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 & 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 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

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
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

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

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
have an Education blog in the year 2010?

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
Conservative columnist at the Herald opining on things
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
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.

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
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
elsewhere, but the Herald has no other place to put them.

The perfect recent example of this is their post last week on
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



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.

I only discovered I was on their Communities page when
someone I know in Miami mentioned that they'd seen it linked
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

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
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
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

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

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
Stop the Presses: How to Save Newspapers by Ted Rall



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

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

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

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

No comments:

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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 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.
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.
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/

New this year: you!

New this year: you!
Close-up photo of the cute head-turning window display 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

Paradise Lost? South Florida

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

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.

Palm tree, Stars & Stripes

Palm tree, Stars & Stripes
Palm tree obstructing the sun at Hallandale Beach City Hall, May 28, 2012 photo by South Beach Hoosier. © 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved

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.

Let's end the 28-year NCAA title drought!

Let's end the 28-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.

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.

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


The welcoming party that greeted me at the luggage carousel at Arlanda Stockholm Airport in January of 2013 was... ABBA. As seen in my May 7, 2013 blog post. Click photo to see that post!

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


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

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

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!

Risk för snöras, istappar

Risk för snöras, istappar
One of the many such warning signs that I saw on buildings and on sidewalk barricades while in Stockholm in mid-January 2013, alerting you to the possibility of falling snow and ice, often by men shoveling it off roofs. This one was spotted on a residential building in the Södermalm area of Stockholm, on Ringvägen, while I was walking over to the Åhléns Department store on Götgatan. It wasn't until I was walking back later to the B&B that I noticed the inflated Santa that some resident had intentionally placed outside of their window, so it looked like Santa was falling! January 13, 2013 photo by South Beach Hoosier.© 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved.

Ringvägen, Stockholm, Sweden

Ringvägen, Stockholm, Sweden
Poster display on Ringvägen, Stockholm, Sweden. January 2013 photo by South Beach Hoosier. © 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved. The Affischplats plan in Stockholm, while not perfect, strikes me as a pretty good compromise in helping cultural and civic groups catch the public's eye in a way that's better than a free-for-all of groups plastering posters on the sides of buildings and utility boxes, and watching as the weather makes a mess of them. The tangible effort the city makes to get the public involved in a genuine and meaningful conversation about what is going on long-term for the city as a whole, or in a particular neighborhood, is very impressive, and made me wishful that the local government employees and planners where I live and write about regularly in my blog and in conversations with other concerned civic activists did even one-third of what Stockholm's planning employees seem to do as a starting-point.