Thursday, December 31, 2015

Beware of Loose Cows Possibly Affecting Traffic in Western PBC

For release: Dec. 31, 2015
Contact: David Walesky, 561-797-9105

Palm Beach County Animal Care & Control (ACC) has been made aware of two different situations involving loose livestock in Palm Beach County, both of which are very close to Southern Blvd. ACC is concerned about the risk that these animals pose towards motorists traveling on or near Southern Boulevard, especially in light of tonight’s festivities.

One of the cows is a somewhat wild yearling that is black in color and in the vicinity of Southern and Jog Rd.

The second location involves 2 cows and a bull, loose in the vicinity of Southern Boulevard and Lion Country Safari.

Livestock can be spooked by cars or loud noises such as fireworks. Residents who may come in contact with these animals are asked not to approach them and contact law enforcement.

With 75 days until elections in Lake Worth (from 12/31) how and when will the allies of the Anarchists roll out their PR campaign?

The Lake Worth Herald (an excerpt is below) accurately portends what is to come starting very soon in Lake Worth: the monkeywrenching, disruptions, and the political wedge strategies designed to divide and pit one community against another. Whereas some politicians seek unity for political strength the Anarchists gain their political power from division and, well, Anarchy. One of their latest efforts, the "too-White" Cuban-American boy on the mural at the CRA's La Joya Villages, turned out to be a complete disaster and backfired in spectacular fashion. They've been very quiet and licking their self-inflicted, damaged egos ever since.

But there's plenty more in their bag of tricks. The Anarchists have allies in the local print and TV news media that will be helping them. There are several newspaper reporters in the local paper of record that are sympathetic with the Anarchists and at least one editor who can be counted on to "carry the water". A local TV news station also has a reporter who will do whatever is needed to further the cause, especially in the 2–3 months prior to an election. The support from the Palm Beach/Broward New Times is a given—they're overeager puppy dogs for everything and anything Anarchist.

The Anarchist candidate from the horizontally-structured Everglades Earth First! (EEF) that is challenging Vice Mayor Scott Maxwell for the District One seat can't deny he's an Anarchist and the reporters/editors are going to have to acknowledge that fact. So what is the strategy going to be? I think I know: They're going to re-make the Anarchist candidate into the Good Anarchist as opposed to the Bad Anarchist. For instance, their PR will be This Anarchist is really just the "social justice" type and cares and loves everyone. This Anarchist isn't anything like the others who try to hurt people or damage property. But there's a little problem with that: here is one of the co-leaders of EEF, Peter "Panagioti" Tsolkas, at a recent rally in Palm Beach Gardens following the killing of Corey Jones:
A message from EEF to the community: "This County [Palm Beach County] Could Use an Uprising".
With only 75 days to go (from today, 12/31) the press' PR campaign will have to begin soon. I predict we'll be treated to two, maybe three, fluff articles about Good Anarchists (one appearing on a Sunday) culminating with an editorial strongly in support of the Good Anarchists and denouncing the Bad Anarchists. The TV news segments will be timed as needed. Will it work? Who knows. Only time will tell.

Would this be part of the transformation?
The Anarchist candidate before his Hipster makeover.
The Anarchist candidate after his makeover.
Anyhow, it will be interesting to see how the PR campaign is rolled out and who gets the byline. As it develops will keep you updated here on this blog. Below are two excerpts from the latest Lake Worth Herald editorial dated 12/31 on the EEF's month-long "Workshop" scheduled conveniently prior to elections in Lake Worth:

     "Why would Everglades Earth First choose Lake Worth to hold a month long workshop to piece together the parts for a musical “Earth First!” The Musical Winter Workshop that will take place in Lake Worth where there are “mango-tree-lined streets and February weather you’ll want to sleep outside in according to their plea for participation from across the country.
     What timing, isn’t there an election taking place in March? Begs the question, What type of musical is this if it is a musical at all? The call for performers and builders and voices of all sorts seems innocuous enough. The call for Musicians, actors, singers seems logical. But experts with ropes, and the most intriguing of all, experts with phone calls makes one wonder if this is for a musical at all or is it another little green army assault on Lake Worth politics and an effort to get “their” (the ones who are being introduced to Lake Worth for the cause and will leave Lake Worth when they are through) candidate elected."

[and. . .]

     "This gathering smells of pure Anarchy, conjured up by a few in Lake Worth who have no respect for other people’s property or quality of life.
     Maybe this should serve as a message to Sheriff Ric Bradshaw to begin making room for those who decide the laws of society in Lake Worth don’t pertain to them. Just hope PBSO is prepared to follow through with the trips to Gun Club Road to provide camping space for those attempting to disrupt the peaceful lives of the citizens of Lake Worth.
     The attendance, and disruption, will begin increasing at City Commission meetings as the elections near."

Now you can't say you are surprised when EEF puts their efforts into high gear starting in just 4 weeks.

Mary Kate Leming, editor of The Coastal Star in year-ending "wish" about sober homes

Mary Kate Leming has this year-ending "Editor's Note" for her readers and one wish is for a solution to a particularly bad problem we also have in Lake Worth: Sober homes. Here is an excerpt from her "wish for residents in 2016":
     The recovery industry’s meteoric rise over the past few years has taken almost everyone by surprise. We’ve all known family, friends or neighbors who have battled with addiction and are thankful for professionals who provided assistance for this disease. What we didn’t expect was for the sober home industry to explode when laws and a lack of regulations provided access to easy money for those who prey on the needs of others. [emphasis added]
     Now we have the fourth-largest industry in Palm Beach County giving little back to the communities where they see the most potential profit. It’s become an issue for government agencies (aka our tax dollars) to deal with. Unless recovery industry leaders step up their efforts to police their own (it’s not like they don’t have the money), it’s going to take a long time for the wheels of government to provide a solution that benefits both the communities and the growing need for addiction treatment.
Lake Worth City Manager Mike Bornstein, on the same topic, writes this in his year ending message and is titled, "Moving Forward":
     I regularly receive questions and comments about issues ranging from potholes to sober houses. In most cases our issues are not unique to Lake Worth as cities across the state are dealing with the same ones. We share our ideas through organizations such as the League of Cities and from working with them it becomes evident that all cities must consider two important factors. The first is the limits set by external entities such as the federal or state laws, and, secondly, the resources necessary to pay for a solution if one is possible.
     For example, in dealing with sober homes, cities are prohibited by the Federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Fair Housing Act from enacting laws that treat them differently than any other type of rental. Thinking with common sense may lead you to believe that these are businesses operating in residential areas with potential negative impacts when operated by unscrupulous owners. You may ask, “Why doesn’t the City require a special license or prohibit them altogether?” The simple answer is that as long as Congress considers a person with an addiction as protected under law, the City is greatly limited in our response. Instead, we must work with our state and federal leaders to figure out how to creatively and legally mitigate the impacts while also working for changes to the laws.
Many elected leaders are working hard to solve this problem and we can all hope a solution, even a step in the right direction, will be found in 2016.

Developer with big plans to make 1920s-era structure into apartments

Here's more news about another historic structure saved from the wrecking ball. From The Daytona Beach News-Journal is this article and an excerpt from the article:
     Greene [Solomon Greene, the owner of Greene Realty & Property Management] knows there is work to be done, saying he anticipates spending “a couple million dollars” on renovations. One of those improvements will be a new roof.
     Still, he understands the property’s value.
     “If you look in downtown DeLand, there probably is no other four-acre property that is developable,” he said.
     Major renovations could be underway this summer, Greene said, with the property possibly being ready for tenants in early 2017.
     He plans to leave the vacant part of the property as green space for tenants. Depending on their condition, existing portables on the property could be transformed into cottages, he said, or removed if they are in poor shape.
In Lake Worth at next Tuesday's (1/5) City Commission meeting will be a very big day in efforts to save our historic Gulf Stream hotel. On a hopeful and surprising note I hear a past 'No' vote just might become a 'Yes' at second reading. A 4-1 vote would send a message of unity and reconciliation to the community.

Make plans to attend this meeting and have your voice heard—don't let a few malcontents claim to be the "voice of the people". You are the people who know how much this historic renovation will do to improve the City of Lake Worth. Show up!

A moving Letter to the Editor in the Post today (along with a glaring editing error by our paper of record)

This Letter to the Editor appears in the Post's print edition today (12/31):
Will provide a link to this poignant letter later when it is available.
Unfortunately, one of the editors at The Palm Beach Post missed the error in the caption. The Post never corrects these types of errors so it's up to their readership to set the record straight. The South Florida National Cemetery IS NOT in Lake Worth. When the editor fact-checked this he/she relied on Zip Codes. The City of Lake Worth has two Zip Codes: 33460 and a part of 33461. The Zip Code for this cemetery is 33449. The South Florida National Cemetery is located almost on the edge of the Everglades well west of the Florida Turnpike and south of Wellington.

And Thank You to the writer of the letter, your thoughts are very poignant and well made. If any of my readers have never visited the South Florida National Cemetery you should go visit this impressive site and pay your respects to all our veterans who've sacrificed so much.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

[UPDATE! A visionary is vindicated!] Video—Lierre Keith, recovering vegan and author of "The Vegetarian Myth"

[To say I've had the ire of vegetarians and the anti-animal-protein crowds over the blog post below would be a huge understatement. This post continues to be one of the most viewed in the history of my blog. Every couple months or so I move it up to the top and see how long before I get my first email calling me all sorts of terrible names and instructing me do physically impossible things to myself. Anyhow, Lierre Keith has been vindicated and has now achieved the status of visionary. See the article by Susan Salisbury at the end of this post.]

Lierre Keith is a radical environmentalist, feminist, member of Deep Green Resistance, and an ex-vegan recovering from years of not consuming animal protein. In the video below she explains why she chose to be a vegan in the first place and the terrible health consequences that lifestyle had on her health.

She wrote a wildly popular book titled The Vegetarian Myth: Food, Justice, and Sustainability in 2009. Ms. Keith makes a compelling case against vegetarianism and why animal protein is essential to a healthy lifestyle. This blog post continues to be one of the most viewed on this blog.

Lierre Keith, you might find interesting, is also in the forefront of the debate about transgenderism—suffice to say she's not a big fan. Here is an article in The New Yorker subtitled, "The dispute between radical feminism and transgenderism". She is a very interesting woman with strong beliefs and is not shy about sharing them with the world. Enjoy the video:

UPDATE: Here is the article by Susan Salisbury at The Palm Beach Post in an article that also appears in the print edition today (12/30) on page B6, below the fold. Here are opening three paragraphs:
     New research from Carnegie Mellon University says that following the USDA recommendations to consume more fruits, vegetables, dairy and seafood is more harmful to the environment because those foods have relatively high resource uses and greenhouse gas emissions per calorie.
     The study, published in Environment Systems and Decisions, measured the changes in energy use, blue water footprint and GHG emissions associated with patterns in food consumption.
      “Eating lettuce is over three times worse in greenhouse gas emissions than eating bacon,” said Paul Fischbeck, [emphasis added] professor of social and decisions sciences and engineering and public policy, in a news release about the research. “Lots of common vegetables require more resources per calorie than you would think. Eggplant, celery and cucumbers look particularly bad when compared to pork or chicken.
That tofu salad on a bed of kale doesn't quite look the same now does it? Live a little. . .go for the chicken salad with real bacon strips!

Town of Palm Beach—Shooting Investigation

On Tuesday, 12/29/15, at approximately 10:00 pm, a shooting occurred in the area of Brazilian Avenue and South Ocean Blvd. in Palm Beach (the mid-town beach). According to witnesses, several shots were fired. Two signs were struck; in addition, a female who was on the beach was grazed on the top of her head. This female suffered non-life threatening injuries, was treated at a local hospital and released.

The Palm Beach Police Department is currently working the crime scene collecting evidence and following all leads. If anyone has information regarding this incident, please contact Detective Kendall Reyes at 561-838-5454.

Debbie Lord explains: "5 things you didn't know about the Pledge of Allegiance"

Debbie Lord penned this highly interesting article about the Pledge of Allegiance and there are five things you may not know about this short ceremony we've all stood up for many times. Here are the abbreviated 5 things you probably don't know:
  1. The pledge was written in August 1892 by Francis Bellamy. Bellamy was a socialist. [emphasis added]
  2. There was a pledge written five years before Bellamy wrote the one we use today. Col. George Blach’s pledge, which was used as often as Bellamy’s until 1923, read: "We give our heads and hearts to God and our country; one country, one language, one flag!"
  3. In 1923, the words, "the Flag of the United States of America" were added to Bellamy’s original pledge.
  4. In 1954, President Eisenhower encouraged Congress to add the words "under God," to the pledge.
  5. The pledge consists of 31 words, and, according to the U.S. Flag Code, "should be rendered by standing at attention facing the flag with the right hand over the heart."
The City of Lake Worth starts all City Commission meetings with the roll call, then the "Invocation" followed by the pledge. The Pledge of Allegiance is here to stay although that's been challenged many times over the years.
The image above is from the City agenda for December 8th.
The invocation may soon become a thing of the past in the City and you'll hear about that when the agenda for January 5th's meeting is made public. If what I'm hearing is correct there just might be a lot of angry people when they find out who is giving the first invocation of 2016. Stay tuned.

From Liz Balmaseda: The Year's Best Food & Dining (or. . .the Best Of "humble", "from-the-soul dishes"?)

Liz Balmaseda has her Best Food & Dining 2015 and she focuses her list on the "unfussy" and "humble" dishes. So, Lake Worth took home one of the 18 awards from Best Charcuterie Plate or Best Deviled Eggs? No. Our little City of Lake Worth got the big goose egg: 0. Here are two short excerpts from the article that appears today (12/30) in the print edition, page spread D6–D7:
     I just may remember 2015 as the year of the down-home, comfort food fix. I’ve indulged in the year’s winding buffet of humble, local-meets-global offerings, from Southern deviled eggs to South American empanadas, chicken fried steak to crispy fried chicken, Dominican mofongo to Indian chickpea curry.
     Yes, I’ve had my share of “fancy” multi-course feasts, leisurely voyages into the sublime, including one featuring four James Beard Award-winning chefs.
[and. . .]
     I’ve scarfed up charcuterie and brunched like nobody’s business. But what lingers most deliciously at this year’s end are the unfussy, from-the-soul dishes.
Here are how the 18 categories (awards) break down by city:
  • Palm Beach: 5
  • West Palm Beach: 5
  • Jupiter: 3
  • Delray Beach: 2
  • Boca Raton: 1
  • Palm Beach Gardens: 1
  • Wellington: 1
So. . .72% of the Best Of are from just 3 cities in Palm Beach County? Maybe next year the Post can add one or two runner-ups or expand the list to include "The Best Seafood Paella" which would have to be Chef Hanlon at Benny's on the Beach. Anyhow, all you excellent, top-notch restaurants in Lake Worth will just have to keep working away and maybe one of you will make the list next year, or consider the unfathomable: moving across the bridge to Palm Beach or across the canal to West Palm Beach to get noticed:

Photo posted to Facebook by Greg Rice—Lake Ave. in Lake Worth, Florida facing east with our iconic, historic Gulf Stream Hotel

Below is another view of the Gulf Stream hotel facing west from the Town of Palm Beach (33480) across the Intracoastal waterway (aka, the Lake Worth Lagoon):

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Big news from Margaret Menge at UPI: She's on the glam beat now!

As long as Margaret Menge is kept out of the newsroom and editorial department all is good. She'd make a real good sports reporter probably. Here is glam news from Ms. Menge in a UPI article titled, "Scarlett Johansson earning equal pay for 'Avengers' ":
     [Scarlett] Johansson has acted in five movies in the Avengers series, playing Natasha Romanoff and the Black Widow in Iron Man 2, The Avengers, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, The Avengers: Age of Ultron and Captain America: Civil War, due out in 2016.
     It's unclear how much Johannson was paid for any one movie, but Forbes magazine, in an August 2015 article, listed Johannson as the second-highest-paid female actress in Hollywood, having earned $35 million in a 12-month period.
     Johansson is also starring in the upcoming movie Sing, an animated musical about a koala bear who works as the owner of a once-grand theater. It's set to be released in December of 2016.
I don't know about you, but I can't wait for the movie about the "dapper koala" bear!
Thank you for the news, Margaret!

From The Palm Beach Post: "West Palm removes Clematis Street benches; cites homeless problem"

Reporter Kevin Thompson has this article about West Palm Beach's steps to control a problem caused by the homeless on their iconic Clematis Street in the downtown. What is particularly encouraging about this is a former Lake Worth commissioner, as will be demonstrated in a video below, has praised West Palm on how they've dealt with the homeless and, possibly, Lake Worth can follow the lead of our good municipal neighbor to the north. Here is an excerpt from the article:
      Murphy [Alan Murphy, Jr., the general manager of Pioneer Linens] estimates that up to 20 percent of potential customers avoid his store and from venturing downtown to shop because of unwanted activity.
      “It does effect our business negatively,” he said. “We’re a destination store. People who are downtown don’t just happen to pop in. People from Wellington, Jupiter, Palm Beach make it point to come to our store.”
      In an attempt to curb the problem, the city on Monday removed four public benches on Clematis Street.
      “We’ve been getting a lot of complaints from business owners and visitors about people loitering on those benches and harassing people,” said Mayor Jeri Muoio. “Our city is like any other city, but we don’t want West Palm Beach to be known for that.”
If you weren't aware, the Anarchist candidate running against Lake Worth Vice Mayor Scott Maxwell is encouraging the homeless to take over Bryant Park in Lake Worth. Should the benches be removed from Bryant Park? That will make things very inconvenient for families and visitors but if that is what it takes to make the park safe then that might be necessary due to the efforts of people like former city commissioners Joann Golden and Cara Jennings.

West Palm Mayor Jeri Muoio will catch a lot of flack from what seems like a lot of people and groups with impressive names but know this: Ft. Lauderdale Mayor Jack Seiler experienced much worse than anything Mayor Muoio will and he had the full wrath and ire directed at him from the pro-homeless coalition leading up to elections there. So how did Mayor Seiler do in that election?
The lesson is this: Mayor Muoio and her staff will catch hell from the editors at The Palm Beach Post, CBS12, the New Times, and maybe a few state-wide news outlets but in the end it won't matter a nickel at the polls. You see, the public, the vast majority of people you don't hear about in the media appreciate it when their leaders make the hard decisions when push comes to shove—making communities safe and those public spaces like sidewalks open for enjoyment and business.

The almost unfathomable irony is that a former commissioner here in Lake Worth, Joann Golden, praised to the hilt WPB Mayor Muoio recently at a City Commission meeting; you can watch that here: 
The end-game, it's suspected, is that some Palm Beach County communities are targets for a real large lawsuit over the issue of the homeless. Remember though, none of this has a thing to do with helping the homeless and everything to do with political objectives.

Special Edition of Worth Noting, a New Years message from City Manager Mike Bornstein called, “One City”

To sign up for the City's Newsletter use this link. To read the entire newsletter by the Lake Worth city manager use this link

"Aside from the Mayor and Commissioners, I am the only other person in our community who is immersed on a daily basis in all the difficult problems we face as a City. While we live in paradise, there are many issues and most times we creatively come up with an effective, efficient and legal way to deal with them. However, sometimes we fail to get beyond the legal authority granted to us by state law and/or our limited resources due to our financial condition.

As City Manager, I also get to fully appreciate the tremendous value of what we are and what we have as a community. Lake Worth citizens: the friends, families, neighbors, business owners and visitors who inhabit and enjoy the many wonderful places, buildings and shared spaces each day are what really make Lake Worth that special place. It is truly a place to call home and unlike any other in the county."

[and. . .]

"As for problems like potholes and the poor condition of our streets throughout the City, the fact is that there is not enough money to cover the costs. The money currently available for streets just pays to patch potholes, make small repairs, and do an occasional project in coordination with a utility project that must be done under the pavement. Citizens ask about grant money and there is only one source for residential streets called a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG). It is based on our poverty rate, which is around 30%. The Commission has been investing this money into Greenway and roadway projects such as 10th Avenue South and the upcoming Barton Road and Tropical Drive project. Again, we are coordinating with a much needed water line replacement project there. The CDBG grant is approximately $250,000 a year, so it is nowhere enough to solve the problem citywide which would require well over $50 million just to catch up."

[and lastly. . .]

"In the past couple of years we have developed a new website, created a newsletter insert in the utility bill, set up a Twitter account, and most recently started an email newsletter and an online electric utility map to check outages. In the coming year we will be working to open more lines of communication by creating a Facebook page. We are also exploring specialized online engagement for people who do not attend meetings, improved surveys, and more traditional town hall meetings across the City. Solutions to the issues that concern you start with you getting involved. We are committed to doing a better job of giving you all the information you need to understand the issues and to provide input.

Lake Worth is known for how passionate the citizens are about our City. As City Manager, I believe that what joins us is greater than anything that separates us. While sometimes extreme points of view dominate the discussion, most everyone I see genuinely cares about our City, its future, and wants the best for all. We face many challenges in the coming years and the only way we will be able to meet them is by seeking out the points where we agree and working through those areas where we do not agree as a community. We are well on our way of being the best version of ourselves – One City."

How do you get control of the narrative after it's been hijacked? The environmentalists vs. Jon Steverson

John Kennedy at The Palm Beach Post has this article that's available online. The word hyperbolic is used in the article which gives you some idea of how entertaining a read the article is. The article might hit the print edition tomorrow which means Drew Martin's Letter to the Editor won't be too far behind. Drew, a Lake Worth resident and a remarkably well-behaved speaker at county commission meetings at public comment, is one of the golden-haired letter writers at the Post.

This latest Florida kerfuffle has to do with the DEP chief Jon Steverson and his ideas to increase revenue from the state's parks. For some this is a good idea and for others it's a terrible idea. As you'll read in the article there are already many streams of revenue from logging and other activities but it's still not enough to fill the revenue gap. 

The DEP's Jon Steverson is taking all the slings and arrows it would appear and state Rep. Matt Caldwell (R) is a strong candidate for The Understatement of The Year when he's quoted saying, "There’s a political element in all this". The interesting part is hearing state officials acknowledge the politics of controlling the narrative. Caldwell understands this has happened and it will be interesting to see what tactics are used to regain control. If you're a regular reader of this blog you've read many times about controlling the message and the tactics used to steal the message. Once the narrative has been hijacked it's very hard to gain control. 

All this would be a moot point, of course, if all our environmental friends here in south Florida (in Palm Beach, Broward, and Miami-Dade counties) each got a few extra people to get out and vote. But they either couldn't, didn't, or weren't sufficiently motivated and Gov. Scott was re-elected. Some of the anger at the DEP's Steverson might be more usefully directed by all environmentalists in the state at their comrades here in south Florida. They dropped the ball in spectacular fashion and everyone who saw what happened acknowledges that now.

Anyhow, enjoy these two excerpts from John Kennedy and I'll let you know when the Drew Martin letter gets published in the Post:
     “Do I think it would be good if we could make some more money off parks, and make them a little more self-sustaining? Sure,” [state Rep. Matt Caldwell, R-North Fort Myers] Caldwell said.
     “But we’re not talking about doing this at a park with a lake and picnic tables. Some parks are huge and this kind of activity may be just good land management,” he said.
     Caldwell, who said he will bring back the legislation for the session opening Jan. 12, said the opposition has been “hyperbolic.”
     “The narrative here really has been hijacked. There’s a political element in all this,” [emphasis added] he said.
[and. . .]
     Revenue produced at the state parks, much of it drawn from admission fees, was $64.2 million this year – covering about 80 percent of the system’s $80.3 million budget.
     Steverson [Department of Environmental Protection chief, Jon Steverson] told The Palm Beach Post that what he’s proposing is not new. Timbering currently is allowed in 34 state parks, cattle grazing in eight parks, and even hunting is authorized in a couple of Florida’s large parks.
     “To me, it’s not about money, it’s about appropriate management,” Steverson said. “But if we have the ability to also help the State Park Trust Fund, I don’t know why that’s a bad thing.”
Before long our local state representatives (House and Senate) will be staking their positions and will keep you informed on how that plays out. Stay tuned.

Norman Vincent Peale

“Become a possibilitarian. No matter how dark things seem to be or actually are, raise your sights and see the possibilities... always see them... for they’re always there.”

Monday, December 28, 2015

[UPDATE] The Game Changer: Momentous changes may be in store for Lake Worth, West Palm Beach, and many western communities

The Post's Eliot Kleinberg makes it official in this article that has yet to appear in the print edition. Too bad really—this news should have been on the front page in today's Sunday (12/27) paper.

[UPDATE: The article cited above made the front page (A1) in the print edition today, Monday, above the fold.]

To say this is big news is an understatement: Should the C-51 Canal become navigable by pleasure craft and small boats, canoes, and kayaks this will be a game changer for us in Lake Worth, West Palm Beach, and western communities like Palm Springs and Lake Clarke Shores. Simply put, if a lift system replaces the S-155 (the spillway control structure) between West Palm Beach and Lake Worth that will make it possible to navigate between the Intracoastal and the western lakes, one of which is Lake Osborne in John Prince Park.
The S-155 (spillway structure) is on the C-51 Canal east of Dixie Hwy and separates West Palm Beach from the City of Lake Worth. Did you know the term "spillway" is not accurate? The water released actually flows underneath the barriers, not over.
This idea has been talked about for quite some time and now it's advancing with the help of some people many of you will be familiar with. Here is an excerpt from the Post article:
     State Rep. Dave Kerner and State Sen. Jeff Clemens [emphasis added], both D-Lake Worth, whose districts include both sides of the spillway as well as parts of the chain of lakes, are working to get the money, Kerner said.
     The two are pushing for a $250,000 appropriation, funneled through the water management district, to pay for design, Kerner said. They would then go back to the Legislature in the 2017-2018 budget to try to get the money for construction.
     Kerner it could take as long as five years before the lift is in and operating. But, he said, “We’ve been moving quickly. We’ve got a great coalition.”
Lake Worth City Manager Michael Bornstein is quoted in the article but, unfortunately, West Palm Beach Commissioner Shanon Materio is not. Shanon Materio has been working very hard to promote this idea and she should be very proud of her efforts. What was once thought unthinkable may indeed become a reality.

Not to get too far ahead but there's already rumors of a marina along the C-51—we'll leave it at that for now. As more news becomes available will share it with you on this blog. Also, soon I'll compile a list of elected officials for all of you to contact and express your support for this exciting project.

Undoubtedly there will be attempts to scuttle this project by the usual suspects. As always they'll make a lot of noise and make it seem like their numbers are far greater than they actually are. It's the standard array of tactics we've seen a thousand times before over the years. From what I hear Lake Worth Commissioner McVoy has taken a decidedly obstructionist position: not returning phone calls and being generally uncooperative. This isn't surprising by any means and we can expect the same from his cohort Commissioner Ryan Maier.

"Stay tuned" as they say and imagine some day being able to take a boat ride from Spillway Park in Lake Worth to John Prince Park. Wouldn't that be really cool?

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Did a driver crash into a utility pole that snapped in half in Lake Worth last Thursday? No. But John Dzenitis at ABC25/WPBF thinks it did

To say the folks at ABC25/WPBF are challenged when it comes to understanding municipal borders is an understatement. It would probably be more accurate to describe them as institutionally clueless. The folks at NBC5/WPTV are hands down the best in this area of journalism and CBS12/WPTV is on the upward learning curve as evidenced by some recent accurate reports.

Here's the latest false news report from John Dzenitis at ABC25:
LAKE WORTH, Fla. —All lanes on Military Trail at 10th Avenue have reopened after a vehicle crashed into a utility power pole Thursday afternoon.
     Palm Beach County Fire Rescue crews responded around 12:35 p.m. after a report that a vehicle had side-swiped a pickup truck and then crashed into a wooden power pole.
The good news is the woman involved in the crash is expected to be OK. The only serious issue here is the lack of accurate TV journalism.
Military Trail is west of the City of Lake Worth in unincorporated Palm Beach County, accurately referred to as suburban Lake Worth.

Lake Worth business owner and West Palm Beach Commissioner Shanon Materio in the news

This is a very interesting article from Joe Capozzi at The Palm Beach Post about a historic stained glass window that will be returned to the West Palm Beach public library. Here is an excerpt:
     If City Commissioner Shanon Materio gets her way, the window will return to the library for display next year, ending the latest in a series of storage mishaps that started in 1962.
    “It belongs to the city of West Palm Beach. It’s the city’s window,’’ she said. “My goal is to let it go home and let everybody enjoy it.’’
     Materio and her husband, Phil, who operate McMow Art Glass Studio in Lake Worth, have been the window’s unofficial guardians off and on since 1987, a role that’s part of the piece’s “complicated and convoluted story,’’ she said.
     The story starts not long after World War I, when a soldier named Joseph Conkling was killed in the Argonne Forest in France in 1918.
Shanon and Phil Materio own the McMow Art Glass gallery at 701 N. Dixie Hwy in Lake Worth. In other great news, Shanon was just re-elected to her city commission seat in West Palm Beach. Phil, along with working at the gallery, is also the president of the Tropical Ridge NAPC neighborhood association.

Here is Phil at a recent Lake Worth City Commission meeting with good news from his neighborhood here in the City:

Saturday, December 26, 2015

The Voices of Pride performing in Lake Worth TOMORROW (Sunday, December 27th)

St. Andrew's Episcopal church in Lake Worth will be hosting the Voices of Pride performance TOMORROW, Sunday 12/27. The church is located at 100 North Palmway; the phone number is 561-582-6609 or you can send an email for more information. To learn more about the Voices of Pride use this link.

A busy day at the Lake Worth BEACH! on Christmas Day

The Casino parking lot full of cars paying by the hour.
If you've been following the discussion about the financial situation at the City's Casino complex at the beach you know things are not going very well. The City now relies almost exclusively on parking revenue to keep the complex afloat. So it's good to see a full parking lot on Christmas Day. However, that isn't the case the vast majority of the time and especially so out of Season:
Some time soon, hopefully, we'll have a full discussion about the finances at the Casino. That should occur about May of next year. So who is responsible for this mess?
Nobody's smiling any more about our "charming", "renovated" Lake Worth Casino.

From CityLab: "A Building That Looks Like a Turd"

You'll have to decide if this building looks like a turd or not. Either way, UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) is being brought in to solve this dilemma in Edinburgh. Here is an excerpt from the article in CityLab:
     Edinburgh is so obviously Great Britain’s most beautiful major city that it’s not really worth holding a contest. Spread over a terrain of rocky volcanic bulges, cliffs and ravine-like dips, the Scottish capital’s old grey, yellow, and red sandstone buildings have a sober elegance that makes them look like some natural extension of the landscape. Now this beauty is in serious jeopardy—or, at least some claim it is. [emphasis added]
     The new menace comes in the form of an approved building that, despite being marketed as an architectural icon in the making, apparently poses such a visual threat to the city that UNESCO is sending inspectors to reappraise Edinburgh’s World Heritage Site listing. The problem with the new building? It looks like a turd.
[and. . .this interesting line]
The problem with a World Heritage Site listing is that the threat of its removal is sometimes dangled over cities the moment someone moves to repaint their porch.
An inside joke in Lake Worth is a city official's reference to a "turd" being constructed here in the City. However, UNESCO won't be visiting our City to check out that claim. If you're interested in learning more about UNESCO use this link for the Wikipedia site.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue

Does Everglades EarthFirst! (EEF) have an issue with Black people? Why are people of color so under-represented in EEF?

The Palm Beach Post reporter Kevin Thompson and Lauren Hills at CBS12/WPEC made a big deal of Tuesday Gilliam's claim that the mural on the La Joya Villages wall in Lake Worth was "too white" for the neighborhood. Ms. Gilliam, who is White, decided to be the spokesperson for her neighborhood which has many people of color, including Haitian-Americans.

A reader of my blog has an interesting observation. Are there any Black members of EEF? Whenever you see pictures or video of EEF in action the absence of Black people is hard not to notice:
In the video below the absence of Black EEF members is apparent:
And on a related item. . .here is a Letter to the Editor that was published in today's (Friday, 12/25) Palm Beach Post:
If Ms. Gilliam's true motive was to 'start the conversation', then why doesn't she go through the process and paint her own mural on a wall somewhere? Why single out the Lake Worth CRA? She is a painter so how hard can it be, right?

Christmas Eve Day Lunch at Benny's on the Beach with my father and friends

Family friends that we hadn't seen for a very long time (Snowbirds from the Rocky Mountains) decided to drive across the state from Ft. Myers. When they arrived a little before lunch I started to think about places they would enjoy and are unique to our City. The answer was "Benny's on the Beach." Surprisingly, there was not that much activity at the beach yesterday. However, the parking area "up top" was full with people waiting for spaces to open up. We dropped off two of our party and I stayed with our guest who drove here and helped negotiate our parking kiosk. No problem. We quickly joined the rest of the party.

In advance of going I made a call to see how long the wait was. A very pleasant woman said there might be 15 minute wait. They didn't take reservations but she said to ask for her when we got there (her name was Jordan if I recall). We were surprised that the other two in our group already had seats and were enjoying the lovely and engaging view of the Atlantic Ocean from the pier. We settled into conversation and got around to looking at the menus. The attentive staff kept checking to see if we were ready to order and filling our beverage needs.

Once we ordered our meals were served within a reasonable time. Two of our party had fish and chips, another had the tuna salad toast and I had the fish tacos. Here are the tacos:
I'm a big fan of fish tacos at Benny's. This was the best plate I've ever had there and would encourage you to give it a try.
I've had this item before, but this plate was the best, with a generous helping of mahi-mahi, cole slaw inside the tacos, sriracha cream sauce and pickled ginger on top with rice on the side. Everyone at the table had good things to say about the food and the experience. Here is a picture of my father, one of our guests, and me enjoying the company, the breeze and the view.
Smiles all over the place at Benny's on Christmas Eve.
The food critic Joseph Thompson III was not spotted which was too bad—would really love to treat him to another hot dog with fries some day. Maybe he was at Mulligan's or took a ride to John G's. Anyhow, the drive to Benny's was an interesting one in that my guests got to see the Gulf Stream hotel, the cottages, and other parts of our downtown. And, as always, it was another wonderful day at the Lake Worth beach.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

A Christmas message from PBSO District 14 Cpt. Baer


This is a nice story involving a very thoughtful young man. The deputies truly appreciated it.

Happy holidays!

Captain Todd Baer
Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office
Commander – District 14 – City of Lake Worth

Statement by President Barack Obama on Persecuted Christians at Christmas

This is the official statement released by President Obama's press secretary:

"During this season of Advent, Christians in the United States and around the world are preparing to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. At this time, those of us fortunate enough to live in countries that honor the birthright of all people to practice their faith freely give thanks for that blessing. Michelle and I are also ever-mindful that many of our fellow Christians do not enjoy that right, and hold especially close to our hearts and minds those who have been driven from their ancient homelands by unspeakable violence and persecution.

In some areas of the Middle East where church bells have rung for centuries on Christmas Day, this year they will be silent; this silence bears tragic witness to the brutal atrocities committed against these communities by ISIL.

We join with people around the world in praying for God’s protection for persecuted Christians and those of other faiths, as well as for those brave men and women engaged in our military, diplomatic, and humanitarian efforts to alleviate their suffering and restore stability, security, and hope to their nations. As the old Christmas carol reminds us:

The Wrong shall fail,

The Right prevail,

With peace on earth, good-will to men."

A "Holy War" in Lake Worth? Really now CBS12!

[Below is a blog post from December 18, 2014, in the leadup to Christmas in Lake Worth. To say it was one of the low points for local TV journalism would be an understatement.]

"Free speech gone wild!" said Liz Quirantes at CBS12/WPEC on Monday. Liz Quirantes is the anchor at CBS12 who did the leadup to Israel Balderas' immensely 'important' story [Link has been deleted] on "free speech" here in Lake Worth.

I didn't think it was possible for Mr. Balderas to top the poor taste of his fellow reporter at CBS12, Kathleen Walter, but he did. On the very night preceding the Lake Worth Holiday Parade CBS12 and Kathleen Walter reported on a non-story concerning a Deerfield Beach blogger and his 'Satanist' invocation at a city commission meeting that may not happen for months, if at all. You can read about that here. This image below was from the report—nice juxtaposition of a Christmas tree along with "Prayer to Satan?"
Here is a screen grab of Israel Balderas and his latest story:
A "Holy War" in Lake Worth, Mr. Balderas? Maybe just a tiny bit of exaggeration and inflammatory? When you Wiki "Holy War" this is one of the items that turn up. In the era of ISIS and the Palestinian/Israeli conflict is it appropriate, Mr. Balderas, to do a story about a Satanist in Deerfield Beach and a Boca Raton pastor and refer to it as a "Holy War" in Lake Worth? Are we trying to stoke the flames of hysteria, Mr. Balderas? 

Really now, are the ratings at CBS12 that bad? 

NBC5/WPTV has a much superior news program than WPEC. I couldn't imagine a reporter at NBC5 referring to a "Holy War" in Lake Worth. It wouldn't be responsible or ethical. The folks at CBS12 have no such reservations.

The tragic murder of former Lake Worth High School student: The Sheriff needs your help

Below is a sketch of the man PBSO is searching for in connection with the murder of Wellington Glinton. 
Both CBS12/WPEC and ABC25/WPBF falsely reported this crime occurred in Lake Worth. The location of this murder was west of Lantana, outside the City of Lake Worth, south of Lantana Rd, on the west side of Lake Osborne. If you were in the area and may have seen something contact PBSO. 

Here is the news from NBC5/WPTV who provide the accurate information:
     A recent Lake Worth High School graduate was fatally shot overnight at an apartment complex in suburban Lake Worth.
     Just before midnight, deputies with the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office responded to a shooting in the 2200 block of Shimmery Lane.
     When deputies arrived they found a man shot near some bushes outside an apartment complex.
     The victim, who the family identified as Wellington David Glinton, 19, was transported to a local hospital where he was later pronounced dead.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Sandy Axelrod from the magazine "Around Wellington" visits Lake Worth for awesome BBQ

Here are two excerpts from the article in Around Wellington magazine:
Palm Beach County is quite rich in history and culture which include all of the arts – culinary, music and art. A really fun and delicious way to learn and experience all of it in a nutshell is to take one of the Taste History Culinary Tours. In fact, you could take a different one each weekend and no two would be the same! On Saturday, December 5th, my husband and I had the privilege to experience this first hand and I would love to share that journey with you.
[and there's more]
     We arrived at Blue Front BBQ and entered the very cool art deco building through the keyhole door entryway. Once seated we were treated to some of the best barbecue I have had in the area. In fact they were won the award for Best Barbecue 2015 in Palm Beach County. The General Manager Rodney Briguglio explained how the establishment began over 50 years ago on Tamarind Avenue, moved to Palm Beach Lakes Boulevard where they began bottling their fabulous zesty barbecue sauce and now opened at this fabulous location at 1132 N. Dixie Highway in Lake Worth. Our pulled pork sliders, coleslaw and ribs were tender and succulent. And since I am a lover of all things spicy I added a drizzle of their Hot BBQ Sauce which made the perfect compliment to the sweet meat.
I'm thrilled the folks from Around Wellington had a great time in Lake Worth and hope to have you back in town soon!

If you have business with the City of Lake Worth tomorrow (Christmas Eve) take heed

Message from Shilah James, Executive Secretary to City Manager: In celebration of the holiday season, the City Manager would like to extend his gratitude to all staff for their hard work.

Press Release from the Lake Worth Water Treatment Plant

To maintain high water quality in the City of Lake Worth water distribution system, the City of Lake Worth Water Treatment Plant will temporarily change the water chlorination methods for two weeks from December 27, 2015 through January 16, 2016. The City of Lake Worth will also increase hydrant flushing during this time. This is a preventive maintenance process. 

Starting December 27, 2015 a “free chlorine residual” water treatment method will be used to provide a somewhat stronger disinfection process than the “combined chlorine or Chloramines” treatment which is normally used. The City of Lake Worth will revert back to the “combined chlorine” method by January 16, 2016. As part of this process, the City of Lake Worth will be flushing fire hydrants. This flushing will cause temporary water in the swales of the roadways. Please do not be alarmed by this water as it will dissipate within a few hours. 

The City of Lake Worth and their Consecutive Systems water utility customers including Lake Osborne Estates, Hypoluxo Village, John Prince Park, Lantana Cascade and Palm Breezes Club may notice a slight chlorine taste or odor in their tap water during this period; however, these temporary conditions will not cause adverse health effects. If you are especially sensitive to the taste or odor of chlorine, keep an open container of drinking water in your refrigerator for a few hours to allow the chlorine to dissipate. Tropical fish tank owners, hospitals, dialysis patients and residents with pools should be aware of the chlorination changes and make adjustments accordingly. Any questions should be directed to the City of Lake Worth Water Treatment Plant (561) 586-1710.

[RE-POST] A crazy question: Is a possible future spike in Lake Worth's electric rates a human rights issue? A woman's rights issue?

[This is a question I posed earlier this month. Starting at the next City Commission meeting on January 5th many issues will be brought up and sea level rise will be one of them. Once again an issue that the City has little or no control over since this is a matter for the county/counties and state to address. But what this wordy topic of debate will do is take away time and effort from the pressing issues that face many of our residents such as inadequate infrastructure and safety concerns. Does the issue of sea level rise trump the rights and expectations of needy residents who need help NOW? I'm hoping there will a big turnout at the next City Commission meeting from residents demanding their elected representatives focus on the issues at hand instead of abstractions and distractions that do little or nothing to improve current problems in the City.]

An immigrant rights issue? Sounds crazy doesn't it? An acquaintance planted this idea in my head several weeks ago and thought it was absurd. But I never stopped thinking about it. The background is commissioners Chris McVoy and Ryan Maier pitched the idea very hard that electric rates should go up at a City Commission meeting on September 8th. In a clash of ideals and convictions Mayor Pam Triolo, Vice Mayor Scott Maxwell, and Commissioner Andy Amoroso objected strongly and won the day.

It was a spirited and enlightening debate. Note that everyone, all five of the elected, focused mostly on the economics and finance aspect.
The pitch by commissioners McVoy and Maier to raise electric rates failed.
Electric rates are higher in Lake Worth than rates by FPL but those have been steadily coming down the last few years, credit due to the mayor, vice mayor, and Commissioner Amoroso. The City Commission is in effect their own electric utility commission and can raise or lower rates at will. 

The idea by McVoy and Maier shocked many people and they got the message. At the City Commission meeting on 9/22 there was barely a mention of raising the rates. That, though, did little to quell public angst over this big issue in the City. Looking forward I advised people how to protect themselves and their home and suggested switching to natural gas to soften any future electric rate hike. Again, an economic/financial response. What do you need to switch from electric appliances to natural gas? Money. The benefit pays off handily but it's over time.

Were rates to go up that money going into the City coffers will ostensibly be for fixing the problems at the City Casino building, for example, but that is no guarantee the money won't be directed to other areas like the project du-jour by any elected representative. McVoy makes the case that any hike in rates will be "just pennies" and belittled any suggestion that anyone would even notice the rate spike. 

It's true that some people won't notice a spike in rates and those that do will respond in ways such as changing the thermostat in the Summer from 68° to 69°. Others will see the benefit of switching to natural gas or purchase better windows. The suggestion that no one will notice or not alter their behavior in any way is ludicrous. A spike in electric rates will change how people live—the one's that can afford to change. 

People have benefited from lowered electric rates and their quality of life has improved; a rise in rates will reverse that trend. Who will suffer the most if rates should go up as McVoy and Maier want to do? The poor, single women with children, immigrants, those on fixed incomes. . .the one's that can least afford to pay. 

So, to the question: Are "electric rates a human rights issue?" I think I answered my own question.

The rest of the story that the Post's Kevin Thompson and CBS12/WPEC's Lauren Hills don't know. . .or don't care to know

[The blog post below was posted on December 19th, 2015, in response to the online 'news' by Kevin Thompson on the "too white" mural at La Joya Villages in Lake Worth. . . interestingly leading up to the March 2016 elections. That absurd 'news' made the print edition on December 23rd but the public remained kept in the dark on some crucial facts. So, read on about that "one woman" who is trying to create racial disharmony and the media who is aiding her:]

Now that the City of Lake Worth is 87 days away from election day we've been treated with the first serious salvo of media spin from The Palm Beach Post and from CBS12. Here is my take on Kevin Thompson's pitch about the child depicted in the mural with the too-white skin color, according to "one woman". Lauren Hills follows up this nonsense with the same "one woman" with her story at CBS12; here's an excerpt from the text:
It's a colorful mural, a little boy with fair skin and blue eyes, she's referring to. It's painted on a new affordable housing complex on 6th Ave. South near the rail road tracks.
The "one woman" is Tuesday Gilliam and she has close ties with the Anarchist group called Everglades EarthFirst! (EEF). A candidate in the upcoming March elections happens to be an EEF member—a coincidence? You'll see Ms. Gilliam in a video below from October 2014 along with Peter "Panagioti" Tsolkas and Cara Jennings in opposition to a new road being proposed on 7th Ave. South near the La Joya Villages upon which the mural of the 'too-white' Cuban-American child is depicted.

Here are the parts of the video to pay special attention to:

The 16:10 mark to 17:24: Tuesday Gilliam refers to some group (the Lake Worth CRA?) and their "super apparent" designs for the neighborhood and goes on to say the La Joya Villages are a "huge amount of rental properties towering over our homes." [Note: the La Joya Villages are 3-story buildings and Ms. Gilliam lives at least 2 blocks away.]

The 22:00 mark to 26:18: Peter Tsolkas and Cara Jennings (the leaders of EEF) chime in with their thoughts on the 7th Ave South road project and the La Joya Villages.
Tuesday Gilliam cleverly tricked the Post reporter and CBS12 Lauren Hills using multiple logical fallacies, relying heavily on the hasty generalization fallacy, among others. Gilliam's objection all along has been to stop any development, road building, and/or new housing south of 6th Ave South—that much is clear. Would you expect any less from a sympathizer of EEF? 

Gilliam gives up the gig in this excerpt from the CBS12 story, what the objection to the "mural" is really about:
"There are arts initiatives all over the country in use for gentrification, and I feel like we might be seeing that play out right here in our own backyard," she [Tuesday Gilliam] said.
So, you see, the mural of the 'too-white' Cuban-American child isn't about race, it's about "gentrification" or what most others would call long-delayed community improvements and upgrades. Ms. Gilliam claims she wants to "start a conversation" but she's not really doing that at all. How do you start a meaningful conversation by begging the question and circular reasoning? Well, true, that job does get easier when you can trick some in the press into falling for it.

Question: If you knew Ms. Gilliam has been a strong opponent of the CRA's La Joya Villages project all along would that have given you a different perspective on this 'news' story? Probably so.

And that's the rest of the story you won't read or watch in the local press.

Special Request: Our Cottages of Lake Worth (your's truly interviewed by radio host Allan Mason/WBZT)

The Cottages of Lake Worth will have a hardcover book available next year about Lake Worth's iconic cottages with high-quality color photographs and professionally edited. Everyone involved in this project is excited about this as you can imagine. You can learn more about this project here and if you wish help with the book's publishing by contributing to their GoFundMe account.

Below is a YouTube video with images and more information about the cottages along with the audio of my interview with Allan Mason at WBZT:

There are several events upcoming and will list them soon. There is also a self-driving, walking, biking tour available.