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, Europe 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.
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 amd many other residents feel has been sorely lacking in local media for many years. On this blog, locally, I concentrate my energy, enthusiasm, anger and laser-like attention on the coastal cities of Hallandale Beach, Hollywood and Aventura, but we keep our eyes and ears open about other places, too, thanks to many well-informed "sources."

If you lived in this part of South Florida, you'd ALREADY be stuck in stultifying traffic gridlock, 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, local government and its bureaucrats couldn't be farther from the sort of results-oriented, strong work-ethic mentality that local residents deserve and expect. Yet seldom if ever see...

This is particularly true in the Broward County city I live in, the City of Hallandale Beach, north of Aventura and south of Hollywood, right on the Atlantic Ocean. Here, the "Perfect Storm" of years of apathy, incompetency, indifference and cronyism under Mayor Joy Cooper are all too readily apparent. Sadly for its beleaguered residents, Hallandale Beach is where even easily-solved, quality-of-life problems are left to fester for YEARS on end, because of City Hall's myopia, lack of common sense and ineffective supervisory management. It's a city with tremendous potential because of its terrific location and its well-educated populace, the majority of whom long for it to be the kind of quality city it ought to be now, but clearly isn't. Its citizens have become almost numb to HB City Hall's frequent ethics and performance outrages and screw-ups as a result of YEARS of the worst kind of mismanagement and lack of basic foresight and oversight. On a daily basis, residents and Small Business owners of this city 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 for others to solve in the future.

Before I started this blog in 2007, I used to ask myself, and NOT always rhetorically, "Where are all the enterprising young reporters in South Florida who want to show that through their own hard work and enterprise, what REAL investigative reporting can produce?" Hearing no response, I decided to finally start a blog of my own that could try to do some of these things, taking the p.o.v. of a reasonable-but-skeptical person seeing the situation for the first time with fresh eyes, and wanting questions answered in a honest and logical way that citizens have the right to demand.

Hallandale Beach Blog intends to be a catalyst for positive change in public policy and goivernment engagement. 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 of Florida's state, regional and local govt./agency officials, elected and otherwise. Hallandale Beach Blog aims to be a small step towards regaining some of that needed accountability, whether it's thru shining some well-needed public scrutiny on the issue or pol, or requires a higher degree of follow-up investigation and public exposure of the incompetency, cronyism or negligence -South Florida's usual governing style.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Calling all Carpetbaggers! Repeat after me, "Requirements, what residency requirements?" Carpetbaggers in South Florida have it easy compared to their cousins in Calif. due to the lack of serious reporters here, but in both places, carpetbagging and ethnic identity politics often go hand-in-hand; LA Times: "Does this man live in San Gabriel or not? A residency challenge prompts council members to hold their own hearing -with sworn witnesses- to decide if the No. 2 vote-getter should be seated"; Is that a preview of things to come in North Miami Beach, where a Miramar resident named Dargenson is running for NMB City Commission, and thinks she'll win -largely because she's Haitian-American?

Calling all Carpetbaggers! Repeat after me, "Requirements, what residency requirements?" Carpetbaggers in South Florida have it easy compared to their cousins in Calif., but in both places, carpetbagging and ethnic identity politics often go hand-in-hand; LA Times: "Does this man live in San Gabriel or not? A residency challenge prompts council members to hold their own hearing -with sworn witnesses- to decide if the No. 2 vote-getter should be seated"; Is that a preview of things to come in North Miami Beach, where a Miramar resident is running for NMB City Commission and thinks she'll win -largely because she's Haitian-American?
If you ask me, it's too bad for South Florida's continually-beleaguered citizenry that FL state House Reps Frank Artiles, Joe Gibbons and Perry Thurston and FL state Senator Maria Sachs have never been forced by the powers-that-be in Tallahassee to publicly explain themselves and their very curious living situations.
Under oath 
In public.

Unlike Council candidate Chin Ho Liao in San Gabriel, CA, who was actually elected but not seated.
Oh, the great questions we'd all have all loved to have peppered our local political miscreants under oath with!

Speaking of carpetbaggers, if you haven't already been reading what straight-talking blogger Stephanie Kienzle has been saying with real vigor and much-deserved anger the past few weeks about North Miami Beach's faux City Commission candidate, Yvenoline “Yves” Dargenson -a woman who lives in Miramar, i.e. Broward County!- please do yourself a big favor and do so today via her blog, http://www.votersopinion.com/

You won't regret it because Stephanie gives you a very clear look at the corruption and illegality that passes for "normal" in South Florida politics and government these days, where far too many candidates and elected officials can seemingly break clear-cut rules about their prescribed conduct and behavior with relative impunity.

And the existing legal institutions that are supposed to keep people within the clearly-defined parameters of the law, instead, seem content to just shrug their shoulders and to let THEM dictate what the rules are to the public, putting everything upside-down.

Dargenson is the Broward County resident who running for a City Commission seat in a Miami-Dade city, and to both Stephanie and myself, she's someone who has a lot to to answer for publicly after the M-D Supervisor of Elections ruled that she lives in the City of Miramar.

But but based on what I'm hearing and reading, a Miami-Dade judge, Darrin P. Gayles, did
what M-D circuit court judges have been doing a lot of ever since my family first moved to Miami in 1968 -making bad decisions for the community and letting guilty parties walk.
Or, in this case with Dargenson, run for office in a county she does NOT live in.
No, it seems to have very little to do with upholding the state's laws or with getting justice for NMB's voters, to say nothing of actually adhering to Florida's Constitution.

Even more than usual, Stephanie has lots of great nuggets in her recent blog posts about the longstanding culture of corruption in NMB and North Miami, and actually makes the case that it's actually threatening to grow exponentially in NMB as a result of all the unethical goings-on in next-door North Miami that local and state law enforcement have been ignoring.

Ignoring it, it seems to me, in part at least, because so many of the people engaging in this
unethical political behavior in Northeast Dade are Haitian-Americans, a rapidly-growing voter bloc now compared to Non-Hispanic Whites in Miami-Dade County, and a demographic that is courted by candidates in ways that were not imaginable even thirty years ago, just a few years after I graduated from NMB High School, followed three years later bv my sister.

Perhaps nobody exemplified this cultural change as much as North Miami's oft-charged but never-convicted-thus-far incumbent mayor, Andre Pierre, though there are others on both sides of the border who are nearly as brazen.

Seriously, did you really expect the political crooks and their cronies in NMB not to notice the fact that nobody was being prosecuted in North Miami for what they do, no matter how self-evident?

Out in San Gabriel, California, you have the cancers of ethnic identity politics and carpetbagging at work, but with a Chinese-American patina, and a town that wants to go old-style New England and make the person accused of wrong-doing convince them that they have not broken the spirit and letter of the law.

Meanwhile in North Miami and North Miami Beach you just have... oh, right -the same things, just with Haitian-Americanss, instead.
Plus, thinly-disguised Black racism and grievance politics as both the facts-on-the-ground and reader comments to this piece make clear.

Los Angeles Times
San Gabriel council deems itself judge over election results
By Frank Shyong, Los Angeles Times
April 27, 2013, 8:45 p.m.
San Gabriel Councilman-elect Chin Ho Liao was the second highest vote-getter in the city's March elections, but his first time on the council dais last week was as a witness under cross-examination.
The City Council voted not to seat Liao after resident Fred Paine filed a complaint alleging that Liao's true residence is outside of the city's borders. Though Liao has filed suit in Los Angeles Superior Court to contest the council's vote, the city has also created its own hearing process to determine Liao's residency.
Read the rest of the article at:

I can't help but wonder if this is what the good residents of North Miami Beach can look forward to dealing with in the coming weeks if a sufficient number of Haitian-American voters there are prepared to simply cast common sense and the facts aside, and vote for a woman who doesn't even live in their city, simply because Dargenson is Haitian-American, too.

Well, it's not like local Miami TV stations have spent any real time covering what's been going on there, now is it?
No, today, two days before the May 7th election, CBS4, NBC6, 7News and Local10 are all guilty of NOT doing a single story on Yvenoline Dargenson.

Seriously, given what this woman is attempting to do by blowing a hole in even the most basic requirement for candidate eligibility, how can that be so?
How can every single English-language TV station news operation in Miami just ignore this?
That, my friends, is the low level to which South Florida journalism has sunk to -a complete lack of curiosity.

It's as if they're waiting for her to win before covering it, no?

For more on the very curious and perhaps even unethical living arrangements of FL House Reps Gibbons and Thurston and FL state Senator Sachs, please see an archive of Tom Lauder's recent pieces on residency requirements at Florida Media Trackers
http://florida.mediatrackers.org/author/toml/

It makes for interesting reading, and the fact that the Broward County Property Appraiser's Office has gotten involved so many times in these cases -esp. with Gibbbons, who clearly didn't comply with the law- only shows how egregious the lack of serious reporting on this subject has been in South Florida over the years.
These pols have positively dared reporters to say what is right in front of us.

I'm sorry to say it, but it also appears from the all the available evidence that some local African-American reporters, columnists and editors down here have been very easy on both Gibbons and Thurston for reasons that have nothing to do with journalism, but everything to do with either shared political ideology or friendship.
(Whatever happened to the proscribed arms-length relationship between reporters and subjects?)

I've commented on it here before, because otherwise, how do you reasonably explain the fact that the Sun-Sentinel's Douglas Lyons has scrupulously avoided mentioning this obvious residency issue for years, despite how often he has mentioned Thurston and Gibbons, quoted them and interviewed them?
What is his excuse, anyway?

Trust me, despite whatever it says on their resumes, Lyons and other reporters at the Sun-Sentinel and the Herald  don't think they have to answer to readers, and I know about him because I've given him plenty of opportunities over the past few years and all he's done is nothing but sit there like a bump on a log.
That's who he is, you shouldn't count on suddenly getting any candor from him that you can have any faith in.
Lyons considers his refusal to ask reasonable questions, esp. of them, a dead issue.

Just another reason that I hope the Sun-Sentinel is sold very soon and that there's a great house-cleaning/bloodletting there to make that newspaper something it hasn't been in years -relevant and worth reading.

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August 2016 update about above: As I could have predicted, once again, the fake candidate failed to file the appropriate paperwork and fee with the City of Hollywood, and so his name will NOT appear on ballot.
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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.

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 her videos, read my blog posts and Tweets about her and learn more about this dynamic and original talent with personality to spare!

#Södermalm

Hej #STHLM, jag saknar dig, hejdå. So wish I was there RIGHT NOW!

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Congratulations Sweden - 200 years of peace! Solveig Rundquist (@RundquistS)

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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

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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!

Which European country has the most attractive citizens?

As seen in my July 31st, 2013 blog post titled, "Which European country has the most attractive citizens?" Sweden won in a landslide with almost four times as many votes as second-place France, with Spain third and Norway fourth. Yes, seeing is believing!; Norwegian.com's non-stop flights from Fort Lauderdale to Oslo start in 4 months! :) http://hallandalebeachblog.blogspot.com/2013/07/boredpandacom-poll-of-europeans-asked.html