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. Pictured in upper-left is Hallandale Beach's iconic beachball-colored Water Tower on State Road A1A; September 2008 photo by me, South Beach Hoosier. © 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Having a long tradition of 'White Flight' and a large part of Hallandale Beach's community, essentially, boycotting the local public high school, Hallandale High School, is nothing to brag about. Unfortunately, it's been the sad reality under Mayor Joy Cooper; One of the persons at Hallandale Beach City Hall most-responsible for nothing changing for the better on this issue, Jennifer Frastai, will speak at Tuesday's meeting re education policy in Broward, at Hollywood City Hall at 6 pm. But Frastai won't talk about the real problems here -anything but that!; @MayorCooper


Above, as it has been for many years, one of my three photos of Hollywood City Hall that are three of the first six photos you see on Google Images when you look it up. It's currently #2 after having been #1 for years. I'm always surprised that there aren't more older, historical photos of this or the previous Hollywood City Hall listed on GoogleLooking west towards Hollywood City Hall from the half-circle in front of the Hollywood branch of the Broward County library. June 2, 2008 photos By South Beach Hoosier. © 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved
I realize that for some of you, much of the following will seem like ancient history once again repeating itself, and some very bad history at that, but stay with it.
Most people don't know the same facts that you do, and they deserve to.

My comments are after the announcement.
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: News and Announcements <listserv@civicplus.com>
Date: Mon, Apr 29, 2013 at 10:51 AM
Subject: Hollywood to Host Consortium of Broward County Education Advisory Boards

Email Notifications
The City of Hollywood Education Advisory Board is participating in a forum of 16 education advisory boards from throughout Broward County to exchange information, explore issues affecting education, and discuss new Broward County School District initiatives. A meeting of the Consortium of Education Advisory Boards will take place Tuesday, April 30, 2013 at 6:00 p.m. in Room 215 at Hollywood City Hall, 2600 Hollywood Blvd. in Hollywood. Meetings of the Consortium are typically held on a quarterly basis.

One of the topics that will be discussed during this meeting is the Hollywood City Commission’s recent passing of a resolution opposing the practice of high-stakes testing in the public schools. Donna Greene, vice chair of the Hollywood Education Advisory Committee, will make a presentation about the process of gaining Commission support for the resolution. Additionally, Jennifer Frastai, assistant city manager of the City of Hallandale Beach, will discuss the reorganization of the Hallandale Beach Education Advisory Board and Renee Grutman, chair of Cooper City’s education advisory board, will discuss Cooper City’s Resource Fair.
You are receiving this message because you are subscribed to News and Announcements on www.hollywoodfl.org
If clicking the link doesn't work, please copy and paste the link into your browser.
Since I'm on the mailing list, why am I getting this announcement for the first time the day before it happens?

Do you recognize that name above, Jennifer Frastai?

She's one of the two Hallandale Beach Assistant City Manager whom I and many other concerned HB residents and small business-owners hold personally responsible for much of what doesn't work or has seldom-if-ever worked properly within the City of Hallandale Beach's inefficient and bewildering bureaucracy, few of whom actually live here.

(The other is Nydia Rafols, whose fingerprints, like Frastai's, are all over the lousy public policies currently pursued here, and the self-evident problems that never get resolved, esp. involving the city's Dept, of Public Works, which is forever chasing its tail and making no progress on matters, years after-the-fact.)

In my own opinion, and in the opinion of many other Hallandale Beach residents who actually pay close attention to what actually happens in this city -an effort in contrast to the local South Florida news media, print or TV, or the taxpayer-supported faux newspaper that was specifically and negatively cited by the Broward Inspector General in his report on corruption at HB City Hall, the South Florida Sun-TimesFrastai is someone who has largely escaped the sort of negative public scrutiny that in many other parts of the country would be hers, given her very mixed -at best- track record.
Especially given how many things Frastai has touched over the many years that are no better now than they were years ago.

Given the important topic under discussion on Tuesday night in Hollywood, Education Policy in Broward County, it's important to note that she's the same HB city employee who spent almost 25 minutes of a recent HB City Commission meeting talking about the high-minded "changes" to the HB Education Advisory Board when it needed, maybe, 10 minutes.

I know because I was there in attendance and taped it on my camcorder.
I deleted it once I got home and listened to it again because of how ponderous and unrealistic it all seemed given where we are and given her own record while acting as the city's liaison for education for years.

The faux earnestness with which she spoke was especially meaningless and even irritating given how this city currently operates, a point that was hammered home subsequently by Mayor Cooper herself, as if I could have written it any better, complete with punchline.

Mayor Cooper has wasted little time and has promptly and predictably shown how little regard she had for this high-minded effort to reach out to new faces and new people in the community and get them involved.
People with varied backgrounds and perhaps even some educational/childcare expertise on the Education Advisory Board.
Yeah, it sounds great in the abstract, but what about in reality?

Mayor Cooper showed her true colors and provided the punchline by re-naming her tennis pal, Barbara Southwick, to the same Education Advisory Board that she's already been on for years.

So much for dynamic changes!
So what was all THAT talk about positive changes and new faces, then?

Yes, Joy Cooper, the longtime Hallandale Beach mayor who has NEVER once publicly called for or even convened a single community-wide meeting or forum, say on a Saturday morning morning, that dealt exclusively with any of the myriad of difficult education issues and very real challenges facing this city.
A city where hardly any kids who live east of U.S.-1 -where most of the population is- actually go to the public high school that's in this city.

Having a tradition of White Flight and a large part of the community, essentially, boycotting the local public high school, Hallandale High School, is nothing to brag about.

(And who has been the Education point-person at Hallandale Beach City Hall while all of this was allowed to happen, year-after-year?
Jennifer Frastai.) 

Real estate brokers covering S.E. Broward sure don't boast about THAT fact it when talking to families considering a new home in HB, esp. those moving to the area from out-of-state, do they?
And why would they, since the basic facts would cause most reasonable people to question why they should want to move here if the people who already live here WON'T send their own kids to Hallandale High School.

But then that's been Hallandale Beach City Hall's modus operandi for so many issues under Joy Cooper the past ten years -if she pretends the problem doesn't exist, it doesn't.
And you can be pretty sure the news media will ignore it completely, too, which makes everything worse, since there's no public pushback against bad public policy that doesn't help anyone, yet continues year-after-year.

For those of you who don't already know, Jennifer Frastai, one of the speakers Tuesday night is the same person whom I spoke to for almost an hour to in the HB City Manager's conference room four-and-a-half years ago with another HB Assistant City Manager present who hasn't been around for years, Franklin Heileman.
Yes, just the three of us in the HB City Manager's conference room.

I described to her in detail just about every single problem and every single example of HB City Hall's longstanding myopia, incompetency or lack of oversight that I'd personally observed -and taken photos of- one neighborhood at a time, and placed on my blog.
That's why it took almost an hour.
The truth is, though, there were always a lot more photos and examples I didn't post but could have.

And just so you know, just as I reminded them that wasted afternoon, everything I mentioned was something I'd already communicated to the very people at HB City Hall who were supposed to be in charge of that, so I already followed the chain-of-command.
But it was broken, apparently, permanently.

Even though no organizational flow-chart of the city or even a complete list of areas of responsibility existed then or even currently at HB City Hall or on the city's website, I made an effort to find out who the right person to talk to was.
And in ZERO instances did any of the city employees I communicated with actually do anything to resolve the problems facing HB residents, taxpayers and small business-owners.
Really.

Why do you suppose I started my blog in the first place, anyway?
Simply to complain about stuff?
Hardly.

At one point, about ten minutes into this, after writing some things down, Frastai put her pen down and looked at Heileman sitting right next to her at the other end of the conference table, and asked if all the things I was saying were true, and, implicitly, whether I'd really mentioned the problems and posted these photos on the web.

I'll give Heileman credit at least for being honest about that, since he just nodded, because he knew it was all true.
She seemed a bit stunned.

We then went mentally thru a tour of a city where City Hall couldn't or wouldn't see longstanding problems right in front of residents' noses every day, inconvenient reminders that city employees ignored problems that needed to actually be solved.

Well, despite my reminding Frastai that photos of everything I said were already on the Internet, with its location, length of the problem, et al, on my blog, in case she wanted to confirm my comments, and despite my having given Frastai multiple ways of contacting me my phone or email to let me know what she'd done, she NEVER did anything about the problems I mentioned to HER that afternoon.
She never contacted me, either.

Frastai's the same person whom former City Manager  Mike Good put in charge of making sure that the newly-purchased recyclable bins were placed on the beach in places where beach-goers could use them, to make it as easy as possible, after I criticized both of them at a City Hall budget meeting in 2009.

(Yet it still, needlessly, took many months and even now, is inconsistently done, and seems to be organized in such a fashion to make it for the convenience of city employees, NOT actual beach-goers, the same way the city continues to mis-allocate picnic tables down at South Beach, while there are only two at North Beach, which are often monopolized all day.
The city has foolishly re-purposed hundreds of the recyclable bins to be used for regular garbage and city employees actually hide them, which is why you don't see recycling bins near the baseball stands at Blusten Park all these years later, while they remain next to the fence on S.W. 5th Street, some of which have not moved in years.
Why did taxpayers pay for something that the city has no clear intention of using properly and with common sense?)

Most of which I mentioned here last June 15th,
Hallandale Beach Mayor Joy Cooper's old threats & lawsuits re-emerge as Hollywood's  Beach One Resort sues over its access to the beach, the latest shoe to drop in The Related Group's Beachwalk project that'd make HB's North Beach a defacto private beach for The Related Group's properties, NOT a public beach for HB residents

By the way, I think it's awesome that this Education meeting in Hollywood tomorrow is scheduled for the same time and date that the City of Hallandale Beach is hosting their beach re-nourishment meeting over at The Hemispheres Condos.

Yes, the meeting with responsible federal and state officials who, presumably, know what they're talking about and who'll be straightforward with those of us who show-up, creating a real nice contrast with what we usually get at most HB meetings, where blame is placed on outsiders -or those of us here in town who favor genuine reform and transparency- is thrown, to say nothing of the mis-direction, half-truths and spin dumped by the barrel-full.

But NOT a forthright discussion about public policy where ALL the germane facts surrounding an issue or vote are publicly revealed -or even given to the City Commissioners by the city staff, as CRA meeting of February proved- and of the problems that are before us.

Because, apparently, the unvarnished truth seems to really hurt someone's feelings at HB City Hall, so instead, we get the charade of democracy, not the real thing.
Year-after-year...

Sunday, April 28, 2013

@HistoryVikings season finale tonight; Uh-oh, somebody is heading to Götaland (Sweden) tonight!; Watch out #Ragnar, #Lagertha & #Athelstan, #Vikings creator Michael Hirst promises 'Huge, Unexpected Emotion' tonight @HISTORY; @KatherynWinnick, @gblagden, @donallogue


History Channel Previews YouTube Channel video: Vikings Finale Image Spot. Uploaded April 22, 2013. http://youtu.be/MIM25J3XbvE
Uh-oh, somebody is heading to Götaland (Sweden) tonight!




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If it's true that Old Spirits "beseech us to intercede with Odin on their behalf," and it is, is it to watch over Ragnar Lothbrok and to be wary of new alliances?
Yes, watch your back.
You too, Sweden!


Vikings airs Sundays at 10/9c on the History Channel, @HISTORY history.com/vikings

My last post on Vikings was my blog post of April 6, 2013, titled, Vikings! Fans of @HistoryVikings, Ragnar Lothbrok, Lagertha and Floki celebrate, as do cast & crew, as History Channel renews creator Michael Hirst's drama for second season of 10 more episodes of Norse adventurers in 2014; @KatherynWinnick, @RagnarLothbrok; Jag älskar Lagertha!
http://hallandalebeachblog.blogspot.ca/2013/04/congratulations-fans-of-ragnar-lothbrok.html
My last post on Donal Logue, ak.a. King Horik on Vikings, was on March 12, 2013, titled,  
Odin of Asgard sez: Amusing tweet by actor Donal Logue re TV's version of Miami, no doubt sent while on his couch in LA waiting for his agent to call back with good news about him nailing yet another audition; he's consistently good in everything he plays, and we both LOVE @HistoryVikings -except he's in it, I'm just watching it on TV; #TravisFimmel and @KatherynWinnick are perfect choices to play #RagnarLothbrok and Lagertha; Jag älskar Lagertha!
http://hallandalebeachblog.blogspot.com/2013/03/odin-of-asgard-sez-amusing-tweet-by.html

Donal Logue interview on CBC's George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight on April 18th
http://www.cbc.ca/strombo/photo-albums/guests/.UXDA4DSRcAQ.twitter



Saturday, April 27, 2013

BUSTED! Breitbart's Matthew Boyle reports that Sen. Marco Rubio was "outed" by a constituent over Rubio's lack of personal effort to meet with LEOs BEFORE the Gang of Eight released their very-flawed immigration bill; Daily Caller's Byron York on the deluge of angry anti-immigration bill email into Sen. Rubio's office; The shiny, new toy that is Rubio is now not-so shiny; audio of Rubio's interviews with Rush Limbaugh and Mark Levin


Right Scoop YouTube Channel video: FULL INTERVIEW: Nationally-syndicated radio show host Rush Limbaugh, the most-listened-to personality on American radio, discusses the Gang of Eight's immigration bill and its possible consequences with Florida Senator Marco Rubio. Uploaded April 18, 2013. http://youtu.be/dJjDbj6M16M 
BUSTED! Breitbart's Matthew Boyle reports that Sen. Marco Rubio was "outed" by a constituent over Rubio's lack of personal effort to meet with LEOs BEFORE the Gang of Eight released their very-flawed immigration bill; Daily Caller's Byron York on the deluge of angry anti-immigration bill email into Sen.  Rubio's office; The shiny, new toy that is Rubio is now not- so shiny; audio of Rubio's interviews with Rush Limbaugh and Mark Levin
BUSTED! Late Friday night we learned via Breitbart's Matthew Boyle that Sen. Marco Rubio was outed by a constituent over Rubio's lack of personal effort to meet with law enforcement officers, especially ICE agents, BEFORE the Gang of Eight released their very-flawed immigration bill. 

The bill was made public the day after Sen. Rubio met with the union head of ICE agents -for ONE HOUR!- and after Rubio and the others had secretly been meeting with pro-amnesty & GOP business establishment groups in Washington and elsewhere for MANY, MANY WEEKS

Personally, as a Rubio supporter, someone who was for him in 2009 when the Florida news media had already pretty-well handed the 2010 GOP U.S. Senate nomination to Florida Governor Charlie Crist, I think this public miscue is one that WILL haunt Rubio for a long time, since it is both symbolic and TRUE.

I think it directly undercuts his claim to both "authenticity" and being an honest broker on this issue, one that many Republicans had perhaps too willingly given him lots of latitude on, assuming that he would be someone who could take a public role larger than his two years in the Senate warranted, and meet with groups that had something tangible to add to the mix on border security before the bill was finalized.

And important because it reveals Rubio's blind spot, which is that he sometimes believes what he says about himself too much -not enough hubris!

I also think that much more than any of the Florida-based reporters or columnists or "experts" know or will acknowledge, this effort of Rubio to finesse something very important, will likely prove to some within the GOP's national rank-and-file that just like other American pols, though perhaps less frequently than most, there's what Rubio says, and then there's what he actually does when nobody is looking. 

For people who want border security first, and are not willing to compromise on that, for good reason, people like me, the upshot is that this mis-step proves to some of them that he is NOT yet someone to be implicitly trusted.

Especially in light of how little he has actually accomplished in Washington his first two years, outside of drawing attention to himself and the Syria issue, where he has been miles and miles ahead of both President Obama, Hillary Clinton and the U.S. Mainstream Media, as I've noted frequently on these pages.






Rubio's inability or unwillingness to meet with people weeks ago whom he SHOULD HAVE, people with a real tangible insight into the immigration issue from a first-hand perspective, makes him appear to be what he is on this issue -NOT as tough or fair-minded as he advertises himself.

I honestly believe that because this issue is so important to many rank-and-file Republicans in parts of the country where they don't have a news media that is SO easily cowed by the professional amnesty and immigration rights groups the way they are routinely here in Florida
-esp. here in Miami and South Florida as I've documented dozens of times over the years here on the blog- where the groups practically hand reporters a script and the reporters dutifully read their lines as written.
On this issue, it's NOT journalism, it's public relations.

No place in the country is more skittish and less-honest in reporting truthfully on the negative effect of runaway illegal immigration, or unwilling to ask tough questions, than South Florida's news media, especially the Miami Herald.

(Even new young reporters to this market, like a certain new female reporter at WFOR-TV I could name, seem to absorb by osmosis the general understanding that seldom is heard a discouraging word on immigration, and thus they routinely do segments that are completely one-sided, and don't even think to ask questions that should be asked, but which here in Miami are never, ever asked for fear of what, being fired? 
Those of you who don't live here can't fully appreciate it, but reporting honestly on immigration is the Third Rail of South Florida, talked about in the abstract, perhaps, mostly here on this blog, but never ever actually seen on-the-air or in-print.)

So begins the first serious patch of political mis-steps, bad headlines and obvious displays of tone-deafness by Sen. Rubio, as his lofty abstract ideas about public policy get held up to their proper scrutiny and he is found wanting. 
It'll be interesting to see how he responds to this.
Will he adapt, evolve or double-down on what he's been doing and think he can ride it out.
While he'll probably be able to do the latter here in Florida, in the rest of the country, I wouldn't be so sanguine.

I believe that his personal reputation is about to get roughed-up but good by sincere and caring people outside of Florida who don't have to just grin-and-bear it like they do here in Florida.

I further believe that 2013 will prove to be the year where Rubio's sometimes patronizing myopia and faulty antennae will lead to him making some SERIOUS political enemies among fellow national Republicans and their supporters at the state and county levels.

And based on conversations with people and reading certain things I have, some of that antipathy and disregard he earns will last the rest of his political career, and cost him in ways that he can't even imagine now, because those people who are upset are mostly below the media's radar right now.
But by 2016, they'll be County party chairs in Iowa... and they'll be quoted in 2015 by the New York Times and by Politico and The National Journal...

People who never pass on an opportunity to make Rubio and his staffers suffer in small ways, or make him work much-harder than he needs to simply because they don't like the way that he's handled an issue that they care passionately about, and see Rubio as someone who didn't fight hard enough and long enough.

In short, someone who was too willing to work with Democrats to give them what they wanted, which is not enough attention to border security. 
Really.

You'll see.

The South Florida news media is, of course, completely under-reporting this issue, just as they do so many other issues that ought to be getting attention but don't.

They'll wait for someone else in another city to do that particular story, and then act like they were always working on it themselves, which is the usual excuse given when you talk to local reporters in-person and ask why real political news is NOT appearing in-print or on-air immediately like it would in other parts of the country, but instead, put in a freezer whjere they can report it when it's no longer relevant.

And it'll all be his own fault, too, since he's now starting to be viewed more realistically -as someone who perhaps prefers the spotlight a little TOO MUCH, prefers to go-along to actually standing strong against the GOP's Beltway/Chamber of Commerce Establishment that was, for decades, more-than-willing to take advantage of illegal immigrants, esp. in the agricultural sector.. 

Marco Rubio's charmed existence in the U.S. Senate so far is about to get some much-overdue and, it would seem to me, much-deserved turbulence.
But it will have little to do with anything any FL-based reporters or columnists say or write or uncover, but rather everything to do with his own bad choices and myopia, especially on the issue of immigration and its consequences.

The shiny, new toy is now not so shiny.
And will be less so by the end of the year.

RUBIO TOUTS TALK WITH ICE OFFICIAL WHICH SPURRED NO CHANGES TO IMMIGRATION BILL
by Matthew Boyle
27 Apr 2013, 12:58 AM PDT
http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2013/04/26/Rubio-struggles-to-explain-to-constituents-why-ICE-agents-had-no-real-prior-input-into-immigration-bill




Right Scoop YouTube Channel video: Nationally-syndicated radio show host Mark Levine discusses the immigration bill and its possible consequences with Florida Senator Marco Rubio. Uploaded April 17, 2013. http://youtu.be/USG2SLWbKew
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http://www.therightscoop.com

WaPo's editorial is important because it matters and will be read in lots of important places: Washington Post Editorial Board mulls facts over and fillets Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe for his well-known, self-destructive penchant for engaging in historical revisionism and nationalism: "Shinzo Abe’s inability to face history" -or reality; @安倍 晋三



Arirang News YouTube Channel video: Japanese Prime Minister Shenzo Abe statement inflames tensions between Korea and Japan 아베의 '망언'...한일. Uploaded April 24, 2013. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bWRVleXJIvM


Steve Miller reports from South Korea on the latest Abe controversy that has the Koreans and Chinese so irate: 


theqirangervlog YouTube Channel video: Shinzo Abe Denies Historical Colonization of Korea. Uploaded April 23, 2013. http://youtu.be/lLMGdNGdZ1g
WaPo's editorial is important because it matters and will be read in lots of important places: Washington Post Editorial Board mulls facts over and fillets Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe for his well-known, self-destructive penchant for engaging in historical revisionism and nationalism: "Shinzo Abe’s inability to face history"
Get it, the Post's intentional or unintentional double-meaning of face?

Defenders of Abe and at least some of the Japanese Establishment will no doubt see this criticism of him as a result of China and South Korea teaming-up behind the scenes to... blah blah.

No, it's that Abe, far too often for comfort's sake, seems unable to help himself and keep his mouth shut and his head focused, a habit that is NOT a positive trait for anyone, least of all, Japan, China, South Korea or the U.S. and its military forces in the area to protect our allies, capisce?

But how do you convince the Chinese people or their government of this, or that this character fault of his can be overcome, since some of them at least, officially or not, STILL believe in 关系, guanxi and feel that in this equation, we, the U.S, are still NOT doing enough to make Abe stop indulging himself at their expense and humiliation?.

Our dilemma is that we don't seem to always act like we know when Abe is playing to small elements within Japanese society that he feels he must sate, but with his fingers crossed, or when he's actually serious about what he's saying or doing.

But there's no real confusion of what it means to Koreans and Chinese when Abe goes to the Yasukuni Shrine.

Our perceived confusion on this part, whether real or feigned for public consumption in Asia, only is making things worse, and as most of you know, I'm not a fan of John Kerry's, so I don't see him bringing anything to the equation that's going to change the dynamic.

And now the main course...

The Washington Post
Editorial Board
Shinzo Abe’s inability to face history
April 26, 2013
From the moment last fall when Shinzo Abe reclaimed the office of Japanese prime minister that he had bungled away five years earlier, one question has stood out: Would he restrain his nationalist impulses — and especially his historical revisionism — to make progress for Japan?
Until this week, the answer to that question was looking positive. Mr. Abe has taken brave steps toward reforming Japan’s moribund economy. He defied powerful interest groups within his party, such as rice farmers, to join free-trade talks with the United States and other Pacific nations that have the potential to spur growth in Japan. He spoke in measured terms of his justifiable desire to increase defense spending.
Read the rest of the WaPo's editorial at:

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For more on this topic, see this largely accurate overview:

Friday, April 26, 2013

Cuban spy story gets more and more interesting: Puerto Rican woman accused by U.S. of spying for Cuba for 17 years, a Princeton and Georgetown Law School grad, remains out of reach of U.S. justice because she lives in Stockholm; Sweden won't extradite her on espionage charges, plus, she's now married to senior Swedish Foreign Ministry official; While Aftonbladet is advancing the story, Miami Herald is still ignoring the story

Cuban spy story gets more and more interesting: Puerto Rican woman accused by U.S. of spying for Cuba for 17 years, a Princeton and Georgetown Law School grad, remains out of reach of U.S. justice because she lives in Stockholm; Sweden won't extradite her on espionage charges, plus, she's now married to senior Swedish Foreign Ministry official; While Aftonbladet is advancing the story, Miami Herald is still ignoring the story
Many, many hours after this Cuban spy story was first reported and posted on the Washington Post's website Thursday, the Miami Herald has still not picked up this story, even as of 10:30 am Friday.
Surprise!

The Washington Post
Woman indicted in Cuba spy case is in Sweden and out of U.S. reach
By Jim Popkin, Published: April 25, 2013
The Justice Department on Thursday announced the indictment of a former State Department employee for allegedly spying on behalf of Cuba, but it is unable to arrest her because she lives in Sweden, a country that does not extradite citizens accused of espionage.
Marta Rita Velazquez, 55, a graduate of Princeton University and Georgetown University Law School, was indicted nearly a decade ago on charges of conspiracy to commit espionage. Velazquez lives in Stockholm and is aware of the charges against her, the Justice Department said. But the extradition treaty between the United States and Sweden does not allow extradition for spying.
Read the rest of the article at:

While the Miami Herald continues to snooze, Jan Helin's Aftonbladet is all over the story and is constantly advancing it, telling us today, below, that the suspected spy is married to a senior Swedish Foreign Ministry official.
Uh-oh! 

USA jagar misstänkt svensk kvinna  Är gift med högt uppsatt UD-tjänsteman

Anklagas för att ha spionerat för Kuba sedan början av 80-talet

WOLFGANG HANSSON: Kuba är ett rött skynke för USA

Public meeting re beach erosion on Tuesday April 30th at 6 p.m. at The Hemispheres Condominium in Hallandale Beach; Local10 News video with Roger Lohse "Eroding beach worries Hallandale Beach residents"

video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player

Local10 News reporter Roger Lohse on Hallandale Beach's perpetual beach erosion problems that were made worse in late October by Hurricane/Superstorm Sandy, especially in the city's southern beachfront area, which is now only a few feet wide.  

Eroding beach worries Hallandale Beach residents
Published On: Apr 25 2013 05:57:07 PM EDT   
Updated On: Apr 26 2013 01:09:55 AM EDT
Story and video at: 

The City of Hallandale Beach is hosting a community meeting re beach nourishment featuring federal, state and county officials on Tuesday, April 30th at 6 p.m. at the Hemispheres Condominium, 985 S. Ocean Drive, Hallandale Beach..
More info at: http://hallandalebeachfl.gov/documentcenter/view/6833

Better late than never, but why didn't this meeting take place months ago?
It's been getting worse for six months...

Thursday, April 25, 2013

2013 NFL Draft: Another Draft day with Dolphins GM Jeff Ireland squandering opportunities left and right; Give me more playmakers! The best defense is a big lead!; @nfl, @SI_PeterKing, @BuckyBrooks


pmanis09 YouTube Channel: ABC's Monday Night Football, opening (1973), with Howard Cosell, Frank Gifford and Don Meredith. Uploaded on October 16, 2008. http://youtu.be/m8fkMkE2Yjg
and over at NBC, largely featuring Dolphins guard Bob Kuechenberg, and with other Dolphins appearing, including Larry Little, Vern Den Herder, Larry Csonka, Bob Griese and at 0:57, the late Jim Mandich, who sadly died almost-two years ago tomorrow...


beaverstuffers YouTube Channel: NFL on NBC, opening (1973). 
Uploaded August 20, 2009. http://youtu.be/nv-datkQYUU

Yes, 1973, the last year the Dolphins really WERE the best team.
2013 NFL Draft: Another Draft day with Dolphins GM Jeff Ireland squandering opportunities left and right; Give me more playmakers! The best defense is a big lead!; @nfl, @SI_PeterKing, @BuckyBrooks
Another Draft day that Dolphin fans hope will be decisive in changing around the fortunes of a once-proud football franchise that has been plagued for too many years with bad management, uninspiring coaching and mediocre personnel that lacks playmakers and a killer instinct. But look who's in charge?
Since we're all friends here on the blog for the most part, I'm going to fill you in on something
you won't be reading elsewhere today on one of the most-magical albeit-unofficial American holidays of the year -the first day of the NFL Draft.

Last night after the watching the Miami-area 11 O'clock news, I had to run some errands and hop into the blog's Time Machine, a.k.a. the South Beach Hoosier Time Machine, to finish something I had actually started a few weeks ago, though technically, is actually still in the future many months from now.

You know how it is with time travel, some words only cause more confusion, which is why star dates are so useful.

So anyway, one of the errands involved finally seeing the new upcoming Star Trek Into Darkness that opens in May, which I'll be seeing in-person next month when it opens, on DVD this December, when the Dolphins 2013 season has pretty much played itself out.


Star Trek Into Darkness - Official Trailer #3 (HD) Benedict Cumberbatch

I bought it to watch it again and then send it to my mother, who is a longtime Star Trek fan, but not so crazy about going to theaters anymore, unless she comes down here to see my sister and I, in which case we'll watch it at my sister's at some point on her visit.

My plan, then, is to watch it after the NBC Sunday Night Football game if that game is a good one, or, instead of the game if the game is not so interesting. 
(Like usual, I'm taping Once Upon a Time, The Good Wife and The Mentalist on the other TV's DVR.)
So, I'm watching the pre-game highlights package and listening to Dan Patrick, Tony Dungy and Bob Costas talk and talk about the various games that took place earlier in the day and sort of wondering what led the Time Machine to this scene of me watching myself lying on the couch, with some newspapers and a can of Coke on the table nearby. 
And how is this trip in any way connected to tonight's NFL Draft?

Well, the Dolphins will have the chance tonight to draft and add polish to a dynamic game-breaking player, but because Dolphins well-meaning but misfiring General Manager Jeff Ireland is who he is -there's no changing those spots- he goes the safe route yet again and the player who could be and should be one of the Dolphins biggest stars of the future, will instead drop some more and ply his trade for another team drafting after the Dolphins.

Ah, Jeff Ireland and the Safe Choice!
It almost sounds like the name of a neighborhood band from North Miami Beach circa 1974, a band where the lead singer is the older brother of one of my friends, but his last name really isn't Ireland, but he just likes the way it sounds.
Lots of class!

In the future highlight I see, Dan Patrick prefaces his pithy comment by saying, "Oh, no. Jeff Ireland may want to close his eyes again because Miami passed on this guy."

And there on the TV screen, on TVs of various sizes and shapes all across the country and all across South Florida, the video is showing someone scoring against the Dolphins late in a heretofore close ballgame, and making the big difference in another Dolphin loss.

Because, as always, there are nice dependable players and then there are difference-makers, and the Dolphins have been plagued for the past 15 years by NOT having enough of them on the field on either offense or defense.

It makes me think after watching videos on YouTube of the NFL in the 1970's, the seasons with the games and scores I still remember because I was there in-person at the Orange Bowl for almost every one, that IF Jeff Ireland had been the Steelers GM in 1974, he'd have passed on drafting John Stallworth in the fourth round because, well, after all, they already had drafted a very good one out of USC in the first round named Lynn Swann.
So let's draft another offensive lineman!

But given who's making the choice, that offensive lineman is NOT named future Hall of Famer Mike Webster.
Four of the Steeler's first five draft choices eventually are enshrined in the NFL Hall of Fame.

Such is the difference between GMs who are in-the-know and on draft day, literally, in-the-zone, seeing things that others don't see, and then there are nice guys who still have their jobs after doing a consistently mediocre job because the boss doesn't really like to fire people.

What will be written on Ireland's personnel file after his exit interview?
"Dolphins lack of playmakers!"

Here's a hint: offensive linemen aren't playmakers:

Look up the phrase "Dolphins lack of playmakers" on Google Images and tell me whose photo shows up first.
Really,.just try it.
See, it's not just my opinion, it's an algorithm's learned opinion.

I hope that I'm wrong about this prediction about the Dolphins draft today, and that Ireland, like George Costanza once did, does the exact opposite of what he usually does, but if you know anything about me from reading this blog fairly regularly over the years, and my predictions while at IU and in Chicago and in D.C., you know that I have a ridiculous degree of accuracy when I've had some time to analyze the empirical data, accent the positive, eliminate the negative and throw in some intangibles and just noodle everything through.  

Three teams on December's Dolphins schedule draft after the Dolphins: the Steelers at 17, the Patriots at 29 and the Jets immediately after the Dolphins draft at 12.
Just saying... the best defense is a big lead!


2013 NFL Draft: The perfect strategy for each team to follow
By Bucky Brooks, Analyst, NFL.com and NFL Network
 Published: April 22, 2013 at 03:57 p.m. 
Updated: April 23, 2013 at 05:38 p.m.


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