Saturday, April 18, 2015

Yesterday at the pool . . . thoughts . . .

Looking north, from the covered area south of the pool.
Every now and then, my morning schedule can accommodate a bike ride to the pool where I exercise on my own for about 45 minutes or so. I refer to it as my version of "dancing as if nobody's watching." Which, unfortunately, is more the case than not during the week as there are usually few people in the pool while I am there. Even if there were 20 people at the pool yesterday morning, they would not be easily accommodated since the pool is currently arranged in a 10 lane, 50 meter configuration. This is great for swim teams and there are a few that use it, some on a regular basis. Other times, the lanes are set up in an east/west orientation, which allows for more lap swimming and a free swim area in the middle of the pool.

I can also tell you that the pool remained around 80 degrees all during the winter season. The heaters were able to keep up and blankets were placed over the pool by the lifeguards at the end of the day. That is quite a process and you can still see the blankets rolled up on the western side of the pool/locker building. I found out just this week that the kiddie pool north of the main pool is idle and without water in it for a reason. The reason is it heats up first and takes potential heat away from the large pool. It ends up being almost like a hot tub if it is filled with water and heated. The lifeguards mentioned that they may fill it during the summer. I only remember it being filled last about two years ago. I can tell you that the pool temperature was very warm yesterday. This is the time of year that they don't need to use the blankets.
Looking west under the covered awning area at the south end of the pool. And, no, the pool deck is not tilted; my cellphone camera was not level when I took this. The pool is slightly lower on the west side than the east, but that doesn't seem to impair its function. Some thought this settling may have happened during the construction of the "new" casino building. 
This is really the only area (above) for consistent shade by the pool. I have seen this area used for parties now and then. Food and drink are allowed around the pool, but no alcohol and no smoking. There is another area like this on the north side, but it still gets sun as it doesn't have a wall which blocks the sun on the south side of the pool like the area shown above. It is also somewhat restricted due to the empty state of the kiddie pool. It is posted "No EntryClosed" since the open, empty pool is a hazard. The lifeguards are quick to use their whistle if anyone goes beyond the bench on that side of the pool. They also strictly enforce the "No Running" rule with a few toots of their whistle. And don't mess with the floating lane lines—that will get you whistled at quickly.
One of the "romantic" scenes that adorn the west wall of the otherwise very plain pool/locker building.
There is a lovely mural on the west wall of the pool building that was painted by the members of the Lake Worth Art League back in 2010. It is done in a Roman theme and there are imaginary vistas as if you can see the ocean through the building. Of course you can't, but it is a pleasing illusion. One can only wonder what this concrete building would look like without such an artistic decoration.

These murals were finished just a year before the pool was closed by the Susan Stanton administration, in part to make the City's case that Greater Bay and Peter Willard didn't perform under their contract to redevelop the Casino building complex. The condition of the pool was portrayed as unusable and fingers were pointed in the direction of Greater Bay. By now, we all know that the city had to pay Greater Bay $1.6 million to settle the lawsuit and spent $900,000 defending the city's breach of contract. By using the search feature of this blog (upper right-corner), you can read up on the Casino project and Greater Bay's plan for the complex.

The pool was closed all during the demolition of the older casino building and the construction of the new one. Water remained in the pool during that entire time and some imagined that served to tease people who regularly used the pool in the past. Many still comment about that period and see it as the City's first attempt to send a message its ultimate intent was to close the pool. Remember, that was during the previous administration and a different City Commission.
This version of the pool has been around since 1971 and this plaque tells the story of who was around then that were part of that decision making process. The former pool was to the west of the north end of the former casino building. It morphed from a saltwater pool in the 1920's and had a variety of diving platforms. I'll see if I can find some of those pictures on my hard drive and put them up later. The point here is that, from the earliest days of the Lake Worth beach area, there was a swimming pool that was part of the offerings. I'm not sure what discussion occurred about the construction of the current pool at the Casino complex or if other locations were considered or not. If someone can recall you can share that information in the comments section below.
Plaque showing the members of the city commission and administration at the time of the pool's original construction.
The sign below recognizes the FRDAP grant that the city was in jeopardy of losing had not Greater Bay and Peter Willard done the work before the grant's expiration deadline. The amount of the pool project was around $420,000, with about half coming from the city and half coming from the state. There was a lot of electrical work done to the pool at that time, along with the installation of new pool deck material. The decision was made to do most of the work on aesthetic improvements to the pool. The Greater Bay plan would have relocated the access to the pool to the west.
Even though my first stint on a volunteer board was the Leisure Services Board, where we talked a lot about the pool and its operations, I had never been in the pool until the middle part of 2013. It was then I discovered the water aerobics class. I can tell you that, combined with biking, this routine has helped issues that I had with my lower back. I wish that I had taken advantage of this community pool earlier in my 23 year residency in Lake Worth. Then, like now, attendance at the pool was an issue and everyone has their reason why.

Some complain that the city can do more to promote the pool. The case can be made for that; however the reality is it comes down to resources that the City just doesn't have right now. We should all look forward, and not FEAR, the opportunity that the Invitation to Negotiate (ITN) provides in how better to utilize this property and the pool to the benefit of the user and the Lake Worth taxpayer. I am approaching this with an open mind and I think we all should do the same. Do not get caught up in the hysteria ginned up during the lead up to the election or the flames repeatedly fanned by a weekly tabloid which magically appeared just after the new year, prior to our last election. You know, the one with little or no advertising that's "ALWAYS FREE" and litters most of our public places and businesses.

Oh, I thought you might like to see the certificate I received from the City back in 1997 when the Leisure Services was dissolved. It was later replaced by the Recreation Board.

Fifty years ago yesterday: the first gay rights protest in the U.S.

Late yesterday saw this story from ABC News by Kirsten Appleton. What's believed to be the first protest for gay rights in American history occurred on April 17, 1965 in front of the White House. Here's an excerpt:
     Paul Kuntzler said that when he and nine other people picketed the White House 50 years ago today, protesting the government's treatment of gays and lesbians, he could not imagine how far the gay rights movement would come in five decades.
     That protest on April 17, 1965, is believed to the first gay rights demonstration, advocates say.
     "It was so revolutionary,” Kuntzler, 73, said. “It had never been done before anywhere in the world. We all wore coat and ties and we all had pseudonyms."
     At the time they felt they had to use made-up names to protect their identities, he said.
     "I wasn’t scared," said Kuntzler, who had moved from Grosse Pointe Woods, Michigan, to Washington three years before.
     "I was intrigued by the idea. But I was intimidated by all the photographers. I was only 23. And as they came across the street they started photographing us. Every time I approached the cameras, I hid behind my sign because I was unnerved by the whole thing. But I don’t think I was scared. I was very open and proud of being gay.
     "People passed by in disbelief. It was written on their faces," he recalled. "It had never had happened before.”

Darryl Willis: "Which came first? Tracks or houses?"

Every once in a while a "Letter to the Editor" appears in the Post that deserves special attention. The recent public debate and daily news stories about the FEC train horns is winding down and now everybody's waiting for the next big thing to come along.

Like Darryl Willis, and many of you I imagine, always wondered why anyone would buy or rent property near the train tracks and then complain about the noise? Would bet that prior to becoming a train engineer there was a little training involved. When I hear a long train horn I think the engineer is looking down the tracks and seeing something unsafe happening and warning people to get out of the way. But that's just me. Others think the train engineers have other motives.

Here's the Letter to the Editor:
     In response to the Tuesday letter, “103.6 decibels OK? Try living nearby,” complaining about the “heavy-handed engineer” blowing the horn too often and too loudly, I say this.
     I wonder if the writer would rather there be more deadly accidents at the crossing? How much would that affect the quality of life of local residents?
     I understand being annoyed by the noise, but unless one moved into the area many decades ago, the tracks were, presumably, there first. Perhaps some more research into potential neighborhoods is warranted before making the move?
By the way, I first lived in Lake Worth on the 700 block of South H Street, which is just east of the railroad tracks. The apartment was somewhat buffered as it was at the east end of a duplex on the east side of the street. The properties on the west side backed right up to the FEC tracks. But the rumble of the train and the horns were loud, especially during the winter months when the windows were open. Which also let us hear the random gunfire in the area too. Eventually, we acclimated and didn't notice the neighborhood noises as much. 

John Prince Park: back on the table for Spring Training Baseball?

Joe Capozzi at The Palm Beach Post has this article today titled, "Return of tomahawk chop? Atlanta Braves flirt with Palm Beach County". Mr. Capozzi writes about the hard feelings from 20 years ago when the Braves walked away from a deal and Shelley Vana is quoted a lot in the article. Twenty years is a long time and people are still angry about what happened back then. For those of us in the City of Lake Worth and our neighboring communities this is the part that should get you excited (again):
     “We’ve always said it’s great now that we have these two other teams but let’s get another one. The more, the merrier for us,” said Roger Dean Stadium general manager Mike Bauer.
     The Braves “still have a nice fan base here. Whether the county has the money, that’s a question for them,” Bauer said.
     Although there’s probably no county money available for another spring training facility, the Braves could tap $25 million in state money for single-team facilities [emphasis added]. That would not be enough for a new single-team facility – the most recent one, for the Chicago Cubs in Arizona, cost $99 million.
     If the Braves are serious about moving to Palm Beach County, they could look at John Prince Park in suburban Lake Worth, which was studied by the Astros and Nationals but ultimately rejected because it was too small.
     “We’d still love to have them,’’ Marcus [Karen Marcus, former county commissioner] said of the Braves. “In baseball, anything is possible.’’
John Prince Park was the ideal location for the Washington Nationals and the Houston Astros in every way but one: they needed more space. It was possible to create more land by filling in parts of Lake Osborne (the lake was created using fill) or possibly acquiring land from the nearby college.

Ultimately the city of West Palm and the Palm Beach County Commission set aside their differences for the time being and made the deal for a stadium in West Palm Beach. Oh well.

Keep the hope alive folks!

"I'm confused. I've heard about this thing called an ITN. Can someone explain it to me?"

You've come to the right place. Sans the silly headlines and hysteria the video below explains what an Invitation to Negotiate (ITN) is. City Manager Michael Bornstein (who just received a 5-year contract extension) starts from the beginning: what an ITN is and why the ITN process was chosen. The video is a little more than 7 minutes long. Enjoy.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Issue 13 of Margaret Menge's tabloid and it's still free!

All the noise about people having to pay for her tabloid this week was just that, noise. Apparently she's no longer able to drop the paper at houses in neighborhoods anymore; now she, or one of her minions, is tasked with leaving piles at places like Publix and other downtown establishments alongside real newspapers like the Sun Sentinel and The Palm Beach Post. Faux gravitas.

For those wondering why Ms. Menge is publishing her own paper it's because no respectable news organization will hire her; so start your own paper! Problem solved. However, the real problem still exists: Ms. Menge is a terrible reporter and an even worse editor. But she is a very good writer though. A good writer does not mean that person can be a reporter; reporting on events is a talent. A skill that businesses like The Palm Beach Post pay a lot of money for. Whether it's intentional or not she manipulates headlines, mixes fact with opinion, loaded language, and uses clever name drops and quotes. You can see how someone who didn't know the facts would fall for it.

Take for example this gem:
This is very clever. Note the title: "City Demolishing Boarded-Up Buildings". Note the picture; this is Mr. Greg Rice's property that was demolished on April 10th. If you didn't take the time to read the article you would conclude what? The City demolished Mr. Rice's property. Right? Wrong. 

Mr. Rice paid for this himself. 

Here are the first five words by Ms. Menge: "A historic Lucerne Avenue building". The building is on Lucerne Ave: TRUE. The building is historic: FALSE. The building that was demolished was old. It was not historic. There is a very big difference. Some old man in Atlantis reminiscing false memories of who/what/when 'back in the day' has no place in the present. Many city commissions, going back decades, had their priorities and saving buildings west of Dixie wasn't among them. Now people like City Manager Michael Bornstein and Mayor Pam Triolo are tasked with cleaning up the mess left by former mayors and commissions. Dennis Dorsey is one of those mayors. And so was former Commissioner JoAnn Golden. And Cara Jennings. Need I go on?

The silver lining is ever since Ms. Menge's Vol. 1/Issue 1 in January of this year my blog traffic is off the charts. Always look for the good in everything!

There's a lot of material in this week's paper by Ms. Menge. It's a target-rich environment so I'll have to be selective. Stay tuned and as always, thank you for visiting my blog.

Oh, hold on! Here's one more thing:

The 'facts' above will be the subject of a future post. "Deputy editor of the Miami Herald-owned paper there." Come now, Margaret. Just a SLIGHT exaggeration?

Royal Park (Middle) Bridge to Palm Beach

The Royal Park (Middle) Bridge will have the outside lane closed in each direction, intermittently, 9 a.m. until 3:30 p.m., Tuesday, April 21, through Thursday, April 23, for bridge repairs.

Lake Worth Municipal Pool: how to increase attendance (Warning: ideas follow; may be upsetting to some)

This article is from Recreation Management: Ideas and Solutions for Recreation, Sports and Fitness Facilities:
     Because splashpads are known to draw a crowd, their location can also help to transform an underperforming recreational area into a hub of social activity, as did the Highland's Park Splash Pad that has since helped to revitalize an existing community park.
     "The splashpad in Cottage Grove has turned a fairly underutilized park into a gathering place for the community," Dockter explained. "On any given day, you'll find hundreds of people of all makes and walks of life enjoying not only the splashpad, but the playground, ball fields, courts, picnicking facilities and trails. Residents are making and or/rekindling connections that may not have existed without this recreational feature."
I've been receiving many emails about municipal pools and how they've been transformed to meet community needs around the nation. Individuals and families simply want more options and the technology is now available. Splashpads are hugely popular; there is one in John Prince Park. Check it out some day.    

Email from Bonnie Fanelli, Classical Christian Academy of the Palm Beaches: Meeting tonight

Received this email from Bonnie Fanelli, got distracted and forgot about it. I apologize. They're having an information meeting tonight and the details are below. I wrote a post about this new school opening in Lake Worth that you can read here. Note that the Classical Christian Academy in Lake Worth is not to be confused with the Lake Worth Classical Academy. With that said here is the information:

Dear Friends of the Classical Christian Academy of the Palm Beaches,

This is just a reminder about our next Information Meeting which will be held April 17th [TONIGHT], 2015 at 7:00 pm. Please feel free to share this email with your family and friends. We are excited about meeting people in the Palm Beach area that are interested in classical Christian education. The meeting will be held at 1401 2nd Avenue North, Lake Worth, Florida 33460.

If you would like to learn more about CCA, please visit: or like our page on Facebook. It is always my pleasure to answer any questions you have about CCA or classical Christian education. I hope you will contact me if I can be of help in either of these areas.

Bonnie Fanelli, Founder
Classical Christian Academy of the Palm Beaches

[UPDATE] Remember this paragraph from Palm Beach Post endorsement of Commissioner McVoy?

[UPDATE: I emailed Stacey Singer about the issue below and she hasn't gotten back to me. What made me think about this today was a pull quote in the Post editorial today: "Voters deserve more from those who may govern than careful scripting, edited message". I was sitting down at the time and, yes, I am fine. If you're familiar with what happened you know what I'm referring to. Here is the post from April 5th:]

Stacey Singer of The Palm Beach Post editorial board wrote the endorsement for Commissioner McVoy recommending his re-election in the City of Lake Worth. Here is a paragraph from the endorsement on March 3rd, one week prior to election day:
     For a couple of years, [emphasis added] City Manager Mike [sic] Bornstein has been hosting a private buffet for commissioners before the public meeting. Bornstein insists the meetings are innocent of Sunshine Law violations. That’s probably true, but McVoy has asked the county’s inspector general for an opinion.
Remember now, at no time has this issue of a "private buffet" ever been raised in The Palm Beach Post, neither as a news story nor in the editorial section; or anywhere else for that matter. Not once. If McVoy was so troubled by this "private buffet" why did he wait until February 23rd (15 days prior to election day) to address this issue? On what day did McVoy sit down with the Post editorial board and how soon after his "request for a ruling" from the Office of the Inspector General?
Interesting timing, isn't it? McVoy raises the question before anyone had time to give an answer. And why did Commissioner McVoy compose his "request for a ruling" on Friday, February 20th and not send it until the following Monday at 3:56 p.m. near the conclusion of the business day at the Office of the Inspector General?

Here is the opening paragraph from Stacey Singer's endorsement of McVoy:
     The key issue in Lake Worth’s municipal election seems to be trust, or the lack thereof. The question is, which candidates are best positioned to improve that trust?

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Commissioner Andy Amoroso, the CRA, and neighborhood associations want you to. . .


As promised . . . following up on Andrew Marra's news on rejected charter school: the Lake Worth Classical Academy

First, congratulations to the new school opening soon in the City of Lake Worth, the Classical Christian Academy (CCA). I've been in contact with Bonnie Fanelli and helped promote one of their meetings last month. What's so special about this school is their principled stance, regardless of anyone's personal views on school and religion. They are not seeking charter school status and relying on taxpayer dollars to educate children; tax dollars come with strings and consequences. This sort of effort is gaining traction around the country and was recently an article in the venerable New York Times.

Also, today's edition of The Lake Worth Herald has an article on the CCA. Here is an excerpt:
The Classical Christian Academy of the Palm Beaches located at 128 North C Street will be opening August of 2015 with kindergarten through fifth grade. The school will be using the facilities of Lake Worth First Church of the Nazarene, but will be operating as an independent non-denominational private school. [emphasis added] There are around 169 private schools in the county. This school is distinctly different because it is the only classical Christian school in the county.
This effort by CCA stands in contrast to another effort to start a school teaching the classics called the Lake Worth Classical Academy (LWCA). The LWCA went the route of becoming a charter school and that idea failed. Here is what Andrew Marra reported in The Palm Beach Post:
     Also Wednesday, the Board of Education upheld the school board’s decision to reject another charter school: Lake Worth Classical Academy [emphasis added], which proposed to teacher Latin and Greek language and literary classics.
     The school board had determined the school’s plan was not financially viable, in part because it depended on winning private grants and donations. The school’s managers appealed, but the board of education unanimously vote to reject the appeal.
Most everyone familiar with this issue knows the proposed LWCA is the brainchild of Ms. Margaret Menge. She writes this in August of last year:
     The charter application is in and we are swiftly moving forward with plans for the Lake Worth Classical Academy.
     There's a lot to be done. But I remain undaunted. I am willing to do whatever it takes to establish this model of excellence in the Lake Worth community. Are we returning to an "old-style" of education? Well, yes. In a way. We are going to reintroduce the rigor, the in-depth study of history and the high standards that were hallmarks of public education in America until around the 1940s.
It would be interesting to know what Ms. Menge believes happened in the 1940's to the public school systems around the country. And the irony isn't lost that she's asking for tax dollars to teach her own version of "high standards". Ever since January 16th of this year, starting with Vol. 1/Issue 1 of her tabloid, the people of Lake Worth have been regaled by her 'high standards'—her fascination with suicide and a complete lack of understanding of a government processto name just two. Trust me when I say there are many other examples.

If Ms. Menge, or anyone for that matter, had instead proposed a charter school to teach Guatemalan adults how to speak English or immigrants how to assimilate into our culture she/they would have had broad support in our community, myself included. Maybe someone can start that debate in the City of Lake Worth.

The opening soon of the Lake Worth Classical Christian Academy demonstrates there is much support for this type of instruction for children. If you have an interest in this or would like to help them out I'm sure they could use volunteers and most certainly they'll need money too. Here is their address and phone number:

128 North C Street
Lake Worth, FL 33460
(561) 469-9470

If I receive any news from the CCA will pass it along and will certainly try to attend their grand opening in August.

Good luck and welcome to the City of Lake Worth!

Bachmann: God Punishing US With 'Economic Disasters, Natural Disasters' Due To Obama Presidency (NOT A JOKE)

More from the file, "You Can't Make This Stuff Up". Can you spare two minutes? Listen to Michelle Bachmann on the End Times.

Here is text from the article:
Former Rep. Michele Bachmann appeared on the End Times broadcast “Understanding the Times with Jan Markell” over the weekend, where she claimed that America is facing the wrath of God in the form of “natural disasters” because of President Obama’s Mideast policy. Later in the program, Bachmann said that Obama has thrown the world into the End Times. 
Heavy sigh.

Tony Doris: Put your kids in a giant colon for a great learning experience

After cleaning up my computer coughing up my last sip of coffee. . .

Tony Doris' article is about this interesting exhibit:
     The South Florida Science Center and Aquarium invites the public to “Eww! What’s Eating You?,” on Sunday, May 3, a “parade of parasites, including preserved and live specimens – specifically those that enjoy feasting on humans.”
IF YOU GO (no pun intended):
What’s Eating You? admission to the Science Center is $15.00 for adults, $11.00 for children ages 3 to 12, and $13.00 for seniors over the age of 60. Children under 3 and Science Center members are free.

What's all that smoke out west? Watch this video

David Fleshler at the Sun Sentinel has an excellent news story on the controlled burns going on this week. His article includes a video of Serena Rinker, the spokeswoman for the Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge, who explains why this action is necessary. From the text of the story:
     Smoke will rise over the Everglades of western Palm Beach County Wednesday and Thursday, as wildlife managers begin burning 12,000 acres of freshwater marsh to improve wildlife habitat and reduce the risk of future fires.
     The Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge, which runs west of U.S. 441 from Boca Raton to Wellington, plans to conduct the burns across an arc of wetlands running from west of Delray Beach to west of Lake Worth, along the canal running north and south near the refuge's border.

CBS12/WPEC and the Lake Worth "Beach": a primer on how to spin The News

[Singling out Lauren Hills isn't my goal here. The terrible reporting at CBS12, especially concerning the City of Lake Worth, is legendary at WPEC. Not to say there aren't professionals there; Chuck Weber (for example) is an excellent TV news reporter. However. . .

This particular story (below) by WPEC appeared as a news segment only a few days before our municipal elections here in Lake Worth. Lauren Hills refers to a "Backroom" meeting which was anything but. Why am I re-posting a blog post from early last month? I think it's important to remember. Here is the original blog post from March 6th:]

The title of the story by Lauren Hills at CBS12/WPEC uses the word: "Backroom". Why isn't the title only: "Lake Worth Residents Concerned Over Beach Development Proposals"? 

Here is the definition of "backroom" in
a place where powerful or influential persons, especially politicians, meet to plan secretly or from which they exercise control in an indirect manner
Lauren Hills refers to a meeting by neighbors of the Gulfstream Hotel with the new owners. Here is a letter from a witness who was at that meeting:
If you're looking for facts and professional journalism, especially about important topics like the Lake Worth Beach/Casino, you really need to read the work by people such as Alexandra Clough and Eliot Kleinberg at the Palm Beach Post. If you don't subscribe then maybe you should. 

If you're a big fan of TV news (of which I am not), Channel 5/WPTV's Brian Entin recently did a very fair and accurate story on the Beach/Casino story

Back to the story by Lauren Hills. THE REASON WHY THIS STORY IS A STORY, SHE NEVER MENTIONS IN HER STORY. Our Casino/Beach complex is hemorrhaging money. The business plan has failed and it's up to our current city commission to fix it. 

As far as the "secrecy" Lauren Hills repeatedly refers to? Commissioner McVoy voted to keep the process a secret; it was a unanimous vote:
Lauren Hills didn't mention this either.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Dorothy L. Sayers: English poet, playwright, essayist, and Christian humanist (1893–1957)

“I entirely agree that a historian ought to be precise in detail; but unless you take all the characters and circumstances into account, you are reckoning without the facts. The proportions and relations of things are just as much facts as the things themselves.”

[CORRECTION] Breaking News: Andrew Marra at Post on Lake Worth Classical Christian Academy

[CORRECTION: The charter school rejected is called the "Lake Worth Classical Academy", not the "Lake Worth Classical Christian Academy".]

Andrew Marra in story out tomorrow reports Margaret Menge's proposed charter school, the Classical Christian Academy, has been rejected unanimously by the Florida Board of Education!

Check back tomorrow for more on this tomorrow.

Again, Margaret Menge's charter school proposal is REJECTED.

Again, the use of the Royal "we"...

"We" all know that the other blogger spends most of her time off the rails, so it's no surprise she's done it again and is digging in even deeper. In a convoluted way, she attempted to equate her blog and rants with actual journalism, as if she is providing an unbiased and reliable public service. In doing this, she compares herself to the late Walter Lippmann, a true giant of journalism and political commentary. She ends her proclamation with this:
For the other blogger to put herself on the pedestal of a noted journalist, one would have to bury years of evidence to the contrary. For example, now that it is getting cold up North, many Snowbirds are returning to Lake Worth. Many Snowbirds are neighbors of the other blogger in the Lake Osborne area of the city. The Snowbirds, mostly Northerners and Canadians, add much to our economy and our culture as well. Here's what our "journalist" thinks of our Snowbird neighbors and visitors here in Lake Worth, Florida:

I doubt the late, great Walter Lippmann would approve.

In conclusion, here is a quote from Walter Lippmann the other blogger should take to heart:
"There is no arguing with the pretenders to a divine knowledge and to a divine mission. They are possessed with the sin of pride, they have yielded to the perennial temptation."

Finding Commissioner Maier

Lake Worth Commissioner Ryan Maier was sworn in on March 16th, a month ago. He was invited to attend his neighborhood association meeting on Monday, April 13th. He was a no-show, no-call for the South Palm Park neighborhood meeting. However, former Commissioner John Szerdi was there at the meeting.

The next day, Tuesday, April 14th, was the Lake Worth Volunteer Appreciation Breakfast sponsored by the City. He was a no-show at that event also.

His lying about serving on the Lake Worth Sister City board is well documented and we'll revisit that at a later time.

Was he out of town? Otherwise busy with other things? Those at the South Palm Park neighborhood meeting would like to know. And so would many volunteers at the Appreciation Breakfast on Tuesday.

Being an elected official is more than just showing up at commission meetings. On the campaign trail Maier reportedly would show up at people's doors and show a picture of then-Commissioner Szerdi, then quickly ask, "do you know who this is?" Before they could answer he would say something along the lines that no else does either, insinuating that John Szerdi was not doing his job. Mr. Szerdi has always been very involved in the community and he has continued to stay involved; even attending city commission meeting and participating in public comment.

I can see how being in a room full of actively involved volunteers would make Maier uncomfortable, however, our volunteers are crucial to the City's future. Hopefully we'll hear Commissioner Maier acknowledge that sooner than later.

A Celebration of Life for Morag Elizabeth Dick

Saturday, April 25. 3pm Prompt. A Celebration of Life for Morag Elizabeth Dick will be held at the tiki at The Beach Club Lake Worth. It is a casual affair.  Some drinks and snacks will be provided. Please distribute as you feel necessary. I ask for some quiet time for a few days please. Overwhelmed with well wishes. Thank you for all of them. I just need some time. If more details are prudent I will post here when and if needed. Thank you. - Shona

If you would like to leave some remembrances in the comments section, I will be sure to pass them on. Morag was a good friend to many in Lake Worth and always positive about our unique little city.

In the swimming pool don't you wish there were other things to do!

Palm Beach Post: Fueling the Hysteria about the Lake Worth "Beach"

Here's an ill-informed and incorrect "Editor's note":
Editor’s note: The city is weighing a proposal by Hudson Holdings, owner of the historic Gulfstream Hotel, to turn parts of the oceanfront Lake Worth Casino into a members-only beach club.
Wrong. Print a correction.

This 'note' appeared below a Letter to the Editor published in The Palm Beach Post today from Jeanine Murnane who is uninformed also. She writes this:
Leave our Lake Worth Beach alone, real estate salespeople and developers. You’d have only wealthy people enjoying it soon.
Ms. Murnane, nothing is happening with the "Lake Worth Beach".

Here are the TWO titles given to this little gem of a letter:

In the print edition: Lake Worth Beach doesn't need club
In the on-line edition: Keep developers away from the beach

Number 1: Nothing is being considered about the Lake Worth "Beach". The word 'Beach' is being used to confuse the public and is irresponsible.

Number 2: It is my understanding that the city selection committee is considering at least three proposals related to what might happen at the Lake Worth Casino building property and all that will be heard at a public meeting on April 28th at 6 p.m. in the Commission Chambers. There is a recorded history of what has gone on in previous meetings of the selection committee. Other than that, any speculation about what changes will  or won't happen at the Casino building/property is pure speculation.

Verify this information and print a correction.

Religious Right Pundit: Hillary Clinton Too Ugly To Be President

You can't make this stuff up. The website Right Wing Watch has this:
     Don Feder of the World Congress of Families is out today with a column titled “Top Ten Reasons Why Hitlery Will Never Be President,” in which he calls the former secretary of state “a frustrated, middle-aged feminist who's perpetually incensed.”
     Feder, decrying Clinton as an elitist and a radical ideologue, ends his piece by asserting that Clinton will be brought down by “the hideousness factor.”
Here is reason number 10 referenced above:
10. The Hideousness Factor – Lyndon Baines Johnson was the last profoundly ugly candidate to be elected president, and he was a legacy of the martyred JFK. Voters don't want a leader who looks frazzled or frumpy. We're told that Lincoln was too homely to be elected president in an age of television and paparazzi. But Lincoln's homely face had a dignity, a gravitas. If nothing else, we want a face that reassures us, not one that scares us, a la Night of the Living Alinskyites.
Note that Don Feder of the "World Congress of Families" refers to Hillary Clinton as "Hitlery". Charming, isn't it?

"Exploring the Painstaking Restoration of the Venetian Pool" in Coral Gables

This is a pool that won't have any trouble attracting visitors and swimmers alike. You see, unlike the Lake Worth Municipal Pool, it's not a rectangular hole in the ground with water in it. This pool has other things. Cool things. Fun things. This pool doesn't have that 'institutional' vibe . . . a pool at the Lake Worth Beach and you can't see the precious beach from the pool. It is still a lovely and serene place, but does not take advantage of the prime, oceanfront location that it occupies.

Read the following from the Curbed Miami blog and look at all the cool pictures in this photo tour of this spectacular renovation:
Coral Gables' Venetian Pool reopened Saturday March 14th after only the third renovation since its creation in 1923, a restoration and preservation that sought to change as little as possible while giving the venerable pool some tender loving care. Commissioned by George Merrick, who wanted to turn a rock quarry that had been used to build many of the Gables' early houses into a 'Venetian Casino' (in those days a 'casino' was any building used for pleasure or social amusements, sometimes with swimming), artist Denman Fink and architect Phineas Paist created an 820,000 gallon lagoon that would be emptied and refilled every day in the spring and summer seasons by the underground Floridan aquifer, waterfalls, grottoes for swimming, a sandy beach, an island, and of course the casino itself, flanked by two tall lookout towers.
You have to look at the pictures in this photo tour. Absolutely amazing.

Take heed if you're buying or selling a home in Palm Beach County

This appears in the Real Time blog today, here is an excerpt from Kim Miller's article:
     Palm Beach County homes are selling at a faster clip than last year with half of properties snatched up within 60 days of being listed.
     Last year, 40 percent of Palm Beach County homes were purchased within their first two months on the market, according to a study released today by housing research firm Trulia.     Trulia housing economist Ralph McLaughlin said Palm Beach County’s increase in selling times is likely a function of stabilizing prices and a continued strain on supply.
     “If you are selling your house, this is a great thing,” said McLaughlin. “If you are buying a house in Palm Beach County, you’re probably going to have to move a little faster and get your ducks all in a row with financing."

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Mr. Laurence McNamara confirms Mrs. McNamara used offensive language ("N-word") at Lake Worth City Hall

This account appeared in a recently created tabloid published by Margaret Menge (Vol. 1/Issue 12). Considering her background in "community" news facts and calm analysis aren't high on her list of priorities. What's different here is she quotes Mr. McNamara, an eyewitness, on the incident:
     [Delores] Key walked up to Dee [McNamara], according to Laurence McNamara, and asked her to move, telling her the front row was reserved for the candidate's family.
[and later. . .]
     "She [Mrs. McNamara] pointed at her own skin and said, 'Are you calling me a n[----]r?' " Laurence remembers.
     Dolores Key, who is white, took offense.
     "She [Dolores Key] got all bent out of shape," said Laurence, and told Dee about seven times to apologize.
So, there you have it. Confirmation from Mr. McNamara that the incident did indeed occur. Mrs. McNamara's supporters fall into two camps: one is the incident never happened and the other is Mrs. McNamara was exercising her Free Speech. The one camp, "it never happened", has now been debunked. Now on to Mrs. McNamara's use of the 'N-word' and Free Speech: she has every right to use the 'N-word'; whenever or wherever she pleases. (Although I wouldn't encourage her to do this in certain neighborhoods.)

What Mrs. McNamara's supporters fail to grasp are people such as Mr. Parrilla also have the same Free Speech protections as others, including Ms. Menge, who hold those principles in such high regard. Free Speech is a two-way street. At a protest by Mr. Parrilla none other than Margaret Menge showed up to express her displeasure with Free Speech on a public street:
Ms. Menge (on left) angrily confronts Serge Jerome, Jr. at a protest in front of Mrs. McNamara's house.
The irony is people like Ms. Menge, who claims a prestigious career in journalism, wrote the following on Mr. Parrilla's preparation (request for emails) for his protest in front of Mrs. McNamara's house:
     Those emails were dug up by a private citizen, says Mark Parrilla—Himself.
[and. . .]
[Mr. Parrilla] did a public records request for all of the emails Dee McNamara ever sent to the city. And then he started organizing a protest, inviting everyone, via Facebook, to join him in protesting in front of the McNamara's home on North Lakeside Drive.
So? And the point is exactly? Here is more creative writing by Ms. Menge:
     He [Mr. McNamara] said Dee [Mrs. McNamara], a former fashion designer turned real estate agent, lost the listing at 402 North Lakeside Drive due to Parrilla's calling the owners and blasting her as a racist. The McNamaras [sic] have held open houses at the home for months, and spent many hours painting and fixing up the property so that it could be sold. The home was listed for $745,000. 
You can see that property here and the new listing agent.

What Ms. Menge fails to mention is this: Mr. Parrilla contacted Mrs. McNamara's former employer and informed them of Mrs. McNamara's two Facebook pages which have since been deleted. Here is one of those entries:
There are so many more points to make but will end with this: the incident with Mrs. McNamara's use of the 'N-word' occurred on Monday, March 16th. Within hours it was the buzz of the town. However. . .
  • In Vol. 1/Issue 10 (March 20) Ms. Menge writes nothing about the incident
  • In Vol. 1/Issue 11 (March 27) still no mention of the incident
  • The following week she takes the week off "to reflect"
It's not until Vol. 1/Issue 12 (April 10) that she reports on anything concerning the incident: a full 25 days later.

If you wanted to find out the facts about what happened in City Hall on March 16th you had two choices: this blog and The Lake Worth Herald

Dietrich Bonhoeffer: German Lutheran pastor, theologian, anti-Nazi dissident (1906–1945)

“We are not to simply bandage the wounds of victims beneath the wheels of injustice, we are to drive a spoke into the wheel itself.”

Former Mayor and now State Senator Jeff Clemens at Compass' Grand Opening in Lake Worth

You'll find the remarks by then-Lake Worth Mayor Jeff Clemens in 2009 very enlightening. Note when he remarks that no one wanted the building that Compass occupies until Compass expressed an interest in using it: then the community "rallied" to save it from Compass. The building Jeff Clemens said was "a dump". The 'community' didn't rally to save the building from Compass; it was only a handful of malcontents happy to see a city building, one of many, further deteriorate due to neglect.

Jeff Clemens thanks Compass for taking a chance in Lake Worth when so few other organizations would. Compass has never turned their back on Lake Worth although some detractors continue to turn their backs on them; a current detractor of Compass is Ms. Menge. She didn't arrive in Lake Worth until 2011 and knows little or nothing of those events in 2009. She only knows what she's told or what to read. And everyone knows who she listens to. Another detractor of Compass is a newly elected commissioner in the City of Lake Worth. Inexplicably, a gay man himself.

So, without further ado, Jeff Clemens at the Compass Dedication in 2009:

Compass is taking many clever cheap shots of late and true to form they've taken the high road. Compass in the City isn't any one snapshot in time. There is a history, a proud history, of their involvement in the City. Without an understanding of that history the critics of Compass display their ignorance.

This video, yes, is also a snapshot in time. But it's a more accurate snapshot from 2009 than the ignorant beliefs of someone in 2015 who doesn't know that history; and probably doesn't care anyway. I was the one who took the video that day and I'm so happy I did.

Pictures—Volunteer Appreciation Breakfast today at the Lake Worth Casino Building

Picture from second floor of the Casino building (outside the Ballroom).

Darrin Engel (left), Jimmy Zoellner, and The Mary Lindsey.
Mayor Pam Triolo and National Volunteer Week Proclamation.

Volunteer Coordinator Silvina Donaldson (left) and Human Resources Director Germaine English.
City Manager Michael Bornstein with closing remarks.
City volunteers received these: "Certificate of Appreciation". This one for Yours Truly.

"West Palm Beach moves to encourage downtown office construction"

This article by Tony Doris appears in The Palm Beach Post today. What's not clear in the article is if West Palm Beach is still being monitored by some folks in Palm Beach who are very concerned with what's happening in West Palm. Anyhow, it was a unanimous vote to tackle a very serious problem: the lack of Class A office space. From the article:
     The City Commission approved a measure Monday to encourage construction of office towers downtown, to address a shortage of top-flight office space and avoid companies going elsewhere.
     The measure, approved unanimously, is an amendment to the city’s zoning and development regulations that would create an incentive for construction of Class A offices and hotels in what is known as the Quadrille Garden District.
     The city has four such towers, including two at Phillips Point, as well as the Esperante building and CityPlace Tower. City officials say the buildings, with more than 1 million square feet of office space, are virtually fully occupied.
     Because of the dearth of space, the city has lost opportunities to attract corporations.

Florida Squeeze: Patrick Murphy and the Everglades

Kartik Krishnaiyer continues his handwringing over Patrick Murphy's continued successes on the campaign for the U.S. Senate seat. From the story in The Florida Squeeze:

Saturday’s shocking news [emphasis added] that Jeff Atwater will not seek the Republican nomination for the US Senate seat being vacated by Marco Rubio sent shock-waves through Florida politics. As we discussed just a few short days ago, Atwater seemed likely to win any head-to-head race with a Democrat, was perceived as a moderate and drew from a similar geographic base as Congressman Patrick Murphy.
     Atwater’s exit makes Murphy’s prospects for election much brighter. Yesterday, we ran a piece about Murphy’s interest group voting scores from liberal groups including the League of Conservation Voters (LCV). In the interest of fairness and knowing that Murphy has championed environmental causes, I choose to dig a little deeper this morning and found the following:
     The Everglades Coalition gave Murphy their “Distinguished Public Service Award” in 2015.In receiving the award the organization stated the following:
“Since his election to the United States Congress in 2012, Patrick Murphy has quickly proved himself to be an up-and-coming champion for America’s Everglades… Congressman Murphy has worked above and beyond in his service to Floridians and indeed all Americans to reach across party lines and facilitate meaningful progress for the Everglades.”

[Why the attention?] Young border crossers feel leaving Central America for U.S. is the only choice -

[Suddenly this post from July 19, 2014 has generated quite a bit on interest. Thousands of hits. Why would that be? The original post follows and the link to WPTV still works:]

Lake Worth coming to help those in need. Click title for link. From the news article:
"From the beginning of time, people have immigrated when their roots at home have failed them," said Jill Skok of Guatemalan Maya Center in Lake Worth.
Skok said she feels the country has plenty of room for the newest wave of young illegal immigrants. She feels all they want is a better life.
Alvarenga said all he wants is to go to school and become a doctor.
"To save others lives," said Alvarenga.
Teachers at the Guatemalan Maya Center said what they need the most are volunteers who can come in and help the young children learn English.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Budsies was a buzz-kill: ABC's Shark Tank last Friday

Wow, was this a let-down. A "Lake Worth" business was going to be featured on the Shark Tank! The business is actually located immediately northwest of our Lake Worth Park of Commerce, just outside the City limits. But "it's close enough" as a unhinged woman on Lake Osborne Drive likes to say when she lists crime that actually occurred outside the City to inflate her crime stats.

So it's close enough for me!

And then we learned in The Palm Beach Post that Alex Furmansky, the owner of Budsies, lives in Boynton Beach. That has nothing to do with where the business is located. The business is located in Lake Worth, right?

Now for the buzz-kill: Where do you think Mr. Furmansky said his business is located on the show? A show being watched by millions of people. . .
"Palm Beach, Florida"! Here is the YouTube video of the episode.

It's a bit disappointing. Having the little City of Lake Worth mentioned on national TV would have been a cool thing. And it's certainly nothing to seek counseling over; it's over and done.

Of course, we all wish the best for Mr. Furmansky and his Budsies in the Town of Palm Beach, Florida, 33480.

From the Rickie Report: Artisans on the Avenue and five new artists in Lake Worth

Rickie Leiter at The Rickie Report on public reception for five new artists in the little City of Lake Worth this Friday:
Artisans on the Ave offers three colorful showrooms at their well-appointed gallery on [630] Lake Avenue in Lake Worth. On Friday, April 17th, five new artists’ work will be featured. The public is invited to stop in, meet the artists and be amazed at the depth of professional artistry being offered. The Rickie Report shares the details and some sneak peeks. Lake Worth is home to many artists whose work is sold internationally. This is a chance for art lovers to speak with the artists personally and learn about their creative process. There will also be live music and refreshments.
Another wonderful source for information on the Lake Worth art scene is this written by Pari Chang. This blog post continues to be a big hit with my readers. Pari Chang's piece received national attention and created a lot of buzz around the nation.

Support All Aboard Florida with public comment on bond: you can mail it in!

You don't need to go to Tallahassee next week to say you're excited about All Aboard Florida train service here in south Florida. You can do so by mail but hurry up; you don't have much time.

Kim Miller at the Real Time blog has this updated information, the address to send your comment:

Florida Development Finance Corp.
c/o Executive Director Bill Spivey
800 N. Magnolia Ave., Suite 1100
Orlando, FL 32803

West Palm Beach: best tasting tap water in PBC (hurry up & get the ceremony over with!)

A surprising honor for West Palm Beach and a spectacularly quick award ceremony in the middle of the afternoon on a Monday. Here is the story from Victoria Malmer at The Palm Beach Post:
     West Palm Beach has won first place in the "best tasting drinking water" contest by the Florida section of the American Water Works Association.
     An award ceremony is set for 2:15 p.m. today at the plant, at the corner of Australian Avenue and Banyan Boulevard.
     West Palm Beach Public Utilities competed against 18 municipalities. Each one submitted a gallon of water collected less than 24 hours before the taste test. Each sample was tasted at room temperature, to allow for any tastes or odors to be detected more easily.
NBC5/WPTV also has the story and you can see that here.

[UPDATE] Letter from Lake Worth Mayor Pam Triolo on critical issue: replacement of water pipes

[UPDATE: Mayor Pam Triolo's letter (below) takes on added significance today. West Palm Beach won the contest for best tasting water in Palm Beach County. Everyone knows the water in Lake Worth is the best; however the water needs to go through aging pipes on way to the tap.]

April 8, 2015
Open Letter to the Residents of Lake Worth
RE: State Revolving Fund Loan for Replacement of 2 inch Steel Water Distribution Pipes

My Fellow Lake Worth Resident:
     I hope you had a good morning. For most of us, that means taking a shower, getting the kids ready for school, fixing tea or coffee and rushing out the door. When you turn the water faucet, you probably don’t even think about whether water will come out and how it gets there. That is the City’s responsibility, and our team of water utility professionals provide that service proudly. We recognize that safe, clean water is a fundamental service for residents to maintain their quality of life, and we are dedicated to providing that service so you can depend on it.

Read the entire text of the letter here. Also, check out the map included as the third page of the letter. It shows some of the areas where problems exist with these 2" distribution pipes. In fact, one light green circle indicates where my property experienced one of these leaks back in 2012. Water bubbling up near the property line which then became a geyser. The city sent out a crew and it was fixed very quickly. They said then that this was a common occurrence throughout the city. Some stretches of pipe have more repairs than what remains of the original pipe!

Upcoming Meetings:
  • Tuesday, April 14th at 6 p.m.: Loan Workshop Discussion at City Hall
  • Tuesday, May 5th at 6 p.m.: Resolution Consideration at City Hall

Pat Robertson on Hillary Clinton's presidential bid: Huh? What? Whah?

Delray Vagrancy Law from 1911. What if this were enforced today?

Pompano eyes $19 million beach parking garage

One south Florida community is not afraid at looking for imaginative options for beach parking. Check out this design being considered by Pompano Beach. Click title for link for the Sun-Sentinel story.

Pew Research: Reflecting a racial shift, 78 counties turned majority-minority since 2000

Of the 78 counties in the U.S. that went from majority white to majority-minority four of them are in Florida: Osceola, Broward, Orange, and Hardee. Simplified, the white population fell below 50%. Rockdale County in Georgia led the way with a 34.9% shift. Here is an excerpt:
     In the United States as a whole, the white share of the population is declining as Hispanic, Asian and black populations grow. But the shift to a more diverse nation is happening more quickly in some places than in others. [emphasis added]
     From 2000 to 2013, 78 counties in 19 states, from California to Kansas to North Carolina, flipped from majority white to counties where no single racial or ethnic group is a majority, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis of Census Bureau data. (Our analysis includes only counties with a minimum population of 10,000 in 2013.)
     Overall, 266 of these 2,440 counties are less than half white. However, many are in urban areas that together account for about one-third (31%) of the nation’s population, despite making up just 11% of U.S. counties with a minimum population of 10,000. These counties are concentrated in California, the South and the East Coast, bypassing much of the country’s middle section.

Why the City of Lake Worth needs a hotel downtown

This is what you see when you go to the Lake Worth VisitFlorida website:
Note that VisitFlorida is the most visited site in the world for those considering a trip to Florida. Along with two B&B's the Gulfstream Hotel is listed (which is not open for business as yet), and two hotels that are not in the City. 

Also listed as a place for visitors to stay is John Prince Park which is also not in the City of Lake Worth (and also not a hotel). 

And South Palm Suites is on the list for visitors to consider. Just one problem: that hotel doesn't exist any longer; it's now a sober house. 

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Shocking: Don't waste time teaching a child to swim. Even in a coastal Florida city!

Jane DeCoursey, former Aquatic Facility Operator and former lifeguard/water safety instructor at the Lake Worth Pool, wrote this in a FREE tabloid dated April 10th, 2015:

"[S]wimming should be unattainable for any child in Lake Worth."

Shocking. Absolutely shocking. I am SHOCKED and SHOCKED on top of being SHOCKED. How could something so terrible be written, even in an ALWAYS FREE tabloid? Have it on good authority this tabloid makes a wonderful bird cage lining. 

Are you SHOCKED? I bet most people are SHOCKED. I am SHOCKED. I wrote that already but was too SHOCKED to remember. Now I remember. It's a little fuzzy because I am in a SHOCKED state. Ever since Friday I'VE BEEN SHOCKED!

Is there a rule on how many SHOCKS can appear on the front page of a tabloid?

It's Divine Mercy Sunday: Pray for Pastor Mike Olive & his flock

This is a special day: it's Divine Mercy Sunday.

Please, say a short prayer for Pastor Mike Olive and the Common Ground (no 's') Church.

Pastor Olive has given the City of Lake Worth an undeserved black eye on the national stage. Everyone should pray he understands the errors he's made and atones: he needs to ask forgiveness for the damage he's done to our fine City.

Innocent people have paid a price for his antics. This is not only unfair, it's un-Christian: