Saturday, January 31, 2015

From Robert E. Waples II... (and we've been led to believe crime is QUITE the issue over there!):

Dear Neighbors that live near the CSX Tracks that runs along I-95

As you know, the CSX Railroad through Lake Worth is a Quite [sic] Zone and it has not been QUITE [sic] in a while. Tripp [Cioci] and Jennifer [Marchal-Cioci] worked very hard to get this done however the conductors of the trains just don't seem to get it.

Here are a couple of tools we need YOU our neighbors to help us with. One log down the day, date, time. that you hear the horns blowing...Not just one here or one there but every time.

You can call CSX at: 1-800-232-0144 AND report it to the FRA (Federal Railway Administration) at this site anonymous or type your information if you want feed back [sic]....We strongly suggest typing in your information but understand if you want to stay Anonymous. The link is:

The last thing the FRA wants is to do a lot more paperwork because the conductor on the CSX track don't know when to not "TOOT" their horns and "TOOT" us the heck off.

Please share this information in your email lists, Facebook Pages and any other means that will get our residents and adjoining neighborhoods to make enough noise that we get this corrected.

Also for those who live near the FEC which runs through the Middle of Lake Worth we strongly urge you to keep the FRA link very handy and to our knowledge you are not a designated quite [sic] zone.....

Many Thanks!

Award winning short on what it's like to have a bike in Cuba

The art of re"cycling" abounds on the island nation. Bikes are a critical part of their transportation infrastructure. But, like the cars there, most are remnants of the 1950s. Creativity rules the day to keep a bike on the road.

Discovered this news on the Walkable West Palm blog

Pass this news on to your neighbors and friends interested in transportation policy in Florida. Maybe we can carpool down from the West Palm Beach/Lake Worth metropolitan area? From the Walkable West Palm blog:

Mark your calendar: Florida Transportation Visioning Regional Forum, Thursday, February 5th in Delray Beach

What is a "crime" and what is an "offense"? Should an offense be on a Crime Blotter?

What exactly is a crime and an offense? Here are the definitions from
Definition of a Crime: "an action or an instance of negligence that is deemed injurious to the public welfare or morals or to the interests of the state and that is legally prohibited."
Definition of an Offense: "a violation or breaking of a social or moral rule; transgression; sin." Also, "something that offends or displeases.
So, as you can see, there is quite a difference between a 'crime' and an 'offense'.

Now read these following that were actually published in the Lake Worth Tribune "Lake Worth CRIME BLOTTER" on Friday, January 30th:

"CHILD OUTSIDE: A deputy went to a home in Lake Worth where it was reported that a young child had been seen wandering outside along [sic], sometimes near the road, and that the mother sometimes drinks. The deputy found the child well cared for and the home clean."

"MISSING BOYFRIEND: A man living on South L Street reported his boyfriend, Corey, missing. Also missing is the man's car and car keys."

"MISSING KID: Two grandparents living on 12th Avenue South reported their grandson missing. They said they believed he had run away, as he has run away before."

"VEHICLE BREAK-IN: A man who'd LEFT HIS CAR RUNNING [emphasis added] on the 700 block of Washington Ave. came outside to find two young females in the car. He pulled them out and they ran west on Washington Ave."

"VEHICLE BURGLARY: A couple told deputies that a purse was stolen [...] The doors of the vehicle had been left unlocked."

If Ms. Margaret Menge wanted to do a true community service, do stories warning people to lock their cars. Note that Menge's "blotter" takes up half the page in her paper:
Note how unusually large the type is for a printed paper; note the coin penny for reference:
Why would the editor of this paper include so many items in her "Crime Blotter" that aren't crimes and then feature the 'blotter' so prominently on the second page? You can draw your own conclusions. It seems to me Ms. Menge is doing a great disservice to our community by inflating the perception of crime in our city. At least 6, possibly more, of the "crimes" Ms. Menge lists ARE NOT CRIMES. Then why include them in the Lake Worth CRIME BLOTTER? 

I can't wait to see her coverage of the naked "sniper" on the roof. We'll have to wait until next week for that one.

In Margaret Menge's "House Editorial" this week, she starts off with the line, "I'm in the business of telling the truth." After reading her "crime blotter" it makes you wonder how she defines the word 'Truth'. Quite loosely one would think. 

And we are still celebrating Jon Faust Day as you should to. His handsome mug takes up just about half the editorial and letters to the editor page.

Our Neighborhood Association Presidents' Council (NAPC) and Our Lake Worth Street Painting Festival

From the NAPC: The 21st Annual Street Painting Festival!

The NAPC Neighborhoods are once again stepping up to serve the Street Painting Festival by volunteering at the beer stations. All the tips will go to the Associations to support their efforts throughout the community. To volunteer for your neighborhood, please contact Marshall Pass at

Volunteers are also needed throughout the Festival. To help out in other ways, please call (561) 585-0003 or visit the Street Painting Festival website to sign up.

Set Up Team: Tables/Chairs/Soda Sites/Artist Template Pick up
Volunteer Headquarters: Register incoming volunteers
VIP Tent: Welcome guests/answer questions/keep inventory full
Artist Oasis: Man the artist tent/distribute chalk/maintain refreshment inventory
Children's Area: Assist in the smooth operation of children's art area/distribute chalk/provide for children's needs
Programs/Street Monitors: Distribute programs/assist guests with questions and administer guest surveys
Merchandise: Promote and sell Festival T-Shirts

Office space in West Palm Beach, a looming problem

From Jeff Ostrowski at the Palm Beach Post with a big problem in West Palm Beach (if only our little City of Lake Worth had these kind of problems):
Financial executive Euclid Walker would love to see more office space downtown. He moved his company, Parkway Investment Management, from Chicago to West Palm Beach’s Phillips Point complex. He’s seeking more space for his expanding firm, but he said the search for a bigger office has grown frustrating.

“We started looking for larger space just a few months ago,” Walker said this week during an event hosted by the Business Development Board of Palm Beach County. “The buildings we liked, where there was space available a year ago, there’s none available.”

An improving economy means West Palm Beach’s three trophy towers — CityPlace Tower, Esperante Corporate Center and Phillips Point have 990,000 square feet among them — are nearly full. Just how full is a matter for debate. Commercial real estate research firm CoStar counts more than 140,000 square feet available at those three addresses.

But Kelly Smallridge, head of the Business Development Board of Palm Beach County, said only small chunks of space are open.

“There’s not really a whole lot of any size,” Smallridge said. “You can find 2,000 square feet, but that’s not really what our end goal is.”

Friday, January 30, 2015

From the Tom McGow archives: the "faces" of Lynn Anderson

Tom McGow was a blogger in Lake Worth some would like very much to forget. Tom was extremely talented and much of his work transcends mere satire. 

Some things never change. Read about how Lynn Anderson harassed a hard-working Haitian man in 2009. And the recent post Lynn Anderson posted, then deleted, from her blog about a current candidate for office, Serge Jerome Jr

And then there's this, from PBSO

On 1/30/15, at approximately 1215 hours, District 14 units responded to the 1700 block of S, Federal Hwy. in reference to a male armed with a hand gun on a roof top yelling that someone was trying to kill him.  Upon arrival deputies heard a gunshot and saw the subject on the roof top.  He stated that he wanted to die and made requests for family members to respond.  Units immediately secured the area and requested SWAT to respond.  After several hours of negotiating, the subject gave up and was taken into custody.  He was charged with possession of a firearm by convicted felon and discharging a firearm in public.  Case cleared by arrest.

Sergeant Ole Olsen, ID# 3367
District 14, Field Training Sergeant

How Margaret Menge's "free" papers are getting delivered

I engaged an enterprising young lady today as she walked down Columbia Drive. In her box were a stack of rolled and rubber-banded editions of the Lake Worth Tribune. She said she saw it advertised on Craigslist and found the ad (above). Cash business!
The young lady was very friendly and said there was another person delivering papers on the other side of College Park (east of Federal). The young lady appeared to be about 16 years old. Margaret Menge, of course, is very keen about "all the crime" in our little City of Lake Worth. 

If crime is such a concern for Margaret Menge why would she let a very young lady walk all by herself, all alone, up to unfamiliar doors and no one to help her if something goes wrongIs Margaret Menge unaware of the buddy system or is that option too expensive? Margaret Menge should contact PBSO and see if they think this is an acceptable risk for a young lady. I think we all know what the answer to that would be.

If you think this is unacceptable and irresponsible you can call Margaret Menge at 561-586-6643. We don't want to see one of Ms. Menge's delivery people in next week's Lake Worth Crime Blotter.

Hurrah, Hurrah! These kids deserve more that 10 pennies per paper, Margaret!

At 10 pennies per paper placed at the front door you would need 100 deliveries to make $10 (or 1.67 PDPM [papers delivered per minute]). This is how the FREE Lake Worth Tribune is distributed by Margaret Menge ("Editor/Publisher") in Lake Worth.

- Are these kids being paid in cash for their PDPM's? Or 1099?
- Do they have to fold and rubber-band their own papers? (This added labor involved would lower the PDPM, no?)
- Is there a bonus program for excellence in PDPM's?

Friday, February 6th - Daddy/Daughter - Mother/Son Date Night - Casino Ballroom

From Commissioner Amoroso's email bag...Good people in Lake Worth

Commissioner Amoroso:

I would like to pass along this bit of spot news from the streets of Lake Worth.

After standing in line to use the ATM at the Wells Fargo Bank on Dixie Highway just north of Lucerene, I withdrew my bank card and hurried off. I was thinking of what I was going to do next and forgot to wait for my cash.

A young, black man (about 16 years old) called out to me and handed me the $60 I had withdrawn.

I thanked him and handed him $5 as a reward.

I just wanted you to know there are some really nice, respectable people on the streets of your city. I really appreciated his honesty.

Willie Howard
West Palm Beach  

Everglades EarthFirst!, protests, and how did religion get involved in all this?

Everglades EarthFirst! (EEF) is having another protest in Palm Beach Gardens today at 4:30. Maybe. For some reason I am getting "protest" alerts sent to my phone. Here is how the alert looks from Tuesday Gilliam on my phone: 
I get this information sent to me by Tuesday Gilliam from FlockNote. Does FlockNote know that an ecoterrorism group, EarthFirst, is using a religion-based site to promote their protests? With arrests and civil disobedience? Here are two excerpts from the FlockNote homepage:
Many churches actually double their # of contacts in just a few minutes on a single Sunday using Flocknote.
We love supporting small ministries and making it easy for any church to give us a whirl!
In the last message sent by EEF's Tuesday Gilliam on FlockNote was a video. Here is a quote from the video:


Then the video has a list of names and addresses. Is that a threat? Is Tuesday Gilliam and EEF sending a message? Is EEF threatening violence? Are they trying to intimidate law-abiding companies and citizens? 

I would be curious to know if the people who started FlockNote envisioned people like Panagioti Tsolkas and Tuesday Gilliam using FlockNote to organize protests instead of filling church pews with "the Faithful". Doubt it. 

EEF is having a protest today at 4:30. Hallejulah and God Bless. It does confirm that this group resembles a cult in many ways: manner of dress, charismatic leaders (although clearly horizontal, like the Earth itself ), obedience training, and a strict adherence to an ideology based on accepted "truths".

Entire video series from last Tuesday's Lake Worth City Commission workshop on infrastructure financing...

Part Six of the Infrastructure Workshop from Tuesday night (1/27)

This is the last of the series. There will be a playlist of all the segments. Great pre-Super Bowl viewing this weekend! More discussion on the distinction between a special assessment and a general obligation bond. Commissioner McVoy starts acting out at about the 10:30 mark in the video. He is pretending that he, and the people he answers to, haven't been told the whole truth about an assessment being possible. He also wanted someway beyond the 75 word limitation in the referendum language to tie the city to future actions. There seemed to be nothing that ultimately gave that assurance. And, just a reminder, the meeting went on a little bit longer than this, but the SD disk was full and so recording had to stop. I left soon after this. If there is anything else to add and you were there, please comment below.

A real doozy of a "Correction" in the Palm Beach Post

One of the hazards of print publishing is once that paper goes out the door, that's it. There's no going back. Joel Engelhardt is a true journalist, a professional in a field of a dwindling number. However, even professionals like Joel Engelhardt aren't immune to an error now and then. Mr. Englehardt made an error in Wednesday's paper, 1/28/15; the Palm Beach Post and Mr. Engelhardt were quick to offer a "Correction".

Imagine the surprise when Shannon LaRoque, an Assistant County Administrator read this in Wednesday's paper:
" 'The city was being proactive by recognizing that a comprehensive condition assessment needs to be done on that plant [East Central Regional Sewer plant] so we move from being reactive instead of proactive, [Shannon] LaRocque said."
I can see Ms. LaRocque at her breakfast nook reading that Wednesday morning article in the Post and spitting out her morning muffin and coffee halfway across the house. Obviously, this was an error and the Palm Beach Post was quick to correct it. Here is what Ms. Shannon LaRoque actually said, that the Palm Beach Post corrected in the next day's print edition:
" 'The city was being proactive by recognizing that a comprehensive condition assessment needs to be done on that plant so we move from being reactive to proactive [Shannon LaRocque said]."
For those of you needing a primer: here is the definition of "proactive" according to

Adjective: serving to prepare for, intervene in, or control an expected occurrence or situation, especially a negative or difficult one; anticipatory

Everyone, Ms. Shannon LaRoque especially, appreciates the swift correction. And to the family of Herminio Padilla Jr., his passing was a terrible tragedy. My condolences to your family.

Part Five of the Infrastructure Workshop from Tuesday night (1/27)

Discussion revolves around the differences between special assessments and general obligation bonds to finance infrastructure projects. It also touches on interest rates (low, one recent issue for the city was under 3%). City Manager Bornstein warns of a difficult budget season and the need to track that process as it evolves. Possible relief from the general fund to fund infrastructure projects is nil. There are other comments from residents. He also makes the point that the largest general fund money source is taxes from non-homesteaded residential properties (rental properties make up 57 percent of the units in Lake Worth). Distinctions between local and county/state roads are discussed along with grant possibilities.

What did Lauren Hills do that has Katie McGiveron and Lynn Anderson so hopping mad?

Here is a Channel 12's news segment from Monday, January 26th. Click title for link. The news story by Lauren Hills was very fair and straightforward, or so it would seem. I watched the segment three times and cannot find what has Katie McGiveron and Lynn Anderson so upset with Ms. Hills.

City Manager Michael Bornstein is interviewed by Lauren Hills and he comes across as very informative and highly knowledgeable: which he is, of course.

I challenge my readers to watch the segment by Lauren Hills and explain the "wringing-of-hands" and angst by McGiveron and Anderson, over what seems to be a fair news report.

The other odd thing is this: if you went to the Channel 12 website to watch the video by Lauren Hills the LINK IS NOT THERE. You have to go to the searchbar and type in "Lake Worth Michael Bornstein", for example.

Why is that? Isn't that odd? Anyhow, thank you Ms. Hills for the fair and balanced news story on our infrastructure debate here in our little City of Lake Worth.

PBSO gives details on two vehcile rollover crash on Dixie Highway this week

This is what our Vehicle Homicide Investigations Unit discovered while investigation the fatal crash that occurred on the 16th Ave. North and Dixie Highway, Lake Worth. 


Thursday, January 29, 2015

For things to do this weekend, free and open to the public

From AnnaMaria's blog for all things fun to do with your family and friends. And while you're out and about check out the new Lake Worth Visitor Center!

Ethics Training for elected officials - New requirements

Getting the training and continuing education you need has never been easier! You may be aware of the new state law requiring all elected municipal officers to receive four (4) hours of ethics-specific training. FLC University is offering the state-required Continuing Education in Ethics at NO COST to members.

This law went into on effect January 1, 2015, and no prior training will be counted. Only training taken after January 1 and within the calendar year will count toward the requirement. FLC University will be providing both online and in-person courses to meet the requirement. 
There will be no charge to attend if the individual is an elected official of an FLC-member municipality. The law specifies that the four hours be taught with these components:
» Two hours of Florida Ethics Law (Chapter 112, Florida Statutes)
» One hour of Open Meetings (Chapter 286, Florida Statutes)
» One hour of Open Records (Chapter 119, Florida Statutes) 
Every local league (and city if they are not in a local league) will have the opportunity to schedule a regional workshop that offers the hours of ethics-specific training now required for each city official under Chapter 112. 3142, Florida Statutes. The way that this will be documented is there will be, as of January 2016, a box on the municipal (Form 1) financial disclosure filing document that indicates the continuing education has been completed.
It will be the responsibility of the municipal officer (includes elected clerks, police chiefs) to keep records on the completion of these courses. 
If a person is elected for the first time in the first months of the year, they have until 2016 to complete the continuing education. The FLC is not the only provider of this training, but we do want to make sure that all our members have the opportunity to receive this information free of charge either locally or at the annual and legislative conferences.

We are planning on holding as many of these courses throughout the state as requested. We are partnering with the Local and Regional Leagues to provide the events at no cost to members, and are also planning to make this training available via webinars in March. 
Upcoming Regional Workshops (click on location desired)
February 7 - Winter Haven
February 11 - Port St. Lucie
February 26 - Crestview
March 13 - Lake County
March 16 - Tallahassee
April 23 - Panama City Beach
April 29 - Vero Beach
May 21 - Winter Park
June 17 - Lake Worth 
In conjunction with the John Scott Dailey Institute of Government, the League also offers online continuing education in ethics for local elected officials throughout the year.

For more information about continuing education in ethics, contact Carol Westmoreland at or (850) 701-3608.

Rollover crash report on Dixie Hwy from PBSO

From yesterday:
District 14 deputies responded to the area of 16th Avenue North and North Dixie Highway to a report of a rollover crash.  Upon arriving deputies and EMS personnel located two vehicles and several persons in distress.  Due to the nature of the impact PBSO Vehicle Homicide Investigators were called to the scene to investigate.  It was later learned that one of the passengers involved expired at St Mary’s hospital due to the injuries.  Three others involved had minor injuries and are expected to recover.  Criminal charges are pending further investigation.

Sgt. Steven J. Venetucci #9176

From last night's Fundraiser for the John Szerdi Re-Election Campaign at the EcoCentre

February 10th is election day in Ft. Lauderdale

On February 10th is election day in Ft. Lauderdale and Mayor Jack Seiler is a likely shoe-in. However, that isn't stopping some from trying to defeat him:
With Fort Lauderdale's mayoral election just days away on February 10, Jack Seiler is looking to likely retain his seat. But coming off a time when his popularity has taken a serious hit -- particularly with the city's handling of the homeless ordinance -- Seiler might be vulnerable to a takedown.

On Saturday, one of the groups that has clashed with Seiler over the homeless laws will be holding a Fort Lauderdale Rally for Change at Bubier Park.
The rally, which is also being billed as a "Vote Out Mayor Seiler" assemblage, is expected to have at least one of the mayor's challengers as a guest speaker.

Jillian Pim of Food Not Bombs tells New Times that all candidates have been invited to speak and offer up their campaign promises. Seiler was invited as well. "Seiler turned down the offer to appear through an assistant," Pim says. "But all have been invited."
In November of last year, Jillian Pim did an interview with the New Times which included a video about her hunger strike at home. (A hunger strike while incarcerated in one thing; isn't a hunger strike at home really an extreme diet?) At the 28-second mark on the video is an EarthFirst! Journal poster. EarthFirst! has their headquarters in Lake Worth, of course. A connection? Maybe.

Anyhow, Mayor Jack Seiler was interviewed on Rick Sanchez' radio show and he clearly blames "outside agitators" for the upheaval in his city of Ft. Lauderdale.

A map to find our Cultural Plaza? City Hall? City Annex? E.R. Bradley's? Don't use this one!

[UPDATE 1/30/15: Margaret Menge's map is still wrong! After 3 editions? Read yesterdays update below and original article.]

[Tomorrow (1/30/15) is the big day for Margaret Menge. Will the errors on her map be fixed? The full page map at the back page of her paper? This was originally published on 1/21 so she's had a full week to fix the errors. From my article last week:]

Margaret Menge is the editor and self-proclaimed top 'journalist' for the Lake Worth Tribune. As such she, or anyone in that position, is responsible for every article, photo and map she publishes. If the first edition is a reflection of the editions to follow, it is clear that the need for another community newspaper is questionable. The leading front page article was baseless, her crime blotter was littered with errors, her 'personal story' laced with embellishments and obfuscations (Do we really need to know all about what happened in Cornwall, NY and Key West, FL? Maybe we do!). I would have loved to attend Dennis Dorsey's Holiday party on December 27th. Tell us what went on there! Were people there communicating in colloquial Latin?

And we find the map of the little City of Lake Worth, a community she has "come to know well" also wrong.

The readers of my blog are very detail-oriented. The image below was submitted by a gentle reader and is from the last page of Margaret Menge's Tribune. This is a photo of the 'legend' by Alex Hall that Ms. Menge approved for publishing:
Note: Black box = Cultural Plaza; A = City Hall; C = City Hall Annex.
Here is an image of what was published in the Tribune, approved by Tribune editor Margaret Menge:
If you were a tourist and using this map how would you locate the Cultural Plaza? You wouldn't be able to. The 'A' which shows where City Hall is, isn't City Hall, this is the Cultural Plaza. The 'C' isn't the City Hall Annex, this is City Hall. The 'black box' indicating the location of the Cultural Plaza? There is no 'black box' on the map. The type is so small for both letters, that one almost needs a microscope to discern that there is even a letter in these places. Suggestion here: Lake Worth has a concentration of business and public places within the downtown. Perhaps a "pull out", magnified detail section of just the downtown would be a better idea? Then one just has to be mindful of the details.
E.R. Bradley's Beach Club located at "17th Ave N."? Huh? No South Dixie Hwy? One single page and 12 errors. On one single page approved by the paper's editor.  These were being distributed at our lovely, new Community Information Center in the City Hall Annex, itself mislabeled on the map. Woe to the tourist who tries to interpret such a thing.

Domine, ut videam? Lord, let us see if we really need another newspaper in Lake Worth. Let us see who and how this new organ of "information" came to be. Let us see the finances. Let us see the reason.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Commissioner John Szerdi fundraiser TONIGHT at the EcoCentre...

RSVP me and I will forward your expected attendance to the Commissioner Szerdi campaign for re-election to District 4 in Lake Worth. Contact me on Twitter: @WesBlackman or email:

Political advertisement paid for and approved by John Szerdi, non-partisan for City Commissioner

Some pics from the infrastructure meeting last night...

Commissioner (District 4) John Szerdi speaking. (Left: Commissioner Andy Amoroso)
City Manager Michael Bornstein (standing, in bow-tie) with maps of city where infrastructure repairs are necessary.
Lake Worth Mayor Pam Triolo with Vice Mayor Scott Maxwell (far left) and all other city commissioners present.
Crowd shot of meeting. Phil Materio, of McMow Art Glass on Dixie Highway, standing with arm raised with question.

"Fire crotch" strikes again!

This person, who happens to have a truck driver's vocabulary (nothing against truck drivers here), thought that the meeting was "premature." So why would a meeting be "premature" on an item that has been discussed for almost 2 and a half years. After complaining about how the city hasn't listened to them up until now, it may not be the best idea to turn down the opportunity once it is given. Newsflash: This particular person spoke early during the meeting and did not "vomit" at the podium. She did say that the meeting was "nice" but "unnecessary." The $800,000 that was to be used by the various district commissioners, would actually have paid for direct improvements to this person's neighborhood, as they desired. I guess that was lost in translation.

This person also wore a McVoy t-shirt to the meeting.

Fourth in the series of videos from last night's infrastructure meeting.

In this one, Joe Egly, former City Commissioner, makes his way to the podium to share his thoughts, as does Tammy Pansa. Then the conversation goes back to the Mayor and the Commission, along with the city's legal and financing experts that they brought in for the meeting. They react to some of the comments and the ideas raised by those who spoke.

Margaret Menge and Hearsay: What is News and What is Not News

My personal favorite on-line dictionary is Here is how this on-line dictionary defines "hearsay":
1. unverified, unofficial information gained or acquired from another and not part of one's direct knowledge:
I pay no attention to hearsay.
2. an item of idle or unverified information or gossip; rumor:
a malicious hearsay.
Synonyms [of "hearsay"]
1. talk, scuttlebutt, babble, tittle-tattle.
Note that 'hearsay' is not 'journalism'. Here is the title of an article published in 2006, titled "Presidential Hearsay" and our 'Tribune editor', Margaret Menge is an important character in this story of hearsay. From the article:
Does gubernatorial front-runner Eliot Spitzer already have his eye on the White House?

Publicly, he's always said, "No." But, the word is, he recently confided his ambitions to, of all people, St. Luke's Cornwall Hospital CEO Allan Atzrott.

Both U.S. News & World Report magazine and the New York Daily News last week carried items about the supposed exchange that read like dispatches from the telephone game.

According to the publications, Spitzer told Atzrott that he would like to be "the first Jewish president." Atzrott then told Cornwall Local Editor Margaret Menge, who told U.S. News & World Report, where she used to work as a researcher.

When asked about it via e-mail, Atzrott's reply was brief. "Not true!" the hospital executive wrote. He did not respond to repeated requests for clarification.

Menge, however, stood by her story. She said Atzrott told her the tale, then repeated it as he related a conversation he'd had with Spitzer in an Albany cafeteria.

"(Atzrott's) probably not happy it's in there," Menge said. "But he said it."
How do we know Allan Atzrott said what really happened in this incident? How can we judge his credibility, or that of the reporter's? We don't and we can't. So it comes down to a matter of 'who do I believe'? Do you trust Allan E. Atzrott, Vice Chair of Greater New York Hospital Association or do you believe the 'journalist'?

Note that Margaret Menge, as far as we know, is not working for The Palm Beach Post, The Sun Sentinel, The Tampa Bay Times or The Miami Herald. Margaret Menge's last journalism job was with "a terrible little newspaper" in Key West, Florida, according to her Letter from the Editor in the paper's "Premiere Issue." Too much information, methinks. She is now editor of the burgeoning new, free weekly Lake Worth newspaper and exercising her journalistic skills in our little town.

Consider this: The first issue of this new newspaper was released on an unsuspecting public on January 16th. This happens to be only 53 days before a municipal election in Lake Worth. More questions than answers here.

First of the video series from last night's meeting at Compass regarding infrastructure funding...

I will be posting these throughout the day and ultimately putting together a playlist. There are two limiting factors to my recordings. One is the space available on my 32 GB disk and the other is the life of the battery. Last night, it was the disk size that held me back, but I was still able to get most of the meeting. It was conducted in a unique way in that people were not limited by the usual 2 minute rule. It was a way for the Commission to solicit as many ideas as possible to address the city's acknowledged precarious infrastructure conditions. I would say that at the peak, there might have been 80 or so people there. Experts that the city uses related to financing and legalities thereof were there and added to the discussion toward the end of the meeting.

The ironic thing is that some comments made at the meeting indicated that some thought this meeting was premature, others thought that it was a long time coming. This will lead to a future meeting, or meetings, about laying out alternatives. One idea that seemed to catch hold was some sort of hybrid assessment (based upon property characteristics) and a traditional general obligation bond. A surprise idea was considering the sale of the golf course, or other city assets.

Second video of series from last night's meeting on infrastructure...

Third video in series from last night's infrastructure meeting...

This was generally the end of the public comment period, but comments were still taken from the public after this point in the meeting as cards were submitted.

Part 3 of the Genesis Meeting held 1/26/15 at 6 p.m.: St. Andrews Lutheran Church

This third video brings former Commissioner Retha Lowe to the podium to discuss the history of neighborhood associations in the southwest part of the city and the expansion of the Genesis area. She also talks about the need for traffic calming in the area.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

For Immediate Release from the Lake Worth CRA --

Lake Worth, FL; January 27, 2015 – The Lake Worth Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) is thrilled to announce that our agency was recently awarded a $10,000 grant from the Walter & Adi Blum Foundation. The CRA applied for this grant to further enhance the Tropical Ridge Fitness Park located at 211 North ‘H’ Street in downtown Lake Worth. Funding from the Walter & Adi Blum Foundation will specifically be used to install an irrigation system, new landscaping and benches at the park.

This grant will enable the Agency to fulfill a promise made to the neighborhood that included the development of park space for adults and children. Parks offer residents a quantifiable range of advantages including quality of life, neighborhood vitality and economic benefits. The CRA believes that unstructured, child-directed play has been proven to help kids develop physically, socially and cognitively, yet today’s kids have less time and fewer opportunities to play than any previous generation.

Three years ago, the Tropical Ridge Fitness Park was nothing more than a vacant, City-owned lot located on the 200 block of North ‘H’ Street. However, the CRA Board and Staff, along with their numerous community partners, realized that this lot had the potential to become an ideal pocket park for the residents living in the surrounding neighborhood. 

In November 2012, the CRA, the Trust for Public Land, and the Palm Beach County School District, opened the first phase of the park by installing a new ‘fitness zone’ at this location. This outdoor fitness zone consisted of nine pieces of workout equipment which are free for the public to use. The second phase of development at this park happened in April 2014 and consisted of a new children’s playground. The playground project was made possible thanks to grants and participation from KaBOOM! Inc., Cannatelli Builders Inc., the Dr. Pepper/Snapple Group, Keep Palm Beach County Beautiful, Publix, Habitat for Humanity and Community Partners of Palm Beach County. The CRA anticipates the new improvements funded by The Blum Foundation to begin later this year.

Part 1 of the Genesis Meeting held 1/26/15 at 6 p.m.: St. Andrews Lutheran Church

I will put the series of videos in a playlist so that you can watch the meeting in its entirety. But for expediency, I am posting them as I review them. This is an index by minute mark of the general content of the meeting.

Beginning: Invocation and Pledge of Allegiance

2:45 - Jamie Brown, Public Services Director, gives a talk on the status of road projects in the area, noting that 10th Avenue South, just outside the church, was completed through to A Street. He also said that, based upon community meetings, 7th Avenue South is being redesigned from a two way road, to a one-way road west, along with a meandering walkway. This will be coming back to the Commission for review. He distributed waste collection fliers and took questions regarding condominium waste collection rules, the reason for the bollards on some of the east/west roads in the neighborhood and the functional life of roads. He said that a new asphalt road is designed to last 20 years. His presentation concludes at the 12:45 minute mark.

14:10 PBSO Report. Deputy reports that two major incidents happened in the area within the past 30 days. One was a shooting on the railroad tracks and another was a high speed auto accident on D Street that scattered debris over three residential lots. There have been four residential burglaries, four vehicle burglaries, three stolen cars within the same period in the same area. He reminded people about the importance of locking doors to cars and keeping valuables out of sight or take them inside, do not leave them in your vehicle. He also talks about the difficulty seeing people at night and how sneaky perpetrators can be. He says that the sheriff can respond within 30 seconds if there are no priority calls ahead of the call. He encouraged people to call the non-emergency number (right hand column) for suspicious activity. He also talks about the difficulty deputies have with anonymous calls and how noise complaints and barking dog calls are challenging to resolve.

There is a general crowd shot (360 degrees) at the 26 minute mark if you are interested in the number of people and who attended. There were few residents from the area in relation to the size of the group there last night.

The sheriff deputy continues to the end of the video.

Part 2 of the Genesis Meeting held 1/26/15 at 6 p.m.: St. Andrews Lutheran Church

This is the second part of the video from last night's meeting. The sheriff deputy continues his talk and wraps up at the end of the video. In this segment, the deputy responds to questions from the audience related to drug dealing. He says that much of the work there is done by undercover officers and care is taken that what is done is within a legal framework that eventually leads to the arrest of dealers. The deputy says that most burglaries are prevented or solved with citizen input and information.

At the 4:20 mark, discussion turns to sober houses, their prevalence and what can be done, if anything, about them and that goes to the end of the video.

From Delray Beach, a murder threat on Facebook lands suspect in jail

From Adam Sacasa at the Sun Sentinel, not exactly the kinds of things you want to read on Facebook:
Delray Beach man is in jail after posting on Facebook that he wanted an officer dead, according to Delray Beach police.

Clinton Evans, 40, posted to the social media site on Jan. 14 and said in all caps, that an officer, who he said was harassing his family, needed to die. He also included a photo of the officer's car parked outside of his home.

Evans accused the officer of trying to intimidate his family by parking next to and across the street from his family's home

Three days before that post, police said Evans made another post, complaining about the officer's behavior, saying the officer had pointed a gun at children having dinner.

That post had what appeared to be a photo of the officer, taken from a video of a Dec. 27 melee on the 800 block of Southwest Third Court. That's where residents started arguing with officers and blocking officers from arresting Evans.

Two Briger protesters arrested after refusing to leave WPB office

Click title for link to the report of the protest yesterday. This is how it was reported on Channel 12 at noon. I don't think this did much to advance their cause, other than to draw attention to themselves. No word as yet if batteries were used at this protest.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Are Margaret Menge's benefactors raising the white flag? Signaling defeat?

The ink on the 2nd edition is barely dry and Lynn Anderson labels The Lake Worth Tribune "sunrise-sunset". 
Also note that Lynn Anderson deleted The Lake Worth Tribune Latin line under the masthead: Domine, ut videam (Lord, that I might see). Appropriate to erase as Margaret Menge only sees what she wants to see: 
Ignorantia est beatitudo [Latin: "Ignorance is bliss"]

Tonight: Meet the Candidates! Genesis' Neighborhood Association meeting

Genesis' neighborhood association quarterly meeting is tonight at St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church, 928 South E Street, Lake Worth. The meeting will commence at 6:00 PM.

Try to be there on time to hear the invocation by Pastor Serge Jerome. After the Pledge of Allegiance by Mark Anthony Parilla (Genesis President), a presentation will be given by Jamie Brown, the Lake Worth Public Services Director.

Following several interesting agenda items, towards the end of the meeting, you will meet the incumbents and candidates running for Commissioner of Districts #2 and #4. Each will have five (5) minutes to address the community. There will be a Q & A after the completion of the Genesis NA agenda.

See you there. And try to be on time for the invocation by Pastor Serge Jerome.

'Editor/journalist' taking a Lake Worth resident "out of context" and twisting "tone" of story

Margaret Menge's 2nd Edition of her 'newspaper' came out on Friday (1/23/15) and it is, being kind, sort of a mess. Typos, missing text, inaccurate leaders, a "Correction" (already!) to the 1st Edition, and now a Lake Worth resident, Dina Clingman-Bell, who was "taken out of context" to identify just a few missteps. Margaret Menge's newspaper is only 8 pages but I need a staff to keep on top of this amateurish effort from a purported professional. One can only imagine a Charter School, proposed by Ms. Menge, specializing in the Classics and how that would be run on a day-to-day basis.

On January 16, Margaret Menge, in her story about the house fire at 313 North Palmway, deceptively quoted Dina Clingman-Bell and took her observations out of context. Anyone who has participated in an emergency situation knows how these settings are fluid and change in seconds. However, Margaret Menge had the opportunity to besmirch Lake Worth Fire Rescue and she did so with zeal. Ms. Menge wrote this on 1/16/15, taking Dina Clingman-Bell (North Palmway resident, immediate neighbor to the south of fire location) out of context:

Ms. Menge reported Dina Clingman-Bell saying: " 'Why isn't this [the existence of a gas-powered generator] something the fire department knows immediately?' asked the neighbor, Dina Bell. She [Dina Clingman-Bell] says she watched as the firefighters got the fire under control, and then saw it reignite again and flames shoot into the air [...]".

To Ms. Dina Clingman-Bell's credit she wrote a "Letter to the Editor [Margaret Menge]" on Ms. Menge's "out of context" and "negative" portrayal of the events of the house-fire on January 9th on the 300 block of North Palmway:

Ms. Dina Clingman-Bell wrote:
I do feel some of the article [by Margaret Menge] may be taken out of context. The affected home and ours are less than 10 feet apart. The brave men and women, of the thirteen fire crews responding, persistently not only battled the blaze at 313 against many odds, but also managed to protect our home and I am certain, many others, as well.
Ms. Dina Clingman-Bell ended her "Letter to the Editor" with this:
Any reference to the negative [by journalist/editor Margaret Menge] was certainly not implied by me personally.
Here is what Margaret Menge wrote about her last real journalism job: "I was a deputy editor of a terrible [emphasis added] little newspaper there [in Key West], a job that tied me down to an ugly office in a strip mall next to a Ross store. And that's all I have to say about Key West". I guess this is the sort of job you get when no one else will hire you, unless you want someone to distort the truth prior to an election in a small town. This seems to be this editor's niche.

Everglades EarthFirst!ers (EEF) storm offices of Kolter! Arrests and appeals for bail money shortly

From Tuesday Gilliam, spokeswoman for EEF, comes this BREAKING NEWS:
West Palm Beach, FL: Two activists with Everglades Earth First! have just locked their necks together with bicycle u-locks inside the 701 S. Olive Avenue offices of Kolter Group's "Kolter Urban" division after a group of more than twenty people stormed the building with signs, banners, air-horns and other noisemakers, demanding that the permits for Kolter's development of the Briger Forest be revoked.

The group opposes Kolter's plans to build 360 houses and townhomes in the Briger Forest, a 681-acre tract of land that runs along Donald Ross Blvd. and I-95. The protestors claim that the developers are working off deeply flawed permits and have cleared a massive access road which was never approved by South Florida Water Management District. They are also concerned about the recent relocation of the area's gopher tortoises and the destruction of the tortoise's burrows, which provide habitat for several other species, including the endangered Eastern indigo snake.
It appears the folks at EEF are getting clever and learning from mistakes. Last night Ms. Gilliam sent out a newsflash at 10:00 about a protest in Palm Beach Gardens. I reported on it last night. At 10:00 this morning Ms. Gilliam reports on a protest and arrests at 701 S. Olive in West Palm Beach! For some odd reason I am on their list of contacts. Hmmmm. Was this news release by Ms. Gilliam misdirection? Trying to throw off the authorities?

This is the link to the Channel 12 report of the incident. It is on-going.

What do Lynn Anderson, Katie, Dennis Dorsey,...

...Dan Liftman, Drew Martin, Jennifer Marchal, and Christopher McVoy all have in common? Dee McNamara! Here is an email Dee McNamara sent out slandering District 2 Candidate Serge Jerome. I blacked out innocent names and everyone's email addresses:
I can forward the email to anyone who requests it; just give me a valid reason. Here is the text from the email by Dee McNamara:
Dr.McVoy is a responsible, moral scientist, not a belle Glade car mechanic, who has to preach what people want to hear to hustle money out of them.Belle Glade may be the perfect education ground for primitive liars,hustlers,con artists.I have the privilege,good fortune, of not knowing it.
I prefer the highest Academic level of education for our Commission positions with extensive knowledge of our City and its' Municipal Laws.
Only his inferiro , would smear his name with the usual lies.
Liars are dangerous,toxic elements..

Dr Christopher McVoy(Phd.Cornell and M.S., F.U., is South Florida Watermanagement District Environmental Scientist (not environmentalist, educated people know the difference, primitives don't.).
I think it goes to Dee McNamara's state of mind when she refers to Mr. Serge Jerome, a successful Haitian-American, as a "primitive". Tomorrow night you can watch for yourself as this "primitive" Mr. Serge Jerome gives the invocation at the Genesis Neighborhood Association meeting. I wonder if the people Dee McNamara communicated with agree with the thinking of Dee McNamara? If they are willing to stand up against it, which is what most honorable people should do, they should do so in a meaningful way. Silence equals complicity. That includes you Larry.

Makes you wonder doesn't it?

Sunday, January 25, 2015


From Tuesday Lee Gilliam, Everglades EarthFirst! spokeswoman: press release at 9:51 PM TONIGHT!!!!! PROTEST TOMORROW IN PALM BEACH GARDENS. 

Most Everglades EarthFirst!ers don't stir out of bed until noon on a busy day. But to rally them out of bed at 05:00 or 05:30? On a Monday? 




Lake Worth District #4 Commissioner John Szerdi on a neighborhood cleanup

From last night's Paella Party at "Lady Grace": Fundraiser for the Cottages of Lake Worth

Everyone that came out (70+ people) seemed to have a good time at the Paella Party fundraiser for the Cottages of Lake Worth. Thanks go out to Regina Miller who graciously hosted the event and showed off her historic cottage that is part of the Old Lucerne historic district, shown in purple below.
Portion of Historic District Map from the City of Lake Worth
This is one of six historic districts within the city. Its southern boundary darts in and out north of Lucerne, generally between Lakeside Drive and Federal Hwy, and ending at 7th Avenue North.

Prior to the party, Ms. Miller shared an early photo of the house which appears below.
And here is a photo of how the building and property look today:
The city's designation report for the district says that the house was originally built in 1925. The Property Appraiser's website indicates 1932 as the year of construction. You could make a case for either for this frame vernacular building. It was built from available, generally local materials by the owner or a contractor. This particular example shows the decorative raftertails and brackets under a deep eave. There are also elements of the bungalow style, clearly seen in the older picture. You can see some of that detail here:
In the older picture, you can clearly see the gable on the south end of the house. There was an addition constructed in the late 40s and early 50s that extended the first floor of the house and expanded the second floor. Either then, or sometime before, the original sleeping porch on the east side of the building was weatherproofed and closed-in. This is common with many of the city's historic structures, particularly cottages. Most were originally designed with open air porches. Over time, especially with the advent of air conditioning, many of these were closed in. Back in the day, an eastern porch was preferred for sleeping as it caught the ocean breeze and kept the occupants comfortable during our subtropical nights.

Most of our collection of cottages show this adaptation over time to add more living space or a garage for the car, as the automobile became more predominant during the 20th century.

So, "Lady Grace", as the current owner lovingly refers to her house is indeed a survivor. Last night I wondered what other events and family gatherings happened over the 90 year history of this cottage and the yard. Here is a description by the current owner of some of the recent trials the house has experienced:
I like to refer to her as Lady Grace as she has faced head strong the many storms straight off the intracoastal. Most recently, Francine, Jeanie and Wilma left her for demolition with sinking foundations gaping holes from roof to first floor. But even then she emanated a charming architectural character that couldn’t be refused and was restored in 2008.
Renovations included new engineering to the foundation by lifting first and second floor joists and re-roofing the front half of the house. Also the rebuild of the caved in s/e side that left nothing to tie the roof in. She further received a new configuration to the upstairs master bed room, then the kitchen, and bathroom to allow for a laundry room. Although all the original wood flooring in the home could not be saved, the modern finishes created more flow throughout and enhanced her inner beauty. By the will of man, Lady Grace prominently withstands tests of time as with many of Lake Worth's historical homes. I am blessed to be her keeper in a most beautiful neighborhood. 

Violations of the SPJ Code of Ethics: More Yellow Journalism by Margaret Menge

Ethical lapses abound in the latest issue of our new "rag" in town and we will get to those in a minute. Let's examine one of her latest 'articles' as a background. On Friday, January 23rd, the latest issue of her free Lake Worth newspaper, Ms. Menge writes a story titled, "Townhouses Are Back!" This is written not in the tone of welcoming the possibility of new investment and quality housing in an underutilized area of the city, in and around the downtown, and on the city's edge. It is more written in a tone as if a new scourge had descended on a city unprepared.

Here is how Ms. Menge describes the location of one townhomes project that was approved: 
"They'll be built on land north of Wayne Akers Ford, just across the water from Lake Clarke Shores, west of Detroit Street."
It would have been much more clear to readers to write, "off 10th Ave North behind Wayne Akers Ford", would it not? To be clear, here is a city-produced map with labels added to show the location of the Townhouses to be built:
On January 7th, at the Lake Worth Planning & Zoning board meeting, as reported by Margaret Menge "A woman" and "the woman" was there at the meeting. Here is the video of the Lake Worth 1/7/15 P&Z meeting. I haven't watched the video yet but you can. Did "the woman" and "a woman" speak at this public meeting? Margaret Menge didn't indicate in her article that "the woman" requested anonymity. Then why not give the name of this "woman", Ms. Menge? That is a standard requirement of anyone providing testimony or comment on items being reviewed by a board. The chair says something like, "Please state your name and address for the record." Most comply. Some notable people leave out their address number, like the ones that stand up and say they are so-and-so from "North Lakeside Drive" or "Lake Osborne Drive." Those are the exceptions. Even still, they speak and one has a sense of where they reside.
Here is what Margaret Menge reported "A woman" said in her news story:
"A woman who attended the meeting, whose backyard will be looking across the water at the townhomes, disagreed.
     "You cannot get through. Its just total gridlock," she ["the woman"] said of traffic on 10th Avenue North."
Here is where Margaret Menge's "the woman" resides:
The unidentified, anonymous "woman" Margaret Menge references (a Will-o'the-wisp?) lives in one of six houses in Lake Clarke Shores. How would one deduce this? There are only six houses in Lake Clarke Shores that have backyards "looking across the water at the townhomes". Here are those six houses on East Mediterranean Road in Lake Clarke Shores (courtesy of the Palm Beach County Property Appraisers website):
The strangest thing is, unless Margaret Menge's "woman" has a boat or a zipline over the canal, she is completely unaffected by what happens across the canal, in another municipality. Look at the map above! Margaret Menge's "the woman" would need a GPS device, and a working knowledge of same, to get her from Mediterranean Road in Lake Clarke Shores to 10th Ave. North. Margaret Menge couldn't find one single Lake Worth resident upset about these townhomes? So she includes anonymous testimony just because.

In response to Margaret Menge's "A woman" our Lake Worth Sustainability Director, William Waters outlined how, "It will get better" due to infrastructure upgrades. Then Margaret Menge quoted 'the woman' saying, "I lived in Miami and they said that too". Hmmm, Margaret Menge, could that be considered Advocacy? Or is it Commentary? Either way, Margaret Menge, what "the woman" said is NOT NEWS. And Miami is a big place. Who is "they" and what was "that" which they said? And how can we interpolate whether whoever said what applies in this instance? Are we just to read between the lines and know?

By including that ONE LINE Margaret Menge, by an anonymous source, a self-described reporter/editor/journalist discredits themselves and any professional integrity they may have. 

Margaret Menge violates these 4 codes in the long-standing Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) Code of Ethics:

1: Consider sources’ motives before promising anonymity. Reserve anonymity for sources who may face danger, retribution or other harm, and have information that cannot be obtained elsewhere. Explain why anonymity was granted.

2: Identify sources clearly. The public is entitled to as much information as possible to judge the reliability and motivations of sources.

3: Provide context. Take special care not to misrepresent or oversimplify in promoting, previewing or summarizing a story.

4: Label advocacy and commentary.

And consider this my Dear Fellow Citizens in Lake Worth:

Margaret Menge is publishing a newspaper. She is paying for an office and at least two staff members. She has bills to pay.
She is not charging for advertising.

Question: In full disclosure shouldn't a journalist disclose who is paying for this venture? 

Or are rules for other people?