Saturday, November 8, 2014

Veteran's Parade today in Downtown Lake Worth

EXCLUSIVE — Cameraman: CBS 12’s a Mickey Mouse Operation!

Things are not looking good at Channel 12 these days. We, in Lake Worth, went through a rough period with them. Things have improved since then as far as Lake Worth coverage. But we had to live through shoddy reporting and lack of research being the top two complaints. It seems things at the station may have gone from bad to worse. Now we have this from Jose Lambiet of Gossip Extra (Click title for link) about Channel 12 being a "Mickey Mouse Operation!" From the article by Jose Lambiet:
A cameraman recently hired by WPEC-CBS12 up and quit this week after blasting the station as a Mickey Mouse operation with poor equipment and little guidance.
CBS12 is so low-grade, Vince Norman wrote his bosses in an email, that he walked out before the end of his three-month probationary period.
“I have reached the limit of what I’m willing to put up with,” he wrote.
In a media world where jobs are few and far between, that’s a hell of a statement! Here is part of the email Vince Norman wrote to his bosses at Channel 12:

Unfortunately, talent and creativity aren’t enough to run a successful news operation, without adequate support from a technical and logistical standpoint.
Too often in the three weeks I’ve been in the field, WPEC has consistently failed to provide theses two critical points.
Whether it was the third day of my employment, working a double with no gear, using a mostly destroyed camera to attempt (and fail) two live shots using a liveU; or simply being run all over creation due to the complete lack of situational awareness demonstrated by the assignment desk; I have reached the limit of what I’m willing to put up with.
Channel 12 was one of the stations which reported on yesterday's Briger protest. Here's two screen grabs from previous Channel 12 reports, both with appropriate captions, that show two esteemed Lake Worth citizens.

In U.S. and Florida, water use is down thanks to conservation - Sun Sentinel

In an article in the Sun-Sentinel, there appears this surprising news-bit which contradicts what you would expect from population increases in south Florida. Meanwhile, our city continues to waste water due to ancient water lines and stagnant conditions in the north-end of the city by routine flushing of hydrants. Click title for link.
In Florida, increased water demand has been anticipated for years but has failed in nearly spectacular fashion to materialize. Earlier this year, a USGS report for Florida stated that freshwater use in the state decreased 22 percent from 2000 to 2010, while the state's population increased 18 percent.
In South Florida, the amount of water used is about the same as it was in 1995, even with 1.1 million more people in the region, according to the South Florida Water Management District.
As a result, per capita water use in Broward, Palm Beach and Miami-Dade counties also dropped about 22 percent from 1995 to 2010, according to the district. In 1995, the average person in southeast Florida used 184 gallons of water per day. That dropped to 142 gallons per day by 2010.

Vegans for the homeless, trying to change their animal eating ways

PETA, along with its Christian outreach division -- Jesus People for Animals -- sent Love Thy Neighbor [90-year-old Ft. Lauderdale homeless advocate Arnold Abbott] a shipment that include spice, peanut butter, textured vegetable protein -- which is basically vegan "ground beef" -- vegetarian chili, soy milk, Primal Strips vegan jerky, and vegan cookies.
"Christian compassion should be extended to everyone, from Fort Lauderdale's homeless community to the chickens, cows, and pigs killed by the billions for food every year," Sarah King, PETA's director of Christian outreach, said via a news release. "PETA is pleased to donate a supply of healthy and delicious vegan food in support of Arnold Abbott's inspiring effort to practice kindness to his neighbors."
PETA's aim with the shipment of food is to not only help the homeless but also spare "animals immense suffering on farms, in slaughterhouses, and on the decks of fishing boats."
Not sure what to file this item under.

The Publix Sabor on Lake Worth Rd

From Susan Salisbury at the Palm Beach Post we have this news about the Publix Sabor on Lake Worth Road:
The Publix Sabor in the Town and Country Shopping Plaza at 1910 Lake Worth Road is slated to close the day after Christmas, the Palm Beach Post has learned.
An employee at the store confirmed today that employees were notified Tuesday about the pending closing, which is due to “slow business.”
The 36,000-square-foot store opened in July, 2012 as the first Publix Sabor in Palm Beach County. It was an existing Publix that was converted into a Sabor.
When I lived at 7th Avenue South and H Street, this was the store to go to. I hope that another grocery store takes its place. They dig stick it out for about four years after the new Publix opened downtown.

Meanwhile, in Greenfield, CA, a gruesome find. You may want to cancel your plans to visit there.

Coincidentally, this comment was left under the post "Master and Commander" just this morning. It appears to be from a Greenfield resident.
"No, he is not an oath keeper and does not have a college degree..none of our cops do. He has a checkered past fraught with embezzlement allegations. He helped Susan get her own chief and this joke is quid pro quo. Meanwhile, since Susan and her puppet council terminated shared services, which did provide us with an excellent, professional and well educated Chief, we have had seven homucides this year alone, armed robberies and other delights which no one seems to take's all rainbows and lollipops out here according to everyone."

Some sort of elaborate Chinese Fire Drill protest near Briger yesterday

Yesterday, Panagioti Tsolkas and his EarthFirst! friends staged a protest at the Briger Tract in Palm Beach Gardens. Before reading part of the story by Linda Santacruz below, it might be helpful if you read my post describing a trip I took to the area recently, just 11 days ago.  In my post is a map showing where the Briger Tract is. Note the the tract is east of I-95 and most people concerned about our environment in Florida agree that western sprawl west of I-95 is getting out of control.

The Briger Tract is seemingly ideal for a community and there are existing communities east of the tract. The video that is part of the Palm Beach Post article has Mr. Tsolkas mentioning the Mandell JCC and Grandiflora Rd. You can see both of these locations on the map I provide (see link above).  Palm Beach Gardens says that all development approvals are in place.

Here is an excerpt from the article by Linda Santacruz:
The group blocked the forest’s construction entrance with a disabled van with two women chained to each other through the windows. The vehicle’s battery was also removed and dumped in a nearby lake.
PBSO deputies cut the chain connecting the women and they were both arrested. Another man was arrested after he admitted to parking the van in the location.
The trio faces additional charges of resisting officers without violence, unlawful assembly and traffic citations for blocking and damaging a roadway.
The battery was recovered from the lake to prevent any chemical spills. [emphasis added]
Here is a picture from the Palm Beach Gardens Police Dept. that shows the battery from the van Everglades EarthFirst! threw into the lake. Hopefully no Green Indigo snakes were injured or poisoned!

Now that some of our EarthFirst!/anarchist friends are in the legal system they may want to reference this article here in the Everglades EarthFirst! journal about a protester accepting a plea deal and his collaborators journey on their way to court some day soon.

Just another day at the office.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Coming up on 11/13, the Lake Worth City Tree Board presents...

Dixie Hwy. is our own Stroad...

The "Grocery Store" challenge

From Jesse Bailey at the Walkable West Palm Beach blog we have the "Walk to the grocery store challenge". Pick a day, maybe even today, and go to the grocery store without your car. Walk, ride your bike, or take public transportation. If you want you can send a description of your walk and I'll publish it here on my blog: the good, the bad and the downright ugly. In today's car culture the pedestrian had 'taken a back seat' if you will. Take a camera with you too, you'll be surprised what you see.

From the article by Mr. Bailey:
Strong Towns recently issued a challenge for its readers to walk to the grocery store. The idea is to get out of the car and experience this essential activity from a different perspective that doesn’t involve driving, whether it be walking, biking, or taking public transportation. There will be more of these “Strong Citizens” challenges and the hope is to involve increasing numbers of people in everyday ways to make our communities stronger places. If you have a Strong Citizens idea, you can submit it here.
I’m well situated to walk to the grocery store because my neighborhood makes it an easy choice. Notice I didn’t say “I’m lucky to live near a grocery store”. Living in a neighborhood with a high walk score and low car dependency was very much a conscious choice, a lifestyle choice. I would go as far to say that I choose the kind of place I’d like to live, then choose a job in that place or as nearby as possible. This strategy allows one to be rooted in the community, rather than having little ties to the neighborhood because the experience of it is always behind the wheel of a large automobile.

Did not know this...

Interesting article yesterday in the Post about Flamingo Park in West Palm Beach. From the article:
In fact, at least 100 bodies lie on this ground [Flamingo Park on Dixie Hwy in West Palm Beach], just beneath the green grass and towering banyans that lure kids, dogs, and anyone else seeking a respite.
There easily could be twice that many, said Mary Brandenburg, who lives across the street in the El Cid neighborhood. She should know. The former city commissioner (1999-2002) and former state representative (2002-2010) was a member of the city’s historical preservation board in the late 1980s and the 1990s. Brandenburg said many families who couldn’t afford formal burials dug graves in the dead of night. As a result, there’s no way of telling how many bodies are there.
The Lakeside Cemetery Association bought the property from the city in 1902. It was used as a separate cemetery for blacks, although it never got an official name. By 1913, some 100 people had been buried there. That year, the city tried to buy it back so it could resell it. No less than the Florida Supreme Court blocked the effort.

The Mulvehill Monologues, Part III

The re-posting continues from August 2012. I forgot how traumatized Anna, the transcriptionist, was while she was doing this. I hope this doesn't trigger a PTSD episode. This one is particularly labyrinthian.

And the transcription continues...., bracing myself, Wes, 

Mulvehill continues her monologue to the commission on 8/7/12 about her trip to Germany:

"To look at it from the angle of how do we, how do we turn this into something that we can benefit from, how do we brand the fact that we can become a city of (unintelligible) ten thousand people a year move to Copenhagen. OK. So they invested 15 million euros before new legislation was even passed and what to do about this so they were very proactive. This initiative, they formed several initiatives, the cloud burst initiative which you can google and the Danish water forum and one of the angles that, ahhh, the team had presented, the entire staff of this particular department flew in to present this. There were several, there were teams from Taiwan that flew in, there were teams from Denmark, ummm, La Paz, Mexico, they had staff, and, that would come in and present these case studies for (unintelligible) but this angle of policy challenge, so rain falls on the road and she says, "that's sewage money," you pay for that from your, your water and sewer. But when rain falls into the lakes you can't fund it with water management money, you couldn't fund it with any money. So it's like well it's not my job, it's not my job, it's not my job. Rain didn't fall here, it's all or just rain that's coming down! [Mulvehill raised voice] It's just funded through different channels, and, so they had to work, they looked at that angle, of, OK, well, it's just, it's rain. Just depends on where it's falling in terms of how we're going to deal with it and having to make policy changes so that it can be addressed whether it falls in the lakes, whether it falls on the roads, so that the problem can be addressed, ummm, as almost a turnkey solution through policy setting. It was a very, very impressive and [mumbling] you can actually find their presentation for this, and the whole report from [unitelligible], ummm, the conference on line. OK. So they, their, their, to answer that question of whether you can use adaptation strategy to promote green growth and promote investment in your city they have their, their branding it that a climate proof city is more attractive to investion [sic], ummm, a resilient community secures existing investments and attracts new investment. Adaptive capacity is a competitive advantage and cities capable of protecting businesses and citizens from climate related threats are more attractive places to live, work, and invest. So they are using adaptation strategy and their capacity to deal with the flooding, and to deal with a natural disaster that happens to them regularly with rain to become a competitive advantage. OK. Mainstreaming resilience was another term that, ahhh, if you google it you won't see a whole lot on the term of mainstreaming resilience but basically what it is is when you make it part of your overall, what, what Copenhagen did. It became part of their overall plan of attracting business, of attracting investment, of green, providing green jobs. And it allows cities to take advantage of synergies between communities, even between departments, where they were solving the problem of, this isn't our, water, the water on the lake. So we're not going to use that money for it. 

Sorry, Wes. All I can handle today. Usually transcription is fairly straightforward, a person has a thought and follows through and it is easy to transcribe. But this is something entirely new. Every once in a while there is a thread of a thought and then it goes, nowhere. Are you certain you want people reading this? Will try to do a few more minutes later on. Am beginning to feel a terrible headache coming on. Call me later on, Anna. 

“Sister Cities;” let’s stay with Treasure Coast planning council |

This issue related to Palm Beach County staying within the auspices of the Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council came up at last Tuesday's (11/4) City Commission meeting. You can hear the discussion that took place at the end of the meeting in the accompanying video. The push for a change seems to be coming from the County Commission. Mayor Triolo also discussed this "sister cities" group that the city is a part of earlier in the meeting. Some of the larger, central Palm Beach County municipalities have gotten together off and on for a while on issues that they share in common. Click title for link to the article:
Since 1976, Palm Beach County has been part of the Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council, one of 11 such councils in Florida. On Oct. 7, county commissioners voted 4-3 to give serious thought to joining the South Florida Regional Planning Council. Also an option: splitting the county north and south, with each half gravitating toward the appropriate council.
Any move would take 18 months.
West Palm Beach Commissioner Ike Robinson was against going with the south group, which covers Broward, Miami-Dade and Monroe counties.
“You’ll be a new kid on the block, dealing with the big boys on the block.” Robinson said. “Their issues are theirs, and we have to become part of what they’re doing.”
Lake Worth Mayor Pam Triolo said the Treasure Coast group, which also includes Martin, St. Lucie and Indian River counties, “take our interests seriously.” She said that, with the southern council, “we’re such small fish in that very large pond.”
Here is our Commission's discussion on the topic. It also included a resolution to urge that the County remain with Treasure Coast.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

The National League of Cities

This year is the 90th anniversary of the National League of Cities (NLC). This latest conference is in Austin, Texas, one of the fastest growing cities in the USA. Vice Mayor Scott Maxwell and Commissioner Amoroso will be attending this year. From the Austin NLC website:
"The annual Congress of Cities and Exposition is coming together, and this year’s 90th Anniversary conference is shaping up to be big, bold and perfectly adapted to the needs of today’s local elected officials and staff. We are celebrating NLC’s distinguished history and legacy at this special anniversary conference while looking toward the future, with content designed around the theme 'The Future of Cities.'
You can learn a lot about the Palm Beach County League of Cities here.

The past president of the Palm Beach County League of Cities is our own Vice Mayor Scott Maxwell. He is currently the Lake Worth liaison to the PBC League of Cities.

When our elected officials travel, it is comforting to know they are going to a conference with fellow Palm Beach County representatives sharing ideas and getting ideas from others all across our country. It helps our electeds "think out of the box." Many of the ideas Vice Mayor Maxwell and Commissioner Amoroso learn of in Austin will be shared with other electeds, the city manager, and staff. If you watched the last commission meeting, you would have heard the perennial critic (Peter Timm's successor?) Katie McGiveron tell the commission they should spend more time "listening to her." Mrs. McGiveron is challenged when it comes to having a calm and civil discourse about the operation of our city and pumps from a dry well which lacks new ideas. She seems more intent on smearing and disparaging our present Commission and City Manager.

Vice Mayor Maxwell and Commissioner Amoroso are going to Austin, Texas to learn some of the tools that make officials better at what they do. As you go about your life in Lake Worth, do you feel the benefit of former-Commissioner Suzanne Mulvehill's trip to Bonn, Germany? We are still waiting on the International shipment of goodwill and foreign investment from that trip.

To everyone's dismay, the other blogger, and her cozy cohorts, were big proponents of Suzanne Mulvehill and the other blogger gushed about the former Commissioner's trip to Bonn, Germany. As you read the intellectual gymnastics, worthy of six gold medals, the other blogger uses to support Suzanne Mulvehill's trip to Bonn, keep in mind Lake Worth is a city in Palm Beach County, Florida. We don't see well-heeled Germans landing on our shores with suitcases of cash, ready to buy property, invest, build and create jobs here. And you don't see them lining up at the Ixora for rooms with mirrors on the ceiling. I don't hear German being spoken at the pool.

In her own words, here is the other blogger, justifying Suzanne Mulvehill's trip to Bonn, Germany:

Large batches of Kool-aid are still being made along Lake Osborne Drive.

Good times, good friends!

At the Lake Worth Post Office today...

Tomorrow is the Lake Worth Critical Mass Ride

Come one come all? Tomorrow, Friday, is the Lake Worth Critical Mass (CM) ride. The bike ride is always the first Friday of the month. Previous rides have departed Bryant Park (at the Gulf Stream Hotel) at 7:00 p.m., but there has been a change; now the ride is scheduled to depart at 7:30 p.m. I've been on four CM rides and I can attest they are a lot of fun. You don't have to be a highly experienced rider or an Olympic athlete to participate. The image below is from the CM facebook page. Note the arrow and where I highlighted "AT YOUR OWN RISK". Also it is noted that lights and helmets are "highly recommended". Lights are required, front and back or you risk your person and getting a ticket. Since the ride doesn't leave until 7:30 and it will be very dark along some of the CM route, especially with the time change.
Earlier in the week I cited an alarming news story on the spike of bicycling fatalities due to riding impaired, i.e., alcohol. You can read that article here. In 2012 for example 28% of all bicycle fatalities had a BAC of 0.08 or higher and 88% of the fatalities were male.

Now let's examine the largest issue of all: The CM loop route through Lake Worth, Lantana, and Lake Worth (once again) is problematic. First understand, I am a big supporter of CM and their efforts to promote bicycling and making the public aware of bicyclists. As it pertains to bicycling I "walk the walk" so to speak. Many trips, be it the Post Office, City Hall, the Municipal Pool, Publix and Winn-Dixie I do on my bicycle. The bicycle is integral to my daily life.

Now the problem with the CM ride tomorrow. I participated in the CM ride on October 3 and they took this treacherous leg: In Lake Worth CM rode 18th Ave South heading West to Federal Hwy, South on Federal Hwy and MERGED ONTO DIXIE HIGHWAY. The ride continued down Dixie HIGHWAY until finally taking a left (East) on the Lantana Rd extension into the city. Highways and bicycles are not a good combination. Note that this is at night and without any police or safety escort. In the future, I'll use the sidewalk instead of following the crowd.

Note the two following images. One is the CM route, step-by-step, and the other is a map of the route.

Crossing Dixie Highway on a bicycle is difficult any time of the day; riding a bicycle ON Dixie Highway is insanity. On the map you will see four highlighted areas with the numbers 1 through 4. Although I will likely participate in the CM ride tomorrow, I will not be part of the CM group during these parts of the ride:
1: Dixie Highway from Lake Worth to Lantana
2: Lantana Road heading West towards I-95
3: South 'A' St in Lake Worth and the roundabout at 'A' and Lake Ave
4: Dixie Highway between 19th Ave N and 18th Ave N

These four parts of the CM ride are too dangerous for a large group of bicyclists. Motorists, both cars and trucks, drive very fast on these roads and most typically well over the posted speed limits. Let's briefly examine one of highlighted examples, #4. By this time it will be approximately 8:30 PM. The CM ride will be proceeding East on 19th Ave North, making a right on Dixie HIGHWAY and then a quick left onto 18th Ave North (heading East). Were someone setting up a challenge to test one's bicycling skills, risking life and limb, this part of the CM route would make sense. For a large group of bicyclists with a wide range of experience and skill levels it is simply not safe.

As an aside, by the CM route taking 18th Ave North off of Dixie Highway, by one block they bypass the entire College Park area of Lake Worth, one of the more bike friendly and historic neighborhoods in the entire city of Lake Worth.

Back on topic, in all fairness CM has well trained and attentive "corkers" who monitor the safety of the riders and stop traffic when necessary. Corking is illegal; only law enforcement and a few other entities can lawfully obstruct traffic. However law enforcement for the most part looks the other way as long as things do not get out of control. Corkers can control many situations but managing a drunk driver on Dixie Highway, a tractor-trailer driver behind schedule, or somebody racing down the road texting are not safely managed, even by the most skilled corker.

In conclusion, the solution for future CM rides in Lake Worth to make for safer rides on safer streets for riders of all skills, ages, and abilities, I would strongly encourage the Lake Worth CM to coordinate with PBSO and the Lantana Police Department. If CM is truly about encouraging bicycling and being cycling "ambassadors", is inconveniencing the motoring public on public highways the best way to go about this effort? As an avid bicyclist and motorist (by necessity), my answer is emphatically "no".

So, along with many others in "ElDub", I am looking forward to a Lake Worth Critical Mass ride open and safe for everyone: Families, children, old, young, experienced bikers, newcomers to the bike world, and other generally quirky Lake Worthians looking to do something different tomorrow night.  And the riders are not just from Lake Worth. Many come from as far away as Broward County, Wellington or other places that aren't as bike friendly as our neighborhood streets are here.

AnnaMaria's list of events (11/6)

For a list of events and activities this weekend visit AnnaMaria's blog. It all starts tonight with the Thursday Night Peddlers. Due to the time change the Peddler's meet at 5:30 in front of the Gulf Stream Hotel and leave at 6:00.

Click here for more details.

Santamaria’s third-place finish shows power of two-party system |

Lot's of Wednesday morning quarterbacking going on after Tuesday's election. Most of it concerned national politics, but there was also some grumbling about local politics. This was about a contested County Commission race, with three candidates. One candidate ran as an independent. Click title for link to article:
“I [County Commissioner Jess Santamaria] underestimated the power of the party and overestimated what I have done for the community over these past eight years,’’ he said.
Jess Santamaria shouldn’t have been surprised with the result, according to some political consultants.
Michelle Santamaria entered the race in June — nine months after McKinlay, who got an early start on securing endorsements and donations.
“Here’s a lesson learned for any candidate — the earlier you start, the better your chances,’’ said Rick Asnani, president of the West Palm Beach consulting firm Cornerstone Solutions.
Note the highlighted quote. That would tend to support our Commission's recent decision to move up the qualifying period which requires candidates to formally declare and put their name on the ballot about three months before the election. For a while, the deadline was only about six weeks away from election day.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Municipal Elections, Referendums & Political Committees 2015 General Election | 2015 ELECCIÓN GENERAL


NOTICE is hereby given that a General Election will be held in the City of Lake Worth, Florida, on Tuesday, March 10, 2015, (with a Run-Off Election on Tuesday, March 24, 2015, if necessary), for the purpose of electing a  Commissioner from District #2 and Commissioner from District #4, each for a two (2) year term.

Persons seeking election may qualify with the City Clerk from noon, Tuesday, November 25, 2014, until noon, Tuesday, December 9, 2014.

All citizens qualified by the Charter of the City of Lake Worth, Constitution, and laws of Florida who are registered voters in Palm Beach County and whose principal place of residence is the City of Lake Worth shall be electors.

The election shall be held in accordance with the Charter of the City of Lake Worth, Florida and the State of Florida Election Laws.



Con la presente se NOTIFICA que el martes 10 de marzo de 2015, se llevarán a cabo los comicios generales en la Ciudad de Lake Worth (y en caso necesario, votación para desempate, el martes 24 de marzo de 2015) con el propósito de elegir un Comisionado del Distrito #2 y un Comisionado del Distrito #4, por un período de dos (2) años cada uno.

Las personas que deseen postularse pueden calificarse con la Escribiente de la Ciudad, desde el mediodía del martes, 25 de noviembre de 2014 hasta el mediodía del martes, 9 de diciembre de 2014.

Los electores serán todos los ciudadanos calificados por los estatutos de la Ciudad de Lake Worth, la Constitución, y las leyes de la Florida y que sean votantes inscritos en el Condado de Palm Beach con residencia principal en la Ciudad de Lake Worth.

Los comicios se realizarán conforme a los estatutos de la Ciudad de Lake Worth, Florida, y las Leyes Electorales del Estado de la Florida

Discussion from last night's meeting (11/4) regarding attendance at the National League of Cities 2015 Conference

Vice Mayor Maxwell and Commissioner Amoroso will be going to the 2015 National League of Cities conference. Katie McGiveron had some questions, requests and queries as part of public comment on this item. The Commission gave some solid answers in response regarding the benefits of attending such events. Commissioner Amoroso mentioned the hour long Internet radio show he went on detailing some of the things he brought back to the city from the 2014 conference. The Mayor pointed out how the travel budget has been cut in half and there are limited opportunities for this sort of learning. She also pointed out, and I have found this to be true, that sometimes the best information is what information you get from other attendees between the scheduled sessions. Vice Mayor Maxwell did not like these sort of trips referred to as vacations and invited anyone to come along and be "attached" to his hip and they would see that it is a long day, going from session to session to session. Worth listening to.

Best Places to Eat Breakfast on the Beach |

More from the Good News Department: Benny's get rave reviews for a beach eatery in Palm Beach County. Other locations just get a mention. Click title for link.
At Benny’s on the Beach, there are those amazing variations of French toast to savor — Stuffed Red Raspberry Granola, Nutty Almond, the Island version topped with strawberries, kiwi and coconut — not to mention seafood Eggs Benedict for every taste (choose your poisson: smoked salmon, crab cake, lobster).
But with the January arrival of executive chef Jeremy Hanlon, whose culinary chops include stints at Daniel Boulud restaurants in New York and Palm Beach, as well as a competitive slot on Food Network’s “Chopped” series, Benny’s has undergone a makeover that, while not as radical as the casino renovation just to its north, nevertheless breathes fresh ocean air into the 28-year-old landmark.
No mention of Mulligan's. I hear that they have a $14.95 breakfast buffet now. I have been there all of three times, all of them regrettable. No mention of John G's. I guess they are not oceanfront anymore. Oh, well.

Whitfield takes open seat on School Board |

Yeah! A piece of good news from yesterday's election. Click title for link to article.
Whitfield came out on top of that pack, but not with enough votes to land the seat. It took another day to recount votes between Tom Sutterfield and high school social studies teacher Justin Katz before the November ballot was settled.
Whitfield, 36, was a relentless door-knocker with deep ties to a large voter base in Lake Worth. She had experience on local committees and clubs and knew the school district from the inside as its wellness coordinator for the past four years.
This is part of what the Sun-Sentinel reported:
Whitfield will represent District 4, which includes parts or all of Delray Beach, Boynton Beach, Lake Worth, West Palm Beach, Palm Springs, Hypoluxo, Highland Beach, Atlantis, Gulf Stream, Manalapan, Ocean Ridge, Palm Beach, South Palm Beach, Lantana and the Village of Golf.
She will fill the seat vacated by Jennifer Prior Brown, who did not seek re-election and served only one four-year term. Whitfield will be the only School Board member with a child in a district-run neighborhood school.
Annette Whitehead, 48, of Boynton Beach said she voted for Whitfield. She said Sutterfield's close ties with charter schools was off-putting.
"That was a negative for me, said Whitehead. "It's about who is going to be thinking of what's best for these kids. I don't see him being impartial or being an advocate for public schools."

Lake Worth dismisses legal question, bans panhandling downtown |

You can read Mr. Persaud's review of the meeting last night by clicking the title for a link. He got it mostly right. There are a couple odd recollections in it from the meeting. Former Commissioner Jennings made comments on the ordinance at the podium. She may have written something on the card that you submit to speak, but no one read from the card at the meeting. You can see this plainly in the video. He also comments that there were "several people argued against" the ordinance at the meeting. Several in this case was two. There was Cara Jennings and then, after some delay and after public comment closed, Pangiotti Tsolkas addressed the Commission.

There were two other people that came in with Mr. Tsolkas, but they did not speak. Again, the video clearly shows this. Not that big a deal, but it does make me question the acuity of Mr. Persaud's hearing and eyesight. The dictionary defines "several" (the term used in the article): being more than two but fewer than many in number or kind.

Also, it was interesting to note that City Attorney Torcivia pointed out that he had worked side-by-side with Attorney Jim Green on a number of issues and he had not received a call from him regarding any concerns with the ordinance. Again, watch the video to see what actually happened. This is how Mr. Persaud treats that part of the discussion.
Attorney James Green, with the local chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, has called the proposal unconstitutional because the First Amendment protects the homeless’ right to panhandle.
But city attorney Glen Torcivia has argued that similar laws passed around the country have held up in court. He mentioned Indianapolis and Worcester, Mass.
Here's the short video which will show what really happened. The Mayor gave a solid response to their concerns and enumerated the many programs the city and PBSO have initiated to deal with the homeless situation in the city.

From last night's (11/4) City Commission Meeting - South Palm Park NA Presentation

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Joseph Stalin — 'Those who vote decide nothing. Those who count the vote decide everything.'

The Palm Beach Post editorial board is not satisfied with the response by the Supervisor of Elections Office regarding their provisional ballot policy. The way the office handles provisional voting was laid bare during the primary election and had a profound effect on the local Lake Worth question on the bond issue. Click title for link. Here is a bit:
In the November 2012 presidential election, Bucher and the canvassing board threw out 18 legitimate ballots solely because of errors committed by precinct workers, our analysis of federal election data shows. In this year’s August primary, aPost investigation found that the canvassing board tossed at least 14 legitimate ballots just in the city of Lake Worth.
Disturbed by seeing their residents’ votes repressed, Lake Worth city officials have been calling for Bucher’s office to stop this vote-tossing policy and to make the canvassing board’s actions more transparent.
But Bucher’s attorney demurred, claiming that the canvassing board cannot “establish its own procedures for a broad category of potential ballot errors.” This is an odd stance, because creating its own procedures — flawed ones — is precisely what Bucher’s office has done.
Bucher says that the office’s long-standing policy is that ballots marred by clerical errors need to be tossed when those errors create doubts about whether the voters cast ballots in the correct primary (Democrat or Republican).
But such errors create no doubts about whether these people were entitled to vote. State law specifically states that provisional ballots “shall be counted” unless it’s determined “by a preponderance of the evidence that the person was not entitled to vote.”
Let's hope we don't have a parade of snafus today at the polling locations. Off to vote now, so we'll see how that goes.

PBCHRC Voters Alliance Endorsements for the November 4, 2014 General Election

Please note that we have not made endorsements in every race and not all of the listed candidates will appear on your ballot
U.S. Congressman (Dist. 18) - Patrick Murphy (Dem.)
U.S. Congressman (Dist. 20) - Alcee Hastings (Dem.) 
U.S. Congressman (Dist. 21) - Ted Deutch (Dem.) 
U.S. Congresswoman (Dist. 22) - Lois Frankel (Dem.)
Governor - Charlie Crist (Dem.) 
Attorney General - George Sheldon (Dem.)
Chief Financial Office -  Co-Endorsement       
      Vote for one candidate, not both.
         Jeff Atwater (Rep.) OR Will Rankin (Dem.) 
State Senator (Dist. 34) -  Ellyn Bogdanoff (Rep.)
State Representative (Dist. 82) - Mary W. Higgins (Dem.) 
State Representative (Dist. 86) - Mark Pafford (Dem.) 
State Representative (Dist. 88) - Bobby Powell (Dem.) 
State Representative (Dist. 89) - Bill Hager (Rep.) 
School Board Member (Dist.4) -  Erica Whitfield 
County Commissioner (Dist.4) - Co-Endorsement        
     Vote for one candidate, not both
        Steven Abrams (Rep.) OR Andy O'Brien (Dem.) 
County Commissioner (Dist. 6) -  Melissa McKinlay (Dem.) 
Port Commissioner (Group 5) - Peyton McArthur (Dem.) 
Soil & Water Conservation Bd. (Group 5) - Karl Dickey (Lib.)
On the ballot initiatives, please vote as follows:
Amendment 2 - Right to Medical Marijuana Initiative - YES 
Amendment 3 -  Prospective Judicial Vacancies - NO 
Countywide Question 1 -  Children's Services Council - YES 
Countywide Question 2 - Ad Velorem Levy for School 
      Operational Needs - YES  

This paid electioneering communication, which is independent of any party, candidate or committee, is produced, sponsored and paid for by the The Palm Beach County Human Rights Council Voters Alliance.

The Palm Beach County Human Rights Council Voters Alliance.
Post Office Box 267
West Palm Beach, Florida 33402
(561) 358-0105
The Palm Beach County Human Rights Council Voters Alliance  
is dedicated to electing candidates who will work to end discrimination  
based on sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression. 

Town of Palm Beach "Cocoanut Row closed between Barton Ave and Clarke Ave."

Cocoanut Row is closed between Barton Ave and Clarke Ave due to an overnight structure fire. Drivers are encouraged to use County Road as an alternate route.

I endorse Michael Richard de Leon-Mungia for Mayor!

Click title for link. I have no idea about his stand on the issues, other than he seems to be running on an economic development and crime/gang fighting platform. I appreciate his youth and ambition. Greenfield's future seems bright.

Oh, and please don't forget to vote today!

Three major projects on the Planning and Zoning Board agenda this week

Here is the agenda, with the projects highlighted below:

These are all within the area known as the Park of Commerce. For more information and the entire Planning and Zoning Board packet this month, click here.

This is good to see for a number of reasons. It is proof that the local economy continues to recover and that Lake Worth is again on the map in terms of a place to invest and build. During the Great Recession, the city lost nearly 2/3 of its assessed property valuation. Construction in the Park of Commerce will increase values of property there, which will go directly to the General Fund.

If you can't make the meeting this coming Wednesday at 6 p.m., you might want to tune in to the live feed from the Commission Chambers.

Fire damages Palm Beach home; two suffer minor injuries |

This fire in Palm Beach started sometime around or after 10 p.m. last night. The Town of Palm Beach sent out these two notices through their notification system.
Obviously, their date and time stamp was off. It was interesting to watch the local coverage of this on the eleven o'clock news. Channel 5 had a brief mention at the beginning of its newscast, said they had a "crew at the scene", but ended up showing distant video from across the Intracoastal. Channel 12 was able to get on the island and interviewed a fireman and was able to get video of the activity.

Click title for link to the Shiny Sheet reporting of the incident, which at this point in time, only includes a picture of the house involved.

Watch Palm Beach County condos in the making, huge concrete pour | Real Time

From Kimberly Miller on the Real Time blog, click link for entire story and a video of the massive concrete pour. This is for just one of the towers. Click here for a link to Kolter's website for more information on the project. From the article: 
The Water Club condominiums had the foundation of one of its two towers poured Saturday, a massive undertaking that began at 3 a.m.
The job, which was one of the largest continuous concrete pours in Palm Beach County history, included 400 truckloads of concrete from four plants and up to 75 rotating dump trucks.
Saturday’s pour formed the foundation for one of two 22-story towers in Kolter Homes’ luxury Water Club development at 1280 U.S. 1.

Monday, November 3, 2014

The zenith and/or the nadir, depending on your point of view

This photo courtesy of Tom McGow

Whenever I see this picture, I want to say "Breathe people, breathe."

Big News coming out of the Town of Gulfstream:

From Dan Moffett at the Coastal Star, click title for link, we have this very interesting story about the goings-on in Gulf Stream and beyond.
The hostilities between the town of Gulf Stream and two litigious residents appear destined to get a whole lot more hostile in the weeks ahead.
    And the case the town is preparing against Martin O’Boyle and Christopher O’Hare could ripple through dozens of communities across the state.
    Gulf Stream commissioners have given unanimous approval to a legal strategy that will invoke the federal RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations) statute against O’Boyle and O’Hare, alleging they have engaged in a pattern of behavior intended to intimidate, harass and force settlements from public officials and governments.
    Beyond Gulf Stream, town officials say, the class-action RICO suit will allege that O’Boyle used a group he founded called the Citizens Awareness Foundation to generate settlements from frivolous public records suits across the state — in communities such as Fernandina Beach, Miami, Bradenton, Cutler Bay and Miami Lakes.
    “We thought this was about a feud in Gulf Stream,” said Mayor Scott Morgan. “But we learned it was a lot more.”

Time to go Denver?

Good news that there is now non-stop, daily air service to and from Denver and West Palm Beach though PBIA. Click title for link to article.
Palm Beach County tourism leaders want Colorado residents to trade their state’s snow-covered mountains for the county’s sunny beaches.
Frontier Airlines launched direct service between Denver and Palm Beach International Airport on Oct. 26 — offering the only non-stop flight between the two cities. Discover The Palm Beaches, the county’s tourism marketing arm, is capitalizing on the new route by wooing Colorado residents with special hotel packages and warm winter weather.
At least one Palm Beach County hotel is offering discounted room rates to tourists who have a Colorado driver’s license or other identification card.
Meanwhile, tourism leaders are touting the county’s beaches, outdoor natural areas, and other eco-friendly attractions to Colorado residents.
With Frontier’s new flight, Denver residents can get to Palm Beach County in less than four hours, Discover officials boast.
“The Palm Beaches truly are the best way to experience Florida on a winter getaway,” said Jorge Pesquera, Discover’s president and CEO.

Artfest in Jupiter

This article by Chris Persaud, click title for link, shows that he's been submitting a number of stories from Jupiter lately. As you know, Mr. Persaud is the latest Lake Worth beat reporter. He seems to be spreading his wings and we all wish him the best. Anyhow, Mr. Persaud reported on the Artfest in Jupiter. Let's hope that more events like this could happen in Lake Worth:
"[S]eventh annual Artfest, hosted by El Sol Center, a nonprofit company that helps integrate immigrants. Artfest, which this year was held on Saturday and Sunday, celebrates and displays culture and art from Guatemala, Mexico and other Latin American countries. A few hundred people turned up to see and buy paintings, jewels, food and yogurt made by local artists and businesses."
Later in the article he writes:
"Artfest is meant to bring immigrants and Americans together in harmony, said El Sol Executive Director Jocelyn Skolnik."
And later:
“Part of our mission is to integrate these people,” she [El Sol Executive Director Jocelyn Skolnik] said.
El Sol offers English classes, helps immigrants find work, helps process legal paperwork and offers hot meals to immigrants."
Here is a promotional item from the El Sol Artfest that finished yesterday:

Note the number and quality of sponsors. Has the Lake Worth Guatemalan-Maya Center ever staged such an event? An event with such community involvement and sponsors? You must admit the El Sol event is impressive. Many kudos to the sponsors and volunteers.

A little over two weeks ago the Vice Chairman of the Guatemalan-Maya Center in Lake Worth, Father Frank O'Loughlin, joined a protest against the PBSO with the help of the Lake Worth Anarchist community. I would be curious the relationship between "El Sol" and the Jupiter Police Department? Would the El Sol Director be O.K. with a sign that read, "Jupiter Police are Worthless"? Here is a picture of Father O'Loughlin at a protest in Lake Worth on October 29:

It would seem there are two approaches by two different communities with respect to our immigrant/undocumented neighbors. You have El Sol in Jupiter and the Guatemalan-Maya Center (GMC) in Lake Worth. Kudos to Mr. Persaud for his enlightening article. Journalism is reporting the news and if that reporting forces you to think, that is journalism at its best.

For my part in the weeks and months to come, we'll be doing research and a trip to El Sol in Jupiter. We the citizens in Lake Worth have some very hard questions to ask: Do we continue to support the GMC? If not, do we reach out to others like El Sol to help us? Do we want our Guatemalan neighbors, for example, to stay Guatemalan or become American? Are there other people outside of that group, that call Lake Worth home, that make it difficult for this process to happen?

In the meantime, if you think of any community events like this that have happened in Lake Worth, please email me with the details and pictures, if possible. If there are any future ones planned, let me know the dates so that the word can get out.

Ultimately though, this discussion is about a devoted people who risked everything to make their children's lives better. Here in Lake Worth, Florida and elsewhere in south Florida.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

"I wish I was your bird"

The truth makes a rare appearance on the other blogger's site...

Re-Post: For some reason, through my analytic tracking devices, this post shows a near record of 387 individual, unique hits. As such, it cracks the threshold of the upper sixth percentile of all posts, ever. Thought it deserved more attention.

 If the other bloggers readers can see the problem with Commissioner McVoy, why can't she? Is she obtuse? Unaware of McVoy's behavior on the dais? Here are two comments that were left on the 'other bloggers' site that sum up pretty well the problem with McVoy. For the people who actually go to that blog and expose the truth, I thank you for your service to the community - and your luck getting through the Maginot Line. And I am sure Mayor Pam Triolo and Vice Mayor Scott Maxwell thank you as well.

Panama Canal exhibit at the Flagler Museum

In commemoration of the centennial of its opening in 1914, Kiss of the Oceans will tell the fascinating story of the construction of the Panama Canal, one of the world's great technological achievements. Through artifacts, photographs, documents, and films, the exhibition will illustrate the Canal's story from sixteenth-century explorers to nineteenth-century debates, the failed French canal project of the 1880s, the massive American takeover in 1904, and finally the first official transit on August 15, 1914.

The show is on view at the Flagler Museum from Oct. 14 through Jan. 4.

Flagler bridge reopens without a hitch |

Some details about the north bridge to Palm Beach Island's partial re-opening from the Shiny Sheet. Click title for link.
One lane is open in each direction and the sidewalk on the north side of the bridge is open for pedestrians. All westbound traffic exits at the Flagler Drive exit ramp.
The ramp from northbound Flagler Drive to the eastbound Flagler Memorial Bridge is permanently closed. Drivers going north on Flagler Drive who want to go east over the bridge should go west on Banyan Boulevard to North Dixie Highway; take that north to North Quadrille Boulevard; and take North Quadrille Boulevard east across the bridge.
Traffic restrictions remain in place at the intersection of Flagler Drive and the Royal Park Bridge. Drivers going south on Flagler Drive cannot turn left to go east over the Royal Park Bridge and drivers going west over the Royal Park Bridge cannot turn left to go south on Flagler Drive.

Ft. Lauderdale has a large homeless population

Fort Lauderdale's controversial "sharing ban" goes into effect today, putting restrictions on where and how homeless people can be fed. But in defiance of the law, several groups will begin a "week of resistance" and continue to provide food for the needy.

Food Not Bombs will kick off the protest by doing what it does every week: offer free food to people at 5 p.m. in Stranahan Park. And because it's Halloween, participants are urged to come dressed as food.

The group plans to "greet the City on Halloween at our weekly sharing with our MIDDLE FINGERS FULLY EXTENDED [emphasis added] and fight for our rights," according to its Facebook page.

Veteran's Day Parade to take place in Lake Worth, November 8th

The Lake Worth Veterans Day Parade on Saturday, November 8th begins at 11 AM. The NAPC will again this year feature two floats, one for Neighbors to ride and walk with and one float for the NAPC tribute to the Lake Worth High School students and faculty Veterans who have given the ultimate sacrifice for our Country since the High School was founded. The LWHS Memorial float features a life size replica of the granite monument permanently installed on the LWHS campus.

The NAPC Neighbors float will safely carry about 30 people. Children are very welcome to ride the float as long as they are accompanied by a parent or guardian. Veterans are always welcome to ride as well as our Neighbors who may find it difficult to walk in the parade. Line up for the parade begins at 10 AM along Federal Highway. The NAPC float is usually parked close to 4th or 5th Ave North on Federal, near Sacred Heart School.

The Parade ends at the Cultural Plaza where the Ceremony begins around 12:30 PM with the PBSO Honor Guard, the Scottish Rites Bagpipe and Drum Corp, the high school marching band, the Pledge of Allegiance and patriotic songs. Elected officials and honored guests will be on stage to Salute the Service and Sacrifice of our Veterans. A special recitation of Hal Borland's "The Creed" will be delivered along with neighbors holding plackards displaying "I Am An Am-er-ic-an". Tented seated in the Plaza is provided for our Veterans.

The parade route and the Cultural Plaza will be festooned with American flags Thanks to generosity of Neighbors who contributed to the Lake Worth Flag Project and the City of Lake Worth.

One solution to state's wild pig problem: Eat them - Times Union

Click title for link to article. All 67 Florida counties have this problem. From Laura Reily at the Tampa Bay Times we have this piece about a big problem and the solution:
When life hands you nuisance pigs, make pork chops.
And since Florida has an estimated 1 million feral pigs — the most in the country per square mile — Charlotte County rancher Keith Mann saw an opportunity to capitalize on that idea in a novel way.
He has established a working relationship with trappers, USDAinspectors and the restaurant community to bring this new "naturally raised," ''free-range," ''sustainable" and "local" food source to market. Already presiding over Florida's largest bison herd at his Three Suns Ranch, Mann launched his feral pig program this spring, a win-win for homeowners, trappers and restaurant patrons alike. The only losers are the pigs.
Opportunistic omnivores, the pigs breed swiftly, squeeze out other wildlife and wreak havoc on golf courses, agricultural land and even backyard sod. Roaming in all 67 counties of the state, they have been trapped and hunted for decades. There is no season, no size or bag limits or restrictions on harvesting either gender — all this has made wild pigs the second-most popular hunted wildlife in the state behind white-tailed deer.

"All suspects are still at large."

LagoonFest celebrates ‘living, breathing’ estuary of Lake... |

This was a good idea to have the first LagoonFest, taking place in downtown West Palm Beach yesterday. I've been to most of the Lake Worth Lagoon symposiums and have always found them interesting. Many people think about what we also refer to as the Intracoastal Waterway as a place where boats go, as the article says. Click title for link. But it is much more than that. It is essentially an urban estuary whose water quality is affected by what goes on around it. It was also known for its abundant fishing and recreation opportunities. Unfortunately, through the later half of the 20th century, it has been something that we have turned our backs to. Hopefully, we can have LagoonFest in Bryant Park next year and have Lake Worth play a bigger role in the event. It doesn't seem like we had much presence at this years inaugural one.
Before Saturday, Boynton Beach resident Darren Cook had never heard of the Lake Worth Lagoon. To him, the body of water that runs parallel to the coast and separates Palm Beach Island from West Palm Beach was nothing more than a runway for boats.
But the dredged waterway known as the Intracoastal is only a slice of a 20-mile long lagoon that’s home to a variety of wildlife including fish, birds, manatees and sea turtles. At about a half-mile wide, the lagoon is the largest estuary in Palm Beach County, stretching from North Palm Beach to Ocean Ridge.
“The lagoon has been around since before people even settled here,” said Robert Robbins, director of environmental resources management for Palm Beach County. “It is much more than just a highway for boats.”
Robbins is a part of the Lake Worth Lagoon Initiative, which is a collaborative effort by governmental agencies, community organizations and individuals to improve the lagoon after years of pollution.