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, June 21, 2013

Now starting #newsblackout Day 5 at Miami Herald re Ryan Lizza's New Yorker column & Marco Rubio; Tampa Bay Times gave up Tues., Orlando Sentinel on Wednesday; Miami, often still barely part of America, and almost completely journalism-free this Summer.

musha hadeen YouTube Channel: Syndicated radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh discussed the fact that the old cliché about U.S. Big Business always supporting the Republican party is no longer true, and explains why that has changed. "At the root of this is money." Exactly. 
Now, instead of publicly fighting government encroachment and red-tape, Big Business supports and even depends upon Big Government programs -and the cheap loans that they can receive via crony capitalism. It's for this reason and many others -including cheap labor in places like Florida- that Big Business is now so intent on pressuring the GOP to pass the pro-amnesty Schumer-Rubio immigration bill, S.744, or else risk getting no campaign contributions in the future. This has led been led by many large and powerful GOP donors who have become conditioned to getting their way because of their money -and the GOP consultant class that are always hip to act morally superior and act as go-betweens for the folks with big checkbooks! Now both groups are acting like they are the ones who are casting the votes, not Congress, not unlike lots of schlocky films of the '70's involving political intrigue, mindless conspiracies and a basic premise that business people owned elected officials. 
Rush Limbaugh mentions GE, the Koch Brothers and Sheldon Adelson by name as examples of this elite class who are pushing hard for amnesty for all 11 million illegal aliens in the U.S., regardless of what it actually does to the country and whether it actually solves any problems. That's OUR problem, not theirs!
Uploaded June 17, 2013. http://youtu.be/_jzVx8QTGJU

Whether you're a conservative, moderate or liberal, this far-ranging discussion is by far the most-accurate thing that has been broadcast on U.S. radio so far this year, and yet I'm sure it was quite upsetting to many of his listeners across the country who weren't quite prepared to believe it when Rush said it. 
Yes, it looks like many of his millions of listeners will have to let go of their old ways of thinking and quickly adapt  their political calculations and accept that the political world hasn't just changed, but changed dramatically as a result of what is being attempted by the GOP Establishment.
Time to push those old clichés out the door and see the world for what it truly is -full of opportunistic, know-it-alls who in some cases are Republican-leaning business people -and their hired hands- who want pols to sell their principles in exchange for their campaign checks, leaving you to have to watch from the sidelines. 

As most of you who have been paying attention know, the Once Upon a Time decent-but-never-great Miami Herald has really fallen down the journalism rabbit hole the past 15 years, due largely to some consistently poor management, a lack of commitment to quality local reporting and an abject refusal to evolve with the times and give customers the sort of compelling original content they want about the area they live in.

The sad reality for me is that they cover Cuba about as much if not more than they cover Broward County where I live, less than 14 miles north of where the Heat played the Spurs Thursday night in downtown Miami. 

As I've stated here on the blog before, Broward County is largely terra incognita to the Herald, especially now at their new HQ in the make-believe city of Doral, the city of warehouses and persistent street flooding that strands citizens and commerce even worse than in Hallandale Beach.

That has been even more the case as the paper has cut back on frontline reporting personnel, and in my opinion, keeping more of the problems instead of trading them out for fresh eyes that can see what's right in front of them.

Real Clear Politics
Top 10 Newspapers in Trouble
#4 Miami Herald
05.22.12, 08:54 AM CDT

I mention this because the Herald's longstanding pro-amnesty bias, obvious for quite some time, regardless of the facts or the circumstance, has allowed their other biases on behalf of Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio, that is, ONCE THEY GOT ELECTED to Tallahassee and D.C., to again cloud their news judgment and any claim to news objectivity.

In case you forgot, I commend to you, 
The Atlantic Wire
Miami Herald Is Better at Marco Rubio Damage Control Than Rubio
By John Hudson

Here's what I posted early Thursday morning
Republican votes for the Gang of Eight immigration bill continue to fall away even 
as the Miami Herald continued their news blackout for a third day regarding Ryan
Lizza's New Yorker column and the truth about S.744, and the bad news for Marco
Rubio and the newspaper continues apace, as the truth about both continues to seep
out over the Internet

It's the perfect book-end to Wednesday.

Yes, lots of genuine frustration that an important public policy issue that directly affects this area of the country more than any 95% of the U.S., negatively in my opinion, is being completely ignored -on purpose

Not surprisingly, this being South Florida, and the Summer, it's not like the four English-language TV stations are doing anything to fill the news vacuum.
They've done nothing about it and are, in fact, resorting to their usual summer habits: -either sleepwalking or taking a siesta for the whole summer.

But don't worry, they'll wake-up and pretend they're serious reporters again around Labor Day, esp. if it looks like a hurricane may pass thru South Florida.
Yes, then they are all Edward R. Murrow speaking gravely into their microphone.

In fact, Thursday night, even given the unique circumstances of the NBA Finals, during 90 minutes of ABC's Miami affiliate, WPLG's newcast from 5-6:30, other than the 4 breaks for weather updates, the only non-Miami Heat story was the George Zimmerman trial.
That's the whole list.

(I even watched it again on my DVR before writing this just to make sure I wasn't hallucinating.)

Miami, often still barely part of America, and almost completely journalism-free this Summer.

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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.
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/

Paradise Lost? South Florida

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

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.


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

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!

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.

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

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

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