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. 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.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Poignant! Barry Gibb: The last Bee Gee goes it alone, by Anthony Mason via @cbsnews #SundayMorning; @GibbBarry #resilience :-)

My last post on Robin Gibb and all things Bee Gees was on April 15, 2012, with a nod to the title of their Spirits Having Flown album, which came out right before I turned 18, and was titled: 
Tears soon to be flowing like rivers: Robin Gibb remains near death in a coma in a west London hospital, just days after his 'Titanic Requiem' premiered at Westminster Central Hall on Tuesday http://hallandalebeachblog.blogspot.com/2012/04/tears-soon-to-be-flowing-like-rivers.html

Anthony Mason's interviews with iconic music figures always bring out something special, just like his great piece on Glen Campbell did, which I recounted here on June 26, 2012 in a blog post titled, As a beloved music icon begins to leave the stage for good, due to Alzheimer's, we stop and wonder if a more beautiful song could possibly be sung about two such incongruous words? "Wichita Lineman," et al - Glen Campbell's Long Goodbye makes us so very sad and wistful; see him while you can...

Saturday, May 10, 2014

A Question of Ethics & Process: Why should someone who in the past consistently failed to show up for her official duties -and was removed- deserve to be rewarded and made an interim Hallandale Beach City Commissioner on Tuesday night?; Sheryl Natelson's excessive absenses & tardiness at P&Z meetings

Below is the email that I sent out earlier this afternoon with respect to Tuesday's important decision, and some information that not a lot of people in this city are privy to.
I've removed email addresses and I am the DBS below, of course.

May 10, 2014

I've been waiting until now to send this email out to you all since I was unsure until yesterday whether the rumors I'd heard were true that current HB Planning & Zoning Board member and just-elected chair Sheryl Natelson was going to put her name forward as a candidate to be named the interim HB City Commissioner this coming Tuesday night.

Yesterday's email from the city, with the complete list of candidates that I shared with you all, finally answers my question, and now that I know the reality, I can share with you now what my real concern was and continues to be about Natelson: the very bad example it sets for the future of this city of rewarding someone who was removed from the HB P&Z Board for failure to consistently appear at meetings
and consistently showed-up LATE for meetings when she did deign to appearwithin no time at all, is re-appointed to the second-most important body in this city by Mayor Cooper, her longtime patron who appointed her years ago.
·         Steven Carlo;
·         Albert J. Chiaravalle;
·         Susi Correa;
·         Howard Garson;
·         Harriet Ginsberg;
·         Leo Grachow;
·         Ann Henigson;
·         Keenan Z. Johnson;
·         Samantha Kleinman;
·         Csaba (Chuck) Kulin;
·         Charles Lincoln;
·         Sheryl S. Natelson;
·         Edward Pickett;
·         Anthony H. Romano;
·         Thomas Sands;
·         Etty Sims;
·         Von Thomas;
·         Phil Washington; and
·         Diane Lyon Wead.

This past March's HB P&Z meeting was like a sad replay I've seen far too many times for comfort in this city.
There was only one agenda item and Natelson showed-up long after that matter was thoroughly discussed and a vote had taken place by the Board members who DID take their responsibility seriously and showed-up, just as they were expected to do.
Furthermore... well, I think my previous comments to the City Clerk about what Natelson did after she finally showed-up speaks volumes, so read that below and draw your own conclusions.

I don't oppose Natelson merely because she's been a consistent and unwavering pro-development vote for what this community has vigorously opposed, with her often speaking from the dais more like she was the 
developer's point person on a project, rather than a person who was supposed to be looking to get all the facts out and look out out for the best long-term interests of you, me and the community at large.
And I don't oppose her just because she has consistently supported projects that were completely incompatible to the HB neighborhood it was situated in.
I oppose her for both of those things, plus I personally believe that her ethics and motivations are suspect, which her OWN behavior and actions have done nothing to dispel over the years -and currently.
Now you know the pertinent facts.

Good luck Tuesday night, Csaba, Chad and Diane!

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Talmadge, Chris 
Date: Wed, Apr 30, 2014 at 4:38 PM
Subject: FW: PRR re HB Planning & Zoning Board memmber Sheryl Natelson's excessive absenses & tardiness at P&Z meetings; her violation of Sunshine Laws from the dais

Mr. Smith,
Here are the records you requested about Sheryl Natelson. See the second attachment for her attendance records for the years 2011-2014.
Thank You.

From: James, Sheena
Sent: Wednesday, April 23, 2014 3:11 PM
Cc: Talmadge, Chris; Dominguez, Christy; Jefferson, Althea
Subject: RE: PRR re HB Planning & Zoning Board memmber Sheryl Natelson's excessive absenses & tardiness at P&Z meetings; her violation of Sunshine Laws from the dais

Good Afternoon Mr. Smith,

We are in receipt of your request and will provide the requested records within 3-5 business days.

Additionally, I thought it may be helpful for you to know, based on the policy governing Boards and Committees, the City Clerk’s Office conducts reviews of the attendance records biannually and takes the necessary action.  Upon the 2013 review of attendance records for the Planning & Zoning Advisory Board for the period 2011-2012, Ms. Natelson was removed from the Board due to excessive absences (see letter attached).  Ms. Natelson was later reappointed by the City Commission to the Planning and Zoning Board as of March 6, 2013 (click here to see action taken under Item #6E of the March 6, 2014 meeting Minutes).

I have also forward this request to our City Attorney. 

Please do not hesitate to let me know if you have any additional questions in the interim.


Sheena D. James, MBA, CMC
City Clerk
City of Hallandale Beach
400 South Federal Highway
Hallandale Beach, FL 33009

From: DBS
Sent: Wednesday, April 23, 2014 1:35 PM
To: James, Sheena
Cc: Dominguez, Christy; Scott, John W.
Subject: PRR re HB Planning & Zoning Board memmber Sheryl Natelson's excessive absenses & tardiness at P&Z meetings; her violation of Sunshine Laws from the dais

April 23, 2014

Dear Ms. James:

I'm writing today to make a formal Public Records Request for the Hallandale 
Beach Planning & Zoning Advisory Board attendance logs, specifically, Board 
member Sheryl Natelson's for the years 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014.

Ms. Natelson once again showed-up late for last month's meeting, as she has 
so many times over the past few years, arriving well after the only matter on the 
public agenda was publicly discussed and voted upon by the members who 
actually deigned to appear on time.
In my opinion, she should have been dismissed from the Board many years 
ago under the city's existing rules regarding attendance, due to her frequent 
absences and frequent tardiness, frequently arriving well after meetings 
have commenced.

Since nobody at HB City Hall seems much inclined to raise this point publicly, 
I will, and will examine those records you can provide to make my feelings and 
the known facts publicly known.

Additionally, there is a yet another serious matter which I need to bring to your 

Just moments after the March P&Z meeting ended, while Natelson was still 
on the dais in the Commission Chambers, she began to lobby other members 
of the Board to make her the new Chair of the Board despite the fact that it 
is expressly forbidden for her or any other Board member to discuss Board 
business with other members, esp. in such an egregious fashion that fails to 
follow either the spirit or letter of this state's Sunshine Laws.

Among other things, Natelson specifically mentioned that in her opinion, being 
an attorney would make someone an ideal choice to be Chair of the Board 
because many of the skills that go into being a good attorney are also ones 
that she believes are helpful for someone serving in the position of Chair, 
the Chair of the second-most powerful govt. body in this city.
As if it was lost on anyone that she is an attorney.

She also proceeded to cite what she thought were some of the failings of 
the just-resigned longtime Chair, Arnold Cooper, among them, that in her 
opinion, the Board had not properly benefited from Mr. Cooper's professional 
expertise, which I believe is that of an engineer

It was hard not to see all this and hear what was being said because I was 
one of only three citizens in what was otherwise an empty Commission 

Since City Attorney Whitfield has made abundantly clear since she has been 
here that she does not believe it is part of her job description to be "the ethics 
police," and because I believe that the citizens of this community are entitled 
to have people making important decisions for the community to be people
who not only obey ALL the appropriate laws and rules, not just the ones they 
like, but to actually embue the spirit of the Sunshine Laws, I am forwarding 
a copy of this email to you to the Office of the Broward Inspector General 
for their attention.

DBS, 10-year Hallandale Beach resident

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Just 14 years ago today: debut single of Håkan Hellström. (Känn ingen sorg för mig i Göteborg.) And now, everyone in Sweden ❤ Håkan -he can do no wrong. :-); video from his Allsång på Skansen show last summer

Today is not just the first day of the 2014 NFL Draft or the second Semifinal of the Eurovision Singing Contest in Copenhagen, you know, it's also...

vackragavlestad YouTube Channel video: Håkan Hellström - Känn ingen sorg för mig i Göteborg 
LIVE on SVT's Allsång på Skansen, Stockholm, Sweden. Uploaded July 9, 2013

The clip above is from the amazing one-hour LIVE SVT telecast from last July from the stage at Allsång på Skansen in Stockholm that was a special broadcast featuring Håkan and some of his friends and special invited guests, like Helen Sjöholm, Anna Järvinen, Tomas von Brömssen and others.

I watched that LIVE on my computer here in Hallandale Beach and it was, by far, the single most entertaining hour of music I heard all year, especially when you understand what most of the various elements in the show -and costumes in the audience- represent, both symbolically and emotionally to his fans. 

For instance, speaking of the amazing Helen, so often written about here on the blog the past seven years, here's a sublime Helen singing "Valborg."

vackragavlestad YouTube Channel video: Håkan Hellström - "Nu kan du få mig så lätt" LIVE on SVT's Allsång på Skansen, Stockholm, Sweden. Uploaded July 9, 2013.
I call this video above of him singing "Nu kan du få mig så lätt" from the show, "The Adoration" for reasons that are quite apparent.
Years ago, in some of his public performances, Håkan dressed onstage in a white sailor's uniform. It's sort of a common knowledge thing in Sweden.
Anyway, as you can see at 0:08 and 0:27, by the drawing and the girl in the sailor outfit herself, some of the girls haven't forgotten.
I guess there's just something about a sailor, eh?
And I don't mean Sailor Moon.

You can see the whole concert here, which I have watched from beginning-to-end probably a dozen times since last July, with just a brief appearance by Allsång host Måns Zelmerlöw.

Phareed YouTube channel video: Allsångsscenen är din: Håkan Hellström (Live på Skansen 2013) Stockholm, Sweden. Uploaded July 9, 2013. http://youtu.be/0upVoqUXc4Q

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Media Narrative & Optics as the most important thing in public policy, to the detriment of real facts. Equally true in South Florida now with proposed David Beckham/MLS PortMiami soccer stadium as well as for mendacious Benghazi response in 2012 by stonewalling Obama White House, as Sharyl Attkisson can attest to

Media Narrative & Optics as the most important thing in public policy, to the detriment of real facts. Equally true in South Florida now with proposed David Beckham/MLS Port of Miami soccer stadium as well as for Benghazi response in 2012 by stonewalling Obama White House, as Sharyl Attkisson can attest to

The attempt to successfully frame a media narrative with favorable optics, mentioned at the top in Chris Stirewalt's tweet and which is today's FOX News First newsletter 
is press management of the sort that we see everywhere and everyday, from here in South Florida to Stockholm, sometimes, in quite humorous or ham-handed ways if observant people are paying close attention.

And yet all too often, the news media fall for it hook-line-and-sinker and don't bring the sort of critical thinking to bear on the issue that they ought to, caught up as they are by the sight of the cute bear riding the bicycle in a circle in front of them, to ask questions that need to be asked.

In Miami, recently, questions like that included why should real soccer fans like me care about the prospective views from a proposed stadium at the Port of Miami more than they care about the actual comfort level and aesthetics they feel once inside of the stadium, and how easy it is to get to for the largest number of prospective fans to get to and from the stadium, with any hope, near public transit facilities that make that trip easy, which is good for everyone involved.

video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player
Local10 video: Public hearing held on MLS stadium in PortMiami 
April 23, 2014 07:42:06 PM EDT   
Updated April 23, 2014 07:49:36 PM EDT
The mayor of Miami Beach called a public hearing Wednesday because he feels that a stadium in PortMiami will affect the already congested commute for residents.
But early on, though not true in the Local10 news video above, the cute bear on the bicycle on that issue, David Beckham, was all that the early news stories in South Florida largely focused on, which is precisely what his ownership group wanted, even as a few highly-observant and popular South Florida bloggers and tweeters of distinction and serious news personalities like Bill Cooke at Random Pixels blog, film/TV director Billy Corben and Local10's Senior Political Reporter Michael Putney were asking and writing about with a real purpose.

See conversations in the tweets!

David Beckham Meets With Florida Gov. Rick Scott Lobbying for New Stadium for Miami MLS Project 
Ed Molina, staff@latinopost.com
March 28, 2014 02:49 PM EDT 

video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player
This Week in South Florida
Local10 video: "Local 10's Michael Putney talks with local leading members of the Beckham team and a Miami commissioner about why location they've set their sights on for the new major league soccer stadium and if it's a good one."
March 30, 2014 01:31:19 PM EDT
Updated March 30 2014 04:14:19 PM EDT

Local10 video: War of Words over David Beckham's plans for soccer stadium. Port Miami is second largest economic generator in Miami-Dade County  Published On: April 30, 2014 06:34:23 PM EDT 
Updated April 30 2014 06:42:45 PM EDT

But as I've lamented so many times over the years on this blog over the past seven years, spouting common sense and asking pointed questions makes them (me) a distinct minority in this area of the country, unfortunately.

The anger we now see among some in the U.S. press corps is, for some of us at least, a little too late and convenient, to say nothing of being too over-the-top, especially given how easily, via CW group think, they abandoned their natural (accurate) initial suspicions and replaced that by eagerly swallowing the Obama Administration's feeble excuses about a YouTube video that hardly anyone had ever seen or heard of prior to them offering it up as a reason for protests in Cairo.

The Beltway Media is mad at themselves, obviously, but since they can hardly blame themselves, they are now wildly pointing fingers at others.
After the horse is long gone out of the barn.

If you missed Sharyl Attkisson's very revealing interview with Glenn Beck on Wednesday morning regarding the very curious circumstances she's been in for the past 18 months, from her being "watched" and having her work computer hacked -by ???- plus the problems she had at CBS News with getting reports on Benghazi on-air, and her recent departure from there, see the context and video here:

The Blaze
Sharyl Attkisson on the One Thing People Should Be ‘Standing Up on Buildings and Screaming’ About 
April 30, 2014 1:50pm  
Erica Ritz

That we are only now learning via a Judicial Watch FOIA request that the author of the Obama White House talking points about the September 11, 2012 terrorist attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya that resulted in the death of four Americans, Ben Rhodes, would turn out to be the brother of the President of CBS News, is, of course, obviously a delicious wild card.
A wild card that none of us who were always suspicious of the White House narrative and Susan Rice's self-serving comments regarding a YouTube video, could've ever guessed at months and months ago.

By the way, for what it's worth, the Fox News First newsletter I received this morning that mentions some of these issues and which prompted me to do this blog post, has consistently proven over the past eight months to be much-more accurate and fair -even prescient- than I'd have initially guessed when I first subscribed last year.
You might want to sign up, too.
Just saying...

#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 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 way out in the horizon on the top of another mountain, to the left of her head. �� In case you forgot what the Christ the Redeemer statue looks like, up close, here's another Brazilian beauty to connect-the-dots for you: Gisele Bündchen, aka @Gisele.

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

A post shared by Gisele Bündchen (@gisele) on

View of Rio De Janeiro from my room.

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