Hallandale Beach Blog - A common sense public policy overview offering a critical perspective on the current events, politics, govt., public policy, sports scene and pop culture of the U.S., South Florida and Europe, especially the UK and Sweden.
In particular, Broward & Miami-Dade County, and the cities of Hallandale Beach, Hollywood & Aventura. Trust me when I tell you, this part of Florida is NOT the Land of Lincoln. Photo in upper-left is Hallandale Beach's iconic beachball-colored Water Tower on State Road A1A, September 2008; March 2018 photo below of North Beach, looking left-to-right, looking north, HYDE Condominium, Etaru Japanese Robatayaki restaurant, and Hollywood Beach in the distance, with umbrellas. All photos by me, © Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

re George LeMieux and his assertions about "commuter rail line linking Miami and Palm Beach County"

Just discovered this very interesting November 10th post on the Daily Business Review's Inside Track blog this morning.

Wish I'd seen it before I went to last Wednesday's SFRTA Broward Countyworkshop in Dania Beach, because I certainly would've asked out loud whothought this assertion by George LeMieux was more true now than it was a year ago.

I want it to be true, I just want to know -and see- what the actual evidence of it is.

I realize that to some of you it may seem like a small thing, strictly window dressing perhaps, but I've been very troubled for quite some time at the lack of any recent information on the SFECC (South Florida East Coast Corridor Transit Analysis) website telling taxpayers just what exactly was going on with the project. http://www.sfeccstudy.com/index.html

I understand that there is a specific timeframe for each aspect of the project, but when you have a situation as we do in South Florida, which I've chronicled on my blogs, where FDOT Secretary Stephanie Kopelousos can't ever be bothered to personally interact with actual taxpayers and citizens in the most urban part of the state, and only seems to frequent industry and or politico-filled events, appearances actually DO count for something, especially when she can find time to visit airports in West Florida that aren't even open.
The days of my giving her the benefit of the doubt are long past.

Back in February I wrote some of you the following:
Another concern I have is that it's now been exactly a year since something was added to the News section of the SFECC website:http://www.sfeccstudy.com/news.html
FEC tracks hold key to commuter train linking S. Florida's downtowns

Frankly, I'm more than a little troubled by the fact that they've chosen to keep such a low-profile over these past 12 months, since as anyone who's lived here for any length of time can tell you, no place in the country hasa short-term attention span smaller than South Florida's.
Honestly, the evidence is all around us!

I could be wrong but I really don't think my friends working at think tanks in Washington, along K Street, Connecticut and Massachusetts Avenue, would consider that the shrewdest public strategy to go with.

Especially when the public policy you are actively involved in also requires that you be in the public persuasion business, even if you don't like to think about it that way.

I realize from having gone to so many of their public meetings and reading their docs that the project had a certain process that needed to be followed, but having nothing said about their efforts for a year can't be good.
For anyone!

Well, a few weeks ago, after I first got word of the three SFRTA county meetings planned, I went back to the SFECC website -I'm also on their so-called mailing list but don't ask when the last time I received something was- and right below Project Description it reads:

Thirteen months!!!

Wow, I'm no web genius, and I know that SFECC Director Scott Seeburger can't be expected to do everything himself, but I do know that most websites that have information on them that old posing as their new info, are nothing but busted-up dot.com sites that have 'given up the ghost.'

I don't know who the genius is behind the SFECC's recent PR efforts(!) but the clear preponderance of the evidence suggests there needs to be a change there, toute-de-suite, before more supporters like me become openly critical of their efforts.

And trust me, based on the past year and the wholly un-necessary secretivenessof FDOT, that day is a whole lot closer than you think.

Just something to think about.

Read the post below and let me know what you think.
Daily Business Review
Inside Track
November 10, 2008

Tallahassee insider says state will have to do 'more with less'
Gunster Yoakley & Stewart chairman George LeMieux dropped some tantalizing teasers about developments on the state budget and transportation in a speech at the Palm Beach County Bar Association's annual Bench Bar Conference.
To read the rest of this, go to:

Mini-bio info on Mr. LeMieux at Gunster Yoakley & Stewart's website.

I'll have some comments and thoughts on that SFRTA workshop I attended in Dania Beach after Thanksgiving.
Would've been nice to actually see some media coverage of the event, but then that ended up becoming one of the topics I and others spoke about at the end, along with some suggestions for changing that.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Mayor Menino's mosque: Bizarre story behind Boston's most controversial building; UDB

Just wanted to share this terrific and and thoughtfully-written story by David S. Bernstein in the new Boston Phoenix, easily one of the best pieces I've read all year, about the intersection of politics, self-interest and lack of accountability in government.
And some Boston-style stonewalling for a chaser!

Though it's set in Boston, it sounds exactly like an ethnic identity politics/multi-culturalism story straight out of South Florida, where crony capitalism still flourishes in many places under the guise of land development and its so-called regulation.

More proof of that has come within the past 24 hours, per an advisory board's decision in Miami-Dade County to expand the Urban Development Boundary in western Miami-Dade, so that it's now possible there might be development less than three miles from Everglades National Park.
Even though there's years worth of housing inventory on the local market.
More urban sprawl -just what this area doesn't need more of.

(The Miami-Dade County Commission votes on formally adopting this on Dec. 18th.
See Matthew Haggman's excellent story in the Herald at: http://www.miamiherald.com/business/story/752455.html
Battle looms on development push to the edge of the Everglades
Fireworks are expected at the first hearing on a controversial proposal to move the Urban Development Boundary to build a town on West Miami-Dade farmland.)

As to Bernstein's article, I especially like the fact that a group continuing to be paid by the City of Boston while continuing to NOT perform the duties they're contracted for, isn't even the most controversial aspect of the story.
As you'll see, that's the least of the problems!

When transferring the land for the mosque, the BRA credited the ISB with close to $200,000 toward the purchase price, in exchange for an agreement to maintain the adjacent Clarence "Jeep" Jones Park — named after the BRA's chairman — and the White Play Space.

The 10-year agreement took effect in February 2003. In effect, the city has been paying the ISB $1600 a month for the job — which, even Kaleem concedes,
it has not been doing.

A lesser reporter would've missed the forest for the trees, but Bernstein captures the whole sad mess and adroitly connects the dots in a compelling way.

Boston Phoenix
Menino's mosque
The bizarre story behind the construction of Boston's most controversial building
By David S. Bernstein
November 19, 2008

Most locals concede that getting anything of substance accomplished in Boston is a Herculean task. Residents have all but embraced the principle of civic inaction with a perverse kind of local pride. In the end, who you know is probably more important than what you are trying to do. And there is no doubt that little is accomplished without the approval and support of the mayor, Thomas M. Menino.

So it is with the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center (ISBCC) near the intersection of Tremont Street and Martin Luther King Boulevard. Better known as the Roxbury mosque, the ISBCC has been in the works for more than 20 years. A few weeks ago it finally opened its doors for prayer — five years late, millions over budget, and still far from complete.

See the rest of the story at: http://thephoenix.com/Boston/News/72356-Meninos-mosque/

Monday, November 17, 2008

So sorry: The Mail on Sunday regrets... David Duchovny

Late Sunday night while reading the online stories in the British papers about the various Premier League games over the weekend, http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/index.html, I noticed this interesting note about a rumor regarding one of my favorite actors "Californication" star David Duchovney, that I thought worth passing along.

"David Duchovny: On October 19, an article about actor David Duchovny may have suggested he had an amorous relationship with a tennis coach, Edit Pakay. We now accept this is inaccurate and Ms. Pakay and Mr. Duchovny are only friends who used to play tennis occasionally. Their relationship went no further and was not a factor in Mr and Mrs Duchovny's separation. We apologise to Ms. Pakay, Mr. Duchovny and to Mr. Duchovny's family."

Now as to the problems this year at Manchester City and head coach Mark Hughes , that'll have to wait 'till another time...

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Turkey Bowl 2008! Undefeated Titans at Winless Lions in Ten Days?

Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, Florida

7:35 p.m.

Not that I can get into it all here, but South Beach Hoosier has always been opposed to the general idea of the Lions and Cowboys always getting to host a Thanksgiving Day ballgame.

This year, with a likely 11-0 Tennessee team going into Ford Field to face a likely 0-11 Detroit Lions, I think I'll get some more converts by the middle of the third quarter of that game on CBS-TV.

Titans remaining schedule:

Week 12 Nov 23 NYJ @ TEN LP Field 1:00 PM
Week 13 Nov 27
TEN @ DET Ford Field 12:30 PM
Week 14 Dec 07
CLE @ TEN LP Field 1:00 PM
Week 15 Dec 14
TEN @ HOU Reliant Stadium 1:00 PM
Week 16 Dec 21
PIT @ TEN LP Field 1:00 PM
Week 17 Dec 28
TEN @ IND Lucas Oil Stadium 1:00 PM

Don't be surprised if the home game against the Steelers on the Sunday before Christmas is moved to primetime Sunday night if NBC can get their way under the 'flex schedule.'

Though I usually think of myself as an outside-the-box thinker, as of two weeks ago, my Super Bowl picks for Tampa on February 1st has been Titans and Giants. I'm sticking to that!

Official website for Super Bowl 43: http://www.tampabaysuperbowl.com/

That's 75 days from Monday.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Correction: SFRTA Hosts Transportation Workshop in Broward on Wed. Nov. 19th, not 18th

In an email I sent out last Friday, I mistakenly said the Broward SFRTA event near the FLL airport, above, was on the 18th, when it's actually on Wednesday the 19th, a week from today.

Since I sent that email on Friday, I also received an interesting email from the City of Miami regarding South Florida planning that you might want to take a look at as well, since they'll have a hearing tomorrow to address the state's complaints about their plans.

The City of Miami has addressed/responded to the Florida Department of Community Affairs' (DCA) Objection, Recommendation and Comments (ORC) Report issued on July 18, 2008.

EAR-Based Ammendments Adoption Hearing

City of Miami City Hall

3500 Pan American Drive

Miami, Florida 33133

Not attending the Miami-Dade or Broward County SFRTA workshops: obsessive former SFPD Detective Adrian Monk, as fabulously played by Tony Shalhoub.on USA Cable.

In this screen shot from the show's pilot, Mr. Monk and the Candidate, which surprisingly, many MONK fans have never seen, Adrian removes the multi-colored push-pins outlining an important strategic element of the mayoral political campaign of Warren St. Claire (Michael Hogan), with skullduggery and menace supplied by the beautiful and beguiling mayoral candidate's wife, Miranda, played by the always gorgeous and spot-on Gail O'Grady, at top and below, who, it seems to me, has emerged as a sort of latter day small screen combination of Grace Kelly and Lana Turner. When she's on TV, I'm there!

(I can't be the only person who's noticed how busy O'Grady has been of late, what with being in the pilot of CBS' breakout hit The Mentalist, starring longtime SBH faves Simon Baker and Robin Tunney, on an episode of CSI: Miami, and more recently, on ABC's Desperate Housewives as a teenage boy's fantasy come true?

I was pretty pissed-off when NBC nixed American Dreams, the one TV show that reasonably portrayed the role of pop culture on the American family, warts and all, with something mkore than cliched melodrama, and captured the excitement of being in on something new.

Can't help but wish that the AD producers had been able to conclude a deal with DirecTV the way that SBH favorite Friday Night Lights has, though I missed last week's show.)

Adrian's rationale for removing the pins? They weren't evenly displayed on the board.

Plus, I think there might've been an uneven number of them. Classic!

Naturally, after being chastised for this, Adrian promptly places every pin back exactly in place, to everyone's amazement.

I don't suspect we'll see anything similar, but just in case, I'll bring some extra pins.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Positive news re Central Florida commuter rail getting props from biz community -FINALLY opposing Sen. Dockery publicly; SFTRA in Miami

Excerpt of email I sent out on Friday to some public policy people in the region on Friday.
Friday November 7th, 2008
4:45 p.m.

The optimist in me hopes that this blog post on the Central Florida Political Pulse is a sign that
folks heretofore sitting on the fence on this issue in Polk County, are finally coming to their senses and realizing that they can't let the power and reach of one particularly powerful and popular politician like State Sen. Paula Dockery put them and their area at an economic and competitive disadvantage to others - perhaps forever- simply because of her personal parochial beliefs, since the chance to do the right thing and be part of a larger interconnected transit system may just come once. (Disclaimer: My mother lives in Polk County, specifically, Babson Park.)

Finally some signs of push back among the business community of the sort we'll need to see much more of in the future so this state doesn't continue to be a laughingstock in so many areas of public policy and common sense, like simply getting the largest number of people from Point A to Point B as quickly and efficiently as possible.

For backgrounder info or to remember who's on what side of this argument, since it's easy to get confused, go to

As of today I plan on being at next Friday morning's SFRTA Transportation Workshop for Miami-Dade County, below, and the one in Broward on the 19th as well.

I hope to see many of you there, too, offering your positive ideas.

By the way, thanks to Governing.com's 13th Floor blog,
recently running a post about the American Planning Associan's (APA) Top Streets in America,
http://www.planning.org/greatplaces/streets/characteristics.htm#1 I recently learned that one of the best streets in an old neighborhood of mine during my 15 years in DC, Clarendon, in Arlington, VA, made the 2008 list. http://www.planning.org/greatplaces/streets/2008/clarendonwilson.htm
Clarendon-Wilson Corridor, Arlington, Virginia. Transit Provided Catalyst for Corridor Smart Growth

Not mentioned at the link above is that it's also home to the Little Saigon restaurant area, home of both the THE BEST and THE CHEAPEST Vietnamese restaurants in all DC, which, fortunately, in many cases were one and the same, including my beloved Queen Bee.

There is no place in South Florida even close to offering that kind of consistent quality of Vietnamese food, size of servings and price.
I'd have mentioned it by now if there was.

People from all over DC routinely hop on the Washington Metro to get around on weekends, and one of those places is that little dynamic area of Northern Virginia less than three miles from Georgetown.

Me, I often ate there the day after Thanksgiving, after the afternoon college football games, often with friends who also didn't leave for the holiday to visit their families.

That sort of dynamic template and magnet for people is the one that I always have in my head when I travel around South Florida, and see how things are done here -or aren't.

I suppose that also makes me more critical -hypercritical?- than many about many of the poorly thought-out plans I often see and read about in South Florida.

Frankly, damn few of them ever seem as either meticulously planned or as grounded in human behavior/psychology and common sense as those of Bernard Zyscovich and his team, but it doesn't mean that I don't wish that the positive neighborhood synergy self-evident at places like Clarendon & Wilson couldn't also be done here, with some local flavor.

From my experience down here the past five years, Downtown Hollywood is a perfect example of an area that would similarly boom once there's a commuter train station on Hollywood Blvd., though there are a few other areas down here that I also think would experience a similar positive jolt that could have ripple effects.

That's one of the reasons I'm such a strong proponent of the SFECC.

I know exactly what it will do for quality-of-life because I've already experienced it.

By the way, one of my former housemates when I lived in that area of Arlington in the mid-90's, which included a horrible week-long blizzard we suffered through, is Derek Schmidt, the current Senate Majority Leader in Kansas, and someone whom I'm sure who'll make it even bigger nationally in the coming years.

You heard it here first!

There were no comments posted to the below as of 3 pm.

Polk economic development group endorses commuter railposted by Orlando Sentinel on Nov 7, 2008 12:13:11 PM

A group that promotes economic development in Polk County has endorsed the Central Florida Commuter Rail Project, putting them at odds with the project's Lakeland-based critics led by Republican Sen. Paula Dockery.
The board of the Central Florida Development Council, Inc. (CFDC) unanimously endorsed the project, which would buy up 61.5 miles of CSX tracks through Central Florida to run light-rail trains from DeLand through Seminole and Orange Counties to Poinciana. The group expressed hope that ultimately the project would extend to Polk County.
"We believe the commuter rail project will stimulate growth and job opportunities in Central Florida and will greatly improve the quality of life for our citizens and visitors," said David Touchton, CFDC president. "It is more critical than ever to provide an alternative to automobile travel as gas prices escalate and new federal air quality standards for ozone put Central Florida at risk of becoming a non-attainment area which could result in sanctions and could slow much needed development."
The council is a private, non-profit 501 C-6 corporation and has a countywide board of directors interested in promoting the community and economic development of Polk County.Dockery and other Lakeland residents have protested that the commuter-rail project would also re-route CSX freight trains, sending more of them through downtown Lakeland.
She led the opposition in last year's Legislature, where the project died without coming to a vote in the Senate.



Friday, November 7, 2008

Running Tallies on Ross vs. Lewy for 2nd HB Commission Seat

Friday 1:40 p.m.

Watching the Big Ten Field Hockey semifinal game between Iowa and Michigan State from Bloomington on The Big Ten Network as I write this. http://www.bigtennetwork.com/
Great game!

As a result of their defeat of Penn State in the first semifinal, the winner here faces Ohio State in championship game on Sunday at Noon, televised live on BTN.

One of my nieces is playing Saturday morning in the Maryland H.S. Field Hockey State Championship game, so I'm taping the game for her and her younger sister to watch next week.
As of 11 am Dotty Ross is leading Alexander Lewy by 32 votes.

I got a call from Michael Butler around noon and he reminded me that the Broward BOE does have publicly accessible running tallies at Broward Elections's various URLs.

You might want to check it every few hours, even though the whole thing willlead to a formal recount next week.

And check out his latest entry at www.changehallandale.com

See parent site http://www.browardsoe.org/

See tally box http://results.enr.clarityelections.com/FL/Broward/8512/13382/en/md.html?cid=0144

See precint-by-precint breakdown http://results.enr.clarityelections.com/FL/Broward/8512/13382/en/md_data.html?cid=0144&
South Florida Sun-Sentinel
No winner yet for Hallandale Beach commission seat
By Ihosvani Rodriguez
November 7, 2008

Who won the second commission spot?

The answer depends on when you ask.

Tuesday night, newcomer Alexander Lewy won by 23 votes.

On Thursday, veteran Commissioner Dorothy Ross took a 24-vote lead.

The top vote-getter was clear from the start: Commissioner Anthony Sanders. But calling the second spot is turning into a slow-motion drama.

Election officials still have thousands of provisional and absentee ballots to count, elections spokeswoman Evelyn Hale said.

A winner may not be declared until next week, likely followed by a manual recount.

Hearing he was ahead by one vote, Lewy rushed to the ballot-counting center Thursday, only to watch his lead evaporate.

"This chair is actually kind of comfortable," he said.
I saw the Channel 10 truck in the city hall parking lot on my way into last night's Unsafe Structures Board meeting right before 6 PM, which turned out to be not quite what I imagined it'd be, with lots of wasted time.

Hallandale Beach Commission Race Very Close
Recount Imminent For Hallandale Beach City Commission Race

POSTED: 6:31 pm EST November 6, 2008
UPDATED: 6:45 pm EST November 6, 2008

At the beginning of Thursday, only one vote separated two candidates for the Hallandale Beach City Commission.

Commissioner Dotty Ross was torn.

She was clearing out her office in City Hall because it appeared that she lost the commission seat she has held since 1995.

The problem is that election workers are still counting absentee ballots. The new numbers on Thursday showed Ross trailing her opponent, Alexander Lewy, by just one vote.

"Can you imagine one vote? One vote?" she said.

According to the Broward County Supervisor of Elections' Office, Lewy had 2,721 votes for the at-large commission seat, and Ross had 2,720.

"There's no point in analyzing something that may or may not happen. Now as it gets closer, I will," Ross said. "I'm starting to get antsy a little."

At the very least, Ross' race will have to be recounted because the margin of victory likely will be within 0.5 percent of the total ballots cast.

Canvassing board member Judge Robert Lee said it is not the first close race he's seen.

"We've had several small cities over the past at least 10 years where we've actually come within three or four votes," Lee said.

"It is rare, but unfortunately for us, it's not unusual."

If she wins, Ross said her newly cleaned office will be a reminder that every vote counts. "This is proof positive that it does," Ross said.

Late Thursday, the supervisor of elections updated the numbers, and this time Ross held a 23-vote advantage over Lewy, with some 5,000 votes still to be counted.

If the race ends up in a tie, the city charter says the winner will be "decided by lot," which is something like the toss of a coin, Local 10's Roger Lohse reported.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Tonight is City of Hallandale Beach v. Aristides Pelecanos, et al.

So guess what city still does almost no double-checking or fact-checking before they place it on their website? One guess.
Two words.


Below exactly as it appears on the city's website is the information on tonight's meeting.

1. What/where is the agenda?

2. Who is being brought up on charges?

3. a.) Who are the members of the Hallandale Beach Unsafe Structure Board anyway?

b.) What is their level or area of professional expertise that qualifies them to serve?

c.) Who appointed them and when do their individual terms expire?

d.) How often do they meet?

The City of Hallandale Beach website answers none of these simple questions, even though it's now exactly 5:00 p.m., one hour before the meeting begins.

Look up "Unsafe Structure Board" on the website and you are sent to http://www.hallandalebeach.org/Search.asp?SearchString=Unsafe+Structure+Board+Meeting&Action.x=17&Action.y=7
where the first answer given is http://www.hallandalebeach.org/index.asp?NID=99

It's a veritable blank page.

Just the like the second "answer."

That's the Twilight Zone world masquerading as normal at Hallandale Beach City Hall as of November 6th, 2008.

By the way, none of the four map links on the webpage actually take you directly to the geographic
location of Hallandale Beach City Hall.
Not even one.

And tonight's meeting doesn't appear anywhere on the main page of the city's website, either.

The first thing they note as far as "calendar" goes is a meeting on the 19th, the second City Commission meeting of the month.

And you wonder why I get frustrated?

I previously discussed Aristides Pelecanos last Thursday:

See ya at Hallandale Beach City Hall!

400 South Federal Highway, Hallandale Beach, FL 33009
You are here: Home > Events Calendar

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View by Month by clicking on the "<<" or ">>" buttons on the Monthly Calendar.
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Title: Unsafe Structure Board Meeting
Date: November 6, 2008
Address: Commission Chambers
400 South Federal Hwy Hallandale Beach, FL 33009
View Maps:
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Hours: 6:00 P.M.
Contact: (954) 457-1386

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

"Superman Returns" star Brandon Routh in Downtown Hollywood Friday Night

Come dressed as your favorite superhero and celebrate the city of Hollywood's 83rd Birthday with a FREE birthday cake, celebration and song at 6 PM.

Also see Superman cartoons followed by the featured movie Superman Returns at 7 PM.

Guest appearance by actor Brandon Routh from Superman Returns

(If only longtime South Beach Hoosier favorite Ashley Judd had been cast as Lois Lane and that film would've been PERFECT!)

Friday, November 07, 2008 5:00 PM-9:00 PM
Anniversary Park, Hollywood Blvd. and 20th Ave. in Downtown Hollywood

First and Third Friday of the month 5:00 - 9:00 pm

Bring your kids to the best FREE family social event in town featuring Mama Clown and Friends, an outdoor movie, bounce house, face painters, magic & more!



For more event information call 954-921-3016 or visit http://www.downtownhollywood.com/

Downtown Hollywood CRA

330 North Federal Highway

Hollywood, FL 33020
Phone: 954-921-3016

Fax: 954-921-3040

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Thursday's Hollywood Charter Review Commission Meeting at 6 PM

Not sure If I'll be there for this since it conflicts with the Pelecanos hearing in Hallandale Beach.

For more information, go to http://www.hollywoodfl.org/html/charter_review.htm

As most of you who read this site regularly know, CRC member Sara Case mentioned below is also the editor of the reform-minded citizen advocacy website, The Balance Sheet Online,
an invaluable source of information on what's happening in and around Hollywood.
City of Hollywood, Florida Office of the City Manager



October 28, 2008

Contact: Raelin Storey, Public Affairs and Marketing Director

Phone: 954. 921.3098 Fax: 954.921.3314 Cell: 954.812.0975

E-mail: rstorey@hollywoodfl.org

Charter Review Committee to Host Public Input Meeting
Opportunity for residents to weigh in on the City Charter

HOLLYWOOD, FL - The City of Hollywood Charter Review Committee is seeking input from residents on the topics to be considered during the Committee's review of the City Charter.

The Committee will host a Public Input Meeting on Thursday, November 6, 2008 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the new Boulevard Heights Community Center, located a 6770 Garfield Street.

This is the second in a series of three meetings to hear from community members on this important topic.

A third public input meeting will be held on January 8 at the Hollywood Beach Culture and Community Center.

In November 2007, the City Commission established a Charter Review Committee to examine the City's Charter and make recommendations for additions, changes and deletions.

The Committee must make its recommendations to the City Commission by November 2009 for review to determine which ones will be put before voters in a future election, most likely in 2010.

The 11 member Charter Review Committee is comprised of the following individuals: Gary Bagliebter, Kevin Biederman, Miya Burt-Stewart, Terry Cantrell, Sara Case, Gregory Green, Gerald Gunzburger, Charles Howell, Lawrence Legg, Siobhan McLaughlin and Andy Rogow.

For media inquiries, please contact Raelin Storey, Director of Public Affairs, at 954.921.3098. For meeting information, please contact Lorie Mertens-Black, Director of Intergovernmental Affairs, at 954.921.3201.
South Florida Sun-Sentinel
Hollywood CRC's first meeting
By Ihosvani Rodriguez
May 18, 2008

During election season earlier this year, plenty of politicians were promising major changes to city government.

But the real changes may be the work of a newly appointed group of Hollywood residents.

City commissioners earlier this month appointed nine members to the new Charter Review Board, a group that will comb the city's constitution and recommend changes.

The city last updated its charter 10 years ago.

Among the issues the board will be looking at: term limits, lobbying and ethics reforms and staggered terms for elected officials.

Activist Sara Case, who will represent the beach and downtown areas on the board, said those are some of the issues she wants her group to tackle immediately.

"The major problems we have had over the years have been term limits and ethics," Case said.
"I think our charter is deficient in all of those areas."

She noted the previous mayor, Mara Giulianti, held office for about 20 years and a former commissioner, Cathy Anderson, served for more than 30 years.

In addition to Case in District 1, the members selected are: city activist and motivational speaker Miya Burt-Stewart, District 2; accountant Charles Howell, District 3; attorney Gary Bagliebter, District 4; Central Broward Water Control District Commissioner Kevin Biederman, District 5; mortgage broker Andy Rogow, District 6; corporate executive Gregory Greene, citywide; retired engineer Gerald Gunzberger, citywide; accountant Lawrence Legg, citywide.

The group could start meeting as early as next month.

The board's deadline to report its recommendations to the commission is Nov. 30, 2009. The commission will review the recommendations and vote on possible 2010 ballot proposals.Hollywood voters will have the final word.

Initially, only 16 people submitted applications. A second call for applicants brought in dozens of residents willing to sit through the process.

"We have an unbelievable amount of good, quality people who have stepped forward," Mayor Peter Bober said at the May 7 commission meeting.

"I wish there was a way to appoint everyone."

There were so many applicants, in fact, that commission members said they want to add two more members later this year.

First, they will need to amend and pass an ordinance to increase the membership limit.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

The hedging your bet, having your cake and eating it, too headline on Miami Herald's website

Sunday 2:54 a.m.

Showing the kind of foresight that has their popularity dropping like a rock, (see Bob Norman's excellent new Broward Palm Beach NewTimes article, Newspaper layoffs, partnerships, and the Net conspire to kill South Florida dailies,
http://www.browardpalmbeach.com/2008-10-30/news/newspaper-layoffs-partnerships-and-the-net-conspire-to-kill-south-florida-dailies/ )
before I went to sleep this morning after watching the fantastic Texas-Texas Tech football game, I hit the Miami Herald's website
http://www.miamiherald.com/ and caught this classic headline there that speaks for itself, which is at: http://www.miamiherald.com/457/story/752469.html

Florida could have history making role in 2008 election
Florida could put Obama over the top Tuesday night -- or complete a stunning comeback by McCain. - 0:30 AM ET

Then again, Florida could also be a national punch line -again!

For more on the latest in the world of journalism, sagging newspaper circulations, “secular headwinds” and the future of newspapers in the digital age, see Alan D. Mutter's Reflections of a Newsosaur at http://newsosaur.blogspot.com/

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Comparing and contrasting Fort Lauderdale with Hallandale Beach

The Sun-Sentinel's Broward Politics blog had this interesting post yesterday afternoon by Brittany Wallman about Fort Lauderdale Comm. Carlton Moore and the controversy about whether or not he should be allowed to vote on his successor next week.

To which I responded with... well, at least tried to.

But as has been the case so many times in the past, the comments wouldn't go through as written, despite doing everything I was prompted to do.

"Oh well, I don't really need their website to comment do I" he said with a laugh.
Broward Politics blog
South Florida Sun-Sentinel
New Fort Lauderdale commissioner will be appointed Tuesday
Posted by Brittany Wallman at 4:15 PM

Fort Lauderdale City Commissioner Carlton Moore will be replaced Tuesday, Nov. 4, the day his resignation takes effect. He has served on the City Commission since 1988.
Commissioners in June agreed to let Moore have a vote on who will replace him. The interim commissioner who is selected will stay until the city elections in the spring.
But Mayor Jim Naugle apparently has changed his mind. He said at the Oct. 21 meeting that Moore shouldn't be allowed to vote on the matter.

Read the rest of the post at: http://weblogs.sun-sentinel.com/news/politics/broward/blog/2008/10/new_fort_lauderdale_commission.html

This story has a lot of resonance for me.

Unfortunately, the City of Fort Lauderdale CAN'T beat the current Broward record of voting for an interim Commissioner less than fifteen minutes after a resignation is announced, currently held by the City Of Hallandale Beach, set on August 5th.

Another big difference is that FTL will be voting for the replacement the day the resignation of Comm. Moore is official, while the City of HB voted for Comm. Fran Schiller's replacement, Anthony A. Sanders, less than fifteen minutes after news of the resignation was made public.

This quick un-publicized vote came at Mayor Joy Cooper's insistence, despite there being well OVER three weeks before Comm. Schiller's resignation would become official.

In fact, there was still another regularly-scheduled HB City Commission meeting BEFORE the Schiller resignation would be official.

But a publicly scheduled meeting with proper advance notice given, where the citizens of HB could gather and publicly discuss the matter, likely in front of local TV news cameras, was NOT at all what Mayor Joy Cooper wanted.

So the vote went ahead -with Comm. Schiller NOT voting on her successor- but with Comm. Dotty Ross voting for Pastor Sanders despite publicly saying that she knew almost nothing about him, even remarking that he hadn't so much as filled out a form that she could look at.

See for yourself at: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=2063633124352034112

That's just a small example of the difference between how the Cities of Fort Lauderdale and Hallandale Beach practice democracy in the year 2008!

#HollywoodFL based photographer/entrepreneur Esther Chuang

#HOLLYWOODFL based photographer and entrepreneur Esther Chuang with Hollywood Mayor-elect Josh Levy
Thumbs up! What a night! #HOLLYWOODFL based photographer and entrepreneur Esther Chuang with a very elated Hollywood Mayor-elect Josh Levy at his Victory Party, held at Leo Anato's Atelier3/AT3 on Harrison Street & S. 19th Avenue, Hollywood. AT3's great environment and the amazing variety of food prepared by chef Kevin Dreifuss, former owner/chef of now-closed ENDS MEAT restaurant, was SUPERB! November 8, 2016 Esther Chuang, Morro Dois Irmãos, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 2015
Above, perhaps my most-favorite photo ever of Esther, which is really saying something considering the THOUSANDS that I've actually seen of her, from all over the world. But despite the fact that you can't actually see it here, trust me, her amazing smile and inner and external beauty are there. This photo is an even more amazing achievement when you know the backstory of what it took for Esther to get to the top of the mountain, since it's NOT for the faint of heart. Next time you see her, ask her about that! Morro Dois Irmãos, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on her birthday, July 10, 2015. That's the Christ The Redeemer statue atop Mount Corcovado way out in the horizon on the top of another mountain, to the left of her head. To the right is the world famous beach of Ipanema and to the left is the equally famous beach of Copacabana. In case you forgot what the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio looks like, up close, plus the Amazon area of Brazil that Esther grew up near in Manaus, here's another Brazilian beauty to connect-the-dots for you: Gisele Bündchen, aka @Gisele.

Abençoado por Deus e bonito por natureza!✨ ������

A post shared by Gisele Bündchen (@gisele) on

A floresta Amazônica tem um papel fundamental no equilíbrio do clima na Terra e, portanto, na vida de cada um de nós. Nos últimos anos a proteção diminuiu e o desmatamento aumentou drasticamente. E o que já era ruim, pode ficar ainda pior. Se as medidas que o governo vem tomando não forem vetadas, nosso futuro estará ameaçado. Diga NÃO à diminuição da proteção da Floresta do Jamanxim! Diga NÃO à exploração de minério no coração da floresta! #TodosPelaAmazônia #342Amazonia #TodosPelaAmazonia Assine a petição: link na bio. ������✨���� The Amazon Rainforest plays a key role in balancing the climate on the Earth and therefore in each of our lives. In recent years, protection has decreased and deforestation has increased sharply. And what was already bad can get even worse. If the measures that the government has been taking are not vetoed, our future will be threatened. Say NO to the reduction of the Jamanxim Forest´s protection! Say NO to ore mining in the heart of the Forest! #togetherfortheAmazon

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