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Saturday, October 15, 2011

The $6 Million Question is asked by Sun-Sentinel's Michael Mayo: "Should Broward school money go to Performing Arts Center renovations?" No!


As of late Friday night, the 14th, the story below has STILL not been mentioned on local TV newscasts.
Or in the Miami Herald.
Or for that matter, even elsewhere in the Sun-Sentinel, save this butt-kissing editorial from October 1st from their Editorial Board,

There's your local 'free press' hard at work.
Or, more accurately, fast asleep.

If you look closely at the reader comments, link at bottom, you'll recognize the names of many of the readers commenting.
A whole lot more than usual: Levinson, Kraft....

(P.S.: For more on the Broward School Board's business-as-usual crowd, and I do mean CROWD, see this piece by Cara Fitzpatrick:
Half of Broward's classes have too many students


South Florida Sun-Sentinel
Should Broward school money go to Performing Arts Center renovations?
Michael Mayo
October 12, 2011 5:53 PM

Those are some pretty fancy renovations on the drawing board for the Broward Center for the Performing Arts, including a courtyard café with retractable awnings and something called the Premier Level, where swells can sip cocktails while overlooking the stage.

Is it appropriate for the Broward School Board to contribute $6 million toward the $44 million project?

That's the thorny question facing School Board members. After massive teacher layoffs and cuts to music and arts programs in public schools, the performing arts center is hitting up the school district for a hefty contribution.

Funds are also slated to come from private donors ($20 million-$25 million), Broward County ($12 million), the city of Fort Lauderdale ($4.5 million) and the Downtown Development Authority ($1 million).

The school funding could be a tough sell.

"I value the arts, and I value our partnership with the Broward Center, but we don't have money for ourselves — do we really have the money to be giving it away outside?" School Board member Laurie Rich Levinson told me Wednesday.

Two other School Board members I spoke to, Nora Rupert and newcomer Katie Leach, seemed more amenable to the funding request, but it should make for some interesting debate in the coming months.

"I hope we can come up with these dollars, but I don't know if we can," said Leach, who serves as the school district's appointee to the Broward Center's governing board.

I'm a big supporter of the arts and a big fan of the Broward Center, which has changed the downtown Fort Lauderdale landscape for the better since it opened 20 years ago. But when I first heard about the school funding component for the renovations, my reaction was a strong, "Hell no."

Wrong time, wrong message, wrong everything.

That said, I'm OK with the other three public prongs for the project. It's appropriate for the county, city and DDA to pitch in.

Besides new bars and cafes, the renovations will pay for lighting and sound improvements, upgrades to the smaller Amaturo Theater and a new $8 million education center for students and school programs.

The education center alone makes it a worthwhile investment for the school district, says Broward Center CEO Kelley Shanley.

Shanley tried to convince me the school dollars will be well spent, since the district gets more bang for its buck by combining money with other entities.

The school district was a partner in the arts center's construction 20 years ago, and the school system sends 125,000 kids to the center annually for events and performances. Some are tied to the curriculum, like anti-bullying programs being held this week.

The Broward school money would come from the capital budget, which can only be used for infrastructure and equipment, not teacher salaries or supplies.

Still, as Levinson notes, "The capital budget is running a deficit, and we've got dilapidated buildings and need to update our own technology."

My advice to the Broward Center: Shake those private money trees a little harder. If there's a way to do this without school funds, a lot of teachers and parents will shout, "Bravo!"

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#HOLLYWOODFL based photographer and entrepreneur Esther Chuang with Hollywood Mayor-elect Josh Levy

Thumbs up! What a night we had! #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 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 way out in the horizon on the top of another mountain, to the left of her head. �� In case you forgot what the Christ the Redeemer statue looks like, up close, 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

North Miami Beach High school alumni

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.

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.