Hallandale Beach Blog -A common sense public policy overview offering a critical perspective on the current events, politics, government, public policy, sports scene and pop culture of Europe, Sweden, the U.S. & South Florida. 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 South Beach Hoosier. © 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Look what I found? More photographic proof of Hallandale Beach's "business as usual" attitude. Special rules for special people named Joy Cooper, Bill Julian and Anthony A. Sanders -once again they break the rules everyone else HAS to follow; Ethics @MayorCooper, @SandersHB, @AlexLewy

Above and below, October 3rd, 2012 photos by South Beach Hoosier of 501 N.W. First Avenue, a property owned since 2009 by the City of Hallandale Beach and its beleaguered taxpayers, thus making it a building that is NOT supposed to have political campaign activity in it, or campaign signs on it. And yet it does, doesn't it, and for quite some time, too, courtesy of Joy Cooper, Bill Julian and Anthony A. Sanders. The latter sold it to the city for $235,000, more than it was actually worth, for a purpose the city didn't have then and STILL doesn't have three years later, under longtime Mayor Joy Cooper. 
And what do HB taxpayers get out of the deal? Well, taxpayers in Hallandale Beach receive $10 a year in rent from a non-profit group, Palms Center for the Arts Inc., that the city also gives tens of thousands of dollars a year to. Once again, HB taxpayers are taken for granted and taken advantage of thanks to Joy Cooper and her Rubber Stamp Crew. © 2012 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved.

Hallandale Beach investigated for possible corruption http://youtu.be/XlOgkrL9CWI
Look what I found? More photographic proof of Hallandale Beach's "business as usual" attitude. Special rules for special people named Joy Cooper, Bill Julian and Anthony A. Sanders -once again they break the rules everyone else HAS to follow; Ethics @MayorCooper, @SandersHB, @AlexLewy
No, there's nothing the least bit vague, accidental, oblique  or circumstantial about these photos, is there?
What you see are three political campaign yard signs for Joy Cooper, Bill Julian and Anthony A. Sanders on City of Hallandale Beach property -taxpayer property- at 501 N.W. First Avenue, yesterday afternoon, Wednesday the 3rd.

This from the very same three folks at Hallandale Beach City Hall who for years have employed cover-up, finger-pointing and obfuscation more than they've employed common sense and honesty. Yes, and the thing is, I've already spoken to multiple sources who've told me that they saw those same three signs standing there last Saturday morning, before the ribbon-cutting ceremony at nearby Foster Park.

Which is to say that the three of them are and have been in clear violation of Hallandale Beach's own rules governing the placement of campaign signs, as well as basic common sense and standards of campaign integrity -you don't put your campaign signs on government property! 
It doesn't just look bad, it STINKS!

Between the three of them, Cooper, Julian and Sanders have been in office in Hallandale Beach for roughly 26 years, so they are NOT unfamiliar with the rules on this subject. In fact, they were given the most-updated copy of the rules that exist when they filed for office and paid their qualifying fees - it was in the packet of documents
So why do they do it? Why?

Above and below, September 30, 2012 photos by South Beach Hoosier of Southeast corner of old Hallandale Beach City Hall on W. Dixie Highway & S.W. 4th Street, with campaign signs of Joy Cooper, Bill Julian and Anthony A. Sanders on it. © 2012 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved.

Below, October 3rd, 2012 photo by South Beach Hoosier of Northeast corner of old Hallandale Beach City Hall on W. Dixie Highway & S.W. 3rd Street, near the railroad crossing, with campaign signs of Joy Cooper, Bill Julian and Anthony A. Sanders on it. Even if it was legal and proper to have signs there, you are NOT allowed to have more than one sign per candidate on a property in this city. Oops!!! 
© 2012 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved.

For the very same reason that these three people ALSO place the same campaign yard signs at the dilapidated old HB City Hall that I've written about and photographed so many times over the years that is both an eyesore and a firetrap, to say nothing about it being a dumping ground for junk that neighbors on the south side of it, on S.W. 4th Street, have to look at for months or years at a time, because no responsible parties at HB City Hall are consistently doing their job, paying attention or being pro-active in looking-out for them.

And we all know from experience that this is certainly NOT the sort of behavior that would be tolerated across the street from Joy Cooper's house on Holiday Drive, garbage and junk sitting there for months at a time, rotting away.
But that's what the residents on S.W. 4th Street have had to put up with for years!

But then they don't stop there.
The three of them also have their yard signs on city property next to the city's DPW/Water Treatment Center on N.W. 2nd Street, on the N.W. 8th Avenue corner.
Where they've been for a while, as obvious as obvious could be.


Above, October 4th, 2012 photo by South Beach Hoosier of Southwest corner of City of Hallandale Beach's DPW HQ/Water Treatment Center, with campaign yard signs of Joy Cooper and Bill Julian and the 2" x 8" sign of Anthony A. Sanders on it. Oops!!! © 2012 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved.

As we have all learned to our collective regret over the years from first-hand observation and experience, there's what the State, County and City laws, ordinances and rules say, and then there's what Cooper, Julian and Sanders think they can successfully get away with.
They have repeatedly shown, over-and-over, that they DON'T care about those things.
They really don't.

They have the mindset that their sense of entitlement allows them to do whatever they want.
Rules? Rules are for other people -like you and me and their political opponents.
They don't sweat the small stuff because they actually dare anyone to actually try to stop them when they break the rules, written or otherwise.

Above and below, September 27, 2012 photos by South Beach Hoosier of Hallandale Beach City Hall at 400 South Federal Highway. © 2012 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved.

After all, in the three of them, we're talking about some pretty shady and pernicious characters who have revealed their own lack of character and integrity, over-and-over.
Mayor Cooper had no qualms in telling another commissioner (Julian) that a HB resident sitting by himself (me) at a HB City Commission meeting -before it started- was "a Nazi," before then quickly following-up by calling another commissioner who wasn't there (Keith London) "a Hitler."

In former Commissioner and 2012 Comm. candidate Bill Julian we have someone who thought to use the fact that there were no cameras around in City Hall Room 257 at a City Commission meeting to record him to make a motion to triple the commissioner's salary, and then had the audacity afterwards to publicly say that he deserved to be paid like a corporate executive for all of his work.
Yes, paid like a corporate executive for his job as a part-time commissioner.

And all the while, for years Julian has routinely parked his vehicle in "Handicapped Parking" and "No Parking" spaces at locations all over town, including what used to be the ONLY street-level "Handicapped" and "Handicapped Access" parking spaces at the city's public beach at North Beach.

Above and below, then-HB Commissioner Bill Julian's car in the one and only Handicapped Parking spot at North Beach. He has engaged in similar behavior for years all over the city, and rather than express remorse for what he's done, still seems to feel entitled to do whatever he wants. Special rules for special people! March 21, 2008 photo by South Beach Hoosier. © 2012 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved.

In Anthony A. Sanders we have someone who for years has refused to return phone calls and emails from residents who wanted to communicate with him.
Refused to come to their neighborhood to hear their side in a policy issue, and who has refused for over three-and-a-half years to meet with the public he works for to tell the truth -and his side- about the city's controversial purchase of his property for $85,000 more than it was worth by any reasonable standard.

And in Sanders, we have a person who has been not the least bit shy -or even clever- in his use of race-baiting in this small city in order to try to hang onto power, the most recent proof of which is that he consciously uses two entirely different-looking "2' X 8" campaign signs in NW and SW, but something entirely different east of U.S.-1.

Can you see what the difference is?
He does something that no other candidate does on their 2" x 8" campaign signs.
He's two-faced with just one face.

Did you figure it out yet?
Correct, in NW and SW Hallandale Beach, Sanders has a photo of himself along with the symbol of his Eagles Wings Development Center to remind residents there who he is and what he looks like.
But on the other side of town, there's no photo of him and no physical reminder of a group that the city under Mayor Cooper and Bill Julian has been giving dollars to for years, with little oversight or accountability.
An organization which, after all these years and all those dollars, STILL doesn't have a website that would in some way explain what they really do -and really do with the city dollars they are given.

No, on the signs you see as you get closer to the center of this city's population, and get closer to the beach, Anthony A. Sanders not only doesn't show his face, which is ironic, but doesn't even so much as have a slogan on his signs.

Above and below, October 4th, 2012 photos by South Beach Hoosier of the 2" x 8" campaign signs of Anthony A. Sanders on it. Can you guess where each one was located within the city? © 2012 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved.


The position of the four commissioner and one mayor in this city is At-Large, which means that Sanders is supposed to represent ALL residents from this city, but he doesn't.
No, it's been made rather clear to everyone for years that in his mind, Sanders only needs to represent NW Hallandale Beach, even though it only represents 13% of the city's overall population, according to the 2010 U.S. Census.
Barely one-eighth of the city!

Why do you think Comm. Alexander Lewy is pushing that absurd charter amendment that changes the city's current horse-race system that, simply put, ensures that if eight candidates are running for two seats, the two candidates who get the most votes get elected. Lewy wants to change that. He wants a lesser standard to ensure that Sanders gets to stay on the City Commission as long as incompetent Sanders likes, not as long as the concerned citizens of this community like. 

It's hardly surprising that all three of them voted FOR Mayor Cooper's unpopular red-light cameras. The ones that aren't doing what Cooper said they'd do -decrease traffic accidents
See my August 25, 2012 blog post titled, City of Hallandale Beach prints analysis that refutes Mayor Joy Cooper's mendacious efforts on red-light cameras - "In summary, there is no safety benefit to the citizens, and there is no financial benefit to the taxpayer due to automated for-profit; @MayorCooper 
Perhaps City Manager Renee Crichton and City Attorney Lynn Whitfield should stage a surprise visit over at 501 N.W. First Avenue this afternoon and ask the person in charge (LOL!) if there are ANY political campaign signs of any kind located in the building. 
Ask if the location is being used for any political purpose.
And then, regardless of what they are told, look around themselves.
Perhaps with some Code Compliance enforcement officers and some Hallandale Beach Police.
Perhaps some TV camera crews should tag along...

October 3rd, 2012 photo by South Beach Hoosier of 501 N.W. First Avenue. © 2012 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved.

I mention that last part since I saw campaign signs coming and going from that city-owned building into a vehicle on the east side of it, just steps from the front door, as I watched Wednesday afternoon after 5 p.m., on my way back from an errand in western Hollywood
It was very obvious, and I actually noticed the signs in the vehicle before I noticed the three signs in the ground just a few feet away, because I was going east on Foster Road towards Dixie Highway.

But when I came to the stop signs and saw what was going on, I made a left, pulled over and stopped my car, got out and started taking photos.

Within a few minutes, a series of vehicles came by and stopped, lingered for a few minutes as they saw me taking more and more photos of the outside of the building, and then took off.

Some of them actually came back around a second time while I was on the phone calling some of you, but when they saw that I was still there, and still had the camera in my hand, rather than linger, they stopped at the stop sign, then sped off, seemingly disappointed that they couldn't go inside and get what they'd come by for in the first place as long as I stood outside snapping photos.
Hmm-m... I wonder what that was?
I highly doubt that it was musical instruments.

By the way, some of you may recall that I recently mentioned in an email that some of the largest land owners in Hallandale Beach were more than willing to put their name behind these same three unethical individuals, these "Special Rules for Special People."

RK Centers, The Mardi Gras and The Related Group have all helped these three people who have helped them so many times in the past with YES votes, even when it was contrary to the best long-term interests of the residents and business owners of this community.

Just something to keep in mind as Election Day gets closer...

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Hallandale Beach Blog is where I try to inject or superimpose a degree of accountability, transparency and insight onto Florida and local Broward County government and public policy issues, which I feel is sorely lacking in local media now. On this blog, locally, I concentrate my energy, enthusiasm, anger and laser-like attention on the coastal cities of Hallandale Beach and Hollywood.
If you lived in this part of South Florida, you'd ALREADY be stuck in stultifying traffic, paying higher-than-necessary taxes and continually musing about the chronic lack of accountability among not only elected govt. officials, but also of city, county and state employees as well. Collectively, with a few rare exceptions, they couldn't be farther from the sort of strong results-oriented, eager work-ethic mentality that local residents deserve and expect.
This is particularly true in the town I live in, the City of Hallandale Beach, just north of Aventura and south of Hollywood. There, the "Perfect Storm" of years of apathy, incompetency and cronyism are all too readily apparent.
Sadly for its residents, HB is where even easily-solved, quality-of-life problems are left to fester for YEARS on end, because of myopia, lack of common sense and ineffective supervisory management. It's a city with lots of potential because of its terrific location, yet its citizens have become numb to its outrages and screw-ups after years of the worst kind of mismanagement and lack of foresight. On a daily basis, they wake up and see the same old problems that have never being adequately resolved by the city in a logical and responsible fashion, merely kicked -once again- further down the road.
I used to ask myself, not always rhetorically, "Where are all the enterprising young reporters who want to show that through their own hard work and enterprise, what REAL investigative reporting can produce?" Hearing no response, I decided to start a blog that could do some of these things, taking the p.o.v. of a reasonable but skeptical person seeing the situation for the first time, and wanting questions answered in a honest and logical way that citizens have the right to expect.

Hallandale Beach Blog intends to be a catalyst for positive change. If there's one constant gripe in South Florida, regardless of your age, race, nationality or political persuasion, it's about the fundamental lack of PUBLIC ACCOUNTABILITY here among Florida's state, regional and local govt./agency officials. Hallandale Beach Blog aims to be a small step towards regaining some of that needed accountability, whether it's thru simple public scrutiny, or requires a degree of follow-up investigation and public exposure of incompetency, cronyism or simple negligence -South Florida's usual governing style.
Unless otherwise indicated, all ORIGINAL photos appearing here were taken by myself. © 2014 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved. The use or modification of original photos or original images appearing on this blog WITHOUT the written permission of the author is expressly prohibited. DO NOT modify or alter any original photo/image on this blog and use it in any other media, whether for commercial advertising, marketing purposes, political campaign advertising, or on any Social Media platform or digital media forum. Do NOT modify or alter the photos or use them in a confusing way that suggests sponsorship or endorsement, or in a way that seeks to confuse Hallandale Beach Blog with another blog. This includes but is not limited to sites such as Dipity, Facebook, flickr, MySpace, Pinterest, Posterous, Topsy, Twitter, YouTube or VIMEO. Original photos and images also can NOT be used as avatars or icons on website forums.
Some older elements and building blocks formerly seen at Hallandale Beach Blog, such as photos, graphics and videos have been moved into cold storage. Visit them again or see what you've missed at: http://hallandale-beach-blog.blogspot.com/

New this year: you!

New this year: you!
Close-up photo of the cute head-turning window display at the Apotek Hjärtat -Sweden's largest independent pharmacy chain- located at Ringvägen 113, near the Skanstull T-bana in Södermalm, Stockholm. Sign reads, "Årets nyhet: du! Ett helt nytt och obrukat år är här. Just nu känns det lite lättare att välja om, förändra vanor och bryta gamla mönster. Vi hjälper gärna till. Du vill, du kan, du törs!' (New this year: you! A brand new and unused year is here. Right now it feels a little easier to choose, change habits and break old patterns. We're happy to help. You want to, you can, you dare!) Sounds like good advice that I ought to be following, too! January 12, 2013 photo by South Beach Hoosier.© 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved

Paradise Lost? South Florida

Paradise Lost? South Florida
TIME magazine of November 23, 1981: Paradise Lost? South Florida . Click photo to see original article.

A fish rots from the head down, and so does local government in Hallandale Beach, FL

A fish rots from the head down, and so does local government in Hallandale Beach, FL
City of Hallandale Beach Municipal Complex, 400 S. Federal Highway. The City of Hallandale Beach Municipal Complex: If it's true that a fish rots from the head down, so it does in local government in Broward County, FL. This monument sign on the west side of the intersection of U.S.-1 and S.E. 5th Street, across from Gulfstream Park Race Track & Casino and the Village at Gulfstream Park retail complex, alerts you to your proximity to HB City Hall and the HB Police Department HQ. It's a place and culture whose very own words and actions have made clear to taxpayers of this city -regardless of age, race or income- that it holds itself apart from and above from the very citizens it's supposed to serve, often acting like they don't have to follow the same laws that govern everyone else in the state of Florida and the U.S., whether of logic, reason or contracts. (More to the point of this blog, the Florida Statutes on Sunshine Laws and Public Records.) City employees in Hallandale Beach routinely refuse to answer perfectly reasonable questions posed to them by taxpayers, and as I have found out myself and witnessed, are not above berating you for even having the nerve to ask! As it happens, it's also not a very safe area, despite who operates here, and over the past nine years, the public parking lots have often been pitch-black for 6-9 months at a time, including in front of the HB Police Dept. HQ. Then-Police Chief Thomas Magill even shrugged his shoulders at City Comm. meetings when told about this a few times. As if they couldn't make a worse first impression, at one point, even the spotlights shining on this sign didn't work at night for over FOUR YEARS, either. October 13, 2012 photo by South Beach Hoosier. © 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved.

Palm tree, Stars & Stripes

Palm tree, Stars & Stripes
Palm tree obstructing the sun at Hallandale Beach City Hall, May 28, 2012 photo by South Beach Hoosier. © 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved

Gulfstream Park Race Track & Casino and Village at GP retail complex, Hallandale Beach, FL

Gulfstream Park Race Track & Casino and Village at GP retail complex, Hallandale Beach, FL
Entrance monument to Gulfstream Park Race Track & Casino and The Village at Gulfstream Park retail complex on U.S.-1 & SE 3rd St. Hallandale Beach, FL. October 5, 2010 photo by South Beach Hoosier. © 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved

Hallandale Beach Water Tower, looking east from State Road A1A/South Ocean Drive; May 2009 photo by South Beach Hoosier.© 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved

Singer/songwriter Full of Keys (Anni Bernhard)

Singer/songwriter Full of Keys (Anni Bernhard)
Singer/songwriter Full of Keys (Anni Bernhard) wearing the teal-colored Miami Dolphins cap I gave her in January 2013 (in Stockholm) while recording her 2nd album, "The Grazing Grounds" at Sandkvie Studios in Visby, Gotland, Sweden. Also pictured here are sound engineer and co-producer Linus Larsson and musician/DJ/co-producer Mats Jönsson, April 12, 2013.Click the photo to see her videos, read my blog posts and Tweets about her and learn more about this dynamic and original talent with personality to spare!

North Miami Beach Senior High School, the Home of the Chargers

North Miami Beach Senior High School, the Home of the Chargers
Before I was a Hoosier, I was an NMB Charger, Class of 1979.

In the Heart of a Great Country, Beats the Soul of Hoosier Nation

In the Heart of a Great Country, Beats the Soul of Hoosier Nation
"In the Heart of a Great Country, Beats the Soul of Hoosier Nation." -South Beach Hoosier, 2007.

Let's end the 28-year NCAA title drought!

Let's end the 28-year NCAA title drought!
IU All-American and U.S. Olympian Steve Alford on the cover of the 1987 Indiana University basketball media guide, months after IU won the NCAA basketball title.

The NCAA Championship Banners

The NCAA Championship Banners
Assembly Hall, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana. I was there in 1981 for NCAA Title #4 vs. North Carolina. Click on photo to go to the IU Basketball homepage.

Sebastian the Ibis, the U-M mascot

Sebastian the Ibis, the U-M mascot
Like longtime U-M fans everywhere, including me, Sebastian the Ibis, the U-M mascot, hasn't had very much to cheer about lately, given the general state of mediocrity and underwhelming performances coming from the Hurricanes. Isn't it about time for fans to finally see some tangible signs that the new AD is moving things in the right direction? Where are the signs? I'm NOT seeing them. The woeful U-M Women's program is largely composed of teams that are NOT even close to being competitive for NCAA titles like their ACC competition, and they don't even field Women's Lacrosse or Field Hockey teams. It's embarrassing! Click on Sebastian for retrospective photo gallery of The Orange Bowl


The welcoming party that greeted me at the luggage carousel at Arlanda Stockholm Airport in January of 2013 was... ABBA. As seen in my May 7, 2013 blog post. Click photo to see that post!

Congratulations Sweden - 200 years of peace! Solveig Rundquist (@RundquistS)


Hej #STHLM, jag saknar dig, hejdå. So wish I was there RIGHT NOW!

Using a map of Stockholm and my Samsung mobile's Latitude app to find out where some friends and contacts in Stockholm were before I called to let them know I'd arrived from Arlanda Airport and had checked into the B&B in Södermalm. If only it had been an OpenStreetMap! January 2013 photo by South Beach Hoosier.© 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved; Click the photo to see OpenStreetMap's amazing map of Stockholm and a whole world of useful maps you never even knew existed

Solrea - Sveriges bästa resesök

Solrea - Sveriges bästa resesök
The colder and snowier it got in Stockholm, the more this simple ad seemed like genius. Sometimes, you don't have to reinvent the advertising wheel. When you're a travel agency and it's cold and snowing, make your target audience think of summers and traveling to an inviting warm beach. Above, one of the many Sistaminuten.se display ads I saw on the side of pay phones throughout Stockholm. This one was located on Ringvägen, across the street from the Åhléns Dept. store (with the Hemköp grocery store in the basement that I frequented) west of busy Götgatan and the Skanstull T-bana, the southern commercial heart of trendy and fun Södermalm. January 11, 2013 photo by South Beach Hoosier.© 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved. I used this photo in my April 22, 2013 blog post titled, Tourism game-changer for South Florida travelers & Fort Lauderdale-area businesses -but only if they're smart and start planning now. Ruminations on the upcoming Norwegian.com flights b/w Ft. Lauderdale and Oslo, Stockholm & Copenhagen, and the need for Broward's hospitality industry to take full-advantage of the opportunity; @Oslo, @norway, @stockholm, @sweden, @copenhagen, @denmark. Click photo to see that post

More travel advertising in Stockholm

More travel advertising in Stockholm
Speaking of advertising, only two blocks from the wonderful 4trappor B&B I stayed at in Södermalm, Stockholm on my trip -and also located on Ringvägen- were two more display ads promoting travel. The one in the distance is for SAS, Scandinavian Airlines Systems, which I flew on to Stockholm, and the one in the foreground, on a public telephone booth, is the "Holiday is where the Heart is" ad campaign for VING. January 12, 2013 photo by South Beach Hoosier.© 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved. Click the photo to see their TV ad!

Risk för snöras, istappar

Risk för snöras, istappar
One of the many such warning signs that I saw on buildings and on sidewalk barricades while in Stockholm in mid-January 2013, alerting you to the possibility of falling snow and ice, often by men shoveling it off roofs. This one was spotted on a residential building in the Södermalm area of Stockholm, on Ringvägen, while I was walking over to the Åhléns Department store on Götgatan. It wasn't until I was walking back later to the B&B that I noticed the inflated Santa that some resident had intentionally placed outside of their window, so it looked like Santa was falling! January 13, 2013 photo by South Beach Hoosier.© 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved.

Ringvägen, Stockholm, Sweden

Ringvägen, Stockholm, Sweden
Poster display on Ringvägen, Stockholm, Sweden. January 2013 photo by South Beach Hoosier. © 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved. The Affischplats plan in Stockholm, while not perfect, strikes me as a pretty good compromise in helping cultural and civic groups catch the public's eye in a way that's better than a free-for-all of groups plastering posters on the sides of buildings and utility boxes, and watching as the weather makes a mess of them. The tangible effort the city makes to get the public involved in a genuine and meaningful conversation about what is going on long-term for the city as a whole, or in a particular neighborhood, is very impressive, and made me wishful that the local government employees and planners where I live and write about regularly in my blog and in conversations with other concerned civic activists did even one-third of what Stockholm's planning employees seem to do as a starting-point.