“Fun science” ..Lake Worth Lagoon Fishing Challenge

Ray Waldner fights a jack crevalle on ultralight tackle near Munyon Island. Fishing the northern end of Lake Worth Lagoon in the winter can produce snook, redfish, jack crevalle, ladyfish and, on the incoming tide, Spanish mackerel and bluefish. (Photo by Willie Howard)

This, from Palm Beach County: 

To collect fisheries information about the county’s largest estuary, Palm Beach County and its partners in the Lake Worth Lagoon Initiative will hold the second annual Lake Worth Lagoon Fishing Challenge, from May 26 through July 9. The initiative is collaborating with the Snook & Gamefish Foundation and the West Palm Beach Fishing Club to host the challenge as a fun citizen science contest.

Participating is easy and free. Interested anglers can register online, then log the fish they catch using a free downloadable app for their mobile device or by signing into their online account. By taking photos of their catches in the lagoon and reporting them as part of the challenge, anglers will contribute valuable data that could steer future lagoon habitat restoration and will be eligible for awards.

“It was so exciting to see a number of kids participating in this event last year and seeing parents utilizing this opportunity to get their families outdoors,” said Rob Robbins, director of Palm Beach County’s Department of Environmental Resources Management (ERM). “By sharing details about the fish being caught in the lagoon, participants will help us better understand this local treasure that we are working hard to protect, restore and enhance.”

Approximately 20 miles long and a half-mile wide, Lake Worth Lagoon extends from North Palm Beach to Ocean Ridge. The estuary is home to a variety of fish species and offers many fishing spots accessible from land or by boat.

 

The Lake Worth Lagoon Fishing Challenge is open to anglers five years of age and older. Entries can be submitted throughout the six-week challenge. For more information about the challenge, including how to register and prize details, visit www.LWLI.org/FishingChallenge or contact ERM at (561)233-2400 or at ERM-FishingChallenge@pbcgov.org.

 

Downtown Showdown seafood fest and fishing tournament set for this weekend

 

The 3rd Annual Downtown Showdown KDW fishing tournament and saltwater festival is coming up on Saturday, May 20th from 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.

The free event is one of the biggest fishing tournaments ever held on the West Palm Beach waterfront. It also includes the West Palm Beach Seafood Festival, a classic and custom car show, live music, local vendors, kid zone and more.

For information, visit downtownshowdownkdw.com.

Nonprofit forms to enhance West Palm as Arts/Entertainment destination

Teneka James

The more than 20 galleries, museums, performing arts groups and other cultural organizations that comprise the city’s Arts and Entertainment District have formed a nonprofit to help seek grants and put more muscle in marketing efforts, to turn West Palm Beach into more of an arts destination for residents and visitors.

The Downtown Development Authority created the A&E 501(c)3 to focus on arts within two-miles of the downtown core, expanding beyond the DDA’s own reach to enhance the appeal of West Palm Beach as a visitor destination through creative expression and experiences in various art forms.

DDA Associate Director Teneka James, 39, will lead the group while remaining with the DDA, where she has worked for 10 years.

The Arts & Entertainment District was launched three years ago. Its cultural partners include Alexander W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts, Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens, Armory Art Center, Bruce Helander Studio, Eaton Fine Art, Flagler Museum, Habatat Galleries, Historical Society of Palm Beach County, Legacy Fine Art Gallery, Mandel Public Library of West Palm Beach, Multilingual Language and Cultural Society, Nicole Henry Fine Art, Norton Museum of Art, Palm Beach Atlantic University, Palm Beach Dramaworks, Palm Beach Opera, Palm Beach Pops, Palm Beach Symphony, Palm Beach Photographic Centre, Raymond F. Kravis Center for the Performing Arts, SunFest, Society of the Four Arts, and Uptown Art.

James said the nonprofit is researching to identify grants for which it may be eligible to fund its operations. The plan is to add to what the organizations already are doing individually, increase the district’s visibility and drive more programming to enhance the downtown experience, she said.

The nonprofits board members will include Upendo Shabazz, the DDA’s Board Chairman and Regional Vice President for Allegany Franciscan Ministries; Raphael Clemente, DDA’s Executive Director; Greg Dillard, owner of Grapeseeker – Advertising, Design and Motion Graphics; Bill Hayes, Producing Artistic Director/CEO of Palm Beach Dramaworks; Toni May, President of MaylMedia; and Gisele Weisman, artist.

To learn more about the Arts & Entertainment District, visit DowntownWPBArts.com.

Artist-painted tables to bring Aesop’s fables to waterfront park

Local artists are bringing their talents to the waterfront starting June 1, with Aesop’s Tables,  an outdoor exhibit featuring 25 painted picnic tables illustrating Aesop’s fables, such as The Boy Who Cried Wolf, and the Tortoise and the Hare.

The summer-long installation, courtesy of the city’s Art in Public Places program, invites visitors to enjoy light-hearted lessons, laughter and conversations on the waterfront, along with nightly music and pop-up performances, storytelling, poetry readings, games and interactive programming.

Road and dock closings for SunFest

Fireworks light up the crowds watching during the final night of Sunfest in downtown West Palm Beach on May 3, 2015. (Richard Graulich / The Palm Beach Post)

City docks will close for SunFest next week, and there’ll be road closings and detours downtown. Here’s the official schedule from the City of West Palm Beach:

Road Closures
Wednesday, April 26, 9 a.m. – Wednesday May 10, 6 p.m.:
Flagler Drive Closed between Banyan Blvd. and Lakeview Ave.
Narcissus Avenue between Evernia Street and Datura Street.
North Clematis Street between Lantana Avenue and Flagler Drive.
Evernia Street between Narcissus Avenue and Flagler Drive.
Limited Access 
S. Clematis Street between Narcissus Avenue and Flagler Drive.
Datura Street between Narcissus Avenue and Flagler Drive.
Fern Street between Olive Avenue and Flagler Drive.

Sunday May 7, 9 p.m. – 11 p.m.

Limited access

Access from Australian Ave. to West Bound Okeechobee Blvd. will be closed.
The Police Department may close portions of Clematis Street to allow for pedestrian traffic.

No On-Street Parking
Wednesday, April 26

Flagler Drive between Banyan Boulevard and Lakeview Avenue.
North and South Clematis Street (east of Narcissus).
100 Block of Datura Street.
Narcissus St. between Datura St. and Evernia St.
Friday, April 28

Palm Beach Post Park Parking Lot.
100 Block of Fern Street.

Wednesday to Sunday, May 3 to May 7
Portion of the 200 block of Datura Street (Handicapped parking).
Trinity Place between Olive Avenue and Chase Avenue.
Banyan Boulevard between Narcissus and Flagler Drive.
Friday to  Sunday, May 5 to May 7
300 Fern Street between Olive Avenue and Dixie.
300 block of Datura Street (Handicapped parking).

All road closures and meter bags are subject to change.

SunFest will re-open all roads by 6 p.m., Wednesday, May 10.

Dock Schedule
Thursday, April 27 – Wednesday, May 10, docks will be closed.
All docks will re-open Wednesday, May 10 at 6 p.m.

‘Bioclimatic domes’ for West Palm’s waterfront?

West Palm’s waterfront redesign competition has been won by Ecosistema Urbano, with a proposal that  includes what could be the first public “bioclimatic domes” in the U.S., the Van Alen Institute and the West Palm Beach Community Redevelopment Agency announced Thursday.

The domes, adorned with hanging gardens, create “climatically comfortable spaces 365 days a year, thereby supporting a more socially cohesive city,” according to a release from Van Alen, which oversaw the competition the proposal.

Ecosistema Urbano’s design, called Open Shore, answers the Shore to Core competition’s call for a comprehensive, forward-thinking urban plan to make West Palm Beach’s waterfront a year-’round destination for locals and visitors, the release said.

“The proposal also illustrates how the city’s Banyan Garage could be ‘up-cycled’ into a mixed-use building with both public- and private-sector roles, featuring adaptive climates suitable for a range of activities, including a farmers market, co-working spaces and skyline viewing platforms. Additional amenities include vibrant thematic alleyways—with such features as a rock climbing wall, interactive exhibition space, and immersive foliage—that harness the cultural values and experiences unique to West Palm Beach, while also providing shade and introducing new elevated programming spaces,” the release said.

The Shore to Core competition invited international designers, planners and architects to envision what the West Palm Beach waterfront could look like over the next 20 to 30 years, taking population, the economy and the environment into account.

Ecosistema Urbano  is scheduled to present the proposal next month to the city’s Community Redevelopment Agency, which will identify priority projects within the Banyan Garage and downtown alleyways and then contract with the company. This will be followed by outreach to the community about the individual elements that are scheduled for possible implementation in late 2017 or early 2018.

 

 

Art glass show coming downtown

Taylor Materio

Downtown West Palm Beach will host Glass Quest 2017 next month, a weekend of education, inspiration and engagement for art glass enthusiasts.

The conference will feature presentations, exhibitions, roundtable discussions and more from glass visionaries and industry leaders.

Glass Quest 2017 is produced by McMow Art Glass and Wardell Products. Event sponsors include the West Palm Beach Downtown Development Authority, the West Palm Beach Arts & Entertainment District, Bullseye Glass Co., Habatat Galleries and Jen-Ken Kilns. It will take place May 26 – 28 at 522 Clematis St.

“Glass Quest 2017 will give local artists the opportunity to network and learn about the evolving world of art glass from industry leaders from around the world,” said Taylor Materio, Creative Director of McMow Art Glass.

For the Glass Quest 2017 agenda or to register, visit www.mcmow.com. Registration for the conference is $350 and includes all workshops and activities.

Heart & Soul Fest heats up Historic Northwest tonight

Heart & Soul Fest returns today, April 22 from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the Historic Northwest District, across from the legendary Sunset Lounge

The free event, at Rosemary Avenue and 8th Street features music, soul food and family activities including arts and crafts, face painting, a children’s dance contest, crowd trivia, a health fair and parades.

 

 

The entertainment will include R&B star Chanté Moore, along with local bands Deep Fried Funk, Zion’s Sons Gospel Choir, and Faith’s Place.  There will be activities for the entire family with and more.  Local vendors will dish up tasty soul food including favorites like BBQ ribs, pulled pork, fried chicken, and mac and cheese.

 

Free shuttle service and parking is available in the Palm Beach County Judicial and Governmental Center Parking lot on Banyan Boulevard at Rosemary Avenue.

Entertainment Schedule

All day              Heath Fair

1:30 – 2:15      Parade – Faith’s Place Marching Band and Steel Drummers
2:30 – 3:00      Senior Fit Tips
3:30 – 4:00      Natural Movers Dance Party
4:15 – 5:00      Zion’s Sons Gospel Choir
5:00 – 5:15      Children’s Dance Contest
5:30 – 6:15      Deep Fried Funk
6:30 – 8:00      Chanté Moore

 

 

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Reshaping West Palm’s Historic Northwest

This announcement, from the Black Chamber of Commerce of Palm Beach County:

Historic Northwest Rising Build Activity & Block Party

Date: April 22.
Time: 8 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Enjoy a fun weekend of experimenting with what the Sunset Lounge and the open space could look like!  Help create sample installations of improvements including benches, tables, street art, and more.

Family fun: Street Mural Painting, Obstacle Course, Games, Vendors, and more. This event is in conjunction with the Heart and Soul Festival.

Sign up to Volunteer and learn more at www.northwestrising.com or contact The Mosaic Group at info@upscalebymosaic.com or 561.651.9565.

  • Friday April 21:

9 a.m. -noon: Help Create an Obstacle Course for Kids.

  • 4 p.m. – 9 p.m.: Help Make Crosswalk Art and Shaded Areas.
  • Saturday, April 22:
  • 8 a.m. – noon: Help with Final Touches and Multi-Purpose Game Court.
  • 8 p.m. – 10 p.m.: Clean up

Volunteers will meet at the Sunset Lounge, located at 609 8th St.

What did the consultants say about your neighborhood?

West Palm Beach’s urban planning consultants, Gehl Studio, this week released recommendations on how to bring the downtown and neighborhood scenes to life. For downtown, the challenge the consultants saw was that, the second you step off Clematis Street, or away from CityPlace, walkways are uninviting and that breaks up the connectivity that makes it fun to go from one place to another.

Not enough shade trees, street lighting or bicycling facilities; too many obstructions like utility posts blocking the sidewalks. Big roadways like Okeechobee Boulevard and Tamarind Avenue act as barriers. Flagler Drive blocks the waterfront.

The urban planners came up with proposals for pilot projects for six areas, from just south to just north of downtown. The city commission will be considering these recommendations in the weeks to come. We plan a full story about this for this weekend, but for now, here’s a neighborhood-by-neighborhood summary of the challenges and “potential moves” for the six areas, culled from the Gehl presentation:

  1. Complete Clematis. Challenges: Clematis’ eastern and western edges could use some love. On the west, crossing Tamarind Avenue from the Tri-Rail station is difficult, and the end of Clematis has little shade or pedestrian interest. On the east, everyone loves the waterfront but it’s empty most of the time, there’s no way to  interact with the water, no shade and few everyday activities. Recommendations: Create an artistic gateway tot he city at the TriRail Station; make Tamarind easier for pedestrians by adding a signal and pedestrian islands; Add shading to make walk up Clematis from the station more comfortable; run bike lanes from Tri-Rail to Rosemary Avenue; String lighting from Tri-Rail to the waterfront; add movable seating to the Flagler Drive green, so people can follow the shade; make the FEC rail and Quadrille Boulevard intersection feel safe and comfortable; widen the waterfront park by taking under-used space from Flagler Drive and install docks that step down to the water. Include eye-catching lighting to draw people to the waterfront.
  2. Historic Northwest. Challenges: Need to stitch this neighborhood and downtown back together. Banyan Boulevard acts as a barrier, too many dark sidewalks, sidewalk obstructions, lack of shade and few things to do. Getting downtown on foot is tough. Rosemary Avenue, once commercial heart of Historic NW, has fallen into vacancy and disrepair. Need to leverage city’s investment in the Sunset Lounge, the historic jazz bar, and set stage to renew Rosemary as a ‘Main Street.’ Recommendations: Create a gateway to the neighborhood at Banyan and Rosemary, with art and bright lighting and redesign intersection to make it safer and more appealing. Paint vacant buildings and sidewalk obstructions bright colors to create an eye-catching pathway on Rosemary. Install artistic lighting along Rosemary leading from Clematis to the Sunset Lounge. Install traffic calming and pedestrian and cyclist improvements on Rosemary. Create a ‘Vacancy Lab’ to test different uses for vacant lots such as sports fields, community garden, food truck pop-ups, plant nursery, tree grove. Consider adding trolley stop. Improve connection across the tracks and to the water along 3rd Street.
  3. 15th Street: Safety and comfort from school to pools. Challenges: 15th crosses both railroads, connecting schools with Pleasant City, Gaines Park and the waterfront. Need to make 15th “a truly great pedestrian and bike street that is safe and enjoyable for school children and all WPBers.” Recommendations: Promote walking and biking to school with mural-painting and other events and traffic school for kids. Add shade, lighting, continuous bike lanes, improve intersections, add ‘rest stops’ with seating, shade, ‘playful interventions,’ bike pumps and the like.
  4. Pleasant City: Challenges: It’s a food desert, with few outlets for affordable food, whether in stores or restaurants. Northwood Village has great restaurants but they’re too expensive for many neighbors. Getting to the water from Northwood and Pleasant City is challenging because it feels far. Recommendations: Give Pleasant city residents something to do in Blum Park while helping address shortage of affordable food in the neighborhood. Connect the neighborhood to the water and Currie Park while creating a new destination: the Sunset Pools. Sunset Pools would be a ‘mobile harbor bath in the Intracoastal Waterway that allows people to get into the water and can be moved to serve different neighborhoods. Add activities to Blum Park by building barbecue pits, a weekly or biweekly food truck program with local entrepreneurs, add picnic tables and shade. Build on the community garden on Spruce and connect to a kitchen. Create a community/commercial kitchen in a vacant building or repurposed shipping container to supply the food truck program and provide job training. Install pedestrian and bike improvements on Spruce, leading from Northwood to Merry Place. Add a trolley stop at Dixie Highway and Currie Park.
  5. Tamarind Avenue: Challenges: It’s a commercial street plagued by vacancies, illicit activities, a tough stigma, lack of lighting and shade. Locals say bus stops are uncomfortable, and though there are hang-out spots near corner stores, there is nowhere to sit and nothing to do. Recommendations:  Bring amenities to the Coleman Park neighborhood along Tamarind, where no one should ever be more than two minutes from comfort, services or neighborhood shops. Create clusters of activity around existing, organic hang-out areas at corner stores and bus stops and put eyes on the street by adding services the neighborhood needs. Add shade, lighting, seating. Add ‘pop-ups’ to energize Tamarind, such as a mobile library, WiFi stations, bike repair shop, computer access points, outdoor exercise equipment, street games. Make cycling between 15th and 23rd streets more comfortable by clearly marking that this is “a neighborhood green street/commercial main street.”
  6. Howard Park: Challenges: The under-used northern end of the park is potentially a great amenity for the southern part of downtown, but with Okeechobee Boulevard in the middle, it’s hard to navigate between the park and downtown.  Recommendations: Improve Okeechobee crossings by tailoring crossing times to pedestrians, widening ends of medians to make the crossings shorter. Add shade, lighting and other pedestrian improvements between CityPlace and Howard Park. Add a SkyBike bicycle rental station. Create “a playful connection” through the park, with features like Los Trompos, the big “tops” formerly located on the waterfront. Try putting a trolley stop at the park, and if there’s demand, a trolley stop at the Art Walk in the Warehouse District.