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 & 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 South Beach Hoosier. © 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Tonight's Hallandale Beach Transportation Master Plan meeting is a Sign of the Times in HB: We Need Change!



January 2, 2009 photo 
All photos on this page by South Beach Hoosier © 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved. 


July 26, 2008 photo by South Beach Hoosier.

Was at the city's public beach for a bit late Sunday afternoon after the downpours, walking around, observing, doing some writing and reading the NY Times and Post up at North Beach.
Things there are as bad and depressing as ever, if not worse.

From my point-of-view and that of many other Hallandale Beach taxpayers and residents I know and speak to regularly, folks who go to the city's public beach often, the change at the top at DPW, from William M. Brant to John Chidsey as Director the past three months has made ZERO positive difference for folks like us who want a nicer, cleaner and better-maintained beach.

He and his dept. still seem blind to the problems and clueless about how to solve them, even though many of the answers are entirely self-evident.
Why does this not surprise me?

Because my past experience here the past five years informs my trust level of the city's management and accountability, as this post today will show once again.
Perhaps the evidence will cause some of you who have yet to grasp the obvious, to finally see that it's not a matter of my opinions, rather it's a matter of the self-evident facts-on-the-
ground.


June 6, 2009 photo by South Beach Hoosier
Notice what's missing from the photo above?

HINT: It's not the first time it's happened, in fact, it's not even the first time this year it's been missing.
It was missing for MONTHS last year AFTER I'd already told HB Fire Chief Daniel Sullivan about it at a City Commission meeting.
Which was, itself, weeks AFTER I'd already told the HB Fire Dept., about it.

I've even written about this subject a few times before on my blog.

Here are some more hints:

Jan 18, 2008, photo by South Beach Hoosier
17 months ago


May 12, 2008 photo by South Beach Hoosier, 13 months ago

May 22, 2008 photo by South Beach Hoosier, 13 months ago



June 13, 2008,photo by South Beach Hoosier
And who was the City Hall genius who thought it was a good idea to okay nailing a city sign into a palm tree?

Yes, the correct answer is the American flag is what's been missing for weeks and weeks.
The version with 50 stars for 50 states, not Obama's 57-state version.

That would be the flag that flies on the flag pole right next to the empty public fountain, which, conveniently, has also been empty for many weeks.

The fountain in front of the so-called 'Beach community center' that you can't use unless you're from HB City Hall or one of their numerous back-scratching cronies.



April 28, 2009 photo by South Beach Hoosier © 2012 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved 
Looking east towards the Atlantic Ocean.

The beach-front facility which marked it's 22nd month in city hands on Wednesday, June 3rd. Twenty-two long months where you couldn't use something that already belonged to you because of City of HB incompetency and malfeasance.


May 22, 2008 photo by South Beach Hoosier
13 months ago

Then as now, the city was so incredibly incompetent that they kept the old info on the front door, with nary a sign or flier to alert people passing by as to either its new owner or true
purpose.


May 22, 2008 photo by South Beach Hoosier
13 months ago
Looking west from the beach.


June 22, 2008 photo by South Beach Hoosier

June 6, 2009 photo by South Beach Hoosier

Shocker: Thirteen months after Mike Good's "promise" at the Budget meeting at HB City Hall, a promise he made to me, there is not one single light blue recycling bin (with a lid) on the public beach -where the people are!
Just garbage containers without lids at THE windiest place in the entire city.


April 2009 photo by South Beach Hoosier



May 13, 2008 photo by South Beach Hoosier
The photo I took at HB City Hall during their City Budget meeting, where Good promised recycling bins on beach.
Those are HB plastic water bottles tossed into the garbage can because at a public meeting at City Hall where everyone talked about being "green," there was not a single recycling box or receptacle present, even though there was food.
It's the perfect example of the city saying one thing and doing quite another.



May 22, 2008 photo by South Beach Hoosier
Looking north from The Beach Club property, seven garbage cans without lids and no recycling bins in sight.

Just like last year and the year before that and the year before
that and...
I have a very strong feeling that DPW Director John Chidsey is going to start feeling like a human piñata over the next few weeks at public events from all of the valid criticism thats going to stick to him.

In fact, I'm going to make sure of it.



June 8, 2008 photo by South Beach Hoosier
How can I put this?
Dark green plastic bins on the beach specifically marked "Yard Waste Only" are NOT recycling bins.


You do know about tonight's citywide Transportation meeting at 6:30 p.m.,right?

Hm-m-m... a public discussion for an important report that was both past their original deadline and over- budget?
You'll understand if I don't really think that truth-telling is high up on HB City Hall's list of things to do on Tuesday.
Which, when you think about it, actually means that getting a good turnout of concerned and indignant HB citizens who will call them out for this should make the proceedings livelier and
quicker for those of us who attend.


May 28, 2008 photo by South Beach Hoosier
Sign on W,. Dixie Highway & N.E. 185th Street, Ojus.
Why aren't these signs present in HB in numbers even one-fourth their presence in next-door Aventura?

I'm especially interested in seeing and hearing people ask specific questions of Commissioners Julian, Ross and Sanders, and have THEM actually answer questions in detail and in complete sentences, not Good and his staff of minions, who do his bidding for such absurdly high salaries.

People need to specify that they want the Commissioners to answer, since that's why they were elected in the first place.

They were elected to represent all of us and THEY need to explain their lack of accountability or anything even close to resembling oversight, not to mention, their self-evident lack of familiarity with the subject, since they foolishly approved large development projects without there being a single real and understandable plan for the construction of a working
S.E. 2nd Street (now Hibiscus) from U.S.-1 to S.E. 14th Avenue.

That, of course, is desperately needed to relieve the enormous traffic flow that will come from the Hallandale Square project and the Oasis project that would otherwise all go onto HBB,
making that EVEN WORSE!

Ask them why they went ahead and approved it without a sensible plan in hand.



Jun 13, 2008 photo by South Beach Hoosier
Future site of Hallandale Square



June 8, 2008 photo by South Beach Hoosier
Future site of Oasis


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



May 12, 2008 photo by South Beach Hoosier
13 months ago



June 22, 2008 photo by South Beach Hoosier

The only thing on Hibiscus now when you turn right from U.S.-1 is a yellow warning sign in the middle of the block that has been twisted and bent for over FIVE years.

A sign that you can't see when you turn onto the street because it is completely obstructed by foliage.


June 22, 2008 photo by South Beach Hoosier

Once again, the city has shown itself unable to do even that simple thing.
And why isn't it closer to the intersection so you can see it?

This obstructed sign has dozens of cousins all over the city, but one I've chronicled in particular is this speed limit sign next to the old City Hall on West Dixie Highway and S.W. 3rd Street.



June 2, 2008 photo by South Beach Hoosier
Looking south on West Dixie Highway,& S.W. 3rd Street, next to the old HB City Hall.
What's the speed limit?

It was even captured for posterity on Google.
From December 2007.




June 2, 2008 photo by South Beach Hoosier
Looking east on S.W. 3rd Street towards S.W. 1st Avenue

Another Mike Good success story!

This afternoon, after the downpours, I noticed this sandwich board sign on the median of Hallandale Beach Blvd. & 16th Avenue, for left-hand turns into the Winn-Dixie parking lot, advertising it. (Actually, the sign was on the shrubs!)

June 6, 2009 photo by South Beach Hoosier
Taken from one foot away.
What can you really say about the genius of this particular effort?
It's the city in a nutshell!

June 6, 2009 photo by South Beach Hoosier

Naturally, this being the backward Duchy of Hallandale Beach, the type was FAR TOO SMALL for anyone sitting in a car to actually make sense of, plus, the rain made everything on the board bleed.
I have not seen another sign anywhere in the city this weekend, which is not to say they don't exist, only that I haven't found one.

But what I do know for a fact is that there isn't one at the city's busiest intersection, HBB & U.S.-1, or anywhere along U.S.-1, or at the busy intersection of HBB & A1A.

Why no HB Police Dept. electronic board message?
Oh, that's right, it's not related to the Hallandale Beach PAL!



May 28, 2008 photo by South Beach Hoosier
S.E. 1st Avenue & S.E. 3rd Street
City truck full of signs to put up.
So why is the HB Park & Recreation Dept. responsible for putting up signs for City Hall, but they aren't allowed to put up Parks & Rec. signs for sports registration and kids activities throughout the city, while PAL is allowed to put signs up everywhere?


June 2, 2008 photo by South Beach Hoosier



June 8, 2008 photo by South Beach Hoosier
On median in front of HB City Hall.

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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'dALREADY 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, theCity 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 forYEARS 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.
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Some older elements and building blocks formerly seen at Hallandale Beach Blog, such as photos, graphics and videos have been moved into cold storage. Visit them again or see what you've missed at: http://hallandale-beach-blog.blogspot.com/

New this year: you!

New this year: you!
Close-up photo of the cute head-turning window display 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

Paradise Lost? South Florida

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

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.

Palm tree, Stars & Stripes

Palm tree, Stars & Stripes
Palm tree obstructing the sun at Hallandale Beach City Hall, May 28, 2012 photo by South Beach Hoosier. © 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved

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

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

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!

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.

Let's end the 28-year NCAA title drought!

Let's end the 28-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.

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

ABBA

ABBA
The welcoming party that greeted me at the luggage carousel at Arlanda Stockholm Airport in January of 2013 was... ABBA. As seen in my May 7, 2013 blog post. Click photo to see that post!

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

#Södermalm

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

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.