Appears FireFighters Have Had Enough

Appears FireFighters Have Had Enough.

Who can blame them? The WPB FireFighters have issued a Press Release and below are what I wish to draw to readers attention, and the entire PR can be read below along with Fire Fee Facts from 2019 and the most telling Fire Assessment Expenditures. My questions / commentswill be in Italic.


[WEST PALM BEACH, FL – July 20, 2021] The West Palm Beach Association of Firefighters announced today a formal opposition to the misuse of the recently increased city fire fee. The fire fee was created to stabilize funding for firefighters and paramedics during periods of economic volatility, when emergency call volume tends to be its highest. In 2019 citizens of West Palm Beach were asked to increase the fire assessment fee from $50 to $100. The West Palm Beach Association of Firefighters supported the increase under the premise that the City Administration committed to provide:
1. Two new fire trucks to increase the level of service to our community.
2. Additional firefighters to staff these two trucks.
3. $3 million dollars appropriated directly to these items.
4. Quarterly reporting and an increased level of transparency of where the money is allocated. To date, only one additional firetruck has been placed in service. That truck has been staffed by existing personnel on overtime hours, which in turn has impacted the fire department’s budget.
None of the other commitments provided by the City Administration have been kept “The misuse of these funds is having a truly detrimental impact on the Fire Department,” commented Jayson French, President of the West Palm Beach Association of Firefighters. “For the first time in history, our fire department is not a coveted place to work. Our staffing for emergency responses has fallen well below Palm Beach County standards. When the fire fee, which amounts to nearly $8 Million, is not used for the fire department it is merely another tax unknowingly created on the backs of our firefighters.”

The West Palm Beach Association of Firefighters has stated that they feel the city fire fee should either be used appropriately for fire department needs, or else abolished and the money returned to the citizens that paid it. For more information see the PR below.

firefighter fee press release.docx (2)

Our union stood in support of the fire assessment fee with the understanding that the funds would be used in accordance with the commission’s 2019 guidance. This guidance was agreed on record during a commission meeting. The citizen’s fire assessment fee was created to stabilize the fire dept budget. This fee was not meant to balance the general fund. If the fee is used to balance the general fund it is no different than property tax.
Commission Meeting 8/26/19 part 2

The city Manager verbally confirmed these items during the commission meeting:
1. Two new fire trucks to increase the level of service to our community.
2. 9 additional firefighters to staff these two trucks. The number is actually 18 which equals the amount of $ confirmed. However, on record, the city manager stated 9.
3. $3 million dollars appropriated directly to these items. Technically, it is 2.8 million needed to fulfill these items.
4. Commissioners requested quarterly reporting and an increased level of transparency of where the money is allocated To date, only one item has been fulfilled. One additional fire truck was placed in service in October 2019. City Commissioners have you received the quarterly reports you requested? Are you aware of how the Fire Fee is used? The document below “Statement of Encumbrances and Expenditures” should be an eye opener for you. I remind you once again you five Commissioners oversee the City’s Internal Auditor and it will take three of you to vote for an audit on the Fire Fee and how the money is used or mis-used. I would suggest looking for a slush fund. Top management will not do their jobs——will you?

fire fee facts from 2019 vote (1)

Statement of Encumbrances and Expenditures is a two (2) page document, and I draw readers attention to the bottom of the 2nd. page where it states over $6.4 million dollars “Transfers and other financing uses.” Commissioners reading the document is this the first time you are aware $6.4 million was raised and used elsewhere?  You will also note two additional transferes and I requested what account #304 & 210 were, and received the response below. I am not comfortable knowing the City used $6.4 million dollars  for reasons  other than what tax dollars were raised for, equipment and raises for our Fire Dept. If that’s not criminal I don’t know what is.

1.”304 is a capital acquisition fund. $703k transferred is noted as reserved for future projects. It is never expensed. It rolls over into the next year and accumulates annually.
2. 210 is Other Debt Service Fund. The $2.7MM is transferred into other debt service. However $1.7MM is placed into a line of credit from 2013. The remaining is placed into fire truck leases.
3. Keep in mind. None of these expenses expand emergency services or complete the agreed upon terms of the $50 increase of the Fire Assessment.”


Deny, Deny Deny.

Below WPB Watch readers can read the Editorial written by the Palm Beach Post and they have raised more questions on the topic of our water contamination.

One section of the article reads “Meanwhile, though, the utilities director either didn’t converse at all with her boss, the city administrator, or did converse with her but didn’t mention that the water supply that more than 125,000 in West Palm Beach, Palm Beach and South Palm Beach rely upon was tainted. City Administrator Faye Johnson also no idea about the contamination until May 28, a spokeswoman says.”

Now we have City Administrator, Faye Johnson, along with Mayor Keith James denying they knew about water contamination until May 28,2021.

I find it hard to believe that Ms. Kalkat didn’t report the problem to Ms. Johnson who in turn notified James who in turn notified not one resident using City water.

This may be a sample of Circling the Wagon (meaning that members of a team or group must work together to protect themselves from some outside danger. Generally, they prepare for a possible attack.) In my opinion Ms. Kalkat is placed outside the circle, and I fear she alone will take the fall for others failures.


“Just no good answers on West Palm water debacle
Several weeks after West Palm Beach residents were alerted to contamination in their water supply, they’re still not receiving satisfactory answers why their officials waited so long to tell them. Failing that, it’s hard to trust city efforts going forward.

The city knew about the algal contamination for at least nine days before alerting residents to drink bottled water. The explanation offered to Palm Beach Post staff writer Wayne Washington, that officials could not alert the public until they received approval from the state Department of Health is not credible, no matter what rulebook the city goes by.

How does it make sense to let residents drink contaminated water for nine days while the city figures out what to do about it? Whose idea of best health practices is that?
Why would the city not issue at least a preliminary caution to residents, pending further investigation of the potential health threat? As a city water official, wouldn’t you want your family to stop using the water until it could be decontaminated? So why not our families?
Through regular testing, utility workers on May 3 detected low levels of the toxin cylindrospermopsin which, at higher levels, can cause stomach upsets, vomiting, diarrhea, and liver and kidney damage. Follow-up tests returned May 19 and May 27 came in at up to twice the threshold considered harmful for children, pregnant women, nursing mothers, people with liver or kidney conditions and others considered vulnerable.
But the city didn’t issue a health advisory notice until about 10 p.m. Friday, May 28. The explanation: The city wanted to do more tests and to get the right advisory wording from the state agency, Utilities Director Poonam Kalkat said. Her staff had reason to believe the city’s water treatment system was robust and refined enough to deal with potential problems posed by algal toxins, she told Washington. “In the past year, we have seen high levels of algal toxins coming into the plant, but they were removed through the treatment process.” Meanwhile, though, the utilities director either didn’t converse at all with her boss, the city administrator, or did converse with her but didn’t mention that the water supply that more than 125,000 in West Palm Beach, Palm Beach and South Palm Beach rely upon was tainted. City Administrator Faye Johnson also no idea about the contamination until May 28, a spokeswoman says.
How is it possible that, as the mayor insists, no one thought to tell him that his city’s water had dropped dangerously out of compliance with federal health standards? How is it possible that no one thought to tell the mayors of Palm Beach and South Palm Beach, to allow them to protect their residents? Having known for at least five years that such contamination could arise, how is it possible the city didn’t have an action plan, as they told our reporter –or at least a plan better than hoping for the best for nine days before letting the public know? “No one seemed to have a clear idea of what should be done next in terms of alerting the public,” Washington wrote based on emails obtained through a public records request.
Mayor Keith James is quick to say he jumped into action as soon as he knew of the problem. But what does it say of his administration, its procedures and internal communications, that a top department head wouldn’t alert him or his top administrator –her boss — of a major health threat, not for a few hours but for one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine days? The public is right to be infuriated.

Oblivious, they drank from a tainted water supply while bureaucrats bumbled. Whether proper procedures come though the work of a task force just thrown together by the mayor or through a Department of Health investigation, changes are needed.
As we’ve noted previously, this episode isn’t likely to be the last. In recent months, problems with impure water have beset Delray Beach and Riviera Beach. And from the Treasure Coast to the Lake Worth Lagoon, toxic green algae remains a threat, while fertilizer and other contaminants also leak into our region’s water supplies. Amid all this, local governments have the duty to protect our health competently and transparently. If the thought was not wanting to alarm us, well, we’re used to alerts, whether for hurricanes or water shortages or contamination. Do our leaders want us to trust them? Then trust us. Be straight with us.”

Read the editorial below:







James & Kalkat No Show

July 10,2021 Palm Beach Daily News.

“Palm Beach won’t separately test water after WPB agrees to share data”

“West Palm Beach, which provides water to Palm Beach and South Palm Beach, agreed to share its sampling and water test results during a June 28 meeting with the town, said Palm Beach Director of Public Works Paul Brazil.

Before the meeting, Palm Beach officials said they would ask to do their own testing after West Palm Beach officials took eight days to notify the town that the toxin cylindrospermopsin had been detected in the water supply. Additional testing by the town is most likely not necessary at this time. City staff making the test results available to the town is a very positive outcome,” Brazil said in a Wednesday email.”

Toxins initially found in water in May
That’s in sharp contrast to earlier reactions from town officials, who were upset with how West Palm Beach notified them about the water toxin.
Cylindrospermopsin, which is produced by blue-green algae, first was detected in low levels May 3, and subsequent test results returned May 19 and 20 were above a threshold considered harmful for vulnerable populations. But West Palm officials did not notify Palm Beach and issue a drinking water advisory until May 28.
Kalkat is slated to address the Town Council on Tuesday.”

Read the entire story below:

July 12, 2021 A WPB resident called the Town of Palm Beach to confirm the meeting was on the schedule for Tuesday July 13,2021, and if residents were allowed to attend.
The Town Clerk said all residents were welcome and the meeting with Public Utilities Director Poonam Kalkat along with Mayor Keith James would be present at the time certain of 11:00 AM to discuss the water issues. Time certain meaning the Town would end whatever discussion they were having at 11:00 AM and introduce James and Kalkat.

Who attended the meeting?

Palm Beach Mayor & Town Council Members: From the left Councilmen Lew Crampton, Council President Pro-Tem Bobbie Lindsay, Mayor Danielle Moore, Council President Maggie Zeidman, Councilwoman Julie Araskog, Councilmen Ted Cooney, along with Town Manager Kirk Blouin. Click to enlarge picture.



Who was absent from the meeting?

Mayor Keith James and Public Utilities Director Poonam Kalkat were a no-show. Kalkat and James said they has a scheduling conflict and cancelled at the last minute and Kalkat would not be making her presentation. I must ask myself what meeting was more important than an honest discussion with Town Officials over their drinking water. How disrespectful to Town Officials.

The meeting continued with Town Manager Kirk Blouin when the Town Council questioned why it took WPB so long to notify the Town about the drinking water contamination. His response was That town staff and experts will continue to seek to find out why it took so long, and it appears the Town of Palm Beach has a real issue with the delay.

Mr. Blouin also stated the City of WPB has formed a task force, and the City said that it would be ok for the Town of Palm Beach to be at the table. The Town has contracted with two water experts that will attend and observe, learn and evaluate what the City and task force is doing and will report back to the Town.

It was felt that hired experts at the table would be better than Town staff because experts have the expertise in water and Town staff does not. Experts are able to understand the test results. The experts are charged with assuring the Town that the city’s testing and reporting is correct.”

Why should WPB residents be comfortable with the Town’s reaction to the meeting that didn’t take place this morning? For me it’s knowing the Town admitting they didn’t understand all the water problems they are facing, and they are willing to hire the experts who will understand the testing and what it means.

Sadly this resident has more faith in the Town of Palm Beach to discover the truth behind the water crises than I have in my City Government to tell me the truth.

After publishing the last story on July 9, 2021 I received many responses concerning contaminated drinking water and I will share one response with readers because of the excellent points made.


“This is in response to your recently distributed email regarding WPB water quality. Three issues.
First, the city cites 80 micrograms per liter and below as a safe level of contamination for most (but not all) residents, adding that residents would be informed if the contamination level was high enough to be considered an emergency. However, the city does not cite the level of contamination that would be considered unsafe for drinking or a water emergency.

A second and related point is more serious. Since the city uses a 12-month moving average to monitor water quality, unsafe levels, even severe levels, can exist but be diluted statistically because moving averages are designed to “smooth” extreme or outlier data points. This method is sensible for assessing trends such as global warming. However, if contamination levels are only as safe as their weakest link, the current statistical approach of the city is egregiously flawed and arguably, dangerous.

Third, the city does not mention the impact of exposure levels to contaminants. Is someone who drinks an abundance of tainted (but classified as safe) water at greater health risk than another person whose water consumption is at a dangerous level but who drinks small amounts? This issue is similar to the notion of viral load in assessing the risk of contracting COVID; the duration of exposure is a key variable for COVID just as the amount of consumption of tainted water is a key variable for risking overall health.
We all should expect more of the water quality standards and the elected officials and experts who are responsible for their effectiveness.

The end



More Water Woes

The City (James) has taken a beating on it’s handling of contaminated water supply, and lets start the story on a positive note. I did receive my water bill on time and it contained a flyer with all upcoming City events, and I did notice on the 2 page flyer the word “water” was no where to be found.

June 23, 2021 The City issued another unsigned warning of City water once again being contaminated.

June 28,2021 City Commission Meeting which I attended and listened to a water update from Public Utilities, Poonam Kalkat, who stated “free chlorine” most effective way to remove toxins, then added disinfection by products can be harmful to consumers, and years ago the City switched from “free chlorine” to Chloramine which is a mixture of Chlorine & Ammonia

(Google) “Why is chloramine used for water treatment? Chloramines are disinfectants used to treat drinking water. Chloramines are most commonly formed when ammonia is added to chlorine to treat drinking water.”

“In an era of superbugs and viral pandemics, disinfecting your home or office is a top concern. but it’s important to remember that more isn’t always better when it comes to household cleaners. In fact, combining some household cleaners can be deadly. Take bleach and ammonia, for example. Mixing products containing chlorine bleach with products containing ammonia releases chloramine gas, which is toxic to people and animals.”  Story here:

July 7, 2021 I received the notice from the City, delivered by mail.

Total Trihalomethanes MCL Violation at City of West Palm Beach (PWS 4501559)

Our water system recently violated a drinking water standard. Although this incident was not an emergency, as our customers, you have a right to know what happened, what we did, and what we are doing to correct this situation.

We routinely monitor for the presence of drinking water contaminants. Testing results from the defined quarter, April 1, 2021 through June 30, 2021, will show that our system exceeded maximum contaminant level (MCL), for total trihalomethanes, a byproduct of drinking water disinfectants. The standard for total trihalomethanes is 80 micrograms per liter (µg/l). It is determined by averaging all the samples collected at each sampling location for the past 12 months. The highest level of total trihalomethanes for the city’s monitoring sites averaged over the past 12 months for July 1, 2020 through June 30, 2021 was 108 micrograms per liter.

What does this mean?
This is not an emergency. If it had been an emergency, you would have been notified within 24 hours. Some people who drink water containing trihalomethanes in excess of the MCL over many years may experience problems with their liver, kidneys, or central nervous system, and may have an increased risk of getting cancer.

The paragraph above states our water system for a year residents were drinking water with 28 micrograms per liter over what is considered safe.

What should I do?

• There is nothing you need to do unless you have a severely compromised immune system, have an infant, or are elderly. These people may be at increased risk and should seek advice about drinking water from their health care providers.
• You do not need to boil your water or take other corrective actions. If a situation arises where the water is no longer safe to drink, you will be notified within 24 hours. We will announce any emergencies through local TV stations, newspaper, and AlertPBC (Palm Beach County’s Emergency Notification System.) Additional information may be found on the city’s website

What happened, and What is being done?

The elevated levels of total trihalomethanes are a byproduct of the city’s need to switch to free chlorine from its normal disinfection process to respond to the elevated levels of the cyanotoxin cylindrospermopsin found at the water treatment plant. The city switched back to the use of chloramines in the distribution system on June 19, 2021. This is expected to reduce total trihalomethane levels to below the MCL. Additional samples are being collected in June to assess the overall impacts of the changes in the treatment process to address the cyanotoxins. We anticipate resolving the cause of the exceedance within the next several weeks. However, since the total trihalomethane MCL is a 12-month average, the city will need to report quarterly for the next year on its progress in meeting the MCL.

For more information, please contact Public Utilities Laboratory Manager John Maxted at (561) 822-2269 or 401 Clematis Street, West Palm Beach, Florida 33401. Please share this information with all the other people who drink this water, especially those who may not have received this notice directly (for example, people in apartments, nursing homes, schools, and businesses). You can do this by posting this notice in a public place or distributing copies by hand or mail. This notice is being sent to you by the City of West Palm Beach. State Water System ID#: 4501559. Date distributed: June 23, 2021″

West Palm Beach water violation notice
A byproduct that exceeded contaminant levels was produced by the disinfectants intended to treat the water.

“The City of West Palm Beach is alerting residents about a drinking water violation connected to the advisory that was issued weeks ago.
A byproduct that exceeded contaminant levels was produced by the disinfectants intended to treat the water. The byproduct is known as trihalomethane.
Notices will be sent out to all city water customers.
The city said the public does not need to boil water and that this is not an emergency.
If you have a severely compromised immune system, an infant or you are elderly, you may be at an increased risk.”

How can the City claim this is not an emergency then warn infants, people with severely compromised immune system and the elderly we may be at an increased risk. What the hell?

WPBF channel 25 story below.

“Days after telling residents it violated contaminants standard, West Palm insists water is safe” Wayne Washington Palm Beach Post 7/7/2021 can be read below.

So, is our water safe or not? I honestly have no idea. After the first warning which took 9 days to reach us I purchased 5 cases of purified water from Sam’s Club for a total of $15.00 and recently bought another 5 cases. I have spent $30.00 on bottled water and would appreciate it if the City would credit my water bill for that amount. My best advice, when in doubt don’t drink the water.

Someone needs to be held responsible and the buck stops with the Mayor. If he was not informed of the contamination as he claims, and I personally don’t believe he didn’t receive a heads up, who ever made the decision to not inform him needs to resign from the City.

The end


US Capitol Bombed Nov. 17, 1983

Jan. 6, 2021 — “Split along party lines, the House launched a new investigation of the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection on Wednesday, approving a special committee to probe the violent attack as police officers who were injured fighting former President Donald Trump’s supporters watched from the gallery above.

Nov.7, 1983

In the 1980s, a Far-Left, Female-Led Domestic Terrorism Group Bombed the U.S. Capitol” 

M19 turned to building explosives. Just before 11 p.m. on November 7, 1983, they called the U.S. Capitol switchboard and warned them to evacuate the building. Ten minutes later, a bomb detonated in the building’s north wing, harming no one but blasting a 15-foot gash in a wall and causing $1 million in damage.”

7 Indicted in 1983 Bombing of U.S. Capitol

“Seven members of a revolutionary group protesting U.S. international and domestic policies have been indicted for setting off a time bomb in the U.S. Capitol in 1983 and committing seven other terrorist bombings here and in New York, officials said Wednesday.
In addition to the Capitol bombing, the indictment charged the seven with conspiring to detonate explosives at three Washington military facilities and a number of sites in New York, including an FBI office on Staten Island, the Israeli Aircraft Industries Building, the South African Consulate and the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Assn.
Defendants include Elizabeth Duke, who is being sought as a fugitive, Laura Whitehorn, Linda Evans, Marilyn Buck, Susan Rosenberg, Timothy Blunk and Alan Berkman, all of whom are incarcerated for other crimes, according to a Justice Department.”

Susan Lisa Rosenberg (born October 5, 1955) is an American activist, writer, advocate for social justice and prisoners’ rights. From the late 1970s into the mid-1980s, Rosenberg was active in the far-left revolutionary terrorist May 19th Communist Organization (“M19CO”) which, according to a contemporaneous FBI report, “openly advocate the overthrow of the U.S. Government through armed struggle and the use of violence”
Rosenberg was sentenced to 58 years on the weapons and explosives charges. She spent 16 years in prison, during which she became a poet, author, and AIDS activist. Her sentence was commuted to time served by President Bill Clinton on January 20, 2001, his final day in office”

Linda Evans: “She was arrested in 1985. The Cold War was in full swing as America launched proxy armies and its own troops throughout Central America and Grenada—often circumventing congressional oversight and US law.
After opposing the US war on Southeast Asia, Linda Evans had continued her solidarity work in support of liberation movements around the world and turned to armed struggle. With a felony conviction for anti-Vietnam war protest on her record and openly revolutionary opposition US policies, her arrest for the purchase of guns with a false I.D. drew a wildly disproportional 40-year sentence.
She was subsequently convicted of conspiracy involving the explosion of a small bomb at the US Capitol Building. No one was injured.” Linda Evans released after 16 years of incarceration.”

Clinton’s Last-Day Clemency Benefits 176

“Rosenberg was one of two 1960s radicals, imprisoned on weapons charges, who won pardons. She was charged with conspiracy in the 1981 robbery of a Brink’s armored truck in New York, during which two police officers and a security guard were killed. The other one, Linda Sue Evans, was serving a 40-year sentence for her role in a 1983 bombing attempt on the U.S. Capitol.”

Did a ‘Convicted Terrorist’ Sit on the Board of a BLM Funding Body?

Claim:  “Susan Rosenberg is a convicted terrorist who has sat on the board of directors of Thousand Currents, an organization which handles fundraising for the Black Lives Matter Global Network.”
What’s True:  “Susan Rosenberg has served as vice chair of the board of directors for Thousand Currents, an organization that provides fundraising and fiscal sponsorship for the Black Lives Matter Global Movement. She was an active member of revolutionary left-wing movements whose illegal activities included bombing U.S. government buildings and committing armed robberies.”