Saturday, February 24, 2018

Enjoy this weekend’s Street Painting Festival and remember. . .

The Festival Season here in this City of Lake Worth continues next Friday, March 2nd through Sunday, March 4th in scenic Bryant Park. Click on this link for more information.

Michael Readling wrote, “Not Finnish? Not to worry; Midnight Sun Festival will appeal to all!”

Celebrating Finnish Culture &
Lake Worth’s Heritage:
For what to expect read this special report by Palm Beach Post reporter Michael Readling about last year’s Midnight Sun Festival.

Friday, February 23, 2018

SolSmart: “Nationally distinguished. Locally powered”.

Is the City of Lake Worth a “solar friendly community”? Of course it is. Learn more about our City’s solar power efforts using this link and below is an excellent video produced to promote our City worldwide.

What is SolSmart?

Click on this link to learn more: “SolSmart designation — achieved through reducing local barriers to solar, cutting red tape, and spurring solar market growth — can deliver a number of benefits to local governments and their stakeholders”.

Just a few of the benefits from the SolSmart website:

  • Eliminating red tape and making approval processes more efficient can save local governments time and money, helping communities better manage constrained budgets and limited taxpayer resources.
  • Reducing solar “soft costs” can increase return on investment for solar customers.
  • The opportunity to host a SolSmart Advisor, fully-funded, experienced staff recruited to help communities achieve designation. Advisors will work within 30 communities for engagements lasting up to six months.
Hope you enjoy this video and please share it with all your friends and neighbors:

Worth another look: About the history of Palm Beach County.

A blog post titled, “Origins & History of the Palm Beaches” by Robert I. Davidsson (Ret.).

Robert Davidsson is retired manager of the Palm Beach County Library System’s Government Research Service (GRS) and author of the book “Indian River: A History of the Ais Indians in Spanish Florida” and related articles about Florida’s past.

Below is an excerpt from Davidsson’s blog, Origins & History of the Palm Beaches about “the mysterious and poorly charted inland sea known as Lake Okeechobee.” At the end of this blog post is the link to read in its entirety.

‘Democrat River’:

Belle Glade’s Everglades Gateway

By Bob Davidsson

The late 19th century was the last great age of exploration. It was an era when newspaper publishers not only reported sensational adventures in faraway lands, but sponsored expeditions to Africa, the Arctic and other unexplored regions to beat the competition.
     The best known of these journalistic expeditions was the dispatching of Henry Morton Stanley by the New York Herald to find and “rescue” missing missionary-explorer Dr. David Livingston from the unknown depths of central Africa in 1871.
     Not to be outdone by their northern rival publications, the editors of the newly merged New Orleans Times-Democrat newspaper (1881–1914) decided to launch two expeditions to the mysterious and poorly charted inland sea known as Lake Okeechobee. It was hoped journal reports from the expeditions would increase national readership, while new outlets to the sea would be discovered for future economic development.
     Times-Democrat correspondents kept journals of the expeditions. Their articles were printed in installments in the newspaper. A summary editorial entitled “North and South Through the Everglades in 1883” was published in the Jan. 6, 1884 edition of the newspaper.
     The editorial summarized, “These articles in the Times-Democrat introduce the whole country to Florida, and a general desire we felt to know more about this country and particularly about the Everglades.”
     The Lake Okeechobee expeditions were led by Major A.P. Williams. The journalist-explorers sailed from New Orleans to the cattle town of Punta Rassa on Florida’s west coast. Both expeditions then paddled up the Caloosahatchee River to Lake Okeechobee.
     The first expedition sailed north and explored the Kissimmee River to its source. It was followed by a second journey to the southern shore of Lake Okeechobee in November 1883. The explorers searched for a water gateway that would lead them through the Everglades to Florida Bay and the Gulf of Mexico.
     Their waterway of choice was christened the “Democrat River” in honor of their newspaper. The river led not to the sea, but into the heart of the Everglades.

Hope you enjoyed reading about the “Origins & History of the Palm Beaches”.

To read the entire article about the “Democrat River” click on this link.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Historic Resource Preservation Board (HRPB) “Design Guidelines Workshop” held last night at Lake Worth City Hall.

Below are some photos from the HRPB meeting last night. Check back tomorrow, am still compiling more information that came from this meeting. Was informed that the City of Lake Worth will be producing a video some time soon for the press, media, and the public about all the steps in this process.

 “Public Workshop #1”
HRPB with City staff and the Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council (TCRPC) invited residents, property owners, and all interested parties to “[D]iscuss the development of the City’s Historic Preservation Design Guidelines.”

This is Dana Little, a project consultant from the TCRPC, giving a presentation to the HRPB:
How this workshop came to be: “In December 2017, the City Commission adopted significant changes to the Land Development Regulations regarding Historic Preservation (Ordinance 2017-27).”

Timeline going forward.
Click on image to enlarge:
“A key companion to this Ordinance is the creation of design guidelines to assist property owners with maintaining, repairing, and updating their
historic properties.”

Check back to this blog tomorrow
for more information.

News from The Lake Worth Herald: Parking and traffic during the Street Painting Festival.

Please Note: Evening on the Avenues has been cancelled tomorrow due to the festival and will return on Friday, March 2nd.

To see this week’s Front Page of the Herald
click on this link.
“The annual Street Painting Festival comes to Lake Worth this weekend, Saturday, Feb. 24, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday, Feb. 25, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.”

Pick up the print edition of the Herald at the City’s newsstand located at 600 Lake Ave. in Downtown Lake Worth. The paper is still ¢50!

Parking at the following locations will be temporarily prohibited from 6 a.m. Friday until the conclusion of the festival on Sunday.
  • Lake Ave. from South Dixie Hwy. to South Federal Hwy.
  • Lucerne Ave. from North Dixie Hwy. to North Federal Hwy.
  • J, K, L, M Streets from 2nd Ave. North to 1st Ave. South.
Business owners are urged to have all deliveries made prior to 6 a.m. on Friday since all streets will remain closed until Sunday.
     The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office will be towing vehicles left parked on the street in violation of this temporary order.
     The Lake Worth (Robert Harris) Bridge will remain open during the festival. Detour signs will be in place to direct vehicle traffic to access Lake Worth Bridge. Drivers wanting access to the bridge from the south end will be detoured at 6th Ave. South, south then eastbound to the bridge and anyone wanting access to the bridge from the north end will be detoured at 10th Ave. North then eastbound to the bridge.

NAPC’s “Great Taste of Lake Worth” will kick off this year’s Street Painting Festival tomorrow from 6:00–10:00.

Below is the entire press release from
the City of Lake Worth.
Have you read the latest “Worth Noting” newsletter from the City of Lake Worth? If not and you would like to become a subscriber click on this link.

About the Great Taste of Lake Worth:

LAKE WORTH — The Lake Worth Neighborhood Association Presidents’ Council (NAPC) is proud to announce this year’s “Great Taste of Lake Worth” event on Friday [TOMORROW] from 6:00–10:00 p.m.
     The sidewalks on Lake and Lucerne avenues will be wide open to neighbors and visitors and everyone is invited to come and enjoy bountiful bits and tasty bites from our finest Lake Worth restaurants, shops and service providers. This year our neighborhood merchants from all over Lake Worth have been invited to participate and share FREE samples of their own specialties in food, beverages, goods and services.
     Tickets for the event are $25 and will include a wristband and map of all our participating local businesses. Tickets are available at Paws on the Avenue and at Studio 205. Both of these stores are located on opposite corners of ‘L’ St. and Lake Avenue.
     For more information you can visit the NAPC’s Facebook page as well.
     The NAPC is grateful to our neighborhood merchants for their incredible support throughout the year and this event is our way of showcasing the Great Taste of Lake Worth they each bring to our City of Lake Worth!

From editor Gil Smart, “ ‘Coastal elites’ just sent wrong message in Sewall’s
Point sewer fight”.

Gil Smart is a TCPalm columnist and
member of the editorial board.

If you live in Palm Beach County and care about the water in South Florida, the recent editorial (see below) by Mr. Smart will make you mad as hell.

You’ve been warned.

Over and over again for decades our neighboring cities in Western Palm Beach County have been told they have to sacrifice more and more to help save the environment here in South Florida.

The tale of two cities:
Pahokee in Palm Beach County and
Sewell’s Point in Martin County.
The city of Pahokee is on municipal sewer and has been for decades. But when Sewell’s Point in Martin County had an opportunity to get off septic, their “Coastal Elites” declined because they
thought it was “unfair”.

Remember the mantra, “Send It South!”?

Please share the editorial below will all of your elected officials here in Palm Beach County: Local elected officials and your County commissioners too, especially County Mayor and District 6 Commissioner Mellissa McKinlay and District 1 County Commissioner Hal Valache who both represent Western Palm Beach County.

Without further ado, prepare to become very angry. The opening from Gil Smart’s editorial:

See, this is why we can’t have nice things.
     I’ve been in Martin County for two years, and every day I’m getting a little closer to understanding why our biggest problem — the perpetually fouled waters — never gets solved.
     It’s the deep-pocketed interests that favor the status quo, yes. But some of the culprits, I think, lurk in the mirror.
     Dateline, Sewall’s Point: Late last month, the town commission, after two unanimous votes to move ahead with septic-to-sewer conversions in two neighborhoods and a string of businesses, reversed course and pulled the plug. [emphasis added]
     By a vote of 3-2, the council scotched the conversions despite the fact the state was kicking in $500,000 and a long-term financing deal for the affected homeowners that would have brought their costs down to about $650 annually over the course of 15 years.
     If you want to ditch your septic for sewer, you're not going to find a better deal than this.
     But a vocal group of town residents had no interest in ditching their septic systems, insisting they worked perfectly fine, aren’t polluting the St. Lucie River and Indian River Lagoon and resenting the fact that “big government” was trying to order them around.
     Town commissioners who ultimately voted to scuttle the project claimed the process by which neighborhoods would vote to switch over to sewer was “unfair.” But ultimately, I suspect the reversal had less to do with “fairness” than it did the iron rule of local politics: When citizens yelp loudly enough, politicians jump.
     So in Sewall’s Point, the “little guy” won, the people who didn’t want government to force them to swap their septic system for a sewer line prevailed.
     Good for them.
     Bad for the water.
     Bad, in fact, for all of us.

To read the entire editorial click on this link.

Tell your local and County commissioners the next time they’re asked to make a sacrifice for the water in Martin County to loudly say, “No!”

Why? Because we need to focus on the ‘little guy’ here in Palm Beach County. Focus our attention on cities such as Pahokee and Belle Glade who deserve “fairness” as well but instead are asked year after year — over and over again — to sacrifice more and more for the “Coastal Elites” in Martin County.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Public workshop tonight at City Hall.

The City of Lake Worth’s Historic Resource Preservation Board (HRPB) “Design Guidelines Workshop” will be held tonight at 6:00.

This meeting is open to the public and “Worth Noting”.
“The HRPB together with City staff, and Project Consultant, Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council, would like to invite residents, property owners, and interested parties to a special workshop to discuss the development of the City’s Historic Preservation Design Guidelines.”

In December 2017, the City Commission adopted significant changes to the Land Development Regulations regarding Historic Preservation (Ordinance 2017-27).

A key companion to this Ordinance is the creation of design guidelines to assist property owners with maintaining, repairing, and updating their historic properties. Historic preservation is an established part of city planning in Lake Worth.
     Over the past decades, the community has initiated preservation practices to protect the many historic cottages, residences, and commercial buildings that serve as a tangible link to our City’s shared history.
     While the City remains dynamic and change continues to occur in response to varying community goals and economic conditions, preserving our unique heritage remains a primary goal of the community.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Medical marijuana: An item on tonight’s meeting of the City Commission.

The Lake Worth City Commission meets tonight, 6:00, at City Hall. To look over the agenda click on this link and scroll down for “February 20th Regular Meeting”.

 Meet your elected leaders in the City of Lake Worth.
Amendment 2 approving medical marijuana passed County-wide in 2016 by nearly 75%. In our City of Lake Worth the result was 79.02%, the 3rd highest result in all of Palm Beach County.

Agenda item 10B on the Commission
agenda next week is below.

But first, here is a short recap. The critics of Amendment 2 still contend lamely this vote in 2016 was just a majority. Wrong. It passed by a super-majority state-wide, a much higher standard.

And of course by now most people are aware of that charter school that is opposed to a nearby medical marijuana dispensary on N. Dixie Hwy. in this City. That particular elementary school just happens to be next to a convenience store that sells cigarettes and beer and also close by is a restaurant that sells alcohol. But anyhow. . .

On August 28th last year the editor(s) at The Palm Beach Post decided to chime in and make the case a medical marijuana dispensary shouldn’t be permitted near an elementary charter school on the opposite side of Dixie Hwy. That attempt at trying to reshape public opinion failed in spectacular fashion. And maybe that’s why the Post, for almost 6 months now, hasn’t published any more editorials about our City government and administration.

However, in just twenty-one days is Election Day, so stay tuned as they say.

Please note: Ordinance No. 2018-04 “extending the Moratorium on all approvals related to Medical Marijuana for a period of 6 months” does not apply to marijuana dispensaries already in operation within the municipal limits of the City of Lake Worth. Second reading of this agenda item will be on March 6th at the City Commission.

Do you receive the City of Lake Worth’s “Worth Noting” email newsletter? If not, it only takes a few seconds to become a subscriber.
To watch this meeting Live Streaming next week click on and save this link. Here is agenda item 10B:

Department: City Attorney

Executive Brief Title: Ordinance No. 2018-04 - First Reading - extending the Moratorium on all approvals related to Medical Marijuana for a period of 6 months and setting the second reading and public hearing for March 6, 2018.

Background and Justification: On March 21, 2017, the City Commission adopted Ordinance No. 2017-05 to establish a moratorium on applications, confirmation letters, business licenses, development orders and permits involving uses relating to medical marijuana.
     This moratorium went into effect on March 31, 2017 and will expire on March 31, 2018.
     Due to issues that have arisen regarding the appropriateness and regulation of such uses and the possibility of further regulations being imposed by the State, a moratorium extension is provided herein to allow the City more time to study the issues and bring their resolution back to the Commission for consideration.

MOTION: I move to approve/not approve on first reading Ordinance No. 2018-04 placing a six month extension on the existing one year moratorium.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

News in this week’s Coastal & Greenacres Observer: “Ethics Complaint Filed Against Lantana Mayor”.

News you can use today without the silly jokes.
To see the front page news this week in The Lake Worth Herald and Coastal & Greenacres Observer click on this link. To read this week’s Observer use this link and then click on “Download Entire Edition”. Questions? Email the editor:

Here’s the news about Lantana Mayor Dave Stewart:

The Florida Commission on Ethics received a complaint from a Lantana resident in January.
     After being notified of the complaint by the Ethics Commission, Stewart went to the home of Catherine Padilla the resident who filed the complaint.
     According to police reports of the incident, Stewart claims Padilla locked the door and closed her blinds and he then returned to his vehicle and left.
     Padilla reported to police a similar claim, but said Stewart grabbed the door handle and tried to open it.
     Padilla has claimed somewhere around 2014 or 2015 she was lobbying for speed bumps in her neighborhood and the Mayor asked for sexual favors for his vote.
     Stewart has denied asking for sexual favors in order to guarantee his vote.
     The Ethics Commission is investigating the complaint and doesn't have a time line for the completion of the investigation.
     In late January, copies of the police reports of the incident at Padilla's home were anonymously mailed to various news media offices.

News last Wednesday in Post’s Local ‘B’ section: “Developer to pour $86 million into reviving West Palm golf course”.

But first. . . recently came across this historic image of the C-51 Canal and West Palm Beach. In the distance one can see Dixie Hwy.
This view is prior to construction of the S-155 Spillway structure. Bottom left you can see a man fishing from what is now called Spillway Park in the City of Lake Worth. ‘Back in the day’ Mr. Buddy Tuppen and Mr. Jay Fearnley used to go fishing in that very same spot.  

Following the news from reporter Tony Doris, below is a blog post from this blog on July 20th, 2017 about,

West Palm Beach City Commission considers RFPs for “Lease and Development” of Municipal Golf Course and nearby properties

Below is a quote from this article by Tony Doris that made the print edition this week but, unfortunately, that news from West Palm Beach got trumped by another story with a blaring headline on page A1, above the Post’s masthead concerning the mayor in the Town of Lantana,


Anyhow, without further ado, the quote from
Mr. Doris’ article,

“I’m looking forward to seeing how this all comes out in the end, because it’s going to be an important investment for the south end but it’s very important for the whole city that we have a municipal course,” City Commissioner Shanon Materio said Tuesday [Feb. 13th].

And here’s more information from Mr. Doris:

Among the key changes for area residents and users of the course:
  • The badly deteriorated greens would be brought back to life, in what a city release called “a sympathetic restoration.” The course would be closed to golfers during the project.
  • The layout of about 16 of the 18 holes would remain unchanged.
  • The entrance to the course would shift from Forest Hill and Parker Avenue to the south, off South Dixie Highway at Gregory Road, along the C-51 canal that borders Lake Worth. [emphasis added]

Now. Let’s take a stroll back to July 20th, 2017.

A blog post on this blog that was titled,

Do you live in WPB’s South End? Lake Worth’s North End? Stay tuned for some very big news.

West Palm Beach City Commission considers RFPs for “Lease and Development” of Municipal Golf Course and nearby properties (196 acres total).

The West Palm Beach City Commission, sitting as the “Golf Commission”, was tasked with addressing the Golf Advisory Committee report that,

“[P]reviously reviewed and commented on the responses [to the RFPs]. Procurement Staff provided the Golf Advisory’s collective summary comments to Golf Commission on June 1, 2017. The complete proposal packages for all three (3) proposers were delivered to the Commission on April 10, 2017 for review.”

Large crowd. View of attendees from the public:
Use this link to look over RFP 16-17-209. Due date March 30th, 2017.

This is almost 200 acres and lies along the northern border of the C-51 Canal. Its location is in close proximity to the City of Lake Worth and its redevelopment could usher in a series of ramifications — mostly positive — for the northern part of Lake Worth (e.g., College Park) and improve conditions along North Dixie Hwy as well.

Coincidentally, also in the City of Lake Worth yesterday, the Meritage Homes’ “Lake Cove” housing project passed unanimously on First Reading at the Lake Worth City Commission. Both of these projects dovetail perfectly with the Blueway Trail project.

Click on image to enlarge. Note the “West Palm Beach Golf Course” in relation to the C-51 Canal:
FYI: You’re going to be hearing about a property in West Palm Beach, city-owned, called “8111”. An empty lot on Dixie Hwy. along the C-51 Canal, east of the FEC tracks, south of Winn-Dixie.

It is important to stay informed about what is being proposed, and the extent of what will happen in the general area, not only on the golf course property. The city of WPB also owns the nearly 7-acre vacant property (“8111”) where the former International House of Pancakes restaurant once stood and before that, the Choice Restaurant Equipment store.

Yesterday at 3:00, the West Palm Beach City Commission met in a special meeting as the
Golf Course Commission.

The dais: West Palm Beach City Commission.

I attended the meeting with my video camera and expect to see the presentations of the respondents to the RFP shortly on my YouTube Channel. At the top of the photo below, you can see the three respondents identified and an outline how the presentations would proceed.

The “Golf Commission’s” duty was to rank the respondents and choose which one to go forward with in further negotiations. That they did and the result was surprising. It turns out the first two respondents (see photo above) tied, both receiving the same score. The City Commission can now negotiate with the two groups.

The third presenter ranked last in all of the commissioner and the mayor’s tally.

Prior to “Ranking”; the slide following
this one has the results.
The form used by Mayor Jeri Muoio and commissioners Shanon Materio, Paula Ryan, Keith James, Cory Neering and Sylvia Moffett.

From 1 (top choice)–3 (worst choice). The results:
That’s enough for today. Hope you found this information helpful. This is very complex and exciting regional news. The City of Lake Worth, residents and political leadership, need to be helpful and supportive as the city of WPB works through this process.

Enjoy the video!