It has been hard to watch the Chapel-by-the-Lake and the controversy it has brought First Baptist Church as well as West Palm Beach concerning the sale (“One more chance to get it right,” Sunday editorial.)
It’s really the decline of the church and the old traditions. Perhaps it began when the church removed the pipe organ. It was an honor for me to study on that organ with then-professor Robert Dole from Palm Beach Atlantic College. There were other problems, too, and each time the church splintered. Little by little, the traditions were chipped away — first the organ, then the music was transitioned to a more contemporary sound. Sadly, a lot of young people will never know the many hymns from the Baptist Hymnal.
The sale of the Chapel-by-the-Lake to make way for a high-rise seems almost criminal. Instead, the site should be a green space, a park, a prayer garden, if you will. It should be dedicated to the man who made it all possible, the Rev. Jess Moody. It should stand for all time to the many people who found salvation there. For isn’t that the purpose of the church?
North Palm Beach
Look to chapel’s
history for insight
Sometimes it’s good to look back in order to make wise decisions. The proposed high-rise condo deal involving First Baptist Church of West Palm Beach is a case in point.
It’s obvious in looking at the recent photo in The Post that the property occupied by the open-air chapel is misnamed. Perhaps Chapel-IN-the-Lake would be more accurate, since some 50 years ago a deal was worked out between the church, the state and the courts to purchase submerged land in Lake Worth Lagoon. Before the ink dried on the church dredge-and-fill permit, a condo developer used the precedent for the Trianon high-rise you see adjacent to the chapel. Then in 1970, an attempt was made by another developer to fill in the submerged land between the chapel and the bridge in order to build high-rise rental units. The request failed.
The outdoor chapel has a unique location and function, even though how it came into being may be questionable to some. What remains to be decided is: Do we really need more view-blocking towers along beautiful Lake Worth Lagoon? Perhaps a visit to Fort Lauderdale by inland waterway would give us an idea of what can happen if wise land-use planning is replaced by greed and overdevelopment.
North Palm Beach
Let project fit the
Regarding the Chapel-by-the-Lake condominium project: I can’t imagine that the city commissioners would have have allowed a 25-story and a 24-story tower to house 48 residences apiece. The developers have projected that the project will contribute around $2.7 million to the tax base and will create 89 permanent jobs, supposedly an economic boon to the community.
Really? I live in One City Plaza, a 16-story high-rise in conforming use which has 350 residences with 30 full-time employees. It is estimated that the building contributes $3.25 million in taxes and generates between $2.5 million and $3 million a year in local business services. Moreover, it is estimated that the residents spend approximately 80 percent of their income to live, work and play in the local community.
I chose to live in downtown West Palm Beach to enjoy its wonderful architectural footprint. I think I represent a large community of progressive West Palm Beachers who want this environment enhanced, not threatened. Let them design a project that complies with our codes and fits the community we live in.
ANTHONY F. COSTONIS
West Palm Beach
Bullies here to stay,
so empower victims
Regarding “Martin County event will spotlight bullying”: We will never get rid of bullies, so we have to take away their power. We must educate children and adults how to deal with bullies. If they can’t upset you, it takes away their power.
Years ago, The Palm Beach Post printed a great article on this subject. A noted psychologist, Izzy Kalman, says we are targeting the wrong kids. Getting rid of bullies is not possible. We need to get rid of victims, or rather empower them on how to handle the bullying. I was so impressed that I typed up the article in its entirety on my computer. I printed off copies and gave them to friends who had children. He has published a book on the subject and a CD, and has a website.
If I had a lot of money, I would buy copies of his book for all the schools, and recommend it be put on required reading lists.
Editor’s note: Izzy Kalman’s website is Bullies2Buddies.com.
Theories will abide
until all truth is out
Richard Mosk’s Oct. 31 commentary, “Fifty years later, Warren Commission still right,” decrying conspiracy theories and declaring that evidence of a conspiracy is still a myth not a fact fails to address one important point.
Conspiracy theories will continue to be spun as long as all information concerning the murder of President John Kennedy is not made public. At the time of the Warren Commission, there was a body of information that was sealed, with the proviso that it was not to be made available to the public for 75 years. Why? Why does an entire generation essentially have to die before that information is unsealed? Why can we not know the truth before we die?
We are entering the 50th year since that murder. Why are not the media demanding that this information be made public? What is in that information that is so sensitive that it cannot be made public now but can be made public after the next 25 years? From its inception, I have found such a view to be nonsensical. I urge The Post to use whatever legal and moral means available to demand the public disclosure of that information and to help organize other media and nongovernmental organizations to assist in this venture.
SHELDON F. GOTTLIEB
Scott looks better
if media lays off
Why are Gov. Rick Scott’s polling numbers low, as endlessly reported in The Post? Before I answer, let’s look at Gov. Scott’s accomplishments.
While the federal government’s credit rating dropped, Florida’s bond rating has moved up from AA+ to AAA. Under former Gov. Charlie (photo-op) Crist, the rating was downgraded by S&P from “stable” to “negative.” Florida’s unemployment rate is at 7 percent, which ties the state for 22nd-lowest. Moody’s Investors Service said “revenue trends, year-end surpluses and other economic indicators now show that the state’s recovery is well underway.”
In order to gain a AAA bond rating, Gov. Scott reduced the state’s debt. He closed six prisons, eliminated 4,400 state jobs, imposed a pay freeze on state workers and vetoed $368 million in frivolous spending from the 2013-2014 budget. The state economy in much sounder today than when he took over.
The governor’s low ratings can be attributed to the continued bashing of him by The Post and other left-wing newspapers in the state. Beyond the constant bashing, Gov. Scott lacks charisma. He is not a slick talker like the current occupant of the White House. The voters of Florida are fortunate to have a leader instead of a pol who makes countless promises he is incapable of keeping. Well done, governor.
Dramaworks a gem
right in our midst
Regarding the reviews of performances at Palm Beach Dramaworks: As a former New Yorker and huge fan of live theater, I recommend highly that you discover Broadway and Off-Broadway in West Palm Beach.
I have been an avid supporter of Dramaworks, and recently attended a performance of John Steinbeck’s “Of Mice and Men.” I want to express my gratitude to the folks who work so hard at their new gem of a theatre on Clematis Street that is providing so much pure pleasure with every performance of every show they mount. The casting of Steinbeck’s play was marvelous; many of the performers are local; all are professional and we are so fortunate to have such richness of live theater so close to home.
If you have not attended, waste no time in getting a subscription and treating yourself to this marvelous venue. I never saw anything in Manhattan any better.