In Hallandale Beach, the worst areas then and now are those north of East Hallandale Beach Blvd. (HBB) and east of U.S.-1/Federal Highway towards the RK Plaza retail center on N.E. 14th Avenue.
There is still visible damage from the two-foot flooding in December along East HBB which HB City Hall has completely ignored all this time, despite how obvious it is.
First, two retail stores on the north side of the street that suffered damage and which were featured in TV news stories on the flooding at the time have since closed.
(More empty storefronts!
Not that the HB Chamber of Commerce is paying any attention to that sort of thing, since they've got executive board lunches at Gulfstream Park to worry about.)
Second, the bricks on the FDOT-built medians on HBB from roughly NE 8th Avenue to NE 12th Avenue popped-up everywhere so that it's not only unsightly, but unsafe.
Though originally built by FDOT contractors, the city is legally responsible for maintaining the medians in a safe manner, yet the only thing they have done with regard to them since the first day of flooding -besides throwing sand on them, which dissipates with the next rain!- is leaving a single safety barricade there where the median bricks have caved-in, which I've been taking photos of every week since December 18th as I walk by.
There's even a Mini-Stonehenge on the median near N.E. 12th Avenue that I also snap a shot of once in a while, as people show their displeasure with the city's apathy to their responsibility by adding one brick to a pile that was already there.
It's another self-evident example of Mayor Joy Cooper and HB DPW head John Chidsey's obliviousness to problems that need concrete solutions that HB residents see left to fester, day- after-day, month-after-month, year-after-year during their completely unsatisfactory reign of ruin.
Early last month, one of the sort of slow-moving thunderstorms we often get here in the summer created a mini-version of the December debacle, even being featured in news stories across the country.
The general sense of outrage and frustration as well as the city's very unfavorable press as one resident after another complained to TV reporters about the city's laggard and incompetent response, led to the city convening a public meeting recently at HB City Hall that was packed with angry residents, mostly from the NE. area.
I was not there the entire time, but from what I heard as well as from what attendees who were there from the beginning told me afterwards and thru anecdote-filled emails later, the rather uncomfortable sense from residents that the city is continually playing catch-up to events like the Keystone Kops, even though there's ample warning about any troublesome upcoming weather from the National Weather Service, NWS., is really starting to get to people in a way that other previous issues didn't.
Local residents may think we're in Hallandale Beach, but to the NWS, we are affectionately known as Latitude 25.98°North, Longitude 80.13°West
What REALLY infuriated residents in December and June according to every person I spoke to who was personally affected was the city allowing non-emergency vehicles from outside the area to drive thru the flooded residential streets and create a wake that forced even more water into neighborhood homes and businesses, causing more serious damage.
How did I find out about the meeting at City Hall?
Thru a flyer taped to a glass window near an ATM on the north side of the Bank of America branch on N.E. 8th Avenue.
You think I could make that up?
According to Codd, "the City of Hallandale Beach is handing out free sand bags to residents" at the HB Public Works Dept, at 630 NW 2nd Street.
For those of you far from HB and Hollywood, much of which is below sea level, this particular area is less than 1.5 miles from the Atlantic Ocean.
Speaking of Bonnie, Hallandale Beach Blog, who's your favorite Bonnie?
I'm glad you asked me that: Bonnie Bedelia, whom as I've mentioned before, absolutely wowed a much younger me a few years after seeing her in the 1969 NBC-TV drama with Michael Parks, Then Came Bronson, first came out.
I sometimes think in retrospect that the whole time I was at IU, I was looking for a Bonnie twin. And thanks to my friends who were in them, I knew just the sororities which had strong competitors for that crown, esp. Delta Gamma and Kappa Kappa Gamma and Kappa Alpha Theta.
The talented and oh-so lovely Leighton Meester reminded me of a young Bonnie from the first time I ever saw her in NBC's cute sci-fi show "Surface" five years ago.
Now, every time I see BB I think of LM and vice-versa.
Blake Lively and Leighton Meester of Gossip Girl,
Rolling Stone 1075, March 2009.
As I put it at the time I first ran this photo of the issue I bought last year:
You scream, I scream, we all scream for... Gossip Girl.
Photo by Terry Richardson.
Check these videos out and tell me what you think about my analogy, and before you ask, BB was twenty-one years old when she made this film:
I was originally going to run a couple of pertinent photos to illustrate some of my points, since I've been taking them for reasons such as this, but due to time constraints and a lack of sleep, I'm going to have to come back here later and drop them in to connect-the-dots a bit better, so please come back and check them out when you can.
And sometimes even that is not enough!