Saturday, February 28, 2009

The "Vision" artist

Well, perhaps I missed something entirely at the Beach Workshop the other night. But then it was never really discussed. Perhaps when they hire Michael Singer, and we (the public) do not like his design or his concept of what our beach should look like, we don’t have to accept it. But then, why would we be willing to pay ANY money to an artist to draw what he wants or what HE believes the solution should be.

We as residents have just a normal ability and a general feeling of what we want at our beach. We have expressed that often enough over the past 3 years. Actually, it is more about what we DON’T want, then what we do. Some have been hostile to the tenants there, taking it out on them because of their reduced rents, forgetting that the City has let them down on the building providing NO maintenance. They have been left to work out those problems themselves. There are a few residents who are just hostile, period. One even rode his bike to the 2-22 at 2 event just to voice his displeasure. The beach is hot.

An engineer, after years of education and training, finds the solution and implements a design through the input of others, hopefully, in this case, the residents of Lake Worth who have spoken on this issue. They are creative in a different way than just an artist. They design using mathematics and ensuring that the concept works.

The artist, on the other hand, through some God given talent perhaps, although I have seen art for which I have NO understanding, draws a solution that is meaningful to him. There is no rationalization. There are no measurements as an engineer would make. It doesn’t mean that the final product might not look nice; it just may mean that it is not practical and it may not fit into our budget for the beach/park. And, we might hate it.
After several hours at the meeting, the Commission was willing to give Michael Singer, the artist, carte blanch for the probable 25 thou and a very wide brush to come up with a vision. Have you ever seen an artist who draws quickly? Can’t wait. If we hate it, can we get a refund?

What the PB Post says about the Vision Artist and our beach

Lake Worth's beach priority

Palm Beach Post Editorial

Saturday, February 28, 2009

A last-minute attempt to improve Lake Worth's beach project could end up killing the project.

On Thursday night, the city commission met with Kimley-Horn, a design firm that will help Lake Worth seek a proposal for the beach and another for the casino. With no notice, Commissioners Cara Jennings and Jo-Ann Golden insisted that Michael Singer Studios be allowed to give a presentation. By the end of the workshop, there was a consensus that Kimley-Horn and Michael Singer would work together to shape a "vision" for the beach.

Read more of the article...Click HERE

Friday, February 27, 2009

One step forward…two steps ALWAYS back


That’s Lake Worth. Sometimes this phenomenon happens from good intentions; sometimes it is from a Commissioner's insistence that he/she gets his own way; sometimes it just plain stems from lack of understanding. But whatever motivates commissioners in Lake Worth to get in their own way, this is the norm. It is the one single thing for which Lake Worth excels.

In December 2008, we finally had a consensus on the Casino. The Commission agreed to go forward on restoration of the Lake Worth Casino, go out for bid on the rest of the beach park and get a plan into the County so that we would not lose the $5 million. The motion was to select a Design Criteria Agent for the design/build portion of the Casino and the engineer work for other public improvements. Everyone agreed.

Within a few weeks, Commissioner Jennings was commenting that she wanted whatever was CHEAPER for our building. Within a few weeks she had forgotten what the people had petitioned for—saving the beach from further development and commercialization and retaining the PROS zoning. Commissioner Jennings was a petitioner for We Love Lake Worth and being that she is barely past the age of 30, I don’t think she has a memory problem.

Last night Jennings and Golden introduced Michael Singer Artist who reminded me somehow of Roberto Benigni in Life is Beautiful. It was the same sort of “enthusiasm.” He showed slides he has done on other projects--Athens??-- and personally, I thought it all dreadful. The Mayor liked it. He was allowed to give a Power Point presentation although not on the Agenda. The guy doesn’t like grass! He likes Xeriscape like Commissioner Jennings. That set well with the tree huggers. Will we have no more beautiful grass at our beach? Weeds? This presentation as well as this guy came as a total surprise to me, introduced to the two commissioners by Rene Varela, someone for whom I never hear from or see these days.

During the presentation a woman sitting in front of me passed me a note—“Snake oil for the dais…goes down smoothly. What happened to independent thinking?” I guess the dais is reluctant to make a decision all on their own because they now agreed to pay this guy up to $25,000 to give HIS vision as to what WE SHOULD HAVE AT OUR BEACH. Of course, he met with Jennings who has in the past expressed that the building be built down on A1A. Golden, well I have no idea what her vision is but we know she was not in favor of Greater Bay. The Mayor will be meeting with this guy soon. We know he is insistent on a parking garage. It definitely will not be Commissioner Mulvehill’s vision or the vision of the people who elected her to office or those who petitioned to vote on our beach. It won’t be why Jennings won with a large margin that was all because of the beach.

One of the citizens who spoke congratulated the Commission for “thinking out of the box.” Great thing to do, when the timing is right. This is not the time to bring forth something like this at the last 98 seconds that could delay the project indefinitely. So, here we are, again, getting in our own way to move forward, get a site plan in on time to the County, bringing another layer to the project, another hurdle to jump, another obstacle in our path that WE DO NOT NEED. What if, and that is a big IF, and a big possibility, we don’t like Roberto Benigni’s vision for our beach? What then?

Remind me to never campaign for or contribute to anyone running for a seat in Lake Worth. I am not sure that an elected official here can really represent the people or even wants to.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Water Contract--The Blame--The Shame

Blame it on:
City Manager Bob Baldwin
Finance Director Mark Bates

Blame it next on:
Mayor Jeff Clemens
Former Commissioner David Vespo
Commissioner Retha Lowe who followed the lead of the above two and believed in Staff.

Blame it next on the Greed of Palm Beach County Utilities, its Staff, fooling all of the above and all along, in the back of their heads, wanting their greedy hands on our valuable water. Or is there more to it?

Blame it finally on Addie Greene, Burt Aaronson and Jeff Koons who will not entertain even the very idea of doing what is right for the people of Lake Worth. To them, it is all about the money...to Commissioner Koons who made it very clear that he wants a central South Regional Water Plant and we are a main ingredient to that plan.

Government is supposed to look after the best interests of ALL the people, not just some. Because of the world's worst decision brought on the people of Lake Worth, our own County Commissioners have thrown us to the wolves.

Fiscal restraint and common sense were non-existent when three Lake Worth Commissioners did what they did. Once the waste from the RO was solved with deep-well injection rather than running it off into our ocean, we had to continue on with our Reverse Osmosis after already spending $14 million dollars. That ain't hay, Mayor.

Bicycle Month

Read about the Lake Worth Bike Month Event

2 + 2 = 5

Lake Worth High School

Well, she may not have been teaching that two plus two equals five but that's what a Lake Worth High School math teacher did. She was indicted on Federal charges for sending in five fraudulent tax returns and charged with 32 counts of assisting in criminal preparation of tax returns.

Perhaps teachers should be given psychological tests before hire to try and ascertain whether or not they are moral, have values and ethics. A teacher should be setting examples for our children, not committing crimes against the United States. But crime is getting to be the norm. The "me" factor has taken over. Sad state of affairs.

There won't be any boo hoo hooing for this cheat who has cheated our kids by setting her personal bar at the lowest end of decency. The lesson to be learned here is on the day she goes to jail.

BOO, HOO, HOO

Just like a spoiled kid, sometimes crying works especially with a weak parent.

After listening to the Commission Meeting last night on the Fire Rescue going to Palm Beach County, one thing became very clear—the Commission received a lot of boo hoo hooing behind the scenes from some CRA members on the proposal from Finance Director, Mark Bates. Heaven forbid that the CRA would have to bite the bullet just like the City government and the city taxpayer. They didn’t want to lose one dime from the money they have been getting.

Why? They have a vision that our city needs a Transit Oriented Development as well as becoming an Artist’s Center. They want that dream to become a reality and know it will be very difficult if they lose any money. Even one member of the CRA Tuesday night decried the fact that the Pugh property project was stopped after spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on it, another ill conceived deal. Boo hoo.

Of course, if our Fire Dept is merged to the County and the CRA gets to keep its budget, that would mean our taxes would be raised accordingly to accommodate their selfishness. The money that they would lose goes to help a lot of people who live only in the CRA District and who are just plain helpless and in many cases don’t even deserve it. WE are the people. What has the CRA done for you? Does our City look any better? Any less blighted? Oh, yes, 6th Avenue South and 10th Avenue North. Paying $13 million on roads to attract development, and they (really us) still will owe this money for a decade.

To cry the blues as did the CRA on Tuesday night and then the Commission totally acting confused last night by bringing up the poor CRA’s budget on dozens of occasions, is another attempt by the CRA to hold on to its power. The residents are already paying more than ever before with the police merger costing us $1 million more a year, with the storm water now off our utility bill and on to our ad valorem, at a higher rate mind you. Did our taxes go down then?

We pay 7.65 mils right now, not including the debt service, and the Fire would cost us 2.95 mils on our tax bill. Does anyone really think that the City will reduce our millage to 4.7 mils? Now with this proposal, it will cost us, Joe Blow Taxpayer, again, if the Commission’s interest is with the CRA and not with every taxpayer in Lake Worth.

Personally, I would like to see the CRA taken over by the City Commission. We could then go to an immediate vote to raise the salaries of each Commissioner and the Mayor to a livable and decent wage. We need fulltime people up there on the dais to devote the necessary time to make these important decisions. Perhaps then we would not have them voting on bad Contracts for which they have no understanding.

The CRA Board is directed and driven by Staff. This is a Board that is becoming more and more marginalized…more and more powerless. When you can’t even have a member request and get something put on an agenda six days before a meeting, then there is something very wrong with the power structure of this Board.

Let's all thank Governor Crist for his legacy, Amendment One. Every taxpayer in the State who voted FOR this amendment got fooled for a lousy $280.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The PB County Water contract


The vote last year by Mayor Clemens, Retha Lowe and former Commissioner Vespo was totally strange. We had already spent $14 mil on our own Reverse Osmosis System. To vote NOT to finish this but instead spend the money building pipes to connect to PB County and buy water from them was unbelievable particularly when we could buy any needed water from West Palm Beach for just the price of the water, not spend $21 million building pipes. We would have been a supplier of water, not dependent on someone like the County for our water needs.

Most of us are still shaking our heads and wondering why. What did the Mayor have against West Palm Beach Water? Why did he do what he did? Why did Palm Beach County want our commitment so badly? Why did they want to knock us out of the water business? How did any of this happen?

Write the PB County Commission--

Last night’s CRA meeting—one more time!


Besides all the moaning and groaning from a few Board members regarding the very probable loss of money next year, seven items of give-aways were on the Consent Agenda. Yes, I call them give-aways. That is what they are.

I am writing on this again as there is actually one person in this City (and his sidekick from whom I did not hear) who felt that I was not writing fairly as to what happened last night. Gee.

In my opinion, the eradication of slum and blight is the objective of the CRA, not paying for air conditioning units, pavers, irrigation systems, a parking lot repair for a millionaire, etc. All of the Grant programs need to be workshopped and/or eliminated.

If it were not for the fact that one Board member pulled two of the items for discussion, all of them would have passed, in a flash, just like snapping your fingers. And that would have meant another $22,619.82 (the Board voted to table it) on top of the $71 thousand they approved. They will now revisit the property at 501 S. B St at its next scheduled meeting and make a decision. The Chair gave all of the members an opportunity to pull more. They did not.

One item was pulled from Consent because the owner needed to make a change on her application. This we will see again at the next Board meeting.

I would have liked to have heard discussion on all of them. This was not to be and the Board approved four items with no discussion. These items totaled $71,286 which included the one at 119 S. J St that was discussed where the owner wanted energy efficient windows and a new roof—

Wish list fulfilled.

The Homeless


The Palm Beach County Commission had a presentation yesterday morning by the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness. Mr. Mangano serves as Executive Director of the Council, appointed by George W. Bush in 2002. He was here basically to commend Palm Beach County and its ten year Plan to eliminate homelessness in Palm Beach County.

The County is being pro-active to solve our ever growing problem and taking the burden off the faith based entities out there that have attempted to tackle the problem, along with some charities and groups, almost virtually alone. We all know that the problem is growing here in our city, a city that can’t take care of itself, let alone another costly problem that can’t get cured.

There were several Lake Worth residents in attendance yesterday and Tricia Fitzpatrick spoke on this issue. I spotted Matt Constantine, former CRA Board member who, I believe, is with Adopt a Family.

Mr. Mangano’s focus is what The Christian Science Monitor called a “business-school approach to the problem” and Commissioner Koons says that PB County is committed to work and partner with the Council to end the problem of homelessness.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Sacrifice is the reality

Not all of the CRA Board was crying tonight but none of them were too happy when told by Mark Bates that they will more than likely have less money to work with at the start of the next budget year.

Mark Rickards, Chair, said that allocating the budget is the hardest thing to do each year. It will be a whole lot harder going forward. Some of the easy decisions the Board has made in spending our money might now be much more difficult. The CRA instead of believing its mission is to spend every dime in front of them might actually prioritize and spend more wisely. It might stop citizens from ridiculous requests for wanting Grant money for certain items. The CRA should not be paying for sprinkler systems, impact glass windows, pavers and the like. The CRA is not the cookie jar for those trying to rip off the system.

We will all be asked to sacrifice if the City decides that the Fire Rescue be taken over by Palm Beach County. It is unrealistic to believe that the taxpayer will be paying the same millage overall as before. Look for taxes to go up and budgets to be trimmed. That is the reality.

$278 million burns

The United States having all the money in the world to burn, literally did today when our NASA satellite to track carbon dioxide in the Earth's atmosphere took a nose dive into the ocean.

Government investigation to follow. OMG, what will that cost us?

Three votes out of six—we lose


Well, we are out of the RO business. Thanks to Mayor Clemens, Commissioner Lowe and defeated Commissioner Vespo, and our own City Staff, the Palm Beach County Commission voted 3 to 3 today. The tie vote defeated the motion to end our option to even negotiate.

Commissioner Golden spoke before them asking them to consider a renegotiation of the Contract and said “Water is not owned, it is managed and we as governmental entities are asked to manage this diminishing resource wisely.”

Commissioner Koons, Aaronson and our own Addie Greene refused to even consider that Lake Worth got screwed because our Mayor did not want to drink West Palm Beach water. He mentioned that it was almost a year now since we signed the Contract, implying we got back to them way too late. Aaronson even brought up the $5 million bond money for our beach. I gave him my quiet “boo” in protest. He needs to retire and start playing shuffleboard.

As their own staff advised them, if we got out it would cost PB County customers more. Their cash reserves were the big issue, staff saying that they needed $50 to $60 million at all times. It never revealed the amount of reserves it has now. It did say that the County can NOT absorb any losses and if they renegotiated with us that it might set a precedent. They were not sure on that but mentioned it twice. On April 15, 2008 they incorporated a 15% surcharge on potable water and wastewater. Staff recommended that although this was to be sunsetted in one year, that it stay in affect but go down to 11.75%. If LW was allowed to get out of the contract, it would have to stay at the 15%.

Commissioner Addie Greene never said a word during the process, selling Lake Worth, a city in her District, down the tubes. So, now we will be paying a fortune for PB County water. We might just as well give them everything we own. Hasn't that been the idea all along? Right now they have our police; next it is the Fire; they have Snook Islands on a 99 year lease; they want to control our beach.

Katie has a great idea. Charge a non Lake Worth resident $20 to park at our beach. Charge them to use our boat docks. We, as residents, pay the same as we always have. And--NO negotiation!

Guess whose

Monday, February 23, 2009

Meet Laurence's son

Laurence McNamara's son, Garrett, is a world renowned surfer always searching for the most challenging waves in the world, a combination of wind and swell. He does not accept defeat, learning this trait from his father I would bet.

Read his story and view the video HERE

Cashing in on Jesus

And that's what Father Francis Guinan did!

Accused of embezzling $488,000 of Church money. Convicted on lessor charge. 2nd Degree Grand Theft.

What is the world coming to?

A House to Die For

501 S. B St

How perfect does this house look to you? Pretty darn great looking, right?

Well the owner of 501 S. B Street is asking for over $36,000 from the CRA in Grant money. She can’t get that much money but apparently the CRA has put this on the Agenda to approve giving Mary Demers, the owner, $22,619.82 of OUR money. For what: Well she wants a Home Repair Grant and a Beautification Grant for the following:

Pressure cleaning and paint costing $2,875
Extensive landscaping including an irrigation system costing $12,364.65
Siding and foundation repair which exceeds $15,000
Electrical services costing $4,050
And last but not least, a NEW WATER HEATER costing $1,000.

The owner of this property bought it in March 1992 for $45,000. She just got homesteaded last year. She is now going to get one-half of the amount she paid for this house from us, you and me, Joe Blow taxpayer. Probably one-half of our city population would die to live in a house this nice.

This is just one case of several coming up on the Consent Agenda at tomorrow's CRA meeting.

Is anything WRONG WITH THIS PICTURE?

The Big Bad Bear


For the past seventeen months, the number of new lows has exceeded the number of new highs—one sign of a Bear Market caused by widespread pessimism. It is a substantial drop in prices of the majority of stocks on the market.

Has anyone dared look at their portfolio lately? Scary stuff. I honestly thought electing Obama would automatically jump-start the economy with renewed confidence in his policies and direction.

We were all overly optimistic but still hopeful. We don’t have any other choice.

Let's put voters in control of elections

There seems to be an on-going confusion as to what “Special Interests” are.

Special interests are:

Lobbyists, PACS, Business groups, Professional bodies, Trade Unions, 501 c, 527 s, and other groups giving money to influence political decisions and election results.

From Wikipedia: An interest group (also advocacy group, lobby group, pressure group or special interest group) is an organized collection of people who seek to influence political decisions.It is a private organization that tries to persuade public officials to act or vote according to group members’ interests.

Special interests are NOT:

Individual voters. Although Individual voters are "special", they are not considered a special interest group. Giving a campaign contribution to someone who thinks as you do on an issue is not a special interest campaign contribution.

It is not a tenant at the beach who supports Commissioner Mulvehill who wants to preserve our history and refurbish the Casino. She is not directly benefiting from the outcome.

It is not Commissioner Lowe who took multiple campaign contributions from Sun Recycling Companies. Her transgression was the cover-up as to where these corporations were located and her filing of false reports.

It is not Wes Blackman who took a campaign contribution from Adam Schlesinger, owner of The Gulfstream Hotel, for $500.

When a writer of the Post refers to the Casino as being landmarked, he was not talking about it being an official historical landmark. He is talking about it as a prominent feature of our beach/park.

As far as shoring up the Casino building, it is unfortunate that politics from those who want to develop our beach with new construction forced the City to spend this kind of money on the Casino when not one engineering report said that it was structurally unsound—NOT ONE!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Circle of Light

PBPOST ARTICLE

There literally was NO place to park today at the beach probably due to the Street Painting Festival. There were even people with dogs at our beach. If you recall, the commission voted to allow people to bring their pets to the Green Market on Saturdays only. You know how that goes.

In spite of one negative person who is always negative, minus his wife today who is also always negative, it was a great event. The Post and Sun Sentinel were there along with Channel 25.

It will be on Channel 25 at 6:30 tonight. Although they came after the event, they managed to interview a few people. When I got home someone told me that Channel 5 was in my complex looking for the event.


The Whole Enchilada

I have spoken about the Unions on several occasions and believe them to be a big part of our problem. They have literally broken our City, our auto industry and contribute to labor costs that have forced companies to outsource everything but the kitchen sink.

Today Parade Magazine had an article entitled “Does America Still need Labor Unions?” 60% of those taking the poll said, “Yes.” Obama won by 52% of the vote and you can see where his mandate is heading.

There is an Employee Free Choice Act in the works originally initiated by leftist liberal Ted Kennedy which essentially says that if people want a union, employers can’t really stop it and if the company balks in any way, it would be subjected to all sorts of ungodly monetary damages.

It used to be that when you were hired by a company you played by THEIR rules, not yours. You were giving them an honest day’s effort for an honest day’s pay. Now the employee has learned that he can have the whole enchilada without living up to that bargain—just negotiate your contract where you don’t even have to show up for work.

The government keeps intruding into our lives. Our country is so dependent upon government handouts today. We are becoming more and more socialistic and the more they clamp down on businesses, the more these companies will go off shore. Instead of relying on business to help stimulate our economy by providing jobs, the opposite would occur. Hersey's York Mints is closing and moving to Mexico. More will follow.

Let’s get less government, not more. Find ways to keep jobs in America without all the red tape of government putting a choke hold on American businesses.

Stimulus Money and the Mayor

I mentioned this 3 days ago that we were not on the list. I am very happy that Wes has now posted about it on his site. The more people who can bring this to the attention of the residents here, the better. It is atrocious and the citizens of Lake Worth need some answers. Again, it is just one more thing that no one talks about to the mayor just like his decision to go with PB County Water.

The Mayor at a public meeting said that we needed a "plan" before we could get any money. Well, we have a plan for 10th Avenue North that is costing 7 mil. We have a Plan for our RO. There are many other things that other cities are getting with NO plan, such as road repair.

We need to keep mentioning this and ask him the one simple question, "Why did you not try and get us any money, Mayor?" Getting off the hook for bad decisions or NO decision is not acceptable.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Jack is Back

Whenever that thought crosses your mind that, heck my vote doesn’t mean that much anyway, why bother? Think again.

Jack McDonald, after re-counting his votes for the mayoral job in The Town of Palm Beach, won by one (1) VOTE.

One vote!

The American Dream


According to Wikipedia,
The American Dream is the freedom that allows all citizens and most residents of the United States to pursue their goals in life through hard work and free choice (see Immigration to the United States).

That’s exactly what it is. People are allowed to migrate here under the laws of our land and become citizens. Through HARD WORK, they can achieve the “American Dream.” This is a country of LAWS. The government, and our local Commission, have decided not to adhere to our laws, allowing illegals to be here. Look at the problem they have created in Lake Worth.

WPTV has a story (CLICK HERE FOR ARTICLE) that states that half the numbers of immigrants are flowing into this country from Mexico than in 2007 because they can’t find jobs.

Lisa Wilson of The Mentoring Center is quoted as saying, “We only hope that it means the dream has been deferred.”

This is what we are dealing with folks. For $1.00 a year and legal citizens paying for the upkeep of our shuffleboard Court so that ILLEGALS can use it and take jobs away from Americans, the Seniors and everyone else who have ever used our public building have been shut out.

This makes as much sense as all the bailout money to losers.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Making an impact on ordinary citizens

I think we have plenty of "ordinary" citizens here in our city. We are a typical little city with a lot of great things going for it but totally mismanaged and certainly neglected.

We like to give away public buildings on $1 to $1,000 a year leases but then give away our trolley so that seniors can't even get to the grocery store. We advocate for 99 year leases of public buildings and land. We can't take care of our property unless forced to do so at the Shuffleboard Court. The Seniors there are being forced out. Concerts at Bryant Park have been eliminated but it is A-Okay for kids to tear up our park playing soccer. Grass replacement has been estimated at $50,000. If any city could use Stimulus Money, it is Lake Worth. Just take a drive down most of our streets.

President Obama told the nation’s mayors today that he would "hold them accountable for how they spend the money in his $787 billion economic stimulus package, which he described as 'a true partnership' between the federal government and cities that have been too long neglected by Washington. " But here in Lake Worth, we don't have to worry about spending any of it. We don't have to worry about Obama calling us out. We are not on the list!!!!

Mayor, tell me I am wrong.

Stimulus and Bailouts—same thing

President Bush couldn’t do it. How many BILLIONS did he actually give away with NO strings attached? His party got soundly defeated in November. President Obama, elected to save us from ourselves, so far has stimulated nothing but more anxiety. The market continues to go down.

We keep borrowing more with the idea that we will be spending more money that doesn’t really exist. We have to get rid of waste in government (and there is plenty), make cuts and even raise taxes in certain areas. That’s the hard truth of the matter.

62% of the people here who took the poll said that this Stimulus Plan will not work. This poll reflects national poll outcomes. If Obama does not garner the confidence of the American people, and soon, he definitely won’t stimulate anything but more hopelessness and pessimism with a lower consumer confidence level than it already is. How much lower can it go?

Circle of Light 2-22 at 2


Many to gather to form a “Circle of Light”
around the Lake Worth Casino on
2-22 @ 2 P.M.

Lake Worth, FL: On Sunday, February 22nd, at 2 P.M., City Commissioner Suzanne Mulvehill and Laurence McNamara, Chair of Citizens Come First, are inviting Lake Worth residents and interested neighbors to join them to form a “Circle of Light” around the Lake Worth Casino building to share their commitment to save, protect and renovate the Lake Worth Casino, located on Lake Worth Beach. The Casino, once known as the Jewel of the Gold Coast, has thwarted demolition over the years and this event is coordinated in response to the community’s outcry to save and renovate the building back to its original 1921 style.

“A circle is a symbol of unity,” says Commissioner Mulvehill. “This event will give residents an opportunity to join together to show their desire for saving and renovating our Lake Worth Casino. I met hundreds of residents during my campaign who expressed their desire to save the building. Many residents have a sentimental attachment to the Casino Building,” adds Mulvehill.

“The casino building was an integral part of our youth and development,” says Lonnie Mills, President of the Lake Worth High School Alumni Association. “We had dances there and sock hops there. No matter what activities you were involved with in school, the Lake Worth Casino was the “glue” to the community. It was where everyone went and gathered. Our thousands of Lake Worth graduates over the years, which approaches 28,000 members, would be delighted to see the building saved and renovated,” says Mills. Lonnie graduated from Lake Worth High School in 1961.

Sharon Koskoff, President of the Art Deco Society of the Palm Beaches will be there to support the Circle of Light event. “The Casino building is important because it was built by Lake Worth ’s two most significant architects: G. Sherman Childs who originally designed the structure in 1921 by and then after a hurricane, Edgar S. Wortman redesigned the Casino 1948” says Koskoff.

A 3’x5’ rendering of the proposed renovation will be available for viewing before the 2 P.M. event. Residents will form a circle around the Lake Worth Casino Building on Sunday, 2/22 at 2pm. For more information, contact Laurence McNamara at 561-801-3310.

Honesty has a Price--the red flag of truth


Someone scraped my rear bumper on the driver’s side of the car while it was parked at City Hall on Tuesday night. No note, of course, was left on my windshield. That would be way too much to ask now-a-days. No one wants to be responsible for his/her actions when it costs them money out of their own pocket. We know that the tiniest little scratch will cost us an arm and a leg. Even with insurance, automatically we know that our company will red-flag our account and probably the rate will go up at renewal time. Companies do rate policies on incidents whether you are at fault or not.

It is much easier to pretend that, “No, I didn’t hit anyone….or if you did hit someone, say that it was just your imagination…or it was just a little scrape…it won’t cost the victim too much. Chalk it off your radar because you know if you don’t, honesty has a price. It’s sort of like the guy who hits something while driving, justifying in his mind that it was probably a log when it fact it was a human being, not stopping. We read about these losers every day. I went to two Lake Worth body shops and the first estimate was $598.00. They wanted to replace the entire bumper. If they didn’t replace but just repair, it was going to cost me $375.00

Several years back, I was driving east on 6th Avenue South and a car came out of Snowden and hit me broadside on the passenger side of my car, flipping my car around to a 45 degree angle. Luckily the driver had insurance. But when it came time to get my deductible back, the driver’s insurance company said that I was 25% at fault just for being on the road. Their argument: If I had not been driving there in the first place, their insured would not have hit me. Laughably logical? And my company went ahead and withheld 25% of my deductible knowing that it costs way too much to fight it in court, more than the money they are withholding. It is all a sick game. They all do it.

It is easy to justify wrong, go about your business as if it never happened and never think about it again. Unless you have a witness, or the accident is bad enough for a police report, it is unlikely that you will ever be dealing with anyone of integrity. It is the law that forces you to be honest and knowing someone saw you do it. That’s just the way it is. The system is so corrupt when it comes to truth for even the most honest of people or even sometimes your very own insurance company.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

UP, UP AND AWAY

Bad news coming for Lake Worth residents. Water rates expected to go up 13% annually through 2013. And we can only water ONE DAY A WEEK!!

ARTICLE

What’s in it for Lake Worth? We are NOT on the list

Stimulus Money

Click here -->STIMULUS FLORIDA

The Mayors in Florida have requested federal Stimulus money. There are 1,752 projects in Florida with a total cost of $15,644,718,723. Where is Lake Worth in all of this?

Who is minding the store? We have various areas that are in dire need of money: our roads are pits; the city is one big blighted mess; millions have to be spent on the casino; our Reverse Osmosis water plant could be completed. Here, we can’t afford our own police department and we will soon be outsourcing our Fire as well. It’s pathetic that Lake Worth did not try to get any of this money.

Screw your head on straight

During this past election, I came to realize that I was not such a die-hard Democrat as I thought. I agreed with John McCain on several things. There are a lot of Republican strategies and philosophies to which I agree.

My favorite politician throughout the years and in this past primary is Hillary Clinton, now Secretary of State. She was in Japan a few days ago. During a speech she said that she wanted to normalize ties with North Korea and “help rebuild its economy if it dropped its nuclear weapons program.”

Now Hill baby, how are you going to do that? Agree to blackmail with terrorists? “Normalize” relations? What about OUR bankrupt country? Should that not be the priority? You are smart enough to know that you can NOT negotiate with terrorists or with a totalitarian Stalinist dictatorship, a country with one of the worst human rights records in the world. There is nothing normal about this country. You only can negotiate with moral, NORMAL people with a conscience. Past diplomatic efforts have been futile.

US specialists must gauge just how much plutonium North Korea has produced - the key to assuring de-nuclearization. If we have to negotiate, then it must be from strength and all the facts. North Korea is a powerful player and keeping the lines of communication open is one thing, but sitting down at the same dinner table is another. They don’t have to adhere to Sunshine Law.

North Korea is one of the “axis of evil.” To even sit down at the same table with these people is giving them a legitimacy they don’t deserve and one that the world can not afford. The world pays attention to strength, not weakness. North Korea only understands one phrase—survival of the fittest. We should learn from the enemy.

Knowing that there are millions of people that do not agree with me, e-mail me your thoughts.



Wednesday, February 18, 2009

You’re not going to believe this but…

In the News

  • NY Muslim TV exec beheads wife after she files for divorce. He said he was seeking to IMPROVE the image of Muslims in the Media

  • NY drunk asks friend to put him up for night and when refused, douses him in Tequila and lights match
  • Ohio man kidnaps a woman and reads the bible to her for 3 days

  • Florida woman injects baby food with ammonia at Publix

  • U of F, FAU and 3 other universities in Florida may raise tuition by 174%

  • Mary McCarty, free on $200,000 bond, asks court if she can travel to Pebble Beach, land of the rich and famous, for 5 days

  • The 20 largest banks that received bailout money REDUCED lending to consumers in past 3 months of 2008

  • GM, another bailout receiver, will cut 47,000 jobs and close 14 plants

  • Senior citizen, 80, almost defeats Jack McDonald for Mayor of PB. There will be a re-count of the vote, won by Jack by only 3 votes

  • Clinton reaches out to Muslims to restore OUR image. The last I remember it was Muslims who attacked us at the World Trade Center, killing over 3,000 of our innocent citizens.
  • Bob Baldwin says pension costs for Fire have increased 16% over the past year. Who negotiates these contracts?

City Clerk

Ocala names top candidate for City Clerk. Read about it HERE

Facts according to the 2000 census:

Population: Ocala, 45,943 -- Lake Worth, 35,133

Population density: Ocala, 1,189.2 mi sq. -- Lake Worth, 6,225.5 mi. sq.

Medium Income: Ocala, $30,888-- Lake Worth, $30,034

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

A common point


I'm all for hiring a Common Sense Director for the City of Lake Worth. Perhaps then we will be able to come to a common point and some people will actually see the light.

A rose, is a rose is a rose. You don't need to intellectualize that nor do you need to make the simplest things difficult or drag them on to "win" a fight. We are always in our own way, taking one foot forward and two back. It's time to get things done in Lake Worth.

Annual Street Painting Festival


Where you CAN'T park--from 5am Friday, February 20 until 9pm Sunday, February 22

Lake Avenue and Lucerne Avenue from Dixie Highway to Federal Highway

J Street from 2nd Avenue North to 1st Avenue South

K Street from 2nd Avenue North to 1st Avenue South

L Street from 2nd Avenue North to 1st Avenue South

M Street from 2nd Avenue North to 1st Avenue South

I rate this event as one of the top two events in Lake Worth. Everyone come on out and support our City. After that, head over to the Circle of Light Event at the LW Casino which starts at 2pm on Sunday--2-22 at 2

Cleats or regular sneaks, it doesn't matter

Soccer field in John Prince Park
Did the locusts arrive?...not one blade of grass


another field

There are many areas of John Prince being used for soccer fields. The above photos are just two of dozens. This is what will happen to Bryant Park. The Park maintenance man at John Prince Park said that he has worked there for three years and the County has never replaced one single blade of grass. Lake Worth won't either and it doesn't matter if they wear cleats or regular sneakers, constant trampling will eventually kill the grass.

Do we really want Bryant Park to look like this?

The Town Toilet--no honest debate there

Guns, a necesssary evil?


America without hand guns would be a much safer country but tell that to an NRA advocate or most Republicans or most men for that matter--a John Wayne, male bonding thing. Heck, two of my Republican friends have concealed weapons permits. After one of the local elections got ugly, they took defense courses and shooting lessons. They are ready for any home invader or bad guy.

Gun lovers really believe that hand guns make us safer. In their minds, gun control would only put guns in the hands of criminals and murderers and we would be left defenseless. They also contend it is our right to bear arms.

Each day in America eighty people die from a gun and another two hundred are wounded. We lead all nations in violent crime as well as all nations with incarcerations now standing at 2.3 million. American citizens also make up the greatest number of criminals serving time in overseas prisons.

Heath Miller of Wellington, unfortunately, had to kill someone to protect himself and his family. A friend of the home invader who was killed said, “He wasn’t the type to get into trouble. He got along with everybody.” I guess even his friends didn’t know that their buddy had been arrested six times since 2006. Perhaps we all should be notified when convicted criminals live in our neighborhoods just like sexual offenders.

We are a violent people in a violent culture. Crime is out of control. Keep that gun under your pillow. Just don’t blow your head off.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Pulverize Bernie!

Bernie Madoff, the guy everyone wants to smash to a pulp.

Now you can do just that all for $99.95 when you buy the Smash-Me-Bernie Doll. He's wearing a devil's outfit with pitchfork.

It comes with a hammer and you can smash the likeness to smithereens.

haha...only in America!

Sunset and Lake Osborne

Sunset on Lake Osborne

Robert Waples, the new President of Lake Osborne Heights, is rallying his members to attend tomorrow’s Commission meeting. Although not on the Agenda, the Sunset issue is very much on everyone’s mind who lives in that neighborhood. We have always said that the owner should build 7 units to an acre, compatible to the neighborhood zoning. Right now, there is one house on 4.02 acres that has always been in the County until Lake Worth annexed it. As Comp Plan changes are political, this is what Robert has to say:

"We once again are facing the challenge that is moving forward in regards to the property located at the end of Sunset in our neighborhood. At the City Council meeting last night it was placed on the agenda with out notice to the public to discuss the future of this property and with no regard as to how this will affect our neighborhood and our way of life in Lake Osborne Heights.

This is expected to come up again at the February 17th City Commission Meeting and regardless of it being on the agenda, we as members of ROLOH and Citizens of the City of Lake Worth need to voice our opinions on this subject.

We are asking everyone, which means everyone that lives in the boarders of our association, to attend the February 17th City Commission Meeting and stand up for our rights as citizens to have the vote as to what the zoning and future of that property is, as it will be a direct impact to all of us.

I would like to challenge all our neighbors to speak to your neighbors about this event and encourage their attendance, your friends in Lake Worth, attendance and everyone you know in this matter.

Having the say in development of our neighborhoods is so important that it is not just about Sunset and ROLOH but every neighborhood in the entire city limits. This agenda could affect the city as a whole and we need everyone's support to keep our decisions just that....Our Decisions.

Thank You"

It's about the green-backs

$35,001.72

That’s what it takes to run a campaign in Lake Worth these days. The City Clerk just sent Dave Vespo’s final T-Report. Unbelievable when you think that the job pays less than $15,000 a year which includes the expense account.

Cornerstone Solutions and Communications, LLC (Cornerstone Solutions), a public relations consultant that became an LLC on June 23, 2008, was a player behind the scenes in our elections. There is a big tie to developers with this company which has provided political services to homebuilders and Realtors with an alliance with Florida sugar companies’ positions on Everglades pollution and development controls.

Dave Vespo spent a lot of money with them, more than he would make as a Commissioner. Ric Bradshaw also used this firm. They developed his logo, did some printing and conducted a survey. I know some surveys were taken during our last local campaign but for whom or what they were trying to learn I don’t recall.

Cornerstone made a lot of money this past year with them raking in $1 million in State races and over $400,000 in local races here in Palm Beach County. Most consultants don’t mix their work with different parties but Rick Asnani’s Cornerstone Solutions included the following clients: Bob Kanjian, Republican, defeated candidate for PB County Commissioner; Michael McAuliffe, Democrat, winner of the State Attorney position; Bradshaw, a Democrat; Dave Vespo, Republican.

All candidates need to raise an ungodly amount of money to win an election. The true winner is the consultant, whether he gave good or bad advice, he takes home the green backs. I still advocate for an even playing field for all candidates--campaign with the same amount of money and may the best man win. It makes the election more honest and the outcome can never be blamed on the money.

Pollution is now out of this world

Space trash will circle the Earth and is a danger to future satellites

We have enough garbage right here in our own country known as one of the biggest polluters in the world. Every year we fill enough garbage trucks to form a line that would stretch from Earth all the way to the Moon. We even have our own landfills right here in Lake Worth. Now, we are literally polluting outer space and Scientists fear that any vehicle in our upper atmosphere is in danger of being hit by debris caused by, you guessed it, us.

I just heard on TV recently that the Great Wall of China can be seen from outer space. Well the other thing that can be seen is the Fresh Kills Landfill. Anyone from the New York area has heard of this. This site, consisting of 2,200 acres and regarded as the largest man-made structure on Earth, was closed in 2001 but then re-opened temporarily after 9-11 to accept the debris from the Towers. It was 25 plus yards taller than the Statute of Liberty which is 151 feet tall. It is now being transformed into a Park, one of the most ambitious projects in the world that will take 30 years to complete.

Two satellites crashed into each other this week 491 miles above the Earth (one Russian and one American) and now both those satellites are nothing but fragments. As all these millions of contaminants hit each other, they cause smaller fragments cluttering up the atmosphere making it extremely dangerous for other satellites to be launched without them being in grave danger. Right now there are anywhere from 600 to 800 satellites orbiting the Earth. A satellite launch can cost anywhere from $50 million to $400 million from weather satellites to those that take inventory on what’s happening on earth.

Space trash

Pollution is now so out of control that it is literally out of this world.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

What Eye on Miami guest writer says

This e-mail just sent to me--

Thanks to our wonderful friends at Eye On Miami...publicizing what the Miami Herald and other major papers won’t print. Traditional media continues to be largely AWOL, just as they were during the buildup of the real estate bubble. Why the silence on the biggest economic/social/ecological debacle in Florida history? Why the failure to connect any dots?

Answer: Florida’s newspapers hyped the bubble and rode thousands of real estate ads to the bank. Complicit in the Ponzi scheme that wrecked our state, the mainstream media dare not bite the hand that fed them. Read and enjoy some real and good news for a change!

READ THE GOOD NEWS

The CRA Cookie Jar, full of Crumbs

The Lucerne, in the CRA District

One reason why we get in so much trouble in this City is that the decision makers do not have all of the facts, do not remember all of the facts or all of the facts are not revealed to them by Staff and by their politically appointed Boards. Decisions are then made. The Commission depends on Staff to give correct and complete information. There are so many factors that go into the process of decision making and when there are bits of information that are covered up or just conveniently left out of a staff report in order to subjugate the Commission, then we are in a whole lot of trouble.

I am constantly bothered by some who “spin” the argument without telling the entire story. Take the CRA’s hiring of an additional sheriff deputy for $90,000 for eight months left into their budget year, as an example. Some on that Board continue to give the argument that it had a budget of $350,000 for their own deputy and only spent $90,000 therefore it has saved $250,000. It is a line item. You saved nothing. Just because it is budgeted does not mean that you absolutely MUST spend it there.

If you take the entire cost of going with the Sheriff’s Department, we have spent so much more money than we ever realized to get the SAME ninety-one men. The CRA’s argument had no merit the other night. Actually there are members on that Board who don't have to try very hard to find ways to spend our money, like 10% raises during the worst recession, probably depression, in our life time.

Right now the Sheriff decision has cost Lake Worth taxpayers over $1 million a year for the next three years. Plus, we gave them all of the assets we owned relative to police. It just cost us police radios for which we still owe $450,000. Now on Tuesday’s agenda, the Sheriff Department is requesting that we turn over forfeiture funds in the amount of $212,109.46.

If there are members on the CRA Board who continually have tunnel vision and only think things through to this extent, then take back the CRA. They have not brought anything to the bottom line. If abolished, we will still get millions of ad valorem that is much needed in our City, not for questionable projects that may or may not ever happen or are not needed now. Spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on projects in addition to the millions on The Gateways for their vision of what Lake Worth should look like or become, is ridiculous at any time but especially during this economy.

We have a city in shambles but the CRA is spending $13 million on 6th and 10th. The CRA is in control of a big budget. At least with elected officials we can vote them out of office if they are doing a lousy job. Those on the CRA Board are appointed for 4 year terms--way too long in anyone’s book but theirs.

Beagle finds new love


The fawn followed the Beagle home, right through the doggie door.
This photo was sent to me by my cousin and just too cute not to share.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Florida's weakest banks

Florida Banks with Weakest Asset Quality

12/31/2008 ($Mil)






PB County wants to raise WATER RATES again!

READ ABOUT IT

Now I understand why PB County needs us so badly! Let's get back to finishing our own RO plant--now.

Chamber of Commerce at it again

The Chamber’s plan to block Florida Hometown Democracy discriminates against military, local elections offices

By Kelly Cornelius

Here we go again. Is there no end to the dirty tricks the growth machine in Florida is willing to go to in order to stop Florida Hometown Democracy? Nope. Hometown Democracy is a citizen petition amendment that should have been on the ballot in 2008 but due to nasty gutter politics from Palm Beach to Tallahassee it was never added. If passed the amendment would allow voters instead of politicians to vote on any land use changes outside of what our Comprehensive Plan currently provides for.

To read the rest of this article, CLICK HERE

Love and beauty on Valentine's Day


I grew orchids for 26 years before moving into a condo. Orchids need a lot of humidity and other ingredients that only nature can provide. Much to my frustration, I can’t grow these beautiful flowers now. To me, the orchid, and I mean any type, is the most beautiful flower ever created and they seem to take on their own personality. The number of species has been estimated between 10,000 to 30,000; no one knows for sure.

When you buy your first orchid plant, I can guarantee it will not be the last one you ever buy. When you inspect each flower, the magnificence of it blows you away. You wonder how "anyone" could have created anything so wonderful. Most orchid lovers really do get obsessed. When one does not do as well as you hope, you take it to heart.

Being that today is Valentine’s Day, my thoughts automatically went to flowers. The orchid represents, love, luxury, beauty and strength.

The American Orchid Society in Delray that has been in existence for 88 years just announced that it can’t afford to stay open to the public. Membership has fallen nearly in half and the stock market has affected them as well.

What a pity that something as magnificent as this flower with its artful splendor has to take a back seat to the economy.

Friday, February 13, 2009

The Pinhead Peanut President


Remember the President of Peanut Corporation only interested in his bottom line? Well, he just filed for bankruptcy Chapter 7 today.

Besides the fact that he literally killed people with his tainted peanut-butter, the Department of health found rodents, excrement and bird feathers in his plant. Next we'll probably hear that he got a bonus. Such a guy.

Every time I look at my Skippy's, I think of it.

We love you baby...

Words uttered by the "creep's" family today as his bond was revoked for drug and trafficking charges from just days before the fatal crash killing Jo Ann Padilla. He wiped away tears as he was escorted out of court.

Jo Ann's husband will have tears for the rest of his life. Instead of sending her flowers for Valentine's Day, he is now ordering flowers for her burial. Our entire city has tears knowing that there are people such as Renee Rodriguez driving on our city streets. May justice be served.

CLICK HERE

City Attorney Karns


City Attorney Larry Karns gives the Commission a monthly up-date on what he is doing. It probably is an impressive read. There are only two employers of mine who knew everything I did on the job and those jobs were my first, that of a dental assistant. I had daily job performance reviews working hand in hand, literally, with my employer. Most employers have no idea what someone does in their job and all the work and time it entails to perform well. He gives a bi-monthly report at city commission meetings, or at least it is on the agenda for him to do so. Does anyone really grasp from these reports what he really does or what he has accomplished?

Even when writing your own job performance review (unheard of in the corporate world) as did Joan Oliva with the CRA although Mark Rickards, Chair, says that he wrote it, you can not evaluate the time, thought, analysis and all the ingredients that go into performing your job in order to produce a favorable result. It is difficult to even imagine, however, that Mr. Karns is doing a bang up job for the City considering we have hired so many outside attorneys even to negotiate the simplest of things but most of all, to challenge the residents and entire neighborhoods. He is never animated and one has to wonder if he is even concentrating on the matters at hand.

Back in 2004 I got interested in Lake Worth politics because of the Sunset 4.02 parcel. After the City decided to annex the parcel and give a zoning incompatible to the neighborhood, five of us formed a PAC as we felt strongly that it should be the citizens who have the final say on what their neighborhood should look like, not three politicians or a planning and zoning board out of touch and with no consideration to the residents.

Attorney Karns checked our petition language and said that the PAC was ready to proceed under our local Charter that gave us the right to petition. We did. And after hustling to get the required signatures on 2 Ordinances, we turned them into the City. Attorney Karns then informed us that we could not petition because of some State Statute. He never contacted us during this process to let us know that he made a mistake. All that we knew was 1) he gave us his legal opinion that we could petition, 2) we had the legal right to petition under the Charter of Lake Worth and 3) we had the legal right to petition under the Constitution of the United States. That is compelling.

Not only did this cost us a lot of time but it cost us personally--a lot of money. Mr. Karns gave his own citizens wrong advice. Then to make matters worse, he made the decision to pursue the law suit to the Appellate Court, a decision that should have been made by the Commission, not Mr. Karns. At the time when questioned about continuing on with the suit he said that he had the right to make decisions if the cost was under $15,000. No he doesn’t. He has the right to settle a law suit under a certain dollar amount, not to initiate one.

To prove that Karns needed help, the City of Boca Raton and The League of Cities plus Casey, Ciklin allianced themselves with the City in the pursuit of bringing down the citizens by becoming Intervenors. Because if the citizens had won the vote, it would set a precedent that city governments deemed unacceptable—taking power away from them and giving it back to the people where it rightly belongs.

This is only one example. Why I believe that Karns should not be retained goes far beyond Sunset. My opinion comes from hundreds of hours of sitting in Commission meetings and seeing him in “action.” Even just recently at the joint P&Z/Commission meeting he adamantly said that an action had been completed when it had not. We had to prove that he was wrong and did. Mr. Karns, on more occasions than I can count, admits to not even reading a contract when asked. If you don’t read it then you can’t give bad advice. He seldom has an answer when questioned.

Lake Worth is now under new leadership. We will be hiring a new City Manager soon. Mr. Karns’ contract is up in February and this is a perfect time to bid him farewell. Start with brand new leadership at the top. It took a long time to change the politics in this City and it is now time to do right by the people. Just because he has been here for nine years is not an excuse to retain him.

96% of those taking the Poll here said to change city attorneys, with one lone vote (Mr. Karns’?) saying to save his job. Polls can be effective in gauging what people think no matter the numbers. At least the people who know Larry Karns, who read this blog, who take an active interest in what is going on in our city, took the poll voting that he should not be rehired. To poll people who are not familiar with his performance would be meaningless.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Once a con artist, always a......


Terry Mahoney, wife of Tim Mahoney, did the right thing—filed for divorce after one week of discovering that Tim paid Patricia Allen $121,000 to stay quiet about their affair. Of course that was not the only affair of Tim's. He had multiple "indiscretions" throughout the years. All along Tim, said he didn’t want a divorce and wanted to work something out. Now he says it is over and he is asking the Court to award him attorney fees to be paid by, yup, his wife, the one who he treated so contemptuously.

Terry Mahoney had agreed to allow Tim to stay in their house at night while she occupied it during the day. She slept in a cottage on the property at night because she thought that he was “honest” and would live up to the agreement-- but he’s been coming around during the day. She thought he was whaaaat? Honest?

Greed and Gall -- bring in the FBI


When you consider what Mary McCarty did to possibly get sentenced to up to five years of jail time, can you really compare it to what Stewart Parnell, the owner of Peanut Corporation who knowingly shipped out peanut-butter with Salmonella that sickened 600 people and linked to 9 deaths? And what about Bernie Madoff’s crime? The SEC, equally as guilty in this matter for not getting off its butt to investigate, was informed about him and his Hedge Fund near the end of 2005 and did NOTHING. Madoff wiped out $50 billion worth of wealth that affected people all over the globe. And now we know that his wife tried to hide $15 million right before Bernie was arrested. Doesn’t she deserve to be jailed?

We have banks, that after getting bailout money, went on junkets to Las Vegas and paid themselves bonuses for failure. Merrill Lynch allocated bonuses for its top executives in December in the amount of $3.6 BILLION dollars, just days before it was merged into Bank of America.

Greed and gall comes in all degrees. Because one person takes that free trip or that discounted hotel room and does not disclose or votes in a way that he or a family member will profit, does it make it less dishonest? Less fraudulent? Less criminal? Less transparent?

These “entitlements” always start with the little things and soon, after getting away with dishonesty over and over again, it escalates to what happened above. Each time you commit an illegal or dishonest act, it gets easier. It brings down companies and government officials with a lot of the criminal activity entwined and millions of people get hurt or wiped out.

The FBI is now shifting its focus away from counter-terrorism to concentrate on corporate crime. We know that they are active here in Palm Beach County, still investigating local officials and their ties to corruption and companies that came before them for votes. If there is any crime more deserving of investigation, it is this financial mess, the worst since 1929. A lot of people need to go to jail.

I hope that they do come to Lake Worth. There have been many political decisions that have cost the taxpayers dearly and some that made absolutely no sense at all.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

This IS the creep


Lake and Federal Fatality


READ ABOUT FATALITY IN LAKE WORTH

Tackled by bystanders, driver tried to run from scene that killed other driver. Road tied up for 7 hours.

Creating a "Bad" bank?


What next?

Say goodbye to Granny

Katie called me this morning, really upset. She and her husband work in the healthcare industry and she talked about President Obama’s new Simulus Plan and how our healthcare system will be nationalized. Apparently, provisions have been included in the Plan and no one knew much about them.

Essentially, it says that decisions will no longer be your doctor’s but will now be the Federal Government’s. Not only that, there will be a national database where every American’s health history as well as what prescriptions they are taking, will be tracked.

Doctors will only be allowed to give treatment that the Feds deem appropriate. Once again, the idea is to reduce costs. Instead of doctors using their best judgment for their patients, they would have to refer to non-medical people making that decision. We have already heard all the horror stories of HMO’s denying patients treatment.

Tom Daschle, the guy who was nominated as the new HHS Secretary and then withdrew for not paying his taxes, said that the goal was to slow development and use of new medications and technologies because they are driving up costs. It seems that he and certain government officials believe people are living just too long. Obama says that healthcare costs are crippling businesses. Healthcare reform is one thing, but this?

You had better say goodbye to Granny now. She may not have that much longer to live under these conditions or if it should go forward.

Outsourcing--is it innovation?


With the current trend towards globalization, more and more jobs are being out-sourced. Are the cheaper goods we are importing worth the job loss to Americans?

I am not sure when this surge of off-shoring really took off but it might have been when Silicon Valley crashed near the end of the 90’s. I use to live out that way when the tech jobs had started to boom and yuppies were making plenty of money, two cars in the driveway and their kids going to private schools. Money was all over the place; American workers were living the good life to the fullest. In 1970, you could live well on $15,000 a year and young engineers just out of college were making twice the national average salary. No one was hurting. You also knew that those material things you desired would come in time through hard work. You did not borrow what you couldn’t afford. You worked and saved for the future. The “me” factor had not taken hold personally or with American companies only interested in the bottom line. Companies were ahead of the curve in innovation and supported its American worker.

FACTS about this decade—1970
Population: 204,879,000
Unemployed in 1970: 4,088,000
National Debt: $382 billion
Average salary: $7,564
Food prices: milk, 33 cents a qt.; bread, 24 cents a loaf; round steak, $1.30 a pound
Life Expectancy: Male, 67.1; Female, 74.8

By the 1990’s the average wage was $13.37 an hour with teacher’s making $39,347 in 1998. Life expectancy had increased with males at 73.1 and females at 79.1. The population was 281,421,906 at the 2000 census.

Lay-offs started around 2000 when the tech market bombed and companies in the Silicon Valley area started to outsource jobs. While paying an average worker $60,000 and up, they could hire someone in India or elsewhere for ten times less. Right now we have an estimated 11.6 million unemployed with the rate at 7.6%. Since 1986, 15 million high paying manufacturing jobs have left this country and jobs continue to disappear to India, Hong Kong, China, you name it.

In a Poll taken in 2004 by Zogby International, over 70% of Americans said that outsourcing jobs was hurting this country and that our government should penalize companies that sent jobs out of the country. A lot of studies have been done that say off shoring jobs has not hurt our economy nor will it hurt innovation.

We outsource here in Lake Worth, saying we can’t afford our own police department. Outsourcing is at every level. The State of Florida did not even hire a Florida marketing firm for “Visit Florida” but a company with a call center out of Kansas City. $35 million of our money went to an out-of-state company last year to promote Florida with the top five executives there making $1.3 million! If you pull up that web site, the only feature for Lake Worth is our beach. Now you can't tell me that the State could not find a Florida company to promote Florida.

Having always hired locally whenever possible, more attention should be paid to hiring/contracting with companies that have their businesses in Lake Worth and this is how you can help support our economy by keeping the dollars here.

Keep Americans working. Outsourcing is fine when the playing field is equal. It isn’t and the only innovation happening here is by American companies and even Local and State governments that are out-sourcing valuable jobs and opportunities, looking at the lowest common denominator rather than thinking about Americans or those workers in their own region first. If there is any innovation in this trend, it belongs to corporate America and the greed factor--we all are feeling the pain.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

No more digging holes at our beach

Any building can be restored. To suggest that renovation of the casino at Lake Worth beach is political may be true to this extent only, but also may be construed as just good sense: We want to preserve the present zoning of Public Recreation and Open Space and not allow Commercial zoning there. We also do not want developers building on other areas of our 19+ acres of beachfront property. Commercial zoning would open a whole new can of worms that no one wants at our beach. In order to prevent that, restoration is the only acceptable solution.

The entire building will be gutted and brought up to present code and restored to its old glory, similar in architecture of 1922. Even those who say a parking garage would be a wonderful idea as it would give us more green-space, don't realize that this would open the can. The garage would have to be put on pilings. It would be new construction. Therefore, the zoning would have to change to commercial. Next, would come the small hotel across from Benny's.


Don't laugh. Anything is possible. Now that builders and construction workers are dying to get their hands on that pile driver and that hammer as they are all getting hungry from being out of work, our beachfront is heavy on their mind. Can you see the drool?

Don't let it happen. Restore not demolish.

2-22 at 2!