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Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Timeline for Peter Deutsch & Ben Gamla Hebrew Charter School in Hallandale Beach's 2nd proposed application in 2 years; STILL not on city's website!

I will have more to say about this particular subject in the coming week on my blog, perhaps even with some Guest posts, but for now, here's the Ben Gamla Hebrew Charter School's formal application to the City of Hallandale Beach and a photo of their public notice for the city-required community meeting, now scheduled for Tuesday, October 12th at 6:00 p.m. at the Hallandale Beach Cultural Center, located behind HB City Hall.

Former U.S. Rep. Peter Deutsch, Ben Gamla's founder, will be speaking before the HB Education Advisory Committee monthly meeting the day before, on Monday the 11th, at 4:00 p.m. at Hallandale Elementary School, 900 S.W. 8th St, Hallandale Beach.

If you can manage to do so, please attend that meeting and let your voice be heard.

Most of you already know what I personally think of bully-boy Peter Deutsch and his completely over-the-top scare tactics and threats against the city and community in general, and the single-family neighborhood specifically, but in case you forgot:

http://hallandalebeachblog.blogspot.com/search/label/Ben%20Gamla%20Hebrew%20Charter%20School

The next formal step after these two meetings will be the Hallandale Beach Planning & Zoning meeting on Wednesday October 27 at 1:30 p.m. in the City Commission Chambers.

As these meetings have drawn near, many of you have asked me via emails or personal conversations a variation of these three basic questions.

a.) Whether or not I think South Florida's somnolent news media will actually wake-up and cover this controversial story and what transpired last year, now that Peter Deutsch and Co. are eager to get a bite of the apple again, and force themselves into this single-family neighborhood rather than thinking strategically and locating at any of the many sites that are much more compatible with their long-term intentions: growth into a K-12 .

b.) Whether or not I think we should expect an encore performance from the Ben Gamla management, wherein they intentionally created a false pretense in order to motivate their parents from all over Broward to descend on HB meetings, intentionally misinforming the parents so that they appear.

(Lest we remind them, these are meetings for the benefits of residents of Hallandale Beach, NOT one for Ben Gamla parents in Tamarac, Sunrise or Pembroke Pines, and no matter how much they think we will be impressed by their tales of woe about how long it takes them to drop-off or pick-up their kids at Ben Gamla, we still won't care.

When we hear these sort of tales, and we will, it's our obligation to forcibly remind these parents that that they're driving air-conditioned SUV's and Mini-vans, not horse-drawn Conestoga Wagons to California. And besides, that's not our problem, it's their CHOICE.)

c.) Whether or not I think our perpetually-AWOL Broward School Board representative, Ann Murray, will FINALLY get off her butt and STOP hiding, and actually appear at a public meeting in Hallandale Beach where concerned citizens are present and want some honest answers.

(Say, like the meeting scheduled for October 12th, so she can finally see what Peter Deutsch & Co. are really like, meetings that she has previously avoided and hidden under the bed like my sister's dog when there's a thunderstorm. Like she has nothing to do with anything.)

As most of you who come here regularly know, I have NEVER personally seen Murray in HB at a public meetings since she was first appointed to replace Eleanor Sobel, and according to all of you, based on your own answers to my specific questions, NONE OF YOU have EVER seen here, either.

Hmm-m-m... you'd think that the South Florida news media would pick up on that after more than two years.

As you look at the photos below, remember that N.E. 8th Avenue in Hallandale Beach is currently a two-lane, one-way south-bound road, about two blocks east of U.S.-1/South Federal Highway.

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Above, looking east at the entrance of the Hallandale Jewish Center at 416 N.E. 8th Avenue.

October 3, 2010 photo by South Beach Hoosier.


Above, looking north on N.E. 8th Avenue from just south of the main building.

October 3, 2010 photo by South Beach Hoosier.


Above, looking east towards the south end of the Hallandale Jewish Center.

October 3, 2010 photo by South Beach Hoosier.

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Above, looking southeast towards the existing parking lot south of the main building.

October 3, 2010 photo by South Beach Hoosier.


Above, looking southwest from the main building across N.E. 8th Avenue

October 3, 2010 photo by South Beach Hoosier.


Above, looking west from the main building across N.E. 8th Avenue.

October 3, 2010 photo by South Beach Hoosier.


Here are my answers to these three questions:

a.) In the year 2010, given what I've written on my blog many times, there's no point in guessing what the South Florida news media will do, since so many of them do NOT appear at self-evident news events now, even when you tell them about it well in advance.

Events that years ago would've drawn throngs of savvy media types with a nose for news, now draw a few folks, often including me.

My advice: don't hold your breath and don't take it personally.

Just remind yourself: we are currently living thru the nadir of South Florida journalism.

Period.


b.) Yes, I think the Ben Gamla folks will tell their parents that they will get "points" or credit for showing-up in HB, just like last year.

Why would they change their old tactics since they honestly believe they can mobilize more people from outside of HB than the actual turnout of regular HB citizens?

They believe they can "pack" the meetings and since Peter Deutsch will no doubt utilize his old preposterous one-sided rules, where he always gets the last word and has no time limit on what he says, the very ones that so riled the community last year, why should you expect anything different?

Peter Deutsch has already publicly stated before HB citizens that he will do anything it takes to get what he wants, regardless of what the city's elected officials, the community or the neighborhood wants.

Peter Deutsch honestly doesn't care what you think.

You should take him at his word rather than think you can reason with him.

Bullies like Deutsch will keep doing what they're doing until someone stops them.


One thing is certain, though, and that is that THAT person won't be Hallandale Beach Mayor Joy Cooper, who, despite plenty of opportunities in the ten years she's been mayor, has NEVER shown the appropriate amount of leadership on the self-evident and chronic education problems in HB, by convening at least one public meeting/forum on the subject, where everything was on the table.

Cooper STILL won't publicly say what everyone in this city and region knows to be true about the dismal state of education in this city, or the say one thing and do- another behavior of parents east of U.S.-1, especially on the beach, who won't send their own kids to schools in Hallandale Beach because they perceive the quality to be unsatisfactory and or unsafe. Period.

Cooper continues to delude herself into believing this educational cleavage in the city has nothing to do with her or City Hall, but business people and businesses considering moving here think about it, don't they?

You bet they do, which is one of the main reasons they DON'T come here and relocate elsewhere, a microcosm of the larger educational quality problem in Broward County.

Mayor Peter Bober and the Hollywood City Commission finally got so frustrated with the mediocre state of education in Hollywood, esp. at the Middle Schools, and parents complaining about the difficult choices they were facing -stay put or move?- that they took the initiative last year and convened an information-filled meeting on whether to consider creating a city charter school like Pembroke Pines.

I was there for the entire meeting that night, and it was a perfect example of the glaring differences between how city government works there, and almost always fails citizens here, less than three miles away.

And despite my justified criticism of Cooper, the reason isn't just the differences between the two mayors, but the fundamental differences between an informed and engaged City Commission in Hollywood that demands and gets honest answers from city employees, and the lapdog role of the HB Commission, constantly jumping whenever the City Manager said "jump," year-after-year, with the exception of stalwart pro-reform Comm. Keith London.

But London is just one vote, and can't force the Commission to suddenly start showing natural curiosity and thoughtful initiative, or using logic and reason when they are not inclined to.

And THEY are not inclined to!

That's why I call them the Rubber Stamp Crew, after all.

Now I'm not saying that a city charter school would be the answer to all the problems here, but why can't the mayor and city commission even show the good sense to have one public meeting on the subject of education in this city, especially when the problems aren't going to go away?


c.) Ann Murray remains a reclusive ghost to her Hallandale Beach constituents.

Why would you expect that to change now?

I am going to see to it that a letter is sent to Ann Murray formally requesting her appearance at that Tuesday advisory board meeting with Deutsch, and I will print her response here.

If Murray states that she will not attend, I will then make a formal public records request of the Broward School Board asking them to provide me with the names, dates and locations of any place in the city of Hallandale Beach that Ann Murray has appeared in her capacity as a School Board member since she was initially appointed to that position over two years ago.

I think I already know what the answer will be. And if you've been paying close attention, you do, too.

As I finish this post at 11:25 p.m., Tuesday October 5th, 2010, you might be interested in knowing that the formal Ben Gamla application STILL does NOT appear on the city's website, despite the fact that the HB Planning & Zoning Board meeting is in exactly three weeks, October 27th.

Seriously, does Peter Deutsch also get to determine when their application goes on the city's website for the public to see?

It's a public record and was received in June, as you can see for yourself.

That was four months ago.

That's a question I will ask before, during or after Wednesday's Hallandale Beach City Commission meeting to HB City Manager Mark Antonio.

http://www.hallandalebeachfl.gov/files/2010-10-06/Agenda%20Outline%20for%202010-10-06%2010-00.htm

Stay tuned!

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