Saturday, January 13, 2018

Last Thursday marked an important milestone for City of Lake Worth.

It was the City’s “Breakfast” for Realtors and real estate professionals at the Lake Worth Casino Ballroom
at the Beach.
Attendees were greeted by miniature Little Free Libraries, the paperback “Cottages of Lake Worth” book, and much more helpful information as well.

I attended the City of Lake Worth’s “Real Estate Agent Breakfast” held at the Lake Worth Casino Ballroom last Thursday morning. This was a momentous occasion for a number of reasons. For the first time in my memory the City actively reached out to a section of the population that influences how people think about the City of Lake Worth every day.

The City shared information about ongoing programs and efforts like the solar array that is part of our electric utility infrastructure, how we are almost at rate parity with FPL and how the City could be a pioneer in research and development creating energy from the Gulf Stream Current right off our coastline.

One of the many presentations was by Director
Ed Liberty at the Lake Worth Electric Utility.
There are three YouTube videos of this meeting
to watch at your convenience.

In this first video from yesterday you will hear Mayor Pam Triolo say just those things and more (links to videos #2 and #3 are below). This meeting and the presentations was for an RSVP audience of 103 real estate professionals and most, if not all of them, showed up. Word went out to these professionals about this “Real Estate Agent Breakfast” to change many of the false perceptions there are about this City and turn all that around in a positive direction.

The people assembled in the Casino Ballroom associate with other people every day who either own property or are interested in buying property here in this City of Lake Worth. This community of people, Realtors and real estate professionals are really the City’s ambassador corps. They are on the front line when people ask questions about Lake Worth’s Electric Utility, all the unique neighborhoods, and about crime and public safety too.

It is from their mouths that the answers come that present the City in a positive light — or if they don’t understand or know about all the progress that has been made — in a negative light.

Meet PBSO Lieutenant Anthony Johnson.
In his presentation we learned there was a
significant decrease in crime last year.
Why is there so much confusion about the issue of crime in this City? One reason is due to bogus news reports such as this, “Is City of Lake Worth one
of the ‘Most Dangerous Places in Florida’?”
Of course it’s not.

From attending this meeting myself and by you watching the series of three videos from the event yesterday you will see how the City was able to transform the perception of many Realtors and how this very important group of people actually “sees” Lake Worth.

For some it was their first introduction to the area and the City of Lake Worth specifically. Many were newcomers with a desire to learn more about what many Realtors already knew: the fact that Lake Worth is becoming more and more all the time a great place to live, work and play.

I heard people express yesterday that being part of this City, to them, felt like “finding the needle in the haystack.” Many talked about how they liked the City’s “vibe” and they were impressed with how distinct it was from other more “normal” communities in Central Palm Beach County and in South Florida generally.

A view of the Lake Worth Casino Ballroom yesterday:
The Realtors learned many things about this
City including more information about the
Lake Worth Neighborhood Road Program” and other infrastructure projects.

Many people in attendance left convinced that “Lake Worth has turned the corner” and that “interest in Lake Worth is at an all-time high.”

Kudos go out to the City of Lake Worth for hosting and organizing such an event. We have a good story to tell and yesterday it was told to a very receptive audience of ambassadors: real estate professionals and Realtors.

About the other two videos in the series
(link to the first video is above):

For the second YouTube video which starts off with the presentation by Lake Worth Utility Dir. Ed Liberty click on this link. Later in the video PBSO Lieutenant Anthony Johnson talks about how much the crime rate dropped in 2017 and there are other presentations including one from Director Brian Shields from the Lake Worth Water Utility.

The third and final video is a special one. It starts off with Mayor Pam Triolo and Commissioner Andy Amoroso discussing various important topics. That’s followed by a Q&A and at the end of the video it’s about how the press, specifically The Palm Beach Post, continues to promulgate many of the negative stereotypes about this City as cleverly demonstrated by City Manager Michael Bornstein.

Hope you found this blog post informative and helpful. And if you’re interested in learning more about this City start by browsing through the City of Lake Worth’s website, for example, the Planning & Zoning Department or learn more about the City’s Dept. of Leisure Services and all the listed “Special Events” as well.

I think you’ll be very interested, happy and excited about much of what you see and learn about this little City of Lake Worth:

1964: Martin Luther King Jr.
in St. Augustine.

When we remember Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy it is important to remember one of the turning points in the struggle for civil rights played out in this state, in Florida’s oldest city. Click title for link and watch the video (see below) taken during the protests in 1964. This is one of the more ugly examples of what happened that summer:

The beach integration efforts were thwarted by the local police who left several demonstrators in the water to potentially drown. One of the staging grounds for the summer was the Monson Motel, which was open to whites only. There some white and black civil rights supporters went for a swim together and the motel’s owner sought to intimidate the swimmers by pouring acid in the pool. Dr King was also arrested for appearing on the motel’s premises. The Monson was recently torn down and replaced by a Hilton. One wonders if this was done to avoid the embarrassment this hotel represented on an otherwise great and historic city, St Augustine.

This video is from the Florida Memory Collection:

News from The Lake Worth Herald about event today: “Lake Worth’s First Brewery Opening on South H Street”.

To see this week’s front page headlines in
the Herald click on this link.

Not a subscriber yet? Pick up the print edition at the City’s newsstand located at 600 Lake Ave. in the Downtown (it’s still just ¢50!) or click on this link for subscription rates to receive this LOCAL newspaper and/or the online edition too.

Have community news? Call the editor at 561-585-9387 or send an email to:
The present Herald building is located at
1313 Central Terrace here in the City.

But did you know:

Mathews Brewing Company, located at 130 South H Street, will officially open Jan. 13 [TODAY at noon] in the former Lake Worth Herald building. The building was originally built in 1969 by Karl J. Easton, Jr. and Helen B. Easton, owners of The Lake Worth Herald. The building has been completely renovated by the brewery.

Here are two excerpts from the news in the
Herald today about Mathews Brewing Co.:

David Mathews, the owner of Mathews Brewing Company states, “being a small independent craft brewery allows for more hands-on brewing and greater control of the beer’s flavor, aroma and drinkability”.
     There will be a ribbon cutting ceremony beginning at noon featuring live entertainment, food trucks, free souvenir glasses and specially timed releases of beer throughout the day.
     Mathews chose Lake Worth because of its character, diversity and his ability to work seamlessly with city officials and staff. Mathews spent the past year fully renovating the building containing the brewery and adjacent property.

And by the way. . .

Have you seen the review by reporter Nicole Danna? She is one of South Florida’s top-notch food, restaurant, and craft beer reporters now at the New Times Miami:

Mathews Brewing Co. owner and brewer Dave Mathews says he originally planned to launch his business in West Palm Beach [emphasis added] but was drawn south thanks to Lake Worth’s “funky, cool vibe” and the city’s business-friendly atmosphere.
     “Now I’m hoping to lead the charge in revitalizing this area by motivating other like-minded small businesses to come here,” Mathews says,

“I see nothing but potential.”

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Check back tomorrow for more about Lake Worth’s “Real Estate Agent Breakfast” held this morning.

At the Lake Worth Casino Ballroom:
Check back to this blog tomorrow for YouTube videos plus additional information from
this City event today.

The City of Lake Worth’s Little Free Libraries
were well represented:
Every Realtor who attended received a paperback Cottages of Lake Worth book in appreciation.

A view early on following the
start of the meeting.
It was a huge crowd! Over 100 attendees. There were presentations by City electeds, department heads, staff and PBSO as well.

Once again, check back tomorrow for more information and YouTube videos as well.

Are Hipsters really not hip at all? Or former non-conformists conforming? And what is a Hipster?

Are you a Millennial living in an area that’s undergoing neighborhood and infrastructure improvements, or what some falsely decry as “gentrification”? How do you make yourself stand out amidst all the hubbub of activity? Make yourself noticed? Be a Hipster!

By standard definition a Hipster can be of any race or color, very cool, from any political persuasion or none at all and born after 1980 (or so. . . still a matter of debate), and attracted to ‘blighted’ areas within up-and-coming cities: that’s Lake Worth, Florida!

Now the popularity of World Thrift makes all the sense in the world.

As to the question, “Are Hipsters not hip at all?” Of course not! They are as ‘Hip’ as can be!

Or if Hipster isn’t your cup of tea you can take another path like the dwindling number of Anarchist Millennials (see example below).

Many former Anarchists here in LDub (for the definition of “LDub”, cool slang for “the City of Lake Worth”, click on this link) have been drawn to the life of Apatharchism, then later becoming business people, opening salons, big fans of Starbucks, and use the word “charming” a lot:

Look closely at the written instructions on how and when to empty the human waste bucket. Would
this be considered “charming” to
an Apath-
archist any more?

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Every year the little City of Lake Worth stands out in a very big way.

Looking back: Jan. 18th, 2017.

Looking ahead: Jan. 15th, 2018.

Only five days away: City of Lake Worth’s upcoming Martin Luther King Day March.

Below is a look back to Julius Whigham II’s news report on the City of Lake Worth’s largest-ever Martin Luther King Jr. March in January 2017. Martin Luther King Jr. Day is the third Monday each January. Every year this event gets larger with more community involvement.

Here is this year’s schedule of events for next Monday:

  • Unity Interfaith Breakfast at St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church at 7:30 a.m.
  • Candlelight March starting at 5:00 p.m. from City Hall.
  • MLK Commemoration at the Cultural Plaza at 5:30.
  • MLK Fellowship Dinner at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church from 6:00–8:00.

Click on image from last year’s
MLK March to enlarge:
The Martin Luther King Jr. March ending at our Downtown Cultural Plaza. Former Commissioner Retha Lowe said last January’s “turnout was
among the largest she’s seen.”

From the Palm Beach Post’s Julius Whigham II we have this news story. So many people marched from City Hall to the Cultural Plaza and it was a sight to behold. The tone of the gathering was one of camaraderie, hope and respect. A very special Thank You to the Post and The Lake Worth Herald for being there to document the march. From the Post article:

Former Lake Worth commissioner Retha Lowe, who started the city’s King celebration, said Monday’s turnout was among the largest she’s seen.
     “I think this is the biggest crowd,” she said. “We’ve got more young people from Lake Worth High School. … I just feel like this annual day that we set aside to celebrate unity, fellowship and love, it has grown and it’s just getting better.”
     Lowe began her day preparing food for a unity interfaith breakfast. As a crowd gathered to listen to speeches following the walk, she reflected on how much the city has changed since she moved there 40 years ago.
     “I just feel that Dr. King was for everybody,” Lowe said. “He was for unity. Over these 21 years, we have come together as a family. Over the years, it has grown and people now are coming together from all over. That’s exciting for me.”

Marching down Lake Ave.

Ceremony in the Cultural Plaza.

View west of the marchers on Lake Ave.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

News in The Coastal Star: “Partners
in renovation vie for ownership of historic Gulfstream Hotel”.

Remember that recent article published in The Palm Beach Post about the Gulfstream Hotel datelined Jan. 4th, 2018 with the headline, “Lake Worth’s Gulfstream Hotel project snarled in partner lawsuits”?

Well. Guess what? Below is news from The Coastal Star datelined Nov. 1st, 2017, two months prior
to the article in the Post.

Here are two excerpts by reporter Jane Smith (use this link to read the entire article):

Two partners are vying for control of the historic Gulfstream Hotel in Lake Worth as an April expiration nears on the city’s approvals of a proposed $70 million renovation.
    Steven Michael, a principal of Delray Beach-based Hudson Holdings, said his firm on Oct. 20 offered to buy out Carl DeSantis from his stake in the Gulfstream Hotel. The offer is good for 60 days, Michael said. He declined to offer details.
    “We have no comment on any proposed transaction involving the Gulfstream Hotel,” Jeff Perlman replied via email on Oct. 24. He is executive vice president of DeSantis’ CDS International Holdings in Boca Raton. “CDS Gulfstream remains the managing member of the property.”

and. . .

     To date, the only portion of the project completed has been the razing of two historic houses on the 1.8-acre site near the foot of the Lake Worth Bridge.
     Perlman declined to answer specific questions about when CDS Holdings took control of the hotel from Hudson Holdings and why the change occurred.

Whilst on the topic
of the Gulfstream Hotel. . .

Below is a blog post from last week about an article published in a former Lake Worth tabloid dated April 24th, 2015.

The opening two paragraphs:

Business owners on Lake Avenue were talking about it last summer [sic]. Hudson Holdings was buying several buildings in our downtown, a sign of their interest in the city and their willingness to invest in it while working to re-open The [sic] Gulfstream Hotel.
     “He went to me and four other people to buy our buildings,” said former art gallery owner Robert Pardo, speaking of Steve Michael of Hudson Holdings. “He signed offers and put us in touch with his lawyer. He went through the whole process, and then we waited for him to put the first penny down, and it never happened.”

Click on newspaper clipping to enlarge:
This newspaper clipping is from April 2015. Hudson Holdings purchased the Gulfstream Hotel in May 2014, less that one year earlier. It took until March 2017 for the derelict structures to be removed from the property. Who paid to have that word done? Click on this link to find out.

Then one month later. . .

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

If you’re not worried about the future of the Gulfstream Hotel, then you better start.

To save this old, grand, historic hotel we need more young people to get involved, especially so the Millennials in this City because, “We need activists. Young people with the energy and the passion to carry the fight forward.”

The Gulfstream Hotel being on the National Register of Historic Places, remember, is no defense against the wrecking ball. One need look no further that the former historic Pennsylvania Hotel in West Palm Beach for proof of that:

A Letter to the Editor dated April 4th, 1994
published in The Palm Beach Post:
“It is one of the few remaining structures from the city’s glorious but fading past.” But the Pennsylvania Hotel, like so many other historic structures, is no more.

There are five business reporters that cover the City of Lake Worth. Do you know who they are?

Get your Lake Worth business off to a strong start in 2018.

If you’re a business owner in the City of Lake Worth when was the last time you ever tried to contact one or even two of these business reporters? Most of you are familiar with Jeff Ostrowski and maybe Jennifer Sorentrue too, but do you know who the others are?

With five business reporters covering Central Palm Beach County (CPBC), the trick is learning how to reach out to the right one! Who would know that information? The Business Editor at the Post would and his contact information is below as well.

Jeff Ostrowski isn’t the only reporter covering this very important part of the County, for example, if you’ve been paying close attention to the issue of medical marijuana dispensaries here in the City of Lake Worth.

Contact a business reporter at the Post and use the “Five Tips” (see below) composed by a marketing and advertising professional who also happens to be in the all-important business of “business news” here in Central Palm Beach County (CPBC).

The Five Tips:
  • Know whom you want to reach out to, the editor writes, “. . . the trick is reaching to the right journalist.” For example, sending information to a beat reporter may not be the best option. Have you considered a business reporter? An entertainment reporter?
  • Who’s your audience? “So, tell us how many followers do you have on Twitter? How many friends/fans do you have on Facebook?”
  • Local, local, local, “. . . there must be a direct and definite Palm Beach County connection.”
  • Newsmakers, “Some of the best-read content we produce isn’t on the front page.” For example, per the Business Editor, the “weekly Newsmakers section”.
  • Video, “So if your business has ‘good visuals,’ drop in a link to some B-roll video that we can attach to the story.”
Here is the full list of business reporters with phone number and email address you can contact to get your business noticed and attract more customers.
  • Jeff Ostrowski, 561-820-4581;
  • Susan Salisbury, 561-820-4577;
  • Jennifer Sorentrue, 561-820-4526;
  • Charles Elmore, 561-820-4811;
  • Alexandra Clough (real estate/business reporter), 561-362-5557;
  • To reach out to Business Editor Antonio Fins: 561-820-4439;
So. After going over the “Five Tips” do you think you’re ready to try and reach out to a business reporter to get your business noticed, and later, an article published in the Post? Get cracking!

It’s a very competitive business environment and it doesn’t help matters much when Lake Worth’s beat reporter is promoting businesses in the Village of Palm Springs:

For example, if you’re in the business of selling
“Icy treats” you don’t want your customers
going to Palm Springs!
Remember this IN FOCUS: LAKE WORTH
by beat reporter Kevin Thompson about
‘Icy treats
at a gas station located where? Here in the
City of Lake Worth?

Sadly no.
That RaceTrac gas station
is i
n Palm Springs!

Why go all the way to Palm Springs for “Icy treats” when you can get icy treats right here in the City of Lake Worth such as wonderful establishments like Toojay’s at 419 Lake Ave. in Downtown Lake Worth!
In conclusion, if you have a business here in the City of Lake Worth you shouldn’t be losing local customers to businesses outside our City.

A most hugely popular blog post! “Fun Facts” about your City of Lake Worth.

Have you heard or read about these Fun Facts, e.g., about all the mahogany forests and “Bavarian delicatessens” in our City? Vanilla Ice isn’t our City’s only famous “American Rapper”, did you know Ghostemane is from L-Dub too!

From Wikipedia, more interesting facts about City of Lake Worth, Florida:

Did you know. . .

Vanilla Ice lives in our City. It must be true.
Why? Because it’s on Wikipedia. And
more Fun Facts from Wikipedia:

  • The City of Lake Worth has four (4) Sister Cities: Lappeenranta, Finland; Saint-Marc, Haiti; Southend-on-Sea, England; and Sopot, Poland.
  • “To this day, one can find an abundance of beer halls, [emphasis added] chocolatiers, Bavarian delicatessens, and Lutheran churches, which stand out in the semitropical urban sprawl of South Florida.” And later in Wikipedia, “South Florida’s most attractive architecture can be found in College Park”.
  • “Lake Worth bills itself as ‘Where the Tropics Begin.’ Many tropical plants grow in the city; among the more prominent examples are mahogany [!], royal poinciana and many species of palm, including coconut palm.”

One of the biggest reasons to visit our City!

“The city’s public swimming pool [at the Lake Worth Casino and Beach complex] has been restored, and besides serving to instruct Palm Beach County residents in swimming and water safety, hosts water-sport competitions.”

And the wildlife too!

“Dolphins, manatees and an assortment of tropical birds are commonly seen including herons, ibises, egrets, oystercatchers, pelicans [!], cormorants and other waterfowl.”  

Now back to Vanilla Ice: 

From the City’s Wikipedia page is news that Vanilla Ice, “an American rapper and house flipper” also known as Robert Van Winkle, “has lived in Lake Worth since the 2010’s.”

Learn more interesting facts about famous people who once lived or now reside in our little, vibrant City of Lake Worth: Click on this link for the “Lake Worth, Florida” Wikipedia page and scroll down for “Notable people”.

Check back for more “Interesting facts about the City of Lake Worth” or as they say, ‘in the L-Dub’!

And it’s all true. Why?
Because it’s in Wikipedia.

Monday, January 8, 2018

OpenGov: More news “Worth Noting” from your little City of Lake Worth.

“The City of Lake Worth is Partnering with OpenGov to Further Increase its Effectiveness and Accountability”

OpenGov Gives City of Lake Worth Officials Easier Access to Valuable Data, and Empowers Them to Share that Data With the Community”

To read more news in the newsletter “Worth
Noting” published by your City of Lake Worth
click on this link.

“The City of Lake Worth joins over 1,700 city, county and state governments, special districts and schools that rely on OpenGov to be more effective and accountable.”
OpenGov CEO Zac Bookman

Please share this information that’s Worth Noting with everyone in your neighborhood or community here in this City of Lake Worth:

The City of Lake Worth announced that it’s partnering with OpenGov — the leader in government performance management — to further increase its effectiveness and accountability.
     The OpenGov Smart Government Cloud™ is an easy-to-use, cloud-based solution for budgeting, operational performance, and citizen engagement. OpenGov’s open data portal aggregates, organizes, and visualizes various data sets (like budgets, building permits and 311 requests). It’s powered by CKAN, the open-source standard that the U.S. federal government, the European Union, and hundreds of other agencies around the world use for open data. It also includes tools like APIs that developers can use to build applications.
     The City of Lake Worth is using OpenGov’s open data portal to give government officials across numerous departments easier access to its data sets so they can make more informed decisions. It’s also using the portal to launch the Lake Worth Financial Transparency Portal to share data with the community:

“Our open data portal is a win-win for the City of Lake Worth and the community,” said Bookman. “On average, governments receive 20 percent less requests for information after they launch their OpenGov open data portals. That means citizens are getting the information they need, and it saves governments time and energy that can be spent elsewhere.”

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Public meeting tomorrow: City of Lake Worth Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program.

First, whilst on the topic of funding for public projects here in the City of Lake Worth click on this link to find out what is on the City Commission’s “Wish List” for the proceeds from the County’s ¢1 sales tax increase.

Remember: This County sales tax money is to fund infrastructure projects, leverage infrastructure projects, and complete infrastructure projects.

Please note the word “infrastructure”.

The rule for CDBG funding from the County is a project has to be “shovel ready” construction!

Learn about the definition of ‘shovel ready’ below. For example, if one is hoping to use the County ¢1 sales tax proceeds and/or CDBG funding to purchase trees and vegetation to line the City’s streets, you are out of luck. You need to find funding for that project elsewhere.

The news about the upcoming CDBG public meeting is below courtesy of this week’s Lake Worth Herald.
“Please join the City of Lake Worth for a Public Meeting to discuss the upcoming Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) for
Fiscal Year 2018–2019.”

Details about this public meeting:

During this meeting City staff will describe newly defined eligible uses of CDBG funds and solicit public input on how these funds should be used.
  • Date: Monday, January 8, 2018
  • Time: 5:00 p.m.
  • Location: City Hall Conference Room, City Hall, 7 N. Dixie Hwy.
The actual allocation of CDBG funding for Fiscal Year 20182019 has not yet been announced. It is estimated that it will comparable to the CDBG allocation of $291,846 that the City received for Fiscal Year 2017–2018.
     Palm Beach County is accepting applications for only CDBG eligible capital improvements projects. Accordingly, the City will be required to submit 3 year CDBG Capital Project Plan that identifies requests for funding on projects that will expend the funds within the year they are awarded.
     Construction projects will only be considered for recommendation if it is “shovel ready.” The County defines “shovel ready” as:

     1. Applicant has site control.
     2. Necessary zoning and development approvals are in place.
     3. For projects where you are only seeking funding for construction, the design must be complete no later than the October 1st start of the fiscal year for which CDBG funding is sought.
     4. All other funds necessary to complete the project are in place no later than the October 1st start of the fiscal year for which funding is being sought.

Please note!

Prior to attending this public meeting about CDBG funding for a project that is of interest to you do your homework ahead of time!

Please reread what “shovel ready” means in list 1–4 above. If your idea doesn’t meet all 4 requirements you need to find funding elsewhere such as contacting your elected officials for other funding ideas, seeking grants, or reaching out to philanthropic organizations.

On the agenda tomorrow: How
and where to use proceeds from the
County’s ¢1 sales tax increase.

Please Note: Monday will be a busy day
at Lake Worth City Hall.

Also at City Hall on Monday beginning at 5:00 will be a public meeting about the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program as well. Please spread the word! Do your research before showing up with your latest greatest idea about how to use CDBG money. Why? Click on this link to find out.

Hint: The “Word of the Day” on Monday will be ‘infrastructure’.

Below is the agenda for the Finance Advisory
Board which meets at 6:00 in the City Hall
Conference Room next Monday:

  • Roll Call.
  • Pledge of Allegiance.
  • Agenda: Additions, deletions, reordering.
  • Approval of Minutes.
  • Opening Comments: Richard Guercio, Chair.
  • Public Comments: Three (3) minute limit.
  • New Business: Penny Sales Tax.
  • Unfinished Business.
  • New Business: Set next meeting date (February 5th).
  • Closing Comments.
  • Adjournment.
Note: One of more members of any board or member of the City Commission may attend and speak.