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.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Kendrick Meek's curious out-of-the-blue Saturday morning Town Hall meeting

A last-minute email of mine that went
out across the transom late Friday night
to interested parties across the Sunshine
State concerned whether or not Rep.
Kendrick Meek would actually be making
what amounts to an in-store appearance
at Hallandale Beach City Hall on Saturday
morning, or go the route chosen by
Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

And therein lies the mystery...

This is an edited version of that email.
Friday September 11th, 2009
11:25 p.m.

Last Wednesday afternoon while up at Hollywood
City Hall for their City Commission meeting on the
explosive Police pension issue, I saw the flyer below
on their public notice board near the City Clerk's
office and snapped a shot of it.


So Congressman Meek will hold a Town Hall
meeting pertaining to Health Insurance Reform
at David Park Community Center, 108 N. Park
Road in Hollywood on Saturday the 12th from
9-11 a.m.

Not to discuss the issue of "health care reform" that
everyone originally bought into for reasons of logic,
compassion and economics, but
health insurance
the new tact taken by Obama in his effort
to sell a program that doesn't really seem to exist
on paper so much as in the hands and heads of
Senator Max Baucus's Senate Finance Committee
and staffers. http://finance.senate.gov/

(See Proposed Framework for Health Care Reform,
from Sept. 9th

Also, see various Baucus, Grassley Policy Options
for Financing Comprehensive Health Care Reform

listed at http://finance.senate.gov/sitepages/legislation.htm )

So, having been surprised at coming across this
news nine days ago without having read anywhere
else about it, I made a mental note to myself to use
the photo and mention it on the blog as the date
drew near, which was going to be Thursday.

But literally as I was in the middle of writing about it,
with my list of health care articles and links at the ready
to sprinkle here, I decided to take a break and take
a spin over to the Sun-Sentinel's Broward Politics
blog to see if there was anything percolating over there.

In retrospect, I'm glad I did because it prevented me
from writing and posting something I'd immediately
have had to pull down and make surgical edits to.

What I saw there shocked me:
Congressman Kendrick Meek plans health
care town hall in Broward
Posted by Anthony Man on September 10, 2009 09:52 AM

My first thought: Isn't that the same time that
he's supposed to be in Hollywood?

And my second was why is it being held there,
in such a small facility?

I immediately started wondering whether Meek
& Co.
would pull a phony Town Hall like another
South Florida gerrymandered congressperson
who's never had to run a competitive race for
their seat, Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

You'll recall that she recently had a pre-digested
Tele-Town Hall, which has all the civic charm
and spontaneity of a car maintenance manual.
Where seldom is heard a discouraging word...

Then, this morning, the Herald ran a similar
version on page 3B, which is what I had in my
email to you all this morning, at bottom.

This afternoon, I swung by the HB Cultural
to find out why this event was being
held Saturday morning in a facility that barely
holds 100 people, when the Cultural Center
behind City Hall can hold many times that

Well, it turns out the HB PAL is having their
abbual antique sale there the whole weekend,
so that's out, unfortunately.

But still rather curious about how the whole
event seemed to spring up overnight, since
neither I nor any of my well-informed friends
had heard anything at all about Meek actually
coming here until Thursday's Sun-Sentinel blog
post, I asked a someone in a position to know
whether or not an effort had been made to have
it in the Cultural Center in the past few weeks,
or, at a future date, when more citizens could

You might recall that during the recent
congressional recess of several weeks,
the deadest and warmest weeks of the
year in Washington, trust me, rather
than taking advantage of that time to
cross the countyline and have a health
care meeting at the HB Cultural Center,
Meek was campaigning all over the state
for the U.S. Senate.

Tonight, around 8:15, I walked by HB City Hall
and was surprised to see that a barricade had
already been erected in the parking lot near
the entrance off U.S.-1.


Looking north towards the barricade from
in front of HB City Hall,
with U.S.-1 to the right.

This, of course, was the 'one trick pony' they
employed for many years, to no positive effect,
at the city's public beach, as a substitute for
their actually patrolling the beach areas like
other South Florida oceanfront cities do,
esp. on busy three-day holiday weekends like
last weekend.

But in Hallandale Beach, under this particular
mayor, this particular city manager and this
particular police chief, that's not the way they
do things.

Which doubtless explains why there are always
so many dozens of police cars glued to the
HB Police Dept. parking lot that are never seen
on the city's roads.
But then what am I saying, you already know that,
don't you?

As you may recall, the real tip-off to potential
miscreants arriving at North Beach, with mischief
on their mind, that they had no reason to fear the
police were those bowls of cat food and water
that were placed directly in front of either the
police car's tires or underneath the chassis.
Day-after-day, week-after-week.

One of the three empty Hallandale Beach
police cars parked near the public entrance
to HB City Hall tonight.
Can't say for sure if it's one of the many
that's been growing roots over near the
Old Dixie Highway entrance to City Hall
the past few years, that were caked with
months worth of dirt.
It was too dark to tell since the three parking
lot lights closest to the entrance -shocker-
weren't working.
Just like last week and last month and...

The ruse is now in place tonight at HB City
Hall as I write this, and as you can also see,
the Meek folks don't want you taking flash
Perhaps he thinks he's Amish

Please don't take photos of the Congressman
in the building that your taxes paid for -he's
now Amish!

Why do I have a bad feeling that many
of the Hallandale Beach 108 will
be plants?

Hey, what do you know, the parking lot light
closest to the public entrance
of HB City Hall
STILL out.

And, the very light that's closest to the one
and only HB Police Dept.-controlled
camera in front of that side of City Hall.

The light that has
NOT worked for 18 of the
21 months since the cameras
first went up.

The light that HB
Police Chief Magill could
apparently care less about seeing fixed,

judging by his pathetic excuses many months
ago when I reminded the
whole Commission
during public comments of a night meeting
he was present at, how poorly the City Hall
has lit at night for years, and if they
doubted it, they could just step outside
see for themselves.

There are many cities in this country where
my comments would've led
to it being fixed
the next day, if out of embarrassment more
than anything.

But not here in HB.

Months later, that light just keeps on snoozing
thru the night.

That's your Hallandale Beach City Hall in action!


Meanwhile, down the street a few blocks,
on the median of U.S.-1 & S.E. 9th
I said hello again to our old friend
-the HB sign.

Moved a few hundred feet north many months
ago because of FDOT road construction, despite

its new location, its light STILL doesn't work,
extending its previous futile record
of being out
of commission to well over five years
longer than the U.S. fought in WWII.

Another Mike Good/Joy Cooper success story.

Now that I've added a big memory card to m
digital camera, I can shoot video
and plan on
doing so Saturday morning, to capture whatever
happens, if anything.

I strongly suggest that those of you with an
interest in attending bring along your own
camcorder to record the action,
such as it may be.

See photo at:
This weekend, I'll be posting something I've already
written about Meek and the candidates who are
seeking to replace him in Congress, and why they've
been so curiously AWOL in Hallandale Beach,
as well as the pages of the Herald and the
Sun-Sentinel, but for now, I just wanted to pass
this along in case you're up to the idea of asking
about arcane provisions of 3200 at 9 am on a
Saturday morning.

I'll be there with my camera and writing pad at the
ready, hoping for either insight or group dynamic
hijinks, but not really expecting to see either.

Posted on Fri, Sep. 11, 2009

Meek to hold town hall on Saturday in Hallandale Beach

U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek will hold a town hall meeting Saturday in Hallandale Beach to discuss proposals to overhaul the nation's healthcare system.

Meek, D-Miami, represents part of South Broward. He is also running for his party's nomination for the U.S. Senate next year.

The event will begin at 9 a.m. in the City Commission Chambers, 400 S. Federal Hwy., Hallandale Beach.

Doors will open at 8:30 a.m. Space is limited and will be provided on a first-come, first-served basis, Meek's office said.


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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.
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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!

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