Monday, November 30, 2009

Panagioti Tsolkas protests greenhouse gas emissions

Pritchett letter to President Obama

Lou Pritchett's open letter to President Obama

For 36 years, Mr. Pritchett was an executive with Proctor and Gamble, the 8th largest corporation in the world.

Junk Journalism at The Palm Beach Post


On 11-22-09, the Palm Beach Post published an anti-Amendment 4 editorial that could have been written by lobbyists or publicity flacks for the Florida Chamber of Commerce, Associated Industries, or their front, Floridians for Smarter Growth. They represent the views of developers. They are scared. They see the handwriting on the wall: A poll by Orange County Realtors found that 71% of respondents favor Hometown Democracy Amendment 4. People want a voice in how their communities grow.

The town that debunked nothing

THE LIE: The title of the Post’s fear mongering editorial was, “The town that saved Florida – St. Pete Beach debunked Hometown Democracy.” The Post’s scribblers went on to declare falsely that the “town has been a test case for what Florida Hometown democracy would inflict on the entire state.” They called it “St. Pete’s version of Hometown Democracy.”

THE TRUTH: A developer-backed Political Action Committee wrote up misleading petitions to change the St. Pete Comp Plan. It passed. Unlike Hometown Democracy Amendment 4, it did not provide that a referendum on a plan change shall occur only at the end of the state-mandated review and public hearing process – after commissioners had approved a land use change. State law has long held that no land use change can occur without two public hearings. A4 has safeguards and public examination not found in St. Pete Beach. So it is not surprising that the town amendment was challenged.

The “everything” lie that should be beneath a reputable paper

THE LIE: The Post’s editorial fiction states: “Local voters would have to vote on every change to a city or county comprehensive plan … The proposed Florida Hometown Democracy Amendment would require referendums on even the most inconsequential changes.”

THE TRUTH: Even the Post recognizes that A4 does not cover many changes, such as zoning and variances that are made regularly without Comp plan Amendments. The pernicious factor is their unsupportable claim that it applies to “every” Comp Plan change. A Comp Plan has many elements, but the only one mentioned in A4 is “land use,” referring to the Future Land Use Map, the key element that affects the over-development that has ruined Florida. Read for yourself the A4 ballot summary that will appear on the 2010 ballot:

BALLOT SUMMARY: Establishes that before a local government may adopt a new comprehensive land use plan, or amend a comprehensive land use plan, the proposed plan or amendment shall be subject to vote of the electors of the local government by referendum, following preparation by the local planning agency, consideration by the governing body and notice.
Believe your own eyes and your understanding of clear English, as approved by the State Supreme Court, instead of deliberate misinterpretation by developer puppets. Note that “land use” is the only element mentioned. The full amendment states it seven times. Nowhere is there any mention of any other elements found in Comp Plans. That includes Intergovernmental Coordination, Schools, Economics, Capital Improvements, Drainage, Waste, Transportation, Recreation or numerous other Comp Plan elements that can be changed without voter approval. Only land use is covered.

What is the Post motive in misleading readers?

One thing is clear. They are not motivated to produce an honest journalistic report. If they were, they would have invited the president of Hometown Democracy to visit with their editorial board to answer their questions. They never did. They would have asked people in St. Pete Beach professional reporter style questions, instead of being confrontational to force answers they wanted. So we can only speculate about their motives from the evidence.

First, the Post’s political orientation has long been leftist. Such folks like government control under elitist influence. Ordinary folk are either too dumb or not to be trusted – they think. However, the U.S. Supreme Court has faith in voters. In 2003, the Court ruled that voters are presumed to be competent about matters of local government. The Court said if voters so choose, they can demand to vote on local land use issues, that power is delegated by the voters to local government, and voters can take that power back if they so choose.
Second, Post advertising is way down, so they suck up to developers by worrying about landowners who want more development rights, and developers who “would be penalized.” It is well to remember that real estate ads account for about one quarter of newspaper ads.

Some newspapers understand that A4 empowers residents to decide how much growth burden they are willing to bear. The Naples News said the following on 11-24-09:

“Hometown Democracy, Amendment #4 to the state Constitution, provides that voters control growth. It is beginning to look attractive, if not blatantly seductive, at least to the taxpayers of Florida.

Don’t let developers or their newspaper mouthpiece tell you that it’s good to put all of your trust about growth in officials whom they control. Trust your own judgment. Protect your home value. Keep your taxes in check. Vote for Amendment 4 in 2010.

Al Forman
The Martin County Defender

Responsible Leadership

It's too bad that all cities don't have responsible leadership. Over the past year or two, Lake Worth leaders, Mulvehill, Golden and Jennings have made some good decisions that will put our city back on track.

But Lake County is in sorry shape. For years it has depended almost entirely on building for its financial success. Developers loved this county. Even commissioners in Palm Beach County committed crimes involving real estate and a few are in prison. Now that building is in the tanker, Commissioners in Lake County want to give preferential treatment by easing impact fees to the building industry, those directly responsible for the disaster--the unsold inventory from overbuilding of residential units that will last until the end of the decade.

Read more about it HERE.

With a foreclosure rate of 1:4, Florida has the highest in the nation. With the unemployment rate growing, we haven't seen anything yet.

Unlike Lake County, Lake Worth's residential neighborhoods are built out. We are, however, heading in the right direction by our determination to develop the Park of Commerce and restore our most valuable treasure, the Lake Worth beach. We have made tremendous strides in making our Golf Course profitable and we now, once again, have our own golf professional.

We have improved our local parks and we have a dedicated and talented recreational department. We have a vibrant downtown and we are promoting our city and all its attractions and now have the Downtown Cultural Alliance. We reopened our Lake Worth Museum that is packed with valuable historical documents and we are preparing for our centennial in just a few years. Commissioner Mulvehill is internationally promoting our city as a tourist destination and a perfect place to own a home.

It takes responsible leadership to allow our city to grow and prosper. These, as well as many other decisions, not to mention proceeding with our own Reverse Osmosis plant, were made by Commissioners Mulvehill, Golden and Jennings and will eventually turn our city around by attracting home buyers and businesses thus boosting our economy.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Young Great Blue

Standing at the edge of the water just a short while ago, and this young guy flew in.
The sunset was not spectacular but he sure is!

Let's Enact Sensible Gun Laws

"Did you know, in most states, people can walk into gun shows and purchase firearms — from Glocks to AK-47s — from unlicensed sellers without a Brady criminal background check? This is legal and a currently glaring loophole within America's background check system."

One recent report I read had 105 crimes in just a matter of days in Lake Worth.

Our new Mayor said crime is down throughout Lake Worth and his new found supporters gleefully nodded in agreement. Afterall, it is they who wanted the Sheriff's Department so desperately and cost was no object. Jeff Clemens said last week that crime was down by 14% in Lake Worth and the Varela crowd cheered in triumph. This is when I took the photo of Cpt. Silva who didn't blink an eye. The only one not giving a percentage or making these sorts of statements is the Sheriff's Department.

One thing that will definitely reduce violent crime is to make it very difficult for criminals to have guns, their weapon of choice. We can start by closing one loop hole at a time and stop the insanity.

Sign the Petition

Alex Sink

For some out there who do not like computers and refuse to use e-mail, you will really be out in the cold and it will have nothing to do with our new Mayor.

Alex Sink has been cutting waste and saving resources. She continues to enact ways to save money and that's exactly what we need at the helm of our great State. Her election for Governor is one year away.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Untapped Energy Sources

Florida ranks 23rd in energy efficiency and there is no reason for this when we have all these sources.

Ken Kaye of the Sun Sentinel says,

"The Sunshine State receives enough rays to power every home from Key West to Pensacola. It sits close to a powerful ocean current, which could generate electricity. And it could draw on the winds to light up homes."

Read more of the article--click here

Block Party at the Beach

Supporting the merchants means just that...ALL of the merchants not just some of them. And this is what Lake Worth did last night with about 200 people who showed up to support all the beach merchants for the first party at the Casino, some wearing leather jackets and gloves. It was nippy.

I have to admit that I had a lot of fun. This is my favorite music and this band was superb. I have a photo of Ryan above as well as his band. If you love 50's/60's music as I do, you would have rocked with these guys.

W4CY Radio was there and did a live show before Ryan started and during the band breaks. They are located in Wellington on Lake Worth Road and their Internet radio show is ranked number 1 in the West Palm Beach area.

I want to thank the beach merchants for putting on this event and all those who helped to make it a success. Commissioner Mulvehill was there to relax and have fun. Commissioner Maxwell arrived and made a little speech. If you missed this block party, look for the next one when the bonfires on the beach begin in January.

Our Economy needs a structural change

After more than 1 million concerned Floridians signed petitions, Florida Hometown Democracy/Amendment 4 will be on the November 2010 ballot.

Read what the Orlando Sentinel has to say. Click HERE

Dolphin/ethics Issue critical for Lake Worth

Comment Up

Democracy is alive and well in Lake Worth. That is why most of us have chosen to live here. The Post's patronizing attitude toward citizens regarding the issue of dolphins in the runoff mayoral election is an insult. It furthers the mistaken view that Lake Worth is somehow dysfunctional because members of its population believe that there are issues of concern aside from corporate Chamber of Commerce values.

Lake Worth offers the opportunity to take a small rowboat out in the Intracoastal to see the dolphins firsthand, as we have done on many occasions.

If The Post believes this is not relevant to political considerations and that one's ethics on all levels are not important in the political debate, it is no surprise that we have the quality of life issue that we do.

Dennis and Stephanie Trudeau
Lake Worth

Friday, November 27, 2009


Just when you think there might be some justice for American taxpayers when it comes to the fraudulent activities of ACORN, the justice department gets all "moral" on us.

And even though President Obama signed into law a spending bill that included a provision that said no taxpayer funds,including funds authorized by previous legislation could be “provided to” Acorn or its affiliates, the justice department says that previous contracts can be honored.

See the opinion from the Assistant Attorney General, David Barron, for the Office of Legal Counsel. He takes it all a step further and says that existing contracts should be honored. This is sort of like some here in Lake Worth who still believe we should have Greater Bay back at our beach...or honor the Palm Beach County water contract.

Larry King Video on dolphin trafficking

Watch the video from last night's Ben Stiller and Rick O'Barry interview with Larry King.

"The biggest threat to dolphins comes from man."

Dubai World is closer than we know

Comment Up
I hope that Mayor Rene Varela’s company, Ocean Embassy, got paid by Dubai for all those captured dolphins that they shipped to Dubai World because at this moment, Dubai World has asked creditors for a six months moratorium on debt repayment on $60 billion dollars outstanding.

Dubai announced this when the markets were closed due to Thanksgiving and the EID (Muslim) holiday. The announcement was strategically done to avoid sell-offs in the market in general. Stephen Pope, Chief Global Equity Strategist at Cantor Fitzgerald told CNN, “It’s not specifically they want to destabilize western markets.” See NY Times article.

Last night CNN had on Ben Stiller and Rick O’Barry and they discussed the award winning movie, The Cove. It shows the capture of dolphins for profit off of a cove in Japan and the slaughter that ensues because of this profitable business.

Visit the Wild Dolphin Foundation and see what you can do to Save Dolphins. Check out point #11.

Happy Birthday

Comment Up

Lake Worth Bike Night's Anniversary Celebration
South Florida Bike Night

When: December 3rd From 6-10 pm

Where: Downtown Lake Worth between Dixie and Federal Hwy and also closing K Street to accommodate more vendors

Thursday, November 26, 2009

At Ease at Stand Down House

NY Times Photo

We constantly see panhandlers on major street corners with signs that sometimes say “veteran, I need a job” or other pleas for help. Our instinct is to say to ourselves, “go get lost,” “get a job,” or “get off the booze.” Every now and then we actually do reach into our pocket and give a buck or two thinking that perhaps this is really someone who needs help. But we still ignore it, usually looking the other way and leaving it as a vision of society's failure and one that we would rather forget.

Roy Foster is a man who did take it very seriously and decided to do something to help rehabilitate our veterans. He has been named CNN’s Top 10 Hero’s of 2009 and was recently awarded $25,000. He started a program with a co-partner for male veterans battling addiction and mental health problems and who have become homeless because of it.

Stand Down House is a 501 c(3) founded in 1994 and opened in Lake Worth in 2000. Foster will be featured tonight on CNN at 9pm. Read about it HERE.

Happy Thanksgiving Day

Roses in my yard
Light Pink Roses
A joy to behold, light pink roses express fun and happiness--
may you have all of that today on

Thanksgiving for me is a day to remember loved ones who have passed and being with family. Celebrating it here in Florida is a whole different feeling than when I grew up. Usually at this time in New Jersey it was always freezing perhaps even snow on the ground. There was always a fire in the fireplace. There was the big highschool football game. Directly following the game was dinner. After dinner, my grandfather was always in his easy chair reading the paper and his cigar was near-by. My Mom was across from him in her favorite chair. She was always reading a favorite book or doing a cross-word puzzle. As kids, we felt safe, secure and loved. We didn't have to express it in words.

After dinner we kids would go outside and if there was "good" snow on the ground, we would sled down the steep hill we lived on that was off of South Mountain or go ice skating at the outside man-made rink downtown. Sometimes we would roast marshmellows as we lighted leaves that were raked in a pile in the gutter just for that purpose. You see, our town was Maplewood and just about every street in it was lined with Maples. It was truly a magnificent and beautiful place. No one worried about tree canopy especially the Blue birds that nested in the Spring along with the Robins whose shell is blue--it was always exciting to find one as a kid! But I digress.

My brother and I feel very thankful for all the wonderful memories, our time growing up and all the values we learned back then. Most of all we are thankful for our family, although gone now, the very ones who really made life worth living and still do. They eventually moved to Lake Worth after vacationing here for many years, a city they always loved.

We will think of them all today with love and gratitude as we do every day and be grateful for all we have, lucky to live in this optimistic and resilient democracy in the greatest country on Earth.

May you all have a happy day.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


Photo taken in July 2009

She will be 13 months old on November 28. The Palm Beach Zoo is closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas so if you are looking for something to do this weekend, go see Maya.

Maya weighs around 65 pounds or so right now and according to the zoo's web site, she spends most of her time playing with her Mom, Nabalam.

The Zoo is opened from 9am until 5pm and located at 1301 Summit Blvd. If you have not yet been there, give yourself a treat.

Cat fight with Lois

Although as much as we try, even going so far as to incorporate an ethics policy in the future, now and then we just lose control. I know that Susan Stanton worries about the lack of civility in Lake Worth but we are not the only city that reacts emotionally. That’s what Molly Douglas, Commissioner West Palm Beach, just did when she lashed out at Mayor Lois Frankel at yesterday’s city commission meeting using the word "damn" and telling Lois she was insulting and a disgrace.

Molly is sensitive to the economy and how it has affected us all. In January her own home in Northwood Shores was going to be foreclosed. Her bank would just not work with her when her mortgage came due. Molly was outraged then and I don’t blame her. Afterall, she, as were all of us, part of the bank bailouts and her bank was one that received stimulus money.

Her “cat” fight with Lois was about a business tax recently implemented that provided no cap on how much inventory can be taxed. One of the local auto businesses, Braman, has challenged it as his tax went up 602%. Lois wanted Braman to pay the new tax anyway and be reimbursed later if the tax was lowered.


Guest blogger--

Cesar Figueroa

Snowden Drive
Lake Worth

In 1960 we had 4 square feet of commercial retail space per every man, woman and child. In year 2005 we had 38 square feet for everyone in the country (today it's more). Every municipality wants to bring more business to its town or city at tax payers' expense without ever thinking long term. Why? Most local politicians are unfit for the job and are too greedy to think past themselves and their special interests.

The CRA of Lake Worth just gave $500,000.00 to Publix super market chain to build a small Publix store in downtown Lake Worth which will cost the city much more tax payer money before it's over. We already have a Publix in Lake Worth. And of course, Publix will more then likely get other sweet deals like not paying property taxes or reduced taxes or paying at a lower rate or lower utility rates so that those who advocated for a downtown grocery store can say that Publix is creating some jobs at less then $10.00 an hour wage with the exception of 3 or 4 in management.

We already have 3 big food markets in Lake Worth--Publix on Lake Worth Road, Sedano's on North Dixie HWY, Universal Supermarket on South Dixie HWY and President Super Market has had a COMING SOON sign on the empty store on 14th Ave and Dixie.

We also need to consider 4 smaller Spanish food stores--8th Ave North and Dixie, 3rd Ave North and Dixie, 3rd Ave South and Dixie, and 5th Ave South. So why are we so desperate to have another grocery store? And to top that off, just over the WPB line there is a Winn-Dixie in the empty Palm Coast Plaza and to the South in Lantana we have a Publix and Winn-Dixie and a Bodegon Spanish supermarket too.

When you see a Target, Walmart, Lowe's, Home Depot, or other big chain stores you need to know that they received a minimum of millions of dollars in local subsidies (tax payer’s money) that goes a long way to explain how our local economies have been destroyed. Why should a small retail store struggle to eke out a living in a tiny store when it is taxed to subsidize the competition that is so enabled to undercut it? Go figure.

We have nothing but empty space not only in Lake Worth but all over the country of all types--residential, industrial and commercial and we still want to build more. We have over shot ourselves; nothing we do works anymore.

Sheriff Lieutenant arrested

Drunk and driving his car off the road, Sheriff's Lieutenant arrested while on the stretcher.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Time for a Paint Job?

Comment Up

What a Turkey

I just read where Que just gave out turkeys to the poor for Thanksgiving. This is indeed a gesture worth acknowledging. He apparently has been doing this for four years. It is afterall, charitable and a tax right off, and in the perfect place to promote his business. Well, why not. Elections are over. Business is probably down. And I am a cynic.

To all the phonies out there who pray and look to the heavens when convenient but lie on any given day, may you know this, you are loved anyway. On the outside and for the photo op you look pious and good. Only God knows.

For all you religious phonies out there, Jesus hates phoniness but he gave his life for phony hypocrites. Personally I don’t think any phony is worth giving your life for. Church going phonies are the worst. The end of being a church going phony is to admit the sin.

If you need a turkey, see Q. If you need a printing company that will treat you right, see my blog on printing companies.

Allen West on illegals

"Illegal immigration adversely affects our economy, jobs, national security, crime levels, education, and healthcare. One could make the case that it is singularly the most devastating issue for America. Yet our elected officials say and do nothing to rectify the situation."

Read more of what Allen West, candidate for Congress District 22, has to say about illegal immigration and amnesty.

Illegals are also Criminals

Dan Moffett says that illegal immigrants are taxpayers too and that we should not criticize the resource centers for coddling them. I criticize these centers for pulling a scam on citizens of the United States. I denounce those elected officials for allowing them to exist. I condemn the government for allowing them to operate through government grants and providing jobs for illegals, an act against the laws of our country.

Today his article was about The Mentoring Center. He interviewed its director, Lisa Wilson who told him that it was successful in restoring a “large measure of order” in our downtown. Did Dan drive down Lake and Lucerne? She goes on to say that hundreds of workers have completed classes in computers and cake decorating. Cake decorating! Ok, whatever floats your boat. That illegal won’t even be able to get a job at our new Publix’s bakery department.

The truth of the matter is illegal aliens have cost this country a fortune and it continues to cost us millions just to have these centers. It is totally irrelevant that they have worked here and have contributed to payroll taxes that have NOT been reported by the employers. The employer is also breaking the law. Dan bemoans the fact that most of these workers have fraudulent social security cards and therefore can’t collect benefits so the money never leaves the system. Fraudulent social security cards! This is ok by Dan. He also says that the illegal immigrant pays the same amount of sales tax that citizens do. So?

No matter how you try to justify this federal crime, you can’t. There is no justification for breaking the law. The Mentoring Center must go. Is Dan still on the Editorial Board?

People in Jupiter don't like it anymore than those of us in Lake Worth

Monday, November 23, 2009

Illegal Victims of 9-11

There are 14 spouses along with their children of illegal immigrants that were killed at the World Trade Center on 9-11. They were given a temporary one year visa after the terrorist attack, but they want to stay forever.

"The 14 are the spouses or children of workers who were killed when the twin towers fell on Sept. 11, 2001, many of them while on the job at the Windows on the World restaurant. All received payments from the September 11 Victim Compensation Fund ranging from $875,000 to $4.1 million, but because they are in the country illegally, they have lived in fear of being deported. And because they do not have proper identification, it can be difficult to get a driver’s license, a job or a place at school."

If these people have been here for these past 8 years at least, why have they not tried to become a citizen? Why do they want the whole enchilada without going through the proper steps? Read more about it HERE.

RFQ on Casino

RFQ on Casino Design

Block Party at the Beach

Comment Up
Let's all meet at the Beach on Friday night and swing to 50's/60's tunes!

Neighbors cry Foul about Fowl

Comment Up
Every now and then you spot one of these birds as you drive down one of our streets west of Dixie. There used to be some in Tropical Ridge...still are I guess. Just recently a woman was cited on an Ordinance violation for having a chicken and a rooster in her yard on South L Street. Neighbors had complained about all the noise. She was raising them and was issued a notice to appear in Court.

People are doing their jobs in Lake Worth. The problem is there are so many violations. Be diligent. When you see something in your neighborhood, go on-line and download the on-line complaint form and mail to 1900 2nd Ave North, LW, 33461. You must sign your name. Once the City gets bombarded by code violations, it will be forced to reconsider its position.

We can no longer afford to look the other way to these deplorable conditions. We have been under siege by absentee landlords, a few slum landlords, people who have invaded our city from different cultures and those who have no pride in their community or where they live.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Sid Dinerstein flips for flipper

Dinerstein said he's never met Varela, but he backed him because McNamara was supported by anarchist City Commissioner Cara Jennings.

Read the article

This is a great reason why I'm not a Republican, however, Democrat Flipper also flipped. So it just goes to show you that you can't trust a politician. Sid says he spent his own money. Sure you did, Sid. We believe that. I wonder what he thinks about dolphins.

Graffiti/Trash in Tropical Ridge

Comment Up

At Lake Osborne

Taken Saturday, November 21

I agree with Rene. We have a wonderful little city. Every day I tell myself how lucky I am to live in Lake Worth and on Lake Osborne, a fresh water lake, which spreads nearly 400 acres.

Over the years, this lake system has been greatly impacted by human activities. It has been extensively modified and reduced in size by dredge and fill activities from urban/residential development. Several lakes were completely filled and built upon. We want to protect our wildlife and our waterfront for the public and that includes the rights of way to the Intracoastal Waterway.

There is a wonderful 4.5 mile walking/bike path.

Just a few years ago we had many birds. Now our wildlife, that was never in harm's way from humans, is disappearing at the lake and on the 726 acres of John Prince Park. It is rare to find ducks or even see a turtle anymore. As our immigrant population explodes, they are seen with nets at our lake either walking in small groups or pulling up in cars usually in the early evening.

Even though some of these creatures are exotic and/or unprotected, we should respect our wildlife as well as our local and County laws. What these immigrants are doing is illegal and for us to look the other way is wrong.

Appeal falls Flat

This morning Cara Jennings’ Letter to the Editor was published responding to the Post’s charges (and others) that essentially she had a heck of a nerve to use her position to threaten a business.

Her explanation is reasonable and acceptable until you read down to the middle and then we are subjected to the same old line—accusing all of us who are against illegal immigration as “racists” or worse. Her charge that we are using the illegal immigration problem as just an excuse for “hate groups” to veil their real intent of racism is ludicrous.

This offensive letter made everything worse. Jennings had an opportunity to convince the public that she did not use her position to threaten a business owner but instead she went over the top of reason and common sense and twisted the facts to suit her personal beliefs.

Saturday, November 21, 2009


Comment Up
Naughty McBig is 1.5 years old now and full of energy. He and Katie stopped by this morning before his adventure to the Dog Park.

The Casino is the Key

Rene Varela said that we were a city in crisis but that he was optimistic and that there is so much that’s great about Lake Worth.

We are all optimistic, not only about our city but about our nation as a whole. As we grow government and get deeper in debt, there is still a ray of hope amongst us all. Having hope is human nature rather than going around thinking doom and gloom all day long. We vote people into office with the expectation that they can and will solve our problems. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there are 19,354 "incorporated places" in the United States and they are all feeling the pain of this recession, many in "crisis." Lake Worth is just one of them that is struggling but we are still financially sound...per Mark Bates.

In two months we will be that much closer to restoring our Casino. Once work starts on that and our Casino is finished, we all will have new found pride in Lake Worth. Once we market it correctly along with our beautiful pier, swimming pool and golf course, tourists will be coming here in droves. Businesses will be coming to Lake Worth as well and it will not only be buzzing downtown but we will be on our way to prosperity.

People will be buying into our city and by increasing homeownership, the slums and blight will begin to disappear. Property values will once again soar. Nationally, there have been a lot of costly programs to pump the economy and produce jobs. So far, they have failed. There's always a bright side. The dollar is at one of its lowest points and this should stimulate new buying with cash pouring in from global markets. Tourists have contributed $142 billion to our national economy. We will get a lot of those dollars here.

Lake Worth is going to recover quicker than the nation once our Casino is restored. McNamara had this vision and he was right. We will then see reduced taxes and reduced fees for services. When our Reverse Osmosis plant is finished, we will hold the cards for the most precious resource in the world. Our Utility is giving reliable service and it is still affordable for homeowners. In four more years it will be even cheaper once we exit FMPA. We need the Gulfstream Hotel to open.

These are the things that will allow Lake Worth to be healthy and vibrant. These are the programs that your present Commission has been working on for Lake Worth. Perhaps when these goals are completed, we will all be able to come together with a common ground and finally no longer be a city in "crisis" or believing that development is the only way to improve our financial health. We will be able to keep our small town charm.

State Must Enforce the Rules

The following is from the Orlando Sentinel written by Florida Hometown Democracy friend, Sandy Walters.

Too much fiddling with comp plans

Thanks to the Sentinel for the sharp and timely article, "Sunshine State Slowdown," on Sunday.

Why is it so timely? Because Florida's "eternal era of rapid growth" that's led us straight to statewide foreclosures, economic instability, job loss, neighborhood decline and population erosion is a fire that's been fueled, in large part, by local elected officials who sloppily amend their comprehensive plans to accommodate private interests.

Local officials routinely rummage through their plans, strip away appropriate and predictable land uses and exchange them for higher densities and larger commercial areas whenever asked to do so by landowners with influence. Whether the roads are in place, whether the schools are full, whether adequate water is available. Whether there is a need for more houses and more grocery stores for these phantom new people.

The need for an increase in houses or commercial properties is supposed to be a factor, at the state level at least, in deciding whether a plan can be changed.

But too often, this rule hasn't been enforced. The results are right outside our windows.

Here's hoping the state will take a stand for strict and consistent use of the "need" criteria. It should close a loophole that allows rural areas to bypass needs assessments. It should demand up-to-date population figures before approving density increases.

The state has to enforce the rules, because too many local officials give away the farm by just changing their comp plan.

Sandra Walters, Enterprise


Friday, November 20, 2009

Mayor Rene A. Varela

Rene asked, "how did I get here?"
Varela Takes Oath

He gave credit to former Mayor Jeff Clemens, hard work and playing by the rules. He thanked his parents and to all those who helped on his campaign. He further stated that we all can come together at the end of the campaign, that he held no grudges. His goal is to improve the quality of life for all residents.

PB Post Photos

Eagle Landing

at 3:30 pm today
the Eagle will swoop down at great speed
to make the kill with its powerful talons.
Many thanks to the Lake Worth Chamber of Commerce,
The Republican Party, The Firefighter's Union,
and all other special interest groups
that made this day possible.

"Promises Are Made to be Broken"

Remember the quote, "Promises are Made to be Broken?" There are some voters that actually believe in the Varela campaign promises such as Carol on Collier. She says that she just loves Rene Varela because "he is going to bring our city together." No one knows what that means but it sounds good. Most of the Varela supporters do not want that at all. Rene has a talent of targeting his audience, saying what the people want to hear. Of the "Haves" and the Have-Nots," they want the NOTS to disappear.

Between residences and businesses, the largest amount of taxes are paid by homeowner’s here in Lake Worth. Part of the special interests that helped Varela get elected are our businesses and it seems that he has promised EQUAL ELECTRIC RATES for residential and commercial. He has PROMISED this! But I read this in the LW Herald.

Now one of his campaign promises was to provide economic stability for the residents. He also said that he wanted to make our community affordable. These two promises were made over and over again. If we have equal utility rates, how will this happen when residential rates are now $30 less than commercial enterprises per 1,000 KWH? We have homeowners who can’t afford their electric bill as it is now.

Does this maybe have something to do with the "re-engineering" of our utility plant and building a new one that he has talked about? We have a bond debt that pertains to our present Utility System of $66,000,000 (that's MILLIONS) that would make it financially impossible to build a new plant.

Perhaps this is what Varela means about "green" energy.

Another quote to remember is, A truer test of character cannot be found than when a promise is kept!

Remarkable Quote

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In a statement to the Lake Worth Herald,
Rene Varela said,
"We will overcome the 3-2. People will stand up and make our commission more accountable."

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Foreign Film next Wednesday

Popcorn and a Movie

Nov 25 at 8pm
Mother Earth Coffee and Gifts
410 2nd Ave N

This French film comedy made in 1964 is called "Weekend" and is full of action and laughs.

Our Beach

Stopped over to the beach for awhile today and ran into Rachel West. She told me that the RFQ on the design of the Casino is going out tomorrow. Hopefully by this time in 60 days we will have some design submissions and we can start to finally go forward on our Casino renovation.

Seagull coming in for a landing on our Casino roof

The Mandate

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One of our Realtors around town commented on the Post article this morning regarding Varela and said that Varela had a "mandate." Unfortunately, no one really knows what the Varela platform is. There was never a solution that any voter rallied around that got him elected. We do, however, know what he has said.

Rene says:

  • I’ll fight to hold the line on taxes by diversifying the local economy to expand the tax base.
  • I’ll work hard to create high-quality jobs by focusing on green, clean technologies to attract new businesses to our city.
  • I'll save our natural resources.
  • I want to shore up the Casino. We can't afford to restore it.
  • I’ll streamline governmental regulations for small business owners.
  • I’ll make government more efficient.
  • I’ll balance the budget and live within our means.
  • I'll re-engineer our Utilities.
  • I’ll work as hard as you do.

Ok, so that’s the "mandate" that catapulted him to the Mayoral position? These are nothing but typical campaign promises. Where is the platform? Where are the solutions? This is NO mandate. He won; that is what he did.

Police crime stats from yesterday

It is never quiet in Lake Worth but we're "safer."

One day crime stats

Breaking & Entering.... 8
Theft.... 5
Other.... 14
Sexual Offense.... 1
Quality Of Life.... 7
Traffic.... 5
Proactive Policing.... 1

Varela to be Sworn In Friday

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Laurence and Deborah Smith at Havana Hideout

Rene Varela will be sworn in on Friday at City Hall at 3:30pm. Read the Post article and make a comment.

Lake Worth campaigns are no longer just about door knocking. This is a job that doesn't even pay minimum wage. It has become very sophisticated here and now in order to win, you have to have the money to hire a lean machine and have a good organization and campaign manager behind you. You must network and build alliances. It has become standard to raise $20,000 or more. This election was very expensive. Rene had a balance of $6,720.75 before the run-off. Varela raised $23,105 just for the run-off with $13,200 of that total a loan. He received 1,629 votes. It would be cheaper to advertise and give every voter $10 just to vote for you.

It is ironic to me that some say Laurence ran a negative campaign. He didn't. If you want to call dolphin trafficking negative, then so be it. I call it the truth. That is not negative campaigning. What was negative, however, were things I have already mentioned on my blog done by people supporting Varela, not necessarily Rene himself. Negative was the smear campaign done on the Town Toilet. Candidates have some control but certainly are not responsible for every over zealous supporter. Knowing that supporters are going out with certain literature, robo calls from City Hall etc. and looking the other way does not let you off the hook for dirty tricks.

Laurence McNamara did call Rene Varela election night but he did not answer his cell phone. Congratulations were left on the answering machine but no return call has been received by McNamara from Rene. Is he starting this "out in the cold" promise already?

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Town Toilet Needs a new Plumber

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Full of Chit

The Lake Worth Run-Off - No More of "Them"

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From the beginning, it was never about waste. It was never about corruption. It was not about who had the most experience in the city or who was more qualified. It was all about “us versus them.” From those candidates who ran, there was no other choice but Rene and a full frontal attack was in place even going so far as to form a corporation with no transparency for the sole purpose of funneling money into his campaign for attack fliers full of mis-truths. Then, of course, there was the robo call from The City of Lake Worth phone. There were outside people, Republicans and professional advice. It was about strategy and dancing the issues.

As one voter said to me, "I am voting for Varela; look at the city; look at the mess.” It was all about change. It didn’t matter what McNamara had done for the City or continues to do to this day. Anything was better than what we had. Anything was better than anyone who had ever supported Cara Jennings. Another voter at Havana Hideout said, “McNamara came with different baggage.” The McNamara “baggage” was far more important to these voters than dolphin trafficking or lack of experience or that this was a stepping stone to bigger and greater things. One supporter yesterday said, "If he can win in THIS city, he can win anywhere." They wanted someone for whom they knew nothing, who had no alliance with Cara Jennings and had a wife that was demure.

Another voter observed that Varela followed the Obama platform. Varela networked this past year and built up alliances he never had last year when he ran for commissioner. This was a goal and his only job. He was going to win this time around. His future in politics depended upon it.

Unlike Obama, however, he was not loyal to those who helped him in the past. He dropped them like a hot potato and if they were around this time, that would be okay but it was not important. He had bigger fish to fry. He, instead, made friends with his enemies and kept them all close. He said all the right things to the gay community, to Tropical Ridge, to the Lake Worth Democratic Club that abandoned him last year and to all the haters of Cara Jennings. He learned to be a politician, something he so desperately wants to be. He got Loretta, a known McNamara hater on his side for the run-off.

Herman Robinson was quoted as saying in today’s paper that he thought “Rene will be able to bring us all together so we have a less of an us-and-them attitude.” To me, just the opposite occurred in this election. Herman forgot that Rene said he was going to leave us out in the cold. This appealed to all those who helped him win. These voters that swayed the vote were saying, NO MORE OF THEM.

It is all about perception and the voters took a chance on someone they did not know instead of someone they did.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The People have Spoken

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Mayor - LAKE WORTH (Vote For 1)

14 of 14 Precincts Reporting

Laurence McNamara
Rene' A. Varela


Supervisor making the Rounds

Rachel West, Assistant to Supervisor of Elections, Susan Bucher, and Helen Marino
Our Savior Lutheran Church


Barry Freedman

Less than 200 voters so far at Finnish Pentecostal Church

Firefighters Union

Two Palm Beach County Fire Rescue employees were at my Precinct this morning working for their endorsed candidate, Rene Varela. One was from Jupiter and the other was from Palm Springs. When I asked them if they understood any of the issues or if they could answer any questions regarding Rene Varela on his platform, they said "No, we will just refer people to Rene." They did not know him and had never met him and were told by their Union to show up.

I asked Rene about the robo call last night coming from City Hall Fire Department on his behalf and he said he knew nothing about it. I then asked him about Sid Dinerstein, Chairman of the Republican Party of Palm Beach County behind a robo call for him and asked him if he had "flipped" again. We have the Republican Party working for a Democrat in a Lake Worth election. It just keeps getting more and more bizarre. What IS going on?

Letter to the Editor

Scott Maxwell wrote the Editor of the Palm Beach Post.

New commissioner fights for Lake Worth

In response to the recent letter to the editor titled "Lake Worth candidates are anti-immigrant" it is clear the writer has taken "out of context" to a new level.

My campaign was focused on lowering our taxes and utility bills, eliminating blight, reducing crime and holding landlords accountable for providing clean, sanitary and safe housing for every Lake Worth resident — regardless of their legal status. As a former city commissioner and longtime neighborhood activist, I respectfully believe that I am much more in tune with the needs of Lake Worth's neighborhoods than the letter-writer, a resident of Jupiter . We must make Lake Worth affordable and sustainable again .


Lake Worth

Congratulations to Scott Maxwell for doing what it took to win and for running a clean campaign. I appreciate that a lot particularly now that he represents my District in the City of Lake Worth. Maybe occasionally we might get a phone call. Maybe we might get an e-mail returned. Time will tell.

Scott is known as anti-illegal alien. Not once was this mentioned by him during the campaign. Even those in back of his campaign who came from all over the place to help him win, not only physically but monetarily, must have at least asked themselves why Scott was totally silent on this issue and the reason. Afterall, this was why they all rallied behind him, not to mention the Republican Party in this non-partisan race.

Lake Worth Crime Stats

Rene Varela says that crime has dropped throughout our City...but has it? He has appealed to the crowd that has been caught up in the rapture...the crowd that says money should not be a problem because we want the Cadillac of services. But what are the facts? sent out the stats on crime in Lake Worth, listed below. These figures are for one week ending November 15.

Crime Stats

  • Breaking & Entering....10
  • Theft....11
  • Sexual Offense....1
  • Qualify of Life....18
  • Proactive Policing....17
  • Robbery....3
  • Other....41
  • Assault....10
  • Traffic....16
  • Property Crime....3
What happened to the murder that happened just south of 10th Avenue North on Dixie Highway this past Friday night? Do we assume that it falls under "other" or perhaps "robbery?"

No one is against the Sheriff. Rene Varela keeps saying that crime is down. I say prove it. There is no doubt that there are more safety vehicles on the street. That has never been the argument. There is no doubt that response time is quicker. No argument. But crime is rampant. And we do have to worry about how we are going to pay the tab. That is what "financial responsibility" is.

Is it responsible to throw up your hands in despair and get rid of the problem by outsourcing it not only with our police but every problem that comes up? We worry about money when fixing the beach but do not worry about paying for premium services with the Sheriff. Why not? This takes half our budget.

Is it responsible not to fix the problem internally by changing management? We could have done the same thing--change shifts and quicker response time.

Is it responsible to go with the Sheriff when you have been told that it is going to be very difficult to pay for it and will stress our budget in the coming years? Even City Manager Susan Stanton says it was not a good idea. Now it is costing millions more a year for a city that has two nickels.

Laurence McNamara is NOT against the Sheriff. He IS for making correct and responsible decisions. That is what a leader does. He does not act on emotions.