Saturday, January 19, 2019

A brand new community of workforce housing is available in Lake Worth: A prime location near the beaches.

Choose to be in Lake Worth. Workforce housing conveniently located near all the excitement and convenience in Lake Worth.

Please hurry! This news was first published in the Sun Sentinel three days ago. These units of workforce housing in Lake Worth will not last long.

As seen in the Sun Sentinel (see link below),

Silverwood Estates in Lake Worth [emphasis added] are both built by Lennar Homes and are available to families and individuals with incomes from 60 to 140 percent of area median income.

Imagine living in a Lennar Homes workforce housing community actually in Lake Worth!

Are you looking for workforce housing in coastal Central Palm Beach County? Workforce housing is in high demand. Have you considered a home in Lake Worth?

In Lake Worth is where everyone wants to be right now.

Don’t you want to be in Lake Worth?

Your choice. A cookie-cutter community or a real place with character. The obvious choice is
to be in Lake Worth.

One can see how marketing Lake Worth has really risen to the next level. Branding Lake Worth, actually explaining where and what Lake Worth is, is a top priority for developers and builders.

Because, in the end, it’s all about making Lake Worth the best it can be. Developers care about Lake Worth. They really do.

Everyone in Lake Worth is excited about this new workforce housing community in Lake Worth,

“[A] prime location in Palm Beach County minutes from top-notch shopping, restaurants, entertainment and the beaches, upscale living has never been more enjoyable for your entire family.”

Have you been looking for a newly-constructed workforce community in Lake Worth? Prices from the $156,030s? Square footage from 1,440–1,821? From 2–3 bedrooms and up to 2½ bathrooms?

You’ve heard all about Lake Worth in the news! Every week Lake Worth is featured in The Palm Beach Post

Nearby this new workforce housing community is the preschool Future Kids at Lake Worth and the highly-rated Freedom Shores Elementary School in Lake Worth is nearby too. This is one of the most special spots in Lake Worth to live in. Really. This is Lake Worth living at it’s best. And so close to downtown and all the excitement.

To find this new workforce housing conveniently located in Lake Worth click on this link for news datelined Jan. 16th in the Sun Sentinel by reporter Austen Erblatt.

Would you like to go by and see this community in Lake Worth? If you are in Lake Worth the best way to get there is to take S. Military Trail to Hypoluxo Rd. and then head west. Look on the south side of the road for the 5300 block (if you passed over the drainage ditch you went too far).

So please! Some time soon come to Lake Worth and check out this new workforce housing community in Lake Worth.

Where is it? Helllllloooooooooooooooo?

It’s in Lake Worth!

[RE-POST BY REQUEST] Information to pass on to the homeless in Lake Worth* (cannot vouch for its accuracy).

[*NOTE: This is a re-post as a public service. Scroll down for new content. As always Thank You for visiting once again today.]

“Dear Wes, when I see a homeless person that needs help I tell them to ask a PBSO deputy where to go, go to a church, or look for a house with a red and white sign that says ‘Hands off our beach’. It’s a secret symbol that really means the homeowner will offer them sanctuary. Spread the word.”

Note: There are two versions of the ‘sanctuary’ sign for the homeless. Both have a solid red background with boldface white (sans serif) lettering such as the ones shown above.

Friday, January 18, 2019

There was a public vote with far-reaching consequences two years ago.

This blog post today is the reasoning why the voters should re-elect District 4 City Commissioner Herman C. Robinson on March 12th. Very important: City Commissioners are elected city-wide! All voters in all four Commission districts will have their say in Districts 2 and 4 on Election Day.

And this blog post today will also answer some very common questions from the public.

For example. . .

Do you remember what happened in March 2017? There was a referendum on the ballot that passed.

And in January 2017 was another significant political event. The Lake Worth City Commission voted to give themselves a pay raise. The last pay raise for the Commission was in 2005. The grandstanding two years ago by then-Commissioner Chris McVoy, PhD, in opposition to the pay raise took to unimaginable heights and think he quoted Ghandi or Abraham Lincoln. But McVoy ended up getting what he wanted. No pay raise. He got booted out of office in March 2017. 

No raise for you!

The reasoning by City Manager Michael Bornstein for a pay raise was solid. Learn more about that later in this blog post.

And did you know this coming March whomever gets elected to sit on the Lake Worth City Commission will serve a three-year term? Terms for electeds used to be two years. Now it’s three. Two years is a long time in politics. Three years can be an eternity. A lot of people say that can do a great job on the City Commission. But the incumbent has an actual record. A very big difference.

Have you ever been through a run-off election?

It can be a very nasty thing. A candidate, or possibly two in the District 4 race this year, are determined to take this City into a run-off election to be held two weeks after the municipal election on March 12th. They have no chance of winning. But they are running anyhow.

Why are there four names on the March 12th ballot this year in District 4? For one reason and one reason only. To force a run-off election. There were three names on the ballot in 2017. It’s very possible somebody or some group did not get the result they were anticipating two years ago and think that four names on the ballot will do the trick this time.

The results from District 2 and 4 in March 2017:

Most everyone was anticipating a run-off election or possibly two. Then Messrs. Robinson and Hardy won outright. FYI: The Post made no endorsement in District 4. The editor, in the endorsement for Hardy called McVoy a “gadfly”.

Back on topic, is a run-off election in District 4 this year all but certain? No.

There is a way to thwart this political tactic and send a message. That on Election Day the incumbent commissioner in the District 4 race gets over 50% of the vote and wins the race outright. Getting 50%  +  1 vote in a four-person race is very difficult. But not impossible. It’s been done many times before.

Meet your commissioner in District 4.

Am happy to report a large crowd came out last month to show support for Herman C. Robinson and his re-election to the Lake Worth City Commission. This fundraiser was held at Victoria’s Pisco Lounge located at 806 Lake Ave. in Downtown Lake Worth Beach. Stay tuned for the next fundraising event in the near future.

A photo is below of Herman’s well-attended campaign event and also later in this blog post is much more information about City of Lake Worth politics too. For example, is it time to get rid of run-off elections?

Election Day will be held on March 12th. Herman brings continuity and stability to this City district, District 4, one that’s been a ‘revolving door’ for far too long. Another election. Another new face. Round and round goes District 4.

Briefly, on March 13th, 2017, Herman was in a three-person race for the “open seat” election. Former Commissioner Ryan Maier opted not to seek re-election. Most everyone predicted this election would go to a run-off. But Herman ended up winning by a wide margin. District 4 is flooded once again with new faces. This time it’s a four-person race. If Herman does not get 50%  +  1 there will be a run-off election on March 26th. Two more weeks of knocks on the door and mailers in the mailbox.

Soon will do a breakdown of this year’s races in Districts 2 and 4. District 2 is fairly straightforward: Incumbent Commissioner Omari Hardy is being challenged by Cathy Turk, a former P&Z Board member. This race will be a very good one. Quality public debate on the issues and no ‘shill’ to monkeywrench the result.

The District 4 race is another complete mess once again. Right at the last minute another one jumped in making it a four-person race. So now the voters have to decide who the “shill” is. The one or two candidates not “in it to win it” but just trying to manipulate the result.

And to not tempt future shills and keep elections fair, there is actually a very simple solution. Let the voters decide. By referendum put the question up for a vote: Should this City get rid of run-off elections? Simply put. The highest vote-getter wins. That magic number of 50%  +  1 is taken off the table.

Back on topic.

So what exactly what was so significant about a public vote in March 2017?

This public referendum passed by 55% of the electorate.

And in that referendum the electors (the voters) voted to raise terms for elected officials from two- to three-year terms.

A two-year term is a choice by voters. A three-year term is a commitment.

Which delves into why the vote to give the City Commission a pay raise back in January 2017 was significant. The Lake Worth City Commission also serves as the elected body which oversees the Lake Worth Electric Utility which is tremendously complicated job all on its own. Being a City Commissioner is a very serious job.

Three year terms and a pay raise is all about attracting talent and serious people to run for an elected seat. To learn more about, “Why salaries need to rise for elected officials” click on this link.

Commissioner Robinson has been the sitting commissioner in District 4 for nearly two years. He has brought stability and reason to District 4. And Commissioner Robinson has worked very hard for 50%  +  1. At the very least.

 Robinson speaking to the crowd last month.

Click on photo. In the crowd, center frame (next to woman seated) is Vice Mayor Andy Amoroso.

Also of note. Due to that referendum in 2017 there will be no election of candidates in 2020. For example, Amoroso was re-elected (unopposed) in March this year to a term ending in March 2021.

Imagine that. A year off in 2020.

Meet Herman when he’s not dressed up.

A former Post reporter covering the Lake Worth Beach beat may be coming back soon! You may recall Chris Persaud made history winning awards for election reporting. Stay tuned as they say.

Election Day is March 12th.

Would you like to show your support for Herman in District 4? See caption below.

Suggested contribution: $25, $50 or $100. Maximum allowable contribution is $1000 per individual or corporation. Call 561-651-1499 or by email to:

One can also make an online contribution.

Or one can choose to volunteer. Help put out campaign signs, hang door hangers, be a poll watcher or wave campaign signs on Election Day!

If you would like to make a contribution by mail, send a check payable to “Herman Robinson Campaign Account” to this address:

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

Political advertisement paid for and approved by Herman Robinson for Lake Worth City Commission, District 4.

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Attention public in Palm Beach, Martin, and St. Lucie counties: Tomorrow is a regional public meeting at TCRPC.

The details about this public meeting tomorrow morning are below.

And worth noting.

Below are two paragraphs from “Agenda Item 12: Council Member Update” from the December 14th meeting of the Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council (TCRPC):

Commissioner Smith [Martin County Commissioner Doug Smith] noted there are approximately 10,000 septic tanks in [unincorporated] Martin County [emphasis added] and for the past 30 years the approach has been for neighborhoods to request water and sewer services from the county, which takes a very long time. He stated now the board is developing a policy to put into place a 10-year plan to eliminate all septic tanks in Martin County that are under the control of the county. He stated the sewer conversion program discussion is an opportunity for Council to engage at the state level, as well as continuing with the biosolids issue.* He stated that at the Florida Association of Counties they have a working policy group to address water issues and are trying to figure out how we can do things better than we have been for the last 100 years. He indicated Martin County passed a resolution in support of the acquisition of the rest of the Pal Mar property, which is a significantly large chunk of land that resides on the southern border of Martin County and the northern boundary of Palm Beach County.

Councilman Hmara [Village of Royal Palm Beach Councilman Jeff Hmara] stated there are a lot of communities in Palm Beach County approaching build out and the Village of Royal Palm Beach is no exception. He noted that if a local government has a golf course, especially one that has been around for a while, developers will be looking at these to redevelop with residential. He stated that we must be careful moving forward as this appears to be a trend occurring in South Florida. He stated he would be interested in talking with anyone who can offer some advice on this issue.


The TCRPC meeting tomorrow (Fri, Jan. 18th) begins at 9:30. The location is the Wolf High Technology Center at Indian River State College (Chastain Campus), 2400 SE Salerno Rd. in Stuart. To look over the agenda click on this link.

No one showed up to make public comment at the TCRPC meeting in December, not even Mr. Drew Martin from the Loxahatchee Sierra Club.

However, in news datelined Jan. 14th, Mr. Martin was quoted by Sun Sentinel reporter Austen Erblat in an article headlined,

“South Florida environmental groups sound off on national parks as Muslim youth group volunteers during shutdown”.

Two excerpts follow.

“They [park staff] should not allow people in there [referring to the Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge west of Boynton Beach] if there is no staff,” said Drew Martin, conservation chairman of the Loxahatchee Group of the Sierra Club.

However, as we learned later from Mr. Erblatt  — apparently unaware to Mr. Martin — there was actually a group removing litter and cleaning up in the ARM Loxahatchee Wildlife Refuge. Another excerpt in the Sun Sentinel:

Individual volunteers and organizations around the country have been picking up trash and manning the visitor centers, providing pamphlets and information to visitors to the extent they can. One organization involved in cleanup efforts is the Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association [AMYA]. They have had volunteers cleaning up at the National Mall, Cuyahoga National Park, Independence Hall, Joshua Tree National Park and Everglades National Park.

“The inspiration for us is simply that we don't see service only as a civic duty but as a part of our faith,” said Umar Ahmad, president of the Miami chapter of AMYA.

In conclusion, whilst on the topic of septic tanks, the City of Lake Worth will be compiling a map of all remaining septic tanks within the City limits and those remaining in unincorporated areas west of the City. Click on this link to learn more about that.

*Following are two sentences from a memorandum issued at the TCPRC in June 2018, “Management Alternatives for Human Wastewater Biosolids — Resolution”:

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

BREAKING NEWS: Journalist Chris Persaud is the new beat reporter in Boynton Beach!

Mr. Chris Persaud is an award-winning journalist and a former beat reporter in the City of Lake Worth.

Every Thursday Mr. Persaud will be
featured in The Palm Beach Post:

For the very first feature article by Mr. Persaud about the City of Boynton Beach click on this link. By the way, reporters Alexandra Seltzer, Red Denty, Emily Bloch and Chelsea Todaro have all left the Post.

“From Where I Sit” by Pelican Pete of Lake Worth Beach.

The musings of Pelican Pete are published in the weekly Lake Worth Herald:

“Leaving the dais, slamming doors, someone didn’t get his way on a night when it seemed the clock had been turned back about 10 years . . . Please don’t take us back . . . it wasn’t a pretty time in the history of Lake Worth.”

Published on the front page of The Lake Worth Herald, Thursday, Jan. 17th, 2019.

And Pelican Pete also has a problem with people showing up at public meetings at Lake Worth City Hall and throwing around the word ‘racist’ when something happens they don’t agree with and employing loaded language like the false narrative about ‘gentrification’, or as some call it, “the ‘G’ word”.

On that Pelican Pete said, “Haven’t we all heard this before?”

On a related topic are two other front page news articles about what happened at City Hall last Tuesday night:

Commission Squashes Code Policy License Violations for Rental Units

and. . .

Red Tag Protest In Lake Worth

And the public needs to reminded about another topic once again: mobile home parks.

Mobile home parks are PRIVATE PROPERTY! These places are owned and managed by private companies, and in some cases major corporations. When you hear of people from a mobile home park protesting at Lake Worth City Hall they are protesting against and targeting the wrong people.

Instead, they should be protesting right outside the management office where they live.

But because these mobile home park residents run into a brick wall trying to work out problems with the management company they then march to City Hall. And then the public thinks that the City of Lake Worth is the problem, which is wrong.

Two years ago The Palm Beach Post published a story about the Palm Beach Mobile Home Park that later had to be retracted. At the same time TV news organizations showed up interviewing people and everyone blamed the City for all the problems. And soon afterwards posted this:

It’s crucially important to remember this mobile home park is private property, including the roads, owned and managed by a company responsible for addressing the issues there. Everyone, including myself, wishes the best for every resident there. However, the City already has its hands full maintaining and fixing our own public infrastructure and to finally after many years get the Park of Commerce to contribute to our City’s tax base like it should have been doing all along — money that could have been fixing our potholes.

Many of the public in this City were surprised to learn there are four (4) mobile home communities within the municipal limits of Lake Worth with a total number of units at a whopping six hundred and sixty-five (665).

Learn more about this below, a little later in this blog post, data presented at a Commission Budget Workshop in 2017.

Crime is a major issue in some of these trailer parks. Last September there was a homicide in the Orange Grove trailer park located in the Lake Osborne neighborhood west of I-95 near John Prince Park. Now the latest is someone is shooting cats in the Palm Beach Mobile Home Park.

By the numbers, about mobile home parks (MHP) in this City of Lake Worth:

  • Orange Grove MHP (120 units) on north side of 2600 block on 6th Ave. South and sad to report the location of recent homicide; the third in the City this year.
  • Palm Beach MHP (335 units) on east side of Boutwell Rd. in Park of Commerce.
  • Holiday MHP (70 units) on 1800 block of Lake Worth Rd. (west of Tri-Rail Station).
  • Holz MHP (140 units) on south side of 1700 block on 12th Ave. South.

The data above comes from information provided by the City. For example, below is the MHP Rate Structure for waste and refuse collection.

The previous rate prior to 2018–2019 budget
(click on images to enlarge):

Once again: None of these mobile home parks are managed or maintained by the City. They are all privately owned.

 The current MHP rate:

The City of Lake Worth provides trash pickup. And the City provides water and electricity at an agreed upon rate. However, services such as sewer and road maintenance are the responsibility of the owner of the trailer park.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

The Show Must Go On! Tonight at 6:00 is another very important public meeting at Lake Worth City Hall.

But everyone wants to know, “What happened at Lake Worth City Hall last night!”

The big item of the night lasted all of thirty-five seconds. Not kidding. Further down below is a blog post about that and much more (or click on this link).

In brief, the star of the show last night at the City Commission was Mr. Richard Pinsky. And outside City Hall the star was a reporter from WPBF named Anthony Kustura. Really an excellent news report.

And also worth noting, mark your calendar: The Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) meeting rescheduled earlier this month will be held on Tuesday, Jan. 22nd at 6:00. This meeting will be held in the City Hall chambers.

The show must go on. . .

Tonight at City Hall, 6:00, are very interesting agenda items at the Planning & Zoning Board. And worth noting, because Cathy Turk is running for the District 2 seat in the March election that has left a vacancy on the P&Z.

If you would like to inquire about becoming a volunteer board member in the City of Lake Worth, and the vacancies that are currently available, please click on this link or send an email to Olivia Brown, the City’s volunteer coordinator:

Now back to the P&Z meeting tonight.

Here are the items under “New Business” with emphasis added:

  • Election of 2019 Planning & Zoning Board Officers.
  • PZB Project # 18-00500013 — Consideration of a Conditional Use Permit to allow for a “Place of Worship” at 817 Worthmore Drive [Worthmore is off N. Dixie Hwy; this road further west becomes 22nd Ave. North. Address 817 most know as the Scottish Rite].
  • PZB Project # 18-00000016 — Request for a mural on the north façade of the subject building at 521 North Dixie Highway.
  • PZB Project # 18-00000017 — Request for two murals on the south and east façades of the subject building at 527 North Dixie Highway.
  • PZB Project # 18-01400009 — Consideration of a Major Site Plan to allow for a ± 7,441 square foot “single destination retail” use at 1615 10th Avenue North [this is the southeast corner of A St. and 10th Ave.].

This P&Z meeting tonight is open to the public. If you wish to give public comment the time limit is three minutes.

To look over the agenda for yourself click on this link and scroll down for the Planning & Zoning Board “Agenda Package” to download.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

From reporter Andrew Lofholm: Two views on a proposed resolution on the agenda at Lake Worth City Hall tonight.

FYI: Further down on this blog is more information about a planned protest outside Lake Worth City Hall today and much more information.

Worth noting is reporter Andrew Lofholm at WPTV/NBC5 was in the City yesterday to do a news segment about the topic of cracking down on slumlords (see that news segment below).

Vice Mayor Andy Amoroso and Commissioner Omari Hardy have a difference of opinion on the proposed Resolution No. 04-2019, “Business license fines for noncompliance”.

The issue comes down to whether or not the City’s Code Enforcement Dept. needs another layer of regulation. Hardy believes it is necessary and Amoroso believes it is not necessary.

This is item 9C on the agenda tonight. As per the rules of order, the City Commission will debate this issue for thirty minutes and then have a vote, either up or down. If no vote is taken this agenda item will be sent to a Commission work session to be scheduled at a later date.

Here are two excerpts from the news segment
by reporter Andrew Lofholm

LAKE WORTH, Fla. — Lake Worth will consider a law at Tuesday’s [today, City Hall, 6:00] meeting that would fine landlords who are renting their home without a business license and use the fine money toward a tenant’s legal bills if they try to evict their renter.

The basics of the law would tell landlords, get a business license or else. That you can’t get into business illegally and then try to use the law to get someone out of your home.

Commissioner Omari Hardy says illegal evictions are a problem in Lake Worth.

“If we can just keep people in their homes, people who are being wrongfully evicted then that’s a good thing. And if we can do it with money that’s coming from slum landlords that’s an even better thing,” he said in an interview.

and. . .

Vice Mayor Andy Amoroso doesn’t support it. He says this law is unnecessary.

“I’ve been elected now for seven years, I’ve never received a call for somebody who has been evicted, I have gotten several calls for substandard housing and that’s why we’ve tried to be really aggressive with code enforcement,” Amoroso said.

The video from Andrew Lofholm’s news segment
follows a brief commercial message.

Once again, please scroll down this blog today for more information. And, as always, Thank You for visiting once again!

The political battle has begun. Protest planned at Lake Worth City Hall today.

Protest is Free Speech. Everyone is encouraged to protest if you wish. And likewise, all are encouraged to protest the protest. But there are rules (see link below).

Most importantly, always be aware of your surroundings.

If you see something unusual or potentially dangerous call 911 immediately or seek out a deputy. No matter how many people join a protest it only takes two or three well placed troublemakers to turn that protest into something altogether different.

To read more about public safety and rules for protesting click on this link.

The group organizing the protest is using many symbols in their messaging and one of those symbols is Anarchy. Many residents of Lake Worth will be familiar with one Anarchist in particular, one who tried to get elected to the City Commission in 2016:

“It’s time you guys know that we are no longer playing around . . . we are about to start striking fear, shooting down all cops that we see by their selves . . . Happy F       The Police Day! Remember children. All Cops Are Bastards! Have a great day!”

Here are more details about today’s protest and check back throughout the day for more information.

A protest is being planned outside Lake Worth City Hall today at 5:30. The slumlords in this City have come up with a strategy. And it will involve the press and news media. But there are two parts of this story. And hopefully the press and news media will report that. But don’t hold your breath.

“[S]tep up and spend money to comply with basic community-wide standards, sell to someone who will, or I will authorize liens and foreclosures till their eyes bleed.”

Lake Worth City Manager Michael Bornstein as quoted in The Lake Worth Herald, article headlined “The Day Has Come For Slumlords in Lake Worth” published on October 11th, 2018.

The slumlords will have people lined up outside City Hall to support them today.

But their message cannot go unchallenged. To learn more about what happened in September/October 2018 click on this link.

Would anyone like to talk about civility today?

Tonight at Lake Worth City Hall could potentially be a very contentions one. However, this meeting could be potentially less contentious if everyone — and that includes the elected leaders and the public in attendance as well — all follow the rules how public meetings should be conducted.

What are those rules? They are at the end of this blog post. But first, let’s discuss civility.

“Commissioners are fair game but it’s just so far from the truth that unfortunately some people will believe it”.

Lake Worth Commissioner Andy Amoroso, January 2015.

Back in June 2015 former CBS12/WPEC reporter Jonathan Beaton did a news segment about this terrible incident in the City of Lake Worth and, coincidentally, left that news organization a short time later. The link to Beaton’s news story was deleted a short time afterwards. But the text from that news is later in this blog post.

This, sadly, is protected Free Speech.

One City resident in particular expressing support for former Lake Worth Commissioner Ryan Maier. And then-Vice Mayor Scott Maxwell and Commissioner Andy Amoroso depicted in KKK robes. Not very charming, is it?

Now 3½ years later Andy Amoroso is the vice mayor in the City of Lake Worth and Scott Maxwell is the vice mayor pro tem. At the end of this blog post is the current City Commission.

Here is an excerpt from the text of the story which was deleted by CBS12:

A Palm Beach County community is being rocked by a disturbing photo, depicting two local lawmakers as members of the Ku Klux Klan.
     CBS12 is investigating and learned the photoshopped picture first surfaced on a local Lake Worth blog and later spread on social media, sending shockwaves throughout the town.
     Disturbing, troublesome and downright despicable are just a few of the words residents and lawmakers are using to describe the photoshopped photo, which shows Vice Mayor Scott Maxwell and Commissioner Andy Amoroso wearing white KKK garb. In the middle is newly elected Commissioner Ryan Maier.
     Commissioners are fair game but it’s just so far from the truth that unfortunately some people will believe it, said Commissioner Andy Amoroso.
     CBS12 first found the picture on a Lake Worth blog, run by a local resident.

All the information above comes from this blog in January 2017.

Will spare you the images of Lake Worth Mayor Pam Triolo being burned in effigy, a high-velocity bullet striking the head of a City Commissioner, and the names on bullets too.

So what’s the point?

Despite differences in opinion
the City Commission sets the tone.

The City Commission: Follow the rules of order.

The Public: Follow the instructions from the Chair, Mayor Pam Triolo.

Worth Noting.

County reporter Alexandra Seltzer, and reporters Chelsea Todaro and Emily Bloch are just some of the reporters at The Palm Beach Post that have left. And no surprise, since these young women left the Post, the frequency of errors has increased as well.

Today marks one year four months and eighteen days since the editor(s) at the Post have written an editorial about this City of Lake Worth. If they do come out with an editorial about this City a good place to start would be addressing what they never did address. What happened at City Hall on Monday, March 16th, 2015.

The hope that GateHouse Media would come in and change the culture at the Post is dwindling each and every day. GateHouse bought the Post on May 1st. Typically six months after taking over a newspaper is when they make big changes. That would have been about November 1st.

Now 2½ months later the Post is still making egregious errors. And worse yet, the editor(s) are not correcting them. With 3½ months to go the one-year anniversary of ownership by GateHouse will be unspectacular at best when it comes to substantial changes in how the Post is managed.

And that’s “Worth Noting”.

Monday, January 14, 2019

Important information “Worth Noting”: Public meetings this week.

PUBLIC ALERT: If you are a member of the Citizen’s Advisory Committee (CAC) in the City of Lake Worth there is a meeting tonight! The public is invited to attend this publicly noticed meeting and if you wish you can make public comment.

If you happen to know any members on this committee west of I-95 please remind them but stay safe. Learn more about CAC below.

CAC members, please behave yourselves tonight! Hissing, speaking out of turn, and disruptions will not be tolerated. See the CAC agenda at the end of this blog post.

Also Worth Noting: Very Important Persons (VIPs) are visiting City Hall tomorrow!

To learn more click on this link.

Planning to attend a protest tomorrow?

Please follow the rules and behoove the instructions from PBSO. If a protest happens it will be outside City Hall at 5:30.

Worth Noting: It’s always a good idea to stop by a dollar store for bottled water and noisemakers. However, balloons and plastic straws are prohibited!

About the very important meeting tonight at City Hall:

At 6:00 will be a Citizens’ Advisory Committee (CAC) 2016 Bond Oversight board meeting.

The CAC meets in the City Hall conference room. The purpose of this 14-member volunteer board is,

[T]o review all expenditures from the bond proceeds for improving local roadways and eliminating potholes in the City. Ord. No. 2016-47 — effective October 15, 2016 . . . composed of seven members of the City’s Finance Advisory Board and seven members, two members selected by the Mayor and two members to be selected by the Vice Mayor and one member selected by each City Commissioner.

Below is the agenda for tonight. Currently there are three vacancies on this board. If you would like to become a volunteer on this board, or any volunteer board click on this link or contact Olivia Brown the volunteer coordinator by email:

Interestingly, on the CAC agenda is to approve the meeting minutes for October 1st, 2018. But when you look at the schedule of meetings in 2018 there is no meeting in October on the list. There are two meetings on the list for June and September. But there are no minutes available for those two meetings either.

The confusion may stem that there are two boards in question: CAC and the Finance Advisory Board (FAB). Possibly this could be explained for the public by Finance Dir. Bruce Miller: What exactly is the purpose of the CAC and the Fabulously FAB? Two boards responsible for advising the City Commission on the Neighborhood Road Bond that passed by a “whopping 69%” in November 2016.

Mr. Miller is the City liaison to both the Fabulously FAB and CAC. To learn more about the City’s Finance Dept. click on this link. Also it is worth noting that Mr. Miller became the finance director in mid-2018. In other words he inherited the FAB and CAC.

The Lake Worth City Commission will be meeting tomorrow at 6:00 in the City Hall chambers.

If you are planning to attend this meeting and speak at public comment on any particular agenda item please follow the rules by Mayor Pam Triolo. Will you be guaranteed the chance to speak? Maybe or maybe not. After thirty minutes any particular agenda item on the agenda tomorrow may be moved to a future Work Session.

Also worth noting is a Planning and Zoning (P&Z) meeting on Wednesday, 6:00, in the City Hall chambers. To look over the agenda click on this link and scroll down to download the “Agenda Package”.

Here is the agenda for tonight’s CAC meeting:

Citizens’ Advisory Committee — 2016 Bond Oversight.

Location: City Hall Conference Room.
Date: Monday, Jan. 14th.
Time: 6:00.
  • Roll Call.
  • Pledge of Allegiance.
  • Agenda: Additions/deletions/reordering.
  • Opening Remarks.
  • Presentations: A) Corinne Elliott, Asst. Finance Director. B) Brian Shields, P.E., Dir. of Water Utilities. C) Jamie Brown, Dir. of Public Services.
  • Member Reports.
  • Approval of Minutes: October 1st, 2018.
  • Unfinished Business.
  • New Business: Set next meeting date.
  • Public Comment (three minute limit).
  • Closing Comments.
  • Adjournment.

NOTE: One of more members of any volunteer City board, or any member of the Lake Worth City Commission may attend and speak at this public meeting.

Just because it got published in the paper does not mean it’s true.

Today was another error in the print edition
of The Palm Beach Post.

This latest one follows several other 
recent errors (see below).

And worth noting: Three more quality reporters have recently left the Post. They are County reporter Alexandra Seltzer, Boynton Beach beat reporter Chelsea Todaro, and Emily Bloch who you may recall penned this Special Report about the eradication of invasive Muscovy ducks from a Village of Palm Springs neighborhood.

After this error today it might be time to invite journalist Al Tompkins back to Palm Beach State College (PBSC) to do another presentation on accuracy in the press and news media. PBSC, by the way, is not located in the City of Lake Worth. Learn more about Mr. Tompkins a little later in this blog post.

This latest error is on p. B4 ‘LOCAL’ and headlined, “Man arrested after wrecking vehicle in Lake Worth”. The reporter got this wrong. This did not happen in this City.

This event occurred far west in unincorporated Palm Beach County east of the City of Greenacres, at 4480 S. Congress Ave., a restaurant called the Country Inn Restaurant.

[Briefly, if anyone is looking for the absolutely best country- and family-style food actually in the City of Lake Worth please consider the Farmer Girl Restaurant at 1732 N. Dixie Hwy. They are open every day from 6:30 a.m.–8:30 p.m.]

And of course, of all the errors of late published in the Post the most egregious was publishing the wrong location of where a 21-month-old Guatemalan child was killed. The Post reported it happened “in Lantana”. Wrong. Find out the correct location by clicking on this link.

The publisher of the Post as of May 1st is GateHouse Media.

Maybe some time in the near future a journalist from GateHouse can research a landmark called the E-4 Canal. And then that journalist can teach all the reporters at the Post about where this landmark is located. You’ve probably driven over the E-4 canal hundreds or thousands of times and never noticed it. But the E-4 is very significant. Learn more at the end of this blog post.

And then was this error from four days ago. . .

“He [lottery winner] bought his winning ticket from Presidente Supermarket, 2485 10th Ave. North in Lake Worth [sic]. The retailer will receive a $10,000 bonus commission for selling the ticket.”

Published in Post print edition on Thursday, Jan. 10th, p. B4 above the fold.

The Presidente Supermarket on 10th Ave. North (located on the west side of the E-4 “Keller Canal”; see graphic below) is not located in the City of Lake Worth.

It’s not located in the Village of Palm Springs either.

This supermarket is located in unincorporated Palm Beach County. However, at some point this area will get annexed into a municipality.

So even though the ‘news’ published in the Post is wrong we can still make this a “teachable moment” today.

Some of you may recall when journalist Al Tompkins visited Palm Beach State College back in August 2016. It was an incredibly eye-opening presentation about the press and news media. One of the major points by Tompkins was this: “The public needs to sort out what’s accurate and what’s true.” That goes for national, state and local news; big news and small news.

For example, the headline last week in the Post was this:

Lake Worth man, 54, wins $5M
in scratch-off game

Was the “Lake Worth man” a resident of the City of Lake Worth? We don’t know because the lottery winner refused to talk to the Post reporter. That lottery winner may be from any number of areas with a ‘Lake Worth’ zip code. But what we do know is the lottery winner did not purchase that winning ticket ‘in Lake Worth’.

Whilst on the topic. . .

Presidente Supermarket is,

“[A] privately-owned business, run to this day by the Cuban American family that started the Presidente Supermarket enterprise 30 years ago.

“The life experience of our immigrant founders provides us with a special understanding of the everyday customer and how to fashion our inventory to their satisfaction. It is of the greatest importance to us that our stores provide what our customers seek, at the prices our customers expect.”

And they sell lottery tickets too!

Now back to the E-4 Canal, also referred to as the “Keller Canal”, next to the Presidente Supermarket.

The E-4 is managed by the Lake Worth Drainage District (LWDD). And yes, a small part of the City of Lake Worth is within the LWDD water management area.

For example, the City’s Park of Commerce (and Boutwell Rd. west of I-95) is within the LWDD.

“Without adequate drainage, human health and safety would be jeopardized and extensive property damage could occur.” To learn more about the Lake Worth Drainage District click on this link.

The north-south E-4 Canal connects with the east-west C-51 Canal which is managed by the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD). The C-51 then drains into the Intracoastal (aka, the Lake Worth Lagoon).

The C-51 is also the border between the City of
West Palm (a city without a beach) and the
City of Lake Worth (with a Beach!).

Click on map to enlarge:

Hurricane Season begins once again on June 1st.
In the meantime the work continues:

“In 2015, the Lake Worth Drainage District completed an inventory of its canals and identified about 180 miles of district-owned land that was ‘encumbered with nuisance vegetation and other encroachments’ ”.

In conclusion: that ‘news’ published in the Post was wrong about that supermarket ‘in Lake Worth’. But hopefully you learned a lot more today about this place in Central Palm Beach County called the City of Lake Worth (with a Beach) and areas west of the city in what can be called “suburban Lake Worth” or unincorporated Palm Beach County.

Just in case you missed this blog post from yesterday.

Re-posted once again today. The post was titled,

“Kudos to Alexis Rosenberg and Kevin Fischer!

“Two planners who became heroes
to the City Commission”

This blog post is a rather long one, longer than typical. So if you are short on time will move this to the top of the right-hand and you can pick up where you left off tomorrow.

This a good story and a bad story about this little six square mile City of Lake Worth. But the bad news is just temporary. If you are one of those that doesn’t understand what all the fuss is about shade trees, well, you are not alone. The City Commission doesn’t understand it either. And that’s why the landscape regulations are being rewritten. Again. Learn all about that below.

Briefly, before we continue, the practice “hat-racking” of trees is prohibited in this City. But should this pruning practice be allowed? Or just regulated in some cases for a particular type of tree? Information recently came to light in the Palm Beach Daily News by reporter William Kelly about discussion at the Ordinances, Rules, and Standards Committee meeting last December in the Town of Palm Beach; here is an excerpt:

“I urge you to table it [hat-racking regulations] and bury it and kiss it goodbye,” said Jorge Sanchez, principal of SMI Landscape Architecture.

Hat-racking, also known as pollarding, is a practice that can be traced back for centuries, Sanchez said. He said he does it to his own trees every few years and there’s no harm done.

Since the City of Lake Worth’s landscape regulations are being rewritten possibly the practice of hat-racking can be addressed.

Now moving on. Back to planners Alexis Rosenberg and Kevin Fischer.

City Commission meetings are the big stage. But for all that to happen a lot of work has to happen off-stage. You may have heard about Commission meetings called workshops and work sessions. They are both the same thing.

This blog post today is about a work session held last Thursday evening at Lake Worth City Hall. And will try to make this blog post interesting. We will be examining a thing called “public policy”.

It was Mark Stivers, AICP, who led the presentation to the Lake Worth City Commission on the land development regulations (LDRs). And Stivers expressed much praise for the work of neighborhood planner Alexis Rosenberg and Kevin Fischer, the planning and preservation manager. It was a very good and positive display of support by Stivers and the Commission was very much appreciative as well.

Rosenberg and Fischer were tasked with coming up with an understandable way for the City Commission and the public to understand all the changes to the LDRs. They came up with a plan and it turned out spectacularly. Previously the electeds were very unhappy with the backup material they were given. LDRs are very important.

So last Thursday the City Commission was very happy. Now they can take this material from Rosenberg and Fischer and explain this to the public. Which stands in dark contrast to what happened later in the meeting.

You can watch that part where Stivers praises the staff and their work after the 35 minute mark in the video below (at the end of this blog post).

From the start of the video, for about twenty minutes or so, one can clearly hear an annoying sound and you’ll find out what that sound is when you watch the video. So maybe the mayor can institute a new rule: do not eat potato chips during public meetings. And texting is not a good idea either.

Remember, last Thursday was a scheduled Work Session and besides the LDRs there was a discussion about the proposed amendment to the landscape regulations. Mark Stivers and William Waters of the Dept. of Community Sustainability led both efforts with staff. Is is worth noting that banks and drive-thru’s in the Downtown was a topic in the LDRs the Commission wanted to talk about. So before long that may become an issue once again. After a bit they moved on to the landscape regulations.

What a mess.

For a City trying to do its best attracting new residents they are doing a terrible job in this department.

On the one hand you have the Tree Board trying its best to rid the City of palm trees and create streets lined with shade trees and tree canopies so thick light cannot escape from sunset to sunup. From satellite this place would look like a dark green hole on the eastern coast between Lantana and West Palm Beach (a city without a beach). Many in the City apparently were unaware the Tree Board was involved in rewriting almost the entire landscape ordinance that ended up resembling Draco’s Code than a landscaping guide and in between was the City’s horticulturist trying to get everyone to communicate. Sort of like sending smoke signals in a hurricane.

By the way, from Draco’s Code came the English word “draconian”.

Mr. Dave McGrew, the City’s horticulturist, does an exceptional job for the City. He has been with the City for a very long time. But just like President George Washington and the cherry tree Mr. McGrew will always be remembered for that ONE TREE he cut down which is unfortunate. He’s paid his price to society and everyone should move on.

For reasons unknown people keep bringing up that ONE TREE. And then Mr. McGrew has to say he’s sorry and learned his lesson. It’s time everyone gets over that ONE TREE and move on. McGrew has done a lot of very exceptional things over the years. Like dealing with the public on a daily basis. And staying polite and professional. Not an easy task.

But as good as Mr. McGrew is at making things happen in the natural world he can’t perform miracles or magic. So last October when the landscape regulations, the Tree Board, City staff and the City Commission all met together it created the so-called “Perfect Storm”.

Basically, all hell broke loose.

Three months ago the Commission said to City staff go back to square one and rewrite almost the entire proposed landscape regulations. Again. Last Thursday we found out the Commission is still not happy. At one point Mayor Pam Triolo said, “I feel like we’re at a condo association meeting” and later added she felt “[L]ike in a Twilight Zone episode”. And the mayor referenced ‘Big Brother’ too.

Mark Stivers used the phrase, “Lots of cleanup and clarification language” about twenty times. For single homes the requirement to employ a landscape architect, a soil analysis, irrigation, hedge height, and all sorts of regulations were just eliminated. Can a group of three palm trees be substituted for a shade tree? The Commission took an straw poll and the consensus was “Yes”. What’s the definition of a “small tree”? Well, if you’re between 5′6″ and 6′ tall and you can see the top of the tree. . .

Maybe it would be a good idea to temporarily transfer Alexis Rosenberg and Kevin Fischer from the planning department over to Mr. McGrew to help coordinate with all the departments involved in the landscape regulations. Rosenberg and Fischer are up to the challenge and Mr. McGrew would certainly appreciate the additional help.

The public is already completely and utterly confused about the rules for landscaping and they have been for a very long time. The good news is once this is all straightened out the City will begin an intensive public information campaign like what happened when the new double-stream recycling program was rolled out. The rules will be very simple and straightforward. And if you prefer to have palm trees in your front yard instead of a shade tree, that will be OK too. Instead of the City’s Tree Board — which has been for the most part ineffective communicating with the public — the task of educating the public going forward will include the Neighborhood Assoc. Presidents’ Council (NAPC) and the City working in tandem.

At this Work Session last Thursday the discussion about the LDRs only took about thirty minutes. The discussion on landscape regulations took about an hour and a half. And at the end still almost everyone looked confused.

At public comment City resident Tammy Pansa said, “Just leave us alone.” A comment which pretty much summed it all up.

Let’s pause briefly for a musical interlude
(and please pay special attention to the chorus):

Now back to our regularly scheduled program today.

And maybe a future topic of discussion at the City Commission is whether or not this City needs a Tree Board at all. Or a “C-51 Canal Advisory Committee” (CAC) for that matter. The last time CAC met was some time back in 2017. Maybe. No one knows for sure. To look over all the City’s volunteer advisory boards click on this link.

Back to the Work Session this week
on landscape regulations.

The public needs to understand that “Palm Trees Are Not Evil!” Palm trees really took a bad rap in the latest and to-be-revised landscape regulations. True. A palm tree is not really a tree. But a lot of people really like them anyhow.

Other items worth noting from this meeting last Thursday is more discretion will be given to City utilities to clean up easements and permits will no longer be required for City work crews. Herbicides such as Roundup cannot be banned by the City. These are legal products and are regulated by the State and Federal government. The City can encourage the public to use other products and can tell the public that herbicides can only be used as recommended on the labeling. Synthetic turf, e.g., AstroTurf, will still not be permitted in the front yard of single homes but will be allowed in the backyard and along the sides of a home where appropriate. The City of Lake Worth, like most municipalities in Central Palm Beach County, does not use synthetic turf on public athletic fields.

And Mr. McGrew noted that the public should not cut down trees or bushes in the City’s easements (e.g., in the alley behind one’s home). That is the City’s responsibility and they want to ensure no one gets injured and that no underground or overground utilities are damaged. To learn more about easements, public safety, stormwater and drainage and the City’s responsibility vs. the citizen’s responsibility click on this link.

If you have an issue or questions about vegetation in an easement contact the Public Services Dept. at 561-586-7433 on Monday–Friday from 8:00 a.m.–3:30 p.m. or send an email to Dave McGrew:

Too much information was gleaned from this public meeting to be included in this blog post. But tried to touch on all the major points. Would encourage everyone interested to attend the next public meeting on this topic and will make note of that on this blog. As far as hardwood and shade trees in Hurricane Season that has been a frequent topic on this blog.

Remember: at work sessions no votes are taken. They are held for the City Commission, City departments and staff, and the public to gather more information and become more educated on a topic. Items go to a Work Session after thirty minutes of discussion at a Regular Commission meeting. If no vote is taken, for any number of reasons, that agenda item goes to a Work Session. Like the original ordinance last year on the proposed landscape regulations.

Eventually all this will get fixed and we’ll have a set of standards most of the public will be happy with.

Note that a straw poll was taken at this Work Session but straw poll votes are not official. They are just to gauge as to whether or not the City Commission has reached a consensus. So in conclusion, the proposed landscape regulations will either come back in another scheduled and public work session or as a proposed new ordinance at a regular Commission meeting. Stay tuned.

Here is the video and hope you found this information helpful today.

To meet City planners Alexis Rosenberg and Kevin Fischer go to about the thirty-five minute mark. Public comment begins at the one hour and forty-two minute mark.

Stroll down memory lane. Former Commissioner Suzanne Mulvehill, “Mission Impossible”, and John G’s at the Lake Worth Beach.

UPDATE: Before we get to this short stroll down memory lane, have you heard the latest about
the Blueway Trail?
To learn more about the new nonprofit called Blueway Trail, Inc. and the public meeting held last April of “Coalition partners, trail friends and supporters” click on this link.

Without further ado. . .

LOOKING BACK: Learn why former Lake Worth City Commissioner Suzanne Mulvehill is now considered a visionary.

Please Note: If you are short on time, at the end of this blog post is the now-famous video produced by Liana Werner Gray, the Australian food and entertainment reporter who interviewed former District 4 Lake Worth City Commissioner Suzanne Mulvehill at the former John G’s restaurant at the Lake Worth Beach eight (8) years ago now.

It was Mulvehill, former Post reporter Willie Howard, and many others back in 2008–2012 that lamented the fact kayakers and those using canoes had no way to bypass the S-155 Spillway on the C-51 Canal to explore the inland Chain of Lakes.

The process was both risky and outright dangerous for most people — trying to climb the “goat trails” up the steep hills along the canal — then drag your equipment another ¼ mile or so west and then slog through the slick vegetation and debris (tires, trash, sharp objects) to re-enter the water on the other side of the Spillway.

But that’s all going to change.

Within 3–4 years, or maybe even sooner, the
Blueway Trail will become a reality
This image is from the inimitable former Lake Worth blogger extraordinaire Tom McGow. Ecotourism and public waterway access was one of Mulvehill’s biggest issues as an elected.

Suzanne Mulvehill, tongue-in-cheek, was a member of what their supporters back in 2010 called the Best Commission Ever! or BCE! for short.

Below is a popular video of Mulvehill which remains steady in the top 10 (now #9) of the most-viewed videos all-time on my YouTube channel. To look over the most-watched videos click on this link (to become a YouTube subscriber click on the red “subscribe” icon and you’ll get an email when new videos have been uploaded).

Apparently, and this is hard to believe, there are still a handful of people that don’t know what happened to John G’s!

That iconic restaurant moved south from the Lake Worth Beach down A1A to 264 South Ocean Blvd. in Manalapan. It ended up ‘saving’ John G’s at the Lake Worth Beach was “Mission Impossible”.

Hope you enjoy this stroll down memory lane to April 2010. If you wish, proceed to the 1:45 mark in the video where it gets highly entertaining.

Hope you enjoy a little more recent history about this little City of Lake Worth: