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

Monday, February 3, 2014

Robert Wechsler analyzes it @CityEthics and I can confirm it: Despite best efforts of Broward Inspector General, the state of ethics in Broward County, FL at municipal level is poor and getting worse with "friends" like the Broward League of Cities, fresh from their trying to create loopholes in Broward's hard-won, voter-approved ethics laws, and now looking for a paid spokesmodel to peddle their anti-taxpayer nonsense that's paid for in large part BY Broward's taxpayers; Hallandale Beach City Hall continues to be one of the true ethics hotspots in Florida, given the unwillingness of its elected officials & high-paid staff to follow state & federal laws, esp. those re transparency & participation

Above, Broward Inspector General John W. Scott at a Broward League of Women Voters event in Coconut Creek, FL on January 24, 2013. photo by South Beach Hoosier.© 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved. From my May 31, 2013 blog post at
http://hallandalebeachblog.blogspot.com/2013/05/given-longstanding-mismanagement-and.html

Robert Wechsler analyzes it @CityEthics and I can confirm it: Despite best efforts of Broward Inspector General, the state of ethics in Broward County, FL at municipal level is poor and getting worse with "friends" like the Broward League of Cities, fresh from their trying to create loopholes in Broward's hard-won, voter-approved ethics laws, and now looking for a paid spokesmodel to peddle their anti-taxpayer nonsense that's paid for in large part BY Broward's taxpayers; Hallandale Beach City Hall continues to be one of the true ethics hotspots in Florida, given the unwillingness of its elected officials & high-paid staff to follow state & federal laws, esp. those re transparency & participation

South Florida Sun-Sentinel
Editorial
Next step for ethics reform in Broward
January 30, 2014

The Broward Office of the Inspector General needs help. So do local politicians who want to attend community events while staying on the right side of the county's ethics code.


Inspector General John Scott is calling for the addition of an ethics official or commission to ensure government leaders get consistent advice about accepting gifts or trips -- and an impartial review when rules might have been violated. 


Scott is working on such a proposal for the November ballot. 


And he is on the right track. 


Already, some politicians are objecting, decrying another level of bureaucracy. Some fear an independent body might call out those who are simply trying to do the public's business. 


They should look to history and remember how we got to where we are today. 


Two years ago, voters demanded a new ethics code after watching far too many elected officials hauled off in handcuffs, charged with bribery and public corruption. The headlines continue even today, as readers of the Sun Sentinel well know. 


To enforce the ethics code, commissioners tasked the inspector general's office with investigating and prosecuting potential violations. However, since the referendum's passage, Scott and his staff have discovered problems that need addressing. 


For example, for advice on accepting a gift or free trip, local officials now mostly turn to their city or county attorneys. The result is a plethora of local opinions about what politicians can accept as a freebie. In the past two years, some 900 legal advisories have been served up countywide, the inspector general's office reports. 


These advisories can put government attorneys in the awkward position of having to tell their bosses bad news about taking free stuff -- or how to find a way around the law's intent. They also provide cover to politicians who may be seeking personal gain. 


After recently reviewing legal opinions from Weston to Sunrise to Fort Lauderdale, Sun Sentinel reporter Brittany Wallman found politicians are accepting questionable gifts and perks. 


In Miramar, for example, city attorney Jamie Cole told Commissioner Winston Barnes he couldn't accept 10 free tickets to the circus last year, but suggested the circus could provide "promotional" tickets to the city that could then be given to Barnes guilt-free. 


City attorneys similarly told the mayors of Miramar and Hallandale Beach they could accept free trips to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, though it's hard to see the public benefit there. 


Hallandale city attorney V. Lynn Whitfield told Mayor Joy Cooper the trip was allowed if it somehow promoted "the exchange of ideas between, or the professional development of, governmental officials or employees." She even said Cooper could bring along her husband, all expenses paid, so long as she reported it as a gift. Cooper went, but did not take her husband along. 


The vast majority of local politicians work to do the right thing, no question. But a recent report shows public corruption in Florida continues to rank among the worst in the nation. Between 1998 and 2007, 824 Florida officials were convicted on public corruption charges at the local, state and federal level. The New York Times says the totals may be worse than in any other state. 


Ironically, in the face of this news, Florida lawmakers are considering a proposal to loosen the ethics reins. Legislation filed this month by Sen. Jeff Clemens, D-Lake Worth, would strip many gift-reporting requirements for public officials and officially protect them if they have a legal advisory in hand. 


Meanwhile in Broward, the person responsible for investigating ethics complaints says that to improve the process, the system needs to be tweaked. We encourage county commissioners and the Broward League of Cities to embrace his goal and ensure that public officials countywide play by the same rules and definitions. 


Given our history with public corruption, it's time we got this right. 

http://articles.sun-sentinel.com/2014-01-29/news/fl-editorial-broward-ethics-code-fix-dv-2-20140129_1_ethics-code-ethics-reform-inspector-general-john-scott

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South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Broward needs an ethics czar, inspector general says 2014 could bring next phase of reform, but it's sure to spark controversy with city officials 
By Brittany Wallman, Sun Sentinel
January 5, 2014
http://articles.sun-sentinel.com/2014-01-05/news/fl-ethics-code-changes-20140105_1_ethics-czar-city-attorneys-inspector-general

South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Inspector: Ethics system flawed
Brittany Wallman , Staff writer 
February 1, 2014
When it comes to public ethics, nobody does it like Broward County. And that's not a good thing, the county's top corruption cop says.
http://articles.sun-sentinel.com/2014-01-31/news/fl-broward-ethics-reform-20140131_1_ethics-code-broward-league-corruption-cop

Keep in mind as you digest the thoughts expressed above that this outrage comes from the same Tribune Company-owned newspaper editorial board that has refused to post a single editorial in over two years on the Hallandale Beach CRA scandal that has cost tens of millions of dollars with very little tangible to show for it.
Yes, people do notice those things.
People like me.

Which is why I made a point of not only attending the Broward IG's oversight meeting on November 8th in downtown Ft. Lauderdale but actually spoke there, one of the few citizens to do so in a meeting where the public comments were largely from municipal officials who were trying desperately to plead for the right to keep their parochial self-serving way of doing things, rather than having one firm set of ethical rules covering all officials.


And did you notice that the Sun-Sentinel editorial didn't name the attorneys for the Broward League of Cities who are trying to dig holes and loopholes for its members, even though they know full-well who it is? 

Why do you suppose that is?
(Sam Goren, the attorney who wears multiple hats in this county, just like Steve Geller did.)

Yes, because they also love to quote him on other matters and don't want to "out" one of their reliable Usual Suspects who will talk on any subject, no matter how poorly-informed he is, because he knows the paper will never mention his egregious conflicts-of-interest.

The following links from Robert Wechsler are placed here in reverse chron order:

City Ethics blog 

Florida League of Cities' Ethics Reform Proposals I - Preventing the Filing of Complaints
by Robert Wechsler
http://www.cityethics.org/content/florida-league-cities-ethics-reform-proposals-i-preventing-filing-complaints



City Ethics blog 

Florida League of Cities' Ethics Reform Proposals II - Gifts, Ethics Advice, and Training
by Robert Wechsler




City Ethics blog 

Florida League of Cities' Ethics Reform Proposals III - Placing Shackles on Countywide Ethics Programs
by Robert Wechsler
http://www.cityethics.org/content/florida-league-cities-ethics-reform-proposals-iii-placing-shackles-countywide-ethics-program



City Ethics blog 

FL League of Cities' Ethics Proposals IV - Local Govt. Assocs. Should Not Lobby re Conflicts of Interest
by Robert Wechsler
http://www.cityethics.org/content/fl-league-cities-ethics-proposals-iv-local-govt-assocs-should-not-lobby-re-conflicts-interes



City Ethics blog

Good News from Florida Legislative Leaders
by Robert Wechsler
http://www.cityethics.org/content/good-news-florida-legislative-leaders

City Ethics blog

A Government Attorney Ethics Advice Case Study from Florida
by Robert Wechsler
http://www.cityethics.org/content/government-attorney-ethics-advice-case-study-florida


Broward Beat
Update: Ethics Police Won’t Punish Sheriff Israel 
By Buddy Nevins
January 30, 2014
http://www.browardbeat.com/ethics-commission-wont-punish-sheriff-israel/

City Ethics blog

Broward County IG Report on Countywide Ethics Program
by Robert Wechsler
http://www.cityethics.org/content/broward-county-ig-report-countywide-ethics-program




*By the way, the Broward League of Cities is now looking for spokesmodel to peddle their anti-taxpayer nonsense that's paid for BY taxpayers -here's the RFP
http://www.browardleague.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/2014-Marketing-and-Public-Relations-Consulting-Services-RFP.pdf

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South Florida Sun-Sentinel
Inspector general has cases cooking 
By Brittany Wallman 4:23 p.m. EDT, 
October 31, 2013
http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/broward/broward-politics-blog/sfl-inspector-general-tallies-a-year-of-work-20131031,0,5917466.story 


South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Corruption watchdog gets positive review 

By Brittany Wallman

November 9, 2013 

http://articles.sun-sentinel.com/2013-11-08/news/fl-broward-inspector-general-eval-20131108_1_inspector-general-corruption-watchdog-public-officials


South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Inspector general's Hallandale probe painful
By Brittany Wallman
November 11, 2013
http://articles.sun-sentinel.com/2013-11-11/news/sfl-inspector-generals-hallandale-probe-painful-20131111_1_inspector-general-john-scott-hallandale-beach-city-officials

Not mentioned in the Broward IG article above about Hallandale Beach is the testimony that came out of the Broward IG Oversight Committee meeting I was at that caused nearly everyone in the room to start laughing out loud, and even hoot.
That is, everyone but Hallandale Beach CRA Attorney Stephen W. Zelkowitz and CRA Director Daniel Rosemond.
It was all I could do to not record myself laughing on my videocamera!

It turns out that someone accompanied Hallandale Beach Mayor Joy Cooper to her meeting with the Broward IG's office.
Like all people who had to speak to them, Mayor cooper was allowed to bring someone with her if she chose, but when asked who the person with her was, she told them that it was here attorney when it was NOT.
The truth came out in a way that really hammered home Mayor Cooper's well-known mendacity -the person that the mayor had claimed was her attorney was actually one of her mayoral campaign workers, who taped her comments.


It's not mentioned in the Broward Politics blog tweets below or the articles but as many of you may recall from my emails in November, I specifically recommended that either the Broward IG Oversight Comm. or the Broward County Commission formally require that in the future, when the IG's office is formally investigating a specific Broward city or a CRA, that they be required to have at least one public forum for the affected community to attend and get the basic info on what is -and is NOT- happening, and what the process consists of so that everyone is on the same page.

A public meeting that is NOT for city employees, administrators or elected officials to show-up at and complain about being picked on, blamed, or made the scapegoat for others, etc.
Anyone drawing a govt. paycheck there whom the IG Office wants to interview under oath should NOT have a chance to poison the public well before they know what the process is.

I mentioned publicly during my testimony that despite how much I've written about this subject and what I've sent to most of you in emails with links to that's appeared elsewhere, esp. in the Broward Bulldog, that I was forever running into people all over the area who asked me what was the latest news with  the investigation, despite the fact that their Final Report came out in April.

I usually just shake my head after I tell them what's what and after they've told me, as they often do, that they're "surprised that Mayor Cooper hasn't been arrested yet."

I didn't see the reporting via tweets below until after I'd sent an email out about what happened.
Once I read it, I realized that my intuition was correct about who some of the people were on the other side of the room who didn't speak and whom I didn't recognize.





































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Sharyl Attkisson - Stonewalled

Sharyl Attkisson - Stonewalled
Sharyl Attkisson - Stonewalled - My Fight for Truth Against the Forces of Obstruction, Intimidation, and Harassment in Obama's Washington. "Seasoned former CBS reporter Sharyl Attkisson reveals how she has been electronically surveilled while digging deep into the Obama Administration and its scandals, and offers an incisive critique of her industry and the shrinking role of investigative journalism in today’s media."

Paradise Lost? South Florida

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

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

Hallandale Beach Blog

Hallandale Beach Blog
Hallandale Beach Blog/South Beach Hoosier's crimson-colored Indiana University cap. If you see someone at a South Florida govt. meeting or public policy discussion wearing this IU cap, scribbling notes furiously -and shaking his head in disbelief- don't be afraid to come over and say hello or pitch prospective story ideas. Photo by South Beach Hoosier. Move your mouse over the cap and be sent to the IU Athletic Dept.'s YouTube Channel.

In the Heart of a Great Country, Beats the Soul of Hoosier Nation

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

Defining The Hoosier Nation

Defining The Hoosier Nation, via IUAthletics YouTube Channel Uploaded Oct. 26, 2014 http://youtu.be/rZSKbRGA5hs Most schools have a basketball program, but we have the Hoosier Nation.
The South Florida I Grew Up In
Excerpted from Joan Didion's Miami, 1987, Simon & Schuster:
In the continuing opera still called, even by Cubans who have now lived the largest part of their lives in this country, el exilo, the exile, meetings at private homes in Miami Beach are seen to have consequences. The actions of individuals are seen to affect events directly. Revolutions and counter-revolutions are framed in the private sector, and the state security apparatus exists exclusively to be enlisted by one or another private player. That this particular political style, indigenous to the Caribbean and to Central America, has now been naturalized in the United States is one reason why, on the flat coastal swamps of South Florida, where the palmettos once blew over the detritus of a dozen failed booms and the hotels were boarded up six months a year, there has evolved since the early New Year's morning in 1959 when Fulgencio Batista flew for the last time out of Havana a settlement of considerable interest, not exactly an American city as American cities have until recently been understood but a tropical capital: long on rumor, short on memory, overbuilt on the chimera of runaway money and referring not to New York or Boston or Los Angeles or Atlanta but to Caracas and Mexico, to Havana and to Bogota and to Paris and Madrid. Of American cities Miami has since 1959 connected only to Washington, which is the peculiarity of both places, and increasingly the warp...

"The general wildness, the eternal labyrinths of waters and marshes, interlocked and apparently neverending; the whole surrounded by interminable swamps... Here I am then in the Floridas, thought I," John James Audobon wrote to the editor of The Monthly American Journal of Geology and Natural Science during the course of an 1831 foray in the territory then still called the Floridas. The place came first, and to touch down there is to begin to understand why at least six administrations now have found South Florida so fecund a colony. I never passed through security for a flight to Miami without experiencing a certain weightlessness, the heightened wariness of having left the developed world for a more fluid atmosphere, one in which the native distrust of extreme possibilities that tended to ground the temperate United States in an obeisance to democratic institutions seemed rooted, if at all, only shallowly. At the gate for such flights the preferred language was already Spanish. Delays were explained by weather in Panama. The very names of the scheduled destinations suggested a world in which many evangelical inclinations had historically been accommodated, many yearnings toward empire indulged...

In this mood Miami seemed not a city at all but a tale, a romance of the tropics, a kind of waking dream in which any possibility could and would be accommodated...

Nice from a distance, not so nice once you're there and see the years of City Hall's neglect

Nice from a distance, not so nice once you're there and see the years of City Hall's neglect
The public beach that is "North Beach" in Hallandale Beach, FL. June 19, 2012 photo by South Beach Hoosier.© 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved

So this is where our tax dollars go to die?

"So this is where our tax dollars go to die? My friend and fellow civic activist Csaba Kulin, perhaps wondering when we're FINALLY going to get the clean and inviting public beach that Hallandale Beach residents believe we're entitled to but have never received under Mayor Cooper and her Rubber Stamp Crew.
Instead, we get rusty pipes in the middle of the beach and garbage cans on the beach -without lids- at the windiest place in the entire city. And a public building across the street from the beach that the public can't use for free but which city employees can -for their holiday parties." Click photo to see many more photos of the site and the original post, or http://hallandalebeachblog.blogspot.com/2012/06/latest-info-photos-re-related-groups.html; 2012 photo by South Beach Hoosier. © 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved

Just as true now as it was when it was written in June 2012!

The View from the Hallandale Beach/Hollywood city line

The View from the Hallandale Beach/Hollywood city line
Looking south towards The Beach Club and the Hallandale Beach Water Tower on A1A from the beach, near the Hollywood cityline, May 2, 2009 photo by South Beach Hoosier. © 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved

A fish rots from the head down, and so does local government in Hallandale Beach, FL

A fish rots from the head down, and so does local government in Hallandale Beach, FL
City of Hallandale Beach Municipal Complex, 400 S. Federal Highway. The City of Hallandale Beach Municipal Complex: If it's true that a fish rots from the head down, so it does in local government in Broward County, FL. This monument sign on the west side of the intersection of U.S.-1 and S.E. 5th Street, across from Gulfstream Park Race Track & Casino and the Village at Gulfstream Park retail complex, alerts you to your proximity to HB City Hall and the HB Police Department HQ. It's a place and culture whose very own words and actions have made clear to taxpayers of this city -regardless of age, race or income- that it holds itself apart from and above from the very citizens it's supposed to serve, often acting like they don't have to follow the same laws that govern everyone else in the state of Florida and the U.S., whether of logic, reason or contracts. (More to the point of this blog, the Florida Statutes on Sunshine Laws and Public Records.) City employees in Hallandale Beach routinely refuse to answer perfectly reasonable questions posed to them by taxpayers, and as I have found out myself and witnessed, are not above berating you for even having the nerve to ask! As it happens, it's also not a very safe area, despite who operates here, and over the past nine years, the public parking lots have often been pitch-black for 6-9 months at a time, including in front of the HB Police Dept. HQ. Then-Police Chief Thomas Magill even shrugged his shoulders at City Comm. meetings when told about this a few times. As if they couldn't make a worse first impression, at one point, even the spotlights shining on this sign didn't work at night for over FOUR YEARS, either. October 13, 2012 photo by South Beach Hoosier. © 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved.

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

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

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

Looking east on State Road 858/Hallandale Beach Blvd.

Looking east  on State Road 858/Hallandale Beach Blvd.
Looking east on State Road 858/Hallandale Beach Blvd., over the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway bridge, toward the iconic Hallandale Beach Water Tower and the three condo towers comprising The Beach Club. September 8, 2008 photo by South Beach Hoosier. © 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved

Hallandale Beach Water Tower on A1A/South Ocean Drive

Hallandale Beach Water Tower on A1A/South Ocean Drive
Hallandale Beach Water Tower on A1A/South Ocean Drive. Located below the Hallandale Beach Water Tower on A1A/South Ocean Drive, on the south side (right) is the "Community Center" that HB City Hall, thru their gross incompetency, has made impossible for HB citizen taxpayers to use now for 41 MONTHS as of January 2011. (And where's the American flag on the Fourth of July weekend? Missing in action as it had been for months!) July 3, 2009 photo by South Beach Hoosier. © 2012 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved

Looking towards southern Hollywood Beach

Looking towards southern Hollywood Beach
Trump Hollywood, Diplomat Residences, Westin Diplomat, Crowne Resort. Looking NE towards Hollywood on State Road A1A from the 2500 block of East Hallandale Beach Blvd./State Road 858 just before crossing the Intracoastal Bridge: (l-r) Trump Hollywood, Diplomat Residences, the Westin Diplomat Resort & Spa, the Crowne Plaza Hollywood Beach. March 25, 2009 photo by South Beach Hoosier. © 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved

The Related Group's The Beach Club, consisting of three condo towers

The Related Group's The Beach Club, consisting of three condo towers
The Beach Club. Looking SE at The Beach Club from the Hollywood side of State Road A1A. May 12, 2008 photo by South Beach Hoosier. © 2012 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved

City of Hollywood City Hall, 2600 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, FL

City of Hollywood City Hall, 2600 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, FL
City of Hollywood City Hall. An early morning shot of the east side of Hollywood City Hall the morning of the Johnson Street Redevelopment RFP Evaluation Committee meeting, where presentations were heard; October 14, 2009 photo by South Beach Hoosier. © 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved. For more info on what's going on with this important project, see http://www.hollywoodfl.org/html/JohnsonStBeachRFP.htm

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

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

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

North Miami Beach Senior High School, the Home of the Chargers

North Miami Beach Senior High School, the Home of the Chargers
Before I was a Hoosier, I was an NMB Charger, Class of 1979

Sebastian the Ibis, the U-M mascot

Sebastian the Ibis, the U-M mascot
Like longtime U-M fans everywhere, including me, Sebastian the Ibis, the U-M mascot, hasn't had very much to cheer about lately, given the general state of mediocrity and underwhelming performances coming from the Hurricanes. Isn't it about time for fans to finally see some tangible signs that the new AD is moving things in the right direction? Where are the signs? I'm NOT seeing them. The woeful U-M Women's program is largely composed of teams that are NOT even close to being competitive for NCAA titles like their ACC competition, and they don't even field Women's Lacrosse or Field Hockey teams. It's embarrassing! Click on Sebastian for retrospective photo gallery of The Orange Bowl

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

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

Andreas Jismark, Anni Bernhard and Mats Jönsson

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

A dynamic and original talent with personality to spare!

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

Singer/songwriter Full of Keys (Anni Bernhard)

Singer/songwriter Full of Keys (Anni Bernhard)
Singer/songwriter Full of Keys (Anni Bernhard) wearing the teal-colored Miami Dolphins cap I gave her in January 2013 (in Stockholm) while recording her 2nd album, "The Grazing Grounds" at Sandkvie Studios in Visby, Gotland, Sweden. Also pictured here are sound engineer and co-producer Linus Larsson and musician/DJ/co-producer Mats Jönsson, April 12, 2013. Click the photo to see my post on Anni last summer.

Full Of Keys - Silent Agreement, from the new #GrazingGrounds album

FullofkeysOFFICIAL YouTube Channel: Full Of Keys - Silent Agreement. Uploaded January 9, 2014 http://youtu.be/7yHULYTxEt4 From the second album by Full of Keys (Anni Bernhardt) #grazinggrounds http://www.youtube.com/user/FullofkeysOFFICIAL

Full Of Keys - Cover My Eyes (Stills Video)

Full Of Keys - Cover My Eyes (Stills Video) via Andreas Jismark YouTube Channel. Uploaded February 23, 2014. The 2nd track released from #grazinggrounds album. Full Of Keys 2014. http://youtu.be/aha-pf_QrXo

"Heart" from @fullofkeys #GrazingGrounds

Full of Keys (Anni Bermhard) on @MalouEfterTio

Artisten @FullOfKeys skrev sig ur depressionen, resultatet blev skivan #TheGrazingGrounds. http://t.co/rk8Fcdv2ZK pic.twitter.com/AtV9nbBT2z

— Malou Efter Tio (@MalouEfterTio) November 13, 2014

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

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

Let's end the 27-year NCAA title drought!

Let's end the 27-year NCAA title drought!
IU All-American and U.S. Olympian Steve Alford on the cover of the 1987 Indiana University basketball media guide, months after IU won the NCAA basketball title.

Breaking Away" opened in movie theaters 35 years ago today

IU's NCAA Basketball Championship banners

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

The NCAA Championship Banners

The NCAA Championship Banners
Assembly Hall, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana. I was there in 1981 for NCAA Title #4 vs. North Carolina. Click on photo to go to the IU Basketball homepage.

Here's the first banner of the Crean Era

Indiana University Athletics

Perhaps you'll enjoy this view more!

We Are IU (Official Version) 2013


Using a map of Stockholm and my Samsung mobile's Latitude app to find out where some friends and contacts in Stockholm were before I called to let them know I'd arrived from Arlanda Airport and had checked into the B&B in Södermalm. If only it had been an OpenStreetMap! January 2013 photo by South Beach Hoosier.© 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved; Click the photo to see OpenStreetMap's amazing map of Stockholm and a whole world of useful maps you never even knew existed

Solrea - Sveriges bästa resesök

Solrea - Sveriges bästa resesök
The colder and snowier it got in Stockholm, the more this simple ad seemed like genius. Sometimes, you don't have to reinvent the advertising wheel. When you're a travel agency and it's cold and snowing, make your target audience think of summers and traveling to an inviting warm beach. Above, one of the many Sistaminuten.se display ads I saw on the side of pay phones throughout Stockholm. This one was located on Ringvägen, across the street from the Åhléns Dept. store (with the Hemköp grocery store in the basement that I frequented) west of busy Götgatan and the Skanstull T-bana, the southern commercial heart of trendy and fun Södermalm. January 11, 2013 photo by South Beach Hoosier.© 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved. I used this photo in my April 22, 2013 blog post titled, Tourism game-changer for South Florida travelers & Fort Lauderdale-area businesses -but only if they're smart and start planning now. Ruminations on the upcoming Norwegian.com flights b/w Ft. Lauderdale and Oslo, Stockholm & Copenhagen, and the need for Broward's hospitality industry to take full-advantage of the opportunity; @Oslo, @norway, @stockholm, @sweden, @copenhagen, @denmark. Click photo to see that post

More travel advertising in Stockholm

More travel advertising in Stockholm
Speaking of advertising, only two blocks from the wonderful 4trappor B&B I stayed at in Södermalm, Stockholm on my trip -and also located on Ringvägen- were two more display ads promoting travel. The one in the distance is for SAS, Scandinavian Airlines Systems, which I flew on to Stockholm, and the one in the foreground, on a public telephone booth, is the "Holiday is where the Heart is" ad campaign for VING. January 12, 2013 photo by South Beach Hoosier.© 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved. Click the photo to see their TV ad!

Risk för snöras, istappar

Risk för snöras, istappar
One of the many such warning signs that I saw on buildings and on sidewalk barricades while in Stockholm in January, alerting you to the possibility of falling snow and ice, often by men shoveling it off roofs. This one was spotted on a residential building in the Södermalm area of Stockholm, on Ringvägen, while I was walking over to the Åhléns Department store on Götgatan. It wasn't until I was walking back later to the B&B that I noticed the inflated Santa that some resident had intentionally placed outside of their window, so it looked like Santa was falling! January 13, 2013 photo by South Beach Hoosier.© 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved.

Ringvägen, Stockholm, Sweden

Ringvägen, Stockholm, Sweden
Poster display on Ringvägen, Stockholm, Sweden. January 2013 photo by South Beach Hoosier. © 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved. The Affischplats plan in Stockholm, while not perfect, strikes me as a pretty good compromise in helping cultural and civic groups catch the public's eye in a way that's better than a free-for-all of groups plastering posters on the sides of buildings and utility boxes, and watching as the weather makes a mess of them. The tangible effort the city makes to get the public involved in a genuine and meaningful conversation about what is going on long-term for the city as a whole, or in a particular neighborhood, is very impressive, and made me wishful that the local government employees and planners where I live and write about regularly in my blog and in conversations with other concerned civic activists did even one-third of what Stockholm's planning employees seem to do as a starting-point.