Friday, August 9, 2019

Front page news this week in the Observer: “Greenacres City Manager Praised and Thanked”.

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The Coastal/Greenacres Observer is a FREE weekly newspaper published by the Lake Worth Herald Press. To see this week’s front page headlines click on this link.

The Lake Worth Herald Press, headquartered at 1313 Central Terrace in Lake Worth Beach, also publishes the Lake Worth Herald. To contact the editor call 561-585-9387 or send an email to:

Here is the front page news this week, above the fold in the Observer:

Andrea McCue, the roll up the sleeves and get it done City Manager of the City of Greenacres sat through being reviewed by the City Commission Monday night [Aug. 5th]. As it would be, McCue was also filling in for the City Clerk, doing double duty as she faced a performance review.

Comments from the Council contained phrases such as, ‘Professionalism’, ‘exemplary’, ‘City is in good hands’, ‘never disappointed our City from day one’, ‘exceeded expectations’, ‘creative thinker’, ‘came here very qualified and far exceeds all expectations’.

After casting these complementary appraisals of McCue’s performance, Council members thanked her and approved an increase in her salary.

Council members expressed a willingness to keep McCue and would hate to lose her to another municipality.

In other action, the Council unanimously approved changing the name of Leisure Services to Community & Recreation Services, in order to better express what they do.

The department does everything from providing seniors with meals to running youth programs.

and. . .

Council members praised Michele Thompson, Leisure Services Director, or now Community & Recreation Services Director for the success of the programs. Thompson pushed the credit to the “wonderful team” she works with.

To learn more about the City of Greenacres browse their continually-evolving and updated website.

For sake of comparison and scale here in Central Palm Beach County, many of you will be interested to learn that Greenacres exceeds Lake Worth Beach in both area and population size and is one of the fastest growing municipalities in Palm Beach County.

“There’s a rich history here. If you don’t do anything to preserve it, it’s gone.”

Newspaper clipping from The Palm Beach Post, September 3rd, 2003.

Click on images to enlarge: 

The CDC is not to be confused with Lake Worth Beach Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA). The CDC went defunct many years ago.

“One part of the plan will involve interviewing lifelong residents to compile an oral history of the neighborhood.”

The plan, “[A]ims to boost community pride, improve property values and stave off gentrification.*

“The Osborne neighborhood is one of the target areas for the CDC, a nonprofit organization charged with improving blighted areas of the city.”

*Let’s take on that loaded word. . .

‘Gentrification’ is called a “loaded word” in that it’s used to confuse and frighten the public (learn more about that by clicking on this link).

There is no accepted definition of that word and therefore fuels the “politics of fear” just like another loaded word used to confuse and frighten the public: ‘sanctuary city’.

Whilst on the topic of ‘gentrification’, Joan Oliva became the executive director of the CRA back in January 2008 and she remains the leader of that agency to this day.

And also to this day former members of the CDC criticize the CRA for increasing property values which have steadily risen in this City. Ironically, as cited in the newspaper clipping above, one of the goals of the CDC was to “improve property values” whilst at the same time promising to ‘stave off gentrification’.

Ironic is it not?

The former CDC never accomplished much and not much remains from what they did actually do. However, how much do you know about the $23M NSP2 Grant the CRA received in 2010? Learn more about that below.

Enjoy the video (below) about the CRA’s NSP2 Grant. You’ll recognize more than a few people if you were here in Lake Worth during that time. At one point, if you pay close attention, you’ll see a few campaign yard signs of people you might know, including a current city commissioner. About the video:

This video is one in a series of case study videos intended for NSP grantees and partners interested in learning about how other grantees are successfully implementing NSP. In Lake Worth, FL, the NSP2 consortium has taken a comprehensive approach in their stabilization efforts. Nonprofits and community leaders featured in this video demonstrate the keys to running their NSP program, including homebuyer counseling, home-purchase assistance, and connecting stabilization with broader economic development and revitalization initiatives such as the Cultural Renaissance Program.

Now, about all those people who thought the NSP2 was a bad idea, like former city commissioners who didn’t make the effort to apply for the grant. But the CRA did step up and apply. Here is an excerpt from this blog:

“Both the City and the CRA were eligible to apply for the funds. Leading up to the grant application’s deadline, it became apparent that the City administration (Susan Stanton was the city manager in September 2009) and the City Commission (which included Cara Jennings, JoAnn Golden, and Susan Mulvehill) had demonstrated no interest in assisting the CRA or applying for the grant money itself. Wanting to make sure Lake Worth didn’t miss out on this opportunity to address slum and blight in a big way the CRA went ahead and made the application itself, without any help from the City Commission at the time.”

Want to learn more about Lake Worth Beach Community Redevelopment Agency? Click on this link.

Thursday, August 8, 2019

La Guía News y WPTV (NBC5): “Autoridades investigan homicidio en Lake Worth Beach”.

To follow La Guía News on Twitter click on this link. To read the following news report in English go to La Guía and use the translate tool:

LAKE WORTH BEACH, Fla. — La Oficina del Sheriff del Condado Palm Beach (PBSO por sus siglas en inglés) está investigando lo que parece ser un homicidio, sucedido el miércoles en Lake Worth Beach.

El incidente sucedió a las 5:40 p.m. cuando los agentes recibieron una llamada al número de emergencia, de un negocio en Lake Avenue.

Los agentes arribaron al bloque 1500 de Lake Avenue, y hallaron a un empleado que había recibido impacto de balas. El personal del Departamento de Bomberos e Incendios que acudieron al lugar confirmaron que el empleado había fallecido.

Los detectives de la División de Crímenes Violentos se encuentran en el lugar investigando.

Hasta el momento no hay sospechosos y se desconocen los motivos.

Cualquier persona con información sobre este suceso llamar a Crime Stoppers al 1-800-458-TIPS.

WPTV contribuyó a esta historia.

Two homicides in Lake Worth Beach: PBSO and Crime Stoppers need tips.

The homicide yesterday in LWB is near another unsolved murder from last April off Lake Ave. on South E St. For more information about the murder of Alonzo Recinos Ramirez use this link. If you have any information about either of these two crimes contact Crime Stoppers and become eligible for a reward. That information is at the end of this blog post.

Here is an excerpt from yesterday’s breaking news report in the Sun Sentinel by reporter Tony Alanez:

A hang-up call to 911 drew sheriff’s deputies to a novelty store in Lake Worth Beach where they found a clerk dying from a gunshot wound, authorities said Wednesday.

After the 5:40 p.m. call, the scene in the 1500 block of Lake Avenue was cordoned off with yellow crime-scene tape, a CSI motor home arrived, as did detectives from the violent-crimes division of the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office.

Stay anonymous and collect a reward:

To learn more about Crime Stoppers in Palm Beach County use this link.

Barefoot Mailman: Newspaper clipping, Lake Worth Herald, March 6th, 2003.

In the caption below it’s described
“Lantana Town Manager Michael Bornstein. . .”

Click on clipping to enlarge:

Of note on April 16th, 2012 Bornstein was hired to be the city manager in the City of Lake Worth which this year became Lake Worth Beach. 

A short time after Bornstein was hired as city manager back in April 2012 to manage this City long-time Palm Beach Post journalist Willie Howard wrote this opening line in a news report,

After six weeks on the job [Bornstein] is cutting through the tension at city hall, bringing a sense of calmness and teamwork to a city commission known for heated debates and red-eye meetings.

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

News from Delray Beach headlined, “Delray continues to lower city tax rate”:

The excerpt below is from journalist Jane Smith at The Coastal Star datelined July 31st:

Delray Beach commissioners have unanimously approved a slight cut in the tax rate, keeping a promise to city property owners to reduce the tax rate for 10 consecutive years.

The July 9 vote capped the total tax rate at $6.86 per $1,000 of taxable value for the financial year that starts Oct. 1.

This marks the seventh consecutive year that Delray Beach is lowering its tax rate.

“I know we are trying to get things done, but I think we can drop the tax rate,” Mayor Shelly Petrolia said. “Dropping the rate would make us more attractive to people coming in.” [emphasis added]

Commissioner Adam Frankel agreed. “We will have additional fees from the new hotels opening,” he said to justify his decision.

To read the entire article published in The Coastal Star click on this link.

A back and forth.

From last January at the Lake Worth Beach City Commission is an interesting exchange between Vice Mayor Andy Amoroso and Lake Worth Electric Utility Dir. Ed Liberty.

They discuss the issue of residential solar energy and at one point Amoroso says the City needs to “stop the bleeding”, paying much more for locally-generated solar energy than the cost of energy on the open market.

A little later there is discussion of possible gunshot damage at Electric Utility facilities and what can be done to better fortify and protect these important assets.

Click on play to watch the proceedings for yourself:

Quiz: “How long is the beach in Lake Worth Beach?” And why a “BEACH” on the ocean really does matter.

The answer to the question, “How long is the beach in Lake Worth Beach?” is a little later in this blog post.

Why a “Beach” really does matter:

How many tourists, visitors and investors thought over the years — or maybe many still think to this day — that West Palm Beach has a beach? West Palm Beach likes people to think they have a beach. But they don’t. Imagine the surprise someone packing the family in the car one day to spend the day at the beach in West Palm Beach to discover there is no beach in West Palm Beach. West Palm Beach is not even on the ocean. Really, shouldn’t that be one of the requirements to be called a city with a beach? Imagine a surfing museum in West Palm Beach. Imagine a mural of a beach in West Palm Beach. Imagine a newspaper headquartered in West Palm Beach called the. . . Well. You get the idea.

However, there are many future residents of the City of Lake Worth Beach who do not know West Palm Beach does not have a beach. And with so many new and exciting housing projects on the horizon this City is getting a tremendous amount of attention from Millennials and young professionals that actually want to live in a municipality with a beach.

And to emphasize that point an elected leader in this City said at City Hall about renaming this City as “Lake Worth Beach”:

[I]t’s really interesting when you look at a lot of the names here in Palm Beach County. For example, Royal Palm Beach doesn’t have a beach. However we’ll have to give them credit for being proactive on sea level rise issue because maybe that will catch up with them one day. But Royal Palm Beach doesn’t have a beach. West Palm Beach really doesn’t have a beach.

We have a beach. And if there is one thing that folks that come to Florida are attracted to oftentimes is the word “Beach”. So if you’re visiting Palm Beach County or thinking about Palm Beach County and your kind of looking through all the thirty-nine municipalities and you don’t know any different you might just pass Lake Worth over because the word ‘Beach’ isn’t affixed to our name.

Now as to the question, how long do you think the beach in Lake Worth Beach is?

The answer is below following
a short quiz.

Setting the quiz parameters.

Below is a short video by VisitFlorida of the open coast beaches in the State of Florida. When you add up the total miles of Atlantic Ocean beaches, the Straits, and the Gulf of Mexico it totals 825 miles. If you total the northeast, central, and southeast regions of the Atlantic Ocean beaches the total is 362.7 miles of beach.

How many of that 363 miles of Atlantic Coast beach do you think the Lake Worth Beach comprises?

POP QUIZ: Is our BEACH. . .
  1. Two miles long?
  2. 5¼ miles?
  3. 1½ miles?
  4. 0.26 miles (1,280 feet)?
  5. One mile and 98 feet?

STOP HERE. Watch two short videos; think about it.

The answer is 4! 0.26 miles/1,280 feet (approximately).

In other words, 1,280 feet more beach
than West Palm Beach has:

A party at the Lake Worth Beach! Photoshop by the inimitable former City blogger Tom McGow.

For some perspective, Florida’s Atlantic coastal beaches total approximately 363 miles.

But regardless, West Palm Beach still does not have a beach! And never will.

Monday, August 5, 2019

For people who are really, really sick of having their bike stolen (or ‘ganked’ as this crime is called in Britain).

FYI: The blog post below is from June 2016 when the City of Lake Worth, now called Lake Worth Beach, was going through a particularly bad time with bike thefts. In response the City Commission and PBSO came up with new ordinances and went about putting together a successful public relations campaign.

Yes, bike theft was a very big deal. But so was getting people to lock up their bikes! People reporting their bikes stolen was skewing the crime rate which City Manager Michael Bornstein pointed out often. Bike locks work. If you use a good one and know how to use it.

Anyhow, here is one idea that thankfully, in retrospect, never shot off here in this City. And momentarily you’ll find out why.

The excerpt below is from an article in CityLab. If this item becomes available locally, like at my bike shop Relentless Bicycles downtown, it won’t be a secret for long. Fire in the hole!

Our PBSO Cpt. Baer’s thoughts on this idea would be interesting to hear. Deputies on patrol can ride around and just listen for the explosions and race to the scene.

Take note of the link in the first paragraph below; this was a KickStarter campaign in case you’re interested (by the way, this is what the word “ganking” means):

     To prevent a thief from ganking your bike, you can try securing it with a U-lock or heavy-duty chain. Or, for fans of the bombastic approach, there’s now an alarm that detonates when disturbed, rousing the whole neighborhood with an echoing boom.
     The “Bike Mine” is the dastardly creation of London’s Yannick Read, a longtime bike-hacker who’s also made a cycle with a deafening train horn and another that shoots flames at motorists who get too close. The device consists of a bit of titanium wire, a spring-loaded trap, and a “saluting cartridge” typically shot off at military ceremonies and royal birthdays. It latches onto your frame with Velcro and, when somebody moves the bike, detonates in a 150-decibel cacophony of sparks and smoke, like so: