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.

@FLGovScott #RemoveHer #HallandaleBeach mayor & town bully #JoyCooper

Friday, May 31, 2013

Given the longstanding mismanagement and corruption involving MILLIONS of dollars at Hallandale Beach CRA, why has Broward's independent Office of Inspector General refused to hold a single outreach mtg. with citizens in Hallandale Beach, while OIG has met with other Broward civic groups? It's very perplexing and counterintuitive to getting cold hard facts out into the sunshine and the public realm

Above, Broward Inspector General John W. Scott at a Broward League of Women Voters event in Coconut Creek, FL on January 24, 2013. Below, four of the five Hallandale Beach citizens who found time on a busy weekday afternoon to drive up to Coconut Creek in northwest Broward County to listen to and ask some questions of Mr. Scott. Pictured left-to-right are Keith S. London, Dr. Robert Selz, Dr. Judy Selz, and Csaba Kulin. Not pictured: me! January 24, 2013 photos by South Beach Hoosier.© 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved.



Below is a copy of my email this afternoon to Hallandale Beach's two reps on the Broward County Commission, Sue Gunzburger and Barbara Sharief, about the independent Broward Office of Inspector General relative to an issue that I've previously mentioned here on the blog and in numerous emails around the area, almost of which have elicited the same perplexed and unhappy reaction among concerned citizens upon first learning of it.
The email speaks for itself.

I should mention here that as of 8:00 p.m. tonight, in advance of Tuesday's important County Commission meeting in Fort Lauderdale with an agenda item re an audit of the HB CRA by the County Auditor's office, Comm. Sharief has not publicly made her opinion known, while Comm. Gunzburger has made clear to everyone that she is going to fight very hard for it.
http://www.browardbulldog.org/2013/05/broward-auditor-looks-at-hallandale-beach-cra-with-eye-toward-recovering-misspent-funds/

I sincerely hope that Comm. Sharief will show the same good judgement and pro-citizen sentiment that she's consistently shown the past few years on many issues, including the controversial red-light camera issue, where she has been one of the very few bright spots among all of Broward's pols, city officials and public policy pundits. 

Comm. Sharief has been a consistent opponent of the overwhelmingly pro-RLC County Commission and Broward Legislative Delegation's knee-jerk votes on this issue, the very same people who have been so VERY quiet the past few weeks about the #shortyellow issue in Florida, where the Florida Dept. of Transportation lowered the required length of the yellow traffic light below the Federal standard of 4.5 seconds, without contacting the Florida Legislature and its leadership, in order to capture more cars on camera and generate more revenue for Florida cities.

That's entirely in keeping with the long-time strategy of the taxpayer-supported Florida League of Cities, many of whose individual members received considerable campaign contributions last year from the companies engaged in this so-called service, which is exactly what happened here in Hallandale Beach.

As you regular readers of the blog will recall, Arizona-based  American Traffic Solutions and Mayor Joy Cooper have become the best of friends the past few years after she and the City Commission forced this on city residents a years ago despite their consistent opposition, in order to generate more funds for the city.

The mayor received thousands of dollars in campaign funds from ATS after writing a pro-RLC essay in the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, and it's largely because of her that Hallandale Beach has became so infamous around the state on this issue.

While I'm hoping for the best since it seems like such an obvious thing to vote YES given the damning IG report on the HB CRA, personally, I believe that a vote against an audit by Comm. Sharief on Tuesday would do long-lasting damage to her public standing in Hallandale Beach, especially among its more well-informed and most-concerned residents, all of whom are super-voters.

But its her vote, so she's going to do whatever she's going to do, and if she votes NO, she will have to live with the resulting negative consequences.

-----
Given the longstanding mismanagement and corruption involving millions of dollars at the HB CRA, why has Broward IG's Office refused to hold a single public outreach mtg. with citizens in Hallandale Beach, while meeting with other Broward groups?


May 31, 2013
3:30 p.m.

RE: Given the longstanding mismanagement and corruption involving millions of dollars at the HB CRA, why has Broward IG's Office refused to hold a single public outreach mtg. with citizens in Hallandale Beach, while meeting with other Broward groups that were NOT directly affected?


Dear Commissioners Gunzburger and Sharief:

Since the question of whether or not the Broward County Commission should authorize the Office of Broward County Auditor Evan Lukic to perform a thorough audit of the Hallandale Beach Beach CRA will be coming-up at Tuesday's meeting, given the city's longstanding failure 
to have normal and effective operating quality controls over millions of dollars in place, or even pretend to have actual public accountability and thorough follow-up to ensure that  public funds were spent for their intended if ill-founded purposes, a motion that I support 100%, due to the HB City Commission/CRA Board's longstanding refusal to have a thorough audit of the entire HB CRA, i.e themselves, I'd like to bring to your  attention a related issue involving the Office of the Broward Inspector General.

Since The Commission authorized the creation of that Office a few years ago, you won't be surprised to hear that it has held several public meetings with various civic groups, affinity and social groups throughout Broward County to get their "message" out.
It's actually entirely what you'd expect.

Included among those meetings was one that was hosted in late January by the Broward League of Women Voters in Coconut Creek featuring IG John W. Scott.
I and four other very-concerned Hallandale Beach citizens actually attended that get-together at a condominium, despite its lack of proximity to HB.

But despite my personally having provided the IG's Office with a LOT of verifiable information regarding unethical and illegal conduct and behavior involving individuals in this community, esp. regarding the HB CRA, and Mr. Scott's own publicly declarations that he believes getting his office's message out is an important function -and it being brought-up at that very meeting- his office have refused to hold a single public community meeting with citizens of Hallandale Beach since his office initiated its investigation of the City of Hallandale Beach involving its missing-in-action supervision under former HB City Managers Mike Good and Mark A. Antonio involving so much mis-spent millions and missing documents, to say nothing of the missing professionalism HB taxpayers had a reasonable right to expect but never receivedDespite the fact that this city's residents and taxpayers have been personally affected by what has happened.

I have personally written to Mr. Scott on several occasions and have brought up the issues of his Office showing some good faith to this community by actually following-up on his OWN public declarations and do so for all of the most-obvious reasons.
That includes a written request to him over a week ago, yet his office has been completely, and rather curiously, non-responsive on this matter.

I strongly urge the two of you as representatives on the County Commission of this community's beleaguered citizens to contact the IG's office and remind them that they have a logical AND moral duty to speak directly and publicly with the citizens of this directly-affected city.
A duty that is at least as strong as it is to all of the many Broward groups that the IG's Office has already spoken to that are NOT directly affected at all.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

While Scotland Yard ramps up its investigation into murderous attack on Royal Fusilier Lee Rigby in Woolrich, Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Melanie Phillips both remind us again of the truth behind much of the West's rosy view of Islam -and we keep listening: Ali Hirsi: "The Problem of Muslim Leadership - Another Islamist terror attack, another round of assurances that it had nothing to do with the religion of peace", Phillips: "Until our leaders admit the true nature of Islamic extremism, we will never defeat it"; Suspect Michael Adebowale brought to Westminster Magistrates' Court this morning, while Channel 4 News reports that suspect Michael Adebolajo had a split personality -both alleged murderers are said to be members of the Woolrich Boys gang




ITN YouTube Channel video: The family of slain Royal Fusilier Lee Rigby visited the scene of his grisly murder outside the Woolrich Royal Artillery Barracks in Artillery Place at the hands of two Radical Islamists. They laid flowers and read many of the tributes for the 25-year-old soldier who while off-duty and walking down the sidewalk last Tuesday was intentionally run over by a blue Vauxhall Tigra automobile and hacked to death with a machete. Meanwhile, British Home Secretary Theresa May warned there are potentially thousands of people at risk of being radicalised in the U.K., as she indicated plans for a fresh crackdown on extremist groups. Reported by Tom Ellis.  Uploaded May 26, 2013. http://youtu.be/j0xrrb27OCc

Channel4News YouTube Channel video: One week after the Woolwich attack on drummer Lee Rigsby, while hundreds of members of the Metropolitan Police Service continue investigating the case, Channel 4 News has been told that one of the suspects, Michael Adebolajo, was described as having a split personality. Uploaded May 29, 2013. http://youtu.be/fZeUQzongVE
Wall Street Journal
Opinion
The Problem of Muslim Leadership
Another Islamist terror attack, another round of assurances that it had nothing to do with the religion of peace
By Ayaan Hirsi Ali
May 27, 2013, 6:40 p.m. ET
I've seen this before. A Muslim terrorist slays a non-Muslim citizen in the West, and representatives of the Muslim community rush to dissociate themselves and their faith from the horror. After British soldier Lee Rigby was hacked to death last week in Woolwich in south London, Julie Siddiqi, representing the Islamic Society of Britain, quickly stepped before the microphones to attest that all good Muslims were "sickened" by the attack, "just like everyone else."
This happens every time. Muslim men wearing suits and ties, or women wearing stylish headscarves, are sent out to reassure the world that these attacks have no place in real Islam, that they are aberrations and corruptions of the true faith.
Read the rest of the essay at:
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323475304578503613890263762.html

The Daily Mail
Until our leaders admit the true nature of Islamic extremism, we will never defeat it
By Melanie Phillips
PUBLISHED: 17:04 EST, 26 May 2013, UPDATED: 17:04 EST, 26 May 2013
Ever since the spectre of Islamic terrorism in the West first manifested itself, Britain has had its head stuck firmly in the sand.
After both 9/11 and the 7/7 London transport bombings, the Labour government promised to take measures to defend the country against further such attacks.
It defined the problem, however, merely as terrorism, failing to understand that the real issue was the extremist ideas which led to such violence.
Read the rest of the column at 

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-2331368/Until-leaders-admit-true-nature-Islamic-extremism-defeat-it.html

-----
Anyone who filmed or took photos of the incident are asked to send the moving or still images to police via woolwich@metincident.co.uk - please include your name and contact details, which will be treated in strict confidence. Anyone who may have such material is asked not to delete it after sending it in.

More information is available at the Metropolitan Police Service website: http://content.met.police.uk/Home

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Unexpected good news for supporters of Beam Furr's candidacy -look at all the "Usual Suspects" of Broward endorsing feckless, ineffectual, business-as-usual Joe Gibbons for County Commission. Gibbons, the pol who STILL can't answer basic questions about his real job, where he lives and why his life is SO VERY complicated, with a straight face. His job, his wife and his kids are ALL located elsewhere, so are the only things keeping him in Broward his own ego and ambition? How did such a mediocre pol get such lofty ideas about himself? Now THERE'S a question!; same as for Alexander Lewy now that you mention it

A week before some of us concerned citizens in Hallandale Beach were seeking to appeal to the Broward County Commission's good judgment, and direct them to have County Auditor Evan Lukic's office perform a thorough top-to-bottom audit of the Hallandale Beach CRA so we can all see just where the tens of millions of CRA dollars really went over the past few years, since it's clear there are too many missing documents, unanswered questions and outright lies and disinformation from current and former elected officials and administrators, we were once again reminded of how very poor that judgment of their's so often is.

Broward Bulldog
Broward Auditor looks at Hallandale Beach CRA with eye toward recovering misspent funds
By William Gjebre, BrowardBulldog.org 
May 13, 2013 AT 6:08 AM
http://www.browardbulldog.org/2013/05/broward-auditor-looks-at-hallandale-beach-cra-with-eye-toward-recovering-misspent-funds/

My post on this of last week:
http://hallandalebeachblog.blogspot.com/2013/05/mark-your-calendar-for-june-4th-latest.html

That friendly reminder comes courtesy of Tuesday's Broward Politics blog and a piece by Brittany Wallman detailing that four members of the current Broward Commission are foolishly supporting undistinguished no-account Joe Gibbons over Beam Furr in the 2014 race to replace incumbent and term-limited District 6 member Sue Gunzburger, who, months ago  endorsed moderate, Good Government-type Furr, the former Hollywood City Commissioner whose district  was just north of HB and Pembroke Road and west of U.S.-1, and which is currently held by Peter Hernandez.


South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Broward Politics blog
County Commission wants Gibbons elected
By Brittany Wallman
1:38 p.m. EDT, May 28, 2013
Read the post at 
http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/broward/broward-politics-blog/sfl-county-commission-wants-gibbons-elected-20130528,0,3207643.story

In my own personal estimation, Beam Furr is someone whose quality character, serious work ethic and problem-solving personality is much more-attuned to the genuine concerns of southeast Broward's most-concerned residents than the disingenuous and unproductive Gibbons, who spends so much time away from the area, and whose actual "residency" as such is more implied and assumed than ever proven to a reasonable degree that would satisfy people who know the true facts.


But then given how very reluctant the local South Florida news media and local law enforcement officials have been to take a public stand against Joe Gibbons and similarly situated elected officials in South Florida, and FOR the letter and spirit of the actual laws of the state -with the exception Bob Norman of Channel 10 and his wife Brittany Wallman of the Sun-Sentinel- versus the wink-and-a-nod approach long taken towards ethics and rules by the leaders and foot soldiers of Broward  Democratic Party chief Mitch Caeser's team, it's no wonder that so few Broward residents know the true facts about Gibbons, despite how many years he has been engaging in this strange tale of his and I've been writing about it.


BrowardPalmBeach NewTimes
House Pro Tem Investigated for Homestead Fraud
By Bob Norman
November 15 2010 at 10:15 AM
http://blogs.browardpalmbeach.com/pulp/2010/11/joe_gibbons_investigated_homestead_fraud.php

County Commission candidate's ties to Broward questioned
Gibbons' wife, young kids live elsewhere
By Brittany Wallman, Sun Sentinel
April 12, 2013
http://articles.sun-sentinel.com/2013-04-12/news/fl-joe-gibbons-homestead-20130406_1_joe-gibbons-homestead-exemption-d-hallandale-beach

State attorney probed Gibbons' campaign funds 
By Brittany Wallman
11:14 a.m. EDT, April 15, 2013, 
http://articles.sun-sentinel.com/2013-04-15/news/sfl-state-attorney-probed-gibbons-campaign-spending-20130415_1_joe-gibbons-sloppy-bookkeeping-memo

To add to the list of media and law enforcement's failed opportunities you could also add the general weakness and the dog-chasing-its-tail fecklessness of Broward County Republicans, and their inability or unwillingness to go after all the low-hanging fruit.
Their failure to mount a smart and fact-based civic offensive against Gibbons and others in the Broward Dem Party's leadership with gaping holes in their claims to meeting state residency requirements.

A real professional media campaign  that tears off the thin facade Gibbons and others have used as a shield for years, with facts that can not be disproved or labeled mere allegations.
Some things are either true or they're not, and when you know that people are engaging in a public charade, you don't do the public any favors by tolerating people in your midst who are breaking the spirit and letter of the rules and laws, no matter how much it might embarrass the guilty parties. 

In case you doubt me on this...
Los Angeles Times
Indiana secretary of state convicted of voter fraud
February 4, 2012  1:17 pm

As If I haven't already mentioned this subject a hundred times before here in this space -or is it more than a hundred?- when it comes to Gibbons and his ever-changing narrative, alibis, excuses and rationales that are contrary to how 99.9% of the people in this county live their life.

Joe Gibbons is NOT a professional athlete, an airline pilot, an FBI agent or a Navy SEAL, all people who spend lots of time away from their homes and their families, yet for some unexplained reason, nobody in South Florida's enormous press corps has ever simply walked-up to Gibbons with a microphone and asks him how come he can't either get a job in South Florida, instead of with a law firm in Tallahassee, or, doesn't simply resign and actually get a job where his wife and children live.
Imagine that! 

Really, as if I needed even more reasons to be supportive of Beam Furr's candidacy!

Today's piece by Wallman contains a list of Broward's "Ususal Suspects" -below- who are sponsors of an upcoming Joe Gibbons fundraiser, and it's not just that it's composed of 4 of members of the current County Commission, but also includes some of Gibbons' quite unremarkable and under-performing friends from the legislature representing Broward.

People who are without any tangible accomplishment other than showing a real knack for whining and complaining instead of generating genuine good ideas for citizens and businesses that are actually popular with Florida taxpayers and their colleagues in Tallahassee which will improve the area's Quality of Life.
It's not just salaries that have been stagnant in South Florida the past 25 years, it's the Quality-of-Life.

Of course, the fact that these pols really DON'T see how their public endorsement of oleaginous  Gibbons is a BIG PLUS for Furr among people who want real public accountability instead of more of the usual politics-as-usual that causes Broward to remain so mediocre in so many ways, is pretty funny to me and many of my friends.

Frankly, we only wish this exact same crew of characters would have a fundraiser for Gibbons every month until the August 2014 primary, because then it'd give voters and the news media plenty of opportunities over the next 14 months to ask them just what it is, exactly, that Gibbons is so adept or masterful at that would make him a good County Commissioner?

I ask because nobody-but-nobody sings his praises as a hard worker or public speaker or behind-the-scenes font of knowledge who makes logical arguments that sway opponents.
Not even other Broward Democrats who know him would say that with a straight face, so, what explains this great fascination to publicly endorse such an under-performing person before he's said even one thing publicly about what he thinks he could do at the Commission that others couldn't?
Now THERE'S a real good question the news media ought to be asking him and his pals!

The names on that list made public by the Sun-Sentinel's Wallman are precisely why I wrote here weeks ago -and told some of you in-person weeks before that- that my intuition was that state Senator Jeremy Ring of northern Broward County, a Democrat who's very respected by Republicans in Tallahassee, would likely play much more of a role in getting that long-overdue audit of the corrupt, incompetent HB CRA that we are owed -and which HB Mayor Joy Cooper has been so adamant about NOT allowingthan most people thought.

That Cooper opposes a thorough audit of the HB CRA is quite understandable when you know that the facts that come out of it will inevitably reflect very negatively on her and her personal neglect and culpability while she has been mayor for the past ten years and was supposed to be looking-out for residents, not taking advantage of them.

As well the facts would, given that Cooper was driving the CRA for so long to do the very things it did, however unsavory it appeared to Good Government types like me or my friends in SE Broward.
She didn't care about that, she cared about getting what she wanted and what helped her politically. Period.

That the Gibbons fundraiser is -surprise- NOT being held within his own state House District -nothing for you HB, West Park, Pembroke Park and Miramar! is par for the course.
Yes, just like his last state House race had its mailing address outside of the district.

Here are the names again for the record: Broward School Board District 2 member Patricia Good; Pembroke Pines Mayor Frank Ortis and Commissioner Iris Siple; Broward County Commissioners Dale Holness, Martin Kiar, Stacy Ritter and Lois Wexler; state Reps Jim Waldman and Perry Thurston. 

What is it about NOT representing this area except in the legislature that animates this strange character named Gibbons, since it's clearly NOT about making the community better?

But then I could say the same thing about the person whom fundraiser sponsor and Comm. Marty Kiar most resembles politically around HB, City Comm. Alexander Lewy, aka Lewy the Liar, who is running to replace Gibbons in state House 100 next year.

(Of course, quite a lot of pro-reform people I know in HB say 'good riddance' however you can rid this town of Lewy and the strange tenets of Lewyism, like the urge to always create a bigger government job corps, but me, well, I think of the genuine harm he could do up in Tallahassee while exerting no real power, while simultaneously getting an even more swelled head and high opinion of himself, despite having never really done any heavy lifting of any kind, since I really don't like to reward that sort of thing. Me, I'm looking quite forward to voting against Lewy next year.)

Seeing Kiar's name on this list of back-slappers is absolutely no surprise, since he shares a lot of the worst aspects and elements of the mentality and ideology of Lewy -which is to say that he's 99.9% ego & ambition, .01% sincerity.
Like Lewy, he's not just shallow like the shallow end of an Olympic-sized swimming pool, he's shallow like a store-bought pool that has no depth of any kind.

All these many months later and the public has still never been told by the South Florida news media how Kiar explains how it came to be that the Broward County Commission districts were redrawn in such a way that the only precinct in Kiar's hometown of Davie that made it into District 1, Comm. Ilene Lieberman's old district, was, yes, Kiar's.
What a small world!!!

The small convenient world of Broward politics-as-usual where people with power have favors done for them behind-the-scenes by other people with power, and the public is never the wiser -and the press corps just keeps snoozing the afternoon away.

I mentioned this fact twice last year on the blog and have referenced it a few times in emails, all while the two local newspapers and TV stations made almost no effort to find out the answer.

May 2, 2012
When, if ever, is the sleepwalking South Florida news media going to demand that Broward County Comm. candidate Marty Kiar publicly answer questions about how his one precinct in Davie was the one placed in District 1? The silence on this matter is positively deafening, but the questions WON'T go away

May 9, 2012
The curious case of Broward County Comm. candidate Marty Kiar's Tweets, which, for me, are more revealing for what they DON'T say


Oh, and since you would not have read this elsewhere, Gibbons-supporter Kiar missed that first 911 County Commission meeting last month that everyone in the news media said was so damn urgent.
Never mentioned was why Kiar was missing on what was expected to be a close vote and naturally, South Florida's news media cooperated by never bothering to ask him.
Guess it wasn't so urgent after all.

Noticeable by his absence on this party list is Broward Comm. Tim Ryan, which is a good thing from my perspective, since he's someone I've long admired since returning to South Florida from the Washington, D.C. where I lived and worked for 15 years.
Ryan is such a scrupulously ethical and big idea guy, and someone who actually got meaningful ethics legislation passed while he was in the state legislature, unlike Joe Gibbons, Steve Geller and Eleanor Sobel, all of whom have been under-performers for Hallandale Beach residents in so many different areas that I can't even let myself get sidetracked by mentioning them all here.

There's still lots of interesting things yet to emerge publicly about Joe Gibbonsand I know some of them myself.
Reasonable questions and facts that will cause people with open minds to question his credibility and basic honesty, especially not just his odd "arrangement" with his wife and children who don't live with him, but what he actually did/does for HER former business and the true level of his involvement with it.
There's much more there than you have heard or read thus far, if you just know where to look.
I do.

In the end, the main reason for the beleaguered residents of Hallandale Beach to be against Gibbons is the simplest one: he's NEVER been a very good or even reliable representative for this community's best long-term interests.

While it's never been reported publicly in the two newspapers or on TV, anyone who has been paying even the slightest amount of attention to what goes on in this community -or been reading this blog- knows that Joe Gibbons has NEVER been helpful to the residents of this city who want genuine reform, meaningful transparency and public accountability at HB City Hall.

Joe Gibbons has been totally AWOL for years, whether it was the case of the unpopular and incompatible Diplomat LAC project championed by Mayor Cooper that was eventually defeated by the County Commission, the longstanding HB CRA corruption, or even the red-light cameras and how they came to be introduced into this community by Mayor Cooper as a revenue-generator, not a tool for public safety, and placed on streets that were not where they were most-needed.

Joe Gibbons has had plenty of opportunities to do the right thing and he has always done nothing.
Why would you think he'd be any different in representing you as a Broward County Commissioner?

We DON'T want a do-nothing County Commissioner who just goes along with whatever the dominant political establishment wants, like so many pols in South Florida.
No thanks! 

Gibbons showing-up on Election Day at the HB Cultural Center doesn't make up for all that, esp. if you saw the crowd of misfits that he hung with while there. 
Not surprisingly, it was the very defenders and architects of the mess at the CRA, the people who always have their hand out for CRA and taxpayer money, not the people in this community who want the WHOLE TRUTH and nothing but the truth.
Again, as if I needed more reasons to be supportive of Beam Furr.

Depending upon my schedule in June, I might even swing by the Gibbons fundraising event in Fort Lauderdale in a few weeks and park myself outside the restaurant and take photos of all the local pols and bundlers going inside to tell this useless elected official how great he is, and place it here on my blog for all to see.

You're more than welcome to join me!

-----
Given how much I wrote about this recently here on the blog, I suppose I should remind you readers that All Aboard Florida is having their after-the-fact scoping meeting Wednesday afternoon in Fort Lauderdale.

But because there will be no presentation of any kind, just handouts and perhaps a video running somewhere on a screen, plus, no doubt, some attractive female PR types to chat everyone up, to me, it looks to have all the hallmarks of walking into a room where everyone there wants there you to either sign-up for a new cell phone provider or a new credit card -an immediate U-Turn for me.

Which is to say that I won't be going due to the lack of real information and feedback, and instead, will be going to Hollywood City Hall for their important joint CRA/City Comm. mtg,
on Margaritaville at 5 p.m.

Monday, May 27, 2013

re Margaritaville Hollywood Beach Resort project - Special City of Hollywood CRA/City Comm. meeting re Margaritaville at 5 pm on Wednesday; re Hollywood's South Park Road Redevelopment (HIAD)


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re Margaritaville Hollywood Beach Resort project - Special City of Hollywood CRA/City Comm. meeting re Margaritaville at 5 pm on Wednesday; re Hollywood's South Park Road Redevelopment (HIAD)
There is a Special City of Hollywood CRA/City Commission joint meeting re Margaritaville at Hollywood City Hall on Wednesday on May 29th at 5 p.m.
http://agenda.hollywoodfl.org/cache/00001/234/AGEN%2005-29-13%20Joint%20Special.pdf

Last week's community meeting was another masterful production by Hollywood City Manager  Cathy Swanson-Rivenbarkwith more than enough info to fill everyone in on what's what and what's been changed, with a well-produced Power Point presentation that answered and anticipated every conceivable question or concern with facts, not idle speculation or theories.

The City Manager's Office had 4 separate stacks of document handouts in the lobby for the public to grab on their way in, including a copy of new agreement; in total, weighing about 20 oz or so.

There almost might've been too much information to process, something that you could never say was the case in Hallandale Beach. 
Plus, they had a stash of three separate kinds of cookies in the lobby with a TV monitor set up for any possible overflow. Now that's planning.

Well, the cookies were grabbed and eaten, but the TV wasn't needed, as there were probably about 90 people in total inside, with a few empty seats near most of the usual familiar faces.
All but one current Hollywood City Commissioner was present in the chambers along with former Commissioners Fran Russo and Beam Furr.

From my perspective, someone who in the past had been dis-satisfied with various aspects of both Margaritaville's plan as well as the long-ago rejected Hard Rock proposal, it may've been the best single day thus far for the Margaritaville project and Lojeta developer Lon Tabatchnick.

Hollywood CRA Director Jorge Camejo, City Attorney Jeff Sheffel, Planning Dept. head 
Jaye Epstein and the city's hospitality consultant all spoke from dais when CSR wasn't connecting-the-dots down near the lectern with a mixture of both precision and humor.

It was clearly Lon Tabatchnick's best day at Hollywood City Hall in a long time, as he was up on the dais with the others, in a polo shirt instead of a suit, and from where I sat, with my video-camera rolling, he seemed much more relaxed and focused than in the past, and not nearly so anxious as he has sometimes appeared to be, given the investment of time, energy and money he's made.
Perhaps it was a turning point.

Coincidentally, there was an interesting photo-filled article in The Daily Mail today on Jimmy Buffet and the Margaritaville empire he and his team have created:

The Daily Mail
Welcome to Margaritaville: How Jimmy Buffett's four-minute song about being drunk and lazy became the most lucrative song in the world and spawned $100MILLION empire 
By DAILY MAIL REPORTER
PUBLISHED: 00:44 EST, 27 May 2013 
UPDATED: 00:47 EST, 27 May 2013
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2331498/Welcome-Margaritaville-How-Jimmy-Buffetts-minute-song-drunk-lazy-lucrative-song-world-spawned-100MILLION-empire.html

Channel 10, Miami
Commission to vote on revised Margaritaville agreement 
New agreement adds Starwood Capital to the project  
Published On: May 28 2013 12:54:25 PM EDT
http://www.local10.com/news/commission-to-vote-on-revised-margaritaville-agreement/-/1717324/20327872/-/2pjlhpz/-/index.html

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*Separate issue: 
As I've said previously said to people around town, the place where the City of Hallandale Beach actually thinks it'll be charging its alternative energy vehicles for the foreseeable future is a facility in Hollywood located on Park Road & Pembroke Road -across the street from the Coca-Cola bottling plant and the Orangebrook Golf & Country Clubthat'll be gone as soon as Hollywood can get rid of it, the South Park Road Redevelopment (HIAD)
So what's HB's back-up plan for when this facility disappears?
Good question.

In none of the HB City Commission meetings that I've personally attended or watched online in the past year or so on the subject of the city purchasing alternative energy vehicles, have I once heard former City Manager Mark A. Antonio and current CM  Renee Miller -or any of her three highly-paid assistants- say one word about the future reality of that Park Road site that HB intends on using to refuel its new vehicles.

Each time I hear it brought up I honestly wonder if the highly-paid help at HB City Hall even knows.
And each time, I'm convinced they don't, because they speak in such smug and oblivious tones. 

http://www.hollywoodfl.org/DocumentCenter/View/1962

Tell me, when have you ever seen anything like this level of detail in HB for constructive suggestions for all the various empty lots and city/CRA-owned parcels in HB?

I mentioned this meeting last year on th blog but was unable to attend it:

The Department of Community and Economic Development is holding a public meeting regarding the South Park Road Redevelopment Site, formerly the Hollywood Incinerator Ash Dump, on Monday, October 22, 2012 at 6:30 p.m. at City Hall, Room 219.The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for has announced funding availability to carry out cleanup activities at a specific brownfield sites. The City of Hollywood is interested in applying for a grant for the purposes of cleaning up environmental concerns on the South Park Road site.
This public meeting is the first step in moving forward with the potential redevelopment of this site and discussions will include funding availability and process and community support of grant efforts to address existing environmental concerns. Community participation is essential in City projects and your feedback during this public meeting is encouraged.
All interested groups or individuals are invited to attend this public meeting. If you are interested in providing feedback and are unable to attend, you may send your comments via e-mail to dbiederman@hollywoodfl.org. For additional information about this meeting contact the Department of Community and Economic Development at 954.921.327

Saturday, May 25, 2013

There's a reason it's called the First Amendment: Americans want a free and energetic press corps, not a Mainstream Media chorus full of kiss-up sycophants to the President and the powerful, but many in MSM don't care -until Holder & DOJ over-stepped, and even then, some "journalists" can't put Constitution first over their love for Obama: The New Yorker's Ryan Lizza calls out media Obama kiss-ups in public re James Rosen case, while Balt. Sun media critic David Zuirawik deconstructs Obama & Co.'s obsession with Fox News -and attempts to marginalize it- by simply letting facts and Roger Ailes' own words appear in print: "Roger Ailes grabs moral high ground over Obama on phone, email seizures. Memo to Fox staffers shows character, righteousness, leadership"






There's a reason it's called the First Amendment: Americans want a free and energetic press corps, not a Mainstream Media chorus full of kiss-up sycophants to the President and the powerful, but many in MSM don't care -until Holder & DOJ over-stepped, and even then, some "journalists" can't put Constitution first over their love for Obama: The New Yorker's Ryan Lizza calls out media Obama kiss-ups in public re James Rosen case, while Balt. Sun media critic David Zuirawik deconstructs Obama & Co.'s obsession with Fox News -and attempts to marginalize it- by simply letting facts and Roger Ailes' own words appear in print: "Roger Ailes grabs moral high ground over Obama on phone, email seizures. Memo to Fox staffers shows character, righteousness, leadership"

Baltimore Sun
Roger Ailes grabs moral high ground over Obama on phone, email seizures
Memo to Fox staffers shows character, righteousness, leadership
By David Zuirawik, The Baltimore Sun
6:12 p.m. EDT, May 23, 2013
The Obama White House has been trying to de-legitimize Fox News almost from the day it took office. Remember the media blitz of 2009 launched by then White House Communications Director Anita Dunn?
I stood with Fox on that one on principle and came away impressed with the almost tribal unity that Roger Ailes inspired in his troops in the face of White House pressure.
Read the rest of Zuirawik's column at:

http://www.baltimoresun.com/entertainment/tv/z-on-tv-blog/bal-roger-ailes-rosen-obama-moral-20130523,0,6047321.story

Such a great closing, and not just because I agree with it 100%::
But I am going to rejoin the battle, because what the White House is doing is truly in a league with Nixon. The difference is that we now have a dumbed-down, wimped-out and suck-up press compared to the one Nixon faced. And what passes for media criticism is, in the main, even more spineless and pathetic.
Too many of the press folks, especially in Washington, are all too happy to kiss up to the White House rather than doing their jobs as Rosen has. Or, maybe they just don't have his dedication and courage.
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Ryan Lizza  @RyanLizza  https://twitter.com/RyanLizza

Read his three most recents columns on this subject here:

The New Yorker
May 20, 2013
BLOG: NEWS DESK
THE D.O.J. VERSUS JAMES ROSEN
Here is the full forty-four-page Justice Department application for the search warrant of the Gmail account of Fox News's James Rosen.
By Ryan Lizza

May 21, 2013
BLOG: NEWS DESK
THE JUSTICE DEPARTMENT AND FOX NEWS’S PHONE RECORDS
The Obama Justice Department has seized the phone records of numbers that are associated with White House staffers and, apparently, with Fox News reporters.
By Ryan Lizza

May 24, 2013
BLOG: NEWS DESK
HOW PROSECUTORS FOUGHT TO KEEP ROSEN’S WARRANT SECRET
The Obama Administration fought to keep a search warrant for James Rosen’s private e-mail account secret.
By Ryan Lizza
http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/newsdesk/2013/05/how-justice-fought-to-keep-rosens-warrant-secret.html

Friday, May 24, 2013

Finally some good news about the upcoming 2013-14 U.S. TV season: 'Who Do You Think You Are?' is coming back! The Lisa Kudrow and Dan Bucatinsky-produced celebrity docu/genalogy series that ran on NBC for 3 years gets picked-up by TLC; premiering July 23rd; @TLC, @lisakudrow, @danbucatinsky, #genealogy, # familytree, #roots




Finally some good news about the upcoming 2013-14 U.S. TV season: 'Who Do You Think You Are?' is coming back! The Lisa Kudrow and Dan Bucatinsky-produced celebrity docu/genalogy series that ran on NBC for 3 years gets picked-up by TLC; premiering July 23rd; @TLC, @lisakudrow, @danbucatinsky, #genealogy, # familytree, #roots 

TheWrap
TLC Brings NBC's 'Who Do You Think You Are?' Back From the Grave (Exclusive)
Lisa Kudrow and Dan Bucatinsky's celebrity documentary series gets a second life on the cable channel
By Jethro Nededog
Published: May 21, 2013 @ 1:28 pm

The show's episodes on Rashida Jones and Jason Sudeikis were very compelling and among the more-interesting and memorable things I saw on TV all last year.  

That both of them wound-up discovering some rather unsettling news about their own family's history -originally from Latvia and Lithuania, respectively- showed me that the shows were NOT written just so that there'd be a happy ending by the end of the sixty minutes, which was a nice change of pace when it comes to TV shows built around a celebrity. 

That difference in attitude is why I'm very encouraged that TLC has revived this series -and why I will be watching every week.

As it happens, I was one of the very first persons to see TheWrap's EXCLUSIVE this past week, seeing it about a minute after it got posted online, and that explains why I was the first reader to comment there.

There were many more people who were fans of the show who followed me in the hours afterwards, about two dozen last time  checked, far more comments than almost any article about an individual TV show ever generates on the website, which I think speaks very well for the show's future, assuming they market it properly. 

Additional reader comments are at Yahoo's dispatch here:
http://tv.yahoo.com/news/tlc-brings-nbcs-think-back-grave-exclusive-202837056.html

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https://www.facebook.com/IsOrIsntEntertainment

http://www.nbc.com/who-do-you-think-you-are/

http://www.nbc.com/who-do-you-think-you-are/episode-guide/season-3/460306/rashida-jones/episode-310/499266/

http://www.nbc.com/who-do-you-think-you-are/episode-guide/season-3/460306/jason-sudeikis/episode-311/501393/

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/who-do-you-think-you-are-snl-jason-sudeikis-nbc-322690

NCAA Lacrosse Final Four weekend -One of my favorite sports weekends of the year - 2013 NCAA Men's & Women's Lacrosse Final Four from Philadelphia


http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=espn:9293097

Womens Semifinals being streamed LIVE Friday night via 
http://espn.go.com/watchespn/player?id=886438

2013 NCAA Lacrosse Championship - Semifinal #1: 
Cornell Big Red vs #7 Duke Blue Devils from Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia.
Saturday  May 25  2:30 p.m., ESPN2, DirecTV Channel 209 

2013 NCAA Lacrosse Championship - Semifinal #2: 
#4 Denver Pioneers vs #1 Syracuse Orange from Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia.
Saturday  May 25  5:00 p.m., ESPN2, DirecTV Channel 209

Repeat showings:
Semifinal #1: Cornell Big Red vs Duke Blue Devils 
Sunday  May 26  6:00 a.m. ESPNU, DirecTV Channel 208 

Semifinal #2: Denver Pioneers vs Syracuse Orange 
Sunday  May 26  8:00 a.m. ESPNU, DirecTV Channel 208 
2013 NCAA Women's Lacrosse Championship from Villanova Stadium in Villanova, PA.
Sunday  May 26  8:00 p.m. ESPNU, DirecTV Channel 208

2013 NCAA Men's Lacrosse Championship from Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia.
Monday  May 27  1:00 p.m. ESPN, DirecTV Channel 206 
SkyCam Presentation at 1:00 p.m. ESPNU, DirecTV Channel 208 

NCAA Men's Lacrosse Championship Post Game 
Monday  May 27  3:30 p.m. ESPNU, DirecTV Channel 208
Recap of the championship game: highlights, analysis, interviews with players and coaches

Repeat showings:
2013 NCAA Women's College Lacrosse - Championship from Villanova Stadium in Villanova, PA.
Monday  May 27  7:00 p.m. ESPNU, DirecTV Channel 208 

2013 NCAA Men's Lacrosse Championship 
Monday  May 27  9:00 p.m. ESPNU, DirecTV Channel 208 
Tuesday  May 28  1:00 a.m.ESPNU, DirecTV Channel 208 
Tuesday  May 28  7:00 a.m. ESPNU DirecTV Channel 208 

Taped broadcasts: 
2013 NCAA Women's College Lacrosse Semifinals: 
Semifinal #1
#3 North Carolina Tar Heels vs #2 Northwestern Wildcats
Tuesday  May 28  1:00 p.m. ESPNU, DirecTV Channel 208 

Semifinal #2: 
#4 Syracuse Orange vs #1 Maryland Terrapins
Tuesday  May 28  2:30 p.m. ESPNU, DirecTV Channel 208 

#HOLLYWOODFL based photographer and entrepreneur Esther Chuang with Hollywood Mayor-elect Josh Levy

Thumbs up! What a night we had! #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 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. �� In case you forgot what the Christ the Redeemer statue looks like, up close, here's another Brazilian beauty to connect-the-dots for you: Gisele Bündchen, aka @Gisele.

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

A post shared by Gisele Bündchen (@gisele) on

North Miami Beach High school alumni

North Miami Beach Senior High School, the Home of the Chargers

North Miami Beach Senior High School, the Home of the Chargers
Before I was a Hoosier, I was an NMB Charger, Class of 1979.

In the Heart of a Great Country, Beats the Soul of Hoosier Nation

In the Heart of a Great Country, Beats the Soul of Hoosier Nation
"In the Heart of a Great Country, Beats the Soul of Hoosier Nation." -South Beach Hoosier, 2007.