Hallandale Beach Blog -A common sense public policy overview offering a critical perspective on the current events, politics, govt., public policy, sports scene and pop culture of the U.S., South Florida, Europe and Sweden. In particular, Broward & Miami-Dade County, and the cities of Hallandale Beach, Hollywood & Aventura.
Trust me when I tell you, this part of Florida is NOT the Land of Lincoln. Pictured in upper-left is Hallandale Beach's iconic beachball-colored Water Tower on State Road A1A; September 2008 photo by me, South Beach Hoosier. © 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved.

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

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
on April 27th whereas they might consider it
if he votes against it.

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
, 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

It would be great if someone could convince
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
exclusion of other groups involvement
is not our opinion, it's a verifiable fact.

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

Some well-informed people throughout the county
tell me that just as is true with Comm. Diana
, 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
this, but will she actually show-up at
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 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, Hollywood and Aventura.

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. But seldom if ever see...

This is particularly true in the Broward County city I live in, the City of Hallandale Beach, north of Aventura and south of Hollywood and right on the Atlantic Ocean. Here, the "Perfect Storm" of years of apathy, incompetency and cronyism are all too readily apparent. Sadly for its beleaguered 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 tremendous potential because of its terrific location and well-educated populace, yet its citizens have almost become numb to HB City Hall's frequent outrages and screw-ups, the result of YEARS of the worst kind of mismanagement and lack of foresight. On a daily basis, residents and Small Business owners 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 for others to solve in the future.

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 of my own that could try to do some of these things, taking the p.o.v. of a reasonable-but-skeptical person seeing the situation for the first time with fresh eyes, 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 in public policy and goivernment engagement. 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 of Florida's state, regional and local govt./agency officials, elected and otherwise. Hallandale Beach Blog aims to be a small step towards regaining some of that needed accountability, whether it's thru shining some well-needed public scrutiny on the issue or pol, or requires a higher degree of follow-up investigation and public exposure of the incompetency, cronyism or negligence -South Florida's usual governing style.
Some older elements and building blocks formerly seen at Hallandale Beach Blog, such as photos, graphics and videos have been moved into cold storage. Visit them again or see what you've missed at: http://hallandale-beach-blog.blogspot.com/

Paradise Lost? South Florida

Paradise Lost? South Florida
TIME magazine of November 23, 1981: Paradise Lost? South Florida . Click photo to see original article.
Unless otherwise indicated, all ORIGINAL photos appearing here were taken by myself. © 2014 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved. The use or modification of original photos or original images appearing on this blog WITHOUT the written permission of the author is expressly prohibited. DO NOT modify or alter any original photo/image on this blog and use it in any other media, whether for commercial advertising, marketing purposes, political campaign advertising, or on any Social Media platform or digital media forum. Do NOT modify or alter the photos or use them in a confusing way that suggests sponsorship or endorsement, or in a way that seeks to confuse Hallandale Beach Blog with another blog. This includes but is not limited to sites such as Dipity, Facebook, flickr, MySpace, Pinterest, Posterous, Topsy, Twitter, YouTube or VIMEO. Original photos and images also can NOT be used as avatars or icons on website forums.

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.


Hej #STHLM, jag saknar dig, hejdå. So wish I was there RIGHT NOW!

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!

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

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

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 her videos, read my blog posts and Tweets about her and learn more about this dynamic and original talent with personality to spare!

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.

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.

Congratulations Sweden - 200 years of peace! Solveig Rundquist (@RundquistS)

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

Which European country has the most attractive citizens?

As seen in my July 31st, 2013 blog post titled, "Which European country has the most attractive citizens?" Sweden won in a landslide with almost four times as many votes as second-place France, with Spain third and Norway fourth. Yes, seeing is believing!; Norwegian.com's non-stop flights from Fort Lauderdale to Oslo start in 4 months! :) http://hallandalebeachblog.blogspot.com/2013/07/boredpandacom-poll-of-europeans-asked.html