Sunday, March 31, 2013

Great day at Lake Worth beach

Dustin A. Zacks, attorney, writes new Paper on attorney misconduct

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Click here for Dustin Zacks' latest paper on the misconduct of some foreclosure firms that popped up during the mortgage crisis and their highly questionable and unethical practices. The report is interesting and provocative beginning like a "thriller." As many of you know, Dustin was appointed to our Planning & Zoning board by last year's commission and he previously "ran" for mayor of Lake Worth.

The Paper, entitled, Robo-Litigation, points out the shady practices, the over-billing, the conflicts of interest and bad dealings made by some foreclosure firms with the Florida Bar and the Florida Supreme Court doing little, if anything, to keep the system honest or come down strong on those involved in unprofessional practices. One of these lawyers became wealthy by over a hundred million dollars. Many analysts, including conservatives such a Republican Senator Marco Rubio, have stated that the housing crisis was "created by reckless government policies.”

"The recent housing crisis increased demand for attorneys to process foreclosures through state courts. This increase in demand was coupled with a desire for the fastest and cheapest legal services available. As a result, large foreclosure firms designed to handle an enormous number of foreclosure cases quickly and inexpensively evolved and flourished. During their ascendancy, these firms consistently generated complaints about their conduct, including questions about their ethical decision-making and about the veracity of the pleadings and documents they filed. Scholarly literature on the housing crisis, however, is largely devoid of commentary on ethical issues related to increased foreclosures."

He concludes that the foreclosure crises was the perfect storm that bred robotic attorney practices resulting in "severely troubling ethical lapses."

One of Gods' Greatest Gifts

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Easter message from Lt. Col. Allen West

Today, as we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ and the forgiveness of sin, I'd like to share with you one of my favorite scripture passages:

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world should be saved through Him.

It's our moral duty to serve our fellow man, regardless of race, sex, affiliation, or creed. That's why on this most sacred holiday, I urge you to do something to help someone in need. Whether it's holding the door for someone, volunteering your time, or making a charitable donation, no deed is too small.

God bless you, your family, and America.

Allen West
Lt. Col. Allen B. West, USA (ret)
U.S. Congressman (2011-2013)

Easter in Lake Worth

Matthew 19.14 King James Version says: But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Fire Rescue vehicle involved in wreck downtown Lake Worth

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When driving back from The Farmer Girl this afternoon, we ran into the aftermath of a wreck on Dixie and Lucerne. It seems that the fire department was on its way to a fire in the 700 block of South “E” Street in Lake Worth when a car slammed into the fire truck. Glass and parts of the car were strewn around and the driver was sent to Delray Medical. No other injuries were reported.

UPDATE: Read PBPost article.

Olympus Has Fallen

Not a boring moment. If you want to sit on the edge of your seat for 1 hour and 40 minutes, this is the one. Gerard Butler is pretty sexy too.

Public Workshop

Public Open house 6pm, April 4
Shuffleboard Courts
1121 Lucerne Avenue, Lake Worth

The Press Release: Lake Worth is among 43 communities in 27 states that will receive technical assistance to pursue sustainable growth that encourages local economic development while safeguarding health and the environment. EPA staff and national experts will conduct one to two-day workshops that focus on the Economic and Fiscal Health tool. The Community Redevelopment Agency in partnership with the City of Lake Worth requested assistance to help evaluate how to get better economic results from private development and public investments.

This tool provides an overview of how land use decisions impact the fiscal and economic health of a community, with an emphasis on self assessment of demographics, employment trends as well as a review local decisions and public polices that support neighborhood stabilization, increasing property revenues and minimizing costs. From this discussion, the EPA team will provide a series of next step strategies that the community can consider for addressing key fiscal issues raised during the  assistance.

Pro-amnesty supporters and Illegals to Protest

On April 10,  tens of thousands of pro-amnesty protesters to Washington, D.C., will be bused in to march on the Capitol. They will demand an immediate amnesty for (in many cases) themselves and other illegal aliens now residing in America, taking our jobs and drawing our benefits.

Do you remember past rallies? There were foreign flags, angry speeches and ugly scenes. NumbersUSA's founder Roy Beck was even physically assaulted by a mob of SEIU-organized agitators! They are not asking for an amnesty, they are demanding one as an entitlement.

Go to Numbers USA for the details.

Gators at Lake Osborne

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Photograph by Tripp Cioci taken in June 2011
 at Lake Osborne.

We have to remember, as calm and serene as the lake appears, there is a danger--alligators. Palm Beach County has now erected signs around the lake alerting people to the alligator population. It is always amazing to me when I see little kids being pulled on a raft behind a boat.

Looking like a piece of driftwood--
Could be a serious problem if you're not careful.

Condaleeza Rice

Friday, March 29, 2013

Lake Worth Must Enforce its laws

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From: Sabal Palm House Bed and Breakfast Inn <>
To: ptriolo <>; jszerdi <>; smaxwell <>; aamoroso <>; mbornstein <>
Cc: info <>; wwaters <>
Sent: Fri, Mar 29, 2013 3:23 pm
Subject: Vacation Rentals - legal Issues
Dear Mayor, Commissioners and Mr. Bornstein:

Here in our city we are faced with numerous properties that are doing short term rentals starting at just two nights.  This has a major impact on our B & B business as we just can't compete with their unregulated illegal businesses.

We hope you understand that we are not against commercial multi-family properties like the parrot Cove Inn next door to us or As Time Goes By on L Street as these are not single family homes and they are properly zoned for their intended uses.

If we allow nightly rentals in single family homes without a minimum stay requirement we can expect that investors will start coming into the city and buying properties to rent as hotels.  West Palm Beach was faced with this a few years ago and they have had to strictly enforce their one week law. Without that law they would have been helpless to prevent large sections of neighborhoods from becoming transient housing.

You can't let that happen here.  We are trying to get folks to live here and raise their families here.  We are now over 60% renters as it is.  Our historical eastern neighborhoods will be affected by any change in our existing laws as I too would think of buying a home simply to rent out short term. If everyone else is doing it we will have to be in the game to succeed as a B & B. This is not what we want for our city.

I am also hearing that some are saying to restrict vacation rentals is not pro business. I see it differently. I purchased a business. I paid a price for my license and good will.  I pay commercial rates and taxes. These folks did not buy businesses.  They purchased residential homes in residential neighborhoods. That's a big difference from buying a business. Turning a home into a hotel business that is not allowed when you purchased it is not a good business move.  Why would you expect the city to help you make a business out of something that is not a business. The businesses in this city that are legitimate need your help. Working to make it easier to open a legitimate business and be successful is what you have said you were all about.  For these folks to say you are anti business is unfair and totally inappropriate. These guys have not played by the rules and now want you to bend the rules.  Than I say, I want residential utility rates and water rates and a lower tax rate. I want you to bend the rules for me since that's pro business. I hope you see how unfair these vacation rental folks are being.  If you want to be a business than come play in the business world with the rest of us.

We are very passionate about this issue as we work hard and long ours to run one of the only 4 Diamond AAA business in the city.  We promote the city and we love what you have all done to help us succeed. To see these folks come after you claiming you are against business is wrong. 

We are asking you to enforce our laws as you have taken an oath to do. The law is what it is and that's the playing field we agreed to when we came to live here.


Colleen and John Rinaldi

Woman bilked system

Will the government put this woman in prison where she belongs?

Freedom in the 50 States

The overall freedom ranking is determined by combining scores for fiscal, regulatory, and personal freedom.

Seed where Florida is ranked.

Taxes and our National Debt

Countries that receive the most foreign aid

As U.S. taxes have gone up under Obama, so has aid to foreign countries. We now give $450 billion a year with billions going to our enemies.

The United States taxes its rich the most.

The United States currently imposes the highest statutory corporate tax rate in the developed world. Contrary to what some believe, studies show that even the effective corporate tax rate in the United States is one of the highest in the world. In a literature review of thirteen credible, independent studies that estimated effective tax rates using a variety of data sources and methods, Philip Dittmer reported that every study found the U.S. effective corporate tax rate to be substantially higher than the average in foreign nations. Across all thirteen studies, the U.S. effective corporate tax rate exceeded the foreign average by 7.6 percentage points, if all countries are counted equally. The U.S. effective corporate tax rate exceeded the foreign average by 3.7 percentage points, if countries are weighted by their gross domestic products (GDP), so says the Tax Foundation.

As we continue to give monetary aid to countries and to our enemies, our national debt is increasing at a sum of $2.8 million per minute.

The Morn

A morning pastel

94% of full

Right back at ya, Jim Carrey

Jim Carrey was frustrated about the senseless violence in our country when he recorded and published his video of rural gun owners as well as mocking the late Charlton Heston. It was in bad taste but this parody is not an answer--one put down for another. How do you keep guns out of the hands of the "crazies?"

According to ABC News, "Violent crime rates have been falling in recent years, but the number of people killed by firearms in the United States remains high. According to the FBI Uniform Crime Report, between 2006 and 2010, 47,856 people were murdered in the U.S. by firearms, more than twice as many as were killed by all other means combined."

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Lake Worth man hits boss for firing him

We all want to take a poke at our boss from time to time. Well Charles Vaughn of S. K Street in Lake Worth did just that. He was arrested for battery on someone 65 years of age or older. 


Lake Worth Tee Shirt Company

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Barry's ad will appear in the Lake Worth Herald as well as the Coastal Observer this week.

My new T-shirt. This comes in black and white as shown or in Periwinkle blue.

Stomp on Jesus Controversy

It just continues to get worse in this country. Liberals are over the top. Can you even imagine reversing the situation and using the name of the Islamic prophet Muhammad? It would end up as an international incident of huge proportions with Muslims gunning for every "infidel."

The Palm Beach Post editorial today says that Governor Rick Scott has no business in "sticking his nose where it doesn't belong." We disagree.  Public universities are funded partially by the government and therefore are less in tuition costs than private universities along with many Florida student aid programs.

View more videos at:

Palm Beach County is attracting Businesses

Well, we've read some negatives about folks moving out of Palm Beach County but here is some good news from CEO's who have moved their businesses here:

“Florida is a state of choice,” said Thalius Hecksher, global development chief for Apex Fund Services, who moved many of his operations to Palm Beach. “It’s organically grown. There’s no need to drag people down here. It’s a zero-income-tax jurisdiction."

"You weigh all of the benefits for being here to those in New York, and they outweigh them every time,” said Evan Rapoport, CEO of, which is expanding its presence in Palm Beach County….In our industry, the people we’re talking about are $1 million-a-year earners. So when you’re talking about tax rates, it’s more meaningful.”

Read more... as to why investment firms are moving to Palm Beach County.

The Business Development Board of Palm Beach County gives you the reasons to move your business here:

Florida has…
  • NO corporate income tax on limited partnerships.
  • NO corporate income tax on sub chapter S-corporations.
  • NO state personal income tax guaranteed by constitutional provision.
  • NO corporate franchise tax on capital stock
  • NO state-level property tax assessed. NO property tax on business inventories.
  • NO property tax on goods-in-transit for up to 180 days.
  • NO sales and use tax on goods manufactured or produced in Florida for export outside the state.
  • NO sales tax on purchases of raw materials incorporated in a final product for resale, including non-reusable containers or packaging.

Florida House discusses new Energy Bill

A new Florida House Bill could reduce utility rates and repeal cost recovery programs.

At the moment, cost recovery allows power companies to charge their customers in advance for new nuclear power plants. A problem with this plan is customers can be charged and not reimbursed even if power companies don’t end up building the plants. This bill would affect customers with Florida Power and Light and Progress Energy.

Although this only means about $2 a month on the average FPL bill,  former U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Committee member Peter Bradford said the clause puts customers at risk of paying for nuclear plants that may never be developed.


Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Lake Worth - 5th Annual Easter Egg Hunt

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Below is the President of the South Palm Park Neighborhood Association's "education" of the public during the heights election. Frank Palen, former member and chair of the Planning & Zoning board was asked to give his opinion. From what I was told, no one from the YES side was asked to comment.

Commission Meeting Tonight

Tonight there is a city commission meeting at 6pm to discuss and approve the 2012 Audit by our external auditor, TCBA Watson Rice LLP. The firm began the audit in January. Also on the Agenda is the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report.

The commission will also hear from the Finance Department and will discuss fund levels as well as make a Resolution to write down the accounts receivable allowance for uncollectible accounts in the amount of $4.579 million. The reason for this Resolution is the inability of the City to collect these accounts receivable. The city is not waving any of its rights for collection.

It was also stated that the general fund revenues exceeded expenses by $1,451,771 with a positive fund balance of $3.8 million.

Quote of the Day - John McCain

“Someone who crosses our borders illegally is here illegally. You can call it whatever you want to, but it’s illegal. I think there’s a big difference between someone who does something that’s illegal and someone who’s undocumented. I’ll continue to call it illegal.”

~ Sen. John McCain

Responding to a young woman at a Phoenix town hall meeting who requested that he stop using the term "illegal" when referring to aliens crossing our borders and living here illegally.

The Obama's vacations

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Click here to read about the excess.

It's good to get away from it all especially when Rome is burning. It gives you a chance to relax and put worries out of your mind, if you are out of your mind. The total cost to taxpayers for Obama’s vacations just to Hawaii since becoming president is likely to be in excess of $20 million.

The Chameleon of Politics and Dirty Political Games

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It is no easy thing in having a different opinion today especially when it comes to politics in Lake Worth. When you have a different opinion, you can be assured that there will be someone out there in cyber-space that will take a crack at your head. People approach me with bits of information and more times than not they say, "Leave my name out of it." They are all afraid of the repercussions they will face by others--their neighbors or even their "friends." It's hard to stand up for what you believe is right. If you don't go with the status quo and the majority that is in power, your opinion is stomped upon and you personally are vilified and told by the local press that you are "ugly," or an "idiot" and a whole lot worse. The goal is to ruin the opponent's character and credibility in any way possible. This is what took place in our past election and it continues to this day.

Francois de La Rochefoucauld said, "We seldom find any person of good sense, except those who share our opinions," and there lies the rub.

A few more quotes:

Where an excess of power prevails, property of no sort is duly respected. No man is safe in his opinions, his person, his faculties, or his possessions,
~ James Madison

In the United States, the majority undertakes to supply a multitude of ready-made opinions for the use of individuals, who are thus relieved from the necessity of forming opinions of their own
Alexis de Tocqueville

In Lake Worth, and I am rather sure that other communities are not immune, elections have become as dirty as they get. The Internet opened up the nasty anonymous attacks and it made it easy for cowards.  This began here years ago with Lake Worth Talk, an attack web site, and has intensified to where we are today--the anything goes mentality.

What we need are people of honesty and integrity but way too often we end up with a whole lot less--people who only want to win the game. They sacrifice their neighbor or opponent to win with the most vile of statements, usually anonymous, and you can count always on the flaming lie. Once elected, many officials change like a chameleon. They think they know best and the hell with your opinion or anyone else's.

When campaigns twist the truth and create unfounded attacks on a candidate’s personal character, it distorts the process because there is always a percentage of people who will believe the lies. A candidate or his message is sacrificed to meet the needs of those with devious political motives or just those with a difference of opinion. All too often this discourages the quality people we need to represent us. They don't run nor do they even get involved as witnessed by those who attend city commission meetings--so many have dropped out. It can be a degrading experience.  More often than what should be tolerable, this leaves the seats to be filled by some whose lack of regard for honesty and integrity allow them to play degrading political games.

It is time that the Commission investigate and reflect on their Board appointments as some of these people are off the wall and write irresponsibly.

"Truth Matters."

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Moorhen at Lake Osborne

Rental Home dilemma in Lake Worth

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"A state law could force the city (Lake Worth) to enforce a 60-day minimum stay on vacation home rentals, even though commissioners favor a shorter minimum stay of two weeks or so for homeowners who want to rent to tourists."


John Rinaldi, local owner of a bed and breakfast in Lake Worth says, "...We have a situation where investors are coming into the city and buying homes In Residential neighborhoods, getting a rental license and renting them out on a nightly basis. Some are charging as little as $60 a night and others are $175 or more a night. Our code limits house rental to no less than 60 days. Vacation Rental owners have threatened to sue the city if we enforce our code. State law has deregulated vacation rentals but allowed towns with laws on the books like Key West to keep their rules. You can't make any changes to the laws that are grandfathered without losing the right to regulate. So the city is faced with either enforcing our 60 day law or totally deregulating rentals. If we go the route of deregulation anyone in the city can rent their home for as little as one night. Currently there are over 30 homes doing this. The property across the street from the Mango Inn rents for 3 nights. These are lodging businesses in our historic neighborhoods that are free to do what they want."

Again, this is about people who do not respect our laws and challenge us at every opportunity. Think billboards. Frankly, I have had about enough of them. Some people are of the mindset that you should be able to do anything you want with private property.  We say, follow the law and a 60 day minimum is more than reasonable.

Immortal Words Written by a Madman

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From the not too distant past:

"The Respectful Planning PAC campaign is destined to become a classic in the Lake Worth anarchist archives. "It is a tale, told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying NOTHING."

And yet, in its nothingness lies the very real possibility that it may prevail. For what is easier to achieve than NOTHING

NOTHING to protect the Gulfstream Hotel.

NOTHING to create jobs in Lake Worth.

NOTHING to build on the success that has been achieved by finally having the beach and casino property ready to welcome visitors.

NOTHING but build momentum for candidates who care so little for Lake Worth that they tried to get rid of PBSO!

Vote NO on 2 because Lake Worth deserves more than--
NOTHING but lies and fear and sound and fury!"

For the entire YES team and to the 55.86%, be assured that you achieved a lot. The opposition's lies and money and insults as well as their constant twisted message did not prevail. One thing that the negative NO's are right about, this will be remembered for a long time--how a group immediately took action after a bad commission decision and saved our downtown from growing vertically and saved the city from manipulative special interests. Honesty won one.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Sunset tonight

Motorist Rights Bill gutted by Jeff Clemens

From the Tenth Amendment Center--see what they say about Red-Light cameras:

HB 1006 will Restore the rights of motorists.

Senate Bill 1342 did so until last week when Sen. Jeff Clemens (D-ATS) gutted the bill in the interest of local governments and for-profit companies.

Sen. Jeff Clemens gutted the Motorist Rights bill on 3/21/13 via an amendmentt. Call him at 850-487-5027 and let him know his actions are not appreciated.

Governor Rick Scott says, "It's working"

Historical Districts and Buildings - Lake Worth

Gulf Stream Hotel (added 1983 - - #83001435)
1 Lake Ave., Lake Worth

Historic Old Town Commercial District (added 2001 - - #01001011)
Also known as Downtown Lake Worth
Bounded by FEC, M St., Lucerne Ave., and 1st Ave. S , Lake Worth

Lake Worth City Hall, Old (added 1989 - - #89000432) Also known as Lake Worth City Hall Annex; Museum of the City of Lake Worth; 414 Lake Ave. , Lake Worth Old Lucerne Historic Residential District (added 2001 - - #01000526)
Also known as Townsite of Lucerne
Roughly along N. Lakeside Dr., N. Palmway St., and N. O St., from Lake Ave. to 7th Ave. N , Lake Worth

Osborne School (added 2003 - - #03000701)
Also known as Osborne Elementary School

College Park Historic District (added 2001 - - #01000078)
Also known as College Park Residential Neighborhood
Roughly bounded by Maryland Dr., N. Federal Hwy., 19th Ave. N., and N. Dixie Hwy. , Lake Worth

Listing a property in the National Register of Historic Places does not automatically protect it from demolition (or other alterations). However, listing a property in the registers does "trigger" state and federal preservation laws that require federal, state and local government agencies to take into consideration the effect of their plans or projects on such listed properties.

Jeff Clemens

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Florida State Senator, Jeff Clemens, now on Wikipedia.

Lake Worth Library

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update from Librarian

Every little bit helps. Our Library was just awarded a Florida Department of State Division of Library and Information Services Grant in the amount of $15,469 to assist in its operation and maintenance for the present Budget year.

The Lake Worth Library was dedicated 72 years ago and opened with 10,000 books. I asked Sam Goodstein, member of the Library Board, on the number of books we had now. His reply: Total hard copy items including a/v and ebooks, but not online reference materials, is 75,665 items.

President Franklin Roosevelt vetoed the attempt to memoialize the library in the name of Major William Jenkins Worth. Major Worth was the last general sent to Florida to end the Seminole War that was fought from 1835 to 1842.

Lake Worthians are proud of our library's history and beautiful architecture by Edgar S. Wortman.

The Lake Worth Library Spring Book Sale takes place on Saturday, April 20 in the Cultural Plaza across from the library from 10:00 am till 4:00 pm. In addition to this, the Library Staff is having a "Mini Book Sale" on April 13 during Earth Day. Come on out and support your local library.

Update from Vickie Joslin, Librarian

Audiovisual materials--3750
Databases in-house--2
Databases from State Library--48
Total: 79,209

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Today's PrideFest Parade in Lake Worth

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Barbara Jean on today's PrideFest Parade:

The parade was sweet... thoughtful but not too serious or over the top. The emphasis was on acceptance with many churches, banks & businesses and lots of people displaying support. It was low key with no really outrageous floats or groups.

The cab above made a left turn from the dollar store onto Lake Ave and the driver found himself unexpectedly in the middle of the parade! The expression on his face was priceless! He carried on and shrugged his shoulders as if to say 'When in Rome...'!

Another cute item...Towards the end of the parade but smack in the middle of a big presentation, two vehicles, a big truck and a black car, turned onto Lake after going the wrong way on South Lakeside! The PBSO officer on foot tried to contain the mess by repositioning the big truck and halting the parade. Obviously frustrated, he went over to give the driver of the car instructions but the driver rolled down his window and told the officer 'I am the police!' I guess he was just following a specific group for safety reasons.

Spring Break - Blast from the Past 1962

The Clip on Daytona Beach is throughout the video.
History of Spring Break

Trash at Lake Worth Beach

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Some of the trash at Lake Worth beach

Well, we have shown all the beautiful photos from our newly renovated beach and casino that cost approximately $13 million. Today, we are displaying the cold hard truth that some people, no matter how pristine or how beautiful something is, they will trash it anyway. The above are some shots from yesterday.

We here in Lake Worth have pride in our beachfront property and we must maintain it. There was trash strewn all over--the bathrooms were deplorable. Some trash was dumped on our grounds even though a trash container was within feet away. No one stooped over to pick up one piece of was totally ignored by all.  Baby diapers are being changed on our public benches and used diapers discarded where the parent sits.

Perhaps more trash cans are needed.  In the bathrooms, a larger container is a must and in the individual stalls, larger containers are necessary. NO Littering signs need to be erected and fines posted, in English and Spanish, of course.

Parking at the Lake Worth Beach

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Mark Sykes, Beach Parking Division Manager

Because parking is a premium at the Lake Worth beach ($2 an hour), there are always people wanting to beat the system. Getting something for nothing is an entitlement that they think they deserve.  Parking for free is their goal and some are abusing the 50 or so decal parking spaces reserved for residents of Lake Worth who have bought a current decal.

Everytime, without exception,  when I have been to the beach, there are several cars that have not displayed a current decal. This one yesterday had an expired decal from 2010.

From the City's web site: Beach Parking Decals are on sale at the Cashier’s office, located at 1900 2nd Avenue North from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The cost is $21.30 for year-round residents and $63.90 for seasonal residents (This might have changed for 2013/2014). Decals are valid May 1 through April 30. Decals go on sale the last week of April for the upcoming year but can be purchased at any time of the year during business hours.

Last night's Sun

Driving back from the beach last evening, there was the most amazing setting was gigantic. I did not have my regular camera with me and took this shot with a Canon S100. Traffic had stopped on the bridge and by the time I got to a place where the photo could be taken, it rapidly disappeared. Hope you got to see the amazing Sun last night.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Illegal immigrants and ObamaCare

The Senate rejected an amendment to the budget that would have banned illegal immigrants from qualifying for “ObamaCare” and Medicaid during the period of legal status.

Senate Budget Committee ranking member Jeff Session (R-Ala.) introduced the amendment, which failed on a 43-56 vote. His amendment would have prohibited illegal immigrants, who later gain citizenship, from getting healthcare coverage under the Affordable Care Act or through Medicaid.

Read more... from the Hill.

Amendment 2 Height Limits in downtown Lake Worth

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The Charter Amendment appears before the Planning & Zoning board on May 1. The board will provide its recommendation to the city commission.  As Greg Rice is the vice chair of that board, I would expect that he will recuse himself as there is a definite conflict of interest as he helped form The Friends of the Gulfstream PAC telling people to vote NO for the heights amendment, confusing the voters with his message, suggesting that the YES people wanted to get rid of the hotel.  Chair John Rinaldi stated on Facebook that he thought the illegal banner on the Gulfstream Hotel should have been twice as large. We expect John Rinaldi to also refrain from discussion. We know how they as well as this board feels and it is not the will of the voters.

It is projected that the First Public Reading of the Heights Amendment will be on May 21 or June 4.  The Second reading will be on July 2 in front of the City Commission. No matter what the majority commission feels about this issue (and they did everything within their power to confuse the voter and delay the vote), they have to approve the amendment to the Charter.

When all those above changed the Comprehensive Plan to 65 feet from 45 feet in our downtown, it triggered the formation of a citizen's initiative to get the issue on the ballot.  Height limitations were approved by 55.86% of the voters.

House fire on South L St, Lake Worth

Read about it.

Susan Stanton, City Manager of Greenfield, California

We all know that our former city manager, Susan Stanton, took the city manager's job in Greenfield, California. Although California has beautiful weather similar to Florida's, its landscape is so different. Here are a few photos from Greenfield and areas leading into Greenfield:

Arroyo Seco River near Greenfield

Carmel Valley Road to Greenfield

El Camino Real Street in Greenfield--low rise!

Indian valley

MacKenzie Ranch

Round Valley Lake

Was the world's number one grower of Broccoli

Friday, March 22, 2013

Tonight's Sunset

Great Day at Lake Worth Beach

The Remarkable Cpt. Kimo

Photograph by Cpt. Kimo,
Gren Rocks at Coral Cove Beach Park, Jupiter Island

Go to Cpt. Kimo web site to learn about HDR photography.

Suzanne Mulvehill

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Suzanne in Italy

Former Lake Worth Commissioner, Suzanne Mulvehill, is on her life journey.  At the moment, she is in Romania.

Read more on her blog--Suzanne Mulvehill

Lake Worth wants to sell off assets to afford Union costs

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24 City of Lake Worth properties are up for sale worth approximately $544,000 and the reason why we want to sell them off is to be able to afford pension costs that are expected to rise in the 2013/2014 budget, so said the Mayor.

Some of those City-owned lots and homes that could be offered for sale:
  • 711 N. L St, a lot.
  • 416 Third Ave. S., a lot
  • 313 N. M St. a lot
  • 1203 18th Ave. N, adjacent lots
  • 1506 S. J St., a lot
  • 624 Highland Ave., a lot
  • 1756 14th Ave. S., a lot
  • 1101 S. E. St., a lot
  • 626 Latona Ave., a lot
  • 628 N. K St., a lot
  • 629 S. H St., a lot
  • 605 Fifth Ave. N., a house
  • 902 N. C St., a house
  • 304 S. F St., a lot
We have all these ambitious goals--developing the Park of Commerce, as well as developing a robust housing/property rehabilitation program for Lake Worth and the overall improvement of our quality of life.

The main source of our consternation, that no one really wants to address, is the unions.  I'm not sure that we have a top union professional with the expertise and mechanics to bargain with the Unions that are holding our city, as well as many others, hostage. We need to hire a top union negotiator. With the rising cost of healthcare and all employee pension costs, the city's mission of creating a viable and healthy community is impossible unless Unions stop taking the biggest piece of the pie.

In 2013/2014 it was estimated that police costs would rise to $15,551,758 and fire protection to 2,781,542 or $18.3 million out of a total budget of $29.3 million.  The estimated increased  costs for policing would be $770 thousand over this year in a city where property values are expected to go down once again. We can't continue to operate this way. Selling off our assets is not the solution.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Happy Pelicans

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Hanging out In Lantana

No leadership; No responsibility; No tours

What Lake Worth has in Store for you

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Besides the Enterprise zone--

Planned Development District:  Division 6. Planned Development Section 23.3-25

Planned Development District.

a) Intent
 The intent of this section is to encourage through incentives the use of innovative land planning and development techniques to create more desirable and attractive development in the city. Incentives include but are not limited to:
  •  (1). Relaxing or waiving of height setback lot dimensions and lot area requirements
  •  (2). Allowing an increase in density or a decrease in minimum living area per dwelling unit; 
  •  (3). Permitting uses or a mixture of uses not normally permitted in the underlying zoning district.

Planned development districts can occur in all residential commercial and industrial districts with the exception of the convenience commercial district. The increase in density contemplated shall not exceed the density provided in the Lake Worth Comprehensive Master Plan.


The two-story NSP houses in the 300 block of N D St are a "planned unit development."

Apathetic Voters - Lake Worth

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Voters are apathetic, no doubt about it.  Unless it involves a national election, turn-out is always very low.  In Palm Beach County, only 1 in 9 voters showed up at the polls with a 10.86 percent bothering to get off that couch.  We did a little better in Lake Worth with 14%.

Broward County consists of 31 cities and almost half have gone to November elections over the past ten years. The thought was it would help with turnout and it has. It wasn't that long ago during the Jeff Clemens regime that Lake Worth voted in November elections and those officials were in office an additional 9 months. Last Tuesday, Lake Worth voted to return to March elections.

Since the election, we have heard a lot of complaints from certain people who lost on Amendment 2  on the fact that so few decided this election. They say that only a small fraction of voters decide the issues even though it was they who pushed for and endorsed going back to March elections. The vote was 1,333 of the 2,264 to move the election to March.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

International Boat Show - Lake Worth Lagoon

Go see how the 1% live--these are the people who don't worry about fictitious reasons to get a city out of its doldrums like growing Lake Worth downtown vertically by 20 more feet; they don't worry about slum and blight because where they live, they don't have any!

The 28th annual Palm Beach International Boat Show will showcase a spectacular display of more than $1 billion worth of yachts, boats and accessories from Thursday through Sunday. Buyers and sellers from around the world will gather along the scenic Lake Worth Lagoon overlooking fashionable Palm Beach, where hundreds of boats ranging from small inflatables and center consoles to fishing boats and super yachts over 200 feet are on display at the show. The event is owned and sponsored by the Marine Industries Association of Palm Beach County and managed and produced by Show Management.

Read more....

The City of Lake Worth's Sub-Regional System Audit

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Last night, Finance Director, Steven Carr was given kudos for doing a wonderful job for Lake Worth.  Even one of the Friends of the Gulfstream, who loves to speak on all subjects great and small, laid compliments upon him.  I like Steve Carr. He was hired by Susan Stanton and it was brought to Stanton's attention that our sub-regional sewer customers owed us over $10 million bucks. We had audit after audit during that period. The City pursued the monies owed. Now there is a complete reversal. What gives?

The City of Lake Worth's Sub-Regional System audit--

What happened?  How did we go from cities owing us millions to us owing them thousands?

Notes to Fiscal Years:
1. City records did not include sufficient information to permit a calculation of over (under)-billings for the 2006-07 fiscal year.

2. Notes A, C, I, J, K, and L under the Types of Deficiencies in City Records, relate to the first half of the 2008-09 fiscal year. Notes A, B, D, F, G, I, J, K, and L relate to the second half of the 2008-09 fiscal year. Over (under)-billing amounts are for the first half of the 2008-09 fiscal year. City records did not include sufficient information to permit a calculation of over (under)-billings for the second half of the 2008-09 fiscal year.

Here is a list of all the "incompetence"--
Notes to Types of Deficiencies in City records:

A. Contracts between the City and System Customers were not sufficiently detailed as to the methodology for determining renewal and replacement costs to be billed to and paid by System Customers.
B. City records did not evidence how Sub-regional System renewal and replacement (R&R) costs were calculated.
C. City records did not evidence why the City used budgeted depreciation as the sole basis for calculating Sub-regional System R&R costs.
D. City records did not evidence what portion of the flow rate billed to System Customers was attributable to the East Central Regional Water Reclamation Facility
E. City records did not evidence whether or not State Revolving Fund (SRF) loan costs were included in ECRWRF flow rate calculations
F. City records did not evidence what portion of the flow rate billed to System Customers was attributable to the Palm Beach County Joint Transmission Facility
G. City records did not evidence how the flow rates stated in a consultant’s rate study were determined.
H. City records did not evidence how the flow rates stated in revenue sufficiency analyses were determined.
I. City records did not evidence the flow rate calculation for the Village of Palm Springs.
J. City records did not always sufficiently demonstrate that Regional Sewer Funds expenditures were recorded in the correct amount and were related to the Sub-regional System.
K. City records did not evidence the basis upon which allocation percentages, used to allocate budgeted salaries of Sub-regional System employees to the City’s local sewer system, were established.
L. City records did not evidence the methodology used to allocate any indirect costs to the Regional Sewer Fund and, as such, did not demonstrate that a systematic and reasonable approach was used to allocate such costs.

Last Night's City Commission Meeting

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With one of the shortest meetings in history, last night the commission agenda was lead by the Vice Mayor Pro-Tem, Andy Amoroso, who did a good job, for the most part, until he allowed the hecklers to take over during my public commentary. The Mayor had some family emergency and the Vice Mayor was in Tallahassee on what was described as "Lake Worth business."  We will never know what that business is as this commission voted not to tell the public how they spend their travel budget. They never have given reports anyway--not once.

Meetings just get shorter and shorter. Before long they could eliminate them all together. I still want to know what is being decided out of the Sunshine.  Last night's agenda had seven items on Consent that are just voted on by the commission without public discussion. The Southern Waste Systems roll-off container contract was pulled off the explanation from anyone.  Don't be surprised when it is discussed down the road and all commissioners will agree that this company deserves to have a contract in Lake Worth for being a good neighbor even if they did leave our landfill a wreck and uninhabitable and a lot of sick people in the Osborne community--even if they have been charged with illegal activities in the past. It's like believing that a pedophile has now gone straight.  Garbage is a smelly business.

The developer side in this city has always been in the wings ever since I started attending Lake Worth Democratic Club meetings in the 1990's.  Years ago, it was our beach they wanted to hand over to a developer for a hotel, Anthony Pugliese.  Later, there was another beach plan referred to as the "Webber Plan' for Bruce Webber that never got off the table for $10 million.  Later there was a Shwab Twitty Plan that went out on a vote of the people in 2002 as the commission wanted to tie us up on a general obligation bond in the tune of $19 million that had NO cap.  By the time it got all through, the cost could have been double.  The voters gave a RESOUNDING NO along with Scott Maxwell, then commissioner in District 1. Later came Greater Bay that resulted in a few law suits with a commission that was going to allow Greater Bay tie up our property for 40 years as one law suit suggested.  The people had no say in this. The commission and developer side in this city nearly got away with that one. It has been a battle ever since.

Changing zoning or even changing heights can, and often does, make a property more valuable depending upon its location. It's always about the money. Even when the owner of the Gulfstream was granted every waiver he asked, the owner still never performed and we have been left with an empty hotel ever since.

Commissioner Szerdi said last night that so many people were confused about the height amendment and that some even thought that there would be development of 100 foot buildings next to their residences. If someone actually thought that, it was 100% due to the the mailer that the NO people sent to the voters. No one is confused, Commissioner and if they are, you need to ask the Friends of the Gulfstream with whom you campaigned that sent out a mailer showing 100' and 65' surrounding the downtown, calling the YES amendment "more bad planning." You need to explain the banner that was erected on The Gulfstream with many voters confused by you that the YES folks wanted to tear down the historic building. You need to have them send out a mailer of apology to all the voters. And you need to apologize as well.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

U.S. Population

From: Joyce Tarnow, Floridians for a Sustainable Population,

This morning's projections from the U.S. Census Bureau's Population Clock--U.S. population as of this morning is 314, 518, 244.

We have a net gain of one person every 15 seconds. We have one international migrant (net) every 40 seconds.

The Cold Hard Facts of our economy

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Guest Blogger
In Saturday’s ( 3/16/13) Palm Beach Post there is an article on biotech company leaving PB county.

The hardest thing about any start-up company is starting up-- it takes a lot of money that most do not have so when you are a biotech start up you need a sucker to give you free money. And that sucker was all of us in south Florida. We have given them free tax payer money to get them started ( not to mention the Federal grant money that they also received which is of course tax payer money too), put in infrastructure and buildings that our regular economy has no use for and now we are holding the bag for years to come.

In Florida there are 3 sectors and only 3 sectors for business: Agriculture , Tourism , and Housing construction. We have killed Agriculture by de-mucking all the good farm land on the coast (the only place that you can farm year around, east of congress to the coast, it gets too cold west of congress in winter) to over building of houses. We just don't have enough small farming to help the economy.

Tourism is not what it used to be any more. Tourist season has gotten shorter and shorter over the years for a lot of reasons, and by over building all over the state of Florida, we are now competing with ourselves (Florida has the longest sea shore area of the country-- people don't have to come to Lake Worth or Palm Beach County to get good beaches) and our taxes have gone up so much that most people just don't want to come here anymore. We just don't have enough tourism to help the economy.

We have killed construction by over building to the point that we will not need much going forward for a long time. Not to mention that the financial sector has screwed us by over lending on construction that is not worth much anymore and most are up-side down.

The housing rental bubble is on now and when the hedge fund guys and all the smaller speculators finally realize that the rental business is not much good (unemployed and $9 / $10 dollars an hour just will not cut it to pay rent), they will dump all those properties because they paid cash and now own the deeds. They will sell at a loss just to get out and home prices will go down again. We will not get enough new construction to help the economy.

And now all we have is service work at $9.00 to $10.00 an hour to get by. It will not be enough to help the economy. We will never be Silicon Valley here. It is anchored very well on the west coast of the country where it's closer to Asia where most of the action is for a good while yet, but we are left holding the bag on all the speculation that we have done.

Cesar Figueroa
Lake Worth

Wish is fulfilled for developer by West Palm Beach Commission

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What developer wouldn't want to get his hands
 on this prime property? And the West Palm Beach Commission
just gave it to one.

Golf course gets up-zoned at Lands of the President.

Is anyone surprised that the West Palm Beach City commission approved of this? ...119 acres sitting right in the midst of residential zoning that has been in place for 40 years will now be up-zoned to commercial.

The proposed project, consists of a 3 story, 250 room hotel, 100 single-family houses, 23 cottages, 200 multi-family houses plus a 15,000 square foot spa. The area where single family houses are proposed, will be protected by a residential zoning says the commission. Big whoopie!

Kilday and Associates were involved, planners who represented the developers, and a firm that has never seen a development it didn't like and always comes up with the justifications for change.