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.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Peggy Noonan thinks dithering & detached "O" has now become "creepy. "Obama increasingly comes across as devious and dishonest." She's right, of course.

Audiobook: What I Saw At the Revolution -A Political Life in the Reagan Era by Peggy Noonan. http://youtu.be/nDvF7SispPU

Peggy Noonan thinks dithering & detached "O" has now become "creepy. "Obama increasingly comes across as devious and dishonest." She's right, of course.

In this installment from the audio version of the book I bought the first day it was available in 1990 at The Trover Book Shop on Capitol Hill, where I spent hundreds of hours over the years, Peggy Noonan recounts the end of an era of innocence in the days before the 1960 Presidential election on Massapequa , Long Island.Noonan shoots and she scores with: "[Obama's] hermetically sealed inner circle, which operates with what seems an almost entirely abstract sense of America."

From personal experience I can tell you that when you are seated just a few feet away from her and she starts talking about these sorts of cultural issues in that lilting voice of hers, it's positively mesmerizing.

After reading/listening to her impart a little bit of what she saw and remembers that Fall of 1960 about what America was about, you know exactly why her criticism of Obama and his myopic cronies rings so true and causes so many heads to nod in agreement, which is precisely why I placed the audio here for you to listen to yourself. 
The proof is in the pudding.

And even the Europeans have finally come to see him for what he is, esp. the Poles.

American Crossroads: Operation Hot Mic

Wall Street Journal
Not-So-Smooth Operator
Obama increasingly comes across as devious and dishonest.
By Peggy Noonan
Updated March 30, 2012, 6:35 p.m. ET,
Something's happening to President Obama's relationship with those who are inclined not to like his policies. They are now inclined not to like him. His supporters would say, "Nothing new there," but actually I think there is. I'm referring to the broad, stable, nonradical, non-birther right. Among them the level of dislike for the president has ratcheted up sharply the past few months.

It's not due to the election, and it's not because the Republican candidates are so compelling and making such brilliant cases against him. That, actually, isn't happening.
Readers comments at:

C-SPAN: In Depth with Peggy Noonan. March 3, 2002. Three hours.
When this first aired, I made videocopies of it for friends overseas.

Archive of Noonan's WSJ columns at:


Read the rest of the column at: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303816504577312043447691520.html

Friday, March 30, 2012

Thursday's news about the "Hey Jimmy Kimmel, I Silverstoned My Kid" contest, mocking Alicia Silverstone's odd parenting notions

Original video was pulled off YouTube, so I have gone back and replaced it with this "best of one!
ABC-TV video: Jimmy Kimmel's YouTube Challenge - I Silverstoned My Kid. Uploaded April 3, 2012. http://youtu.be/G4qAVY5RSR8

I originally saw this story and video at The Telegraph on Tuesday but decided not to post it. Until now! 


Winner(s) to be announced next week, probably on Monday night's show.

The Jimmy Kimmel Live YouTube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/JimmyKimmelLive

Michael Mayo offers up latest proof that while Broward State Attorney Mike Satz continues sleeping on the job, Florida's Sunshine Laws are meaningless for Florida's citizens; Keith Poliakoff makes like Icarus -nose-dive!

Michael Mayo offers up latest proof that while Broward State Attorney Mike Satz continues sleeping on the job, Florida's Sunshine Laws are meaningless for Florida's citizens; Keith Poliakoff makes like Icarus -power-dive!

How completely unsurprising to discover that the heavy-hand in this ridiculous matter belongs to Keith Poliakoff. Someone, perhaps a family member or friend I suppose, once thought he was so important, so very important, that 'someone' created an entry for him on Wikipedia.

Now even if you are reading this from somewhere in South Florida, much less, somewhere else in the U.S or overseas, you're probably asking yourself, "Why would a Broward County-based lobbyist and mouthpiece for land developers, and the city attorney of insignificant SW Ranches, a town that 99% of South Florida would never have a reason to visit, merit an entry in Wikipedia?"
Why indeed!

Well, it turns out that he didn't merit one, because they yanked that entry after someone paying close attention to what goes on around Broward County, invoked a Wiki rule that the entry "Doesn't indicate importance or significance of a real person."

Whoever you are who sent up that flare so that Keith Poliakoff, like Icarus, could be brought back down to earth with a thud, thank you on behalf of people who are on the front-lines of Florida's Sunshine Laws, even while most of the people drawing a government salary who are supposed to be helping us are sleeping on the job!
Tack sa mycket!


South Florida Sun-Sentinel
Southwest Ranches shouldn't be rewarded for thwarting Sunshine Law
Activist's attempt to photograph records turns into $17,000 legal headache
Michael Mayo, Sun Sentinel Columnist
7:54 PM EDT, March 28, 2012

How's this for outrageous: A town violates a citizen's rights and Florida's public records law, then goes after the victim for $17,000 in legal costs after a judge dismisses the aggrieved citizen's lawsuit.

It's a chilling tale, one that should concern anyone who cares about freedom and good government.

"We're gonna lose our country if this stuff is allowed to stand," Southwest Ranches resident Bill Di Scipio told me.

Much coverage has focused on the pittance Di Scipio sued for: $1.25, the amount he grudgingly paid for eight photocopies after his lawful bid to snap his own iPhone photos of public records was halted by the town clerk last October. Florida's public records law clearly allows files that are open for inspection to be photographed.

Thus Di Scipio's lawsuit, filed in November. He had formed a group opposing a proposed federal immigration detention center in his small town on Broward's western fringe. He said he's encountered roadblocks and delays trying to gather information. Like many activists, he can be passionate and pushy.

This month, Broward Circuit Judge John Murphy dismissed the lawsuit. Di Scipio said he plans to appeal. The town argued the clerk's actions became moot when it belatedly agreed that Di Scipio could photograph the records.

A few weeks ago, town attorney Keith Poliakoff said Southwest Ranches would seek to recover $20,000 in legal fees from Di Scipio. Poliakoff said in this case the prevailing side can bill the loser for costs.

"It should serve as a lesson: don't sue unless you have a case," Poliakoff said.

But to me, the town seems to be delivering a more sinister message: If you dare fight city hall, you might have to pay dearly.

"It's harassment and intimidation," said John McKnight, Di Scipio's attorney.

On Wednesday, Poliakoff said the amount might be around $17,000, with a "few thousand" in hard costs like filing fees and court reporters, but he didn't provide a detailed breakdown. The final amount will be set by the judge.

I'm still scratching my head how there's such a big bill on a small case that never went to trial. It took me less than an hour to read the case file; the town's dismissal motion was seven pages. Poliakoff said his lawyers spent a lot of time reading Di Scipio's website.

I requested a fee breakdown from Poliakoff, but didn't hear back. The town took depositions from Di Scipio's wife and another activist. An attorney for Corrections Corp. of America, which wants to build the detention center, sat in on one deposition.

"They were asking for things that had nothing to do with my case — they wanted the source code for our website," Di Scipio said. "They were raping us for information."

Said Poliakoff: "That's what discovery is — a fishing expedition for anything we can use in a defense. He's the one who sued."

Di Scipio said he sued so the town would "stop playing games" with public records law. Poliakoff said the town didn't violate anyone's rights and called the suit "frivolous."

I call the outcome dangerous. Southwest Ranches initially thwarted the law. It shouldn't be rewarded for it.

The Official Anti-Mike Satz website: http://www.mikesatz.com/

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Another classic Hallandale Beach screw-up! Friday's supposed public Meet-and-Greet of HB City Manager candidates is STILL not on calendar of city's own website; this failure on something very simple is the latest Mark Antonio 'success' story!

Another classic Hallandale Beach screw-up! Friday's supposed public Meet-and-Greet of HB City Manager candidates is STILL not on calendar of city's own website; this failure on something very simple is the latest Mark Antonio 'success' story!
As of 4:30 p.m. today, Thursday, there is STILL nothing on the City of Hallandale Beach's website about Friday's supposed public Meet-and-Greet of Hallandale Beach City Manager candidates in less than 26 hours, http://www.hallandalebeach.org/calendar.aspx consequently, despite the press reports to the contrary that there is an event scheduled, 
"They will also meet the public at a reception at the city's Cultural Community Center, 410 SE Third St." 
if the city's own website doesn't mention it, and it doesn't nowdoes this event really exist?

The only thing on the city's website mentioning the community meeting on Friday comes up under an entry for -wait for it- Saturday!

As shown above, there's nothing on the city's website about Friday under "Calendar."

As I stated over the weekend in my post titled, When providing a Sun-Sentinel reporter with much-needed context re HB, we're reminded again of Comm. Lewy's penchant for craveness, verbosity & duplicity and City Manager Antonio's knack for under-performance, http://hallandalebeachblog.blogspot.com/2012/03/when-providing-sun-sentinel-reporter.html
not that it's my decision to make, but personally I'm opposed to any of the HB City Commissioners being present on Friday during what is supposed to be the public's time talking with the various candidates because I think that,
a.) the foreknowledge of that fact would cause many concerned residents NOT to show up, and,
b.) having them there would cause both the candidates and the public to be more uncomfortable than they need be. After all, it's NOT a First Date, it's a meet-and-greet, right?

In any case, if more than one HB City Commissioner shows up Friday at the HB Cultural Center for what is supposed to be the "Community" meeting at 6 p.m., absent an adequately-timed Public Notice, plenty of time before the event -because whatever else it will be, it is NOT a sudden "Emergency" meeting- it would seem to me to be a violation of the state's Sunshine Laws. 

Isn't this sort of thing supposed to be the responsibility of the city's new paid spin doctor, Mr. Dobbens?

Isn't this the sort of basic information that he personally should've made sure was on the city's website LAST WEEK, given that the City Commission made the cut to four candidates last Wednesday?

Isn't this sort of incompetent and half-assed effort, the latest in a long litany of them, precisely why I and Michael Butler and so many other concerned residents told City Manager Mark Antonio to his face in 2010 why HE was wrong in NOT listening to the overwhelming majority of this community, and instead, stubbornly insisting that the city give $50,000 in taxpayer's money to the faux newspaper, The South Florida Sun-Times, to act as a propaganda sheet, and HIS desire and subsequent decision to hire someone to act as PR spin-meister to make the city look good, when all it would actually accomplish is show conclusively how poorly-run the city is under him?

IF this were a well-run city, everyone living and working here would already know it and would not only be able to see the tangible examples of why this city's budget has nearly DOUBLED in the past seven years when they drove and walked around, but could also recount the reasons to anyone who asked.
But it isn't a well-run city, it's a mess because of the years of bad decisions and judgments by people at HB City Hall, elected and un-elected..

And now, on this very simple matter, one that most cities manage to be able to handle without any major problems -put accurate information on their own website in a timely fashion- we are left once again to wonder why all that taxpayer money had to be spent so foolishly, down a rat hole.
But the answer to that question is the same as it was last week, last month and last year and the year before that: because un-elected City Manager Mark Antonio wanted it that way.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

An embarrassing case of flash mob déjà vu in North Miami Beach - NMBHS students use the pretext of protesting death of Trayvon Martin to steal in plain sight

WSVN-7, Miami video: Student walk-out for Trayvon gets out of control. March 27, 2012.
http://wn.wsvn.com/global/video/popup/pop_playerLaunch.asp?vt1=v&clipFormat=flv&clipId1=6883323&at1=News&h1=Student walk-out for Trayvon gets out of control&flvUri=&partnerclipid=
Article at:
An embarrassing case of flash mob déjà vu in North Miami Beach - NMBHS students use the pretext of protesting death of Trayvon Martin to steal in plain sight  
Per this disturbing South Florida story yesterday that was picked up on The Drudge Report, and thus got more attention worldwide than it would have ever received thru simply local Miami TV newscasts -and which happened just five blocks from where I grew-up in North Miami Beach in the 1970's- it's NOT like this sort of thing hasn't happened before... like last month, as I wrote at the time, below, and mentioned here on the blog because I suspected that this sort of thing has happened previously under Principal Ray Fontana.

So, what exactly did Miami-Dade Schools Supt. Alberto Carvalho do a month ago in the way of punishment? Anything you heard about?
No, nothing.

I know what I saw a month ago, but the Miami Herald, as usual, continues to whistle-past-the-graveyard when it comes to troubling social incidents like this involving school kids, unless it happens in Coral Gables or Pinecrest!

That is, except when someone who knows what's going on like longtime NMB resident, civic activist and blogger Stephanie Kienzle manages to gets a letter into print that somehow escapes the oblivious PC policies of One Herald Plaza.

Like the sort of myopic thinking there that causes them to actually think for even a moment that that initially running an eight-sentence AP story on the incident in NMB is an adequate response -and which doesn't even credit the Miami TV stations who actually reported it yesterday- rather than having one of their own reporters do some actual journalism, since it was demed important or troubling enough that The Drudge Report linked to WPLG-TV/Channel 10's Noon newscast.
As usual, the Herald's performance on a local South Florida news story they should own nationally, is completely inadequate:
How embarrassing!!!

It's exactly the same deluded mentality that causes them to bury negative stories about parent McClatchy Company's earnings reports in their puny little business section, usually without any reference to declining readership and revenue numbers at the Herald, and run 3 or 4 sentence fragments from AP that say, well, nothing. 
Sometimes, they even run those banalities and only credit "Wire Sources," as if that means anything to anyone.

Here's that 2008 Kienzle letter I refer to earlier, which I sent out as an email to lots of folks i know shortly after originally seeing it because it was 100% true, reason enough to send it, but also thus making it unusual to see in the HeraldCarolyn Guniss was the Editor of the Neighbors section for NE Miami-Dade back then, and was apparently a victim of the Herald's many employee purges over the past few years due to declining readership and ad revenue.
Right, chicken or the egg?

I've never met Carolyn Guniss, but from my perspective, based on the essay below, it's unfortunate that she was forced-out, since her willingness to give space in the newspaper to well-informed people in the community who are actively challenging South Florida's establishment's Conventional Wisdom and orthodoxy, is NOT something that's currently replicated in either the Herald under Jay Ducassi or ever seen in the Sun-Sentinel

I suspect that if she were in charge, there'd be MUCH MORE compelling news product for readers -and advertisers- compared to the overwhelming number of articles and columns that I see everyday that seem to largely exist to comfort the powerful thru stenography rather than chronicle thru objective journalism.

That unwillingness to challenge the powerful is perhaps best explained thru the Herald's
constant coverage of MDPS Supt. Albert Carvalho.
Frankly, I'm surprised that the Herald doesn't sell "I heart Carvalho" buttons at their customer service counter, given their weird sycophantic coverage of him, where seldom is heard a discouraging word...

And as I'm always reminding you here on the blog, as blah and uninteresting as the Sun-Sentinel's Education blog has become the past two years, the Herald STILL doesn't even have an Education blog in the year 2012!
That speaks volumes!

If you ask me, there ought to be an entire page in the Herald on Sundays that is full of well-informed contributions like this!

Miami Herald
April 13, 2008 
Enid Weisman, the Miami-Dade Public School Region II superintendent, has changed the boundaries of Greynolds Park Elementary School by moving children who live one block from their school to Ojus Elementary, which is more than two miles away.
Children who now walk to school in less than five minutes will be forced to be driven through extremely heavy traffic twice a day.
Those kids whose parents don't have cars will have to wait for a school bus in unpredictable South Florida weather, hoping the bus even shows up. This ordeal could take up to 30 minutes each way depending on the bus route.
This is not the first time Ms. Weisman has arbitrarily drawn school boundary lines. Take, for example, the boundary line between North Miami Beach and Dr. Michael M. Krop Senior High schools.
For some reason known only to God and Enid Weisman, children who live in Eastern Shores and Sunny Isles Beach, a mere hop, skip and jump from NMB, travel well over five miles or more to Krop High.
On the other hand, students who live in Pickwick Lake Estates, less than one mile (or about eight minutes by car) from Krop, are directed to NMB.
Granted, NMB is slightly closer to Pickwick than is Krop, but how on earth can you justify sending Sunny Isles Beach residents to Krop?
Both the NMB/Krop and Greynolds Park boundary lines were drawn purely along socioeconomic or, as the politically incorrect would say, racial lines.
They have absolutely nothing to do with where children live, but everything to do with draining our lower income neighborhood of even more of its much needed funding.
By making sure that NMB and Greynolds don't achieve or maintain status as an "A" school, the bulk of state money will go to Krop, Ojus and the new K-8 school called Aventura/Waterways .
The areas that already have the money will get even more. Ms. Weisman knows where her power base is and she sure knows how to suck up to it.
Weisman must stop tinkering with school boundaries that work only in her imagination. The children of Miami-Dade County would be better served by getting rid of administrators with political aspirations like her and putting the money where it rightfully belongs -- in the classroom.
It occurred to me when I was watching the videotape at the top that some of you reading this may well recall the mass student walkout at Miami Edison High School a few years ago, which happened LIVE during the local Miami Noon newscasts that day.
That was yet another situation where the adults at the Miami-Dade School Board & MDPS literally cowered in fear of actually having to call-out the behavior of their own students, and admit that, well, maybe... some of them weren't all future brain surgeon/diplomats after all.

Any media types out there reading this blog post might want to try to put on a charm offensive and get the videotape from the NMB Walmart, too.
You don't have to be Hercule Poirot, Agatha Christie or Sherlock Holmes to know that given the law of probabilities, once you have a large enough sample size, you can make a few hypotheses that are likely to be accurate.

Mine is that at least a few of the kids involved last week were ALSO involved last month, which only further burnishes NMBHS's bad rep the past 15 years, as everyone in NE Dade and SE Broward who pays any attention to these matters sees the entirely predictable results of some very conscious social re-engineering/redistricting at MDPS years ago, when Dr. Krop High School opened.
Bad educational and social policies that continue to have their negative ripple effects to this very day.

See also: http://www.votersopinion.com/  particularly

---------- Forwarded message ----------

Date: Tue, Feb 28, 2012 at 3:45 AM
Subject: FYI: Flash mob of North Miami Beach Sr. High School students attempt to swarm the 163rd Street Walmart with M-D Metro Police in pursuit with flashing lights

Well, as I said above:
Mail Delivery Subsystem  
show details Feb 28
Delivery to the following recipient failed permanently:
Technical details of permanent failure:
Google tried to deliver your message, but it was rejected by the recipient domain. We recommend contacting the other email provider for further information about the cause of this error.
----- Original message -----

Trending at Hallandale Beach Blog: Pressure cooking with celebrity chef Andrew Nutter


Celebrity chef Andrew Nutter visited the newly-opened BBC MediaCity in Salford late  Monday afternoon his time to talk about the time-saving benefits of pressure cooking and the intense tastes that emerge. I happened to be among those listening closely - via my computer- to his interview by BBC Radio 5 live Drive's Peter Allen and Anna Foster, who described the tastes that Andrew had prepared for them to nibble on in the studio via some pressure-cooked food.
Having heard this discussion on Monday afternoon, I couldn't wait to see if there was a vid for it to see how it actually looked -success!
Bon Appétit!


Homepage for Nutters Restaurant - Rochdale, Lancashire:

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

March 2012 Downton Abbey/Hugh Bonneville odds & ends; but definitely NOT Middlemarch or Middle-Brow if you know what I mean

FilmClub UK video: FilmClub member Sally interviews with actor Hugh Bonneville about his acting career and influences. http://youtu.be/j4VhH9Kx248

March 2012 Downton Abbey/Hugh Bonneville odds & ends; but definitely NOT Middlemarch or Middlebrow if you know what I mean
Around 725 GMT Monday morning, I heard Downton Abbey star Hugh Bonneville on BBC Radio 5 live's Breakfast -with Rachel Burden and Phil Williams- and heard the fictional Earl of Grantham share some thoughts about the popularity of the series in the U.S. and talk about Shirley MacLaine's role in the upcoming Season Three as Lady Cora's mother, and shooting a long dinner scene with clever verbal wordplay between her and his TV Mother, the the Dowager Countess, Maggie Smith, with Hugh in the middle of the table watching the banter go back and forth.

And the thing is, having not only watched the series from the beginning and watched every episode 2-3 times, and having carefully followed what goes on behind-the-scenes, I COULD
actually picture that in my head, complete with some traditional SM facial moves we've seen a time or two over the years.
I just love this series!



The segment starts at 2:22:43, so move the indicator to that spot unless you want to hear the beginning of the three-hour audio clip just for the sake of hearing it. It ends at 2:27:31
It's available for listening to on the BBC website until 9:02AM GMT Mon, 2 Apr 2012

Hugh Bonneville's interview follows a very heart-breaking segment on British govt. funding on dementia, and a woman with a dramatically difficult life raising her teenage son at home while also taking care of a husband with dementia -who's only 53/54- and who is NOT able to care for himself.
Just a reminder that no matter how hard your own life may seem to you, there's always someone with much-heavier burdens and responsibilities than you.

Bonneville is in a comedy series called Twenty Twelve about the Olympic deliverance "team" behind the London 2012 Olympics that premieres on BBC 2 on Friday at 10 p.m.
Here's a recent video interview on it:

Hugh Bonneville and Julia Roberts in Notting Hill, one of my favorite films

So that would be on the high end of the pay scale?


Monday, March 26, 2012

Broward School Board redistricting/incumbent-protection racket set to get first dose of public criticism tonight in Hollywood. Just don't say racial whitewash & Beachside Montessori together aloud or Ann Murray's head will explode. Both are Ann Murray's idea of success stories! LOL!!

Broward School Board redistricting/incumbent-protection racket set to get first dose of public criticism tonight in Hollywood. Just don't say racial whitewash & Beachside Montessori together aloud or Ann Murray's head will explode. Both are Ann Murray's idea of success stories! LOL!!
"Ann Murray could not be reached for comment despite messages left at her office..." 

Hell, this despicable woman won't even answer reasonable questions posed to her when she's sitting right in front of you at a public meeting that's supposed to inform the public.
She is such a disaster for this county's school children and this part of it in particular.

Wait until you see the upcoming videos I have of her sitting stone-faced at Supt. Robert Runcie's Listening Tour visit to Hollywood Hills High School and repeatedly refusing to answer questions posed to her by Hallandale Beach residents.


Broward Schools Press Release

School Board Redistricting Steering Committee
Schedules Public Hearings and Mapping Workshops

            The Broward County School Board recently appointed a 19-member Redistricting Steering Committee to lead the single Board member reapportionment process, and create a recommended map with new district boundaries to balance the populations of the seven School Board districts based on 2010 Census data.
            Although proposed changes to School Board member districts will modify the geographic areas for single member districts one through seven, countywide seats eight and nine will not be impacted. Map revisions also will not affect attendance boundaries and student transportation.
            The Redistricting Steering Committee has scheduled three mapping workshops to be held in each of the District’s south, central and north administrative areas. These workshops will provide instruction, requirements and assistance to those who wish to create a new School Board member district map for consideration. The first of three mapping workshops will be held on Monday, March 26th at 5:30 p.m. at McArthur High School, Auditorium (6501 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood).
            The 2011-2013 redistricting project provides for extensive public participation through a series of seven public hearings – one in each of the seven districts throughout the county – to inform community members and receive public comment. The second in a series of public meetings to inform the public about the process for drawing new School Board district map alternatives will take place on Thursday, March 29th from 6 – 8 p.m. at the Kathleen C. Wright Administration Center, Board Room (600 SE Third Ave., Fort Lauderdale).
            For more information about the redistricting process and dates and locations of future public hearings and mapping workshops, visit:(www.broward.k12.fl.us/redistricting) or contact Patrick Sipple, School Boundaries, at 754-321-2480.

South Florida Sun-Sentinel
Broward School Board protects incumbents, fails to redistrict for 2012 elections
By Anthony Man, Sun Sentinel
9:27 PM EDT, March 22, 2012

One criterion Broward School Board members are unabashedly using to redraw district boundaries: saving their own jobs.

"Protection of incumbents" is one of the seven principles board members have said should be used to remake district boundaries for electing the School Board to take into account the latest Census results.

Though it's not illegal, and incumbent protection has been upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court, plenty of people are displeased.

"We all know that's the unwritten rule in redistricting. But someone put it in black and white?" asked Kevin Tynan, a former Broward Republican Party chairman who served a year as an appointed School Board member and lost a 2010 campaign for a full term. "That's so wrong."

Civic activist Charlotte Greenbarg — president of the Broward Coalition of 200 homeowners associations representing 150,000 people and an appointed member of three School District advisory committees — termed it "bizarre."

Tynan, Greenbarg and Carol Smith of the League of Women Voters of Broward County are also concerned about the School Board's failure to redraw the political boundaries for seven board members in time for the 2012 elections. The two other board members are elected countywide.

District boundaries are normally redrawn every 10 years to reflect population changes as shown by the Census. Instead of redrawing boundaries for elected members' districts for the 2012 elections, the Broward School Board is delaying until 2014.

The state is redrawing districts for the Legislature and Congress in time for this November's elections. The Broward County Commission and the Palm Beach County School Board have already completed their redistricting.

Board members' district boundaries have no impact on where students attend school. The delay means unequal representation for residents in decisions affecting the county school system because the populations in the existing districts are so out of whack. District 2 in southwest Broward has 45,700 more residents than it should. District 5 in central Broward has 20,300 too few, and District 7 in the northeast part of the county is short 16,500 people.

As long as those inequities aren't remedied, the School Board is pretty clearly violating the principle of one-person, one-vote handed down by the U.S. Supreme Court. Tynan, a lawyer, said the board is "lucky" it hasn't been sued.

"It's something they needed to do. There's no excuse," he said.

The School Board was blasted in a February 2011 report from a statewide grand jury looking into corruption which found the board was so lacking in leadership that it deserved to be abolished.

Scott Spages, a Davie political activist, said the School Board's redistricting priorities will do nothing to improve its reputation. "This School Board has ranged from criminal to dysfunctional, and it just further speaks to the issue of them being dysfunctional," he said.

Both Spages and Greenbarg said they couldn't understand how the School Board bobbled a task that other Florida government bodies have managed to complete. After all, they said, the 2010 Census and need to redistrict in keping with its results weren't exactly secrets.

"Redistricting isn't rocket science," Greenbarg said. "They should have done it the first opportunity they had to put the numbers in the computer and get the districts."

Michael Rajner, chairman of the School Board's Redistricting Steering Committee, referred questions about the timing of redistricting and the incumbent-protection mission to board members.

School Board Chairwoman Ann Murray could not be reached for comment despite messages left at her office on Wednesday and Thursday. Laurie Rich Levinson, the vice chairwoman, said she wasn't happy with the failure to redraw districts in time for the 2012 election.

She said she raised the matter at workshops with other board members in August and September, but that district staff balked, arguing that it would be too difficult to redraw the map by the end of 2011. State law requires setting school board boundaries in odd-numbered years.

"In retrospect I think there should have been more pushing to go out and get it done when everybody else managed to go out and get it done," she said.

The Census Bureau provided population information in April. The Palm Beach County School Board held hearings around the county and adopted its new districts in November. The Broward School Board appointed its Redistricting Steering Committee that month. The seven criteria the board told them to use: compactness and contiguity; preservation of political subdivisions, communities of interests, prior districts and incumbents; and compliance with federal Voting Rights Act requirements for creating districts that help elect members of minority populations.

Though disappointed by the delay in redrawing the map, Rich Levinson, who was elected to the school board in 2010, said there's a positive element to what's happening now. The series of public hearings the redistricting steering committee plans around the county means process will be "very thorough and transparent," he said.

Details on 11 hearings and workshops planned by the Redistricting Steering Committee at SunSentinel.com/BrowardPolitics.


WPLG-TV, Miami
Bob Norman's Blog
Has school brought segregation to Hollywood?
Published On: Mar 24 2012 01:25:20 PM EDT  Updated On: Mar 24 2012 01:31:53 PM EDT
I saw former Broward School Board Member Jennifer Gottlieb at a kids' event not long ago and she mentioned that the controversial school she helped build in her city of Hollywood, Beachside Montessori Village, was rated third-best in the state for FCAT scores.
I thought about saying, "Yeah, it's amazing what $20 million in taxpayers' money can do."

Read the rest of the post at 
And be sure to read my friend Charlotte Greenbarg's comments below it!

Some of you will recall that in an email earlier this month, I shared with you the URL to the Westside Gazette story that Bob Norman notes above re Bethune Elementary, the day after it first appeared.

February 22, 2011 photo by South Beach Hoosier.
Further, I not only haven't forgotten the joke of a public meeting that Jennifer Gottlieb and Ann Murray had on Hollywood Beach on February 22nd last year at the Hollywood Beach Culture & Community Center, following the devastating final report of the grand jury that so many of us hoped ended with some more people in hancuffs.
I haven't forgotten how pitiful it was to watch the organized group of brainwashed Beachside Montessori Moms in attendance cheer Gottlieb and Murray's serial lies, spouting their Kool-Aid nonsense that denied the self-evident reality of how the school came into being and how it came to be the particular way it was - racial whitewash.

February 22, 2011 photo by South Beach Hoosier.  

February 22, 2011 photo by South Beach Hoosier. 
(Yes, the same two School Board members from next-door Hollywood who couldn't be bothered to attend the long-in-the-planning event at the Hallandale Beach Cultural Center four months later in June on the longstanding funding/physical problems at Hallandale H.S., where the parents and taxpayers got a chance to vent as well as hear from some of the original litigants in the successful lawsuit against the Broward Schools to end the unequal funding.)

Csaba Kulin, Catherine Kim Owens and myself were the only objective people from HB in attendance in Hollywood to see the entire dog-and-pony show, which sadly, only Channel 7 bothered to cover, despite the opportunity to ask two people with some real culpability for the whole sordid mess to explain in their own words what happened.


I would have liked to have been able to link or post the Channel 7 video with then-7 reporter Reed Cowan interviewing Murray, and her patently absurd alibis and claims that persuasive information was coming soon that would make the public see the Board's side of everything and agree with them, but unfortunately, it is no longer available on their website -though I have it saved on my computer.
(Cowan is now at KSNV-TV, Channel 3, the NBC affiliate in Las Vegas. Quick, someone tell http://www.sfltv.com/ )

Disappearing TV news videos are a blogger's perpetual lament, of course, as well as for anyone seriously interested in public policy, and yet it's become a depressingly familiar routine at South Florida TV stations.
Unfortunately for me, that includes a few rare stories I've seen in the past eight years down here that actually paint an accurate picture of government financial funny business and government agencies run amok, ones that I'd love to keep permanent links to on my blog for everyone to see, some for the very first time.
But once they're taken off the station website, they're never to be seen again except on a demo or portfolio reel for some future employer. 
Sorry, no Jen-Jen for you today!


Sunday, March 25, 2012

When providing a Sun-Sentinel reporter with much-needed context re HB, we're reminded again of Comm. Lewy's penchant for craveness, verbosity & duplicity and City Manager Antonio's knack for under-performance

Above, one of the small army of City of Hallandale Beach vehicles -in this case, Code Compliance- that never ever move from their spot in front of or behind the HB City Hall/Police Dept. HQ complex off of U.S.-1/Federal Highway, even while residents and visitors often have to drive around and around the complex looking for a place to park. It's been like this all around the complex for well over eight years and the powers-that-be, Mayor Cooper and City Manager Antonio, continue to ignore resident's calls to keep city vehicles in the back. A few summers ago, a dry one in comparison to normal, I actually took photographs of a couple of COHB cars that had the same exact thing: spider webs that went from the ground to the back tire and then to the bottom of the back seat door on the Driver's side. That's the anti-taxpayer attitude that passes for normal here! March 21, 2012 photo by South Beach Hoosier. 

Below is a copy of an email that I wrote last Friday night to South Florida Sun-Sentinel reporter Tonya Alanez, who along with Sun-Sentinel columnist and blogger Michael Mayo, were in attendance at the March 7th Hallandale Beach City Commission meeting, sitting just a few feet away from me, as I recorded certain parts of the meeting and watched the usual antics of the Joy Cooper Rubber Stamp Crew, this time, as they tried to prove a negative -why the Marcum LLP report was actually, well, apparently  good news.

Yes, just ignore those 250 or so "exceptions" Marcum made note of in doing a very shallow review of just some records the city was willing to cough-up, not the array of ones the citizens of this community wanted reviewed for other factors, including fraud, given the millions of tax dollars involved.

No, this is NOT that promised review of the March 7th meeting I mentioned a few posts back, where there were a number of public policy issues that really stood out and demand your attention and notice.

For instance, Comm. Alexander Lewy foolishly making a motion to preclude the elected city commission from actually speaking on the matter of the RK Associates development project on N.E. 14th Avenue so the public in the Chambers could hear their rationale for voting however they were going to vote, on an agenda item I had forgotten was even going to be discussed that night.

Perhaps Lewy did so because developer RK has a solid and consistent history of late of NOT living up to their word or the signed agreements with the city on behalf of the city's taxpayers, something you'd think that City Manger Antonio felt was worth mentioning.
He didn't.

Those of us paying close attention to these matters the past few years already know, though I doubt that would include either Comm. Lewy or Sanders, given that they voted for the motion along with Comm. Ross and Mayor Cooper.

When I showed-up for the evening meeting I hadn't planned on speaking during the Public Comments on that agenda item, but after witnessing Lewy's galling gambit, and listening to an incredulous and quite reasonably-exasperated HB citizen, Michele Lazarow, ask Lewy to explain why he felt the need to make such an unusual motion -which I may've have witnessed maybe once in the past six years that I can recall off the top of my head- and her NOT hearing a good response from Lewy the Liar, I decided that someone need to be reminded of the pink elephant in the room.

After admitting I hadn't planned on speaking, I reminded everyone there in the room and at home watching via their computers, with great specificity, that RK was a serial violator, picking on but the lowest-hanging fruit -their complete failure three years later to comply with the city's signage requirements in the Publix grocery store parking lot off of NE 14th Avenue and HBB, per the surveillance cameras and the next-door Publix Liquor store.
The signs were supposed to be present when the liquor store opened but three years later -NADA!

I know about this because I'm the person who three years ago walked the city's wet-and- shriveled-up paper Code Compliance complaint into Publix and handed it to their on-duty manager, after seeing it lying on grass near the parking lot one rainy day while walking back to my home from a walk up to the beach and back.
Like me, it was soaking wet, and it looked to have long since been separated from the wooden stick it had been attached to, far from where anyone at Publix or RK would ever have sees it.
Yes, a case of Classic HB Theater of the Absurd!

Again, those required signs were STILL missing three years later!

And as if I could have scripted it better myself, that night, RK said it wanted to provide LESS than the required number of parking spaces the city's own staff was asking for.

Last I heard, they STILL owe the public parking spaces for other parts of their retail complex north of Hallandale Beach Blvd. over where the Kirova Ballet studio is located, towards Diplomat Parkway, but...
But again, this isn't THAT blog post!

March 16, 2012

Dear Ms. Alanez:

re your article, Hallandale Beach bans 'human signs' but halts enforcement
Hmm-m...if you knew the true facts, you'd know why that Lewy quote from your article is a perfect combination of faux sanctimony and utter hypocrisy, and even more than is usually the case with any self-serving thing Comm. Lewy says, it's a case of consider the source...
"Without any type of regulations, we would have sign wavers on every single street corner and every single block," Commissioner Alex Lewy said
Let me explain why.

As is customary in most American cities, the hefty candidate packets given to all city candidates in Hallandale Beach by the City Clerk's office upon filing have a section that details the city's own rules regarding where campaign signs can and can't be legally placed within the city.
(Did you know the City of Hallandale Beach also forbids candidates for any political office from using (independently-owned) bus benches within the city limits?)

So, given this information, you'd naturally think then that the same city Code Compliance Dept. that actually cited Comm. Keith London in 2010 for having his one campaign sign on his own front yard -since only one is allowed- a few inches too close to the sidewalk, WOULD see all if not some of the many illegally-placed Alexander Lewy campaign signs in front of and around HB City Hall itself for days and days during both Early Voting and prior to the 2010 General Election in November, right?

I mean especially since the Code Compliance office is right there at HB City Hall, and most of the cars in the City Hall parking lot off of U.S.-1 are assigned to Code Compliance, despite the fact that MANY MANY MONTHS often go by when those vehicles DON'T MOVE, while city residents continually strain to find a place to park for important evening meetings there, right?

And then when you add in all those myriad political campaign signs that have been plucked by Code Compliance for whatever reason, whether illegally or not, and which remain in the back seats of those very cars for days if not weeks at a time, as anyone who has been to City Hall at those particular times knows, including former candidates, well, it's so noticeable that observant people like me even snap photos of the signs in the cars, and see the same signs inside, day-after-day.

But to answer my own question, no, the city's Code Compliance office DIDN'T see those Lewy signs just feet away from their own cars, they just look the other way. 
That's how things are done here.

There's your enforcement of sign ordinances in this city -special rules for special people.

That is, unless you walk into City Hall and wait 10 minutes like I did for someone from that office to actually come to the public window so you can tell them and make a formal complaint when they say they'll get to it.
Unless you won't leave until you actually send a city employee outside their own building to pick the illegal signs up, and then wait and follow the city employee to see that they actually do it, since the signs have either been there illegally for days or the better part of a day, depending upon what day it is.
"Without any type of regulations, we would have sign wavers on every single street corner and every single block," Commissioner Alex Lewy said.
It never ends with him. 


City spokesman Peter Dobens said the city is confident that its ordinance is constitutional but as a precaution has suspended enforcement while awaiting additional legal review and an opinion from City Attorney Lynn Whitfield.

"The city doesn't believe that it is a free speech issue, because it's clearly an advertisement. However, when it came up, that's when the city said, 'Let's take a look at it,'" Dobens said.

Now that's funny!

It's really too bad that as has been the case for YEARS now, the Sun-Sentinel, the Herald and all of South Florida's TV stations missed the two public meetings, where the City Commission showed no interest in the First Amendment rights of HB business owners, as well as the city's P&Z meeting weeks before that.

I'm sure that if this had been attempted in another city closer to, well, the oblivious Herald's own HQ, given the likely economic results, it would've gotten some coverage, but if it happens in HB, no, everyone in the news room just shakes their head and says, "No, we'll pass."

Not that this lack of living bodies in the back of the room stopped me:
Regulating signage & advertising during a bad economy? Oh, so that's the ticket to economic recovery in Hallandale Beach

As it was, when I specifically asked the city's staff at the P&Z meeting during public comments whether or not any of those affected businesses, especially the ones that the city was clearly targeting, had been informed about the proposal, that meeting as well as the upcoming Commission meetings by the city, i.e. them, to ensure some degree of fairness, given that nobody was there, they basically shrugged their shoulders.

There's your evidence of the City of Hallandale Beach going the extra-mile for local businesses!

And yet how entirely predictable was the result of the city's actions?

I already knew from experience that there would be a drop-off for the affected businesses, and as you dutifully reported...

Seven out of 10 customers said they came to his gold-buying business because they remembered his Uncle Sam sign holders, Ezekiel said. Business is now down about 40 to 50 percent, he said."We're crippled enough in this economy, there's no reason to cripple us more," Ezekiel said. "It's like a billboard, they constantly see it, he makes them laugh, he makes them smile and they remember and they come in."
When the business closes up, and it becomes yet another one of the many, many empty storefronts in this city, esp. on HBB in particular, be sure to make plans to come back around HB City Hall and ask the same city commissioners who voted for it whether they have any second thoughts, and even better, just whom do they think is really going to rent those storefronts anyway, some upscale businesses looking to relocate?

And yet even while they purport to be working towards solving a problem few people think is a real problem, the city looks the other way as the folks from PAL -who already get plenty from HB taxpayers, with little oversight- can put up their advertising signs, sandwich board signs and even city-owned electronic message boards all over town, regardless of whether it's fair or even placed in a safe location, something they don't do for even the city's own important meetings.

Yes, like the Golden Isles Tennis Center where the mayor plays, whose sandwich board sign has been on a median near the Publix on HBB almost un-interrupted for years.
Huh, I wonder why?

Over-and-over in Hallandale Beach under Mayor Cooper, it's a case of special rules for special people.

Next time you're driving south to Hallandale Beach from Hollywood on U.S.-1, one of the city's three main streets, pay attention to how many city blocks on your right -the west side- between Atlantic Shores Blvd. and NE 3rd Street actually have an open business.

There's one (small) block.
That's it.

Though you and I have never officially met or spoken, you're probably smart enough to realize in advance that you are never going to get anything even remotely resembling the unvarnished truth from the city's not-so-talented and not-so-observant new taxpayer-financed spin-meister, Mr. Dobens, given that this city under this administration, for all its lip service, prefers to keep its residents in the dark for as long as possible, rather than trust them to make up their own minds with freely-shared information.
Like adults.

I strongly suggest you take a look at these contemporaneous comments and photos of mine so that when the city loses its case, as I'm sure they likely will, you'll at least have some knowledge for better understanding that they never really took anyone' else's opinion into consideration.

That's how they do it here under the present Joy Cooper Rubber Stamp Crew.

Or, you can just do a Google Images search for "alexander lewy" "campaign signs" and get much the same.

The first dozen or so photos that appear in the search results are all ones that I snapped at the time -there's your proof of both his obliviousness and his hypocrisy, both of which have been on almost continuous display since he was elected, and which shows no sign of abating.

For instance..

  1. You're surprised? 13 days before HB election, Alexander Lewy was ...

    Oct 28, 2010 – 13 days before HB election, Alexander Lewy was ALREADY running afoul of rules -no campaign signs on City Hall land, capisce? Uncouth ...

    Once again, thru his words & misdeeds, Alexander Lewy is proving ...

    Mar 22, 2011 – Above, Alexander Lewy and his campaign sign at the entrance of the... IF it was legal to put campaign signs there on city property, within the ...
  2. hallandalebeachblog.blogspot.com/.../weather-forecast-100-chance-o...
    Oct 22, 2010 – Above, October 10, 2010 photo by South Beach Hoosier of Alexander Lewy and Bill Julian campaign signs on Atlantic Shores Blvd., Hallandale ...

As for your Friday night post, VIDEO: No love lost between Hallandale Mayor Joy Cooper, Commissioner Keith London

you DON'T mention that the predicate for this was City Manager Mark A. Antonio and his staff failing to make copies of Marcum LLP's supposed last-minute four-page addition to the public record, actually available to the public, who'd been waiting for the agenda item to come up for quite some time.

Marcum's reps publicly stated that they had turned over the documents to the city at 4 p.m., but though Antonio and his highly-paid staff of assistants had well over five hours to make copies by the time it finally came up -since it was NOT on the city's own website, and yet would be voted upon- Antonio & Co. failed to do the logical and responsible thing, which in case you forgot, even Mayor Cooper was not very happy about either.

So, Antonio having failed to do something simple and obvious, while they yakked and yakked and actually debated whether or not to direct the staff to make copies, someone showed some initiative and got positive results.
Which is why they took the 15-minute break after Comm. London returned with copies for everyone in the room to actually read for the first time, including the taxpayers in the room, whom they all supposedly work for, though you wouldn't know it from their attitudes and work ethic.

While I like most concerned residents of Hallandale Beach am glad to see someone from the South Florida news media actually showing-up here for a change -and actually staying for the whole meeting- while I'm mindful of the fact that you have limited space, if you can't actually make more of an effort to incorporate any of the actual context or nuance that's actually going on here, frankly, in my opinion, it's actually almost worse than nothing, because it perpetuates the popular idea among the extant news media that the residents of this particular community are entitled to LESS actual democracy, transparency and competency in government than other communities, or news coverage, simply because of where we live in South Florida.
We aren't.

#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!✨ ������

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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

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