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.

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Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Csaba Kulin & I re Monday's so-called Traffic Workshop at Hallandale Beach City Hall: What questions you should be asking yourself -as well as asking the people who are supposed to be representing you on the dais- even while HB City Hall and the Diplomat Hotel's lawyers and lobbyists obfuscate, and try to ignore the self-evident 'Elephant in the room' - the longstanding lack of adequate #OpenSpace in Hallandale Beach

Csaba Kulin & I re Monday's so-called Traffic Workshop at Hallandale Beach City Hall: What questions you should be asking yourself -as well as asking the people who are supposed to be representing you on the dais- even while HB City Hall and the Diplomat Hotel's lawyers and lobbyists obfuscate, and try to ignore the self-evident 'Elephant in the room' - the longstanding lack of adequate #OpenSpace in Hallandale Beach



I screwed-up.
My intention last week was to post these series of emails over the weekend so that as many concerned people as possible would know the germane facts before Monday morning's meeting at Hallandale Beach City Hall, 
But I failed to get it up in time. :-(

In any case, despite my being late to getting these facts in front of you, the facts are still the facts, and you'd be well-advised to learn them because we know from history that you certainly can't rely on honesty from the duplicitous folks at HB City Hall.
People who have a long and well-documented history of intentionally attempting to mislead area residents and Small Business owners thru mis-statements of facts, half-truths and false narratives.

Since I first mailed this out Sunday afternoon to lots of concerned people in Hallandale Beach, next-door Hollywood and around the the rest of Broward County, I've edited it slightly for better context and to add some Google Maps to give more perspective to the exact nature of the problems we have here.
#Density

-----
Sunday May 17th, 2015
5:30 p.m.

re Monday's 9 AM Traffic Workshop at Hallandale Beach City Hall: What you ought to know about it and be asking yourself -and asking the people who claim to represent you at HB City Hall but have done such a poor job of doing so.

Monday morning represents a Golden Opportunity to change the public dynamic in Hallandale Beach, where for so many years residents and Small Business owners have taken it on the chin on one important public policy issue after another.

That is, it's a Golden Opportunity IF you take proper advantage of the chance to make yourself heard on the continuing problems of both a lack of honest discussion about Traffic Gridlock and Open Space in Hallandale Beach, and the associated problem of the powers-that-be at City Hall failing to be both properly responsive and savvy about adequately resolving those problems for YEARS.

Which is why so many of us in SE Broward cringe when we have to travel around the area, and know, in advance, precisely how bad the level of traffic gridlock will be, esp. if we are going from State Road A1A to I-95 or vice-versa.

After all, just a few years ago, then-Broward County Commissioner Diana Wasserman-Rubin, who at the time represented the western-most part of HB and areas west of there out towards Miramar, admitted publicly at a Broward County Commission meeting that due to the awful traffic gridlock here, she personally avoided NE HB and Hallandale Beach Blvd. at all costs, regardless of the time of year.


And THAT particular County Commission meeting was about development in the same exact area of NE HB as what the Diplomat has in mind now, off of Hallandale Beach Blvd.
Hallandale Beach Blvd. is always the nexus of any traffic gridlock discussion in this city s because the reality is that most of the city's population and wealth is centered east of U.S.-1 -towards the beach and the Intracoastal Waterway- and Hallandale Beach Blvd., owing to issues involving nature (water), geography, development and past zoning decisions, is THE ONLY STREET that connects the eastern part of the city to the west, where I-95 is located. 

It's also important to recall that the HB City Commission had the chance to purchase -for a song!- the empty waterfront property on the Intracoasal Waterway & NE 26th Avenue where Manero's restaurant used to be located, and where The Beachwalk condominium next to the Intracoastal bridge is now located.
Yes, that sweet bit of Open Space in NE HB could have been the first actual city park on the water in a city with the name Beach in it!
But under the myopic leadership of Mayor Joy Cooper and then-City Manager Mark A. Antonio, that opportunity was completely lost.

Why? Good question.
Antonio, Cooper and the City Commission have NEVER properly explained to the city's residents why they were SO SLOW on the draw when that opportunity presented itself -as I wrote about at the time- and allowed The Related Group to swoop-in after so many years of that property being both under-used and an eyesore to the community.
AND the city could have purchased it for such a LOW PRICE!


That waterfront property could have been one the crown jewels of the city for every resident to enjoy, regardless of where they live in the city.

Similarly, let's not forget about other germane facts regarding the endemic traffic problems here that have NEVER been publicly and adequately addressed by the principals involved.


Mayor Cooper and Comm. William 'Bill" Julian have NEVER publicly explained why they voted to allow Gulfstream Park Race Track -with so many acres to choose from- to construct their three employee dorms in the EXACT place where Hibiscus Steet could have logically been extended east from very busy US-1 to the area behind the always-busy Publix on 14th Avenue.




June 22, 2008 photo of Hibiscus Street looking east from U.S.-1. This street only goes one block because of Gulfstream's dorms.



June 13, 2008,




May 12, 2008, Hibiscus, i.e the future SE 2nd Street?

The expansion of that road at any point in the past would have allowed Golden Isles residents and everyone else in HB living and working east of 14th Avenue -.i.e. most of the city's populationto get to HB City Hall and Aventura and points south on U.S.-1 WITHOUT requiring them to actually get on Hallandale Beach Blvd. and deal with that traffic

Where was their logic and reason?
That wasn't merely a dreadful public policy decision, it's one that was made worse because the people making it were never forced to answer for it by South Florida's news media, including the Sun-Sentinel.

Let's not kid ourselves, things in Hallandale Beach didn't get the way they did overnight.
And things won't get IMMEDIATELY better overnight if pro-reform people are finally elected to the City Commission next year, but it'd clearly be an important step in the right direction towards getting the city properly refocused and at a point where it ought to be NOW -but ISN'T.

Things got the way they did here over time and by the people in charge at HB City Hall consistently taking residents for granted and NOT being up to the jobs they were elected to, forever failing to provide the proper level of official oversight and scrutiny demanded of such a job. 

The very thing I wrote about in my last few posts, so that very troubling trend continues even now...

What follows is a chronological account of facts re tomorrow morning's meeting and what you ought to know about it.

I know that for some of you, people who have been receiving my emails and or reading my blog for years, this is somewhat familiar territory, albeit with new facts worth considering before you show up or watch the meeting online.

But for others, people new to the chronic dysfunction and myopic public policy that best characterize what has actually taken place in this city for many years, this may well be the first time you've had
access to pertinent facts about an important aspect of the city's Quality of Life.
Facts that I believe effectively counter-act and destroy the conscious mis-truths and lies that have been routinely spread and repeated by HB City Hall for many, many years, even as the media ignored it. (To everyone's detriment, including their own.)

And in case you forgot or never knew, cold hard facts and figures like the ones below are like Kryptonite to the elected officials and bureaucrats at Hallandale Beach City Hall.
They become largely distracted and powerless to respond -honestly.
So, if you bring them up, expect the elected folks on the dais and the highly-paid bureaucrats next to them to quickly try to refute the facts with distractions and old-fashioned obfuscation, mis-statement
of facts and lies.
And if necessary, personal attacks against those telling the truth. 

Just saying... I've been there.

Still this chance to speak truth to power before so many HB residents leave for the summer, is one that those of you who want this city to be better must embrace.
That's especially true for those of you who live on the beach and who have quite correctly complained for so many years about the countless missed opportunities by HB City Hall to do right be everyone, but especially to you and your neighbors.
Fot you, this is your opportunity to change the dynamic and make them know that just because you live over on the beach, you are indeed hip to what they are attempting to pull off here.

Missed opportunities like the powers-that-be at HB City Hall foolishly keeping the taxpayer-owned, perfectly-placed North Beach Center -just steps from the Atlantic Ocean- a place that properly ought to be a beautiful crown jewel for the community that we can honestly brag about, CLOSED to the public for years at a time.
AFTER it was already closed for years due to City Hall's very own incompetence at attempting to repair it, at great cost to everyone as I wrote so many times on the blog with dozens and dozens of contemporaneous photos to tell the godawful tale, and plenty in follow-up posts.

Yes, for those of you who are fortunate enough to live on the beach, Monday morning represents your chance to publicly discuss with facts, reason and any remaining anger, the "wind tunnel" effects you and your neighbors have to deal with all the time because of the conscious Zoning choices that have been made re development along the beach among campaign contributors of Mayor Cooper and Commissioner Sanders.
Do not not miss the chance to publicly say to city officials what you have been telling me in-person, via phone and via email for years and years.

Dave
Twitter: @hbbtruth, https://twitter.com/hbbtruth
https://twitter.com/hbbtruth/with_replies
http://www.hallandalebeachblog.blogspot.com/
http://www.youtube.com/user/HallandaleBeachBlog



-----
Monday May 12, 2015

Dear Csaba:

Besides the City of Hallandale Beach's announced May 18th workshop, are you currently aware of any other tentative meetings re The Diplomat's future development plans, or, of any any HB/Hollywood 
citizen's effort to keep the proper level of scrutiny on them to help ensure that they do NOT attempt to gain some goodies from the always-pliant HB City Commission?
That is, goodies that are more than they are now legally entitled to have and build?

I ask because as of 3:15 p.m. this afternoon, the city's own website has NOTHING on its landing page about that workshop next Monday -surprise!
In fact, despite how much it has been discussed over the years here as a way that developers fudge on their applications, the only reference on the city's website this afternoon to "hotel-condo" is a link to a
HB P&Z meeting.
That is, a HB P&Z meeting from... 2012!
Again, surprise, surprise!
http://hallandalebeachfl.gov/Search/Results?searchPhrase=hotel-condo&page=1&perPage=10

Perhaps I'm missing something, but so far, in none of the recent media pieces I've read about The Diplomat -and the associated "hotel condo" controversy- have I seen a single reporter actually ask a Diplomat rep some simple questions that ought to have been asked and ANSWERED by now.
Actually, that should be should have been ANSWERED years ago to the HB public's satisfaction.

For instance:
1.) Why has The Diplomat failed for YEARS to actually DO what they were already legally allowed to do within that property in the way of genuine improvements? That's something that you and I consistently encouraged them to do years ago, since making that place more successful is in everyone's interest.
But they have failed to do so.

2.) When is The Diplomat going to improve their unpopular golf course, which according to everyone I know and have spoken to, who are both knowledgeable about golf in general and that golf course in particular, since the general consensus is that it is NOT very interesting or challenging, and charges FAR TOO MUCH for a round of golf for the level of course it actually is?

3.) Why has The Diplomat failed all these YEARS to actually advertise their golf course properly? Say, with actual advertising like other courses in South Florida, or, at a minimum, apply with the city for some directional signs that consumers and drivers can see?
Why does The Diplomat fail to do the small things that HB churches seem able to do with helpful signage?

You'll recall how much fun I had a few years ago at the Broward County Commission meeting on The Diplomat's request to build those unwelcome, unsightly and incompatible condo towers in NE HB, by simply asking these very simple questions to the representatives of the Diplomatthe County Commission and the public during my three minutes of public comment.
Last time I checked -today- The Diplomat and their army of highly-paid lawyers, lobbyists and publicists STILL haven't adequately answered those simple questions to the public's satisfaction.

Dave

"Hallandale Beach plans to host a workshop May 18 at 9 a.m. to discuss traffic that will come with forthcoming development projects."

South Florida Sun-Sentinel
Hallandale Beach ditches hotel moratorium
By Susannah Bryan, Sun Sentinel
May 8, 2015 7:39 PM
Hallandale Beach

A moratorium on hotel permits was quickly shown the door this week
after developers warned it would doom economic growth throughout the
city.

It might have been one of the shortest moratoriums in city history,
lasting only a few weeks.

At the commission's request, City Manager Renee Miller declared a
moratorium April 16 to give staff time to research the impact of
hotel-condo developments on nearby neighborhoods.


Read the rest of the article at

http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/fl-hotel-moratorium-hallandale-20150508-story.html


----
*NB: References below in Csaba's email to 'Debbie O" below refers to land development attorney Debbie Orshefsky, who for most Hallandale Beach and Hollywood residents and Small Business owners, has become the public face for most of the most-controversial projects in our part of 

SE Broward for the past 12 years.

To the best of my knowledge -and my amazing memory- Mayor Cooper has voted against approving only ONE Debbie Orshefsky development project in the past 12 years.


That was Hallandale Square, the Taubman project proposed for the SE corner of US-1 and HBB that never happened, and, which as I wrote and complained about at the time, including to germane city officials, soon became the home of lots of debris, flotsam and homeless people, as the developer at the time completely failed to properly maintain the property, and made it a de facto poster child for the laughingstock the city had become with its bad public policy and lack of oversight, accountability and follow-through. 
Right where everyone driving thru the city could see it.
But not the folks at HB City Hall!
---------
Re: Broward's Open Space requirement and the curious manuevers in
Hallandale Beach by City Hall and the Diplomat Hotel

Thursday, May 14, 2015 at 4:18 PM

To: Csaba Kulin

Excellent analysis, Csaba!

Unless I hear from you by Noon Friday, I will incorporate your spot-on comments into my email and blog post tomorrow afternoon, which I hope will serve as a useful warning shot to everyone in HB and environs to be on guard for precisely the sort of confidence game you mentioned the city is attempting to pull off before the public is the wiser.

I only wish that I had access to some of the Broward primary source material on Open Space that I had last year -now stored in a plastic tote at my sister's place in Pembroke Pines- which I used to bring to Keith London's monthly meetings when he first started them many years ago.

Back when Keith routinely used that old, huge and unwieldy map of HB and shocked so many first-time visitors when he told them that curious bit of info about the city being allowed to count waterways as Open Space for purposes of the city meeting standards.

Keith's testimony to some Broward group about that issue years ago -Broward Planning Council?-before he was first elected, was the first time I ever heard of him.
I found the info on Google and agreed that what HB was doing then was fraudulent in spirit, even if keeping with the letter of the law.

Dave
----

On 5/14/15, Csaba Kulin wrote:

David,

Let me just give you a couple of points.

The City Manager on her own announced a six months moratorium on
“condo-hotel” projects. Immediately Miss O. and other developers
started lobbying and the City Commission reversed the moratorium 3 to
2. Comm. London and Lazarow voted no. Clarity of the rules and traffic
was the main argument to keep the moratorium.
To calm the opposition, the Mayor agreed to have a “meeting” to talk
about “traffic” on the 18th. Waste of time. We always talk about
traffic, weather, sea water rise and flooding but we never do anything
about it. An insult to the intelligence of the residents.

*THIS IS A LOT MORE IMPORTANT TODAY!*
*PARKS AND OPEN SPACE LEVEL OF SERVICE (LOS)*
Item 14D on the May 20, 2015 Agenda (Parks & Open Space LOS) may 

be the most important single item with respect to the future of our City.
If this opportunity is missed all the other discussions of future development,
“synergy” and “economic engine” is fruitless.

*ANALYSIS FROM THE CITY’S BACKUP.*

*Broward County Land Use Plan requires all municipalities to provide a
minimum of 3 acres of parks for every 1,000 existing and projected
permanent population.  Policy 1.1.2 of the City of Hallandale Beach
Recreation and Open Space Element also requires 3 acres per 1,000
existing and projected permanent population as mandated by the
County.*

*In 2011, Broward County Planning Council (BCPC) created an Open Space Task
Force to research the use of water bodies by municipalities to meet
the municipal parks LOS requirements of 3 acres per 1,000 population.*

*At that same time (2011) the City audited its inventory and the
methodology used to calculate it.  As a result of that analysis, the
inventory was reduced by approximately 62 acres. That portion of
school property which is not open space suitable for recreation was
removed, as was 90% of the acreage from city-maintained
waterways that are not accessible to the general public. A credit of
0.71 acre remains in the inventory for water bodies which are public
but are accessible only by residents that live adjacent to them.*

*Substantial research and analysis on this issue was performed by the
County Task Force.  Their work resulted in amendments to the Broward
County Land Use Plan as adopted by the Broward County Commission in
2013.  The amendments did not affect the cities’ use of water body
acreage in their existing inventory to be counted as community parks
acreage.  Any open space added to an inventory subsequent to the
adoption of the changes must adhere to them.*

*The following is a summary of the referenced amendments: *

1.  *Water body acreage added to community parks acreage inventory may
count no more than 10% of such additional acreage unless managed by a
governmental agency for recreation or environmental purpose.*
2. *Required the County to publish municipalities’ parks inventory.
Municipalities should also publish on their website their parks
inventory.*
3. *Parks and open space acreage was to be accessible to the public on
a regular basis.*
4. *Conspicuous signage of access to the park be posted.*
5. *A water body with safe public access from another bordering
municipality could be counted as community park.*
6. *Deleted the provision allowing 50% credit for private golf courses
deed- restricted for open space. (private refers to golf courses which
are not open to the public)*
7. *Acreage deed- restricted or designated “Conservation” on the Land
Use Map could count as park acreage.*
8. *Required municipalities to provide an up-to-date inventory and
documentation of sites used to meet the 3 acres per 1,000 existing
population for Plan Amendments which result in an increase demand
for“community parks.”*

*The City’s current parks and open space acreage requirement, based on
its existing population, is 111.34 acres. The acreage required based
on the City’s build-out population is 145.59 acres. The City currently
has 200 acres in its Parks and Open Space Inventory (Exhibit 1) of
which 65 acres are land and 135 are water bodies. The Inventory is in
compliance with the City and Broward County Land Use Plans.
**(Note: How did the City come to this conclusion? See No. 1.) *

*END OF BACKUP FROM CITY*

*THESE ARE THE NUMBERS:*
*The Rule is “3 acres of Open Space Acreage per 1,000 population”.
(Note: Not waterways).
The population is 37,113 according to the 2010 Census.
(Note: approximately 60,000 during the “season”).
The “Build out Population” is 48,493.*

*Hallandale Beach is required to have 145.49 acres of “Open Space
Acreage”. (Note: 48.483 times 3 acres).
Hallandale Beach has 55.63 acres of Public Parks. Hallandale Beach has
9.90 acres of Public School Property.
Hallandale Beach has 134.6 acres of Public Waterways.
(Note: 13.46 acres is 10%).*

*Hallandale Beach counts 200.13 acres of Public Parks and Open Space.
(Note: 55.63 + 9.9 + 134.6 acres).*

*IN MY OPINION: Hallandale Beach should count 78.99 acres of Public
Parks and Open Space. (Note: 55.63 + 9.9 + 13.46). Hallandale Beach
needs an additional 66.5 acres of “Public Parks and Open Space
Acreage”.*

*WHAT IS YOUR OPINION?*

*I'd love to find out what the “penalty” is for any City not being in
compliance with the “Open Space Acreage Rule”? *

Chuck Kulin
____________________________________________
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.

Bill Cooke of @Random_Pixels has the article, Paradise Lost? South Florida

When Sweden Sings, We Listen...

���� @hadirajafestivalen

A photo posted by Erik Grönwall (@erikgronwall) on

@CallMeCilia är klar för nya Hadirajafestivalen i Knivsta 15 Augusti! http://hadirajafestivalen.se/

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.

Hallandale Beach Water Tower, looking east from State Road A1A/South Ocean Drive; May 2009 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...

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!

Gulfstream Park Race Track & Casino and Village at GP retail complex, Hallandale Beach, FL

Gulfstream Park Race Track & Casino and Village at GP retail complex, Hallandale Beach, FL
Entrance monument to Gulfstream Park Race Track & Casino and The Village at Gulfstream Park retail complex on U.S.-1 & SE 3rd St. Hallandale Beach, FL. October 5, 2010 photo by South Beach Hoosier. © 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved

Gulfstream Way at Gulfstream Park Race Track in Hallandale Beach, FL

Gulfstream Way at Gulfstream Park Race Track in Hallandale Beach, FL
The north-south street sign in the middle of Gulfstream Park Race Track in Hallandale Beach, FL that leads to-and-from the track and the retail Village at Gulfstream Park to Hallandale Beach Blvd. north of the facilities. October 5, 2010 photo by South Beach Hoosier. © 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved

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

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

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 jer secomd 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.

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.

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.

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 mid-January 2013, 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.