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, Sweden, the U.S. & South Florida. 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 South Beach Hoosier. © 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Local FL news coverage that is making a positive difference: In another FL city beset with egregious examples of CRA ethical shenanigans and rampant crony capitalism, Volusia County publisher Henry Frederick takes his responsibility to the community seriously, and asks hard questions about public ethics, government accountability and journalistic credibility. His fact-based straightforward questions are blunt when necessary: Is the Daytona Beach News-Journal protecting New Smyrna Beach Mayor Adam Barringer? And if so, why?; @NSBNEWSnet


nsbnews YouTube Channel video: Headline Surfer publisher Henry Frederick shows Volusia County Chairman Jason Davis film of how New Smyrna Beach CRA funds are actually being used, contrary to Florida law. Part I of 4. Uploaded April 29, 2013. http://youtu.be/RSoIXIp2OtA

In another Florida city beset with what seems to be egregious examples of CRA ethical shenanigans and rampant crony capitalism, Volusia County publisher Henry Frederick takes his responsibility to the community seriously, and asks hard questions about public ethics, government accountability and journalistic credibility in his part of The Sunshine State.


His fact-based straightforward questions are blunt when necessary, but then the facts seem to indicate that they are: Is the Daytona Beach News-Journal protecting New Smyrna Beach Mayor Adam Barringer? And if so, why? 







Headline Surfer

Is the Daytona paper protecting NSB Mayor Adam Barringer?
Posted Tue, 2013-04-30 06:34
By Henry Frederick

See more on the misuse of New Smyrna Beach CRA funds and other Volusia County and Greater Daytona Beach antics/news at the nsbnews YouTube Channel at: http://www.youtube.com/user/nsbnews/


@NSBNEWSnet https://twitter.com/NSBNEWSnet




*Starting in the near-future, you'll start seeing videos like the one above on this blog. Some of which have already been recorded. 


Compare and contrast the effort and clearly pro-citizen tone taken above by the Headline Surfer, where wasted taxpayer dollars don't get the shrugged shoulders response it does from the Miami Herald and  South Florida Sun-Sentinel, at http://headlinesurfer.com/ with the intellectually fallow and taxpayer-subsidized faux newspaper of Hallandale Beach, which was specifically cited by the Broward Inspector General's Office in their damning report on the true costs of years and years of incompetent and almost-invisible oversight of Hallandale Beach's CRA, the myopic South Florida Sun-Times.


BROWARD INSPECTOR GENERAL FINAL REPORT RE: GROSS MISMANAGEMENT OF PUBLIC FUNDS BY THE CITY OF HALLANDALE BEACH AND THE HALLANDALE BEACH COMMUNITY REDEVELOPMENT AGENCY


Please be advised that the report can take up to a minute to open due to the many exhibits. 
It took 55 seconds for me.






Above, the document that memorializes the fact that the City of Hallandale Beach subsidizes one-sided propaganda thru a grant to the FAUX newspaper.

And yes, that is the same FREE fake newspaper that gives Mayor Joy Cooper a "column" to extoll her particular brand of ill-informed nonsense and half-truths without fear that a Letter to the Editor will EVER appear that directly refutes and corrects her serial mis-statements. 

The Sun-Times not only DOESN'T run them, they DON'T print ANYTHING the slightest bit critical of Hallandale Beach City Hall, Mayor Cooper or the present and past two City Manager and their high-paid staff, who, facts seem to show, did NOT perform their jobs professionally for years, given how the CRA scandal only seemed to grow and grow, with nobody at City hall paying any attention to where the dollars went and providing any genuine accountability for taxpayers.

Just so you know, as of early 2010, HB's city manager and staff made more in salaries than the Hollywood City Manager's Office, despite the City of Hollywood being well over THREE TIMES larger in both size and population. 
Guess who'd never ever mention that salient fact during budget talks -or ever? 
Yes, the Sun-Times!

Yes, the same preposterously one-sided one about a parallel world where HB City Hall and Mayor Joy Cooper and her pals and cronies are always right, always smarter and always looking out for HB residents, taxpayers and small business-owners, when the plain truth is the exact opposite.

Cooper, who has fought so hard and for so long to keep that money flowing to Craig Farquhar and Company , himself, an unethical hypocrite and poseur who while dependent on the city's purse, can't keep his checkbook boosterism and half-truths straight, claiming on the one hand to have had no opinion on the very unpopular Diplomat LAC proposal championed by Joy Cooper and her Rubber Stamp Crew a few years ago, but then all anyone had to do was check the Broward County website, and there was an email from Farquhar supporting it.
Bu-Bu... Busted!!!

(That out-of-scale development next to the Diplomat Country Club was eventually defeated by the Broward County Commission.)

Farquhar shows his support for the City Hall that feeds him by never allowing a Letter to the Editor to appear in-print, and by running a weekly so-called "column" by the mayor that in the time I have lived here, nine years, has never once read as if it was actually written by her, given her well-known spelling, syntax and metaphor problems that have been well-chronicled elsewhere.


(Lots of people in Hallandale Beach think they know who really writes those columns of hers, and based on the two names I hear the most, both attorneys, I tend to agree.)



Above, self-serving tripe served weekly! August 30, 2010 photo by South Beach Hoosier. (c) 2012 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved
Above is what passes for normal here in HB, but which is more accurately called propaganda elsewhere.
The perpetually-ridiculed and taxpayer-financed faux newspaper, South Florida Sun-Times, with one of the most egregious and laughable front pages of the past few years -and that's saying something! 

From my July 25, 2012 blog post title, When Hallandale Beach Mayor Joy Cooper says "setting the record straight" in her "column" at the taxpayer-financed faux newspaper, grab your wallet or purse, and be prepared to endure self-serving, nonsensical rationalizations that fail both the logic and reality test; 

http://hallandalebeachblog.blogspot.com/2012/07/when-hallandale-beach-mayor-joy-cooper_25.html

Broward Bulldog
Sweet deal for owners of Hallandale newspaper that features mayor as columnist

By William Gjebre, Broward Bulldog, 
February 9, 2012


November 8, 2009 photo by South Beach Hoosier. © 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved
The taxpayer-subsidized faux newspaper that serves as the propaganda arm for Hallandale Beach City Hall and Mayor Joy Cooper and her Rubber Stamp Crew - the South Florida Sun-Times

This particular vending machine was photographed in 2009 just two feet away from one of the emergency fire exits of The Flashback Diner on U.S.-1/S. Federal Highway & S.E. 3rd St. across from Gulfstream Park Race Track & Casino
Where it'd been in that same position for many years! 

In a normal, well-run city, they'd never have been allowed to be placed in the direct path of a Fire Exit, but in Hallandale Beach, a trio of similar vending machines can be placed right next to an Emergency Exit in a building one block from HB City Hall -and nobody there EVER notices the self-evident safety problem/code violation! 

More often than seems humanly possible, under the present imperious mayor, and with staffers who seem not at all interested in the best long-term interests of this city's residents, Hallandale Beach City Hall is deaf, dumb and blind to everything around them.

To the great detriment of residents, taxpayers and small business-owners who desperately want the city to be normal and be MUCH-BETTER than it has been allowed to be, and for problems to really be solved, NOT just ignored by city administrators and city employees and kicked further down the road. 

October 1, 2010 photo by South Beach Hoosier(c) 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved 

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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'dALREADY 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, theCity 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 forYEARS 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.
Unless otherwise indicated, all ORIGINAL photos appearing here were taken by myself. © 2014 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved. The use or modification of original photos or original images appearing on this blog WITHOUT the written permission of the author is expressly prohibited. DO NOT modify or alter any original photo/image on this blog and use it in any other media, whether for commercial advertising, marketing purposes, political campaign advertising, or on any Social Media platform or digital media forum. Do NOT modify or alter the photos or use them in a confusing way that suggests sponsorship or endorsement, or in a way that seeks to confuse Hallandale Beach Blog with another blog. This includes but is not limited to sites such as Dipity, Facebook, flickr, MySpace, Pinterest, Posterous, Topsy, Twitter, YouTube or VIMEO. Original photos and images also can NOT be used as avatars or icons on website forums.
Some older elements and building blocks formerly seen at Hallandale Beach Blog, such as photos, graphics and videos have been moved into cold storage. Visit them again or see what you've missed at: http://hallandale-beach-blog.blogspot.com/

New this year: you!

New this year: you!
Close-up photo of the cute head-turning window display at the Apotek Hjärtat -Sweden's largest independent pharmacy chain- located at Ringvägen 113, near the Skanstull T-bana in Södermalm, Stockholm. Sign reads, "Årets nyhet: du! Ett helt nytt och obrukat år är här. Just nu känns det lite lättare att välja om, förändra vanor och bryta gamla mönster. Vi hjälper gärna till. Du vill, du kan, du törs!' (New this year: you! A brand new and unused year is here. Right now it feels a little easier to choose, change habits and break old patterns. We're happy to help. You want to, you can, you dare!) Sounds like good advice that I ought to be following, too! January 12, 2013 photo by South Beach Hoosier.© 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved

Paradise Lost? South Florida

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

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.

Palm tree, Stars & Stripes

Palm tree, Stars & Stripes
Palm tree obstructing the sun at Hallandale Beach City Hall, May 28, 2012 photo by South Beach Hoosier. © 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved

Gulfstream Park Race Track & Casino and Village at GP retail complex, Hallandale Beach, FL

Gulfstream Park Race Track & Casino and Village at GP retail complex, Hallandale Beach, FL
Entrance monument to Gulfstream Park Race Track & Casino and The Village at Gulfstream Park retail complex on U.S.-1 & SE 3rd St. Hallandale Beach, FL. October 5, 2010 photo by South Beach Hoosier. © 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved

Hallandale Beach Water Tower, looking east from State Road A1A/South Ocean Drive; May 2009 photo by South Beach Hoosier.© 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved

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.

Let's end the 28-year NCAA title drought!

Let's end the 28-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.

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.

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

ABBA

ABBA
The welcoming party that greeted me at the luggage carousel at Arlanda Stockholm Airport in January of 2013 was... ABBA. As seen in my May 7, 2013 blog post. Click photo to see that post!

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

#Södermalm

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

Using a map of Stockholm and my Samsung mobile's Latitude app to find out where some friends and contacts in Stockholm were before I called to let them know I'd arrived from Arlanda Airport and had checked into the B&B in Södermalm. If only it had been an OpenStreetMap! January 2013 photo by South Beach Hoosier.© 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved; Click the photo to see OpenStreetMap's amazing map of Stockholm and a whole world of useful maps you never even knew existed

Solrea - Sveriges bästa resesök

Solrea - Sveriges bästa resesök
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

More travel advertising in Stockholm

More travel advertising in Stockholm
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!

Risk för snöras, istappar

Risk för snöras, istappar
One of the many such warning signs that I saw on buildings and on sidewalk barricades while in Stockholm in mid-January 2013, alerting you to the possibility of falling snow and ice, often by men shoveling it off roofs. This one was spotted on a residential building in the Södermalm area of Stockholm, on Ringvägen, while I was walking over to the Åhléns Department store on Götgatan. It wasn't until I was walking back later to the B&B that I noticed the inflated Santa that some resident had intentionally placed outside of their window, so it looked like Santa was falling! January 13, 2013 photo by South Beach Hoosier.© 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved.

Ringvägen, Stockholm, Sweden

Ringvägen, Stockholm, Sweden
Poster display on Ringvägen, Stockholm, Sweden. January 2013 photo by South Beach Hoosier. © 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved. The Affischplats plan in Stockholm, while not perfect, strikes me as a pretty good compromise in helping cultural and civic groups catch the public's eye in a way that's better than a free-for-all of groups plastering posters on the sides of buildings and utility boxes, and watching as the weather makes a mess of them. The tangible effort the city makes to get the public involved in a genuine and meaningful conversation about what is going on long-term for the city as a whole, or in a particular neighborhood, is very impressive, and made me wishful that the local government employees and planners where I live and write about regularly in my blog and in conversations with other concerned civic activists did even one-third of what Stockholm's planning employees seem to do as a starting-point.