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 HB's North Beach and southern Hollywood 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.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Rob versus Hurricane Irma aftermath chaos: Rob wins! How plucky South Florida businessman Rob Raymond and his staff at Doctor's Toy Store dealt with the aftermath of Hurricane Irma: by showing his medical clients what genuine customer service looks like. *SPONSORED POST*

Rob Raymond versus the Hurricane Irma aftermath chaos: Rob wins! 
How plucky South Florida businessman Rob Raymond and his staff at Doctor's Toy Store dealt with the aftermath of Hurricane Irma: by showing his clients what genuine customer service looks like. *SPONSORED POST*

My last blog post on Doctor's Toy Store CEO and President Rob Raymond was on July 11th, 2017, titled, "How plucky South Florida businessman Rob Raymond of Doctor's Toy Store used his humorous-but-hard-working personality to battle past adversity in a very competitive industry, and a city's bureaucratic avalanche of Red Tape, and got the last laugh. @drstoystore *SPONSORED POST*

How plucky @drstoystore CEO Rob Raymond used his zeal for delivering great #CustomerService to get the #LastLaugh.😊 https://t.co/kYmXpwaSIm pic.twitter.com/DfNnb858kR

— HallandaleBeachBlog (@hbbtruth) July 15, 2017

Over the past several years I've taken time every so often to share with you dedicated readers of the blog a little bit of news and shared insight about my hard-working and humorous friend, Rob Raymond, Founder and CEO of Doctor’s Toy Store in Hallandale Beach. 

His very successful business continues to be Florida's largest Medical Showroom precisely because of his team's combination of solid, experienced professionalism and excellent pro-active customer service, giving doctors and medical practice groups in Florida and around the world not only the quality medical equipment they want at discount prices, but leveraging those many years of experience to give clients valuable insight into what their future plans might want to include.
Sound advice from people who KNOW what they’re talking about.

Rob is the hardest-working business person I've met the last 13-plus years in South Florida.
It's not even close.

So it's with this background information fresh in your mind now that I now tell you about a visit I paid to Rob and his team last week.

I wanted  to see how they were coping during the trying times that saw so many other South Florida businesses of every size and shape, quite literally, throwing their hands up in despair, and declare they’d take the whole week off rather than navigate their way thru the myriad problems associated with a lack of electricity, air conditioning and Internet in hot and humid South Florida.
But not Doctor’s Toy Store.

In tough times, properly-motivated people work smarter and take full advantage of their competitors who lack resolve, flexibility or genuine concern about their clients welfare.
I can tell you from first-hand experience that DTS is positively loaded with highly-motivated people who take this fact to heart.

It was very important to Rob that DTS be ready from the first day after the hurricane hit -on Sunday the 10th- to help their clients in a tangible way if they were having any sorts of problems with any equipment, so that it could be properly inspected and repaired in time for the return of their patients, and lessen the stress of patients who were not able to make their appointments because the doctor's office was closed because of their own personal responsibilities to make and keep their own families safe as it drew closer and closer., and then in the days afterward, when so many formerly simple tasks became much harder and more time-intensive.  

As I saw upon my arrival and via numerous conversations with Rob and his team, they were also fortunate in that because they are housed in a very well-constructed building with entrances on its north and south side instead of an east and west orientation, they received no water damage from heavy rains and hurricane-force winds, nor any visible physical wear-and-tear on the building.

As these two photos that I snapped on my visit of some of the Doctor’s Toy Store vans outside the north and south entrance to DTS clearly shows, the only way that Florida’s largest medical showroom could be any more convenient to I-95 would be to knock down the metal fence separating it from the showroom.

The shot above, an action” shot, features the portable generator that allowed Rob and his dedicated staff at Doctor’s Toy Store to get some serious business done last week, despite the lack of electricity, Air Conditioning and Internet services.

As you can see from the photos I took last week, there’d be no point in hooking the portable generator up to provide interior lighting in the office since that would only increase the existing heat trapped in a building that was then already lacking proper ventilation, even with the giant fan.

This was the case even with the very large fan that Rob rented to try to keep everyone cool inside the office, a fan that for me resembled nothing so much as the large powerful fans South Florida always saw along the sidelines of the Orange Bowl when the Dolphins and Hurricanes both still played there… in the 1980’s.

What Rob and his handful of employees did was work out of handful of desks nearest the south entrance to the building because its large windows there lets the largest amount of sunshine in so everyone could fully see what they were doing.

One of the things that I was most curious about was the extent to which they might’ve already been hearing from clients about any equipment in their office that was water-damaged, since water-damaged equipment doesn’t have to be ruined for good.
I know that Rob’s experienced and knowledgeable technicians are like a combination of veteran archaeologists and medical engineers chipping away at the recent history of damage and are usually able to clean, fix and re-purpose equipment so that it can be the reliable and accurate equipment that doctors and patients need it to be.

Below: One of the dozen-plus Doctor's Toy Store vans you can spot everyday throughout South Florida on roads and highways between Palm Beach and Homestead, as it makes its appointed rounds from one doctor or medical practice group or health care facility to another, delivering and picking up medical equipment and devices.

As I think these photos show pretty well, when you are Rob Raymond and you take your responsibilities to your medical clients as seriously as he does, there’s always one more phone call to make. 
One more concerned client who needs a bit of reassurance and some positive encouragement that things are under control. 

Above: Last week, before heading home after another crazy day in the new post-Hurricane Irma reality of South Florida, Doctor's Toy Store owner and founder Rob Raymond checks in with his clients on the phone one last time, as co-CEOs Bailey and Doc relax in front of the large fan hooked up to the portable generator that kept everyone calm and cool on a very hot and humid South Florida summer day without electricity, and kept everyone’s cell phones and laptops properly charged.

Rob's friendly outgoing personality, quick sense of humor and near-encyclopedic knowledge of medical equipment old and new is truly dazzling. 
That personality of his goes a long way towards explaining how over a period of just 18 years, he has TRIPLED the size of his old showroom, and is continuing to satisfy his clients demand for medical equipment at discount prices with conscientious, top-quality customer service. 

His clients know that they are his number-one priority.

As is always the case when I pay a visit to Rob’s rather amazing medical equipment kingdom next to I-95, no trip there is complete unless I take at least one random photo of a life-size skeleton, made of plastic.

I always think that I’ll be able to use the photo later to illustrate a point, or, at least have a photo in reserve that can be used for some humorous purposes.
And then I completely forget that I have it.

Power Liposuction Systems for Sale
Rob Raymond of Dr's Toy Store brings you a Versus match between the MicroAire VS PowerX Consoles to display their differences when it comes to a Liposuction Procedure. Learn more on Liposuction Machines for sale at the Largest Showroom for Medical Equipment in Florida.

Vaser- Power X Demonstration
Dr. Leibowitz showing off his NEW Power X and Vaser purchased from Drs Toy Store!

Multifunctional Power Procedure Chair

The DTS Table is a very stable structure. Great for most specialties! This is a 4 function medical procedure table which controls height, backrest, and footrest, and seat inclination. 
The armrest flips back 180 degrees and headrest is adjustable. The upholstery is high quality which makes it easy to clean.

DTS Multi-Functions Procedure Chair 2
The DTS Table is a very stable structure. Great for most specialties! This is a 4 function medical procedure table which controls height, backrest, and footrest, and seat inclination. 

The armrest flips back 180 degrees and headrest is adjustable. The upholstery is high quality which makes it easy to clean

Rob's friendly outgoing personality, quick sense of humor and near-encyclopedic knowledge of medical equipment old and new goes a long way towards explaining how over a period of just 18 years, he has TRIPLED the size of his original showroom, and is continuing to satisfy his clients demand for medical equipment at discount prices with conscientious, top-quality customer service. 
His clients know that they are his number-one priority.

Doctor's Toy Store
2512 S.W. 30th Avenue, Hallandale Beach, FL 33009
(954) 457-0075  1(877) DRS-TOYS

Follow @drstoystore https://twitter.com/drstoystore

Doctor's Toy Store YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nDZSPB0sNmI

*DTS sells and repairs probes
*DTS has leasing and financing programs available
*Weekend and evening hours available by appointment


The Dr's Toy Store tour! https://youtu.be/XyC30eFDhgM

Whether approaching the north entrance to Doctor's Toy Store on S.W. 30th Avenue via Pembroke Road, I-95 Exit #19, above, or via Hallandale Beach Blvd., I-95 Exit #19, below, you can't miss the giant American flag!

Saturday, September 16, 2017

When the going gets tough, doers take charge. My own experience of Florida Power and Light electricity outages in #HollywoodFL as of Saturday afternoon. My neighborhood got power on Thursday but my neighbors and I on our street are STILL an island of darkness and frustration

It's proving to be a very sheepish Saturday... 

Just wanted to share some thoughts on FP&L outages in Hollywood as of Saturday afternoon, after having gone down in-person at 12:45 PM today to the multi-state utility company staging area on the south side of Gulfstream Park Race Track & Casino in Hallandale Beach.

The outage and its attendant days of frustration, largely spent away from the house and spending lots of money just to keep out of the sweltering heat -and keep my cell phone and laptop charged- and nights of quiet exasperation/exhaustion, without a breeze to be found, STILL includes my house on Wiley Street.

To be factual, it's my house and about 5-7 others on the south side of the 1400 block of Wiley Street and a similar number of houses behind us on the north side of Mayo Street, despite the fact that electricity in the larger neighborhood west of Temple Beth El came on sometime Thursday afternoon.
I can't prove it, but I'm pretty sure that when the streetlight on the north side of the street across from my house comes on at night, it's actually mocking me as I sit on the porch, sipping my room temperature soda...

On Wednesday, the FP&L power line that connects to my house from the pole in the alley, which has been lying on the ground in my backyard since last Sunday when one of my neighbor's large palm trees came crashing thru the fence and yanked the line off the house, started sparking when the electricity was returned to the larger neighborhood.
Two houses down from us, I heard that a light pole in the alley caught on fire at the same time.

None of the neighbors that I have spoken to on Wiley has seen a FP&L rep or truck (or another utility company) working in the alley since Thursday, so the popular sentiment on the street about whether the power company cavalry will be back and be able to keep the promise they made at their press conference this week that power should be restored by Sunday night, is starting to look like a promise about to be broken.
At least on my street.

So that's what lead me today to head down to Gulfstream, since I recall FP&L previously using the old Gulfstream parking lot off of US-1 that's now home to their retail shops, as a staging area for utility workers and trucks for Hurricane Wilma. 
That resulted in me without power for two weeks, even while Aventura, then a ten minute walk from where I was living, was up and running right away.

Today, after lots of walking around from one tent and trailer to another, I finally found someone from FP&L near the logistics tent who seemed responsible.
Even better than just looking responsible, though, he said that he could do something 
tangible about the larger problem where I live in Hollywood, and help get a team dispatched to the alley between Wiley and Mayo.

Whenever that is...

Just checked FP&L's homepage for any changes before I post this.

Now they're saying by 11:45 PM on... Monday night.
And that the number of affected customers is about 121.

Que sera sera..

Friday, September 8, 2017

As Hurricane Irma heads towards South Florida, Some Thoughts from Somewhere Inside the Evacuation Zone in Hollywood, FL

Reporting from Somewhere Inside the Evacuation Zone in Hollywood, FL

I was busy all Thursday afternoon helping a friend prepare their home north of Fort Lauderdale for Hurricane Irma's approach to South Florida -the least I can do since that's where I will be heading sometime Friday evening for the duration- so was not able to see much of the coverage of Hurricane Irma on The Weather Channel that ran in the 
afternoon or evening.

But after Midnight I was able to catch up and snapped some screenshots of some things that were aired that I wanted to share, along with mentioning a couple of things that might prove helpful to some of you, especially people who are new to the area -or hurricanes.

Above, that big news on Thursday that shocked so many people and is causing 
more panic in Miami-Dade than most people -esp. in the news media- want to publicly acknowledge. 
People who thought they were in the clear are now in the evacuation zone because of a storm surge that could be ten feet.
Which is why 650,000 to 700,000 people are supposed to be leaving -or deal with the tragic and possibly fatal consequences of guessing wrong when they had plenty of time to do the right thing.

Mike Bettes of The Weather Channel on the beach in Hallandale Beach.
I nearly fell off the couch when I saw this.

Publix is closing all South Florida stores at 9 pm today.
Surprisingly, the Presidente supermarket on US-1 north of Pembroke Road was FULL of precisely the sorts of groceries that were nowhere to be found in Publix and Winn-Dixie stores in some chic parts of Fort Lauderdale, as a friend and I discovered when foolishly thinking that peanut butter would be available. 

Hollywood Mayor Josh Levy being interviewed at the Home Depot in Hollywood, a place that for days has been the go-to place for area residents to share crazy stories with TWC reporters about how crazy difficult it has been to buy things that most of us take for granted all the time.
Josh also mentioned in the interview above a figure of 5-8 feet for the possible storm surge.

I can only imagine what that would do to Hallandale Beach's already much-smaller beach width!
It's for that reason that I'm going to the HB Water Tower area for sunrise in a few hours to snap some photos of that area because sadly, I strongly suspect that after that storm surge comes in Sunday, that will be one of the last times the beach area south of Hallandale Beach Blvd. is even that large/wide for quite some time, given what's involved in expanding the beach now to counter natural erosion.

Just the other day while walking thru at Gulfstream Park Race Track & Casino .... I got to thinking... I suspect we will finally see if this version of Pegasus that's the second largest statue in the U.S. can really fly...

...because 140 mph is definitely take off speed.

For Hollywood folks, keep in mind...
#HollywoodFL re #HurricaneIrma: @cohgov Parking Garages Downtown will be open 4 residents to park free on first-come, first-served basis. 🚗

Coming back from FTL Thursday night around 7:30, I was near the garage on 18th Avenue north of Whiskey Tango Bar & Grill, and saw quite a lot of activity, so don't wait until the last moment. 

I also can't stress enough how important it is that you do everything you can to place photos and important documents in waterproof containers, like large gallon-size ziplocs, whether you are leaving or staying.
And, filling your bathtub with water so that you can use that water for your toilet to create the necessary pressure in your plumbing.

Monday afternoon may well reveal a very different world than what we have all previously known in the area, so be prepared, not sorry and full of regrets that you didn't listen to your own intuition.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

"Tuesday September 5th. The Day the Running Stopped." Sublime! And just like that, so ended the plight of Dr. Richard Kimble, The Fugitive. My first favorite TV show ever


August 29, 1967 Final 5 minutes The Fugitive, ABC-TV

August 29, 1967 The Fugitive, ABC-TV
Final episode - Epilogue, 151 seconds

"Tuesday September 5th. The Day the Running Stopped." 

THAT is how you write for television and pack a punch!

"Tuesday September 5th. The Day the Running Stopped." 
With these final words, spoken in a voice-over by the inestimable William Conrad in the final seconds of the series finale of The Fugitive in 1967, fifty years ago, America got the satisfaction they needed, including where I lived, where it was watched religiously in the new-ish apartment complex when I was growing up in Memphis.
And became my very first favorite TV show.

(Some of you longtime readers of the blog may recall that was the same upscale complex my family lived at that was also home to then-Cardinals catcher and Memphis native Tim McCarver during the off-season with his wife and kids, one of whom I played with regularly.)

The final episode of The Fugitive gained an astounding 45.9/72 Nielsen rating - roughly 72% of all U.S. TV households were tuned in the episode, a TV ratings record that lasted for 13 years until the mystery of who shot J.R. was resolved on "Dallas" in 1980.


Leonard Goldberg on "The Fugitive" series finale - EMMYTVLEGENDS.ORG

The day Bristol Myers saved the day.

Alan A. Armer on producing "The Fugitive" and its finale - EMMYTVLEGENDS.ORG