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.
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, November 9, 2012

Hallandale Beach's Midnight Vigilante is no Paul Revere! Caught in the act: Hallandale Beach Mayor Joy Cooper's son's Midnight Ride of campaign sign-stealing -on Election Day!; Anything goes now in HB -even political intimidation- as Broward IG & Broward SAO sleepwalk while laws & ethics are repeatedly laughed at by pols in power; @MayorCooper, #FDLE, @myfloridalegal, @fbi.gov

Above, the poster boy for public corruption in south Broward County -the most corrupt county in Florida: the City of Hallandale Beach Municipal Complex. October 3, 2012 photo by South Beach Hoosier. © 2012 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved.
Hallandale Beach's Midnight Vigilante is no Paul Revere! Caught in the act: Hallandale Beach Mayor Joy Cooper's son's Midnight Ride of campaign sign-stealing -on Election Day!; Anything goes now in HB -even political intimidation- as Broward IG & Broward SAO sleepwalk while laws & ethics are repeatedly laughed at by pols in power; @MayorCooper, #FDLE, @myfloridalegal, @fbi.gov

"Good always prevails," Cooper said. "Didn't your mom tell you that?" 
-from Cooper re-elected in Hallandale Beach

Hmm-m... I suppose it all depends on whom your mother is, doesn't it?
What sort of ethical role model SHE is. 
Is she conscientious and does she instill a proper, grounded sense of perspective, or does she teach by example that you can always get away with what you want because of who she is, and if that doesn't work, you can just ignore the rules that everyone else in society has to follow?

Is your mother the sort of person who, when she's the mayor of a small town, a propos of nothing in particular, when she thinks she can't be overheard, tells a City Commissioner that she thinks that one of their town's citizens, someone sitting in a chair patiently waiting for a Commission meeting to start -and the only citizen in the room- is a "Nazi"?
Does she follow that up by saying that she thinks that one of the other city commissioners, who isn't present yet, "is a Hitler"? 

Yes, I guess it really all depends upon whom your mother is.

But then after all these years and all the unethical incidents we've collectively witnessed, we pretty much know what sort of role model Joy Cooper is, and it's certainly not one for "good."

For years, whether we wanted to hear them or not, nearly everyone who pays close attention to civic affairs in Hallandale Beach heard the same familiar fact-filled stories, with lots of specificsabout the dysfunctional Cooper family and their myriad anti-social behavior problems: excessive drinking, physical altercations, and most alarmingly, FREQUENT and excessive phone calls to the 911 service asking for a police response.

We heard how seemingly all members of the family -including the mayorhad developed a well-practiced yet despicable habit of using her position as an elected official in this town as, alternately, either leverage or a crutch, whenever they had run-ins with various members of the law enforcement community in South Florida.
Of which there have been so many, to say nothing about possible incidents where the other party reluctantly decided NOT to call the police on them after all.

Not surprisingly, they were said to be especially fond of the old standby, "Don't you know who I am/my mother is/my wife is?" line when confronted by Police Officers, as if being mayor of this small city somehow entitled her and them to some sort of special treatment or consideration by the police of any city.
It's precisely the sort of thing that is not only illegal, but specifically prohibited behavior by elected officials in the State of Florida.

Correct, because it's someone using their office to gain a benefit not legally available to other Florida citizens.

The problem, of course, is that we all know from personal experience in living in Hallandale Beach that this sort of thing happens here fairly routinely, because we've seen for ourselves that there are, in fact, some people in this community who can, quite literally, do whatever they want to do, no matter that it's illegal under state, county or city law, and they never have to face the public and legal consequences. 
In some cases, they practically dare authorities to say anything or do anything to stop them.

Lest you forget, I've written about unethical behavior by well-known people in this community breaking the law in quite a number of ways a few times in just the past two weeks on my blog, and lots of people have been reading all about it.
In fact, 2,700 people read this one post of October 15th:

Ethics? Not for us! Follow-up to my post re Hallandale Beach's unethical "business as usual" attitude, with "special rules for special people" if they are named Joy Cooper, Bill Julian and Anthony A. Sanders; What ethics? What rules? @MayorCooper, @SandersHB


No doubt many Hallandale Beach residents were nodding in silent agreement as they read it because they've frequently observed public signs of this sense of entitlement, too, and now feel somewhat relieved at least that they're not alone in having seen the same despicable behavior, too. Misery lives company, and here, it's the whole town that is being made miserable by Joy Cooper and her actions, words and attitude towards regular citizens, with some of us receiving extra dollops of her attitude.

Perhaps the most-famous recent incident of Cooper family members being treated differently involves Mayor Cooper herself, after she crashed her moving car into another moving vehicle, which as it happened, turned out to be a City of Hallandale Beach emergency response vehicle -responding to an actual emergency call.

There were plenty of witnesses to that incident, of course, including members of the the public who witnessed it, and the city employees in the vehicle that Mayor Cooper actually hit.
But how did that all turn out exactly?

Yes, good luck trying to find out what exactly were the legal and financial consequences to Mayor Cooper for that careless and reckless behavior of hers.

More frequently, there are all the fact-filed stories that have been borne out by history about various members of the Cooper family being caught speeding by police, esp. the Aventura Police, and running that familiar line of theirs on the police officers, as if they'd never heard that sort of self-important excuse before.
Yes, whatever else you can say about them, the Cooper family's grandiose sense of entitlement and perks, and their lack of hubris, never seems to wane.

(Not unlike Andre Pierre, North Miami's mayor. In May of 2011, he was caught speeding by Aventura Police on his way to meet, of all people, Mayor Cooper. He said all sorts of incriminating things and ALL of his remarks were recorded by a camera inside the squad car, one that the officers on the scene can't turn-off, and which prints out a ticket to prevent anything illegal from transpiring, with all the info fed directly to Aventura Police HQ for monitoring. WTVJ-TV/Channel 6 showed the video on-air and it was amazing -and appalling. But pretty reflective of the both the low-caliber and high self-importance that many South Florida pols possess, including in our very own city.
http://www.nbcmiami.com/news/local/North-Miami-Mayor-accused-of-abuse-of-power-for-implying-threats-to-cops-121368674.html )

So, all that said, now on to the story of Hallandale Beach's Midnight Vigilante... and his true identity

On Tuesday night, while over at the Upper Deck restaurant with some friends, watching election results across the nation rolling on their bank of TVs, I received the following photos from a reliable source.
The source said that earlier that morning, at approximately 12:05 a.m., just under seven hours before the polls opened for voting, he spotted an individual removing political campaign signs over near the intersection of Hallandale Beach Blvd. and Ansin Blvd., roughly the area between the IHOP and the Burger King.

An individual who clearly has a real problem with the concept of Freedom of Speech.
He doesn't seem to like it, and he most certainly wants to eliminate public displays of free speech he disagrees with as best he can, at least in Hallandale Beach.

This reliable source told me that after witnessing this activity take place, he drove his vehicle up close to this other person's vehicle so that he could get its license plate number and later report what he'd seen to the proper law enforcement authorities.

Well, within moments of doing this, the person removing the signs came over to my source in his car and, if you can believe this, asked my source what HE was doing, as if his own behavior was perfectly normal -someone with campaign signs after Midnight near one of the city's three most-heavily-traveled and highest visibility roads.

Even for Hallandale Beach, that's highly suspicious behavior, especially when the person with political signs after Midnight is NOT placing political yard signs in the ground and exercising their right of free speech, but rather removing them and eliminating someone else's right to free speech.
Removing political signs that are NOT theirs to take.

So, you're no doubt asking who was that un-masked man?
The creepy guy engaging in odd, to say nothing of blatantly anti-democratic and unethical conduct?

The creepy guy who thought that he was so brave -after Midnight- removing other citizen's signs where they expressed their freedom of speech, but who when my reliable source grabbed his camera to snap a shot of the license plate to have him later identified by Police, ran like a coward back to his car and placed his hands over his license plate?
The creep who then jumped inside his car and hit the gas to get out of the area?

Who was it?
Well, many of you reading this won't be too surprised to discover that the creep engaging in this  anti-social, anti-democratic behavior not only has quite a track record,
but is also none other than Mayor Joy Cooper's adult son, Matt.

Talk about apples not falling far from the tree...

Yes, the son who was discovered to have had almost as many Driver's Licenses and ID's as Jason Bourne.

Except that rather than merely pretending that he's a fictional spy in a Robert Ludlum novel, the evidence suggests that perhaps Matt Cooper has been busy playing the role of Midnight Vigilante, driving around Hallandale Beach under the cover of night and removing campaign signs of people who disagree politically with his mother's reckless and wasteful policies that both insult common sense and punish taxpayer's wallets.
Yes, it's not too creepy, is it?

One can safely surmise that it was Matt Cooper's last Midnight Run of such creepy and anti-democratic behavior, if only because of the political calendar.
But it does publicly raise the question of whether or not Matt Cooper is perhaps the answer or one of the answers to another simple question that's been puzzling residents of this city for weeks.

That question is who or what group of people were responsible for taking/ruining so many campaign signs of candidates opposed to Joy Cooper, Bill Julian and Anthony A. Sanders?

Signs which, oh, mysteriously, went missing in this small city, esp. during Early Voting, often within hours of them going up in the evening in places where they were legally allowed to be.

I mean such anti-social behavior doesn't just come out of nowhere, does it? So I doubt that the night before Election day was Matt Cooper's first night of criminal mischief in Hallandale Beach.

That sort of illicit behavior might best explain how it came to be that the large 2' X 8' campaign sign belonging to my friend, Csaba Kulin, a well-known Cooper critic and City Commission candidate, was... well, mysteriously pushed-over or knocked-down alongside the Nick's restaurant parking lot off N.E. First Avenue and Hallandale Beach Blvd., AFTER surviving completely intact that strong windy two-day storm we had in the area associated with Hurricane Sandy.
But suddenly, during normal weather, down it went?

Funny how Csaba's well-braced sign could just fall away and yet the same-size campaign sign for Mayor Cooper, just a few feet away, and both erected by the very same reputable company, was not an inch out of place. 
Not an inch.

So, Csaba's sign is fine at 6 p.m. when I drive by it one night on my way to Hollywood, but the next morning, with normal weather, it's leaning like the Tower of Pisa -times ten.
Yes, that's not too curious.

If we lived in a more "normal" American city, and could actually take proper law enforcement,  equal treatment of citizens, and genuine prosecution for granted, or lived in an area of the U.S. where the local State's Attorney and their staff actually made it their business to actively investigate and prosecute public corruption and the elected officials and govt. employees who engage in unethical and illicit behavior, regardless of who they are, we'd all have a lot less problems to deal with in this city, and doubtless be carrying around a whole lot less angst.
Imagine that!

A city in an area where the area's professional law enforcement and prosecutors properly understand their obligation to residents to investigate all bona fide complaints.

Like the one that Comm. Anthony A. Sanders and his pals engaged in blatant political intimidation of African-American citizens in NW Hallandale Beach by placing Sanders campaign signs in the FRONT YARDS of residents -without their permission.

The reality here is that many African-American residents in NW who removed the unwanted Sanders campaign signs from their property, quickly found a new Sanders sign back up the next morning to replace it, in a not-so-subtle hint by Sanders & Company to area residents that they better 'get with the program.'

Is THAT the "experience" that the South Florida Sun-Sentinel's Editorial Board meant in their wrong-headed endorsement of this do-nothing man who actively avoids his own constituents?

The whole thing with the Sanders signs was both obvious and egregious, so what happened to Sanders?

In that hypothetical and more normal version of Hallandale Beach, after an investigation and interviews with the people who were directly affected and involved, and more than sufficient evidence to prove charges in state court -as there is- someone from the Broward SAO would've contacted the Miami offices of the FBI and the Dept. of Justice and had their agents and lawyers come up for a nice visit, and decide whether or not this reasonably constituted a Civil Rights violation under federal law, as I strongly suspect it does.

Instead, we got less-than-nothing, we got complete indifference from the people directly responsible for enforcing laws.

The reason for this is because we don't actually live in a city where citizen's rights are fully-respected and where laws and rules are equally enforced or even prevail.

Instead, we live in a city where law enforcement and prosecutors sleepwalk and go out of their way to ignore the mountain of facts and evidence.

To live in Hallandale Beach in the year 2012 is to inhabit a city where the sort of basic assumptions about civic life and who protects the public go right out the window, especially when it comes to the actions and behavior of the city's elected officials, their families and friends, plus city employees.

Yes, it's not unlike a small isolated town in Mexico or a village up in the mountains of Colombia, run by narco-trafficking clans.
The people in charge do what they want, and want everyone else in town to tow the line and just pretend that they don't see what's going on right in front of them -or report it to authorities.

But what authorities?

Friends, sorry to remind you, but since Mike Satz's SAO evinced no interest whatsoever in doing their jobs here in the months before Tuesday's elections, when there was a mountain of evidence, facts and strange behavior aplenty to connect-the-dots -and God forbid that Satz's office would've had all the evidence they needed then to indict and begin proceedings against an African-American elected official like Sanders, while Satz himself was running for office countywide!- there's no reason to expect that they will now, suddenly, become both more curious and more professional now that Satz's own election is over.

It's my considered opinion that given all we've seen thus far from the Broward SAO to root out public corruption and its pernicious culture here, and especially what we haven't, seen -action- Hallandale Beach citizens should consider themselves on their own right now, a situation made worse by the fact that the vast majority of the South Florida news media could NOT be any less interested in our collective plight.

Yes, it's just another reminder of where we live in Florida and what happens when the city's leaders don't respect the laws that the rest of us are obliged to follow and respect, and their friends and cronies -and family members- do the same as well..

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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.
"And David put his hand in the bag and took out a stone and slung it. And it struck the Philistine on the head and he fell to the ground. Amen."- Preacher Purl encouraging the underdog Hickory High basketball team before the state title game against heavily-favored South Bend Central in 1986's Hoosiers
Audio of pregame speech:

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/

Want to hear some REAL music talent? Of course you do!

Want to hear some REAL music talent? Of course you do!
Click on this photo of Anni Bernhard (Full of Keys) to go to the blog's archive for all FoK & Anni-related material, videos, blog posts and tweets

Paradise Lost? South Florida

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

Bill Cooke of @Random_Pixels has the article, Paradise Lost? South Florida

Hallandale Beach Blog

Hallandale Beach Blog
Hallandale Beach Blog/South Beach Hoosier's crimson-colored Indiana University cap. If you see someone at a South Florida govt. meeting or public policy discussion wearing this IU cap, scribbling notes furiously -and shaking his head in disbelief- don't be afraid to come over and say hello or pitch prospective story ideas. Photo by South Beach Hoosier. Move your mouse over the cap and be sent to the IU Athletic Dept.'s YouTube Channel.

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

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.
The South Florida I Grew Up In
Excerpted from Joan Didion's Miami, 1987, Simon & Schuster:
In the continuing opera still called, even by Cubans who have now lived the largest part of their lives in this country, el exilo, the exile, meetings at private homes in Miami Beach are seen to have consequences. The actions of individuals are seen to affect events directly. Revolutions and counter-revolutions are framed in the private sector, and the state security apparatus exists exclusively to be enlisted by one or another private player. That this particular political style, indigenous to the Caribbean and to Central America, has now been naturalized in the United States is one reason why, on the flat coastal swamps of South Florida, where the palmettos once blew over the detritus of a dozen failed booms and the hotels were boarded up six months a year, there has evolved since the early New Year's morning in 1959 when Fulgencio Batista flew for the last time out of Havana a settlement of considerable interest, not exactly an American city as American cities have until recently been understood but a tropical capital: long on rumor, short on memory, overbuilt on the chimera of runaway money and referring not to New York or Boston or Los Angeles or Atlanta but to Caracas and Mexico, to Havana and to Bogota and to Paris and Madrid. Of American cities Miami has since 1959 connected only to Washington, which is the peculiarity of both places, and increasingly the warp...

"The general wildness, the eternal labyrinths of waters and marshes, interlocked and apparently neverending; the whole surrounded by interminable swamps... Here I am then in the Floridas, thought I," John James Audobon wrote to the editor of The Monthly American Journal of Geology and Natural Science during the course of an 1831 foray in the territory then still called the Floridas. The place came first, and to touch down there is to begin to understand why at least six administrations now have found South Florida so fecund a colony. I never passed through security for a flight to Miami without experiencing a certain weightlessness, the heightened wariness of having left the developed world for a more fluid atmosphere, one in which the native distrust of extreme possibilities that tended to ground the temperate United States in an obeisance to democratic institutions seemed rooted, if at all, only shallowly. At the gate for such flights the preferred language was already Spanish. Delays were explained by weather in Panama. The very names of the scheduled destinations suggested a world in which many evangelical inclinations had historically been accommodated, many yearnings toward empire indulged...

In this mood Miami seemed not a city at all but a tale, a romance of the tropics, a kind of waking dream in which any possibility could and would be accommodated...

So this is where our tax dollars go to die?

"So this is where our tax dollars go to die? My friend and fellow civic activist Csaba Kulin, perhaps wondering when we're FINALLY going to get the clean and inviting public beach that Hallandale Beach residents believe we're entitled to but have never received under Mayor Cooper and her Rubber Stamp Crew.
Instead, we get rusty pipes in the middle of the beach and garbage cans on the beach -without lids- at the windiest place in the entire city. And a public building across the street from the beach that the public can't use for free but which city employees can -for their holiday parties." Click photo to see many more photos of the site and the original post, or http://hallandalebeachblog.blogspot.com/2012/06/latest-info-photos-re-related-groups.html; 2012 photo by South Beach Hoosier. © 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved

Just as true now as it was when it was written in June 2012!

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

Gulfstream Way at Gulfstream Park Race Track in Hallandale Beach, FL

Gulfstream Way at Gulfstream Park Race Track in Hallandale Beach, FL
The north-south street sign in the middle of Gulfstream Park Race Track in Hallandale Beach, FL that leads to-and-from the track and the retail Village at Gulfstream Park to Hallandale Beach Blvd. north of the facilities. October 5, 2010 photo by South Beach Hoosier. © 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved

The View from the Hallandale Beach/Hollywood city line

The View from the Hallandale Beach/Hollywood city line
Looking south towards The Beach Club and the Hallandale Beach Water Tower on A1A from the beach, near the Hollywood cityline, May 2, 2009 photo by South Beach Hoosier. © 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved

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.

"Why do they need that in the Broward County charter?"

"Laws and Constitutions go for nothing where the general sentiment is corrupt."
-New York Times, September 22, 1851

"Why do they need that in the Broward County charter?"
-Hallandale Beach Mayor Joy Cooper at April 2, 2008 HB City Commission meeting, in discussing possible inclusion of Broward County Charter Review Commission's proposal for Ethics Commission to deal with Broward County Commission, on November 2008 ballot.
Six YEARS after the county's voters had overwhelmingly passed an amendment to the County charter requiring its adoption, the Broward County Commission had yet to live up to its legal responsibility. That's why!

Looking east on State Road 858/Hallandale Beach Blvd.

Looking east  on State Road 858/Hallandale Beach Blvd.
Looking east on State Road 858/Hallandale Beach Blvd., over the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway bridge, toward the iconic Hallandale Beach Water Tower and the three condo towers comprising The Beach Club. September 8, 2008 photo by South Beach Hoosier. © 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved

Hallandale Beach Water Tower on A1A/South Ocean Drive

Hallandale Beach Water Tower on A1A/South Ocean Drive
Hallandale Beach Water Tower on A1A/South Ocean Drive. Located below the Hallandale Beach Water Tower on A1A/South Ocean Drive, on the south side (right) is the "Community Center" that HB City Hall, thru their gross incompetency, has made impossible for HB citizen taxpayers to use now for 41 MONTHS as of January 2011. (And where's the American flag on the Fourth of July weekend? Missing in action as it had been for months!) July 3, 2009 photo by South Beach Hoosier. © 2012 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved

The Related Group's The Beach Club, consisting of three condo towers

The Related Group's The Beach Club, consisting of three condo towers
The Beach Club. Looking SE at The Beach Club from the Hollywood side of State Road A1A. May 12, 2008 photo by South Beach Hoosier. © 2012 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved

City of Hollywood City Hall, 2600 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, FL

City of Hollywood City Hall, 2600 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, FL
City of Hollywood City Hall. An early morning shot of the east side of Hollywood City Hall the morning of the Johnson Street Redevelopment RFP Evaluation Committee meeting, where presentations were heard; October 14, 2009 photo by South Beach Hoosier. © 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved. For more info on what's going on with this important project, see http://www.hollywoodfl.org/html/JohnsonStBeachRFP.htm

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.

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

Let's end the 27-year NCAA title drought!

Let's end the 27-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.
Full of Keys (Anni Bernhard) photographed in Rome, 2012, by Alessandro Leone. Click on the photo of Anni to go to her YouTube Channel and see videos from her first album, "Traces of a Human," and jer secomd album, "The Grazing Grounds." http://fullofkeys.com/ https://www.facebook.com/fullofkeys https://twitter.com/FullOfKeys More videos and photos of Full of Keys are at: http://hallandalebeachblog.blogspot.com/p/full-of-keys.html

Andreas Jismark, Anni Bernhard and Mats Jönsson

Andreas Jismark, Anni Bernhard and Mats Jönsson
Photo of Andreas Jismark, Anni Bernhard and Mats Jönsson, Södermalm, Stockholm, Sweden. January 11, 2013 photo by South Beach Hoosier. (c) 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved. The Dolphins caps and goodies are in the yellow bag :)

A dynamic and original talent with personality to spare!

Photo above is from my June 2nd, 2013 post titled, "Our 'Full of Keys' drought is finally over! Full of Keys (a.k.a. the amazing Anni Bernhard) will be playing a showcase in New York City at Cake Shop on June 10th as part of the week-long New Music Seminar. Her new album was recorded recently in Gotland, will be mastered in NYC, aiming for a September release -with lots of very big and exciting plans coming soon! @FullOfKeys, @AndreasJismark, #AnniBernhard, #MatsJönsson, #GrazingGrounds, #NMS2013, #NYMF, #CakeShop" http://www.hallandalebeachblog.blogspot.com/2013/06/our-full-of-keys-drought-is-finally.html
Click the photo to read that post, watch her videos and learn more about this dynamic and original talent with personality to spare!

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 my post on Anni last summer.

Film Staden Sergel, Stockholm, Sweden

Film Staden Sergel, Stockholm, Sweden
In Sergels torg neighborhood of Stockholm for the opening day of the Les Miz film in Sweden, which was also my last full day there. :-(

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.