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, January 31, 2011

Best discussion yet of upcoming NFL lockout & Albert Haynesworth fiasco: Redskins' Vonnie Holiday, Texans' Eric Winston with Orlando Alzugaray of WFTL

Above, Sebastian the Ibis.
Will new head football coach Al Golden's embrace of the U-M 'culture' put smiles on 'Cane fans faces? It can't hurt!


Today was actually a good day for sports radio in South Florida, something that can't honestly be said many times with a straight face in the course of a year.

Especially when compared to what I had gotten used to as a kid growing-up down here in the 1970's before leaving for Bloomington, and being able to listen to all the great Midwestern sports shows out of Chicago's WMAQ (Chet Coppock -"Positively C-O-S") Cincinnati's WCKY (Bob Trumpy),
Cleveland's WWWE (Pete Franklin), St. Louis & KMOX, Louisville & WHAS and of course, the many clear-channel flame-throwers from the East Coast, where everything always seemed so much more exciting -or worse.
(Cleveland's 1100-AM WWWE is now
Newsradio WTAM 1100.)

Yes, the radio stations and call letters with station IDs and promos I knew as a kid when winter came to South Florida, and I stood outside my apt. for hours at a time, listening to sports adventures far from the tedium all around me in North Miami Beach, once the Dolphins season was over.


Hell, my first year at IU, when I had to repaint my dorm room back to its original color before finally heading back to Miami and my three summer jobs, so the building manager could check off that I had caused no damage, I painted it while listening to a Braves-Pirates ballgame out of Pittsburgh on KDKA.
And trust me, that ballgame was booming out of my stereo speakers as I made my way around the room, with two electric fans blowing like crazy to get that fresh paint smell out of my dorm room.


And yet as I wrote quite incredulously in emails to friends the next day -but never posted here- in the first two hours after Randy Shannon was fired as head football coach at the University of Miami (U-M) after their horrifyingly-flat loss to the University of South Florida before a nearly empty Joe Robbie Stadium, not ONE of the four South Florida sports radio stations had any original local programming to gauge fan's reaction.

Not WQAM, their flagship station, WFTL, WAXY or WINZ.
Zero for four is a strikeout in any league.


Trust me, I know this not because I read this anywhere but because I was checking on two different radios at the same time, endlessly scanning, ready to tape anything of substance.


But there was nothing to tape because it was all syndicated fare.
On one of the biggest sports stories of the year in South Florida, local radio was sleeping like a baby.
Not that you would ever know that from the Herald or Sun-Sentinel's media coverage of the story.


Former Miami Dolphin and current Washington Redskin linebacker Vonnie Holiday remains a classy and articulate guy who knows his sport and what's what with the collective bargaining agreement - "If it's not broken, what are we fixing?"


Also noteworthy and worth listening to is Orlando Alzugaray's later interview with former U-M Hurricane and current Houston Texans offensive tackle Eric Winston on the changes at the U-M with new football coach Al Golden; why recruits haven't improved at U-M; the return of Art Kehoe to the program; and what it will take for the Texans to get over-the-top and make the playoffs consistently.

Winston
, always a standout on the field and in the classroom, is forthright about the same things that have bothered me and many other longtime Hurricane fans for a LONG TIME even while many foolish Hurricane fans have been making excuses for consistently being flat, out-coached and out-muscled for far too long.

Eric Winston GETS it!

Hear these two excellent January 31st interviews with Orlando Alzugaray from Radio Row in Arlington, Texas at:
http://www.jamescrystalradio.com/Web_Player/Sports/

http://wftlsports.com/
http://wftlsports.com/?page_id=1158

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Finally something to smile about for Hoosier fans in a season of wasted opportunities

Been a little under the weather this weekend so my plan to drop a cache of posts here to get things stirring has taken a back seat to my health.
I did want to post this one, though, before IU's upcoming game in a few minutes against a reeling Michigan State team at East Lansing that I'll be watching on The BigTenNetwork, DirecTV Channel 610.



IU 52, U of I 49 - First win against ranked team while Tom Crean's been head basketball coach at IU.
Video highlights at:

http://www.bigtennetwork.com/generic/sports/video?autostart=true&bcpid=60234638001&bckey=AQ~~,AAAAAEBQhU8~,kLn_EtefUBn-jd4QuQdKKKEE0M4y3HUj&bctid=766801782001

It's not by mistake that I've chosen not to write much about this disappointing college basketball season, the third in the Tom Crean regime in Bloomington. (Or even said anything about Kevin Wilson being hired as the new football coach, a move I welcomed.)

There's a lot of misgivings and discomfort among some Hoosier fans I know and communicate with on a regular basis, not only over players that have failed to develop as expected (or in some cases, even regressed) but about wasted opportunities on nationally-televised games, cementing the idea among key high school players -and some fair-weather fans- that IU can't show more toughness and grit in close games, and emerge victorious.

While this victory over the Fighting Illini was certainly nice, especially at a packed Assembly Hall where devout fans have been eyewitness to more losing than at any time since I've been a Hoosier -and more since these students have been alive- I still find that a lot of very frustrated IU fans living far from the Midwest, are having a hard time accepting "moral victories."

You can count me among them, and you can see that in the agitated and exasperated emails from Hoosier faithful that are sent to the Hoosiers homepage of the Indy Star
http://www.indystar.com/section/SPORTS0601?odyssey=nav|s|hoosiers&nav=2

That's especially the case with knowledgeable fans whose base of understanding for Hoosier basketball, both history and personality context, extends decades, many of whom frequently respond to Indy Star reporter Terry Hutchens' Hoosiers Insider blog at
http://blogs.indystar.com/hoosiersinsider/


Hoosiers Insider
remains a great resource for Hoosier fans living far from the rolling hills of Bloomington, and remains one of the few places that I can consistently go and find out something, from either Terry or a reader, that I didn't already know or had considered about the team and its history.

People with an institutional memory about the team that recall things that happened before I got to Bloomington in the fall of 1979 the way I STILL remember things about the 1972 Dolphins Perfect Season -whether scores of the games, the team roster, mini-controversies, et al- which was my first year as a Dolphins season ticket holder.


When
IU plays Kentucky in mid-December, that's almost always been a nationally-televised Saturday afternoon game that got lots of eyeballs coast-to-coast. Now, it's almost forgotten and on ESPN2 or wherever it was, and not even brought up until late into ESPN's SportsCenter or into their radio programming -an after-thought.

The annual Michigan at IU ballgame which had so many memorable and clutch finishes from 1980-2000 while a CBS nationally-televised staple, has also become a victim of the recent mediocrity.


When I watched it recently on
TheBigTenNetwork, it was hard not to think of all those games with Coach Knight getting the better of whomever was patrolling the sidelines for the Wolverines, and the confidence IU fans had with Damon Bailey or Steve Alford bringing the ball up-court with less than thirty seconds to play against those excellent Wolverine teams.

You knew that the fundamentals would be there and that guys would come thru in the clutch, and if they lost, it would NOT be for lack of a proper understanding of what they needed to do and where they needed to be on the court for that last shot.


Now, I have absolutely no idea what is going to happen from play to play, and whether a player will repeat the same mistake twice before getting pulled from the game.


Rebuilding is definitely a bitch.


The
IU homepage at The BigTenNetwork website, full of IU-related stories & videos: http://www.bigtennetwork.com/subindex/schools/indiana

Friday, January 28, 2011

If you watch the NFL Pro Bowl on Saturday from Iowa, look for this TV ad by students imploring Hoosier governor Mitch Daniels to run for President


My Man Mitch [HD]

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r-TPHzH-gHA

No need to worry, Chris Good of The Atlantic Online is on the case.

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2011/01/mitch-daniels-is-the-man-in-this-girls-life/70366/


CBS News Early Show segment on Indiana governor Mitch Daniels, April 2010
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rFlc4W1bL6Y

See this opinion piece from the FoxNews Channel's website:
Mitch Daniels for President In 2012
By Liz Peek
Published January 13, 2011

http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2011/01/13/mitch-daniels-president/


Fox Business News - Should Capitol Hill Listen to Indiana? Jan 3, 2011 - 7:30 - Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels on his success in reviving the state's economy and abilities to curb union power.
http://video.foxbusiness.com/v/4483750/should-capitol-hill-listen-to-indiana/



C-SPAN founder and Purdue grad Brian Lamb interviews Mitch Daniels
for Q&A
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oNy7Dz_1OzI

Draft Mitch Daniels for President 2012
YouTube Channel

http://www.youtube.com/user/draftdaniels

Website: Students for Daniels
http://www.studentsfordaniels.com/


http://www.in.gov/gov/


Governor Mitch Daniels YouTube Channel
http://www.youtube.com/user/INGovernor

-------
Later in the day... it turns out that if you can see this TV ad in Iowa on Saturday-or anywhere else for that matter- you have latent superpowers, because the Pro Bowl, whcih I haven't watched on TV since the early 1990's, is actually on SUNDAY!
Mea culpa.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

SVT video of Saab's nEUROn fuselage for new UCAV; Will Brazilian President Rousseff ditch French and buy Saab's Gripen or Boeing F-18 instead for $4B?


SVT Rapport - Här är Saabs nya stridsflygplan
Here's Saab's new fighter plane.
http://svtplay.se/v/2307433/har_ar_saabs_nya_stridsflygplan

This video ran on Wednesday night's Swedish TV (SVT) thirty-minute national newscast and has some English but is mostly in Swedish.


This particular video is available on the SVT Play website until January 25, 2012, and if you are curious enough to want to watch the entire newscast, which features an interesting report on security in Moscow -at 10:56- following the Chechen suicide bombing last week at the airport, you can see it at: http://svtplay.se/v/2307476/rapport/25_1_19_30_-_textat?cb,a1366518,1,f,-1/pb,a1366516,1,f,-1/pl,v,,2308531/sb,p103263,1,f,-1

I've selected the version of the newscast that has closed-captioning so that you can see what some of the words you are hearing actually look like, as it's more logical than it sounds.
You can watch the newscast vid until Tuesday February 1st, and as always, I recommend that you hit the Full screen button on the bottom right marked "
Fullskärm."
The story on the fighter plane comes on at 19:39.

Saab delivers nEUROn fuselage to Dassault Aviation

http://www.shephard.co.uk/news/uvonline/saab-delivers-neuron-fuselage-to-dassault-aviation/8187/


Also read this story on the $4 billion sale of 36 fighter jets to Brazil from France that may be on the verge of collapsing under new Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff and the possibility that Saab or Boeing will swoop-in and take it from Dassault, lock, stock and lavalier.

"Rousseff has indicated she wants to review the political agreement between the two heads of state and "start over" the evaluation process that pitted the Rafale against Boeing Co.'s (BA) F-18 and the Gripen made by Sweden's Saab AB (SAAB-B.SK)"
Dassault Workers' Bonuses Hinge On Rafale Export Deal
January 25, 2011, 10:29 A.M. ET

By David Pearson of DOW JONES NEWSWIRES

http://online.wsj.com/article/BT-CO-20110125-710700.html



Gripen's current website -in English- at http://www.gripen.com/en/index.htm is moving to http://www.saabgroup.com/gripen

Photos of Gripen is at:
http://www.saabgroup.com/Air/Gripen-Fighter-System/gripen-downloads/Image-bank/

There's a video in Portuguese on Saab's website about their efforts and capabilities there:
http://www.saabgroup.com/gripen-for-brazil

Here's the Saab JAS 39 Gripen in Flight [HD]


Saab JAS 39 Gripen (Griffin) Fighter in Flight [HD]

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WSJ4i8IExjY

Now THAT'S singing! The Babys - Every Time I Think Of You [HQ]; Michael Bublé - Stardust [LIVE-HQ] -with Naturally 7


The Babys - Every Time I Think Of You (HQ)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fjU50ow95aM


Simply put, a perfect song in every way: lyrics, instrumentation, singing and pacing.
Nothing wasted, it's all right there for you to hear and see.

When I think back to being at North Miami Beach High School for the second semester of my senior year, early 1979, eager to be out of the confines of the Sunshine State, and then just a few months later, suddenly being far removed from there in spirit and attitude, in Bloomington at IU, where people's musical tastes more closely mirrored my own, I think of this song.

This Babys song was one of the handful of songs that I and my guy friends most loved to sing together in cars, in our dorm rooms, at fraternity houses, at "Swimmer parties" or even walking past certain sorority houses, especially the ones on North Jordan, where we had female friends who were in the IU Music School and who possessed silly-talented voices that could more than handle the female parts of the song.


It probably sounds crazy to read this, especially to those of you who went to Southern schools or small liberal arts schools in the Northeast, but I have so many happy memories of being somewhere in Bloomington with friends on snowy winter nights -but with a window popped open to keep everyone from sweating to death in their sweaters!- and this song being played and EVERYONE in the room, a dozen strong or 200-strong, singing that ending chorus in unison like we were all up on that stage with
John Waite, "Every Time I Think of You...."
Wow, those were the days!

John Waite
is so perfect on this song that it's hard for me to even conceive of someone else doing it justice.
Like someone else ever doing Stardust better than its creator, Hoagy Carmichael, one of IU's greatest alums ever, who wrote the song while a student, and a man whose loyalty and philanthropy to IU is incalculable on the one hand, but runs into the millions of dollars on the other.

http://hoagy.com/
http://www.dlib.indiana.edu/collections/hoagy/

I've even been to the spot, more-or-less, where he composed the iconic song.
http://www.dlib.indiana.edu/collections/hoagy/index.html

Well, okay, I'll grant you that Willie Nelson's is in the conversation for Stardust, because there's no arguing that album of pop standards was a classic, but he and his transcendent talent are the exception to every rule, isn't he?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stardust_%28album%29

Right now, this version by
Michael Bublé with Naturally 7 is about the best I've heard since that iconic Willie Nelson American Songbook album just knocked everyone's socks off, and was bought by fans from 17 to 70.



Michael Bublé - Stardust [LIVE-HQ]
-with Naturally 7
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cINpA4sSzu0


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

"Come Monday, it'll be alright..." - Australia's TEN News Thursday network newscast on Jimmy Bufett's fall in Sydney and reactions of fans



Gabrielle Boyle of TEN News on Jimmy Buffett's concert accident in Sydney and interviews eyewitnesses.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iu5n-dMmXvM

Above, from Thursday network newscast.
Below, from Wednesday's first reports of the incident.

SKY News Australia


Story at:
http://video.theaustralian.com.au/1767604031/Buffett-injured-after-concert-fall



Jimmy Buffett - Come Monday
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e0---Q97pG4

Personally, I'm not a Jimmy Buffett fan, and I even wasn't in favor of the Margaritaville Resort being selected over Planet Hollywood for Hollywood Beach, where I was for a few hours this afternoon, but there's no denying that this song is one of the most iconic songs of the past 50 years, in part because EVERYONE thinks they can sing this song well.

And at the 2:15 mark, the combination of lyrics and instruments become genius.

See also: http://www.youtube.com/user/ten

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Great Hallandale Beach 'North Beach' Dedication Debacle of 2011 is Today


Above and below, January 21, 2011 photos by South Beach Hoosier
.



With less than 22 hours to go 'till the The Great Hallandale Beach 'North Beach' Dedication Debacle of 2011...

Yes, m
y new name for the fiasco that's scheduled to go down at 5:30 p.m. on the beach Tuesday under the iconic HB Water Tower is The Great Hallandale Beach 'North Beach' Dedication Debacle of 2011.

January 21, 2011 photos by South Beach Hoosier.

Curious to see what the city was finally doing to promote something that should've taken place in the Fall of 2007, I drove by the North Beach facility on State Road A1A/South Ocean Drive and Hallandale Beach Blvd. on Monday evening around 8 p.m.

There, with the clock ticking, and everyone in the city perfectly aware of how badly this fiasco reflects on the people at HB City Hall, I saw for myself that the city
finally decided to do what it should've done ten days ago -and often has for other MUCH LESS important reasons.


January 24, 2011 photo by South Beach Hoosier.

Meanwhile, the Golden Isles Tennis Club has had their sandwich board in the highly-visible spot of the median on Hallandale Beach Blvd. and 14th Avenue, near the Publix and the Walgreens, for at least three weeks.

Whom do we all know who plays tennis over there?


January 24, 2011 photo by South Beach Hoosier.

When I got there, the first thing I noticed was how ridiculously dark it was over there, as ALL the safety lights were NOT on between the A1A sidewalk and the front of the building, and we all know that there are ZERO turtles in that city water fountain, since until last month, there was no water in it for 16 months.

So unless something changes between now and then, about 15 minutes into Tuesday's 5:30 p.m. dedication, it will be pitch black.
The perfect metaphor for this city in a black hole.


January 24, 2011 photo by South Beach Hoosier.

I caught the west-bound traffic light on A1A right away and so didn't see whether or not the city actually spelled everything correctly on the board, but I wouldn't count on it.
Could someone please check in the morning?


January 24, 2011 photo by South Beach Hoosier.

And did anyone happen to notice what day and time the city's electronic board FINALLY made it over there, since it wasn't there late Friday afternoon?

If so, please share the knowledge in the morning so we all know!



I wonder if anyone from the community will heckle the parties directly responsible for this black eye, like Mayor Joy Cooper, City Manager Mark Antonio or DPW Director John Chidsey, who was hired what seems like years ago specifically to speed-up the process and open the facility?

Didn't happen, did it?


In any case, as usual, there will no doubt be far too many HB police officers present, hanging around with nothing to do, with some no doubt parking their police cars right on the brick sidewalk that surrounds the water fountain that was empty for so very long, another Chidsey success.


They may even leave their emergency lights flashing as they do for the other events I've witnessed over there the past few years that defied description, like the Air Supply concert, where well-known cronies of the City Hall crowd and PAL used the public facility and parked in the city's public garage, while the public was forced to park many blocks away and walk.

Yes, it often seems like the elected officials and employees of this small city forget that they work for the people here, not the other way around, and that it's their thinking -not ours- that needs to Change, as my friend Michael Butler forcefully reminded City Manager Antonio on Wednesday night after city employee Antonio insulted Michael, myself and about two-dozen other HB citizens by patronizingly saying that we needed to change our behavior, not him.

No, we know EXACTLY who needs to change their myopic thinking and their way of doing things, and it's NOT us.

Steps and strategies towards "fixing" that kind of outmoded thinking at Hallandale Beach City Hall is already well under way, and one of them employs a management method that I've mentioned here on the blog before as being one of my personal favorites -
addition-by-subtraction.


Change Hallandale:
http://web.me.com/mike.butler/Change_Hallandale/Updates/Updates.html

Monday, January 24, 2011

Daily Mail succeeds in solving riddle as old as time: "Ikea design stores 'as mazes' to stop shoppers leaving so you end up buying more..."


Ikea - Bättre skilsmässa åt alla -Better divorce for everyone.

(FYI: That's not their nanny, that's their mother.) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=isjrGmFapS4



In a move that surely will get the notice of the Nobel Prize Committee in Stockholm, The Daily Mail has succeeded where so many others have previously failed, and solved a riddle as old as time: "Ikea design stores 'as mazes' to stop shoppers leaving so you end up buying more, professor says."
Thanks Professor Alan Penn, or is it "Sherlock"?



Daily Mail Online

Why shoppers find it so hard to escape from Ikea: Flatpack furniture stores are 'designed just like a maze'

By James Tozer

Last updated at 8:14 AM on 24th January 2011


If you've ever found yourself hopelessly lost in an Ikea store, you were probably not alone.


The home furnishing chain’s mazy layouts are a psychological weapon to part shoppers from their cash, an expert in store design claims.


The theory is that while following a zig-zag trail between displays of minimalist Swedish furniture, a disorientated Ikea customer feels ­compelled to pick up a few extra impulse purchases.


Read the rest of this interesting pop culture article, complete with a map dissecting the psychological layout of a typical Ikea retail store at:
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-1349831/Ikea-design-stores-mazes-stop-shoppers-leaving-end-buying-more.html#ixzz1Byrc3awm


Now if only those of us living in this part of South Florida could get a Business School professor to engage in a case study of why the Burger King in Hallandale Beach near the Walmart and the Intercoastal bridge persists in only having one cash register on the customer counter.

Or why on Sundays and Wednesdays, when McDonald's 59 cent hamburger and 69 cent cheeseburger promotion is in effect, the location on U.S.-1 north of Hallandale Beach Blvd. persists in only having one person work at the counter with numerous people in line, but utilizes 2-3 people to take care of one car in the drive-thru window, like they're a VIP.


There's a real consumer riddle there worth solving, which on very bad days, seems straight out of the HB City Hall management handbook.


And it's just the sort of low-hanging fruit of an investigation that the Miami Herald and South Florida Sun-Sentinel can still handle now that they've gotten rid of so many reporters who actually know the area.

Perhaps they can actually help for a change and get some big brains noodling over that counter-intuitive management behavior, which only causes customers to get upset.


Those two fast-food places are easily the worst run retail operation in this small city, though to be fair, the Burger King near Hollywood City Hall is tied with them for WORST if we're going by region and not simply by city, since it's easily THE SLOWEST fast-food place in Southeast Broward County.

By a sun dial!


Cat herding at the Ikea store in Wembley, England
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vCB7RqGS684





Ikea -Home
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SEe05lCgYrY



http://www.ikea.com/
Fascinating facts and figures for 2010:
http://www.ikea.com/ms/sv_SE/about_ikea/pdf/Welcome_inside_2010_final.pdf

2011 Ikea catalog, USA: http://onlinecatalog.ikea-usa.com/2011/ikea_catalog/US/

2011 Ikea catalog,
Sweden: http://onlinecatalogue.ikea.com/2011/ikea_catalogue/SE/


Ikea USA YouTube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/ikea?blend=1&ob=4

Sunday, January 23, 2011

A sagacious friend calls, I listen; an old benchmark returns; no North Beach video here today

What's right in front of you and never been used...

Above, the pathetic little sign erected on the side of the city's North Beach complex, facing away from most passing traffic, is the perfect reminder of the sort of over-paid geniuses who populate Hallandale Beach City Hall. January 21, 2011 photo by South Beach Hoosier.

Per my last blog post on the longstanding fiasco that is Hallandale Beach's two-story North Beach facility, located just steps from the Atlantic Ocean, and which despite being given to this city's residents for FREE on August 3rd, 2007, has NOT been open to the general public but once in those intervening 41 months, my plan for the blog today was simple.

I'd post numerous photographs of the facility from several different angles and perspectives so those of you who come here regularly could get a better sense of just what is at stake here, and why the vast majority of this city's concerned and well-informed residents, full-time and seasonal, are VERY ANGRY at HB's mayor, city manger and city commission for squandering a valuable and dynamic resource for what is now three-and-a-half years.


A facility that communities in South Florida not located on the ocean, like Hialeah, Pembroke Pines, Miramar, Miami Lakes, Sunrise, Tamarac, et al, would positively kill to have in their city, especially for FREE.
(And then there's the observation deck on top, too...)


Yes, those are just some of the many South Florida communities which, however poorly-run they might well be on a day-to-day basis, you know with certainty have at least some elected officials who would've had the common sense to see what a dynamic facility it could be, and who'd have done everything in their power to "fix" and and open to the public ASAP.

All the more so so they could pat themselves on the back at the public dedication.


Now contrast how those hypothetical and presumably enthusiastic dedications elsewhere might've been to the very somber and subdued one that will surely take place in Hallandale Beach on Tuesday at 5:30 p.m., where the very people who are most responsible for totally mismanaging this and screwing-over the residents of this city, are going to be present, and try to say with a straight face to them that the only way that you residents can utilize it is if you pay for it.
Yes, it's been one slap in the face after another for 41 months.

(Not like it's the only city boondoggle in this city, since the city's municipal storage parking lot on Ansin Blvd., near1-95, that cost well over a million dollars, had but seven vehicles utilizing it the other day when I paid my most recent visit of the past several months, leaving what seems like hundreds of parking spots empty. It was very weird! Oh, trust me, dear readers, I have literally dozens of photos and video of that facility, too, just waiting to see the light of day here.)


Yes, Tuesday afternoon here promises to be yet another "only in Hallandale Beach" moment for this city's beleaguered citizen taxpayers, one more civic insult for them to endure, individually and collectively.

I was also going to post video here of the North Beach facility, showing just how close it is to State Road A1A/South Ocean Drive, the sand and surf of the beach, as well as the neighboring Beach Club condos, which are the three tallest buildings in the entire city.

Well, there's been a change of plans for the blog today.
And a concurrent change of philosophy in how some things will be done going forward into the future.

Late Saturday night I received an unexpected phone call from a friend who is more aware than most of the stories and personalities that have come to animate this blog over the past four years.


Someone noted for their candor and savvy who knows a lot more about me than most people I know and deal with regularly in Hallandale Beach and South Florida, and who has been encouraging when it was needed, but also pointed-out mistakes or areas that needed improvement when they were needed, too.

In the case of the latter, both in the blog and in my life.

As it happens, this person is also pretty aware of many if not most of the blog posts that never made it online, for whatever reason, since they're part of the sounding board that I consult from time to time when I rethink something that seemed genius, funny, or insightful at the time, but which... well, maybe not so much.


This person reminded me of some of the things that we had discussed just a few weeks ago when talking about things we'd both learned in the past year and some things we both wanted to avoid in this new one, as well as some new ideas and traditions we wanted to inaugurate.
One of the things on that short list of mine, which I've hinted at here but written about more forcefully in emails to friends, with very specific examples, was to stop enabling South Florida's lazy and dis-interested news media.

To stop making excuses for the middling mediocrity that characterizes far too much of what passes for news media in South Florida, and their sorry excuses to me and others privately when they pump us for information and either don't do the story at all, or do it in such a piss-poor way that I don't even recognize it, and wish I had never wasted my time talking to them.

(You know, like my bad experience with Channel 4's I-Team, which proved to be a one-way street just months after I was invited down to the station in Doral and met everyone.
Unfortunately, I got sucked-in and didn't wise-up and cut them out-of-the-loop until months after I should've.)


I needed to stop pretending that certain people I'd met in the local news media really gave a crap about Hallandale Beach,
Hollywood or Aventura specifically, or Broward and South Florida in general -or the intricacies of public policy- when they called or emailed, wanting information from me or access to something or someone I could arrange.

Instead, go back to using the measuring stick that I'd used so well -usually- in Bloomington and Chicago and Washington, where the benchmarks were genuine accountability and actions spoke louder than words.


It probably won't surprise many of you that over the past four years, I've tried many times to get the local Miami TV stations and local South Florida newspapers to give various compelling stories I knew about some play, and in the case of the North Beach facility in particular, had many sit-down discussions with reporters and columnists about the facts and context of what has or hasn't taken place, even sharing chronological photos to show that nothing was being done for LONG periods of time.


All so that something positive would come from it, and that people here in HB could actually gain some use and enjoyment from something on the beach that already belonged to them, and which had been, in essence, stolen from them by Hallandale Beach City Hall's custodians.

To paraphrase that very animated phone conversation with my friend, here's a taste, and I should mention that this savvy person used to make a lot of money in media circles:


"Why the hell are you going to run photos and video on Sunday of that facility and video or whatever of that oblivious Antonio guy totally stepping all over HB's citizens at London's meeting, with his totally unacceptable comments to citizens about who works for who, when you know that the press down there is so f-ing lazy that they will use whatever you've done, ignore you, and then try to make it seem like they always knew what was going on, just finally decided to do something about it themselves?

Dave, don't help them, ignore them or beat them at their own game, but whatever you do, DON'T make their job any easier. Better yet, start FINALLY doing those video reports you kept talked about doing months ago, and simply go around the
news media and post your stuff to your YouTube page. And though I know you already know this well, let me just remind you: reporters are NOT your friends."

So that's what I'm doing.


The promised photos and video will be up soon, but I'm no longer making public promises here on the blog about that sort of thing when there's nothing positive to gain from it.


Believe me, last night, once I realized I was changing my plans, I was very keen on publicly revealing what news and print reporters and columnists and correspondents have taken information from me in the past, who has called me up or who has sat across a table from me and promised me that finally -finally-their editor or producer or news director was going to let them file that story.


But as my friend reminded me, there's no point in burning a bridge when they don't have to know they're being burned -digitally.
Eventually, it'll sink in when they don't hear from me anymore.


No more promises.

Results, not words.

The old benchmark is back in play, and there will be no substitutions.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Just added my two cents to the debate and website... New Times: "Hallandale Beach's North Beach Facility Might Finally Open, After Four Years"

Looking west from the Atlantic Ocean and the beach towards the Hallandale Beach Water Tower, Fire/Rescue station, North Beach Community Center.
October 26, 2010 photo by South Beach Hoosier
.

Below is the email that I sent out this morning to my well-informed grapevine after finally deciding to comment on this BrowardPalmBeach NewTimes article of yesterday. It'll be interesting to see if any other reporters FINALLY show-up on Tuesday to grill Mayor Cooper or City Manager Antonio about this longstanding scandal.

In any case, on Monday I plan to invite the State Attorney's Office to attend.


----

BrowardPalmBeach NewTimes

Hallandale Beach's North Beach Facility Might Finally Open, After Four Years

By Stefan Kamph, Fri., Jan. 21 2011 @ 6:36AM

Mike Butler is facing an uphill battle. He's the blogger and gadfly of record in Hallandale Beach (the 40,000-citizen heel of the Broward boot), and he's the one who calls out the city for spending through its reserve funds, paying its city manager nearly half a million bucks a year, and leaving the beach in suboptimal conditions.

Read the rest of the post at:

http://blogs.browardpalmbeach.com/juice/2011/01/hallandale_beach_north_beach_opening.php


------

Here's what I posted above:


To paraphrase a sports maxim, Hallandale Beach City Hall can't stop
Change Hallandale and Hallandale Beach Blog, they can only hope to contain them.
And they will FAIL at that.

The biggest problem that the status quo Cooper Crew have is that while my friend Michael and I and many
other concerned HB residents are entirely forthright, transparent and public about the sort of city we'd like HB to be, and equally clear about the sort of accountable public policy that we believe ought to prevail here -which, at at a minimum, is a dollar's worth of service/product for a dollar's worth of taxpayer's funds, plus some innovation with common sense instead of the longstanding secrecy and duplicity- history has shown us that the Cooper Crew is deathly afraid to share PUBLIC information in a timely fashion and debate the issues based on facts in public forums -without their completely controlling the forum or the microphone.

Plus, they have shown over-and-over again that they can't ever admit being wrong about something, and are equally
unwilling to admit that other people actually have good ideas, too.

Friday afternoon at 4 p.m, about 45 hours AFTER HB City Manager Mark Antonio said at Comm. London's 'Resident Forum' that the (taxpayer-funded faux newspaper) South Florida Sun-Times was City Hall's main avenue for informing residents -despite the fact that nobody actually reads it because it's nothing but PR and propaganda- I swung by the North Beach Community Center with a copy of that laughable rag.


I walked around the area as I have so many countless dozens of times and took notes -
and photos and video.

Here's what I found: One smallish banner hanging on the side of the Fire Station facing
NOT the passing traffic on State Road A1A, but rather facing south towards The Beach Club and residents leaving that condo complex.

There were
ZERO signs on the doors of the Community Center bldg. itself, ZERO sandwich boards advertising it on the beach or on the A1A sidewalks.

There were
ZERO of the city's electronic message boards that are ALWAYS seen on U.S.-1 and Hallandale Beach Blvd. two weeks before the city's overly-aggressive PAL has something THEY want to promote.
(Why exactly does PAL have special rules that allow them to do whatever they want? Nobody ever wants to say why they get special privileges in this city.)

.

Looking east from State Road A1A/South Ocean Drive & Hallandale Beach Blvd, Hallandale Beach, FL. July 3, 2009 photo by South Beach Hoosier.

As for the faux newspaper that Mark Antonio said would have word about Tuesday afternoon's public unveiling, almost 42 months after it was given to the city for FREE on August 3rd, 2007, the event that only two of the concerned residents at London's meeting had even heard about prior to Antonio mentioning it there, well, they had ZERO words about it in the last issue before the event.

Not wanting to be hasty, I gave a copy of it to a friend to read and asked him to carefully double-check and see if he saw a single word about Tuesday's event at the North Beach bldg.
NOPE!
There was
NOTHING there.

Typical!


That's the anomie-centric HB City Hall Crew in a nutshell: unable to even mange to get a word in edgewise about their little spectacle in the fake newspaper that THEY themselves keep alive thru HB taxpayer-subsidies.
How absurd!

Video of City Manager Antonio's remarks at Comm. London's Wednesday night meeting, along with photos and video from Friday of the North Beach Community Center will be on my blog on Sunday, where I already have dozens of photos of its neglect over the past three-and-a-half years, along with numerous blog posts about its longstanding mismanagement.
http://www.hallandalebeachblog.blogspot.com/

Many of them ask the basic question that
NEVER is answered: Why have mayor Joy Cooper and past and current city managers adamantly refused to hold a city-wide forum where citizen taxpayers of this city could weigh-in on what THEY want that building to be for?
That discussion should've taken place YEARS AGO!


Nobody has a problem with the city to make revenue from renting the place out on
weekends, as I've mentioned at numerous budget meetings, but what taxpayers DON'T want is for it to continue to be off-limits to them Monday thru Friday, and used exclusively, as it has been, as a warehouse for the city's office chairs, and a beach-side clubhouse for PAL and other City Hall cronies, as my past photos on the blog have shown.
That public facility doesn't belong to them, it belongs to all of us.


By the way, Hallandale Beach City Hall DID finally 'fix' the large water fountain located in front of the North Beach bldg. and the Fire Station last month.

It only took the city 16 months to get water into the fountain.
Congrats!

Good friends, a loyal dog and the open road of adventure, imagination & whimsy in Sweden: Stiko Per Larsson - Oxens År



Stiko Per Larsson "Oxens År"
(Officiell Vandringsvideo från Göteborg-Stockholm under Oxens År)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=em7nHXuCfwg

Good friends, a loyal dog -Yrrol- and the open road of adventure, imagination & whimsy in Sweden.

The video above was shot from Stiko's annual walking tour, which, in this case, was from 2009 and was from Göteborg to Stockholm, a distance of a bit under 350 miles.


Stiko's "Oxens År" EP came out on Monday, and five days before it did, because of heavy pre-orders, it was already the number one single on iTunes Swedish music chart. Pretty impressive!

I think it's fair to say that even if you don't understand the lyrics, it's very, very catchy.

Stiko's official website: http://www.stikoperlarsson.se/

Some older elements and building blocks formerly seen at Hallandale Beach Blog, such as photos, graphics and videos have been moved into cold storage. Visit them again or see what you've missed at: http://hallandale-beach-blog.blogspot.com/
Unless otherwise indicated, all ORIGINAL photos appearing here were taken by myself. The use or modification of original photos or original images appearing on this blog WITHOUT the written permission of the author is expressly prohibited. DO NOT modify or alter any original photo/image on this blog and use it in any other media, whether for commercial advertising, marketing purposes, political campaign advertising, or on any Social Media platform or digital media forum. Do NOT modify or alter the photos or use them in a confusing way that suggests sponsorship or endorsement, or in a way that seeks to confuse Hallandale Beach Blog with another blog. This includes but is not limited to sites such as Dipity, Facebook, flickr, MySpace, Pinterest, Posterous, Topsy, Twitter, YouTube or VIMEO. Original photos and images also can NOT be used as avatars or icons on website forums.

Me in the Summer of 2016

Me in the Summer of 2016
Above, me in June, pre-recent haircut, near acres and acres of orange groves off Scenic U.S. #17 in Frostproof, FL, while visiting hot/humid Central Florida, which I'm convinced is where heat/humidity goes in the Summer to get away from it all... The oppressive heat & humidity there is literally everywhere you go. :-(

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.

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.