Saturday, January 17, 2015

Some pics from the Festival of Trees today

Again, videos are cooking and will be up soon!

Nadine Burns is the Producer of this years Street Painting Festival. Nadine and Maryanne Webber (the Festival director) will be putting on a spectacular event this year!

The Festival of Trees is still going on...

Video of the presentations, along with Mayor Triolo, Commissioner Szerdi and Representative Mark Pafford's remarks will be up shortly.
Note that the newspaper sponsor of the event was the Lake Worth Herald (more on that later):

From The Lake Worth Tribune's first restaurant review by Joseph Thompson III

From the paper's restaurant reviewer (no résumé included) about a Lake Worth premier restaurant:
"I watched as the food runner repeatedly blew her nose into a Kleenex, looked at it, and then blew more, all in full view of the hostess stand and everyone coming and leaving the restaurant. I wished at that moment that I'd stayed home and cooked my own dinner."
Keepin' it classy at the Tribune, Margaret Menge? This is from Ms. Menge's printed paper, which appeared seemingly overnight. However, the seeds were planted a while ago. Here is the other blogger's glowing introduction of our new Lake Worth blogger back in 2012.

From last evening's Appreciation Ceremony by the Neighborhood Association Presidents' Council - Lake Worth's First Responders

Ceremony sponsored by the NAPC.

Todd Dripps gets the story again!

Scanned the newspapers, tv stations and several other likely sources and cannot find any news on the protest by Everglades EarthFirst! yesterday. Other than our intrepid reporter Mr. Todd Dripps. Here is Mr. Dripps Facebook page.

Check out the pictures!

For some reason Mr. Dripps keeps referring to the Briger 'Forest' as the Breaker 'Forest'. Most of the pictures in his collection from yesterday clearly have signs that read, "Briger". Minor point, but the EarthFirst!ers aren't necessarily known for following conventions, like proper names of places, or any rules for that matter.

Governor Rick Scott honors deputy Brian Fidler with the Governor’s Heroism Award

“In these times when a lot of elected officials have turned their back on law enforcement, we’ve got a great governor in this state who’s had the courage to stand up, support law enforcement and talk about the good things that law enforcement does,” Bradshaw [Palm Beach County Sheriff Ric Bradshaw] said. “We are so fortunate in this state to have a governor that makes the commitment to law enforcement to give us the resources we need, give us the backing we need to do what we do to keep people safe. There’s a lot of places that don’t get that.”
PBSO Sheriff Bradshaw quoted by George Bennett at the Post On Politics blog.

Last Friday morning (1/9/15), Governor Rick Scott honored Lake Worth 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.”

Meet Matt Morgan of the Palm Beach Post

There was a vehicle accident on Lake Worth Road west of the Turnpike. Mr. Morgan at the Palm Beach Post reported on this story. Here is Mr. Morgan's story in the Post, the headline reads:

Wellington man, 69, dead after two-vehicle Lake Worth crash Thursday

This is from the text:
A Wellington man, 69, died Thursday after rear-ending another vehicle on State Road 7 near Lake Worth Road, authorities said.
Here is the accident location:
The vast sea of "Lake Worth" mailing addresses strikes again. This really is more Wellington. Can we please be more careful in our reporting?

Friday, January 16, 2015

Traffic Advisory - Southern Boulevard Bridge Repairs

The Southern Boulevard Bridge, will have one lane closed in each direction, as needed, on Tuesday, January 21st from 9 a.m. until 3:30 p.m., for bridge repairs.

Campaign kick-off DURING our Lake Worth First Responder/PBSO/Fire Rescue ceremony tonight?

Tonight at 6:00 is the Evening on the Avenues/Neighborhood Association Presidents' Council (NAPC) ceremony celebrating our Lake Worth First Responders, PBSO District 14 and Palm Beach County Fire Rescue, Stations 91 and 93.

From the NAPC website:
To honor our First Responders, the NAPC “Front Porch” will be specially lit with blue lights on Friday night. Blue front porch lights will be available for neighbors to take home to show their appreciation as we encourage everyone to light their own front porches in blue for the rest of January. We will offer a Statement of Appreciation to representatives from PBSO and Fire Rescue from the stage at 8:30 pm followed by a special First Responders Appreciation cake, of course lit with blue candles, for everyone in the Plaza to share.
Curiously, a candidate challenging sitting Lake Worth Commissioner John Szerdi decided to have his "Kickoff Party!" tonight at 6:00. Would this be a not-so-subtle snub of our PBSO District 14 and our PBC Fire Rescue? 

This 'Kickoff Party' was posted on another blog but fails to mention where the party is and describes the party as by "invitation". Then why promote an event if no one knows where it is? More exclusive than inclusive. This is part of candidate Ryan Maier's campaign.

This stealth 'party' is being hosted by "We". No 'We' is identified. When was the last fundraiser/campaign kickoff where the 'host' committee was unidentified? Don't you find that odd? I do and so should you. 

So much for openness and transparency in our little City of Lake Worth.

Coming tomorrow at the Cultural Plaza...

Contact David McGrew, our Lake Worth Horticulturalist, for more information at 561-586-1677 or at Hope to see all of you there tomorrow!

A good idea from Riviera Beach Mayor Masters?

You decide. Here is the Mayors Facebook page. "Barack Obama Highway" does have a nice ring to it. This is what the mayor posted on his Facebook page:

Everglades EarthFirst! SHORT NOTICE...rally TODAY at 4:30 in Palm Beach Gardens

From earlier training sessions the Everglades EarthFirst!ers had at the Quaker Meeting House here in Lake Worth, FL:
Below is a recent flyer left in downtown Lake Worth (from last October):
If you wish to attend the protest today take I-95 North to the Donald Ross exit. Proceed East until you come to Central Boulevard. When you see the Scripps Research Institute on your left you are close to Central Boulevard. Send me pictures if you can!

The Lake Okeechobee water releases will begin today

George Bennett of the Palm Beach Post, has this news:
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will begin releasing water from Lake Okeechobee into the St. Lucie Canal on Friday to lower the lake’s level and ease pressure on the aging earthen dike around it, the U.S. Army Corps of engineers announced Thursday. The lake level now stands at 15.03 feet, about a foot higher than a year ago. The Corps has already begun releasing water on the west side of the lake into the Caloosahatchee River.

“We are concerned about the current lake level and forecasts calling for above-average precipitation during the remainder of the dry season,” said Lt. Col. Tom Greco, Jacksonville District Deputy Commander for South Florida. “The lake is currently at the same level as in January 2013, when an early start to the wet season required us to make large-volume discharges later in the summer. Our intent is to make small releases now to reduce the likelihood of larger releases later.”
Higher water levels put more pressure on the dike, and because water can flow into the lake six times faster than it leaves, the Corps says it needs to drop water levels now before the rainy season begins. To buttress the dike, the Corps has completed a 21-mile cutoff wall and is replacing many aging culverts. Still, the earthen dike remains in such poor condition that it is ranked among the most likely to fail in the United States.

Liz Balmaseda LOVES the restaurant Table 26!

Here is the review by Ms. Balmaseda:

This stylish eatery, named after the latitude of Palm Beach, transports the essence of The Island to busy South Dixie Highway. Expect superbly prepared global comfort dishes and expert hospitality. Brunch is served Saturdays and Sundays from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Reservations are strongly suggested for dinner and brunch; walk-ins welcome at the full-service bar. (And, bonus, valet parking is free.)
Table 26: 1700 S. Dixie Highway, West Palm Beach;

West Palm Beach was named one of the top "Queerest Cities in 2015" in America by the magazine The Advocate. I wrote about this last Tuesday. Table 26 was mentioned in The Advocate article being a long-time gay-owned restaurant in West Palm Beach.

And don't forget!

Liz Balmaseda LOVES our Lake Worth Bradley's Beach Club too. I was there for a meeting on Tuesday and had the fish tacos. Delish. My dinner companions shared the grilled avocado appetizer. We went nuts about this Bradley's signature dish. One had their Caesar salad with shrimp and other other had the pork taco dish. Both received 4 to 5 forks! When you go say "Hi" to Mitch for me.

My 'Cottages of Lake Worth' presentation last night...

There was a meeting of people interested in the Cottages of Lake Worth that met in the wonderful space on the second floor of Suri Tapas Bar. I was asked to give a short talk on the history of Lake Worth and the how/why of importance of our historic cottages. This is the transcript of what I said:

We are here to celebrate the collection of Cottages of Lake Worth that make the city unique.
  • What conditions were in place that brought them to exist?
  • Why does Lake Worth have this collection that adds to its sense of place that other communities do not?
  • What threats have these cottages faced over time that make them all that more remarkable?
  • How can we use these cottages, along with other efforts by the City of Lake Worth, the Community Redevelopment Agency and the Historic Resource Preservation Board, to create more of a “known destination” and contribute to the community’s economic vitality?
The origins of Lake Worth, from the Historical Society of Palm Beach County:
From 1889 to 1903, Fannie A. James maintained the Jewell Post Office at the Florida East Coast Railway for the few households between West Palm Beach and Lantana. James and her husband, former slave Samuel James, homesteaded 186 acres from present Dixie Highway to Lake Worth, and from Lake Avenue to 12th Avenue South. In 1911, a year after Samuel James died, Fannie sold most of her land to Palm Beach Farms Company, who had purchased several hundred more acres nearby and thousands more in the Everglades.

The owners of Palm Beach Farms Company—Frederick Edward Bryant, his brother Harold J. Bryant, and William Greenwood—formed Bryant and Greenwood, which marketed the land throughout the U.S. and Canada. They offered five-acre farm tracts in the Everglades for $250 each, $10 down and $10 per month; a 25 foot wide lot was thrown in free at the Townsite of Lucerne on the shores of Lake Worth. A drawing was held by the lake in April 1912. When many purchasers found their farmland under water, they chose to live on their free property by the lake, where surveyors laid out 55 miles of streets and 7,000 lots. A school was ready in the fall on M Street between Lake and Lucerne Avenues.
This is the “field” from which our cottages grew, near the downtown commercial streets of Lake and Lucerne Avenues, north and south, about ten or so blocks in each direction. Most of these cottage homes were of simple construction and made with indigenous materials, such as Dade County pine, known for its durability as a south Florida building material. Some were built from masonry materials, but that generally came later during the boom of the 1920s. This is when Addison Mizner popularized the Mediterranean Revival style in ritzy Palm Beach.

Lake Worth’s development was very middle class, with some of the cottages serving as Winter getaways from the cold north, others were homes for local merchants, trades people and some professionals.  More from the Historical Society of Palm Beach County:

A year before the city was created in 1913, news arrived in October that another post office had claimed the name of Lucerne just a month sooner, and the townsite became the City of Lake Worth, named for Colonel William Jenkins Worth, who had ended the Second Seminole War. In December a census recorded that Lake Worth had accumulated 308 residents, 125 houses, ten wagons, seven automobiles, 36 bicycles, and 876 fowl.

Max and Rose Kalb Greenberg were among the first residents of Lake Worth in 1912. (The city incorporated in 1913 and we celebrated its Centennial now two years ago, which partly led to the formation of this group, the Cottages of Lake Worth).

The Greenberg family sold lumber, hardware, and furniture in Lake Worth; The Greenbergs’ son, George (1915-2007), was born at home on North M Street, currently the site of Lake Worth Public Library. In 2006 George described his childhood in Lake Worth, where “it just seemed like we knew everybody.” Although his family shopped at Mrs. Schmidt’s Illinois Grocery, a butcher shop, and Wonder City Bakery, George recalled vendors in wagons with vegetables, chickens, hot bread, or ice. “There was a big card we used to put out [every day] and it had how many pounds of ice you wanted: 25, 50, or 10 or 15…. It depended on how your ice had melted during the night. My job every morning was to take the drip pan under the icebox and empty it.”

Laundry was done in the backyard, where a washtub sat on three large rocks. “You built a fire underneath the washtub and boiled the clothes …. You had a washboard to rub the dirt out [and] a clothesline to hang the clothes. That was a weekly ritual.”
On a wall in City Hall is a list of all the names of the people that we in Lake Worth call the “Day the Lights Came On” in 1914. You should check that out if you have a chance.

Here is where we leave the pioneer era and cross over to the period known as the “Florida Boom.” Still though, through much of the early part of the 20th century, south Florida retained an atmosphere of being on the frontier of civilization. Some would argue that we still are.

Let’s do a little time travel and let’s jump ahead 12 years from the city’s birth, or ninety years ago. Close your eyes and imagine the following.

  • The date is January 15, 1925.
  • The colors of a beautiful south Florida twilight sunset are in the sky.
  • There is a sliver of land along the east side of Lake Worth (barrier island) that contains a new concrete bathing “casino”, reached by a low bridge across the water. There are are no other buildings north or south of that landmark.
  • Calvin Coolidge, the 30th President of the United States is in the White House.
  • Prohibition is in effect.
  • Radio is a new invention. Telephones are less of a novelty and some now have dials.
  • There are street lights lit by the city of Lake Worth’s own electric company and city water is running through pipes in the ground.
  • Dixie Hwy or U.S. 1 was two lanes and was the main motor vehicle route north and south along the east coast of Florida.
  • The population of the state of Florida is 1,264,000 (Today it is the 3rd largest state, recently surpassing New York, at 19.9 million; Palm Beach County is now at 1.4 million people and part of the metropolitan area that includes Miami and Ft. Lauderdale. That area totals over 5 million people.)
Back to 1925. There is no Palm Beach International airport, there is no Florida Turnpike, there is no I-95. You most likely arrived in Lake Worth the first time by train on the Florida East Coast tracks: Flagler’s Railway.

The “new” Gulfstream Hotel - first called “El Nuevo” was under construction and will open in the fall of 1925.

Population of the state has increased 30% since 1920 due to the economic boom after the end of World War I, expansion and growth of the middle class, more reliable train transportation, mass production, affordability of the automobile, and additional leisure time.

This is the period when many of our cottages were built and more of these were of masonry construction: most roads were not paved, some might say that isn’t so different from today, but the Florida Land Boom was on, much speculation abounds in real estate. Cars were still not owned by everyone and access to garages, when they were built was from the alley. Most goods could be accessed by walking or biking to the corner store. In many pictures from this era, you see bikes leaning against the cottage at the front door.

An unusually cold winter in 1925, an unusually hot summer in the same year, then a major hurricane in Miami in 1926 which caused a ship to sink blocking the port, preventing building supplies from entering the “boom city”, soon after there was an embargo of building supplies entering south Florida as little freight was going back in return to the north, then the disastrous Hurricane of 1928 hit. This hurricane is referred to as the Okeechobee Hurricane due to the thousands of deaths that happened when Lake Okeechobee overflowed its banks.

The boom was then over and development in Lake Worth leveled off in the 1930s and 1940s, with the addition of more cottages during this period, however, not at the breakneck pace of what had occurred in the 1920s.

The Dawn of the Modern Age

World War II saw many located here for the war effort. Morrison Field, eventually to become Palm Beach International, was a military field and much of the United States operations in Africa originated from there. Population grew.

Areas north and south of the developed area of Lake Worth built up during this period. People who worked in the war effort liked it here and settled permanently.

The era of post World War II prosperity began. More house were built, houses got bigger and always had a one car garage, eventually a two car garage would become a standard feature.

People yearned for space for children to play. Areas with small lots like the Lake Worth’s cottages were thought of as congested. Zoning classifications were changed to make the area suitable for denser, multifamily development. These drained those with money and children toward newly developed areas with bigger lots north, south, but mostly west to land that had been considered swampland at one time but was now open to development due to extensive drainage projects.

In the 50s through the 1980s, many cottages were torn down to make way for condominiums. They dot the area where many cottages still survive today and are referred to as “cat walk” apartments, known for their long walkways along the front of the building, usually overlooking a parking lot for cars.

This was a tough era for many of our cottage buildings. Those that did not survive the redevelopment threat, went through changes which made them multiple living units, sometimes with inappropriate additions. Others succumbed to fire.

What protected the area from total urban renewal?

Likely the placement of the exits off of I-95 to the north and south of our downtown area, unlike most south Florida communities along the east coast. Our main roads through the downtown did not have a direct exit from the Interstate system due to the location of the Lake Worth High School and the city’s electric and water plant.

In fact, up until the last revision of our Comprehensive Plan, the area immediately south of the downtown could be redeveloped into projects that could have 30 units to an acre. Now the area is zoned as single family. The economic incentive present in the zoning has been removed, allowing for the enjoyment and preservation of many of the city’s historic structures, in particular the cottages.

Today, we have come full circle.

The Millennial Generation is ditching the car and turning to transit alternatives. A “bikeable” and “walkable” community is seen as an asset, with the car taking a "back seat".

The large “baby boomer” population is not only an “empty nester” family, but now retired, many looking to simplify and settle in a community that has a strong quality of life and a “uniqueness” component.

South Florida stands on the threshold for new rail service. Beyond Tri-Rail and Amtrak, we will soon have All Aboard Florida that will be a fast train with stops in Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, West Palm Beach and Orlando.

There will eventually be local train service established linking the eastern downtown areas along the Florida East Coast railroad. So we have demographic changes and technological advancements that allow for more flexibility in where and how we work and live.

These Lake Worth cottages are survivors, perhaps survivors of the fittest that are again finding their day in the sun. That’s why we are here today to celebrate them and that is what gave birth to our special organization: the Cottages of Lake Worth.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Update on the Pool - A plea for you to use it. It's heated!

The pool's operating hours and pricing are posted above. Thank you to the city for putting together these informational cards. I have just seen them at the pool office and not other places around town. It really is a tremendous asset that more people could be taking advantage of.  You can go there anytime it is open for recreational swimming and have your own lane to do laps. The kiddie pool is closed and that area might be ripe for another use - like weight lifting equipment or machines that are weather-proof. There are such machines in South Bryant Park and the small park on North H Street, just northwest of the Compass building.
My foam barbells and famous "noodle" - part of my water gear. Noodles and other gear are available at the pool if you want to try it out first and don't have your own.
If you want to try water aerobics and water exercise, the times for that are Saturday 11 a.m. and Sundays at 10 a.m. You pay the instructor, Sally Welsh, directly. Just tell the attendant in the booth that you are there for water aerobics. They will give you a laminated orange pass that you can show for future visits. The same person has been there for a while, so she will get to know you and know why you are there, waving you on. The cost is $5. Classes last almost an hour and provide a variety of strength and aerobic workouts. No special swimming skill is needed and the classes stay in the shallow end of the pool. Recently, there has been a mix of 50/50 males/females in the class. Sunday classes can draw almost 30 people sometimes. It's a friendly group, of all ages, and everyone eventually gets to know each other. Newcomers are always introduced by first name and the class greets them in return.

As for results, I find that it is a good, low or no impact workout and is a good companion to my bike riding. Getting there by bike is more of a challenge now with the Lake Worth bridge under repair. I would not recommend trying to bike east over the bridge in its current configuration with the south span out of commission. It is dangerous - too narrow a lane on the right side of the traffic lane and cars can't move over to accommodate bikes since there are stanchions dividing the lanes. If you are going to bike to the beach or the pool, I would recommend dismounting and walking across the span going east. Going west, right now, is not as much of a problem and I do it quite often. You just have to watch for bikes or motor scooters trying to use the westbound lane going east. This is rare, but I have witnessed people doing that.

For the past two weekends, I traveled a longer route. I start at my house in College Park and head north on Flagler Drive and then go across the Intracoastal at the Southern Boulevard bridge. It is not much of a biker's picnic either, as the edge of the road is not too wide and you have to be aware of people fishing and crossing from north/south, changing sides, on the bridge. Then I go south at the circle where Southern Boulevard meets A1A and it seems that in no time I am turning left to go to the Lake Worth beach. That's about an eight mile route to the beach from my house. That's a nice warm up to more exercise and you look forward to jumping into the refreshing water in the pool.

I bike a lot anyway, but the reason for the detailed explanation here is that I really would encourage it, especially if you don't have a Lake Worth resident parking pass. Bike parking is free at the beach and many people bring their bikes, leaving them leaning against the building on the pool deck while swimming. If you don't have a Lake Worth resident parking pass and pay by debit card, the minimum parking charge is $4 - which gives you two hours. It also adds time and that is important, especially if you are in a hurry. Just today, someone in class passed me in their car on the way to the beach and honked nicely to acknowledge me as I rode south along A1A. I was just north of the Palm Beach Par 3 golf course at the time. I was in the pool already by the time she did the parking meter "dance" and walked from the inconvenient parking space to the pool. She couldn't believe I had made it there before her.

I bet, if it was safe to go over the bridge now, and I did the usual 2.5 miles from my house, it would take about the same amount of time to drive there, park, etc. as it does to ride a bike to the beach. Keep that in mind if you want to go in the future. Many people who live close, and one not too close, to downtown Lake Worth, walk over the bridge from where they live too. 

This is how the pool looked today: - GORGEOUS
Many people do not know that the pool is heated. Today and yesterday the water temperature was 79 to 80 degrees. That is a perfect temperature for swimming. During the cooler months, you may want to bring something like a sweatshirt or sweat pants to change into after swimming. Many people wear a 100% polyester shirt, besides their swimsuit, to stay warmer in the water and especially when the top half of your torso is out of the water. The chill is more prominent when it is windy. The one story pool/locker room/bathroom building on the east side of the pool serves as a good windbreak when the wind is coming off of the ocean.

With an air temperature in the low 70s, the pool should be much more utilized than it is. I hope that the ideas that are being brought back to the Commission in the future about the beach "fixes" include a way to keep the pool intact and find a better way to promote it. We'll see what that project yields.

I'll leave you with this video I did about a month or so ago that I set to music. The video is in slow motion so it doesn't reflect the actual speed of the movements.

TODAY AT 6:30 p.m. At Suri Tapas: The Cottages of Lake Worth: Public Is Welcome!

COTTAGES of Lake Worth General Meeting, Thursday Jan 15, 2015 at 6:30 PM 

Location will be Suri Tapas restaurant, 707 Lake Ave., Lake Worth, UPSTAIRS

Guest speaker Wes Blackman. Here is the link to an interview Wes recently did about our Cottages on local radio station WBZT.  His talk will be on the importance of uniqueness in cities and places where we choose to live. Wes will cover some of the aspects explored in this talk by urban planner Ed McMahon (Not Mr. Carson's former sidekick). Check out Mr. McMahon's recent talk given in Jacksonville, Florida about the importance of uniqueness to a community:

We will also have an update on the coffee table book from Janice Snearer. Plus fun celebrity bartenders and reality show guest.

Tickets for our upcoming Festive Paella Party fundraiser on Jan. 24 and Bike Tour Jan. 17 will be available. 

Dinner can be ordered before and during the meeting.

City of Lake Worth Annual Tree Festival

Lake Worth, FL – The Lake Worth City Tree Board announced that it will hold its 10th Annual Festival of Trees on Saturday, Jan 17, 2014 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Cultural Plaza, 414 Lake Avenue (between Lake and Lucerne Avenues on M Street.)

Admission is free and everyone is welcome.

“The Festival of Trees acts as a magnet for bringing people to the heart of our historic downtown,” said City of Lake Worth Horticulturalist, David McGrew, staff liaison to the board, “Nurseries with knowledge about native trees and plants and fruit trees will offer information, advice and trees and plants for sale at the Festival.”

The Festival of Trees not only provides Lake Worth residents, families, and visitors an opportunity to walk around the Cultural Plaza, check out various exhibitors and listen to live music, but also a chance to shop at stores and dine at restaurants in our charming downtown.

“For the first time ever at the Festival of Trees we are utilizing the Old Commission Room inside City Hall Annex for informative presentations and short films about nature, trees and plants,” added Richard Stowe, Tree Board Chair, “and at 11:30 a.m. bicyclists with binoculars will meet Gael Silverblatt, a Lake Worth birding enthusiast, in front of the Lake Worth Library 15 North M Street for a bike ride to bird watch at Snook Islands Natural Area.”

There will be live entertainment at the Festival of Trees again this year including a performance at 11:45 by Agwa Dance Company/Downtown Dance Lake Worth. In the afternoon accomplished musicians Jill Lurie, Tom Regis and Jon Zeeman will take the stage.

At 9 a.m. Colleen Greenhalgh will open the Festival with a free yoga class; a second class by Monica Hornung will follow at 10 a.m.

Local Lake Worth exhibitors include Arthur R. Marshall Foundation for the Everglades, Amelia’s Smarty Plants, Gray Mockingbird Community Garden, Community Spirit, NAPC Front Porch and Dark Sky Lake Worth.

Other tree nurseries include Native Choice Nursery, GMG Tropical Fruits and D.R. Bates as well as Sustainscape, a company providing native landscaping services.

Some other exhibitors include Florida Native Plant Society Palm Beach County Chapter, North American Butterfly Association Palm Beach County Chapter, Florida Forest Service, Palm Beach County Environmental Resource Center, Pine Jog Environmental Education Center, Gumbo Limbo Nature Center and Mounts Botanical Garden.

Presentations and activities for kids will get a big push this year: elementary school children have been invited to present Got Shade drawings and the 4-H Club will have a table. The Audubon Society of the Everglades will assist children in making natural bird feeders. The Home Depot tent will also offer craft activities for kids.

The Old Commission Room at City Hall Annex will be open to the Festival from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. for presentations and short films.

At 10:00 a.m., Carman Vare, Palm Beach County Environmental Program Supervisor, will give a presentation on Living Shoreline and other ERM Lake Worth Lagoon projects; at 10:30 a.m. Mark Torok of the Florida Forest Service will speak about Urban Forestry: Why Proper Pruning is Important in Lake Worth; at 11:00 a.m. Kristi Moyer, Facilities and Land Manager at FAU’s Pine Jog Environmental Education Center will give a talk - Right Tree, Right Place: Planting Natives in Lake Worth; Jeff Nurge’s presentation - Butterflies in South Florida and their Connection to Native Plants will take place at 11:30 a.m. and the final speaker Tara Bardi, the Senior Scientist at Arthur R. Marshall Foundation for the Everglades, will conclude at 12:30 p.m. with a presentation entitled - The Future of the Everglades: What is at Stake.

Mayor Pam Triolo will read a proclamation at noon declaring January 17th Lake Worth Arbor Day. Following the reading of the proclamation, State Rep Mark Pafford and Executive Director of the Arthur R. Marshall Foundation for the Everglades, will speak about the progress and vision of the Marshall Foundation and its relationship with the City of Lake Worth.

The Lake Worth City Tree Board, whose members are volunteers appointed by City Commissioners and the Mayor, is one of a number of advisory boards which provide assistance to the City Commission. The Tree Board meets the second Thursday of each month; members of the public are encouraged to attend.

Contact David McGrew

Looking for something to do today and through the weekend?

For mostly free events and very affordable activities for you, your friends, or your family and kids check out AnnaMaria's blog for a list. There are several bike rides and, of course, Evening on the Avenues on Friday starting at 6:00 pm. The Tree Festival is on Saturday in the Cultural Plaza with presentations in the Library, a must see event here in the little City of Lake Worth. See you there!

This Sunday - It's time for breakfast!

What is going on at Channel 12 (WPEC)?

On Sunday, January 11th, this happened at a house here in Lake Worth:

You can read the story I posted on Sunday, January 11th, promoting the Channel 12 segment that was going to air, but for some reason never did. Some speculate that Channel 12 came to do a negative story on Lake Worth (a family becoming homeless), however when the story took a positive spin, neighbors helping neighbors...that didn't fit well with the narrative Channel 12 is spinning on the City of Lake Worth. At least one can guess this is the reason.

Serge Jerome is a candidate for Lake Worth District Two, true. But there was no reason to mention that in the story. Mr. Jerome was there as a citizen, not as a candidate.

Most of the people I talk to, when the subject of Channel 12 comes up, are completely disgusted. Who can forget this one from Mr. Balderas?:
Or this one from Kathleen Walter:
The Kathleen Walter story was particularly offensive because several Lake Worth residents pleaded with her to do a good story on our City but she chose to chase the 'Satan Invocation' issue instead, on the day preceding the Lake Worth holiday parade. 

If you see a news van or a reporter from Channel 12 in Lake Worth, approach them and ask for a business card. Get the name of the reporter, ask the cameraman if the reporter avoids you. Ask them why they're in Lake Worth and take pictures. Remember, this is YOUR city, not theirs.

Lake Okeechobee water level is rising

The Lake Okeechobee water level is nearly 15'. Christine Stapleton from the Palm Beach Post has this report:
The Army Corps of Engineer opened the spillway gates at the St. Lucie Lock & Dam today to lower levels of runoff from the St. Lucie Canal.

Although the releases mean polluted water will again be dumped into the St. Lucie Estuary, which was damaged in 2013 by releases caused by heavy rains, no water is currently being dumped from Lake Okeechobee in the canal or estuary at this time.

The lake now stands at 14.98 feet, nearly a foot higher than this time last year.
As the lake rises, so does the Corps’ concern for the aging, earthen dike around the lake and the safety of communities on the lake’s shore.
The water level of Lake Okeechobee is of great concern to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Lake Okeechobee is not a natural lake. The lake was formed by the Herbert Hoover Dike

Lloyds of London, one of the oldest and most respected insurers, issued this report about the Herbert Hoover Dike. 

From the report:
In their Expert Review Panel Report, prepared for the South Florida Water Management District in 2006, Bromwell, Dean and Vick describe the basic problem facing the dyke to be “simple”. They say:

“Certain geologic formations that underlie the dyke, and portions of the material that comprise it, bear a striking resemblance to Swiss cheese. Laced with interconnected voids and open channels, not only do these materials conduct large flows of water, they also admit sand and silt-sized soil particles that comprise the bulk of the dyke and its foundation. In a process of unstable feedback called internal erosion or piping, this seepage causes more particles to be removed, which in turn causes more seepage. Eventually, either excessive water pressures cause the dyke slopes to fail, or the dyke simply collapses from the net effect of particle removal one grain at a time. Herbert Hoover Dike has narrowly escaped failure from this process on several occasions and we suspect that its condition may be worsening.
And it is also important to note that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will not certify the Herbert Hoover Dike. 

“The dike is much safer today than it was 10 years ago,” replied Mr. Burch [Scott Burch, chief of the Geotech Branch in Jacksonville District’s Engineering Division], but he added that there is still approximately 120 miles of the dike wall that is not safe should the water levels become high enough. “We are in a better position, but there are still risks that we need to prepare for,” he said.

Marcos Montes de Oca, public works director for the city of Belle Glade, questioned that even though the dike may be safer, FEMA has not certified it. 
Lt. Col. Greco stated that FEMA will not certify the dike until all of the work is completed. Mr. Scott added that the Corps is trying to work with Washington to certify the areas that are completed instead of waiting for the entire 143-mile project’s completion.
If the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers decides that water releases are necessary, then I trust they have the information to make that call. If it comes to risking the failure of the Herbert Hoover Dike or releasing water into the estuaries, then the dike obviously takes precedence. Water releases are the responsibility of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Not many people would want Lieutenant Colonel Thomas M. Greco's job.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Ron Paul, the Libertarians, and Our "Constitution Lady" in Lake Worth, FL! Let Freedom Ring...


Click here for a review of the delicious drink, Mr. Nice Guy

And speaking about people taking the bus, check out this dog.

Click here for the NPR story.

This isn't new, by the way. I posted this a year or so ago about the dogs that ride the Moscow subway system.

Problems in Greenfield, CA

Listen here to KRKC radio report on the Greenfield city commission voting against letting their police chief, Adele Fresé, work for their neighboring city, King City, on a temporary basis. For many years Greenfield has had to deal with the police chief issue and conducted a long nation-wide search for a chief of their own. The Greenfield city commission is understandably upset about this, King City has already announced the deal, and the Greenfield city commission said, "Not so fast!" What role did the Greenfield city manager, Susan Stanton, have in all this? This story will not be going away. Stay tuned.

What's your source for science? Do you question your sources?

In today's Palm Beach Post editorial section is a Commentary by Tom Harris of the International Climate Science Coalition (ICSC). From the ICSC Mission Statement:
The ICSC is a non-partisan group of independent scientists, economists and energy and policy experts who are working to promote better understanding of climate science and policy worldwide.
Mr. Tom Harris' commentary is thought provoking and the Palm Beach Post deserves kudos for publishing it. Here in Florida we're all-too-familiar with the 'science' of emotion and hype.

Here from the Commentary by Mr. Tom Harris from the ICSC:
Particularly misleading [in Climate science] is an error called “affirming the consequent.”

It works like this: “If my theory is true, then a logical consequence of that theory is that X should turn green. X does turn green. Hence my theory is true.” This is a deductive logical fallacy. Something unrelated to your theory could have caused X to turn green.

The belief that scientists discover truths, or as the United Nations often puts it, conclusions that are “unequivocal”, should be publicly refuted by intellectuals. Truth applies to mathematics but never to our findings about nature, which are merely educated opinions based on scientists’ interpretations of observations. Since observations always have some degree of uncertainty, they cannot prove anything true.
It may also be that intellectuals judge that acceptance of a particular point of view about the causes of climate change will encourage outcomes they support. Those who back nuclear power, alternative energy, pollution reduction, conservation, increased foreign aid, and social justice may therefore chose [sic] to not highlight the problems in the arguments of climate activists. Similarly, intellectuals who support the expanded use of hydrocarbon fuels to provide abundant, inexpensive electricity may elect to keep their opinions to themselves if they notice logical errors committed by skeptics.

But this is a slippery slope. If the aggressive and often irrational climate change debate is an indication of where we are headed concerning science-based public policy decisions, then we are in big trouble indeed.
Keep your mind open. Be skeptical of anyone who claims to have all the answers.

This is a great idea - putting our elected leaders on a bus...

But they are not going out of county. They are actually going to experience Palm Beach County's public transportation in real time, together. Read about a "rolling retreat" by members of the Palm Beach Metropolitan Planning Organization this Thursday, from the Post's Joe Capozzi: 
Trains, trolleys and buses will make up the unique setting Thursday for a rolling field trip by elected officials who serve on a Palm Beach County transportation board.

The 19 members of the Palm Beach Metropolitan Planning Organization usually meet every month in a conference room on the 12th floor of the county Government Center in downtown West Palm Beach.

But their next meeting will be a “rolling retreat” that will start at the Tri-Rail station in downtown West Palm Beach and continue to Boca Raton and Delray Beach with rides on shuttles, buses and trollies.

No votes or formal action will be taken. “It’s just an opportunity for them to experience the (county’s transportation) system,’’ said Nick Uhren, the MPO’s executive director.

“It’s not a retreat in the sense where we will even have discussion shaping future policies. It’s more of a field trip to give board members an opportunity to have this experience and let this experience guide their future conversations about transportation items.’’
Our Lake Worth Mayor Pam Triolo is a member of our MPO as is Shanon Materio (Lake Worth business owner and West Palm Beach Commissioner).

You must have heard about the ex-Miami Dolphin who swam to shore last week...

John Walters at Newsweek Online has this to say about former-Miami Dolphin Rob Konrad's "extraordinary" physical feat of survival:
Several aspects of [Rob] Konrad’s adventure merit closer scrutiny. First, while the waters off the coast of Broward and Palm Beach Counties are relatively warm thanks both to latitude and the Gulf Stream, Wednesday night [1/7/15] was one of the coldest nights of the year in the area, with water temperatures hovering at roughly 70 (comfortable for a brief, but not extended, period of time). Second, why was he fishing alone? Third, if Konrad did survive 16 hours in the ocean before making landfall some 33 miles north of where his voyage began, how far offshore was he when he, as one official from the Fish and Wildlife Commission put it, “allegedly fell from the boat?”
"[Rob Konrad swam in] an area that has the highest incidence of reported shark attacks world-wide the past decade-- during one of the coldest nights of the year.

Even if Konrad did swim back to shore, how was he able to avoid a debilitating bout of hypothermia? Is his a story of Unbroken-like perseverance, or is there something fishy about this Dolphin’s tale?"
The important thing here is Rob Konrad is alive and well. We all wish him the best. One of the comments on the Newsweek article by John Waters did make a lot of sense. You decide:

Michael Hankins of Lake Charles, Louisiana wrote:
These are definitely legitimate questions. I'm not saying Konrad is a liar though. Perhaps he thought he was nine miles away and really he was two. There can be other explanations but there is no way the story being told is correct. This guy did not swim 9 miles in open water with a side current, no guide, no nutrition, and no wetsuit. There's only a handful of people on earth that could have a chance at surviving that.

PBSO and police service in Lake Worth

[This post from Sunday 1/11 has generated a considerable amount of traffic. Thank you, dear readers, for your support. For others who missed this post, another opportunity to understand how PBSO came to be our provider for police service in our little City of Lake Worth; please read the following:]

Lake Worth has many new residents, many who are unfamiliar when Lake Worth had its own police department. Here is a recollection of those terrible days when gangs ruled the city (Sun-Sentinel article from April 2013) about events in 2007, right here in Lake Worth, before PBSO:
Military-style assault weapons. A trail of bodies. Illegal drug trade. Street warfare. These were Palm Beach County's darkest days of gang violence, and it all returned in a courtroom drama Thursday.

It took six years for the major gangland murder trial to get underway, but the first two hours showcased what will be a fight for justice.

The prosecutor told jurors the case is about a 2007 massacre in a Lake Worth back yard, with AK-47-toting, masked hitmen carrying out revenge killings. She says there's DNA evidence, surveillance videos and a prison confession to implicate defendant Charlie Wyne, 28, as one of the shooters.
Lake Worth's crime rate improved under the service of Ric Bradshaw and the PBSO. I am gathering data that will demonstrate that and will share it when it is put together. But back in 2011, there were some who disagreed and wanted to reinstate the Lake Worth Police Department. Susan Stanton, the former Lake Worth city manager, went so far as to commission the Willdan Study to end the PBSO contract with the City. Here is what our current Vice Mayor Scott Maxwell had to say as reported by Willie Howard at the Palm Beach Post at the time: 
Commissioner Scott Maxwell, who voted against the study in January, said he will continue to support the sheriff's contract because the sheriff's District 14 office has helped reduce gangs and the crime rate in Lake Worth.

"The PBSO is the best thing that's happened to Lake Worth since sunshine," Maxwell said. "I'm not going to take the sunshine away."
In the Willdan report, there were clues that the city's effort at the time wasn't the smartest of things to do:

PBSO, and our PBSO Captain Silva, have had a stabilizing effect on our city and our ability to move forward. And the PBSO critics will grudgingly admit that. So in order to rid the City of the Sheriff they have taken a different approach: "we can't afford PBSO". For instance, the "other blog" is devoted to discrediting the PBSO and all their efforts, focusing on the cost while ignoring the benefits.
“Those who don't know history are doomed to repeat it.” --Edmund Burke
PBSO has tremendous support within the City, while understanding this service comes with a cost. But with that cost comes a better quality of life, and really provides the foundation upon which the city's future success can occur. Negotiation regarding the cost of service in Lake Worth is possible. Remember, had we kept our own police force, its budget would be increasing over time, with the same or less level of service as before.

When you read another blog and read about "all the crime" in Lake Worth understand this is a concerted effort to undermine our PBSO, the deputies, and our District 14 PBSO Captain Silva. But you need to also consider this, tourists and visitors like warm weather, and so do criminals. This time of year there is always an uptick in criminal activity and this is not just a Lake Worth problem, this is a Florida problem and has always has been. There will always be the headline-grabbing incidents and tragedies and those should not be minimized. But perspective and a hard look at the facts must be done to understand the big picture as it relates to crime in general.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Car burglary video from last night...Lock your Doors to House and Vehicle!

These two videos were taken last night on 13th Ave. North and North Palmway. They show a guy just helping himself to the contents of an UNLOCKED vehicle and then just moving on down the block to the next UNLOCKED vehicle.

Credit goes to our College Park neighbor, KC Pickett, for sharing these with the College Park Neighborhood Association.

[CPNA] Martin Luther King Day Events in Lake Worth

From our Friends on the MLK Committee, The City of Lake Worth, The LW Interfaith Network and the LW Kiwanis:

MLK Day Celebration Unites Lake Worth

Lake Worth will honor the transformative power of Martin Luther King Jr’s dream, January 18th and 19th under the theme, United We Continue To Serve.
The commemoration will begin with the performance of Ebony Embers - Vignettes of the Harlem Renaissance on Sunday, January 18th at 3 PM at St. Andrews Episcopal Church (Lucerne Avenue and Palmway). The dramatic work for actor and trio (cello, piano & percussion) celebrating the lives of the great African-American poets, Langston Hughes, Countee Cullen and Claude McKay as seen through the eyes of the great muralist and painter Aaron Douglas. The musical score includes works by jazz giants Duke Ellington, Jelly Roll Morton, Billy Strayhorn, Thelonius Monk and Charles Mingus. Admission is free.

On Monday, January 19, St. Andrews Lutheran Church, 10th Avenue South and E Street, will host the Unity Interfaith Breakfast from 7:30 – 9 AM. Food is provided by donation and is free to the public. The program will feature music and prayers from twelve diverse faith traditions, including Jewish, Christian, Hindu, Muslim and Bahá’í representatives.

The highlight of the day will be the 21st annual Candlelight March through downtown Lake Worth. Participants will gather at 5 PM at City Hall and parade down Lake Avenue to the MLK “Ball” Memorial. A brief commemorative program at the Memorial will recognize the progress that the City of Lake Worth has made over its 100 year history toward fulfillment of Dr. King’s dream of equal opportunity for all.

Following the March, a Fellowship Dinner will be enjoyed at First Baptist Church. The church is located at Second Ave. South and M Street, just a block south of the Memorial. Light entertainment is planned. The free dinner will provide an opportunity for warm fellowship across religious and racial lines in the spirit of Dr. King. Sponsoring religious and civic organizations will provide the food and beverages. Members of the general public are invited to help with the dinner preparations which will begin at First Baptist at 4 PM or to contribute a dessert.

Dr. King’s Dream encompassed the hopes and dreams of all Americans. Members of every racial, religious and ethnic group in Palm Beach County are invited to join Lake Worth residents in their celebration of the diversity of our community.

All events are free of charge to the public, sponsored by the City of Lake Worth, Kiwanis Club, Lake Worth Interfaith Network and the Lake Worth MLK Committee.

From the NAPC - A special Evening on the Avenues Front Porch this Friday 1/16

The Lake Worth NAPC, Neighborhood Association Presidents' Council, announces a Special Evening on the NAPC Front Porch to honor and show our appreciation to Lake Worth First Responders, PBSO District 14 and Palm Beach County Fire Rescue, Stations 91 and 93. The event will take place during the Evening on the Avenue event, Friday, January 16th in the Cultural Plaza in downtown Lake Worth from 6 to 10PM. 

The NAPC “Front Porch” is 10ft by 20ft tent set up at Evening on the Avenues on the first and third Fridays of every month as a place for neighbors and visitors to Lake Worth to relax, play board games and find out about all the Lake Worth Neighborhood Associations. For Friday’s special event, the “Front Porch” will host representatives from PBSO and PBCFR who will share information and answer questions about all the community based services each agency offers our residents. Neighbors will learn how to start a Crime Watch in their own neighborhoods, see demonstrations on life safety techniques like CPR, injury prevention, first aid, fire prevention and much more. As always, fresh popcorn and hot chocolate will also be available.

To honor our First Responders, the NAPC “Front Porch” will be specially lit with blue lights on Friday night. Blue front porch lights will be available for neighbors to take home to show their appreciation as we encourage everyone to light their own front porches in blue for the rest of January. We will offer a Statement of Appreciation to representatives from PBSO and Fire Rescue from the stage at 8:30 pm followed by a special First Responders Appreciation cake, of course lit with blue candles, for everyone in the Plaza to share.

Everyone is most cordially invited to join with the NAPC as we celebrate the great partnerships and effective collaborations we enjoy with our Lake Worth First Responders. Entertainment for this Evening on the Avenue includes the fabulous 80’s tribute band, “On The Roxx” as well as intermission entertainment by the very popular Mel and Vinnie duo who will perform their Lake Worth anthem, “Feels Like Home To Me” as part of our Appreciation Ceremony. You won’t want to miss this opportunity to learn about all the many ways that PBSO and Palm Beach County Fire Rescue stand ready to assist us as we all work together to make Lake Worth the place we can always be proud to call our home.

West Palm Beach is one of the "Queerest Cities in America" in 2015

The Advocate lists their top "Queerest" cities in America and West Palm Beach is number 3, between Lansing, Michigan (number 4) and Atlanta, Georgia (number 2). Dayton, Ohio was number one on the list.

In the review The Advocate mentions the restaurant Table 26 and other places of interest in West Palm Beach. Lake Worth (West Palm's tiny neighbor to the South), of course, is a very tolerant city and has a vibrant gay community. Lake Worth has an openly gay city commissioner and is home to the Compass Gay & Lesbian Community Center. Our annual Pridefest (March 28/29 this year) attracts visitors from all over the world.

Good news for West Palm Beach, you see, its also very good news for us in Lake Worth. I was born in Lansing, Michigan.

Og Mandino

"I will love the light for it shows me the way, yet I will endure the darkness because it shows me the stars."

Lake Worth Art League will be moving to the Beach Complex! Join us February 7th and 8th from 9:30AM-4:30PM!

More changes to Greenfield, CA police force

More good news for our little City of Lake Worth in our big Palm Beach County

Jeff Ostrowski in the Post's Real Time blog writes this: 
Palm Beach County was the most improved metro area in the Milken Institute’s annual Best-Performing Cities report, moving up to No. 70 in 2014 from No. 163 in 2013.
“Housing is the story behind the largest gains in the 2014 ranking,” the report said. “Metros that experienced the biggest collapse in housing markets during the Great Recession have seen stabilization and some degree of recovery over the past several years. Florida and California, where the housing bust hit hardest, had the most metros in the list of biggest gainers.”
This is the Executive Summary from the Milken Institute report
The most dynamic U.S. metros hold the secrets to economic success: the crucial factors that help them thrive, grow, and prosper. Our annual Best-Performing Cities report delivers a fact–based, comprehensive evaluation system across metropolitan areas that relies upon job, wage, and technology trends shaping current and prospective pathways.
Out of all the 38 municipalities in Palm Beach County, the City of Lake Worth suffered terribly during the Great Recession. Now Lake Worth has what everyone wants, affordable housing and affordable lots, access to water from public land, historic charm and a vibrant downtown scene. Eight hundred people are moving to Florida, it is estimated, each and every day. We should be welcoming them to repopulate our community, the little City of Lake Worth.

Public's help needed in the January 9th Lake Worth murder of Woodley Erilas

Click title for link. This was the death, now considered a murder, of the man's body that was found on North H Street, near 10 Avenue North. An award is being offered for information leading to the arrest of those responsible.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Ladies and gentlemen, watch your condiments!

City Commission final approval of the Villages of Lake Osborne project from 1/6/15

Beware! This is the time of year for scams...

It is being reported that some people in our community received calls from someone identifying themselves as being from the utility company. The message they are getting is that if they don't pay their bill, right now, over the phone, that their utilities will be shut off. Almost all the people called are current with their utility bill. However, some people have paid these callers in the past. DO NOT DO THAT! Hang up and try to retrieve the number they were calling from. With that information, call the PBSO non-emergency number found in the right-hand column of this blog and give them the date and time of the call, and any other information that could lead to the identification of the perpetrators.

This is happening in other communities around the nation. Please be careful with your personal financial information, especially when and if someone is calling you.