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.
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Thursday, March 31, 2011
No red-light camera meetings at Broward County Commission until after FL legislative session ends -if then; SB 672
Basically, at Tuesday's Broward County Comm. meeting, in reference to another question, Comm. Sue Gunzburger, acting in her role as the presiding officer or "mayor," said that there wouldn't be a meeting to follow-up on that rather amazing March 1st meeting that I -unfortunately- missed seeing in person but watched via streaming, that had so many people amused and appalled in equal measures.
(That was the meeting where large mayoral egos collided, as Hallandale Beach mayor Joy Cooper and Pembroke Pines mayor Frank Ortis continually jockeyed to respond via the public microphone to various commissioner's hardball questions and prodding for more information about their respective city's program, and what was and wasn't done in the name of safety. And, of course, the larger issue of whether or not it was all just a smoke-screen to conduct a money-grab in the case of Hallandale Beach's infamous red-light camera on U.S.-1 and Hallandale Beach. Blvd.
My post on that March 1st meeting:
My own little red-light camera 'rainout' at the Broward County Commision this morning; HB begins phase two of red-light camera money-grab today
The reason is because the whole issue could well be moot by this summer since there is a very reasonable chance that given the sentiment towards outlawing them, the FL legislature will make that law allowing them a one-year wonder and repeal them.
Florida SB 672, sponsored by Sen. Rene Garcia of Hialeah, would repeal last year's law allowing red-light cameras, moved out of the Senate Transportation Comm. in a 4-2 vote on Wednesday.
Voting to keep red-light cameras: Arthenia Joyner and Lizbeth Benacquisto.
Next up for the bill is the Senate Community Affairs Comm.
Comm. members include:
Chair -Senator Michael S. "Mike" Bennett (R)
Vice Chair -Senator Jim Norman (R)
* Senator Paula Dockery (R)
* Senator Anthony C. "Tony" Hill, Sr. (D)
* Senator Garrett Richter (R)
* Senator Jeremy Ring (D) of Margate
* Senator Ronda Storms (R)
* Senator John Thrasher (R)
* Senator Stephen R. Wise (R)
Sen. Garcia is widely-expected to run for mayor of Hialeah later this year, as current mayor Julio Robaina is among those actively running for Miami-Dade County mayor in the race to succeed recalled mayor Carlos Alvarez.
Bill to repeal red-light cameras squeaks by first Senate panel
Red light cameras keep company in the black
Posted March 28, 2011 at 4:34 p.m.
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Marco Rubio is doing EXACTLY what he said he'd do last year -making a difference on policy in D.C. and NOT being an aloof, empty suit
ABC News video: Sen. Marco Rubio on ABC News' Nightline with correspondent Jonathan Karl, March 28, 2011.
Article: Exclusive Interview With Marco Rubio: GOP Rising Star Hints at VP Spot. Florida Republican Keeps a Low Profile as a Junior Senator, But Has Big Plans
ABC News video: Sen. Marco Rubio appears on GMA, Good Morning America, with host George Stephanopoulos, March 30, 2011
Local10.com video: Sen. Marco Rubio speaks with Channel 10's Michael Putney on his Sunday morning TV show, This Week in South Florida, about the federal budget gimmicks currently in place, i.e. continuing resolutions
Sen. Marco Rubio video: In His Own Words: Week In Review, March 11, 2011
NBC-6 Miami news video: Report on Sen. Marco Rubio's Miami office Open House.
Michael Putney: http://www.local10.com/station/269244/detail.html
This Week In South Florida March 27
U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen speaks about Libya, new troubles between Israel and Palestine and the conviction of an aid worker in Cuba. Plus, what are the Miami-Dade County charter changes that will be on the May ballot?http://www.local10.com/index.html
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Warning! Don't upgrade to Firefox Mozilla 4.0 or you'll regret it -it's bad news!; YouTube Video Speed History
Warning! Don't upgrade to Firefox Mozilla 4.0 or you'll regret it -it's bad news!
My home computer has NEVER 'hanged' as frequently and for as long as it has since I downloaded the new version of Firefox Mozilla 4.0 on Sunday, upgrading from 3.6.15, which is one of the reasons that there have been no posts here since then.
Lest you forget, my computer crashed a LOT on Google Chrome two years ago, which is why I migrated to Firefox Mozilla in the first place. Frankly, in 2008, I got tired of resorting to simply yanking my computer's electrical cord out of its surge suppressor and starting over again after Chrome CONSTANTLY froze-up, and Google said they couldn't fix the problem.
Guess what, I DON'T drive cars that don't already have a reverse gear, working windshield wipers and headlights, because sometimes, they are needed, even when the car is used perfectly.
That's the same reason that I no longer use a web browser that the geniuses behind it can't or won't fix, preferring instead to simply shrug their shoulders and say that it's my problem when it doesn't work when used properly.
Sorry, I'm old-fashioned that way.
Chrome will have to be perfect for me to ever go to it again.
Yes, I know I can use the computer Restore function but the point is why is something being released to the public that is so problematic?
I mentioned the problem in an aside in an email earlier this afternoon about another subject. Sent, I should add, from somewhere other than my home computer, where this blog is cobbled together, two miles west of the Atlantic Ocean -and far-too-close to Hallandale Beach City Hall.
I've been having constant computer problems since Sunday night when I updated my Firefox Mozilla, i.e. lots more of "frozen" screens.
I pay for AT&T DSL Lite 6.0 but my computer is constantly operating at roughly between 3.7 and 4.2, and hence, a source of great frustration, esp. when AT&T customer service tells me that 6.0 is not a guarantee.An international jet-set friend commiserated.
Thanks for telling me that after I signed-up!
glad to hear I'm not the only one having problems w Firefox...I watch Korean dramas on it, and it's been spotty...not downloading properly, freezing, etc.Don't say you weren't warned.
To get a real gauge of what your computer speed is, as opposed to those dopey "speed tests" you see advertised, go to YouTube as I did below.
Right-click a YouTube video you like and select "Take speed test."
It will give you a color-coded graph of your speed and how that compares to others with that ISP, your area, your state, your country and globally.
I assume this YouTube test will work as well for my friends and readers at distant posts in the far-flung Hallandale Beach Blog universe as it does for me here in Hallandale Beach, whether it's:
a.) my fashion-forward friends in Sweden with non-fashion/media jobs, who keep the Stockholm nightclubs busy at night even while studiously avoiding Stureplan's omnipresent photographers http://stureplan.se/ -so they don't get linked by mistake to the free-spending credit card crowd, i.e. the "Brats"- or,
b.) my tech savvy and political savant friends in London and Notting Hill, who keep sending me great material to read and ponder, both insightful and humorous.
The latter are constantly encouraging me to do whatever is necessary to come over next year for the London Olympics.
Like I need any encouragement for that!
Let me know if you try it and it doesn't work in your area, and I will mention that in a future blog post, but make sure you try it three times over two days before emailing me your thumbs down evaluation.
I'm sure the folks at YouTube would be interested, too, since they want everyone to be able to see the videos -and the ads.
Below, the chart that tells me that my home computer speed is not world-class -or Olympian. Me and my digital divide!
YouTube Video Speed History
Your average video speed at this location from Feb 26, 2011 to Mar 26, 2011 was 3.71 Mbps.Video Speed Comparison (Feb 26, 2011 to Mar 26, 2011)
Results from users of other ISPs near you:
- Comcast [5.53 Mbps]
- AT&T [4.84 Mbps]
Forgot to mention above that Stureplan.se is one of those great media platforms for bloggers like the ones that I referenced back on February 21st, like Spotlife.se http://hallandalebeachblog.blogspot.com/2011/02/thoughts-re-mondays-nyt-article-blogs.html that South Florida has nothing like, despite how much everyone keeps telling Bridget Carey of the Herald how sophisticated this area is.
The Herald's longstanding inability to leverage their power and well-known name into a great platform for thoughtful bloggers with something original to say -and that people are interested in- is proof of that.
April 2011 postscript:
One of the unfortunate aspects of this story with Firefox Mozilla 4.0 was that after upgrading, I could no longer listen to the BBC Radio streaming feed, and specifically, 5live,
http://www.bbc.co.uk/5live/, which I generally listen to a few hours a day.
It was finito.
Even after I reversed course and went back to the previous Mozilla I was using, I could no longer hear the BBC, so I'm now forced to use Internet Explorer.
In fact, the small speaker icon no longer appeared on-screen on the radio player pop-up as it had previously after
On April 4th, after trying my best to get this resolved, I sent out an email to IT-brainy friends titled: It's official: a week of using Firefox Mozilla for BBC Radio equals no sound for programs/programmes, Back to using fussy ol' Windows Explorer for Beeb!
The management geniuses at BBC Radio have no clue what's going on, witness this at their r comments page for the No Sound problem forum.
The idea that people that don't have the problem themselves have so much time on their hands to actually write-in to the website to chastise other listeners they don't know and make them sound like audio hypochondriacs, says a lot about something, I'm just not sure what precisely.
Sunday, March 27, 2011
"Nothing... rhymes with capita" - New Minnesota tourism TV ad is lame vs FL's "When You Need It Bad We've Got It Good" spot of yore
"Explore Minnesota" March 2011 TV commercial
"Be a friendly Floridian..."
Back when my brain was a little more media-savvy than the other kids the one year I attended Sabal Palm Elementary School in North Miami Beach -1968-'69 Second Grade- the very kids whose parents insisted they have their birthday parties up at Pirates World in Dania instead of over at Greynolds Park or Figaro's Pizza in NMB, or Marcella's Restaurant in North Miami- all iconic spots for my friends and I in NMB, pre-1980 and IU- I knew that cringe-worthy tune sung by Anita Bryant backwards and forwards, because it played SO OFTEN on Miami TV.
Well, you know how irritating and numerous those Bob Seger "Like a Rock" car commercials were on NFL Sundays a few years ago...
The ones that made you cringe at the first note...
Well, like THAT!
Are there any restaurants in Broward County that still use/have paper table place mats with the outline of the Sunshine State on them? It's true, you simply can't put a price on kitsch.
Personally, I always preferred this Florida tourism commercial from over 20 years ago, which many people still remember.
Excerpt from Florida Tourism TV ad - "When You Need It Bad We've Got It Good"
Of course, the real hummable ditty that my friends and I could sing back in '68, a time of really great TV themes, were the lyrics to my favorite show.
If my mother wanted to really threaten me with a punishment, she'd say that I better do as she said or else she wouldn't let me watch NBC-TV's Daniel Boone.
The rippin'est, roarin'est, fightin'est manYes, forthright, loyal and patriotic Daniel Boone, starring Fess Parker as the iconic American frontiersman for whom so many things today in beautiful Kentucky and Kentuckiana are named.
The frontier ever knew!
Yes, Kentuckiana, yet another part of the country that people here in South Florida have no real conception of.
Theme from NBC-TV's Daniel Boone - 'Classic theme'
My problem with the Minnesota tourism ad is the lyrics and... well, even keeping in mind that they threw in "capita," on purpose to be clever and cute, if you're going to do something with unusual words, do it with some style.
Compare that to what the woman who wrote the Daniel Boone theme song almost fifty years ago, Vera Matson -who co-wrote Love Me Tender- came up with the rhyming scheme that produced a tune known by millions of people:
From the coonskin cap on the top of ol' DanNow that's pure genius!
To the heel of his rawhide shoe;
The rippin'est, roarin'est, fightin'est man
The frontier ever knew!
Lyrics and the three different speeds of the song are at:
Saturday, March 26, 2011
England Press Conference for England at Wales Euro 2012 Qualifier in Cardiff, 25/03/11; Fabio Capello & John Terry comment
FA video: England National Team Press Conference in Cardiff for England at Wales Euro 2012 Qualifier, 25/03/11; Fabio Capello and John Terry comment
John Stossel -Evidence of fraud in awarding of millions by U.S.D.A. after legit lawsuit by African-American farmers: Non-farmers are also getting $$$!
John Stossel of Fox Business Network -Clip from his Fox News Channel SPECIAL Friday night, March 25, 2011, on "Freeloaders."
Here, Stossel investigates increasing evidence of rampant fraud in the awarding of millions of dollars by the U.S.D.A. after their settlement of a well-publicized lawsuit against them by African-American farmers who WERE discriminated against, by ineligible non-farmers also receiving checks. According the the most accurate information, 18,000 Black farmers were actually eligible, but 97,000 sought the $50,000 payment. Surprise, the principal lawyers involved seem to just be shrugging their shoulders about the fraud against U.S. taxpayers.
Related article at: http://stossel.blogs.foxbusiness.com/2011/03/25/the-real-shirley-sherrod-scandal-tonight-on-fox-news-at-10pm-et/
The SPECIAL on "Freeloaders" that aired Friday will be repeated on Fox News Channel on Saturday night/Sunday morning at Midnight and on Sunday night at 9 p.m.
Homepage for Stossel program:
John Stossel's Take blog: http://stossel.blogs.foxbusiness.com/
Stossel's columns at TownHall.com: http://townhall.com/columnists/johnstossel/
Friday, March 25, 2011
The Broward Coalition is hosting a free "Condominium Wellness Checkup" in Hallandale Beach on Wednesday March 30th
Condominium Wellness Checkup!
“Is Your Association Struggling With Collections, Board Governance, and Solvency? Discover Ways to Stop the Bleeding….
Alliance, CAS and Association Services of Florida
Invites you to hear SOLUTIONS!
The Broward Coalition is hosting a meeting in Hallandale’s “neck of the woods”!
PLEASE Join us for this FREE educational and neighborly community association meeting!
LUNCH WILL BE PROVIDED
Special Welcome by Hallandale Beach City
Commissioner Keith S. London
Hallandale Beach Cultural Center
410 S.E. 3rd Street
11 a.m. – 2 p.m. March 30, 2011
RSVP Mary Macfie Laundry333@aol.com
SPRING FORWARD WITH THE BROWARD COALITION!
The Hallandale Beach Cultural Center is east of S. Federal Hwy., across from Gulfstream Park Race Track, directly behind the HB City Hall.
'Captain America: The First Avenger ' ( Trailer)
Opening July 22nd.
Finally, the Super Soldiers we've been waiting for all this time... for like, FOREVER!
And Tommy Lee Jones is training him?
I came across the new Paramount ad on TV last night for the first time on Comedy Central and was immediately hooked, even though I was not a Captain America comic book fan as a kid.
I've seen Hayley Atwell, the lead female actress in Captain America in a few things before but am not super-familiar with her work, per se, though I have been hearing the same rumors that many of you have probably heard as well about her being cast in Baz Luhrmann's remake of The Great Gatsby, starring Carey Mulligan, which I referenced here a few months ago.
LeicesterSquareTV- Hayley Atwell interview
LeicesterSquareTV - Carey Mulligan interview
To be fair, no woman looks as great in -or out of- a military uniform as Kate Beckinsale did in Pearl Harbor. At least for the big screen.
Obviously, Catherine Bell locked-up that title for the small screen years ago, plus, she speaks Farsi.
I wish Bell were cast in a really good film -action, espionage, et al- where she could really show her talent off to a larger audience than her current popular Lifetime cable TV show, Army Wives, which I've seen a few times but am not a regular viewer of.
In my opinion, there are far too many twenty-something actresses cast as government agents, secret or otherwise, or intel types, and they always comes across as preposterous, like they should still be in grad school, perhaps calling their parents up for money because they had car problems.
Bell, on the other hand grabs you attention from the start, just like another longtime HBB favorite, Annabeth Gish did so consistently on X-Files.
Chris Evans as Steve Rogers/Captain America
In a word: Wow! Terje Sorgjerd and Ole Christian Salomonsen's spectacular videos of the aurora borealis from Norway will amaze you. Häpnadsväckande!
The Aurora -Terje Sorgjerd spent a week in northern Norway near Kirkenes, close to the Russian border, and somewhat to his own amazement, captures some astounding video of the aurora borealis in clarity and action that has rarely been seen before.
To get a sense of how very far North he was when he shot this video near Kirkenes, that's almost exactly the same as the northern-most point in Alaska.
I just checked on Kirkenes and right now, the temp there feels like 6 °F.
I remember 6 degrees -and lower- in Bloomington in January of 1982, one of the brightest sunniest days I ever experienced, where the snow was literally blindingly bright. We eventually had wind chills of -40 to -50 below zero, and I remember it so well because it was the same week the Chargers played at the Bengals for the AFC Championship, the week after beating the Dolphins here in Miami, where I'd watched the game on TV near my mother's home near The Falls. The weather there in Cincinnati was the same as it was at IU, a couple of hours east.
MSNBC photoblog: Northern lights, like never seen before
Article at: http://photoblog.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2011/03/23/6329101-northern-lights-like-never-seen-before?chromedomain=cosmiclog
Other examples of Terje Sorgjerd's talent at: http://vimeo.com/terjes
And also shot from cold northern Norway, Ole Christian Salomonsen, and In The Land Of The Northern Lights
Just imagine what the Vikings must've thought about on their sea journeys at night with no land or torch lights visible for miles, and then suddenly seeing these images flash across the sky?
Their own insignificance?
But to get near there from here....
Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) TV commercial
FYI: Starting on Monday the 28th, there's a NEW daily SAS non-stop from Newark to Oslo for only $413 each way.
Promo code: KKUSSC5
SAS homepage for USA -in English: http://www.flysas.com/en/us/
Yes, she MUST be going! Comm. Ross is leaving City Hall and Comm. Sanders should join her -soon! Recall solves problems and makes HB better & saner!
To quote from my blog post of Election Day 2010, November 2nd: http://hallandalebeachblog.blo
"Even weirder than Ross coming back to snap photos of her handiwork was her trying (unsuccessfully) to provoke some sort of physical confrontation with me as I was talking and walking outside of the Post Office with the Hallandale Beach Postmaster about some safety concerns at the branch. Pathetic!"Reliable Sources -you remember them!- have told me that Hallandale Beach City Comm. Dotty Ross quite literally shocked the hell out of everyone at a HB Kiwanis luncheon Thursday when she announced that she wouldn't be seeking re-election next year, and would, instead, support former Comm. William Julian, notorious Handicapped Parking violator, who, deservedly, came in third in a three-way election in November for two seats.
Some of you in the know will recall that recently Julian had intimated to some HB residents that he was planning on running for mayor next year against ten-year incumbent Joy Cooper and current Commissioner Keith London.
(There are currently no term limits in place in HB for mayor or city commission, though that may well be changing if I and some of my like-minded friends have anything to do with that in the coming months.)
According to Mr. Reliable Source, among those appearing to be most shocked and visibly upset was Joe Kessel, a man of many hats in this small ocean-side city: perpetual HB taxpayer nemesis, financial hand-out and City Hall spy/lobbyist & mouthpiece. Kessel apparently has been considered running.
In case you forgot how he figures into things here, please review my video from 2010 in which Kessel sells-out the HB community on the Diplomat LAC proposal without EVER publicly disclosing that at the time he was a paid HB City Hall spy/lobbyist, albeit, one who NEVER registered with Broward County as is required by law.
Oh, you have no idea how much the well-informed folks in this community wish Joe Kessel would run for City Commission, so he would be forced to publicly answer questions about his curious ethics and questionable behavior, questions that he has heretofore avoided answering.
For more interesting reading on Kessel's adventures, see:
Well, all this being said, I still see no reason that there should not be a launch in the Fall to RECALL Comm. Ross and Comm. Sanders and start reclaiming this city from Joy Cooper's Rubber Stamp Crew, and force the mayor's hand, knowing that an actual election to fill those two spots would be required by law within -I think- 90 days.
(As of today, unless something changes, I'm going to speak with the Broward Supervisor of Elections Office next week to try to get some definite answers to questions everyone is wondering about regarding the recall process here in Broward County: dates, number of signatures required and deadlines, etc.)
A successful recall of disconnected Ross and Sanders, which I've previously discussed, including on Wednesday, would give those of us in this city who are committed to bringing this city fully into the 21st Century, a chance to get two pro-reform, pro-accountability and pro-transparency people into place before so many HB residents leave for the summer -before they are boiled alive like those of us who stay.
As you may recall, in the abstract, my general idea is to have the RECALL vote in the WINTER and have the actual election to replace the two of them the same day in February or March that the Florida Presidential primary takes place, with the winners serving their terms thru November 2012.
That way, if they do a good job in forcing this city into a much-needed U-Turn in its public policy discourse and execution, if they choose, they can then run for re-election for a full four-year term.
Or, they could let some other pro-reform folks carry the torch forward by vying for those two slots, plus the one that would be on the November 2012 ballot to fill the remaining two years of Comm. London's term, since he will have to resign at some point to run for mayor in November.
As you may or may not know, here in Florida, even as I write this, the Presidential primary dates have yet to be set by the Republican-controlled state legislature in Tallahassee, but as you can well imagine, the beauty of this approach is that that date will be one where more voters will be participating anyway -and the county will be paying most of the election's costs.
How great would it be to wake-up here the day after Election Day next November and know that you have a 4-1 majority at HB City Hall that's actually in favor of common sense, hard work, proper preparation before a City Commission meeting, civility -and adherence to Robert's Rules of Order- and public policy arguments that are based on agreed-upon facts, and NOT
anecdotal stories, lingering animosities, foolish grudges and general peevishness?
To actually have not just MULTIPLE people in elective office who encourage open discussion and a free-flow of public information with the public they serve, but a MAJORITY on the City Commission?
A MAJORITY who DON'T believe that it's appropriate for City Hall staffers to hide and hoard information the taxpayers are entitled to know about, and who have made it their practice the past few years to dole it out grudgingly to the public -after they file Public Records Requests!
That is, AFTER they have been given to City Hall pals and cronies and to the lawyers and lobbyists of developers.
Imagine THAT as a REALITY in Hallandale Beach, instead of the completely dysfunctional, upside-down situation we currently have with the current crew in office -and their minions.
Imagine knowing that citizen concerns or complaints at HB City Hall are taken seriously -not greeted with a shrug of the shoulders or ignored for YEARS by highly-paid staffers- and handled professionally and promptly, or that HB city employees whose work-ethic and dealings with the public are NOT up to expectations will be FIRED, not covered-up or even promoted?
Well folks, it's there for the taking, but you have to show you'll work for it:
a genuine participatory democracy in Hallandale Beach to make this city the optimistic, well-run and ingenious city it ought to be, not the longstanding misfit it is now under Joy Cooper and her Rubber Stamp Crew of Ross, Sanders & Lewy.
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Hallandale Beach Planning Dept. Dir. Christy Domiguez's incredibly embarrassing screw-up ensures that unpopular Ben Gamla Charter is approved by P&Z
Above, the Hallandale Jewish Center in Hallandale Beach, FL.If you can't rely on the city's well-paid professional staff in the Planning Dept., and their well-paid Director, Christy Dominguez, to actually know the applicable laws of the state we are living in -Florida, if you forgot- rely on them to actually double-check their work if necessary to make sure that their "facts," analysis and staff reports submitted to taxpayers and elected officials are both accurate and unbiased, why NOT simply fire the whole Dept.?
The future home of Peter Deutsch's Ben Gamla Hebrew Charter School?
I sure hope not or this single-family residential area in northeast HB is going to see their Quality-of-Life go down drastically starting in August as out-of-town parents use their neighborhood like a fast-food drive-thru.
March 7, 2011 photo by South Beach Hoosier.
Yes, FIRE the whole Dept. and contract out the work out to people who DON'T get publicly humiliated and 'schooled' like a small child -in from of dumbfounded city taxpayers- about the actual laws, rules and guidelines that are the focus of her Dept.'s report on the compatibility of developer's projects subject to approval by this city's elected government.
Is it really too much to hope that she and her staff actually know what the hell they are talking about?
To not be told matter-of-factly by an architect for Ben Gamla that the city's analysis is not just WRONG, but relies on information that has NOT been applicable for over 5-6 years?
I mean it's only their job, right?
What were Dominguez & Company completely wrong about?
Item #7 in their staff report placed on the city website last Thursday, that I mentioned here on Monday, saying that the proposed project was Incompatible with the Florida Dept. of Education's requirements regarding size of school recreation space/room for expansion:
If you forgot what that was about, see my post titled,
The facts -and city staff report- are in re application of Peter Deutsch's Ben Gamla Hebrew Charter School in Hallandale Beach
That information is what concerned residents and parents in this city city were hanging their hopes on, besides the inherent logic of all their other valid points about traffic, pollution and safety.
And now, at the Eleventh Hour, we learn at the meeting that it was all a mistake they SHOULD'VE already known about, and are told about it not from Dominguez herself or even her staff, but by BG's architect and their attorney, Alan D. Koslow.
We were blind-sided by city staffers!
Just imagine how much Koslow and Co. were laughing when they got the staff report from the city and saw that item at #7 and knew with certainty that the city was wrong on the law?
They must've laughed their asses off!
No wonder Alan Koslow concluded his remarks by saying what a great job the city's staff does.
Their incompetence makes his job easier!
Their demonstrated incompetence in a debacle of a public meeting Wednesday afternoon before the city's Planning & Zoning Advisory Board, above, and their longstanding continued inability to competently and reliably use the technology in the Commission Chambers -that Hallandale Beach taxpayers have ALREADY PAID FOR- to put the relevant information on the projection screen for the benefit of the citizen taxpayers in the room, as well as the ones watching on Cable TV, make me one taxpayer who has already seen quite enough incompetency the past seven years to last a lifetime, and willing to try something new.
Wrong Way? You bet! The perfect metaphor for so much of what goes on in this city under the current Cooper/Antonio regime at HB City Hall. Above is a shot of the only two Wrong Way signs on southbound N.E. 8th Avenue between Hallandale Beach Blvd. and Atlantic Shores Blvd., a distance of roughly a mile. Coincidentally, they are located right next to the Hallandale Jewish Center, and one of them is STILL obstructed by a tree, like a million other signs in this city.
It just gets better and better...
March 7, 2011 photo by South Beach Hoosier
What we have now is NOT working for taxpayers, esp. given the Planning Dept.'s longstanding practice of hiding information from the public and making them jump thru hoops, a la the Diplomat LAC, where public info came out 28 hours before a public vote of the P&Z.
But the lobbyists had it the previous week!
Which is just what I told the Broward County Planning Council and the County Commission three times last year when I spoke on the issue.
I've always suspected that the Ben Gamla Hebrew Charter School application would be approved today, since five of the seven members of the P&Z Advisory Board have actually acted more like cheerleaders for the project in the past than the serious deliberative members of the community -our community, NOT Tamarac's- with some actually going out of their way to publicly criticize HB residents exercising their rights -and being against it.
That's especially the case with P&Z members Eudyce Steinberg and Sheryl Natelson, who on Wednesday and in the past have all but accused HB citizens opposed to this very unpopular project of being -wait for it- anti-Semitic.
If you don't believe me, check the prior P&Z videos -it's all there.
In fact, one of the members voting for it, Jack Fendell, actually recused himself at a prior P&Z meeting on Ben Gamla, yet no mention was made of that fact, and he participated.
So what changed exactly?
And why did nobody from the city even ask if there were any conflicts of interests that needed to be publicly disclosed at the beginning of the meeting? It's common practice in the rest of country, but here, well, it's just different rules entirely, isn't it?
Perhaps it's all for the best, since part of changing this community for the better and enacting the desperately-needed reform and accountability that is obviously lacking now is pro-actively effectuating that change, perhaps via a recall of bitter, mean-spirited and disconnected Comm. Dotty Ross and equally disconnected and apathetic Comm. Anthony A. Sanders.
What better way to move that process forward than the public spectacle of the Cooper Rubber Stamp Crew -and Ross & Sanders in particular- actually having to debate the facts and realities of this unpopular project in public, not only amongst themselves, but with BG's attorney, Alan B. Koslow, standing there, ready to pounce and take advantage of their lack of clarity, common sense and knowledge of the issue.
Yes, they will no longer be able to hide behind their longstanding list of alibis, excuses and delusions for not paying close attention to matters they OUGHT TO KNOW better than my
concerned friends and I -but don't.
And unlike his behavior at the required Ben Gamla 'community meeting' of two hours last year that City Manager Mark Antonio insisted be held at the sweltering Hallandale Jewish Center, without the benefit of A/C or a single fan in the place, Sanders can't just up and leave after about 45 minutes.
Is it Sanders' well-known short-attention span or just his general dis-interest in actually doing what his job as an elected official requires? Or both?
Who can say, but Sanders & Ross definitely have to go!
And as if everything wasn't already a total mess, typically, Mark Antonio and Co. had the meeting end without being able to tell city residents when specifically that City Commission meeting on Ben Gamla will take place.
Yes, it was just the latest red ribbon on yet another perfectly awful day in Hallandale Beach's upside-down version of public policy, where the interests of the citizen taxpayer usually come up dead last.
Well, Mission Accomplished, no thanks to the HB Planning Dept. who didn't know what they were doing, and caused the last laugh to be had at the expense of this city's taxpayers and the N.E. neighborhood that now has to hope that, for once, the HB City Commission will actually do what it seldom ever does -the right thing.