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.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Bad news on the #Sweden front: ​How that very disturbing news about violent crime in Sweden you probably didn't see or read about in the U.S. media yet affects me... I'm not going to Sweden and Iceland this week as I'd previously planned. :-( #Stockholm

Bad news on the Sweden front: How that very disturbing news about violent crime in Sweden you probably didn't see or read about in the U.S. media yet, affects me... I'm not going to Sweden and Iceland this week as I'd previously planned. :-(

So, a not-so-funny thing happened on my way to what I'd long thought was going to be the beginning of my 11-day trip to Sweden and Iceland... Tuesday.
As some of you might recall, for a few months, I was originally scheduled to be flying to beautiful Stockholm on Tuesday morning to FINALLY do some pretty exciting personal and professional things I've longed to do for years, details of which most of you know about from what I've previously written or talked with you about, often after many of you asked... per my last blog post, "Dave, why aren't you in Las Vegas?" :-(

The plan was to go visit now and still get back to South Florida in time to watch the Super Bowl on February 4th, though maybe landing at FLL just a few hours before the 6:30 PM kickoff.

A post shared by Icelandair (@icelandair) on

Emily Joy‏ @Emilyjsantos
Finally edited! Thank you @wow_air for taking us to one of the most beautiful places I've seen yet. @IcelandNatural. https://twitter.com/Emilyjsantos/status/838763143241285635

(You insiders reading this near me in South Florida know that I wanted very much to see and share all of this Icelandic beauty above, and in Sweden, with a very talented woman whom, herself, knows a thing or two about how to make a great drone video. Just a few weeks ago I thought there was at least a reasonable chance that she'd be coming along on my trip to Sweden and Iceland, that, if we'd taken it, I have no doubt would have been truly magical, with or without any Auroras and regardless of what sort of rough weather we encountered. Our first overseas trip together.

The trip would've allowed me/us to meet some amazing and super-talented and prominent tech, business people in Sweden whom I've tried to see and interview for quite a long time, who now want to meet and talk and maybe do some interviews that I'd put on YouTube, or weave into a podcast, ideas I pitched them many years ago. Plus, see some super-talented singers who are friends or acquanitances, actually perform. Was so psyched... but now, feeling a bit #distraught :-( )

Even more than I already did everyday before I made my various airline and hotel reservations last Fall, I've been reading the Swedish news media and popular Twitter feeds every day with deep and increasing concern, and not simply out of any concern for my many friends in Sweden.

Rather it's because of the increasing amount of not simply street crime, but violent crime that's been taking place in Sweden's cities and public places these days, a trend that has been spiking upwards for quite some time.
A fact that I have been writing about for many years on this blog, which writes about what's REALLY going on in Sweden more than any other blog or website in Florida, and probably among the most in the U.S., which is why the high caliber and sorts of people read this blog and Follow me on Twitter when I discuss the realities on the ground in Sweden, not the imaginary narrative so preferred by so many prominent current and former Swedish officials and members of the news media and Swedish establishment would prefer.

That disturbing trend and reality is perhaps best highlighted by the honest, forthright article from Sunday's Times of London. An article that pulls no punches, unlike most of what you read or hear about Sweden in the U.S. news media, which follows a familiar and tiresome narrative.
That is, on the rare times the U.S. media DOES mention Sweden.

The Sunday Times
Teens roam streets with rifles as crime swamps Sweden
The army may be called in to halt a gang surge in immigrant areas
Bojan Pancevski, Malmo
January 21 2018, 12:01am, The Sunday Times

The blast was so powerful that it shook windows a mile away. Ahmad’s first thought was that someone had thrown yet another bomb at the police.

He was right. On Wednesday night an explosive device was hurled at the police station in Rosengard, a troubled area of Malmo, Sweden’s third largest city.

Attacks on the police are increasingly frequent. Rosengard’s force works from a black fortress of reinforced concrete with narrow windows and a 10ft-high electric fence.

Read the rest of the article at:

Tucker Carlson's interview with Hanif Ali starts at 1:52 

The worsening violent street crime and the Police's continuing inability to cope with it in any meaningful way, and the possibility that the Swedish Army will be soon be mobilized and patroling certain cities, is just one of the reasons that I recently decided to postpone the trip to Sweden and
Iceland that I'd first made reservations for last Fall, and aim instead for sometime this coming Spring or Summer. No specific makeup dates YET.

I made this decision even though experience tells me that it'll be much more expensive to fly then and to stay at a nice property that I stayed at on my last trip to Stockholm, a place in the Norrmalm neighborhood that could not have possibly been more convenient to all the places I needed to go to, plus, its proximity to Central Station, aka T-Centralen, Stockholm's enormous main local T-Bana and commuter train, and bus terminal that is, quite literally, the heart of the city AND the country. 
Less than a ten minute walk away! 

Actually closer than my current home on Fillmore Street & US-1 in Hollywood is to one of my favorite places, Chocolada Bakery & Cafe on Hollywood Blvd., where I had breakfast on Sunday morning with my friend and fellow Broward County civic activist, Csaba Kulin.as we discussed what's going on in Hallandale Beach and Broward County. 

Can't leave Chocolada on weekends without the traditional post-breakfast cookies with my last cup of coffee... my notebook at the ready.

And when I say expensive I mean expensive in a city that's already among the most expensive cities in the world to travel to and stay in, though slightly cheaper for Americans today than when I last visited and was able to stay in the #1 B&B in all of Stockholm according to TripAdvisor. 
Last time, a Subway sub, a can of Coke and a small bag of chips = over $15.

Expensive, that is unless I re-start some negotiations with some aspiring blog advertisers like a few airlines, hotel and travel companies which Follow me, to help out a bit, or maybe even comp me and a very special and attractive, photo-shooting +1, as I was close to getting done a few months ago, just before, well, you know...
After which, I knew I'd be going solo. :-(

Going to Sweden and Iceland months from now would make Aurora-watching all-but-impossible, no matter how far north I go, even north of the Arctic Circle, to Kiruna, home of Mia Stålnacke, aka @AngryTheInchMia https://www.instagram.com/angrytheinch/
Watch this amazing real-time Aurora video that Mia shot in Kiruna Saturday night with a Sony a7, all while walking her dog, Tellus.

The quite disturbing news two weeks ago about a Swedish man being killed by a hand grenade near a Stockholm subway station did not exactly go un-noticed by Swedes, despite how quickly -and desperately- the Swedish news meda tried to bury the story within just hours, as if the New Normal 
in Sweden extended to not being surprised that innocent people could sometimes be killed by hand grenades while minding their own business.

Things being what they are in Sweden right now, and my own situation here being what it is, the decision to forego the trip now and wait a few more months was an easy one to make.

Still, I was really, really looking forward to getting out of South Florida for awhile and be back in acountry and a city that I positively love:

Jag älskar Stockholm -  ST❤️CKHOLM

Hej #STHLM, jag saknar dig, hejdå. So wish I was there RIGHT NOW!

On a positive note, the amazing, adorable and super-talented Cecilia Nilssona.k.a. Cilia, whom I have followed so very closely for years because I know her mentor and manager, Andreas, dropped her new single "Myself and I" last Friday. 
I've only listened to it fifty times so far...

A post shared by Cilia (@cilianilsson) on

Obviously, I'm biased, but I think it's very #catchy! 

Let me know what you think about the song, good or bad.
I'll likely be communicating with her later this week.

I'd been hoping for months that Cissi and I would be able to meet in the coming days in the downtown Stockholm area, just a few feet from the area where Stockholm Fashion Week takes place every year. 
I'd joked with her many weeks ago about the possibility of us going to the Kungsträdgården ice skating rink nearby.

A post shared by Kenneth Joe Oquendo Uy (@xzebryx2000) on

The Royal Swedish Opera House is nearby, too!

My brilliant idea, one that I hadn't shared with Cissi yet because I wanted it to be a complete surprise, was to try to persuade the skating rink attendant the day before I met her, to play some of Cissi's songs on the rink PA system when we were there the following day, especially when influential people from the nearby fashion shows would be outside, in-between shows and at lunch, at one of my favorite places in a city that I absolutely love and adore.

Perhaps even play... yes, a song that would be recognized by most of the people there, "Silhouettes in Slow Motion," her popular 2016 song that Volvo had the good sense to use last year in commercials to promote some amazing features in their new models in Sweden -and elsewhere- which was, obviously, promotion-wise a real coup for her. I mean it's VOLVO

Volvo Cars Connectivity "Weekenders" from Life in the City on Vimeo.
Master. Produced & directed by Karl-Johan Larsson, Life in the city AB
Song: Cilia Silhouettes in Slow Motion. All rights reserved 2016- okt 2017


was really looking forward to seeing what everyone's reaction would be, which I thought would be priceless, but now, that's off the agenda, too, which is a damn shame because it would have been great fun to see Cissi's reaction to my little surprise. :-(

As far as thngs locally go, since I'll be in the area and not in Europe for the next few weeks, unless something crazy happens, I'll likely be attending the upcoming Hollywood and Hallandale Beach City Commission and CRA meetings with something approaching the regularity that most everyone came to take for granted for years.
That includes next Monday evening's meeting in Hallandale Beach, which you should try to get there early for because of what's likely to take place: history.

There's certainly plenty of controversial issues to talk about in both cities regarding what is -and isn't happening- from my perspective. I'm seeing lots and lots of apathy and unwhelming effort with respect to public engagement these days, which will be reflected in my upcoming posts in this space.
Also, I may even hit some Hollywood Chamber of Commerce meetings and events, which I haven't done in a while, so if you see me at one of their events, don't be a stranger -come over and say hello!


Blog: Hallandale Beach Blog
Snapchat: SoBeHoosier

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

New Year's Resolutions - My first blog post of 2018: Changes to look for in me and Hallandale Beach Blog in the year to come -and some clues about the upsetting past few months and why you haven't been seeing me quite so much

Above: Me, Dave, on Monday morning on September 11, 2017, the very deceiving calm day after Hurricane Irma hit South Florida. Looking north, just off North Atlantic Blvd. and NE 30th Street, Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Irma was the powerful storm that began some subtle-yet-unmistakable changes in my everyday life and the people I knew that soon cascaded and turned my life completely upside-down. And the following week, with no electricity during sweltering heat and oppressive humidity in Hollywood, was the least of it...

New Year's Resolutions - My first blog post of 2018: Changes to look for in me and Hallandale Beach Blog in the year to come -and some clues about the upsetting past few months and why you haven't been seeing me quite so much

Below is an excerpt from an email that I sent out between Christmas Eve and New Year's Day.to roughly 225 people, mostly friends, devoted Social Media Followers and the handful of honest news media members, around South Florida, the Sunshine State and back up in Washington, D.C.
(If you are new to the blog, D.C. and Arlington County, VA is where I lived and worked for 15 years until returning to South Florida in October of 2003.)

Think of it as a condensed list of some of my hopes, goals and resolutions for the next 12 months. 
Since it is relevant to many things that I have written about and commented upon in the past 10-plus years here on the blog when I lived in Hallandale Beach for 11 years, or for the past 18 months living in Hollywood -95% of the time in the Hollywood Lakes area east of US-1- where I will be living for the foreseeable future, I post it here so that those of you faithful blog readers out there who have kindly written or contacted me over the past few months expressing some degree of surprise about the lack of blog posts here of late, compared to the regularity that you'd all come to take for granted for so many years, will get a better idea of why that has been so.
I hope my words, however oblique, will better connect-the-dots on some matters many of you have been wondering about for quite some time, even as I try to maintain a degree of privacy about some upsetting recent personal news.

Though I am by nature a friendly and outgoing person, one of my big aims for 2018 is to actually be more "sociable" and "present in the moment." 
That's especially true with respect to Social Media, where I plan on doing a MUCH BETTER job of communicating my thoughts and concerns with so many of you than I did in 2017, where for reasons known to some of you, for the past few months, I was often VERY DISTRACTED by more important things than public policy, local government and politics in our area, South Florida and the Sunshine State.

Which is, of course, why you saw a LOT LESS of me at Hollywood and Hallandale Beach City Halls, at Broward County Govt. HQ in downtown Fort Lauderdale, and at civic meetings and public events around the SE Broward area.
And when you did see me, I seemed not so much aloof as... distracted. 
It's for very good reasons.

The same reasons why some of you expressed such great surprise -and for certain local elected officials, even genuine shock- at running into me at places in Hollywood, Hallandale Beach and Aventura the past three months, often while I was still wearing a suit and tie from work.
That particular reason being that, quite reasonably, you hadn't expected to run into me because the last time you'd heard from me -that you recalled- you'd thought that I'd soon-be or had already moved to Las Vegas because of... well, you couldn't quite remember, though you did remember that I did say it wasn't a done deal yet, and might not happen.

Well, would it help if I told you that the scenario involved me abruptly leaving behind my life, friends and family in South Florida -at least for a few months- and moving to Las Vegas with a truly brilliant, beautiful and AMAZING woman that I positively love and adore, who, out-of-the-blue, while she was driving, turned to me and asked me if I would move and live with her in Las Vegas, and help her to start up a business there that she'd done a tremendous amount of research on while there for many recent previous trips? 
And because I love her, wanted to be emotionally supportive of her efforts and see her succeed and... well, for many other reasons, not quite my own, that I don't want to detail here.

One of my other big aims for 2018 is to write you, talk on the phone, or, when possible, even meet with many more of my readers in South Florida in person than I have the past 18 months since returning to South Florida in late July of 2016, after being away for two years.

I also aim to accept the advice of many of you and to stop beating myself up by trying to make everything I write too perfect before posting/blogging/tweeting or emailing information, and thus, #procrastinating. That also includes my taking advice I usually give others: start using technology better and smarter, to wit, my finally posting photos once in a while to Instagram, where in 2018 I should have something interesting there nearly every day that should amuse, entertain, inform or beguile people in real numbers. 

Some of you even know about some specific plans of mine to create a topical Podcast or video series on YouTube, part of which is tied into when and whether I do indeed make my next planned trip to Sweden and Iceland in the coming months, though I won't be going in January as I'd originally thought. My plans, once there, is to conduct some exciting, long-anticipated interviews with some prominent and talented people/friends in the #tech, #startup, broadcasting and music industry in... yes, beautiful Stockholm
It's odd that I should have so many friends and acquaintances there who are both super-talented and also really well-known publicly, as compared to here in South Florida, but it's reality

I may even get the chance to finally see a super-talented friend or two who,individually, are truly AMAZING singers, perform a concert or two in an arena or large venue for the first time, instead of in their home, a hotel, a small or-medium sized venue, or in a recording studio in snowy Stockholm.
If you follow me on Twitter at @hbbtruth or on Instagram, you may even have a good idea or two of who that might be! :-) 

As always, any inspired thoughts, ideas or suggestions beforehand would be greatly appreciated!

In case it escaped your attention, no, Hallandale Beach is not exactly #SergelsTorg in Stockholm when it comes to reindeer....

Unlike amazing #SergelsTorg in beautiful #STHLM, #Christmas holiday reindeers in sunny #SoFL, at least in #HallandaleBeach, are NOT life-size, much less, larger-than-life. Another thing that makes me miss #Sweden. 🇸🇪

Of course, I have yet to post anything to Snapchat after FINALLY getting an account there four months ago, so, maybe there, I'll be more of an earnest observer of what you all are saying, doing, filming than being an active participant.
For now at least. Baby steps...

Adding this to my list of 2018 New Years Resolutions: 
1.) Eat breakfast more often during week B4 leaving for work in morning instead of stopping 4 Fast Food; 
2.) Have breakfast in bed more often; 
3.) Whenever possible, have super-attractive fashion blogger/Instagram models over for breakfast when the latter occurs. 
Henceforth to be known as the @micahgianneli Rule:

Made in the shade! Your faithful blogger, Dave, on a very windy Sunday afternoon about 4:30 PM, in between the iconic beach ball-colored Hallandale Beach Water Tower and HB Lifeguard stand #1, near @ETARURestaurant, October 29, 2017, Hallandale Beach, Florida.

Above, me, November 14, 2017, Hallandale Beach, Florida, with a loosened tie during lunch: Portrait of a Broken Heart Hiding His Tears Behind His Favorite Ray Bans -which have been lost in the interim! :-(