Saturday, February 4, 2017

Next week. An exciting meeting. The structure at 431 North L Street. An item before the Historic Resource Preservation Board (HRPB).

Soon will have more information about this important historical structure here in the City of Lake Worth.

If you’re excited about things like historic preservation in Lake Worth then the HRPB meeting next week is one you should attend. The meeting is on Wednesday, February 8th, and begins at 6:00. One of the properties on the agenda is 431 North L Street, the first item on the agenda.

I wrote a blog post about this property in June 2008 you will be interested in reading. There were many other blog posts as well. 431 North L Street, in a word, is “significant”. Below are just a few excerpts from that blog post cited above written almost 9 years ago:

My introduction to this property was when it appeared on a Nuisance Abatement Board agenda. At the same meeting, we also dealt with another property at 431 N. K Street which happened to occupy the exact same location on the block immediately to the west, the southwest corner of the intersection at 5th Avenue North. Both were owned by the notorious Joe DiMauro. We heard evidence of code enforcement issues while the properties were occupied. Apparently, these two properties acted in tandem to terrorize the Mango Groves neighborhood, both through their blighted conditions and the sorts of tenants housed on both properties. I remember hearing a series of frightening tales being told by responsible residents in the vicinity that helped us in our decision making.
     Based in part to our action on the Nuisance Abatement Board, the City was able to eradicate the nuisance and obtained title to both properties. The property at 431 N. L Street became the City’s responsibility in July of 2006.

[and. . .]

Depending on the source, the property has either 10 units (City) or 9 units (County) apparently all legal. However, it was originally designed as a 4 unit walk-up, you can check out the original blueprint above for the 1st floor plan. And guess who it was designed by? G. Sherman Childs.
     Mr. Childs worked as an architect for Addison Mizner and did a lot of of designs for buildings in Lake Worth. He was the architect for the Municipal Auditorium that we now use as City Hall, the [former] Casino building, City Hall Annex, the Birthday Cake house, etc. Mr. and Mrs. G. S. Childs are listed as Lake Worth pioneers (that can be found in the City Hall conference room. And after World War II, Edgar Wortmann, who redesigned the Casino building and was architect for the City Library, did the work to make the original four units into eight. The other units are in the out buildings to the west of the main structure).

[images from the blog post in 2008 follow]

G. Sherman Childs.

More photos taken from November 2007:

Front of building showing central walk-up entrance.
Corner of 5th Avenue North and L Street.
Example of inadequate protection of the structure, open windows, partially boarded. North facade.
Northwest corner of main building, characteristic Lake Worth gable over door.
Out-buildings approved for demolition. Alley to the west.

City news, follow-up [Have you taken “The Challenge” yet?]

For “The Challenge” click on the newspaper clip in right-hand column or use this link.

For more information, questions or comments please contact Ben Kerr, the City of Lake Worth’s Communications Specialist:
  • 561-586-1631
  • Email:
Press Release dated February 2nd. Mayor’s State of the City Address – 2017 (Follow up)

On Tuesday, January 31st, Lake Worth Mayor Pam Triolo gave the annual State of the City address to a full house in the Lake Worth Casino Ballroom. The theme of the address was Lake Worth had “turned a corner” and in doing so “was no longer the old Lake Worth” and “that the State of [the] City is good”.
     In addition to the mayor, Vice Mayor Scott Maxwell, Vice Mayor Pro Tem Andy Amoroso, Palm Beach Sherriff’s Office, Lake Worth Fire Rescue and representatives of many City Departments were present to meet and interact with local residents in attendance. The event was also live streamed through the City’s Website and the Lake Worth Casino Facebook page for the benefit of those residents who could not attend.
     The transcript of the speech and a video can be viewed on the City’s Website.

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.

If it’s true the media’s role is “The Fourth Estate”. . .

. . . serving a vitally important function between the government and the public, there to report on important news for communities and decision-makers in Palm Beach County, then why has this news gone unreported in the local media thus far? News from 17 days ago, January 18th:

Found this news anywhere? If so, look in the right-hand column for my contact information and will post it on this blog.

UPDATE: Five more blog readers think they solved “The Challenge”!

Think you did too? Email me at

The challenge began last Thursday at noon and was extended until Monday at noon. A lot of people need more time to review the material (see below). 

From page B2 in last Thursday’s (Feb. 2nd) print edition of The Palm Beach Post. UPDATE: There may be multiple winners of the challenge!

THE CHALLENGE: Try to find anywhere in Mayor Pam Triolo’s State of the City Address on January 31st where the mayor says anything even close to resembling this line:
“Triolo said Lake Worth is nowhere it needs to be in turning the city around and still has a way to go.” 
Here is the backup material to work with:
  • The first video of the mayor’s speech (28 minutes): Use this link.
  • The second video (continuing) of the mayor’s speech (9 minutes): Use this link.
  • For the text of the mayor’s speech use this link and scroll down for “Mayor Pam Triolo’s State of the City Address 2017” and look for “PDF Transcript”.
Good luck.

Friday, February 3, 2017

Local business reporter has article published in the Tampa Bay Times, the winner of 12 Pulitzer Prizes.

Post reporter Jennifer Sorentrue had this article published in the Tampa Bay Times datelined yesterday, February 2nd, the first 3 paragraphs follow:

PALM BEACH — Regardless of what you think about President Donald Trump, Palm Beach County leaders say his frequent trips to his oceanfront Mar-a-Lago club will be a boon for the local tourism industry.
     Trump is set to arrive at Palm Beach International Airport on Friday to spend the weekend at his lavish resort, bringing the attention of the international media along with him. The spotlight, tourism officials say, will help raise the county’s profile as an vacation destination for both domestic and international travelers.
     “The Palm Beaches have long been a preferred leisure destination for heads of state and commerce, dignitaries and celebrities,” [emphasis added] said Jorge Pesquera, president and CEO of Discover the Palm Beaches, the county’s official tourism marketing organization.

Meet Jorge Pesquera, president and CEO of Discover the Palm Beaches:

TOMORROW: The 8th Annual Lake Worth “Daddy-Daughter & Mother-Son Date Night” at the City’s Casino at the BEACH

The event this year is tomorrow (Sat., Feb. 4th). For the City of Lake Worth’s event page use this link.

The details:
  • Tickets are $30 per couple and $15 per additional guest.
  • Tickets can be purchased at the door.
  • Complimentary free parking.
To purchase tickets today:
City of Lake Worth Leisure Services
501 Lake Ave. in the Downtown (across Lake Ave. from the Cultural Plaza)
Call 561-533-7363

“Don’t blame me! I’m just the editor. It’s the clerks fault!”

Palm Beach County Empty Bowls is today at 141 S. County Rd. in Palm Beach. For more information and directions to St. Luke’s Catholic Church for the event tomorrow use this link.

“We’re not the ‘old’ Lake Worth any more”. Another quote from the mayor’s State of the City Address on Jan. 31st.

Please Note: Commissioner Chris McVoy’s “conspicuous absence” at Mayor Pam Triolo’s State of the City Address was especially noticed during this portion of the mayor’s speech. As many of you know, McVoy has a PhD from Cornell and he reminds everyone all the time about that.

“It turns out that after studying and developing detailed computer modeling, the Gulfstream Current is at its closest and in a most consistent strength offshore of. . . you guessed it. . . Lake Worth.
     As an ocean-front community our Electric Utility can receive the power generated offshore. However how do we get it from out there to in here? Well it turns out we also have an old abandoned sewer outfall that goes ¾ of a mile off shore and we have applied for a grant to study and engineer a way to pull a cable through it to connect to the test site. Here’s where we take a former environmental scar, like our landfill, and make lemonade out of lemons!
     The grant is for $400,000 from the State of Florida Alternative Energy program. SNMREC [Southeastern National Marine Renewable Energy Center] has also filed for another $400,000 grant for the study to locate the mooring 3 miles out and develop the connection back to our cable.
     Power will go into our grid and provide the companies who come here to test with a viable customer to prove their concepts work. We may become the place in the world that makes ocean current power a reality.
     We are also looking to change state law to be able to create an Efficient Energy Economic Zone in the City to encourage the companies to locate here and bring jobs. In many ways, this is about clean renewable energy and economic development.
     Coupled with increasing the availability of feeding renewable energy into our grid for use in the City, we may be able to add power from the Gulfstream to our solar and one day have the highest level of renewable energy of any city in the state or even the country. This is a strategic approach the old Lake Worth would not have been able to imagine much less make happen.

Hey Kids! Create your very own Valentine’s Day card!

The Royal Poinciana neighborhood is selling discounted Garlic Fest tickets. Half the proceeds go back to the neighborhood.

     “The tables will be stocked with all the glittery stuff you need. The first 2 dozen kids who make a card also get a beautiful long stem rose to take home from our Friends at Lake Worth’s new AWE Flowers. Patti Sheldon will be on hand to showcase more of the lovely arrangements available at her shop on L Street. Of course it’s all FREE and Everyone is Welcome!
     Brian Kirsch from the Gray Mockingbird Community Garden will be there to share what’s growing and what’s going on at the garden.”

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Another excerpt from Mayor Pam Triolo’s State of the City Address on Jan. 31st.

Please note the words by Mayor Triolo (see excerpt below) echo the same sentiments by Palm Beach Post editor Rick Christie about the bond referendum which passed overwhelmingly last November, but Christie goes on to cite the 1¢ sales tax increase as well:
“While officials in cities like Palm Beach Gardens and Boca Raton snubbed the sales tax largesse, Lake Worth did no such thing. And residents should reap the benefits.”
Commissioner Chris McVoy, PhD, was not in attendance for the mayor’s State of the City Address. To read about “McVoy’s conspicuous absence” use this link. McVoy was an opponent to the bond but his arguments against it were rejected by the voters in a big way.

Another excerpt from the mayor’s speech:

“Mayor”, you ask, “I like the feeling that we have turned the corner, but give me some proof so I can back up this feeling that we are no longer the ‘old’ Lake Worth.”
     If I had to pick one single example to make my point it would be that on November 8 of last year, the voters were asked to vote on the Neighborhood Road Bond. This program is nothing less than a total reboot the road system in our neighborhoods; a road system past generations built and laid out for us.
     Well, an astounding 67% of the voters in a high turnout election voted for the $40 million bond. This is the largest single investment this City has ever made in itself. The largest single investment!
     It has set a record not just in size but it has also set a record in the level of confidence we have in our home, Lake Worth.
     Starting this Spring, road work will begin across the City and in the next four years we will fix our roads. Good bye to the potholes, and dirt roads, missing sidewalks and broken curbs. The Neighborhood Road Program will improve home values, promote investment, and, without a doubt will improve quality of life and instill pride.
     And I want to make an extra point here. There are poor neighborhoods in our City that were ignored, not just during the past 30 years, but ever since we became a City. I took pictures of these conditions when I first became Mayor and asked people where they thought the picture was taken. Guatemala, Panama, Chile? No, it’s Lake Worth east of I-95, right next door to Palm Beach.
     Vice Mayor Maxwell has fought for new roads and improvements in these parts of the City for years. And I think all will agree that people living in Lake Worth should not be penalized with a different standard of basic infrastructure like a road, based on their address.
     Let’s face it, a home is usually a family’s biggest investment. Well maintained roads, sidewalks and fire hydrants help protect that investment and encourages others to fix up, renovate and build new homes on vacant lots. It is an important key to reinvigorating neighborhoods and bringing in new residents.
     Together WE did it and we should all give ourselves a round of applause. Thank You.

For yesterday’s excerpt from the mayor's speech use this link.

MUST READ article in today’s Lake Worth Herald, “Mayor Pam Triolo Delivers State of the City Address to Packed Casino Ballroom”

To subscribe to the Herald use this link. Pick up the print edition (still ¢50!) available every Friday at the City’s newsstand located at 600 Lake Ave., across the street from the Cultural Council of Palm Beach County.

Also cited by Mayor Triolo was the Southeastern National Marine Renewable Energy Center program to develop three types of renewable energy: wave, tidal and current driven energy. An ocean current-driven turbine power generator will be located a mile off Lake Worth’s Beach in the Gulfstream current. Excerpts from the article follow:

The Mayor offered up more proof we have turned the corner. She said, “When I first became Mayor, I was called by the Property Appraisers office asking why we had not had any major commercial projects filed. New buildings, major renovations and additions trigger their review to revalue commercial properties so the increased valued is reflected on the tax rolls. Shockingly, nothing happened between 2009 and 2013 that met that criteria.” She continued, “Since then we have had over $100 million in completed projects with another $140 million queuing up to start. 

[and. . .]

     “Yes that’s right, $116 million in infrastructure investments – and that too is another huge reason we are the New Lake Worth.
     These projects include the 2″ Steel Waterline replacement that will ensure that the state’s best drinking water can actually make it to our faucets, improvements to the Electric Utility transmission and distribution system, water line volume and pressure improvements, all the energy efficiency projects, and of course the Neighborhood Road Program.
     City Hall has been and will be very busy over the coming years making all this happen.”

Think the threat of spiking electric rates in Lake Worth is ever really off the table to fund a “wish list”?

No, it’s not. Unquestionably a new majority could take over some time in the future but a strong message sent by the voters on March 14th would make any future elected official very hesitant of spiking up the electric rates.

Prior to 2012, City administrations used the Electric Utility to fund their wish lists, ergo the term ‘cash cow’ that our City’s Electric Utility used to be called. Those spikes in electric rates were akin to a regressive tax; an undue burden on those least able to afford it, especially for the elderly and families with children during the summer months.

That’s why elections are important and why voters need to pay attention to the next election coming up on March 14th, 2017, just 40 days away:

Remember this on March 14th, 2017: Election day in Lake Worth. Very important to remember: Commissioner McVoy, PhD, is the only elected official on the ballot this year. McVoy was first elected in 2010 to represent District 2.

District 4 Commissioner Ryan Maier has opted not to run for re-election. However, District 2 Commissioner Chris McVoy, PhD, will have his name on the ballot. When he knocks on your door asking for your vote here’s a good question to ask him: “Why is your answer to almost every problem to raise electric rates?”

Ever since 2012 when the majority on the City Commission have been in control (Mayor Pam Triolo, Vice Mayor Scott Maxwell, and Commissioner Andy Amoroso) the electric rates in Lake Worth have been coming down. The goal is parity and to be more competitive with the rates of FPL.

However, there is always some protection from a future spike in electric rates: Natural gas.

Do you live in the Lake Worth Electric Utility service area? Did you like to cook meals with all the fixin’s using electric? Get better results and do your part to help save the environment as well by switching over to natural gas:

Ask4Gas! “Better meals. Longer baths. Softer laundry.”

Having natural gas (NG) during electric outages is just one benefit: cooking food, hot water, if a “boil water” notice is issued, etc. Here are more benefits:
  • NG is cheap, clean, affordable, and plentiful
  • NG is extremely safe. Remember to “Call 811 Before You Dig!” or use this link.
  • Nine out of 10 professional chefs prefer cooking with NG
  • NG is the “Green” choice
In the video below, a Florida Public Utility expert explains the benefits of switching over to a NG range/oven:
Remember, 9 out of 10 professional chefs prefer natural gas.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

TWO VIDEOS. Lake Worth Mayor Pam Triolo: The State of the City Address, January 31st, 2017.

Mayor Triolo’s concluding remarks from the State of the City:

“It is now time to join together and own a period of time that will be looked back upon by future generations as one of success, responsibility, accountability and positivity . . . the State of your City is good.”

A wide angle view of the crowd.

Last night at the Casino was one of the best speeches ever by Mayor Triolo, including exciting news of things to come confirming what many of you have been hearing about: energy and sustainability for example. Another surprising item was mention of the Midnight Sun Festival coming back. Stay tuned for more about that.

Later today will post the text of the mayor’s speech.

The #1 reason I record these City events (2 videos below) is for the public to see and hear for themselves what happens and what is said by public officials, bypassing the narrowly focused filter of the press for example. Also on my YouTube channel are videos from the Playhouse Debate last Monday. To watch those use this link; click on the red “Subscribe” button and you’ll receive an email when new videos have been uploaded.

The second video below is very short (only 8 minutes, the end of the speech), so if you’re short on time watch that one first and the longer video (the first one), later on today or tomorrow.

As always, Thank You for visiting and without further ado. . .

Excerpts from Lake Worth Mayor Pam Triolo’s State of the City Address on Jan. 31st.

Check back over the next few weeks for more excerpts from the mayor’s State of the City Address, some short and others not so short. The three quotes below sum up quite well how Lake Worth ended up with many of the problems that still have to dealt with today, problems created starting over thirty years ago when many people turned their backs on Lake Worth and moved west: 

You may already know that I am the only woman Mayor to be re-elected in our history. But did you know that I am the only Mayor since 1967 to serve three consecutive terms? This tidbit of history isn’t going to get me a statue on Lake Avenue but in Lake Worth it hadn’t been done for 50 years. As I think about it, I am reminded that in Lake Worth there are still so many achievements and opportunities for us as a City. With the right amount of effort, creativity and drive we can and should set the bar higher.
     That mindset is actually in stark contrast to what I found when I was first elected as Mayor.

     “Unfortunately, the City we inherited has suffered greatly from changes in the market as people’s taste shifted to larger homes on bigger lots and they moved west. The retail businesses left our traditional downtown to move to malls and strip centers or they went out of business altogether. And there have been the ups and downs of the larger economy which the City was ill prepared to either take advantage of an upswing or combat against a downturn.
     The migration of people, money and jobs from our City left a vacuum and our poverty rates climbed, unemployment rose, and political bickering and animosity became the norm. Squalor, crime, and dare I say a sense of desperation followed. Lake Worth, that quaint little beach town developed a not so nice reputation. It was a slide that lasted over 30 years.

     “Since becoming Mayor, along with my fellow Commissioners I have set a course to stop the decay, focus on the fundamentals, and no longer coast on latent value of what our predecessors did before us.
     Each year, for the last 5 years, I have stood before you and reported on the ugly statistics we face, on projects and programs that demonstrate we were moving in the right direction and that Lake Worth is on its way. And again, this year I can tell you we are improving and getting better. But this year I want to focus on a different kind of change that happened this past year.
     Something changed in our demeanor and attitudes. Something that says all that hard work of the past 5 years fixing the basic foundations of the City Departments, and re-writing the multitude of ordinances and rules, and improving our operations, and, yes, finally addressing 30 years of benign neglect, something is different.

Tonight: The City of Lake Worth’s Electric Utility Advisory Board (EUAB) meeting.

The EUAB meets on the first Wednesday of the month in the City Hall Conference Room starting at 6:00. If you’re interested in the City’s “26.4kV conversion” and other current topics you may wish to attend and learn more about what is happening here in Lake Worth.

Below are excerpts from the minutes of the last meeting in early January:

A. Board asked staff for an update of the Solar Project. Board Liaison responded project should be complete late February. Electric Utility is working with Mock Roos for civil design services necessary for the 26.4kV conversion as this was not included in the Siemens scope of work. This item will be taken to Commission for approval as the contract will be over the 25K threshold allotted by the City to conduct business with one particular vendor.
     Board asked does this delay the solar project. Board Liaison [Jack Borsch, Electric Utility Dir.] responded by saying no.

[and. . .]

D. Board inquired on street lights.
     Board Liaison reported street lights project is 99.9% complete. About 1,000 water meters and less than 1000 electric meters to be installed.

[and. . .]

F. Board inquired on the electric utility’s process for monitoring street lights when these go out of service . . . [Board Member] Caroline Clore stated the new electric utility phone application will have a feature that allows customers send messages to the electric utility department via cell phone, this application also allows for submittal of pictures making service more interactive with the customer.

A. Board Liaison stated that on December 13, 2016 the Commission approved the Electric Distribution System Upgrade from 4.16kV to 26.4kV. John Borsch informed the Board that staff members were present to address any concerns from Commission.

Good News: Winn Dixie Store #309 on Dixie Hwy. in West Palm Beach across the canal from Lake Worth.

Will spare any of the details, but the Winn Dixie on Dixie Hwy. near the northern border of Lake Worth has gone through some major changes, the good kind. Not the kind of changes you’ll notice looking in from the outside or just going in to do some occasional food shopping. It might be something interesting for an enterprising food reporter though.

On the issue of food shopping. . .

Not to discourage anyone from supporting our outstanding Publix in downtown Lake Worth! As far as customer service goes Publix is #1. So are their sandwiches you can order online. And how they handle so much product in that space deserves an award for organizational planning. And no one should ever forget they came and opened a store in Lake Worth—way ahead of everyone else they saw the potential in our little City.

For some historical perspective about the Publix in our Downtown use this link to the inimitable Tom McGow’s blog post back in October 2009 titled, “Publix Comments. . .”.

SUCCESS! Finally in print: The Palm Beach Post reports Commissioner Maier is not seeking re-election. News that first broke 5 weeks ago.

Please Note: Use this link to see all the videos from the debate at the Playhouse last Monday night. Have you heard the term open seat? An open seat election is when the incumbent is not seeking re-election. District 4 Commissioner Ryan Maier has opted not to run again. However, for some obscure reason the Post has not reported on this until January 30th in the online edition and finally today, February 1st, in the print edition. 

In todays print edition of the Post, page B3, above the fold in the 2nd paragraph of a story titled, Commission candidates take the stage for forumtheres this line:
“. . . District 4 seat now held by Ryan Maier, who is not seeking another term.”
Why did it take so long? Following is a blog post from 2 weeks ago with the back-up information.

Can the Post be considered a reliable, trusted source for election news? Not just in the City of Lake Worth but in every city in the County covered by that newspaper? How hard would it be to do a short blurb with the headline, “City Commissioner Quits Race”?

But why won’t the Post report that Lake Worth Commissioner Maier dropped out of the race for re-election? Would you be curious enough to contact the Post beat reporter covering Lake Worth to find out why?

There have been five (5) Lake Worth “Special Monday” editions since this news first broke but no news about Maier? Then what’s the point of our City being featured every week?

Not one word in that “Paper of Record” about this news. Not one. Maier’s letter dropping out of the race in the Lake Worth District 4 race (see image below) is dated December 26th and recorded by the City on December 27th. The Supervisor of Elections (SOE) was contacted and Maier’s name was taken off the ballot (or should have been, one never knows with the PBC SOE).

On January 10th this agenda item came before the City Commission—the vote was unanimous—now it’s official, Commissioner Maier is out. Now ask yourself this question: “Why is this still going unreported in the Post?”

Maier wrote, “After much consideration I have decided not to run. . .”

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

VIDEO: Endorsed by Lake Worth Mayor Triolo, District 2 candidate William Joseph.

To watch all the videos from the debate at the Playhouse last night (1/30) use this link. Click on the red “Subscribe” icon to get an email when new videos have been uploaded to my YouTube channel.

Here is the video of William Joseph’s closing statement at the Playhouse. Pay particular attention to what Mr. Joseph says at the 1:10 mark and 2:30 mark as well:

Mr. Joseph is a candidate for the District 2 seat and endorsed by Mayor Pam Triolo. The other 2 candidates for that seat on the City Commission are Omari Hardy and the current sitting commissioner first elected in 2010 and seeking re-election again, Chris McVoy.

Below is another short video of the crowd prior to the Neighborhood Assoc. Presidents Council (NAPC) event at the Lake Worth Playhouse.

Earlier that day the NAPC announced this forum would be available Live Streaming as well. No doubt many that were planning to attend stayed home to watch instead. Nevertheless, it was a good crowd that showed up.


From the candidate forum pamphlet handed out to those in attendance last night:

“All candidates were invited to submit a statement/bio not to exceed 300 words. There are printed exactly as submitted.”

About Ellie Whittey, Candidate for Commissioner, District 4: “Candidate did not submit a statement.”

Here is the statement/bio from Omari Hardy, Candidate for Commissioner, District 2:

“Omari Hardy is a 4th generation educator, teaching civics and world history at Roosevelt Community Middle School in West Palm Beach, FL. He is a native Floridian, born and raised in Fort Lauderdale and educated at the University of Miami, where in 2012 he earned his Bachelor of Arts degree, with a major concentration in economics and a minor concentration in philosophy. After working for his alma mater's Frost School of Music he moved to Lake Worth to take a position with Adopt-A-Family of the Palm Beaches, where he still works part-time today.
     It was after putting down roots in Lake Worth that he became deeply involved in his community and his interest in local government intensified. Motivated by the prospect of progress in this beautiful, seven square mile city, he decided to run for Lake Worth city commission.”

Another stroll down memory lane: Remember the Post and that “Curfew” nonsense almost a year ago?

[Please note: The blog post following is from February 2nd, 2016.]

Hard to believe, it’s almost 1 year since that “curfew” nonsense. Readers of this blog then learned about loaded language and other techniques used to confuse the public.

Update Redux: For the third time in a row, the print edition of The Palm Beach Post used the word ‘curfew’ vis-à-vis the Lake Worth City Commission meeting tonight [2/2/2016]. The City Commission is considering an “Ordinance”—not a ‘curfew’ as most people understand the word to mean.

Have been getting pictures from all over the planet Earth, including from some of my blog readers, of parks being closed to the public and/or ordinances to control who uses a park during certain times of the day. It’s not unusual despite what some protesters and others try to claim. It’s certainly not “draconian”, or “criminalizing” people, or even “throwing the baby out with the bathwater”, whatever that is supposed to mean. Hope you’re having fun on vacation or your business travel. Sincerely, Wes.

Hope you’re all having a good time!  
Literal translation of sign in the image above using Google Translator: Evacuation plan Vigipirate 4:30 p.m. 5:00 p.m. closed park

Here’s another one!

Translation: “Opening hours of the fountain gardens”. Again, no mention of a ‘curfew’.

Central Park CLOSED!

Monday, January 30, 2017

Let me tell you about the 2nd Annual “Cottages of Lake Worth Home Tour”

Hard to believe but it’s true: There were only 30 no-shows yesterday, a cold and rainy day from the start. One of the most memorable comments of the day came from a woman who asked me how many tours there are every year of the cottages. I said, “Just one.” She seemed surprised and suggested there should be more throughout the year. Something to think about.

Planning for this year’s event began after last year’s highly successful event. In its first year “The Cottages” Home Tour Board decided to limit ticket sales to 300. The event sold out way before the event date and received rave reviews. That tour in January 2016 covered a large area north of the Downtown. We were able to attract a lot of people into the City from surrounding communities.

This year we turned our focus to the Bryant Park and South Palm Park neighborhoods. This area makes up the South Palm Park local historic district. A total of sixteen cottages participated in the tour. We increased the number of tickets to be sold to a maximum of 500 and still sold out well before the event! Check-in was at the east porch of the Gulfstream Hotel. Two Molly’s Trolleys ran a loop from the hotel to the southern-most cottage on the tour (around 9th Ave. South).

A rare day in Lake Worth, Florida: Rain and cold all day long. But it didn’t dampen the enthusiasm or interest for those attending the 2nd Annual Cottages Home Tour.

The rainy cold day didn’t dampen enthusiasm for the event at all. Of the 500 tickets sold there were only 30 “no shows.” I volunteered as a guide on one of the trolleys. People from all over Palm Beach County offered rave reviews of the event, the cottages, and the food as well along the way. There were many Lake Worth residents that took part, some having moved here recently, one or two years ago. They used the tour as a way to get to know the City and Downtown better.

There was one lady who identified herself as a 62 year resident of Lake Worth and she learned more about the City taking part in the tour. I took pleasure in some Delray Beach residents who expressed how much they wished their city still had the feel they experienced during their time in Lake Worth. The mention of Garlic Fest didn’t go over too well with those from Delray. But I digress. . .

It was also good to see a large group of people from Boynton Beach as well. Some of them attended my recent presentation to the Boynton Beach Historical Society on Jan. 16th.

The art displayed in and around the participating cottages also generated a lot of positive comments.

Chalk this one up as another “win” in Lake Worth’s column. I also found out yesterday we are down to 290 “Cottages of Lake Worth” books! Last I heard sixteen more books were sold yesterday during the tour. There are whispers of a second printing.

It’s hard not to get enthusiastic about our City’s future.

Thank You everyone who took the tour yesterday and to all the volunteers as well. And a Special Thank You to the stars who make this tour possible: Our Cottages of Lake Worth, the people who live in them, care about their significance and our shared history, who opened their cottage doors for everyone to admire.

The “Omari Effect” and. . . Can you believe there’s no news in the Post about the debate tonight? But “Artsy Fartsy” IS big news?

Remember. The Playhouse Debate starts at 6:00 tonight; doors open at 5:45. . . 

But the big story by Post beat reporter Kevin Thompson “IN FOCUS: LAKE WORTH” this week is all about “Artsy Fartsy”?

Learn more about the “Omari Effect” below, but first: Can you believe there was no mention of the debate tonight at the Playhouse by Post beat reporter Kevin Thompson?*

But the headline story this week is about another art gallery, “Artsy Fartsy Decor & More”? Don’t believe it? It’s true.

However, the upside (pardon the pun) is the Post relying more and more on the City’s communications specialist, Ben Kerr, for accurate and timely information. For more on that scroll down for the blog post titled, “City of Lake Worth press releases by Ben Kerr: The Post then reworks this information and reports it as news 2–5 days later.”

Ahead of tonight’s debate. . .

Please Remember: Mayor Pam Triolo, Vice Mayor Scott Maxwell, and commissioners Andy Amoroso and Ryan Maier ARE NOT ON THE BALLOT on March 14th. The only elected official up for re-election is Commissioner Chris McVoy. Please remember that.

Now to the “Omari Effect”: For the most part, the last City Commission meeting on January 24th went very smoothly and amicably, without the tactics we’ve been so accustomed to in the past from the only City commissioner up for election on March 14th, just 43 days away, Comm. McVoy.

Most of you are familiar by now with his bag of tricks, for example, timeless tactics to create “General Interference” like those developed by the CIA to disrupt the Soviet Bloc after WWII:

There were no lectures “at great length” by McVoy at the last City Commission meeting and very few “irrelevant issues”. And don’t forget the most-used tactic to distract or derail a City meeting: “raise the question”.

How can you explain McVoy’s change in behavior? It’s simple. Call it the “Omari Effect”:

At the Bryant Park candidate forum on January 23rd candidate Omari Hardy certainly got the attention of McVoy (seated, blue tie). Thanks to the Omari Effect you can now expect a more robust and focused debate on the real issues we face, and not wedge issues”, tactics used to divide us.

*For news about the debate tonight, if you don’t already follow Lake Worth’s Neighborhood Assoc. Presidents Council (NAPC), then you should start today. Use this link for their Facebook page and for the NAPC website use this link.

Residents of Lake Worth: Plan on going to the “Dark Sky Festival”?

If you get into a conversation about “Dark Skies” make sure to point out the City of Lake Worth’s hugely popular LED street lighting program which earned the distinguished International Dark Skies Association (IDA) compliancy designation:

And the little City of Lake Worth is leading the way in municipal renewable solar energy as well.

City of Lake Worth press releases by Ben Kerr: The Post then reworks this information and reports it as news 2–5 days later.

FYI: If you get the print edition of the Post you’ll find more press releases from the City on page B3 in today’s (1/30) edition of the LWVVSMCPE, three of those press releases are below the fold in a section titled, “Around Town”. Don’t want to wait until Monday for this news? Please contact Ben Kerr, the City of Lake Worth Communications Specialist with any questions, comments, or to be put on the list for future press releases (such as the one below) to keep you up-to-speed on the latest:
  • Phone: 561-586-1631
  • Email:
January 26, 2017

Kenneth Oakes, the City of Lake Worth Internal Auditor, will be retiring on March 31, 2017. Ken has served as the Internal Auditor for the past four years and during his tenure with Lake Worth, many of his audits, particularly the early ones, have significantly impacted the City’s processes and controls.

In Ken’s time with the City, he has built an impressive portfolio of more than 45 reports, memos on a variety of audit topics, audit plans, documents establishing new programs and procedures, and investigation result memos that have been sent to the City Commission.

“Ken was our first Internal Auditor to serve even though the position was first created in 1988 it remained vacant for many years. The IA is an important part of our government and Ken basically created and set the bar for future Auditors. I have valued his reports, insights, and thoughtful approach to the City organization.”
—Lake Worth City Manager Michael Bornstein

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.

Stealing political yard signs is a crime. And political yard signs are effective, despite claims to the contrary.

If yard signs weren’t effective why do you think the Anarchists in Lake Worth, a small and ever-dwindling group, put so much time and effort over the years stealing and vandalizing political signs in the City? The answer is because political signs do work—just not in the way you might think they do. An article in Politico by Eliza Collins (excerpts below) is a very interesting read and explains how campaign signs are effective.

But first, besides being a crime, stealing signs in the dark of night is someone who is infringing on your right of Free Speech:

In March 2015, these two were spotted stealing political signs around the Lucerne building in Downtown Lake Worth. If your sign was stolen or vandalized:

Call the PBSO non-emergency number and report it: 561-688-3400. Whoever stole your political sign trespassed on your property and is disrespecting your right to Free Speech. Contact the campaign you are supporting and request another sign.

Other tactics are using bolt cutters to cut one of the metal supports to make the sign dangle awkwardly. That also forces the targeted campaign to order more stakes. Curiously, the Anarchists are the ones who always say “listen to the people” but they’re the ones out stealing other “people’s” right to Free Speech? Ironic, isn’t it?

Also note their use of zip ties demonstrates the value they place on their own preferred signs (made of #5 plastic non-recyclable chloroplast).

Anyhow, back to the article in Politico: the value in yard signs isn’t to increase an election turnout, their value is getting your name and message to those who will likely be voting on election day. The effect of political signs is small but nonetheless very effective. Here is an excerpt:

     “We were surprised by these findings, because the conventional wisdom is that lawn signs don’t do much — they’re supposed to be a waste of money and time. Many campaign consultants think that signs preach to the choir’ and not much else,” Coppock [Alex Coppock, co-author of the study cited in Politico] said.
     “The effect is small in terms of percentage points, though the implication is that thousands of voters would have voted for someone else if not for the signs, [emphasis added] Coppock said. “My guess is that part of the reason that the effect is small is because any campaign tactic — signs, ads, mailers, calls, etc — only move people around at the margin. In many ways, it would be strange if the effect were bigger. Imagine a world in which the presence or absence of lawn signs could swing an election by 10 points.

And think of it this way, if the signs weren’t effective why would those crews be stealing them so furiously in the dark of night? Which leads to another question, If the Anarchists didn’t steal so many signs would the landslide re-elections in March of last year have been even more overwhelming?

Images and caption from The Lake Worth Herald on election night, March 2016.