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, Europe 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.
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 amd many other residents feel has been sorely lacking in local media for many years. On this blog, locally, I concentrate my energy, enthusiasm, anger and laser-like attention on the coastal cities of Hallandale Beach, Hollywood and Aventura, but we keep our eyes and ears open about other places, too, thanks to many well-informed "sources."

If you lived in this part of South Florida, you'd ALREADY be stuck in stultifying traffic gridlock, 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, local government and its bureaucrats couldn't be farther from the sort of results-oriented, strong work-ethic mentality that local residents deserve and expect. Yet seldom if ever see...

This is particularly true in the Broward County city I live in, the City of Hallandale Beach, north of Aventura and south of Hollywood, right on the Atlantic Ocean. Here, the "Perfect Storm" of years of apathy, incompetency, indifference and cronyism under Mayor Joy Cooper are all too readily apparent. Sadly for its beleaguered residents, Hallandale Beach is where even easily-solved, quality-of-life problems are left to fester for YEARS on end, because of City Hall's myopia, lack of common sense and ineffective supervisory management. It's a city with tremendous potential because of its terrific location and its well-educated populace, the majority of whom long for it to be the kind of quality city it ought to be now, but clearly isn't. Its citizens have become almost numb to HB City Hall's frequent ethics and performance outrages and screw-ups as a result of YEARS of the worst kind of mismanagement and lack of basic foresight and oversight. On a daily basis, residents and Small Business owners of this city 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 for others to solve in the future.

Before I started this blog in 2007, I used to ask myself, and NOT always rhetorically, "Where are all the enterprising young reporters in South Florida who want to show that through their own hard work and enterprise, what REAL investigative reporting can produce?" Hearing no response, I decided to finally start a blog of my own that could try to do some of these things, taking the p.o.v. of a reasonable-but-skeptical person seeing the situation for the first time with fresh eyes, and wanting questions answered in a honest and logical way that citizens have the right to demand.

Hallandale Beach Blog intends to be a catalyst for positive change in public policy and goivernment engagement. 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 of Florida's state, regional and local govt./agency officials, elected and otherwise. Hallandale Beach Blog aims to be a small step towards regaining some of that needed accountability, whether it's thru shining some well-needed public scrutiny on the issue or pol, or requires a higher degree of follow-up investigation and public exposure of the incompetency, cronyism or negligence -South Florida's usual governing style.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Their lack of Journalism ethics is hiding in plain sight: In their head-scratching endorsement of do-nothing Hallandale Beach Comm. Anthony A. Sanders over civic activist Csaba Kulin, the Tribune Co's Sun-Sentinel said he has "experience." Yes, but it's of the completely ineffective and unethical variety we don't want more of!; Vote Kulin!; @SandersHB


Jefferson Starship - "Jane" 
One of the defining songs of not only my Freshman year at IU in 1979, but that era in rock. http://youtu.be/0PwG69620WA

Like a cat and a mouse (cat and a mouse) 
From door to door and house to house 
Don't you pretend you don't know what I'm talkin' about

Their lack of Journalism ethics is hiding in plain sight: In their head-scratching endorsement of do-nothing Hallandale Beach Comm. Anthony A. Sanders over civic activist Csaba Kulin, the Tribune Co's Sun-Sentinel said he has "experience." Yes, but it's of the completely ineffective and unethical variety we don't want more of!; Vote Kulin!; @SandersHB
That's why Sanders is, so far, the Broward Inspector General's poster boy!
Sanders is all the things you aren't supposed to be if you're a public official.

The Tribune Company's South Florida Sun-Sentinel has a big problem -it's own internal liberal bias and world view of how the world ought to be if they could only re-write it, as opposed to the way the world and the people in it actually are and really behave.

The newspaper, literally, can't help itself, like a well-to-do and very good-looking teenage girl I knew in North Miami Beach in the 1970's, the younger sister of a friend at North Miami Beach High School, always claimed
Yes, Little Sister was a habitual shoplifter.

Thought she came from a nice family and certainly knew the difference between right-and-wrong, like the same self-serving nonsense the Sun-Sentinel spouts about it trying its best to practice journalistic principles, when push came to shove, despite the fact that she could well afford to buy the stuff, Little Sister habitually shoplifted for kicks and cheap thrills to kill both the ennui and what she said was pressure to conform and live-up to her older sister, my friend, who was very smart, friendly and good-looking, but sans the ethically-convenient angst.

Similarly, like her, the Sun-Sentinel acts like they could put a stop to their political bias and very curious and increasingly-obvious editing choices whenever it wanted to.
But the Sun-Sentinel, like Little Sister, doesn't really want to.
It's fun to act like the rules don't apply to you.
It's sort of like the Hallandale Beach Mayor Joy Cooper and her Rubber Stamp Crew on the city commission the past nine years, no?

It's part of how it sees itself in the world at large.
Almost as if not letting bias slip in when it's convenient would be to deny its basic nature, almost a self-betrayal, so it keeps doing what it's been doing and acting like nobody like me notices.
So the Sun-Sentinel, like my friend's Little Sister, keeps kidding itself that it really doesn't have a problem.

But the truth is that regardless of the times that you live in, ethical hedging all the time, whether by an individual or a family or company, eventually takes it toll, and it has certainly taken its toll on the Sun-Sentinel's readers as the paper continues to become ever more irrelevant to any discussion of what's going on in the larger community with every passing month.
That's especially the case for the discerning news reader who, whatever their politics, wants their facts straight-up, without any shaking or misdirection, so they can draw their own conclusions.

Today, after sitting on some facts for a few days, I'm ready to reveal my own version of what radio broadcaster  Paul Harvey famously called "the rest of the story" on his hugely popular radio newscasts for decades that were full of Middle America folksiness and manners.
And, I'll show you how that directly affects Hallandale Beach.

And here, "the rest of the story" are the facts and context that you do not routinely get from the Sun-Sentinel if their management team and Editorial Board have anything to do with it.
And more recently, in the Sun-Sentinel's perplexing endorsement of do-nothing, know-nothing incumbent Anthony A. Sanders
Stand by for news!


CBS News Charles Osgood's 2009 appreciation for radio broadcaster Paul Harvey, following his death at age 90. http://youtu.be/S5_OIoMBjSk

A week before the Sun-Sentinel's vetting meeting at their HQ in downtown Ft. Lauderdale to decide its endorsement selections in this city, I told my friend and Hallandale Beach City Commission candidate Csaba Kulin to be sure to bring a small tape-recorder with him.

I specifically told him not to call them in advance of the meeting and ask if he could, just bring to it and put it on the conference table when he sat down with the other five Commission candidates and the three reps from the Sun-Sentinel.
After all, the latter had recording equipment available to them.

Now for Csaba's purposes, it certainly wasn't to use for purposes of a campaign commercial, since that would be impractical for him because of the costs, but rather for the more practical purpose of him having a contemporaneous recording of all the ridiculous and flat-out lies that would likely be coming from incumbent Anthony A. Sanders and former Comm. William "Bill" Julian as they sought to rationalize and defend their indefensible voting records and unethical behavior to the Sun-Sentinel three reps, who did NOT even know some basic facts
they should've known days before.

I had told Csaba in advance that I was about 100% certain that regardless of what Comm. Sanders said or did in their meeting room, the Sun-Sentinelwhich like the Miami Herald, endorsed Sanders in 2008 despite his lack of qualifications and inability to speak intelligently or in detail on important facts of public policy in Hallandale Beach compared to other candidates, would again get the paper's recommendation.
Even if Sanders didn't show-up, since he is not the most reliable of people.

When Csaba asked why I thought that, and wouldn't they, you know, make their decisions based on what they already knew about the candidates and heard from them in that room, I told him that there was a LOT MORE here than meets the eye in the matter of endorsements. 
That is, it was an opportunity for the Sun-Sentinel to once again show its Editorial Board's liberal political philosophy, including its most pernicious one of treating people not as individuals, but rather as chess pieces on a chess board, to be moved and manipulated.

That's why they call it "identity politics."

In short, I told him that there were political statements to be made and that one of them would likely be that we'd eventually see the handiwork of Sun-Sentinel Editorial writer and Board member Doug Lyons, a fervent believer in diversity on government bodies, regardless of whether the individual is unqualified or unethical, which is one of the things you don't consider when you're treating people like chess pieces.

(It's the same reason that Lyons never makes any reference to Florida state Rep. Joe Gibbons representing Broward County in the legislature even though he is NOT a full-time resident here, preferring to live in Jacksonville with his wife and kids. 
But isn't that unethical and illegal?
Yes, but that doesn't matter as long as it's Gibbons, because Gibbons supports the Sun-Sentinel's world-view, so he gets a pass from everyone.)

Yes, unqualified or unethical people will get the nod from Lyons and the Editorial Board even if that amounts to keeping a town like ours in turmoil even longer than is necessary.
And in the Editorial Board's selection of Sanders, have they not accomplished all three? 

He's still unqualified after four years in office, he's STILL an unethical Pastor, and he promises to keep this town in turmoil as long as he and his wife work their handiwork with the city's budget, continuing to act like they are above having to answer questions from the public, which is why he has refused to debate this year.
Sanders is afraid of what people will say because he knows that he has NOT been at all what he claimed to be and he knows they will call him out. So he hides.

Before the vetting meeting officially started, Csaba asked if he could record what was said so that he's have a true account of it.
The Sun-Sentinel said NO, and when Csaba asked if the candidates were being recorded, videotaped or having their comments streamed online, they replied NO.

But the truth of the matter is that a very reliable person has confided to me that back in August, the newspaper's Editorial Board actually streamed their comments LIVE, and among those listening in were some representatives of their opponents and other interested parties.
Someone, I can't say who just now, happened to listen in and actually wrote down what was asked and said and commented on what was being said in that Ft. Lauderdale building from many miles away, even before the candidates left the building.
How do you suppose that happened?

After the meeting, while everyone was getting up from their seats, the folks from the Sun-Sentinel told them that they had been recorded.
But if I got the story right, they didn't mention anything about having streamed it.
But wouldn't that be illegal?
Again, consider where it happened. 
THAT seems to be how the Sun-Sentinel rolls these days.

Nowhere in their endorsement of last Tuesday do they mention that Comm. Sanders and former Comm. Julian were strong supporters of the very egregiously anti-democratic move that columnist Michael Mayo -who was present that day as one of the three S-S reps, but who says that he is not part of the Editorial Board- decried in his column and blog soon after the interviews.
That is, that Hallandale Beach is having an election in one week that will elect three people to the City Commission, but that the city's voters can only vote for two.


Mayo on the Side blog

More Hallandale weirdness: 2 votes for 3 seats
By Michael Mayo
October 16, 2012 11:05 AM

Excerpt from Sun-Sentinel editorial of October 23:
Anthony Sanders and Michele Lazarow for Hallandale Beach City Commission 
The race to fill two at-large two seats on Hallandale Beach City Commission is a little bit deceptive as it's the top three vote getters who will actually serve on the next commission thanks to the need to replace Commissioner Keith London who resigned to run for mayor. 
Still, voters "technically" have only two seats to fill, and the Sun Sentinel Editorial Board recommends voters re-elect Anthony A. Sanders and elect Michele Lazarow. The two bring a mix of energy and experience and both are in the best position to help the city's western neighborhoods. 
Sanders, a 52-year-old pastor, is the commission's lone black member. A four-year veteran on the dais, He's has been a staunch advocate for the city's predominantly black west side neighborhoods, and although his tenure has been marred by questionable business dealings with the city, Sanders' experience and knowledge of the city's needs give him the edge. 
Lazarow, 45, has her own history that qualifies her for the commission. She is a longtime resident of the city and a former owner of a popular women's boutique. Her business experience and past dealings with the city should help her as a new commissioner incorporate more city business-friendly procedures, especially small businesses struggling in the city's west side. 
The other candidates are Gerald E. Dean, 58, a small business owner; Ann Pearl Henigson, 66, a former secretary; William "Bill" Julian, 59, a licensed thoroughbred racing steward and former city commissioner; and Csaba G. Kulin, 73, a retired director of technology with the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland. 
Also completely missing in the endorsement or the Mayo blog post is any reference at all that they would have continued in their ignorance had not Csaba brought it up during the meeting. Somehow, they were completely in the dark about one of the most vexing issues in the city that they supposedly were making educated comments about.
Guess they weren't quite so educated after all, huh?

And all this happened despite the fact that I had personally sent Mayo and Lyons several bcc's about this when it actually happened weeks ago and how it came about due to the desire of Comm. Alexander Lewy to change the complexion of the election halfway thru in order to thwart Keith London.

So instead of endorsing Csaba Kulin, the person most-responsible for bringing forth factual information -the city's own documents- that makes public how three former Hallandale Beach City Managers have pulled the wool over the City Commission and taxpayers for years to the tune of MILLIONS of dollars that they will receive in pension payments over the coming years, and did NOT earn all of it, the Sun-Sentinel, the news outlet that DIDN'T even know what was going on here, has endorsed Anthony A. Sanders.

Sure, the man with "experience" who is also the HB city commissioner who is the least-prepared member to discuss anything that is going on in the city, and the one who for well over three years has, literally, been in fear of being alone in a room with smart and well-informed HB taxpayers and answer their sharp questions about his behavior and votes.

No, like the Cooper Rubber Stamp that he is, the poorly-informed puppet that he is, in order for Sanders to appear in public, there must always be city employees close at hand to run interference and even feed him answers.

As far as Hallandale Beach's voters are concerned, the truth and the transparency -and mea culpas- that they regularly preach to others in their editorials and columns are STILL missing in action at The Tribune Co.'s South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Don't hold your breath that they will ever come... the Sun-Sentinel doesn't think they have a problem.

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August 2016 update about above: As I could have predicted, once again, the fake candidate failed to file the appropriate paperwork and fee with the City of Hollywood, and so his name will NOT appear on ballot.
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Hej #STHLM, jag saknar dig, hejdå. So wish I was there RIGHT NOW!

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