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 29, 2016

#OpenGov -Since facts still matter... Blocked, but not bowed. Or even the least bit dismayed, since being Blocked on Twitter by govt. officials continually engaged in unethical & unprofessional behavior is almost like being given a medal... @browardschools and Supt. @RobertwRuncie are still unable to take public criticism and respond appropriately. Don't hold your breath that will change!

#OpenGov -Since facts still matter... Blocked, but not bowed. Or even the least bit dismayed, since being Blocked on Twitter by govt. officials continually engaged in unethical & unprofessional behavior is almost like being given a medal... @browardschools and Supt. @RobertwRuncie are still unable to take public criticism and respond appropriately. Don't hold your breath that will change!
Above and below, July 13, 2010 photo by South Beach Hoosier, looking south at the Broward County Schools HQ, 600 S.E. Third Avenue, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. © 2012 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved

To quote myself about the following news I was, admittedly, somewhat surprised to receive this morning from Angela Greben at Stanford Law School...
"At times like this, it's very hard to recall that Supt. Runcie works for us, not the other way around.And I remind you that I was a Runcie supporter initially, but at some point you have to admit that it's not working out the way you hoped."

Above, Supt. Robert Runcie after a public meeting of his Listening Tour at the City of Hollywood's  Fred Lippman Multi-Purpose Center, which was the second time I'd heard him speak in-person, having previously heard him in March at Hollywood Hills High School, also in Hollywood. May 14, 2012 photo by South Beach Hoosier© 2012 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved. 

Tweets below are in sequential order:

In case you might've somehow missed those last three posts, the most recent of several dozen over the past 9 years, they are:

OCTOBER 22, 2015

Since facts still matter... Important facts & context NOT revealed in Sun-Sentinel's account of Broward County School Board 
hiring Leo Bobadilla from Houston to head its "troubled $800 million bond program." Charlotte Greenbarg, Buddy Nevins & Ericka Mellon help me connect some dots on the 'bigger picture' and what it reveals is NOT positive about Broward School Board members' public accountability. Surprise!

JUNE 3, 2015
Broward County residents increasingly dismayed by brazenness of Broward County Schools Supt. Robert W. Runcie & Broward School Board's Ann Murray and Rosalind Osgood's actions re bond $$ transparency & oversight; @Florida_Bulldog @Buddynevins

MAY 13, 2013 
Spring 2013 Observations re Broward School Board: controversial District 1 member Ann Murray gets a challenge from someone who'll go right at her, Felicia Brunson -will a third viable candidate join them by 2014?; Broward School Auditor Patrick Reilly finds more appalling evidence of School system's waste of taxpayer dollars, and as usual, Broward civic activist and Audit Comm. member Charlotte Greenbarg is 100% correct in analyzing the situation and saying it's what we think, too -it's the usual toxic combination of insubordination, entitlement and longstanding incompetency

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

That troubling Trump supporter as "authoritarian" poll you're hearing about today - More proof that U.S. presidential polling is biased, unreliable and full of ideoological traps designed to prove... "something." But showing something once in a poll is not PROOF, just a one-time result. Reliable polling is getting the same/similar results over and over consistently thru objective means

The One Weird Trait That Predicts Whether You’re a Trump Supporter 

And it’s not gender, age, income, race or religion.

By Matthew MacWilliams
It's not so surprising that such an ideological survey would first appear in Politico.
But it naturally leads to the questions not asked or mentioned, like...well...
Question: What's the one trait that predicts whether you're a Hillary supporter?
Answer: They are NOT interested in that answer.

(Though it once was, "And in the 2008 Democratic primary, the political scientist Marc Hetherington found that authoritarianism mattered more than income, ideology, gender, age and education in predicting whether voters preferred Hillary Clinton over Barack Obama.")

Politico is no more interested in revealing that than they are in knowing and publicly disclosing whatever the supposed one magic trait about supporters of Bernie Sanders is.
Especially if that were to be something like, oh, people who despite saying very liberal and progressive things in front of strangers and the news media, when it comes down to it, do NOT want to live near people who are similar to them, which is the most plausible answer one can infer from facts like Sanders' support being strongest in almost entirely 100% White enclaves around the country, something Hillary is currently exploiting in South Carolina with its large Black population.

In case you did not know, the only state in the U.S. with a lower percentage population of minorities than the state Sanders represents, Vermont, is Maine.
I know because I checked it out via the latest census info a few months ago, and even found similar numbers on ye olde Wikipedia, though the latter says Montana instead of Maine, two states that could not otherwise be more dissimilar from one another.

It doesn't bother me, per se, that people with particular biases have opinions and want to sound off on them, since everyone is free to believe whatever they want, however crazy or different from my own POV it might be. After all, it's a long campaign...
But what I hate seeing and find troublesome is the way this story is already being played up nationally as evidence of... well, "something."

But all it really is is a SINGLE snapshot in time.

It's like predicting the Miami Dolphins making the NFL playoffs every year based on them frequently beating the Patriots the past few years when they have been one of the best NFL teams. 

But in those years when they do beat the Patriots -almost always at home- they STILL fail to make the playoffs, don't they? (This year proved that all over again!)
Experienced football fans who have some real knowledge and historical perspective, like political junkies with the same qualities, know that one result is often an outlier. 
What you need to see is consistency (of effort) and results.  
Results plural.

Right now it's a theory that will not be PROVEN until it can be successfully replicated in multiple objective polls. And the article doesn't even have any links to check the poll numbers and questions yourself.  


We seem to be at the point where someone who wants the public to believe something in particular about a candidate, and try to be seen as above reproach, and merely relying on cold hard numbers, can write something ascribing far-reaching significance...after just one poll.
Well, it doesn't seem like anything resembling polling Best Practices to me.

And now that you think about it, if this sort of designed poll is such a great thing, how come we never heard from the U.S. news media about the results of the same designed poll in 2008 and what it supposedly "said" about Hillary's supporters?
Why am I only hearing about it eight years later?
Here's more irony. T
oday, hours after seeing lots of tweets about the above, I saw this:

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

The view from here: Connecting the collective energy of a community and channeling it into positive results has never been easy. But in Hallandale Beach, city officials are USUALLY a big part of the problem, not part of the solution. And that behavior continues apace...

May 20, 2012 photo of Hallandale Beach's very own "South Beach" by South Beach Hoosier. 
© Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved
The view from here: Connecting the collective energy of a community and channeling it into positive results has never been easy. But in Hallandale Beach, city officials are USUALLY a big part of the problem, not part of the solution. And that behavior continues apace...
The following post is an expanded version of an email that I sent out last Thursday afternoon to about 300-plus concerned residents, Small Business owners, civic activists, politicians and members of the news media in Hallandale Beach, Hollywood, Broward County and South Florida.

It's an email that I actually wrote many weeks ago and have kept in cold storage, waiting until last Thursday to send out, chiefly, for reasons concerning the calendar year that make perfect sense from my point of view.

Last Thursday, Dec. 31st was, officially, Renee C. Miller's last day as City Manger of Hallandale Beach, where, three-and-a-half years after being selected over candidates that I thought were better, and after she promised me and her many other doubters in this community to tangibly change the culture -and pathology!- of the city's bureaucracy and management style, top-down, she was finito.

It's clear in retrospect, as it was to me after just six months on the job, that Miller accomplished little of the things that she promised me and other concerned residents and small business owners to directly improve the quality of life in the city and the city's management. 

Those of you who were at the city's poorly-attended Town Hall meeting over on the beach in January of 2013 who saw Miller alternately ignore or obfuscate when I asked her some fact-filled questions that directly called her out on unfulfilled promises she had made to city residents -and to me to my face- including ones about Dept. heads ignoring longstanding citizens complaints that were self-evident, even after they were told about them or shown contemporaneous photos of the problem, know exactly how pathetic it was.

Yes, continuing the pattern in Hallandale Beach where ignoring a genuine problem was treated by City Hall as the same as actually solving it.
Like it was a question of psychology, not competency.

Yes, the red tape at HB City Hall is as exhausting and thick as ever, and the mood is as autocratic as ever, too. Which is why Small Businesses continue to move out of the city rather than continue having to jump thru hoops -or continue hitting their heads against the wall.

All of this continues to take place while the city's poorly-run and crony-filled HB Chamber of Commerce acts like an ostrich, with its head buried in the sand, instead of being innovative and proactive.
That is, unless it's time for its president and its Board to play the role of taxpayer-subsidized cheerleader for certain entrenched pols and business interests in the city who already have undue and outsized influence in this city of under 40,000, relative to their contribution to making it better.
Or at least as good as it ought to be already -but clearly isn't. 

My blog post about new Hallandale Beach City Manager Daniel Rosemond will be up on the blog later in the week. Teaser Alert for you newcomers to the blog -I'm NOT a fan of Rosemond.

My comments are below the article

South Florida Sun-Sentinel
Hallandale city manager quits
By Susannah Bryan, Staff writer
October 15, 2015

After more than three years at the helm, Renee Miller plans to step down as city manager by the end of the year.

Her resignation will take effect Dec. 31.

Miller, 38, cited a desire to spend more time with family in a resignation letter to her five City Commission bosses.

"I know it was a surprise to most of the members of the dais," said Miller, who is married and raising a two-year-old daughter. "But as family people, they understand the need to seek a better work-life balance. And that's what I'm really looking for."

In her resignation letter, Miller described her past three years as city manager as both a blessing and a challenge.

Read the rest of the article at:

Connecting the collective energy of a community and channeling it into positive results has never been easy.
But it’s especially difficult when the people running the city at City Hall have a LONG track record of NOT being either particularly competent or inspired, consistently DON’T follow Best Practices -or even Common Sense- and NEVER feel the slightest bit of public remorse for continually refusing to be held personally accountable to the public for their actions, words and votes.

No, unfortunately, the people currently at HB City Hall DON’T sweat the details the way they should, nor do they show any tangible interest in dramatically improving the city’s present and future Quality of Life and capture its true potential, thru either proven sensible ideas or meaningful innovation, to satisfy the citizenry and the Small Business community.

Year-after-year, the powers-that-be at City Hall have rejected adapting to new realities and making the overdue needed changes or improvements, despite concerned citizens and business people conscientiously pointing out the many, many self-evident problems at public meetings that anyone who lives and work here see and experience every day, but which City Hall continues to ignore.

Because this city has the wrong caliber of people making policy AND carrying it out, lots of potential opportunities to markedly improve and revitalize this city in exciting and innovative ways come and go –completely unrealized, leaving others to benefit from the city’s myopia and indecision -and bad judgment.

To this city’s current and future residents’ detriment, we’ve seen a culture take root at City Hall of arrogant,  self-interested elected officials and bureaucrats who are demonstrably anti-democratic and anti-accountability in their mindset, and impervious to change, even when it’s obvious to everyone but them.
It’s the difference between selflessness and selfishness.

The current crew prefers to continue doing things in the same old unproductive and unsatisfactory way that they have done them for years, even when it’s clear to everyone concerned that these tired, old methods and practices simply DON’T work and produce positive results and outcomes.

That reluctance to change was highlighted by their years of denial of the facts and engaging in completely self-serving and promiscuous behavior with respect to employing crony capitalism with limited public (CRA) funds, so that their friends and political supporters benefited.

In fact, more than three years and a half years later, many of these very same officials who did NOT provide anywhere close to the level of oversight and accountability they were legally bound to perform, still can NOT bring themselves to posting onto the city’s website, the Broward Inspector General’s damning report about their years of completely negligent and unsatisfactory oversight of the city’s CRA.

You have to be willing to imagine a different future and strategy for success before you can make it a reality.
Faking it, as this city has done for so many years, simply doesn’t work.

Me? I’m just someone working hard to spark and accelerate change for a better and more dynamic South Florida for EVERYONE, not just certain favored people, or forces in town who think they have a veto on every good idea that comes into town.

I'll have some more thoughts to share with you next week about the city and some thoughts about the caliber and quality of people we need to be willing to step up to the challenge of confronting the longstanding idiocy and incompetency that has held this city back, and as we are all too aware, kept its beleaguered residents unhappy with the results HB City Hall has continually portrayed as "normal," but which would clearly be unacceptable in 99% of this state's cities and towns.

My most recent previous blog post is here:
Happy Holidays from Hallandale Beach: A taste of chutzpah, hypocrisy & incompetency with your eggnog -again!- thanks to Mayor Joy Cooper

#HollywoodFL based photographer/entrepreneur Esther Chuang

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

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

A post shared by Gisele Bündchen (@gisele) on

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

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