Saturday, April 30, 2011
Dear Library Board and Friends of the Lake Worth Library,
The last few weeks have been very challenging for the library staff when we received notice of the City of Lake Worth's planned staffing layoffs on March 21st. I have spoken with the City Manager, Joseph Kroll the Public Services Manager, and the Human Resources manager. I will keep you up to date if plans change, but as of today, April 29th they are:
1. All library staff, except for myself, will be laid off at 5pm on Saturday, May 14th.
2. The library will then close for 2 to 4 weeks beginning Monday, May 16th.
3. One full-time (40 hours/wk) and Four part-time staff (25 hours/wk) will then be hired back.
4. The library is now recruiting volunteers to help support the library. A cadre of 50 volunteers is needed, each person working one 2-4 hour shift per week. Over the next 5 months the library staff will need to train enough volunteer staff to keep the library open 40 hours per week. Attached are the volunteer job descriptions.
5. On October 1st the library will then loose 2 of the above 4 part-time staff. The library will be loosing 210 staffing hours per week so volunteers will be critical to the continued operation of the library.
6. On Oct. 1 their will be 2 full-time and 2 part-time library staff.
7. In a meeting on Tuesday, April 26th the City Manager rejected the Library Board's proposal of using $40,000 from the library's trust funds for the materials budget of the library. She DOES NOT wish to use ANY monies from the library's trust funds to run the library when it is most needed. She stated that the monies should be retained to build a new library in the future. This additional funding would have given the library enough funds to retain the above 2 part-time staff who will be laid off on Oct. 1.
8. Appeals to use the library Trust funds must be done by the Library Board, Friends and the library users to the City Commission during the regular commission meetings the 1st and 3rd Tues. of the month at 6pm at the Lake Worth City Hall. The next meeting is Tuesday, May 3th at 6pm.
9. The library board is scheduled to do the annual library update presentation to the City of Lake Worth Commission on Tuesday, May 3rd at 6pm.
10. The library WILL have a children's Summer Reading Program (SRP). The Friends of the Library will be hiring laid off library staff to run the SRP including a 4 week Spanish Summer Reading Program.
Library Services Supervisor
Lake Worth Public Library
15 North M St.
Lake Worth, FL 33460
FAX (561) 586-1750
207 S. E St
127 S. E St
509 N E St
418 N D St
This house sold in June 2005 for $375,000. DEUTSCHE BANK TRUST COMPANY AMERICAS TRUSTEE took title for $40,100 on August 20, 2010. The property was appraised at $60,904 in 2010. It consists of 4 units with a total square footage of 2,333.
House Bill 7129 and Senate Bill 1122.
The House bill is a done deal. The House passed it on April 21 on a vote of 86-31, largely along party lines. Now it is up to the Senate to decide whether to go along.
Here are some major points of the House bill:
• Local governments no longer have to consider the need for roads, schools, parks and recreation when they permit growth. They can, but they don't have to.
• Local governments will be able to change their "comprehensive plan" whenever they want to allow growth.
• The state's power to review the decisions by local government will be reduced and speeded up. The state cannot take the side of citizens who are challenging a local growth decision.
• Local governments will be more limited in what they can ask developers to pay for.
• To make sure that there is never another citizen revolt as in St. Pete Beach, the law forbids any community in Florida from holding a popular election on growth decisions.
• There will be an automatic seven-year extension of approval of all major developments, known as "developments of regional impact." There are special protections to protect phosphate and lime rock mining.
Read more of what Howard Troxler of the St. Petersburg Times has to say about Growth Management and the Republicans who are gutting it.
Friday, April 29, 2011
The liberal Palm Beach Post likes to print Sam Goodstein's Letters to the Editor. Sam, as you remember, was Mayor Rene Varela's campaign treasurer and is a member of the Democratic Party and its club here in Lake Worth. Another one was published in today's paper. In it he slams the wealthy and mocks them unmercifully.
The last time I saw Sam he was at the Commission chamber and wanted me to move so that he could sit in my seat. I told him "no." Sit somewhere else. Different rules apply to Communists.
This attitude against the wealthy bothers me greatly. This is a capitalistic society. We are not Socialists or Communists who want to reward people the same for their ability or lack of as does Goodstein. Those who work hard reap the rewards of their labor and ingenuity. That's how it should be. It is fashionable among these people to sneer at the free enterprise system, the very system that has allowed us to be the greatest country on earth.
The top 10 percent of households in income are responsible for at least a quarter of all the money contributed to charity, and households with total wealth exceeding $1 million give about half of all charitable donations.
From Wiki Answers: Some quick statistics: The top 1% of earners pay 21.20% of all taxes paid at an average rate of 24%, the top 2 - 5% of earners pay 14.55% of all taxes at an average of 18% (Top 5% pay @36% of all tax) The bottom 50% pay 3% of all tax collected at an average rate of 2.98%.
The upper 50% of the wage earners pay @97% of all tax collections, and the lower ones only @3%. The upper of the upper pay a disproportionate share of that too, the Top 1% of earners = 37% of taxes paid, the next bracket 2-5% accounts for another 20%. So about 57% paid by the top 5%. Especially as this is for Personal Income Tax only, and many of the more wealthy have much of the income taxed (some would say double taxed) by in the Corporate returns of those corporations they control/own.
The problems we have here are all those who think they deserve everything without working for it. They want to take it all away from those who have worked hard, who have saved, who are giving back to society, who are creating jobs, who are innovative and yes, those who are grateful and give back to those less fortunate by huge contributions to charity and pay a lot in taxes.
Yesterday we spoke of Javier del Sol and his protest of a penny a pound on labor costs regarding tomatoes. He wants the growers to give each picker one cent more for each pound, equating to what could be one penny for each tomato they pick. Have you weighed tomatoes lately? Today it is far more than a measly penny.
There was a period where the cost of tomatoes had skyrocketed to the price of insanity. I stopped buying them. Consumers looked to Florida tomatoes after the freeze in Mexico. Little did I or anyone know that there was actually a tomato mafia that stole entire truckloads while the price kept climbing. Florida tomatoes were ripe for the picking. By the time we got to buy them, the price was off the chart.
It still is.
Read the story about the mysterious case of the produce bandits.
Tomatoes have tasted bla for years. Give me one of Vice Mayor Suzanne Mulvehill's homegrown tomatoes or a Jersey tomato any day...the best!
Thursday, April 28, 2011
There is no way on this Earth that we will agree with someone 100% of the time. This is one of those times.
Guess who said--(Speaking about our Florida Legislation abandoning immigration reform) “These folks work. They spend money in the community. They pay taxes in the community.”
Answer--Commissioner Christopher McVoy.
He really thinks there will be racial profiling and wants Tallahassee to forget about any immigration reform. Gads. Is there some sort of payback going on? Why would one of our commissioners want to be there? Why is Lake Worth involved?
Read about it HERE.
Final Order entered by the Department of Community Affairs accepting the Administrative Law Judge’s (ALJ) Recommended Order finding our Ear Based Amendment in compliance. The DOAH case is now concluded.
CLICK HERE TO READ THE FINAL ORDER
Naturally anything that goes on in Lake Worth seems to bring protests, demonstrations, whatever and this is the biggest event since the "coming." Former candidate for Mayor Javier del Sol was protesting outside the new Lake Worth Publix this morning. It was all about one cent. He wanted Publix to join with the Campaign for Fair Food and pay a penny a pound more for tomatoes to raise farmworker wages.
The Coalition of Immokalee Workers’ Campaign for Fair Food aims to improve farmworkers' sub-poverty wages; combat forced labor in the agricultural industry; and demand that corporate food retailers use their market power to ensure more humane labor standards from their Florida tomato suppliers.
CRA, stop patting yourself on the back and get back the $500,000. Read about the opening of Publix in Lake Worth here.
Huge art plaque erected on the north side of the building next to where (correction--) Jane's Cheap Furniture used to be in the 300 block of Federal west side of street. Take a look at this piece...really spectacular.
Collusion, corruption, incompetence, complicity, ineptitude or just a party to outright fraud? Why will the Florida Department of Environmental Protection not enforce the permits they issue?
Another beach renourishment project and more bogus data as the contractors circumvent project mandated environmental permit monitoring and the FDEP turns a blind eye; afraid or unable to catch the perpetrators as they lay waste to miles of coastal habitat.
This years poster child for ecosystem destruction is the Hillsboro beach renourishment project. The project permit requires the contractor to limit the amount of coral-killing silt generated by monitoring turbidity levels. The standard which they must not exceed is 29 turbidity units (NTU) above background beyond a point 150 meters from the beach sand placement area, or about 492 feet.
For weeks Reef Rescue, other groups and individuals have been supplying FDEP with evidence of noncompliance. In fact, since 2005 Reef Rescue has documented contractor fraud on five separate beach renourishment projects. But the Sunday, March 27, display of a total disregard for permit compliance and habitat destruction goes to Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Company for creating one of the worst silt plumes we have witnessed. So expansive, it engulfed two South Florida coastal counties and stretched from Hillsboro Beach to north of Boca Raton.
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
The Palm Beach County Democratic Party now plans on interfering with Allen West's Town Hall Meeting tonight.
They say: Yesterday's town hall in Ft. Lauderdale made the national news. They loved it when one got hauled off to jail in handcuffs. We are finally driving the message! Come tonight and make your voice heard! Actually is was an orchestrated effort by partisan opponents to turn up the heat on the freshmen congressman heading into the 2012 election campaign.
The rest of the Democrat's message:
MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD AT ALLEN WEST'S TOWN HALL IN BOCA - TODAY!
Are you fired up that Congressman Allen West recently voted for the Paul Ryan Republican budget which eliminates YOUR Medicare (and your children's), while giving MORE tax breaks to the wealthy and corporations, and huge taxpayer subsidies to the oil companies? If you are FED UP like most Americans (even the Tea Party), JOIN US as we make our voices heard in opposition to this budget at his Palm Beach County Town Hall in front of the Mae Volen Center in Boca Raton at 5:00PM.
When: Wednesday, April 27th 7:00 pm -8:30 pm (protest first at 5:00 PM)
Protest to start outside at 5:00 pm, then will proceed into the town hall to ask the congressman VERY tough questions.
WE NEED EVERYBODY (ESPECIALLY SENIORS) AT THIS TOWN HALL MEETING - MEDIA WILL BE PRESENT!
Where: The Mae Volen Center
1515 West Palmetto Park Road Boca Raton
Bring Signs (especially that say "HANDS OFF MY MEDICARE!")
Come with good questions (especially about the hypocrisy of cutting Medicare and education funding while giving big tax breaks to corporations)
Show your passion!
Be aggressive getting in the question line - lines fill with people early and we want YOU to ask your question!
Make your voices heard!
Democrats are desperate and sore losers.
Past incompetence is clearly the cause of our current situation with the Regional Sewer System billing problem. There is no question mark (?) about it. It was discovered in 2005 that 7 entities owed us money for our failure to bill for Renewal and Replacement charges. Until city manager Susan Stanton was hired, this serious situation and a multi-million dollar shortfall was swept under the rug. Blame can also be placed on these entities for not asking why they were not billed. They had a contract. They too, swept it under the rug.
The cities are Atlantis, Lantana, Palm Springs, Manalapan, South Palm Beach, Palm Beach as well as Palm Beach State College. Only two are paying besides Lake Worth: Palm Beach and PB State College. The cities that owe us have called for an audit and I don't blame them as the outstanding balance is $10,418,237. Payments are being held up by a majority of them until the Audit is conducted by the State. However, until these issues are resolved, the Sub-Regional fund does not have sufficient revenues to maintain operations--this fund's unrestricted reserves will be totally depleted in less than 2 years.
According to the city manager, the impact will be two fold--
1. On the Sub-Regional customers who are paying ( Palm Beach, Palm Beach State
College, City of Lake Worth local sewer) – the rate will be increased.
2. On the City of Lake Worth – the residents will experience a rate increase on their Sewer
bills, in order for the City to pay the increased Sub-Regional costs.
Past incompetence has cost the tax payers of Lake Worth untold millions from the PB County water deal, the Sheriff Contract, the Fire merger, the Unions, and much more. We have a city manager (along with our present city commission) who is attempting to end the cycle of costly mistakes. We just have to suffer a little bit longer.
Our City Attorney, Elaine Humphreys says, "The Auditor General, or more likely the Deputy Auditor General, will be contacting us in the next few weeks to schedule interviews with City staff about the sub-regional issue. We have not been given a date certain - just that as soon as his office completes its statutory duties they will be contacting us, which is anticipated to be in the next few weeks based on conversations Carol Desmond and I had with the staff for the Joint Legislative Auditor Committee."
The sooner the better.
President Obama, speaking shortly after the White House released his "long form" birth certificate, said he hoped the action would end debate over his birthplace. He said he had been "puzzled" by the persistence of those questions and was concerned that they were creating a distraction from more serious matters.
"We're not going to be able to solve our problems if we get distracted by sideshows and carnival barkers," he said, adding, "We do not have time to discuss this."
The Washington Post
The Florida Banking and Insurance Committee, on a 6/4 vote, passed SB 1714.
GENERAL BILL by Hays
Citizens Property Insurance Corporation; Provides that certain residential structures are not eligible for coverage by the corporation after a certain date. Requires policies issued by the corporation to include a provision that prohibits policyholders from engaging the services of a public adjuster. Prohibits the corporation from levying certain assessments with respect to a year's deficit until the corporation has first levied a specified surcharge. Requires owners of properties in Special Flood Hazard Areas to maintain a separate flood insurance policy after a certain date, etc.
- What this means is windstorm coverage will be able to rise at a rate of 25% a year.
- Prohibits Citizens from LOWERING premiums. Have you ever heard of such a thing?
- Prohibits Citizens from insuring ANY new coastal construction after June 1. (Est of I-95).
- Require homeowners to purchase windstorm coverage from another company beginning in 2015.
- Prohibits Citizens from insuring homes worth more than $1 million effective January 2012; prohibit coverage of homes worth more than $750,000 in 2014; prohibit of homes worth more than $500,000 in year 2016.
- Assess customers at 1.5 times the rate of private insurance customers to help pay off Citizen's claims.
Originally, my condo building was with State Farm and after 40 years they dropped our coverage...They said that they could not afford to take the risk. After zero claims, I guess we were rated a loser. We were forced into Citizens as NO OTHER COMPANY WOULD INSURE us. We were not alone and we were not protected by our elected officials or the Insurance Commissioner. Now with this latest proposal coming out of Tallahassee, will we be forced to be self-insured altogether? We just had a sewer pipe break and our expensive insurance policy did not cover any of the damage.
Governor Scott looks to curb Citizens.
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
Protesters in Lake Worth will demonstrate in Tallahassee against the Immigration bill.
One of the protesters said, "Proposals in the Florida House and Senate would allow different kinds of insults to be hurled in my direction." Yes indeed.
Remember our Shuffleboard Court Building? Remember our shuffleboard courts? Remember how they trashed both? The courts are beyond repair and the City will not pay for new courts. They will soon be removed. Enough said.
Helen Marino strolled the beach last evening. She reported that there were globs of oil north of the Lake Worth beach and the sand was streaked with it. She thought that she was careful but when she returned home, she immediately took off her sandals at the door and did not check her feet. Too bad because one foot had a glob of oil on it and she tracked it all over her carpet.
Helen's reaction--I needed an excuse to replace this old carpeting; it took an oil spill to do it.
A few weeks ago, a Palm Beach County jury awarded 87-year old Mary Tullo of Lake Worth, Florida $4.5 million in her lawsuit against four tobacco companies in the death of her husband Dominick Tullo, a lifelong smoker who was "addicted" to nicotine.
Read the rest of the story.
Good thing I wasn't on that Jury as I have never believed nicotine is an addiction (no matter what "experts" say). What is the addiction is the habit of reaching for that smoke-- at least that was the situation in my case having smoked a pack a day for 30 years. Deciding it was a stupid thing to do, stopped it cold. It was all mind over matter. I know, there are few who will agree with me and more who won't. Those with no will-power love to tell everyone that they are addicted and therefore can not quit, no siree bob.
According to Israel 21c, everyone has been assuming it's an addiction for years, but now compelling new research from Israel suggests that smokers find it hard to give up cigarettes because they are a habit, not an addiction.
In a new study, Dr. Reuven Dar, of Tel Aviv University, found that the intensity of cravings for cigarettes had more to do with the psychosocial element of smoking than with the physiological effects of nicotine as an addictive chemical.
Apparently, this jury did not consider that changing behavior and motivation might be the key. No one really forced her husband to smoke. He didn't want to address the habit that was the addiction -- change his behavior and deal with nicotine withdrawal symptoms if he even were to have any. He smoked because he liked to smoke. He died and his widow just won the jackpot. It's hard to believe that these types of cases still exist.
What we do know with certainty is that smoking harms every single organ of the body and is the direct cause of 443,000 deaths in the U.S., every year or one in five. Mrs. Tullo's husband died of lung cancer.
- Smoking causes lung cancer.
- Smoking causes lung diseases (e.g., emphysema, bronchitis, chronic airway obstruction) by damaging the airways and alveoli (i.e., small air sacs) of the lungs.
Electric Rate Reduction.
1. Public Utility Tax will go from 10% to 8% with a final goal of 6%.
2. Re-organization of Staff (lay-offs) for a savings of $525,000.
3. 3 year rate reduction cycle.
4. 25% reduction in the conservation surcharge of $2.60 to $1.95 per 1000 kwh.
Water Rate Reduction
Instead of a 11% rate increase through Budget 2012/2013--
1. Reduction to 2.5% in 2012-13; 8% in 2014-19 and reverting back to 2.5% in the 8th, 9th and 10th years.
2. Reduction to 5.25% for a 10 year period.
Monday, April 25, 2011
Dennis Koehler was elected to the county commission in 1976. He served eight years before running for Congress. He was always out and about and would talk to everyone. People loved Dennis, a former military intelligence officer who was a Viet Nam Veteran having served two tours of duty. Mr. Koehler fought for veterans' rights in South Florida and started the local Vietnam Veterans of America chapter. He would be riding the main float at the Lake Worth Veteran's Day Parades as Grand Marshal and would speak in our Bryant Park.
He was in our City Chamber last year as the attorney for Mojito's, the bar that wanted to become a nightclub.
Source: WPTV and PB Post
Well, Cara Jennings, infamous anarchist, is still around. She was quoted in Sunday's Palm Beach Post as well. Speaking on the recent immigration Bill 2040-- her gripe:
"This bill will deter certain communities from reporting crime. This bill will destroy decades of investment on the city level for community policing efforts. The trust between these communities and the police will quickly erode," said Jennings. She was speaking of Rep. William Snyder's recent proposed legislation.
Snyder said, "The conceptual framework of my bill provides enforcement only after an officer discovers, during a police investigation, that a suspect is here illegally. Nothing in the law requires that a U.S. citizen carry his or her passport. People from other countries here legally are mandated by federal law to carry proof of their legal status. My legislation will not create requirements exceeding existing federal law."
Jennings is doing what she is known for--fighting for the rights of illegal aliens and telling the immigrant community to fear the police instead of helping them understand the law.
Law enforcement is well trained. Everyone expounds on the PBSO in that regard and the PBSO enforces laws under our Constitution. Illegals will not be harassed. Jennings rhetoric is standard operating procedure from those groups supporting criminals who cross our borders illegally. What Socialists and anti-immigration protesters want us to believe is that this Bill will be a mandate to harass anyone who looks or sounds foreign.
The substance of the Bill is that it requires companies with over 100 employees to check their legal status and for law enforcement to check immigration status during criminal investigations. It is about time.
The Bill will come back to the FL Senate.
Sunday, April 24, 2011
Annie is a multi-award-winning musical that features such popular hits as It's a Hard-Knock Life and Tomorrow is a treat for the entire family!
Virtual Tour of the Holy Sepulchre
April 24, 2011
Council President Davids Rosow’s assertion “I don’t believe in government by referendum” at the April 12 Town Council meeting shows that he fails to take his oath of office seriously.
The constitutions of both the United States and Florida enshrine the right to referendum because our founders recognized that elected officials can be mis-representative of those they have been elected to represent. When taking office, Mr. Rosow swore to uphold both the United States Constitution and the Constitution of the State of Florida. His statement belies this promise.
Both Councilman Michael Pucillo and he need to recognize that the right to referendum in the two cases at issue comes from an authority higher than the Town Charter. As for using the ordinance reversal process outlined in the Town Charter, I am surprised that Town Attorney Skip Randolph countenanced that suggestion from the council when it is apparent that he would use the same proscription against referenda on five parcels or fewer (now being challenged on two levels in the respective court cases) against Palm Beach citizens should they collect signatures opposing zoning or comprehensive plan changes to allow the unwanted Miami-style condos to be built at the north entrance to town.
Saturday, April 23, 2011
The Palm Beach County Zoo says one of its rare Malayan tigers is expecting cubs. The tiger, named Berapi, has been at the zoo since November. Officials say she could deliver up to four cubs in May.
If you have not been to the Palm Beach Zoo in awhile, take the time...you will love this experience.
There are a lot of sick puppies out there with nothing to do but to write computer viruses. I got one (consisting of about a dozen Trojans or more) and it has been worse than hell to get rid of them. No sooner was one eliminated, another appeared. And no matter what I did, the virus overrode anything and everything. Doing a system restore does not always solve the problem as viruses have become so sophisticated. I now have a new anti-virus program but can't use Outlook Express, a new problem. It took 40 hours to get rid of these viruses and lots of $$$ later and I am now virus free, for the moment...I will be holding my breath.
I think, but am not sure, that I picked it up in Facebook. I went to a Facebook page and then I started having the trouble.
Something has to be done on the Internet to ensure security. I Googled and found explanations as to why people engage in this:
What he has to say:
- they don't understand or prefer not to think about the consequences for other people
- they simply don't care
- they don't consider it to be their problem if someone else is inconvenienced
- they draw a false distinction between creating/publishing viruses and distributing them
- they consider it to be the responsibility of someone else to protect systems from their creations
- they get a buzz, acknowledged or otherwise, from vandalism
- they consider they're fighting authority
- they like 'matching wits' with anti virus vendors
- it's a way of getting attention, getting recognition from their peers and their names (or at least that of their virus) in the papers and the Wild List
- they're keeping the anti virus vendors in a job
- they are just miserable SOB's with some making money from companies employing their services.
The Grants Analyst attended a CDBG Fiscal year 2011-2012 workshop hosted by Palm Beach County. The County reviewed the process for grant submissions and stated that all applications were due April 18th by 5:00 p.m.
On Thursday, April 14th, the Commission approved applying for the CDBG grant and using the funds for new sidewalks or replacing existing sidewalks. The grant application was delivered to the County Monday morning, April 18th. All quarterly program and fiscal grant reports as of March 31, 2011 were completed and mailed to the appropriate grantor agency.
Friday, April 22, 2011
Lake Worth Vice Mayor Suzanne Mulvehill says it it’s too close to the “green” Publix that is opening next week and that the Lake Worth CRA helped fund for public improvements around the store.
Does Rick Scott deserve all this abuse? Does he deserve being the most detested governor in the country? He ran on the platform of creating jobs but now he plans on laying-off as many as 6,000 state employees. In a recent Quinnipiac University Poll, more than half of voters, 53%, said his proposed budget and its cuts are unfair. About 37% said it’s fair.
The Left is energized because of losing in the last election. Is it all sour grapes? Should he really get a pink slip like the Democrats want? Isn't he doing what he said he would do? Should we really be building a train to "nowhere?" With a little more than one million people out of work, every decision he makes is the best for the State of Florida, he says.
Thursday, April 21, 2011
As of April 2011, 27 states have enacted statewide bans on smoking in all enclosed public places, including bars and restaurants: Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, Washington, and Wisconsin. (Wikipedia)
Presented by the Mayor, there was much discussion at Tuesday night's commission meeting on Lake Worth passing an Ordinance for tobacco free areas. When it came to the beach, Commissioner Maxwell and Vice Mayor Mulvehill wanted to weigh the possible consequences that a tobacco ordinance might have on revenue. The Health Department claimed that 80% of the populous in PB County are non-smokers. It was suggested that more people might come to the beach knowing it is smoke-free. A few from the public spoke and the Vice Mayor changed her earlier statement and agreed that the rights of the majority prevail when it comes to a healthy community and increasing environmental integrity.
Barbara Jean Weber, a smoker, told Commissioner Maxwell that he doesn't need to weigh things in terms of money; they are either appropriate and right or they are not.
The Lake Worth City Commission agreed to direct the City Manager to have staff work with representatives of the Palm Beach County Health Department to draft a policy on a tobacco-free work place and to include city parks. The City Attorney will also review existing ordinances and recommend changes to assist with implementation. This policy will come back to the Commission in 60 days.
As if our property values haven't been devalued enough, now the building boom in south Florida for affordable housing is underway. Just what we don't need---but it creates jobs; it keeps the Chamber of Commerce happy; it keeps Associated Builders happy. It keeps the Republicans happy. It keeps the Unions happy. It keeps the Democrats especially happy. It keeps the Realtors happy. It keeps the politicians happy. According to most every study, probably put out by the building industry, affordable housing does not bring down neighborhoods. But who really believes that?
One thing that we did do right here in Lake Worth was the recent decision on the $350k CDBG funds. The funds will not go to affordable housing but rather they will be used for street and sidewalk improvements in the western community. We have so much affordable housing in Lake Worth sitting vacant that spending grant money to build more was not sensible. Several weeks ago, Jessica Plotkin of the Finance Advisory Board, gave a presentation to the Commisison on why the funds should be used for infrastructure. It was like pulling teeth but the Commission finally listened.
Vice Mayor Suzanne Mulvehill said, " I supported this recommendation because $23M is being invested to retrofit 130 homes in our CRA district and it made sense to improve the infrastructure to attract new homeowners."
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
But what the hey, soon this entire beach will be redeveloped. It is always easier to tear stuff down.
The upper level parking lot (with 164 spaces soon to be removed) was filled and John G's
had a line...kids off for the Holiday.
"Lake Worth is an extremely difficult town to bond with and to manage," Stanton said. "It's so polarized it tends to be kind of toxic."
City manager Susan Stanton is taking some heat on the above statement that was in the Beth Johnston article in yesterday's on-line PB Post. The statement is accurate and true.
There are a couple of politically charged Lake Worth blogs that love to be harmful, malicious and harsh (or toxic) towards our city manager that can't stand Stanton using the word "toxic." One actually has called for her firing. The Mayor has condemned her for using the word (her right of free speech) and on top of everything else, he gave Stanton a terrible performance review.
What can be expected in this city that is so toxic?
No freakin chickens
I might not have to worry about paying for parking in downtown Lake Worth. As the city is going to gouge all of us residents in one way shape or form, we might have to resort to chickens just to be able to have food! Perhaps that was the objective all along with one day watering...get the grass looking like straw that only a chicken would love. It is getting nuts in this city.
Look, if we want to become a prosperous and desirable city in which to live where our property values will rise, we had better start acting that way instead of a third world country. Just what we need in Lake Worth: mites, lice, fleas, protozoal, fungal, bacterial, chlamydial or viral diseases from chickens.
And we thought we got rid of the anarchist.
something I read in the PB Post. Today we learn that we will probably have downtown parking meters after all and I have to see the Mayor's face smiling about it. Even in spite of the fact that several months ago the Commission said "NO" and the Finance Advisory Board (who listens to them?) said "NO."
Let's stick it to our downtown, the very merchants struggling during this economy to stay afloat. They think they have troubles now, wait until people have to pay to shop and just take a stroll. We won't be seeing those cute little pooches as often.
The pay to park lot is full on weekends but during the day it is EMPTY. Mayor, you don't see this just like you don't see all the shuffleboarders at Murry Hills. You don't see the whole picture and that is very unfortunate.
The Mayor is leaving town and before he does he will ensure that every fee possible will be moved to our non-advalorem part of our tax bill and that we all pay and pay and pay. The only thing one Commissioner is concerned about is that the employees who work downtown do not have to pay. What about the people coming down there with their MONEY? What about us?
This is just a start of the trend to raise taxes (it is a tax no matter what you want to call it) and what we will expect in the very near future across the board...raising parking rates at the beach AGAIN and anything else they can think of to stick it to the residents who support this financially inept city.
All these things are being decided OUT OF THE SUNSHINE. It needs to stop right now. As I have said before, get out of the TRANCE Commissioners. No one seems to pay attention to the word "no."
Last night I left the Commission meeting at 9pm...totally had it.
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
To the City Attorney:
Stop playing politics.
Go back to Lawyering 101.
What is the future of this Board? It is so political and ineffective that it hasn't accomplished one thing in its one year existence.
The U.S. government is currently the biggest owner of General Motors stock. It was a condition of that company’s bailout in 2009. So when you hear that the government is looking at selling off all its stock, that may seem like a good thing, until you read what the Wall Street Journal put out today.
Mainly, that GM stock is currently at $29.35 and in order for the government to break even it needs to sell its shares at about $53. And then you read that despite the over $11 billion loss that would ensue, the Obama administration might do it anyway this summer. Why? Because 2012 is an election year. Source: The BlazeWho gets stuck holding the bag? The U.S. taxpayer, as usual.
The WSJ explains.
Giving an estimated $4 million to political campaigns, FPL does not like the word "no." It has lobbied and now has come forth with a new renewable energy plan that the Public Service Commission likes. Compromises are on the table: FPL would have to prove to regulators that it will develop its renewable energy programs in a cost-effective manner; that its solar costs don’t get out of hand and are higher than other solar projects and that the new power plants will help diversify its fuel mix and reduce Florida's dependence on fossil fuels.
The PSC would impose the rate increase if FPL agrees to its stipulations– at about $206 million a year for the next five years which is approximately $2.40 a month for the average customer using 1,200 kilowatt hours a month. (Source: The Miami Herald).
The day of investing your own profits into your business is long past. The consumer pays and pays and FPL's Lewis Hay, CEO, makes $13,560,217.00 in total compensation. FPL will not reveal the salaries of its employees although a healthy percentage of rate increases go to support those salaries.
The Sun Sentinel reports that five utility companies in Florida want to charge $1.5 billion over the next 4 years to produce more renewable energy. It will be up to Rick Scott when the energy Bills, recently passed by the House and Senate, hit his desk.
It has been a pleasure serving the business community in Lake Worth. However, taken the Executive Vice President’s position at the Boca Raton Chamber of Commerce. Along with the duties of an EVP, I will also handle Government Affairs and Economic Development. I only wish the best for Lake Worth as its potential is limitless. My last day in this position is May 3.
Greater Lake Worth Chamber of Commerce
501 Lake Avenue
Lake Worth, Florida 33460
Greater Lake Worth Chamber of Commerce
Bye, bye, Beth. Perhaps with new leadership we will no longer see
political signs on the front yard of the Chamber building; perhaps we will no longer see the Chamber giving political donations to political action committees supporting candidates in
Monday, April 18, 2011
Told you so! GOP leaders say news that Standard & Poor's has downgraded its credit outlook for the United States on Monday is vindication of their party's budget policy, and a "wake up call" to the nation. "Today's announcement makes clear that the debt limit increase proposed by the Obama Administration must be accompanied by meaningful fiscal reforms," Eric Cantor (House majority leader) said, referring to pressure from the White House to boost the debt ceiling in the coming months. The U.S. kept its AAA credit rating, but had its long-term outlook changed from "stable" to "negative." S&P said that the move means there's at least a one-in-three chance that it will cut the nation's rating within two years, so says The Daily Beast.
Read more at Talking Points Memo.
Planning & Zoning Board Members;
It is with regret that I forward the attached email from Board Member Spinelli. He has been a valuable member of the Board for nearly two decades and we will miss him greatly. His departure leaves two vacancies on the Board, which we hope to fill shortly. Please keep Mr. Spinelli in your thoughts and we will move forward as productively as we can.
Thank you to everyone for their commitment and service on the Board and to the City of Lake Worth.
City of Lake Worth
Dear Mr. Waters,
Due to my personal, family and business responsibilities I can no longer devote the time needed to perform my duties as Vice Chair of the Planning and Zoning Board. I hereby submit my resignation. It has been an honor and a pleasure to serve the City of Lake Worth for the past eighteen years.
Philip V. Spinelli
166 Harvard Drive
"The tax extension seems especially hard for critics to swallow in light of last week's federal budget deal, which calls for spending cuts of about $38 billion. In comparison, tax breaks for the wealthy will cost the government $42 billion during this fiscal year, according to Michael Linden, director for tax and budget policy at the Center for American Progress."
Read where tax cuts don't mean squat.
Now that the CRA has adopted L-Dub as the name for the Cultural Renaissance Program, what better way to market it then to wear a T-Shirt calling attention to it?
Can you imagine hundreds of people walking around wearing this shirt and it all snowballs into the coolest Lake Worth fashion statement with everyone saying, "I just have to have one" --instant pride in our City. People will be stopping you to ask, "What in the heck does it man?" Perhaps we can even get them made in doggy sizes so that all those people showing off their pooches will have the most stylish pooch in town. It will call attention to our City and everyone will be in the groove to put Lake Worth on the map.
Cavers and Pavers will finally have something in common to support without bickering and/or "mythmaking," but that is unlikely. They can't seem to get over their obsession with Cara Jennings and think that she is still running the city from cyber space on her I-Pad. After all, they say, because of her, Lake Worth went to the dogs and even a fashionable dog wearing an L-Dub shirt probably wouldn't want to live here.
The CRA has taken a positive approach with a name that is catchy and cool and can be turned around to something very positive. We did get rid of the gangs, right? We reclaim it as "ours." And this idea didn't cost $700,000.
Explanation from Christopher and Barry's T's:
Lake Worth = LW
LW spelled out = el double-u
"el double-u" abbreviated = L Dub
L is, well, L. Double-u becomes Dub. L-Dub.
We live in the L-Dub. Get it ? ; )
And speaking of taxes, federal employees across the nation owe fully $1 billion in back taxes to the Internal Revenue Service. In fact, Obama's White House aides owe $831,000.
Read more about it at the Los Angeles times.
Burnin' Down the House…
"A Pittsburgh furniture-store owner had tried to sell his business for years, but there weren't any takers.
Frustrated by his lack of success, he hired someone to burn the store down. He collected $500,000 from the insurance company for his misguided effort.
Incredibly, the man went on to deduct the $10,000 that he paid the arsonist as a "consulting fee." An IRS audit two years later ended with both men in prison.
Apparently, the IRS agent who handled the case was hot under the collar about the whole thing. Ba da bum."
Read more at Dolans.com: 8 Weird and Wacky Tax Deductions.
Sunday, April 17, 2011
"Even if the country has a tyrant, and even if that tyrant is butchering his own people, if the country poses no imminent threat to the United States or to his neighbors, then getting involved amounts to a dumb war."
Now you would assume that he is talking about Libya. That was said in 2002 by the then-State Senator Barack Obama about George Bush's Iraq war.
For all Obama supporters and truth-seekers:
(quote attributed to him but unproven because there is no longer a tape or a transcript. I hope now everyone can sleep at night) Did he say it? That's for you to decide.
The politicians in Tallahassee are absolutely determined to stop the FairDistricts Amendments from taking effect. You won’t believe what they are doing.
They have sued to get us off the ballot (twice)...Yet in each instance, the courts have protected the voters of Florida by rejecting these disruptive and malicious attacks by self-interested power brokers who will stop at nothing to block FairDistricts in Florida.
They have put up a poison pill amendment to confuse voters...
They have snatched the amendments from the Justice Department to prevent the new rules from being approved.
Since these politicians keep losing in court, they have a new idea: “Let's pack the Florida Supreme Court with our own judges.”
That's right. The Florida House voted Friday to allow Governor Rick Scott to hand pick new justices for the court so he and the other Tallahassee politicians can have their shenanigans rubber stamped. They have total disrespect for our democratic system of checks and balances and for the 3 million Florida voters who have demanded FairDistricts.
We cannot let them get away with this! We need your help to fight back!
Can you make a donation so we have the resources to stand up to these powerful and self interested politicians?
Since they do not like the calls they have been getting, they have decided to change the refs! They want judges who will blindly approve their self-serving districts and ignore the FairDistricts rules.
Passing Amendments 5 and 6 last November was critical, but we need your help today, because fairness is hanging in the balance and the stakes are higher than ever.
We must have the resources to fight back. We need to continue waging the strongest possible battle to make sure Florida’s legislature and our U.S. Congressional delegation are elected from seats that are drawn fairly.
We can’t let up! Please help us ensure that our FairDistricts Amendments are fully implemented. Please chip in today.
Saturday, April 16, 2011
Dean Cannon, Speaker of the House
And one of my least "favorite" people--Mark Wilson, President & CEO of the Florida Chamber of Commerce with Governor Rick Scott.
Guess what groups are defending illegal aliens? The Florida Chamber of Commerce and the Associated Industries of Florida, along with the state's agricultural industry, oppose both the House and Senate bills on E-Verify. No surprise here.
The Florida Chamber and Associated Industries whore themselves and fool their members using "jobs" as the pretense. E-Verify will hurt Florida's agricultural economy, they say. Republican Adam Putnam, Agriculture Commissioner, was elected to his position on making an exception to those illegals working in the agriculture business. It just shows that voters are totally confused on candidates and Politicians will even compromise our laws.
There were other nut cases in the chamber besides some Democrats: an activist bashed the Bill; a law student who claimed to be an "illegal" (we have had those nuts right in our own chamber in Lake Worth even wearing t-shirts claiming they are illegal) as well as bible thumper enthusiasts who support illegal immigration and resorted to biblical verses to justify illegal border crossings, as if there is a justification.
The Bill says that enforcement provisions are not triggered by a traffic stop. Illegal aliens don't have to carry documentation. It merely states that if, during a criminal investigation, there is reasonable suspicion about illegal presence, a separate immigration charge can be filed. E-Verify screening must be used before you hire.
Rick Scott and the House Economic Affairs Committee got this one right. Now let's move forward quickly before all of Georgia's illegals migrate to Florida.
There will be mass migration south from Georgia if our legislature fails to uphold the rule of law and enact legislation to protect Floridians. The flood gates will open!"
Georgia Legislature passes Immigration Bill
Quote from longtime activist that has helped Flimen in the past. D.A. King, , an anti-illegal immigration activist and longtime lobbyist for tougher laws, called the measure "one of the most well thought-out, potentially effective, immigration enforcement bills in the country. On the state level, this will set new bar."
Friday, April 15, 2011
Today, Jeff Clemens was given the weekly Defenders of Freedom award from the ACLU. The ACLU is a bipartisan organization that has defended the rights of civil rights workers, activists, Socialists, you name it, as well as the Ku Klux Klan's right of free speech. Perhaps soon we will see that hanging in his local Lake Avenue office.
“We continually get these strike-all amendments that contain 155 pages of language the afternoon before we’re supposed to hear a bill the next morning. We can stay up all night reading this bill but we can’t certainly expect members of the public and Florida residents to be able to set aside their families and their time to be able to absorb all this information in one evening then find a way to get to Tallahassee the next day to be able to address their elected officials…it leads to bad government and bad legislation,” said Jeff Clemens.
Clemens is a member of the House State Affairs Committee that just approved HB 1355 that has some controversial provisions that would impose new restrictions on groups that register voters, shorten the validity of voter signatures on citizen initiatives from four years to two and require voters to cast provisional ballots if they move to another county. It was passed on a partisan vote, 12/6 (Clemens voting "no") in order to cut down on possible voter fraud.
Read more: Bradenton.com
Public Policy Poll
Stopped by the Lake Worth beach this morning to see what's going on. Parking in spot 424, I stopped to check out the new solar parking pay-station hoping that it was already installed but this did not seem to be it. In fact, I couldn't find the cost per hour listed to park but I might just have missed it. It was fairly busy for that time of day.
Ran into Peter Timm at the Pier, his favorite spot to meet friends and chat and congratulated him on all his work regarding the CRA. He is leaving for Disney World tomorrow to meet family for one week. I asked him if he were taking Mouse with him. He chuckled.
Stopped by John G's and asked Wendy what she was up to. She was not at liberty to discuss where she will be re-locating until negotiations are finalized but she hopes to come back to Lake Worth once the Casino is built (if she can afford it). I placed my name and e-mail on her mailing list in order to be updated. The beach will not be the same without John G's and the rest of our long-time tenants. Hopefully, most all of them will have a chance to return.
Wednesday night at Susan Stanton's Review, someone from the public was moaning about the Sheriff issue because the City is thinking about alternatives to reduce public safety costs. This citizen believes that we can not survive without PBSO and she is unwilling to even consider anything else. Perhaps she doesn't know what we pay for public safety but I doubt if it would move her. She condemned the city manager about even considering saving money over what she perceives as superior safety protection.
We are operating on a shoe string in Lake Worth but there are people out there who still say we just have to have the PBSO patrolling our streets. After all, it was the Sheriff that got rid of the gangs they say. Yes, they did. They would have done that whether we were with the Sheriff or still with our own police force as we pay for Palm Beach County Sheriff on our ad-valorem tax bill. The Gang Task Force was County wide. We ALWAYS had certain services that we could have used that were provided for by the Sheriff. I can't say that enough. As Cpt. Silva has said, our former city police chief did not take advantage of them.
It has been reported that crime is down in the State, and in our County. PBSO District 14 has told us that crime has been reduced in Lake Worth and has implied, without stating, it is because of their superior service. I have never doubted their professional service. My only concern has always been, from the first meeting on this subject, the cost. There are some citizens--the emotional ones and the cheerleaders for the PBSO--who do not care about the fact that public safety is 50% of our Budget. Would they care if it consumed ALL of it? When does the cost become excessive? These are the very same ones who do not want their taxes raised. Sheriff deputies respond to crime; they do not prevent it.
Riviera Beach reported that crime is down in its city by 16.8% from the previous year. Every category of crime was down other than murder which went from 9 in 2009 to 14 in 2010. Someone there wiped out his whole family. They too are bragging that it is their superior police work and new technology that is the cause of this big drop. They have their own police department, not the Sheriff.
If you check on page 97 of their Police Budget, you will see that they have more men than do we. Scroll down one page and you will find that their personnel expense is $11,686,655 for 2011 which has come down from the previous year. This figure includes crossing guards, staff, code enforcement, etc. The estimated budget for Lake Worth for Year 2011 is $15,385,316 for the Sheriff services alone (not sure what all it includes). We have a separate code department.
Irrespective of the value that residents put on the services of the PBSO, we have to reduce spending in order to keep up with the loss in property values. It is all about dollars and cents.
Riviera Beach is a city of similar size and similar problems that pays several million less than we pay and with more men.
In January, we authorized a Study to be conducted by Willdan Homeland Solutions to assist the City in its evaluation in order to reduce costs associated with the PBSO. This is a Study that should have been done before we emotionally decided to go with PBSO. It was not done then but this Commission is trying to get all of the facts before it makes major decisions unlike former commissions. This report will be in the hands of the city manager in approximately two weeks.
Six key reasons crime rate is down.
There is a blogger in this city who is rather new and does write P&R pieces about Lake Worth. They are wonderful, so check with LINKS on the right side of this column. Her background is as such and she is a professional photographer I believe. She has not lived here long enough to understand our history or the politics and the decisions that have cost us dearly and have led us to become one of the highest taxed cities in Palm Beach County with the highest commercial electric rate in the State of Florida. She is writing in her area of interest.
Without citizens complaining and without newsmen and bloggers writing about what goes on in our society, we will be a doormat to corruption, to inept leadership and to costly decisions.
This is my niche, my interest. Everyone has things that they want to write about. My blog is opinion. There is a lot of research that goes into certain opinions. Mary Lindsey's and Wes Blackman's are the same...opinion blogs. We could be writing about Man Invents Vibrating Toilet Seat That Helps You Enjoy the Magic Moment but our interest lies with Lake Worth and all its facets, good and bad.
Setting a positive tone for the City should be done by our elected officials and the direction in which they take our city that will ultimately bring us closer to that commenter's utopia, not by residents who only want to cheerlead us into the next millinium by being annoyed by truth or an opinion that differs from their own.
Thursday, April 14, 2011
- Varela: I have a gut feeling that there are signs of big problems in the future. He then tells the City Manager to "Communicate and tell people that it will be okay...people fear change."
- McVoy: Varela wants someone who is a Mother figure to tell people that all is okay.
- Golden: It's easier to throw rocks at a train than to drive the train.
- Mulvehill: Look at the glass as half full rather than half empty.
- Maxwell: I did not have enough time to get the matrix in on time because Susan Stanton did not use the right format.