Saturday, March 28, 2015

Watch this satirical ad, “Indiana Is A Great Place To Be A Bigot” from Internet Action Force below:

Tall Buildings!! Tall Buildings!! - Clearwater Beach, Florida

Advisory: Do not try this at home. Avert your eyes if you are fearful of anything over 45 feet. If you can't resist, close your eyes and focus on your breathing. In and out, deep and slow breaths. Center yourself. Picture a peaceful two story, vacant building along Dixie Hwy. Your symptoms should clear up in five to ten minutes.

Palm Beach PrideFest 2015 Celebrates Victories and Looks Ahead to Ongoing Challenges | Local | News | SFGN Articles

Click title for link to South Florida Gay News story on this weekend's Palm Beach PrideFest. Great article. Here's something nice:
One thing that sets Palm Beach Pride Fest apart from other Prides, is the ongoing support and involvement of the Lake Worth and Palm Beach communities, said Zoellner.
Not only Lake Worth Mayor Pam Triolo, but all the city commissioners expressed an interest in participating in the event in one form or another.
“How often do you get all of the elected officials to want to be in your parade and want to speak? We’ve actually had to say no to some of them, but it’s so flattering,” said Zoellner.
Triolo and Compass CEO Tony Plakas, participated in the annual raising of the Pride Flag over Lake Worth City Hall on Tuesday, in the lead up to the festival.
In fact, all members of the City Commission were there and participated in the flag raising at City Hall on Tuesday.

Why Ryan Maier didn't get the PBCHRC endorsement...

[NOTE: when you read Ryan Maier quoted saying, "Lake Worth was not an LGBT friendly place to live", keep in mind the Lake Worth PrideFest is only short time away, March 28 and 29. The original post follows:]

Rand Hoch • 8 days ago

PBCHRC's Voters Alliance has been interviewing candidates and making endorsements since 1988. As a result of our efforts and our relationships with public officials, Palm Beach County has more than 80 ordinances and policies which benefit the LGBT community. (That is probably more than the other 66 counties in Florida combined). And we have done it with an annual budget of $25,000 - $50,000. In contrast, EQFL just sends out questionnaires which anyone can figure out how to answer. So, as long as a candidates sends in his or her boxtops, EQFL issues a recommendation. Until PBCHRC pointed it out to EQFL, EQFL had recommended an openly gay candidate seeking to serve on the Lake Worth City Commission. When we interviewed him, he told us that Lake Worth was not an LGBT friendly place to live and he was going to change it. We were shocked. Lake Worth currently has an openly gay City Commissioner. A few years ago, the City had an openly lesbian City Commissioner and a transexual City Manager. The City has had an LGBT-inclusive Civil Rights Ordinance for years, has a domestic partnership registry and offers city employees domestic partnership benefits. Each year the City hosts a two day festival, PrideFest (including a parade down the City's main street), Moreover, the City leases (at only a token amount) the space for COMPASS, Palm Beach County's amazing LGBT Community Center. Also, there are numerous LGBT-owned businesses in the City and you can't walk very far on the city's main drag without seeing a rainbow flag. And this EQFL recommended candidate didn't think Lake Worth was LGBT-friendly! Really? But since he filled out his EQFL questionnaire correctly, EQFL recommended him. His opponent, BTW, had a 100% voting record on our issues, including votes on the domestic partnership registry.

Click here for related article. This appears under comments.

In an email letter from the President of the PBCHRC, he is now claiming a victory.

The New York Times: "All the News That's Fit to Print": 36 hours in Palm Beach, FL

Friday, March 27, 2015

PrideFest STARTS TOMORROW: Celebrating Equality and Common Ground in our City of Lake Worth

If you haven't yet make sure to contact your out-of-town peeps. Tri-Rail is a quick and affordable way to attend the festival. 

The PrideFest Parade, a big favorite for everyone, is on Sunday morning. Try to get there early. The pre-Parade goings-on are just as fun as the parade. 

See you there!
For more information visit Compass and Discover the Palm Beaches.

You can also contact Jimmy Zoellner at Compass directly: 561-533-9699.

Dixie Highway Resurfacing: Open House next Thursday

Please visit for information on FDOT construction projects in Palm Beach County. 

Former Commissioner Retha Lowe at last Tuesday's City Commission Meeting—3/24/15

This, of course, is in response to Mrs. McNamara's use of the 'N-word' in the city commission chambers on Monday, March 16th.

Supporters of Mrs. McNamara were initially stunned as you can imagine. After a few days though they went on the attack, going after the credibility of a city employee and The Lake Worth Herald (which first reported the story). That wasn't working so now they're trying to fluff Mrs. McNamara as a fine upstanding citizen who's being unfairly treated.

There's a little problem with that. You see, Mrs. McNamara has this old blog, comments left on another blog, and a Facebook page or two. As of 9:30 a.m. on 3/27/2015 you can still go to Mrs. McNamara's Facebook page and see this:
When Mrs. McNamara refers to a "Muslim anti-America, super Ape" would she be referring to President Barack Obama? I hope not. That would be very disrespectful. 

Meeting reminder: South Dixie Corridor Design Workshop – Tomorrow

There is a lot going on in the area tomorrow, the Boat Show, PrideFest, and many other things. However, Jesse Bailey has a reminder of an important meeting concerning South Dixie Highway. You can find the details here.

Although this meeting primarily addresses South Dixie from Okeechobee Blvd. to Albemarle Road there's much more talk lately of fixing the neglected portion of Dixie Hwy connecting West Palm Beach to the City of Lake Worth.

Change, especially planning changes, are very slow to evolve (especially anything that involves FDOT). We need to work hard to remake Dixie Highway in West Palm Beach and the City of Lake Worth into a more walkable and bikeable road.

If anyone wishes to provide me some results and handouts from the meeting would be very happy to share with my readers.

Bill DiPaolo at Post on opening of the new Benjamin Hall Performing Arts Center

The Benjamin Hall Performing Arts Center is part of the Benjamin School in Palm Beach Gardens. For reference, the school is located south of Scripps Research Institute and immediately east of the Briger Tract (which has been in the news quite often of late). The Benjamin School is neither a public school nor a charter school, but a private school that funds itself a myriad of ways including tuition, grants, and fundraising. From the article:
     With the growth of charter and at-home schools, private schools such as Benjamin are facing increased competition. Benjamin has started promoting itself on a national level to attract more students, Lewis [Burnham Lewis, the school’s assistant head for advancement] said.
     “We are not just a private school for privileged students. We attract students from all income levels with all kinds of interests,” he said.
Raising the $11 million is part of an overall $40 million fundraising campaign. Preliminary plans call for building a field house, aquatics center and more construction on the Benjamin campus in North Palm Beach. About $12 million of the $40 million is planned for endowments supporting faculty and financial aid, Lewis said.
You can read about another private school (on a much smaller scale) opening in the City of Lake Worth called the Classical Christian Academy of the Palm Beaches. They're having a public meeting tonight at 7:00; the details are in the link above.

Tri-Rail and big news from Miami

Michael Turnbell at the Sun Sentinel with this transportation news:
     Tri-Rail's much-anticipated new Miami Airport Station will finally open to passengers on April 5.
     The opening will end nearly four years of construction and delays for passengers traveling to and from the airport.
     The station is part of the giant Miami Intermodal Center east of the airport. Passengers will be able to walk off trains and up an escalator to a new automatic elevated train that runs directly to the terminals. Or they'll be able to rent a car or hop on Metrorail or Miami-Dade Transit. There's even room at the hub for high-speed rail in the future.
     The Amtrak portion of the station won't be ready until summer as work continues on a bypass route for Northwest 25th Street, which will be blocked when Amtrak's trains pull into the station.

CBS12/WPEC's Jonathan Beaton: what hath you done?

Only 3 days ago featured a news story by Jonathan Beaton and, admittedly, the story was a good one. Other than a misleading headline, the hilariously staged scene of a commissioner who "just happened" to walk by, and a factual error the rest of the story was fairly represented. 

And now this:
Here is the text from the article with a little loaded language and many typos:
Lake Worth Lawmakers Lobby For Big Bucks
Story by Jonathan Beaton/CBS12 News
LAKE WORTH (CBS12) -- The city of Lake Worth is asking Florida lawmakers for a whopping $7.5 million, which will be used to attract companies and bring jobs in a town with double digit unemployment.

CBS 12 learned the mayor, along with the city mayor [should be "along with the city manager"] just got back from Tallahassee and Washington D.C. where they lobbied for the cash.

In a city with 13.3% unemployment and a 30% poverty rate, an economic boost is desperately needed, that from Mayor Pam Triolo. 
“The hope has been there for 30 years. What we’re trying to do is realize this dream that has been dreamt for a long time to bring in economic development to our community,” said Mayor Triolo. 
City Manager Michael Bornste [s/b Bornstein] agrees but admits it’s a big job.

The Park of Commerce needs more than just a facelift, parts of the industrial area demand roads, sewage and sidewalks.
“People look at this place but they don’t move here because it’s not shovel ready,” said Michael Bornstein. 
The bright side is the Park’s location, which Mayor Trioli says is the winning ticket to bringing in new companies and subsequent jobs.
“So you’ve got access to the Turnpike, to 95 and of course to our beautiful ocean,” said Mayor Trioli.

The hope is to also relieve the burden on homeowners, who have been paying steep property taxes for years, due to the lack of area businesses.

“We need help to subsidize our tax base. We don’t collect that much in property taxes. We we’re one of the communities hit hardest by the recession.”
We’ll find out what the legislature decides in the next two months.
Jonathan Beaton also had trouble with another city officials name a little while back, Commissioner Andy Amoroso, which he repeatedly misspelled "Amaroso". Instead of fixing the mistake CBS12 found it easier to just take down the link.

Does all of Palm Beach County get such shoddy reporting by CBS12 or is it only reserved for the little City of Lake Worth?

Thursday, March 26, 2015

From Where I Sit . . . By Pelican Pete

Pelican Pete just happened to notice:

     Monday night he was an invited guest to a meeting.
     Tuesday night he stumbled upon a meeting.
     It was the same meeting. Which is it . . . remember transparency and openness.

What happened to all that babbling nonsense from Pastor Mike Olive and Common Ground (no 's') Church?

On March 3rd, The Raw Story, an on-line news magazine with 2.5 million monthly readers debunked the entire Common Ground (no 's') Church narrative. The story struggled to gain traction after that; now the story is a dead end.

But do you remember the early days of the story when CBS12/WPEC reporter Kathleen Walter did her best to give the story legs? And when websites preparing for "The End Times" got into the act? And when another website had this headline:

Lake Worth Florida is a God hating city

Let's go back to those first few hysterical days before the adults regained control of the situation:

Pastor Olive eventually caved and paid the $160 use/occupancy fee to the City like any other establishment is required to do. God works in mysterious ways. Praise the Lord and sell that coffee!

Screen on the Green Lake Worth Cultural Renaissance Foundation LULA

Here is a reminder from the CRA. 
"We are only 38 days away from our Power2Give campaign to support Screen on the Green 2015.  Thus far, we have raised only $1,265  toward our goal of $5,600.  Please make a donation today and then invite your friends and colleagues to join you." 
Click title for link to give! 

Lake Worth Outdoor Movies are back! Take a blanket or some chairs and join your friends, family and neighbors for Screen on the Green! This summer series begins in June at the Lake Worth Cultural Plaza. Screen on the Green will consist of 6 FREE outdoor films shown the 2nd and 4th Friday of each month and each carry a PG or G rating. Snacks and drinks are available with proceeds going to Lake Worth non-profits.

LULA is non-profit corporation created to support and promote the Lake Worth arts scene. 

The films have yet to be chosen but please check out for upcoming showings and more information on LULA. Support a great cause and enjoy free movies in the heart of Downtown Lake Worth.


$4,000: Movie rights & screen rental
$1,000: Promotion/Ads
$682: Power2Give Processing Fee



Your gift:
  • Helps covers expenses related to obtaining the rights for the films and the rental of the projector and screen for the Film Series
  • Helps bring visitors to the downtown during the off season
  • Will be recognized on the LULA Lake Worth Arts Website (

Special Gift Acknowledgments
  • $100 or more: you will be invited to one of the films and you’ll be acknowledged on the website.
  • $500 or more: you will be invited to one of the films, your name will be listed in the previews, you’ll be acknowledged in the CRA’s annual report and the website.

A New School in Lake Worth: Classical Christian Academy of the Palm Beaches

Bonnie Fanelli, the founder of this new school, sent me a very nice note the other day. So I'll return the pleasure and encourage my readers who are interested to attend a meeting tomorrow, Friday 3/27 at 7:00 to learn more. The location for the meeting is 1402 2nd Ave North here in the City of Lake Worth.

This is a Christian School and they state their mission this way:
We are a K-5 school offering a distinctly Classical and Christian education. We incorporate the Trivium to teach students using their God-given abilities according to their age. The results are graduates who can defend what they believe and reach their maximum academic capabilities for the glory of God.
What's special about this particular school is this: they're not looking for a handout from the taxpayers. 

Certainly, if you're a reader of my blog you know how disturbed I am with a proposal to have a Charter School in Lake Worth teach "the Classics". Taxpayer money to teach ancient languages is absurd and thankfully our Palm Beach County School Board agrees.

However, this school, the Classical Christian Academy of the Palm Beaches is standing firm to their principles and that is something everyone should appreciateregardless of anyone's personal opinion on the value of a classical education.

I won't be able to attend their meeting but would very much appreciate any feedback.

Bonnie, best of luck to you and your new school here in our wonderful City of Lake Worth!

George Bennett with breaking political news

Mr. Bennett at the Post On Politics blog:
     Attorney and former Democratic state Rep. Mack Bernard says he’ll open a campaign next week for Palm Beach County Commissioner Priscilla Taylor‘s seat now that Taylor has announced she’s running for Congress.
     Taylor shocked many Dems late Wednesday when she told The Palm Beach Post she plans to run for the seat that Rep. Patrick Murphy, D-Jupiter, is vacating to run for U.S. Senate.
Does the name Mack Bernard sound familiar? It should. He is the gentleman who lost to Jeff Clemens in the race for the State Senate seat: he lost to Jeff Clemens by 17 votes.

The Other Blogger (TOB) and her misleading, long lists of "Crime Lake Worth"

OK, there is crime in Lake Worth. Also have it on good authority, if you can believe sources like The Palm Beach Post and NBC5/WPTV, there is crime in a few other areas in Palm Beach County as well. But TOB has a habit of posting these obnoxiously long lists of crime which no one is going to read, or verify, except for a reader of my blog with an attention to detail.
In TOB's latest rant about crime in Lake Worth are these:
  • 3 Beverage Violations (violations are not crimes)
  • 5 Other (what is "Other"? Not defined. Is "Other" a new crime?)
  • 2 Crimes outside the City of Lake Worth (1200 Block Mathis St and 1400 Block Lake Victoria)
And then there's the obligatory "Juvenile Trouble" (2) and "Disturbance" (5).

All this information is thrown out there without any context and also note that she never posts a list of arrests made; isn't that interesting?

This is nothing new from TOB; here is just one more example of her lack of research: There is no street in Lake Worth called "Lake Bass Circle". Be skeptical of those long lists, folks.

Steven Schale: "Patrick Murphy gives Democrats a real shot at Senate seat"

This piece is in ContextFlorida and includes very positive numbers for Patrick Murphy and his run for Marco Rubio's U.S. Senate Seat. Steven Schale's bio is at the end of the article; he's an unabashed, proud Democrat so his analysis of Patrick Murphy will be favorable anyway. However, that being said, if Mr. Schale's analysis is correct (and I have nothing to suggest otherwise), then Patrick Murphy, his supporters, and campaign team should be feeling very positive at this point. From Steven Schale's analysis [with emphasis in red]:

Winning in 2016 will be expensive and require a candidate who can appeal across the political spectrum, and Democrats have a possible [note: this article written on 3/22, Murphy announced on 3/23] candidate who has proven he can go toe-to-toe with whoever wins the GOP primary: Patrick Murphy.

Let’s start by looking at his electoral success. In his two elections, Murphy has out-performed the top of the ticket both times. In 2012, in his expensive battle with Allen West, he out-performed the president by 3 points, and this year he out-performed Charlie Crist by approximately 10 points. Murphy’s 20 point win in 2014 was even more impressive when you consider the gale force wind that Democrats faced during that cycle. Particularly if the GOP nominates Jeff Atwater, who has proven his ability to win swing voters, having a candidate with the ability to win voters across the aisle will be key.

Murphy’s strength among swing voters means he will absolutely run stronger with whites than either Obama or Crist. For Murphy, an electorate that is 67 percent white, 14 percent black (African American and Caribbean), 16 percent Hispanic and 2 percent other – he is over 50 percent simply by getting 41 percent of whites and 55 percent of Hispanics, vote shares that are well within historic norms. By comparison, Betty Castor in 2004 won in the mid-40s among whites – and almost certainly would have won under a 2016 demographic model, and Bill Nelson in 2012 ran 10 points higher than Obama among whites.

In addition, Murphy’s fundraising abilities, raising a remarkable $11 million in his two races, as well as the talent of his experienced team that can and will put together a very credible operation quickly.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

A timely quote given a 'journalists' cruel insensitivity towards a grief-stricken family

     "SPJ’s Code of Ethics tells journalists that they have an obligation to report the truth. They also have an obligation in minimizing the harm that’s done in the pursuit of that truth. When it comes to suicides, a careful and deliberate moral reasoning needs to take place aside from the First Amendment right to report.
     Families don’t care about your rights when they are grieving. That’s why compassionate and responsible journalism is necessary and why cautious deliberation is needed."

—Kevin Z. Smith, Deputy Director, The Kiplinger Program in Public Affairs Journalism

Breaking News: 'N-word' NOT USED at City Hall! See the story here first! Sneak Peek at Cribune out THIS FRIDAY!

From Christy L. Goddeau, of the Torcivia Law Firm, regarding the "Cone of Silence" provision...

Mayor and Commissioners:

Based on some of the conversation last night, I wanted to clarify the Procurement Code’s Cone of Silence (section 2-112(k) of the Code of Ordinances). The complete provision is set forth below. If the City Commission is the ultimate decision-maker for a particular procurement (which is typically 100% of the time for competitive solicitations issued by the City), the provision applies to each Commissioner (including the Mayor).

The Cone of Silence is from the County’s lobbyist ordinance.  It is intended to prevent lobbying once a bid, proposal, reply or other response is due. It prohibits oral communications between a respondent (its agents) and a Commissioner (and others in the procurement making-process) regarding a particular solicitation. All competitive solicitations issued by the City include a summary of the provision and a citation to section 2-112(k). 

The Cone of Silence should not be confused with the current private-meeting process of the ITN Evaluation Committee.  The Evaluation Committee is holding private meetings for the purpose of developing its negotiation strategies and has held one private meeting with each of the Respondents to discuss their replies. Those private meetings are authorized by an exception to the Sunshine Law (and Public Records law).  

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Glen or me. 

(k)  Cone of silence.
(1) "Cone of silence" means a prohibition on any communication, except for written correspondence, regarding a particular IFB, RFP, ITN or any other competitive selection procedure utilized by the city between:
a.   Any entity or person or entity's or person's representative seeking an award from any competitive selection procedure, and
b.   Any city commissioner or commissioner's staff; any member of the applicable selection committee; the city manager; or, any city employee authorized to act on behalf of the city to award or recommend award of a particular procurement.
(2) For the purposes of this section, an entity's or person's representative shall include but not be limited to the entity's or person's employee, partner, officer, director, consultant, lobbyist, or any actual or potential subcontractor or consultant of the entity or person.
(3) The cone of silence shall be in effect as of the deadline to submit the proposal, bid, or other requested response to a competitive selection procedure. The cone of silence applies to any entity or person or any entity's or person's representative who responds to a particular IFB, RFP, ITN or any other competitive selection procedure utilized by the city, and shall remain in effect until such response is either rejected by the city as applicable or withdrawn by the entity or person or entity's or person's representative. The procurement division shall include in all IFBs, RFPs, ITNs or any other competitive selection procedure notice of the cone of silence and refer to this subsection.
(4) The provisions of this subsection shall not apply to oral communications at any public proceeding, including pre-bid conferences, presentations before selection committees, authorized contract negotiations, presentations made to the city commission, and procurement protests. Further, the cone of silence shall not apply to contract negotiations between any employee and the intended awardee; any dispute resolution process following the filing of a protest between the entity or person filing the protest and any employee; or, any written correspondence at any time with any employee, city commissioner, the city manager or selection committee member unless specifically prohibited by the applicable competitive selection procedure.
(5) The cone of silence shall not apply to any procurement anticipated to have a total value of twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000.00) or less.
(6) The cone of silence shall terminate at the time the city commission, procurement division or city manager as applicable, awards or approves a contract, rejects all bids, proposals or other requested responses, or otherwise takes action which ends the procurement procedure.
(7) Any contract entered into in violation of the cone of silence provisions in this section shall render the transaction voidable.
(Ord. No. 2013-13, § 2, 1-15-13)

Christy L. Goddeau, Esquire
Board Certified City County and Local
Government Attorney


Jonathan Beaton, CBS12, and a surprisingly fair news report last night (3/24)

Jonathan Beaton's news segment on CBS12/WPEC (post-election) stands in dark contrast to the irresponsible news story 4 days prior to election day by Lauren Hills when she referred to "Backroom" Beach Development Proposals. Words such as "backroom" are called loaded language or an "appeal to emotion". Per Wikipedia, "loaded language" is "appeal to emotion is often seen as being in contrast to an appeal to logic and reason."

Not to belabor the point, but the SPJ Code of Ethics has this item: "Provide context. Take special care not to misrepresent or oversimplify in promoting, previewing or summarizing a story."

Jonathan Beaton's story you can see here. The screen headline is misleading (all too normal for CBS12) and the scene of Commissioner McVoy walking towards the camera outside City Hall is hilarious. The look on his face says it all, like "why am I doing this, this is stupid". Jonathan Beaton interviews City Manager Michael Bornstein and that went very well, I thought.

Also, Jonathan Beaton keeps referring to the "INT". It's not an "Invitation Negotiate To". The process is called an "Invitation To Negotiate", or an ITN.

Other than the misleading story title, the staged scene with McVoy, and a factual error, the story is not bad at all by the standards of CBS12. And note that Jonathan Beaton did his story within the confines of the CBS12 studio. This is one of my favorite scenes of Jonathan Beaton out in the elements:
And he's done a great job toning down that Orson Welles-like voice he's used in the past. Great for radio but doesn't translate well to TV news; it seemed each news report was heralding the End of the World. 

No big surprise, but important early endorsement for Patrick Murphy for U.S. Senate

Eliot Kleinberg on the Post On Politics blog has this:
     Charlie Crist, himself a former U.S. Senate candidate, has endorsed Patrick Murphy’s 2016 bid, announced this week, to either replace or unseat U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio.
     “As everyone knows, I have always made my priority putting the people of Florida first,” Crist said Wednesday in an email. “Next November I think it is essential that we elect a leader to the United States Senate who will do the same.”

The case for Parklets on Lake Avenue in the little City of Lake Worth

Do you know what a "parklet" is? This is what Wikipedia has on parklets.
Picture of a "parklet" from the Wikipedia article cited.
Here from an article in Planetizen:

The study she [Emily Badger] writes about is the work of the University City District of Philadelphia, "a neighborhood development organization that sent interns out in the spring and summer of 2013 to exhaustively record what happened after a half-dozen of these tiny parks were placed."
     The result: a lot more people packed into these spaces than could ever be accommodated by a single car. [emphasis added]
     Not all of these people were spending money at these nearby businesses (that's a good sign — it means that people recognized they could treat these spaces as public parks and not private outdoor restaurants). But the sales data shared by these businesses suggests that the extra foot traffic — and the outdoor attraction — was a boon for business, even when it came at the expense of a little parking.
The takeaway is that the study provides additional evidence "that a parking spot isn't always the best use of roadside real estate, although we often treat it as such," writes Badger.

Here is an article by Eliot Kleinberg about parklets in West Palm Beach, our neighbor to the north. Lake Ave, of course, is a State Road managed by FDOT and we all know how open FDOT is to new ideas. However it's something to think about; possibly in other areas of the City.

Shorthand notes from last night's Lake Worth City Commission Meeting. . .

I wasn't able to attend last night's city commission meeting due to a professional commitment; however, was able to watch portions of the meeting over the Internet (watching the meeting live from city video). These are the high and lowlights:
  • Commissioner Maier's name (pronounced "My-Er, please that is MY-ER, do not forget that, please") seemed to be the most important finding of fact the entire evening.
  • I joined the meeting after the kerfuffle initiated by Commissioner Maier that led to placing an item on the agenda meant to cancel the ITN process (which later failed). This was added to the agenda and ALL of the consent items were taken off consent and placed under new business. 
  • Appointments to various Commissioner Liaison positions produced their share of drama. Commissioner Maier (that is pronounced "MY-ER") nominated Commissioner McVoy as, according to Commissioner Maier, he was the commissioner with the longest tenure on the Commission. That failed. It was later pointed out that Commissioner Maxwell did indeed have the longest tenure as a Lake Worth City Commissioner. So the same subtitles to Commissioners ended remaining the same.
  • The biggest irony of this part of the meeting was Commissioner Maier ("MY-ER, remember that, puh-leeze!") nominated himself as liaison to the Neighborhood Association Presidents Council (NAPC). During the campaign he revealed that he thought that neighborhood associations are too political, he was never a member of his own neighborhood's association and never has participated in neighborhood clean-ups. Mayor Triolo eventually was appointed to that liaison position which former Commissioner Szerdi held prior. (The Sister City portion of the meeting was hilarious; that part will be separated out for a special video to come soon. Don't want to give too much away here.)
  • Race was an underlying theme throughout the meeting. Mention was made during public comment (and Commissioner reactions to public comment) about the well known incident (reported in The Lake Worth Herald) regarding the racial slur uttered in the Commission Chambers by Mrs. McNamara prior to the Special City Commission meeting last Monday (3/16), which ushered the re-elected and newly elected commissioners to the dais. Commissioner Maier made a point to distance himself from one of his most prominent and vocal supporters by simply pointing out that she was seated on the McVoy-Maier side of the Chambersnot the Szerdi sideso it wasn't as if she was saving a seat for him, even though she was. General disgust was expressed by everyone on the commission about the incident.
  • Race raised its head again when Vice Mayor Maxwell attempted to point out the long, entrenched history of institutional racism in the city that's led to lack of basic infrastructure in neighborhoods traditionally occupied by black and minority populations. He might have gone too far when he stated that those who voted against the LW2020 bond were racist, although he did state the obvious: most of the city's unpaved streets and shoddy infrastructure are in those areas populated by minorities Vice Mayor Maxwell referred to. Mayor Triolo then reminded everyone that the city was founded by a married couple, freed black slaves, that ran the post office in Jewel which is now the City of Lake Worth. She pointed out that Fannie James was forced to move out of the city she founded due to the creation of a law that forced black people to live outside the city. She pointed out that incident was a terrible legacy in the city's history. It was an impassioned response that deserves a watch when the city's video is available (in a day or two).
  • We were treated to flyspecking contracts on fleet maintenance and other items that were on the consent agenda by Commissioner Maier. This is part of the reason that the meeting lasted until almost 11 p.m. which required formal action by the city commission to extend the meeting past the agreed maximum ending time of 10 p.m. Most of this minutia could have been accomplished before the meeting or the following day (the city attorney is going to follow up). I think he was channeling Laurel Decker here, a CPA who is part of his flock (and spoke at the meeting), in an attempt to make him look like the smartest person in the room.
  • Then we got to the Invitation to Negotiate (ITN). I would refer you to the 3 hour and 15 minute mark of the meeting when City Manager Michael Bornstein recounts the events leading up to the issuance of the ITN by staff. You also might want to check out the public comment section before his remarks which included comments by former Commissioner Cara Jennings, Steve Ellman and others that submitted their comments to be read into the record. I'm not going to recount all of the goings on here, it was essentially a replay of the disinformation and misinformation that the public was fed prior to the March 10th elections. In the end the motion to scuttle the ITN was defeated by a 3-2 vote. That was done with the agreement the selection committee would make its findings and recommendations known in a work session format where the public could speak. We should have more information on this meeting soon.
  • Oh, and in the interest of transparency, all of the records from the selection committee will be made available on April 2nd. So all of the closed door meeting records will be in the Sunshine. City Manager Bornstein felt that nothing will be sensational in those records but it was an important gesture to show that the City really has nothing to hide. Beach conspiracy theorists still want to find out who knew what and when; as if there is something to hide (forcing the City to prove a negative). That's why it is important to listen to what Mr. Bornstein says at the 3 hour and 15 mark of the video, when it is available, I'll let you know.
Again, soon I'll have two videos separated out and up for my readers to watch: Retha Lowe's comments on the 'N-word' used at City Hall and City Manager Bornstein's explanation how the ITN process came to be. Stay tuned, as they say.

Private letter from Annie Bussinger to "Dear Neighbor" dated 9 days prior to election day (Tuesday, March 10th)

Note references to Ryan Maier, Commissioner McVoy, "privatization of our public beach", high rise building", "conflict of interest", "sunshine [Law]", and "public in the dark" (as well as other loaded language). 

Sound familiar?

These are the talking points that were used by John Szerdi's opponents "at the door". The exact same letter was sent to voters by several people throughout the citythe letter stayed the samejust the name, signature, and disclaimer were different.

Anonymous video from "Drones For Animal Defense"

This is a drone video of a "Non-human primate facility in Hendry County, FL, March [23rd] 2015". It's hard to determine what is actually going on at this facility due to how high the drone is; here's the video:

Jonathan Kendall at the New Times interviews the anonymous person who took this video. Anyone familiar with the New Times understands they have a flair for the dramatic. This story is no different; a "full on car chase" is part of the story told by the drone operator who wishes to remain anonymous.

Dee McNamara's email to Commissioner Ryan Maier, City Manager Bornstein, et al, dated 3/23/15 at 7:37 PM

First a reminder: once you compose an email and send it to a government official's 'official' email account (such as a commissioner or city manager for example) that email is immediately considered public information. Anyone can request to see the document. Mrs. McNamara knows this or certainly should by now. On January 26th of this year published this email from Dee McNamara where she compares Lake Worth Commissioner McVoy (who has a PhD) to his challenger at the time for the District 2 commission seat, Serge Jerome, Jr.:
[. . .] educated people know the difference, primitives don't.
In this latest email from Mrs. McNamara (below) she refers to Mayor Pam Triolo and certain unnamed commissioners as:
Not all are well brought up,obviously, display rude, primitive behavior,those must be replaced.
Sense a pattern? This particular email from Mrs. McNamara compelled Lake Worth City Manager Bornstein to respond; you can read that response here (scroll down, the email from Mr. Bornstein is in the text of the story). The entire email from Mrs. McNamara follows:

From: Dee McNamara []
Sent: Monday, March 23, 2015 7:37 PM
To:; Christopher McVoy; Michael Bornstein; Lynn Anderson; Dennis Dorsey; Jesse Santamaria; Steven L. Abrams; Joseph Abruzzo; Katie Kkss21; Debra Smith Kimo; June Evans;; Jennifer Marchal

Subject: Lake Worth's 20 Acre Palm Beach Island Beach front land;Deeded to Lake Worth exclusively, not to Hudson Holdings or its'employee.

The Brelsford family of Palm Beach donated Lake Worth and all its Citizens ,the 20 acre Palm Beach Island Ocean front beach land for public use for its exclusive enjoyment,as a Beach, not for out of Town developers to build even one brick on, which is illegal. Its is the Citizens and Town's PRIVATE property.

Michael Bornstein has authorized Commission members to take pleasure trips on our travel budget, which is directed solely for trips which must bring benefits to Lake Worth.has not increased our General fund with one penny.

Not one Commission member has brought a solution for our Downtown parking problems, which makes businesses come and go, not one of the Lake Worth illegal pleasure travelers,came back with a plan to make our only one oceanfront Olympic swimming pool which was robbed of its diving boards,(ask Jeff Clemens who allowed that)produce revenue according to its' potential.(Olympic swim meets?)

Bornstein did not have it attraction, replaced, part of his job,make it generate substantial revenue which it has obviously potential for,a plan Commission members after over $100,000.- travel money criminal waste, of lake Worth tax payers,should have come back with.

the League of Cities' which , has many intelligent, not alcoholics, members with excellent ideas for improvement of fiscal ,community,living conditions of Municipalities, re-creation programs.

Are Lake Worth Commission members on pleasure trips or productive missions for the improvement of the City's conditions which require professional plans to improve.many Departments? Those proven useless ones,returning without productive plans must be removed.

How much have they produced in Funding for this poor Town's infra structure?

Washington self promotion of incompetent windbags' trips, we paid for?Bornstein what result have you brought us for our travel tax money?
Our Utility Dept.bandied about as improved, is still not brought up to its most efficient production capacity,which has 2 simple solutions,to produce millions..

Our water has been sold to a National Monopoly,( Co sells stock on market)who will resell water to stupid,crooked, corrupt municipality Commissionsand employees,at extortionate prices, vacating towns by poor ,CRA low income thousands of residents imported, to prevent increase of the General fund, needed for services.What is Bornstein doing about his?

Mayor and Commission are public Servants and owe taxpayers,who are their paymasters, respect and courtesy of listening to their concerns .

Not all are well brought up,obviously, display rude, primitive behavior,those must be replaced.

City Attorney must represent Lake Worth tax payers, who pay his salary,not Hudson Holdings,an out of Town developer.

Concerned Tax payer Dee McNamara.

Check out our Lake Worth Public Library, but hurry—Bargain books still on sale

[UPDATE] Racist rant at City Hall—More News—where is The Palm Beach Post editorial board?

[UPDATE: Many of the public spoke at the City Commission Meeting last night (3/24) in outrage of Mrs. McNamara's use of the 'N-word' at that very location just 8 days prior. None was more outraged than former Commissioner Retha Lowe. Soon I'll have Retha Lowe's comments as a stand-alone video for my readers to watch for themselves; of course, The Palm Beach Post editorial board is also welcome to watch. Stay tuned.]

This is a major news story in the City of Lake Worth and The Palm Beach Post news division and the editorial board have decided to squash the story. Now, as witness intimidation has begun and The Lake Worth Herald is being attacked for publishing the story, you would think at least this would garner some attention from the Palm Beach County paper-of-record.

This is no longer about just racism any more. Now citizens and government officials are being targeted in order to silence them.

Here is an email that Lake Worth City Manager Michael Bornstein sent to Mrs. Dee McNamara on 3/24:

From: Michael Bornstein
Sent: Tuesday, March 24, 2015 12:55 PM
To: 'Dee McNamara';; Christopher McVoy; Lynn Anderson; Dennis Dorsey; Jesse Santamaria; Steven L. Abrams; Joseph Abruzzo; Katie Kkss21; Debra Smith Kimo; June Evans;; Jennifer Marchal;; ''; '';; Retha Lowe; Andy Amoroso; Christopher McVoy; John Szerdi; Pam Triolo; Scott Maxwell
Cc: Christy L. Goddeau; Clayton Lindstrom; Dolores Key; Germaine English; Jamie Brown; Joan Oliva; Juan Ruiz; Larry A. Johnson; Pamela Lopez; William Waters
Subject: RE: Lake Worth's 20 Acre Palm Beach Island Beach front land;Deeded to Lake Worth exclusively, not to Hudson Holdings or its'employee.


Due to the your recent outburst in the City Hall Chambers involving a racial slur, not once but twice, I feel compelled to respond. The honorable thing to do is to issue a publically stated apology for using the ‘N’ word in the Chambers. Lake Worth is proud of its diversity and openness, and I will not abide this kind of behavior in the people’s temple. Your nonfactual rants such as below about the elected officials and the staff will not be a distraction from this incident.


City Manager Bornstein is responding to a vicious email from Dee McNamara he received on 3/23. And, no, Dee McNamara did not apologize for using the 'N-word'.

On a totally different subject, my readers might find this quote interesting:
     Just because we refuse to have that public discussion [on race relations] doesn’t mean that tension is not there, lying below the surface, waiting for our own Ferguson, Staten Island or Cleveland.
     So instead of waiting, let’s start a dialogue. Let’s try to be honest about our negative (and erroneous) perceptions, so we can begin to move past them. Not yelling at, but talking to one another.
     It won’t be easy. But as my father always says, nothing worthwhile ever is.
     —Rick Christie, editor of The Palm Beach Post editorial board, in "Christie commentary: Can we finally have a conversation about race?", published on December 13, 2014.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

How big is news on the Red Cross Designer's Show House in the little City of Lake Worth?

It's international news. This is a really, really big story. Lake Worth's own 'Birthday Cake Castle' made the Architectural Digest; this is what Wikipedia has about this international magazine:
     Architectural Digest is an American monthly magazine founded in 1920. Its principal subject is interior design, not architecture more generally, as the name of the magazine suggests. The magazine is published by Condé Nast Publications, which also publishes eight international editions of Architectural Digest.
     Architectural Digest is aimed at an affluent and style-conscious readership, and is subtitled "The International Design Authority". The magazine also oversees the AD100, a list of top 100 architects and interior designers around the world.
You don't have to subscribe to the Architectural Digest to read about this story. Our own City of Lake Worth resident Mary Lindsey has a 3-part special assignment in The Lake Worth Herald (part 3 will be available later this week). Part 1 of the story in The Lake Worth Herald you can read here (an excerpt).

If you don't already get The Lake Worth Herald here are the subscription rates. For only $15 you can get the paper delivered right to your mailbox.

More errors in Ms. Menge's 'newspaper' and she misquotes the Bible! (and misquotes John Szerdi too)

Yesterday pointed out that Ms. Menge made significant errors in her 'transcription' of John Szerdi's "Full Text of Speech by Outgoing Commissioner John Szerdi". These appeared on page 7 of her ALWAYS FREE self-described community newspaper, Vol. 1, Issue 10 on March 20th.

The most egregious error occurred when she not only misquoted John Szerdi, she also misquoted the Book of Proverbs. Not exactly the type of error you would expect from someone who wants to open a charter school teaching the ancient classics.

Before I get to that error there are others; here are a few:

Ms. Menge published this:
For, we have a great need for financial and environmental sustainability in the city. 
Mr. Szerdi actually said:
For, we have a great need for financial and environmental stability in our city. 
 Ms. Menge published this:
     I'm a founding member of the cottages of Lake Worth, which is to promote one of the city's most valuable and charming resources we have. This in itself will continue to fill the city with more residents to patronize our businesses and create jobs.
Mr. Szerdi actually said:
     I'm a founding member of the cottages [sic, should be "Cottages"] of Lake Worth, which is to promote one of the city's most valuable and charming resources we have. This in itself will continue to refill the city with more residents to patronize our businesses and create jobs.
The difference between the words "fill" and "refill" may seem trivial but it's not at all. Mr. Szerdi is clearly referencing the many people who've abandoned the City of Lake Worth, due to the Great Recession for example, and the many properties that have subsequently fallen into disrepair. Many of these properties (including cottages), when renovated by new homeowners, will once again add to our city's charm and character.

And now to the most grievous error of them all, the misquotes by Ms. Menge of the Book of Proverbs and the Proverbs quote used by John Szerdi:

Ms. Menge published this:
     In closing, please indulge my reference to Proverbs 29:8. "People who make fun of wisdom cause trouble in the city. But wise people calm anger down."
Mr. Szerdi actually said:
     In closing, please indulge my reference to Proverbs 29:8. "People who make fun of wisdom cause trouble in a city, but wise people calm anger down."
Proverbs 29:8 was not referring to any one city in particular as Ms. Menge's misquote would lead someone to believe, certainly not the City of Lake Worth which was incorporated a few years after the Book of Proverbs was composed. In the video below, at the 8:52 mark, you can listen to John Szerdi's quote from the Book of Proverbs yourself.
Here is the correct version of Proverbs 29:8 that John Szerdi accurately quoted:
Instead of Ms. Menge publishing the entire text of John Szerdi's speech she could have just published a link to my video:

She's seen my video. How do I know that? Ms. Menge used a screen image from my video that was published on the front page of her newspaper:
This image was published on the front page of Ms. Menge's newspaper, above-the-fold.
This image is from my video that day on March 16th. It's from this spot in the City Commission chambers that I take video of the city commission meetings. Note where the image was cropped compared to the first image above.

Kristina Webb at the Post On Politics blog with a question. . .

Poll: Would you vote for Patrick Murphy for U.S. Senate?

Take a moment and cast your vote. Click on this link.

Letter to Lake Worth City Manager Michael Bornstein from Palm Beach County Film and Television Commission

Today—4:30 at Lake Worth City Hall: join Mayor Pam Triolo and City Commission—raising the Rainbow Flag

Don't forget to call your out-of-town friends: PrideFest starts this Saturday and the PrideFest Parade is on Sunday morning. This is one of the most fun events of the year in the little City of Lake Worth.

From Planetizen: "Study: Sprawl Costs the U.S. Economy $1 Trillion Annually"

There's talk of widening the Florida Turnpike, many more communities being built and more proposed west of I-95, and the need for more/wider east/west roads to accommodate this westward development. At the same time there are groups in every urban town and city along the coast of Palm Beach County that oppose any new development whatsoever in their already urban community. Meanwhile it's estimated 800 people, on average, are moving (permanently and seasonally) to the State of Florida each day and that number will increase as the economy heats up. Does that make any sense? 

Put it this way: the people trying to "save" their urban coastal community from "over-development" are contributing to the western sprawl in Palm Beach County. It's that simple. Instead of opposing development in our urban areas the question should be: "how to develop and fill our existing cities and towns to accommodate an increase in population?"

There's a huge cost associated with sprawling communities. Read this article to find out how high that cost is. From the article by Todd Litman published on March 19, 2015:
     A major new study estimates that sprawl costs the U.S. economy more than a trillion dollars annually, and results, in part, from planning and market distortions. Smart policy reforms can result in more efficient and equitable development.
     A major new report, Analysis of Public Policies that Unintentionally Encourage and Subsidize Sprawl, written by the Victoria Transport Policy Institute for the New Climate Economy in partnership with the LSE (London School of Economics) Cities program, estimates the costs of sprawl, identifies planning and market distortions that foster sprawl, and describes smarter policies that can help correct these distortions.
     The new report defines smart growth—the opposite of urban sprawl—as compact, connected and coordinated urban development. [emphasis added] Smart growth cities and towns have well-defined boundaries, a range of housing options, a mix of residential and commercial buildings, and accessible sidewalks, bike lanes and public transportation. By reducing per capita land consumption and infrastructure and transportation costs, smart urban growth policies can deliver significant economic, social and environmental benefits.
So who exactly are the true environmentalists?

Videos from last nights presentation on the Gulfstream Hotel

The presentation was sponsored by the Bryant Park Neighborhood Association. Darrin Engel, the Bryant Park NA vice president, did an excellent job as host. Steve Michael, a principal of Hudson Holdings, also does a very good summation outlining where the process is at this point in time.

I would suggest watching these two videos prior to reading any reports of what someone else says what was said. Hear and see for yourself.

My only criticism of the presentation was the room itself. Although the venue is ideal for a neighborhood meeting the acoustics can be terrible at times. Many good questions were asked although at one point an audience member took a very disrespectful tone which was unfortunate—that kind of behavior doesn't add to the debate. 

At the 24:00 minute mark in the first video Mr. John Szerdi had a comment which should be listened to. Check back later for more highlights from the presentation. 

[UPDATE] From last weeks Lake Worth Herald: Dee McNamara uses racial slur "N****r" at swearing in ceremony

[Update: Mrs. McNamara's supporter's have settled on a strategy to deal with this situation: They've decided to attack the messenger and witnesses instead of dealing with the true matter at hand. At the end of this post is a comment left by Mrs. McGiveron in response to the article in The Lake Worth Herald.]

For the entire story story about Dee McNamara's unladylike behavior at the swearing in ceremony on Monday (3/16) go to Here is an excerpt from the front page, above-the-fold story:
     Monday, prior to the start of the swearing in ceremonies, city staff placed signs on some of the pews in the commission chambers reserving seating for family members of Christopher McVoy, Ryan Maier, and John Szerdi.
     According to a staff member, Dee McNamara complained and was told she should find another seat. McNamara asked the staff member if she expected her to sit in the back like a N-----. The staff member was deeply offended and McNamara pointed to the skin on her arm and asked if she looked like a N-----.
When asked to comment on this terrible incident, Dee McNamara asked "who was telling lies about her and hung up the phone."

Here is Mrs. McNamara (straw hat with black bow), seated in the front row before the special meeting:
Notice the fashionable hat and gloves. Keeping the Trib's newsprint off her dewy hands.
Here, Mrs. McNamara offers her space to Mr. Maier upon his arrival at the City Commission Chambers.
Below, you can see where she spent the remainder of the meeting, between Ms. Anderson and her husband, Laurence.
You might be interested in Dee McNamara's Facebook page and you can check out her blog also
Below is Katie McGiveron's comment left about the situation. Dee McNamara's supporters have clearly decided to go into attack mode. Any of you hoping to see a genuine reflection on the state of race relations in the City of Lake Worth will be disappointed.
Clearly Mrs. McGiveron didn't read the article published in The Lake Worth Herald

Monday, March 23, 2015

Senator Jeff Clemens tries to get Governor Scott's Emergency Management official to say "Climate Change."

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has said that states must account for the effects of climate change in emergency management plans or face the possibility of losing federal disaster assistance money. The problem is that Governor Scott has banned state employees from using the term, "climate change." This resulted in one official being suspended and made to go through a mental health evaluation before returning to his position. State Senator Clemens tries to coax those words out of this state employee. Hilarity ensues.

Margaret Menge: more errors in her "community newspaper"—she misquotes John Szerdi

Received a text this morning pointing out more errors in Ms. Menges newspaper. These errors appear on page 7 in the "Full Text of Speech by Outgoing Commissioner John Szerdi". I took a video of John Szerdi's speech and you can watch that here.

 Mr. Szerdi's comments begin at the 1:50 mark on the video and Ms. Menge's errors can be verified starting at the 2:50 mark on the video:
Ms. Menge published this:
And I challenge those of you who don't know me to challenge any evidence to the contrary.
Mr. Szerdi said:
And I challenge those of you who don't know me to produce any real evidence to the contrary.
Ms. Menge published this:
I do take solace in the fact that there's no true satisfaction in learning by deceit.
Mr. Szerdi said:
I do take solace in the fact that there's no true satisfaction in winning by deceit.
Ms. Menge is a self-described 'journalist' and 'editor' with experience in the field of journalism, or so she claims. That experience has culminated in a newspaper that, after 10 issues, is still FREE and has almost no advertising. 

She's used her FREE newspaper to go after people like Nadine Burns, Mayor Pam Triolo, Marshall Pass, Gerald Coscia, John Szerdi, and if the reports are accurate, Commissioner Andy Amoroso is her target this week (which makes sense since PrideFest begins this Saturday). It's a truly sad commentary on what is offered up to the community of Lake Worth by Ms. Menge, a 'journalist' who has to corrected by a blogger and other citizens who have no professional journalism background at all. 

No doubt there are other, and I would guess many more errors in Ms. Menge's "Full Text of Speech by Outgoing Commissioner John Szerdi". I'll have more of them tomorrow. Stay tuned. 

Pictures of the Flolfing Event in our Downtown Jewel Neigborhood

Go to AnnaMaria's blog and check out all the pictures. The event was a huge success. You can find out more about the Downtown Jewel Neighborhood Association here.

If you want to know more about your neighborhood association or find which neighborhood you live in, go to the Neighborhood Associations Presidents' Council (NAPC) website where there is a map and also a link to each and every neighborhood association in the City of Lake Worth.

Here is the NAPC Facebook page and email.

Special meeting tonight, vis-à-vis the Gulfstream Hotel, and another reporting error by Ms. Menge

At 7:00 tonight a presentation will be given by Hudson Holdings about plans for the Gulfstream Hotel. You can hear for yourself what is happening without getting the filtered version with all the innuendo, misinformation, and disinformation you've heard up to this point.

The meeting is sponsored by the Bryant Park Neighborhood Association and will be located at The Beach Club at the Lake Worth Municipal Golf Course.

In another reporting error by Margaret Menge on March 20th:
A presentation on The Cottages of Lake Worth will precede the presentation by representatives from Hudson Holdings.
This is not true. The Cottages of Lake Worth presentation was cancelled and will be rescheduled.

Work on the Lake Worth bridge is finishing up. . .

Taken March 23rd at about 11:30 a.m.
Thank goodness this is getting back to normal. I really am surprised that there have been no serious pedestrian/bicycle/car accidents while the bridge was down to half its usual capacity.