Saturday, November 29, 2014

That was then...

Important consumer information for those shopping for large screen TVs...

"Lake Worth" as defined by Channel 5

4988 Palm Way
Again, we have an example of the problem about our identity and blurring distinctions between unincorporated Palm Beach County and a Lake Worth mailing address.

A glorious holiday story about Lake Worth from Channel 5. A man and his family have spent a month decorating their house in "Lake Worth" for Christmas. The news anchor stated the home is in Lake Worth. The reporter at the location said she was reporting from Lake Worth. The family is having a block party for all their neighbors in "Lake Worth" to celebrate the lighting of almost 75,000 lights. However, if you happen to live in Lake Worth and would like to participate in the block party, before you set out to the house on Palm Way, you need the house number, it's 4988.

Now you might say, "Hmmm, I don't think the numbers on Palmway go to 4988". And also the street in the news story is Palm Way, not Palmway. If you go to your computer and type in 4988 Palm Way you discover, once again, a news story from SUBURBAN LAKE WORTH, not the City of Lake Worth.

Imagine all the little children hearing about this story in Lake Worth and wanting to go to the house lighting celebration. Get in the car and get ready for a hike in the car.

Click here for link to video segment.

MiamiCentral Will Have a 1 Million Square Foot 'Supertower' - Towering ambitions - Curbed Miami

Avert your eyes, especially those suffering from Batophobia. If so, it would be best go on to the next post and feed your dogs. If not, click title for link.

From the Curbed Miami blog comes this huge news about a Supertower being considered for the All Aboard Florida Miami station. Sorry, no mention of sea level rise in the article. 
Buried in leasing plans revealed yesterday on exMiami is this little kernel of big fat news: MiamiCentral is planning a one million square foot 'supertower' on the block directly south of the station, in addition to the other towers of the project. It will be a combination of offices, hotel, and residences. Yes, we knew they were doing a big tower, but ay dios mio. No word yet on how many floors this thing will be, although it's a safe bet that the Federal Aviation Administration is going to have some finger wagging to do.

Survey: Demolitions rise, home sizes growing |

From the Shiny Sheet's Aleese Kopf, click title for link, we have this news about the high number of demolition requests in the Town of Palm Beach. It is a different world there, where people owning property to literally create any structure to suit their current needs. And the number of demolitions would correlate positively to an upturn in the economy. It is too bad to see so many mid-century homes meet this fate, but they were built for a different time and requirements. Many of the new structures being built are for permanent, not seasonal, residents. From the article:
In the past four months, the Architectural Commission has approved eight demolition requests north of Royal Poinciana Way — two more than the total approved in 2009. And North End demolitions have increased each year since then, jumping to eight in 2010, 10 in 2011, 13 in 2012 and 21 in 2013, according to data compiled by the Preservation Foundation of Palm Beach.
[and later in article]
“We have to realize that a lot of the older housing stock simply was not up to code, below the correct grade elevation and thus subject to flooding, or in poor condition in many cases,” Vila wrote via email shortly after the study was released this fall.
“Many of these houses were also quite small, just big enough for the snowbirds of the era who never stayed in them more than three months. Now we have an influx of folks making their North End homes permanent domiciles.”
All eight of the North End demolition requests the commission received at its August through November meetings were for 1950s or 1960s houses. All were unanimously approved except for one because vice chairman Ann Vanneck said the architect did not provide a complete landscaping plan. Members must approve requests unless the house is landmarked or under consideration for landmarking.

From the Archives | Decades of big storms may be on the way |

Last Thursday the Post's Eliot Kleinberg took us down memory lane with this blast from the past, a story from 2001. I remember this piece from 13 years ago! Click title for link.
This story originally appeared in print Friday, July 20, 2001.
Warmer water between Africa and Panama and weaker winds high in the atmosphere mean Florida and the eastern United States can expect more and stronger hurricanes for decades to come, researchers said Thursday.
The researchers attributed the most active six-year stretch of hurricane seasons on record - and predictions of up to four decades of more and stronger storms - to warmer ocean water and weaker effects of an atmospheric condition called vertical wind shear.
The warmer water provides increased energy to fuel the massive storms. Wind shear often can inhibit the development of storms; when shear is weaker, storms typically have a better chance to grow.
When those conditions are in place - and they are now - the number of powerful hurricanes forming and striking land increases, researchmeteorologist Stanley Goldenberg and colleagues at the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration's Hurricane Research Division wrote in an article that will appear in today's issue of the journal Science.
Of course, hindsight is 20/20, and Florida did endure a rash of major hurricanes, especially in 2004 and 2005, but it's been quiet since then. I am sure that, once again, we will be under siege by storms, their frequency, strength, location and intensity are all unknowns. And this is one of the major reasons we pay so much for wind insurance, although "they" say it is due to paying off past storms and that rates would be higher if it was just accounting for the risk of future storms.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Bullying stops at home.

Florida, and Palm Beach County in particular, being promoted to northerners...what is old is new again

This is a very well done advertisement.

FBI, PBSO and the Guatelmala Maya Center

On Wednesday there was a story about about the Guatemalan Maya Center (GMC) and the FBI searching for certain documents at PBSO by John Lantigua. You can read the article here. Here is a short excerpt:
The FBI is investigating complaints from the Guatemalan community of unnecessary use of force by the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office.
Father Frank O’Loughlin, director of the Guatemala Mayan Center in Lake Worth, confirmed Wednesday that he had been visited Oct. 31 by two FBI agents in response to a letter of complaint written to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder.
Remember, this story comes on the heels of another story in Lake Worth, the protest organized by EarthFirst against PBSO, in which Father O'Laughlin of the GMC was also present. You can read my account of that protest on Thursday, October 23rd.

If you remember back, I was in the protest group's "cross-hairs" for "ruining" the protest on Wednesday, 10/23. All I did was show up with a camera and take some pictures and make a simple, non-editorial collage of the event. One of the pictures that I took was a man carrying a "PBSO Deputies Are Worthless" sign. There was much rancor about me taking that picture however it was THEIR protest and the sign was THERE. The anger, in my opinion is/was misdirected. If any lessons were learned it's if you have a protest you should do a better job controlling your message and the protesters in attendance. And don't be afraid of others that report about what happened during it. Why did such a protest need to be a secret?

Also keep in mind I would have never been at the protest had it not been for a "Fire Ant" Steve Ellman story in the Broward New Times. It was his story the morning of the protest that was sent to me by a reader. In that article was a Facebook link also. I discovered the protest that day apparently was by "invitation only". Our friend at the New Times forgot to include that caveat. So, who was in on the protest to being within the "Hall of Mirrors" world in which we live?

I conclude the following: Any investigation by the FBI of a PBSO deputy or incident will take months, or possibly longer, to come to an end. The vast majority of residents in Palm Beach County and Lake Worth in particular understand this fact. But for small groups and some particular individuals, this story by John Lantigua in the Post will be used as 'ammunition', if you will. One such group, EarthFirst led by former city commissioner/Anarchist Cara Jennings and Anarchist Panagioti Tsolkas, has no love lost for PBSO and will use any 'news' to its advantage. One could ask the question, whom is informing whom?

In the coming weeks, I will be doing some research on those few years before PBSO came to Lake Worth to take over for the Lake Worth PD. For those of relative newcomers to Lake Worth you'll come to understand how terrible our situation was here in the city. The city is experiencing a revival and that would simply not be possible without the work of PBSO.

This Sunday, Nov. 30th, the Urban Art Lofts are 'open' from 12 to 6 PM. Stop by!

From Tropical Ridge Neighborhood Association

Wishing all friends and neighbors of Tropical Ridge Neighborhood Association a very happy Thanksgiving.

PLEASE NOTE our new temporary location for our December meeting. We will meet next Monday, December 1st, at McMow Glass - 701 N. Dixie Hwy-  at 7:00 pm.

This is an important meeting so I hope you will make the extra effort to be there. We plan to start the new year with our meetings at the Lake Worth Tower. We will be discussing, at this months meeting, how we can interest and serve old members and new neighbors. We would love to get your imput.


Thursday, November 27, 2014

Secession? ‘South County’ considered it |

Eliot Kleinberg reports this was once a serious effort. This story was in Today's "Neighborhood" section of the Post. From the article, click title for link:
Several times, the southern half [of Palm Beach County] has tried to break off. Here’s more from a two-part Post Time column in 2003:
The most aggressive attempt fizzled in 1978. In 1971, angered by busing to achieve integration, some Boca Raton residents had pushed for a separate school district in “South County.” That failed. Then, in December 1977, Boca Raton officials voted to approach eight neighboring cities and towns in the southern half of the county. They proposed splitting off at the Lantana-Lake Worth line and due west.
The split would require an act of the state legislature, probably followed by a referendum by either the entire county or just the part that would secede.
The southern half, which accounted for about 40 percent of the county’s area, fumed it was an ignored stepchild of the county seat, West Palm Beach, and victimized by a sprawling and unresponsive school district and unfair tax distribution.

Hymn Improvisation "For the Beauty Of the Earth" - C. Kocher 1838 Handel - Water Music Overture, Purcell - Trumpet Tune

Florida environmental chief Herschel Vinyard resigns |

Big news today if the Florida environment is high on your list of priorities. The head of the Florida DEP resigned, apparently on good terms, and Governor Scott named his DEP deputy secretary the interim leader of the department. From the article by the Post's Christine Stapleton, click title for link: 
Herschel Vinyard, head of the state’s Department of Environmental Protection, will not serve a second term under Gov. Rick Scott.
In his resignation letter penned Monday and released Wednesday — hours after the Palm Beach Post reported his departure — Vinyard congratulated Scott on his re-election and gave credit to the governor rather than himself for several of the department’s accomplishments of the past four years: ending two-decades of lawsuits over Everglades restoration, setting water quality standards for inland waters, budgeting money to protect springs and improving the state’s parks and trails.
[Later in article...]
Critics claim enforcement of the state’s environmental laws has plummeted under Vinyard’s leadership and special interests received favors in regulatory and permitting matters.
“We witnessed the wholesale retreat from effective regulation and a purge of the most expert scientists and regulators in the department,” Guest [David Guest, attorney for EarthJustice] said. “It is plainly the worst record in the recent history of Florida’s environmental protection.”
But Barbara Miedema, Vice President of Public Affairs and Communications at the Sugar Cane Growers Cooperative, praised Vinyard for establishing nutrient pollution standards that she said are based on science and for focusing on Everglades restoration lawsuits.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Pre-Thanksgiving Potpourri

Lovely agrarian couple...all courtesy Tom McGow archives

Commissioner McVoy on Climate Change and Everglades Restoration

Study finds no negatives in Palm Beach County imported trash plan |

Next year the new Palm Beach County incinerator will be up and operating. The incinerator will produce electricity that will be used by the grid (FPL). Due to complaints and concerns from neighbors in that community a study was commissioned. It is uncertain at this point if the study will alleviate anyone's concerns. Here is the latest from Joe Capozzi at the Post, click title for link:
A controversial moneymaking plan to burn imported trash at a new waste-to-energy plant will not add significant truck traffic, increase air pollution or hurt local tourism, according to an independent study released Monday.
The 320-page study by the Hinkley Center for Solid and Hazardous Waste Management also says the imported trash plan is not expected to increase noise and odors in neighborhoods around the plant and will probably reduce harmful vehicle emissions.
The study backs up many of the opinions expressed by the Palm Beach County Solid Waste Authority officials, who have been pushing the imported-waste plan for more than a year despite concerns from residents living near the facility.
“We believe it is a fair and reasonable report and it is consistent with what we’ve been saying,’’ said Dan Pellowitz, the authority’s managing director.

Will the Palm Beach Gardens Police Department and PBSO be ready?

On Thursday, 11/20, I referenced a protest in Palm Beach Gardens scheduled for this coming December 5th. You can read about it here (in the last paragraph) and see the link the protest organizers placed on Facebook.

A reader of my blog sent me this today. Here are screen grabs from that Facebook link here:

Seems our local, and not so local, Lake Worth chapter of EarthFirst (EF) has enlisted the help of their Tampa EF chapter for money and boots on the ground. Read about the theory of "Boots on the Ground" here. The protest by EF on Friday, December 5th, is shaping up to be a major action. The "invites" sent out by Tampa EF is over 1,500; that combined with the 'invites' by the Lake Worth EF at almost 1,000 portends a significant turnout for the protest in Palm Beach Gardens, our Palm Beach County neighbor to the north of us.

Forewarned is forearmed.

State-of-the-art policing in Greenfield, CA

Locals react to grand jury's decision in Ferguson | Local News - WPBF Home

The local response is muted and small compared to the other protests around the nation. That's not saying that people here are not upset about the lack of indictment of Officer Wilson in the shooting death of Michael Brown. Our country is far from being post-racial and we have a long way to go to make sure the justice system works equally, for everybody. Click title for link to the report on a local protest. Here is the link to the Florida Immigration Coalition's website. Part of the group's members attended what was to be a protest at West Palm Beach's City Center.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The word on the street...

Rahm Emanuel, the current Mayor of Chicago was famously quoted as saying, "You never let a serious crisis go to waste. And what I mean by that it's an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before."

The word is our Anarchist friends in Lake Worth are planning another protest against the PBSO on the heels of the Ferguson ordeal. No details yet but will let everyone know when I find out. If you should have information please forward it to me at

Remember at the last protest led by Anarchists Cara Jennings and Panagioti Tsolkas they had this sign:

Shop Local this Week!

Town of Palm Beach Traffic Advisory - Drawbridges

The Royal Park (Middle) Bridge will have one westbound lane closed, as needed, 9 a.m. until 3 p.m., Monday, December 1, for bridge maintenance.

The Southern Boulevard Bridge will undergo a complete closure, 9 p.m. until 6 a.m., Tuesday night, December 9, for hydraulic oil change.

J Street Awaits You this Friday and Saturday

Free Parking all day and night: Lots of Fine Art, Delicious Foods, Great Comics and Endless Coffee

Clay Glass Metal Stone Gallery holds sneak-previews of "It's A Dog's Life", "A Van-Delicious Affair" and "A Sara-Sumptuous Spread." 10 % off all sales over $50.  Wine, Cheese and Desert Samplers all day and evening, both days.

Hungry?  Poutine Dog Cafe has some of the tastiest food in town.  Hot dogs and hamburgers grilled to perfection.  Don't forget to ask for Poutine- a real treat.

Excelsior Comics  has a series of sales going both days. This unique Comic Book Shop will take you back to your yesteryears, and give your children and grandchildren some fun reading.

Welcome Common Grounds Coffee Bar to the neighborhood.  This little cafe is filled with art, coffee, deserts and bagels.  Live music and concerts fill the hall on a regular basis.  This is really good family fare.

From PBSO Risk Management...

Hover over or click for larger image.

Over 3,000 Attend Congress of Cities in Austin, Texas

Click title for link for a quick set of videos generally discussing the key components of the National League of Cities conference held last week in Austin, TX. Vice Mayor Maxwell and Commissioner Amoroso attended on behalf of Lake Worth. Commissioner Amoroso will be a guest on High Noon in Lake Worth, Friday, December 5th at noon to review some of what he gained and learned from attending the conference. Be sure to tune in. Link available for show next week!

The City of Lake Worth’s Notification of the 9th Avenue South Greenway Project

The City of Lake Worth would like to notify the residents, businesses and visitors to the 
City that the first ever Greenway project is scheduled to start construction the beginning of December 2014. The project is the first of its kind in the City and is going to convert an 
existing unimproved right of way that is currently dirt and overgrown invasive species to a 
new greenway consisting of a shared use path, landscaping and natural areas. The project 
limits are on 9th Avenue South from South B. St. to South F. St. Construction is scheduled 
to take approximately three months to complete and will not impact local traffic patterns. 
The scheduled work hours are from 7:00am to 7:00pm and due to time constraints, 
weekend work may be involved excluding Sunday.

For further information on this project please contact the Public Services Department at 

Historic sign revealed after West Palm Beach crash | Local News - WPBF Home

These are also called "ghost signs" in urban planner-speak. Click title for link to article. They help identify businesses and reflect the area's character and relevance at the time the original sign was painted. This West Palm Beach example is from 1952 and can be found on the north side of Belvedere Road. It was uncovered after an accident and the current owners are going to restore it, as best they can, to what they believe the original was when it was painted. There is a very prominent, restored "ghost sign" on the south side of the building at the northeast corner of 17th Avenue North and Dixie Hwy. That one was restored, even though the "Coca-Cola" it advertises isn't sold in the building anymore. Check it out the next time you are driving north on Dixie.

Channel 12 (WPEC), the One To Turn To...Or the One To Run Away From?

Well, our friends at Channel 12 (Ch12) did it again. I alluded to this briefly last Wednesday. This time Ch12 sent a relative newcomer into our city, a fella named Jonathan Beaton. He did an 'investigation' (red flag) on the new Lake Worth Aggressive Panhandling ordinance and created his own special spin on the story, but more on that a little later.

On October 21, a full 29 days before Jonathan Beaton's 'investigation' a reporter at Channel 5 (WPTV) named David Gould did a very good story on the panhandling issue. He kept to the facts and avoided the hyperbole and misrepresentations you'll read later from Ch12. You can read David Gould's story here.

All ordinances in the city must have two readings. The first reading on the panhandling ordinance was on October 21st. The second reading was on November 4th. The ordinance passed 4 to 0 with Commissioner McVoy absent. A full two weeks later, on October 18 we have this from Ch12:
Breaking story?! Read Mr. Beaton's story here.  Ch12's Jonathan Beaton goes on to write: 
"CBS 12’s is [sic] investigating and found out commissioners have passed a new law targeting begging in the downtown area."
Investigating what? Is Mr. Beaton suggesting there is something here we haven't known for a least a month? If Mr. Beaton did 'investigate' the issue he would learn the law does not ban begging or panhandling. If he truly did an investigation he would have learned that the downtown Lake Worth merchants have been the targets of some very aggressive panhandlers of late. Mr. Beaton's investigation wasn't able to uncover this very public information. Truth is, his 'investigation' didn't uncover anything new at all.

Jonathan Beaton continues:
We hit the streets in Lake Worth today talking with business owners like Judy King, who’s had a consignment shop in the downtown corridor for a whopping [sic] 25 years.
During those years King’s seen plenty of homeless and plenty of panhandling but she tells us it’s [sic] rarely affected business.
I'm not an expert on panhandling, but don't think a second hand woman's consignment shop is high on the list for panhandlers to target. If Mr. Beaton had interviewed someone at Igot's Martiki bar, Starbucks, or the merchants near the Cultural Plaza he would have gotten a quite different view I suspect. I also suspect Mr. Beaton didn't just by happenstance come upon the lone Lake Worth merchant who supports and encourages panhandling.

In the last paragraph, Mr. Beaton has this sentence:
"We also spoke with the ACLU Tuesday who’s calling the law unconstitutional."
This leads to two questions. First, why does Mr. Beaton use the royal "We"? The byline for the story states, "Story by Jonathan Beaton". And second, who did Mr. Beaton speak with at the ACLU? He took the time to find a contact at the ACLU, spoke with someone who claims Lake Worth City Attorney Glen Torcivia is wrong, yet Mr. Beaton does not disclose an important material fact: who did he speak with?

If you're going to get your news from local television I suggest you watch Channel 5, WPTV.

Tourism Incentives

Story from Jennifer Sorentrue at the Post, click title for link, about a major convention incentive program for the coming Hilton Hotel at the West Palm Beach Convention Center in 2016. By then our Gulfstream Hotel in Lake Worth will be open for business as well as the boutique Hummingbird Hotel. We'll try our best to offer quality accommodations for those conventioneers! From the Post article:
Palm Beach County tourism leaders on Monday launched a $1 million incentive program designed to bring more large-scale events and corporate meetings to the county’s convention center in downtown West Palm Beach.
The incentives vary depending on the size of the event and the number of hotel room bookings, but officials estimate the four-year program could lure as many as 30 groups a year to the area.
The program comes less than three months after crews began vertical construction on the long-awaited, 430-room hotel next to the convention center. The Hilton hotel is expected to open in July 2016.
Tourism leaders have said the lack of an adjoining hotel has hindered the center’s ability to book larger business conventions.
“I think we need to look at the visual reality of the new headquarter hotel as a new era,” said Jorge Pesquera, president and CEO of Discover The Palm Beaches, the county’s tourism marketing arm. “It is a new chapter in the history of Palm Beach County in terms of its image as a convention destination.”

Good news AGAIN about Lake Worth

From the good news department comes this about our City of Lake Worth. This time the news comes from the Palm Beach Shiny Sheet. Carleton Varney, in a Special to the Daily News, reports on a new art gallery opening on Lake Ave right across the street from our Palm Beach Cultural Center building. Click title for link to full article. Here is an excerpt from Mr. Varney's story:
It is always fun to visit a gallery and see work by talented artists and artisans. And when you can see a variety of remarkable work at one destination, it's even better.
That was my takeaway from my first visit to Artisans on the Ave on Lake Avenue, just to the south of us in Lake Worth. If you want to see some delights — whether it’s jewelry, woodworking, sculpture, painting, shell work, blown glass or ceramics — put this shop and gallery on your must-see list this season.
The establishment sits across the street from the Palm Beach Cultural Center and I, for one, just happened across the shop after an early weekend dinner in Lake Worth. The shop-gallery represents some 25 artists, all from the Lake Worth area, and is operated by two artists, Betty Wilson and Linda Manganaro.
Artisans on the Ave. is at 630 Lake Ave in Lake Worth.
Call 582-3300 or visit

Make sure you tell them Carleton sent you!

Monday, November 24, 2014


Odd sighting at beach...

While at the beach this morning, I noticed the following on a number of vehicles at our beach "park", as a lot of people like to refer to it as. There were many cars with this stuck in the driver's side window:
There are a couple of odd things about this. First, these were business card size and I think that they were a bit old as the website identified is no longer in service. You'll notice that the Lake Worth location is not listed, which is strange since people seeing this may not think it was for use at the chain's Lake Worth location. The other ironic item is the reference that it applies to FPL employees. I don't think I need to explain the irony of that to a Lake Worth population, but it probably relates to the other Mulligan's locations listed on the card and their proximity to FPL's corporate offices.

If you are in business and are going to do this, is it too expensive for Mulligan's to print out 500 business cards, with current website and Lake Worth-specific information? You could restrict yourself to handing them out to patrons at the door, and not distribute them throughout the public parking lot.

If you want to see Mulligan's currently active website, you can click here. You will notice that the Lake Worth location is one of six outlets, so let's be clear that those that inked the lease with Mulligan's did not care if it was part of a chain in our Casino building. It replaced John G's, a family business, that had been there for almost 40 years and was a destination for many. Mulligan's also has a Facebook page and if you go there you will find out that they are open for Thanksgiving. Here is their poster proclaiming that:
So sorry, Mulligan's employees, we can add your employer to the list of those corporations that are open for Thanksgiving and require their employees to work on a national holiday, usually devoted to the company of family and friends, offering thanks for those relationships, freedoms and material comforts that we enjoy as a country. It is also a national day of service for many in the opening of kitchens and hearts to those that may not be able to enjoy the typical Thanksgiving meal for economic or other reasons. This week's Lake Worth Herald lead story above the fold is about the Farmer Girl restaurant that for 30 years has opened its doors for free Thanksgiving meals that day, no questions asked, to anyone who is in need. The owners are thankful and giving back, the real reason some celebrate the holiday.

Here is the photo of those responsible for bringing Mulligan's to us celebrating their grand opening at the Casino building. Just so you don't forget:
And, let's get back to the matter of those cards being placed on vehicles. There is a whole section of the Lake Worth code that prohibits this sort of advertisement on vehicles, or through other means.

I am not sure what the policies of the other tenants at the beach are regarding opening hours on Thanksgiving. Some may be open, others may not be, but we do know that Mulligan's is indeed open and you can make your choices according to your own convictions. I've only been to Mulligan's a total of three times and found their food expensive (perhaps the reason for the 15% discount?) in relation to the quantity and quality of both the food and the service there. When people from out of town visit, I never think of Mulligan's as an option. And then there is the inconvenient parking made necessary by the over-riding desire to "save the Casino building", that ended up being demolished anyway.

We can thank those pictured for those series of decisions. These were the people in charge that were so consumed and concerned with stopping the "over-commercialization" of our beach and maintaining the public purpose of it all.

The other blogger in her early years?

Marcel Proust

“Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.” 

Two Men Arrested in Chase After Attempted ATM Heist in Lake Worth | New Times Broward-Palm Beach

Click title for link. The reporters of this story are, again, geographically challenged about what is, and what is not, Lake Worth. The distinction of what is the incorporated area and unincorporated area escapes them. A few takeaways: Be careful when you go to ATMs, especially around the holidays, and be aware of your surroundings and make sure you are in a lighted area, visible from a major street. And to thieves: It's not worth trying to uninstall an ATM and take it with you.

This not an example of aggressive panhandling...

A shout-out to our friends and neighbors in Lake Worth. Some in our community are in need of help and I am highlighting their plight here to garner support. This group is in SERIOUS need of immediate support! On November 7 our friends at Everglades Earth First (EEF) staged a protest in Palm Beach Gardens. The protest was reported by several news outlets and I also reported on their protest. You can read about it here.

As you can imagine, these types of allegedly illegal activities can prove to be enormously expensive. There is bail, lawyer fees, fines, vehicle battery disposal charges and all the additional costs of having an 'action' twenty miles away. The time, effort, and logistics can be daunting, even for seasoned professionals like EEF. To defray the costs EEF set up a funding site to raise money. You can see their funding site here.

Our friends at EEF are trying to raise $1000. This seems to be an overly modest goal, but they are overly modest as a group anyway. Be that as it may, they are looking to raise $1000 to...

The protest, somewhat related to the Briger tract, was on November 7. On November 7 and November 8 EEF raised $530. Today is November 24. Between November 9 and today EEF has raised a grand total of $50 bringing their total to just $580. But a close reading shows that they can wait for this money until that December date, in 2015. So, use the time to chill, collect and save spare change, but you can also help by donating TODAY. Give from your heart.

Wish to learn more about EEF? This might help:
Amazing isn't it how an organization can have no leadership AND capable of "direct action" at the same time. These people at EEF are ahead of their time. They also have a very clear "anti-oppression" policy. You can read their policy here:
EEF is opposed to "oppressive behavior" that "demeans, marginalizes, rejects, threatens or harms any living being" in any form including "interrupting to verbal abuse". So, if you actually try to live under this anti-oppression policy, are you actually the one being oppressed? There are many 'living beings' not included in the broad EEF 'anti-oppression' policy, including people that may not agree with their ways and means of doing things. For example, if I were a lake or other body of water, I would feel oppressed by having battery put in me. We can debate for hours the degree to which a lake is a "living being." As a former commissioner would say, "Let's have a workshop on it."

Now, you as an individual may or may not be covered by the EEF 'oppression' policy. It's hard to tell. So before you send them money you might want to find out where you stand. What if during a conversation you mention your deer hunting trip to Michigan? Awkward.

A Nativity scene in Lansing, MI? Place of my birth...

From MichiganLive, a source for local news in Lansing, Michigan, we have this article titled, "Christian Nativity scene proposed for Michigan Capitol lawn; will Spaghetti Monster be next?" Here are two excerpts:
The Michigan State Capitol Commission is seeking legal advice over a request to set up a Christian Nativity scene on the Capitol lawn in December, a move that could open the floodgates for other holiday displays.
The newly formed commission, in a Monday meeting, agreed to contract with the Michigan Attorney General’s office for a part-time staff attorney over six months at a cost of around $37,000, which will come out of its general operating appropriation.
The assistant attorney general will be retained to advise on a number of issues, including the Nativity request.
“We think it’s prudent in this case,” said commissioner John Truscott. “We’d rather not be stuck behind the eight ball if somebody decides to go to court over this, and part of it is just researching what’s allowed at the Capitol.”
[later in the article]
“It’s best to just keep the space neutral from religion,” said FFRF attorney Rebecca Markert. “Once you open up that door you have to allow everything, and you can see that has turned into a circus in other areas of the country.”
Last year in Florida, the Department of Management Services reportedly approved a Nativity scene for the state Capitol, prompting a slew of other requests, according to the Tampa Bay Times.
FFRF put up “Happy Winter Solstice” banners celebrating the "birth of the Bill of Rights." Another atheist group erected a “Festivus pole” made of beer cans in homage to the television show Seinfeld.
The “Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster,” a parody religion that satirizes belief in creationism and intelligent design, also put up a noodle and meatball display honoring its “Pastafarian” deity.
The article above got the attention of our good friend Chaz Stevens, here is an excerpt of an email that Chaz sent to the Michigan State Capitol Commission:
Greetings good people of Michigan.
Chaz Stevens here, emailing in from South Florida.
I just became aware that someone up yonder had requested permission to set up a Christian Nativity Scene on the Capitol lawn.
Oh goodie!
Well then, make that two requests to install a display on the Capitol’s lawn, only mine isn’t for a Baby Jesus Motel 6, but rather permission to erect the world-famous Pabst Blue Ribbon Festivus Pole!
You can read the entire Chaz Stevens story here.

For all of you who are unaware of the holiday called Festivus, the role of the unadorned Festivus Pole, the "Feats of Strength" and the all-important "Airing of Grievances" you can educate yourself and your friends by watching this short video:

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Not to trivialize anything, but you know that things are bad when the condiments go missing

Consider evacuating Lake Worth. As reported on another blog a heinous crime was committed on Wednesday in our downtown. Hard to believe Channel 12's Jonathan Beaton, Lauren Hills and Michael Buczyner were not there to report it.

Face it folks, when our condiments aren't safe any more isn't it time to find a safer place to live?

Lake Worth nonprofit expects to ship 1,000 care packages to troops |

Want to get involved and help our troops overseas? Read this story from the Palm Beach Post and note the links to help your neighbors. From the article by Chris Persaud, click title for link:
Tara Ashburn spent years as a counselor telling people, “If you live paycheck to paycheck without budgeting, you’re going to end up homeless.”
Then it happened to her and her family last year.
Ashburn lost her job and she and her husband could barely cover costs on the $1,400 a month the federal government sends her husband, a veteran who suffered a spinal injury in Iraq when a roof he stood on crumbled, she said.
But then she found the veterans-helping nonprofit Forgotten Soldiers Outreach, which hired her as a bookkeeper.
On Saturday, Ashburn and more than 10 other people at Forgotten Soldiers’ main office in Lake Worth filled dozens of boxes with granola bars, potato chips, chocolate bars, beef jerky, baby wipes (there’s few places to shower in a war zone), ChapStick, Girl Scout cookies and Kool-Aid, among other things.
You can help the Forgotten Soldiers Outreach also by visiting their Facebook page here. 

Stay involved!

Opening of Rolando Chang Barrero Art Gallery in former boutique adjacent to Webber Gallery

Great story about a new gallery in Lake Worth. AnnaMaria Windisch-Hunt reports on the opening and has some great pictures of the event. Click title for link to post on AnnaMaria's blog.

Ex-Greenfield mayoral candidate investigated for missing money | Local News - KSBW Home

Political retribution or serious crime? Watch the video, click title for link. This breaking story is about the Greenfield, CA Chamber of Commerce, a Greenfield Commissioner and a recent, unsuccessful Mayoral candidate. Is this some sort of odd, parallel universe?

Mosquito rearing facility receives approval

Did you know that Palm Beach County used to be part of a much larger area known as Mosquito County? That was long ago before any significant non-native, "pioneer" population arrived here. Efforts are being made now to use "modern" methods to reduce or eliminate this human menace from the Keys.

If you have ever visited the Everglades or the Florida Keys during those 'special' times of the year, you know how terrible mosquitoes can be. From spraying to fuming, DEET, netting, eliminating fresh water sources, body lotions and sprays, all these measures are temporary at best from relief when outside. Bill Gates on his blog wrote about mosquitoes in a post titled, "The Deadliest Animal In the World" which you can read here. Could there be relief on the horizon? A permanent solution? Here are two excerpts from an article by Timothy O'Hara from the Florida Keys News on genetically modified mosquitoes possibly solving our mosquito problem for good. Read on:
A test release of genetically modified mosquitoes on Key Haven [a mile east of Key West] could happen as early as February. And the British-based Oxitec company will begin building a mosquito-rearing facility in Marathon later this month.
Oxitec proposes to alter male mosquitoes to make them "sterile," so when they are released and mate with a female mosquito in the wild, her offspring would die in the larval stage.
The Florida Keys Mosquito Control District has agreed to allow Oxitec to start construction of a mosquito-rearing facility at its Marathon office in anticipation of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approving a test release of the genetically altered mosquitoes.
[later in the article...]
The mosquito control agency and Oxitec are looking at Key Haven as a possible testing site. As a peninsula, it would be easy to monitor and control the mosquitoes there, Doyle [Michael Doyle, Florida Keys Mosquito Control District executive director] said.
A Mosquito Control District survey of 249 Key Haven residents -- some 56 percent of its population -- found that 43 percent of residents supported the release; 16 percent strongly supported it; 32 percent were neutral; 6 percent opposed it; and 3 percent were strongly opposed, Doyle said.
By the numbers in the last paragraph, 91% of the public either support, strongly support, or are neutral about this experiment. A very big hill to climb for those in the fear-mongering business when it comes to genetically modifying anything, especially my luscious kiwis I get at our local Publix.

Murphy on Obama immigration order: ‘partisan gridlock…forced the president to act’ | Post On Politics

On November 21, George Bennett of the Post On Politics blog, click title for link, reported this item related to Representative Patrick Murphy's thoughts on the immigration order by President Obama: 
Asked for Murphy’s response today [on President Obama's immigration order], his office sent a statement faulting the Republican-controlled House for not acting on a 2013 immigration reform bill passed by the Senate.
“The only true solution for immigration reform is legislative action, which is why the House should have voted on the bipartisan bill passed last year in the Senate.  This deal would have had major economic benefits, from retaining high-skilled workers to helping entrepreneurs and startups to cutting our deficit by $900 billion,” Murphy’s statement began.
“It is extremely unfortunate that partisan gridlock and the continued unproductivity of Congress has forced the President to act.  I remain hopeful that Congress can still come together to pass comprehensive immigration reform legislation because it is the right thing to do, both morally and economically, for our nation.”