Friday, December 28, 2007
Thursday, December 27, 2007
This has some additional material -and tangents- to buttress my points, which should be fairly obvious.
It's instructive that when I emailed this to them at 2:35 p.m. this afternoon, that the Dolphins PR folks were still so behind-the-curve that they had yet to inform WIOD radio and the Dolphins' radio broadcast rights holder, WQAM, that the Bill Parcells presser would be (televised) at 6 p.m., which ESPN News was reporting.
What, South Florida news media being scooped again on a Miami-based story?
Just more of what we've gotten used to over the years he said glumly.
Thursday December 27th, 2007
Dear X and Y:
Just wanted to shoot you both a line and share some thoughts you might find of interest, as a media friend just called me from out at Dolphins HQ in Davie, quite exasperated, where she's been waiting and waiting... for the grand unveiling of Bill Parcells as the Dolphins' VP.
(I'm against the Parcells move, think he won't make it four years, but...)
She called an hour ago on the very day that's been anticipated ever since last week's big announcement, and yet, typically, the Dolphins are SO dis-organized, that their PR folks are refusing to tell the assembled media -whom in this town, are uniformly puppets of the worst sort to begin with, with absolutely no bark or backbone- what time the press conference will
start. Yeah, that's very professional.
While it's the kind of thing that most people who care about the Dolphins will never ever find out about, it really speaks volumes for why I've wanted Huizenga to sell the team -for years.
Not least of all because if he sells the team, the stadium and the adjacent land he owns, the Marlins stadium could, theoretically, be near the current stadium and the FL Turnpike, I-95 and starting in about 2012, near a Miami-Dade Metrorail station that connects it to points south, instead of at the Orange Bowl site in Little Havana, far from all of that, as well as the
large Broward fan base for a team with a piddling fan base to begin with.
(And, stuck with perhaps the worst ownership in MLB in Jeffrey Loria.
His intelligence and marketing prowess are perhaps best reflected by the team having had their team store being located in Little Havana -see the "Marlins en Miami" cite below- instead of being near modern suburban shopping malls.
You know, where people actually live and work and have disposable income, like they did in the days before and since the Christmas holidays, at Dadeland Mall, Aventura Mall, Pembroke Lakes Mall or Sawgrass Mall...
Free SouthBeachHoosier marketing advice to Marlins: How about a small storefront Marlins store along Brickell Avenue to capture the professional crowd at lunch time, in-between bites or after work?
Yeah, that's the Marlins marketing genius for you, continuing to propagate the failed myth of a vast army of Hispanic baseball fans in Little Havana just itching for the chance to come up to Chez Huizenga for a Marlin ballgame. Or ten.
This gets lip service despite all relevant marketing research showing those Marlin fans rarely attend games, even if they really do know the team inside-and-out well-enough to argue over who should be the Marlins lead-off man.
Here's some breaking news on who really counts: fans who actually show up.
Some time soon in this space, I'll tell you about how it was done -right and wrong- up in the Washington, D.C. area with the Baltimore Orioles team store, in the perfect downtown location
of 17th Street, N.W. and K Street, just blocks from the The White House.
One of my friends was the store manager there before I left, and that's where I first saw the video of the Twin Towers coming down for the first time on 9/11, while walking home to Arlington after being told to evacuate from my office along Pennsylvania Avenue, across the street from the FBI and Department of Justice, after the Pentagon was hit by American Airlines Flight 11.)
How can the Dolphins screw-up something as simple to set-up as a press conference?
Well, sadly for Dolphin fans like me, who grew-up as a season ticket holder in the successful early '70's, and know from professionalism, the forensic evidence for the decline is both overwhelming and self-evident.
Naturally, in the era of an interactive web, the Dolphins have absolutely nothing on their team website about the press conference, either, even though everyone is talking about it in advance.
P.S. One of my former housemates at IU, a cute brunette Alpha Chi from Indy, dated Cam Cameron for a while when he was the back-up QB at IU behind Babe Laufenberg.
Marlins En Miami Store: The Marlins en Miami Store is a full service ticket office and merchandise store. It is located in the heart of the Hispanic community at 3701 S.W. 8th Street. The main focus of the office is to serve as a lasting presence for the Club within this area and service the community by offering general information in Spanish, selling tickets, merchandise and hosting special events.
In Season Hours:
Mon-Fri 9:00 a.m.- 5:00 p.m.
Sat. 10am to 4pm.
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
Bring your wit and wisdom, loaded or rhetorical questions, and any post-holiday venomous
feelings you've got left over.
Perhaps you can even get some face time on local Miami TV news that night by asking, early on in the proceedings, why they allowed their visceral hatred for touch-screen voting booths to be tied into a clunker of a bill moving the Democratic & GOP Presidential Primaries to January 29th. That would be a nice start.
The primary where your Democratic vote is pure "beauty contest," with zero practical effect on delegate status.
I'll be posting some interesting talking points and prospective questions here as the meeting draws close, and they will be the that'll leave little wiggle room for evading.
My favorite kind!
Where: City Of Hollywood Commission Chamber, Room 219,
Date: Monday, January 14, 2008
Time: 7:00 PM To 9:00 P.M.
Monday, December 24, 2007
My original post on this subject from December 8th is: http://southbeachhoosier.blogspot.com/2007/12/lute-olsons-wife-gop-committeewoman-for.html
Cats' basketball future after Olson looks bright By Paola Boivin, December 23, 2007
Saturday, December 22, 2007
My prediction, three weeks prior?
Well, the FDOT officials will initially feign surprise, but the audience will nod in agreement.
And wait 'till I lay into the FDOT officials about all the bad/missing signage on major Hollywood byways, which could hardly be more obvious.
For instance, at the intersection of west-bound A1A and Hallandale Beach Blvd., the dividing line on A1A between Hallandale Beach and Hollywood.
That's when the buck-passing will begin in earnest!
FDOT To Discuss Improvements to U.S. 1 in Hollywood
Meeting Type: Meeting
Date: Thursday, January 10, 2008
Time: 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm
Location Name: Fred Lippman Multi-Purpose Center
Street Address: 2030 Polk Street
City: Hollywood, FL 33020
Directions: Directions to this meeting site
Purpose: The Florida Dept. of Transportation (FDOT) will hold a plans to complete the following improvements on Federal Highway/U.S.1 from north of Young Circle to south of Sheridan Street:
Mill and repave the existing pavement;
Upgrade sidewalks;Improve isolated drainage locations;
Upgrade roadway signs within the project limits;
Install pedestrian countdown signals at all signalized intersections;
Install video detection for all traffic movements at all signalized intersections;
Place new landscaping throughout the project limits;
andInstall irrigation system for existing and proposed landscaping.
Construction is expected to being in spring 2009 and to be completed in approximately one year. The expected construction cost is $2.4 million.
Representatives from FDOT will be available at this meeting to answer your questions and listen to your concerns.
The meeting will have an information openhouse format. No formal presentation will be made.
Public participation is solicited without regard to race, color, national origin, age, sex, religion, disability or family status.
Persons who require special accommodations under the Americans with Disabiliities Act or persons who require translation services (free of charge) should contact the project manager listed below at least seven days prior to the meeting.
Primary Contact: James Hughes, P.E., Project Manager
Primary Phone: 954-777-4419
Primary E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Additional Contact: FDOT District Four Public Information Office
Additional Phone: 954-777-4090
Additional E-mail: email@example.com
"Everywhere you travel in ... there is evidence of decline and absurdities that would be comical if they weren't so tragic."
All I could think of after seeing that interesting turn of phrase was that it could very well be the sub-heading on my topper at my other blog, HallandaleBeachBlog.
Almost as if I were an archaeologist going through ruins of an ancient city, since it pretty well describes the town to a veritable "T." Is it Hallandale Beach or ?
See for yourself.
Thursday, December 20, 2007
Or, rather the lack of same.
Conway was the subject of my post last Thursday. http://southbeachhoosier.blogspot.com/2007/12/lawyer-may-lose-license-for-blog-entry.html
Mishory's story, Freedom of Speech Lawyer's rights qustioned in state investigation http://www.dailybusinessreview.com/news.html?news_id=46295
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Yes, something which, much as I hate repeating myself, like so many things in South Florida, would already be up and running -and working successfully!- if this were a very different kind of area.
Well, assuming I'm entirely out of my college football Bowl game-induced coma by then, I'll likely be at this Broward meeting on the 10th, ready, willing and able to pepper somebody with questions. http://www.broward.org/airport/pdfs/corridor_report_7307.pdf
For instance, to start with the most obvious question, will this interface with a future train station on the FEC tracks, per the SFECC meetings I've attended in Hollywood and Aventura, meetings which were full of people wanting this to become a reality as soon as possible?
You know, for residents who'd prefer to simply hop a train near their home near US-1, in both Broward and Miami-Dade counties, to take advantage of easier access and cheaper fares than what MIA-based airlines offer, esp on Southwest Airlines?
Smart people who don't want to pay $ just so their car can take a mini-vacation, in an airport-affiliated parking lot where it's liable to be nicked by somebody wrestling their suitcase out of their car in the next parking space, just inches away from yours?
Background info on the county's plan was found at the Broward County Annual Report Fiscal Year 2006's transportation section http://www.broward.org/publicinfo/transportation.pdf
Port Everglades and Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport officials are in the third year of a study to find ways to effectively move cruise passengers between the two facilities. To date, $4 million has been committed to look at long-range alternatives to link the airport and port. Among the many alternatives being considered are a people mover, which could utilize a raised dedicated guideway betweenthe port and airport.
Other odds and ends:
If I didn't know any better, judging by this story, I'd almost think that L.A. mayor Antonio Villaigrosa thought he lived in South Florida, with his policy of corporate cronyism along the lines of the Vladimir Putin/Mara Giulianti crony capitalism model.
L.A. mayor lines up donors for favorite causes
Villaraigosa has plenty of pet projects, and entities with business before the city have been giving generously to them.
by David Zahniser of the Los Angeles Times
Yesterday's Boston Globe had an interesting update on news about Google's Street View project, which I've been following for a bit now:
For more info, see http://maps.google.com/help/maps/streetview/index.html
Video Google's "Street View" makes its Boston debut
They already have it set up for South Beach, and if some different people were running things up in Hollywood, perhaps in the not-too distant future, they'd have it there, too.
That is, AFTER they get some bus shelters at Young Circle, which I remind you, is only the busiest transit point in all of SE Broward.
Nearly a year after The Arts Park at Young Circle road construction has concluded, the area still lacks a single bus shelter, much less, an info kiosk with schedule and route information for all the many riders of mass transit there, day and night, rain or shine, heat and humidity.
Not residents who need to be persuaded to use mass transit by Broward Transit's full-page ads in the Sun-Sentinel, but rather people who already use it.
This, in a city like Hollywood that, typically, already thinks it's transit-oriented according to Hollywood Commissioner Dick Blattner. It's ridiculous.
Last Friday afternoon I spoke to someone I know at the Broward County Govt. HQ bldg. on Andrews Avenue, someone very much tuned in to the latest news about all things political and policy in the county.
More importantly here, someone who was also quite familiar with my own particular concerns and take on the way things are done around here -when they're done at all.
When I brought up the old sore subject of bus shelters, which I had mentioned at the Broward County Transit Forum at the Broward Convention Center, which rattleded Commissioner Lois Wexler, specifically, as it relates to both Hallandale Beach and Hollywood's rather disastrous management of them, my friend chimed in that based on everything they knew and had heard, essentially, Mayor Giulianti has next-to-no interest in getting shelters there, despite how self-evident the need is.
Apparently, so I was told, it's really too downscale for her tastes.
A few weeks ago, I spoke to somebody at the Hollywood city manager's office about this subject, and while they were very civil on the phone, they couldn't actually offer up even a guess as to when the necessary shelters would actually be up there. If they go up.
That speaks volumes about the way things are in Hollywood right now, and why yours truly would like to see big changes in leadership up there come the January 29th election.
Getting back to Street View for a sec, the Top 15 Street View sightings, as of May, are at: http://mashable.com/2007/05/31/top-15-google-street-view-sightings/
Speaking of infrastructure...
But seriously, I've been meaning to post something about privatization for a bit, and especially since I first read an excellent overview of the subject in Business Week in May titled, "Roads To Riches, Why investors are clamoring to take over America's highways, bridges, and airports—and why the public should be nervous" by Emily Thornton.
Per this subject, there's a lot of controversy back in Indiana over the moves that Gov. Mitch Daniels has made in that regard in his first term.
Most specifically, regarding the Indiana Tollway, which may even affect the gubernatorial election there next year, since it gets to basic notions of what the role of the state should be, policy-wise, in the 21st century.
Speaking not of the Tollway specifically, but the broader topic, is it a hopelessly old-fashioned notion for the state to do something for residents that could be done for them cheaper, more efficiently and faster by private enterprise, just because they always have in the past?
(If you're a regular reader, there's no point in me mentioning again having spoken to Democrat Jill Long Thompson quite a few times over the past 20 years. Jill's currently got a big lead for the Dem gubernatorial nomination in the Hoosier state.)
Oddly enough, though I don't think I look like either one of them, when I lived in the D.C, area, people used to walk up to me -esp in Georgetown for some odd reason- and mistake me for either Mitch Daniels or Vice President Dan Quayle's resident genius on hand, David Frum. http://www.davidfrum.com/
They always seemed SO disappointed when I told them they were mistaken!
I'll have a post in another day or so about the Orange Bowl's Beach Bash not being convenient and fun, since for the second year in a row, it will be held in that bastion of daytime fun, downtown Miami, instead of its four-year home, Hollywood Beach.
As a consequence, it's no longer a Beach Bash but a Fan Fest.
See my July post for more info on the Beach Bash, formerly one of the true highlights of the year.
Public Workshop on Project Development and Environment Study Scheduled January 10, 2008
12/14/2007 2:33:21 PM
DATE: December 14, 2007
CONTACT: Ellen Kennedy, Manager of Corporate & Community Relations
WHO: Broward County Port Everglades and Aviation Departments
WHAT: Project Development and Environment (PD&E) Study Public Workshop Public input is requested for the PD&E Study of a Broward County Intermodal
Center and People Mover System between Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood Int'l
Airport and Port Everglades.
WHEN: Thursday, January 10, 2008
WHERE: Broward County African-American Research Library & Cultural Center,
Auditorium, 2650 NW 6th Street (Sistrunk Blvd.), Fort Lauderdale, Florida
TIME: 6:00 p.m. Information and exhibits 7:00 p.m. Presentation and Q&A
WHY: The Intermodal Center will provide a regional transportation hub to connect
transit users to the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL) and the Port Everglades (Seaport). The People Mover will offer a high capacity system to provide efficient access to FLL, to the Seaport and between FLL and the Seaport for regional users, employees and air/sea patrons. The goal is to alleviate road congestion on the limited access roads between the two facilities and facilitate the need for efficient freight, cargo and petroleum movement out of the regionally significant port.
Members of the project consulting team and Broward County Port Everglades and Aviation Department staff will share project information and answer questions regarding the project.
CONTACT: Carmen Ayala, MTM Partners 954-620-7044 or via email
Sunday, December 16, 2007
That 1-0 Everton-Chelsea game was by far the best game I've seen this year. http://www.premierleague.com/page/Home/0,,12306,00.html
Years worth of good photos of Premiership matches are at WireImage: http://www.wireimage.com/EventListings.aspx?so=4,d&sr=1801&cl=3&ci=403
Earlier that same week, I saw a large truck rig driving thru Hollywood whose cabin roof was painted simply enough: "Gracias a Dios, Maradona, Argentina." (I couldn't help but wonder how many other people who saw that truck got the gist of that.)
I suppose that I should add that the area near where I live in South Florida has a large supply of Argentine emigres, and not just because of The Knife Argentine Steak House restaurant on Hallandale Beach Blvd. and US-1. http://www.thekniferestaurant.com/
The flavorful smoke emanating from there now almost negates the smell of all the horses that have arrived recently for the opening of Gulfstream Park, which opens in 17 days on January 3rd. http://www.gulfstreampark.com/
Tonight at midnight, assuming the Redskins at Giants NBC-TV game is over, I'll be watching the Arsenal at Chelsea match from earlier this afternoon on FSC, and then tape the Premier League Fan Zone version of the game Monday afternoon from 5:30-7:00 p.m. to watch later in the evening.
I'm sure it'll be the usual fierce play between the Gunners and the Blues that's not unlike the Redskin-Eagles games, just without a "Bodybag game."
I've really become quite a fan of the Fan Zone show over the past few months, whose surprisingly simple concept of pairing one knowledgable-but-very-opinionated fan from each team in a small press box at the stadium, while doing a running ad lib commentary of what's going on in the game, as well as the stands and around the EPL, is quite a lot of fun to listen to.
And their criticisms of the refereees and the 'flopping' for fouls is almost always right on target.
The only downside to the show is that, sometimes, they've selected fans whose accents are so thick that they're hard to always understand, and the closed-captioning person back in the States is completely confused as to what's being said.
From The Times April 27, 2007 Portuguese men at war as Ronaldo hits back at Mourinho
by Matt Hughes
Within the past hour, on the Miami Dolphins pre-game show on WQAM Radio, Hank Goldberg of ESPN (and soon-to-be departed from WQAM at the end of the month) said his sources have identified computer entrepreneur and mogul Michael Dell of Round Rock, TX-based Dell Computers as the newest bidder for the Miami Dolphins team and stadium facilities.
See: http://www.dell.com/content/topics/global.aspx/corp/biographies/en/msd_index?c=us&l=en&s=corp , http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Dell
In September, FORBES magazine listed him as the 8th richest American, with an estimated net worth of $17.2 billion.
As you all know, starting this fall, the stadium's newest tenant will be the University of Miami football team, who played for 70 years at the City of Miami's Orange Bowl, which is slated to be demolished in the spring.
A place I practically grew-up at for Dolphin and Hurricane games from 1970-78.
Hank further stated that Related Group CEO Jorge Perez, the real estate mogul whose company owns many of the most valuable properties in South Florida -including many whom I regularly blast on my blog- who'd been identified in initial press reports early Friday evening as a possible bidder for the team, is NOT one of the two bidders who are currently in play.
The other bidder still in the action is Stephen Ross, one of Perez's business partners at The Related Group.
In case you forgot or didn't know about it, Dell Computers bought Miami-based Alienware last year, http://www.alienware.com/ , to help it target consumers and businesses seeking the highest-performance computing products, so I expect at least a few enterprising reporters here to try to talk to Alienware's execs and get some first impressions of Michael Dell.
Well, they should, whether they will or not is the question.
For more info on Alienware, see Dell contracts to buy Alienware, March 23, 2006
Personally, I'd love to see Michael Dell buy the Miami Dolphins.
excerpt from The Miami Herald
Dolphins losing, but fans are still watching
By Barry Jackson
December 7, 2007
AROUND THE DIAL
WQAM (560) is focusing on out-of-market candidates in its search for a successor for Hank Goldberg, who leaves at the end of December instead of taking a 60 percent pay cut.
Former UM lineman Dan Sileo removed his name from consideration because he said he's getting a lucrative new contract from his Tampa station. WQAM, incidentally, is closing in on a five-year deal to retain UM rights.
The Miami Herald
Hank Goldberg leaving WQAM
By Barry Jackson
October 20, 2007
Sports-talk host Hank Goldberg, a South Florida radio presence since the early 1970s, will leave WQAM when his contract expires at the end of December, his agent said Friday.
An official close to the discussions said Goldberg, 67, refused to take a pay cut in the 50 to 60 percent range.
''I can make more elsewhere,'' Goldberg said. ''I don't have that many more years to work.'' Beyond money, Goldberg said, ''I've kind of had enough of this. I've got a lot of ESPN work. I have an idea of something national I want to do.'' Goldberg declined to say what that would be.
Goldberg said he doubts he would work at another South Florida station: ''There's nothing I know of I would be interested in.'' Joel Feinberg, owner of 790 The Ticket, said he won't pursue Goldberg.
WQAM general manager Joe Bell said he and Goldberg are ''at an impasse regarding finances'' but Goldberg can stay if he changes his mind.
Goldberg has been a talk show host on WQAM since November 1992. Two months before that, he was fired from his jobs as a talk-show host and Dolphins color analyst on WIOD because he refused to cancel a guest on his show (novelist/screenwriter Elmore Leonard) when WIOD's program director insisted he talk only about Hurricane Andrew, three weeks after the storm.
Goldberg, who predicts NFL games and does horse racing analysis for ESPN, previously was a sportscaster at NBC 6 when it was WTVJ-Channel 4.
Bell said he will look nationally and locally for a new host to replace Goldberg, who works 4 to 5 p.m. with Jim Mandich and alone from 5 to 7 p.m. Local candidates include WQAM's Kim Bokamper and Orlando Alzugaray and Palm Beach-based sportscaster Evan Cohen, who hosts UM post-game shows for WQAM.
Meanwhile, Bell said he has told Neil Rogers' agent that he will offer the longtime midday host a new contract beyond his current deal that runs through 2008.
To understand what the alleged incident behind the contretemps below was about, see reader comments at:
The Miami Herald
Hank Goldberg back on WQAM
By Barry Jackson
March 10, 2004
Hank Goldberg returned to his WQAM talk show Tuesday after a weeklong absence following an off-air incident involving the station's general sales manager, Luanne Winick.
In an amusing skit, Dolphins coach Dave Wannstedt opened Goldberg's show and said, ''We're going to talk about everything except the Dolphins,'' then said he was taking a call -- from Goldberg, who proceeded to interview Wannstedt.
Goldberg said on the air that he was ''glad'' to be back. ''It was lonely without you all,'' he said to his listeners. "I just want to put the whole thing behind me. It was something that just got out of hand and shouldn't have.''
WQAM general manager Greg Reed met with Goldberg on Tuesday morning and said, "Everything was resolved.''
The Miami Herald
Meeting could decide WQAM fate of Goldberg
Staff and Wire Reports
March 9, 2004
Hank Goldberg's status at WQAM could be determined during a meeting today with general manager Greg Reed. Goldberg has been kept off the air since March 2 following an off-air incident involving Luanne Winick, the station's general sales manager.
If the meeting goes well, Goldberg could be back on the air at 4 p.m. today. But Reed said Monday he has not decided whether to retain Goldberg.
''I don't know what will happen,'' Reed said. "It depends on how the meeting goes.''
Said Goldberg: "I will hear what he has to say. I've talked to Luanne. We're OK. It was a misunderstanding. I'm contrite. I just want to go on.''
On another matter, Reed said he was ''exploring'' the possibility of adding Howard Stern's morning show if Clear Channel's Big-106 does not resume carrying it.
-- BARRY JACKSON
The Miami Herald
WQAM's Goldberg waits for station's decision
By Barry Jackson
March 7, 2004
Hank Goldberg said Saturday he would like to return to his WQAM talk show, but station general manager Greg Reed said he has not decided if or when Goldberg will return to the air.
Goldberg has been off the air since Tuesday after an off-air incident involving the station's general sales manager, Luanne Winick.
''I want to get this over with,'' said Goldberg, who's in the last year of his contract.
"I cursed out a fellow [employee]. I thought I was provoked. I went too far with it. I've apologized for it. It could have been resolved in five minutes if [Reed] had called me in the office, and I would have agreed I was out of line.
"When I was sent home, I was in limbo. He didn't communicate to me directly, so I went to my attorney. I have to protect myself. . . . I haven't been told anything, whether I'm suspended, whether I'm suspended with or without pay. . . . If they want to fine me, OK. Things like this happen all the time in the workplace. I said it won't happen again.''
Reed was noncommittal about Goldberg's future with WQAM.
''I want to take some time and talk to my corporate people,'' Reed said.
"This could have been resolved in a day or two but because of the actions of the attorneys, it has forced us to look at the totality of Hank's contribution to the radio station and his performance.''
Thursday, December 13, 2007
some things worth paying attention to regarding Broward Circuit Judge Cheryl Alemán's
professional demeanor on the bench.
I guess telling the truth can be problematic!
As for Prof. Bruce Rogow, having seen them both in action, he may be one of a handful of people in the country who could give Sen. Charles Schumer a real battle in a race to a microphone stand.
After I initially posted this, I came across Bob Norman's post on his blog, The Daily Pulp, which I commend to you here:
South Florida Sun-Sentinel
Lawyer may lose license for blog entry on Broward judge
By Tonya Alanez
South Florida Sun-Sentinel
December 13, 2007
A defense attorney's law license is at risk because he posted an angry description on the Internet of embattled Broward Circuit Judge Cheryl Alemán, calling her an "evil, unfair witch."
Last week, as Alemán was on trial for alleged misconduct before the Judicial Qualifications Commission, The Florida Bar signed off on its finding that Sean Conway may have violated five bar rules, including impugning the judge's qualifications or integrity.
In the Halloween 2006 posting on a blog, Conway denounced Alemán for what he said was an "ugly, condescending attitude" and questioned her mental stability after, he says, she unlawfully forced attorneys to choose between unreasonable trial dates or waiving their clients' rights to a speedy trial.
Conway, a former Broward assistant public defender now in private practice, said Wednesday he feels justified in his comments.
"She was giving people one week to prepare for trial and as soon as the blog exposed it through powerful words she stopped it," he said. "And that's why I stand by what I did. Sometimes the language the bar approves of doesn't get the job done."
Conway, 36, also filed a complaint against Alemán with the Judicial Qualifications Commission, the state agency that polices judicial conduct, citing her "deliberate refusal" to follow the law and insolent behavior. Conway says he hasn't heard from the commission since a May 29 letter acknowledging his complaint.
Alemán was unavailable for comment Wednesday.
In the meantime, the judge awaits the outcome of her three-day trial for allegedly threatening to hold defense attorneys in contempt and refusing to remove herself from cases in which she had an acrimonious relationship with the defense attorney.
If she's found guilty, she could face anything from a public reprimand to removal from the bench. Likewise, if Conway is found guilty of violating bar rules, he could face discipline ranging from a reprimand to disbarment.
"She is clearly unfit for her position and knows not what it means to be a neutral arbiter," Conway wrote in his commentary.
That posting on Jaablog, a courthouse weblog created a year ago to examine Broward County judges' performances and legal issues, is protected speech, says Conway's attorney, Fred Haddad.
"There's absolutely no reason that politicians, and that's all judges are here in Broward County, aren't open to criticism," Haddad said. "We've got a [Florida Bar] grievance committee that can't even conceptualize the First Amendment. You're dealing with a group of people that are entrenched in protecting each other."
In a Nov. 21 letter to the bar, Haddad cited a federal case, which found that Michigan bar rules restricting attorneys' criticism of judges to be overly broad and vague and unconstitutional.
In that opinion, U.S. District Judge Arthur J. Tarnow, of the Eastern District of Michigan, wrote: "Limiting an attorney's extrajudicial criticism of a branch of government in the name of preserving the judiciary's integrity is likely to have an unintended, deleterious effect upon the public's perception, since attorneys are often the best suited to assess the performance of judges."
That case is on appeal.
Bruce Rogow, a constitutional lawyer and professor at Nova Southeastern University, agrees that bar rules are overly broad and vague but thinks Conway may have overstepped boundaries.
"I don't think there's any excuse for that kind of crude and cruel language," he said. "The trouble with blogs is that people get carried away and sometimes go over the top. There's just some good judgment that needs to be used in criticizing a judge."
The Florida Bar will now write a formal complaint and submit it to the Florida Supreme Court, which will assign a judge to referee Conway's case.
Tonya Alanez can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 954-356-4542.
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Well, to quote myself, Darren McFadden, the franchise/playmaker running back from Arkansas is a great start!
Before I wrote that post last month, and even before UVA came down to the Orange Bowl and laid a 48-0 whipping on the U-M Hurricanes at their last game ever at the Orange Bowl -easily one of the lowest moments in South Florida sports history- I was of the opinion that if the Dolphins won a couple of games before the season ended, they'd consider themselves lucky if they could grab UVA's talented and savvy DE Chris Long, a kid who never takes a down off and has a remarkable sense of anticipation. He seldom gets fooled twice.
The Baltimore Sun's NFL blog Moving the Chains by Sheil Kapadia, has an interview with Armando Salguero of The Miami Herald on his experience covering the winless team. http://weblogs.baltimoresun.com/sports/football/blog/2007/12/qa_on_dolphins_game_1.html Armando answers the McFadden question this way:
Q:I'm sure you started receiving questions about the draft around Week 5. The Dolphins look like a sure bet to land the first pick. What direction do you see them going in?
A: I have no idea whom the Dolphins will draft because the process has really not begun. There is thinking out there that Darren McFadden of Arkansas would be a likely pick, but there is also the argument that picking a running back No. 1 is wasting the pick. No one -- not even the Dolphins -- know which player they will pick. I do know they would love to trade down and garner extra picks in exchange for a minimal move to later in the top 10.
Right, the ol' "trade down" route!
Other than perhaps the 49ers about 15 years or so under Bill Walsh, who routinely outsmarted other NFL teams with their trades and draft selections the way the Patriots do now, just whom has this trading-down tactic actually worked for, under the current free agent system?
Perhaps that explains why this particular tactic is so very popular with 12-year olds with blogs of their own, who love to opine and write "trade down" on newspaper or NFL team forum sites, with little photo icons of SciFi characters next to their names. They lack a larger frame of reference to understand their own 'borrowed' thoughts lack a solid foundation in reality.
I like Armando Salguero, and even have his blog on the SouthBeachHoosier Media Links, but even at this late date, he has yet to construct a logical scenario where, well, a mystery team, can actually offer the Dolphins more riches for their #1 in an NFL draft that every other sports writer keeps writing is average at best. Like they know? Like anyone knows?
As far as the Dolphins actually drafting Darren McFadden, having gotten to the point where a wrong move in the NFL draft in April could leave them highly vulnerable to possibly losing two interdivision games a year, due solely to one player of absurd ability making one Hall-of-Fame move, I guess I'm just old-fashioned. I like proven talent in a playmaker.
In Arkansas they say: McFadden will surpass Tebow in NFL http://www.nwaonline.net/articles/2007/12/11/columns/harry_king/121207king.txt
Not to state the obvious, but the more talent on your team the better. That's evidenced by this year's woeful Dolphin team which is so clearly bereft of talent, football intelligence and savvy. Not to mention, moxie on special teams, though the special team coach can hardly be blamed when so many components of his team have left the team thru no fault of his, and he's forced to play with guys who so clearly wear their trepidation on their faces.
It's almost like the inexperience of this year's Hurricanes team, where guys run out of bounds while trying to catch kickoffs, rather than simply let the ball sail out and draw a penalty flag, is rubbing off on them by sheer geographic proximity.
You can't let McFadden slip away in April or you'll be chasing your mistake for the next 10-12 years, and have national and local sports writers and talk radio mention it every time you play that team. Every time. Could it be any more predictable?If the Dolphins have a brain freeze and foolishly trade down, and the lowly Jets pass on Boston selecting the Boston College QB Matt Ryan,
http://bceagles.cstv.com/view.gal?id=19004&template=player_gallery either they or the savvy Patriots will swoop down upon McFadden toute-de-suite!
Then, be prepared to watch not another hammer fall on stumbling-and-bumbling Dolphin owner H. Wayne Huizenga, but rather the proverbial giant ACME anvil or piano fall on him, as constantly happened to beloved Warner Brothers cartoon icon Wile E. Coyote in his pursuit of The Road Runner. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wile_E._Coyote_and_Road_Runner
For our purposes here, the role of The Road Runner is played by the two-headed Patriot's brain trust of Scott Pioli and Bill Billichick.
The issues, the personalities, the hidden agendas of the people behind the curtain, what levers the unions were pulling on a particular day, plus the group that never matters in the U.S.: the self-proclaimed intellectuals. (And you know who you are!)
More often than not, I used Josh's blog to follow-up on the nightly campaign reports I watched on France 2's excellent news program 20 Heures, http://jt.france2.fr/20h/ , which I watched every night at 11:30 p.m. instead of ABC News Nightline, which I watch only intermittently these days.
For someone with a news junkie DNA like me, I'm fortunate to live in a part of South Florida where www.SCOLA.org telecasts on a local Miami-based low-power TV station, Channel 53, which airs TV news and cultural programming from all around the world, 24/7, via satellite directly from the originating stations/networks.
It's not a "must-carry" for Comcast, but is available to anyone who knows about it, and has either a rabbit ears antenna or a cable line to act like an antenna.
Video is usually okay but not great.
Usually I'd either watch 20 Heures from France 2 -or tape it and watch it later- when it comes on every night at 11:30 p.m., or the 10:30 a.m. encore the following morning.
On Saturday mornings, before I did any errands, I'd zip thru the tapes looking for anything good I might've missed, before throwing out the Post-Its and then put the tapes in my re-use pile.
They usually have an English language translation crawl below the screen that's usually pretty accurate, though during the run-up to the 2nd round, there were the occasional lapses.
I'd usually catch the mistakes when I was being careful in writing down facts that I either didn't know or hadn't read anywhere, or, in transcribing parts of speeches by Sarkozy, Royal, Fillon, et al to their devout supporters, esp. Sarkozy's zingers aimed at Royal and her supporters.
(Speaking of keeping your word, there this, just in from the Financial Times:
Sarkozy’s 100 steps to slimmer government
Reading Josh, I was much better able to connect some of the subtle policy points that were sometimes lost on me, especially given the generally poor U.S. TV coverage of the election.
That tended to have the same p.o.v. or undercurrent to it regardless of the date or subject, a point often hammered home then by Matt Drudge on his syndicated Sunday night radio show: Ségolène Royal as a Hillary precursor.
(In the future, since I wrote down so much, I'll post a lot of the notes I took on Sarkozy's public policy pronouncements during the campaign, which I always found clear and persuasive.)
Josh's follow-up blog, http://frenchpolitique.blogspot.com/ continues his excellent work.
I think this particular recent post about Royal's new book proves it!
A week after the fact, you'd think this Royal story would have Elaine Sciolino's New York Times byline all over it, mais non. http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/s/elaine_sciolino/index.html?inline=nyt-per
Besides bookmarking Josh's site, you might also want to consider adding the Times' own homepage for all things France:
Without further ado, the aforementioned bit of delicious political dirt with context and commentary by Joshua Boswell
Tuesday, December 4, 2007 Royal's Christmas Present
Since he's from Rhode Island, if I ever run into him, I'll have to ask him if he knows my old Arlington housemate Jennifer Dugan, since as I was always told by Jen's friends whenever they came down from R.I. to Washington for a weekend visit, "Everyone who's anyone in Rhode Island knows" the adorable and personable Jen.
And that was before she was flying out of Logan Airport for U.S. Airways.
Nice backgrounder on Brad's years of hard work in The Boston Globe from October is below the
Herald excerpt of last week.
SPOTLIGHT ON GOLF: Honda Classic diversifies
By Jeff Shain jshain@MiamiHerald.com
December 5, 2007
Brad Adamonis (Hallandale Beach) is headed to the PGA Tour, capping a breakthrough year by earning one of 26 cards handed out Monday from qualifying finals in Orlando.
Adamonis was one of just four players to break 70 in each of the final three rounds of the six-day marathon at Orange County National. He tied for ninth at 18-under-par 414.A six-year Nationwide Tour veteran, Adamonis broke into the win column last October by surviving an eight-hole playoff in West Texas. He wound up 33rd on the money list.
Brad's PGATour.com profile page: http://www.pgatour.com/players/02/37/78/
The long-awaited payoff
Adamonis on cusp after playoff win
By Jim McCabe, Globe Staff
October 18, 2007
It went into the record books as a victory that needed eight playoff holes, but Brad Adamonis knows better. It required years of perseverance.
Now in his fifth year on the Nationwide Tour, the Rhode Island native is 34, married, and the father of two, so how his life has changed since he graduated from Miami of Ohio and began his quest as a professional golfer. There always have been flashes of good play to keep him motivated, but what transpired last Sunday validates the time he has put into his game.
"I've been chasing the dream," said Adamonis. "So it feels good to finally win."
He insists that he surprised himself by being so calm in an eight-hole playoff to win the WNB Golf Classic in Midland, Texas, that he was actually more nervous in the closing holes of a final-round 70 that left him at 10-under-par 278. There had been birdies at the 14th, 15th, and 17th holes, but a bogey at the 72d hole, thanks to a poor drive, had cost him.
Or so he thought.
"Guys closing behind me were in good position, so I figured I'd just have a good finish," said Adamonis. "I felt fortunate to get into a playoff."
Vance Veazey and Ron Whittaker were eliminated on the first two holes, so onward went Adamonis and Tjaart van der Walt. They matched pars on the next five holes, but on the eighth extra hole, van der Walt made bogey, so Adamonis's par earned him $85,500 - though it could be a far greater payoff if things continue on an upward turn the next three weeks.
"I know I need at least one more good tournament the rest of the way," said Adamonis.
He was referring to the fact that he has vaulted to 30th on the money list and the top 25 will earn PGA Tour cards for 2008. With $161,735, Adamonis knows he's just $11,379 behind No. 25. He's in Tennessee for this week's stop, with tournaments in Miami and the Nationwide Tour Championship in Lakeside, Calif., to follow.
There's much to look forward to, yes, but so, too, has he tried to savor a victory that has been a long time coming.
"I've been playing fairly well, but it's always felt like I'm one or two shots away from being really good," said Adamonis, who inherited his passion for the game from his father, Dave, the founder of the US Challenge Cup Tour for junior golfers.
Woe is Wie
What has to rate as the season's saddest story took another disheartening turn when Greg Nared became the second manager within a year to walk away from Michelle Wie. "After careful consideration for my future, I have resigned, effective immediately," said Nared, who worked for the William Morris Agency. Wie just turned 18 and has been a pro for barely two years and already she's gone through two managers, both of whom - Nared and Ross Berlin - had her best interests at heart. Game plans envisioned by first Berlin and then Nared never emphasized high-profile tournaments against the men, nor was it ever considered best for the teenager to get her wrapped up in aggressive endorsement deals. Both managers had paid close attention to the almost flawless way in which Tiger Woods had been brought along slowly, and they felt a similar blueprint was in order for Wie. Somewhere, somehow, it has all gone terribly wrong, and since her parents are so in control of their daughter's life - from picking agents to hiring and firing caddies, which they've done at such a pace that father B.J. Wie was back lugging the bag at last week's Samsung Championship - they are the ones who must share the blame. In 2006, Wie was very much in contention to win three majors. In 2007, she played in eight LPGA Tour events and had a stroke average of 76.7. Yet, the numbers don't explain the half of it. The year has been a public relations nightmare, from the disrespectful way in which she treated LPGA Tour members and organizers at the Ginn Tribute, to the shame of accepting a sponsor's exemption into the Samsung when the dignified thing to do would have been to say, "Thanks, but I'm not worthy of this right now." Wie is enrolled at Stanford, which is a nice place for any 18-year-old to be. It's the perfect opportunity for her to take care of herself and tend to decisions for herself. But with her parents having left Hawaii to rent a house near Stanford, you wonder if that's possible.
Monday, December 10, 2007
Personally, I've never been that enamored of the whole cruise ship thing, myself, perhaps from growing-up down here and being innundated with TV commercials.
That said, this video from this popular French TV program does make it look awfully tempting!
Just thinking out loud, it's hard to imagine a better possible location for South Florida's public policy bloggers to have a weekend convention, a meeting of the minds if you will, something that happens in other cities, but which I've never heard of here in South Florida.
Now all we'd have to do is find a foundation to drop some serious coin and...
Besides some great shots of folks obviously enjoying La Dolce Vita aboard Royal Caribbean's Freedom of the Seas, it features some great shots of downtown Miami.
See http://www.freedomoftheseas.com/ and
For now, due to time constraints, I'll pass on this chance to go on a tangent and needle the Miami Herald's constant softball treatment of the South Florida cruise ship industry, and their practically ignoring relevant developments the last few years in suspicious cases involving customers who go "missing" aboard ship.
I'll just mention that when the famed forensic investigator Dr. Henry Lee is in town on behalf of a family, and the case is being given hours of time on Court TV and yet the paper in the town where the company is based ignores that, you can draw your own conclusions, and they aren't at all favorable to the Herald.
Consider for instance how long it took for them to concede that Carnival Cruise Line was putting up FAR TOO LITTLE money to get exclusive naming rights for the much-maligned Center for Performing Arts in downtown Miami, which, typically, Michael Putney of WLPG, Channel 10, was saying from the very beginning
( http://www.local10.com/station/269244/detail.html , http://www.miamiherald.com/443/index.html , and http://www.local10.com/putneyperspective/index.html ) along with a handful of other area bloggers.
See these blog posts below, among others, rightly complaining about aspects of the Carnival Center
http://eyeonmiami.blogspot.com/2007/04/eight-dead-manatees-in-miami-dade-this.html , http://outside.in/places/carnival-center-for-performing-arts-miami )
The South Florida I Grew Up In
Excerpts from Joan Didion's Miami, 1987, Simon & Schuster:
In the continuing opera still called, even by Cubans who have now lived the largest part of their lives in this country, el exilo, the exile, meetings at private homes in Miami Beach are seen to have consequences. The actions of individuals are seen to affect events directly. Revolutions and counter-revolutions are framed in the private sector, and the state security apparatus exists exclusively to be enlisted by one or another private player. That this particular political style, indigenous to the Caribbean and to Central America, has now been naturalized in the United States is one reason why, on the flat coastal swamps of South Florida, where the palmettos once blew over the detritus of a dozen failed booms and the hotels were boarded up six months a year, there has evolved since the early New Year's morning in 1959 when Fulgencio Batista flew for the last time out of Havana a settlement of considerable interest, not exactly an American city as American cities have until recently been understood but a tropical capital: long on rumor, short on memory, overbuilt on the chimera of runaway money and referring not to New York or Boston or Los Angeles or Atlanta but to Caracas and Mexico, to Havana and to Bogota and to Paris and Madrid. Of American cities Miami has since 1959 connected only to Washington, which is the peculiarity of both places, and increasingly the warp...
"The general wildness, the eternal labyrinths of waters and marshes, interlocked and apparently neverending; the whole surrounded by interminable swamps... Here I am then in the Floridas, thought I," John James Audobon wrote to the editor of The Monthly American Journal of Geology and Natural Science during the course of an 1831 foray in the territory then still called the Floridas. The place came first, and to touch down there is to begin to understand why at least six administations now have found South Florida so fecund a colony. I never passed through security for a flight to Miami without experiencing a certain weightlessness, the heightened wariness of having left the developed world for a more fluid atmosphere, one in which the native distrust of extreme possibilities that tended to ground the temperate United States in an obeisance to democratic institutions seemed rooted, if at all, only shallowly.
At the gate for such flights the preferred language was already Spanish. Delays were explained by weather in Panama. The very names of the scheduled destinations suggested a world in which many evangelical inclinations had historically been accomodated, many yearnings toward empire indulged...
In this mood Miami seemed not a city at all but a tale, a romance of the tropics, a kind of waking dream in which any possibility could and would be accomodated...
Hallandale Beach Blog is where I try to inject or otherwise superimpose a degree of accountability, transparency and much-needed insight onto local Broward County government and public policy issues, which I feel is sorely lacking in local media now, despite all the technological advances that have taken place since I grew-up in South Florida in the 1970's. On this blog, I concentrate my energy, enthusiasm, anger, disdain and laser-like attention primarily on the coastal cities of Aventura, Hollywood and Hallandale Beach.
IF you lived in this part of South Florida, you'd ALREADY be in stultifying traffic, be paying higher-than-necessary taxes, and be continually musing about the chronic lack of any real accountability or transparency among not only elected govt. officials, but also of City, County and State employees as well. Collectively, with a few rare exceptions, they couldn't be farther from the sort of strong results-oriented, work-ethic mentality that citizens here deserve and are paying for.
This is particularly true in the town I live in, the City of Hallandale Beach, just north of Aventura and south of Hollywood. There, the Perfect Storm of years of apathy, incompetency and cronyism are all too readily apparent.
It's a city with tremendous potential because of its terrific location and weather, yet its citizens have become numb to its outrages and screw-ups after years of the worst kind of chronic mismanagement and lack of foresight. On a daily basis, they wake up and see the same old problems again that have never being adequately resolved by the city in a logical and responsible fashion. Instead the city government either closes their eyes and hopes you'll forget the problem, or kicks them -once again- further down the road.
I used to ask myself, and not at all rhetorically, "Where are all the enterprising young reporters who want to show through their own hard work and enterprise, what REAL investigative reporting can produce?"
Hearing no response, I decided to start a blog that could do some of these things, taking the p.o.v. of a reasonable-but-skeptical person seeing the situation for the first time.
Someone who wanted questions answered in a honest and forthright fashion that citizens have the right to expect.
Hallandale Beach Blog intends to be a catalyst for positive change. http://www.hallandalebeachblog.blogspot.com/