Saturday, June 27, 2015

Useful information for when you're invited to have lunch with the Queen

Click here for full article. The Queen chided Formula 1 star Lewis Hamilton on luncheon etiquette recently. There are other interesting historical gaffs perpetrated over the years that are mentioned in the article. Here's a quick list if you are ever in that situation:
Rules for proper dining at the Monarch’s side
  • The Queen is typically the hostess at most dining occasions. If you are seated to her right, you are the guest of honour and can expect to be engaged in conversation during the first course. If you are to her left you are not and should wait for the second course to be served for your opportunity.
  • Members of the Royal household are served their food in order of precedence, where practicable. Do not interfere with the Royal place setting in any way and do not inadvertently take the Royal bread plate.
  • If toasted by the Queen, do not respond in kind. During Barack Obama’s state visit to Britain, the US President spoke after Her Majesty’s toast but was drowned out by a band under orders to play as soon as she had retaken her seat.
  • Table etiquette should be rigorously observed, with teacups replaced in saucers after every sip and wine glasses held by the stem.
  • Guests may drink wine or liquers at a dinner even if the Queen has declined them.
  • Do not touch the Queen under any circumstances.

Reddit: "An Incubator Of Hate"?

Image from Wikipedia.
Charlie Warzel's article in BuzzFeed is subtitled, "Reddit’s decision to police “behavior, not ideas” isn’t just foolish — it’s reckless." Below are two excerpts from the article but be forewarned: very racist, anti-Black content follows:
     As Reddit celebrates its 10th birthday, it is stuck in the untenable position of simultaneously trying to clean up its most vile nether regions while still creating conditions that attract racism and misogyny the way a porch light draws in moths. [emphasis added] The site’s management has recently taken several genuine steps to make users feel safer on Reddit: In February, they set out to define its standards of harassment and revenge porn; earlier this month, they acted to enforce those standards by banning five of the site’s most odious subreddits.
[and. . .]
     But if the company’s rhetoric suggests an organization committed to eradicating hate and bigotry, its actions are that of one that’s ultimately unwilling to do the hard work of abolishing the conditions in which hate and bigotry thrive. The r/CoonTown forum is far from the site’s only racist forum: Before being banned for harassing redditors in other subreddits, r/n*****s was the site’s most infamous racist community. And in 2013, the popular racist subreddit r/GreatApes branched off into a network of smaller groups known as “The Chimpire.” According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, “within a year, the Chimpire network had grown to include 46 active subreddits spanning an alarming range of racist topics, including ‘Teenapers,’ ‘ApeWrangling,’ ‘Detoilet,’ and ‘Chicongo,’ along with subreddits for both ‘TrayvonMartin’ and ‘ferguson.’” And that list fails to include the darkest, most egregious communities like r/WatchN*****sDie, the content of which very much reflects the group’s name. On Reddit, hate is alive and well, and in some cases, growing.
Was Dylann Roof reading Reddit too? On an entirely different top:

The cat lobby won and the environmental/ecological devastation continues

The Florida Scrub Jay. Image from Wikipedia.
Cats have very strong advocates in south Florida; the native birds, small mammals, and reptiles do not. There was some token, faux-indignation by some environmental groups but that was the extent of it. Eliot Kleinberg reported on the County Commission meeting where they voted to continue the 'Trap, Neuter, Vaccinate and Release' (TNVR) program:
     Any roaming cat collected by Palm Beach County Animal Care and Control that appears to be cared for would be part of “Trap, Neuter, Vaccinate and Return.” Under that program, the cat would be sterilized, micro-chipped, and vaccinated for rabies, and its left ear clipped for identification. Then it would be set free back in its neighborhood.
     Animal Care Director Dianne Sauve has told commissioners the alternative would be for thousands of cats in shelters to be euthanized.
Wildlife groups then said, in a May 29 letter to the County Commissioner, that house cats and feral cats kill 1.4 to 3.7 billion birds in the U.S. each year, as well as 6.9 to 20.7 billion small mammals and more than 400 million reptiles and amphibians. [emphasis added]
     Acknowledging someone has to die in the equation, the groups said, “We should not respond to one tragedy by creating another.”
You can read here how our own Lake Worth Commissioner McVoy has a particular skillset that could have added greatly to this debate.

All Aboard Florida: station construction begins in West Palm Beach

Jennifer Sorentrue has the latest on AAF in West Palm:
     Construction crews this week began drilling the pilings that will serve as the foundation for All Aboard Florida’s $29 million station in downtown West Palm Beach — marking a milestone for the express passenger rail service.
     A large crane was set up last week at the station site, which is located just north of CityPlace between Datura and Evernia streets along the Florida East Coast Railway tracks.
     Crews are expected to drill 100 pilings at the site. Each piling will be 18 inches in diameter and about 40 to 45 feet deep, the company said.
     After the foundation work is complete, crews will begin building a bypass track that will be used by trains while the station is under construction. As part of the work, the existing rail line will be removed and upgraded.
If you're curious about the expected wait times at railroad crossings for an AAF train. . .

Message to the haters...

Friday, June 26, 2015

"Amazing Grace" by Presiden Barack Obama!

[UPDATE] Truth in advertising? These flyers are showing up on doors in the little City of Lake Worth: "practical preaching"?

Remember, this is the same 'church' that gave the City of Lake Worth that undeserved black eye in the national media. Do you remember this spectacle?
You can read more about the 'Common Ground' church here.
[UPDATE] The 'pastor' Mike Olive and his church had a very bad day; you might want to say a prayer for them:
The 'Common Ground' church and their passages from Romans are ringing very weak. A lot like their coffee I'm told.

President Obama on the Supreme Court Marriage Equality Ruling

Commissioner Andy Amoroso at South Shores Tavern: TODAY at Noon

Tired of national politics? Come get a dose of our important local scene, with someone who cares about your opinion! Our guest is Lake Worth City Commissioner Andy Amoroso. Come hear an update on the new sober homes legislation, and other topics that affect us locally.

PBSO at work. . .

On 6/23/15 members of District 14 Detective Bureau and the Community Policing Unit through an investigation were able to recover 33 appliances from a storage unit in West Palm Beach valued at approximately $19,000. All of the property appears to be stolen. We were able to recover several appliances belonging to two Habit for Humanity homes located within the City of Lake Worth and also from two other burglaries in unincorporated Palm Beach County. We are still attempting to identify the owners of the remaining appliances to other burglaries in the City of Lake Worth and Palm Beach County. An arrest has been made in this case and others are forthcoming. 

Sgt. Rick Ponce
Detective Bureau-District 14
Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office

Obama/Biden at the White House following the recent SCOTUS rulings

Strong words from Jill Lawrence about that flag everyone is talking about (and the Palm Beach Post chimes in)

Jill Lawrence titled her op/ed in The National Memo this way: "The Confederacy Crashes In A Week. It Only Took 150 Years." She attributes the tipping point to Gov. Nikki Haley who she believes "set off the swarm":
     It is tempting to go with a safety-in-numbers theory. Politicians and businesses may recognize a unique moment of opportunity to act on principle without paying a penalty. [emphasis added] It’s like speeding at the same rate as other cars when you’re in a long line of traffic. Everyone’s doing it, so nobody’s likely to get a ticket or — in this case — lose votes or customers.
     The risk has been high until now. For instance, a Winthrop University poll last November showed 61 percent of people in South Carolina — including 73 percent of whites — wanted to keep the flag on the Capitol grounds. Gov. Nikki Haley, an Indian-American Republican running for re-election that month, called it a non-issue in her campaign. But this week, surrounded by Democrats, Republicans, blacks, and whites, she called it part of the state’s past and said it needs to go. And with that she set off the swarm.
The Palm Beach Post has an editorial today on this very issue. They seem to agree with Jill Lawrence's analysis:
     Certainly it [the confederate flag] was a potent symbol for Dylann Roof, the callow 21-year-old who posted photos of himself brandishing the Confederate stars and bars while explaining his white supremacist views and announcing his demented ambition to single-handedly launch a race war.
     Starting with South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley’s renunciation [emphasis added] on Monday of the Confederate banner flying on her state Capitol grounds, a taboo seemingly has been broken — a taboo against coddling this lingering symbol not just of the Civil War but of the Ku Klux Klan, “Segregation Forever” and murderous resistance to the civil rights movement.
And am told The Other Blogger (TOB) is backpedaling as fast as she can:
So very charming, isn't it?
This image was posted on TOB's blog the week prior to Lake Worth's MLK March.

Supreme Court (SCOTUS): Gay marriage legal in all 50 states

West Palm Beach Convention Center hotel’s new parking plan: Valets crossing Okeechobee to retrieve cars

Click here for link to an Eliot Kleinberg story on requested changes to the parking arrangement for the downtown West Palm Beach convention center hotel. The building is now under construction. Part of its site plan and agreement with Palm Beach County includes a two-level, 630-space parking garage next to the hotel. The developer would now like to keep that a 300-car surface lot to accommodate future hotel expansion. They also would manage the CityPlace parking garage (deal already struck) for an additional 300 spaces to replace those not being provided south of Okeechobee Boulevard, next to the hotel.

The plan would involve valet parking attendants potentially running across Okeechobee to retrieve cars. The developer and city seem to agree that parking requirements and estimates are higher than they should be. The city goes so far to assert that most people will be arriving by cab since they will be attending conventions. An assumption that may or may not be the case. The article makes a point that the project is $10 million over budget.

This is going before the County Commission on July 7th. From the article:
     When the county approved the hotel in October 2012, plans called for a two-level, 630-space garage, with motorists parking on the ground level and the roof, according to the agenda memo for the July 7 commission meeting.
     Related says eliminating the garage would save $5 million. The company believes parking demand projections are high, and it projects the hotel, which is expected to open next year, will do well enough that it later will want to build a hotel wing on the surface lot.
     But county staff “is concerned,” the memo said.
     Besides pointing out that the garage is a requirement of the development agreement, county officials say parking demand is higher than Related’s projections and they worry about valet drivers crossing Okeechobee to CityPlace, and coming back on foot, both of which the memo said “will worsen an already poor traffic pattern during peak periods.”
An option could be concentrating the parking in the planned location using a mechanical parking stacking system to get more parking spaces on a smaller footprint. This would be operated by valets but prevent the need from running across Okeechobee to retrieve cars. It might also still provide room for future hotel expansion, while providing the eventual number of parking spaces for a larger facility. Just an observation (but probably not feasible since the project is already well over budget).

If I recall correctly, early on many thought the hotel should be built higher to better use the space available, perhaps integrating the parking garage with the hotel building structure.

Vox: "A brief, terrifying history of America’s nuclear mishaps"

Justice Anthony Kennedy 6/26/15

"No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were. As some of the petitioners in these cases demonstrate, marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death. It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves. Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right.

The judgment of the Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit is reversed.

It is so ordered."

How many jobs were projected in the Lake Worth Park of Commerce?

Census: Florida population growth last year driven by Hispanics

This is an Associated Press article, a very interesting read. The largest rise in Hispanic population was in Miami-Dade and Broward counties. The article appeared in many places including SaintPetersBlog; here's an excerpt:
     Hispanic residents made up almost half of Florida’s population growth last year, and the age gap between Florida’s white and minority residents continued to widen, according to figures released Thursday by the U.S. Census Bureau.
     Florida grew by more than 290,000 residents from July 2013 to July 2014, and more than 141,000 of those new residents were Hispanic.
     “It’s a continuation of a trend in terms of growth,” said Stefan Rayer, population program director at the University of Florida’s Bureau of Economic and Business Research. “The Hispanic population is increasing the most of any racial or ethnic group.”

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Wonkblog: "The most racist places in America, according to Google"

Wonkblog is part of The Washington Post. Christopher Ingraham has this telling article about racism in America using Google search data:
     Where do America's most racist people live? "The rural Northeast and South," suggests a new study just published in PLOS ONE.
     The paper introduces a novel but makes-tons-of-sense-when-you-think-about-it method for measuring the incidence of racist attitudes: Google search data. The methodology comes from data scientist Seth Stephens-Davidowitz. He's used it before to measure the effect of racist attitudes on Barack Obama's electoral prospects. [emphasis added]
[and. . .]
     This is important, because racism is a notoriously tricky thing to measure. Traditional survey methods don't really work -- if you flat-out ask someone if they're racist, they will simply tell you no. That's partly because most racism in society today operates at the subconscious level, or gets vented anonymously online.
Below is a screengrab of the map in Wonkblog and you can see south Florida fares very well. The middle of the state and the Panhandle don't fare as well.
Image from Wonkblog. Click link to see the entire map.

What SCOTUS did today

Chris McGrath at ABC25/WPBF is wrong: the "suspected grow house" is located in "suburban Lake Worth"

Here is the video from ABC25/WPBF's Chris McGrath. Scanlan Ave is located in suburban Lake Worth west of the E-4 Keller Canal which is generally the border between the City of Lake Worth and the county.
At the top of the image, above the large "W", is the E-4 Keller Canal. West of the canal is the general location on Scanlan Ave, in suburban Lake Worth. 
Once again, here is a primer for the news media on 'what is' and 'what is not Lake Worth' (referred to as "suburban Lake Worth"). . .for those who care.

God Erects 'God Loves Gays' Billboard in Salt Lake City, Utah

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH - God has delivered on the final goal of last year’s fundraising campaign and put a 'God Loves Gays' billboard in Salt Lake City, Utah.

God made a statement on this:

"The God Loves Gays billboard is intended to send a positive message of love into the world. Love is more powerful than hate. Perhaps the 'God Loves Gays' message will make a few people think about their beliefs."
Above is an image from God's blog featuring the billboard.
You can 'Like' God on Facebook.
You can follow God on Twitter.
You can even follow God on Instagram.

As we all know: LOVE > HATE, that's what the people at the Common Ground (no 's') church say. 

Andrew Marra's article on Palm Beach County's School Superintendent Robert Avossa

Andrew Marra at the Extra Credit blog has a very interesting article today (6/25) about PBC's new school superintendent—a must read. Here is a short excerpt:
     The county’s school system is the highest-rated large school district in Florida, with a higher graduation rate than the state average. On paper, [Robert] Avossa said, it seems to be succeeding.
     “From 30,000 feet, I would argue that Palm Beach County is doing fine,” [emphasis added] he said.
     But, he said, he suspects too many categories of children are underperforming and being left behind by the county’s schools.
     Part of his focus in upcoming months, he said, will be finding two or three top priorities for the county’s schools to focus on improving, and determining what metrics to use to measure progress.
     “It can’t be 60 things,” he said.

Just to be clear. . .Quiet zones in Palm Beach, Broward not impacted by governor’s veto

The Real Time blog has this important information about quiet zones along the FEC tracks:
     In a statement Tuesday, Palm Beach County’s Metropolitan Planning Organization, which determines how federal and state transportation money is spent to improve transit, said the veto will have “no effect on the construction of quiet zone improvements or the implementation of quiet zones within Palm Beach County.”Scott on Tuesday vetoed $461.4 million in spending from the $78.7 billion state budget approved by the Legislature last week. Among the items vetoed — $10 million for railroad crossing improvements.
     All Aboard Florida has pledged to invest $60 million in a series of safety improvements at crossings on the Florida East Coast Railway tracks from Miami to West Palm Beach.

From Slate: "How hate groups have used the deaths of Trayvon Martin and other black men to grow their ranks"

This information by Leon Neyfakh at Slate is part article/part Q&A with Heidi Beirich, an expert on white supremacist organizations in the United States, and how Dylann Roof got caught up in that racist world:
     One of the most chilling revelations about Dylann Roof, the alleged murderer of nine parishioners in Charleston, South Carolina’s Emanuel AME Church, is that his descent into crazed and deadly racism began with a simple Google search. According to a manifesto he posted online sometime before his rampage, Roof had his “awakening” after seeing news reports about the death of Trayvon Martin. Roof describes hearing and seeing Martin’s name everywhere, looking him up on Wikipedia, and “being unable to understand what the big deal was.” After that he typed “black on White crime” into Google and came upon the website of a far-right group called the Council of Conservative Citizens. After that day, Roof wrote in his manifesto, he was never the same.
On an entirely different topic . . .

Lake Worth Pool Closed Today (6/25)

This is an example of how and when the city could use its own official Twitter or Facebook page. I'll let you know when I find out why and for how long it will be closed.

The Post, courtesy of Kevin D. Thompson, had an announcement of this in today's paper. And, the news is posted on the home page of the City's website.
Who would know to look there?

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Vanilla Ice & the Cultural Council of Palm Beach County: a prestigious Stevie Award

The Cultural Council is located in Lake Worth, FL. Will have more news on the prestigious awards they received soon. Turn up the volume and enjoy "Ice Ice Baby"!

Message from former Lake Worth Mayor and current State Senator Jeff Clemens on Governor's Veto

"It's takes a special effort to for Governor Scott to shock or disappoint me, considering some of the things he's done in his first four years in office. But his vetoing of funding for vital programs and economic development infrastructure yesterday was over the top. I, and many other people, both Republican and Democrat, worked hard to craft a budget that included $3.5 million for the Lake Worth Park of Commerce, $500,000 for infrastructure in Riviera Beach, and many other important projects. Here's a partial list of what the Governor slashed, with absolutely no regard for the quality of the project. In other words, his goal was to veto a bunch of projects, regardless of how important, simply so he could say that he did.

Lake Worth Park of Commerce: $3.5 million
Lantana drainage improvement: $100,000
Palm Beach Habilitation Center, fire safety, water system: $482,600
Belle Glade’s West Technical Education Center: $500,000
Riviera Beach Broadway corridor infrastructure: $500,000
Norton Museum of Art: $1 million
Belle Glade S.W. 3rd St. storm water improvements: $400,000
Glades region waterpipes: $500,000
Pahokee marina improvements: $1 million
Lake Worth storm water and wastewater: $500,000
Pahokee emergency funding: $107,321

Again, the Governor's lack of a clear explanation for these vetoes is proof that they are more about messaging and his eventual race for U.S. Senate than they are about good government. It's sad for our communities."

It's all about the budget now. . .

College Park neighborhood in the little City of Lake Worth: decrease in crime

Photo taken at College Park meeting on Monday, 6/22: PBSO update. To learn how to start your own Neighborhood Watch contact the Neighborhood Assoc. Presidents Council (NAPC).

Eminent domain and the Lake Worth Park of Commerce

The Post's Kevin D. Thompson has this article that appears in the print edition, page B3, today (6/24). Here are two excerpts:
     The city can begin acquiring nine key parcels through eminent domain — land officials say the city needs to widen and make infrastructure improvements along Boutwell Road.
     Under eminent domain, governments have the right to take private property for public use with some form of compensation to the owner. In this case, the city wants to improve the road, which is the entrance to Park of Commerce, a 375-acre site and connector between I-95 and Lake Worth Road.
[and. . .]
     Vice Mayor Scott Maxwell said many residents are under the impression the project will only benefit private interests.
     “That’s a falsehood,” he said. “Upgrading that road is no different than building a road in front of my house,” he said. “We’re not benefiting private businesses any more than we’re benefiting private homes.”
     He also noted how the project could create up to 5,000 jobs.
     “Eminent domain is a really dirty, really ugly phrase,” Maxwell said. “But that process is in place for situations when the public good is at stake. In some respects, this is a game-changer.”
The Lake Worth Park of Commerce is nothing new. One of these days will post some images from the Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council Citizens' Master Plan from October 6th, 2001.

VisitFlorida: A review of Lake Worth's 1200 foot BEACH!

VisitFlorida, the world's most visited site for tourists and vacationers, did a short review of beaches in Palm Beach County. The Lake Worth BEACH! is mentioned in the image below:
The restaurant mentioned is Benny's on the Beach. The people at VisitFlorida did our City a big favor not mentioning the municipal pool.

One of the most invasive species on planet spotted in Florida

Rachel Feltman of The Washington Post has this article that appeared yesterday (6/23) about the New Guinea Flatworm:
     The New Guinea flatworm is kind of a pest. In fact, it's considered one of the world's most invasive species. When it shows up uninvited to a region where it lacks natural predators, it makes itself at home -- at the cost of native species forced to compete with it. And now, the flatworm has made its way to mainland Florida, putting the whole country at risk of an invasion. [emphasis added] Reports of the worm were published Tuesday in PeerJ.
     Platydemus manokwari isn't dangerous to humans. Not directly, anyway. But it also isn't pretty: The very flat worm grows to about two inches long, and has a murky olive back and a pale belly -- a belly with a mouth in the middle of it. So it basically looks like a sneeze with eyes.
     But while the New Guinea flatworm poses no danger to you, it could harm the ecosystem: The flatworm is known to feast on local snails wherever it lands, even climbing up trees to get to them.
The New Guinea Flatworm (the head is to the right). Image from Wikipedia.

Mayor Pam Triolo fields questions after remarks on the Governor's infrastructure veto. . .

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Klu Klux Klan image shocks tolerant south FL city (and county's paper-of-record continues to ignore it)

And more images of hate that too many have ignored for too long:

Governor Scott vetoes Park of Commerce Road Improvement Funding

Mayor Triolo held a brief press conference today in the Commission Chambers at Lake Worth City Hall to announce that the Governor vetoed $3.5 million in funding for road improvements in the city. Governor Scott said only that it "circumvented the Economic Development Transportation-Road fund evaluation process." According to the City and the documentation they provided (below), they did everything according to the book. This included visits to Tallahassee by the Mayor, the Vice Mayor and two commissioners and multiple visits to Lake Worth by Governor Scott.

The Mayor made some prepared remarks and then took questions. NBC5/WPTV and Ch25/WPBF were there with cameras so look for a story tonight on those stations. Mark Easton from The Lake Worth Herald and I (Wes Blackman) made up the rest of the legitimate press in attendance.

Here is the Mayor on the announcement:

Question and answer session up shortly.

Lake Worth Media News Advisory 6/23/15

Lake Worth, FL – Mayor Pam Triolo will be holding a media availability at 3:00 pm, Tuesday afternoon (June 23), at Lake Worth City Hall,  7 North Dixie Highway, to formerly respond to Governor Rick Scott's veto message issued earlier today which included the Lake Worth Park of Commerce improvements to Boutwell Rd. in the amount of $3.5 million dollars.

Crime in the little City of Lake Worth: more good news from Kevin D. Thompson

In the Post today, page B3 of the print edition, is an article about crime in Lake Worth. Here are two excerpts:
     Murders, robberies, burglaries and car thefts are all down in the city since the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office took over Lake Worth’s police department seven years ago, City Commissioners were told last week.
     In 2008, the city commission voted 3-2 in favor of the merger between’s the sheriff’s office and the city’s police department, with many residents saying they didn’t feel safe because the police force was having a hard time time dealing with criminals and gangs in the city. [emphasis added]
[and. . .]
     But, most important, [PBSO District 14 Captain] Silva said, is residents taking ownership of the city and working in concert with the sheriff’s office through neighborhood associations.
     “None of these things on their own solve our problems, but they all add value,” Silva said. “The more people that get involved, the better these problems will be addressed.”
Captain Silva was referring to this effort, to show one example:

If you have more good news you want to share with Kevin D. Thompson here is his contact information:
Twitter: @kevindthompson1

West Palm Beach Commissioner Shanon Materio kicks off her re-election campaign June 30th!

News about AAF: Student rates for All Aboard Florida?

The Post's Jeff Ostrowski and Jennifer Sorentrue have this interesting news about AAF:
     All Aboard Florida has met with officials at the University of Central Florida to discuss the possibility of a shuttle from the campus to the company’s rail station, according to a report by the company proposing rail service from Miami to Orlando.
     Some 9,500 students at UCF come from South Florida, the Post’s Jennifer Sorentrue reports.
     By offering discounted fares to students, the study found All Aboard could boost its ridership by roughly 48,000 passengers a year, assuming that students travel home about six times a year.
Just curious, does The Palm Beach Post have even one stock photo of an AAF passenger train? Every story is accompanied by a freight train picture. Do believe AAF would be happy to provide one.

San Francisco, 'Gentrification(!)' and why the small cities "need to step up"

Henry Grabar at Slate has an interesting take on the rental crisis in San Francisco in an article titled, "The Biggest Problem With San Francisco’s Rent Crisis". Could extrapolate on West Palm Beach and their revitalization, All Aboard Florida, and the high number of lots in a city just south of West Palm; but I'll let you draw your own conclusions. From the article in Slate:
     Between 2007 and 2014, San Francisco issued as many permits per capita as booming Santa Clara County, home to San Jose and Silicon Valley, one of California’s fastest-growing counties.
     The biggest problem with housing in San Francisco isn’t actually in San Francisco. It’s in the suburbs.
     In the Bay Area, the cities that have shut their doors to housing are the suburban municipalities that contain most of the region’s population. “The smaller communities, in my opinion, need to step up, and I don’t see that happening,” San Francisco planning director John Rahaim says. “There’s such a huge demand in general and that can’t be met just by the big three cities.”
     Nor should it be. Once upon a time, a forward-thinking planner might have conceived of the region as three high-density nodes of housing and jobs, in San Francisco, San Jose, and Oakland, with quiet bedroom communities strung like beads along commuter rail lines and highways.

Town of Palm Beach forms Underground Utilities Task Force

Replacing existing FPL power polls and lines has been discussed for years in Palm Beach. The notion got a renewed push after the hurricanes of ten years ago. Above are portions of the first meeting agenda of the group that would start and oversee the process.

Lake Worth's Joint Sister City Meeting today at 4:00

This meeting is noticed on the City's calendar. The meeting will be held at the Cultural Council of Palm Beach County, 601 Lake Avenue, beginning at 4:00 and ending at 5:30.

Also, the Cultural Council received some awards yesterday and will try to find more information on that. Stay tuned.

Story from Lake Worth Visitors' Information Center

"Something happened yesterday at the Lake Worth Visitor Center - something pretty amazing. A lady came in to pay her bill at the utility office adjacent to the information center window. She was late with her payment and in danger of having her service cut off. She found she was $10 short in the amount of money she needed to cover the expense and she was visibly shaken and upset. A good neighbor overheard and offered the $10 to help her out. That's not the amazing part. Lake Worth is filled with generous and kind people.

What happened next is the amazing part. A third lady witnessed the whole interaction and followed the first lady as she was leaving the building, her bill now having been fully paid. This extraordinary woman remarked to the first lady, 'Please take $10 from me too. I see you were short on your utility bill payment and I'm guessing you may be short on food money for the rest of the month. It's not much, but I hope it helps.'

Lake Worth, Florida!"

Monday, June 22, 2015

Best Friends

News: Pink awning with white stripes a Federal case? Code Enforcement reaching new levels in Palm Beach

Alese Kopf at the Palm Beach Daily News (aka, The Shiny Sheet) has this article about a custard shop, balloons, and a store owner who challenged the Town of Palm Beach's social construct by changing a white awning to a pink one with white stripes and, of all things, ice cream cones! Thomas Tomas, the owner of the Sweet Spot custard shop hired Lesley Blackner to represent him. Does the name Lesley Blackner sound familiar? It should. Do you remember Amendment 4?

Anyhow, while cities such as the little City of Lake Worth work hard and look forward to the day when awning colors and their design are only things left for code enforcement to cite. . . Here is an excerpt from the article by Alese Kopf:
     A code citation case related to store awning changes was postponed until next month so Tomas’ attorney, Lesley Blackner, can attend. Tomas said he has an “extensive case to present” and that Blackner is considering filing a federal lawsuit against the town. [emphasis added]
     The board voted 5-2 to grant a continuance to Tomas, who originally requested a delay to give the Planning and Zoning Commission and Town Council time to review the town’s commercial sign rules.
     At its June 9 meeting, the council directed the zoning board to look at the ordinance and determine if amendments are necessary.
     After receiving a complaint, the town cited Tomas in April for changing the awning from white to pink with white stripes and adding ice-cream cone logos. 
Go get 'em Ms. Blackner!

News about the little City of Lake Worth from Jennifer Sorentrue

This appeared in today's print edition of The Palm Beach Post about prestigious awards the Cultural Council of Palm Beach County is expected to receive in Chicago later today:

Introducing the McBike (for those fans of McDonald's out there)

From Kimberly Miller: "Dry spell may spell trouble for South Florida"

It's dry. As you'll read below it was predicted to be on the dry side but not quite this much. Here's an excerpt with two members of the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD):
     There is no current talk of more strict watering rules, said [SFWMD] water district spokesman Randy Smith. Lake Okeechobee’s level is 12.58 feet, within the strived-for range of between 12.5 feet and 15.5 feet.
     While forecasters generally agreed Friday about the cause of the current dryness, there was less consensus about whether it’s something to worry about.
     Shaughnessy [Geoff Shaughnessy, SFWMD meteorologist] said El Nino may be withholding rain now, only to dump it in buckets through the beginning of the dry season.
     In May, the National Weather Service’s forecast for Florida’s rainy season predicted slightly-below normal rainfall because of El Nino.
Stay tuned and follow your community watering rules. Here are the watering rules for the City of Lake Worth:
  • Home Addresses Ending With Even Numbers (including zero) May Water Lawns & Gardens on Tuesday, Thursday, Sunday
  • Home Addresses Ending With Odd Numbers May Water Lawns & Gardens on Monday, Wednesday, Saturday
  • No Watering between 10am & 4pm

Secular Talk Radio: Anti-gay activist Michael Brown, author of "A Queer Thing Happened to America"

More about that tragedy in the City yesterday

Here is the NBC5/WPTV report. Some neighbors in the community were interviewed; you can see their devastation. Here is an excerpt from the text of the story:
     Friends say Waten moved here from Haiti in 1999. He then saved money to bring his wife to America. Friends who know them well can't imagine why anyone would want to harm them.
     "It's something you can't really believe," said Sontonay Clermont, a longtime friend. "They were such a quiet couple. You don't think they wouldn't have any trouble with anybody."
     The couple was a member of the Peniel Hatian Baptist Church of Lake Worth.

Lake Worth's College Park Neighborhood Assoc. (CPNA) Meeting TODAY (Monday, June 22nd)

College Park Friends and Neighbors,

We will hold our Neighborhood Meeting today at 6:30 PM at the Beach Club located at the Lake Worth Golf Course, One Seventh Avenue North. Our speaker for the evening will be Captain Rolando Silva, PBSO Commanding Officer for District 14 in Lake Worth.
Also on the agenda are details and final plans for the College Park entry in the Great American Raft Race on the 4th of July. Due to the success of the College Park social held last month, we are also going to be planning more social events for the rest of this year and your ideas and suggestions are most welcome.

Join us this coming Monday and support the Association that serves our Neighborhood!

Johnny Pickett, President, CPNA

Land Development Regulations—The Case of the Missing Back-up Material

Would suggest reading the information below prior to watching the video.

Yesterday, I took a few minutes in front of the camera to talk about a situation that happened last week. It springs from last Tuesday's Lake Worth City Commission meeting (6/16) during a discussion about changes to the City's land development regulations (LDRs). It turns out that part of the back-up material the City Commission saw was different than what was seen by the Planning and Zoning Board (P & Z) and the Historic Resource Preservation Board (HRPB). Both advisory boards made recommendations to the City Commission without seeing a key portion of the proposed revisions to the code. I thought doing a video was the best way to explain the situation in an attempt to correct misleading information being spread around the city.

I reference the videos below during my talk. This first video is from the P&Z meeting of June 3, 2015.

And this is the HRPB meeting of June 10,  2015:

Aside from this glaring omission, below is an example of the blurry back-up material that was included in the City Commission's back-up material:
Permitted Use Table as included in the City Commission back-up material.
Seen chatting during break before the item was heard:
Director of Community Sustainability William Waters and Ex-Commissioner JoAnn Golden (rumored to be running for the District #3 seat against Commissioner Amoroso in the upcoming March election)

Taylor Prewitt explains: Why Rhodesia's Flag Is A Symbol Of White Supremacy

Image from Wikipedia.
The AllDay website explains why this is. Here is the opening text by Taylor Prewitt:
Rather than cede to black majority rule in 1965, the government of Rhodesia declared its own independence, effectively launching a brutal 14 year civil war that killed 30,000, all for the benefit of white power. The country's flag is now used by white supremacists like the Charleston church shooter to convey racist ideology and hate.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

There was a tragedy in our City today

Please say a prayer for everyone involved, the living and the deceased. In the next few days will have information on how you can help ease the pain for everyone involved. In time we'll heal as a community. Information is still forthcoming, until then withhold judgment and concentrate on what you can do to help.

The Lake Worth Herald editorial, June 18, 2015: To Light Or Not

The Lake Worth BEACH! is approximately 0.072 miles of beach on the Florida Atlantic coast and that tiny stretch of Earth took center stage at a recent city commission meeting. We all know the issues: poor lighting in the parking lot, unsafe traffic patterns, our need for jobs, an underperforming city pool, and a Casino complex that has failed expectations miserably.

But what is the main concern for Commissioners Ryan Maier and Chris McVoy at THE BEACH!? Turtles. Understand there are already State of Florida DEP guidelines and Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission rules the City has to follow vis-à-vis turtles

Here is an excerpt from The Lake Worth Herald:
     The Dark Sky initiative would have total darkness ideally, but everyone knows that is not practical, so the debate over lumens and kelvins continues. [emphasis added] What is enough light for a safer environment and what is too much light for the health of people and the safety of wildlife? 
     It is amazing how many people in Lake Worth are experts on lighting. 
     Let’s pay attention to new science, after all, the old science was once new science until more science came along. What makes one comfortable that this new science won’t be trumped by a newer science tomorrow. Isn’t that how life goes, young people listen to old people until they are old enough to think on their own, then they discard the wisdom of the older to make room for their new wisdom, which, by the way, isn’t always better wisdom. 
     There is a common ground and we need to find it, both in lighting and wisdom. This common ground will never be found as long as neither side is willing to concede anything or work to meld ideas. 
     So, I guess, at least here in Lake Worth, we will continue to bicker and squabble over issues beyond our control while the things we can effectively control spin helplessly out of control due to lack of consideration.

All Aboard Florida (AAF) News: "Vertical construction to begin on Miami station this summer"

Jennifer Sorentrue at the Real Time blog has this news and a video about AAF's progress thus far:

From Vox: "The Charleston shooting is part of a long history of anti-black terrorism"

Christine Stapleton: "Miccosukee Tribe chairman speaks out on Everglades water quality"

The Post's Christine Stapleton reports on a Sierra Club sponsored summit on Saturday where the Miccosukee Tribe’s Chairman, Colley Billie, drew the line vis-à-vis the Everglades restoration efforts:
     [Colley] Billie acknowledged that some progress has been made, but said there are two issues on which the tribe will not budge: The Tamiami Trail bridge project and the maximum phosphorous limit of 10 parts per billion [emphasis added] for water flowing into the Everglades National Park. The Tribe believes raising the Tamiami Trail, which separates tribal lands from the Everglades National Park, will destroy two villages, invade their privacy and hurt their businesses along the road.
[and. . .]
     “I am here today to ask the Sierra Club and all of you to focus your efforts on restoring water quality,” Billie said. “It is only by working together that we will be able to restore the Everglades.”