Saturday, July 14, 2018

About the Neighborhood Assoc. Presidents’ Council (NAPC), housing construction and “Green” energy.

In the video below Scott Maxwell starts off saying. . .

“Thirty years ago when I came to Palm Beach County and needed a place to live the first three things people told me was:

‘Don’t go to Lake Worth.
Stay away from Lake Worth.
Avoid Lake Worth like the plague.’

I didn’t take their advice. I’m glad I didn’t take their advice.”

District 1 Commissioner Scott Maxwell was re-elected last March and is also serving as the City’s
Vice Mayor Pro Tem.

Enjoy this video taken at a candidate forum
leading up to Election Day:

For those of you wondering. . .

The election results from March 2018:

District 3 Commissioner Andy Amoroso was unopposed, re-elected and is now Vice Mayor. Due to a referendum that passed in 2017 all officials elected to the City Commission will serve three year terms.

Post Cards.

“Lake Ave. East. Lake Worth, Fla.”

The view enticing visitors and tourists off US-1 into the Downtown and Casino at the Beach.
First came Henry Flagler and the Florida East Coast (FEC) railway. Then later came the cars: prior to construction of the Florida Turnpike and I-95, Dixie Hwy. (US-1) was the main north-south route along the eastern seaboard. 

“ Moonlight on Lake Worth”
FYI: This Wednesday at 7:00, “The City of Lake Worth Historic Resources Preservation Board is pleased to announce the City’s second annual Historic Preservation Awards.” For more information about this event click on this link.

“We are having a lovely time in the house
with the rain coming down hard.”
Post card from 1912 sent from West Palm Beach.
A year later, in 1913, the “Town of Lake Worth”
was incorporated.

Friday, July 13, 2018

West Palm Beach Downtown business district: City leaders driving off the cliff.

Do you recall a public discussion last year in West Palm Beach at the Convention Center hosted by Palm Beach County Commissioner Mack Bernard, former WPB Commissioner Shanon Materio, and Town of Palm Beach Mayor Gail Coniglio? Read more about that very well-attended public meeting below.

But first, here is an excerpt from the Post by reporters Tony Doris and Alexandra Seltzer published on July 12th:

WEST PALM BEACH — Relations between Palm Beach County and its capital city took a sharp downturn this week, as county commissioners said they would urge the state to reject West Palm Beach’s high-priority push for an Okeechobee Boulevard business district, saying traffic studies were needed to ensure it wouldn’t snarl county convention center access and interfere with expansion plans. [emphasis added]
     The board lambasted the city for what members described as its refusal to consider county traffic concerns, cooperate with county desires to enlarge downtown courthouse facilities or even allow the county to repaint faded parking lot stripes.

Without further ado, hope you enjoy
this blog post from May 2017. . .

The public discussion called “Getting from Point A to Point B” was held at the Palm Beach County Convention Center, May 22, 2017:

“We were reminded again by former West Palm Beach Mayor Graham [1991–1999; first “Strong” mayor] that a vision had been in place when she was in office — she thinks that has since been lost — the city she thought needs a vision so developers and city officials don’t make decisions ‘willy nilly’.”

Observation from “Public Discussion” about traffic held last year in the city of West Palm Beach.

Please Note: The list of featured speakers
is at the end of this blog post.

“Getting from Point A to Point B.”

Click on image to enlarge:

This blog post is about that public forum last year (links to segments 1–5 are below which include videos of this discussion):

This is the final segment, #6 . . .

. . . which centered on the traffic situation in downtown West Palm Beach. The organizers of this forum placed particular focus on the Okeechobee Blvd. corridor between Australian Ave. up to and including the Town of Palm Beach. As a testament to the timeliness and importance of this forum, much of the crowd of around 200 people stayed for the entire morning.

The video (see below) is evidence of that as many people stepped up to one of the two microphones placed at the front of the room to offer comments and ask questions. You might find it interesting this particular video is the second-most watched of the series taken that day, it’s being shared a lot already.

There were many worthy ideas floated during this part of the program and it was felt best to get them all out while people were there, for example:

WHERE, WHEN, WHY and WHO are ALL THE PEOPLE using this transportation corridor and come up with solutions heading into the future.

Twice, the notion of a possible direct link serving the Town of Palm Beach via an overpass was discussed. Possible routes mentioned called for direct access from I-95 (although going over Clear Lake might be problematic), and for an elevated route west once on the mainland. This would serve as a reliever for traffic that would otherwise use Okeechobee Blvd. for the most direct route.

The impact of new technologies was mentioned in relation to autonomous vehicles. Also referenced were “driverless water taxis” (remember the Blueway Trail!) like they use in Paris to cross the Seine River.

Signalization also could be augmented for pedestrians, a countdown clock to show the time remaining to cross a wide right-of-way. All these new systems could be accessed by new technology and yet-to-be-developed smart phone apps that would help those navigating the area by foot.

We were reminded again by former West Palm Beach Mayor Graham that a vision had been in place when she was in office — she thinks that has since been lost — the city she thought needs a vision so developers and city officials don’t make decisions “willy nilly”.

Jorge Pesquera, the President and CEO of Discover the Palm Beaches, reported that conventions and conventioneers encourage corporate relocations to the area: first impressions are important. A positive experience related to community walkability and mobility is a key factor in developing a favorable memory of the visit and sets the stage for others to be influenced in the same way.

A good portion of those speaking were residents of the area, most having lived here for a very long time, and recall how much the downtown has changed.

However, some perspective is in order. It’s hard to believe now for many people reading this, but Clematis Street and many other areas nearby in West Palm Beach, were once places to avoid. I know. I worked for the city of West Palm Beach back in 1989 a few years prior to Nancy Graham becoming the mayor.

For more information about this topic (which
continues to be a timely one)

  • The video below is from the final segment, #6 in the series “Getting from Point A to Point B.”
  • For segment #5, “Better Late Than Never” about the editorial in The Palm Beach Post on May 31st (and more information from the presenting experts) use this link.
  • For Segment #4, “Presentation given by PBC Administrator Verdenia Baker” and to read segments 1–3 of the series use this link.

Enjoy the video and please share with everyone you know that’s interested in this timely topic.

The moderator of “Getting from Point A to Point B” was Dana Little, AICP, from the Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council.

Featured speakers:

  • Jorge Pesquera, CEO, Discover the Palm Beaches.
  • Nancy Graham, former Mayor of West Palm Beach.
  • Verdenia Baker, Administrator, Palm Beach County.
  • Michael Busha, Executive Director, Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council.
  • Ali Soule, Director of Public Affairs, Brightline.
  • John Renne, Director, Professor, Center for Urban and Environmental Solutions, FAU.
  • Tom Bradford, Town Manager, Town of Palm Beach.
  • George T. Webb, P.E., County Engineer, Palm Beach County.
  • Mark Press, Operations Engineer, Florida Department of Transportation, District 4.
  • Nick Uhren, Executive Director, Metropolitan Planning Organization.
  • Clinton Forbes, Executive Director, Palm Tran.
  • Juan Mullerat, Design Director, Plusurbia.

Very important public meetings next week in the little City of Lake Worth.

First, did you hear about the big news
this week in this City!

If anything deserves attention from the editor(s) at The Palm Beach Post it’s news about L-Dub, PBSO, Sheriff Ric Bradshaw, K9s, and deputies wasting taxpayer dollars “playing ball or fishing”! To read all about it click on this link.

Now to the upcoming public meetings next week (all start times are 6:00 unless otherwise noted):

  • Monday: City Commission Budget Work Session #3 at City Hall (the Finance Advisory Board meeting scheduled for Monday has been cancelled; rescheduling TBD).
  • Tuesday: Regular City Commission meeting.
  • Wednesday: Planning & Zoning (P&Z) Board meets in City Hall and Recreation Advisory Board (RAB) meets at Recreation Dept. building at 501 Lake Ave. (meeting starts at 6:15).

As yet there are no agendas available for the RAB or P&Z board meetings next week.

Tuesday’s Commission meeting has a very long agenda and here’s just one item that will get some people twisted all up in knots! From “New Business” on the agenda, item 12B:

Discussion seeking Commission direction for ballot language to change the Charter to allow a building height of 150′ west of I-95.

To look over the agendas for the City Commission Budget Work Session and Regular Meeting click on this link and scroll down for “Agenda & Backup” to download.

After eleven years at Compass, Julie Seaver can proudly and loudly proclaim, “I AM LAKE WORTH”.

First, please take note: The “I AM LAKE WORTH” exhibit of photographs by Carl Stoveland continues today at The HATCH, located at 1121 Lucerne Ave. in Downtown Lake Worth. Click on this link to learn more.

And could it be? Searched for news about Julie Seaver’s promotion to executive director at Compass, there are several recent news reports, but nothing from The Palm Beach Post. Could it be they missed this big news? The last news report referencing Seaver was back in March as “Compass’ interim executive director”. If the Post did miss this story it would most certainly be a ‘dark cloud’ for that newspaper.

Press release from Compass
(for those of you who haven’t
heard the news by now):

Lake Worth, FL — Compass Community Center is looking forward to a bright future with new Executive Director Julie Seaver.
     Seaver, who started working at Compass in 2007, has served in many roles at the agency including interim executive director, capital campaign manager, director of finance, operations, fundraising and development. She has lived in South Florida from early childhood and is intimately familiar with the needs of the LGBTQ community in Palm Beach County.
     After a diligent search, Compass’ board of trustees made their decision to select Seaver as Executive Director permanently at their June meeting. “We are excited about the possibilities and growth of this next generation,” said Michael Grattendick, chair of Compass’ board of trustees. “We believe Julie is poised to take the organization and its mission to our next level of success.”

Whilst on the topic of Compass . . . The next Pride Parade in this City of Lake Worth will be held on March 31st, 2019. The Pride Parade:

[A]ttracts more than 30,000 attendees annually throughout South Florida and the Treasure Coast. Compass’ Pride parade is the oldest running Pride Parade in Florida. For 25 years, PrideFest has served as Palm Beach County’s largest gay & lesbian visibility event.

Here are your elected officials at the Pride Parade.

Click on images to enlarge:
City of Lake Worth Commissioner
Herman C. Robinson. . .

Commissioner Omari Hardy.

No parade is complete without District 1 Commissioner Scott Maxwell who also serves as the City’s vice mayor pro tem. . .

. . . and here is Vice Mayor Andy Amoroso.

March 6th, 2018: Mayor Pam Triolo
on the steps of City Hall:

And here is another short video from nine years ago. Former Lake Worth Mayor Jeff Clemens at the Grand Opening of Compass on March 20th, 2009.

Hope you enjoy this short video,
a look back at our history:

Thursday, July 12, 2018

City of Lake Worth Tree Board meeting today, 5:30, at the City Hall Annex.

In attendance today will be Mark Stivers, AICP, from the Dept. of Sustainability, the agenda item under “New Business” is the topic of “Landscape Regulation Ordinance”. This meeting is open to the public and public comment is limited to five (5) minutes.

Please note: One or more members of any volunteer board or member of the Lake Worth City Commission may show up and participate.

About the Tree Board:

The Tree Board, “establishes policy and provides standards within the City Landscape Ordinance for tree preservation. Policy includes educational materials (proper planting, pruning, and insect and disease control), permit guidelines, and City tree sale program.” Members serve 3 year terms.

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

Let’s revisit the topic of Australian Pines,
a particularly nasty and invasive tree.

Last month at the Lake Worth Library on the topic of “Preparing Your Yard and Community for Storms” was the very well attended event held every year by the Tree Board. The featured speaker this year was Laurie Albrecht, an environmental horticulturist for Palm Beach County.

If you would like more information about horticulture in Palm Beach County contact Albrecht, an Environmental Horticulture Extension Agent by clicking on this link, call 561-233-1748 or send an email to:

At last month’s event Richard Stowe, Chair of the Tree Board, indicated a major topic of discussion by Albrecht was how “native trees as a whole sustain less damage in storms than non-natives and cited specific native and non-native species and discussed their characteristics.” 

All very good information now that we are well into the long Hurricane Season. A big matter of concern on this blog has been Australian pines and that issue was addressed as well. Albrecht advised those pines are a prohibited species of tree and are a big problem in South Florida. Just “hat-racking” Australian pines is not enough; they need to be completely removed and Albrecht cited several reasons why.

Learn more about the Australian pine below, a tree introduced to South Florida, “to soak up the ‘swamps’ in Florida, stabilize canals, and hold beaches” and a tree that also happens to be highly flammable and displaces native animals and flora. Yes. It’s a nasty tree in our Palm Beach County habitat.

Let’s examine the risks and dangers of the invasive Australian Pine (Casuarina equisetifolia)

One particular Australian Pine was a major issue of concern at the Tree Board three years ago:
For more about this dangerous and toxic tree,
the following
information is from the
Florida Native Plant Society:

There are three species of Australian pine that have been imported into Florida for various purposes. They were widely planted to soak up the “swamps” in Florida, stabilize canals, and hold beaches. Unfortunately for Florida’s ecosystems, the “pines” accomplished all this and more — like seeding prolifically, growing five feet or more per year, producing dense shade, and emitting an herbicide that kills most any other plant that has the nerve to grow within their collective drip lines. [emphasis added] They have root nodules, like a legume, that fix nitrogen in poor soils for use as their own fertilizer, and they can tolerate saltiness. Between 1993 and 2005 the populations in Florida quadrupled. What a successful plant! 
     Why is their success so bad for Florida? Because the sterile monoculture they form has replaced the normal ecosystem of plants and animals that used to inhabit beaches and many other areas. Our loggerhead turtles, green sea turtles and American crocodiles have lost nesting sites on sandy beaches above the high tide line where “pines” have colonized. Farther inland the “pines” have displaced marsh rabbits, gopher tortoises, and many bird species that depend upon the native plants that were out-competed.
      Australian pines caused significant damage in our recent hurricanes. Fast growth makes their wood brittle and they break under pressure. The shallow root system makes them susceptible to uprooting, too. They are highly flammable. So even if you ignored the environmental problems with this tree, it’s not a good addition to a storm-wise or fire-wise landscape.

Hard to believe now (see image from Tree Board meeting above) but in June 2015 a City of Lake Worth resident tried to halt a very tall Australian pine from being removed that was too close to power lines (the City cited public safety concerns, e.g., tree is highly flammable) and also nearby is a main County road, Lake Osborne Drive, a road that must remain clear in emergencies.

In a hurricane or strong storm, when the Australian pine top shears off it’s likened to a “spear”. When too close to power/communication lines and roads (needed for emergency vehicles) you can understand the concern. This issue then went before the Tree Board:

The Tree Board defended the City and their position on the Australian pine. They also made recommendations going forward dealing with invasive trees that pose a danger to the public and environment.

Aerial view circa mid- to late-1970s (to the southeast)
of Lake Worth’s municipal golf course.
Australian pine was quite common a half Century ago in the City of Lake Worth.

The view above includes the roads North Palmway, North Lakeside and Golfview Drives. The foreground would be the area between 16th Ave. to 13th Ave. North. Notice the 90° turn south at 13th Ave North. And more information:

From the Florida Fish and Wildlife
Conservation Commission

Australian pine now occurs throughout South and Central Florida, the West Indies, Mexico, and elsewhere in tropical regions outside its native range.
     Because of its aggressive growth rate, never plant Australian pine trees. There are native trees that provide shade and do not harm the environment. Possession of Australian pine with the intent to sell or plant is illegal in Florida without a special permit.

Thank You for visiting today and hope you found this information helpful.

Just in case you missed this tragic news from last week, about little Barbie getting killed.

Was Barbie the miniature horse killed by coyotes in Lake Worth as reported by Terri Parker at WPBF (ABC25)?

No. Little Barbie was killed out near the Village of Wellington in a place reporters should accurately refer to as “suburban Lake Worth” (read more about little Barbie later in this blog post).

Note in the image below the zip codes in western PBC. The actual City of Lake Worth only has two zip codes: 33460 and part of 33461 (more maps follow).

If you are a viewer of WPBF/ABC25, find out why you should make the switch to NBC5/WPTV for accurate news in Palm Beach County.

How many kids in this City of Lake Worth got upset and cried on learning a miniature horse was killed by coyotes in our little City? And how many parents scratched their heads and wondered, “I don’t know of any pastures in Lake Worth?”

Barbie, the little miniature horse, was not killed in Lake Worth. Barbie was killed by coyotes in a place far out west near the Village of Wellington, a place with a ‘Lake Worth’ zip code in suburban Lake Worth. The reporter got it wrong. But the editor(s) should have caught this reporting error.

Three years ago a lot of reporters and editors in the press and news media were shocked to read about this,

“How could the City of Lake Worth have 9 Zip Codes? And this City is only 6 square miles!”

However, it is true that since 2015 news reporting, especially as it relates to locations of crime and other sorts of mayhem in this County has gotten much better, but there are still some holdouts who don’t know any better or just don’t care.

The first clue for the editor at WPBF that this “fenced pasture” was in suburban Lake Worth is this line:

She [owner of Barbie] said Florida Power and Light came out and agreed to install a floodlight in the back pasture to help keep the coyotes away.

The City of Lake Worth does not have FP&L; this City has its own Electric Utility. So if a person is calling FP&L to have a floodlight installed that should prompt any reporter or editor to pause for a few moments and maybe try to find out where exactly one is. If you know anyone out in western Palm Beach County with small pets or farm animals and think they need to know more about “skulking” coyotes click on this link to read about what happened to little Barbie.

Maybe you’re wondering by now, “How easy is it to find out where the little horse Barbie was killed?”

It’s actually very easy and only takes a few moments.

Below is a video from the Palm Beach County Property Appraisers Office. Please take a few moments and follow the instructions by Dino Maniotis, CFE, and afterwards find the location of the coyote attack in suburban Wellington for yourself.

Please note: After a few tries using this new “mapping tool” it becomes very easy to find out for yourself where all thirty-nine municipalities are in PBC in relation to suburban areas:

More information and about
zip codes too.

Maybe you’re located in an unincorporated area in Palm Beach County (PBC) but you’re not exactly sure? Or maybe you’re wondering where your city, town, or village is in relation to other municipalities in PBC? How can you find out? It’s very easy. Click on this link for the “Boundary Maps” in Palm Beach County.

Two examples are below to illustrate how these maps work.

Please read the captions below and
then refer to the maps.

Click on images to enlarge:

This first map is a small part of Central PBC. The white areas are called “unincorporated” (meaning outside the borders of a municipality).

This second map uses “zip codes”. For example, zip code 33461 covers just a small part of “Lake Worth.

Despite what you hear and read often John Prince Park is not
‘in Lake Worth’. That County park is located in whats called “suburban Lake Worth”.

Thank You for visiting today and hope you found this information helpful. And if accurate TV news is important to you then start watching NBC5/WPTV. They are by far the most accurate TV news station in Palm Beach County.

Take for example this crime news from WPTV by reporter Jennifer Tintner last May headlined,

“Driver suspected in fatal suburban Lake Worth hit-and-run under arrest, PBSO says”.

It’s easy to make a mistake from time to time reporting about news in this City versus outside the City limits in suburban Lake Worth. The western municipal border can be confusing. But consistently, time and time again, it’s been WPTV that’s taken the time to be accurate and for that the City of Lake Worth and its residents are grateful.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

SFWMD Governing Board monthly meeting is tomorrow at 9:00 a.m.

Click on this link to download the July 12th “Business Meeting” agenda for this scheduled monthly meeting.*

The members of the Governing Board at the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) meet at the District Headquarters (B-1 Auditorium) at 3301 Gun Club Road in suburban West Palm Beach.

[Please Note: There will not be a Water Resources Analysis Coalition (WRAC) meeting this month. The next WRAC meeting will be held on August 2nd at District Headquarters.]

Here is one item on Thursday’s agenda, item #24:

Restoration Strategies Science Plan Update for 2018-2023 Five-Year Work plan (Staff contact, Terrie Bates).

Agenda Item Background: Staff will provide information on the Science Plan Update, no Governing Board action is required. A component of Governor Scott’s Restoration Strategies Plan is the implementation of a comprehensive science plan to improve understanding of key mechanisms and factors affecting stormwater treatment area (STA) performance. Developed in 2013 and mandated by the DEP Consent Orders and NPDES permits, the Science Plan for the Everglades Stormwater Treatment Area outlined the scope of research including hydrological, physical, chemical and biological processes that affect total phosphorus concentrations being discharged from the STAs. Nine studies were implemented beginning in 2014 based on the identified knowledge gaps and uncertainties. The 2018 Update to the Science Plan reflects current priorities based on the findings and knowledge gained during the initial 5 years of implementation and includes a 2018-2023 Five-Year Work Plan for continued and new studies related to operations, hydrology and hydraulics, vegetation, soils, biogeochemistry and wildlife.

If you haven’t yet, check out this blog post about SFWMD which received a lot of attention: “Bypassing news media, communicating directly to public.”

To subscribe to the SFWMD YouTube channel click on this link and look for the red “SUBSCRIBE” icon:

*About public comment: “Members of the public wishing to address the Governing Board on agenda items which require a vote are to complete a Public Comment Card and submit the card to the front desk attendant. You will be called by the Board Chairman or designee to speak. Governing Board policy limits comments from the public to 3 minutes unless otherwise determined by the Governing Board Chairman. Unless otherwise determined by the Chairman, Board action on Consent Agenda items moved to the discussion agenda will occur at or after 9:00 a.m. on Thursday.”

Click on this link for the Executive Management at SFWMD.

Civil War Music: Tonight’s topic at the Scottish Rite Masonic Center in the City of Lake Worth.

This event was published in The Lake Worth Herald. Learn below how to get a FREE listing promoting your upcoming club meeting, charitable or community event.

The Civil War Round Table of Palm Beach County upcoming monthly meeting is tonight (Wed., July 11th). Meet at the Scottish Rite Masonic Center, 2000 North ‘D’ Street at 7:00 p.m. Our speaker will be Peppy Lizza.
     The topic will be titled “Civil War Music”. This event is free and open to all. For more information visit our website.

For more information about the Civil War Round Table:
  • Call president Gerridine LaRovere at 561-967-8911.
  • Email Robert Schuldenfrei, communications:

LOCAL Events
LOCAL Club meetings
Support your LOCAL newspaper

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 for this column.”

A year ago last month: Ed Liberty was hired to be the director of LWEU.

And yes, it’s true . . .

April–June was certainly a bad three month stretch for the Lake Worth Electric Utility (LWEU).

But how many people remember what happened in September last year, two months after Liberty was hired? The man at the helm, Dir. Ed Liberty, was certainly up for that challenge. Liberty was hired to run LWEU in July 2017 and just a short time later he had a visitor: Hurricane Irma. He weathered that storm well. Here is the news from last year courtesy of The Lake Worth Herald:

Lake Worth City Manager Michael Bornstein has announced the selection of the candidate for Utilities Director for the City. Ed Liberty brings experience, expertise and leadership qualities to the City of Lake Worth Utilities Department.
     Liberty is an energy industry executive with experience in natural gas and electric T&D [Transmission and Distribution] operations, electric generation, renewable energy project development, energy and sustainability services and asset development.
     Most recently with Public Service Electric & Gas, Newark, New Jersey, Liberty has been the leader of the company’s utility operations with functions including Materials and Logistics Management, Transportation/Fleet, Environmental, Health & Safety and Training.

It’s time for a little perspective in the LWEU service area which includes parts of the Village of Palm Springs and unincorporated (suburban) Lake Worth. Further down below is some history about the LWEU to put things in context. There were three power outages — one in April and then another in May and June — and other bad news as well:

  • The power outage on April 9th was when the beat reporter from the Post went all silly in describing it a night of “misery”; the reality is most people hardly noticed due to the temperate weather.
  • Then came this news about LWEU on May 2nd per Commissioner Omari Hardy: “Revenue in the electric fund did not grow as we expected it to grow. Residential customers barely increased, commercial customers barely increased, and electric usage per household was down, even when you account for the fact that we didn’t sell power for a week after [Hurricane] Irma.”
  • On May 20th came the breaking news about the “Zombie Alert” as reported by McKenna Ross. This was a brief outage but the news went viral worldwide.
  • Then on Wednesday June 20th into Thursday morning, was the outage that caused a lot of angst due to the hot weather.

From the City of Lake Worth’s Public Information Officer, Mr. Ben Kerr:

“Lake Worth, FL — At 10:58 PM on June 20, 2018, an equipment failure at the point of delivery for Lake Worth Electric Utility’s external power supply caused a system wide outage affecting all of our customers.”

“Power restoration progressed through the
night with all customers being restored to service by 6:15 AM.”

By the way, did you know today marks exactly three hundred and eighteen (318) days since the last editorial was published in The Palm Beach Post about this little 6 square mile City? I know. It sounds unbelievable but it’s true.

So don’t be surprised if the Post editorial board finally decides to chime in to try and capitalize on the public angst, worry, or concern about what’s happening and/or not happening with LWEU. True, a City Commission workshop or some sort of public forum would be very timely to get more information out to the public. Plus, as we learned from Mayor Pam Triolo at the Commission meeting last month there will be a lot more workshops coming up in the near future anyway.

Whilst on that topic, here are some upcoming public meetings:

  • Next Monday (July 16th) will be Budget Work Session #3 at the City Commission.
  • A regular City Commission meeting will be held on Tuesday, July 17th.
  • There will be a Commission “Visioning Workshop” on Tuesday, July 24th.
  • The Electric Utility Advisory Board (EUAB) will meet on Wednesday, August 1st.

Now back to the electric outages in April, May, and June this year with a little historical perspective.

The outage in June was similar to the event last April in that the tie-in line with the electric grid (FPL) was damaged for unknown reasons. However, an investigation may determine the exact cause. The real cause for concern is there is only one tie-in line. The City needs a backup and most everyone acknowledges that.

So we had a total of three outages over the span of seventy-three (73) days. In other words about one every 3½ weeks and one of those outages, the one on May 20th, was very brief.

Now imagine for a moment having an outage every single week or multiple times per week? On some days having the lights flicker on and off all day long? That’s how the Lake Worth Electric Utility used to be.

Let’s take a stroll down memory lane. . .

The excerpts below are from an article written by Palm Beach Post staff writer Josh Hafenbrack.

“After [Hurricane] Frances struck Sept. 5 [2004], it took Lake Worth Utilities two weeks to fully restore power to its customers, about the
same amount of time it took FPL to restore
power to 2.8 million.”

Back in 2004, “Crews applied only Band-Aid fixes to sagging lines, mangled poles and a disrupted power grid.”

Newspaper clipping from October 2004:

2004: “The system is still unstable,” he [former city manager Paul Boyer] said. “That’s on top of the fact that it’s old and worn out and has a tendency to have failures anyway.

“There’s no doubt they have a maintenance issue. Linesmen from other utilities said, ‘this would not happen in our hometown.’ They haven’t maintained it. That’s a fact in Lake Worth.”
ibid. Quote by Dr. Robert Tome.

A lot has changed since 2004. Take for example how well organized the LWEU and the City were during and after Hurricane Irma especially as it related to getting the out-of-state linemen in place and ready to get to work. Here is a quote from City Manager Michael Bornstein:

[T]hese guys came in at 6:00 in the morning, they were fueled up, hit the street. We fed them there at the yard. We fed them in the field while they were working. Then they came home, we fed them and they went to bed. They got back up.
     That’s the life they’re living right now as mutual-aid [out-of-town] employees coming in. The more they work the more money they make, obviously. That’s something they’re focused on. They care about what they do. I think you met some of the folks, they’re really genuine people.

Starting with the “turning on of the lights” in 1914 our utility was a thing to admire throughout the State of Florida and the country. Having our own stable and reliable electric utility was one reason why people moved here. But then late in the 1990s and early 2000s things began to turn noticeably worse.

First there were the outages every few weeks. Then the daily flickering. Then the inexplicable outages in the afternoon on a clear sunny day. There were the reports of appliances “getting fried”, TV’s and refrigerators primarily. The explanations from the utility were “falling palm fronds” and “small dead animals”.

Remember, this was BEFORE the terrible hurricanes in 2004 and 2005: Frances, Jeanne, Wilma.

Following those storms all the fanciful notions about our electric utility were laid bare. An excerpt from this blog (click on link below):

“Nothing like this happened during Hurricane Matthew [in 2016]. Granted, we were spared the brunt of that Category 4 storm spinning off of our shores, and very few (at most 200) went without power for a short period of time. As I wrote this on October 9th, two days after the storm, the Town of Palm Beach reported that 103 properties are still without power on the island. If I’m not mistaken Lake Worth had everybody back on line by then. FPL, at the peak of the storm, had 60,000+ without power in PBC. . . .

. . . That number is nearly double the entire population of Lake Worth.”

Yes, indeed. The Lake Worth Electric Utility had a bad three months last April–June. But going forward there is no lack of political will to get all this stuff fixed. Here’s what City Manager Michael Bornstein said after the March elections:

“I truly believe the fact that you [Mayor Pam Triolo and commissioners Scott Maxwell and Andy Amoroso] did get re-elected, in many ways is an affirmation of the direction that you’ve been given to this organization and to this City. Just going back six years ago when I first got here it’s been a tremendous, tremendous turnaround. Still have a lot to do but your political footing is solid.
     You’re coming from a position of clearly having the people that you represent say, ‘continue on, you are doing a good job’.
     And I just want to say thank you on behalf of the organization and myself and look forward to the next three years or more.”

I hope this blog post helps to put things in perspective. And, as always, Thank You for visiting today.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Early video of Henry Flagler’s railroad in the Florida Keys.

“Florida History in Motion”*

A short film without sound:

*“Founded in 1984, the Lynn and Louis Wolfson II Florida Moving Image Archives houses over 35,000 hours of video tape and 23 million feet of film. A local television news collection dates to the late 1940s, with footage from landmark television station WTVJ (first in Florida, 16th in the nation) as well as WPLG, WCKT, WCIX, and WINK. A television documentaries collection covers the topics of immigration, the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Space Program, presidential elections, and many more global events and trends that have played out on the Florida stage. Finally, home movie holdings of over 3000 reels dating to the 1910s bring long-gone buildings, attractions, and folkways alive for new generations.”

“Posh Paparazzi” at Mar-a-Lago.

Celebrity photos published in the popular magazine on the ‘Island’ called, The Jewel of Palm Beach.

The Mar-a-Lago Club 1999
Volume IV

Front Cover:

For over ten years I worked at Mar-a-Lago (1993–2003) for a man I called Mr. Trump and collected a lot of magazine and promotional material over that time. Click on this link to learn more.

Yes, “Mr. Trump” is now
the President of the United States.

Davidoff Studios took the photographs below nineteen years ago. In 2015 former Palm Beach Daily News reporter Aleese Kopf did a story about Davidoff:

The company has covered Palm Beach society for more than 50 years, including the Kennedy family as they spent time at the estate known as the “Winter White House.”
     The studio spent 10 years in The Breakers and 10 years as the club photographer at Donald Trump’s The Mar-A-Lago Club.

Here is the link to the news article by Aleese Kopf in The Shiny Sheet (the link to Davidoff Studios’ website in the article no longer works but there is a Facebook page).

Photos from 1999 at Mar-a-Lago,
“The Jewel of Palm Beach”.

Click on images to enlarge:

Recognize anyone?

Check back in a day or two and will provide the captions, the names of the famous and celebrities in these images, some of whom have sadly passed away since these photos were taken.

“Members, guests, and celebrities
spotted at Mar-a-Lago.”

And one more. . .

Who could have imagined seventeen years after these photos were taken this historic structure would once again be the “Winter White House”.

Monday, July 9, 2018

James Lovelock: “Enjoy life while you can” because the looming catastrophe of climate change, “is unstoppable.”

Climate scientist James Lovelock has an impressive background as you can read about on Wikipedia.

[Quick question: How much of $810Mproceeds from the 2016 ¢1 sale tax increase — do you think Palm Beach County is spending to combat climate change? The answer is below.]

Reporter Decca Aitkenhead at The Guardian interviewed James Lovelock and published this very depressing news for supporters of “sustainability”, “resiliency” and those on the front lines combating rising sea levels, global warming, and climate change. For many people, including some in our little City of Lake Worth, Florida, this news may forever change the next walk to the recycling container, a new and improved presentation on Dark Skies, or updating the next treatise on water percolation in our Downtown.

What does scientist James Lovelock think of all your efforts to save the planet Earth? He thinks you’re being silly. Just enjoy life to the fullest while you still can. Here is an excerpt from the article by Decca Aitkenhead (isn’t that a cool name!):

     On the day we meet, the Daily Mail has launched a campaign to rid Britain of plastic shopping bags. The initiative sits comfortably within the current canon of eco ideas, next to ethical consumption, carbon offsetting, recycling and so onall of which are premised on the calculation that individual lifestyle adjustments can still save the planet. This is, Lovelock says, a deluded fantasy. [emphasis added] Most of the things we have been told to do might make us feel better, but they won't make any difference. Global warming has passed the tipping point, and catastrophe is unstoppable.
     “It’s just too late for it,” he says. “Perhaps if we'd gone along routes like that in 1967, it might have helped. But we don’t have time. All these standard green things, like sustainable development, I think these are just words that mean nothing. I get an awful lot of people coming to me saying you can’t say that, because it gives us nothing to do. I say on the contrary, it gives us an immense amount to do. Just not the kinds of things you want to do.” 

And whilst on the subject. . .

Reporter Wayne Washington at The Palm Beach Post had this eye-opening news last year about the ¢1 sales tax increase and what the County plans to do with their share of the pie, ≈30% of the total, about $810M:

     Those projects won’t reshape the county into a new age place of raised highways and buildings less vulnerable to the more potent storms and catastrophic flooding scientists are warning will come with climate change.
     Most of the projects are traditional, according to a report compiled by the county’s Office of Inspector General, which will assist with oversight.
     Building replacement and renovation will account for $335 million of the $709 million allocated. Roadway repairs — restriping, resurfacing, bridge repair and replacement and street lighting — will take up another $157 million.

This puts Palm Beach County’s Climate Change and Sustainability Dept. in a pretty tough spot. If they can’t convince the County Commission about the vulnerability to climate change and global warming, then they’re not in the position to be giving any direction to the cities either.

Back to James Lovelock and the article
in The Guardian:

     He [Lovelock] dismisses eco ideas briskly, one by one. “Carbon offsetting? I wouldn’t dream of it. It’s just a joke. To pay money to plant trees, to think you’re offsetting the carbon? You’re probably making matters worse. You’re far better off giving to the charity Cool Earth, which gives the money to the native peoples to not take down their forests.
     Do he and his wife try to limit the number of flights they take? “No we don’t. Because we can’t.” And recycling, he adds, is “almost certainly a waste of time and energy”, while having a “green lifestyle” amounts to little more than “ostentatious grand gestures”.
     He distrusts the notion of ethical consumption. “Because always, in the end, it turns out to be a scam . . . or if it wasn’t one in the beginning, it becomes one.”

Sunday, July 8, 2018

This week’s Lake Worth Herald is out and there is very important LOCAL community news.

Do you recall last April here in the City of Lake Worth at a City Commission meeting when the inimitable Mary Lindsey said at public comment:

“Commissioner [Scott] Maxwell is 100% right. As a community we went through hell for 7½ years putting these LDRs [Land Development Regulations] together. A big part of the issue then [2010–2011] I see has continued and it’s lack of public notification.”

Well, guess what? There’s news! Please continue reading to learn more about the City Commission meeting coming up on July 17th when the LDRs will once again be a very important matter of discussion.

The Herald today is all LOCAL LOCAL LOCAL community news including recent and upcoming events and club meetings and so much more cool stuff!

Support LOCAL small town journalism.

Pick up today’s print edition at the City’s
newsstand in the Downtown at 600 Lake Ave.
And the Herald is still just ¢50.

What are some of the news items in this week’s Herald? There is front page news about the new Quiet Zones on the Florida East Coast railroad tracks in Hypoluxo and Lantana, our fine neighbors to the south of L-Dub. Also on the front page is a “July 4th Blessing”, learn more about Wes Kain and the Little Free Library program, “About Town” on page 2 with the weekly list of club meetings and ongoing events, local elementary and Lake Worth High School news, there is another popular “Civil War Round Table” coming up at the Scottish Rite, an excellent article about LOCAL fishing from “Everglades Ernie”, learn more about vehicle tires from Jorge Goyanes’ “Car Clinic”, plenty of LOCAL business and community advertising, and don’t forget about the weekly musings of the pesky and pecking Pelican Pete too:

Finally! The 4th [of July] has passed and now it is time for the NAPC to get to work on the next Great American Raft Race . . . the longest celebration in Lake Worth. . . .

And also this week there is not one. Not two. . .

But three (3) full-sized “NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING”, ordinances proposed at upcoming meeting of the City Commission to be held on Tuesday, July 17th.

One of those new ordinances being proposed is Ordinance No. 2018-10 (see below).

The issue of “public notification” has become a major one in this City and has created a lot of public confusion and frustration. Publishing public notices in The Palm Beach Post is one thing. But for things as important as the LDRs the City needs to publish public notices in The Lake Worth Herald as well to cast a wider net and notify as many of the LOCAL public as possible. Here is an excerpt from Ordinance No. 2018-10 published in the Herald:


PLEASE TAKE NOTICE that the City Commission of the City of Lake Worth, Florida, proposes to adopt the following ordinance and will hold a public hearing on the ordinance in the City Commission Chamber, at or after 6:00 PM on July 17, 2018:


At said meeting interested persons may appear and be heard with respect to the proposed ordinance. The proposed ordinance may be inspected by the public Monday–Friday from 8:00 AM to 5:00 P.M. at the City Clerk’s Office, 7 North Dixie Highway, Lake Worth, Florida.

Hope you found this information helpful today. Now go Downtown and pick up today’s Lake Worth Herald!

To become a subscriber, have LOCAL community news, or want to learn more about advertising rates contact the editor at 561-585-9387 or send an email to:

Let’s talk about a ”cusp of a fix”: How many septic tanks have been removed to help save the St. Lucie River and lagoon?

How many communities have hooked up to sewer along the St. Lucie River since last year?

In 21st Century Florida there are still septic tanks along a ‘treasured’ river and lagoon and “the cusp of a fix” cited in the TC Palm last year didn’t even mention septic tanks one single time. Leaking septic tanks fouling the St. Lucie River and estuary: isn’t that the true “national embarrassment”?

cusp. noun. a point that marks the beginning of a change. used in a sentence: “on the cusp of a new era”

“It [Indian River Lagoon] has also been fouled by wastewater treatment plants that discharge into the lagoon, sewage spills from the plants during heavy rains, and leaky septic tanks.”

Quote from Associated Press article by reporters Jason Dearen and Mike Schneider, datelined May 4th, 2017.

Also on May 4th, 2017, TCPalm’s Eve Samples penned an editorial titled, “Long wait for Everglades reservoir a ‘national embarrassment’ ”, here are two excerpts:

For the better part of the past century, the most powerful politicians in Florida have been unable, and mostly unwilling, to undo the damage wrought by the biggest plumbing folly in state history — the disconnection of Lake Okeechobee from the Everglades.
     The men and women representing us in Tallahassee never failed to find excuses for this.
     Land south of Lake Okeechobee was too expensive, they said. Farmers didn’t want to sell. The state budget was too tight. First we must finish water projects already in the pipeline, they argued.
     So it’s remarkable that, over the past week, Florida lawmakers have brought us to the cusp of a fix.

and. . .

     Don’t read that to mean progress has arrived in a timely fashion. It’s been slower than the flow of water through sawgrass.

Not once in this TCPalm editorial are septic tanks mentioned.

Below is a quote from JP Sasser, the former mayor of Pahokee in Palm Beach County, south of Lake Okeechobee:

     The Treasure Coast needs to look in the mirror. Some waters in Florida are polluted with human fecal matter — particularly the IRL [Indian River Lagoon].
     “Buy the land and send water south” is not the only road to water salvation.
     My question is: When are we going to get serious about our water?

“My question is: When are we going to get serious about our water?”