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.
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Thursday, April 1, 2010

Broward Comm Albert Jones and the future of the incompatible Diplomat LAC -and what does he really know about the lies spread by HB's Anthony Sanders?

Obviously, I've been talking to people all over the
county a lot about the Diplomat LAC proposal,
which, as I constantly remind everyone I speak
to about it, Hallandale Beach City Hall only placed
on the city's website for citizens to read 28 hours
before the first vote in mid-December.

One of the sub-plots that's come up is how this
may affect former Dania mayor and current
interim Broward Commissioner Albert C. Jones'
political future, if any, as he seeks to get elected
to a position he was appointed to by Gov. Crist.

There are some larger issues for people all over
the county to contemplate.

If, by virtue of his YES vote on March 23rd,
he believes that it is perfectly acceptable for
25-30 story residential buildings to be located
adjacent to single-family residential areas,
some only 25 feet away, will he also be voting
this same way for future development applications
in the rest of Broward County, including
the cities of Fort Lauderdale, Pembroke Pines,
Hollywood, Coral Springs, Miramar, Plantation,
Sunrise and Davie, as well as the entirety of the
Broward Commission District he hopes to
represent in the future as an elected
Commissioner?

If not, why then is he forcing Hallandale Beach
and nearby Hollywood citizens to bear this
particular burden when they are opposed to it,
and are already physically hamstrung by not
only having geographical barriers, but also
among the single worst traffic to be currently
found in all of South Florida?

How is it that he imagines having thousands
more residents in that area will not directly
affect the ability of people to evacuate when
the sites in question are ALL mandatory
hurricane evacuation areas
?

There are many questions you could ask him,
but this might be the first

Please explain your rationale for your
March 23rd
vote and why Broward residents
should not expect you to vote similarly for
future applications if you are elected.

Or, do you plan to make exceptions for other
cities, but not in this particular case with respect
to Hallandale Beach and Hollywood residents?


Another question to ponder is why would
politically-active Broward residents who live
outside of the 9th District currently represented
by Jones, especially in Hollywood or Hallandale
Beach, consider making small campaign
contribution to him if he is a solid vote FOR
developers' out-of-scale plans of a sort that
caused the Broward Planning Council's
professional staff to recommend DENIAL
of the proposal?

Well, they wouldn't if he votes for the
Diplomat
on April 27th whereas they might consider it
if he votes against it.
Hmm-m-m...

Then again, if he votes for the Diplomat,
it's highly likely that they and their law firms,
lobbyists and consultants will show him
some love with campaign contributions
while those very same politically-active
residents of the county will contribute to
one of his many opponents.
That's politics: votes matter.

I personally think that April 12th or so is
plenty of time for him to have decided what
he's going to do, one way or the other on
the second go-round with this.

If he appears set on rejecting the community
again, as far as I'm concerned, that's it for
him and I personally plan to go to Plan B
with Comm. Jones.

That's the plan where
his opponents
start asking these questions publicly
themselves
, and
he doesn't get elected.

According to the website of the Broward County
Supervisor of Elections (SOE) Jones still
does NOT appear on the official candidates list.
http://www.browardsoe.org/electioncandidates.aspx?eid=89

That same website notes that as of today,
the registered voters here break down as follows:
Democrat: 544,329
Republican: 243,802
Other: 240,806
Total: 1,028,937

Nobody here but us scorpions:
For what it's worth, if anyone out there was
thinking of whom they could contact on the
Commission to try to prevent this proposal
from going thru, I believe that any time
and energy directed at Ilene Lieberman or
Stacey Ritter is completely wasted.

That's especially the case after many people
from around the county who have dealt with
them in the past, inc. elected officials,
have contacted me and said that after hearing
and reading what's already transpired, they
agree with me that Lieberman and Ritter
literally can't help themselves.

You know, like the scorpion and the frog.
Except in this case, they're both scorpions.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Scorpion_and_the_Frog

These two still imagine themselves able to
pick and choose economic winners and losers
throughout the county based on whom they
know or who is involved in a project, i.e.
crony capitalism, the preferred method
employed at Hallandale Beach City Hall
to dispense taxpayer and CRA funds.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crony_capitalism

The Rodstrom Factor:
The fact that we never heard any specifics about
why some people in Broward thought Comm.
John Rodstrom
would abstain last Tuesday
-just a feeling?- and still can't say, is sufficient
proof to me that Rodstrom is also a lost cause.

Rodstrom
is also involved with the Margaritaville
bid in Hollywood's Johnson Street RFP that
I personally find so unattractive and objectionable,
and may will be at Hollywood City Hall on April 7th
at 4 p.m., when the entire City Commission sees
the presentations and formally asks questions for
the first time.
I'll be there also, of course.

To me, for better or worse, the entire fight for
the Diplomat LAC proposal lies with Comm.
Albert C. Jones.
Period.

It would be great if someone could convince
Jones
that what is really going on in HB, with
Sanders & Co. seemingly trying to benefit either
financially or professionally -or both- from every
single proposed project in HB, thru so-called
'job programs' -regardless of how many
actual jobs are created, and to the
apparent
exclusion of other groups involvement
-
is not our opinion, it's a verifiable fact.

But you have to be willing to admit that
seeing
is believing.

Some well-informed people throughout the county
tell me that just as is true with Comm. Diana
Wasserman-Rubin
, Comm. Jones does NOT
really want to ask too many questions about HB
Comm. Anthony Sanders.

You know, like the entire South Florida news media,
save Sun-Sentinel columnist Michael Mayo?

Whether about the curious sale of his family property
to the city for far more than its appraised value
-for purposes that are still not at all clear-
or ask why so many of his associates and pals
seem to be getting sweetheart deals from the city
that seem absurd on their face and unpopular
with taxpayers.

For instance, City Manager Good deciding on
his own, without any input from the elected City
Commission, to give $25,000 to someone for
a summer camp that is not a non-profit.

Something that elected city commissioners only
found out about a week after the fact.

So, does anyone out there have any idea of how
much money in grants or loans that brother-and-sister
act Deborah Brown and John Brown have
separately received from the City of HB over
the past few years?

She's the woman, of course, who got the $25k
last year without the public or elected officials
knowing about it 'till it was too late.
See http://www.corporationwiki.com/Florida/Hallandale-Beach/deborah-brown-P1332185.aspx

Until a few weeks ago, I just assumed that Zamar
was a non-profit, but since it's incorporated,
it's clearly not, so why did they get the money
instead of someone else?
Better yet, if you have nothing to hide, why was
this kept from the public?

The fact that the city's CRA has been used as
an ATM for so long by HB City Hall for their friends,
and more recently, by Sanders' myriad acolytes,
without actually alleviating poverty or blight,
is going to come out sooner rather than later.

Comm. Jones needs to decide if he supports
the empty promises of the Diplomat and their
apologists like Sanders, or concrete results.

It's time for him to be a Profile in Courage
and do the right thing, or seal his fate with
Broward voters.
Late this afternoon I was
informed that:
Comm. Sanders was STILL
going around town, esp. churches, saying
the Diplomat LAC is good for "their community,"
but people who know the true facts are downright
insulted by the drop-in-the-bucket proposal
for Affordable Housing, and the Diplomat's
clear preference to not have the affordable
housing actually be at their actual site.

Naturally, they want to export it off-site just like
Gulfstream Park, Magna and Forest City did.
So, who profits from this, exactly?

Despite what you may have heard elsewhere.
the Palms Coalition decided not to support
the Diplomat LAC proposal as a group.

I'll bet that even Diana Wasserman-Rubin
knows
this, but will she actually show-up at
the
NW quadrant meeting on Monday at
6:30 p.m., at the city's Hepburn Center,
to see what the community actually thinks
about this?


It should be interesting to see what sort of
turn-out they get from their paid puppets,
or even whether the South Florida news media,
esp. TV, continues their apparent boycott of
this compelling story.

In fact, perhaps because it is scheduled for NW,
the news media will show-up, albeit, like the
much-needed military support that was too late
getting to Custer.

One thing you can count on though is that
the Diplomat's interests will be employing
a full-court press at this meeting to try to
spin it their way, with the same invisible faces
we never see at City Commission or CRA
meetings suddenly popping-up and telling
us how much they want it.

Some people will always put their own financial
interests ahead of the community's greater good,
and that's exactly what we'll see on Monday night.


I'll tell you who those people are.

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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.

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.
____________________________________________
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
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0091217/
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.

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...
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...

Nice from a distance, not so nice once you're there and see the years of City Hall's neglect

Nice from a distance, not so nice once you're there and see the years of City Hall's neglect
The public beach that is "North Beach" in Hallandale Beach, FL. June 19, 2012 photo by South Beach Hoosier.© 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved

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!

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.

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

Looking towards southern Hollywood Beach

Looking towards southern Hollywood Beach
Trump Hollywood, Diplomat Residences, Westin Diplomat, Crowne Resort. Looking NE towards Hollywood on State Road A1A from the 2500 block of East Hallandale Beach Blvd./State Road 858 just before crossing the Intracoastal Bridge: (l-r) Trump Hollywood, Diplomat Residences, the Westin Diplomat Resort & Spa, the Crowne Plaza Hollywood Beach. March 25, 2009 photo by South Beach Hoosier. © 2013 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

Corruption Isn't Unique to South Florida, It's the Level of the Stupidity That Is

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.

See
http://www.encyclopedia.chicagohistory.org/pages/3686.html

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

Championship banners

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.
Perhaps you'll enjoy this view more!

We Are IU (Official Version) 2013

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.

Here's the first banner of the Crean Era

Our five NCAA Basketball Championship banners are on the north side of the court; I was there for 1981's.
H/T Hannah Ongley @hannahongley http://instagram.com/youdidnoteatthat