Saturday, December 28, 2019

Clarification. Re: The Book Cellar bookstore in downtown Lake Worth Beach.

A full-page advertisement was published on p. 3 of this week’s Lake Worth Herald headlined, “801 Lake LLC Press Release” (LWH, 52nd Edition, 107th Year). The text from that advert in the Herald was also posted on this blog last Thursday. To read that blog post scroll down or click on this link.

Subsequently this clarification was posted on Facebook:

With regard to a recent Lake Worth Herald ad:

The Book Cellar is not planning to close. The reality is that we struggle every day (as do some of the other small business owners downtown) to keep our doors open. We love Lake Worth Beach and would very much like to remain here serving our community.

That being said no amount of well-wishes or hope will make the situation better — it requires your financial support. If the people of Lake Worth Beach want a vibrant, thriving downtown, then financially support the businesses you have before they are gone.

Todd Ketcham

The Book Cellar bookstore, your LOCAL bookstore, is located at the corner of Lake Ave. and J Street and there is plenty of FREE parking nearby.

Whilst on the topic of LOCAL. . .

Support LOCAL small town journalism and your LOCAL newspaper.

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

Friday, December 27, 2019

News from Shiny Sheet staff writer Margie Kacoha: “Donald Trump looked positively presidential”.

Please take a deep breath. In the blog post below is a news article which cites a citizen named Mr. Donald Trump, many years prior to becoming U.S. President Donald J. Trump.

What follows is not a political statement or a political position. What follows is an account of what happened at Mar-a-Lago over twenty-five years ago.

About the reporter at the Palm Beach Daily News (aka, the Shiny Sheet):

Margie Kacoha was one of the most interesting and fascinating reporters, very clever and very funny. A memorable sense of humor.

Sadly, she passed away in April 2014. The news from Shannon Donnelly, an excerpt: “Margie was always fair and objective as a reporter,” said Kirk Blouin, town director of public safety [in Palm Beach]. “She was always cordial and was very well-liked by the members of the police and fire departments. Personally, I will miss her kind heart and strong sense of humor. We shared many good laughs through the years. Just the thought of her brings a smile to my face. She will be sorely missed.”

Now to the news. . .

Opening paragraph from front page news, above the fold, published in the Shiny Sheet headlined, “Trump expects club to open this week”:

“Flanked by his attorneys, property manager and club manager, Donald Trump looked positively presidential [emphasis added] as he signed more than two dozen documents Saturday night, transforming his palatial weekend home into the Mar-a-Lago Club.”

The newspaper clipping below is from Monday, April 3rd, 1995.

Note back in the day when the Shiny Sheet cost ¢25! And unfortunately, this particular newspaper in the collection was damaged along the way. . .


Click on image to enlarge:

This image is from my collection of memorabilia (public relations material, magazines, brochures, newspapers, press releases) from my ten years working at Mar-a-Lago as Director of Projects (1993–2003) for a man I addressed as “Mr. Trump”.

Another excerpt from the 1995 article
in the Shiny Sheet:

     “No deal has been more complex than to have this incredible place turned into a club,” Trump said as he sat in the middle of the estate’s great room, carefully signing one document after another before leaving town early Sunday, “I think this is the most important event to happen in Palm Beach in 50 years.
     “We’re saving Mar-a-Lago, the greatest house in the United States,” Trump said. “And it’s a totally non-discriminatory club.”

and one more. . .

     “As long as he was signing documents — a task that took almost an hour — Trump chatted about other things, like pizza commercials.
     When called to do a television commercial for Pizza Hut to run during the NCAA men’s basketball tournament, Trump said his first reaction was “What do I know about pizza?”
     With an offer of $500,000 on the table, Trump balked.
     “If they pay me a million dollars, I’ll do it,” Trump reported responding to that initial offer.
     A cool million later, Trump was on the tube with ex-wife Ivana.

This is a look back in time to a very special place in American History, Mar-a-Lago. Just one of the reasons why Marjorie Merriweather Post had Mar-a-Lago constructed was she wanted to invite American presidents, visiting dignitaries, and ambassadors from all over the world — in her day and into the future — to a place in the Town of Palm Beach between the sea (in Spanish, “Mar”) and the once-freshwater lake (“Lago”, now the Intracoastal), a structure that would later be coined in American history the “Winter White House”.

And in what can only be called one of the most amazing twists in American history, “Trump” in April 1995, as reported in the Shiny Sheet by Margie Kacoha, became President Donald J. Trump on November 8th, 2016.

Gus’ Baths in the Town of Palm Beach.

This building and pier (see images below) were at the east end of Worth Avenue in Palm Beach. All these structures were gone by the early sixties. What’s interesting is, at least for a time, the former Casino building and pier in the City of Lake Worth and this complex in Palm Beach were contemporaries separated north and south by just a few miles of road.

Click on images to enlarge:

Thursday, December 26, 2019

A full-page advertisement published in today’s Lake Worth Herald:

801 Lake LLC Press Release

We are pleased to list the property at 801 Lake Avenue for sale at $1.3 million. The renovation spared no expense and we were honored with an award by the city. We are still proud of our work. Our pride, however, ends at our property line.

Downtown Lake Worth is plagued with retail vacancy while surrounding cities are booming and we think we know why. Near zero interest rates have changed the real estate discussion from “what does it make” to “what is it worth” and the citizens of Lake Worth are pawns in this financial chess game. Ideally, none of this matters to hardworking people who aren’t speculating with real estate, but in this case it has ruined the downtown. If you only care about market value, then perversely vacancy is preferable to reduced rent because vacancy is assumed to be temporary. The town, meanwhile, has suffered.

When our tenants told us that they were struggling, we cut their rent in half. We liked them when we signed the lease and we still do. Their business would be in much better shape if the downtown wasn’t half empty. The staff is lovely, the atmosphere is inviting, and the cafe has excellent coffee and seating. A neighborhood bookshop is a treasure, but you need to use it or lose it.

The decision to sell the property comes from our frustration with other landlords tolerating record vacancies. As capitalists we will not tell them what to do with their investments, which is a favor that is unlikely to be returned. Once our tenants leave we intend to take over their operating LLC and focus the business on serving food to the less fortunate for one penny per serving. There are no laws dictating minimum restaurant prices and everything is registered to their LLC which can be transferred without municipal review.

We hope to contribute the space to an established charity on a free or nearly free basis while the property is for sale. Due to legal complexities, any offer must be approved by our legal counsel in their sole and absolute discretion. Charities please inquire at for more information.

For offers on the building please contact Bob D’Arinzo.

Cell (561) 662-8370

For a wonderful afternoon please visit The Book Cellar at 801 Lake Avenue in Lake Worth.

Whilst on the topic of The Book Cellar enjoy the blog post which follows. . .

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

The Book Cellar bookstore in downtown Lake Worth Beach welcomes a tour from Wycliffe.

First a little background. . .

Sometimes it takes a new perspective to realize this special municipality of Lake Worth Beach which is one of the reasons for the concept and creation of the Cottages of Lake Worth book. The book — in its second printing and a finalist in the 2019 Next Generation Indie Book Awards — is being sold this Christmas and Holiday Season at many local retailers and locally and notably among them is The Book Cellar bookstore in the downtown of Lake Worth Beach.

Through the auspices of the tour and excursion operator Befitting Just Your Style (BJYS) communities book tours to visit sites in South Florida and one of those places to visit and explore aboard a large tour bus is the downtown in Lake Worth Beach. The latest group of adventurers was last Friday and they hailed from Wycliffe, a residential community west of State Rd. 7 just outside the Village of Wellington. About Wycliffe in case you are wondering, “Our gated residential community of 1,045 Mediterranean-style single-family homes, villas and condo residences is spread throughout 14 uniquely charming neighborhoods.” The center of activity in Wycliffe is the Wycliffe Golf & Country Club.

Now back to the BJYS tour last Friday. . .

The first stop on the tour was The Book Cellar bookstore and featured a talk by Yours Truly (take note of video below). This was a talk and Q&A about our historic cottages in this City and on Lake Worth Beach history, the origins of our community and the early settlement pattern which created the distinct grid street layout for our collection of historic beach cottages. Click on this link to view the presentation given at The Book Cellar.

The Cottages of Lake Worth book is on display at The Book Cellar and would encourage everyone to visit and browse. The book is most worthy of note at the bookstore and makes a terrific gift all year long, full of information and replete with splendid photographs as well.

The BJYS tour last week was the second tour this Season and there will be more to come. Following last Friday’s tour learned from Todd Ketcham, the manager at The Book Cellar, that six Cottages of Lake Worth books were purchased! This latest tour group had a wonderful time in our downtown visiting local restaurants and merchants following the welcome at our local bookseller.

The front cover for
The Cottages of Lake Worth:

To learn more about the book use this link. Worth noting is another historic event in this City’s history in March 2019: By voter referendum the City changed its name to become Lake Worth Beach!

If you happen to live out in western Palm Beach County or are part of a community or group in South Florida looking to explore this historic coastal municipality of Lake Worth Beach click on this link and scroll down for, “Historic Settlements – The Cottages of Lake Worth”.

Now let’s take a stroll back to December 2014, to when The Cottages of Lake Worth was featured on local radio.

Enjoy the video!

A message from the City.

For any questions about solid waste services (residential and commercial) in Lake Worth Beach or want more information about recycling click on this link.

To download “My Schedule”, a FREE app for your trash days each week and recycling information use this link.

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

The Orchid City Brass Band in the Downtown Cultural Plaza.

Merry Christmas,
City of Lake Worth!

Enjoy this rousing rendition of a Christmas classic performed in 2014, one that never gets old!

It starts slow but just wait. . .

Florida Christmas greetings: 19--?

Florida Christmas greetings. 19--?. Color postcard, 9×14 cm. State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory.

Christmas poem. Tropical Sun, 1891.

Click on newspaper clipping to enlarge.

Lotus Cove was a small settlement just to the north of what is now the Town of Lantana and later to become part of present-day City of Lake Worth.