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.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Latest info re 4/27 Broward County Commission meeting re unpopular Diplomat LAC proposal

Thanks for asking about that recent email of mine, since I
was going to write about it on Sunday, anyway.

Here's the short story, as I understand it, on how the Broward
County Commission meeting on the Diplomat LAC got
moved back to April 27th -again!:

The vote was originally scheduled for April 27th as the 4th
Tuesday of the month is when the County usually hears
land-use issues.

Comm. Ilene Lieberman apparently said that was bad for
her because she'd be in Tallahassee for the Legislature's last
week, so she wanted it to be changed, because she is clearly
in favor of the project.

Diplomat attorney Debbie Orshefsky said that she would
like it to be postponed until May 11th, since she obviously
wants Lieberman there in-person to vote YES and break
the 4-4 tie of March 23rd.

Comm. Ken Keechl said that because of their own rule about
land-use meetings, it would have to be either April 27th or
May 25th.

If held on May 25th, it would likely miss the deadline for
Group I
transmittal to the FL Dept. of Community Affairs
(DCA), which was the target that HB City Manager Mike Good
was shooting for when he began this steamroller effort of his
last year, without any input from our city's elected
I remind you

Word is that other development projects around the county
that have already received approval from the Broward County
Commission are VERY concerned about the controversial
project creating a real bottleneck for them, since
the applications are sent en masse to Tallahassee, not
individually as they are approved.

I don't have a list of those previously-approved projects,
but I'd be willing to bet that some of them are ones that
Debbie and Greenberg Traurig have handled, so they
are well-aware of the ticking calendar.

I've been told by someone that an effort was made to find
out if there was any support at all on the Commission to
have a vote to change the date of the Diplomat meeting
to the 11th as Debbie wanted, but that a fifth vote could
NOT be found to make
that change.

Furthermore, I've heard that the Diplomat may well
their proposal the day before, on April 26th, IF
they believe they won't have a fifth and deciding
affirmative vote on the Commission.

That's no reason for us to waste any time, though,
and stop
our efforts. This past week, I was able to
discover some pretty damning information that, combined
with information I previously uncovered, will show rather
conclusively that the Diplomat's over-confident proponents
and apologists all over the county -and much closer to home-
have played fast-and-loose with the truth, and I have the
proverbial Smoking Gun that proves it.

I'm going to post this delicious information on my blog on
Monday and suggest that you check it out for yourself,
since seeing is believing.

It's the irrefutable proof that I've been looking for that,
sadly, proves that the caliber of people involved in this
effort were just as duplicitous as I initially said they were
last year.

And -shocker!- they'll even lie to South Florida
news reporters without even breaking a sweat!

That the particular person I've caught in an obvious and
lie is an attorney only adds to my delight,
since our side in this David vs. Goliath debate has
never had any resources to speak of, let alone, the luxury
of having any attorneys working on behalf of the many
Hallandale Beach and Hollywood citizens opposed to this
out-of-scale project for the simplest reason of all:

Something that far too many people at Hallandale Beach
City Hall
could genuinely care less about if it means they
can get their hands on MORE MONEY.

That's why they've tried so hard to fix this process from
the very beginning, and to keep the germane information
out of the public's hands, something I reminded the County
Commission myself when I got my chance to speak last month.
It wasn't by accident, it was City Hall's plan all along.

I hope you'll be able to find time to attend Comm. London's
Resident Forum meeting on Tuesday at 6 p.m., as I fully
expect that it will be full of residents eager to hear more
details about what's really been going on behind-the-scenes
with the HB City Hall spies, Diplomat apologists and dupes
of Mayor Cooper -like her longtime friend Alex Berkovich's
not-so-subtle performance at last month's meeting, where
he actually got-up from his chair about 30 minutes
into the
meeting and went out to the hallway to talk
to Mayor Cooper,
and then came back in a few minutes later and said that he
had "
heard" that the Diplomat was, perhaps, willing to
modify their position a bit.

I guess a little bird had told him.

Many of them will likely show-up anyway, despite
what we already know about them, or have learned
subsequently, because, quite frankly, they can't help

Plus, of course,
NONE of the other Hallandale Beach City
Commissioners are willing to actually meet citizen taxpayers
in regularly-scheduled monthly meetings without City Hall
staff present to whisper in their ears.
Except Comm. Keith London.

(Perhaps Debbie Orshefsy and Suzanne Friedman and
their PR worker-bees will even make another appearance,
just like in January!)

Is there a more obvious duplicitous dupe than Cooper-acolyte
and HB City Commission candidate Alexander Lewy,
someone who has continually bad-mouthed Comm. London
behind his back for YEARS (and on his Facebook page),
and who calls the public policy meetings that I and so many
others attend, pointless, yet Lewy continues to show-up
at them as if we were none the wiser about what a low-rent
character he truly is?
I think not.

Trust me when I tell you, that duplicitous attorney and
Lewy are about to get the public drubbing and unmasking
of a lifetime this week, and the best part of all is that it's
100% true and verifiable.

That's always been the hurdle for the Diplomat:
they have to lie in order to have a chance to win,
we just have to tell the truth to have a fighting chance.

However it goes on Tuesday night, I'll have my video-camera
with me, ready to record the action, low-lights and hi jinks
that may flare-up with the other side, still clearly upset that
weeks later, we are STILL around.
And now carrying the fight to them.

That's certainly not the way they planned it at Hallandale Beach City Hall last year!

Don't forget to bring your popcorn!

Also, please don't forget about the United Condominium
of Hallandale Beach and their monthly meeting
on Thursday the 22nd, at 7 p.m., in the ballroom of the
MarBay Hotel on Diplomat Parkway, with the Diplomat
the main topic du jour.


---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Sat, Apr 17, 2010 at 7:19 PM
Subject: Re: FYI re 2010-04-21 HB City Commission re Flex Units in Diplomat LAC

David, where did you hear the county meeting was moved to May 11th?
April 12th, 2010

The ad below about the April 21st City Commission meeting ran
in Sunday's Miami Herald.

If you haven't already heard, the Broward County Commission
meeting that was scheduled to re-hear the Diplomat LAC's
incompatible proposal on April 27th, has now been moved to
May 11th.
One month from tomorrow.

By the way, do you think The Masters Golf Tournament the past
week would've looked better or worse on TV for home viewers
IF there'd been constant shots of giant 25-30 story condo towers
looming over the magnolia trees?
Something like this rendering, perhaps?

Above rendering courtesy of Don Boudria
Looking east towards the Intracoastal and Atlantic.

You'd probably have thought that the condo towers seemed
pretty incompatible with what the folks at Augusta
seemed at pains to keep emphasizing:
nature and green, green everywhere.

Yeah, that's what I'd think, too!

Here's a question
I wish I'd thought of asking Debbie Orshefsky
a few months ago
Are there ANY golf courses in the entire state of Florida where
the respective
county approved buildings this TALL to be located
THAT close to an existing residential neighborhood and golf course,

as part of a LAC?

My own guess is that if there were, Debbie would've mentioned it
a few dozen times by now; she hasn't.
I don't think that's a coincidence.

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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