Saturday, November 14, 2015

Food news in Lake Worth from Nicole Danna at the Broward/Palm Beach New Times

Nicole Danna is the restaurant/food reviewer at the New Times and she's done spectacular food news reporting in Lake Worth; you can follow her on Twitter. Her latest article is about a new company in Lake Worth that's affiliated with Florida Food & Farm located at 803 Lake Ave in the downtown. Here is an excerpt from the New Times article:
     Call it over-the-top. Call it cutting-edge. Call it an extreme interactive mobile kitchen. But whatever you do, don't call it just another food truck. [emphasis added]
     Instead, TRUCK! stands as a traveling interactive performance kitchen, a custom-created piece of equipment conceived by Lake Worth-based Culinary Performance Media (CPM), the company that publishes Florida Food & Farm magazine. Larger than life, the traveling restaurant-sized kitchen is taking live cooking competitions and demonstrations to a new level this winter when it launches in South Florida.
     TRUCK! (short for Traveling Restaurant Ultimate Competition Kitchen) debuted in Las Vegas earlier this month. Built on a behemoth, self-leveling, 70-foot trailer, it was created by Cruising Kitchens of San Antonio, Texas, to make cooking competitions more mobile.
Check out this TRUCK!
This will be big news when the TRUCK! debuts and I'll let you know when and where that happens.

50th Annual Holiday Celebrations in the Little City of Lake Worth: A schedule of events

This is the link to the City's comprehensive list of ongoing and new events here in Lake Worth. If you have any questions or would like the City to post an event contact Ashley Brown, the Special Events Assistant.

Is Airbnb contributing to higher housing costs and the shortage of housing here in Palm Beach County?

Here is what you find when you search Airbnb for a 2-person rental in Lake Worth checking in tomorrow (Sunday 11/15) and staying for the week. As of 9:00 am on 11/14 count at least 10 within the City. These are homes unavailable to people and families looking for a home to rent.

There is a lot of angst and consternation over the dearth of affordable housing and the continuing shortage of homes for rent. This is putting pressure on rental costs which are going up—for both homes and apartments. All over the political spectrum people claim to have all the answers. Is there another contributing factor to the housing shortage created by short-term vacation rental services like Airbnb?

Read this article from Emily Badger at Wonkblog and decide for yourself. Here is an excerpt from the article:
     The distinction around permanent homes has become central to the political fight over whether Airbnb is helping or hurting affordable housing. Airbnb argues that the income hosts earn through the site helps subsidize their own high housing costs (the data it plans to release will include the number of hosts who supposedly manage to avoid eviction or foreclosure thanks to their Airbnb income).
     But in expensive cities like New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles, critics have argued that property owners aren't simply renting out their homes for extra income, but converting homes into full-time mini-hotels, permanently removing properties from the rental supply. [emphasis added] To combat the practice, San Francisco's new regulations allow only residents to list their permanent homes for short-term rentals.

When historic preservation goes terribly wrong. . .

This is very unwelcome news about historic preservation from reporter Larry Barszewski at the Sun Sentinel; here is an excerpt:
     Broward County thought it had a permanent home for its historical collections when it paid $3.75 million for a 39-year lease at the renovated West Side Grade School, but it has had to move out after only six years because of water intrusion and buckling floors in the historic structure.
     County commissioners will decide Tuesday whether to sue the landlord of the 1923 Sailboat Bend school, now called the Historical Commission Building, which officials say is unusable in its current state.
     The problems started a couple of years after the county occupied the building in 2009. It stopped staffing the building in 2014 and removed all furniture and remaining archives in September.
Historic preservation is a painstaking and expensive process. When it's done wrong the costs to repair the mistakes are mind numbing and the public takes notice. It's understandable why many in the public are reluctant to go down that road to restore a structure when there are so many other less expensive and quicker options.

Not to say there haven't been many historic preservation victories. A recent one is the Loews Don CeSar in St. Pete Beach which was named the best historic hotel in the country.

Standing with Paris and France

Friday, November 13, 2015

Are you adventurous? VisitFlorida wants to "inspire" you to explore the vast Florida Everglades

VisitFlorida is the most visited travel and tourism site for the state of Florida. Jeff Klinkenberg, a writer for VisitFlorida, has a series about the Florida Everglades and wants to inspire the adventurous to explore this natural wonder some call the "River of Grass". The reporter writes this about himself:
I'm one of those Everglades boys who can’t get enough of swamps, alligators and interesting characters, who don’t mind slapping mosquitoes or skinny-dipping where there may be snakes.
Below is an excerpt from the article in VisitFlorida:
     What we call “The Everglades” actually begins just south of Disney World and meanders more than 200 miles to the tip of Florida. It’s overwhelming. For our purposes, I’m going to concentrate on places worth visiting in the southern half. Some you can read about in the guidebooks. Other places, off the grid, are my choices.
     For many of you, reading about the Everglades will be enough. I hope you’ll enjoy the stories and the photos and never have to swat a mosquito, step around an alligator or avoid a poisonous machineel tree.
     But I'm hoping that a few of you will be inspired to investigate.

Two significant errors by The Obtuse Blogger (TOB) that need correction

First, she's making all sorts of silly claims about the proposed change in the City's invocation policy echoing Commissioner McVoy. You can read about that here. Her talent for unhinged hysteria is legendary but it's important for City residents to know that the City's response has been level-headed and reasonable to this nonsense:
TOB heralding the possible comeback of Preston "I'm an Atheist!" Smith.
And her "news" about a large real estate transaction in "Lake Worth" is also false:
The Chase Bank Professional Center is in the Village of Palm Springs, not Lake Worth.
TOB has been a City resident for how long? 60 years? 70? You'd think she would know what the City's municipal borders are. The real estate deal she's referring to above is in the Village of Palm Springs, not Lake Worth. Lake Worth is the mailing address and you can learn about that distinction here.

State Representative Bill Hager will be in Lake Worth tomorrow (11/14) for coffee and conversation

State Representative Bill Hager will be at The Beach Club in Lake Worth tomorrow (11/14) from 9:00 to 11:00. That iconic City restaurant is located at the City's municipal golf course which was recently featured in Southern Golf Central Magazine:
Babe Ruth played golf in the little City of Lake Worth.

Beginning TONIGHT: The BEACH! bonfires are back in the little City of Lake Worth

The City of Lake Worth's 1200' BEACH! is a sight to behold at the Friday night bonfires. Save the dates and tell your friends and neighbors about this unique City event. For a comprehensive list of events and programs in Lake Worth visit the City's website and look for the "Special Events" icon on the left side below the Twitter icon. 
Yes, the City is using Twitter and you can "Follow" for news and events by clicking on the Follow icon below:

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Lake Worth Commissioner McVoy: Channeling Clarence Darrow or just crass political grandstanding?

Here is a quote from McVoy in an article by Kevin Thompson at The Palm Beach Post:
“It’s my responsibility to keep my damn mouth shut if I agree or don’t agree”
This is about the invocation debate in the City of Lake Worth vis-à-vis how to handle the process so another Preston Smith "I'm-an-Atheist!" wannabe doesn't get another shot at our little 6 square mile City.

The quote above by McVoy is a hanging curveball for the Post editorial board making McVoy out to be the defender of free speech in America and defending constitutional liberties for all of us minions. Don't be surprised to see that treatise by the editors in the next few days while the issue is still a current one. Issues can change quickly in Lake Worth since election season starts earlier here than most cities in the U.S.
The Obtuse Blogger (TOB) excited to learn Preston Smith is (?) coming back to Lake Worth this holiday season.
Everyone's free speech is still protected in Lake Worth and McVoy can invite Preston Smith back to speak if he wishes. The new rules for invocations, if adopted by the commission, will be thus: each elected representative (there are five) will go in order and they can choose 1) a moment of silence, 2) say their own invocation, or 3) invite someone from the public. Sounds reasonable, right? Not to McVoy it isn't.

Commissioner McVoy voted against this newly proposed option. Why? Probably to keep the heat on Mayor Triolo, Vice Mayor Maxwell and Commissioner Amoroso and in the process bring more press attention to himself. His reasoning comes off mostly political and it'll play real good with his base. The vote was 4-1 with Commissioner Maier supporting the new proposal. Interestingly, at a debate while a candidate Maier's option then was to get rid of invocations altogether.

As long as the City Commission is taking a fresh look at new rules for meetings maybe they should consider a rule on how a commissioner should act when all the other elected representatives leave the room? (Note: things start getting interesting starting at the 1:00 mark in the video below)

What can an elected representative in Lake Worth do to alter or change train traffic along the FEC tracks? Zero.

Why there's any confusion still remaining about this is a mystery. The Florida East Coast (FEC) are the train tracks that go through the City of Lake. Grumbling and murmurs are beginning once again about the planned train service, The Brightline, formerly called All Aboard Florida. This blog post is a gentle reminder that elected officials in any City along the route, including Lake Worth, cannot make a law or write an ordinance to impede any train on the FEC tracks. The FEC owns the right-of-way and they are regulated by state and federal law.

That's not to say that companies using the FEC aren't listening to the public and local governments. They most certainly are: for example, here is a recent agenda item from the Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council (TCRPC). 

The city of West Palm Beach addressed the issue of the FEC right-of-way on October 26th in the "NewsRoom" on their city's website concerning cell phone towers; here is an excerpt:
     The city has a specific approval process that needs to be followed if someone wants to put up a cell tower. But because the railroad is looking to put this tower along its tracks (on its own right of way), All Aboard Florida is able to avoid the city’s approval process.
     So far, the railroad has only sought permission for the one tower in the South End. But the construction of cell towers in the city was not part of discussions or negotiations over the past two years between City Hall and the railroad and city officials do not know if more towers (including in downtown or in residential areas) are planned in other portions of the city.
I hope this information helps.

The PalmBeacher Magazine: Season kick-off party at Benny's on the Beach

Here is an excerpt from The PalmBeacher about a party at Benny's on the Beach this coming Saturday afternoon:
     Benny's on the Beach will be showing some extra Southern hospitality on Nov. 14 as it welcomes back winter guests with a season kickoff party.
     From 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., the Lake Worth seaside eatery will offer a menu filled with comfort food options while artists performing country-western favorites take over the stage.
     Benny's on the Beach representative Mercedes Castro said the event is an opportunity for the community to come together to enjoy a good time by the water.
The entertainment is by Raquel Renner.

New video produced by FPL on cost of energy in your home and a silver lining for residents of Lake Worth

Electricity in the City of Lake Worth and some neighboring communities is more expensive than FPL because, if you're not aware, the City has its own electric utility. The trend of late is lowered electric bills to attempt parity, or as close as possible to parity, with FPL. The five elected members of the city commission essentially are their own utility board and they can raise or lower rates depending on which way the political winds are blowing at the time.

But if electric rates spike up you can soften the blow and protect your family by having clean, affordable, and stable natural gas service for your home; learn how here. All it takes is a future election in the City of Lake Worth with three elected's who all agree they want more of your cash and your electric bill is going to spike up; it's as simple as that.

If your electricity service comes from FPL you'll be excited about this news:

If you believe natural gas is the wrong way to provide energy to Florida's residents and believe solar and wind are the better options then you'll find the video below interesting (note the video was released on Oct. 19th and has almost 560,000 views already):

One Of The Country’s Biggest Urban Farms Will Be Built In Detroit

A $15 million urban farm will be built on delinquent land owned by the city of Detroit. The 60 acre urban farm will consist of greenhouses and aquaponic systems used to grow specialty produce that will be sold to local restaurants. When complete the farm will create 120 jobs. What an amazing conceptusing delinquent, city-owned land to produce healthy, non-GMO food and to create jobs. There will be no corn, soy, canola, cotton, sugarbeets: 60 acres of real food. Detroit, the trendsetter? We hope so! Heck no, we don't need GMOs! Read more about urban agricultural recovery using this link.

Discover Lake Worth, FL: Only 15 minutes from the 3rd Happiest Seaside Town in America!

CoastalLiving has their top ten "America's Happiest Seaside Towns" and Delray Beach is number three on the list. Lake Worth did not make it into the top ten this year. Southport, N.C. is number 1 and Venice, FL is number 2. Here is what the folks at CoastalLiving have about our neighbor only 15 minutes to the south:
Talk about a place that has its priorities in order: At the heart of this fun-loving city of 61,231 are two miles of gloriously white-sand public beach. Sky blue cabanas and loungers stand ready for rental—a bit of Côte d’Azur meets Old Florida. But there’s nothing snooty about Delray. Enjoying the influences of tony Palm Beach 24 miles to the north and urbane Miami 50 miles to the south, the city has quietly grown its own sense of culture, including lively nightlife that parties on weekends, an up-and-coming arts district, a world-class tennis facility, beautiful Japanese gardens, and a seashell museum.
[and. . .] 
     It’s an easy view across low dunes topped with bright green sea grape leaves to the sparkling Atlantic. Add to that the ribbon of Intracoastal Waterway that slices serenely through Delray’s length and it’s easy to see how good South Florida life can be.
Congratulations Delray Beach! You can find out more about the little City of Lake Worth here, a charming City only 15 minutes north from the 3rd Happiest Seaside Town in America!

The word "Piffle" used in a sentence. . .

Image from Wikipedia.
Dorothy L. Sayers is quoted as saying, “If anybody ever marries you, it will be for the pleasure of hearing you talk piffle.”

Do you know what the word "Piffle" means? If you do, congratulations. If you don't, here is the definition of the word Piffle

Dorothy L. Sayers will go down in history for many accomplishments. 'Marriage counselor' or 'relationship expert' will not be one of them. 

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

For Veteran's Day—My Grandfather's Pictures while Stationed in France during the First World War

I thought that I would share pictures taken by my maternal grandfather during his World War I duty in France. I'm not sure of the camera equipment he used, but it is amazing that with the technology available 100 years ago he was able to take these pictures, return home, get them developed and add a description of the pictures that survive to this day to be share over the Internet. Here are some of them:
After about a week at our first billet, we went into another billet at another side of town. This shows the cluster of buildings. The first night here I slept in a hay loft and then the next day we were assigned to our respective buildings. The lane leads down to a pond, where we washed and shaved – note that it too is lined with blackberry bushes. (He uses the word "billet." The term means "a place, usually a civilian's house or other nonmilitary facility, where soldiers are lodged temporarily."
This is about two miles N.W. of St. Germaine – our third place of abode. At first when situated at the second place we marched out here for drill. Then finally we were ordered to pack up and move out here. So we put up our little ‘dog’ or ‘pup’ tents and lived in them for about four weeks. This goes down in the History of the ‘309’ as “Thistle Hill” for the ground was covered thickly with a peculiar thistle which always and continually made a very vivid impression upon us. The lone tree at the right was in our company street. The three large tents in the foreground are kitchens. The smaller white tents are company headquarters and the others are the ‘pup’ tents.
This is a pretty good picture of Donges on the Loire River. You can see the barracks in process of completion. Our company kitchen is the building with the two stacks and the ladder. I helped make the stove pipe out of corrugated iron. My barracks is marked on the front, the second building from the kitchen. The town of Donges is clustered about the church, the steeple of which you can see in the background.
Here is a fine picture of the windmill I described in the letter I wrote you Father. Could see this from our back barracks door.

Wes Blackman featured on CBS12/WPEC about the invocation issue in the City of Lake Worth

The video used by CBS12 was from my YouTube channel. You can see the top of my head in the lower left corner!
Lauren Hills was the reporter for this story on CBS12/WPEC. Here is an excerpt from her pitch:
     "May the efforts of the council blend the righteousness of Satan," [Preston] Smith said during the 2014 meeting. "May Zeus, the great god of justice, grant us strength tonight."
     Some officials felt it made a mockery of the city's policy to allow the public to lead the invocation, regardless of their belief.
     "We've had Wiccans, Baptists offer the invocation to call on our better selves to perform work as the city," said Michael Bornstein, Lake Worth city manager.
     Lake Worth is now looking to change is invocation policy.
There was no mention of any "backroom" deals leading up to this possible change in City policy which is very good news. If you recall, last December I was interviewed by Charlie Keegan at CBS12/WPTV about this issue of City invocations and here is that video:

From Paul Owers at the Sun Sentinel: Government expands Neighborhood Stabilization Initiative

Below is an excerpt from this article in the Sun Sentinel about an effort to curb blight here in Palm Beach County.
      South Florida housing organizations will be given the chance to buy more than 2,000 foreclosed homes that ultimately could wind up in the hands of individual consumers.
      The Federal Housing Finance Agency on Tuesday said it is expanding its Neighborhood Stabilization Initiative to include Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade counties, as well as 17 other metro areas nationwide.
      Starting Dec. 1, the housing groups can express interest in buying the homes, valued at $175,000 or less, before they are made available to the general public. [emphasis added] The groups will renovate the properties and rent or resell them to residents who meet income qualifications. In some cases, the homes will be demolished and rebuilt.
Interestingly, on pages 120–123 of last night's City of Lake Worth agenda was this item:
Anyone familiar with how badly Lake Worth was affected by the Great Recession knows there are many homes, or what's left of them, that were foreclosed on with almost all of them valued under $175,000. This program will have a huge impact on the City.

Commissioner Maier flip-flops on the issue of invocations at City Commission meetings

The video above is from the Lake Worth Playhouse debate at the end of the last campaign cycle. When asked if the invocation should be discontinued at the City Commission meetings, then-candidate Ryan Maier was the only one who thought it should be stopped.

It was on the agenda at last night's commission meeting which resulted in a protracted discussion of the issue. We learned that Commissioner Maier is now "for" retaining the practice. I wasn't able to attend last night's meeting but will post video's taken from the City's website that you can view later.

You might remember that much was made of the spectacle of a self-proclaimed atheist giving his version of an invocation during last year's holiday season. You might recall that his appearance led some members of the dais to leave the room. Well, we heard about that again last night and there was a claim by Maier of some sort of 'conspiracy' as to why they walked out. The actual reason stemmed from an exchange on social media where the person who gave the atheist invocation used a Biblical passage to suggest sexually assaulting someone's daughter (see next blog post below).

After much discussion it was decided last night that the responsibility for the invocation would cycle through each commissioner and the mayor. They could either choose to have a moment of silence, or select a member of our spiritual community to offer the invocation at a City Commission meeting. That, to me, seems like a reasonable solution and is similar to how other local governments, including the County Commission handle it.

Did Lake Worth Mayor Pam Triolo walk out to not listen to Preston Smith's atheist 'invocation'?

[The issue of invocations prior to City Commission meetings was a long discussed item at the commission meeting last night (11/10). The post below explains Mayor Pam Triolo's reason for walking out of Preston Smith's atheist 'invocation'. There will be more on this later when the City's video is available on the website along with an explanation for the political grandstanding by commissioners McVoy and Maier.]

So. . .did Lake Worth Mayor Pam Triolo walk out to not listen to Preston Smith's atheist 'invocation'?

The answer is no. But the media will have you believe the mayor and several commissioners did walk out of the commission chambers to not listen to an atheists 'invocation'. Another blogger in Lake Worth is all excited and gleeful about Preston Smith's next appearance; she can barely control her excitement.
Preston Smith posing for a photograph by The Obtuse Blogger (TOB) prior to his 'invocation' last year.
What the mayor and commissioners were disturbed by was this information that was discovered a few days before Preston Smith's appearance at Lake Worth's city hall on December 2nd of last year:
This is a screen grab of Preston Smith's tweet to a young girl (I blacked our her twitter address).
Mr. C. Steven Tucker is a critic of President Obama and his policies vis-à-vis ObamaCare and is not shy about sharing his feelings. Preston Smith took offence and sent a tweet to Mr. Tucker's young daughter. Here is the text of Mr. Preston's tweet to the young girl:
I'd hit that and make her my wifey.
Now you know the real story.

You can read all about this in a blog post titled, "Atheist Progressive Makes Rape Threat About Conservative’s Teen Daughter". Here is an excerpt:
Beyond Smith’s perverse interpretation of an Old Testament passage, it seems Smith had devoted enough attention to his target to be able to locate Tucker’s wife’s account, showing her with the couple’s three children in the profile picture.
     You can imagine how any parent would take alarm at such a comment. Tucker said he has reported Smith to law enforcement, but I’m afraid the Tuckers will be disappointed to learn that, from a legal standpoint, a comment like Smith’s is not be considered a “threat.” A threat, in the legal sense, requires that there be some reason for the target to fear that the person making the threat will actually carry it out.
It will be interesting to see the press reaction to Preston Smith's 'invocation'. I wonder if, like last time, they'll all be so quick to give him the attention he's hoping for.

The debate about whether or not to have invocations prior to government meetings is a valid one and there are good points from both sides. What doesn't help matters is when the debate is more about grandstanding or gaining a political edge, especially in a tiny, little city like Lake Worth of just 6 square miles. I don't think anyone, including Mayor Triolo or any city commissioners object to an atheist giving an invocation. What they object to is crass, disrespectful atheists like Preston Smith.

Isn't there even one thoughtful, respectful atheist here in our City of Lake Worth?

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

A Reminder: The Lake Worth Casino Complex at the BEACH! wouldn't even be a topic of debate. . .

. . .had a previous city commission not dropped the ball and left our City with this terrible mess to fix:
Commissioner McVoy, pictured in the then-jubilant group above, recently tried (and failed) to raise the City's electric rates to fix all the problems at the BEACH!. Imagine thaton top of the loan that is difficult to repay, the legal costs incurred in the millions of dollars, and the costs to fix the bungled Casino project growing every single day.
Here is a partial list of the problems at the Casino building. And this doesn't include the issues with the municipal pool which were never addressed. One final point, THE BIG LIEThe Palm Beach Post editorial board continued the big lie as recently as August 27th this way, the "casino building, a nearly century-old landmark that was saved from the wrecking ball and restored in 2013 to a Mediterranean magnificence." The structure was 94% demolished:
Looks like a fine 'restoration' doesn't it? Somewhere in those piles is the 6% of the structure that was 'saved'.

And if things couldn't get any worse two commissioners in Lake Worth want to raise electric rates to fix this mess:

Remember when The Obtuse Blogger (TOB) used to post those ridiculous lists of 'crime' in Lake Worth?

TOB confirms on her blog she is indeed "Obtuse".
OK, there is crime in Lake Worth. Also have it on good authority, if you can believe sources like The Palm Beach Post and NBC5/WPTV, there is crime in a few other areas in Palm Beach County as well. But TOB used to have this habit of posting those obnoxiously long lists of crime which no one read, or verified, except for a reader of my blog with attention to detail

The reason for those lists of 'crime' was to trick readers of her blog into thinking crime in the City was far worse than anyone believed and leaving the reader to conclude that PBSO was failing to do their job. The lists were indeed impressive unless you actually read one:
"Beverage Violations" are not crimes.
Below is an examination of one of TOB's rants about crime in Lake Worth:
  • 5 Beverage Violations
  • 6 Other (what is "Other"? Not defined. Is "Other" a new crime?)
  • 1 Disturbance (a car stereo too loud?)
How many crimes were outside the City of Lake Worth? 7
  • 2700 BLOCK 6TH AVE S
  • 2600 BLOCK 6TH AVE S
  • 2400 BLOCK 2ND AVE N (2)
  • 6200 BLOCK PINE DR
All this information was thrown against the wall without any context and also note that she never mentioned anything about arrests made; isn't that interesting?

One more example of her lack of research: The 6200 BLOCK OF PINE DR is west of Lantana and south of the PBC Airport, how could she not know that?

Lake Worth Elections 2016: An important announcement from Vice Mayor Scott Maxwell

Join the Vice Mayor at Brogues Downunder TOMORROW from 6:00–8:00 for his campaign kick-off event. Click on the images below to enlarge:

Message from Kelly Smallridge: All the things Palm Beach County has to offer

About the video: The Business Development Board's President & CEO, Kelly Smallridge, talks about why Palm Beach County (PBC) is so attractive to companies that are relocating or expanding. She also discusses the successes in economic development that Palm Beach County has had within the past year.

The City of Lake Worth is located in central PBC (next to the Town of Palm Beach) and has made great strides recovering from the Great Recession thanks in large part to help and guidance from the county. You can learn more about the City of Lake Worth here.

Considering a visit this Winter to PBC? Here is a link to Discover the Palm Beaches.

Thank you Mr. Jacobson for stepping up and tackling that letter published in The Palm Beach Post

The Democrat leader in the Florida Senate, Arthenia Joyner, smacked down The Palm Beach Post editorial board in an epic way for their pitch on the Florida Senate Seal which included the Confederate battle flag, among others. Senator Joyner was successful in having that symbol removed. The Post opined that the Senate Seal was fine just the way it was and shouldn't be changed.

A Letter to the Editor was published on Sunday, November 1st, that was mind-numbing. How this letter even got past the editors is amazing in itself:
The Confederate battle flag is "anti-tyranny"? Weren't the African people brought to America subject to tyranny in the form of slavery? 

This letter disturbed Mr. Jacobson enough that he responded with his own Letter to the Editor and here is what he wrote: 
[Title] Confederate states betrayed the union 
     In his summation, the writer of last Sunday’s letter “Confederate flag is anti-tyranny” states, “For me and many millions of Americans, of many ethnic backgrounds and races, the Confederate battle flag represents rebellion to tyranny.” Is the writer asserting that minorities, especially blacks, should and do see the Confederate flag as something other than a symbol of institutional racism?
     The 13 Southern states that made up the Confederacy ratified the Constitution and acquiesced to the authority of the federal government. The Civil War was fought because the federal government exercised its power to limit the expansion of slavery into the Western territories and, in general, to do away with the practice altogether. Those states, simply put, were traitors.
And so it goes. There remains confusion in the public and the news media about what the Confederate battle flag represents. The battle flag, referred to as the Southern Cross, gets confused with the flag of the Confederacy which is generally referred to as the Stars and Bars. Eliot Kleinberg at the Post explains this quite well.

From Miriam Valverde at the Sun Sentinel: "Wawa plans 120 stores in South Florida"

WaWa is a hugely popular convenience store in the Northeast. Soon you'll be seeing them, hopefully, with locations here in Palm Beach County. They use cutting edge technology and their customers are thrilled with their service. Stay tuned; you'll be hearing a lot more about this in the coming months. Here is an excerpt from the article in the Sun Sentinel:
     You wanted Wawa, and you're about to get a lot of it.
     The popular convenience store chain announced Monday that it plans 120 or more stores in South Florida between 2017 and 2022. The first ones will open in Palm Beach and Broward counties, with Miami-Dade County to follow in 2018.
     "Our plan was always to have a presence across most of the state," Chris Gheysens, Wawa's president and chief executive, told about 100 civic leaders Monday during an announcement at the Perez Art Museum in Miami.

Benny's on the Beach and the Big Season Kickoff at the BEACH in Lake Worth!

Now that it's Season here in Palm Beach County the events are going to be lining up. The Post's Kevin Thompson has this about Benny's on the Beach this coming Saturday, an excerpt:
LAKE WORTH — A country-and-western-themed Season Kickoff party is going down at Benny’s on the Beach on Saturday that will include a live performance from Nashville recording artist Raquel Renner and The Ramblers.
Lee Lipton, the owner of Benny's, has been wildly successful with his restaurant at the Lake Worth Pier. Below is Mr. Lipton from his appearance at a City Commission meeting. He talks about his restaurant, how much he dislikes anything "cheap", and has ideas on how to fix the failed business plan at the rebuilt Lake Worth Casino complex/pool:
If you have community news you want to share with the Palm Beach Post reporter in the City of Lake Worth, suburban Lake Worth (including Palm Beach State College) and Greenacres here is how you contact the Post reporter:
Twitter: @kevindthompson1

Philadelphia Inquirer’s architecture critic, Inga Saffron, and the problem with short essays

A short essay by Inga Saffron titled, "What Champions Of Urban Density Get Wrong" is creating a lot of push-back. The most interesting part of the essay was the last paragraph:
     Of course, there are plenty of struggling American cites that would benefit enormously if they could reverse their sagging densities by attracting new residents. But the density has to be relative to what already exists. That might mean building mid-rises or blocks of tightly packed townhouses, so neighborhoods can step up density gradually. Density can be good for cities, but only if it’s the right density.
You can't get much more clear than that (as eyes roll round in my head).

It didn't take long for Michael Lewyn at Planetizen to write this post titled, "What Density-Phobia Gets Wrong"; he challenges the three myths espoused by Inga Saffron and the use of the new 'D' word in the modern American lexicon, "density":
     Myth 1: "Beware! The high-rises are coming!" Saffron writes that some unnamed "hard-line" density proponents "assume there is only one way to achieve real density. They use density as a rallying cry to justify the construction of more and bigger high-rises, in both America’s thriving cities and its hollowed-out ones."

     This claim is a straw man; I don't know of anyone who thinks that the "only" way to create more density is high-rises. Even in dense places such as Manhattan or San Francisco, huge increases in density could occur without skyscrapers. For example, San Francisco has many one- and two-story buildings. If most of those buildings were replaced by four-story buildings, San Francisco could be two or three times as dense, and yet still have no high-rises.
[and . . .]
     Myth 2: "If high-rises don’t solve everything, they don't solve anything." Saffron correctly points out that South Florida has plenty of high-rises but is not particularly walkable. But all this shows is that high-rises alone do not create walkability.

     To be walkable, a neighborhood must have the "3 Ds": density, diversity (of land uses) and design (for pedestrians). There are parts of South Florida (most notably Miami Beach’s South Beach) where all these elements exist together.
[and . . .]
     Myth #3: "Cities don’t have the infrastructure for more people." Saffron writes that Hudson Yards (a new development in Midtown) is a failure because "Midtown’s subway platforms and sidewalks are already oppressively crowded at rush hour." This argument, even if persuasive, is completely irrelevant to height: new residents might mean more crowded subways whether they live in rowhouses or whether they live in high-rises. So I'm not sure I understand Saffron: is she really just against height, or is she against density?

     Let us assume for the sake of argument that Saffron is really against new urban residents, because new people mean more crowded subways and sidewalks. But this argument is essentially a "beggar thy neighbor" argument: if people are excluded from cities because of fears about traffic (pedestrian or otherwise), they will go somewhere else and create traffic.
And the debate continues.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Hmmm, with so much going on in Lake Worth is there a list so I can make plans? Yes there is

On the City's website is the Events page. There you'll find special events, ongoing scheduled activities like the Food Truck Invasion (TODAY, 11/9), Evening on the Avenue, programs available such as those from the CRA, the library, and so much more.
The next Evening on the Avenue is November 20th.
The Food Truck Invasion is tonight (11/9).
So make sure to check this list once every week or so because it's constantly changing with added events and activities here in Lake Worth. Ashley Brown is the Special Events Assistant and she can be reached at 561-533-7335 or by email for questions or to have an event listed.

The City is also on Twitter and they promote events that way as well. To "Follow" the City click on the Follow icon in the Tweet below.

Tropical Ridge Neighborhood Association: Two important, exciting and neighborly events happening THIS WEEK

First, Wednesday November 11th at 11:00 am Lake Worth is proud to honor their Veterans with the annual Lake Worth Veterans Parade. As this is held on a work day we are asking those who can, make a special effort to be downtown to show our Veterans our respect and appreciation for all they have given for us.

Second, is the annual Neighborhood Association Presidents' Council's Thanksgiving Dinner. This will be held at CJ's Island Grill this coming Saturday, November 14th at 5 pm. It's always loads of fun, a great way to get together with your neighbors and this year TRNA has 2 free tickets for two folks who would love to go but are financially unable. First to email will receive them.

Commissioner Maier's handwringing and anxiety about Lake Worth's 1,200 foot long BEACH!: What happened to the turtles?

The good news about this last turtle nesting season keeps rolling in. What effect that will have on political posturing in Lake Worth is still unclear. Below you'll find the latest from David Rogers at the Shiny Sheet on the amazingly good news about turtles on the beaches of the Town of Palm Beach.

The Lake Worth BEACH!, in case you didn't know, is only 1,200 feet long. For some perspective, of just the beaches on Florida's Atlantic coast, our little slice of heaven makes up only 0.072 of the total: less than 1 percent. In Lake Worth though, that tiny stretch of beach takes on all new significance when it comes to politics and illogical appeals.

At a City Commission meeting in June some, including Commissioner Maier (an expert on sea turtles himself), suggested that the state and county guidelines for protecting turtles weren't strict enough and Lake Worth needed a higher set of standards to protect them. The editor at The Lake Worth Herald took umbrage to this as you can read about here.

Why is this significant? The sea turtles are doing remarkably well despite anything Lake Worth is doing or not doing. But that won't affect in any way the voluminous amount of hours devoted to this issue by Maier, directed city staff, and some in the public who also complain about crumbling infrastructure in the City.

For those of you concerned about sea turtles you'll be heartened by this article in Florida Weekly titled, "Seeing Green" by Scott Simmons:
     According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, 2015 has seen higher green turtle nesting counts than 2013, the previous highest year.
     Biologists with the FWC have documented about 28,000 green turtle nests on the 26 index beaches around the state so far this year.
     “We are astonished and pleased by the high number of green turtle nests documented in 2015,” [emphasis added] Simona Ceriani, FWC research scientist, said in a report issued by FWC. “Green turtles tend to follow a two-year nesting cycle with wide year-to-year fluctuations in the number of nests recorded. The 2015 numbers were higher than the previous record, suggesting the 2013 record numbers were not a fluke, but that green turtle populations are indeed increasing in Florida. It looks like years of conservation efforts for this endangered species are paying off.”
Here is more good news from David Rogers at the Palm Beach Daily News (aka The Shiny Sheet), an excerpt:
     The company that monitors the town’s shoreline during peak egg-laying and hatching season, May 1 to Oct. 31, says the 2015 season was particularly good for green turtles.
     “We had approximately 8,000 nests this season on Palm Beach. About 7,200 of those were loggerheads, 690 were greens and 80 were leatherbacks,” [emphasis added] said biologist Christine Perretta, president of Boca-based D.B. Ecological Services.
     In 2014, the company documented more than 8,220 nests on Palm Beach — 7,970 loggerhead nests, 188 green nests and 65 leatherback nests.
The nesting season ended on October 31st.

All Aboard Florida releasing pictures of its new trains today (11/9)

As a reminder, below is a demonstration of how long you can expect to wait for an All Aboard Florida (AAF) to pass the crossing (don't worry about the popcorn, it's a short video): Here is an excerpt from the article in the Post by Jennifer Sorentrue:
     All Aboard has been mum about the details of the announcement, but several of the project’s followers have speculated on social media sites that All Aboard plans to re-brand itself with a new name and logo.
     In a statement released by the company Thursday, Julie Edwards, All Aboard Florida’s Chief Marketing Officer, said Monday’s event marks another turning point for the express passenger rail project.
     “We are looking forward to sharing our vision for a new and smarter way to travel in Florida,” Edwards said. “We are getting ready to mark another milestone in our development, and we will begin to spread awareness among residents and visitors on the benefits of train travel and how the service will be a unique experience.”
AAF is on Twitter and you can "Follow" by clicking on the Follow icon below:

Lead-up to Art Basel in Miami: CANVAS 2015 in West Palm Beach with murals throughout the downtown (November 8th–22nd)

Here is a link to West Palm Beach Magazine about this spectacular mural project in West Palm. The magazine's October through December issue is also in print. This issue features many interesting items including an article on David Paladino, the owner of Blue Front BBQ located in Lake Worth (1132 N. Dixie Hwy), a charming little City immediately to the south of WPB.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Welcome back Snowbirds! Below are more things to do in Lake Worth, located just over the bridge from Palm Beach, 33480

Welcome back, Snowbirds, we missed you. At the end of this post are more things to check out in the City of Lake Worth.
Lizzi Bickford Sned: "Season has begun!"
Please understand, dear Snowbirds, there are some malcontents who don't appreciate all you do for us in Palm Beach County and they can make noise about an inconvenience now and then like parking at the BEACH!; just consider them entertainment like us full-time residents do. We hope you have a wonderful time and encourage all your friends and family to visit.

There are so many things to do in this little City. And did you know we have a BEACH! We most certainly do. From Twitter, here are some things to see and do in our charming little 6 square mile slice of paradise:

A drone's eye view of Jupiter, Florida...

Here is a video shot at variety of locations in the Town of Jupiter, Florida. This video was created using the DJI Inspire 1 and shows what a beautiful paradise we live in. Please share if you enjoy and as always view in HD!

"No fracking way" writes the Palm Beach Post editorial board in a pitch about hydraulic fracturing in Florida

First off, many cities in south Florida are very fortunate to have natural gas service for a number of reasons, including the little City of Lake Worth. Almost all of this gas is transported to south Florida by pipelines, both large and small, that you drive over or walk by and never take notice of.

Nevertheless, the Post editors go into full-scale alarmist mode and they make a pitch in yesterday's (Saturday, 11/7) paper that ends this way about the process of natural gas extraction called hydraulic fracturing or fracking for short:
Instead of stomping down [emphasis added] on towns and counties that want to protect their area’s stability and water supplies, our officials should be saying something entirely different about energy production: No fracking way.
There are efforts underway to regulate fracking on local/county levels but all of these regulations will be null and void if the state of Florida enacts rules for the entire state. The Florida House recently acted and soon the Florida Senate will as well. The Post editors make mention of fracking and the possibility of water contamination. You might remember this about a town in Pennsylvania that dealt with this issue for many years that tore apart the community:
It's important to do your own homework on this important matter of energy production/extraction and not be swayed by slick movies or wild claims about earthquakes and general gloom-and-doom about something as important as natural gas, essential to our daily lives. Watching Gasland for the fiftieth time won't make you any more informed than you are already.

For those of you who believe that wind and solar energy are the way to solve our energy needs the 4-minute video below will explain why that's not possible, at least not with present technology. Interestingly, this video was released on YouTube on October 19th and already has over 550,000 views:

A message from Lake Worth Critical Mass to the good citizens of our charming, tiny, 6 square mile City

Here is a link to the blog post I put up promoting the Lake Worth Critical Mass (LWCM) ride that occurred last Friday night. Unfortunately, was unable to make this month's ride but look forward to the next ride on December 4th. The ride always takes place on the first Friday of the month.

Many of the riders are from out of town: Ft. Lauderdale, Boynton Beach, and western PBC communities to name a few. The good news from LWCM is they're planning to spend more time in the City prior to and following the ride to learn more about Lake Worth and hopefully be ambassadors letting their friends know how cool and quirky this City is. Here is the LWCM message from Facebook:
     Tonights the night... We'll be meeting in Bryant park around 6:45pm and Riding out at 7:30pm sharp as usual. Tonight we will be ending the ride at the cultural plaza right downtown on lake ave to interact with the people of lake worth a little more. Were thinking this will be a nice change and also give us a chance to answer some questions people may have about our group of riders and why we do it. We also feel that stopping in this location will help keep the riders out and hanging in downtown to help out local business. Tonights ride will be 10 to 12 miles and @ a pace of 7 to 10 mph. Lights will definitely be key tonight since daylight saving time is in full effect.
     Also, feel free to check out our website and refresh yourself with the rules of this event. It can't hurt to take a look...
The LWCM has done a remarkable job keeping the ride safe and the corkers are a big reason for that. Other Critical Mass rides in Florida haven't been so diligent if you followed the news out of Ft. Lauderdale when things were allowed to get out of control. Save the date, December 4th, and hope to see everyone at the Cultural Plaza for Evening on the Avenue and the NAPC Front Porch!

Remember: Lake Worth has a City Manager/Commission form of government

The City of Lake Worth does not have a strong mayor government like that in West Palm Beach. However, I do think it is time the City Commission re-evaluate the amount paid to the Lake Worth mayor and commissioners. It's been quite some time since their compensation was set. Here is a comparison of local municipalities: