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 and Europe, especially the UK 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.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Sunday's CBS4 I-Team Special at 6:30 p.m.

Sunday's CBS4 I-Team Special at 6:30 p.m.,
right before CBS News 60 Minutes.

On Sunday's show, c
orrespondent Scott Pelley
tours the Sanofi Pasteur plant in Swiftwater, Pa.,
the only one in America making the H1N1
flu vaccine.

http://www.cbs.com/primetime/60_minutes/video/?pid=NFDTH07Oqk2qQkXtPVFH7EJ3FM4AMxtZ

Reminder: Dolphins at Jets kick-off on Channel 4
Sunday is 1 p.m.


CBS4 & My33
News from CBS4 & My33
Quick Links


CBS4 SPOTLIGHTS I-TEAM INVESTIGATIONS;
Half Hour Special Includes Three New Stories


Miami, Florida... The CBS4 I-Team has been responsible for bringing South Florida viewers ground-breaking investigations that have uncovered a number of frauds, scandals, scams and hidden dangers that were adverse to the public interest. On November 1 at 6:30 PM, CBS4 will present a half-hour special, ""The I-Team Investigates: A CBS4 News Special," featuring four new I-Team investigations. The program will be anchored by CBS4's Antonio Mora and feature I-Team reporters Michele Gillen, Jim DeFede and Stephen Stock.

The segments:

Michele GillenTrucking danger investigation - Michele Gillen takes viewers into the world of 18 wheelers where an I-Team investigation finds drivers are driving with little sleep, broken brakes, and while talking on cell phones... and killing alarming numbers of Floridians in the process. Gillen shows how fines for violating the sleep policy have not changed since the Eisenhower administration. Given today's difficult economy, insiders tell us that companies are pushing their drivers to work illegal hours, carry illegal loads, and drive broken trucks... and they are doing it because they need the money.


Defede

Marlins construction - From the moment construction began on the new Florida Marlins Stadium, nearby canals, water pumps and even the Miami River became contaminated with a milky substance that engineers have traced back to the dewatering operation at the old Orange Bowl site. For weeks city engineers blasted Hunt-Moss, the main contractor for the stadium, with emails demanding they take steps to control the contamination. Jim DeFede reports.


Stephen Stock

Medicare Fraud - Medicare Fraud results in $60 billion that's stolen from the pockets of tax payers every year nationwide. And South Florida is at the center of it all. The government reports that more than $4 billion dollars in Medicare Fraud has been scammed by South Florida companies in the last four years... and that roughly $2 Billion in false claims have been stolen by a group of companies established in about a ten block area in Miami alone... what federal investigators call the epicenter of Medicare fraud in the United States. Working in conjunction with CBS' 60 Minutes, the CBS4 I-Team spent the last six months penetrating the underworld of this Medicare fraud problem. Stephen Stock talks to those who actually committed the fraud and see how it works firsthand.

WFOR and WBFS/My 33 are part of CBS Television Stations, a division of CBS Corporation.

CBS4 is "always on." For local news, sports scores, weather updates, traffic reports, entertainment news and the best video experience available on the web 24 hours a day, go to CBS4.com.

-----------------------------
http://cbs4.com/iteam


Thursday, October 29, 2009

Seeing positive public policy opportunities in a deserved object of ridicule

My comments follow the article.
------------
The Hill

GOP launches sarcastic 'friend czar' Facebook application
By Christina Wilkie
October
21, 2009

The GOP has unveiled a new tactic in its ongoing effort to dominate social media sites like Twitter and Facebook: a sarcastic Facebook Application that assesses a "tax" on Facebook users deemed to have more than the average number of friends.

Read the rest of the article at:

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

If you see the trees for the forest in this story,
you'll see an opportunity...


If only I knew someone who could write computer
code so that
we could make Social Media applications
that cross platforms and bundled all the info on
selected Facebook, Twitter, myspace, blogs,
websites, et al into a dynamic version of a
Google Alert, creating a forum for news and pithy,
sarcastic or trenchant comments about civic issues
of mutual concern.

Whether that's longstanding, intractable
issues in
all our individual regions of Florida, or more recent
issues, like in the case of South Florida,
the highly
suspect Miami Port Tunnel; the taxpayer bailout
of the Marlins Stadium and the already ballooning
costs of that rip-off; the expansion into Broward
County of I-95 tolls -Comm. Sue Gunzburger
has written me that she agrees and doesn't
approve of the
plan to change the commuter
lanes into toll lanes
; the Broward School Board's
entrenched culture of corruption, where members
feel emboldened enough to rip their own auditors
in public for actually bringing waste to light; the
continuing lack of proper and vigorous enforcement
of Sunshine Law violations by Florida cities,
counties and their Advisory Boards, as has become
an institutional practice in my town of Hallandale
Beach
, made all the worse because the city attorney,
who draws his salary from the wallets and purses
of city taxpayers, yet just sits idly by, just winking
at everything...

You could share news, tips, first-hand observations
and photos, plus receive alerts when someone
whose past comments you deem trustworthy adds
something new about the individual issue you follow.
And it's with you wherever you go.

Plus, with individual issue applications, it puts you on
record as being AGAINST them so that like-minded
people could arrange Meet-ups once in a while to see
whether there were sufficient numbers to support more
direct citizen action, whether in the form of ballot
initiatives, PAC formation, et al, and not be dependent
on press accounts of events or rallies to determine
whether there was broad or just sporadic support
for your particular position.

No longer would you be left to ponder whether a
particular sentiment about some public policy issue
was shared by just you and a few of your friends,
something you wonder about when the civic and
public policy events you attend are often full of
articulate and very well-informed people, but the
public hearing, forum or summit doesn't receive
any press coverage at all.

For instance, to cite something I'm all too familiar
with personally, and have previousdly written about,
the Tri-county Transportation Summit I attended
on Feb. 21st in Fort Lauderdale at the Broward
Convention
Center, which drew hundreds and
hundreds of smart and savvy citizens
from all over
South Florida, but which received
zero media
coverage afterwards, on a slow news
weekend.

When everyone's an informed and empowered
watchdog, and it doesn't genuinely matter whether
a news reporter shows up or not to give your meeting
validity, it makes it infinitely harder for the the
entrenched crowd and their professional mouthpieces
and flacks to try to frame the public debate and
manipulate the media.

The press actually benefits, too, by having access to
a whole new universe of well-informed (if opinionated)
people to interview to give stories some meaningful
context, so that the Tyranny of the Usual Media
Suspects
could be ended and no longer monopolize
public discourse.

For instance, to cite one glaring example, the Florida
media's continually quoting of Steve Geller regarding
almost any aspect of gambling in the state, but
conveniently neglecting to mention how much he
and his PAC have received in political contributions
from that very same industry, especially from
The Mardi Gras.

He's not an objective observer, but the press seems
unable to actually go 'cold turkey' on his quotes.
Please give him a rest.

There's a market here in Florida just waiting for someone
to fill the vacuum, as I'd happily pay a few bucks a month
to stay better-informed on the public policy issues that
I'm most interested in.
Just saying...

Meanwhile, some media folks aren't letting the bad
economy get in the way of a good idea whose time
has come.
Mediabistro's dcfishbowl, which I subscribe to,
had this post on Tuesday that caught my attention
and which I followed-up on.
--------------
dcfishbowl

Allbritton to Launch DC Metro News Website
By Matt Dornic
October 27, 2009 08:35 PM
http://www.mediabistro.com/fishbowlDC/online_media/allbritton_to_launch_dc_metro_news_website__141469.asp

The New Republic

The Owner of 'Politico' Is Going After the 'Post.' Again.

By Gabriel Sherman
October 27, 2009
http://www.tnr.com/blog/the-plank/the-owner-%E2%80%98politico%E2%80%99-going-after-the-%E2%80%98post%E2%80%99-again


The Albritton's family owned WJLA-TV, the ABC
affiliate in Washington, D.C. and created one of the
great tools for any Beltway news junkie, NewsChannel 8,
http://www.news8.net/, which
provides
in-depth
coverage of local news in the greater Washingon area:
The District, Northern Virginia and suburban Maryland.
It also re-airs all ABC News programs on weekends,
and Nightline the following morning at 10 a.m.

I've made pretty clear my strong feelings about this
area desperately needing a similar 24/7 Local News
operation here, so that context and information that
reporters actually know can actually get on the air
in something more than just small bits their alloted
time during a regular newscast.

Would've been nice to watch the myriad Marlins
Stadium hearings from home on TV with an expert
analyst in public financing, a la what Steven Brill's
Court TV used to do so well in high-profile trials.

Reminder, Monday morning is the next meeting of
the South Florida Regional Planning Council,
SFRPC
,
http://www.sfrpc.com/council/agenda11-09.htm

Monday, October 26, 2009

Just wondering... re Broward Comm. Kristin Jacobs' qualification to be on SFRTA

It's perfectly possible that Broward Commissioner
Kristin Jacobs could actually have something of
value to contribute to SFRTA, but...
of all the many transportation Forums, Workshops
and Summits that I've attended all over South Florida
the past 4-5 years, Kristin Jacobs has NEVER
been present at a single one.
EVER.

Since I last spoke to some of you in person at some
of the recent SFECC meetings throughout the area
-where we were all in agreement that they were
the most informative and planned yet
- I've
emailed you the news regarding Comm. Jacobs,
asking if you'd ever seen her at one of the myriad
transportation meetings that've been held down here,
whether over at the Broward Convention Center
or in Dania or...
(Even though I always write down which public
officials are present at any civic event I go to.)

Well, the results have been tabulated and the verdict
is that none of you reports having seen her at ANY
of these meetings, either, even if for just a drive-by
appearance.
No-show extraordinaire.
That's only confirms what I thought I knew.

I checked her bio off the web link she provides at
the bottom of this press release from last Monday,
thinking that maybe there was something I was
overlooking in her background that actually made
her a good choice, or at least a better choice than
others.

Not only is there nothing at
http://www.broward.org/jacobs/aboutkristin.htm
to suggest she'd even be average or as up-to-speed
as many of you, there's no mention whatsoever of
where she went to college, what her non-governmental
job experience is, her particular area of expertise, or,
even where she was born or when she moved here.
To me, that's pretty curious.

Frankly, I wonder whether she'd even rate a job
interview with SFRTA if she had a different name?
I suspect the answer would be "No."

(By the way, the second and third paragraph on
the official press release below are directly from
her own county bio web page.
Wow, that's not too underwhelming, is it?
Couldn't even come up with something new and
original.)

Perhaps you know something about her that I don't
about why this is a good move, and if so,
I'd love to hear it.
Something more than good intentions, though.

But based on what I've personally seen and observed
the past 4-5 years, it's hard to see this as a positive
development for anyone genuinely interested in seeing
some positive energy or enthusiasm for well-designed
public transportation in South Florida, given her own
chronic inability to actually even make it to some
pretty interesting and well-produced transportation
meetings that other South Florida citizens/taxpayers/
customers have somehow managed to find the time
and energy for, even on Saturday mornings.
Citizens like me and some of you, for instance.

If Woody Allen was correct in his oft-noted observation
that "Eighty percent of success is showing up,"
what are advocates of intelligent public transportation
in Florida supposed to make of Kristin Jacobs?

Perhaps she'll prove me wrong, but for now,
color me unimpressed.
-------
This was posted on the county's website on
October 19th at 8:45 a.m.


http://bcegov3.broward.org/newsrelease/AdminDisplayMessages.aspx?intMessageId=2371




Broward County Commission Appoints Kristin Jacobs to SFRTA



Commissioner Kristen Jacobs

Commissioner Kristen Jacobs

DATE: October 19, 2009
MEDIA CONTACT: Kimberly Maroe, Public Information Manager
Broward County Commission
PHONE: 954-357-8053


Broward County Commissioner Kristin Jacobs has been appointed by the Broward County Board of County Commissioners to serve as their representative on the South Florida Regional Transportation Authority (SFRTA).

Key to Commissioner Jacobs' vision for the future is reinventing Broward's urban corridors and downtown areas while building a sense of community through the principles of smart growth, affordable housing and easy-to-use transportation.

For many Broward residents, health or age related issues make driving a car impossible. Commissioner Jacobs fought to create and fund a network of community shuttles which brings mass transit opportunities into our neighborhoods. She has consistently backed alternative transportation options that move people not cars, including mass transit, Tri-Rail and a Regional Transportation Authority.

The SFRTA was created with a vision to provide greater mobility in South Florida, thereby improving the economic viability and quality of life of the community, region and state. The Authority's mission is to coordinate, develop and implement a viable regional transportation system in South Florida that endeavors to meet the desires and needs for the movement of people, goods and services. For information, call 888-GO-SFRTA or visit
www.sfrta.com.

For more information on Broward County Commissioner Kristin Jacobs, visit www.broward.org/jacobs.


Release Properties




Date: 10/19/2009 8:45 AM

Photos: 1

Keywords: Government, Transportation

News Type: News Release




Released by the Office of Public Communications
E-mail: publicinfo@broward.org
954-357-6990 * Fax: 954-357-6936

Monday, October 19, 2009

Foursquare blows-off South Florida for Indy, Omaha & 13 other cities. They want you to beg for it, first!

Foursquare blows-off South Florida
for Indy, Omaha & 13 other American
cities.

Marketing types want you to beg for it
first, like you once begged for ESPN 2.

Sort of makes you think they should
get a placement deal with Bravo or
E! for one of their reality shows, eh?
Just not Miami Social.


---------------------
New York Observer
Foursquare Gets the Times Treatment
By Gilles Reagan
October 19, 2009

Foursquare, the location-based mobile application that the Observer has featured several times, has (finally!) earned a profile in the New York Times.

As co-creator Dennis Crowley told us in July, Foursquare's next step was to "aim past the nerds." Mr. Crowley and Naveen Selvadurai might get what they want with a Times article, which will reach a widespread, mainstream readership. But is that what its users want? According to Jenna Wortham's piece, "underground status is part of Foursquare's appeal, its fans say," she wrote. "It is not yet cluttered with celebrities, nosy mothers-in-law or annoying co-workers."

Read the rest of the story at:
http://www.observer.com/2009/media/foursquare-gets-times-treatment

-------------
New York Times
Face-to-Face Socializing Starts With a Mobile Post

By Jenna Wortham

October 19, 2009

Twitter and Facebook ask users to answer the question: What are you doing right now?

But for many urbanites in their 20s and 30s, two other questions are just as important: Where are you, and can I come join you?

For them, a fast-growing social networking service called Foursquare is becoming the tool of choice. A combination of friend-finder, city guide and competitive bar game, Foursquare lets users “check in” with a cellphone at a bar, restaurant or art gallery. That alerts their friends to their current location so they can drop by and say hello.

Read the rest of the story at:
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/19/technology/internet/19foursquare.html

-------------
See http://foursquare.tumblr.com/post/213931642/foursquare-taking-north-america-by-storm for the list of cities that will have this available long before before
South Florida ever gets a sniff.

Former Miami Herald reporter Debbie Cenziper's new series at WaPo: Wasting Away: The Squandering of D.C.'s AIDS Dollars

Former Miami Herald reporter
Debbie Cenziper's new eye-opening
series at the Washington Post:
Wasting Away: The Squandering
of
D.C.'s AIDS Dollars
--------------------

Wasting Away

The Squandering of D.C.'s AIDS Dollars

Staggering need, striking neglect

The nation's worst-hit city awards millions for care and shelter without ensuring it gets to those it's meant to help



By Debbie Cenziper
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, October 18, 2009

Staggering need, striking neglect, The nation's worst-hit city awards millions for care and shelter without ensuring it gets to those it's meant to help, Failing HIV/AIDS Patients in an Ailing City,
A three-part documentary explores troubled AIDS groups and the lives affected by a lack of adequate care.
A breakdown of where the money went, highlighting questionable spending throughout the city.

Series webpage
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/special/metro/aids-funding/

Sunday's first story:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/10/17/AR2009101701984.html?hpid%3Dskybox&sub=AR

I'll have more to say about this later.

Some straight talk about how Miami-Dade Commissioners use their discretionary funds, and the ethically-curious slippery slope Comm. Sally Heyman increasingly finds herself occupying

First, some necessary predicates to better understand the following blog post.

I think Matthew Haggman is one of the best reporters and most valuable assets of the Miami Herald.
If people like him ever start bailing out, it'll really be all over but the shouting.

I also think Carlos Alvarez as County mayor is a tremendous disappointment to tens of thousands of people, and his pathetic attempt to try to show-up Haggman recently at one of his press conferences only showed how far he's fallen.

He deserves to be recalled from office
and just may self-destruct before it's all over.
His political future is in such a death spiral that a black hole would be a relief.

My comments follow the article.

---------------
Miami Herald
http://www.miamiherald.com/460/story/1288062.html

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY

Miami-Dade commissioners sitting on millions in taxpayer funds

Miami-Dade commissioners are in control of $5 million in unspent money, angering groups facing budget cuts and watchdogs who say the kitty should be taken out of politicians' hands.

By Matthew Haggman and Jack Dolan

October 18th, 2009
As Miami-Dade County fires hundreds of workers and slashes funding for nonprofit groups, county commissioners are sitting on a mountain of cash and are determined not to give it up.
Chairman Dennis Moss controls a stockpile of more than $1 million. Commissioner Sally Heyman has a stash totaling $955,064. Commissioner Jose "Pepe'' Diaz holds $548,651, Commissioner Bruno Barreiro $479,168 and Commissioner Katy Sorenson $353,691.
In all, the 13 commissioners have more than $5 million in unspent cash from last fiscal year at their disposal -- surplus office funds carried over into the new budget year. Some have carried over unspent office funds for years, building the money pile.
All other taxpayer-funded county departments, including the mayor's office, return unspent money to the county general fund to be budgeted the following year. Yet commissioners, who approve every dollar of the county budget, keep the excess while still giving themselves a new, fully-funded budget each year.
The practice has allowed commissioners to amass vast sums that they alone control and can use -- or not -- with few restrictions.
While the $5 million is a fraction of the $444 million budget shortfall the county just faced, it sits untapped at a time when commissioners have implored county administrators to search under every proverbial seat cushion for extra dollars. On Tuesday, for instance, commissioners instructed staffers to find $1.3 million somewhere in county coffers to avoid cutting elderly social service programs.
Yet, during the recent budget debates, commissioners made no mention of the individual pots of taxpayer money they've accumulated.
"I am stunned,'' said Catherine Penrod, CEO of Switchboard of Miami, a suicide prevention nonprofit that, like many agencies, saw its county funding cut 30 percent. "It's hard for me to believe that it is OK to stockpile money like this when there is such a great need out there.''
Social service groups and union leaders say the surplus money should be rolled into the county's general fund and reallocated to community groups struggling to survive the crippling economic downturn, used to save jobs, or to bolster next year's budget. Some suggest it be returned to cash-strapped taxpayers through a small, but symbolic, reduction in the tax rate.
Stan Hills, president of the county firefighters union, looked at the list of commissioners' surpluses and said, "Any money that's available should be used for core services that have been cut. We have response time problems all over the county. I'm sure the police could use the money, too.''
Commissioners show little inclination to part with taxpayer money some regularly call their own. Nor are they willing to let others decide what to do with it -- saying, if anything, the reserves show they have been frugal.
"I will determine how the monies are spent in my budget, not The Miami Herald, not the media,'' said Chairman Moss. His unused fund is the largest, in part because Moss controls more duties as commission chair, including the offices of protocol and media.
"This is the way it's been done historically, the way it's done now, and the way it will be done in the future,'' he said.
Last year, commissioners budgeted themselves $930,000 each -- which is slated to be reduced by 10 percent this year -- to pay the rent and utility bills at their district offices, and to pay salaries for as many as 10 personal staffers. Top aides can earn in excess of $100,000 per year.
By contrast, Florida State Representatives get an annual budget of $29,784 to pay the rent and utilities in their district offices. Each representative is allowed two staffers, who typically earn less than $40,000 and are paid through a state account the elected state leaders don't personally control.
State representatives can't stash away money from the office budget and carry those surpluses over from year to year.
Across Florida, allowing politicians to carry over unspent office funds is unusual, said Dominic Calabro, president and CEO of Florida TaxWatch, the Tallahassee-based government watchdog group. Extra public dollars typically revert back to the government treasury, not kept by individual politicians.
"These are not commissioners' personal funds; these funds come out of the sweat of hard-working taxpayers,'' Calabro said.
Miami-Dade Commissioners previously came under fire for granting themselves $727,500 each in discretionary funds to personally dole out to district constituents and businesses, an unusual political payout that helps commissioners curry favor with voters. That money, which is being reduced this year by more than $400,000 per commissioner, is separate from the office accounts.
Under Dade's rules, commissioners are able to distribute their surplus office money to community groups, or even other commissioners who have blown their own budgets.
This past year, for example, Commissioner Natacha Seijas dipped into her surplus to transfer $14,811 to Commissioner Barbara Jordan, who overspent her $930,000 office budget for the fiscal year ending Sept. 30.
Neither Seijas, who has accumulated $449,257, nor Jordan responded to interview requests.
Such transfers can raise questions about transparency and accountability, said Tony Alfieri, director of the University of Miami's Center for Ethics and Public Service.
When one commissioner bails out a fellow commissioner, said Alfieri, it creates a risk of favor trading with scant public monitoring.
Heyman -- sitting on nearly a million dollars in unspent taxpayer money -- said she saw the current fiscal crisis coming years ago and has been diligently saving her office funds, clipping coupons, paying her office staff less than other commissioners and eschewing fancy caterers at community events she hosts.
"Costco sheet cakes are a hell of a lot cheaper than Publix sheet cakes,'' she told a reporter asking about her surplus.
She said she'll use the money to host charity fundraisers and other community activities she says are not meant to win political favor. "When I'm underwriting a walk for the blind, I don't ask if the blind people live in my district,'' Heyman said.
Barreiro, also carrying over a weighty sum, pitched his actions as a benefit to taxpayers. ``I've been frugal,'' he said. "I'm not one who thinks that all the money that has been budgeted should be spent this year.''
Barreiro added that he would give some of the money to nonprofit social service agencies ``as projects warrant.''
Diaz said now may well be the perfect time to earmark the money.
"I believe it is important to maintain reserves in anticipation of a rainy day and, as you know, right now it is pouring,'' Diaz said. "If there is a proposal regarding the use of these dollars to save jobs or keep programs going, I will review and consider such proposals.''
To which TaxWatch's Calabro responded: "A rainy day fund would be in the treasury, not in their personal patronage pot. Frankly, this is a practice that should be eliminated. It is inappropriate in good times, and clearly out of line now.''

-----------

CBS4's Stephen Stock and the I-Team did several great stories on the questionable spending practices of the Commission and their massive discretionary accounts back in the spring.
As the best investigations tend to do, they raised even more questions about the the royal bubble that the Commissioners have created around themselves, and the shallow, self-serving nature of their responses to
honest questions and criticisms.

http://cbs4.com/iteam/investigation.carry.over.2.954322.html
http://cbs4.com/iteam/commission.mudget.broward.2.957878.html
http://cbs4.com/iteam/iteam.tax.spending.2.955862.html

http://cbs4.com/iteam/miami.dade.commission.2.907201.html

http://cbs4.com/iteam

Given that the Herald and the TV station are supposed to be "news partners,' you'd think they'd have figured out a way to mention this past fact-finding, or at least have links to those I-Team reports on the Herald's website for this particular article.
But they don't.


Maybe I'm old fashioned, but as I told a Channel 4 exec in February when I was down at the station, in my opinion, it's NOT really a team if they refuse to ever give you credit for the hard work you've already
done
.
This is precisely the sort of important story that the newspaper and station ought to be collaborating on if they were a real team, in order to bring enough resources -and pressure- to bear on the M-D
county commissioners. http://www.miamidade.gov/commiss/

But instead, the Herald acts like they're the only ones prospecting in that particularly rich vein of the mine, and yet bring nothing new to this story.

Well, other than the insolent attitude of the commissioners finally emerging in print in ways that are far different from what they were when they were being interviewed on camera by Channel 4.
Imagine that!

 
Based on what I've written before in my blog on in emails to some of you, the fact that, as proven yet again in this article, Chairman Donald Moss is an insufferable horse's ass with no concept of public good or perception is NOT exactly Breaking News to me, even if it may be to you.

He personally, and his ilk, are precisely one of the reasons why life in South Florida is the way it is -and so much less than it ought to be.

I've generally been ambivalent-to-supportive of Sally Heyman, but if I were her, I might start re-thinking my role of playing the great public curmudgeon, the ethical moralizer of everyone else's actions and motives, all
while sitting on nearly a million dollars of taxpayers funds you're personally using as a political slush fund to engender political support and positive PR spin,
http://www.miamidade.gov/district04/home.asp

There are a lot of rich and successful people living in District 4, stretching as it does from just south of me in Aventura to Miami Beach, people who ARE pro-reform and have both the means and the issues to
politically decapitate Sally Heyman in an election campaign, if they were so motivated.
Up 'till now they haven't been.

They have the collective ability to put money into a savvy and well-choreographed media political campaign the likes of which this area has seldom seen before, including a pro-reform TV campaign that highlights
with great clarity and specificity the disparity between what Heyman publicly says and what she actually does.

And uses that as a springboard for county-wide ballot issues that can go right at the heart of the bureaucratic beast.

Right now, they can't do anything directly, per se, about the glut of Barbara Jordans, Dorrin Rolles and
Natacha Seijas littering the South Florida landscape like glossy nighclub cards on Miami Beach sidewalks,
but they can make an example of the person on the commission who is supposed to be representing them in an ethical and scrupulous fashion.
And they can enjoy themselves while doing so.

Trust me, just because the Beth Reinhards of the world don't have the sense to see the larger picture, or to contact some of these people I'm talking about, to sound them out, is of no real consequence.
Frankly, given her reportorial style, she likely wouldn't know until someone else tells her, after-the-fact, perhaps thru a PR release, which, sadly, seems to be how far too much gets into both the Herald and Sun-Sentinel these days.

That they don't care what Reinhard thinks -and neither should you, if you really want to know the truth- should cheer you up straight-away.

Sally Heyman's past hard work and good intentions will count for very little when and IF she is increasingly perceived as someone who has made the fatal political mistake of taking things for granted and overstaying her welcome.

So much so, that she became part of the larger problem and not part of the solution.
Given the great resources available and perfectly capable of sending her packing, toute-de-suite, Heyman's rather smarmy self-justifying comments here can only be interpreted one way.

Christmas just came early for those who believe Miami-Dade County can and ought to be more than just a self-serve ATM for second-rate politicos eager to create slush funds out of taxpayers funds.

And Sally Heyman has just presented them with yet another gift-wrapped issue to tie around her neck like an anchor.

For those interested in real reform and accountability, not just pretend reform, Heyman's growing track record of hypocrisy here is the gift that keeps on giving.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Tonight's Hollywood "Community Meeting to Discuss Curriculum for Elem. School "C"

Since I wrote about Ann Murray again
in an email last week that discussed
some matters and also linked to Bob
Norman
's excellent stories, in case
some folks hadn't seen his stories
originally, esp. the great one around
Labor Day about her hitting the road
for parts north of here for some
cold hard campaign cash, titled

A
nn Murray Gets the Royal Treatment
archives at http://blogs.browardpalmbeach.com/pulp/
I've received 8 more emails attacking
Murray and Gottlieb as no-nothing,
'reform sell-out' phonies.

Per the Herald's story of Monday
Put construction committee on hold,
Broward School Board member says
http://miamiherald.typepad.com/nakedpolitics/2009/10/put-construction-committee-on-hold-broward-school-board-member-says.html
one well-informed Hollywood activist
finally uttered the phrase that first
occurred to me this past spring,
after I wrote about the fact that more
than six months after being her
being elected, Murray's email address
was STILL not on the Broward School
Board's website, and my frustration
at not getting ANY sort of response
from School Board staff to this news:
Ann "Rip Van Winkle" Murray



The consensus from people who've
written me -hardly scientific- is
that the same effort by Broward
powers-that-be that forced the
school into the Lincoln Park
neighborhood in the first place
-and ruined their neighborhood
park
-is part of Jennifer Gottlieb's
long-term efforts to placate her
supporters, many of whose children,
like her's, will soon be too old
to continue going to their present
Montessori school in FTL.

According to these same emails,
the script is already being written
whereby Gottlieb comes to the
rescue and does what's necessary
to make sure that the public school
in Lincoln Park uses the Montessori
Method
, so they don't have to
pay
for a private Montessori,
like the one on Hollywood Blvd.,
which, from what I'm told by some
of you, charges about $900 a month.

So, going into this meeting tonight,
which so many of you have been
reminding me about, that's the
leading
theory as of now, so make
of it what
you will.

Since I'm not sure if I'll be there
tonight, if you go tonight, please
drop me a line tomorrow about
what your thoughts are about what
you saw and heard, as well as any

pieces of the puzzle that were
curiously missing from the overall
picture.


I suspect the meeting will be quite
an interesting spectacle tonight,
with lots of verbal thrusts and volleys,
given that usual allies will be on on
different sides of this issue,
depending
on geography,
personal friendships
and political
alliances, and the respective
ages
of their own kids.

The personal becomes the political.

And even now, Peter Deutsch and
Ben Gamla's attempt to overwhelm
a family neighborhood in Hallandale
Beach with a K-12 Broward public
school, and all the attendant traffic
from all points of the compass,
including a lot from Aventura,
Sunny Isles and NMB in M-D,
looms on the horizon as a fight
that'll be joined before the end
of the year...

_____________________
City of Hollywood
, Florida

Office of the City Manager

PRESS RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

October 12, 2009

Contact: Raelin Storey

Public Affairs and Marketing Director

Phone: 954.921.3098

Cell: 954.812.0975 Fax: 954.921.3314

E-mail: rstorey@hollywoodfl.org

Community Meeting to Discuss Curriculum

for Elementary School "C" Thursday, October 15th

HOLLYWOOD, FL - The City of Hollywood will host a community meeting on Thursday, October 15, 2009 at 6:00 p.m. in the Commission Chambers, Room 219 of Hollywood City Hall located at 2600 Hollywood Boulevard. The purpose of the meeting is to discuss the proposed curriculum for the new elementary school currently being constructed at Lincoln Street and 24th Avenue in Hollywood.

Representatives from Broward Schools including Dr. Joel Herbst, South Area Superintendent and Valerie Wanza, South Area Manager, will be on hand to answer questions regarding the proposal for the new school to include pre-K through 8th grade students.

For additional information, please contact Raelin Storey, Public Affairs and Marketing Director, at 954.921.3098.

# # #

Raelin Storey
Public Affairs and Marketing Director
City of Hollywood
954-921-3098 (Office)
954-812-0975 (Cell)
954-921-3314 (Fax)


What Angelica Huston saw that night in 1977, and why Hollywood's pleas for mercy ring hollow

Some Midwestern perspective from
Chicago Tribune columnist John Kass
reminds us what Angelica Huston saw
that night in 1977, and why Hollywood's
pleas for mercy ring hollow now.


As some of you out there already know,
I've always been a tremendous fan of
actress
Debra Winger, and have even
dragged myself to small films of hers
that only got middling reviews but
where she was personally amazing.

But her recent statements of late
supportinve of
Polanski have been
so creepy and dis-connected from reality
that I just can't fathom her saying them,
nor can I imagine being willing to make
as much effort to seek out and pay
to see her on the big screen in the future.
http://news.google.com/news?source=ig&hl=en&rlz=&=&q=Roman%20Polanski&um=1&ie=UTF-8&sa=N&tab=wn

But if you read the comments here from
last month,
http://lebuzz.info/2009/09/32491/coup-de-gueule-mais-pourquoi-donc-fallait-il-arreter-roman-polanski/
you'll see that there are a lot of other people
who think like
Winger, and who can't just
accept the unpleasant facts as they are and
want to imagine that there is something else
in play here, because then they can trot out
their old standby canards and pat explanations
for why the world is the way it is.
Any why
Polanski was finally arrested in
la Suisse.

Unlike 99% of those of you who'll actually
see these words, I've actually seen many
of
Polanski's pre-Chinatown films.

I mention that only because so many
of the TV and newspaper reporters who
have been reporting on the current story
seem to completely forget -or don't know-
how he got to be who he was in Hollywood's
firmament in the first place, starting with
the attention he got with his films like
Knife in the Water (Nóz w wodzie)
among others, and instead, always start
their stories with the
Manson Family
murder of his wife Sharon Tate,
one of the most beautiful and beguiling
women of the era.

In that respect, it's just like the
South Florida media's usual coverage
of local news: no context or perspective
and far too often, leaving out the
most
important elements because
the reporters aren't smart enough
to
realize why they're important
in the first place
.

So you wind- up with a muddled mess
masquerading as news coverage when
it's really just gruel by any other name.

--------------
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/columnists/chi-kass-15-oct15,0,718687.column

Chicago Tribune

Hollywood's pleas for mercy ring hollow

John Kass

October 15, 2009


Hollywood stars, producers and directors often pride themselves on their moral compass and their compassion for the victims of outrage.

They insist upon speaking of it, even if nobody asks, on those TV talk shows while plugging their latest movie. Sometimes, to prove it, they'll run out and adopt a child from an impoverished Third World nation. The child always has big eyes, innocent, hurting, in need.

And now, in another fit of compassion, Hollywood royals are signing petitions, issuing statements, in the hope of saving one of their own:

Roman Polanski.

Polanski, the noted film director, is having trouble finishing his new thriller, "The Ghost," because he's being held in a jail cell in Zurich.

"It's a nightmare looming that the director might be in jail at the time," Polanski's film collaborator, Richard Harris, was quoted as saying Wednesday. "But we will just have to cope with this. ... I'm sure he would want the film to go ahead, having worked on it for two years."

A movie in limbo is terrible. Almost as bad as justice in limbo.

As many of you know, Polanski is otherwise indisposed because he's being held as a fugitive convicted of having sex with a minor, and is awaiting extradition to the U.S.

In 1977, when he was 44, Polanski took 13-year-old model Samantha Gailey into the home of actor Jack Nicholson, gave her a quaalude and some champagne, and then forced himself on her as she repeatedly begged to go home, according to her grand jury testimony. Polanski pleaded guilty to sex with the child, then fled to Europe when he became afraid of doing time in prison.

Polanski's great champion, Miramax studio boss Harvey Weinstein -- dismissing the outrage against a child as "the so-called crime" -- is pushing a petition for Polanski's release on moral grounds.

"Hollywood has the best moral compass, because it has compassion," Weinstein said recently. "We were the people who did the fundraising telethon for the victims of 9/11. We were there for the victims of Katrina and any world catastrophe."

Anjelica Huston, Nicholson's former girlfriend, was in the home when the crime occurred. According to a probation report in Polanski's case, Huston knocked on a bedroom door and Polanski opened it, naked, and told her everything was all right. Then he closed the door and continued with the girl.

Huston said Samantha looked older than 13. Another woman in the home said Samantha seemed like one of those young women who wanted to get into the movies.

"She seemed sullen, which I thought was a little rude," Huston told investigators. Years later, Huston would direct an acclaimed movie titled "Bastard Out of Carolina," about a girl, sometimes sullen, who was repeatedly raped by her stepfather.

In Carolina, not in Hollywood.

Hollywood is the place where director Woody Allen is honored as a great talent. He once made me laugh. But then he ran off with Soon-Yi, the adopted daughter of his longtime girlfriend, Mia Farrow.

When Allen first met Soon-Yi, she was a child, young enough for bedtime stories. And I couldn't help but wonder whether Woody ever read "Winnie the Pooh" to the girl, about Piglet and the Heffalump. That killed my Woody Allen laugh buzz.

When she was little, she probably had big eyes, too. Like the eyes of the other children adopted by the stars. Like all our eyes, when we were children.

Like the eyes I remember staring at me in a movie theater years ago. The little girl was about 4 years old, her head facing away from the screen, on the seat in front of me and my wife.

Up on the screen, there was violence, physical violence, psychological violence, and then sex and more violence. It was an action movie, but action movies should really be called Kill Movies, because human beings are killed in them, but not before they have sex.

I forget the movie, but I can't forget that girl, staring. Maybe her parents couldn't get a sitter. Most likely they were morons. The little girl winced as an actor up on the screen began to scream.

Americans have a gut feeling about Hollywood. We desperately love the movies, though we don't fully understand the bargain we've made: We're thoroughly entertained, yet constantly assaulted, and the payment for the escapism is that we grow increasingly numb.

The industry has a well-documented history of exploiting young girls, their bodies in real life, their images up on the screen, to be sold as sexual objects, the age of the females ever younger and younger, just as the Kill Movies grow more graphic and gory with each passing year. It's called being "edgy."

"(The Polanski arrest) is based on a three-decades-old case that is dead but for minor technicalities," said actress Debra Winger. "We stand by him and await his release and his next masterpiece."

But isn't his masterpiece already here?

It's the story of the defense of the director who had sex with a child, as told by compassionate Hollywood royals. It says everything we need to know about what they think of themselves -- and of us.

Recent John Kass columns and videos: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/columnists/chi-johnkass,0,5724822.columnist

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Johnson Street RFP Developer Interviews at Hollywood City Hall

Meanwhile in Hollywood...
Wednesday morning at 9 a.m.,
I'll be at Hollywood City Hall,
Room 219, for the public
evaluation and presentation
of the four submitted proposals
for the Johnson Street
redevelopment project.
http://www.hollywoodfl.org/html/JohnsonStBeachRFP.htm

Though it's open to the public,
this meeting won't have a public
Q&A component.

As it was explained to me recently,
each team will have 40 minutes to
make their presentation, 15 minutes
for Q&A from the Hollywood
Evaluation Committee, who were
all 'coned,' and with 5 minutes for
breaks/other, so that the morning
can pass in an organized fashion
that's fair for all involved and
understood by everyone in advance.
The deliberations will begin at 1:00 p.m.

(Were that we had some of this sort of
fair and common sense logic in the
Duchy of Hallandale Beach!)

The proceedings will be taped for later
broadcast on Channel 78 to ensure
maximum awareness of the various proposals.
on Thursday, October 15 at 6:00 p.m.
and Monday, October 19 at 9:00 a.m.

You will also be able to view the meeting
beginning on Thursday, October 15 on
the City of Hollywood website
www.hollywoodfl.org on the Johnson
Street RFP webpage.

The proposals will be judged on a
pass/fail basis, and all four could pass
or none of them or some number under
four.
The more the merrier.

Like your sense of anticipation of
a really successful first date at a nice
upscale restaurant you enjoy being at
but don't go to very often, I hope
to be pleasantly surprised and maybe,
dare I say it, even "Wowed."

But I'm also prepared to have to later
chalk it all up as just a valuable
"learning experience' if not so great,
and start all over again.

The competitors that pass tomorrow
will then move on to the meeting with
the Hollywood City Commission on
Wednesday October 21st to confirm
their status. since in the end, it's the
Commission's decision.

A 'coned' status will remain on the
Evaluation Comm. and the Hollywood
City Commission after Stage 2 until
the City Manager executes a signed
agreement with the winning bidder.

At which point, no doubt, a day of
national Thanksgiving will likely
be held to commemorate this feat!
And there will be much rejoicing!

Greetings from Hollywood
http://www.orlandosentinel.com/travel/destinations/florida/orl-travel-greetings-from-florida-postcards,0,785440.photogallery

Sunday, October 11, 2009

¿Ya es lunes? Dear Dolphins: Do we have to wear our orange sombreros, too? Me gusta Lana Parrilla!

Orange you glad I reminded you?

Below, excerpt from a recent email
I received from the Dolphins.

Is It Next Monday Yet?

Fresh off the big win against AFC East rival Buffalo Bills, the Miami Dolphins face another rival, the New York Jets, next Monday, October 12th at 8:30 p.m. at Land Shark Stadium.

Be here to see live:

  • Dolphins players wear ORANGE jerseys for only the third time ever. The last two times the team wore orange jerseys resulted in Dolphins’ victories!
  • The Dolphins along with the NFL celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month. Among the festivities is Latin Grammy award-winning Jesse and Joy performing live at the Land Shark Tailgate Stage, Marc Anthony singing the national anthem and a special “Celebration of the Americas” halftime show with participation by Gloria Estefan and a live performance by Jocelyn Rivera.

So be here for what promises to be an unforgettable night in South Florida in this Monday Night Football game. Wear your Dolphins ORANGE and come ready to FIESTA!

---------------------
Actually, I have quite a lot of orange
t-shirts, but this makes as much marketing
sense as having IRL drivers in Davie at
Dolphins HQ, and the Herald mentioning
that the drivers were photographed next
to the Dolphins Super Bowl trophies
from 35 years ago, plus the the racing
trophy.

But be sure to call me if you spot
Lana Parrilla of CBS-TV's upcoming
drama Miami Trauma before kickoff!
Her I adore!
http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0663469/
Ever since Boomtown seven years ago.

(
Per Lana's show Miami Trauma,
where she'll play surgeon Eva Zambrano,
-"It could be paradise.
But even paradise needs its angels",
see
http://twitpic.com/32l5u
and
http://www.jbfilms.com/archive/home.html
-
some of the well-informed people
I hear from regularly in LA, plus,
the plugged-in folks at The Wrap,
http://www.thewrap.com/ind-column/cbs-says-yes-more-flashpoint-8265
have suggested it could air in a few
months on Tuesdays at 10 p.m. after
NCIS:LA's time slot if the Juliana
Margulies vehicle The Good Wife
is eventually axed.

Personally, I think there are other CBS
shows that really ought to get axed before
Good Wife, which I really enjoy because
of its excellent cast and nuanced intelligent
approach to a situation seldom dealt with
well on TV -family life after a political
scandal
.

Plus Margulies is not only a very talented
actress, but is also very, very likable and
someone that other talented people enjoy
working with.
That still counts for something, even in the
Hollywood of 2009.

Personally, I think NCIS: LA is a better
idea for a TV series than reality has proven
thus far, since it leaves me cold so far,
even though I'm a big fan of NCIS,
having watched it from the very beginning.
)

Don't want to even think about the 1,001
ways the Herald and Sun-Sentinel will
use the word "siesta" on Tuesday if los
Dolphins lose to los Jets.

If so, I will have todo sobre ESPN
using Spanish in particularly galling,
over-the-top ways throughout the
ballgame.

Which Hispanic celebs will they interview
at halftime?

What's the over-and-under on someone
on the broadcast team using the words
"salsa" or "caliente"?

What sort of ridiculous and cringe-worthy
things will new owner and celebrity groupie
Stephen Ross or possibly
Dolphins
Enterprises
CEO Mike "Hanging Sox"
Dee
say about the Dolphins trying to
're-connect' with South Florida's Hispanic
population?
(Re-connect? Where did they go?)


It could get very bad very quickly when
they start spouting their marketing nonsense,
something which plagued all the early media
stories about both men, esp. Ross' very
dopey comments about his making the
Dolphins more Miami-er, read,
they were too Broward under Huizenga.

excerpt from June 26, 2009
Miami Herald

by Daniel Chang and Adam H. Beasley

MIAMI DOLPHINS:
SINGING WITH THE DOLPHINS?
...Ross emphasized that the Dolphins' priority remains winning games, but he said the team is serious about reaching out to Hispanics, even in a community, Miami-Dade County, where more than half the population identifies as Hispanic.
Jose Cancela, principal of Hispanic USA Inc., a Hispanic market communications firm, said the union of the Dolphins and two of Miami's best known entertainers was a long time coming.

"This is the home of [Spanish-language TV networks] Univision and Telemundo, the home of some of the most famous stars of Latin America," he said. "This is really the Spanish-language Hollywood . . . and it's been sitting at the Dolphins doorstep for a number of years, and it was smart to take advantage of it."

While most marketing efforts in South Florida will naturally reach Hispanics, Cancela said the Dolphins will benefit by personalizing the pitch with recognizable faces and in Spanish.

"You want to do it in language, in culture he said of marketing efforts that target Hispanics. "If you go in language and nuanced correctly, you'll reach them even deeper and create a deeper bond."

BILINGUAL DUET
Ross said all team press releases will now be issued in Spanish and English. A Spanish-language website for the team will launch Aug. 15. And Gloria Estefan and Hank Williams Jr. will debut a bilingual duet of the Monday Night Football theme song, Are You Ready for Some Football, on the Oct. 12 telecast -- the night the Dolphins host their archnemesis, the New York Jets, at LandShark Stadium.

Mike Dee, the Dolphins' chief executive, said the team wants to motivate more Hispanics to become "active fans" who attend games.

And although home-game attendance is about 37 percent Hispanic, according to Dolphins marketing director George Torres, Dee said that's not good enough.

"We're not where we want to be," he said. "We want to be the best in the NFL."

Ross first approached the Estefans shortly after acquiring the team in January from H. Wayne Huizenga. Ross' mediator was Miami condo developer Jorge Perez, a friend and business partner.

Perez said Ross had the "laid-back Anglo" demographic covered with Buffett, and wanted to broaden the team's appeal to the largest ethnic group in Miami-Dade.

Perez immediately thought of the Estefans, and he arranged a meeting.

"Steve has been looking to make the Dolphins a totally integrated team," Perez said. "There needed to be great outreach and inclusion in the Hispanic community and not just token representation."
Why, do they give an attendance award?
Win games -period!

Why does the Herald continue their
absurd policy of asking people -and
the very same
people at that!-
with a clear economic interest in a
subject what they think, like
Jose
Cancela
, above
?

Or like continually quoting former
Miami Beach mayor and current
lawyer/lobbyist Niesen Kasdin,
who's also the Vice-chair of the
Downtown Development Authority.

He was quoted for what seemed like
a week
straight on Miami 21.

Question never asked of him:
If he and his business pals with
their castle-in-the-sky condos
were as sophisticated
and dynamic
as they claim to be,
why wasn't
there a single general
interest
bookstore within the Miami

city limits?

(For more on Kasdin, see this

July 2, 2007 Eye on Miami post
titled,
Niesen Kasdin and Dan Ricker,
polar opposites by gimleteye
http://eyeonmiami.blogspot.com/2007/07/neisen-kasdin-and-dan-ricker-polar.html
and see his Akerman Senterfitt bio, too
http://www.akerman.com/public/attorneys/aBiography.asp?id=1083)

Were there no savvy business professors
to be found in all of South Florida?

Just wondering, how many Dolphin players
do you think live in Miami-Dade now?
A handful, maybe?

This isn't 1973 when few Dolphin players
lived north of Miami Lakes or the county
line, and Pembroke Pines and Miramar
were treated by folks in NMB like they
were small obscure Arctic fishing villages,
largely beyond the reach of civilization:
out-of-sight, out-of-mind.

And where is the Dolphins training camp
and HQ located now?
Nope, not 330 Biscayne Blvd. anymore,
where once upon a time, I could actually
run into Joe Thomas on my way in to
pick-up some more of those Dolphin decals
that used to be ubiquitous down here on
cars, and he'd talk to me for ten minutes
about what he liked about IU.

'Nuff said about Ross and his concern
about the Dolphins not being sufficiently
Miami-centric.

By the way, does anyone know why
no stories about Ross ever include a
mention of when he first became a
Dolphins fan, or what big games he
actually attended in person at the OB?

Or was he just a TV fan in NYC as
many rightly suspect?
He's no Bob Kraft, that's for sure.

¿Ya es lunes?

See also:

N
FL Latino Effort Pits Jets Fan vs. Dolphins Fan

Monday Night Game Centerpiece of League's

Hispanic Heritage Month Campaign

Posted by Laura Martinez, October 9, 2009
http://adage.com/bigtent/post?article_id=139573

This column features the line,
"Who says Latinos were only into
soccer?"


That's a straw man, especially down here.
Nobody says that.

Except when the Toros were here,
Miami area sports fans were told in that
same condescending marketing B.S.
way that Cubans weren't just into beisbol,
and would flock to the Orange Bowl.
Except that it never happened.

The Toros home games at the
Orange Bowl were largely populated
by kids like me from North Dade
-NMB, Miami Shores, Palm Springs
North, Norland
- and the
Karl Kremser-influenced duchies
of the Kendall area around Dade-South,
which is why the Toros moved to
Fort Lauderdale and became more
European-centric in their player
selections as the Strikers and the
rest is history...

By the way, Donald Trump ruined
the NASL for everyone, including
my friends on the IU soccer team,
who weren't really too interested
in playing the bastardized indoor
soccer after Trump ruined the
competitive financial structure of
the NASL.

Below, from my South Beach Hoosier
blog, which I've really neglected the
last few months and plan on revamping
in time for IU's basketball season
in a few weeks
http://southbeachhoosier.blogspot.com/

NASL - Ft. Lauderdale Strikers

& Miami Toros/Gatos

The NASL Ft. Lauderdale Strikers & Miami Toros/Gatos
I think it's fair to say that from 1971-'76, there were few people in South Florida who attended more Miami Toros/Gatos NASL soccer games at the Orange Bowl than yours truly, including their game against Pelé at F.I.U.
I first started going when they were the Gatos in 1971, as a ten-year old, and kept going after they were re-christened the Toros, a much better name.
I witnessed all their great FEISTY games against their arch-rival Tampa Bay Rowdies.
I even witnessed their heart-breaking loss in the 1974 NASL title game to the Los Angeles Aztecs in penalty kicks, after two over-times.

Somewhere, I still have the Toros game programs, esp. the ones that on the cover proclaimed Kyle Rote, Jr. of the Dallas Tornadoes as the American Pelé.
Rote was a tremendously talented player who understood his unique role as an ambassador
for the sport, but putting things like that on the cover of game programs was FAR TOO MUCH pressure for a kid just barely out of college!)

When Joe and Elizabeth Robbie relocated the team to Ft. Lauderdale and Lockhart Stadium for the 1977 season, much closer to my friends and I in North Miami Beach, we were ecstatic.

The drive to Lockhart up I-95 was so much quicker, as we joined other "Striker Likers", eager to literally yell ourselves hoarse watching their exciting brand of soccer, esp, against the dreaded Rowdies and N.Y. Cosmos!
Oh, did we ever hate them!!!

For more info, see http://mywebpages.comcast.net/dulyjs/strikers/strikers.html

Cityline on A1A and the beach

Cityline on A1A and the beach
Where Hollywood meets Hallandale Beach on State Road A1A, Hyde Beach Resort & Residences meets the iconic beach ball-colored Water Tower. © 2017 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved

Miami Dolphins classic logo

Miami Dolphins classic logo
What I grew up with in South Florida in the 1970's - not just winning, excellence and effort!

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.

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.