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. Photo in upper-left is Hallandale Beach's iconic beachball-colored Water Tower on State Road A1A, September 2008; March 2018 photo below of North Beach, looking left-to-right, looking north, HYDE Condominium, Etaru Japanese Robatayaki restaurant, and Hollywood Beach in the distance, with umbrellas. All photos by me, © Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Must-read! Ruben Vives of L.A. Times on the City Hall corruption story that never ends - "Bell's former leaders are gone, but their legacy lingers"

KCAL-9 News video: Reporter Dave Lopez details the background behind the indictments against the "Bell 8" brought by LA County DA Steve Cooley. Reporter Stephanie Abrams covers the jubilation among Bell residents following the arrests. September 21, 2010. http://youtu.be/ap7LQbGwlv0

It's not very much consolation for those of us living in corrupt and crony capitalism capital South Florida -and the city of Hallandale Beach in particular- where we daily face 'the slings and arrows' of outrageous government fortune and chronic ineptitude, to know that there are actually towns in this country in the year 2011 where things are actually MUCH WORSE.

Yes, it's the latest news with the home of the "Bell 8" out in Los Angeles County and the town residents that were left to pick up the pieces after the elected city officials looted it.

And here's something we'd all recognize in South Florida -a deliberate policy of misinformation as part of their daily handiwork: police chiefs, city clerks, town administrators, city council members...

Bell 8: City clerk testifies she was following orders in giving out false salary information
And today we read in the LA Times that one of the ticking time bombs left for the beleaguered taxpayers of Bell was a huge property tax hike for promises that were never delivered.

Los Angeles Times
Bell's former leaders are gone, but their legacy lingers
The new council says it can't legally stop a looming property tax hike. The revenue will go to pay back $50 million in bonds, much of which was already squandered, for a park that won't be built.
By Ruben Vives, Los Angeles Times
August 30, 2011, 7:17 a.m.

Bell's residents already pay one of the highest property tax rates in Los Angeles County despite being one of its poorest cities. Now, homeowners are discovering that their taxes are about to go up again to pay for a park that will never be built.

It's one more legacy of the Robert Rizzo era, even though residents thought they had turned a page when the former city administrator was taken away in handcuffs, the last of those accused in a sweeping public corruption scandal were voted out of City Hall, and a new City Council was sworn in.

Readers comments at:

L.A. Times stories on the City Hall corruption in Bell and the town's efforts to come to grips with it can be found at: http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/bell/

City of Bell City Manager Robert Rizzo Steals a Shocking $800,000 a Year

So, do you recall who signed-off on the sweetheart deal for former Hallandale Beach City Manager Mike Good deal last year, who, when he wasn't late, often stopped showing-up for work at City Hall and couldn't be found by phone?

That is, after Comm. Ross finally showed-up at a HB City Commission meeting and stopped hiding in her office upstairs, which caused one important City Commission meeting to be postponed for lack of a quorum!

For the sweetheart deal that left HB civic activists and taxpayers slack-jawed: Joy Cooper, Dorothy "Dotty" Ross, William "Bill" Julian, Anthony A. Sanders.
Opposed to the deal and interested in pursuing litigation against Mike Good: Keith London.

Among Cooper's Rubber Stamp Crew, Ross is NOT running for re-election next year, Comm. Sanders is, ex-Comm. Julian is running to get back on it, while Mayor Cooper, in office now for ten years, is seeking re-election, too.
Hmm-m-m... three Commission seats up and possibly, a fourth, if Keith London runs against Cooper in the mayoral race.

CBS News video of August 2, 2010
Pension Problem in Calif.

CBS News video of August 8, 2010
Small Towns, Sky High Public Pay

KCAL video: City of Bell ripoffs

More local Los Angeles TV newscast stories on the situation in Bell can be found at:

Monday, August 29, 2011

By the power vested in me by the blogosphere, on account of his mendacity, I hereby rename FL GOP Senate candidate Mike McCalister, 'Gen. Half-Truth'

Adam Hasner video: Adam Hasner remarks, RedState Gathering 2011, Charleston, S.C., August 2011.

By the power vested in me by the blogosphere, on account of his sheer relentless mendacity, I hereby rename Florida GOP Senate candidate Mike McCalister, 'General Half-Truth.'

RedState blog
FL-SEN: Something’s Rotten in the State of Denmark
Posted by SunshineStateSarah
Monday, August 29th at 3:53PM EDT

“Something’s rotten in the state of Denmark.”

This quote, from Shakespeare’s play Hamlet, is used in modern times to refer to a situation that is “rife with errors from top to bottom,” or exhibiting evidence of rampant corruption or suspicious motives.

Well, something’s rotten in the Florida Senate race, and the people of Florida deserve some answers.
Read the rest of the post at:


I agree with SunshineStateSarah, "the Danish play" won't play long in the Sunshine State.
Not because the voters here are so politically savvy or even particularly well-read.
They're NOT.
Far from it!
(Have you not been reading this blog?)

It's just that if you are going to lie about certain things in an effort to puff yourself up when you are running for elective office, especially for the U.S. Senate, don't be stupid enough to lie about things that are SO EASY to discover, refute and publicly bring to light.
Things the press corps -even the often sleepwalking Florida press corps- consider low-hanging fruit.
The result of such mendacity is that you just look pathetic and craven, a very bad combination indeed for someone asking people to trust his judgement.

And yes, you are correct -George LeMieux is doing himself no favors with his involvement and behavior in this whole sorry, sorry episode.

I last mentioned Winter Park, FL-based blogger Sarah Rumpf, i.e. SunshineStateSarah, on May 4th, 2011 in a post I titled,
Charlie Crist reduced to being himself again: Pitchman, just NOT from a pitching mound. At least it's not for Chevy!

Sarah's very popular blog is at: http://www.sunshinestatesarah.com/
Her page on RedState is at: http://redstate.com/sunshinestatesarah/
Her YouTube Channel, which I subscribe to, is


Adam Hasner for U.S. Senate campaign YouTube Channel:

Mayor Joy Cooper's inexplicable emails are just the tip of the iceberg in HB, as Comm. Ross & Comm. Sanders seem never to have even heard of email...

Above, 1923 three-cent U.S. postage stamp featuring president Abraham Lincoln.
Hallandale Beach is NOT the Land of Lincoln in any way, shape or form.

BrowardPalmBeach NewTimes
Almost-Great Ideas
Hallandale Beach Mayor Not Exactly Forming Coherent Responses to Constituents
By Matthew Hendley
August. 25 2011 at 12:42 PM

More egregious than even Hallandale Beach Mayor Joy Cooper's chronic and well-known syntax and spelling problems, described above, is something that is NOT even remarked upon in the Broward NewTimes article but which in my mind is even more contemptible -the complete disconnect that two of the HB City Commissioners, Dorothy "Dotty" Ross and Anthony A. Sanders, have with the majority of the community that DOES pay attention to what actually happens in this ocean-side town, and at HB City Hall in particular.

In fact, most pay far more attention and are far more engaged than either of the two commissioners themselves, who on and off the dais evince the persona of sleepwalking people looking for a bed to crawl back into.

In Hallandale Beach, it might well be easier to find an authentic letter written in the hand of Abraham Lincoln than it is to find a single letter or email from Ross or Sanders responding intelligently or with any sense of understanding to a constituent/neighborhood's concerns.

I know from personal experience and from listening to my friends complain for years that Ross and Sanders simply do NOT respond promptly by email, either intelligently or any other way.
It's as if computer email was never created in the first place and we're all still using the Pony Express.
But we aren't, are we?
No, we aren't.

Likewise, since 2008, neither Ross or Sanders meet -individually- at regularly-scheduled meetings that they host themselves with residents and business owners in venues where the public is welcome, as is the case with Comm. Keith London.
Why not?

If you were them, wouldn't you want to know fairly regularly what residents in your city think?
It seems like the most obvious thing in the world, but they are clearly afraid to do so.

Personally, I suspect that it's because Ross and Sanders can NOT satisfactorily answer questions themselves that are put to them by HB citizens, and most of my friends share this same belief.
They need City Manager Antonio or his staff whispering the answers to them.
But they're his boss, NOT the other way around.

The other thing that's completely obvious to anyone coming to a HB City Commission meeting for the first time is that both Ross and Sanders lack ANY discernible curiosity at all, and are perfectly content to say very little when a lot of questions and more accountability are precisely what's required.
They are simply NOT up to the job.

It's very disheartening to see that at least two of the five elected people sitting on the dais are completely disconnected from reality when there are SO MANY other people in this ocean-side community that are fully capable of sitting there and taking their position of authority seriously.
And fully capable of showing more attention, of being better prepared for the public meetings, and, most of all, of demanding more of themselves.

Combined, that means a more energized City Commission demanding more serious and frequent answers from staff and Dept. heads instead of the prattle that so often masquerades as information exchange at Hallandale Beach City Hall, mortifying citizens like me and my friends.

The City Commission's job is NOT to be everyone's pal and to tell every single city employee that comes before them what a great job they're doing.
Clearly, a lot of them are doing a completely inadequate job, and we can all see the results of that ineptitude and lack of attention to detail all around us.
It's everywhere.

So why did Ross and Sanders run for office if they are not prepared to perform the necessary tasks expected of them, including occasionally meeting with constituents and answering their questions?

The seats of both Ross and Sanders are up in November of 2012 and in my opinion, both have very, very little to point to in the way of positive accomplishment or active engagement with the whole community to commend them.
And in Sanders' case in particular, his ridiculous and self-serving intimation that HE is THE representative of NW Hallandale Beach, is both galling and a canard.
Perhaps he has to believe that in order to go thru the motions or walk around town, I don't know, but in this small city of under five square miles, all city commission members are At-Large.

Yet Sanders has amply demonstrated thru both action and word that he has VERY LITTLE active interest in anything going on in the city east of U.S.-1, which is where most of the city's population is located.

Whether it's the longstanding mess at the public beach under the mis-direction of the city's DPW Dept. under John Chidsey, Mayor Cooper's anti-democratic Golden Isles overlay plan, NE's longstanding objections to Ben Gamla, etc, etc.

He was AWOL on those important issues just like Ross was AWOL from two months of meetings so far this year.

Ross is not running for re-election and Sanders is clearly pinning much of his hopes for re-election on a repeat performance of the 'Obama effect'.

Both of them have been solid and consistent votes for the crony capitalism that has plagued HB City Hall for years under Mayor Cooper, where taxpayer money and resources have been regularly squandered, with little positive to show for it, and genuine opportunities to noticeably improve the Quality of Life here have been blown left-and-right.

They both have got to go if this community is going to be anything like what it ought to be already, given its location and resources.
Instead, it continues to stagnate with incurious and disconnected people at the helm, golden opportunities slipping thru their fingers everyday.


For more fascinating images of Abraham Lincoln, see these at the Indiana Historical Society's website:

Sunday, August 28, 2011

City of Hollywood presents its side Monday night re Hollywood's Sept. 13th referendum re Police & Fire pension costs

Hollywood civic activist and blogger extraordinaire Sara Case recently sent the following note out to folks to remind everyone in SE Broward about Monday night's HCCA meeting on the referendum taking place in two weeks.

From: Sara Case
Sent: Wednesday, August 17, 2011 4:23 PM
Subject: HCCA's Public Education Meeting on Pension Referendum

Hi All,

Here are the details of HCCA's public education meeting on the Sept. 13 pension referendum election. Please notify your all your association members and friends as this meeting will provide a good opportunity for voters to learn the implications of this special election.

Date: Monday, August 29, 7 PM

Place: Fred Lippman Multi-purpose Center, 2030 Polk Street (large meeting room)

Purpose of Meeting: To provide fact-based information on how the referendum will affect city operations, city services and employees, and city taxpayers -- both if it passes and if it is defeated.

The Interim City Manager Cathy Swanson-Rivenbark will make the presentation.

The exact ballot language can be found at this link on the city website:

See Sara's July 20th Balance Sheet Blog post titled Financial problems in Hollywood


Why-oh-why can't the union officials who represent the individual members of the City of Hollywood Police and Fire Dept., Jeff Marano and Dan Martinez respectively, accept the fact that no matter how many times they say it to reporters or their members, the City of Hollywood CRA funds are not "found" money for the Hollywood City Commission to do with as they choose for whatever purpose?

(For that, you have to go to where I live, Hallandale Beach, There, things are so upside-down in the logic and common sense dept., that a perfectly preposterous idea for putting TVs/monitors -that run nothing but local ads- in HB businesses and public areas of condos NOT even in the CRA zone, got approved 4-1, with little to show for it but money down a rat hole. Money that the city is NOT trying very hard to get back from some of the individuals involved, once it went kerplunk.)

Over-and-over for years I have heard whining from them and Hollywood beat cops about there being this magic pot of gold over the rainbow.
But showing in many cases the very poor value of a Florida public school education, many persist in ignoring the facts and constructing arguments that result in them getting more, more, more.
It's NOT your money!

Given that taxes in Hollywood will still go up 11% even if this is approved, I believe that if it is rejected, the City Commission should fire about 300 City of Hollywood employees, not the 170 or so suggested in the Herald article below by Carli Teproff that appeared in this morning's newspaper.
Consider the extra people fired both a margin of error and a shot across the broadside that there are far too many people in the city's employ who are NOT earning their paycheck.
I know, I see it every week with my own eyes and have experienced it many times.

The condescension is the worst part.

People with Masters Degrees who think they know everything and are NOT interested in what you say about something, even when you have photographs that show that THEY are doing something that is NOT appropriate or safe, and even likely to lead to injuries to the public.
Nope, they just can't be bothered with your facts, they have workshops to go to.

Miami Herald
With YouTube video and city mailings, Hollywood residents are learning about upcoming pension referendum
The gloves are off and both sides are coming out swinging with their campaigns to educate Hollywood voters on why they should or shouldn’t vote to change the city’s pension system
By Carli Teproff

Please be sure to read this excellent overview of the government employee pension situation by the Tallahasse Democrat's Senior Political Writer and Columnist Bill Cotterell.
I meant to mention it here weeks ago when the controversy over whether or not the City of Hollywood and the Police and Fire unions would work things out without a referendum being necessary.

Tallahassee Democrat
Things are tough all over
Government employees everywhere feel the pinch
Bill Cotterell
July 25, 2011

Here's an interesting article from a year ago that I circulated at the time via an email.

New York Post

City taxpayers foot 90% of municipal pensions
By Susan Edelman
Last Updated: 10:31 AM, July 11, 2010
Posted: 2:10 AM, July 11, 2010

Taxpayers kick in an average $8.60 for every dollar that city employees contribute to their pensions, a sweet deal costing the Big Apple a bundle.

Even though their own retirements are less secure, as private businesses have shifted from traditional pensions to riskier savings plans like 401(k)s, taxpayers' support for rock-solid public employee pension plans is growing. That's because pension funds are guaranteed to grow 8 percent a year -- and taxpayers have to make up the difference if they don't.

Taxpayers' share of city pension costs has skyrocketed more than 900 percent in the last decade -- from $703.1 million in 2000 to $6.5 billion in 2009, according to the city comptroller's annual reports.

The cost is expected to hit $7.6 billion this fiscal year and $8.7 billion next year.

"It's a double-whammy for taxpayers," said E.J. McMahon, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute.

"If they're privately employed, they shoulder the risks of saving for their own retirement. At the same time, they have to pay a steadily mounting cost of guaranteed pensions for government workers."

Teachers get the biggest bang for their pension contributions -- the city puts in $15.50 for every $1 they contribute.

Taxpayers pay $10 for every $1 firefighters put in, $9 for every $1 from cops and $5.60 for every $1 from transit, sanitation and other civil servants, the 2009 report shows.

"The cost has risen because employee benefits were dramatically increased in 2000, just as the [stock] market began to collapse," said John Murphy, former executive director of the New York City Employee Retirement System, NYCERS, the largest city pension fund.

"In retrospect, it was one of the most irresponsible things to have done," he said.

Many private companies cut back or suspended matching contributions to employee 401(k) plans after the most recent dramatic market downturn in 2008. Some have begun to restore contributions, depending on profits.

Teachers hired after 2008 contribute 4.85 percent of their salaries for their first 10 years, then 1.85 percent a year thereafter.

Cops and firefighters make annual pension contributions depending on their age at swearing in, at most 8 percent at age 20. But in a benefit called "Increased Take Home Pay," the city subsidizes 5 percent of that.

Cops and firefighters are guaranteed an 8.25 percent return on their contributions, and can take loans from the plans up to twice a year, interest-free.

It's only fair, said Anthony Garvey, who recently retired as executive director of the Police Pension Fund.

He said the benefits befit the Finest and Bravest who risk "getting shot or running into burning buildings."

Retire it's on us

Taxpayers kicked in $7.35 billion to the city pension funds last fiscal year, while employees contributed $853.5 million.

An average of: $8.60 to $1

Average pension: $54,268
Taxpayer contribution: $15.50 to $1

Average pension: $53,347
Taxpayer contribution: $10 to $1

Average pension: $41,319
Taxpayer contribution: $9.13 to $1

Average pension: $24,889
Taxpayer contribution: $5.60 to $1

Source: Comprehensive Annual Financial Report of the NYC Comptroller for fiscal year 2009.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Follow Local TV News coverage of Hurricane Irene all weekend on DirectTV Channels 259, 325 & 349

Anna Bulszewcz of of Channel 12/WCTI-TV

Per my last post, both honest yet somewhat tongue-in-cheek, do yourself a big favor and stop watching the TV cablenets' hysterical New York-centric coverage of Hurricane Irene and see what's going on at the local level.

Follow Local News coverage of Hurricane Irene all weekend as it makes its way north along the Eastern Seaboard via DirectTV Channels 259, 325 & 349.
Cities scheduled to participate include Greenville/New Bern/Jacksonville, NC, New York City, Norfolk, VA. Richmond, VA, Roanoke, VA, Washington, D.C.

Even if it's for no other reason that you're tired of watching video of Mayor Bloomberg's press conferences where people behind him -and why do they have to be standing behind him?- always have a look on their face like they have hemorrhoids, and we get to hear dopey questions from the local wise guy press corps.

Did you hear that stupid question today about whether the mayor was over-reacting by closing down the transportation system at Noon on Saturday?
What, like you're going to just leave everything out where it can be exposed to hurricane-force wind and rain for hours when you don't have to?
Yet another low moment for journalism as the NYC press corps continue to play follow-the-leader.
You'd almost think the reporters asking the questions don't live there, and were just helicoptered in.

I've been watching Channel 12/WCTI-TV out of Greenville/New Bern/Jacksonville, NC -the home of lots of military bases and military families, like Camp Lejeune- since about 1 a.m., and they have remained a lot more measured and calm while the storm is causing massive blackouts, than some of the network correspondents I saw earlier where nothing was happening -yet.
Just a constructive suggestion...

Amanda Brannon of Channel 12/WCTI-TV

And poor Boston, they are being completely ignored by the East Coast's Mainstream Media.
Once the storm passes NYC, the MSM are going to leave their studios in Manhattan and Fort Lee, go home and knock a few drinks back and call it a night.
Boston, you are on your own!

*And brainy, beautiful balletomane Robyn Hunter, formerly of Fort Smith, AR, my friend from D.C., if you are still in the Boston area, please be careful this weekend!
You have an amazing future ahead of you, so don't play hero trying to save people who use bad judgment. You can't save everyone.

3:35 am

Friday, August 26, 2011

U.S. TV viewers concerned MSM is over-promising Hurricane Irene's possible damage to NYC area -fear it will be disappointing and not spectacular mess

U.S. TV viewers concerned that Mainstream Media is over-promising Hurricane Irene's possible damage to NYC area -fear it will be disappointing blah and not spectacular mess that the hipster reporters promised us.

The media hype, the horror, the human suffering... and that's just among the reporters forced to stand on the beach and think of something original to say when there IS nothing original that can be said.

I'm already starting to think that instead of the quality Jerry Bruckheimer-produced Grade A film that shows you on-screen where every dollar was spent, the type that the U.S. media is gabbing about expecting this weekend, what's more likely is that we'll get one of those terrible Grade C, Made-in-Canada films that air on Syfy Channel with a largely unknown cast that you come across late at night.
The kind where after watching only one segment you say, "Ugh!!! This is un-watchable."

Meanwhile, if parts of Anthony Weiner's former CD, NY-9, are about to go "blub, blub" under water, who will they have in D.C. looking out for them?
Right, nobody.
Just like Gabrielle Gifford's AZ-8 -un-elected staff with no vote or influence.

And supposedly, if you haven't already heard the latest, Rep. Giffords supporters in the Arizona Democratic Party have stated that she won't even publicly announce for another 10 months whether she will seek re-election.
That is to say, in May of 2012.
In my opinion, she should've already resigned -months ago.

Regardless of the circumstances, all Americans are entitled to congressional representation in Washington that can do the job - RIGHT NOW.
Their rights are more important than hers.

If nobody has thought about it already, it might be time to put up some time-lapse cameras around New York right about now so we can see how Battery Park looks as the Hudson River reclaims it.
Compare to how the Dutch saw it the first time almost 400 years ago:

New York Times headline on Monday?
"Irene strikes NYC area with savage fury; poor & minorities especially hard hit"

Mike Flanagan's death leads Ken Rosenthal to reminisce about what "The Oriole Way" once meant; WBAL-TV continues to get heat for Gerry Sandusky story

Fox Sports video: Fox Sports national baseball correspondent Ken Rosenthal, formerly a hugely popular columnist for the Baltimore Sun -and constant presence in the Washington, D.C. radio scene as well thru his frequent appearances- discussed on Wednesday night what Oriole pitching great Mike Flanagan meant to devout Oriole fans and how he exemplified "The Oriole Way" of doing things, an ethos missing in Baltimore for so many years that when I bring it up, people look at me like I'm a dinosaur.

For those of you who only know Ken Rosenthal from his work on Fox-TV game broadcasts, Ken is a very classy guy and a very talented writer who knows how to get to the heart of a story and share the context in an interesting and informative way.
Which puts him on a very short list.

If you don't think I shared an email or two -or dozen- with Ken while he was at The Sun...
Years before it was being written about just about everywhere, I told Ken about litigator and Orioles majority owner Peter Angelos' interest in pursuing the link between the use of cell phones and brain damage/cancer, based on reports coming out of Europe.

Rick Dempsey: He played 'The Oriole Way':


The Hero!
Rick Dempsey, Baltimore's World Series MVP, October 24th, 1983

I could've predicted this criticism below in Baltimore Sun's TV critic David Zurawik's column Thursday, early Thursday morning when I sent my previous email with the WBAL video with Gerry Sandusky.
And guess what, he doesn't even link to it.

WBAL put the video on their YouTube Channel, which I subscribe to, but they made it un-embedded so that they keep it as exclusive. They have NOT placed any of their news stories about Mike Flanagan from Thursday on the Channel.

Can't help but wonder if that's due to laziness or because of station management caving-in to dopey fans like the ones below calling and complaining.
Fans who even in the year 2011 think that because they see someone on TV or have seen them in person, that they REALLY know them.

You'd think that the cases of O.J. and Tiger Woods would've enlightened people about this ridiculously naive approach, but then even when I was going to 25 games a year at Camden Yards from my home in Arlington County, VA, for a decade straight after it opened, often getting home around 1:30 a.m. during the week, parochial Baltimore locals were STILL preciously saying that the D.C./Northern Virginia fans were "ruining things."

No, actually devout fans like me saved the franchise from irrelevancy and made the Orioles a big-market team (in a small market) by selling-out that stadium day-after-day, night-after-night.

But even that financial alchemy couldn't prevent Angelos & Sons from micro-managing and ruining a good thing, firing Davey Johnson shortly after he was named AL Manager of the Year, and they haven't been the same since.
(Davey Johnson being the last MLB batter to ever face Koufax, in 1966 World Series, when 'the Baby Birds' swept the Dodgers.)

The direction of the Baltimore Orioles -their glorious past, absymal present and rather uncertain future- both on-the-field and up in the B&O Warehouse, where Angelos & Co. brook no dissenting opinions, will be the subject of even more posts here in the future.

Baltimore Orioles Game Tickets


"Thanks Cal" button from 2001
Cal Ripken Jr.

The ONLY new WBAL video on Flanagan storyline is this 29 second interview with former O's pitcher Tippy Martinez. http://www.wbaltv.com/video/28978855/detail.html

Pathetically, on their own website, as of Midnight, 2 of the 3 news stories about it are NOT theirs! The third?
The aforementioned 29-second video.

Thursday night on MASN, which I watch on DirecTV from here in South Florida, even though much of the programming is blacked-out here, after midnight, rather than show the scheduled repeat of the Twins at O's game, they replayed the Orioles' last home game at Memorial Stadium from October 6th, 1991, against the Tigers.

(A game that was commemorated by the Orioles thru seemingly manufacturing a million green or black plastic soft drink cups embossed in gold that were used that last series at Memorial Stadium. I had about five of them when I left a game against the Tigers that last week. But they were still being used at Orioles Park at Camden Yards so much into the next year that after a while it became an inside joke to Oriole fans.)

In that last game, Mike Flanagan came in with one out in the top of the 9th with O's trailing 7-1 -he struck out the two batters he faced.
And left to a standing ovation.

I taped the show and will endeavor to post some screenshots I took of Mike Flanagan here later.
I'll also go thru my Orioles stuff I have on hand and see what I might have that might interest you.


Baltimore Sun
Z on TV
WBAL-TV stands behind Sandusky report on Flanagan and reasons for suicide
But police investigation offers different explanation for Flanagan's act
By David Zurawik
The Baltimore Sun
10:47 p.m. EDT, August 25, 2011

WBAL-TV is standing behind its Wednesday-night report by sportscaster Gerry Sandusky linking the suicide of former Baltimore Orioles pitcher and executive Mike Flanagan to him being "despondent" over being perceived as having failed the team and fans during his time in the O's front office.

I will try to find out what Beltway-area baseball maven Phil Wood, late of MASN, whose WTEM radio show I listened to every Saturday morning for years -like all my friends did, too- is saying about the Flanagan story-line all of this and share that with you over the weekend

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Mike Flanagan: An Oriole Great When the 'Oriole Way' Still Meant Something; those days never seemed farther back in time than right now


August 23, 2011 11:51 pm

WBAL-TV is reporting this: "sources confirmed that Flanagan took his own life “despondent over what he considered a false perception from a community he loved of his role in the team’s prolonged failure

WBAL-TV video: WBAL-TV Sports Director Gerry Sandusky -a former Miami sportscaster and son of the former Dolphin assistant coach, John Sandusky- reports the tragic news:

I found out this terrible news just after 11 p.m. Wednesday night and am still in a bit of a shock while I try my best to find a Baltimore-area radio station on the Internet that is actually talking about this instead of running syndicated fare, like WBAL is, running Yahoo Sports instead.
Jesus, what ARE they thinking?

This is just like what happened after the UM fired Randy Shannon, and every single Miami sports radio station kept their syndicated programming on rather than put the plug on that and put their own people on the air to let listeners talk about it.
Yes, that's the news media ethos down here in a nutshell.

I've tried finding something on MASN, DirecTV 640, but there was nothing.

Jim Palmer spoke about his friend and teammate:

See also:

I hardly know what to say other than... Mike Flanagan: An Oriole Great When the 'Oriole Way' Still Meant Something; those days never seemed farther back in time than right now.

See this photo below...

Hendricks remembered
(Sun photo by Gene Sweeney Jr. / December 29, 2005)
Orioles Executive Vice President for Baseball Operations Mike Flanagan and his wife Alex leave the memorial service for Elrod Hendricks.

The event above was YET ANOTHER disgraceful Oriole moment of SO MANY over the past dozen years, with only one then-current player showing up for Elrod Hendricks' funeral, Melvin Mora.

My friends all over the country and I were absolutely LIVID over this and yet the Oriole ballplayers then were totally f-ing oblivious to what that show of disrespect to someone who had bled for this team for over four decades meant to everyone who ever cared about the Orioles.
If I'd had a blog then, I'd have positively crucified the players, one-by-one.

And yet Peter Angelos & Sons STILL walk the earth among us... where's the fairness or silver lining in that?


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Haunting performance of "Eg ser' by Bjørn Eidsvåg, then naming the 77 victims who perished 22/7 -powerful emotions that grabbed Norway -and me

Bjørn Eidsvåg - Eg ser (Live Minnesceremoni Oslo 2011), Oslo Spektrum, August 21, 2011.

12 minuters eftertanke/12 Minutes of Reflection.
(Live Minnesceremoni Oslo 2011) Oslo Spektrum, August 21, 2011.

Adil Khan, Maria Bonnevie, Ane Dahl Torp, Ingrid Bolsø Berdal and Nicolai Cleve Broch read aloud the names of the 77 victims who perished in the terrorist attacks in Oslo and Utøya on July 22nd.


In my post of Monday, Moved to tears... heart sure to follow... Something truly amazing that I saw for myself -the National Day of Remembrance in Oslo
I noted how truly moved and heart-broken I was by the combination of these two performances back-to-back, about 90 minutes into the program.

I also noted at the time that I was writing it late Sunday night that an online video of Sunday's performance of Eg ser (To see) by singer and song writer Bjørn Eidsvåg had not yet been posted online, so I could share it with you and you could see for yourselves how powerful and moving that performance had been.

But now, thanks to the efforts of jockemustafa in Sweden, you can finally see it for yourself, as Eidsvåg is backed up by Kringkastingsorkestret, a.k.a. Kork, the Norwegian Radio Orchestra.

The performance after the victims names were read, continuing this sad and haunting theme, was the Kork performing Beethoven's 7th Symphony, 2nd Movement.

The complete program broadcast can be seen until September 20th at the Norwegian TV/NRK website at

NRK's information homepage for the attacks, with timeline, graphs and photos, is at:

Senator Marco Rubio wows crowd at The Ronald Reagan Library, Simi Valley (CA); later appearance on Sean Hannity's Fox News Channel show

Florida's U.S. Senator Marco Rubio wows crowd at The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, Simi Valley, CA. August 23, 2011.
The proper role of government, the singular objective of economic public policy, should be the growth and the creation of jobs and opportunity.

Best part come from 10:18 on... and when he gets rolling, about 16:05, and eventually talks about his Cuban-born, cigar-smoking grandfather, born in 1899 and a lover of history, forget about it, the crowd is putty in his hand.
It's a story that resonates with anyone who really knows their American history.

Rubio sounded just like this when I saw him in Hallandale Beach in June of 2009, talking about the proper role of government, the U.S. Constitution and the Founding Fathers' principles.
Of course, that's when all the experts in the Sunshine State, especially the local ones in the South Florida news media, the same ones who write about him today, were saying that he was destined to lose to the 2010 Republican nomination to then-Governor Charlie Crist.
The very same people who still daily under-estimate in their articles, columns and TV news reports, the logical appeal of Tea Party principles in this chaotic, poorly-run and myopic state.
Rubio ardently cares about ideas more than any other politician in Florida -by far.
It's not an act, it's who he is, which is why he is so unpopular among liberal Democrats in this state, who hate that his logic and reason so easily demolishes their longstanding house-of-cards.
It's why I knew after seeing him that warm 2009 night in-person that I would vote for him and that he would win come 2010.
I never doubted it and said so at the time.

You see even in South Florida, some of us still care about the ideas and dynamic principles that make this country unique.

Fox News Channel video: Sen. Marco Rubio speaks with Sean Hannity on "Hannity. August 23, 2011. http://youtu.be/hKF4VkjFPRY

Below are some of my Marco Rubio photos from his June 23, 2009 appearance in Hallandale Beach at the Southeast Broward Republican Club meeting, which I went to thanks to my friend, Arturo O'Neill, and my February 26, 2011 blog post titled, The show is Jeopardy! and the question is: "Can I have 'Midterms' for $2,000", http://hallandalebeachblog.blogspot.com/2011/02/show-is-jeopardy-and-question-is-can-i.html.

That's Anthony Man of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel at the table.

Hallandale Beach Blog 1, Media Experts 0

A groovy Mitt Romney campaign ad -a Google ad- I saw last week while comparing online camera prices

President Obama's Magical Misery Tour

Obama's Magical Misery Tour

ABC News
The Note

Summer of Snark: Tye-Dyed Shirts, Postcards and Bumperstickers Target Obama
August 18, 2011 2:51 PM
ABC News' Sarah Parnass reports:


Channel 4 News (UK): Gaddafi could've used an underground escape route from his compound to airport says engineer who worked on its renovation

Channel 4 News video: Gaddafi could have underground escape route -engineer.
The battle for Gaddafi's compound, August 23, 2011. Foreign Affairs correspondent Jonathan Rugman reports.

Muammar Gaddafi could have an underground escape route from his military compound to Tripoli International Airport, an engineer who worked on plans to renovate its infrastructure told Channel 4 News.
Read the rest of the article at:

You're entitled to wonder why you aren't seeing these sorts of enterprising stories about the fighting in Libya in the U.S. news media.
Where are they?
Why do so few American-born network TV reporters actually speak passable Arabic?

Catch-up -Watch Channel 4 News whenever you want and catch-up to past newscasts and segments:

LIVE BLOG: Rebels breach Colonel Gaddafi's Libya compound

World News Blog:

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

MSM's 'Mirror, mirror on the wall' news approach: Earthquake in VA? Send resources to Times Square to interview pretty tourists -but nobody in VA!

My screenshot of Fox News Channel joining in the fray to the lowest common denominator -not explaining what really happened, but rather, what do people in New York City think about it?

Like the worst immature behavioral excesses of a teenage girl constantly looking to catch her own reflection in any passing mirror and a clueless dog who persistently chases after its own tail, we saw the American Mainstream Media in all their collective unsophisticated glory this afternoon, as an unusually large earthquake with its epicenter in Louisa County, about 40 miles NW of Richmond, Virginia's capital, hit around 1:51 p.m.

But why interview someone who was near where it happened -you know, in Virginia- when you can just send a network crew over to Times Square and interview pretty tourists, or have Wolf Blitzer stand out side near Union Station?
In going back and forth from one cablenet channel after another for an hour, I NEVER once saw a local Richmond TV station affiliate's live feed picked up as is usually the case. Why?

Why would I possibly care what people in NYC think?

Above, my screenshot of CNN's Wolf Blitzer reporting LIVE from 95 miles away from where something actually happened.
Get someone from The Brookings Institution on, stat!

Above, my screenshot of Fox News Channel brings us views of New York City's underpaid, sexually-harassed female office drones walking the pavement while they Tweet their mundane thoughts to their four "Followers" while walking across the street, and checking to see what California-based celebs they "Follow" think about what is happening thousands of miles away in Virginia.

Soon afterwards, Fox anchor Megyn Kelly makes her needless cryptic remark about receiving a message from a LEO about the possibility of The Washington Monument "leaning."
Nice going, reporting something before it's actually confirmed.
Why don't you report LIVE from underneath it? LOL!

The perpetually-indignant Kelly is the one Fox News personality I really dislike!
Usually, I mute her, but since my back was turned to her while I was on my computer reading reports from people who know what they're talking about,
I left the volume turned up.

My mistake, since it only confirmed what I think about her -not much.

Above, my screenshot of MSNBC -refraining from blaming Tea Party supporters for a few minutes- shows The National Mall in Washington, on the left, looking west towards The Washington Monument, and at right, Times Square in NYC.

No doubt there were moviegoers in The Village seeing matinee performances of The Sorrow and The Pity who were forced to evacuate and, unfortunately, leave their organic food smuggled into the theater in their seats, as they lined up outside like lemmings, as eager liberal petition workers immediately descended upon them to sign up to protest something or another.
Oh, the agony of the news patriarchy!

To watch Sen. Marco Rubio's speech LIVE tonight from The Reagan Foundation/Library at 9 pm Eastern...

Sen. Marco Rubio responds to Sen. John Kerry on debt limit debate

Sen. Marco Rubio video: Constituent Mailbox: Recess

To watch Sen. Marco Rubio's speech LIVE tonight from The Reagan Foundation/Library at 9 pm Eastern...

Below, news video of Prof. Larry J. Sabato of UVA -and the Larry J. Sabato's Crystal Ball!- speaking to Fox News Channel anchor Neil Cavuto about Sen. Rubio and what his strengths are.

Sabato: Marco Rubio Could Make Huge Difference To GOP Ticket


Amazing Sissel leaves them proud! Sissel Kyrkjebø - Til ungdommen, National Day of Remembrance for Oslo & Utøya; Minnesceremoni

Sissel Kyrkjebø - Til ungdommen (Live Minnesceremoni Oslo 2011), Oslo Spektrum, August 21, 2011.

Sissel's amazing and powerful performance was the last of the afternoon and was the exclamation point on a wonderful program that helped Norway come together one last time and remember the 77 they lost on July 22nd.

#HollywoodFL based photographer/entrepreneur Esther Chuang

#HOLLYWOODFL based photographer and entrepreneur Esther Chuang with Hollywood Mayor-elect Josh Levy
Thumbs up! What a night! #HOLLYWOODFL based photographer and entrepreneur Esther Chuang with a very elated Hollywood Mayor-elect Josh Levy at his Victory Party, held at Leo Anato's Atelier3/AT3 on Harrison Street & S. 19th Avenue, Hollywood. AT3's great environment and the amazing variety of food prepared by chef Kevin Dreifuss, former owner/chef of now-closed ENDS MEAT restaurant, was SUPERB! November 8, 2016 Esther Chuang, Morro Dois Irmãos, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 2015
Above, perhaps my most-favorite photo ever of Esther, which is really saying something considering the THOUSANDS that I've actually seen of her, from all over the world. But despite the fact that you can't actually see it here, trust me, her amazing smile and inner and external beauty are there. This photo is an even more amazing achievement when you know the backstory of what it took for Esther to get to the top of the mountain, since it's NOT for the faint of heart. Next time you see her, ask her about that! Morro Dois Irmãos, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on her birthday, July 10, 2015. That's the Christ The Redeemer statue atop Mount Corcovado way out in the horizon on the top of another mountain, to the left of her head. To the right is the world famous beach of Ipanema and to the left is the equally famous beach of Copacabana. In case you forgot what the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio looks like, up close, plus the Amazon area of Brazil that Esther grew up near in Manaus, here's another Brazilian beauty to connect-the-dots for you: Gisele Bündchen, aka @Gisele.

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

A post shared by Gisele Bündchen (@gisele) on

A floresta Amazônica tem um papel fundamental no equilíbrio do clima na Terra e, portanto, na vida de cada um de nós. Nos últimos anos a proteção diminuiu e o desmatamento aumentou drasticamente. E o que já era ruim, pode ficar ainda pior. Se as medidas que o governo vem tomando não forem vetadas, nosso futuro estará ameaçado. Diga NÃO à diminuição da proteção da Floresta do Jamanxim! Diga NÃO à exploração de minério no coração da floresta! #TodosPelaAmazônia #342Amazonia #TodosPelaAmazonia Assine a petição: link na bio. ������✨���� The Amazon Rainforest plays a key role in balancing the climate on the Earth and therefore in each of our lives. In recent years, protection has decreased and deforestation has increased sharply. And what was already bad can get even worse. If the measures that the government has been taking are not vetoed, our future will be threatened. Say NO to the reduction of the Jamanxim Forest´s protection! Say NO to ore mining in the heart of the Forest! #togetherfortheAmazon

A post shared by Gisele Bündchen (@gisele) on