Hallandale Beach Blog -A common sense public policy overview offering a critical perspective on the current events, politics, government, public policy, sports scene and pop culture of Europe, Sweden, the U.S. & South Florida. In particular, Broward & Miami-Dade County, and the cities of Hallandale Beach & Hollywood.
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 South Beach Hoosier. © 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Public corruption in plain sight: latest on Nelson Santiago no-bid deal highlights difference in political cultures/openness b/w HB & Hollywood

Above, the screenshot I snapped on Monday of
the "Client" web page of the Ear-Q Corporation
website. http://www.ear-q.com/

You'll notice that it not only has a photograph of
Hallandale Beach Mayor Joy Cooper, due to
their creation of her personal website, but also
features the official City of Hallandale Beach

It also features The Future Foundation Inc.,
which seems to be the 'favorite son' charity over
at Hallandale Beach City Hall.

A Google search proves quite instructive.
Where's their website?
It can't be found.

But a search does turn this up thru a cache:
The Future Foundation, Inc is a Not for Profit Corporation dedicated to providing educational and cultural arts experiences for youth residing within the City of Hallandale Beach. Activities and events are provided free of charge to our participants. The Future Foundation also provides grants up to $5,000 to non-profit organizations to support their efforts to provide opportunities for education and arts to our youth in our community.

Guess where their mailing address is?
Hallandale Beach City Hall.

Guess what's the first thing on the city's website,
under FAQ?

1. How to Contact the Future Foundation

And when you click the provided link,
what do you get?

Server not found

If you believe the number-one FAQ that people
accessing the city's perfectly awful website want
to ask is this, you are sadly mistaken.

But in Joy Cooper and Mike Good's 'alternative
reality' where the city is well-run, perhaps it is.

What more can you say about such people?
A lot more...

Today I'll try to explain how, among other things,
the recent troubling episode involving Dr. Nelson
and his no-bid contract from the
City of Hallandale Beach further illustrates the
wide gulf in political cultures and openness between
the City of Hollywood and Hallandale Beach.

More than is usually the case, actual facts matter

So, like our friend Joe Friday from Dragnet,
here are the facts that are known as of now.

Back in mid-January, I received both the agenda
and all pertinent docs for Hollywood's Technical
Advisory Committee
before their meeting about a property in north
Hollywood Beach.

A property that, quite frankly, I didn't know much
about or have any opinion about one way or the other.

I didn't go to the actual meeting and have no idea
of how the committee ruled.

But if I had wanted to spend a few minutes finding
out about it, the City of Hollywood had given me
a reasonable amount of time to come up to speed
with it via the docs that were filed with it.

I bring this up because when I first received it,
I quickly realized that this simple example of a
computer-generated email offered an insight into
the vast differences between how things are
routinely done in Hollywood and how dreadfully
they have been and continue to be done here
in Hallandale Beach, since I returned to South
Florida from the Washington D.C. area in late

In November, two weeks before HB Planning
& Zoning Board
meeting on the Diplomat
, the Hallandale Beach Commission
vote 4-1 against Comm. Keith London's
common sense motion to put the LAC proposal
application and related onto the HB city website.

So, even as Mayor Joy Cooper was ripping
HB citizen taxpayers at the very same Commission
meeting and calling them "uninformed" and
"uneducated" for opposing the city's RAC proposal
-done to get in before Amendment 4 is
approved this coming November by Florida
- Commissioners Cooper, Julian, Ross
and Sanders didn't say or do ANYTHING about
actually getting pertinent information on the
project into the public realm,
so they could read it and make sense of it.

So what happened?
Precisely what the Mayor, the City Manager and
the Diplomat all wanted.

The Diplomat tag team of Debbie Orshefsky
and Suzanne Friedman and their consultants
got to have their meetings around town without
worrying about HB and Hollywood citizens actually
being able to see the relevant docs actually in print,
and raise questions based on what they themselves
had said or promised to do.

(They were aided in this effort by someone who is
a longstanding paid "spy" for the city, more details
of which you'll be hearing about this weekend on
my blog. As you anticipate that, though, ask
yourself this simple but troubling question:

In the year 2010, what sort of creepy elected
are so craven that they think it's actually
appropriate to pay someone in the city to spy
their neighbors, like they were a member of the
Soviet era
Secret Police, or KGB?)

Keeping with their policy of NOT officially putting
the agenda or all relevant information for City
and P&Z meetings on the city's
website until the Monday morning of the week
of those meetings -despite the fact that the
deadline for agendas is 5 p.m. Friday
because the December P&Z meeting was moved
to a Tuesday to accommodate a Wednesday
afternoon City Commission meeting, the
relevant documents were not placed on the
city's website until about 28 hours before
the meeting started.
Twenty-eight hours.

On a project that directly affects the lifestyles
and Quality of Life of thousands of HB and
Hollywood residents and visitors.

So how this pertain to the recent no-bid contract
awarded to Joy Cooper's internet guru friend,
Dr. Nelson Santiago?

First, a quick recap using selected excerpts of
my own Monday blog post to connect-the-dots.

As you may recall from my previous emails and
blog postings, no-bid contracts awarded to pals,
cronies and political supporters of HB City Hall
are nothing new, and the specialty of Joy Cooper
and Mike Good.

This recent case with Santiago is but the latest
example of thousands of taxpayer dollars being
given to people, thru grants and CRA loans,
whose degree of demonstrated expertise in a
particular area is, perhaps, rather secondary
to their personal connections and political
support of the Mayor Cooper's and City
Manager Good's

For instance, the $25,ooo no-bid contract given
last summer to Debra Brown, where elected city
commissioners were not even told about this until
a week after-the-fact.

Debra Brown is the sister of Comm. Anthony
A. Sanders
confidante Josh Brown, who was
part of the team who received a $90,000 grant/loan
from the Hallandale Beach CRA for a perfectly
dreadful business plan.

A plan which is little more than an extended
propaganda arm of City Hall, despite the fact
that his team didn't even meet the then-existing
low standards that the city had in place for
eligibility to make sure that the money is for
a serious purpose that promotes the specific
written goals of the city's CRA, the most
important of which is what?

Yes, eliminating "blight."

So, how exactly are giant screen TVs being placed
in east-side Hallandale Beach restaurants and
businesses as well as the common rooms of
expensive condos on State Road A1A, running
nothing but paid ads and blather from the likes
of Mayor Cooper and the city, accomplishing
that particular goal?

Especially since the city already has
complete control of an existing cable
TV channel, which they have completely
mis-used for years.

This isn't 1982, where many small businesses in
South Florida weren't properly wired and have
access to Cable TV, and so couldn't play CNN
near the front register of their businesses,
like a dry cleaning shop, or in the middle of
their barber shop or beauty salon.

It's a plan so bad that that they were forced to
admit that they couldn't get a bank loan for it.

Now that the city has given them money, many
recipients have either moved the TVs after they
were originally hooked-up due to either customer
complaints and annoyance, or outrage at
finding-out they were lied to when they were
first told that the TVs were from the City of
Hallandale Beach, with signs to that effect
sighted near some of the TVs at condos.

Theses TVs don't do anything to alleviate blight.
It's all a not-so-clever fig-leaf for a political deal
and money to change hands and promote
Joy Cooper and Hallandale Beach City Hall.

It's using money for a purpose that most HB citizens
would be opposed to on its face because of stupidity,
if they even knew about it, but because it also
personally benefits people who are supporters of
Comm. Sanders, and longtime Cooper & Good
crony and cheerleader Joe Kessel, it gets approved.

(Does my telling you the facts here make me an official
"naysayer," to use the latest term Mayor Joy Cooper
throws around to describe opponents of her's, after
having already called them -including me- "Nazis"
while at HB City Hall, Room 257,

where Cooper also described Comm. Keith London
as "a Hitler" to another elected Hallandale Beach official,
who, characteristically, said and did nothing upon hearing
this slander?
Then naysayer it is, and proudly so.)

For instance, to cite but one example, the team,
such as it is, didn't actually own any property within
the City of Hallandale Beach, a standard which previous
applicants had to meet.

there was nothing 'fishy' about this particular contract,
why did it not appear on the City Commission's agenda
that day, along with relevant staff and supporting docs
on the city's website, and come up for a vote by the
elected HB City Commission, instead of secretly
brought-up instead by unelected Good thru "Other"?

It's precisely because they didn't want HB citizen
taxpayers to know about it in advance that Good
and Cooper did this.

That's the exact same route thru which Good,
Police Chief Thomas Magill and Fire Chief Daniel
have all been rehired within the past
18 months.
Also in Room 257.

Without it EVER appearing on the public agenda,
without the public being given the opportunity to
speak about them and their past performances.
You know, like a normal city?

Can you name another city in Florida where
the re-hiring of the City Manager, Police Chief
and Fire Chief would intentionally be handled
in such a secretive and manipulative way
in order to keep the public completely in the

No, only Hallandale Beach under Joy Cooper
and Mike Good would be so brazen as to
attempt to foist this on this city's residents,
regardless of what the state's Sunshine Rules
say, but with the implicit cooperation of noted
wink-wink HB City Attorney David Jove,
it was "Mission accomplished."

And believe me, they're very happy they got
away with it, too.

Add it all together and it sounds to me like a
very intriguing news story and the basis for
formal ethical and criminal investigations by
multiple State of Florida and Broward County
agencies and LEOs.

And failing that, the FBI.

And it's all 100% true.

Previous emails and blog posts on this subject:

Monday March 8, 2010
A simple question re Dr. Nelson Santiago's no-bid contract in Hallandale Beach


March 5th, 2010
9 p.m.

Over the next few days, I suspect that we will all learn a great deal more
about that other co-host of the since-postponed Kendrick Meek fundraiser
planned for Mayor Joy Cooper's home tonight, Dr. Nelson Santiago.

He appears to have some very interesting ties to Mayor Cooper, her
personal website and a no-bid deal from the City of Hallandale Beach
regarding the 2010 Census.

Yes, no-bid contracts, the specialty of Hallandale Beach City Hall
under Joy Cooper and Mike Good!

Time to put on your Sherlock Holmes caps and start some
serious sleuthing!




Friday, March 5, 2010

Curious doings: Kendrick Meek postpones fundraiser at Mayor Cooper's house; Alexander Lewy's postage gift from Hallandale Beach taxpayers

Forwarded message
From: Mayor Joy Cooper & Dr. Nelson Santiago <invite@eventbrite.com>
Date: Thu, Mar 4, 2010 at 4:47 PM


Due to scheduling conflicts we have postponed the event in Hallandale Beach.

If you were planning on attending please call (305) 655-3213 for alternate arrangements.

You are invited to the following event:

Home of Mayor Joy & Dr. Harry Cooper
301 Holiday Drive
Hallandale Beach FL

Can you attend this event? Respond Here

For more information click here

No comments:

Post a Comment

Post a Comment

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 and Hollywood.
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.
This is particularly true in the town I live in, the City of Hallandale Beach, just north of Aventura and south of Hollywood. There, the "Perfect Storm" of years of apathy, incompetency and cronyism are all too readily apparent.
Sadly for its 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 lots of potential because of its terrific location, yet its citizens have become numb to its outrages and screw-ups after years of the worst kind of mismanagement and lack of foresight. On a daily basis, they 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.
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 that could do some of these things, taking the p.o.v. of a reasonable but skeptical person seeing the situation for the first time, 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.
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 here among Florida's state, regional and local govt./agency officials. Hallandale Beach Blog aims to be a small step towards regaining some of that needed accountability, whether it's thru simple public scrutiny, or requires a degree of follow-up investigation and public exposure of incompetency, cronyism or simple negligence -South Florida's usual governing style.
"And David put his hand in the bag and took out a stone and slung it. And it struck the Philistine on the head and he fell to the ground. Amen."- Preacher Purl encouraging the underdog Hickory High basketball team before the state title game against heavily-favored South Bend Central in 1986's Hoosiers
Audio of pregame speech:

Paradise Lost? South Florida

Paradise Lost? South Florida
TIME magazine of November 23, 1981: Paradise Lost? South Florida . Click photo to see original article.

Bill Cooke of @Random_Pixels has the article, Paradise Lost? South Florida

Hallandale Beach Blog

Hallandale Beach Blog
Hallandale Beach Blog/South Beach Hoosier's crimson-colored Indiana University cap. If you see someone at a South Florida govt. meeting or public policy discussion wearing this IU cap, scribbling notes furiously -and shaking his head in disbelief- don't be afraid to come over and say hello or pitch prospective story ideas. Photo by South Beach Hoosier. Move your mouse over the cap and be sent to the IU Athletic Dept.'s YouTube Channel.

Hallandale Beach Water Tower, looking east from State Road A1A/South Ocean Drive; May 2009 photo by South Beach Hoosier.© 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved

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.
The South Florida I Grew Up In
Excerpted from Joan Didion's Miami, 1987, Simon & Schuster:
In the continuing opera still called, even by Cubans who have now lived the largest part of their lives in this country, el exilo, the exile, meetings at private homes in Miami Beach are seen to have consequences. The actions of individuals are seen to affect events directly. Revolutions and counter-revolutions are framed in the private sector, and the state security apparatus exists exclusively to be enlisted by one or another private player. That this particular political style, indigenous to the Caribbean and to Central America, has now been naturalized in the United States is one reason why, on the flat coastal swamps of South Florida, where the palmettos once blew over the detritus of a dozen failed booms and the hotels were boarded up six months a year, there has evolved since the early New Year's morning in 1959 when Fulgencio Batista flew for the last time out of Havana a settlement of considerable interest, not exactly an American city as American cities have until recently been understood but a tropical capital: long on rumor, short on memory, overbuilt on the chimera of runaway money and referring not to New York or Boston or Los Angeles or Atlanta but to Caracas and Mexico, to Havana and to Bogota and to Paris and Madrid. Of American cities Miami has since 1959 connected only to Washington, which is the peculiarity of both places, and increasingly the warp...

"The general wildness, the eternal labyrinths of waters and marshes, interlocked and apparently neverending; the whole surrounded by interminable swamps... Here I am then in the Floridas, thought I," John James Audobon wrote to the editor of The Monthly American Journal of Geology and Natural Science during the course of an 1831 foray in the territory then still called the Floridas. The place came first, and to touch down there is to begin to understand why at least six administrations now have found South Florida so fecund a colony. I never passed through security for a flight to Miami without experiencing a certain weightlessness, the heightened wariness of having left the developed world for a more fluid atmosphere, one in which the native distrust of extreme possibilities that tended to ground the temperate United States in an obeisance to democratic institutions seemed rooted, if at all, only shallowly. At the gate for such flights the preferred language was already Spanish. Delays were explained by weather in Panama. The very names of the scheduled destinations suggested a world in which many evangelical inclinations had historically been accommodated, many yearnings toward empire indulged...

In this mood Miami seemed not a city at all but a tale, a romance of the tropics, a kind of waking dream in which any possibility could and would be accommodated...

So this is where our tax dollars go to die?

"So this is where our tax dollars go to die? My friend and fellow civic activist Csaba Kulin, perhaps wondering when we're FINALLY going to get the clean and inviting public beach that Hallandale Beach residents believe we're entitled to but have never received under Mayor Cooper and her Rubber Stamp Crew.
Instead, we get rusty pipes in the middle of the beach and garbage cans on the beach -without lids- at the windiest place in the entire city. And a public building across the street from the beach that the public can't use for free but which city employees can -for their holiday parties." Click photo to see many more photos of the site and the original post, or http://hallandalebeachblog.blogspot.com/2012/06/latest-info-photos-re-related-groups.html; 2012 photo by South Beach Hoosier. © 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved

Just as true now as it was when it was written in June 2012!

Gulfstream Park Race Track & Casino and Village at GP retail complex, Hallandale Beach, FL

Gulfstream Park Race Track & Casino and Village at GP retail complex, Hallandale Beach, FL
Entrance monument to Gulfstream Park Race Track & Casino and The Village at Gulfstream Park retail complex on U.S.-1 & SE 3rd St. Hallandale Beach, FL. October 5, 2010 photo by South Beach Hoosier. © 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved

Gulfstream Way at Gulfstream Park Race Track in Hallandale Beach, FL

Gulfstream Way at Gulfstream Park Race Track in Hallandale Beach, FL
The north-south street sign in the middle of Gulfstream Park Race Track in Hallandale Beach, FL that leads to-and-from the track and the retail Village at Gulfstream Park to Hallandale Beach Blvd. north of the facilities. October 5, 2010 photo by South Beach Hoosier. © 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved

The View from the Hallandale Beach/Hollywood city line

The View from the Hallandale Beach/Hollywood city line
Looking south towards The Beach Club and the Hallandale Beach Water Tower on A1A from the beach, near the Hollywood cityline, May 2, 2009 photo by South Beach Hoosier. © 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved

A fish rots from the head down, and so does local government in Hallandale Beach, FL

A fish rots from the head down, and so does local government in Hallandale Beach, FL
City of Hallandale Beach Municipal Complex, 400 S. Federal Highway. The City of Hallandale Beach Municipal Complex: If it's true that a fish rots from the head down, so it does in local government in Broward County, FL. This monument sign on the west side of the intersection of U.S.-1 and S.E. 5th Street, across from Gulfstream Park Race Track & Casino and the Village at Gulfstream Park retail complex, alerts you to your proximity to HB City Hall and the HB Police Department HQ. It's a place and culture whose very own words and actions have made clear to taxpayers of this city -regardless of age, race or income- that it holds itself apart from and above from the very citizens it's supposed to serve, often acting like they don't have to follow the same laws that govern everyone else in the state of Florida and the U.S., whether of logic, reason or contracts. (More to the point of this blog, the Florida Statutes on Sunshine Laws and Public Records.) City employees in Hallandale Beach routinely refuse to answer perfectly reasonable questions posed to them by taxpayers, and as I have found out myself and witnessed, are not above berating you for even having the nerve to ask! As it happens, it's also not a very safe area, despite who operates here, and over the past nine years, the public parking lots have often been pitch-black for 6-9 months at a time, including in front of the HB Police Dept. HQ. Then-Police Chief Thomas Magill even shrugged his shoulders at City Comm. meetings when told about this a few times. As if they couldn't make a worse first impression, at one point, even the spotlights shining on this sign didn't work at night for over FOUR YEARS, either. October 13, 2012 photo by South Beach Hoosier. © 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved.

"Why do they need that in the Broward County charter?"

"Laws and Constitutions go for nothing where the general sentiment is corrupt."
-New York Times, September 22, 1851

"Why do they need that in the Broward County charter?"
-Hallandale Beach Mayor Joy Cooper at April 2, 2008 HB City Commission meeting, in discussing possible inclusion of Broward County Charter Review Commission's proposal for Ethics Commission to deal with Broward County Commission, on November 2008 ballot.
Six YEARS after the county's voters had overwhelmingly passed an amendment to the County charter requiring its adoption, the Broward County Commission had yet to live up to its legal responsibility. That's why!

Looking east on State Road 858/Hallandale Beach Blvd.

Looking east  on State Road 858/Hallandale Beach Blvd.
Looking east on State Road 858/Hallandale Beach Blvd., over the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway bridge, toward the iconic Hallandale Beach Water Tower and the three condo towers comprising The Beach Club. September 8, 2008 photo by South Beach Hoosier. © 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved

Hallandale Beach Water Tower on A1A/South Ocean Drive

Hallandale Beach Water Tower on A1A/South Ocean Drive
Hallandale Beach Water Tower on A1A/South Ocean Drive. Located below the Hallandale Beach Water Tower on A1A/South Ocean Drive, on the south side (right) is the "Community Center" that HB City Hall, thru their gross incompetency, has made impossible for HB citizen taxpayers to use now for 41 MONTHS as of January 2011. (And where's the American flag on the Fourth of July weekend? Missing in action as it had been for months!) July 3, 2009 photo by South Beach Hoosier. © 2012 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved

The Related Group's The Beach Club, consisting of three condo towers

The Related Group's The Beach Club, consisting of three condo towers
The Beach Club. Looking SE at The Beach Club from the Hollywood side of State Road A1A. May 12, 2008 photo by South Beach Hoosier. © 2012 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved

City of Hollywood City Hall, 2600 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, FL

City of Hollywood City Hall, 2600 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, FL
City of Hollywood City Hall. An early morning shot of the east side of Hollywood City Hall the morning of the Johnson Street Redevelopment RFP Evaluation Committee meeting, where presentations were heard; October 14, 2009 photo by South Beach Hoosier. © 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved. For more info on what's going on with this important project, see http://www.hollywoodfl.org/html/JohnsonStBeachRFP.htm

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

Sebastian the Ibis, the U-M mascot

Sebastian the Ibis, the U-M mascot
Like longtime U-M fans everywhere, including me, Sebastian the Ibis, the U-M mascot, hasn't had very much to cheer about lately, given the general state of mediocrity and underwhelming performances coming from the Hurricanes. Isn't it about time for fans to finally see some tangible signs that the new AD is moving things in the right direction? Where are the signs? I'm NOT seeing them. The woeful U-M Women's program is largely composed of teams that are NOT even close to being competitive for NCAA titles like their ACC competition, and they don't even field Women's Lacrosse or Field Hockey teams. It's embarrassing! Click on Sebastian for retrospective photo gallery of The Orange Bowl

Want to hear some REAL music talent? Of course you do!

Want to hear some REAL music talent? Of course you do!
Click on this photo of Anni to go to the FoK YouTube Channel
Full of Keys (Anni Bernhard) photographed in Rome, 2012, by Alessandro Leone. Click on the photo of Anni to go to her YouTube Channel and see videos from her first album, "Traces of a Human," and jer secomd album, "The Grazing Grounds." http://fullofkeys.com/ https://www.facebook.com/fullofkeys https://twitter.com/FullOfKeys More videos and photos of Full of Keys are at: http://hallandalebeachblog.blogspot.com/p/full-of-keys.html

Andreas Jismark, Anni Bernhard and Mats Jönsson

Andreas Jismark, Anni Bernhard and Mats Jönsson
Photo of Andreas Jismark, Anni Bernhard and Mats Jönsson, Södermalm, Stockholm, Sweden. January 11, 2013 photo by South Beach Hoosier. (c) 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved. The Dolphins caps and goodies are in the yellow bag :)

A dynamic and original talent with personality to spare!

Photo above is from my June 2nd, 2013 post titled, "Our 'Full of Keys' drought is finally over! Full of Keys (a.k.a. the amazing Anni Bernhard) will be playing a showcase in New York City at Cake Shop on June 10th as part of the week-long New Music Seminar. Her new album was recorded recently in Gotland, will be mastered in NYC, aiming for a September release -with lots of very big and exciting plans coming soon! @FullOfKeys, @AndreasJismark, #AnniBernhard, #MatsJönsson, #GrazingGrounds, #NMS2013, #NYMF, #CakeShop" http://www.hallandalebeachblog.blogspot.com/2013/06/our-full-of-keys-drought-is-finally.html
Click the photo to read that post, watch her videos and learn more about this dynamic and original talent with personality to spare!

Singer/songwriter Full of Keys (Anni Bernhard)

Singer/songwriter Full of Keys (Anni Bernhard)
Singer/songwriter Full of Keys (Anni Bernhard) wearing the teal-colored Miami Dolphins cap I gave her in January 2013 (in Stockholm) while recording her 2nd album, "The Grazing Grounds" at Sandkvie Studios in Visby, Gotland, Sweden. Also pictured here are sound engineer and co-producer Linus Larsson and musician/DJ/co-producer Mats Jönsson, April 12, 2013. Click the photo to see my post on Anni last summer.

Let's end the 27-year NCAA title drought!

Let's end the 27-year NCAA title drought!
IU All-American and U.S. Olympian Steve Alford on the cover of the 1987 Indiana University basketball media guide, months after IU won the NCAA basketball title.

The NCAA Championship Banners

The NCAA Championship Banners
Assembly Hall, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana. I was there in 1981 for NCAA Title #4 vs. North Carolina. Click on photo to go to the IU Basketball homepage.

Using a map of Stockholm and my Samsung mobile's Latitude app to find out where some friends and contacts in Stockholm were before I called to let them know I'd arrived from Arlanda Airport and had checked into the B&B in Södermalm. If only it had been an OpenStreetMap! January 2013 photo by South Beach Hoosier.© 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved; Click the photo to see OpenStreetMap's amazing map of Stockholm and a whole world of useful maps you never even knew existed

Solrea - Sveriges bästa resesök

Solrea - Sveriges bästa resesök
The colder and snowier it got in Stockholm, the more this simple ad seemed like genius. Sometimes, you don't have to reinvent the advertising wheel. When you're a travel agency and it's cold and snowing, make your target audience think of summers and traveling to an inviting warm beach. Above, one of the many Sistaminuten.se display ads I saw on the side of pay phones throughout Stockholm. This one was located on Ringvägen, across the street from the Åhléns Dept. store (with the Hemköp grocery store in the basement that I frequented) west of busy Götgatan and the Skanstull T-bana, the southern commercial heart of trendy and fun Södermalm. January 11, 2013 photo by South Beach Hoosier.© 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved. I used this photo in my April 22, 2013 blog post titled, Tourism game-changer for South Florida travelers & Fort Lauderdale-area businesses -but only if they're smart and start planning now. Ruminations on the upcoming Norwegian.com flights b/w Ft. Lauderdale and Oslo, Stockholm & Copenhagen, and the need for Broward's hospitality industry to take full-advantage of the opportunity; @Oslo, @norway, @stockholm, @sweden, @copenhagen, @denmark. Click photo to see that post

More travel advertising in Stockholm

More travel advertising in Stockholm
Speaking of advertising, only two blocks from the wonderful 4trappor B&B I stayed at in Södermalm, Stockholm on my trip -and also located on Ringvägen- were two more display ads promoting travel. The one in the distance is for SAS, Scandinavian Airlines Systems, which I flew on to Stockholm, and the one in the foreground, on a public telephone booth, is the "Holiday is where the Heart is" ad campaign for VING. January 12, 2013 photo by South Beach Hoosier.© 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved. Click the photo to see their TV ad!

Risk för snöras, istappar

Risk för snöras, istappar
One of the many such warning signs that I saw on buildings and on sidewalk barricades while in Stockholm in mid-January 2013, alerting you to the possibility of falling snow and ice, often by men shoveling it off roofs. This one was spotted on a residential building in the Södermalm area of Stockholm, on Ringvägen, while I was walking over to the Åhléns Department store on Götgatan. It wasn't until I was walking back later to the B&B that I noticed the inflated Santa that some resident had intentionally placed outside of their window, so it looked like Santa was falling! January 13, 2013 photo by South Beach Hoosier.© 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved.

Ringvägen, Stockholm, Sweden

Ringvägen, Stockholm, Sweden
Poster display on Ringvägen, Stockholm, Sweden. January 2013 photo by South Beach Hoosier. © 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved. The Affischplats plan in Stockholm, while not perfect, strikes me as a pretty good compromise in helping cultural and civic groups catch the public's eye in a way that's better than a free-for-all of groups plastering posters on the sides of buildings and utility boxes, and watching as the weather makes a mess of them. The tangible effort the city makes to get the public involved in a genuine and meaningful conversation about what is going on long-term for the city as a whole, or in a particular neighborhood, is very impressive, and made me wishful that the local government employees and planners where I live and write about regularly in my blog and in conversations with other concerned civic activists did even one-third of what Stockholm's planning employees seem to do as a starting-point.