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.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Today, Stockholm is T minus 21 days -and yes I'm counting!; Some Swedish homework of mine to make my trip go well includes reviewing grammar and re-watching the original films in Swedish based on Stieg Larsson's Millennium crime fiction trilogy, starring Noomi Rapace & Michael Nyqvist

CBS News YouTube Chanel video: CBS News Sunday Morning correspondent Erin Moriarty travels to Stockholm, Sweden to discover the story and the truth behind the success of the late Swedish author Stieg Larsson, whose Millennium crime fiction trilogy has swept the world of book publishing: Stieg Larsson: Behind "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" Uploaded October 10, 2010. http://youtu.be/X-WJ6BlLw2s


Above, at Panera Bread in Hallandale Beach last month, a few hours after three elements of my "Swedish homework" were finally delivered via Amazon.com.  I wanted a few weeks to brush-up and remind myself of some things that I just might've forgotten the past few years, while toiling away for clean, effective and transparent government here in Hallandale Beach and Broward County, THE most-corrupt county in all of Florida. November 19, 2012 photo by South Beach Hoosier. © 2012 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved

Here are my three handy study tools to help me make more sense of things in Sverige in a few weeks when I'm doing my thing in Södermalm and Norrmalm.


Essentials of Swedish Grammar: A Practical Guide to the Mastery of Swedish
By Ake Viberg, Kerstin Ballardini and Sune Stjarnlof 
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0844285390/
Because it never hurts to go over some things...

201 Swedish Verbs: Fully Conjugated in All the Tenses (201 Verbs Series) 
By Richard P. Auletta
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0812005287
Because there's always those verb tenses that seem slightly different than the way you remember them, and because I hate to make mistakes...


Dragon Tattoo Trilogy: Extended Edition (2011)
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005JTLTI4/
A four-DCD collection that includes the three original Swedish language films from Stieg Larsson's Millennium Trilogy, starring Noomi Rapace as Lisbeth Salander and Michael Nyqvist as Mikael Blomkvist, plus a bonus CD.


Trailer: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2009); original title in Swedish: Män som hatar kvinnor


Trailer: The Girl Who Played with Fire (September 2009); original title in Swedish:  Flickan som lekte med elden


The much-scarier teaser


Trailer: The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets' Nest (2010); original title in Swedish: Luftslottet som sprängdes

I saw the original Swedish films but wanted to review them again before my trip so that:
a.) it would be fresh in my head once again once I get there, and, b.) so that I could take some notes on certain places where action takes place in and around Södermalm, since I'll be staying there for half of my trip. http://youtu.be/mJzQ_0XHJ58

The Millennium Tour
http://www.visitsweden.com/sweden/Regions--Cities/Stockholm/Culture-in-Stockholm/The-Millennium-Tour/

Bellmansgatan 1, Södermalm, the fictional home of crusading journalist Mikael Blomkvist.


View Larger Map


Photos of the free Millennium tour in Stockholm at: http://www.losapos.com/millennium%20locations%20in%20stockholm

Of the various versions of the trilogy collection you could buy, I wanted to get the one that was in Swedish and that included lots of the footage that was cut from the original shorter theatrical release, so nearly every one of the three is three hours in length.
It does come with English subtitles, of course, since I'm not fluent in Swedish, just know what I know -and it even has an English dub track I won't use- but not one that's all dubbed, since that isn't what I saw the first time.

That's one of the other things that Sweden has in common with the U.S. -real hardcore film fans prefer their films in the original language, with subtitles, NOT dubbed, as is so common in Italy and Spanish-speaking countries.
On top of all the dozens of other things i will be doing during my stay there, I'll avail myself of some opportunities to check out other aspects of Swedish film culture and history while there.

After all, as I mentioned here in my blog post of April 25, 2012, titled, Beautiful, just like the original! Greta Garbo will be featured on the new Swedish 100 Kronor note, with Ingmar Bergman on the 200 SEK note, all designed by Göran Österlund, starting in 2015
http://hallandalebeachblog.blogspot.com/2012/04/beautiful-just-like-original-greta.html
Sweden doesn't just talk the talk, they actually put their larger-than-life film personalities on their currency, in the case of the two giants below, starting in 2015. 



Designed by Göran Österlund

Many years ago, when I was still living in the Washington, D.C. area, and despite a busy schedule, usually managing to see a foreign film a week, one night while leaving the theater, completely out-of-the-blue, I came to the sudden realization that unless Uma Thurman 
or Cate Blanchett agreed to portray her in a well-written biopic, there was almost no chance we were ever going to see a top-tier actress play Garbo in a believable way.

Queen Christina trailer (1933): The One and Only Garbo!
I think I've probably seen Queen Christina about a dozen times over the past 30 years.


http://www.tcm.com/tcmdb/title/385/Queen-Christina/

Ingmar Bergman is on the new 200 Kronor note, replacing Selma Lagerlöf, who was the first female writer to win the Nobel Prize for Literature.


Designed by Göran Österlund

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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!

#Södermalm

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

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

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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

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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