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, Europe 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. Pictured in upper-left is Hallandale Beach's iconic beachball-colored Water Tower on State Road A1A; September 2008 photo by me, South Beach Hoosier. © 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved.
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 amd many other residents feel has been sorely lacking in local media for many years. On this blog, locally, I concentrate my energy, enthusiasm, anger and laser-like attention on the coastal cities of Hallandale Beach, Hollywood and Aventura, but we keep our eyes and ears open about other places, too, thanks to many well-informed "sources."

If you lived in this part of South Florida, you'd ALREADY be stuck in stultifying traffic gridlock, 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, local government and its bureaucrats couldn't be farther from the sort of results-oriented, strong work-ethic mentality that local residents deserve and expect. Yet seldom if ever see...

This is particularly true in the Broward County city I live in, the City of Hallandale Beach, north of Aventura and south of Hollywood, right on the Atlantic Ocean. Here, the "Perfect Storm" of years of apathy, incompetency, indifference and cronyism under Mayor Joy Cooper are all too readily apparent. Sadly for its beleaguered residents, Hallandale Beach is where even easily-solved, quality-of-life problems are left to fester for YEARS on end, because of City Hall's myopia, lack of common sense and ineffective supervisory management. It's a city with tremendous potential because of its terrific location and its well-educated populace, the majority of whom long for it to be the kind of quality city it ought to be now, but clearly isn't. Its citizens have become almost numb to HB City Hall's frequent ethics and performance outrages and screw-ups as a result of YEARS of the worst kind of mismanagement and lack of basic foresight and oversight. On a daily basis, residents and Small Business owners of this city 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 for others to solve in the future.

Before I started this blog in 2007, I used to ask myself, and NOT always rhetorically, "Where are all the enterprising young reporters in South Florida who want to show that through their own hard work and enterprise, what REAL investigative reporting can produce?" Hearing no response, I decided to finally start a blog of my own that could try to do some of these things, taking the p.o.v. of a reasonable-but-skeptical person seeing the situation for the first time with fresh eyes, and wanting questions answered in a honest and logical way that citizens have the right to demand.

Hallandale Beach Blog intends to be a catalyst for positive change in public policy and goivernment engagement. 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 of Florida's state, regional and local govt./agency officials, elected and otherwise. Hallandale Beach Blog aims to be a small step towards regaining some of that needed accountability, whether it's thru shining some well-needed public scrutiny on the issue or pol, or requires a higher degree of follow-up investigation and public exposure of the incompetency, cronyism or negligence -South Florida's usual governing style.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Could Sonia Sotomayor be elected judge in Broward County in 2009? You mean Mitch Caesar's Broward? No!

Could Sonia Sotomayor be elected judge in Broward County
in 2009?
You mean Mitch Caesar's Broward?
No!

I'm not joking.

Broward's ethnic identity politics groups at
Century Village
aren't down with Hispanics, remember?
To prove it, in August they voted against THE most-qualified
of all the judicial candidates, in part, because he was Hispanic.

Yes, that's the Broward you live in, not the phony one that
Broward/Greater FTL CVB tourism flack Nikki Grossman tries
to sell to foreigners with a lot of -you pardon the expression-
dinero!

This first article is from a conservative website but has the
specific legal info that's most germane that other pieces plainly
lack.
Like anything in the Herald or their blogs or by Beth Reinhard.
whose post earlier this afternoon on Sotomayor was silly X two.

You know, like the real facts about what really happened,
instead of silly indulgent puff pieces that would have you
believe the nominee is actually Chita Rivera with a robe,

My own belief is that when those New Haven firefighters start
showing up in Washington in a few weeks to make the media
rounds, THAT'S when it's going to start getting VERY interesting!

Now we'll find out if Obama really is the first post-racial president
his pals in the media kept telling us he was before the election.
Me, I think not, which is why this pick will be delicious by late
August.

By then, I suspect we'll have started hearing from Italian union
members in Northeast Democratic congressional districts and
well-know Jewish writers opining in NY Times Op-Eds and
Chinese-American twenty-somethings in the Bay Area ALL
wondering aloud "What's the purpose in studying for a civil
service exam if your actual merit on the test doesn't really
matter?
If it can just be dis-regarded?"

That's when the rubber-meets-the road!
We'll see who's gloating in Washington then, since that's not
an argument that Obama & Comnpany can win.

If nothing else, we know from the early reactions around
Washington that we shouldn't hold our breath thinking the
MSM is going to do any original reporting on Sotomayor
over the summer, with Politico's Mike Allen already
having admitted as much this afternoon on MSNBC.

Like I was really surprised by that!

From the early balloting, it looks like a lot of MSM
journos will be mailing it in this summer -even more
so than usual.
----------------------------------------
Possible Obama Supreme Court Pick Slapped Down Reverse Discrimination
Case in One-Paragraph Opinion
Friday, May 08, 2009
By Matt Cover

U.S. Appeals Court Judge Sonia Sotomayor, mentioned as a possible Supreme Court nominee, voted to deny a racial discrimination claim in a 2008 decision. She dismissed the case in a one-paragraph statement that, in the opinion of one dissenting judge, ignored the evidence and did not even address the constitutional issues raised by the case.
---------------------------------
Washington Post

The Wreck of a Spoils System

By George F. Will
April 26, 2009

Wednesday morning, a lawyer defending in the Supreme Court what the city of New Haven, Conn., did to Frank Ricci and 17 other white firefighters (including one Hispanic) was not 20 seconds into his argument when Chief Justice John Roberts interrupted to ask: Would it have been lawful if the city had decided to disregard the results of the exam to select firefighters for promotion because it selected too many black and too few white candidates?

In 2003, the city gave promotion exams -- prepared by a firm specializing in employment tests, and approved, as federal law requires, by independent experts -- to 118 candidates, 27 of them black. None of the blacks did well enough to qualify for the 15 immediately available promotions. After a rabble-rousing minister with close ties to the mayor disrupted meetings and warned of dire political consequences if the city promoted persons from the list generated by the exams, the city said: No one will be promoted.

The city called this a "race-neutral" outcome because no group was disadvantaged more than any other. So, New Haven's idea of equal treatment is to equally deny promotions to those who did not earn them and those, including Ricci, who did.

Ricci may be the rock upon which America's racial spoils system finally founders. He prepared for the 2003 exams by quitting his second job, buying the more than $1,000 worth of books the city recommended, paying to have them read onto audiotapes (he is dyslexic), taking practice tests and submitting to practice interviews. His studying -- sometimes 13 hours a day -- earned him the sixth-highest score on the exam. He and others denied promotions sued, charging violations of the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the Constitution's guarantee of equal protection of the law.

The city claims that the 1964 act compelled it to disregard the exam results. The act makes it unlawful for employers to discriminate against an individual regarding the "terms, conditions, or privileges of employment because of such individual's race." And two Senate supporters of the 1964 act, both of them leading liberals (Pennsylvania Democrat Joseph Clark and New Jersey Republican Clifford Case), insisted that it would not require "that employers abandon bona fide qualification tests where, because of differences in background and educations, members of some groups are able to perform better on these tests than members of other groups."

In a 1971 case, however, the Supreme Court sowed confusion by holding that the 1964 act proscribes not only overt discrimination but also "practices that are fair in form, but discriminatory in operation." What New Haven ignored is that the court, while proscribing tests that were "discriminatory" in having a "disparate impact" on certain preferred minorities, has held that a disparate impact is unlawful only if there is, and the employer refuses to adopt, an equally valid measurement of competence that would have less disparate impact, or if the measurement is not relevant to "business necessity." One of the city's flimsy excuses for disregarding its exam results was that someone from a rival exam-writing firm said that although he had not read the exam the city used, his company could write a better one.

New Haven has not defended its implicit quota system as a remedy for previous discrimination and has not justified it as a way of achieving "diversity," which can be a permissible objective for schools' admissions policies but not in employment decisions. Rather, the city says that it was justified in ignoring the exam results because otherwise it might have faced a "disparate impact" lawsuit.

So, to avoid defending the defensible in court, it did the indefensible. It used anxiety about a potential challenge under a statute to justify its violation of the Constitution. And it got sued.

Racial spoils systems must involve incessant mischief because they require a rhetorical fog of euphemisms and blurry categories (e.g., "race-conscious" measures that somehow do not constitute racial discrimination) to obscure stark facts, such as: If Ricci and half a dozen others who earned high scores were not white, the city would have proceeded with the promotions.

Some supporters of New Haven, perhaps recognizing intellectual bankruptcy when defending it, propose a squishy fudge: Return the case to the trial court to clarify the city's motivation. But the motivation is obvious: to profit politically from what Roberts has called the "sordid business" of "divvying us up by race."

Reader comments: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/04/24/AR2009042402305_Comments.html

--------------------------------
the "Invisible" candidate who defeated Catalina Avalos

A CONVERSATION WITH IAN RICHARDS

Sept. 9, 2008
---------------------------------
Talk Back South Florida blog
South Florida Sun-Sentinel Editorial Board

WHO IS IAN RICHARDS, AND WHY SHOULD WE CARE?

by Doug Lyons
August 29, 2008
By Gary Stein

Quickie quiz: Who is Ian Richards?

You don't know? Don't feel bad. I have no idea who he is, either, and I'm the one who dreamed up that question. Richards, it turns out, was a political winner Tuesday, taking the County Court Group 27 seat. He did it by defeating an incumbent, Catalina M. Avalos.

It is unusual for incumbent judges to be challenges, and even more unusual for them to be defeated unless they have done something hellaciously awful. Yet three incumbent Broward judges who hadn't made negative headlines - Avalos, Julio Gonzalez in County Group 18, and Pedro E. Dijols in Circuit Group 3 - all lost Tuesday night.

None was more of a head-scratcher than Richard beating Avalos. Richards, you see, didn't even bother showing up for a candidate interview with the Sun-Sentinel Editorial Board. That is certainly his right, but it does make you wonder how much somebody really wants the job if they don't even attempt to get a newspaper endorsement.
-------------------------------
Daily Business Review
Eddie Dominguez is executive editor of the Daily Business Review
Commentary
Crawling over each other doesn’t help diversify
Ian Richards is no crusader for change at the Broward County Courthouse.
By Eddie Dominguez
September 22, 2008
By: Eddie Domingue

His victory over County Court Judge Catalina Avalos might anger a lot of powerful lawyers — the New Times and the bloggers behind the Broward courthouse blog seem to relish that. But framing his win over Avalos as anything more than a sad comment on the state of judicial elections in Broward County is grossly inaccurate.

Richards mounted virtually no campaign. Broward voters barely had a clue about his background. How could they? He practices in Miami Gardens. Before that he worked at the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office. He made few campaign appearances, had few signs around town — and they didn’t have his picture on them either.

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August 2016 update about above: As I could have predicted, once again, the fake candidate failed to file the appropriate paperwork and fee with the City of Hollywood, and so his name will NOT appear on ballot.
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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.

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.

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 her videos, read my blog posts and Tweets about her and learn more about this dynamic and original talent with personality to spare!

#Södermalm

Hej #STHLM, jag saknar dig, hejdå. So wish I was there RIGHT NOW!

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New this year: you!

New this year: you!
Close-up photo of the cute head-turning window display I snapped in 2013 at the Apotek Hjärtat -Sweden's largest independent pharmacy chain- located at Ringvägen 113, near the Skanstull T-bana in Södermalm, Stockholm. Sign reads, "Årets nyhet: du! Ett helt nytt och obrukat år är här. Just nu känns det lite lättare att välja om, förändra vanor och bryta gamla mönster. Vi hjälper gärna till. Du vill, du kan, du törs!' (New this year: you! A brand new and unused year is here. Right now it feels a little easier to choose, change habits and break old patterns. We're happy to help. You want to, you can, you dare!) Sounds like good advice that I ought to be following, too! January 12, 2013 photo by South Beach Hoosier.© 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved

Congratulations Sweden - 200 years of peace! Solveig Rundquist (@RundquistS)

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!

Which European country has the most attractive citizens?

As seen in my July 31st, 2013 blog post titled, "Which European country has the most attractive citizens?" Sweden won in a landslide with almost four times as many votes as second-place France, with Spain third and Norway fourth. Yes, seeing is believing!; Norwegian.com's non-stop flights from Fort Lauderdale to Oslo start in 4 months! :) http://hallandalebeachblog.blogspot.com/2013/07/boredpandacom-poll-of-europeans-asked.html