Saturday, July 12, 2014

Interfaith Emergency Services | God's hand extended to those in need

For those wondering where our former Utility Director ended up, click title for link to her employer's website. Here is a snip from her Linked-In page.

Unrelated other than it applies to our electric utility, this week I found out that the city has a 600 lb. natural gas line that it is paying $64,000 a month for and is not using. This has been going on many years and the soonest that we could utilize the gas in the pipeline is 7 to 10 years. It was to be part of the All Requirements Project through FMPA. That's due to the Best Commission Ever's decision to exit FMPA.

One of the myth's being propagated by the CAUT PAC... that $9.6 million of the bond issue will go to improve the Park of Commerce "on privately owned land the city does not own, in order to attract private development."

To show you just how wrong that is, I am taking a page out of the 1998 Comprehensive Plan that shows the existing "use" of land. After all, all that we know that is the city of Lake Worth is built on land. A large portion, larger than you would imagine, is devoted to streets. Check this out.
After single-family houses which take up 35% of the total amount of land within the city limits, the next highest percentage of land use is that devoted to rights-of-way or 27%. Believe it or not, more than a quarter of the total acreage in the city is either streets, alleys, sidewalks etc. These are public roads, for the most part owned by the city and dedicated to the public. So this also applies to the Park of Commerce. The property the city/public owns there consists of roads. In order to provide drainage and better access to our future diversified tax base, that property made up of public right-of-way needs to be improved. It is misleading to say that the city doesn't own land in the Park of Commerce. We all do.

It should be noted that Boutwell Road is currently a county road that will be transferred over to Lake Worth during its reconfiguration. Some of the funds will be designated for right-of-way acquisition, which will add to the total of city land.

It is also that same 27% of all the land within the city that will be the recipient of the proceeds from the Lake Worth 2020 bond issue. Some streets will be repaved, others will be rebuilt entirely with new water, sewer, storm sewer and sidewalks. Be careful about what you read or what some people tell you.

Heard with my own ears...

There is a former Mayor who lives in the Great Walled City that seems to have a problem with a duly elected Commissioner now in his second term. He has been reminded that we didn't have an election in March since no one chose to run against the incumbents, but that doesn't seem to matter to him. I am sure he will start asking for birth certificates soon.

This "whisper campaign" is meant to cast doubt on the abilities of someone without a college education and somehow that makes them unfit or questionable whether they should hold the office. So, without further ado, the list following includes some names you might recognize. These are people who either: never went to high school, dropped out of high school, and two who got quickly thrown out of college for being unfit for higher learning:

Christopher Columbus
Horace Greeley, co-founder of the modern Republican Party
President Abraham Lincoln (8 U.S. Presidents never went to college)
Prime Minister Winston Churchill
Walt Disney, yes, that one
Ray Kroc
Henry Ford, yes, that Henry Ford
Rosa Parks
Benjamin Franklin
Ansel Adams
Dave Thomas
Tom Cruise
Carl Bernstein, that's right
Mario Andretti
John D. Rockefeller
Andrew Carnegie, yes, that one
Simon Cowell
Ellen DeGeneres
Ray Bradbury
Don Imus
Julie Andrews
Sean Connery
Wolfgang Puck

The list of names is much too long to include everyone that has made a name for themselves in world history who don't have a high school education. Google away to check! This is simply a sample. By the same token Lake Worth once had a commissioner with plenty of college education along with an MBA, wrote three books, 'renovated' an old building, and traveled all over Europe. We also have a doctor of soil science from Cornell. How did that work out for ya?

Too late for the Fourth of July, but worth sharing...

From the Tom McGow archives.


The Citizens Against Unfair Taxation political committee has submitted three Campaign Treasurer Reports to date. Here are some irregularities that appear on the reports.

First of all, the PAC filed with the County to not alert anyone here in the city of Lake Worth of their creation. Commonly, PACs are filed with the City Clerk's office.

On the first report filed on 6/20/14, $250 dollars of monetary contributions are claimed, with $150 coming from Atlantis resident Dennis Dorsey. Katie McGiveron, for some reason, is listing as having an "in kind" contribution for an "EIN" or Employer Identification Number totaling $147. Last I knew, those are issued free of charge. Is this for her time in completing the process?
On the second report filed on 6/27/14, $475 of monetary contributions are claimed. Laurence McNamara "Realtor" is shown as contributing $100. Jo-Ann Golden, the former Commissioner that wants us to get used to living in a ghetto, is putting her money where her mouth is with an initial contribution of $100. I am sure we will see more money from Jo-Ann and her extended family. They own Golden Paints and have tons of family money. Each member of the family usually donates $500 when it was the maximum in previous campaigns.

On the latest report filed on 7/4/14, Laurence McNamara is now listed as "Retired" - must have missed the party - and has an in-kind contribution for stamps for $49. That would be 100 stamps at 49 cents a piece for first class. However, if you look on their pink envelope mailing, they used two 27 cent stamps.
If you divide 100 by 27 cents you get a fractional number. Did they use 1.8 stamps per envelope? Here is the latest report:

Ethiopian Proverb

"When spider webs unite, they can tie up a lion."

Nan Rich on a Scott vs. Crist race: 'Two Republicans' | Naked Politics

Democratic candidate for Governor Nan Rich will be a guest on next Friday's (7/18) High Noon in Lake Worth program. We will talk for a half hour about the state of the Democratic party in the state of Florida, her main campaign points and how she is determined to be our next Governor. Click title for link on her attempts to debate Charlie Christ who she is up against in the primary election.
"We need to make sure we don't have two Republicans running in the gubernatorial election,'' Rich said during a forum that was part of the annual convention of the Florida Press Association and the Florida Society of News Editors at The Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables.
Rich wanted to debate Crist during the press gathering but was rebuffed. During an appearance Thursday, Crist said he needed to stay focused on challenging Republican Gov. Rick Scott and pointed to the massive amounts of money backing Scott's re-election bid.
"I am running against $100 million,'' Crist said. "I really don't have the luxury to take my eye off the ball."
That irked Rich. "People don't run against $100 million,'' she said. "They run against people."

Many are happy with the Affordable Care Act...

Point of View: Give neighbors, and dogs, a break from fireworks |

Venus, my she rest in peace, had issues about thunder and fireworks. When she was around, if she heard thunder at all, even if it was 20 miles away, she would refuse to go outside. If we were on a walk and she heard thunder, she would immediately turn around and head for home, wherever we happened to be. There was no stopping here. I had Dish TV at the time and the signal for her to go under the bed was when the satellite reception was lost due to passing, dark clouds. She also didn't like fireworks. With April and Mars, my current brood, they don't seem as bothered. Mars could care less. April does tend to come to me for comfort during storms. This opinion of a Wellington resident asks for his neighbor's consideration during Fourth of July celebrations and tells them to go to regular municipal fireworks, instead of participating in the backyard kind. Click title for link. Here is some of what he says:
Each year, I mean to write this letter to the editor in the hope it will be seen by others and taken to heart.
July Fourth is not a happy day in my household. You see, I share my home with three rescue dogs who cower and shake at the sound of fireworks. They won’t go out to relieve themselves, and they are visibly terrified by the crackles and booms of the surrounding cacophony.
My neighbors — good people, most of them — are out until past 11 p.m. gleefully disturbing the peace with no consideration or concern for those who may be dealing with illness, trying to sleep, or just enjoying a good book or television show. Because July Fourth seems to give everyone a free pass to be inconsiderate for a night the cops don’t care either.
Well, I do care, and I’d bet that there are many like me who suffer through this annual insult feeling helpless and frustrated. It’s not your right to keep me and my family awake listening to your illegally purchased cherry bombs blasting until midnight and beyond. 

Friday, July 11, 2014

From the Tom McGow Archives:

This is fairly self-explanatory.

Helen Keller

"We could never learn to be brave and patient if there were only joy in the world."

Going A-Wall Event 7/25,26,27

Lake Worth is known for the largest Street Painting Festival in the world where artists transform the asphalt into an outdoor gallery................. 
now we are Going A-Wall !
Watch it happen live! as internationally known award winning artists create three unique large scale murals in downtown Lake Worth.

Friday, Saturday and Sunday July 25, 26, & 27 
705 Lucerne Avenue Across from the Post Office

Be a part of this contemporary trend and unique performance art which is taking the art world by storm and was first introduced in Lake Worth in February during the 20th Annual Street Painting Festival.

These three original murals will set the stage in downtown Lake Worth transforming blank walls of retail buildings into art in public spaces. ....and the inspiration for more to come.......a wall at a time.

This FREE three day live art event will also include: Live Music / Cellograff Wall / Food Trucks / An Outdoor Bistro Area and entertainment by Path/Plan Beats.

From a loyal reader...

A Stunning Statistic About China and Concrete | Bill Gates

China is big and voracious. It has used more concrete in the past three years than the U.S. has in the past 100 years. Click title for link. Here is some interesting data about concrete's economic stimulation potential:
Paving streets, he says, “boosts land and rental values, school enrollment, and overall economic activity and also improves access to credit.”

Summer Film Series Debuts Tonight!

Palm Beach County enjoying uptick in new-hotel construction - Sun Sentinel

It seems like a great time to be an inn keeper. Occupancy rates and tourism is up and number of  rooms is down, but that will soon be remedied. So nice to see flags flying in front of the Gulfstream again, although we will have to wait for the end of next year for its re-opening. It should stand out in the marketplace. Click title for link.
Palm Beach County is seeing an uptick in new hotel development signaling robust growth in room inventory for the first time in many years, tourism officials say.
And county data show more than 1,100 new rooms are expected to come online by early 2016, with an additional 800 rooms in hotel development projects still awaiting approval.
Last year with 164 hotels, the county had 2,195 fewer rooms than its peak of 17,900 rooms and 201 hotels in 2000, according to tourism records.
The loss in hotel rooms since the peak was due mostly to hurricane damage as well as the increase in condo developers purchasing hotels, tourism officials say. Areas hardest hit by hurricanes were Singer Island, Riviera Beach, West Palm Beach, Palm Beach and Lake Worth.

Two excerpts from the latest Lake Worth Herald editorial, dated July 3, 2014:

Passing the bond issue doesn't mean the city is automatically sixty plus million [dollars] in debt. It only means the amount of the bond is the most the city could borrow for the project. It is scheduled to be withdrawn in three borrowings, based on the needs of each phase of the plan. Any state or Federal money garnered through the course of the plan will decrease the amount of the bond actually borrowed, thus decreasing the obligation to the taxpayers. 


     Without a bond issue, the infrastructure will continue to deteriorate, property values will decline further and fewer people in Lake Worth will have to pay taxes. This will create an even larger deficit in the city's finances and eventually, who knows, the city might need to be taken over by the County.
     The county would then allow others to annex Lake Worth and they would have to charge more in order to provide necessary services.
     The future of Lake Worth can go up or down, and this bond issue will be a major factor in determining which way we go. 

[NOTE: You can subscribe to the Lake Worth Herald at or pick up the latest issue at a newsstand, Studio 205 located at 600 Lake Avenue, for example.]

Lake Osborne Estates water company sues Lake Worth |

Another law suit to address and this one looks like it came as a some surprise. The city is trying to find new customers for its water. William Coakley is mentioned in the article as he is the president of the Lake Osborne Estates Civic Association. Click title for link.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Commissioner McVoy from the 7/1/14 City Commission Meeting

Here he talks about the importance of transparency and trust:

Here he announces that he will be going on a spiritual retreat for the month of July, but will still attend Commission meetings and will "call in" for the various budget meetings.

The thing is, the City Commission is not having any more regular meetings in July and he did not "call in" for the budget work sessions.

Mid-size and big cultural groups’ county grants likely to... |

From the Shiny Sheet, the Palm Beach County Cultural Council recommends upcoming grant awards. The recommendations ultimately must be approved by the County Commission as part of its new budget. Two Lake Worth groups, the Street Painting Festival and the Lake Worth Playhouse are on the proposed list of grant recipients. Click title for link. From the article:
Twelve mid-sized groups are recommended for a total of $397,000, up from $385,000 last year. Awards range from $15,544 for the Street Painting Festival in Lake Worth to $40,391 for the Loxahatchee River Historical Society in Jupiter.
Both categories are in the second year of two-year grants cycles, which means that scores from last year’s judging dictate the percentage of the money they receive this year.
The grants, which are financed by the tax on short-term lodgings, have received a thumbs-up from the Cultural Council of Palm Beach County and the Palm Beach County Tourist Development Council. They must be approved by the county commission when it finalizes the budget this fall.

The formation of the Citizens Against Unfair Taxation PAC...

Their paperwork was filed with the Supervisor of Elections office. Click here and you will see a page with this at its center.
Notice that the dissolved Citizen's Come First PAC, one of the handful of PACs this city has spawned over the past years is second on the list. They also registered with the County years ago upon their formation. The traditional method in a city election is to register with the City Clerk's office. The fact that this new PAC registered with the county isn't wrong, it's just a little bit sneaky since it takes a little more work to find whether a PAC has been formed on not, at least with City issues.

Here are the reports that have been filed since the formation of Citizens Against Higher Taxation.

June 20th:

June 21st:

Katie McGiveron is its Chairperson. We don't know who the Treasurer is as the County filed reports do not show signatures. If you look down the list of contributors, you see the last-standing pillars of the cabal. Notable is Dennis Dorsey, former Mayor and current resident of Atlantis, even though the 33462 zip code shows up as Lake Worth. He most definitely lives within the Great Walled City.

Interesting to note that Mr. Dorsey contributed $150 to this PAC - Citizen's Against Unfair Taxation since he does live in Atlantis and pays almost $13,000 a year in taxes there.
He also owns property in North Palm Beach.
I couldn't find any other property in Lake Worth that he may own, unless it's under a corporate name and that would take a little more research.

There was an anonymous comment posted yesterday about an alleged incident in August of 2013 which stated that Mr. Dorsey became agitated while talking to elected officials and used the "n" word, at which time he was escorted out of City Hall. Mr. Dorsey called to tell me this morning that this was incorrect and referred to an incident with Mr. Addison some time ago when he was asked to leave a meeting. He asked that I take that comment down, which I have and I have written this correction. However, I have heard reports of this incident and others continue to submit comments, anonymously, about it. I will not publish any more allegations unless someone attaches their real name to the comment and presents me with a report from the Sheriff to verify that it actually happened. For now, I am taking Mr. Dorsey's word that it didn't happen. 

Yesterday on Facebook...

John Rinaldi posted the press release which announced the formation of the Citizens Against Unfair Taxation PAC and their reasons for not supporting the Lake Worth bond issue question on the August 26th ballot. As the discussion began, Mr. Rinaldi claimed that he was no fool. I responded thusly:
"You are aligning yourself with Lynn Anderson and Laurence McNamara and do not consider yourself a fool. O.K."
That is an affirmative statement. I am not questioning Mr. Rinaldi's assertion, I am agreeing with it. If he is comfortable saying that, I am o.k. with that. The reaction from the other blogger is more of a self-indictment if she feels if it is an insult.

Bulletin: Missing Elected Official

Let us know if you get an answer to your pressing problems. Or, just call one of other Commissioners or the Mayor.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Coastal Palm Beach County Area Flood Advisory

The National Weather Service in Miami has issued a

* Flood Advisory for... east central Palm Beach County in Southeast Florida...

* until 430 PM EDT

* at 226 PM EDT...Doppler radar indicated thunderstorms with heavy rain occurring from Royal Palm Beach to West Palm Beach. Street flooding was occurring in downtown West Palm Beach with flooded roads reported at Dixie and fern. The thunderstorms will move slowly to the south with additional street flooding expected.

* Some locations that will experience flooding include... West Palm Beach...Palm Beach Gardens...Lake Worth... Riviera Beach...Palm Beach...downtown West Palm Beach

Latest Greenfield, CA Crime Report

Assault with Deadly Weapon

400 Block 10TH ST & WALNUT AV

100 Block 8TH ST & OAK AV

500 Block WALNUT AV

From a loyal reader comes this...

Same old tune...

Since we have a Commissioner on a "retreat", it's a good time to remember this former Commissioner...

While Commissioner McVoy is off teaching yoga in Tibet, let's dust off some more Tom McGow archival material. This time it's about our former favorite Commissioner Mulvehill.

This might have been during her first term. Lake Worth never ended up being "twinned" with Sopot. Click here for the Wikipedia page on the city. Sopot is a sister city to Southend-on-Sea, U.K. which was another favorite port-of-call for our Commissioner Internationale and one she routinely mentioned as being a sister city with Lake Worth of which it is not.

Coincidentally, the rankings for the top 25 beaches in the U.S. which came out today are based on overall attendance and visitors per capita. It would be nice to see the figures used to place Palm Beach in the number 25 spot. Perhaps with the re-opening of the Gulfstream Hotel, our Lake Worth beach will get a boost in those statistics. Obviously, the economic boom predicted by those who thought the new building would open the flood gates of tourists and their dollars has failed to materialize. The "business model" showing the best to worst case scenarios for the entire beach is not worth the paper it was printed on.

All Aboard Florida may add stops

Plans are still being completed for the West Palm Beach station, but we get to see a bit of what Ft. Lauderdale's station will look like. Miami's, the largest, was revealed about two weeks ago. Click title for link. And more stops may lay ahead in the future, further north.
Michael Reininger, president and chief development officer of All Aboard Florida, said the Miami to West Palm Beach phase can operate independently as a successful venture, and he’s confident the company will earn the federal loan to complete the Orlando construction.
“The first phase of this project is a very robust business all by itself,” Reininger said at Tuesday’s station unveiling.
Broward County elected officials touted how the 60,000-square-foot station will invigorate a pocket of scruffy unused land off the city’s main thoroughfare, and how the rail line will enhance the economy by funneling people into downtown businesses.
Click here for video of the Ft. Lauderdale station plans.

Top 25 most popular US beaches - WPEC-TV CBS12 News :: News - Top Stories

Click title for link to the most popular beaches in the U.S. No, Lake Worth didn't make the list,  but Palm Beach (?) squeezes in at #25. I think they finally installed bathrooms to prove public accessibility due to use of state funds for beach renourishment. Click here for the full U.S. list with photos. Some of the criteria and a list of those beaches in Florida, from the article:
Eight Florida cities actually made the list, including Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale, and Miami.
But Rehoboth Beach, Delaware took the top spot. The beaches were ranked based on overall attendance and beachgoers per-capita.
#25- Palm Beach
#20- Fort Lauderdale
#18- Clearwater
#14- Hollywood
#13- Jacksonville
#10- Daytona
#6- Miami
#1- Rehoboth Beach, Delaware

Nicaragua Approves Route for $40bn Waterway Linking Pacific and Atlantic Oceans

EF! has their hands full; maybe that's why we don't see them around here much anymore? Click title for link. From the article:
Nicaragua has approved the proposed route for a $40bn waterway linking the Pacific and Atlantic oceans, a landmark project that will lock horns with the 100-year-old Panama Canal when completed.
A committee of government officials, businessmen and academics has approved the 172 mile (278 km) route, from the mouth of the Brito River on the Pacific side to the Punto Gorda River on the Atlantic side.
The shipping channel could lift the Central American country out of poverty.
The proposed channel will be over three times longer than the 48-mile (77-km) Panama Canal, which is located further down south at the narrowest part of the Central American isthmus.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

West Palm Beach to start talks on planned health center at... |

You know, there was a time in Lake Worth when there was a big push to land a hospital within our borders. I think that we can make more of an effort to connect, via trolley or other transportation method, to the existinng JFK Hospital campus. Here, West Palm Beach may be courting a new health center on one of its prime downtown locations. Click title for link.
City commissioners voted Monday to start talks with a developer who plans a medical center at West Palm Beach’s long-vacant “tent site.”
The vote followed a contentious meeting where they heard two separate proposals, got a surprise pitch from a third suitor, and heard impassioned pleas from area hospitals who fear competition.
The panel, meeting as the board of the city’s Community Redevelopment Agency, opted to talk for the next 90 days with a consortium led by developer Michael McCloskey, and to get a new appraisal for the 2.4-acre site at Okeechobee Boulevard and Dixie Highway, valued in 2010 at $10 million.

Controversy spreads over 'fracking-like' oil drilling near Everglades - Sun Sentinel

This just doesn't seem right, even though small scale drilling for oil has been going on since the 1940s. This is different. Click title for link. From the article:
"I cannot believe our governor or anybody would allow this to happen in the Everglades, which is supposed to be a major filter for our water into the homes," said Douglas Brodhead, 57, of Fort Lauderdale. "They should be letting kids know that this is what grownups are doing, and that this is what your water supply is going to be when you grow up."
U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., the Collier County Commission and some state legislators are raising alarms about expanded drilling.
"My biggest concern is that we are a state where it's not really appropriate to have fracking, with the Floridan Aquifer underneath and with so much of our drinking water in jeopardy," said state Sen. Darren Soto, D-Kissimmee, who hopes to enact a ban.
He said passage in the Legislature "will be a tough road but one that's achievable.
"We are seeing more awareness across the state now that the truth is coming out. A lot of the environmental community here and statewide groups are discussing the issue. Even developers and growth-management people have to take this seriously. Tourism is a huge ally. We learned from the BP spill that tourism and oil spills don't mix," Soto said.

More trouble in Greenfield...

Monday, July 7, 2014

Another pic from the Tom McGow archives...

This came from a time when the new noise ordinance was being written. Willie Howard was talking about the long term effects of noise on humans in the paper and everyone's brother and sister were calling in noise complaints stemming from certain downtown businesses. Most of those complaints came from one address on N. M Street. I remember our former Commissioner complaining about noise from downtown at her 5th Avenue North and Palmway house.

By the way, we walked from the Cultural Plaza during the time when the Kiss Tribute band was playing Friday night. We couldn't hear any noise coming from the downtown north of 2nd Avenue. Here are two pictures of the band playing last Friday night.

"Get your Bling On" Exhibition

Saturday August 2nd 2014 6-9pm
Artisans On The Ave
630 Lake Avenue
Lake Worth, Florida 33460
"Get your Bling On" Help a charity of your choice!
Support a charity and have fun!

Click here for a slick "walkers" map of Downtown Lake Worth - from the CRA of course

Moving Up: Ruth Mageria, new director of C.R.O.S. Ministries |

Good news for the Lake Worth area. Click title for link.
Mageria said she plans to continue efforts to end hunger in the area by facilitating connections between faith-based and other types of nonprofit organizations. She intends to also focus on collaborating with other agencies to develop job training opportunities that help struggling families become self-sufficient.
“We have so much diversity here in South Florida,” she said. “One of the things I really enjoy about being here at CROS is that we walk with people of all faiths. We need to all work together to end hunger in Palm Beach County.”
Last year, CROS’s food pantries distributed food to 55,056 people, 42 percent of whom were children. One hundred and eighty children attended CROS’s summer camps last year and CROS’s Caring Kitchen provided 15,888 referrals and services for basic needs.

Global warming latest: Amount of Antarctic sea ice hits new record high | Mail Online

Obviously, further scientific study is needed but let's not let that prevent us from going forward and improving our infrastructure. Remember during the Cold War (interesting name now that I think about it), we lived under the threat of mutually assured destruction, and survived many near misses. Such a catastrophe could still happen today. Should the threat of that prevent us from investing in our city? I don't think so. Click title for link to article.
America’s National Snow And Ice Data Center, which is funded by Nasa [sic], revealed that ice around the southern continent covers about 16 million sq km, more than 2.1 million more than is usual for the time of year.
It is by far the highest level since satellite observations on which the figures depend began in 1979.
In statistical terms, the extent of the ice cover is hugely significant.
It represents the latest stage in a trend that started ten years ago, and means that an area the size of Greenland, which would normally be open water, is now frozen.
The Antarctic surge is so big that overall, although Arctic ice has decreased, the frozen area around both poles is one million square kilometres more than the long-term average.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Raft Race 2014 - "Art on the Water" - This one has the final heat, controversial ending.

Getting ready for Heat #2 - Raft Race 7/4/14

More from the Great American Raft Race - this from the end of Heat #1

All Aboard Florida head wants to attend Jupiter council meeting |

This is turning out to be another case of group hysteria. You might remember that I posted a letter from All Aboard Florida to the Town of Jupiter and then the resolution the Town passed at its last meeting. It seems like they will be meeting again to talk about the facts and the real impact to the area. Click title for link to article.
The president of All Aboard Florida wants to attend a town council meeting to answer questions about the company’s plan to build a 235-mile railroad between Orlando and Miami.
“There is a lot of emotionally driven rhetoric out there not based on fact. I look forward to meeting with the council and engaging in a meaningful dialogue,” said Michael Reininger, whose company wants to begin building the railroad in 2016, with stops in West Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale.
A public meeting with Reininger would be a big boost to understanding the railroad plan, said Jupiter Councilwoman Wendy Harrison.
“In the absence of information, people speculate. Often, they think the worse-case scenario,” said Harrison, who said she would welcome the meeting.

Believe it or not, this was a real issue and a mystery to some...

From the Tom McGow archives comes this:

Commissioner Jennings questioned the "real" height of the Lucerne from the dais back in the summer of 2009. She said that she saw a letter from a surveyor that said that the Lucerne was 83 feet tall. She insinuated that, even though the maximum height limit in that area of the downtown was 65 feet (it is now 45 feet in this area), that somehow someone let the building be built 18 feet higher than it actually was approved for. Apparently, this had been an issue since the time of the building permit review and construction period. Certain people (eh hem) were hyper-concerned about the maximum height of the building that they saw to it to have some architectural details eliminated from the final design. You can thank these people (eh hem) for the boxy shape of the building today.

I had a meeting with Commissioner Mulvehill at the time on building height in general in the city. This was during the period where the Comprehensive Plan said that everything had to be two stories and could be three stories in some areas given special dispensations and general intercessions. In our meeting, Commissioner Mulvehill was convinced that the Lucerne was 83 feet high and she had asked Fedner (who, no fault of his own, was basically our planning department at the time without very much experience) to get a surveying instrument and determine the REAL height of the building. I'm not sure that ever happened and I don't think he had the capacity to work such a machine in the first place.

It turns out that a letter from a surveyor turned up in the file, and if you had at least half a brain, upon reading it you would conclude that the measuring point for the height of the Lucerne was at 18 feet ABOVE SEA LEVEL and, measured from there it was exactly 65 feet tall. This was a case where someone latched on to a little bit of information, added three dashes of hysteria and a couple squirts of political gamesmanship. Bananabreath, Jennings and Mulvehill were all on the same page with this one.

So, Tom McGow decided to put the matter to bed in his inimitable style and the above is the result.

And, yes good citizens of Lake Worth, the Lucerne is STILL 65 feet high. It is not growing. It was not built 18 feet higher than it should be. Oh, and just because the building's east side doesn't have windows doesn't mean that our historic Library will be torn down for another high-rise. Another hysterical claim made back-in-the-day.