Saturday, February 27, 2016

An Anarchist Musical in Lake Worth! Second perfomance tonight (2/27) at 8:00. And there's FREE vegan food for everyone! Yippee!

[UPDATE (2/27/16): There's a new Anarchist Musical tonight at 1134 19th Ave. North here in Lake Worth and all they ask for is a very small donation, a pittance. There will be free vegan food for everyone. For more information call 845-649-3272 and/or read this current item.

It's not clear if this 'musical' is connected to the one that EarthFirst! has been promoting for some time now [see below]. FYI: If you see a suspicious 'musical' by EarthFirst! about to begin, contact PBSO (contact info at the end of this blog post) and then kick back and enjoy the show! The ever-dwindling Lake Worth Anarchist community are an entertaining bunch and completely harmless except to themselves. They like to carry silly signs, use noisemakers from the dollar store, and they all dress the same way so they're easy to spot. A good clue a 'musical' is about to begin is a CBS12 news van earnestly racing to a location in the City (they get the inside scoop on these kind of things). Have a Great Weekend in Lake Worth!]

If you didn't know, there's an Anarchist on the ballot challenging Lake Worth's Vice Mayor Scott Maxwell:
The Anarchist element called Everglades EarthFirst! (EEF) has plans for a month-long effort disguised as a "musical" to monkeywrench the political process here in Lake Worth. Below are two images from a flyer that was found in the downtown:
An "untitled, still unwritten" musical?
A "new musical" and cast members with a "willingness to risk arrest. Hurrah!"
EEF is a very small group and their numbers have dwindled over the years. In order to successfully pull off any 'musical' and get attention they'll need help from their friends in the news media and a lot of help from outside agitators. While almost everyone else in the City is working to improve things and be good ambassadors for Lake Worth the Anarchists like to get in the way and be obstructionists. That's what Anarchists do: they don't build things—they try to tear things down.

Check back to this blog for more information about this and the things you can do to help thwart these latest attention-seeking antics by EEF.

The NEW Lake Worth Casino building was built seaward of the Coastal Construction Control Line

Ahead of the Tide – Chapter 4: Coastal Development from CAVU on Vimeo.
The Lake Worth Casino was built without pilings and without an examination and reinforcement of the seawall. That was more than a $6 million public investment that could ultimately wash away. The former city commission at the time designing the building consciously made that choice. Some think that the building shouldn't get a final certificate of occupancy until the seawall is evaluated as required by the Florida Building Code.

You may have heard the City's Casino complex is news once again. . . not in a good way.

It's time for the editors at The Palm Beach Post to stop playing both sides of the fence in Lake Worth

Soon The Palm Beach Post will come out with their endorsements and if the last election cycle is any clue you can probably expect the same nonsense or something similar. They'll probably give back-handed endorsements to the mayor and vice mayor and then give Commissioner Andy Amoroso's challenger a big boost. A 'back-handed' endorsement isn't an endorsement at all but a way to air out a laundry list of grievances against elected officials and give their challengers a forum to complain.

Mayor Pam Triolo, Vice Mayor Scott Maxwell, and Commissioner Andy Amoroso all have records as elected officials. Not a single one of the challengers can claim that. Not one. As long ago as March, 2013, the Post saw the importance of the Gulfstream hotel and below is the editorial they published and you can read their words below.

But the editors at the Post want to have it both ways. They identify the problems in Lake Worth, such as the importance of the Gulfstream to the entire City, and then they endorse and/or boost candidates who, if elected, will work as hard as they can to make sure the hotel's doors never open again. And the same goes for the City's Park of Commerce. In the last election cycle who did the Post endorse? You guessed it: the two "No" votes against the Gulfstream hotel:
Mayor Triolo, Vice Mayor Maxwell, and Commissioner Amoroso have done the heavy lifting and they deserve credit.
Many of you will remember the political games the Post played last year and will not get into that right now. But suffice to say that 'the seriousness of the charge' they made against elected officials last March came to nothing. It was all for show. The proof? Visit the PBC Inspector General's website.

So here we are once again. Lake Worth is on the precipice of making great strides forward. And instead of the slings and arrows it's time for majority on the City Commission to get credit for that. So here, without further ado, the Post editorial from March, 2013, and take special note of what's written about the Gulfstream hotel:

"With all the signs telling people to “Keep Lake Worth Low Rise” popping up in town, Lake Worth residents could be forgiven for confusion about what they are being asked to vote on March 12. [emphasis added]
     The city’s charter already has a height limit on buildings that prevents outsized monstrosities from going up downtown. But a group of residents wants to impose a stricter and less flexible limit east of the downtown area. This shortsighted effort would constrain the city’s ability to grow and do nothing to preserve its character. Voters should reject it.
     Currently, buildings in Lake Worth’s downtown entertainment corridor, between Dixie Highway and Federal Highway, are limited to 45 feet, while buildings east of Federal along the same corridor can be built up to 65 feet, or about six stories. The height-limit referendum would end this distinction and limit all new downtown buildings to 45 feet. It would also limit buildings west of F Street along the same corridor to 35 feet.
     Height-limit supporters say this would help to “keep Lake Worth low-rise and livable,” but it would do little to accomplish either. New construction in the city’s entertainment district is already limited to 45 feet. East of Federal, three buildings, including the iconic Gulf Stream Hotel, are already 65 feet or taller. Allowing buildings of comparable height on the two or so empty lots in that neighborhood would hardly be out of character with the neighborhood’s existing feel.
     Opponents of the height limit make the further point that restricting building heights unnecessarily in that area could frustrate efforts to revive the hotel, which is in foreclosure and has sat empty for years. The ability to build a parking garage and additional rooms on an empty lot next to the hotel is seen as important to attracting an investor to reopen the Gulf Stream, and further height limits could dissuade interest. Preserving the city’s small-town feel is important, but existing height limits already accomplish that. We recommend a NO vote on Question 2."

You can read how that 'heights vote' turned out here. In the editorial above the Post refers to the "confusion" that voters had about that vote and here is a big reason why:
Read about the deceptive technique used to frighten the public to vote "Yes" and limit building heights in Lake Worth's downtown.
The public was shown images like this "at the door": Big white box 'buildings' where Lake Worth neighborhoods are located.
Remember, the last two endorsements the Post made were for commissioners Ryan Maier and Chris McVoy: the only two "No" votes to stop the Gulfstream hotel renovation from moving forward. If they get one more vote that will likely ensure the hotel's doors never open for business again and also likely see the City in another long, protracted legal mess.

It's important to remember that someone saying they want the hotel open again is a lot different than understanding the problems and the steps necessary to solve those issues. That clever 'nuance', or trick, is explained here.

Lake Worth and the Office of Inspector General: A candidate spreading blatant lies in the community

This is a letter being hand distributed by Frank McAlonan, a candidate for District #3 who is challenging Lake Worth Commissioner Andy Amoroso:
I am going to focus on claim #4 first. Here McAlonan makes the claim that the City of Lake Worth needs to "restore its reputation with the Inspector General."
Well, let's check out the Palm Beach County's Office of Inspector General's website. Then let's look at the page that identifies "Recent Reports." The first mention of the City of Lake Worth comes in an overall report on procurement and purchasing policies by all local governments in Palm Beach County. Interestingly, Lake Worth turns out to be pretty efficient in terms of General Fund dollars spent per person, compared to other municipalities. Here is just one breakdown from the report:
So, no need to "restore" any reputation here.

The next mention of Lake Worth comes in fiscal year 2012 and it concerns the Community Development Corporation's lease with the City of Lake Worth. While a commissioner, JoAnn Golden was Executive Director of this agency, occupied a city building in that capacity and did not pay rent or utilities during the entire time she was in office. Here is a brief summary of why an investigation was needed:
And there is further discussion of the ramifications of this and the City leasing of space in private buildings elsewhere to accommodate staff. Interesting reading and all during the time when JoAnn Golden and the previous City administration were in office.

The next mention of Lake Worth comes in a review of the Casino building construction, which is still an issue. The contractor and architect for the City are about to face a default declaration. This, of course, also took place during the period of the previous majority and another city administration.

Far from being a recent focus by the Office of Inspector General, it seems that Lake Worth has actually cleaned up its game compared to previous commissions and administrations. Some advice for candidate Frank McAlonan: It's been SOP by the people he has aligned himself with to accuse the opposition of tactics and antics they are involved in. That is a page right out of Saul Alinsky's Rules for Radicals, if you didn't know that already.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Skylar Swisher on "Palm Beach County commissioners having a cow over 'meatless Monday' proclamation"

The Sun Sentinel's Skylar Swisher (isn't that a cool name?) has this humorous article about a 'proclamation' that may or may not show up on a Palm Beach County Commission agenda. The vegetarians in support of this may want to learn more about vegetarianism from Lierre Keith of Deep Green Resistance, but more on that later. Here are two excerpts from the article:
     Palm Beach County commissioners have a beef with a proclamation to declare Mondays as a day to not eat meat.
     At least four of the commission's seven members have declined to sign a proposed "meatless Monday" proclamation, dimming the chances of the symbolic measure passing.
     Supporters say skipping a burger or steak once a week is a good way to curb obesity, reduce heart disease and slow climate change. But County Commissioner Steven Abrams issued a sizzling criticism of the proclamation, and at least three other commissioners have joined him in refusing to sign it. [emphasis added]
     "The public doesn't need the County Commission to tell them when and what to eat," Abrams said. "Our constituents are smart enough to decide on their own."
[and. . .]
     While Abrams says he's opposed to meatless Mondays, he quipped that he's fully supportive of "ice cream Sundays."
You may be interested in the thoughts of Lierre Keith, the author of the book titled, "The Vegetarian Myth". She is a radical environmentalist, feminist, member of Deep Green Resistance, and an ex-vegan recovering from years of not consuming animal protein.

Also, is it about time there be a proclamation about proclamations on the county and municipal level? The City of Lake Worth goes through these performances repeatedly just to give talking points for some elected officials, like about saving the bee population. If you didn't know, bees are regulated by the state of Florida and Lake Worth cannot trump any law or regulation by the state.

If you're a member of the Everglades Coalition or Everglades Foundation you might want to skip the Post editorial page today

Hendry County Commissioner Janet Taylor (District One) has a scathing Point of View published in today's (2/26) Palm Beach Post. To say she doesn't hold back is an understatement. The opinions by Commissioner Taylor are almost certainly going to get another letter from the Loxahatchee Sierra Club's Drew Martin published so stay tuned for that.

If you recall there was an effort by some environmental groups, referred to as the "Everglades Land Buy", to move water south from Lake Okeechobee, cleaned, and then directed south at a cost of about $3 billion (billion with a 'B'). A blog post from last year alludes to that effort and ideas on how that money may be better spent on other priorities.

Here is the link to the Point of View in the paper today titled, "Glades-area agriculture a pillar of Florida’s economy" and two short excerpts:
     The swank Biltmore in Coral Gables in January. The luxurious Breakers in Palm Beach in February. These resorts are where the wealthy upper crust of the Everglades Coalition and Everglades Foundation have gathered so far this year — while trying to make their case that the working-class Glades-area residents should give up their homes and livelihoods to make way for Lake Okeechobee’s excess water.
     Some activists’ desires apparently go far further than wanting to end Florida agriculture. A Feb. 11 post of a Sierra Club email exchange suggested that “a dike failure would fix everything. The human toll would be inconceivable. The benefits to our environment would be immeasurable.” [emphasis added]
     “Inconceivable” is right! More than 39,000 people live in Hendry County.
[and. . .]
     I guess the problem is that most of those 12,000 workers live in the Glades/Clewiston/Hendry County area and don’t matter much to those living in Florida’s coastal communities. Devastating our area’s economy won’t mean a thing to millionaires and billionaires living hours away.
     Agriculture is the backbone of Florida’s economy; it was here long before the development of our state’s coastal enclaves. Agriculture was here before the Sierra Club. Our state’s farmers are its first environmentalists, caring for the land because they know it’s the land that provides for us all. We aren’t going to be driven away by people too privileged to understand that.
Has it really been suggested by the Sierra Club that a Herbert Hoover Dike collapse "would fix everything"? The benefits to the environment of a dike failure "would be immeasurable" in a positive way? If so, they haven't bothered to read the Lloyd's of London report on this very subject; very sobering to say the least.

Bryant Park Boat Ramp modification to begin next week

News from the City of Lake Worth (update from blog post on Jan. 9th):

Palm Beach County constructed a day-use dock as part of the Snook Islands project a few years ago. With some of the dock slips being underutilized at this location, on 4/21/15 the City Commission approved an interlocal agreement with Palm Beach County allowing a portion of the dock system to be transferred from the current location to the Bryant Park Boat Ramp just south of the bridge.

When the Boat Ramp was rebuilt in 2014, a 100’ staging dock with five additional 18” concrete pilings was proposed as a bid alternate, but due to difficulties during construction (driving two particular pilings and helical anchor issues) there were not enough funds to move forward with this alternate.

Vance Construction, who has held multiple contracts with the County for other marine projects located in the Lake Worth Lagoon, was granted access by the City to utilize the area that had already been designated for Snook Island staging at the north end of Bryant Park. In exchange for the City allowing this access, Vance Construction will perform this dock transfer and all associated engineering and design at no cost to the City.

Construction shall be an estimated two days and the Boat Ramp will remain open throughout the process.

Please contact Public Services with any questions or comments.

Jamie Brown, Public Services Director

Thursday, February 25, 2016

[Pinned Post*] Meanwhile, as a local newspaper tries to create more news ("Wag the Dog"). . . another month, another $64,000 in taxpayer dollars down the drain

Did you know the idiom, "Wag the Dog" predates the movie starring Robert De Niro and Dustin Hoffman? It does.

Anyhow, nobody in the press wants to touch this Lake Worth story (see first image below). How many code enforcement officers could our City get for $64,000 a month? How many dumpsters could be purchased so residents in a trailer park wouldn't have to walk too far to dispose of trash? 
The location of this capped gas pipe is on Lake Osborne Drive; not exactly what you'd call hidden from sight.
*A "Pinned Post" is kept at the top of the blog for the day, or maybe even longer.

Not ancient history; we have an Anarchist running for office. . .again in Lake Worth

The radio interview you'll listen to in the video below took place in July 2015; the interview follows a short introduction by one of Cara Jennings' fawners. Some, including myself, aren't 100% sure if it is Jennings' voice in the audio at all. The conversation has an orchestrated feel to it like they're amateur actors reading from a script. You be the judge and decide for yourself. However, the chronology of events is just as it happened and anyone who lived through that sad era in Lake Worth history will nod their head in agreement when recalling many incidents.

Note that Jennings mentions "changes" to code enforcement when the department was actually gutted. The City is still trying to repair the damage that was done. She also regrets not being able to legalize raising chickens in Lake Worth. And she talks about a lot of other things and had you lived through this era in the City you'll remember many of them.

Now, of course, everyone knows the Anarchists are trying to take another seat on the City Commission. Jennings was rumored to be running but with her terrible record that would be a problem. So what to do? Get a different Anarchist to run without any record as an elected official or even as a volunteer board member. Enter Ryan Hartman:
Hartman looks a lot different these days. He's gone GQ with new clothes, short hair, and is cleanly shaven. You might recognize him as a Hipster.
There is a lot of revisionism going on now about the years when Jennings had a say in government policy in Lake Worth. She is an avowed Anarchist and the co-leader (along with Peter Tsolkas) of Everglades EarthFirst! headquartered here in the City. The basic tenet of Anarchism is dismantling government and that's exactly what was attempted and in some cases she succeeded. What better way to dismantle the City government than having somebody on the inside doing the work?

There is a brief introduction in the video below by one of Jennings most loyal and vocal supporters who coincidentally has a far-right conservative blog. A long-time gimmick that most people have caught on to by now. This same 'far-right' blogger is also supporting the Anarchist Hartman. Big surprise, right? Without further ado and note at the 40 second mark the radio interview begins:

Press Release from the City of Lake Worth: Another historic building getting an interior renovation


Contact: Jamie Brown, Public Services Director
Phone: 561-586-1720

The City of Lake Worth’s Public Services Department would like to inform the community that beginning February 29, 2016 through April 13, 2016 (approximately 45 days), three parking stalls on the Westside of “J” Street between Lake Avenue and 1st Avenue South will be closed to utilize a construction fence and a dumpster for interior renovations at 801 Lake Avenue. The parking stalls will remain closed off each day unless a special event is taking place.

Public Services would like to thank you in advance for your support and understanding during this renovation.

For more information regarding renovations of this building, please feel free to call RJ, the Superintendent with Reel Builders at 954-224-4938, or Dax the Owner of Reel Builders at 561-573-0899.

*Located in central Palm Beach County, Lake Worth is a dynamic, multi-cultural city with an individualistic style. People are drawn to the city by its acceptance of different cultures and lifestyles, historic districts, hip downtown and colorful arts district.

Sans the hysteria and mis-/disinformation in the press: What's with the protest and that trailer park in Lake Worth?

Do you know what the word "sans" means? Here is the definition.

The Lake Worth Herald explains the situation clearly and concisely. NBC5/WPTV did a good job of reporting on this but CBS12/WPEC went off the rails again and referred to the situation as a "forced relocation". Nothing new about the poor quality of news reporting at CBS12.

The Palm Beach Post began all this nonsense after their reporter was given the plot and actors by a 'letter' that was circulated around the City a few days prior. You can read more about this using this link. Without further ado and sans the drama in the local press is the news from the Herald:

     "The City of Lake Worth Public Services Department did an audit of all mobile home accounts in December. It became evident the City was losing on average around 2,700 dollars per month on the Palm Beach Mobile Home Park, meaning the other city customers were subsidizing the mobile home park garbage collection.
     Palm Beach Mobile Home Park has 335 units, paying a flat 4300 dollars per month or 12.88 per unit for curbside collection. Residential units across the city pay 20.48 per month for curbside collection or 7.60 per month more than the residents of Palm Beach Mobile Home Park.
     Technically, per a 2009 resolution, the owner of the park should be handling the internal collection and placing it in a dumpster for City pick-up.
     Holtz Mobile Home Park and Holiday 2 Mobile Home Park are currently paying the residential rate and Orange Grove Mobile Home Park is paying a flat rate of 1,986.56 per month or 17.58 per unit for curbside collection and have two six yard dumpsters.
     According to resolutions 34-2009 and 41-2009, the mobile home parks in Lake Worth are classified as commercial and are entitled to receive commercial service."

Just about sums it all up doesn't it?

From the Rickie Report—The Benzaiten Center: 3 Days Of Events with Visiting Artist Rob Stern begins today (2/25)

You can read the entire story at the Rickie Report using this link. Here is an excerpt:
Benzaiten Center for Creative Arts announces “Visiting Artist Program”, as internationally renown glass master, Rob Stern visits Benzaiten for 3 days of events. The Rickie Report shares the details for Thursday, February 25th “Meet the Artist Dinner” (fee), Friday, February 26th “Gallery Reception & Demo” (fee) and Saturday, February 27th “Public Glass Blowing Demonstration” (Free and Open to the Public). We urge you to sign up for Dinner, as spaces are limited. Enjoy the sneak peeks and see you there!
Here is a part of artist Rob Stern's bio from the Rickie Report:
Born in Miami, Rob Stern was reared in Atlanta where his mother taught art and his father worked in the movie industry and dabbled in photography. He attended San Francisco State University where he studied art and discovered glass making. He worked as an apprentice at John Lewis Glass, an industrial casting facility in Oakland, for five years.
The Benzaiten Center is an excellent place to hold events and special meetings. The Palm Beach County Planning Congress held a panel discussion there last year and Yours Truly was one of the attendees. You can read all about that here.
This is the artists working area at the Benzaiten Center. The meeting rooms along with completed works of art are in the same building. Contact Anita Holmes at 561-508-7315 for more information.

"Secret Meetings" in Lake Worth! Oh My! The resurrected nonsense from the 2015 election season

[One of the candidates in the upcoming election in March has brought up "secret meetings" but this time with a twist: He's throwing the all-volunteer Planning and Zoning Board into the mix. Next week is a Planning and Zoning meeting and maybe this candidate will show up and explain his accusation or maybe even apologize to all the volunteers and the City staff. By the way, there never were secret meetings: The State of Florida says that meetings of this sort are illegal and there are severe penalties for violations. Continue reading and Thank You for visiting my blog.]

Many of you will remember the faux 'panic' over "secret meetings" during Lake Worth's election cycle last year. Commissioner Andy Amoroso's challenger for the District 3 seat, Frank McAlonan, is spreading rumors of "secret meetings" again, lies and disinformation about one of our City's volunteer boards: the Planning and Zoning Board (P and Z). On March 2nd is the next P and Z meeting. That would be a good time to present his evidence of these 'secret meetings' would it not? He won't because there were no such secret meetings.

Below is the video from the South Palm Park candidate debate on December 8th where McAlonan brings up the meme 'secret meetings'. You can watch this video and many others on my YouTube channel. If you're not sure what a 'meme' is use this link and read about the meme "critical thinking" that was all the rage a short time ago. Here is McAlonan's quote you can hear for yourself at the 25:50 mark in the video below:
"All the secret meetings that have gone on with this Gulfstream hotel, with Planning and Zoning [P and Z], and I don't think there was an open discussion."
  • The Gulfstream hotel never went before the Planning and Zoning Board.
  • If there were secret meetings how come McAlonan knows about them and no one else does?
  • All the meetings thus far concerning the Gulfstream hotel project have been public. 
McAlonan then goes on to compare the Hyatt in downtown Delray Beach to the Gulfstream hotel project. The Hyatt Place is not a historic hotel, and besides, comparing a hotel in Delray to the Gulfstream hotel in Lake Worth is a big stretch. And why would a candidate running for office in Lake Worth be comparing our City with Delray Beach anyhow? We don't want to be like Delray Beach, right?

Enjoy the video!

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Former Lake Worth commissioner praises West Palm Beach for their tremendous effort to aid the homeless

Former Lake Worth Commissioner JoAnn Golden, at the 40 second mark in the video below, praises the City of West Palm Beach for all their incredible work to help the homeless there. Unfortunately, at the 1:15 mark she goes off the rails with a terribly unfair characterization of the caring and giving people of Lake Worth:
The Palm Beach Post beat reporter for Lake Worth has this news about efforts to aid the homeless here in this City. This is a concrete example of one of many organizations, Gulfstream Goodwill Industries, doing the heavy lifting to solve homelessness. This news stands in sharp contrast to the silly theatrics at past Lake Worth City Commission meetings such as the reference above by Golden to the City and citizens of Lake Worth.

Which begs the obvious question: Are the loudest critics of the City's homeless efforts really about helping those in need or just political pandering? I think we all know the answer to that question now. And since when did the rights of the homeless trump the rights of people and families to use City parks in peace? Business owners and their customers who frequent these businesses?

The debate about homelessness in the City, after the facts were presented sans the mis- and disinformation, has mostly faded away. And think you'll find this interesting—what happens when citizens, even those most supportive of solving homelessness, get pushed to the breaking point over single-issue, wedge political issues.
A tourist takes photographs but has to walk past homeless passed out on a pier in a City park despite all the services and programs available.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Robert F. Kennedy

Another protest in Lake Worth today! And why is Greenacres being ignored by The Palm Beach Post?

Learn about another protest in Lake Worth later in this blog post. The last 'curfew' protest was a dud and maybe the organizers of today's protest will learn some lessons from that.

There's been a veritable news blackout at the Post on any news in Greenacres which is interesting because that city is also having elections on March 15th and like Lake Worth, three seats are on the ballot. Kevin Thompson is the beat reporter for both Greenacres and Lake Worth. The last news article about Greenacres concerned a sidewalk and that was over 2 weeks ago. What gives? You can see for yourself the furious flurry of articles about the City of Lake Worth. Below will have the contact information for Thompson so the good people of Greenacres can ask the same question: With elections only 21 days away (as of 2/23) why all the focus on just Lake Worth? 

Anyhow, we learn from Thompson there's another protest today at City Hall beginning at 6:00. No doubt CBS12/WPTV will be there too and maybe they'll even spell Mayor Pam Triolo's name right this time. It seems that a trailer park in Lake Worth has been getting free garbage pickup since 2009 and the City found out about it and is taking steps to remedy the situation. Here are two excerpts from the article:
      A group of about 30 residents who live in Palm Beach Mobile Home Park are expected to protest in front of City Hall Tuesday because of a zoning change they say is making it harder for residents to throw away their garbage.
[and. . .]
     But Bornstein [City Manager Michael Bornstein] said the community has been getting curbside garbage service from the city for seven years when it wasn’t supposed to. [emphasis added] The service should have stopped when the ordinance was changed in 2009, but, for some reason, it wasn’t.
     “It’s their responsibility to take care of it,” Bornstein said. “This is not an attack on seniors or an attack on mobile homes. We were going door-to-door picking up garbage and that’s very costly.”
I would bet if one of these residents called the Lake Worth Neighborhood Assoc. Presidents Council (NAPC) this 'story' would never had made it into the Post. The NAPC is always ready to help any neighborhood in need. But it is election season in Lake Worth and that's important to remember.

Anyhow, for the neglected city of Greenacres and all those good people who deserve press attention too, here is how you contact the Post beat reporter (copy and paste links to your browser):
Twitter: @kevindthompson1

And stay tuned for the next protest! After March 15th there won't be any more of them for a long time. You might want to go to the protest today just to see how it feels to be a protester. 

Public Meeting in Lake Worth TODAY (2/23) at 7:00 about the Community Development Block Grant program

If you recall it was CDBG funds that was unspent and misallocated by a past city commission and it was only after the hard work by Mayor Triolo, city staff and others that convinced Palm Beach County from demanding the money be returned. Community involvement is very important. The details follow from a notice published in The Lake Worth Herald (page 10):

"Please join the City of Lake Worth for a Public Meeting to discuss the upcoming Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) for Fiscal Year 2016-2017. During this meeting City staff will describe eligible uses of CDBG funds and solicit public input on how these funds should be used.

TIME: 7:00 P.M.

The actual allocation of CDBG funding has not yet been announced. It is estimated that it will comparable to the CDBG allocation of $267,603 that the City received for Fiscal Year 2015–2016. Eligible uses of these funds includes the following activities:
  • Acquisition of real property for a public purpose
  • Demolition/clearance
  • Infrastructure installation and improvements
  • Public facilities and improvements
  • Historic preservation
All eligible activities must meet one of the following National Objectives of the CDBG Program by:
  • Benefitting low and moderate income persons;
  • Preventing or eliminating slums or blight; or
  • Meeting an urgent community development need."

Monday, February 22, 2016

Latest panic about the Gulfstream hotel redevelopment: PARKING! What about the PARKING! Where is everyone going to PARK!

I'm told The Obtuse Blogger (TOB) is now near panic mode on The Parking! available for the Gulfstream hotel redevelopment. So before this gets to the "Houston, we have a problem" stage learn how the parking at the Gulfstream hotel presents an opportunity for the City of Lake Worth and the taxpayers by continuing to read this blog post. First a short video:
I frequent the Lake Worth Casino and pool at least 3 times a week, or more. I go there by bike or by car and try to make it while the pool is open. During the weekdays that means Monday, Thursday and/or Friday mornings. That's one of the days when the picture (below) was taken. I have not been there on Tuesdays or Wednesdays (generally speaking), and I would judge that about the same number, or fewer, go there and park on those days either. 

If you look at a calendar, you will notice that there are 5 weekdays and 2 weekend days. If you look at the proportion of weekdays to a full week, you will find that weekdays equate to 71% of the full week. Sorry, don't want to be laborious here but we have to talk some people off the ledge; so please be patient.
View from the Casino complex looking west.
The above picture is of the lower parking lot on the western side of the Casino property. While the smaller, top portion is usually close to full with cars (people eating at Benny's or making the hike to one of the Casino building spaces) the lower parking lot is mostly empty during the typical weekday. From the site plan, that amounts to about 416 parking spaces, creating a sea of asphalt for would-be automobiles that would occupy these spaces if there were demand for them during weekdays.

I think we can all agree an empty parking lot represents a lost revenue opportunity, regardless of how you choose to look at the "numbers" that make up the Beach Fund. This Casino parking lot could be the parking for the Gulfstream hotel to accommodate construction workers, Gulfstream employees, and many others freeing up parking in the downtown. A shuttle could pick people up but many might just walk over the bridge since it's a relatively short walk anyway. And the Gulfstream would pay the City for the privilege of using this parking area, especially for their employees.

As the Gulfstream hotel project moves forward there will be many ideas on how to solve the parking issue, if any do arise, and the Casino parking lot is just one idea. All it takes is cool heads to prevail and look at opportunities and possibilities instead of the first reaction always being a near panic. Another potential solution would be the addition of one more level of parking on the parking structure proposed for the redevelopment.

But why, you may ask yourself, is the Casino parking lot so large and so empty most of the time? Good question and please continue reading.

Much like the parking lots of shopping malls across our country, this space is built for "peak demand" times. The problem is that represents only 29% of the time, a generous estimate, on a weekly basis. Add to that its lack of proximity to destination uses, like the pier and the Casino building itself and you have a situation where people may make the choice, while deciding where to go for lunch for example, that they don't want to mess with the parking at the beach, having to pay for it and possibly having to walk a long distance too. There are other lunch and other daytime destinations that would come to mind and be preferable than going to the Lake Worth Casino—almost all of them with free parking nearby.

I hope that helps explain things. Now I digress. Since we're on the subject of the Casino building there is that pesky 5,000 square foot space (with a water problem) with the "killer" views that remains unfinished and un-leased on the second floor right next to the ballroom. Then there are the issues that are still hindering the leasing of that space related to the building's construction and design. You might have heard something about that recently. Back to the parking once again. So the western parking lot is mostly empty most of the time, but the upper lot is just fine the way it is, right? Nope.
Not what a tourist expects to see having lunch.
More pictures of the charming Lake Worth Casino. . .the one above represents a recurring bugaboo of mine. That is parking and loading in front of the Casino building that blocks the view of the one and only Atlantic Ocean. This is one of the primary reasons people come to the beach in the first place. The area east of the travel lane is marked "No Parking" and is supposed to act as a bike lane. This restriction is routinely flaunted and here are just a few examples.
Probably someone just "running in for a minute."
This stretch zebra-stripped Hummer picked up and dropped off a load of school children. Why? I don't know. The western side of the travel lane does not have a corresponding bike lane so the vehicle was obstructing southbound traffic.
This large-profile Pepsi delivery truck was parked in front of the Casino building. It's not the drivers fault. It's a substandard traffic/truck delivery design at our charming Lake Worth Casino.

The new Lake Worth tax collectors office isn't in Lake Worth: It's in unincorporated Palm Beach County

When it comes to understanding the distinction between the City of Lake Worth and unincorporated, or suburban Lake Worth, NBC5/WPTV is hands-down the best at being accurate. But even they get it wrong from time to time like this news segment about the new tax collectors office "in Lake Worth" that isn't in Lake Worth. And just a few days later another news segment about a charity event in John Prince Park "in Lake Worth". The park isn't in Lake Worth. Again, this is unincorporated Palm Beach County or suburban Lake Worth.

If your interested, you can read my review of TV news in central Palm Beach County using this link.

This short blog post from December 2014, viewed thousands and thousands of times, is a very good explanation for the media on what is Lake Worth and what is not the City of Lake Worth. And if you happen to be really motivated to learn the facts you can visit the Lake Worth Wikipedia page:
     According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 6.46 square miles (17 km2). 5.64 square miles (15 km2) of it is land and 0.86 square miles (2 km2) of it (12.69%) is water. Several geographical features in Palm Beach County somewhat confusingly share the name "Lake Worth."
[and. . .]
     Although the incorporated city of Lake Worth is small geographically, as is common in Palm Beach County, a large unincorporated urbanized area with a Lake Worth postal address lies to the west of the city, and includes the census-designated place of Lake Worth Corridor. It also includes western neighborhoods and communities such as The Fountains, Lago Lucerne, Lake Osborne Estates, Melaleuca Lane Corridor, and Palm Beach National.
I hope this helps.
The official zoning map of the City of Lake Worth.

Lake Worth District One Community Update on Friday, February 26th: Save the Date

GENESIS NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION QUARTERLY MEETING: Community Update at St. Andrews Lutheran Church, 928 South E Street in Lake Worth, on Friday, February 26 at 6:00 pm.

Invited Speakers:
Mayor Pam Triolo, Vice Mayor Scott Maxwell, Commissioner Andy Amoroso, PBSO Captain Todd Baer and Palm Beach County Commissioner Shelley Vana

Free Dinner will be catered by Mama Gizzi's of Lake Worth
Residents who live within our boundaries of 6th Ave. South to the Lantana border and between I-95 and Dixie Highway will receive a post card mailer. Residents who bring their mailer to the meeting will be served dinner first.

Note more important information below:

Please be advised that one or more City Commissioners may be attending the Genesis Neighborhood Association’s Quarterly Meeting at 6:00 PM on February 26, 2016. The purpose of this meeting is to provide community update and ask questions concerning residents living in District 1. This meeting is open to the public.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

I know you've heard about Uber. Uber is my favorite ride share service. Want a FREE RIDE to the Street Painting Festival today?*

Uber, if you've never tried a ride share service before, is the most affordable, clean, and professional way to get around. Read about my first Uber ride using this link.

If you want to try Uber today to the Street Painting Festival use this link and get up to $20 off. To get an idea how much it costs, from my home in Lake Worth to PBIA cost only $10.25. A cab ride would easily be twice as much and you have to hope and pray the cab shows up in time. That's not a problem with Uber: The app will let you know to the minute when your ride arrives and what type/color car to look for.

And the Uber drivers are really nice and polite too.

If you don't want to drive to the Street Painting Festival you can take Tri-Rail and be picked up by a shuttle. Tri-Rail is only $5 on weekend days. I'll be a host on a shuttle from 2:00 to 4:00 today at the Lake Worth Tri-Rail station. If you don't want to wait for the shuttle you can take Uber if you wish.
Hope to see you there!
*First ride free up to $20.

Video of pics taken yesterday at the Lake Worth Street Painting Festival 2016

The Festival continues today until 7:00! Visit Lake Worth and our charming, quirky downtown and check out all the art before the streets open once again to traffic. I'll be volunteering on the shuttle bus again today (from 2:00–4:00) bringing people to the festival from the Tri-Rail station.

Liz Balmaseda had a few words in The Palm Beach Post about the festival yesterday and the article is also in the print edition (B1, above the fold) today; here's an excerpt.
     Saturday proved a perfect day for the festival, which continues Sunday. Sunlight cascaded over the scene. One could pick up the faint aroma of suntan lotion in the crowd and hear snippets of songs performed.
     Most who passed the corner of Lake Avenue and L Street had to stop to admire a stunning portrait of a red-lipped woman who seemed to emerge from the pavement with a swath of red over her eyes. Bringing her to life was Atlanta artist Jessi Queen.
     Once the weekend is over, she will return to her day job in web design.
     “This is ephemeral, but it’s performance art. It’s meant to be shared,” said Queen. “I love to see people’s reactions to my work.”
Sunday is always the best attended day at the Festival and if yesterday's attendance was any clue today will be a banner day for the City. Hope to see you there, Wes.