Hallandale Beach Blog -A common-sense public policy overview offering a critical perspective on the current events, politics, government, public policy, sports scene and pop culture of Europe, the U.S. & South Florida, in particular, Broward & Miami-Dade County, and the cities of Hallandale Beach & Hollywood.
Trust me when I tell you, this part of Florida is NOT the Land of Lincoln. Pictured in upper-left is Hallandale Beach's iconic beachball-colored Water Tower on State Road A1A; September 2008 photo by South Beach Hoosier. © 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved.

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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Hallandale Beach Blog

Hallandale Beach Blog
Hallandale Beach Blog/South Beach Hoosier's crimson-colored Indiana University cap. If you see someone at a South Florida govt. meeting or public policy discussion wearing this IU cap, scribbling notes furiously -and shaking his head in disbelief- don't be afraid to come over and say hello or pitch prospective story ideas. Photo by South Beach Hoosier. Move your mouse over the cap and be sent to the IU Athletic Dept.'s YouTube Channel.

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.
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Hallandale Beach Blog is where I try to inject or superimpose a degree of accountability, transparency and insight onto Florida and local Broward County government and public policy issues, which I feel is sorely lacking in local media now. On this blog, locally, I concentrate my energy, enthusiasm, anger and laser-like attention on the coastal cities of Hallandale Beach and Hollywood.
If you lived in this part of South Florida, you'd ALREADY be stuck in stultifying traffic, paying higher-than-necessary taxes and continually musing about the chronic lack of accountability among not only elected govt. officials, but also of city, county and state employees as well. Collectively, with a few rare exceptions, they couldn't be farther from the sort of strong results-oriented, eager work-ethic mentality that local residents deserve and expect.
This is particularly true in the town I live in, the City of Hallandale Beach, just north of Aventura and south of Hollywood. There, the "Perfect Storm" of years of apathy, incompetency and cronyism are all too readily apparent.
Sadly for its residents, HB is where even easily-solved, quality-of-life problems are left to fester for YEARS on end, because of myopia, lack of common sense and ineffective supervisory management. It's a city with lots of potential because of its terrific location, yet its citizens have become numb to its outrages and screw-ups after years of the worst kind of mismanagement and lack of foresight. On a daily basis, they wake up and see the same old problems that have never being adequately resolved by the city in a logical and responsible fashion, merely kicked -once again- further down the road.
I used to ask myself, not always rhetorically, "Where are all the enterprising young reporters who want to show that through their own hard work and enterprise, what REAL investigative reporting can produce?" Hearing no response, I decided to start a blog that could do some of these things, taking the p.o.v. of a reasonable but skeptical person seeing the situation for the first time, and wanting questions answered in a honest and logical way that citizens have the right to expect.

Hallandale Beach Blog intends to be a catalyst for positive change.
If there's one constant gripe in South Florida, regardless of your age, race, nationality or political persuasion, it's about the fundamental lack of PUBLIC ACCOUNTABILITY here among Florida's state, regional and local govt./agency officials. Hallandale Beach Blog aims to be a small step towards regaining some of that needed accountability, whether it's thru simple public scrutiny, or requires a degree of follow-up investigation and public exposure of incompetency, cronyism or simple negligence -South Florida's usual governing style.
"And David put his hand in the bag and took out a stone and slung it. And it struck the Philistine on the head and he fell to the ground. Amen."- Preacher Purl encouraging the underdog Hickory High basketball team before the state title game against heavily-favored South Bend Central in 1986's Hoosiers
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0091217/
Audio of pregame speech:
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Paradise Lost? South Florida

Paradise Lost? South Florida
TIME magazine of November 23, 1981: Paradise Lost? South Florida . Click photo to see original article.

Ordinary people can make a difference in fight against corruption in Broward County

The next time you hear someone in Broward County, like one of the usual "experts" or pundits or maybe a self-interested lobbyist like Joy Cooper's supercilious pal Judy Stern repeat the Conventional Wisdom that nobody really cares about ethical behavior, transparency and accountability in Broward cities, except a handful of people, just keep this in mind.
As of March 6, 2014 at 12:30 p.m., in the 84 weeks since I first wrote my October 15th 2012 post titled, "Ethics? Not for us! Follow-up to my post re Hallandale Beach's unethical "business as usual" attitude, with "special rules for special people" if they are named Joy Cooper, Bill Julian and Anthony A. Sanders; What ethics? What rules? @MayorCooper, @SandersHB" it's been viewed 183,914 times. That's MORE than TWO THOUSAND page views a week! Imagine that!
That total doesn't even include the number of people who saw it the day it was first posted, when it was the default post of the blog. That's a lot of people who now know a lot more facts about the truth regarding the corruption and incompetency that have been commonplace in Hallandale Beach all these years while Broward State's Attorney Mike Satz and his staff did NOTHING. Just saying...
The South Florida I Grew Up In
Excerpted from Joan Didion's Miami, 1987, Simon & Schuster:
In the continuing opera still called, even by Cubans who have now lived the largest part of their lives in this country, el exilo, the exile, meetings at private homes in Miami Beach are seen to have consequences. The actions of individuals are seen to affect events directly. Revolutions and counter-revolutions are framed in the private sector, and the state security apparatus exists exclusively to be enlisted by one or another private player. That this particular political style, indigenous to the Caribbean and to Central America, has now been naturalized in the United States is one reason why, on the flat coastal swamps of South Florida, where the palmettos once blew over the detritus of a dozen failed booms and the hotels were boarded up six months a year, there has evolved since the early New Year's morning in 1959 when Fulgencio Batista flew for the last time out of Havana a settlement of considerable interest, not exactly an American city as American cities have until recently been understood but a tropical capital: long on rumor, short on memory, overbuilt on the chimera of runaway money and referring not to New York or Boston or Los Angeles or Atlanta but to Caracas and Mexico, to Havana and to Bogota and to Paris and Madrid. Of American cities Miami has since 1959 connected only to Washington, which is the peculiarity of both places, and increasingly the warp...

"The general wildness, the eternal labyrinths of waters and marshes, interlocked and apparently neverending; the whole surrounded by interminable swamps... Here I am then in the Floridas, thought I," John James Audobon wrote to the editor of The Monthly American Journal of Geology and Natural Science during the course of an 1831 foray in the territory then still called the Floridas. The place came first, and to touch down there is to begin to understand why at least six administrations now have found South Florida so fecund a colony. I never passed through security for a flight to Miami without experiencing a certain weightlessness, the heightened wariness of having left the developed world for a more fluid atmosphere, one in which the native distrust of extreme possibilities that tended to ground the temperate United States in an obeisance to democratic institutions seemed rooted, if at all, only shallowly. At the gate for such flights the preferred language was already Spanish. Delays were explained by weather in Panama. The very names of the scheduled destinations suggested a world in which many evangelical inclinations had historically been accommodated, many yearnings toward empire indulged...

In this mood Miami seemed not a city at all but a tale, a romance of the tropics, a kind of waking dream in which any possibility could and would be accommodated...

Nice from a distance, not so nice once you're there and see the years of City Hall's neglect

Nice from a distance, not so nice once you're there and see the years of City Hall's neglect
The public beach that is "North Beach" in Hallandale Beach, FL. June 19, 2012 photo by South Beach Hoosier.© 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved

So this is where our tax dollars go to die?

"So this is where our tax dollars go to die? My friend and fellow civic activist Csaba Kulin, perhaps wondering when we're FINALLY going to get the clean and inviting public beach that Hallandale Beach residents believe we're entitled to but have never received under Mayor Cooper and her Rubber Stamp Crew.
Instead, we get rusty pipes in the middle of the beach and garbage cans on the beach -without lids- at the windiest place in the entire city. And a public building across the street from the beach that the public can't use for free but which city employees can -for their holiday parties." Click photo to see many more photos of the site and the original post, or http://hallandalebeachblog.blogspot.com/2012/06/latest-info-photos-re-related-groups.html; 2012 photo by South Beach Hoosier. © 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved

Just as true now as it was when it was written in June 2012!

The View from the Hallandale Beach/Hollywood city line

The View from the Hallandale Beach/Hollywood city line
Looking south towards The Beach Club and the Hallandale Beach Water Tower on A1A from the beach, near the Hollywood cityline, May 2, 2009 photo by South Beach Hoosier. © 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved

A fish rots from the head down, and so does local government in Hallandale Beach, FL

A fish rots from the head down, and so does local government in Hallandale Beach, FL
City of Hallandale Beach Municipal Complex, 400 S. Federal Highway. The City of Hallandale Beach Municipal Complex: If it's true that a fish rots from the head down, so it does in local government in Broward County, FL. This monument sign on the west side of the intersection of U.S.-1 and S.E. 5th Street, across from Gulfstream Park Race Track & Casino and the Village at Gulfstream Park retail complex, alerts you to your proximity to HB City Hall and the HB Police Department HQ. It's a place and culture whose very own words and actions have made clear to taxpayers of this city -regardless of age, race or income- that it holds itself apart from and above from the very citizens it's supposed to serve, often acting like they don't have to follow the same laws that govern everyone else in the state of Florida and the U.S., whether of logic, reason or contracts. (More to the point of this blog, the Florida Statutes on Sunshine Laws and Public Records.) City employees in Hallandale Beach routinely refuse to answer perfectly reasonable questions posed to them by taxpayers, and as I have found out myself and witnessed, are not above berating you for even having the nerve to ask! As it happens, it's also not a very safe area, despite who operates here, and over the past nine years, the public parking lots have often been pitch-black for 6-9 months at a time, including in front of the HB Police Dept. HQ. Then-Police Chief Thomas Magill even shrugged his shoulders at City Comm. meetings when told about this a few times. As if they couldn't make a worse first impression, at one point, even the spotlights shining on this sign didn't work at night for over FOUR YEARS, either. October 13, 2012 photo by South Beach Hoosier. © 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved.

Looking east on State Road 858/Hallandale Beach Blvd.

Looking east  on State Road 858/Hallandale Beach Blvd.
Looking east on State Road 858/Hallandale Beach Blvd., over the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway bridge, toward the iconic Hallandale Beach Water Tower and the three condo towers comprising The Beach Club. September 8, 2008 photo by South Beach Hoosier. © 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved

Hallandale Beach Water Tower on A1A/South Ocean Drive

Hallandale Beach Water Tower on A1A/South Ocean Drive
Hallandale Beach Water Tower on A1A/South Ocean Drive. Located below the Hallandale Beach Water Tower on A1A/South Ocean Drive, on the south side (right) is the "Community Center" that HB City Hall, thru their gross incompetency, has made impossible for HB citizen taxpayers to use now for 41 MONTHS as of January 2011. (And where's the American flag on the Fourth of July weekend? Missing in action as it had been for months!) July 3, 2009 photo by South Beach Hoosier. © 2012 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved

Looking towards southern Hollywood Beach

Looking towards southern Hollywood Beach
Trump Hollywood, Diplomat Residences, Westin Diplomat, Crowne Resort. Looking NE towards Hollywood on State Road A1A from the 2500 block of East Hallandale Beach Blvd./State Road 858 just before crossing the Intracoastal Bridge: (l-r) Trump Hollywood, Diplomat Residences, the Westin Diplomat Resort & Spa, the Crowne Plaza Hollywood Beach. March 25, 2009 photo by South Beach Hoosier. © 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved

The Related Group's The Beach Club, consisting of three condo towers

The Related Group's The Beach Club, consisting of three condo towers
The Beach Club. Looking SE at The Beach Club from the Hollywood side of State Road A1A. May 12, 2008 photo by South Beach Hoosier. © 2012 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved

City of Hollywood City Hall, 2600 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, FL

City of Hollywood City Hall, 2600 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, FL
City of Hollywood City Hall. An early morning shot of the east side of Hollywood City Hall the morning of the Johnson Street Redevelopment RFP Evaluation Committee meeting, where presentations were heard; October 14, 2009 photo by South Beach Hoosier. © 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved. For more info on what's going on with this important project, see http://www.hollywoodfl.org/html/JohnsonStBeachRFP.htm

Corruption Isn't Unique to South Florida, It's the Level of the Stupidity That Is

Corruption Isn't Unique to South Florida, It's the Level of the Stupidity That Is
"[Chicago Mayor] William Hale Thompson was defeated Tuesday after a campaign which he alone made disgraceful. The election was an ejection, a dirty job, but Chicago has washed itself and put on clean clothes. Thompson recognized the [Chicago] Tribune as his chief enemy. The Tribune was glad to earn that opinion. It certainly tried to do so. It has taken the fight to him on every occasion during the long and depraved course of his administration. It is unpleasant business to eject a skunk, but someone has to do it. For Chicago, Thompson has meant filth, corruption, obscenity, idiocy and bankruptcy. He has given the city an international reputation for moronic buffoonery, barbaric crime, triumphant hoodlumism, unchecked graft and a dejected citizenship. He nearly ruined the property and completely destroyed the pride of the city. He made Chicago a byword for the collapse of American civilization. In his attempt to continue this he excelled himself as a liar and defamer of character. He’s out. He is not only out, but dishonored. He is deserted by his friends. He is permanently marked by the evidences of his character and conduct. His health is impaired by his ways of life and he leaves office and goes from the city the most discredited man who ever held place in it."

-Excerpts from April 1931 Chicago Tribune editorial following Republican "Big Bill" Thompson's loss to his Democratic rival Anton Cermak. A friend of organized crime during the Al Capone era, Thompson was the last Republican elected mayor of Chicago. But less than two years later, Mayor Cermak was shot while shaking hands with President-elect Franklin D. Roosevelt at Miami's Bayfront Park. He died from gunshot wounds to his lungs three weeks later.

See
http://www.encyclopedia.chicagohistory.org/pages/3686.html

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

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

Sebastian the Ibis, the U-M mascot

Sebastian the Ibis, the U-M mascot
Like longtime U-M fans everywhere, including me, Sebastian the Ibis, the U-M mascot, hasn't had very much to cheer about lately, given the general state of mediocrity and underwhelming performances coming from the Hurricanes. Isn't it about time for fans to finally see some tangible signs that the new AD is moving things in the right direction? Where are the signs? I'm NOT seeing them. The woeful U-M Women's program is largely composed of teams that are NOT even close to being competitive for NCAA titles like their ACC competition, and they don't even field Women's Lacrosse or Field Hockey teams. It's embarrassing! Click on Sebastian for retrospective photo gallery of The Orange Bowl

Championship banners

The NCAA Championship Banners

The NCAA Championship Banners
Assembly Hall, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana. I was there in 1981 for NCAA Title #4 vs. North Carolina. Click on photo to go to the IU Basketball homepage.
Perhaps you'll enjoy this view more!

We Are IU (Official Version) 2013

Let's end the 27-year NCAA title drought!

Let's end the 27-year NCAA title drought!
IU All-American and U.S. Olympian Steve Alford on the cover of the 1987 Indiana University basketball media guide, months after IU won the NCAA basketball title.

Here's the first banner of the Crean Era

Our five NCAA Basketball Championship banners are on the north side of the court; I was there for 1981's.
H/T Hannah Ongley @hannahongley http://instagram.com/youdidnoteatthat