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.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

NFL's East Coast/Cowboys Bias may be crushed Sunday night, which would be sweet justice for NFL fans! If Redskins beat Cowboys, strong chance no team from 5 of U.S.'s Top 6 TV markets will make NFL playoffs: No NY, no LA (not even Chargers!), no Chicago, no Philly, no Dallas. Plus, we'll finally be free of analysis of Romo & Roethlisberger's angst! Hooray!!!

NFL's East Coast/Cowboys Bias may be crushed Sunday night, which would be sweet justice for NFL fans! If Redskins beat Cowboys, strong chance no team from 5 of U.S.'s Top 6 TV markets will make NFL playoffs: No NY, no LA (not even Chargers!), no Chicago, no Philly, no Dallas. Plus, we'll finally be free of analysis of Romo & Roethlisberger's angst! Hooray!!!

It's all up to the Redskins to make this reality come true Sunday night when they host the Cowboys in a battle for the NFC Eastern Division title that I believe may well be a Redskin rout by the middle of the third quarter, a result that should lead to the Cowboys making major changes that are long overdue, including a change at head coach.

If the Redskins win Sunday night, the only team from a Top 6 U.S. TV market will be the San Francisco 49ers, at number six.

That will mean that what seems like the majority of the teams that the NFL and Madison Avenue have foisted upon us this past season via nationally-televised Sunday Night, Monday Night and Thursday Night football ballgames will be completely absent from the playoffs: Cowboys, Giants and Jets. Buh-bye!

For the Cowboys, this absence will mean that the following is now true: the Cowboys have won one playoff game in the past 16 years.

Now say it over to yourself and ask yourself whether this self-evident fact will prevent the NFL and Madison Avenue from force-feeding the Cowboys down America's throat next year on the tube?
No, more likely, they will front-load many of those Cowboys games at the beginning of the season and cross their fingers to get some games at the end of the season on the flex schedule.

As I've written here before, one of the few conspiracy theories in America that is actually TRUE is that the NFL props-up the Cowboys in ways that it doesn't seem to for any other team.

At one point in this past season I had figured out that over half of the Cowboy 16 regular season games had been on national TV broadcasts, and with the flex schedule going into effect for Sunday night's Redskins, I believe that makes either 8 or 9 Cowboys games out of 16 that will have been nationally-televised.
Why so much pushing for such a mediocre team?

A few years ago, ESPN commentator and NFL Hall of Fame QB Steve Young succinctly tore into the Dolphins and the Vikings organizations as THE most over-rated NFL teams of the past 10 -or 15?- years.
To that he could have added the Jerry Jones Cowboys of the 21st Century.

No, contrary to what is said perpetually on ESPN, especially by Jon Gruden, the Cowboys are NOT one of the most-talented teams in the league, they are one of the most under-performing.

As a matter of fact, as far as most NFL fans are concerned, the Cowboys and Giants don't need to always have one of their two games be a nationally-televised game, or even rate a 4:15 p.m. Sunday kickoff.
It's not the 1990's anymore, capisce?

An exciting team on the rise like the Seattle Seahawks needs to be on national TV more and I don't mean 1 p.m. Eastern kickoffs against the Dolphins, either.

But don't kid yourself.
The Cowboys will be on more national TV broadcasts next year than the Seahawks even if Seattle gets to the Super Bowl. Even if they win it.
Rest assured, the powers-that-be at NFL HQ will see to it.

NFL Odds & Ends

When he was still head coach at Texas Tech, I used to wonder what a brilliant mind like offensive-minded coach Mike Leach would do if given the keys to the Cowboys, the Chargers, Jets, Bucs or the Ravens, five perpetually under-performing NFL teams, none of whom have made the Super Bowl despite having had numerous opportunities before collapsing. 

I still wonder about that now that Leach is at Washington State, but only re the Ravens.

My January 6, 2009 post on Leach going to the Bucs was titled, 
So THAT'S why newspapers are dying? BORING!; Jon Gruden must go!

As someone with a few Ravens t-shirts and jackets in my bedroom closet and who's rooted for the Ravens since they moved to Baltimore -and who came this close to becoming a Ravens season ticket holder that first year when I lived in Arlington County, VA- while it might be heresy for some to hear, while I think he's a good coach, I believe John Harbaugh's era at Baltimore could and should come to an end if they lose in the playoffs against either the Colts or the Bengals. 
At home. 

They no longer have the number and caliber of defensive playmakers to mask his bad coaching decisions:

Ravens Have Underperformed During John Harbaugh’s Tenure
By Zach Wilt

Bloomberg News
Oakland Pays $17 Million for NFL Raiders as Cops Fired
By Darrell Preston & Aaron Kuriloff - Dec 20, 2012 5:58 PM ET

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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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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.

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!


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

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New this year: you!

New this year: you!
Close-up photo of the cute head-turning window display I snapped in 2013 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

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

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!

Which European country has the most attractive citizens?

As seen in my July 31st, 2013 blog post titled, "Which European country has the most attractive citizens?" Sweden won in a landslide with almost four times as many votes as second-place France, with Spain third and Norway fourth. Yes, seeing is believing!; Norwegian.com's non-stop flights from Fort Lauderdale to Oslo start in 4 months! :) http://hallandalebeachblog.blogspot.com/2013/07/boredpandacom-poll-of-europeans-asked.html