Saturday, June 9, 2018

Palm Beach Post about Lake Worth High School: “Project Lake Worth turns diversity into strength”.

At the end of this blog post is a question. But first consider this: the City of Lake Worth has a number of volunteer advisory boards, e.g., a C-51 Canal Advisory Board, an Electric Utility Advisory Board, a Library Board, a Recreation Advisory Board, and a Tree Board too.

But guess what this City doesn’t have? A board tasked with coordinating and working with our one charter school, the four public elementary schools, Lake Worth Middle, Lake Worth High School and the private school at Sacred Heart Catholic. And how many other private and faith-based schools are there in this City? Does anyone know?

The C-51 Canal Advisory Board has only met one single time since being formed in November 2016. Don’t you think it’s time for a school advisory board or a school coordinating board in this City?

There are four excerpts from Post reporter Scott McCabe about Project Lake Worth. Below is #1.

Without further ado. . .

A quote from the article by Mr. David Dale, former president of Project Lake Worth:

“People are wondering, ‘Have we done our job?’ Yes. But there’s so
much more to do.”

From excerpt #1, the news by former Palm Beach Post staff writer Scott McCabe (1998–2005), datelined Sunday, February 14th, 1999.

News published in the Post 19 years ago.

Click on newspaper clipping to enlarge:
 From the timeline: 1994, Wall of Unity Mural painted. “A mural designed by students depicts their vision of unity in the Osborne community.

LAKE WORTH — When the Palm Beach County School Board convened in the Spring of 1995, its members expected to hear from Lake Worth residents who wanted $30 million released to save their dying high school.
     They expected frustration. The school board, after all, held up voter-approved money for 10 years. In the meantime, Lake Worth High had moved from the top of the list of schools slated for improvements to the bottom.
     What they didn’t expect was 150 residents lined up in white T-shirts with identical logos waiting their turn to talk. They talked for three meetings, tying up other school business until the board hollered uncle.
     The school board couldn’t have known what it was up against. For what had begun six years earlier as a search for a way to save the high school had flowered into a movement to save the city itself — Project Lake Worth.

Check back next week for another excerpt about Lake Worth High School and Project Lake Worth.

Now ask yourself this: Is it time for “Project Lake Worth II”?

“From Where I Sit. . .”, by Pelican Pete.*

From The Lake Worth Herald in June last year,
two weeks before the July 4th Raft Race:
“Look over there, Mabel. That nasty blob floating in the water. Is that blue-green algae? Call CBS12! And what’s that beat reporters name again?”

Don’t be tricked by rumors and tall tales of blue-green floating blobs or a ‘plague’ of beta-Methylamino-ʟ-alanine either!

There are no rules in the July 4th Great American Raft Race. If you want, you can even make up buckets of blue-green jello blobs to pysch-out competitors, make them scream with fear!

*Please note: The electeds on the Lake Worth City Commission and City Manager Michael Bornstein WILL HAVE A RAFT in this year’s July 4th Raft Race as is the case every year but as is usually the case, it’s just for show. And also stay tuned for the schedule of pre-Raft Race festivities, the captain’s meeting which is mandatory but not really, and the heats coming up to test rafts which are supposed to be done in secret but never are.

Thursday, June 7, 2018

News from reporter McKenna Ross at The Palm Beach Post.

[UPDATE: The news below from Ross appeared in last Tuesday’s print edition on page B2. Gleaning from several sources in the Sun Sentinel and elsewhere, it’s apparent the incident that occurred June 1st on the FEC tracks was no accident. For more information about this incident is another article datelined June 5th by Post reporter Jeff Ostrowski that concludes with this sentence, “If someone has an agenda that day to cut their life short . . . there’s no amount of safety that can stop that from happening.”]

Very sad news in the Post. The name of the victim was removed from the news report. Here are two excerpts:

BOYNTON BEACH — Authorities on Monday [June 4th] identified the man struck and killed by a Brightline train Friday as a 49-year-old Lakeland man.
     Preliminary investigations found that ■■■■■■■■■■■ ■■■■■■ jumped in front of the train as it was traveling south from the FEC Railway crossing on Woolbright Road, Boynton Beach police said Monday.

and. . .

     Six people in Palm Beach County have been struck and killed by Brightline trains since last year, when the company began testing along the Florida East Coast Railway tracks. Three of those deaths, including Friday’s, occurred in Boynton Beach. In the five previous cases, officials say victims were on the tracks despite lowered gates, warning lights and train horns. [emphasis added]

More information about Brightline, public safety, and the editor(s) at the Post with their stance
on this important topic.

Attempting to cross railroad tracks at any location other than a designated crossing is illegal. It’s called trespassing. This latest tragedy was completely avoidable and so were all the others. But some critics of Brightline will attempt to use this terrible news as the editor(s) at the Post pointed out on May 30th, as another way to stop Brightline going north to Orlando, “[H]aving failed with environmental and safety questions, specious concerns about the federal deficit and lawsuits.”

Brightline will be connecting with Orlando. Explaining this journalist Scott Powers penned a piece this week in Florida Politics titled, “Brightline’s Orlando line could be settled in next few months”. Now it’s time to focus on the big picture. Saving lives. Not a specious concern by any means.

Educating the public about safety along the railroad tracks and at railroad crossings needs to be the top priority north of the Brightline station in West Palm Beach to the nearly completed train station in Orlando. The #1 message needs to be “See Tracks? Think Train!” Just more monkeywrenching trying to stop the inevitable just takes away from the #1 message.

Hammering the point home, here is another excerpt from the editor(s) at the Post:

     Brightline has its issues, to be sure. The Post has reported extensively on fatal accidents on tracks, delayed quiet zones and trains still seeking riders. But as evidenced by the recent opening of the Miami station, the project is plowing forward.
     Its chances for success, though, hinge on finishing the West Palm Beach-to-Orlando leg. It doesn’t make sense to derail that. Not when Florida is so close to realizing the potential of high-speed rail. Not when the state’s clogged highways are only getting more so. And not when our infrastructure needs are so great.
     The train has already left the station, so to speak.

To the critics of Brightline, “The train has already left the station”. So to speak.

Learn the signals and what they mean.

Click on image to enlarge:
“The fact is, the only safe place to cross rail tracks is at a designated public crossing, which are marked by flashing lights, a gate, crossbucks, or a combination of these safety signals.”

Today is the final day for “2018 Hurricane Sales Tax Holiday Week”.

Click on this link to see the front pages
of The Lake Worth Herald and the
Coastal & Greenacres Observer.
“Sales Tax Holiday Week” was big news in the Herald and Observer. Have a question about subscription and advertising rates? Contact the editor at 561-585-9387 or send an email to:

Below is the list of qualifying items for disaster preparedness during Sales Tax Holiday Week which began last Friday. Today is the final day. For more detailed information click on this link to download Florida Dept. of Revenue, TIPS publication #18A01-05.

During this tax free week Florida residents will not be required to pay sales tax on hurricane supplies that include the following:

Selling for $10 or less: Reusable ice (reusable ice packs).

Selling for $20 or less: Any portable self-powered light source* (powered by battery, solar, hand-crank, or gas),
  • Candles.
  • Flashlights.
  • Lanterns.

Selling for $25 or less: Any gas or diesel fuel container, including LP gas and kerosene containers.

Selling for $30 or less:
  • Batteries, including rechargeable batteries, sizes AAA-cell, AA-cell, C-cell, D-cell, 6-volt, 9-volt (excluding automobile and boat batteries).
  • Coolers and ice chests (food-storage; nonelectrical).

Selling for $50 or less:
  • Bungee cords.
  • Ground anchor systems.
  • Radios* (powered by battery, solar, or hand-crank), Two-Way, Weather Band.
  • Ratchet straps.
  • Tarpaulins (tarps).
  • Tie-down kits.
  • Visqueen, plastic sheeting, plastic drop cloths, and other flexible waterproof sheeting.

Selling for $750 or less: Portable generators used to provide light or communications, or to preserve food in the event of a power outage.

*Eligible light sources and radios qualify for the exemption even if electrical cords are also included.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Planning & Zoning (P&Z) Board meeting tonight in City of Lake Worth.

Meeting begins in City Hall at 6:00. There are four items under “New Business” and here is the first one, item G1:

PZB 18-00500007 Consideration of a request for a Conditional Use permit to allow factory manufacturing, office, wholesale sales and distribution, research and development, and warehouse uses in an existing structure at 2201 4th Avenue North, within the I-POC zoning district.

To download the entire agenda click on this link and scroll down for P&Z June 6th “Agenda Package”.

And stay tuned for the minutes of the Finance Advisory Board (FAB) and Bond Oversight Citizens’ Advisory Board (BOCAB) that were held last night in the City Hall conference room. The minutes from these meetings should become available very soon.

Here were the presentations at the FAB:

Financial Services Department.
  • FY2018 Budget Development Overview: Major Funds Reviewed “Big 3”: Beach Fund, Electric Fund, Water Fund.
  • FY2018 Budget Calendar of Events.
  • Election of Officers.
  • Richard Guercio – Report Out on Work Performed as Previous Board Chair.

Under “New Business” at BOCAB were these items:

Neighborhood Road Program Citizens Oversight Board presentation:
  • Darren Portner [City Treasurer].
  • Brian Shields [Water Utility Director].
  • Jamie Brown [Public Services Director].


“PORT ST. LUCIE — The city may take legal action against the contractor that built its 10-year-old Civic Center because of premature structural deterioration.”
—News datelined June 5th in TCPalm.

At the groundbreaking of historic “Hummingbird” in Downtown Lake Worth yesterday.

Below is more information about this structure located at 631 Lucerne Ave., “[C]onstructed c.1922 and is a contributing resource within the Old Town Local Historic District.”

Photos taken yesterday. . .
Exactly what our Downtown has needed for a
long time: New office spaces (
±20) will make up
the new “Hummingbird”.

Access to these offices will be off Lucerne Ave. and ‘J’ St. as well which many in attendance were pleased to learn about.

Floor plans.

The invitation sent out announcing the event:

“Re-Purpose and Re-Use to Class ‘A’ Office Space”:
For more information send an email to:

The former Hummingbird Hotel was an agenda item on the City of Lake Worth’s Historic Resource Preservation Board (HRPB) last year:

HRPB Project Number 17-00100137: Consideration of a Certificate of Appropriateness (COA) for exterior alterations and a pre-construction approval for a historic preservation ad valorem tax exemption for the commercial structure located at 631 Lucerne Avenue . . . The subject property was constructed c.1922 and is a contributing resource within the Old Town Local Historic District.

The exterior changes proposed were consistent with historic guidelines and the City staff recommended approval which the HRPB did. Also, the plans include restoration of the “Hummingbird Hotel” sign on the building. Stay tuned for more information about that.

A rendering from last year:
From The Lake Worth Herald, more history about this historic structure in the Downtown:

“The Hummingbird Hotel was, since 1921, the McCarty or New McCarty Hotel. The original owner was Mary A. McCarty. McCarty was part of the company owned by A.D. Clark Insurance. Clark, Mayor from 1923–1926, sold insurance and was a prominent realtor in Lake Worth for 39 years. She was an active member of the Board of Realtors.
     The hotel remained the McCarty Hotel until c.1995 [see image below] when Rose Belanger and JoAnn Davis purchased the hotel. They changed the color, refurbished the rooms and renamed the hotel — The Hummingbird.”

Click on image to enlarge:
Newspaper clipping, Palm Beach Post, July 1995.

Photos taken at the “Hummingbird Hotel”
two years ago:

Monday, June 4, 2018

Public meetings scheduled this week at Lake Worth City Hall.

The Finance Advisory Board (FAB) meets tonight in the City Hall conference room. Tomorrow (Tuesday, June 5th) is a regularly scheduled meeting of the City Commission and the Planning & Zoning Board meets on Wednesday. All meetings begin at 6:00.

Please note: The meeting of the City’s Electric Utility Advisory Board (EUAB) scheduled for next Wednesday has been rescheduled for June 18th.

The big surprise is not what is on the agenda at the City Commission tomorrow but what is not on the agenda. This is very good news. Check back tomorrow for more about that. And I think it’s time to increase the time limit for public comment to three minutes across the board. For all agenda items.

The experiment last year increasing the time limit from two to three minutes on just “Non-Agendaed Items and Consent Agenda” has worked. One could say the normal people have firmly taken control. Again. It was back during the administration of Mayor Jeff Clemens and a commissioner named Cara Jennings that the time limit was reduced from three minutes to two. The trepidation returning to three minutes again is understandable. It’s been that way for a long time.

True. Some will take advantage of that extra minute to the extreme. However, that extra minute will also be extremely beneficial for the majority of the public, most of whom are reasonable, deliberate and respectful and they shouldn’t feel like they are being rushed or brushed off. Most everywhere else in Palm Beach County the time limit for public comment is three minutes. All the City’s volunteer advisory boards, including the FAB and EUAB, have a three minute time limit.

We are the outlier. And that needs to end. It’s time.

So with a caveat or two like keeping public comment to forty-five minutes on any one item or a warning of some sort when people just get up to the podium and parrot what somebody already said, then it’s time for three minutes. Maybe this topic will come up at public comment tomorrow. Maybe somebody will get up and make the case for keeping the limit at two minutes? Stay tuned as they say.

Meet your elected leaders in this City of Lake Worth:
Not a long agenda at the City Commission this week. To look it over for yourself use this link and scroll down for “June 5, Regular Meeting”, then look for “Agenda & Backup” to download the full version.