"Nancy Drew - Reporter" - 1938 (Original Trailer). The apple of her father's eye! Leading River Heights attorney Carson Drew's teen sleuth daughter, Nancy, (Bonita Granville) is fast on the case and she won't stop until the mystery is solved and the story is told! Nancy would have been all over the Hallandale Beach CRA scandal here and taken no prisoners as she zeroed-in on all the questionable grant and loan recipients, shadowing them to see what they were really doing with the city money they were given, and seen whether any of the so-called projects they received the money for ever actually were accomplished. Unlike HB City Hall's high-paid minions, who didn't care what happened to the city's money and did no follow-up at all as the Broward Inspector General's final report makes clear.
Our Nancy -along with Ned Nickerson- would've had lots of fun playing tricks and mind games on HB Comm. Anthony A. Sanders and Comm. Alexander Lewy until they finally stopped their foolish and tiresome -to say nothing of transparent!- efforts to funnel CRA money into Northwest HB with no real tangible plan other than to keep their political pals there happy, with typical lip service when pressed to explain their antics. Yes, our Nancy, being an intelligent and solid reporter, would've dug deep into the public records and might've even asked publicly in a column at the River Heights Tribune: "How come Comm. Lewy received an award from a prominent Broward County Jewish group whom just a few scant months before, he had voted to give one of their leaders a sweetheart CRA deal to, despite it actually being evident that it was to HB taxpayers great disadvantage? Very curious."
Yes, Nancy would've already had that particular story published by now, unlike the Miami Herald and the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, whose own reporters have yet to ever mention a single word about it in-print.After reading this fantastic Lakeland Ledger editorial below, which appeared in-print last weekend, ask yourself a good question.
Fairly recently, the Miami Herald went the better part of an entire year without sending a reporter to HB City Hall a single time to cover the public's business.
When did these two newspapers give even one example of the many dozens that we've all experienced at HB City Hall the past ten years, where Mayor Cooper and her Rubber Stamp Crew treated those of us in the audience with contempt, as the enemy, and just continued apace with their anti-taxpayer, anti-Sunshine Law behavior?
Csaba Kulin gets the Miami Herald's whitewash treatment: McClatchy's Co.'s Herald practices the opposite of giving credit where credit is due, editing out the name of the one person in South Florida most-responsible for finding out why and how 3 former Hallandale Beach City Managers will soon be multi-millionaires with taxpayer dollars; a story that Miami Herald reporters, editors and management have completely ignored for years!
The facts speak for themselves.
Some newspapers get it and some don't.
Here's one that does:
Last Monday, the Winter Haven City Commission, and residents attending the board's meeting, hoped to hear a solution to one of the city's most divisive issues of recent years, The Landings.City Manager Deric Feacher gave a report, the details of which he had kept secret, and the commission discussed Feacher's findings — for a total of 1 hour, 8 minutes.
The comment time allotted to residents in the audience to talk about the report: zero.
Not only has the city government made a mess of a project meant to improve its best tract of land, which overlooks Lake Lulu and holds great memories for many in Winter Haven, it has allowed the also revered statewide process of government in the sunshine to collapse within City Hall.
So it's clear that it's not just those of us in Hallandale Beach who've been paying salaries for City Managers and their high-paid help who've actively work against the best interests of taxpayers, residents and small business-owners, trying their best to prevent them from participating in participatory democracy and NOT making public information available ASAP
even while lobbyists and contractors have it.
But because it HAS been going on here for years, it often feels much worse because the facts are pretty clear that, for whatever reasons, most of the South Florida news media -with the exception of a handful of people whom I won't name here- clearly DON'T want to report the truth about what's really been going on here for years, with far too many reporters and columnists content to either just look the other way or engage in one-dimensional stenography.
And that's just when reporters can be convinced to actually show-up,
That's an extra burden, so getting them to put two and two together and getting four, or actually doing some shoe-leather reporting and and following-up on longstanding problems in a meaningful way?
No, they don't that that and they don't promise to connect the dots or even come to any solid conclusions.
The incidents cited in the Broward Inspector General's Office on the City of Hallandale Beach didn't just happen a few minutes ago, they were ongoing for YEARS.
But what did the local papers report on?
It's like every time reporters show-up at 400. S. Federal Highway, they ignore all the pieces of the puzzle that are already in evidence on the table, and already connected, and instead, are surprised and unsure of what to make of the pieces on the table, like they have no idea what it all is.
It's so infuriating and the thing that always gets me is that so many of the reporters who do occasionally show-up have no serious idea of how loathed they are by the people in town who really are well-informed. No idea at all.
But justifiably loathed they are.
THAT is how oblivious they are.
As I've stated here previously, if I had the power, with the exception of those un-named reporters I alluded to before, I'd replace almost every print and TV reporter in South Florida with recent journalism grads of Ernie Pyle at IU or Medill at Northwestern and Cal-Berkeley, and a few other places if I could, because they still have their natural curiosity and are not jaded, cowed or resigned the way so many of the current crop are, many of whom haven't been rotated to another beat in many years and seem to me to have grown a little too fond of writing about their favorite pols and excusing things that fresher eyes would fully investigate instead of passing up on.
(Sorry, no Columbia J-School or University of Florida J-School grads, please.)
The current crew are no Nancy Drews, that's for sure, since she always put the pieces of the puzzle together and solved the mystery, no matter how obtuse.
Though it's been needed for many years, the Miami Herald and the South Florida Sun-Sentinel have resisted writing full-barreled editorials like the oen in the Ledger I've brought to your attention today.
Ones that zero-in on completely un-acceptable behavior by elected municipal officials and city employees and open them up to long -verdue public scrutiny.
The Herald and Sun-Sentinel just take a pass on that sort of thing and continue snoozing.