Saturday, August 12, 2017

News from the City of Greenacres: “City gets a Little Free Library!”

And guess what! Officials from the City of Lake Worth are cited in this news story (see excerpt below). 

You won’t find this news on the City of Lake Worth’s Facebook page. Why? Because the City of Lake Worth doesn’t have one.

However, here is the news from the City of Greenacres’ Facebook page:

A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held on Friday, August 11, 2017 at the Community Center to unveil the first Free Little Library in the City [of Greenacres]. Collaboration with the City of Lake Worth was instrumental in assisting Greenacres with obtaining their first one.
     Many officials were present for the ribbon cutting: Greenacres’ Mayor Joel Flores, Deputy Mayor Paula Bousquet, and City Manager Andrea McCue, City of Lake Worth Vice Mayor Scott Maxwell, and Assistant [Lake Worth] City Manager Juan Ruiz participated in the ribbon cutting.

To follow on Facebook and learn more about the Little Free Libraries in the little City of Lake Worth use this link.

“Take a Book  ~  Leave a Book”
Have a book or books to donate? Call 561-585-6035 or email:

“Since the first Little Free Library was planted in Lake Worth almost 2 years ago, more than 25,000 books have been placed in circulation in more than 80 Little Free Libraries throughout our neighborhoods. All of them through the kindness and generosity of nice people like you.

Please help our Little Free Library Stewards keep up with the great demand for books your Little Free Libraries have created by donating gently used books, especially children’s books, that you or your neighbors would like to share.”

“Take A Book  ~  Leave A Book!”

Blueway Trail project and two meetings this week: Check back through the month of August for more information.

Please note, this is very important:

The Blueway Trail project is in the “Design” phase, NOT the “Operational” phase.

Questions such as these below will be addressed later as the project pivots to operations:
If for some reason you remain troubled please use this link to have your questions answered about the Blueway Trail. As always, Thank You for visiting today.

Stay tuned. There will be video of yesterday’s presentation at SFWMD as well.
For the news by WPTV reporter Alanna Quillen and more about this meeting yesterday at the South Florida Water Management District use this link.

View of meeting at SFWMD:
Use this link to learn more about the C-51 Advisory Committee (CAC) meeting in the City of Lake Worth last Wednesday.

There’s news below from the editor of The Coastal Star.

Just in case you missed this.

“Developer [Hudson Holdings] buys Railway Exchange Building downtown”

[Please Note: See below for an update datelined August 2nd from Mary Kate Leming at The Coastal Star.]

The title above is from a news article datelined January 31st, 2017, by reporter Tim Bryant at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch; here is an excerpt:

“A Florida-based developer completed on Tuesday [Jan. 24th, 2017] its purchase of the century-old Railway Exchange Building in downtown St. Louis.      The new owner is Hudson Holdings* of Delray Beach, Fla. A real estate source said the company paid just above $20 million for the building that occupies an entire block in the middle of downtown.
     Hudson Holdings did not respond to requests for comments about its plans. The company put the building under contract last spring.
     Real estate sources in St. Louis have said the most likely redevelopment would include a mixture of residences, stores and, perhaps, a hotel.


St. Louis: Railway Exchange Building (built in 1912) — Hudson [Holdings] paid $20.4 million for it in January after nine amended purchase agreements; it has 21 stories with 1.2 million square feet. Plans call for apartments, stores and a hotel. In June, two Boca Raton mortgage brokers sued, claiming they were not paid as promised for arranging a $10 million loan from a Hungarian company. Their lawsuit alleges that the money did not go to help the developers buy the Railway Exchange, that instead the money was misused.

To read the entire article in The Coastal Star use this link.

*Use this link to read the latest Weekly Progress Report on Gulfstream Hotel in the City of Lake Worth.

“Images of America: Boynton Beach”.

Contact the Boynton Beach City Library at 561-742-6390 to find out more about this wonderful book and where to pick one up: 
Amazing photographs and historical information from author “M. Randall Gill in conjunction with the Boynton Beach City Library”.

This book was given to me as a gift following my presentation on “The Cottages of Lake Worth” book for the Boynton Beach Historical Society last January. M. Randall Gill is the president:

“The Boynton Beach Historical Society is the common thread that binds Boynton Beach’s past, present and future. Founded in 1968, we seek to preserve Boynton’s history through a broad spectrum of programs and special events such as guided history strolls and partnering with city art celebrations.”

“IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the parties hereto execute this instrument, at the time set forth below.”

On August 26th, 2008, then-mayor, now State Senator Jeff Clemens, signed the agreement turning over the City of Lake Worth’s law enforcement responsibilities to PBSO.

Click on image to enlarge:
Crime and gangs were so out of control in Lake Worth prior to PBSO taking over, citizens were calling for checkpoints to stop and search cars entering the City (watch the video).

Going back to 2005 wasn’t much better in the City of Lake Worth:
Many neighborhoods (those fortunate with the means) and community groups as well began searching for ways to provide safety patrols.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Save the Dates!

It’s almost that time of year again.

Remind all your Snowbird friends and relatives!
Don’t forget: “It’s the Snowbird Effect that keeps Florida going”!

Reporter Alanna Quillen* at NBC5 (WPTV): Developing news story on Blueway Trail project at C-51 Canal (S155 Spillway).

[UPDATE: Check back tomorrow for more on this story tomorrow, including video of the meeting at SFWMD.]

Excerpts from the text of the news segment are below. Quillen also references a very important meeting this morning at SFWMD headquarters (meeting details below as well).

West Palm Beach Commissioner Shanon Materio and Lake Clarke Shores Mayor Greg Freebold were interviewed in the City of Lake Worth’s Spillway Park (for Quillen’s news yesterday and watch accompanying video use this link).

Note: No similarly ranked elected officials from the City of Lake Worth were interviewed as part of this important news story.

Also take note. . .

The two-year news blackout at The Palm Beach Post† remains in place, not reporting any news about the Blueway Trail project. The irony about this is WPTV is the Post’s “news partner”.
Spillway Park is located at the end of Maryland Dr.
One can also get a good view of this project from West Palm Beach. Park on Arlington Dr.
and enter the park.

This morning beginning at 9:30 a report will be presented to the Blueway Trail Coalition at the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) headquarters in West Palm Beach.

Cover page for the 28-page report:
To learn more about Lake Worth’s C-51 Advisory Committee (CAC) meeting last Wednesday use this link. Soon we’ll know if CAC is effective or replaced by a board of representatives and stakeholders from multiple cities in the region.

Excerpts from the WPTV news segment titled,

“New project could connect more
boats to Intracoastal”

[Subtitle] “Project planning underway
this week”

LAKE WORTH, Fla. - A new project underway on the waters between Lake Worth and West Palm Beach could change the waterway as we know it.
     In as soon as three years or more, boaters from Lake Clarke Shores and beyond could have access to the Intracoastal waters for the first time ever with the help of a boat lift.
     The project is picking up speed this week. [emphasis added]

and. . .

     “This will open up the access from the chain of lakes into the Intracoastal waterway,” said Greg Freebold, Lake Clarke Shores mayor.
     For many like Freebold, who has lived and fished in the area his whole life, it’s a case of so close, yet so far away.
     “I’ve been fishing on this side for years and on this other side for years,” he joked.
     With the proposed boat lift, boats no more than 25-feet long and 3.5 dry tons can travel over.

and. . .

     There’s also concerns about increased boat traffic and the harm to manatees, something West Palm Beach City Commissioner Shannon Materio says the Chain of Lakes Blueway Trail Project has been working out.
     “In order for us to have gone as far as we have, we have had to address all those mitigation issues: the manatee, the speed of boats which is very slow, the number of boats, which is four an hour,” she said. “We listened, over a year ago, of what the concerns were and we’ve been addressing them all along.”

and. . .

     Mayor Freebold said the boat lift could mean endless commercial opportunities.
     “This whole property that runs along this access point is prime for development,” he said.

*Alanna Quillen started with WPTV in October 2016:
     “Before moving to sunny West Palm Beach, Alanna was an evening anchor and investigative reporter for KTBS 3 News in Shreveport, Louisiana. While there, she reported on two historic floods that happened within one year, devastating Northwest Louisiana. She also filed several reports from the state capital of Baton Rouge, including the state’s $2 billion budget shortfall and President Barack Obama’s tour of flood ravaged South Louisiana in August 2016.
     Before Shreveport, Alanna spent nearly three years anchoring and reporting in Monroe, Louisiana at KTVE NBC 10. She started her career at KMID Big 2 News as a weekend anchor and reporter, covering wildfires, immigration and the oil boom of West Texas.”
In July 2016 the editor at the Post did publish a ridiculous Letter to the Editor, an excerpt:
     “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.”

Erica Whitfield is giving another presentation to the Lake Worth City Commission next Tuesday (video below).

There are also several other interesting items on next week’s City Commission agenda. Check back in a day or two and will have more details.

Erica Whitfield is running for re-election. She was first elected to the School Board in 2014.
In 2014 the Post editorial board endorsed Tom Sutterfield. He got clobbered by Whitfield. When running for election sometimes a Post endorsement “can be the kiss of death.”

Erica Whitfield is a City of Lake Worth resident and also the District 4 representative on the Palm Beach County School Board. Whitfield’s presentation in December 2015 (see video below) remains the 2nd most-viewed all-time on my Lake Worth YouTube channel.

Back in 2015 remember posting the video on YouTube and later that day the video got 10–20 views, which was the norm. The day after another 20 or so and then. . . hundreds more every single day after that. When the video reached one thousand views thought I was seeing things. And the numbers kept going up.

But soon afterwards found out why the
video was so popular.

The video struck a nerve because it showed just how completely out-of-touch the school board administration was leading up to 2014–2015 vis-à-vis schools in the City of Lake Worth. Prior to Whitfield’s presentation to the City Commission in 2015 she asked for data on Lake Worth schools and she was given the data for every school “in Lake Worth” all the way out west with a Lake Worth zip code.

Basically, the Palm Beach County school administration didn’t know where the City of Lake Worth was.

At next Tuesday’s meeting I’m sure the school board administration has learned a thing or two about schools here “in Lake Worth” since Whitfield’s last presentation.

Enjoy this video from 2015:

Ribbon Cutting TODAY: “Greenacres to Receive Little Free Library”.

News in this week’s Lake Worth Herald:

“The event will be held at Greenacres Community Park, 501 Swain Boulevard, at 1 p.m.”
Pick up the Herald print edition every Friday
at the City
’s newsstand, 600 Lake Ave.

Mary Lindsey, Director of the Lake Worth Little Free Library Project said, “The City of Lake Worth and the Lake Worth Little Free Library Project are thrilled to have donated this first Little Free Library in Greenacres and hope it inspires many more.”

Remember, “Take a Book  ~  Leave a Book”
To learn more about the Little Free Libraries use this link. Congratulations to the City of Greenacres!

Thursday, August 10, 2017

First meeting of the C-51 Advisory Committee in Lake Worth City Hall yesterday.

It will take some time to see how effective this committee is and how information is disseminated to the community. The message to the public needs to be clear: this project is at the design phase, not the operational phase.

For example, if the public gets too narrowly focused now on questions such as what entity will be operating this future facility or the cost for boaters, then the need for this committee needs to be brought into question. The better option may be a board with representatives from each city along the C-51 Canal bringing together their ideas and concerns to the same table.

We’ll know better in 2–4 weeks how effective this board is and whether or not this is the best way to educate and inform the public.

The meeting in progress yesterday.
The meeting occurred in the City Hall Conference Room with a full compliment of board members present. The committee’s roster appears below.

The board elected Michelle Sylvester as Chair and Laura Starr as Vice Chair as its first order of business. Most of the meeting consisted of a presentation on the history of Blueway Trail Coalition and project by Kim Delaney of Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council. Then, Brett Whitfield of Chen-Moore Engineering went through the design development process related to the proposed boat lift and kayak/canoe facilities.

You can attend a meeting at the South Florida Water Management District headquarters in West Palm Beach tomorrow at 9:30 a.m. The full presentation will be given for the Blueway Trail Coalition attendees.

Below are some highlights from the presentation to give you an idea of some of the alternatives examined, the resulting design, and estimates of the capital costs. Operation, maintenance costs and responsibilities still have to be addressed. Many of the questions from the committee concerned these issues.

Here is a quick checklist that reflects the design evolution of the project. A hybrid of Alternatives 5 and 6 emerged as the final preliminary design for a number of reasons.

Rather than focus on the alternatives that were discarded, here are the slides from the presentation that represent the refined and latest design.

Click on images to enlarge.
 Let’s begin with the fishing pier design.

The new design is shown in the black line overlay on the above picture. Gone will be the rickety wooden piers that served the public for many years. The pier on the West Palm Beach side is already demolished while the one on the Lake Worth side awaits demolition as well. These new piers will be of fixed poured concrete construction and include a lower “catch and release” area at the east end of the piers. Access to the Lake Worth pier will be reoriented to come from the west.

One of the key design elements will be a living shoreline which reduces the need for a bulkhead and will provide area for the establishment of native species. The canoe/kayak areas will be around the outer, or south edge of the boat lift area. It will consist of a natural “beach” area with enough reach to accommodate high and low tide periods.

Integrated plans showing the canoe/kayak area, boat lift and fishing piers.

We learned the boat lift mechanism will be able move 4–5 boats/hour. There was some discussion about how this would operate when boats are waiting to go both east and west. The lift will be operated by an attendant and may have a kiosk for payment. Whether a new agency, a combination of local governments or just one, like Palm Beach County, will pay for the attendant still needs to be determined. These were the types of questions asked by the committee.

These two views are closer and show the detail of the western (above) and eastern (below) of the project. One of the details we learned during the meeting is debris west of the Spillway now directed and collected on the south side of the canal will be redirected to the north. The location of the entrance to the boat lift and the canoe/kayak area are incompatible with the current configuration.

In the picture above, Mr. Whitfield is pointing at the enhanced wetland habitat area. If you look closely, you can see a manatee gate at the eastern end of the channel that will be used for the boat lift. By the way, the Committee asked for the cost of the boat lift and the canoe/kayak area be broken out of the total project cost.

Through the design generation process a better idea of the overall costs of the project emerged. How and who will be paying for the project has yet to be determined. It was pointed out all the permitting agencies were involved in the process and their comments/directions were incorporated into the resulting design. This should help in the next steps that include the permitting process.

A firm date was not been set for the next meeting of the C-51 Advisory Committee.

For classic car aficionados, a video produced about my recent trip to Michigan.

For those of you not interested in classic cars, the video below is also a wonderful example of the successes of historic preservation efforts. However, there are too many times when historic preservation goes awry: the Gulfstream Hotel in the City of Lake Worth is one of those. Fortunately, this historic hotel continues to stand tall in our Downtown.

To learn more about the Packard Proving Grounds Historic Site use this link for their Facebook page.

Hope you enjoy the video.

Test Your Knowledge: How much do you know about our neighboring City of Greenacres?

Is the City of Greenacres just,
“In the middle of Palm Beach
County’s suburban sprawl
. . .

. . . between the glitzier Wellington and
the cooler Lake Worth”?

No. Greenacres is much more than that. Do you know who the founder of Greenacres is? Learn more from the Historical Society of Palm Beach County: 

“He [Lawrence Carter Swain (1864–1944)] platted half the townsite in 1923, setting aside ten acres for county school and town use. Plat 2, one-half mile west of Military Trail, became the original section of the city. Swain began selling lots in 1925 for $225, with $45 down. By the time the Town of Greenacres City was incorporated in 1926, the population was about 1,250, and Swain moved his family down from Massachusetts.”

Did you know the City of Greenacres is on Facebook? It’s true. And the city is also on Twitter as well.
To follow Greenacres on Facebook use this link. The city has a new website as well. To follow on Twitter: @CityGreenacres

Below are more facts about Greenacres that may surprise many of you. Although the cities of Lake Worth and Greenacres share the same beat reporter at The Palm Beach Post, the City of Greenacres is mostly ignored. However, if you’ve been reading The Lake Worth Herald/Coastal Observer, this blog, and following social media, a lot has been going on in Greenacres.

Did You Know. . .

Delray Beach is no longer a Special City. That city has been eclipsed by the cities of Lake Worth, Jupiter, Wellington, Boynton Beach, Palm Beach Gardens, and West Palm Beach.

However. . .

Did you know the population of Greenacres is greater than the City of Lake Worth? It’s true. And in land area (5.79 sq. mile) the city exceeds Lake Worth as well.

Although the City of Lake Worth is a Special City, featured every week in the Post’s LWVVSMCPE. . .
The mayor of Greenacres is Mayor Joel Flores.
The Deputy Mayor is Paula Bousquet.

And did you know. . .

  • Like the City of Lake Worth, the City of Greenacres has PBSO, not their own police department.
  • Greenacres has eleven public parks.
  • Greenacres is also dealing with code enforcement issues. It’s not just a problem here in the City of Lake Worth (remember this news: “We want to try to clean everything up like they’re doing in Lake Worth”).
  • Greenacres doesn’t have a “C-51 Advisory Board” like Lake Worth does, but they do have a Code Enforcement Board.
  • The City of Greenacres has a “Resolution of Support” for the Blueway Trail.
  • In the elections last March both of the candidates endorsed by the Post lost.

If you wish to learn more about the City of Greenacres use this link and explore their website.

Weekly Progress Report, Gulfstream Hotel, Lake Worth, Florida.

Remember, every Monday is the Weekly Progress Report on the Gulfstream Hotel. Just in case you missed this, below is the last report.

Week ending Sunday, August 6th, 2017: Once again, there is no progress to report.

Let’s review the timeline. Remember, Hudson Holdings* purchased the Gulfstream Hotel
in May 2014.

From an article published in The Palm Beach Post shortly afterward:

It’s not yet clear what Hudson paid for the Gulfstream, or what it plans to do with it. But it seems as if Hudson is looking to bring in additional investors to redevelop the property, which it calls a “history landmark redevelopment hotel project” on its website.

Remember this recent ‘news’?

“Our plans are to rehabilitate this hotel [and] bring it back to its historic significance in the public areas, the lobby, corridors etc.,” said Steven Michael, principal of developer Hudson Holdings during a tour Friday. “We’ll do a complete rehabilitation of the whole building from top to bottom.”
Quote from this article in the Sun Sentinel datelined April 14th, 2017.

So. Remember. Hudson Holdings purchased the Gulfstream Hotel in May 2014:

Then, following 15 months of no progress renovating this historic hotel, Hudson Holdings holds a public meeting for their re-development proposal for the Lake Worth Casino at the Beach on August 24th, 2015.

At this meeting, Hudson Holdings did receive much “open and honest feedback” from the public (see image below).

The public came, they listened, and then they said: “NO. Leave our Beach alone.”

Following that meeting — held nearly two years ago — Hudson Holdings then wrote they were, “hard at work refining a proposal that we believe will work for everyone . . .”, because their idea for a “Better Beach” was rejected by the public.

Click on image to enlarge:
On January 17th, 2017, an excerpt from an article in the Post titled, “Real estate company considers selling historic Gulfstream Hotel in Lake Worth”:

. . . City Manager Michael Bornstein, who called Hudson Holdings’ decision a “huge” disappointment, disputed [Steven] Michael’s characterization, saying more than $100 million worth of new private investment and projects are underway in Lake Worth.
     “This is from a city that seven or eight years ago had no commercial permits pulled to now over $100 million,” Bornstein said. “(Michael’s comments) don’t match up with the realities.
     Bornstein also pointed out Lake Worth has $116 million in upcoming infrastructure improvements, including road, sewer, water and electric work.

The public was listening to Hudson Holdings back in 2015. Then Hudson Holdings asked the public to come out and speak.

And the public did — in big numbers — they came and kept on coming. Crowds of people in cars and on bikes and by foot over the bridge. And they spoke at our Beach. Many were asking this question: “Why isn’t the Gulfstream Hotel being renovated? What is the delay?”

When the public speaks you need to take the time and energy, and try to listen, and try to understand what they have to say:

So, where are we now?

How the historic Gulfstream Hotel looks today:

Title of Hudson Holdings’ press release cited above from last April: “National Historic Real Estate Property Developer, Commences Historic Gulfstream Hotel Project”.

*To contact Hudson Holdings, a company specializing in “adaptive reuse of premier historic structures”, use this link or call 561-768-7621. For the Gulfstream Hotel’s Facebook page use this link. Email:

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Last night’s Lake Worth City Commission Budget Work Session.

Interestingly, no one mentioned the pool at the Beach. Thankfully that issue, just a distraction any more, is running out of steam and dead in its tracks. On the subject of tracks we learned more from Public Services Dir. Jamie Brown about the FEC right-of-way maintenance bill to the City. It’s a very high one. More about that below.

This meeting was short. It began at 6:00 and ended at 7:15. However, there was one idea that took everyone by surprise. We’ll learn more about this later in the budget process because Vice Mayor Scott Maxwell’s idea of lowering the residential millage rate by 0.25 mils was taken seriously by commissioners Andy Amoroso and Omari Hardy but they both want to see how that affects the budget first.

According to Maxwell there hasn’t been a lowering of the millage rate in 10 years. Although 0.25 mils is not substantial it would send a strong signal to Realtors, those considering relocating here to the City of Lake Worth, and City residents as well.

Finance Dir. Marie Elianor gave the presentation and said there will be another budget meeting on August 21st and two more public meetings in September.

On the proceeds from the County ¢1 sales tax money the consensus remains to focus on infrastructure and there was talk of possibly money for license plate readers and ShotSpotter technology as well.

The FEC bill to the City

It’s a huge bill and took everyone by surprise. Jamie Brown explained the City usually budgets $150–200K for the FEC right-of-ways (train crossings). Whereas cities budget using the fiscal year the FEC sends out their bill during the budgeting process instead of early on. The City received a bill for $480K this year. A significant increase from previous years.

The City, by the way, was budgeting for a $150K bill from the FEC this fiscal year. 

City Manager Michael Bornstein said the FEC “has the upper hand” and there’s little or anything the City can do but pay. Where will the money come from? Probably the County ¢1 sales tax proceeds. Commissioner Herman Robinson asked about negotiating with the FEC to see what could be done about lowering this bill. We’ll have to wait and see if anything comes of that.

*If I heard correctly, the train crossings the FEC will be working on are 17th Ave. N., 13th Ave. N., 12th Ave. South, and 10th Ave. South.

Military Memorial Monument in the Cultural Plaza (images below). On the agenda at the HRPB tonight.

UPDATE: This monument was approved unanimously by the HRPB (4-0) following a short discussion and public input (no opposition).

Information from the Historic Resource Preservation Board (HRPB) agenda:

The Applicant has submitted plans for the construction of a new 6′  ×  5′-6″ Military Memorial Monument, and an associated 9′-4″  ×  17′-2″ paver hardscape area with two benches. The Rotary Club of Lake Worth is sponsoring funding the Military Memorial Monument. The monument will be constructed of granite and will sit on a poured concrete pad. The paved area and two benches will be installed in conjunction with the monument in order to facilitate viewing and access to the monument. The monument is intended to honor all military veterans.

Rendering of the Military Memorial Monument.
Click on image to enlarge:
See below for the proposed location of this monument in the Cultural Plaza.

The HRPB meets the 2nd Wednesday of every month at 6:00 in City Hall. From “Public Hearings” on next Wednesday’s agenda is item E2:

Consideration of a request by the City of Lake Worth, Public Services Department, for a minor site plan amendment and a Certificate of Appropriateness for new construction of a Military Memorial Monument, on the property located at 414 Lake Avenue (City Hall Annex). The subject property is located in the Public (P) Zoning District and the Old Town Local Historic District.

This military memorial honors the U.S. Army, Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, and Merchant Marine. This memorial will have the words:

[THIS DAY] 2017

It should be noted the City of Lake Worth and the Lake Worth Lagoon are both named in honor of General William Jenkins Worth.

[The Love Of Country Leads Me].
Use this link to learn more about General William Jenkins Worth (1794–1849). The cities of Fort Worth, TX and Lake Worth, TX are also named in honor of General Worth.

More historical background from the HRPB agenda: The subject property at 414 Lake Avenue contains the City Hall Annex building, a large public plaza, fountain, pergolas, and public green space. The two-story Annex building was designed by architect Floyd King and constructed in 1929.

The memorial will be located on the Lake Ave. side of the Cultural Plaza (near the southwest corner of the City Hall Annex building).

Click on image to better see this monument location.
Note the red box with yellow hash marks. This military marker will also include two benches.

From Joshua Borgmann and a video below: “The 4 things you need to know for good meeting etiquette”.

There are a lot of public meetings this week. Need a refresher? Some quick tips “so you don’t look stupid”?

Well, you came to the right place today.

From Mr. Borgmann here are some etiquette tips:

“First, to be on time. Second, make instructions. Third, have a strong agenda. And lastly, stay off your phone and sit at the appropriate height of everyone else in the meeting so you don’t look stupid.”

Enjoy the video:

Eat at Chipotle ​today​!​

​Show the ​cashier this picture or tell​ ​them​ you’re supporting the​ ​​SMART ​​Ride ​and ​​50% of
your check will be donated.​
Please share with your friends, family,
and social networks.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

City Commission Budget Work Session today at 6:00.

To watch this meeting Live Streaming go to the City’s website at or after 6:00 and scroll down for the video. To watch the archived City Commission YouTube videos use this link.

The focus of this meeting will be “Updates,
Future Action, Direction”:

  • Budget Development Process Overview.
  • Mayor and Commission Budget Review.
  • Next Steps.
Two items in particular discussed at previous Commission meetings and work sessions have yet to be addressed formally. One is the ShotSpotter technology that was talked about last June. This is a subscription service and is quite expensive. However, it was decided to work with PBSO and find out if there was a way to get around this problem.

The other issue of great concern is the status of the Lake Worth Pier. On July 18th and 19th a crew of divers inspected the pier to look for “spalling concrete” (also called scaling). Possibly there will be an update tomorrow about that situation if the engineering report is complete.

To learn more about the City’s budget process use this link to read about the meeting on July 26th vis-à-vis the proceeds from the County ¢1 sales tax increase and the focus on infrastructure going forward. Assistant City Manager Juan Ruiz summed it up this way:
  • Fund infrastructure projects.
  • Leverage infrastructure projects.
  • Complete infrastructure projects.
Check back tomorrow to find out how to watch this meeting Live Streaming and to view archived meetings as well.

On the murder in Downtown Lake Worth last weekend.

The response from the community thus far has been very good. Most people are waiting for all the facts to come out and that will happen over time. The justice system is never in a rush.

Thus far the reporting by Elliott Wenzler has been good and we’re fortunate she got this story instead of beat reporter Kevin Thompson. If Thompson got this story think things would be very different with a movie quote and how the gay community was living in a “climate of fear” or some such thing.

Two days in a row now this murder made the banner headline below the masthead on page A1 of The Palm Beach Post. This is selling newspapers. Tomorrow, Thursday, and Friday will be more articles about this, no doubt. Will we learn anything new? Probably not.

We can only hope the facts take priority and no more banner headlines on page A1 directing readers to the “B” section just to sell a few more newspapers. The City of Lake Worth deserves better.

Here’s an excerpt from Wenzler’s latest article:

     The Latin diner, which is across the street from City Hall and is only a few blocks from a sheriff’s office substation, isn’t in an area in which residents would expect a shooting, neighbors said.
     “We walk around downtown all the time and feel safe,” said local Mark Beems.
     After being torn from sleep by the sound of three gunshots and multiple screams, one Lake Worth resident hurried to his window and saw multiple people fleeing the nearby scene.
     “I wouldn’t expect (a shooting) to be right here,” said the resident, who didn’t give his name.
     Lake Worth has long been known as a city open to the LBGTQ community.
     The diner near where Sunday’s fatal shooting occured is about two blocks from Compass Community Center, a lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender group. A spokesman said they are aware of the incident, but are not commenting on the open investigation at this time.

This was an isolated incident. A young man is dead and family and friends are grieving. That’s the important thing to remember in all this.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Plan a visit to Downtown Lake Worth this week and take a nice walk to the City’s Visitors’ Information Center

“In the heart of Historic Downtown Lake Worth, the Visitor Information Center is the place to pick up a map or brochure, and speak with a volunteer who can assist you in making your visit easy, enjoyable and unforgettable.”
Need a hotel room? Finding one is easy. Just a few minutes north is West Palm Beach and their Visitor Center will assist you.

Here is more information about Lake Worth’s Visitor Information Center:
  • Call the Visitor Center at 561-540-5304; email:
  • Located at 414 Lake Avenue, the City Hall Annex.
  • Hours: Monday–Friday, 10 am–4 pm; also on Facebook.

Make Lake Worth, “where the tropics begin”, part of your visit to Central Palm Beach County!

However, we just don’t any have hotels rooms in the center, or the “heart”, of this quaint, charming City. But West Palm Beach has plenty and many more on the way.

Why was the Lake Worth Sister City Board eliminated? The answer is easy.

Most people agree the City of Lake Worth needs a Sister City program. But for reasons you’ll read about below, few will trust a City board to administer this properly. The way to go now is to have the CRA (LULA Lake Worth Arts) run the Sister City program or maybe even the Cultural Council of Palm Beach County. Why?

Once a City board loses the confidence and
trust of the community, it’s all over.

Before we look at what happened to the Sister City Board let’s go back to 2011: the City of Lake Worth’s “Community Relations Board” (CRB). I knew several members of that board and they were proud of what they were accomplishing. The operative word is “were”. The board was created to address crime in the City and act as way for PBSO and the City Commission to get community and neighborhood input.

But then the board’s mission became something very different: to get PBSO out of the City of Lake Worth.

A man named Panagiotis Evangellos Nasios Tsolkas became the Chair of the CRB and when that happened the only option left was for the City Commission to eliminate the CRB. It all began when a treatise was delivered to all of us from Greece:

“As I write this from the olive-laden
hills of Kalamata. . .”

Mr. Panagioti had quite the résumé:
  • Sierra Club, Loxahatchee, ExCom member
  • Earth First! Journal, editorial collective
  • Everglades Earth First!, agitator
  • PBC Environmental Coalition, co-chair
  • Night Heron, steering committee member

The Lake Worth Sister City Board.

Back in 2012 another man named Ryan Maier became a member of a City volunteer board: the Sister City Board. He used this experience to later run for commissioner and he did win, becoming the District 4 commissioner in 2013.

The only problem is, none of this was true.

Ryan Maier never attended a Sister City Board meeting.

When former-Commissioner Ryan Maier was appointed the City Commission liaison to the Sister City Board hardly any of the other members would show up and rarely had a quorum. And few from the community would show up either.

Why was the Sister City Board eliminated? Now you know the reason why.

PINNED POST: News from Post reporter Elliott Wenzler: Downtown shooting in City of Lake Worth early Sunday morning (suspect in custody).

First, this latest news by Wenzler (link and excerpt below) stands in dark contrast to this news in The Palm Beach Post last June by another Post reporter:

LAKE WORTH — ■■■■ ■■■■■■ was watching “Orange Is The New Black” when he heard four gunshots in the early Saturday morning hours where he lives on North F Street in Lake Worth.

Reporter Elliott Wenzler’s news report includes no references to “popular” TV shows — used for SEO purposes (“clickbait”) — and Wenzler’s original report directed readers to this crucial information as well:

“Call CrimeStoppers at 1-800-
458-TIPS (8477).”

The news report by beat reporter Kevin Thompson last June did not include this vital information in the initial reports when Jose Aguilar Juarez was murdered on June 17th. This murder remains unsolved.

Use this link for Wenzler’s news report datelined Sunday, August 6, 7:07 p.m.:

     The fatal shooting occurred at about 12:30 a.m. in front of Restaurante Y Pupuseria Las Flores located near the intersection of Lake Avenue and Dixie Highway, said Teri Barbera, spokeswoman for the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office. The argument which led to the shooting began inside the Salvadoran restaurant, Barbera said.
     The Latin diner, which is across the street from City Hall and is only a few blocks from a sheriff’s office substation, isn’t in an area in which residents would expect a shooting to occur, neighbors said.
     “We walk around downtown all the time and feel safe,” said local Mark Beems.

Stay tuned for an update on this news.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Press and news media: “Give the audience what they want or what they need? There’s an even better question.”

“So how do newsrooms determine what the audience wants? They’re increasingly looking to analytics for answers. With finer and finer grain metrics, they pore over which of the newsroom’s offerings get the most clicks, shares, time on site, or whatever the metric du jour is. [emphasis added] They then do their best to repeat whatever they believe was the magic ingredient of the story’s success.”

The quote above is from this oft-cited article by Jennifer Brandel about the news media’s focus — or lack thereof — and is lengthy and quite detailed. Strongly encourage those interested in this subject to read it in its entirety. Here are excerpts:

“Two particular questions have been haunting newsrooms’ strategy conversations, causing severe moral dilemmas and destabilizing the industry. They are:

Should we give the audience what they want?


Should we give the audience what they need?

Besides introducing a false dichotomy, the big trouble with these questions is that they start from two flawed assumptions: 1. that newsrooms already know what audiences want and 2. that newsrooms can and should determine what their audience needs.”

A better question. . .

“These two simple yet deeply flawed questions about wants and needs are leading newsrooms and their journalists to stray further from their mission and purpose. Which leads to the question: what is the purpose of journalism? Answers are infinite, but the American Press Institute’s definition offers a solid starting point. It says the purpose ‘is to provide citizens with the information they need to make the best possible decisions about their lives, their communities, their societies, and their governments.’ ”

and. . . 

“By starting stories with the audience’s stated information needs, reporters then can know whether their stories are truly relevant before the metrics (or comments) roll in.

Palm Beach Post reporter Sarah Peters on the Coastal Link.

North-south transportation is a big topic of late in Palm Beach County. However, below is an intriguing idea from the Loxahatchee Sierra Club’s Chair, Mr. Drew Martin, on how to improve east-west commuting.

The future of public transportation here in PBC is an exciting one. Back in 2015, if you recall, reporter Brian Entin at WPTV/NBC5 first broke the news about the Coastal Link

Palm Beach Gardens has snagged a $120,000 grant to plan a new Tri-Rail station that will extend the commuter rail north and eventually allow thousands who commute to work along PGA Boulevard an alternative to slogging through highway traffic snarls.
     The money comes from the Federal Transit Administration and will have to be met with $30,000 from Palm Beach Gardens.
     Residents will be able to weigh in on what the station should look like at a future public meeting. The station is expected to sit near the Florida East Coast tracks at PGA Boulevard and Alternate A1A. [emphasis added]
     The commuter train line stretches from Miami International Airport and stops at 45th Street in Mangonia Park, but plans have long been in the works to extend its reach through Palm Beach Gardens and into Jupiter as part of the Tri-Rail Coastal Link.

On east-west transportation and commuter rail, here’s the latest idea from Drew Martin presented at the Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council (TCRPC) on June 16th:

“He [Drew Martin] stated he also attended the mobility conference in West Palm Beach and felt it was well done. He stated there was talk about public transportation and getting people out of their cars, but it was limited to I-95 and downtown West Palm Beach. He stated what we need to look at is some sort of trolley system that will run all the way out to the Village of Royal Palm Beach, because there really is no east/west public transportation. He also noted there was an interesting proposal to have air-conditioned train stations for the public to encourage more use of public transportation.”

Take some time and think about an east-west network of interconnected trolleys here in PBC. Get off the Coastal Link train and. . .

  • Have a trolley connect Palm Beach Gardens to Westlake?
  • Trolleys connecting Lake Worth to Greenacres and Wellington?
  • Connect West Palm Beach to Royal Palm Beach and Belle Glade?

The ideas are limitless.