Saturday, May 24, 2014

Pics from the pool today...

Little party after water exercise class. Both the pool and the beach were busy today.
Pot luck brunch after class

Sally Welsh, instructor, is in the center of this pic.

If you come, you pay Sally directly. She will give you a laminated pass to show at the door to get in.

The lovely AnnaMaria Windsch-Hunt

Full lower parking lot.

Busy at the pool!

Yours truly at the gate that is now re-opened after the work on Snook Islands II.

Equipment is gone from Bryant Park.

Playlist: District 3 Meeting on the Lake Worth 2020 plan

All four videos in sequence.

Fourth of Four: District 3 Lake Worth 2020 meeting - 5/21/14

This is the last part of the meeting. The foreground steals the show in this one and Mr. McNamara cedes his time to allow Mr. Timm to share his incisive observations.

France pays $20 billion for trains that don't fit its stations | The Verge

Oops. The French are not known for the engineering prowess or bureaucratic efficiencies. "Measure twice, cut once" comes to mind here. Click title for link.
The SNCF and RFF will submit a report to Cuvillier in which both entities will attempt to explain how the error was made. The report is due next week, but RFF spokesman Christophe Piednoël summed up the problem already with a flamboyant metaphor. "It's as if you have bought a Ferrari that you want to park in your garage, and you realize that your garage isn't exactly the right size to fit a Ferrari because you didn't have a Ferrari before."
Apparently they adore high-end Italian automobiles.

Top 10 beach towns for retirees - Page 5 - CBS News

Using many of the same words people use to describe Lake Worth and our convenient geographic location, CBS selects Boynton Beach as one of the top ten beach towns for retirees. Click title for link.
Though Boynton Beach is located along one of the busiest strips in Florida's already active eastern shores, between Miami and West Palm Beach, it offers a small-town feel for residents and still includes some of the old Florida architectural charm.
Unlike some of its neighbors, Boynton is a little bit more affordable, but the amenities of these areas are easily accessible, such as Boca Raton's Florida Atlantic University's Lifelong Learning Society and the cultural attractions of the Fort Lauderdale area. The city has plenty of public beaches and parks to enjoy, and lots of 55+ active adult communities for those looking to easily establish a social life in the sunshine state.

Jupiter’s Courtyard Marriott next to Roger Dean Stadium expected to open June 4 | Northern Palm Beach County

I guess that a hotel is a better economic fit with a spring training baseball stadium than a 16 screen movie theater. One was demolished in 2010 and will be the location of the new Marriott. An office building, housing 230 employees takes up the other part of the block. Click title for link.
June 4 is the opening day for the Courtyard Marriott being built walking distance from Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter.
The hotel, which is four stories, has 128 rooms. Customers are expected to park in the nearby 1,000-vehicle parking garage.
Building the hotel is a step in developing the block adjacent to Abacoa’s downtown, say local business people.

In honor of Memorial Day weekend...

Walkability study public presentation, Tuesday 3 – 5 pm


[media release courtesy of the O'Donnell Agency.]

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (May 21, 2014) — City planner, Jeff Speck, will be doing a follow-up presentation on the findings from his Downtown West Palm Beach ‘walkability study’ on May 27 from 3 to 5 p.m. at the City Hall Commission Chambers located at 401 Clematis Street. In February, the West Palm Beach Downtown Development Authority (DDA), along with the City and Community Redevelopment Agency, hired the urban planning consultant and author, to do a walkability study of the downtown area.
Speck, author of best-selling planning/design publication in 2013 titled Walkable City: How Downtown Can Save America, One Step at a Time, is an active international advocate for smart growth and sustainable design. He is the former Director of Design for the National Endowment for the Arts where he oversaw the Mayors’ Institute on City Design and created the Governors’ Institute on Community Design which fights urban sprawl. He also serves as contributing editor to Metropolis Magazine and on the Sustainability Task Force of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
During the afternoon presentation, Speck will present and discuss his findings from the study and reveal how West Palm Beach can improve and make Downtown the ideal place to live, work and socialize.
For more information about Speck, please visit For more information about Downtown West Palm Beach, contact the DDA at (561) 833-8873 or visit or

About the Downtown Development Authority
The West Palm Beach DDA is an independent taxing district created in 1967 by a special act of the Florida Legislature. Its mission is to promote and enhance a safe, vibrant Downtown for our residents, businesses and visitors through the strategic development of economic, social and cultural opportunities.

Three coincidental stories in the paper today regarding our environment...

Click here for the one regarding a meeting of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission about operations at the St. Lucie Nuclear power plant run by FPL. No public attended the meeting, but some one did phone in some questions. All of them were easily answerable. From the article:
Despite controversy raised by an energy watchdog group about generator tubes at Florida Power & Light’s St. Lucie nuclear plant, ONLY ONE AREA RESIDENT [emphasis added] had any questions for the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission Friday.
The meeting at the Havert L. Fenn Center in Fort Pierce was attended by close to 20 FPL and NRC employees as well as by St. Lucie County Commissioner Tod Mowery and county public safety managers.
Tom Morrissey, the NRC’s senior resident inspector at the plant on Hutchinson Island said that an annual assessment found that FPL operated the plant safely and in a way that preserved the public’s health and safety and protected the environment in 2013.
And then we have this from Lake Worth's own Drew Martin about how the emphasis on the importance of trade to the region is pushing environmental issues to the back seat. He opines:
South Florida is pressed with a number of crucial decisions that could have a negative impact on our future.
One is the decision to move forward with the Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP. This trade agreement, which is being negotiated with a number of our Asian trading partners, is strongly opposed by the Sierra Club.
And then we have this on the Briger Forest which says "THIS IS GO TIME" and pleads for everyone within range of the Briger tract to join them in their petition for an administrative hearing. Mr. Martin didn't mention this.
The South Florida Water Management District is not exempt from the Endangered Species Act and if approves the project will also be in violation of this federal act by approving the extermination of Eastern Indigo Snakes on the propery [sic] without having any plan for them as well as destroying 681.54 acres of Core Foraging Area of a Wood stork rookery.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Three of Four: Lake Worth 2020 Discussion - District 3 Meeting - 5/21/14

District 1 Lake Worth 2020 Meeting - Osborne Center - 5/23/14

This turned out to be an interesting meeting in many respects. Commissioner Maxwell started it off by addressing questions that had come before in the other meetings held before the one last night. City Manager Bornstein led the group through the ever-evolving PowerPoint presentation. It was different from the one shown the previous night and I wish it was up on the city's website. Perhaps it will be later in the day.

By the way, I have been told by many, including computer/Internet savvy people, that they are having trouble in finding what is current information on the links found on the city's website. Here is a screen grab of how it looks as I am writing this:
It might be better to keep an actual page or sets of pages open with the most current information that does not rely on links. If you click on some of the older information, it can be quite confusing as much has changed from the beginning. It WAS a bigger scope at first and then narrowed down to the current proposal. It used to include building repairs. Last night's presentation included comparisons of millages from other municipalities in the region, which showed their debt millage in relation to their operating millage. That information should be accessible readily.

I went there without my better camera and tripod, thinking that I would just take a few stills of the meeting and then write about anything new. So, I had my handheld Canon, which also has a video function but is more limited than the other. As the meeting went on, things started going a little off track. At that point, I moved from where I had been sitting in the second row to a few rows back and took these three videos. These last about a total of 30 minutes if you watch the playlist. It ended up looking a little bit cinema verite, however I am sure that you will find parts worthwhile.

It was apparent that there were bona fide District 1 residents there and they asked some good questions. We also heard from Atlantis resident Dennis Dorsey who got started talking about the sheriff. John Rinaldi painted a "doomsday" scenario about what would happen if we have another double-digit recessison. Lynn Anderson reads off a list of debt that she believes the city has. Staff response was that the utilities have debt, the city does not and that the city had a general obligation bond issue before for the fire station that was paid off early. Suzanne Squires spoke as well as Peggy Fisher and others. The video is not exhaustive, but you might be exhausted after watching/listening to it.

As always, feel free to comment below. The other two videos from Wednesday night's District 3 meeting will be up shortly.

Graphic: Lake Worth's Plunge in Property Valuation - Past 7 Years

Information from City distributed at the District 1 Lake Worth 2020 Meeting

Part of responding to frequently asked questions, this is the material the city handed out at last night's (5/22) Lake Worth 2020 presentation. Videos of part of the meeting will be up shortly. Click here for link to city's website FAQ - some of the same information.

Taking everything not tied-down in Greenfield, CA

Vegetation amnesty week next week

The last week of May - May 26 through May 29 - residents may leave up to 12 cubic yards – approximately ½ of a dump truck – of yard vegetation at the curb for pick-up.  Pick-up will occur on the normally scheduled vegetation collection day.  Amnesty week allows residents to prepare for hurricane season and no citations will be issued for excessive yard waste during the week.  The amnesty applies to residential service only.

Click here for more information from city's website.

All Aboard Florida meeting planned May 27 in Tequesta | Northern Palm Beach County

Tequesta, the northernmost city on Palm Beach County's urban area is one of the city's that is concerned about the project. In particular, they are concerned about bridge impacts and property value implications. Click title for link to the Post announcement and click here for notice on the city's website.

West Palm DDA chief apologizes for tone of email to county... |

Raphael Clemente, director of the West Palm Beach Downtown Development Authority sent an e-mail to County Engineer George Webb that, he later admitted, may have gone a bit too far. He was upset that the county wasn't sending anyone to a walkability event in downtown next week. Celmente's original e-mail made it seem that the county's poor record of pedestrian safety was due in part to Webb's office. George Webb has been County Engineer ever since I can remember. Anyway, after some ruffled feathers, it seems that cooler heads prevail. Click title for link. Here is the last part of the article:
 Reached Tuesday afternoon. Webb said he had not read Clemente’s latest email. Webb also said he has been aware of “the issue about pedestrian and bike safety in Palm Beach County for a long time. It has not been pretty.’’
Webb said his main issue was Clemente’s suggestion that actions by the county Engineering Department might have contributed to those problems.
As for the May 27 presentation on the city’s Walkability Study, Webb said there’s a chance County Administrator Bob Weisman might attend.
County Mayor Priscilla Taylor and County Commissioner Mary Lou Berger came to Webb’s defense Tuesday during a county commission meeting.
“I was really disappointed to see such harsh comments made about our county engineer,’’ Berger said.
Berger said she thinks the county will be represented at the city’s presentation next week because Nick Uhren, executive director of the Palm Beach Metropolitan Planning Organization, plans to attend.

From City: Public Notification for Altering Water Chlorination Process June 7th thru June 22nd

Thursday, May 22, 2014

I've got a lo-ve-ly bunch of coconuts!

Second of Four: District 3 Presentation on Lake Worth 2020 Plan

City Manager Bornstein starts out this video in responding to Mr. McNamara's question that related back to how things were in the city in 2007. He pointed out that the city's taxable value was THREE TIMES higher than it is today, and with that, there were more alternatives in terms of revenue sources. Not so today. Questions are asked about how can the city structure this so that everyone can pay at least something. Commissioner Maxwell talks about legislative and other changes that have happened over the past ten years that further restrict the amount of money a municipality can access through its property tax base. He also notes that sometimes things aren't fair. Commissioner Szerdi talks about our unique location and how they aren't making new cities like ours anymore and that we are in the process of "re-filling" the city with people that want to be in this location.

This is important and missed explaining this in the previous post. The 3.45 mills used as an example to generate the $63.2 million dollars is the total of three separate bond "tranches" The impact of the first year after the initial bond issue will not be the full 3.45 mills. That number is the one that represents the total of the dips into the well. That amount may change if the city gets additional grant money or if values increase more than the projected 4% per year.

And here is an example of a condominium property that does not pay city taxes and wouldn't pay toward this bond issue with its current valuation. Let's call it the Rose Garden Condominium complex.
Only when its taxable value goes about $50,000, will it begin paying city taxes. Right now, the largest share this property owner is paying is to the school district as it relates to ad valorem taxes. There are many properties in Lake Worth with similar valuations. Most of this new burden will be borne by higher value residential properties, non-homsteaded residential properties and commercial properties.

Water Exercise Party Saturday!! Class and Party Memorial Day!! From Sally Welsh

HELLO!!!!! water exercise friend! We are having a brunch after class Saturday, May 24th at Lake Worth Casino pool.  

Class is at 11am and brunch to follow!  
This open to you and friends or family, they need not be a water exercise student.

Bring some food  to share, paper products, utensils and cups/ice water will be provided.  Please bring your favorite fruit, veggie, dip, cheese, salad, any yummy food and dessert to share. lemon aide or tea is needed.  Plastic bottles please.

Memorial Day is a special "One Day only" water exercise class at 10am. brunch to follow! This kicks off Casinos summer water exercise. 

Schedule is as follows:  Monday,  Wednesday and Friday 7:45am to 8:30am  Pool opens at 7:00am; Saturday class is 11am, Sunday is 10am

I am renting the pool by the lane: $15.00 a lane.  I will use two most days.  

Pool fee of $5.00 is to come to me.  I will have a cash box on the pool deck and a sign in sheet.  Please sign "IN" at every class.  Any additional donations, will be greatly appreciated, as I must pay to park, $4.00 a day and I provide all equipment,  especially for new students.  I have dumb bells for sale $25.00 and they are the good ones.  I purchased 30 big noodles that you can have your own,  for $5.00.

TEXT me for questions, weather reports and other pools I am working at.  Pick up a schedule for locations, and directions.

A big THANK YOU too all my winter water exercise students.!!!  You were awesome!!!!

See you in the pool.....Just keep moving!


Carl Gustav Jung

"Your vision will become clear only when you look into your heart. Those who look outside, dream. Those who looks inside, awaken."

First of Four: District 3 Presentation on the Lake Worth 2020 Plan

Commissioner Amoroso walks people through the PowerPoint presentation from last night's gathering at the First Congregational Church. The crowd just about filled the large room that is also familiar to a lot of residents as a voting location. After the presentation, questions were asked by those in attendance and this video includes discussion of sales tax options (not feasible), impact on commercial property taxes and "why us, why now?" There are three other videos that cover the question and answer session between the public, city staff and elected officials.

As an introduction, I thought that I would use my property as an example of what the additional 3.45 millage would mean on an annual and monthly basis for me. Click here and search for your own property information on the Palm Beach County Property Appraiser's website.
Multiplying the taxable value in 2013, after the Homestead Exemption, by .00345 mills says that I would pay $336.06 per year in additional taxes to support the debt of this general obligation bond(s).  That is $28 per month. I'm a little bit disappointed in the city's analogies of a cup of coffee, a hamburger, a nice dinner out, etc. It sort of trivializes what this means. And I think they can do a better job of telling people that this is somewhat of a worst case scenario. Their projections assume a 4% annual rise in property values over the length of the bond issue. This year we are likely to have just over an 8% increase, which means the impact of a bond issue would be spread over more value and potentially more properties. As property values rise, our individual shares, in part due to the improvements anticipated in this program, would decrease. The vast majority of homesteaded residential properties in the city would pay nothing until they go above an assessed value of $50,000 and then more when they reach a value of $100,000.

Lots of information in these videos. The people that happen to appear in the foreground of most of these is a pure quirk of fate.

Some perspective...

This is a view of south Florida as seen from the International Space Station about a year ago. Over 5 million people live along the southeastern tip of the peninsula. Seems a little precarious, no?

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Historic Resource Preservation Board presentation from last night's City Commission meeting - 5/20/14

Click here for the Lake Worth 2020 PowerPoint Presentation

This is on the city's website and it is the one that is being used for the district meetings. District 3's meeting takes place tonight at the First Congregational Church at 1415 North K Street, 6 p.m.

Greenfield, CA - The crime wave continues...

All Aboard Florida Will Generate More Than $6 Billion In Positive Economic Impact For The State of Florida Over The Next Eight Years - All Aboard Florida

Click title for link to full economic study commissioned by All Aboard Florida and released today, May 21st.

From last night's City Commission meeting - Recognizing Lake Worth High and Northgrade as "A" schools

Two stories on the expansion of train service in our region...

One is an op-ed by Richard Blattner who is a city commissioner in Hollywood and chairman of the Broward Metropolitan Planning Organization. That is a group that is responsible for directing various monies toward transportation improvements. Palm Beach County has a similar organization and Mayor Triolo is our representative here. He points out that besides expansion of passenger service along the FEC, freight will be increasing in our region as well. He points out the following:
Third and least discussed is freight. PortMiami and Port Everglades are in the process of spending millions, creating new marshaling yards to accommodate increasing container shipments. New intermodal container transfer facilities are also being built at each port that will result in freight being placed on trains that can be up to 2 miles long. These 2-mile-long freight trains will block rail crossing significantly more than current freight trains. Traffic will likely increase fourfold over the next five years, but we will likely see a reduction in truck traffic on our streets and highways.
Make no mistake: it is freight that will truly impact our communities, even if All Aboard Florida and/or Tri-Rail Coastal Link never become a reality, freight is already here and will increase.
In another article, All Board Florida has prepared an economic impact study of its fast passenger train service between Miami and Orlando, with stations in Ft. Lauderdale and West Palm Beach as well. Here is what is predicted for Palm Beach County. Click here for link to article.
Palm Beach County is poised to gain more than 1,000 railway-related jobs and about $164 million in positive economic growth from All Aboard Florida, according to a report the company said it will release today.
The jobs would be generated through the construction and ongoing operation of the express passenger rail, which is proposed to run 16 roundtrips per day from Miami to Orlando with stops in Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach.
Statewide, All Aboard Florida will create more than 10,000 jobs during the rail line construction, generating $2.4 billion in income, the economic impact study estimates.


Hello Mangos!
Welcome Danica Dahl back to our neighborhood!  She lives on L Street, and has decided to organize willing neighbors to take part in the LAKE WORTH PROJECT. This is a low cost (FREE FOR MAY!) grant driven program in our ZIP code to address the feral cat population.  We are looking for people to help, or network to find neighbors who will help.  We need neighbors willing to help with a smile!  Please read her request below and please reply if you can help out, or would like to be on a Cat Committee so-to-speak to get some of these guys spayed/neutered/vaccincated/eartipped for easy recognition. Anyof you of Facebook may respond to her request via message or through her post on Lake Worth Voice facebook group.
Thank you,
Mango Groves
Hi - I'm looking for people who are interested in helping with the stray/feral cat population in the area. Peggy Adams has grant money offering free spay/neutering for the month of May. After May, it is a mere $10 (and still free if you can't afford it).
This applies to ALL cats... feral and pet cats!
I have a representative from Peggy Adams who is willing to come and talk to us if I set up a meeting time with a group of people. He can offer us advice, help, literature, etc., to get an organized group started. They will even lend us cat traps (without the $75 deposit) to use if we get an organized group of people together.
I need a way to reach out to people to see who is interested and also to share/post some fliers. Do you have email addresses or a way to reach out to people in this neighborhood association?
Thank you in advance.
Danica DahlHello MAngos

Ice Cream Social this Sunday!

Mango Groves Neighbors! Ice Cream Social 5-7p This Sun Mar 25 at AnnaMaria's backyard 221 N M Across from the Church Lot. Meet the raft, our girl Priscilla! Join the crew to help her 'dress up' for the Art on the Water theme for this year's July 4th Grunge Cup Raft Race! If you live in the area North of Lucerne to 13th Ave North, and between Dixie and Federal, you are a Mango! Join us for the fun!          

A message from our hostess with the most-est!:

Mango Grove Ice Cream Social and you're invited!
Ice Cream Social 5-7p
Mango Grove Residents and friends of Priscilla 
all invited to come see what "the Grunge Cup" is about.
We will again be competing against all the other neighborhoods 
come to the back yard @ 221 N. M St. this SUNDAY, May 25 from 5-7 p.m. 
AnnaMaria's back yard. Casual attire in case you dribble ice cream.
dance Can Can? fine, don't have to know French!

It would be helpful if you RSVP, or left over Ice Cream will be delivered to your house. 

The Metropolitan Museum of Art Puts 400,000 High-Res Images Online & Makes Them Free to Use - | Open Culture

This is a great idea and other museums have done this with other groups of artwork. Click title for link to see how to do it. The article refers to the process of going through the artwork as "rummaging", so it may take some time to produce the results you are looking for.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Compilation of City Commission Meeting Videos - 7/2/13

Does not include the Comprehensive Plan Change/Height Item. That is coming as a separate two-part playlist. Does not include later part of meeting.

Re-post from July 2013. For some reason, this is the post getting the most attention this week - by a long shot. Do you have a guess as to why?

Pics of unpaved streets, potholes and other infrastructure issues along N. D. Street

Oops, Larry the Lenz got swallowed by one!

Oh, oh! Larry the Lenz languishes in a pothole.

More crime in Greenfield, CA...

100 Block HUERTA ST

200 Block 4TH ST


Conceptual Plans and Locations for All Aboard Florida's West Palm Station

These are a little dated being from September 2012, but show the extent of the new station in downtown West Palm Beach for the proposed "fast train" on the FEC tracks. West Palm Beach will have one of four stations on the line that runs from Miami to Orlando. I believe the northern alternative here is no longer being considered. Click here for a complete listing and links to various documents related to the Federal Railway Administration's Finding of No Significant Impact report. However, the Environment Assessment and Environmental Impact Statement for the project is still in the works.

Common Core curriculum will lead to "double-mindedness"

And lead people "to become as homosexual as they possibly can" according to this state representative from Jacksonville. Huh? More on double-mindedness here.

Florida – ASBPA releases its Best Restored Beaches for 2014 | Coastal Engineering News & Subscription List

Apparently, some beach restorations do work for a longer term than just a few years. Here are some examples. Click title for link. This one is the only one named in Florida.
 "Cocoa Beach, Brevard County, FL

Overcoming decades of frustration, a diverse group of stakeholders combined innovation with determination to restore this highly eroded 9.4 miles of shoreline far ahead of schedule during the first restoration in 2000. Since then, the beach has exceeded expectations in the face of extraordinary storm events in 2004 and 2012, turning a shoreline lined with seawalls and rock revetments into one of wide beaches and flourishing dunes, drawing tourists and turtles alike to its inviting sandy shores.

Said Weishar: “Cocoa Beach caught our eye because it established wide dunes and beaches where in previous years erosion had completely eliminated the beaches and dunes. The new beach is absolutely fabulous. Additionally, many thousands of people using these beaches most likely have no clue that this is a restored beach. This will provide Brevard County a chance to educate the many lucky folks that get to use the beaches.”

Offering prayers for the Greenacres City Council...