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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. Photo in upper-left is Hallandale Beach's iconic beachball-colored Water Tower on State Road A1A, September 2008; March 2018 photo below of North Beach, looking left-to-right, looking north, HYDE Condominium, Etaru Japanese Robatayaki restaurant, and Hollywood Beach in the distance, with umbrellas. All photos by me, © Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Monday night's public meeting of Notter's Three Amigos -Bring hand warmers! Where are BECON's TV cameras?

Last Wednesday we got word that...

Miami Herald

Broward ethics panel to take public comments

By Patricia Mazzei
January 6, 2010

The three-person panel tasked with proposing improvements to how the Broward public school district does business will hold its first public hearing next week.

The Commission on Education Excellence Through Integrity, Public Ethics and Transparency will seek public input at 6 p.m. Monday at the Dillard Center for the Arts, 2501 NW 11th St., Fort Lauderdale.

The independent group was convened after the September arrest of suspended School Board member Beverly Gallagher in a federal corruption probe. Gallagher has pleaded not guilty to charges that she took $12,500 from undercover FBI agents for a promise to influence a decision on a school construction project.

To serve on the commission, Superintendent Jim Notter chose former Florida Attorney General Bob Butterworth; Fort Lauderdale Mayor Jack Seiler, a former state legislator; and attorney W. George Allen, who filed the lawsuit that forced the district to desegregate almost 40 years ago.

Reader comments at

Then on Friday we heard...

My emphasis in red below

South Florida Sun-Sentinel


Ethics panel set for first public hearing on school district

By Kathy Bushouse, Sun Sentinel
January 10, 2010

In the past few months, the Broward school district has been hammered by the arrest of a School Board member, allegations of contractor ripoffs and an investigation of a transportation department besieged by accusations of nepotism and sexual harassment.

On Monday, the panel created in October to scrutinize the district's policies and practices will have its first public hearing to set priorities on what it should investigate.

"We're going out to see what the people want," said attorney W. George Allen.

Allen, former Florida Attorney General Bob Butterworth and Fort Lauderdale Mayor Jack Seiler are running the Commission on Education Excellence Through Integrity, Public Ethics and Transparency.

They have not set a firm timetable for the investigation.

The panel was created by Broward Schools Superintendent James Notter and School Board member Maureen Dinnen after the Sept. 23 arrest of Beverly Gallagher on corruption charges involving school construction, and shortly after board member Stephanie Kraft disclosed her husband's business ties to School Board lobbyist Neil Sterling.

The Florida Commission on Ethics also is investigating a complaint against Kraft that she misused her position to help Prestige Homes developer Bruce Chait.

Chait was arrested in December and charged by state prosecutors with bribery, unlawful compensation and perjury.

Earlier, in the summer, district auditors alleged two contractors ripped off more than $750,000 after Hurricane Wilma repairs.

The auditors said there were signs of collusion and coercion, as well as inflated and falsified documents so the companies could be paid.

After the panel was formed, the school district began an investigation into its transportation department.

The department's top two administrators — Ruben Parker, director of transportation services, and Lucille Greene, director of student transportation — were reassigned. Officials won't discuss specific reasons for the investigation.

But the Broward Teachers Union asked Gov. Charlie Crist and Attorney General Bill McCollum for independent investigations last month. The union said the transportation department's problems included kickbacks in exchange for jobs, bus safety issues, nepotism and sexual harassment.

The governor forwarded the union's complaint to the Office of the Statewide Prosecutor.

That office is the "best entity to not only review the material but also to intitiate any necessary investigations," said Crist spokesman Sterling Ivey.

McCollum's office said the union's concerns are outside the attorney general's jurisdiction. McCollum's office reccomended the union contact the state's ethics commission, auditor general or the statewide grand jury, according to a letter dated Dec. 17.

Allen said the group spent the past two months getting organized. Now that the group is ready to work, he hopes to move quickly and make recommendations the district will adopt.

"I would hate to do work and then just turn it in as a written report, and nothing happens," Allen said.

Notter said the district would not automatically adopt all of the panel's recommendations but will consider them. He said all the district's operations and policies are open for review.

"They're going to come back with items that we need to revise, revamp, tweak, or frankly, maybe initiate brand-new," Notter said.

Monday's hearing is scheduled for 6 p.m. at the Dillard Center for the Arts, 2501 NW 11th St., Fort Lauderdale. For those unable to attend, the commission also is working on a website with an e-mail address and telephone number so people can send in tips.

The panel was promised complete independence from the district. Its leaders won't be paid, but the district will foot the bill for the staff.

Butterworth, Seiler and Allen were picked because of their long histories of community service.

Allen's selection raised some questions because he is registered as a lobbyist representing Bencor Inc., a company that offers alternatives to Social Security for district employees.

Allen said he didn't view it as a conflict because he hasn't lobbied for the company for years.

So far, the panel has met with some skepticism. One teacher sent e-mail to Seiler, saying she was concerned that Notter and Dinnen "handpicked a three-man (no woman) commission for a 90-day fact-finding analysis."

But such panels can be a step toward restoring public confidence in a beleaguered institution, said Aubrey Jewett, a political science professor at the University of Central Florida in Orlando.

"I think that putting together a group like this is probably a good idea, especially where you've had many instances of alleged corruption or ethical violations," Jewett said. "… I'm not going to say that empanelling a group of citizens to look at this is going to solve all the problems, but it is a good step."

Kathy Bushouse can be reached at kbushouse@SunSentinel.com or 954-356-4556.

How did Broward Schools Supt. James Notter's
Three Amigos NOT already have some means
of broadcasting or webcasting Monday night's
meeting figured-out by 5 p.m. last Friday?
Talk about gross incompetentcy!

(FYI: That's at the SAME time and date as
Broward County's previously-scheduled first
official Census 2010 meeting of social/religious/
community activists, which happens to be at
the Hallandale Beach Cultural Center.
See http://www.broward.org/eventhighlights.htm )

If these Broward School geniuses had any
common sense, they'd grab
some of those
BECON TV cameras that Broward taxpayers
ALREADY paid for and truck them
Dillard to air Butterworth & Co. LIVE
on Channel 63.
That would be so easy, and yet...

I'd call Ann Murray's School Board office
to find out why this isn't taking place if I
thought I'd get a straight answer out of her,

Maybe if every official person with a Ed.D.
after their name is shivering in that room at
Dillard Monday night, someone downtown
will get off their butt and finally fix the
thermostat that controls school room temps,
so it's not as cold inside as it is outside.

Wow, that should've been the media
lede last week:
clueless Broward Schools HQ!

See Akilah Johnson's blog post on that
from Thursday at bottom.

If you're going to tomorrow night's meeting,
I recommend a visit to Target beforehand,
and get some Coleman-brand hand warmers
-they're excellent.

South Florida Sun-Sentinel Schools blog
Broward classrooms just as cold as outside, teachers say

Posted by Akilah Johnson
January 7, 2010 05:40 PM

Students and teachers in many Broward County public schools didn’t shed their scarves and gloves once this week’s lessons began. Instead, they shivered inside classrooms nearly as cold as the weather outside.

Read rest of this at:

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#HollywoodFL based photographer/entrepreneur Esther Chuang

#HOLLYWOODFL based photographer and entrepreneur Esther Chuang with Hollywood Mayor-elect Josh Levy
Thumbs up! What a night! #HOLLYWOODFL based photographer and entrepreneur Esther Chuang with a very elated Hollywood Mayor-elect Josh Levy at his Victory Party, held at Leo Anato's Atelier3/AT3 on Harrison Street & S. 19th Avenue, Hollywood. AT3's great environment and the amazing variety of food prepared by chef Kevin Dreifuss, former owner/chef of now-closed ENDS MEAT restaurant, was SUPERB! November 8, 2016 Esther Chuang, Morro Dois Irmãos, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 2015
Above, perhaps my most-favorite photo ever of Esther, which is really saying something considering the THOUSANDS that I've actually seen of her, from all over the world. But despite the fact that you can't actually see it here, trust me, her amazing smile and inner and external beauty are there. This photo is an even more amazing achievement when you know the backstory of what it took for Esther to get to the top of the mountain, since it's NOT for the faint of heart. Next time you see her, ask her about that! Morro Dois Irmãos, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on her birthday, July 10, 2015. That's the Christ The Redeemer statue atop Mount Corcovado way out in the horizon on the top of another mountain, to the left of her head. To the right is the world famous beach of Ipanema and to the left is the equally famous beach of Copacabana. In case you forgot what the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio looks like, up close, plus the Amazon area of Brazil that Esther grew up near in Manaus, here's another Brazilian beauty to connect-the-dots for you: Gisele Bündchen, aka @Gisele.

Abençoado por Deus e bonito por natureza!✨ ������

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A floresta Amazônica tem um papel fundamental no equilíbrio do clima na Terra e, portanto, na vida de cada um de nós. Nos últimos anos a proteção diminuiu e o desmatamento aumentou drasticamente. E o que já era ruim, pode ficar ainda pior. Se as medidas que o governo vem tomando não forem vetadas, nosso futuro estará ameaçado. Diga NÃO à diminuição da proteção da Floresta do Jamanxim! Diga NÃO à exploração de minério no coração da floresta! #TodosPelaAmazônia #342Amazonia #TodosPelaAmazonia Assine a petição: link na bio. ������✨���� The Amazon Rainforest plays a key role in balancing the climate on the Earth and therefore in each of our lives. In recent years, protection has decreased and deforestation has increased sharply. And what was already bad can get even worse. If the measures that the government has been taking are not vetoed, our future will be threatened. Say NO to the reduction of the Jamanxim Forest´s protection! Say NO to ore mining in the heart of the Forest! #togetherfortheAmazon

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