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.

Chuck Kulin for Hallandale Beach Commissioner, Seat 1

Chuck Kulin for Hallandale Beach Commissioner, Seat 1
Political advertisement paid for and approved by Chuck Kulin, non-partisan for Hallandale Beach Commissioner, Seat 1

Saturday, February 16, 2013

My fact-filled email to a Sun-Sentinel reporter sheds long-overdue light on the behavior of both Florida state Sen. Eleanor Sobel and the South Florida Sun-Sentinel's sloppy and incurious brand of journalism, and how both negatively affect Broward residents; After today, I give up on the Sun-Sentinel until the Tribune Co. sell it off to someone savvy enough to give beleaguered Broward residents the quality newspaper they deserve, not more of the same old unsatisfactory status quo that is so galling

The South Florida Sun-Sentinel's vending machine outside Hollywood City Hall

My fact-filled email to a Sun-Sentinel reporter sheds long-overdue light on the behavior of both Florida state Sen. Eleanor Sobel and the South Florida Sun-Sentinel's sloppy and incurious brand of journalism, and how both negatively affect Broward residents; After today, I give up on the Sun-Sentinel until the Tribune Co. sell it off to someone savvy enough to give beleaguered Broward residents the quality newspaper they deserve, not more of the same old unsatisfactory status quo that is so galling
What follows is a copy of an overdue email that I sent Friday afternoon to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

Specifically, Tallahassee-based reporter Kathleen Haughney, with cc's to Dana Barker, the Sun-Sentinel Broward metro editor, Rosemary Goudreau, their Editorial page editor, Douglas Lyons, senior editorial writer and columnist, and columnist Gary Stein.
Also receiving it was columnist Michael Mayo and reporter Susannah Bryan, who currently has Hallandale Beach and Hollywood as part of her beat.

I've been waiting, semi-patiently, since Tuesday afternoon to send it off, get it out of my system and finally cross it off of my long list of Draft emails that are going to be dropping around South Florida like little mini-explosions over the next few weeks.

Mostly, though, I waited to see if someone else in Broward County noticed any of the same curious and troubling things that I caught right away when I saw the article shortly after it went online Monday night.
As I fully expected, nope!

For those of you who know a little more about the history of the incidents that are discussed herein, it's my effort to convincingly connect a lot of the missing dots that I've not mentioned here on the blog previously over the past few years about the behavior and conduct of Florida state Senator Eleanor Sobel, the real way way the Broward County PBA tries to exert its influence politically in Hollywood, and adds yet more fuel -and specifics- to the roaring that is the insufferably poor job that the the Sun-Sentinel has been doing for many years in competently and FAIRLY covering Broward County education policy, local and state government and local and state politics.

Not that the Miami Herald has anything to brag about in any of this, either, since they've ben just as asleep at the wheel.

All matters of great concern to me and many of you that I've written about with lots of skepticism, anger and incredulity over the years when comparing what appeared in-print and online in the Sun-Sentinel, and what they should've been doing to get the true facts and context out about the reality of what has been going on in thsi area for many, many years, most of them bad.

Trust me, it was very liberating to do and my birthday gift to myself.

-----.

Per "Lawmakers criticize Hollywood for financial problems"


So, where to start with your article?

Hmm-m... I'll start with the most obvious mistake - lawmakers, as in plural.

Not due to you personally, obviously, but a problem all the same since the only lawmaker -singular- that you actually mention by name in your article is Eleanor Sobel, someone with a demonstrated history of NOT caring so much about what things cost, especially when she can try to use her influence to get them from taxpayers.
(See the bopttom of this post for the proof of that.)

You also never mention the name of the joint panel that heard the testimony, the nine-member Joint Legislative Auditing Committee, or mention or quote ANY of its members by name, even those from South Florida or Broward.
Sort of relevant, don't you think?

Especially in an article headlined mistakenly with the word lawmakers?

Three of the committee's nine members are from Broward or Miami-Dade -state Reps Daphne Campbell and Cynthia Stafford from Miami and state Senator Jeremy Ring of Northwest Broward- and yet somehow, for whatever reasons, you couldn't find them or an unbiased legislator to quote, just Sobel?
Sort of curious, don't you think?

But even more egregiously as far as the actual truth is concerned -and reader's understanding of the story- is the fact that you NEVER mention anywhere in your article that Eleanor Sobel is NOT even on that Joint Committee, despite your quoting her.

I already knew Sobel wasn't on it, and spent 25 minutes on the phone yesterday talking to the Committee's staff on how it is that Sobel came to be there in the room, let alone speak on the matter, but you just let readers assume she was allowed to be there as both the original complainant and a sort of pseudo-judge who got to ask questions of the very people she
complained about, which would strike most people as a clear conflict-of-interest.

And how is it, exactly, that you NEVER actually quote ANYONE who's an actual voting member of the Joint Legislative Auditing Committee that was holding the meeting?

Yes, that's more than a little curious, and God forbid you actually place a link in the article to the meeting's info pack given how little facts and context you actually provide

As for the context phase of the story, or rather the lack of it, you utterly fail to mention the salient fact that it was members of the Hollywood Police and Fire unions, past supporters of Sobel's, who were the two interest groups that were most adversely affected by the various financials moves the city had to make, however clumsily.

To this day, many of them still won't stop complaining and bitching about the overwhelming vote by Hollywood taxpayers against THEM, to show the two unions that notwithstanding whatever moves were made at City Hall, there was, in fact, a finite limit to the sense of entitlement that these employees were allowed to feel via Hollywood taxpayers' wallets and purses.

Which is precisely why Sobel brought the complaint forward in the first place -to carry their water and stay on their good side prior to last November's election

Nobody-but-nobody believes Eleanor Sobel genuinely cared one whit about any of that budget melodrama until she realized that there was a mutuality of interests between her and the unions before the election, and most well-informed people in Hollywood I know and respect would suggest that everything else being equal, it probably wasn't even originally her idea to file the complaint, but rather one "suggested" to her by a little bird.

You may think otherwise, of course, but one of the prevailing opinions about Sobel among well-informed citizens who are actually paying attention and hip to her past antics and practices is that Sobel is utterly without guile, besides not always being the brightest bulb, and totally transparent to a fare-thee-well.

But now that I think about it, "obvious" is probably a much-better description of her than "transparent," because Sobel was certainly anything but transparent or responsive when she was repeatedly asked by residents of SE Broward and news reporters to declare where all that mysterious "outside money" came from in her first FL Senate campaign in 2008, which proceeded to use it to malign, libel or otherwise bitch-slap anyone who ever looked at Eleanor Sobel so much as cross-eyed.

I knew as much in 2006 when I personally observed Sobel displaying her trademark gall by standing-up and trying to speak into a microphone before a Hallandale Beach City Commission meeting started, and because she's pals with Mayor Joy Cooper, she was allowed to make a partisan plug for herself at a govt. facility full of people gathered there to conduct govt. business -the meeting- to get signatures for a petition to get her name on the ballot without paying the S.O.E.

Not signatures for a charity for kids or pets or something else, but rather for herself.

Sobel then proceeded to ignore any notions of normal decorum while the City Commission meeting was going on when she worked the aisles to get signatures on her clipboard.
I just looked at her, aghast, when finally she got to me. 

This, of course, was back when Sobel pretended that she really, really cared about education and kids' futures and wanted to be on the Broward School Board.
It was common knowledge that she only wanted the School Board gig, a govt. job with little heavy lifting, while she waited for bombastic state Senator Steve Geller's term-limited seat to open.
And that's what it was, wasn't it?

After watching that exhibition of narcissism that night in HB, nothing she ever did or said afterwards surprised me

And seriously, tell me again why it is that more than three months after-the-fact, after the City of Hollywood has already taken Jeff Marano and the Broward PBA to court for breaking Hollywood's voter-approved campaign finance law, which the Broward PBA completely trampled in order to get its favored candidates elected, as if their illegal efforts were always their plan, and that any associated court costs, if any, were just the cost of doing businessthe South Florida Sun-Sentinel has still yet to mention this litigation even ONCEmuch less, reported on the latest activities?

Not even once.
No articles, no columns, nothing in the Broward Politics blog and certainly no editorials.
You call that journalism?

I hope that you and your colleagues at the newspaper can manage to be considerably more accurate with the facts and include more useful context the rest of 2013, and that your editors can better manage their self-evident biases, or else it's going to be a very, very long year for the Sun-Sentinel readers who have chosen to remain readers instead of bailing-out because of their continuing disappointment with the current state and direction of the newspaper.

By the way, since I'm sure you've noticed, I've chosen to include other people in this cc, not because I think they care at all about hearing more about Sobelso much as the fact that some of them were (and continue to be) completely oblivious and complicit the last few years in not only self-evident factual screw-ups in the Sun-Sentinel regarding facts and context in stories and editorials regarding Southeast Broward, but about corruption, ethics violations and activities contrary to Florida's constitution in Hallandale Beach that should've appeared but NEVER did, despite their value to the general public.
The fact is that your paper has even endorsed one of the worst offenders.
Twice.

Despite my best efforts and taking the time and effort to educate them via email about the nature of those problems, those managers and editors have consciously avoided, ignored or acted oblivious to the facts-on-the-ground that citizens here could and can see with their own eyes.

Instead of being enterprising and rising to the occasion, the Sun-Sentinel collectively and those people individually, chose not to respond when it really mattered -or since.

Which is why I've consistently posted my fact-filled criticisms of the newspaper and them personally on my blog, so others would be just as well-informed about the facts and their identities as I am.


Today's email then is not directed at you individually, per se, so much as you just happen to be the very last straw after dozens of similar fact patterns, ones that don't seem intent on presenting the whole story to residents of this area who want all the facts.

I've been consistent about wanting facts, context and honesty to matter even while your newspaper continues showing a type of consistency of a completely different sort, and one that is chasing its few remaining readers away.

At this point, in my opinion, the best thing that can happen for concerned residents of Broward is for the Tribune Company to sell the Sun-Sentinel to a group led by someone smart and savvy enough to know that the only way that the paper can ever hope to make any money and be truly relevant and of value to readers in the future is by giving intelligent readers more of what they want.

Someone who will cut out the saturation of fluff and dead stories that makes people so reluctant to buy the paper because they think the whole thing can be read in less than five minutes.

Readers want more in-depth stories on local government and agencies, more/better reporters who are genuinely curious and self-motivated, don't take things for granted and who actually hustle to create a broad array of resources in the community to turn to and quote, instead of relying on the same old familiar cadre of suspects making the same old blandishments.

Clear-cut the deadwood that doesn't seem to aspire to more than banal, and who perpetually want to be begged to show-up to cover the news, and then, seem to want the public to be grateful if they DO show-up.

Since that isn't going to happen in the next few months, I'm going to make things much easier for myself and simply pull the plug on the Sun-Sentinel and give up on thinking there's any logical reason for me or any of my well-informed, civic-minded friends to contact anyone there about anything at all, when it's like spitting into the wind.

I'll start on that later today by posting this on my blog, sending links to it to the circle of people I know locally and around the state who've come to trust my judgment from experience, and then, I'll start deleting every single Tribune/Sun-Sentinel email address I have on my computer.
(So, there's no point in you or anyone in that cc field responding to this, since it'll just go straight to spam. It's a little late to be concerned now.)

After all, you can't wake people up who are pretending to be asleep, and I and so many people I know who wanted this city and that paper to be much-better than they are, are tired of pretending that anything we say or do is going to change things at the Sun-Sentinel  until that new owner eventually comes in and starts making BIG changes in personnel and employee attitudes.

-----
InspectorGeneral
Jan 30


to me

Your email  has been received by the Broward Office of the Inspector General.  Your information will be reviewed to determine what action will be taken.

Description: Description: cid:image001.png@01CDA55F.DF5CA7C0

Sincerely,


Broward Office of the Inspector General
-----

Cathy Swanson-Rivenbark
Jan 30

Thank you for bringing this to my attention. I was not aware of the material.  I will address it immediately and I will also put a protocol in place to prevent it from happening again.  Regards, Cathy Swanson-Rivenbark

From: David B. Smith
Sent: Wednesday, January 30, 2013 2:33 PM
To: Cathy Swanson-Rivenbark
Cc: John W. Scott; Bryan, Susannah
Subject: Please try to do a better job in 2013 of preventing partisan political material from being left in the public lobby outside the City Comm. Chambers -for months at a time
-----

Please try to do a better job in 2013 of preventing partisan political material from being left in the public lobby outside the City Comm. Chambers -for months at a time

David B. Smith
Jan 30 

to Cathy
Dear City Manager:

Please do a better job in 2013 than in 2012 of preventing overtly partisan
political material from being left in the public lobby outside the City Clerk's
office and outside the City Comm. Chambers -for MONTHS at a time.

The offenders are State Sen. Eleanor Sobel and state Rep. Elaine Schwartz,
who already have a district office that's just steps from Hollywood City Hall.
One that in the case of Sen. Sobel, was actually subsidized by Hollywood
taxpayers a few years ago as I recall from having been present at the City
Commission meeting where it was approved.

It still remains unclear to me why that was such a great deal for Hollywood
taxpayers, rather than Sen. Sobel actually paying rent out of her legislative
account for a space at one of the many empty storefronts along Hollywood
Blvd. between City Hall and Young Circle.
She'd certainly have plenty to choose from.

Sobel and Schwartz or perhaps their pals and "helpers" would do well to
NOT keep bringing over copies of articles that mention them by name and
leaving those copies in very conspicuous locations in the public lobby.
(It's not fooling anyone.)

Even worse, leaving copies of articles that support the position in Tallahassee
of interest groups who are well-known campaign contributors of Sen. Sobel,
like various medical associations, to say nothing of copies of actual political
endorsements of them. 
It's all a little too frequent and too coincidental not to be an actual plan.
A self-defeating plan as it turns out.

Last week, upon visiting the second floor to look at the Sunshine Board
outside the City Clerk's office for some information about some upcoming
public meetings, for about the 12th time in the past six months -though 
it's probably much more- I saw overtly pro-Schwartz and pro-Sobel 
materials carefully placed in the public lobby where they couldn't possibly
be missed. 

While it may not be unethical, per se, it's both tacky and unprofessional
and makes it seem like the city is just winking at this overtly partisan
behavior.

I could have sent this to you a year ago and it would have been just as true.
I apologize for not having done so then, but the problem remains...

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Miami Dolphins QB capable of winning 2 playoff games in a row is NOT on roster now

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.

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.
____________________________________________
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
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0091217/
Audio of pregame speech:
_____________________________________________

Paradise Lost? South Florida

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

Nice from a distance, not so nice once you're there and see the years of City Hall's neglect

Nice from a distance, not so nice once you're there and see the years of City Hall's neglect
The public beach that is "North Beach" in Hallandale Beach, FL. June 19, 2012 photo by South Beach Hoosier.© 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved

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!

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

Looking towards southern Hollywood Beach

Looking towards southern Hollywood Beach
Trump Hollywood, Diplomat Residences, Westin Diplomat, Crowne Resort. Looking NE towards Hollywood on State Road A1A from the 2500 block of East Hallandale Beach Blvd./State Road 858 just before crossing the Intracoastal Bridge: (l-r) Trump Hollywood, Diplomat Residences, the Westin Diplomat Resort & Spa, the Crowne Plaza Hollywood Beach. March 25, 2009 photo by South Beach Hoosier. © 2013 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

Corruption Isn't Unique to South Florida, It's the Level of the Stupidity That Is

Corruption Isn't Unique to South Florida, It's the Level of the Stupidity That Is
"[Chicago Mayor] William Hale Thompson was defeated Tuesday after a campaign which he alone made disgraceful. The election was an ejection, a dirty job, but Chicago has washed itself and put on clean clothes. Thompson recognized the [Chicago] Tribune as his chief enemy. The Tribune was glad to earn that opinion. It certainly tried to do so. It has taken the fight to him on every occasion during the long and depraved course of his administration. It is unpleasant business to eject a skunk, but someone has to do it. For Chicago, Thompson has meant filth, corruption, obscenity, idiocy and bankruptcy. He has given the city an international reputation for moronic buffoonery, barbaric crime, triumphant hoodlumism, unchecked graft and a dejected citizenship. He nearly ruined the property and completely destroyed the pride of the city. He made Chicago a byword for the collapse of American civilization. In his attempt to continue this he excelled himself as a liar and defamer of character. He’s out. He is not only out, but dishonored. He is deserted by his friends. He is permanently marked by the evidences of his character and conduct. His health is impaired by his ways of life and he leaves office and goes from the city the most discredited man who ever held place in it."

-Excerpts from April 1931 Chicago Tribune editorial following Republican "Big Bill" Thompson's loss to his Democratic rival Anton Cermak. A friend of organized crime during the Al Capone era, Thompson was the last Republican elected mayor of Chicago. But less than two years later, Mayor Cermak was shot while shaking hands with President-elect Franklin D. Roosevelt at Miami's Bayfront Park. He died from gunshot wounds to his lungs three weeks later.

See
http://www.encyclopedia.chicagohistory.org/pages/3686.html

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

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 to go to the FoK YouTube Channel
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 the first single of her upcoming 2nd 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.

Full Of Keys - Silent Agreement, from the new #GrazingGrounds album

FullofkeysOFFICIAL YouTube Channel: Full Of Keys - Silent Agreement. Uploaded January 9, 2014 http://youtu.be/7yHULYTxEt4 From the second album by Full of Keys (Anni Bernhardt) #grazinggrounds http://www.youtube.com/user/FullofkeysOFFICIAL

Full Of Keys - Cover My Eyes (Stills Video)

Full Of Keys - Cover My Eyes (Stills Video) via Andreas Jismark YouTube Channel. Uploaded February 23, 2014. The 2nd track released from #grazinggrounds album. Full Of Keys 2014. http://youtu.be/aha-pf_QrXo

"Heart" from @fullofkeys #GrazingGrounds

Cecilia Nilsson - A new super-talent from Gävle, Sweden

Cecilia Nilsson - A new super-talent from Gävle, Sweden

Veronica Maggio - Sergels Torg (Lyric Video)

UniversalMusicSweden YouTube Channel video: Veronica Maggio - Sergels Torg (Lyric Video). Uploaded August 21, 2013. http://youtu.be/kSdqLlyqZX8 As seen on my September 25, 2013 blog post titled, "Irresistible Veronica Maggio delivers two new infectious songs for us to linger over and become addicted to, just when we needed her talent and moxie the most- 'Sergels Torg' and 'Dallas'; Veronica and Stockholm NEVER disappoint!; Jag älskar Sergels Torg!; @veronicamaggio, #stockholm, #sweden, #sergelstorg
http://hallandalebeachblog.blogspot.com/2013/09/irresistible-veronica-maggio-delivers.html

Miriam Bryant @MiriamBryant

Veronica Maggio

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.

Breaking Away" opened in movie theaters 35 years ago today

IU's NCAA Basketball Championship banners

Our five NCAA Basketball Championship banners are on the north side of the court; I was there for 1981's.

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.

Here's the first banner of the Crean Era

Indiana University Athletics

Perhaps you'll enjoy this view more!

We Are IU (Official Version) 2013