Saturday, June 11, 2016

"Light up Lake Worth project underway", news segment by NBC5/WPTV's Michelle Quesada

Stay focused Lake Worth! Don't be distracted by reports of light "spilling" into yards and the suggestion by Commissioner Chris McVoy the City's new lights can make you sick. Do you remember why the matter of street lighting was so important in the first place? Remember the news segment below about this subject? Stay focused on the goal.

Below are two excerpts from the text of the news segment:

     "New technology moving into Lake Worth neighborhoods is expected to shine a light on problem areas while saving the city money.
     The city is replacing 4,000 old light fixtures with new LED lights. The effort is supposed to save 250,000 dollars in energy costs. It will also aim to increase security and detect crime. The city says the new lights will brighten up images recorded on surveillance cameras to help make out criminal activity."

[and. . .]

    "In the Lake Osbourne neighborhood, John Hand says it's definitely making people feel safer outdoors.
     'They’ve always had lights here, but now I noticed they are a little brighter,' said Hand. 'I take walks around the lake and around the neighborhood and it's really nice having better lighting.'
     Thirteen percent of the light fixtures have been replaced. The city aims to have all of them replaced in then ext 75 days."

Here is the video of the news segment:

From The Lake Worth Herald: A very good summation how we got to this point vis-à-vis the City's Casino

Below is part of this week's (6/9) Lake Worth Herald feature article on the faulty construction at the Casino structure. This is a concise timeline of events starting in 2010:

     In June 2010, the City entered a professional services agreement with REG Architects, Inc. to design the new Casino Building. In November 2010 (and as amended in June 2011), the City entered into a construction agreement with The Morganti Group, Inc. to construct the new Casino Building.
     Morganti secured a Public Construction Bond for its work with The Insurance Company of the State of Pennsylvania (Surety). During construction, the City notified REG and Morganti of various issues occurring at the Casino Building including, but not limited to, water intrusion through and/or around the doors on the second story (east elevation); water pooling on the second story deck; and, rusting surfaces.
     While some efforts were made to correct these issues, the City continued to experience the same and additional issues at the Casino. In 2013, after both REG and Morganti applied for final payment (which was withheld). The City retained construction attorney Michael Kennedy of Ciklin, Lubitz, Martens & O’Connell, P.A., to assist in resolving the issues.

The excerpt above gives you a good idea how long the City has been trying to resolve these problems. What's not been addressed in any significant way is the lost revenue having the second floor of the structure being vacant all this time. And then there's this problem on the first floor:

From Jeff Speck: "A Wonderfully Clear Explanation of How Road Diets Work"

The information below comes from CityLab, use this link to read the entire article; this is the opening paragraph:

A road diet is a great way for cities to reclaim some of the excess street space they’ve dedicated to cars—generally preserving traffic flows while improving safety and expanding mobility to other modes. [emphasis added] But just as food dieters have Atkins, South Beach, vegan, and any number of options, road diets come in many flavors, too. Urban planner and Walkable City author Jeff Speck, in collaboration with graphic artist Spencer Boomhower, takes us on a tour of four types of street diets in a deliciously clear new video series. Here’s a taste:

Friday, June 10, 2016

A Look Back: "Model of the Casino Building" and do you remember John G's at the BEACH?

[The blog post below is from June 2011 before the previous Casino (the home of John G's) was demolished to make way for the new one, which, by the way, leaks water just like the old structure did.] 

Before the debate I stepped into a "Studio" on J Street. That's where a local artist set up shop while the Casino Building is being demolished and built. A model was put together of the old building, complete with tenant signs, showing how long they were there. She used a picture and applied it to a form. A nice piece of Lake Worth folk art.
For another "Look Back" about the previous Casino building prior to being demolished enjoy the following video: This image is of the Casino building after it was "saved":
The prior Casino structure was 94% demolished. It was never 'saved'.

Introducing Lake Worth Water. . . From the City of Lake Worth's newsletter, Worth Noting

To see list of all City's newsletters use this link.
The newsletter is free and delivered to your email inbox. To sign up use this link. Below are two excerpts from the this news from the City:

     "Lake Worth has embarked on an ambitious Capital Improvements Project that will replace many of the water pipes which were installed in Lake Worth 50-60 years ago. The project, described in a previous edition of Worth Noting, will span six years. Replacing the severely corroded water pipes will provide better water pressure to customers and require little maintenance by city workers.
     Leading the charge for these needed City improvements is Brian Shields, P.E. Brian is the newest addition to City staff as the Water Utilities Director. He began his career as a consulting engineer in New York City. He eventually moved to Florida and became the Utilities Director for the City of Lauderhill. From there, he spent ten years as the Deputy Water Utilities Director for Palm Beach County.

     Brian is excited to be working for a smaller community where he feels that he can 'look forward to making a difference by helping improve the quality of life for the citizens with improved infrastructure.' "

[and. . .]

     "Julie Parham, P.E. has also joined the Water Utilities team at this critical juncture. Both Julie and Brian say they are enjoying working on the watermain replacement project because of the significance it carries for residents in Lake Worth. 'I really enjoy being involved in some of the large projects the City has underway,' said Julie."

What might surprise you about all those "COEXIST" bumper stickers

Image from Wikipedia.
From Vox is this news about all those bumper stickers on signifying "Coexist" vehicles you see in various colors, diagrams, and styles:

     "In the past 10 years, a new image joined the bumper sticker pantheon, right next to gratuitous honor student boasts and outdated political endorsements: Coexist.
     A smorgasbord of religious and political signifiers, with a few seemingly random symbols thrown in for good measure, it's become its own symbol of a banal, graphically incoherent 21st-century hippie. [emphasis added]
     But the Coexist logo wasn't always just a trip to the semiotic bargain bin. At one time, it was vested with powerful design and real meaning. It's also the center of a long battle over who owns it and what it really means."

Road closure begins today in the little City of Lake Worth: Press Release


Crews working for All Aboard Florida will temporarily close the following intersection to perform construction improvements necessary for the introduction of the Brightline passenger rail service:

Lake Avenue and the Florida East Coast Railway
Friday, June 10th, 7:00 a.m.–Tuesday, June 14th, 6:00 p.m.

For more information on future road closures and map of traffic detours in the area, please use this link.

All Aboard Florida is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Florida East Coast Industries, one of Florida’s oldest and largest full-service commercial real estate, transportation, and infrastructure companies, and the corporate parent company of Brightline and MiamiCentral.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Panel discussion at "2016 Planning Challenges" seminar on June 7th in West Palm Beach

This is a very interesting panel discussion, a private-sector view of "The Dynamics of Density in the New Millennium", led by George Gentile, PLA, FASLA, Senior Partner, Gentile Glass Holloway O'Mahoney & Associates. Here is the panel that speaks:
  • At the 10:00 mark watch Ken Tuma, Managing Principal, Urban Design Kilday Studios
  • At 13:45 mark is Harvey Oyer, III, Esq., Partner, Shutts & Bowen
  • At 19:00 mark is Ken Palumbo, Director of Land Acquisitions, Pulte Homes
This presentation was part of a seminar put on by the Palm Beach County Planning Congress. The event was also sponsored by the City of West Palm Beach, the West Palm Beach Downtown Development Authority and the Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council.

News in The Real Deal: "A $70 million renovation of Lake Worth’s historic Gulfstream Hotel"

This news is in The Real Deal by Dan Weil. The reporter refers to the Gulfstream Hotel as "crumbling". That is not the case at all. The structure does need a renovation and you can read about my tour of the building by looking in the right-hand column for "My tour of the Gulf Stream Hotel". Also in the article the reporter refers to the city of "Green Acres". The city, of course, is named Greenacres.

Below are excerpts from the article on "Notable projects" in Palm Beach County:

A $70 million renovation of Lake Worth’s historic Gulfstream Hotel by Delray Beach-based developer Hudson Holdings. It plans to restore the crumbling, six-story hotel, built in 1925, shrinking its room count to 87 from 106. And the developer intends to wipe away two nearby buildings so it can erect a five-story, 87-room annex to the hotel instead. Both buildings will carry Hilton’s upscale Curio Collection brand.

[and. . .]

     “We started working three years ago in Boynton Beach and Lake Worth, and there’s a lot of value, especially in Lake Worth,” Steve Michael, co-founder of Delray Beach-based Hudson Holdings, told TRD. The city will benefit further if talk of the Atlanta Braves building a new spring training stadium in Lake Worth’s John Prince Park turns into reality, he pointed out.

[and. . .]

     But these middle cities [in Palm Beach County] won’t suddenly come to dominate the county, he [Neil Merin, chairman of West Palm Beach-based NAI Merin Hunter Codman] said. “I don’t see this redevelopment having a gigantic impact, because the numbers aren’t that great,” Merin said. “We’re talking hundreds and thousands of units, not tens of thousands. It’s niche projects.

For more about the City of Lake Worth and business/development opportunities watch this video of William Waters, the City's Director of Community Sustainability talk about how much work has been done to streamline the process.

Tenant at Lake Worth Casino during a rain shower yesterday (June 8th)

At the end of this blog post is video from the June 7th City Commission meeting discussing the construction problems, The Lake Worth Herald has a feature story out on this today, and a question. . . adding up all the lawsuits, legal fees, payouts, City money to deal with this mess, how many potholes would that have fixed? The blog post from June 8th follows:

Whilst the talk is about the color of replacement tiles on the second floor this is what's happening on the first floor: The sound that you hear is a wet/dry vac being used to suck rain water from on top of the suspended ceiling tiles. The water is coming from the second floor of the building during a typical south Florida rain event. It had been raining about 15 minutes before this scene unfolded.

Want to learn more? Use this link. The videos from the June 7th City Commission meeting will be available shortly discussing the faulty construction of the Casino. Powerful words from City Attorney Torcivia, City Manager Bornstein, Mayor Triolo, and Vice Mayor Maxwell. The City Commission, staff, and citizens have had enough.

UPDATE: Below is video from last Tuesday's City Commission meeting. This was recorded off a TV screen so the quality is poor but the audio is good. Later will highlight certain minute marks to pay special attention to:

Correction in The Palm Beach Post today (June 9th)

Note link in correction to see all the "Best of the Class of 2016". When typing in the web address don't use the hyphen after "palm".

PBSO's Crime Prevention Tips: Residential burglary prevention

"Call our Crime Prevention Practitioners to schedule a crime prevention presentation for your group and/or association, or for additional information regarding crime prevention matters call 561-688-3970 or". Click on images to enlarge:

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Raphael Clemente at "2016 Planning Challenges" meeting at West Palm Beach Commission chambers on June 7th

Over the next week will feature different speakers at this event. Below is Raphael Clemente's introduction that begins at the 6:00 mark and he begins his presentation at the 7:30 mark. To see all of the videos from this conference go to my YouTube channel using this link.

Kim DeLaney, PhD, Director of Strategic Development and Policy at the Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council moderated the panel discussion. Raphael Clemente, AICP, Executive Director of the West Palm Beach Downtown Development Authority and Patrick Rutter, Executive Director of Planning, Zoning and Building, Palm Beach County participate in the discussion. This presentation was part of a seminar put on by the Palm Beach County Planning Congress. The event was also sponsored by the City of West Palm Beach, the West Palm Beach Downtown Development Authority and Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council.

Did you miss this about the new mayor of Boynton Beach?

Below are two excerpts from this article by Jane Smith in The Coastal Star about Boynton Beach Mayor Steven B. Grant and would strongly recommend reading the entire article later if you don't have time now. Hands down the most informative article to date about the new mayor.

Up to this point the press coverage spin has mostly focused on petty matters which shouldn't surprise anyone but also not fair to the public who wants to learn more about this new face in County politics:

     Steven Grant just can’t stop smiling.
     “Mayor Taylor had raised more than $40,000 for his re-election campaign, had the backing of the police and fire unions, while I raised (less than $3,000) and had the backing of the people,” Grant said. He was able to force the mayor’s race into a runoff.
      At 33, Grant is probably the youngest mayor in the history of Boynton Beach. Harvey E. Oyer Jr. was turning 34 when he was elected in 1960, says his daughter Susan, who helped Grant in his runoff race against incumbent Jerry Taylor, 80.
      Since winning the March 29 runoff with 57 percent of the votes, Grant has embraced his mayoral role. He attends events, ceremonies, government meetings, residents forums and individual sessions with city staff and various developers. [emphasis added]

[and. . .]

     Kristine de Haseth, the Florida Coalition for Preservation executive director who helped to form the Boynton Coalition for Responsible Development, also sees the change as a positive step for Boynton Beach.
     “Out with the old, in with the new,” she said. “We want to get beyond pushing the pause button, then hitting rewind and repeating.”

On the subject of politics and getting "beyond pushing the pause button, the hitting rewind and repeating" look in the right-hand column for "March 14th, 2017, is election day in Lake Worth".

"Zika: Lois Frankel urges House to approve more money to fight ‘looming health threat’ "

Below is recent news at the Post On Politics blog about a news conference by U.S. Rep. Lois Frankel who was joined by Palm Beach County mosquito control supervisor Gary Goode and Michael Farzan of The Scripps Research Institute:

     U.S. Rep. Lois Frankel, D-West Palm Beach, today [June 6th] urged the Republican-controlled House to approve more money to combat the mosquito-borne Zika virus and urged citizens to do their part to control mosquitoes.
     “It is a looming health threat,” said Frankel, conducting a news conference in a friend’s lush back yard. “Our delegation here in Florida, both senators as well as the president of the United States, have recognized it and there’s going to be a push again next week when we go back to Congress to get more funding.”
Look in the right-hand column for this image, "—Best source for Zika virus information".

Lessons from Sarasota and on the homeless 'advocates' here in the City of Lake Worth

This article by Justin Jouvenal at The Washington Post is an eye-opener. If you've been following the homeless 'advocates' and their ridiculous protests, which did nothing to help one single homeless person, you can see the parallels between what's happening in Sarasota and what is happening here in the City.

It's an open secret some are trying to tactically force the City into a big, juicy lawsuit. But the homeless, some by choice, many believe are just pawns in an effort to hurt the business community, drive tourists and visitors out of the downtown, and damage the City's reputation and image. Here are three excerpts from the article:

     Sarasota, dubbed the “Meanest City in America” by advocates a decade ago for its ordinances, has been the scene of one of the fiercest and most anguished battles over homelessness in an era of urban renaissance.
     The city’s balmy weather has drawn a large homeless population.

[and. . .]

     Sarasota officials reject the claim that the city is criminalizing homelessness, saying that the lodging ordinance and others are necessary and are enforced legally and humanely.
     The Sarasota Police Department’s “policy and practice is to offer a shelter bed to the homeless individual prior to any consideration of warnings, tickets or enforcement,” Barwin [City Manager Tom Barwin] wrote of the lodging ordinance.
     Barwin said many chronically homeless people refuse to go to the city’s only shelter or accept other services.

[and. . .]

     Ron Soto, who owns a downtown eyewear store and is president of the local merchants association, blames a hard-core minority of the homeless people that he calls “vagrants” for disrupting business, drinking in public and scaring tourists.
     Soto has created a series of signs, one of which reads: “DON’T GIVE IN TO PANHANDLING...93% OF THE MONEY YOU GIVE GOES TO DRUGS & ALCOHOL.”

On the issue of homelessness, have you been paying attention to all the great work the city of West Palm Beach has been doing? Learn more in the video below:

An in-depth investigation of Florida's mental hospitals by Tampa Bay Times* and Herald-Tribune

This investigation has 5 parts and additional updates. Use this link to see all of the series.
Below are the opening paragraphs from Part 1, "Deep cuts, rising violence":

     "Florida’s state-funded mental hospitals are supposed to be safe places to house and treat people who are a danger to themselves or others.
     But years of neglect and $100 million in budget cuts have turned them into treacherous warehouses where violence is out of control and patients can’t get the care they need.
     Since 2009, violent attacks at the state’s six largest hospitals have doubled. Nearly 1,000 patients ordered to the hospitals for close supervision managed to injure themselves or someone else.
     For years, the state Legislature, the governor’s office and the agencies that oversee Florida’s mental hospitals ignored the chaos and continued cutting. Then state regulators hid the full extent of violence and neglect from the public.
     The Tampa Bay Times and Sarasota Herald-Tribune spent more than a year chronicling life in these institutions, interviewing patients and their families and examining thousands of pages of government records."

*Twelve time winner of the Pulitzer Prize.

[UPDATE] Why hasn't any work been done at Casino to avoid a default declaration? Will taxpayers be left "holding the bag"?

The issue of the City's substandard Casino construction finally came to a head last night at the City Commission meeting (6/7). It wasn't pretty. Here is a quote from City Attorney Glen Torcivia:

"It's taken longer to fix the building than it took to build it."

Check back later today to this blog for more on what happened at the City Commission meeting last night (June 7th). Am still gathering some information. I was not able to attend the meeting last night but will let you know when the City's video is available. There was some good news though, the Statute of Limitations is not as much a looming problem, yet. City Manager Michael Bornstein had very strong comments last night at the end of the meeting you'll have to watch for yourself. Stay tuned.

Also, possibly this week, the media blackout on this issue will end. To learn the background on how we got to this point, read the blog post below from last week:

First, a little about my day at the pool and Casino: Yesterday was June 1st and that meant the beginning of the new pool schedule. As already noted, the weekday hours are now 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. The weekdays the pool will be open are Monday, Wednesday and Thursday. Weekend hours will stay the same.
View of a swimming class taught by Sally, the pool manager.
After doing my water exercise routine in the pool got a bite to eat at Mama Mia's that is conveniently located next door in the Casino building. I chose an outside seat. Within five minutes of sitting down, everyone eating outside was greeted by a large commercial Pepsi truck. Voilà! No more view of the ocean. Just another example of poor planning by the "Best Commission Ever", or BCE for short.
It's not the delivery driver's fault. There isn't a proper loading area at the Casino complex.
The truck remained there for as long as it took to finish my lunch and was still there after my tour a little later of the Casino building. As you'll read below, this is where things really start to go terribly bad.
This is the view the truck obscured. Isn't the ocean vista the main draw to dining at the Casino?
I decided to take a tour of the second floor patio area of the Casino. It has been a while since we heard anything about the remediation/repairs to the second floor. These are leftover problems from the cessation of construction in 2012, with the contractor and architect being made aware of the construction faults since early 2013.

Beyond the physical effects of water penetrating the building, the water intrusion prevents the City from renting out the potential second floor restaurant space. You know, the one with a "killer view" you can't see when you sit down:
When standing there is this remarkable view of the Atlantic Ocean and beach.
But. . . when you sit down you can't see the ocean. Another reason the 2nd floor space is un-leased and vacant. A proper railing would be nice. Great plan, huh?
If you recall earlier this year, both the architect and contractor were about to be declared in default. Nothing had been done to that point addressing the building's defects, especially as it related to water leakage. At the time this item appeared on the City Commission agenda, a representative of the contractor appeared at the meeting (see video below), throwing himself and his company upon the mercy of the Commissioners. He begged and pleaded with them to not find his company in default, as it would hurt their reputation going forward with other public entities.

[To read more about this use these links:
  • From Feb. 17th: Videos and background: Default Declaration on Lake Worth Casino Building
  • From Feb. 20th: Lake Worth Casino Complex and pool is back in the spotlight again
  • From March 1st: Latest on the Lake Worth Casino Complex
  • From March 2nd: Discussion at last night's (3/1) Lake Worth City Commission meeting]
At the following City Commission meeting the architect, the contractor and the City's legal expert said that they had identified a "fix" but would have to try it out first to see if it would work. The waterproofing work would take time and then it would have to be evaluated to determine whether or not it would be successful.

Given this information, it was my understanding that the agreement to fix the building would be extended to June 7, 2016. After that point, a statute of limitations would kick in that would prevent the City from seeking remedies from the architect and the contractor.

They were to do work on the northeast part of the deck as that was thought to be the worst area for water intrusion. This is what that part of the stone deck looked like yesterday (June 1st).
Look like any work has been done?
On closer inspection, what look like older patches and repairs.
It looks like a whole lot of nothing has been done. There was evidence of older "patches", but nothing in the way of an entire area being worked on. So nothing has happened and the City still finds itself with its Casino building having only a temporary certificate of occupancy (since 2012) and is unable to lease the remaining space in the building.

Expect to see this matter to appear on the next Commission meeting agenda. Oh, and here is that video you might find interesting:

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Big turnout at "2016 Planning Challenges" conference at City Commission chambers in West Palm Beach today

Check back later for videos with plenty of information:
Event sponsored by the Palm Beach County Planning Congress, City of West Palm Beach, West Palm Beach Downtown Development Authority, and Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council (TCRPC).
Speaker Kim DeLaney, Director of Strategic Development and Policy at TCRPC.
Some of the eighty-seven attendees.
These photos were from my cellphone, so not the best. Our City's Dir. of Community Sustainability, William Waters, was also in attendance and presented. Videos will be uploaded to YouTube soon.

Sad news from Andy Amoroso: The "Puppet Man" has passed away

The Post's Joe Capozzi wrote a wonderful article about Gayo: “He’s our little gnome. He’s the puppet man’’.
     "I received sad news. Gayo John Azzaro, one of the greatest Lake Worth artists passed away on June 2.
     Gayo presented his lovely, colorful and amazing Puppet Show with his unique selection of songs on Lake Ave delivering joy and beauty for all of us, children and adults.
     We will miss you Gayo and your ’O sole mio."

More from the article in the Post:

     It’s quite the puppet show. And the show goes on because of a character few people in the crowd ever notice — John Azzaro, a little man with a long silver beard and piercing blue eyes.
     “There’s a (bleeping) wizard back there!’’ a 20-something hipster declared to his friends one night after sneaking a peek at the puppeteer in action.
     Dressed in white pants and a tank top with sandals on his feet and a red bandanna on his head, Azzaro — all 5 feet of him — does indeed resemble a (bleeping) wizard. Some fans like to joke that he looks a lot like one of the animal, bird and clown puppets that he makes from scratch out of old newspaper or tissue.
     “He’s our little gnome. He’s the puppet man,’’ said Andy Amoroso, a Lake Worth city commissioner who hosts the puppet shows on the stoop of the gift shop he owns, Studio 205.

[and. . .]

     He’s on a mission to make sure kids and their parents, just by walking down the street, get a taste of a time when puppets like Kukla, Fran and Ollie ruled pop culture.
     “He is an awesome individual,’’ said Vicki Willard, who has been watching the street shows since the puppet man started performing them back in 2001. “He’s got a big heart. He cares about kids. He wants them to know how things were done in the past.’’

—Rest In Peace.

Not that it will do any good. . .

Western sprawl continues at a breakneck pace and many environmentalists could care less. Two prominent enviros from Lake Worth are more concerned about street lighting that goes "sideways" here, encouraging the homeless to take up residence, a drive-through, undermining PBSO, and doing anything they can to stop a historic downtown hotel from re-opening.

Read about these two Lake Worth enviros by looking in the right-hand column for "Did you know 2 of '19 Best Environmentalists in South Florida' are in Lake Worth?" As concerned as they are over what happens in this little 6 square mile slice of paradise, they turn a blind eye to what's happening west of the City.

For instance, take this recent news:

     Golf course greens once lured residents to country club communities throughout Palm Beach County. But with club members aging and golf interest declining, who can afford to maintain these lush views?
     Not the members of the Fountains Country Club in suburban Lake Worth [emphasis added], it seems.
     The club’s board of directors just struck a $17 million deal to sell golf-course land to home builder GL Homes, which would build up to 470 housing units on the property. 

[and. . .]

     McCabe [Jack McCabe, chief executive of McCabe Research and Consulting] said what’s happening at the Fountains is a trend that will continue to affect other private golf course communities. “As we continue our build out of South Florida, with vacant land becoming unavailable, golf courses will be more desirable to developers,” he said.

Expect more of this from one of the "Best Environmentalists in South Florida" at the City Commission meeting tonight (6/7):
The good news is "the people" will have their chance to speak on March 14th, 2017. Election day in Lake Worth.

Monday, June 6, 2016

"CWS Comes To Town", an article in this week's Lake Worth Herald*

Lake Worth welcomes a new gathering place for the whole family. C W Stache [CWS] opens its doors and its outdoor extravaganza at 522 Lucerne Avenue with a touch of something for everyone.
     If you’re looking for a special cup of coffee to start your day or the intimacy of an English pub for that business chat CWS is the place to be.

[and. . .]

 . . . of course for the sports fan and the craft beer aficionado, two wide screen TV’s inside and two more outside, with a seemingly endless assortment of whimsical named craft beers, makes CWS the ideal place for friends to hang out and chill!

*To subscribe to the Herald use this link or pick up the print edition at the City's newsstand across from the Cultural Council on Lake Ave. in the downtown.

Anything and everything you need to know about the Zika virus

Use this link to learn more about Zika from, the "U.S. government's official web portal."
On an interesting note, use this link to read, "Just wondering: Ever since the Zika virus was detected in Palm Beach County. . ." where have all the protesters gone against Scripps Research Institute in Jupiter? Hmmmm. Funny how a virus can put a new perspective on things.

About the upcoming Lake Worth Mango Festival in today's Post print edition and a surprise too!

Also in today's (6/6) print edition of The Palm Beach Post is Mary Lindsey's Point of View titled, "Little Free Libraries brings books closer to kids", which you'll find on page A10, the editorial page. This week's Lake Worth Herald also has news on the Little Free Libraries, an excerpt:

     On hand to pull the red ribbon at the Grand Opening of the 41st Little Free Library in Lake Worth were Patrick Shandorf of Guardians Credit Union [120 N. Federal Hwy.] and Cindy Ruth Ansell, Children’s Librarian at our Lake Worth Library. Guardians Credit Union generously donated funds to purchase this and one other Little Free Library that will be placed near Barton Elementary School later this month.
     John Deese, President of Guardians Credit Union, said “It is very rewarding for Guardians Credit Union to be involved in the Little Free Library project. As a not for profit cooperative organization we understand the importance of community involvement and the need to be a good partner in the community."

On the upcoming Mango Festival from the Post beat reporter Kevin Thompson:

     If you love mangos, here’s a free festival just for you. On Saturday, the city will host The Lake Worth International Mango Festival for the first time.
     The event will be held at the Cultural Plaza from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and celebrate all things mango.

[and. . .]

     The festival has been held in Miami and West Palm Beach in previous years. Patti Sheldon, one of the event’s coordinators, said Lake Worth is the perfect location.

If you have community news you want to share in the City of Lake Worth, suburban Lake Worth, the Lake Worth Corridor, and Greenacres here is how you contact the Post reporter:
Twitter: @kevindthompson1

Another perspective on "impact fees": An editorial in Tampa Bay Times (winner of 12 Pulitzer Prizes)

Palm Beach County (PBC), as you well know, is massive by land area and undergoing another Florida boom period. Along with having a large unincorporated area there are 38 municipalities. Development is a topic of debate in every city. It's easy to get wrapped up and think of PBC, or your city, as the center of the universe when it comes to development, issues that arise and past decisions that need to be re-examined.

Below are excerpts from this must read editorial in the Tampa Bay Times that "raises an intriguing issue that deserves broader discussion" on impact fees:

     City Council member Karl Nurse, who represents downtown and neighborhoods to the south, raises an intriguing issue that deserves broader discussion. He questions whether an impact fee schedule aimed at driving development toward downtown and away from other areas has served its purpose and should be rebalanced. [emphasis added] The fees are paid by developers on new construction to compensate for the impact new restaurants, apartment buildings and the like have on roads. City staff have characterized the fees as a defense against sprawl. But St. Petersburg is largely built out and not vulnerable to sprawl. 

[and. . .]

     Eager to bring new life to downtown, city leaders structured the fees to make building downtown a sweeter deal.
     Now a sit-down restaurant downtown is assessed fees at $2,181 per 1,000 square feet, compared with $8,205 in most of the city. Condos: $924 downtown; $1,248 everywhere else. The disparity could be justified when flophouses were a drag on downtown real estate. But in an era when a Beach Drive penthouse just sold for nearly $7 million, it's worth asking whether the disparity in fees is too great.

Something to think about.

From Planetizen on the well-received documentary: "Cleveland: Confronting Decline in an American City"

In May, this documentary film was made available in full on YouTube. Planetizen has this article about the video:

"Northern Light Productions and the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy have released the entire film Cleveland: Confronting Decline in an American City on YouTube. Previously, only a trailer was available on YouTube, after the film made the rounds on local public television in 2009. The film is one of a three-part series, also including Portland: Quest for a Livable City and Phoenix: The Urban Desert. The Lincoln Institute of Land Policy promises that eventually all three films will be available to stream in full."

What's another term for pets left out overnight in coyote country? Bait, snack, or collateral damage?

[UPDATE: Strongly suggest you read the comments following the Post article (link in paragraph below) that will likely appear in the print edition tomorrow, Jupiter's very special day, forever and ever on Tuesday's. To say Bill DiPaolo "got the fur flying" is an understatement. As always, Thank You for visiting, Wes.]

The Palm Beach Post's Bill DiPaolo has this news titled, "Coyotes blamed for killing two pet goats in Jupiter Farms" and at the end of the article is this: 

Here’s animal expert’s advice on how to deal with coyotes:
  • Don’t leave food, garbage or unwanted vegetation outside.
  • Don’t try to trap a coyote yourself. Call a professional trapper.
  • Bring small animals inside at night. Fences don’t keep out coyotes. [emphasis added]
Here is an excerpt from the article: 

     "Two-year-old Buttercup and 3-month-old Candy, both female Nigerian dwarf goats, were killed between 1 a.m. and 3 a.m. while they were in an outdoor area surrounded by a 4-foot-tall wooden fence. The goats — Buttercup weighed 50 pounds and Candy about half as much — were taken to a nearby veterinarian.
     The vet confirmed the bites on the neck and head were from coyotes, said Krohn, a lifelong resident of the rural, unincorporated area west of Florida’s Turnpike."

In the comment section, from someone who sounds like a reader of my blog, is this: 

     "Give credit where credit due. I credit the Coyotes for eliminating the feral cats from our community.
     Back in the day, I would see feral cats everywhere, every day. Then the Coyotes showed up and it has been months sense we last saw a feral cat.
     Hats off to the Coyotes for doing their part in keeping the balance of nature alive and well.
     As Always Have A Great Day."
Let's briefly digress, shall we, to a major issue here in the little City of Lake Worth: Feral and roaming cats. For background on this use this link or look in the right-hand column for "Can coyote save native birds from extinction?" Not only are the high number of cats a nuisance but they're killing birds at an alarming rate. What animal is particularly adept and fond of hunting cats? Coyotes.
The county government has essentially conceded that trapping, neutering, vaccination, and releasing (TNVR) cats back into the community is the plan until an idea that actually works comes along.

I'll let all of you connect the dots and here is more information: Use this link to read, "How long before coyotes begin appearing here in the City? And why that's not such a bad thing", and there's a new book by John Lane titled, "Coyote Settles the South":

To read a book review and to order the book use this link.

At the Lake Worth Library: "Between The Lines", coloring classes for adults

These FREE classes will be held on June 9th, July 14th, and August 11th from 6:30–8:00. To learn more about the City's Library use this link. About the upcoming art classes:

The Lake Worth Public Library is holding an adult coloring program—a new monthly program that allows adults to rediscover their love of coloring in a setting surrounded by their peers. Join us for free coffee, cookies, relaxing music and some stress relieving fun. Coloring sheets, colored pencils, markers and crayons will be provided.

The Library is located at 15 North 'M' Street. For more information please call Vickie Joslin at 561-533-7354 or email

Imagine a world where you don't own a car, just call for a ride and it appears. . .

And when it appears, it is without a driver. Those days are coming sooner than you may think. All the major car companies have developed working prototypes of driverless cars. Think of the implications. We should see these in the real world within the next two to three years. Within 10 or twenty years, these driverless cars may be the only cars on the road. "Smart" cars on "smart" roads will reduce or eliminate traffic accidents. It also has the potential to increase the number of vehicles using the roads as they will all be communicating with one another. Spacing between vehicles could be much less since the human reaction time to an abrupt stop is removed from the equation. The car in front of you will tell your car what it will be doing in advance of doing it. Cars without such technology, either will be retrofitted in some manner, or will be relegated to special areas or times when they can be used for recreation. Think of cruising in your 1957 Chevy. Maybe this will spring to life Automotive Heritage zones where people are allowed to drive their older analog vehicles. Maybe one of those areas could be our own Dixie Hwy. in Lake Worth?

Very interesting. From Facebook.

Singer Island, located mostly in Riviera Beach, prior to tall buildings.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

President Barack Obama

Official White House photograph of 44th President of the United States of America.

Historic Lake Worth postcards to "Over The Rainbow" by the Jazz great Sarah Vaughan

Hope you enjoy this montage I put together back in 2008 and please feel free to share it with your friends and neighbors (here is the link). From Wikipedia: Sarah Lois Vaughan (March 27, 1924 – April 3, 1990) was an American jazz singer, described by music critic Scott Yanow as having "one of the most wondrous voices of the 20th century." 
     Nicknamed "Sassy", "The Divine One" and "Sailor" (for her salty speech), Sarah Vaughan was a Grammy Award winner. The National Endowment for the Arts bestowed upon her its "highest honor in jazz", the NEA Jazz Masters Award, in 1989.

Just so everybody is clear on the facts about the financial status of the City's Casino

The video below is City Manager Michael Bornstein from May 21st, 2013 and following are excerpts from what he said that day (beginning at the 6:40 mark). To see this entire blog post for yourself use this link.  —"Everybody's looking for me to say something. I'm not here to tell you what you want to hear. Anybody. You've asked me to come and do this job."

"The [Casino] business model as anticipated based upon the rents and the revenues is not performing. And that's normal with an amenity like this and it is an amenity, it's a great thing to have, but it is not performing to what they [previous City administration] expected when they wrote the business models."

". . . everyone needs to not be delusional when you are asking for services from this city that you don't understand the complete impacts and so you don't default to 'those so and so's don't know what they are doing, they are incompetent and somewhere I know that there is money banging around city hall.' Trust me, I'm not sitting on a lot of cash over here."

News from The Lake Worth Herald: Lake Worth Summer Camp for children 7–14 years old starts June 13th

To find out more about the Lake Worth Recreation Dept. use this link. The following information on Lake Worth's Summer Camp is from the The Lake Worth Herald:

     "The City of Lake Worth is in the process of accepting applications for this year’s 'Summer Camp.'
     Camp will be held from June 13–August 5, 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Norman J. Wimbley (Lake Worth) Gymnasium, 1515 Wingfield St., Lake Worth.
     This camp is for children ages 7–14. The cost is $450 per child. Those wishing to attend may register at the Osborne Community Center, 1699 Wingfield St., Lake Worth, Monday–Friday, 8:30 a.m.–3:30 p.m. Phone: 561-533-7363 or the Norman J. Wimbley Gym, Monday–Friday, 3:30–8:30 p.m. Phone: 540-5133.
     For more information, call Coach Osborne at 561-721-5319, 561-533-7363 or the Gym Staff at 561-540-5133 from 3:30–8:30 p.m."

TODAY: FREE ADMISSION at the Flagler Museum for "Founder’s Day"—News from reporter Aleese Kopf

Image from Wikipedia.
Below is an excerpt from this article in the Palm Beach Daily News, aka the Shiny Sheet:

"The museum waives its entry fees every year on June 5 in honor of Founder’s Day. Standard Oil partner Henry Flagler built Whitehall estate in 1902 and his granddaughter, Jean Flagler Matthews, established the museum on June 5, 1959."

When: 12 to 5 p.m. Sunday
Where: One Whitehall Way at Whitehall Way and Cocoanut Row in Palm Beach
For more information call (561) 655-2833