Saturday, March 14, 2015

[RE-POST] Mary Lindsey—special assignment—the Red Cross Designer's Show House in Lake Worth

[In case you missed this, a post from yesterday getting quite a bit of attention on my blog:]

Make no mistake, the Red Cross Designer's Show House is a very big deal for the City of Lake Worth. This years Red Cross Show House is Lake Worth's own 'Birthday Cake Castle' located at 1 Fifth Ave South directly south of Bryant Park.

The Lake Worth Herald is doing a series (over three weeks) about the Lake Worth historic structure originally christened La Florentia. Check back here for excerpts from Mary Lindsey's piece on the designers, artists, and decorators that make up this magnificent exhibit here in our City. Here are some excerpts from the article in The Lake Worth Herald:
     In 2013, the people of Lake Worth took a big deep breath, blew out the candles celebrating their first 100 years and made great big wishes for the next. One of those Centennial wishes has come true and how fitting that the place where that wish has come true is our own Lake Worth Birthday Cake Castle. Christened “La Florentia”, this home is now known and loved as the Birthday Cake Castle with the two tiered pink icing draped cake with four candles and three balloons stained glass window hanging in the grand stairwell north window. La Florentia was built to be a Mediterranean classic in 1925 by Sherman Childs, but came to be the beloved “Birthday Cake Castle” in 1954 when then owner, Upton Close gave the home to his wife, Margaret Fretter Nye for her birthday. This magnificent structure has long held a special place in the hearts of this City who hold history, beauty and sentiment dear. The very land upon which the Birthday Cake Castle rests was originally deeded to Samuel and Fannie James, long recognized among the founders of the early settlement known as Jewell and now The City of Lake Worth.
And about the Indoor Loggia by Todd Haas:
     The aquatics of the adjoining sunroom, or Indoor Loggia by Todd Haas from West Palm Beach will capture your imagination and drag you deep under waves of more splendid blue than you ever knew. Thousands of crystals on the lamps and chandeliers bubble up and play with light flowing ever in from the east while impossibly blue orchids float on glass and Lucite tables, ascend the walls and bob on the surface of the ceiling high above. The antique chairs gilded in gold and tossed here and there took me right to Dave’s luxurious suite in the final scenes of 2001 – A Space Odyssey.
The Indoor Loggia, photo courtesy of The Lake Worth Herald.
Again, check back later for more excerpts from Mary's special assignment in The Lake Worth Herald. And, as always, thank you for visiting my Lake Worth blog.

More non-crime in Margaret Menge's CRIME BLOTTER—How could this happen?

A Crime Blotter is much different than an Incident Blotter. A Crime Blotter lists crime and an Incident Blotter lists incidents such as fires, open container violations, and noise complaints, for example.

Week after week Ms. Menge in her Lake Worth Tribune includes non-crimes in her Crime Blotter and one can only speculate why. Is it to fill space? Use creative writing skills to manipulate one into believing a crime was committed? Who knows. Here are two more non-crimes in Ms. Menges Crime Blotter and pay particular attention to the second one below:
Fire: Police responded to the 200 block of North B Street for a report of a fire. The apartments were evacuated. The cause of the fire was found to be a pot that was left on a stove. No foul play was suspected. [emphasis added]
No crime here. Here's another one:
Missing Kid: A grandfather told police that he'd picked his grandson up from Lake Worth High School and dropped him off at home on the 1700 block of 12th Avenue South, but that when he arrived home that evening, he was gone and could not be located. The grandson was described as a white mail [sic, s/b "male"], 6'2".
Again, no crime here. Including this incident in a Crime Blotter is misleading and shouldn't have gotten past the editor. Not that this incident doesn't deserve mention in the paper; it just doesn't merit a mention in a Crime Blotter.

And at 6'2" tall that makes for one really big "Kid"—"Missing Young Man" would be more accurate. On February 27th (Vol.1/Issue 7) Ms. Menge didn't publish a Crime Blotter in her paper at all and that inspired this:
Tomorrow: Editor Behaving Badly. How could it go unmentioned that the vote for the Invitation to Negotiate (ITN) was unanimous, including Commissioner McVoy? Check back tomorrow.

Timothy Hullihan asks: "So, Why are We Expanding the [Florida] Turnpike?"

Timothy Hullihan (architect and freelance writer) questions why the Florida Turnpike in Palm Beach County needs to be widened. Following is the opening paragraphs on his blog:
     FDOT’s recent announcement of their plans to expand Florida’s Turnpike in Palm Beach County brought to mind something my father often said, “Bigness is the problem.” When agencies grow too large, they function like massive cruise ships – great at moving forward, but so poor at changing course they need tug boats to help them.
     FDOT needs help changing course, or Florida will not capture much of the job creation that will happen in the next decade.
     The 1996 documentary Taken for a Ride (available on free on YouTube for educational use) explains how we became a car-centered culture. Today, most of us still spend hours each day behind the wheel as part of our daily routines. The roads we use are over-crowded, stressful places. The parking structures are mostly full, dehumanizing and inconvenient. Our vehicles are expensive to own and maintain, while contributing massively to air-pollution.
     You would think that we would be smarter than this.
I agree.

Some not happy with beach renourishment efforts in the Town of Palm Beach

Alesse Kopf at the Palm Beach Daily News (aka, The Shiny Sheet) has this story titled, "Some question quality of Midtown sand renourishment":
     “I have a report from an independent lab that says the sediment is much finer than what the consultant is saying,” said Root Trail resident Connie Gasque. “I think we’ve been lied to here.”
     Coastal engineer Karyn Erickson, a consultant for the Coalition to Save Our Shoreline, took sand samples from Reach 3 in late January and sent them to engineering firm Ardaman & Associates Inc. to test.
     The lab found that 93 percent of the sand directly discharged onto Reach 3 tested smaller than 0.18 mm, according to Erickson’s firm. About half of the dredged sand mixed with existing sand on the beach tested smaller than 0.25 mm, the mean grain size required through the state Department of Environmental Protection Beach Management Agreement.

Tomorrow—Parrot Cove Home Tour—Lake Worth, FL (Rain or Shine)

BizPac Review: "Florida city [Lake Worth] goes wing-nut commie on local churches"?

Here is a headline for a story posted by Nicole Haas at BizPac Review about the City of Lake Worth:

Florida city [Lake Worth] goes wing-nut commie on local churches

Here is the opening text from the 'story' in BizPac Review: "The city of Lake Worth, Florida has taken a cue from old-world Soviet Union tactics and sent an actual spy to investigate the inner workings of a local church."

Here is what readers of that 'news site' will never know: Pastor Olive of the Common Ground (no 's') Church paid his $160 "accessory use application" and the story is over. Pastor Olive and his Common Ground (no 's') Church had nothing to do with Lake Worth going "wing-nut commie".
Certainly CBS12/WPEC reporter Kathleen Walter will do an update on her story. She'll explain there was never a "license to pray" and answer the question, is there a "War On Religion?" in Lake Worth?

Pastor Mike Olive paid his $160 to the City of Lake Worth. The story is over.

Here is a letter from William Waters, Director to the Department of Community Sustainability to Pastor Mike Olive of the Common Ground (no 's') Church.

(Truth > Ignorance)

Friday, March 13, 2015

Tryouts coming up for Lake Worth Junior Lifeguard program

Contact Staff Chief Timothy Ehmke by email here. Note tryouts are on June 26th.

From Kim Miller: "Are homes on named streets more valuable than those on numbered?"

In the little City of Lake Worth most streets and avenues are either lettered or numbered. That makes it very easy to find a location but does the lack of a 'named' road affect a homes value? Don't think this is applicable to Lake Worth but Kim Miller at the Real Time blog has this story that might make you wonder:
     It may not seem like much, but living on Elm Street vs. 10th Street may make a significant difference in the value of your home. [emphasis added]
     In a Zillow study of single-family homes on named vs. numbered streets, the named streets came out the winner, having values as high as 33 percent more in some cities than their numbered counterparts.
     And it’s not just any name that packs a value wallop. In Florida, the most valuable homes are on Ocean and Gulf streets, while in Baltimore, it’s Riverside.
     “Like fossils buried under layers of sand, street names capture essential facts about the homes on their blocks,” write Zillow Chief Economist Stan Humphries and company CEO Spencer Rascoff, in their book “Zillow Talk: The New Rules of Real Estate.”
Wouldn't worry about any street or avenue name changes in the City of Lake Worth any time soon. We have a few other problems to fix first.

Population of Florida growing again—and they all want a nice place to call home

In a Letter to the Editor in The Palm Beach Post today was this, titled "County needs more east-west highways". From the letter:
     My family and I have been using Florida’s Turnpike (formerly the Sunshine State Parkway) since its opening in 1957. It is still the best way to get to Miami and Orlando from Lake Worth.
     I think it’s a great idea to expand the road, yet, at the same time, if we don’t get more east-west thoroughfares that can handle more traffic, it may be a waste (“State to widen turnpike to eight lanes in PBC”; Sunday).
[and . . .]
     My solution: Expand the turnpike and, at the same time, build a high-speed passenger rail along the turnpike and make it a 200-mph passenger train. Build east/west highways and rail lines to the airports and cruise ports on the coast to facilitate our tourist trade and local traffic.
One of the benefits of All Aboard Florida (AAF) using the existing Florida East Coast (FEC) right-of-way and the Coastal Link to come later linking all our coastal communities is reducing reliance on the automobile—increasing use of public transit, bikability, and walkability. Although certainly there are many people who agree the solution in the letter above is the correct one.

And this, how would people get to the high-speed train along the Turnpike? By automobile most likely. Each day it's estimated 800 people are moving to Florida, both permanently and seasonally. It's either "Westward Ho", "Eastward Ho", or some hybrid idea from both. Either way those 800 people each day are moving to Florida regardless of what planning happens to accommodate them.

More on the Red Cross Designer's Show House: the Lake Worth 'Birthday Cake Castle'

From a story by Christine Davis in the Palm Beach Daily News (aka, The Shiny Sheet), did you know:
     Owned by Scott Levine, La Florentia was originally built by Sherman Childs in 1925. But it received its birthday-cake nickname when past owner Upton Close gave the house to his wife, Margaret Fretter Nye, as a birthday present in 1954. Cakelike qualities include candle-like pillars, icing-like interior swirls of plaster and the stairwell’s famous stained-glass window featuring a cake with candles aglow.
     This year, more than 20 interior designers embellished the house, which offers 52 windows, an impressive stairway, a plethora of stained glass, carved-wood and silver-inlaid doors — and a bona fide turret rising three stories.
IF YOU GO [also from the article]:

What: American Red Cross Designers’ Show House, 1 Fifth Ave S., Lake Worth, benefiting the charity’s Palm Beach Treasure Coast Chapter. Offers self-guided tours of spaces decorated by multiple design firms, plus a boutique.

Open: Through April 4, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Mon.-Sat.; noon-4 p.m. Sun.

General admission: $35.

Information and tickets: Call 650-9133 or visit

From the City's website as of 9:00 a.m.: Special Commission Meeting—Monday, March 16th—-Certifying Election Results and Swearing In

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Rip Tide Hazard Through Saturday Morning: National Weather Service








Palm Beach County's "BizPac Review": City of Lake Worth "goes wingnut commie on local churches"

The BizPac Review website is in Palm Beach County, at least that's what it states:
Based in Palm Beach County, BizPac Review is a privately held, for-profit news and opinion website covering news that matters to conservatives throughout Florida and the United States.
Here is the headline from one of their recent stories:

"Florida city [Lake Worth] goes wing-nut commie on local churches"

Of course, this is more fallout from the ridiculous 'news story' about Pastor Mike Olive and his Common Ground (no 's') Church. 

Never imagined ever referring anyone to the Broward New Times for the correct version of events but the New Times' Ray Downs absolutely nails it. Here is an excerpt of what Ray Downs wrote yesterday, March 11:
     According to [Lake Worth City Manager Michael] Bornstein, the city's concerns are about "use and occupancy permits," [emphasis added] which makes sure buildings are in compliance with city fire and safety codes. Here's an excerpt from William Waters, director of Lake Worth's Department of Community Sustainability:
[You can read the entire letter by William Waters here.]
     Apparently, the City of Lake Worth doesn't trust the power of faith to make sure buildings don't fall down, which is pretty standard around the country, even in the Bible Belt.
Thank you, Ray Downs, for aiding in the effort to expose this non-story to the world, you're in good company. The online news/investigation site "The Raw Story" has over 2 million readers a month and they debunked the entire narrative by the Common Ground (no 's') Church.

Just wanted everyone to know that the pool was still there this morning...

Next years Florida presidential primary: big change

From John Kennedy at the Post on Politics blog:
     The state House approved the date Wednesday on a 114-0 vote, with the Senate likely to follow suit as early as next week.
     The date agreed-on is the first under national Republican Party rules that a winner-take-all primary could be set.
     It also could propel the candidacy of Bush, the former governor, or maybe Florida U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio – with both men looking like they’re in the presidential hunt.
     After two presidential cycles where Florida’s Republican leaders pushed the state into January primaries — and were slapped with penalties by national party leaders as a result – lawmakers now see a later date as carrying more weight.

Comprehensive list of activities in the little City of Lake Worth this weekend (most free)

If you're looking for something to do this weekend visit AnnaMaria's blog. As always there's always something going on in the little City of Lake Worth. If south Florida architecture and history interests you join us for the Parrot Cove Home Tour this Sunday. Forward this information and, as always, thank you for visiting my blog!

It's not just Lake O discharges polluting the Indian River Lagoon

Ben Walton of West Palm Beach has a letter published today in the Palm Beach Post today titled, "POINT OF VIEW: Human waste adds to pollution of lagoon". Many communities along the Indian River Lagoon (IRL) use septic systems to treat human waste. Mr. Walton points out that linking these communities to sewage-treatment systems, as in the Florida Keys, is an environmental effort in itself. Here are excerpts from the article:
     Tallahassee must decide how to spend the funds that Florida voters overwhelmingly said, last November, should go toward conservation efforts. When the choice is stated — as between infrastructure improvements and land acquisition — many environmental groups in Florida suggest that the choice is a “no-brainer.
     This is seen in the editorializing in favor of buying agricultural land to increase the flow of the Everglades’ water south. Proponents argue that this will help, for instance, the Indian River Lagoon (IRL). Stories about its degradation have become distressingly familiar.
[and. . .]
     There is an increasing body of science pointing the finger at discharges from the sky — that’s right, rain. With the vast majority of the residents in the IRL area flushing their household waste into septic tanks, that waste is pushed as shallow subsurface water into the lagoon with every heavy rainfall. [emphasis added]
     Nine pounds of nitrogen — per person, per year — is discharged into the IRL “headwaters,” so it’s not hard to imagine what is feeding the toxic algae blooms. That is what is driving those who argue that infrastructure improvements are an important use of these funds.
     The Florida Keys took this message and, in the 1980s, began replacing septic tanks with municipal sewage-treatment systems, and that project continues today.
[and. . .]
     So, the next time you hear someone blame everything on Lake Okeechobee discharges, without mentioning the effect of human sewage from septic tanks, take the time to educate them.

Left as a comment by anonymous under a recent post. Deserves more air time...

Lake Worth is not normal. In a normal city election, if an outwardly gay individual was running for office, he/she would have almost 100% of the gay community endorsing them.

This election was about politics. There is virtually no "right wing" in Lake Worth. So we are left with a super majority of liberal thinking people.

Of this group, you have main stream liberals and WAY to the left of them, we have the open borders people, the anti-police people, the raise chickens, goats and pigs in your back yard people, the protest any development and corporations at any cost, at any time, and at any price people, the keep Lake Worth poor and affordable for those who only live on government assistance and illegal aliens people, TWAC's, anarchists and communists.

In Lake Worth, the Palm Beach County Human Rights Council endorsed the straight guy over the gay guy. Who'd have thunk?

It is the far left group above who have made Lake Worth somewhat of a "world headquarters" for organizing and spreading their philosophy not through interaction with the community, but covertly and secretly undermining in ways that appear normal.

How did they get so many people out to vote for their candidates? Fear. It was and is a great motivator. "They are taking away your rights, your beach, your forest, your freedom, your house".

They talk about the lack of transparency and backroom deals of their opponent while doing a better job of concealing who they are and what they are planning. They enlist the Lynn Andersons, the Dennis Dorseys and Suzanne Squires' of the community. How bizarre, how bizarre.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Douglas Adams: English writer, humorist, dramatist (1952–2001)

“The fact that we live at the bottom of a deep gravity well, on the surface of a gas covered planet going around a nuclear fireball 90 million miles away and think this to be normal is obviously some indication of how skewed our perspective tends to be.”Douglas Adams

From the Lake Worth CRA: Help us fund movies in the Cultural Plaza!

Last Summer the LULA Lake Worth Arts Program received a grant from the Department of Cultural Affairs to project outdoor movies at the Cultural Plaza. The “Screen on the Green” events provided free movies that touched on arts and culture and encouraged residents and visitors to spend an evening in Downtown Lake Worth. This year we are trying a new approach to raise enough funding to bring Screen on the Green back to Lake Worth for the Summer of 2015. LULA Lake Worth Arts submitted a Screen on the Green Project to Power2Give. This is an online fundraising site that helps fund art and culture related projects.

We need your help and support to spread the word about Screen on the Green. Please use this link to help promote this funding request. We encourage you to email your friends and colleagues and post this project on all of your social media pages and web-sites. If every person participates in the effort, the more people will know about the positive impact our Foundation has on the community. Please help us make our 100% funded goal!

Check this out:
Click here for LULA information.

Reaction to yesterday's election results . . .

. . .will be forthcoming in a couple of days. I will put together my thoughts and reflections on the campaign and the election once a little time has passed. I sincerely wish the city of Lake Worth, Commissioner McVoy and Commissioner-elect Maier all of the best as they embark down our path to the future. The important thing to realize now that it is a shared path and one that we will travel together. Hopefully, it will be accomplished in a spirit of cooperation and with a look toward solutions to our problems—rather than just talking about what our problems are.

Check back in a few days and, as always, thank you for visiting my blog!


The City of Lake Worth gets featured twice by Barbara Marshall

Barbara Marshall at the Quick Pulse blog and her "10 fun things to do in Palm Beach County in March 2015"; and 2 of them are right here in the little City of Lake Worth! Here they are:
March 5-April 4: The area’s top interior designers have transformed a 1920’s Lake Worth mansion known as the “Birthday Cake Castle” into the Red Cross Designers’ Show House.
March 28-29: PrideFest of Lake Worth and The Palm Beaches proudly celebrates LGBT diversity at Lake Worth’s Bryant Park, sponsored by Compass.
Viva Lake Worth!

More news about baseball in the Sun Sentinel, "I don't think we should balk"

Andy Reid at the Sun Sentinel with baseball news in Palm Beach County; from the article titled, "Palm Beach County approves $5 million baseball stadium down payment":
     Palm Beach County's baseball stadium push got a $5 million boost Tuesday in the bid to lure two more Major League Baseball teams for spring training.
     The County Commission approved spending the initial $5 million of a $135 million proposal to build a stadium, even though a deal has yet to be finalized with the Houston Astros and Washington Nationals.
     The two teams have agreed to hold spring training in West Palm Beach, if the county and state will help pay for a new $135 million stadium. Yet, finalizing the deal still depends on the Florida Legislature agreeing to remove restrictions on the proposed stadium site.
     The teams are supposed to reimburse the county for the $5 million if the stadium deal fails. But county officials think they will get the state approval needed to seal the deal.
     "I don't think we should balk," County Commissioner Hal Valeche joked Tuesday [emphasis added] about approving the $5 million for the baseball deal.
It was great to see the City of West Palm Beach and the PBC Commission work so hard to make this happen. It's not an exaggeration to say this deal saved Spring Training baseball in southeast Florida.

In today's Palm Beach Post: AAF and FEC explain what they do and who they serve

All Aboard Florida's (AAF) President Michael Reininger and Florida East Coast (FEC) Railway President James Hertwig wrote a piece in the Post titled, "All Aboard Florida, FEC helping the state grow". Here is how the piece ends:
     In addition to rail enhancements, AAF is also investing hundreds of millions of dollars on trains, stations and related urban development — spending that has zero benefit to freight operations. These investments dispel the notion that this project is all about freight.
     As evidenced by its financial commitments, AAF is convinced that a passenger rail service connecting South and Central Florida is a viable and profitable business. With Gov. Rick Scott’s goal of attracting 100 million annual visitors to our state, AAF’s initiative also provides another way to move people throughout Florida.
     Florida’s growing population and expanding economy reaffirm AAF’s belief that this is the right time and the right solution for a state whose national stature is growing every day.
A good reason to read the entire article is it opens with a good explanation on what AAF and the FEC are and what they share: "the historic Flagler railroad corridor." Without the railroads there would be no Florida as we know it today.

Results from yesterday's election...

Congratulations Commissioner McVoy and Commissioner-elect Maier.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Vote Today!

Political Advertisement paid for and approved by John Szerdi non-partisan for City Commission

From a neighbor: Some thoughts on Election Day today....

Lake Worth Mayor Pam Triolo, text of Press Conference at City Hall yesterday addressing Lake Worth Beach/Casino concerns

Here is the full text of the press release by Mayor Triolo. Scroll down for the video of the press conference.

[A Reminder] Some of the endorsements for Lake Worth Commissioner John Szerdi

Additional endorsements:
  • Palm Beach County Human Rights Council
  • PBC Firefighters/Paramedics

Lake Worth Herald endorsement from February 26, 2015.
Political advertisement paid for and approved by John Szerdi, non-partisan for City Commissioner

Real City of Lake Worth Crime Statistics

Did you know that crime dropped in the little City of Lake Worth—nearly 5% last year compared to 2013? It did.

It's already been demonstrated how The Other Blogger (TOB) and Margaret Menge with her new "newspaper" are manipulating the citizenry in our City, vis-à-vis actual crime rates and the perception of crime rates. You can read about that here and here.

Recently, I discovered updated crime statistics for the City of Lake Worth from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) from January to December of 2014.

If you read The Lake Worth Trib, or visit the TOB's blog, you would conclude, through no fault of your own, that crime is going up and is "out of control". Well, that is actually NOT the case.
FDLE, for their purposes, refers to PBSO District 14, as the "Lake Worth Police Department" to not confuse with unincorporated Palm Beach County.
Crime has dropped in nearly every category.
Note that nearly 30% of stolen property was recovered.
The ugly truth is this: There are citizens in our community who have an agenda and are willing to go to any lengths to confuse and manipulate you, your family, and neighbors by distorting the facts. The agenda, in part, is to discredit our PBSO District 14, Captain Silva, and the fine deputies who work in our City.

Monday, March 9, 2015

A few words from Commissioner John Szerdi on tomorrow's election and the city's future...

VIDEO: Mayor Pam Triolo's Press Conference from 3 p.m. Today: The Lake Worth Beach and the Invitation to Negotiate (ITN) Process

At the 9:25 mark Mayor Triolo begins her conclusion to the press conference; she has strong words for those who have been misinforming the public about the process to make the Lake Worth Beach/Casino sustainable.

[UPDATE] Ryan Maier, Cara Jennings, and the Urban Chicken in the City of Lake Worth

Ryan Maier, a candidate in Lake Worth is the Founder of the Lake Worth Chickens Facebook page. Frank Cerabino wrote about this in 2011. [Note that Ryan Maier didn't start a Infrastructure Facebook page or a Code Enforcement Facebook page]. Here from the article by the Palm Beach Post's Frank Cerabino:
Lake Worth has once again become a chicken battleground.

The pro-chicken forces in the city were rebuffed two years ago when the city commission rejected an ordinance that would have allowed Lake Worth residents to raise a few egg-laying hens in backyard coops.

A hen that appeared to be unattended and homeless wanders a vacant lot near the intersection of 2nd Avenue and G Street in Lake Worth. A Facebook group is seeking to change the city's code to allow residents to keep "a small number" of hens in their yards.

But now, with a special election for mayor looming at the end of the month, the chicken squawking is back.

"There's a whole clandestine chicken army out there," said former City Commissioner Cara Jennings, who mother-henned the 2009 effort but is lying low this time.

Freelance hairstylist Ryan Maier, 31, started a Facebook group called Lake Worth Chickens recently because of his interest in growing his own food.
Ryan Maier is a candidate in the District #4 race running against Commissioner John Szerdi.
This is Ryan Maier before he took on his new campaign appearance.
The new and improved Ryan Maier.

You can read about ex-Commissioner Cara Jennings involvement in the chicken issue here.
Photo courtesy of the Tom McGow Archives.

Was the focus on chickens back then one of the reasons our City's infrastructure is in need of so much repair? Were chickens more important than the streets, streetlights, clean water, and drainage? Apparently so for Ryan Maier.

[UPDATE] For the citizens of the Town of Palm Beach (33480) and Mr. Lewis Crampton: here is a letter you might find interesting

[This post from yesterday is getting a lot of attention. One of highest viewed items for past week; how many people in Palm Beach think "something" is "happening" at the Lake Worth Beach/Casino? Hard to tell. Hopefully the truth will prevail. Original story follows:]

Mr. Lewis Crampton, chairman of the South End-based Citizens’ Association of Palm Beach, I read your concerns today [now yesterday] about "proposals" in regard to the Lake Worth Beach/Casino. Before I get to the letter will straighten out confusion on where this process is—called the "Invitation to Negotiate" (ITN):
  • No proposal is being considered. Nothing has been presented to the Lake Worth City Commission. No vote has been taken. There is NO proposal. 
  • There IS NO PROJECT.
  • Hudson Holdings is one company involved with the ITN. There are 2 others.
  • Think of an ITN like this: you're planning a vacation later this year and you haven't narrowed down what continent you want to visit yet alone a destination. This is the idea stage. It's as simple as that. The ITN is tasking people/companies to creatively solve a problem. 
  • What's the problem? The problem is the Lake Worth Beach/Casino is hemorrhaging money. It was based on a flawed business plan and is failing and fast. 
Now read a letter from someone that you might be familiar with: Mr. James Tebbe, President, Gulfstream of Lake Worth Condominium Association:
If you want me to send you a copy of this letter, please email me.
And one more thing, Commissioner McVoy, who just happened to "chance" on the meeting mentioned in the letter? He voted for the secret ITN process. It was a unanimous vote; here is the proof:
I hope this helps you "assess the situation". Please share this information with your citizen's association, neighbors, and friends. 

Thank you,


Commissioner John Szerdi: Lake Worth and Working Towards Sustainability

From the Office of Inspector General, Palm Beach County—Response to Lynn Anderson:

"We have reviewed your concerns and determined no information was presented that would indicate a violation of law, policy, or rule."
There is no investigation of Lake Worth Commissioner John Szerdi by the Palm Beach County Office of Inspector General. 

As far as a conflict of interest? There is none. Proactively, Commissioner Szerdi has sought out advice from the Palm Beach County Commission on Ethics. You can read about that and other accusations that are completely false. 

Some in our community have taken such a low road, taking dirty politics to such a vile level, using the U.S. Mail to convince their neighbors that Commissioner John Szerdi has a "conflict of interest":

Once again, Commissioner John Szerdi has NO CONFLICT OF INTEREST and is acting properly: per the Palm Beach County Commission on Ethics. He took action to avoid a conflict of interest.

Which is the authentic candidate, Ryan Maier?

Below is a picture of Ryan Maier—just after he qualified to run for a seat on the Lake Worth City Commission—but prior to him going door-to-door asking for votes.
Below is the same Ryan Maier with a completely different look. This is the Ryan Maier that is knocking on doors.
Which begs the question: which is the authentic Ryan Maier?

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

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Remember the "Best Commission Ever" in Lake Worth?

The "Best Commission Ever" is tongue-in-cheek of course. You might be familiar with some people on that commission back then: JoAnn Golden, Cara Jennings, and Suzanne Mulvehill, MBA.

Look what I found in my mailbox yesterday

Serge Jerome, Jr. was quoted saying this in the Palm Beach Post:
     “[Commissioner] McVoy is trying to use it [ideas for making the Lake Worth Beach/Casino sustainable] for his political gain by claiming the city is selling the beach to rile up the voters [emphasis added],” Jerome said. “The city is not looking to privatize our beaches. But it is looking for ways to make the beach more profitable.”
Paid by Serge Jerome Jr for Lake Worth City Commission, District 2 

[UPDATE] Letter from Lake Worth Vice Mayor Scott Maxwell to Stacey Singer, Palm Beach Post editorial board: demands retraction

[UPDATEThe Palm Beach Post editorial board (Stacey Singer) has so far not responded to the demand by Lake Worth Vice Mayor Scott Maxwell: Lake Worth City Manager Michael Bornstein and city commissioners have done nothing improper. The letter from Maxwell to Singer follows:]

March 7, 2015

To: Stacey Singer
The Palm Beach Post Editorial Board

I [City of Lake Worth Vice Mayor Scott Maxwell] have attempted to reach you by telephone using two different telephone numbers earlier this week and had left messages requesting you return my call. I am sorry that I missed you and that we could not speak directly.

It has been brought to my attention that The Palm Beach Post has misinformed the community—suggesting that 4 of 5 members of the Lake Worth City Commission have routinely violated one or more laws of the State of Florida—by sharing meals prior to publicly noticed commission meetings.

As one of the four members of the city commission referenced, I would like to state for the record that any assertion or inference by Commissioner Christopher McVoy (and/or others) that I have violated ANY state law by sharing a meal with, or been in the company of, another member of the city commission is not only an absolute untruth but is also a carefully calculated and executed act of political theater at the highest level. The public deserves better from the paper of record, The Palm Beach Post.

Your endorsement of Christopher McVoy and Ryan Maier earlier this week was prefaced with the statement that: “The key issues in Lake Worth’s municipal election seem to be trust or the lack thereof.”

It would appear that a key centerpiece of the quote above is your paper’s inference that elected officials sharing meals constitutes a violation of the State of Florida’s “Sunshine Law”—or some other unstated wrongdoing.

The assertion of a Sunshine Law violation, the term The Palm Beach Post and you (Stacey Singer) carelessly used within your endorsement as an example of the trust concerns expressed by Christopher McVoy (without the benefit of fact checking for validity) is irresponsible and damages the reputations of innocent, hard-working elected officials who, in my experience and in fact, operate well within the provision of the Sunshine Law Statute and/or the State and Local Ethics Codes.

Ms. Singer, I’m quite sure you are aware that a violation of Florida’s Sunshine Law provision is a crime, and as such, you must be aware that penalties for violating the Sunshine Law are severe and can lead to imprisonment and/or the removal of elected officials from office.

I’m sure, Ms. Stacey Singer, you would agree that my following statement is true:
to accuse, suggest, imply or infer that someone has committed a crime is a serious position to take and should not be done so lightly and without benefit of proper examination of the facts that led to your believing a crime had in fact been committed.
Therefore, Ms. Singer, allow me to make myself very clear on this issue. I consider your assertion or inference that I have in the past, or in the present, committed any Sunshine Violation will not go unchallenged. I therefore demand an immediate retraction, apology letter, and proper investigation/publication of the FACTS surrounding the information provided to you by Commissioner Christopher McVoy (and/or others) regarding the sharing of meals between elected officials in Lake Worth. Should my demands be honored on or before Monday March 9th, 2015. I shall consider this matter closed. [Emphasis added]

To aid in this matter, and for your benefit, I’d like to take the time to share with you the facts surrounding the ENTIRE Lake Worth City Commission practice of sharing meals prior to publicly noticed meetings:
  • Sharing a meal between all 5 (FIVE) members of the Lake Worth City Commission, city manager, city attorney, city clerk, or any other staff person/citizen present for meals to be served has been taking place for a very long time 
  • Prior to beginning this ongoing practice of sharing meals between all 5 (FIVE) commissioners and staff, each commissioner was asked if they would like to participate in this meal program, with each member picking up the cost of a meal on a rotating basis.
  • All 5 (FIVE) members of the commission agreed to participate in this meal sharing program and that the cost of these meals would be rotated among the regular members of the parties sharing the meal. To be very clear—the 5 (FIVE) commissioners, the city manager and the city attorney were considered to have been the regular participantswith each agreeing to pick up the cost of meals on a rotating basis.
  • The commission’s executive secretary was charged with the responsibility of coordinating and ordering the type of meal to be served, by asking each participating member what they would like to serve to the other participants and when it was time for them to pick up the cost of the meal (In fact, the executive secretary maintains a list of personal credit card numbers for each participating member so as to facilitate the ordering and delivery of every meal to be shared.)
  • Please note that one member of the Lake Worth City Commission (Christopher McVoy) is a self-described vegetarian, and as such, his dietary preference and need is considered and accommodated for EACH AND EVERY MEAL! 
  • In the past, unless a member of the meal sharing rotation is late or altogether absent for the meal, all 7 members of the meal sharing rotation are present.
  • Of course, this would also include the commissioner who now asserts that he (Commissioner McVoy) has not participated in the meal sharing practice because of his concern over the perception of wrongdoing, lack of transparency, or violation of the Sunshine Law. The fact is that Christopher McVoy has been present for virtually every meal unless he was running late or was altogether absent.
  • To prove my points above, I have in my possession a detailed account of every meal ordered during the past 2 years or so, as well as what meal was served, who paid for it, and when . . . clearly demonstrating that Christopher McVoy not only participated in the meal sharing rotation, but in fact paid for meals when it was his turn to do so within the rotation. [Attachments to come]
It is most unfortunate, Ms. Stacey Singer, that Christopher McVoy was dishonest with you and your editorial board in his assertion that he has not participated in the meal sharing program because of his deeply held concern for maintaining his high personal ethical standard and/or his unwillingness to violate Florida law.

It is even more disturbing that in doing so, McVoy took advantage of The Palm Beach Post, potentially placing the paper at risk by relying on a version of unverified "facts" which the Post printed without verifying first . . . and he did so simply for political advantage to win a political race for office.

Ms. Singer, I feel confident that as a Professional Journalist, you will take immediate steps to verify my claims related to the sharing of meals with other elected officials and honor the demands stated above in your sincere effort to set the record straight for all parties concerned—including the readers and subscribers of The Palm Beach Post.

Thank you for your time and consideration.


Scott Maxwell
Vice Mayor / City of Lake Worth

Lake Worth Herald editorial dated March 5, 2015 titled, "Here We Go Again!":

[To read the entire editorial, go to
Here are excerpts from the editorial:]

     It’s election time in Lake Worth again. 
     Not much changes here. This time, the same people that came to your door telling you lies about how the big box buildings were going to spring up all over the downtown area are now telling you their candidate served on the Sister City Board. The candidate, Ryan Maier, has emphasized how his service on the Sister City Board makes him a better candidate. Fact: Maier was appointed to the Sister City Board by Commissioner Christopher McVoy [emphasis added]. This is true and factual. Maier has answered questions about attending Sister City Board Meetings in the affirmative. This may not be so true. According to Retha Lowe who served as Chair of the Sister City Board, Maier never attended a meeting. Lowe is believable. Maier never took the required Ethics training either. 
This is the letter the Lake Worth Herald editorial references.
[and later in editorial...]

     He [Ryan Maier] has leveled attacks on his opponent’s performance as a commissioner but has offered no substantial argument to back his accusations. In fact, the accusations he levels are practically identical to the type of rhetoric that used to come from the dais when it was occupied by the likes of Joanne Golden, Suzanne Mulvehill and Cara Jennings, who were in office through a period when Lake Worth saw ZERO applications for new commercial permits from businesses willing to make Lake Worth their home. 


     Maier doesn’t appear to have anything to offer except the worn out tactics of some previous commissioners who proved to the city their tactics will do nothing but bleed the city dry and leave nothing good to show for it. He hasn’t put forth any ideas that would advance Lake Worth. He has continually expressed that he will undo everything that has been done by this commission. That will only move Lake Worth backward. He has not given any indication how he will accomplish anything. His opponent, [Commissioner] John Szerdi has produced as a commissioner and Maier has attacked him with rhetorical semantics. The same as we heard from Mulvehill, Jennings, and still hear from McVoy. 


     Maier has accused the commission of secretly planning a bond referendum for August, when in fact it has never come before the commission. He bases his accusations on action by staff to prepare for a referendum as one of the alternatives being openly discussed for financing infrastructure improvement. 


     It is simply amazing how Lake Worth could have two candidates who virtually think alike when one is a scientist and the other is an actor. Maybe a wise choice by those who would tear the city apart, one who can act the part. It is time to remove the sleaze from Lake Worth politics.


The Silly 'Newspaper' that Suddenly Appeared Just 51 Days Ago: A Reminder

[You may have read this already or heard about this: that silly paper with the garish headlines, huge pictures, inflammatory charges, with hardly no ad revenue has only been around for 51 days. That's it. Margaret Menge is the 'publisher'—or so she claims—and she did something very similar in 2012 to manipulate an election in Lake Worth.

So, without further ado, read what Menge did in 2012:]

This is a revelation discovered by a loyal reader of my blog; putting the pieces together.

On January 16, 2015, Margaret Menge (self-described journalist/editor) issued the first edition of her 'new' newspaper, The Lake Worth Tribune. It is important to note this first issue is 53 days prior to a municipal election in our little City of Lake Worth.

In 2012, Margaret Menge did something almost identical, in scope and tactics, but less the printed page.

On Sunday, July 29, 2012, Margaret Menge rolled out her on-line 'newspaper' called The Lake Worth Sun. The last story in The Lake Worth Sun appeared 100 days later, on Tuesday, November 6, 2012. That was election day in Lake Worth.
After the election results on November 6, 2012, there was no longer a purpose for The Lake Worth Sun.

The format of The Lake Worth Sun and The Lake Worth Tribune are very similar in both style and content.
  • Both have wide formats and unusually large type.
  • Very large pictures and headlines dominate the story.
  • News stories bolstered by selective facts and outlandish descriptions of public figures (see below).
  • Both feature prominently a 'Crime Blotter'.
  • Both are highly critical of the PBSO and Lake Worth PBSO District 14.
Consider this, in the 100 days of The Lake Worth Sun there were 86 stories: news stories, weather, and crime. Of the 86 stories in Menge's Sun, 30 (or 35%) were on crime and PBSO.

The following is just one example of a profile of a Lake Worth public figure by Margaret Menge: this is about the City Attorney Glen Torcivia. Here are some examples of the wording Menge employs in her 'news story' published in The Lake Worth Sun:
  • "Torcivia was sharp. Really sharp. And smooth."
  • "He's got a New York accent (Brooklyn, I think) that he can't hide."
  • "[H]e hits on his homeboy credentials next"
  • "At which point one might begin to ponder the breadth and scope of the job Torcivia is applying for."
  • "So what parts of the five-hour commission meetings won't be occurring any longer now that Torcivia is i̶n̶ ̶c̶h̶a̶r̶g̶e̶  [sic] serving as Lake Worth's interim city attorney?"
  • "With an attorney's communication with his client (Lake Worth) protected by attorney-client privilege, a lot of things of interest to the public can easily, could easily, (will easily?) slip behind this veil."
  • "So with this attorney seeming to be willing to handle so many things on behalf of the hapless commissioners, it's all a bit concerning from the perspective of the public's right to know."
  • "Glen's good. But he might be too good. Watch him. He just might take over."
The depiction of City Attorney Glen Torcivia stands in stark contrast to the sunny portrayal of former-Commissioner Suzanne Mulvehill. Note this from Menge referring to Vice Mayor Scott Maxwell from the article on Suzanne Mulvehill:
Commissioner Scott Maxwell's response (he was the one interviewing candidates) was sneering and bullying, and I'm going to guess that every woman in the room that night felt revulsion swell up inside her stomach as he responded to Mulvehill with barely contained rage.
How dare a woman question him.
So what do you think now about Margaret Menge's integrity and her claims of being a fair "journalist"?

Read what Menge wrote about Nadine Burns recently in The Lake Worth Tribune.

The parallel is there, but the means of delivery are different now. This is an orchestrated phenomenon. 

Three images—news segments by CBS12/WPEC in the City of Lake Worth (since December); notice a pattern?

A "War On Religion"? Lake Worth Mayor Pam Triolo is recently quoted, "The city’s intention is not to penalize churches in any way, shape or form. No, there’s no fee to pray.” 
A "HOLY WAR BREWING"? Bringing back the Crusades?
This is the City of Lake Worth's Christmas Tree Lighting: A "PRAYER TO SATAN"? This is one of the gems by CBS12's Kathleen Walter.