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 and Europe, especially the UK 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.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Another piece of Deutsch's Ben Gamla in HB puzzle -Keep costs low and give enough people outside HB what they want so you can laugh at HB residents

This post below, on the website of the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, was among Sunday's Google Alerts for "Ben Gamla" that I received.

Similar to dozens of others in thought and scope that I've seen and received the past two years in that they put the lie to Peter Deutsch's contention that he is not trying to go after the religious schools.

He is, he just realizes that he
doesn't have to actually say it himself, since the parents will come to this realization by themselves, when they see something education-wise they can live with.

Just think how very different the tenor would be here now if
Deutsch, rather than adopt the bullying, scorched earth approach he's used here, where he openly castigates and maligns HB citizens and publicly dares the city's elected officials to stop him, he'd come to the community 2 years ago and said simply,
"What would YOU like to see in Hallandale Beach in the way of educational alternatives to help HB kids?
In an area that could use an economic jolt?"

But that's not his style or personality, either now or while he was in Congress.
After all, he once famously hired a Harvard college student as his Chief of Staff for his Washington office.
Not a Harvard graduate, a Harvard student.

(That this fact has been completely forgotten by the South Florida news media bringing up Allen West's here-and-gone choice for Chief-of-Staff this week, surprises me... not at all.)

His move really riled Floridians living and working up in D.C. -esp. on the Hill, at the law firms and at Think Tanks- like someone taking a baseball bat to a bee hive, and then standing around to admire what they did, knowing that someone would notice.
That it was a dumb move hardly mattered.

I know this because I was living and working in Washington at the time, and not
surprisingly, knew lots of people from all parts of Florida with all sorts of positions in town, high and low, Democratic and Republican.

You won't be shocked to hear that they all thought this hiring of his did nothing to improve his longstanding rep for stand-offishness and grandstanding of a sort that embarrasses, yes, even other pols.
Deutsch didn't care what others thought, not even his own constituents.

Then as now, Deutsch dares and he bluffs and calculates that nobody will call him on it , or put real resources or money into the fight, whatever the fight happens to be about.
That's how he's gotten to this point.

And from his p.o.v., why should he change now for the sensibilities of Hallandale Beach residents who, rightly, feel angry, dis-respected and ignored even BEFORE a final decision is made by the City Commission?

I've said what seems like a million times before, here in emails and on my blog, that Peter Deutsch doesn't care what you think or feel or say.
Now, people actually see that's true.

He thinks, quite naturally, that this Ben Gamla plan of his is a ridiculous franchise idea whose time has finally come, just like McDonald's.
(Except he and his colleagues own all the franchises.)

Keep your costs low and give enough people whaty they want that you can laugh at all the others.
Laugh all the way to the bank.

Henry Ford and his 'Model T' -he'd give you any color you wanted as long as you wanted black- Deutsch realizes that he genuinely DOESN'T have to be either reasonable or fair-minded, he just has to be determined to be stubborn, which, in his case, comes naturally.

Peter Deutsch fully expects the HB City Commission to cave-in to his demands, and really, given what everyone here has seen of them, why shouldn't he think this?
Profiles in Courage they aren't.
Backbones are, indeed, at a premium.

That's our community's collective tragedy, but Peter Deutsch's business opportunity.


Charter Schools Can Reinvigorate the Movement

by Rabbi Paul Plotkin

There is a joke that asks what is the most effective form of birth control in the observant Jewish world.

The answer? Day school tuition.

The cost of raising a family seriously committed to a Jewish life is becoming prohibitive. Jewish day schools report declining enrollments and increased requests for financial assistance; in some communities three children in grammar school can cost more than $60,000 a year. Then there are synagogue dues, JCC dues, tzedakah donations, and Jewish summer camp fees. We are in danger of allowing Judaism to become available only to the wealthy.

Read the rest at:



South Florida Sun-Sentinel


Proposed charter school divides the community

By Sergy Odiduro, Forum Publishing Group

November 13, 2010

More traffic, more noise, more pollution in a small neighborhood with an already-strained infrastructure.

Some Hallandale Beach residents say that's exactly what they are expecting if the city approves Ben Gamla, a proposed Hebrew-English charter school.

They voiced their opinions at a recent community meeting at the city's Cultural Community Center to discuss the project, alongside others who think the school would be a welcome addition.

Margaret Schorr said there are limited educational opportunities in the city.

"A school like this in the area can only enhance Hallandale," she said.

The school, slated to serve 600 students in grades 7-12, would operate out of the Hallandale Jewish Center, 416 NE Eighth Ave.

Peter Deutsch, a former U.S. congressman, founded the first Ben Gamla site in 2007 amid controversy over whether it would be a religious school.

School district officials approved the courses, and Deutsch has moved on with expansion plans that include locations in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties.

Deutsch said city staff has concluded that there is capacity on Eighth Avenue for this project, and traffic should not be a concern.

Some residents were skeptical, however.

"This is a rainy afternoon," Cynthia Cabrera said as she held up a large photo of a flooded street. "Why are you pushing so hard to have a school on a street where the infrastructure is so poor?"

Some at the meeting questioned whether those who spoke out in favor were actually from the neighborhood.

"How many parents are receiving volunteer hours for attending this meeting?" asked Josephine Alongi, who smiled when several people raised their hands.

Sharon Miller, principal at the school's Hollywood location, confirmed that some parents will receive volunteer hours for attending.

"Meetings that parents can earn volunteer hours include PTO, student advisory committee and monthly parent workshops," she said. "If there are meetings that pertain to our school, and the high school pertains to the growth of our organization, parents will receive volunteer hours for their attendance."

Mitchel Levin, who supports the school, said it could be a boon to the area.

"Don't close your mind to this," he said. "Six-hundred families will be spending their money here."

Barbara Southwick, who serves on the city's education advisory board, was opposed.

"The nature of Ben Gamla will not draw our most financially, educationally and environmentally deprived, which was the original concept of charter schools," she said. "Since schools are paid through your taxes per pupil, our public schools suffer when we fund such a specialized school."

Catherine Kim Owens, who also serves on the board, cited the small percentage of black students at Ben Gamla's Hollywood location.

"Obviously, this is not an inclusive school for all of the community," she said.

Deutsch refuted that categorization.

"We make an effort to recruit [a diverse student body]," he said. "We reach out to political leaders and church leaders. We advertise in Creole and Spanish. We make an effort, but we can't make someone come to our school."

Owens said residents would continue to fight the proposal.

"They told me the Diplomat [hotel expansion proposal] was a done deal, but this community showed those powerful lobbyists and politicians what grassroots movement voters can do," she said. "This Ben Gamla school is another example of a powerful ex-politician and well-heeled friends trying to shoehorn into a tiny area an over-the-top development at the expense of 10- to 50-year residents."

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#HOLLYWOODFL based photographer and entrepreneur Esther Chuang with Hollywood Mayor-elect Josh Levy

Thumbs up! What a night! #HOLLYWOODFL based photographer and entrepreneur Esther Chuang with a very elated Hollywood Mayor-elect Josh Levy at his Victory Party, held at Leo Anato's Atelier3/AT3 on Harrison Street & S. 19th Avenue, Hollywood. AT3's great environment and the amazing variety of food prepared by chef Kevin Dreifuss, former owner/chef of ENDS MEAT restaurant, was SUPERB! November 8, 2016

Esther Chuang, Morro Dois Irmãos, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 2015

Above, perhaps my most-favorite photo ever of Esther, which is really saying something considering the THOUSANDS that I've actually seen of her, from all over the world. But despite the fact that you can't actually see it here, trust me, her amazing smile and inner and external beauty are there. This photo is an even more amazing achievement when you know the backstory of what it took for Esther to get to the top of the mountain, since it's NOT for the faint of heart. Next time you see her, ask her about that! Morro Dois Irmãos, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on her birthday, July 10, 2015. That's the Christ The Redeemer statue way out in the horizon on the top of another mountain, to the left of her head. �� In case you forgot what the Christ the Redeemer statue looks like, up close, here's another Brazilian beauty to connect-the-dots for you: Gisele Bündchen, aka @Gisele.

Abençoado por Deus e bonito por natureza!✨ ������

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View of Rio De Janeiro from my room.

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"Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase." - Martin Luther King, Sept. 1962. #MLK I was a young kid living in #Memphis with my family that April night in 1968 when we returned home from a trip to #McDonalds and like so many nights before, I raced to the TV set in the living room to beat my two younger sisters to be the one who turned on the TV. As my parents walked in and settled down on the family couch, to see what was on TV, literally, within one minute, came the Breaking News that Dr. King had been shot elsewhere in the city. And the news only got worse as the night went on as news soon confirmed that Dr. King had died as a result of the assassination attempt, and soon there was widespread looting and violence in Memphis, the very things he had adamantly opposed. Eventually came the news that the city was under curfew, and sometime before midnight, because my family lived in a new-ish apt. complex that was on the same road as the nearby Armory, my parents and I and many of our neighbors watched in silence from the sidewalk/curb as tanks driven by members of the mobilized National Guard drove towards downtown Memphis, because the city's powers-that-be had decided that this would show the people who was boss. As my mother tells the story, one of my neighbors remarked on the irony of U.S. Army tanks being used to try to stop violence by Americans who were upset about the murder of a great man who had won the #NobelPeacePrize. It was the first time I remember ever hearing this strange word: #irony.

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When you leave but bring the spare key because it is yours to keep.

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2 0 1 7. I made new mistakes and old ones again. I learned things I didn't know and I things I had already learned the hard way but needed to repeat either way. I fell in love again and again, with the same man, and realized that is the way to do it. I stopped thinking life happened to me and started enjoying taking control of what tomorrow would entail. I wrote even when it hurt and I apologized even when they didn't. I almost gave up but woke up and stood up and spoke up and didn't budge and moved on and forgave myself for not always knowing what to do. I decided the most important thing is to be proud of who I become and to make sure she is someone to be proud of. All I truly have is the opportunity to be whoever I want to be, and knowing that is everything.

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I'm not the only poet in this relationship ❥

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The boyfriend of Mikaela -Malin and Jennifer's sister- wrote above: "Honey, you are my everything, my dream, my imagination, my reality, my future. Sounds like something that I would write to someone special -and have!
FYI: There are 10 photos below, including a rare one of yours truly!