Wednesday, February 27, 2008
This is an admission of an error of omission.
I thought I had posted this fantastic column by the Baltimore Sun's Peter Schmuck, the week before Christmas, on what sorts of moves the new-look Orioles have made under new GM Andy MacPhail.
As usual, until you see how the players mesh on the field and in the clubhouse, you only have your hopes and your opinions.
That's especially true when you haven't listened to Peter's weekend show on WBAL in months to get the low-down from Baltimore's honest-yet-hopeful fans.
"Mike in Towson, you're on the air..." http://www.wbal.com/shows/schmuck/
But instead of hitting "Publish Post," I hit "Draft" and well... there it's stayed lo these past two months -hiding.
Mieux tard que jamais -better late than never.
First Oriole home spring training game in Ft. Lauderdale is Thursday afternoon against the Marlins.
The Baltimore Sun
Same old story
More O's woes Response to report, quiet price hike have familiar feel
December 17, 2007
The great hope that blossomed around the Orioles organization with the arrival of new president Andy MacPhail was that -finally- it appeared there was a real sign owner Peter Angelos recognized that the revitalization of the franchise would require a totally new way of doing business.
In the aftermath of the first dynamic deal of the MacPhail era, it's fair to ask whether that's proof the club has turned in a better direction.
The answer, unfortunately, is both yes and no....
To read the rest of this Peter Schmuck column, go to:
Monday, February 25, 2008
I checked the story out and the reader from the 407 was 100% correct.
To the best of my knowledge, this particular bit of news about the Mardi Gras contribution has still yet to be reported by either the Miami Herald or the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, or, mentioned on their respective political blogs.
You really can't be too surprised by that, either, since both papers have never delved into Geller's complicity in the primary date change debacle, largely ceding that territory to the Orlando Sentinel, Tampa Tribune and St. Pete Times.
If there was a permanent public ombudsman at the Herald, as there should've been years ago, maybe the reason why that chronic lack of curiosity continues to exist might get fully explored.
Read Aaron Deslatte's whole story from November at http://blogs.orlandosentinel.com/news_politics/2007/11/casino-pays-out.html
Casino pays out for Geller
posted by Aaron Deslatte on Nov 6, 2007 4:13:24 PM
"Last month, Senate Minority Leader Steve Geller couldn’t help taking some shots at the casinos and gaming interests in South Florida giving far more money to Republicans than Democrats..."
Saturday, February 23, 2008
So does that mean that Steve Geller, a man who truly considers himself a master tactician and political operator, was hoodwinked months ago?
Well, it really can't be both can it?
That he wasn't serious but he also wasn't hoodwinked?
How do you prove a double-negative?
It reminds South Beach Hoosier of something a longtime favorite of his used to say, but with laughter.
Richard Lewis used to regularly say at some point in his absolutely hilarious appearances in the mid-'80's on Chicago's Steve & Garry Show (Steve Dahl and Garry Meier), on WLUP-FM, about his many bad dating experiences: "Two wrongs don't make a right."
(See http://www.dahl.com/ for latest info on broadcaster Steve Dahl.
Steve was responsible for some of the very best radio programming SBH has ever heard, and on some afternoons, especially in the summertime, they seemed to be playing in the background of every other store in downtown Evanston, when S&G were their most popular and nobody wanted to miss their comments. They were just amazing!)
If Geller is telling the truth -now- and South Beach Hoosier doesn't think that he is, why did so many people who were actually in the Capitol and who have no reason to lie about it, contemporaneously characterize his demeanor the way they did, suggesting that he was wearing his trademark smirk in the moments before his vote?
As usual, with almost everything Geller touches, his answer rings both hollow and self-serving.
Does he really think that nobody is paying attention when he does these things?
Maybe he thinks he's like so many members of the Hallandale Beach City Commission, to name but one locally elected panel of whom I've personally observed this particular behavior in, who so often appear unsure of the material that's in front of them and ask meandering or self-serving questions, but then, afterwards, want the public who observed their nonsensical actions and unusual behavior to disregard it.
Like they were all just actors playing a role.
Like Geller is really just a Romulan spy in a cloaked ship, which allows him to act upon his whims and flights of fancy un-noticed by the rest of us -until he has to de-cloak before firing a weapon.
My own experience in local, state and national politics is that regardless of the locale, in a circular firing squad, the person who loaded the gun is just as responsible as the person who fired it.
Just dust it for fingerprints!
A good C.S.I. team will find Geller's are all over the gun. _______________________________________
March on Politics
Geller Tries To Set Record Straight On Florida Primary, Says Dems May Suffer In November
Posted Feb 22, 2008 by William March
In case you missed it last July, Herald reporter Gary Fineout had some info about Geller's new political group, a new committee of continuous existence (CCE) called "Floridians for a Stronger Tomorrow." Now that's comedy!!!
Previous South Beach Hoosier posts on Steve Geller, most recent first:
Friday, February 22, 2008
"It's about putting a kid in position for life," Ginn Sr. said of his football philanthropy, which is much more than churning out college talent...
"Ginn Sr.'s commodities are high school talent and compassion. Eight years ago, he loaded up his car, took out a second mortgage on his house and started hauling his kids to various college camps around the Midwest. Just so they could be seen..."
(From Dennis Dodd's 2006 column below)
During last year's NFL Draft in Davie at Dolphins HQ, I was taking a photo of everyone at WQAM's table: Jim Mandich, Orlando Alzugaray, Jimmy Cefalo, et al -and listening
to their remarks on my Walkman- when the booing started when Cam came out to meet the fans.
I'll never forget how quick Jim was to pick up on that abrupt change in room temperature: a cold freeze set in!
I'll have to double-check my photo CD -and those of my nephew Mario, who was there, too- and see if I have any photos of them reacting to Cam's comments.
Obviously, me being me and knowing the things I do, and wanting Cam to succeed in a very big way with the Dolphins, I recall getting a sick sinking feeling in my stomach after that, while I made my way back thru the crowd, towards Cam and the mobs that seemingly wanted to lynch him for passing on over-hyped Notre Dame QB Brady Quinn.
Perhaps if people watch the program on Sunday night with an open mind, they'll have a better understanding of why Cam said what he did about why the Dolphins drafted Ted Jr. with their number-one selection.
(As it happens, Jim really hit on something when he recently spoke on his afternoon radio show about the Wolverines possibly biting the bullet, and playing night games in Ann Arbor, and what a change in culture that would be.
A few days before the Super Bowl, I sent him an email mentioning the paucity of Dolphin covers in Sports Illustrated in the Perfect Season of '72, per his "currentcy theory" and listing what NFL players or teams had been on the covers.
The first Dolphin SI cover during the Perfect Season was Mercury Morris on after the divisional playoff victory at Pittsburgh, despite the Dolphins being 15-0 at the time.)
This is a snippet of Sunday's program about Ted Sr.:http://www.atlasbooks.com/marktplc/02164.htm
See this Cleveland-based blogger's comments and those of his readers at:
Meanwhile, over at the premier Ohio State sports blog, bucknuts: http://forums.bucknuts.com/showthread.php?p=282610
Father figure Ginn Sr. builds improbable Ohio pipeline
By Dennis Dodd, CBS SportsLine.com Senior Writer
September 6, 2006
Cleveland Plain Dealer
Journalist comes away so impressed with Glenville coach Ted Ginn Sr. that he makes him focus of a documentary
Dennis Manoloff, Plain Dealer Reporter
January 5, 2008
John Dauphin met Ted Ginn Sr. at a church in Sandusky in the summer of 2006. Ginn had come to give a speech.
Dauphin, a longtime journalist, was immediately captivated by the Glenville High School football coach, enough that the standard feature story would not suffice.
"I asked if I could follow him around," Dauphin said Friday by phone from his home in Columbus. "He said, 'Sure, why don't you follow me for a week?' More than a year later, here we are."
What began in August 2006 was wrapped in November 2007: "Winning Lives: The Story of Ted Ginn Sr." The documentary, released in December, is being televised tonight and Sunday on ONN.
Dauphin wrote, directed and co-produced the film.
"Teddy's as impressive as anyone I've ever been around," Dauphin said. "While others are thinking about or trying to make a difference, he's out there doing it every day."
On the DVD jacket, the 58-minute film is billed as "a powerful look at the legendary high school coach and his efforts to make a positive impact on the turbulent lives of inner-city youth in Cleveland and beyond."
To tell Ginn's story, Dauphin employs a scattershot approach, which runs the risk of confusing the viewer with all its fits and starts. The safe play, especially for a first-timer, would have been straight chronological.
First-time filmmaker Dauphin, working on a shoestring budget, deserves kudos for taking the gamble. At the very least, bouncing around keeps everybody guessing - and, therefore, anticipating - where the film will go next. It is never boring.
As much as "Winning Lives" champions Ginn as more than just a football coach, the best parts of the film center on football. That includes a trip down memory lane to Ginn's childhood in southern Louisiana, where milk-carton football ruled the day. The kids would put rocks in milk cartons, seal them up and go at it for hours.
Easily the most entertaining part of the film comes from Glenville's 27-7 victory over Strongsville in the 2006 regular season. At the end of the first half, Ginn is borderline apoplectic over a pair of personal-foul penalties committed by his players just before halftime.
In the locker room at halftime, Ginn opens with a "Shut up!" and proceeds to tear into his team for being selfish. (Glenville led, 20-7.)
"Play football and forget your ego!" he screams.
"Friday Night Lights" has nothing on this. If you don't want to put on the pads and hit somebody after listening to Ginn in this scene, well, football is not for you.
By the end of the game, Ginn was considerably more subdued.
When not showing football footage, Dauphin seamlessly mixes in testimonials from former players, including Heisman Trophy winner Troy Smith, Buffalo Bills defensive back Donte Whitner and Ginn's son, Miami Dolphins receiver/returner Ted Ginn Jr.
How grateful to Ted Ginn Sr. is Whitner for where he is today? Whitner has a tattoo on his arm that reads "Thank God for Ginn."
Faith plays a huge role in Ginn's life.
"Sometimes I want to live a simple life . . . but I can't do it," Ginn said. "God won't let me do it."
Dauphin is careful not to get preachy in "Winning Lives." Other than Ginn's direct quote, the references are subtle and interwoven in the fabric.
"It had to be addressed, because it's a huge part of his life," Dauphin said. "But there's a fine line. We made this for people of all backgrounds."
Dauphin also resists making the film a propaganda video for Ohio State. It easily could have happened given the pipeline Ginn has established to Columbus.
"You can't avoid the connections, but at the same time I didn't want to be beating people over the head with Buckeyes, either," Dauphin said.
"Winning Lives" is an uplifting look at Ginn and his mission, no question. It does not, however, come across as Utopian. The film leaves the viewer with a sense that, while Ginn has accomplished much, he has plenty left to do - and it will not be easy.
Ginn would not have it any other way.
To reach this Plain Dealer reporter: email@example.com, 216-999-4664
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Just remember Morgan Freeman's instructive and helpful hint as Charlie to his young hit man colleague Wesley (Chris Rock) in Nurse Betty. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0171580/
"People who get the calls are good. Not flashy, good. They get in, they get out, nobody knows a goddamn thing. You understand? Boom, boom, boom. Three in the head, you know they're dead."
To which South Beach Hoosier adds: But bring an axe just in case!
A new Democratic fundraising plan: watch Geller get roasted
posted by Aaron Deslatte on Feb 18, 2008 5:45:47 PM
Monday, February 18, 2008
Information which the Herald might mention in its characteristic slow-poke fashion, in about 4-5 days, via a dispatch from the McClatchy Washington bureau, minus lots of important context. http://www.mcclatchydc.com/
I'd even settle for an article that's loaded with more innuendo than necessary about why Kissenger's taking such a high-profile position against Germany's too-small role in Afghanistan, where they have any number of limitations on their actions, in exchange for them actually covering the story and giving it the attention it deserves.
I guess it's too much to hope that they'd actually put a story about a NATO ally's rather
underwhelming performance on the front page.
Then again, it's much more likely that the brain trust on Biscayne Bay will do one of their customary two-sentence over-views that run on p. 3A.
Don't wait for the Herald to completely mis-characterize this story -if they run it at all- read it here in its entirety first. Then make up your own mind.
SPIEGEL: What do you expect from European leaders? Should German Chancellor Angela Merkel step up and ask the Germans to make sacrifices in the fight against terrorism?
Kissinger: I think Angela Merkel, like any leader, has to think of her re-election. I have high regard for her. But I do not know many Europeans who would deny that the victory of radical Islam in Baghdad, Beirut or Saudi Arabia would have huge consequences for the West. However, they are not willing to fight to prevent it.
SPIEGEL ONLINE - February 18, 2008
SPIEGEL INTERVIEW WITH HENRY KISSINGER
'Europeans Hide Behind the Unpopularity of President Bush'
Former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, 84, has thrown his support behind John McCain. SPIEGEL spoke with Kissinger about Germany's Afghanistan mission, tepid European commitment to combatting Islamist extremism and whether direct talks with Iran should go ahead.
THE AFGHANISTAN CONUNDRUM
Germany Mulls Exit from Anti-Terror Mission
The demands on Germany's Afghanistan mission are increasing. But the current parliamentary mandate does not allow for more troops to be sent. Berlin is considering creative solutions, including outsourcing parts of the mission or withdrawing from the anti-terror effort.
Sunday, February 17, 2008
Did you catch NBC's David Gregory saying last night on MSNBC's(?) coverage that Barack Obama winning Connecticut was a surprise?
(Meant to write down when he said it so I could tell ya.)
Hmmm... I guess Ned Lamont's victory over Joe Lieberman in the Democratic Senate primary didn't register as much at 30 Rock or on Nebraska Avenue, N.W. as you'd have expected, and apparently, neither did all the footage of rich white CT liberals toasting themself and 'Senator Lamont' that night, months before Lieberman smashed Lamont in the general election, running as an Independent.
Now that's a short attention span, even for a network TV reporter in Washington.
South Beach Hoosier had CT safely in Obama's corner in January -of last year!
That's why they call it prescience!
Speaking of MSNBC and what I think is their sub-par election coverage in general and election day coverage in particular, who exactly is the genius who decided that Michelle Cottle of The New Republic was even remotely dynamic or compelling enough for TV?
And someone who needed to be in heavy-rotation throughout the day?
I've read TNR since the late '70's, and followed the crazy developments there closely enough to have even once recognized talented Princeton cutie Ruth Shalit on sight on Connecticut Avenue in the mid-'90's.
I introduced myself to her as not only a friend of a mutual friend, but someone who was a regular reader of the magazine, and a fan of her writing in particular, which, regardless of the later controversy that ensued, was consistently interesting and engaging, regardless of the subject, which to me seemed to be the same as her personality.
She's really quite a charmer!
What is it about girls from Milwaukee?
I remember thinking while she and I were standing there on the sidewalk, that she'd be the sort of person you'd just love to go on a cross-country trip with -or at least make a spring break run from Bloomington to Ft. Lauderdale with!- since there'd likely never be a dull moment, which is sort of a South Beach Hoosier standard for whether or not you're fun or interesting to be with.
I also seem to recall that she appeared a little psyched at actually being recognized, something that perhaps might not have been the case just a few years later, once she was in the center of a
DC media frenzy.
(Years later, I also became aware of her sister Wendy Shalit's work thru a friend.)
Because D.C. really is a small town in so many ways if you're interested in certain subjects, I ran into Ruth every once in a while.
Once on such an occasion, somewhat inexplicably, she showed me her Princeton ID -nice photo too!-which she still carried in her purse a few years after graduating from there, so she could
write checks to places like the Borders Books on 18th & L Street, et al.
No doubt because TNR didn't exactly pay the big buck$ that make American Express come calling for you.
To me, Michelle Cottle on TV is a stone-cold bore, and emblamatic of the reasons why TNR
has had such a hit-or-miss quality to it the last few years.
Frankly, though I get free access to it thru the DLC, I find the quality has dropped so precipitously that I often only find one good thing in it.
TNR used to be one of my constants on flights home to Miami from D.C., since I knew there'd be topics discussed in depth there that I'd never hear mentioned once I set foot in South Florida, on either TV or in local newspapers.
Now, when I see Michelle Cottle on TV, I reach for the mute on my remote control!
See if you notice what's missing in the way of both facts and context.
The Miami Herald
February 16, 2008
U.N. official decries Gaza closure
BY KARIN LAUB
The eight-month closure of Gaza has created ''grim and miserable'' conditions that deprive Palestinians of their basic dignity, the U.N.'s humanitarian chief said Friday.
Later Friday, a powerful blast went off in the house of a senior Islamic Jihad activist, killing him, his wife, daughter and three neighbors, medics and an Islamic Jihad spokesman said. Islamic Jihad said an Israeli airstrike targeted the house, but Israel denied it.
John Holmes, undersecretary-general for humanitarian affairs, visited Gaza during the day and urged that the territory's borders be reopened to relieve the suffering.
Israel and Egypt severely restricted access to Gaza after the Islamic militant group Hamas seized the territory by force in June. Since then, only a few dozen trucks carrying food, medicine and other staples have been permitted into Gaza every day, while most exports are banned.
The closure has driven up poverty and unemployment, and the U.N. says some 80 percent of Gaza's 1.4 million people now get food aid.
''All this makes for a grim human and humanitarian situation here in Gaza, which means that people are not able to live with the basic dignity to which they are entitled,'' Holmes told reporters in Gaza.
The extent of suffering in Gaza has been a subject of dispute. Palestinians and human rights groups say hardship is widespread, while Israeli government officials have accused Hamas of trying to manufacture a humanitarian crisis for political gain.
Holmes toured Gaza's largest hospital, speaking with dialysis patients and inspecting the neonatal unit. He also visited an industrial zone that once employed 1,800 Palestinians but has been idled by the border closure.
It was Holmes' first visit to Gaza as humanitarian affairs chief, part of a four-day trip that also includes a stop in the Israeli town of Sderot, which has been hit hard by rocket fire from Gaza. His four-vehicle convoy, marked by blue U.N. flags, drove through potholed, muddy streets without a Hamas police escort.
The U.N. envoy started the day at Gaza City's Shifa Hospital, where administrators told him they were worried about a possible breakdown of overburdened generators and that they needed spare parts for medical machinery, like dialysis machines.
In recent weeks, rolling blackouts of several hours a day have been the norm in Gaza, a result of reduced fuel shipments by Israel.
Yes, that's right, never mentioned in this A.P. story was any and all mention of the Hamas-led demolition of the walls along the Egytian border just three short weeks ago, and the resulting mad dash by tens of thousands -hundreds of thousands?- of Palestinians into Egypt.
(How many have returned to Gaza so far? How many will refuse to leave Egypt? How many who did return came back armed with weapons? Now those are questions I want to see answered!)
In the world view of the A.P., that mad dash never happened.
It's a mini-version of Bobby Ewing's shower in DALLAS, circa 1985-86.
It was just a dream.
When Wikipedia, below, is ten times more accurate than the A.P., it's all over but the shouting.
Sunday, February 10, 2008
There are some who think the photos are actually of a dance club in Austria, but for obvious reasons, I prefer to belive it's really in New Jersey.
Then, it'd more readily explain their uncles and grandfathers who live in South Florida.
You know, the know-it-all, seen-it-all guys that never quite completely assimilate into South Florida life, whom South Beach Hoosier sees around the area perpetually wearing their NYPD caps at the beach, grocery store, etc... who are chronic callers to local sports radio shows famous for grand pronouncements, like, "I guarantee that with Parcells in charge, the Dolphins will play for the AFC Championship in two years."
Or, more recently, who claim, in hindsight, that they always knew the N.Y. Football Giants would beat the Patriots in the Super Bowl.
Friday, February 8, 2008
Yes, it's time for Ocean Drive magazine's 15th annual VolleyPalooza celebration of sand and surf, music and limber models.
As always, there'll be celebs of various stripes and makes -athletic, fashion, music- who come by to have fun and take in the scene, too, some of whom aren't even paid to be there.
Like me, they just like it for what it is.
It doesn't pretend it's educational!
(Now if they'd only play more rock music and a LOT LESS rap/hip-hop. So many people I run into there say that, but nothing ever changes. One of these years...)
Of course much of the fun from this particular event comes from watching the hundreds of people who show up whom your intuition tells you probably wish they were models themself, or at least, looked more the part.
How else to explain their strategic response of dressing or behaving in such a way as to draw inordinate amounts of attention to themself, even while feigning surprise anyone notices them.
Perhaps it's the unusual sunglasses or hat they're wearing, or for the women, wearing almost nothing at all, but with high heels -at the beach!
A classic example of fashion trumping function!
Sort of a funnier and less irritating version of the pathetic loner guy who regularly shows up at the park or beach you frequent, who frequently comes by with a snake around his neck or a parrot on his shoulder, a small remote-controlled car, etc., etc.
You know the type!
While I lived in the Washington, D.C. area from 1988-2003, the most frequent scene for that sort of amusing/oddball behavior was at my favorite people-watching spot in all of Washington, right in front of the Sequoia restaurant in Georgetown, down at Washington Harbour, right across from Arlington, with the Kennedy Center and the Washington Monument .
(Sequoia is just a stone's throw away from another popular SouthBeachHoosier spot, the U.S. Park Service's Thompson's Boat House, where I used to run into then-Attorney General Janet Reno quite a lot, both before and after she'd gone rowing on the Potomac.
She was always quick to notice whaever particular style Dolphins cap I was wearing that day, and say hello or wave or give a nod of the head.
At times like that, I was constantly surprised by the reaction of other people around us, usually some family in town doing the tourist thing for a week, and being so amazed at:
a.) just seeing Janet Reno in person in the first place -with no microphones around!- and
b.) seeing her so relaxed and enjoying herself, and
c.) their apparent surprise that she was so friendly and open -albeit with her armed protective unit nearby- since I'd always known how very personable Janet Reno was, from the days when I'd grown-up and lived in Miami, both before and after she replaced Richard Gerstein as the Dade States Attorney.
(I also once ran into present-day Miami-Dade State's Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle one day over at The Florida House when she was up in Washington for a visit and still working as an Assistant to Reno in Miami, circa '89 or so.
I agreed to walk with her and a friend around the Capitol Hill area for a bit and even took some photos of them in front of the U.S. Supreme Court, while dispensing some suggestions for some things to see and do while they were in town, no doubt for some DOJ meeting of some sort.)
That's one of those things you never really think about or are prepared for, until it happens right in front of you: someone else's apparent puzzlement at something that you already know or consider perfectly self-evident.)
See more on Sequoia at http://www.arkrestaurants.com/section_home.cfm?section_id=1&location_id=2&restaurant_id=15
I spent many spring and summer weekend afternoons relaxing there near the adjoining deck, reading the Washington Post, the N.Y. Times and the N.Y. Post, watching the boats go up and down the Potomac, listen to Oriole ball games, and sipping cans of cold Coke in-between writing down random thoughts or brain storms in my handy legal pad. (If only current blog technology had existed then!)
Whether it was one of the many irritating guys with the excessively loud motorcycle, pulling up alongside the access road entrance of Sequoia near the Sun Dial, who keeps gunning the engine; the guy with the new sports car being a little obvious about wanting attention; the clueless, shirt-less guy who acts like he was just working-out and is now cooling down by making really excessive noises and arm and leg movements; the trippy rollerblading guy who gets a little too close to the people he's weaving thru on the sidewalk...There, as at VolleyPalooza, the people-watching is half-the-fun, though the models do have a way of refocusing your attention when they're in a good rally back and forth across the net, as they battle for Ocean Drive magazine's Grand Prize trophy and the opportunity to get a trip to the Turks and Caicos.
Unless something quite unusal happens, as per usual, I'll be rooting for the Elite Models, since of all the modeling agencies with offices here, they've always been -by far!- the friendliest to interact with over the years. In that sense, they're more my type -the girl next door.
Trust me, it's not for nothing that most of the photos I have from VolleyPaloozas past are of their agency.
Plus, whether by intention or circumstance, to me, Elite has always seemed to be the one agency in South Florida with the largest number of what could pass for "corn-fed Kappa cuties" the alliterative description of IU coeds in the early '80's that Playboy used in their Big Ten issue.
It's a phrase that's obviously deeply imprinted on me. http://www.elitemodel.com/
Not least of all because because the description of that girl next door appeal was 100% true then, as I was blessed to have so many friends at the beautiful Kappa Kappa Gamma house who were Exhibit A of that assertion, with brains and personality to spare.
If I can, I'm also going to try to swing by Collins & 22nd Street and take some photos for future posting purposes here of the W Hotel construction that's now in progess, which I haven't seen
posted anywhere else, though I suppose I could've missed it.
I really loved the W in San Francisco when I was there in 2000 on vacation from Washington!
The artist's rendition of the hotel's exterior, below, is interesting, but could also prove to be eerily iconic for the whole SoBe area after a Cat 4 hits, like those tourist hotels along the shore in Cancun the past 2-3 years that seem suddenly denuded and absurd being where they are. Just a thought.
For more photos of the W South Beach project, see: www.starwoodhotels.com and http://www.wsouthbeachresidence.com/EN-presentation-w-south-beach-residences-hotel-condo-hotel-condotel-condhotel-south-beach-miami-beach-florida.html
My prior post on VolleyPalooza was last year, so you might want to check that: http://southbeachhoosier.blogspot.com/2007/02/2007-volleypalooza-on-south-beach.htmlInformation at: http://www.oceandrive.com/flash/interface.html or (305) 532-2544
Some good photos from last year's event at:
Video at: http://volleypalooza.org/
All but the latter of the following will likely be represented this weekend in the matches.
I've tried to find am list of the competing teams and I've come up dry:
Tuesday, February 5, 2008
Just wanted to call your attention to some interesting news I discovered via the Orlando Sentinel a few minutes ago, via email.
Don't think I ever mentioned it here before, but I subscribe to the Orlando Sentinel's excellent political blog, Central Florida Political Pulse, which seems, thus far, to have the great advantage of being able to call 'em like they see 'em with much more freedom than is generally common with other political blogs affiliated with newspapers.
Say, unlike the Miami Herald's political blog, Naked Politics, to name but one.
That low-hanging target, which for the better part of its existence didn't have even a single link to other Herald blogs on their site, still doesn't link to any other newspaper political blog, even ones within the state. Now that's using technology!
(Sounds like a Kim Marcille directive to me.)
The Pulse had an item today that FSU's President, T. K. Wetherell, has suddenly realized the true nature of his job situation, after what only seems like Fourscore and seven ethical lapses and arrests among FSU athletes.
That is, that he was, in fact, within the FSU hierarchy, the wagging tail, not the lead dog.
Well, at least now he knows the score!
He's been chasing the tail all this time, getting damn frustrated.
Now, he's chagrined to discover that he's just like the dog on that hysterical Comedy Central show of a few years ago, TV Funhouse. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TV_Funhouse
I've always loved the term the NCAA uses in documents to describe situations less egregious than this one at FSU, albeit, usually at non-winning schools that can't sell merchandise and get big TV ratings all around the country like the Seminoles: lack of institutional control.
See SMU and death penalty, circa early 1980's.
Unfortunately for my tastes, the Miami Herald continues to walk a far-too-careful tip-toe around the very curious actions and puzzling behavior of Steve Geller, where there's never any telling from moment to moment which of his many 'hats for hire' he's wearing, a topic that both of my blogs will be addressing in the future.
One minute, Geller is the esteemed State Senator and top Senate Democrat of the fourth largest state in the country, a wheeler-dealer in a tiny govt. town who's in love with the sound of his own voice, and who proudly proclaimed his role at the time, complete with trademark smirk and sarcasm, in moving up the date of the presidential primary.
An hour later, Geller is the corporate lawyer/bully, trying to not only prevent Hallandale Beach residents living near the proposal -his constituents- at a City Commission meeting from
opposing his client's bad plans to build an over sized bldg. near their homes, but even worse, he's
actively trying to prevent them from even being able to speak during the public comments portion of the commission meeting.
(Months ago when it happened, I actually was so appalled by Geller's antics that I called a Herald reporter I respect on my cellphone, and then gave her a play-by-play of what happened.
That was really my only card to play because the Herald didn't think to assign someone to a public meeting that produced the largest building in Broward on U.S.-1 south of downtown Fort Lauderdale, the DOMUS project across from Gulfstream Park.)
Later, Geller wears the lobbyist hat he probably loves most, where he gets paid to alternately persuade/schmooze/ply city officials -also his constituents- to grant favors to or accept the plans of his myriad corporate clients who pay him handsomely.
Clients that doubtless make campaign contribution$, wouldn't you guess?
Yes, it's really quite a circle of love, isn't it?
Fortunately, the Sentinel and their blog runs accurate-but-negative things about the ethically-challenged State Senator Geller, who'll continue to mis-represent me and my neighbors up in Tallahassee for a few more months until he's term-limited out of his cozy confine$ in the lap of power.
(Geller has a big fundraiser in Tallahassee this week amongst his pals and clients for an election two years from now, when he'll try to take away Suzanne Gunzburger's seat on the Broward County Commission.
He's not even letting the fact that his Cooper City house isn't legally in the district prevent him from raising money.
He's Steve Geller -he does what he likes.)
The Sentinel blog carried the amusing item below about Wetherell, the former pol and FL House Speaker put in his cushy job by his pals to run a college whose reputation around the country, such as it is, rests almost entirely on its gridiron prowess, not its contributions to anything of real note or consequence, which may be a good thing in the end.
Well, okay, save for some NOAA hurricane/weather forecasters and some very cute FSU coeds, famous for smiling while wearing skimpy outfits at football games.
See http://good-times.webshots.com/photo/2680844980098792027WIsYXc and
And, quite naturally, trying desperately to hang onto that 15 Minutes, witness Jenn Sterger, whose fame first came at the FSU at U-M game a few years ago. http://www.jennsterger.com/
Jenn at Wrigley Field: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2007/writers/jenn_sterger/07/26/mailbag/index.html
One last thing, and it's troubling to me in so many ways that I can't even begin to get into here, but here's the gist of it, with more posts about the subject in the near future, when I post some reviews about aspects of the Herald that I've been sitting on for months.In reading the article in the Herald last Saturday about the passing of former Herald editorial page editor Jim Hampton, Former Miami Herald editorial page editor dies
http://www.miamiherald.com/548/story/403335.html , I came across a rather curious comment from a Herald insider, one which caused me to roll my eyes, since I know only too well how drastically the newspaper needs to be turned around to make it relevant and better in a changing environment.
After I read this comment, I wondered how many other people in South Florida who care about public policy the way I do had a similar reaction:
Hampton's imprint is still apparent on the Editorial Board he helped shape. ''Who we are and how we function is Jim's handiwork,'' [current Heraldeditorial page editor] Oglesby said.
By that, does Oglesby mean the way the powers-that-be at the Herald played chicken recently with their readers, when their Editorial Board didn't make an endorsement in either party for the Florida presidential primary?
That abdication of basic civic responsibility caused even-tempered Channel 10/WPLG political editor Michael Putney so much indignation, that he felt compelled to mention it to his politically savvy audience last Sunday morning, on his popular TV show, This Week in South Florida.
You know, just in case his viewers hadn't noticed its absence in their Sunday Herald while they were munching on their breakfast.
Given the current state of the Herald, I don't know if Mr. Oglesby's comments were something I'd be bragging about if I were related to Mr. Hampton.
But maybe that's just me.
FYI: Last Thursday, I spent the hour in between the two episodes of SouthBeachHoosier TV favorite Chuck on NBC, reading the wit and wisdom of "DUMP STEVE GELLER," an opinionated person in D.C. -so he says- on various forums on a variety of topics, including tax reform, education and the South Florida Sun-Sentinel's bias.
I don't know anything about who this person might be, but it's interesting that someone who lives in D.C., if that's true, would have such contempt and antipathy towards him.
Mine comes much more natural -geographical proximity.
For more information on the antics of Steve Geller, please see this dead-on Sept. 7th story from five months ago. http://news.tbo.com/news/metro/MGB25AM2A6F.html
Line In Sand Has Democrats Hopping by William March of the Tampa Tribune
Well, what do you know, National Dems are as unimpressed by the blustery comments of Geller as his constituents, and the media who collectively hope he'll get his comeuppance somehow.
"State Senate Democratic leader Steve Geller of Hallandale Beach, responding to the candidates' threat to boycott the Florida primary campaign over the Jan. 29 date, angrily urged Floridians to withdraw their endorsements for the candidates - and maybe their money.
"If the DNC chairman and the Democratic candidates choose to ignore our voters, then we can choose to ignore their campaigns," Geller said. "And where we go, so goes our wallets."
Of course, months earlier, Geller's penchant for bombast and delusions of importance cost the state of Florida, as this insightful May 17th post by Jason Garcia on the Pulse blog makes all too clear, http://blogs.orlandosentinel.com/news_politics/2007/05/geller_to_dean_.html
The August 28th response to the post, which references Adam Smith of the St. Pete Times' comments, is one that the Herald and the rest of South Florida would've been smart to share with local residents, but never did.
Why do you suppose that is?
Wetherell criticizes FSU athletic department posted by Aaron Deslatte on Feb 4, 2008
The whole story of Wetherell's self-discovery
FSU president knocks Seminoles athletic department
Didn't trust athletic department to conduct cheating probe
Andrew Carter, Sentinel Staff Writer
Who knows, maybe he'll open his eyes and realize that he can help change the direction of a program by signing with them, rather than going to one of the usual suspects.
That's be nice to see, regardless of what school that is.
Being a devout Hurricane football fan since 1971 and a Hoosier fan since 1979, it's frustrating sitting here knowing that Pryor's such a talented basketball player, too, but that both the U-M and IU are not even on his radar screen, since he seems to have the kind of natural ability, smarts and leadership that could really help both sports in Coral Gables or Bloomington.
He'd look so great in the cream & crimson or the orange & green of the Hoosiers or Hurricanes!
On the other hand, at least Pryor won't be one more PA high school QB -a la U-M alum Jim Kelly- that Joe Paterno tried to recruit and turn into a linebacker.
Those kind of recruiting stories stories never get old when you beat Penn State!
Less so when you lose the national championship to them in the '87 Fiesta Bowl game as the the top-ranked team in the country, when you clearly have the better team, brimming with future NFL talent!
Somewhere, I still have the Fiesta Bowl t-shirt with the -M helmet on it which I bought at the U-M bookstore that Christmas break, when I came back from Evanston.
Meanwhile, some guy that nobody has ever heard of will likely sign tomorrow and in three years, be in the Top Five in Heisman Trophy voting, and everyone you meet will say, quite mater-of- factly, that they always projected him 'ready for the next level.'
Such is the world of recruiting.
Top recruit Pryor keeps college coaches on hold
USA Today also had some positive news for U-M fans like me who could use some, with a story (and photo) of U-M Hurricane-to-be, safety Vaughn Telemaque of Long Beach Poly, one of the top players on the West Coast from a school with a history of producing talented playmakers, something the Hurricanes desperately need on both sides of the ball.
Telemaque had no problems seeing himself at Miami. He has lofty goals and hopes to help Miami get back to the top of the national polls.
"We're going to get Miami back in the national title hunt," he said. "I have some big goals when I get out there. I think I have a great opportunity to get early playing time, but I'm going to have to work for it."
Before I mention some other aspects of the college recruiting process, as well as the odd comment here and there, let me ask some questions for which there may not be any good answers, but questions that need to be asked nonetheless, a word I rarely use on my blogs.
How can IU football be anything more than a one-year wonder -given James Hardy's leaving early for the NFL- if the program continues to do such a piss-poor job of recruiting in the state of Florida?
It's really great that Hoosier QB Kellen Lewis is from the Jacksonville area and has turned out to be such a wonderful kid on and off the field, but as of a few days ago, rivals.com, http://indiana.rivals.com/commitlist.asp?school=30 showed only two kids from the entire state going to Bloomington, Peter St. Fort, a DB from Naples and A.J. Thompson from Lakeland, an offensive lineman.
That's simply not enough to be competitive!
Having been as deeply involved with IU athletics as long as I was, and as were so many of my best friends, I'm under no illusions about IU's football program or it's relative place within the football universe.
But I'm dumbfounded to see so many kids from the state who could be effective players at IU, leave for out-of-state programs that play in lesser conferences in MUCH more unattractive towns and blah campuses.
And really, what are MAC schools doing, getting more players from Florida than IU?
IU outclasses them in every way, but the only way to get those kids and use Bloomington and its resources to ultimate advantage is to develop a rep for producing playmakers.
I wish those two Florida kids I mentioned earlier the best, I hope they turn out to be great players and teammates and more importantly, get the great education they should get at IU, but I didn't see the word playmaker, dynamic or change-maker in their player profile.
That's what you need to get from the state of Florida, even if they're only County 2nd team, 3rd team or honorable mention, to stop the feast and famine routine at IU.
This is not an entirely new thought of mine, since many of my IU alum friends from all over the country used to wonder this when we'd get together to watch IU basketball games or U-M football games while I was in Evanston or Washington, D.C., either at my place or at some sports bar.
This was just before U-M, FSU and the Gators would routinely finish in the Top 5 by the end of the year, but the demographics and talent of the state were already hard to deny.
I even wondered this while I was at IU and would glance at the football roster and see maybe two players from the entire state of Florida there. It was presposterous even then.
Back then, when the sports TV landscape was much more limited, I always thought that given that IU had the advantage of playing in the Big Ten conference, that it would probably take IU having some high-profile skilled offensive players and a 2-3 year stretch of 7-4 or 8-3 seasons to overcome the inertia of Florida players to consider the idea of Indiana, even as I knew there were talented but not superstar caliber players leaving the Sunshine State for places like Michigan State or Illinois.
As for the Hurricanes and Coach Randy Shannon, would it be too much to ask that they actually try to sign some talented possession wide receivers or tight ends from Oklahoma and the Midwest?
Players who aren't speedsters from the inner city or from around Lake Okeechobee, and who foolishly think that speed is the answer to every question?
It's not, otherwise the U-M football program wouldn't have sunk to such pathetic levels.
You know, recruit ballplayers who hustle throughout the ballgame, instead of guys with big heads who think they can take breaks during an offensive drive, like multiple-year football failure and off-field screw-up Lance Leggett, who has regressed since he first signed?
He should've been released from his scholarship after the 2006 season, but Randy Shannon,
channeling Father Flanagan, gave him more chances to screw-up and screw-up Lance Leggett did. Over and over.
I still have handy my audiotapes of WQAM's play-by-play broadcastsof last year's U-M games, including a compilation tape of the season's highs and lows that I put together, to free up the other tapes.
One of the common elements of any ballgame was the WQAM announcing crew calling out
Lance Leggett for self-evident lack of hustle or effort, whether that was NOT going for the ball along the sidelines when the QB was running for his life and needed a dump-off target, not laying down a block on a running play, or taking one of his customary siestas during the game, when he sleepwalked.
Randy Moss might've been able to get away with that, but he's Randy Moss.
LL is just code for lazy.
You know, players along the lines of Howard Twilley, Steve Largent, Wes Welker, Dallas Clark or Jeremy Shockey? That'd be a nice start.
Many other U-M fans I know share a similar feeling.
We're SO fed up with watching lanky, trash-talking wannabe stars who can't go over the middle in a game against a tough opponent late in a game.
Players so fundamentally unsound around the sidelines that they lack proper footwork skills and don't know how to make a good target for a QB running for his life, as has been the case far too much the past three years in Coral Gables.
Frankly, if it was up to me, a good starting point would be dropping some curent U-M wide receivers who failed to show any signs of intelligent life when they were given their chances, few though that may've been.
The most embarrassing part of last year's season was the U-M's beyond-shameful passing performance against North Carolina State, where they actually chose to line up wide receivers behind center in the shotgun for a direct snap.
Sorry, but only completing one pass in a game should be enough to get a coach on the hot seat and a player demoted.
The most recent Tom Lemming 2008 National Top 25 rankings of college recruits for CSTV is at: http://www.cstv.com/sports/m-footbl/recruiting/classrankings/08national.html
He has Notre Dame ranked first, the Gators third, U-M ranked eigth and the Seminoles at ninth. He ranks 5 Big Ten schools in the top 20, including Minnesota, saying "Finishing 1-11 on season and reeling in T-20 class makes Tim Brewster and staff biggest surprise in country."
List of Gator verbal commitments: http://interact.cstv.com/recruiting/searchrecruit.cfm?sport=football&dbyear=07&school_name=fla
Tom's CSTV show Generation Next will have their annual National Signing Day programming Wednesday. The first show will be a one-hour program at 10 a.m., followed by a four-hour show at 2 p.m., which repeats at 6 p.m., with a one-hour wrap-up show at 10 p.m.
Tom's 2008 All-American team is at: http://www.cstv.com/sports/m-footbl/recruiting/allamericans08.html
The Hodge Football Reporter, from Director of Recruiting Coverage for CSTV.com, Bill Hodge is at: http://slog.cstv.com/hodgereport_fb/
His list of IU verbal commitments is at: http://slog.cstv.com/hodgereport_fb/indiana/
Scout.com has U-M's class ranked 4th, FSU at 6th and the Gators ranked 7th, with IU ranked #58 in its rankings, with barely one-third of the talent and ability of top-ranked Alabama's.
Scout.com's HoosierNation football page with tons of info and video is at: http://indiana.scout.com/
Their John Decker reports on three recruits that IU is desperately trying to get, and why they may or may not sign with the Hoosiers: http://indiana.scout.com/a.z?s=170&p=10&c=726247&refid=4781
Meanwhile Jamie Newberg of SuperPrep.com takes a look at the Top 25 schools at: http://recruiting.scout.com/2/726125.html
The Big Ten Network will delve into the recruiting process, present expert analysis and unveil video highlights of the Big Ten's newest student-athletes with three editions of BIG TEN TONIGHT: SIGNING DAY SPECIAL: A live 90-minute show beginning at 5:30 PM ET Wednesday, Feb. 6; A 60-minute edition of BIG TEN TONIGHT later that evening with additional analysis; And a live 60-minute show on at 6 PM ET on Thursday, Feb. 7.
Excerpts from email I just received from the Big Ten Network.
Big Ten Network to Air National Signing Day Specials
Network to devote three shows to college football's most anticipated event
CHICAGO - Fueled by months, and sometimes years, of speculation and controversy, National Signing Day is the most anticipated day in college football. No single event has a greater effect upon the fates of football programs and the fortunes of coaching staffs.
The Big Ten Network will delve into the recruiting process, present expert analysis and unveil video highlights of the Big Ten's newest student-athletes with three editions of BIG TEN TONIGHT: SIGNING DAY SPECIAL:
A live 90-minute show beginning at 5 PM ET Wednesday, Feb. 6;
A 60-minute edition of BIG TEN TONIGHT later that evening with additional analysis;
And a live 60-minute show on at 5 PM ET on Thursday, Feb. 7.
"These shows will allow Big Ten fans to look into the crystal ball and see the future of their favorite teams and their archrivals," Big Ten Network coordinating producer Quentin Carter said. "The great thing about our coverage is that we'll concentrate solely on 11 schools and the student-athletes who will be coming to these 11 campuses."
Wednesday's programs will include portions of university press conferences, interviews with Big Ten coaches and instant analysis. On Thursday, Big Ten Network experts will closely examine each school's recruiting class and evaluate how each team addressed its most immediate and long-term needs.
Hosts Dave Revsine and Rick Pizzo will be joined by Big Ten Network analysts Gerry DiNardo, Howard Griffith and Chris Martin and national recruiting expert Bob Lichtenfels of Scout.com.
For more information regarding the Big Ten Network, visit www.BigTenNetwork.com.
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/