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.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Two spot-on columns by Orlando Sentinel's Darryl E. Owens and Miami Herald's Jackie Bueno Sousa demand your attention


August 25, 1982 Ralph Renick editorial on WTVJ-4, Miami,
on the filming of Scarface in South Florida

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fyuJGHrjbRY

It's neither here nor there, per se, but per this excellent column by the Orlando Sentinel's Darryl E. Owens that I spied on Saturday -the same day the Miami Hurricanes played like disinterested turkeys two days after Thanksgiving Day- I can distinctly recall as a kid growing-up in North Miami Beach in the 1970's that when a story like this would bubble up to the surface in South Florida, i.e. with lots of context, it would quickly become the main topic of discussion of AM Talk Radio, back before it was almost all nationally-syndicated fare.

Of course, back then, when the Dolphins were consistently good, the area also had an All-News Radio Station, something it now sadly lacks, with South Florida being much worse off for that, as I've often lamented here and at various websites.

Some subject would get under the skin of a columnist at the Miami Herald far enough in advance of some planned public event that a rather pointed column would soon appear, and either cooler heads would prevail, the best option, or, local politicians and govt. officials would be publicly embarrassed and hung out to dry.


If the issue reached a certain threshold of seriousness, local broadcasting powerhouse Ralph Renick at Channel 4, back when it was WTVJ, on N. Miami Avenue in downtown Miami, would make one of his devastating editorials on the six o'clock newscast and simply mop the floor with whomever was responsible for the problem by pointing out the simple facts.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ralph_Renick

Après
toi, le déluge!

That was a measure of the power and influence throughout all aspects of life in South Florida that Ralph Renick had to wield.


Renick was THE most-respected man in South Florida other than perhaps Dolphins head coach Don Shula.

But now, in my opinion, other than the rare Herald column that takes us all completely by surprise, or Jackie Bueno Sousa's common sense columns that demand accountability and integrity from local elected officials or govt. agencies, there's just lots of dopey paint-by-numbers news stories about inconsequential fluff or shopping or diets.

See
http://www.miamiherald.com/columnists/jacqueline-bueno-sousa/ and my post from July 12, 2009
May the good news be yours: Ralph Renick's South Florida TV scene 18 years later; Where's the news in Broward? Or local investigative news anywhere?
http://hallandalebeachblog.blogspot.com/2009/07/may-good-news-be-yours-ralph-renicks.html


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Orlando Sentinel

City funded Amway party — but not a Parramore tradition
Darryl E. Owens COMMENTARY

12:46 a.m. EST, November 27, 2010

Good thing Charlie Brown doesn't call Orlando home.


In his world, his only worry is Lucy snatching away the football as he prepares to make the kick.
The City Beautiful might send cops to snatch the pigskin.


This isn't an anti-cop screed.

After all, the would-be footballers — all three of them — who were confronted by police on Thanksgiving Day at the John H. Jackson Community Center lacked a permit.


Instead, consider this a reflection on an embarrassing — and obvious — missed opportunity for Orlando.


Read the rest of the post at: http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/columnists/os-ed-darryl-owens-parramore-football20101126,0,5199263.column

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http://www.miamiherald.com/2010/11/23/1940706/real-leaders-in-short-supply-in.html

Miami Herald
Real leaders in short supply in Miami

By Jackie Bueno Sousa
November 23, 2010

I
t's not that Miami lacks leadership. Rather, it lacks bold, transformational leaders.

You know, the kind of people who use their power and influence to bring about fundamental change in a community, even though doing so will make enemies of other people of power and influence.

And so it is that so many Miamians now are fascinated with Norman Braman. Beyond his battle to recall Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Alvarez, he's filling a civic leadership vacuum long felt in this community.

Bold, transformational leaders aren't easy to find. That may be a good thing; too many of them could be more problematic than too few of them. But when they become scarce, as they are now, we flock to them and their causes, knowing that they represent a rare opportunity.

Such leadership requires a unique combination of attributes not found in ordinary, run-of-the-mill leaders. Nothing wrong with ordinary leaders; their generosity, in terms of both time and money, has brought many good and worthwhile programs for our community.

It's just that every once in a while we need something more. We need, for example, leaders who are passionately focused on a cause.

MAS CANOSA

The late Jorge Mas Canosa had that passion and focus. The Cuban exile leader was vilified and chastised for his sometimes close-minded stance on Cuba policy. Yet no other person could so effectively spur large numbers of followers to take action, to show up at a rally, to lobby congressional representatives, to write letters to the editor. Who has filled that void in the Cuban exile community?

Such leadership also requires community-wide status and power. It helps to be the chairman of this or the president of that, but such titles aren't always necessary.

Marjory Stoneman Douglas was a simple journalist and writer, and yet she helped preserve the Everglades for future generations. She once wrote a pamphlet on behalf of creating a botanical garden that resulted in countless speaking invitations at local garden clubs and ultimately helped create Fairchild Gardens. Who is today's Marjory Stoneman Douglas?

Such leaders must back up their words and actions with money. The money can be their own -- as in the case of Braman's recall battle. Or it can come from the ability to access money, as was Alvah Chapman's gift. In the 1970s, Chapman led the creation of The Non-Group, an elite body of business and civic leaders who set an agenda for resolving the area's most pressing problems. Who in the business community is filling Alvah Chapman's void today?

We see contemporary glimpses of extraordinary civic leadership every so often. Former TotalBank chairman Adrienne Arsht gave $30 million to save the performing arts center. Banker Adolfo Henriques has the power to rally important business leaders. Miami Dade College President Eduardo Padrón is passionately focused on improving education in our region.

CHARTER REVIEW

And we even see glimpses of bold leadership. Attorney Victor Diaz Jr., as the head of the Miami-Dade County Charter Review Task Force, a couple years ago proposed a series of fundamental changes that could have brought about important improvements in local government.

When the County Commission slapped down most of the suggestions, which civic and business leaders came forward to fight for the proposed changes?

And, so, the void remains.

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Personally, I would have chosen different people, but her central premise is sound and echoes a sentiment that nearly everyone I know and respect in South Florida agrees with completely.

Which is why all the unethical behavior by elected officials in South Florida, from small-fry to County Commissioners, grates on people here in a way that is different than other parts of the country.

For those of you who don't live down here, there's a real brazenness and entitlement that's neither funny or amusing but simply venal and creepy.

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