Charlotte Rodstrom’s Car Burglarized !

     Fort Lauderdale City Commissioner Charlotte Rodstrom is used to attending her arranged crime meetings she holds for her District constituents.  They are usually held on 13th street in a FLPD substation, to address crime in all parts of her District, (the highest crime rates are mostly in the neighborhoods that run along Sunrise Boulevard)…..

      But what Rodstrom is not used to addressing is crime in her own neighborhood, Nurmi Isles, (because there basically isn’t any!)

     And that means Rodstrom is not  used to addressing crime when it’s on Nurmi Isle, with her own car in her own driveway burglarized!

     But yesterday she had to address just that. Her car, a 2002 Suburban, with 150,000 miles on it, was busted into. She says they didn’t take any of her campaign materials that stocked the car, but did take her “driving eyeglasses and her prescription pills for headaches.” She said the burglars were probably sorely disappointed in the take.


     She said the Police took fingerprints and DNA samples.

     There was only 1 vehicle burglary reported in Nurmi Isles last year. By contrast, in Rodstrom’s largest neighborhood, South Middle River, there were 146.


Hear Ye …Hear Ye !

     If you thought that the 13th Street neighborhoods of Fort Lauderdale had given up their quest for funding a renewal of their business district,( after last month’s loss at the County,)

                                  you’d be mistaken!

                           the new, hoped for 13th Street Business District

      Today, the 13th Street Alliance took out all the stops!

     They sent  Sir James, and Lad Charles to deliver caligraphied scrolls to each of the County Commissioners and County Mayor Rodstrom, asking again for the needed funding!

                         Sir James and Lad Charles at the County 

The 13th Street Alliance, four neighborhoods of about 15,000 people, chose the rather theatrical delivery, english style, to help drive their point home.

                 Sir James, Lad Charles ( and their pet squirrel Rocky?) 

     Sir Thomas read the proclamation aloud (very aloud!) so that any Commissioners behind the iron curtain might hear – 

             ……… With utmost sincerity, and in anticipation of good outcomes, the 13th Street communities of Fort Lauderdale thank you for your positive consideration


                         The People

     It’s expected that the Commission will have a renewed discussion of the funding at their meeting tomorrow…….

More on Treemageddon !

     More has happened since yesterday’s post on the Mahogany Massacre!

     For a refresher –
     …’s the Google Earth picture of the shady, tree-lined view in front of Fort Lauderdale High School ……. before yesterday ..


and here’s a picture after the School Board’s improvements of yesterday …


     I talked to School Board At Large member Katie Leach a few minutes ago.
     She called me after seeing the carnage on this blog. She said she was “devastated“! She told me her husband was an alumni at Fort Lauderdale High, and he remembered how nice the shade of those trees were even back then!

                                      School Board member Leach

Leach has already called the new Broward County School Superintendent, the former District Super, etc. and promises to get to the root of it all ( pun intended!)
     Meanwhile, the Fort Lauderdale Mayor, Manager, and Building officials say they are on it ……..

                   I’ll keep you informed  … Tim



The Great Mahogany Massacre

     It may go down as one of the biggest tree massacres that Fort Lauderdale has ever seen!


     Before yesterday, these gauged Mahoganies were part of the treelined, shady Fort Lauderdale High School grounds –

                              what they used to look like!

     Then came yesterday! ….  Neighborhood President Randall Klett was the first to see the carnage happening friday afternoon (odd time to start ?)

     Klett called the Mayor, who in turn called the Manager, who in turn called out the head of the Building Dept,  Greg Brewton….

     Brewton’s department went to the scene, and thought they had stopped the work, but this morning the choppers were back at it again – Brewton was notified this morning that they were still hacking and was off to try and stop them again.


     The School Board calls it an improvement. The City, who has no jurisdiction on school property, calls it a violation! The School Board is exempt from having to get permits from the City, but Mayor Seiler says that “doesn’t mean they can break the law!”.

     Hopefully the tree destruction has been halted again, time will tell.

     – but the School Board says not to worry –  they will be replacing the trees like they did just across the street at the new Ft. Lauderdale High Swimming Pool…


                       …. with these beautiful 8 footers ???  UGH!

History Houses Update

     I’d like your opinion on this:

     Should we be saving the important historical structures still alive in our community? – and by whom – and how?


     Here’s a few examples of recent efforts, where they went right, and where they may be going wrong.

    #1 – Effort went right!


     It’s an historic Firehouse in Sailboat Bend, it’s a Fire Museum, and it’s a beauty!

     The historic renovation was a successful private effort, with very little City help. It was led by former Commissioner John Aurelius and friends. Aurelius was one of our best City Commissioners.

                     Aurelius (picture courtesy of Cal Deal)


      #2 –
Effort has been tough going


     The Shippey House.
Turn of the century bungalow once owned by infamous local Judge Shippey.
     There were good reasons to save the house for posterity, important and colorful City founder, good example of the architecture of the day.

     Just days before it was to be demolished, a small group of citizens banded together and fought to save it. The House was moved to a City lot in the historical district, just in time. 

     The effort has inched ahead in fits and starts. Even though some top citizens have participated, no one seems to be totally in charge, and it’s been hard to get a straight story on the progress (or lack thereof).  The move was somewhat controversial from the start, and the City seems to have been hot and cold over the house’s move and renovation since.

     Now, it’s been sitting on blocks for months, with plans for it’s foundation changing, even though the hurricane season is upon us.


– Was good – now maybe in trouble.

                                      new paint already defaced

     The Annie Beck House. One of our most important saved homes that was once on Las Olas. 

It was moved to the Middle River Terrace Park  a few years ago by the Broward Trust for Historic Preservation. The Trust was run very efficiently for a decade by it’s President Diane Smart, and the historic structure was always perfectly maintained.

     But now, with Smart gone, the House is going downhill.


     The current Board of Directors has let the lattice surrounding the crawl space stay kicked in and broken for months. Now, local hoodlums are doing other damage ( the broken window theory !)

                         firmly attached porch swing ripped from porch


     So what role should the government play in preserving our history?
     Years ago, when the Riverfront downtown was built, the government got involved and insisted that one of the last remaining structures, the front of the old First Bank, be saved.


     But this picture wouldn’t be it, because the developer “accidentally” backed over the original with a bulldozer.
     That’s the “recreation” the City made them build.


     So what’s your opinion? Should we save any of the remaining important historic structures?

     Should the government take some sort of regulatory or organization role in the preservations?

      Or should we just knock it all down and forget them? 

Political Paybacks?

     Politics is an ugly business, and Tuesday’s Fort Lauderdale’s City Commission meeting might have some of that on display! Read on!

     [The Latin root of the word says it all – Poli (meaning many), and tics (blood sucking insects)! A few years back, one poll, asking which professions were admired most, rated politicians nearly last, behind Used Car Salesmen!]

                              Here’s what might be expected Tuesday

     …. People that even occasionally follow politics, know this woman –



                                                     Judy Stern!

     Stern is a political consultant. She’s known as the bad girl of political consulting, using some rather rough techniques to get her candidates elected. If you’re running for office, and your picture shows up inside a slice of baloney, it’s probably a Stern!

     Anyhow, you might remember that Stern, and her long time political family, the Rodstroms, had a falling out recently.

     And Charlotte Rodstrom, in a move that surprised even many hardened political watchers – failed to reappoint Stern to a coveted position on the City’s Charter Review Board!

     But here’s the kicker – this Tuesday, Stern is expected to go right back on the Board, but not as Rodstrom’s appointment – as

                                           Commissioner Romney Rogers’

                 ……  Any comments??



How Rodstrom’s Seat Gets Filled, and by Whom?

     Seems to be some confusion out there about how the Fort Lauderdale City Commission seat, currently held by  Charlotte Rodstrom, will be filled.


      Here’s how I think it goes –

     Rodstrom had to step down from her City seat to run for her husbands’ County seat, but the resignation from the City seat is not effective until the day she officially starts at the County, November 19th. (that’s if she wins the seat – more on that in a minute))

     On November 19th, the clock starts running, as the City Charter says there must be an election within 60 days to fill an open seat. The Charter also says that there has to be a primary first – if there are more than two people running ( which there probably will be).

    There’s a problem with that though – the Charter says that the General Election (the run-off election,  which sports the top two vote getters from the primary) takes place two weeks after the Primary Election, and the Supervisor of Elections is apparently saying that you can’t have the General Election two weeks after the Primary Election, as that’s not enough time – she has to prepare absentee ballots, overseas ballots etc..

     So it’s looking like the Charter rules can’t be met to the letter, but that a General Election for that seat will take place as soon as is possible after the primary….

     So who is running?


     Former Commissioner Dean Trantalis has been meeting with lots of important people in the District, gauging support. Trantalis served only one term, saying he wanted more time for his private life.

     But after that, ( and the rumored break-up with his long time partner), Trantalis ran for Mayor when Jim Naugle was term limited. (Mayor Seiler won that race).

     And who else could possibly run?

     Well, respected former Beach President Steve Glassman’s name keeps coming up – and a handful of other District II leaders….

                                                          Including …


     Yup, Charlotte Rodstrom! The lawyers say that Rodstrom would be term-limited from running for a fourth term, but this race wouldn’t be her fourth term, just the rest of her third term!

     I’ve been calling, but no word yet from Rodstrom on whether she will consider re-running for her old seat should she lose the County race (which she probably won’t!)

              I’ll keep you posted –




The Squatters Next Door !

     What do you do when squatters live in the abandoned house next door, bust out all the windows, steal the copper pipes, smoke crack, bring in whores, turn your life into a living hell ?


     If you’re citizen Karen Doyle, of Croissant Park, you get mad as hell and decide you’re not going to take it anymore!

     Karen has gone from being totally frustrated with the situation just next door to her, to being cautiously optimistic.

     When she first started calling the City about the mess next door , she got the standard government run-around! The Police could come and arrest the squatters, and they did, but they couldn’t take their possessions! Code could site the property, but had no resources to board it up. The Fire Marshall could check it for dangerous conditions, but not do this, or that, the lawyers had to be consulted, on and on and on.


     Now, all that finger pointing seems to have stopped!


     The City is on it, together!

     Somewhere along the line, some City Employees got frustrated with the City run-around themselves! They realized everyone was chasing their tails.

     Doyle’s problem is being replicated all over the City. One of the City’s abandoned homes, 715 NE 15th Ave, had been visited 58 times by different City Departments, another, at 740 NW4th Ave, 49 times. The City says there may be 1000 of these abandoned properties in the City, and 380 of them have already had City attention. 

     So now, a passionate group of City employees are proposing new procedures – so that all the departments will talk to each other, assist each other, maybe even  solve the problem!  

    They are calling the program the SRT ( Strategic Response Team) and Monday is the big meeting, All the participating departments are attending!  FLPD Det. Maura seems to be one of the key organizers of this new effort, Assistant City Managers will be there, even Commissioner Romney Rogers is getting involved. 

     Karen Doyle says she will probably be the only “citizen” attending the meeting, with the 15 City employees from many different departments. She feels a little out of place, but is seeing this effort through.

     Looks like one citizen can make a difference!


This Story Might Make Your Head Explode!

     If you are one of those people that gets really really angry when a politician says one thing, and does the complete opposite, (and worse),  you may want to pass instead of reading this story!


     It happened this morning at the Broward County Commission. And this story get fouler as the story unfolds, so make sure you read until the end!

     Today the community around 13th Street in Fort Lauderdale went to the County Commission to try and secure some unused redevelopment funds, set aside only to be used in rough areas like 13th Street.

     The funds (about 1 million) would be used to redo the streetscape in the 13th Street Business District into a more business friendly configuration. Ironically, it was the County that enlarged the streets to five lanes, including the suicide lane, in the 1970’s. That, coupled with a bad economy, drove most of the businesses away.

                                            hopefully, a new look for 13th!

Well, we thought we might have the votes today for the improvement. We had been talking to each Commissioner, and suspected there were four votes in favor, 2 opposed, 2 iffy. We were counting on an “iffy” to cross over to yes, and we’d be there! ( All the Commissioners kept to their words- except……

     Enter the County Commissioner  for the 13th Street area, Dale Holeness.
                                                          not so Holeness!

     You’d think – of course Holeness would be a certain yes vote, he’s the Commissioner for the area for god’s sake, and just to prove that he was on board, he sent this e-mail to dozens of his constituents in the 13th street community that had contacted him on the matter.


Good Morning!

     On behalf of Commissioner Holness, thank you for your recent e-mail in regard to the upcoming Fort Lauderdale CRA District MRSMRSB. Although most of the proposed business corridor runs outside District 9, the Commissioner wholeheartedly supports having a viable business district along NE 13th Street. You can count on his support.

Thanks for staying engaged.


John G. Beckford

Well guess what? 
      It was a lie!
     Holeness started the discussion by saying he would oppose the effort! No County Money for 13th Street! Turns out, the newly redrawn Commission District Holeness is running in – no longer includes 13th, – so he just threw that community under the proverbial bus!

     But wait, it gets worse!

     I got home, miffed, and sent off an e-mail off to Holeness. I told him that the “measure of a man was in the reliability of his word”. I told we were disappointed in him, and that I hoped he slept well at night!

    Amazingly, just five minutes later, I received this reply from his office  …..   

     …. you ready ????  ….

      Good Morning!

On behalf of Commissioner Holness, thank you for your recent e-mail in regard to the upcoming Fort Lauderdale CRA District MRSMRSB. Although most of the proposed business corridor runs outside District 9, the Commissioner wholeheartedly supports having a viable business district along NE 13th Street. You can count on his support.

Thanks for staying engaged.


John G. Beckford

                            ….. Head explode Yet?