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.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Demark's Emmelie De Forest wins 2013 Eurovision Song Contest in Mälmo, but Anouk gets 12 points from Hallandale Beach Blog, and around here, that matters more; all blog-related emails from readers today were from readers who LOVE Anouk's song, and who'll now consider purchasing the new CD of the talented Dutch singer they'd never heard of until today -but have since "discovered"; 'Sad Singalong Songs'

eurovision YouTube Channel video: Emmelie de Forest - Only Teardrops (Denmark) - LIVE - 2013 Grand Final, Eurovision Song Contest 2013 Grand Final.  Mälmo, Sweden
Uploaded May 18, 2013. http://youtu.be/p3f9v8ebuD4

Denmark's earnest Emmelie De Forest wins the 2013 Eurovision Song Contest in Mälmo, but Anouk & The Netherlands gets 12 first-place points from Hallandale Beach Blog, and around here, that's the only vote that really matters.
And yes, we vote early and we vote often.

eurovision YouTube Channel video: Anouk - Birds (The Netherlands) - LIVE - 2013 Grand Final, Eurovision Song Contest 2013 Grand Final.  Mälmo, Sweden
Uploaded May 18, 2013. http://youtu.be/n5iazXvMw5o

I'll have a post in the coming days on the singing hits and misses of the show and an overview of what I thought worked and didn't work production-wise, so this will be my quick recap.

But I did want to mention that I thought that the "Stockholm smorgasbord" skit was the best of the interval bits, with host Petra Mede singing and dancing and acquiting herself quite well and showing why she was the surprise choice to host the show, even if as Karl at the Scandipop blog tweeted Monday, she overdoes the accent when speaking English.

The skit also had the advantage of not just being funny, but also true.
I hope to be able to find a clip of it and post it here soon so you can all see for yourself.

I watched the show from beginning-to-end, and then the after-show interviews as well, and only had about 3-4 times when the SVT Play feed seemed to stall or there was a momentary blip, and all but one of those came during the judging.

That's always the deadly-dullest part of the show, as viewers are forced to listen to people from 39 countries stall for time with their little amusing anecdotes instead of simply reporting their own countries results via the awarding of 8 points for 3rd place, 10 for second and 12 for first-place.

As it happens, this year, Emmelie De Forest's status as winner was already perfectly obvious when they still had about 4-5 counties to poll, as we could see in the background while host Petra Mede was forced to continue asking a question that was already moot.
Norway's Margaret Berger finished fourth.

All my incoming blog-related emails from readers on Saturday were from people who just LOVE the song, some of whom even wrote that they'll now consider purchasing the new 10-song CD of this wonderfully-talented Dutch singer most said they'd never heard of until today. 
That's the power of blogging.

'Sad Singalong Songs' now available in stores and at iTunes, probably for about 8,99 € or about $11.50 USD.
That's a very good deal, indeed.

I also suggested they tale a close look at the official video for "Birds" as seen below on her VEVO YouTube Channel at http://www.youtube.com/user/AnoukVEVO
and consider subscribing to it, as I already was.

AnoukVEVO YouTube channel: Anouk - Birds, from her new CD titled 'Sad Singalong Songs'. Uploaded May 15, 2013. http://youtu.be/xPDYbuaXlA8

If yours truly was involved with a major Hollywood studio and I had an upcoming drama project involving someone like Cate Blanchett or Rachel McAdams or a similar genuine acting talent, especially a period piece pre-1960's, I'd figure out some way to get this song in the movie before somebody beat me to the punch.
With Anouk singing, nobody else.

More info, photos and video at http://www.svt.se/melodifestivalen/

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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, Hollywood and Aventura.

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. But 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 and right on the Atlantic Ocean. Here, the "Perfect Storm" of years of apathy, incompetency and cronyism are all too readily apparent. Sadly for its beleaguered 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 tremendous potential because of its terrific location and well-educated populace, yet its citizens have almost become numb to HB City Hall's frequent outrages and screw-ups, the result of YEARS of the worst kind of mismanagement and lack of foresight. On a daily basis, residents and Small Business owners 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.

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 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 expect.

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.
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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!

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.