Saturday, November 25, 2017

“Rabies-Positive Area Cautioned” in unincorporated Central Palm Beach County; this “rabies-positive” pit bull WAS NOT found “in Lake Worth”.

Take note: False news report from WPBF/ABC25 about this incident of rabies. Learn below where this incident of rabies actually occurred. The news report by Whitney Burbank titled, “Lake Worth dog tests positive for rabies” gives the wrong location. This incident of rabies DID NOT happen “in Lake Worth”:

“Walesky [Animal Care and Control spokesman Capt. Dave Walesky] said [pit bull dog] Luigi’s owners recorded the two-year-old pitbull [sic] after they discovered him, unable to move, outside the home on Eddy Court in Lake Worth [sic] last week.
     They rushed to [sic] Luigi the veterinarian, but it was too late. According to Walesky, tests revealed the dog had rabies -- Palm Beach County’s only recorded case in nearly five years.”

A news report by Tania Rogers at NBC5/WPTV gives the accurate location of this incident: “Fliers warn of rabies in suburban Lake Worth”.

The original blog post about this rare but
very dangerous viral disease follows:

Below are excerpts from the front page news in today’s Lake Worth Herald with contact information and advice from the Florida Dept. of Health and Palm Beach County Animal Care and Control.

Animals exhibiting signs of sickness and aggressive behavior should be reported to Animal Control
at 561-233-1200 immediately.

“Rabies is a disease of the nervous system and is fatal
to warm blooded animals and humans.” Learn
more about rabies below.
This rabies-positive area is west of Edgecliff Ave. in unincorporated PBC, south of Greenacres and
west of Atlantis (between Jog and Haverhill roads,
north of Lantana Rd.).

Important information from The Lake Worth Herald:

Florida Department of Health in Palm Beach County along with Animal Care and Control have confirmed that a pit bull taken to a veterinarian for wound treatment last Thursday was positive for rabies. At least two persons were exposed to the sick animal and the Department of Health is looking for others that may have been exposed.
     Department of Health Epidemiologists received confirmation from the Florida State Lab and immediately reached out to the veterinarian, dog owner, and other potential contacts. The Department is also asking anyone from the community, west of Edgecliffe Ave and North of Lantana Road that may have had contact with this or any other stray or wild animal since October 22 to notify the department at 561-671-4184.

and. . .

     The only treatment for human exposure to rabies is rabies-specific immune globulin and rabies immunization. Appropriate treatment started soon after the exposure will protect an exposed person from the disease. The following advice is issued:
  • Keep rabies vaccinations up to date for all pets.
  • Keep your pets under direct supervision so they do not come in contact with wild animals.
  • If your pet is bitten by a wild animal, seek veterinary assistance for the animal immediately and contact Animal Care & Control at 561-233-1200.
  • Call your local animal control agency to remove any stray animals from your neighborhood.
  • Spay or neuter your pets to help reduce the number of unwanted pets that may not be properly cared for or regularly vaccinated.
  • Do not handle, feed, or unintentionally attract wild animals with open garbage cans or litter.
  • Never adopt wild animals or bring them into your home.
  • Teach children never to handle unfamiliar animals, wild or domestic, even if they appear friendly.
  • Prevent bats from entering living quarters or occupied spaces in homes, churches, schools, and other similar areas where they might come in contact with people and pets.
For further information on rabies go to Florida Department of Health’s website or contact Florida Health Palm Beach County: 561-840-4500.

Friday, November 24, 2017

Just in case you missed this. . .

Lake Worth’s Wikipedia page: 

Another one of the ways you know we’re in election season once again.

Besides the bag of tricks reporters and headline editors use to signal another election season is underway, there is another sure way as well: When text is edited, deleted, or new ‘information’ is added to our City of Lake Worth’s Wikipedia page.

For example, this text was recently added:

During a short period of neglect and decline in the 1980s and 1990s, Lake Worth, in the words of then-city commissioner Dennis Dorsey, “had become known as the skin-flick capital of the country.” The venue now the Lake Worth Playhouse was the Playtoy, and was well known in Palm Beach County as the theater that showed x-rated movies; Deep Throat was shown there, motivating a police raid.

Welcome back, Dennis.

And how can one say that two decades, “the 1980s and 1990s”, was only just a “short period of neglect and decline”? Two decades! That’s not exactly a “short period” of time. It’s closer to being an era; one era in particular of our City’s long history a lot of people would rather forget. It was during those years when a lot of people, the ones who could afford to, abandoned our City and moved out west.

But once again, it’s important to remember the Lake Worth Wikipedia page is a, or one, source for information — but it’s not all entirely true or even factual in many cases — the lesson is: do you own research using multiple sources.

So stay tuned as they say. Maybe another PAC will be formed some time soon by Mr. Dorsey, a long-time resident in the Great Walled City of Atlantis.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

December 2015: The press, elections, and the politicizing of art (“monkeywrench-
ing”) for political advantage.

Check back later on this week to find out more about what happened in the City of Lake Worth in December 2015. Now almost exactly two years later, in 2017, consider this:
  • Murals are once again big news here in our City of Lake.
  • Like in 2015, we’re just about 3½ months away from City elections, this time the March 2018 elections.
  • And the beat reporter whose ‘news’ back in 2015 about ‘one Lake Worth woman seeing red’ was accompanied by this gem of a headline: “Lake Worth resident: Boy’s face on mural too white for neighborhood”.
Two years later, will some look at this as another opportunity to create and stir up trouble here in our City of Lake Worth, “the politicizing of art” for political advantage?

The iconic mural which still exists on 6th Ave. South that was ‘news’ in the Post back in 2015 which “shows the face of a blue-eyed white boy looking to the heavens’ was, according to the artist Eduardo Mendieta, a Cuban-American boy.

Another quote from that 2015 ‘news’:

“It would’ve really been symbolic and wonderful if it had been a child of color because that’s who predominantly lives there,” said the ‘one Lake Worth woman seeing red’.

Question: Does this Lake Worth mural give you some sort of weird vibe or have you “seeing red”:
Another quote from the ‘news’ in 2015:
“It just sends a weird vibe.”

Since when is a ‘weird vibe’ news in The Palm Beach Post? Or do you get a
‘weird vibe’ that this was even published in the Post to begin with?

Good news, reason for optimism: Par-
rot Cove meeting last Monday about City’s Historic Preservation program.

But first, on another timely topic, there will be a Joint Workshop between the Planning & Zoning Board and Historic Resource Preservation Board next Wednesday, Nov. 29th at 6:00 in City Hall to address changes to the City’s Land Development Regulations (LDRs). I’ve been told the backup material for board members hasn’t been supplied yet. There’s a lot of material for these volunteer board members to look over, so hopefully they’ll receive this backup material as soon as possible and have enough time to study it all.

Now back to last Monday’s meeting
at Parrot Cove:

The guest speaker at the Parrot Cove Neighborhood Assoc. meeting last Monday night was Mr. Mark Stivers, the Asst. Dir. for Planning, Zoning, and Historic Preservation. I was unable to attend this meeting but received several reports from citizen/reporters that were in attendance.

It needs to be noted one of the reasons for this meeting is because of the City of Lake Worth’s ordinance, “Section 23.5-4 Historic Preservation”. This is a new ordinance to address public concerns about the administration of the Historic Preservation program and passed unanimously at first reading on November 7th; second reading is coming up on December 5th.

The most surprising thing about the Parrot Cove meeting was the topic of “opting out” of a historic district never came up.

Although brought up at the Commission meeting on Nov. 7th that would suggest the public is more focused on fixing the Historic Preservation program, getting the City to do it’s responsibility: Make this program work for everyone and of course, “Customer Service” needs to be a high priority of City staff as well. A resident or business owner with property in a historic district thinking they can just fill out a form and check the “I want to opt out” box just confuses and muddles things even more, plus no one really knows for sure if there is a way to legally “opt out” of a historic district. That’s a matter for the legislature and the courts to decide.

Anyway. . .

A group of about 50 people came out on a Monday night, which says something in itself. This meeting at Parrot Cove lasted about an hour and Mr. Stivers began by introducing himself and his role with the City for about fifteen minutes. What followed was a “decent exchange of ideas” with the public, I was told, for the rest of the hour. The public is still clearly frustrated and impatient, wanting to get things moving in the right direction faster, but Stivers said, “That’s why we’re here today” and that he’s still finding out about how things used to operate and to make the changes necessary going forward. This is a bureaucracy remember and bureaucracies have never been known to act in a swift manner.

Stivers told the crowd he is forming his own vision for the future of the City’s Historic Preservation program and many of the public pointed out, as has been pointed out over and over again, the biggest issue is “consistency” and “decision-making” at the staff level.

A reminder, second reading of “Section 23.5-4 Historic Preservation” is coming up on Dec. 5th.

Following first reading at the City Commission on Nov. 7th, an excerpt below from this blog, something for the electeds to consider:

Related to the changes in the historic preservation ordinance, I couldn’t help but notice a few things. First and most glaring, Pamala Ryan, a senior associate lawyer for City Attorney Glen Torcivia gave the presentation for the City’s Community Sustainability Historic Preservation Dept. I can’t recall anything like this ever happening before.
     The staff at the Historic Preservation Dept. should have been out front in the lead taking the questions and “slings and arrows”, not an attorney. Someone on the dais should have at least questioned why this was the case last Tuesday [Nov. 7th].

So the message can be summed up this way, we have “Known Knowns” and some “Known Unknowns” and we’ll have to trust for now the Historic Preservation staff is going to do what they said they’re going to do, because if they don’t the public message will most certainly be,

“We want to opt out”.

As mentioned on this blog, the very surprising recent news from Charleston, S.C. needs to be kept in mind about a “huge shift in our mindset” with regards to historic preservation in Charleston. And Hurricane Irma’s track predicted early on up along the Florida east coast brought with it a renewed call to speed up a “shift in our mindset” as well how the Historic Preservation program is being administered here in the City of Lake Worth.

For example. . .

To read the news segment which includes an embedded video produced by NBC5/WPTV reporter Alanna Quillen from Sept. 29th following Irma click on this link:

     Marotta, who serves as president of the Parrot Cove Neighborhood Association, lives in a 105-year-old home but because the home has been designated “historic”, he has faced some roadblocks in installing storm shutters.
     “Things that should be very simple such as hardening ones homes against hurricanes, we’re being hamstrung by decisions people made 100 years ago,” he said. [emphasis added]

and. . .

     Marotta said people are spending thousands of dollars on costly upgrade requirements, permits and push back from the board on what you can and can’t do.
     “There are people in favor of the historic program but they just want it balanced better to where the costs are so high and the challenges aren’t as great,” he said.

When pressed by a beat reporter on Nov. 10th, Lake Worth’s PBSO District 14 Cpt. Baer “declined to elaborate”.

Cpt. Todd Baer “declined to elaborate” with a beat reporter, Kevin Thompson, on November 10th. Why? Because exactly one week later, on Nov. 17th, we learned why from the Post’s Olivia Hitchcock, “PBSO says gang members arrested in killings linked to MS-13”.

To learn more about the huge breaking news last week and why “Cpt. Baer declined to comment for a very good reason” on Nov. 10th click on this link.


Read the latest news from Olivia Hitchcock that’s also in the print edition on the front page of the ‘B’ Local section today (Nov. 23rd).

And remember: PBSO is always looking for volunteers to help keep their communities and neighborhoods safer. Click on this link for the phone number and email address of PBSO’s Volunteer Headquarters.

And remember. . .

“No tip is too small”. If you have information to
help solve a crime, remain anonymous, and
claim a reward up to USD$1,000: 
Learn more about Crime Stoppers or call 800-458- 8477 if you have a tip, “No tip is too small”.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

A blog post one could say, “Ruffled a lot of feathers” and an update below.

“From where I sit. . .”

Published in The Lake Worth Herald (Issue No. 41, Oct. 19th, 2017; 105th Year, “Established in 1912”), an observation by Pelecanidae*:

“74 PBC schools earn 5 star award . . . the award for incorporating family and community members into the school environment. . . . Sadly, only one school in Lake Worth made the list. . . . Why the lack of involvement? . . . Lake Worth can and should do better.” 

Which school was the only one in our City to make the list, qualifying for the “Five Star School Award”? North Grade Elementary School came in at #45. “A 5 Star School for 18 years!”

The City’s only charter school, Academy for Positive Learning, did not make the cut. For a short list of other schools on the list see below.

From this blog, a question posed many times over,
“Is the Education Council more important now
given recent events

The City of Lake Worth’s Education Council (EC) was quite popular with the community. Students, children, and their families were invited to City Hall and council members visited and toured our local public schools as well (just a few of the activities).
     Now with the resurgence of interest in our local public schools — and the efforts to boost school attendance a big priority now — this would be the time for a City board to tackle these crucial issues.

Enjoy this video.

A few other schools that qualified for the “Five Star School Award”:
  • Bak Middle School of the Arts, #1.
  • Belle Glade Elementary School, #3.
  • Equestrian Trails Elementary School, #23.
  • Forest Hill Elementary School, #25.
  • Jupiter Elementary School, #35.
  • Palm Springs Community Middle School, #51.
  • South Olive Elementary School, #61.
  • Wellington Elementary School, #69.
  • Wellington Community High School, #70.
  • Wellington Landings Middle School, #71.
  • Wynnebrook Elementary School, #74, in last place.
*Pelecanidae from the genus Pelecanus. “Pelican Pete” is a sometimes biting bird with a clever wit. You’ll find this birds weekly musings, or droppings if you prefer, on the front page every week in The Lake Worth Herald.
     To pick up the print edition of the Herald today, go to the City’s newsstand located at 600 Lake Ave. in Downtown Lake Worth. To contact the editor use this link or call 561-585-9387.

PBSO District 14 Cpt. Todd Baer “declined to elaborate” when asked to comment on, “It’s like the south doesn’t exist” in our City of Lake Worth.

Cpt. Baer declined to comment for a
very good reason.

You’ll learn more about that below from a Nov. 17th breaking news report by Palm Beach Post staff writer Olivia Hitchcock. It was another reporter from the Post, the current beat reporter here in the City of Lake Worth, Kevin Thompson, who asked Lake Worth’s PBSO commander a question and Cpt. Baer, “declined to elaborate” on Nov. 10th. Why?

Because exactly a week later we found out
why from Olivia Hitchcock.

You see, the men and women at PBSO were very busy at the time. But more about that later.

By the way, it was the same beat reporter here now in the City of Lake Worth who was sent to cover PBSO’s merge with the Greenacres PD two years ago and everyone is still waiting for an update, you know, to ‘elaborate’ on the situation in the fine neighboring City of Greenacres.

There’s never been a follow-up article on how things are going in Greenacres following the merge with PBSO. Wouldn’t you like to know? Interestingly, Greenacres also had issues with code enforcement as well two years ago, and we haven’t heard anything about that issue either. From the very same beat reporter who covered the merge with PBSO in 2015 came this news as well published in the Post:

     “Rivera [former Greenacres District 1 Councilwoman Lisa Rivera] is also concerned that many of the businesses in her district, which runs from the L-10 Canal south to the L-15 Canal, and from Military Trail west to South 57th Avenue, look like they should be in a flea market, with their garish colors and tacky banner signs.
     ‘It looks horrid,’ Rivera said.” [emphasis added]

Anyhow. From Friday, Nov. 10th is this from Thompson and below — exactly a week later — was the huge, breaking news from reporter Olivia Hitchcock everyone was glued to last week:

     Michael Ghrayeb, owner of All Import Car Repair on South H Street, said there are pockets of issues in the city.
     “The sheriff’s department only cares if you’re on 6th Avenue North,” he said. “Anything south is less cared for. You see a lot of people walking the streets at night, lots of hookers. It’s like the south doesn’t exist.
     Todd Baer, sheriff’s office captain, said that is Ghrayeb’s opinion.
     He declined to elaborate.

Here is why PBSO Cpt. Baer “declined
to elaborate”:

From Friday, Nov. 17th is the breaking news report from Hitchcock with the headline, “BREAKING: PBSO says gang members arrested in killings linked to MS-13”:

     In the last two weeks Palm Beach County sheriff’s authorities, with assistance from federal law-enforcement agencies, have linked a string of killings, shootings and robberies in Lake Worth to MS-13, an international criminal gang based in El Salvador. By Friday morning, six of the suspects were behind bars facing charges in at least one of the city’s two killings, which happened Oct. 30 and Nov. 5 in one-half-mile radius south of downtown.

Near the end of the article by Thompson
on Nov. 10th is this as well:

     Frost [Craig Frost, owner of Art of Noise on South ‘H’ St.] said he hears and sees the sheriff’s office’s chopper weekly.
     “It’s kind of a running joke now,” he said. “People are saying, ‘It’s Lake Worth’s bird in the sky.’ We hear about it all the time, we see it on Facebook.”
     To protect his business, Frost said he has an alarm and cameras in the front. He said he also depends on fellow business owners.
     “We’re a tight-nit community and have been for a long time,” he [Frost] said.

Lastly, when trying to solve crime in any neighborhood or community in our City of Lake Worth it’s important to get the word out about Crime Stoppers and ways to help out, like volunteering with PBSO or maybe contacting the Neighborhood Assoc. Presidents’ Council (NAPC).

However, in the Nov. 10th article by Lake Worth’s beat reporter from the Post, there was no information about any of those ways to help stop or solve crime here in this little City.

So. Here is that information to share with
everyone in your neighborhood:

Stay anonymous, solve crime, and be eligible for up to a $USD1,000 reward by calling Crime Stoppers at 800-458-8477.
Or click on this link for more information
about Crime Stoppers.

Volunteering for PBSO, “Walk The Walk” organized by the NAPC, and contacting Crime Stoppers has been proven to be effective. However, other crime-stopping efforts such as SEO and OITNB have been proven to be ineffective in cutting down on the crime rate here in the City of Lake Worth.

PBSO District 14 is located at 120 North ‘G’ St.
in Lake Worth. Main phone number is 561-586-1611
or contact by email:
Want to learn more about PBSO District 14?
Click on this link.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Stay tuned for some good news about the City’s historic preservation program.

Check back later on today or tomorrow morning for an update about what happened at Lake Worth’s Parrot Cove neighborhood meeting last night (11/20). I showed up at 8:00 and the meeting was already over and people were heading home, which was a big surprise at the time, was expecting the meeting to go on much later. It began at 7:00.

You’ll be glad to hear that Mr. Mark Stivers, the Asst. Dir. for Planning, Zoning, and Historic Preservation was well-received. There was some “airing of grievances” from the public but not much. The public mood seems to be — from reports I’ve received — optimistic about the future of the Historic Preservation program in our City of Lake Worth.

If you’re interested in reading the notice sent out about this meeting last night at Parrot Cove click on this link.

And find out later on why Dec. 5th at the Lake Worth City Commission will be a very big deal as well.
And of course, a big “Thank You” to The Beach Club restaurant and all the folks in Parrot Cove for kindly hosting this important and timely public meeting.

Another error by an editor (or editors) at The Palm Beach Post.


Because of an editing error, a story and accompanying photo caption in Monday’s Palm Beach Post incorrectly identified an aircraft that carried President Donald Trump’s helicopter to Palm Beach International Airport. The jet is a C-17 [Globemaster]. The story appeared on the front page.”

The jet in yesterday’s caption was called, falsely, a “C-5M Super Galaxy”.

Maybe it was an aviation expert who notified the editor(s) about this error or possibly Post reporters Mahima Singh or Christine Stapleton noticed the error in yesterday’s (11/20) front page caption accompanying a photo along with the article by Singh and Stapleton titled,
“Trump in Palm Beach: President’s helicopter arrives. Will he use it?”

About the C-17 from Wikipedia:

The Boeing C-17 Globemaster III is a large military transport aircraft. It was developed for the United States Air Force (USAF) from the 1980s to the early 1990s by McDonnell Douglas.

and. . .

A C-17 accompanies the President of the United States on his visits to both domestic and foreign arrangements, consultations, and meetings. The C-17 is used to transport the Presidential Limousine and security detachments. There have been several occasions when a C-17 has been used to transport the President himself, temporarily gaining the Air Force One call sign while doing so.

By the way. . .

If you have thoughts about President Donal Trump’s latest visit to the Town of Palm Beach, or have thoughts about the Post’s news reporting on this topic, take 5–10 minutes today or this week and write a Letter to the Editor (LTE). It’s a very timely issue.

A lot of people here in the City of Lake Worth were very disappointed to not have a LTE published expressing how fortunate we were that our City’s Electric Utility was so well-prepared for Hurricane Irma. But that’s the way it goes sometimes.

To learn how to write a LTE click on this link, then scroll down for, “Instructions: How to get your LTE published in the Post.”

And as always, “Good Luck!”

News in The Lake Worth Herald: “Notice of General Election, Town of Lake Clarke Shores, Florida.”

As per the public notice in the Lake Worth Herald (see below) the Qualifying Period ENDS TODAY at noon to get your name on the ballot in Lake Clarke Shores.

And the inexplicable continues to happen. Below is a blog post from November 16th.

Can anyone explain why this blog post is getting so much attention?

Could it be the public is rediscovering a hidden city without walls here in Central Palm Beach County? Have you ever heard of the wonderful and charming Town of Lake Clarke Shores tucked between the cities of Lake Worth, West Palm Beach, the Village of Palm Springs, and vast unexplored areas to the north in CPBC?

Can you find Lake Clarke Shores on this map?
The paragraph above is just a wee bit of satire. But how does one explain this: Why is the blog post below attracting so much traffic.

It’s literally off the charts!

By the way, did you know there are “bad people” in Lake Clarke Shores who have their eyes on looting a neighborhood here in the City of Lake Worth? A handful of Lake Worth residents who live along the C-51 Canal fear “marauding bands of looters” from Lake Clarke Shores when construction of the Blueway Trail project begins in 3–5 years.

Anyhow. Hope you enjoy this blog post from last week which starts off with a bit of news about our City of Lake Worth:

Lots of interesting news, public notices, community events, and so much more in the Herald this week including a must read article by Helen Vogt Greene titled “A Garden for Everyone” about the Lake Worth General Federation of Women’s Clubs, the Grey Mockingbird Garden, and all the work done by Mr. Brian Kirsch since 2012 at our City’s urban community garden at the Scottish Rite Masonic Center.

To see the front page of the Herald this
week click on this link.*
Pick up the print edition every Friday at the newsstand located at 600 Lake Ave. in Downtown Lake Worth. The Herald is still ¢50!

Public notice published in the Herald this week about the Town of Lake Clarke Shores:

The Town of Lake Clarke Shores, 1701 Barbados Road, Lake Clarke Shores, Florida, 33406, will hold a General Election on March 13, 2018 for the purpose of electing Council Members from Groups 3, 4 & 5 for a term of two (2) years. The polls will be open from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
     If a Runoff Election is necessary, it will be held on March 27, 2018, utilizing the same times and precinct identified below. Candidates for Council Member must reside in the Town of Lake Clarke Shores.
     Candidate qualifying is from NOON November 21, 2017 to NOON December 5, 2017. Voter registration book closing is February 12, 2018 for the General Election. No person will be permitted to vote unless he or she is registered in Palm Beach County and residing in the Town of Lake Clarke Shores, Precinct #3014 & #2127.

Mary Pinkerman, CMC
Town Clerk

*The Lake Worth Herald Press is located at 1313 Central Terrace in the City of Lake Worth. If you would like a community event noticed, have news, learn more about advertising or subscription rates contact the editor call 561-585-9387 or send an email to:

Monday, November 20, 2017

BREAKING NEWS! Former Lake Worth Commissioner Mark Foley makes news in today’s Palm Beach Post!

And guess what, it’s good news and there’s nary a mention about any “rotten behavior” back in 2006!

Learn more about Mr. Mark Foley in a blog post
(see below) from last week which asks a provocative
and challenging question, “Which counts more. . .”

In today’s print edition of the Post on page B3, below the fold, is a really terrible photograph of former commissioner Foley, but at 63 years old you can see he’s in very good shape, still the handsome man you remember, and would make a fine addition to our Lake Worth City Commission once again. Maybe in the March 2019 elections?

Interestingly, Mr. Jeff Clemens may also be available to serve our City once again as well.

And also of note in today’s anticipated weekly (every single Monday) Lake Worth Very Very Special Monday Cursory Print Edition (LWVVSMCPE) there’s none of those silly phone numbers any more! Really now. Did it serve the public good to have the phone numbers for the Parks Dept. and Sewer Dept. published each and every week in the Post for an entire year!
“Gee Wiz, Mable, it’s only Wednesday. I can’t wait for the paper next Monday. I need the number for the Sewer Dept. right away!”

Anyhow. . .

Maybe in next week’s LWVVSMCPE we’ll learn some good news about Jeff Clemens too? Hope you enjoy the blog post below which asks a “challenging” question, learn more about Clemens’ political career and more about Mark Foley too. Then try to answer this question for yourself:

Which counts more: “rotten behavior” or admirable politics?

A recent opinion piece in The New York Times by Clyde Haberman posits this question:

“So which counts more: rotten behavior
or admirable art?”

Can’t the same be said about politicians — that they can be remembered as admirable as well — despite some well-publicized “rotten behavior”? What about a former City of Lake Worth mayor, State House representative, and later a member of the Florida Senate?

From Wikipedia, learn more about former
Lake Worth Mayor Jeff Clemens:
Of then-Mayor Marc Drautz, ahead of a run-off election in 2007, Clemens said, “Usually an incumbent spends his time talking about the positive things he has accomplished, but in the absence of accomplishments the only recourse is to
use negative attacks.”

What happened with the Park of Commerce in the City of Lake Worth is still fresh in everyone’s minds and a lot of people probably had a touch of schadenfreude when they learned about Clemens’ recent “rotten behavior” and subsequent resignation from the Florida Senate.

But how many people remember what
happened in 2007?

Back in 2007 when crime was at its worst here in the City of Lake Worth reporter Patrick Parrish at The Lake Worth Herald wrote, “According to [City of Lake Worth] Mayor Jeff Clemens, the city is at least 10 officers short of the same time in 1997, a significant number when translated into street presence.” Another former commissioner, JoAnn Golden, quoted in the same 2007 article said, “I can understand [Commissioner Cara] Jennings’ concern on civil rights, but we have allowed gangs to get ahead of us.”

Then in August 2008 then-Mayor Clemens had to make one of the hardest political decisions ever in his political career, to disband the Lake Worth PD and have PBSO take over law enforcement in this City.

On August 26th, 2008, then-Mayor Clemens
In retrospect, couldn’t that decision by Clemens be considered admirable” or was his recent “rotten behavior” the only thing that matters any more?  

Let’s take the case of another politician, former
Lake Worth Commissioner Mark Foley:

Is every article about Mark Foley required to cite his “rotten behavior” in 2006? Or at some point can the public focus on other things like Foley’s key part in bringing Spring Training baseball back to Palm Beach County as reported by Post reporter Joe Capozzi last year?

Foley volunteered to serve on the City of Lake Worth’s C-51 Advisory Committee this year and our City later passed, by a unanimous vote, a “Resolution of Support” for the Blueway Trail Project. And how many in the public know about Mr. Foley’s role in bringing the “Military Memorial Monument” to Downtown Lake Worth which was just unveiled on Veterans Day?

Mark Foley was a Lake Worth commissioner from 1978–1979 and 1982–1984; served in the Florida House of Representatives from 1990–1992; Florida Senate, 1993–1994; then U.S. House, 19942006.
Mark Foley at his former restaurant called The Lettuce Patch at 502 Lucerne Ave. in 1976.

Both Foley and Clemens have paid a high price for their “rotten behavior” but they’ve both also made many “admirable” contributions to our City of Lake Worth and Palm Beach County as well.

Now back to the question posed by Clyde Haberman at The New York Times, “So which counts more”?

That’s a question everyone has to ask and answer for themselves. But in politics everything is fair game. But hasn’t Foley redeemed himself ten times over? And if you know Clemens do you have any doubt he’ll remain in politics and do the same thing? Remember folks, Clemens has never lost an election.

Who knows, maybe Clemens will reboot his political career by running for mayor of Lake Worth again. In City of Lake Worth politics anything is possible. Back in 2006 an Anarchist got elected in Lake Worth. And then re-elected!

City of Lake Worth Press Release: “City Receives Distinguished Noble Award”.

Also below is more information about the vital role of a “Public Information Officer”, e.g., press releases issued, videos produced, publicly noticing meetings, and news conferences to keep the public and the press informed about what is happening in cities such as our City of Lake Worth. For example:

“I want to express my appreciation to the Finance Director [Marie Elianor] and her staff for receiving this recognition. This award is another indication that their professionalism and dedication to the City is keeping Lake Worth on track.”
City Manager Michael Bornstein.

The City of Lake Worth* received the Government Finance Officers Association’s Distinguished Budget Presentation Award. This award represents a significant achievement by the City and reflects the commitment of staff and elected officials to meeting the highest principles of governmental budgeting.
     This prestigious award tested the City’s budget against nationally recognized guidelines for effective budget presentation. . . . Due to the hard work of the City Finance Department the City was able to meet these requirements.

The press release above was issued by Mr. Ben Kerr, the City of Lake Worth’s PIO.†

The photograph below (taken by the talented Shawn D. Moss) is Mr. Kerr at the City’s Veterans Day Parade and the Ceremony of Honor on November 11th:
The Lake Worth’s Little Free Library spokeswoman, Mary Lindsey wrote that day,
“Our City’s Communication guru, Ben Kerr
playing the bagpipes!”

Would you like to contact Ben Kerr or request more information about our little City of Lake Worth? Call 561-586-1631 or by email:

Or if you’re a resident of this City:

Sometime this week contact Mr. Kerr and tell him how much you appreciate the work he’s done for our City — but don’t go overboard — we don’t want another city having thoughts about stealing our talent away like what happened in Delray Beach per Jeff Perlman, “We are losing talent to Lake Worth, Boynton Beach and other cities.”
     So this week some time call or email Mr. Kerr and be very brief. Just say “Thank You and carry on!”

*Located in Central Palm Beach County, Lake Worth is a dynamic, multi-cultural City with an individualistic style. People are drawn to the City by its acceptance of different cultures and lifestyles, historic districts, hip downtown and colorful arts district.
PIO  =  Public Information Officer, and defined in Wikipedia as “[C]ommunications coordinators or spokespersons of certain governmental organizations . . . The primary responsibility of a PIO is to provide information to the media and public” and, “During crises and emergencies [e.g., Hurricane Irma], PIOs are often identified by wearing helmets or vests with the letters “PIO” on them.

In the aftermath of Hurricane Irma, a YouTube video produced by PIO Kerr to keep the Palm Beach Post, TV news, and the public informed:

Historic preservation and historic dis-
tricts in the City of Lake Worth: Meeting today at Parrot Cove, 7:00.

Do you remember what happened at a Parrot Cove meeting last year? The meeting was about historic preservation, historic districts, and many in the public were, well, let’s just say “mad as hell”. So what’s happened or not happened since June 2016?

Want to learn more about this very important issue? Have questions and concerns?

Today (Monday, Nov. 20th) at 7:00 is another meeting in the Parrot Cove neighborhood about the City’s Historic Preservation program. Learn more about this meeting below, the guest speaker is Mark Stivers, Assistant Dir. for Planning, Zoning, and Historic Preservation:

“Mark will be speaking to us about his new role with the City and how it will affect our neighborhood. He will be soliciting feedback from our members to hear about the strengths and weaknesses of the current historic preservation program and the vision for our neighborhood and the City of Lake Worth.”

Come out tomorrow and learn about all the changes that will be happening in the very near future.
Remember, it was following a series of neighborhood meetings in June 2016, like the one held at Parrot Cove, when City Hall got the message loud and clear: the historic preservation program is overbearing, too complicated, and arbitrarily enforced. Fix it!

This Parrot Cove meeting today is open to the public, from all neighborhoods in our City of Lake Worth, and all NAPC members* are strongly encouraged to attend.

The message from Anthony Marotta, the president of the Parrot Cove Neighborhood Association:

Parrot Cove Members,

Our regular meeting will be on Monday, November 20th, 7:00 p.m. at our usual spot, The Beach Club restaurant [1 7th Ave. North] at the Lake Worth Golf Course.
     This month our speaker will be Mark Stivers, Assistant Director for Planning, Zoning, and Preservation who has recently joined the City of Lake Worth and will be working directly with the Historic Preservation program..
     Mark is a former city manager and planning director and has been involved in historic preservation for many years.
     Mark will be speaking to us about his new role with the City and how it will affect our neighborhoods. He will be soliciting feedback from our members to hear about the strengths and weaknesses of the current historic preservation program and the vision for our neighborhoods and the City of Lake Worth.
     For all those who are concerned or interested in being part of the process to help this program evolve and work better for you and your homes, you are strongly encouraged to join this meeting to provide your input.
     As a reminder, our meetings are open to all who wish to attend so please invite your neighbors who may not be members to attend this important meeting.

*To learn more about the Neighborhood Assoc. Presidents’ Council (NAPC) click on this link or to follow on Facebook use this link.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

News from Charleston, S.C. about historic preservation, “huge shift in our mindset”. A ‘huge shift’ about to occur in our City of Lake Worth as well.

A reminder, December 5th at the Lake Worth City Commission is second reading of “Section 23.5-4 Historic Preservation”. To read the news segment about first reading on Nov. 7th, which includes a video by NBC5/WPTV reporter Andrew Lofholm, click on this link.

To read the follow-up blog post about Moses (yes, that Moses), the Secretary of Interior Standards, and also about “opting out” of historic districts here in the City of Lake Worth click on this link for the post titled, “Historic preservation, historic districts, and an oft-told meme ‘opt out’ rears up again”.*

So. What happened in Charleston, South Carolina? Very big news; continue reading to find out:

The recent and very surprising news from Charleston is below, news that will certainly embolden many of you who have been complaining for many years about historic preservation here in our City of Lake Worth, the bureaucratic red tape, been involved in all the political firestorms, and demanding a ‘huge shift in OUR mindset’ as well.

Coincidentally, on the November 7th agenda
at the Lake Worth City Commission under
“New Business”:

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.

How did we get here? A news segment by reporter Alanna Quillen at NBC5/WPTV datelined Sept. 29th sums it all up quite nicely; here are two excerpts:

LAKE WORTH, Fla. — We still have about five weeks left in hurricane season, five weeks left of fear for some homeowners that a storm may significantly damage or destroy their most important investment.

and. . .

     [Anthony] Marotta, who serves as president of the Parrot Cove Neighborhood Association, lives in a 105-year-old home but because the home has been designated “historic”, he has faced some roadblocks in installing storm shutters.
     “Things that should be very simple such as hardening ones homes against hurricanes, we’re being hamstrung by decisions people made 100 years ago,” he said.

Lake Worth Commissioner Omari Hardy
is quoted as well:

     “If we have a solution, that helps make people’s lives better in Lake Worth, we should be allowed to do that,” he [Hardy] said. “Don’t handcuff us and tie our hands when we’re trying to help the people who elected us.”

Now for the extraordinary news
from another city. . .

The news below comes from The Post and Courier, a 2015 Pulitzer Prize winning newspaper in Charleston, S.C. Here are two excerpts from this article datelined Nov. 3rd by reporter Robert Behre:

In a move that one Charleston preservation leader called “a sea change,” the city will be more receptive than ever to property owners’ requests to elevate their homes or other buildings, even along its most historic streets.
     The city held a day-long workshop Friday to discuss design solutions that would allow historic buildings to be elevated while minimizing disruption to the city's ambiance, one that has given the city a national reputation and fueled its multimillion-dollar tourist economy.
     The workshop came several weeks after Tropical Storm Irma flooded dozens of historic homes downtown, many for the third time in as many years.

and. . .

     The Historic Charleston Foundation sent out an alert to its supporters highlighting the dilemma now facing parts of downtown.
     “Traditionally, raising historic buildings is not a good preservation practice. It disrupts their architectural proportions, changes the character of the streetscape, and can lead to structural issues,” it said. “Sometimes, however, exceptions have to be made. Charleston is currently faced with two choices, neither of which is particularly appealing: raise many of our historic structures or watch them be destroyed by repeat flooding. We’re losing something either way.” [emphasis added]

Our City of Lake Worth was mostly spared the full wrath of Hurricane Irma but our luck is not going to last forever. Just like Charleston we face similar challenges with many of our historic structures — roofs, windows, and doors — and when we get a direct hit from a hurricane, and we will, “We’re losing something either way.”

And probably the saddest commentary of all about our City’s historic preservation program, an exchange at a City Commission meeting last August between Mayor Pam Triolo and City Manager Michael Bornstein:

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

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

*If this issue of historic preservation and the future of this program in our City of Lake Worth is important to you then please make plans to show up at the Commission meeting on December 5th and make your voice heard at public comment.
     If for some reason you cannot attend remember you can also watch from home Live Streaming: go to the City’s website, and scroll down for the “Live Broadcast Channel”.