Hallandale Beach Blog -A common sense public policy overview offering a critical perspective on the current events, politics, govt., public policy, sports scene and pop culture of the U.S., South Florida, Europe and Sweden. In particular, Broward & Miami-Dade County, and the cities of Hallandale Beach, Hollywood & Aventura.
Trust me when I tell you, this part of Florida is NOT the Land of Lincoln. Pictured in upper-left is Hallandale Beach's iconic beachball-colored Water Tower on State Road A1A; September 2008 photo by me, South Beach Hoosier. © 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Head's up, South Florida journalists: It's NOW safe -for a week- for you to come to Hallandale Beach and examine the endemic corruption & incompetency that you wouldn't do before -and have I and my friends got plenty of specific suggestions! You see, Mayor Joy Cooper is going to be away in Saudi Arabia and so HB residents can breathe for a change

Palm tree obstructing the sun at Hallandale Beach City Hall. May 28, 2012 photo by South Beach Hoosier. © 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved
This blog post was originally an email that went out late Thursday afternoon to many interested parties throughout Hallandale Beach, Hollywood and points beyond, like Tallahassee, as well as the usual number of bloggers, reporters, and all the ships at sea. 

"I wonder if she will start a war?" is surely what many Hallandale Beach residents must've thought upon first hearing that HB Mayor Joy Cooper is going to Saudi Arabia for a few days -at someone else's expense thank goodness, not part of her $20K a year travel and conference fund paid for by taxpayers like you and me.

Does she and the other commissioners get to keep anything from that fund that she doesn't spend?
Some of us have been wondering about that for a while now, asking questions, but not always getting consistent answers. Surprise!

Now you may be saying that I'm exaggerating because Saudi Arabia is considered an ally, per se, not a country that we're at diplomatic cross-purposes with, so how could Joy Cooper start a war, or, short of that, a "diplomatic row."
To which I would simple ask, have you never met Joy Cooper?
Have you never seen how she treats people, esp. people she is supposed to serve?
If you have, you understand exactly what I'm talking about.


It may seem weird to her initially to be somewhere where nobody cares who she is or that her husband is a millionaire or that she can force public funds to be given to a faux newspaper that allows her to write a column full of propaganda that bears little semblance to reality, on top of what the "paper" already does reflexively to censor events around here and make sure there is never any criticism of her in its pages.


Preview
Above, the perpetually-ridiculed and taxpayer-financed faux newspaper, South Florida Sun-Times, with one of the most egregious and laughable front pages of the past few years -and that's saying something! From my July 25, 2012 blog post title, When Hallandale Beach Mayor Joy Cooper says "setting the record straight" in her "column" at the taxpayer-financed faux newspaper, grab your wallet or purse, and be prepared to endure self-serving, nonsensical rationalizations that fail both the logic and reality test; August 30, 2010 photo by South Beach Hoosier. (c) 2012 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved; http://hallandalebeachblog.blogspot.com/2012/07/when-hallandale-beach-mayor-joy-cooper_25.html

For her to be somewhere where she can't prevent members of the public from speaking simply because they disagree with her, and she can't allow that.
Oh, wait, nobody here cares either.

Personally, I wish someone from the Saudi Royal family would simply buy Gulfstream Park and the Village at Gulfstream Park and start firing people left-and-right and bring in some truly competent and creative management so that this valuable property in our city can FINALLY be free to be properly run and offer consumers what they want.
AND finally resolve the many, many longstanding maintenance problems, NOT kick them further down the road as has been the case for so many years with so many faceless people in charge who refused to engage the community.

If you didn't know, it, consider this.
They have NOT even been competent enough to figure out a way to fly an American flag on their flagpole off U.S.-1 without it quickly becoming tattered.
Free consult -get a flag that does NOT touch nearby objects that tear the flag! End of problem

Flag hasn't flown there since about mid-February; I've got the photos to show it, and yet if they can't handle small items like that, well, you can only imagine what they do with larger problems.

Oh, that's right. 
We don't have to imagine how they mishandle big things.
They ignore them and when it becomes public, they call Mayor Cooper to handle things without telling anyone else on the elected City Commission about it, and then they walk across the street and say they don't want to pay legitimate fines and promise to do better despite their track record of not keeping their word.

So to the news media I would ask that you please don't indulge our autocratic, thin-skinned and egotistical mayor and mention this story on the air or in-print.
That's what she wants -only positive spin.
That's why this press release was even created, since who else would even know that she wasn't around but for a handful of people?

In any case, her immediate neighbors must be very happy for this unexpected holiday, free of her usual melodrama and fireworks for a few days and able to not feel under-the-gun walking around with her up in the guard tower

A few hours later...
But even as I was writing the words above, elsewhere in Broward County, the Sun-Sentinel's 
Hollywood and Hallandale Beach beat reporter, Susannah Bryan, so oblivious to so many issues and concerns of local residents that ought to be getting reported upon but which  AREN'T, even while she chases her tail, once again, has largely regurgitated a press release, and in this case, it's about the same subject as my post:
http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/broward/fl-hallandale-mayor-saudi-arabia-20131205,0,6330548.story

It might interest you to know that today was the second day in a row that I needed to take Bryan to task in a group email about her very curious choices and ways of reporting.
You'll see that public criticism here quite soon, since it touches on an issue that the South Florida news media has completely refrained from reporting upon in large part because of their reluctance to cross a certain union and its always-talkative leader.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Dobens, Peter 
Date: Thu, Dec 5, 2013 at 1:09 PM
Subject: Mayor Cooper joins US Mayors on Economic Mission to Saudi Arabia
To: "Dobens, Peter" 



LOGO C
Mayor Joy Cooper Joins
U.S. Mayors on Mission
To Saudi Arabia
Seven Mayors Invited on Economic Tour  
For immediate release                                                                              Contact: Peter F. Dobens, public relations
DATE: Thursday, December 5, 2013                                                              954-457-1493, or pdobens@cohb.org
HALLANDALE BEACH – Hallandale Beach Mayor Joy Cooper is one of seven U.S. Mayors participating in a week-long economic and cultural mission to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.  The mayors will be in Saudi Arabia from Friday, Dec. 6, through Friday, Dec. 13. The trip is at the invitation and expense of the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia
“It’s going to be an intense trip about economic and cultural issues. It will give us a chance to promote economic and business partnerships,” said Mayor Cooper. Several members of the Saudi Royal Family own racehorses that have run at Gulfstream Park in past years, and this is an opportunity to highlight other economic opportunities in the City. “I have already spoken with Gulfstream Park about the trip.”
Environmental issues, women’s rights, human rights and transportation issues are among the other issues on the meeting-intensive agenda, Mayor Cooper said. “Everything is on the table.” she said.
The mayors look forward to learning about the world’s largest desalination plant, exchanging ideas about shared local challenges, promoting investment between Saudi Arabia and U.S. cities, and gaining a better understanding of the policies and culture of a leading Middle Eastern nation.
The Conference of Mayors has assisted in organizing this mission at the request of the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia in Washington, D.C., which selected the participating mayors, listed below:
Mayor Joy Cooper, Hallandale Beach
Mayor William Bell, Birmingham, AL
Mayor Lori Moseley, Miramar
Mayor Beth Van Duyne, Irving, TX
Mayor Setti Warren, Newton, MA
Mayor Brian Bennett, Rochester Hills, MI
Mayor Shane Bemis, Gresham, OR

Press inquiries should be directed to Mr. Nail A. Al-Jubeir, Director of Information and Congressional Affairs Office, Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia, Washington, D.C., at (202) 337-4134 or naa@saudiembassy.net.

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August 2016 update about above: As I could have predicted, once again, the fake candidate failed to file the appropriate paperwork and fee with the City of Hollywood, and so his name will NOT appear on ballot.
Hallandale Beach Blog is where I try to inject or superimpose a degree of accountability, transparency and insight onto Florida and local Broward County government and public policy issues, which I feel is sorely lacking in local media now. On this blog, locally, I concentrate my energy, enthusiasm, anger and laser-like attention on the coastal cities of Hallandale Beach, Hollywood and Aventura.

If you lived in this part of South Florida, you'd ALREADY be stuck in stultifying traffic, paying higher-than-necessary taxes and continually musing about the chronic lack of accountability among not only elected govt. officials, but also of city, county and state employees as well. Collectively, with a few rare exceptions, they couldn't be farther from the sort of strong results-oriented, eager work-ethic mentality that local residents deserve and expect. But seldom if ever see...

This is particularly true in the Broward County city I live in, the City of Hallandale Beach, north of Aventura and south of Hollywood and right on the Atlantic Ocean. Here, the "Perfect Storm" of years of apathy, incompetency and cronyism are all too readily apparent. Sadly for its beleaguered residents, HB is where even easily-solved, quality-of-life problems are left to fester for YEARS on end, because of myopia, lack of common sense and ineffective supervisory management. It's a city with tremendous potential because of its terrific location and well-educated populace, yet its citizens have almost become numb to HB City Hall's frequent outrages and screw-ups, the result of YEARS of the worst kind of mismanagement and lack of foresight. On a daily basis, residents and Small Business owners wake up and see the same old problems that have never being adequately resolved by the city in a logical and responsible fashion, merely kicked -once again- further down the road for others to solve in the future.

I used to ask myself, not always rhetorically, "Where are all the enterprising young reporters who want to show that through their own hard work and enterprise, what REAL investigative reporting can produce?" Hearing no response, I decided to start a blog of my own that could try to do some of these things, taking the p.o.v. of a reasonable-but-skeptical person seeing the situation for the first time with fresh eyes, and wanting questions answered in a honest and logical way that citizens have the right to expect.

Hallandale Beach Blog intends to be a catalyst for positive change in public policy and goivernment engagement. If there's one constant gripe in South Florida, regardless of your age, race, nationality or political persuasion, it's about the fundamental lack of PUBLIC ACCOUNTABILITY of Florida's state, regional and local govt./agency officials, elected and otherwise. Hallandale Beach Blog aims to be a small step towards regaining some of that needed accountability, whether it's thru shining some well-needed public scrutiny on the issue or pol, or requires a higher degree of follow-up investigation and public exposure of the incompetency, cronyism or negligence -South Florida's usual governing style.
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Before I was a Hoosier, I was an NMB Charger, Class of 1979.

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"In the Heart of a Great Country, Beats the Soul of Hoosier Nation." -South Beach Hoosier, 2007.

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Singer/songwriter Full of Keys (Anni Bernhard) wearing the teal-colored Miami Dolphins cap I gave her in January 2013 (in Stockholm) while recording her 2nd album, "The Grazing Grounds" at Sandkvie Studios in Visby, Gotland, Sweden. Also pictured here are sound engineer and co-producer Linus Larsson and musician/DJ/co-producer Mats Jönsson, April 12, 2013.Click the photo to see her videos, read my blog posts and Tweets about her and learn more about this dynamic and original talent with personality to spare!

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

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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

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