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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

Sun-Times.

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


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.
Why?

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

invisible.)



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?

Yes.




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

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:

http://hallandalebeachblog.blogspot.com/2008/10/decreasing-value-of-miami-herald.html




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
taxpayers
, 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
ridicule.



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

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



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.

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