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.

Full Of Keys - Silent Agreement, from the new #GrazingGrounds album

FullofkeysOFFICIAL YouTube Channel: Full Of Keys - Silent Agreement. Uploaded January 9, 2014 http://youtu.be/7yHULYTxEt4 From the second album by Full of Keys (Anni Bernhardt) #grazinggrounds http://www.youtube.com/user/FullofkeysOFFICIAL

Full Of Keys - Cover My Eyes (Stills Video)

Full Of Keys - Cover My Eyes (Stills Video) via Andreas Jismark YouTube Channel. Uploaded February 23, 2014. The 2nd track released from #grazinggrounds album. Full Of Keys 2014. http://youtu.be/aha-pf_QrXo

Monday, May 6, 2013

More Transit Policy Woes in South Florida: With stealthy and self-sabotaging friends like All Aboard Florida and SFRTA/Tri-Rail, pro-transit advocates in South Florida don't need any more enemies; 'All Aboard Florida' fails to schedule a single public scoping meeting in Broward County this Spring despite Fort Lauderdale being a proposed station, while SFRTA chief refuses to answer a simple question -Will Hallandale Beach have a station under the proposed Coastal line plan?; Just because you're pro-transit doesn't mean you have to ignore displays of transit incompetency or mismanagement when you see it!


Tri-Rail Coastal Link, partner56239248 YouTube Channel: Tri-Rail Coastal Link, Uploaded April 28, 2013. http://youtu.be/fFZR6ljK3og

And as if I didn't have enough to say about South Florida transit issues and the way taxpayers and customers are often taken for granted or treated in either a patronizing or condecending fashion by transit agencies or transit groups, it seems that Tri-Rail is guilty of engaging in historical revisionism, too, as caught by eagle-eyed writer Sean McCaughan, above and below below to devastating effect. 
Congrats to him for seeing the situation for exactly what it is and not being duped as they intended.

http://miami.curbed.com/
Tri-Rail Coastal Link Video Rewrites Miami's History, Gives Richard Florida All The Credit
by Sean McCaughan
Thursday, May 2, 2013, 
http://miami.curbed.com/archives/2013/05/02/trirail-coastal-link-video-rewrites-miamis-history-gives-richard-florida-all-the-credit.php

Below is a copy of an email I wrote and sent last Tuesday about the continuing communication and outreach problems afflicting some transit agencies and transit-oriented groups in the State of Florida, far too many of whom, it has been my misfortune to see over the years, have an often over-inflated image of their own role and influence in the larger scheme of public affairs.
Some even seem to live in their own world, where they set their own rules.

That's a fantasy world, of course, but sometimes, well-intentioned outsiders, like reporters or bloggers, are reluctant to pop their balloon and ruin the illusion they've created of being important.
A world where they're rarely if ever held to account by the public at large, and more specifically, by local taxpayers or residents affected by various transit plans and schemes.
Me, I'm not afraid of popping other people's illusions, so this blog post today should be read for exactly what it is -me bursting some bubbles.

That fantasy public policy world I've just described is what many of us who are paying attention think of as the bad side of South Florida policy, where some self-interested types with connections or degrees or letters after their names, often think their access to the public teat is unlimited, and can never be turned off.
This allows them, or so they think, to act with varying degrees of patronizing indifference and condescension towards the public and customers.
(Think The Beacon Council and MDX, for instance!)

As it applies to the world of public transit and planning and design, they're under the mistaken impression that people who generally are pro-transit, especially those in favor of long-range trains or short-range commuter trains, like me, will just pretend they don't see displays of incompetency, stupidity and arrogance when it's right smack in front of them.
Well, not me.

The email was sent to Broward County Commissioners Sue Gunzburger, Barbara Sharief, Chip LaMarca, Tim Ryan, Fort Lauderdale Mayor Jack Seiler, with a cc to Florida Dept. of Transportation (FDOT) Secretary Ananth Prasad in Tallahassee.

It was also sent as a bcc to well over a hundred interested parties located between here and U.S. DOT HQ in Washington, D.C., with multiple stops in Tallahassee, Orlando and Broward County, and, necessarily, included other South Florida mayors, city commissioners and city mangers, as well as to certain selected reporters, foundations, non-profits, transportation websites and bloggers.
Naturally, that list started with the great folks over at Transit Miamihttp://www.transitmiami.com/

As much as I'd relish the opportunity to ask the folks at All Aboard Florida face-to-face at this afternoon's 4:30 p.m. meeting in Miami -with my video camera rollinghow they square intentionally ignoring Broward County 's residents  with an honest effort to engage in outreach to the South Florida public, there's zero chance I will be attending it, since going into downtown Miami late in the afternoon is truly a fool's errand.
More so if you are starting from Broward County, even if, like me, you're just north of Aventura.

Besides, did you see where the geniuses involved have scheduled the meeting?
1600 N.W. 3rd Avenue, as show below in Google Maps.

What a great location for a transportation meeting!

Yes, in keeping with what apparently is the genius brains at work over at All Aboard Florida.
they've consciously chosen to NOT locate the meeting close to the FEC tracks they plan on using in the future,or, anywhere near where the most-likely customers of the service will be coming from, but rather in the Overtown/Culmer neighborhood of Miami.
Awesome!

For those of you who are reading this far from these shores, or, even those of you reading it closer-at-hand but not hip to that address, it's NOT exactly the safest place in Miami at the time when the meeting will be wrapping up at night.
Congrats for all the bad planning and bad outreach, folks!

Yes, hard as it is to believe, it appears that the folks behind this All Aboard Florida scheme seem not to have even considered the real possibility that prospective customers or taxpayers like you or me can support the overall goal, but NOT like or support going forward with it with the particular group of managers attached to it now, since they sure don't seem very smart or savvy in trying to get their OWN message out to people who would actually be supporters or customers in the future.
It's called knowing your universe.

(It's like the 'Florida Marlins' screwed-up marketing/outreach for so many years while they were playing at Dolphins Stadium near the Broward and Miami-Dade county line,  where, despite well over 60% of their season ticket holders living in Broward and Palm Beach counties because of the ease of the drive to the stadium via the next-door Florida Turnpike, the Marlins refused to show common sense and place a store or even small kiosks at nearby destination shopping malls like Aventura Mall or Pembroke Lakes Mall, where actual baseball fans and families go to shop.

No, instead, showing their customary arrogance and bad judgment, they had their one-and-only store located in Little Havana. Really.
Yes, the continuing myth of the Little Havana baseball fan dies hard.
But the reality was that those fans would listen to the games on the radio (in Spanish) and buy a Marlins ball cap every 5-6 years, but would only actually go to a game every few years. Look how well that worked! Thud

Good luck Marlins getting casual baseball fans who live in or north of Fort Lauderdale to head down to Little Havana with their kids on a Tuesday school night when the Padres and Rockies come to town!)

It's just like how beleaguered fans of the Dolphins or the Marlins can root for the players but NOT like or support their owners, and, frankly, rather hope that Stephen Ross and Jeffrey Loria meet their demise sooner rather than later, so that fans don't have to continue to be so conflicted with their emotions towards the teams.

Clearly if ignoring Broward residents on purpose is part of the All Aboard Florida playbook, it's NOT a Silver Linings Playbook, but rather one of a dog chasing its tail, over-and-over. A public policy story that some of us have seen played-out in South Florida for well over forty years already, with all the disastrous and logical results we see around us today as proof.

By the way, as of today, May 6th, 24 days since I sent that email to Joseph Giulietti, the head of SFRTA/Tri-Railabout prospects for a Tri-Rail Coastal commuter station in Hallandale Beach, I still have NOT heard from him or his staff. 
Too late!
My patience with him and their indifference to taxpayers has officially expired.

-----

April 30, 2013
1:30 p.m.

Do any of you have any idea why there isn't a single scheduled All Aboard Florida scoping meeting being held in Broward County, esp. In FTL, the only currently-announced prospective station in the entire county?

Prior to starting this email to you today. I checked their website and went through their archives, http://www.allaboardflorida.com/ to see if there'd already been a public meeting in Broward somewhere that I somehow missed out on hearing about.
I don't know, maybe something that took place while I was in Sweden back in mid-January, and ignoring everything locally right before my trip?
No, nothing's already been held in Broward -and there's nothing scheduled
for Broward in the near-future, either.
   
If you know the answer to this question or have a good guess, please let me know...

I'll be sure to mention this lack of common sense to anyone I know whom I run into at the Broward MPO's Commitment 2040 meeting at the Hallandale Beach Cultural Center on Thursday 

Somehow, I think they won't be surprised.
But then how could they be?

This screw-up with All Aboard Florida ignoring Broward County residents is just the latest in a series of completely inexplicable decisions involving transit in South Florida that make it hard for a longtime pro-transit advocate like myself to have much faith in either the "system" or the people who are supposed to be running and managing transit and transit-related issues in
South Florida, as well as public outreach.
They always find a way to let you down.

Over two weeks ago, for the second time, I contacted SFRTA/Tri-Rail to get them to say definitively, one way or the other, whether their current plans for utilizing the FEC tracks foresee a train station in Hallandale Beach or not, since their current plans on their website for a Coastal line state that Hallandale Beach will NOT have a station.

But we all know that there can always be closely-held but public information that they have which they have not yet chosen to place on their public website, which is why my email to them needed to be sent -to get the truth.

As you can see at the bottom of this email, I contacted SFRTA Executive Director Joseph Giulietti on April 12th to get his input, since he'd surely know better than anyone what was what.
And again, I'd already contacted them back in late January with this same basic questions, and never heard anything, which is how and why I specifically wrote to Mr. Giulietti earlier this month.

The response after 18 days: nothing from him, nothing from his staff -just lots and lots of NOTHING.

Like I said earlier, "They always find a way to let you down."

For now, just color me underwhelmed at the self-evident oversights that characterize South Florida transit, where, with the current cast of characters in place making policy decisions that affect lots of people and cities in this region, it's hard not to notice that taxpayers and customers almost always come in last.

DBS, Nine-year Hallandale Beach resident 
-----


This ad appeared in last Wednesday's Miami Herald.


Published in Miami Herald on Wednesday, April 24, 2013

re Prospective commuter train station in Hallandale Beach on FEC tracks; ULI's FEC Corridor mtg. on April 17th

April 12, 2013



Dear Mr. Giulietti:

I'm writing to you today on behalf of myself and a number of other very concerned
Hallandale Beach residents, business owners and SE Broward civic activists.

We are all greatly concerned that a tremendous opportunity is being lost due
to a lack of appropriate hard work, proper preparation and due diligence by
local Hallandale Beach elected officials, the current and past two City Managers,
as well as the HB Chamber of Commerce, whose reputation for myopia and
sloth continues to grow by the year.
So we are both concerned AND frustrated!

I'm a longtime public transit proponent, someone who personally used public
transit nearly every day when I lived in Chicago, Evanston and Wilmette in
the mid-1980's, and in the case of Wilmette, I lived on the very street, Linden,
that was the northern terminus of the El.
(Great in the mornings, with my choice of seats, not so great when
catching a train home after work in The Loop!) 

When I moved to the Washington, D.C. area in 1988, I used the Metro even
more than I had the El, and most of those 15 years I lived near the Ballston
Metro Station that was located one block away from the National Science
Foundationlocation they had chosen -just like me- specifically because
of its proximity to the Metro train system.

In total, roughly 18 years of consistently using a train just about every day
to get to and from work, to sporting events and culture and Reagan National
Airport, as well as to check-out places on weekends with friends that we'd
read or heard about, but never felt like driving to because of well-known parking
hassles.
I've personally seen up-close what works -and what doesn't- with
urban trains and why.

Since moving back to South Florida in 2003, I've consistently used my blog
and appearances at germane City, County, State, SFECC and planning
meetings to strongly encourage and advocate for the sorts of useful tools
for residents that I believe can create a positive business and Quality-of-Life
dynamic that's long been missing from South Florida.
Actually, one that has never existed here.

To my mind, the smartest and most-logical tool for positive change is the
creation of a well-managed commuter rail along the FEC tracks between
downtown Miami and West Palm Beach that's both efficient and easy to
access, but which also takes human behavior into account, esp. South
Florida's often frustrating counter-intuitive mindset.

That all said, what I'd specifically like to hear from you today is an answer
to a simple question that my friends and I can digest and think about in
advance of ULI's FEC Corridor meeting in FTL on April 17th, which I will
likely be attending with some friends and civic activists.

Based on all your knowledge of the situation, Mr. Giuliettiis it fair to say,
as I have publicly, that based on the current proposed plans made public
thus far, Hallandale Beach is NOT currently going to have even one train
station along the FEC route, regardless of who is operating it?

I ask because after years of attending SFECC meetings and closely following
all news articles and blog posts about the FEC, including the last two
South Florida Business Journal articles about you and the FEC Corridor
to say nothing of the current official Tri-Rail Coastal plan as it exists on
your website, where it has been for well over a year,
simply put, we need to know the truth.

The facts seem pretty clear to us -the plans do NOT currently show ANY
stops in Hallandale Beach.
Not one.

One of the reasons that we're very concerned about knowing the truth is
because in our opinion, esp. mine, Hallandale Beach City Hall's elected
officials and management have completely failed its residents and business
community by doing an absolutely abysmal job over the years of doing
their proper due diligence to make sure that they and this community
know exactly what's going on with this subject.
And, more importantly, are fully-prepared to do what is necessary
to use properly-located train station here as an economic ripple
that becomes wave of success.

In short, frankly, to just be the sort of normal place that I took for granted
while living in Evanston and in Arlington County, and have seen more
recently on a nine-day trip to Stockholm, where they combine fun and
functionality in often surprising and amusing ways that creates a real
dynamism & buzz.
And, a sense of place.

That's especially the case with small businesses currently located next
to and near the FEC, like the city's so-called Fashion Row, who have
seen the city's leaders and managers routinely get basic facts about the
FEC effort wrong, something I've witnessed too many times to mention
here, and which are always exasperating, no matter how many times
you've witnessed it.

When we've needed a modicum of logic and common sense, hard work
and attention to detail on this matter from HB City Hall, we've instead
gotten mis-statements, finger-pointing and spin.
Mr. Giulietti, at this point, we just want to know the truth.

Sincerely,
DBS
----------
Below, excerpts of recent emails I've sent to try to elicit more HB residents
and business owners attending Wednesday's meeting 

On Apr 2, 2013 1:43 PM, "DBS" wrote:
As you can see below, I saw another mention this morning of the FEC Corridor 
meeting on April 17th that I mentioned to some of you last night.
I also just noticed that Debbie Orshefsky is going to be the moderator.

I called ULI this morning, the host of the meeting, and was told that the meeting
room at the Sheraton Ft. Lauderdale Airport Hotel, which I've never been to
before, had a capacity of about 300, which is good, so it won't be in a cramped
"hospitality room" environment where you feel like your elbow is in someone
else's ribs even when you're sitting.
That is to say, exactly like my American Airlines flight from O'Hare to FLL
coming back from Stockholm in January, unlike the SAS part of the trip.

I'm also going to be posting ULI's info about the meeting on my blog on Thursday.

Dave


---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Miami Urbanist
Date: Tue, Apr 2, 2013 at 8:03 AM
Subject: Miami Urbanist Updates

Apr 01, 2013 11:19 am | Felipe Azenha

----

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Joe Gibbons & Parker Plaza

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.
____________________________________________
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:
_____________________________________________

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 71 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 85525 times. That's MORE than a 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.

Hallandale Beach. Actually, it's a city of gross incompetency, red-tape & myopia

Hallandale Beach. Actually, it's a city of gross incompetency, red-tape & myopia
Hallandale Beach, City of Choice. Hallandale Beach.Hallandale Beach, City of Choice. The monument sign that greets northbound drivers on U.S.-1/South Federal Hwy. at the gateway into the city as they leave the City of Aventura and Miami-Dade County in the rear window, on one of the three main streets into Hallandale Beach. Unfortunately, it's the perfect metaphor for the City of Hallandale Beach and its elected officials and employees the past 10 years: myopic and lacking in common sense. This sign, five blocks south of City Hall, was originally placed so far west on the median strip -and practically BEHIND a palm tree- that drivers actually COULDN'T actually read it even if they wanted to. In any case, because of the city's longtime gross incompetency, negligence and lack of appropriate oversight, the spotlights that were supposed to illuminate the sign at night HAVEN'T worked since about mid-January of 2004. Which is to say, yes, MUCH LONGER than the U.S.'s involvement in WW II. Welcome to the City of Hallandale Beach! Begin heavy traffic, chronic red tape and mis-adventures in government! My original photo here on the blog of this situation was taken January 2007; this one was taken May 8, 2008; photo by South Beach Hoosier. The three palm trees that had been in front of it on the median that obstructed it for so long have come and gone, with the result that for a few years you couldn't help but notice that it DIDN'T work! In February of 2009, in order to make room for a southbound left-turning lane at S.E. 5th Street into The Village of Gulfstream retail complex, the 'invisible' sign was removed and placed farther north on the median. For more than a year, despite a solar panel nearby, there were no actual light fixtures present! As of March 11, 2014, if you can believe this, with a new expensive street-lighting project along the median of U.S.-1 finally finished, where recently-planted trees now have lights shining on branches -as if that meant anything- guess what? Despite another nearby solar unit, there are STILL zero actual light fixtures pointed at the sign! ZERO! Correct, all these years and tax dollars later, the City of Hallandale Beach is STILL unable to figure out how to light this sign on the busiest street in the city at its southern gateway. Yet another sign of the ruinous reign of Mayor Joy Cooper. No attention to detail! © 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

Political Actions Speak Louder Than Words: Lies of Mayor Joy Cooper and City Manager Mike Good

Political Actions Speak Louder Than Words: Lies of Mayor Joy Cooper and City Manager Mike Good
Political Actions Speak Louder Than Words: Lies of Mayor Joy Cooper and former City Manager Mike Good. March 3, 2009 photo by South Beach Hoosier, This photo was taken just days before the Air Supply fundraising/concert on the beach, as Hallandale Beach DPW employees try to make the area "appear" to be well-maintained -when in reality, it hadn't been properly maintained -and thus fool HB taxpayers and visitors alike. This building underneath the city's iconic Water Tower, just steps from both the Atlantic Ocean and State Road A1A, was given to the City of Hallandale Beach for free by The Related Group on August 3rd, 2007, and yet STILL remained OFF-LIMITS to everyday HB citizens, taxpayers and residents, the true "owners" of the building, until July of 2010, 35 MONTHS later. As of April 15, 2013, there hasn't been a single public forum held by the city dedicated to gauging how citizens want to utilize it best. That's because the community wants to actually be able to use THEIR OWN facility, while the city prefers keeping it locked-up, or as currently, rented out to The Realted Group to use as a model for their Beachwall development. Even worse, for years, the building remained a veritable clubhouse for the cronies and pals of HB City Hall's elected officials and city employees, who get to use it for free. And for many separate periods of time, often six months, the city couldn't even manage to keep an American flag on the city flagpole next to the fountain, even on Holiday. Like MLK day in 2012, among several others. Once again, HB City Hall & DPW shows their gross incompetency by being unable to manage something as simple as keeping a flag flying. Pathetic! © 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

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.