Saturday, January 10, 2015

News about fire on North Palmway last night

From the Palm Beach Post:
An investigator will determine the cause of the fire, which was reported at about 9 p.m. at the home, near Third Avenue North and just west of the Lake Worth Golf Course, said Capt. Albert Borroto, Fire Rescue spokesman.

Upon arriving, crews found smoke coming from the home and overhead power lines sparking, said Capt. Albert Borroto, Fire Rescue spokesman. They soon discovered there was heavy fire at the rear of the home that had burned through the roof.

The fire was brought under control after several hours, Borroto said. Firefighters had to cope with several obstacles, he said, including an unsecured power line that required Lake Worth Utilities to shut down the neighborhood’s power grid. The homeowner’s personal belongings also created a large “fuel load” inside the home that limited how firefighters could fight the fire, Borroto said.

This is what tourists see when they search for "Lake Worth"

The number one site for tourism information in Florida is VisitFlorida. Tourists from around the world use this site for their traveling needs. Dave's Last Resort, bed & breakfasts, and even the Gulfstream Hotel (under renovation) are featured on Lake Worth's VisitFlorida site. This is what a tourist considering a Lake Worth vacation will see:
Lake Worth has great beaches, a new fishing pier, historic buildings, and a revitalized downtown with an eclectic mix of antique stores, specialty shops, restaurants, art galleries, music venues and special events. One event not to be missed is the Lake Worth Street Painting Festival, where the asphalt becomes a canvas in a temporary, open-air museum. Other cultural activities center around the tree-shaded square on Lake and Lucerne Avenues. Golf is a favorite, too, at the Lake Worth Municipal Golf Course, one of the most scenic courses in The Palm Beaches, right on the Intracoastal Waterway and Lake Worth Lagoon.
You can send this information to your friends up North. If you have a business in Lake Worth there is contact information at VisitFlorida with rates to advertise your business on Florida's Number One tourist site. From VisitFlorida:

To explore 2015 advertising opportunities on click here or contact us at or call (850) 205-3815.

And this is also what tourists see when they visit the Lake Worth page on VisitFlorida:

Do you know who your representatives in Tallahassee and Washington D.C. are?

It's easy enough. Go to this link and find out. All you have to do is insert your residence's mailing address.

Lake Worth has been gerrymandered in terms of district borders and has several representatives. Do you know your representatives? Here are mine:

Florida Senate Senator Jeff Clemens
Representative in the U.S. Congress Lois Frankel

A check to Manalapan for $232,000 for a code case

And this case might make it to the U.S. Supreme Court. Dan Moffett at the Coastal Star writes this story about a code case in Manalapan that began in 2005. From the article:
One of South Florida’s longest-running building code disputes could be nearing an end after nearly a decade in the courts.
    In December, Louis and Wendy Navellier sent a check for $232,000 to the town of Manalapan, a day before the Town Commission was scheduled to consider foreclosure action on their South Ocean Boulevard home.
    The payment covered years of $250-per-day fines that accumulated after the Navelliers built a pool cabana that violated the town’s building codes. At one point, the fines reached about $500,000, but a magistrate’s ruling reduced them last year.
    The Navelliers have fought the town at every level of the judicial system, unsuccessfully appealing all the way to the Florida Supreme Court. They currently have an appeal pending in the U.S. Supreme Court.

One of Lake Worth PBSO's finest

Governor Scott and Sheriff Bradshaw honored one of our PBSO deputies for his heroism. Read about Brian Fidler and the Governor's Heroism Award by the Post's Hannah Winston: 
The Herisse children don’t remember what happened on June 6 in their Lake Worth home.

All that’s left of a 2 a.m. fire that engulfed the residence are the burns on arms, legs and faces. Smoky memories and scars aside, their mother is just happy a Palm Beach County Sheriff’s deputy was able to rescue them.

“I am so thankful,” Youseline Herisse said.

Friday morning, Governor Rick Scott honored deputy Brian Fidler with the Governor’s Heroism Award for saving the lives of three children. The award is given to individuals who risk their lives and go “above and beyond the call of duty.”

Fidler was surrounded by fellow deputies, Sheriff Ric Bradshaw, the governor and a handful of local politicians, as well as the the family he saved.

“We don’t see it every day,” Scott said referring to the heroism of first responders. “But they’re out there doing it.”
By the way, there was a substantial fire in the 300 block of North Palmway yesterday during the early evening hours. Reports of heavy smoke in the area and a local power outage. No word on the cause of the fire yet.

More discussion and controversy over Double D Saloon

More 'news' on the Double D Saloon in western Palm Beach County. Andy Reid at the Sun Sentinel is getting into the act and Wayne Washington at the Palm Beach Post continues to fan the flames. Now the Broward New Times is reporting on it too. The New Times contains more salacious news reporting that can't get published in a respectable news organization, ergo the reputation of bottom feeders. Here is the image New Times reporter Chris Joseph used to promote his story:

The picture is just a little bit inflammatory.

Now on Andy Reid and his article about the Double D Saloon. Andy Reid quoted PBC Commissioner Steven Abrams on the neighborhoods located near the Double D Saloon like this, "it's not Boca Raton". This neighborhood is actually represented by County Commissioner Melissa McKinlay.

Here are the last 4 paragraphs from Andy Reid's article in the Sun Sentinel; he is definitely not trying to dial back the community's anger:
McKinlay [County Commissioner Melissa McKinlay], who lives in Palm Beach Plantation near the proposed Double D Ranch and Saloon, said she is also concerned about more adult businesses deciding to open in the area. She said there are 22 other sites along Southern Boulevard west of Florida's Turnpike eligible to have adult businesses.

"If we make it easier for these establishments ... that's not the message that I want to send," McKinlay said.

Abrams [Commissioner Steve Abrams], who represents southeastern Palm Beach County on the commission, pointed out that it has been more than a decade since the county last approved an adult entertainment permit.

And while the location along Southern Boulevard planned for Double D Ranch and Saloon is down the road from a couple of neighborhoods, "it's not Boca Raton," Abrams said.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Turns out, it was a wise choice...

Don't forget! Rally Today by EarthFirst!, Palm Beach Gardens, 4:30 to 6:30

Everglades EarthFirst!ers will be in Palm Beach Gardens today starting at 4:30. If you're looking for something to do show up. You can read about the planned rally here.

To get there take I-95 North to the Donald Ross exit. Go East until you see the Scripps Research Institute on your left. Below is a map of the "rally" location.

The Double D is heating up

More of a western Palm Beach County story, the 'Double D Saloon' controversy is not going away any time soon. There will be a lot of noise and consternation but that will be the extent of it. As reported by Wayne Washington of the Palm Beach Post, county staff advised:
Erecting barriers to the permitting and construction of strip clubs could make the county vulnerable to lawsuits, since the clubs are seen as places of expression protected by the First Amendment.
We'll keep you abreast of this story.

Liz Balmaseda LOVES our Lake Worth restaurant Bradley's Beach Club!

An excellent review by Liz Balmaseda, a restaurant reviewer at the Palm Beach Post. Ms. Balmaseda visited our Bradley's Beach Club at the golf course and had great things to say about Mitch Reale's operation there. Great job, Mitch!

This is wonderful news especially in comparison to all the vendors that preceded in this location. Almost all were written off as hot dog, burger, fries and microwave joints that only serviced the golfers. Now we have a legitimate restaurant that is a destination for those in the surrounding residential area and increasingly pulling from a larger geographic area. Word is getting around and a review like this will help.

Here are some excerpts from Ms. Balmaseda's review:
One comes here to be transported without great fuss. There’s plenty of self-parking. Walk-ins are welcome. Finding a nice table is easy enough. Grab one on the terrace and glance across the greens and Lake Worth Lagoon toward the Palm Beach skyline. Take a breath, a sip of beer and chill.

The service is rather relaxed, but friendly.
During my visits to the Beach Club, I’ve found myself gravitating toward the outdoor terrace, where the view is relaxing and time seems to slow down. But if there’s a good game on, you can catch it at the separate indoor bar area, where on a recent night a younger crowd played pool and sipped beer. There’s also a more traditional dining room that seems ideal for larger parties or special events.
[the review ends with this...]
Yes, it may sound like a noisy affair, but it’s not. The open space has a way of quieting the bustle to quite pleasant levels.
So, if you happen to be stressed out over the coming Apocalypse (which has been delayed indefinitely) our Lake Worth Bradley's Beach Club is a great place to chill and get some perspective, along with a cold beer. 

ADDRESS: 1 Seventh Ave. N. (Lake Worth Municipal Golf Course), Lake Worth
TELEPHONE: 561-585-8976
HOURS: Open daily from 8 a.m. to midnight, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner

Police investigate suspicious death; body found in Lake Worth

The body was found early this morning, Friday in the 900 block of North H Street. Click title for link for brief WPBF video report.

One Church and Two Messages

Most people agree that Pope Francis has been a breadth of fresh air for the Catholic Church. He has and continues to inspire millions of people around the planet with a message that the status quo is not acceptable and that the main role of the Church should be to serve those in need. He has also generally demonstrated more openness when it comes to being gay in the Church.

Then we have the Archbishop of Miami. From the ThinkProgress blog we find this article, Archbishop Of Miami Threatens To Fire Employees Who Support Marriage Equality.

From the article in ThinkProgress:
On Tuesday, the Archbishop of Miami, Thomas Wenski, sent a letter to his employees lamenting the arrival of marriage equality to the state and warning staff members that they could lose their jobs if they post anything to social media to express support for same-sex marriage.

“Whatever the role in which you serve within the Archdiocese, you publicly represent the Catholic Church and the Archdiocese in everything you do and say,” the letter read, according to NBC 6. “Therefore, it is important that you understand the Church’s position and are well informed.”
Read the letter here:
So we have an all seeing and all knowing Church.

Genesis Neighborhood Association's Growth


Effective January 8th, 2015, my 51st birthday; we are very excited to announce that we have expanded our boundaries. Our next quarterly meeting, we will be formally introducing our expansion of our boundaries to cover the Whispering Palms neighborhood area. After speaking with former commissioner Retha Lowe, who I will be meeting with in January, we agreed it would be in the best interest of that neighborhood to be covered by the consistent efforts of Genesis Neighborhood Association to work together to eradicate blight, reduce crime and foster and promote an environment of residents and businesses working together. Genesis has recently secured a third corporate sponsor and new member business member of our association, Oasis Health and Rehab Facility. Our new boundaries are now from the south side of sixth avenue south to the southern boundaries of our city limits and from the east side of I-95 to the West side of Dixie Highway. We are happy to now be serving the only area in our city that is not presently covered by an active neighborhood association. We hope to recruit participation from residents and businesses alike from this area. We have already identified a home in that area that we will be scheduling to paint.  

"The only place success comes before work is in the dictionary" ~ Vince Lombardi

Happy New Year,

Thursday, January 8, 2015

"Crime stats Lake Worth"

How many streets has Lynn Anderson walked promoting her candidates and issues over the years? You would think someone involved in City of Lake Worth politics would be intellectually ask the question, "Where is 'State Street' in Lake Worth?" Lake Worth, the City, is less than 7 square miles. There is no 'State Street' in the City of Lake Worth. How many 'crimes' in Lake Worth has this 'blogger' falsely, inaccurately attributed to our Lake Worth PBSO over the years? Maybe I should assign a researcher to find out. 

These inaccurate and false reports beg the question: is this done purposefully to inflate the crime stats in the City of Lake Worth?

Be skeptical where you get your local news from. Specifically from a self-proclaimed long-term resident uneducated on the municipal boundaries between the City of Lake Worth and the 'suburban' Lake Worth neighborhoods. 

Public Comment on Unagendaed Items from the 1/6/15 City Commission Agenda

If you are patient and can make it through the rant of the first speaker, it is worth listening to, some good information and input from the public including the establishment of a City Information center at the City Hall Annex. The Commission responds to the comments at the end of the video. Those comments begin at about the 13 minute mark.

Thomas Jefferson, 1781

Something to consider when watching the first speaker (the video in the post above) during public comment at last Tuesday's (1/6/15) City Commission meeting:

"It is the manners [emphasis added] and spirit of a people which preserve a republic in vigor. A degeneracy in these is a canker which soon eats to the heart of its laws and constitution."

From the Shiny Sheet: "Historic Lake Worth home to host Red Cross show house"

Darrell Hofheinz, the Daily News (aka Shiny Sheet) real estate writer has this MUST READ on one of our Lake Worth architectural treasures, the "Birthday Cake Castle":
A bevy of decorators — including several from Palm Beach — is preparing to descend on a historic house in Lake Worth, the site of this spring's annual American Red Cross Designers' Show House

But first, new owner Scott Levine needs to finish up some renovations to the 1925 property, known locally as the “Birthday Cake Castle,” at 1 S. Fifth Ave., according to island interior designer Bill Kopp.

“A new master-suite addition as well as new windows are being installed,” said Kopp, who has returned as one of the general chairmen of the fundraiser.

The Red Cross will take over the property Jan. 19, when more than 15 design firms will begin to decorate rooms and landscape the exterior. The show house will open for tours beginning March 5 and close April 4, just before Easter Sunday.
This project went through the Historic Resource Preservation Board at its November meeting for the changes necessary, with the guiding principle to correct some work that was not sensitive to the historic nature of the property that have happened over time. It was clear that there was a cooperative spirit on the part of city staff to work with the applicant to make things happen to coincide with the advanced pace of the project's schedule.

Florida's energy policies set the stage for resource preservation

In the Palm Beach Post's 'Point of View' section in Wednesday's paper, Drew Martin from the Sierra Club had something profound to say:
"It is time to move to energy from alternative sources that don’t pollute, such as solar. Burning trash is not the solution to our energy needs. We also need to reduce the amount of trash generated through composting and recycling. This will extend the life of our existing landfill."
The Sierra Club is hard at work. Sigh.

Now what do you think after reading this? Somewhat surprising:
"[a]n area where we have been producing oil for more than a half-century — the Big Cypress National Preserve and Everglades National Park areas — has received $30 million in LWCF [Land and Water Conservation Fund] funding in 2012 alone. In addition, the Florida Everglades Restoration Project has received about $58 million from the LWCF over the past three years to restore the natural flow of water in the Everglades ecosystem."
The above quote comes from David Mica, executive director of Florida Petroleum Council writing a 'Commentary' in today's Post titled: Offshore energy energizes Florida parks

Mr. Mica goes on to explain the history of the Land and Water Conservation Fund:
The LWCF is celebrating its 50th year. Its idea dates back to President Dwight D. Eisenhower, was built upon by President John F. Kennedy, and then enacted into law in 1964 during President Lyndon B. Johnson’s administration in a brilliant bipartisan congressional effort. What a “win-win” situation: Americans have access to affordable, reliable energy produced from domestic resources offshore, and our environment and cultural heritage is conserved using the revenues generated from royalties paid by the oil and natural gas industry.
You can listen to David Mica here. He was guest on my podcast, High Noon in Lake Worth. 

Florida is referred to as a "bellweather" state. And you as a citizen will have tough choices to make to lead the way in the coming years. Policy will guide us forward and we'll need people with the vision, experience, and education to draft these governmental and private-sector initiatives. 

Somehow, Drew Martin's solution to our trash problem, "composting and recycling" isn't that new of an idea. Something to think about before you write that next check to the Sierra Club. Maybe the answer going forward is cheap, reliable energy resources as Mr. Mica's proposes. And the LWCF has a proven track record with a solid impact on our environment here in south Florida.
Let me know what you think in the comments section below.

Lots to do...Chilli Cook Off at Bryant Park - 2/7/15

The good news just keeps on coming...

Rickie Leiter, the publisher of The Rickie Report has this to say about the City of Lake Worth:
"Come and meet the artists of Lake Worth. Lake Worth is fast becoming a serious hub of artistic activity. It is where art is shown, where artists live and where artists come to create their work. Come enjoy and see what it’s all about."
The Rickie Report is promoting the Lake Worth Art Synergy Event. From the article:
"Art comes to life in flaming glory on Friday, January 23, 2015 at 7:00 PM!  Two of the most renowned glass artisans, Shelley Muzylowski and Rik Allen, will give live demonstrations of their glassblowing skills at the new Benzaiten Center for Creative Arts, a 14,000 square foot fine arts fabrication center located in Lake Worth. Benzaiten’s Creative Director Rick Eggert will also be demonstrating his phenomenal skills along with glass artist, David Peterson. Participants will also enjoy music,  flowing champagne & wine along with artistic nibbles plus a special gallery show with many of the city’s leading artists participating."
I encourage readers to visit the Benzaiten website and learn more about the Lake Worth Art Synergy Event here. The Benzaiten Center is a non-profit and their success depends in large part on volunteers. So if you're a fan of the arts or just want to help out, the Benzaiten Center has an online form for volunteers. 

Things are happening fast folks. And don't forget, the Lake Worth Street Painting festival is next month. See reminder in right-hand column.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

From the Dark Ages...

Everglades EarthFirst! is having a protest this Friday in Palm Beach Gardens from 4:30 to 6:30

Did you ever wonder what it is like to join a protest? You can dig out your old jeans and tie dye T-shirt and take a selfie or three. You might even get your picture in the Palm Beach Post or an action shot on Channel 12 (WPEC)! You can rub elbows with some of the elite of our Anarchist community! Continue reading, details to follow later.

Everglades EarthFirst! (EEF), the protest organizer, likes to do artwork promoting their protests. Here is their artwork promoting the Actions on December 5th and December 12th:
Here is the art produced by "Kat Eng" promoting the protest this Friday, January 9th:
The Gopher Tortoise (Gopherus polyphemus) is a crucial, iconic animal for EEF as they fight to stop Scripps and the biotech industry in the Palm Beach Gardens Briger Tract. I was able to find interesting information about the Gopher Tortoise at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The Gopher Tortoise is a "threatened" species in Louisiana, Mississippi, and parts of Alabama. However, the Gopher Tortoise is only a "candidate" for protection in eastern Alabama, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida. The Gopher Tortoise is doing relatively well in our neck of the woods in south Florida. There are established relocation requirements for greenfield sorts of development for the species. Many suffer from a specific, lethal virus and are even administered blood tests at times so that resources are not wasted moving sick turtles that have a shorter life span.

If the Gopher Tortoise is important to the folks at EEF, shouldn't they be moving their operation to Louisiana, Mississippi, and western Alabama? But I digress, more on the protest this Friday:
Activists and concerned citizens from all around will be gathering from 4:30-6:30 on January 9th, at Donald Ross and Central Ave in Palm Beach Gardens [see map below] to help save this forest from the corporate interests who fail to see its value and beauty.
This 681 acres is currently home to several threatened and endangered species, including the gopher tortoise and snowy egret. It is slated to become home to more strips malls, more residential units and a biotech city complete with animal testing labs.
This is a new one to me, the Snowy Egret. I could be wrong but don't think EEF has ever mentioned the Snowy Egret before. If I am wrong, I apologize. The Snowy Egret (Egretta thula) according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature is a species of "Least Concern" of protection and notes that "[T]he population trend [of Snowy Egrets] appears to be increasing".

Back to the planned protest. Here is more about the protest from EEF on Friday:
In its current state, the Briger Forest is an uncommonly large and valuable piece of habitat, boasting an ecosystem that is the last of its kind in this area. It is the home to several species under threat of extinction, including the gopher tortoise and hand fern.

However, after much controversy, the Scripps Research Institute is looking to fulfill their dream of a commercial/residential offshoot of their facility on Florida Atlantic University’s FAU campus— by bulldozing one of the largest tracts of intact forest remaining in southeastern Florida.

But we can stop it! There are several legal challenges being pursued, so let’s keep the pressure on and let them know we still care!

EEF says " 'YES' TO THE WILD!" If you plan on joining the protest with EEF on Friday, note the Briger Tract is not exactly "THE WILD". You're never going to see an episode of Survivorman in the Briger Tract as professional Les Stroud goes with, "No food, no shelter, no fresh water, no tools" with the ever-present traffic noise of I-95 and the clatter of dishes and smell of hot wings at the nearby Hurricane Grill.

And lets be clear. There are designated preservation areas that are part of the approved plan.

Of course we all wish the EEF "leader" (horizontal as the organization may be) and Anarchist Panagioti Tsolkas the best. For years now, he's sacrificed and fought to save the Briger "Forest". With most efforts such as these public perception is everything and a misstep can be catastrophic. When a member of EEF threw a vehicle battery into a nearby lake at their first protest on November 7, 2014, can see how the simplest misstep can have devastating consequences.

If you do attend the protest by EEF please send me some pictures, please! Let's wish everyone involved good luck on Friday and don't forget to check out the Tropical Smoothies just down the street (see map above) afterwards.
And here is a great bike route to get there so you don't have to worry about your carbon footprint there and back. This eliminates the parking problem too. Make sure you have working lights; white in front and red in the rear.

City Commission Meeting from 1/6/15 - Commissioner Reports

Lots of good information from the dais on a number of issues including same sex marriage, traffic calming, visitor information center, blue light initiative, etc.

Last night's Lake Worth City Commission Meeting - 1/6/15 - Agenda Approval and Arbor Day Proclamation

Great News...Lake Worth Visitor Information Center to Open

We heard about this at last night's City Commission meeting. Look for the video coming soon from the Public Comment on Unagendaed Items section of the Lake Worth City Commission meeting last night for more information.

A special Evening on the Avenues on Friday, January 16th (6:00 to 10:00 p.m.)

From the Lake Worth Neighborhood Association Presidents' Council (NAPC): On Friday, January 16th, the NAPC will host a very special Front Porch at Evening on the Avenues in the Cultural Plaza. In appreciation for our Lake Worth First Responders, PBSO District 14 and PB County Fire Rescue, Stations 91 and 93, the Front Porch will be lit with special blue lights and we invite all our neighbors to join us as we celebrate the important relationships we have with these two organizations. Information about many of the community services offered by PBSO and PBCFR will be featured with Officers and Firefighters on hand to answer questions. A Special Statement of Appreciation will be offered from the stage followed by cake for everyone. Please join us for this special evening recognizing our Lake Worth First Responders.

Here is the video from last night's City Commission meeting where our local first responders were honored:

Must Watch Video! From Bill Gates' blog...From toliet to tap?

On January 5th, Bill Gates wrote this on his blog
I watched the piles of feces go up the conveyer belt and drop into a large bin. They made their way through the machine, getting boiled and treated. A few minutes later I took a long taste of the end result: a glass of delicious drinking water.

The occasion was a tour of a facility that burns human waste and produces water and electricity (plus a little ash). I have visited lots of similar sites, like power plants and paper mills, so when I heard about this one—it’s part of the Gates Foundation’s effort to improve sanitation in poor countries—I was eager to check it out.

The water tasted as good as any I’ve had out of a bottle. And having studied the engineering behind it, I would happily drink it every day. It’s that safe.

Commissioners Hal Valeche and Steve Abrams did nothing wrong

There was a short item in the Palm Beach Post yesterday (in the online edition) about the Double D Ranch on Southern Boulevard out west past the Turnpike. For those of you unfamiliar, this topic is a hot one in that area of the county. The Double D Ranch is going to be a strip club and it was permitted in 2001. Yesterday the Post reported on the 're-review' of the permitting process after a public outcry and the result is still the same, the project can proceed. Wayne Washington of the Post writes this:
Palm Beach County found no irregularities or discrepancies in what staff members called a “re-review” of the permitting of a strip club now being built on Southern Blvd. west of the Florida Turnpike.

The review, conducted in December at the behest of a county resident opposed to construction of the Double D Ranch and Saloon, confirmed what staff members have told county commissioners — that there is nothing they can do to stop the project, which has generated fierce opposition.
On December 5, 2014, Post reporter Chris Persaud along with Wayne Washington wrote this article about the Double D Saloon controversy, titled: Abrams, Valeche accepted donations from strip club manager

From the article:
Two Palm Beach County commissioners — Hal Valeche and Steven Abrams — PREVIOUSLY [emphasis added] accepted campaign contributions from the man behind the Double D strip club, whose construction along Southern Boulevard west of Florida’s Turnpike has generated fierce opposition from western communities’ residents.
A full eight paragraphs later in the article, Mr. Persaud and Mr. Washington write this:
The permit to build the Double D was issued in 2001, long before either Valeche or Abrams won a seat on the county commission. [emphasis added]
Some day in the near future, I will go out and take some pictures of this location for my readers, for perspective. Zoning issues can be very complex, but in this case the zoning process was fairly simple and straightforward. Without any churches, schools, parks, and other strip clubs nearby you simply cannot deny a project because people don't want it there. Zoning laws serve a real purpose and if someone follows the rules and goes through the process in good faith they have the right to proceed regardless of the public's displeasure. This falls under the First Amendment freedom of speech and expression provisions of the Constitution.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Will the County take her?

Hurry up! This deal isn't going to last long...

From Kim Miller at the RealTime blog we have this about some hot properties in and around Lake Worth. Can you say "revitalization"?

Here is the title:

Deal of the year? Two Lake Worth homes selling as package for under $40,000

From the article:
Two homes in and near Lake Worth are selling as a package deal for $39,999, but the marketing materials carry an ominous warning _ “Savvy investors only.”

An email blast was sent yesterday to clients of 32 West Realty in West Palm Beach advertising the homes in unincorporated Lake Worth and on 6th Avenue South within Lake Worth city limits. 
Still, a dwindling supply of cheap homes had some investors chomping at the bit. Just 33 homes were for sale in Palm Beach County in November for under $50,000. Restrepo said her phone was ringing off the hook Monday. [emphasis added]

Always a great event - Lake Worth's Festival of Trees - January 17th

Channel 5 (WPTV), Channel 12 (WPEC), and Channel 25 (WPBF) all got it wrong

In the continuing effort to clarify the corporate limits of the City of Lake Worth, here is a review of what happened with a recent story. The Palm Beach Post got it right. Here is the Post headline (with emphasis): PBSO seeks gunman in suburban Lake Worth shooting late Saturday

The good news is the shooting victim has non-life threatening injuries. We all wish him a quick and speedy recovery.

After I saw the first TV news report of the shooting in "Lake Worth", within 90 seconds I knew the news report's location was too general and therefore inaccurate. How? I went to Google maps and typed in "State Street, Lake Worth" and then to the Google street view of the 900 Block of State Street where the shooting occurred. After I saw a house number went to the Palm Beach County Property Appraiser and typed in the address. Here is what I found:
Note that the double zeros in the first part of the Parcel Control Number indicate unincorporated Palm Beach County. So does the "Municipality."
The shooting location, the 900 block of State Street, is in unincorporated Palm Beach County: Suburban Lake Worth. Remember, I found this out in under 2 minutes. As high-tech as modern day news is today why did all the TV stations get it wrong? Newsrooms must have fact-checkers; people who verify dates, times, names, details and LOCATION, right? Or do all of the TV stations rely on each other for the facts, playing follow the leader after the first news report?

Here is Channel 5 (WPTV)
Here is Channel 12 (WPEC)
Here is Channel 25 (WPBF)

In the continuing effort to teach the local TV news the borders of the City of Lake Worth, here is a map from the PBC Property Appraiser's website with some points of reference added:
The shooting location is indicated on the map. State Street runs north/south across 10th Ave North from the Walmart in Palm Springs. State Street is well west of Wayne Akers Ford and also west of the E-4 Canal. 

Before any news story hits 'the air' it is produced and then edited. It would be fair to say at least 5 people from each station had a part of this news story. If the number 5 is about right, then approximately 15 people (presumably Palm Beach County residents) from three TV stations didn't take the few minutes to get the location correct for their viewership.

Why is this important? Because there are people that are perennially "loose with the truth" in order to put forward their agenda here in the City of Lake Worth. There are some that do not care about these location distinctions, especially if it points to their effort to malign the efforts of PBSO in terms of service in the City of Lake Worth. Continue to be cautious regarding what is reported and where the media says the incident takes place. And, the same goes for other bloggers as well. 

"Employ every economy consistent with thoroughness, accuracy and reliability." --Arthur C. Nielsen

Arrest for Attempted Murder in Greenfield, CA

Be careful out there pedestrians, 4 hit-and-runs over a few days in PBC

Click title for link to a WPTV story on one of the latest incidents.

About Major League Spring Training Baseball in Palm Beach County

From Joe Capozzi and Eliot Kleinberg we have this latest news for Spring Training baseball in West Palm Beach, a possible land swap. If these negotiations don't succeed there is always John Prince Park, remember. From the article in the Palm Beach Post:
Spring training baseball took a big step Monday toward returning to West Palm Beach.

A private developer has withdrawn plans for a mixed-use project on the same 160-acre site where the Washington Nationals and Houston Astros want to build a $135 million baseball complex.

Parkside Commons’ decision to abandon its proposal prompted West Palm Beach Mayor Jeri Muoio to open negotiations with Palm Beach County on a land swap that represents the missing link in the baseball project.

“We have an unexpected window of opportunity,” Muoio said Monday at a press conference outside City Hall.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Things to leave behind us in 2015...

Allan Mason WBZT 1230AM Radio Show Appearance - 11/15/14 - The Cottages of Lake Worth

The National political divide is not Lake Worth's problem

From the Lake Worth Herald last week (1/1/15) comes this sage advice for those who see the tiny City of Lake Worth as a crucial cog in the fight between the forces of Progressives and Conservatives, good and evil, ICLEI, Agenda 21, the MPO's, GMO's, and SmartMeters, to name just a few. Here are some excerpts from the Lake Worth Herald:
     Comes a new year. Will it bring new attitudes to Lake Worth?
     One can only hope with the new year would come a sense of cooperation and understanding. This is Lake Worth and there really is no place for the polarized political attitudes of the National Front.
     We need to learn tolerance of each other's points of view. We need to listen and communicate. Without this, Lake Worth will continue to feed the local TV stations with fodder upon which to discredit our city as they have in the past. It is from their feeds the national news picks up and spreads the unflattering news about Lake Worth.
     With cooperation and understanding of each other we can compromise and turn this city around.
     Happy New Year and remember to resolve to work hard to make Lake Worth shine.
     WE CAN DO IT!
If you reside in Lake Worth know this: It's difficult enough trying to influence county policy at the Palm Beach County Commission, let alone state policy in our capitol, Tallahassee. Even more absurd is anyone who believes our little City is going to change national policy in Washington, D.C. It's just absurd. For some perspective: Lake Worth is a medium-sized municipality, one of 38, in Palm Beach County (PBC). The available data shows there are 1,372,171 residents of PBC and Lake Worth accounts FOR ONLY ABOUT 3%, or 34,910. 

Lake Worth elected officials and staff are working hard to secure funding for our little City of Lake Worth. And they need our help. They need our encouragement and support. What they don't need are distractions like rumors of 'ICLEI' taking over planning issues in Lake Worth, George Soros influencing local officials, or SmartMeters with 'mind-control' capability. The politics of paranoia does nothing to contribute to the quality of life in our City. 

And neither does content like this from another blogger in Lake Worth:

More on the Chapel-by-the-Lake highrise condo story...

In just over two weeks, the condo proposed for the Chapel-by-the-Lake site will go before the West Palm Beach planning board for a zoning change. The project will go once again before the city commission which voted unanimously for the project last year. The group that opposes the project scored a procedural victory in that the city of West Palm took advice from an attorney that was incorrect as reported by Eliot Kleinberg in last Sunday's Palm Beach Post. Mr. Kleinberg also interviewed a Florida Atlantic professor who said:
And he [Frank Schnidman] said this case is by no means rare.

“Procedural problems are the most common reason that the development approval process is delayed,” Schnidman said.
The Post editorial today continues to support the project and they offer this justification: 
We agree that it’s unlikely any commissioners will be changing their minds. Nor should they at this point. As we’ve said previously, given that First Baptist Church intended to sell the property regardless, the City Commission did the best it could to fulfill its responsibility to demand a project that balances private profit and public benefit. That was evidenced by the long months it took for the developer to win commission approval.

But again, expediency cannot be a fall back for circumventing the process — intentional, or no — that allows for residents to make their voices heard.

Opponents who have staunchly fought against the condo project from the beginning, most assuredly will continue to do so before the planning board later this month.

That’s fine. And city leaders are wise to encourage that part of the process this time around, even if the planning board for some reason does not approve of this latest version.

Remember the restaurant review to end all reviews? We'll just call it THE "Review"

On January 3rd, I wrote about Liz Balmaseda's horrendous restaurant review of Bravo! Cucina Italiana. Liz Balmaseda trashed the new restaurant at Jupiter's Harbourside, even going so far as to give a thumbs down on Bravo's house tomato sauce, a supreme insult to any Italian restaurant and chef. 

Liz Balmaseda criticized the plating, the sauces, the salads, the flavors, called the menu items "prepackaged", and referred to Bravo Cucina Italiana as "a sign of the apocalypse". Not the sort of review that you would likely see displayed on the restaurant's wall.

It didn't take long for a letter to be published in the Palm Beach Post from Michael Baz in Tequesta titled, Critic’s review aims to bury restaurant:
Friday’s restaurant review by Liz Balmaseda was disturbing — not for what she had to say about the food, but that she made it personal (“Except for pizza, no ovation for Bravo’s”).

“Lost in the faux: Jupiter” — “faux” means “imitation,” or “not real.” Does this mean the restaurant is serving fake food?

Even more unfortunate is her closing remark: “Quite possibly, this is a sign of the apocalypse.” I would not describe food I didn’t like as “an event involving catastrophic damage.”

For some reason, she has decided to bury this restaurant. She owes readers and the restaurant an apology.
Usually reviewers will give a restaurant that they had an initial bad experience a few more chances to get things right before a negative review. I agree with Mr. Baz of Tequesta. Ms. Balmaseda's review of Bravo! Cucina Italiana was unfair and the restaurant deserves at least another chance.

This is so cool for so many reasons...Sharon Bock, Palm Beach County Clerk of Courts

Number one, this is a good example of government using social media to get information out that is important to a lot of people. Number two, our Palm Beach County Clerk Sharon Bock is going out of her way to accommodate couples that are now able to legally marry in Florida. It should be noted that there are at least 14 of Florida's 67 counties that have chosen to discontinue marriages held at their courthouses. This is done in an act of defiance and demonstrates some of the deep divisions in our society.

We should be proud to have such a public servant here in Palm Beach County.

From the official press release:
Clerk Bock Announces Group Wedding Ceremony on January 6 at 12:01 a.m., South County Courthouse located at 200 W. Atlantic Avenue, Delray Beach.

WEST PALM BEACH, FLA. (January 3, 2015) – At 10:30 p.m. on Monday, January 5, the South County Courthouse will begin processing marriage license applications to be issued at midnight on January 6, 2015
Shortly thereafter Clerk Sharon Bock will perform a group ceremony marking this historic occasion. For information on the requirements to obtain a marriage license please visit the Clerks’ website at
Those planning on attending the group ceremony at midnight on January 6 at the South County Courthouse in Delray Beach are encouraged to take the state required premarital preparatory course online or with a provider. 
“I am pleased to be part of this historic celebration and I look forward to officiating the group wedding ceremony,” said Clerk Bock. 
All five Clerk & Comptroller locations will resume normal operations on Tuesday morning, January 6, at 8 a.m. All locations will be issuing marriage licenses and performing ceremonies for all couples.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

West Palm Beach to give Tallahassee five trolleys

Why not give them to the lovely city immediately south of their city limits? Click title for link to Eliot Kleinberg's article.

Project: Identity Lake Worth

This item appeared on the Facebook page Lake Worth Local:
This "news" was originally posted on the Palm Beach County Alerts Facebook page. The person who hosts this site writes this about his experience: "I have worked in Emergency Services for the past 18 years, and I post breaking news/incidents in Palm Beach County!" It really is a cool thing and acts a lot like a police/fire scanner for the Internet age.

The location of this incident was not in the City of Lake Worth. State Street is located south of the Walmart on 10th Ave North, outside the city limits of Lake Worth. For the person who hosts the Palm Beach County Alerts site please read this and educate yourself on what is Lake Worth and what is not Lake Worth. Hint: just because someone has a Lake Worth mailing address is irrelevant as it relates to city boundaries. There should be a clear distinction between Lake Worth and Suburban Lake Worth, as other blog posts here and here attest. 

It does seem that the message is getting across. Imagine if the City of Lake Worth did this on its own Facebook and Twitter accounts in an official capacity? That would be quite a change agent in people's minds. We'll continue to wait for those official announcements, hopefully not too far in the future.

Location is a critical part of a news story. Get it wrong and you put your own credibility on the line. Continued sloppy misreporting without needed correction erodes the city's identity and its many positive qualities.

Don't text and walk!

The Mother Jones online magazine has a very good article about texting and walking. The number of injuries is truly alarming. As part of their story they have this video which is not for the faint of heart. Watch the video first and then decide if you want your children to watch.

The title of the Mother Jones story is: Texting While Walking Is Obviously Dumb. So Why Can't We Stop Doing It?

According to a 2012 Pew study, most grownups have bumped into stuff while looking at their phones, or been bumped by someone else on their phone. A Stony Brook University study in 2012 found that texting walkers were 61 percent more likely to veer off course than undistracted ones, a finding backed up by other researchers.

Greatest "hits" compilations abound on YouTube. One woman tumbled into a mall fountain, another off a pier. A man nearly collided with a roaming bear. While pride suffered most in those cases, more than 1,500 pedestrians landed in emergency rooms due to a cell-phone related distracted walking injury in 2010—a nearly 500 percent jump since 2005—according to a recent study from Ohio State University.
Put the phone down and pay attention to your surroundings. In recent memory, I can't think of a single text message that couldn't wait a minute or two.

The Number One searched zip code in the United States is...

Orlando, Florida!

Kim Miller at the Real Time blog has this story with the full list, here is an excerpt: has released its annual list of the  most searched ZIP codes of the year and one Florida city ranked above all others.

Orlando’s 32801 ZIP found its way to the top spot not for Disneyworld, but for its downtown. [emphasis added]

According to, the downtown Orlando area is popular with searchers for its eclectic mix of people, housing and entertainment. While just 28 percent of residents in this ZIP are homeowners, the area is a “magnet for young people and empty nesters alike.”

Clerk Bock Announces Group Wedding Ceremony

Clerk Bock Announces Group Wedding Ceremony on January 6 at 12:01 a.m., South County Courthouse located at 200 W. Atlantic Avenue, Delray Beach.

WEST PALM BEACH, FLA. (January 3, 2015)

At 10:30 p.m. on Monday, January 5, the South County Courthouse will begin processing marriage license applications to be issued at midnight on January 6, 2015.
Shortly thereafter Clerk Sharon Bock will perform a group ceremony marking this historic occasion. For information on the requirements to obtain a marriage license please visit the Clerks’ website at

Those planning on attending the group ceremony at midnight on January 6 at the South County Courthouse in Delray Beach are encouraged to take the state required premarital preparatory course online or with a provider.

“I am pleased to be part of this historic celebration and I look forward to officiating the group wedding ceremony,” said Clerk Bock.

All five Clerk & Comptroller locations will resume normal operations on Tuesday morning, January 6, at 8 a.m. All locations will be issuing marriage licenses and performing ceremonies for all couples.
For more information about the Clerk’s office, please visit or call (561) 355-2996.

Check out AnnaMaria's blog and the year 2014 in pictures!

From her blog:
There were so many [pictures] that brought back memories of 2014 that for one reason or another did not fit in this blog, yet I liked them for one reason or another. This backward look then took on a life of its own.  Like or dislike I was there in the moment!

Be careful; if you see them it doesn't mean they see you...

From the Sun Sentinel on hit-and-run fatalities in south Florida:
In the past month, six men, women and children were left to die on South Florida streets after hit-and-run drivers struck them and sped away.

They died in Hollywood, Miami, Dania Beach, Pembroke Pines, Boynton Beach and Deerfield Beach. Among them: Two children walking home from a basketball game in two separate cities, a deaf woman who was remembered as an adventurer and a handyman who was a grandfather to 11.

Arrests have been made in at least two cases. But the other hit-and-run drivers remain at large.
Many of these accidents are at night. Of course, we cannot excuse the act of the driver not staying at the scene of an accident. Most of these seem to happen at night, along busy roadways. Please make sure to wear light colored, or better yet, reflective garments when you walk or bike at night. If you do bike at night, make sure that you have a white light on the front of your bike and a red light facing the rear. You can be pulled over and assessed a ticket for not having either, or both. The fine is $60 for either; it is $120 if you lack both. Do not skimp on the quality of either light. Make sure that each has multiple modes and various flash settings that suit various environments. Try to stick to roads with lower traffic volumes. If walking, try to choose an area with sidewalks and ample street lighting. If not, consider carrying a flashlight with you. These simple precautions may prevent you from being a victim of this sort of incident.