Saturday, May 20, 2017

News from the Town-Crier: “Officials Confident State Road 7 Plans On The Fast Track”.

Now that all these new communities have been created out in western Palm Beach County it’s the job of local, County, State governments and agencies to provide the infrastructure, for example, hurricane evacuation routes. Despite that the “City of West Palm Beach has led the effort, fighting the connection tooth and nail, to the tune of more than $2 million in legal fees”, State Road 7 is almost a certainty to be under construction in the near future.

To read the entire article by reporter Julie Unger, datelined May 19th, use this link. Here are some excerpts:

     In late March, Florida Administrative Law Judge Bram Canter wrote a long-awaited 51-page analysis not only building the coffin for every argument against the road’s extension, he hammered in almost all of the nails. [emphasis added]
     “In that order, the judge’s role was to determine if FDOT complied with all of the applicable permit criteria and all of the pertinent environmental protection criteria in order to qualify for the State Road 7 extension project,” Fumero [John Fumero, special outside counsel to FDOT] said. “The judge categorically determined that the FDOT, in all cases, either met or exceeded all of the permit criteria and all of the environmental requirements.”
     All eyes now turn to the SFWMD. The order, Fumero said, will be presented to the SFWMD for entry into a final order. If that order is issued, which many expect is likely, it will adopt the recommended order and constitute the issuing of a state permit authorizing the extension.

and. . .

     “The State Road 7 project is needed to alleviate traffic issues in and around The Acreage area and to create hurricane evacuation routes,” Fumero said. “Right now, for this part of western Palm Beach County, they need additional evacuation routes.”

and. . .

     “We’re glad that the judge saw that there’s a public purpose and it’s not causing the harm that others were claiming. It is definitely a needed project for the western communities,” Royal Palm Beach Village Manager Ray Liggins said.

Please proceed to the next blog post and consider this:

How can we find ways to revitalize the “Urban Core” in cities like Lake Worth when even more new communities are on the drawing board out in western Palm Beach County like Arden, a “new master-planned community in Palm Beach County” west of the Village of Wellington?

Friday, May 19, 2017

City Press Release. CANCELLED: Tomorrow’s “3rd Annual Beach Clean-Up and Dive Against the Debris”.

“Due to the unfavorable weather forecast and probable ocean conditions for Saturday, May 20th the City of Lake Worth has had to cancel the Annual Pier Clean up and Dive Against Debris.”

For more information contact Doug Yoakum, the City’s Aquatics Manager at 561-718-4304; email
Ben Kerr, the City of Lake Worth’s Communications Specialist at 561-586-1631; email:

Thursday, May 18, 2017

“Should we be getting ready? It’s only 47 days until the July 4th Raft Race.”

The theme for this year’s Neighborhood Assoc. Presidents’ Council (NAPC) 16th Annual July 4th Great American Raft Race is “Under The Big Top:
  • Noun: “A large tent at a circus under which the main attractions are featured. Used figuratively to refer to the location where a primary or major event, show, or attraction is held.
  • Adjective: “Featured as the primary or major event, attraction, show, etc.” 
We’ll have two new electeds in the race this year: District 2 Commissioner Omari Hardy and District 4 Commissioner Herman Robinson.

Don’t forget what local beat reporters and TV news media did last year to cancel our Raft Race. Don’t let that nonsense happen again.
Remember last year? That ridiculous ‘news’ published in the Post that wasn’t true at all?

“The raft race is a glorious mixture of fun and games and I hate thinking it should be cancelled”. It never did need to be cancelled.

And also don’t forget the sponsors last year who stood by the NAPC and did their best to make it a great holiday weekend after all.

Click on image to enlarge from last year’s Raft Race.
“Thank You to Our Generous Sponsors”.

Tonight: Guest speaker Michael Bornstein at the Mango Groves Neighborhood meeting.

UPDATE: At tonight’s meeting will be another guest speaker as well. Mr. Chip Guthrie will give a brief talk about the very successful “first appearance” initiative here in the City. This is where the public shows up at hearings for those arrested for prostitution, street crimes, etc. The judge learns how much citizens in this City care about solving these vexing issues, e.g., on Dixie Hwy.

“The May meeting of the Mango Grove Neighborhood Assoc. is at 7:00 tonight at Blue Front BBQ.* Everyone is welcome to attend.
     This month’s guest speaker will be Lake Worth City Manager Michael Bornstein. Mike has been the city manager in Lake Worth since 2012. He has been professionally involved in local governments here in PB County for over 25 years. He came to us after serving the as town manager in Lantana for 12 years before coming to Lake Worth.
     We hope to see all our neighbors and friends Thursday evening with our city manager at Blue Front BBQ.”

“Michael Bornstein seems to be a happy soul and seems to be happy with the job,” [Barbara Jean] Weber said. “I suspect his stamina has not yet been tested.”
—Ms. Weber quoted by reporter Willy Howard on June 3rd, 2012, in a Post article titled, “New City Manager Michael Bornstein makes welcome changes in Lake Worth”, published 1,859 days ago. Mr. Bornstein was hired by the City on April 16th, 2012.

*Did you know the Blue Front BBQ (1132 N. Dixie Hwy.) used to be “Kristine’s”? The Blue Front is a significant historical structure here in the City of Lake Worth. One of the few remaining survivors of what’s called the “Mom & Pop” era of roadside architecture, the dining and motel era prior to the construction of I-95.

Video: “First Annual Lake Worth Historic Preservation Awards” ceremony on March 17th.

Yours Truly was honored to be in attendance last night. About the ceremony:

The City of Lake Worth Department for Community Sustainability, Division of Planning, Zoning and Historic Preservation in conjunction with the Historic Resources Preservation Board and the Historical Society of Lake Worth hosted a ceremony in the Lake Worth Casino Ballroom to present the first annual Lake Worth Historic Preservation Awards. Winners recognized with awards in five categories:
  • Rehabilitation/restoration
  • Compatible new construction or addition
  • Preservation of historic materials
  • Preservation craftsman
  • Preservation champion or organization
For all, the award winners, City staff, and everyone in attendance at this special event, we can gratefully say, “We’re looking forward to the ceremony in 2018 for the Second Annual Lake Worth Historic Preservation Awards ceremony!” Enjoy the video:

Exhibit at the Cultural Council until June 3rd: Peggy “Batia” Lowenberg.

The Cultural Council* is located in Downtown Lake Worth, 601 Lake Ave.
For more information and media inquiries: Contact Judith Czelusniak, 561-471-1602; email:

Peggie “Batia” Lowenberg is the 2016 recipient of the Council’s Dina Baker Fund for Mature Female Artists. “Stellar Oratorio: Dreams for More” brings together several of her latest series in connected installations. Lowenberg’s abstract, colorful, energized worlds ‘turn up the heat’ where nature, whimsy, and the spiritual joyfully collide.

     Lowenberg has lived and worked in New York and Tel Aviv. Now in South Florida, she has shown in exhibitions internationally. Lowenberg studied at Cornell University, State University of New York at Purchase, and the School of Visual Arts in New York City.

*The Cultural Council galleries, visitor information center and store are open 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m., Tuesday–Saturday. For a complete calendar of cultural activities in The Palm Beaches use this link or call 561-471-2901. To plan a personalized cultural itinerary connect with the Cultural Concierge.

Video from March 14th, 2014. Four years and two and a half months ago.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Last night’s City Commission meeting: Uplifting and informative. And then came the Crash and Burn.

The first half of the Lake Worth Commission meeting last night (5/16) was filled with good information going forward. The second half of the meeting was cringe-worthy. The first half was about conducting the business of the City and one can only hope not too many people watch the second half — especially anyone considering doing future business with the City — it was that bad. But more on that later.

The highlight of the night: the Invocation “Offered by 8-year old Sophia Lynne Teutsch from Sacred Heart School on behalf of Commissioner Andy Amoroso”.

To see the City’s YouTube video of last night’s meeting use this link; to download the agenda use this link. This will be helpful when the headline with the words “revenue-maker” appears in the 100th story about Code Enforcement by the Post’s beat reporter here in the City of Lake Worth.

Once again. During breaks the mic is left on. Everyone can hear every single word being said on the dais during breaks. It’s only a matter of time. . .

Here’s some very good news from the meeting:
  • The “first appearance” initiative is a huge success: the public attending court hearings for street crimes, prostitution arrests, etc. Chip Guthrie will give an update on that tomorrow night at the Mango Groves Neighborhood meeting.
  • According to Commissioner Omari Hardy during his comments there is a lot of interest among other elected officials and communities in Central Palm Beach County about the Blueway Trail. And this is despite the news blackout at The Palm Beach Post (and would also help to explain all the traffic to this blog).
  • According to the City Attorney, Glen Torcivia, there will be a settlement with the construction company and architect soon vis-à-vis the vexing, long-time problems with the Casino structure. Maybe even by next Tuesday’s Work Session about the Beach and municipal pool.
  • JoAnn Golden talked about the migrant community in Lake Worth at public comment and didn’t use the words “sanctuary” or “sanctuary city one single time. Progress! However, what she never explained is why, after all these years of involvement, so many migrants are not learning essential language skills.
  • The Neighborhood Road Program presentation by WGI was excellent! Use this link to see the page on the City’s website. How they’ve incorporated the Neighborhood Assoc. Presidents’ Council (NAPC) into this work was an excellent idea. Vice Mayor Scott Maxwell called it “proactive”. Projects will begin in June. The City’s staff, NAPC, and WGI will coordinate with neighborhoods to get feedback and information out to neighborhoods on upcoming projects and construction.
Now for the not-so-good news, the Legislative Update from State Senator Jeff Clemens and State Rep. Lori Berman (beginning at the 13:00 minute mark in the video): They’re “cautiously optimistic” about the $3M in the State Budget for the Park of Commerce. Another Homestead Exemption (on the ballot in 2018) will be a “tax shift” the City can ill-afford (Clemens saw this first-hand when he was the mayor of Lake Worth and saw a 25% drop in tax revenue).

And the kicker is this news developing: how local cities could lose even more control of Charter Schools opening up in churches and other facilities. There will be virtually no local zoning control.

Now for the “Crash and Burn” at last night’s Commission, two items on the agenda:

On Item 12A, the “booting of vehicles” after three (3) citations left unpaid for 15 days, Mayor Pam Triolo and Commissioner Hardy got into a testy exchange. The vote on First Reading was 4-1 with Hardy dissenting. Triolo said, “We’re making up for 15–20 years” getting derelict and abandoned vehicles off the streets. Hardy thought this program was harsh towards the poor. Although unintended, the suggestion by Hardy was others on the City Commission were uncaring and Triolo took great offense to that.

Then the debate about this issue kept going back and forth. And back and forth. And back and forth.

Hardy came up with an idea for “community service” to pay off fines for those who had difficulty paying. PBSO Cpt. Baer was brought into the debate. Then there was public comment. Then the vote. One was left wondering if elected officials in this City are sitting down with City staff and PBSO prior to meetings.

And then things really took a turn for the worse, Item 12D: “Seeking Commission direction to change Commission Meetings Rules and Procedures”.

Over one hour. The debate about raising the limit for public comment from two minutes to three minutes. The Commission, the entire City Commission, looked weak and indecisive. At one point Vice Mayor Maxwell said, “We’re here to conduct business.” After an hour the agenda item got pulled without a vote. Per the rules, after one-half hour of debate the item should have been sent to Workshop. It wasn’t.

The debate continued. And continued. And continued.

No public comment would be taken because there would be no vote. Then it was decided to allow public comment. Then the Chair, Mayor Triolo said next week the City Commission and the public will get the lesson plan “101” on Robert’s Rules of Order.

It might be too late for that. Too many have gotten used to the old rules.

“My vehicle was booted/towed, how do I retrieve it?”

“You must bring cash, credit card or a cashier’s check in the amount stipulated on your warning sticker that was placed on your vehicle 24 hours prior to the boot/tow. If you need to verify the amount owed, please call the Division of Parking Administration at (561) 822-1500.”
From the City of West Palm Beach, “Parking Information”.

“Whereas, the City Council desires to preserve the residential character of the City; and. . .”

Does anyone know who the reporter is from The Palm Beach Post that covers the City of Greenacres?

From the City of Greenacres, Ordinance No. 2017-01.

Click on image to enlarge:
“Whereas, the City Council desires to promote safe, unimpeded traffic circulation throughout the City.”

“PBSO may also authorize the towing of a vehicle in violation of this section.”
“[I]t shall be the duty of the owner thereof to pay the towing charges. . .”

TODAY. The 4th Annual “Great Give”.

“Today is one of the most important days for charity, philanthropy and non-profits in Lake Worth & the surrounding area. It is the 4th Annual Great Give of Palm Beach & Martin Counties. The fundraising event will be held on Wednesday, May 17th from midnight to midnight.

Every local gift made during the 24-hour period will be multiplied by additional dollars from a bonus pool raised by United Way of Palm Beach County. Over the last three years, Great Give has raised more than $8 million for over 500 nonprofits. The goal is to make an even GREATer impact this year!”


Here are some local participating organizations:

Glass Quest 2017: Presentations, exhibitions, and roundtables from “glass visionaries and industry leaders.”

“Located in Palm Beach County, Florida since 1976 McMow Art Glass maintains an excellent working relationship with top builders, architects and designers and regularly ships their work throughout the US, Europe and South America.”
To learn more about this conference and to register, contact McMow Art Glass using this link or call 561-585-9011. Visit McMow at 701 North Dixie Hwy. in the City of Lake Worth.

The news below comes from Tony Doris at the Post:

Glass Quest 2017 is produced by McMow Art Glass and Wardell Products. Event sponsors include the West Palm Beach Downtown Development Authority, the West Palm Beach Arts & Entertainment District, Bullseye Glass Co., Habatat Galleries and Jen-Ken Kilns. It will take place May 26–28 at 522 Clematis St.
     “Glass Quest 2017 will give local artists the opportunity to network and learn about the evolving world of art glass from industry leaders from around the world,” said Taylor Materio, Creative Director of McMow Art Glass.

Welcome to Lake Worth! Atria at Villages of Windsor, “Discover what it means to age well”.

“There are 313 apartments, down from about 320, after developers realized renters wanted to live in larger spaces, Brown said [executive director Michael Brown Jr.]. So some one-bedroom units were combined into two-bedroom apartments due to market demand.
     Early leasing in the resort-style community has been strong even though the project won’t be completed until October. The demand has surprised the project’s developers. ‘We’re four months ahead of schedule. It’s been fast and furious,’ Brown said.”
—Excerpt from this article in the Post, datelined May 15th.

Excerpts from the Q&A.

About your company:

When completed this fall, the $105 million Atria at Villages of Windsor will bring a new generation of upscale, rental senior housing to Palm Beach County, where existing senior living communities were built an average of 22 years ago. Big Rock Partners is owner/developer of this flagship senior living community in Lake Worth, [emphasis added] which includes a total of 313 independent, assisted and memory care apartments, with the caliber of amenities usually reserved for top-tier resorts. Responsible for marketing and operating Atria at Villages of Windsor, Atria Senior Living is a leading operator of senior living communities at 196 locations in the U.S. and Canada.

What do you see ahead for Palm Beach County?

Continued growth with an influx of young professionals recognizing a great business community with true quality of life.

Power lunch spot:

The Falls Club in Lake Worth. Great atmosphere, Great food, scenic, but quiet enough to conduct business.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Community meeting at Our Savior Lutheran School, May 31st, 6:00–8:00. This year. Maybe next year too.

Click on image to enlarge.
Reunión de la comunidad, miercoles 31 mayo 2017. Ven todos los vecinos para compartir y discutir como una vida mas saludable parece en Lake Worth. Cena gratis.

Lake Worth’s C-51 Advisory Board: A looming issue of community concern, advise, and direction going forward.

As yet, there are no more updates about this blog post from 2 weeks ago: “Dredged material from Palm Beach to be dumped in Intracoastal, but not off West Palm Beach as planned.”

Note the dredged material from Palm Beach will not be dumped on the Lake Worth side of the Intracoastal (aka, Lake Worth Lagoon) but on the eastern side of the lagoon south of the Robert Harris (Lake Worth) bridge and north of Hypoluxo Island. But as you’ll read a little later, the C-51 Canal between the cities of West Palm Beach and Lake Worth is a significant part of this story; Lake Worth’s C-51 Advisory Board could play a vital role.

The news below in the Palm Beach Daily News (aka, the Shiny Sheet) slipped ‘under the radar’ so to speak. An article by Aleese Kopf titled, “Lake Worth Lagoon dredging project to begin this summer”:

Lakefront residents [Everglades Island in Palm Beach] are looking forward to an Intracoastal dredging project this summer that will allow them access to their private docks at low tide. [emphasis added]
     After a short pause to work out a dump site for the dredged muck, the project is on track and scheduled to begin this summer.

and. . .

     The project is to dredge three waterways from Midtown to the South End. The north channel is between Everglades Island and the Southern Boulevard Causeway; the central one is south of the causeway to Widener’s Curve; and the south waterway is south of Widener’s to north of Sloan’s Curve.
     The contractor had planned to dump the dredged material in John’s Hole, an underwater site on the West Palm Beach side of the lagoon west of Sloan’s Curve and John’s Island near the C-51 canal.
     “The property owners adjacent to that hole have expressed concern to the regulatory agencies,” Public Works Director Paul Brazil told the council.

and. . .

     Instead, Palm Beach residents are paying the extra money to haul the dredged material to Bonefish Cove. Bonefish Cove is a county “living shorelines” project to raise the elevation of the lagoon and create three small mangrove islands and oyster reefs between the Lake Worth Bridge and Hypoluxo Island.
     The channel dredging project is expected to take about seven months.

Learn more about Bonefish Cove using this link, another article by Aleese Kopf. This issue could be taken up by the City of Lake Worth’s C-51 Canal Advisory Board to find out what is happening vis-à-vis the permitting process at the County level. What were/are the concerns raised by residents of West Palm Beach and Lake Worth to dumping this dredged material in John’s Hole, “west of Sloan’s Curve and John’s Island near the C-51 canal”?

“Stay tuned”, as they say.

City Press Release: “City of Lake Worth Receives A1-Rating from Moody’s for Neighborhood Road Program Bonds.”

For more information and media inquiries contact Ben Kerr, the City’s Communications Specialist at 561-586-1631; email:

“We are LAKE WORTH. A hometown City that is committed to delivering the highest level of customer service through a commitment to integrity, hard work and a friendly attitude. We strive to exceed the expectations of our citizens, our businesses, our elected officials and our fellow employees.”

Press Release:

The City of Lake Worth’s 2017 General Obligation Bonds received an initial underlying rating of A1 from Moody’s Investor Service (the bond credit rating business of Moody’s Corporation) followed, 24 hours later, by a rating of AA− from Standard & Poor’s Financial Services. The General Obligation Bonds are the financial instrument being used to pay for the $40 million Neighborhood Road Program following last November’s successful referendum.
     Moody’s indicates that “the A1 rating reflects the city's above average tax base that continues to recover, adequate reserve and cash positions, low debt burden, and elevated pension liabilities.” Standard and Poor’s indicates that an obligor with an AA rating “has very strong capacity to meet its financial commitments. It differs from the highest-rated obligors only to a small degree.” An A1 / AA− rating places the City of Lake Worth’s bonds as upper investment grade with low credit risk which will allow for a lower interest rate to be set upon them at the time of sale (expected June 5th, 2017).
     The $40 million will be drawn down in two installments, to shield the City from excessive interest liability. This, the 2017 series, being valued at $21.2 million will leave $18.8 million to be drawn down as the Neighborhood Road Program progresses.

“The City is very pleased with the results of the credit rating. We feel that the strong investment grade rating, by the two major rating services, positions the City for beneficial pricing of the bonds. I would like to thank my team for their hard work in achieving this excellent initial rating.”
—Director of Finance, Marie Elianor.

“These ratings are a reflection of the hard work and effort put forth by the Mayor, Commissioners and staff to get Lake Worth on the right track. I am very proud of my City!”
—City Manager, Michael Bornstein.

Sensationelles Filmmaterial! Berlin nach der Apokalypse in Farbe [translated from German: “Sensational footage! Berlin after the apocalypse in color”].

Sobering. If you haven’t seen this video you should take the time to watch. It is only seven minutes long; a Technicolor compilation of film taken in Berlin after the end of World War II, 72 years ago.

“In early April, the Western Allies finally pushed forward in Italy and swept across western Germany, while Soviet and Polish forces stormed Berlin in late April. American and Soviet forces met at the Elbe river on 25 April. On 30 April 1945, the Reichstag was captured, signalling the military defeat of Nazi Germany.”

Sensationelles Filmmaterial! Berlin nach der Apokalypse in Farbe und HD from Konstantin von zur Mühlen on Vimeo.

Monday, May 15, 2017

“Stay tuned”, writes Post beat reporter. And don’t be “messing with the city’s hipster vibe”!

Below are some “hipster” fashion suggestions for the Commission meeting tomorrow night. So. . . as you explain your reasoning in two minutes why the City should allow three minutes for public comment, don’t forget fashion, style, and grace. You’ll be Live Streaming on YouTube, so keep in mind our “city’s hipster vibe”!

Also be respectful and act in a civil manner. Remember, the reason for lowering the time limit from three to two minutes was because of incivility and very un-charming behavior at the podium.

Once again. Today is The Palm Beach Post’s Lake Worth Very Very Special Monday Collector Print Edition (LWVVSMCPE, see below).

Question: When was the last time you read any news in that paper about PBSO in Greenacres since the switch from their own police dept.? Like our City, Greenacres is looking for ways to improve Code Enforcement. When was the last time you read about that in the Post? Read any news about public comment in Greenacres? How are they dealing with traffic? Development?

You would think one of the reasons for a regional newspaper in Central Palm Beach County is to educate the public how different cities are dealing with a multitude of issues. Interestingly, in both square miles and population, the cities of Greenacres and Lake Worth are almost the same size. But. . .

There are only 6 Special Cities. Each one gets its own Special Day (the City of Delray Beach IS NOT one of the Special Cities). All the Special Cities are coastal, except for one.
May 19th, 2015. An early dispatch from the Post’s latest beat reporter: “What’s going down at tonight’s Lake Worth City Commission meeting”:
     “Immediately following the regular meeting, there will be a City Commission work session where the fortunes of the city’s beachside casino and pool complex will be discussed.
     Since the casino reopened in 2012, the city has been trying to figure out how to fill the vacant space. While some residents embrace the idea of a $15 million expansion by a local developer, others in this artsy town don’t want to see a big developer coming in and messing with the city’s hipster vibe. Stay tuned. . .”

Don’t forget, you can’t truly be a Hipster without shopping at World Thrift, the comments on Facebook? Marvelous! World Thrift is the greatest thrift store east of the Mississippi River according to the New Times, located at 2425 N. Dixie Hwy. Open til 6:00 today. Call 561-588-4050.

When you visit World Thrift try to “coordinate” your purchases.
Example of Hipster Anarchist Millennial style. Note written instructions, “Please empty outhouse bucket when filled. . .”.

Following wave after wave of good news coming from our little City, if you didn’t know, the philosophy of Apatharchism has firmly taken hold here. Adherents include former 60s-style Anarchists, Millennial-Anarchists, Anarch sympathizers, and affinity members once focused only on the bad news, doom and gloom, and the “Wolf at the Door” that never appeared.

And guess what all you Hipsters? There’s another City Commission Work Session next week (May 23rd) to deal with the Casino complex and decrepit municipal pool. So ride your LDub ‘fixie’ to this meeting at City Hall with all your ideas. Here are some fashion tips:

Note how scarves are used as a fashion enhancer. Look at the shoes!
Not sure what a Hipster is? Use this link to find out.

Purses, trendy belts, big sunglasses, and dots!!!!
Why attend City meetings? Look around. What are other people wearing? Learn new fashion tips and remember, “don’t be messing with the city’s hipster vibe”!

Spread the word: Our Guatemalan community in the City of Lake Worth needs help.

Below is a sobering blog post from yesterday, titled “Teaching English or Spanish to Guatemalan migrants: Need a solution for a very big problem.”

Many of you, like myself, probably thought teaching English and Spanish to migrants from Guatemala was a top priority by many of the nonprofits and volunteer organizations here in the City of Lake Worth. Apparently, according to a news report in the Miami Herald (excerpts below), that is not the case. Imagine even the basics, like interacting with a PBSO deputy or seeking help in a medical emergency, is nearly impossible for so many in our City. Wouldn’t that be contributing to the climate of fear?

Now we learn in the Miami Herald, very sad news, that Guatemalan migrants are being taken advantage of by lawyers, landlords, and others ostensibly here to help these people.

There has to be an organization or group in the City of Lake Worth that can help Guatemalan migrants — especially those who cannot speak Spanish — to learn basic language skills. The big problem is language. Those who know Spanish have a big advantage; those who “speak only Maya languages like Quiché, Kanjobal, Poptí’ or Mam” have a huge disadvantage and are especially vulnerable to predatory lawyers and substandard rental property owners.

However, it’s very important to note the article by Francisco Rodríguez* in a “Special to the Miami Herald makes a glaring error that needs to be corrected. There are not 50,000 Guatemalan migrants “in Lake Worth”.

The City of Lake Worth is only 6 square miles and the recent population estimates are 38,000–40,000 residents. From Wikipedia:

“Lake Worth had the twentieth highest percentage of Guatemalan residents in the US, with 4.87% of the populace. . . . the three most spoken first languages in Lake Worth were English at 56.61%, Spanish at 26.57%, and French Creole which was spoken by 9.17% of the population.”

The reporter is including Guatemalans that live outside the City in his misreported population number: Guatemalan people living in Suburban Lake Worth (unincorporated Palm Beach County), the Lake Worth Corridor, and probably other cities as well (Palm Springs, Greenacres, Lantana, etc.).

From a blog post last April about the Guatemalan Maya Center (GMC) and the opening of the new Guatemalan consulate was this news from Peter Haden at WLRN:

“Officials estimate more than 55,000 Guatemalans live in the county [Palm Beach County]. . . . ‘We’re going to see cultural, commercial, economic affairs — in order to have a more intense and big link with Palm Beach County,’ said De Mora [Miami Consul General Rosa Maria Merida De Mora].”

Hopefully, the Miami Herald will correct this false information. Here are two excerpts from the article:

     By train [Tri-Rail], the roundtrip ride costs $22. But out of fear, not knowing the area and not speaking English — sometimes neither Spanish — many Guatemalan migrants hire drivers in the community who charge as much as $350 to take them to immigration appointments in Miramar in Broward County or other meetings in Miami-Dade, wait for them and return home.
     The Guatemalan Maya Center, which helps migrants in the Lake Worth area, has documented many cases of gouging. The Guatemalan consulate, which recently opened an office in Lake Worth in Palm Beach County, also confirmed that drivers are charging between $150 and $300 for the trips.

and. . .

     But Consul Mario Azmitia said that the consulate so far has not assisted any Guatemalans who do not speak Spanish. Plans are underway to hire at least one person who speaks Kanjobal, one of the more dominant Maya languages.
     He added that the consulate for now is focused on making its presence known, and has not tackled ways to help the migrants avoid the exorbitant costs of transportation and other fees.

Spread the word to everyone in the Guatemalan community here in our City:
“Estamos en la aperatura de un consulado de Guatemala en Lake Worth! Gracias por este apoyo para nuestras familias que antes pagaban $300 para llegar al consulado en Miami.”

Read more here:
Translation: “We are at the opening of a Guatemalan Consulate in Lake Worth! Thank you for this support for our families, that before had to pay $300 to get to the consulate in Miami.”

*Francisco Rodríguez is an investigative journalist with elPeriódico in Guatemala, is in Miami as a fellow with the D.C.-based International Center for Journalists (ICFJ).

Novel way to open the Commission meeting tomorrow and where’s our City Facebook page?

Shaking things up in the City of Lake Worth: Those orthodox and routine invocations to open public meetings everyone forgets about five minutes later. Tomorrow may start an exciting new trend. More about that a little later (the City Commission agenda is below).

If you didn’t know the City is doing an excellent job Live Streaming meetings. For example, tomorrow at 6:00 go to the City’s website and you can watch this meeting on the opening page — no need any more to follow a lengthy stream of links — a very welcome change.

Note that not on the agenda is starting a City Facebook page. This was a topic of discussion at the Commission meeting on April 18th, almost a month ago. It’s time to end this inanity and create the page. Going another month is senseless. There’s too much going on and so much information to get out to the residents. At public comment tomorrow, say “Create the Page Already!”

To go over the entire agenda with backup material yourself use this link and look for “May 16, Regular Meeting” to download. Without further ado, excerpts from the agenda with highlights added and some helpful links:

City of Lake Worth Commission meeting
City Hall, May 16th, 6:00
1. Roll Call.
2. Invocation: Offered by 8-year old Sophia Lynne Teutsch from Sacred Heart School on behalf of Commissioner Andy Amoroso.
3. Pledge of Allegiance by Commissioner Herman C. Robinson.
4. Agenda (additions, deletions, reordering).
A. Proclamation to Donna Lange.
B. Legislative update provided by Representative Lori Berman and Senator Jeff Clemons [sic, our former mayor’s name is Clemens, not ‘Clemons’].
C. Neighborhood Road Program Update to Commission.

and. . .

9. Consent Agenda. Public comment allowed during Public Participation of Non-Agendaed items [See item 12D below. Public comment is two (2) minutes, when you hear the little bell please be respectful and return to your seat].

and. . .

10. Public Hearings.
A. Ordinance No. 2017-08 - Second Reading and Public Hearing - amending section 2-1 of the City’s Code entitled “Sale of city-owned property” to include unsolicited proposals as method of selling city-owned surplus properties.
11. Unfinished Business.
12. New Business.
A. Ordinance No. 2017-09 - First Reading - amend the Traffic ordinance to include immobilization and impoundment of vehicles on City property and schedule the second reading and public hearing for June 6, 2017.
B. Ordinance No. 2017-10 - First Reading - amending Chapter 23, “Land Development Regulations”, Article 7, “Floodplain Management”, Division 1 “Administration” to update the Basis for Establishing Flood Hazard Areas, Date of Flood Insurance Study and Flood Insurance Rate Maps and set the second reading and public hearing for June 6, 2017.
C. Ordinance No. 2017-11 - First Reading - prohibiting canvassing and soliciting in certain rights-of-way intersections and set the second reading and public hearing for June 6, 2017 [follow-up from Commission meeting on April 18th].
D. Seeking Commission direction to change Commission Meetings Rules and Procedures [Should the City go back to 3-minute public comment? And discuss “civility” and how to deal with “incivility”?].
E. Community Redevelopment Agency member removal process.
13. Lake Worth Electric Utility.
A. Presentation (there is no public comment on Presentation items).
14. City Attorney’s report.

And don’t forget. The City Commission Work Session to address the Casino and what to do with our crumbling and decrepit municipal pool is the following week, on Tuesday, May 23rd:

“We cannot continue to keep losing money”, said Asst. City Manager Juan Ruiz, and “the [Beach] fund is still hurting with the pool closed.”

As part of this Commission visioning process, which needs public involvement, can you envision a municipal pool somewhere else in the City of Lake Worth? In one of our City parks? Somewhere near the Downtown? Should the City conduct a city-wide survey of all the neighborhoods?

From “Sunshine State of Mind”: The Sears Building, 1300 Biscayne Blvd., Miami

The Sears, Roebuck and Company Department Store in Miami, Florida was an Art Deco building built in 1929 for Sears, Roebuck and Company. The building was the first known implementation of Art Deco architecture in the county, predating the Art Deco hotels on Ocean Drive. It was followed a year later by the Shrine Building (1401-1417 Biscayne Blvd.), an application of Art Deco with local Seminole Indian motifs added as an interesting twist. Both were covered in a 1988 study of Downtown Miami historic resources, but were not NRHP-listed due to owner objections at the time. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in August 8, 1997. Only its tower remains.

After the areas drastic decline in the early 1980s, the building’s intense structural decay, and declining sales, the store closed its doors for good in 1983. The building remained vacant and abandoned and was the subject to graffiti and vandalism. Sears was unable to sell the property and it donated the site to Dade County in 1992. That same year, the Sears signs were removed.

The building listing was added to the National Register on August 8, 1997. By 2001, the only surviving part of the original structure was a seven-story tower. The original department store space had been demolished. The tower was preserved and incorporated it into the new Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, built in 2006.

Free Hurricane Seminar tomorrow from 5:00–8:30.

Seminar to be held at the Beach Club located at the City’s municipal golf course, #1 7th Ave. North.
Event featuring meteorologist Mike Lyons. For more information contact Kevin Addison at 561-601-2730 or Sam Hamilton by email:

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Check out some 2017 winners of the Society of Professional Journalists’ “Green Eyeshade Awards”.

On the subject of journalism, it still has not been explained why The Palm Beach Post shut down their Tallahassee news bureau and let one of their top reporters go. And then there’s the recent layoffs too. But anyhow. . .

Use this link to see the entire list of “Green Eyeshade Award” winners. Below are some of the most recent awardees.

“Since 1950, The Green Eyeshades have recognized the very best journalism in the southeastern United States – which now includes print, television, radio, and online. Who can enter? Journalists in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and West Virginia.”

Note the Miami Herald and the Tampa Bay Times are both winners of the Pulitzer Prize (the Times 12 times).

Public Affairs Reporting: All Dailies
  • First Place: Miami Herald – Michael Sallah, investigative reporter; Jay Weaver, staff writer, Opa-locka: City for Sale
  • Second Place: Sun Sentinel – Megan O’Matz, Sally Kestin, Stephen Hobbs, Amy Shipley, Forsaken:Florida’s Broken Mental Health System
  • Third Place: Tampa Bay Times – Chris O’Donnell, Chris O’Donnell on local government
Sports Commentary: All Dailies
  • First Place: Tampa Bay TimesTom Jones, Tom Jones on Tampa Bay sports
    Second Place: South Florida Sun Sentinel – Dave Hyde, Dave Hyde columns
    Third Place: Tampa Bay Times – Martin Fennelly, Martin Fennelly on Tampa Bay sports
Business Reporting: All Dailies
  • First Place: Tampa Bay Times – Susan Taylor Martin, Susan Taylor Martin on Real Estate
  • Second Place: Treasure Coast Newspapers/ – Lucas Daprile, The LLC Loophole
  • Third Place: The Tennessean – Staff, The Tennessean’s Top Business Coverage
Politics Reporting: All Dailies
  • First Place: Treasure Coast Newspapers/ – Staff, Body of Work
  • Second Place: The Miami Herald – Patricia Mazzei, Patricia Mazzei political reporting entry
  • Third Place: Tampa Bay Times – Alex Leary, Alex Leary on the 2016 Presidential election
Consumer Reporting- All Dailies
  • First Place: Tampa Bay Times – William R. Levesque, Nathaniel Lash, Anthony Cormier, Breakdown of Oversight
  • Second Place: Sun Sentinel – Sally Kestin, Taimy Alvarez, The Gulf’s Deadly Harvest
  • Third Place: Tampa Bay Times – Laura Reiley, Farm to fable
Public Service in Daily Journalism: All Dailies
  • First Place: Tampa Bay Times – William R. Levesque, Nathaniel Lash, Anthony Cormier, Breakdown of Oversight
  • Second Place: Miami Herald – Staff, Zika strikes South Florida
  • Third Place: Tampa Bay Times – Laura Reiley, Farm to fable
Pretty impressive, isn’t it?

Artists and Musicians: “Get Involved, Get Connected, Get LULA”.

LULA  =  LUcerne Ave.  +  LAke Ave.: Our two unique east-west Downtown avenues in the little City of Lake Worth.

To become a member of LULA Lake Worth Arts use this link to download the “Artist/Musician Membership Information Form”. For more information contact Emily Theodossakos at 561-493-2550; email:

“LULA Lake Worth Arts is looking for local artist. Lake Worth is fortunate to be sited as a community with an abundant interest and support for the arts. The Community Redevelopment Agency is seeking to revitalize the downtown by infusing arts with other economic development efforts, including live-work studio spaces for artists, new opportunities for artists, and LULA, an arts program geared to making this all happen.”

“Why does Lake Worth have PBSO and not its own police department?”

We all have to remember there are a lot of new residents and businesses in the City and many of them don’t know how we got here. Now and then, after a well-publicized crime for example, the opportunists will claim crime is out of control suggesting if we had our own PD we would all be better off. Attempts to get PBSO out of the City are getting more and more feeble all the time but that wasn’t always the case. Let’s take a look back. . .

Below is a quote by former Lake Worth City Commissioner Suzanne Mulvehill in May 2011 in full retreat after the community rallied against her attempt to end the contract with PBSO:

“Fabulous. They’ve exceeded our expectations. The Sheriff has done a fantastic job and it’s unquestionable that we want them to stay.”

Just a few short years after PBSO took over to solve the terrible crime problem in the City of Lake Worth (see below) some still wanted to end the contract. Those reasons were politicalnot for the safety of the citizens and neighborhoods.

How bad was the crime problem in Lake Worth? Here’s an article by Marc Freeman (“Jury selection begins in Lake Worth gangland massacre case”) from July 2015 by the Sun Sentinel. Earlier that month Daphne Duret from The Palm Beach Post also took us back to when the gangs ruled Lake Worth (“Trial to begin this month in 2007 Lake Worth backyard murders”).

It was incidents such as this that brought PBSO into the City in 2008 to take on the gangs and the terrifying levels of crime at the time. Here is another look at those terrible days when gangs ruled the city (Sun-Sentinel article from April 2013) about the City prior to PBSO taking over:

Military-style assault weapons. A trail of bodies. Illegal drug trade. Street warfare. These were Palm Beach County’s darkest days of gang violence [emphasis added], and it all returned in a courtroom drama Thursday. 

Lake Worth’s crime rate improved drastically because of the work done by Ric Bradshaw and PBSO. But in 2011 there were some who wanted to reinstate the Lake Worth Police Department as a ‘cost saving’ measure. Susan Stanton, the former Lake Worth city manager, went so far as to commission the Willdan Study to end the contract. Here is what our Vice Mayor Scott Maxwell (re-elected in 2016) had to say as reported by Willie Howard at the Post in 2011:

     Commissioner Scott Maxwell, who voted against the study in January, said he will continue to support the sheriff’s contract because the sheriff’s District 14 office has helped reduce gangs and the crime rate in Lake Worth.
     “The PBSO is the best thing that’s happened to Lake Worth since sunshine,” Maxwell said. “I’m not going to take the sunshine away.”

Within the Willdan report there were clues the City’s effort at the time wasn’t the smartest of things to do:
“PBSO responded to the public’s demands for better law enforcement”.

The Willdan study noted “the high quality of service” provided by PBSO since taking over for the Lake Worth PD in 2008.

PBSO and then-Captain Silva (later succeeded by Cpt. Todd Baer), have had a stabilizing effect on our City and our ability to move forward as a community. And the PBSO critics will grudgingly admit that.

“Those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it.”
Edmund Burke 

PBSO has much support within the City while understanding this service comes with a cost. But with that cost comes a better quality of life and really provides the foundation upon which the City’s future success can occur. Negotiation regarding the cost of service in Lake Worth is possible. Remember, had we kept our own police force its budget would be increasing over time, with the same or less level of service as before.

When you read another blog and see those long lists of crime that are becoming less and less frequent (including those ever-popular “Beverage Violations”, “Burglaries” of unlocked vehicles, and the many addresses outside the municipal borders of the City) understand where this sentiment is coming from: It’s just the continuing effort since 2008 to undermine PBSO District 14 in the City. 

Remember this Anarchist protest back in 2014?
Sign at a protest in Lake Worth organized by the Anarchists from Everglades EarthFirst! (EEF).

There will always be the headline-grabbing incidents and senseless tragedies and those should not be minimized. But perspective, understanding the history, and a hard look at the facts must be done as well. Also know that the City of Greenacres has followed the lead of Lake Worth and has gone with PBSO. In the next few years don’t be surprised to hear more cities in Palm Beach County considering the same option.

Enjoy this 2011 video of Mulvehill and Stanton in full retreat after attempting to end the Sheriff’s contract. At the 6:20 mark Yours Truly asked two questions and Stanton avoided answering both of them. For good reason. Enjoy the video: