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.

Friday, March 8, 2013

My open letter to Florida Governor Rick Scott about the longstanding corruption and incompetency at Hallandale Beach City Hall and environs re the HB CRA: More shocking proof of what I've written you several times in the past: Serial malfeasance and millions of dollars squandered by public officials as State laws/ethics were ignored, and with little genuine public oversight or transparency. Broward Inspector General Scott assails Hallandale Beach for past and continuing "gross mismanagement" -possible "criminal misconduct"; @MayorCooper, @SandersHB, @AlexLewy

Above, the center of the unethical storm, where malfeasance has a homestead:  Hallandale Beach City Hall. January 29, 2013 photo by South Beach Hoosier.© 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved

More shocking proof of what I've written you several times in the past: Serial malfeasance and millions of dollars squandered by public officials as State laws/ethics were ignored, and with little genuine public oversight or transparency. Broward Inspector General Scott assails City of Hallandale Beach for past and
continuing "gross mismanagement" -possible "criminal misconduct"

Broward Bulldog
Broward Inspector General slams Hallandale for “gross mismanagement”; CRAs elsewhere eyed
By William Gjebre and Dan Christensen, BrowardBulldog.org 
March 6, 2013 AT 6:10 AM

March 7, 2013

Dear Governor Scott:

I'm writing to you today because I and many other concerned citizens of this community believe it's long past time for you and your staff to start paying  some serious attention to what's been allowed to go on in Hallandale Beach for YEARS, with nary a move by people legally in a position to both inquire into and prevent this sort of pervasive public corruption from continuing apace, to the detriment of the entire community.

Years of opportunities for this community to move forward and actually solve some problems were wasted thru corruption, incompetency and outright dereliction of duty by elected officials who were supposed to follow the law, not ignore it.

And yet even now as an IG investigation is underway, with damning news, current and former elected officials, administrators and city employees who engaged in this illegal and incompetent behavior continue to act like they are "untouchables."
This simply can not be allowed to stand.

For the record, I should state that I was the individual who blew the whistle to the Broward Office of the Inspector General (OIG) regarding certain specific failures that I had been able to uncover and prove regarding the Hallandale Beach City Commission, acting as the Hallandale Beach CRA Board of Directors, along with their highly-paid city staffers, including the then-City Managers Mike Good and Mark A. Antonio and City Attorney David Jove, failure to perform appropriate oversight and enforcement of applicable state laws and city rules/ordinances, with common sense ethical rules routinely violated all along the way.

Specifically, I provided the OIG with information showing 
a.) that even in years where they were no longer legally considered non-profits by the IRS -for the YEARS of the group(s) failing to provide the IRS the required documentationgroups eager to receive HB CRA funds continued claiming that non-profit status to the Hallandale Beach CRA in their applications, knowing that the city's elected officials and staff weren't verifying the information. 
This all-too-true fact was borne out by the Broward OIG report, and,

b.) that purported non-profit groups routinely turned in incomplete documents, including the sort of relevant information that the public should reasonably expect the city to have in their possession and know in advance BEFORE awarding any funds -who are the administrators, what are they being paid in salaries or fees, etc.or, turned in documentation that was no longer valid, knowing the CRA Board of Directors and city staff would never make reasonable attempts to verify any of it.
Again, another fact corroborated by the Inspector General's report.

Recently the Hallandale Beach City Commission, acting as the HB CRA Board of Directors, despite all the facts, again voted to award precious CRA funds to a group, Palms Community Action Coalition, Inc.that claims on its own website that the best way for the taxpayers of this city and the general public to keep informed on its activities was to check their online Calendar.

That this was just a sop is perfectly clear from my 2012 email below to the well-meaning and new-ish then-head of the city's CRA, Dr. Jackson, which physically showed that the Calendar had not been changed one iota since June -of 2011.
It still hasn't been.
But despite this fact, tens of thousands of dollars have continued to flow freely to them...

All of this despite this particular group's having so little to point to in the way of tangible accomplishment that's consistent with the state's original purpose years ago in creating enabling CRA legislation -fighting blight.

This is yet another point the Broward OIG report makes clear -the City of Hallandale Beach DOESN'T check whether any group's stated goals are actually accomplished.

Tell me, without an objective and accurate measurement, what's the purpose of listing goals on an application?
Exactly, Governor Scott!
It's done merely for the sake of appearances, like so many other things in this city the past ten years.

But without an objective measurement of whether the purported non-profit groups have actually done anything positive, how do you know whether they are deserving of being funded the following year?
Perhaps that's why the City of Hallandale Beach doesn't believe in THAT.

You see, an objective measurement would no doubt hurt the feelings of the group's leaders and Board of Directors, to say nothing of their supporters in the HB community -other stealthy non-profits who want to keep the gravy train running.

Of course, a common sense move like an objective measurement would also necessarily blow-the-cover on what's been going on in this city for many, many years with respect to the non-profit groups NEVER actually being expected to show they're making any progress towards a defined goal.

So instead, guess what the folks at City Hall and the shadowy figures behind these groups have done, rather than correct the process, the policies and their own behavior?

They publicly lash out and malign concerned citizens in the community who show enough gumption to publicly ask basic questions like, "What happened to the money?"
Yes, inconvenient questions that the powers-that-be at HB City Hall and their cronies prefer NOT be asked or answered.

Concerned citizens like, well, me for instance, and many of my friends here, all of whom desperately want to see this city be so very much better than it has been allowed to be, and as you might imagine, we are both frustrated and resentful that elected officials and the hired help continue to use the CRA funds like their own personal piggy bank, as if we couldn't see exactly
what they were doing -or do anything to stop them.

The Hallandale Beach's CRA Board of Directors' oversight of millions of CRA dollars has been a complete pretense for years, as funds were routinely co-mingled, allowing the City Commission and the City Manager ttreat CRA funds like they were 'found money' under a sofa cushion, or taken from their own personal piggy bank, with those funds carefully funneled to a select group of people in the community who have been and would be supportive (politically) of the members of the Board of Directors.
But, of course, it WASN'T their money to play Santa with, was it?

In fact, to give you some sense of how truly out-of-kilter things have been here for many, many years, until recently, Palms Community Action Coalition, Inc. was led on a day-to-day basis by the wife of HB City Commissioner Anthony A. SandersJessica Sanders.
Unlike any other real or imaginary non-profit group in this city, Mrs. Sanders was specifically given the use of a furnished office on city property, as well as the use  of city resources and city personnel.
All to very little genuine accomplishment. 

Which is why for years, Comm. Sanders has always been so very consistent when speaking at City Commission meetings with real estate developers with applications before the Commission, not so much job creation, which would be reasonable and predictable given his position, but rather about "job training," which is less reasonable, given what one of the stated goals of his wife's group was supposed to be.

Are you sitting down?
You guessed it: job training.
What are the odds?

And trust me, Governor Scott, the attorneys for the real estate developers speaking at the meetings know this fact, too, and carefully tailored their public comments towards him onto this subject almost exclusively.

I hope this fact-filled email of mine will have the effect of getting your attention and causing some wheels to start getting in-motion that will cause some real world consequences for the current and former elected officials and management at Hallandale Beach City Hall, people who were entrusted with responsibility and power to perform their jobs with fidelity to both the
law and common sense -and who were loyal to neither.

People who for years routinely abused their power and authority in order to use city funds like their own personal trust fund, to reward their various politically-supportive friends and cronies in the community, all while the Broward State Attorney's office did nothing but snooze.
That latter fact no doubt only emboldened them in their thievery and malfeasance..

Trust me, Governor Scott, this beleaguered community will be closely watching your response to what's gone on here.
It simply can't be allowed to stand, with no real-world consequences for both the perpetrators and those who consciously chose to look the other way.
Unethical behavior and illegal actions in the performance of the people's business should have genuine consequences that serve to remind others why they shouldn't be repeated.


At this point in my letter to Governor Scott, I had a copy of my February 19, 2013 email to Broward Inspector General John. W. Scott, which was my blog post of February 20, 2013, titled, No end in sight for Hallandale Beach's ethical problems with CRA funds: The Palms Community Action Coalition's lack of public transparency -and Murvin Wright's fingers in so many pies- are THE logical result of years of unethical dealings in Hallandale Beach, wherein taxpayer & CRA dollars routinely go out to pals of City Hall, and compliance with laws, common sense and real-world notions of oversight and conflict-of-interest take second place to personal/political gain

Below that I had and a copy of my September 12, 2012 email to then-Hallandale Beach CRA Executive Director Alvin Jackson, Jr. 

I posted that email to him here most recently on September 19, 2012 under the title, More tough questions for Hallandale Beach taxpayers to ponder as voting draws near on 2013 budget for controversial CRA; Why can't the city provide real oversight and criticize Jessica Sanders' continued inability to properly manage the Palms Community Action Coalition, which gets CRA funds? Because her husband is a commissioner, the same man who hides from savvy taxpayers rather than answer their questions about his land sale to the city in 2009 -for MORE than property was worth!; @MayorCooper, @SandersHB, @AlexLewy

In my opinion, Dr. Jackson, while not without some fault for some things the past year that I strongly disagreed with him on, was largely forced out of his position by Mayor Joy Cooper so she could make him the fall guy for the scandalous, unethical and illegal culture of corruption and incompetency that has been the very hallmark of the HB CRA while Joy Cooper has been mayor for the past ten years, always eager to throw her weight around and try to take credit for things, even when she had nothing to do with them.

Cooper has had innumerable chances over the years to change course and do the right thing by taxpayers and residents and move the CRA towards more openness and transparency in their dealings, so that taxpayers could be satisfied -but she consciously chose NOT to. 

Year-after-year she did what she does best, bullied and hectored others into letting her get her way and get what she wanted, even when that was not in the best short-term or long-term interests of this community, and the results -or rather the lack of them- are readily-apparent when you drive within the CRA district, especially within NW Hallandale Beach.

And all the while she made excuses for the dismal performances of former City Managers Mike Good and Mark A. Antonio, both of whose own egos, myopia and tone deafness on these matters made the IG report largely predictable, because there was so very much for those investigators to choose from, given Good and Antonio's years of bad judgment and willingness to look the other way so the mayor and her cronies could do what they wanted to do.

And speaking of looking the other way, hardly anyone has perfected that quite like former City Attorney David Jove, who was present all these years when one curious and unethical thing after another happened.

As it concerns the HB CRA, instead of doing his job professionally and genuinely earning his salary by stepping in when appropriate to prevent the commissioners/directors from engaging in their unconscionable behavior and approving documents that had never been verified, Jove just sat like a bump on a log earning his very nice salary and working on a very nice pension.

But there was a real cost to Jove's dithering and inaction and it's one that has been and will be borne by Hallandale Beach taxpayers, residents and small business owners for years to come -squandered money and wasted opportunities.

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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
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.

Bill Cooke of @Random_Pixels has the article, Paradise Lost? South Florida

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.

Hallandale Beach Water Tower, looking east from State Road A1A/South Ocean Drive; May 2009 photo by South Beach Hoosier.© 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved

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.
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...

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!

Gulfstream Park Race Track & Casino and Village at GP retail complex, Hallandale Beach, FL

Gulfstream Park Race Track & Casino and Village at GP retail complex, Hallandale Beach, FL
Entrance monument to Gulfstream Park Race Track & Casino and The Village at Gulfstream Park retail complex on U.S.-1 & SE 3rd St. Hallandale Beach, FL. October 5, 2010 photo by South Beach Hoosier. © 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved

Gulfstream Way at Gulfstream Park Race Track in Hallandale Beach, FL

Gulfstream Way at Gulfstream Park Race Track in Hallandale Beach, FL
The north-south street sign in the middle of Gulfstream Park Race Track in Hallandale Beach, FL that leads to-and-from the track and the retail Village at Gulfstream Park to Hallandale Beach Blvd. north of the facilities. October 5, 2010 photo by South Beach Hoosier. © 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved

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

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

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 jer secomd 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.

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.

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.

Using a map of Stockholm and my Samsung mobile's Latitude app to find out where some friends and contacts in Stockholm were before I called to let them know I'd arrived from Arlanda Airport and had checked into the B&B in Södermalm. If only it had been an OpenStreetMap! January 2013 photo by South Beach Hoosier.© 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved; Click the photo to see OpenStreetMap's amazing map of Stockholm and a whole world of useful maps you never even knew existed

Solrea - Sveriges bästa resesök

Solrea - Sveriges bästa resesök
The colder and snowier it got in Stockholm, the more this simple ad seemed like genius. Sometimes, you don't have to reinvent the advertising wheel. When you're a travel agency and it's cold and snowing, make your target audience think of summers and traveling to an inviting warm beach. Above, one of the many Sistaminuten.se display ads I saw on the side of pay phones throughout Stockholm. This one was located on Ringvägen, across the street from the Åhléns Dept. store (with the Hemköp grocery store in the basement that I frequented) west of busy Götgatan and the Skanstull T-bana, the southern commercial heart of trendy and fun Södermalm. January 11, 2013 photo by South Beach Hoosier.© 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved. I used this photo in my April 22, 2013 blog post titled, Tourism game-changer for South Florida travelers & Fort Lauderdale-area businesses -but only if they're smart and start planning now. Ruminations on the upcoming Norwegian.com flights b/w Ft. Lauderdale and Oslo, Stockholm & Copenhagen, and the need for Broward's hospitality industry to take full-advantage of the opportunity; @Oslo, @norway, @stockholm, @sweden, @copenhagen, @denmark. Click photo to see that post

More travel advertising in Stockholm

More travel advertising in Stockholm
Speaking of advertising, only two blocks from the wonderful 4trappor B&B I stayed at in Södermalm, Stockholm on my trip -and also located on Ringvägen- were two more display ads promoting travel. The one in the distance is for SAS, Scandinavian Airlines Systems, which I flew on to Stockholm, and the one in the foreground, on a public telephone booth, is the "Holiday is where the Heart is" ad campaign for VING. January 12, 2013 photo by South Beach Hoosier.© 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved. Click the photo to see their TV ad!

Risk för snöras, istappar

Risk för snöras, istappar
One of the many such warning signs that I saw on buildings and on sidewalk barricades while in Stockholm in mid-January 2013, alerting you to the possibility of falling snow and ice, often by men shoveling it off roofs. This one was spotted on a residential building in the Södermalm area of Stockholm, on Ringvägen, while I was walking over to the Åhléns Department store on Götgatan. It wasn't until I was walking back later to the B&B that I noticed the inflated Santa that some resident had intentionally placed outside of their window, so it looked like Santa was falling! January 13, 2013 photo by South Beach Hoosier.© 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved.

Ringvägen, Stockholm, Sweden

Ringvägen, Stockholm, Sweden
Poster display on Ringvägen, Stockholm, Sweden. January 2013 photo by South Beach Hoosier. © 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved. The Affischplats plan in Stockholm, while not perfect, strikes me as a pretty good compromise in helping cultural and civic groups catch the public's eye in a way that's better than a free-for-all of groups plastering posters on the sides of buildings and utility boxes, and watching as the weather makes a mess of them. The tangible effort the city makes to get the public involved in a genuine and meaningful conversation about what is going on long-term for the city as a whole, or in a particular neighborhood, is very impressive, and made me wishful that the local government employees and planners where I live and write about regularly in my blog and in conversations with other concerned civic activists did even one-third of what Stockholm's planning employees seem to do as a starting-point.