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, January 30, 2015

It only SEEMS like forever! 41 long & wistful years since Super Bowl success & Vince Lombardi Championship trophies for #Dolphins & #SoFL. I like the plucky #Patriots by at least 10 over the #Seahawks in Super Bowl 49 Sunday

"It's why you play the game!" -Herm Edwards

AboveVince Lombardi Championship Trophies from Miami Dolphin victories in Super Bowl VII and VIII, at Dolphins HQ, Davie, FL; April 2007 photo by Mario J. Bermudez 

The Sport of the \

The Sport of the '60's
Green Bay Coach Vince Lombardi; December 21, 1962

"...He stood for everything that was solid and successful in American sports. He remains for many, the very heart of pro football, pumping hard right now. Every year the winner of the Super Bowl is awarded the Vincent Lombardi Trophy. His legacy is the greatest prize the game can offer."
-John Facenda for NFL Films

Seven years later to the date of this cover, Lombardi coached his last game, a losing effort for the Redskins. Nine months later he'd be dead of intestinal cancer at age 57. The Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center at Georgetown University is named for him.
See http://lombardi.georgetown.edu/


The first sports-related piece of clothing I ever had was a shirt that I wore in the Fall as a kid living in Memphis in the mid-sixties, age five or six, which my father had bought at a Dept. store. It was made with what I'd now call sweatshirt-quality cotton and was certainly far too heavy to wear in the oppressive summer heat that Memphis excelled in producing -with no sweat!

It was sort of an oatmeal/mustard combination of a color with green stripes on the shoulder, with a big green 5 on the front and back.
Yes, The Golden BoyPaul Hornung!

I wish I still had that shirt now!

Zonk! Miami Massacres Minnesota

Zonk! Miami Massacres Minnesota

Larry Csonka, January 21, 1974
Miami All The Way
Miami All The Way

Bob Griese, January 22, 1973

1972 Miami Dolphins team photo at The Orange Bowl
1972 Miami Dolphins team photo at The Orange Bowl 
This is identical to the photo of the 17-0 Undefeated Team that for six happy years, rested in a frame on top of my bedroom dresser at my home in North Miami Beach. There it stayed 'till that fateful day in August of 1979, when I began packing for my new life in Bloomington.
The photo made the trip to Bloomington intact, where it remained on my desk in my room, Briscoe Quad 427-A, for two very eventful years at IU, the latter being 1981, the year we beat North Carolina for the NCAA basketball title. 
I placed it right below my 8'' x 11'' b&w glossy of the Miami Herald's All-County Gymnastics team. That squad was a tremendous team that featured many talented friends of mine from all around Dade County, as well as my own talented friends and classmates at North Miami Beach High School, where my senior year, under the leadership of our beloved head coach, Peter Saponaro, we won the Florida state championship.

Even today, I can still name every player and coach on that amazing Dolphins team.

Building For The Super Bowl
Building For The Super Bowl

Miami Coach Don Shula, December 11, 1972As most of you regular readers to Hallandale Beach Blog know by now, the Dolphins' Perfect Season of 1972 was my first year as a Dolphins season ticket holder, and I was there for every single moment at the Orange Bowl: pre-season, regular season and playoff.
The most scared I ever was of the team losing was the Cleveland Browns divisional playoff game the day before Christmas, a 20-14 win. The tension was palpable.

What does everyone pictured on the magazine above have in common?
Correct, they're all inductees in the NFL Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio, located just 49 miles from my dad's hometown of Steubenville, Home of The Big Red, the part of Ohio where my paternal ancestors have lived for well over 200 years.

I like the plucky New England Patriots by at least 10 over the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl 49 Sunday. 

#Irrelevant #RealityCheck - How many current #Dolphins players were even alive when team last played in #SuperBowl XiX 30 years ago?

Friday, January 16, 2015

Observations on the Dysfunction Junction in #HallandaleBeach: Thin-skinned Mayor Joy Cooper orders ineffective Police Chief Dwayne Flournoy to remove political-nemesis Commissioner Keith London from CRA meeting. An ominous portent for any common sense ever seeing the light of day at HB City Hall in 2015, to be sure, but with "reporters" like Sun-Sentinel's Susannah Bryan -who continues to act more like a stenographer who chooses to ignore facts, context and nuance- how would anyone ever find out?

Below are excerpts from two emails I've penned over the past few days that were sent to quite a few Hallandale Beach, Hollywood and Broward County residents, civic activists and small business owners -plus selected elected officials and serious journalists and bloggers in South Florida and throughout the Sunshine State- who, like me and many readers of this blog, are way beyond merely being seriously concerned, frustrated and vexed about the shocking level of the truly incompetent and mismanaged local government hereabouts, plus, the shocking number of incurious south Florida reporters around who seem more lapdog than genuine watchdog... 
Troubling trends that show no sign of abating in South Florida.

I've made a few editing, spelling corrections and added some tweets that I couldn't include in my emails. All the better to make it easier for you to double-check what I say, no?

Observations on the Dysfunction Junction in #HallandaleBeach: Thin-skinned Mayor Joy Cooper orders ineffective Police Chief Dwayne Flournoy to remove political-nemesis Commissioner Keith London from CRA meeting. 
An ominous portent for any common sense ever seeing the light of day at HB City Hall in 2015, to be sure, but with "reporters" like Sun-Sentinel's Susannah Bryan -who continues to act more like a stenographer who chooses to ignore facts, context and nuance- how would anyone ever find out?

Wednesday January 14th, 2015
1:40 p.m.

On Wednesday morning I tweeted the link to this Local10 story by investigative reporter Bob Norman, so head over to my Twitter feed if you want to RT it, or, add your own comments about this all-too-predictable development.

Local10 News
Hallandale Beach mayor orders commissioner removed from meeting
A longstanding feud between Mayor Joy Cooper and Commissioner Keith London disrupts Hallandale Beach business, with the mayor ordering the police chief to remove him.

Published On: Jan 13 2015 06:32:13 PM EST
Updated On: Jan 13 2015 10:33:31 PM EST

To me, this is as sure a sign as you'll ever hope to find of the continuing governmental/civic dysfunction and battle of fragile/precious/precocious egos at Hallandale Beach City Hall among elected officials and the army of highly-paid and myopic city officials who regard taxpayers and Small Business owners as both hopeless dupes and Public Enemy #1.

For thousands and thousands of put-upon citizens, residents and Small Business owners in this part of South Florida, people wanted to hang on just a little bit longer in 2015 to the small hope of finally having a "normal" properly-functioning city -for a change- a place

where facts, logic and reason would win the argument, instead of the usual deceit, threats, deliberate misinformation and baffling bureaucratic incompetency, it's an ominous portent for 2015.

After so many years of valuable time, resources and opportunities being continually squandered on brain-dead schemes and circular thinking masquerading as public policy, people here with common sense and a genuine desire to make this area the sort of place it ought to be now but ISN'T, know in their bones that for a whole host of reasons, many poorly thought-out City Commission & CRA policy decisions and ordinances over the past few years need to be seriously revisited and thoroughly re-examined.
Unfortunately for all of us, this kind of incident at HB City Hall Monday makes that sort of necessary public debate and re-examination all but impossible.

In retrospect, many of us who've been paying attention could have placed bets upon this sort of embarrassing incident eventually happening once the HB election results came in nine weeks ago, with the only question being when in the year it took place.
But that would not have been a reflection on how clever we all are are, collectively, per se, so much as a reflection on the Sad Sack cast of not-so-bright characters that we continue to have in place at HB City Hall making important decisions about this area's future.
People who genuinely make no pretense about taking for granted the legitimate concerns and fears that you and I -and our neighbors- have.

For years I've tried my best to name and detail on the blog the specific elected officials and city personnel who do NOT honestly feel it's incumbent upon them to do the sort of basic continual public outreach, factual due diligence and thoughtful policy oversight and
tweaking that's routine among other South Florida cities' elected officials and bureaucracy, even in towns that are known for squabbling over public policy peanuts.

Which means that Hallandale Beach's future, such as it is, remains dangerously constricted and bereft of the sort of fresh air, new ideas and much-more free speech that it needs to right the ship, tethered as it is to the thin-skinned egos and deep reservoirs of personal vanity and high self-regard of a few individuals, who even while claiming to be looking out for the city, are merely looking lovingly upon their own reflection in a mirror. 

Mirror, mirror on the wall...

If these individuals had the smarts and strength of character we'd like them to have to adapt and finally look honestly upon the uniformily unsatisfactory results that years of this myopic and self-destructive behavior has wrought for everyone involved in the city -not least, chasing successful businesses out-of-town and the city remaining both a media punching bag and a perpetual political pinata with goodies going only to friends of City Hall- we might finally see some tangible and long overdue measureable mileposts that'd clearly be in the best long-term interests of this beleaguered city.

But facts are facts, and people like that simply do NOT currently make up a quorum at HB City Hall, which is why it's even more incumbent for well-intentioned citizens who want a better future for themself, their families or their business, to get properly informed and actively engaged, in-person and online, in 2015.


Thursday January 15, 2015
1:45 p.m.

In my email of yesterday afternoon about Hallandale Beach Mayor Joy Cooper's hysterics and histrionics at HB City Hall Monday night -which included a link to Local10 video- I neglected to include the rather dumbfounding article that appeared in the Sun-Sentinel written by reporter Susannah Bryan.
South Florida Sun-Sentinel
Mayor tries to remove official during heated meeting

Susannah Bryan, Staff writer
January 13, 2015

Just weeks after Keith London rejoined the Hallandale Beach commission, he came close to being kicked out of City Hall on Monday by his longtime nemesis, Mayor Joy Cooper.
A veteran commissioner, London stepped down in 2012 to challenge Cooper for the mayoral seat. He lost that race, but returned to the commission in November, sparking questions of how long it might take for his legendary battles with Cooper to resume.
          As it turns out, not long at all.

Read the rest of the article at:

Bryan, of course, is the very same incurious beat reporter for the Sun-Sentinel that I have rightly taken to task many times in the past via emails and blog posts for her CONSISTENT failure to report important facts and relevant context and nuance about issues and matters taking place in Hallandale Beach and Hollywood that would allow readers to make more sense of what she was writing about.

How many times have I told you in the past about frequently NOT recognizing what Bryan wrote about when I myself had not only witnessed it first-hand, but actually recorded it? Correct -many, many times.

For instance... back on September 26, 2014:

Some informed commentary, context and important facts that you didn't read about in Susannah Bryan's recent Sun-Sentinel article about Hollywood City Manager Cathy Swanson-Rivenbark and some of her critics re the 'million-dollar mistake.' Trust me, you'll thank me later!

or almost a year ago.. January 25, 2014
South Florida Sun-Sentinel's incomplete stories re red-light cameras finally getting the boot in Hallandale Beach, and the city's longstanding problems with signage, is just another example of their shallow reporting that consistently misses-the-mark when residents want genuine depth and context

@SunSentinel's incomplete stories re Hallandale Beach booting red-light cameras is just more bad, shallow reporting 

Susannah Bryan is the same Sun-Sentinel reporter who, 12 weeks later, has STILL chosen NOT to discuss or report anything about why her October 20th, 2014 online story about the criminal investigation surrounding allegations against interim-HB Commissioner and candidate Leo Grachow, was pulled less than two weeks before the November election.
Not just removed, but surgically-removed -like it had never existed in the first place.

That Bryan and the newspaper have also NOT written anything since then about the eventual disposition of the Broward State's Attorney investigation of Grachow, to say nothing of her failure to write about the concerns among at least some HB residents that the whole incident was nothing but a successful political "dirty trick," tells you plenty about the sorry state of journalism in South Florida in the year 2015.

As you'll soon read below, so does Bryan's refusal to directly ask Commissioners Anthony Sanders and Bill Julian -and accurately quote their responses- why they believe it is a good idea to move what are often contentious CRA meetings involving millions of dollars and crucial public policy, to the afternoon, when most adult Hallandale Beach residents are at work and thus unable to participate.
(As if two of the five City Commissioners saying that they would NOT be able to attend was not enough of a logical reason to NOT change the time.)

That's important and relevant because Commissioners Sanders and Julian are the same people who voted last year to move the HB Planning & Zoning meetings -that also often deal with VERY contentious development projects- to the evening from the 1:30 p.m. time slot they have held for more than ten years.

So, where's Sanders' and Julian's internal consistency, and what principles on behalf of citizens are they defending by agreeing to a time change that would now likley result in LESS people being able to participate at a public meeting?
None, of course, it's merely the latest example of their overt appeasing of Mayor Cooper. Yet again.

Appeasement - the very same thing that Commissioners Sanders and Julian have become so expert at for SO MANY years as members of Cooper's Rubber Stamp Crew, instead of taking their responsibilities as elected representatives of this city's citizens seriously, and insisting upon honest answers, real oversight and and genuine performance from city administrators, Dept. heads and employees who've long felt free to do whatever they wanted, with no meaningful repurcussions for continued incompetence, unsatisfactory performance and demonstrated displays of public disrespect for the citizens of this community.
As I've recounted and then some on the blog...and will again very soon after waiting a few months for city employees to actually respond to some questions.

Yes, it's as if it never ever occurs to reporter Bryan to ask such questions, much less, ask pointed questions of subjects that will allow people like you to draw your own conclusions about what's really going on, based on freely-given answers.

But then the incurious Bryan also doesn't bother to include in her story the important historical fact that Mayor Cooper has a LONG HISTORY of deliberately ignoring the city's own administrative procedures, to say nothing of ignoring Robert's Rules of Order, with
the best example of that being from August of 2007, though there are dozens of others to choose from that I have written about here on the blog in often-frustrated dismay.

Back in 2007, Mayor Cooper personally railroaded the installation of Pastor Anthony Sanders as an interim HB City Commissioner many weeks BEFORE then-Commissioner Francine Schiller's date of resignation was official, despite the fact that there was already a scheduled City Commission meeting two weeks later where the matter could have been discussed and debated in a calm, organized and relatively sane fashion, with citizens both present and able to participate.

(Yes, the meeting Ithat  attended and recorded from beginning-to-end and even happened to be standing next to the person who first called Anthony Sanders by cellphone out in the breezeway outside to tell Sanders the news that he'd been selected. That is, AFTER my friend and real estate professional, Arturo O'Neill, sitting next to me in the back of the City Commission chambers, predicted it minutes before it happened. As if he had written the script!)

But Mayor Cooper didn't want to risk that happening, so she violated the city's own written rules and any pretense of following Robert's Rules of Order and acted like a despot.
At an evening City Commission meeting, Mayor Cooper as presiding officer made sure that the public was NEVER allowed to speak during the meeting about the subject at hand after hearing about it just minutes before.

By doing so she ensured that the public also didn't have the chance to speak at all about the self-evident way that Mayor Cooper consciously ignored the city's very own written procedures for handling interim Commission appointments, which they had dutifully followed for Keith London's appointment not so months before.

Just saying... context and nuance really DO matter, even if they don't ever seem to exist in Susannah Bryan's account of the surreal reality that permeates SE Broward County.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Poor news coverage in U.S. of terror attack on Charlie Hebdo in Paris reminds us of what we've complained about for years: inferior news coverage of foreign news on U.S. TV networks! Save yourself the aggravation of watching PC and sanitized MSM newscasts and start watching Sky News and France 24's English service if you really want to know what's going on in France right now

As many of you know from my past blog posts here over the years, due largely to my own wide-ranging pursuits, interests and inclinations, I've been watching Sky News and France 24's English and French language service for many, many years and have been watching them again since 
this terror attack happened in Paris yesterday.

(And SVT, SVT Play, TV4 and TV4 Play in Sweden, too, of course. Especailly the morning news shows like SVT's Gomorron Sverige and TV4's Nyhetsmorgon both of which I watch when I can and whose daily newsletters I receive, just as I receive Channel 4 News' daily Snowmail
I'll even admit to a bit of a crush on TV4 presenter Tilde de Paula Eby! 
Then again, over the past five years or so, I've gotten VERY frustrated with BBC America's mediocre programming lineup that for so long has featured StarTrek-TNG episodes instead of the sorts of engaging and compelling news shows and documentaries that have recently aired back in Great Britain, which I'd much rather be watching.)

The news coverage of yesterday's Paris terror attack at the headquarters of Charlie Hebdo reminds us of what we've complained about for years: inferior news coverage of foreign news on U.S. TV networksSave yourself the aggravation of watching PC MSM newscasts in USA that sanitize news and start watching Sky News and France 24's English service if you really want to know what's going on in France right now

I strongly encourage you to check these tow news outlets out so you can see and hear the facts 
for yourself and not be forced to wonder, as so many do, why the highly-edited and highly-sanitized 
versions of reality seen on US. network evening newscasts, especially important news in foreign countries, seem to leave out so many important and salient facts after they are edited out in London:

Want to know what's going on? 
Close your mouth, open your eyes and expand your news horizons.


Saturday, January 3, 2015

#Ridesharing in Broward County - Broward County Commission holding workshop Tuesday January 6th to discuss issues surrounding Uber, Lyft, ridesharing and taxi services

I heard some very interesting news about public policy this morning from new District 6 Broward County Commissioner Beam Furr, someone whom I support now and in the past in large part because of his longtime commitment to not only the long-term best interests of the citizens of Southeast Broward, but also his steadfast commitment to employing common sense and financial accountability for those taxpayers in making and implementing public policy.

Unfortunately for Broward residents and South Florida in general, those traits also make Comm. Furr stand out among South Florida's legion of pols and govt. officials, too many of whom have become conditioned into believing that bigger government and more regulation is the answer to every policy problem and conundrum, even when it's clear that it's NOT.

On issues large and small, Beam Furr has shown himself over the years to be someone who does NOT believe in one-size-fits-all public policy, and we are indeed lucky for that.
Fortunate to have someone like him who is not afraid to do some original thinking andsome heavy-lifting when it's necessary instead of leaving it to others to decide the matter.

In that respect, Comm. Furr most ably shows the qualities that made him the sensible choice to represent this part of the Sunshine State's 4th-largest county and succeed someone else on the County Commission who was not afraid to be a leader on important issues of governance and the public's rights, the recently-retired Sue Gunzburger.

The news I heard about thois morning concerns a contentious issue that has been much in the news the past two years nationally and locally, and one which I'm sorry to say I have not done such a great job of chronicling in the recent past, much as I might've wanted to. (But then it is a new year, so...)

The public policy issue that both yours truly and many of the longtime readers of this blog have an abiding interest in is transportation ridesharing.
Who decides what sorts of consumer choices citizens and visitors in Broward County will have going forward and what should be the universe of choices they have consist of?

Uber WorkshopThe Broward County Commission is holding a workshop to discuss the issues surrounding Uber, Lyft, ridesharing and taxi services this Tuesday, January 6th at 12:30PM. If you can join us down at Room 430 of the County Government Center in Fort Lauderdale, I would encourage you to attend. Otherwise, we will be live streaming the workshop on the County Website. Just visit Broward.org/Video and watch the Workshop from your computer or smartphone. 
Otherwise, if you would like to listen to the meeting you can call into 954-357-7586 and listen live. 
The workshop will be covering issues related to background checks for drivers, vehicle inspections and insurance. If there is anything that you feel that we should address, please respond to this email with further suggestions. During the meeting itself, I will still be able to read my email, and for those listening or watching live please put UBER: LIVE RESPONSE in the subject line, and I will do my best to address your concern in the workshop.

#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 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 looks like, up close, here's yet 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.

A post shared by Bebe Rexha (@beberexha) on