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, 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.
Very sad day. Karlijn Keijzer remembered as straight-A student, talented athlete, passionate scientist & dear friend. http://t.co/FnhXzvNMVF— Indiana University (@IUBloomington) July 18, 2014
We are deeply saddened to report IU student Karlijn Keijzer is among the lives lost on Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17. http://t.co/FnhXzvNMVF— Indiana University (@IUBloomington) July 18, 2014
Monday, March 22, 2010
South Florida news media's silence in asking Steve Geller hard questions has never been more noticeable than now
to numerous South Florida print/TV reporters
and columnists, raising questions that you may
well have been asking yourself.
The part about Steve Geller could've been
asked last month or last year.
Oh, that's right, I did.
Reporters and columnists, not so much.
Monday March 22nd, 2010
Many of you have a reputation for being more
than willing to indulge former State Senator
Steve Geller's ego, and to contact him for
almost any reason under the sun if you think
he'll say something pithy that'll make your
audience chortle, even if he really doesn't
know any more about the subject than many
other people you could ask.
So that said, is there a reason that you and
the rest of the South Florida news media
haven't asked Steve Geller to publicly
declare his own sympathies, one way or
the other, in the fight by Hallandale Beach
citizens -and their allies in Hollywood-
against the incompatible Diplomat LAC
plan scheduled to be voted upon Tuesday
afternoon by the Broward County Commission?
Or to ever mention what other local Broward
pols are saying or doing in relation to the
prospect of four or five 25-story-plus condo
towers being dropped on a residential
neighborhood, largely because the Union
that owns the Diplomat Country Club,
along with their partner Starwood, has done
such a dreadful job of improving and marketing
the expensive golf course, that nobody wants
to play there.
(If they get the approval they seek from the
Broward County Commission, it's clear that
the Plumbers & Pipe Fitters Union will
try to sell it toute-de-suite.)
For instance, sounding-out local pols like
Eleanor Sobel, Joe Gibbons, Jennifer
& Ken Gottlieb, Elaine Schwartz or
Ann Murray or...
In most parts of the country, they'd be part
of the equation, and maybe even vocal leaders
in the fight.
But here, they just sit on the sidelines, as if
local voters in HB and Hollywood don't notice
their MIA status, and won't take it into account
negatively come Election Day.
(They're in for a surprise, as we WILL
take it into account and ask questions
about their silence.)
No, instead, we are met with completely
incurious reporters who don't seem to want
to ask reasonable questions that Southeast
Broward residents want answers to.
It's the biggest issue in this city -besides
reforming a very corrupt HB City Hall-
and yet you all have, individually and
collectively, given Steve Geller a free ride
You've been completely averse to asking basic
questions of someone who could, theoretically,
actually represent most of this city and
Hollywood if he were to actually somehow defeat
Sue Gunzburger, though I think it's unlikely.
Why this great reluctance to ask Steve Geller
Is it the possibility of losing access to
a quotable source?
Frankly, that's what most people I know who
are interested in public policy in South Florida
You know, the ones interested enough to actually
show-up and participate and be quoted by you
or featured in interviews you conduct?
That's also the belief of many Florida reporters
from outside of South Florida.
If you didn't already know, many of them think
Geller plays the South Florida media like
a violin, some more easily than others
And why the great reluctance to ask Geller
to state the specific date by which he will
actually be living in the Commission
District he's running for, while he continues
to live outside of it up in Cooper City?
Geller has been a carpetbagger this entire
campaign, an adjective that you all seem
very reluctant to use for reasons that don't
necessarily speak well for your profession's
It's all just so very, very curious.
And what is Broward Commissioner Diana
Wasserman-Rubin going to do on the
Diplomat LAC, since Hallandale Beach is part
of her District, even if the project itself is not?
Will she continue to give the concerned
neighborhood the complete runaround?
DWR had no problem at all in meeting Hallandale
Beach Commissioner Anthony A, Sanders
in person on March 8th at the Hepburn Center
in HB to hear the typically one-sided rhetoric
sans facts that he specializes in.
But when the actual neighborhood directly affected
by the over-the-top project wanted to show her
around and give her some first-hand perspective
and context to better understand their plight
-and more easily imagine a 25-30-story
condo suddenly going up 100 feet from
their kitchen window, and plunging them
into near permanent shade- after initially
agreeing to come, DWR decided the following
day, last Friday, that she didn't want to meet
with them on-site.
Which defeats the purpose of a walking
Instead, she asked them to come to her
West Park office today at 4 p.m., at the
Family Success Center, 4733 SW 18th Street,
one block south of Pembroke Rd.
Those of you who want to break away from
the media herd may want to consider
swinging-by there and see how it's goes,
but at this point, given all her other myriad
problems, DWR seems to just be digging
herself into a deeper hole with HB citizens,
who already thought she was distant and
far-removed from their day-to-day concerns,
which will only be magnified if she votes
for the Diplomat on Tuesday.
After failing to meet residents where
the project is slated to be built.
For the record, besides Sue Gunzburger,
who has been to numerous meetings in both
HB and Hollywood on this issue that I've
attended, NONE of the other Broward
County Commissioners have bothered
to come to the affected area to see what's
in store for these beleaguered residents.
Perhaps the attached Massing Study done
by the Diplomat's consultants will give
you a sense of their future if the Diplomat
gets their way.
Seeing is believing, which perhaps best explains
why DWR chooses not to visit the scene.
She knows that she can't look people in the eye
and say that she likes what the Diplomat
proposes to do to their home, so she forces a
handful of them to have to come to HER office,
where she has home-court advantage, and can
conclude the meeting whenever she wants.
If I were a betting man, as of this afternoon,
I'd say that Diana Wasserman-Rubin will
vote for the Diplomat's project, along with
both Stacey Ritter and Elaine Lieberman,
the latter two forever the developer's friend
and among the biggest individual drags on
Broward getting into the 21st Century thru
their smirky, ham-handed ethical problems.
Me, I'm just wondering when the news media
down here will once again have both some bark
and some bite.
Those of you who want to see the Massing Study
I referred to above for yourselves should drop me
an email and I'll send it to you.
Write me at hallandalebeachblog(-at-)gmail.com
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 Hoosiershttp://www.imdb.com/title/tt0091217/
Ordinary people can make a difference in fight against corruption in Broward County
The next time you hear someone in Broward County, like one of the usual "experts" or pundits or maybe a self-interested lobbyist like Joy Cooper's supercilious pal Judy Stern repeat the Conventional Wisdom that nobody really cares about ethical behavior, transparency and accountability in Broward cities, except a handful of people, just keep this in mind.
As of March 6, 2014 at 12:30 p.m., in the 84 weeks since I first wrote my October 15th 2012 post titled, "Ethics? Not for us! Follow-up to my post re Hallandale Beach's unethical "business as usual" attitude, with "special rules for special people" if they are named Joy Cooper, Bill Julian and Anthony A. Sanders; What ethics? What rules? @MayorCooper, @SandersHB" it's been viewed 183,914 times. That's MORE than TWO THOUSAND page views a week! Imagine that!That total doesn't even include the number of people who saw it the day it was first posted, when it was the default post of the blog. That's a lot of people who now know a lot more facts about the truth regarding the corruption and incompetency that have been commonplace in Hallandale Beach all these years while Broward State's Attorney Mike Satz and his staff did NOTHING. Just saying...
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
Corruption Isn't Unique to South Florida, It's the Level of the Stupidity That Is
"[Chicago Mayor] William Hale Thompson was defeated Tuesday after a campaign which he alone made disgraceful. The election was an ejection, a dirty job, but Chicago has washed itself and put on clean clothes. Thompson recognized the [Chicago] Tribune as his chief enemy. The Tribune was glad to earn that opinion. It certainly tried to do so. It has taken the fight to him on every occasion during the long and depraved course of his administration. It is unpleasant business to eject a skunk, but someone has to do it. For Chicago, Thompson has meant filth, corruption, obscenity, idiocy and bankruptcy. He has given the city an international reputation for moronic buffoonery, barbaric crime, triumphant hoodlumism, unchecked graft and a dejected citizenship. He nearly ruined the property and completely destroyed the pride of the city. He made Chicago a byword for the collapse of American civilization. In his attempt to continue this he excelled himself as a liar and defamer of character. He’s out. He is not only out, but dishonored. He is deserted by his friends. He is permanently marked by the evidences of his character and conduct. His health is impaired by his ways of life and he leaves office and goes from the city the most discredited man who ever held place in it."
-Excerpts from April 1931 Chicago Tribune editorial following Republican "Big Bill" Thompson's loss to his Democratic rival Anton Cermak. A friend of organized crime during the Al Capone era, Thompson was the last Republican elected mayor of Chicago. But less than two years later, Mayor Cermak was shot while shaking hands with President-elect Franklin D. Roosevelt at Miami's Bayfront Park. He died from gunshot wounds to his lungs three weeks later.
Perhaps you'll enjoy this view more!
On the floor of Assembly Hall for tonight's game. pic.twitter.com/lv02G254zG— Tyler Smith (@sports_TYs_20) November 26, 2013