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.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

UCLA edges Sooners to win 2010 NCAA Women's Gymnastics Championship at Gainesville; Coverage of Women's Sports in the Miami Herald

UCLA Bruins: They're Number One!

Above, a screenshot I took Friday night of a beaming Anna Li,
the UCLA
senior gymnast, the best in the Pac-10, holding the
2010 NCAA Championship trophy in Gainesville, while jubilant
teammates show everyone who's number one this year.

Above, Bruins Rock, Los Angeles magazine, November 2006

Before I get to what was going to be the main point of
my post today, a few comments are in order about some
sports realities in the year 2010.

First, despite whatever awards they claim to have won,
the simple fact is that the Miami Herald's sports section
has long been among the worst in the country, and an
absolute embarrassment for its circulation size and the
amount of resources they have at their command.

(Future blog posts here will get into lots of details about
the
whys of that, something I'm sorry to say I blame myself
for, since
I've written something about it often and saved
it to Draft, but then thought that it was too petty.
But then I remembered that I'm my own Executive Editor
and Sr. VP of New Media.)

Second, the most-popular spectator sport at the Winter
Olympics is Women's Figure Skating, while the most popular
sport at the Summer Olympics is Women's Gymnastics.

We all know this even if we didn't like the sports because
the American TV networks would constantly remind us
of their primacy with their constant teasers of upcoming
action before fading to commercials, often going to shots
of petite gymnasts or leggy skaters pacing in the arena
hallway or of them contorting themselves in various
ways to get completely loose, before fading to patriotic
beer commercials.

It a TV sports production cliche as old as Olympic TV
itself in the Roone Arledge era of "Up close and
personal
."

Myself, I love both sports and have been involved with
both on a high-level to an extent that would probably
surprise many people reading this, though to be sure,
that's more true with gymnastics than figure skating.

When I first got to Bloomington in late August of 1979,
the only person
I actually knew and had ever met who
lived in Indiana was former Miami Central High
School
grad and Indiana State and Olympic star Kurt Thomas,
though it's not like we were friends or anything.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kurt_Thomas_%28gymnast%29
http://www.kurtthomas.net/




But despite loving gymnastics and figure skating, or even
still having the old U.S.F.S.A. address in Boston still stuck
in my head, like a flashlight rolling around in a car trunk,
I also know that both sports have suffered over the years
publicly for many of the same reasons: less-than-scrupulous
judging, nationalistic
chauvinism and frequent prima donna
athletes who defy
belief with their massive egos and sense
of superiority,
even when it's no longer justified.

That said, I think it's very sad that in the year 2010,
the two spectator sports that are most popular with
American women are ones that 99.99% of them have
NEVER competed in on a competitive level, whether
K-12 or college.

It's rather inconceivable that the two most popular
spectator sports for American men would ever be ones
that 99.99% of them had never participated in.

That's just one of those things that we know but don't
really ever talk about at length because we all have
experience with girls or women who have a complete
aversion to sports of any kind.

Which also explains the obesity situation with Hispanic
and African-American K-12 girls to an extent that
never gets discussed when it's so much easier to write
stories blaming McDonald's or Coca-Cola.

I mention these things because the 2010 NCAA Women's
Gymnastics Championship have been held at U-F in
Gainesville since Thursday, with the team title decided
on Friday night.

Despite this NCAA championship of one of the two most
popular spectator sports for women being held in-state,
in a place that we are used to seeing stories from, the
Miami Herald had not one word about it on Friday.

Despite the Gators having one of the better teams in the
country.

They just couldn't be bothered.

In fact, they didn't just avoid writing anything about it,
they also didn't even run the results of the two Semi-finals
on Thursday night on their Scoreboard page, page 11A,
the traditional dumping-ground of the Herald sports
section, going back to the 1960's.

This is not surprising when you consider that the night
of the two NCAA Women's Basketball Semi-finals a few
weeks ago, while the New York Times was able to
print their South Florida edition in Fort Lauderdale
and managed to not only get the story, but also photos
of that second Semi-final game in their Monday print
editions, the Miami Herald had zero information
about the second game.
ZERO!

Ask yourself this question: when was the last time you
saw a photo of a female athlete -who wasn't a golfer,
tennis player or Danica Patrick- who was on the
front page of the sports section of the Herald?

Was Don Shula still the Dolphins head coach then?

Just wondering out loud.

If you have a few minutes, you might want to bring
these and many other items you may've noticed
yourself with the Editor of the Herald's mish-mash
of a sports section, Jorge Rojas, jrojas@Miamiherald.com,
since this guy keeps a lower profile than any sports
editor of any newspaper where I've lived.
He's a veritable ghost.

And the sports section is getting worse not better.
Everyone seems to know this but the people at One
Herald Plaza.

More on this topic over the weekend.

--------------
Above, a shot of the NCAA Channel I watched Friday night's
meet on.

With the Five-in-a-Row defending champion Georgia
Gym Dogs
not qualifying this year, the Women's NCAA
Gymnastics title is returning to fashionable Westwood,
one of the most beautiful college campuses in the country,
for the sixth time.

See http://tweetphoto.com/19647726 and
http://www.uclabruins.com/sports/w-gym/recaps/042310aaa.html



Super Six Team Finals from Friday night,
April 23rd, 2010:
UCLA, Utah, Florida, Stanford,
Alabama, Oklahoma


The videotape starts immediately with audio, visual comes
on at about the 0:01:17 mark
http://all-access.cbssports.com/player.html?code=ncaa&media=178160


Final team results:

UCLA Bruins 197.725

Oklahoma Sooners 197.250

Alabama Crimson Tide 197.225

Stanford Cardinal 197.100

Florida Gators 197.00

Utah Utes (Red Rocks) 196.225


Individual All-Around Champion -award at 2:45:23 on tape-

Susan Jackson, Senior, LSU with a score of 39.625, winning

every event but Floor Exercise.

Videotape ends at 2:54:45 with UCLA senior Anna Li waving
the championship trophy to the crowd.
Now THAT'S the way you want to end your college career!

The Daily Bruin
UCLA gymnastics wins sixth NCAA championship title
By Mansi Sheth
April 23, 2010 at 10:31 p.m
http://www.dailybruin.com/articles/2010/4/23/ucla-gymnastics-wins-sixth-ncaa-championship-title/

Highlights -NCAA Women's Gymnastics National Semi-final #1 and 2
Go to http://all-access.cbssports.com/player.html?code=ncaa&media=179038
and click Event Guide in upper left.


See http://www.ncaa.com/sports/w-gym/ncaa-w-gym-body.html
and official blog at: http://www.ncaa.com/blog/200910d1womensgymnastics/
and http://www.uclabruins.com/sports/w-gym/spec-rel/10-media-guide.html

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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 likely shaking his head in disbelief- don't be afraid to come over and say hello or pitch a prospective story idea. Photo by South Beach Hoosier. Move your mouse over the cap and you are sent to the IU Athletic Dept.'s YouTube Channel to see the latest on the Hoosiers.

Paradise Lost? South Florida

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

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 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/
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.

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.

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New this year: you!

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Close-up photo of the cute head-turning window display I snapped in 2013 at the Apotek Hjärtat -Sweden's largest independent pharmacy chain- located at Ringvägen 113, near the Skanstull T-bana in Södermalm, Stockholm. Sign reads, "Årets nyhet: du! Ett helt nytt och obrukat år är här. Just nu känns det lite lättare att välja om, förändra vanor och bryta gamla mönster. Vi hjälper gärna till. Du vill, du kan, du törs!' (New this year: you! A brand new and unused year is here. Right now it feels a little easier to choose, change habits and break old patterns. We're happy to help. You want to, you can, you dare!) Sounds like good advice that I ought to be following, too! January 12, 2013 photo by South Beach Hoosier.© 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved

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

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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

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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!

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