Saturday, October 6, 2018

SFWMD coming to the rescue of native species: the Gopher Tortoise.

First, please note: The latest YouTube update from the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) datelined Sept. 7th (yesterday) is at the end of this blog post. This most current information addresses water conditions and actions to move water to tide following the impacts from Tropical Storm Gordon here in South Florida.

Now to Gopher Tortoise and work by SFWMD. . .

CAUTION! Never put Gopher Tortoises in the water. They are NOT TURTLES!

To learn more about the “Fort Basinger Gopher Tortoise Recipient Siteclick on this link.

Resolution No. 2017 - 0720

“Declare surplus land interest containing 142.61 acres, more or less, in Highlands County, and authorizing the grant to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) of a conservation easement as a condition of the District obtaining a permit from FWC for the purpose of establishing the subject property as a gopher tortoise recipient site.”

Click on this link to learn more about our Gopher Tortoises here in the City of Lake Worth and in the County’s John Prince Park too.

A helpful map from SFWMD.

Click on image to enlarge of the gopher tortoise
site in Highlands County:

Click on this link to contact SFWMD and say, “Thank You!Please be patient waiting for a response. SFWMD is very busy this time of year. To learn more about “Managing High Water Levels in the Wet Season” use this link.

YouTube video: SFWMD Chief Engineer John Mitnik provides the most recent update:

Friday, October 5, 2018

TONIGHT: Forget about ‘red tide’!

Did you sneeze? Maybe have an itch?

Well. If you are still in recovery from your experience below is a video that will help you feel better and maybe inspire you to attend a block party tonight.

Come out and celebrate in Downtown Lake Worth!

The big event TONIGHT is the kickoff of the Season from 6:00–10:00, the very first monthly Lake Ave. Block Party in the City of Lake Worth.

Click on image to enlarge:

For the comprehensive list of Special Events in this City click on this link and learn more about the City’s Dept. of Leisure Services.

Enjoy this video!

And take special note of the
beautiful blues and the amazing reds:

Letter to editor(s) published in The Palm Beach Post this week. An excerpt:

I have been writing to The Post for decades about the fallacy of septic tanks. They are designed to remove microbes, not chemicals or pharmaceuticals. Finally, a study by Harbor Branch, a respected marine research institute, has concluded that chemical discharges from septic tanks have been a major contributor to the algae blooms [emphasis added] in the Indian River Lagoon. Not the only contributor, but one that was known and has a simple fix.

I say “known” because when I was a child living in Wilton Manors, sewer piping was installed in our neighborhood to get us off septic tanks that were polluting the canals. That was 50 years ago in the mid-’60s, so how can anyone in Martin, St. Lucie or Indian River County claim they had no clue?

Letter headlined by editor(s), “Septic issues and fix have long been known”. For the author and to read the entire letter click on this link.

Ever considered writing your own letter to get published on the editorial page in the Post?

It’s very easy. For contact information and helpful tips learn how anyone in just 5–10 minutes can write a letter to the editor(s). And note that November 1st will mark six months since Gatehouse Media bought the Post and Palm Beach Daily News (aka, Shiny Sheet).

The other human poop problem plaguing the Treasure Coast and St. Lucie River, basins and estuary: biosolids.

Leaking septic tanks are just a part of a much bigger problem. Blue-green algae floats but contamination from stormwater runoff is harder to detect.

Myth vs. FACT: Blue-Green Algae.

Click on this link for “Fact Sheets” from South Florida Water Management District and scroll down for press release dated June 29th, 2016:

Click on this link for more information about the folly of constructing a massive new reservoir in Palm Beach County and “Send The Water South!”

Please note the words “local stormwater runoff ” in image above. This is crucially important as you continue reading this blog post.

Below are two sentences from a memorandum at a meeting of the Treasure Coast Coast Regional Planning Council (TCRPC) earlier this year. The entire memorandum is at the end of this blog post.

“Today, the Treasure Coast Region’s estimated 1.6 million people on public sewer generate about 87,000 dry tons of biosolids each year. In 30 or 40 years from now that total could increase by 50 percent.”*

Leaking septic tanks along the St. Lucie River are a major factor fueling this year’s toxic slimy nasty plague of blue-green algae. This has been known for many, many years. The water releases from Lake Okeechobee is water flowing into what is already an environmental mess to begin with. And just this month we learned from the TCRPC of another big human waste problem north of us in the Treasure Coast: another plague called human wastewater biosolids.

The ‘red tide’ is the ‘shiny object’ right now for the press and news media but before long another problem with human waste will take the stage.

Please continue reading about chronic harmful algal blooms (HABs), human waste, public policy, and a very profound resolution.

Biosolids. Stormwater runoff and the plague north of us in the Treasure Coast.

Briefly, how we got here.

Lake Worth Commissioner Omari Hardy is an alternate board member at the TCRPC; upon election in 2017 Hardy was chosen to represent the City at the Council. Last June Hardy presented his liaison report from that meeting as a sitting member of the Council to the Lake Worth City Commission as is customary. As reported to the Commission, “human wastewater biosolids” was a very important public policy and environmental issue at the time and another meeting was scheduled this month to educate the public and policymakers.

Following the liaison report from Hardy is when biosolids became a big topic of discussion among our local environmentalists and all those concerned with helping to save the Everglades and places like the nearby Loxahatchee Wildlife Refuge.

It’s said that what happens in previous months at the TCRPC is this big news in the near future. That is certainly the case in this situation.

It would be a mistake to think the issue of human waste biosolids is just an issue for the Treasure Coast. This is a very important public policy and public health issue for all of Palm Beach County and for all of South Florida as well. 

Keeping in mind the current state of affairs vis-à-vis Lake Okeechobee, “Send The Water South!”, clean water for 8.1M people in South Florida and protecting wildlife in environmentally-sensitive places such as the Grassy Waters Preserve and the Loxahatchee Wildlife Refuge in Palm Beach County, well, one could say, the proverbial poop will hit the proverbial fan. Another excerpt from Item 6 on the Council agenda:

“Of additional concern are compounds found in human wastewater biosolids which may include: hormones; steroids; bacteria; viruses; polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs); pharmaceuticals; antibodies; polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDE fire retardants); polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) like Teflon, polishes, waxes, paints, and household cleaning products; organics; metals; and artificial sweeteners. Although these materials are applied in a manner that may not be harmful to humans according to EPA guidelines, their accumulated secondary impacts are not entirely known.” [emphasis added]

This month’s TCRPC meeting is a special one: a Joint Meeting with the South Florida Regional Planning Council in Broward County. Typically the preliminary agenda is posted 3–4 days prior. For the list of prior and upcoming Council meetings click on this link.

Without further ado, in its entirety, Item #6 on the TCRPC agenda:


To: Council Members.
From: Staff.
Subject: Management Alternatives for Human Wastewater Biosolids — Resolution.


One of the by-products or residuals of the wastewater treatment process is called biosolids or the wet sludge that is left behind after initial processing, which is then collected for further treatment and processing. In Florida, biosolids are either land-applied as a soil amendment to improve agricultural productivity or disposed of in landfills. Either way it is an important source of water, energy, nitrogen, and phosphorous resources that some suggest could be recovered and used more efficiently. There is also concern statewide that excess nutrients from land application of human waste biosolids reach surface waters as a result of rainfall runoff and continue to increase the occurrence of chronic harmful algal blooms (HABs). [emphasis added] The purpose of this item and the attached resolution is to inform Council’s member counties, municipalities, and their associations about this regional issue and potential solutions.


Today, Florida’s central sewer wastewater treatment facilities produce approximately 340,000 dry tons of biosolids. Approximately 100,000 dry tons of biosolids qualify as Class B biosolids, which are treated sewage sludge meeting U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) guidelines for land application as fertilizer with restrictions, and are allowed to have detectable levels of pathogens. Another 100,000 dry tons of biosolids are deposited in various landfills throughout the state. The final 140,000 dry tons of biosolids are further processed, dried, and composted with material from the landscape industry to produce approximately 200,000 tons of Class AA biosolids, which can then be distributed and marketed as fertilizer. This class of biosolids is unregulated and land-applied mainly on pasture and, to a lesser extent, citrus.

Bahia grass pastures in Florida can generally produce satisfactorily without total Phosphorous (TP) fertilization, and every crop in Florida can be grown economically without the use of biosolids as fertilizer. Biosolids provide an inefficient form of fertilization that provides only a fraction (less than 40%) of plant available nitrogen that can result in both total Nitrogen (TN) and TP over fertilization, which may negatively affect surface and other coastal waters. Of additional concern are compounds found in human wastewater biosolids which may include: hormones; steroids; bacteria; viruses; polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs); pharmaceuticals; antibodies; polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDE fire retardants); polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) like Teflon, polishes, waxes, paints, and household cleaning products; organics; metals; and artificial sweeteners. Although these materials are applied in a manner that may not be harmful to humans according to EPA guidelines, their accumulated secondary impacts are not entirely known.

Both Class B biosolids and Class AA biosolid fertilizers contain approximately 5.5 % TN and 2.2% TP. Therefore, land application of 300,000 dry tons of Class AA and Class B biosolids deposits over 33 million pounds of TN and 13.2 million pounds of TP on agricultural lands each year. Peer reviewed studies, such as those related to the Lake Okeechobee drainage basins, estimate that ± 12% of both TN and TP imports will find their way to surface waters. This basin currently receives over 1,000 dry tons of TP from Class AA biosolids, which could amount to 120 dry tons or 240,000 pounds of TP to surface waters. Large areas within Florida such as the basins draining into Lake Okeechobee already exhibit enough legacy phosphorus to last for the next 25 to 60 years. While the practice of land-applying Class B biosolids was recently banned in the Lake Okeechobee, Caloosahatchee, St. Lucie River and Everglades watersheds, the St. Johns River Upper Basin received nearly 74,000 tons of Class B biosolids in 2016, or approximately 74% of the Class B biosolids produced in Florida, in its watershed.


Agricultural crops can be grown profitably without land applying this inefficient nutrient source. There are alternative technologies that should be considered such as: pyrolysis; vapor recompression distillation; boiler technology electric generation; and supercritical water oxidation to improve recovery of resources and sustainable management of biosolids (see Attachment A).

Recently, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection announced the formation of a statewide Biosolids Technical Advisory Committee to: 1) establish a better scientific understanding of potential nutrient impacts of the land application of biosolids; and 2) evaluate current biosolids management practices and potential opportunities for enhancements to better protect Florida’s water resources (see Attachment B).


Florida’s population continues to grow at historic rates. Today, the Treasure Coast Region’s estimated 1.6 million people on public sewer generate about 87,000 dry tons of biosolids each year. In 30 or 40 years from now that total could increase by 50 percent. With this in mind, the region [Treasure Coast] is encouraged to begin a serious conversation among local elected officials, utility directors, the agriculture industry, and others about what the future of biosolids management should look like in 30 years. Is it the same as we are doing now, or is it something completely different, using new technology to create more strategic, sustainable, and valuable reuse products? All of this starts with increasing awareness about the current status of: 1) how we manage biosolids in Florida; 2) our progress in meeting water quality goals established through approved Basin Management Action Plans and other measures; and 3) new technology aimed at improving biosolids resource recovery and water quality.


Council should approve Resolution No. 18-03 and authorize its distribution to local government associations and involved state agencies.

*Keep in mind the topic of biosolids plaguing the Treasure Coast is in addition to the serious environmental devastation caused by leaking and failing septic tanks.
     Per a guest column in Martin County Currents by a member of the SFWMD Governing Board, “Local Communities Must Step Up to Address Septic Pollution to St. Lucie River, Indian River Lagoon”.
To view the attachment click on this link and scroll down to Item B6 on the agenda to download the entire nine-page file.

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Lake Worth District 4 Commissioner Herman C. Robinson’s re-election campaign kickoff last night.

See photos below and more information, including how you can show your support for Herman and his re-election to the Lake Worth City Commission.

It was the official kickoff event last night. However, Commissioner Robinson filed his papers 6½ months ago with the City Clerk to run for re-election.

The event was held at Mathew’s Brewing Co.,
located at 130 South ‘H’ St.

One attendee arrived with great aplomb and style.

A view of the crowd outside.

Click on all images to enlarge:

It was a nice crowd of supporters, campaign staff, and there were new faces too.

Another view:

To learn more about Mathew’s Brewing Co. click on this link and they are also on Twitter.

One of the featured speakers.

Mr. Jon Faust (right), a long-time Realtor in the City of Lake Worth, alongside Commissioner Robinson.

Would you like to help out the campaign?
Learn more about Herman?
That information is below.
Call 561-651-1499 or send email to:

To follow Commissioner Herman C. Robinson on Facebook click on this link. If you would like to make a contribution, send a check payable to “Herman Robinson Campaign Account” to:

Campaign of Herman Robinson
114 Ocean Breeze St.
Lake Worth, FL 33460

Suggested contributions: $25, $50 or $100. You can also make a secure contribution online using this link.

PINNED POST. A very popular blog post.

A “Pinned Post” is one kept at the top, or near the top of the blog for a certain period of time, in this case for the rest of the day.

First, a brief question:

Aren’t you getting a little tired of hearing about ‘red tide’ all day and night in the press and news media?

Don’t you wish the herd would move on to something else? Be patient. Before long another ‘shiny object’ will come along and they’ll be off chasing that next thing.

Hopefully chasing something up in Martin County somewhere out in the wet boonies, all of them wearing waders and gas masks. You know. Just to be safe from all those leaking septic tanks. So in the meantime. . .

Hope you enjoy this blog post from yesterday, about a newly-released video featuring the City of Lake Worth on South Florida Public Television.

Enjoy the video!

This City of Lake Worth has the starring role in,
“On the Town in The Palm Beaches”!

Host and producer Frank Licari at WPBT2 sets the stage with this brief forward:

“Today we’re discovering a city that’s not just hip — it’s historic too! Of course, we’re talking about the City of Lake Worth or L-Dub as the kids call it. We’ll jump into the city’s happening arts scene, visit an ocean front restaurant with postcard perfect views and check out an historic playhouse that JUST may be haunted. Are you ready? Then let’s go — On the Town in The Palm Beaches.”

Without further ado. . .

Just briefly, whilst we all await the ‘red tide’ to fade away from memory. . .

Understand that ‘red tide’ is no match
for Palm Beach County!

To our good friends in the press, news media and residents of the Treasure Coast who experienced that spasm of schadenfreude last week on hearing the news that a possible rare case of ‘red tide’ got caught up in the Gulfstream Current off the coast of the Palm Beaches, please understand this:

Before long that ‘red tide’ will vanish and be replaced by blue and white vapor trails, airplanes from all over the planet heading to the Palm Beaches. And one of those places will be the little City of Lake Worth because of this news that broke through all the noise.

“[F]irst bout with toxic red tide in more than a decade will not have either a deep ecological or economic impact.”

—Quote. News from Palm Beach Post datelined Oct. 2nd by journalist Alexandra Seltzer.

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Government and tourism officials in Palm Beach County, lesson from Summer 2016: After ‘red tide’ has washed away.

‘Blue-green algae’ in 2016 and the ‘red tide’ in 2018: Be prepared for when the ‘news’ spins out of control along the beaches here in Palm Beach County.

Please pause momentarily for Tweet to load, a staged scene in The Palm Beach Post:

From a news report in the Sun Sentinel two years ago after it was discovered there was no blue-green toxic algae along the beaches in Palm Beach County:

“We have been working really hard to get this message out,” [Ashley] Svarney said. “Our beaches are as clean and as pristine as ever.”

—Quote from Sun Sentinel. Ashley Svarney from Discover The Palm Beaches explained in 2016 that tourists and visitors were associating photos of “reeking,” “oozing” and “guacamole-thick” algae from the Treasure Coast with the clean beaches of Palm Beach County.

Before long the ‘red tide’ will be gone for good. And then the really hard work will begin for County and tourism officials. For example. . .

Do you remember two years ago when the press and news media began to scurry all over the waterways in PBC looking for green stuff in the water and suggesting it was blue-green ‘toxic’ algae? They used helicopters high up in air filming green stuff floating in canals and reporters on the ground took camera still shots and wrote stories that it might be harmful algae and warned everyone to stay out of the water. Reporters carried gas masks. Just in case you see. The public got frightened and upset. TV news ratings went up and the press sold more newspapers. And then guess what happened? The sample results from the Florida DEP came back 4–5 days later: those samples came back clear. Non-toxic. You see, not all blue-green algae is toxic the public later came to learn. It was a panic over nothing. But that news was too late for some cities such as Lake Worth that were forced to cancel events like the July 4th Raft Race.

And how many tourists cancelled their plans to come to the beaches in PBC later that year? How many Snowbirds saw reports about ‘toxic’ blue-green algae and decided to go somewhere else for the Fall/Winter Season?

The media frenzy about blue-green algae began again early this year, much earlier than it did in 2016. Some in the press and news media will eventually get bored running around up in Martin and St. Lucie counties and come south to Palm Beach County and try stirring up fears here along the inland canals, Intracoastal, and the coastal beaches too about ‘toxic’ algae to get their TV ratings up and increase online newspaper clicks too.

Before this County needs to go into “CRISIS COMMUNICATION MODE” take a lesson from what happened in July 2016, here is a headline in the Sun Sentinel:

“Palm Beach County tourism community wants to clear up algae bloom perceptions”

This item could be filed under, “Stuff that happens when you are not prepared”. The news below comes from this article in the Sun Sentinel by reporter Skyler Swisher and two excerpts:

     Discover The Palm Beaches, the county's tourism marketer, has been in “crisis communication mode,” working to dispel any perception that Palm Beach County's 47 miles of beaches are also being coated in the neon-green slime, said Ashley Svarney, the organization's public relations director.
     She wants Americans to know the water is fine in Delray Beach, Boca Raton and other popular destinations.

and. . .

     Lured by beautiful blue water and swaying coconut palms, nearly 7 million people visited Palm Beach County in 2015, producing more than $7 billion in economic impact, according to Discover The Palm Beaches.
     The organization’s CEO Jorge Pesquera appeared on NBC Nightly News over the Fourth of July weekend. He strolled along the beach in Lake Worth with a reporter. Beachgoers frolicked in the surf, and Pesquera stressed that he would be comfortable letting his own children take a dip in the ocean.

Be prepared to fight back against the press and news media! Here is one example how from July 2016.

Just a simple Tweet with a photo:

Beautiful blues! Sea and sky at the Lake Worth pier on July 2nd, 2016.

Today and Friday there are tons of things to do in this City of Lake Worth.

There is so much going on this week. It’s the perfect storm taking the air out of the ‘red tide’.

And word is the annual migration of Snowbirds has begun early this year. This is very good news because Friday is the official start of the 2018–2019 Snowbird Season here in the City.

Here is the list of things to do today (Wednesday):

The big event kicking off the Season is this Friday evening from 6:00–10:00, the very first monthly Lake Ave. Block Party in Downtown Lake Worth.

Click on image to enlarge:

For the comprehensive list of Special Events in this City click on this link and learn more about the City’s Dept. of Leisure Services.

Following the Lake Ave. Block Party on Friday, the following Monday (Oct. 8th) is Columbus Day!

This is an official U.S. holiday and offices will be closed in the City of Lake Worth. Columbus Day is held the second Monday in October in recognition of Christopher Columbus’ arrival in the Americas in the year 1492. Up until about ten years ago Columbus Day would draw some protests outside City Hall.

It was ten years ago when PBSO merged with the former Lake Worth PD.

In preparation for Columbus Day having the right look is essential so a shopping trip to World Thrift is highly recommended. Actually tomorrow, every Wednesday, is Senior Citizens Day at World Thrift. The address is 2425 N. Dixie Hwy., open 9:00 a.m.–6:00 and the really great stuff goes fast.

Also today, every Wednesday, the Lake Worth Rotary Club meets in Downtown Lake Worth at Brogues Downunder, 621 Lake Ave. The public is welcome. Snowbirds too! Below are photos of City officials and the Rotary at the Veterans Memorial groundbreaking at the Cultural Plaza just outside the City Hall Annex.

For Snowbirds, tourists, and residents: A look at the upcoming entertainment.

There are already a lot of exciting things happening to keep our neighborhood and visiting Snowbirds rapt and excited all Season. First, the Lake Worth Historical Museum has re-opened with all new and renovated exhibits. The museum is located in the City Hall Annex in the Cultural Plaza (414 Lake Ave.) and is open today and Friday from 1:00–4:00 and tours are also provided by appointment. Call 561-533-7354 for more details and below is more information about the museum.

More notable dates of which to take note:

Now to more information about the City of Lake Worth’s Historical Museum: Yesteryear, days of yore and militaria.

The Lake Worth Historical Museum is a big draw for visitors and tourists and reports are the Snowbird Season has already begun. Advance Snowbird patrols have been spotted looking for prime nesting grounds.

Since June the volunteer staff at the museum has been working on the exhibits and displays and they have done a spectacular job.

The Lake Worth Lagoon and City of Lake Worth were named after General William Jenkins Worth. And in one of those incredible but true twists of history — General Worth is entombed in a mausoleum in Manhattan, New York — also in Manhattan is Grant’s Tomb, the final resting place of General Ulysses S. Grant, also the 18th President of the United States.

In recognition of this City’s role in American history and recognizing the sacrifice of all veterans, past and present:

“The Lake Worth Rotary Club [in Nov. 2017] held a ground breaking for a Veterans Memorial in the Cultural Plaza. Rotarians were joined by elected officials and City employees from Public Services. The dedication will be held Veterans Day.”

To read more about Veterans Day last year in this City click on this link. This year the Veterans Day ceremonies and parade in the Downtown will be on Saturday, November 10th.

Photographs below from the “Military Memorial
Monument” groundbreaking last year:

From L–R: Lake Worth Commissioner Herman C. Robinson; Ron Leeds, Lake Worth Rotary; Chris Dabros (partially obscured), Lake Worth CRA; former Lake Worth Commissioner Retha Lowe; Lake Worth Mayor Pam Triolo; John Endrushat, Lake Worth Rotary; and Suzanne Holmes, Public Services Office Manager, City of Lake Worth.

Click on image to enlarge:

Note the southwest corner of the City Hall Annex. The Lake Worth Historical Museum is on the second floor of the Annex building.

In this photo is Lake Worth Commissioner Scott Maxwell (far left) and Felipe Lofaso (second from right), Asst. Director, Lake Worth Public Services.

Now to more memories at the Historical Museum, a caption and historic photo about a pooch. . .

“The pooch in this 1940s photo seems to take exception to the posted notice at the Lake Worth Municipal Beach.

Pets are still barred from the beach, with the
exception of service animals.”

Photo courtesy of the Lake Worth Historical Museum.

Enjoy the video!

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Tomorrow. Campaign kick-off and fundraiser for re-election of District 4 Commissioner Herman C. Robinson.

Event from 5:30–7:00 at Mathews Brewing Company, 130 S. ‘H’ St. in this City of Lake Worth.

Drinks and appetizers will be served.
Please RSVP to 561-651-1499 or send an email to:

To follow Commissioner Herman C. Robinson on Facebook click on this link.

If you cannot attend this event but would like to make a contribution, send a check payable to “Herman Robinson Campaign Account” to:

Campaign of Herman Robinson
114 Ocean Breeze St.
Lake Worth, FL 33460

Suggested contributions: $25, $50 or $100. You can also make a secure contribution online using this link.

‘Red tide’ was a story yesterday. Here’s another one that happened:

Please pause momentarily for Tweet to load: 

FYI: The City of Greenacres merged with PBSO in 2015. The three-year anniversary is coming up soon. On that topic is this quote:

[T]here is no debate about the result. Overall crime is down, and available law-enforcement resources are far better.” [emphasis added]

Quote. Editor at The Palm Beach Post, March 10th, 2018.

Volunteering for PBSO is powerfully effective keeping neighborhoods and communities safer.

Do you or someone you know have time to
volunteer with PBSO?

Then contact PBSO’s Volunteer Headquarters or the Neighborhood Assoc. Presidents’ Council (NAPC; see below for contact information):

  • PBSO Volunteer HQ: Call 561-433-2003
  • Email:
  • Or visit the Volunteer Services Unit at 2601 S. Military Trail, Ste. 29 in West Palm Beach: open Monday–Friday from 9:00 a.m.–noon and 1:00 p.m.–4:00.

Volunteers are needed for the Citizen Observer Patrol (COP), media unit, traffic monitoring, parking enforcement, Volunteer Emergency Response Team (VERT), honor guard, mounted unit, and bike patrol.

To contact the NAPC in the City of Lake Worth visit their Facebook page or send an email to:

And keep in mind Crime Stoppers as well:

You may have that one small tip to help solve the murder of Thomas Altman. Refresh your memory: read the Post article by reporter Hannah Winston from March 2016.

PUBLIC NOTICE: Palm Beach State College (PBSC) Seeks More Student Development.

DEADLINE: Friday at 2:00.

Note: The two excerpts below are from a public notice published in The Palm Beach Post on September 9th; responses to PBSC need to be submitted no later than 2:00 p.m. on October 5th. Emphasis and links added:

Request for Information (RFI)
Public Private Partnership (P3)
Student Services Building
Palm Beach State College

The District Board of Trustees for Palm Beach State College is interested in exploring a Public Private Partnership (P3) concept for a new Student Services Building on the Lake Worth Campus [in suburban Lake Worth].

A Request for Information (RFI) will be issued and available on September 10, 2018 [date passed]. Companies, firms, contractors, corporations, or any business entity interested in providing a response to this RFI shall seek RFI #18/19-02 through the College website [click on this link], under the heading RFQ 18/19-02. Public Private Partnership, Student Services Building. This General Information Package will serve to provide interested parties with general information including a list of required submittals, a project decision schedule, and subsequent activities related to this project.

and. . .

Further information may be obtained by contacting the Palm Beach State College purchasing office at [by email] 

Monday, October 1, 2018

The crisis of October–November 2017: “Rains cause 1.2 million-gallon overflow at West Palm sewage plant”.

So. As we all await for the results answering the question “Is it ‘red tide’ or not?”, let’s take a stroll down memory lane to what happened last year.

There was no mistaking the ‘brown tide’ of sewage and “Icky brown waters” last year along the beaches in Palm Beach County. Read more about that below, news from Palm Beach Post reporters Kimberly Miller, Tony Doris, and more information provided in the Post.

This year in the Post it’s all about the ‘red tide’ along the beaches. Is it for real? No one knows until the test results come back. However, the Post thought they had the answer one day and the next they are aren’t so certain.

Here is the dramatic Post front page headline yesterday, in the Sunday paper “above the fold” meaning what the editor(s) felt, “[W]ill entice people to buy the paper”:

Beaches close as people fall ill; red tide believed to be culprit

Here is the Post front page headline today which seems to call into question the Sunday headline:

27 miles of beach shut; is it red tide?

So as everyone awaits the results, whether it’s ‘red tide’ or not, let’s take a look back at what happened last year.

Following that plague of sewage last year from West Palm Beach as was reported by Tony Doris (see below) then came more breaking news from Kimberly Miller, “Icky brown waters off Palm Beach County concern tourism leaders”.

In October/November 2017 Palm Beach County
was in full-blown crisis mode.

Why? Because of an approaching hurricane? No. It was because of noticeably brown ocean water off the coast of Jupiter to Boca Raton and was especially evident off the beaches of the Town of Palm Beach. Tourism leaders sounded the alarm. Government leaders at the local and County level were demanding answers.

That this was all happening at the beginning of the tourism season couldn’t have possibly been worse timing. The fear was our annual migration of Snowbirds from the northeast and Canada would find somewhere else to go. Our entire Winter tourist season was on the brink of being severely impacted.

So the question is, what’s to stop this from happening again? This quote may provide some answers as we approach another tourism and Snowbird Season beginning next month.

“A local newspaper is really a public trust [emphasis added], part of the fabric of the whole community.”

Timothy D. Burke, “Mission of Post, Shiny Sheet will not change” (both of these newspapers were sold to Gatehouse Media on May 1st this year; November 1st will mark 6 months under new ownership).

Where did all that brown water come from the public wanted to know. There were theories.

As reported by Palm Beach Post reporter Tony Doris on Oct. 31st, 2017 in an article titled, “Rains cause 1.2 million-gallon overflow at West Palm sewage plant” was there a connection to the “Icky brown waters” off the beaches of Palm Beach County? In a Letter to the Editor that was published shortly afterward a resident of West Palm Beach wondered following the news report by Doris:

[D]oes this recent sewage spill have anything to do with last week’s health department closing of county beaches from Jupiter to Boca Raton, the entire Palm Beach County shoreline, due to elevated bacteria levels of “unknown” origin?

Here are two excerpts from Post reporter Kimberly Miller’s article datelined November 14th, two weeks after the news from Doris:

The topaz-blue waters off Palm Beach County have had more noticeably brown days this fall – an opaque sea of tea that is less inviting and even dangerous as high bacteria levels have forced a handful of temporary no-swimming orders.

and. . .

     “I’m seeing a polluted coastline from Jupiter to I don’t know how far south,” said Jack Corrick, a Singer Island resident. “Visitors are starting to come back and if people won’t go in the water, it would be a quick death for us.” [emphasis added]

Should the Town of Palm Beach be worried about the water supply and sewage spills?

Another question, should that town seriously consider getting its drinking water supply from the City of Lake Worth instead of from West Palm Beach? Below is another Letter to the Editor published in the Post following the news from Miller and Doris with the headline, “Sewage spill shows serious problem” written by Anne Kuhl of West Palm Beach:

Re: “Rain causes 1.2 million-gallon overflow at West Palm sewage plant” reporting that Tropical Storm Philippe caused a sewage spill of 1.2 million gallons at the West Palm Beach regional sewage treatment plant.
     With the sewage plant’s location off Roebuck Road just east of the Florida Turnpike and at the edge of the city’s main water supply, the Grassy Waters Preserve, the city’s wastewater operation appears to be a serious threat to its own public water supply. [emphasis added]
     With this major sewage spill and the sewage worker’s drowning death at this same plant, it would seem that all the millions of dollars the city has spent to stop the State Road 7 extension would be better spent repairing and improving their own sewage treatment plant. Instead, a city commissioner chooses to blame the spill on climate change.
     Additionally, I just have to wonder out loud, does this recent sewage spill have anything to do with last week’s health department closing of county beaches from Jupiter to Boca Raton, the entire Palm Beach County shoreline, due to elevated bacteria levels of “unknown” origin?

If this issue is of grave concern to you try contacting someone on the staff at the Post or take the time and write your own Letter to the Editor. Click on this link to learn how.

Explained: The Gulfstream Hotel and current status of approvals.

First, before we get to the approvals from the City for a project to move forward at the Gulfstream Hotel there is new news to report from The Lake Worth Herald and a reminder about false news published in The Palm Beach Post. Remember when the City’s Code Enforcement Dept. was blamed for the Gulfstream Hotel renovation not moving forward?

Read more about that below and the current status of approvals from the City for this historic hotel, the deadline for issuance of a building permit for work to begin.

This week’s Lake Worth Herald has the front page headline, “Activity Raises Questions”. Here is an excerpt from the news:

Word now has it there is a new owner and the building is being boarded up to protect the interior and windows from vandalism. Vandalism, some say is caused by the “homeless in the park”, others say some neighbors are responsible. It doesn’t matter, the building needs some work, and the citizens of Lake Worth and visitors to the city are asking a lot of questions.

Beware of myths, mis- and disinformation.

The Gulfstream Hotel, unfortunately, became a political football in the 20172018 election cycle. To learn more about that click on this link.

And there is more. For example. . .

The beat reporter from The Palm Beach Post reported in January 2017 that the Gulfstream Hotel was shuttered because of Code Enforcement. Absolutely false. But it was that story in the Post which sent the City into damage control. And the editor(s) at the Post published a letter on the editorial page which made the City leadership stop everything they were doing to get the facts out. From that letter published in the Post:

“The Gulfstream Hotel should be taken back by the city [emphasis added] . . . The Gulfstream Hotel and the seven years of neglect by Hudson Holdings, which is further delayed due to a lawsuit amongst the partners. A possible solution to look into could be eminent domain, where the city would take back the property. . .”

The Gulfstream Hotel has always been private property. The City of Lake Worth cannot ‘take back’ property it never owned. Now let’s move on.

Recent photos of the boarding up.

This is professionally done work. Boarding to deter vandals from getting into the structure. Since these photos were taken the plywood has been painted as well.

And another:

Now to the approvals from the City of Lake Worth to move forward with a project:

Click on image to enlarge.

Letterhead: From the City of Lake Worth confirming approval status for the Gulfstream Hotel (see text of letter below).

In early 2016 a number of applications successfully went through the Historic Resource Preservation Board and then on the City Commission. There was much excitement back then and many of you will recall this video which summed up the public mood two years ago. Those approvals (which are enumerated in the language from the letter below) have a standard 12 month deadline for work to commence with the possibility of a 6 month extension if necessary. In the City of Lake Worth commencement of development is tied to the issuance of a building permit and continued work after the building permit is issued.

Issuance of a building permit would mean that a complete set of construction drawings has been reviewed and approved by the City’s building official. That has not happened in this case, as yet. But as the letter below identifies, Governor Rick Scott issued blanket Executive Orders based on various emergency situations that extend the life of an approval. This is done through the application process and is a statewide phenomenon.

Thus the deadline for issuance of a building permit for work to begin on the Gulfstream Hotel is now September 2019 for the conditional use approval (hotel) and October 2019 for the remainder of the approvals: expansion of Gulfstream Hotel (pool and restaurant), a new hotel to 65′ on the western lot and a parking garage as well on the southern area of the lot.

These approvals are important as it adds value to the property and allows someone to commence development without having to go through the various approval processes again. Now that Hudson Holdings is not part of the project any longer someone else can assume the responsibility for getting the various construction drawings together and subsequent submittal for a building permit.

There is ample time to do so and would not require a change of ownership. However, it also allows for a change of ownership if that should occur as the approvals run with the property and not the owner.

Text from page 1 of letter follows.


Gulfstream Hotel at 1 and 11 Lake Avenue and 12,14,20,22, and 24 South Lakeside Drive Notice of Extension for Major Site Plan (PZB 15-0140009), Conditional use (PZB 15-00500013), Variance (PZB 16-0150001), Certificate of Appropriateness (“COA”) for Demolition (HRPB 15-00100214), COA for New Construction (HRPB 15-00100215), COA for Addition (HRPB 15-00100216), and COA for Exterior Alterations (HRPB 15-00100217) (Revised date)

Dear Ms. Schrantz:

The City of Lake Worth is in receipt of your letter dated April 2, 2018, advising the City that you were, on behalf of your client, Gulfstream Hotel, providing notice to the City that you intended to take advantage of the tolling and extension periods allowed under Section 252.363, Florida Statutes, as it relates to the above approvals. In your letter, you are also seeking from the City “correspondence confirming the new expiration dates for the Site Plan Approval, Conditional Use Approval, Variance Approval and COA Approvals.”

As your letter details, the major site plan, conditional use, and variance approvals were set to expire on April 9, 2018. In addition, the COAs for demolition, new construction, addition, and exterior alterations were set to expire on May 2, 2018.

The Governor’s declarations and the extensions thereof which affect Gulfstream’s approvals are as follows:
  • On May 3, 2017, the Governor issued EO No.17-146, which declared a state of emergency in Palm Beach County due to the Opioid Epidemic. EO No. 17-146 was subsequently extended by EO No. 17-177, EO No.17-230, EO No.17-285, EO No.17-329 and 18-47, which will expire on April 20, 2018 unless extended.
  • On September 4, 2017, the Governor issued EO 17-235, which declared a state of emergency in Palm Beach County due to Hurricane Irma. EO No. 17-235 was subsequently extended by EO No. 17-287 and EO No. 17-330, which expired on February 27, 2018.
  • On October 2, 2017, the Governor issued EO 17-259, which declared a state of emergency in Palm Beach County due to Hurricane Maria. EO 17-259 was subsequently extended by EO 17-304 and EO No.18-17, which expired on March 26, 2018.
Accordingly, the City grants Gulfstream Hotel an extension of 353 days plus 6 months for the site plan, conditional use, and variance approvals. The new expiration date is therefore, September 27, 2019. As it relates to the COA for demolition, new construction, addition and exterior alterations, the City likewise grants an extension of 353 days plus 6 months. The new expiration date is therefore, October 21, 2019.

Page 2 of letter:

Click on image to enlarge:
The letter is signed by the Assistant Director for Planning and Preservation, Mark Stivers, AICP.

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

Public Meeting Notice.

“The MID” will be on the P&Z agenda this Wednesday.

PLEASE TAKE NOTICE that the Planning & Zoning Board, of the City of Lake Worth, Florida, will hold a public hearing in the City Hall Commission Chambers, 7 North Dixie Hwy., at 6:00 PM or as soon thereafter as possible, on Wednesday, October 3, 2018 to consider a request by Jeffery Burns of Affiliated Development for the following:

PZB Project# 18-01400011: a Major Site Plan, Planned Development, and Sustainable Bonus Incentive Program for the construction of 230 apartment units, +/- 9,700 square feet of ground floor retail space, and off-site improvements to surrounding streets at 1601 North Dixie Highway, in the Mixed Use – Dixie Highway (MU-DH) zoning district. The subject property’s PCN is 38-43-44-16-06-016-0010.

Written responses can be sent to the Lake Worth Planning & Zoning Board at 1900 2nd Avenue N, Lake Worth, FL 33461 and must arrive before the hearing date to be included in the formal record. You also have the opportunity to attend the meeting to provide oral testimony. For additional information on the above issues, please visit the City of Lake Worth Division of Planning, Zoning and Historic Preservation located at 1900 Second Ave. North, Lake Worth, Florida 33461 or contact City Staff at 561-586-1687.

To read the entire Public Meeting Notice refer to the Lake Worth Herald dated Thursday, September 20th, 2018.

For more information about this project click on this link.

“The MID apartment residences”

This property on North Dixie Hwy. “[M]easures 5.6 acres and is the largest privately owned property in the CRA District.”

Blog post from yesterday for readers who may have missed this. . .

One could say a seemingly mundane topic on this blog yesterday created quite the ‘stir’. Already read this? Thank You once again for visiting and please scroll down.

For everyone else, below is an idea to increase attendance at public parks in Palm Beach County. At first the idea sounds silly. But then when you think more about it. . .

Promoting ecotourism, boosting visits by families, young adults and children to our County and national parks.

Could making PBC the world leader in the treatment of Nature-Deficit Disorder (NDD) be the answer?

Please note, before we proceed:

NDD is not recognized in DSM-5 and has been criticized by malcontents high up in tall buildings as a misdiagnosis that NDD is a “problematic contemporary environmental discourse that can obscure and mistreat the problem.”

NDD was first coined by Richard Louv in his 2005 classic “Last Child in the Woods” meaning that children as reported in Wikipedia, “[A]re spending less time outdoors resulting in a wide range of behavioral problems” such as careening on skateboards into parked cars and walking around in circles texting.

However, Louv claims that causes for the phenomenon (NDD) include “parental fears, restricted access to natural areas, and the lure of electronic devices.” Bolstering Louv’s claims is research demonstrating the contrast between the declining number of park visits in America and increased use of electronic media by children. Draw your own conclusions about NDD but err on the side of promoting and encouraging more visits to public parks.

Please pause here.

OK. If you haven’t figured it out by now, the information above is a little tongue-in-cheek with a dab of satire.


Could a businessman in Jupiter be on to something? This same businessman cites an actual published book titled, Saving Our Children From Nature-Deficit Disorder, a 2005 best-seller by Richard Louv. Could our public parks in PBC be used as a draw nationwide for treatment of NDD in children and young adults and increasing ecotourism as well?

Continue reading and you decide.

Getting more visitors and tourists to visit our County and national parks in PBC has been a problem for a very long time. The Loxahatchee Sierra Club is one group that has been out in the lead trying to solve this problem at the Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge located in suburban Boynton Beach. For more information about that is recent news by the acclaimed reporter David Fleshler at the Sun Sentinel.

Now back to the Loxahatchee River in
northern Palm Beach County.

News from Post business reporter Alexandra Clough headlined, “Jupiter businessman Rick Clegg pursues his passion for the outdoors”; two excerpts:

     Clegg, the owner of Jupiter Outdoor Center on Love Street, across from the Jupiter Lighthouse, is expanding his company. In October, Clegg will be offering kayak, canoe and bicycle rentals at Riverbend Park on Indiantown Road.
     In addition, Clegg will tap into Palm Beach County’s growing eco-tourism industry by offering guided tours, including bird-watching tours at Riverbend Park. [emphasis added]
     “Our mission is to create a convenient, safe and fun way for people to experience nature,” Clegg said. “We’ll be giving people more of a reason to come into the park.”
     Clegg is partnering with the River Center, which provides the expertise on the river and its many inhabitants. Educating people about the river isn’t just for adults. Clegg runs day camps for children, too.

and another quote from Clough’s news. . .

     “I [Mr. Clegg] see north Palm Beach County, and especially Jupiter, becoming a known eco-tourism destination that attracts visitors from around the world and continues to provide those that live here an ‘out-of-this-world’ natural experience.”

When asked by the reporter what one of his favorite books is Clegg recommended the best seller The Last Child in the Woods, subtitled Saving Our Children From Nature-Deficit Disorder (NDD).

Clegg’s Jupiter Outdoor Center is located at 1116 Love St. in Jupiter and is open every day of the week from 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. Call 561-747-0063 and ask about the rental facility opening soon in Riverbend Park for kayaks, bicycles and other popular items.

More information about the Loxahatchee River.

Later in this blog post is a press release and video from the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) about the restoration of two historic dams along the Loxahatchee River in Jupiter for the ecosystem of this federally designated “wild and scenic river” for public recreation, e.g., access for kayaking, fishing, ecotourism and helping children with NDD.

Why the Loxahatchee River matters.

The Loxahatchee flows through Riverbend Park in Jupiter (in Palm Beach County) and north into Jonathan Dickinson State Park between Hobe Sound and Tequesta. Both of these parks are wonderful assets with Jonathan Dickinson being the largest state park in Southeast Florida and Riverbend Park having such a long history here in PBC.

Near Riverbend Park, also on the Loxahatchee River, is the popular historical site of Battlefield Park:

Since acquiring the land, the Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation Department’s goal has been to preserve the natural, archaeological, and cultural significance of these properties and to provide access and education to the public. . . . The parks [Riverbend and Battlefield] are also officially recognized as sites of two Second Seminole War battles and were home to pioneers and farmsteaders after those battles.

Press release datelined May 2018,
“SFWMD Completes Restoration of Historic
Loxahatchee River Dams”:

Jupiter, FL — [T]he South Florida Water Management District’s (SFWMD) Water Resources Analysis Coalition [WRAC] received a detailed presentation about the recently completed restoration of two historic dams on the Loxahatchee River in northern Palm Beach County.
     The dams, first built in the 1930s by local families, control and regulate upstream flow stages of the Northwest Fork of the river, the state's first designated “wild and scenic” river. The dams also maintain the hydrology of the riverine floodplain ecosystem. Modeling has shown that without the two dams in place, the upstream water levels would be about 1.5 feet lower, draining the freshwater swamp and encouraging saltwater intrusion.
     “One of SFWMD’s primary missions is the protection of natural systems and these dam renovations are crucial to ensuring the future of the Loxahatchee River," said Governing Board Vice Chair Melanie Peterson, a Palm Beach County resident and former member of the Loxahatchee River Management Coordinating Council. “These dams are not only living parts of Palm Beach County's history, but they are essential to protecting the cypress swamp floodplain that makes the Loxahatchee so unique.”

The video from SFWMD:

For reference: Note the Loxahatchee River Watershed Project (top right) in the map below and the “Mecca Parcel” to the west.

Click on image to enlarge:

Also of note is the Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge (see WCA 1 on map). The Loxahatchee Sierra Club and SFWMD are working together to control the spread of Lygodium. To learn more
click on this link.

Hope you found this information helpful and, as always, Thank You for visiting today.