Saturday, November 3, 2018

PINNED POST: About public schools and education in the City of Lake Worth.

A “Pinned Post” is one kept at the top of the blog
for a specific period of time.

In this case for the rest of the day.

Already informed about the topic of public education in the City of Lake Worth? Then Thank You for visiting again today and please scroll down to the next blog post or peruse the right-hand column and find out more about what is happening in this City➜➜➜➜➜➜➜➜➜

Without further ado. . .

Last Thursday’s Joint Work Session: Lake Worth City Commission and Palm Beach County School District.

The must-watch video of this meeting is at the end of this blog post.

Please share this information with everyone who is concerned about public education.

Every public school in this City is rated a “C”.

Briefly, the big takeaways from this meeting: The two main goals are increasing school attendance at each and every public school in the City and early childhood education (VPK) is key so kids are ready for kindergarten. We learned from this Joint Work Session way too many kids are showing up to their first day of public school and from Day 1 have to try and catch up.

Our elected officials and City government MUST GET MORE INVOLVED! The presentation by School Board member Erica Whitfield (see video below) was in a word spectacular.

Our City of Lake Worth has allies in this effort to improve our schools: Belle Glade, Pahokee and Riviera Beach. Kids want to learn. Poverty is not the obstacle. Money is. But enough about that for now.

Stay tuned for more information to come over the next several days. And don’t expect any news about this meeting in The Palm Beach Post. The school news in Wellington, Jupiter and Palm Beach Gardens sells more newspapers.

The only press at this meeting was editor Mark Easton from The Lake Worth Herald. Early on in the video he is introduced to great fanfare. Easton is an alum of Lake Worth Community High School.

The Who’s Who in attendance.

The Key Players at the table:

  • District 4 School Board member and City of Lake Worth resident Erica Whitfield.
  • Deputy School Board Superintendent and Chief of Schools Keith Oswald.
  • District 7 School Board member Debra Robinson.
  • Attorney present: Senior Associate Pamala H. Ryan of Torcivia, Donlon, Goddeau & Ansay.
  • City of Lake Worth Mayor Pam Triolo.
  • City of Lake Worth Vice Mayor Andy Amoroso (District 3).
  • City of Lake Worth Vice Mayor Pro Tem Scott Maxwell (District 1).
  • Lake Worth Assistant City Manager Juan Ruiz, Class of ’95 from Lake Worth Community High School.
  • Lake Worth District 4 Commissioner Herman C. Robinson.
  • Lake Worth District 2 Commissioner Omari Hardy.

Note that following the introductions at the table the staff and other Notable Notables are introduced in the Chambers.

The video. . .

Press Release from City of Lake Worth and City’s Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA).

This very informative press release datelined Thursday, Nov. 1st is below. And also below is the answer to the oft-posed question, “What is the purpose of the CRA?”

Also of note the Lake Worth CRA was the top news story last Thursday by multimedia journalist Alanna Quillen at NBC5/WPTV with the headline,

Lake Worth approving first luxury
apartment complex in the city

The news on WPTV was sub-headlined, “Effort to diversify the city’s real estate market” and one of our elected leaders was quoted by Alanna Quillen:

“If you’re into cute cottages, we have lots of things for you. If youre into historic homes, we have lots of things for you. But if you’re a young professional that’s not ready to buy a home or not ready to take care of a yard, we have nothing for you and this is the first opportunity that we’re going to give to them,” said Lake Worth City Commissioner Omari Hardy, whose district [District 2] includes the project area. 

Briefly, about the mission of the Lake Worth CRA:

We are dedicated to maintaining the character of the City, responding to community needs and encouraging sustainable economic growth to improve the quality of life for our residents and the future health of our City.

The CRA is headquartered at The HATCH, 1121 Lucerne Ave. in Downtown Lake Worth. Press and news media contacts:

  • Joan Oliva, Executive Director of CRA: 561-493-2550;
  • Madlyn McKendry, CRA Board Chair,
  • Emily Theodossakos is the Lake Worth CRA marketing and program manager.

What is the purpose of the CRA?

Community Redevelopment Agencies and other economic development organizations exist to promote the improvement of downtown areas and neighborhoods through redevelopment efforts. CRAs have certain powers that cities may not have, including establishing tax increment financing and leveraging public funds with private dollars:

“Working alongside and in partnership with our municipalities, CRAs are able to accomplish great achievements.”

The Lake Worth CRA is governed by a seven (7) member board appointed by the Lake Worth City Commission. Their role is to direct CRA activities within the Community Redevelopment Area in accordance with the approved Lake Worth Redevelopment Plan. Revenue is generated for CRA projects through Tax Increment Financing (TIF).

Joint press release issued by the City of Lake Worth and CRA:

Lake Worth, FL; Nov. 1st, 2018 — The City of Lake Worth and Lake Worth Community Redevelopment Agency are proud to announce two new redevelopment projects: The Royal Poinciana Trail at 5th Ave. South and the new Shops at Downtown Lake Worth were awarded the 2018 winners of the best new Transportation, Transit Enhancement and Outstanding New Building categories at the annual Florida Redevelopment Association (FRA) Awards.*

The CRA is incredibly thankful for this honor and appreciate everyone whose dedication and hard work made this possible.

Each year FRA accepts entries for the annual awards from its members in a variety of categories ranging from outstanding housing project to cultural enhancement. The entries are examined for effectiveness and completeness — including the narrative, supplemental material and compliance with the submittal instructions — by a cross section of Florida redevelopment professionals. Individuals and business organizations judge and rank all of the entries and select the winners.

 “The Board and Staff of the Lake Worth CRA are extremely proud to be recognized by the Florida Redevelopment Association for our work. Both were multi-year projects that required a great deal of communication and coordination. We are grateful to be acknowledged for our ongoing efforts. It is a very exciting time in the City of Lake Worth as there are many new exciting projects in the planning stages or underway in the CRA District.”

—Quote. Madlyn McKendry, Chair of the Lake Worth CRA Board.

The Royal Poinciana Trail at 5th Ave. South

Originally envisioned in 2012 by Mayor Pam Triolo and Palm Beach County School Board Member Erica Whitfield, The Royal Poinciana Trail is the newest non-motorized, shared use pathway in Lake Worth. This 1,500′ linear pathway, which was completed in February 2018, winds through one of the most economically distressed areas of the City.

The project resulted in one of the most attractive linear greenspaces within the City. Primarily funded with grant dollars from FDOT, this project was completed on-time and under budget. By taking a former unimproved right-of-way and turning it into the beautiful Royal Poinciana Trail, the CRA and City were able to accomplish a magnificent transformation of formerly blighted conditions and provide a safe route for children and residents to get through their neighborhood without a motorized vehicle.

Shops at Downtown Lake Worth

By accepting a bank-foreclosed property that had been vacant for twelve years and working with a private developer, the CRA was able to help assemble a large parcel of land near Downtown, generate jobs, create 10,000 square feet of retail space, spur development in an area that sat idle for over a decade and create a harmonious transition from the Downtown to the new Lake Worth Arts District.

In 2017 development began on a retail shopping center that would eventually house a new Starbucks with a drive-thru, a T-Mobile store, an urgent care medical office and a nail salon. The grand openings for the Shops at Downtown took place in June 2018 and created approximately 55 jobs.

End of press release.

*The Florida Redevelopment Association (FRA) is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to assisting Florida professionals and volunteers in community revitalization efforts. With its mission of “transforming spaces, revitalizing places,” FRA is committed to providing a forum for its more than 300 members to share knowledge and common experiences regarding revitalization opportunities and issues throughout Florida.

Friday, November 2, 2018

Sunday is Tropical Triathlon in the City of Lake Worth: Important information for spectators and athletes.

And note the Palm Beaches Marathon will be held on Sunday, December 2nd. At the end of this blog post is more information about this annual race the Town of Palm Beach rejected this year.

The Tropical Triathlon held in the City of Lake Worth is one of the top triathlons in Florida and a USA Triathlon (USAT) sanctioned event.

Below are the eleven most commonly violated rules from USAT that everyone should be looking out for to keep the race safe for race participants and spectators and course rules to avoid time penalties and disqualifications.

Also below is a video of what can go wrong when people are not paying attention.

Remember parking at the Casino and Beach Complex is $3/hour so plan accordingly. Parking is FREE in most areas of the Downtown.

The triathlon will begin at 6:45 at the Lake Worth Beach beginning with a ¼-mile swim in the ocean, thirteen mile bike race, and 5K foot race. To sign up for the race click on this link.

Following the swim participants in the race will ride their bikes over the Robert Harris Bridge into Downtown Lake Worth.

For contact information click on this link.

For the complete list of USAT rule violations use this link. The top eleven most common in brief:

  • Helmets. Only helmets approved by the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) may be used in USAT sanctioned events. Helmets must be worn at all times while on your bike. This means before, during, and after the event. Penalty: Disqualification.
  • Chin straps. Chin straps must be buckled at all times when on a bicycle.
  • Outside assistance. No assistance other than that offered by race and medical officials may be used.
  • Transition area. All equipment must be placed in the properly designated and individually assigned bike corral.
  • Drafting. Keep at least three bike lengths of clear space between you and the cyclist in front. If you move into the zone, you must pass within 15 seconds.
  • Course. All competitors are required to follow the prescribed course and to stay within all coned lanes. Cutting the course is an obvious violation and going outside the course is a safety issue.
  • Conduct: Foul, harsh, argumentative or abusive language or other unsportsmanlike conduct directed at race officials, USA Triathlon officials, volunteers, spectators or fellow athletes is forbidden. Penalty: Disqualification.
  • Headphones. Headphones, headsets, Walkman, iPods, mp3 players, or personal audio devices, etc., are not to be carried or worn at any time during the race.
  • Race numbers. All athletes are required to wear race numbers at all times during the run. Numbers must face the front and be clearly visible at all times.
  • Wetsuits. Each age group participant shall be permitted to wear a wetsuit without penalty in any event sanctioned by USA Triathlon up to and including a water temperature of 78°F.
  • Abandonment. All personal equipment and belongings taken onto the course must stay on the athlete the entire time.

Below is a short video from the triathlon in 2015. To keep the course safe PBSO will have deputies at major intersections and along the race route there will be course officials and volunteers giving instructions and directions to all the race participants.

But something can always happen to create a potential hazard. Like what happens a little after the one minute mark in this video:

Luckily there was not an incident and no one got hurt. Except for a few seconds added to a few racers’ times.

So the lesson is stay alert at all times. And watch out for that old man on the bike!

Now to the Palm Beaches Marathon in December.

Organizers hope this annual event will some day rise to the level of the Boston and New York marathons.

However, this year the Town of Palm Beach rejected the Palm Beaches Marathon saying it wasn’t “town-serving”.

So the City of Lake Worth stepped up to complete the full 26.2 mile marathon. The course route in this City is east of Dixie Hwy. and the runners will not get one single glimpse of the Lake Worth Lagoon off our shore.

Runners will see a lot of the Intracoastal in West Palm Beach though. It’s not called the ‘West Palm Beach Lagoon’ for a reason. And West Palm Beach doesn’t have a beach.

The upcoming full Palm Beaches Marathon race in December will not make it to Lake Ave. in Downtown Lake Worth or go over the Robert Harris Bridge to the Lake Worth Casino.

But this year’s race will make it to just a few blocks north of Lake Ave. into the Parrot Cove neighborhood before the turnaround and back to WPB.

Other Neighborhood Assoc. Presidents’ Council (NAPC) neighborhoods included in the course this year are the College Park neighborhood just south of WPB, next is Eden Place and then Mango Groves.

The question oft-posed on this blog is. . .

Why not come up with better route to show off our Downtown and attract more visitors and tourists?

Fill up our restaurants and shops?

The Lake Worth Tropical Triathlon every year uses the Robert Harris Bridge and the Casino as part of the course for runners. So why can’t the organizers of the Palm Beaches Marathon find a route to include our world-class Casino and Beach Complex in this City?

How to make this happen? A good place to start would be contacting the Cultural Council of Palm Beach County located in Downtown Lake Worth. For all that information click on this link.

“Your Community Shopping Center” in WPB and “Looking Eastward Across Lake Worth” at Town of Palm Beach.

Have you joined the Facebook group called “Palm Beaches Remembered”? If local history is an interest of yours, strongly suggest you begin following this Facebook page. Many of the “memories” will truly amaze you.

Below are two more images from
Palm Beaches Remembered.

Expect many new and exciting things to happen in the next few months and years at and nearby “Your Community Shopping Center” in West Palm Beach. Once again, this plaza will be a vibrant part of our community and neighborhoods in WPB and the City of Lake Worth much like it was 50 years ago.

“Where Lake Worth Meets West Palm Beach” in 1968.

Click on image to enlarge, PALM COAST PLAZA.
Notice all the shops!

In September 2015 Post reporter Tony Doris provided hints about the future of this plaza on Dixie Hwy., north of the City of Lake Worth, just across the C-51 Canal.

Tony Doris’ article was titled, “Homes, links to area and water among options for WPB golf course”:

“The [West Palm Beach] city commission, by general consensus, authorized Economic Development Director Chris Roog to continue pursuing redevelopment plans for the 8111 S. Dixie property and the golf course. [emphasis added] The commission also indicated its willingness to work with the adjacent Palm Coast Plaza owners in coordinating redevelopment plans.” 

“Palm Coast Plaza Store!”

This plaza was once a regional destination, serving West Palm Beach and other nearby cities and towns, e.g., Lake Worth and Palm Beach.

And also interestingly, a few months later (in December of 2015) Post reporter Eliot Kleinberg wrote this article titled, “[Boat] Lift at spillway would allow boat traffic from inland lakes to ocean”, referring to a project that is now called the Blueway Trail project (expected to begin in 3–5 years).

Now to “Looking Eastward Across Lake Worth”.

Back in the day there was a body of water the public called “Lake Worth”. Of course, this is what we call the Lake Worth Lagoon now, part of the Intracoastal waterway.

This image is c. 1940:

For some perspective, use this link for a photograph taken from the former Pennsylvania Hotel in West Palm Beach in 1937. The former Royal Worth
Hotel was prominent in the Town of Palm Beach
“back in the day”.

As far as “Lake Worth” goes, to this day some still call the Lake Worth Lagoon ‘Lake Worth’:

“The Avenue [Worth Avenue in Palm Beach], which encompasses four blocks between the Atlantic Ocean and the edge of Lake Worth [emphasis added] as well as its pedestrian side-street vias, was founded in the 1920s by Addison Mizner and boasts more than 200 shops, restaurants and galleries that epitomize the best of high-end merchandise and lavish amenities.”

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Press release: Upcoming road closures in the City of Lake Worth.

The press release is below from the City about road closures on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, November 2nd–4th in Downtown Lake Worth.

But first, please note: If you have a business in Downtown Lake Worth and road closures make you really upset then be advised there is a meeting coming up that can provide very helpful tips. For example, if you have an issue with the City contacting the press and/or news media is not the best and first option. Learn more at the Lake Worth Business Committee meeting coming up on November 9th at 10:00 a.m.

Without further ado. . .

Upcoming events that will require road closures:

Lake Ave. Block Party: Friday, Nov. 2nd.

The second Lake Ave. Block Party, held the first Friday of each month, will be taking place in Downtown Lake Worth from 6:00–10:00 p.m.

Lake Ave. will be closed to traffic so that patrons can enjoy live music and vendors. Lake Ave. will be closed between J Street and Federal Hwy. starting at 4:00 and no cars may be parked on the street after 4:00. All eastbound traffic will be diverted to either 2nd Ave. North or 2nd Ave. South.

Heroes for Education 5K: Saturday, Nov. 3rd.

The Education Foundation of Palm Beach County will host the 5th Annual Heroes for Education 5K Run & Walk in the vicinity of Bryant Park. To facilitate the race South Palmway and South Lakeside Drive will have restricted access between 1st Ave. South and 18th Ave. South from 7:00 a.m.–8:30 a.m.

LULA’s Día de los Muertos Celebration: Saturday, Nov. 3rd.

LULA Lake Worth Arts presents its 3rd annual Día De Los Muertos celebration at The HATCH, 1121 Lucerne Ave. In order to facilitate aspects of the event, such as the El Camino walking parade, it will be necessary to close North F St. and North G St. between Lake Ave. and Lucerne Ave. from 3:00 p.m.–10:00.

Bill Bone Tropical Triathlon: Sunday, Nov. 4th.

Over 350 athletes will be competing in the 20th annual Bill Bone Tropical Triathlon starting at the Lake Worth Beach. To facilitate the safety of the athletes the following streets will be temporarily restricted between 6:30 a.m.–9:45 a.m.:

  • Lake Ave. from Dixie Hwy. to A1A.
  • Lucerne Ave. from A1A to Dixie Hwy.
  • Federal Hwy. from 12th Ave. South to Wellesley Drive.
  • Streets J, K, L, M, North O, Ocean Breeze from 1st Ave. South to 2nd Ave. North.
  • Palmway from 2nd Ave. North to 5th Ave. South.
  • Traffic over the Robert Harris Bridge will be detoured north to the Southern Blvd. Bridge in Palm Beach and south to Ocean Ave. Bridge in Town of Lantana.

Have any questions or need more information?

Then please contact Mr. Ben Kerr, the City of Lake Worth’s public information officer: Call 561-586-1631 or by email:

Hear Ye. Hear Ye. Public meeting this afternoon at Lake Worth City Hall.

Today at 4:30 will be a “Joint Work Session” with the Lake Worth City Commission and the PBC School Board for a discussion on various educational issues. This meeting is open to the public and backup material will be provided at the meeting.

And whilst on the topic of elementary public schools in the City of Lake Worth:

Barton Elementary School was an issue addressed by the Palm Beach County Transportation Planning Agency (TPA) on October 18th at the meeting of the Governing Board.

 School Hazardous Walking Conditions:

Click on image to enlarge:

To learn more about the TPA and “Connecting Communities” click on this link. For more about traffic and walking conditions in the area of Barton Elementary School contact transportation planner Alyssa Frank at 561-478-5744 or by email:

Please Note: All the information below was provided at the TPA Governing Board meeting held this month at the South County Civic Center located in suburban Delray Beach.

About House Bill 41, “Gabby’s Law
for Student Safety”:

  • Updated to include metropolitan planning agencies in the School Hazardous Walking Conditions analysis process.
  • TPA has completed analysis of all 107 Palm Beach County public elementary schools.

Florida Statute 1006.23 — Hazardous
Walking Conditions:

  • Within two miles of school and attendance boundary.
  • An area at least 4′ wide having a surface upon which students may walk.
  • Crossings where the traffic volume on road exceeds the rate of 360 vehicles per hour per day.
  • Crossings where the total traffic volume on road exceeds 4,000 vehicles per hour through an intersection.

Next Steps

  • Meet with PBC School District to review profiles and confirm findings and determine next steps.
  • Work with schools and local partners to plan, prioritize and fund projects to fix hazardous walking conditions.

FYI: The next meeting of the TPA Governing Board will be held on December 13th at the Jupiter Community Center. The meeting agenda will be posted one week prior to the meeting.

“All members of the public are encouraged to attend the meeting and will be provided opportunities to speak.”

The “General Comments” section of the TPA Governing Board agenda is for members of the public to speak on issues that are not specifically listed on the meeting agenda but are directly related to transportation planning and funding within the jurisdiction of the Palm Beach TPA.

It would be a very good idea to have a presence at the TPA meeting in December from the City of Lake Worth. Parents, residents, stakeholders and the electeds to make it known that walking conditions for students attending Barton Elementary is a high priority.

There will always be a place of honor for Jan Tuckwood in City of Lake Worth.

It was journalist Jan Tuckwood at The Palm Beach Post who heralded in the “New” City of Lake Worth with our very own Special Keepsake (see below).

It was the piece by Tuckwood that got everyone’s attention in Palm Beach County, especially so in West Palm Beach, Delray Beach, Jupiter, and the news shook the ground as far west as the Village of Wellington and the garden community of Arden too.

The City of Lake Worth is and remains to this day the only City in PBC to ever receive an 8-page Special Insert published in the Sunday edition titled, “Hometown Destinations”. See that front page headline below.

You see, whilst beat reporters and self-described satirists and columnists were focused on the Lake Worth’s past and all the doom-and-gloom, it was Tuckwood who broke through all the noise and the clutter.

For example, from page S5 of “Hometown Destinations” (click on image to enlarge):

“The Day” was Sunday, March 26th, 2017.

The caption under the second photo reads,
“Michael Bornstein portrays the iconic Barefoot Mailman at the Historical Society’s Barefoot
on the Beach event.”

 Here it is! The front page:

Delray Beach was never given such a high honor. In fact, Delray is not even one of the Post’s six Special Cities even though one of their best reporters, Lulu Ramadan, is the beat reporter in Delray!

To give you an idea how much work went into this “Special Keepsake” consider this:

  • The tremendously talented cover design was produced by the famous Kevin van Derr Werff and the graphics by the equally-talented Steve Lopez.
  • Eight (8) photographers contributed to this Special Insert! Jan Tuckwood, Damon Higgins, Bruce R. Bennett, Gary Coronado, Ellie Gutierrez, Richard Graulich, Melanie Bell, Allen Eyestone, and beat reporter Kevin Thompson contributed photos too.
  • Feature writer Liz Balmaseda’s contribution was amazing news about the restaurant and food scene here in the L-Dub.

Seen any news recently about a restaurant
closing in L-Dub?

The next time you read any news about a restaurant closing in this City of Lake Worth, well, sadly, that happens all the time in the Palm Beach County food scene. For example, according to Liz Balmaseda, a restaurant recently closed in Wellington. But guess what! Also according to Balmaseda a new, exciting restaurant just opened up in the City of Lake Worth!

From the restaurant review titled, “A rebel chef’s grand return: Jewell sparkles in Lake Worth”:

Some of the county’s most brazen cooking is happening at a small, casual restaurant in Lake Worth. It’s easy to blur by Jewell Bistro [830 N. Dixie Hwy.], which opened early this year in the former Zapata space on North Dixie Highway — it’s the squat, black structure that’s tucked between a car wash and a botánica. But I’m glad I stopped in on a recent night.
     The rebel chef behind this enterprise is no stranger to local-food lovers. Dak Kerprich earned cult-hero status when he ran Pizzeria Oceano, [emphasis added] the Lantana restaurant that preceded chefs Jeremy and Cindy Bearman’s Oceano Kitchen.

Thank You for visiting today and please take note: Tomorrow night is the Lake Ave. Block Party in the Downtown, held the first Friday of each month. Stop on by and take a stroll!

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

It is UNANIMOUS for “The MID”: Five wholehearted “Yes” votes.

Our elected leaders sent a very strong and united message.

Last night the vote was unanimous at First Reading in support of “The MID” project at 1601 N. Dixie Hwy. at the Lake Worth City Commission. At the end of this blog post is the YouTube video of this public hearing.

And we also learned from William Waters, the City’s Dir. of Community Sustainability, that this housing project will likely gain national attention being that it may be the first type of development of its kind in the U.S., a unique approach and collaboration between the public and private sectors to solve a vexing problem in South Florida.

This project was made possible by the developer, the City of Lake Worth, the Water and Electric Utilities, the Community Redevelopment Agency and the neighboring communities of the Neighborhood Assoc. Presidents’ Council as well. Truly a team project.

However, three people did show up to complain about this project asking the obligatory open-ended questions about this or that and warning of disaster. And if this news from last night does become a story in The Palm Beach Post you know at least two or three of the opponents will be quoted.

On this blog yesterday portended a 4-1 or 3-2 vote for this project but am very pleased the vote was enthusiastically unanimous for The MID:

Item 9A. Ordinance 2018-17: First Reading & Quasi-Judicial Hearing – The MID – the creation of a Mixed Use Urban Planned Development Ordinance, approval of a Sustainable Bonus Incentive Program application, and approval of a Master Development Plan.

And the vote was also unanimous for this item as well:

Item 11A. Resolution No. 70-2018: Creating the Economic Investment Incentive Program.

The public hearing on Ordinance 2018-17 lasted one hour and twenty-five minutes. Would encourage everyone to watch this video in segments over the next few days. Truly a lot of very good information was presented.

Note that discussion on Ordinance 2018-17 ends at the two hour and five minute mark when Mayor Pam Triolo calls for a break. Discussion on Resolution No. 70-2018 picks up following the fifteen minute break when the meeting is called back to order by the mayor:

There was a terrible crash last Sunday in or near the Village of Palm Springs.

And once again The Palm Beach Post is reporting this incident occurred “west of Lake Worth”.

For many in the press and news media everything that happens in Central Palm Beach County is ‘west of Lake Worth’.

About this crash on 10th Ave. North in the Monday, Oct. 29th print edition of the Post in the LOCAL section “In Brief” the headline read “LAKE WORTH”. In the online edition it read “[W]est of Lake Worth”.

The location of this incident should have been reported as near the Village of Palm Springs or in Palm Springs. Until further details are released from PBSO we will not know for certain. Here is an excerpt from the news report in the Post:

Authorities didn’t release the precise location of the accident. 10th Avenue is the dividing line [emphasis added] between Palm Springs to the north and an unincorporated area to the south.

As you can see in the map below, the municipal limits of Palm Springs (shaded blue) do indeed go south of 10th Ave. North, what the Post reports as the “dividing line” (see map below).

The incident occurred east of Congress Ave. and well west of Lake Worth (shaded green). The Keller Canal is the western border of the City of Lake Worth.

Click on image to enlarge.

Unshaded areas are unincorporated PBC:

How long did it take to discover this information? About one minute. Continue reading to learn how.

Ever heard of the Geo Nav mapping tool provided by the PBC Property Appraiser? Learn more about that tool below which has multiple layers of information. After a few tries, in just moments, tons of information will be available. This mapping tool is extremely helpful in many fields including those in public relations, the real estate business, and press and news media to quickly see the location of an incident and nearby landmarks and whether it’s in a municipality. Or not.

But still too many reporters are too slow to pick up on this new mapping tool.

For example see another map below. Just by clicking on the “County Parks” tab the County’s John Prince Park shows up as light green. Use the municipal parks tab and every park within a municipality will appear. Click on the “Municipalities” tab and each municipality shows up a different shade of color.

The areas not shaded? Those are unincorporated areas in Palm Beach County, suburban Lake Worth, John Prince Park (site of recent plane crash) and the PBC Park Airport are all in unincorporated PBC.

Also of note the PBC Park Airport is not in the Town of Lantana but some still refer to it as the ‘Lantana Airport’. The nearest municipality is the City of Atlantis just west of Congress Ave.

Click on image below to enlarge.

See the legend in the top left?
Go to the Geo Nav mapping tool and click on
“Layers” tab (far left) and have fun!

Take a few moments today and check out the Geo Nav mapping tool. It will come in handy. Especially when verifying press and news media reports.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Very timely and worth another look: “Broken Planning: How Opponents Hijacked the Planning Process”.

“On a Tuesday night, a public hearing is held at Town Hall by the Planning Board or the City Council to get public input prior to voting on the developer’s application. Who shows up and makes their voices heard? Not the supporters. While the vast majority of residents may fully support the project and welcome it to their community, the hearing is packed with those who vigorously oppose it.”

Quote from an op/ed by Patrick Fox published in Planetizen.

Learn more about this piece by Patrick Fox and more excerpts later in this blog post.

Tonight is a very important public meeting at the Lake Worth City Commission. It’s about a much-anticipated and long-awaited housing project on N. Dixie Hwy called “The MID”.

And tonight what is needed is a big turnout of supporters of this new project. Why?

Because if a small group of people are intent on scuttling this project, hijacking the process so to speak, how is that accomplished? It’s actually very easy. They show up at public meetings. And loudly make their voices heard.

The irony is that even popular projects fail because the supporters stay home and the elected leaders will hear loud voice after loud voice in opposition instead.

We’ve seen this process recently play out following a public meeting last August when CPZ Architects presented seven schemes for the Lake Worth Casino and Beach Complex. A scheme in planning is a “plan, design, or program of action to be followed”.

But the opponents jumped on the word scheme not as a plan but as an “underhand plot.” This is what one of those opponents wrote:

Conceptual Design Concepts and Aquatic Consulting Engineers [CPZ Architects] gave their presentation on their “schemes.” And everything presented was a scheme. . . . Tuesday night, the seed was planted by the assistant city manager to use our penny sales tax for our beach but he was quickly reminded they were not there to discuss financing of any “scheme.” The city doesn’t want the cat out of the bag quite yet, conniving and maneuvering with a plan to grab this cash.

And also what hurts the process just as much is grandstanding on the dais. Two weeks ago at the City Commission Ordinance 2018-16 failed unanimously. But it took almost an hour of procedural nonsense and debating Robert’s Rules of Order to get to a vote.

For anyone who came to watch that meeting on Oct. 16th, their first time visiting City Hall to watch a Commission meeting in person, how likely is it they will ever return to watch another meeting? Zero.

The vote tonight should be unanimous in support of The MID. That would show strong support for this project moving forward. But more likely the vote will be 4-1 or 3-2 after more grandstanding about this issue or that issue.

What is needed is a big turnout tonight, a big show of support for The MID. If there is a low turnout and even just a few opponents show up you know what the headline will be in The Palm Beach Post:

Residents turn out in opposition to over-development on Dixie Hwy.

The op/ed by Patrick Fox was first posted on this blog in early 2015 and remains one of the most-viewed ever since this blog first began in 2006. What I think struck a chord is it speaks to truth: it only takes a few people with clever tactics to alter public perception. And the other truth is this: even people who know what is happening and are involved can be manipulated to believe something that is untrue.

The role of elected leaders in “broken planning” is also significant. On the one hand we’re told how potentially dire our situation is here in the City of Lake Worth vis-à-vis a viable and growing tax base (both residential and business development) — but on the other hand send mixed messages — “Yes, we need development, but just not there”, then obstacles are thrown in the way to appease one group or another.

Regular, long-time readers of this blog will recall the image below. Thanks to a former commissioner, Chris McVoy, PhD, many residents learned about “monkeywrenching” and watched this tactic unfold at Commission meetings on a regular basis.

A popular one when controversy arises:
“refer all matters to committees”.

Click on image to enlarge:

And “raise the question”, talk “at great length”, and the always popular, “Advocate caution”.

Back in early 2016 in the lead-up to the Lake Worth City Commission vote on the rezoning of the Gulfstream Hotel property the rumor mills were on fire. Social media was filled with open-ended questions and wild theories; there was even the suggestion if the rezoning was approved the Gulfstream property could get “sold to ISIS” or maybe even to a “Russian oligarch”.

But when the day came for the Commission to vote, on January 5th, 2016, something exciting happened: the public came out en masse in support of the Gulfstream Hotel redevelopment project. Sadly though, much of that public support and goodwill had since been squandered by the owners of that property.

However, on a more positive note, this latest news gives us cause for hope in the near future.

Ultimately, the problem comes down to this: The scenario above with the Gulfstream Hotel in 2016 was one of the rare exceptions and not the rule.

Without further ado. . . “Broken Planning: How Opponents Hijacked the Planning Process”:

“Municipal leaders understand that passionately motivated opponents, who fill hearing rooms, write letters, and circulate petitions to stop new development, are a newly empowered breed of local activists. Not only will these angry constituents remember the politicians who stood against them on Election Day, organized citizen activists often use their new grassroots movements to mount a direct challenge by running for office themselves.
     The key fact is this: Supporters of development do not participate in the political process, while today’s activist opponents show up and dominate the process.

Excerpt from an article in Planetizen by Patrick Fox subtitled, “An op-ed describes the broken state of the planning and development approval process where opposition politics rule and the answer is usually ‘no.

If you live in a small city in South Florida such as the City of Lake Worth and you’ve wondered how even the most reasonable and popular projects get thwarted or scuttled, here is another excerpt from Patrick Fox’s op/ed that will explain a lot:

     “Grassroots movements do not organically spring up to support a project, but opposition groups driven by fear, self-interest and cynicism can take off like wildfire. The proliferation of digital tools like Facebook and Twitter give average people the ability to find like-minded project opponents and to build effective grassroots opposition movements. While project supporters certainly have access to these same tools, they are far less motivated to use them. The process is overwhelmingly dominated by opponents.
     Why should an elected official support a project and subject him or herself to the slings and arrows of angry opponents? Standing with opponents and harnessing their passion and energy is the politically expedient path. Standing with opponents and dramatically pounding your fists in opposition is the right political posture for today's elected official seeking to build a political base and grab headlines.
     Imagine a grocery store is proposed in your community that will redevelop a vacant retail site. The developer is well known and respected and promises major site improvements and community amenities.
     On a Tuesday night, a public hearing is held at Town Hall by the Planning Board or the City Council to get public input prior to voting on the developer's application. Who shows up and makes their voices heard? Not the supporters. While the vast majority of residents may fully support the project and welcome it to their community, the hearing is packed with those who vigorously oppose it.”

So once again: How do popular and necessary projects in the planning process get hijacked and thwarted so easily? The opponents show up at city meetings. It’s as easy as that. And maybe they will wear red T-shirts with the message, “Stop Over Development”.

Opponents show up, make a lot of noise and make it seem like their numbers are much bigger then they really are. Add in a ‘journalist’, maybe a TV news crew, a sympathetic ally on an editorial board, and you can see how it all plays out. How many times have you seen this show?

It doesn’t have to be this way. It’s just that supporters of projects are simply less motivated to show up or contact their elected officials. Going forward if you support a project here in this City of Lake Worth you need to show up at City meetings and speak your mind. The critics and opponents cannot be allowed to dominate the discussion and debate.

Do you support what’s happening in the Park of Commerce? Do you support “The MID” on N. Dixie Hwy.? Then contact your elected officials and ask them how you can help.

And show up tonight at Lake Worth City Hall. The meeting will begin at 6:00. 

West Palm Beach, Riviera Beach and Delray Beach account for nearly half of all homicides this year in PBC.

See those numbers below, information from The Palm Beach Post’s “Homicide Tracker” database.

And note that West Palm Beach in 2017 recorded the most homicides of any municipality in Palm Beach County (PBC) since 2009 according to Post database.

And two oft-posed questions on this blog.

What happened in WPB that caused the homicide rate to fall so dramatically from ten homicides back in 2016 and then spike up to twenty-eight in 2017? Shouldn’t that be the focus of an enterprising reporter or editor(s) at the Post?

And this year West Palm Beach is on pace to record more homicides than last year.

It’s time for another editorial in The Palm Beach Post this year:

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

Editor(s), Sunday, Nov. 12th, 2017, “Unacceptable rise in WPB homicides requires quicker action”.

In 2017 there were one hundred and two (102) homicides in PBC. Thus far in 2018 that sad number stands at eighty-five.

For all of 2017 to the present in 2018 there have been fifty-one homicides in WPB. By race:
  • Black: 38
  • White: 10
  • Hispanic: 3

In 2018 up to October 30th (today), according to the Post’s Homicide Tracker database, the numbers of murders by municipality:
  • West Palm Beach: 23
  • Riviera Beach: 10
  • Delray Beach: 7
  • Lake Worth, Palm Beach Gardens: 3
  • Belle Glade, Boca Raton, Boynton Beach, Lake Park, Pahokee, Royal Palm Beach: 2
  • Highland Beach, South Bay, unknown: 1

In unincorporated PBC (not within municipal borders) the number of murders is twenty-four.

Just as the year ended in 2017 this was the headline in the Post:

West Palm’s 27 homicides led way as killings rose in county during 2017

The opening three paragraphs datelined New Year’s Eve, December 31st, 2017:

WEST PALM BEACH — As 2017 becomes history in a few hours, the year is guaranteed to rank among the deadliest in Palm Beach County in nearly a decade.
     According to an online Palm Beach Post database, 100 people were victims of homicides through Sunday afternoon. Official numbers from government agencies won’t be available until early 2018.
     Hardest hit was West Palm Beach, the scene of 27 [revised to 28] murders this year including the slaying Thursday night of a woman and her 11-year-old daughter. No municipality has recorded as many homicides in a single year since the creation of The Post’s database in 2009. [emphasis added]

Now scroll back up and read the headline published in the Post once again.

Note that headline editors are tasked with creating headlines that accurately reflect and follow the lead of the article as written by the reporter(s), in this case Mike Stucka and Jorge Milian.

“. . . [K]illings rose in county during 2017”

Yes. The homicide rate did increase in PBC last year. However, here in the City of Lake Worth the homicide rate dropped from nine homicides in 2016 to seven in 2017 and for another example Belle Glade went from ten homicides in 2016 to three last year. In another case, tragically in Jupiter, that city went from two homicides between 2012–2016 to five homicides last year.

Losing a loved one senselessly by homicide is a tragedy for the entire family and community. And the reporters Stucka and Milian remind everyone that sadly, “In 2016, 87 people were slain in the county, the fewest since 2011.” The year 2011 was a bad one for many families and communities as well. In that year eighty-four people were murdered.

The headline for that article in the Post on New Year’s Eve was misleading and is very unfair to PBC, its thirty-nine (39) cities and the many residents living in unincorporated County areas as well such as in “suburban Lake Worth” which goes all the way out to the very edge of the Florida Everglades.

Because the question remains. . .

Where exactly did those homicides increase “in county during 2017”? Below are numbers that you may find surprising and won’t find in the Post article cited above unless you dug deeper into the Post’s database. Two important points:
  1. Homicides in all of unincorporated PBC and the 9 cities that have law enforcement provided by the Palm Beach County Sheriff in 2017: 35.
  2. There are thirty (30) cities in PBC that have their own police department. But only thirteen (13) of those cities reported a homicide last year.

Expanding on these two points from 2017:
  • Total number of homicides reported in all 13 cities that have their own police departments: 63.
  • Homicides in West Palm Beach: 28.
  • Homicides in Riviera Beach: 12.
  • In Boynton Beach: 11.
  • Number of homicides in the other 10 cities in PBC that have their own police department? 13.

Number of homicides in all 9 cities that
have PBSO in 2017? Seventeen (17).

So the last two numbers above, 13 and 17, are statistically similar but again that’s no consolation for anyone whose lost a loved one. However, it’s not hard to notice the one outlier in the bullet list above: West Palm Beach.

What happened that caused the homicide rate to fall so dramatically from ten homicides back in 2016 and then spike up to twenty-seven in 2017? Shouldn’t that be the focus at The Palm Beach Post?

Now, more information from the Post’s database you might find interesting. Below is the list of all cities in PBC that reported a homicide(s) in 2017, number of homicides from highest to lowest (cities in boldface have PBSO):
  • Once again, West Palm Beach: 28
  • Riviera Beach: 12
  • Boynton Beach: 11
  • Lake Worth: 7
  • Jupiter: 5
  • Belle Glade and Delray Beach: 3
  • Greenacres and Mangonia Park: 2
  • Boca Raton, Lantana, Pahokee, Palm Springs, South Bay, and Wellington: 1

Note that the Post database begins in 2009. These cities have never reported a homicide since the start of that database:
  • Atlantis
  • Briny Breezes
  • Cloud Lake
  • Glen Ridge
  • Golf
  • Gulf Stream
  • Haverhill
  • Highland Beach (one homicide this year)
  • Hypoluxo
  • Juno Beach
  • Jupiter Inlet Colony
  • Manalapan
  • North Palm Beach
  • Ocean Ridge
  • Palm Beach
  • South Palm Beach
  • Westlake
Note that “Loxahatchee” is listed as a city in the database but that’s an area in unincorporated PBC patrolled by PBSO. Loxahatchee is not a municipality. Yet. The nearby city is called Loxahatchee Groves.

And lastly. . .

Hopefully on New Year’s Day in 2019 we won’t have to read again that ‘killings rose in county during 2018’ like we did in 2017.

Where are the meeting minutes on the City of Lake Worth’s website?

There are no meeting minutes from the Tree Board going all the way back to February.

The Finance Advisory Board, Bond Citizen Advisory Board, and Library Board have no meeting minutes at all for this year. The last minutes listed for the Community Redevelopment Agency and Electric Utility Advisory Board are from June.

At the last regularly scheduled meeting of the City Commission on October 16th resident Peggy Fisher pointed this out at public comment: the lack of meeting minutes on the City’s website. Click on this link and scroll down to “Other Boards” following the list of City Commission meetings.

It’s quite possible many of these meetings had no quorum and everyone went home. But there still needs to be minutes anyhow. Was a roll call taken? Was a work session held? What was on the agenda?

The next regularly scheduled meeting of the City Commission is in two weeks, on Tuesday, November 13th. Stay tuned as they say.

A reminder.

There is a Special City Commission meeting tonight (Tuesday, Oct. 30th) in this City of Lake Worth. Meeting begins at 6:00. Open to the public.

PLEASE NOTE: Public Comment is encouraged but you must follow the rules. In the blog post following this one is a primer (including two instructional videos) demonstrating how and how not to give Public Comment.

Now back to our regularly scheduled program:

Two items of major interest tomorrow at City Hall:

Item 9A. Public Hearing: Ordinance 2018-17. First Reading & Quasi-Judicial Hearing – The MID – the creation of a Mixed Use Urban Planned Development Ordinance, approval of a Sustainable Bonus Incentive Program application, and approval of a Master Development Plan.

Item 11A. New Business: Resolution No. 70-2018 – Creating the Economic Investment Incentive Program.

Information certainly “Worth Noting”.

To look over the entire agenda for this public City Commission meeting click on this link and scroll down for “October 30 Special Meeting” to download full version, site plans, and staff reports.

And another interesting item on
the agenda tonight.

Because Vice Mayor Pro Tem Scott Maxwell was absent at the Work Session on Oct. 18th regarding the municipal elections on March 12th, 2019 and possible questions on the ballot for the public to decide, here is an Executive Brief from City Manager Michael Bornstein.

Summary: Get information from Commissioner Maxwell as to his desire to see the following issues on the March ballot:
  • Sale of the former Chamber Building located at 501 Lake Avenue.
  • Name change to “Lake Worth Beach” [see below].
  • Sale of the 12-acre parcel in the north end of the City by I-95.

Background and Justification: At the October 18, 2018 Work Session, the Mayor and Commissioners spoke about their individual desires to place three items on the March 2019 ballot for a vote of the residents.
     Commissioner Maxwell was unable to attend this meeting and his decision is important to move forward on these issues. Commissioner Maxwell will issue his desire about these issues.

For more information about “Making the case for changing the name of our City to ‘Lake Worth Beach’ ” and why it’s time to finally have the voters decide this question once and for all click on this link.

And also making the case is this excerpt from a Willy Howard article published in The Palm Beach Post in 2012:

“Vice Mayor Scott Maxwell is suggesting changing the city’s name to Lake Worth Beach to help distinguish Lake Worth from parts of unincorporated Palm Beach County that have Lake Worth mailing addresses. According to postal officials, places as far west as Wellington can use Lake Worth mailing addresses. [emphasis added]
     In a memo to the commission about the name change, Maxwell notes that crimes committed west of the city in unincorporated parts of Palm Beach County are sometimes reported by the media as happening in Lake Worth. Residents with Lake Worth mailing addresses who live west of the city mistakenly come to city hall seeking solutions to their problems.
     Maxwell said Lake Worth is distinctive, with its walkable downtown and beach, and that the new name would create an ‘instantly recognizable brand for the city.’
     With the 100-year anniversary of the city next year and the opening of the renovated beach site and casino scheduled for this fall, he said, this is a good time to change the city’s name.
     ‘The timing is just about right,’ Maxwell said. ‘It kind of gives us a renewed since of pride for the next 100 years.’ ”

Causing so much confusion for so many years is this oft-asked question:

“Where exactly is Lake Worth?” 

Click on this link to learn why changing the name of our City to “Lake Worth Beach” would clear up so much of the confusion for investors, Realtors, and the press and news media too.

A primer: How To and How Not To. Giving proper public comment at the Lake Worth City Commission.

It is worth noting that public comment at Lake Worth City Hall has improved dramatically over the last several years and that’s possibly because of Mr. Ryan Hartman’s dreadful performance in City Hall (see video below). It was a reminder to everyone — including City officials — that the rules at public comment are the rules and they need to be followed.

Proper public comment requires the public remain civil, behave themselves, and respect the Chair at public meetings and not get silly, ramble on repeating yourself or make Commissioner Scott Maxwell say, “Is there a doctor in the house?” or get all conspiratorial about the government, “forcibly medicating an entire population”.

And remember, this is very important. You are NOT REQUIRED to use all the time allotted you. If you’ve made your point it’s perfectly OK to smile, say “Thank You” to the Chair, then return to your seat giving way to the next person waiting in line.

Public comment is very easy to do. And you are
not required to complain!

It’s actually permissible to say good things or maybe even express how grateful you are for something the City did or did not do.

When you approach the podium Mayor Pam Triolo (the “Chair”) will acknowledge you and then the timer will start. Depending on the portion of the agenda you will have either two or three minutes. The reason for that is explained further below.

At the time limit a little bell will sound indicating your time is up. When you hear the bell conclude your remarks, smile to the Chair, say “Thank You” and then return to your seat.

Tip #1: Did not have time to finish your public comment? Then hand your comment card to City Manager Michael Bornstein and he will have it entered into the record.

It is required that all comments MUST be directed to the “Chair” of the meeting which will be Mayor Pam Triolo at the City Commission who is tasked with this essential duty. Do not address anyone but the Chair and that includes not to direct any comments or questions to a City commissioner, the city manager, staff, or anyone from the public.

Tip #2: Once you’ve made your point at public comment don’t go on and on repeating yourself. You don’t have to keep on talking until the little bell rings.

How to give public comment
and two instructional YouTube
videos are below.

One video is HOW TO give public comment as demonstrated by Catherine Turk. Note that Turk has since become a member of the City’s Planning & Zoning (P&Z) Board and has become a candidate in the District 2 race, the election to be held on March 12th, 2019.

The other video is of Mr. Ryan Hartman from 2016, an excellent example HOW NOT TO give public comment.

Tip #3: The time limit for public comment at the City Commission is two (2) minutes. The exception is “nonagendaed items”, which is a three-minute limit.

For a bit of historical context, it was whilst Jeff Clemens was mayor that some former commissioners, including Cara Jennings, pushed for lowering the time limit from three minutes to two minutes at the City Commission. In early 2017 the Commission raised the time limit for public comment on “nonagendaed items” back to three minutes so consider this a test!

If the civil and polite behavior by the public at City Commission meetings continues to go well, then possibly the time limit will be raised once again to three minutes for all items on the Commission agenda.

But only if . . . once again:

  • The public is civil, behave properly, and respect the Chair at public meetings.
  • Don’t get silly or ramble on repeating the same thing over and over and over again.
  • You are NOT REQUIRED to use all the time allotted you.

“Show me. How do I give
public comment?”

Below are two instructional video examples of public comment. This first one is uncivil and un-charming public comment by Ryan Hartman followed by civil and respectful public comment by Catherine Turk (the second video).

Watch this video for
HOW NOT TO give public comment:

Now for an example of civil and
respectful public comment.

Below is another video, an excellent example how to give public comment at a City Commission meeting from January 2017. Note how Catherine Turk approached issues of importance to her.

Read the bullet list and then watch
the video for yourself:

  • At the 10:50 mark (click play and go to the minute marks). Turk begins her comment at this City Commission meeting.
  • At the 11:50 mark she begins speaking about the issue of unanswered emails and phone calls.
  • At the 12:50 mark about the pay increase for elected officials, she says, “. . . the pay is well worth the hours you put in.” She should know having 25 years of experience in Human Resources.

Hope you find this video helpful.

Click play and fast forward to the 11:00 minute mark:

Final tip: It’s always a good idea to prepare your remarks ahead of time and use a timer to make certain you will stay within the time limit for public comment.

And always keep in mind: Be respectful and polite to the Chair!

Monday, October 29, 2018

IFB 19-100: Non-mandatory pre-bid meeting tomorrow (Tuesday, Oct. 30th) at Lake Worth City Hall.

IFB  =  Invitation For Bid. Of special note:
  • Deadline for questions: Friday, Nov. 2nd at 4:00.
  • Closing date and time: Thursday, Nov. 15th at 3:00.

Two excerpts from Public Notice published in The Palm Beach Post:


The City of Lake Worth is soliciting bids from responsible and experienced Tree Trimming Contractors (Contractor) to perform Vegetation Management Services (VMS) for utility line clearance services for transmission and distribution rights-of-way and easements within the City’s electrical service area [GIS map click on this link].

and. . .

There is a non-mandatory pre-bid meeting scheduled for Tuesday, October 30, 2018 [TOMORROW] at 9:00AM in the City Hall Conference Room located at 7 North Dixie Highway in Lake Worth, FL 33460.

Bid documents may be downloaded from the City’s website and the website:

Sunday, October 28, 2018

For those of you who may have missed this blog post from earlier this week.

Ben Kerr, PIO and The Palm Beach Post: The tremendous irony “Worth Noting”.

Before we get to that tremendous irony about
Mr. Kerr, the City of Lake Worth’s public
information officer (PIO). . .

FYI: “Worth Noting” is the name of the City of Lake Worth’s newsletter and the most recent edition has big news about code enforcement the public needs to know, information thus far unreported in The Palm Beach Post. To sign up for the City’s newsletter for the news about code enforcement’s new tools and more news worth noting click on this link.

Whilst on the topic of information this week’s Lake Worth Herald is out. To see the front page headlines click on this link. To contact the editor send an email to or call 561-585-9387.

Without further ado. . .

Meet Mr. Kerr at the 2017 Veterans Day Parade
in Downtown Lake Worth.

This year’s Veterans Day Parade will be held on Saturday, November 10th. For more information call Mr. Kerr at 561-586-1631 or by email:

You may recall Kerr was recently big news in The Palm Beach Post, news as reported by Joe Capozzi:

“Swordsman who trained ‘Game of Thrones’ extras teaches broadsword in Lake Worth”

The tremendous irony is this: The position of public information officer in this City did not exist prior to beat reporter Kevin Thompson’s hit piece on Code Enforcement back in September 2016.

Because of Thompson’s “egregious” news reporting City Manager Michael Bornstein was forced to do something and he did it. He went out looking for an official City spokesperson but the first one, well, let’s just say it didn’t work out.

You see, when issuing a press release about the Sober Home Epidemic you cannot always rely on spellcheck. There is a very big difference between the words “heroin” and “heroine”. And that particular press release was included in each and every utility bill sent out that month by this City.


So the position of PIO went unfilled for a little while. And then came along a young man named Ben Kerr and the rest is history as they say.

So one can say now that Thompson actually did this City a big favor with that ‘news’ about Code Enforcement two years ago. And we continue to wait for that update about the PBSO merge with the Greenacres PD which was real actual news that made the paper a long time ago.

The other irony is, maybe as punishment for voting the wrong way, the Post pulled Thompson from the Greenacres beat after their elected leaders decided to merge with PBSO in 2015. Then shortly afterward the editor(s) began the weekly every-single-Monday Lake Worth Very Very Special Monday Collector Print Edition (LWVVSMCPE) and snubbed the City of Greenacres, their elected officials and local government.

The point is this. . .

The editor(s) at the Post may try and lay claim to the City of Lake Worth’s great success since 2015. But how do they explain the great successes and strides in the City of Greenacres? It’s sort of a conundrum for a paper that claims “REAL NEWS STARTS HERE” when Greenacres is defying everyone’s expectations and even the Village of Wellington is worried about Greenacres stealing their super-magical-mojo and the whole time the editor(s) were AWOL in Greenacres’ City Hall.

And please. Give the new owner and management team at The Palm Beach Post a chance to make their mark in Palm Beach County.

Cox Media, the former owner of Post put that newspaper up For-Sale in November 2017. The present owner of the Post, as of May 1st, is taking more control.

And hopefully a new editor and reshuffling of the upper management team will be in the offing. The Post was in trouble a long time ago, way before they were put on the market for a buyer. When three years ago the Post narrowed their focus to just certain municipalities and stopped reporting about other local governments, e.g., the City of Greenacres, that eroded their community support.

And the decision not to make an endorsement in the 2016 race for President of the United States was the worst editorial decision of all followed closely by their dragging of feet to cover the devastating situation of so-called ‘sober homes’ creating so much disruption and public angst in places like this City of Lake Worth.

Which delves in nicely with what happened in Sept. 2016, the very night of the first Trump/Clinton debate, and only two reporters showed up to cover one of the biggest events in recent City of Lake Worth history:

Did you leave that meeting two years ago thinking nothing would ever change?

The public demanded change. And your local government listened.