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.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Cold facts on school violence & security, the subject the N.Y. Times has largely ignored for years; John Solomon & Kimberly Dvorak detail Obama & Congress' hypocrisy: Pre-Sandy Hook shooting, Obama "administration eliminated emergency preparedness program, let school violence prevention programs lapse"; At Broward Beat, intense debate ensues on the role of (or absence of) SROs at Broward County schools and who should be paying for them

I actually read this Washington Guardian piece early Saturday morning and have been waiting patiently to see something on this topic elsewhere, ideally, at a South Florida-centric news website or blog, or a decent segment on TV with some real depth.
Nope, it seems that few want to actually deal with the actual nuts and bolts of school security and the source of funding, they just prefer repeating the same old homilies and tut-tut how terrible it all is.

Even pre-9/11, living and working in Washington and going fairly regularly to some of the places I did for work or my own purposes because of where some friends worked, I was always VERY safety and security conscious about myself and the people I worked with, since we often worked VERY late in almost completely empty office buildings in a city that was among the most crime and violent-prone in the country.

I had no qualms about complaining to the property management company about aspects of building security that I found weak or unsatisfactory, and actually got building security people fired for their continual lack of attention to detail, and unwillingness to tell their friends to stop coming by and hanging out near high-security areas.
I took the approach that we could always find someone who understood our unique security circumstances and who'd pay more attention, so I never lost any sleep about getting someone fired for not doing their job the way we wanted it done.
We were the client.

The day in 1994 that the Oklahoma City Bombing took place at the Murah Federal Building, I was at the NLRB HQ on Vermont Avenue, N.W. doing some research and going over the recent filings and proceedings re the MLB lockout, even while ESPN was reporting on it just a few blocks away.
The difference in security in that building within one week was night-and-day. 

During the nearly 15 years that I lived and worked up there, one of the regular features of local TV news reporting in Washington, D.C. were fairly-lengthy segments on the ease with which strangers/reporters could access and penetrate D.C. high schools without detection. 

Seemingly once a week, someone at one of the four area TV stations showed how easily it could be done regardless of how much the School system spent on security.
And I hardly need mention that one of the biggest problems were the school's students themselves trying to finesse the security systems by creating pathways that allowed them to skip off campus without being noticed by authorities.
Frankly, I always thought that there'd be a mass shooting at one of those schools but it never happened, even while the drive-bys during afternoon football games were not uncommon.

I have no reason to think that the security down here is any different with respect to students actually watering-down whatever the schools put in place.

The Washington Guardian
Before Connecticut tragedy, administration eliminated emergency preparedness program,let school violence prevention programs lapse
John Solomon and Kimberly Dvorak 
Updated 23:43 PM EST, December 14, 2012
Beneath the expressions of grief, sorrow and disbelief over the Connecticut school massacre lies an uneasy truth in Washington: over the last few years the Obama administration and Congress quietly let federal funding for several key school security programs lapse in the name of budget savings.
Government officials told the Washington Guardian on Friday night that two Justice Department programs that had provided more than $200 million to schools for training, security equipment and police resources over the last decade weren't renewed in 2011 and 2012, and that a separate program that provided $800 million to put police officers inside the schools was ended a few years earlier.
Read the rest of the post at:
http://www.washingtonguardian.com/washingtons-school-security-failure

Speaking of ignoring the problem of school security, please note for yourself how rarely the N.Y. Times has written about school security.
Here are the search results for "school security" as of 10:50 a.m. today:
http://query.nytimes.com/search/sitesearch/#/school+security

How many entries do you see since 2000? 
Just one, from 2002, and that was about Israel.
I think it's fair to say that barely more than zero articles in 12 years pretty well speaks volumes.
http://query.nytimes.com/search/sitesearch/#/school+security/365days/


http://www.browardbeat.com/tears-for-sandy-hook-elementary/

http://www.browardbeat.com/parents-start-pressure-for-school-cops/


10 years later, the real story behind Columbine
By Greg Toppo, USA TODAY
Updated 4/14/2009 1:48 PM 
http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/nation/2009-04-13-columbine-myths_N.htm

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For Sale

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, Hollywood and Aventura.

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. But 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 and right on the Atlantic Ocean. Here, the "Perfect Storm" of years of apathy, incompetency and cronyism are all too readily apparent. Sadly for its beleaguered 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 tremendous potential because of its terrific location and well-educated populace, yet its citizens have almost become numb to HB City Hall's frequent outrages and screw-ups, the result of YEARS of the worst kind of mismanagement and lack of foresight. On a daily basis, residents and Small Business owners 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.

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 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 expect.

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.
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/
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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.