Friday, April 30, 2010
News Alert: Criminal probe of Goldman goes beyond deals cited by SEC
08:42 PM EDT Friday, April 30, 2010
The Justice Department’s criminal investigation into Goldman Sachs is looking into more than just the financial transactions targeted by the Securities and Exchange Commission’s civil suit brought two weeks ago.
For more information, visit Washington Post
Smiling through the whole ordeal, Mayor Lois Frankel of West Palm Beach was accused of making a threat by John Kazanjian, the head of the PB County Police Benevolent Association when she said she wanted to remember the faces of those police officers who were protesting against her as she walked to SunFest.
Can you imagine a little 5' 2" woman being a threat to some big old burly policemen with guns? The only people threatening anything are those police officers protesting about not getting raises and boycotting SunFest. They acted on their threat.
Now really--who is the real "threat" here?
This week the Florida Department of Environmental Protection issued the permit to Lake Worth to construct the deep water well.
Our Reverse Osmosis plan now goes forward without deep well permit scepticism. The DEP told us at a city hall meeting that this would be approved but there are still the cynics who continue to bring it up. Thanks to Commissioners Jennings and Mulvehill for moving this forward.
Go to the website and see our progress.
I wanted to move this to the top of my blog again because Mr. P just keeps running off at the mouth...can't get enough of himself. Great example of a Chair of the Community Relations Board. What did we all do to deserve all this self-righteousness?
On 3 everyone--
Apparently Mr. P just posted on the New Times Broward/Palm Beach...here is his latest missive:
Mark A. Parrilla says:
Your common sense and rational words are a refreshing addition to the thread. You must live in Lake Worth to so accurately describe the destructive duo Lynn & Katie. I am volunteering to create and become President of your fan club. We need more residents like you who aren't allergic to honesty and who believe in acknowledging FACTS and not fantasy. If posting lies and inaccuracies had a dollar value Lynn would be able to afford to buy her own home locally.
Mark A. Parrilla
Give me an S...give me a T....give me an E...give me a V...give me an E....what do we have SSSSSSTTTTTEEEEEEEEVE!
Editor's Note: Mr. P should be given a map of the City of Lake Worth and understand where the city limits reach. He must be referring to Florida Hometown Democracy, a ballot initiative signed by over 1 million people in the State of Florida and something for which he is unwilling to learn when he says that Katie and I are destructive. We believe he is entitled to his opinion. We have offered to enlighten him on the initiative that all environmental groups are supporting such as the Sierra Club. But some people want to continue to live in a bubble and pretend that they represent all of the citizens here by being Chair of a Community Relations Board and are tolerant of other views.
The above is an excerpt from the latest City Manager’s Report.
What is CAFR Unlimited? "It is a highly specialized financial report writer specifically designed to assist government finance professionals in producing presentation-quality financial reports. Many customers have said that the CAFR Unlimited product has made their audits go much more smoothly, saving both time and money.."
It aids those who must do a comprehensive annual financial report which states a government's "true worth."
CAFR Unlimited further states that "it gives you the ability and independence to produce your financial statements in-house relatively easy while reducing some of the possible SAS 115 deficiencies that can occur with manual processing. It also provides tools for meeting other reporting requirements, such as budget, grant and state regulations. The software is GASB 34 and GASB 54 compliant."
He became passionate about animals, our environment, and over-development in our State way before it became fashionable and some thought it even radical and long before Florida Hometown Democracy came on the scene. (Amendment 4 is a ballot initiative on November 2, 2010 that will help curb the over-growth and devastation of our State by allowing the residents to vote on Comprehensive Plan land-use changes)
What Dr. Rosen has to say about the Comprehensive Annual Financial Reporting:
"CAFR funds indeed are interesting. Here is how you create a deficit budget.
Say the county or whatever owns a water treatment plant and it generates $40,000 revenue a year. Now the County decides it will need a much bigger plant in ten years. (In Lake Worth’s case, think of our Reverse Osmosis System) So, off they go to cost it out. When they figure out the cost, what do they do? Simple...they add it to the CAFR list as a liability which creates debt on the books. Now, the $40,000 profit is credited to the account for the new water plant, however to get it paid for on whatever payment schedule they cook up, you need $70,000 instead of $40,000 so you have created an instant fantasy deficit of $30,000.
Get the drift? This is the answer to your question of why we are always having budget shortfalls. It's all accounting tricks to manipulate the public into thinking we really have deficits when all along it’s a scam to convince us we need to ante up more tax dollars or police and firemen will be laid off. You couple it with a scare tactic like that and there you go.
No matter how much we pay in taxes, it will never be enough.
Welcome to politico-accounting 101!”
Dr. Rosen speaks more on CAFR...
Part II coming Monday
Alex Sink does not support Amendment 4, Florida Hometown Democracy. She is OFF my list of those to support. This is just the same stupid political mentality that all of Florida residents have had to endure as we watch our State decay from over-building. In fact, the only politicians admitting that FHD would be great for our State are FORMER politicians. You see, those in power or those wanting to be elected need those lobbyist dollars and all that money for their campaigns from the building industry.
Don't know about McBride but I suspect, if he is still a politician, he is in the "fold." The building associations are one of Florida Hometown Democracy's biggest opponents and have poured millions into its defeat. Politicians have screwed up the great State of Florida and it is time, this November, that we the people "take back our State."
In fact, I am getting more and more disillusioned with the Democratic Party on many fronts. We are in the most serious of economic circumstances in my lifetime... entitlement programs after the other and coddling illegal aliens, a debt pushing 13 trillion dollars. Enough!
I received a report last Thursday that the meter at Bryant Park was inoperable at the Boat Ramp. As our meters at the beach are not working more often than they are, I see dollar signs flying out the window. Maintenance has always been a big problem in the City. Public Works finds it easy to raise fees on everything but finds much difficulty in maintaining what we have.
On Friday I talked to two gentlemen sitting under a pavilion who confirmed that, yes indeed, "the meters are not working." They were outraged that they pay taxes and then have to pay to park their trailer so that they can go out and relax and fish. They even resented paying for a fishing license. They then pointed out the deplorable condition of the courts. One asked me, "How come our taxes don't take care of this stuff?"
$10 a day to park your trailer. There were a few trailers there and I only visited the 2nd parking lot. I talked to one man who pulled up because I noticed he did not go over to pay at the meter and put the sticker in his window per instructions. When I looked at his dashboard, he had a current sticker. He told me that he just bought the sticker from someone else who had been there earlier. Does this happen often?
Obviously this meter is functioning as the sticker was dated for the correct day and is good for 24 hours. I noticed the time on it and it was 9:58 a.m. Essentially, a person could pay for a sticker and come back the very next day up until 9:57am and park again for free. Most fishermen get out early when the fish are biting.
Thursday, April 29, 2010
Delray residents are battling Wal Mart.
Wal Mart argues that the residents' concerns are unfounded..."they are going to improve the area", they say. Those living around the proposed site on Federal and close to their waterfront homes say "no way."
Delray will have to change the land use. Think Publix here in Lake Worth, a shopping center separated from residential homes by one street. Good luck Delray residents. Comprehensive Plans are always changed at the whim of politicians that are focused on tax base rather than quality of life.
Vote YES on Amendment 4 this November.
Oh yes, I heard from a good source that Publix will be closing its present location in Lake Worth on Lake Worth Road once their new store is built on Dixie.
Portofino’s Restaurant situated right smack in the center of the
Mr. Kedmi, the owner, should move to
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
On Tuesday, the Florida House gave approval to SB 1196. It has already passed in the Florida Senate. This is a bill that pertains to Condo Associations and Homeowner Associations that essentially says that when financial institutions foreclose on a unit, they must pay one year of past assessments due the associations.
These associations have suffered during this economy and those responsible owners are left paying for maintenance, landscaping, water and all the other services necessary to operation the association. In my condo building, we have 10% in foreclosure and the rest of us are picking up the tab. Foreclosures are taking anywhere from 18 to 24 months and even then, there is still a lot of time before the unit is sold.
People walk away from their responsibilities for a myriad of reasons: lost their job, can’t pay; pulled a reverse mortgage scheme/scam and walked away or dropped dead; walked away because they are no longer allowed to live in the unit because of laws on the books forbidding sexual predators live a certain distance from a school or bus stop; decide to become deadbeats just because they can; rent out their unit, collect the rents and not pay the association, walk away because their unit is now worth less than what they owe. Those are some examples.
Gone is the era when people knew they were responsible for their debts and would do everything possible to pay them off, even taking a second or third job. Not today. It is easier to file bankruptcy and let the other guy deal with it. The government has contributed to this problem by enacting laws protecting the deadbeat, costs of which are very high.
In the past, lenders only had to pay 6 months of back fees. This new law would require them to pay 12 months once they took title as they, at that point, would be the new owners. This should help sooth the sting for all of us who are paying someone’s legal and moral obligation.
Read Gail Shepherd's column at the NewTimes Broward/Palm Peach on Commissioner Cara Jennings and the recent ethics complaint filed against her by Lisa Maxwell, candidate District 4 Commission.
April 28, 2010
For further information, contact:
John Hedrick (850) 339-5462
Dan Lobeck (941) 350-5256
Joyce Tarnow (954) 593-3834
Don't Use Taxpayer Dollars To Tell Us How To Vote
Atwater should table HB 869 and Governor Should Veto if it passes
Here we go again!
Citizen organizations are calling upon Senate President Atwater to table HB 869. If he does not table, Governor Crist should veto it, just as he vetoed another, similar piece of legislative sleight of hand just three weeks ago. Like its predecessor, vetoed HB 1207, HB 869 could allow local governments to spend taxpayer dollars on campaigns to get taxpayers to vote for higher taxes.
"That's just wrong," says John Hedrick, Chair of the Panhandle Citizens Coalition. "We do not believe that governments have any business using taxpayer's money to tell voters how to vote on an issue. Inevitably, you're forcing people who do not agree with the politicians' stance on an issue to subsidize the point of view that they oppose.
"Collectively, we and other citizen's groups are asking voters to call or e-mail Atwater at (850) 487-5100 or firstname.lastname@example.org. We urge him to table the bill and if this onerous bill passes the Senate, we want calls to the Governor as soon as possible to ask him to veto HB 869. Governor Crist can be called at (850) 488-7146 or e-mailed at Charlie.Crist@MyFlorida.com," Hedrick stated.
HB 869 threatens the law passed in 2009 that prohibits local governments from using taxpayer dollars to tell voters how to vote on ballot issues. If HB 869 removes that prohibition, a county commission could conduct an expensive campaign, at the taxpayers' expense, to get voters to vote, say, for higher taxes.
Specifically, current law now prohibits a local government from using public funds for a "political advertisement" or "electioneering communication" on a state or local referendum issue. (A "political advertisement" specifically urges voters to "Vote Yes" or Vote No," while an "electioneering communication" can fall just short of that.)
The problem with HB 869 is that it redefines the term "electioneering communication" to exclude ballot issues, or referenda, leaving the term "electioneering communication" to prohibit only campaigns for or against individual candidates.
If HB 869's change becomes enacted, then the law will conflict with itself because the 2009 change already prohibits a local government from issuing "electioneering communication" on ballot issues, or referenda. In this confusion, a city or county commission could argue that HB 869 now allows it to conduct an expensive, one-sided, and deceptive campaign, at taxpayer expense, to get taxpayers to vote for higher taxes, or to vote as politicians want voters to vote on some other referendum, so long as the local government's ads stop short of saying "Vote Yes" or "Vote No".
"Senate President Atwater should table HB 869, and if it passes anyway, Governor Crist should veto it to avoid this internal conflict in the law," says Dan Lobeck, President of Control Growth Now. "He should also veto the bill to avoid the possibility that local governments will use the change to say that local governments can now use our taxpayer dollars to pay for propaganda to get us to vote the way they want, such as on tax increases everywhere. It's altogether a bad change."
"I see a nefarious purpose behind this bill," said Joyce Tarnow, President of Floridians for a Sustainable Population. "This bill deliberately takes aim at Florida Hometown Democracy's Amendment 4 which is being viciously attacked by the Chamber of Commerce and the Growth Machine."
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
To: email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com
Sent: Tue, April 27, 2010 1:17:05 PM
Subject: CITY BUDGET
Dear Commissioners. You have a huge responsibility and an opportunity to bring our city out of this financial morass. You need to undo some of what past administrations misguidedly enacted and you need to do something proactive and creative in this dreadful economy. I don't have all the solutions but propose a couple.
Editor's note: Ms. Stewart has a great argument for Florida Hometown Democracy Amendment 4
MOJITOS SUING LAKE WORTH. They are still whining that they can't stay open after 2am. They want to continue to break our City Ordinance, become a nightclub and still serve liquor until 5am. Now they have brought a federal judge into the act.
This sort of reminds me of the billboard Mafia. They threatened to sue; we caved in. They put up their dreadful signs for 20 years. Everyone is following this trend--Tom Ramiccio, Greater Bay--who next? The Unions?
Mojito's now operates under a different name--Luna Lounge. No more liquor store. This bar is not grandfathered in as the owner says--never was. Their request came before the Planning & Zoning Board as well as the Lake Worth City Commission and they both agreed--Mojitos to remain as a bar.
Predicted to reach the coast in just three days, this latest oil spill in the Gulf is gushing 42,000 gallons of oil a day and is larger than the State of Rhode Island. With 30 counties in Florida already adopting a resolution, we soon should have full support of every city in the State. The oil spill was caused by the sinking of the Transocean Ltd. Deepwater Horizon, and it was drilling an exploration well for BP PLC.
Peter Timm was the only one who spoke against this resolution. I wonder if he has now changed his mind.
Kudos to the City Commission and Commissioner Jennings for this Resolution and helping to protect our Florida shoreline.
New otter pups at the Palm Beach Zoo.
Only 4 months old and weighing 7 pounds, they made their debut this morning at our wonderful zoo.
"After one month, the young otter can come out of the cave, and after 2 months it is able to swim. It lives with its family for about one year so that it can learn and be kept safe until maturity. Otters live up to ten years."
With property values dropping like a rock,
The Financial Advisory Board met last night and we got an earful on our financial state of affairs. We all know our budget is full of doom and gloom. As City Manager Stanton said, “We need to get back to the tools of government that city management has given away. We need to get it under control.”
Through the years, Staff has made some horrendous decisions that set us up for failure and where we are today—bad, one-sided Union contracts that are the main cause of our economic collapse. The Unions came in, asked for it; got it; and we all sat back and said, “yes, we made our employees happy; the Unions are happy; we will all have one happy little City. We never had anyone negotiating for the City of
Today, because of a decade where everything was done wrong or nothing was done at all, we gave away the farm to the Unions. We essentially “mismanaged prosperity” said Vice Chair John Pickett. Susan Stanton admitted that all the bad decisions were Staff decisions and referred to them as “legacy mistakes.”
Right now, the Unions have ignored the City’s request to bargain. If they refuse to sit down at the bargaining table, the following will occur:
- Big lay-offs.
- less services
- higher assessments and more “creative” ways to tax us
- thus higher ad valorem
As the biggest component of our budget is tied up in public safety involving Unions that really run this City, we can, as member Bill Thrasher suggested, “define the level of service that we have...contract our own fire department through Metro Rule and form our own police department again." I have always said that it was a management problem when we over-reacted and went with PBSO.
If we do not reduce Union pensions, etc. by $4 million, the City will have to take drastic action. The proposed Budget will come out on June 8 and we must reduce the cost of our city government. It was mentioned last night that we need to determine the “right battle.” This one is clearly defined: it is the
Monday, April 26, 2010
As we’ve said over and over again, Florida’s political class is incapable of putting itself into rehab. Land use is politics, and the heart of Florida’s political power is controlling that majority of votes on your local commission.
A few weeks ago, the Legislature let the Department of Community Affairs lapse into the twilight zone by failing to reauthorize it. Did we really expect them “to do the right thing”? Next year they plan to gut the emaciated agency. Only Amendment 4 can bring the change and accountability Floridians desperately need.
Former Lt. Gov. Buddy MacKay summed up the broken state of affairs nicely in a radio interview in Gainesville. Thanks to supporter Joyce Tarnow for calling in.
So, this Wednesday, the West Palm Beach Police will be protesting that they didn't get their step raises. They want what they want. PERIOD. These poor underpaid guys.
“The protest is still on,” said Kazanjian, president of the Palm Beach County Police Benevolent Association. “We gave them our proposals but we couldn’t come up with a solution
Read more Police Protest of SunFest is ON
I really thought he was much more politically astute than shown in recent remarks on his blog especially pertaining to my statement about "sheer brilliance" regarding the choice of the architect at our Casino. If you want me to explain what exactly happened that day with the vote, please call me. I would be happy to oblige you. I know it doesn't set well with some political factions in this city that are hell bent on changing the dais come this November.
When the forensic study report came in and it was professionally determined that the building was structurally sound, the consensus was to restore the building. The past Commission made this decision with even Jeff Clemens wanting it restored to the 1922 look. It was with the hope of obtaining an historical designation. Cost estimates that were given showed that it would be cheaper to build with certain elements still standing such as the foundation.
Susan Stanton said at the time that she needed to identify the scope of work; that the City should be able to Bond the project; Create an Enterprise Fund and be self-sufficient. Commissioner Golden asked for a feasibility study. Staff was the purported hold-up for this going forward quickly. Here it is nearly 7 months later.
As far as the FAB is concerned, they will be lucky to make any difference at all in our Budget. We have so many problems, with most being Union related, that only a miracle will help now. Susan Stanton has to use all her 18 years of managerial experience to turn this one around by insisting that the Unions cooperate. Although Lake Worth is estimated at a -23% shortfall this year, South Palm Beach is at -20%, Greenacres is at -21% and Lantana is at -21%...these are our closest neighbors. Lake Worth has way too many non-owner occupied dwellings and a bundle of foreclosures.
Mayor Rene Varela predicted this foreclosure crisis more than two years ago when he first ran for Commissioner District 4. His worry is now our reality.
If you purport to supply information to the public, try to a least not to have such a narrow political focus and check with the author before calling her a "liar."
Today, the headlines in the Palm Beach Post read" Illegal immigrants paying taxes?" Well, I guess they didn't read Lake Worth's Resolution stating that we are to call illegals "undocumented." They went on to tell us that many illegals are paying taxes and intimated that perhaps they weren't such a drain on our society. It was stated that more undocumented workers are filing tax returns without giving us any percentage or specifics. We know better.
It is estimated that there are close to 23 million illegal immigrants in our country and our liberal federal government is considering amnesty. President Obama has condemned Arizona's recent decision. The question posed in the Post was "Do illegal immigrants cost society more than they add? They are costing us plenty--nearly 398 billion dollars in special services. They are illegal and the crossing of our borders needs to stop now.
Numbers USA says: As you are probably aware, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer signed SB 1070, the immigration enforcement legislation that will allow Arizona's State and local police agencies to enforce our nation's immigration laws. Specifically, this law
It is important to note that this bill does not mandate the use of E-Verify because a 2007 Arizona law already mandates its use by all employers.
Because Congress refuses to deal with America's illegal immigration problem, it is likely that more and more states will follow Arizona's lead and take matters into their own hands.
Please send your state legislators a fax and let them know that now is the time to pass tough immigration enforcement legislation in your state, given the national interest in Arizona's crackdown."
Lake Worth Beach is comprised of 1300 feet of guarded beach. Metered parking is available and rate is $1.50 per hour, when the meters work. We have great shops where you can buy unique T-Shirts at Barry's, jewelry at Lorraine's, swim suits at Dot Pickett's and much much more. The restaurants are wonderful with yummy food. You like pizza? The casino has the best pizza shop. Also, if you want, you can fish or stroll off the Lake Worth Pier. To walk out on our Pier costs $1 plus tax and the views are magnificent with plenty of seating.
Don't look to swim at our Olympic Pool just yet. Joe Kroll and crew are repairing the long, neglected Pump House due to "safety and sanitary reasons."
Resident decals go on sale today for the new decal fiscal year beginning May 1. Don't forget to bring a few ID's such as your vehicle registration and Utility bill.
Although the city web's site still directs you to City Hall to buy your decal, you must now buy them at the LW Utility Administration building at 1900 2nd Avenue North behind Publix. Last year the cost doubled to $20 plus tax and as I recall, Joe Kroll presented another price increase of 50% that was passed by the Commission.
Soon we will be moving forward with restoring the Lake Worth Casino. Our citizens "lucked out" (or was it sheer brilliance from the dais by two commissioners, Jennings and Mulvehill?) when the "favorite" architect became REG, as he, with his design, will help with historical designation, getting financing, obtaining grants and incorporate green features. We never would have been able to get valuable historical designation in an art deco design. Preserving our past is very important. Historical designation is a distinction that will give this building world appeal.
Sunday, April 25, 2010
I am forever bragging about our community theater and its productions. Today's musical is no exception. It might even be my favorite of the Season.
The play, written by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice is really an operetta...there is no dialogue. Lloyd Webber and Rice wrote this after their sensation of Jesus Christ Superstar. The first production of Joseph was around 1970 and reached Broadway in 1982. Broadway could not have had a better production than our own Lake Worth Theater.
Try and get to see this one. You will enjoy every second. Also, the theater needs donations so try and help if you can.
They have already started to block off Flagler Drive for the non-profit event that begins this Wednesday. I used to religiously attend SunFest and have all the beads to prove it. It wasn’t the music that drove me there but the art, the ambiance and enjoying the day out in the sun on Flagler Drive. Strolling along the beautiful waterfront was a fun way to spend a day and boy did we get sun burned. When it first started in 1982 admission was free.
I stopped going 4 years ago when the price got out of control for my budget. Today the costs are $32 a person to attend for one day and $10 to $20 to park downtown to listen to music from musicians with whom I am not familiar (other than a few). We always drove to the Palm Beach Mall and caught a shuttle for $2 round-trip which made the parking problem a hassle free experience.
You can buy reserve seats for the performances at $20 a crack and VIP for $75. The daily Gold Backstage Pass is offered for $1,000 or purchase a Pass for two people for five days at $2,350.
I liked the SunFest when it was simple and affordable but like everything else, cost has escalated to the point that the average family can not attend anymore. Give me simple with music I like at Thursday’s Concerts at Bryant Park or our Evening on the Avenues in Lake Worth.
Saturday, April 24, 2010
Mayor Lois Frankel says she will not negotiate to prevent a protest. GO LOIS! We will take our chances at SunFest.
Just a short while ago at 2212 Collier, the clean-up was going on at a furious pace. There is much to do. Now that they have the beehive relocated, these neighbor volunteers from around the City, as well as the Sheriff's Department, are concentrating on getting the property ready for the next step, pressure cleaning.
This entire effort has been gargantuan and all the volunteers had smiles on their faces knowing they were helping someone in need. Thanks guys...job well done.
As this project continues, we will be posting updates.
Established in 1938, The March of Dimes is sponsoring its 4 mile March to Save Babies at
$1.8 billion dollars has been raised to save all babies since 1970 with 76 cents of every dollar going towards research.
This event is a great way to get exercise as nothing is better than walking. I asked the walker in the green shirt how he was doing. As he huffed and puffed, he said, "I'm trying to get in shape...hope I can last."
Walking on a regular basis does wonders for your blood and for your heart. Facts about walking for health:
- Walking improves the efficiency of the heart.
- Walking is usually accompanied by weight loss which reduces the work load for the heart.
- Walking improves breathing.
- Walking makes the blood flow faster.
- Walking reduces the stickiness of the blood to improve circulation.
- Walking lowers high blood pressure.
- Walking lowers high cholesterol levels.
This week’s show will look into government surveillance and other violations of the Fourth Amendment to the Bill of Rights which has to do with unreasonable search and seizures.
David says, "
We are here because of the crisis we face in our country and in the world that has reached phenomenal proportion. And we realize, that in order for us to attempt to correct the course of government, we will need a strong foundation in understanding the vision and beliefs of the Founding Fathers.
Friday, April 23, 2010
The actual hive is 20 times as shown here. This is one little piece of it.
The bees have been relocated to a Bee Farm. Now the property at 2212 Collier Avenue is ready for the next stage in its clean-up of Phase 1.
Robert Waples, President of ROLOH, invites you all to help in this worthy project--
More later on Phase 2.
I was at the city commission chamber room Wednesday night and someone on the dais actually voted “no” on an issue before them. Do not fear--it was not a member of the City Commission. We already know how they vote. It was a member of the Planning & Zoning Board and a nuisance abatement case was in front of them for the property at 1109 &
In a nutshell there has been extensive drug dealing and prostitution at the premises. I was told by a P&Z member that this property was a "nuisance" back in July 2008 when it came to their attention. Another member told me that it never came before the Board. (Minutes of that meeting are still not on-line) Larry Karns cut them a deal. Nothing has ever improved. Two years later after multiple police/Sheriff visits to the premises for drug dealings, prostitution and even an incident involving an AK-47, this property came before the Board. As someone said to me, “The Russian’s made the AK-47, the choice of dictators, terrorists, drug dealers and GOP loons.” I threw that one in there for my gun toting friends!
The properties are owned by Scott and Cynthia Schaefer. With a look of disdain, they were there along with their counsel, Jeffrey Berin of
The outcome? I guess attorneys just love to cut deals. It really was a slap on the wrist to the owners and hardly worth mentioning and certainly not worth the time of our Nuisance Abatement Board. The slap was really felt when we learned that a deal had been cut, again, by the 2 attorneys involved and PBSO agreed. The owners got an administrative fine of $100 and if this property is not cleaned up within 75 days when the eviction of his last tenant should be in effect, they will get fined at $200 a day. He is fencing one section of the property and has installed outside lighting. The Board could have rejected the negotiated agreement but on a 6 to 1 vote, with Lynda Mahoney dissenting, they went along with Staff’s recommendation.
There were For Sales signs posted on the building so it would behoove the Schaefer's to clean up their act.
Planning and Zoning’s Nuisance Abatement board was not allowed to hear testimony from the July 2008 case, and this "new" case, as presented on Wednesday night, was as if the owner only had known about the situation at his property since September 2009 and has been Mr. Nice Guy and trying to do everything to evict his tenants and become a responsible landlord within the City of Lake Worth.
These owners have not been responsible in the past and have not been responsible up to now. The suggested fines are too low for any deterrent. We should let these slum landlords know that we mean business. The administrative fine should have been 20 times the amount imposed and the fine per diem should have been upped to $500 a day. Any more screwing around, we close it down. Actually I would like to see them all thrown in jail, tenants and landlords alike.
We sometimes do the most stupid of things...give away the farm for a promise that never comes. We did it with the PB County Water deal allowing them to take over our wells that we had already sunk $15 million into and then pay them another $23 million so that we could buy water. We did it with the flim flam man at our beach...his promise of something wonderful. Thank God we had a responsible Commission that overturned all of that. We think of giving a robo man lease control of our pool to get 10 cents on the dollar from his scheme and we get to maintain the pool and heat it with the promise of maybe this guy will make a lot of money at our expense. We give away our buildings on ridiculous leases while we have no room for our own city employees, some of whom work in a basement. We change zoning on S. Federal Highway to allow cooking in motels that will open up more of this crap. The list goes on.
I am happy to know that at least one member of a major Board can say "no" and has damn good reason for doing so. Here is what one member of the Board has to say who voted "yes:"
Now with kitchen facilities allowed on Federal Highway in these small motels, the area where we already have a lot of drug dealing and prostitution, this figure is bound to increase.
Thursday, April 22, 2010
"The growth watchdog group 1,000 Friends of Florida opposed the latest Lion Country Safari proposal, saying the county should encourage development closer to existing roads, jobs and other community services.
"There is no justification of need," Joanne Davis, of 1,000 Friends of Florida, said about allowing more development at Lion Country Safari."
Well, Ms. Davis, if your group could come out in support of Amendment 4, Florida Hometown Democracy, perhaps this sort of political decision would cease to exist.
As it is Earth Day, what better day is there to get down to the nitty gritty--as posted by Ms. Hayes:
Developers Build 2 or 3 Homes In A Row (Lake Worth/ Lake Osborne) $375,000.00
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HERE IS WHAT WE KNOW:
Properties are in Lakeview Heights subdivision of Lake Worth
1. One house and lot on 0.1226 acres at 713 Pine appraised at $87,259, quit claimed to Hayes 3-07 for $10. This property consists of 660 s.f., 592 s.f. carport and 180 s.f. of unfinished porch. The 2nd unit is 400 s.f. with 162 s.f. unfinished porch.
2. An empty lot on 0.1226 acres appraised at $19,245 bought in '98 by Hayes for $48,000
3. A lot with a utility shed on 0.1226 acres--shed appraised at $1,470 and lot appraised at $19,245 quit claimed to Hayes in 3-07 for $10.
What else do we know about La Sonna Hayes--
One thing that we know, she is not for the protection of the single family neighborhood. She is against height restrictions and says that they will affect the entire City of Lake Worth. She is right on that one and that is why we believe that height restrictions are good, sound, planning and agree with keeping heights low where appropriate. Less crime occurs in single family neighborhoods than in mixed-use.
What she said on December 7, 2007 in front of the city commission: The Lakeview Heights (where she lives) neighborhood was overlooked in the master plan and had been overlooked for a long time. Zoning changes were made which caused property values to depreciate. She requested the area be reassessed and included in the master plan. She said she wanted to develop her property, but the area was zoned SF-7 (single family 7 units to an acre), crime had increased, and said she discussed issues with the Police and Planning and Zoning Departments. The area "A" and "B" and Pine Streets were overrun by gang members. She submitted a petition asking staff from the Building and Planning & Zoning Departments to return Lakeview Heights, specifically the areas neighboring "A" and "B" and Pine Streets to its previously designated mixed use.
That's what she said then and that's what she wants now...against single family neighborhoods for her own development interests, not for the best interests of the neighborhood or the City.
She has petitioned the Department of Community Affairs to become an Intervenor on the Compliance issue and is asking for a formal administrative hearing regarding our Comprehensive Plan to challenge building heights. We say, "not a leg to stand on."
Message from Florida Hometown Democracy:
For Earth Day this year, the Florida Legislature is trying to pull the plug on the Department of Community Affairs, Florida’s growth management watchdog. The House has refused to re-authorize this pitiful agency and we hear that next year some powerful legislators plan to abolish DCA altogether. That way they can ensure that the over-development machine has free rein to pump out even more empty office buildings, speculative condos and foreclosed sprawl developments.
We all know that reckless over-development has paved over too many of Florida’s unique places: her beaches, waterways, uplands and wetlands.
The Florida Panther, which used to roam the entire state, will soon be extinct. Why? Because over the past ten years, so much of its remaining habitat has been paved over in Lee and Collier Counties -- one of the epicenters of the busted real estate bubble. Commissioners rubber-stamped a tidal wave of plan changes over the past 2 decades.
Florida’s “dead cat walking” is a reminder that politicians and bureaucrats have shown time and time again they can’t be trusted to protect our homes, our communities, our beautiful State and it’s irreplaceable wildlife.
Voters must have a seat at the table. One good thing this Earth Day: Florida Hometown Democracy Amendment 4 is on the November ballot. We will win if we all make Amendment 4 our top priority for the next six months.
Make Earth Day mean something this year: do your part to make sure Amendment 4 passes. Send a donation, get your friends to donate; email everyone you know; join your local Hometown Democracy group; get involved. Let’s make sure the Florida Panther is the last extinct species in Florida.
CLICK HERE TO DONATE ONLINE:
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
4 feet in height and a wing span of 50 inches
We are lucky to see these wonderful birds at Lake Osborne. Tried sneaking up on him today but he was too quick for me.
You can buy this T-shirt at the Lake Worth Beach T-Shirt Company at the Lake Worth Casino.
I wore my shirt last night and several people asked me what it meant. I had to have someone explain it to me. This is right out of the mouth of Christopher:
Lake Worth = LW
LW spelled out = el double-u
"el double-u" abbreviated = L Dub
L is, well, L. Double-u becomes Dub. L-Dub.
We live in the L-Dub. Get it ? ; )
And I did say "our" pool. This is a public municipal pool that needs to say affordable. That does not mean country club membership prices of $250 per person per year and raising prices at the gate from $2 to $5. It does not mean robo sharks and leasing our pool to yet another guy with a scheme.
What was different about last night’s commission meeting? There was only one thing. The Commission and everyone at the dais had lap tops in front of them instead of paper backup. As you glanced up to the front of the room, 5 reams of paper were staring in your face to make the point that by going paperless, we would save all that money and paper. “Green” people must have been frothing at the mouth on that decision.
Years ago a public company for which I worked made that same decision. I think it was someone in IT who convinced the CEO that this was the way of the future or something. It lasted about two weeks. As far as I am concerned, downloading backup of 466 pages is nuts and certainly inconvenient.
The rest of the entire 4.5 plus hours was all of the same. I don’t have to write one thing about it. Just think 5-0, 5-0, 5-0 as you scroll down that paperless backup. This is the constant theme of this Commission.
Even when they knew of the opinion of our bond counsel, Rick Miller, who stated in backup that it was determined that such a borrowing by the City and loan of money to Compass, creates an unconstitutional lending of credit under Article
They ended up changing the zoning on Federal for transient lodging opening up the gates for more illegal immigrants as now they will allow cooking in the rooms. Instead of containing this problem where it is, it now will grow east of
Commissioner Golden, for about the 4th time, reminded me of a Resolution passed in the 1998 or some such year that said we were to no longer call illegal aliens, “illegal, that the word was “undocumented.” It is what it is, Commissioner.
The Commission went round and round about sending the #$%^ ambulance to
After an unbelievable amount of time, they voted to send it to the Red Cross with
Only one of my questions was answered last night--the pod at the shuffleboard court. Commissioner Golden said that it should go and Mayor Varela said that they have to do what it takes or words to that effect...that it was used for housing donations to Haiti. What about obeying your own ordinances on that sort of thing, Mayor?
All in all, this Commission is like putty, totally molded to the City Manager's point of view and all of her goals. One more thing, she and Joe Kroll are flying together to Chicago to look at garbage.
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
While I was attending the Tea Party Rally, there were a few gun advocates there with signs about guns. I really am tired of the same old excuse by Patriots and 2nd Amendment advocates, the NRA, many Republicans, etc. when they refuse to confront the truth--guns kill people.
Their argument is that people kill people. Well, yes but they use guns. Guns are not cool. That's why people buy them--to kill. Their next argument is that people will just use a knife to kill you. Using a knife takes a lot more "guts." A gun is the weapon of choice. Ask anyone in law enforcement. Murder victims by weapon used
Saturday Night specials and semi-automatic assault weapons must be off the streets of America. If we just have to have guns because of some archaic 2nd Amendment or because of politics, then all other guns must be registered. There should be a waiting period before you own a gun. It is bad enough and a national disgrace when anyone can buy this type of a weapon without identification and a national background check. Gun lobbyists have way too much control over politicians who have little common sense and who compromise "right" for campaign contributions and distort the 2nd Amendment. America's Most Wanted Guns
"A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."
Monday, April 19, 2010
Meetings: 3rd Wednesdays monthly, 7:00 PM; Pegasus Restaurant, 301 North Dixie Hwy, Lake Worth 33460, Tel (561) 588-4463
Guest speaker is Mary Jane Range, Zone Leader for Palm Beach Gardens & North Palm Beach, who will address all ballot issues, including Fair District amendment 5 and 6.
Contact: Drew Martin President, at 561-533-6814
Comment up on the comment of Ms. Hayes
On April 1, Sunset Drive Holdings submitted a 2nd Amended Petition for an administrative hearing to the DCA. They are still challenging the DCA’s intent to find the Comprehensive plan amendment “in compliance.”
They just simply don’t like what they heard and are continuing on alleging that the City made material changes to the EAR amendment after the First reading of Ordinance 2008-25 and that these changes were not made in response to the DCA’s ORC Report and other charges such as the City didn’t get required public input.
Sunset Holdings wants the Division of Administrative Hearings (DOAH) to review the matter and to agree with their charge that the City’s EAR Amendment is not effective.
Even La Sonna Hayes-Tomanek says she wants to be an Intervenor, someone who has no standing in this matter. Who is La Sonna Hayes? We know that she does not want height restrictions within the City of Lake Worth as she has spoken on that issue before the commission. We know that Mark Parrilla beat her out in forming a legal neighborhood association. We know that she is chummy with all the people behind Genesis. Is this the very same La Sonna that DOT put on notice several years back regarding improper insurance. See page 22. Is this the same La Sonna Hayes who used to have a beauty shop on Lake Avenue and who lives at 713 Pine Street in Lake Worth? Why does Ms. Hayes care about a neighborhood that is over 1 mile away from her residence located in a different zip code? What's her dog in this fight?
The residents of Lake Osborne Heights continue to stand up for their neighborhood. The original Intervenors know and understood that it would have been superfluous to become an Intervenor again. It is now a battle of the Losers versus the Judge at DOAH. Be assured that we will be ready to continue on if need be.
The City Manager's Report is a Weekly Report that is transmitted to the City Commission each Friday evening and is uploaded to the City website on Monday mornings.
It is now AFTERNOON, and it is still not up. For the last year, it has always been transmitted on Friday so why the change that first occurred two weeks ago?? It is one minute after Noon and I cut no slack.
We have the CRA that puts out back-up that you can't even read because they put 2 pages on one page to save time. The print is so itsy bitsy that it's a joke.
Now we have the City screwing up the back-up. We now get to read the Commission Agenda by one click of the mouse! How inconvenient and consumer unfriendly. The latest one has 466 pages. You might get to where you want to be but take a coffee break during the process--it is time consuming.
So instead of going to each issue and clicking on for the backup, you now have to scroll and scroll and scroll. What about that resident who still has Dial-Up?
And we still don't have the City Manager's Report that used to be uploaded on Friday.
Builders, Realtors and Fl Chamber selling us Out - We will win Florida Hometown Democracy in the Grassroots
In the last year or so, Florida Hometown Democracy has raised over 1/4 of a million dollars with the majority of the contributions coming from Lesley Blackner. The other contributors in the 5 digit range are:
Dr. Steve Rosen…$35,000
Sierra Club Northwest…$16,000
Michael Singer of Alchua, Fl…$10,000
This has been very much a grassroots campaign from inception with small contributions coming all across the State from working class folks to people such as myself, retirees on fixed incomes and just from people disgusted with the ruination of our State caused by all these groups involved in bad growth. We are having to spread the word by mouth as FHD does not have the big bucks and deep pockets of the opposition. Back in January, FHD reported on the opposition’s contributions and what they had accumulated in 2007 and 2008 to defeat FHD. Here are a few at that time:
Wal-Mart (I don’t need to explain this corporation)…$25,000
Florida Association of Realtors (will support anything that will make them commissions)…$50,000
A Duda & Sons (land company involved in agriculture and real estate) …$10,000
Floridians for Conservative Values (Don’t let the name fool you. Also gave to Public Concepts out to defeat FHD) ...$25,000
Associated Builders and Contractors (represent the majority of the construction trade)…$10,000
Fl. Banker’s Association (the more growth, the more banks, the more they make) …$5,000
Environmental Industry Assn,
Florida Crystals (owned by the Fanjuls who have more money than God and like to jerk the State around as well as the environment)…$25,000
Associated Industries of Fl (members include those interested in growth throughout Fl) …$35,000
P.O. Box 636
New Smyrna Beach, FL 32170
Let's help out Lesley, Steve, Michael, the Sierra Club and all the others to save Florida.