Saturday, August 19, 2017


The blog post following this one is PART TWO: REMEMBER! “IT’S ALL ABOUT RISK”! (Do you remember where you put your gasmask?)

From Post reporter Jennifer Sorentrue about “Brightline foes’ new twist”.

About halfway through reading this article checked the date to make sure it wasn’t April 1st. Would guess Jennifer Sorentrue wasn’t the least surprised to hear:
Brightline officials on Wednesday declined to comment on the attorneys’ letter.

Another excerpt from the news story:

In a 6-page letter sent to federal transportation officials on Monday, attorneys for Martin and Indian River counties and the anti-rail group CARE FL argue a loan from the Federal Railroad Administration to help pay for the Brightline project would create “unique financial concerns” for the [President] Trump administration.

Let’s take a stroll down memory lane!

“It’s All About Risk”

Below is a blog post from November 2015.

How far along is All Aboard Florida [AAF; now Brightline]? When they’re ordering seats for the trains that’s a good indication how far. Only three months ago when the anti-AAF fever was at its highest pitch this full-page ad appeared in The Palm Beach Post [August 2015], last page of the ‘B’ section:

Part of full-page ad in image below,
“. . . wrecks like this one in Philadelphia.”
Everyone knows, “It’s All About Risk”!

The Guardians of Martin County tried to make the intellectual argument that AAF is too risky because there was a train wreck in Philadelphia.


Planes and cars crash, ships sink, and satellite launches fail. . . are all those to be abandoned due to risk? Surely Henry Flagler was informed of the risks and he decided to go ahead anyway with his railway project into the “backwater swamp”.

The Guardians in the ad went on with a laundry list of risks from AAF: Financial RISK, Ridership RISK, and the Funding RISK

What the Guardians didn’t do was provide any solutions for the future of Florida. Are we to presume they want more lanes and more cars using I-95 and the Turnpike?

How wide does I-95 have to be in the future? 6 lanes each way? Or maybe just make it 8?

Or maybe study once again the “fundamental rule”?
Learn more about the fundamental rule” of traffic: Building new lanes for cars and trucks just creates more traffic.


What happened to all the angst and hand-wringing over trash being hauled to the County’s incinerator? 

“Toxic capitalism hurts my family”. The image below is from a newspaper ad at the height of the trash hauling debate vis-à-vis the County incinerator back in 2015:
Does the Loxahatchee Sierra Club have any gas masks in children’s sizes too? The one shown above is way too loose-fitting to provide any health benefit.

Anyhow, learn more about the County’s Solid Waste Authority using this link and below is a Sun Sentinel article about the incinerator that is burning trash, turning that waste into energy, and extending the life of landfills. Here is an excerpt from the article:

     Nearly a decade in the making, the incinerator on Jog Road will reduce the amount of waste dumped in the county's landfill by more than 90 percent. It’s expected to extend the life of the landfill by about 30 years and, at the same time, generate electricity to be sold to FP&L, officials said.
     In an average day, the incinerator will burn more than 3,000 tons of trash. That’s in addition to the 2,000 tons already incinerated at the county’s existing waste-to-energy plant, built in 1989.
     Between the two facilities, the Solid Waste Authority expects to annually generate enough electricity to power about 40,000 homes for a year.
     Though some environmental groups have raised concerns about potential air pollution, officials say the incinerators are a clean and safe alternative to landfills.

and. . .  

In addition to reducing the garbage put in the county landfill, their use will reduce greenhouse gases.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Be part of the quirky, vibrant Lake Worth lifestyle in Andalucía! Hundreds new homes (10 floor plans!) coming soon. Feel what the French call, “LéDûb”!

“C′est si bon, Mademoiselle, Monsieur en charmant excentrique LéDûb!”

The Spanish from Europe say, “Andalucía por sí, para Lake Worth y la humanidad”!

Andalucía in Lake Worth, “A stunning new community. . .

. . . offering 10 new single-family floor plans in Palm Beach County’s highly desirable, master-planned community in Lake Worth”.

To learn more about Andalucía in Lake Worth:
  • Call 561-409-5415.
  • Visit the Sales Center at 8926 Kingsmoor Way, Lake Worth, FL 33467 (see map below).
  • For more information, visit
Where is this new community of homes located? How many people woke up one day and found out they weren’t in the quirky little City of Lake Worth after all?

Where is that “stunning new community” in
Lake Worth? Can you find Zip Code 33467?
If you buy a home in Andalucía — out west near the Everglades somewhere — you’re nowhere near the Beach that’s really in Lake Worth.

Press Release titled: “CalAtlantic Homes Unveils 10 New Home Designs At Gated Community of Andalucia in Lake Worth, FL

LAKE WORTH, Fla., June 2, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- CalAtlantic Homes, one of the nation’s largest homebuilders, today announced the Grand Opening of Andalucia, a stunning new community offering 10 new single-family floor plans in Palm Beach County’s highly desirable, master-planned community in Lake Worth. The public is invited to tour four new single-family model homes during a Grand Opening celebration being held on Sunday, June 4 from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. 

and. . .

Residents will enjoy nearby shopping, dining and entertainment venues including The Mall at Wellington Green, Lion Country Safari and the International Polo Club. Children living within Andalucia are eligible to attend Palm Beach County School District.
     To learn more about Andalucia, please call (561) 409-5415 or visit the Sales Center at 8926 Kingsmoor Way, Lake Worth, FL 33467. For more information, visit

When are we really going to get serious about distinguishing the City of Lake Worth from all those areas in PBC with a ‘Lake Worth’ Zip Code?
We need to talk about “municipal branding”.
In white on the map are unincorporated PBC areas
and the Lake Worth Corridor, many areas using
‘Lake Worth’ Zip Codes.

The City of “Lake Worth Beach”?

Was Vice Mayor Scott Maxwell a visionary,
ahead of his time back in 2012?

So. Is anyone ready to talk about “municipal branding”? Maybe a good start would be talking about changing the name of our City? Remember this by Post reporter Willie Howard?

Vice Mayor Scott Maxwell is suggesting changing the city’s name to Lake Worth Beach to help distinguish Lake Worth from parts of unincorporated Palm Beach County that have Lake Worth mailing addresses. According to postal officials, places as far west as Wellington can use Lake Worth mailing addresses. [emphasis added]
     In a memo to the commission about the name change, Maxwell notes that crimes committed west of the city in unincorporated parts of Palm Beach County are sometimes reported by the media as happening in Lake Worth. Residents with Lake Worth mailing addresses who live west of the city mistakenly come to city hall seeking solutions to their problems.
     Maxwell said Lake Worth is distinctive, with its walkable downtown and beach, and that the new name would create an “instantly recognizable brand for the city.”

and. . .

“The timing is just about right,” Maxwell said. “It kind of gives us a renewed since of pride for the next 100 years.”

“People are crying for some type of relief.” And, “Every single day hear the problems.”

Here are more quotes from the Lake Worth City Commission meeting last Tuesday, August 16th, about the City’s historic preservation program:

  • “We need to clean this mess up . . . we have egg on our faces.”
  • “Subjective use of guidelines.”
  • “Think this effort is to thwart the will of the Commission.”

Now you be the judge.

Let’s take a look back to June 2016 when this issue was once again at the “boiling point”.

The problems with historic preservation here in the City of Lake Worth “came to a head” in early January 2016. The public had had enough. Because of what happened in the City’s South Palm Park neighborhood the City couldn’t ignore any longer the public mood: angst, frustration, and yes, anger as well. Meetings were then scheduled by the City coordinated with neighborhood groups to hear (and listen?) to the public provide input. And they, the public, did turn out.

Question: Do you think anything will be different in 2018? Are you confident? Yes or no?

Let’s take a look back to June 2016, a blog post titled,

“Notes and observations [with emphasis added] from last Monday’s [June 20th, 2016] meeting on future of Lake Worth’s Historic Preservation efforts”

These community meetings are the result of much negative feedback towards the historic preservation program and its enforcement in Lake Worth. Input is being accepted from the public which will hopefully result in changes to the program. The information collected will be integrated into a report and be the basis for improvements to the code and administration of the program to be reviewed by the Historic Resource Preservation Board (HRPB) and ultimately the City Commission.

A large crowd showed up on a Monday night.
Sizeable turnout. Note there is a news blackout at the Post about this situation despite the “special attention” we get each and every

The staff interacted with the audience and took questions. Here are a few questions from the Parrot Cove/Mango Groves workshop agenda last Monday:
  • Why did you choose to move to Lake Worth and make it your home?
  • What do you like/dislike about your neighborhood?
  • What would you like to see the City do to help improve your neighborhood?
Due to a scheduling conflict I missed the first half of the meeting but several in attendance took notes and forwarded those to me. What follows is a summary from that information and my observations:

Many of the complaints were about the length of time it takes to get a permit within a historic district. There was also discussion about the relative importance of the program in light of other factors such as the need for modern impact windows and doors (for storms and security as well), roofs, and our precarious property insurance situation. Many people expressed frustration about the economic impact of living in a historic district. Too many suggestions by City staff are very expensive alternatives that break the budget of many homeowners.

Those in attendance were informed that the historic districts will be resurveyed. The last time this was done was about fifteen years ago. As time passed structures considered non-contributing 15 years ago may now be contributing in next survey. It’s my personal opinion that City staffs’ approach to non-contributing structures within a historic district is a big reason for the pushback on the entire historic preservation program.

One of the most disturbing things to hear is more grumbling from homeowners wanting to “opt out” of historic districts in the City. A historic preservation program with community support wouldn’t be hearing this from its residents. Instead, if the program did have broad public support there would be more talk from other neighborhoods in Lake Worth to “opt in”. That is not happening.

Here is a comment from one of those about the meeting:
“Nothing was said that hasn't been said 1000 times. Everything is slow. Nobody calls me back. This thing about having to use more expensive materials is stupid for Lake Worth. ‘We’re not doing Monticello in Mount Vernon.’ Wish I could say that there was something that stood out but it was just the same things we have heard for a long time here.
Besides the time it takes to process an application many expressed how difficult it is to talk to staff and get a dialogue going about alternatives to improve historic homes. There was also a lot of discussion about the ambiguity of the decision-making process and the lack of consistency. William Waters, the City’s Director of Community Sustainability, brought up the fact that we don’t have a coherent set of design guidelines for our historic districts and that is huge weakness.

Unfortunately, too many times people have bought a property in the City and later learn they’re in a historic district. I believe more efforts have to be taken to educate the public (and Realtors!) about the benefits of owning property within a historic district but flexibility is necessary to reach a win-win situation to preserve historic elements without heaping what can be extraordinarily high costs on the homeowner.

In short, a balanced approach.

Don’t misunderstand, there are also many positive stories about people’s experience with the City and its historic preservation program. There are permits that have a short turnaround time, reports of a two- to three-week time period, but these are the exception rather than the rule.

And lastly: I am optimistic this community discussion will bring about much needed changes. Too many residents are frustrated and yes, angry, with what’s happening. For years this situation has been one always close to the “tipping point” and now that has occurred. Ultimately I believe this important program will become a stronger one with community support with just a few talking about “opting out”.

Remember, what you read above
is from 2016.

From August 2nd of this year at the City Commission is this quote:

Mayor Pam Triolo asked City Manager Michael Bornstein, “You live in College Park. You don’t live in a historic district do you?”

Bornstein responded, “I intentionally did it that way.”

Very sad.

The comments that follow are from the blog post in June of 2016 as well:

Worth another look. A blog post from October 2015.

The blog post was titled: 

The Loxahatchee ‘Confederate’ flag rally,
a blogger in Lake Worth, and breaking news
from the Florida Senate.

Here is the breaking news [October 2015] from John Kennedy at The Palm Beach Post. The Confederate battle flag is being removed from the official seal of the Florida Senate.

Some might recall recent rallies to “save” the ‘Confederate’ flag which isn’t the Confederate flag; but more on that later. Jess Swanson at the Broward New Times had this article on a ‘Confederate’ flag rally last August. If you recall our good friends in Loxahatchee recently staged one of these rallies right here in Palm Beach County. From the New Times’ article:
     Chris Nicolaus used to drive around Fort Lauderdale with a Confederate flag proudly flapping on the antenna of his truck. But in the mornings, he’d find his vehicle had been keyed overnight. He started bringing the flag into his house in the evenings and putting it back up in the mornings, but that became too tedious, so he stopped. It’s a shame, Nicolaus says, because to him, the Confederate flag is an emblem of Southern culture, not racism.
     “For some people, it means one thing. For others, it means another,” Nicolaus tells New Times. The 35-year-old has lived in South Florida his whole life. “It might’ve meant something different 135 years ago, but for me it means that I’m Southern and enjoy fishing and hunting and being outdoors in the Everglades. We’re not the KKK.”
The flag being referred to is this one (a pleasant message from The Other Blogger [TOB]):
This flag, the ‘southern cross’ is confused with the authentic Confederate flag called the ‘stars and bars’ (See link in following paragraph).

The gentleman quoted in the article needs a history lesson. Here is an article in The Palm Beach Post about the ‘Confederate’ flag, a history much more recent than he’s been led to believe.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

News from the Village of Palm Springs in The Lake Worth Herald today.

“Attention Owners, Agents, Custodians, Lessees and Occupants of Real Property Within the Village of
Palm Springs.”

Pick up the Herald every Friday at the City’s
Downtown newsstand located at 600 Lake Ave.
in the little City of Lake Worth.
Newspaper is still ¢50. Have news or a community event coming up? Call 561-585-9387. 

In the Herald today, on page 5:

“You are hereby notified that you are required by law to cut and prevent the excessive accumulation of weeds, underbrush, grass or other dead and living plant life upon your improved property; to remove any trash, waste, rubble, debris, refuse, abandoned appliance, or other nocuous matter or condition located on any property owned, controlled or occupied by you in the Village of Palm Springs; and that upon your failure to do so, the Village of Palm Springs will institute nuisance abatement proceedings against your property and cause such nuisance to be abated. [emphasis added] The cost of such abatement will constitute a special assessment lien against the property on which the nuisance is located. Such special assessment lien shall be coequal with the lien of all state, county, district, and municipal taxes and superior in dignity to mortgages and all other liens, irrespective of the date of the recording of the municipal lien or the date of the recording of any mortgage or any other lien on real property. A failure to pay said lien, even such lien upon homesteaded property, may result in a loss of title to your property.”

Kimberly M. Wynn, Village Clerk 
Village of Palm Springs, Florida

Do you live in or near Vernon Heights in District 2? Tonight is another “Lake Worth Road Program” meeting.

If the City of Lake Worth had its own Facebook page. . . How many more residents would learn about this meeting tonight and show up?

Do you have questions about the upcoming road construction? What streets? See list below.

When will construction be complete? What are the hours for construction? Will there be work during the weekends? Who is responsible for designing all the projects? What are the colored paint marks on my fence, driveway, steps, trees, etc.?

The streets below are the topic tonight:

  • 18th Ave. North: North Dixie Hwy. to west of FEC tracks.
  • 19th Ave. North: North A St. to dead end at I-95.
  • 8th Ave. North: North H St. to Dixie Hwy.
  • Crestwood Blvd.: Dead end at I-95 to North A St.
  • Florida St.: 20th Ave. North to 23rd Ave. North.
  • North F St.: Lucerne Ave. to 3rd Ave. North.
  • North F St.: 4th Ave. North to 11th Ave. North.
  • 14th Ave. North: Richard Lane to wall at I-95.
Are you frightened or concerned about what’s about to begin in your neighborhood?
Don’t be frightened and run out west! Attend
the meeting tonight and the City will
explain what is going on.

Use this link to see the entire list of upcoming meetings:
  • Where: Lake Worth City Hall.
  • Time: 6:30–8:00.
  • Who can attend? Everyone is welcome.

How to get more information:

  • Phone: 561-713-1707
  • Email:
  • Use this link to submit a question online.

For more “Frequently Asked Questions” use this link.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) and “Destination Lake Worth”: The work needs to follow the hype.

UPDATE: Please read the comment below left by Mr. Chip Guthrie, a Lake Worth CRA member. And then contact your elected officials here in the City of Lake Worth.

Guthrie wants you to “encourage your elected officials to support this effort” — community WIFI for our struggling communities and families here in our City — and help “bridge the digital divide” holding so many students and children behind. Remember, as Erica Whitfield and Mr. Epps pointed out last night, children are the ones teaching their immigrant parents how to speak English.

Here is the blog post from earlier today:

We learned last night from School Board member Erica Whitfield that one of the big things holding our students and young people back is no access to the Internet at home. Dr. Epps, the new principal at Lake Worth High School, confirmed this as well.

Do you remember this news from last November about the Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) and City of Lake Worth event at the Casino called “Destination Lake Worth — Investment and Development in Lake Worth”?

Click on image to enlarge:
“Developers, Property Owners, Commercial Realtors and Business Owners” expect investment in our children and schools as well.

This meeting was targeted to property owners and potential investors to let them know Lake Worth is “open for business” and presented reasons why investment in the City is a good idea whose time has come.

“[T]he CRA is working toward establishing a WiFi system that will be part of the City’s infrastructure and will utilize electric poles throughout the CRA district as a way to bridge the ‘digital divide’ for those with challenges accessing the Internet.”

When was the last time you heard about WIFI and helping many of our communities and neighborhoods “to bridge the digital divide”?

It was a big idea last year. Remember?

Erica Whitfield would like to know why this is not moving forward. And suspect a lot of other people would like to know why too, especially all the people who are working so hard to increase school attendance and reduce all the fear, mis- and disinformation in our immigrant communities as well.

Video below: Learn more about the Blueway Trail project. Watch and listen for yourself sans the political rhetoric.

In the video below listen to Kim DeLaney, PhD, the Dir. of Strategic Development and Policy at the Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council and Jonathan Armbruster, P.E., vice president of Taylor Engineering’s Waterfront Engineering Group.

Dont let this project become a political football. No one is rushingthe Blueway Trail project.

This project is not even close to finishing the planning phase. Questions about litigation, public safety, crime(how did crime suddenly become part of this?), and all the other open-ended questions and so-called community fearswill be answered in time. In fact, many of those issues have already been addressed and/or are being addressed now.

Here is one page from the 28-page report discussed at the South Florida Water Management District headquarters last Friday:
Note the words, Preliminary and Probable. Hope you find this video helpful and share it with your friends, colleagues, and neighbors:

Just a few quotes from the mayor and commissioners at the Commission meeting last night.

It’s with great sadness listened to these comments last night from our elected leaders about our City of Lake Worth’s historic preservation program:
  • “We need to clean this mess up . . . we have egg on our faces.”
  • “Every single day hear the problems.”
  • “People are crying for some type of relief.”
  • “Think this effort is to thwart the will of the Commission.”
  • “Subjective use of guidelines.”
  • “Status quo is not acceptable.”
  • “Empower our local government.”
The quotes above are not the least bit surprising. Last year one of our historic neighborhoods reached the boiling point, homeowners screaming to “opt out” of historic preservation and talk of starting a petition to put the issue on the ballot. Meetings were then held and things quieted down for a bit. But everyone knew it wouldn’t last.

Everyone paying attention to this issue knew this time would come, when our elected’s finally had enough. It was just a matter of time. Many in our City have lost confidence, to put it mildly, in our City’s historic preservation staff and unfortunately, in the HRPB as well.

A little over two years ago I resigned as Chair of the Historic Resources Preservation Board (HRPB). Prior to becoming Chair was a board member. Listening to the Commission last night it’s important to remember the job of our elected leaders to express the voice of the public. Now here we are. And all of this could have been avoided. That’s the sad part.

Am going over some information and will have more about this later. My heart goes out to everyone who has been lining up at the Building Dept. to do the work they were hoping recent changes would give them the ability to do. And lastly, there’s this that sums it all up, from the City Commission meeting on August 2nd:

Mayor Pam Triolo asked City Manager Michael Bornstein, “You live in College Park. You don’t live in a historic district do you?”

Bornstein responded, “I intentionally did it that way.”

Do you know who Rena Blades is?

Did you know arts and cultural economic activity accounted for 4.2 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product, $729.6 billion, in 2014?

Note the link below for “newly released Dept. of Commerce data”. The following is an excerpt from Rena Blades, the President and CEO of the Cultural Council of Palm Beach County, published in ArtsBlog, “For Arts Professionals in the Know”:

     Palm Beach County, Florida is a microcosm of that economic impact. Last year, a study we conducted with Surale Phillips and Americans for the Arts, “Economic Impact of Cultural Tourism in Palm Beach County,” revealed that the arts support nearly 12,000 jobs and more than $225 million in resident income, generating revenue of more than $538 billion.
     The Cultural Council of Palm Beach County has made it a priority to harness this economic power and put it to work to build more robust cultural facility infrastructure, promote arts districts, and cultivate an ever-stronger community of artists. [emphasis added]
     The private sector has a long and compelling history of philanthropic support for arts and culture in The Palm Beaches, a fact that makes this County stand out over the rest of the State. In addition, the cultural sector is supporting private sector growth. We do this by promoting cultural tourism to a nationwide audience via advertising, public relations, and social media programs that talk about our cultural organizations, our hotels, and our restaurants. The Cultural Council knows that our marketing success equals tourist tax revenue, and tourist tax revenue is a win for our community.

and. . .

     During 2015, seven percent of hotel rooms in The Palm Beaches were filled by visitors who came here to experience art and culture. What makes Palm Beach County an incredible place to live, and a powerful draw for so many tourists, are the vibrant museums, theaters, ecological centers, and historical sites in our area. Palm Beach County boasts the largest nonprofit cultural sector per capita in the state, and in fact, any region south of Atlanta. This gives us an advantage over other beach destinations, and we’re working to keep it that way.
     The newly released Department of Commerce data is an opportunity for all of us in the arts to take the next step, leveraging our economic power and the tremendous impact we have on the travel, lodging, restaurant, transportation and retail industries.

The Cultural Council of Palm Beach County is a member of Americans for the Arts.

Presentations at the Lake Worth City Commission meeting.

There were several presentations at the City Commission meeting last night and two in particular stood out: two young women, “teenpreneurs” from the recent Shark Tank at Barton Elementary School will give you much reason for hope about our City of Lake Worth. And if the schools in our City are of interest to you, then you have to listen closely to what Erica Whitfield had to say. Below is more information about that and use this link to watch the videos.

Unfortunately, we also learned last night during the presentation given by PBSO Cpt. Baer the golf tournament to support at risk children and help stop gang recruitment here in the City will be held at the Westchester Golf & Country Club in suburban Boynton Beach in September.

Last year this event by PBSO was held at the country club in the Great Walled City of Atlantis. PBSO is once again soliciting donations from our businesses here in Lake Worth and some have already donated. Mayor Pam Triolo said to Baer, “We need to talk.”

Enough said about that other than to note our City has its own municipal golf course.

School board member and City of Lake Worth resident Erica Whitfield gave her presentation to the Lake Worth City Commission last night on the status of our City schools. Just a short time afterward Whitfield was already “Breaking News” in The Palm Beach Post, directing readers to check back today for the full story. Why?

Because Whitfield “hit it out of the park”. Again.

A lot has changed since Whitfield’s last presentation about our schools here in the City of Lake Worth. One big change is the administrators in the school district know where our City is now. That helps. Whitfield gave a lot of credit to Superintendent Robert Avossa and maybe Post reporter Andrew Marra will take note of that in an article some time soon and mention School Board member Erica Whitfield by name.

Meet District 4 School Board member Erica Whitfield.
Check back later today for the video and more news from the City Commission last night. Whitfield also introduced the new principal at Lake Worth High School, Dr. Epps. In one word: Inspirational. Stay tuned.

Who is “rushing” the Blueway Trail project? Please explain and tell us who they are.

At the next regular City Commission meeting there needs to be a “Resolution of Support” for the Blueway Trail.

At the City Commission meeting last night Commissioner Omari Hardy renewed his call once again for this to happen. Hardy is getting impatient and so are a lot of other people, including other commissioners.

Mayor Pam Triolo suggested last night there is a “rush” to get the Blueway Trail done and there are some “rushing”, overlooking the safety and concerns of others in our community. Nothing could be further from the truth. Just empty rhetoric. Nothing more. Nothing less.

The Blueway Trail is in the planning phase. The operational phase is a long way away. The estimate for the Blueway Trail project actually beginning, any phase of the project, is 3–5 years. Minimum. There is no “rush”. No one is “rushing”. And to suggest anything otherwise is just irresponsible.

Mayor Triolo knows what a resolution is and what a resolution is intended to do. The City of Lake Worth needs a “Resolution of Support” for the Blueway Trail at the very next City Commission meeting.

“[T]he Blueway Trail Project, there’s this very, very strong interest in that from our neighboring elected officials just like there’s strong interest from our residents here in Lake Worth.”
—Lake Worth Commissioner Omari Hardy, quote from his liaison report to the City Commission on May 16th.

Putting this off any longer is ludicrous. Here are some of the resolutions of support thus far for the Blueway Trail:
  • Palm Beach County.
  • City of Greenacres.
  • Town of Lake Clarke Shores.
  • City of Boynton Beach.
  • City of Riviera Beach.
  • Town of Haverhill.
  • Town of Hypoluxo.
  • Town of South Palm Beach.
Now is the time to rally around a project, an exciting one, that will bring many benefits to our City:

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Explained. City of Lake Worth Tweet last night: A glitch. No reason for Kujansivu Alina to be concerned at the moment.

UPDATE: Concerning the Tweet below, from a trusted source have learned the issue of “image orientation”, shall we say, is a technological glitch and is being worked out. So there is no need at the moment for assistance from Lappeenranta, Finland. But stay tuned our Finnish friends. We may need your help a little later with “mechanical manipulation” of smartphones and other devices.

Who is Kujansivu Alina? Find out below.

If you didn’t know, the City Commission will be eliminating the Sister City Board tonight and I am keeping our good friends (and former Sister City), Lappeenranta, Finland apprised of the situation and to let them know there are plans afoot to fix all this.

Did you see the City of Lake Worth Tweet last night from the Food Truck Invasion?

I retweeted it to Kujansivu Alina, Director of Communications for the City of Lappeenranta:

Notice the “image orientation” glitch.
Click on image to enlarge:
Why is having a Sister City important? Use this link to have Mr. Greg Rice explain. Besides Lappeenranta have you ever heard of Darwin, Australia? Santa Cruz del Quiché in Guatemala?

From reporter Gary Fineout: “Rick Scott wants tax measure on next year’s ballot”.

To read the entire article use this link to SaintPetersBlog. A quote from the article:

“The governor should have the guts [emphasis added] to structure his proposed amendment to affect all tax changes,” said [State Senator Jeff] Clemens.

I’ve known Jeff Clemens for a very long time, even before he became Lake Worth Mayor Jeff Clemens. We’re both life-long Democrats and proud of it. By the way, did you know Clemens has never lost an election? It’s true.

Anyhow, a part of me cringes when I read quotes like,
“The governor should have the guts. . .”
This quote is “red meat” for a lot of Democrats who’ve been pushed around and kicked in the gut for a very long time here in South Florida. So a lot of Democrats will be very happy to read what Clemens said. However, three times in a row Gov. Scott vetoed the money for our City’s Park of Commerce in the state budget. Money the City of Lake Worth desperately needs.

So when I read the political rhetoric part of me wonders who ends up paying the price down the line. As another Democrat and current Lake Worth City Commissioner (who I’ll leave unnamed) is fond of saying, “If you’re not at the table, then you’re on the menu.”

I’ll just leave it at that.

Charlottesville isn’t “somebody else’s problem”. It’s here too. Our City of Lake Worth was confronted with racism. Right in the front row of City Hall chambers.

And the City of Lake Worth dealt with it.
Strongly and united.

However, we also needed the editor and reporter at The Palm Beach Post to back us up, support our City and our leaders. But instead they all ignored what happened in our City of Lake Worth.

The editor at The Palm Beach Post knows about what happened in the City of Lake Worth 2 years ago. The beat reporter for the Post knows all about what happened too. How do I know that? Because former City Commissioner Retha Lowe told the whole world about it (see video below) and The Lake Worth Herald wrote a front page story about what happened too (the Herald article is a little later in this blog post).

But after this racist incident happened IN OUR CITY HALL, we waited a few days for the editor at the Post to deal with this incident in a strong, forceful manner with no ambiguity and say, “there is no place for this kind of behavior in the City of Lake Worth.”

Day two came and went. Then day 3 and still
silence from the Post editor. Day 4 passed
and then we all knew.

Because of politics, the editor of the Post was going to ignore this racist incident because it would make two former commissioners, Ryan Maier and Chris McVoy, PhD, look bad. The person who used the “N-word” in public, in our City Hall was a supporter of Maier and McVoy and the editor had just recently endorsed them for election to the Commission a few weeks prior. So. You see. The editor at the Post felt a little awkward.

So he ignored the fact this incident happened at all. At very least the Post could have offered kudos to our leaders for how they dealt with this incident. But they didn’t even do that.

Below are newspaper clippings from a former tabloid in 2015 that has since gone defunct.  

Click on image to enlarge:
The Post could have come to the defense of our elected leaders and staff. But instead they sat on their hands and did nothing.

Below is a video of former Commissioner Retha Lowe on March 24th, 2015, at the City Commission meeting following the incident that occurred 2 weeks previously (note: Lowe references the article in The Lake Worth Herald below).

This was a major news event in the City of Lake Worth but the Post news division and editorial board decided to squash the story instead.

Soon afterwards witness intimidation began and The Lake Worth Herald was attacked for publishing the story. This was no longer just about racism any more. Now citizens and government officials were being targeted in order to silence them.

Here is an email Lake Worth City Manager Michael Bornstein sent to Mrs. Dee McNamara:

From: Michael Bornstein
Sent: Tuesday, March 24, 2015 12:55 PM
To: 'Dee McNamara';; Christopher McVoy; Lynn Anderson; Dennis Dorsey; Jesse Santamaria; Steven L. Abrams; Joseph Abruzzo; Katie Kkss21; Debra Smith Kimo; June Evans;; Jennifer Marchal;; ''; '';; Retha Lowe; Andy Amoroso; Christopher McVoy; John Szerdi; Pam Triolo; Scott Maxwell
Cc: Christy L. Goddeau; Clayton Lindstrom; Dolores Key; Germaine English; Jamie Brown; Joan Oliva; Juan Ruiz; Larry A. Johnson; Pamela Lopez; William Waters


Due to the your recent outburst in the City Hall Chambers involving a racial slur, not once but twice, I feel compelled to respond. The honorable thing to do is to issue a publicly stated apology for using the ‘N’ word in the Chambers. Lake Worth is proud of its diversity and openness, and I will not abide this kind of behavior in the people’s temple. Your nonfactual rants such as below about the elected officials and the staff will not be a distraction from this incident.


On a totally different subject, my readers might find this quote interesting:

     Just because we refuse to have that public discussion [on race relations] doesn’t mean that tension is not there, lying below the surface, waiting for our own Ferguson, Staten Island or Cleveland.
     So instead of waiting, let’s start a dialogue. Let’s try to be honest about our negative (and erroneous) perceptions, so we can begin to move past them. Not yelling at, but talking to one another.
     It won’t be easy. But as my father always says, nothing worthwhile ever is.

—Quote: Rick Christie, editor of The Palm Beach Post editorial board, in “Christie commentary: Can we finally have a conversation about race?”, published on December 13, 2014.

Here is the full story from the front page of The Lake Worth Herald about Dee McNamara and racial slurs at a public meeting (prior to swearing in ceremony) at City Hall in March 2015:

Monday, prior to the start of the swearing in ceremonies, city staff placed signs on some of the pews in the commission chambers reserving seating for family members of Christopher McVoy, Ryan Maier and John Szerdi.
     According to a staff member, Dee McNamara complained and was told she should find another seat. McNamara asked the staff member if she expected her to sit in the back like a N_____. The staff member was deeply offended and McNamara pointed to the skin on her arm and asked if she looked like a N_____.
     The staff member demanded an apology and wouldn’t give in until McNamara apologized, which she, according to sources, finally did reluctantly.
     The staff member reported the incident to City Manager Michael Bornstein and City Attorney Christy Goddeau. Bornstein and Goddeau both confirmed they were apprised of the situation by the staff member.
     When asked about the incident, McNamara first said she was reserving a seat for Ryan. She then asked who was telling those lies about her and hung up the phone.

The editor at the Post criticizes the City of Lake Worth now and then for one policy decision or another. And that’s fine. But as the newspaper industry continues its decline and becomes more and more irrelevant all the time it’s important to remember there was a time two years ago when the editor at the Post could have made a big impact on our little City of Lake Worth.

But the editor did nothing instead. That doesn’t mean nothing happened. Because of The Lake Worth Herald, City Manager Michael Bornstein, and a whole lot of work by a whole lot of other people, the racists and hate-mongers have kept their mouths shut. But they haven’t gone away.

They’re still here. Just because they are quiet doesn’t mean they’ve gone away. We need to stay vigilant. And we need to confront these people every single time — just like we did two years ago — so we never, ever risk becoming the next Charlottesville.

Monday, August 14, 2017

All fisherman and fisherwomen: Editorial in The Lake Worth Herald, “[I]t is now the responsibility of those fishing the Spillway to police themselves and keep the area cleaned up and. . .

. . . not leave dead fish laying around. . . SFWMD* has done a nice thing for fishermen and fishermen need to appreciate it and take care of it.

Click on image below to see location of the public fishing piers located at Spillway Park in the City of Lake Worth (parking lot is free) and access from the City of West Palm Beach (street parking on Arlington Rd.):
Spillway Park† is at the end of Maryland Drive in the City of Lake Worth off Federal Hwy.

More excerpts from the Herald (with links and emphasis added):

The Palm Beach Canal [C-51 Canal], a popular fishing spot for over 50 years is now fishable again.
     The fishing piers on the West Palm Beach and Lake Worth sides of the canal have been closed for a couple of years, leaving fishermen nowhere to fish unless they wished to climb on a six foot fence with barbed wire on top.

and. . .

     Finally, SFWMD has decided to replace the fences on both sides of the canal with 4 foot high aluminum hand rails, making it safer for fishermen to fish the locks.
     The Blueway Project is in the planning stages and is waiting on funding. This project will include a boat lift to give boaters Lake Clarke, Lake Osborne and other points west of US 1 access to the Intracoastal Waterway and improve property values of properties with access to the water.

and. . .

     The parks on both sides of the canal are used by many residents and it is not fair to those who don't fish to have to put up with the smell of dead fish unnecessarily. It is also the responsibility of residents using the parks to clean up after themselves and their pets.
     If the areas are kept clean, they will remain open, otherwise there will be another popular spot closed due to no ones fault but those who use it. SFWMD has done a nice thing for fishermen and fishermen need to appreciate it and take care of it.

*SFWMD  =  South Florida Water Management District.
More information about Spillway Park: The amenities are access for fishing, a ½ mile walking trail, picnic tables, BBQ grills, a pet station, free parking, and restroom facilities. For more information about City parks in Lake Worth use this link.

Stay Tuned. The countdown clock to Feb. 15th, the “settlement” completion date for our Casino at the Beach.

Do you remember this from August 3rd: “Solution appears forthcoming for Lake Worth Casino’s ailing balcony”? Learn more below.

With all the new construction going on in the City of Lake Worth and developers and construction companies excited about the prospects and future of this City, it’s sad to see two of our most visible structures — the Lake Worth Casino and Gulfstream Hotel — left behind in a state of limbo.

But hopefully that will change soon. Before long will begin the countdown to Feb. 15th (6 months away), the expected completion date for the long-awaited repairs to that facility.  

Would this be déjà vu or déjà véçu? This quote is from my blog last year:

August 13th, 2016: “[A]rchitect and contractor for the Casino are working on a way to stop the water intrusion into the Casino building.”

The Lake Worth City Commission earlier this month reached a “settlement” with the construction company and the architect to ‘fix’ the Casino 2nd floor balcony. To learn more about this use this link.

So. As we await all the trucks to show up and the work to begin, keep in mind this effort to try and find a way to fix this problem is nothing new. And also keep in mind this work will be going on during The Season.

Enjoy this blog post from August
of last year:

For those of you who keep track of such things, the architect and contractor for the Casino are working on a way to stop the water intrusion into the Casino building. If this pilot experiment works it will be employed where other water leaks occur on the second floor. At the beginning of June [remember, this is 2016] the City Commission gave them both until October to come up with a solution.

Below are two sets of pictures. It’s of the northeast area of the second floor terrace. You can see where a temporary plywood wall has been erected to cordon off the area.

[The first set of pictures was taken July 23rd last year. The second set was taken on August 13th.]

Photos from July 23rd, 2016.

Plywood partition to protect work area.

Area where the pilot “fix” is being implemented.

There are “porcelain-ized” tiles part of
this project.

The following photos are from August 13th, 2016.

A layer of visqueen is held down by
the new tiles.

The edge between old stone and new tile.

It appears the area where the wall meets the floor has some new flashing which might go under the new tile. The level between the new tile and the old appears to be at the same height, which means that the old tile was either removed or lowered somehow to accommodate the new. Further waterproofing probably went under the new tile.

There has also been work on the door’s threshold (top photo), which has been a major source of water after rain events. The work area goes approximately ¾ around the north side of the terrace. There will be an evaluation of the method’s success and then a decision will be made about doing the rest of the terrace area.

There is some hint this work may come at an additional cost or cause the building to change enough that Commission action will be needed to proceed. Stay tuned.

So. Here we are. Why all the flurry of activity to
try and fix the 2nd floor balcony?

When reports began coming in the Casino was flooding during a storm in September 2015 a news crew
from NBC5/WPTV showed up.  
Use this link for Casino construction timeline which includes the news segment from WPTV nearly two years ago now.

Who can run for mayor of the City of Lake Worth?

Who can run to be a commissioner for Districts 1 and 3?

And guess what? Now there are five in the running! Learn more below.

The process explained: Now that we’re officially in the pre-election season, aka the “Silly Season” (ending on November 28th at noon; use this link for an explanation), who can run for mayor and commissioner in the elections to be held on March 13th, 2018?

To run for mayor it’s fairly straight-forward. But to run for a commissioner seat you have to reside in that particular district since at least June 1st of this year, that would be 6 months prior to the Qualifying Period (Nov. 28th–Dec. 12th):

Any person who has been domiciled within the city for a period of not less than six (6) months immediately preceding the first day of the qualifying period shall be eligible to qualify for the office of mayor. Any person who has been domiciled within an election district for a period of not less than six (6) months immediately preceding the first day of the qualifying period shall be eligible to qualify for office of city commissioner from said district.

and. . .

Candidates for the office of mayor or city commissioner shall qualify for such office by the filing of a written notice of candidacy with the city clerk at such time and in such manner as may be prescribed by law or ordinance.

Who has already decided to run in the elections next year? Use this link to find out.

Election Season 2018: Campaign signs in the front yard: Please wait until January 8th to put them out.

It’s a campaign strategy decision whether or not to wait for the Qualifying Period (QP) in November. Is there an advantage in declaring early to run for election prior to the QP? Other than allowing a candidate to raise money and begin campaigning there is no big advantage as past elections have shown.

Strategically, what every campaign should be thinking about: a run-off election.

Just prior to the elections last March wrote on this blog about the dangers and pitfalls of a runoff election. Almost everyone was expecting at least one run-off election last March, and it was a very strong possibility there would be two here in this City.

Thankfully, we didn’t have to go through another two weeks of mailers, phone calls, and knocks on the door like they did in Jupiter, Palm Beach Gardens, and Boynton Beach:
District 2 Commissioner Omari Hardy avoided a run-off election last March by just a handful of votes. District 4 Commissioner Herman C. Robinson won handily. Do you remember what the ballot “Question” was?

Sunday, August 13, 2017

“Neighbors concerned over boat lift project”. Be prepared. The news reporting by WPTV is the exception. Not the standard.

The quote in the title is the headline of WPTV reporter Alanna Quillen’s latest news segment about the Blueway Trail.

For the first article by Quillen and more information use this link.

The first two news segments by Quillen about the Blueway Trail have been very good. Before long though this reporter and WPTV will be on to other things and then the next reporter and news organization will come along. Don’t expect anything close to the same standard; expect the news reports going forward to be much different. Dramatic quotes. SEO-driven content. Eye-catching headlines.

Here is an excerpt from the latest news segment by Quillen:

“It’s perfect [the C-51 Canal], beautiful. You can see all types of marine life, you can see sting rays and manatees . . . It can look as beautiful as it can but it really comes down to the cost and safety issues.”

Now imagine a reporter interviewing this person who is more concerned with impressing the editor instead of educating the public? Residents east of the S-155 Spillway near the C-51 Canal are not unaccustomed to attention from TV reporters and press reports about the canal. For example, there was CBS12’s outrageous news segment about the “Green Tide” with the warnings:
[O]fficials warn folks recreating nearby should avoid direct contact with the algae.
Of course, everyone now knows this was all complete nonsense. Then more recently we learned about the “new scourge in Palm Beach County”: beta-Methylamino-ʟ-alanine (BMAA) in the water via Lake Okeechobee.

But seriously. . .

From a political and strategic perspective, the opponents and outspoken critics of the Blueway Trail project have an easy job. Whereas the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD), Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council (TCRPC), Blueway Trail Coalition, and cities in support of this project have to work hard creating the “four-legged stool”, all the critics have to do is create doubt and suspicion in the mind’s of the public.

It’s a tactic that works from time to time but it’s not the most effective one, especially for the community and the neighborhood(s) nearby.

The most effective strategy is to work with the SFWMD, TCRPC, and governments (local, County, and State) and along the way get the most benefit for your neighbors and the community. We all saw this most recently vis-à-vis the Meritage Homes housing project in the City of Lake Worth just east of I-95. The initial reaction from nearby neighborhoods was opposition and then cooler heads prevailed. Solutions were found to please nearly everyone. That’s how the process should work.

Here’s another excerpt from Quillen’s
latest news segment

     On Friday morning [August 11th], leaders with Lake Clarke Shores, Lake Worth and West Palm City  -- the three municipalities affected most by the boat lift -- worked out dozens of hurdles the project still has to clear. [emphasis added] Known as the Palm Beach County Blueway Trail Project, city leaders, engineers and other planners have joined forces to sort the details of the boat lift proposal. The project has been in the works for at least five years.
     “We made a lot of progress today and there’s always more work to do to figure out the finer details,” said Dr. Kim Delaney with the Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council. “The question for the local governments is whether or not they want to advance it.”
     With three municipalities and the county working together, there’s also ongoing discussions of who would be the lead entity on the project.

Whether planned, or not, as the Meritage Homes project proceeded through the planning and political process, no one ran to the press and media to make their case. Instead, the public worked with their elected leaders, City staff, and boards and worked things out. Every vote taken along the way by the P&Z Board and City Commission was unanimous for the project.

Everyone worked together to make the best outcome possible. The press and news media had nothing at all to do with it.

However, the Blueway Trail project is a much different story. It’s bigger, much more complex, many moving parts, and a big target for a reporter looking to gain attention. So as much as we appreciate the work by Alanna Quillen, the quality of work is not going to continue for long.

So be prepared.