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.
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.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Part 2 of 2 - re Hallandale Beach's groundbreaking tonight at B.F. James Park and the lingering controversy re the swimming pool situation in this small city. How a death at a city pool in 1991 -and race identity politics- continues to roil this city's political and financial decisions. How poor choices made today out of anger or opportunism by Cooper, Sanders & Lewy may sharply limit the options of a majority of city residents for years into the future

Part 2 of 2 - re Hallandale Beach's groundbreaking tonight at B.F. James Park and the lingering controversy re the swimming pool situation in this small city. How a death at a city pool in 1991 -and race identity politics- continues to roil this city's political and financial decisions. How poor choices made today out of anger or opportunism by Cooper, Sanders & Lewy may sharply limit the options of a majority of city residents for years into the future 
I've heard from a few different people regarding what I wrote yesterday about tonight's groundbreaking tonight at B.F. James Park, and how the cost of that park doubling up to $5 Million, as a result of what's being done with a swimming pool there, may well mean that there's now NOT enough money to fix South Beach Park, which is actually the busiest park in the city and the busiest part of the city beach.

Some of the readers who wrote thought I might be unaware of what happened here years ago, and how many of those negative attitudes I described in my email and subsequent blog post here might explain some things we are seeing now, so felt obliged to tell me what they remembered.

Long story short: Five-year old boy drowns at City of Hallandale swimming pool in 1995 that was later known as Peter Bluesten Park....Big lawsuit against the city...
This drowning comes four years after City of Hallandale closed and then covered-up a swimming pool at Dixie Park in Northwest Hallandale, outraging residents.

It's all largely in the 1995 Miami Herald article I have copied and pasted at the bottom of today's email/blog post so you know the facts as publicly stated.

Though I wasn't living in HB then, being up in Arlington County, VA -45-minute walk from Key Bridge and Georgetown- I have read lots of the newspaper articles about what really happened at that city pool and have met and heard people from NW and elsewhere complain about how indignant and angry they were that the HB City's Commission of the time's
ham-handed response.
This followed by four years the city closing and then covering-up of a pool in NW HB, rather than resolve the larger questions that existed at the time.
Like fixing and rehabbing the pool complex and not neglecting it so much in the future. 

(Though to be fair, there STILL seems to be a lot of misunderstanding and "mis-remembering" of the basic facts of the case, and some of that is responsible for the lingering and unsupported conjecture about what "really happened." 
In our community, just as is true with lots of others in this country, some people much prefer to have their own "facts" they choose to believe, and ignore facts they deem inconvenient.)

The NW community felt like they'd been taken advantage of and punished for the simplest of all reasons -they had been! 

I also know from first-hand experience that that incident was brought up A LOT when Comm. Sanders was running for office the first time in the weeks before the Nov. 2008 election, after he had been appointed in that sham procedure that summer that Arturo O'Neill, sitting next to me in the Commission Chambers, predicted moments before it happened.

The one where Mayor Cooper intentionally ignored the city's established rules and procedures for filling a vacancy that had been used the year before -with Keith London after Joe Gibbons was elected to the Florida Houseand refused to let the public speak at the meeting.

That's a meeting that someone at Mike Satz's office should have been able to use as a stepping stone towards a big promotion if anyone there had been paying even the slightest attention, given ALL the illegality and fraud that intentionally and knowingly took place that night.

Sanders and his supporters specifically argued that if Sanders or another African- American from NW was not there on the dais, there would always be the possibility that the city's powers-that-be at HB City Hall, who in the past as well as today, continue to show a disturbing patronizing and  condescending anti-democratic, anti-resident attitude, would do the same
thing again.

That's a hard thing to argue against when you know it's 100% true, which is a psychological burden that anyone who wants better and smarter pro-reform people on the HB City Commission as a whole, like me and so many others of you in this city honestly DO, have to deal with, even though we had nothing to do with why that psychological burden is actually there from 18 years ago..

The problem, of course, is that the very person who is there from NW is so completely unsatisfactory and underwhelming, so consistently NOT up to the task of the very job he ran for and won -twice.

That's why I specifically mention online in my blog on how consistently and rather maddeningly unprepared Comm. Sanders is for meetings, his very poor communication skills with constituents -ignoring them for years by refusing to return phone calls and emails, and then, per the very controversial Diplomat LAC proposal, refused to come to the affected neighborhood in NE HB! 
Something I've mentioned many times on this blog when it happened.

In the days before that Diplomat LAC issue came before them, people from other parts of Broward County who served on Broward's Planning Council -like HB Comm. Michele Lazarow does now- actually drove to HB to see for themselves the area in question and see how it might be negatively affected by all the many condo towers the size of The Duo, esp. traffic, because THEY were so conscientious and keen to know all the facts and as much context as possible re such an important public policy decision.
A decision that they well understood would permanently change the face of this city, with its ONE east-west road thru the city.

Meanwhile, a member of the HB City Commission continually refused to meet with HB residents in their own NE neighborhood -Comm. Sanders.

Yes, Comm. Sanders, who runs for elective office only to ignore the majority of the city's residents -constituents!- from the start! 
Most people would do the exact opposite once they got elected to keep them motivated and in the fold, but his choice is to ignore them

I've really hit hard on Comm. Sanders lack of a work ethic when it comes to the most basic aspects of his job, regardless of where he lives: ensuring proper oversight and public accountability of the city's operations by the elected city commission.

Oversight, the one thing Sanders is supposed to do is the very thing he consistently is least interested in, because he's unwilling to do the work required, preferring instead to swallow whole everything he is told by the City Manager's staff, which comes with an agenda that is NOT positive for either HB residents, taxpayers or small business owners.

Comm. Sanders is, by any reasonable standards, woefully unprepared and even worse as his votes earlier this month re the HB CRA showed, unwilling to change, adapt or evolve.
Unwilling to do the right thing when the golden opportunity is just sitting there, waiting for him to put-up or shut-up after all these years, per the AG's Opinion or getting the FL JLAC to do an audit of the HB CRA.

Instead, Sanders did what he has always done -protect the mayor's flank and given in to the very city employees who are responsible for so very much of the longstanding problems in this city, problems that are NEVER properly and permanently fixed, solved or eliminated.

And so here we are... again, spending more money than is either logical or prudent, all because of what happened in the past in this small city.
Which will limit our community's choices in the future. 

-----
Miami Herald
ANGER BOILS TO THE SURFACE IN WAKE OF BOY'S DROWNING
By Greg Brown,
 Herald Staff Writer
August 13, 1995
Just five weeks on the job, Pastor Nathan Robinson finds his flock in turmoil -- engulfed in anger, grief and confusion.

Everywhere he goes, harried faces plead: What happened to 5-year-old James Lee Johnson, who drowned July 24 in Hallandale's City Park pool? 

Robinson will lead a candlelight vigil at 8 p.m. Wednesday at the pool. Another group led by Hallandale activists plans a community meeting at 5 p.m. today at St. Ann's Episcopal Church, 701 NW First Ave., Hallandale. 

The telephone rings perpetually at St. Luke Primitive Baptist Church in Carver Ranches. Some callers allege racism against James, who was black. While the camp counselors in charge of James were black, the lifeguards on duty were white. Others call to grieve or learn new information. 

"I have to address this church in the morning. I have to address the family almost every night. I have to address people when I walk down the street in Carver Ranches," Robinson said. 

"I have to give them answers. They ask questions. It's a position God has put me into." 

Anger is a natural reaction to such a meaningless death. James, under the eyes of four adults, drowned unnoticed in four feet of water at the pool at 202 SE Fifth St. in Hallandale. According to police documents, two minutes of inattention left James floating face down. 

James' death the next afternoon, July 25, at Miami Children's Hospital has been ruled an accidental drowning. He was buried July 29.

Some in Hallandale see the death as proof that the city's elected officials, all of whom are white, care little about what happens to the city's mostly black northwest section. 

Neighbors of the Johnsons in West Hollywood are numb with shock. They want answers. Now. 

"I'm both angered and appalled at the whole situation," said Lynnessa Wooten, 34, who lives near the Johnsons outside Carver Ranches. 

Wooten says racial issues divert attention from Hallandale's responsibility -- to explain how the boy died. 

"I think it started the instant they found that child at the bottom of that pool," she said. "I think at that instant somebody started covering the city of Hallandale's rear end." 

The commissioners say they are upset by the death, too, but can't speak in detail about the accident. They say they haven't been officially briefed. With a lawsuit likely to be filed against the city, they say, public comment would be improper. 

Karen Woodfin, 28, of Hallandale, is white. Her daughter, Amber Le-Master, 6, was in the swimming group with James on the day he died. 

A stranger to James' mother, Yvoncia, Woodfin attended the boy's wake July 28. She called Pastor Robinson to talk about the loss. 

She, too, says race is beside the point. 

"My daughter was in that camp from the first day. It could easily have been her," said Woodfin. "A drowning, a death, being hit by a car. It can happen to anyone. It doesn't hit that close to home until it happens to you." 

But civic activist Angie Glass, 58, has no qualms about raising the question of race. For her, James' death is the result of city negligence toward the northwest neighborhood. 

Before the civil rights movement, Hallandale's blacks were segregated in northwest Hallandale. Starting in the mid-1950s, Glass said, the neighborhood's dirt roads turned to gravel and were eventually paved. Road signs were installed. 

She prefers those days of a segregated community that blacks could call their own. Northwest "was an excellent community," she said. "We had our ma-and-pa grocery stores. We had our theater. We had a pool." 

The few amenities in the neighborhood have now deteriorated. The city has made no credible moves to rebuild them, Glass said. 

In 1991, the pool at Dixie Park, in the heart of northwest Hallandale, closed, deemed a hazard beyond repair. Today, a muddy crater stands in its place. 

"Everything we got in the '50s they've taken back," Glass said. 

For residents like Cathy Williams, 39, the disparities are crystal clear. 

"It's always considered another town," said Williams. "You look at the landscaping in the southwest section. You look at the pool in the southwest section. They refurbish the paddleball courts every other year. It's a big difference, and it's not a secret. It's lying right there." 

City commissioners adamantly deny that they've shortchanged the northwest. Between 1988 and 1994, the city obtained more than $3.6 million in federal grants to improve the neighborhood. 

Hallandale's city government faces more than criticism from some of its residents. It may face a lawsuit. 

James' family says it plans to sue. Under state law, a city must be warned six months before a lawsuit can be filed. A letter from a Miami law firm representing the family was received by the city this week, but City Attorney Dick Kane says it doesn't constitute a proper notice of intent to sue. 

Hallandale has been sued before for accidental drowning. In 1994, the city and county settled a suit filed by the parents of Willie Roberts, an 8-year-old boy who drowned at a county park under the supervision of a city camp program. 

And in May of this year, the city paid $170,000 to the family of Ramon Turnquest, a 7-year-old boy killed crossing under the care of a city-paid crossing guard. The driver of the car was considered primarily at fault in the Turnquest case. 

City negligence is not necessarily the cause of these accidents, Kane said. 

"The greatest swimmers in the world drown. The most careful people have accidents," Kane said. "My point is, you shouldn't attribute liability to the city because of an accident." 

Commissioner Dotty Ross campaigned in the northwest section before taking her seat in March. 

A volunteer water safety teacher at City Park in the early 1960s, Ross is flabbergasted to hear that people are complaining about the city's handling of James' death. Amid a dozen pink phone message slips on her desk, she said, not one is about the drowning. 

"When you're in public office, the telephone calls I get are not accolades. People call to complain about things." 

She takes the anger to heart. It's a tragedy, Ross said, and the city's image is important when emotions are involved. Hallandale is not taking the death lightly, nor the feelings of blacks who feel slighted. 

"If that's their perception, it's just as real."

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Miami Dolphins QB capable of winning 2 playoff games in a row is NOT on roster now

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.

Defining The Hoosier Nation

Defining The Hoosier Nation, via IUAthletics YouTube Channel Uploaded Oct. 26, 2014 http://youtu.be/rZSKbRGA5hs Most schools have a basketball program, but we have the Hoosier Nation.
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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'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:
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Paradise Lost? South Florida

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

"Why do they need that in the Broward County charter?"

"Laws and Constitutions go for nothing where the general sentiment is corrupt."
-New York Times, September 22, 1851

"Why do they need that in the Broward County charter?"
-Hallandale Beach Mayor Joy Cooper at April 2, 2008 HB City Commission meeting, in discussing possible inclusion of Broward County Charter Review Commission's proposal for Ethics Commission to deal with Broward County Commission, on November 2008 ballot.
Six YEARS after the county's voters had overwhelmingly passed an amendment to the County charter requiring its adoption, the Broward County Commission had yet to live up to its legal responsibility. That's why!

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

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

Corruption Isn't Unique to South Florida, It's the Level of the Stupidity That Is

Corruption Isn't Unique to South Florida, It's the Level of the Stupidity That Is
"[Chicago Mayor] William Hale Thompson was defeated Tuesday after a campaign which he alone made disgraceful. The election was an ejection, a dirty job, but Chicago has washed itself and put on clean clothes. Thompson recognized the [Chicago] Tribune as his chief enemy. The Tribune was glad to earn that opinion. It certainly tried to do so. It has taken the fight to him on every occasion during the long and depraved course of his administration. It is unpleasant business to eject a skunk, but someone has to do it. For Chicago, Thompson has meant filth, corruption, obscenity, idiocy and bankruptcy. He has given the city an international reputation for moronic buffoonery, barbaric crime, triumphant hoodlumism, unchecked graft and a dejected citizenship. He nearly ruined the property and completely destroyed the pride of the city. He made Chicago a byword for the collapse of American civilization. In his attempt to continue this he excelled himself as a liar and defamer of character. He’s out. He is not only out, but dishonored. He is deserted by his friends. He is permanently marked by the evidences of his character and conduct. His health is impaired by his ways of life and he leaves office and goes from the city the most discredited man who ever held place in it."
-Excerpts from April 1931 Chicago Tribune editorial following Republican "Mayor Big Bill" Thompson's loss to his Democratic rival Anton Cermak. A friend of organized crime during the Al Capone era, Thompson was the last Republican elected mayor of Chicago. But less than two years later, Mayor Cermak was shot while shaking hands with President-elect Franklin D. Roosevelt at Miami's Bayfront Park. He died from gunshot wounds to his lungs three weeks later.

For more see http://www.encyclopedia.chicagohistory.org/pages/3686.html

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

Want to hear some REAL music talent? Of course you do!

Want to hear some REAL music talent? Of course you do!
Click on this photo of Anni to go to the FoK YouTube Channel
Full of Keys (Anni Bernhard) photographed in Rome, 2012, by Alessandro Leone. Click on the photo of Anni to go to her YouTube Channel and see videos from her first album, "Traces of a Human," and the first single of her upcoming 2nd album, "The Grazing Grounds." http://fullofkeys.com/ https://www.facebook.com/fullofkeys https://twitter.com/FullOfKeys More videos and photos of Full of Keys are at: http://hallandalebeachblog.blogspot.com/p/full-of-keys.html

Andreas Jismark, Anni Bernhard and Mats Jönsson

Andreas Jismark, Anni Bernhard and Mats Jönsson
Photo of Andreas Jismark, Anni Bernhard and Mats Jönsson, Södermalm, Stockholm, Sweden. January 11, 2013 photo by South Beach Hoosier. (c) 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved. The Dolphins caps and goodies are in the yellow bag :)

A dynamic and original talent with personality to spare!

Photo above is from my June 2nd, 2013 post titled, "Our 'Full of Keys' drought is finally over! Full of Keys (a.k.a. the amazing Anni Bernhard) will be playing a showcase in New York City at Cake Shop on June 10th as part of the week-long New Music Seminar. Her new album was recorded recently in Gotland, will be mastered in NYC, aiming for a September release -with lots of very big and exciting plans coming soon! @FullOfKeys, @AndreasJismark, #AnniBernhard, #MatsJönsson, #GrazingGrounds, #NMS2013, #NYMF, #CakeShop" http://www.hallandalebeachblog.blogspot.com/2013/06/our-full-of-keys-drought-is-finally.html
Click the photo to read that post, watch her videos and learn more about this dynamic and original talent with personality to spare!

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 my post on Anni last summer.

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

"Heart" from @fullofkeys #GrazingGrounds

Cecilia Nilsson - A new super-talent from Gävle, Sweden

Cecilia Nilsson - A new super-talent from Gävle, Sweden

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.

Breaking Away" opened in movie theaters 35 years ago today

IU's NCAA Basketball Championship banners

Our five NCAA Basketball Championship banners are on the north side of the court; I was there for 1981's.

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.

Here's the first banner of the Crean Era

Indiana University Athletics

Perhaps you'll enjoy this view more!

We Are IU (Official Version) 2013


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 January, 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.