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Showing posts from February, 2012

Tatiana Found Safe!

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photo by Lannis Waters, Palm Beach Post
Thank You PBSO!!!

A Key To Safety

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Our dear friend, AnnaMaria who writes the Lake Worth Every Minute Blog has published an amazingly simple and effective idea for enhancing home security.

"Put your car keys beside your bed at night. If you hear a noise outside your home or someone trying to get in your house, just press the panic button for your car. The alarm will be set off, and the horn will continue to sound until either you turn it off or the car battery dies.                              
This tip came from a neighborhood watch coordinator.  Next time you come home for the night and you start to put your keys away, think of this: It’s a security alarm system that you probably already have and requires no installation.  Test it.  It will go off from most everywhere inside your house and will keep honking until your battery runs down or until you reset it with the button on the key fob chain. It works if you park in your driveway or garage or right in front of your house.                               
If your ca…

Leap Day

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"Leap". painting by Richard Cardona
“Today is an ephemeral ghost . . . A strange amazing day that comes only once every four years. For the rest of the time it does not "exist."
In mundane terms, it marks a "leap" in time, when the calendar is adjusted to make up for extra seconds accumulated over the preceding three years due to the rotation of the earth. A day of temporal tune up! 
But this day holds another secret—it contains one of those truly rare moments of delightful transience and light uncertainty that only exist on the razor edge of things, along a buzzing plane of quantum probability... 
A day of unlocked potential.  Will you or won't you? Should you or shouldn't you? 
Use this day to do something daring, extraordinary and unlike yourself. Take a chance and shape a different pattern in your personal cloud of probability!”  
. . . Vera Nazarian, The Perpetual Calendar of Inspiration

Gee, This looks familiar. Have we been here before?

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How can we be sure we're moving forward if our leaders don't care where we are or how we got here? Last night the Commission unanimously approved the new and improved Guaranteed Maximum Price for the Beach Re-development Project. 
$6,712,591
. . . and Yes, I said unanimously. Oh, there were lots of lips paying lots of service to the sorry state of affairs in which they found themselves staring down the barrel of another drop-deadline, and several even went so far as to inquire if the deadline was, you know, actually real or arbitrarily set to force their hand. Not wishing to climb out any further on that shaky limb, the Commission chose to heed the dire warnings of the in-house Project Manager, Kathleen Margoles and approved the 34% increase that guess who is going to have to pay over and above the $5,000,000 County bond money. 
Who? Why the City of course, and by "the City", they mean us. The Commission will simply reach a little deeper into the Costco size mayonnaise …

It shouldn't be this hard to paint the beach

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Whenever things go awry in Lake Worth, and maybe anywhere else too, one of the reasons most often sited is the changing of the guard. That was then and this is now and ne'er the twain shall meet under an umbrella of accountability. The beach project, under discussion again tonight, is the quintessential example.
How much time will be taken up with the "I wasn't here" or the "I told you so's." How many charges and counter charges of sabotage, delay and ineptitude will fly around the room only to land us back where we started. How much effort will go into defending prior positions and back-pedaling on unfulfilled promises. 
I'm sick to death of parades being led from behind; pushing old agendas rather than pulling the pieces, however fragmented, together into a project that can be salvaged. Telling the truth would be a nice place to start. The gig is up anyway. Pretending that all's well, when it clearly is not, is an insult added to the injury we&#…

Special Meeting on Beach Project Costs or CC holds SM on GMP for BRP and CRP

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Photography by Stacie Lee

On Tuesday, February 28th at 6:00 PM, the City Commission will hold a Special Meeting to approve the latest Guaranteed Maximum Price (GMP) for the Beach Re-Development Project (BRP). This is the part of the project that DOES NOT include anything related to the Casino Re-Something Project (CRP). It's an open meeting. The public may attend and may be allowed to comment.
The first GMP was $5,000,000 but that was before it was called a Guaranteed Maximum Price. That's back when it was called a campaign promise. You know, that thing about the Beach Re-development Project not costing the voters, I mean the taxpayers, of Lake Worth one dime above the $5,000,000 bond money from the County. Remember that?
Remember back in 2006 when the taxpayers of Lake Worth had $3,620,800 socked away in a Beach Fund to add to the $5,000,000 County bond money to do something really nice up at the beach? And then somehow that money was all gone and in 2010 we had to sign a new In…

Art at the Heart of Lake Worth

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The Street Painting Information Center, Lost and Found, and Volunteer Check-In is located at 609 Lake Avenue. Stop in to say Hello and find out where everything (and every artist) is located. Click on the map to make it larger.  Enjoy this great weekend Everyone.

Watch Art Emerge at the 2012 Street Painting Festival

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Those who can, Do. Those who can do more, Volunteer!

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Here's to all the Street Painting Volunteers,  Those dedicated people who believe in
All Work and No Pay!
It's not too late. If you can spare a few hours today for set-up, or a few hours on Saturday or Sunday during the Festival, stop by the Chamber office downtown today and sign up. Remember ~ 
Volunteers do not necessarily have the time, They just have the heart!

Taste of Lake Worth Tonight

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Click on the image to make it larger

Also on Saturday

South Palm Park Neighborhood Association is sponsoring their 18th Annual Community Yard Sale on Saturday, February 25th from 8:00 AM til Noon. Opportunities to pick up great treasures, and to support the SPP Neighborhood Association, will be spread out among 20 or so locations along Lakeside and Palmway from 5th Avenue South to 18th Avenue South. Hope to see you there and later at the fabulous Street Painting Festival.

REPOST: Street Painting Festival

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Click Here to visit the website for the 18th Annual Street Painting Festival to be held on February 25th and 26th right here in our own Downtown Lake Worth. 
Click Here to fill out the Volunteer Application. SPF needs our help on Friday with set up and on Saturday and Sunday during the Festival. Some of the many things that go into putting on the Festival that Volunteers make possible are:
Setting Up and Taking DownDistributing Chalk to ArtistsThe Bistro Area in the Cultural PlazaSelling T-ShirtsArtists OasisMonitor CrowdsChildren's MeadowVolunteer Check InTrolley Shuttle (This is really fun. Ride the Shuttle from the Tri Rail Station with visitors to LW and point out some of the great things about our City they are about to experience. Script Provided but enthusiastic ad-libbing is encouraged)And new this year - Survey Takers

Volunteer shifts are generally for four hours but if you can be flexible, SPF will be flexible too. Volunteers receive a special T-Shirt and everything you nee…

CRA Sponsored Neighborhood Clean-up This Saturday

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Commission Meeting Cancellations

A Special Commission Meeting scheduled for tomorrow, Thursday, February 23rd at 6 PM, to take action on the Casino Guaranteed Maximum Price has been cancelled. UPDATE: According to an email sent by William Waters to "Board Members", this meeting is now scheduled for Tuesday, February 28th at 6 PM. The new meeting has also been listed on the Meetings and Events Calendar on the City website. No agenda or back-up is currently available on the website. 
Also a Budget WorkShop scheduled for Tuesday, February 28th at 6 PM to establish the Commission's goals and visions for Fiscal Year 2012-2013 has been cancelled.
Two Special Meetings scheduled for March 1st are still on. One at 3:30 PM behind closed doors to discuss the cost of the pending suit, City of Lake Worth vs. The Firefighters Pension Board trustees and another Special meeting at 6:30 PM the same day to to short list the applicants for the position of City Manager. That is not a closed door meeting, the public is allowe…

A day without Florida Sunshine is like, you know, Night

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photography by Janak Skarzynski
In the last two days, the Palm Beach Post has opined on two separate allegations of Sunshine Law violations by the West Palm Beach City Commission and the West Palm Beach City administration. Allegations about Sunshine Law shenanigans get tossed around here in Lake Worth with alarming frequency and I thought we might find a "teachable moment" in what's happened in WPB in the last month. There are two parts to the Sunshine Laws,  Section 119 which speaks to Public Records and Section 286 which speaks to open government meetings. The recent events in WBP speak to each of these.
The first WPB incident occurred three weeks ago and involves a Senior Planner in the City's Development Services department. In response to an email from a resident questioning the removal of 22 mature oak trees from a gated community, the Planner attached a city report that backed up the City's earlier refusal to allow the trees to be cut down. A later report f…

February 21 Commission Meeting - Preview

The Commission is holding a Regular Meeting tonight at 6pm. Highlights include:


On Consent:
Two different grant applications. One for $500,000  for the Electric Utilities from the US Dept of Energy with a City match of $410,000. This is for the "Beat the Peak" program and probably should be pulled. This is a good opportunity to explain what "Beat the Peak" means and how this software will work and what it means for the average customer. 
The second grant application is for $30,000 from the Florida Dept. of Environmental Protection and is slated to pay for educational and interpretative signage at the Beach. This grant has a one to one matching requirement and part of the $5,000,000 County bond that was budgeted for native landscaping will be used for that purpose.
Also on Consent is a proposal to accept a labyrinth as a donation to Bryant Park to be located near the water south of the boat ramp parking lot. Several citizens have asked for this item to be pulled in orde…

Redistricting update

The Florida Democratic Party has filed the first challenge to the redistricting plan in state Supreme Court. Their "argument" focuses on how unfair it all is to the Democratic Party with nary a mention of how unfair it all is to cities like Lake Worth which will be sliced up into four separate House districts. Odd, because Lake Worth is located at the epicenter of the most glaring examples of political gerrymandering, Districts 88 and 89.
Keeping district lines within municipal or geographical boundaries comes in at a far distant second to hanging on to seats the Democrats have now. The Republicans are no better. Their "reasoning" for turning District 88 into a spindly snake slithering from Riviera Beach through Lake Worth is to accommodate minority Hispanic voters. We're not supposed to notice new District 89 side-winding it's way down the coastal communities from the Treasure Coast to Boca slices off and segregates a significant power base of affluent and …

Three Artists Salute US Presidents

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These are not your usual Presidents' Day images. I hope you find them interesting and thought provoking. Click on any of the images to make them larger.

"The Presidents" painting by Matt Sesow

"The Presidents", painting by Richard Massad

"The Forgotten Man", painting by Jon McNaughton

Countdown

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"Counting Days" by Heather Gorham
On Wednesday, February 22, 2012, this latest new City Commission celebrates 100 days in office. Following every Presidential election, we seem to give the newly elected Commander in Chief 100 days to get his administrative ducks in a row and reveal the sum and substance of what he hopes to accomplish in his next 3 and 3/4 years in the Oval Office.
We in Lake Worth have elections every year. Every year we have a new Commission. And every year, after 100 days there only 9 months left before we have a new Commission. Every year, after 100 days, there are only 6 months left before the campaign to re-elect gets in high gear. Every year, after 100 days, it's immediately time to craft the next budget. So how long  do any of our Electeds really have to simply, you know, govern? 
We don't elect a Commander in Chief to preside over an Executive branch. We elect Commissioners from four districts, and a Mayor at large, whose only special executive …

Looks like Scotty and Carla and Lisa were right after all. Gee.

"In her first term, Commissioner Mulvehill pushed to save the beachfront casino building from demolition and fully supports the innovative restoration plan that could begin next year. So does Dr. McVoy, a soil scientist with the South Florida Water Management District. Ms. Blockson has qualms, and Ms. Maxwell - no relation to Commissioner Scott Maxwell - even more so. She says the financing plan, under which Lake Worth in two years will take a loan to repay itself for up-front construction costs, won't work. The city's financial experts say it will. Moving ahead on the long-stalled project makes sense."
Just in case the above quote doesn't seem familiar, allow me to refresh your memory. Click Here to read the  Palm Beach Post editorial endorsing Cara Jennings' hand picked successor, Chris McVoy, for the office of Commissioner District 2 and Suzanne Mulvehill, running for re-election as Commissioner District 4. 
Oh. By the way, if you do click on the link and go…

NOW Ya Tell Us?

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While none of this qualifies as news to Panda Fans, it seems the rest of the Lake Worth is waking up to learn in the Palm Beach Post that the Beach Redevelopment Project is 32% over budget, even after cutting the components that would have made it special and before the first shovel hits the sand, or the first new parking spot gets a fresh new stripe. Here's the Link to the Post article, that sadly continues to refer to the Casino portion as a "renovation". 
If it's not criminal, it's at least shameful that this should come as news to anyone at Lake Worth City Hall or Palm Beach County Commission offices. The "budget", ha ha ha, is the $5,000,000 bond money the County waited for years beyond all understanding for Lake Worth to accept (since 2006), to pay for a cleaned up public beach with working showers, bathrooms, nice picnic areas and an attractive boardwalk. The trade-off for Lake Worth was having to give up City Resident decal parking in the most pr…

Oh for Heaven's Sake!

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"Annoyed and Disgusted" photo by smalltowngirl

It seems that now our State Legislators want immunity protecting them from any fallout over the lawsuits filed to challenge the redistricting plans. Have these people no shame at all? Click Here for the article in the Miami Herald. and Thanks to the Panda Fan who passed this along!

Godspeed John Glenn: 50 years since first US orbit

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By MARCIA DUNN AP Aerospace Writer In this Jan. 25, 2012 photo, Sen. John Glenn speaks during an interview... ((AP Photo/Jay LaPrete))
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla.—The name still resonates and generates goose bumps like few others in the world of spaceflight.  John Glenn.
Even astronauts—not just the rest of us mere mortals—get mushy talking about Project Mercury's "clean Marine" who led the country's charge into orbit. As the world's most enduring and endearing spaceman gets set to celebrate what no other living astronaut has done—mark the 50th anniversary of his own spaceflight—he finds himself in overdrive reflecting on what has been an undeniably charmed, golden life. First American to orbit the Earth, aboard Friendship 7 on Feb. 20, 1962. Oldest person to fly in space, at age 77 aboard shuttle Discovery in 1998. U.S. FILE - In this Feb. 23, 1962 file photo, astronaut John Glenn, left, and President John F. Kennedy