Saturday, September 29, 2018

October will usher in very big changes to the City of Lake Worth.

One is the change in recycling methods and the other one hasn’t gotten the attention of the press and news media. Yet. A very big change is coming to Code Enforcement: Slumlords Beware.

And expect the ‘G’ word to be resurrected once again. Below is much more information about that.

Another item of note. The scheduled City Commission meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 2nd has been cancelled. The next regular meeting of the Commission will now be held on Oct. 16th. Now to big changes coming to this City and. . .

Starting on Monday, October 1st: Expect to see a lot of press and news media in this little City.

The City is switching from single- to dual-stream recycling. One of the publishing leaders of industry news about recycling in the U.S. is called Waste Dive. Journalist Katie Pyzyk’s news datelined Sept. 4th is headlined, “Lake Worth, Florida reverting to dual-stream collection next month”.

Despite all the information coming from the City and the Solid Waste Authority (SWA) about the change in recycling methods there will always be those who are not informed, for any number of reasons, or maybe they were informed and then claim they weren’t. But regardless, those are the people the press and news media will be attracted to, with scenes galore of people dragging those new 18-gallon bins out to the street like they were each three hundred pound boulders.

There is also a major change coming to the City’s Code Enforcement Dept. as well. For about Code Enforcement below is much more information about what happened at the City Commission meeting held on September 20th and also watch a portion of the YouTube video from that meeting (at end of blog post).

That this information about Code Enforcement and Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding has gone unreported in The Palm Beach Post is nothing short of incredible. For example, one recent story in the Post was that old tired distraction about medical marijuana dispensaries. Enough already.

Take note slumlords in this City: October will
usher in very big changes for you.

And expect those slumlords to fight back. And hard. Expect the ‘G’ word to come back with a frenzy. Those slumlords have their allies to protect them. Who are those allies? They are the ones also making tons of money off disgraceful, unsafe and dilapidated properties. The ‘G’ word of course is “gentrification”. If you wish, after reading this blog post scroll back up and read about “the politics of fear” an oft-used tactic in this City.

What happened at the Commission
meeting on September 20th.

At the beginning of the Commission meeting Commissioner Omari Hardy made a request to pull Item B off the Consent Agenda and it was moved to New Business. Item B on Consent was:

Resolution No. 57-2018 - Community Development Block Grant Agreement with Palm Beach County: “[A]uthorizes the Mayor to execute the Interlocal Agreement between Palm Beach County and the City that sets forth the terms and conditions for the use of $294,477 . . . for increased code enforcement activities within the CDBG Target Area.”

Then resolution 57-2018 followed this item on New Business:

Ordinance No. 2018-16 - First Reading - Amending Chapter 2 “Administration”, Article VII “Abatement of Nuisance”, Section 2-75.11 “Foreclosed, Vacant and Unimproved Property Registration Program” and to require additional requirements for vacant and unimproved property and scheduling the Second Reading and Public Hearing [Oct. 16th].

[FYI: To look over Resolution 57-2018 and Ordinance 2018-16 use this link to the City’s website then look for “September 20 Regular Meeting” to download the agenda and all the backup information. To learn more about the City’s Community Code Compliance Dept. click on this link.]

Basically, what is happening is Code Enforcement will be going after the worst of the worst and then going after the less worst. And they are going to keep on going. This information came from the discussion as Commissioner Hardy wanted more information about what would be happening when ordinance 2018-16 passes on Second Reading.

The City of Lake Worth will be getting CDBG funding, this is Federal money administered by Palm Beach County. Due to this CDBG funding more fully-trained and experienced code enforcement officials will be hitting the streets going after “the worst first” in the CDBG Target Area.

The CDBG Target Area is roughly 7th Ave. North to the Town of Lantana border, west of Dixie Hwy. and east of I-95.

Next Monday is the Post’s Lake Worth Very Very Special Monday Cursory Print Edition (LWVVSMCPE) so it will be interesting to see if there is any mention of the increase in Code Enforcement officials considering how much focus that newspaper has put on this City’s Code Enforcement in the past.

Here are some takeaways from the Commission meeting last week:

  • City Manager Michael Bornstein emphasized the major goal is compliance with City codes and getting more structures on the tax roll.
  • City Attorney Glen Torcivia talked about the high rate of success by the City before the magistrate but expressed some frustration as well not mentioning any cases in particular.
  • William Waters from the Community Sustainability Dept. said that magistrates, “Need to treat the bad guy like a bad guy”.
  • Vice Mayor Andy Amoroso talked about how important the Neighborhood Assoc. Presidents’ Council will be in getting the word out to neighborhoods.
  • The practice of abating fines by 90% will be getting much more scrutiny and expect heavier fines (the limit is $250/day which is State law).
  • Commissioner Herman Robinson said, “The public needs to understand there is a new sheriff in town”.
  • And “Insert salty language here”, quipped Bornstein at one point in the discussion.

Now to the video.

The YouTube video below is an 8½ minute segment of the discussion about Resolution No. 57-2018 and Ordinance No. 2018-16, a portion of the discussion which sums things up quite well:

To watch more of this discussion, what occurred previously to this video segment, click on this link and go to the one hour and 28 minute mark.

And as always, Thank You for visiting today.

If it’s Saturday, it’s West Palm’s Special Day: One of “Six Special Cities” chosen by editor(s) at the Post.

Every week in The Palm Beach Post, for three years now, the same six (6) Special City’s get featured in the print edition. That’s right. The same 6 Special City’s each and every week. For 3 years. Isn’t three years enough? About time for a change?

Who are the 6 Special City’s? Find out below.

But two Special Cities just got
new beat reporters!

Have you been following the switching out and the new beat reporters at The Palm Beach Post?

Both the Town of Jupiter and the City of Boynton Beach have fresh new talent (see below). And how did the little City of Lake Worth become one of the Special Cities? That happened in late 2015 about the time when the public in suburban Lake Worth and municipalities west would go pick up the day’s paper and say. . .

“Aaaaaaahhhh! Aaaaaaahhhh! Aaaaaaahhhh! GOD!”

All about L-Dub again!

Why are they so Special every week?

It’s true. The “Six Special Cities” in the weekly print edition of the Post has been going on for three years now. For some perspective, that would be around the time the Greenacres Police Dept. merged with PBSO and when the cities of Greenacres and Lake Worth had the same assigned beat reporter.

And why isn’t Delray Beach special? Isn’t it about time reporter Lulu Ramadan gets a Special Day or is Delray just ‘Dull-Ray’ to the editor(s)?

The list of Six Special Cities is below.

The ceremonial process begins each Monday
in The Palm Beach Post.

It all starts on Monday, beginning with the Lake Worth Very Very Special Monday Collector Print Edition (LWVVSMCPE).

Then on Tuesday it continues through the week until Saturday. Note the new beat reporters Morse, Denty, and Todaro (click on links below):

  • Tuesday: Town of Jupiter (reporter Hannah Morse; Bill DiPaolo has retired).
  • Wednesday: Village of Wellington (last year Kristina Webb replaced long-time reporter Matt Morgan).
  • Thursday: City of Boynton Beach (first Red Denty and then Chelsea Todaro replaced Alexandra Seltzer who was promoted to County reporter).
  • Friday: City of Palm Beach Gardens (Sarah Peters).
  • Saturday: City of West Palm Beach (Tony Doris).


The Six Special Cities:

Post reporter Lulu Ramadan covers the Delray Beach beat, eclipsed by Boynton Beach, Palm Beach Gardens, West Palm Beach, Lake Worth, the Town of Jupiter and Village of Wellington as well.

FYI: If you are interested in learning more about the City of Lake Worth click on this link for the official website and browse around for a bit. And if you wish, you can follow the City on Twitter as well:

And Save The Date!

Big change coming next week and excitement too. Monday is the change in recycling methods, Friday is the first Lake Ave. Block Party and Monday, Oct. 8th is Columbus Day, a City holiday. For more upcoming events click on this link.

Attention residents of the City of Lake Worth. Start your preparations.

The BIG DAY is next Monday, October 1st.

This IS NOT NEW NEWS. The City of Lake Worth first notified the public on May 1st. See that information below.

Below is a press release:

“City of Lake Worth Changes to Two Bin Recycling”.

How did the City of Lake Worth get here? From single stream recycling using one 55-gallon container to double stream using two 18-gallon containers?

Following the press release below is more information from a City Commission meeting last May. Simply put, the change in recycling methods is, “mostly due to the single recycling container being used as a second household trash container.”

In other words, when it comes to recycling the words “commingle”, “commingled”, “commingling” and “commingler” are considered dirty words. Our City needed more un-comminglers and that’s why the City has to change recycling methods.

Did you happen to see a door hanger recently? Did you read it or just throw into the recycling? Chucked it into the trash? Here is what that notice from the City looked like:

“Recycle Right in Lake Worth”

Have any questions? Contact the City of Lake Worth’s Public Services Dept. at 561-533-7344.

And please don’t yell.

For common FAQs and contact information use this link for the Palm Beach County Solid Waste Authority (SWA):

SWA’s commitment to recycling began in 1987. For more than 25 years, the SWA has been leading the way in providing convenient and efficient services that preserve our natural resources.

In Spanish. . .

Below is the press release from
the City of Lake Worth:

City press release issued by Ben Kerr, PIO.

Lake Worth, Florida — Starting Oct. 1, residents and businesses in the City of Lake Worth will have two recycling bins instead of one, as the City restarts its partnership with the Solid Waste Authority of Palm Beach County.

The new partnership will have a big impact on making recycling in the City of Lake Worth more sustainable. Lake Worth’s single stream recycling partner [Waste Management Inc. of Florida; more information below] had raised the cost of recycling by $90 per ton and regular assessments of single stream recycling showed that over a third of loads were contaminated and unable to be cleanly recycled.

[Please note: This is very significant as is explained later.]

By re-partnering with the SWA, the City of Lake Worth will see economic savings as well as benefit from the SWA’s Recycling Revenue Share Program. Recycling efforts through the SWA go back into the local community as a Revenue Share. Since 2010, local municipalities have shared almost $9.3 million in recycling revenue. Lake Worth will now be a part of this program, and benefit from the sale of recyclables.

The SWA has operated a two-bin recycling system since the late 1980s, keeping paper separated from dirty food and drink containers. This ensures that the paper that is recovered is very clean and has a higher value, while wasting as little as possible.

The City of Lake Worth remains committed to environmentally conscious living. An effective recycling program is an important part of that commitment along with our progressive projects such as our Municipal Solar Energy Field, Low Impact LED lighting, and our continued work with the Southeast National Marine Renewable Energy Center on capturing the energy of the Gulf Stream current.

We look forward to partnering with the Solid Waste Authority of Palm Beach County to provide a more efficient and lower cost recycling program to all residents.

“Gee Wiz, Muriel! We have to start using these two little 18-gallon bins for recycling?”

Yes. Starting October 1st. What will be done with all those green/yellow 55-gallon recycling containers? The City will provide that information at a later date.

Forget about silly things like banning plastic straws! This City has a much bigger problems: like educating the public how to recycle properly and that process, recycling, is about to become much more complicated for many of the public. Everything else is just a distraction.

You see, for too many here in this City, that large 55-g recycling container was used as a second trash can. Trash when thrown into the recycling container is called “contamination”. When the recycling truck becomes contaminated the entire load is considered contaminated; the entire truckload becomes refuse, not recyclables. The truck then delivers the load to a landfill or incinerator instead of a delivery to a recycling facility.

If you took the time to recycle properly all your effort was a waste of time if it ended up in a contaminated truck.

“Whoever voted for this thing will never
get my vote again!”

The vote was unanimous at the City Commission, 4-0, with Commissioner Scott Maxwell absent.

From the agenda item at the Lake Worth City Commission meeting on May 1st:

Interlocal Agreement with Solid Waste Authority of Palm Beach County for Delivery of Municipal Solid Waste & Municipal Revenue Sharing Recycling Program Program.

Summary: The Interlocal Agreement authorizes the City to deliver dual stream recycling to the Solid Waste Authority of Palm Beach County (SWA) for compensation.

Background and Justification: On September 16, 2008, the City Commission [Jeff Clemens was mayor of Lake Worth] approved an agreement with Waste Management Inc. of Florida (“WM”), for a single stream recycling program. WM agreed to pay the City $10/ton of recycling delivered by the City to WM.

and in conclusion. . .

The single containers are dumped using an automated side load refuse truck, where the driver can only see the recycling at the top of the container and not any comingled [sic] household garbage underneath.

The City does not receive compensation for contaminated loads.

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

Friday, September 28, 2018

About last night . . . The City of Lake Worth was center stage.

What a great night in Downtown Lake Worth at the Palm Beach County Cultural Council’s premiere screening of “On The Town In The Palm Beaches” produced by WPBT2, the Public Broadcasting Service in South Florida:

As Florida’s largest public media company we are committed to bringing you quality arts, education & cultural heritage content.

This was the first episode of 3rd Season and the featured municipality was the City of Lake Worth. Actor and writer Frank Licari was the host and producer for this episode along with WPTB2 producer Cindy Hing, a longtime South Florida resident.

Frank Licari, Cindy Hing and Melissa Harmon, Dir. of Production at WPBT2.

The City of Lake Worth’s episode of “On The Town” will air at 8:30 tonight on WPBT2 affiliate WXEL-TV, the regional public television service that serves North Miami Beach to Sebastian in Indian River County.

Without further ado. . .

At 6:15 there was already a long line at the door.
The reception began at 6:30.

Click on all images to enlarge:

The Cultural Council is located at the Robert M. Montgomery, Jr. Building in Downtown Lake Worth.

The gallery at the Cultural Council filled quickly.
Before long it was standing room only.

The food provided was exceptional.

One of the screens for the big event. . .

Looking back . . . The Cultural Council “back in the day”, circa 1971, was The Lake Theater.

The sponsors of Lake Worth’s “On The Town” episode:

“Thank You to Our Sponsors”

Thank You to the producers at WPBT2: Also featured on the Lake Worth episode of “On The Town In The Palm Beaches” was The Cottages of Lake Worth book:

Just recently attendees at the annual conference of the Florida chapter of the American Planning Assoc. toured Downtown Lake Worth and The Cottages.

How much do you know about South Florida PBS?

WPBT2 history: “On August 12, 1955, WPBT2
went on the air without a penny of tax money
having been spent.”

A crowd shot:

Notable notables in attendance: Boynton Beach Mayor Steven Grant, Lake Worth City Manager Michael Bornstein, Lake Worth Vice Mayor Andy Amoroso, Lake Worth Commissioner Herman C. Robinson, and Town of Palm Beach Deputy Town Manager Jay Boodheshwar.

And another notable notable. . .

Jon Faust (right), Chair of Lake Worth’s Neighborhood Assoc. Presidents’ Council next to Vice Mayor Andy Amoroso.

Meet the Director of the PBC Cultural Council:
Mr. David B. Lawrence.

Mr. Lawrence addressing those in attendance.

And lastly, a Tweet from last night. . .

Hope you found this information today informative and as always, Thank You for visiting once again today.

A regional meeting was held this week in the City of Lake Worth.

City of Lake Worth Vice Mayor Andy Amoroso attended the General Membership meeting of the PBC League of Cities held in the Ballroom at the Lake Worth Casino and Beach Complex.

But meetings like this don’t generate enough clicks or social media ‘kicks’ to get much or any attention in the press or news media.

Especially so when there is a kangaroo on the loose.

How much do you know about the PBC League of Cities (LOC)? More information about the League is at the end of this blog post.

Vice Mayor Amoroso is a board member.

For the 2018–2019 League officers
and board members click on this link:

Andy Amoroso with Vice Mayor Kimberly Glas-Castro from the Town of Lake Park.

Andy Amoroso again. . .

Meet the City of Palm Beach Gardens’
Mayor Maria G. Marino.

This week the only press to show up at the Lake Worth City Commission meeting was editor Mark Easton from The Lake Worth Herald. For the latest edition of the Herald which came out yesterday click on this link.

Last Tuesday evening, of course, the big news in the press and news media was about that kangaroo on the loose. Here is a Tweet sent from the chambers at the Lake Worth City Commission:

Without further ado, about the Palm Beach County League of Cities:

The purpose of the Palm Beach County League of Cities, Inc., is to promote and advance the collective interest of the municipalities of Palm Beach County, Florida; to analyize municipal issues and seek positive results through cooperative efforts; to respect the principles of Home Rule; and to encourage and enhance the quality of life of the citizens of Palm Beach County.

The League consists of all 39 municipalities in Palm Beach County, as well as over 100 Associate members. The Board of Directors, installed each May, is made up of 18 city officials: four executive officers, one representative from each of the League's five districts, six representatives from the largest municipalities, two at-large seats, and the Immediate Past President, if in office. Past Presidents still in office serve ex-officio.

The Board appoints the Executive Director, who is responsible for the daily business operation of the League. The Executive Director serves as chief liaison to the County Commission, School Board, department staff, and the Legislative and Congressional Delegation.

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Premiere TONIGHT: “On The Town in The Palm Beaches” featuring City of Lake Worth.

The City of Lake Worth will be the feature story this evening on the South Florida Public Broadcasting Service (WPBT):

The Premiere Screening.

To register for this event contact the Cultural Council of Palm Beach County. Call 561-471-2901, visit the Council today from 10:00–5:00 at 601 Lake Ave. in Downtown Lake Worth, or send an email to:

About the upcoming premiere featuring actor writer producer and host Frank Licari:

South Florida PBS invites you to the complimentary premiere event of On The Town in The Palm Beaches’ newest episode — Lake Worth.

  • Reception at 6:30.
  • Screening at 7:30.
  • Q&A follows with Host Frank Licari and producers.

In the new episode host Frank Licari explores the heart of Lake Worth, a city that’s not just hip, it’s historic too. Frank jumps into the city’s happening arts scene; visits an ocean front restaurant with postcard perfect views and checks out an historic playhouse that just may be haunted.

Join us and discover the beautiful
City of Lake Worth!

Downtown Lake Worth (Lake Avenue and ‘L’ Street c. 1971): The Lake Theater.

FYI: If you haven’t heard, the Cultural Council of Palm Beach County has a new president and CEO: Dave Lawrence. For a recent Q&A with Mr. Lawrence click on this link.

Now to the Lake Theater. . .

Click on image to enlarge:

The Cultural Council building.
How it looked circa 1971.

How the building looked
prior to mural installation:

Photo courtesy of the Jim Stafford collection.

Here’s another image soon after the
building was constructed:

It turns out the architect was Roy Benjamin and almost all he did was movie theaters in Florida and Georgia in late 1930s through the 1950s. Below is one of his designs in Pahokee called the Prince Theater. You can see striking similarities to the structure in downtown Lake Worth.

Community meeting tonight in the City of Lake Worth.

The Whispering Palms Neighborhood Assoc. is having their public meeting at the Norman J. Wimbley Gym located at 1515 Wingfield St. Meeting begins at 6:30.

The special guest speaker will be:

Jamie Brown, the City of Lake Worth’s
Dir. of Public Services.

Also on the agenda is an update on the “Saturday Cleanup” last week at New Hope Baptist Church. All meetings of the Neighborhood Assoc. Presidents’ Council (NAPC) are open to the public.

Coming up in October: “Free Shred Event” in Downtown Lake Worth.

“Whether it’s a single stack of papers or boxes of documents, just place them into one of our secure shred bins and they will be safely destroyed by Iron Mountain, one of the industry leaders in information protection.”

For more information go to the UPS Store located at 824 Lake Ave., call 561-508-4713 or send an email to:

“Marketing / Advertising / Reputation Mgmt. / Branding / Social Media”

See more visions below from the City of Lake Worth’s all-day “Visioning Work Session” held at City Hall two months ago.

On the topic of branding, marketing, and social media our neighboring municipalities are coming up with some very clever ways to promote themselves. Take for example the City of Greenacres and their photo contest last month. Greenacres announced the winners of the contest on their official Facebook page. Greenacres is on Twitter too.

The City of Lake Worth uses Twitter as well; but this City doesn’t have an official Facebook page.

Here is a vision from last month at the City Commission:

“Where We’re Going . . .
Themes  →  Priorities

Whilst on visions, let’s take another look back to the City’s Visioning Session in July and a “very difficult and public conversation about code enforcement.”

Post-Hurricane Irma last year: Do you recall the increased number of cats roaming Central Palm Beach County?

How many of those cats ended up in shelters?
How many got killed by coyotes?

Message below from Monroe County — which includes the Florida Keys — about when and not when to report a Coyote sighting to the Sheriff. Click on image to enlarge:

Yes. Coyotes are here in South Florida. And they are here to stay. Coyotes hunt cats. And little horses too. And they are fond of chickens as well.

UPDATE: For those of you interested in coyotes and concerned about feral and roaming cats, pet goats and pigs, and other small critters there is news below from The Washington Post you may find very interesting and informative. And as we are well into another Hurricane Season read more below about what happened prior to Hurricane Irma last year in one city in particular: the coastal City of Lake Worth.

How many of those cats were “dropped off ” by those fleeing evacuation zones on ‘The Island’ not knowing when they would be allowed back into their condo, apartment, or home?

From the editor at The Palm Beach Post:

“Communities with TNVR programs tend to develop even bigger cat-dumping problems than before the effort began. . .”

Is it time for the City of Lake Worth, and other cities as well, to take another long look at Trap, Neuter, Vaccinate, and Release (TNVR)?

Has Lake Worth, because of its efforts promoting TNVR, become one of the County’s destinations for “cat-dumping” of unwanted or unhealthy cats? From the City’s website:

Peggy Adams Animal Rescue League is currently offering free surgery for domestic and community cats [emphasis added] in the 33460 zip code.

Read more about this topic below, including news from Palm Beach Post reporter Bill DiPaolo who has since retired. Surprisingly, Mother Nature may have its own answer to the problem of roaming and feral cats: coyotes. Did you know coyotes are established in every state in the United States? Below is an excerpt from this recent article in The Washington Post by journalist Darryl Fears titled, “Here’s why there are so many coyotes and why they are spreading so fast”:

     Stanley D. Gehrt, an Ohio State University professor and wildlife ecologist who runs the Urban Coyote Research Project, which studies coyotes in the Chicago area, said in a recent interview that coyotes “are extremely flexible and adaptable to different kinds of environments … they’re generalists for sure, so generalists tend to do pretty well in cities, but they also benefit once they move into cities.
     “Their primary source of mortality in rural areas is now removed, and that was people. You might wonder: How can that be removed? That’s because you don’t have hunting and trapping occurring in the cities. The cities actually act as a kind of refuge for coyotes once they get established.”

Please continue reading about cats, TNVR, coyotes and news about two little goats called Buttercup and Candy.

This blog post examines several issues, several of which our City has had to deal with for a very long time. For example, several months prior to Hurricane Irma in September 2017 another animal was attracting attention from the press and news media which prompted these questions asked on this blog, “How long before coyotes begin roaming and hunting in our little City of Lake Worth? Or are coyotes already here?”

And why having coyotes in our parks at night
and roaming the City’s alley network is
not such a bad thing after all.

How do coyotes factor into controlling the feral cat population? Can coyotes, as stated below, “help restore biodiversity, enrich parks, and counteract decades of environmental damage”? Do TNVR programs for cats even work to control the population or does it make the problem worse, e.g., the continuing devastation of indigenous bird populations? Cats hunt birds and coyotes hunt cats.

“While TNVR theoretically should cut down feral cat populations, several studies have shown that they rarely do.”
—Editor, Palm Beach Post (see editorial below).

And have you ever heard of the book published and titled, “Coyote Settles the South”? Learn about all these topics and much more later in this blog post.

Without further ado. . .

Warning! Never feed coyotes: These animals have a tremendous fear of humans. When people feed coyotes the animals lose that fear. That is not good for anyone. Especially those with small pets.

Are coyotes roaming the streets and alleys of Lake Worth now? Maybe. But unless one has a motion-activated camera during nighttime you would never know. Coyotes are one of the most stealthy animals around and very careful to avoid the notice of humans. They rest during the day, hunt at night, and coyotes are especially fond of one animal in particular: cats.

Reports began coming in 2015 of coyotes near Greenacres. Is that a bad thing? The reports were of coyotes hunting feral cats which are a big problem in Palm Beach County, especially so in Lake Worth. Another excerpt from the editor at the Post:

“Communities with TNVR programs tend to develop even bigger cat-dumping problems than before the effort began, because people feel emboldened to just release their unwanted animals. And the reality is, animal control programs rarely have the resources to actually trap, sterilize and release the thousands of animals that are out there.”

Last year Post reporter Bill DiPaolo wrote this article titled, “Coyotes blamed for killing two pet goats in Jupiter Farms”; an excerpt:

“Two-year-old Buttercup and 3-month-old Candy, both female Nigerian dwarf goats, were killed between 1 a.m. and 3 a.m. while they were in an outdoor area surrounded by a 4-foot-tall wooden fence. The goats — Buttercup weighed 50 pounds and Candy about half as much — were taken to a nearby veterinarian.
     The vet confirmed the bites on the neck and head were from coyotes, said , a lifelong resident of the rural, unincorporated area west of Florida’s Turnpike.”

In the comment section of DiPaolo’s article
is this comment:

“Give credit where credit due. I credit the Coyotes for eliminating the feral cats from our community. Back in the day, I would see feral cats everywhere, every day. Then the Coyotes showed up and it has been months sense we last saw a feral cat. Hats off to the Coyotes for doing their part in keeping the balance of nature alive and well.

The County has essentially conceded that TNVR is the plan until an idea that actually works comes along. Coyotes may be the answer.

Below is an excerpt from The Palm Beach Post editorial board, “Editorial: Wildlife protection must factor into cat release plans”.

     That [TNVR] sounds like the perfect solution, except that it’s not really. Even well-fed cats retain their hunting instinct, and continue to kill significant numbers of wild birds and animals. One study found an outdoor domestic cat is capable of killing 60 birds and 1,600 small mammals in an 18-month period.
     There are so many species of animals that are vulnerable to predation by house cats: ground foraging brown thrashers, oven birds, palm warblers and water thrushes; tiny tree frogs and green anolis; marsh rabbits and Florida mice.
     While TNVR theoretically should cut down feral cat populations, several studies have shown that they rarely do.

Anyhow, back to the coyote:

Watch this news report from CBS2’s Weijia Jiang
from Long Island City, NY:

This article in Slate raises some interesting points. First, you can hardly call coyotes a nuisance because they have a tremendous fear of humans and are virtually impossible to find. The video above is a rare one of a coyote roaming (hunting?) within a city’s borders. And you could argue that coyotes are good for public health and the environment. Here is an excerpt from the article:

     Gehrt [Stanley Gehrt, head of the Cook County Coyote Project] and his team have just completed a large-scale feral cats study, which found that coyotes are repelling them from natural areas within the city. “That has a positive impact on native fauna,” Gehrt says—cats kill a lot of birds. [emphasis added] Recently, researchers at the Illinois Natural History Survey have also been considering white-tailed deer, which are responsible for a remarkable number of automobile accidents; findings suggest that coyotes are making a dent in their population through fawn predation. Out of 15 fawns collared this season, Gehrt says 11 have already been taken by coyotes.
     All of this would seem to be good news for the New York metropolitan area, which could certainly use a better form of rodent control than dangerous poisons. Even a fraction of the effects seen in Chicago could help restore biodiversity, enrich parks, and counteract decades of environmental damage.

Use this link to learn about the book written
by John Lane in 2016.

“A personal narrative about the arrival and flourishing of the American coyote in the Southeast.”

Image from Wikipedia.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

PINNED POST: Video of Lake Worth City Commission meeting last night.

A “Pinned Post” is one kept at or near the top of the blog. In this case for the rest of the day (video is below, at end of this blog post).

Note that following this blog post is news about the premiere screening of WPBT’s “On The Town in the Palm Beaches” tomorrow night at the Cultural Council featuring the City of Lake Worth and there is another blog post as well about the exciting Fall/Winter event schedule coming up in this City.

To the City Commission meeting last night. . .

Throughout the day will add more information if necessary. Note that the next regularly scheduled Commission meeting will be held on Oct. 16th.

Last night were the Final Budget hearings, the resolutions which lasted all of seven minutes, followed by a proclamation for Lee Antieau’s 100th birthday, then “Commission Liaison Reports and Comments” (the longest portion of the agenda, about twenty minutes) and then Public Comment at the 46 minute mark. At public comment is the traditional time for a person to announce his or her candidacy for a seat on the City Commission. So the curtain closes once again for the person(s) thinking of running against Commissioner Herman C. Robinson in District 4 until the next Commission meeting in three weeks.

Cathy Turk announced her candidacy four (4) months ago to run against Commissioner Omari Hardy in District 2. So far it’s nothing but hemming and hawing when it comes to anyone up to challenging Commissioner Robinson.

But anyhow. . .

The Consent Agenda passed unanimously last night and shortly thereafter the meeting ended. About forty-five minutes after it started. All conducted in a brisk, orderly and professional manner by all of our elected officials, management and staff.

Watch the video at your pleasure today and recommend watching the entire “Liaison Reports and Comments” section — which begins at the 19:40 mark — which includes the details of Mayor Pam Triolo’s trip to the White House last week.

Without further ado. . .

Journalist Chris Persaud’s epic, “Florida NIMBYs Can’t Stop America’s First Private High-Speed Rail”.

Now that Brightline is running their passenger train service, proving the critics and their wildly dire predictions wrong, it’s time to revisit once again the incredible work by former Post reporter Mr. Chris Persaud and his connection to our little City of Lake Worth.

Upon leaving the Post in early 2015 with his reporting awards in hand, Persaud went on to have published a journalistic tour de force, an outstanding piece last year about Brightline (see below). That piece simply and methodically broke through all the noise, the clutter and the babbling in places like the Treasure Coast and those pockets of resistance still remaining in Palm Beach County. Truly a journalist ahead of his time.

After that article was released you could sense a sea change in the public mood. And the press and news media, from coast to coast in this nation, took notice as well.

However, it was Persaud’s work as the beat reporter covering the City of Lake Worth for The Palm Beach Post that brought him into the spotlight and for that he’s now remembered as one of the greats in South Florida journalism. He’s remembered as being remarkably fair to everyone and took no sides.

Below are just two of the awards Mr. Chris Persaud received during his stint at the Post, awards from the esteemed Society of Professional Journalism.

Persaud’s effort last year was a spectacular piece published in Next City titled, “Florida NIMBYs Can’t Stop America’s First Private High-Speed Rail” about Brightline; click on this link to read the article.

For Persaud’s reporting here in the City of Lake Worth he received several well-deserved awards for his news reporting and, of course, that gained him recognition and wide acclaim; then shortly later he went on to other things. Although Persaud had some issues early on with his reporting he later performed outstanding collaborative work, especially election reporting.

Watch Persaud in action back in September 2014 grilling the Lake Worth City Attorney prior to that year’s bond vote to fix our City roads and potholes:

[Sadly, due to concerns about sea level rise back in 2014 that bond vote ended up failing by just 25 votes. But later in November 2016 the Neighborhood Road Bond passed by a “whopping” 69%.]

For all Persaud’s diligence and attention to detail, he was honored and will be forever among the greats in journalism. Without further ado. . .

Society of Professional Journalism’s 2015 Sunshine
State Awards

Beat Reporting – Elections

Christine Stapleton, Chris Persaud, Sonja Isger, Ballot troubles

Infographic – Online

Kavya Sukumar, Michelle Quigley, Fedor Zarkhin, Chris Persaud, Property values, insurance safety and charter schools

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

“Come Out & Join Us!”

“Calling All Active Senior Citizens 55 & Over!”

Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10:00 a.m.–1:00 at Osborne Community Center, 1699 Wingfield St.

Click on image to enlarge, from City of Lake Worth’s Leisure Services Dept.

FYI: Looking for information about Rec2Go? Youth football, soccer and chearleading? 7 vs. 7 adult soccer or possibly pondering picking up that peppy pastime of pickleball? For all that and much more what’s what, including a “Recreation Survey” by the City click on this link.

Barton Elementary School in City of Lake Worth needs help from community.

Ways you can help Barton:

Take donations (see examples below) directly to the school. Clearly mark the intended purpose of your donation. Give that information to the person at the front desk. The school is located at 1700 Barton Rd. Here is the school website and Barton is on Facebook too.

Save The Date! On October 5th at Evening on
Lake Avenue bring donations to the “Community
Schools Outreach” from 6:00–10:00.

Briefly, here are three ways to help Barton Elementary:

  1. Food for the Barton Pantry: Items needed are canned, bagged, or boxed grains, meats, fruits, vegetables.
  2. Trinkets: Good behavior earns students “Barton Dollars”: These ‘dollars’ are then spent in the school store; needed items are Ring Pops, markers, watercolor kits, Play-Doh, stickers, hair ribbons, coloring books, stamp sets, etc.
  3. Funds for Barton Safety Patrol: With good grades and behavior students can join the Safety Patrol in their last year. Patrols are assigned duties that help teachers and administration and each year Safety Patrols from across the State of Florida travel by train to Washington, D.C. to spend a few days exploring and learning. . .

How exciting is that!

A blog post from yesterday . . .

FYI: Tonight is the night. Marking the end of another Budget Season. Following the Roll Call at 6:00 at the start of the meeting will be a choice for one of the electeds on the City Commission: A prayer or a moment of silence.

Considering the significance of this public meeting the choice may be harder than you think. After reading about the millage rate in the blog post below scroll back up and click on this link to learn more about the choice of prayer or silence and how to download tomorrow’s agenda as well.

Question: FY2019 and beyond. Should the City of Lake Worth make lowering the millage rate a top priority?

Lowering the millage rate in the years ahead to keep up with the competition? One of our competitors is the Village of Palm Springs and that is explained at the end of this blog post, a news report in The Lake Worth Herald.

The idea of lowering the millage rate was first brought up by Commissioner Scott Maxwell in August 2017 starting with a 0.25 mil reduction. However, commissioners Andy Amoroso (now the Vice Mayor), Herman C. Robinson and Omari Hardy — after considering the proposal in further discussion — all became resolute. With so many budgetary unknown unknowns and known knowns thought this year or next year may be the time to discuss the possibility of lowering the millage rate.

And then along came Hurricane Irma in September 2017.

What is the reasoning for lowering the millage rate? It would send a strong message that this City is on strong budgetary ground.

Some of you may find the news from the Village of Palm Springs a bit of a shock. As reported in The Lake Worth Herald, our neighboring village to the west has lowered its operating millage rate for six (6) consecutive years. The last time the City of Lake Worth lowered its millage rate was way back in 2007, according to Commissioner Maxwell.

The proposal by Maxwell might have gotten more momentum last year but the mayor was absent for this meeting and Commissioner Herman C. Robinson was adamant that it was “not the right time” to lower the rate and then along came Irma and Maxwell’s proposal to lower the millage rate was tabled.

And this year the general mood on the Commission is to be prepared for another “rainy day” on the horizon vis-à-vis hardening the Lake Worth Electric Utility. And also this year the topic of increasing compensation for City employees and staff is a very big one. And, of course, there are all those issues (or ‘schemes’) at the Lake Worth Beach and Casino Complex as well.

But what about next year? Follow in
the footsteps of Palm Springs?

The Village of Palm Springs is a wonderful neighbor. Every city in Florida would be proud to have such a great neighbor as Palm Springs. They are a neighbor; but they are also a competitor for new businesses and new residents. The millage rate matters.

Remember, per Commissioner Maxwell there hasn’t been a lowering of the millage rate in 10 years here in this City. Lowering the rate would send a strong signal to Realtors, investors, and those considering relocating to Central Palm Beach County in the future.

If this topic does come up expect a lot of lively debate. Hopefully the healthy and informative type. 

Now to the news about the Village of Palm Springs as reported in The Lake Worth Herald. . .

This front page news was headlined,

Palm Springs Property Tax Rate Lowered
for 6th Year in a Row!

Residents of the Village of Palm Springs will once again see a reduction in the operating millage rate. For the sixth consecutive year, the Village Council has voted unanimously to set the preliminary property tax rate to 3.5 mils. The rate has been reduced each of the last five years, dropping from 3.9 to this year’s proposed rate of 3.5.

and. . .

     The taxable valuation for the Village’s general obligation debt is $1,223,909,135 requiring a proposed millage rate of .3777. The combined proposed millage rates for FY2019 is 3.8777 or  .1785 mils below the FY2018 rate.
     Village Council will be presented the final rate during the September Council meeting. The proposed rate may be lowered by council but it cannot be increased. [emphasis added]

So. In conclusion, do you think this City “needs to send a message” and get the attention of the business and real estate community?

If this topic does come up you can contact your elected representatives and tell them what you think. And whilst you are communicating with your elected leadership you can ask, instead of complaining like too many other people do, ask this question instead:

“What can I do to help?”

Monday, September 24, 2018

The City of Lake Worth on stage.

Click on newspaper clipping to enlarge:

Helen Greene, docent of the Lake Worth Historical Museum, penned the front page news
(see excerpt below) about the American Planning Assoc. tours of this City of Lake Worth.

FYI: The newly renovated Lake Worth Historical Museum is located on the second floor of the City Hall Annex located at 414 Lake Ave. (in the Cultural Plaza) and is open Wednesday and Friday from 1:00–4:00. Tours are also provided by appointment. Call 561-533-7354.

Opening seven paragraphs of the news:

On September 11–14, The American Planning Association (APA) held its State Conference. The Treasurer Coast section, including Palm Beach, Martin and St. Lucie counties of the APA served as the 2018 Conference host. They selected West Palm Beach as the host venue.

Three members of the Lake Worth community played an active role in the conference. Wes Blackman, AICP, 35 year member, Principal Planner for the CWB Associates, William Waters, AICP, Director of Community Sustainability for the City of Lake Worth and resident Friederike Mittner, AICP, Historic Planner for West Palm Beach. Each conducted state APA approved “mobile workshops.”

Blackman, owner of CWB Associates and current president of the Cottages of Lake Worth did a bus/walking tour. It was called “Manhattan to Mayberry.” Beginning at the West Palm Beach Convention Center, it featured an historic walk down Lake Avenue and a visit to the newly restored Historical Museum of the City of Lake Worth. The Museum is housed in the City Hall Annex, one of two buildings on the National Register of Historic Places. Blackman, as President, gave his tour an up close visit to the uniqueness of the Cottages of Lake Worth.

Each member on the Blackman Tour received a copy of the table book called Cottages of Lake Worth as part of their registration fee. They also earned credits to certification in the APA.

William Waters and others of his team conducted a tour of Lake Avenue. Their group explored “Memorable Places: What are the Urban Attributes that define them?” Included in their tour were the historic buildings and the importance of “Art in Public Places.”

Frederike Mittner, long time Lake Worth resident and Past Chair of the Historic Resources Review Board of PBC, conducted a bus tour of Historic West Palm Beach neighborhoods.

Founded in 1978, The American Planning Association (APA) is the “largest membership organization of professional planners and planning resources.” The State Conference, held in each state, provides the urban planners the opportunity to exchange new ideas, solutions to problems, ways to improve, through education, the communities in which they live and work.

At a later date will post the Herald article in its entirety. In the meantime consider becoming a subscriber to The Lake Worth Herald or pick up the print edition at the City’s newsstand called Studio 205 located at 205 N. Federal Hwy.

Below is a collection of photographs and more information from the APA Cottages tour held on Wed., September 19th from the greeting by Mayor Pam Triolo at 501 Lake Ave. (City’s Recreation Division), a short presentation about the historic Cottages of Lake Worth, then some time at the City Hall Annex and the Lake Worth Historical Museum upstairs, followed by a walk west to the renovated structure now called the Book Cellar bookstore and then south to tour some of the original cottages built on 25- and 50-foot wide lots prior to WWII laid out in a traditional grid pattern.

The annual conference of Florida’s APA held several “Mobile Tours” around Palm Beach County. The Cottages of Lake Worth tour was one and there were several others including a tour of art and the murals in Downtown Lake Worth by William Waters, AICP, the Dir. of Community Sustainability in the City.

Tour attendees were planning professionals statewide including, e.g., the cities of Lynn Haven, Lakeland, Vero Beach, Delray Beach, Miami Beach, Royal Palm Beach, the Village of Key Biscayne, a private consultant, and a land use firm from Indian River County.

“Living Large in Small Spaces”

To learn more about APA Florida click on this link.

The City liaison for the Cottages of Lake Worth tour was Lauren Bennett from the Recreation Dept. and the Florida APA did the rest: providing the transportation and logistics, including items like the name tags.

The tour leader, Yours Truly:

Now to the photographs of the tour. . .

Tour began at the Palm Beach County Convention Center.

Use this link to watch a video of historic
“Lake Worth Florida” post cards.

Tour attendees learned about all the public land on the water (municipal golf course and Bryant Park on the Intracoastal), and the public Beach property along the Atlantic Ocean. They also learned that West Palm Beach DOES NOT have a beach.

A Tweet from the tour. . .

Mayor Pam Triolo welcomed the APA tour to Downtown Lake Worth (click on all images to enlarge):

The view inside 501 Lake Ave. across from the Cultural Plaza, the City Hall Annex building and Historical Museum.

Mayor Triolo talked about her time in office (first elected in 2011 and re-elected three times) how the City has changed and her focus on improving the basic infrastructure that had been neglected for so long. She talked about the Neighborhood Road Bond and the resulting street improvements and attendees asked questions such as how those improvements were progressing. I told them they would see much of that activity on our walk through the area south of the Downtown.

Another view inside the City’s Recreation Dept.:

Mayor Triolo (left) addressing the APA tour.

Then a short presentation followed about the history and architecture of The Cottages of Lake Worth.

And is it true, that “Lake Worth is the next Delray Beach?” No. That can never happen; click on this link to learn why.

Across the street from the Recreation Dept.,
a view of the Cultural Plaza.

Reminded the tour this City of Lake Worth was nearing 40,000 in municipal population and is a little part of a metropolitan area of 6 million plus. This City stands out vastly different than other coastal downtown areas in Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade counties.

After the mayor’s talk I showed them a brief PowerPoint presentation concentrating on the area south of the Downtown with the most 25′ wide residential lots. Also reviewed the City’s historic preservation program, how long it has been in place and what was coming in the future. Erin Fitzhugh, a former Lake Worth Historic Resource Preservation Board (HRPB) member, joined the group at the beginning and was helpful filling in the blanks. Resident Tammy Pansa also joined the tour after we arrived at 501 Lake Avenue.

A postcard. . .

Last May at the Lake Worth Historic Preservation Awards Ceremony Janice Snearer, Taylor Jones, Dean Sherwin, Roger Hendrix, Teresa Miller and the many others who contributed to promoting The Cottages of Lake Worth were honored.

A group photo:

At the Cultural Plaza the tour stopped for a photo in front of the mural on the west wall of the City Hall Annex. Then it was on to the City’s Historical Museum on the 2nd floor.

Inside the City’s Historical Museum:

To learn more about this museum which just reopened after exhibits and displays were renovated and upgraded click on this link. Then it was on to something very exciting, The Book Cellar. . .

Everyone marveled at the Martin Luther King, Jr. mural on the back of the Palm Beach County Cultural Council structure. We then walked further west on Lake Ave. talking about City planning issues and stopped in The Book Cellar for some cooling down and refreshments.

FYI: Have you read journalist Ron Hayes’ account
of the “Resurgence of the Local Bookstore
and The Book Cellar in our Downtown?

From The Book Cellar we toured the neighborhoods south of Downtown examining cottages that appear in the Cottages of Lake Worth book (all tour participants received the paperback book as part of their registration).

Despite the heat of the afternoon our guests were very interested in The Cottages, taking pictures of homes and streetscapes. They were shown a renovated structure on 2nd Ave. South and saw examples of recent infill development, construction and renovations and also signs of someone going through the process to build a new residence on a 25′ lot on South L St.

A view of the walking tour:

Overheard people telling others they liked our City “vibe”. One guest from Miami said he is getting tired of living there and would seriously consider a three bedroom cottage in the City of Lake Worth.

Hope you enjoyed this blog post about the Florida
APA tour of the City of Lake Worth!

During this tour I made certain to remind everyone they were only seeing a small part of one of City’s six Historic Districts. Each district and each cottage has a character, style and size and all are uniquely different than cookie-cutter areas further west outside the City.

And in conclusion, a short video: