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.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

A week ago today... the road not taken with the Miami Herald and some 411 about Beth Reinhard to consider

Below is an excerpted version of an email that I sent
last Tuesday.
to"Abad, Eva - Miami"
cc"Landsberg, David"
"Gyllenhaal, Anders"

I believe this explains why I won't be attending tonight.


By the way, about the below: the un-named condescending

Herald
reporter referenced is Beth Reinhard, and since
I originally wrote this,
yet another story has run in the
Herald on Lauren Book without ever mentioning that
she's going to be a Broward School Board candidate.

Par for the course.

--------------

(This was originally sent to Rick of the
South Florida
Daily Blog
with bcc's to... well, people from coast-to-coast.
Never heard back from him, though.
C'est la vie.)

Friday March 26th, 2010
4:00 p.m.


Dear Rick:

Have been meaning to contact you about something since
this past
Monday, and when I saw you broach the subject
Thursday in your
discussion on your blog regarding the
Miami Herald soliciting material from local area bloggers,
I knew that I needed to write and share what
I knew with
you and others in the area before I put it off any longer.


Herald Uses Local Blogger For Content
http://southfloridadailyblog.blogspot.com/2010/03/herald-uses-local-blogger-for-content.html
...
Now the real reason I'm writing.

Did you receive one of these invites from the Herald?
Just so you know, I never actually contacted them about
this, either.

More from me about this after the story on the Gothamist
purchase.

fromVanaver, Elissa - Miami
to"Abad, Eva - Miami"
dateMon, Mar 22, 2010 at 1:39 PM
subjectCommunity News Network



Thank you for contacting us about The Miami Herald's new Community News Network. Now that we're launched, we invite you to join us on Tuesday, April 6, to learn more about how you can post your news, photos and videos on our new community channels.

Date: Tuesday, April 6
Time: 7 p.m.
Location: The Miami Herald
1 Herald Plaza
Conference Room A
Please RSVP to Eva Abad

Elissa Vanaver
VP of Human Resources
Assistant to the Publisher

-------

Paid Content
By Rafat Ali
March 22, 2010

Exclusive
Local Blog Network Gothamist Being Bought by Cablevision’s Rainbow Media

Gothamist, the local city blog network that is best known for its New York City edition, is being acquired by Cablevision-owned Rainbow Media, paidContent has learned. The price is between $5 million to $6 million, though we understand a good portion of that is a performance-based earnout.

Read the rest of the post at: http://paidcontent.org/article/419-local-blog-network-gothamist-being-bought-by-cablevisions-rainbow-media/

See also: http://outside.in/studies

Early last Friday night, I got an out-of-the-blue phone call
from someone
at the Herald asking me if I'd received an
invitation to some event they
were throwing having to do
with the launch of their
"News Network."

After finally realizing that the phone call was legit, I laughed
and said
that on the face of it, I thought that I was unlikely
to contribute material,
photos or videos, given how often I
criticize the newspaper, whether
due to its intellectually-shallow
editorials, poor editing and overall story
selection, their Sunday
Op-Ed section being the worst of any paper
in the country of its
size, plus, the all-too-obvious biases and limitations
of certain of
its political reporters, whose complete and utter predictability
and conventional wisdom would've been embarrassing in 1989,
much less,
the year 2010.

Where oh where are all the positive necessary changes
they should've made last year?


They have far too many genuinely unappealing blogs yet
STILL
don't
have an Education blog in the year 2010?
http://www.miamiherald.com/opinion/blogs/


They still have no Broward-oriented columnist that local
Broward County
residents could read 2-3 times a week about
issues they're interested in,
instead of having so many Cuba/
Sweetwater/ Calle Ocho-centric columns
falling down upon us
everyday, as if Broward was
terra incognita.

I'm a Blue Dog Democrat who'd like to see a smart and savvy
in-house
Conservative columnist at the Herald opining on things
hereabouts,
since this area is a target-rich environment of clearly
tired ideas and
political and social personalities on life support
that need to be skewered
and held-up to long overdue scrutiny,
but which never are.


So where-oh-where is that Conservative voice at the
Herald
who'd strongly challenge the prevailing orthodoxy there at the
paper and in the community?
Sadly, it is yet another one of the things to come there that
never actually
quite arrives.

The
Herald's current notions of diversity, all too often,
consists of people
of many creeds and colors all speaking
in unison, which is not really a voice
so much as it is a chorus.

I'm really tired of seeing them run Miami news on the Broward
homepage
of the website -like that perennial, flooding on
Miami Beach!
-the sorts of stories which are already on their
website at the top anyway.


Those are the ones I've recorded with a lot of screen-shots over
the past
year or so, but which I've never run and posted about
because it's so
damn depressing, especially after the fact.

While it's nice that they are FINALLY running 6-8 more pieces
a day on
their Naked Politics blog compared to their former
pitiful output, the fact
remains that they have no video component
to that blog in the way of a
YouTube page, like the Sun-Sentinel's
Broward Politics blog, http://www.youtube.com/BrowardPolitics
and too many items are run in
Naked Politics that ought to be
running
elsewhere, but the Herald has no other place to put them.

The perfect recent example of this is their post last week on
cute-
but-completely-
inexperienced Lauren Book-Lim, super-lobbyist
Ron Book's
daughter, that in a normal newspaper, ought to have
been on the
Education blog, since it's pretty clear she's running
for an open Broward School Board
seat, which could necessarily
preclude her father from lobbying there

http://www.browardbeat.com/waiting-for-the-800-pound-gorilla/


http://www.browardbeat.com/index.php?s=%22Lauren+Book%22


which would make that a big story among those of us who care
about public policy in Broward.

See also http://miamiherald.typepad.com/nakedpolitics/2010/03/a-survivors-walk.html and http://www.facebook.com/people/Lauren-Book-Lim/10617635

But since they don't have an
Education blog...

In any case, the Herald's Patricia Mazzei NEVER even
mentions her possible School Board candidacy in the most
recent post.
It's so damn maddening!


Thank God for the St. Pete Times political reporters that they
now run, otherwise...

As it happens, the Herald went ahead without ever telling me
and listed my blog on their South Florida blogs page when it was
first introduced last year.
http://yourblogs.miamiherald.com/


I only discovered I was on their Communities page when
someone I know in Miami mentioned that they'd seen it linked
there.
And that was a few weeks after they'd been running it.

That struck me as a very odd way of doing business
or creating relationships.


As to that invite above that I received on Monday, I'm going to assume
that if they are calling me and asking me to listen to their marketing pitch,
that given how many more people read your blog, you must've already
received something like this quite some time ago.

I'm not inclined to participate when the sad reality is that I'm much more
likely to get a quicker and more professional response to an email of mine
from Herald Executive Editor Anders Gyllenhaal than I do from 99.9%
of their reporters, columnists or editors, esp. their largely invisible Broward
editors.

Gyllenhaal
has actually written me a few times in the past 18 months
after I had bcc'd him about some troubling things I'd seen in the paper,
and I genuinely believe that he wants the newspaper and its product to
be much better, as do a handful of reporters there that I genuinely trust
and wish would be given more latitude in what they write about, so that
everyone benefits.

I'm just not that convinced that a majority of the people down at the
Herald
necessarily want meaningful positive change readers are
clamoring for, including me.

Even after everything that's gone on there with the layoffs, there's an
awful lot of contrived and mediocre notions afloat there about what the
paper ought to be that to my mind, and many of the reporters there,
are gumming-up the works.

I hear somewhat regularly from reporters there about actions that
show more people than you think are still very resistant to some positive,
meaningful change that would benefit everyone.

Let me share a recent Herald anecdote that involves me:
Two weeks ago, a well-known Herald reporter called a local Broward
politician I know about something that I'd written about with 100%
certainty, and asked the pol what they thought of what I'd written.

What the reporter on the phone didn't know was that I was actually
in the room at the time standing next to this person when her phone
call came thru, and heard the entire conversation on speakerphone,
including the condescending reference to a short pithy email of mine
as "crazy mail" and me as "that blogger guy in Hallandale."

Like she couldn't bear to actually say my name or the
name of my blog, even though I had the story and the
Herald didn't.


To me, that attitude of hers explains a lot about why the Herald
is in the very sad shape it's in, despite having some very talented
people who could make it much better.

I guess I hardly need mention, do I, that this particular reporter
was
NOT someone I'd even originally sent that particular email to,
since I have such a low regard for her, but someone else at the
newspaper whom I did send it to, clearly forwarded it to her since
it was so obvious that there was a story there on a silver platter
about govt. cronyism and no-bid contracts and HB Mayor Joy
Cooper


It was yet another local Broward govt. news story this particular
reporter knew
nothing about, but typically, she never thought
to actually contact me about it, she called others who didn't know
anything about it until I told them via email and my subsequent
blog posting.

Well, that was more than ten days ago and the story has never
seen the light of day in the Herald or any of its myriad blogs.
Nowhere but my humble blog.
It's really dumbfounding.

Patricia Andrews, the Herald's former Broward bureau chief
was someone who had covered Hollywood and Hallandale Beach
back when I was living-up in the Washington, D.C. area, so I quite
naturally thought that she'd be especially receptive to hearing
about some very troubling things going on in the area that I and
many others were eyewitnesses to.
She was not.
She NEVER responded to a single email of mine,

She also never responded to occasional emails from about a dozen
or so other concerned HB residents, asking why she and the paper
were ignoring all the self-evident corruption and non-compliance
with the state's Sunshine Laws at HB City Hall.

Even now, the Herald has never written about the mayor suing
HB civic activist and blogger Michael Butler, a trusted friend of
mine, or even more troubling, the current HB Police Chief having
tried to frame and prosecute two innocent people -cops, no less-
in order to ingratiate himself with HB City Manager Mike Good
and Mayor Joy Cooper -and that TWO separate Broward
County juries ruled against him and the city by returning
verdicts against the city
in less than 15 minutes.

Verdicts that resulted in HB taxpayers paying hundreds
of thousands of dollars in damages.


Yet the status and future of this corrupt Police Chief has NEVER
been discussed in a HB City Commission meeting, for obvious reasons,
even though in most parts of the country, that conduct would've
resulted in an immediate firing -and him being in prison now.

Another stellar example of Broward SAO Mike Satz doing
nothing!


None of what I've just mentioned has ever appeared in the Herald,
yet now they want my assistance?
I don't think that's going to happen.

For the record, the Herald has sent exactly one reporter to a HB City
Commission since June of 2008.

Before I forget, go to this animated video on paidcontent.org's site
titled
Stop the Presses: How to Save Newspapers by Ted Rall
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p7qd8v8v2qk

Adios!

Dave

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Abad, Eva - Miami

Date: Fri, Apr 2, 2010 at 2:17 PM
Subject: REMINDER: Community News meeting AT THE MIAMI HERALD
To:

If you haven't RSVP's please contact me as soon as you can.
Thanks!!!

Eva Abad
HR/Community Affairs Specialist
Executive Assistant
The Miami Herald

-----Original Message-----
From: Abad, Eva - Miami
On Behalf Of
Vanaver, Elissa - Miami
Sent: Monday, March 22, 2010 1:39 PM
To: Abad, Eva - Miami
Subject: Community News Network

Thank you for contacting us about The Miami Herald's new Community News Network. Now that we're launched, we invite you to join us on Tuesday, April 6, to learn more about how you can post your news, photos and videos on our new community channels.

Date: Tuesday, April 6
Time: 7 p.m.
Location: The Miami Herald
1 Herald Plaza
Conference Room A

Please RSVP to Eva Abad

Elissa Vanaver
VP of Human Resources
Assistant to the Publisher

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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.
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