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.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

City of Hallandale Beach subsidizes propaganda thru $50k grant to FAUX newspaper


These are excerpts from an email I sent around the

city, county, region and state to some interested parties

I know on Monday, shortly after getting wind of the

latest HB debacle under the anti-reform tag-team of

Cooper & Good and the Rubber Stamp Crew:

more cash in the pipeline for the propaganda arm

of Hallandale Beach City Hall, the South Florida



Who says that the economy is in bad shape?

You wouldn't know that if you were here last
week, since the City of Hallandale Beach,
Pop. 37,400, decided to give $50,000 to a
company that puts out the free vanity newspaper
called the South Florida Sun-Times.

So they can CONTINUE writing only positive
things about Hallandale Beach City Hall and
the people who run things there, since you
really can't call what they do there 'managing.'
Coincidentally, like the very people who write
them checks -just like they did last year.

That's the same publication that the city spent
taxpayer funds on -and employee resources on-
last December when HB city officials actually

mailed out letters soliciting local businesses to

place ads in the Sun-Times, and NOT with

other South Florida media outlets.

I've not only seen that particular letter, I've

made a copy of both it and the city envelope

it was mailed in from HB City Hall.

For those of you who perhaps don't know,
the South Florida Sun-Times is a FREE
broadsheet with no measured ABC circulation,
does NOT print Letters to the Editor,
and they

give Mayor Joy Cooper a weekly "column,"

if you can call what she writes a column, and you

won't be surprised to hear that she says whatever

she wants without any fear that any dissenting

points-of-view will ever appearing in the rag.

Since they don't actually cover the City Commission

meetings like a real newspaper, because they don't

want to bite the hand that feeds them, they allow

material and nonsense to run under Cooper's name

that is often more fictitious than factual.

Frankly, it's all the same to them as long as the city's

check doesn't bounce, so in that respect, they have

much more in common with a print shop like Kinko's

than a genuine independent newspaper.

They're a printing press for City Hall, plain and simple.

One of the more unusual things about their operations

-and I'm far from the only person in S.E. Broward

who knows this or who has noticed it- is that they

also don't hesitate to pretend to be at public events in

the area that they don't actually attend.

Yet, that doesn't prevent them from writing about
matters and discourse as if they were really there.

And as you'd guess, they are just positively delighted

with whatever people from HB City Hall say or do.

(That is, unless their name happens to be Comm.

Keith London, in which case you are practically


And isn't that what a paid government propaganda

organ is supposed to do?

Ignore those who would cast sunshine and scrutiny

on the words and behavior of the powers-that-be?


I've ACTUALLY been at some of the events
they've described, and knew who everyone
there was, and they had nobody

This includes the mysterious selection of Anthony

Sanders as an interim HB commissioner exactly

one year ago in the Commission Chambers.
There was hardly anyone there and yet...

Let's just say there's a lot of Oliver Stone-inspired
fiction in what they print.

Simply put, in a free market economy, it is NOT the

job of government, especially Hallandale Beach City

Hall, to use taxpayer funds to pick winners and losers

in the local economy, and play favorites.

What makes it especially heinous is that the foolish and

irresponsible decision is not being made by someone

whom the citizens of this community have elected, but

rather by someone that is NOT only un-elected, like

City Manager Mike Good, but someone who doesn't

even live here.

To prove that this vapid vanity press is not real journalism,
consider their allowing City Hall employees to write and
then insert something masquerading as a news article, below,
in order to spin City Hall's take on an important issue that
could hardly be more transparent, i.e City Hall paying much
more than the appraised value of Comm. Sanders property,
see my post from Oct. 27th:


If they'd had more time, the city might've even said that Anthony Sanders
was born in a log cabin!

As the great poet Anonymous once put it,
the Sun-Times is the place where,

"Seldom is heard a discouraging word,
and the skies are not cloudy all day."

Wonder if this bad trend will catch fire across
the country, or whether common sense will
ultimately prevail, and American cities that
already have such bad deals in place for
taxpayers will actually be killed?

With two weeks off for vacation, sick days
and the odd holidays, that comes out to about
$1,000 a week to subsidize a joke that
nobody-but-nobody believes and which
very few people read.

Which, of course, explains why there are
still plenty of them from July still sitting
on a shelf in HB City Hall, near the elevator
and supposed Public Notices board.
People won't take them even when
they're free!

I guess in the end, the real joke is on
Hallandale Beach's
already -beleaguered
, who have to find out after-the-fact,
months later, what their un-elected City
Manager has been doing with their money.

He's not even bothering to require the
principals involved to show-up in person
at a public city commission meeting and be
subject to any scrutiny, much less, possible

But then that's why this was handled
this particular way, because it does

Once again, un-elected Mike Good
playing Santa Claus with taxpayers

And Mayor Joy Cooper just lets him.

To protect the innocent, I've removed the names and

email addresses of some residents that appeared below.

---------- Forwarded message ----------

Sent: Tuesday,

January 13, 2009 8:16 PM

To: London, Keith

Subject: Sun Times & City Biz

Mr London,

Thank you for understanding the fact that the city should not be in the newspaper business. After reading the article in the Sun Sentinel I was appalled and shocked at the reasoning used by your fellow commissioners and Mayor for advertising in the Sun Times and their use of city funds to promote a private for-profit business. As a Broward county business person I wish that the communities in the county would "bail me out" in these challenging economic times, but as you are aware, this is not how it works. No explanation is needed, it business.

If you and your other city officials would like to explore other ways to reach the citizens of your community in a non partisan, unbiased and more economical way, please contact me, but all you need is part time graphics person, a good web press printer, and a distribution vehicle such as Valassis or the USPS (I do not work for a printer or Valassis). In addition, market the city web site via your webmaster and you'll be set.

Thanks for your time.


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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, Hollywood and Aventura.

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. But 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 and right on the Atlantic Ocean. Here, the "Perfect Storm" of years of apathy, incompetency and cronyism are all too readily apparent. Sadly for its beleaguered 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 tremendous potential because of its terrific location and well-educated populace, yet its citizens have almost become numb to HB City Hall's frequent outrages and screw-ups, the result of YEARS of the worst kind of mismanagement and lack of foresight. On a daily basis, residents and Small Business owners 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.

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 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 expect.

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.

Paradise Lost? South Florida

Paradise Lost? South Florida
TIME magazine of November 23, 1981: Paradise Lost? South Florida . Click photo to see original article.
Unless otherwise indicated, all ORIGINAL photos appearing here were taken by myself. © 2014 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved. The use or modification of original photos or original images appearing on this blog WITHOUT the written permission of the author is expressly prohibited. DO NOT modify or alter any original photo/image on this blog and use it in any other media, whether for commercial advertising, marketing purposes, political campaign advertising, or on any Social Media platform or digital media forum. Do NOT modify or alter the photos or use them in a confusing way that suggests sponsorship or endorsement, or in a way that seeks to confuse Hallandale Beach Blog with another blog. This includes but is not limited to sites such as Dipity, Facebook, flickr, MySpace, Pinterest, Posterous, Topsy, Twitter, YouTube or VIMEO. Original photos and images also can NOT be used as avatars or icons on website forums.

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.


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!


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

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!

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 29-year NCAA title drought!

Let's end the 29-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

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.

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

Ringvägen, Stockholm, Sweden

Ringvägen, Stockholm, Sweden
Poster display seen on Ringvägen, in Södermalm, Stockholm, Sweden. January 2013 photo by South Beach Hoosier. © 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved. Here's snapshot of the poster featuring the ubiquitous St. Erik, whose crowned head is the City of Stockholm's coat of arms. 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.

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

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