Saturday, May 16, 2015

An 'elegant' City resident makes reference to the "super Ape"—we still have a very long way to go

This is an actual Facebook post that has since been deleted. The author lost her job in real estate due to this activity and she is quite offended by that. Most residents of the City are also offended, but for an entirely different reason. Our apologies Mr. President.
Official White House photograph of our 44th and current President, Barack Obama.

[Pinned Post] "Commissioner Maier, where is the rental license?"

Ooooops. Something got past the editors in this video. Can you find out what it is?

A blog reader sent me this. Hint: you don't have to speak German to find it. Otherwise a spectacular effort by our hard working friends at Discover the Palm Beaches! If you want to watch all their videos go here.


One of the items discussed during the Invitation to Negotiate (ITN) meetings on the Casino complex was the concept of a cabana club membership. It would be part of the Casino and have its own pool and access to other amenities. It would occupy the location of the current pool, which would be replaced with a junior Olympic pool behind the existing Casino building (west).

Here is the general location of the Pool Cabana Club that was discussed:
Main Level of Addition to the south end of the Casino building, replacing the existing pool and pool locker building.
I will be posting more details/plans of the changes proposed during the ITN process. These were not included in the final recommendation to the City Commission. I think once seeing what was proposed and what it would mean as an amenity to the city, you might think that the Committee should have forwarded this proposal on to the Commission.

Here's how a membership program would work at the complex, in coordination with the Gulfstream Hotel:
The cabana pool club would also have a workout facility and a family of 4 could be a member for $100/month. That also would get them $500 of spending credit at the restaurant or the Gulfstream hotel ( net cost at $700/year). A couple would have $80/month with $250 of spending credit for the year (net cost at $710/year). A single person member would be $60/month with no spending credit or $720/year. This is comparable to any gym with these facilities that you would have available to you….especially at the beach in a great complex.
There are those in the city that "clutch the pearls" at the thought of "private development" at our "BEACH!", mostly pointing to the membership aspect of part of this proposal. WAKE UP! This is no different than, and even more favorable a deal, that what the city does when it sells a variety of "membership" options at our publicly-owned, waterfront golf course.

Below is a list of current golf course memberships available at the Lake Worth Municipal Golf Course. The number in parentheses at the end of the item is the number sold this current year:
  • Resident of The City of Lake Worth (pay member fee per round) $895 (36)
  • Non Resident Dues (pay member fee per round) $1325.00 (29)
  • Resident Unlimited Dues $2425.00 (15)
  • Non Resident Unlimited Dues $2875.00 (16)
  • Resident Walking Only Dues $1250.00 (17)
  • Non Resident Walking Dues $1650.00 (22)
  • Junior Golf Member (Under 18 years of age) $150.00
  • Summer Membership (May 1–September 30) (pay $20 cart fee per round) $400
  • Seasonal $950.00 (pay member fee per round) (18)
  • Member Fee (tax included) $20.00
  • Annual Trail Fee $1450.00
  • Trail Fee with Spouse $2150.00
  • Annual Locker Fee $50.00
  • Annual Bag Storage $75.00
  • Annual Pull Cart Storage $100.00
So where is the OUTRAGE about the City selling memberships on our public property alongside the Intracoastal/Lake Worth Lagoon? These memberships do not prohibit the non-dues paying, general public from accessing the course.

So why is the concept of a membership "club" at the Casino/pool being treated as something foreign, different and as a method to "privatize our beach"?

Commissioner Comments and Liaison Reports from the May 5, 2015 meeting...

Some interesting information about recent events in the city. Check this out. Commissioner McVoy's second set of observations involve the need to improve existing neighborhoods in order to improve the lives of those who live within it, especially those that have a record of impoverishment. It's unusual to hear that from this Commissioner as he usually doesn't talk about encouraging increases in income as part of community improvement. It's also telling, toward the end of his remarks, that he says that he's thinking about this "since he is just starting out." I think he is referring to his new term on the Commission which he achieved by winning the election in March. He actually is not just starting out. It is important to remember that he is beginning his THIRD term as a Commissioner. I wonder if there is some reluctance on his part to admit that? Hmmmmm.

Sheriff Ric Bradshaw on "Mr. (Jack) Scarola"

On NBC5/WPTV's Michael Williams' "To the Point" on April 26th about the "deputy involved shootings" Sheriff Ric Bradshaw has this quote (at the 19:35 mark):
"Don't think for one minute that Mr. (Jack) Scarola does not have a very, very clear vested interest in this. He stands to make a very, very large paycheck off of this."

Eden Place Presentation from 5/5/15 City Commission Meeting:

Presentation from May 5, 2015 City Commission Meeting on the Lineman Rodeo

Mayor Pam Triolo with lineman from the Lake Worth Electric Utility who competed recently in the Lineman Rodeo.

This was at the beginning of the first regular City Commission meeting of the month from last week. Notice that the Mayor announces the work shop on the ITN committee's recommendations immediately after the May 19th regular City Commission meeting this coming Tuesday. 

The City's lineman crew went up to Tallahassee to compete in a lineman rodeo which includes feats of daring involved in their everyday work, loaded down with equipment. Worth listening to the presentation. It shows what a dedicated, professional crew that the city has working for the benefit of utility customers. City Manager Bornstein attended. But he actually wasn't the "injured man" that he refers to into the PowerPoint presentation.

Something timely to consider from Ralph Marston

As we head into the City Commission work session on the ITN selection committee recommendations related to Casino complex, this work session will take place right after the regular City Commission meeting Tuesday, May 19th.

From Planetizen: "How Developers Can Help Make Streets Safe for Children Again"

This article in Planetizen asks this: "A telling incident occurred this winter, when two children were picked up by police while walking alone, with their parents' permission, along a busy street in Montgomery County, Maryland. The episode and the public outcry that followed raise the question: Would the authorities have been summoned had the siblings, ages ten and six, been strolling by themselves on a heavily used biking and walking trail? [emphasis added]

Don't look at me. It's just a question. The article has more questions later, like these:
     By building for cars, not people, have we designed the "free range" out of our communities? Have we denied the younger generation opportunities for spontaneous fun and nature exploration, as well as self-sufficiency? Have we designed physical activity out of our kids’ daily routines? Have we limited opportunities for the younger generation to really get to know their communities and feel safe and secure roaming around them?
Later there are some recommended strategies to make communities more "free range". Here are a few:
  • Design well-connected street networks at a human scale: provide pedestrian paths to cut through longer blocks and minimize pedestrian contact with surface parking lots and driveways.
  • Provide pedestrian-oriented streetscapes: build sidewalks, include well-marked crosswalks and curb extensions to enhance the visibility of pedestrians, and install lighting for trails and public spaces.
  • Encourage biking and walking with a system of paths and trails that provide neighborhood-to-neighborhood connections while minimizing contact with automobiles.

From Amelia Urry: "It’s time to panic. Olives are in big trouble"

Grist, if you've never heard of it, is a cool website. They feature a lot of environmental content with an interesting take on things. Here is an article about olives that appeared recently:
It’s a hard time to be an olive. After a rash of terrible weather in 2014 and an actual plague of fruit flies, the latest blight to hit the iconic, enigmatic fruit is an actual blight. From the New York Times:
     “It is devastating,” said Enzo Manni, the director of ACLI-Racale, an olive cooperative in the heart of the outbreak area. “It is apocalyptic. I compare it to an earthquake.”
     Today, scientists estimate that one million olive trees in the peninsula, known as the Salento, are infected with the bacterium, Xylella fastidiosa, a figure that could rise rapidly.
     The bacterium is an invasive species that has already taken down citrus trees in Brazil and vineyards in California. The omnivorous pest is now eating its way through the olive-rich “heel” of Italy, which means the rest of us will have a harder time doing so. Olives, like California’s much maligned almond trees, are slow-growing, which means they are an expensive investment up front.
GMO's to the rescue?

[RE-POST] Letter to the Editor from Robert Bourque published in response to Post's "LINE OF FIRE"

If you're a digital subscriber to The Palm Beach Post and enjoy reading "Letters to the Editor" this is what you do: go to the "Opinion" tab and then scroll down until you see this, "Letters:". It's a little clunky and maybe they'll make it more user friendly some day.

Anyhow, this Letter to the Editor appeared in today's edition [5/16] and it belongs in the file, "I couldn't have said it better myself":
[Title] Special report hostile to law enforcement 
     It disturbs me that Sunday’s front page [4/26] said, “What we (The Post) found about the sheriff’s office was disturbing.” To whom?
    The Post gives the impression that because “97% of all fatal PBSO shootings (were) cleared” that 97 percent is too high, and there is something sinister going on in the sheriff’s office. What is the acceptable percentage for “cleared shootings”? It may be higher than 97 percent. But The Post insinuates that the percentage should be lower and that there is wrongdoing at PBSO. [emphasis added]
     The headlines also claimed “1 in 4 shot at were unarmed” and “More than one-third of people shot at were black.” The negative slant of these headlines could just as easily been written on a positive note: “3 out of 4 were armed” and “two-thirds of people shot at were white.”
     The Post is slanting the article in a racially biased manner. The headlines are prejudiced and hostile toward law enforcement.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Deerfield Beach Pier, LEED Certified

The image below is from the City of Deerfield Beach website
From Wikipedia: Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is a set of rating systems for the design, construction, operation, and maintenance of green buildings, homes, and neighborhoods.

AFNS: Urban Polling Centers Recommend Voters Start Lining Up Now For 2016 Election

America's Finest News Source (AFNS) has this election news
WASHINGTON—In an effort to aid and inform local residents ahead of next year’s presidential election, officials at urban polling centers across the nation recommended Thursday that those intending to cast ballots in 2016 should begin lining up now. “Most polling locations will close at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, November 8, 2016, so in order to ensure you have enough time to cast your vote, we suggest looking up your precinct online and planning to arrive sometime in the next few minutes,” Federal Election Commission spokesperson Judith Ingram said in a statement, noting that voters should be prepared for lines at inner-city polling locations that may back up as many as 12,000 or 13,000 hours.

The latest from Kevin D. Thompson: our new beat reporter in Lake Worth (starting Monday)

Mr. Thompson writes about a makeover at a restaurant in Royal Palm Beach:
     Agatha Christie never wrote a novel about Applebee’s restaurant makeovers in Palm Beach County, but if she did, the title — for now — could have been “And Then There Were Four.”
     As in, four county Applebee’s have been given an extensive community-themed overhaul in recent months by Doherty Enterprises, the New Jersey company that bought 38 of the restaurants — 35 of them in Florida — two years ago.
     Locations in Greenacres, Palm Beach Gardens and Boynton Beach have already been upgraded.
     By next week, you can add the Royal Palm Beach location on State Road 7 to the list.
Here is Mr. Thompson's contact information: 561-820-4573 or

There's a lot of very good things happening in the City of Lake Worth. But unless you let Mr. Thompson know what's going on he won't know. How many emails has he gotten about "THE BEACH!" getting sold, the city commission doesn't care about 'Dark Skies' and turtles, or an ordinance to stop the FEC train horns?

The media gets 'worked' all the time and every single story has a spin of some sort. So get to work and create your own spin!

Read this and you'll never look at Dixie Highway the same way

Imagine walking or driving down THIS Dixie Highway:
Image from the article in Walkable West Palm Beach by Baron Haussmann.
From the Walkable West Palm Beach blog is this about the South Dixie Highway "Road Diet": 
On Saturday March 28 the Treasure Coast Planning Council held a public design workshop for the section of South Dixie Highway from Albemarle Road north to Okeechobee Blvd. On everyone’s mind was a road diet for this section of South Dixie Highway. The default road diet in these situations is to convert the existing four lane section to a three lane section with parallel parking on both sides. This is a tried and true method and it would be a fantastic improvement.
A video from the blog:

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Best Friends

Lake Worth Commissioner Ryan Maier's pitch and a second chance to get it right at the TCRPC

[Below is a recap of Commissioner Ryan Maier's liaison report (or 'pitch' if you prefer) from the Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council (TCRPC) last month. It was a disaster. It was like he was never even there or attended the wrong meeting by mistake. Tomorrow is another TCRPC meeting; here is the agenda. Next Tuesday (5/19) is the city commission meeting where he will provide his liaison report. Below is Maier's liaison report from the TCRPC meeting on 4/17:]

The video below is Commissioner Maier's report to the City of Lake Worth about his attendance at the Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council (TCRPC). He claimed that the topic of "train horns" took up "most of the meeting" on April 17th:

Not true. Not even close. 

You can also read here how Maier is confused about train horns, quiet zones, and even thinks Lake Worth can make an ordinance controlling train horns in the City. Not possible but how many people's expectations were raised by Maier that the city commission had control over what happens on the FEC tracks?

Commissioner Ryan Maier is now the City of Lake Worth's liaison to the TCRPC. You can see the agenda from the TCRPC's last meeting on April 17th here. There were many items on the agenda but Maier would have you believe 'train horns' was the main topic of debate.

Maier explains to the public that train horns have "bells" and fixing the loud train horns "is an easy fix". Again, not true. Train horns are made of chimes and the 'fix' will take a very long time. Another thing that Maier misunderstands is the problem with the new train horns: it's not the volume but the pitch/frequency of the new horns. The public in the City of Lake Worth didn't learn of this from Commissioner Maier either.

Maier goes on to refer to All Aboard Florida (AAF) as a "mass transit train" like it's a subway or some other form of mass transit. Again, not true. Maier may be confused with the Coastal Link to follow after AAF is completed.

Maier makes at least two references to "it's only going to get worse". What a comforting message for the public seeking information about this current topic in our City.

Instead of Commissioner Maier attending the TCRPC meeting as he was tasked and explaining to the public in Lake Worth what actually happened there, the public was instead fed more misinformation and disinformation. The public deserves more from their elected officials. The topic of train horns, the FEC corridor, and All Aboard Florida are crucial topics that deserve careful study and an attention to details, like the facts for example.

Maier's first report from the TCRPC was a disaster. He has another chance next week to get it right.

The Lake Worth Herald: Mary Lindsey reports on incredibly successful grant effort for City

In this week's Lake Worth Herald is a detailed account of all the work that was done and the huge success regarding the recent Resident Education to Action Program (REAP) grants awarded to the little City of Lake Worth. The NAPC received many grants as well as other volunteer efforts in the City. Later will publish more excerpts, but for now here is one:
     The REAP series and grant opportunity is open to all neighbors in Palm Beach County, not only Neighborhood Associations. Individuals and non-profit organizations are also encouraged to participate.
     In Lake Worth, two such groups were successful in their grant applications. The recently formed Cottages of Lake Worth non-profit volunteer organization received a grant in the maximum amount of $5,000 to fund new maps, brochures and bike card postcards promoting the cottages of Lake Worth as another great reason to invest and make Lake Worth home to even more families.
     The new Lake Worth Visitor and Information Center, located in the old City Hall annex building at the Cultural Plaza downtown was conceived, organized and is completely staffed by volunteers. Susan Ona and Teresa Miller, who attended the REAP series on behalf of the Visitors Center, successfully wrote a grant requesting $2,000 for brochure racks, information boards and event calendars to share even more information with visitors and residents alike who frequent the Center. The Visitor Center is open Monday thru Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. As more volunteers from the Neighborhoods sign up to serve, the hours of operation will be expanded.

Palm Beach Post: Four Days in a Row and No "LINE OF FIRE"—but plenty of other news

Go through the entire Post, front to back including the neighborhood section, and not one reference to Sheriff Bradshaw, the "LINE OF FIRE", and shootings by deputies. But you won't be disappointed because today's paper is spectacular, in my opinion. 

From Eliot Kleinberg's historical article about the fall of Tallahassee during the Civil War to the Pathfinder Awards by Sonja Isger and to Kimberly Miller's update on All Aboard Florida. There's something for everybody.

Evening on the Avenue, TONIGHT in downtown Lake Worth, the SOLID BRASS BAND!

You're not gonna want to miss this. If you like classic rock fan and enjoy the brass band sounds be at the Evening on the Avenue TONIGHT at 6:00.
Don't forget to stop by the NAPC Front Porch for some popcorn. Stay awhile and find out about your neighborhood association and how you can get involved. 

See you on TONIGHT!

Lake Worth welcomes Kevin D. Thompson as the Post's new beat reporter: but a word of warning. . .

Mr. Thompson, note that during breaks at city commission meetings the video continues to roll; the sound is turned off but NOT THE VIDEO! Former Post reporter Chris Persaud learned this too late and Commissioner McVoy also knows about this (we'll save that one for later). Here is Chris Persaud to Andrea Celeste's The Masquerade:

Anyhow, Mr. Thompson has been at The Palm Beach Post for quite a while, this is from his bio:
He has 30 years of newspaper and magazine experience as a writer, editor, reporter and blogger. Kevin joined the Post in January 1996 as an entertainment writer. He was the paper's television critic for 12 years (1996-2008) and theater critic for one (2008-2009). In his career, Kevin has held various positions – researcher, business reporter, small business editor, senior editor, entertainment correspondent, television columnist, education writer. He was an associate editor and small business editor at Black Enterprise magazine for six years in New York City and worked as a reporter and entertainment correspondent for People magazine for two years in New York City and Los Angeles. Kevin has also covered entertainment extensively and written celebrity profiles for such newspapers and magazines as the New York Daily News, the New York Post and Essence while working as freelance writer and before joining The Palm Beach Post.

From PBS NEWSHOUR: "Fewer Americans are calling themselves Christians"

The trend is evident across all demographics, but one group in particular stands out, the Millenials:
     The pattern could be seen across all genders, races and education levels. However, one demographic that stood out was an group. As Millennials replace previous generations, they bring with them their low religious affiliation: 34 percent of older Millennials and 36 percent of younger Millennials consider themselves religiously unaffiliated.
     At the same time, Millennials are not the only age group to be losing their religious affiliations. “people in older generations are increasingly disavowing association with organized religion,” the report read. “Nearly a quarter of Generation Xers now say they have no particular religion or describe themselves as atheists or agnostics, up four points in seven years. Baby Boomers also have become slightly but noticeably more likely to identify as religious ‘nones’ in recent years.”

Suzanne Boyd at CBS12/WPEC: What you need to know about GMO's

Do you know what a GMO is? Most people have no clue. Suzanne Boyd at CBS12/WPEC had a very good news segment on this very topic. Along with the video segment she also has text of the story for readers; here's a short excerpt:
     GMO opponents point to a highly controversial study which links GMOs to cancer in rats, but the health risks to humans is not clear.
     “You can’t prove a negative. People have looked and looked for a problem with GMOs for years and haven’t found it,” says Dr. Curt Hannah, a Professor of Plant Molecular and Cellular Biology at the University of Florida in Gainesville.
     Hannah says we would have known back in 1996 when GMOs first were introduced if there was a problem with them. Boyd agrees. He says he has been feeding his genetically-modified corn to his beef cattle for years and has seen no health changes in his herd.
     “There have been numerous studies done which look at what happens prior to GMOs and the number of deaths and after GMOs and there's no significant difference at all,” says Boyd.
     Another huge argument with GMO opponents is labeling. The U-S does not require food companies to label their products if they contain GMOs. It’s only voluntary. The major GMO seed companies like Monsanto oppose mandatory labeling.
     “It implies there is a danger that does not exist. Plus, the cost of labeling would be passed onto the consumer,” says Dr. Hannah.
     Boyd says we need to be very careful if we do require labeling, but thinks transparency is always best. He says GMOs are the reason his family farm is still in business. It makes farming more efficient and cheaper and that is passed onto you in the grocery store.
Here is a video that Suzanne Boyd references in her news segment:

Scientists: Earth Endangered by New Strain of Fact-Resistant Humans

Incredible news on the science front. This new strain (and it's not specified whether it's bacterial or viral) explains so much about the little City of Lake Worth. How else can you explain those red signs about town? Logically they make no sense whatsoever but a strain could explain things. From the article:
MINNEAPOLIS (The Borowitz Report) – Scientists have discovered a powerful new strain of fact-resistant humans who are threatening the ability of Earth to sustain life [emphasis added], a sobering new study reports.
     The research, conducted by the University of Minnesota, identifies a virulent strain of humans who are virtually immune to any form of verifiable knowledge, leaving scientists at a loss as to how to combat them.
     “These humans appear to have all the faculties necessary to receive and process information,” Davis Logsdon, one of the scientists who contributed to the study, said. “And yet, somehow, they have developed defenses that, for all intents and purposes, have rendered those faculties totally inactive.”
     More worryingly, Logsdon said, “As facts have multiplied, their defenses against those facts have only grown more powerful.”
If any updates are forthcoming, such as an antidote, will let you know immediately. Now, about those red signs . . .
The 'architects' of the failed business plan at the Lake Worth Casino complex.

Kevin D. Thompson: Thank You from the City of Lake Worth

In what can only be described as a gift from The Palm Beach Post today by their beat reporter Kevin D. Thompson to the City of Lake Worth, the label "dysfunction junction" has been passed to our neighbor to the west, at least temporarily, to Greenacres.

Lake Worth looks almost normal in comparison. People, at least from the article, seem more upset that State Rep. Lori Berman was there to watch the whole spectacle unfold. Here is an excerpt from the article by Mr. Thompson titled, "Tone shifts at Greenacres Council meetings":
     After the meeting, several members said they were embarrassed [emphasis added] that Rep. Lori Berman, D-Delray Beach, was in the audience to witness the display.
     In the end, nothing was changed, meaning the term “full council” is still open to interpretation — and perhaps the subject of more political infighting.
     Ferreri [Mayor Sam Ferreri] and Rivera [Councilwoman Lisa Rivera] also got into an ugly exchange when Rivera suggested the city tweak its council travel policy to make it more transparent to residents.
     “I want residents to see where (council members) would be traveling for the purpose of city business,” Rivera said. “And I want it to be on the council agenda.”
     Ferreri said the city budgets $15,000 for council trips, with most of that money being eaten up by two conferences and committee meetings.
     He said putting trips on the agenda is “a waste of time.”
     “There is no excessive travel,” he said angrily. “Everybody here who travels is bringing something back. We’ve brought back millions of dollars in grants. Compared to other cities, we spend nothing.”
Maybe Mr. Timm from Lake Worth can go to Greenacres to try and bring some sense of normalcy to the proceedings:
Lake Worth gadfly Mr. Peter Timm with mouth taped shut and holding Margaret Menge's now-defunct tabloid, The Lake Worth Tribune at a recent city commission meeting.

Kevin D. Thompson - The Palm Beach Post's new Lake Worth beat reporter

From Facebook:


I'm a reporter for The Palm Beach Post. As of Monday, I'll be covering Lake Worth for the paper. I've been covering Royal Palm Beach and Greenacres the past few years. I'll still be covering Greenacres. If you have any interesting Lake Worth story ideas or tips, please shoot me a message on FB or call me at 561-820-4573. You can also email me at


Nifty project to make a problem area in south Florida more pedestrian friendly...

Friends of The Underline want to transform 10 miles of underutilized land below Miami’s Metrorail, from the Miami River just north of Brickell Station to Dadeland South Station, into an iconic linear park and world-class urban trail. The Underline will connect communities, improve pedestrian and bicyclist safety and create hundreds of acres of new green space with restored natural habitats.

With your help, we can all share in the vision of this legacy project that will transform Miami into a more walkable, bikeable and sustainable city now and into the future. For more information, visit

Quote: Dorothy L. Sayers in "The Lost Tools of Learning"

“Has it ever struck you as odd, or unfortunate, that today, when the proportion of literacy is higher than it has ever been, people should have become susceptible to the influence of advertisement and mass propaganda to an extent hitherto unheard of and unimagined?”
Dorothy L. Sayers (1893–1957), English poet, playwright, essayist, and Christian humanist.

Dorothy Sayers passed in 1957. 

Dorothy Sayers would be spectacularly disappointed. Not much has changed

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

[Pinned Post] Comm. Maier on being rental property owner in Lake Worth and permitting process (tongue firmly in cheek)

From the NAPC Debate at the Playhouse on March 2, 2015.

The Lake Worth Herald editorial, in its entirety, published May 7, 2015

     Now we see the actual proposals and the hype about selling the beach [emphasis added] and a convention center turn out to be highly inaccurate. This hype, perpetuated during a campaign cycle spread untruths to the voting public. 
     Leasing the upstairs of the Casino to a restaurant at the offered twenty dollars a square foot, including common area maintenance and taxes will not help Lake Worth. This figure is much too low to be sustainable. It was said the cost to the city is closer to thirty dollars and even that won’t help pay back the six million dollars loaned from the utilities fund to pay for the building, much less offset the nearly three hundred thousand dollars the city spends to maintain the pool and keep it open twenty-nine hours a week. 
     Leasing to a restaurant will not provide the revenue needed to fix the building shortcomings left as a result of a guaranteed maximum build price. Value engineering is not a good way to build a building that is intended to last many years, especially one sitting on the coastal dune exposed to salt air and spray at all times. 
     Maybe the other proposal didn’t meet all of the code requirements, but these were preliminary drawings. The proposal did address the pool deficit. It addressed the pool deficit without taking the public pool away from the citizens. It adds parking to the beach complex and relieves the city of the maintenance woes of the existing building and parking areas. 
     Hudson Holdings must believe they can recoup the fifteen million they are willing to invest. 
     To look at preliminary drawings and eject the concept the city was hoping for is not doing the citizens of Lake Worth justice. 
     The city can not afford to dump hundreds of thousands of taxpayer money in a pool that is much larger than necessary. The pool was built to Olympic standards to house college swim teams during the winter. This has not panned out in the past few years and the taxpayers are left holding the bag. 
     The money dumped in the pool could be better spent on things like, well, employees, for instance. 
     What percentage of those using the Casino and Beach areas are taxpayers in Lake Worth? Not saying they shouldn’t be using our beach, we love their parking money and the merchants and restaurants in the complex appreciate their business. Fact is, a lot of tax dollars are being spent to keep a large pool open when a smaller pool would suffice. There would be more room for other business and that my friends means more tax money in the city coffers. 
     There is not one thing in the proposal that addresses taking anything away from the public. The amenities that exist now will be enhanced with more amenities and an opportunity for Lake Worth to attract more visitors to the beach will be enhanced.

TOB: Still beating that dead horse, all these years later

Photoshop courtesy of the Tom McGow Archives and what inspired one of the most visited blog posts of mine in several years. Thank You Tom McGow!

CBS12/WPEC's Lauren Hills on Lake Worth plan to sell vacant properties

Actually a fair story by Lauren Hills. She stuck to the facts of the story and there were no references to "backroom" proposals or any other nefarious activities by the City. She interviews the City's Director of Sustainability William Waters and he explains the situation quite succinctly.

Here is an excerpt of the text from the story:
     The city owns and maintains more than 20 empty lots in Lake Worth. William Waters is the director for Community Sustainability and says they don't add much to the city's appeal.
     "May [sic] become places where trash is dumped, as well as undesirable people hanging out," said Waters.
     But the city is trying to change that. They're putting the lots up for sale hoping for people to buy them and build homes or possibly parks to improve the area.
     "Put back on the city tax roll, reduce burden on the city to maintain the properties," Waters said.

From KQED: Harriet Tubman on the $20 bill?

Image from the KQED website.
From the text of the story from KQED
     A month ago, you may have read about an organization called Women On 20s, whose mission is to put a woman’s face on paper currency by 2020. More than 256,000 followers of the campaign voted to narrow the nominees down from 100 to four. They settled on Rosa Parks, Harriet Tubman, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Wilma Mankiller.
     After another voting round, Harriet Tubman has emerged as the nominee that will be used to convince the Treasury Department to make history by better representing history.
     For those who didn’t pay attention in school or are from Mars, Tubman was considered the “Moses” of her time. Born into slavery, she managed to escape to the North and then proceeded to return to the South (19 TIMES!) to lead 300 others—including her siblings and parents—to freedom, using her knowledge of safe-houses.
You can read more about Harriet Tubman here at Wikipedia.

St. Andrew's Episcopal Church after the 1928 hurricane—Lake Worth, Florida

From the Florida Memory website is this note:
First formal worship service held on January 25, 1914. This original wood frame church, built in the fall of 1914, was destroyed during the great 1928 hurricane.
Credit: State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory.

Bill DiPaolo: "Roof restored at former Henry Flagler train depot in Jupiter"

Go to the link here (Northern Palm Beach County blog) for a map showing the location of the historic train depot and a picture of the structure. Here is an excerpt from the article:
     The diamond-shaped shingles have been installed as part of the restoration of the former Henry Flagler Railroad depot at Sawfish Bay in Jupiter.
     The Loxahatchee Guild is aiming to raise about $200,000 to gut the inside, install the new roof, build new doors and a deck and do other repairs on the structure that was built in 1915 and was once a stop on Flagler’s railroad to Key West.
     While used to load and unload passengers and freight, the single-story structure was on the east side of Alternate A1A just north of Indiantown Road, near the current site of Bell’s Mobile Home Park, according to Jupiter records.

Palm Beach Post: 3 Days in a Row with no "LINE OF FIRE"!

Detecting a trend here. Wayne Washington and Christine Stapleton take the "above the fold" in today's Post. The "LINE OF FIRE" is nowhere in the paper today, even checked the Sports Section. For a while there it seemed the Post set up satellite bureau outside PBSO headquarters in the parking lot.

If you haven't checked out the Post today you should. Christine Stapleton has a real shocker about the SFWMD and the land buy that some environmental groups are proposing. 

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Former Commissioner JoAnn Golden's remarks at the last City Commission meeting (5/5/15)

Ms. Golden throws around a lot of accusations and insinuations in her comments at the podium last week. She seems to dwell on the potential evils of outsourcing city functions and recalls going to a League of Cities convention where there was a booth for a firm that helped to do just that. Ms. Golden was on the dais when the city hired Bob Baldwin as city manager who regularly commuted from his home in Broward County. Many people called him the "drive-by" city manager, as he generally would only show up to warm a seat during Commission meetings and was rarely in his office or available to the public. One time, I did engage Mr. Baldwin in a conversation on the quality and quantity of staffing in the City's Planning Department. He suggested that we really don't need to hire individual people, we could just contract out the services to a planning firm. Huh. I'm glad we did not go down that path.

Later, she wrongly suggests that the current Commission has dismissed the notion of "dark skies" in its consideration of the Siemens proposal, which is part of the workshop discussion tonight. This is a slide from a PowerPoint presentation that is included in the back-up information for tonight's meeting.
So we can see that the new lights being considered are Dark Skies compliant. So much for not letting fiction get in the front of the truth. One of the claims of those in support of the Dark Skies initiative is that exposure to artificial light at night prevents humans from producing melatonin, which increases the probability of developing cancer. And then she goes on to suggest that it is just a matter of time before we outsource the RO plant, the beach and other city responsibilities to private entities.

She talks about turtles but not much about citizens who have to walk dark, unsafe neighborhoods at night.

And as long as it's OK to throw around innuendos in a public forum, Golden Paints produces acrylics (made from polymers) and also have other ingredients; you don't want to leave Golden Paint on your skin for too long. Ms. Golden's family, from which the company takes it names, runs Golden Paints and I believe that JoAnn is head of the family's foundation. Mark Golden, from Earlville, NY, runs the company and was a $1,000 contributor to the Ryan Maier campaign (page 2, #3). Lest we let nothing be overlooked, you can read about "known" cancer causing agents used in Golden Paints which have been linked to cancer, this from their own website.

This just in from the North Adams Police Department, Massachusetts (Facebook - REAL)

**Chasing bears through the woods drunk with a dull hatchet is strongly not advised**

"The North Adams Police Department is urging everyone to NOT chase bears through the woods with a dull hatchet, drunk. Yes that really did happen tonight. We understand there are bears in the area. If you see a bear, LEAVE IT ALONE and call us. We certainly don’t need anyone going all Davy Crockett chasing it through the woods drunk with a dull hatchet. It is just a bad idea and not going to end well. It will however, certainly end you up in jail…which it did. The hatchet man was taken into protective custody due to his incapacitation from the consumption of alcoholic beverage. We are still trying to figure out what his end game was. Any thoughts on what he was going to do if he did locate it? We would certainly like to hear because we have no idea."

Presentation on Dark Skies Initiative

This is a video playlist of a presentation given at a private Lake Worth home where I was invited to video. Dr. Kirt Rushenko shares information on the basics of what the Dark Sky initiative is. The talk is from early in 2014. This is part of what is being discussed tonight at the City Commission workshop on a proposal by Siemens to replace lighting throughout the city, among other proposals.

New York Magazine: "Chipotle Is Promoting Opportunistic Anti-Science Hysteria"

The media has been very skeptical of the anti-GMO groups of late. Some see it as overreach by the anti-GMO side as they make ever more hysterical claims about the ill effects of GMO's. It's seen as intentionally fomenting paranoia and misinformation across the country. 

For instance, when even Mother Earth comes out swinging against Chipotle for its new GMO stance you know there's a shift in thinking. Here's an excerpt from Jesse Singal from the "Science Of Us" section in the New York Magazine
     Part of the reason GMO hysteria arose in the first place is that most people barely know what GMOs are [emphasis added]. Yoel Inbar, a psychologist at the University of Toronto who studies human judgement and decision-making, said consumers tend to perform just a bit better than a coin flip on simple true-false questions on the subject. “People are alarmingly bad at answering those sorts of questions,” he said. They fear GMOs because of all the images of syringes and tomatoes and evil-looking scientists that pop up when they Google the term, and because of the false specter of giant rat tumors. This fear has created a a gulf between the public's views on GMOs and those of the scientific Establishment. As Mark Lynas, a researcher at the Cornell Alliance for Science and former anti-GMO activist, pointed out in a Times Sunday Review article on how he came around to the technology, a recent poll showed that while “88 percent of ... scientists agreed it was safe to eat genetically modified foods, only 37 percent of the public did — a gap in perceptions of 51 points,” he wrote. That is significantly larger than the gap on climate change (37 points) or childhood vaccinations (18 points).
There's a "March Against Monsanto" coming up in West Palm Beach. How many of those marching actually know what a GMO is?

Road Closures Begin for All Aboard Florida in West Palm Beach

Image from the City of West Palm Beach "NEWSROOM".
It's happening Folks! Click this link for the list of roads and the days they'll be closed. Construction of the actual project has begun. In many ways, AAF and CEO Michael Reininger are continuing the dream of Henry Flagler. 

Before too long we'll see work being done on the FEC tracks here in the little City of Lake Worth. Now, you may say to yourself, "that doesn't benefit me". And you would be wrong. On the heels of All Aboard Florida will be the Coastal Link train that will link all the cities along the coast. Lake Worth will have its own downtown station. How cool is that?
Brian Entin at NBC5/WPTV did a news segment about the Coastal Link you should watch. 

Ranked: The Most Bike-Friendly States in the US

Interesting graphic about how our states rank in terms of bicycle friendliness. Thanks to a loyal reader for sending me the link.
"There’s no secret to what the states at the top of the list are doing: They’re providing bike lanes and wide shoulders, and allowing cyclists access to major bridges and tunnels. They’re lowering speed limits to 20 mph, and increasing penalties for drivers who injure or kill cyclists. Their leaders openly promote cycling as a healthy and safe way to get around. They produce and distribute maps of bike paths and trails. The results are equally clear: High rates of commuters who bike, with low cyclist and pedestrian fatalities."
Florida is about in the middle-of-the-pack, which is likely an improvement over where it has been. Our Department of Transportation has started to adopt new standards that are more bike friendly, like the ones discussed above. It will take time to make up for sins of the past which included road designs clearly for only automobile traffic.

Is "THE LINE OF FIRE" losing steam? It's absent TWO DAYS IN A ROW NOW!

Reporter-extraordinaire John Kennedy from the Post's Capital Bureau takes the "above the fold" in today's print edition. For two days in a row now the "LINE OF FIRE" story has nary a mention and Sheriff Ric Bradshaw isn't mentioned either as a civil case is slowly moving through the system. Katie LaGrone at NBC5/WPTV is stepping back from the story too it seems. 

And did you notice the cost of the newspaper? It went up from $1 to $1.50. 

Lake Worth City Work Session TONIGHT: get the facts for yourself

Here is a link to the City's website where you can see for yourself what is being done tonight. A slide presentation does an excellent job of explaining what is being proposed. Here are four slides and encourage you to view the entire presentation:

Monday, May 11, 2015

Congratulations to Chris Persaud! A Finalist for the 2015 SPJ Sunshine State Awards

The Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) Sunshine State Awards were announced. 
Mr. Persaud is up for the top prize along with other Palm Beach Post reporters Christine Stapleton, Joel Engelhardt, and Sonja Isger in the category "Beat Reporting – Elections". Mr. Persaud is also remembered as the former Lake Worth beat reporter who once had a correction to a correction if you recall.

It's an interesting list and the winners will be announced in August.

Sorry TOB, we know you're terribly disappointed

Imagine the excitement when The Other Blogger (TOB) saw this on NBC5/WPTV:
Then the reality set in. The good news is the person injured is expected to survive. We all wish her a speedy recovery.

The address for this incident is the 4800 block of Lucern Lakes Blvd which is past Jog Rd, just a little bit beyond the municipal borders of the City of Lake Worth. Here once again, for anyone who's interested, is the Master Class on what is the "City of Lake Worth" and what is considered "suburban Lake Worth". 

AnnaMaria, for one, likes to tweak everyone now and then by calling our City "Lake Worth Beach". Maybe it's time to seriously consider a change in our City name? Vice Mayor Scott Maxwell had this idea some time back and he was ridiculed and disparaged. More and more he's looking like a visionary. 

This Week on Today Now! The only daily morning show I recommend

No better way to start the day!

Last time a hurricane hit Florida: a Bush was Governor & space shuttles still taking off

Kevin Spear at the Sun Sentinel puts things in perspective. He refers to 'hurricane amnesia'. From the article:
     The last time a hurricane barreled into Florida — Wilma in late 2005 — a Bush was governor and space shuttles could still fly into orbit.
     It's somewhat rare to go so long without a cyclone, and experts fear Floridians are catching "hurricane amnesia."
     To spur memories, this year's Governor's Hurricane Conference in Orlando will have a session that looks back a decade to the record season of 28 storms, which included 15 hurricanes, seven major hurricanes and Wilma's romp across South Florida.
     "It serves as a reminder that just because it's been quiet for the last 10 years doesn't mean it's going to continue," said Rob Molleda, meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Miami, who will moderate the session. "It's also natural to look back to see what we have done since."
This is as good a time as any for a reminder: Amnesty Week is coming soon to Lake Worth.

NAPC and Neighborhood News: Lake Worth Neighbors Bring Home $38,500 in County Grant Money!

The Neighborhood Association Presidents Council (NAPC) has more on the REAP grants and explains what "Little Free Libraries" are. All that hard work paid off in a big way for our little City of Lake Worth.

And check out "Too tall Paul from Royal Poinciana". Great job everyone.

Lake Worth CRA & LULA: Small Business Loan Program

You can find out more about this program here.

GMO's: The Boogeyman (Monsanto) Returns

Just last month wrote about how the GMO debate had shifted somewhat. There was speculation in academic/scientific circles that facts were getting through to the public past all the noise from the anti-GMO crowd. This website was given credit for some of that:
Well, not so fast. Kristen Clark at The Palm Beach Post has this news about a "March Against Monsanto": 
     Opponents of genetically modified foods plan to march in protest on Saturday along Forest Hill Boulevard.
     The first-ever “March Against Monsanto” in Wellington is one of nearly 350 such rallies happening this month worldwide. Another march is planned May 23 in West Palm Beach.
     Monsanto is an agricultural company often affiliated with GMOs, or genetically modified organisms. It sells herbicide-resistant seeds to farmers, products known as “Roundup Ready.”
     The march in Wellington begins at 9 a.m. at the Old Wellington Mall, at Forest Hill Boulevard and Wellington Trace.

Biotech booming in Florida

This article about the growing biotech industry in Florida appeared in The Gainesville Sun by their business editor Anthony Clark; here are two short excerpts:
     Signs of a growing biotech industry could be seen in all directions this week during the 12th annual BioFlorida Celebration of Biotechnology on the grounds of RTI Surgical at Progress Park.
     Three more tents were added this year to accommodate 94 tables, up from 80 last year, to house the trade show’s biotech companies and businesses offering lab equipment, patent attorneys and construction services, among others.
[and. . .]
     Nancy Bryan, president and CEO of BioFlorida, said industry growth is statewide, pointing to statistics which show that the number of biotech companies doing research and development in Florida grew 93 percent in six years, from 136 to 262 in 2014. [emphasis added]
     Over the last year, two immuno-oncology companies from California have opened in the Tampa area and Lupin, an India-based pharmaceutical company, expanded in Broward County.
     “The biotech sector in general is growing, but also Florida has been discovered as a good place to do business, and in biotech there’s a lot of research going on in Florida,” said Patti Breedlove, director of the University of Florida Sid Martin Biotechnology Incubator.

[Chuck's the winner!] Chuck Weber, CBS12/WPEC reporter, confirms crime outside municipal borders of Lake Worth

[By far, this was the most popular blog post yesterday (Sunday, 5/10). It's a short post but hammers the point home. Enjoy!]

If you're familiar with The Other Bloggers (TOB's) mania about PBSO and crime in the City of Lake Worth, every now and then point out crime actually occurs outside the borders of the City. Here's Chuck Weber with one:
Fortunately, the man injured is expected to be OK. 

Former Lake Worth City Manager Susan Stanton is now the city manager in Greenfield, California. That city is less than half the population of Lake Worth. Stanton has her own police department and she has a homicide problem in that city. The City of Greenfield is seeking help from the Sheriff. 

Ironic isn't it. 

So you see it's a matter of perspective. Something sorely needed if you live in a concrete bunker on the outskirts of the City.  

Alexandra Clough, Palm Beach Post business reporter, latest Lake Worth Casino story

The print edition of Alexandra Clough's article about the Lake Worth Casino is in today's (Sunday 5/10) Post, Section D (Business) on page 6. Pass this information on to your digitally challenged friends and neighbors who are unaccustomed to expecting Lake Worth to be mentioned in anything related to business.

Also you can read here about what I surmise to be a future editorial in the Post on this very subject. The reporter does a good job except in one respect: the people responsible for the failed Casino business plan are never mentioned or quoted. If you are unsure who exactly those people are that have put our city in such an awkward position, here's a visual reminder:
Note that the Casino business plan is now officially a failure. This information was gleaned from the recent Invitation to Negotiate (ITN) process in the City.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

AnnaMaria: host of the Lake Worth blog "Lake Worth Every Minute" has a challenge

"Now for all those people who have red signs in their yard. How about you step up next year and bring home the bacon."
Here is one of those misleading signs AnnaMaria is referring to.
This is AnnaMaria's post and her challenge is at the end of the post. 

While one group of Lake Worth citizens (prompted by organizers on North Lakeside Drive and Lake Osborne Drive) were spending their time lying about their fellow citizens ("they're trying to steal our BEACH"), another group of Lake Worth citizens were hard at work trying to make our neighborhoods a better place to live. Here is a picture of those people from AnnaMaria's blog:
Picture of REAP recipients from AnnaMaria'a blog. (I didn't ask permission but don't think she'll mind.)
You can read about the PBC REAP Grants here

The point folks is this: while one blog in Lake Worth does its best to make our City look bad, Margaret Menge had a similar effort with her now-defunct 'newspaper', while people like Peter Timm and Katie McGiveron bitch and moan at city commission meetings how terrible our City is. . .there are people you hardly ever see or hear about working hard as hell to make our City better, one neighborhood at at time. 

Enough said; for now. 

Marge Mange at the Lake Worth Cribune: "No more sitting on the sidelines for me"

A stunning development in Marge Mange's Cribune today:
"No more sitting on the sidelines". From what I can gather, haven't read the whole story yet, is Mange wants to get involved in city government and learn about civic involvement from the inside. Starting on the Sister City Board or the Tree Board is a good place to start. 

We all support you Marge!

Miami Herald: "Remembering protest that led to opening first beach for black Miamians"

This is a must read article in the Miami Herald. The Lake Worth beach and pool were segregated at one time; a sad legacy for this City. Little did these Miamians know how profound their actions would be 70 years ago. Here's the first three paragraphs:
     They are all dead now — probably; some of their names have been lost to time, so there’s no way to be certain — and there’s no way to ask them if they knew they were making history. But the seven black people who splashed into the water at all-white Haulover Beach 70 years ago this weekend set off ripples that would eventually turn into the most profound social upheaval in American history, the civil rights movement.
     “What they did was very, very significant,” said Miami historian and preservationist Enid Pinkney, 83, then a teenager who followed the events at Haulover closely. “I can’t say for sure it was the first act of civil disobedience for civil rights. But it was certainly one of the very early ones, not just in Florida but in the whole South.”
     The protest, nearly a decade before the national civil-rights movement began to take hold, quickly resulted in what was then Dade County opening a beach to its black citizens for the first time. And it touched off nearly two decades of sit-ins and demonstrations to integrate restaurants, nightclubs, hotels and everything else in the county.
Here is a "History Lesson" from former Lake Worth blogger-extraordinaire Tom McGow from July 2007. One of the news clippings he references from June 21, 1963, has this line about the Lake Worth beach:
For the third time in as many days a handful of Negroes Thursday swam without incident in the ocean off this city's municipal beach.
Read more here: