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.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Last minute thoughts on HB Budget Workshop on Wednesday

Well, as you know, tomorrow at 10 a.m., the
powers-that-be at Hallandale Beach City Hall have
decreed that despite the over-riding public interest
of many HB citizens in attending and participating
in the city's public budget workshop at a convenient
time and place, they voted 4-1 against Comm.
Keith London'sperfectly
reasonable motion to
move the public workshop from a smallish second-floor
City Hall room -that's considerably smaller and less
convenient than the Commission Chambers that just
underwent repairs that YOU paid for
- and keep
it in a place where they can better tamp down
attendance and keep citizens under control.

They also voted 4-1 against moving the city budget
workshop to the evening, where more Hallandale
Beach citizen taxpayers and residents could attend
and express their opinions, ask for pertinent facts
and figures, or even demand some long-overdue
explanations from the city commission and mayor,
the all-too-often-absent city manager and his
overpaid staff.

The latter includes the various Dept. directors,
some of whom pay so little attention to matters
around them, that two months after taking over
their Dept., they don't even know that their name,
phone number and email address are STILL
not on the city's terrible website so that citizen
taxpayers can actually contact them.
You know, the people who pay their salaries?

Speaking for myself, it's hard not to see this 4-1
vote as yet another in the never-ending efforts by
Mayor Joy Cooper and City Manager Mike
Good
to orchestrate a public meeting like a
puppet show.
One guess who the puppets are?

They are deathly afraid of the kind of unscripted
and spontaneous meeting that could emerge when
a room full of well-informed citizens are present
precisely because it would mean going off in directions
that City Hall doesn't like, and for good reason.
Even they know they can't explain the
unexplainable,
and what is HB City Hall
if not unexplainable?


And how do you explain away the fact nobody ever
is held responsible and accountable and punished?

Last week, I asked an unelected city official in a
position to know whether or not the city ever even
considered moving the budget workshop to the HB
Cultural Center, since there's so much more room.

Then I decided to check if there were some time
conflicts in that building that'd prevent it from moving
there.

Answer: The city never explored it and there
are no
conflicts tomorrow that'd prevent it from
being held there.


Again, Joy Cooper and Mike Good want the
meeting in a small room because it discourages the
public from attending -and staying!

Strangely enough, back in June when the Planning
& Zoning
meeting was moved to the Cultural Center,
there were only three non-city employees in the entire
room, of whom I was but one.
But that didn't seem to bother anyone.

Cooper and Good don't want to have a scenario
where well-informed ordinary citizens ask why the
city continues to spend money in amounts and scale
(and accrue debt) that seems completely inappropriate
for a city of Hallandale Beach's size, even while simple
and self-evident problems are never properly resolved.

Problems that we see everyday that last for weeks
and months and years, like simply having appropriate
signage or ensuring public safety on city property,
including directly in front of Hallandale Beach
City Hall
.

Where are the much-needed cuts coming from and
what are the policy or procedure modifications that
will be necessary?

They'd rather talk about how much of your money
they plan on giving to cronies of theirs or waste on
the HB City of Commerce, that does zero but which
last year received $50,000.

If you doubt what I'm saying about puppet shows,
just consider how terribly botched the recent Master
Transportation Plan meeting was handled, years
late and over-budget.
The meeting that Comm. Anthony Sanders was
AWOL at, with no explanation then or since.

Despite its importance, there were no helpful handouts
of any kind for the public to peruse, and the Power Point
presentation was full of numbers and columns that were
FAR TOO SMALL to make any sense of, which
meant that citizens couldn't ask informed questions,
but instead had to generalize and got little specificity
in return.

The City Manager's office could've easily posted all
the pertinent info on the city's terrible website in
advance of the meeting, even the Friday afternoon
before the meeting, so that citizens could look at it
over the weekend and take notes.
But they didn't do that, did they?
Instead, who had the copies?
Not you, but you're the ones left to pay the bill.

Those of you who have spoken to me in the past
about what you said was your anger or seething
disgust with the longstanding unethical hijinks,
gross incompetency and low-caliber management
at Hallandale Beach City Hall, will have your
opportunity to finally stand-up and be counted,
even if it's less than the optimum situation.

Will you take advantage of it, or will you let it
slip away like so many other opportunities,
and let the Rubber Stamp Crew under Joy Cooper
once again have the last laugh at your EXPEN$E?

By the way, in case you forgot, the room that the
workshop will be held in is the same exact room
where Hallandale Beach City Manager Mike Good,
Police Chief Thomas Magill and Fire Chief
Daniel Sullivan all quit their jobs since December
-and then were magically rehired, with new
contracts
.

It's also the same exact room where the vote took
place to buy the property of Comm. Anthony Sanders
and his wife for more than it was appraised at.

And what do you know, coincidence of coincidences,
in none of these cases did the city ever comply with
the state's Sunshine Laws and make that agenda
information public beforehand as required.
Not once.

Not on the city's website and not on the printed agendas.

Hm-m-m... the city manager, police chief and fire chief
all being re-hired without any input from Hallandale
Beach citizens?

Yes, because the mayor and city manger wanted it done
that way, and City Attorney David Jove just winked at
that insult to Hallandale Beach citizens like he has so many
times before over the years.

This essay below by Sara Case is what the Balance Sheet
Online
wrote about Hollywood's budget situation back on
June 26th.
--------------
http://www.balancesheetonline.com/money.htm

Hollywood Budget: A Stone Unturned

-----------------

SPECIAL MEETING (Supporting Docs)

CITY COMMISSION, CITY OF HALLANDALE BEACH

CITY HALL, ROOM 257

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 26, 2009 10:00 AM

1. CALL TO ORDER

2. ROLL CALL

3. PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

4. OVERVIEW OF THE PROPOSED FY 2009-2010 BUDGET

5. CITY COMMISSION REVIEW OF THE PROPOSED FY 2009-2010 BUDGET

A. MAJOR EXPENDITURES BY CATEGORY

1. CAPITAL IMPROVEMENT PROGRAM (See Capital Improvement Tab)

2. GENERAL FUND (See Expenditures Tab)

3. TRANSPORTATION FUND

4. SANITATION FUND

5. CEMETERY FUND

6. WATER FUND

7. STORMWATER FUND

8. SEWER FUND

9. OVERVIEW OF LANDSCAPING PROJECTS, VEHICLE REPLACEMENT REQUESTS, AND COMPUTERIZATION REQUESTS

B. REVENUES

1. REVENUE PROPOSALS & NEW REVENUES (See Revenue Facts Tab)

C. GOLDEN ISLES SAFE NEIGHBORHOOD DISTRICT (See Expenditures Tab)

(Including Revenues) (See Revenue Detail Tab)

TO BE HEARD IN CONJUNCTION WITH GOLDEN ISLES SAFE NEIGHBORHOOD DISTRICT BOARD OF DIRECTORS MEETING ITEM #3.A.

D. THREE ISLANDS SAFE NEIGHBORHOOD DISTRICT (See Expenditures Tab)

(Including Revenues) (See Revenue Detail Tab)

TO BE HEARD IN CONJUNCTION WITH THREE ISLANDS SAFE NEIGHBORHOOD DISTRICT BOARD OF DIRECTORS MEETING ITEM #3.A.

E. COMMUNITY REDEVELOPMENT AGENCY (See Expenditures Tab)

(Including Revenues) (See Revenue Detail Tab)

TO BE HEARD IN CONJUNCTION WITH HALLANDALE COMMUNITY REDEVELOPMENT AGENCY BOARD OF DIRECTORS MEETING ITEM #3.A.

F. BUDGET NOTES (See Budget Notes Tab)

6. REAPPROPRIATIONS OF FY 2008-2009 FUNDS (See Reappropriations Tab)

7. BUDGET AGENDA

A. Discussion of Sanitation Division (Staff: Director, Public Works) (See Backup) (Staff Report)

B. Discussion of the Property and Grounds Maintenance Division (Staff: Director, Public Works) (See Backup) (Staff Report)

C. Discussion of City Web Streaming (Staff: Director, Information Technology) (See Backup) (Staff Report)

D. Discussion of Aquatics Division (Staff: Director, Parks and Recreation) (See Backup) (Staff Report)

E. Discussion of Group Medical and Dental Coverage for FY 2009-2010 (Staff: Director, Personnel)(See Backup) (Staff Report)

F. Discussion of City Programs (City Manager) (See Backup) (Staff Report)

G. Discussion of the City Commission Summer Meeting Schedule(City Manager)(See Backup) (Staff Report)

8. PUBLIC HEARINGS

A. An Ordinance of the City of Hallandale Beach, Florida Pertaining to Public Health and Safety; Amending Chapter 14 "Minimum Property Maintenance and Occupancy Code" by Creating Article IV, "Lot Maintenance and Clean Up" in Order to Require the Clean-up of Property Under Certain Conditions; Providing the Purpose and Intent of the Revision Providing Definitions; Declaring Certain Conditions on Lots, Parcels, and Tracts Within the City Boundaries to be a Nuisance; Prohibiting the Accumulation of Trash, Junk, or Debris, Living and Nonliving Plant Material, and Stagnant Water; Prohibiting the Excessive Growth of Grass, Weeds, Brush, and Other Overgrowth; Prohibiting the Keeping of Fill on Property that Results in Certain Conditions; Prohibiting Certain Conditions that Constitute an Imminent Threat to Public Health; Authorizing the City to Undertake Immediate Abatement and Remedy of Imminent Public-Health Threats; Providing for Enforcement of Violations; Requiring Notices to Owners and, if Applicable, Agents, Custodians, Lessees, and Occupants of Property in Violation of this Article; Providing for Appeals of Violation Notices; Authorizing the Imposition and Levy of Special Assessments if Costs are Incurred by the City and not Reimbursed by the Property Owner and, if Applicable, the Property Agent, Custodian, Lessee, or Occupant; Requiring Notices of Assessment; Creating Assessments for the Cost of Lot Clean-up; Establishing the City as a Special Assessment District; Authorizing the Levy of Non-Ad Valorem Assessment in Connection with Violations of this Article; Providing for Collection of Non-Ad Valorem Assessments; Authorizing an Agreement with the Broward County Property Appraiser and Tax Collector; Authorizing and Requiring the Adoption of a Resolution Regarding the City's Use of the Uniform Method of Collecting Non-Ad Valorem Assessments; Providing for Annual Non-Ad Valorem Assessment Rolls; Providing Transition Provisions and Ratifying Assessments to Recover Costs Incurred by the City to Remedy Violations Prior to the Ordinance's Enactment; Repealing all Ordinances Inconsistent with this Ordinance; Providing for Severability; Providing and Effective Date. (First Reading) (Staff: Director, Development Services) (See Backup) (Staff Report, Supporting Docs)

9. DISCUSSION OF DONATIONS TO CHARITABLE ORGANIZATIONS

A. Discussion of Donations to Charitable Organizations (Staff Report, Supporting Docs)

10. PERFORMANCE REVIEW OF EMPLOYEES HIRED BY THE CITY COMMISSION

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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'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:
_____________________________________________

Sharyl Attkisson - Stonewalled

Sharyl Attkisson - Stonewalled
Sharyl Attkisson - Stonewalled - My Fight for Truth Against the Forces of Obstruction, Intimidation, and Harassment in Obama's Washington. "Seasoned former CBS reporter Sharyl Attkisson reveals how she has been electronically surveilled while digging deep into the Obama Administration and its scandals, and offers an incisive critique of her industry and the shrinking role of investigative journalism in today’s media."

Paradise Lost? South Florida

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

Hallandale Beach Blog

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

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

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

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

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

In the Heart of a Great Country, Beats the Soul of Hoosier Nation
"In the Heart of a Great Country, Beats the Soul of Hoosier Nation." -South Beach Hoosier, 2007.

Defining The Hoosier Nation

Defining The Hoosier Nation, via IUAthletics YouTube Channel Uploaded Oct. 26, 2014 http://youtu.be/rZSKbRGA5hs Most schools have a basketball program, but we have the Hoosier Nation.
The South Florida I Grew Up In
Excerpted from Joan Didion's Miami, 1987, Simon & Schuster:
In the continuing opera still called, even by Cubans who have now lived the largest part of their lives in this country, el exilo, the exile, meetings at private homes in Miami Beach are seen to have consequences. The actions of individuals are seen to affect events directly. Revolutions and counter-revolutions are framed in the private sector, and the state security apparatus exists exclusively to be enlisted by one or another private player. That this particular political style, indigenous to the Caribbean and to Central America, has now been naturalized in the United States is one reason why, on the flat coastal swamps of South Florida, where the palmettos once blew over the detritus of a dozen failed booms and the hotels were boarded up six months a year, there has evolved since the early New Year's morning in 1959 when Fulgencio Batista flew for the last time out of Havana a settlement of considerable interest, not exactly an American city as American cities have until recently been understood but a tropical capital: long on rumor, short on memory, overbuilt on the chimera of runaway money and referring not to New York or Boston or Los Angeles or Atlanta but to Caracas and Mexico, to Havana and to Bogota and to Paris and Madrid. Of American cities Miami has since 1959 connected only to Washington, which is the peculiarity of both places, and increasingly the warp...

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

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

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

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

So this is where our tax dollars go to die?

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

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

The View from the Hallandale Beach/Hollywood city line

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

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

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

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

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

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

Looking east on State Road 858/Hallandale Beach Blvd.

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

Hallandale Beach Water Tower on A1A/South Ocean Drive

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

Looking towards southern Hollywood Beach

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sebastian the Ibis, the U-M mascot

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

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

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

Andreas Jismark, Anni Bernhard and Mats Jönsson

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

A dynamic and original talent with personality to spare!

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

Singer/songwriter Full of Keys (Anni Bernhard)

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

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

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

Full Of Keys - Cover My Eyes (Stills Video)

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

"Heart" from @fullofkeys #GrazingGrounds

Full of Keys (Anni Bermhard) on @MalouEfterTio

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

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

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

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

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

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

Breaking Away" opened in movie theaters 35 years ago today

IU's NCAA Basketball Championship banners

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

The NCAA Championship Banners

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

Here's the first banner of the Crean Era

Indiana University Athletics

Perhaps you'll enjoy this view more!

We Are IU (Official Version) 2013


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

Solrea - Sveriges bästa resesök

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

More travel advertising in Stockholm

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

Risk för snöras, istappar

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

Ringvägen, Stockholm, Sweden

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