How do some Fort Lauderdalians spell R-E-L-I-E-F ?

     Summer might officially start on June 21st, but here in South Florida, expect it any day now!

     It will be the same story for many months – HOT and HUMID, chance of an afternoon thunderstorm, or maybe just a quick hurricane! 

     But my wife and I have found a way to get relief from all that, and you’re invited!
                                      It’s called Bear Creek Lodge and Cabins. 

                            one of the 7 cabins  …. this one’s called “Treehouse Cabin”

     full disclosure time !!  –  My wife Cindy and I have been developing this special piece of the Georgia Blue Ridge Mountains for a few years now, and we’re ready to invite all of Fort Lauderdale up this summer (at least all the nice ones). And to do our part for stimulating the economy, we invite you to come at half price off our regular rates !!

     It’s about 90 minutes Northeast of Atlanta, nestled in the hillside of a fun town called Alpine Helen, and it’s smack dab on the Chattahoochee River. What’s more, you don’t use air conditioning there, because it often drops into the 50’s at night, even in August!

     Here’s a few more pics:


                               the Cabins are high quality ……..

                                                       the River Tubing is relaxing  ……….

                                         the hiking exhilarating  ………….

                                                            the town’s a blast !  …………….

     The Lodge and all the Cabins can accomodate about 45 people total, so bring your family and friends too!

     You can get more info by going on the web site      
     Call Cindy or I when you’re ready to reserve at 706-878-9075.  Or e-mail me at   

                                                                  we’ll be waiting !!  ……………..



Tear Down The Condos At The Beach?

     He is C.J. Beck, one of the Fort Lauderdale Beaches’ feisty condo commandos, and a well known accomplished international author. He has just published his third novel.

     He resides part of the year at the Illini Condo, which is at the southern end of the beach, in front of the Bahia Mar complex.

     He’s often been critical of beach redevelopment. He says City Commissions have been “snoozing” instead of planning, (does that include me?) and believes the only hope for the Fort Lauderdale Beach is selective “demolition …. large scale”.  I’m assuming the selective part excludes his building!

     His books are fun, I’ve read one. His newest novel seems to be set close to home. Here is the front cover  – 



     He says it a fictional story, set in a seaside town called Las Olas By -The -Sea.

     He says characters in the book might resemble some local Fort Lauderdale characters, but that would be coincidental, since, he says, “the book is purely fictional”….


     The book appears to be a combination murder mystery, survival guide for condo living, and a not so gentle poke at some harsh condo rules.

     Here’s an example:


                                                used to enforce one of the book’s fictitious
                                                             condo’s  “no pets” rule

     We do have some interesting residents here in paradise !

      If you’d like a copy of Beck’s new novel, send him an e-mail to


Last Bloody Update #2 !

    The Fort Lauderdale Police Street Crimes Unit is back, but I took some flack!

     When we told you about the daytime crackhead stabbing at Dixie Highway and NE 13th Street, and the unacceptable performance of the BSO 911 call center last week, we didn’t know just how much of a &%#! storm it might ignite downtown.

     I reported on this blog that  the new City Commission’s “mission to cut expenses” led City officials to nearly nix the productive anti-crime squad. That brought out the ire of Mayor Seiler, who told me (and commented on this blog) that he strongly disagreed with the decision to lay-off the Street Crimes Unit, and that I should clear up that the City Commission had no part in the decision. 

                                                                          Seiler on the Street Crimes Unit

      Then I got a call from the City Manager, George Gretsas. I have a good working relationship with the Manager, and when I called him last week to ask if his administration was responsible for the tough crime squad’s furlough, and didn’t get a call back, I assumed that my “source”, a high ranking Police Official, was probably right on the money.

                                                                     Adderley and Gretsas a few years back

        Turns out that Gretsas was on vacation, and his Assistant, David Hebert, didn’t get the message to phone me for days. Gretsas says he had “nothing to do with the decision” to transfer the squad, and that Chief Adderley would be making that clear soon. I was then copied on an e-mail from Adderley to a neighborhood anti-crime activist that was upset over the uptick in crime in his area. This should put the issue to rest.

     Here’s the Chief’s e-mail:

        Sal, just to clarify some points mentioned in the blog. Although there has been an increase of crime in April, we did have a 4.6% reduction of part one crime in the first quarter of 2009. It was my decision, not the City Administration to temporarily reassign members of the Street Crimes Unit to the Patrol Division. Neither the Commission nor the City Manager ordered any reductions in the police department’s budgeted overtime. My decision was based on overtime expense. However, the Street Crimes Unit has been fully staffed and operational for the past week. I agree with you, the Street Crimes Unit has been a tremendous success. I am currently working with the Budget Office to address the Department’s overtime expense. At the first meeting in May, we will have an item for Commission consideration for additional resources to support crime reduction strategies. Your continued support for the Police Department is greatly appreciated!!!

      Stay tuned!………… Tim

Update ! …. Stabbing,Thugs,Blood, … Relief?

     Word has it that relief may be on the way.

     The decision to transfer the Fort Lauderdale Police Street Crimes Unit back into Patrol has been reversed!

     You’ll remember that the new Police Chief, Frank Adderley, created the powerful Special Force to turn back rising crime rates and nagging street crimes. Adderley knew how productive those teams could be, as he was a Special Team member himself, back in the day…. see below!

                                 Adderley, with former Chief McCarthy (in street clothes) behind him

      But a new City Commission, with a mission to cut government spending, sent City Officials scrambling for ways to cut, and it nearly nixed the cost-effective squad.

      Street crimes lurched forward, and neighborhoods from SR 84 to Wilton Manors began to feel the pain – and complain!

      Chief Adderley says the Unit is back in action – bad guys beware! 


Stabbing, Blood, Thugs, and 911

     While the new City Commission wrestles with forecasted budget woes, some areas in the City are feeling the effects already, in blood on the streets!

     Yesterday, horrified neighbors and business owners watched as a 30 year-old crackhead was stabbed in broad daylight by a group of drug dealing thugs at the busy intersection of Dixie Hwy. and NE 13th Street. And as the onlookers feverishly tried to call 911, no one answered, (more about that in a minute).

     Things had been greatly improving in the area, with new Police Chief Frank Adderley’s special Street Crimes Unit, but the City Administration has reportedly ordered reductions in the Police Departments budgeted overtime, and the Special Unit has been ordered back into Patrol duties. Crime in the area is quickly getting worse.

                                                                       Chief Adderley and former Chief Roberts

Here’s how yesterday’s mayhem played out:

………….   the bloodied man’s screams got everybody’s attention. The area business owners darted outside to see what the fracas was all about. ” He was covered with blood, staggering around the intersection yelling –  I’ve been stabbed“, said Katherine Barry, Director of the non-profit, Home’s Inc., which builds and maintains homes and apartments for aged out foster kids and other needy folks. “Cars were slamming on their breaks to dodge him, it’s a wonder no one ran him down”.

     Many of those watching began to call 911. But nobody was home! ” I let it ring at least 30 times”, said one bystander, who asked not to be identified. Others reported the same problems as they called 911. [ The 911 Call Center  is not run by the Fort Lauderdale Police, but by the Broward Sheriff’s Office.] 
      “And the stabbing thugs just hung around and went into the Super Duper Liquors to get a bottle like they weren’t the slightest bit worried”, said 13th Street Alliance V.P. Randall Klett.

     Still awaiting a Police response, Barry, a woman small in stature, but big in chutzpah, decided to follow the thugs as they left the area. “I didn’t want them to get away” explained Barry, “so followed them into the park, but my high heels were slowing me down”.

      Neighbors finally got through to Fort Lauderdale Police by calling them directly at the Police Station, but by then, the thugs had made their get-a-way. The crackhead was transported to the hospital.

      Police Administration officials say they are frustrated. They say that everyone “likes to say Public Safety is priority one”, but do they really mean it?



New Commission’s First Day on the Job

     The first full meeting of the new Fort Lauderdale City Commission was a doozy.

     In a marked difference from the brief, and generally short on substance meetings of former Mayor Jim Naugle’s City Commission, yesterday’s meeting of the new Mayor Seiler Commission took on most of the pressing issues of the day.

     Mayor Seiler apologized multiple times for “loading up the agenda”, but said there was a lot to do and he and his Commission were ready to get to work. And get to work they did!

              Rogers …. Dubose …. Roberts ….  not Rodstrom  ……. Seiler                  (the real Rodstrom)          

    Get an eyeful of just some of the lofty items they discussed yesterday:

   ….  considered the Property Appraiser’s plan to reduce home values
     …..  stopped much of the City’s discretionary spending
     …..  curtailed City Employee travel
     …..  agreed to install cameras to catch red light runners ( revenue producer!)
 …..  canceled Capitol projects they felt weren’t worthy
     …..  approved Neighborhood Enhancement projects ( but reduced program by 10%)
and also …..
     …..  picked a new Vice-Mayor (former Chief/Commissioner, now Vice-Mayor Roberts
     …..  asked Advisory Boards to add “note to the Commission” on their minutes for important issues
     …..  talked of gearing up City’s Centennial celebration plans
     …..  picked firms to deal with the City’s foreclosure properties

    ………………………..   and then it was a little after midnight, and they called it a day (or a night!).

     Only time will tell if this group will keep up the pace, and deal with the problems that are facing our City…

                                                     ………………….   but yesterday was a good start!

Fort Lauderdale City Commission Abolishes City Government!

    In the most sweeping and bold action ever taken by any City Government anywhere in the world, the Fort Lauderdale City Commission decided late Tuesday to throw in the towel and completely cancel the entire municipal government!

     The City Commission, which began the year the City was incorporated, 1911, had almost made it 100 years before it ended yesterday.

     It all happened unexpectedly Tuesday during the second meeting of the new Commission.

        … City Manager Gretsas was giving the new City Commission a report on all the expenditures in the “pipeline”, as had been requested of him during the Commission’s first meeting last week. Apparently, the massive amount of expected future spending sent the Commissioners into a irretrievable frenzy.

   ….. Commissioner Bruce Roberts started the discussion. ” OMG, I thought the Police department budget was big! This is unacceptable.” Roberts went on to state that he was a fiscal conservative, his “peeps” were fiscal conservatives, something fiscally conservative must  be done.

   ….. Mayor Jack Seiler was also aghast. “Who’s job was it to watch that old Commission anyhow”, Seiler wondered aloud. “This government is more bloated than a warted toad on a foggy morning!”.  “I can’t begin to imagine where to start to cut this heap? Maybe we should try the zero based budgeting I talked about during the campaign –  start with zero!!”

     “atta boy Jack, Commissioner Charlotte Rodstrom piped in as her and Seiler high-fived at the thought. ” If we start from scratch, Gretsas wouldn’t be the City Manager, would he?”,  she questioned. 

 …. “slow down fellas”, Commissioner Bobby Dubose chimed in. I’m just getting started. Seems like you all would just cancel the whole cotton picking City Government if you had your way!”.

     Silence fell over the room. Only the feverish scrathing of Brittany Wallman’s pencil could be heard!

  ….. They could all see what was about to happenNothing would stop this freight train.  Commissioner Romney Rogers reached out his hands to the others and began to pray feverishly – “Lord guide us through this dismantlement” he asked.

     Rodstrom made the motion. It passed unanimously . Fort Lauderdale Government was done… officially closed…. up in smoke …. never to spend another dime!

                     ……..   and  

                     April Fools !!