Riot Update …

     Riot Update  ….

    riot
girl wings rocks at opponents !


       Update – No Update !


    
   Actually, there are things happening, but as you might have already figured out,  if I told you, I’d have to kill you (or at least flog you with a wet noodle) ! …

       Truthfully, the way I understand it, a full fledged, comprehensive program, to address all the issues that led to the teenage riot are being planned and initiated, and the powers that be want some time to get everything underway. So, I’m standing down, for now!

       My blog posting of the Dec. 15th riot ( you say potato, I say pototo, the cops say disturbance!) went viral on this blog and drew many thousands of views and 73 comments and counting, a record for this blog, and maybe any local blog!

       I’m still on blog vacation until the new year, but many of you have been asking for a riot update, so there you go…

                                           Tim

       
    

To All My Friends !

          Merry Christmas  ………

                  

         or  Happy Hanukkah  ……..

                           

                           or   a Kool Kwanza  …….

                             

                               or  Happy Hijra   ……..

                                    

                                      or Bodacious Bodhi Day ……..

                                    

                                          even ..  the Atheists  ……

                                    


        Diverse … Fort Lauderdale  !!! ( enjoy your celebration)


              Just do Good ! … See you next year !   ………    Tim

                

And the Winner is ???

     Picture Caption Contest Winners !

     We asked you  – the readers –  to take a look at this picture below, of our beloved beachfront, and send in the most appropriate caption!

     As expected, you outdid yourselves !!  …..read on !

     
          
                                        caption needed !

                         Here are the winners !

       2nd runner up –

                           
                                     Clara Peller

     
Though currently dead, Clara Peller, famous for her “where’s the beef” , Wendy’s hamburger joint advertising campaign –  found a way to send in a very witty caption, a take-off of her famous commercial ……….. 

                       Where’s the Beach? ( apparently referring to the little bit of sand that the County was supposed to fix about 10 years ago and didn’t), and the Lifeguard stand that’s almost dragged up on A1A!) 

                                     
                           ……………………………………………………….

     1st runner up- 

                

     Lijeta, one of Santa’s elves (actually married to Santa!), pictured here on the far right – sent in this caption, capturing 2nd place – 

                               “Sign, sign, everywhere a sign
                                      Blockin’ out the scenery,
                                        breakin’ my mind
                                         DO THIS, DON’T DO THAT, ….
                                              can’t you read the sign?”

                                            
    

                       ……………………………………………………………..

     And the winner of the grand prize, a free pitcher of the gold sudsy, waiting for him at the world famous Parrot Lounge –   

                                  

    ……… the gent on the far left, only identified in the entry as Johnny Boy, sent in this winning caption – 


         
          When your butt is being blown away, do we really need to prohibit alcohol?

                                        
Enjoy your pitcher ! ——-


      

Picture Caption Contest !

        Check out this picture ….  Send the best caption ( by adding comment)

                                   Win the contest ! – thanks,  Tim

         

Jackie Scott Opens Campaign

     Long time activist Jackie Scott officially started her camapign last night for the Fort Lauderdale District IV seat, currently held by Commissioner Romney Rogers.

                                              
                                                       
Jackie Scott

     
The kick-off event was held in the most lovely pooled backyard of Coolee Hammock activist Ann Schumpart. 

     The soiree was attended by about 30 people, who chatted around the pool waiting for Scott to speak.

     Scott was introduced by well know lawyer Jim Brady, who touted Scott’s long history in Fort Lauderdale civic work, and said that Scott would “prove us right” .

                                       
                                                       
Brady

      Scott, in her talk, said she wanted to “change the culture” of District IV.

      Scott talked about her long history in civic affairs, but concentrated on her “disappointment” of current Commissioner Rogers, and her plans to do things different, if elected.

     Scott addressed the development issue by saying that redevelopment, and issues like ” historic preservation” need not being “mutually exclusive”. She said that you could be for redevelopment and for historic preservation at the same time. 

     Scott finished by saying that she “cared” for those in attendance and for the City and that she was “in it to win it”.  

     Most political observers give the incumbent a big edge, but some consider Scott a formidable opponent.

Riot … Rumble ……………… Disturbance ?

     When does a Signal 22 (disturbance) become a riot or a rumble?

     When you live in the neighborhood of South Middle River!



     I recieved this disturbing e-mail from a man that lives in a townhouse at the corner where the “riot” occured this past Wednesday evening. 

    The letter speaks for itself –     

Hello Tim:

Thank-you for calling earlier this evening to ask me about the “riot” that took place in the street in front of our home the evening of Wednesday December 14, 2011.

I attached all of the photos that I took. Unfortunately they’re of VERY poor quality. 


               

      My intent was to email them to Chief Frank Adderley. I didn’t send any of them to him at the time because I was so disappointed in how poorly they came out. I took these photos between roughly 7:00 PM and 7:30 PM on Wednesday December 14, 2011.

     You didn’t ask me for this timeline information but I will provide it, in case it helps with anything.

5:45 PM:

     I arrived home from my job at Imperial Point Medical Center. I drove into my garage and as I usually do, walked out to my mailbox to get my mail.
 
     Looking East down NW 11th Street toward Andrews, I saw a large crowd of mostly young people walking west-bound, toward the intersection in front of my townhome at NW 11th Street and NW 2nd Avenue. There were already some kids gathered in the middle of the street ahead of them, near me, and I overheard them saying something about a big fight and “here they come” and things of the sort. Because it was such a large crowd approaching, I became a little fearful and decided it was best if I go in the house and close the garage door.
 
                   

     I went upstairs and watched as the crowd approached, from our second floor bedroom window. There were kids as young as roughly 10 or 12 years old right up to adults, but most of them were in their mid to late teens, by my estimate. As I get older it seems as if “kids” look younger and younger all the time. LOL!

     As the crowd started to gather, there were LOTS of explatives exchanged between them. It was starting to get dark. Some came into the intersection with pieces of tree branches and they were swinging them, others were swinging their fists and showing various gestures of aggression toward each other. I counted somewhere between 40 and 50 in the intersection, every single one of them black, if that’s relevant.

6:02 PM: As the crowd grew and the levels of aggression seemingly escalating, I grew increasingly frustrated, angry and fearful for my property, so I decided it was time to call 911. While I was on the phone with the 911 operator, one of the females removed her shirt and was standing there in her bra, with fists drawn, ready to fight. I told the 911 operator what I was seeing. The 911 operator asked me if I thought anyone needed paramedics. I told her not so far or something like that, but that we needed the police to come break this up. She asked me if I would like an officer to follow-up with me and I told her “yes, I would” so I provided my name and my phone number to call me back. As of the time of writing this email on Friday night, no one has yet to do that follow-up with me. So much for customer service!! 


                                


     Anyhow, it was only a matter of minutes before a Fort Lauderdale police cruiser drove up NW 11th Street, west-bound, from Andrews. I was pleased they arrived as quickly as they did. The cruiser’s emergency lights were on and he toggled the siren on and off. The crowd dispersed like cockroaches. However, I quickly became very disappointed in the officer’s actions; the officer never so much as stopped or got out of the cruiser. He simply turned right onto NW 2nd Avenue, proceeding north toward NW 13th Street, and drove out of sight. No sooner was he gone the crowd was back in the middle of the street again, just as many as was there before the cruiser drove through. I thought to myself, “yeah, that was real helpful. Thank-you Fort Lauderdale police for protecting my neighborhood.” I was very disgusted.

     You don’t see very many people in some of the photos because they were either between me and the tree, making for a poor camera angle, running away from the police as they approached, or was trying to avoid me when they saw the flash flashing. 

               

     The crowd was thick in the middle of the intersection and the cars trying to get through had to stop in the middle of the street, blowing their horns to get them to move out of the way; they paid absolutely no attention to the cars whatsoever. That’s when a white car drove up NW 11th street the same direction as the first cruiser did. But instead of trying to drive through the crowd, they surprised me (and them) by turning on their emergency lights and three policemen got out of the car. It was an unmarked police vehicle. The officers started yelling at the crowd and the crowd once again scattered like cockroaches when one turns on a light.

     By the time it was all said and done, I think the police came and left three or four times before they finally figured out that the crowd just kept coming back as soon as they left, so then a cruiser lingered in the middle of the intersection for quite some time and it was finally all over.

     The whole incident was quite frightening. 


     If I may editorialize before I close, we moved to this spot approximately two years ago from Dorsey Riverbend. We lived on NW 2nd Street across from Dixie Court for almost 8 years. I was friends or at least aquaintances with several of the neighbors there, but I thought when we moved to NW 11th Street and NW 2nd Avenue, that we were finally moving to what I thought was at least a somewhat better neighborhood. Much to my huge disappointment, it’s
worse…..MUCH WORSE.

                  

     In two years I’ve experienced being chased by two kids on bicycles, trying to knock me off of my bike yelling, “hey that’s my bike, give it back”, getting shot at in my own driveway by kids on bikes with paint ball guns, have had to clean raw egg yolks and egg shells off of our windows, have experienced someone breaking off our low voltage outdoor lighting we have along our fence, have had multiple plants broken off and killed, had the mailbox vandalized and mailbox pole sheared off at the ground, and frankly I’m sick of it.

     Neighbors on every side of us have been robbed one or more times over the past year. We’ve lost several neighbors we were just getting to know because they moved due to their belongings being stolen and they were fearful living here. There has been several instances of neighbors’ car windows getting smashed overnight.

     I am so sick and tired of this B.S. I don’t live in a 3rd world country. I live in Fort Lauderdale and expect to have some semblance of order, but I apparently have expectations that are way too high. All I hear from the police are excuses. Excuses that they’re too busy. Excuses that there’s been cut-backs due to budgetary problems and they don’t have enough man power. Excuses that judges release from jail within 24 hours these underage kids that the police arrest time and time again. Blah, blah, blah.

     I’m tired of excuses. It’s time for some meangingful action. If there is anything you can do to help us, it would be most appreciated.

Thank-you for your time,
Jeffrey
NW 11th Street
Fort Lauderdale



Rynerson’s Campaign Kick-Off

     Yesterday’s campaign kick-off, in a stark side room in the public library, devoid of any balloons, banners, not even the lonely appetizer, was a fitting metaphor for the Earl Rynerson Mayoral campaign’s message –

     cut the budget – slash the fat – bring down taxes!


                Rynerson

      This is Rynerson’s second effort at the mayoral post, coming in third in his first go round in 2009.

     He has been roundly criticizing current Mayor Jack Seiler, and the city’s budget since then, using his blog – a better ft. lauderdale

   
                Seiler 

     Rynerson said yesterday that he doesn’t expect to be able to compete with Seiler in the conventional sense, so he is building his campaign on door to door canvessors, phone calls, his 11,000 e-mail addresses, and Social Media – Facebook and Twitter.

     There were something less than 50 attendees at the kick-off, who listened intently as Rynerson went over a chart showing the City’s budget over the last 10 years, drawing attention to the substantial overall budget increases during those years from 335 million in 2003 to 635 million this year.

    Victoria Park residents ( Rynerson lives there) were the biggest contingent of the attendees, but there was a smattering of community leaders from some other neighborhoods in the city.


     

    

City Attorney About To Depart?

     Rumors circling today that long- time Fort Lauderdale City Attorney Harry Stewart is about to retire.

                                             

     Well, I just reached Harry, and here’s what he said – 

     “I’m going to give it [his retirement] some thought over the holidays, and I should have an answer for you by about Jan. 5th”, Stewart said.

     Stewart has served with three Fort Lauderdale City Managers, and has served four different City Commissions.

     Stewart is probably the city’s highest paid employee, at over $350,000, salary and benefits, but is also widely viewed as one of the most experienced and seasoned City Attorneys in the state.

     The rumor also had it that some of the other high ranking attorneys in his office would also be leaving, but Stewart wouldn’t comment on that. I haven’t been able to verify that as of now.

    

The Next Candidate, Please

     The next candidate is …..

    
     Earl Rynerson, who is running for Mayor.

     The current Mayor, Jack Seiler, is running for re-election.


                     Here’s Rynerson’s responses to my questions –


Tim:

You asked why I was running for Mayor. Here are the reasons why I decided to run:



1. Out of control spending: Our Mayor has shown an inability to reduce spending or properly manage our budget, With the worst economy since the Great Depression, all City employees continue to receive pay raises, at our expense. Our budget is the biggest ever at $635 Million, almost double the size of our budget just 8 years ago!



2. Out of control pension costs: Our liability to the City Employee’s Pension plan now tops $1.1 Billion! Of that amount, over one fourth ($300 Million) is currently unfunded. We the taxpayers are now on the hook for that amount. Each year under Mayor Seiler’s leadership, the unfunded portion of our pensions has gotten worse.



3. Raiding our City’s savings account: When Mayor Seiler and our Commission took over, we had almost $80 million in our City’s savings account. Now we have only about $50 million. That’s because Mayor Seiler decided to raid the savings account each year to cover the shortfall in revenues caused by additional spending and pay raises to City employees.



4. No Vision for the City: After almost three years in office and our Mayor still cannot articulate a Vision for our City. His delay demonstrates a lack of leadership and has turned into an embarrassing (and expensive) fire drill that has done nothing to promote a future direction for our City. I’ve written a 20-chapter detailed Vision for Fort Lauderdale and it cost our City nothing.



5. Two-year delay in selecting a new City Manager: Finally, (after 2.5 years), we now have someone who is qualified to manage the day-to-day operations of the City: (City Manager Lee Feldman). But his arrival could have come two years earlier had the Mayor shown any initiative. Instead, Seiler dithered until just days before Gretsas’ departure, then hastily selected a Gretsas crony (Allyson Love) with zero managerial experience to manage our 2,600 person municipal operation for an additional 12 months.



Is this the kind of leadership our City deserves? He has demonstrated no passion to make our City better. I feel I can do better.



Earl Rynerson






Shippey House .. Bad News ?

     Everything was going just right, just as planned … and moving an old historic home is no easy stunt …..  but ….. then came Burger King!

            

    
Wouldn’t you know it –  at the place that says you can have it your way, we couldn’t have it our way at all!

     The 1920’s home of the colorful, first Broward Judge Shippey got stuck, right there, right in the middle of the move, right in the Burger King parking lot!

     The Burger King corporate bigwigs jetted to the site and, after considerable consideration, decided they could use an extra dining room, and ….. voila …. problem solved ! 

     The Judge Shippey room … only at Burger King !


                    …. only in Fort Lauderdale !