Friday, October 18, 2019

NYT Book Review of “Savage Appetites”. Writer Rachel Monroe is savagely entertaining and “delightfully untoward”.

Does the name Rachel Monroe sound familiar?

Three years ago Monroe was the talk of the town here in the City of Lake Worth and all of South Florida as well. And no doubt being a writer and journalist Monroe will be quite amused and delighted to learn this little six square mile City changed its name to Lake Worth Beach last March.

Possibly our local bookstore, The Book Cellar in the downtown will be included in the upcoming book tour promoting Monroe’s new book which just recently received an outstanding review in The New York Times!

Many of you here in Lake Worth Beach will recall Monroe’s gripping nonfiction account of the radical enviro monkeywrenching by EarthFirst! back in 2016, a famously popular piece titled Monkeywrench published in the Oxford American.

Later in this blog post today we’ll revisit the piece called Monkeywrench, when this little municipality became ground zero in the world of radicalism and Anarchy fused with entertainment and small town politics too. And Monroe was right in the center of it all. 

But first, on Monroe’s latest endeavor. Her new book is titled, “SAVAGE APPETITES: Four True Stories of Women, Crime and Obsession”; here are two excerpts from the NYT book review penned by Kaitlin Phillips:

In “Savage Appetites,” the journalist Rachel Monroe is interested in a paradox: upper-middle-class women who find that proximity to murder makes them feel more alive. This enthralling book devotes case studies to four bored or directionless women whose fixations on other people’s crimes unlock a sense of purpose and give them a vocation. For such women, someone getting killed is the best thing that ever happened to them. It’s delightfully untoward.

Monroe zeroes in on the aftermath of murder, on the morbid curiosity that draws eager civilians toward the crime scene and catapults them into starring roles. She avoids the formulaic professional tropes of true crime, choosing for her case studies a “detective” who never solved any crimes; a murder victim’s family whose members are apparently victimized by self-appointed victim advocates; a “defender” who is really a litigious jail wife; and, finally, a “killer” who doesn’t pull the trigger. (She gets only as far as picking the perfect outfit for a planned shopping-mall massacre.)

and. . .

The rest of the book delivers more visceral pleasures, focusing on contemporary women who court something other than just impropriety and imaginative philanthropy. “They were immoderate and occasionally unwise” in pursuit of their obsessions. They made phone calls, they wrote letters, they chatted online. They tangled themselves in people’s lives. Then they crossed a line — you might as well call it the Rubicon — that you and I would not.

Now let’s take a stroll back to 2016, when the City of Lake Worth was ground zero for radicalism and Anarchy. . .

Flyers were sent to radical communities all over the country inviting attendees to attend a ‘musical’ in “Lake Worth, Florida” and they began to arrive en masse by bus, train-hopping and beat-up old vans.

“Yes! It is Happening!”

A ‘musical’ is code for direct action. Rachel Monroe was right in the center of the action and chronicled what happened.

“[S]eating based on willingness to risk arrest. Hurrah!”

“There’s an Earth First! tradition of naming the toilet in honor of the enemy of the moment, and so at the final performance in late February [2016], the musical’s audience was invited to use the Wes Blackman Memorial Shitter.”

Excerpt from Monkeywrench published in the Oxford American, August 2016.

Rachel Monroe was all the buzz when Monkeywrench was first published (see more excerpts and link below). That all this was happening just prior to the municipal elections just added more fuel to the fire. Then everything came to a screeching halt on March 15th, 2016. All the incumbents on the ballot, Mayor Pam Triolo and commissioners Andy Amoroso and Scott Maxwell were all reelected in landslide victories. The radical balloon had burst and the show was over.

Without further ado, now that the stage is set, here are two excerpts from Monkeywrench written by the superbly talented Rachel Monroe:

The first day I showed up for the Earth First! rehearsal in Lake Worth, Florida, a small coastal town thirty-five miles north of Fort Lauderdale, I walked in late to find a dozen tattooed people pretending to be a machine. Tentatively at first and then with increasing enthusiasm, they pantomimed the pulling of levers and the pushing of buttons and other nonsensical but orderly tasks.

“Now the machine speeds up,” instructed Maren, the rosy-cheeked Minnesotan who was codirecting the musical. The imaginary-lever pulling became a little more frantic. “Now it’s breaking down!” Everyone’s movements became strained; a guy in a black hoodie bounced like a deranged spring.

and. . .

Most people in the room were not Floridians; instead, they lived in fringe towns—Ithaca, Bloomington, Oakland—where the rent was cheap enough that radical politics could flourish. They wore black boots and rode bikes; they all seemed to know each other from protests and actions and summers spent picking blueberries in Maine.

They were here because, in October 2015, just as the winter chill had started to creep into people’s bones, a flyer began circulating among activists, inviting anyone willing and able to travel to sunny Lake Worth for the month of February “to help devise, build, perform and otherwise scheme on” a musical that celebrated the history and philosophy of the radical environmental group Earth First! (In 2010, Earth First! had moved its publishing operation from Tucson to Lake Worth, making the town the de facto headquarters of the diffuse, controversial organization.) “The show will involve audiences writing to political prisoners, cast members repelling [sic] down cardboard redwoods, and seating based on willingness to risk arrest,” the flyer promised. “Hurrah!”

For all new and recently new residents of Lake Worth Beach would highly encourage reading the entire piece by Monroe published in the Oxford American. It is quite lengthy and very entertaining. Kick back and relax and then click on this link.

The book “Savage Appetites” is now available on Amazon for both Kindle, audio CD and in hardcover as well.

Another option would be to proceed downtown and visit The Book Cellar bookstore in downtown Lake Worth Beach located at 801 Lake Ave. with plenty of FREE parking nearby. If the book is not available at the moment it can be ordered for you to pick up later on.

Buy LOCAL! Support your LOCAL bookstore!

Next month begins a fresh new season for The Town & Country Garden Club of Lake Worth Beach.

Topical news courtesy of this week’s Lake Worth Herald.

Support LOCAL small town journalism.
Support your LOCAL small town newspaper.

Your LOCAL Lake Worth Herald is still just ¢50! Do you have news, review subscription options, or would like to contact the editor at the Herald? Call 561-585-9387 or send an email to:

Here is just one of the many events listed and club news in this week’s paper:

The Town & Country Garden Club will open its 2019–2020 Season Monday, Oct. 14. The Town & Country Garden Club of Lake Worth Beach is a non-profit whose mission is to promote an interest in gardens, their design and management, and to cooperate in the protection of wildflowers, birds, native trees and shrubs, to encourage civic planning and to fund and award scholarships to individuals seeking education in horticulture and landscape design.

The Club welcomes new members. Annual dues are $30. Meetings include lunch and a guest speaker. There are several organized field trips throughout the season. The club meets the second Monday of every month October through May, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., at the First Congregational Church, 1415 North K Street, Lake Worth Beach.

For more information contact Erin Allen at 561-312-5925 or

Also included in this week’s Herald is a more LOCAL school news, a feature story headlined, “Sacred Heart School Students Clean Up Lake Worth Beach”:

Approximately 65 Sacred Heart School fourth and seventh-grade students, staff, and parents walked from Sacred Heart School (4th and Federal Hwy.) to team up for the 2019 Sacred Heart School Conservation Beach Cleanup. “We are preparing our students to be the next generation of environmental stewards,” stated Interim Principal Tricia Duvall.

The group dispersed throughout the beach covering approximately one mile of coastline gathering trash and debris. The students noted that the majority of the garbage were bottle caps, bottles, clothes, and many cigarette butts.

and. . .

After the cleanup, the students enjoyed lunch and a visit from the Honorable Mayor Pam Triolo. The mayor thanked the students for coming out to keep the beach clean and invited them to continue with their conservation efforts.

The Lake Worth Herald and the FREE Coastal & Greenacres Observer are published by the Lake Worth Herald Press located at 1313 Central Terrace in Lake Worth Beach. To look over this week’s front page headlines click on this link.

One could call this blog post, “How not to do a project at the Lake Worth Beach.”

What you’ll see below is from:

April 13th, 2012.

So as we proceed forward let’s hope we never see anything like this ever again. . .

I took a drive up to the beach Friday afternoon [in April 2012] and captured these pictures. Below you will see a group of people trying to navigate the main walkway from the lower parking lot to the PEDESTRIAN ACCESS leading to the actual beach. I say “navigate” since the walkway was covered by water from some unknown source (this was before any of yesterday’s rain).

Click on all images to enlarge.

The former Casino had been demolished by 2012. And the new Casino was nearing completion. And officials said the Beach ‘was open’. 

Moving into the future, whatever is decided to do at the Beach, let’s make certain the Beach truly remains open for the public.

You can check out the video of these girls trying to negotiate the water covered path.

Benny’s on the Beach.

Thursday, October 17, 2019

“A Florida Divided”

The image below is from the Facebook page,
Historic Florida X”.

Click on image to enlarge:
Learn why Florida was divided “by a line
drawn down the center of the state”:

“During WW II, Florida had many flying training bases with Navy and Army separated by a line drawn down the center of the state; Navy, Marine and Coast Guard bases on the east side, Army Air Forces on west side. If there had been no separation, mid-air collisions would have been much higher due to Inter-service rivalry between young men flying high powered, expensive machines and would have been worse than at Army-Navy football games. [emphasis added] Separation line was enforced by Gen. Hap Arnold, Chief of Army Air Forces.”

Official recognition by PAPA.

Seven months ago, on March 12th, the electorate in the City of Lake Worth voted to rename this municipality as Lake Worth Beach and the Palm Beach County Property Appraiser Public Access (PAPA) website has since been updated to reflect the name change (see map below).

However, as newsworthy as Lake Worth Beach is and continues to be, there is a much bigger story happening out west that is largely going unnoticed in Central Palm Beach County and that is the growing dominance of the City of Greenacres, a municipality expanding at a rapid rate.

Click on map to enlarge, note the label “Lake Worth Beach” and annexations further to the west:

Many areas west of LWB (unshaded) will keep a ‘Lake Worth’ mailing address until being annexed by Village of Palm Springs (shaded blue) or Town of Lantana (verdenia red). In both square miles and population the City of Greenacres is expanding rapidly, already exceeding Lake Worth Beach.

Which delves into zip codes. . . Lake Worth Beach has two zip codes, 33460 and a portion of 33461:

What if Lake Worth Beach was all one zip code (33460) including all incorporated areas west of I-95 (shaded blue)?

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Get excited! Christmas and Snowbird Season in City of Lake Worth Beach.

This upcoming 2019–2020 Holiday Season will be an exciting one for our returning Snowbirds, the old and confusing ‘Lake Worth’ has now become Lake Worth Beach, a city with a new name!

It’s important to remember whether one uses ‘Lake Worth’ or Lake Worth Beach in the mailing address the regions zip codes remain the same.

When exactly is the right time to start coming up with cleverly new holiday ideas for downtown Lake Worth Beach, the Casino and beach, and the Dixie Hwy. Corridors both north and south?

The time for all those new and exciting ideas for downtown holiday displays to arouse our returning Snowbirds and get all those cars to slow down for a closer look, interesting crafts and activities to electrify and foment the imagination, and the art to provoke and stimulate the passersby to come in and check out your Hipster fashions, L-Dub dishes and Quirky fare?

The Time Is Now!

One of the most exciting Christmas ideas ever in this City was something so cleverly simple from back in 2013. It was simply called “Mail Art”.

Hope you enjoy this look back:

Send your Mail Art to:

Lake Worth Beach City Hall
7 North Dixie Hwy.
Lake Worth Beach, FL 33460

The deadline is now looming. We’ve had lovely responses and hope you will send us an embellished envelope.
     We set up a web site where we post all those that arrive. We have showcased the envelopes in Libraries and made presentations to Calligraphy guilds.
     One more large Christmas exhibition is planned and then they will be presented to the Lake Worth Historical Museum. Dont hesitate to send another piece of mail art, if you already have.
     The deadline is Nov. 15, 2013. None will be rejected if they are a bit wee late. We so enjoyed getting the envelopes from around the globe.

Thank You.
Project art consultant

Click on images to enlarge:

Hint #1: Lappeenranta, Finland is the City of Lake Worth Beach’s Sister City.

Hint #2: The festival Día de los Muertos is on November 2nd this year.

Hint #3: The holiday Boxing Day is celebrated in Canada on December 26th.

Sunday, October 13, 2019

LOCAL community news. Join volunteer team in Village of Palm Springs and news from City of Greenacres too.

Support LOCAL small town newspapers.
Support LOCAL small town journalism.

LOCAL coverage of LOCAL small town news including community news from the Village of Palm Springs, a municipality called the “Garden Spot of Palm Beach County”.

The news this week from Palm Springs is below and there is news too from the City of Greenacres as well.

To see this week’s front page headlines in the Coastal & Greenacres Observer and The Lake Worth Herald click on this link. To contact the editor, that information is at the end of this blog post today.

Without further ado, here’s the news from the Village of Palm Springs headlined, “Village of Palm Springs Looking for Volunteers”:

The Village of Palm Springs would like to invite everyone to join their volunteer team. There are many areas and departments in which someone is able to serve. If you are interested, contact 561-641-3421 to request a Volunteer Application or stop by the Village to pick up an application and submit to Human Resources [Village Hall is located at 226 Cypress Lane].

Looking for volunteers in the following positions:

Community Outreach Team: Volunteer would assist at various community and public awareness events hosted by the Village of Palm Springs and the Palm Spring Police Department throughout the year. An interest in engaging within the diversity of our community is optimal for the success of our outreach events. This position requires evening and some weekend availability.

Community Patrol Officer: Volunteer would supplement law enforcement efforts and enhance relationships with the community. The volunteer would have no law enforcement authority, but would provide extra patrol, be called on to assist stranded motorists, visit and provide wellness checkups for residents, etc. The volunteer would also assist with community outreach events hosted by the Village and the Palms Springs Police Department.

Office Assistant: Volunteer would be responsible for providing customer services to members of the public who come into the Palm Springs Police Department. Responsibilities would include answering phones, directing requests, organizing, mailing, scanning, etc. On the job training would be provided. Office Assistants need to be available between 8–10 hours a week.

Library Volunteer: Palm Springs Library volunteers are the backbone of community engagement providing information, resources, and valuable support. Volunteers complement staffing needs during programs and events throughout the year. Students can earn Community Service Hours through three of our volunteer programs geared for teens. Youth Volunteer, Teen Advisory Board (TAB) and On-Call Teen Volunteers all require their own applications and are handled through the Library. Library volunteers may require evening and some weekend availability.

Parks and Recreation: Parks and Recreation volunteers assist with offering a wide range of recreational activities for all age groups and interests. Volunteers engage in special events, year-round programs, classes and activities offered to the community for residents and visitors alike. Community Service hours are offered to students. Parks and Recreation volunteers may require evening and some weekend availability.

Reading and Mentoring Program: Change the life of a child by become a reading mentor. This program encourages struggling elementary school students with reading and fosters positive academic achievement for first grade students. This program is seasonal and occurs between the months of January and April. The program coordinator provides guidance and instruction during sessions on Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons. Mentors tutor and work one-on-one with first grade students the rest of the time. Mentors are required to participate in mentor training.

For more information contact Indira Safaddid at 561-641-3421.

Here is the front page news from the City of Greenacres headlined, “Property Enhancement Program Moving Forward”:

City of Greenacres Building Official Michael Grimm presented the preliminary plans for the recently approved Property Enhancement Program (PEP) for the City.

The PEP is intended to enhance the aesthetics and visual appeal of the subject property. The City will provide residents and businesses with matching grants to assist with property improvement. To qualify for the grant the improvements must improve areas that are visible from the street.

Grimm told the council he thought the program should begin with $50,000 for grant matches. He also gave some ideas of what would be eligible for the program.

The Council agreed Grimm was on the right track and authorized him to continue and bring back a more formal presentation on the program for the Council to discuss.

The grants are a 50/50 match up to a $5,000 in grant proceeds.

To learn more about the City of Greenacres use this link for official website.

Your LOCAL newspapers, The Lake Worth Herald and the FREE Coastal & Greenacres Observer are published by the Lake Worth Herald Press located at 1313 Central Terrace in Lake Worth Beach. To contact the editor call 561-585-9387 or send an email to

Do you have more news to share from Palm Springs? Have community news from suburban Lake Worth and the cities of Greenacres and Lake Worth Beach? The goings on from the towns of Lantana and Lake Clarke Shores? Then share your LOCAL news with the editor today!

Prayers and insight from “The Interfaith Prayer Book”, expanded 2nd edition, published in 2014.

The Interfaith Prayer Book was compiled by Lake Worth resident Ted Brownstein and the Lake Worth Interfaith Network (LWIN). Learn more about this organization at the end of this blog post.

From p. 31 by Siddur Avodas HaLev titled,
“A Jewish View of Prayer”:

“Prayer: Its Hebrew name is, tefillah, a word that gives us an insight into the Torah’s concept of prayer. The root of tefillah means to judge, to differentiate, to clarify, to decide. In life, we constantly sort out evidence from rumor, valid options from wild speculations, fact from fancy. Thus, prayer is the soul’s yearning to define what truly matters and to ignore the trivialities that often masquerade as essential.”

From p. 69, the “Hymn of the Good Samaritan”:

From every race and land,
The victim of our day,
Abused and hurt by human hands,
Are wounded on life’s way.

The priest and Levite* pass
And find not time to wait.
The pressing claims of living call;
They leave them to their fate.

But one of different faith
To care he felt compelled.
His active love like Jesus’ own
Uplifted, healed and held.

May this example lead,
Inspire and teach us all
That we may find in others’ faith
The God on whom we call.

From p. 23 in the chapter titled, “Native American Prayer” is the ancient reading from the Popul Vuh, a region in South America now called Guatemala:

Make my guilt vanish,
Heart of Sky, Heart of Earth;
Grant me a favor,
Give me strength, give me courage
In my heart, in my head,
Since you are my mountain and my plain;
May there be no falsehood and no stain,
And may this reading of the Popul Vuh
Come out clear as dawn,
And may the sifting of ancient times
Be complete in my heart, in my head;
And make my guilt vanish,
My grandmothers, grandfathers,
And however many souls of the dead there may be,
You who speak with the Heart of Sky and Earth,
May all of you together give strength
To the reading I have undertaken.

To learn more about the “Reading of Popul Vuh” in The Interfaith Prayer Book and the Ancient History Encyclopedia click on this link.

The Lake Worth Interfaith Network (LWIN) is “[A] group of individuals and faith-based communities dedicated to promoting acceptance and understanding among our diverse spiritual traditions through devotions, education and compassionate action. . . . LWIN hopes that sharing our experience will be helpful to other communities who desire to create similar local interfaith organizations.”

*Levite: “[M]ember of the tribe of Levi; descendant of Levi, especially one appointed to assist the priests in the temple or tabernacle.” Learn more at Wikipedia.