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.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Per tonight's crucial Hallandale Beach CRA meeting at 6 p.m., here's an HB CRA primer to bring FL legislators and the press corps up-to-speed, as well as the South Florida Editorial Boards that have been ignoring it at their peril -News Flash: the FL Legislature is NOT going to TOLERATE the sort of self-evident waste of MILLION$ via crony capitalism that HB's CRA Board has been doing for years under the direction of Mayor Cooper

Above, Hallandale Beach City Hall Complex on S. Federal Highway/U.S.-1, where attention to details and appearances has NEVER been their strong suit in the nine years I've lived here, after returning to South Florida after 15 years in D.C. area. Thanks to the city's incompetent, myopic and poorly-managed DPW, the spotlights seen above in 2011 on the city's monument sign, at the corner of U.S.-1 & S.E. 5th St., have NOT worked since June of 2012. Which is to say that they have NEVER worked in the year that  Renee C. Miller has been City Manager. But guess what, attention to details and appearances really DO matter when you are a government, and the situation with the lights is but the tip of the iceberg when it comes to a consistently unsatisfactory performance for HB taxpayers and businesses in exchange for their taxes. August 7, 2011 photo by South Beach Hoosier. (c) 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved
Per tonight's crucial Hallandale Beach CRA meeting at 6 p.m., here's an HB CRA & absence-of-ethics primer to bring FL legislators up-to-speed, as well as the South Florida press corps and Editorial Boards that have been ignoring it at their peril - News Flash: the FL Legislature is NOT going to TOLERATE the sort of self-evident waste of MILLION$ via crony capitalism that HB's CRA Board has been doing for years under the direction of Mayor Cooper
My friend and fellow Hallandale Beach and Broward County civic activist Csaba Kulin writes with his customary conviction and precision:
Hallandale Beach adopted the “rope-a-dope” tactics a long time ago. Mayor Cooper and her friends on the commission will take a lot of punches but will not change their ways on less the Governor, the State or Broward County comes down on them like a ton of bricks.
Maybe this time someone will not only listen but will help us to bring an end to this gross mismanagement of our City and CRA. Promises and cover-up will no longer do. A few people benefit at the expense of the rest of the City/CRA.
We need to know the truth, we are entitled to the truth.
We will see tonight who is going to vote for transparency and open government and who is NOT.

And will Broward State's Attorney Mike Satz and Broward Inspector General John W. Scott -or one of their representatives- be present tonight to bear witness to what happens here?

What about anyone from Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi's regional office in Fort Lauderdale, which has also been completely asleep-at-the-switch for years on this and so many other matters in Hallandale Beach involving Florida's Sunshine Laws and very curious civic administration, doing absolutely nothing about things like months and months of legally-required lobbyist disclosure documents missing from HB City Hall and the city's own website?

If you attend tonight's meeting at City Hall, please be sure to bring along your cameras and video recorders so that you can capture the moment and perhaps capture something going on in the Commission Chambers that I don't see, and I will even give you an incentive.

I will buy a delicious coffee and pastry at the Panera Bread here in town for the non-reporter who sends me the best photo of themselves standing with Mayor Joy Cooper's bosom pal/Broward lobbyist Judy Stern,

Stern was partners with the mayor and City Manager Renee C. Miller in vigorously fighting against the request of HB Commissioner Michele Lazarow and former HB Comm. Keith London to the Broward County Commission on June 4th to have a thorough audit of the HB CRA done by the Office of Broward County Auditor Evan Lukic,

In that way, HB residents, taxpayers and small business owners could FINALLY find out where ALL the millions went, since Mayor Cooper has NEVER wanted a thorough audit of the entire CRA performed by an independent third-party.
That's the last thing she wants!

For the record, as of 1:50 p.m. today, I have still NOT been provided copies by the city of the text messages sent between Judy SternMayor Cooper and City Manager Miller regarding their efforts to thwart an audit of the CRA by the county, weeks after my simple Public Records Request was made.

If you are reading this far from the heat and humidity that is Hallandale Beach in the summer, especially those of you reading this up in Tallahassee, here's what you need to know: It's been Mayor Joy Cooper's great fortune to be an elected official in South Florida at a time when the vast majority of the local public is both apathetic and intensely cynical, and the local press corps, with just a few exceptions, has been both incurious and unwilling to report on what is in plain sight .
And that combination has been my community's great collective misfortune.

By the way, my October 15, 2012 post below, "Ethics? Not for us!" has now been seen over 35,052 times as of Noon.

And without further ado, here's the past 18 months worth of the Greatests Hits of the Hallandale Beach CRA waste, ethics and corruption scandal.

JULY 9, 2013
"High Noon" in Hallandale Beach on Wednesday night? After so many months of HB City Hall intentionally stonewalling the public, the city's long-running CRA scandal and the Broward IG's damning report of the HB CRA Board, alleging "gross mismanagement" of millions of dollars, will FINALLY get a public airing on Wednesday at 6 p.m. at HB City Hall; Is the Florida Joint Legislative Auditing Comm. poised to come to the rescue of long-suffering HB residents who've longed for a complete audit of the entire CRA for many years, and want to see some punishment after years of ZERO accountability and little tangible to show for the MILLIONS that went out the door?
http://hallandalebeachblog.blogspot.com/2013/07/high-noon-in-hallandale-beach-on.html

JUNE 28, 2013
More intentional Hallandale Beach City Hall misdirection & deception re HB CRA - Media Trackers Florida has more proof of the unseemly behavior at City Hall that HB citizens recognize on sight from past experience: "Hallandale Beach Officials Failed to Document Contacts with Florida Lobbyist"
http://hallandalebeachblog.blogspot.com/2013/06/more-intentional-hallandale-beach-city.html

JUNE 10, 2013
Don't say it with flowers, say it with subpoenas! Subpoenas finally drop on the heads of Hallandale Beach officials, including Mayor Joy Cooper, and now the Joint Legislative Auditing Comm. is showing genuine interest in getting the WHOLE TRUTH from the HB CRA about what happened to all that money. Yes, the scandal in Broward County involving MILLION$ that the South Florida Sun-Sentinel and their Dana Banker & Rosemary Goudreau have been ignoring for months. Future owners of the Sun-Sentinel, please take note!

JUNE 5, 2013
When it comes to Public Integrity, it's "Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell" at the Broward State Attorney’s Office: What are all you people in Hallandale Beach who want good, clean government looking at me for, anyway? Why are you expecting me to actually do something about the longstanding corruption, incompetency and malfeasance at Hallandale Beach City Hall, to say nothing of what the Broward Inspector General's office just called the city's "gross mismanagement" for years of the HB CRA? After all, I'm only the Broward State's Attorney

JUNE 3, 2013
Questions, questions and more questions about Tuesday's important Broward County Commission meeting re possible audit of controversial Hallandale Beach CRA; Meeting now has an added feature: City Manager Miller and CRA Attorney Zelkowitz who publicly argued that the Broward IG didn't have legal authority over the HB CRA, will now be speaking and playing the role of Wiley E. Coyote before the boulder falls on them. Must-see TV! HB citizens want the truth, not more stonewalling, finger-pointing and spin from city's elected officials and city employees

MAY 31, 2013
Given the longstanding mismanagement and corruption involving MILLIONS of dollars at Hallandale Beach CRA, why has Broward's independent Office of Inspector General refused to hold a single outreach mtg. with citizens in Hallandale Beach, while OIG has met with other Broward civic groups? It's very perplexing and counterintuitive to getting cold hard facts out into the sunshine and the public realm

MAY 22, 2013
Mark your calendar for June 4th! Latest news re controversial Hallandale Beach CRA: Keith London set to appear at Broward County Commission and urge them to heed the recommendations of the Broward IG's damning report on HB CRA, urge Broward County Auditor to perform audit and get a full-accounting for HB taxpayers of where the $70 million has gone; Need to get FL Joint Legislative Auditing Comm. more involved, per my previous emails to Sen. Jeremy Ring

MAY 3, 2013
Csaba Kulin asks Hallandale Beach City Attorney Whitfield THE question HB citizens have long wondered, esp. as the Broward IG's Office has been busy investigating the city and turning-up mountains of incriminating and jaw-dropping evidence: Who at HB City Hall is supposed to make sure that applicable laws, ordinances and rules, especially those regarding ethics and conflicts of interest, are followed and enforced fairly? Teaser Alert: You won't like her answer

APRIL 24, 2013
The Broward IG returns serve on Hallandale Beach's embarrassing and mis-behaving tinhorn pols & officials re HB CRA. They get a dose of cold hard reality poured on them, the first of so many to come in their well-deserved comeuppance in the court of public opinion. Their karma is going to be a bitch!; @MayorCooper, @SandersHB, @AlexLewy

APRIL 19, 2013
Wither Florida's Sunshine Laws? Part II: Investigating the continuing dysfunction, lack of appropriate disclosure of public information and the generally imperious anti-citizen attitude at Hallandale Beach City Hall under Mayor Joy Cooper; Yet MORE on the City of Hallandale Beach's failure to comply with legally-required public disclosure/lobbying laws, as well as the accuracy and timeliness of public records on HB's own website; Lobbying records that are supposed to be timely and accurate are TWO MONTHS old, making any pretense of genuine lobbying disclosure a joke; @MayorCooper

APRIL 18, 2013
Breaking News: Broward Inspector General's Final Report on Hallandale Beach City Hall's longstanding corruption & incompetency with CRA released today - FINAL REPORT RE: GROSS MISMANAGEMENT OF PUBLIC FUNDS BY THE CITY OF HALLANDALE BEACH AND THE HALLANDALE BEACH COMMUNITY REDEVELOPMENT AGENCY

APRIL 4, 2013
Follow-up email to FL Gov. Rick Scott about MILLION$ more down the drain at Hallandale Beach City Hall. MORE of what we already knew and always suspected and now it's Q.E.D. yet again -Bill Gjebre in Broward Bulldog: "Hallandale city managers erased millions in code violation fines with little oversight"; @MayorCooper, @SandersHB, @AlexLewy

MARCH 19, 2013
Part I: Investigating the continuing dysfunction, lack of appropriate disclosure of public information and the generally imperious anti-citizen attitude at Hallandale Beach City Hall under Mayor Joy Cooper; Matters that anyone could see if they just looked -I looked and here's what I found in late February 2013

MARCH 14, 2013
Is Hallandale Beach Comm. Alexander Lewy -Lewy the Liar- running for FL House 100 in 2014? Yes, but opponents/voters have a treasure trove of evidence to show why he's a poor choice to represent anyone anywhere, given his uncontrollable know-it-all personality and pro-govt. mindset, and penchant for always thinking he knows best, even when self-evident facts show why he's wrong; Friends Helping Friends Dept.: Last Tuesday Lewy was honored by group at the same address he voted to give $200k CRA loan to (that still owed taxpayers money for previous loan) and voted $50k to just weeks ago. Plus, another deal for Rabbi Tennenhaus; @AlexLewy
http://hallandalebeachblog.blogspot.com/2013/03/is-hallandale-beach-comm-alexander-lewy.html

FEBRUARY 20, 2013
No end in sight for Hallandale Beach's ethical problems with CRA funds: The Palms Community Action Coalition's lack of public transparency -and Murvin Wright's fingers in so many pies- are THE logical result of years of unethical dealings in Hallandale Beach, wherein taxpayer & CRA dollars routinely go out to pals of City Hall, and compliance with laws, common sense and real-world notions of oversight and conflict-of-interest take second place to personal/political gain
http://hallandalebeachblog.blogspot.com/2013/02/no-end-in-sight-for-hallandale-beachs.html

DECEMBER 18, 2012
Good news for Hallandale Beach taxpayers! Rare victory for common sense and financial accountability at City Hall courtesy of Comm. Michele Lazarow
http://hallandalebeachblog.blogspot.com/2012/12/good-news-for-hallandale-beach.html

DECEMBER 16, 2012
Public corruption & incompetency hiding in plain sight - The Hallandale Beach CRA and its Exec. Director, Alvin Jackson, along with CRA "Directors" like Alexander Lewy, show their true colors -yet again! One thinks he's above the law and the other one wants to ignore the law on how CRAs operate; Broward Bulldog: Broward IG says Hallandale made “immense” gaffe in overseeing $12.7 million in city bonds; @AlexLewy, @SandersHB
http://hallandalebeachblog.blogspot.com/2012/12/public-corruption-incompetency-hiding.html

NOVEMBER 9, 2012
Hallandale Beach's Midnight Vigilante is no Paul Revere! Caught in the act: Hallandale Beach Mayor Joy Cooper's son's Midnight Ride of campaign sign-stealing -on Election Day!; Anything goes now in HB -even political intimidation- as Broward IG & Broward SAO sleepwalk while laws & ethics are repeatedly laughed at by pols in power; @MayorCooper, #FDLE, @myfloridalegal, @fbi.gov

OCTOBER 24, 2012

The City of Hallandale Beach's rules are clear -NO political activity on city property. But Josh Brown, Jr. doesn't care about our rules. He wants what HE wants, and our rules don't scare him...; @SandersHB
http://hallandalebeachblog.blogspot.com/2012/10/the-city-of-hallandale-beachs-rules-are.html

OCTOBER 15, 2012

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
http://hallandalebeachblog.blogspot.com/2012/10/ethics-not-for-us-follow-up-to-my-post.html

SEPTEMBER 19, 2012

More tough questions for Hallandale Beach taxpayers to ponder as voting draws near on 2013 budget for controversial CRA; Why can't the city provide real oversight and criticize Jessica Sanders' continued inability to properly manage the Palms Community Action Coalition, which gets CRA funds? Because her husband is a commissioner, the same man who hides from savvy taxpayers rather than answer their questions about his land sale to the city in 2009 -for MORE than property was worth!; @MayorCooper, @SandersHB, @AlexLewy 
http://hallandalebeachblog.blogspot.com/2012/09/more-questions-as-hallandale-beach-gets.html

JUNE 28, 2012

Hallandale Beach's political corruption is hiding in plain sight -"Your Tax Dollars at Work" Hallandale Beach CRA (City Commission) Says Hands Off to Broward Inspector General; Mayor Joy Cooper's stonewalling initiative begins in earnest, since the true facts are NOT her friend
http://hallandalebeachblog.blogspot.com/2012/06/hallandale-beachs-political-corruption.html

JUNE 26, 2012

Cornered! Pious Comm. Anthony A. Sanders consistently ignored Hallandale Beach's most-concerned taxpayers, and now, as they see their suspicions about him proving to be entirely justified by an IG investigation, because of his own words, deeds and votes, they're urging him to quit and come clean. Words, deeds and votes that the South Florida press corps has almost completely ignored for four long years.

http://hallandalebeachblog.blogspot.com/2012/06/cornered-pious-comm-anthony-sanders.html

JUNE 23, 2012

As we get closer-and-closer to the real targets in Hallandale Beach of Broward IG John W. Scott's inquiry, longstanding questions begin to get the overdue attention they always deserved, while many of the 'Usual Suspects' have good reason to be VERY concerned; @MayorCooper, @SandersHB, @AlexLewy

JUNE 22, 2012

The more you know about the culture of corruption and incompetency in Hallandale Beach, the less this news surprises you: A week later, Hallandale Beach's elected officials and employees are still REFUSING to cooperate with the Broward Inspector General's Office in their probe of HB City Hall

http://hallandalebeachblog.blogspot.com/2012/06/more-you-know-about-culture-of.html

JUNE 3, 2012

From the blog's cold storage vault, circa 2010: Another Hallandale Beach story the South Florida news media originally ignored for YEARS: faux journalism & crony capitalism with taxpayer dollars for allies of HB City Hall
http://hallandalebeachblog.blogspot.com/2012/06/from-blogs-cold-storage-vault-circa.html

MAY 31, 2012

In light of more news stories re bad Hallandale Beach CRA loans, Csaba Kulin and I thwart yet another of City Hall sycophant Andrew Markoff's desperate attempts at revisionist history of City Hall's trail of crony capitalism under Mayor Joy Cooper and her Rubber Stamp Crew; @MayorCooper, @SandersHB, @AlexLewy
http://hallandalebeachblog.blogspot.com/2012/05/more-news-stories-about-curious.html

APRIL 12, 2012
An IG investigation! Finally! Plus, more curious CRA matters to ponder - William Gjebre in BrowardBulldog: Broward Inspector General's office zeroing-in on Hallandale Beach after numerous reports re city's curious CRA loans and land purchases with no written plan in place for the latter
http://hallandalebeachblog.blogspot.com/2012/04/ig-investigation-finally-plus-more.html

MARCH 9, 2012
Wednesday night's HB City Comm. mtg. re the gory details of Marcum LLP's audit of the City of Hallandale Beach and its entrenched anti-Sunshine, anti-taxpayer culture
http://hallandalebeachblog.blogspot.com/2012/03/wednesday-nights-hb-city-comm-mtg-re.html

MARCH 7, 2012
Csaba Kulin continues connecting-the-dots on Marcum LLP's devastating audit of Hallandale Beach, revealing how city's own rules were routinely broken and leaving taxpayers on the hook
http://hallandalebeachblog.blogspot.com/2012/03/csaba-kulin-continues-connecting-dots.html

MARCH 6, 2012
More on the $20 Million of Hallandale Beach city contracts that went unchecked -Csaba Kulin re Marcum LLP's limited audit of "Exceptional" Hallandale Beach City Hall and its longstanding dysfunctional practices that insult HB taxpayers
http://hallandalebeachblog.blogspot.com/2012/03/more-on-20-million-of-hallandale-beach.html

FEBRUARY 16, 2012
Miami Herald's Fred Grimm weighs in -again- on the faux newspaper in Hallandale Beach and its sweetheart CRA deal from HB City Hall to be a propaganda arm
http://hallandalebeachblog.blogspot.com/2012/02/miami-heralds-fred-grimm-weighs-in.html

FEBRUARY 14, 2012
Csaba Kulin on Hallandale Beach's crony capitalism deal with a fake newspaper that stands ethics on its head and takes CRA money in exchange for being a City Hall propaganda machine
http://hallandalebeachblog.blogspot.com/2012/02/above-september-12-2010-issue-of.html
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FINAL REPORT RE: GROSS MISMANAGEMENT OF PUBLIC FUNDS BY THE CITY OF HALLANDALE BEACH AND THE HALLANDALE BEACH COMMUNITY REDEVELOPMENT AGENCY

Now we need to see some logical follow-up and real prosecution of the people directly in charge and pushing these illegal and incompetent policies, not the minions.

Please be advised that the report can take up to a minute to open due to the many exhibits. 
It took 55 seconds for me.

1 comment:

  1. Hi...I've just moved to the area from Louisiana, and I'm looking forward to connecting with the conservatives of south Florida. I'm an English professor, small business owner, and author. :)

    ReplyDelete

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 84 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 183,914 times. That's MORE than TWO 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.

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 "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.

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

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.
H/T Hannah Ongley @hannahongley http://instagram.com/youdidnoteatthat