Wild West (aka) Tim Smith’s Fort Lauderdale!

     Some of Fort Lauderdale is safe and peaceful, some not so much!

     As I took my morning walk this a.m., I found this a few blocks from my house…
.
   


      Stapled to the phone poles down the street in my neighborhood, the Fort Lauderdale Police are searching for the gunman who killed Stanley, aka Toucan.

    
It took place in the middle of the street, a night time gunbattle that smells suspiciously like a drug deal gone bad ( though the Cops won’t say, just yet).

     Guess I should be glad I walk in the morning !

Black (Male) Hooker Road

     It’s one of those ugly secrets of a city, but it’s true.

     Fort Lauderdale has a black male hooker business district!

     
In the day time, it’s just a street that runs behind Searstown, south of Sunrise Boulevard,  NE 5th Avenue.

                              

     But when the sun goes down, it’s Black Hooker Road.

     It’s been going on for a couple of decades now. Cindy and I used to own property close by, but gave up, sold out, and moved. Little has changed. 

     I drove home a few hours ago, after attending Mayor Seiler’s latest “jog with the Mayor” event, and decided to take that route to see if things had changed.

     They hadn’t. Here is a black male hooker working black hooker road tonight.

           

     Crazy as it sounds, I stopped to interview him. ” Excuse me, are you a black male hooker?”, I queried.

     “Yea man, what you looking for?” he replied.

     “Actually, I’d like to interview you for a story for my city-wide blog on Fort Lauderdale, and black hooker road”, I answered.

     “Huh?” he shot back.” It’s true” I said. ” How long has this been black male hooker road”,  I asked.

     “Hell , probably 20 years now” he said. “Wait, I ain’t saying no more unless I’m getting paid for this intraview”, he added. 

     I had stuffed four bucks in my pocket in case of this possibility.” I handed it over.

     “Shit“, he said, none too pleased. I asked if I could take a picture of a real life male hooker. He turned his back toward the camera, and grunted, and a set of headlights in the distance was making him jittery to boot.

     “How long you been hookin”, I asked.

     ” I just  started” he barked as he hurried off down the road.

     Not much of an interview I thought.
 
     I guess you get what you pay for, I chuckled to myself.   

Popeye Alive, but Barely

     A friend told me that Ron Gray, aka Popeye, was looking for me.

     See, I had written about Popeye, the homeless, but not drifting 56 year old, last September. He says I helped make him famous.  And  I knew just where to find him….

       

     At his home, in the parking lot of Home Depot.

     I shared Popeye’s sad tale with you about a year ago, about falling from the work truck, losing his house, and then his wife, and when my friend told me he thought Popeye had been in the hospital with pneumonia, I expected the worse.

     But there he was, back at home, scrunched over in his filthy wheelchair, at the entrance to Home Depot..

     “Hey Popeye”, I yelled a bit, as Popeye is hard of hearing, his “house” is quite noisy, and I wanted to see if he was breathing!

     He sat up to chat. “Is that Tim Smith?”

     You see, after I wrote about him last year, quite a few of you stopped by to get him a meal, some clothes, even a new shoe.


             

     Popeye looked awful. His cheeks are caving in, his head and arms are so sun-burned it’s painful to look at, and all his veins seem to be jumping out of his skin.

     I told Popeye I didn’t think he was going to last another year in the parking garage, and he agreed. I remembered that Popeye had told me last time we spoke that he was think of putting his bad leg on the RR track to get some permanent aid. I was glad he hadn’t.

     I told him I was going to do an update on him, and he was pleased. “Tell them I could use another shoe, right foot, size ten and a half”.
 
    
                      

     Last year he was size eleven.
    

Lieberman Found! … Term Limit Battle Update

     Now I can report on how ALL the Broward County Commissioners feel about term limits, and what’s next on the Florida Supreme Court case. I reached seven of the nine Commissioners last week, and at that time, the score was 6 ( in favor of keeping term limits), 1 opposed.

                                             

      You’ll remember that I then put out an APB on Commissioner Ilene Lieberman, when I couldn’t find her anywhere, ( after a half dozen requests), to ask her if she favored term limits. 

     Well, I finally found her (actually, she found me). She called and told me that she had been out due to her sister’s death, and then gave me quite a bit of gruff for harassing her.  

     After we got past that, she told me that she “unequivocally supports term limits” and intends on abiding by them regardless of the outcome of the Florida Supreme Court Case.

     And, Commissioner Sharief’s Chief of Staff, Torey Alston,
 
                                       
                                               Chief Alston

 told me that although Sharief is still out on a personal family matter, that she supports term limits completely also.

     So,  that’s 8-1, with all Commissioners supporting the citizen’s term limit law, except for 

                                           
                                     Commissioner John Rodstrom.

     Also, as an update, the advocate group Save Broward Term Limits has been searching for an attorney it can afford so they, as citizens, can join the fight with the County to retain term limits. If you know of a good one that works cheap, go to SaveBrowardTermLimits.com and let them know!

     Lastly, here is a picture of the “client” of Scherers, in his appeal to overturn term limits at the Florida Supreme Court.
      His name is William Telli, lives in Scherer’s neighborhood, and told a reporter he “didn’t know why the lawsuit was in his name”, ….. I’ve tried calling him, but, no surprise, Telli won’t talk to me –  

                                    
                                         no caption necessary!



     Anyhow,  Here is the Florida Supreme Court case docket card, so you can follow the progress of the case along with me – 


Florida Supreme Court Docket

Case Docket
Case Number: SC11-1737 – Active
WILLIAM TELLI vs. BROWARD COUNTY, ET AL.
Lower Tribunal Case(s): 4D10-4687, 10-7095 25




Date Docketed Description Filed By Notes
08/31/2011 NOTICE-DISCRETIONARY JURIS (DIRECT CONFLICT) PT William Telli BY: PT William R. Scherer, Jr. 169454
09/01/2011 JURIS INITIAL BRIEF PT William Telli BY: PT Daneil S. Weinger 172900 (NO SUMMARY OF ARGUMENT; NOT E-FILED)
09/01/2011 APPENDIX PT William Telli BY: PT Daneil S. Weinger 172900
09/08/2011 Filing Fee $300 2011 – 1016099 Amount: $300
09/08/2011 Fee Paid In Full – $300
09/09/2011 ORDER-BRIEF STRICKEN (NON-COMPLIANCE) Petitioner’s jurisdictional brief, which was filed with this Court on September 1, 2011, does not comply with Florida Rule of Appellate Procedure 9.210 and is hereby stricken. Petitioner is hereby directed, on or before September 29, 2011, to serve an amended jurisdictional brief which includes a Summary of Argument and shall not exceed ten pages in length.
09/15/2011 JURIS INITIAL AMD BRIEF PT William Telli BY: PT Daneil S. Weinger 172900 O&5 & E-MAIL (E-MAILED “PDF” FORMAT – REQ’D TO RE-SUBMIT IN WORD)
09/20/2011 JURIS INITIAL AMD BRIEF PT William Telli BY: PT Daneil S. Weinger 172900 FILED AS “CORRECTED AMENDED BRIEF” & E-MAIL – (REQ’D MOTION TO ACCEPT)
09/20/2011 APPENDIX (AMENDED) PT William Telli BY: PT Daneil S. Weinger 172900 TO CORRECTED AMENDED BRIEF 










                     
    

Seiler’s Apology ( on video) … Accepted !

     I don’t know how this came about, (really, I don’t!)  but it’s a good ribbing for Fort Lauderdale Mayor Jack Seiler, and his recent apology to the City’s Visioning Committee, for ignoring their idea for a name for the City’s Visioning efforts, and the subsequent fall-out  …
            I don’t know about the rest, but I accept! ( and appreciate the good laugh) 

                                   
                                

Commissioner Musical Chairs

     Time’s almost up for the rearranging of the Fort Lauderdale political districts, and the City Commission is asking if anyone has any bright ideas on how to do it, to let them know. I have one, and yes, the jury’s still out if it’s bright or not!

     You see, the Commissioners’ constituent numbers have gone out of whack. Every ten years when the country does the census, they have to see if the political districts have nearly the same amount of people in them – and Fort Lauderdale’s don’t .


      early census taking
 

     If the Districts were all exactly equal, each of the four would have 41,386 people, but they’re only required to be close! 

     Currently, Commissioner Rogers has the most people with 44,437, and Commissioner Rodstrom has the least with 38,261. Commissioner Roberts is light with 39,826, and Commissioner Dubose is heavy with 43,019.


      the light ones

     
Balancing the Districts is very tricky. Districts must be contiguous, breaking up neighborhoods is a no-no, and people don’t usually like to lose their Commissioner they’ve gotten used to.

     Here’s an idea to contemplate – 

 Rogers has to give up the most people. If he gives up the portion of the beach he represents, the South Beach neighborhoods of Harbor Beach, Harbour Inlet, Breakwater Surf, and Harbor Isles ( precincts 52 and 53), he’ll lose 2699 people and be down to a good total of 41,738.

     Those 2699 people go to Rodstrom, which will effectively make her the “beach Commissioner” ( though Roberts still keeps the Galt). Some say it’s important to keep three Commissioners representing the beach, but I disagree.

     Rodstrom then would shed the three areas she currently has that are east of Federal Highway, north of Sunrise, Bal Harbor, Laudergate Isles and the East Point Towers Condos ( precincts 24 and 25) and gives them to Roberts.

     That leaves Rodstrom with 43,100 and Roberts with 40,379. Dubose neither gives up anyone or gains anyone and stays at his current 43,019.

     Like I said, Commissioner Musical Chairs ! 

    

Visioning Effort Runs Risk of….

     I’ve written a lot about our city’s Visioning efforts, having been, let’s say, close to the action! I believe it’s a most necessary  exercise to make a truly great City! 

     
But now that the real Visioning is starting to happen for Fort Lauderdale, everyone should pay close attention, so we don’t start off with any major……

  

     because as the saying goes,

                                   
                                          

     
Here’s what’s bothering me – 

     The first thing the Visioning Consultant, WRT (Wallace,Roberts, and Todd) was tasked to do, was to go to a wide, diverse array of the City’s leaders/ opinion makers, city-wide, to identify what the issues, concerns, challenges, dreams etc. were of the citizenry.  The gathered information is to be used when discussing the future this fall with the rest of the residents.

      The City Commission’s directive particularly states that the process had to address/ include the City’s “under represented citizens”. I think we’re failing on this account so far.

                                          
                                               the bosses

     I poured over the list of people the consultant chose to talk to for these most important initial interviews ( 61 people). The list is not nearly broad enough, hardly diverse enough, and leaves out maybe 80% of the City’s geography. The problem is, these interviews have already led to the identification of the issues to discuss when planning the City’s future! ( more about that in a minute).

      If the Vision program is built around this limited group’s thoughts and opinions, it will miss the mark, under represented people will still be under represented, the effort will mostly be about the downtown, the beach, and business interests, the outlying areas will be once again be ignored, and that would be unfortunate.

     Here’s a breakdown of where the 61 people (who were interviewed), main interests are. (You can go to the City’s web site – Visioning section to see who the actual people are).

     Downtown and downtown transportation –  18 people
     Beach and tourism interests – 7 people
     Marine Interests – 6 people
     Sustainability – 6 people
     Social programs – 5 people
     History – 5 people –
     Chamber of Commerce – 4 people
     Neighborhoods – 4 people
     Northwest – 2 people
     Port Everglades – 2 people
     County – 2 people
     Public Safety – 1 person  

     So, coming out of these interviews, the consultant says these are the main issues/ emerging themes that we should concentrate on when planning our future.

     Transportation
     Community Identity
     Governance … Customer Care
     Development Permitting/ Codes
     Workforce
     Downtown Synergies
     Intergovernmental Cooperation
     Sustainability/ Climate Change        

     I’m concerned. The City Commission should be too.
     

       
               
       

     

    

Term Limit Appeal Returned as Faulty!

     Amazing development on William Scherer’s ongoing saga attempting to overturn our Broward County term limit law!

                                    
                                            the man

     You’ll remember, we just told you that Scherer filed his brief with the Florida Supreme Court, after losing his case at the Fourth District Court of Appeals. 

     But let’s not forget that he initially won his case to overturn term limits. but that was locally, in front of his buddy Jim Naugle’s wife – appointed Judge, Judge Carol Lisa Naugle.

     And lastly (this is important to the story!), Scherer said the grass roots effort, SaveBrowardTermLimits.com was nincompoopish!  

     Turns out, Scherer’s filing to the Supreme Court was rejected by the Court for mistakes in the filing ! Here’s the Court’s rejection note to Scherer …

“Petitioner’s jurisdictional brief, which was filed with this Court on September 1, 2011, does not comply with Florida Rule of Appellate Procedure 9.210 and is hereby stricken. Petitioner is hereby directed, on or before September 29, 2011, to serve an amended jurisdictional brief which includes a Summary of Argument and shall not exceed ten pages in length.”

    
The nincompoop is expected to fix his filing and resubmit!

Attorney Scherer Dunderheadish ?

     Update :

     Term Limits – will they stay or go for our County Commissioners ? And what do all the current County Commissioners have to say about it all ? …. ( their opinions in just a minute).


      Broward County Commission
    
      Here’s the story… 

   ……there is currently an assault on the Term Limit law for County Commissioners, which was passed by over 80% of the voters in Broward County in 2000. 

     …….the assault is being led by local, infamous attorney Bill Scherer, who is attempting to take his recent loss at the Fourth District Court of Appeals to the Florida Supreme Court. Scherer’s legal actions, if successful,  would allow some soon-to-be term- limited politicians at the County to stay on – maybe forever!

    
      Scherer

     ……. a grass roots citizens’ campaign has been started, to remind any politicians that back Scherer in the dismantling term limits, that the citizens are watching. You can sign on to the effort at SaveBrowardTermLimits.com.

    [ Scherer recently told the Sun-Sentinel that the citizens’ campaign to protect term limits was nincompoopish!  …. nincompoopish! …. So, in an effort to fight fire with fire ( although admittedly childish fire),  we have officially decreed Scherer’s legal actions as dunderheadish, ( we considered boobish, half-witish, ignoramusish, and oafish, but settled on dunderheadish). 

     Here’s the position of each County Commissioner 

 Mayor Gunzburger
is retiring in 2014, but supports term limits. She says ” the voters have spoken by an overwhelming majority and wish to have term limits for their elected officials”.

 Commissioner Wexler – ” I fully support term limits and have every intention of personally abiding by the will of the people”.

  Commissioner LaMarca – ” This is clearly something that the citizens of Broward County wanted when 4 out of 5 citizens voted to support term limits. I support Term limits and the will of the people wholeheartedly. For anyone to continue the legal fight tells me that there is something else to be gained here”.

 Commissioner Ritter – ” I will abide by the term limits imposed by the charter, regardless of the outcome of the litigation”.

 Commissioner Holness – ” the people have spoken by the tally of their votes cast. It is Loud and Clear. The people want term limits. I oppose the current efforts being made to repeal the desire and will of the Broward County voter”.

 Commissioner Jacobs – Jacobs supports the term limit law, but says a shorter term would cause her pause. She thinks the whole issue of how we elect our officials should be comprehensively debated, including campaign financing.

 Commissioner Sharief – she’s out on a personal family matter and couldn’t be reached

 Commissioner Lieberman – I’m thinking of filing a missing persons report on Lieberman.

     I called her office repeatedly, e-mailed, etc., but no one could tell me where she was or what her position on term limits is, or how I could find out. She will be term limited out of office soon if the Scherer lawsuit is unsucessfull.

     I googled Lieberman to see if I could find a public opinion she might have given on term limits, but was distracted by the Google offering – Commissioner Ilene Lieberman corruption , that produced 330,000 entries ( I’m not kidding here!).


 Commissioner Rodstrom – he is opposed to term limits for Broward County, but says he didn’t instigate Scherer’s actions. Though this will be his last term if limits are upheld (he’s served since 1992), Rodstrom says he might run again if they are overturned.

     His wife Charlotte, pictured here with John, says she might run for that County seat or the Fort Lauderdale Mayor’s position, should one of them become available.




    

Let’s Stop Their Effort to Get Rid Of Term Limits

     I’m outraged!

     As if politicians don’t have a bad enough reputation already, it appears that some County politicians, through their attorneys, are trying hard to kill off Broward County term limits!

    
The voters passed the term limit law by about 80%, an amazing number,  a few years back.
In case you haven’t followed the ugly story, possibly the most connected attorney to Broward County politicians, Bill Scherer, has been suing to overturn term limits for those very same politicians.
       
  Commissioner Connected Attorney Scherer

      First, Scherer argued in front of Broward County Judge Naugle ( yes, former term limited Mayor Jim’s wife). And, hold on to your seat here, she found in Scherer’s favor and ditched the term limits !!

     Then, the County Attorney appealed to the 4th District Court of Appeals and Judge Naugle was overturned. Finished ? – no way. 

      Scherer and his secret clients aren’t giving up that easy. Too much at stake! 

                                         
                                      not so secret client?

     They say they intend on taking it to the Florida Supreme Court to reditch the term limit law ! 

     
So I say it’s time for the citizens to fight back! 

         

     An initial web site is up – SaveBrowardTermLimits.com , strategies are being developed. We shouldn’t take this one lying down.

                     Sign in and –

                                     Join the Fight !