Saturday, December 29, 2018

Worth Another Look: Radical cheerleader and her New Year’s salute. You can’t make this stuff up!

From the program notes:

In 2005, a danceoff was called between Lake Worth and Miami young radicals. The competition was so brutal and almost damaging, the dancers agreed that instead of competing again, we would work together, - “Never a Danceoff, Always a Showcase” - and thus South Florida United Queer Dancers was formed.
     This year, Miami called for an Apocalyptic Pop & Lock Showdown at their New Year’s Eve party for 2012, and the competition was back on. This is Lake Worth’s performance.

That’s our former City Commissioner Cara Jennings leading off the video as Dancin’ Kim. She can really “Pop . . . and lock it!”:

For those of you who missed this.

Already read this? Then Thank You for visiting once again and please scroll down.

Looking back. January 11th, 2018 was a monumental day for the City of Lake Worth [Beach].

It was a packed house for a breakfast at the Casino and Beach Complex. Over one hundred RSVPs. Over one hundred invitees attended.

The City was on stage.
A spectacular performance.
And everyone noticed.

Well, not exactly everyone. This event was ignored in The Palm Beach Post. A complete press blackout. But it didn’t matter. The news got out anyhow.

Let’s set the stage.

What happened on January 11th this year followed a particularly terrible year in 2017 for this City when it comes to press reporting. Of course The Lake Worth Herald and Coastal & Greenacres Observer are the exception.

On the heels of a brutal dog attack that was reported in The Palm Beach Post in Dec. 2017 as having happened ‘in Lake Worth’ — that did not happen in this City — to a park being featured in the ‘LOCAL’ section with photos and an in-depth story about how wonderful this City park is.

Just one problem. John Prince Park is not in our City. Ten parks actually within the City could have been featured. But none were.

And on and on it went. One would think this City was the most terrible place on Earth and at the same time one of the largest land areas for a city in the southern United States.

This City is only six square miles. The crime rate has dropped dramatically year after year.

Now that the stage is set:

A blog post from January 11th
of this year.

It was the City’s “Breakfast” for Realtors and real estate professionals at the Lake Worth Casino Ballroom
at the Beach.

Attendees were greeted by miniature Little Free Libraries, the paperback “Cottages of Lake Worth” book, and much more helpful information as well.

I attended the City of Lake Worth’s “Real Estate Agent Breakfast” held at the Lake Worth Casino Ballroom last Thursday morning [Jan. 11th, 2018]. This was a momentous occasion for a number of reasons. For the first time in my memory the City actively reached out to a section of the population that influences how people think about the City of Lake Worth every day.

The City shared information about ongoing programs and efforts like the solar array that is part of our electric utility infrastructure, how we are almost at rate parity with FPL and how the City could be a pioneer in research and development creating energy from the Gulf Stream Current right off our coastline.

One of the many presentations was by Director
Ed Liberty at the Lake Worth Electric Utility.

There are three YouTube videos of this meeting
to watch at your convenience.

In this first video of the event you will hear Mayor Pam Triolo say just those things and more (links to videos #2 and #3 are below). This meeting and the presentations was for an RSVP audience of 103 real estate professionals and most, if not all of them, showed up. Word went out to these professionals about this “Real Estate Agent Breakfast” to change many of the false perceptions there are about this City and turn all that around in a positive direction.

The people assembled in the Casino Ballroom associate with other people every day who either own property or are interested in buying property here in this City of Lake Worth. This community of people, Realtors and real estate professionals are really the City’s ambassador corps. They are on the front line when people ask questions about Lake Worth’s Electric Utility, all the unique neighborhoods, and about crime and public safety too.

It is from their mouths that the answers come that present the City in a positive light — or if they don’t understand or know about all the progress that has been made — in a negative light.

Meet PBSO Lieutenant Anthony Johnson.
In his presentation we learned there was a
significant decrease in crime last year.

Why is there so much confusion about the issue of crime in this City? One reason is due to bogus news reports such as this, “Is City of Lake Worth one
of the ‘Most Dangerous Places in Florida’?”
Of course it’s not.

From attending this meeting myself and by you watching the series of three videos from the event you will see how the City was able to transform the perception of many Realtors and how this very important group of people actually “sees” Lake Worth.

For some it was their first introduction to the area and the City of Lake Worth specifically. Many were newcomers with a desire to learn more about what many Realtors already knew: the fact that Lake Worth is becoming more and more all the time a great place to live, work and play.

I heard people express that being part of this City, to them, felt like “finding the needle in the haystack.” Many talked about how they liked the City’s “vibe” and they were impressed with how distinct it was from other more “normal” communities in Central Palm Beach County and in South Florida generally.

A view of the Lake Worth Casino Ballroom:

The Realtors learned many things about this
City including more information about the
Lake Worth Neighborhood Road Program” and other infrastructure projects.

Many people in attendance left convinced that “Lake Worth has turned the corner” and that “interest in Lake Worth is at an all-time high.”

Kudos go out to the City for hosting and organizing such an event. We have a good story to tell and yesterday it was told to a very receptive audience of ambassadors: real estate professionals and Realtors.

About the other two videos in the series
(link to the first video is above):

For the second YouTube video which starts off with the presentation by Lake Worth Utility Dir. Ed Liberty click on this link. Later in the video PBSO Lieutenant Anthony Johnson talks about how much the crime rate dropped in 2017 and there are other presentations including one from Director Brian Shields from the Lake Worth Water Utility.

The third and final video is a special one. It starts off with Mayor Pam Triolo and Commissioner Andy Amoroso discussing various important topics. That’s followed by a Q&A and at the end of the video it’s about how the press, specifically The Palm Beach Post, continues to promulgate many of the negative stereotypes about this City as cleverly demonstrated by City Manager Michael Bornstein.

Hope you found this blog post informative and helpful. And if you’re interested in learning more about this City start by browsing through the City of Lake Worth’s website, for example, the Planning & Zoning Department or learn more about the City’s Dept. of Leisure Services and all the listed “Special Events” as well.

I think you’ll be very interested, happy and excited about much of what you see and learn about this little City:

“Gentrification!” A word used to confuse and oftentimes frighten the public.

The “Politics of Fear” explained plus something called, “The Gentrification Paradox”.

What follows is a fairly long read with a brief introduction to that “loaded word”: Gentrification. Later on in this blog post is about a “paradox” (self-contradictory, false proposition) and how the public can be manipulated by a looming threat or fear that doesn’t exist, e.g., “The Wolf at the Door”.

The word gentrification, once a favorite loaded word to create fear and instability in neighborhoods throughout the City of Lake Worth in years past, flares up now and then, but has mostly disappeared from the lexicon. Why? We’ll examine that a little later. But first:

A loaded word is one, 

[T]hat attempts to influence an audience by using appeal to emotion or stereotypes. Such wording is also known as high-inference language or language persuasive techniques.

Do you know what gentrification is? No one does.

There is no accepted definition. Another interesting thing is how this word can show up in the strangest of places, even when there are much better words to choose from, like in this article about The Cottages of Lake Worth.

Emily Badger at The Washington Post wrote an article titled: “It’s time to give up the most loaded, least understood word in urban policy: gentrification”:

These questions get at a fundamental problem with one of the most controversial (and fuzzy) concepts in urban policy: Even researchers don’t agree on what ‘gentrification’ means, let alone how to identify it. (And this is to say nothing of its even more problematic derivative, the “gentrifier.”)

Think about this, since urban gardens are so popular with some, are they actually promoting gentrification? Because developers love urban gardens. Have you read this article, “Urban farmers find that success leads to eviction”? This is called “The Gentrification Paradox” (read more about that below).

One last question, a very troubling one: Is it possible there were people or groups here in Lake Worth intentionally using tactics like “Gentrification!” to suppress neighborhood improvements, increase the crime rate, and create fear for political objectives? A shocking thought isn’t it? Or maybe not so much for others.

Everyone knows the naysayers and malcontents here in Lake Worth. The ones that have nothing good to say about the City Commission first swept into office in 2012. Finally this year the last of the holdouts (see image below), lost his District 2 seat held since 2010. Some of those naysayers, once upon a time, were in control of this City and you may be wondering how such negative people ever got into positions of power. They accomplished that with the politics of fear, also called “The Wolf at the Door”.

Photo taken of prior administration in 2012 at the Lake Worth Casino:

“Gentrification!” was a word Cara Jennings (on right, facing) was fond of using. Chris McVoy, PhD (beaming, blue shirt) managed to hold on for a
while but lost his re-election bid last March.
Recognize anyone else?

The public in Lake Worth woke up one day 6 years ago and realized there was no “Wolf at the Door”, or “Vulture at the Door” if you will. The real problem was a few commissioners in City Hall. Unsurprisingly, the mood in this City began to change beginning back in 2012 and despite some setbacks and disappointments, the outlook going forward is mostly positive about our City’s future. The passing of the Neighborhood Road Bond in Nov. 2016 by a “whopping 69%” was proof a new positive attitude had swept over the City.

So. . . why did the cry of “Gentrification!”
stop working?

Also in this blog post are more of the tactics used to stop neighborhood improvements and ways to discourage people from being more involved in their communities. And. . . why blaming elected officials for ‘gentrification’ is a fallacy, merely a tactic to gain political advantage.

Gentrification is one of the most misunderstood phenomenons in American culture. It’s a term that’s derogatory to some and a very hopeful one for others who live in persistently blighted areas. The logic by some is a certain level of blight is ‘charming’ because it makes the area undesirable to investors or ‘outsiders’.

People who rail and frighten a neighborhood against gentrification (G) are then in the unenviable position of having to balance how much blight is good to deter more people from moving in but still keep the area in a state of limbo: not getting better and not getting worse either. Because if the neighborhood gets too blighted the people who live there will move out.

On the other hand, if one person decides to do a home renovation and improve his or her home, another home will have to decay further to maintain that balance. And what if, God forbid, a homeowner decides to replace the roof!

If one property increases in value, the anti-G logic is, then that is a threat to all the other homes on the street. Then to show the neighborhood how enlightened, resilient, and sustainable they are, then they encourage urban farms and urban gardens which leads to what? Less blight. A bland, unkempt home doesn’t look as bad when surrounded by a garden or a farm. Welcome to what’s called the Gentrification Paradox.

Here is one explanation of this phenomenon from the Strong Towns blog. To put it very simply: Some tactics to stop ‘gentrification’ actually do the opposite. They make neighborhoods, towns and cities more attractive rather than less.

However, the ‘anti-G’ folks have other tactics from the grab-bag to try and stop, or at least slow down, the process of a neighborhood improving that do terrible long-term damage and truly affect people’s lives in a negative way:

  • Upzoning (policies to destabilize residential neighborhoods).
  • Increase the crime rate (or the perception of crime in an area).
  • Encourage the homeless to take over a “space”, like the Cultural Plaza downtown.
  • Promote needle exchange programs to attract more drug addicts (another tactic in Lake Worth from the bag of tricks).
  • Try to make it easier for sober homes to operate without supervision and less scrutiny.
  • Under-fund or obstruct education initiatives for children and recent immigrants.

All of these tactics, and there are many others, are ultimately unsuccessful. Why? Because the process is market-driven and as the economy improves people want a better quality of life. Those who who live in blighted areas will do things like paint a house, clean up the front yard, remove abandoned cars, and engage in activities like forming neighborhood groups, request bike lanes, and become interested in things like community policing. All these changes increase real estate value over time.

In the City of Lake Worth was the Grey Mockingbird Community Garden. This garden located at D Street and 22nd Ave. greatly increased visitors and interest in the area not only due to the garden but also with their educational and entertainment activities. The garden was discouraging blight and encouraging neighborhood improvements. How many people visited the garden and decided to look around the City, liked what they saw and either decided to invest in or move to Lake Worth? That is hard to gauge but it certainly has happened.

In the 2015 election cycle the word “gentrification” was used almost constantly by the ‘anti-G’ faction who knocked on doors to frighten certain neighborhoods in Lake Worth. They blamed some politicians for promoting it and others were praised for trying to stop it which is all nonsense, but it did play well ‘at the door’ to some degree but was much less effective than in previous elections.

However, the tactic was completely ineffective in the 2016 elections and not used at all in the 2017 elections. Why?

The answer is easy: They simply overplayed their hand and ‘crying Wolf!’ had lost its effectiveness.

In conclusion, if someone tells you that your commissioner, mayor, or state representative is responsible for ‘gentrification’ they are lying to you.

And on the issue of trust:

Why would you ever trust anyone who told you that your neighborhood can’t aspire to be better for your children, friends, and family?

On the business of retail in Palm Beach County, “Join us in the former Macy’s space in City Place. . .

“. . . as we explore the future of retail and the retail spaces that inhabit our landscape.”

At an all-day forum last June examining the future of retail in this County were some names you may recognize: Dana Little, Natalie Crowley, Maria Marino, Anne Gerwig, William Waters, Brandon Schaad, Seth Behn, Raphael Clemente, Chris Roog, and David Harrison. Who are these people? See the bullet list below.

Below is more information including a video from that forum.

The ripples from this very well-attended forum could be felt in the City of Lake Worth this week at an all-day “Visioning Workshop” where the topic of retail and revitalizing Dixie Hwy. was a very big topic. Looking 5–10 years out new retail establishments will be essential for this City’s continued growth.

This forum was sponsored by the Palm Beach County Planning Congress, Inc. and meets on a regular monthly basis and features a variety of topics. Meeting formats vary and include presentations, panel discussions, field trips, tours, and/or a combination of formats depending on the topic.

This recent forum was titled:

“Planning Challenges 2018: Shapeshifting Retail. Facts and Fiction”.

The keynote speaker was Tony Carvajal, the Executive Director at the Florida Chamber Foundation. From the forum program:

“Tony Carvajal serves as Executive Vice President of the Florida Chamber Foundation, the research and solutions development arm of the Florida Chamber of Commerce. Working in partnership with state business leaders, the Foundation advances initiatives that envision a vibrant and sustainable economy in the Sunshine State.
     He is regularly called on to provide guidance and insights into state-level plans and has served on numerous policy steering committees covering topics as varied as education, early learning, workforce development, economic development, transportation, healthcare, volunteerism, civic infrastructure, philanthropy, and smart justice.”

The video of Mr. Carvajal is at the end of this blog post. There are eleven (11) videos total, the shortest video is eleven minutes and the longest is thirty minutes. Click on this link to see the entire list of YouTube videos.

Another keynote speaker was Bob Gibbs, founder of the Gibbs Planning Group, a leading thinker on retail development and author of the book Principals of Urban Retail Planning and Development. Other speakers and facilitators included:

  • Dana Little, Urban Design Director, Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council.
  • Dale Scott, Southern Division Lead, International Council of Shopping Centers.
  • Natalie Crowley, AICP, Planning & Zoning Director, Palm Beach Gardens.
  • Mayor Maria Marino, City of Palm Beach Gardens.
  • Mayor Anne Gerwig, Village of Wellington.
  • William Waters, Director of Community Sustainability, City of Lake Worth.
  • Brandon Schaad, AICP, Development Services Director, City of Boca Raton.
  • Seth Behn, AICP, Land Use Attorney, Lewis, Longman & Walker.
  • Raphael Clemente, Executive Dir. Downtown Development Authority, City of West Palm Beach.
  • Chris Roog, Director of Economic Development, West Palm Beach.
  • David Harrison, Vice President of Design & Construction, Related Companies

Without further ado, Mr. Carvajal with
the opening keynote:

As always, Thank You for visiting today and hope you found this blog post informative and helpful.

Friday, December 28, 2018

Once again, the editor(s) at The Palm Beach Post miss the major point about “Lake Worth Beach”.

Back in July this year the City of Lake Worth held an all-day public “Visioning Work Session” but no one from The Palm Beach Post bothered to show up. And not once since has this news been reported in the Post. So this goes a long way in explaining why the editor(s) at the Post are so far behind in understanding the concept of “Lake Worth Beach”.

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

Marketing  ↔  Communication

No one’s zip code will change! The initial change to “Lake Worth Beach” will be mostly social media and marketing. Hard changes to signage, for example, would happen over many months to years and be very gradual.

This appeared in the paper last Monday on p. B3 ‘LOCAL’ under the heading, “A name-change proposal for the city”:

We’ll know on March 12 as city commissioners in November [sic] agreed to let voters decide on changing the city’s name to Lake Worth Beach, mostly to capitalize on the prized coastline and to distance itself from unincorporated [suburban] Lake Worth crime stats.

It’s worth noting second reading at the City Commission to send this question to the voters was on December 13th, not ‘in October’ as reported. To read about what happened two weeks ago click on this link which includes a video from that Commission meeting.

Yes. The “Beach” is significant and does indeed make this City a special place.

And yes, it is most certainly because of ‘news’ like this published in The Palm Beach Post that the City’s image has been tarnished and damaged so badly.

But the editor(s) miss the mark.

The major point about “Lake Worth Beach” is about a thing called “Branding” and how places out west are plundering our unique brand.

The region called ‘Lake Worth’ is no longer a special place any more. It used to be about ninety years ago. But not any more. If you have a ‘Lake Worth’ zip code 33462, 33463, 33466, 33467, 33449 or 33454 you are not “in Lake Worth”. You are living in what used to be called the Florida Everglades after it was drained and paved over.

Here is just one very recent example of such a place:

There is a ‘community’ using the Lake Worth Casino as a backdrop to promote it’s condos on Twitter:

As a local landmark and tourist destination, the Lake Worth Casino is the perfect place to take in the sites and enjoy the brisk South Florida weather. Stop by today to get a taste of Lake Worth living. #LakeWorth #LakeWorthCasino

This ‘community’ called Colony Reserve is located at 5299 Lantana Rd. It has a ‘Lake Worth’ zip code 33463. The actual City of Lake Worth uses zip code 33460 and part of 33461 (see map below).

And whilst on the topic of businesses actually in this City versus those outside the City read about Kilwins Chocolate and another chocolate shop with a ‘Lake Worth’ zip code in the City of Atlantis.

Most unincorporated areas west of the City of Lake Worth (un-shaded) have a ‘Lake Worth’ zip code.

Ergo the reason for “Lake Worth Beach” and differentiating this City from places out west.

Now one can understand why the “City of Lake Worth Beach” makes sense. And just wonder . . .

Maybe if the editor(s) at the Post understood a long time ago about, “Where exactly are places, cities, towns and villages in Palm Beach County?
And why it matters.”

The Greenacres PD and merge with PBSO: Very worthy public policy news but not in The Palm Beach Post?

After several years of being snubbed — the elected leadership, administration and staff, the fine City of Greenacres was recently news in the Post — but sadly no updates about PBSO and District 16 coming up on their three year anniversary:

“We want to know from residents what they think Greenacres should look like and what our strong points are,” Greenacres City Manager Andrea McCue said. “We want to use that information … to come up with a strategic plan for the city we’re hoping turns into an economic development plan for us.”

It’s worth noting that Lake Worth beat reporter Kevin Thompson at the Post used to be the beat reporter in the City of Greenacres just like former Post reporter Willy Howard used to cover the same two-city beat. Covering these two municipalities is not unusual. But three years ago the editor(s) at the Post pulled Thompson off the Greenacres beat to focus entirely on the City of Lake Worth.

And yes, because another Monday is coming up, it will be another Lake Worth Very Very Special Monday Cursory Print Edition (LWVVSMCPE). Repetitive.

Three years later and still the very same six Special Cities each and every week.


However, since GateHouse Media has taken over there have been some very welcome changes to the LWVVSMCPE. For example, that ridiculous list of phone numbers published every Monday has finally gone away. Really now, how many times did the Post need to publish the phone number of the Sewer Dept.?

“Honey, the sewer is backing up!”

“Sorry, Mabel. You’ll have to wait til Monday when the paper comes out.”

But really now, isn’t it about time for a special news feature in The Palm Beach Post about this very important public policy and law enforcement policy that goes back to almost three years in a neighboring municipality here in Central Palm Beach County?

Maybe the public in other municipalities would like to have that debate as well about merging their law enforcement with PBSO?

Note that two weeks ago in the Post was a story about “[A]n increase in ADA lawsuits related to [municipal] website accessibility.” This was a collaborative effort by photographer Damon Higgins and beat reporter Kevin Thompson and staff and reporters Charles Elmore, Hannah Morse, Sarah Peters, Alexandra Seltzer and Chelsea Todaro too.

How much trouble would it be for the editor(s) to do a feature story on PBSO in Greenacres?

What is happening in Greenacres is truly amazing. And just like in Lake Worth the turnaround can be traced directly to merging the local PD with PBSO. District 14 was formed ten years ago in this City. District 16 covers Greenacres.

And whilst on the issue of crime the editor(s) at The Palm Beach Post also praised PBSO Sheriff Ric Bradshaw last year who “smartly requested $1.8 million to hire 15 entry-level deputies” applying for a highly coveted federal grant for COPS: Community Oriented Policing Services.

To learn more click on this link for the many ways to volunteer for PBSO. For example, volunteers are needed for the media unit, Citizen Observer Patrol (COP), Volunteer Emergency Response Team (VERT), honor guard, mounted unit, and bike patrol.

Want to share your thoughts with the editor(s) at the Post on this very important topic? Then take a few minutes today and write a Letter to the Editor (LTE). If you get one submitted early enough it could make tomorrow’s print edition. It only takes 5–10 minutes to write and submit a LTE. Click on this link for instructions which include contact information and very helpful tips.

The editor(s) finally acknowledged on March 10th, 2018 in the endorsement for Greenacres Councilwoman Judy Dugo, noted briefly about PBSO and the coming merge with the City of Greenacres PD back in 2015 that,

“The dust appears to have settled on the discord that marked many of the council’s meetings in recent years. Through it all, Councilwoman Judy Dugo, ■, has maintained a singular focus on making the city safer. With that, she was a key voice for the city’s 51-member police force merging with PBSO. . . . [T]here is no debate about the result. Overall crime is down, and available law-enforcement resources are far better.” [emphasis added]

How long has it been since any updates have been published in the Post about merge with PBSO and improved law enforcement in Greenacres?

Surprisingly, the last time we had any news at all about this important topic was when beat reporter Thompson used to cover news in Greenacres back in November 2015.

Back then, the editor at the Post thought it was in the public interest to report news about public policy and about law enforcement and to have a beat reporter from the newspaper in the fine City of Greenacres. But after PBSO took over law enforcement duties in that city the editor pulled their beat reporter to focus entirely on the City of Lake Worth. You know, that’s when the (LWVVSMCPE first began.

In 2015 our City of Lake Worth became special every single Monday in the print edition. Every Monday the LWVVSMCPE. It was back then when Greenacres became an afterthought.

Which prompted this oft-repeated observation
on this blog:

It’s been over two years [now nearly three] since the merge and little if any news in the Post about this very important issue here in Central Palm Beach County. Isn’t it about time for a feature story in the local ‘B’ section? Maybe even the Monday paper with a leader over the banner on the front page?

Interestingly, the Post in early 2016 used to cover the topic of code enforcement in Greenacres too!

I know. It’s hard to believe but it’s true:

     “District I Councilwoman Lisa Rivera [now former Councilwoman Rivera] led the wide-ranging meeting, which covered everything from trash inside newspaper vending machines to unsightly medians along Lake Worth Road to pitch black streets on Haverhill Road. [emphasis added]
     Several city department heads and Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office deputies were on hand to answer questions from Rivera on why her district looks the way it looks.”

and. . .

     “Rivera is also concerned that many of the businesses in her district, which runs from the L-10 Canal south to the L-15 Canal, and from Military Trail west to South 57th Avenue, look like they should be in a flea market, with their garish colors and tacky banner signs.
     ‘It looks horrid,’ Rivera said.”

In conclusion. Please scroll up and click on the link to learn how to write a Letter to the Editor (LTE) and let the editor(s) know what you think.

Have you ever thought of becoming a volunteer for PBSO in District 16 (Greenacres) or District 14 in the smaller, little City of Lake Worth? Click on this link to learn how.

Looking past the New Year, this is the calm before the storm.

The blog post below is from two weeks ago
reminding people that,

Public opposition to a homeless resource center nearby does not mean they “hate homeless people”.

Folks. This is a huge developing story in Central Palm Beach County. This story has been picked up by the Sun Sentinel and other news outlets. The public and business leaders in the City of Lake Worth and the Village of Palm Springs need to get involved. It would behoove the public and elected leaders in the City of Greenacres to pay close attention to this as well.

Below is contact information for your elected leaders on the PBC Commission and local City elected leadership.

When you contact elected officials: Be nice! Be courteous! Be respectful!

Whatever your opinion(s) about the topic below, make a case for your position. Saying things like, “If you let this happen I will never vote for you again.” That does not work. Your elected leaders hear that same line twenty times a day. Instead be proactive and come up with ideas.

Without further ado. . .

[T]he area is always looked at for “these types of facilities” and never for economic development. “Don’t just look at us for homeless resource centers,” he [Torcivia] told the commission.

Quote. Palm Springs Village Attorney Glen Torcivia addressing the Palm Beach County Commission. Source: Reporter Alexandra Seltzer at The Palm Beach Post. Datelined Dec. 5th, 2018.

The link to the story in The Palm Beach Post and more information about this topic is later in this blog post.

Just because residents oppose constructing a homeless resource center in or near their municipality does not mean they ‘hate homeless people’. If you listen closely, they may actually be saying there are better locations to be considered. And they may be right.

From two weeks ago on this blog pointed out, if you didn’t know know, very soon the Village of Palm Springs could be ground zero for another vociferous public debate about the homeless. And hopefully it will not get out of control like what happened in the City of Lake Worth two years ago.

The Palm Beach County Commission is seriously considering a homeless resource center in or near the Village of Palm Springs. That was front page news in the Post.

A clarification was needed in the print edition about that news report and of course no clarification was published. The editor(s) at the Post don’t do things like that. They should. But they don’t.

Briefly, in the third paragraph of this story headlined, “Proposed county homeless center faces opposition, money woes” is this sentence:

County commissioners signed off this week on allocating about $8 million for a new facility planned for western Lake Worth [sic].

There is no such place in Central Palm Beach County as ‘western Lake Worth’. This is a misleading geographic designation that gets resurrected now and then.

Some in the public may confuse ‘western Lake Worth’ to mean the area in the City of Lake Worth west of I-95. A new facility proposed as a homeless resource center would more accurately be reported in the Post as located in “suburban Lake Worth” or one could also say “unincorporated Lake Worth”.

That needed to be clarified. But those sort of clarifications never happen.

Now back on topic. About the front page news
in the Post.

What follows is a cautionary tale for the public in the Village of Palm Springs and this City of Lake Worth too.

This story is not a new one. On constructing another center for the homeless in the area originally it was argued by supporters the City of Lake Worth should construct one. Completely impossible. And then later the idea was to build one in the County’s John Prince Park. Also impossible. The residents in the City of Atlantis would never allow that to happen. And now the plan is to construct one in or near the Village of Palm Springs near the intersection of Lake Worth Rd. and Kirk Rd.

That area includes Palm Springs and some unincorporated areas as well. From the news report by Alexandra Seltzer is this excerpt:

County commissioners say addressing homelessness is both a legislative and a budgetary priority, but conceded the total cost projections for this center are hefty.

“This is a heavy lift,” Vice Mayor David Kerner said. “It’s an important lift.”

Looking back some of you may recall what happened in this City of Lake Worth back in January 2016. That’s when all hell broke loose when the homeless ‘advocates’ descended on the City when an ordinance was proposed, and later passed, to control the out-of-control activities in the Downtown Cultural Plaza at night. The Post referred to it as a ‘curfew’ which was completely false.

And also in January 2016 were all the antics in Lake Worth City Hall when critics accused our elected officials of not caring about the homeless and one of those critics said, “The last time I checked that [the Senator Philip D. Lewis Center] is in West Palm Beach.” The insinuation, of course, that our elected officials were either out of touch or didn’t care.

The upheaval in early 2016 was terrible. The supporters of constructing another center for the homeless pulled in protesters from Sarasota and Tampa and from out-of-state too. The objective was to throw the majority out of City Hall. But in the end, Mayor Pam Triolo and commissioners Scott Maxwell and Andy Amoroso all got re-elected by landslides.

The day after that election the protesters went away and never came back.

But maybe not for long.

Here is more information from Seltzer in the news today:

[O]fficials from Palm Springs listed a variety of other concerns for [County] commissioners, including:
  • Village manager Rich Reade said he worries about the safety of the men and women using the facility and accessing it by Lake Worth Road, a busy, major street that he said has seen 21 deaths in the past five years;
  • Village Councilwoman Joni Brinkman said the county hasn’t been communicating with Palm Springs officials about their interest in the site;
  • Village attorney Glen Torcivia said there are homeless residents across the county and questioned why this new facility was proposed for the Lake Worth area. Torcivia said the area is always looked at for “these types of facilities” and never for economic development.

The plan, it appears, is to get the municipalities in Palm Beach County to contribute to the “$5.29 million annual price tag”. What the City of Lake Worth’s contribution would be is not known at this time.

If you have thoughts or concerns about this topic then contact the three County Commissioners that represent this region in Central Palm Beach County (which includes the City of Lake Worth, the Village of Palm Springs and the surrounding unincorporated areas):

To contact the Mayor and four councilmembers in the Village of Palm Springs call 561-965-4011 or click on this link. To contact the Village Manager, Mr. Richard Reade, use this link.

To contact the Mayor and each of the four commissioners in the City of Lake Worth click on this link. The City Manager for Lake Worth is Mr. Michael Bornstein.

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

“Are Millennials the key to historic preservation?”

Here is more news about historic preservation from Modern Cities, two excerpts:

According to a new survey Millennials and Historic Preservation: A Deep Dive Into Attitudes and Values, nearly all (97 percent) of the nation’s largest and most diverse generation appreciate the value of historic preservation. Commissioned by American Express and the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the survey reveals the salient role preservation plays in the millennial narrative and the development of communities courting this generation.

and. . .

“The report reflects what we’ve seen in cities from Los Angeles to Buffalo to Houston – that millennials prefer to live, work and play in neighborhoods with historic buildings,” said Stephanie Meeks, president and CEO of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. “The revitalization of many urban communities is being driven in large part by the influx of young people seeking authentic experiences and places with character that are found in historic neighborhoods.”

And from this blog comes this additional hurdle:

Along with promoting historic preservation we need to take on the mis- and disinformation that damages historic preservation efforts. For example, the editor at The Palm Beach Post chose to publish this absurd nonsense:

“The Gulfstream Hotel should be taken
back by the city. . .”

The City cannot take back this historic hotel — it’s private property — but thanks to the editor at
the Post how many came to believe our City can just take it back? Property the City never owned?

You can better understand now the headwinds historic preservation faces. Going forward not only does the public need to be educated about historic preservation, but all the while false and misleading information is being fed the public at the same time.

On the subject of historic preservation and the upcoming New Year 2019.

There was a time the Gulfstream Hotel stood tall in our Downtown. One of many was the New Year’s Gala on January 1st, 1942.

“Everything Florida Has — We Have”

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

News “Worth Noting” today: Tuesday, the 25th day of December, A.D. 2018.

To subscribe to the City of Lake Worth’s newsletter called “Worth Noting” click on this link.

You’re probably not thinking about Hurricane Season which begins on Saturday, the first day of June, A.D. 2019.

But your City of Lake Worth is.

There is little time to worry about things
like shaved ice cream.

From a news story datelined Dec. 7th. . . 

Director Brian Shields, P.E. at Lake Worth Water Utilities has received assistance from the state “to develop goals, objectives and policies” to address extreme weather events such as hurricanes.

To read more about this and more news “Worth Noting” click on this link.

And no doubt Dir. Shields will be coordinating with Dir. Ed Liberty at Lake Worth Electric Utilities.

On that and about hurricanes too, let’s take a stroll back to last year.

September 17th, 2017 at 1700: “100% of
reported outages restored!”

Enjoy the video!

Sunday, December 23, 2018

The news below from PBSO Cpt. Baer should have been the top news story in The Palm Beach Post.

But it wasn’t.

Instead the big news in the Post in the weekly Lake Worth Very Very Special Monday Cursory Print Edition (LWVVSMCPE) on p. B3 ‘LOCAL’ was all about a shaved ice cream parlor that couldn’t cut the ice, so to speak.

Here is the big news.

PBSO Quarterly Update: Cpt. Baer began by saying, “It’s pretty much all good news tonight.”

The video of Cpt. Todd Baer’s presentation at the Lake Worth City Commission is at the end of this blog post.

UCR  =  Uniform Crime Report from the Florida Dept. of Law Enforcement.

Please note the elevator button in the image below.

Down, down, down. The crime rate in this City of Lake Worth continues to go down dramatically.

Excellent news all around about the low levels of crime here in the City.

Word was going around that Cpt. Baer is leaving District 14. That is false. Baer is going to the FBI Training Academy for several months to get additional training. Here is a recent message from Cpt. Baer to the community in this City of Lake Worth:

It is truly an honor to serve the residents, business owners, and visitors to Lake Worth as your commanding officer. As a native of South Florida, and a veteran of the Lake Worth Police Department prior to the merge with PBSO in 2008, I have a good understanding of the priorities and values held by the residents of Lake Worth.

and. . .

We work closely with the city, the Community Redevelopment Agency, and Lake Worth’s many neighborhood associations to make Lake Worth a safer place to live, work, and visit. Working together, we can better address crime and quality of life issues, as well as build relationships and a foundation for future success.

The PBSO Quarterly update by Baer lasts approximately twenty-five minutes and is very worthy of watching in its entirety:

Merry Christmas to City of Lake Worth! A look back at Christmas past from Palm Beach Post and CBS12.

Remember the “Holy War” in our little City of Lake Worth back in 2014? Really now CBS12!

And do you remember that Christmas in 2015 when the mural with the ‘too White’ Cuban-American boy was big news in the Post?

This mural is by a Cuban-American artist:

The first line in the Post: “A colorful mural symbolizing hope and promise has one Lake Worth woman seeing red.” [emphasis added]

Another excerpt later in the story, if the reader made it that far:

“The theme is bringing the community together,” said [Eduardo] Mendieta, whose works have appeared in Lake Worth, Delray Beach and Fort Lauderdale. “A child is looking to the horizon and his face morphing into a tree is showing growth. The puzzle piece represent the La Joya community — an emerald, a ruby, a sapphire.”

As for the white face, Mendieta, who is from Ecuador, said the boy in the mural is actually Cuban-American.

To say 2014–2015 was a low point for press and news media would be an understatement.

Christmas Season here in this City used to be quite exciting. Not so much for its residents but most certainly for press and news media.

In 2015 the top news story in The Palm Beach Post was about a mural on 6th Ave. South near the FEC railroad tracks. The Community Redevelopment Agency commissioned the mural and then later “a woman” complained the Cuban boy depicted in the mural was “too white”.

Merry Christmas from the Post!

Unfortunately, right about this time four years ago a young man named Jonathan Beaton was looking to begin a career in TV news. If he had gone to work for WPTV (NBC5) maybe his career in TV news would have blossomed. But instead he went to work for CBS12 (WPEC) and his career in TV news went straight to hell, so to speak.

Anyhow, let’s get to that ‘Holy War’ in
our City of Lake Worth?

This all began in December 2014 when Mr. Smith, the insulting Atheist, appeared in Lake Worth City Hall. To read all about that — once you’ve finished reading this blog post — scroll back up and click on this link.

Are you ready? Here we go!

“Free speech gone wild!” said the CBS12 anchor in the leadup to Israel Balderas’ story on Free Speech here in Lake Worth. But almost immediately after the story made the news the link was taken down.

But not quick enough!

First came this ‘news’ from CBS12 the very night preceding the Lake Worth Christmas Parade:


That’s the Christmas spirit!

And then came along Mr. Balderas:


When you search Wikipedia for “Holy War” here is one of the items that turn up.

And lastly, when it comes to the press and news media this time of year is the “lull”, the time between the Holiday Season and the upcoming municipal elections in March. This is a very slow time for news and editors are sometimes tempted to create ‘news’.

For example, to learn more about, “One of the ways you know it’s getting close to Election Season in the City of Lake Worth” click on this link.

And lastly,

Merry Christmas everyone!