Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Public Service in City of Lake Worth: About the “Lull” ahead of the municipal elections on March 12th.

FYI: The Lull officially ends tomorrow, Thursday, February 14th, the halfway point in February

Briefly, before we get to the “Lull”, there has been an interesting development one could say. Downtown West Palm (a city without a beach) is getting its first medical marijuana dispensary. And today marks one year five months and seventeen days since the last editorial about this City of Lake Worth (with a Beach!) was published in The Palm Beach Post.

That’s right. The last editorial the editorial board penned about this City was in August 2017. For some perspective, that was prior to Hurricane Irma and prior to Drew Martin running for mayor.

Why is this an interesting development about medical marijuana in West Palm? Continue reading this blog post today and once you’ve finished scroll back up and click on this link. And, as always, Thank You for visiting once again!

Now back to our regularly scheduled program today. And learn about the “Lull”.

A list of items need to be regularly debunked ahead of each March election season. And below is one of the most popular: stirring up fear about smoke coming from a crematorium.

This one can really rile up the public. Not quite as much as the mythical ‘sanctuary city’ nonsense but it’s up there. When the ‘smoke crisis’ — also reported as a “shroud over the downtown streets” — first was released it set off a panic and this silliness took weeks to smack down. At first a lot of people believed what they heard. Until they learned the facts.

Other examples of things that need to be regularly debunked are candidates and door knockers claiming the municipal golf course will be sold to make way for condos. False. Or maybe someone will suggest the Gulfstream Hotel be sold by the City of Lake Worth. The City cannot sell something it does not own. And another really popular one is that the City is removing mangroves along the Intracoastal. Also false but a very effective one when trying to confuse the public.

Mid-January to mid-February is a tricky time for the public. For example, this is the period of time called the “Lull” when the editor(s) at The Palm Beach Post are under pressure to sell more newspapers. Do you remember the ‘Curfew’ that never happened? That one really rocked the City. But in the end the public learned the facts.

The public needs to be aware. . .

Without further ado. . .

“How can a crematorium be allowed just down the street from an elementary charter school in Lake Worth!”

First, it’s very important to understand that crematoriums are regulated by the Dept. of Health, not local city governments.

Later in this blog post are excerpts from an article published in the Post titled, “Smoke complaint at Lake Worth Crematorium gets health review”; it’s this news that had people wondering:
How can a crematorium be allowed just 0.4 miles (about 2000′) from an elementary charter school?

Why? Because the crematorium was there first.

That charter school located at 1200 N. Dixie Hwy. (for reference the school located across the street from the medical marijuana dispensary Curaleaf Lake Worth and the Marijuana Doctor next door) is a school that opened up many years after a crematorium was constructed at 730 N. Dixie Hwy. If the people who opened that charter school back then were concerned about a crematorium nearby they could have found another location on Dixie Hwy. or maybe another site in the City.

Crematoriums are in the City of Lake Worth because, at one point in our City’s history, there was nothing stopping crematoriums to operate a business in Lake Worth.

The zoning has been changed and crematoriums are no longer permissible under our zoning code.

However, crematoriums already in operation at the time were “grandfathered in”, meaning they can operate only as long as they continue to pay their tax bill, utility bill, etc., keeping up-to-date with the City in general. If the business fails to comply they will lose their business license.

Back to the issue of smoke coming from a crematorium, an article by Post reporter Julius Whigham published in March 2017.

The operators of the facility at North Dixie Highway and Eighth Avenue North, were asked to provide the health department with a report about a malfunction at the crematory. Comments posted on on Facebook said that black smoke could be seen from outside the facility Wednesday afternoon [3/22/17].

and. . .

     “I’ve gone out there and pounded their door down,” he [City resident ] said. “There’s something profoundly wrong when (the crematories) emit that much smoke. … It’s a public safety hazard.”

Below is what another very creative Post reporter wrote back in 2015 about smoke coming from a crematorium. But unlike reporter Julius Whigham’s approach, this reporter took a more stirring, thrilling, quite lively, captivating, and quite entertaining view of that particular incident:

“The thick black smoke was hard to miss. It curled into the sky, swallowing the tops of palm trees and tumbling down like a shroud over the downtown streets. . .”.

So. Anyhow. . .

If you see any smoke at all coming from a crematorium or are concerned about a local crematory call 561-840-4500 or contact the Palm Beach County, Florida, Dept. of Health. If you wish to schedule an appointment to discuss this matter, call 1-855-438-2778, or use this link. Another option is to write a letter to:

Palm Beach County Dept. of Health
800 Clematis St.
West Palm Beach, Florida

I hope you found this information helpful.

Now for those of you interested, please scroll back up and read about that editorial published in the Post one year four months and twelve days ago!