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.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Spring 2013 Observations re Broward School Board: controversial District 1 member Ann Murray gets a challenge from someone who'll go right at her, Felicia Brunson -will a third viable candidate join them by 2014?; Broward School Auditor Patrick Reilly finds more appalling evidence of School system's waste of taxpayer dollars, and as usual, Broward civic activist and Audit Comm. member Charlotte Greenbarg is 100% correct in analyzing the situation and saying it's what we think, too -it's the usual toxic combination of insubordination, entitlement and longstanding incompetency

Red Broward YouTube Channel video: "Michael Putney: Ann Murray Has To Go" -Veteran Channel 10 reporter and fave of the blog, Michael Putney, their Senior Political Correspondent and longtime host of their popular "This Week in South Florida" Sunday morning public affairs program, chews up and calls-out District 1 Broward School Board member Ann Murray for her unacceptable words and behavior, saying she "has to go." Uploaded March 29, 2011. http://youtu.be/EL0S6YSYi-s
Spring 2013 Observations re Broward School Board: controversial Broward School Board member Ann Murray gets a challenge from someone who will go right at her, Felicia Brunson -will a third candidate join them by 2014?; Broward School Auditor Patrick Reilly finds more appalling evidence of School system's gross waste of taxpayer dollars, and as usual, Broward civic activist and Audit Comm. member Charlotte Greenbarg is 100% correct in analyzing the situation and saying it's what we think, too -it's the usual toxic combination of insubordination, entitlement and longstanding incompetency
Broward Beat
School Board Member Who Used “N” Word Draws Black Opponent
By Buddy Nevins

May 7, 2013
School Board member Ann Murray, who was reprimanded for making a bigoted statement using the “N” word, has picked up a re-election challenge from a black elected official.
Vice Mayor Felicia Brunson of West Park holds her kick off fundraiser tonight.

I mentioned Felicia Brunson's candidacy to unseat southeast Broward incumbent Ann Murray to some of you hereabouts a little over a month ago, via emails or in conversations, when I asked if you'd been contacted yet by Brunson, either by email, phone or direct mail,
since I know that, quite logically, Brunson views Hallandale Beach as prime pouncing territory for her, given Ann Murray's disastrous time in office and complete disregard and contempt for HB and its kids, parents and taxpayers in every way that counts for anything -like actually showing-up at a public event in HB once in a while, besides ones where Supt. Robert W. Runcie is around.

That is, except for Murray's PR stunts like the one last year at the Broward School HQ, where Joy Cooper and Anthony A. Sanders showed-up for a School Board meeting to be thanked by Murray for all the city -them!- do for the kids!

I have that whole thing on videotape and trust me, it's quite a scream watching the three of them -Murray actually left the dais to stand with them- to compete and try to out-do one another in the Flattery Dept.
A scream, that is, except for it being so damn dishonest and despicable, given the true facts-on-the-ground since she has been in office.

My many previous blog posts about Ann Murray are located here:

I would not be at all surprised if another candidate gets into the District 1 race, and frankly, I hope that one will, esp. if that is someone who's savvy enough to keep publicly hammering home the true facts about what should be happening instead of what is happening with Broward Schools.

Like being able to discipline or fire perpetually insubordinate employees who continually disregard explicit instructions from their bosses -Supt. Robert W. Runcie and the School Board- and in this particular case, have cost Broward taxpayers over a million dollars. 

South Florida Sun-Sentinel
Audit: Broward schools paid $1 million for canceled project
By Karen Yi, Sun Sentinel
May 4, 2013
Broward schools paid more than $1 million toward a construction project that had already been terminated by Superintendent Robert Runcie, according to a new audit report that found the payments were for work never completed.
The $4.8 million project to construct maintenance offices in Pembroke Pines was scrapped last January after the work lagged for more than three years, failed to meet state standards and proceeded despite an expired contract, prior audits show.
"Both the board and Superintendent directed that this project stop. In spite of this fact, over $1 million was paid," said audit committee member Charlotte Greenbarg. "We have a situation of gross insubordination on the part of staff members."
Reed the rest of the article at:

The audit report is here: http://www.broward.k12.fl.us/auditdept/facilityreports/2012-13/ac_2013_0502_current_status_fcm_000917_zone_4.pdf

A Broward School Board candidate who will talk-the talk and  walk-the-walk about aggressively work for more public accountability and aggressively ridding the Broward School system and taxpayers of the army of bad, incompetent and insubordinate employees that continue to plague it, whether front line workers, administrators or teachers, is precisely the sort of person that I will happily support and vote for every time.

In spite of the fact that the Broward School Board and Supt. Runcie directed the project to stop and nothing more be done, the Deputy for Facilities, Tom Lindner, his staff and the General Counsel ignored the directive and Royal Concrete Concepts was paid more than $1 Million.

See also:
Broward schools facilities chief resigns under pressure
By Scott Travis
December 4, 2012

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My most recent blog posts...

August 2016 update about above: As I could have predicted, once again, the fake candidate failed to file the appropriate paperwork and fee with the City of Hollywood, and so his name will NOT appear on ballot.
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.
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/
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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.

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!


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

Popular Posts

New this year: you!

New this year: you!
Close-up photo of the cute head-turning window display I snapped in 2013 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

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

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!

Which European country has the most attractive citizens?

As seen in my July 31st, 2013 blog post titled, "Which European country has the most attractive citizens?" Sweden won in a landslide with almost four times as many votes as second-place France, with Spain third and Norway fourth. Yes, seeing is believing!; Norwegian.com's non-stop flights from Fort Lauderdale to Oslo start in 4 months! :) http://hallandalebeachblog.blogspot.com/2013/07/boredpandacom-poll-of-europeans-asked.html