Saturday, July 16, 2016

The Blueway Trail and the need to educate yourself and your family

Take note supporters of the Blueway Trail: The propaganda/mis- and disinformation campaign against the Blueway has begun.
This Letter to the Editor published last Wednesday in the Post demonstrates perfectly how ill-informed people can be. Next Tuesday at the Lake Worth City Commission the Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council will give a presentation about the Blueway Trail and you are strongly urged to attend. Here is an excerpt from that letter by someone who should most definitely attend and learn the facts before jumping to conclusions:

West Palm Beach has plans [not true, it's not a city project] to connect the chain of lakes to allow small boats access to the Lake Worth lagoon. My concern is for the quality of marine life, human life [huh?] and tourism from discharge that will be flowing into the Intercoastal [sic, s/b "Intracoastal"] Waterway, eventually contaminating beaches.

Look in the right-hand column for Public access to Intracoastal bypassing S-155 Spillway on C-51 Canal or use this link. And then there's this:
"Beautiful blues!" at the Lake Worth Pier at the BEACH! Two published comments below are more examples of uneducated, unhinged hysteria.

On education and schools in Lake Worth: Two excerpts from a Letter to the Editor published in The Lake Worth Herald

"Dear Editor of The Lake Worth Herald,

     I think there are a lot of problems with how schools as a whole and our children are tested and lots of ambiguity on what those grades mean in any given year. Year to year comparisons are also suspect when certain qualifying factors are added or deleted. That said, it appears there may be cause to feel hopeful for Lake Worth schools. 
     According to the Florida Dept. of Education for the school year just ended, Barton, Highland and South Grade Elementary Schools improved from a D to a C and North Grade Elementary, Lake Worth Middle and Lake Worth High remained unchanged with a C.
     So where’s the hope in all the ambiguity and the mediocrity implied by our local schools coming in with a solid C? Is a slight improvement or simply maintaining an average rating enough to feel hopeful about? Those are essay questions, boys and girls, and here’s my answer: Palm Beach County is one of the largest school districts in the State of Florida. It is an unfathomably cumbersome bureaucracy. It’s also the governing body of how our children and our teachers spend most of their waking hours - so it matters and yet it doesn’t. That little ‘yet’ is where I find reason to hope."

[and. . .]

     "I see civic groups donating dictionaries and raising scholarship funds. I see Elected's taking turns reading to classrooms and mentoring students. I see incredibly innovative early education programs at our Public Library with sign up sheets that run two or three pages long. I see businesses donating old computers and volunteers re-booting them to serve anew. 
     I see Little Free Libraries springing up everywhere with children’s books flying out faster than the speed of love. I see a Community that stands with our teachers pushing past the frustration, the bureaucracy and the endless, pointless testing.
     The Florida Department of Education has handed us a report card that says Lake Worth is average. They’re wrong and the grown-ups around here are not signing it. This is a Community so outstandingly well and far above average in their commitment to education. I am hopeful and I’m proud to call Lake Worth my home.
     Pencils down. 

     Mary Lindsey
     Lake Worth"

When is turtle nesting season? And take the quiz: how long do you think the Lake Worth BEACH is?

First, let's examine how many miles of Florida beaches exist: When you add up the total miles of Atlantic Ocean beaches, the Straits, and the Gulf of Mexico it totals 825 miles. If you total the northeast, central, and southeast regions of the Atlantic Ocean beaches the total is 362.7 miles of beach. If you didn't know turtle nesting season if from March 1st and ends October 31st.

Now all you Lake Worth residents, with turtle season here, how many of that 362 miles of Atlantic Coast beach do you think the Lake Worth BEACH comprises?

THE QUIZ: How many miles long is our BEACH (approximately)? Is it:
  1. Two and ¾ miles long?
  2. Five and ¼ miles?
  3. One and ½ miles?
  4. 0.26 miles (1,280 feet)?
  5. One mile and 57 feet?
Stop here. Watch the short video below and think about it.

The answer is 4! 0.26 miles/1,280 feet.

For perspective that means the Lake Worth BEACH! makes up just 0.072 of beaches on the Atlantic Ocean coast. Of ALL Florida beaches? 0.032.
A party at the Lake Worth BEACH! Recognize anyone? This is a classic photoshop by the inimitable former City blogger Tom McGow.

[UPDATE] The endorsements are rolling in for State Senator Jeff Clemens in redrawn District 31*

Update—The latest from Florida Politics about Jeff Clemens' challenger:

     Rep. Irv Slosberg has dropped another $50,000 of his personal wealth into his Senate District 31 campaign, bringing his self-funding to a significant total of $170,000 in loans, new campaign reports show. [and. . .] Clemens, who has criticized Slosberg for not living in the Senate district, sent out a fundraising appeal Thursday again questioning Slosberg’s motives.
     “Fact: my opponent isn’t a progressive, and he’s really not much of a Democrat, either,” Clemens wrote.

From an earlier article in Florida Politics: “It’s humbling to know other elected officials and advocacy organizations have confidence in the job I’m doing,” Clemens said. “Especially in places like Delray Beach and Boynton Beach, where I haven’t represented them previously.” Here is Clemens' partial list of endorsements:
  • State Representative Dave Kerner
  • State Representative Bobby Powell
  • County Commissioner Shelley Vana
  • County Commissioner Melissa McKinlay
  • Former County Commissioner Burt Aaronson
  • School Board Member Erica Whitfield
  • Boynton Beach Vice Mayor Mack McCray
  • Boynton Beach Commissioner Joe Casello
  • Delray Beach Mayor Cary Glickstein
  • Delray Beach Commissioner Mitch Katz
  • Delray Beach Commissioner Shelly Petrolia
  • Lake Worth Commissioner Andy Amoroso
  • Greenacres Mayor Samuel Ferreri
  • Greenacres Commissioner Jonathan Pierce
  • West Palm Beach Commissioner Shanon Materio
  • Lake Clarke Shores Mayor Robert Shalhoub
  • South Palm Beach Mayor Bonnie Fischer
  • South Palm Beach Vice Mayor Joseph Flagello
  • Lantana Mayor David Stewart
  • Lantana Councilman Philip Arydas
  • Atlantis Councilman Michael LeCoursier
  • Riviera Beach Councilmember Terence Davis
  • Service Employees International Union Local
  • Palm Beach Police Benevolent Association
  • Florida Planned Parenthood PAC
  • Palm Beach Human Rights Council
*FYI: Did you know Jeff Clemens is the former mayor of Lake Worth and that he has never lost an election in his political career? It's true.

    Friday, July 15, 2016

    Solid Waste Authority's hazardous waste tips—More "news you can use" in this week's Lake Worth Herald

    City news, photos, opinion, notices, events, community businesses, and so much more. . . all for just ¢50.
    Below are excerpts from this week's Lake Worth Herald:

    When exploring South Florida’s beautiful natural environments, be watchful of what you leave in your wake. Items such as:
    • flares
    • fire extinguishers
    • deep cycle batteries
    • mercury float switches
    • fuels and oils
    • cleaning products and
    • even boats themselves all need to be disposed of properly.
         Fortunately, proper disposal of many harmful boating products is easy and free for Palm Beach County residents.

    There are 6 centers listed in the article. The closest one to Lake Worth is: Central County Transfer Station, 1810 Lantana Rd., Lantana, Monday–Friday 7:00–5:00, Saturday 7:00–Noon. 

    [and. . .]

         Proper disposal of old or expired hazardous boating items can be a real lifesaver. More disposal information for boaters can be found on the SWA website or by calling 561-697-2700 or 866-SWA-INFO (toll-free).

    The Palm Beach Post wrote ANOTHER editorial about Lake Worth! Wow. Can you believe it?

    Yes. It's true. With all the issues going on in Palm Beach County, the little City of Lake Worth is the focus AGAIN of the editorial board in today's (7/15) print edition—this time about Garlic Fest. This latest editorial comes on the heels of the dumbest editorial in years about the City's Casino.

    The latest news made in the editorial is this:
    The city is still wrangling with builders over flaws in its revamped [emphasis added] Lake Worth Casino.
    When it comes to the Casino building they have pretty much exhausted the thesaurus. It's been "rebuilt", "renovated", "restored", "rehabilitated", a "restoration", "redone", "reconstructed", etc., and now its "revamped". Here is a picture of the structure after it was 94% demolished:
    Nicely "revamped" is it not? Learn more about the Casino using this link and the "Greenwashing" too.
    The editor(s) take some clever political snipes which isn't unusual. Everyone is pretty much immune to it. Maybe if I get around to it will do a blog post about this latest editorial effort but it's not really that important. What is important is what the City's Dir. of Community Sustainability had to say:
    “A good number of people have come to realize that we need outside investment,” he [William Waters] said, “we need to be welcoming, we need to be attractive to outsiders to turn our city around."
    Considering the latest news about Lake Worth's almost 12% increase in taxable property value over 2015, below is video I took of Waters' presentation at the Palm Beach County Planning Congress' 2016 Planning Challenges seminar. The event took place at West Palm Beach City Hall on June 7, 2016. It is well worth watching if the future of Lake Worth is important to you: Oh, and Thank You for visiting my "extremist" blog.
    When it comes to 'extremism' the Post has their own problems to worry about.

    You got pulled over by the police and you're a 17 year old Black male or an 84 year old White woman or an. . .

    What do you do? Chief Jeffrey Katz of the Boynton Beach PD explains: You can follow Chief Katz on Twitter also:

    More on the "wolf at the door" and those reasonless cries of 'gentrification' in Lake Worth

    "You could make the case that poor people are displaced from poor neighborhoods because of their poor schools, their lack of jobs, their more chaotic public spaces, their lack of opportunity."
    —Quote from a speech given by Daniel Hertz titled, "When cities change", at Congress for New Urbanism conference on June 14th, 2016.

    "First, let’s acknowledge that, for the first time in 50 years, the market is moving in our [New Urbanism's] favor. People (and jobs) are moving to cities. We need to see that as the opportunity to get mixed-income neighborhoods and not fear good, thoughtful development.
         That means we can’t let NIMBYs win the day. The same people who complain about high prices also complain when developers show up to build more supply. We have to make the connection between supply and demand for the protesters and the press."

    How does this apply to the little City of Lake Worth? Simple. Look in the right-hand column of this blog for:
    • 'Gentrification!' & politics of fear (or use this link)
    • Did you know 2 of "19 Best Environmentalists in South Florida" are in Lake Worth? (link).
    • And this current and relevant topic, Seniors struggle to pay electric, home repairs, conserve water. . . (link)

    [PINNED POST] News on the upcoming bond referendum and the editorial in this week's Lake Worth Herald

    If you've already read this blog post from yesterday (and tons have already) please scroll down for new content. This is a "Pinned Post" meaning it's kept at, or near, the top of the blog for a period of time as determined by Yours Truly. The first 2 paragraphs were meant to ruffle some feathers, so to speak, and hopefully provide some impetus for change. Enjoy:

    First, a short comment about that ridiculous article in The Palm Beach Post last Tuesday: the Post editorial board will endorse this next bond referendum just like they did in 2014. Why? Nothing's changed much except it will be a smaller bond and the roads are still in terrible shape. But like in the 2014 "LW2020" bond vote it doesn't help much having the editor come in riding the White Horse to save the day after their reporter at the time did such a terrible job of reporting what was going on.

    By the time your editorial came out, Dear Editor, it was too late. Most people had already made up their minds. So. . . is it too much to ask for accurate reporting? To have commissioners quoted accurately?

    Now to the front page, above the fold, article in this week's Lake Worth Herald on what to expect vis-à-vis another bond referendum to get our City roads fixed; here are two excerpts:

         Lake Worth City Staff has asked the Commission to consider a referendum for a bond issue. In the wake of an ambitious bond request a couple of years ago, City Manager Michael Bornstein has issued a pared down request.
         The streets are falling apart and this bond request is only for the streets and roadway infrastructure part of the bond issue that failed by around 25 votes just two years ago. Many residents voted against the bond issue because of confusion over how the money was going to be allocated. 
         This new request, for a forty million dollar bond, will be only be used to improve the streets.

    [and. . .]

         Staff was looking for consensus to bring a resolution before the commission to put the bond question on the November ballot but during the discussion, an unruly resident disrupted the meeting and caused the Mayor to adjourn the meeting.

    To learn about the "unruly resident" look in the right-hand column of this blog for "Critics have 5 days now to write their own bond initiative (due July 19th)" or use this link. Now to the editorial titled, "Why Nothing Gets Done In Lake Worth"; here are some excerpts:

         It is the job of city commissioners and the mayor to represent the people and keep staff in line with the wishes of the people. Commissioners and the mayor are elected “by the people” to represent them. Most of them anyway.
         It is the commission’s job to debate staff’s recommendations and decide what the city can or is willing to pay for. They must weigh the needs of the staff and residents and determine what makes sense.

    [and. . .]

         Now as staff is trying to get a referendum to ask “the people” to issue a bond so they can improve the infrastructure in Lake Worth, the two commissioners [Chris McVoy and Ryan Maier] who are always doing the twist, begin again.
         It is not about a bond they so ferociously object, it is about a referendum. Yes, a referendum that would ask “the people” to make it possible to fix the City’s streets. They will object to every form of language for a referendum without ever offering language themselves.

    [and. . .]

         The unruly resident, the one who thinks she represents “the people” even though she has never been elected is also the one who organizes, and not by the rules, political pacs to fight any progress in the City. It is beyond time for the mayor to gavel them down.
         It is time she make an example of unruly residents during City Commission meetings. Put the deputy to work and allow the meetings to proceed.

    To learn why the "LW2020" bond failed in 2014 use this link. And don't forget about another City resident who fought so hard to defeat that bond vote, he recently wrote this Letter to the Editor published in the Post:
    Feel much sympathy? If the "LW2020" bond vote had passed that road would have been fixed already.

    Thursday, July 14, 2016

    [UPDATE] Town Hall: "Toward a More Perfect Union" at Compass

    This is a short update about the meeting held yesterday at Compass. First, I was invited to attend and take video but am having trouble uploading the files to YouTube. This happens now and then and isn't a big deal. Use this link to my Lake Worth YouTube channel and hopefully they'll be available for watching later today or tomorrow.

    Some of you may have already heard or read things about what happened and I'll leave it at that for now. Except to say this: Some attendees were very disappointed about the focus and that continued after the meeting as well. Possibly next time, and hope there will be a next time, the agenda will be more explicitly explained so that people are more clear on what to expect.

    Below is the opening of my blog post promoting "Toward a More Perfect Union" from July 11th:
    Compass is located at 201 North Dixie Hwy. across the street from the Publix downtown. Use this link for the Compass website.
    "Compass in Lake Worth is hosting a forum to address Palm Beach County’s awareness of the growing divisiveness of race, bigotry and bias that is tearing our country apart and to coordinate a response to some of the most horrific events of the last week."

    Getting closer to Lake Worth! And notice the hashtag "Dreams Do Come True":

    How many people can you recognize in the photo? I can recognize 8 for sure. How about you?

    Aerial view of Lake Worth's Golf Course, 1973, and what this has to do with Tree Board meeting tonight (7/14)

    Tree Board meetings are open to the public. See below for time and place of meeting.
    Aerial view (to the southeast) of City's golf course.
    The view above includes the roads North Palmway, North Lakeside and Golfview Drives. The foreground would be the area between 16th Ave to 13th Ave North. Notice the 90° turn south at 13th Ave North.

    Interesting to note the Australian pines along the western shore of the Lake Worth Lagoon. These pines are not indigenous and, unfortunately, grow very quickly in this climate and soil. When they get too tall they're either topped-off, removed, or a strong storm will take care of the problem for the property owner. Hopefully without damage to the home, cars, or sending someone to the hospital. Or worse.

    In a hurricane when the Australian pine top shears off it's likened to a 'spear'. When too close to power/communication lines and roads (for emergency vehicles) you can understand the concern.

    The needles that fall create a dead zone around the tree that is poisonous to birds and Gopher tortoises to name a few native species. Last January a condo-dweller on the outskirts of the City tried to 'save' her Australian pine from being removed (the City cited public safety concerns), and the issue went before the City's Tree Board. Read all about that using this link:
    The Tree Board defended the City and their position on the Australian Pine. They also made recommendations going forward dealing with invasive trees that pose a danger to the public and environment.
    Have any recommendations been made to the City to clarify this public safety issue for the community?

    The Tree Board meeting is at 5:30 and meets in the conference room at City Hall (next to the City Commission chambers).

    CRA Press Release: New Lake Worth video showcases healthier living with creation of greenways and parks*

    Below is more Lake Worth news that doesn't quite make the cut at The Palm Beach Post:

    LAKE WORTH, FL—The Lake Worth Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) and City of Lake Worth invites the public to view a new online video (below) which highlights greenways and parks in the City. Produced by Salud America!, and the University of Texas at San Antonio Health Science Center, this video showcases ways in which the City, CRA and School District of Palm Beach County are dedicated to improving the health and well-being of residents and children living in Lake Worth. The video also provides information regarding the proposed 5th Avenue South Bikeway which will be constructed in 2017.

    Salud America! is a Latino childhood obesity prevention network funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and led by Dr. Amelie G. Ramirez of the Institute for Health Promotion Research at the University of Texas at San Antonio Health Science Center.

    For more information on the parks and greenways in the City of Lake Worth please contact the Lake Worth CRA office at 561-493-2550. *Erica Whitfield is featured in the video. She is a member of the Palm Beach County School Board and a Lake Worth resident.

    Algae blooms, septic tanks, and two very interesting items in today's Post print edition (7/14)

    Below is a very interesting and thoughtful Letter to the Editor. But first are two excerpts from Jennifer Sorentrue's article:

         Facing an environmental crisis over algae blooms that have turned some Treasure Coast waterways a bright green, Gov. Rick Scott said last week that he plans to seek state money to help curb what he calls a “major contributor” to the pollution problem — septic tanks. [emphasis added]
         While few experts argue against reducing the amount of untreated sewage leaching out of underground tanks across the Treasure Coast, many say the governor’s approach would not eliminate the recurrent problem of blue-green algae choking inland waters.

    [and. . .]

         The governor announced on July 6 that he will set aside “additional funding” in his 2017-18 budget proposal to create a voluntary program that would encourage residents living near the Indian River Lagoon and Caloosahatchee River on the state’s west coast to ditch their septic tanks and connect to public sewer systems.

    Now to that interesting Letter to the Editor from Newton Cook, the executive director of United Waterfowlers-Florida Inc., two excerpts:

    Too many advocates with personal or group agendas have hijacked the appearance of blue-green algae in the St. Lucie River and Indian River Lagoon, often making public statements that are at least misleading and sometimes false.
         Algae appear naturally in warm, freshwater systems. Lake Okeechobee is only one of several blooms during this year of record rain and warmth.

    [and. . .]

         The misinformation most often heard is that the farmers in the Everglades Agriculture Area (EAA) south of Lake Okeechobee are somehow responsible for the bloom. The fact that most lake water comes from the watershed north of the lake and makes up much of the water going from the lake into C-44 to the St. Lucie River is too often ignored.
         Actually, most EAA water goes south into the large water conservation areas. No noted algae blooms have been reported in those marshes to date.

    Wednesday, July 13, 2016

    John Prince Park, Spring Training baseball, and a message from Atlantis Mayor David Kintz

    In the June/July issue of "The Mayor's Corner" Atlantis Mayor Kintz wrote the following:

    "At the April 2016 Council Meeting the council voted 4-1 supporting the concept of an Atlanta Braves Spring Training Facility in South Central Palm Beach County. There was a good deal of discussion from Council and comments from our residents prior to voting on this resolution. Since then, a few residents who didn't understand why we brought this resolution forward wanted to know why we supported the idea of a sports facility in our area. Central Palm Beach County has been in my opinion neglected by the County for many years. [emphasis added] The County has spent incredible amounts of money and resources supporting many projects in the north and south areas of the county: Roger Dean Stadium, the new Nationals/Astros facility and Scripps to name a few. These projects have brought many great things to the local areas surrounding them. Furthermore, the County will not be interested in negotiating with the Atlanta Braves if the local cities are not in support of a facility of this caliber. This is why we passed Resolution 16-08 to offer our support for the concept of the facility. Lake Worth, Greenacres and Lantana all have passed similar resolutions. The Atlanta Braves will be designing an extensive economic study of just how their new facility will have a positive impact on the local areas, and will present this to the County Commission in the near future. Once we have a chance to review all of the proposals, we will be in a position to either support a solid plan that benefits Central Palm Beach County or not, if the plan doesn’t make sense."

    Video from the City Commission Work Session on the 2017 Budget (7/12/16)

    There are four videos total. Click the "1/4" icon in the top left corner to switch between the different videos in the playlist:
    The City's Finance Director Marie Elianor made the first presentation on the 2017 budget at last night's Commission work session. A summary of the overall proposed budget preceded presentations by Captain Todd Baer of PBSO, Director of Community Sustainability William Waters and Public Services Director Jamie Brown. Informative discussions ensued regarding public safety and crime, code enforcement adjustments and roadway maintenance issues.

    Commissioner McVoy was absent for the entire meeting. Attendance at the meeting was light, with most of the people there being department heads and City staff. The assumption going forward is that the millage rate will stay the same, meaning that the City will gain about $700,000 additional monies due to the almost 12% increase in taxable property valuation. $200,000 of that increase will go to the Lake Worth Community Redevelopment Agency.

    Towards the end of the last video in the playlist, Mayor Triolo announced the passing of Peter Timm, long a fixture at all kinds of city meetings. There was a moment of silence. At the end, staff that was present introduced themselves and identified their position with the City.

    The always popular. . . Anarchists stylin' in L-Dub. "Hey, who didn't empty the outhouse bucket!" And what does "L-Dub" mean?

    So, what does L-Dub (or "LDub") mean? It's slang for 'Lake Worth', such as in the ever-dwindling Anarchist community here in the City. The 'L' is short for "Lake" and the 'Dub' is short for "double-'u' " as in the letter "W", hence the term L-Dub. Have to keep reminding myself there are a lot of new residents in the City who don't know this stuff. Welcome to L-Dub dude!

    The Florida Chamber of Commerce on clean, affordable water and the "smoking gun" destroying the Indian River Lagoon

    Below is a video from the Florida Chamber of Commerce:
    The Florida Chamber of Commerce published an article on their website titled, "Septic Tank Pollution Threatening Indian River Lagoon [IRL]". Here is a short excerpt:

    "Harbor Branch marine biologist Dr. Brian Lapointe describes sewage nitrogen as 'the smoking gun' threatening the lagoon."

    This is nothing new to many people throughout Florida, including the former Mayor of Pahokee, JP Sasser. Below are some of the bullet points from the article published by the Florida Chamber of Commerce:
    • An analysis by Florida Today found septic tanks contribute an estimated 2 million pounds of nitrogen in the lagoon per year.
    • Nitrogen promotes the growth of algae, which suffocates seagrass needed to sustain lagoon life.
    • Thousands of the septic tanks near the lagoon are located at homes built before 1983, the cutoff when state law increased septic tank setbacks from the water and the distance between drain fields and the water table.
    • Many of the septic tanks are old and malfunctioning. State health officials estimate up to 10 percent of Florida’s 2.6 million septic tanks are failing.
    Stay tuned, as they say.

    Tuesday, July 12, 2016

    Remember former "visionary" Lake Worth commissioners JoAnn Golden and Cara Jennings?

    Because of "visionaries" like ex-commissioners JoAnn Golden and Cara Jennings the citizens of the little City of Lake Worth are paying for a capped, unused natural gas line: $64,000 each and every month. 

    $64,000 each and every month for nothing. Zero, Nada, Zilch. Call it the "Gas Line to Nowhere". 

    How many potholes would $64,000 each month fix? How many new code enforcement officers would that pay for?

    July 12th: The Post officially signals their start of the political campaign season in the little City of Lake Worth

    “If you’re looking at ($54,000) versus $65 million of infrastructure, ($54,000) is just a drop in the bucket,” [Comm. Andy] Amoroso said at last year’s commission meeting.
    —From Post beat reporter Kevin Thompson's article about the City's hiring of a media specialist in the July 12th print edition (use this link for online edition).

    Where to start? Remember the 'Curfew' in Lake Worth that wasn't a curfew? Well, now there's more to talk about at tomorrow's panel discussion on "The Future of Newspapers" being sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce of the Palm Beaches.

    A comment left on the Post website about the article sums it up nicely sans (without) the spin:

    "The salaries in South Florida are very depressed from the rest of the country for top PR and Public Affairs Specialists. Ms. Tingo appears to be a highly qualified and experienced professional. The City, it appears, is fortunate to have someone with her excellent skill set for this salary level. Senior public affairs officers generally start at $80k/year.
    Congratulations are in order for both Tingo who is passionate for her work and the City for getting someone as adept as Ms. Tingo for a bargain salary because she loves her city and career."

    As of today (July 12th) the Post has indicated their official start of the political campaign season and Commissioner McVoy (who is almost always unavailable being in the Everglades so much of the time) is on speed dial apparently and Commissioner Amoroso is not. Let's examine the quote above; the quote used is:
    • From last year! Why not get a current germane quote from Amoroso?
    • Why add Laura Tingo's salary in the quote, "($54,000)" TWICE, when it was reported in a previous paragraphs?
    • Tingo's salary is reported FOUR TIMES in the article. Isn't once enough?
    • And. . . Why link Amoroso's quote to the $65 million bond vote in 2014?
    • Is the reworked quote trying to suggest to readers that Amoroso thinks "$54,000" is inconsequential?
    • And. . . Is this journalism?
    The reality is Thompson is making a very strong case for the City needing a Communications Specialist.

    Stay tuned: This feels like a leadup to another Post editorial. Remember the last one? Since we're on the subject. . . a reminder:
    From a Post editorial leading up to the "LW2020" bond vote that failed in 2014. By just 25 votes. Remember, Commissioner McVoy was a member of one of those "previous commissions".

    News from reporter Brian Bandell at the SFBJ you won't find in other Palm Beach County media

    But will stand corrected if anyone sends me a link or information proving otherwise. If you don't follow the South Florida Business Journal (SFBJ) you should if business and real estate news are important topics to you. For example, it was Bandell that first reported Florida Window and Door was moving to Dixie Hwy in Lake Worth. After that the local media scrambled to find out what was going on.

    I'll have more to say about this news later today or tomorrow. In the meantime note that this news about Congress Ave. is happening across the road from the Palm Beach State College campus and John Prince Park and if you happen to be aware of what is happening in many of those neighborhoods now. . .

    As tourism and government leaders go about repairing the damage done by the media in Palm Beach County. . .

    . . . Last week The Palm Beach Post article by Jennifer Sorentrue titled, "Tourism chief: Beaches free of algae" got pushed to the 'B' section, below the fold, in the least read paper of the week: Saturday. Why not have it in Sunday's print edition? Here is an excerpt:

         Jorge Pesquera, Discover’s president and CEO, appeared on several national television news shows over the Fourth of July weekend to reiterate the county’s beaches are opened and safe for swimmers.
         Meanwhile, the organization has launched a social media push, which includes links to several live beach webcams, to show potential visitors that the coastline is not coated in algae. Discover has asked local hoteliers and industry leaders to do the same.
         “There has to be high clarity and people need to have a sense of trust and confidence [emphasis added] that they are going to a destination where they are going to enjoy water activities in a safe environment,” Pesquera said.

    On the subject of newspapers and "trust and confidence", below are some results from this July 7th article about "The Pew Research Center’s new survey on modern news consumption trends, conducted in partnership with the Knight Foundation":

    Print, as you might expect, continues its decline: Only 20 percent of people say they get their news from print newspapers, down from 27 percent three years ago. Only 26 percent of people who prefer to read the news prefer to do so via print newspapers.
    — People who get their news online are more likely to have a negative opinion of the media. [and. . .] Young adults, in particular, are more negative about the media in general.
    — News, overall, seems to have a trust problem: Only 20 percent of Americans trust the information they get from online and offline news organizations.

    Also from the article: "Trust in news from social media is even lower, Pew found, echoing the findings of an April report from AP-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research and the American Press Institute."

    This delves perfectly with a panel discussion hosted by the Chamber of Commerce of the Palm Beaches tomorrow (July 13th): "The Future of Newspapers".

    I hope Jorge Pesquera shows up.

    Meanwhile, as 'homeless advocates' in Lake Worth try finding a way to force the City into a big, juicy lawsuit. . .

    . . . elsewhere there is actual work going on to solve the problem.
    If you were following the last election in Lake Worth you'll recall this charming missive from one of the candidates (who lost in a massive landslide).
    In The Lake Worth Herald* last week (July 7th edition) is this news about what is happening in our neighboring city to the north:

    WEST PALM BEACH — Residents and visitors to West Palm Beach can now help end homelessness with a swipe of their credit card or by dropping spare change into a bright orange meter. The Homeless Coalition of Palm Beach County and the City of West Palm Beach has launched the Real Change Movement.
        The program will raise funds to provide homes for those who are experiencing homelessness in West Palm Beach.

    [and. . .]

         The Real Change officially kicked off June 30 when West Palm Beach Mayor Jeri Muoio made the first donation at the bright orange meter located on the waterfront. The public can make direct donations to the cause at any of ten meters scattered around downtown West Palm Beach.

    [and. . .]

         For more information on the Real Change Movement or to donate use this link.

    *Subscribe to The Lake Worth Herald using this link or pick up the print edition at the City's newsstand located at 600 Lake Ave. in the Downtown.

    Monday, July 11, 2016

    The positive community outpouring for Garlic Fest coming to John Prince Park continues

    Except for a few malcontents obsessed with Gopher tortoises, who wake up angry and then get more miserable as the day goes on, by far most of the community in Lake Worth is quite pleased with the news about Garlic Fest. For the press release from the festival organizers use this link.
    Relocating Gopher tortoises from urban areas to safer, quieter, more peaceful places is quite common.
    The latest on this is in the form of a Letter to the Editor (LTE) in The Palm Beach Post today by none other than former Lake Worth mayor Tom Ramiccio:

         "Although John Prince Park is just outside the city limits of Lake Worth proper, the festival will bring a lot of economic development to Lake Worth and visitors to our city.
         Festivals are a part of our culture and we are proud of our Street Painting Festival in February, Reggae Fest in April, Tropic Fest on July 4, and the Tropical Triathlon in September. We are proud of our diversity, as Lake Worth also hosts PrideFest in March.
         Come visit our downtown and explore our historic neighborhoods. Lake Worth welcomes you."

    Have you ever thought about writing a LTE? Did you write a LTE and it was rejected or ignored? There's actually a trick to greatly increase your chances of having your LTE published. Learn the trick using this link. Hint: Always Follow Up!

    What's the tally so far for false TV new reports of crime/incidents "in Lake Worth" that weren't in Lake Worth?

    First, a little background: Prior to April 6th would highlight each individual false news report I found including ones that my blog readers sent to me. As you can imagine, this effort became quite tedious due to the high number of them: murders, rapes, fires, carjackings, robberies, drownings, car chases, all reported by the media occurring "in Lake Worth" that actually happened outside the City limits, sometimes even near the edge of the Everglades.

    I came up with an idea. Why not just create a list? So that's what I did: Use this link to see it.

    You're asking yourself, "Why is this important?" The answer is simple: Nothing hurts a City's image more than crime news and lumping our City in with all those western communities in the County, beyond being inaccurate, is just plain unfair. That leads to the next question: "What's the media doing wrong?" That answer is simple too: Reporters are not fact-checking, editors are not doing their job, and all of them don't understand how zip codes work. Learn about that using this link.

    Trying to find each and every false news report is not possible, however, below is the tally thus far from the list. Note that from April 30th to May 28th was either an anomaly or the media just happened to be doing their jobs right during that stretch of time. Without further ado, drum roll please, false news reports by the numbers:
    • CBS12/WPEC: 10
    • ABC25/WPBF: 7
    • NBC5/WPTV: 4
    The reporters, by name and media outlet, that appear on the false news report:
    • Gary Detman, CBS12, 3
    • Sierra Darville, CBS12, 2
    • Monica Magalhaes, NBC5, 2
    • Ari Hait, ABC25, 1
    • Austin Carter, NBC5, 1
    • Victoria Price, CBS12, 1
    • Chennel Ramos, ABC25, 1
    • Lynda Figueredo, CBS12, 1
    • Whitney Burbank, ABC25, 1
    • Jillian Brynne, CBS12, 1
    To keep updated on the list and see the latest false news reports look in the right-hand column of this blog for False media reports of crime/incidents 'in Lake Worth' continue or look for this image:
    Another thing that confuses the media is unincorporated areas in the County, one of which is called the "Lake Worth corridor". Do you remember that plane crash last year? 
    One of the first reporters on the scene, and the only one to get the actual location correct, was NBC5/WPTV's Charlie Keegan. Even The Palm Beach Post got the location wrong.

    [UPDATE] Col. Jason Kirk on Lake Okeechobee and Herbert Hoover Dike sans the media spin

    UPDATE: Almost in its entirety, the letter by Col. Kirk was published in today's print edition (7/11) of The Palm Beach Post editorial page as a "Point Of View". Below is a blog post from last Saturday:

    Not sure what the word "sans" means? For the entire press release from July 8th titled, "Corps must remain vigilant in managing Lake O" use this link; below are three excerpts:

    By Col. Jason Kirk, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Jacksonville District Commander
    U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Jacksonville District

         Water—in south Florida, we either have too much or too little. For most of 2016, heavy rains fueled by El Nino mean we’ve had too much.
         The flood control system operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the South Florida Water Management District has prevented loss of life and major widespread property damage so far this year.

    [and. . .] 

         The Corps stands ready to respond should a breach scenario develop. However, part of our mitigation to prevent a breach includes managing the water level in the lake to keep it from rising too high. Unfortunately, this requires releasing water in quantities that, when combined with an equally large volume of basin runoff, upset the freshwater-saltwater mix in the estuaries. The change in that mix, coupled with hot weather, and excessive nitrogen and phosphorus in the system from a variety of sources, are all among the factors fueling the algae affecting the estuaries.

    [and. . .]

         Eight million people in south Florida depend on the system to safeguard their lives and property. Flood protection is what Congress expected when they asked the Corps to develop flood control solutions, and I believe it’s ultimately what the citizens of our nation expect as well.

    [To find out why the Herbert Hoover Dike was constructed use this link.]