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 and Europe, especially the UK 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. Photo in upper-left is Hallandale Beach's iconic beachball-colored Water Tower on State Road A1A, September 2008; March 2018 photo below of North Beach, looking left-to-right, looking north, HYDE Condominium, Etaru Japanese Robatayaki restaurant, and Hollywood Beach in the distance, with umbrellas. All photos by me, © Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Sandbagged! Independent audit of Hallandale Beach CRA was in offing by Florida JLAC, but Hallandale Beach's beleaguered citizens/taxpayers get stabbed in the back by Eleanor Sobel, Oscar Braynon II, Joe Gibbons, Shevrin Jones and Barbara Sharief. Why? To help HB mayor Joy Cooper preserve her facade that everything here is okay; @mayorcooper

Hallandale Beach Municipal Complex, November 19, 2013 photo by South Beach Hoosier. © 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved 

Sandbagged! Independent audit of Hallandale Beach CRA was in offing by Florida JLAC, but Hallandale Beach's beleaguered citizens/taxpayers get stabbed in the back by FL state Senators Eleanor Sobel & Oscar Braynon III, FL state Reps. Joe Gibbons & Shevrin Jones and Broward County Comm. Barbara Sharief.

Why? To help Hallandale Beach Mayor Joy Cooper preserve her facade that everything her is okay, @MayorCooper. 
You know, the mayor with the twitter account that is nothing but her, her, her, her -plus mindless govt. press releases, including many that have nothing to do with this city or county or state. 
See for yourself: https://twitter.com/MayorCooper 

They put a higher price on protecting Mayor Joy Cooper's political flank than actually helping the community -their constituents- find out where and how the $80 Million REALLY was spent. 
The very Hallandale Beach CRA that Broward IG labeled guilty of "gross mismanagement" with Joy Cooper in charge. 

Thanks to the five of these useless elected officials, we may never know. 

But we WON'T FORGET their betrayal of Hallandale Beach's residents, taxpayers and small business owners when next elections roll around next august and November.
No, we definitely WON'T forget and we will make sure that the public and the press forget, either. 
And no, this Thanksgiving weekend, we are NOT thankful for these turkeys.

More below the articles. 

Two senators short-circuit Legislature’s plan to audit troubled Hallandale Beach CRA 
By Willliam Gjebre, BrowardBulldog.org 
November 26, 2013 AT 6:13 AM
A Florida Legislature’s joint auditing committee is dropping its inquiry of Hallandale Beach’s questionable use of local redevelopment funds at the urging of two area state senators, one a long-time acquaintance of Mayor Joy Cooper.
Democratic Senators Eleanor Sobel and Oscar Braynon II, representing portions of Hallandale Beach, could not be reached for comment, despite repeated calls, to elaborate on a letter they signed recommending against a state audit or any action related to the controversial city spending of Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) funds.
Read the rest of the article at:

As for the below, who even knew that turkeys like our mayor could dream, much less, of ghosts? 

South Florida Sun-Sentinel  
"Ghost' of Keith London haunts Mayor Cooper  
By Brittany Wallman  
November 26, 2013 2:14 PM EST

Not mentioned above but equally as guilty of denying citizens the honesty they deserve is Broward County District 8 Commissioner Barbara Sharief.

Map showing how HB is divided at FEC Railroad tracks, with everything west of Dixie Highway in Sharief's District 8 and everything east in Sue Gunzburger's District 6.

WHERE exactly has she been the past two years on this very important issue to all of us?
A woman who is supposed to represent Hallandale Beach's residents' best interests but who has done just about everything but the past three years?

The very woman whose Broward County Comm. district was the HOME of the majority of the corruption, incompetency and unethical behavior directly tied to the HB CRA, where there was no accountability at HB City Hall under Mayor Cooper and her high-paid minions? 

Where was Comm. Barbara Sharief resolve to do the right thing?
Missing-in-action, just like Joe Gibbons, Shevrin Jones, Sobel & Braynon.

Barbara Sharief was and continues to be in hiding on this issue, refusing to respond to public calls for her to say or do something -anything.

I know this from first-hand experience because she and her staff have ignored my emails about this issue for the past two years, though I actually know much more about the HB CRA situation than she or her staff did -or Gibbons or Jones or Braynon- and knew things that as many of you regular readers know, that even the Broward IG hadn't yet learned at the time.

A continued willingness to suspend reality and ignore inconvenient and troubling facts and the people who will tell you the truth is NOT a good sign in an elected official, and is actually proof that Barbara Sharief is NOT a genuine leader by any stretch of the imagination as most of us know the word.

Well, when you know that Sharief didn't even show-up at the June 4th County Commission meeting where the issue was brought-up, you could see that she wanted no part of being on the right side of financial accountability and ethics.
Months later, given her own financial and ethical situation, we see the double irony of that and wonder if her absence was even more revealing than we first thought.

Trust me, those inconvenient facts WON'T be forgotten as she runs for re-election next year, having to explain to the news media and area residents and voters why she so completely and willingly abandoned her own constituents, just like the power-craven and egotistical Sobel, the useless and high-living Jones, and the completely-invisible-in-HB Braynon, whom nobody has ever seen or knows from Adam.

As for Joe Gibbons, District 100 state rep. and former HB city commissioner of no particular distinction, who actually has the gall to run to replace term-limited Sue Gunzburger on the Broward County Commission for District 8 despite his sub-par performance and the fact that his wife and kids have NEVER lived here since he was married, the truth about Gibbons with respect to many ethical and policy issues has been known for years, despite the media's chronic inattention to detail.

Gibbons is only fooling himself if he thinks his recent stunt of showing-up at a HB City Comm. meeting for a few minutes when some kids are making a presentation -with their parents in the Chambers- and then splitting after they left, impressed anyone.
Gibbons can't change his stripes.
(And Gibbons is now so typecast by his abysmal track record in office that even the name, position and caliber of his supporters -and what they represent- are actually a big plus, almost a paid commercial for his opponent, former Hollywood City Comm. Beam Furr, who didn't run for re-election last year.)

Gibbons is both ineffectual and a carpetbagger, and a longtime apologist for the corrupt and incompetent status quo at HB City Hall that so thoroughly mis-served the public.
The very place he did nothing positive to change while he was there.
He is a knee-jerk in every respect that matters.

In case you those earlier recent blog posts of mine laying out the case or the predicate for better understanding these four characters ignoring what was happening with the millions miss-spent at the HB CRA, here they are for you in chron order:

Nov. 2:  http://hallandalebeachblog.blogspot.com/2013/11/latest-news-re-hallandale-beach-cra.html

On Sunday at some point, I'll have much more here on the blog to say in detail about Comm. Barbara Sharief's own failure to lead on an issue of great and urgent concern to this 

often-neglected community, and look out for the best-interests of HB residents -me and my neighbors.

But I will tell you one thing right now and that is that based on my conversations with people around town and the county, I believe Sharief has not only long since lost the benefit of the doubt of any concerned and well-informed HB or Broward citizen who cares about the true facts and wants a better-run county, she has no chance of ever recapturing it.
That's gone for good.

I'll also have some news and facts about her that may surprise many of you.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

It's all over at halftime -Angie Harmon wins! THE house in America that I (we) should've gone to today for Thanksgiving is @Angie_Harmon's; @jasonsehorn, PicturesOfAngie, @Madamefigaro, #nfl, #pigskin

Angie Harmon on WhoSay: http://www.whosay.com/angieharmon


So at halftime of the first NFL game of the day this Thanksgiving, Packers at Lions, I think it's perfectly clear that we have a clear-cut winner.

THE house in America that I (we) should've gone to today for some delicious turkey, sweet cranberries, warm and friendly conversation, and some very informed football talk -via @jasonsehorn- for dessert is Casa Angie Harmon@Angie_Harmon, whom as I've written here on the blog so many times, we've always admired and adored for so many good reasons.
We thank the rest of you for participating, but we definitely have our winner!

But for those of you reading these words out in Hawaii, there's still some time for you to chew over these inspired recipes via nos amis @Madamefigaro: On mange bien!

Above, Angie on the cover of the September 2000 issue of Texas Monthly, the very-popular and critically-acclaimed magazine I frequently bought over the years at The News Room on the corner of K St. & Connecticut Avenue in Washington D.C., next to the Farragut North Metro station.
Back when I was living and working up there.

As it happens, I bought this particular copy, though, that sweltering first weekend of September 2000, after flying into DFW from DC for the wedding of my dear and oh-so-talented friend Shannon, in Sulphur Springs, TX, where her parents and sister had then-recently moved to from Hope, Arkansas.
Hope being where Shannon was born and grew-up and where more famously, Bill Clinton was born.
I bought it at the Walmart on the way to "dry" Sulphur Springs, where the cashiers looked like young Lynda Carters
Really :-)!

Shannon's mother knew Bill Clinton as a kid from across the street, of course, and Shannon had a wonderful photo of herself and BC on her desk for years at the Washington bureau of Nippon TV, at the National Press Building, from when she'd been in high school and was in Little Rock for some event while Clinton was governor of Arkansas. (Girls State?)
Shannon was a savvy and resourceful TV producer and sometimes on-air talent, thanks to her fluent Japanese that sometimes had her traveling across the globe following President Clinton or some other important story that Japan & Nippon TV were interested in.

Since I had roughly an hour drive ahead of me once I arrived in north Texas that Thursday afternoon, I stopped off at a Walmart along the way on I-30 so I could grab some soda, junk food and odds & ends for my hotel room, since with temps around and above 105 in the shade -if you could find some shade- I knew I'd need to keep my cold Coca Cola intake high for the duration.

The magazine rack with Angie's "Hey pardner" smile was one of the first things that I saw in the store and into my basket it went, toute-de-suite! 
And I still have it, too.

For those of you who may've forgotten, as well as those of you who are new to the blog, your faithful blogger -Dave- was born in San Antonio, and my mother's side of the family has been living in the beautiful Hill Country of Texas since 1855: Bandera.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Price of ignorance and bad education in Florida is thus proven once again. Thanks Florida Education establishment! Couldn't have done it without you and your minions!

View Larger Map
Price of ignorance and bad education in Florida is thus proven once again. Thanks Florida Education establishment! Couldn't have done it without you and your minions!

Only Florida resident who earned a Rhodes Scholarship this year -James O’Connell- goes to school out-of-state. Wake Forest University

Shocker, right? 

No student attending a college in Florida, the U.S.'s 4th largest state, earned a Rhodes Scholarship

Not an accident! 

More than twice the size of Sweden, but only one Rhodes Scholar-elect?

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Omar Kelly says before today's Dolphins loss to Panthers that IF Dolphins don't finish the season 9-7, they must be blown-up. Everyone. I agree, but thought that it needed to be blown-up BEFORE season started, when I wrote they'd likely finish 5-11; #boomgoesdynamite

Time for Steve Ross to start over if Dolphins don't finish 9-7
The Dolphins have fallen short of expectations so far, squandering close games. Will this troubling trend continue, spoiling Miami's playoff chances?
By Omar Kelly, Commentary
3:18 p.m. EST, November 21, 2013
Accompanying video at:
South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Meanwhile, back in September...

#Finally! 2013 NFL season is finally here! My counter-intuitive predictions for the 2013 Miami Dolphins season is they stumble to 5-11; Over-valued, under-performing players plus a very tough early schedule may well render Dolphins winless by Bye week in Week 6; USA Today, Dan Patrick and Peter King's Super Bowl picks; Say hello again to our old friend, NFL East Coast/Cowboys bias!; @nfl, @SI_PeterKing, #Lombardi

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Gulfstream Park Race Track & Casino will try to weasel their way out of a $52k bldg. code fine tonight -one they EARNED the old-fashioned way- and Mayor Cooper will be rooting them across the finish line; Pegasus Park; Hallandale Beach's shenanigans with 2014 Parks Bond issue to use money for purposes other than Parks -surprise!

video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player

From a month ago but still applicable: 
Local10: Mayor wants $52K fine against Gulfstream Park waived
No vote taken on waiving fine at Hallandale Beach budget meeting
By Bob Norman, Reporter, bnorman@Local10.com, and Ben Candea, Senior Web Producer, bcandea@local10.com
Published On: Oct 04 2013 06:13:16 PM EDT   
Updated On: Oct 04 2013 11:51:10 PM EDT

This blog post today was an email an hour ago that soon got sent all over the city, county and state. In fact, I made a point of sending it up to Tallahassee to someone who has been outside the blog's view and sphere-of-influence up until now, the Chair of the Florida Senate's Gaming Committee, Garrett Richter, whose name makes me think of an NFL player from the 1960's.

It represents the follow-up to my last two posts on Gulfstream Park Race Track & Casino and the building code fines they have tried to get out of paying, with the moral atta-boy support of Hallandale Beach Mayor Joy Cooper.
Who, of course, is supposed to be representing the interests of HB citizens, not the parties that break its laws and rules.

In case you need a quick catch-up, here they are
November 8, 2013

Another completely unnecessary night of confusion, finger-pointing and buffoonery at Hallandale Beach City Hall. Agenda item re Gulfstream Park Race Track's $52k fine for Building Code Violations is deferred, but only after it became clear to one and all that execs at Gulfstream Park prefer to deal only with their pal, Mayor Cooper, not the ENTIRE elected City Commission, as the 4 other members find out about the deferral roughly 24 hours after Cooper; article & video re proposed Pegasus Park at Gulfstream Park; @DRFInsidePost, @HRTV, @raypaulick


NOVEMBER 5, 2013 
On Wednesday night, Hallandale Beach Mayor Joy Cooper has to defend her freelancing, breaking of city's rules in order to help her friends at Gulfstream Park Race Track & Casino with bldg. code fines they EARNED. Again! Her campaign contributors, Gulfstream Park, must really love her "Special Rules for Special People" form of advocacy, but why does she save her energy & love for a multi-million dollar company instead of insisting they follow the law and finally fix up their appearance problems?

Gulfstream Park Race Track & Casino will try to weasel their way out of a $52k bldg. code fine tonight -one they EARNED the old-fashioned way- and Mayor Cooper will be rooting them across the finish linePegasus Park; Hallandale Beach's shenanigans with 2014 Parks Bond issue to use money for purposes other than Parks -surprise!

This will take place tonight at the same Hallandale Beach City Commission meeting where GP will pat themselves on the back for their little-understood Pegasus Park project, for which they seem to have all of two renderings of, and none of which shows what this 11-story statue will look like from the nearest main road, U.S.-1./South Federal Highway.
That's a fact I discovered when I asked about that at the HB Planning & Zoning
So,. something the size of the Statue of Liberty will be erected less than a block from U.S.-1 and they can't provide the public any image or idea of what it will look like from the perspective of 99% of the public who ever see it?)

There is no recorded history of any Hallandale Beach citizen or HB-based property owner
ever getting such a large fine waived. EVER.
I didn't make that fact up, the city staff says as much in their own background docs, below.
This is especially troubling given the unrepentant repeat offender track record of Gulfstream Park, whose past behavior and avoidance of paying legitimate fines is contained in the city staff's documents.

So given all this, WHY are Mayor Cooper and the HB City Commission poised to waive the entire building code fine when Gulfstream Park has ZERO extenuating
circumstances to explain or justify their actions in starting a project of this size and scope without permits?
Why do you suppose the State of Florida also fined them?

Personally, I'd like to know where the records are that detail the communication trail between
between Gulfstream Park execs and Mayor Cooper, who seems to have conveniently
forgotten -again- that under this city manager-run form of govt. this city operates under,
and the city's own rules of administration, Mayor Cooper is NOT to interfere with the everyday running of the city.
But she did.

She did so by acting like an unpaid lobbyist for Gulfstream Park, trying to make the case for why city employees should, in effect, ignore what they saw and heard, and then later in the day, wearing her mayor's hat, trying to cram a huge fee waiver down the Commission's throat, a month ago,
That came at the end of an already far-too-long night meeting -where Comm. Sanders 
was, apparently, no longer even present at?
Talk about adding insult to injury!

Yes, at the end of a long night meeting where mere minutes after the mayor revealed her own embarrassing (but not to her) role in this unethical matter, she immediately wanted a vote on a waiver without providing any documents for the commissioners to read or make sense of, and that in any case, was never properly noticed and placed on the public agenda.

Yes, that would be the same meeting where she tried to waive the STATE'S fine, too. (Thank you for remembering!)  


Also tonight, agenda item #13A is the replat of the very controversial property at 2000 
S. Ocean Drive, which drew HUNDREDS of residents to an early September community 
meeting at The Hemispheres99% of whom publicly opposed it when they spoke because
of what it does to the area, the beach and to them.
When it came before the HB P&Z Board, it was overwhelmingly rejected.

If you haven't heard, the city also seems to have some three card monte shenanigans in store for tonight for the so-called Parks Bond issue that won't even go before HB voters
until next year -in August, not November, for purely parochial political reasons.

14 B

It appears the city wants to borrow money from it despite it not having even been approved
yet, in order to build a new Fire Station HQ in NW, which, as it happens, will NOT be 
centrally-located but will be off of a one-way road where the smallest percentage of the
city actually lives -13%.
You tell me, if this was such an important priority, why hasn't the city properly planned for that
construction for years by having budgets that actually reflect that need?

Not mentioned in the city's own documents -what happens if HB voters go thumbs-down on the Parks Bond issue, as seems likely right now based on my many conversation around town, given citizens' well-earned reservoir of anger at the city for refusing to construct a Parks Bond issue that is for Parks Only, as public testimony made clear over the years, which I and they would support.

But what we will NOT do is vote for a new slush fund for Mayor Cooper and the HB City 
Commission and the city's high-paid staff to use under the pretext of fixing the parks and instead see those funds funneled into their pet projects involving cronies, while neglecting
the long-neglected parks which are the source of so much embarrassment in this city, owing to Mayor Cooper and the City Commission's own longstanding myopia and benign neglect.

Taxpayers paid millions of dollars for the Old Dixie Highway property a block from City Hall 
to make that a public park, and yet over four years later, there's still nothing there.

Mayor Cooper needs to stop wearing so many hats when she is only supposed to be
wearing one in this city, and stop running interference for her friends who owe the city and
its citizens $52,000 in fines.
For starters...

Saturday, November 16, 2013

As U.S. approaches 50th anniversary of JFK assassination in Dallas, our thoughts at the blog are all over the place: JFK & LBJ and Texas and... Bryan Cranston playing LBJ on Broadway in Robert Schenkkan's "All The Way"; UVA Prof. Larry J. Sabato's fascinating new book on JFK, and CBS News' veteran reporter Bob Schieffer, who covered the JFK visit 50 years ago, now busy hosting a Saturday night network special on JFK and hosting 'Face The Nation' on Sunday morning from the scene of the crime

KVUE News video ‏-Breaking Bad star Bryan Cranston visited Austin today to talk about his new Broadway role as LBJ.
by KRIS BETTS / KVUE News and photojournalist MATT OLSEN 
Posted on November 15, 2013 at 8:20 AM 
Updated yesterday at 1:41 PM

As some of you reading this blog may well recall from my having told you before in-person, in Indiana, Illinois Washington, D.C. or here in Florida, or even here on the blog, both of my parents actually saw President and Mrs. Kennedy the day before the fateful day he was killed. The reason is that both of them worked over at Kelly AFB in San Antonio, my Mom as a secretary for the Base Commander, and my Dad, who worked in the Medical Corps. 
(I was actually born next door at the hospital at Lackland AFB, one month after JFK was inaugurated.)

They were at Brooks because President Kennedy was dedicating the new School of Aerospace Medicine, which was quite a big deal at the time given the space program, but as things turned out, of course, it was to be his last official act as president.

My Mom still has the official photos that were taken of the welcoming ceremonies there at the base by the vigilant base photographers, and I grew-up knowing those photographs, one in particular, from just a few feet away, like it had always been part of my memory.
Because it had been.

The Last Two Days, November 1963: 21-22

That's the late Henry B. Gonzalez coming down the stairs off Air Force One behind JFK, to his left, and then again at 01:06 in the film, waving to the crowds.
Henry B. was the longtime congressman from San Antonio and someone I was very fortunate to talk to be able to talk to a handful of times when he was still in Congress when I was living and working in the Washington, D.C. area. 

I was fortunate enough to attend a few of the public birthday parties that got thrown for him that were held outside in one of the House Office Bldg.'s courtyards, as his party was always one of the real highlights of the year I looked forward to, as far as having real fun was concerned. Complete with a kick-ass Mariachi band, attractive and talented dancers and a variety and huge amount of really great food and cold Texas beer, I only wish that I'd taken more photos back then, because besides his very loyal and longstanding staff, other Congressmen and staffers, Democrats as well as Republicans, he had quite a few well-known people come swing by the party to say hello, many of whom he had known for most of their adult life or even before. 
Those friendly get-togethers meant a lot to him, but I grew to believe they meant just as much to the people who attended them, because they were old-fashioned relaxing fun of the sort that 95% of the events we attended in DC never were, but wished they were.

By the time I got to Washington, Congressman Gonzalez was still a very beloved-yet-controversial figure, and I think for most of the time I went to those events on The Hill, or saw him at other Texas-related events, he was either the Chairman of the House Banking Committee or Chair of one of the important Subcommittees, and even then though there should be an audit of the Federal Reserve, much as Sen. Rand Paul and many others do now. Transparency and public accountability.

But when that film above was made in 1963, Rep. Gonzalez was an eager and excitable second-term congressman, albeit one who had already done quite a lot for san antonio and in the texas legislature, often against great odds.
He was the first Hispanic congressman ever elected from Texas, something that he was very proud of in a not-at-all unreasonable way, especially for the times.

In all my dealings with him, you could not have met a warmer and more sincere person or someone with a better memory, and if you didn't know any better, you'd probably have guessed that he was either a retired pediatrician or veterinarian.
That memory of his was one of his great talents for succeeding in politics, since he remembered my Mother's name from a conversation we'd had many months before, even though I'd said it only in passing when talking about the fact that when JFK ran in 1960, it was the first time that she could legally vote.

At 06:19 and 06:33, not wearing an overcoat, you can see future Speaker of the House Jim Wright, the congressman from Fort Worth.
As U.S. approaches 50th anniversary of JFK assassination in Dallas, our thoughts at the blog are all over the place: JFK & LBJ and... Texas and Emmy Award-winning actor Bryan Cranston of 'Breaking Bad' visiting Austin and the LBJ Library as he prepares to play LBJ on Broadway in Robert Schenkkan's "All The Way"; UVA Prof. Larry J. Sabato's fascinating new book on JFK, and CBS News' Bob Schieffer, who covered the JFK visit 50 years ago, busy hosting a Saturday night network special on JFK and then hosting 'Face The Nation' on Sunday morning from the scene of the crime, with Luci Baines Johnson slated to be a guest
As always, Prof. Larry J. Sabato's wise words and depth of knowledge are a useful antidote to years of revisionist history, both Democratic and Republican, foreign and domestic.

The Washington Post

Five myths about John F. Kennedy
By Larry J. Sabato, Published: November 13, 2013
Most everyone who was alive on Nov. 22, 1963, remembers where they were when they heard that President John F. Kennedy had been shot. JFK was the youngest elected U.S. president and the youngest to die. The fascination with him is never-ending: There have been hundreds of books, TV specials and films about his New Frontier, as well as the enduring controversy surrounding his assassination. Let’s debunk some of the most pervasive myths.
Read the column at:

fact-filled photo gallery
Is there more to JFK assassination? 
By Larry J. Sabato 
updated 4:32 PM EST, Fri November 15, 2013

Listening to THE FIRST FAMILY for The First Time. I can see why it was a huge hit - until 11/22/63. #JFK50 http://t.co/e75IplT1Ib

In the early-to-mid 1970's, while living in North Miami Beach, I had a very good friend whose parents still had a copy of this record album, and his father would often play it when his wife was out of the house because he really loved the album and knew the material backwards-and-forwards and would often say the lines along with the actors, and laugh and laugh.

Now I don't recall whether the story was that the father was supposed to have gotten written of the album altogether, or just couldn't have it out where she could see it, but I know that in the hundreds of times I was over there, that album stayed out-of-sight, and NOT with the rest of the records they had near the old-style entertainment center console -with lots of Broadway cast albums I would come to know and love.

It seems that hearing those Kennedy-like accents just made his wife very upset and she'd often start crying and weeping if she heard even some of it.

I know that must sound sort of odd to read right now, but trust me, at the time it was happening, it seemed quite upsetting and turned everything around us upside down.
That was a secret that 12-year old me had to keep on the down low.
The Dad playing the record and the Mom who cried when hearing it unexpectedly. 


Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Immigration Hump Day: Wednesday morning's SkyNews Press Review and guests Rowenna Davis and Tom Newton Dunn made many of Mickey Kaus' go-to points re immigration, esp. about new immigrants lowering wages, etc. due to 2 front page immigration stories, in The Sun and The Daily Star; This common sense aspect of immigration & economic policy is one that was completely ignored by South Florida news media during #GangofEight bill this summer, esp. its negative effect on working poor Blacks in Miami

Immigration Hump Day: Wednesday morning's SkyNews Press Review and guests Rowenna Davis and Tom Newton Dunn made many of Mickey Kaus' go-to points re immigration, esp. about new immigrants lowering wages, etc. due to 2 front page immigration stories, in The Sun and The Daily Star; This common sense aspect of immigration & economic policy is one that was completely ignored by South Florida news media during #GangofEight bill this summer, esp. its negative effect on working poor Blacks in Miami

Lots of talk about Labour leader Ed Miliband and former Foreign Sec. and Home Sec.
Jack Straw
going public with Labour's past mistakes in an attempt to catch up to public opinion and make laggard, hold-out Labourites realize that it's time to either get on the train or be left behind on the issue. But they say that Tony Blair says he has no regrets, and is esp. happy about the 300,000 Poles who have come to Great Britain at some point over the past few years.

The Press Review guests were Tom Newton Dunn, The Sun's Political Editor,
and Rowenna Davis, Labour Parliamentary candidate for Southampton Itchen, a chic little dynamo who can get in some real weighty zingers with a smile.
Precisely the sort of English woman I always go for!

Mickey Kaus @kausmickey https://twitter.com/kausmickey
Kaus Files blog: http://dailycaller.com/author/mickeykaus/

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Hallandale Beach's beleaguered citizens & taxpayers have a good day at meeting of Oversight Comm. of Broward's Inspector General, uniformly great actually, as Mayor Cooper's efforts at obfuscation and misdirection fall flat and backfire. Her name ends up being the one most-cited over two hours -and NOT in a good way. It was delicious!

From the p.o.v. of Hallandale Beach's beleaguered citizens & taxpayers, Friday morning's crucial meeting in downtown Fort Lauderdale of the Oversight Comm. of Broward's Inspector General was uniformly great, even when HB CRA Attorney Steven W. Zelkowitz spoke, since it's what Zelkowitz didn't say or couldn't admit -and that WAS mentioned by my friend and former HB Commissioner Keith London and myself- that was most telling.

Along with the comments of the Oversight Comm. members themselves and IG John Scott and his Chief Counsel, in what was the most open and fairly-run meeting I've ever been to in South Florida the past ten years.

(HB CRA Director Rosemond was also present, but did not speak publicly.)

Even though absent from the proceedings, Hallandale Beach's obnoxious, thin-skinned and anti-democratic mayor Joy Cooper was the Broward pol whose name was mentioned MOST
over a period of about two hours -and not in a good way!
Just like the name "Hallandale Beach" was repeatedly used as an example of what NOT to do in these things.
And all the negative things that were mentioned all came under the reign of Mayor Cooper.

I especially love the idea that it came out during CRA Attorney Zelkowitz's comments that Mayor Cooper sent the Oversight Comm. a letter re the Broward IG.
But guess who Mayor Cooper DIDN'T send a copy of her THREE-PAGE letter to.
Yes, the IG's Office.

When I spoke, I told everyone present that this was no mere oversight, it was entirely intentional by her, and that the mayor wanted the IG and his staff to be blindsided by it at the meeting.
Instead, though, Mayor Cooper's self-serving stunt completely backfired on her.

Not that much of the South Florida news media actually bothered to show-up to the Broward County Govt. Bldg. to report on what transpired, which was entirely in keeping with how things have been down here for years, as the Sun-Sentinel still has NOT mentioned the HB CRA scandal in an editorial, six months after the IG's inch-and-a-half thick Final Report alleging and proving "gross mismanagement" was released.

But your faithful blogger was there, and did I ever get a wheelbarrow's worth of facts and nuggets to share!

It was also NOT a good day for the anti-IG Broward League of Cities and their hardcore and permanent crew of longtime apologists and paid consultants throughout the county, who continue to want to allow themselves the freedom to continue to misrepresent what's really going on with ethics in this county and what the IG's Office is doing, but also continue using municipal taxpayer dollars to pay attorneys to tell them  what exactly they want to hear, instead of simply following the spirit and letter of the law.

Or as one of the learned members of the Oversight Comm. put it, it seems like Broward cities love using taxpayer dollars to "shield" themselves, but there's no reason for that to continue any longer.

(So, remind me again why South Florida's news media refuses to go after the Broward League of Cities and ask for meaningful transparency from them on how much they receive every year in taxpayer money from each and every Broward city, and show  from any of the many examples they could choose, just how that money is continually used in ways that are fundamentally against the best long-term interests of their own citizens, and rather FOR the benefit of career politicians, including lobbying against their own citizens? Oh, right. 
The South Florida news media doesn't want to do that.)

More details on all this will be coming out in the coming days on the blog, along with photos and video on Monday and Tuesday, including answering the question of who the unexpected people were who showed-up with Mayor Cooper when she twice had to testify under oath and answer questions from the IG's office over the past year.
The answers to that surprised members of the the Committee and left some of them -and most of the audience, even the Broward League of Cities types- shaking their heads in bewilderment at Mayor Cooper's efforts to deny, deny, deny.

In retrospect, I could NOT have scripted it better myself from the point of view of frustrated HB citizens FINALLY getting some highly-relevant and meaningful and provable facts out in the open for everyone to know, esp. among such well-known people as those on the committee.
And, of course, into the record!

If only members of the JLAC in Tallahassee could have been there to hear some of the damning testimony, and litany of inconvenient facts concerning HB's CRA and the invisible oversight of its millions by Mayor Cooper and her loyal  Rubber Stamp Crew, suddenly being uttered aloud.
C'est al vie...

But next week some time, I will send them some excerpts of what was said and let's see them try to ignore the stone cold facts uttered by people who know them like the Inspector General knows them.
The proof is in the pudding, and the case has never been more stronger that JLAC needs to come thru for citizens in our city so we can finally find out where the $80 MIllion has gone the past 10 years.

#HollywoodFL based photographer/entrepreneur Esther Chuang

#HOLLYWOODFL based photographer and entrepreneur Esther Chuang with Hollywood Mayor-elect Josh Levy
Thumbs up! What a night! #HOLLYWOODFL based photographer and entrepreneur Esther Chuang with a very elated Hollywood Mayor-elect Josh Levy at his Victory Party, held at Leo Anato's Atelier3/AT3 on Harrison Street & S. 19th Avenue, Hollywood. AT3's great environment and the amazing variety of food prepared by chef Kevin Dreifuss, former owner/chef of now-closed ENDS MEAT restaurant, was SUPERB! November 8, 2016 Esther Chuang, Morro Dois Irmãos, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 2015
Above, perhaps my most-favorite photo ever of Esther, which is really saying something considering the THOUSANDS that I've actually seen of her, from all over the world. But despite the fact that you can't actually see it here, trust me, her amazing smile and inner and external beauty are there. This photo is an even more amazing achievement when you know the backstory of what it took for Esther to get to the top of the mountain, since it's NOT for the faint of heart. Next time you see her, ask her about that! Morro Dois Irmãos, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on her birthday, July 10, 2015. That's the Christ The Redeemer statue atop Mount Corcovado way out in the horizon on the top of another mountain, to the left of her head. To the right is the world famous beach of Ipanema and to the left is the equally famous beach of Copacabana. In case you forgot what the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio looks like, up close, plus the Amazon area of Brazil that Esther grew up near in Manaus, here's another Brazilian beauty to connect-the-dots for you: Gisele Bündchen, aka @Gisele.

Abençoado por Deus e bonito por natureza!✨ ������

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A floresta Amazônica tem um papel fundamental no equilíbrio do clima na Terra e, portanto, na vida de cada um de nós. Nos últimos anos a proteção diminuiu e o desmatamento aumentou drasticamente. E o que já era ruim, pode ficar ainda pior. Se as medidas que o governo vem tomando não forem vetadas, nosso futuro estará ameaçado. Diga NÃO à diminuição da proteção da Floresta do Jamanxim! Diga NÃO à exploração de minério no coração da floresta! #TodosPelaAmazônia #342Amazonia #TodosPelaAmazonia Assine a petição: link na bio. ������✨���� The Amazon Rainforest plays a key role in balancing the climate on the Earth and therefore in each of our lives. In recent years, protection has decreased and deforestation has increased sharply. And what was already bad can get even worse. If the measures that the government has been taking are not vetoed, our future will be threatened. Say NO to the reduction of the Jamanxim Forest´s protection! Say NO to ore mining in the heart of the Forest! #togetherfortheAmazon

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