Saturday, February 9, 2019

Do you have suggestions, any questions and/or concerns about proceeds from the County’s 2016 ¢1 sales tax increase?

Another question for concerned residents.

If you, your neighbors and community had let’s say sixty-nine minutes to address this matter of sales tax proceeds with your elected leaders on the Lake Worth City Commission would you find that time helpful?

Well, unfortunately, there is some very bad news to report. And if you weren’t worried before about this “pot of money” from the County then you better start getting worried very soon. Why? Because your voice is being drowned out.

Last Thursday evening, after sixty-nine (69) minutes of a presentation, public comment and discussion at City Hall about that condemned pool at the Beach Vice Mayor Andy Amoroso said this:

“I need a little clarification because we’re here tonight and our agenda item says ‘continue sales tax conversation from December 4th’. We have no backup for sales tax. In my opinion it became a pool meeting, which that’s fine, we’ll have a conversation. But we really need to have a pool conversation separate from this conversation that in my opinion it didn’t happen because it’s not transparent, there is no backup and everybody else that has a line item that they would like to see this penny sales tax spent on is not in this room tonight.”

Amoroso said,
“[E]verybody else . . . is not
in this room tonight.”

‘Everybody else’ is everyone reading this blog post today.

But guess who was in City Hall last Thursday night having their voice heard? A mob who wants millions of dollars for a new pool at the Beach. What this City needs is a mob representing everyone else in this City.

The mob who wants a new pool at the Beach thinks eight hundred unverified signatures and a poll on Facebook is representative government. Does that sound like representative government to you?

Do you have ideas on how to spend proceeds from the County’s ¢1 sales tax increase? Are you angry as hell your City Commission spent sixty-nine minutes talking about that pool at the Beach?

Well, don’t get angry. Calm down. Relax for a bit. Then click on this link and send a brief note to each of your elected officials. Do not be disrespectful. Voice your concerns in a calm and reasonable way.

For sixty-nine minutes last Thursday evening we learned this about a new pool at the Beach.

Very briefly. . .

The pool mob doesn’t just want a new pool. They want a 2nd story terrace above the pool too for tourists and they want state-of-the-art bathrooms and locker rooms too. They want a whole lot of things because that pool would only cost about $600K to fix. They said. And all this work “can be very simple”. And they said two ‘pre-bids’ from contractors would be available soon for the public to see. They said. But no specifics were provided by the mob except that a new pool facility would only lose about $250–300K each year. An estimate of course. They said. And they want the pool heater to be run on solar energy. Of course, tiki huts and concession stands for the tourists and maybe even go to another referendum if they run out of money. The mob said, “If we build it they will come” and past history should be ignored showing that is untrue. They said the pool was “rocking and rolling in 2006!” That is not true either. To get this project moving forward to build a new pool one said, “I would write a thousand dollar check right now!” The mob became excited. Although the mob did say “it is a gamble” they all agreed it all “makes sense”. They said and they said. And they said, “You have to listen to us” and “We have no political interests” and “We have really simple practical ideas!” and “Let’s get together and do something!” They said.

They said.

They said.

In conclusion today, check back later this week for more about what happened, and more importantly what did not happen at City Hall last Thursday evening.

And in the meantime come up with a list of things. Suggestions, ideas and concerns about the proceeds from the County sales tax proceeds.

Like maybe a second tie-line for our Electric Utility to make certain in an emergency we stay connected to the grid which just happens to be a major concern for Vice Mayor Andy Amoroso.

Public health and public safety in City of Lake Worth: Is code enforcement being too overbearing?

[PLEASE NOTE: Everyone who recently visited Lake Worth City Hall in opposition to efforts by the City’s Code Enforcement Dept. please be advised: The information below is “Worth Noting”.

For example, if you are from the PBC Tenants Union and you think “Operation Red Tag” is stupid and onerous, that the City is unfairly harassing slumlords, that PBSO with code enforcement is engaged in ‘illegal door-to-door sweeps’ then you and your affinity members and fellow travelers need to be outraged by the public notice below:

Hear Ye. Hear Ye All. Public Notice published in The Lake Worth Herald.

“A failure to pay said lien, even such lien upon homesteaded property, may result in a loss of title to your property.”

Sentence from public notice (see entire notice below). Issued by Village of Palm Springs. Dated January 17th, 2019.

“Question. Where exactly is
the Village of Palm Springs located?”

The Village of Palm Springs is located between the cities of Greenacres and Lake Worth Beach (north of the Great Walled City of Atlantis). Click on map:

Without further ado. . .


Attention Owners, Agents, Custodians, Lessees And Occupants Of Real Property Within The Village Of Palm Springs.

You are hereby notified that you are required by law to cut and prevent the excessive accumulation of weeds, underbrush, grass or other dead and living plant life upon your improved property; to remove any trash, waste, rubble, debris, refuse, abandoned appliance, or other nocuous matter or condition located on any property owned, controlled or occupied by you in the Village of Palm Springs; and that upon your failure to do so, the Village of Palm Springs will institute nuisance abatement proceedings against your property and cause such nuisance to be abated.

The cost of such abatement will constitute a special assessment lien against the property on which the nuisance is located. Such special assessment lien shall be co-equal with the lien of all state, county, district, and municipal taxes and superior in dignity to mortgages and all other liens, irrespective of the date of the recording of the municipal lien or the date of the recording of any mortgage or any other lien on real property. A failure to pay said lien, even such lien upon homesteaded property, may result in a loss of title to your property. [emphasis added]

Kimberly Wynn, Village Clerk, Village of Palm Springs, Florida.

To contact the Village Clerk in the Village of Palm Springs click on this link. For common FAQs use this link.

Friday, February 8, 2019

Clarification issued today on front page of The Palm Beach Post.

Here is an accurate headline in The Palm Beach Post print edition today (Feb. 8th) about today’s funeral and ceremony of honor in suburban Lake Worth:

World War II vet, 93, will be buried
with flag ceremony

The headline in the Post online edition yesterday was wrong regarding a ceremony this morning at 11:30 and the tribute and burial at 1:30 in the afternoon:

For his services on a submarine chaser for three years in the Navy during World War II, Ralph Anthony Mercurio will be honored at his funeral Friday [TODAY] with a Naval Honor Guard and flag ceremony at the South Florida National Cemetery.

The headline and story posted in the online edition yesterday was very misleading:

WWII veteran widow’s concern: Enough mourners at husband’s funeral in Lake Worth?

Not until the very last two paragraphs in the online edition yesterday was the actual location of this funeral and ceremony given.

Clarification issued on the front page of the Post print edition today:

Two services are planned for today. The first service will be at 11:30 a.m. at St. Mathews Catholic Church, 6090 Hypoluxo Road, in suburban Lake Worth. A graveside service will follow at 1:30 p.m. at the South Florida National Cemetery in Lane No. 5.

From St. Mathews Catholic Church here are directions to the South Florida National Cemetery:

Take Hypoluxo Rd. west to State Rd. 7 (441) and go north. After a short drive the national cemetery will be on your left (west side of 441). Look for signs or volunteers giving directions to the ceremony and burial site.

From Coastal Star reporters Jane Smith, Michelle Quigley: “Along the Coast. . . A line in the sand”.

TAKE NOTE: At the presentation by CPZ Architects at the City Commission vis-à-vis “Lake Worth Beach Complex Conceptual Plans Design, Cost Estimates & Construction Design and Construction Phase” the Coastal Construction Control Line (CCCL) was brought up in discussions on what can be done to replace the structure (locker rooms, bathrooms, etc.) east of the condemned municipal pool which needs to be demolished as well.

The answer is not much can be done with that area adjacent to the Casino without the very expensive process of installing pilings. So what exactly is the CCCL? Continue reading to find out.

The subtitle in The Coastal Star: “At issue is
whether building should continue east of
Coastal Construction Line”

Here are two excerpts from the article datelined August 30th last year, 1½ weeks prior to Hurricane Irma’s arrival:

     The state has OK’d nearly all applications to build seaward of what is called the Coastal Construction Control Line in the past 10 years, according to a local spokeswoman for the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.
     The mansions and condos, including sea walls and swimming pools, lie perilously close to the ocean. Some of the pools and sea walls washed away in October 2012 when Hurricane Sandy brushed the South Florida coast.

and. . .

     Why are these applications approved? In Florida, property rights are highly regarded.

     The only time a person is guaranteed a 12-person jury is when the government wants to take your life — or your property. The state Legislature passed the Bert J. Harris Act in 1995, strengthening a property owner’s rights. The act, toughened in 2015, reads that local governments must prove that not allowing owners to use their property would be in the public’s interest.

Whilst on the topic of the Coastal Construction Control Line (CCCL), the ‘renovated’ Lake Worth Casino is mostly east of the line (see image below) and the CCCL actually straddles our now-condemned municipal pool at the Lake Worth Beach.

Now that the City of Lake Worth is considering another project at the Beach, a City project using taxpayer dollars will the public accept future structures east of the CCCL? That remains to be seen. It was announced early on in the process the City would not seek a “private-public partnership”; however, with budgetary constraints that may be one of the few options available.

Moving on. . .

This image is from a presentation given at the City Commission in May 2017 (red line is the CCCL):

Hurricane Matthew in 2016 was a small test. Irma wasn’t the “monster” like Frances and Jeanne in 2004 and then Wilma in 2005. The newest Casino complex at the Lake Worth Beach, completed in 2012, has yet to be fully tested.

A question posed on this blog yesterday.

Do you support or oppose a brand new pool at Lake Worth Beach?

One candidate on the ballot this year is strongly opposed, Mr. Tom Copeland.

Remember, the question is not about “fixing” or trying to ‘SAVE THE POOL’, the condemned pool at the Beach (see image below). That former public pool cannot be ‘fixed’ or ‘saved’ despite what you may have been led to believe — it is way beyond repair — exactly why it was condemned in the first place.

And even attempting to repair that pool would in effect be constructing a brand new pool anyway. Not to mention the water bill each month to the Town of Palm Beach.*

The question becomes simply this: Do you support a brand new pool at the Lake Worth Beach?

“SAVE THE POOL” is called the false dilemma, a logical fallacy to confuse and manipulate the public.

A nice image being distributed around town
but the message is a false one.

The condemned pool at the Lake Worth Beach & Casino Complex cannot be saved. However, until it is demolished that former pool does serve an environmentally “Green” purpose.

Mr. Tom Copeland, a candidate for District 4, has a very strong opinion on the issue. Listen to Copeland’s argument below in a YouTube video.

Copeland is challenging Commissioner Herman C. Robinson. Election Day is on March 12th. Robinson seems to be leaning towards support for a new pool at the Lake Worth Beach.

If you follow this blog you know Yours Truly is absolutely opposed to a new pool at the Beach but do support a water feature of some kind such as a cabana pool or water play area for children. And on taking so much public funding to construct a brand new pool at the Beach District 2 Commissioner Omari Hardy was even more blunt. He said that would, [T]hreaten our ability to provide services to people who really need them.”

For example. . .

A community pool or small-scale pools west of Dixie Hwy. to teach children how to swim. A very real public safety issue for families that cannot afford the parking rates and entry into a pool at the Beach. For a family of four, two adults and two school-aged children (based on rates when the former pool was open), that would be $18/visit, each and every visit to the pool. A hefty expense for most families.

Due to proceeds from the County’s ¢1 sales tax increase that passed in Nov. 2016 a large aquatic complex will be constructed by the County just a short drive from Lake Worth City Hall. For that reason as well I oppose constructing a new pool at the Beach duplicating work by the County. And this future County pool will have FREE parking as well. Parking at the Lake Worth Beach is $3/hr.

However, the pool is only one issue of many and remain strongly is support of Robinson’s re-election.

So, as to the question, you decide. . .

In the video below Copeland “[D]iscusses the challenges and opportunities at the Casino & Beach Complex, and specifically why he is taking a hard position against re-building a new pool on the beach.”

After listening to Copeland’s argument scroll back up and click on this link to learn about a very rare thing that Copeland did this week.

Making the case. . .

*The millions of gallons of water over all these many years to fill a pool at the Lake Worth Casino & Beach Complex comes from the West Palm Beach water supply and delivered through pipes in the Town of Palm Beach, a customer of West Palm Beach Water Utility. So technically the bill for that water comes from the City of West Palm Beach which does not actually have a beach.

So if you are environmentally-conscious you may find this process objectionable. That water from the Grassy Waters Preserve in West Palm is treated and then delivered to the Lake Worth Casino where the chemically-treated water then evaporates, leaks or spills into the environment. One can say this process is not a sustainable one in the long run if the future of Planet Earth is of utmost importance to you.

A Look Back. About the Cottages of Lake Worth Home Tour 2019 held on Sunday, January 27th.

Already read about the tour held two weeks ago?

Then Thank You for visiting once again and please scroll down to the next blog post.

The 2019 Cottages Home Tour: Despite the bad weather it was a wonderful day.

We had another very successful Cottages of Lake Worth Home Tour this year, this time through the Downtown neighborhoods of Mango Groves and Eden Place.

To see where Mango Groves and Eden Place are located in the greater Neighborhood Assoc. Presidents’ Council click on this link for the GIS map.

The mission is to have visitors tour every neighborhood with historic cottages and that is a lofty goal considering how many of those historic structures still exist in this City.

You might have seen the trolley’s carrying almost five hundred ticket holders from 11:00 in the morning to about 4:00 in the afternoon. The tour route had thirteen participating cottages. The cottage owners were present to host visitors and to answer questions. Food and beverages were available throughout the day provided by The Beach Club bistro located at the City’s municipal golf course.

Some visitors took advantage of a combination ticket which included The Cottages of Lake Worth hardcover book and about fifty books were sold at a special price for the event. Visitors came from all over the United States, Palm Beach County and of course from the City of Lake Worth, nearby municipalities and suburban areas too. Surprising many, this tour sold out weeks prior to the event. But not so surprising when online ticket sales included sales of tickets at Downtown locations like The Book Cellar bookstore at Lake Ave. and J St.

A Special Thanks to all the volunteers last Sunday, the cottage owners, to The Cottages of Lake Worth board, to the City of Lake Worth and most importantly to all those who took the tour braving the wet conditions.

Amazingly, the weather app Ventusky proved to be right on. Following deluge after deluge in the morning Ventusky showed a break in the heavy rain between 11:00 a.m. and when the tour ended in the afternoon!

The storms that shut down the South Florida Fair for the day spared the City of Lake Worth and the 2019 Cottages Home Tour.

Throughout the day PBSO had patrol cars drive by on occasion to make sure everything was OK. All the neighbors were helpful and courteous. All in all, despite a few bumps in the road, the day went very well.

And once again. . .

Thank You to everyone from Yours Truly!

The photo above was taken by Mr. Tom Johnson, a volunteer on the tour.

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Work Session tonight at City Hall: Broad discussion of education issues and proceeds from County sales tax increase.

If you plan on attending this public meeting at 6:00 tonight in City Hall what follows is information “Worth Noting” and broadly very important for everyone in the public to understand.

Following the heading “Background” below is why and how this public Work Session came to be.

This blog post today about the meeting this evening makes broad use of the word “broadly”.

This public meeting is an opportunity for the City Commission, the administration and staff to broadly discuss two topics in a general or approximate way — in other words broadly — just basic ideas and not dwelling on the minutiae or getting bogged down in details. In other words tonight will be a wide and broad discussion. Or it should be if the rules are followed.

Not broadly, but very specifically, Mayor Pam Triolo runs City Commission meetings.

Also not broadly, but specifically, the public and all
City Commissioners need to follow the
instructions from the mayor.

This City has a “Commission-Manager form of government”. This is also not broadly speaking.
It’s actually quite specific.

So if this evening you have an issue of importance to you that is un-broad, or very specific, then tonight’s meeting will not be of much help to you. Please attend a future public meeting where your issues and concerns will be specifically addressed. Remember, this meeting will be a broad discussion about public school education and proceeds from the County’s sales tax increase..

A broad discussion tonight about education could be trying to find ways to increase literacy in the Guatemalan community by more access to pre-school education or some other means.

A broad discussion about the sales tax proceeds could be one about parking in the Downtown or demolishing the condemned pool and structures at the Beach to add more parking.

Now let’s move on. Of course, broadly speaking.

It will be up to Mayor Pam Triolo to decide whether or not to allow public comment and depending on the public in attendance, if many from the public do show up this evening at 6:00, the mayor will likely allow public comment. But don’t be surprised if the opposite happens.

If there is public comment tonight do expect very loud and one-issue groups to try and dominate this broad discussion, for example, those who want a brand new pool at the Lake Worth Beach and/or those upset with code enforcement.

And hopefully if that happens the mayor will remind that person that this particular work session is a broad one, not about any specific issue. And whilst on the topic of public comment, if public comment is permitted tonight, follow the rules! Follow the instructions from the mayor and when your time is up say “Thank You” and briskly return to your seat.


Last December District 4 Commissioner Herman C. Robinson requested a Commission work session on the County sales tax proceeds and Vice Mayor Pro Tem Scott Maxwell also requested a discussion on education initiatives in this City vis-à-vis preschool education and improving the performance of our public elementary schools.

On proceeds from the ¢1 sales tax discussion brought forward by Robinson:

The Sales Tax allocation has not been fully outlined and has instead been used to address immediate issues as they arise. This discussion is to provide staff with direction on how to proceed in planning for and using the remaining Sales Tax resources.

If you plan on showing up tonight for this public meeting understand that using money the voters approved by referendum has very strict rules for how that money can be used. In other words those rules are not broad.

For example after the Neighborhood Road Bond passed, also in November 2016, some were excited thinking this money could be used for trees along the City’s road network. But that excitement did not last long after reading the ballot language. The voters in this City of Lake Worth did not vote by referendum to plant more trees. They voted by a “whopping 69 percent” to fix the roads and potholes, not plant more trees.

To learn more about referendum ballot language click on this link.

And yes. Hard to believe but there are still people who think constructing another brand new pool at the Lake Worth Beach is a good idea. No, it’s not. It’s a terrible idea. To learn why click on this link.

Specifically, a new pool at the Beach is very broadly limiting public access to a public pool for the vast majority of residents in this City. And this City should soundly reject that idea. Both specifically and broadly.

From file, “You can’t make this up!”

Remember that story in the Post last week about a really, really big alligator removed from nearby Lake Osborne between the Village of Palm Springs and the City of Lake Worth?

Well for those planning a visit to Garlic Fest on Saturday and/or Sunday in John Prince Park there is good news. That gator named “Ripples” is gone but not completely. By the time Garlic Fest rolls around there might be an appetizer called Ripples O’ Garlic, or garlic infused gator nuggets on the menu. Ripples will live on.

And there is an update about Ripples too. Do you have deep feelings about this topic? Do you feel safer having your children and dog near the edge of the lake? Maybe you are happy and strongly support Ripples being removed? Then contact your representative in the Florida House of Representatives and let them know.

People all over were shaking their heads wondering how that story about Ripples made it past the editor(s) with all those ridiculous quotes and then made front page news in the ‘LOCAL’ section in the print edition? How is that even possible?

You may be interested to learn it’s been complete silence ever since at the Post, like that gator story never happened. Not a peep from their beat reporter or the editor(s) either. No follow-up on the story. Nothing. Not even a letter to the editor waxing see you later alligator.

That alligator has become persona non gator at the Post.

So let’s revisit that story today! And hope everyone has a good laugh. And then shortly thereafter remember that gators can be very dangerous and actually nothing to laugh about at all.

So the story starts off with. . .

What may be the dumbest headline EVER in The Palm Beach Post,

“Harmless or harmful?”

Folks, if the front page headline in The Palm Beach Post wasn’t so stupid the story that followed would probably have escaped the attention of most of the public in Palm Beach County.

But what that story in the Post demonstrated is just how ignorant and cavalier many in the public are about the dangers of alligators. Not just to people, your pets as well.

Very important: If you have a problem alligator, or think you have a problem, please contact the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission ASAP. That information is below.

Now to that absurd headline in the Post about a 12′ alligator, an editor at the Post ponders the question, “Harmless or harmful?”

Really? Is the headline editor serious?

About a 12′ alligator in Lake Osborne with kids all around? Does the name Lane Graves sound familiar? A woman named Shizuka Matsuki?

One person quoted in this ‘news’ in the Post on p. B1 ‘LOCAL’ about a 12′ gator caught by trappers in Lake Osborne said, “My heart went out to that gator” which is downright disrespectful to families and friends of victims injured and killed by alligators. Read even more ridiculous quotes later on.

‘Harmless or harmful?’ That is even a question about a 12′ gator in an urban public park?

Gatehouse Media* is the publisher of The Palm Beach Post. Are they OK with a stupid headline like that?

In the Post story another one said, “Gators really don’t like humans to eat.” How clueless is that! Another one commented on, “[H]ow mild-mannered this gator must have been.”

How would anyone know the state of bliss for an alligator? Only from Lake Worth would come ‘The Gator Whisperer’. Just like a horse whisperer in Wellington but for reptiles instead of mammals. What’s next, “The Iguana Whisperer”?

After that gator was removed another said, “It broke her heart.” How do reporters at the Post find these people?

However, for the vast majority of you who actually care about public safety and the very real risks from alligators here is very important information from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission:

Persons with concerns about an alligator may call our toll-free Nuisance Alligator Hotline at 866-FWC-GATOR (866-392-4286). . . . Generally, an alligator may be deemed a nuisance if it is at least four feet in length and the caller believes it poses a threat to people, pets or property.

The News Chief daily newspaper, also owned by Gatehouse Media up north near Orlando, had this much more appropriate and accurate headline:

Monster 12-foot gator dragged out
of Palm Beach County lake

Back here in Palm Beach County nearby in the Great Walled City of Atlantis would they be OK with a 12′ gator trolling their golf course? Or how about Lake Wellington? Would anyone in those places pause to ask the question, “Harmless or harmful?”

First of all, Lake Osborne is in John Prince Park. This park IS NOT in the City of Lake Worth. It is located in unincorporated Palm Beach County (see map below).

Secondly, questions in headlines are a big no-no in professional newspaper editing.

Thirdly, Garlic Fest in John Prince Park is coming up on Feb. 9th and 10th that will attract thousands of people from all over the County and state of Florida. The headline editor wonders if that alligator is “Harmless or harmful?” Gee wiz, folks!

However, there is a way that 12′ gator in Lake Osborne could actually contribute to the excitement at the upcoming Garlic Fest.

Fourthly, a little boy was pulled under water and killed by an 7′ alligator in Orange County not all that long ago and the headline editor at the Post asks the question. . .

“Harmless or harmful?”

Would any editor at the Gatehouse Media-owned newspaper News Chief located near where two-year-old Lane Graves was killed by a 7′ alligator wonder even for a moment if a 12′ gator in Lake Osborne was a catastrophe just waiting to happen?

See map below. Would anyone in the public in the Village of Palm Springs wonder if a 12′ gator in the lake was dangerous or not? What are those people smoking in Lake Worth? What would PBSO think? However, the City of Atlantis has less to worry about. Atlantis is surrounded by a big giant wall.

Lake Osborne and John Prince Park are west of the City of Lake Worth and east of Palm Springs. The unshaded areas are unincorporated PBC.

And what about the homeless! A lot of homeless people congregate in John Prince Park and wash themselves in the lake. Is anyone wondering about their safety? And how does a gator get to be 12′ long? Think about that for a moment or two.

Click on map to enlarge:

Gatehouse Media is the new publisher at The Palm Beach Post. Would any executive at Gatehouse really ask the question whether or not a 12′ alligator in nearby Lake Osborne is “Harmless or harmful?”

If so, then things do not look good going forward with Gatehouse Media, the Post, and public safety.

*The Post was put up For-Sale in Nov. 2017 and was bought by GateHouse Media on May 1st, 2018. Today is February 1st. May 1st will mark the one-year anniversary of Gatehouse running the Post.

Maybe in the meantime Gatehouse can try to find out what is right at the News Chief up north near Orlando and what is wrong at The Palm Beach Post located in West Palm.

In the Village of Palm Springs, Florida, is the last drive-in movie theater, “north along Florida’s eastern coastline”.

And what is that drive-in movie theater called in Palm Springs? It’s called the Lake Worth Drive-In.

Yes. That’s right. The Lake Worth Drive-In is not located in the City of Lake Worth.

And neither was the location of a plane crash last October that occurred in John Prince Park that was reported by so many in the press and news media to have happened ‘in Lake Worth’. For too many reporters everything that happens west of the Atlantic Ocean in Central Palm Beach County is “in Lake Worth”.

By the way, do you recall that plane crash that happened nearby the Lake Worth Drive-In three years ago? Every single reporter at The Palm Beach Post — even veteran ones who knew better — reported that tragedy occurred ‘in Lake Worth’. It didn’t. More about that a little later.

And sometimes the press can be very clever. . .

Palm Beach Post reporters Larry Aydlette and Melanie Mena penned a very good and in-depth article about the history of drive-in movie theaters in Palm Beach County — deftly and very carefully stepping around reporting in which municipality this drive-in is actually located — never once mentioning it’s located in Palm Springs. However, on the flip side not once did the reporters write, “in Lake Worth” either, which is a remarkable improvement. Here is how the article was subtitled,

“Only one drive-in remains in Palm Beach County: the Lake Worth Drive-In”

If you wish to visit this drive-in movie theater some night for a show, here is an excerpt from the Post article:

Palm Beach County’s only drive-in is a swap shop during the days. It gets good online reviews for its low movie prices ($7 for adults, $2 for kids), but so-so on other amenities. [emphasis added]

The drive-in address is 3438 Lake Worth Rd. in Palm Springs. Call 561-965-4518 for more information or click on this link.

Some of you may recall the Lake Worth Drive-In is very near the site of a terrible tragedy, a plane crash back in October 2015. The pilot died in the crash which occurred at a nearby trailer park next to the drive-in. And to everyone’s horror, a young woman living in one of the mobile homes lost her life as well. Truly tragic.

The Palm Beach Post reported this happened “in Lake Worth” which was completely false. Even after learning the facts the original news in the Post was never corrected.

A newspaper clipping from almost three years ago.

Click on image to enlarge:

This plane crash did not happen “in Lake Worth”.
It did not happen in Palm Springs either. The plane crashed in a small pocket of unincorporated PBC
in what is called the “Lake Worth Corridor”, or also called “suburban Lake Worth”.

You can see the location in this image where
that plane tragically crashed.

By the way, only two reporters in Palm Beach County accurately reported the location of that tragedy: Charlie Keegan and Brian Entin, both former reporters at NBC5/WPTV.

For new and recently-new residents of this City of Lake Worth: There was a true crisis in this City that preceded you.

Two and a half years ago the problem reached a tipping point. The public had had enough. And then. . .

The public demanded answers.

The elected leaders listened.

Then a public meeting was called.

This was a night that shocked the press, news media, and County leaders too. The message then was sent to Washington, D.C.

Some background.

The ‘sober home’ crisis did not begin in 2016. It began much earlier than that. As early as 2015 Lake Worth Commissioner Andy Amoroso sent out the alarm about sending so many people, “back home to their families in body bags” — which some mistook as a joke — people being sent here on the pretense of getting ‘treatment’. It wasn’t a joke.

In 2017 seventy-four people (74) died from drug overdoses in this City. Many of them ‘in treatment’.

And crime was rampant in these ‘treatment facilities’ as well. Just one of many tragedies, for example, a tragedy for a family that lost a loved on September 9th, 2015.

But unfortunately our paper of record in Palm Beach County had other priorities back in 2015–2016.

Headquartered in West Palm Beach, the editor(s) at The Palm Beach Post did not come to realize the true extent of this crisis until much later. But by then the Post and WPB had their own crisis on their hands: the out-of-control homicide rate in 2017 that continued into 2018.

It is only speculation now, but what if the editor(s) at the Post had made the sober home epidemic a much higher priority and much sooner than they did? How much better off would this County be in the present day?

But it was left to municipalities to deal with this problem. And that they did. And crucially important people like State Attorney Dave Aronberg were already on the case.

The Lake Worth City Commission
back in September 2016:

From L to R: Now Vice Mayor Andy Amoroso, still District 1 Commissioner Scott Maxwell and Mayor Pam Triolo, still mayor. The two commissioners on the right came late to the problem of ‘sober homes’. They paid the price the following year.

The Lake Worth City Commission following the
March 2017 elections; the current City Commission:

And we continue. . .

Back to what happened in September 2016.

The residents of this City turned out en masse (see image below). One of the most crowded public turnouts for a public meeting going back many, many years. The public said: Solve this epidemic of so-called ‘sober homes’ in our neighborhoods. And start now.

It was this public meeting that later really got the attention of everyone in the press and news media when they heard about what happened that night on September 26th, 2016. Why? Because later, after this meeting was scheduled by the City, it was learned the Trump/Clinton debate would be held on the very same evening. It was thought a lot of people would stay home. And it was a Monday night as well. The political experts thought it would be a low turnout.

All the pundits and political ‘experts’ were wrong.

The public event scheduled at the Scottish Rite to address the high level of community concern about ‘sober homes’ began at 6:00. The Trump/Clinton debate would begin at 8:00 and that news was front page news and the TV news leads everywhere, a complete saturation.

But at 5:30 or so the cars started to arrive at the Scottish Rite. Then people began to arrive on bikes. There was a carpool or five and that huge hall was packed to overflowing. More crowded than most had ever seen it before. And the public kept coming. And coming. The editor at The Lake Worth Herald was in attendance. Reporter Peter Hayden from WLRN showed up and so did one from the Post. That was about it from the news media.

But it didn’t matter if the press or news media showed up anyway. Because the message from that night was heard loud and clear all throughout this City and Palm Beach County and to the halls in the U.S. Congress as well.

So. . . A question. Were you there that night?

Did you leave that meeting thinking
nothing would ever change?

Partial view of the hall.
Click on image to enlarge:

Your voice did matter. I was there that night.
It was a huge turnout by residents and business owners here in the City of Lake Worth.

To read more about that meeting, an account posted on this blog the very next day, click on this link.

Is the issue of crime, community stability, and protecting your neighborhood a high concern for you? Scroll back up and take another look at the photo.

Were you there?

There are many ways to solve problems like crime in our City. Lot’s of ways. Attend NAPC neighborhood meetings, organize your neighbors, or show up at a City Commission meeting and make public comment.

Or. . .

  • Contact PBSO’s Volunteer Headquarters: 561-433-2003; email:
  • Citizen Observer Patrol (COP).
  • Call the “Friends of the PBSO Volunteers” at 561-317-7624.

Use this link for more information.

Two more photographs from the
meeting in September 2016.
Assistant State Attorney Al Johnson
addressing the assembled crowd.

Lake Worth Vice Mayor Scott Maxwell:

It was Maxwell who invited Al Johnson to speak
and address this issue of high concern in
our City’s neighborhoods.

Make a big difference. Contact the NAPC and find out what you can do to help. Send an email to:

“No tip is too small.” Stay anonymous. No fear of retribution. And collect a reward.

Streets in Lake Worth, “[A]re clogged with illegals more than ever, and continue west on Lake Worth Road in front of various gas stations and Home Depot.”

The title of this blog post is from an article published in The Lake Worth Herald in January 2007.

And the Town of Jupiter had an “illegal immigrant problem” eleven years ago as well. 

First, some background:

The news published in the Herald in 2007 (see newspaper clipping below) and this blog post are about how two municipalities, the Town of Jupiter and the City of Lake Worth — two communities referred to in 2007 as having an “illegal immigrant problem” — and also two municipalities that went in two different directions in trying to solve the integration of undocumented immigrants into our communities.

Also below you’ll learn more about two centers that formed to help address aid to the undocumented populations: The El Sol Neighborhood Resource Center in Jupiter and later the Guatemalan-Maya Center (GMC) in Lake Worth. But are these two organizations “on the same page” so to speak?

For example, whereas El Sol focuses on “Community Partnerships” and English literacy, the mission of the GMC is a bit more complicated in that they continue to promulgate the false narrative about so-called ‘sanctuary cities’ here in Palm Beach County:

“[L]ocal governments throughout the United States have been supplying their own movements, such as offering sanctuary. . . . A sanctuary city is a response of the heart and it is a city that will not act as an instrument of federal enforcement.”

The so-called ‘sanctuary city’ is a complete myth in Palm Beach County and in all of Florida as well. Nothing of the sort even exists.

For too many years the Town of Jupiter and this City of Lake Worth have been falsely labeled a ‘sanctuary city’ to the detriment of both our communities. To this very day that ‘sanctuary’ myth continues such as in TV political ads to try and frighten people and to divide our communities. It may be a myth, but it’s still a myth that works in confusing those who don’t know any better.

Please Note: In the newspaper clipping below Andy Lukasik is cited as the “Jupiter Town Manager”. Remember, the news below is from eleven years ago. Lukasik was the town manager in Jupiter from 2004–2017. The town manager in Jupiter now is Matt Benoit who, “[J]oined the Town in February 2018”. This needs to be clearly noted so as to not create any confusion.

Now to the news in the Herald about when the
City of Lake Worth was, “[C]logged with illegals more than ever”:

Click on newspaper clipping to enlarge.

“Continued On Pg. 4”

The article continues as Lukasik. . .

[T]old the El Sol story to other municipalities in Palm Beach County and was recently invited to Lake Worth [in 2007].

I’ll talk about the town’s [Town of Jupiter] role in how the [El Sol] center got established and some of the players who made it possible,” Lukasik told The Lake Worth Herald.

The issue of illegal day laborers started heating up in Jupiter in 2005 as it did in Lake Worth.

Hispanics in Jupiter represented 7.30 percent of the population, according to the 2000 census. Jupiter had a population of 39,000.

Lake Worth’s Hispanic population, the largest in Palm Beach County, was reported in the [2010] census to be 29.70 percent of the city’s then 35,000 population.*

Town Ordinance

Jupiter tried to quell the problem by using various local tools, including an emphasis on code enforcement and public safety, according to Lukasik.

“The [El Sol] resource center was the focal point with everything else.

“The town was instrumental in putting the pieces of the puzzle together so it can work,” Lukasik said.

In September of last year [2006], the town passed a solicitation ordinance making in unlawful for anyone to seek employment on any public property or right-of-way, or to seek employment from any commercial parking area or common area of multi-family buildings.

The ordinance also makes in unlawful for any employer, while occupying any vehicle, to hire or attempt to hire anyone on any public property or right-of-way.

Following the passage of the ordinance, El Sol held an official opening.

While Catholic Charities is operating El Sol after receiving a grant, the future is not known.

“Catholic Charities of Palm Beach raced to secure a grant last year to take this on and cover all the staff and administrative expenses at the center for a least 12 months and up to 18 months,” Kelly Layman, spokeswoman for Catholic Charities said.

“The grant for $180,000 was secured from a national private foundation as an emergency request.

“It does not intend to continue long-term funding, so Catholic Charities and the town and the center’s partners will need to re-address funding after this summer to continue the center’s work,” Layman said.

Catholic Charities is a 23-year-old non-profit organization headquartered in Palm Beach Gardens.

Complaints about day laborers on the streets of Lake Worth, mainly downtown Lake Avenue, prompted a campaign by police [former LWPD] to issue citations to undocumented workers.

Lake Worth Mayor Rodney Romano attempted to find a designated place where day laborers could congregate.

Streets in Lake Worth today have become an employment zone and are clogged with illegals more than ever, and continue west on Lake Worth Road in front of various gas stations and Home Depot.

End of news article.

Hopefully the news article above will provide some helpful historical context. What the Town of Jupiter and the El Sol Neighborhood Resource Center have accomplished is truly remarkable:

From Twitter. . .

The big policy question here in the City of Lake Worth is what can be done to help forge a greater partnership with the Guatemalan-Maya Center and re-create the successes in the Town of Jupiter? And note there have been some great successes as well here in the City of Lake Worth, for example the Community Redevelopment Agency’s 3rd annual festival of Día de los Muertos — a historic cultural tradition from Central America — is fast becoming one of the most unique festivals in South Florida.

If you would like to contact the Guatemalan-Maya Center directly, to donate material or become a volunteer, the center is located at 430 North ‘G’ St. in Lake Worth. The phone number is 561-547-0085; or reach by email at:

And lastly, please remember there has never been in the history of Palm Beach County a so-called ‘sanctuary city’. But the City of Lake Worth prides itself in being referred to as a “Welcoming City”:

Lake Worth has long been recognized as a hospitable and welcoming place where people, families and institutions thrive and the contributions of all are celebrated and valued.

*City of Lake Worth population in 2020 projected to top 40,000. In July 2017 percentage estimate of “Hispanic or Latino” in the City of Lake Worth  =  38.9%.
Click on this link to learn more about immigration services at Catholic Charities of Palm Beach.
The former LWPD merged with PBSO in August 2008.

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Residents and business owners in the City of Lake Worth: Meet your representation in the Florida House of Representatives.

There are four Florida House representatives that represent this six square mile City. That’s right, four. However, these four districts overlap with other areas north, west, and south outside the municipal limits of Lake Worth.

So let’s say you have an issue and want to contact YOUR representative in the Florida House, how do you find out who that is? That information is below and includes a helpful map.

But first, let’s consider a scenario, one that made news in The Palm Beach Post recently.

You are a resident of the City of Lake Worth but you have a pet 12′ alligator you keep in Lake Osborne. The gator’s name is “Ripples”. But Lake Osborne is in John Prince Park which is outside the municipal limits of the City. John Prince Park and the lake are managed and controlled by the County, not the City of Lake Worth.

Imagine that, every day you are close enough to wave and yell, “Good Morning, Ripples!” but one day Ripples is gone. Frantically you search and then find out that trappers took Ripples out of the lake for so-called ‘public safety’ reasons. Before Ripples ends up gator nuggets on an appetizer menu you want answers. So you march on down to Lake Worth City Hall demanding that Ripples be returned. But the City cannot help you!

Ripples and Lake Osborne are outside the City’s control.

That’s where your state representative comes in. Contact you representative in Tallahassee and say, “I want my Ripples back!” But Ripples is a really big alligator. And Garlic Fest is coming up this weekend. And therein lies the big question an editor the Post asked, is Ripples “Harmless or harmful”.

Join the debate about Ripples! Return Ripples to Lake Osborne because he or she is just a harmless pet? Click on this link to learn more.

Hope you found the scenario above helpful..

Now moving on, who is YOUR elected state representative in Tallahassee. . .

In the map (see below) the un-shaded areas are a combination of unincorporated PBC, suburban Lake Worth and what is called the Lake Worth Corridor.

Shaded areas in map below are:

  • Town of Lantana (shaded red) is to the south.
  • Village of Palm Springs (shaded blue) and the Great Walled City of Atlantis (shaded Royal White) are to the west of County-owned (unincorporated) John Prince Park, PBC Park Airport and PBC State College.
  • Town of Lake Clarke Shores is to the northwest.
  • West Palm Beach is directly to the north (border is the C-51 Canal).

Note in this map one can see the process of “annexation” occurring.

So if you live in one of those unincorporated areas now, that may change in the very near future.

Click on image to enlarge.

Now compare the map above with the district map of the House of Representatives below:

Four districts pass through and include the City of Lake Worth. They are Districts 87–90.

The east-west State Road “802” is Lake Worth Rd. and Lake and Lucerne avenues in Downtown Lake Worth.

The north-south highways are Dixie (US 1) and Federal (nearest the Intracoastal).

Click on map:

To learn who represents your neighborhood and community here in this City in the Florida House of Representatives note the links below.

Going from the east (Lake Worth Casino and Beach Complex) to the west (unincorporated Palm Beach County and nearby western municipalities):

District 89 will be represented by recently-elected Mike Caruso (R; shaded lime green): Areas of this district include Lake Worth Beach and all areas east of Federal Hwy. to the Intracoastal. Click on this link for the news about Caruso’s win defeating Jim Bonfiglio (D) by a very slim margin.

District 88 is represented by Representative Al Jaquet (D; shaded lemon yellow): District includes Dixie Hwy. to Federal Hwy. and then expands west at 6th Ave. South to I-95 and District 90.

District 87 is represented by Representative David Silvers (D; shaded bright lavender): District includes areas west of Dixie Hwy. extending outside the City and south to 6th Ave. South and is bordered by District 90 as well.

District 90 is represented by Joseph Casello (D; shaded pear green): District includes areas west of I-95 but not all (a small area of District 87 is west of I-95). District 90 continues west into suburban Lake Worth including the unincorporated John Prince Park, Palm Beach State College, and the Great Walled City of Atlantis.

Also very important:

Your representative in the Florida Senate is Senator Lori Berman.

Your representation on the Palm Beach County Commission is District 3 County Commissioner Dave Kerner and District 7 and Vice Mayor Mack Bernard.

And here is your Lake Worth City Commission:

Election Day is March 12th. District 2 Commissioner Omari Hardy (to left of Mayor Pam Triolo) and District 4 Commissioner Herman Robinson (to right of mayor) are up for re-election. Click on this link to learn more about these two races and all the candidates on the upcoming ballot.

Senate Bill 588 introduced by State Senator Travis Hutson.

If you happen to know anyone in Delray Beach excited about a ban on plastic straws you may want to share with them the following information.

Florida Senate Bill 588:

An act relating to single-use plastic straws; creating s. 403.7034, F.S.; defining terms; providing that a food service establishment may distribute a single-use plastic straw to a customer only if requested to do so by the customer; providing exceptions; providing that a food service establishment may make single-use plastic straws available through self-serve straw dispensers; preempting the regulation of single-use plastic straws to the state; providing an effective date.

Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:

Section 1. Section 403.7034, Florida Statutes, is created to read:

Single-use plastic straws.

(1) As used in this section, the term:

(a) “Distribute” means to sell, use, or offer or to provide for sale or use.

(b) “Food service establishment” means a restaurant, convenience store, grocery store, or vendor that sells food or beverages for the customer to consume on, near, or off the establishment’s premises.

(c) “Single-use” means a product that is designed to be used only once in its original form and then be disposed of or destroyed.

(d) “Single-use plastic straw” means a single-use, disposable straw made predominantly of plastic derived from petroleum or a biologically based polymer, such as corn or other plant sources, which is used to transfer a beverage from a container to the mouth of the person drinking the beverage. The term does not include a straw made from nonplastic materials, including, but not limited to, paper, wood, or bamboo.

(2) (a) A food service establishment may distribute a single-use plastic straw to a customer only if requested to do so by the customer. 

(b) The prohibition under paragraph (a) does not apply to a take-out order; an order for off-premises delivery; an order placed via a digital or mobile application; the distribution of food or beverage items that were filled, sealed, or packaged before the food service establishment received such items; or hospitals or nursing, rehabilitation, or other healthcare facilities. 

(3) This section does not prohibit a food service establishment from making single-use plastic straws available to customers through a self-serve straw dispenser. 

(4) The regulation of single-use plastic straws is preempted to the state. A municipality, county, or other local governmental entity may not adopt, enforce, or implement any ordinance, rule, or law that would further restrict a food service establishment from distributing single-use plastic straws to customers.

Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2019.

A special look back. Lake Worth through the lens of Mr. Tom McGow.

Many here in the City of Lake Worth will recall the man we all called “Tom”. The news of Tom’s passing came just prior to the annual Christmas Parade last year in Downtown Lake Worth, an very special annual event Tom and Yours Truly chronicled each year with video and photos and a few stories too.

The news of Tom’s passing brought back a lot of memories and many of them hilariously funny. When you have the time check out the blog “Tom’s Page” for a look back in time about this City of Lake Worth.

From 2008–2011 Tom entertained the public and oftentimes skewered public officials with “Tom’s Page”. Later in this blog post Mr. Greg Rice will share thoughts on Tom.

Following the sad news last November there were tributes written on the life of Tom. Tom’s skill was using a camera. He had that unique talent how to frame a shot. The light just perfect and the shadows just perfect too. And the eyes. It’s like he got into people’s souls. But later he would do amazing things with those photographs. Continue reading to learn more about that.

Here is one of several photographs from 2010 Tom titled, “The Gardener”:

Click on photograph of Javier Del Sol
outside Lake Worth City Hall.

Tom wrote nearly nine years ago:

“You see him everywhere, City Commission meetings, Volunteer Board meetings, riding his bike and picking up trash. . . . There is not a spot in Lake Worth where Javier Del Sol is not known.”

Here was my tribute to Tom, from Yours Truly, Wes Blackman.

I knew Tom very well. Tom’s time in this City was short but very significant. He took politicians, City officials and public figures to task. Tom’s blog is called “Tom’s Page” and it’s still there for everyone to read and enjoy.

Our first introduction was by way of one of this City’s historic buildings and the most infamous slumlord in Lake Worth history. Tom lived next door, to the south, of 431 North L Street. The property and its tenants openly terrorized the neighborhood. They openly laughed at the Lake Worth PD. Fines? Notices? They and the slumlord didn’t care.

There was simply no legal way to reclaim that historic home for some time. That slumlord owned it. It was his and he dared anyone to challenge it. But then later the City of Lake Worth took ownership of that property through legal action.

Sadly though, little changed. The City turned out to be a terrible landlord too. Not as bad as the previous landlord. But not much better either. That’s when Tom and myself and many others got to work. We went to war with the previous City administration, the one prior to 2011; the majority on the City Commission now took back control in November 2011 and all three were re-elected again, and again, and once again in March of this year. But more about that later.

Tom’s Page chronicled an important time in this City’s history. This would be shortly after PBSO had merged with the Lake Worth Police Dept. in 2008. Tom’s blog called “Tom’s Page” began in December 2008 and the last blog post was in August 2011.

Just recently this City and PBSO recognized their ten-year anniversary and successful partnership.

You could call me one of McGow’s targets. Tom skewered me more than a few times on his blog which you’ll learn more about below. In December 2006 I resigned from the Planning and Zoning/Historic Preservation Board to run for a seat on the Lake Worth City Commission.

Back then this was one volunteer City board. Later they became two separate boards when the Historic Resource Preservation Board (HRPB) was created.

There were people there that day twelve years ago when I announced my resignation and subsequent candidacy; names you may recognize such as Phil Spinelli, Herman Robinson and Lisa Maxwell. Some of those people would later get praised and others skewered when Tom began his blog two years later. But unlike most political blogs Tom had a way with a camera. And a way with humor. And a way with Photoshop too.

Greg Rice, a long-time resident of this City, on learning of Tom’s passing wrote this on Facebook:

Sad news for those of us who lived in LW a few years back. Tom McGow who wrote a blog about all things Lake Worth unexpectedly died this week. Tom’s flair for writing and his skill with Photoshop when he lived here was just what many of us needed to see, the lighter side of problems and politics in our little beach town.

Tom had a gift to see the world and all the elements that make it tick a little differently than most. What a gift to have and share with others. Tom loved Lake Worth, his neighbors, our quirkiness and our sense of community. Thanks for including Lake Worth as part of your Transylvania Bounty photo collage of your life.

and then Greg adds this. . .

For those of you who didn’t have the pleasure of knowing Tom, or the way he saw things, take a look at a blog post he did about me a few years ago [see link below].

Greg’s reference to “Transylvania Bounty” will be explained later in this blog post.

From August 2011 click on this link to learn more about “Citizen Rice”. The ‘Citizen Rice’ by Tom was a play on the classic movie Citizen Kane. And for those who had difficulty getting the joke, Tom added a reference to “Rosebud”. Still don’t get it? Then Google, ‘Orson Welles’ and ‘Rosebud’.

Now you get an idea how Tom McGow looked at the world. He looked at politics with wit and satire. His parodies were hard hitting some times. But many times Tom was absolutely hilarious. But always Tom’s observations contained that element of truth that made it work. If Tom made you one his targets you probably had a real good reason to become one.

In April 2012 Michael Bornstein was hired to be the city manager for this City of Lake Worth. Prior to that Bornstein was the town manager in Lantana. Knowing Bornstein’s sense of humor possibly it was Tom’s Page that provided the inspiration.

This blog you’re reading now began thirteen years ago. In December 2006 full of promise of winning a seat on Lake Worth City Commission I ran and lost in 2007. Then ran and lost again in 2009. Losing an election hurts. On announcing my candidacy in 2009 Tom put up this blog post.

Some here in the City of Lake Worth now and reading Tom’s Page may be a bit confused about elections. Prior to 2013 elections were held in November. Following a referendum in 2013 elections were moved back to March. So that will help explain annual events like elections on Tom’s Page better for readers.

Now to Mr. Rice’s reference to “Transylvania Bounty”.

On his passing Tom McGow lived in Brevard, North Carolina in the County of Transylvania. Just as in the City of Lake Worth, Tom was known for his special skill looking at the world through the lens of his camera. And his very special talent using Photoshop as well, way before it became easy, when it actually took hard work and creativity.

Now Photoshop is just clicks. Ten years ago Photoshop took real skill and true talent.

Tom made a significant impact on the City of Brevard in North Carolina. Just like he did in this City of Lake Worth. From Toby Brown of the “We are Brevard North Carolina” Facebook page comes this datelined Tuesday, December 4th:

I just learned of the sudden passing of Tom McGow. Tom was such an amazing part of our community. A monumental contributor to capturing the soul and heart of Brevard, many of you saw him out and about snapping photos under the name of Transylvania Bounty. But most of us just knew him as Tom.

You would turn a corner in this town and boom, there he was, camera in hand and the most infectious smile many of us have ever seen. He beamed. Like a serious beam. A light that set you at ease. Then he’d ask, “can I take your picture?” “Of course you can, Tom!” . . . You were now part of Transylvania’s Bounty.

You were seen through Tom’s lens and officially archived as one of the beautiful characters that made up Tom’s world. A world he shared with us for nothing. A world he shared with us because he just genuinely seemed to love this town, this community.

and. . .

But as a community, it’s his photography that connected us. He captured Brevard like few others. He was an important piece of our bigger puzzle. We needed more of Tom, not less . . . so this one hurts. He was a great man. He was a friend.

Now back to my tribute to Tom McGow:

Remember, our first introduction was by way of one of our City’s historic buildings. Tom lived next door to 431 North L Street. The property came before the Planning and Zoning Board as a nuisance abatement matter. That’s when a combination of code enforcement matters and efforts to end criminal activity such as prostitution and drug sales were taking place.

It took quite some time for the City to create the documentation between code enforcement and the former Lake Worth Police Department. And later the City took ownership of the property as a result. But unfortunately, very little changed for some time.

Here is a blog post from Tom titled, “What the L? 431 North L Street” and here is another headlined, “Nightmare on North L Street”.

But still late into the 2000s, the City itself proved it wasn’t being the best of landlords. Through reading my blog Tom McGow introduced himself and kept me updated on what was and what was not happening at 431 North L.

You can search this blog for all my posts about it from that time. I am happy to report that the property was eventually sold and is in private hands.

Within the past month, the property owner has installed new windows in the historic structure and it once again is on its way to contributing positively to the City and particularly the neighborhood. At the time that Tom lived in this City his partner was Donna Ross. We shared some time together as appointees to the Community Redevelopment Agency. Donna owned property on North J Street.

I got to know her and Tom during those days back in 2008 and 2009. We always shared a lot of laughs together while they were in town. We kept in touch after they left but then over time everyone moved on to other endeavors. But we still kept in touch.

Tom gave me permission some time back to let me use images from Tom’s Page.

Hope you enjoyed this tribute to Tom McGow. And hope learning more about this City’s history will help more of the public appreciate how far this City has progressed in the last ten years.