Hallandale Beach Blog -A common sense public policy overview offering a critical perspective on the current events, politics, government, public policy, sports scene and pop culture of Europe, Sweden, the U.S. & South Florida. In particular, Broward & Miami-Dade County, and the cities of Hallandale Beach & Hollywood.
Trust me when I tell you, this part of Florida is NOT the Land of Lincoln. Pictured in upper-left is Hallandale Beach's iconic beachball-colored Water Tower on State Road A1A; September 2008 photo by South Beach Hoosier. © 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Observations on the Dysfunction Junction in #HallandaleBeach: Thin-skinned Mayor Joy Cooper orders ineffective Police Chief Dwayne Flournoy to remove political-nemesis Commissioner Keith London from CRA meeting. An ominous portent for any common sense ever seeing the light of day at HB City Hall in 2015, to be sure, but with "reporters" like Sun-Sentinel's Susannah Bryan -who continues to act more like a stenographer who chooses to ignore facts, context and nuance- how would anyone ever find out?




Below are excerpts from two emails I've penned over the past few days that were sent to quite a few Hallandale Beach, Hollywood and Broward County residents, civic activists and small business owners -plus selected elected officials and serious journalists and bloggers in South Florida and throughout the Sunshine State- who, like me and many readers of this blog, are way beyond merely being seriously concerned, frustrated and vexed about the shocking level of the truly incompetent and mismanaged local government hereabouts, plus, the shocking number of incurious south Florida reporters around who seem more lapdog than genuine watchdog... 
Troubling trends that show no sign of abating in South Florida.

I've made a few editing, spelling corrections and added some tweets that I couldn't include in my emails. All the better to make it easier for you to double-check what I say, no?

Observations on the Dysfunction Junction in #HallandaleBeach: Thin-skinned Mayor Joy Cooper orders ineffective Police Chief Dwayne Flournoy to remove political-nemesis Commissioner Keith London from CRA meeting. 
An ominous portent for any common sense ever seeing the light of day at HB City Hall in 2015, to be sure, but with "reporters" like Sun-Sentinel's Susannah Bryan -who continues to act more like a stenographer who chooses to ignore facts, context and nuance- how would anyone ever find out?

Wednesday January 14th, 2015
1:40 p.m.

On Wednesday morning I tweeted the link to this Local10 story by investigative reporter Bob Norman, so head over to my Twitter feed if you want to RT it, or, add your own comments about this all-too-predictable development.





Local10 News
Hallandale Beach mayor orders commissioner removed from meeting
A longstanding feud between Mayor Joy Cooper and Commissioner Keith London disrupts Hallandale Beach business, with the mayor ordering the police chief to remove him.

Published On: Jan 13 2015 06:32:13 PM EST
Updated On: Jan 13 2015 10:33:31 PM EST
http://www.local10.com/news/hallandale-beach-mayor-orders-commissioner-removed-from-meeting/30686362

To me, this is as sure a sign as you'll ever hope to find of the continuing governmental/civic dysfunction and battle of fragile/precious/precocious egos at Hallandale Beach City Hall among elected officials and the army of highly-paid and myopic city officials who regard taxpayers and Small Business owners as both hopeless dupes and Public Enemy #1.

For thousands and thousands of put-upon citizens, residents and Small Business owners in this part of South Florida, people wanted to hang on just a little bit longer in 2015 to the small hope of finally having a "normal" properly-functioning city -for a change- a place

where facts, logic and reason would win the argument, instead of the usual deceit, threats, deliberate misinformation and baffling bureaucratic incompetency, it's an ominous portent for 2015.

After so many years of valuable time, resources and opportunities being continually squandered on brain-dead schemes and circular thinking masquerading as public policy, people here with common sense and a genuine desire to make this area the sort of place it ought to be now but ISN'T, know in their bones that for a whole host of reasons, many poorly thought-out City Commission & CRA policy decisions and ordinances over the past few years need to be seriously revisited and thoroughly re-examined.
Unfortunately for all of us, this kind of incident at HB City Hall Monday makes that sort of necessary public debate and re-examination all but impossible.

In retrospect, many of us who've been paying attention could have placed bets upon this sort of embarrassing incident eventually happening once the HB election results came in nine weeks ago, with the only question being when in the year it took place.
But that would not have been a reflection on how clever we all are are, collectively, per se, so much as a reflection on the Sad Sack cast of not-so-bright characters that we continue to have in place at HB City Hall making important decisions about this area's future.
People who genuinely make no pretense about taking for granted the legitimate concerns and fears that you and I -and our neighbors- have.

For years I've tried my best to name and detail on the blog the specific elected officials and city personnel who do NOT honestly feel it's incumbent upon them to do the sort of basic continual public outreach, factual due diligence and thoughtful policy oversight and
tweaking that's routine among other South Florida cities' elected officials and bureaucracy, even in towns that are known for squabbling over public policy peanuts.

Which means that Hallandale Beach's future, such as it is, remains dangerously constricted and bereft of the sort of fresh air, new ideas and much-more free speech that it needs to right the ship, tethered as it is to the thin-skinned egos and deep reservoirs of personal vanity and high self-regard of a few individuals, who even while claiming to be looking out for the city, are merely looking lovingly upon their own reflection in a mirror. 

Mirror, mirror on the wall...

If these individuals had the smarts and strength of character we'd like them to have to adapt and finally look honestly upon the uniformily unsatisfactory results that years of this myopic and self-destructive behavior has wrought for everyone involved in the city -not least, chasing successful businesses out-of-town and the city remaining both a media punching bag and a perpetual political pinata with goodies going only to friends of City Hall- we might finally see some tangible and long overdue measureable mileposts that'd clearly be in the best long-term interests of this beleaguered city.

But facts are facts, and people like that simply do NOT currently make up a quorum at HB City Hall, which is why it's even more incumbent for well-intentioned citizens who want a better future for themself, their families or their business, to get properly informed and actively engaged, in-person and online, in 2015.

-----

Thursday January 15, 2015
1:45 p.m.

In my email of yesterday afternoon about Hallandale Beach Mayor Joy Cooper's hysterics and histrionics at HB City Hall Monday night -which included a link to Local10 video- I neglected to include the rather dumbfounding article that appeared in the Sun-Sentinel written by reporter Susannah Bryan.
South Florida Sun-Sentinel
Mayor tries to remove official during heated meeting

Susannah Bryan, Staff writer
January 13, 2015

Just weeks after Keith London rejoined the Hallandale Beach commission, he came close to being kicked out of City Hall on Monday by his longtime nemesis, Mayor Joy Cooper.
A veteran commissioner, London stepped down in 2012 to challenge Cooper for the mayoral seat. He lost that race, but returned to the commission in November, sparking questions of how long it might take for his legendary battles with Cooper to resume.
          As it turns out, not long at all.

Read the rest of the article at:
http://www.sun-sentinel.com/local/broward/fl-time-change-hallandale-cra-20150112-story.html

Bryan, of course, is the very same incurious beat reporter for the Sun-Sentinel that I have rightly taken to task many times in the past via emails and blog posts for her CONSISTENT failure to report important facts and relevant context and nuance about issues and matters taking place in Hallandale Beach and Hollywood that would allow readers to make more sense of what she was writing about.

How many times have I told you in the past about frequently NOT recognizing what Bryan wrote about when I myself had not only witnessed it first-hand, but actually recorded it? Correct -many, many times.

For instance... back on September 26, 2014:

Some informed commentary, context and important facts that you didn't read about in Susannah Bryan's recent Sun-Sentinel article about Hollywood City Manager Cathy Swanson-Rivenbark and some of her critics re the 'million-dollar mistake.' Trust me, you'll thank me later!
http://hallandalebeachblog.blogspot.com/2014/09/some-informed-commentary-context-and.html




or almost a year ago.. January 25, 2014
South Florida Sun-Sentinel's incomplete stories re red-light cameras finally getting the boot in Hallandale Beach, and the city's longstanding problems with signage, is just another example of their shallow reporting that consistently misses-the-mark when residents want genuine depth and context
http://hallandalebeachblog.blogspot.com/2014/01/south-florida-sun-sentinels-incomplete.html




@SunSentinel's incomplete stories re Hallandale Beach booting red-light cameras is just more bad, shallow reporting 


Susannah Bryan is the same Sun-Sentinel reporter who, 12 weeks later, has STILL chosen NOT to discuss or report anything about why her October 20th, 2014 online story about the criminal investigation surrounding allegations against interim-HB Commissioner and candidate Leo Grachow, was pulled less than two weeks before the November election.
Not just removed, but surgically-removed -like it had never existed in the first place.















That Bryan and the newspaper have also NOT written anything since then about the eventual disposition of the Broward State's Attorney investigation of Grachow, to say nothing of her failure to write about the concerns among at least some HB residents that the whole incident was nothing but a successful political "dirty trick," tells you plenty about the sorry state of journalism in South Florida in the year 2015.

As you'll soon read below, so does Bryan's refusal to directly ask Commissioners Anthony Sanders and Bill Julian -and accurately quote their responses- why they believe it is a good idea to move what are often contentious CRA meetings involving millions of dollars and crucial public policy, to the afternoon, when most adult Hallandale Beach residents are at work and thus unable to participate.
(As if two of the five City Commissioners saying that they would NOT be able to attend was not enough of a logical reason to NOT change the time.)

That's important and relevant because Commissioners Sanders and Julian are the same people who voted last year to move the HB Planning & Zoning meetings -that also often deal with VERY contentious development projects- to the evening from the 1:30 p.m. time slot they have held for more than ten years.

So, where's Sanders' and Julian's internal consistency, and what principles on behalf of citizens are they defending by agreeing to a time change that would now likley result in LESS people being able to participate at a public meeting?
None, of course, it's merely the latest example of their overt appeasing of Mayor Cooper. Yet again.

Appeasement - the very same thing that Commissioners Sanders and Julian have become so expert at for SO MANY years as members of Cooper's Rubber Stamp Crew, instead of taking their responsibilities as elected representatives of this city's citizens seriously, and insisting upon honest answers, real oversight and and genuine performance from city administrators, Dept. heads and employees who've long felt free to do whatever they wanted, with no meaningful repurcussions for continued incompetence, unsatisfactory performance and demonstrated displays of public disrespect for the citizens of this community.
As I've recounted and then some on the blog...and will again very soon after waiting a few months for city employees to actually respond to some questions.

Yes, it's as if it never ever occurs to reporter Bryan to ask such questions, much less, ask pointed questions of subjects that will allow people like you to draw your own conclusions about what's really going on, based on freely-given answers.

But then the incurious Bryan also doesn't bother to include in her story the important historical fact that Mayor Cooper has a LONG HISTORY of deliberately ignoring the city's own administrative procedures, to say nothing of ignoring Robert's Rules of Order, with
the best example of that being from August of 2007, though there are dozens of others to choose from that I have written about here on the blog in often-frustrated dismay.

Back in 2007, Mayor Cooper personally railroaded the installation of Pastor Anthony Sanders as an interim HB City Commissioner many weeks BEFORE then-Commissioner Francine Schiller's date of resignation was official, despite the fact that there was already a scheduled City Commission meeting two weeks later where the matter could have been discussed and debated in a calm, organized and relatively sane fashion, with citizens both present and able to participate.

(Yes, the meeting Ithat  attended and recorded from beginning-to-end and even happened to be standing next to the person who first called Anthony Sanders by cellphone out in the breezeway outside to tell Sanders the news that he'd been selected. That is, AFTER my friend and real estate professional, Arturo O'Neill, sitting next to me in the back of the City Commission chambers, predicted it minutes before it happened. As if he had written the script!)


But Mayor Cooper didn't want to risk that happening, so she violated the city's own written rules and any pretense of following Robert's Rules of Order and acted like a despot.
At an evening City Commission meeting, Mayor Cooper as presiding officer made sure that the public was NEVER allowed to speak during the meeting about the subject at hand after hearing about it just minutes before.


By doing so she ensured that the public also didn't have the chance to speak at all about the self-evident way that Mayor Cooper consciously ignored the city's very own written procedures for handling interim Commission appointments, which they had dutifully followed for Keith London's appointment not so months before.

Just saying... context and nuance really DO matter, even if they don't ever seem to exist in Susannah Bryan's account of the surreal reality that permeates SE Broward County.
____________________________________________
Hallandale Beach Blog is where I try to inject or superimpose a degree of accountability, transparency and insight onto Florida and local Broward County government and public policy issues, which I feel is sorely lacking in local media now. On this blog, locally, I concentrate my energy, enthusiasm, anger and laser-like attention on the coastal cities of Hallandale Beach and Hollywood.
If you lived in this part of South Florida, you'd ALREADY be stuck in stultifying traffic, paying higher-than-necessary taxes and continually musing about the chronic lack of accountability among not only elected govt. officials, but also of city, county and state employees as well. Collectively, with a few rare exceptions, they couldn't be farther from the sort of strong results-oriented, eager work-ethic mentality that local residents deserve and expect.
This is particularly true in the town I live in, the City of Hallandale Beach, just north of Aventura and south of Hollywood. There, the "Perfect Storm" of years of apathy, incompetency and cronyism are all too readily apparent.
Sadly for its residents, HB is where even easily-solved, quality-of-life problems are left to fester for YEARS on end, because of myopia, lack of common sense and ineffective supervisory management. It's a city with lots of potential because of its terrific location, yet its citizens have become numb to its outrages and screw-ups after years of the worst kind of mismanagement and lack of foresight. On a daily basis, they wake up and see the same old problems that have never being adequately resolved by the city in a logical and responsible fashion, merely kicked -once again- further down the road.
I used to ask myself, not always rhetorically, "Where are all the enterprising young reporters who want to show that through their own hard work and enterprise, what REAL investigative reporting can produce?" Hearing no response, I decided to start a blog that could do some of these things, taking the p.o.v. of a reasonable but skeptical person seeing the situation for the first time, and wanting questions answered in a honest and logical way that citizens have the right to expect.

Hallandale Beach Blog intends to be a catalyst for positive change.
If there's one constant gripe in South Florida, regardless of your age, race, nationality or political persuasion, it's about the fundamental lack of PUBLIC ACCOUNTABILITY here among Florida's state, regional and local govt./agency officials. Hallandale Beach Blog aims to be a small step towards regaining some of that needed accountability, whether it's thru simple public scrutiny, or requires a degree of follow-up investigation and public exposure of incompetency, cronyism or simple negligence -South Florida's usual governing style.
"And David put his hand in the bag and took out a stone and slung it. And it struck the Philistine on the head and he fell to the ground. Amen."- Preacher Purl encouraging the underdog Hickory High basketball team before the state title game against heavily-favored South Bend Central in 1986's Hoosiers
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0091217/
Audio of pregame speech:
_____________________________________________

Paradise Lost? South Florida

Paradise Lost? South Florida
TIME magazine of November 23, 1981: Paradise Lost? South Florida . Click photo to see original article.

Hallandale Beach Blog

Hallandale Beach Blog
Hallandale Beach Blog/South Beach Hoosier's crimson-colored Indiana University cap. If you see someone at a South Florida govt. meeting or public policy discussion wearing this IU cap, scribbling notes furiously -and shaking his head in disbelief- don't be afraid to come over and say hello or pitch prospective story ideas. Photo by South Beach Hoosier. Move your mouse over the cap and be sent to the IU Athletic Dept.'s YouTube Channel.

Miami Dolphins QB capable of winning 2 playoff games in a row is NOT on roster now

It's long past time to put the BEACH back in Hallandale Beach

It's long past time to put the BEACH back in Hallandale Beach
For there ever to be a successful balance between business, town, and nature in Hallandale Beach, some BIG changes will be necessary on Election Day. Late afternoon, North Beach, Hallandale Beach, FL, February 10, 2012 photo by South Beach Hoosier. © 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved.

In the Heart of a Great Country, Beats the Soul of Hoosier Nation

In the Heart of a Great Country, Beats the Soul of Hoosier Nation
"In the Heart of a Great Country, Beats the Soul of Hoosier Nation." -South Beach Hoosier, 2007.
The South Florida I Grew Up In
Excerpted from Joan Didion's Miami, 1987, Simon & Schuster:
In the continuing opera still called, even by Cubans who have now lived the largest part of their lives in this country, el exilo, the exile, meetings at private homes in Miami Beach are seen to have consequences. The actions of individuals are seen to affect events directly. Revolutions and counter-revolutions are framed in the private sector, and the state security apparatus exists exclusively to be enlisted by one or another private player. That this particular political style, indigenous to the Caribbean and to Central America, has now been naturalized in the United States is one reason why, on the flat coastal swamps of South Florida, where the palmettos once blew over the detritus of a dozen failed booms and the hotels were boarded up six months a year, there has evolved since the early New Year's morning in 1959 when Fulgencio Batista flew for the last time out of Havana a settlement of considerable interest, not exactly an American city as American cities have until recently been understood but a tropical capital: long on rumor, short on memory, overbuilt on the chimera of runaway money and referring not to New York or Boston or Los Angeles or Atlanta but to Caracas and Mexico, to Havana and to Bogota and to Paris and Madrid. Of American cities Miami has since 1959 connected only to Washington, which is the peculiarity of both places, and increasingly the warp...

"The general wildness, the eternal labyrinths of waters and marshes, interlocked and apparently neverending; the whole surrounded by interminable swamps... Here I am then in the Floridas, thought I," John James Audobon wrote to the editor of The Monthly American Journal of Geology and Natural Science during the course of an 1831 foray in the territory then still called the Floridas. The place came first, and to touch down there is to begin to understand why at least six administrations now have found South Florida so fecund a colony. I never passed through security for a flight to Miami without experiencing a certain weightlessness, the heightened wariness of having left the developed world for a more fluid atmosphere, one in which the native distrust of extreme possibilities that tended to ground the temperate United States in an obeisance to democratic institutions seemed rooted, if at all, only shallowly. At the gate for such flights the preferred language was already Spanish. Delays were explained by weather in Panama. The very names of the scheduled destinations suggested a world in which many evangelical inclinations had historically been accommodated, many yearnings toward empire indulged...

In this mood Miami seemed not a city at all but a tale, a romance of the tropics, a kind of waking dream in which any possibility could and would be accommodated...

Nice from a distance, not so nice once you're there and see the years of City Hall's neglect

Nice from a distance, not so nice once you're there and see the years of City Hall's neglect
The public beach that is "North Beach" in Hallandale Beach, FL. June 19, 2012 photo by South Beach Hoosier.© 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved

So this is where our tax dollars go to die?

"So this is where our tax dollars go to die? My friend and fellow civic activist Csaba Kulin, perhaps wondering when we're FINALLY going to get the clean and inviting public beach that Hallandale Beach residents believe we're entitled to but have never received under Mayor Cooper and her Rubber Stamp Crew.
Instead, we get rusty pipes in the middle of the beach and garbage cans on the beach -without lids- at the windiest place in the entire city. And a public building across the street from the beach that the public can't use for free but which city employees can -for their holiday parties." Click photo to see many more photos of the site and the original post, or http://hallandalebeachblog.blogspot.com/2012/06/latest-info-photos-re-related-groups.html; 2012 photo by South Beach Hoosier. © 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved

Just as true now as it was when it was written in June 2012!

The View from the Hallandale Beach/Hollywood city line

The View from the Hallandale Beach/Hollywood city line
Looking south towards The Beach Club and the Hallandale Beach Water Tower on A1A from the beach, near the Hollywood cityline, May 2, 2009 photo by South Beach Hoosier. © 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved

A fish rots from the head down, and so does local government in Hallandale Beach, FL

A fish rots from the head down, and so does local government in Hallandale Beach, FL
City of Hallandale Beach Municipal Complex, 400 S. Federal Highway. The City of Hallandale Beach Municipal Complex: If it's true that a fish rots from the head down, so it does in local government in Broward County, FL. This monument sign on the west side of the intersection of U.S.-1 and S.E. 5th Street, across from Gulfstream Park Race Track & Casino and the Village at Gulfstream Park retail complex, alerts you to your proximity to HB City Hall and the HB Police Department HQ. It's a place and culture whose very own words and actions have made clear to taxpayers of this city -regardless of age, race or income- that it holds itself apart from and above from the very citizens it's supposed to serve, often acting like they don't have to follow the same laws that govern everyone else in the state of Florida and the U.S., whether of logic, reason or contracts. (More to the point of this blog, the Florida Statutes on Sunshine Laws and Public Records.) City employees in Hallandale Beach routinely refuse to answer perfectly reasonable questions posed to them by taxpayers, and as I have found out myself and witnessed, are not above berating you for even having the nerve to ask! As it happens, it's also not a very safe area, despite who operates here, and over the past nine years, the public parking lots have often been pitch-black for 6-9 months at a time, including in front of the HB Police Dept. HQ. Then-Police Chief Thomas Magill even shrugged his shoulders at City Comm. meetings when told about this a few times. As if they couldn't make a worse first impression, at one point, even the spotlights shining on this sign didn't work at night for over FOUR YEARS, either. October 13, 2012 photo by South Beach Hoosier. © 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved.

"Why do they need that in the Broward County charter?"

"Laws and Constitutions go for nothing where the general sentiment is corrupt."
-New York Times, September 22, 1851

"Why do they need that in the Broward County charter?"
-Hallandale Beach Mayor Joy Cooper at April 2, 2008 HB City Commission meeting, in discussing possible inclusion of Broward County Charter Review Commission's proposal for Ethics Commission to deal with Broward County Commission, on November 2008 ballot.
Six YEARS after the county's voters had overwhelmingly passed an amendment to the County charter requiring its adoption, the Broward County Commission had yet to live up to its legal responsibility. That's why!

Looking east on State Road 858/Hallandale Beach Blvd.

Looking east  on State Road 858/Hallandale Beach Blvd.
Looking east on State Road 858/Hallandale Beach Blvd., over the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway bridge, toward the iconic Hallandale Beach Water Tower and the three condo towers comprising The Beach Club. September 8, 2008 photo by South Beach Hoosier. © 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved

Hallandale Beach Water Tower on A1A/South Ocean Drive

Hallandale Beach Water Tower on A1A/South Ocean Drive
Hallandale Beach Water Tower on A1A/South Ocean Drive. Located below the Hallandale Beach Water Tower on A1A/South Ocean Drive, on the south side (right) is the "Community Center" that HB City Hall, thru their gross incompetency, has made impossible for HB citizen taxpayers to use now for 41 MONTHS as of January 2011. (And where's the American flag on the Fourth of July weekend? Missing in action as it had been for months!) July 3, 2009 photo by South Beach Hoosier. © 2012 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved

Looking towards southern Hollywood Beach

Looking towards southern Hollywood Beach
Trump Hollywood, Diplomat Residences, Westin Diplomat, Crowne Resort. Looking NE towards Hollywood on State Road A1A from the 2500 block of East Hallandale Beach Blvd./State Road 858 just before crossing the Intracoastal Bridge: (l-r) Trump Hollywood, Diplomat Residences, the Westin Diplomat Resort & Spa, the Crowne Plaza Hollywood Beach. March 25, 2009 photo by South Beach Hoosier. © 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved

The Related Group's The Beach Club, consisting of three condo towers

The Related Group's The Beach Club, consisting of three condo towers
The Beach Club. Looking SE at The Beach Club from the Hollywood side of State Road A1A. May 12, 2008 photo by South Beach Hoosier. © 2012 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved

City of Hollywood City Hall, 2600 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, FL

City of Hollywood City Hall, 2600 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, FL
City of Hollywood City Hall. An early morning shot of the east side of Hollywood City Hall the morning of the Johnson Street Redevelopment RFP Evaluation Committee meeting, where presentations were heard; October 14, 2009 photo by South Beach Hoosier. © 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved. For more info on what's going on with this important project, see http://www.hollywoodfl.org/html/JohnsonStBeachRFP.htm

Corruption Isn't Unique to South Florida, It's the Level of the Stupidity That Is

Corruption Isn't Unique to South Florida, It's the Level of the Stupidity That Is
"[Chicago Mayor] William Hale Thompson was defeated Tuesday after a campaign which he alone made disgraceful. The election was an ejection, a dirty job, but Chicago has washed itself and put on clean clothes. Thompson recognized the [Chicago] Tribune as his chief enemy. The Tribune was glad to earn that opinion. It certainly tried to do so. It has taken the fight to him on every occasion during the long and depraved course of his administration. It is unpleasant business to eject a skunk, but someone has to do it. For Chicago, Thompson has meant filth, corruption, obscenity, idiocy and bankruptcy. He has given the city an international reputation for moronic buffoonery, barbaric crime, triumphant hoodlumism, unchecked graft and a dejected citizenship. He nearly ruined the property and completely destroyed the pride of the city. He made Chicago a byword for the collapse of American civilization. In his attempt to continue this he excelled himself as a liar and defamer of character. He’s out. He is not only out, but dishonored. He is deserted by his friends. He is permanently marked by the evidences of his character and conduct. His health is impaired by his ways of life and he leaves office and goes from the city the most discredited man who ever held place in it."
-Excerpts from April 1931 Chicago Tribune editorial following Republican "Mayor Big Bill" Thompson's loss to his Democratic rival Anton Cermak. A friend of organized crime during the Al Capone era, Thompson was the last Republican elected mayor of Chicago. But less than two years later, Mayor Cermak was shot while shaking hands with President-elect Franklin D. Roosevelt at Miami's Bayfront Park. He died from gunshot wounds to his lungs three weeks later.

For more see http://www.encyclopedia.chicagohistory.org/pages/3686.html

North Miami Beach Senior High School, the Home of the Chargers

North Miami Beach Senior High School, the Home of the Chargers
Before I was a Hoosier, I was an NMB Charger, Class of 1979

Sebastian the Ibis, the U-M mascot

Sebastian the Ibis, the U-M mascot
Like longtime U-M fans everywhere, including me, Sebastian the Ibis, the U-M mascot, hasn't had very much to cheer about lately, given the general state of mediocrity and underwhelming performances coming from the Hurricanes. Isn't it about time for fans to finally see some tangible signs that the new AD is moving things in the right direction? Where are the signs? I'm NOT seeing them. The woeful U-M Women's program is largely composed of teams that are NOT even close to being competitive for NCAA titles like their ACC competition, and they don't even field Women's Lacrosse or Field Hockey teams. It's embarrassing! Click on Sebastian for retrospective photo gallery of The Orange Bowl

Want to hear some REAL music talent? Of course you do!

Want to hear some REAL music talent? Of course you do!
Click on this photo of Anni to go to the FoK YouTube Channel
Full of Keys (Anni Bernhard) photographed in Rome, 2012, by Alessandro Leone. Click on the photo of Anni to go to her YouTube Channel and see videos from her first album, "Traces of a Human," and the first single of her upcoming 2nd album, "The Grazing Grounds." http://fullofkeys.com/ https://www.facebook.com/fullofkeys https://twitter.com/FullOfKeys More videos and photos of Full of Keys are at: http://hallandalebeachblog.blogspot.com/p/full-of-keys.html

Andreas Jismark, Anni Bernhard and Mats Jönsson

Andreas Jismark, Anni Bernhard and Mats Jönsson
Photo of Andreas Jismark, Anni Bernhard and Mats Jönsson, Södermalm, Stockholm, Sweden. January 11, 2013 photo by South Beach Hoosier. (c) 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved. The Dolphins caps and goodies are in the yellow bag :)

A dynamic and original talent with personality to spare!

Photo above is from my June 2nd, 2013 post titled, "Our 'Full of Keys' drought is finally over! Full of Keys (a.k.a. the amazing Anni Bernhard) will be playing a showcase in New York City at Cake Shop on June 10th as part of the week-long New Music Seminar. Her new album was recorded recently in Gotland, will be mastered in NYC, aiming for a September release -with lots of very big and exciting plans coming soon! @FullOfKeys, @AndreasJismark, #AnniBernhard, #MatsJönsson, #GrazingGrounds, #NMS2013, #NYMF, #CakeShop" http://www.hallandalebeachblog.blogspot.com/2013/06/our-full-of-keys-drought-is-finally.html
Click the photo to read that post, watch her videos and learn more about this dynamic and original talent with personality to spare!

Singer/songwriter Full of Keys (Anni Bernhard)

Singer/songwriter Full of Keys (Anni Bernhard)
Singer/songwriter Full of Keys (Anni Bernhard) wearing the teal-colored Miami Dolphins cap I gave her in January 2013 (in Stockholm) while recording her 2nd album, "The Grazing Grounds" at Sandkvie Studios in Visby, Gotland, Sweden. Also pictured here are sound engineer and co-producer Linus Larsson and musician/DJ/co-producer Mats Jönsson, April 12, 2013. Click the photo to see my post on Anni last summer.

Full Of Keys - Silent Agreement, from the new #GrazingGrounds album

FullofkeysOFFICIAL YouTube Channel: Full Of Keys - Silent Agreement. Uploaded January 9, 2014 http://youtu.be/7yHULYTxEt4 From the second album by Full of Keys (Anni Bernhardt) #grazinggrounds http://www.youtube.com/user/FullofkeysOFFICIAL

Full Of Keys - Cover My Eyes (Stills Video)

Full Of Keys - Cover My Eyes (Stills Video) via Andreas Jismark YouTube Channel. Uploaded February 23, 2014. The 2nd track released from #grazinggrounds album. Full Of Keys 2014. http://youtu.be/aha-pf_QrXo

"Heart" from @fullofkeys #GrazingGrounds

Full of Keys (Anni Bermhard) on @MalouEfterTio

Artisten @FullOfKeys skrev sig ur depressionen, resultatet blev skivan #TheGrazingGrounds. http://t.co/rk8Fcdv2ZK pic.twitter.com/AtV9nbBT2z

— Malou Efter Tio (@MalouEfterTio) November 13, 2014

Cecilia Nilsson - A new super-talent from Gävle, Sweden

Cecilia Nilsson - A new super-talent from Gävle, Sweden

Let's end the 27-year NCAA title drought!

Let's end the 27-year NCAA title drought!
IU All-American and U.S. Olympian Steve Alford on the cover of the 1987 Indiana University basketball media guide, months after IU won the NCAA basketball title.

Breaking Away" opened in movie theaters 35 years ago today

IU's NCAA Basketball Championship banners

Our five NCAA Basketball Championship banners are on the north side of the court; I was there for 1981's.

The NCAA Championship Banners

The NCAA Championship Banners
Assembly Hall, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana. I was there in 1981 for NCAA Title #4 vs. North Carolina. Click on photo to go to the IU Basketball homepage.

Here's the first banner of the Crean Era

Indiana University Athletics

Perhaps you'll enjoy this view more!

We Are IU (Official Version) 2013


Using a map of Stockholm and my Samsung mobile's Latitude app to find out where some friends and contacts in Stockholm were before I called to let them know I'd arrived from Arlanda Airport and had checked into the B&B in Södermalm. If only it had been an OpenStreetMap! January 2013 photo by South Beach Hoosier.© 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved; Click the photo to see OpenStreetMap's amazing map of Stockholm and a whole world of useful maps you never even knew existed

Solrea - Sveriges bästa resesök

Solrea - Sveriges bästa resesök
The colder and snowier it got in Stockholm, the more this simple ad seemed like genius. Sometimes, you don't have to reinvent the advertising wheel. When you're a travel agency and it's cold and snowing, make your target audience think of summers and traveling to an inviting warm beach. Above, one of the many Sistaminuten.se display ads I saw on the side of pay phones throughout Stockholm. This one was located on Ringvägen, across the street from the Åhléns Dept. store (with the Hemköp grocery store in the basement that I frequented) west of busy Götgatan and the Skanstull T-bana, the southern commercial heart of trendy and fun Södermalm. January 11, 2013 photo by South Beach Hoosier.© 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved. I used this photo in my April 22, 2013 blog post titled, Tourism game-changer for South Florida travelers & Fort Lauderdale-area businesses -but only if they're smart and start planning now. Ruminations on the upcoming Norwegian.com flights b/w Ft. Lauderdale and Oslo, Stockholm & Copenhagen, and the need for Broward's hospitality industry to take full-advantage of the opportunity; @Oslo, @norway, @stockholm, @sweden, @copenhagen, @denmark. Click photo to see that post

More travel advertising in Stockholm

More travel advertising in Stockholm
Speaking of advertising, only two blocks from the wonderful 4trappor B&B I stayed at in Södermalm, Stockholm on my trip -and also located on Ringvägen- were two more display ads promoting travel. The one in the distance is for SAS, Scandinavian Airlines Systems, which I flew on to Stockholm, and the one in the foreground, on a public telephone booth, is the "Holiday is where the Heart is" ad campaign for VING. January 12, 2013 photo by South Beach Hoosier.© 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved. Click the photo to see their TV ad!

Risk för snöras, istappar

Risk för snöras, istappar
One of the many such warning signs that I saw on buildings and on sidewalk barricades while in Stockholm in January, alerting you to the possibility of falling snow and ice, often by men shoveling it off roofs. This one was spotted on a residential building in the Södermalm area of Stockholm, on Ringvägen, while I was walking over to the Åhléns Department store on Götgatan. It wasn't until I was walking back later to the B&B that I noticed the inflated Santa that some resident had intentionally placed outside of their window, so it looked like Santa was falling! January 13, 2013 photo by South Beach Hoosier.© 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved.

Ringvägen, Stockholm, Sweden

Ringvägen, Stockholm, Sweden
Poster display on Ringvägen, Stockholm, Sweden. January 2013 photo by South Beach Hoosier. © 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved. The Affischplats plan in Stockholm, while not perfect, strikes me as a pretty good compromise in helping cultural and civic groups catch the public's eye in a way that's better than a free-for-all of groups plastering posters on the sides of buildings and utility boxes, and watching as the weather makes a mess of them. The tangible effort the city makes to get the public involved in a genuine and meaningful conversation about what is going on long-term for the city as a whole, or in a particular neighborhood, is very impressive, and made me wishful that the local government employees and planners where I live and write about regularly in my blog and in conversations with other concerned civic activists did even one-third of what Stockholm's planning employees seem to do as a starting-point.