Saturday, June 16, 2018

2018 Lake Worth Lagoon Fishing Challenge (LWLFC) has officially begun: “LINES IN! LINES IN! LINES IN!”

For FREE tickets click on this link for the LWLFC Facebook page which has all the information
you need.

“FREE competition, citizen science, and over $2K in prizes! Now
let’s hit the water!”

Click on image to enlarge and
please support the sponsors:
“A big shout out to our partners in the Lake Worth Lagoon Initiative,* support from MyFWC, and our awesome sponsors West Palm Beach Fishing Club, Snook and Gamefish Foundation, Coastal Angler Magazine and Mang Gear.”

*LWLI is an informal forum for the exchange of information about the Lagoon: “While the LWLI does not vote on issues, nor make recommendations as a group to any decision-making body, the ideas generated by these discussions result in collaborative efforts that enhance the Lagoon and raise public awareness of its valuable resources.”

“Brightline train ‘brushed’ man who refused to move off track, PBSO says”, when man ignores right-of-way of oncoming train.

UPDATE: A breaking news investigation by Palm Beach Post reporters Julius Whigham, Jeff Ostrowski, and R. Denty revealed the cause of the incident on the Florida East Coast (FEC) railroad tracks yesterday morning in the quirky City of Lake Worth. Here is an excerpt from the news which also made page B2 in the print edition today, above the fold:

Authorities said a man was “brushed” by a Brightline train early Thursday after he refused to move from the tracks.
     The unidentified male was taken to a trauma center for evaluation and is being referred for a mental-health examination, a spokeswoman for the Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office said.

and. . .

     Five people in Palm Beach County have been struck and killed by Brightline trains since January, when the company launched passenger service on the FEC tracks.
     Three of the deaths were ruled accidental, and in each of those cases blood samples taken from the victims tested positive for drugs, death records showed.

Here is very important information for everyone in this City of Lake Worth. Trying to challenge a train is a very bad idea. No matter how hard you try, you will never win a challenge against a train. And it’s also important to remember. . .

Quiet Zones along the Florida East Coast (FEC) railway ARE IN EFFECT.

  Getting this information out to our non-English speaking communities in this City is especially important (Spanish and Creole).*

For more information contact Mr. Ben Kerr, PIO, at 561-586-1631; email:
The message always is:
“See Tracks? THINK TRAIN!”


Lake Worth, Fl — At 11:59 p.m. on May 21, 2018, the City of Lake Worth will become designated as a Quiet Zone for rail traffic on the FEC line within the City limits. Trains will no longer sound their horns routinely within the City boundaries except in instances where the Engineer deems it necessary due to an emergency or for the safety of workers on the tracks. As train horns will no longer sound at crossings it is of utmost importance that people obey the barriers and stay alert whenever they are crossing the tracks.
     The City reminds all that it is illegal and highly dangerous to trespass on rail tracks. Train speed and distance is deceptive and without the use of the horn a train is extremely quiet which can lead to accidents when people attempt to “beat” the train and ignore the safety barriers. In addition it takes many trains over a mile to come to a complete stop and new trains on the tracks will be travelling at speeds up to 79MPH.
     Further information about Railroad Safety in English, Spanish and Creole click on this link.

Message is always:

“See Tracks? THINK TRAIN!”

“Lè w wè ray tren?

“¿Ves rieles? ¡PIENSA TREN!

*From the Palm Beach Transportation Planning Agency (TPA) and Operation Lifesaver:
To become a volunteer for Operation Lifesaver
click on this link.

Friday, June 15, 2018


Stay tuned. . .
This will be an exhibit of work by a City of
Lake Worth resident. Portrait photographs on display at The HATCH from July 6th–22nd.

Fascinating documents for those who follow the long history of Lake Worth.

Before we get to those “fascinating documents” did you know the College Park neighborhood in this City is one of the oldest historic neighborhoods? There is more information below about the very early years of this neighborhood that formed east of Dixie Hwy. and across a canal from West Palm Beach. A canal we now call the C-51 Canal.

And there’s news about the College Park Neighborhood Association!

The legendary block parties are back! The first one is tomorrow, Saturday, June 16th from 4:30–10:00. Location is Pennsylvania Ave. between Fordham and Dartmouth drives.

“We are reviving the neighborhood block parties! We will be closing down a portion of Pennsylvania Drive for the festivities between Dartmouth Dr. and Fordham Dr. The CPNA will provide the basics: ice, napkins, plates, flatware. This event is potluck style but we will also have grills (on loan from your neighbors) so that you can grill your own food. Bring your favorite beverages.”

For more information and how you can contribute use the CPNA Facebook event page or send an email to:

“Anything you can contribute as far as food, equipment, or entertainment is welcome. Have a folding table or two? Bring them. Have a Karaoke machine? Bring it. Have extra chairs? Bring them.”

Now back to those fascinating historical documents about this City of Lake Worth. . .

Below is a scan of a copy so please excuse the reproduction faults. Coming from early in the development of the City of Lake Worth, this is an advertisement by The Palm Beach Farms Company, the firm that first platted and sold lots here. I am guessing this dates from sometime in the late teens. The caption below the photo says, “Eggplants are Money Makers in Palm Beach County.”

The company had 5-acre lots west of what would become the City of Lake Worth, roughly the area we now know as Greenacres. These were to be agricultural lots and the promotional draw to the area. The initial plan was to promote the larger lots out west and give one 25′ lot nearer the coast as a “beach cottage” to make the deal more appealing. As time passed, the lots selling were the 25′ lots, not the larger agricultural parcels.

This next document probably springs from that transition period when the company began to focus on what was to become Lake Worth.

This next image is an interesting price listing for various lot locations and sizes based on the plat shown.

The next plat (image below) is the northern part of Lake Worth, the north orientation is to the right. If you read the “Avenue” names, you can see the 25′ lots known as North Lake Worth begin at 23rd Avenue. I doubt this plat map was ever recorded. If it was was later superseded by the College Park plat that would have been recorded in the early 20s.

What is revealing on this particular plat is the names for the “lettered streets”. On it you will see “Jasmine” for “J”, “Kentia”, “Lantana”, “Mango”, “Nassau”, “Oleander”, “Poinciana” and “Quail” that round out that section of the alphabet. There was also an “Iris” and “Hibiscus”, both east of Dixie Hwy. This is another clue this was never recorded before the College Park plat.

This next image is a plat of the southern part of Lake Worth east of the FEC railroad tracks. “Palmway” is substituted for “Poinciana” used in the northern part of the City. Also note the names of the avenues. The ones that I can pick out are “Wistaria”, “Valena”, “Utic (?)”, and “Satsuma”. This part holds fairly true lot-wise to what was platted in this area, less the avenue and street names. The north orientation is the top of this plat map:

A little slice of our City’s history I hope you enjoyed. Below is an early picture during the initial development of Lake Worth. It probably dates from the early 20s. Can you tell where this is?

This is one of the early photos of what would later come to be called the College Park neighborhood.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

News in the Post about “praise” and “misery” during an electric power outage in this City of Lake Worth.

UPDATE: At the end of this blog post is the latest about that Zombie Alert “DUE TO EXTREME ZOMBIE ACTIVITY” on May 20th, a very brief electric outage that made world-wide news.

But the month prior it was an entirely different story. . .

First came the praise for PBSO’s performance here in the City of Lake Worth during an electric power outage on Monday, April 9th that continued into Tuesday morning. However, the ‘misery’ from the editor(s) at The Palm Beach Post marched on. The news below is from before Gatehouse Media finalized the purchase of that newspaper on May 1st, ironically also the day called May Day (not to be confused with Mayday! Mayday! Mayday!).

As much as PBSO was outstanding during that outage, our little City was still plagued by terrible headlines laced with “misery” by the headline editor at the Post. Before we get to the ‘misery’ let’s take a look at the praise for PBSO:

“They [PBSO] were manning all the railroad tracks in case any signals were down and they also had extra patrols on the streets, making sure everyone was safe and sound,” she [Lake Worth Mayor Pam Triolo] said. “There were no injuries or crime issues at all. [emphasis added] A lot of people felt their presence so it was very comforting.”

Quote. Concluding paragraph from beat reporter Kevin Thompson’s story in The Palm Beach Post print edition dated Wednesday, April 11th, and headlined, “Lake Worth power outage leaves thousands in the dark”.

However, in the online edition on Tuesday, April 10th, was this headline about a “night of misery”:

Lake Worth power outage: Residents suffer through a night of misery

Misery? Here is another excerpt from the article by Thompson which apparently the headline editor didn’t read:

     Mayor Pam Triolo said she was getting ready for bed when the power went out. “It was out until about 6 this morning,” she said. ‘“I slept most of the time. It was warm, but I had a fan on.”
     Maryann Furth said she lost power for about three hours, but that didn’t bother her. “I’m comfortable without air conditioning,” she said. “We were fine.”
     Michael Chase Flack-Fox said he wasn’t even aware the power was off. . . . “There were little or no problems. I slept right through it.”

From The New York Times’ Learning Network, Chapter 5.2: “Headlines: In a Nutshell”:

An inexperienced editor who has trouble writing a headline might be tempted to try to write a headline on a secondary angle of the article, but a good headline is based on the lead. [emphasis added]

So whilst it may be true it was a “night of misery” for some during the power outage last April in this City of Lake Worth — it’s also true it was just a little miserable for others — for example, “ ‘I didn’t break out the generator, I just broke out the battery back up and plugged in my fan,’ she [a Downtown resident] said.” And there were other residents who were hardly affected by the power outage at all.

And there’s more good news about the power outage last April: There was no need for a curfew!

The headline editor at the Post didn’t do that beat reporter any favors back in Jan. 2016 either:
Remember. A proper headline is based on the lead. The reporter did not use the word ‘curfew’ one single time. So why use the word “curfew” in the headline? Maybe to confuse and frighten the public?

Now to the UPDATE:
Click on this link for the latest. And no, there was no curfew during this outage and no ‘Zombies’ either.

But it is good for clickbait!

Play BINGO and clubs, meetings, events, and so much more to do.*

This week’s Herald is out!

“Lake Worth’s Oldest Established Business – Established in 1912”
Use this link to see this week’s front page headlines in the Herald. Pick up the print edition at the City’s Downtown newsstand located at 600 Lake Ave.
Our local newspaper is still just ¢50!

Below are just a few of the “Free listings” for community events in this City, for example:


Sponsored by Gray Mockingbird Community Garden. Every Saturday night, 6:00–10:00 at the Scottish Rite Masonic Centers main hall (2000 N. ‘D’ St). “$200 Jackpot! Come and join the fun! Everyone welcome.”

Free Adult English Classes. Tuesdays 6–8 p.m. Compass Community Center, 201 N. Dixie Hwy., Lake Worth. To register call 561-863-5778. Everyone is welcome.

Lake Worth Kiwanis is always looking for new members. “Come join us every Tuesday, 8 a.m. at TooJays in downtown Lake Worth.

Lake Worth Lions Club is the oldest civic club in the area. They meet every first and third Tuesday of the month at the Braille Club, 4801 S. Dixie Hwy., West Palm Beach. For more information call 561-582-6126.

Lake Worth Rotary Club meeting every Wednesday at Brogues Downunder, 621 Lake Ave., downtown Lake Worth. Noon. Come visit, become a member. For info call Ron Leeds at 561-969-9600.

*Free listing for service clubs’ and charitable organizations schedules and special events open to the public. Send information to About Town, 1313 Central Terrace, Lake Worth, FL 33460, fax 561-585-5434 or email
     Please keep it brief. We reserve the right to edit and/or reject any announcement deemed not appropriate.

“[N]eighborhoods feeling like war zones” in West Palm Beach and could gunshot detection technology be one solution?

Below is an update about ShotSpotter, “the world leader in gunshot detection, alert and analysis solutions.” This is a law enforcement tool used to immediately identify the location of a gunshot. For the latest about this evolving and effective technology follow ShotSpotter on Twitter.

And also below is news from West Palm Beach you may have missed in The Palm Beach Post and on NBC5/WPTV as well.

But first, briefly, some background. The topic of ShotSpotter and gunfire detection technology has been a frequent one on this blog since last year. Back in June 2017 here in the City of Lake Worth there was a homicide in District 2 that rattled the community; this is the district represented by Commissioner Omari Hardy. The victim was murdered by a handgun and was the second firearm death of the year up to that point (the total number of murders by firearm in the City was five in 2017).

The public, particularly in District 2 was very concerned and wanted answers, ways to cut down on gun violence. Hardy brought up several ideas (e.g., license plate readers) and another idea was ShotSpotter technology.

However, at the same time in West Palm Beach, by mid-June 2017, there were fourteen homicides. All by firearms. On this blog and elsewhere the public was asking why not consider new tools to reassure neighborhoods and communities most affected by this senseless violence and possibly solve more of these crimes much more quickly? Last year total there were twenty-eight homicides in West Palm; twenty-six of them by firearms.

Now fast-forward to May 14th of this year and the news from NBC5/WPTV: “West Palm Beach Police announce plans for Crime Center including ShotSpotter technology” (see excerpt below). And a few days later was this news report by Tony Doris in The Palm Beach Post:

WEST PALM BEACH — West Palm police are asking the city to fund technology to locate shooting sites and catch criminals with greater ease.
     The department, which saw a 150 percent increase in murders last year, is asking the city commission for $2.2 million for gunfire-locator sensors, license plate readers and analytic systems to tie them to police and private security cameras, to speed response by helping identify where guns went off and capture criminals who fired them. [emphasis added]

Everyone should applaud the officials and West Palm Beach PD for taking this step. But the question posed on this blog many times before is: Why is WPB doing this on their own? Why not collaborate with other cities and towns? But more about that later.

In West Palm Beach there have been eleven (11) homicides so far this year according to The Palm Beach Post’s Homicide Tracker database. All were victims of firearms. Last year was a terrible year for gun violence in that city. And then in November 2017, following so much carnage from guns the editor(s) at the Post finally got involved to try and find a solution:

“Nervous — make that terrified — residents need
to see that the police department can be relied
upon to keep their neighborhoods from
feeling like war zones.”

Editor at Palm Beach Post, Sunday, Nov. 12th,
2017, “Unacceptable rise in WPB homicides
requires quicker action”.

[Once again, just a reminder: According to the The New York Times’ Learning Network, one of the responsibilities of reporters, journalists, and editors is to, “Encourage the public to voice grievances against the news media.”]

Here is the news from NBC5’s Michelle Quesada, a news segment headlined “West Palm Beach Police announce plans for Crime Center including ShotSpotter technology” datelined May 14th, an excerpt:

West Palm Beach Police announced its plans to invest in technology that will allow officers to respond to a shooting before someone calls 911.
     Right now, if West Palm Beach Police get a call about gun shots being fired, they say on average people can be off about 700 meters about where the shots came from, that’s a distance covering about 300 houses, with new technology they’re hoping to get this year, they could narrow it down to 20 meters or a single house. [emphasis added]
     “Working with ShotSpotter, some of the research that they’ve done shows that there could be up to 80 percent of the calls or incidences that we are not capturing because someone has not called and told us about it or we're not in the area and we don’t hear it, said Chief Sarah Mooney, West Palm Beach Police Department.”

Now take a moment and ask yourself: Why is West Palm Beach going it alone acquiring ShotSpotter technology? Why not collaborate with other municipalities and PBSO?

This topic was first brought up on this blog in June 2017. Would that technology have helped law enforcement address gun violence and shootings here in Central Palm Beach County (CPBC)? If the cost is prohibitive is there a way for cities, towns and villages to pool resources, possibly based on population and land area? More specifically, have PBSO and cities such as WPB, Boynton Beach, and Lake Worth pool resources and work together to acquire a regional gunshot detection system?

Or is the real problem, for some who’ve become accustomed to the status quo, is the thought of cities such as West Palm Beach and Lake Worth working together to help stop gun violence just completely unimaginable? And is there anything the press and news media can do to encourage municipalities and their elected leaders to work with each other? Or is there another scenario when the press and news media could make cooperation much less a possibility?

Let’s take for example a “paper of record” in CPBC. Last month, on May 1st, Gatehouse Media bought The Palm Beach Post and hopefully going forward nothing will ever happen again like what happened beginning in mid-2015.

The Palm Beach Post series “Bullets, Badges and Death on the Streets”.

Remember the “LINE OF FIRE” series about PBSO back in 2015–2016, an almost year-long effort? Just by coincidence, this series began running prior to Sheriff Ric Bradshaw’s campaign for re-election in August 2016. Bradshaw won that race by almost 66% of the vote. One of those blaring headlines during that series in the Post was an open-ended question, “Could riot happen here?” See that front page blaring headline below. So much for encouraging the public to remain calm.

However, on many levels of local government there is a major political shift happening in Palm Beach County and it’s called “collaboration”. For example, municipalities here in CPBC understand well our future success depends on cities, towns and villages working together, not relying on or hoping for help from the State or Federal government.

There’s nothing wrong with a regional newspaper encouraging collaboration. A newspaper doesn’t always have to be on the prowl, searching for institutions to dismantle or “take down”. Because what if the institution that needs to be ‘taken down’ or in need of entirely new leadership IS a newspaper?

Front page, below the banner blaring headline, “Could riot happen here?” which begs another open-ended question, “Was this wishful thinking on the part
of the editor(s) back in 2015–2016?”
By the way, open-ended questions should never be used in newspaper headlines. Back in 2015 the headline editor could have used the words
“Leaders Urging Calm”

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Photos from last year’s July 4th Great American Parade and Raft Race!

It was a spectacular day at the Parade, Great American Raft Race, and the fireworks show as well here in this little City of Lake Worth.

If this annual event is new or maybe confusing to you, please note there is a major controversy every year because of Rule #1: There are no rules. Except for Rule #2. The controversy last year was how did five (5) rafts make it into the final heat when it was supposed to be the winner and 2nd place finisher of Heat #1 and Heat #2? Two plus two equals four!

The official line from race organizers is it was a “clerical error” and didn’t affect the outcome in any way: the Parrot Cove raft (see photo below) was the big winner in 2017. Congratulations!

Every year at the first scheduled City Commission meeting following the Raft Race will come the official updates, confirmation of trophies awarded, poking fun at losers like Mango Grove and the transfer of bragging rights by NAPC President Jon Faust. Don’t be surprised to see a protest of some sort on the steps of City Hall by the South Palm Park Neighborhood Assoc. They just like to protest in general.

South Palm Park did have a valid dispute with one of the trophies handed out last year, but of course that dispute was duly noted and then summarily dismissed per Raft Race Rule #1 and Rule #2. Maybe their case would have had merit if their raft actually floated during the race.

Click on images to enlarge from the
Raft Race Parade in 2017:
Along the parade route on Lake Ave. to Bryant Park.

Pre-race festivities. . .
Lots of very happy and excited Raft Race
Parade participants.

On ‘J’ St. getting prepared to parade down Lake Ave.
First in line: the “Mad Hatter” entry.

At the Bryant Park boat ramp. . .
Little did we know this raft would be the big winner. The result was challenged and quickly dismissed. Yes. Canadians are allowed to be rowers!

One of the colorfully adorned vehicles in the parade.

“V” for victory was the message from Shanon Materio and the Tropical Ridge Neighborhood Raft Race entry last year. Best of luck everyone this year!

Item on Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) consent agenda tonight: 1715 N. Dixie Hwy.

The revival of N. Dixie Hwy. in this little City of Lake Worth has officially begun. Have you noticed? Or have you been distracted by an oft-repeated teaser about ‘kicks’?

Just one block over from 1715 N. Dixie Hwy. is 1601 N. Dixie Hwy. Have you heard anything about a project called “The MID”? Learn more about that below.

Please note that CRA Board meetings are open to the public and there is a three-minute limit for public comment on non-agendaed items. If you do decide to show up and speak it is perfectly OK to say nice things and even compliment the CRA staff and volunteer board members for all their hard work.

Lake Worth CRA Board meetings are held at The HATCH located at 1121 Lucerne Ave. Meetings begin at 6:00. Item VI on the Consent Agenda is “Demolition, asbestos removal and lot clearing of 1.5 Acre Site — 1715 North Dixie Highway” (see agenda item below). To download the entire agenda click on this link and scroll down for June 12th agenda.

Other public meetings this week are the Historic Resource Preservation Board on Wednesday at 6:00 in City Hall and the Tree Board will be meeting on Thursday at 6:00 in the Lake Worth Library for the City’s very timely event “Preparing Your Yard and Community for Storms”.

And also, briefly, stay tuned for the minutes of the Finance Advisory Board (FAB) and Bond Oversight Citizens’ Advisory Board (BOCAB) that were public meetings both held last week in City Hall. The minutes from these meetings should become available shortly.

Now to item VI on the CRA agenda, a memorandum from Deputy Dir. Chris Dabros to the Chair, Vice Chair and members of the CRA Board.*


As a result of the $5.5M lines of credit obtained to acquire property, the CRA has been able to assemble multiple properties within the City. In addition to the new properties along Lake and Lucerne Avenues, the CRA has also begun to acquire property along Dixie Highway. In January 2018, the CRA closed on the property located at 1715 North Dixie Highway. This 1.5 acre parcel was previously used as a car dealership, auto repair/paint shop and other various retail operations. The site contains four (4) structures of varying size and condition, lifts and wells for vehicular servicing and large open areas for vehicle storage.

The acquisition of this parcel will help the CRA market this area of Lake Worth for new large scale development projects which can help reinvigorate the area. [emphasis added] This lot is located just north of multi-million dollar “MID” mixed-use retail/residential project which is expected to break ground later this year. The CRA has also inquired about obtaining additional parcels immediately adjacent to 1715 North Dixie Highway as we hope to assemble, market and redevelop this city block.

CRA Staff have already conducted and paid for certain due diligence measures on 1715 North Dixie Highway, including but not limited to:
  • Environmental PHASE I & II testing.
  • Lead & asbestos testing.
  • Minor asbestos removal.
  • Disconnect of utilities (water, electric, gas).
  • Litter removal.

Significant asbestos removal (located in exterior roof tiles), demolition of all structures and site grading is the next step necessary for future redevelopment. In early May 2018, CRA Staff advertised IFB # CRA 03-17-18 to procure complete asbestos removal, demolition and grading services for a majority of the 1.5 acre lot.

The results of the IFB produced bids from seven separate qualified contractors. As you can see, the bid pricing received from these contractors varies widely. It should be noted that the CRA has conducted various demolition and general contractor services with some of these respondents in past years.

Based on the results of the information received, Staff recommends that the Board select THE BG GROUP LLC to enter into a demo agreement with as they provided the lowest and most responsive bid. In addition, the Board should be cognizant that Staff may issue subsequent change orders for additional demolition services on any adjacent properties within this calendar year.

RECOMMENDATION: Staff recommends that the Board authorize CRA Staff to enter into an agreement with The BG Group LLC to provide significant asbestos removal, demolition, grading and sodding services for the property located at 1715 North Dixie Highway. The total initial contract is not to exceed $70,995, not including any potential change orders. Staff also requests that the Board allow for no more than 50% of the contract to be paid up-front to the contractor, if necessary.

This is very good news for the redevelopment of North Dixie Hwy. Stay tuned for more news and updates about this going forward.

*FYI: There is one vacancy on the CRA Board. If you are interested is serving click on this link to learn more or email Olivia Brown, the City’s Volunteer Coordinator:
Exhibit ‘A’ referenced here in the memorandum is the public notice for CRA IFB 03-17-18.
Exhibit ‘B’ is the Tabulation Sheet for project bidders.

Monday, June 11, 2018

UPDATE: Tonight at 7:00 is the public meeting in Lantana about pigs.

“A service animal assists someone with a legally recognized disability.”

Coastal Star reporter Mary Thurwachter quoting Lantana Town Attorney Max Lohman explaining the “big difference” between an ADA-recognized service animal and what’s called an ‘emotional support animal’.

Have you seen the news (see below) about little pigs in The Coastal Star? This is not a joke. This is actually a serious public policy issue. Learn more below why the Town of Lantana is trying hard to keep a little issue from becoming a very large issue.

News about miniature pigs and micro pigs
and little tiny teacup pigs too!

Briefly, the news about pigs would have made for an interesting story in The Palm Beach Post today about the Town of Lantana — but unless it’s a shooting or other crime, vehicular crash or breaking news about the mayor and a neighborhood traffic calming device — Lantana doesn’t make the Local ‘B’ print edition very often. There are only six (6) Special Cities that get featured every week in the Post and each has their very own special day. To learn more about this look in the right-hand column for, “Keep the faith Lantana, Greenacres, and Palm Springs.”

Why the City of Lake Worth is special but the Town of Lantana is not has never been explained by the editor(s) at the Post. But Delray Beach isn’t special either and Delray even has their very own beat reporter, her name is Lulu Ramadan. So at least there is a little consolation for the folks in Lantana that Delray isn’t special either.

You’re probably wondering by now, “What’s
all the kerfuffle about little pigs?”

The problem is little pigs grow up to become big pigs. And then what do you do? Click on this link to learn more about the Town Council members in that outstanding municipality just to the south of our City of Lake Worth.
Two weeks ago posted on this blog a legal notice from the Town of Lantana, a public notice about an upcoming meeting that was published in the The Lake Worth Herald. Didn’t think much about it at first. Just thought the topic of little pigs would be interesting for readers of this blog.

But ends up little pigs are quite controversial. Later on following that public notice is an excerpt from the news by reporter Mary Thurwachter at The Coastal Star that explains quite well what is happening in Lantana, an article headlined, “Little pigs can stay in Lantana — until they are no longer little”.

To explain all this, first take a look at the
public notice published in the Herald. . .

Have you seen the latest front page
in The Lake Worth Herald?
About little pigs. Excerpt from a legal notice:

The Town Council of the Town of Lantana will hold a Public Hearing on Monday, June 11, 2018, at 7:00 p.m. at Town Hall of the Town of Lantana, Florida, 500 Greynolds Circle, Lantana, Florida, or as soon thereafter as possible which may be continued from time to time and place to place as necessary in order to consider the following proposed Ordinances on second and final reading and the following proposed variance:


Now to the news in The Coastal Star,
the opening five paragraphs:

An amendment to an ordinance that would allow miniature pigs to live in Lantana squeaked by the Town Council on May 14 — but not without trepidation.
     While council members were sympathetic to the call from resident John Park to keep his pet mini pig when the topic first came up in April, further study of mini pigs, or teacup pigs, had the council concerned about how portly the little piggies could become.
     Council member Malcolm Balfour shared his remembrance of an issue Key West had with a pig in the past, when Balfour was a journalist covering a story there.
     “These pigs grow,” he said. “They grow very, very big. There was a man in Key West who had a pig next door and the pig was enamored with his Harley-Davidson. The pig destroyed the Harley-Davidson.”
     There was huge outcry over the issue, he said.

To read the entire article by Mary Thurwachter click on this link. And remember, per the public notice published in the Herald, the final vote on this new ordinance is coming up tonight (Monday, June 11th). Here’s the final sentence in The Coastal Star:

Passage will mean [resident John] Park won’t have to give up his pet pig or pay a fine — unless the animal tips the scale at more than 35 pounds.

Should another city, town, or village here in Palm Beach County have to deal with the issue of little pigs the Town Council in Lantana has provided one possible solution to this public policy question in an urban environment: How to keep little pigs from becoming a very big problem?

Why did the City of Lake Worth go dark last week? There is a good clue at the end of this blog post.

And it’s ironic that just as Riviera Beach began the Live Streaming of public meetings. . .

. . . this City of Lake Worth ended Live Streaming of public meetings.

In other words just as Riviera Beach went Live Streaming our City went to dark. Last week (Tuesday, June 5th) was the monthly Planning & Zoning (P&Z) Board meeting and thought about watching for a bit to see what was happening. The meeting was not Live Streaming. Instead there was this message on the City’s website:

Unfortunately due to ADA requirements for live streaming being cost prohibitive, at this time the City of Lake Worth has suspended all live streaming of City meetings and events. [emphasis added] City staff are working to determine an adequate solution to make live streaming a feasible option in future. Video and audio recordings of meetings will still be uploaded and made available following a City meeting, this change only effects the live streaming aspect. The City of Lake Worth apologizes for any inconvenience caused.

Then there is this “Accessibility Notice”:

The City of Lake Worth is committed to making our website / social media accessible and user-friendly for everyone. If you are having difficulty viewing or navigating the content on our website, or notice any content, feature or functionality that you believe is not fully accessible to individuals with disabilities, please call our Public Information Officer [Mr. Ben Kerr] at 561-586-1631.

Just wondering. Does making the City’s website and social media efforts more “user-friendly for everyone” include zombies?

Kidding aside, this latest news about the Live Streaming video is a bit discouraging. True. Very few of the public watch Live events especially of something so mundane as a P&Z meeting and usually the video is available the next day anyhow. But when so many in the public are waiting for the next big leap forward in how this City of Lake Worth communicates with the public, a step backward is not encouraging.

Whilst on the topic of communicating with the public there is good news as well. For the very important City Commission meeting coming up on June 19th the City of Lake Worth published three public notices in The Lake Worth Herald! These public notices were full size as well to get the attention of the public which is very good news.

But unlike the public in Riviera Beach, you won’t be able to watch Live Streaming meetings like the one upcoming later on this month, unless the staff in this City manages to find an “adequate solution to make live streaming a feasible option”.

To the question. Why did
this City go dark?

To try answering that open-ended question
here is a recent correspondence.

You decide if it’s credible or not:

Person 1: Is lack of live streaming due to lack of closed captioning? YouTube does closed captioning that is fairly robust on saved video. Reading between the lines re notice on website.

Person 2: We use YouTube for that purpose. The issue is the Live broadcast is being questioned since we do not hire people to do that. It is expensive and there are lawyers out their targeting cities. Check out Ft. Myers.

P1: I see. Union issue?

P2: No. ADA is now being used by lawyers as a tool to sue and settle.

P1: Got it.

P2: It’s an unfortunate state of affairs when lawyers use a law with good intentions to troll for business. It’s like the last time ADA was used by the lawyers to go after handicapped parking and businesses.

If this is in fact another trolling lawyer using the ADA to target this City “with good intentions” hopefully this issue will be resolved soon enough when that lawyer or lawyers packs up and leaves town. Stay tuned as they say.

Sunday, June 10, 2018


A pinned post is one kept at the top of the blog for a period of time. In this case for the rest of the day. The bad news is the situation with water levels here in Palm Beach County (PBC) is of great concern for government officials so early in the Wet Season. The good news is one government agency in particular has had enough of the irresponsible news reporting and is fighting back. But in a very proper and responsible way like a government agency should.

SFWMD: Bypassing the news media and communicating directly to the public.

Please watch the video at the end of this blog post produced by the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD). If you’re short on time today please scroll down to begin watching the video right now and finish watching later on if you wish. The video is thirty-four minutes from start to finish.

Why is this so important? Because this is very important information many of you are not receiving from the press and news media here in PBC. If you think the big problem in South Florida is blue-green algae you would be wrong. Toxic algae may become an issue later on, but at this point in time blue-green algae toxin is being detected in levels so low, on the order of small parts to a billion in recent samples, way below levels to cause any health issues; way below levels even the World Health Organization considers unsafe.

What happened in 2016 happened in 2016. Will there be a repeat in 2018 of blue-green algae blooms in the St. Lucie Estuary? Please read the previous sentence once again. That is called an open-ended question. That is what the press and media is doing for higher TV ratings and to sell more newspapers.

The big problem is managing the massive
amount of rainfall last month.

Last Friday’s video produced by SFWMD goes a long way in setting the record straight. Leading this meeting was Randall (“Randy”) Smith who is the press officer at SFWMD. Smith encouraged the public to email him with any questions. The press office main phone number is 561-682-2800.

Also in attendance from the executive management at SFWMD (from left to right in the video) was the Chief District Engineer John Mitnick, P.E., Terrie Bates from Water Resources, and Eva Vélez, P.E., from the office of Everglades Policy and Coordination at SFWMD.

The information and updates from Smith, Mitnick, Bates, and Vélez stands in dark contrast to the information groups like the Everglades Foundation are pushing out to the public. While SFWMD is focused on the entire water drainage system north, south, east and west of Lake Okeechobee others are just focused on a new reservoir south of the Herbert Hoover Dike which is many years away from becoming reality, if it ever happens at all. Here is an excerpt from recent information sent out by the Everglades Foundation:

The single most important thing we can do to solve this problem in the future is to build the Everglades Reservoir [south of Lake Okeechobee] where the water can be diverted, stored, cleaned, and sent south to the Everglades and Florida Bay.

After watching the video below, ask yourself this question: Is constructing another reservoir, “The single most important thing we can do?” Or is the single most important thing completing projects already underway and others now in the planning phase to “solve this problem”? This topic is also discussed in the SFWMD video.

And this is also very important: The decision to release water from Lake Okeechobee west into the Caloosahatchee and east into the St. Lucie estuaries is made by the Jacksonville Army Corps of Engineers, a bureaucracy within the Federal Government tasked with making certain the Herbert Hoover Dike remains intact and is not breached. Prior to this year’s water releases the salinity levels in both estuaries was already near zero due to the tremendous amount of runoff from last month’s heavy rains. And thus far, once again, no blue-green algae blooms have been detected in the lake or in either estuary. Many in the news media comparing this year to 2016 are just stoking public fear and they need to stop. And that includes The Palm Beach Post, the Sun Sentinel, and our local TV news affiliates here in Palm Beach County.

Cannot emphasize enough how important, informative and educational the update from SFWMD is for the public. And hope to see more updates such as this going forward.

Please share this video (see links below) with everyone you know concerned about things like Lake Okeechobee and the Herbert Hoover Dike, Hurricane Season, algae (toxic and non-toxic), and the importance of putting pressure on our elected officials in Washington, D.C. to then put more pressure on the Federal Government to fix what is happening in Miami-Dade County vis-à-vis letting more water flow south and east into tide, at least until the current water levels subside. This is Hurricane Season.

Something has to give. Eight million people here in South Florida are counting on SFWMD to fix this problem.

Copy & paste this link to the video below and send to your contacts:

Here is the link to the SFWMD Twitter page. Click on this link for SFWMD’s “Water Storage Strategies”.

The sounds of thunder in the video are from thunderstorms that passed over SFWMD’s main office located in suburban West Palm Beach two days ago. And with those storms came a lot more rain.

Please do what you can to get this
information out to as many people as you can:

OMG! PARKING! Where will everyone park if the Gulfstream Hotel restoration and property development begins?

Some residents in the Downtown are getting riled up again over The Parking! available in the Downtown. So before this gets to the “Houston, we have a problem” stage, find out how the Casino and the Beach can be part of the parking solution without the Beach being part of the actual overall plan in the future vis-à-vis the Gulfstream Hotel renovation and construction of a new hotel on the empty western lot.

Parking was one of the big issues when a developer no longer associated with the Gulfstream Hotel tried to make the Beach property part of the overall plan to restore this historic hotel. That effort, if you recall, did not go over with the public very well. Remember the meeting held by Hudson Holdings in 2015: “Better Beach. Better Lake Worth. Better Life”? But things did not get better from that point.

Following that meeting in
the Lake Worth Casino ballroom. . .

Historically, one of the most vexing problems with the Gulfstream Hotel when it was open for business, was parking. Use this link for a short explanation. A parking garage would solve that problem and those zoning approvals were allowed once already. But I digress.

Back when the municipal pool at the Beach was still open would use the pool 3–4 times a week, mostly on my bike and sometimes by car, arriving around 10:30 or so. During the weekdays that would be when the photo (see below) was taken. The weekdays make up 71% of the week.

Sorry, don’t want to be laborious here but we have to talk some people off the ledge. So please be patient.
View from the Casino complex looking west
during an average weekday.

The above picture is of the lower parking lot on the western side of the Casino property. Whilst the smaller, top portion is usually close to full with cars (people eating at Benny’s or making the hike to one of the Casino building spaces) the lower parking lot is mostly empty during the typical weekday. From the site plan, that amounts to about 416 parking spaces, creating a sea of asphalt for would-be automobiles that would occupy these spaces if there were demand for them on weekdays.

I think we can all agree a mostly-empty parking lot represents a lost revenue opportunity, regardless of how you choose to look at “the numbers” that make up the Beach Fund. This Casino parking lot could be the parking for the Gulfstream Hotel to accommodate construction workers, Gulfstream employees, and many others freeing up parking in the downtown.

A shuttle could pick people up but many might just walk over the bridge since it’s a relatively short walk anyway. And the Gulfstream owners, of course, would pay the City for the privilege of using this parking area especially for the convenience of their employees.

Hopefully, when the Gulfstream Hotel project moves forward there will be many ideas on how to solve the parking issue, if any do arise, and the Casino parking lot is just one idea. All it takes is cool heads to prevail and look at opportunities and possibilities instead of the first reaction always being a near panic. Another potential solution would be the addition of one more level of parking on the parking structure proposed for the Gulfstream Hotel redevelopment, the last approval if I recall correctly, left open that possibility to add more levels later.

And finally, you may be asking yourself this question: “Why is the Casino parking lot so large and so empty most of the time?” Good question.

Much like parking lots of shopping malls all across our nation, this space was built for “peak demand” times. The problem is that represents only 29% of the time, a generous estimate on a weekly basis. Add to that the lower level parking being too far from destination uses, the pier and the Casino building itself, you have a situation where people may make the choice, while deciding where to go for lunch or breakfast, they don’t want to mess with the parking at the Beach, having to pay for it and then walking uphill (in the hot Summer!) for the “privilege” of going to the Beach.

There are so many other restaurant destinations in our Downtown many residents and visitors would find more preferable than the hassle of going to the Beach. And unlike the Casino — almost all of our Downtown restaurants have free parking nearby — both free parking lots and free street parking as well.

I hope that helps explain things. And imagine this, there’s more progress to report!

Made it through an entire blog post that brings up the Casino and didn’t once mention the prior City administration that got us all into this mess in the first place and didn’t bring up the Greater Bay plan either, you know, the plan that included a parking garage at the Beach.

The public was never allowed to examine this plan
for the Beach and Casino. Heavy Sigh.
This plan tackled the fundamental flaw all along:
A Casino structure at the Beach should occupy the center of the Beach property, not to the north where the structure is presently located.