Are Forclosures Trashing Your Neighborhood ?

     Mark Yurex, of Middle River Terrace, says it’s certainly ruining his !

     Middle River Terrace is a middle class, mostly blue collar neighborhood that sits almost exactly, (geographically), in the middle of Fort Lauderdale. It’s had it’s share of problems over the last twenty years, but soared in value, and stabilized, during the boom years.
     And like other neighborhoods in Fort Lauderdale and elsewhere, the boom went bust. Lots of would be millionaires just packed up the dishes and flew the coop. Here is what they are leaving behind! 

                       How would you like to live next door to this beauty of a pool?


     Thought buying a home on the water would protect you from bad neighbors? … Guess again.


                          Is this home using the Real Estate tip of “curb appeal”? NOT! 


                                           So what’s the City doing about it? 

     According to Michael Maloney, Code Enforcement Manager for the City, the City is keenly aware of the problem, has established a Task force and is working on solutions to the problem. He says that Yurex’s neighbor’s house is on the bad list, and they are trying to figure out how to tackle the problem. He says that the wrinkle is that no one claims responsibility for many of these properties, and the City Ordinances aren’t strong enough to fix this complicated mess. He lamented that there are “100’s and 100’s” of these abandoned and degrading homes, dispersed “through-out the City”.
     He also said that the City Commission is looking for the City Management to suggest new laws that will be effective. Until then, the City is adverse to just swooping in, draining the pools, and mowing the grass, as the City wouldn’t ever be paid for their efforts.

     As far as Yurex is concerned, he could care less if the city collects or not. He doesn’t feel the City should let these dangerous and rotten conditions exist. In a letter today to the Mayor and City Commission, he rather forcefully states that he is tired of the City’s excuse. “Since my letter of two weeks ago, the weeds are two weeks taller, the pool and ponds have been the breeding ground for a million more mosquitoes, and my property values continue to drop”.

     When Code Manager Maloney was reached for a comment, he said the pools and ponds would be treated tomorrow.

     Something should be done! 


Police Chief Case Not Nuttiest?

     We were all aghast!

     Our brand new Police Chief, Frank Adderley, had been lying in bed, when his wife burst in and leveled a 9 mm Beretta pistol at him and fired away. She missed, thank God! She chased him into the yard, continuing to fire away, (continuing to miss)! The details are sketchy, the citizens are perplexed.
                                    Adderley as young Officer with
                                                       former Chief McCarthy and
                                                   Captain Urschalitz in background

      And that’s crazy for sure. And we are all correct in being shocked, and wanting an explanation. After all, we adopt our public figures as if they are our own. But is it the craziest thing that has ever happened here in Fort Lauderdale?

     Not by a long shot! (excuse the pun)

     Here are some of the more insane things that our cherished town has produced and that have been on the front page of the papers over the years. We’ll start right from the start! And I’m expecting you send in more examples. 

   …… Most of the towns residents were viciously murdered by Seminole Indians before the town was even incorporated!

     …… The City’s founding father, Frank Stranahan, who served as the first Postmaster and City Councilman, tied a sewer grate around his foot and jumped into the New River as a most creative way to commit suicide.


                                            Stranahan during happier times

We weren’t always so progressive. “No Jews” signs were posted along many of the beachfront hotels in the 1940’s and 1950’s and “Colored” toilets were in the Courthouse, and the “Colored Beach” was in Dania!

     ……  In the 60’s, The owner of the “Button”, a raucous and raunchy Spring Break bar, was arrested, after undercover Police Officers witnessed contests where crazed college kids were actually performing sex acts, on each other, on stage.

                                        [no picture available!]

     ……  In the 80’s, the downtown headquarters of the International Gold Bullion Exchange on East Broward Boulevard was raided after it was learned that the tens of millions of dollars of “gold” they were selling and storing in their vaults was actually gold painted wood blocks.
                                          Gold Wood Bars Cheap!
     …… And in the 90’s, Vice Mayor Doug Danziger, who had led an effort to close the topless bars and adult businesses in the City, resigned from office after it was learned that he was a client of the infamous local high priced call girl Kathy Willets.

                                          Kathy after surgery

     So there is some perspective. We will probably find out over the next few weeks or months all the sordid details of why Police Chief Adderley’s wife saw fit to “try and scare him”, (so she says), but all in all, it may be that we all just live in a really crazy town!

More Mayoral Candidates ..Crowding Up The Field!

   And now there are five ! …

Just in case you are keeping count, the fifth candidate for Mayor of Fort Lauderdale jumped into the fray this week! More about him in a minute!

     If you’ve been following what is sure to be an interesting political cauldron bubbler, you will remember that the race began simple enough; a three term, term limited Commissioner, (Hutchinson), the only candidate for months.

     Then, in came the other big gun, the State Representative (Seiler), and the race was on.
                              Seiler’s well attended fund raiser last week

     But, as usual, just to make sure there would be a primary in the Mayor’s race, in jumped relatively unknown, but well resourced attorney, (Steve Rossi). The newest news on Rossi is that he has officially moved into the city from Wilton Manors (as has Seiler), and word is that he is coming out with a very provocative City financing plan soon!

     Then, when some thought it would stop with the three, in leaps former City Commissioner Dean Trantalis. Trantalis is talking confidently about his chances. Trantalis is rather locally famous, and was the only gay citizen in the race when he got in. Add his popularity with much of the beach folks and some other slow-growth residents, and you could see where his entry into the race could muddy things up!

     Then came the Colonel, now there are five!

     His name is Earl Rynerson, former Gulf War Lt. Colonel, and also GAY ! Now there are two gays! Wouldn’t you love to be a fly on the wall at the Naugle household this week ? 

                                   Rynerson at the Florida Dem’s Convention 

Rynerson has been a resident of Fort Lauderdale for about a decade. He has no political experience here, but boasts that he served as a Commissioner in San Francisco, (that’s an appointed position in S.F., kind of like our Advisory Boards, but with real budget approving authority). 

    Rynerson has little name recognition, but he could get some footing, as it appears that he has made millions in different businesses he has owned. His current business is Clad Tile and Stone, near Fort Lauderdale High School. Rynerson has been making the rounds of the big names in the City, and what he lacks in familiarity, he seems to make up with his personal gusto.

     So, stay tuned, I have been predicting 7 total candidates by election day, so there might be two more to go! 

Political Signs, Smashed and Sliced!

     Democratic Candidate for State Representative in District 91, Christian Chiari, is really pissed.

     His big and expensive political signs, (that we have begun to see more and more of with the November election coming fast), are being trashed. And not just pulled down, but slashed and stomped and split and kicked. 

     Chiari says , “one thing is certain, someone feels threatened by my signs”. He added that his big signs are sponsored by individual donors and that he “doesn’t have the heart” to tell his sign sponsor, a little old lady on the beach, that her sign has met an untimely end.

     Now this is nothing new. The unseemly sport of yanking the oppositions’ campaign signs has been around forever, but the Chiari signs are being unusually battered.

     Therefore, Tim Smith’s Fort Lauderdale is offering a $1000.00 REWARD, leading to the conviction of the slasher/stomper.

     Chiari says he thinks he knows which political opponents’ camp is behind the pummeling. So I reached out to the Bogdanoff campaign for a comment. None has been forthcoming, as of yet.

     The Reward money is in the bank. Give me a call……Tim