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 and Europe, especially the UK 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. Photo in upper-left is Hallandale Beach's iconic beachball-colored Water Tower on State Road A1A, September 2008; March 2018 photo below of North Beach, looking left-to-right, looking north, HYDE Condominium, Etaru Japanese Robatayaki restaurant, and Hollywood Beach in the distance, with umbrellas. All photos by me, © Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Crass self-serving political hypocrisy in Hallandale Beach and California is right in front of your nose -open your eyes: Cooper, Sanders & Lewy in HB, Villaraigosa & Yaroslavsky in Calif.; Must-read LA Times article on angry Calif. pols upset with voters for not wanting to increase their own taxes -per failed Measure J transit tax- so pols want to change rules to make it easier to raise taxes in the future; @MayorCooper, @SandersHB, @AlexLewy

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Crass self-serving political hypocrisy in Hallandale Beach and California is right in front of your nose -open your eyes: Cooper, Sanders & Lewy in HB, Villaraigosa & Yaroslavsky in Calif.; Must-read LA Times article on angry Calif. pols upset with voters for not wanting to increase their own taxes -per failed Measure J transit tax- so pols want to change rules to make it easier to raise taxes in the future; @MayorCooper, @SandersHB, @AlexLewy
I know, I know.
When you read a news article that mentions that condescending lawmakers are bitching and belly-aching out loud, and are publicly admitting that they're so angry at voters who didn't do what they wanted them to do that they're willing to change the rules or push for a reduction of the threshold needed for passage of a proposition or state Amendment, when it's actually THEIR very own past behavior, actions or inaction that have resulted in the standard being what it is, it sounds exactly like someone trying to change the rules at halftime, doesn't it?

In fact, it sounds exactly like the sort of angry and vindictive idea that would come out of the small minds of Hallandale Beach Mayor Joy Cooper and Commissioners Anthony A. Sanders and Alexander Lewy in order to get their way, doesn't it?
And it does for a reason.

They actually DID try to change the rules last summer a few months before last November's City Commission election, in order to try to get the results they wanted by eliminating the prospective pool of candidates for that Special Election.

In their particular case, Cooper, Sanders and Lewy tried to change the rules for Hallandale Beach voters last summer to try to prevent Comm. Keith S. London from being able to legally run for the Special Election on January 14th that the Broward Supervisor of Elections had scheduled, in case he lost the mayoral election in November that he had to resign to run for, which he did and which he lost to Mayor Cooper.

They wanted to force candidates for that January 14th Special Election to publicly file before the November election, not in December, using the facile claim that it was necessary to move it up in order to give the prospective candidates enough time to meet with HB voters.

Yes, this was pathetic rationale this group of geniuses came up with despite the fact that Comm. Sanders has for years refused to meet with neighborhood groups after he was first elected. Has refused to even return emails or phone calls from residents of this city who DON'T live in Northwest HB, where he lives.

The very same Anthony A. Sanders who refused to participate in anything even remotely resembling an old-fashioned public candidate debate or forum where he had to defend himself from questions proffered by either the public, the news media or his opponents.
The irony of Sanders doing this was not lost on anyone who pays attention to what happens in this city.

Yes, revealing the true shallow depth of his own hypocrisy, this issue is the very same one that caused Comm. Lewy to verbally browbeat Hallandale Beach residents and malign people's character when they spoke publicly in opposition to what the Cooper Rubber Stamp Crew was trying to do in so naked a fashion.

The very same Lewy the Liar who said that "it's not all about Keith London," even though everyone present knew that THAT was exactly what it was about.

What made it truly pathetic and even more contemptuous, to say nothing of politically self-serving, is that it is the very same thing that has repeatedly happened in lots of other South Florida cities over the past ten years when pols have run for another higher office, including with Pembroke Pines City Commissioner Angelo Castillo and in Ft. Lauderdale with Charlotte Rodstrom, as I wrote here on the blog at the time.

The Herald and Sun-Sentinel's sleepwalking beat reporters for HB were too clueless and ignorant to pick up on that fact and never publicly asked Lewy about that, though they clearly should have.

Those two reporters, Carli Teproff and Tonya Alanez, as well as the four local English-language TV stations, i.e the people who are supposed to ask these sorts of questions, completely failed to ask Lewy the very question that would've exposed his own personal animus towards Keith London and the pro-reform, pro-transparency Clean Government . element in this city that Lewy has continually opposed for many years, since even before his 2010 election:
Why are you NOW proposing this legislation when the city commissions in both Pembroke Pines and in Ft. Lauderdale, cities many times larger and more important in the general scheme of things than Hallandale Beach, have never felt the need to meddle in -and actually try to limit- the choice of prospective candidates for a city election? Why now?

Comm. Angelo Castillo was re-elected in early 2010, resigned to run for the District 8 Broward County Commission seat, and then after losing in the August Democratic primary to eventual winner Barbara Sharief, ran for the special election for his old City Commission seat and was elected.

Comm. Charlotte Rodstrom resigned to run for County Commission in last August's primary and was defeated by Tim Ryan in the Democratic primary in the race to succeed her husband John on the County Commission. This month, she lost the Special Election  to Dean Trantalis for the seat she resigned from last year that she was just re-elected to early last year.

(I mentioned both of these obvious examples to people in the audience at the City Commission meeting where this came up, and other examples were cited to me that I was unaware of.)

But as usual, Lewy never said anything about this political reality that is all around us in Broward County and South Florida and that is common knowledge. 
He had to pretend that he was doing something positive for HB residents when the reality is that he was merely trying to get his way.
That's what it's always about with Alexander Lewy.

Not actually providing genuine oversight and financial scrutiny over questionable policies and loans involving tax and CRA dollars, to make sure that they are not wasted and squandered, and not resolving longstanding problems within the city's chaotic and undisciplined workforce, but in Lewy getting his way.

Similarly, the quotes you see in the Los Angeles Times article below from this morning are exactly why despite all the glowing Beltway hype about the mayor of Los Angeles, Antonio Villaraigosa, he is not really a viable national candidate in the future.
He, too, is much more interested in getting his own way, despite what the voters think, than accepting that a political defeat might just mean that he is actually wrong about something, as per this:.

Los Angeles Times
LA NOW blog
Measure J, L.A. County transportation tax extension, fails
November 7, 2012 |  8:00 am

The take away, to quote Times reader Tom Allen: "It's high time that transportation spending proposals are proposed as very short term and with specific projects in mind instead of blank checks..."

Villaraigosa is not just the Left Coast face of corporate spin with a Hispanic surname, but someone that disappointed a sizable portion of his very own past supporters and actually accomplished little of note while in office, often because he squandered opportunities to the right thing almost always as a result of his own over-weaning ambition and ego. 
(Yes, very Lewy-like.)

It's also Villaraigosa's great misfortune in California right now to also be the face of a certain kind of patronizing, know-it-all Democratic politician who always wants to tell other Americans how to live their life.
And if HE finds it necessary to get his way, to tax them over-and-over in the process. 

His glibness and desire to be liked can't hide those central facts because that's his actual record.
His own comments about taxes in today's article just serve to remind us of that reality he can't escape

Antonio Villaraigosa is, in fact, one of the main reasons that SO many well-educated voters in LA County said NO on Measure J, the ostensible subject of the LA Times article I spotted early this morning a few minutes after it it was first posted online.

It certainly wasn't any accident that J failed to get the numbers he wanted it to get in affluent areas of LA County, as that was something that I expected on Election Day, since I already knew it here, thousands of miles away, based simply on the number of friends living in those affluent areas who told me that NO was the prevailing sentiment among their own pro-transit family members: that it was a bad plan.
Just because it was a transit plan, didn't mean it was a good transit plan.
Why lengthen by ANOTHER thirty years a thirty-year half-cent tax that was barely approved four years ago in 2008? Especially when you have no idea how well the money already committed will actually be spent?
Really, approving that tax until 2069 and essentially making it permanent is your plan? 

But you couldn't really expect the LA Times to say that in print, then or now, now could you?
Especially since they endorsed it and have a lot riding on Villaraigosa's political future. 

The newspaper desperately needs for California to have a viable candidate for national office in the near-future, and if it isn't Villaraigosa, they're really left with no winning cards to play, esp. as far as the Hispanic Voter gaining clout angle that they have aggressively been pushing and the identity politics they've been propagating for years.

Without him they'd have to admit that California is now currently so Democratic Blue, the reality is that it will likely play no role in the foreseeable presidential campaigns, except for fundraising purposes, and that is NOT something they want.

Though it may be hard for most well-informed people in South Florida to believe, at this point, the LA Times has even more riding on Villaraigosa than the Miami Herald has riding on their up-and-down love/hate relationship with Senator Marco Rubio.

Los Angeles Times
Minority of L.A. County voters quashed transit tax extension
Measure J fell just 0.6% shy of the required two-thirds approval as support fell in upscale enclaves. Some politicians are pushing to cut the requirement.
By Ari Bloomekatz and Ben Poston, Los Angeles Times
March 31, 2013, 5:00 a.m.

A minority of voters living in a daisy chain of small, suburban and relatively upscale enclaves around the county's outer rim were largely responsible for last fall's razor thin defeat of a $90-billion transit tax that received lopsided ballot box support, a Times analysis shows.
The review comes as several of Los Angeles' senior politicians have joined state lawmakers to push for a reduction of the threshold for passage of such measures, arguing that the current two-thirds requirement is undemocratic and hinders the region's growth.

Read the rest of the article at:

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Self-serving Eleanor Sobel shows again why she remains Broward County's poster child for political expediency. Given a choice, as this SaintPetersBlog post makes clear, Eleanor Sobel prefers carrying the water of the govt. unions that endorsed her -and their pensions- to the long-term interests of S.E. Broward-area taxpayers who will have to pay the bill. Eleanor Sobel is exactly what she looks like -a crass opportunist of the worst sort

Self-serving Eleanor Sobel shows again why she remains Broward County's poster child for political expediency. Given a choice, as this SaintPetersBlog post makes clear, Eleanor Sobel prefers carrying the water of the govt. unions that endorsed her -and their pensions- to the long-term interests of S.E. Broward-area taxpayers who will have to pay the bill. 
Why DOES she always think that's more more important than S.E. Broward taxpayers' fiscal future, anyhow?

Why won't people ever learn their lesson with Eleanor Sobel and stop thinking she'll change her spots someday
Eleanor Sobel is exactly what she looks like -a crass opportunist of the worst sort.
Those of you who are keen to have a better class of politicians around South Broward and if possible, some politicians and government officials with some more old-fashioned notions of hard-work and ethics who don't make you cringe every time you hear their name, need to stop making excuses for her and her minions and her votes and her countless squandering of opportunities to make this area better, merely because she has such a high opinion of herself.

Job creation, a balanced economy that isn't so overly-dependent on the hospitality industry, an improved infrastructure that puts drivers and riders over contractors and engineers first? Stopping government waste and being aggressive about going after those who cause it?
Those are the sorts of issues that people in Broward will tell you we need someone fighting for.
But those issues are all boring issues to Sobel, and are the issues she leaves to others in Tallahassee to deal with and do the heavy lifting for why she worls on boutique issues like teens and tanning salons.

She wants to be a social justice (Union/Doctor's) superhero in Tallahassee, and be beloved by the Usual Suspects who fund Democratic Party candidates and staff their cvampaigns.
She is but how is that helping the tens of thousands of constituents in her district?
If we had a better class of reporters in this area like other parts of the country we'd see these sorts of matters dealt with in a forthright fashion in print or TV, but instead we have press sycophancy and schmoozing instead, where most reporters pull their punches instead. 

She much prefers to be amongst the crowd that always say "Gimme, gimme, gimme!"
That sort of things used to be called "playing to the cheap seats" before most Americans stopped going to movie theaters or live theater at least once a week.
(Why DOES she think that's more more important than S.E. Broward taxpayers' fiscal future, anyhow?)
But after all these years of doing it, Eleanor Sobel just calls this behavior Second Nature.


Pension battle set up as Senate bill goes to floor

By Peter Schorsch
March 28, 2013
A pension bill headed toward the Senate floor could spark a confrontation with House leaders over the future of the retirement system, though senators say they’re confident they can come up with a compromise.
 On a nearly party-line vote, the Senate Appropriations Committee sent the measure (SB 1392) to the Senate floor. Sen. Jeremy Ring, D-Margate, joined 13 Republicans on the panel in supporting the bill; the other five Democrats opposed it.
Read the rest of the post at:

My last two posts on self-serving Sen. Eleanor Sobel, who is supposed to represent me in Tallahassee but who rarely does so with any kind of distinction, were
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

September 20, 2012 

A perfect end to a perfect Wednesday night thinking about ethics: Jennifer Gottlieb and Eleanor Sobel FINALLY get exposed; hot pizza, cold Heineken beer, '80's fave Lisa Whelchel on "Survivor," and reading some of the fascinating Grand Jury testimony re Beachside Montessori Village; Miami Herald: Records in Broward schools investigation reveal affairs; #BeachsideMontessoriVillage

That last post has been actively searched for and read over 770 times, to say nothing of the number of people who saw it and read it that day,when it was the most recent post on the blog.
That's not by accident

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Mediabistro's Fishbowl DC's Eddie Scarry reminds us that POLITICO is "always selling" and always promoting themselves, even to the point of creating a video patting themselves on the back for being -wait for it- legen-dary.; Remembering D.C. and the daily anticipation of getting The Hotline by fax in the early 1990's, when the Internet was still not a daily reality

POLITICO: Our Story; http://bcove.me/oawud7k0

Mediabistro's Fishbowl DC's Eddie Scarry reminds us that POLITICO is "always selling" and always promoting themselves, even to the point of creating a video patting themselves on the back for being -wait for it- legen-dary.; Remembering D.C. and the daily anticipation of getting The Hotline by fax in the early 1990's, when the Internet was still not a daily reality

The former Washington Post reporters behind it, Jim VandeHei and John F. Harris,
whom I read for years while living up there, are trying to create a wave of publiclity that will create a corresponding interest in that.

But how will they keep that information only in select hands when everyone at the law firms, lobbying firms and trade associations they are trying to convince to subscribe to it can always  copy and email real "nuggets" to their friends who don't get it?.

It reminds me a lot of the problem faced by The Hotline -now owned by The National Journal- in the pre-Internet era of the early 1990's, when that goldmine of information used to be faxed daily into offices throughout The Beltway and people would gather around the printer mid-morning waiting for it all to spill out, so they could grab a page and see if there was something in it that dealt with their area of coverage or responsibility.
People would be positively giddy on days after big events in Washington to see what was being written about that subject, and that was especially true during the 1992 presidential election.

And there was always someone in an office who would try to pull the last sheet out before it was finished printing, who'd be yelled at in a milli-second. Good times!

That was also back when if you saw someone reading a copy of The Hotline on the Metro in the evening on your way home, especially an original copy with the Red masthead, that was your clue that the person you were looking at was someone much smarter and better-informed than the average Washingtonian around you.

I kept old copies of them in stacked banker boxes in my garage, with colored 3M Post-it's on the sides with subject areas written on them that I dealt with or was interested in. 
My little treasure trove!

Of course, that was also in the era of heavy faxing, when people routinely forgot to replace the paper in the paper tray of the printer and there was hell to pay if it turned out to be you.
Email is so much easier! 

FishBowlDC blog
New Video Reminds Everyone That Politico Is Still Politico And Always Will Be
By Eddie Scarry on March 27, 2013 12:00 PM
A new three-minute video produced by Politico touts the publication’s “early success” and its plan for the future. Full of Politico bluster, it’s part of a new “brand and advertising” site the publication launched this week, according to Mike Allen‘s Playbook.
Read the rest of the post at:

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The "Creative Class" theory takes it on the chin: Joel Kotkin comes not to praise Richard Florida's notions of the economic dynamism of the Creative Class in urban environments, but rather to bury those ideas under cold hard facts and scrutiny, even while some critics say the theory was always too elitist and patronizing to begin with; "the creative class doesn’t have much in the way of coattails”

bigthink·YouTube Channel: Big Think Interview with Richard Florida, the director of the Martin Prosperity Institute at the University of Toronto's Rotman School of Management. What are the factors in creating a successful economic recovery and what are the public policy. He brings up the South Florida housing market at the 10:28 mark. Uploaded April 23, 2012. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hqesiFaXg7s

The Daily Beast
Richard Florida Concedes the Limits of the Creative Class
by Joel Kotkin 
March 20, 2013 4:45 AM EDT
The so-called creative class of intellects and artists was supposed to remake America’s cities and revive urban wastelands. Now the evidence is in—and the experiment appears to have failed, writes Joel Kotkin.
Among the most pervasive, and arguably pernicious, notions of the past decade has been that the “creative class” of the skilled, educated and hip would remake and revive American cities. The idea, packaged and peddled by consultant Richard Florida, had been that unlike spending public money to court Wall Street fat cats, corporate executives or other traditional elites, paying to appeal to the creative would truly trickle down, generating a widespread urban revival.
Read the rest of the essay at:

I last wrote about Richard Florida when his book Who's Your City: How the Creative Economy is Making Where to Live the Most Important Decision of Your Life 
came out.


I not only purchased a copy for myself, but after a few days of reading it, also purchased a copy at the then-Borders in Aventura and mailed it to my my niece in Maryland who was then weeks from leaving for her freshman year at Washington & Lee in Virginia, where her younger sister is now still at UVA in Charlottesville, one of the country's really great cities to live in and visit.

His May 27, 2008 appearance at Google HQ at Mountain Vista was one I taped for a number of friends. You can also watch it online at:

Transit Miami blog
Miami’s Suburbs in the Sky 
by Craig Chester
May 17, 2012 

Are the mega-condos of Brickell the key to urban vitality and innovation or are they just cul-de-sacs in the sky? In a keynote speech during the 20th Congress for New Urbanism in West Palm Beach, author Richard Florida challenged the idea that the “rush to density” will unlock and release the potential of our cities.
Read the rest of the post at

I was originally going to write a comment there the day the post above came out but I never actually sent it after writing it, though I did share it with some friends around the country who are also interested in urban planning and design/
Transit Miami 


His essays at The Atlantic on urban theory:


Deconstructing Richard Florida
By Ian David Moss
April 27, 2009

Saturday, March 23, 2013

re Red-Light Cameras: Greedy FL cities, Tallahassee-based lobbyists, FL League of Cities and Lake Worth Sen. Jeff Clemens lead effort to gut proper yellow-light timing, gut Motorist's Rights, and gut effort to lower Red-Light Camera fines; Naturally, Sen. Gwen Margolis is not part of the reform and increased safety effort but rather the team intent on keeping dollars flowing into cities at all costs

WJHG-TV/Panama City, FL video: Red Light Camera Changes Shot Down
Posted: Thu 5:24 PM, Mar 21, 2013A A  
Updated: Thu 9:26 PM, Mar 21, 2013Back to News

The following blog post combines certain portions of an email I sent out early Friday morning after spotting various versions of stories 
on my blog's Google Reader about how Florida state Sen. Joe Abruzzo's SB 1342 proposal fared in the Senate Transportation Committee Thursday morning in Tallahassee.

It also incorporates information from earlier news stories I'd kept under wraps on attempts in various states to set minimum lengths of time for yellow traffic lights to display before a red light appears, per the continuing controversy in Chicago previously mentioned here on the blog on November 24, 2012, one of my most-popular posts:

More Red-Light Camera shenanigans: National Journal's Mike Magner has warning for U.S. drivers about unscrupulous cities' amber-colored money trap: Yellow means Green & $$$ - "Dreaded Yellow Light May Be Trap for Traffic Violations" -on purpose. And Rahm Emanuel's Chicago, with Redflex Traffic Systems Inc., is the most brazen of all


Just to reiterate, the FHWA's "Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices," i.e. Federal regs require that a yellow light be at least 3-6 seconds in length. 

Despite lots of lip service, Florida cities, especially those located in South Florida, like Hallandale Beach where I live, do NOT want longer yellow/amber times on their traffic signals because this would necessarily result in giving motorists more time to continue thru the intersection or to come to a complete stop, which would mean less speeding and red-light running ticket fees for their hurting bottom line. 
Plain and simple, the cities have become addicts for those fines and will do anything to keep getting their fix, and that's nowhere more true than in Hallandale Beach. Especially cities that take their marching orders from the taxpayer-subsidized Florida League of Cities, which Mayor Cooper was recently the head of. 


Tampa Bay Times Buzz politics blog 
Red light camera fines survive in Senate
By  Michael Van Sickler, Times/Herald Tallahassee Bureau
March 21, 2013 1:05pm
 Red light runners would have paid less for getting violations and had more time to pay them under SB 1342 by Sen. Joe Abruzzo, D-Wellington, but the lobbying muscle of the agencies and governments that produce revenue from the fines overturned it.
If approved, the bill would have reduced fines from $158 to $100 and given violators 90 days to respond rather than the current 30 days.
Read the rest of the post at: http://www.tampabay.com/blogs/the-buzz-florida-politics/red-light-camera-fines-survive-in-senate/2110424

Given her past track record and ardently pro-government/anti-citizen sensibility, it's no surprise that Northeast Miami-Dade's very own Sen. Gwen Margolis supported the unhelpful Clemens amendment to keep cities rolling in the dough and not create a longer yellow light to actually do something about safety.

As has been mentioned here on the blog more than a few times, Margolis once famously suggested that it might be necessary to make the William Lehman Causeway/Bridge in Aventura -a bridge connecting the beach area of Sunny Isles to the mainland (and hospitals) that was needed decades before it was finally builta pay/toll bridge.

For many years, Margolis has been doing the bidding of the City of Aventura -the city just south of Hallandale Beach- on behalf of their red-light camera operation, which unlike Hallandale Beach's money-grab, at least has the benefit of having large signs that mention that it's the handiwork of Aventura, so there's no confusion on who'd doing it.

Here are the two scenarios that the folks at American Traffic Solutions, the Arizona-based vendor who's been fervently pushing them across South Florida, and even tried to co-opt Broward County into sharing their physical resources so they could piggyback at still more locations, along with their army of lobbyists and cronies at the Florida League of Cities are most afraid of:

a,) passage of the bill for complete repeal, CS/HB 4087
or, b.) the Florida Supreme Court ruling them illegal:
Sunshine State News
Florida Supreme Court to Hear Red Light Camera Cases, Could Refund Millions of Dollars
By Eric Giunta, November 14, 2012 3:55 AM

Miami NewTimes
Freedom fighter Richard Masone takes on red-light cameras in South Florida 
By Gus Garcia-Roberts, June 24 2010

After watching the videos and the articles above, some of you might want to consider contacting the city attorney and police chief in your own city and ask what the minimum yellow light-change interval time is and when it was last verified.
And while you are at it, ask what the city's official standard is for legal right turns on red.

Red light camera in Hallandale Beach has some seeing red

Uploaded July 8, 2010. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0wl8xGKzfTU

That goes double for taxpayers and residents here in Hallandale Beach, with two red-light cameras, at Hallandale Beach Blvd. & U.S.-1 and the one near Hallandale Beach Blvd. & N.W. 9th Court, and whether they have been adjusted properly since initial installation to meet the standard cited in this bill.

Given that the city and HBPD would NOT publicly release their own statistics about tickets for speeding and red-light running in this city at the locations where the devices were eventually placed -which should have been where the highest incidents were, right?- prior to the adoption of tehm, you have very good reason to cast more than a little doubt on what you'd hear.
But contact them anyway and see what they say and let me know at hallandalebeachblog-at-gmail-dot-com

I ask this because everyone who has been paying attention here knows that it took FDOT well over a year AFTER a HB-controlled red-light camera was installed on west-bound Hallandale Beach Blvd. & N.W. 9th Court, near the IHOP, to actually place legible warning signs where they could be seen by drivers, instead of being hidden behind trees -on a block lacking any street lights- per my many complaints.

Here's the bill that was proposed but then gutted by Sen. Jeff Clemens


The action described in the articles/posts above can be seen at the hearing's video  

starting at the 85:47 mark thru 109:49

Thinking about this causes me to wonder why HBPD STILL insists on placing police officers conducting old-fashioned speed-traps on relatively little-traveled W. Dixie Highway and First Avenue and NOT where the speeding cars in this town actually are -on Federal Highway?

IF public safety is really the number-one concern, why does it seem that most of the actual speeders ever caught, usually in front of Gulfstream ParkRace Track & Casino's S.E. 3rd Street entrance, are caught almost always by Aventura Police, not HBPD?


In a related news, DO try this at home: 

Go to http://www.crimemapping.com/map/fl/hollywood

Then place your cursor on the + part of the zoom-in/zoom-out function on the right until its as close as possible.
Now place the cursor on the - sign and click it five times.
Focus the map so that Aventura is not shown.
And there in front of you will be the evidence of what constitutes the most-common link of most crime in HB and Hollywood: Federal Highway/U.S.-1.
Okay, so book 'em and read 'em their Miranda Rights...

By the way, not that this will surprise you, but almost five months later, nobody from either upper management or on the Editorial Board of at the South Florida Sun-Sentinel ever responded to my direct questions last year about why they asked HB Mayor Joy Cooper, the former head of the Florida League of Cities, to write an essay re Red-Light Cameras for their Op-Ed section, given her 2012 campaign contributions from American Traffic Solutions.

That email was posted here as

When are Broward County residents FINALLY going to get the "whole truth" from the Tribune Company's South Florida Sun-Sentinel and some public explanation for their continued reluctance to report it and useful context in Broward County news? Their problems with facts & bias are getting worse by the month; Joy Cooper's red-light camera friends and supporters; Sun-Sentinel's pro-Debbie Wasserman-Schultz bias is a continuing insult to readers; @MayorCooper


My own guess is that a large part of the Sun-Sentinel's refusal to respond to me and address those reasonable concerns stems from the fact that they were embarrassed to have me publicly point out that they were NOT smart enough to ask Mayor Cooper 
 BEFORE they agreed to publish her red-light propaganda, whether or not she'd already received or anticipated receiving any campaign contributions from ATS, or whether the Florida League of Cities has received any money from them.

The news paper didn't mention those obvious questions or ethical concerns in or near what she wrote, even though they are the very sort of obvious questions that should've been asked, with answers shared with readers.
Bit they didn't do that.

For more on the topic of Red-Light Cameras in Hallandale Beach, and photo examples of where the warning signs were placed -out-of-sight- see:

Red Light Ticket Capital YouTube Channelhttp://www.youtube.com/user/MrBFagel

Section 316 of the Florida Statutes, the State Uniform Traffic Control Law:

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Csaba Kulin sounds the alarm over Hallandale Beach City Hall's aggressive attempts to prevent HB citizens from knowing just how much taxpayers will be paying the Police under their new union contract and how they arrived at those figures; HB City Commission's First Reading on this item is tonight at 6:30 p.m.; decision on waiver of $450k in fines owed by Florida East Coast Realty to be decided tonight

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Today, courtesy of an email from my friend and fellow Hallandale Beach and Broward County civic activist Csaba Kulin to City of Hallandale Beach Attorney V. Lynn Whitfield, City Manager Renee C. Miller, City Clerk Sheena James and the five members of the HB City Commission, plus others,  I have some amazing information to share with you regarding Hallandale Beach City Hall's aggressive attempts to prevent HB citizens  from knowing just how much taxpayers will be paying the Police under their new union contract, and how  they arrived at those figures. As per usual, I've deleted the email addresses for obvious reasons.

Also on tonight's agenda, 
will be the continuing debacle of a real estate developer trying to get out of paying $450,000 in fines it owes HB taxpayers, namely, Jerome Hollo and Florida East Coast Realty and its property next to the Mardi Gras on U.S.-1, which I've previously discussed here at the blog

You need to show-up and let your voice be heard -no handout$ to developers with no tangible plans to do anything with land but let it sit idle.

HB City Commission meets tonight at 6:30 p.m.


March 19, 2013
Dear City Manager Mrs. Miller, City Clerk Mrs. James and City Attorney Ms. Whitfield:
The printed Agenda of the City of Hallandale Beach's City Commission meeting for March 20, 2013 at 6:30 PM lists item #14-B as Resolution to Ratify a Collective Bargaining Agreement between the Hallandale Beach and the Broward County Police Benevolent Association.
In reading the Supporting Documents of Item 14-B, I noticed that a part of the Agreement refers to modifications, i.e. additions to the existing and new pension systems.

The Florida Constitution and Florida Statutes (Exhibit 1) explicitly require an “actuarial review, and has furnished a copy of such statement to the division” prior to the last public hearing on retirement systems benefit changes.

I submitted a Public Record Request (Exhibit 2) on March 7, 2013 to inspect ALL actuarial reviews -and have reason to believe there is more than one- related to the current pension changes to see if the changes are being made on a sound actuarial basis. Taxpayer dollars paid for the report and taxpayers have a legal right under the Florida Constitution to see the public information BEFORE a vote of the City Commission is made, to ensure that the city is being diligent and following applicable state laws.

Exhibit 3 is the response I received from Mr. George Amiraian, the City of Hallandale Beach's Director of Human Resources on March 15th, 2013.
Item 1 of Mr. Amiraian’s e-mail refers to an Annual Actuarial Report prepared for an entirely different purpose, NOT for the current pension changes.In Item 2 of Mr. Amiraian’s e-mail he makes the claim that the City of Hallandale Beach is “exempt from public records disclosure” on account of ongoing negotiations with the Hallandale Beach Fire Dept., a separate unit, and for which a separate Annual Actuarial Report will eventually be provided to the city for their specific use in THOSE negotiations, a fact that Mr. Amiraian knows well, since he is a person who has been directly dealing with these issues for many years.

The claim of immunity would thus seem to be false because one Actuarial Report has nothing to do with another legally-mandated, taxpayer-paid for Actuarial Report, otherwise, there would be no need for the city to eventually receive a second Actuarial Report at the appropriate time that deals exclusively with HBFD. This is yet another fact well-known to Mr. Amiraian.

Since I attended the February 25, 2013 meeting of the Hallandale Beach Police and Firefighters’ Personnel Retirement Trust and Mr. Adam Levinson reported on the “Ratification of Actuarial Study Regarding Proposed Police CBA”. Mr. Adam Levinson, attorney representing the Trust, told me after the meeting that the “Actuarial Study” is a public document as of that time.

There was a mention that there are two additional Actuarial Reports, but they are not public records as of February 25, 2013. Further evidence of an existing Actuarial Report is the City Manager’s reference to the total dollar amount of savings without any detail as how she arrived at that number.  I'd like for you to review the entire issue of immunity in this case and notify me in a timely fashion why the City of Hallandale Beach is NOT required to adhere to the current applicable Florida state laws.

Additionally, I'd like for you to explain to me why the official “Actuarial Study” is NOT part of the publicly-disclosed "Supporting Documents" available to the public in sufficient time BEFORE Wednesday night's City Commission meeting to analyze its financial impact on their city's futures, since it's THE most-germane document there is. http://www.hallandalebeachfl.gov/files/2013-03-20/Item%2014B/index.html

I believe I'm being entirely consistent when I insist that the citizens of this city have the right under Florida's Constitution to know ALL the pertinent facts in this important matter and know exactly much money the elected City Commission will be spending as well as how they will be making allowances for those particular costs in the future. In short, show the public how those specific costs figures were arrived at.

They have a right to know these facts BEFORE the Hallandale Beach City Commission votes on it, NOT months after the fact.
Given these facts, I'd like you to explain to me why Agenda Item 10-B should not be postponed to a future date until all these issues have been properly resolved and the city is in compliance with the letter and spirit of Florida's laws and Constitution.

Csaba Kulin
Exhibit 1.
Florida Constitution
SECTION 14.  State retirement systems benefit changes.
SECTION 14. State retirement systems benefit changes.—A governmental unit responsible for any retirement or pension system supported in whole or in part by public funds shall not after January 1, 1977, provide any increase in the benefits to the members or beneficiaries of such system unless such unit has made or concurrently makes provision for the funding of the increase in benefits on a sound actuarial basis.
History.—Added, H.J.R. 291, 1975; adopted 1976.
2012 Florida Statutes
112.63 Actuarial reports and statements of actuarial impact; review.
 (3) No unit of local government shall agree to a proposed change in retirement benefits unless the administrator of the system, prior to adoption of the change by the governing body, and prior to the last public hearing thereon, has issued a statement of the actuarial impact of the proposed change upon the local retirement system, consistent with the actuarial review, and has furnished a copy of such statement to the division. Such statement shall also indicate whether the proposed changes are in compliance with s. 14, Art. X of the State Constitution and with s. 112.64.
Exhibit 2.
March 7, 2013
Dear Hallandale Beach City Clerk,
I request to inspect the following documents under Florida Statue 119 from the City of Hallandale Beach Police Officers’ and Firefighters’ Personnel Retirement Trust and the City of Hallandale Beach.

If for any reason you believe any of the requested material is exempt from Florida Statue 119 please list the exemption and fulfill the remainder of this request.
I would like to inspect the following documents:
1.    Copy of the Actuarial Study Regarding Proposed Police CBA.
2.    Copy of the Actuarial Study the City of Hallandale Beach has in its possession.
3.    Draft of the Pension Ordinance which will be presented to the City Commission and the residents in the near future.
After inspection, I will decide the documents I wish to have a copy of.
Please acknowledge my request and notify me with an estimate of the cost, if any, and when the records requested will be available for my inspection.
Csaba Kulin

Exhibit 3.

"Amiraian, George" 
"Kulin, Csaba" 
Public Records Request
Fri 03/15/13 05:09 PM
Part 1
Part 2
Csaba, I have listed below the answers in writing to your Public Records Request received on March 7 2013
1. Copy of the Actuarial Study regarding Proposed Police CBA.
As previous discussed, the latest Actuary Study can be found on the City’s website www.hallandalebeachfl.gov
2. Copy of the Actuarial Study the City of Hallandale Beach has in its possession.
Also discussed, the Actuary Study that the City of Hallandale Beach has in its possession is exempt from public records disclosure due to ongoing negotiations with the Fire Union.
I hope this answers your questions.
George Amiraian
Director of Human Resources
City of Hallandale Beach
400 South Federal Hwy
Hallandale Beach, Florida 33009

#HollywoodFL based photographer/entrepreneur Esther Chuang

#HOLLYWOODFL based photographer and entrepreneur Esther Chuang with Hollywood Mayor-elect Josh Levy
Thumbs up! What a night! #HOLLYWOODFL based photographer and entrepreneur Esther Chuang with a very elated Hollywood Mayor-elect Josh Levy at his Victory Party, held at Leo Anato's Atelier3/AT3 on Harrison Street & S. 19th Avenue, Hollywood. AT3's great environment and the amazing variety of food prepared by chef Kevin Dreifuss, former owner/chef of now-closed ENDS MEAT restaurant, was SUPERB! November 8, 2016 Esther Chuang, Morro Dois Irmãos, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 2015
Above, perhaps my most-favorite photo ever of Esther, which is really saying something considering the THOUSANDS that I've actually seen of her, from all over the world. But despite the fact that you can't actually see it here, trust me, her amazing smile and inner and external beauty are there. This photo is an even more amazing achievement when you know the backstory of what it took for Esther to get to the top of the mountain, since it's NOT for the faint of heart. Next time you see her, ask her about that! Morro Dois Irmãos, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on her birthday, July 10, 2015. That's the Christ The Redeemer statue way out in the horizon on the top of another mountain, to the left of her head. To the right is the world famous beach of Ipanema and to the left is the equally famous beach of Copacabana. �� In case you forgot what the Christ the Redeemer statue looks like, up close, here's yet another Brazilian beauty to connect-the-dots for you: Gisele Bündchen, aka @Gisele.

Abençoado por Deus e bonito por natureza!✨ ������

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View of Rio De Janeiro from my room.

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