Saturday, November 15, 2014

New Face for the Shuffleboard Court Building

Pics from Radio Appearance on WBZT AM 1230 re the Cottages of Lake Worth

Look for link to archived show coming soon!

I'm on the radio today!

Tune into 1230 on the AM dial to hear me talk about the Cottages of Lake Worth. I am scheduled to be on at 12:30 today. The show is archived and I will provide a link later on.

The 14 votes thrown out in Lake Worth during the August 26th election should have been counted.

In the printed edition of today's paper, this story was above the fold on the front page. Seems as though Lake Worth was on to something when we complained about provisional ballots not being tallied. Click title for link.
With a $63 million bond issue at stake, Lake Worth officials appealed to Bucher to be inclusive and count proper ballots that she said had to be dismissed because poll workers failed to note properly whether the voter used a Democratic or Republican style ballot.
The only way to verify if they voted on the proper ballot, Bucher maintained, would have been to violate the sanctity of the secret ballot by peering inside the envelope, a violation of another law.
But the city argued it didn’t matter, particularly since their narrowly defeated referendum appeared on all primary ballots, whether Democratic, Republican or no party.
“If this was a lawsuit, I would declare victory,” said the city’s attorney, Glen Torcivia.
The city is rejecting Bucher’s demands that it pay the supervisor’s $3,440 legal costs, City Manager Mike Bornstein said.
“I think we made our point about provisional ballots not being handled correctly,” he said. “And we’re not going to pay her legal fees to find out that we were right.”

Crime rate down in Palm Beach County in first half of 2014

Kate Jacobson at the Sun Sentinel reports, click title for link, on the latest statistics. From the article:
Palm Beach County crime dropped 1.5 percent from January to May of this year compared to the same time period last year, according to a report from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.
The mid-year report measures crime data in all Florida counties, and compares the first six months in 2014 to those in 2013.
While crime overall went down, violent crimes, such as rape, murder and aggravated assault all increased this year compared to last.
From January 2013 to May 2013, there were 1,885 aggravated assaults, compared to the 2,092 in the same time period this year.
Burglary and larceny are down this year however — there were 128 fewer larcenies and 603 fewer burglaries reported in January to May of this year compared to last.

Channel 5 at the Guatemalan Maya Center

Meghan McRoberts of Channel 5 in a news segment about the rumored changes to the immigration status for many undocumented in the United States. She does her report from the Guatemalan Maya Center in Lake Worth.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Traffic Advisory - Town of Palm Beach

The Royal Park (Middle) Bridge will have the eastbound outside lane closed, as needed, 9 a.m. until 3:30 p.m., Monday, November 17, for bridge inspection. 

By popular request...

From the other blog...

Here are three comments from Lynn Anderson's blog: the first from Lynn Anderson's friend, Michele Callahan (voter?), then what reads like a comment from the Elegant One from North Lakeside Drive, and ending with Lynn Anderson commenting on her own blog. Michele Callahan obviously has strong feelings and I would suggest she apply to the Historic Resource Preservation Board (HRPB). We have an opening on the HRPB and I am sure board member Loretta Sharpe would just love for Ms. Callahan to clarify calling her "corrupt".

I'd also like to point out that the bond election results related to the bond issue were certified and not contested by the city. The city did have concerns over the handling of an election and the counting of votes, which became apparent through a close election. We've come to expect facts being distorted by the other blogger. This is a prime example. I guess people that go there (and I can't imagine why), do so for opinions rather than facts.

Everyone knows Loretta's years of service to Lake Worth. Any list I come up with will be incomplete. And for that she deserves admiration and respect. The same is true for Greg Rice and Peggy Fisher. Lynn Anderson can do whatever she pleases on her blog, however you will never see a Lynn Anderson résumé of contribution and service that rivals anything close to the efforts of Loretta Sharpe, Peggy Fisher and Greg Rice.

Let us now examine the comments by Lynn Anderson's friend, Ms. Michele Callahan, Dee, and Lynn:

West Palm Beach opens new arts district with a splash |

At Thursday’s event [the opening of the new West Palm Beach Arts & Entertainment District], the mayor announced a program that will give incentives to arts-based businesses similar to those already offered to other types of businesses, such as those for hiring and for space build-out. This district encompasses much of the downtown area. Click title for link to the related article.
“Creating great cities isn’t just about tall buildings and clean streets,” the mayor said. “We truly are the definition of a well-rounded and well-balanced city.”
City government and the city’s Downtown Development Authority say setting aside parts of downtown is a way to draw even more people there to eat and drink, and perhaps come to work and live.
The city would work with area cultural entities, such as Dramaworks and the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts, and bring in outside events as well.
DDA Executive Director Raphael Clemente said Thursday the new district celebrates "the diversity and richness of our cultural community here in the West Palm Beach area. And it’s all within walking distance of the spot. And if you don’t want to walk, there’s a trolley.”

Rick Sanchez radio show with Ft. Lauderdale Mayor Seiler

I encourage everyone to listen to this podcast segment and share it with your friends. It is very important to get the word out about media manipulation in a city to our south, Fort Lauderdale. Rick Sanchez recently interviewed Ft. Lauderdale Mayor Jack Seiler (D) at radio station WIOD. They discuss the situation relating to feeding of the homeless in public places in violation of a new city ordinance. This segment is 14:15 minutes long and the Mayor is introduced by Rick Sanchez at the 1:00 mark.

Mayor Seiler shares a good laugh about a protest that was staged at his house. There were about 30 protesters and they initially set up at the wrong street in front of the wrong house. Note the Mayor Seiler has been Mayor for six years now. The Mayor pointed out that the leader of the protest is from Missouri. According to reports he received from the site, there were no known Ft. Lauderdale residents involved. He goes on to blame "outside agitators", a group called Food Not Bombs, and at the 12:50 mark mentions anarchists "who don't believe in any authority". Hmmmmm.

Many of you heard about the 90-year-old Arnold Abbott from the Love Thy Neighbor charity who was arrested feeding the homeless, right? Mayor Seiler clears that up too. Mr. Abbott was NEVER ARRESTED. The mayor stated that there are over 100 sanctioned, proper locations in Ft. Lauderdale for feeding homeless people: inside, under a roof, with sanitary feeding equipment, with running water and working toilets.

Mayor Seiler made it very clear that he respects Arnold Abbott and lauds his service to the homeless and hungry in Ft. Lauderdale. The mayor wants this activity to take place in the right places in the city. Just a few days ago Arnold Abbott indicated he would be feeding the homeless in a section of Ft. Lauderdale. The city found two locations for him: the Church by the Sea and the Aquatic Center. Mr. Arnold, to the dismay of the city, rejected both sites. Mayor Seiler doesn't mince any words or try to be coy about this rejection. He lays the blame squarely on "handlers" who are manipulating the elderly Mr. Abbott for their own political objectives.

So, here you have the other side of the story.

Parrot Cove Meeting - Monday November 17, 7:00 pm Believer's Victory Church

Parrot Cove Neighborhood Association, Inc.

The next Parrot Cove general meeting will be this coming Monday November 17th, at 7:00pm at the Believer's Victory Church located at the SE corner of 10th and N Lakeside Dr.

Our featured speaker will be Marion Cone who will speaking about the history of our area, and also the architecture of the historic homes in our neighborhood and what makes them special. 

Also discussed will be facts of Landmark designation and what it means and doesn’t mean and how to research your house, as well as​ discussing the history of Lake Worth from about 1910 to 1935 with a bit of humor, and describing what life must have been like at that time.  She will also include snippets about some of the early residents ​

​Marion is also involved with the Cottages of Lake Worth and will also touch on architectural information about cottages in our area.

With regard to Marion's background: At a very young age, Marion studied history, genealogy  and architecture.  Her first formal entry into historic preservation was with a neighborhood group just like ours. In the early 70’s she volunteered to do a historic survey for Wichita, Kansas and volunteered to work on the city’s Preservation Law which mirrored the National Preservation Act of 1966.

After the law was passed,  she accepted the position of Historic Preservation Officer.  She worked as Preservation Officer for five years with a professional committee of 10 which made recommendations to the City Commissioners.  During her tenure they achieved National Designation of 12 landmarks plus local designation of 32 individual structures and 5 historic districts. In time, she was approved by the National office to determine historicity and architectural appropriateness. 

Marion founded a historic house museum and raised the funds to purchase the property, coordinated and raised the funds to move a historic house to a living museum, founded a branch of the Victorian Society, sat on national boards, consulted on restoration projects and designed and coordinated historic preservation conferences. 

The Parrot Cove meeting is open to everyone in Parrot Cove​ as well as​ our Lake Worth neighbors in other neighborhoods.


​:​ ​I​t is time to renew your dues for 2015, which are only $10 per person or $20 per household​ for the year​. You can renew your dues at this meeting by providing your payment to any of the Parrot Cove directors before or after the meeting.

Havana Restaurant redo will spice up WPB | Real Time

More evidence of redevelopment on Dixie Hwy., but over in West Palm Beach. This new facade is a Rick Gonzalez design. I am thinking there can't be any additional seating space due to parking limitations. It's good to see the re-investment trend moving south. Click title for link.
“We want to bring this area of Forest Hill and Dixie back to 1950s Cuba, and bring Havana to life,” Reyes said.
The family restaurant was founded in 1993 by Roberto Reyes, his daughter Martha, and her husband Rafael Perez. They moved to West Palm Beach from Miami following the devastation of Hurricane Andrew in 1992. Roberto Reyes passed away earlier this year.
Reyes said the facade will liven up the Dixie area and move the redevelopment of Dixie Highway farther south, toward Lake Worth.
As previously reported, a number of properties have traded hands, are being redeveloped or are planned for improvement in the Dixie Highway corridor between Okeechobee Boulevard to the north, and Belvedere Road to the south.
Now the renovation action is starting to move south, and Reyes said her family is excited to be a part of that effort.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Vintage Holiday Gift Idea

Courtesy of the Tom McGow Archives

Happy Birthday Commissioner Andy

If you have a few minutes stop in and wish our Lake Worth District 3 Commissioner Andy Amoroso some well wishes. For those of you unaware, Commissioner Amoroso was unopposed in the last election cycle, a testament to his hard work and determination. Next Tuesday Commissioner Amoroso and Vice Mayor Maxwell will be attending the League of City's conference in Austin, Texas for 6 days, bringing back with them new ideas and creative solutions for Lake Worth's challenges both present and future.

Commissioner Amoroso has a shop in Lake Worth, Studio 205, and for 6 days he has to pay others to keep his shop open in his absence. Not a small expense for a small business. Some bottom dwellers in our community will try to convince you this is a "vacation" at the taxpayers expense. Note that these are the very same people who supported former commissioner Suzanne Mulvehill's trip to Bonn, Germany as a wonderful opportunity to promote Lake Worth, FL, USA. We all can see the huge benefits reaped from that taxpayer-paid trip can't we! Can you say, Hals und beinbruch!

On December 5th I'll have Commissioner Amoroso as a guest on my podcast, High Noon in Lake Worth, to detail what he learned in Austin, Texas at the League of Cities conference. Have a good trip, Andy and Scott.

I rode by on my bike this morning just after the arrests...

From PBSO:

"On 11/13/14, at 0929 hrs., District 14 deputies responded to the 1800 block of N. Lakeside Drive in response to a 911 caller advising 3 males were seen breaking into a home. Upon my arrival, I observed a green vehicle leaving the area northbound on N. Lakeside Drive. The vehicle was immediately stopped and all 3 subjects were identified as the suspects by the witness. They were subsequently charged with residential burglary, possession of burglary tools and possession of narcotics. Burglary tools used to pry open the front door were found in the vehicle along with socks to wear on their hands and 2 way radios. A District 14 Detective responded to assist and confessions were obtained. Case cleared by arrest and the vehicle towed for forfeiture."

The Cottages of Lake Worth on the Radio!

This week's Lake Worth Herald has a story about The Cottages of Lake Worth and yours truly's appearance on WBZT-AM (1230) this coming Saturday. From the story:
     The Cottages of Lake Worth will be featured on Allan Mason's REACH radio program on station WBZT-AM (1230 on the dial) this Saturday, Nov. 15 at 12:35 p.m. Wes Blackman, Cottages of Lake Worth Board member, will be interviewed during this half hour program.
     Blackman will explain the mission of the Cottages of Lake Worth - to educate the residents and visitors by celebrating and promoting the history of these unique structures and its people so that the legacy is passed on to future generations.
[Later in the news story...]
     Blackman will also talk about The Cottages of Lake Worth's self-directed tours, upcoming bike tour and the Inside the Cottages Tour scheduled for Sunday, Feb. 15
     To download the tour brochure that includes featured cottages and multiple walking and driving tours go to
To read the entire article and more about the unique contribution of Lake Worth resident Roger Hendrix go to or pick up the latest issue at the newsstand at Studio 205 in downtown Lake Worth, just west of the downtown Starbucks.

Here's one performance art solution to pedestrian safety

What it feels like to be a pedestrian in some urban areas

I stumbled upon this surfing around and the person who posted it said that the drawing was unattributed. If you know who did this creative interpretation of the urban experience, let me know.

Saturday is the Fall Book sale for the Lake Worth Library!

I'm told the books will be out and ready around 9 a.m.

Annual Fall Muster - Second Seminole War encampment

The Loxahatchee Battlefield Preservationists and Palm Beach County plan a presentation Saturday that will feature a Second Seminole War encampment. Click title for link to more information.

The Annual Fall Muster features speakers dressed in period uniforms and demonstrations of historical weapons.

A guided tour of Seminole War battlefield sites is also scheduled.

The event is from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. and is free and open to the public at Riverbend/Loxahatchee River Battlefield Park west of Jupiter on the south side of Indiantown Road, about a mile west of Florida’s Turnpike.

Announcement from the CRA...

This Saturday (November 15th), the Palm Beach Fire Rescue Academy will be conducting a controlled burn of an abandoned residential structure in Lake Worth. The location of the event is 231 North ‘H’ Street. The event will begin at 8am and end at 6pm. Portions of Third Avenue North may be closed during the event. There is no need to call 911 regarding the burning of this structure.

The CRA and one of our NSP Consortium Affiliates (Palm Beach State College), have partnered to provide this abandoned structure to the Palm Beach County Fire Academy to conduct a controlled burn. This real life educational experience gives future fire fighters the life - safety skills needed to battle fires in residential structures. The CRA plans to build a brand new single family home at this location next year. This is another example of how NSP dollars are being used for career training and education in the community.

Delray Beach has a new City Manager

Came across this story about the new city manager chosen to lead Delray Beach, Mr. Don Cooper. This story comes from BocaMag where Randy Schultz now contributes to their online blog. Mr. Schultz was the former managing editor for the Palm Beach Post if you recall. The story by Mr. Schultz purports to be a news item but quickly you come to learn the story relies heavily on opinion with a clear bias and slant. Mr. Schultz still has his feet firmly in the opinion business it seems but I did manage to find these two excerpts newsworthy. 
From five finalists, the commission unanimously chose Don Cooper, going with experience over potential. Cooper ran Port St. Lucie for nearly 20 years and was manager of two small cities in Colorado before that. He has more experience than even Terry Stewart, who has been Delray’s interim city manager since June. Neither Assistant Broward County Administrator Roberto Hernandez nor Assistant Boca Raton City Manager Mike Woika has had a top job, however qualified they might be. The lone out-of-state candidate, Andrea McCue, had no Florida experience.
[Later in article...]
Of his approach to management, Cooper wrote that his staff in Port St. Lucie, if asked, “would say I was demanding, supportive, and fair. I feel it is extremely important to create an environment where the staff and the policymakers are challenged and achieve the goals they set for themselves. That they constantly strive to be better and make their community and the organization better. My team members would say I’m protective, blunt, politically aware but not political and maybe push too hard to achieve the goals of the organization.”
It does remain for Delray Beach to work out a contract with Cooper. He noted that he made $161,000 in Port St. Lucie, though that was four years ago. The target salary for the Delray Beach job is $165,000. Cooper currently works in Port St. Lucie for the Torrey Pines Institute for Molecular Studies as chief financial officer.

Kreusler Park improvements Approved

The county improvements to Kreusler Park, just north of the Lake Worth Casino, were approved. But not without some input by neighbors in the building to the north. As reported by William Kelly, click title for link:
But council members stipulated that the county cooperate with the Palm Worth residential building, immediately north of the park, to address its concerns about beachgoers trespassing onto its private beach, drinking alcohol and leaving trash behind.
In particular, the county was asked to consider installing a gate to restrict access to a beach easement that runs between Kreusler Park and the Palm Worth building.
Jim Brennan, who lives at the Palm Worth, 2850 S. Ocean Blvd., said residents of his building aren’t opposed to the county’s proposal to upgrade park facilities.
“But we are concerned about noise pollution, traffic control and policing,” he said. “There is a lot of activity in that park that most people would not want on their property.”

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Profound devotion to one's leaders

A ‘Stupidity’ Virus Has Been Discovered

This may explain a lot. Click title for link.
While the virus is found in freshwater, there was no indication the only people who had it were swimmers and boaters. “These are agents that we carry around for a long time and that may have subtle effects on our cognition and behavior,” Yolken told Healthline. "We're really just starting to find out what some of these agents that we're carrying around might actually do.”

School Board Member Elect Erica Whitfield to be sworn in next Tuesday (11/18)

AnnaMaria'a events for the week

Make sure to visit AnnaMaria's blog for stuff to do this week in Lake Worth. There is the Thursday Night Peddler's (leaving at 6:00 from the Gulfstream Hotel), information on the municipal pool, the Bonfire at the Beach on Friday and other things happening around the city. Click title for link.

All Aboard Florida: Demolition begins for West Palm Beach station. - Sun Sentinel

The latest about All Aboard Florida in West Palm Beach...from the Sun Sentinel, click title for link:
It's demolition day Wednesday for All Aboard Florida as crews clear the way for construction of its West Palm Beach station.
Both the Sewell Hardware building and the Sasser Glass building will be razed for the station between Evernia and Datura streets, next to the Florida East Coast Railway tracks.
The work follows the knockdown of a strip center on the site of the future passenger rail line's Fort Lauderdale station two weeks ago.
It's full steam ahead for the project's first segment, which includes a station in downtown Miami. All three stations are expected to be completed a few months before passenger trains begin running between Miami and West Palm Beach by the end of 2016.
The next leg to Orlando is set to open in 2017.
Here is Channel 5's report:

How to stop Fane Lozman? Riviera Beach lines up 70 witnesses |

From Jane Musgrave at the Palm Beach Post, (click title for link) we have an item about our irrepressible Fane Lozman. He is back in the news continuing his fight with the city of Riviera Beach. Remember he took his case all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. Here you can watch Justice Roberts talking about Fane as one of his "fun" cases sitting on the Supreme Court. You can also listen to Fane yourself, he was a guest on my High Noon in Lake Worth podcast. Here's more about Fane's latest action against Riviera Beach from the article: 
After six years, one U.S. Supreme Court decision and countless barbs traded back and forth, jury selection is to begin today in a federal lawsuit that pits a Riviera Beach activist against the city he loves to loathe.
While the long-running dispute is unusual for many reasons, it stands out because Fane Lozman will be representing himself in what is expected to be a monthlong trial.
The former Marine and self-made millionaire will try to persuade jurors to order the city to pay him up to a million for tromping on his constitutional rights. He claims city officials hauled him out of meetings, cited him for bogus complaints and towed his 60-foot floating home from the municipal marina and had it destroyed. The various insults were to punish him for speaking out against a now scuttled multibillion-dollar redevelopment project, he claims.

Delray Beach - The Artist's Alley

In Delray Beach, an unfortunate story is developing related to the continuance of the Artist's Alley there. Artists of all talents, including world renowned artists, work and display their art at the venue. If you have never been to the Artist's Alley here is a map to get you there. However you better make your trip very soon for the venue is likely to close in the near future; the buildings are going to auction today.
As you see the Artist's Alley is only few blocks north of Atlantic Avenue, just west of the railroad tracks. The venue comprises four buildings and nearly 30 artists work there. The artists helped in the continued renaissance of Delray Beach and they now appear to be victims of their own success. The property has increased in value and will likely attract a developer who will transform it into condominiums and shops.

On October 21, proponents of the Artist's Alley spoke at the Delray Beach City Commission meeting looking for support from Mayor Glickstein and others in the community. Here is a YouTube video of the meeting.

I have nothing but sympathy for the artists. Unfortunately, efforts such as these to save the venue should have started months or even years ago, lining up investors/benefactors and forming the political connections to save the buildings. At this point it is likely too little too late, but yet never ever say never. Surprising things can happen in this world where miracles are still possible and hope remains. If you want to help save the Artist's Alley you can sign the petition here.

Check out the video and I especially encourage you to watch Lori Wasserman Sturgess of 4th Avenue Photography Video. She is not located in the Artist's Alley but strongly advocates for saving the present use in its current location. She likens the Alley to a magnet attracting artist lovers and visitors spending money in the community. You can watch her at 4:45 to 7:05. Pay particular attention to what she says at 6:55 to 7:05.

If you work for the Lake Worth CRA or LULA take a few minutes to pat yourself on the back and jump for joy. Lake Worth is indeed on the map! People in Delray Beach refer to our City of Lake Worth AS COMPETITION. The statement by Ms. Sturgess beginning at 6:55 on the video will no doubt be gratifying for so many in our city who have worked so hard for so many years revitalizing Lake Worth with the help of our artist residents and new/future neighbors. We all wish Ms. Sturgess success saving the Alley, however it is refreshing to hear others outside of Lake Worth, especially in Delray Beach, acknowledge the great strides our city of Lake Worth have made over the years. In a way, Lake Worth's identity is emerging from the shadows of our neighbors.

The City of Lake Worth has many vacant buildings that could be used by artists. In fact the Benzaiten Center will be opening soon with much help from the city and others. The Benzaiten was once an eyesore, a vacant city building for many years. If the Artist's Alley is unable to continue at its current location I would strongly encourage the artists to consider the City of Lake Worth a new home.

If you are an artist interested in learning about Lake Worth a good place to start your search is LULA.

November 12, 2014 9:59 AM Royal Park Bridge is Temporarily Out of Service

Royal Park Bridge (middle) is temporarily out of service. Please use on the other bridges and also be aware that at the Southern Bridge at the Bath and Tennis circle is down to one lane due to road construction.

Update at 10:20 a.m. The Royal Park Bridge (middle) for westbound traffic is closed due to mechanical failure. Please use Flagler Memorial Bridge (northern) or the Southern Boulevard Bridge. There is no time limit on when it will reopen. Please be aware there is road construction near the Bath & Tennis circle drive just past the Southern Bridge and it is down to one lane of travel.

Feed the Homeless - Ft. Lauderdale - December 17th, 12 to 7 p.m.

I, along with 3,600 people on Facebook, were invited to this event in Stranahan Park.
It turns out that someone invited Dee McNamara. Here is her profile picture from Facebook:
If you read her comments, it seems as though she is going and would like others to attend. But the message is a bit murky.

Off the Wall Event - LuLa - Saturday, November 15, 2014

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

The grass isn't always greener...

Special Presentation by the Benzaiten Center - 12/9

Attention all Lake Worthians! Make your reservations now to attend the Special Presentation by the Benzaiten Center and our own treasure the McMow Art Glass Studio on December 9th. Read about it at The Rickie Report.

Please call or email to RSVP as seating is limited:
561-585-9011 x100

City of Lake Worth Tree Board talk at Lake Worth Public Library

The Lake Worth City Tree Board announced that it will hold a  talk with 3 speakers entitled “Right Tree, Right Place” on Thursday, November 13, 2014 at 6:30 p.m. at the Lake Worth Public Library on 15 North M Street.  The talk focuses on how increasing native tree canopy, shrubs and ground cover allow beneficial insects, birds and butterflies to flourish.  Refreshments will be served.  Admission is free and everyone is welcome.

“It’s great to have our City Tree Board speaker series move to the Lake Worth Public Library in the heart of downtown Lake Worth,” said City of Lake Worth Horticulturalist, David McGrew, staff liaison to the board.  “Families, property owners, business owners, city officials, renters and property managers can all benefit from the information the three speakers will share about native trees and plants.

“The speakers will discuss the benefits of native plants” added Richard Stowe, Tree Board Chair  “and how city landscape ordinances can create incentives to establish yards with native landscaping.”

The three speakers, who serve or have served as directors on the Florida Native Plant Society Palm Beach Chapter Board, include Kristi Moyer, M.Ed., Jeff Nurge and Dennis DeZeeuw.

Kristi Moyer, M.Ed. is the Facility and Land Manager at Pine Jog Environmental Educational Center of Florida Atlantic University.  

Jeff Nurge is founder of Native Choice Nursery located on Tropical Way World off Hagen Ranch Road in Boynton Beach.  He writes a weekly column called Native Roots for the Palm Beach Post and serves as the publicity chair for the Palm Beach Chapter of the Florida Native Plant Society.  

Dennis DeZeeuw is founder of Boca Raton-based Sustainscape, Inc. and is a past membership chair of the Florida Native Plant Society Palm Beach Chapter.  Dennis has received accreditation from the Florida Nursery, Growers and Landscape Association as a Florida Certified Horticulture Professional (2010) and Florida Certified Landscape Technician (2013); he was certified by the University of Florida - Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences as a Florida Master Naturalist in 2011 and received LEED GA accreditation by the United States Green Building Council in 2014.

The City of Lake Worth has a number of advisory boards which provides assistance to the City Commission.  Most meet once a month and only require a few hours of a volunteer's time.  The City Tree Board meets at 5:30 p.m. on the second Thursday of the month.  All members are selected by the Mayor and City Commission.  Board meetings are open to the public.

Blind persons unable to vote on 11/4

Christine Stapleton reports that all did not go smoothly in Palm Beach County last Tuesday. Supervisor Bucher points to age of machines used for that purpose and blames the company. Sounds familiar. The solution? Fire the poll workers according to Bucher. Click title for link.
Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections Susan Bucher, who said after the election that voting this year went smoothly, has not returned calls since Thursday about the allegations by Troiano and Lapp.
But Florida Council for the Blind President James Kracht said he spoke with Bucher on Monday and she said the machines complied with state law but were so old and infrequently used that she could not get the company to repair them. Poll workers are trained in how to operate the machines but the poll workers made mistakes and would be fired, Kracht said Bucher told him.
Kracht also sent a letter to U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio on Friday asking Rubio for “guidance, help and assistance to find a solution to and right this continued wrong.” Kracht said an aide for Rubio told him the problem was a state matter. The Florida Division of Election said the situation is a county matter and referred questions to Bucher.

Lake Worth's parade honoring Veterans from this past Saturday...

Yet another NSP2 home dedication, this Friday...

Update on the Palm Beach County real estate market...

From Kimberly Miller at the Real Time blog (click title for link), we have this new information about the real estate market in Palm Beach County:
The third quarter report from Royal Palm Beach-based Metro study shows new home starts in South Florida slowed some since the second quarter, but were still up 3.6 percent from last year.
Palm Beach [County]: Quarterly housing starts in Palm Beach County are down 22% from the previous quarter and are off 5.5% from 3Q14. Closings were off 6% from the previous quarter, and are down 2.5% from 3Q13. Finished, vacant inventory remains exceptionally low at only 1.2 months of supply.
It might be the lack of supply of quality listing is pulling down sales.

Monroe County's Administrator discusses plans for sea level rise...

You will notice that he mentions the "four county compact" of which Palm Beach County is a part. Here he talks about some practical steps, like raising the floor elevation of a new fire station above what would normally be called for, to plan for higher sea levels.

Click here for link to the Florida Squeeze...

For those of you who follow Democrat politics in the state of Florida there is no better resource than The Florida Squeeze. You might remember the recent High Noon in Lake Worth show with guest Justin Snyder, chief national correspondent for the news outfit. The Florida Squeeze publishes surprisingly candid articles about the Florida Democrat Party and in the lead-up to last week's election was highly critical of the Democrat efforts and focus. In my opinion, the advice and counsel they offered was ignored and the Democrats payed dearly. Along with their critiques they bolster their analyses with historical data and evidence; much of this was ignored also. This last election was a wake up call for the Democrat Party in Florida. We need new leadership at the top. The Florida Squeeze took some time after the election to reflect on the results and choosing not to lash out.

But now, it appears that the gloves are off and the folks at the Florida Squeeze are naming names and demanding change. Here in full is their analysis of Debbie Wasserman Schultz' performance. They title her the "Biggest Loser" in the 2014 midterm elections:
Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the Chairwoman of the DNC  is perhaps the greatest individual to blame for the Democrats debacle, not only in Florida but across the nation. Not only did she personally oversee the appointment of Allison Tant, who presided over this mess in Florida, she personally spent more time than any other politician hitting the streets trying to get out the vote. And while there were marginal gains in Sarasota and some other traditionally Republican medium sized counties, overall her efforts state-wide and nationally fell flat. On the whole, she failed to properly prepare for the Republican wave – something that many have talked about for months. The fact that she is the one leading the review of Democratic efforts gives little to restore hope. Even though she comes from an incredibly safe district, perhaps she should spend a little more time in the competitive areas of the state instead of simply repeating Democratic talking points. Democrats have to do better than what she can offer. Regarding her role on the state level, her handpicked Chairwoman Allison Tant was not given the tools early on or the training to do the job effectively. Certainly the problems in the state party predate Tant by more than a decade – that’s among the reasons why our own Kartik Krishnaiyer is openly willing to give her more time on the job. But for many of the rest of us, she hasn’t done good enough and for that Wasserman Schultz is largely to blame. Florida’s election mirrored the national one. A common thread runs through all these debacles – Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s involvement. Why President Obama has not dropped the hammer on her as DNC Chairwoman yet is anyone’s guess but she must go.
I think their analysis is a bit shrill and, yes, the Democrats lost the Senate majority, but this was expected. Historically, the president's party always fares poorly in the midterm election cycle and one of the key culprits is low voter turnout. If fingers need to be pointed anywhere, it is in the inability of the Democrats to get their base out to vote.

I hope that no one is traveling to Greenfield, CA anytime soon...

Assault with Deadly Weapon


Theft from Vehicle

Breaking & Entering
1100 Block HEIDI DR & SCOTT CR

Breaking & Entering
500 Block 12TH ST & WALNUT AV

Breaking & Entering
700 Block MC DONALD WAY & 7TH ST

Breaking & Entering
100 Block 6TH ST & OAK AV

Breaking & Entering

Breaking & Entering
1000 Block PALM AV & 11TH ST

Theft of Vehicle

Theft of Vehicle
100 Block 5TH ST & OAK AV

Breaking & Entering
1100 Block TYLER AV

1 Block 11TH ST

Breaking & Entering

Greenfield has slightly less than half the population of Lake Worth and is a little over 2 miles square.

Moving Up: Chef Hackman opens doors to neighborhood eatery

Nice introduction of a new business on South Dixie Hwy. in West Palm Beach, click title for link. The owners live in Lake Worth. Here's some highlights from the article:
“So far, so good,” Hackman said of 44-seat business, which is open for breakfast and lunch. “This is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time. People who come in are liking what they find and spreading the word to friends.”
He has plans to add outdoor seating and already offers dinner-to-go service and business meeting lunches.
Having grown up in Lake Worth, Hackman said he knows what people here like to eat and enjoys the creative process.
I dropped by there last week and picked up a menu (below). They also have a series of daily specials.

 And, look here, that's me enjoying a roast beef wrap for lunch.

Drop by and check it out. It's in the former Blockbuster video store location.

Happy Veterans Day - Soldiers Training in Miami Beach

Monday, November 10, 2014

Lake Worth resident Paul Gionfriddo - "Losing Tim"

In this last Sunday's Palm Beach Post, there is a story by Carlos Frias about our Lake Worth neighbor Paul Gionfriddo. Mr. Gionfriddo was a guest on my podcast last year which you can listen to it here. Mr. Gionfriddo's story is a sad and long one. His son is schizophrenic and he recently wrote a book about the process and realization you can see here

One of the topics we discussed on the show was our "intake" system for too many of the mentally ill here in Palm Beach County turns out to be local law enforcement and the county jail. Possibly in the near future, I'll have Mr. Gionfriddo back as a guest once again and see if there's been any improvement in Palm Beach County's services for the mentally ill. Following is an excerpt from Mr. Frias' story in the Post and take note of Mr. Gionfriddo's extensive career and work over the years to help our mentally ill citizens:
Paul Gionfriddo is looking forward to getting a mug shot of his son.
He shakes his head. He knows how that sounds.
But it has been more than three years since he has so much as seen his son, Tim. More than a year since he’s heard whether he’s alive.
So when he gets a call in the middle of the night from a San Francisco area code — it’s always in the middle of the night — his stomach lurches. It always has to do with Tim, who is mentally ill and homeless on the streets of the Bay Area.
Before he picks up, he knows it can be only one of two things.
Either it’s the police alerting him that Tim has gone off the rails again, disappeared from the disjointed mental health system and ended up back in prison.
Or it’s the morgue, looking for a next of kin.
Gionfriddo held his breath when the phone rang in his Lake Worth home two weeks ago. He picked it up — and got the news his son was alive. He asked for a mug shot to be emailed so he could at least see the 29-year-old man he’d adopted as an infant and raised with all the hope and eagerness of any parent.

Editorial: Avoid ‘food desert’ after Mangonia Park’s... |

I hope that the closing of the Sabor on Lake Worth Road does not foretell the establishment of a "food desert" in Lake Worth, west of I-95. Let's hope another grocery store can fill the void. Click title for link to a Post editorial about the situation in the northern part of West Palm Beach once a Winn-Dixie closes in the area. From the editorial:
This is a familiar story, one that plays out in poor communities across the country. Grocery stores flock to suburban neighborhoods and upscale city centers, but they leave tremendous gaps in low-income neighborhoods.
Neighboring Riviera Beach went through the same pain not long ago. When a Publix there closed in 1990, the entire city was left without any full-service grocery stores for more than a decade. Finally, a Winn-Dixie was approved in 2003, and Publix returned to the city in 2011.
Winn-Dixie’s closing in Mangonia Park (just outside of West Palm Beach’s city limits) threatens to create a similar dearth of convenient access to good, affordable food along the 45th Street corridor.

WPB commission meeting tonight...All Aboard Florida

Tonight at the West Palm Beach commission meeting All Aboard Florida will be a major topic. From Eliot Kleinberg of the West Palm Beat blog we have this:
Tops on the commission meeting agenda: All Aboard Florida. The board is expected to finally take on All Aboard Florida’s request to close a section of an alleyway between Datura and Evernia streets for its $29 million downtown station. That already had been tabled for Oct. 14 and was tabled again for the Oct. 28 meeting. The commission will also discuss side roads at Clematis and Fern streets. And it will discuss requests by All Aboard about its plans for a transportation hub at the train station. City incentives currently reward developers who build office or hotel space; All Aboard wants to build residences.

ROLOH Neighborhood Meeting - This Tuesday - 11/11 at 7 p.m.

Democrats to Do "Top to Bottom Assessment" - A Message from Chair Wasserman Schultz

Let's send Commissioner McVoy to the World Water Leadership Congress & Awards in Mumbai, India

Greetings.......! The World Water Leadership Congress & Awards are scheduled on 17th & 18th February 2015 at Taj Lands End, Mumbai. The World Water Leadership Congress will be a part of World CSR Congress & Awards scheduled on the same dates.

Request if you could nominate few Delegates for the Summit from your organisation. It will be a worthwhile Learning opportunity. You also have an opportunity for Display Spaces / Exhibition Stalls and also Sponsorship opportunities are available. If you need more information on the same please call on +91 9821688999.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Trivial political analysis

The Lake Worth Bridge is now two-way on the north span.

Unfortunate time of the year for this maintenance work being done first to the south span, and then the north. Be careful going east on the very narrow shoulder. If biking, it might be best to dismount and walk across using the sidewalk.

Lake Worth Pool Update

Water exercise classes are now Sunday and Thursday mornings at 10, and Saturday mornings at 11. Cost is $5 dollars which goes to Sally Welsh, the instructor.

Here is a reminder about the general pool hours of operation. The pool is being heated now and they are using blankets which help retain the heat. The water temperature has been very comfortable recently.

This is the city's best kept secret. Come enjoy it for yourself! Ride your bike or walk there to save on parking fees.

The Town of Gulf Stream has had enough and is fighting back...

The latest news on the town of Gulf Stream and their RICO action against two litigious residents. This story is from Dan Moffett at the Broward Bulldog. Joel Chandler was a guest on my podcast twice about his public records requests. Click here and here to listen to the shows. From the article:
O’Boyle, the wealthy owner of the Deerfield Beach-based commercial real estate firm Commerce Group, founded Citizens Awareness in 2013 and Joel Chandler served as its executive director until the relationship soured after a few months earlier this year. A longtime advocate for Florida’s public records laws, Chandler says he quickly became disillusioned with how CAF was run.
“I thought the foundation as originally presented to me would be a wonderful resource for open government across the state,” Chandler said. “What it ended up being is nothing more than a scheme to generate lawsuits for The O’Boyle Law Firm.”
Chandler said he had a quota of 25 public records lawsuits per week to fill and, though he recommended other attorneys, O’Boyle insisted that all the work be done at The O’Boyle Law Firm, a Deerfield Beach for-profit company run by his son, Jonathan O’Boyle, a lawyer based in Johnstown, Pa.
“The money was in the sheer volume of the cases,” Chandler said. “A lawyer could use a template and file a suit in 15 minutes. We filed hundreds of cases. The typical settlement started at $5,000. It all adds up to millions in legal fees.”
[Later in article]
In an interview, Chandler said he wanted to work with Gulf Stream, meet with Town Manager William Thrasher, and work out the foundation’s differences over public records.
“O’Boyle was adamant that we wouldn’t do that,” Chandler said. “Marty said we’ll sue and that is all we do.”
Chandler resigned his $120,000 -a-year job at Citizens Awareness in June. Later, O’Boyle sued him alleging Chandler had misused the group’s funds.
Chandler, a longtime government transparency watchdog, denied misusing Citizens Awareness’s funds or any wrongdoing.
“The only things true in the suit against me were my name and that I live in Florida,” said Chandler, 51. The suit is pending.

On a gloomy day, let's remember a little sunny Tom McGow humor...

Yet another post from a loyal and concerned reader

I read with great interest the Letter to the Editor by Guillermo Carrasco in this week's Lake Worth Herald (LWH) concerning the protest in Lake Worth on October 22nd. First, Mr. Carrasco identifies himself as the "Chairman, Guatemalan Maya Center [GMC]". The GMC website lists Mr. Carrasco as a board member as you can see here, not the Chairman. Perhaps their website is not up-to-date?

Second, Mr. Carrasco writes, "We have it on the authority of the local media, BUT DON'T KNOW HOW TO VERIFY [emphasis added], that the two unwashed men who joined our event carrying an offensive poster were at work for the PBSO." What local media? Will Mr. Carrasco follow up with an apology in next weeks' LWH? That is a serious accusation. If you are staging a protest and you can't control your message should be staging a protest in the first place? Also at the protest were other signs being held calling for the end of PBSO policing in Lake Worth. And, just by way of observation, it would be difficult to determine the most "unwashed" of this group, meaning our local anarchist tribe.

Mr. Carrasco goes on to write, "It [the GMC] doesn't know the agenda of particular political elements within the City." Mr. Carrasco is unaware of Cara Jennings' position on PBSO? Cara Jennings is a former Commissioner in Lake Worth; she tried unsuccessfully to end the PBSO contract. Cara Jennings, Panagioti Tsolkas, and many others from the anarchist community were there at the protest. If you have members of the GMC and anarchists on the same corner at the same time protesting, chanting and carrying signs, what is the public to conclude? 

Later Mr. Carrasco writes, "A deputy who can not understand nor be understood brings no standard police skills to a neighborhood except the use of force." How many interactions between PBSO and the Guatemalan/Maya (GM) community have occurred without the use of force over the years? 

Lastly, this is from the GMC Mission Statement you can find on their website: "[...] cultural continuity, and family preservation and empowerment consistent with the Mayan culture as we embrace our new environment."

Cultural continuity? Empowerment consistent with the Mayan culture? No doubt the language barrier is a contributing factor in confusion between PBSO deputies and the GM community. PBSO has an enormous responsibility and so does the GMC. On the GMC website they state there are 22 different Mayan languages. Were the GMC to focus more attention on teaching the English language much of the confusion would be solved. No community policing effort on the planet could field a force of men and women fluent in English, comprehend Spanish, and understand 22 Mayan languages with any number of dialects and linguistic nuances. Learning English would solve many problems between PBSO and immigrant/undocumented community.

It's not nice to point fingers...

John Kennedy at the Post on Politics blog has this story about the Florida Democrat House leadership. Click title for link. Following the results of last Tuesday's election some are not happy with Representative Mark Pafford's leadership:
A Volusia County lawmaker said Friday said that he is challenging West Palm Beach Rep. Mark Pafford for the post of House Democratic Leader following the defeat of six members of the caucus in Tuesday’s elections.
Rep. Dwayne Taylor of Daytona Beach said Pafford must shoulder much of the responsibility for the losses, which gave House Republicans a super-majority and diminish even further the policy-making influence of outnumbered Democrats in the state Legislature.
“He didn’t have a plan,” Taylor said of Pafford. “I went to him before the elections and said, ‘I think we’re going to lose as many as 10 seats.’ He said, ‘Don’t worry about it. We’ve got a plan. We’ll be fine.'”
“Well, where was the plan?” Taylor said. “We lost six seats. Some of them we should’ve won.”

County eyes improvements to Kreusler Park |

Click title for link to William Kelly's article in the Palm Beach Daily News. He reports about some possible changes coming to Kreusler Park:
Palm Beach County's R.G. Kreusler Park, which is located just north of the Lake Worth Municipal Beach, may be in store for a makeover.
The county is asking the town for zoning approvals necessary to build new and larger buildings to replace existing ones used for public restrooms, a lifeguard break room and storage. The new building would be 1,360 square feet, nearly double the size of the existing one, which was built in 1979.
The application also calls for widening access to the park, from 20 to 25 feet, so there is room for two-vehicle circulation.
This might be an attempt to keep up with the neighbors (our beach) or at least to counteract the effects of the work that was done there. Notice part of the plan is to install entrance and exit gates.