth's lodging opportunities...

We decided to check out the current state of some of the lodging opportunities for visitors of Lake Worth and their current status. We identified several in this post from yesterday. First of all, some of you may be relieved that the Sabal Palm House is no longer described as "action packed" on the state's VisitFlorida website.
The Mango Inn is now "chilled out", in place of "budget minded."
We also checked out South Palm Suites. This is how it appears on the state of Florida-run website. 
Its last Trip Advisor entry was in March of 2013. Here is how it looked yesterday.
Gone is the sign identifying the property as South Palm Suites. We found out by talking to one of the property's managers there that about 7 months ago it become a sober house.
The property was clean and well kept, with few cars in the parking lot. No one hanging around outside and it seemed like any other property in the area. Perhaps nicer than most, actually.
In his talk to Parrot Cove, William Waters talks about sober houses and how the city can do little, unless they are causing a nuisance, to regulate this type of use. It is simply a choice by the owner of the property who they choose to rent to.
Then we went to check out the Silver Lions Motel at 504 South Dixie Hwy.

While impressed by the majesty of the silver lions, forever looking west, with the afternoon sun glistening from their metallic manes, this probably isn't the place to visit for local hospitality. We actually went in to inquire about room rates, and between the bars, notices and penetrating stares, we clearly got the impression that we were not welcome there. No words were said. So, you can mark this off your list as a suggestion for when Aunt Zelda and your cousins come to Lake Worth for a visit.

Then we went up Dixie Hwy. to the Ixora motel. There was some sort of active crime scene right across the street which you can see going down in this picture. So we decided not to dawdle there for long.
Again, not a recommendation for Aunt Zelda, unless she and the kids enjoy a mirror mounted at a 45 degree angle over the bed. Probably used as a grooming aid or some such. We didn't get information on room rates.

From the Parrot Cove Neighborhood Association Meeting held last night (4/21/14)

This is a playlist of three videos of a talk by Director of Community Sustainability, William Waters. He reviews six hypothetical redevelopment sites and walks through the presentation previously given to land development professionals. That meeting took place at the Casino building a few weeks ago. He touches on how the new land development regulations would assist in the redevelopment of these sites, but caters his talk to a "lay" audience. He also fields many questions from neighbors who attended the meeting.

You will see why, if you watch the videos, that this may be referred to as William's "God" talk. He really is quite knowledgeable and you will learn a lot about the city in general. He also talks about code enforcement, redevelopment and the possible re-configuring of Dixie Hwy., short term vacation rentals and sober houses. I believe he plans to appear at more neighborhood associations and community groups with this same presentation.

Keep in mind that these are "hypothetical" scenarios. Implementation of them depends on land assembly, developer interest and resources and could vary widely from the designs shown here. These are "what if" scenarios that the city has put together by a third party consultant. None of them represent a vision of a project as proposed by an actual developer.

A chart shown in the presentation compares "development fees" charged in Lake Worth versus other municipalities. Lake Worth's are markedly lower in contrast. When asked what all those numbers represent, this was William's response:
As for the fee comparisons,  Dolores Key researched all the costs associated with a project to obtain a building permit.  The costs include development and planning review costs, impact fees, building permit fees and other fixed costs required to get a project approved in the various municipalities.  As for unincorporated county, their zoning categories were not conducive to our study and we wanted to focus on  urbanized areas.

Sustainable Chillin' - Happy Earth Day!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Proposed system map of Tri-Rail Coastal Link and All Aboard Florida.

REMINDER: Parrot Cove Meeting Monday April 21, 7:00pm at Believer's Victory Church - 10th and N Lakeside Dr.

Parrot Cove ​and Lake Worth ​Neighbors:

This month we will be featuring Lake Worth's Director of Community Sustainability, William Waters as our guest speaker to discuss the unveiling of Lake Worth's revised Land Development Regulations (LDRs). You may have recently heard about the announcement of 6 sites spotlighted in Lake Worth that the City has shown as promising examples of what could be and relaying the message to those outside our city that we are open for business. William Waters will be giving a presentation and speaking about the plans our city has to move us into the future with positive partnerships to foster a more inviting environment for people to do business in our city.

Text of the initial announcement:

"Invitation to Experience Lake Worth.

It is the Dawn of a new day in Lake Worth, where opportunities abound and the possibilities are only limited by one’s creativity.  Over the past four years the City has developed a new set of Land Development Regulations to guide the future of our City.  They respect the past, build on the present and set the stage for an exciting future.  Embracing the City’s diversity, encouraging new investment that is sympathetic to the architectural, historical and cultural heritage of the City and invigorating partnerships and participation are the primary goals of the new rules.  The City  is the unveiling this cutting edge effort through an interactive overview of how to become a part of the community through investing in its opportunities.  The new regulations will be explained with visual examples of how they can become a reality.  The process and incentives to encourage investment and redevelopment will be outlined.  A question and answer session is offered to go over particular areas of interest.  City incentives will be explained.  Disincentives and myths will be dispelled.  The time for the Lake Worth of tomorrow finally has arrived and you are enthusiastically invited to be a part of the City’s bright, exciting future."

​​Update: We will have a director from our code compliance division attending also. ​ 

​This meeting is open to all who wish to attend.​

We hope to see you there. ​

‘No vacancy’: Palm Beach County’s tourist season booms |

Palm Beach County hotel occupancy was 90 percent in February. Just for kicks and giggles, I checked out the VisitFlorida website last night to see what "Lake Worth" lodging opportunities were listed there. This is the state of Florida's main tourism website. If you search for Lake Worth, this is what you get:

Clearly outside of Lake Worth
Clearly outside of Lake Worth

A campground, really?

Click here for what Trip Advisor says for South Palm Suites.
This says to me that the city's focus should be promoting South Federal Hwy. as a hotel location. And then we have other offerings that we have come to expect. This particular offering, South Palm Suites, when I tried to call their phone number, had a full voice mail box. Not very welcoming to the potential Lake Worth visitor. Their website seems to be inactive and the latest review on Trip Advisor is from March of 2013. We will go by today and see if it is open for business or not.

These are the two, quality bed and breakfast establishments that we have in our city.
Interesting tag line here.

I'm not sure what the Rinaldis are doing that makes their place "action packed" - do tell!
We'll also go by the Silver Lions and the Ixora today and do somewhat of a photo documentary. We can't forget our mothballed historic hotel, the Gulfstream, listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Here is a picture of it in its heyday.
The point to be made here is that we should have people beating down the door of the Department of Community Sustainability for applications to develop a hotel in Lake Worth SINCE THERE JUST IS NOT A SELECTION OF QUALITY HOTEL ROOMS HERE IN THE CITY OF LAKE WORTH. Here we have Palm Beach County reporting record occupancy - 90% - Lake Worth is sitting right in the center of the coastal part of the County, with a BRAND NEW BEACH COMPLEX (that we are still waiting to pay ourselves back now that it is built). One would think that the laws of supply and demand would be working to fill the void. But they aren't. Something is broken. Remember that survey I posted a while back about the cheapest hotel room night stay in Delray Beach was $200 during February? Later today, I'll find out what the "rack rate" is at the Silver Lions and the Ixora.

Here is part of the article that appeared above the fold, right in the center of the printed edition of the Palm Beach Post today. Click title for link.
As the Northeast thaws and 90-degree days return, 90 percent hotel occupancies become a (sunny) winter memory, but the booming season that just wrapped up set records.
“Early February, we just knew it was just cranking,” said Jay Badillo, general manager of the Embassy Suites across from Palm Beach International Airport. His hotel was booked, and so were the overflow hotels where he usually referred drop-in visitors.
Hotel occupancy was 90 percent countywide in February and translated into a record $5.1 million in bed taxes, according to the Tourist Development Council.