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, Sweden, 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.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Stone-cold fact: Bill Julian, serial scofflaw, for years has parked in handicapped/access parking spaces so he can hang out at a beach bar for hours

Above, the "Disabled Persons Parking ID Permit" that my father has to use in order to use the designated reserved space.
Unlike Hallandale Beach Vice Mayor Bill Julian, my father obeys the law.

How many times have we seen it?
The able-bodied person who thinks that their time and comfort is much more important than everyone else's, much less, polite society's tenuous moral claims on them, even when it comes to one of the most egregious social taboos of all -parking illegally in a handicapped reserved space.

In contemporary America there are few things that a person can do in public that engenders more universal contempt, instant condemnation and outright anger, than seeing an able-bodied person intentionally parking their car in a handicapped reserved/access parking spot.

Yes, even
in most though not all of South Florida, where thwarting or tweaking society's norms
is a common everyday thing for some to either do or witness, for most
South Florida residents, THAT is one step beyond which they will not go, and risk instant social outcast status among polite society.

Nobody wants to hear the alibis or the excuses, you just don't do it -period!

Oh, yes, polite society, I remember you.

We got along famously when I was at school at IU in Bloomington, and then then Evanston, near the beautiful Northwestern University campus, then next-door Wilmette and Chicago in succession years later.

Even on brutally cold days after work, when you were tired and exhausted of being tired and exhausted, you simply NEVER EVER sit down in the "El" train seats reserved for the disabled, handicapped or senior citizens, rather than standing.

Polite society was much more fragmented in Washington, D.C. when I lived and worked there for 15 years 'til 2003, outside of certain neighborhood on Capitol Hill, Tenleytown and in Arlington County, but still, regardless of age, race, class, ethnicity, party affiliation or sexual persuasion, that same aversion to becoming an instant social pariah existed when riding around on the Washington Metro system, which I did everyday on my way to and from work, year-after-year.

Some things are just NOT done, and if you want to see a sedate crowd of multiple ethnicities, classes and educational accomplishment crowded together by happenstance in the D.C. area come together in a flash, you just watch what happens when some lazy teenagers try to sit in reserved train seats while senior citizens are standing nearby on the train.
People vocally crack the whip!

I've personally witnessed it dozens and dozens of times and been part of the voice of reason and derision, and seen the sheepish look on the teenagers when they saw that they were henceforth considered persona non grata -UNCOOL!

So with all that said, and knowing that few South Florida pols, even in relatively puny Hallandale Beach, would actively seek to earn society's scorn and enmity for something so completely un-necessary and avoidable, little prepared me for my discovery one day at the public North Beach area of HB off of State Road A1A and Hallandale Beach Blvd. that HB Vice Mayor Bill Julian had a bit of a problem.

Actually, it was a big problem.

Or, would a better term simply be an addiction to a sense of entitlement?

Well, whatever you want to call he's nothing if not consistent, our Vice Mayor, Bill Julian.

When he finds something that he likes, he will keep doing it over-and-over, regardless of time or season or fashion.
Or legality.

Simply put, what I had stumbled upon that afternoon, was that defying all common sense and logic -not a first for Julian by any means- Comm. Julian intentionally broke the law with both impunity and a certain reserved nonchalance, the kind that comes from doing something for so long and nobody saying anything about what he was doing, least of all, the Hallandale Beach Police Dept.

After all, they hardly ever come by the beach, unlike other cities with a beach.

"Yes, but doesn't he works with charities or something? I think I read that somewhere."

Hmm-m-m... so that makes it okay, then?

And so it is with his particularly creepy and egregious pattern for years of abusing his office by habitually illegally parking in disabled/handicapped/access parking spaces.

As if his government ID badge left prominintly on the dashboard, was some sort of powerful 'force field' that rendered nearby people blind to what was happening right in front of them.

Did I mention that part that he's been doing this for YEARS, yet?
Oh, okay, just wanted to make that clear.

I have literally dozens of photos of Bill Julian and his car illegally parked in reserved handicapped/access spaces all over Hallandale Beach, as well as No-Parking zones, but the most damning are those at the public beach, near The Beachside Cafe, where he is the resident... well, something.

I'm not really sure of the word, even after all these years of seeing it.

For lack of a better phrase, I'll say presiding judge.

Yes, that's it, because that's where he holds court while his car breaks the law.

For many years he has parked his car in what until very recently was the one-and-only public parking space there reserved for folks who are handicapped, whether residents or visitors.

(Why did it take so many years for the city to finally have three?)

But Julian and his friends, who were, themselves, not above taking advantage of this "Friends Plan," would not get upset if someone with a legitimate disabled/handicapped parking space license plate or permit was parked there before they got there.

No, they always had a backup plan.

They would simply park in the handicapped access spot next to it for hours instead.

The space that has a fine that is the exact same as for illegally parking in a handicapped spot -$250.

Anything, so long as Julian was close to the bar & restaurant he so dearly loves to hold court at.

The same establishment with a lease with the city that expires soon and which should be put out to bid so that others can improve the area's reputation.

The same establishment that for years, despite city policy, has recklessly and wantonly
thrown their recyclables into the nearby garbage dumpster, which anyone who goes to that beach has often heard as the glass and/or aluminum cans landed with a glass-breaking thud.

Yes, the very dumpster that has not had a wooden fence or partition around it, like is required for every other dumpster in the city, but which the city's Code Compliance keeps NOT seeing.
despite how obvious it has been for years.

Rules about recyclables?
What rules?

When you are talking about Bill Julian's personal convenience, while the
public parking lot -lots and lots of rocks and gravel- or the city's cheap public parking garage under The Beach Club might be good enough for you and me, they were simply too far for Julian.

Julian's car needed to be where it could be as close to the beach and the bar as possible.

By any means necessary.

I guess it's true what the Outhouse Gang says: It's Julian's world, we just live in it.

As if beach regulars and life guards didn't know exactly whose car it's been parking there illegally for years, depriving someone with a legitimate and legal right to park there from actually enjoying the public beach.

And did I mention that the city's public garage doesn't have an elevator?
Well, now I have!

Week-after-week, month-after-month, year-after-year, Bill Julian has used his official status as an elected official to trump common sense, polite society's rules of conduct and state law. You remember state law, don't you?

It's the thing that Julian and his cohorts on the City Commission took an oath to uphold and respect, though we know that that is a lie from all the accumulated evidence that's passed before us in this city over the past seven years.

Mea Culpa at Midnight

I'd originally planned on posting a lot more here, including numerous photos from my archives of Julian and his trusty familiar car -and his law-breaking pals- illegally parking in disabled/handicapped/access spots, esp. over at the beach, but owing to some time constraints -overdue need for sleep- and some unexpected things that came up Sunday night that required my immediate attention and concentration, I'm not going to be able to finish in time before going to sleep.

Instead, I'm going to show some good judgment here and post what I have now, and simply add the rest to it over the next few days to give it further definition and contrast, until it looks like what I've always envisioned in my head.

Trust me, you won't lack for details.

Photos of, well, let's see...
There's his car, of course; the actual spaces he parked in illegally; the posted warning signs he ignored with impunity advising what the fine was; the HB govt. ID badge he left in plain view on the car dashboard for everyone to see, and yes, even photos of the Hallandale Beach Police Dept.controlled surveillance cameras that somehow never seemed to quite see Julian's car
parked illegally for years, despite it being directly in view and instantly recognizable by most people who are paying attention to things in this city.

Yes, the city surveillance camera that lacks a required posted warning/notice sign so that visitors know they are being watched.
Just like all the missing legally required Warning/Notice signs all over the City Hall complex, years after they were installed.

See ya back here soon!


Florida Statutes

316.1959 Handicapped parking enforcement.--The provisions of handicapped parking shall be enforced by state, county, and municipal authorities in their respective jurisdictions whether on public or private property in the same manner as is used to enforce other parking laws and ordinances by said agencies.

History.--s. 6, ch. 85-227.



Speaking of negative campaign ads and fliers, Bob Norman zeroes in on Ken Keechl's fight to stay on the Broward County Commission

Speaking of negative campaign ads and fliers as we have been the last few days, it wasn't until after the Dolphins at Bengals ballgame this afternoon -a snooze- that I got around to checking my Dashboard inbox to see what new pieces the blogs and websites I follow most closely had put out since early this morning, when I fell asleep listening to the BBC Radio's 5 live instead of ESPN's SportsCenter.



If I'd checked earlier, I might've linked to something in my last post that I believe is very worthwhile reading for everyone who comes here regularly, for reasons that I should hardly need to explain, given what I've written about and where we live: in the center of the culture of corruption.

Hallandale Beach in Broward County in the South Florida of 2010, the year where most of the South Florida news media was too busy telling us how bad they have it to actually do much in the way of first-rate or even basic reporting on city and county government, or doing shoe-leather reporting on local political campaigns.

Have so many articles on local campaign races ever been written almost entirely from the air-conditioned confines of One Herald Plaza or East Las Olas Blvd.?
In a word, no.

And forget any worthwhile print or TV investigations between Labor Day and Election day, right?

Oh, wait, didn't I predict that over the long hot summer?


I mean how long has it been since the BrowardPalmBeach NewTimes Bob Norman wrote his eye-opening Daily Pulp blog piece about the troubling behavior of Broward School chair Jennifer Gottlieb, and yet the two local newspapers and all 4 Anglo TV stations have preferred to just stay mum.
(Whether that's because of the pronounced aversion among the South Florida news media to go after female pols or govt. officials in quite the same way they go after male pols, is another post for another time, though it clearly does, as I've mentioned here previously. I'm hardly alone in this sentiment, since the lack of thoroughness is particularly pronounced among print and TV reporters in Miami covering public education issues.)

Instead, when not belly-aching and making excuses for their loust coverage, they have have gone DEFCON 1 to cover which celebs are going to the first of 41 Miami Heat home games, a game which at the end of the season, will count for no more than one played on Valentine's Day or St. Patrick's weekend or when they are resting the starters late in the interminably long season...
hich is to say, hardly at all.

The article that is positively must-read is this one by Bob Norman from this morning. It speaks for itself.


BrowardPalmBeach NewTimes

November Surprise: Keechl Camp Hits Gutter

By Bob Norman,
Sun., Oct. 31 2010 @ 6:00AM

Broward Mayor Ken Keechl appears to be getting desperate. He's certainly getting dirty.

Keechl camp's last-ditch negative ad campaign goes to a new low. Of course he won't take credit for it since it comes from one of those late-date 527 slush committees funded by a mega-lobbyist, a major developer, a construction contractor, and a county airport vendor.

Read the rest of the post at

Irony: That's a hell of a view.
Did someone fire the webcam?


What negative campaign ads? Two years later, this SNL skit about John McCain is STILL funny, esp. Bill Hader's sarcastic voice!



McCain Approves Open
Sen. McCain approves truth-enhanced negative campaign messages


The antidote to negative campaigning is laughter, mockery and stone-cold facts.

Here's a 2008 Saturday Night Live skit that does just that -sort of- with Kristen Wiig, Jason Sudeikis, Darrell Hammond as U.S. Senator John McCain and Bill Hader as the creepy-yet-effective VO announcer.

I only wish that the 2010 campaign commercials I'd seen in the South Florida TV market were as clever and inspired as this skit.

Frankly, as much as people complain about them, I've seen a lot of TV ads that others thought were negative which I felt weren't so much negative -or as negative as they should've been considering who they were mocking- so much as poorly-produced and ham-handed, like the Joe Garcia ads for FL-25 against
David Rivera.

That's the House seat that
Mario Diaz-Balart abandoned in order to run for his retiring brother Lincoln's seat, FL-21, which the New York Times' campaign blog run by Nate Silver, FiveThirtyEight, currently puts at precisely 99.5%.

Which is why those videos produced by
Scott Fortune that I mentioned here on Monday,
are so effective for the idea of ending gerrymandering, if not getting him into Congress from a ridiculously drawn district, FL-3.

Facts and mockery cut thru the TV clutter every time.





Saturday, October 30, 2010

1997 quote: "Hallandale is pretty much like a cruise ship tied up to a deck, and that ship is going nowhere."; 13 years later, the same!

Above, October 24, 2010 photo by South Beach Hoosier of Hallandale Beach Municipal Complex sign on U.S.-1 & S.E. 5th Street, Hallandale Beach, FL

"Hallandale is pretty much like a cruise ship tied up to a deck, and that ship is going nowhere."

-Hallandale Beach City Commission candidate Thorn E. Shay in Feb. 26, 1997 Sun-Sentinel

Thirteen years later, it STILL is!

That 'ship' of state is STILL "tied up" to the dock, still going nowhere in particular after ten years of the ruinous reign of mayor Joy Cooper.
But she isn't alone in this gross mismanagement of the city -
she has plenty of help, if you can call it that.

Above, October 24, 2010 photo by South Beach Hoosier outside the HB City Commission chambers, Hallandale Beach, FL

Her loyal Rubber Stamp Crew of puppets on the City Commission, disinterested in engaging in anything resembling the sort of serious discussion of public policy issues that are commonplace in other nearby City Halls, disinclined to even doing a minimal amount of homework and preparation so that they are familiar with issues at the meeting, and unwilling to stand up to both Cooper's never-ending list of bad or self-serving ideas/agenda items or the city manager and his staff, are quite something to behold.

Among many other problems, the HB City Commission under Joy Cooper has a very troubling and weak record of actually standing up for citizen taxpayers against Christy Dominguez's Planning Dept. or Richard Cannone's Development Services Dept., particularly in demanding that they make information publicly available to HB citizen taxpayers at the same time they do to developers and lawyer lobbyists.

Instead, HB citizens continue to get the proverbial shaft, always finding out important public information at the very last minute.
That's NOT by accident, that's the plan, both under Mike Good and Marc Antonio.
But guess what?

Now, thanks to the diligent efforts of myself and many of my pro-reform friends here, the elected officials who really matter in Broward County government and other Broward cities, as well as the South Florida reporters and columnists who readers.viewers trust most, ALSO KNOW what's been going on in this city for years and years with nary a peep from Messrs
Julian, Ross & Sanders.

It's now widely-known that those three individuals do NOT enjoy the trust or respect of the people in this community who most pay attention.
They've been exposed for the Rubber Stamps they are.

Three of the commissioners -Julian, Ross & Sanders- prefer that the mayor and the unelected city manager run everything, rather than do any heavy lifting.

As if they're just the spare tire in the car trunk, going along for the ride, wherever that is.

And then they wonder why nobody trusts them or respects them?
That's rich.

You can see the disastrous but logical results of that sort of unresponsive and disinterested behavior everywhere around you in this city, whether at public meetings, where those three always seem to be the last ones in the room to know something that's common knowledge to the whole room, or, in the shabby appearance of so much of Hallandale Beach, due to unsatisfactory maintenance or performance of city employees who seemingly have no fear of punishment or accountability.

Just like the quote at the top said in 1997, the city is still needlessly "tied up" in unresponsive bureaucracy, where even self-evident mistakes on the homepage of the city's third-rate website can stay there for a year without anyone "responsible" for it actually noticing -and fixing it!
So what are they doing exactly?

Well, if you come to this blog often, you know they are spending your tax dollars in ways that are odd, short-sighted, fool-hardy, myopic, pound-foolish... and likely to cause you nothing but trouble in the future.

Since the past is predicate, here's the 1997 story where that quote at the top of this post originated, so you'll have all the context you need.



February 26, 1997

The five commission candidates had a chance to get personal with voters Monday night, promising more than 100 senior citizens to improve living conditions here.

The three incumbents and two challengers differed sharply on how they plan to fulfill the promises, and candidate David "Israel" Marmor, 45, continued to make the age of existing commissioners an issue.
Anne Leon, a voter who has attended the Hallandale United Citizen's forum for 20 years, called the event "one of the best we've ever had. It was fair; it was very informative."

Hallandale United Citizens, a local civic association that claims 600 members, sponsored the forum at the Hallandale Public Library for the candidates vying for three commission seats in the election March 11.

Incumbent Mayor Arnold Lanner and incumbent Commissioners Arthur J. "Sonny" Rosenberg and Gilbert "Gil" Stein -all who stress their achievements and community service involvement-
say they can attract new businesses and encourage redevelopment by updating city codes.

"Don't be fooled by those who say they will cut taxes," said Lanner, warning that reductions might affect fire and police services.

Marmor, a mortgage broker and banker, said he would cut taxes, downsize government and get the city to pick up trash twice a week instead of once a week.

"I don't know why we need such a big government as in Hallandale," said Marmor, who also would hire a lower-paid city manager than R.J. Intindola who earns $100,000.

The other challenger, Thorn E. Shay, 52, called again for sound infrastructure, including drainage to alleviate flooding and a new road to ease traffic on Hallandale Beach Blvd. Shay accused the incumbents of spending enterprise funds on "pet projects."

"Hallandale is pretty much like a cruise ship tied up to a deck," Shay said. "And that ship is going nowhere."

Marmor, 45, who ran unsuccessfully in 1989 and 1991, said Hallandale needs new leadership, saying the incumbent commissioners are too old and lack the energy that they need to do the job.

"It's something to do with performance," Marmor said. "That's why we need some new blood in the city."

Vice Mayor Dorothy "Dotty" Ross, whose four-year term expires in 1999, is the youngest commissioner. She is 71.

The oldest commissioner, Hy Cohen, 81, will be up for re-election in two years.

Rosenberg, 77, is serving his 20th year on the commission; Stein, 76, is completing a second 4-year term; and Lanner, 75, is concluding his first 4-year term.

Lanner and Stein told the Sun-Sentinel that they would not seek another term if they got re-elected. Rosenberg was not sure whether he would retire after serving another term.

Commissioners are elected citywide in Hallandale. The two-highest vote-getters will serve four-year terms, and the lowest vote-getter will serve two years

As most of you know, all HB City Commission seats are for four years, as is the mayor's term.

The mystery man behind the pro-Alex Lewy 527 ad/flier attacks on Keith London; the multiple ethics rap sheet on lobbyist Roger A. Pennington

Is that an emergency siren/beacon I see in that flier and ad in the city-funded faux newspaper?Why yes it is, thanks for noticing.

Well, you know what that means don't you?
"Outside" political money is here in Hallandale Beach's elections.

To be specific Roger A. Pennington's Committee to Protect Florida.

He just loves the red siren/beacon graphic, using it over and over in various campaigns he's been a shadowy figure in throughout the state.

(See the St. Pete Times story at the bottom.)

Trust me, Pennington's money is NOT here on the side of the angels, or increased reform or accountability at Hallandale Beach City Hall, or even a dollar of service for a dollar of taxes.He's here to elect Alexander Lewy.

Even Bill Julian -yes, even Bill Julian- has told numerous people around town that he has nothing to do with the ads and fliers, and finds it offensive.
Which, using deductive reasoning, leaves us with exactly one suspect, doesn't it.
Yes, Code Name: Lewy the Liar

While I have no proof of it myself, there are plenty of usually well-informed people in town who strongly suggest that we all look closely for the hidden hand of
Lewy's mentor and campaign rainmaker, mayor Joy Cooper.
The reasoning is simple and well-understood.

is as desperate, if not more so, to get
Keith London and his reasonable questions about finances, policies and accountability out of HB City Hall, as her protoge Alexander Lewy is desperate to sit there on the dais alongside her and be her newest puppet.
And paid-in-full member of the Cooper Rubber Stamp Crew.

Plus, which Hallandale Beach city official goes to Tallahassee more than Joy Cooper?
Tallahassee, where Pennington and his 527 are based.

For a very liberal Democrat like
Lewy, it's rather curious that he'd be in bed with the sort of deliberatively shadowy outside money types that's usually railed against by his soon-to-be-unemployed boss, Kendrick Meek.

But as I've already told you, Alexander Lewy is desperate, desperate, desperate to get elected here.

Not out of any great magnanimous desire to help the citizens of this city, mind you, but rather to help himself and take his first step in becoming a career politician.

(Which, naturally, is part of why I won't ever vote for him, besides him being such a loathsome character, and a genuine back-stabber who's completely untrustworthy. But then you already knew that.)

Besides, shadowy financing of negative ads against Tim Ryan and Ken Gottlieb worked for Eleanor Sobel's Florida Senate campaign to replace term-limited Steve Geller, didn't it?

Still, even if Cooper isn't involved, I have some very good hunches who is, based on a number of conversations with well-informed people who know about ECOs, including some reporters, who gave me a head's up on some information I didn't originally have.

Quick story about Roger A. Pennington, who in 2006 was charged with five counts of violating
Florida's campaign elections law while serving as Chair of an Electioneering Campaign Organization (ECO) called -if you can believe it- the Committee to Restore Integrity in Politics, CRIP.

No doubt because creating an ECO called "
Entrenched Interests Committed to Remaining Insiders" just wouldn't have sounded so appealing publicly.

Well, even more comically, Pennington signed a consent decree with the Florida Ethics Commission that he was guilty, admitting that he did illegal things, DESPITE having been given copies of the applicable rules beforehand.

He also admitted that he never contacted an attorney about the matters.

That's both a humorous and ironic admission because he's repped the Academy of Florida Trial Lawyers for many years.

You'd think that if there was a lobbyist in Tallahassee who'd know the name of a good attorney,
or know when to contact one, it's him.

Pennington, head of Committee to Protect Florida, seems to be yet another member of the pro-Alexander Lewy Dream Team, a grab-bag of ill-mannered sad sacks, malcontents and self-enrichment types who hope to continue to feed on the city's teat if Lewy gets elected.
Which is to say, via your wallet and purse.

Think of their help to Lewy as their insurance policy.
Lewy: pro-Diplomat LAC, pro-Red Light camera expansion in HB, pro-Ben Gamla Jewish Charter high school in quiet single-family NE HB neighborhood, and anti-Amendment 4... the list goes on and on...

Have you seen many of the ardent Lewy supporters, who are eager for things to get better? Their definition of better, of course, is far, far different than mine, and I suspect many of you who are reading this as well.

They live in the strange and perplexing upside-down universe of Joy Cooper and Alexander Lewy.

For them, better is a 5-0 vote where no reasonable questions are asked, much less, answered by highly-paid city employees, and any of their cronies can always count on their support in the future when they have a hare-brained idea that can't just can't get funded by a bank.

But when you are on the HB City Commission, because of the CRA, it's like being a member of the Loan Committee of a bank, isn't it?

It doesn't have to actually make sense, or even conform to the existing city rules, which you can always vote to over-ride anyway, right?

No, it only has to get the majority of votes cast by the City Commission.

Which is why the Rubber Stamp Crew positively HATES questions.
Because questions have to be answered.

In some ways, Lewy's own supporters are almost like a paid commercial for the pro-reform and pro-transparency elements in this city with which I am so strongly associated with, as well as Michael Butler, Mary Washington, Csaba Kulin, Louis Pellegrino Jr., John Pearson,Comm. Keith London and many others I could name here, but won't.

I'm only too happy for Lewy supporters to publicly identify themselves, since it makes it much easier for me and everyone else paying attention to know whom to take seriously in this community about making it better FOR EVERYONE.
Not just the friends, cronies and lackeys of HB City Hall.

And, conversely, whom, NOT to take seriously, of which there is already quite a long list, now that you mention it.

Frankly, I only wish that more Lewy supporters would publicly disclose their allegiances, so we ALL would all know who they are, but many of them are keeping it close to the vest.
And that's easy to understand.

They don't want people to know they support Lewy, since they also know so many people in this city justifiably loathe him.

It's far easier to keep it quiet.

You know, like where that money is coming from to run those scurrilous and untrue anti-London ads and fliers?

Speaking of the
opposite of reform, transparency and accountability, has anyone seen Lewy supporter Joe Kessel on any of his campaign fliers?
If they exist, I haven't seen them.

as you'll recall, was a member of a very odd group that held its collective hand out for some city money, despite not being in compliance with many of the city's own requirements on their application.

They received tens of thousands of dollars from the city's CRA fund for a
completely preposterous idea, which still makes many otherwise level-headed people in this city see red at the thought of the money being wasted -intentionally.

You can find more about HB City Hall spy and Lewy supporter Kessel here, thought he was actually part of more stories that i could sometimes mention because of space limitations.

Or this March 4th, 2009 post in particular:
Hallandale Beach insiders to offer goodies/new propaganda TV channel to HB City Hall for $200k CRA loan Wed. morning

Tell me, was Kessel legally registered as a lobbyist with Broward County, for the City of Hallandale
Beach, while he was under contract to them, when he publicly spoke before the Broward Planning Council and the Broward County Commission in favor of the Diplomat LAC proposal pushed by the city, his employer?

Did he at least publicly disclose his financial arrangement with the city during his public comments?

The answer to both questions is an emphatic NO.
He didn't.

(Just as he hadn't publicly revealed his conflict of interest during the public meeting the Diplomat was required to have at the HB Cultural Center.)

There are many members of the Broward County Commission and the South Florida news media
who know this already.So how's that investigation going, exactly?

Personally, I'm not usually one to question well-worn idioms like "Don't judge a book by its cover" but in Alexander Lewy's case, I'm afraid circumstances force me to, so I will.
He is exactly what he acts like -
The Devil You Don't know.

In my opinion, based on the stone-cold facts and what I have observed of him in-person for a few years, Alexander Lewy deciding your future with a vote will cause Hallandale Beach's besieged citizens to "Pay through the nose."
And pay in ways they can't even imagine now.


You can find out more about Roger A. Pennington's clients at the Florida Senate homepage:http://www.flsenate.gov/


Committee to Protect Florida
"527" Political Organization Filing Information http://www.campaignmoney.com/political/527/committee-to-protect-florida.asp

Consultants are lobbyists, too, in Tallahassee

St. Petersburg Times/Miami Herald Tallahassee Bureau
March 22, 2009
TALLAHASSEE — The unlimited special-interest cash streaming into Florida legislators' political accounts has enriched a small group of influential consultants who received $19.5 million from political committees and campaigns in the 2008 election cycle.
The torrent of money flowing through the Capitol has also fueled an industry of consultants who lobby.
Of the 60 political consultants for lawmakers' political committees, at least 12 work as lobbyists, according to a Times/Herald analysis. The consultants-lobbyists are hired by corporations to influence the same legislators who pay them for political help.
This circular network ties together special interests, lobbyists and lawmakers in a tight web of money and insider access. The lobbying clients seek legislative help. The legislators seek cash, for re-election or pet causes. The common link: the consultant.
Roger "Rocky'' Pennington, a veteran Republican consultant, says he and other consultants must strike a careful balance when special interests want to hire them because of their relationships with specific lawmakers.
"Once they start hiring you because they want influence with one person, you aren't a lobbyist — you're an influence peddler," Pennington said. "You have to ask yourself, are you lobbying because of the merits of the issue or are you lobbying because of your friendship or relationship with the elected official?"
Pennington was paid $2.1 million over the past two years to serve as political adviser to a host of lawmakers and to buy expensive TV ads for them. He says he minimizes problems by refusing to take clients halfway through the session, when clients most try to influence the votes of individual lawmakers, and he now is semiretired with only one client, the Municipal Electric Association.
Just last week, Altria, which manufactures Marlboro cigarettes, hired one of the Capitol's newest lobbyists, Todd Richardson. He's a political consultant for Republican Rep. Ellyn Setnor Bogdanoff of Fort Lauderdale.
Bogdanoff chairs the House Finance and Tax Council, where Altria hopes to kill a plan to raise the cigarette tax.
"What I'm doing is completely legal," Richardson said. "Relationships are the name of the game. I have more relationships than with just Ellyn. I have relationships with a lot of freshmen and with almost every member of the House."
Richardson was paid $126,000 in wages and reimbursements in his role as a consultant for Bogdanoff's campaign and political committee, Creating Possibilities. Bogdanoff opposed a cigarette tax hike long before Altria hired Richardson. She said she had no problem with his other work as a lobbyist for the cigarette company.
As the full force of term limits takes effect in the Legislature, more lobbyists are becoming consultants to increase their access to new legislators, said consultant and lobbyist Joe Perry.
The lobbyists can build up "sweat equity'' by acting as consultants for legislators, said Perry, a Democrat who has been paid $209,000 for fundraising and consulting work since 2007.
Perry acknowledged that when special interests hire people who have been on the payroll of lawmakers, they hire a unique commodity.
"There's no doubt we have access to these folks and probably more so than the rank-and-file lobbyists," Perry said.
But he said there's a downside, too. Perry lobbies for insurance giant FCCI Insurance Group, which seeks workers' compensation legislation opposed by many Democrats — the same people who hire Perry for political work. Perry said he can't afford too many conflicts like that.
"If I were to take too many lobbying clients and create a lot of enemies, I'll kill my fundraising business," he said.
Political committees — called committees of continuing existence — have become the cash cows of Florida's political process. They can be formed by legislators and used to collect unlimited amounts of so-called soft money from special interests, as these contributions are not subject to the typical cap of $500. The money can be rolled into other committees called "electioneering communication organizations,'' which spend money on attack ads and direct-mail pieces.
The 12 consultants-lobbyists were paid about $374,000 in total by the 40 committees they worked for, and received an additional $3.5 million from other political groups and campaigns during the past election season. The 60 consultants altogether received about $1 million from the committees and $18.5 million more from virtually every campaign and political group.
Not all consultants-lobbyists worked for a lawmaker's committee in the past election cycle. Still, the political committees — and the relationship they foster between lawmakers and consultants — offer a window into the world of Capitol insiders.
For example, the committees give lawmakers the opportunity to steer business to allies and friends. Consultant-lobbyist Esther Nuhfer earned most of her $201,000 from the campaign and political committee of her friend, Republican Rep. David Rivera of Miami.
Rivera's committee, Future Leadership, also paid $10,000 to Bridget Gregory Nocco, a prodigious Republican fund-raiser and Rivera friend.
The big money washing through the Capitol stands out in a year when the budget is in the red and large numbers of Floridians are losing jobs. Against that backdrop, the idea of consultants who lobby makes even the king of Florida political consultants uncomfortable.
Randy Nielsen, a top Republican consultant, said he didn't want to "cast aspersions'' on his colleagues, but he warned that "you can do a disservice to the client if you lobby them."
Nielsen is not a registered lobbyist.
"I don't see how you can give clear, unfettered advice if you're paid to lobby your clients," Nielsen said.
Nielsen's firm, Public Concepts of West Palm Beach, raked in the most consulting money this election cycle: $4.1 million over the past two years. In the 2000 cycle, Public Concepts earned $390,000. Not all that money went to Public Concepts. As with other consulting companies, some of the cash paid for media buys, lawyers and investigators to do opposition research.
Public Concept's most high-profile client is Senate President Jeff Atwater, a Republican from North Palm Beach who calls Nielsen "my consultant'' and made sure the firm reviewed his speech to the Senate that opened the legislative session March 3.
Consultant-lobbyist Bill Helmich collected $297,000 from a variety of lawmakers and political groups for consulting and hiring help. Helmich acknowledged there is a risk in mixing lobbying and consulting.
"Theoretically, if you get involved in a race where you end up losing, the person who won could hold a grudge," he said.
Lawyer and lobbyist David Ramba represents 37 clients and sells legal advice to 40 political committees, many controlled by legislators. Ramba said his legal adviser role doesn't give him much of an advantage. "Most of the time I'm delivering bad news," he said. "I tell them what they're not allowed to do with their money."
For instance, Ramba told Republican Sen. Mike Bennett of Bradenton that money from one of the lawmaker's two committees was off-limits to help pay for a Jewish community dinner.
Bennett has raised $528,000 through his two political committees since 2007 and he acknowledges the dicey balancing act legislators engage in when their closest political advisers are also paid lobbyists.
"You're going to give your buddy as much leniency as you can until you hit that ethics line … wherever that line is. It happens in any friendship," he said. "If I had my druthers and you didn't need soft money to play the game, I would like to see all this disappear."
12 Political Consultants* Who Lobby
(Total amount received/Number of clients/Notable client)
1. Roger Pennington, Republican
$2.1 million/1 client/Municipal Electric Assn.
2. Christian Ulvert, Democrat
1 $522,290/9 clients/Dosal Tobacco.
3. Bill Helmich, Republican
$297,100/9 clients/Miami-Dade County
4. Joe Perry, Democrat
$209,744/2 clients/FCCI Insurance
5. Esther Nuhfer, Republican
$201,618/1 client/Evidence-based Assoc.
6. Bridget Gregory Nocco, Republican
$181,973/4 clients/U.S. Sugar
7. Todd Richardson, Republican
$126,006/2 clients/Altria Tobacco
8. Amber Stoner, Republican
$116,026/1 client/HCA Healthcare
9. Jerry Wayne Bertsch, Republican
$55,417/1 client/American Cancer Society
10.Randy Enwright, Republican
$52,983/7 clients/At&T
11. Thomas Grigsby, Republican
$23,763.73/3 clients/Florida State Fraternal Order of Police
12. Screven Watson, Democrat
$22,644.36/4 clients/U.S. Sugar
Total: $3,937,778.61
Source: Division of Elections data

St. Petersburg Times
In Florida House District 45 race, flier recycles old tactic
By Jodie Tillman, Times Staff Writer July 4, 2010

Back in 2007, a political group called the Committee to Protect Florida hammered a state Senate candidate named Richard Corcoran.

In its arsenal was a mailer that accused Corcoran of making false allegations about an opponent in a previous race.

The mailer showed an image of a flashing police beacon along with a warning: "BEWARE! Richard Corcoran is back in the area looking to buy a seat in the Senate."
Corcoran dropped out of the race, citing the negative campaign.

Now, as he runs for the state House District 45 seat, the Committee to Protect Florida has returned — and paid for a familiar flier that just hit mailboxes in Pasco and Pinellas counties.
The flashing police beacon is back.

Read the rest of the article at:

Hallandale Beach's pro-reform citizens ask FL Sen. George LeMieux to do a good turn and help end the 'culture of corruption' here: Call Victor Tobin!

Above, Miami Herald headline, November 26, 2009, page 3B:
Sen. LeMieux decries 'culture of corruption' in S. Florida

Senator LeMieux, if you only knew the half of it in the City of Hallandale Beach!

Before your term is up, can you please do your constituents here a favor and call
Judge Victor Tobin and tell him and his state-wide grand jury that like Norma Desmond at the end of Sunset Boulevard, Hallandale Beach is ready for its close up?

The concerned citizens of this beleaguered community are eager to talk to them and tell what they know.

Or as we say in the world of crime-fighting screenwriters everywhere, "drop a dime."

Sunset Boulevard (1950) -Final Scene, with Gloria Swanson as "Norma Desmond" descending the stairwell


Miami Herald

November 26, 2009

Sen. LeMieux decries `culture of corruption' in South Florida

By Marc Caputo and Beth Reinhard
Herald/Times Tallahassee Bureau

A slew of South Florida political scandals have uncovered "a culture of corruption'' that must be stamped out, freshman Florida Sen. George LeMieux said Tuesday.

"I feel bad about my home town. This is another black eye on Fort Lauderdale,'' LeMieux said in response to a reporter's questions about accused Ponzi schemer Scott Rothstein.

In the past decade, Rothstein -- a Broward lawyer who allegedly bilked investors over bogus legal settlements -- helped steer about $2 million in campaign contributions to political causes, committees and candidates, including Gov. Charlie Crist.

Rothstein's troubles surfaced after federal indictments this fall of other Broward figures: fundraiser Dr. Alan Mendelsohn, Broward County Commissioner Josephus Eggelletion, Broward School Board member Beverly Gallagher and former Miramar commissioner Fitzroy Salesman.

"We've got a culture of corruption in Southeast Florida. And we need to do something about it,'' LeMieux said. "It makes us look bad. It's bad for business and bad for our way of life.''

Crist appointed LeMieux, his former chief of staff, to the Senate seat for which the governor is now a candidate in an increasingly competitive Republican primary. Rothstein attended LeMieux's swearing-in ceremony in September.

While lawyers in Broward's legal community whispered about Rothstein's source of seemingly inexhaustible funds, politicians and charities tooks loads of his money.

"You don't look at someone who's generous and just criticize,'' said LeMieux, who also ran Crist's governor's campaign before taking the job with Crist. LeMieux then joined a law firm until he was appointed to the Senate.

LeMieux acknowledged he "didn't understand how he [Rothstein] made all his money.''

All of Crist's chiefs of staff have hailed from Broward: LeMieux, current campaign manager Eric Eikenberg and current chief Shane Strum.

Crist has downplayed his relationship with Rothstein, though each attended the other's wedding reception. Crist appointed Rothstein to a judicial nominating panel in Broward prior to removing him from the post Tuesday.

Crist has called for a statewide grand jury to examine political corruption. LeMieux supports the effort.

Marc Caputo can be reached at mcaputo@MiamiHerald.com

Reader comments, in chron order, are at

Friday, October 29, 2010

So very creepy! Why does Hallandale Beach Vice Mayor Bill Julian hate the physically disabled so much? His despicable track record tells the tale!

Above, a screenshot of Hallandale Beach Vice Mayor William "Bill" Julian from a late September 2010 newscast of Channel 7, WSVN-TV, Miami.
The "Vice Mayor Julian" ball caps are from his private collection, and are NOT available to the public at any price, even at nearby upscale Aventura Mall.

Coming this weekend to my humble blog, with photos aplenty:
So very creepy!
Why does Hallandale Beach Vice Mayor William "Bill" Julian hate the physically disabled so much? His despicable track record tells the tale!

The forthcoming post has been in the making for years -sort of.

If you are a regular visitor to this space, you already know that I've made cryptic references to this upcoming post about Julian for months and months, knowing that it would one day need to see the light of day, for my own sake, if not for the greater community's edification and illumination.

I'll be honest with you, it hasn't always been easy.

There were countless times over the past few years when I got so angry and frustrated, and was literally made speechless at what I'd personally witnessed at Hallandale Beach City Hall, that I was half of a mind to just go ahead and post what I knew for a fact, anyway, regardless of the circumstances.

But as we all know, context is everything, and just because you know something, doesn't mean you need to tell everyone else.

You have to sometimes let your head over-rule your heart, even when you know what you have witnessed was NOT right by any stretch of the imagination.

Well, that day of discovery is drawing nearer by the hour.

Conveniently, right before the election.

But words are hardly necessary when you have devastating self-evident photos that connect-the-dots on abominable personal and professional behavior.

If a photo speaks a thousand words, what do dozens of photos over several years showing the same contemptuous and noxious behavior say?

With well-nigh dozens of objective witnesses?

And camera surveillance video?
The city's!

I'll tell you -
they speak volumes about Julian's true lack of character.

And his foolish, over-the-top sense of entitlement in this small ocean-side city.

And, his personal belief that nobody would ever do anything about it, or say anything publicly, because of who he is and who he knows.

But who Julian really is is nothing but a dim-witted little man with a grand idea of himself and an out-of-control sense of entitlement.

Albeit, a dim-witted little man with a vote on this city's legislative body that helps decide this poorly-run city's future.

A future Julian has personally made so much worse than necessary by his own lack of personal attention and accountability to the position of power he was entrusted with by this community's citizens.

By any reasonable measure, he is a failure,
at once the perfect patsy and "Yes man" all rolled into one, facts for which Hallandale Beach mayor Joy Cooper is quite appreciative of.

So much so, that just like her overweening, know-it-all young protege,
Alexander Lewy, for whom she and her husband hosted a fundraiser last month at her home in the Golden Isles section of town, so too was the Cooper red carpet rolled-out for Bill Julian.

Curiously enough, when the fact that Mayor Cooper and her husband has hosted a Julian fundraiser was publicly mentioned by Comm. Keith London at a public Candidates Forum held at O.B. Johnson Park in NW Hallandale Beach two weeks ago, to remind everyone that Mayor Cooper would do whatever she could to defeat London, a fact well-known to everyone in the city paying any attention at all, Julian, somewhat incredulously, took indignant umbrage, saying that bringing this fact up constituted an "attack."

Really, facts are "attacks," and a fact that everyone in the community knows is true, including Julian, constitutes an "attack"?

Need I say more about Julian's reasoning skills?

That's who Julian is.

I was going to say that's who he is, for better or worse, but with Julian, it's strictly worse and worst!

Not that you have probably been thinking about it at all, but I've wondered for years what Julian's old friend and colleague, former HB City Comm. Francine Schiller, would think, when she finally finds out just what sort of abominable, unethical and illegal behavior her pal Bill was actively engaging in, even while she was sitting next to him on the dais.
When she was forced to sit in a wheelchair.

THERE'S a good question that somebody ought to pose to Schiller once she finally gets word about what kind of genuine creep her pal Bill is and was.
Maybe one of you reading this will even be the person to convey the upsetting message to Schiller after you read it here, and see the damning photos for yourself.

Julian's secret is coming out, but don't count on any kind of remorse from him once everyone knows the truth.
He doesn't know the meaning of the word remorse.
But that's hardly unusual, since there are many words that Julian doesn't know the meaning of.

Now, with barely three more days to go until the election for the two available seats on the Hallandale Beach City Commission, regardless of what happens on Tuesday, everyone who wants to know the truth, will know.

Yes, transparency is a wonderful thing.

No wonder Messrs Cooper, Julian, Ross & Sanders fear it so!

P.S. I may try to upload the video I shot of the HB Candidates Forum at O.B. Johnson Park on October 11th. Check back here on Sunday.

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 Hoosiers
Audio of pregame speech:

Paradise Lost? South Florida

Paradise Lost? South Florida
TIME magazine of November 23, 1981: Paradise Lost? South Florida . Click photo to see original article.

Bill Cooke of @Random_Pixels has the article, Paradise Lost? South Florida

Hallandale Beach Blog

Hallandale Beach Blog
Hallandale Beach Blog/South Beach Hoosier's crimson-colored Indiana University cap. If you see someone at a South Florida govt. meeting or public policy discussion wearing this IU cap, scribbling notes furiously -and shaking his head in disbelief- don't be afraid to come over and say hello or pitch prospective story ideas. Photo by South Beach Hoosier. Move your mouse over the cap and be sent to the IU Athletic Dept.'s YouTube Channel.

Hallandale Beach Water Tower, looking east from State Road A1A/South Ocean Drive; May 2009 photo by South Beach Hoosier.© 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved

In the Heart of a Great Country, Beats the Soul of Hoosier Nation

In the Heart of a Great Country, Beats the Soul of Hoosier Nation
"In the Heart of a Great Country, Beats the Soul of Hoosier Nation." -South Beach Hoosier, 2007.
The South Florida I Grew Up In
Excerpted from Joan Didion's Miami, 1987, Simon & Schuster:
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

Just as true now as it was when it was written in June 2012!

Gulfstream Park Race Track & Casino and Village at GP retail complex, Hallandale Beach, FL

Gulfstream Park Race Track & Casino and Village at GP retail complex, Hallandale Beach, FL
Entrance monument to Gulfstream Park Race Track & Casino and The Village at Gulfstream Park retail complex on U.S.-1 & SE 3rd St. Hallandale Beach, FL. October 5, 2010 photo by South Beach Hoosier. © 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved

Gulfstream Way at Gulfstream Park Race Track in Hallandale Beach, FL

Gulfstream Way at Gulfstream Park Race Track in Hallandale Beach, FL
The north-south street sign in the middle of Gulfstream Park Race Track in Hallandale Beach, FL that leads to-and-from the track and the retail Village at Gulfstream Park to Hallandale Beach Blvd. north of the facilities. October 5, 2010 photo by South Beach Hoosier. © 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved

The View from the Hallandale Beach/Hollywood city line

The View from the Hallandale Beach/Hollywood city line
Looking south towards The Beach Club and the Hallandale Beach Water Tower on A1A from the beach, near the Hollywood cityline, May 2, 2009 photo by South Beach Hoosier. © 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved

A fish rots from the head down, and so does local government in Hallandale Beach, FL

A fish rots from the head down, and so does local government in Hallandale Beach, FL
City of Hallandale Beach Municipal Complex, 400 S. Federal Highway. The City of Hallandale Beach Municipal Complex: If it's true that a fish rots from the head down, so it does in local government in Broward County, FL. This monument sign on the west side of the intersection of U.S.-1 and S.E. 5th Street, across from Gulfstream Park Race Track & Casino and the Village at Gulfstream Park retail complex, alerts you to your proximity to HB City Hall and the HB Police Department HQ. It's a place and culture whose very own words and actions have made clear to taxpayers of this city -regardless of age, race or income- that it holds itself apart from and above from the very citizens it's supposed to serve, often acting like they don't have to follow the same laws that govern everyone else in the state of Florida and the U.S., whether of logic, reason or contracts. (More to the point of this blog, the Florida Statutes on Sunshine Laws and Public Records.) City employees in Hallandale Beach routinely refuse to answer perfectly reasonable questions posed to them by taxpayers, and as I have found out myself and witnessed, are not above berating you for even having the nerve to ask! As it happens, it's also not a very safe area, despite who operates here, and over the past nine years, the public parking lots have often been pitch-black for 6-9 months at a time, including in front of the HB Police Dept. HQ. Then-Police Chief Thomas Magill even shrugged his shoulders at City Comm. meetings when told about this a few times. As if they couldn't make a worse first impression, at one point, even the spotlights shining on this sign didn't work at night for over FOUR YEARS, either. October 13, 2012 photo by South Beach Hoosier. © 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved.

"Why do they need that in the Broward County charter?"

"Laws and Constitutions go for nothing where the general sentiment is corrupt."
-New York Times, September 22, 1851

"Why do they need that in the Broward County charter?"
-Hallandale Beach Mayor Joy Cooper at April 2, 2008 HB City Commission meeting, in discussing possible inclusion of Broward County Charter Review Commission's proposal for Ethics Commission to deal with Broward County Commission, on November 2008 ballot.
Six YEARS after the county's voters had overwhelmingly passed an amendment to the County charter requiring its adoption, the Broward County Commission had yet to live up to its legal responsibility. That's why!

Looking east on State Road 858/Hallandale Beach Blvd.

Looking east  on State Road 858/Hallandale Beach Blvd.
Looking east on State Road 858/Hallandale Beach Blvd., over the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway bridge, toward the iconic Hallandale Beach Water Tower and the three condo towers comprising The Beach Club. September 8, 2008 photo by South Beach Hoosier. © 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved

Hallandale Beach Water Tower on A1A/South Ocean Drive

Hallandale Beach Water Tower on A1A/South Ocean Drive
Hallandale Beach Water Tower on A1A/South Ocean Drive. Located below the Hallandale Beach Water Tower on A1A/South Ocean Drive, on the south side (right) is the "Community Center" that HB City Hall, thru their gross incompetency, has made impossible for HB citizen taxpayers to use now for 41 MONTHS as of January 2011. (And where's the American flag on the Fourth of July weekend? Missing in action as it had been for months!) July 3, 2009 photo by South Beach Hoosier. © 2012 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved

The Related Group's The Beach Club, consisting of three condo towers

The Related Group's The Beach Club, consisting of three condo towers
The Beach Club. Looking SE at The Beach Club from the Hollywood side of State Road A1A. May 12, 2008 photo by South Beach Hoosier. © 2012 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved

City of Hollywood City Hall, 2600 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, FL

City of Hollywood City Hall, 2600 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, FL
City of Hollywood City Hall. An early morning shot of the east side of Hollywood City Hall the morning of the Johnson Street Redevelopment RFP Evaluation Committee meeting, where presentations were heard; October 14, 2009 photo by South Beach Hoosier. © 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved. For more info on what's going on with this important project, see http://www.hollywoodfl.org/html/JohnsonStBeachRFP.htm

North Miami Beach Senior High School, the Home of the Chargers

North Miami Beach Senior High School, the Home of the Chargers
Before I was a Hoosier, I was an NMB Charger, Class of 1979

Sebastian the Ibis, the U-M mascot

Sebastian the Ibis, the U-M mascot
Like longtime U-M fans everywhere, including me, Sebastian the Ibis, the U-M mascot, hasn't had very much to cheer about lately, given the general state of mediocrity and underwhelming performances coming from the Hurricanes. Isn't it about time for fans to finally see some tangible signs that the new AD is moving things in the right direction? Where are the signs? I'm NOT seeing them. The woeful U-M Women's program is largely composed of teams that are NOT even close to being competitive for NCAA titles like their ACC competition, and they don't even field Women's Lacrosse or Field Hockey teams. It's embarrassing! Click on Sebastian for retrospective photo gallery of The Orange Bowl

Want to hear some REAL music talent? Of course you do!

Want to hear some REAL music talent? Of course you do!
Click on this photo of Anni to go to the FoK YouTube Channel
Full of Keys (Anni Bernhard) photographed in Rome, 2012, by Alessandro Leone. Click on the photo of Anni to go to her YouTube Channel and see videos from her first album, "Traces of a Human," and jer secomd album, "The Grazing Grounds." http://fullofkeys.com/ https://www.facebook.com/fullofkeys https://twitter.com/FullOfKeys More videos and photos of Full of Keys are at: http://hallandalebeachblog.blogspot.com/p/full-of-keys.html

Andreas Jismark, Anni Bernhard and Mats Jönsson

Andreas Jismark, Anni Bernhard and Mats Jönsson
Photo of Andreas Jismark, Anni Bernhard and Mats Jönsson, Södermalm, Stockholm, Sweden. January 11, 2013 photo by South Beach Hoosier. (c) 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved. The Dolphins caps and goodies are in the yellow bag :)

A dynamic and original talent with personality to spare!

Photo above is from my June 2nd, 2013 post titled, "Our 'Full of Keys' drought is finally over! Full of Keys (a.k.a. the amazing Anni Bernhard) will be playing a showcase in New York City at Cake Shop on June 10th as part of the week-long New Music Seminar. Her new album was recorded recently in Gotland, will be mastered in NYC, aiming for a September release -with lots of very big and exciting plans coming soon! @FullOfKeys, @AndreasJismark, #AnniBernhard, #MatsJönsson, #GrazingGrounds, #NMS2013, #NYMF, #CakeShop" http://www.hallandalebeachblog.blogspot.com/2013/06/our-full-of-keys-drought-is-finally.html
Click the photo to read that post, watch her videos and learn more about this dynamic and original talent with personality to spare!

Singer/songwriter Full of Keys (Anni Bernhard)

Singer/songwriter Full of Keys (Anni Bernhard)
Singer/songwriter Full of Keys (Anni Bernhard) wearing the teal-colored Miami Dolphins cap I gave her in January 2013 (in Stockholm) while recording her 2nd album, "The Grazing Grounds" at Sandkvie Studios in Visby, Gotland, Sweden. Also pictured here are sound engineer and co-producer Linus Larsson and musician/DJ/co-producer Mats Jönsson, April 12, 2013. Click the photo to see my post on Anni last summer.

Let's end the 27-year NCAA title drought!

Let's end the 27-year NCAA title drought!
IU All-American and U.S. Olympian Steve Alford on the cover of the 1987 Indiana University basketball media guide, months after IU won the NCAA basketball title.

The NCAA Championship Banners

The NCAA Championship Banners
Assembly Hall, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana. I was there in 1981 for NCAA Title #4 vs. North Carolina. Click on photo to go to the IU Basketball homepage.

Using a map of Stockholm and my Samsung mobile's Latitude app to find out where some friends and contacts in Stockholm were before I called to let them know I'd arrived from Arlanda Airport and had checked into the B&B in Södermalm. If only it had been an OpenStreetMap! January 2013 photo by South Beach Hoosier.© 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved; Click the photo to see OpenStreetMap's amazing map of Stockholm and a whole world of useful maps you never even knew existed

Solrea - Sveriges bästa resesök

Solrea - Sveriges bästa resesök
The colder and snowier it got in Stockholm, the more this simple ad seemed like genius. Sometimes, you don't have to reinvent the advertising wheel. When you're a travel agency and it's cold and snowing, make your target audience think of summers and traveling to an inviting warm beach. Above, one of the many Sistaminuten.se display ads I saw on the side of pay phones throughout Stockholm. This one was located on Ringvägen, across the street from the Åhléns Dept. store (with the Hemköp grocery store in the basement that I frequented) west of busy Götgatan and the Skanstull T-bana, the southern commercial heart of trendy and fun Södermalm. January 11, 2013 photo by South Beach Hoosier.© 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved. I used this photo in my April 22, 2013 blog post titled, Tourism game-changer for South Florida travelers & Fort Lauderdale-area businesses -but only if they're smart and start planning now. Ruminations on the upcoming Norwegian.com flights b/w Ft. Lauderdale and Oslo, Stockholm & Copenhagen, and the need for Broward's hospitality industry to take full-advantage of the opportunity; @Oslo, @norway, @stockholm, @sweden, @copenhagen, @denmark. Click photo to see that post

More travel advertising in Stockholm

More travel advertising in Stockholm
Speaking of advertising, only two blocks from the wonderful 4trappor B&B I stayed at in Södermalm, Stockholm on my trip -and also located on Ringvägen- were two more display ads promoting travel. The one in the distance is for SAS, Scandinavian Airlines Systems, which I flew on to Stockholm, and the one in the foreground, on a public telephone booth, is the "Holiday is where the Heart is" ad campaign for VING. January 12, 2013 photo by South Beach Hoosier.© 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved. Click the photo to see their TV ad!

Risk för snöras, istappar

Risk för snöras, istappar
One of the many such warning signs that I saw on buildings and on sidewalk barricades while in Stockholm in mid-January 2013, alerting you to the possibility of falling snow and ice, often by men shoveling it off roofs. This one was spotted on a residential building in the Södermalm area of Stockholm, on Ringvägen, while I was walking over to the Åhléns Department store on Götgatan. It wasn't until I was walking back later to the B&B that I noticed the inflated Santa that some resident had intentionally placed outside of their window, so it looked like Santa was falling! January 13, 2013 photo by South Beach Hoosier.© 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved.

Ringvägen, Stockholm, Sweden

Ringvägen, Stockholm, Sweden
Poster display on Ringvägen, Stockholm, Sweden. January 2013 photo by South Beach Hoosier. © 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved. The Affischplats plan in Stockholm, while not perfect, strikes me as a pretty good compromise in helping cultural and civic groups catch the public's eye in a way that's better than a free-for-all of groups plastering posters on the sides of buildings and utility boxes, and watching as the weather makes a mess of them. The tangible effort the city makes to get the public involved in a genuine and meaningful conversation about what is going on long-term for the city as a whole, or in a particular neighborhood, is very impressive, and made me wishful that the local government employees and planners where I live and write about regularly in my blog and in conversations with other concerned civic activists did even one-third of what Stockholm's planning employees seem to do as a starting-point.