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.

Friday, May 17, 2013

In Florida, red-light camera supporters at FDOT HQ tinker with yellow-light timing and make FL roads MORE UNSAFE -but more profitable for greedy cities- while in Chicago, the city's Inspector General has blasted the city's red-light ticket program (designed by Redflex) after an audit, saying that Mayor Rahm Emanuel's "City Hall cannot back up claims that its controversial red-light camera program is designed to make intersections safer"; $100 Million in revenue in FL off of red-light cameras!

City Hall cannot back up claims that its controversial red-light camera program is designed to make intersections safer, according to a watchdog's report released Tuesday.

Now THAT'S how you start a news article about a municipal government intentionally engaging
in fraud to keep propping-up a program largely for revenue!
And it isn't even Hallandale Beach, though it would be equally true if an audit was done here.

Chicago Tribune
Inspector general blasts red light ticket program
By Hal Dardick, Clout Street, 
6:42 p.m. CDT, May 14, 2013 
City Hall cannot back up claims that its controversial red-light camera program is designed to make intersections safer, according to a watchdog's report released Tuesday.
Inspector General Joseph Ferguson said the city cannot provide documents to prove that the cameras went up at intersections with the most side-impact crashes. He also questioned why cameras remain at intersections with no recent history of such crashes, which the $100 ticket-issuing "cops-in-a-box" are designed to prevent.

A predicate for understsnding thsi IG report is my previous post of November 24th, 2012 on the shenanigans taking place in Chicago, titled, :
More Red-Light Camera shenanigans: National Journal's Mike Magner has warning for U.S. drivers about unscrupulous cities' amber-colored money trap: Yellow means Green & $$$ - "Dreaded Yellow Light May Be Trap for Traffic Violations" -on purpose. And Rahm Emanuel's Chicago, with Redflex Traffic Systems Inc., is the most brazen of all

So when will we see this sort of news headline about Hallandale Beach's red-light camera program that for years has been Exhibit A for South Florida municipal governments greed and willingness to look the other way on public safety, and as was the case here, the Police Dept.s refusal to make records public that would allow citizens to see whether the city was putting them where they'd do the most good or where they'd get the most revenue?

Or a reasonable explanation from FDOT District 4 Secretary James Wolfe about why it took them a year to place a red-light camera warning sign somewhere on west-bound Hallandale Beach Blvd./State Road 858 near NW 9th Terr., that was actually visible to drivers, instead of the one that was hidden between palm trees, as photos I've taken and posted here for years have proven?

Or an explanation from Wolfe about why, YEARS LATER, there are STILL ZERO red-light camera warning signs on HBB/State Road 858 approaching U.S.-1/South Federal Highway in either direction, unlike the approaches to HBB at that same intersection?

Unbeknowst to most of you, some of us have actually been talking seriously about timing certain HB and Hollywood intersections with stop-watches to see if they even meet the federal DOT legal standards.
I'll be filming some of them this weekend if the weather looks okay. 

Why?
Because of what we already know and can see with our own eyes, and great enterprising reporting like this by Noah Pransky of WTSP-TV that proves what we've long thought: $100 Million in revenue in FL off of red-light cameras

Shorter yellow lights criticized as trap for drivers: A subtle, but significant tweak to Florida's rules regarding traffic signals has allowed local cities and counties to shorten yellow light intervals, resulting in millions of dollars in additional red light camera fines. Quoted in story: FL state Senator Jeff Brandes, FL state Rep. Ed Hooper, FL state Rep. Mike Fasano and FL state Senator Jack Latvala.
http://www.floridatoday.com/videonetwork/2384133376001/Shorter-yellow-lights-criticized-as-trap-for-drivers

Florida quietly shortens yellow lights, resulting in more red light camera tickets
Noah Pransky, WTSP-TV, Tampa/St. Petersburg

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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.