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, the U.S. & South Florida, in particular, Broward & Miami-Dade County, and the cities of Hallandale Beach & Hollywood.
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.
Spot the difference ... pic.twitter.com/t7yeoRw7mt”— Kateryna_Kruk (@Kateryna_Kruk) September 1, 2014
NY Times headline on this day in 1939, negotiations with Hitler: "Berlin thinks door is open for peaceful solution." pic.twitter.com/8iPv6az8HH— Strobe Talbott (@strobetalbott) August 29, 2014
History rhymes? In 1939 UK & France urged Poland not to provoke Germany by mobilizing, later chided Poles for not preparing for invasion.— Strobe Talbott (@strobetalbott) August 29, 2014
If war is coming to Europe, shouldn't we prepare? http://t.co/CQdOQtDvWf— Anne Applebaum (@anneapplebaum) August 29, 2014
Saturday, August 14, 2010
Most boring U.S. sports headline of year? Could be! 8/14 Miami Herald: "Miami Dolphins' Sparano's goal in preseason is evaluating his players"
Miami Dolphins' Sparano's goal in preseason is evaluating his players
By Jeff Darlington
Exhibition games aren't for everyone. Not for the established veterans who just want to stay healthy. Not for the casual fans who wish the score would count for something.
But for the coach?
"I have four preseason games right now, and I can't find enough time for some of the players that I have to see,'' Dolphins coach Tony Sparano said Thursday.
Balancing between the task of getting starters enough repetitions and evaluating little-known players, Sparano's agenda during Saturday's 7 p.m. preseason opener against the Tampa Bay will be slammed.
While he focuses on the details, fans will get an opportunity to watch some of the bigger themes of training camp play out.
5. CORNERBACK DEPTH
In the wake of cornerback Will Allen's arthroscopic knee surgery, it has become clear that backups Jason Allen and Nolan Carroll are being pegged as the two players capable of filling his role. Carroll is a rookie, and Jason Allen hasn't lit up the world as a cornerback during his career, meaning the upcoming preseason games will provide coaches with the best proof possible to see if their strong training camp is the real deal. Both figure to get plenty of repetitions once Sparano has decided Sean Smith and Vontae Davis have seen enough playing time to justify sitting them down. So just because the starters might wind up seated by halftime, this preseason opener should provide at least a few reasons to watch.
4. SAFETY CHRIS CLEMONS
Five months ago, the Dolphins were in hot pursuit of Steelers free safety Ryan Clark to fill a significant void. But Clark snubbed Miami. How did the Dolphins resolve the issue? By giving second-year safety Chris Clemons a chance to prove his worth. Sparano said Clemons has taken more than 400 repetitions during practice -- and he has only made one mental mistake. As a result, a strong performance against the Bucs will cause Sparano to declare him the first winner of a competition during training camp. Sparano noted that "if it goes well on Saturday, and he gets enough opportunities,'' Clemons will be the guy. "Chris has proven to me right now that I think he's going to be a pretty good player.''
3. INTERIOR OFFENSIVE LINE
Every time it appears the Dolphins have steered toward a certain combination of players at guard and center, somebody gets hurt. The latest victim of Miami's almost daily injury bug was Nate Garner, who was taking repetitions as the first-team left guard before aggravating a previous foot injury. Center Jake Grove is coming back from a bone bruise on his knee, but Joe Berger is expected to start against the Bucs. Rookie John Jerry is the likely starter on the right side, but the left guard position remains up in the air. It will take more than one game to settle this unit. As the competition plays out, Sparano could take looks at as many as four combinations throughout this game.
2. FRONT SEVEN
If you believe the Dolphins' offense is going to be the catalyst for Miami's overall success this season, then it's important to still realize why a young defense will need to click for any of the rest to matter. Defensive end Jared Odrick and linebacker Koa Misi are slated as rookie starters, linebacker Cameron Wake is trying to prove he's a three-down linebacker and nose tackle Randy Starks is transitioning to a new position. All four will play integral parts in the fate of the defense -- yet none of the four have any extensive body of work during games when it comes to those tasks. The upcoming preseason might be more critical for them than any other group on this roster.
1. HENNE TO MARSHALL
Quarterback Chad Henne is slated to play at least one quarter against the Bucs, Dolphins coach Tony Sparano said. He could play into the second quarter if the offense isn't on the field enough in the first, which should please fans for one reason: He'll have more than a few opportunities to connect with wide receiver Brandon Marshall. Despite a strong start to training camp, Henne and Marshall struggled in the team's only game-like format -- a scrimmage that took place last week. It was no reason to worry, but an exhibition against the Bucs could be the perfect way to prove it. Chemistry will be critical for the pair to flourish. They are getting along great, and Marshall seems to really like the way Henne throws the ball.
Reader comments from very unsophisticated South Florida football fans who make up for their lack of football smarts and historical knowledge and context by being very opinionated sycophants are at:
After reading this article this morning, I wrote the following and submitted it.
Thank you ladies and gentleman but you can stop sending in nominations now as we already have our most boring sports headline of the year: 8/14 Miami Herald: "Miami Dolphins' Sparano's goal in preseason is evaluating his players"
Actually, the honeymoon of sorts that Dolphin fans have given Sparano will end in late October if he can't start showing that he can actually out-coach someone once in a while.
While we're at it, how come Sparano was never quite able to figure out last year how to create a scenario for a super-talent like Pat White, who has been a legit difference-maker and great teammate his entire college career, where he could have some early success to help his confidence?
Frankly, it often looked to me like the team flat out quit on Pat White, and then his inexperience resulted in wasted opportunities or hasty turnovers. Don't give up on this kid. I still do NOT believe in Chad Henne, whether his self-evident staring-down of receivers or his lack of a 'touch,'Midas or otherwise, on thrown balls.
Far too often, he resembles a statue with a bazooka.
Interesting perhaps to look at in a museum, but his lack of mobility always makes me think he's about two seconds from either a concussion or a fumble.
He could've run for first downs so many times last year, too, yet stayed in the pocket too long, only to over-throw, under-throw or get sacked. His sense of inner timing is problematic, esp. in close games in the 4th Quarter. After I got back early this evening from doing some errands and swinging by the beach to read some newspapers, political direct mail and make some notes and organize my thoughts about some things I need to write about here in the future, I went back to the article above.
The Hectors in Hialeah and Mikes in South Miami do not like critical scrutiny of the Dolphins.
Not that this is a surprise to me, though, as you'll get no argument from me that South Florida sports fans are THE most ignorant in all of the major North American cities having pro teams, and the sports radio here proves it everyday.
Listening is the proof.
There are STILL people defending Randy Shannon everyday who say he should get a few more YEARS as the University of Miami's head football coach before any decision is made.
So after perusing some of the predictably dopey reader comments before the game started, I cobbled together some more thoughts to respond.
It was fun to write but not all of it would fit, but here it is:
Reading the reader comments to my earlier comments has been pretty funny. I could mention that my first Dolphin home game was in 1970, that I first went to summer training camp at the then-Biscayne College 2-3 times a week in '71, that I purchased the first copy of Dolphin Digest -when that was really a new concept- at the mobile snack bar north of the scorching-hot metal bleachers.
That I was at MIA to greet the team with thousands of others after their '71 Christmas Day playoff OT win against the Chiefs, had season tickets for the first time in the '72 Perfect Season, only missed one home game -preseason, regular and playoff in eight years until I left for college.
Or, that I actually got to know some of the players personally who were most responsible for their glory days, even baby-sitting kids from time-to-time whose Dolphin father made it into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Or that I've forgotten more Dolphin history than 99% of you will ever know. I like him, but if White ends up being a bust with the Dolphins, Y-O-U and the Herald's sycophants have to blame Parcells for wasting an early second round pick, no?
Or that with the easiest schedule in the NFL, the Dolphins made the playoffs but lost, while the Steelers, with the most difficult schedule, won the Super Bowl.
Or that last year, the Dolphins had the worst fourth-quarter defense in the NFL.
But I won't, because that would be taking advantage of people who simply don't know what they are talking about.
I will mention, though, that while at West Virginia, Pat White finished in the top seven for the Heisman Trophy two years in a row, a not-inconsiderable feat, and was personally responsible for some of WVU's greatest victories in school history, including Bowl Game upsets that turned into routs.
Meanwhile, Chad Henne never beat Ohio State while at Michigan and is, in part, responsible for some of the worst games played in Michigan history, and often disappeared in games where he needed to have a strong presence, which perhaps explains why he wasn't an NFL First-Round pick, don't you think? (Oh, and that he often had no "touch" on his passes.)
Now, you kids go back to Los Marlins store on Calle Ocho and admit to your dopey pals that you're a football fraud who doesn't really knows anything about the game before you were born.
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.
"And David put his hand in the bag and took out a stone and slung it. And it struck the Philistine on the head and he fell to the ground. Amen."- Preacher Purl encouraging the underdog Hickory High basketball team before the state title game against heavily-favored South Bend Central in 1986's Hoosiershttp://www.imdb.com/title/tt0091217/
Ordinary people can make a difference in fight against corruption in Broward County
The next time you hear someone in Broward County, like one of the usual "experts" or pundits or maybe a self-interested lobbyist like Joy Cooper's supercilious pal Judy Stern repeat the Conventional Wisdom that nobody really cares about ethical behavior, transparency and accountability in Broward cities, except a handful of people, just keep this in mind.
As of March 6, 2014 at 12:30 p.m., in the 84 weeks since I first wrote my October 15th 2012 post titled, "Ethics? Not for us! Follow-up to my post re Hallandale Beach's unethical "business as usual" attitude, with "special rules for special people" if they are named Joy Cooper, Bill Julian and Anthony A. Sanders; What ethics? What rules? @MayorCooper, @SandersHB" it's been viewed 183,914 times. That's MORE than TWO THOUSAND page views a week! Imagine that!That total doesn't even include the number of people who saw it the day it was first posted, when it was the default post of the blog. That's a lot of people who now know a lot more facts about the truth regarding the corruption and incompetency that have been commonplace in Hallandale Beach all these years while Broward State's Attorney Mike Satz and his staff did NOTHING. Just saying...
In the continuing opera still called, even by Cubans who have now lived the largest part of their lives in this country, el exilo, the exile, meetings at private homes in Miami Beach are seen to have consequences. The actions of individuals are seen to affect events directly. Revolutions and counter-revolutions are framed in the private sector, and the state security apparatus exists exclusively to be enlisted by one or another private player. That this particular political style, indigenous to the Caribbean and to Central America, has now been naturalized in the United States is one reason why, on the flat coastal swamps of South Florida, where the palmettos once blew over the detritus of a dozen failed booms and the hotels were boarded up six months a year, there has evolved since the early New Year's morning in 1959 when Fulgencio Batista flew for the last time out of Havana a settlement of considerable interest, not exactly an American city as American cities have until recently been understood but a tropical capital: long on rumor, short on memory, overbuilt on the chimera of runaway money and referring not to New York or Boston or Los Angeles or Atlanta but to Caracas and Mexico, to Havana and to Bogota and to Paris and Madrid. Of American cities Miami has since 1959 connected only to Washington, which is the peculiarity of both places, and increasingly the warp...
"The general wildness, the eternal labyrinths of waters and marshes, interlocked and apparently neverending; the whole surrounded by interminable swamps... Here I am then in the Floridas, thought I," John James Audobon wrote to the editor of The Monthly American Journal of Geology and Natural Science during the course of an 1831 foray in the territory then still called the Floridas. The place came first, and to touch down there is to begin to understand why at least six administrations now have found South Florida so fecund a colony. I never passed through security for a flight to Miami without experiencing a certain weightlessness, the heightened wariness of having left the developed world for a more fluid atmosphere, one in which the native distrust of extreme possibilities that tended to ground the temperate United States in an obeisance to democratic institutions seemed rooted, if at all, only shallowly. At the gate for such flights the preferred language was already Spanish. Delays were explained by weather in Panama. The very names of the scheduled destinations suggested a world in which many evangelical inclinations had historically been accommodated, many yearnings toward empire indulged...
In this mood Miami seemed not a city at all but a tale, a romance of the tropics, a kind of waking dream in which any possibility could and would be accommodated...
So this is where our tax dollars go to die?
"So this is where our tax dollars go to die? My friend and fellow civic activist Csaba Kulin, perhaps wondering when we're FINALLY going to get the clean and inviting public beach that Hallandale Beach residents believe we're entitled to but have never received under Mayor Cooper and her Rubber Stamp Crew.
Instead, we get rusty pipes in the middle of the beach and garbage cans on the beach -without lids- at the windiest place in the entire city. And a public building across the street from the beach that the public can't use for free but which city employees can -for their holiday parties." Click photo to see many more photos of the site and the original post, or http://hallandalebeachblog.blogspot.com/2012/06/latest-info-photos-re-related-groups.html; 2012 photo by South Beach Hoosier. © 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved
Corruption Isn't Unique to South Florida, It's the Level of the Stupidity That Is
"[Chicago Mayor] William Hale Thompson was defeated Tuesday after a campaign which he alone made disgraceful. The election was an ejection, a dirty job, but Chicago has washed itself and put on clean clothes. Thompson recognized the [Chicago] Tribune as his chief enemy. The Tribune was glad to earn that opinion. It certainly tried to do so. It has taken the fight to him on every occasion during the long and depraved course of his administration. It is unpleasant business to eject a skunk, but someone has to do it. For Chicago, Thompson has meant filth, corruption, obscenity, idiocy and bankruptcy. He has given the city an international reputation for moronic buffoonery, barbaric crime, triumphant hoodlumism, unchecked graft and a dejected citizenship. He nearly ruined the property and completely destroyed the pride of the city. He made Chicago a byword for the collapse of American civilization. In his attempt to continue this he excelled himself as a liar and defamer of character. He’s out. He is not only out, but dishonored. He is deserted by his friends. He is permanently marked by the evidences of his character and conduct. His health is impaired by his ways of life and he leaves office and goes from the city the most discredited man who ever held place in it."
-Excerpts from April 1931 Chicago Tribune editorial following Republican "Big Bill" Thompson's loss to his Democratic rival Anton Cermak. A friend of organized crime during the Al Capone era, Thompson was the last Republican elected mayor of Chicago. But less than two years later, Mayor Cermak was shot while shaking hands with President-elect Franklin D. Roosevelt at Miami's Bayfront Park. He died from gunshot wounds to his lungs three weeks later.
Perhaps you'll enjoy this view more!
On the floor of Assembly Hall for tonight's game. pic.twitter.com/lv02G254zG— Tyler Smith (@sports_TYs_20) November 26, 2013