Saturday, January 20, 2018

Headline in The Palm Beach Post:
“West Palm’s 27 homicides led way as
killings rose in county during 2017”.

Before we begin, take note:

There were 100 homicides in Palm Beach County in 2017; in 2016 there were 87 homicides in the County. In 2017 there were 27 homicides in West Palm Beach; in 2016 there were 10. Are those numbers significant? Continue reading and draw your own conclusions.

Here are the opening three paragraphs in the Post datelined New Year’s Eve, December 31st:

WEST PALM BEACH — As 2017 becomes history in a few hours, the year is guaranteed to rank among the deadliest in Palm Beach County in nearly a decade.
     According to an online Palm Beach Post database, 100 people were victims of homicides through Sunday afternoon. Official numbers from government agencies won’t be available until early 2018.
     Hardest hit was West Palm Beach, the scene of 27 murders this year including the slaying Thursday night of a woman and her 11-year-old daughter. No municipality has recorded as many homicides in a single year since the creation of The Post’s database in 2009. [emphasis added]

Now go back and read the headline in
the blog title once again.

Note that headline editors are tasked with creating headlines that accurately reflect and follow the lead of the article as written by the reporter(s), in this case Mike Stucka and Jorge Milian.
“. . . killings rose in county during 2017”
Yes. The homicide rate did increase in Palm Beach County (PBC) last year. However, here in the City of Lake Worth the homicide rate dropped from nine homicides in 2016 to seven in 2017 and for another example Belle Glade went from ten homicides in 2016 to three last year. In another case, tragically in Jupiter, that city went from two homicides between 2012–2016 to five homicides last year.

Losing a loved one senselessly by homicide is a tragedy for the entire family and community. And the reporters Stucka and Milian remind everyone that sadly, “In 2016, 87 people were slain in the county, the fewest since 2011.” The year 2011 was a bad one for many families and communities as well. In that year eighty-four people were murdered.

The headline for that article in the Post on New Year’s Eve was misleading and is very unfair to PBC, its thirty-nine (39) cities and the many residents living in unincorporated County areas as well such as in “suburban Lake Worth” which goes all the way out to the very edge of the Florida Everglades.

Because the question remains. . .

Where exactly did those homicides increase “in county during 2017”? Below are numbers that you may find surprising and won’t find in the Post article cited above unless you dug deeper into the Post’s database. Two important points:
  1. Homicides in all of unincorporated PBC and the 9 cities that have law enforcement provided by the Palm Beach County Sheriff in 2017: 35.
  2. There are thirty (30) cities in PBC that have their own police department. But only thirteen (13) of those cities reported a homicide last year.
Expanding on these two points:
  • Total number of homicides reported in all 13 cities that have their own police departments: 63.
  • Homicides in West Palm Beach: 27.
  • Homicides in Riviera Beach: 12.
  • In Boynton Beach: 11.
  • Number of homicides in the other 10 cities in PBC that have their own police department? 13.

Number of homicides in all 9 cities that
have PBSO in 2017? 17.

So the last two numbers above, 13 and 17, are statistically similar but again that’s no consolation for anyone whose lost a loved one. However, it’s not hard to notice the one outlier in the bullet list above: West Palm Beach.

What happened that caused the homicide rate to fall so dramatically from ten homicides back in 2016 and then spike up to twenty-seven in 2017? Shouldn’t that be the focus of an enterprising reporter at The Palm Beach Post?

Now, more information from the Post’s database you might find interesting. Below is the list of all cities in PBC that reported a homicide(s) in 2017, number of homicides from highest to lowest (cities in boldface have PBSO):
  • Once again, West Palm Beach: 27
  • Riviera Beach: 12
  • Boynton Beach: 11
  • Lake Worth: 7
  • Jupiter: 5
  • Belle Glade and Delray Beach: 3
  • Greenacres and Mangonia Park: 2
  • Boca Raton, Lantana, Pahokee, Palm Springs, South Bay, and Wellington: 1
Note that the Post database begins in 2009. These cities have never reported a homicide since the start of that database:
  • Atlantis
  • Briny Breezes
  • Cloud Lake
  • Glen Ridge
  • Golf
  • Gulf Stream
  • Haverhill
  • Highland Beach
  • Hypoluxo
  • Juno Beach
  • Jupiter Inlet Colony
  • Manalapan
  • North Palm Beach
  • Ocean Ridge
  • Palm Beach
  • South Palm Beach
  • Westlake
Note that, for some reason, “Loxahatchee” is listed as a city in the database but that’s an area in unincorporated PBC, not a city. The nearby city is called Loxahatchee Groves.

And lastly. . .

In June 2017 after two homicides occurred within a short period in the City of Lake Worth there was much interest expressed at the City Commission about “gunshot detection technology” by Lake Worth Vice Mayor Scott Maxwell and Commissioner Omari Hardy:

A gunfire locator or gunshot detection system is a system that detects and conveys [in real time] the location of gunfire or other weapon fire using acoustic, optical, or potentially other types of sensors, as well as a combination of such sensors. . . . Systems used in urban settings integrate a geographic information system so the display includes a map and address location of each incident.

Which prompted an observation on
this blog last year:

Instead of looking at gun violence and shootings as a “Lake Worth problem” or a “West Palm Beach problem” could the solution be Lake Worth’s District 14 PBSO and the West Palm Beach Police Dept. working together and collaborating to acquire gunshot detection technology to help solve a regional problem here in Palm Beach County? . . . Or is the real problem, for some who’ve become accustomed to the status quo, is the thought of West Palm Beach and Lake Worth working together to help stop gun violence just completely unimaginable?

But since November 2017 no reporter at The Palm Beach Post has taken up this issue of new technology for law enforcement in PBC, reporting anything at all about gunshot detection technology for their readership.

But there’s always hope for 2018 and hopefully on New Year’s Day in 2019 we won’t have to read again that ‘killings rose in county during 2018’ like we did in 2017.

UPDATE: Was a correction issued today for false headline in yesterday’s paper?

The answer is, of course, no correction was published today.

“A local newspaper is really a public trust, part of the fabric of the whole community. . . . You know us. My face is on this column on this page, and I live in this community. Several of our reporters and editors grew up in Palm Beach County.”

Quote. Following news The Palm Beach Post was “up for sale” publisher Tim Burke published a commentary dated Nov. 4th, 2017 titled, “Mission of Post, Shiny Sheet will not change”.

Front page headline yesterday, Friday, January 19th:


Above was the banner headline on the front page above the fold on page A1, this directed readers to the  “LOCAL” section. On page B1, below the fold is another false headline:
When, or rather if one reads the news article by crime reporter Olivia Hitchcock one learns that this homicide did not occur in the Town of Lantana. This incident occurred outside the town in unincorporated Palm Beach County or what can also be referred to as suburban Lantana or unincorporated Lantana or any of several other ways.

Meanwhile, back in Lake Worth. . .

A correction and/or clarification needed to be published in this ‘paper of record’ for their readers — the accurate location of two cemeteries — both of which are the final resting place for many local veterans but no correction or even a clarification was forthcoming.

Here’ s what was published last month:

“The wreaths that were placed at Lake Worth National Cemetery last Saturday [Dec. 16th] were purchased and donated through the Wreaths Across America organization in Maine.”

There is no such place in Palm Beach County called the ‘Lake Worth National Cemetery’.

The South Florida National Cemetery is out west near the Everglades, nowhere near the City of Lake Worth.

Continue reading to learn more about the cemetery for veterans called the South Florida National Cemetery and the Pinecrest Cemetery — two very different places on different sides of Palm Beach County — both of which are the final resting places for many veterans.

Learn more about the Pinecrest Cemetery located
in the City of Lake Worth below.
And if you happened upon news about a ‘Lake Worth man’ and missing wreaths donated by Wreaths Across America to honor America’s veterans at the South Florida National Cemetery. . .

The South Florida National Cemetery is located west of the Florida Turnpike, south of Wellington, in what’s called suburban Lake Worth (the address is 6501 S. State Road 7).

About the cemetery located in the
City of Lake Worth.

The Pinecrest Cemetery is located at 1724 12th Ave. South, and for many local veterans, their final resting place.

For more information about our local cemetery contact the City’s Grounds and Cemetery Supervisor, Mr. Andy Halbling, call 561-586-1677 on Monday–Friday from 7:00–3:30 or send an email to:

Friday, January 19, 2018

City of Lake Worth’s “Farmers Market Waterside” opens at 9:00 a.m. tomorrow.

Do you like organics, Peruvian ceviche, fresh juice, beekeepers, vendors and crafters too? Or how about books to learn more about our little City of Lake Worth? Learn more about location and hours below.

Stop by and check out “The Cottages of Lake Worth — Living Large in Small Spaces” hardcover book
at the Farmers Market Waterside.
Two other convenient places to find the Cottages book in Downtown Lake Worth are the City’s news-
stand at 600 Lake Ave. and bookstore
at 801 Lake Ave. (The Book Cellar just
recently opened
in our City).

The Farmers Market in Lake Worth is open every Saturday until April from 9:00 a.m.–1:00 in Old Bridge Park* across A1A from the scenic Lake Worth Beach and Casino complex (10 S. Ocean Blvd.). Each week the market features between 45 and 60 booths, including fresh produce, mini-donuts, Southern shrimp and grits, sweet and savory foods, and local artisans as well.

Learn more about the Farmers Market
using this link to Facebook.

Lake Worth City Manager Michael Bornstein encourages everyone to attend and published a special City newsletter titled, “Farmers Market Waterside Returns”:

“Relationships are central to the market’s culture. Eliminating a third party distributor allows residents to have a close relationship with the person who is growing or making their food. As residents return to the market on a weekly basis, they will get to know the vendors, leading to a better understanding of local produce, food, and art.”

*If you’re coming from the west, take Lake Ave. to Old Bridge Park (also called “Hot Dog Park”) located over the Robert Harris (“Lake Worth”) Bridge on the east side of the Intracoastal. The Farmers Market is the park and parking lot at the base of the former Lake Worth bridge on the north side of the road.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

The 2018 Street Painting Festival is coming up on February 24th and 25th. Just around the corner. . .

Have you submitted your artist application yet?
What are you waiting for?

Now let’s take a stroll down memory lane.
Lake Worth Street Painting Festival,
Saturday, February 22nd, 2014.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

About the City Commission meeting
last night in the City of Lake Worth.

Here is a photo taken from PBSO Cpt. Baer’s
update to the City Commission last night.
This was one of the first presentations of the evening. The YouTube video of last night’s meeting is below.

To no one’s surprise, the beat reporter from the Post didn’t show up last night at the first City Commission meeting of 2018. After what was published in the paper yesterday one can understand why.

If this reporter, or any other reporter for that matter, reports any news about this meeting it will have to come from the City’s YouTube video from the Live Streaming feed. You can watch what happened for yourself (see below) and be your own citizen reporter. And by the way, having actual citizen reporters ‘at the scene’ reporting what happened at City Hall is nothing new.

However, in a clear indication how irrelevant The Palm Beach Post has actually become here in this City, the Post’s beat reporter, Kevin Thompson, wasn’t mentioned or even referenced one single time last night until the very end of the meeting when District 3 City Commissioner Andy Amoroso, ‘tongue-in-cheek’ talked about how Thompson never reported that Amoroso was unopposed this election season and will serve another term beginning next March.

The agenda last night was a long one. The meeting lasted over 4 hours. And from the start our City Commission was clearly focused on getting things done.

They were not going to be distracted by any
silly news from the press.

The meeting last night was at times spirited and there were many topics such as code enforcement, how to use Community Development Block Grant funds, much about the City’s Electric Utility, and what the status of the Neighborhood Road Bond program is. And much more. Zoning was a big issue as well. I’ll have more about that a little later.

However, it’s very important to point out that the mood in the City Hall chambers last night was a very positive one. If you were there last night you would know what I mean. So. As you watch this meeting in the video below you’ll certainly see ‘spirited’ and passionate debate.

There are members of this City Commission that clearly have different opinions about some of the issues but they also clearly have deep respect for each other.

Stay tuned for more information later on about what happened at the City Commission last night. And as always, Thank You for visiting today.

This is called “Democracy In Action”:

News from business reporter Amanda Rabines, “Starwood pays $31M for apartment complex near Lake Worth”.

This real estate news datelined yesterday in The Real Deal Miami, a news organization devoted to “South Florida Real Estate News” is subtitled,
288-unit property sold for $107K per apartment

Here’s an excerpt from the article:

Starwood Property Trust just paid $30.7 million for an apartment complex near Lake Worth, [emphasis added] property records show.
     Congress Park Limited Partnership, an affiliate of the Orlando-based Banyan Development Group, sold the 288-unit development at 3000 Congress Park Drive for about $107,000 per apartment.

and. . .

     Congress Park sits on 20 acres just south of Sixth Avenue South and west of South Congress Avenue. The rental community, built in 1995, features two- and three-bedroom apartments, a lake and a community pool.

The property that Starwood Property Trust just purchased is located in unincorporated Palm Beach County and it’s true, per reporter Amanda Rabines, that location is “near Lake Worth” in what’s locally referred to as suburban Lake Worth to differentiate that area from the actual City of Lake Worth.

The reporter at The Real Deal Miami
did her research.

Then why shouldn’t we come to expect the same from a local beat reporter from The Palm Beach Post? The site of this real estate transaction is just south of where 6th Ave. South turns into Melaleuca Lane.

Click on image to enlarge:
On the north side of Melaleuca Lane was the site of a recent dog attack as reported in The Palm Beach Post. That incident did not happen ‘in Lake Worth’.

It was noted on this blog the Post’s beat reporter
got the location of this incident wrong. So why
was there never a correction or clarification
issued by the editor?

Please spread the word about P&Z
Board meeting tonight!

About today’s Planning and Zoning Board meeting (beginning at 6:00) and the agenda item,

“[R]equest for a Major Site Plan to allow for
the construction of a 189 unit mixed use
apartment complex”.

This agenda item has been
moved to the P&Z meeting on
February 7th!

Here’s the latest from the City of Lake Worth, new item E2 posted on the P&Z agenda:

Consideration of a request for a Major Site Plan and participation in the Sustainable Bonus Incentive Program to construct a 189 unit Mixed-Use apartment complex. Staff is requesting a continuance to a date certain of February 7, 2018.

Things like this happen from time to time.

Anyhow, whilst we’re on the topic of
a City of Lake Worth volunteer board. . .
Last year were you planning on volunteering on a City board in 2018? Well, 2018 is here.

To find out which boards are in need of volunteers click on this link or contact Olivia Brown, the City’s volunteer coordinator. Send an email to:

UPDATE: About the old news published in The Palm Beach Post yesterday.

It’s anyone’s guess why old news about the City of Lake Worth from mid-December 2017 made the front page ‘Local’ section in the Post yesterday, on January 16th, 2018. Last night, by the way, was the first Lake Worth City Commission meeting of this new year.

However, if that decision by the Post to publish old news yesterday was meant to drive the debate or be a distraction at the Commission meeting last night, well, it didn’t work. That old news about the Office of Inspector General “Audit Report 2018-A-001” of Lake Worth Water Utility Services wasn’t brought up even one single time. Not once. So. Anyhow. . .

“A local newspaper is really a public trust, part of the fabric of the whole community.”

—Quote. November 4th, 2017 in opinion piece by Timothy D. Burke, publisher of Palm Beach Post and Palm Beach Daily News, following news that both newspapers are up For-Sale

So just how old was that old news?

CBS12 reporter Chuck Weber aired a news report titled, “Lake Worth mayor [Mayor Pam Triolo] addresses Inspector General’s water utilities findings” on December 19th last year.

CBS12 scooped the Post
twenty-nine (29) days ago!

Definition of ‘scooped’: it’s a verb that means, “to get the better of . . . by obtaining and publishing or broadcasting a news item, report, or story first”.

Spread the word! Below is the latest old ‘news’
published in The Palm Beach Post.
The old news published in the Post, below the fold, was never even good enough for the Post’s Lake Worth Very Very Special Monday Cursory Print Edition (LWVVSMCPE). But guess what! Now this old news is even older today!

The OIG audit of City of Lake Worth Water Utility Services was released last year, on Dec. 18th.

And just today (Jan. 16th, 2018) this old news by Post reporter Kevin Thompson finally made ‘news’ in the newspaper — almost a full month after the OIG audit was released — and by the way the City’s municipal elections are coming up on March 13th, less than 2 months from now. Do you think this old news finally published yesterday is just a coincidence?

A lot more residents of this City need to remember what happened on Christmas Day last year in the Post’s LWVVSMCPE that day when a prominent City resident wrote, “For months I’ve been meaning to cancel my subscription to the tedious Palm Beach Post.”

This is just one more example of the shoddy news reporting we’ve come to expect from the Post.

And just as predicted last December the article doesn’t mention anything about what happened prior to 2012:
Audit finds $7 million in questioned costs at Lake Worth Water Utility

Guess what’s missing from the article in the Post?

Here’s a short excerpt from the OIG report:

“On September 30, 2011, the former Finance Director transferred $6,000,000 from the City’s Water Utility. . .”

Nowhere in the Post article does it mention anything
about what happened in 2011.
For reporters and editors at the Post it’s important
to remember political history in this City prior to
2012 doesn’t matter. Why? Because for them,
that’s just ‘old news’ now.

To read the OIG report for yourself click on
this link to download the document

If you recall, Lake Worth City Manager Bornstein isn’t asking for much from the press:

“We [the City] are held to a higher standard,
they [the press] should hold themselves
to a higher standard.”

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

City Commission meets tonight in
City Hall at 6:00 and the Planning & Zoning Board meets tomorrow.

Both of these meetings are very important.
Why wait for the news from your City Commission? Watch the news happen in real time Live Streaming. How? At 6:00 tonight click on this link and scroll down for the City’s Live Broadcast Channel.

“Hmmm. If I want to look over the agenda prior to the meeting, how do I do that?”

Good question. The City of Lake Worth makes that very easy. It only takes two steps.:
  1. Click on this link for the “Agendas for City Commission and Advisory Boards”.
  2. Scroll down and look for City Commission “January 16 Regular Meeting” and click on “Agenda & Backup” to download (note: after a little while using the menu in the left-hand column becomes very helpful to quickly move forward and back to see various agenda items).
To look over the Planning & Zoning Board agenda? Just scroll down a little further and click on “Agenda Package” to download that agenda.

Hope you found this information helpful and Thank You for visiting today!

Now that the editor and their pundit at The Palm Beach Post are backpedalling faster than a Brightline train. . .

It’s time to take a look back:

All those letters to the editor,
“laced with not too subtle

Below is an excerpt from a true gem published on the Post’s editorial page shortly prior to the launch of Brightline passenger rail last weekend,

“After hearing about the horrendous accident of the high-speed train in Washington state . . . Which of these human frailties also lurk within the Brightline organization?”

Really. Don’t you just shudder and get frightened when you read the word ‘lurk’?

Very profound. Planes and cars crash, ships sink,
and satellite launches fail. . . are all those to be
abandoned due to risk? How many people were
killed on I-95 last year? So far this year?
Because everyone knows, “It’s All About Risk”!

However, keep in mind the fundamental rule about traffic: Building new lanes for cars and trucks just creates more traffic. And more fatalities too.

You see, it’s in those ‘Letters to the Editor’ that the editor(s) try to shape public opinion and it rarely if ever works. Just like in another recent example on the issue of medical marijuana. Just wondering, how many positive letters about Brightline and medical marijuana got tossed by the editor(s)?\

That last negative letter about Brightline, the final one of the series, was published in the Post in late December and like the others was “laced with not too subtle fear-mongering.” It was preceded another gem a few days earlier, the letter writer starts of with this line, “I think we all know the train traffic will be freight, not passenger Brightline trains.” Then concludes with this line,
“Horns are not needed and are obnoxious.”
The first line, “I think we all know. . .”  uses what’s called the bandwagon fallacy and the second sentence about train horns is so illogical there is no logical name for it; but the hasty generalization and subjectivist fallacies come close.

As inane as these letters are about Brightline, what would be even more pointless is anyone such as Mr. Myers or Mr. Kovalsky responding to any of it. Who are Messrs. Myers and Kovalsky? Please continue reading.

Or one could also refer to this “fear-mongering” about Brightline as, “bringing buckets of water to yesterday’s fire.” Find out why a little later.

What follows is the original blog post from December 13th when these letters began appearing on the editorial page:

Tequesta resident Dennis Myers and West Palm Beach resident Jim Kovalsky both deserve a lot of credit. If you didn’t know, one of the not-so-clever ways the editors at the Post try to stir up trouble is by publishing ‘letters’ on the editorial page, “laced with not too subtle fear-mongering.”

Brightline was a target in 2016 for several weeks and was once again the target recently with this gem of a letter, “With Brightline, 32 more train trips a day: Do the math”. A logical question to ask the letter writer is why did you wait so long to ‘Do the math’? On this blog I’ve been following the progress of All Aboard Florida, later renamed Brightline, since way back in 2014!

Ergo the reference above to “bringing buckets
of water to yesterday’s fire.”

Anyhow. Back in June 2016 Mr. Myers of Tequesta dealt with all that illogical hysterics and bandwagon fallacies concerning letters published with so-called ‘concerns’ and fears about the Brightline passenger rail service project:

Recent weeks have seen letters to The Palm Beach Post voicing renewed outrage [emphasis added] over the potential damage expanding the local railway system will bring to the quality of our lives. Sentiments range from exaggerated speculation countered by point-of-fact responses to earnest opposition laced with not too subtle fear-mongering. For me, however, all the hand-wringing comments miss several key points in the argument.

To read Mr. Myers’ “key points in the argument” click on this link.

Now comes Jim Kovalsky
to the rescue!

Following the letter published recently in the Post about the soon-to-begin Brightline passenger rail service and ‘Do the math’, Mr. Kovalsky fired back with his own letter titled, “Don’t stop on tracks: Train problem solved; here are excerpts from that letter which appears in yesterday’s (12/13) print edition:

I applaud Jack Felton for being concerned for the public’s safety as Brightline prepares to start their new express train service here in South Florida, but his math is mistaken and his fear misplaced. [emphasis added]
     He attempts to use mathematics to make his concern appear valid, but as someone with a degree in mathematics and computer science, I would paint a different picture.
     The FEC Railway currently runs approximately 20 trains daily between Jacksonville and Hialeah, and each of those trains crosses almost 500 crossings in every trip. That tells us that already the crossing signals protect us successfully at 3.5 million grade crossing activations each year.
     When there are incidents at a grade crossing, the horn or lack of horn is not the cause — 100 percent of grade crossing accidents are caused by people stopping their vehicles on the tracks. Here’s a simple solution for everyone — and it’s also a state law (FS 316.1945) — never stop on the tracks.

and. . .

     Remember, the train does not swerve off the tracks to hit a car. The car must be in the train’s way to get hit, and we are all responsible for maintaining our own safety.

Well put, Mr. Kovalsky. And a big Thank You to Mr. Myers as well for addressing those ‘concerns’ and open-ended speculation “laced with not too subtle fear-mongering.”

By the way, have you ever wanted to write a Letter to the Editor (LTE)? It’s easy and only takes 5–10 minutes. Click on this link for the details with helpful tips and most importantly, explains how to “follow up” your LTE and get your letter published.

Whilst on the topic of Brightline hope you enjoy the video below and find this blog post informative as well about our tour last July of the West Palm Beach station sponsored by the Palm Beach County Planning Congress in collaboration with the West Palm Beach Downtown Neighborhood Assoc.:

UPDATE: P&Z Board meeting: “[R]equest for a Major Site Plan to allow for the construction of a 189 unit mixed use apartment complex”.

This agenda item WILL NOT BE ON TOMORROW’S Planning & Zoning Board agenda. This item was moved to the next P&Z meeting on February 7th:

Here is new agenda item E2 from the City:

“Consideration of a request for a Major Site Plan and participation in the Sustainable Bonus Incentive Program to construct a 189 unit Mixed-Use apartment complex. Staff is requesting a continuance to a date certain of February 7, 2018.”

However, interestingly, on the topic of new construction. . .

Recent news from The Palm Beach Post headlined “Hypoluxo’s last large piece of undeveloped land now under construction” — for some strange reason — hasn’t drawn any opposition at all from anyone in the environmental community. Why is that?

Anyhow. So where exactly is the Town of Hypoluxo?
Hypoluxo is immediately south of Lantana.
By the way, when was the last time you saw any news in the Post about the City of Atlantis? It’s a delightful walled community west of John Prince Park in suburban Lake Worth (unincorporated Palm Beach County).

Note that the City of Lake Worth’s P&Z Board is usually scheduled to meet on the first Wednesday of the month. But due to conflicts with the holiday schedule the January 3rd meeting was moved to this coming Wednesday, Jan. 17th.

Were you thinking about volunteering on a
City board in 2018? Well, 2018 is here. 
To find out which boards are in need of volunteers click on this link or contact Olivia Brown, the volunteer coordinator. Send an email to:

Now scheduled for the February 7th meeting at the P&Z, two excerpts from a public notice published in The Lake Worth Herald:

PLEASE TAKE NOTICE that the Planning & Zoning Board City of Lake Worth, Florida, will hold a public hearing in the City Hall Commission Chambers at 7 North Dixie Highway in Lake Worth, Florida 33460, at 6:00 PM or as soon thereafter as possible, on January 17, 2018 to consider a request by the Wantman Group Inc. (WGI) on behalf of the applicant, Lake Worth Investment Group LLC, for the following:
A request for a Major Site Plan to allow for the construction of a 189 unit mixed use apartment complex, and a request for a Sustainable Bonus Incentive Program to increase the building height, to include one, five-story building and four, three-story buildings.
The site is located approximately 200 feet west of the 10th Avenue North and Boutwell Road intersection, within the Mixed-Use West Zoning District (MU-W).

and. . .

You also have the opportunity to attend the meeting to provide oral testimony. For additional information on the above issues, please visit the City of Lake Worth Division of Planning, Zoning and Historic Preservation located at 1900 Second Ave. North, Lake Worth, Florida 33461 or contact City Staff at 561-586-1687.

Monday, January 15, 2018

2018 Street Painting Festival: Now accepting artist applications.

The festival is February 24th and 25th (Saturday and Sunday). Sounds like a long time away but it’s only a little over a month away. So get your artist application in ASAP using this link to download all the information you need. Applications are reviewed on a first-come first-served basis.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Excerpt from minutes of TCRPC meeting about Lake Okeechobee’s “gate 308” and “higher volatility weather patterns”.

“He [Martin County Commissioner Ed Fielding] stated he believes that gate 308, which connects Lake Okeechobee to the St. Lucie Estuary, needs to be closed.”

Excerpt from Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council (TCPRC) meeting in July 2017. Continue reading to learn more about this below, more excerpts from the TCRPC.

Post-Hurricane Irma, now that fears have subsided about a serious breach in the Herbert Hoover Dike, the blog post below from September last year takes on new significance. Martin County commissioners Ed Fielding and Doug Smith are cited (excerpt below) in the draft minutes of the TCRPC meeting held on July 21st .

But first, important information about
Managing Lake Okeechobee”:

Under its revised 2008 regulation schedule, the [U.S. Army] Corps strives to maintain Lake Okeechobee’s water level between 12.5 feet and 15.5 feet NGVD,* in part to protect the integrity of the aging Herbert Hoover Dike that surrounds the lake. The lake’s water level can rise up to six times faster than water can be discharged. For example, heavy rains from Tropical Storm Isaac in August 2012 raised the lake level by 3 feet in a month.

From the draft minutes at the TCRPC meeting in July 2017 about the “Lake Okeechobee Watershed Restoration Project [WRP] Planning Update” given by Jennifer Leeds, the Section Administrator for the SFWMD† Office of Everglades Policy and CERP‡ program manager, provided an update on the Lake Okeechobee WRP.§

From pp. 6–7 of this update (see links below) given
at the TCRPC is this excerpt from the minutes:

“Commissioner Fielding [Martin County Comm. Ed Fielding] thanked Ms. Leeds for what has been done to date, but he believes it will not provide relief to the estuaries. He stated once the water is in Lake Okeechobee and there is an emergency situation that requires water releases, the water will most likely be sent through the St. Lucie Estuary. He [Fielding] stated he believes that gate 308, which connects Lake Okeechobee to the St. Lucie Estuary, needs to be closed. [emphasis added] He stated the basic problem is the water goes into the lake 6 times faster than it can be released, and the outlets for release are S80, St. Lucie Lock & Dam in Stuart, and S79, W.P. Franklin Lock & Dam near Fort Myers. He concurred with Chairman Smith [Martin County Comm. Doug Smith] that there needs to be communication with Osceola County for the potential to move, store, and clean water to the north. He [Fielding] stated the underlying problem everyone is overlooking is we are going into an era of higher volatility weather patterns and past data cannot be used to predict future scenarios. He indicated he understands the complexities, but stated he feels this is being glossed over to get to a solution he believes is insufficient.”

Look over this agenda item yourself at the TCRPC and read the minutes by using this link, then scroll down to download the “Draft Minutes”.

To learn more about the Herbert Hoover Dike
and the Lloyd’s of London “Emerging
Risks Team Report” use this link:

“Since the construction of the dyke,the land
outside of the dyke has been eroding, particularly
on the south side of the lake.”
“[T]he dyke is no longer being used solely as a
levee to protect the area from flooding when
storms are in the vicinity but also to hold a
permanent reserve of water.”

And lastly. . .

On the question of “$800M in bonds? For a new reservoir ‘which is intended to help’ and ‘potentially reduce’ algae outbreaks?”, click on this link.

Footnote section:**

*NGVD National Geodetic Vertical Datum.
SFWMD  =  South Florida Water Management District.
CERP  =  Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan.
§The Lake Okeechobee WRP is a joint effort between SFWMD and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineeers.
The TCRPC meetings are held at the Wolf High Technology Center, Indian River State College (Chastain Campus), located at 2400 SE Salerno Road in city of Stuart.
The word “dyke” is the British variant of “dike”. Technically, however, the Herbert Hoover Dike is no longer a dike; Lake Okeechobee is a body of water confined by a wall of earth, clay, other fortifying materials and man-made structures.
**On topic of footnotes, following order of  *§, and  , one then begins to “double-up”, for example, **††, ‡‡, etc.

Headline: “Hudson Holdings Backed Out of Offers to Buy Downtown Buildings”. See newspaper clipping below.

From 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.