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.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Google does it again! Now mapping the great Indoors!; LA Weekly's Informer blog: "Google Maps to go Indoors, Cover Macy's in L.A. And Other Malls"

Google video: Take Google Maps Indoors. November 28, 2011

Just when you might've thought that Google has no new worlds to conquer, no new source of hand-over-fist advertising revenue from something that's standing right in front of us that we all take for granted, they show their business savvy and smarts.

Yesterday I got word from them that "Google Maps is entering a new frontier: mapping the indoors."

They've even chosen to make a humorous example of their new feature, writ large, using our old friends at Ikea...

Google video: Take Google Maps inside Ikea

As usual, Google will have the last laugh as they will now get ad dollars from other retailers, esp. smaller shops, who previously didn't cough up money for their Google Ads or sidebar ads, targeting consumers who will be more likely to be visiting the mall.

It's equally true that restaurants, bars, night clubs, book stores or other smaller owner-managed retail outlets near popular destination malls would now consider using Google Ads targeting those same consumers heading to the mall, paying to have their ads come up when someone goes to Google Maps to use this new feature to check out a specific mall's particulars.

And who might now consider using their ads as well, who wouldn't normally be thought of as a likely client for Google Ads?
Popular fashion, home decor and lifestyle bloggers who want to increase the eyeballs coming over to their sites.

Yes, that's why they're Google -they're always looking at the big picture.


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LA Weekly
Informer blog
Google Maps to go Indoors, Cover Macy's in L.A. And Other Malls
posted by Dennis Romero at The Informer
November 29, 2011

If you're a thoroughly modern 'tard who can't take two steps without consulting your smartphone for directions (guilty), then Google has a new update that should help you with the finest detail...
Read the rest of the post at:
http://blogs.laweekly.com/informer/2011/11/google_maps_malls_shopping_retail_angeles.php

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Peter Coffin video: The Lost Civilization of IKEA


My last post on Ikea was from earlier this year, January 24th, titled, 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..."


2012 Ikea catalog, USA: http://info.ikea-usa.com/Catalog/

2012 Ikea catalog,
Sweden:

Ikea - Bättre skilsmässa åt alla -Better divorce for everyone.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=isjrGmFapS4

The FL redistricting story you NEVER saw in the Miami Herald, Sun-Sentinel, or on local Miami TV -who was Missing-in-Action?


Above, one of candidate Scott Fortune's very effective videos I posted on the blog last year from his documentary about the social and economic problems associated with gerrymandering in perhaps the worst drawn congressional district in the country, FL-3, home of Rep. Corrine Brown. http://youtu.be/m2l4WUZ_lcE

The FL redistricting story you NEVER saw in the Miami Herald, Sun-Sentinel, or on local Miami TV -who was Missing-in-Action?


How many of South Florida's State Senators on the 27-member Senate Reapportionment Committee DIDN'T attend important redistricting meetings?

Funny that you asked since it seems like a reasonable question that you'd think might've occurred to people who actually have giant printing presses and modern high-tech TV studios, doesn't it?
Especially given all that shouting a few months ago about what was and wasn't compact and contiguous and the importance of keeping communities intact and not divided.

In other parts of the country that might be something curious reporters pursue, but here in South Florida, not so much.
Five of the scheduled six Comm. meetings have been held the past three months.

Vice-Chair Gwen Margolis -October 18th and November 2nd, November 15th
Oscar Braynon, II -November 2nd, November 15th
Rene Garcia -November 15th,
Larcenia Bullard -October 18th

What is the the purpose of being on the Comm. if you can't/won't show-up for the meetings?

And poor Anitere Flores has been an island onto herself, attending ZERO meetings, whiffing on September 22nd, October 5th, October 18th, November 2nd, November 15th. Zero for five.
Why? Because she was pregnant.
Then why not refuse the appointment so that someone else could participate?



The last scheduled meeting of the Comm. is a week from today, next Tuesday, from 1-6 p.m., and the agenda is:
Consideration of proposed committee bill:
SPB 7032 by Reapportionment—Congressional Districts of the State,
and, Consideration of proposed committee bill:
SPB 7034 by Reapportionment—Apportionment



The Florida Legislature convenes in full session on January 10th.

And talk about being oblivious on Monday night, with all sorts of news coming out of Tallahassee
about proposed redistricting maps in Florida, both for the Florida legislature and for Congress,
http://www.tampabay.com/specials/2011/reports/redistricting/ with Florida gaining two new House seats, and where some of the maps favored by the FL Senate have longtime incumbents being drawn-out of their current districts, something that opponents have been saying for months would never happen -inc. Rep. Alcee Hastings- guess which second-tier TV market had zero news stories about it Monday night?
Yes, Miami/Ft. Lauderdale of course

Channel 4/WFOR-TV
The CBS affiliate has two -2- redistricting stories on their website since December of last year, and none of them have video or even have an author's byline.

Channel 6/WTVJ-TV
The NBC affiliate has two generic stories since last December, no video.

Channel 7/WSVN-TV
The FOX affiliate has one story on their website, from August 15th, with no video.

Channel 10/WPLG-TV
The ABC affiliate has two stories on their website
and is the only one of the four that had anything about the proposed maps that were released, albeit, very little info that we didn't already know in a seven-sentence story.
But they had no on-air stories about it.

It also may interest you to know that none of the four English-language Miami TV stations had a single news story on their websites about the redistricting in Miami-Dade and Broward for county commission seats.

That feeble effort, ladies and gentlemen of the jury, is the South Florida news media as the year 2011 begins to recede, and we all know that even worse news-reporting is ahead the rest of the year.


Redistricting Maps Drawn by the Senate

On November 28, the Senate Reapportionment Committee published proposed committee bills redrawing district boundaries for congressional and state legislative electoral districts.

Congressional PlanSenate Plan
Palm Beach Post
Change ahead for U.S. Rep. Rooney, state Sen. Benacquisto under redistricting plan
State Sen. Lizbeth Benacquisto and U.S. Rep Tom Rooney figure to have their political futures affected by the redistricting plans looming for Florida.
By JOHN KENNEDY, Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
Updated: 10:37 p.m. Monday, Nov. 28, 2011
Posted: 8:43 p.m. Monday, Nov. 28, 2011

TALLAHASSEE — At least two Palm Beach County lawmakers face changing political futures under new district maps unveiled Monday by the Florida Senate.

U.S. Rep. Tom Rooney, a two-term Tequesta Republican, and state Sen. Lizbeth Benacquisto, a Republican who formerly served as a Wellington village council member, are moving in opposite directions under the proposals.
Read the rest of the article at

My last blog post on redistricting was last Tuesday, titled, No Fair Districts here: Surprise! NAACP's proposed 2012 map keeps HB & Hollywood divided: Blacks given to Frederica Wilson, Jews to DWS; told ya!


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Monday, November 28, 2011

When TNT's 'Lady Law' knocks, open the door! HBB faves The Closer and Rizzoli & Isles return tonight to amuse and delight us -and boy do we need it!


When TNT's 'Lady Law' knocks, open the door! HBB faves The Closer and Rizzoli & Isles return tonight to amuse and delight us -and boy do we need it!

The Closer's 7th season continues tonight with the first of the five last episodes in the series on TNT tonight at 9 p.m., as we begin to suffer premature Kyra Sedgwick withdrawal.
"Thank you."

The repeat is at 11 p.m.

As most of you who follow the show probably know by now, TNT intends to spin-off Mary McDonnell's character of Capt. Sharon Raydor in their upcoming new series "Major Crimes."

As of now, I'm not quite sure when that will air, as they may wish to put it on right before the London 2012 Olympics airs late next summer on NBC's myriad outlets, and then come back in the fall. That's what I'd do if I was programming the network.

Season 2 of Rizzoli & Isles – returns tonight at 10 p.m. as "basic cable’s most-watched drama" with longtime Hallandale Beach Blog favorites Angie Harmon and Sasha Alexander as crime-solving sleuths for the Boston Police Department, with lovely Sasha as the drop-dead gorgeous and brainy forensics genius, below, to Angie's "Old School" moxie-filled detective.

Screen grab of Sasha Alexander by South Beach Hoosier.

To quote myself, "Love, Love, Love them!"
Their rapport is spot-on fabulous!

The show repeats at Midnight and then on Tuesday at 11 p.m.

FYI: Angie Harmon and Sasha Alexander will be tweeting during tonight's new episode! See http://twitter.com/#!/RizzoliIslesTNT for more details, or ask a question directly to them @Angie_Harmon & @SashaAlexander1.

Need to catch up, see the Rizzoli & Isles - Season 2 Mid-Season Rewind

If you haven't already heard, TNT is already hard at work producing a drama for next summer called "Perception,"starring Eric McCormack, Rachael Leigh Cook, Arjay Smith and Hallandale Beach Blog fave Kelly Rowan, who so famously played Kirsten, USA's Covert Affairs' Peter Gallagher's on-screen wife in The O.C., a show I loved and never missed because of the clever and knowing dialogue.
And seriously, Rachel Bilson dressed-up as Wonder Woman to surprise Seth?
Both brilliant AND priceless!


Rachel Bilson as Wonder Woman in Fox-TV's "The O.C."


According to TNT's official press release -I'm on their mailing list and a member of their Inner Circle- Perception centers on McCormack as "an eccentric neuroscientist who helps solve complex criminal cases."
In Perception, McCormack plays Dr. Daniel Pierce, a neuroscientist and professor recruited to help the federal government crack difficult cases. His intimate knowledge of human behavior and masterful understanding of the mind give him an extraordinary ability to read people, but his eccentric view of the world and less-than-stellar social skills can often interfere with his work.
When I last saw McCormack on TV it was in one of the all-time classic episodes of USA's Monk, "Mr. Monk's 100th Case," as a TV host profiling Adrian's eccentric method of crime-solving. That episode was on IOn TV recently.
Hmm-m.. eccentric? Sounds familiar, no?

My last two post on these two shows were:
1.) July 12, 2010, Sasha Alexander fans rejoice! Sasha and Angie Harmon in Rizzoli & Isles finally premieres tonight on TNT at 10 pm and 12:05 a.m. Eastern, http://hallandalebeachblog.blogspot.com/2010/07/sasha-alexander-fans-rejoice-sasha-and.html
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2.) JULY 11, 2011, Oh, how I've missed you! Sasha Alexander & Angie Harmon's Rizzoli & Isles, and Kyra Sedgwick & Co.'s The Closer are back to delight us again tonight!

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TNT webspage for The Closer:

The Closer YouTube Channel:

TNT's webpage for Rizzoli & Isles

Rizzoli & Isles YouTube Channel:



Forget your own Cyber Monday nonsense, the military's Digital Engagement Team is doing the heavy lifting to counter online Islamic extremist ideology

The Council on Foreign Relations video: Counterterrorism and Homeland Security: Does the United States Have the Right Strategy? September 12, 2011.
Thom Shanker of the N.Y. Times is the panel moderator, with Henry A. Crumpton, Frances "Fran" Fragos Townsend, and John F. Lehman as featured guests. I highly recommend watching the entire video at one time when you have no distractions. In particular, I urge you to listen at the 10:03 mark to former Navy Sec. Lehman, a member of the 9/11 Commission, who makes some spot-on comments I agree with 100% re wasted band frequency, the failure to fully comply with the 9/11 Comm.'s recommendations, and the remaining bloated bureaucracy in the intelligence community, In fact, Lehman is so disgusted with that bureaucratic red-tape that he admits he'd favor the Office of DNI being abolished if it can not be kept intentionally small as it was originally intended.
On 9/11, I was four blocks east of The White House and working in an office on Pennsylvania Ave. directly across the street from the FBI and DOJ. http://youtu.be/HQXveZjQgdg

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Forget about your own silly Cyber Monday nonsense, read this GREAT story recently written by Thom Shanker & Eric Schmitt of the New York Times -co-authors of the book "Counterstrike: The Untold Story of America’s Secret Campaign Against Al Qaeda"- about the military's Digital Engagement Team, who is doing the heavy lifting to counter online Islamic extremist ideology, "promote cultural awareness and explain U.S. interests” Yes, strategic counter-terrorism that will make a tangible difference.


New York Times
U.S. Military Goes Online to Rebut Extremists’ Messages
By Thom Shanker & Eric Schmitt
November 18, 2011
MacDILL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. — The morning sun had barely cast its fresh light over Tampa Bay when Ardashir Safavi — born in Iran, a refugee to Turkey, educated in the mid-Atlantic states — was up and patrolling two dozen Persian-language Web sites, hunting militant adversaries in cyberspace.

His mission was to scan news reports, blogs, social media and online essays to identify those he viewed as “containing lies, misinformation or just misperceptions” about American military operations and Pentagon policy across the Middle East.
Read the rest of the article at:

Readers comments at:


See also:

Office of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI):

University of Southern California Center on Public Diplomacy blog
CENTCOM’S DIGITAL ENGAGEMENT TRIES TO COUNTER EXTREMISTS
August 26, 2010
Posted by Philip Seib

Council on Foreign Relations website: http://www.cfr.org/

Council on Foreign Relations YouTube Channel:

Sunday, November 27, 2011

While High Speed Rail advocates met in NYC re Northeast Corridor, more troubling financial data re proposed LA-SF Bullet Train emerged -boondoggle?

USHSR's 2011 Conference in New York City

Even while High Speed Rail advocates met in New York recently to discuss their hopes and dreams for the service in the Northeast Corridor, Adam Nagourney of the N.Y. Times has just revealed even more troubling financial details about the possible coming boondoggle with California's San Francisco-to-Anaheim Bullet Train, which I suspect most of the country outside of Cali is still largely ignorant of, despite its eventual ripple effects across the country, good and bad.

According to the Sacramento Bee, the California High Speed Rail Authority still plans to begin construction in September!

Train Wars Teaser - High Speed Rail in California


California High Speed Rail video

I've been reading about all its myriad controversies for months in the L.A. Times, and all things considered, their coverage has been pretty spot-on, and NOT nearly as sycophantic as certain Florida newspapers and pols I could name who were supportive of a supposed Bullet Train between Orlando and the Tampa Bay area, which Gov. Rick Scott was rightly opposed to.

Though I'm a strong pro-transit advocate, given my dozen of blog posts here on the subject of transportation over the years, especially the desirability of a commuter line on the F.E.C. tracks near U.S.-1, from downtown Miami to Palm Beach County, thru the most-densely populated parts of South Florida, I was always against that particular line in Central Florida.
It made no sense and couldn't possibly be successful because the distance was too short given the driving alternative.

See Jacksonville Transit blog's well-reasoned post of June 12th about why HSR failed the smell test in Florida: GOOD REASONS TO KILL FLORIDA HIGH SPEED RAIL

I've always suspected -and said on other transit blogs- that the line that would likely get the Obama money to proceed would likely be one between Chicago and St. Louis.

How's this for the beginning of a very expensive trip?
"The pro-train constituency has not been derailed by a state report this month that found the cost of the bullet train tripling to $98 billion for a project that would not be finished until 2033..."
New York Times
California Bullet Train Project Advances Amid Cries of Boondoggle
By Adam Nagourney
November 26, 201
SACRAMENTO — Across the country, the era of ambitious public works projects seems to be over. Governments are shelving or rejecting plans for highways, railroads and big buildings under the weight of collapsing revenues and voters’ resistance.

Read the rest of the article at:

The Nagourney article follows by a few days an excellent, eye-opening story by Ralph
Vartabedian in the LAT that delves into the social and cultural problems associated with constructing the line thru several parts of Cali that are firmly opposed to it and have the financial means and the will to push back hard, namely, the Central Valley agriculture belt.
The folks who grew and cultivated many of the items in your kitchen right now.

Los Angeles Times
California bullet train: The high price of speed
Its proposed route would destroy churches, schools, homes, warehouses, banks, medical offices, stores and much more.
By Ralph Vartabedian, Los Angeles Times
October 22, 2011, 6:03 p.m.

Reporting from Bakersfield— Since it opened in 1893, Bakersfield High School has been the pride of this city and its academic cornerstone, the place where the late Chief Justice Earl Warren graduated and students call themselves the Drillers in homage to the region's oil patch.

It has withstood earthquakes and depressions, but perhaps it will not survive the California bullet train.
Read the rest of the article at:


Los Angeles Times
LA NOW blog
Cost projection for California bullet train jumps to nearly $100 billion
By Ralph Vartabedian
October 31, 2011 10:06 pm
California's bullet train will cost an estimated $98.5 billion to build over the next 20 years, an amount far higher than any previous projection, according to a business plan scheduled to be unveiled Tuesday.


Los Angeles Times
Opinion LA blog
California's bullet train: Boondoggle or boon?
By Dan Turner
November 3, 2011 3:35 pm
Californians seem to fall into two camps when it comes to the state's multibillion-dollar high-speed rail project, with those on one side (typically fiscal conservatives) seeing it as a massive waste of taxpayer money while those on the other (typically liberals) think it's a visionary, environmentally responsible solution to our state's transportation problems.
Read the rest of the post at:

Read the readers response to that post at:


The most recent financial news predicate for much of this debate can be read here:
Congress About to Kill High-Speed Train Program
By JOAN LOWY Associated Press
WASHINGTON November 17, 2011 (AP)

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California High Speed Rail Authority: http://www.cahighspeedrail.ca.gov/

California High Speed Rail's YouTube Channel:

USHSR's YouTube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/USHSR


HighSpeedRailDoc's YouTube Channel:


Friday, November 25, 2011

Taylor Swift shows why she's so beloved by her fans in profile/interview on CBS News' "60 Minutes" with Lesley Stahl; Amazing times ten!


CBS News 60 Minutes: Taylor Swift: A young singer's meteoric rise. November 20, 2011. Correspondent Lesley Stahl profiles and interviews the dynamic 21-year old singer who keeps her feet firmly on the ground while entertaining and charming her millions of fans all over the world.


What can I say about Taylor Swift here that I haven't already said about her -literally- except "In Taylor We Trust."
My previous blog posts on Taylor -with lots of videos of her you've probably never seen before if you haven't previously read them- were:

1.) October 12, 2010
Taylor Swift's impression of "Minnesota Soccer Mom" on BBC 1's Switch with Annie and Nick; Dateline: On Tour With Taylor Swift

2.) August 3, 2011
Country music sweetheart Taylor Swift rocked Washington, DC Tuesday, as the Wash. Post runs out of adjectives to describe the well-grounded superstar



CBS News "60 Minutes Overtime" video: Behind the scenes at a Taylor Swift concert
By 60 Minutes Overtime Staff
November 20, 2011 6:47 PM



FYI: As of five minutes ago, Taylor had 9,399,700 Twitter "Followers."
According to the CIA World Factbook, their summer 2011 estimate for the population of Sweden was 9,088,728.
So, put another way, imagine the entire population of Sweden, plus, the cities of Denver and St. Louis.
THAT is how many people FOLLOW Taylor Swift's tweets.
Now that is some perspective you can wrap your arms around!

Unless you have a long extension cord... Electric Cars could be nothing but paperweights in So. Fla. as govt. bureaucracy stalls re-charging stations



CBS4/WFOR-TV video: CBS4's Al Sunshine investigates how "Electric Cars" could be largely useless without high-voltage re-charging stations that even its supporters acknowledge are years away in South Florida.

Article at:

Unless you have a long extension cord... how Electric Cars could be nothing but large paperweights in South Florida as govt. bureaucracy stalls high-voltage re-charging stations. And should the U.S. government even be in the business of giving grants or loans to some syndicates given how poorly the selection process is in this sort of crony capitalism, given the recent experience with Solyndra?

I'm still waiting for the hard-hitting multi-part investigation by local Miami-area TV stations into how it came to be that in the year 2011, South Florida doesn't have a single successful solar power, wind power or thermal power company down here that employs a reasonable amount of people paying good upper-middle class salaries and that AREN'T dependent on government handouts for its very existence.

Certainly more than even I would have guessed while living up in Washington all those years, the Miami Herald has gone out of its way since I returned to the area in late 2003 -esp. its business reporters!- to avoid publicly asking such basic yet troubling questions of the local business community and its so-called leadership, since if the newspaper was, the answers to those simple questions would be known by the majority of the well-informed populace here.

For those of you reading this who live far from Area Code 305 & 954, the fact that many American states much farther north in latitude are MUCH farther along in developing solar power capabilities than its natural capital, South Florida, should tell you plenty about the inadequate government/venture capital vision, planning and leadership in this part of the Sunshine State.

No, in this area, people with more money than sense still prefer to sink money into real estate and take advantage of out-of-state and foreign buyers.
You know, since they can't sell you swamp land any more.

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EPA worksheet: Clean Alternative Fuels: Electric Vehicles

South Florida Regional Planning Council: http://www.sfrpc.com/

Map of Broward County electric vehicle charging facilities; 14 as of 2011.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

More on the dangers of the 'Joe Pa' cult of personality: WSJ's Reed Albergotti gets in-depth re Paterno's battles with PSU officials re punishment


Joe Paterno as Darth Sidious Time Lapse Painting

I read this Wall Street Journal article about yet another aspect of Joe Paterno's longstanding attempt to control all aspects of what happens with the Penn State football team
-and to steamroll legitimate scrutiny by others- with rapt attention within minutes of it first appearing online.

Afterwards, I sent the link to just about everyone I know who'd appreciate what was really going on here: Paterno's real character and authoritarian tendencies being revealed, and PSU administrators not eager to get into a pissing contest with a sports icon, even when he was clearly wrong.

To me, this is not unlike what many outsiders and constant critics of him always wanted to believe were true about Bobby Knight but weren't, and when they leveled many of their unfounded criticisms of Coach Knight, many sportswriters and journalists used sainted ol' Joe Pa the Pious as the model for angelic probity.

The only way this could have been better would have been if there was video of kindly Joe Pa saying, "Boys will be boys."

Well, now we are all learning the truth about who really believed in holding everyone on the team accountable to one high standard -Coach Knight- and who wanted special (favorable) treatment and dispensations for his players -Coach Paterno.
Sure would be nice to hear some nationally-known sports writers finally admit they were 100% wrong before they retire for good.
Don't hold your breath!

Joe Paterno really DID believe that the Penn State football players he coached should be held to a lesser standard than the one regular PSU students were supposed to follow, even when they violated the law or ran afoul of school rules. For instance, this nugget after a number of player incidents receive serious push-back from school administrators who wanted one firmly understood standard for everyone:
The incident prompted Mr. Spanier to visit Dr. Triponey at her home. Dr. Triponey confirms he told her that Mr. Paterno had given him an ultimatum: Fire her, or Mr. Paterno would stop fund-raising for the school. She says Mr. Spanier told her that if forced to choose, he would choose her over the coach—but that he did not want to have to make that choice.
Excellent reporting that is long overdue!!!

Wall Street Journal
COLLEGE FOOTBALL
NOVEMBER 22, 2011
A Discipline Problem, Paterno Fought Penn State Official Over Punishment of Players
By Reed Albergotti

STATE COLLEGE, Pa.—Legendary Penn State football coach Joe Paterno clashed repeatedly with the university's former chief disciplinarian over how harshly to punish players who got into trouble, internal emails suggest, shedding new light on the school's effort to balance its reputation as a magnet for scholar-athletes with the demands of running a nationally dominant football program.
Read the rest of the article at:

See Reed Albergotti's answers to reader questions about this article, here:

Wednesday's follow-up to this article is:

Two Views on Administrator
Some at Penn State Call Ex-Official Courageous, Others Say She Micromanaged
By Reed Albergotti and Rachel Bachman

The former Pennsylvania State University administrator who clashed with football coach Joe Paterno over player discipline was seen by supporters during her time at the school as a courageous leader but by critics as a micromanager of student groups.
Read the rest of the article at:

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

No Fair Districts here: Surprise! NAACP's proposed 2012 map keeps HB & Hollywood divided: Blacks given to Frederica Wilson, Jews to DWS; told ya!


Above, my screen grab of FL-17 Rep. Frederica Wilson appearing on WPLG-TV/Channel 10's "This Week in South Florida," July 21, 2011, with host Michael Putney. Wilson was only Florida House member to vote YES to increase the U.S. debt limit.

Fair Districts here: Surprise! NAACP's proposed 2012 map keeps Hallandale Beach & Hollywood divided: Blacks given to Frederica Wilson, Jews to Debbie Wasserman-Schultz; told ya!

The Central Florida Political Pulse blog of the Orlando Sentinel, which has been doing an infinitely better job of covering the Florida 2012 redistricting issue than any South Florida newspaper or blog, had the unhappy news yesterday that we were anticipating -despite their previous lip-service, the Florida NAACP was and is the object of the ruling status quo society.

They have zero interest in having this state actually have legislative districts that encourage competitive elections that are based on ideas and public policies.

Here's a question for the NACCP.
Florida is the fourth-largest state in the United States.
Yet the state's Black Democratic politicians are currently so unappealing and ineffective and so lacking in common sense on the issues that most concern Floridians, that in my opinion, not a single one could be elected state-wide.
Not one.

Even while Republican Jennifer Carroll, mother of Dolphin defensive back Nolan Carroll, was elected Lt. Governor as part of Rick Scott's ticket last November.

Compare that to California, Texas, or NY, the three states larger than Florida.
Each one has had African-American Democratic candidates successfully earn the nomination for governor or U.S. Senate based on primary campaigns dealing with ideas and the state's future, and DIDN'T have state Democratic elected officials abandon them and bail in droves like Florida's White Democrats did to Kendrick Meek last year in his third-place U.S. Senate race against Marco Rubio and Gov. Charlie Crist, supporting Crist.

In Florida, though, like a caricature of a cartoon, most of the Black Dems who are best-known to the public throughout the state are known more for negative things than their particular legislative accomplishments or in-depth knowledge of a subject of public policy importance, and the troubling thing is that most reporters and Democratic voters don't seem to care how this looks. Perception becomes reality.
Instead, they just shrug their shoulders.

That means that to the extent they are known at all, they're known and usually reported upon in the state's MSM because of their fashion sense, continuing questions about whether they are STILL breaking state rules on residency, and their unwillingness to engage in a public discussion of ideas other than ones of their own choosing: Frederica Wilson, Joe Gibbons, Corrine Brown.
And there's more where that comes from, like princely State Senator Gary Siplin of Orlando, who, judging from his history, seems to prefer that Florida legislators have as much leeway and as little adult supervision as possible.

See for yourself:
Central Florida Political Pulse blog
Siplin blasts ethics bill, defends Sansom, and Senate committee shoots it down
posted by aaron deslatte on March, 29 2011 5:30 PM
Palm Beach Post
Florida ethics panel drops $200,000 in fines owed by 168 officials after time limit passes
By John Kennedy, Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
Posted: 4:57 p.m. Friday, June 17, 2011

There's your dose of reality, Florida and Florida reporters.
Breaking News! Not!

Rep. Corrine Brown, FL-3, is someone who is literally her own worst enemy, often placing a verbal noose around her own neck, again-and-again, to defend the indefensible: "Look at the South. Nothing has changed.''
Really?

The evidence to the contrary of that is all around us, starting at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, but then how do you argue with somone who has made clear for so long that facts have little to do with what she says or does?

See where that quote comes from at the bottom of this post, and see the back story on this perpetually embarrassing woman in the June 12th, 2010 Buzz blog post in the St. Pete Times by Adam C. Smith titled, Corrine Brown and Mr. Gerry Mandering,

To take a look at Rep. Brown's current joke of a congressional district -CD- the Jacksonville-to-Orlando 200-mile absurdity which was highlighted here on my blog and in print ads and TV commercials last year, which helped lead to overwhelming public support among Florida voters for Amendments 5 & 6 last November, see http://www.govtrack.us/congress/findyourreps.xpd?state=FL&district=3

To see a great video on Corrine Brown's embarrassing CD, see my post of October 25, 2010, titled, New TV ad from FairDistrictsFlorida.org; FL-17 and Corrine Brown's FL-3 are embarrassing embodiment of what unchecked gerrymandering gets you:

Orlando Sentinel columnist Scott Maxwell spelled it all out very nicely in his Taking Names column of November 8th, saying about her,

If Florida ever stops gerrymandering, Brown's Democrat-loaded district is toast.

There's no way her snake-like district, which covers 200 miles and stretches from Jacksonville to Gainesville and then down to Sanford and Orlando, could survive.


Orlando Sentinel
Corrine Brown, secret interests fight your vote
November 08, 2011
Scott Maxwell, TAKING NAMES

And locally, congrats Hallandale Beach, Liberty City, Overtown and Hollywood!
Like it or not, it's been decided that you voters in FL-17 have an awful lot in common and that you've drawn the short straw and won't be having an actual congressional campaign next year.

Your representative has already been selected for you: globetrotting, do-nothing Frederica Wilson and her far-flung and over-the-top hats.
The woman whom, as I've previously written here, repeatedly said she supported Obama's ill-conceived jobs bill, but who never quite ever managed to find the time to formally sign-up to be a House sponsor herself, behavior that matched FL-20's DWS.
Nope, she was always too busy.
What a hypocrite!

And who locally is laughing about the NAACP's congressional maps?
Residents of Aventura, the Miami-Dade County city south of me by a few blocks, as the NAACP takes the position that Aventura will continue be repped by someone in Washington from Broward County who lives northwest of me, Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, while here in the part of Hallandale Beach west of U.S.-1, we get to continue to be represented by someone from Miami-Dade whose district is based far SE from here in Liberty City, Overtown and Opa-Locka.
So whatever happened to the important notion of "compactness'?

Yes, the NAACP will do anything to keep the frequently-absent Frederica Wilson in office, even if it violates the intent and spirit of the two state constitutional Amendments that were overwhelmingly passed last year.
Surprise!

And if that means Wilson never has to have a competitive general election and can take her job for granted...
Right, it's not THEIR problem.

As for FL State House Rep. Joe Gibbons, well as everyone who comes to this blog knows by now, that former HB city commissioner represents a district here in SE Broward County, but it's not where his own wife and children live.

I know, I know, you really thought "home is where the heart is," right?
Not in his case.

Gibbons is an old-fashioned political opportunist and carpet-bagger, and as has been mentioned here numerous times, with the links to articles and post to prove it, Gibbons even tried to claim a Homestead exemption for his so so-called HB home, but the city rejected it because he failed the residency requirements most basic rule -he didn't live there.

Yet what has happened to him?
What has Broward State's Attorney Mike Satz done to show that nobody is above the law, even the low threshold that the Florida Legislature maintains for itself?
Nothing.

When did the august editorial boards of the Miami Herald or South Florida Sun-Sentinel ever write anything about it?
They never have.

When you consider who is on their Editorial Board, it's little wonder -not exactly mental giants!

Some of the folks above are the same people responsible for the endorsement of Anthony A. Sanders for HB City Commission in 2008, despite his disconnectedness from the larger community, a fact which is just as self-evident three years later.
Was it because he was Black and they were suffering pangs of Liberal White Guilt that earned him the nod, when facts seem not to have mattered to the editorial board?

Not that the Herald has ever written a single thing about any of Sanders' actions involving ethics, or the city rushing to purchase his home for more than it was worth, but then renting it out for a dollar a month with no plausible explanation for what the property is intended to be used for. That's still the case.
So why did the city buy it?
No explanation and the Herald doesn't ask.

Meanwhile, his completely unsatisfactory performance as commissioner now enters its fourth year.

Yes, there's your freedom of the press in the year 2011 in South Florida -sleepwalking.

And he talks about running for Congress?
From what state?

And I would know since I've had a Google Alert for Joe Gibbons for years.

Last year I finally subscribed to the Central Florida Political Pulse via my Blogger Reading List, after formally having them Bookmarked for years, since it allows me to receive their posts within seconds of them being posted online, which is fantastic.

NAACP redistricting maps have familiar look
Redistricting NAACP plan with comparison to the current Congressional districts in Central Florida
By Aaron Deslatte, Tallahassee Bureau Chief
10:47 p.m. EST, November 20, 2011

TALLAHASSEE — Republican lawmakers say voters who last year endorsed the anti-gerrymandering Fair Districts constitutional reforms may be in for a rude awakening when the first drafts of congressional and legislative maps are released in the coming weeks.

Something akin to: Meet the new maps, same as the old maps.
Read the rest of the article at:


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Roll Call
Democrats Betting Big on Florida Redistricting
New Fair Districts Law Will Prevent Major GOP Gerrymander, but Huge Gains Are Not Likely
By Joshua Miller, Roll Call Staff
Nov. 8, 2011, Midnight

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WTVY-TV News (Dothan, Alabama) video: Fla. Redistricting Process Getting Heated. Posted: 9:18 PM Nov 21, 2011, Reporter: Troy Kinsey. Updated: 9:21 PM Nov 21, 2011,

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Meanwhile, at Steve Schale's blog...
Story Lines - Florida Congressional Redistricting
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 20, 2011 AT 5:54PM

As we near the unveiling of the first official Congressional redistricting maps, here are some of the interesting story lines to keep an eye out for. This list isn't meant to be exhaustive, but more the things that I am watching out for as the reapportionment and redistricting process begins in earnest in early December.
Read the rest of his post at:

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Here's a question: Why is it that all this time after former City of Miami City Manager Tony Crapp, Jr. resigned, that we still don't know for whom -or what group- in the redistricting battle he's working on behalf of?

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*Reminder: Broward County Commission will vote on their own redistricting maps in three weeks on December 13th. More on that as the date approaches.

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Miami Herald http://www.miamiherald.com/2010/09/20/1834230/congressional-vets-align-with.html

Congressional vets align with business groups to challenge redistricting proposals

By Mary Ellen Klas, Herald/Times Tallahassee Bureau

September 20, 2010

As the high stakes battle over drawing political boundaries goes to the November ballot, two veteran Florida congressmen joined with business groups Monday to launch a campaign to defeat the proposals that would upend the way their districts are drawn.

Democratic Rep. Corrine Brown of Jacksonville and Republican Rep. Mario Diaz Balart of Miami, both elected to Congress in 1992, said they will work to defeat Amendments 5 and 6 because they believe the standards will lead to less minority representation, not more.

"These amendments will have the effect of bleaching the state of Florida as it was before 1992 when minorities did not have the ability to elect candidates of their choice,'' said Diaz Balart.

"It's unworkable. It will have a devastating effect on minorities across the state.''

The amendments, pushed by Fair Districts Florida, create new standards that would make it harder for legislators to gerrymander political districts. Proponents say the standards will strengthen the rights of minorities under the 1965 Voting Rights Act by chiseling them into the constitution, not weakening them.

"Rep.'s Diaz Balart and Brown are sadly mistaken about Amendments 5 & 6,'' said Howard Simon, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida. "These constitutional amendments are the most important changes that voters can make right now that will strengthen minority voting rights and protect the right of minorities to elect representatives of their choice.''

The anti-amendment effort, known as the Protect Your Vote campaign, has enlisted the help of former Secretary of State Kurt Browning and the public relations firm of Ron Sachs Communications.

The committee is ready to raise and spend "at least $4 [million] maybe more'' to defeat Amendments 5 and 6, Browning said, and will place ads on television. Associated Industries of Florida and the Florida Chamber of Commerce have lined up in support.

Browning warned the amendments would effectively "give the courts more influence in that process, which is unnecessary.''

Brown and Diaz Balart had hoped that a legislative counter measure would also be on the ballot, but the Florida Supreme Court threw it out two weeks ago. They have also filed their own lawsuit seeking to keep the measure off the ballot, but have lost at every stop.

Florida's once-a-decade redistricting process has been riddled with court fights since 1992, when the court-drawn districts ushered in maps that concentrated minority voters into minority-majority districts. Since then, the state has had three black members and three Hispanics elected to Congress.

That year, the new maps resulted in diluting Democratic congressional districts and the Florida Legislature. It also gradually allowed Republicans to control to the Legislature and assume the majority in Florida's congressional delegation by the mid-1990s.

Supporters of the Fair Districts campaign argue that the amendment will impose new standards that will allow for more geographically compact districts, increase competition for elected office and ensure that minorities are represented when districts are redrawn.

The group has raised $4.2 million to collect enough signatures to get on the ballot and defend the legal challenges. Much of the group's money came from trial lawyers, teachers, unions and out-of-state advocacy organizations.

The amendments are also supported by the NAACP and all but two of Florida's legislative black caucus members, who argued that in the two decades since the 1992 court-drawn districts, minorities have been elected from districts that aren't concentrated and that Florida voters are now more color-blind.

But Brown said Monday she disagrees. "Look at the South. Nothing has changed,'' she said. "You can't take politics out of politics.'' Brad Ashwell of Florida Public Interest Research Group called Brown and Diaz Balart's opposition a self-serving attempt to scare minority voters.

"It's inherently political,'' Ashwell said. ``Reforming the redistricting process is an aggressive assault on whatever party is in power. It's going to radically affect their ability to retain their power. What we want is more competitive elections, more accountability.''

Cityline on A1A and the beach

Cityline on A1A and the beach
Where Hollywood meets Hallandale Beach on State Road A1A, Hyde Beach Resort & Residences meets the iconic beach ball-colored Water Tower

Hallandale Beach City Hall

Hallandale Beach City Hall
May 30, 2017 photo by SouthBeachHoosier
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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.