Saturday, April 20, 2019

Starting soon!

Friday, April 19, 2019

Most people cannot find where they live on a map...

Listening to NPR in the car today and I heard something alarming. A television weatherman from Alabama was being interviewed. He said that he has come to the conclusion that 60% to 70% of the adult population cannot find their home, or even the town, in which they live on a map. He said this became apparent first on social media. They would get comments when they put up what was a very simple map of the area "that a third grader could understand." They would get comments asking questions like what about (name of town), etc. He then tested his hypothesis when he would talk in front of community groups like Kiwanis, Rotary, etc. He had a white board and would draw the state and county lines on it, without any roads. He then asked people to come up and put a dot on the map "within 50 miles" of where you live. That's where he found that 60% to 70% couldn't do it. They didn't even know where their county was or the names and direction of adjacent counties.

As an urban planner, I am appalled. As a citizen of the United States, I am appalled and worried. These people wouldn't know if they are in a tornado watch/warning area or not. Radar and maps are meaningless to them.

So, you can see the uphill battle when we are dealing with geography and the concept of municipal boundaries. What and where is unincorporated Palm Beach County? My address says "Lake Worth." I think we still have an uphill climb in educating people about the importance of maps, city limits and its potential impact on public safety.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

South Palm Park for Rec2Go! Wednesday, April 17th | 6PM-7:30PM |

“View of bridge leading to downtown area. Lake Worth, Florida. 1953.”

Black & white photoprint, 9 × 10″. Image from the State Archives of Florida. “Florida Memory adds approximately 100 photos weekly.” To see recently added photos use this link.

The Gulfsteam Hotel is in this view from the former bridge over the Intracoastal. During this era there were visitors staying at our Downtown hotel.

Snook Island Cleanup for Earth Day - Saturday, April 27

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Momofuku Ando: Inventor of instant ramen. Ando believed noodles could bring about world peace.

Below is an excerpt from an article in Vox on Momofuku Ando, the inventor of ramen instant noodles:

Momofuku Ando, who invented ramen instant noodles, has become an unlikely hero to foodies everywhere. In addition to inspiring hip restaurants (and Google Doodles), he’s earned the adoration of a nation. In a 2000 poll, Japanese respondents said instant ramen was the country’s top invention of the 20th century.

Ando died at 96 in January 2007, but his legacy endures — not least due to the widespread popularity of his most famous invention.

A video accompanies this article and note where Ando, “believed that noodles might bring world peace (he really said that)”:

How a new ordinance limiting the sale of packaged alcohol became a huge news story and then a forgotten non-story.

And when that ordinance passed at the Lake Worth City Commission all returned to normal like nothing had ever happened. This happened in 2016. And something like this will happen again this year in Lake Worth Beach over another ordinance of some sort. Something like this happens every year.

Maybe this year it will be an ordinance about shopping carts.

But in 2016 for over two weeks this City was in the press and news media spotlight. What had started off as an ordinary ordinance to quell neighborhood complaints became the stage for convenience store owners taking a stand and saving freedom in America and the Constitution of the United States. When these store owners spoke to the press and news media they sounded a whole lot like Paul Revere.

But what got drowned out during all this were the neighborhoods surrounding these convenience stores that were being severely impacted on a nightly basis.

Prior to that new ordinance being adopted banning the sale of packaged alcohol between the hours of 10:00 p.m.7:00 a.m. it was a media circus.

Then later on it was discovered the City Commission did the right thing.

How did the opposition respond? Complete silence. And there was complete silence from the press and the news media too. The story was over.

What happened 2½ years ago. . .

This story began when PBSO deputies were receiving numerous community complaints that people were using convenience stores like “de facto bars”, they were going in to buy a single can of beer, drinking it outside and then going back in to buy another one.

Many neighborhoods near these ‘de facto bars’ began to demand change. People were very upset about inebriated ‘customers’ spilling into nearby residential areas. There was violence and sleepless nights.

Then PBSO with City staff and the City Commission stepped up to do something about this. A new ordinance was considered, a ban on packaged alcohol sales after 10:00 p.m.

And then all hell broke loose.

This City became very big news in Palm Beach County and beyond. The press and news media were everywhere. The rumor began the use of alcohol was being banned City-wide after 10:00. This was false. This only applied to convenience stores; not bars or restaurants with a liquor license. But the rumor spread like wildfire anyway.

Business owners told reporters the City was trying to force them out of business.

Then the convenience store owners and many of their supporters in the public as well lined up outside City Hall in opposition to a proposed ordinance banning the sale of packaged alcohol after 10:00 p.m. They claimed they were not informed of what was happening. Not true. They packed City Hall and called this proposed ordinance unfair.

But then later a miraculous thing happened.

After all the noise died down and the public went on to other things everyone began to accept this new ordinance. No businesses went out of business.


Because after hearing what Commissioner Scott Maxwell had to say at City Commission meetings in November/December 2016 it became very clear that the ordinance prohibiting packaged alcohol sales after 10:00 p.m. was here to stay.

Maxwell said he was hearing positive comments and feedback from many neighborhoods and PBSO Cpt. Todd Baer confirmed that information: crime went down as a result and compliance with the ordinance was up, and community complaints became less so.

Click on image to enlarge:

Information from PBSO provided to the City Commission in early 2017.

However, at a City Commission meeting the previous September in 2016 many convenience store owners showed up to express their displeasure at public comment and during break at the dais.

Maxwell insisted that store owners, per the rules, give their home address and not their business address. It wasn’t lost on many that none of those addresses were in the City of Lake Worth.

Those business owners resided in places like Wellington, Riviera Beach, Boynton Beach, Broward County, etc. Is this significant?

Draw your own conclusions.

In conclusion.

From City staff and PBSO, what follows is the reasoning why that proposed ordinance was enacted by the City Commission:

     In response to neighborhood concerns and thanks to a new City Ordinance, it is now illegal to sell packaged alcohol products between the hours of 10 p.m. and 7 a.m. The law is designed to help stop unnecessary, late night commotion associated with breaches to open container laws taking place in parking lots and outside of shopping venues
     Under the Ordinance, bar hours will not change. Restaurants and establishments with a valid liquor license may continue to serve alcohol on-site.
     The City was motivated to create the Ordinance due to numerous calls to the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office about public disturbance issues surrounding packaged sales outlets. Deputies found that people were treating stores like “de facto bars,” going in, buying a single packaged item, drinking it outside and coming back in to buy more.

The End.

Monday, April 15, 2019

Whispering Palms Neighborhood Assoc. in LWB meets on Thursday at 6:30.

Concerned about trees and landscaping? Heard rumors about big changes coming to Lake Worth Beach, e.g., lawns, shrubs, and shade?

If you are concerned then everyone is invited to attend the NAPC’s Whispering Palms meeting at the City’s Norman Wimbley Gym at 1515 Wingfield St. If you’ve never been to this public facility check back to this blog on Thursday morning for directions.

Meetings of the NAPC are public and open to everyone.

Special guests this week are Dir. Yolanda Robinson from Code Enforcement, Lori Milano from the Dept. of Community Sustainability and Dave McGrew, the City’s lead horticulturist.

And in the meantime please consider
learning more about the NAPC.

Although the Lake Worth “Beach” hasn’t been added to the NAPC official logo as yet the Neighborhood Assoc. Presidents’ Council is always there for your community and your neighborhood. The NAPC has sixteen special neighborhoods; click on this link for the GIS map.

Lake Worth Jaguars football needs YOU: A call to action from Lauren Bennett, Nicole Bohannon and Deborah Null.

Lake Worth Beach needs your help. Are you a peaceful Zombie? Then LWB needs you too. Find out why in the caption below.

This coming Wednesday (4/17) is the bimonthly Recreation Advisory Board (RAB) meeting in the downtown at 501 Lake Ave. The RAB meets at 6:15 sharp.

For example, here is one reason why. . .

Debra Null is a volunteer on the City’s Recreation Advisory Board and Dir. Lauren Bennett and Nicole Bohannan are in the City’s Leisure Services and Recreation departments. To contact these people and learn more visit 501 Lake or the City’s municipal gymnasium in the Whispering Palms neighborhood.

Adult Citizens and Senior Citizen volunteers
are needed.

The Lake Worth Jaguars need your help filling board member positions and people are needed with experience and knowledge to coach and train young athletes ages 4–15: football players and cheerleading.

Be Part of the Team!

Some time soon please contact:

Dir. Lauren Bennett, CPRP, at the Leisure Services Dept. The office is located at 501 Lake and open Tuesday–Friday from 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. Call 561-533-7363 and leave a message or send an email to:

Or contact Nicole Bohannon at the City’s Rec. Division located at 1699 Wingfield St. Call and leave a message at 561-533-7363;

Go Lake Worth Jaguars!

Is your skill set and interests in other athletic activities? Then  contact team Bennett and Bohannon and ask how you can help in other ways. Zombies are encouraged to attend as well.

Annual Historic Preservation Awards program in Lake Worth Beach.

UPDATE: Deadline for submittals is today by 4:00.

Here is more information:

The City of Lake Worth Beach is pleased to announce the Third Annual Historic Preservation Awards. This special event will take place in May 2019 during National Historic Preservation Month and is intended to recognize and celebrate outstanding achievements in preserving Lake Worth Beach’s historic resources.

The preservation of the City’s historic resources ensures the retention of its own unique character and identity as well as adds value to the community. We hope that this program will foster a greater understanding and appreciation of the positive preservation efforts in the community and the beneficial impact these projects have on neighborhoods and the City as a whole.

For questions and more information.
  • Send an email to Senior Preservation Coordinator Jordan Hodges:
  • Preservation Planner Abraham Fogel:
  • Call the Dept. of Community Sustainability at 561-586-1687.
  • To download the nomination form click on this link.

Guatemalan family needs your help.

UPDATE: A GoFundMe account (note link below) has been created for the family of a young child that was killed by a hit and run driver in Lantana Cascade mobile home park located south of the City of Atlantis. A nearby landmark is a large convenience store at the corner of Congress Ave. and Lantana Rd. in Atlantis.

The child killed by a hit and run:

His name was Yoni Ramirez who would be turning 2 in March [2019]. He was a sweet and loving kid, always smiling. We are a family of a low income with 3 other kids. The reason we started a gofundme because we want to bury our baby back in our home country of Guatemala.”

The mobile home park called Lantana Cascade is west of the Town of Lantana in unincorporated County, ergo suburban Lantana. This hit and run occurred near where Nicolas Cruz lived briefly in the vicinity of the City of Atlantis (see map below).

So maybe you are wondering what is the situation with mobile home parks in Lake Worth Beach? Find out at the end of this blog post.

The horrific hit and run in suburban Lantana was front page news in The Palm Beach Post but was incorrect both by the headline editor and the reporter too, “Family members identify toddler killed in Lantana hit-and-run”.

This incident did not happen ‘in Lantana’ or in a ‘Lantana mobile home community’. This area is called suburban Lantana and find out why below.

LANTANA — Dark-eyed, dark-haired Jonnhy Ramirez had two big brothers, one baby sister and a fondness for balls of all shapes and sizes.

Monday night, the 21-month-old wandered no more than three yards from his family’s side porch in a Lantana mobile home community [sic] as they celebrated the holidays.

Only a few feet of grass separate the side-by-side trailer home fronts along Bula Alex Cay Trail from the strip of black asphalt that serves as both road and on-street parking.

That’s where a car struck and killed the toddler just after 8:30 p.m., then kept on going.

He died at the scene.

The Lantana Cascade mobile home park where this deadly hit and run occurred is the very same mobile home park where Nicolas Cruz lived briefly. And as reported by former Post reporter Alexandra Seltzer that news was headlined, “Alleged Parkland shooter left suburban Lantana home over gun dispute”.

Worth noting in unincorporated Palm Beach County you can count on CBS12 (WPEC) to be wrong close to one hundred percent of the time. For example, about the tragic hit and run in the Lantana Cascade trailer park ‘the one to turn too’ reported PBSO was the lead on the scene. Lantana and Atlantis both have their own police departments. Hello.

However, WPTV (NBC5) did report the news accurately referencing Lantana Cascade as in the vicinity of Lantana.

And note once again the words “suburban Lantana” by the Post’s Alexandra Seltzer above. Many do not know where the City of Atlantis is but many do know generally where the Town of Lantana is so that is why this unincorporated area in PBC is called suburban Lantana.

Please Note: If you live in that area and you know anything about a crime you are urged to call Crime Stoppers at 800-458-8477. The law enforcement in unincorporated PBC is PBSO.

Stay anonymous. Collect reward.

Click on map to enlarge.

Lantana Cascade off Congress Ave. is not in this image; however, one can see where Lantana is located (shaded red). Atlantis (shaded yellow) is north of Lantana Cascade.

At the corner of Congress Ave. and Lantana Rd. is a large convenience store which is located in Atlantis. The County’s PBC Park Airport is across Congress Ave. to the east.

FYI: In Lake Worth Beach and suburban areas west mobile home parks are also major issues of concern for law enforcement, public policy and public safety officials.

For example, there was a homicide in the Orange Grove mobile home park last year. To see the list of all mobile home parks in Lake Worth Beach and where they are located click on this link.

Most if not all mobile home parks in Central PBC are privately owned; fire alarms are a major issue of concern and evacuations ahead of major storms as well. Efforts by PBSO and code enforcement in Lake Worth Beach is doing tremendous work improving the living conditions in mobile home parks within the City limits.

Plus there was news from last January about cats being shot and injured or killed with a pellet gun at the Palm Beach Mobile Home Park.

And most recently the Mar Mak Colony Park near the Village of Palm Springs became a huge story on March 29th; for the update from Olivia Hitchcock at the Post click on this link.

Sunday, April 14, 2019

On p. 3 of twelve this week, news in Lake Worth Herald; two excerpts.

North Grade Students Hike to the Library

By Ruth Reading

The Kindergarten classes of North Grade Elementary walked to the Library for field trips this week.

Organized by Jennifer Obranic, the students visited the Library, spending time in the CREATeLab with Kay Ralston where they designed an imaginary tree house. They also explored the Children’s Reading Room with Cindy Ansell who invited them to sign up for the Library’s Summer Reading Program.

and. . .

All six classes were able to complete the trip without getting wet, despite the threatening clouds in the sky.

“We’re so fortunate to live in a town where the Library is within walking distance of so many of our schools,” Ansell commented, “We love to have our students walk here after school.”

To see this week’s front page headlines use this link.

Journalist Ron Hayes on “Resurgence of Local Bookstore” and The Book Cellar in Downtown Lake Worth Beach.

The news by Mr. Hayes is about our local bookstore in “[T]he heart of Lake Worth’s bustling downtown.”

And a little later in this blog post learn more about Mr. Ned Racine, “Jumpin’ J Street”, the Cottages of Lake Worth hardcover book, and more about this very popular bookstore in the downtown in Lake Worth Beach (LWB).

Here is an excerpt from Correspondent Ron Hayes at Florida Weekly, “IN THE KNOW. IN THE NOW”:

Yes, the traditional neighborhood bookstore is deader than Monty Python’s parrot, felled by an online predator named
     Everybody says so.
     Fortunately, Tami Ayraud hasn’t heard, or simply refuses to believe it.
     On Oct. 6 [2017], Ms. Ayraud and two co-owners opened The Book Cellar, an actual independent neighborhood bookstore at the corner Lake Avenue and J Street in the heart of Lake Worth’s bustling downtown. [emphasis added]
     “I was living in Miami and moved here two years ago because of the small-town, funky atmosphere,” Ms. Ayraud explained on a recent Wednesday morning as one customer arrived to collect a title he’d ordered and others browsed the shelves. “It had a good vibe.”

It’s because of all the new establishments like The Book Cellar in LWB our two main streets, Lake and Lucerne avenues are “Jumpin’ ” once again!

Have you been to our Downtown bookstore yet, located at the corner of Lake Ave. and ‘J’ St.?

Do you remember who “Mr. Racine” was?
He was a fixture around ‘J’ St. back in the day.

In the image below is Ned Racine having a conversation with Peter Lowenstein at Stella’s near City Hall in 1981. Often they frequented a bar/liquor store on ‘J’ St. too (there is another image of Racine later in this blog post).

Click on image to enlarge:

These two men are the actors William Hurt (on left, “Ned Racine”) and Ted Danson in the 1981
classic film “Body Heat”. Lake Worth City Hall is the backdrop in this classic scene.

October 2017 was the Grand Opening of The Book Cellar bookstore in the downtown, a short walk from where Stella’s was located. Some people think Stella’s was the former Junior’s on Lucerne Ave.

Now we have a restored building at a prominent corner and its tenant happens to be a bookstore which is a nice addition to the downtown located at 801 Lake Ave. Plenty of FREE Parking is nearby in this little walkable City.

This street in Lake Worth Beach — both north and south ‘J’ in downtown — was once one of our major hubs for business and entertainment and was even the focus of the classic film noir, “Body Heat”. This movie starred William Hurt, Kathleen Turner (this was the film that launched her career), Ted Danson, J.A. Preston and Mickey Rourke:

Does one building in particular look familiar?
That 2-story white structure is now The Book Cellar!

Click on image to enlarge.

“Ned” with a cigarette in hand walks down
‘J’ Street. He was rarely without
one in this movie.

The scene above is “Ned” walking north. For more about this famous street in our City use this link for a blog post from back in June 2013 about “Jumpin’ J Street!

Back to the Grand Opening of The Book Cellar.

There were eight Cottages of Lake Worth books on display and all of them were sold. The proprietors requested more books the very next day. And keep on requesting more books to this day.

The hardcover book:

See more photos from the Grand Opening of
The Book Cellar below.

What’s truly amazing about this book is what publishing executives said: things like this are not supposed to happen; it’s just not possible for books like The Cottages of Lake Worth to sell so many books without the help of an online retailer. It just doesn’t happen. But it did. Now the advice from the experts is the price of the book (USD$32.95, CAD$34.95) was just too low.

But that’s not true either. The Cottages of Lake Worth book was and remains (sans the photographer and other professional help) an all-volunteer effort with very low overhead and money raised goes back to the organization for other things . . . like maybe ordering another delivery of books next year!

Hanging out at The Book Cellar:

Friendly residents of our City and smiles aplenty.

Everyone wishes The Book Cellar a bright
future here in our City! Use this link
for their Facebook page.