Saturday, January 27, 2018

BINGO!, Mel & Vinnie are back and lots of other news in the Herald this week.

Did you see the front page news in The Lake Worth Herald this week and on page 2 all neighborhood events listed?

To see this week’s front page click on this link.
Pick up the print edition at the City’s newsstand located at 600 Lake Ave. in the Downtown. This newspaper, hard to believe, is still only ¢50!

To subscribe to the Herald
click on this link or call 561-585-9387.

In the Herald this week there’s so much to do. For example, at just one venue listed is news about BINGO every Saturday and there’s family time picking vegetables in the garden too!

All this fun stuff is at one place in the
City of Lake Worth. Where?

At the Gray Mockingbird Community Garden and The Scottish Rite of Freemasonry both located at 2000 North ‘D’ St.

The directions are easy: At the traffic light where Tacos Al Carbon is located on Dixie Hwy. head west on Worthmore Drive over the FEC railroad tracks and the Scottish Rite will be ¼-mile further up on the left (at the corner of Worthmore Dr. and ‘D’ St.); enter using the ‘D’ St. entrance.

To follow the Lake Worth Scottish Rite on Facebook click on this link. For the Gray Mockingbird’s Facebook page use this link or just call 561-246-0148 and ask for Mr. Brian Kirsch.

Here’s the news from The Lake Worth Herald:

BINGO! is every Saturday night in the Scottish Rite from 6:00–9:00 presented by Gray Mockingbird Garden. “Come join the fun, everyone is welcome!” Jackpot up to $200. And as always at the Gray Mockingbird, “We pick daily. Come by and see what we have available.” For more information about that call Mr. Kirsch at 561-246-0148.

And save the date:

February 7th is Music In The Garden once again, the first Wednesday of every month til May from 3:00–6:00. “Mel and Vinnie are back! Bring your instrument and join in on the fun or just come by and enjoy the music.” Bring a snack or beverage to share. Ice, water, and cups will be provided. For more information call 845-399-4630 or send an email to:

Once again. . .

Do you have community news or wish to promote an upcoming event? Contact the editor at 561-585-9387.

Friday, January 26, 2018

There was an attempted hijacking in the little City of Lake Worth last night.

But instead of an actual hijacking, it was an attempt to monkeywrench our City’s small town politics.

This happened on Twitter, on Facebook too and possibly other social media venues as well.

Information is still coming in but this is what we know so far: at least two suspects from outside the City limits are trying to hijack our local politics and make our elections about the national dysfunctional politics instead. Why? To try and tear our City apart.

Instead of small town political debate they want neighbors to hate neighbors. They want to try and drive a wedge between our City government and the public. They want to create confusion, and if they can, create protests demanding fixes to things that are out of our City’s power to control.

The first witness of this attempted hijacking was Lake Worth Commissioner Omari Hardy. He confronted one of the suspects on Twitter. This is what Hardy said:

So if you’re running for office in Lake Worth, I won’t ask you about your political affiliation. I’ll ask you where you stand on potholes, on our zoning code, on CDBG, on Shot Spotter, on our PBSO contract, on code enforcement, on after school programs, and the like.

and. . . 

Mayor Pam Triolo & Vice Mayor Scott Maxwell have led us in the right direction on all of these issues. After six years of their leadership, we’re well-positioned to do great things. I’m grateful that they stepped up to the plate when they did. I support them in their reelections.

Commissioner Hardy went on to say. . .

As you may know, I’m a progressive Democrat. I voted for Obama twice, knocked on doors for HRC [Human Resources Council], and cried like a baby on the night of Nov. 8th, 2016. Still, I care too much about my city to inject into its civic life the rancor and partisanship that hobbles our national politics.

That’s enough for right now. Stay tuned
for more information.

However, in the meantime, if you happen to see or hear about another attempt to hijack our City’s politics immediately stop what you are doing! Find a safe place and if you’re driving, pull over, then contact one or more of your elected officials.

Meet your Lake Worth elected officials. Click on this link for their phone numbers and email address.
Most people call their elected officials to complain.
I urge you to do the opposite. Call and ask for
ways you can help to fix our LOCAL issues.

“For those of you still stinging, hopping mad and angry that Donald Trump is President-elect of the United States.”


This is very important:

The blog post below is originally from November 10th, 2016, just a few days after the elections that year. It’s been shortened a little bit. Why? Because in retrospect, 1½ years later, a longer blog post would be just “bringing buckets of water to yesterday’s fire” as Palm Beach Post staff writer Frank Cerabino pointed out on Nov. 14th, 2016.

And once again, what’s never said enough: Thank You for visiting today.

So. Without further ado, let’s go back
to Nov. 10th, 2016.

Are you a Democrat and/or Hillary Clinton supporter? Still angry about the election of Mr. Trump and not sure who to get mad at?

Do you remember Nan Rich?
The Lake Worth “Nan Rich for Governor” phone bank and field office was hosted by none other than Yours Truly. But the powers-that-be got behind Charlie Crist instead. And the rest as they say,
“is history”.

I did my part back in 2014 to get a Democrat governor but my side lost. In the time since haven’t complained except to make this point: I still think Nan Rich was the better opponent to run against Rick Scott.

The powers-that-be in the Democrat Party disagreed and chose Crist over Nan Rich. Now Rick Scott is the governor of Florida and no amount of angst or hand-wringing will change that fact. Calling him an “a--h---” will get you attention but again, it’s not going to change the political realities any time soon: the Republicans control Tallahassee and Washington, D.C. now as well.

My heart truly goes out to those like State Senator Jeff Clemens when he takes that long ride north. It can’t be much fun for a Democrat.

Our elected representatives and City leadership have gone to Tallahassee to plead our case for giving Lake Worth more help and to a degree they’ve had success. It’s not any different now. They’re going to have to keep taking that long drive north and keep pleading our case for the City of Lake Worth.

So, the point is? Democrats alone are not going to solve Lake Worth’s problems and neither are the Republicans, alone. Others like self-described Libertarians hem and waffle, and try to come up with solutions whilst their neighborhood roads like North ‘J’ Street continue to degrade each and every day. Then there are Anarchists, Maoists, and the Communists too:

A flyer handed out in Downtown Lake Worth leading up to the elections last March [2016].

Amidst the noise and clamor what can a resident of ‘quirky’ Lake Worth do to help solve its problems? Below is one idea from a community activist, former commissioner and mayor, entrepreneur, author, and speaker who recently gave a talk in Lake Worth:

     . . . determine who is busy making a positive impact and do what you can to help them. Those people are not hard to find. They serve on boards, mentor children, seek to heal those who are hurting, raise funds for good causes, work hard to advance ideas and create jobs. They aspire. Oh, how I love that word. It makes all the good in this world possible.

In Lake Worth there are the complainers and there are the doers. And neither of them is “hard to find” here in this City. If you’re looking for ways to make this City a better place to live it’s the doers you need to listen to and follow.

They, the doers, don’t have a lot of time left over to complain about who the governor is or who the President of the United States is either. They have other things to do. Like improve the quality of life for so many of our residents.

The City of Lake Worth is non-partisan. We don’t make election choices because of who is a Democrat or who is a Republican, liberal or conservative, or “middle of the road”. The choice is about who makes the hard decisions and gets the hard work of governing and government done.

And let’s all work equally hard at keeping the national political dysfunction out of our City as well. We have more important things to do. And we also don’t need any more distractions, there are enough of those already:

To learn more about the Silly Red Sign (SRS) platoon use this link. They still think there’s a “wolf at the door”. There never was.

From the Top 5: Most oft-told lies heard “at the door” during election season.

Door knocker: “Did you know they’re selling
Lake Worth’s golf course to developers
so they can build condos?”

This is how it all begins:

Door knocker: “Knock Knock”.

City of Lake Worth resident: “Hello?”

We all have to be reminded from time to time how many new residents there are in this little City of Lake Worth and the many others who are considering a relocation here. If they come across the wrong person, let’s say an over-eager bird watcher at Bryant Park or the Snook Islands, they may come to learn that a condo community is being considered to replace the City’s golf course.

Just one problem:
That can never be done.

You see, the truth is the Lake Worth Golf Course is deed-restricted and cannot be sold — the people who donated the land to the City made sure of that: 

Click on images below to enlarge:
If anyone tells you condos can be built along the
golf course just turn to them and say,
“Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire”.

And did you know the New York Yankee legend Babe Ruth was a regular visitor to the little City of Lake Worth to play golf? It’s true:

To book a tee time use this link and also learn about the course’s “South Palm Beach charm”. The Lake Worth golf course clubhouse is located at #1 7th Ave. North along the scenic Intracoastal waterway.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

More news you can use from your
City of Lake Worth.

Historic preservation program in the City of Lake Worth: News “Worth Noting”.

“The City of Lake Worth is pleased to announce that the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Historical Resources has awarded a $50,000 Small Matching Grant to the City to conduct the ‘Lake Worth Historic Resources Survey Update, Phase II.’ ”

The City of Lake Worth’s Public Information Officer is Mr. Ben Kerr. Call 561-586-1631; email:
For the latest news from your City of Lake Worth that’s “Worth Noting” click on this link. Remember, the City is your official and reliable news source.

The latest news concerning historic preservation
is below. But first. . .

If you have any questions about the upcoming “Historic Preservation Survey” here is more information from the City’s website and contact information:
  • Mark Stivers, Asst. Dir. for Planning and Historic Preservation, 561-586-1617; email:
  • Aimee Sunny, Preservation Planning Coordinator, 561-586-1690; email:
  • For the City’s Dept. of Economic Development click on this link or call 561-586-1647.
  • For the “Planner on Call” use this link or call 561-586-1687.

Without further ado. . .

The City has selected Environmental Services Inc. to perform the survey work. The field surveying has started in the Old Town, Northeast Lucerne and South Palm Park Historic Districts. All field work will be completed by June, 2018.
     The surveyors will not enter private property uninvited. All work will occur from the public right-of-way. [emphasis added] The survey team will strive to be as unobtrusive as possible. The field survey of a property consists of a written form that records the major characteristics of the structure, as well as accompanying pictures of the structure.
     The objective of the survey is to document structures utilizing the standard Florida Master Site File recording forms and to assess the structures’ eligibility for listing in the National Register of Historic Places as well as their ability to contribute to a local historic district. The survey consultant, as well as their survey methods and criteria, will conform to the State’s survey standards, as required by the Grant.
     Undertaking this Phase II Survey Update does not automatically alter the contributing or non-contributing status of any properties. If any designation status changes are proposed in the future, the changes will be based on the updated survey information and will be presented and discussed in public meetings before the HRPB and City Commission.
     The City Commission has the final authority to establish the status of a structure, based on the updated survey information, however there is no intention to bring forward any recommendations at this time. The survey will provide updated information regarding the types and quantities of historic structures in the City and lead to a greater understanding of the City’s unique cultural heritage.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

City of Lake Worth artists: Upcoming “Comm{UNITY}” art show.

To enter this City-wide juried art show click on this link to download the application; MUST BE SUBMITTED BY TODAY (January 24th).

Show dates are February 6th–March 17th.

For questions contact Emily Theodossakos 
at LULA Lake Worth Arts.
This “Comm{UNITY}” art show will be held at LULA Lake Worth Arts* located in the HATCH building at 1121 Lucerne Ave.

Comm{UNITY} is a City-wide art show open to
all residents of the City of Lake Worth.

The newly renovated HATCH 1121 building can be found immediately west of Downtown Lake Worth at the intersection of the Florida East Coast (FEC) railroad tracks between Lucerne and Lake avenues.

Ergo: LULA  =  ‘LU’ for “Lucerne” and ‘LA’ for
“Lake”, the two main east-west avenues
through this City to the Beach.

The HATCH renovations were funded through a cultural facilities grant awarded by the State of Florida’s Department of Cultural Affairs.

Show Dates:

  • Art drop off: Saturday, February 3rd, 10:00 a.m.–2:00.
  • Opening party: Saturday, February 10th, 6:00–9:00.
  • Closing party: Thursday, March 15th, 5:00–8:00.
  • Art pick up: Saturday, March 17th, 10:00 a.m.–2:00.
*The mission of LULA Lake Worth Arts is to unify the existing arts community around a shared vision, implement goals for strengthening the property value, improve access to the arts through educational programs, and invest in partnerships that support the talent and the creative community in the City of Lake Worth.

UPDATE! Mary Lindsey and another success story.

Please see the press release below.

Find out below why such a large crowd of neighbors showed up at the College Park Neighborhood Assoc. meeting last Monday night.
The inimitable Mary Lindsey (standing) organized this meeting. Here is the press release:

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

Last night’s [Monday, Jan. 22nd] College Park meeting was wonderfully well attended; so well attended in fact, that we had to move the meeting from the Parlor Room at the First Congregational Church to the much larger Fellowship Hall.
     Thank you to Pastor Jason Fairbanks for making the space available for us once again! We covered a lot of ground and minutes for the meeting will be compiled and distributed soon. The big news is that a brand new slate of Officers and Directors were elected to lead the association to bigger and better activities and community engagement.
     It was decided by overwhelming consensus to elect these officers and directors for an interim term of 6 months at which time, formal elections will be held in keeping with the process set out in our bylaws. It was also decided to hold future meetings of the General Membership on the first Wednesday of every other month beginning Wednesday, March 7th at 6:30 pm.
     The location for this next meeting will be confirmed and announced very soon. There will be a very short transition period to allow the outgoing and incoming board members to share information, Association documents, banking information and other technicalities. The College Park website, the College Park Facebook page and the email distribution list will be under new management with lots of exciting changes coming very soon.

So without further ado. . .

Please welcome the new College Park Neighborhood Association Board of Directors for 2018:
  • President, Todd DeMartine
  • Vice President, Larry Maggi
  • Secretary, Laurel Wiley
  • Treasurer, Mimi May
  • Director of Beautification, Karen Martin
  • Director of Communications, Michael Dean-Andrews
  • Director of Social Activities, Lindy White Seto
As always, Thank You to all the dedicated neighbors who have served as Officers and Directors since the College Park Neighborhood Association was founded in 1996. It is they, along with all of you, who have made and continue to make College Park the place we are always proud to call our home.
     On behalf of the outgoing Board of Directors, President Johnny Pickett, Vice President Scott Eller, Secretary Kim McEvers and Directors Wes Blackman, Charlotte Keshian and Richard Dytrych, we offer our heartiest congratulations and deepest gratitude to the new 2018 Board of Directors.

Mary Lindsey
Past President 2011–2014

After reading the press release do you have any questions or would like more information about the College Park neighborhood in this City of Lake Worth?

Send an email to:

Whilst on the topic of Mary Lindsey and success stories, here are two short questions:

Atención vecinos de Lake Worth: ¿Han visto las pequeñas bibliotecas gratuitas localizadas en su vecindad? ¿Sabía que estas pequeñas cajas de intercambio de libros pertenecen a todos nuestros vecinos?

“Take a Book  ~  Leave a Book”!
To learn more about the Lake Worth Little Free Libraries click on this link. One more question, “Vwazen Lake Worth yo! ~ Èske nou te pase nan Ti Bibliyotèk Gratis ki sou katye’nou an?”

It’s Worth Noting: City of Lake Worth’s Library Advisory Board meeting is tonight (details below).

“Hmmm. You know, Mabel. I’ve been thinking about becoming a City volunteer. But how do I go about doing that?”

Great Question!
There are several ways to become a volunteer for this City. One way is to just show up at a volunteer board meeting like the Library Board meeting tonight. Or you can click on this link to contact Olivia Brown, the City’s volunteer coordinator, or send an email to:

Below is the agenda for the Library Advisory Board meeting being held at the City’s Annex Building located at 414 Lake Ave. (on the same block as the Cultural Plaza, east of the Library). The meeting begins at 6:00:

  • Roll Call.
  • Approval of Minutes.
  • Discussion: A) Librarian’s report. B) FY 2018 budget report. C) FY 2018–2019 budget requests. D) Access to library’s electronic resources.
  • Public participation of non-agendaed items and Consent Agenda (public comment time limit is three minutes).
  • New Business.
  • Board Comment.
  • Adjourn.
Please note: One or more members of the City Commission or any member of another volunteer advisory board may attend and speak at this meeting.

Some people complain this blog focuses too much on politics, ‘back in the day’.

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

The quote above is by Lake Worth City Manager Michael Bornstein when he became “infinitely aggravated” with a ‘news’ report in The Palm Beach Post and called it “egregious” and the reporter “incompetent” (see the YouTube video below).

That happened because the City kept being put on the ‘hot seat’ — having to defend itself over and over again — but the ones who caused all the trouble in the first place just giggled and then skipped away whistling, “What? I didn’t do anything!”

But following that ‘news’ in September 2016 when Bornstein had become so “infinitely aggravated” with inaccurate and misleading news reports he was forced to react. Shortly thereafter he hired a “communications specialist” which is now called the position of Public Information Officer. That turned out to be a very good decision.

Bornstein made a lot of other decisions that have made a big impact, e.g., installing cameras in the City Commission chambers shortly after being hired back in 2012.

That’s right. Just in case
you didn’t know. . .

Today, January 24th, 2018, marks 2,109 days since City Manager Michael Bornstein was hired on April 16, 2012. There is nothing particularly significant about that except as a matter of perspective. The previous city manager, Susan Stanton, was fired on December 6, 2011 after 953 days on the job.

Nearly 6 years ago. . . a Spring day in
the City of Lake Worth.
Image posted by The Obtuse Blogger (TOB) mocking Michael Bornstein when he was first hired.

Let’s take a short stroll down memory lane.

The former City manager’s tenure was marked by divisiveness and a lack of outreach to the greater community. Under Stanton, the relationship between the business community and the City was strained to non-existent. The relationship with the CRA was contentious, at best. She created such a rift with our neighboring cities that only until a few years ago are they no longer wary of partnering on projects fearing Lake Worth would be too much trouble.

Stanton’s ‘PROGRESSIVE’ commission. The label “Progressive” didn’t match up with their policies
and the voters took notice.
A classic photoshop from the inimitable Tom McGow from 2011 poking fun at the self-described ‘progressives’ as the City continued to fall
apart all around them.

A local blog at the time referencing the coming 2011 Christmas holiday season and the firing of Stanton, wrote:

“In this joyous season, I am celebrating the potential for renewal in Lake Worth which began with a bold move to clean out city management from the top down.

and. . .

“Yes, I know there are those who are disappointed to see Stanton fired but dwelling on one side of her performance while ignoring the other side of the story… is delusional.

One of the least remembered and bungled efforts by Stanton was the “Fire Assessment”. Here is an interview NBC5/WPTV did with Commissioner Andy Amoroso after Stanton’s firing and he references the failed Fire Assessment initiative by Stanton.

Here are some initiatives Stanton supported:
  • “Day Labor” Center (succeeded)
  • Gutted the Code Enforcement Department (succeeded)
  • “Street Light” Assessment (failed)
  • Red Light cameras (failed)
  • Eliminate PBSO and restore the LWPD (failed)
  • Regional Sewer billing fiasco
Without doubt one of the worst policy decision by Stanton was being an obstructionist thwarting the CRA’s acquisition of NSP2 funds. Thankfully that effort failed. She along with commissioners Golden, Mulvehill and Jennings did not want the CRA to acquire the $23 million available.

Another classic from McGow. This one from 2009 where The Obtuse Blogger (TOB) left this short observation: Very unfortunate comment. Indeed.

It was only action by the CRA to apply for the funds that allowed many blighted areas to be home to new residents and families. Since then the CRA, led by Joan Oliva, has received national recognition for their outstanding efforts. Going forward the question is if we need a CRA any longer. The elections next March will tell a lot; if the upward trajectory continues the answer is most likely no.

Bornstein with Mayor Pam Triolo receiving recognition for the City’s municipal golf course.

There are many new residents of this City and many don’t know how we got to this point. In many ways, such as the code enforcement department, there is still work to be done. However, when you understand things in perspective, code being gutted and needing to be rebuilt from the ground up, you can understand how much hard work has been done.

That’s why some people complain this blog focuses too much on the past. Why? They don’t want you to know what happened “back in the day”:

Quote by a well-respected City resident.

But for many in the press the history of this City of Lake Worth begins after 2011–2012. What happened prior to 2011–2012 is, well, insignificant now? It’s not insignificant at all. City Manager Bornstein is still — almost six years later — having to deal with many bad decisions made prior to him being hired.

For example, before long the Lake Worth Casino and Beach Complex will be in the news again. Hopefully press reports will be researched and reported accurately. But if the past is any clue, especially as it relates to topics like Code Enforcement here in the City, one shouldn’t become too optimistic:

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Our City of Lake Worth’s popular Tree Festival is only 27 days away.

Would you like to volunteer and help? Below is more information including who to contact.

The 13th Annual Festival of Trees is on February 17th, the weekend prior to the City’s iconic Street Painting Festival. Sounds like a long time away but it’s not. There is still much work left to be done:
  • Community outreach.
  • Coordinate with the City. For example, Lake Worth Electric Utility Dir. Ed Liberty, “Right Tree Right Place”.
  • Line up vendors and speakers.
  • Roll out a PR campaign with print material and maybe “B-roll” video too (one of the “5 Tips” published by the business editor at the Post).
  • Start a Facebook page? Use Twitter?

Want to help out at the Tree Festival?

The staff liaison for the Tree Board is Mr. Dave McGrew from the Parks Department and you can contact him for additional information at 561-586-1677 or by email:

Are you a long-time resident of this City? Do you remember when the City had its own annual tree contest?

“Officials said they hope to make the contest
an annual event”.

“Lake Worth Tree Board winners”
by Post reporter Lady Hereford.

“Tall and short, flowering and spiky, majestic
and just plain odd.”

“Anyone could nominate a tree, regardless of who owned the property”, and the “oddest tree category yielded two first-place winners: A strangler fig and a spiky Madagascar palm.”

Two-page spread, feature article in the Post,
August 10th, 2005:

Would you like this contest to come back? Attend the Tree Board meeting today. Request this be a topic of discussion and added to the agenda.

Other winners of this tree contest (by type) as reported in the Post 12 years ago:

  • Most Beautiful Flowering Tree: Royal poinciana.
  • Most Useful Tree: Jaboticaba.
  • Best Native Tree: Slash pine.
  • Oddest Tree (tie): Madagascar palm and strangler fig.
  • Historic Tree, Most Majestic Tree, Most Sheltering Tree, and Biggest Tree: Banyan.

What’s your favorite tree? The Green Buttonwood?

Hope to see a big crowd at the Tree Festival. And remember, every year at the festival is the popular “Tree Giveaway”!

Wouldn’t everyone like to see a press release about the “Jewel of Lake Worth”?

“Once referred to as the ‘Jewel of Lake Worth’ and on the National Register of Historic Places, this elegant property is undergoing a multi-million dollar face lift.”
—Quote from Hudson Holdings’ Gulfstream Hotel website, “A glimpse into the past”.

“With its site plan approved for the renovation
of the historic
[Gulfstream] hotel. . .

. . . Hudson [Holdings] is estimating it’ll begin construction by this fall [sic] on the main building following completion of construction drawings and the finalization of its construction loan, [Steven] Michael said.”
—Quote from the Sun Sentinel by reporter Arlene Satchell, datelined April 14th, 2017.

There is no Fall season in Florida. However, the official start of Fall in the United States began with the Fall Equinox on September 22nd, almost 5 months ago now.

Pictures taken in July 2017.
Click on images to enlarge.
The public deserves answers. A City press release at least acknowledging the restoration of our Down-
town historic hotel remains a priority.

Using one of the creative tools on my phone:
Next February will be another Street Painting Festival and other festivals and big events in our City’s Downtown with the Gulfstream Hotel shuttered and neglected.

Send your questions to Hudson Holdings, a company specializing in “adaptive reuse of premier historic structures”, using this link or call 561-768-7621. For the Gulfstream Hotel’s Facebook page use this link. Email: