Saturday, October 28, 2017

Closing: FEC railroad crossing at Lake Ave. Plan your day accordingly.

Very important news in The Lake Worth Herald. See below for options to avoid this closing on the Florida East Coast (FEC) railway beginning this morning in the City of Lake Worth:

“The Railroad Crossing on Lake Avenue between F and G Street will be closed beginning at 7 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 28 and remain closed until 6 a.m., Tuesday, Oct. 31. Workers will be repairing defective rails and replacing crossing surface to improve ride quality.”

Options to avoid this closure (plan your route
ahead of time and take your time! ):

Heading eastbound into the City, east of the FEC tracks: Use one of FDOT’s other main east-west thoroughfares: 6th Ave. South or 10th Ave. North to Dixie Hwy. and continue on to your destination.

Heading westbound out of the City, west of the FEC tracks: Use FDOT’s 6th Ave. South or 10th Ave. North (‘A’ St. is the City’s north-south main connector to 6th Ave. South and 10th Ave. North).

Starting tonight: Busy weekend at the Scottish Rite and always remember:

Support your LOCAL City newspaper.
Support your LOCAL City businesses.
Support your LOCAL community organizations.

And there are so many more “Upcoming Events” published in today’s Lake Worth Herald on
p. 2, “About Town”:
To see this weeks front page use this link. Have
an upcoming event or news? Call 561-585-9387.
Pick up the print edition at City’s Downtown
newsstand: 600 Lake Ave.
It’s still ¢50!

The Lake Worth Scottish Rite Masonic Center is located at 2000 North ‘D’ St.

Directions: From N. Dixie Hwy. look for the streetlight where Tacos Al Carbon is located (Worthmore Dr.) and head west over the FEC train tracks. The Scottish Rite is ¼ mile further on the left. Use the ‘D’ St. entrance.

TONIGHT (Saturday):

Spooktacular BINGO at 6:00! Presented by the Gray Mockingbird Garden, Halloween BINGO. “Come dressed in your favorite costume and join the fun, everyone welcome!” (BINGO at the Scottish Rite is every Saturday night from 6:00–10:00).


$5 All-You-Can-Eat Breakfast from 8:00–11:00 courtesy of the Gulfstream Masonic Lodge. “Eggs, pancakes, sausage, bacon, gravy, fruit and more. Come meet your friends and neighbors.”

Saturday and Sunday:

The Gray Mockingbird Community Garden is located on the grounds of the Scottish Rite Masonic Center. “We pick daily, come by and see what we have available.” For more information and to find out what plants and vegetables are ready to be picked, call Mr. Brian Kirsch at 561-246-0148.

November 11th, Veterans Day, Dedication of “Military Memorial Monument” in our City of Lake Worth.

Is everyone getting a little tired hearing from City officials, “Why is the attendance at our Veterans Day Parade so low every year?”

The answer is easy. It’s not being promoted properly.

Veterans Day is less than 3 weeks away and this is how the public can help:

Contact local veterans and offer them a ride to this event if they need assistance! Contact local veteran organizations and ask to talk to someone in their leadership. Tell them to contact the City and discuss ways to get this information out to more veterans and their families.

The City of Lake Worth’s Public Information Officer is Mr. Ben Kerr: 561-586-1631; email:

Another idea is to follow the sage advice of Antonio Fins, a seasoned editor at The Palm Beach Post:

“[T]he trick is reaching to the right journalist . . . Who’s your audience? So, tell us how many followers do you have on Twitter? How many friends/fans do you have on Facebook?

Spread the word!

This event will be held in the City’s
Cultural Plaza in the Downtown:
Front page news in The Lake Worth Herald,* October 19th edition:

“The Lake Worth Rotary Club held a ground breaking [on Oct. 16th] for a Veterans Memorial in the Cultural Plaza. Rotarians were joined by elected officials and City employees from Public Services. . . . The dedication will be held Veterans Day.”

See below for photos and more information about how this memorial came to be.

This military memorial monument (scroll down for rendering) was approved unanimously by the Historic Resource Preservation Board (HRPB) following a short discussion on August 9th. Information from the 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.

Rendering of this future monument.
Click on image to enlarge:
See below for a “birds-eye view” where
this monument will be placed.

Photographs from the “Military Memorial
Monument” groundbreaking:

From left to right: Lake Worth Commissioner Herman Robinson; Ron Leeds, Lake Worth Rotary; Chris Dabros (partially obscured), Lake Worth CRA; former Lake Worth Commissioner Retha Lowe; Lake Worth Mayor Pam Triolo; John Endrushat, Lake Worth Rotary; and Suzanne Holmes, Public Services Office Manager, City of Lake Worth.

Click on image to enlarge:
Note the southwest corner of the City Hall Annex.
In the background is the intersection of
Lake Ave. and Federal Hwy.

In this photo is Lake Worth Vice Mayor Scott Maxwell (far left) and Felipe Lofaso (second from right), Asst. Director, Lake Worth Public Services.

More from the HRPB agenda last August:

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).

This military memorial will honor the U.S. Army, Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, and Merchant Marine. 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 and Lake Worth, Texas, 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.

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.

Stay tuned for the official unveiling.

*Pick up The Lake Worth Herald print edition (still ¢50!) every Friday at the City’s newsstand located at 600 Lake Ave. in Downtown Lake Worth. To see the subscription rates use this link.

Friday, October 27, 2017

West Palm Beach: By the end of October 2016 there were 8 homicides. Thus far in 2017 the number is 23 homicides.

In perspective: All of unincorporated Palm Beach County and the nine (9) cities who use PBSO to provide law enforcement (see list below) there have been 27 homicides so far this year; versus 23 homicides in just one city: West Palm Beach.

Some cities have thus far been more fortunate. By the end of October last year in the City of Lake Worth there were nine (9) homicides. Thus far in 2017
there have been four.

The very bad news this year is 3 cities — West Palm Beach, Riviera Beach, and Boynton Beach — make up 50% of all homicides in Palm Beach County (41 of 82). If there ever was a time for an editorial in The Palm Beach Post taking on the crisis of guns and senseless violence, now is the time.

The good news, if you can possibly imagine any good news, is it looks less and less likely PBC will exceed a dreaded milestone.

Reporter Julius Whigham II at the Post prepared everyone earlier this year; the possibility PBC could once again — sadly for the 4th time since 2007 — exceed the number of 100 homicides. Most of the victims Black, 20–34 years old, and murdered by firearms.

To verify these numbers for yourself, use the “Homicide Tracker”, a database provided by the Post. Use this link for the article last July by reporter Julius Whigham II titled, “County homicides on pace to be deadliest year in past decade”:

“The county reached 61 homicides as of Friday morning [June 30th], close to the mid-point of the year. The second-deadliest mid-year total was 2014, when there were 55 homicides through June. [emphasis added] The county finished with 98 homicides that year. The county has not reached 60 homicides before August in at least a decade, according to Palm Beach Post records.
     If the second half of 2017 matches the first, the county would exceed 100 homicides for just the third time since 2007. The county had 107 homicides in 2007, 105 in 2008 and 109 in 2015, Post records show.”

As of October 25th from the Post database:

  • Total homicides in Palm Beach County (PBC) in 2016: 87.
  • Total homicides so far in 2017: 82 (by this time in 2016 there were 71).

Three cities in PBC account for half (41 of 82) of all homicides so far this year:

  • West Palm Beach: 23 (by this time in 2016 there were 8 homicides in WPB).
  • Riviera Beach: 11
  • Boynton Beach: 7
West Palm Beach, Riviera Beach, and Boynton Beach have their own police departments.

All other cities listed in the Post database with their own police departments (13 cities total):

  • Jupiter: 4 homicides
  • Delray Beach: 3
  • Palm Beach Gardens: 2
  • Boca Raton, Lantana, Palm Springs: 1
  • Lake Clarke Shores, Loxahatchee Groves, Palm Beach Shores, Tequesta: 0

Total homicides* in the nine cities patrolled by PBSO and including unincorporated County areas: 29 (versus 53 in seven cities with their own police departments).

  • Unincorporated PBC: 13 homicides
  • Lake Worth: 4
  • Mangonia Park: 3
  • Belle Glade, Greenacres: 2
  • Pahokee, South Bay, Wellington: 1
  • Lake Park, Royal Palm Beach: 0
  • “Loxahatchee” (not a city but listed in the database): 0

Breakdown by race:

  • Black: 53 homicides
  • White: 18
  • Hispanic: 7
  • Native: 1
  • Other: 1
  • Unknown: 2
Note the Post’s database used to have a search tool by age but that was eliminated. When that was available it showed most h
  • Atlantis
  • Briny Breezes
  • Cloud Lake
  • Glen Ridge
  • Golf
  • Gulf Stream
  • Haverhill
  • Highland Beach
  • Hypoluxo
  • Juno Beach
  • Jupiter Inlet Colony
  • Manalapan
  • North Palm Beach
  • Ocean Ridge
  • Palm Beach
  • South Palm Beach
  • Westlake
omicides, by far, were in the age group 20–34.

So. What does all this mean?

The year 2016 was a sign of hope and progress, clearly showing a downward trend of homicides in PBC; hopefully that trend will continue this year. Another excerpt from the article by Whigham:

     “Palm Beach County State Attorney’s Office spokesman Mike Edmondson noted that the cases involving multiple victims have been a contributing factor to this year’s spike. He added that ‘it would be difficult to suggest common denominators’ in assessing the spike.”

You’ll notice in the database there are many cities not on the list. There are 39 cities in PBC. Going back to 2009, the first year in the database, that would suggest there has not been a homicide in the following cities (17 total):
    *One homicide location in PBC is undetermined, “Unknown location, possibly in or near Belle Glade or Pahokee, an unknown community”.

    Press and news media in PBC: Another example of a false news report.

    A very unfortunate situation about seniors that had to evacuate their residences — as reported on a local TV news station as having happened “in Lake Worth” — actually occurred outside the City in unincorporated PBC or “suburban Lake Worth”:

    LAKE WORTH, Fla. - ■■■■■ ■■■■■■■■■ and her mother say they could not believe what they were seeing. Their Riverview Apartment in Lake Worth [sic] was flooded.
         “This morning I woke up to her yelling saying there was water coming from the fan in the bathroom. I went to look around to see if it was anywhere else. It was coming from the kitchen, the living room and the ceiling,” said ■■■■■■■■■.

    Use this link to read more about this unfortunate situation in suburban Lake Worth or to just watch the video click on this link.

    And remember. It’s due to false news reports such as this our City has to spend so much time, effort, and money to educate the public and to brand our “City of Lake Worth”.

    News from your City of Lake Worth: FREE Basketball Clinics.

    News from the Dept. of Leisure Services:

    For ages 7–16 every Saturday until Nov. 18th
    from 10:30 to noon.
    Meet at the Norman J. Wimbley Gym,
    1515 Wingfield St. Call 561-540-5133
    for more information.

    FREE Presentation next Thursday: “Great Native Plants for Your Garden”.

    Guest speaker is Laurie Albrecht from the PBC Dept. of Environmental Horticulture. Call 561-233-1748
    for more information or send an email to:

    Please note: Registration is encouraged (details below) for this event coming up next Thursday (Nov. 2nd). 

    News published in The Lake Worth Herald,
    “Upcoming events” section.
    Free listing for service clubs’, charitable organizations schedules, & special events open to
    the public. Send (or drop off to) “About Town”,
    1313 Central Terrace in Lake Worth, 561-585-5434 or email:

    This FREE presentation is next Thursday, Nov. 2nd, 2:00, at the Lantana Road Branch Library, located at 4020 Lantana Rd., west of Lantana.

    “Great Native Plants for
    Your Garden”:

    Pre-registration encouraged! Call 561-304-4500.

    Discover the beautiful, intriguing plants that call Palm Beach County and Florida home. You’ll learn what species adapt well to your garden’s conditions and how planting them can help local ecosystems and wildlife.
         Participants will receive a voucher for two free three-gallon native plants per household (some restrictions apply).

    Preparing for Día de los Muertos: Honoring those who have passed.

    Just prior to Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead): The altar for “Lake Worth Friends Remembered”.

    A City of Lake Worth commissioner invites everyone to bring a memory to the altar Lake Worth Friends Remembered, just prior to this year’s event:

    One of South and Central America’s most distinctive holidays, Día de los Muertos is considered a day of cheerful celebration — in honor and remembrance for those who have passed — rather than one of mourning.

    Día de los Muertos in the City of Lake Worth is
    coming up very soon, on November 4th.
    To learn more about this festival use this link.
    Below is a video of last year
    ’s very popular
    and well-attended celebration.

    A message from Lake Worth Commissioner
    Andy Amoroso:

    “If you didn’t attend Día de los Muertos last year, the CRA’s event on the west side of the community at HATCH, this year will be bigger and better. What happens is almost like an art opening but with altars. Ten different altars from 10 different countries.

    Last year I did an altar to remember the Pulse Nightclub shooting victims. This year I will be doing an altar called, Lake Worth Friends Remembered. These will be people we’ve lost in the City. If you have any pictures or anything that reminds you of someone who has passed away in the City of Lake Worth, get them to me [see how below].

    If they’re special to you we will take good care of them or you can bring something that night to leave on the altar. The actual Day of the Dead festival will be a few days after the altars with a procession, there will be face painters, dancers, and musicians from the ten different countries.

    Just a great, great event.”

    Drop off your memory, a picture, funeral card, or anything small that can fit into an envelope, and bring it to Studio 205, located at 600 Lake Ave. in Downtown Lake Worth. Please print on the envelope your name, address, and phone number so it can be returned, if that’s your wish.

    As promised, enjoy this video of last year’s festival:

    Thursday, October 26, 2017

    More exciting City of Lake Worth news, just in case you may have missed this.

    Our little City of Lake Worth is making a
    big impact nation-wide:

    Video below: “Distributed Energy:
    The Lake Worth Solution.”

    “In the midst of an economic comeback, the City of Lake Worth, Florida,* built a renewable energy station on top of what used to be a landfill. This 2-megawatt solar farm is one step in a much larger plan to revitalize the area, both aesthetically and economically.
         Across the U.S., energy users of all sizes are taking control of their power supply, and relieving stress from the grid. That’s the idea behind distributed energy.”

    This very well-produced video below features:

    *Inquiries from press and news media: contact the City of Lake Worth’s Public Information Officer, Mr. Ben Kerr, at 561-586-1631; email: 
    “Whether the challenge is energy generation, distribution, storage, or management, all can be addressed through a single solution: on-site energy control. Often called distributed energy, this increases reliability while reducing costs and environmental impact.”

    Lake Worth news from business reporter Jeff Ostrowski: “Weed is good for home values, real estate economists find”.

    But first, this is very important:

    If you’re a reporter, intern, or staff for The Palm Beach Post and are still rattled over what happened to you just prior to “monster storm” Irma impacting Palm Beach County, medical marijuana may be a solution:

    “[P]ublisher Tim Burke told the employees
    via email
    . . .”

    Please contact your health care professional or call the medical marijuana dispensary Modern Health Concepts (MHC) at 877-303-0741 today. MHC is opening a new facility soon in the City of Lake Worth, conveniently located at 1125 N. Dixie Hwy. Use this link for more helpful information, e.g., “Search Our Network Of Marijuana Doctors”.

    Now for the recent news from reporter Jeff Ostrowski:

    “With Palm Beach County’s first medical marijuana dispensaries poised to open soon in Lake Worth, here’s a bit of heartening news for nearby homeowners: Pot shops are good for home values. [emphasis added]
         According to a study published in the academic journal Real Estate Economics, single-family homes within 0.1 mile of Denver’s 103 pot shops saw an increase in value of 8.4 percent compared to those located a bit farther—between 0.1 miles and 0.25 miles—from dispensaries. That increase in property value was estimated to be $27,000 for a typical house.”

    Moussa Diop, an assistant professor of real estate
    at the University of Wisconsin is quoted
    in Ostrowski’s article:

    “This suggests that in addition to the sales and business taxes generated from the retail marijuana industry, municipalities may experience an increase in property taxes. It’s an important piece of the puzzle as more and more voters and policy-makers look for evidence about the effects of legalizing recreational marijuana, as the issue is taken up by state legislatures across the country.”

    and lastly, as reported by Ostrowski. . .

    “As of early September, 17 medical marijuana dispensaries had opened in Florida, including locations in Miami, Jacksonville and Tallahassee.”

    Make sure all your friends and colleagues in the Real Estate business here in the little City of Lake Worth get this latest breaking news!

    Volunteer board members, sacrificing their time and effort to chart our City’s future.

    What volunteer board members need to hear more often, “Thank You”.

    Some of you may be surprised to learn how much responsibility, knowledge, and research is needed to be a volunteer board member. The work doesn’t begin when they show up at the meeting and open the agenda packet provided by the City staff. They need to be prepared ahead of time, just like City commissioners or any professional conducting serious business would need to be.

    Here is an example:

    Coming up on November 1st and November 8th will be very important and potentially very time-consuming agenda items (see 3 of these items below) on the City of Lake Worth’s Planning and Zoning Board (P&Z) and the Historic Resource Preservation Board (HRPB). One can expect a large attendance from the public at both meetings and likely a contingent from the press and news media as well.

    It needs to be pointed out often volunteering on City boards takes up a lot of time, effort and inevitably over time, some will have to step away to attend to their own pressing business and family matters. So it’s worth considering whether or not the City needs a C-51 Advisory Committee (it’s only met once in a year) or a Recreation Board (inactive for a decade) and offer these volunteers a seat on another City board (for list of advisory boards use this link).

    The official agendas for both these upcoming meetings are not yet available — but already 3 items have been publicly noticed for the P&Z or both the HRPB and P&Z — and there very well may be more agenda items to come. Here are the three we know of:

    #1. At the P&Z:

    Below is from a notice published in The Lake Worth Herald on Oct. 19th; to learn more about this agenda item use this link for a post on this blog:

    [T]he Planning & Zoning Board City of Lake Worth, Florida, will hold a public hearing in the City Hall Commission Chambers . . . on November 1 . . . A request for a Major Site Plan to allow for the construction of a +/- 85 unit apartment complex The subject site is located at 315 North A Street. . .

    #2. At the P&Z and HRPB
    (use this link):

    PZ/HRPB Project # 17-0000006 – A collaborative request by the City of Lake Worth, Lake Worth Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) and Cultural Council of Palm Beach County for Murals to be placed on the blank walls of the buildings in the general vicinity of downtown Lake Worth including, but not limited to, the following addresses:
    • 604+612 Lucerne Avenue
    • 500 N. Dixie Highway
    • 824 Lake Avenue
    • 10 S Ocean Blvd
    • 100 Golfview Road
    • FDOT Intracoastal Bridge
    • 521 Lake Avenue
    • 7 North Dixie Hwy
    • 601 Lake Avenue
    Note, “[B]ut not limited to, the following addresses”.

    #3. P&Z and HRPB:

    And just today (Sunday, Oct. 22nd), published in The Palm Beach Post, excerpts from a Public Notice on page A16, below the fold:

    “Ordinance 2017-25 of the City of Lake Worth, Florida, amending the City’s Comprehensive Plan to adopt Evaluation And Appraisal (‘EAR’) based amendments pursuant to Section 163.3191, Florida Statutes, which provides for a Comprehensive Update to the Goals, Objectives, and Policies of all elements, including revised text and maps necessary to update the data and analysis of the Comprehensive Plan; providing that the text and maps as amended shall replace in full the existing text and maps in all amended elements”

    and. . . 

    “Ordinance 2017-26 of the City of Lake Worth Florida, amending the City’s Comprehensive Plan by repealing the current Future Land Use Map and adopting a new Land Use Map with amendments”

    Remember. The members of the P&Z and
    HRPB are volunteers.

    These people are volunteering their time and effort for our City of Lake Worth. They will value your input and listen to what you have to say, but always be respectful and follow the rules at board meetings.

    However, very soon it will be Election Season once again and candidates will be pounding the streets looking for votes. So if a candidate or somebody from a political campaign tries to “make hay” of these board meetings, e.g., claims about “secret meetings” or “they’re trying to steal!” this or that, just remember what happened to a former candidate for City Commission in 2016 and what happened to a former City commissioner too in 2017: Use this link to find out.

    These volunteers are not “political footballs” and they will defend themselves — if they have to — like Mr. Greg Rice did in March 2016 leading up to the elections last year:

    But I would also like to say that. . . 

    Wednesday, October 25, 2017

    Public hearing next Wednesday (Nov. 1st) at Lake Worth City Hall.*

    PLEASE TAKE NOTICE that the Planning & Zoning Board [emphasis added] City of Lake Worth, Florida, will hold a public hearing in the City Hall Commission Chambers, in said City at 6:00 PM, or as soon thereafter as possible, 7 North Dixie Highway . . . to consider the following requests.

    [The Historic Resources Preservation Board City of Lake Worth, will also hold a public hearing . . . on November 8, 2017 to consider the requests.]

    PZ/HRPB Project # 17-0000006 – A collaborative request by the City of Lake Worth, Lake Worth Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) and Cultural Council of Palm Beach County for Murals to be placed on the blank walls of the buildings in the general vicinity of downtown Lake Worth including, but not limited to, the following addresses:
    • 604+612 Lucerne Avenue
    • 500 N. Dixie Highway
    • 824 Lake Avenue
    • 10 S Ocean Blvd
    • 100 Golfview Road
    • FDOT Intracoastal Bridge
    • 521 Lake Avenue
    • 7 North Dixie Hwy
    • 601 Lake Avenue
    [P]ursuant to the City of Lake Worth Land Development Regulations (LDR’s) Section 23.5-1.

    Written responses can be sent to the Lake Worth Planning & Zoning Board at 1900 2nd Avenue N, Lake Worth, FL 33461 [or contact City Staff at 561-586-1687] and must arrive before the hearing date to be included in the formal record.

    *This public notice was published in The Lake Worth Herald in the Thursday, October 9th edition on page 12 (top of the page, middle column). To read this entire notice pick up the print edition at the City’s newsstand located at 600 Lake Ave. in Downtown Lake Worth.

    News from Palm Beach Post reporter Kristina Webb about this Saturday!

    Check out the news at the end of this blog post.

    But first, did you know Webb is the new beat reporter for the Village of Wellington, Royal Palm Beach, and the new ‘vibrant’ City of Westlake? She is. Congratulations! Or maybe not. It depends on ones perspective:

    Westlake, on their website (see link below) bills itself as, “A Vibrant City in the Heart of Palm Beach County”.

    Moving around beat reporters, by the way, is nothing new. What happened to the former beat reporter in Wellington, Matt Morgan? He’s now at the Palm Beach Daily News (aka, The Shiny Sheet; next step for Morgan, the Miami Herald ?).

    And more recent news is about Aleese Kopf. Is she still at the Palm Beach Daily News? No! She’s moved on to bigger and better things too. She is now the Marketing and Communications Director for the Town of Palm Beach United Way.

    Whilst on the topic of moving around beat reporters. . .

    The work continues to switch out the City of Lake Worth’s beat reporter and bring in a fresh new perspective. The consensus is almost everyone wants reporter Lulu Ramadan to cover the Lake Worth beat. The City is saying:

    “We want Lulu!”

    Wouldn’t it be great to see that first news report by Lulu at LULA? But so far the editors at the Post are not listening to the public, which is nothing new.

    The last woman to be the beat reporter here in the City of Lake Worth was Lona O’Connor back in 2013 and by the way, it was O’Connor who first gave the “Cottages of Lake Worth” it’s first feature news story in South Florida. For the history of beat reporters going back to 2008 use this link.

    And theres more!

    Remember former City of Lake Worth beat reporter Chris Persaud who won multiple awards from the Society of Professional Journalism? It was after winning all those awards he went on to bigger and better things too. Here’s the latest news from Mr. Persaud titled:

    “Florida NIMBYs Can’t Stop America’s First
    Private High-Speed Rail”

    The article subtitle is,

    “In Mar-a-Lago’s backyard, a fast new train and millions of dollars in transit-oriented development are reshaping the landscape.”

    Without further ado, the latest news from Kristina Webb in today’s (10/25) print edition of the Post on page B3, below the fold:

    “Check out Palm Beach County’s newest municipality [#39] at the Westlake grand opening from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday [Oct. 28th] at 16610 Town Center Parkway North off Seminal Pratt Whitney Road near Seminole Ridge High School in The Acreage. Visitors can tour six model homes and Westlake’s new sales center. There also will be food, face painting, pumpkin painting, lawn games, an obstacle course [which makes sense] for children and a photo booth.”

    Pack up the car and rally all the kids!

    For more information use the link.

    Inaugural meeting of the City of Lake Worth Business Alliance.

    This meeting was held on Wednesday, Oct. 18th at Tacos Al Carbon. If you’re interested use this link to see one of invitations on this blog. Tacos Al Carbon, am happy to say, is fast becoming a community meeting place. The owners don’t mind one bit.

    About 30 people showed up, on a rainy night, which needs to be pointed out. The majority were those who have business interests in this City, and many also are residents as well, and discussed the pressing need to form a group to advocate for their interest in City affairs. Lake Worth City Manager Michael Bornstein attended and presented points of view from the administration’s perspective, along with history about where the City has been and his forecast about the future.

    Bornstein’s conclusion is we’re at a point where the commercial and business interests need to be much more engaged in what is happening, e.g., regulatory changes and attempts to reduce or eliminate those that are detrimental to conducting business and attracting more businesses.

    For example, as stated many times over on this blog, what we keep hearing from the Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) and some in the City staff as well is, “Lake Worth is open for business”. But when so many people are complaining about burdensome and time-consuming regulations, that oft-told mantra of being “Open for Business” falls flat too many times for business owners, and it’s worth repeating, many of them are also residents of this City.

    Besides the numerous complaints about the City’s regulatory process, others at this meeting last week focused on the need to control crime, especially street crime and especially along Dixie Hwy. The open prostitution that is happening and the not-so-‘petty’ street crime like graffiti and vandalism doesn’t help the City of Lake Worth’s efforts at “branding” very much (more about branding a little later in this blog post).

    However, the positive news is despite the occasional hiccup (like the recent political grandstanding over the Blueway Trail project), the City Commission has taken a more positive position vis-à-vis the business community. Remember it was just last March when commissioners Herman Robinson and Omari Hardy were elected replacing Ryan Maier and Chris McVoy, PhD, respectively.

    Who can forget the stir created by businesswoman Michelle Sylvester in January last year when she asked why Maier and McVoy wouldn’t “walk the walk” with her.

    Maier is wearing the darkest suit jacket;
    McVoy is off camera.

    [Use this link to see who makes up the current Lake Worth City Commission.]

    Make no mistake, this inaugural meeting of the City of Lake Worth Business Alliance (CLWBA) was and is significant. There are many public officials, staff and electeds in this City that truly and sincerely have their “ear to the ground” but at the same time though there are others who are either “tone deaf ” or worse, just don’t care.

    There is a lot of frustration out there. And it’s only getting worse. A united voice, an alliance of those in the business community, will make a very big difference.

    The hope for CLWBA is to be a single united voice for the business community. It’s an excellent idea. So much so it’s been tried many times before and failed every time. The steps to move this business alliance forward are easy to understand but the implementation is when the “wheels fall off the bus”. It only takes one or two people intent on monkeywrenching any progress, or just focused on promoting their own agenda, and the alliance will fall apart. We’ve seen that happen before.

    Because our City of Lake Worth does not have anything resembling a City-wide ‘chamber of commerce’ and hasn’t for quite a long time, this group is really starting at ground zero. So step #1 is leadership, create a mission statement and a vision, and make sure everyone is on the same page and stays on the same page. Some discussed the notion of joining up with the Lantana Chamber of Commerce, a group that’s making good headway and is very active in that community.

    It’s worth discussing. Briefly. The time spent negotiating and hammering out the details will take up a lot of time and that’s exactly what the CLWBA doesn’t have right now, time. The general mood is “let’s get this done”. Another one of the frustrations in the business community is the City’s slow progress on “branding”. Lantana’s brand is unique and so is Lake Worth’s.

    A friendly competition will probably do more to make both brands better. We can share information and of course talent as well, both of which our cities have in abundance.

    At the end of this meeting, Bornstein offered the possibility of putting on a “business community forum” where there would be an agenda (very important!) with a Q&A following the program. This could be done on a monthly basis. At this business alliance meeting last week attendees’ names and contact information was taken to follow up on what the next steps will be.

    I will keep you informed as new information arises. If you are interested in learning more about the CLWBA, a business alliance group that may very well settle on another name instead as things pick up speed, please send me your contact information and will make sure you’re put on the list:

    Email me, Wes Blackman, at

    And, as always, Thank You for visiting today.

    Tuesday, October 24, 2017

    City of Lake Worth parking tickets. Amnesty ends in 6 days (Monday, Oct. 30th).

    Amnesty [am-nuh-stee]; noun
    (plural: amnesties).

    • A general pardon for offenses . . . against a government, often granted before any trial or conviction.
    • An act of forgiveness for past offenses, especially to a class of persons as a whole.
    • Forgetting or overlooking of any past offense.
    Below is a City of Lake Worth press release dated September 26th.

    “Vehicle Parking Citation
    Amnesty Program”

    For more information about the City’s “Parking Citation Amnesty Program” contact Parking Enforcement Mgr. Larry D. Lightfoot at 561-533-7383; email:

    Lake Worth, Florida — Until Monday, October 30, the City of Lake Worth will be holding an amnesty program to allow anyone with unpaid parking citations to pay them and be in compliance. All citations may be paid in person or by mail to:

    Parking Enforcement
    414 Lake Ave.
    City of Lake Worth, FL

    To pay online use this link
    (a $3.50 fee applies).

         For questions and information please call Parking Enforcement at 561-533-7383. Florida Statute F.S.S. 361.1967 (6) has a provision to prevent persons from renewing their vehicle registration with the Department of Motor Vehicles if they have three (3) or more unpaid parking citations.
         The City may also use an enforcement immobilization tool commonly called a vehicle “boot” and will only be used after three (3) or more citations go unpaid beyond the 30 calendar day amnesty period.

    And FYI: Did you know the City of Lake Worth has an ordinance which states that, “any bicycle left over 48 hours is considered abandoned” (with no amnesty):

    City ordinance Chapter 8 of the City municipal code states any bicycle left over 48 hours is considered abandoned [no amnesty]. Report any abandoned bicycles on City of Lake Worth public property, e.g., sidewalks, street signs, bike racks. If you know of a bicycle that has been left on a public right-of-way for more than 48 hours please call 561-533-7383.

    “Design Guidelines for Major Thoroughfares”: Request For Proposal (RFP) by the Lake Worth CRA.

    Please note: “Questions/concerns regarding RFPs, RFQs issued by Lake Worth CRA [Community Redevelopment Agency] are handled directly by the CRA.”

    Deadline is Friday,
    Oct. 27th, 3:00 p.m.

    This RFP by the Lake Worth CRA is:

    “[T]o solicit qualifications to hire an experienced firm or consultant(s) to develop a set of design guidelines for the City’s major thoroughfares”

    For more information use this link to the City of Lake Worth’s website and look for RFP number “CRA 01-1718S: Design Guidelines for Major Thoroughfares”. Have a question?
    • Is there a pre-proposal meeting with a sign-in sheet?
    • Is there a deadline to submit questions?
    • Are there any FDOT requirements?
    • Any addenda thus far?
    All questions regarding this RFP should be submitted in writing via snail mail (see address below) or by e-mail: 

    Lake Worth Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA)
    29 South ‘J’ Street
    Lake Worth, FL 33460
    Attn: Chris Dabros

    [Have questions about other CRA projects or upcoming events? Use this link or call 561-493-2550.]

    Another excerpt from RFP 01-1718S:

    “Since 2001, the city has adopted an aggressive set of comprehensive plan changes in both 2009 and 2012 as well as an entirely new zoning code (land development regulations) in 2013. With these adoptions a variety of inconsistencies and contradictions between the Comprehensive Plan and Land Development Regulations (LDRs) compared to the guidelines became quite evident. These discrepancies lead to confusion and misunderstandings as to how the city wants to see new development and redevelopment occur along its major thoroughfare. Another change that affects the current guidelines is that the city expanded the definition and collection of roadways that qualify as a major thoroughfare. Lastly, the city has been awarded a grant to prepare city specific historic preservation design guidelines, which should be ready for adoption in early 2018.”

    Unsolved. Jose Aguilar Juarez murdered in City of Lake Worth. Robert Adams murdered in West Palm Beach.

    Both of these homicides (details below) remain unsolved. If you have have any information about these crimes — or any other crime — you can remain anonymous and receive a reward.

    “No tip is too small”.

    Click on image to enlarge:
    To learn more about CrimeStoppers use this link.

    Robert Adams was the 14th of 23 homicides in West Palm Beach this year:

    BEACH — A man was found shot to death on a sidewalk in the city’s north end late Wednesday [June 7th].

    Officers received a 911 call just after 11 p.m. Wednesday and found a white male victim with a gunshot wound on a sidewalk in the 2800 block of Spruce Avenue, between Broadway and Flagler Drive north of Good Samaritan Medical Center. He died at the scene, police said.

    Jose Aguilar Juarez was murdered on June 17th in the City of Lake Worth (the 2nd of four homicides in the City this year). Two excerpts from the beat reporter:

    ORTH — ■■■■■■ ■■■■■■■■■■ 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.

    While ■■■■■■■■■■ was checking out the popular Netflix series, the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office said a man was shot and killed at 914 North F Street.

    The moment you hear gunshots TURN OFF THE TV!

    Call 911 and DO NOT GO OUTSIDE.
    Let PBSO District 14 handle the situation.
    Make the Call Y’all, “¡Haga la Llamada!”,
    and “An Nou Tout Rele!”

    Monday, October 23, 2017

    Inaugural meeting of the Lake Worth Business Alliance and did you hear what Cheryl Rashkin said?

    Check back later on today or tomorrow morning for the promised updates and more information about what happened at the Lake Worth City Commission meeting last Tuesday (Oct. 17th).

    Was hoping some in the press and news media would pick up on some of the things that happened at this meeting — e.g., the timely update from Dir. Ed Liberty at the Lake Worth Electric Utility — but that has gone unreported thus far, except on this blog.

    Who is Cheryl Rashkin? She is president of the South Palm Park Neighborhood Assoc. and gave an update to the Commission about what has been happening in her neighborhood over the past year. One of the standout observations is how happy she is to see so many families with children move into the neighborhood!

    And will also have more information about the
    inaugural meeting of the Lake Worth Business
    Alliance last week (Wed., Oct. 18th):
    Many Lake Worth business owners and
    City residents were in attendance.

    City Manager Michael Bornstein stopped by as well:
    Stay tuned.

    Sunday, October 22, 2017

    Municipal Branding: It defines for visitors, investors, and consumers WHAT and WHERE that “unique place” IS.

    Whilst on the subject of business, consumers, and municipal branding, when was the last time you visited the exciting bagel store serving “bialys, eggs, pancakes, jumbo muffins and more” in Lake Worth?

    First, for those of you who really enjoy reading regional news, specifically about western Palm Beach County, would strongly suggest you begin reading The Town-Crier. They’ve recently updated their website with an entirely new look.

    Back on the subject of “municipal branding”, below is an excerpt from an article by reporter Ron Bukley at the Town-Crier titled, “Marketing/Branding Among Top Goals For Wellington Officials”:

         One of the reasons for doing community marketing is because the village needs to make sure that people are aware of the things the village does well, which include schools and parks, Schofield [Village Manager Paul Schofield] said.
         “We’re looking for a program that communicates our family lifestyle, the things that are unique about Wellington and our willingness to respond to the changing needs of our residents,” Schofield said. “I don’t think we need to put up billboards. We don’t have to say, ‘We’re great.’ What we have to do is exactly what this council said, which is determine what is great and unique about Wellington and make sure that the people we want to move here know that. I’m not suggesting by any means that we need to start taking out full-page ads in publications across the nation to say, ‘Move to Wellington.’ ”

    By the way, the Village of Wellington and their city officials are not at all thrilled about a new “master-planned” community called “Arden” that is “in Wellington” but it’s not IN Wellington.

    If you’ve been following this blog you know Yours Truly is none too happy with the City of Lake Worth’s efforts at “branding”. Yes. The City has done a lot of incredible work explaining why this place called “Lake Worth” is unique. The problem is too few know or understand where exactly that unique place IS.

    Back in 2012 was the last serious attempt to fix this problem, so many in the public, visitors, tourists, press, and news media misunderstanding the difference between the actual City of Lake Worth from those vast areas west of the City, some even as far west as the Everglades.

    The idea was to change the name of our City to “Lake Worth Beach”. Then some residents suggested other names like Jewel or Jewell, Not Delray, Kokomo, Mango, and Miranda Beach.

    “In a memo to the commission about the name change, [now Vice Mayor Scott] 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.”

    Have you visited the new bagel store
    in Lake Worth?

    Enough about old history, you want to learn more about “Bagels &” right? 

    Bagels & offers an extensive breakfast menu featuring its famed bagels, along with other breakfast staples such as bialys, eggs, pancakes, jumbo muffins and more.”
    Directions: Drive west on Lake Worth Rd. and go south on Congress Ave. Once you pass the Great Walled City of Atlantis go west on Lantana Rd. to S. Military Trail. Go south on Military to Hypoluxo Rd. and then go west. Once you pass Jog Rd. the bagel store will be on the south side of the road.

    This bagel store isn’t in the City of Lake Worth.
    It just has a ‘Lake Worth’ zip code.
    Bagels & is located in the southwestern corner (bottom left) in this map, courtesy of your
    Palm Beach County government.

    “Lake Worth Beach” sounds like a good idea,
    doesn’t it? Or do you prefer “Jewell”?

    It’s Football Sunday! Need food for the game today? Had a rough night watching ‘Big Brother’ last night?

    Have you been to Tacos Al Carbon yet in our City of Lake Worth? Still smarting from that 42-13 loss to Penn State last night? Well! Drown those blue away with a cold beer and some excellent Mexican food later this afternoon or tonight (eat in or take-out: 561-812-3565).

    Tacos Al Carbon has big screen TVs and maybe you’ll even get to see clips of that exciting Michigan State game yesterday.

    And there’s more news: Tacos Al Carbon is now a stop on the Lake Worth Taste History Culinary Tour.

    You know what that means: Tacos Al Carbon
    is now “The cat’s meow”!

    “Expression referring to something that is considered outstanding; coined by American cartoonist Thomas A. Dorgan (1877–1929).”

    And a prediction: Before long a TV news crew or press reporter will show up and interview neighbors of Tacos Al Carbon complaining of traffic and parking problems and how they can’t sleep at night in their house just steps away from Dixie Hwy., a major thoroughfare, that’s been lagging much to long and in need of an economic boost.


    Have you been to Tacos Al Carbon yet? No?
    What are you waiting for!
    The staff is absolutely dazzling and courteous,
    smiles all around at Tacos Al Carbon!
    See more pictures below.

    Tacos Al Carbon is now open for business (details below, address and contact information). This is one more indication, more proof that our City has eclipsed Delray Beach! Why else would Tacos Al Carbon skip over Delray?

    Because the City of Lake Worth is the one and
    only “Hometown Destinations” in all of
    Palm Beach County:
    The food and service at Tacos Al Carbon is incredible. Located at 2200 N. Dixie Hwy; call 561-812-3565: “100% Comida Mexicana”.

    The inside of Tacos Al Carbon is impressively spacious with plenty of seating, bright and colorful. The acoustics in the two dining rooms are very pleasant as well.

    Did I say “two dining rooms”? Yes!
    There are two rooms with high-def TVs.
    Even though a lot of people were picking up orders called in, the seated guests dont feel crowded in. There’s plenty of room for everyone to
    mingle and dine.

    The view from the back dining room which
    leads into the kitchen.
    When I took a peak beyond the kitchen door one of the cooks said, Hola! Bienvenidos a Tacos Al Carbon!” The kitchen was also spacious
    and very bright.

    Remember the overnight curfews following Hurricane Irma? Remember that ‘curfew’ the Post made up?

    Below is another in the long series of blog posts about, “One of the ways you know it’s getting close to election season in Lake Worth”.

    Those of you who were here will remember the dusk-to-dawn curfew that was after the hurricane. But how many of you remember the ‘curfew’ that was totally made up by The Palm Beach Post in the 2016 election cycle?

    That nonsense in the Post followed when the Lake Worth City Commission considered passing an ordinance to control drug and criminal activity in the Downtown Cultural Plaza in the overnight hours (which did end up passing). One of the Post editors instead of calling this an ordinance, which it was, called it a ‘curfew’ instead. Learn more about that below.

    Suffice to say, in the mind of the public, there’s a big difference in perception between an “ordinance” and a “curfew”.

    Before long the editors at the Post will be giving marching orders to beat reporters. The press reports will certainly reflect that mood and direction. For example, no one will be surprised by the Post endorsements in March 2018. For many months leading up to the elections reporters and editors will leave many clues along the way.

    However, there’s another way to try and
    manipulate the public: headlines.

    Headlines should be, “about six words that need to reflect the article accurately . . . a good headline is based on the lead.”

    Use this link to learn more about The New York Times’ “Editing: Standards in Action” for newspapers (and online editions). “Headlines: In a Nutshell”.
    In the article by the beat reporter, the word “curfew” was not used one single time. Why did the editor use the word ‘curfew’ in the headline?

    The word curfew, the definition understood by nearly everyone, is a way for the authorities and governments to keep you inside your home:

    A curfew is also a “regulation requiring a person
    to be home at a certain prescribed time.

    The headline editor at the Post clearly employed a tactic called loaded language. In the article by the beat reporter, remember, the word “curfew” was not used one single time.

    A lot of people in Lake Worth, and elsewhere, got angry as hell when they saw this headline in that morning’s paper, above the fold on the first page. But this is Free Speech and what happens when you have a newspaper without competition.

    It was a very clever headline. But did you know The Palm Beach Post print edition you read wouldn’t even happen if it weren’t for the Sun Sentinel in Broward County? That’s right. After the Post shut down their printing presses they need the Sun Sentinel to print their newspapers and then all those bundles of papers are shipped by big trucks north to Palm Beach County.

    Just think of all the fossil fuels that have been wasted over all these years.

    So, as we’re heading into another election season and you see another misleading headline like this — don’t get angry — do something. Like write a Letter to the Editor. And if you want to learn more about what the Lake Worth City Commission really did recently, pick up or subscribe to The Lake Worth Herald (pick up the print edition at the City’s newsstand at 600 Lake Ave. in the Downtown). 

    So. Stay tuned as they say for the next time, “when you know it’s getting close to election season in our City of Lake Worth”!