Saturday, May 19, 2018

Old news published nearly three years ago in the Post about Greenacres, “City inches close to merger with PBSO”.

A lot has happened in the City of Greenacres since July 2015.

Much of what follows in this blog post
is not new news by any means.

But what is new news is effective May 1st,
Gatehouse Media has taken over the operations
at The Palm Beach Post and Shiny Sheet.

So maybe some time soon we’ll finally get that update about what happened in Greenacres 2½ years ago,
that the decision to merge with PBSO in hindsight was the right decision.

The news about Palm Beach County’s Sheriff Office (PBSO) and the City of Greenacres (see below) is from when The Palm Beach Post used to have a beat reporter covering that fine city. But following the merge of the Greenacres Police Dept. with PBSO in late 2015 is about when that paper decided to stop covering much of any political news and public safety news from municipalities west of Lake Worth with the exception being the villages of Royal Palm Beach and Wellington. For example Greenacres is one city that, unless it was news about a vehicle crash a fire or a crime, hardly received any coverage at all in the Post’s “Local” section.

And it was about three years ago when the Post began their Lake Worth Very Very Special Monday Collector Print Edition (LWVVSMCPE), published every single Monday. That’s right. Our little six square mile City has been one of the “Six Special Cities” for almost three years now in the print edition. Every Monday. Every week. For almost three years.

And also each and every week since 2015 in the LWVVSMCPE are the phone numbers for the parks dept. and sewer dept. for City residents who don’t know how to save phone numbers and others who don’t know how to use the Internet. Phone numbers published in the Post every single week. Every Monday. For nearly three whole years. Isn’t it about time to publish in the print edition the phone numbers for the parks and sewer dept. in another city here in Central Palm Beach County? Like maybe Greenacres?

However, the City of Lake Worth being so special
came at the expense of other municipalities like Greenacres, the Town of Lake Clarke Shores, and
the Village of Palm Springs.
One of the theories was the editor(s) at the Post picked municipalities with established and trusted local newspapers (in print and online) to try and draw away advertising revenue and force them out of business. If that theory was indeed true, the plan didn’t work here in Lake Worth.

Now back to Greenacres, when “City inches
close to merger with PBSO”.

There are a lot of parallels to what occurred in the City of Lake Worth back in 2008 vis-à-vis the tremendous increase in crime, out of control gangs, the inefficiently equipped police dept., and lack of essential public safety services. It was former Mayor Jeff Clemens in August 2008 who then made the decision to merge the LWPD with PBSO.

Then seven years later, in July 2015, came this news from Greenacres:

     The city is considering having the sheriff’s office patrol Greenacres mostly because of the additional services it would get, some of which include a drug task force, fuller staffs, police dogs and updated radios and laptops. [emphasis added]
     “If we had to buy these additional services, the dollars and sense would go through the roof,” [emphasis added] said Vice Mayor Jonathan Pearce [now District 4 Councilman Pearce]
     The city would also get a citizen’s patrol, something the city doesn’t have, a program in which the sheriff’s office trains volunteers to be the eyes and ears of a neighborhood.
     “That’s a tremendous boon to us in keeping the neighborhood safe,” Gauger [PBSO Chief Deputy Michael Gauger] said.
     Councilwoman Lisa Rivera [no longer on Council] pointed out how the number of homicides are on the rise. Greenacres has six, ranking it second in the county. That’s one more than Greenacres has had in the past four years combined, according to a Palm Beach Post homicides database.

In November 2015 Greenacres made the decision to merge with PBSO becoming District 16. The City of Lake Worth is PBSO District 14.

The trajectory for crime in Lake Worth in 2008 was trending up very quickly. Late in 2008 PBSO took control and by mid-2009 the impact was clear to those who were paying attention and looking over the data. Every year crime continued to drop, some years more slowly than others, but the trend of outrageous crime rates prior to PBSO taking over was a thing of the past.

The revisionists in Lake Worth who claim that the LWPD was effective and met the needs of the community is a myth, a notion easily disproved. Proven false innumerable times on this blog over the years.

Friday, May 18, 2018

Learn more about the Lake Worth CRA, Director Joan Oliva, and $23M NSP2 Grant.

Do you remember when former commissioners, Cara Jennings was one, wouldn’t lift a finger to help the CRA acquire a $23 million grant? Continue reading to refresh your memory.

Enjoy the video (below) about the CRA’s NSP2 grant. You’ll recognize more than a few people if you were here in Lake Worth during that time. At one point, if you pay close attention, you’ll see a few campaign yard signs of people you might know, including a current city commissioner. About the video:

This video is one in a series of case study videos intended for NSP grantees and partners interested in learning about how other grantees are successfully implementing NSP. In Lake Worth, FL, the NSP2 consortium has taken a comprehensive approach in their stabilization efforts. Nonprofits and community leaders featured in this video demonstrate the keys to running their NSP program, including homebuyer counseling, home-purchase assistance, and connecting stabilization with broader economic development and revitalization initiatives such as the Cultural Renaissance Program.

Now, about all those people who thought the NSP2 was a bad idea. . . like former city commissioners who didn’t make the effort to apply for the grant.

But the CRA did step up and apply for the grant.

Here is an excerpt from this blog:

Both the City and the CRA were eligible to apply for the funds. Leading up to the grant application’s deadline, it became apparent that the City administration (Susan Stanton was the city manager in September 2009) and the City Commission (which included Cara Jennings, JoAnn Golden, and Susan Mulvehill) had demonstrated no interest in assisting the CRA or applying for the grant money itself. Wanting to make sure Lake Worth didn’t miss out on this opportunity to address slum and blight in a big way the CRA went ahead and made the application itself, without any help from the City Commission at the time.”

The many benefits of having natural gas service in this little City of Lake Worth.

Thinking about converting to clean and “Green” natural gas in your home for hot water, cooking and outdoor grilling?

Plus just another one of the very big benefits of natural gas (NG) is during long electric outages or following a hurricane you can still cook and boil water.

Learn more below how to switch over to NG. Gas is “cheap, clean, affordable, and plentiful”.

Briefly, ‘back in the day’ when the Lake Worth Electric Utility rates were sky high prior to 2012 some electeds continued to hint they wanted the City’s already too-high electric rates to go even higher. That set off a panic in this City for both City residents and business community as well because as other neighboring cities and towns were recovering from the Great Recession (2007–2009) this City continued to lag further and further behind.

Then even more public angst and confusion was created in 2015 when once again two commissioners suggested spiking up rates to fund their ‘wish list’ (see Herald headline below). Both of those electeds are no longer on the City Commission.

Before 2012, residents who lived in areas with NG service lines who were able to afford the initial investment, began switching over or “hooking up” new or pre-owned appliances to NG provided by Florida Public Utilities, e.g., stoves, cloth dryers, and water heaters.

“Leading the Fight to Lower Electric Bills”?
After Cara Jennings got re-elected in 2008 electric rates continued to spike. Remember, political speech is Free Speech, one can claim almost anything
on a political mailer.

Homeowners previously on full-electric in their homes in NG service areas, who later converted over to gas, saw their electric bill drop significantly. But others in areas without NG were out of luck. It came as a surprise to many when they found out their neighborhood didn’t have gas lines but other areas in the City did.

Prior to 2012, City administrations used the Electric Utility to fund their wish lists, ergo the term “cash cow” that our City’s Electric Utility used to be called. Then in September 2015, well, all hell broke loose again when this news hit:

After all the work to lower electric rates since 2012, two commissioners wanted to spike up rates again in 2015.
Of course, this “push” came as the Summer heat was winding down. Later, then-District 2 commissioner, Chris McVoy, PhD, lost his bid for re-election and then-District 4 Commissioner Ryan Maier
opted not to run again.

Anyway. Enough of the history how we got here. Interested in finding out more about NG?

Call 888-765-4601 to contact Florida Public Utilities or use this link and “Ask4Gas”.
Ask4Gas! “Better meals. Longer baths.
Softer laundry.”

Here are more benefits:

  • NG is cheap, clean, affordable, and plentiful.
  • NG is extremely safe. Remember to “Call 811 Before You Dig!” or use this link.
  • Nine out of 10 professional chefs prefer cooking with NG.
  • NG is the “Green” choice.
In the video below, a Florida Public Utility expert explains the benefits of switching over to a NG range/oven:

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Exciting new horizons for our dwindling community of Anarchists in L-Dub?

Click on image to enlarge:
A satirical take on Anarchy, circa 2014. On a slightly more serious note, have you ever read the treatise, “As I write this from the olive-laden hills of Kalamata. . .”?

Below: An actual flyer passed out in L-Dub (aka Lake Worth) promoting Direct Action (“Occupations”, “Blockades” and “Lockdowns”, etc.) at the Quaker Meeting House.

•  Wheelchair Accessible  •  Childcare Provided  • ”
“We can build the world we want – BUT FIRST WE GOTTA SHUT THIS ONE DOWN!” Who is ‘We’?

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Public is invited to a very important meeting in this City of Lake Worth.

Tomorrow morning (Thurs., May 17th), 8:00 a.m. at the Lake Worth municipal golf course (located at #1 7th Ave. North) the Finnish American Chamber of Commerce (FACC) is having an open meeting Q&A with Mayor Pam Triolo, Vice Mayor Andy Amoroso and City Manager Michael Bornstein.

Please note: Meeting is open to everyone from the public and business community.

“The FACC is the only LOCAL chamber of commerce serving this City of Lake Worth and we would love to have more business owners and citizens become involved.

This is an opportunity to have breakfast with our City officials and get to know the Finnish Chamber and its mission.”

PRESS RELEASE: “Lake Worth Beach Swim Advisory”.

For further information contact the City’s Public Information Officer, Mr. Ben Kerr, at 561-586-1631; email:
FYI: From the Post yesterday is news, “No-swim advisories issued for beaches in Jupiter, Lake Worth”. From the City of Lake Worth, a press release dated today, May 16th:

Lake Worth, Florida — A swim advisory has been issued near Lake Worth Beach for the next 24–48 hours due to elevated bacteria levels in the water. As a precautionary measure Lake Worth Beach will be closed to public swimming. All Casino Building tenants and Benny’s on the Beach will remain open. Health officials plan to retest the waters and will inform the public when bacteria levels are within acceptable health standards.

So why exactly is the water “icky”? For one possible idea why, please continue to the next blog post.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Press release: “Lake Worth Vegetation Amnesty Week Postponed”.

Wouldn’t this be a good time to use the City of Lake Worth’s official Facebook page to educate the public as quickly as possible? That is, of course, if the City had an official Facebook page for residents.

This Press Release was issued at the end of the business day yesterday:

Lake Worth, FL — Due to poor weather conditions, Lake Worth Vegetation Amnesty Week, originally scheduled to start today [Tuesday, 5/14), has been postponed and will start Tuesday, May 22. This week’s refuse pickup will be on the normal schedule.

For more information contact Ben Kerr, the City’s Public Information Officer at 561-586-1631; email:

Imagine for a moment if Mr. Ben Kerr had another tool in his social media toolbox to communicate
with the public?

Folks, a lot of people are going to be mad as hell to hear that Vegetation Amnesty Week was cancelled yesterday and rescheduled for next week. A lot of the public will be demanding answers, e.g., “What about all the vegetation I put out to the curb already?” What if a household already made plans this week? What about next year? Will many be reluctant to participate in Vegetation Amnesty Week due to what happened this year?

And when the public starts to hear rumors about what’s going to happen with the City’s recycling program later this year. . .

This City needs to get past its reluctance to use Facebook, the most popular and most used social media tool there is. Yes, the City uses Twitter. But Twitter and Facebook are two very different ways to communicate with the public. Just guessing would surmise 8–10× more residents get their news from Facebook then they do Twitter. There are no losers using Facebook. In the meantime the City of Lake Worth, our elected leaders and staff look disconnected and out-of-touch with the public.

Contact your elected leaders TODAY and tell them you want an official City Facebook page. And soon. The city of Greenacres has been using Facebook for well over two years now.

From the City of Greenacres’ Facebook page. . .

Click on image to enlarge.
By the way, did you know Greenacres Mayor Joel Flores and the City Council recently conducted a traffic workshop with PBSO, County Commissioner Paulette Burdick and representatives from FDOT?

I learned about it on Facebook.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Beware: “Phone Scam targeting Lake Worth Utility Customers”.

Please Note: This affects all Lake Worth
Utility customers, not just residents
of the City of Lake Worth.

It came to the attention of the City of Lake Worth that phone scammers posing as City of Lake Worth employees are targeting customers across our service territory. These scammers may use false phone numbers that could appear on a caller ID to be City of Lake Worth. They then threaten to shut the power off unless a payment is made immediately with a Green Dot MoneyPak card or personal credit card.
     These calls are not from the City of Lake Worth. Lake Worth Utilities will never call and demand credit card information or take Green Dot MoneyPak cards as payment with the threat of disconnection. The City does not ask for any personal information from customers unless the customer initiates the contact.
     If customers ever receive a strange call and are in doubt, they are encouraged to hang up and call Lake Worth Utilities at 561-533-7300. Authorities have been notified of this scam. Those who may have been a victim, should contact us at 561-533-7300 or make a Suspicious Incident Report with the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s office at 561-688-3400. Once a customer is given a case number, they should contact Lake Worth Utilities who will forward the information to the Detective in charge.

Ever thought of running for elected office in Palm Beach County? A young person considering a future in politics?

Then seriously consider getting your name on the ballot for the General Election to be held on November 6th to serve on this elected body (4-year term):

Seat #2 on the Board of
Northern Palm Beach County
Improvement District

For the qualifications needed, how to get your name on the ballot, and everything else you need to know please continue reading.

But first, the Northern Palm Beach County Improvement District (NPBCID) serves,

[A]n area of approximately 128 miles which includes parts of the following municipalities: Jupiter, Juno Beach, Tequesta, North Palm Beach, Palm Beach Gardens, Lake Park, Mangonia Park, West Palm Beach, Riviera Beach and Royal Palm Beach. Portions of unincorporated Palm Beach County are also within our service area.

Learn more about this Special District and what the mission is from the NPBCID website:

In May 2010, Governor Crist signed House Bill No. 759, which changed the manner in which Board members are elected to Northern Palm Beach County Improvement District’s Board of Supervisors. Currently, four out of five seats, are filled by popular vote in the General Election. The remaining seat will continue to be filled by landowner election.

For how to become a candidate for a seat on
the NPBCID in the Nov. 6th General Election
click on this link:

Any member of the board elected in the landowner election must be a resident of the State of Florida and either be a resident of Palm Beach County or own, or have a beneficial interest in an entity that owns, real property within the District. [emphasis added] A letter of intent to run for Seat No. 1 should be filed in the District’s office no later than 30 days prior to the landowner election.

Use this link to contact the NPBCID for more information about this Special District.

For candidate information and for any questions regarding how to get your name on the ballot in the General Election on November 6th contact the Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections at 561-656-6200, click on this link, or visit the Supervisor of Elections office at 240 S. Military Trail in West Palm Beach.

About renewable energy for those of you who may have missed this over the weekend.

“It turns out that after studying and developing detailed computer modeling, the Gulfstream Current is at its closest
and in a most consistent strength offshore of . . . you guessed it . . . Lake Worth.”

Quote. Lake Worth Mayor Pam Triolo. State of the City Address, January 2017.*

Item 4B5 on agenda at TCRPC next week: “Offshore Renewable Energy Leasing Request for Public Feedback”.

The Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council (TCRPC) meets next Friday, May 18th at 9:30.

TCRPC meetings are held at the Wolf High Technology Center at Indian River State College (Chastain Campus), 2400 SE Salerno Rd. in Stuart. Two excerpts from agenda item 4B5 are below.

Excerpt #1:


At its December 8, 2017 meeting, Council adopted Resolution 17-05 opposing offshore oil exploration, drilling, and seismic testing in the southeast Atlantic Ocean; and encouraging alternatives to new offshore drilling projects, such as offshore wind energy and ocean current energy projects to increase the proportion of electricity produced from renewable resources. [emphasis added] That resolution was submitted to the U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), the U.S. Congressional delegation from Florida, the Florida Legislature, and the Governor. BOEM is responsible for advancing the responsible development of offshore energy and marine mineral resources covering over 1.7 billion acres of the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS). The purpose of this item is to provide Council with information regarding BOEM’s current request for public feedback on a “path forward” for future offshore wind energy development on the Atlantic OCS.

Background and Analysis

A key aspect of implementing President Donald J. Trump’s America-First Offshore Energy Strategy is the initiation of a new National OCS Program development process, outlined in Executive Order (E.O.) 13795 of April 28, 2017; and Secretary Order 3350 of May 1, 2017, issued by Secretary of the Interior Ryan K. Zinke. Section 2 of E.O. 13795 states that it is United States policy to encourage energy exploration and production to maintain the nation’s global energy leadership and ‘‘foster energy security and resilience for the benefit of the American people, while ensuring that any such activity is safe and environmentally responsible.’’

BOEM is currently conducting a high-level assessment of all waters offshore the United States Atlantic Coast for potential future offshore wind lease locations. BOEM has already awarded 13 leases of approximately 17 gigawatts (GW) of capacity in offshore wind energy leases off every state from Cape Hatteras in North Carolina to Cape Cod in Massachusetts, and has received requests from state and industry stakeholders requesting that additional lease areas be proposed.

Excerpt #2:


Offshore wind energy, ocean current, and hydrothermal energy projects are needed to increase the proportion of electricity produced from renewable resources. The use of these renewable resources is preferred over the traditional burning of fossil fuels, because they do not result in greenhouse gas emissions nor do they create the risk of accidents such as oil spills. Offshore wind energy production is also preferable to offshore oil drilling which could have negative effects on Florida’s major economic engine, the tourism industry that relies on clean waters and healthy beaches. A continued effort to develop and commercially produce renewable energy is a sustainable strategy for the future welfare of our region, state, and country.

Although the cost of constructing offshore wind energy infrastructure is more expensive than building facilities onshore, the capital costs for offshore wind generation are rapidly decreasing. This is due in part to advancements in the technology of turbines and platforms, and increasing interest worldwide in the production of this type of renewable energy. Many states are aggressively moving to develop offshore wind projects. In our region and state, this could mean jobs not only in wind energy production, but in the production of the turbines, and installation and operation of offshore wind farms.

An image from TCRPC agenda item 4B5 is below.

BOEM Planning Factors Summary Score for Identifying Possible Forecast Areas”

Click on image to enlarge (shaded gray are
Department of Defense exclusion areas):
Note text from image: “Some NMS areas are too small to be seen at current map scale.”

*To learn more about this quote from Mayor Triolo click on this link.