Saturday, November 4, 2017

Recap: Public meetings next week in our little City of Lake Worth.

Monday at 6:00 (meet in conference room):

Finance Advisory Board meeting followed by Inaugural Meeting of the Neighborhood Road Bond Citizens Oversight Committee. For agenda and details click on this link.

Tuesday at 6:00 (in Commission chambers):

Regular meeting of the City Commission, the only one this month (there is a Work Session scheduled on Nov. 28th; next regular meeting is on Dec. 5th). One of the big items:

11A. Ordinance No. 2017-27 - First Reading - amending Chapter 23 “Land Development Regulations”, Article 5 “Supplemental Regulations”, Section 23.5-4 “Historic Preservation” and set the second reading and public hearing for December 5, 2017.

Wednesday at 6:00 (in Commission chambers):

Historic Resource Preservation Board. One major item for consideration from “New Business”:

Consideration of a collaborative request by the City of Lake Worth, the Lake Worth Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) and the Cultural Council of Palm Beach County for a Mural Approval and a Certificate of Appropriateness for Exterior Alterations for the CANVAS Outdoor Museum Show murals and public art installations to be located in the general vicinity of downtown Lake Worth including, but not limited to, the following addresses: 521 Lake Avenue; 601 Lake Avenue; 11 South L Street; 604 Lucerne Avenue; 612 Lucerne Avenue; 500 N. Dixie Highway; 824 Lake Avenue; 10 S Ocean Blvd; 100 Golfview Road; FDOT Intracoastal Bridge.

Thursday at 5:30 (conference room):

Tree Board meeting, click on this link for more details.

Meet your City Commission:
Have you ever tried contacting your elected officials and asking, “What can I do to help?”

Information from a loyal reader. Please share with friends and neighbors.

PLEASE NOTE: This is a re-post as a public service.*

“Dear Wes, when I see a homeless person that needs help I tell them to ask a PBSO deputy where to go, go to a church, or look for a house with a red and white sign that says ‘Hands off our beach’. It’s really a secret symbol that means the homeowner will offer them sanctuary. Spread the word.”

Note: There are two versions of the ‘sanctuary’ sign for the homeless. Both have a solid red background with boldface white (sans serif) lettering such as the ones shown above.
*Cannot vouch for accuracy of information.

Newspaper article? “Babcock Ranch adds cutting edge transportation”. Is this news or something else?

Or is this from an editorial about a “planned community” (see below) in Southwest Florida?

Babcock Ranch is “under development in Southwest Florida that was approved as part of a public-private partnership strategy with the State of Florida and local governments. The deal established the neighboring Babcock Ranch Preserve.” About the Town of Babcock Ranch, the headline subtitle:
“Eco-friendly town will have the nation’s first AV [autonomous vehicle] network”.
This is not “news”. And it’s not an editorial or an advertisement either. So what is it then?

It’s an “Advertorial”!

Use this link to read the entire advertorial in Florida Weekly datelined October 11th. Is this a negative thing? Of course not. It’s clearly labeled an “Advertorial” right under the headline. Our City of Lake Worth should do stuff like this, do an advertorial about our City’s new solar field and groundbreaking energy project called “Distributed Energy: The Lake Worth Solution.

Here is the first paragraph in Florida Weekly:

A partnership announced this week puts Babcock Ranch on the cutting edge of sustainable transportation. Transdev, the global leader in multi-modal mobility solutions, will be rolling out the first autonomous shuttle network in North America at Babcock Ranch by the end of November.

To learn more about Babcock Ranch, “What are we doing for the environment?

At Babcock Ranch, we’ve built sustainability right into the infrastructure. For residents, that adds up to a greener way of life that is affordable, and effortless.

And lastly, an excerpt from a press release which cites the “FPL Babcock Ranch Solar Energy Center” including a quote from Eric Draper:

     Today, FPL is cleaner than the carbon emissions goal set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan for Florida to meet by 2030, while the company’s typical residential customer bills are among the lowest in the nation.
     “Increasing clean energy production in Florida has been on the minds of many Floridians for years, and it's great to see FPL continuing to invest in solar,” said Eric Draper, executive director for Audubon Florida. “Clean energy technology will help protect the environment, by reducing emissions and saving water, benefiting everyone who calls Florida home, as well as the millions of people who visit our state each year.”

City of Greenacres news: Council to consider 4-year terms and notice of General Election.

Coming up on Monday (Nov. 6th) at 7:00 the Greenacres City Council will consider several ordinances. One of them is “lengthening terms for elected officials to four [4] years”. This meeting was publicly noticed in The Lake Worth Herald. Also in the Herald is the “Notice of Municipal General Election”:

City of Greenacres, Florida

General Election: Tuesday, March 13, 2018.

The 2018 Municipal Election will be held on Tuesday, March 13, 2018, between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. for the purpose of electing the following public officials for two (2) year terms:
  • Council District II
  • Council District III
  • Council District IV
All candidates must be registered voters of Greenacres in Palm Beach County and a resident of the City for one continuous year. Candidates must reside within their respective districts. The filing/qualifying period opens at Noon, Tuesday, December 5, 2017 and closes promptly at Noon, Tuesday, December 19, 2017.
     For more information, please contact the City Clerk’s office [Joanna Cunningham, PIO, MMC] at 561-642-2006.

FYI: The incumbents are:

For this week’s front page news in The Lake Worth Herald and Coastal Greenacres Observer
use this link

For subscription rates click on this link.
“Lake Worth’s Oldest Established
– Established in 1912”

Friday, November 3, 2017

Election Day in City of Lake Worth next year: An early sign from campaign treasurer reports?

The M9 (Month 9, September) treasurer reports turned in last month by the three incumbents and the two challengers was startling, to say the least. Not for how much campaign money was raised but by how little. Read more about that below and the total money raised.

That could suggest many things. The public mood is one of satisfaction with how things are going generally, the public is waiting to see the entire field of candidates to choose from following the end of the qualifying period in early December, or few are paying attention yet. But if you are paying attention, stay tuned. . .

Soon the M10 (October) campaign reports
will begin to roll in.

In the next week or so go to the City’s website and see how much campaign money was raised in October, contributions from who, how much money has been spent and for what items (mailers, political consulting, fundraisers, etc.).

What happened in September may be a first ever: All of the M9 treasurer reports showed 4 “Waiver of Report”, meaning no money was raised or spent and one contribution to one of the challengers for $50. That’s right. Fifty (50) dollars.

Not $5,000. Not $500. Just $50 raised by the three incumbents (for mayor and commissioner in Districts 1 and 3) and the 2 challengers, so far, for seats on the City Commission (Mayor Pam Triolo is thus far unopposed).

What does this all mean? Draw your own conclusions. Election day, by the way, is just 130 days away.

Subscription rates: The Lake Worth Herald and Palm Beach Post.

Did you know a 7-day all-inclusive subscription to The Palm Beach Post is just $683.79?

Find out more below about subscription prices and other plans available.

Of course, the Post and Palm Beach Daily News (aka, the Shiny Sheet) were put “up for sale” last year but by no means does that imply you can’t become a subscriber. Just make sure if those newspaper happen to shut down prior to the end of your subscription that an arrangement is made to get the balance of your money back.

Subscribe to The Lake Worth Herald and Coastal & Greenacres Observer.

The Lake Worth Herald Press is located at 1313 Central Terrace in the City of Lake Worth. Call 561-585-9387 for more information.

See options for subscription rates below or click on this link (after you’ve made your selection you will be switched to the PayPal website using your PayPal account or with any major credit card). The weekly print edition is conveniently delivered by U.S. Mail and can also be picked up for just ¢50 at the City’s Downtown newsstand located at 600 Lake Ave.

Subscriptions to print & online newspaper:
  • Six month combo $28.00
  • One year combo $45.00
Subscription to printed newspaper:
  • Six months $15.00
  • One year $25.00
Subscription to online newspaper:
  • Six months $20.00
  • One year $35.00

Palm Beach Post subscription rates.

Not interested in a subscription? The daily print edition is $2; Sunday edition is $3.

Delivery or subscription questions? Call 800-926-POST (7678) or click on this link. For delivery options available see below. About Post subscriptions:

The first payment, for all new starts, will include a one-time nonrefundable activation fee up to $5. Home delivery customers will be charged up to an additional $3.99 premium day rate on February 26; May 14; September 17; November 23. Premium day charges will result in shortening the length of the billing period. Subscription types other than 7-day will receive Presidents’ Day, Memorial Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day as part of their current subscription. Dates and prices are subject to change without notice. [emphasis added]

Daily & Sunday all-inclusive (7 days Print + Digital)
  • 1 month paid $56.99
  • Annual paid $683.79
Sunday Print + Daily Digital (Print + Daily Digital)
  • 1 month paid $29.99
  • Annual paid $359.79
7-day digital only
  • 1 month paid $19.99
  • Annual paid $239.88
For more information about the The Palm Beach Post being up for sale use this link for an article by business reporter Jeff Ostrowski datelined October 31st, “Cox Media Group said Tuesday it has put a for-sale sign on The Palm Beach Post.”

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Spread word on Facebook: Upcoming “Veterans Day Parade & Ceremony of Honor” in our Downtown.

Do you have contacts with veterans, veteran groups and veteran organizations on Facebook?

Please help the City of Lake Worth
promote this event:
Tell your elected officials you want an “Official” City of Lake Worth Facebook page. Why isn’t the City using Facebook? No one knows exactly why.

But over six months ago now the City of Greenacres rolled out their “Official” Facebook page that came in especially handy after Hurricane Irma.

Here’s the latest on Facebook from Greenacres:

Join Mayor Joel Flores this Saturday (November 4th) for the Great Greenacres Cleanup in Samuel J. Ferreri Community Park [2905 Jog Rd.] from 8:30-noon. BBQ and Pizza will be provided after the event. . . . Students can earn their volunteer hours!

By the way, did you know Greenacres
has 11 public parks? They do.
And one is “Veterans Memorial Park”.
Use this link to learn more.

Remember when Lake Worth’s city manager called a Post news article “egregious” and “incompetent”?

Are you surprised The Palm Beach Post is up for sale? You shouldn’t be. It’s a terrible newspaper and has been for many years now.

There are very good veteran reporters still there and they’ll be picked up by Pulitzer Prize winning papers like the Miami Herald and Tampa Bay Times. One of my hopes was both the Herald and the Times would open satellite news offices here in Palm Beach County and start a local section. The last thing we need is another newspaper in this County without any serious competition. 

Anyhow, were you one of those who used to subscribe to The Palm Beach Post print edition? Remember that letter from the Post’s “Director of Audience” (see below) earlier this year? The very next day cancelled that subscription for newspaper delivery and suspect so did a lot of other people too.

If you are surprised about the Post being up for sale, below is a blog post from 6 months ago titled:

“More newsroom cuts at the Post and they raised
the price for delivery too. Is that paper ‘Worth’
it any more?”

“In Your Community”?
Has the quality of reporting gotten any better here in the City of Lake Worth? What if you live in Greenacres? What about news reporting from Palm Springs, Lake Clarke Shores or most anywhere else in Central Palm Beach County?

Below is an excerpt from a letter sent two weeks ago by the Post’s “Director of Audience”. Interestingly, this letter comes just as the last of the Snowbirds left to return home. Take a few moments today and respond with “Dear Audience Director”. Send an email to:

The cost to you has gone up as the newspaper industry adjusts to change. Therefore, we need to make adjustments to our delivery rates.”

Click on image below to read the message from the Director of Audience”:
Dear “Audience Director”: Is it the fault of Code Enforcement in the City of Lake Worth for delays in the renovation of our historic Gulfstream Hotel? That’s what your beat reporter, Kevin Thompson, reported in your newspaper.

Now you want more money? “Thank you again for being a loyal subscriber. We appreciate your readership.”

Where is the Post reporting about the Blueway Trail project? Or the renewable energy project using wave energy from the Gulfstream Current off the coast of Lake Worth? Any comment to City Manager Michael Bornstein calling one of your news reports, “egregious” and “incompetent”? And now you want how much more money to have your print edition delivered here into the City of Lake Worth?

Here’s the latest news from Jose Lambiet, “EXCLUSIVE — Axe Falls On Palm Beach Post: 10 Workers Escorted Out, Publisher Gets Fancy New House!”, an excerpt:

     It’s tough to get exact numbers these days: The Atlanta-based owners of the Post hide behind its status as a private company to avoid reporting things like personnel cuts — never mind that the paper has plastered labor cuts in other companies on the front page.
     I’m told by sources inside that the 10 unlucky ones got called into the offices of supervisors about noon then were escorted out without being able to clean up their desks.
     “They used the excuse that the advertising folks who were canned didn’t make their quotas of sales,” the source said. “Very few people manage to make their numbers.
     “Business people in the community are no fools. They know advertising in the Post no longer gets results. The news content is so weak that nobody’s reading. It’s like to trying to sell shit.”

Don’t forget: guess who prints the Post newspaper? The Sun Sentinel in Broward County. And it’s also never been explained why the Post shut down their Tallahassee Bureau and let two veteran reporters go (including John Kennedy) last December.

But do you remember what the big news was last December here in the little City of Lake Worth? A small chocolate shop, Hoffman’s Chocolate, went out of business and it wasn’t because of a “lack of business as reported by the beat reporter.

“The news content is so weak that nobody’s reading.”

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

“Cox Media Group to sell The Palm Beach Post, Palm Beach Daily News [Shiny Sheet]”

To read more about this completely expected news datelined today, Oct. 31st, use this link; an excerpt:

“After careful consideration, we have made the difficult but strategic decision to put our newspapers in Palm Beach and Austin up for sale,” said [Cox Media Group] President Kim Guthrie.

Interestingly, published in The Palm Beach Post on Tuesday, Oct. 24th on page B6 below the fold:

Timothy D. Burke, publisher of The Palm Beach Post and the Palm Beach Daily News, has been selected to chair Florida’s newspaper trade association.
     The Florida Press Association was founded in 1879 to protect the freedoms and advance the professional standards of the press in Florida.

Shouldn’t one of the “professional standards of the press in Florida” be to make an endorsement for President of the United States? The Post didn’t endorse Sec. of State Hillary Clinton. And the Post didn’t endorse then-citizen Mr. Donal Trump either. That’s right. That ‘newspaper of record’ didn’t make any endorsement for President of the United States.

However. . .

The Post did publish three (3) full-page ads for the Donald Trump for President Campaign, the last one on Sunday, Nov. 6th, two days before election day.
Following the election last year the editor held a “Facebook Live Chat” with Republicans to discuss concerns about the Post’s reporting. By the way, the editor never reached out to us Democrats and explain why Hillary was not endorsed.

A homicide and another senseless act: Not calling 911 when you hear gunshots in the neighborhood.

Is it time for another “Walk The Walk” neighborhood event to teach the public about why it’s important to “Make The Call Y’All”? The last community walk with PBSO was 6 months ago. Use this link to learn more about that. 

Many in our City of Lake Worth are still trying to grasp this news from Post reporter Eliot Kleinberg, why no one called PBSO to report hearing gunshots in the neighborhood:

LAKE WORTH — Family members opened their front door on South H Street in Lake Worth early Monday [Oct. 30th at 7:00 a.m.] to find a man shot to death in their front lawn, the Palm Beach County Sheriffs’s Office said.

and. . .

     According to the sheriff’s office, the people at the home heard gunshots at about 5 a.m. Monday but were afraid to go outside and did not call authorities.

To read the entire news report by Kleinberg use this link. If you were in the area of the 1000 block of South ‘H’ Street (along the FEC train tracks) nearby the corner of 6th Ave. South you can remain anonymous and claim a reward if you have a tip to solve this homicide.

Contact Crime Stoppers at 800-458-8477.
Again. If you heard or saw something and fear retribution contact Crime Stoppers and
remain anonymous.

Agenda for tomorrow’s P&Z Board meeting is available online.

There are two agenda items on the upcoming Planning and Zoning (P&Z) Board (scheduled for Wed., Nov. 1st, 6:00 at City Hall*) that are very interesting, will likely attract media attention, and could potentially be lively matters of debate and much public comment:
  • Agenda item 5.G.2: Banyan Court Project, “[R]equest for Major Site Plan Approval for a 85 unit multi-family complex and a request to incorporate additional height and a third story.”
  • 5.G.3: CANVAS Outdoor Museum Show, “[R]equest for Murals to be placed on the blank walls of the buildings in the general vicinity of downtown Lake Worth.”
Note: “All project-related back-up materials, including full plan sets, are available for review by the public in the Planning, Zoning and Preservation Division located at 1900 2nd Avenue North.”

To read about these two items recently addressed on this blog and to learn about, “Volunteer board members, sacrificing their time and effort to chart our City’s future” click on this link.

*To download the agenda for this meeting use this link and scroll down for Planning and Zoning Board, then look for “November 1, 2017 Agenda”: click on that link provided by staff.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Please note: Our City’s Halloween headquarters, World Thrift, closes at 6:00; reopens tomorrow at 9:00 a.m.

What is likely the greatest thrift store east of the Mississippi River, World Thrift, is open Mon–Sat, 9:00–6:00, located at 2425 N. Dixie Hwy in Lake Worth. Use this link to see some of the incredible fashion and garments available for MEN, WOMEN AND CHILDREN!

To learn more about World Thrift click on this link and don’t forget, every Wednesday is Senior Citizen Day.

From 2009 here’s another image from the inimitable and very talented Mr. Tom McGow:
Need a tie, gloves, belt, or other accessories to complete your Halloween costume? Go to World Thrift today! And be forewarned, the line starts forming at 8:15 to get in.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

From the Post editorial board today: “OUR VIEWS: WORKFORCE HOUSING CRISIS”.

Here’s the title of the editorial in The Palm Beach Post (Sunday, Oct. 29th):

“Builders must step up, create housing
that is affordable”

Maybe tomorrow the editor(s) at the Post will try and tackle the issue of homicides and the senseless violence in West Palm Beach (twenty-three homicides this year). Click on this link to read an article by reporter Olivia Hitchcock about the “Walk Against Violence” on Friday, Oct. 27th.

And whilst on this topic PBSO Sheriff Ric Bradshaw may be in a position to help WPB. Recently, the editor at the Post praised Bradshaw who “smartly requested $1.8 million to hire 15 entry-level deputies” by applying for a highly coveted federal COPS grant.* So stay tuned for when the editor at the Post reaches out to discuss this possibility of Bradshaw helping out.

Back to the issue of affordable housing. . .

The link for this latest piece of work from the editorial board is not yet available, but in the meantime check out the “HOMES” section today.

There aren’t too many affordable homes listed in the “Featured Community” or “Hot Properties” section: There are two houses in Palm Beach Gardens for $3.1M and $3,495,000, one in North Palm Beach for $2.1M and one in Singer Island for just $734,900.

However, when it comes to the subject of affordable housing here is an excerpt from a Letter to the Editor published earlier this year:

“I urge prospective buyers to look into the [City of Lake Worth] home market for their families. . . . a charming, diverse and culturally rich area, there are abandoned homes looking for someone to love them. Ask your Realtor to show you some.”

The City of Lake Worth had its very own “Special Keepsakes Series” published in the Post last March.
The only city in PBC to ever receive that honor.
It’s this “Hometown Destinations” series which confirmed the obvious: Delray Beach is in decline and Lake Worth is a city truly in ascendance.

However, despite being a “Hometown Destination”, it’s sadly very rare for a positive Letter to the Editor (LTE) to be chosen by the editor and actually published in the print edition portraying our little City in a positive light. So take 5–10 minutes today and change that!

How to write a LTE:

  • Keep your LTE to 150–200 words in length. The “shorter the better” is a good rule.
  • An LTE submitted by email (see below) is the best method and remember to include your phone number and complete address.
  • Engage like-minded “average citizens” to write LTEs on the same subject.
  • Listing your credentials will help greatly; then always follow up your LTE!

This is the trick!

  • Follow up your LTE with an email or fax later that day or the next morning.
  • Then later, call or contact the editorial department and explain why your letter is important.
  • Don’t be timid! Stay pleasant and respectful but make a strong pitch.
  • To seal the deal, just ask outright, “Are you planning to publish my letter?”.

So get cracking and have your LTE published in
the Post, maybe even in the Sunday paper:

  • Email:
  • Fax: 561-820-4728
  • Phone: 561-820-4441

Using snail mail:

Palm Beach Post
ATTN: Letter to Editor (LTE)
2751 S. Dixie Highway
West Palm Beach, FL 33405

Good Luck!

*COPS  =  Community Oriented Policing Services: This program is “the component of the U.S. Department of Justice responsible for advancing the practice of community policing by the nation’s state, local, territorial, and tribal law enforcement agencies through information and grant resources.”

Another reason why our public schools are so important.

Just in case you missed this blog post from yesterday:

“People will come here when it’s excellent,” she said. She’s hopeful that the county school superintendent, Robert Avossa, will lead an improvement.
Quoted, West Palm Beach Mayor Jeri Muoio.

The quote and excerpt above is from an article titled, “Jeff Greene and others key in on challenges facing West Palm Beach” by business reporter Dan Weil at The Real Deal. Below are two excerpts from the article datelined Friday, Oct. 27th:

     Bianco [Angelo J. Bianco] said attracting more young people is important. “To get to the next level we need to make West Palm Beach a place where young people think of going into business,” he said. “When [top] people graduate from college, West Palm isn’t on their list.” [emphasis added]

and. . .

     Greene [real estate investor Jeff Greene] and Muoio [WPB Mayor Jeri Muoio] both pointed to the need for a better educational system. “People will come here when it’s excellent,” she [Muoio] said. She’s hopeful that the county school superintendent, Robert Avossa, will lead an improvement.
     As for higher education, the percentage of the population with Ph.D.s is low in West Palm, and that’s what brings business, Muoio said. “How does our university system become more attractive?”
     Greene agreed on the need to elevate local colleges. Echoing Bianco’s point, he also said it’s important to make West Palm Beach attractive to young people from the area who go to top colleges elsewhere, so that they will come back afterward. “We have to get the human capital that will build business,” he [Greene] said.

FYI. Whilst on the subject, have you heard about
the City of Lake Worth Business Alliance?
The inaugural meeting was on Wednesday, Oct. 18th. About 30 people, business owners and residents, showed up on a rainy night. Use this link
to learn more

This would be a good time to remind everyone the C-51 Canal separating the cities of Lake Worth and West Palm Beach is not a dangerous crossing. We’re actually very friendly here in the City of Lake Worth and have many good friends in WPB as well.

We’re looking for new ideas and better ways to reinvigorate Dixie Hwy. When the next Business Alliance meeting is scheduled will let everyone know and hope you can show up and help with some advice going forward, e.g., more creative ways to “[G]et the human capital that will build business” here in our little City.