Back To Politics!

     I know I promised you some discussion about former District II Commissioner (and current candidate for District II Commissioner)
                                             Dean Trantalis, 

     and that’s coming,

     but first,
 the newest candidate in the Special Election to fill the seat soon to be left vacant by Commissioner Charlotte Rodstrom is

                                    Robert Walsh  …..

                        candidate Walsh with Mother

     Now, if you don’t watch the goings-on at City Hall, you might say “WHO ?”, but if you do watch the Commission meetings, you’ll know Robert Walsh.

     Walsh is a serial, bombastic gadfly, and takes everyone to task at City Hall meetings, and on the political blogs. Here’s a few samples of Walshisms:

     …. Wait some of you SOB’s, Some of you think you got all these connections, that you can keep your shady dealings under the radar”     and

    ….. “This Mayor is in it for his own self interests, watch it Jack, I’m watching you”  [Walsh nearly got thrown out of a Commission meeting last week by Mayor Seiler for outbursts from the audience].

     Walsh says City Manager Lee Feldman should be fired, and Seiler should resign. He says he will attend all the candidates’ debates this fall for the District II seat. 



Operation Eradication

     The crime rate in Fort Lauderdale has its’ ups and downs, but one constant seems to be that the Fort Lauderdale neighborhood of South Middle River, (west of Fort Lauderdale High School to Powerline Road, and from Sunrise Boulevard north to the City line) always has the most crime of any neighborhood in the City.

      Though many efforts, by both residents and the City have taken place over the years, to try and change the high crime in this neighborhood –  nothing much has changed.

     Last years’ 2011 crime statistics show South Middle River with the most crime again, and again with substantially more crime than most all the other neighborhoods. The 2012 stats are generally following in the same path as 2011.

                           Some  stats-

     South Middle River 2011

     Total Part I Crimes – 530
     Percentage increase over 2001 – 46%
     Home Burglaries  – 274
     Robberies – 71 ( there were also 71 robberies in 2001)

     Just for a comparison, here’s the crime picture of a few of our safest neighborhoods –

    Idlewyld – ( at the Las Olas bridge) Total Part I Crimes – 5
    Bal Harbor – ( the City Manager lives there)- Total Part I Crimes – 1
    Nurmi Isles – ( Commissioner Rodstrom lives there) – Total Part I Crimes – 5
    Golden Isles – ( Northwest neighborhood!) – Total Part I Crimes – 14

     Here are some of the built in problems that South Middle River has –

Crescent House –
home for delinquents ( one resident has rap sheet of 58 felonies)

   – many poorly supervised teens ( home of the street riots!)

– very diverse population with little connectivity

Overload of SSRF’s, ( Social Service Residential Facilities)  SSF, Section 8, and group homes-
         ( Food Not Bombs House pictured above)


     Something needs to be done. The living conditions for the residents in South Middle River are unacceptable, and the amount of City resources poured into this deep hole should make the rest of you angry! Here’s a plan I dreamed up, needs some major tweaking I’m sure, but

                             something needs to be done!

                       Operation Eradication.

     ….. An experimental 90 – day Operation, starting October 1st, and ending on New Years Day (hopefully you get the significance!).

     The idea is for the law-abiding people to regain control of the neighborhood, sending the criminal element away ( to another City/County /State/Prison – whatever)

                                       elements of the plan
      1.) A rented temporary 6 foot chain link fence to be erected on most
of the streets leading into and out of SMR, from building face to
building face (paid for by SMR Association, and the 13th Street Alliance, etc.)

     Signs on the fencing will explain that those streets will not be
used for entry during Operation Eradication, and that violators will be
punished. False cameras will be erected at each site. Daily,  different
members of SMR will inspect the integrity of the fences and report any
ruptures to the fence fixer squad. (made up of volunteers of the City’s Citizen Volunteer Core etc.). The supplies to fix any intrusions will be paid for by SMR or the 13th Street Alliance etc.

      2.) FLPD Patrol ( at least two cars at all times)
will patrol inside the perimeter fencing. The Officers will be equipped
with cell phones ( paid for by the neighborhoods), and will answer
calls from residents inside the perimeter with any suspicious activity. Additionally, the FLPD Mounted Unit, K9, Tac, SWAT, and other FLPD specialty squads will be asked to spend some time inside the neighborhood during the Operation.

          Other FLPD actions will be underway, built on the Department’s
Intelligent Policing program, including, but not limited to, gang
control, illegal drug enforcement, unregistered bicycle enforcement etc.

     All other available Police resources ( the Monster, Mobile Command Unit, View Tower, spare police cars etc. will be kept inside the perimeter during the operation.the neighborhood.

      ALL buildings inside the Perimeter will be given a
booklet, authored and delivered by South Middle River organizations, 
explaining the Operation, how they can call in suspicious activity, and
what their responsibilities are during the Operation.

      3.) Each weekend during the 90 days, a clean-up/paint project will
take place on Saturday, and/or Sunday. The paint will come gratis from
the City, and the labor will be done by the neighborhood, boosted by
other  various outside neighborhoods, civic and social groups, churches,
synagogues, the Fort Lauderdale Council of Civic Associations
etc. The City will maintain a dumpster in an open lot inside the
perimeter for any and all refuse found around the neighborhood during
the Operation.

     4.) Code Enforcement will continue their stepped up enforcement of derelict buildings, and a NO TOLERANCE policy will go in force for open and abandoned homes, which will have to be boarded or re-boarded within 24 hours.

     5.) Each Sunday afternoon, a picnic ( neighbors meeting neighbors)
will be held in different quadrants of the neighborhood. They will be
sponsored by each quadrants’ leaders, and City officials will be
expected to attend and give updates on the progress during the

     6.) All crimes committed during the Operation will be posted
outside, on  a public board, in the same lot where the City dumpster is
maintained, with a plea for information about the crime ( with possible
rewards attached).

     7.) A temporary curfew will be set, ( and rules publicly posted)
for the duration of the operation, for all youth under 18, from 11 pm to
6 am, unless they are going to or from school or work. Additionally,
any youth suspended or expelled from school will be curfewed during the
daytime hours associated with the school hours.

     8.) Neighborhood leaders and City officials will meet at the end of
each month during the Operation, to see if any adjustments need to be made
to the Operation.

             Suggested starting date – October 1st!

       Any other ideas? ….. Tim


Chuck Black’s Campaign Kick-off

     While we’re still talking about Fort Lauderdale District II City Commission candidate Chuck Black, here’s a little bit interesting about his campaign kick-off earlier this week.


     Black’s kick-off was somewhat sparsely attended, but did have some powerhouses in the room.


     The head of the Police Union, Jack Lokinsky was there, as was a big shot with the Fire Department. Those two unions can bring big support to political candidates, and are popular in District II!

     Genia Ellis, former head of the Council of Fort Lauderdale Civic Associations, currently the Director of the Riverwalk attended. Also, Chris Wren, Director of the Downtown Development Authority, and retired City event Director Sue Molnar.

     Also, two big names from the beach, Chuck Malkus and Ina Lee, long time beach activist and editor of Travel Host magazine (pictured below in some sort of spiritual pose!)


      Next, we will discuss candidate Dean Trantalis (lots to discuss there!)


Who’s Who In District Two Race?

     So we now know that Commissioner Charlotte Rodstrom is re-running for her seat she is vacating on November 19.

     ( … in case you are confused, Rodstrom won the City Commission seat in Jan. ….announced she was resigning a few weeks later, effective November 19th …..  then ran and lost the County election … then announced a week later that she was running again for her old seat that she would be vacated from in a few months….)

Phew !! 

who will Charlotte Rodstrom be running against?

Today we highlight   …. candidate Chuck Black


     Chuck Black is currently the President of the Lakeridge neighborhood. Prior to coming to Fort Lauderdale, Black was in the Navy, 20 years. then was in the Yacht business in Annapolis Md.

     Since coming to Fort Lauderdale, Black has been very busy. He owns a sign company, and volunteers profusely. He works especially hard on Navy League projects, serves on the Riverwalk Trust Board, the Children’s Theater Board, the L.A. Lee YMCA Board, the TMA Advisory Board  … you get the picture!

     The rap on Black, so far, are his political affiliations. Black, a Republican, says he is a moderate, and that National politics don’t belong in a City election.

     Black admits a “personal friendship” with Congressman Allen West, and that he is enlisting West’s help to name a Navy ship – Fort Lauderdale. Black then adds that he “disagrees with a lot of West’s politics  … but counters that he doesn’t agree with a lot of Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz’s either…


    Black concedes that some City issues overlap with national ones – like Domestic partnership benefits, and says that he supports Domestic Partnership benefits at the City level.

      We’ll highlight the other candidates next!


Charlotte Shocker …. Dead Last!

     So much for conventional wisdom! 

The pundits clearly expected Charlotte Rodstrom to win yesterday’s race for the District 7 County Commission seat, currently held by her husband, John, but instead, she came in dead last.

                                           Yesterdays’ Power Couple?

     Now, it will be up to the same pundits to wax why!
                Here’s a few thoughts!

     A main reason is probably that the voters are just finished with the Rodstrom dynasty. 

    * Add to that -Charlotte’s running for City Commission and announcing two weeks later that she was leaving  to run for the County seat.
    *Add to that – husband John trying to get rid of term limits, so he wouldn’t have to leave the seat in the first place
   *. Add to that – the suspected Rodstrom effort to let Republicans vote in yesterday’s Democratic primary!
   * Add to that – the winner


      Tim Ryan – 

     Former State Representative Ryan clearly earned the win, running hard, knocking doors, determined to win.

                   Here’s how it came out

                     Tim Ryan -3385
                     Ken Keechl – 2736
                    Charltotte Rodstrom – 2436

     Now the burning question – will Rodstrom run to gain back her City Commission seat?  Rodstrom could not be reached this morning, but I’ll try and track her down later today!

After Tuesday –

     There is more news about the ….

     Special Fort Lauderdale District II Commission  seat election,

   ….  to replace Charlotte Rodstrom, who’s running for a County Commission seat, this coming Tuesday!

         ……So, let’s wait and talk about that After Tuesday!


    If you haven’t voted yet by early voting, or absentee ballot, you will be going to the polls on Tuesday with about 9% of your rare – fellow citizens ( the ones that vote in August primaries).

     The candidates in these primaries have now done about all they can to win –  door knocking, TV commercials, mailers, –  now it’s up to each candidates’ turn out operations for Tuesday.

     I endorsed a few candidates on the ballot, but in one race, I declined to endorse any of the candidates ( Rodstrom, Keechl, and Ryan).

After I posted that blog, I suspected that I wouldn’t get many phone calls from any of those three politicians for some time ( about a hundred years ,) but I was wrong.

     Tim Ryan  called me the next day.

     “Tim, I read your blog post, and I must say, I understand. And I wanted you to know that if I win, I will still work hard to fix the problems you and I talked about this year.”


     I voted Ryan.


Don’t Vote Julio Gonzalez for Judge

     …. I almost forgot ! … Whatever you do – Don’t vote for Julio Gonzalez for Judge!!!

           ………. Here is an amazing blog posting from a few years back, detailing how Judge Gonzalez coddled criminals of the worse kind….  We were able to deny him his Judgeship in the last election, but like a bad rash, he keeps coming back !!

     Give it a read if you don’t remember it….

                                          Crackhead Crackdown Showdown Update !

     The substantial criminal records of
the men who yesterday received a restraining order from Judge Julio E.
Gonzalez Jr. against a Poinsettia Heights man, were obtained today by
Tim Smith’s Fort Lauderdale. 
      They are sometimes called
the Railroad Track Gang, not so lovingly, by residents in the four
neighborhoods surrounding NE 13th Street in Fort Lauderdale.

     They have
been holding up in makeshift campsites along the RR tracks, and some are
suspect in the areas’ recent surge in crimes. They had complained to
the Public Defenders Office that local businessman and artist Steve
Sticht, had chased them with a chainsaw, posted wanted posters of them,
and threatened to kill them.

     Sticht, a member of one of the area’s
anti-crime committees, says that is “all bull”, that he just cut down
one of their many campsites, dubbed “Camp Crackhead”, after authorities
were either unable or unwilling to accomplish it. 

               Here are the  men and some highlights of their rap sheets:


                                 Steven Charles Newton (42)
                                             a.k.a. “Shorty”
Multi State Offender
                                 Total Felony Charges – 15
                                 Total Felony Convictions – 5 
                                 Total Misdemeanor Charges – 9
                                 Total Misdemeanor Convictions – 2
                                 Total Failure to Appear – 3  
                                 Total Incarcerations – 5
     ( charges include Burglary, Larceny, Cocaine Possession, Resisting Arrest, Cocaine-Sell, Trespassing,among others)

                                                Michael Scarola (39)
                                             a.k.a. – Michael Carpece, 
                                                        – Cross Eyed Mike

                                             Multi-State Offender
                                     Total Felony Charges – 11
                                     Total Felony Convictions – 6
                                     Total Misdemeanor Charges – 20
                                     Total Misdemeanor Convictions – 11
( charges include Burglary, Larceny, Cocaine Possession, Lewd/Lasciv,
Prostitution, Trespassing, Shoplifting, Resisting Arrest, Drugs Sell,
among others. 


                                               James Earl Brown (38)
Total Felony Charges – 7
                                       Total Felony Convictions – 3
                                       Total Misdemeanor Charges – 4
                                       Total Misdemeanor Convictions- 0   
                                       Total Failure to Appear – 5
                                       Total Incarcerations – 0
     (charges include Burglary, Larceny, Fraud, Cocaine Possession, Cocaine-Distr, Trespassing, among others)           

                                   Terry Dwayne Hampton (41)

                                          Total Felony Charges – 2
                                          Total Felony Convictions – 1

        (charges include Cocaine Possession, Drug Equip, Trespassing)

men have a Protective Order in place against Sticht, which orders him
to stay away from their residence, which in this case we assume means
“Camp CrackHead” on the FEC Railroad line! Another hearing is scheduled 
on April 17.


Judge Orders Protection for Neighborhood Crackheads !

      Broward County Judge Julio E. Gonzalez Jr.,  Monday, ordered Court Protection for a Fort Lauderdale neighborhoods’ known felons and crackheads.

In a move that stunned neighborhoods that have been under siege from
street criminals over many years, Judge Gonzalez, acting under the
request of the Broward Public Defenders Office, ordered local business
man and neighborhood crime fighter, Stephen Sticht, to stay away from
the areas’ admitted drug addicts and suspected burglars.

According to the Sun-Sentinel newspaper, some of the men he was ordered
to stay away from had felony convictions for cocaine possession,
prostitution, lewd and lascivious conduct, burglary and grand
theft.  The Judge also ordered Sticht to “surrender any weapons that he
had to Law Enforcement”. Sticht was accused by the felons of
“posting wanted posters ” of them, chasing them with a chainsaw, and
threatening to kill them.

     Sticht denies all of the felons’ allegations.
Sticht says he used his chainsaw to decimate the “crackhead camp” that
they had built along the RR tracks. Sticht’s neighborhood, and those
surrounding it, had experienced a marked increase in burgularies, (homes
and cars), as well as many other crimes since the encampment
arrived. City Officials had not been successful in eliminating it.


                                                                      the brochure

Tuesday night, at the Council of Civic Associations monthly meeting,
(an advocacy group that fights for neighborhoods), Judge Gonzalez had
operatives handing out his reelection brochures. Some in attendance,
keenly aware of Gonzalez’s ruling earlier in the day, were drawn to the
last line of his brochure that claimed he was “devoted to family and
community”. One attendee was overheard asking, “is that the criminal
community, or our community”. 

     A formal hearing on the
matter is tentatively scheduled for April 17th, where many in the
affected neighborhoods hope that the Judge will decide that he is
devoted to the law-abiding members of their neighborhoods, not the


Endorsements ………..

     There will be voting going on this month in Broward County.

     August is a bad month to vote in Broward  ….  too damn hot! … lots of people on vacation! ….   but some primary votes happen this month, the rest happen in November!


       I was a politician, once upon a time…….now in recovery! …  but some still ask me who I think they should vote for this year!

after losing the Mayor’s race …with son Timmy


    OK… here is who I think does or doesn’t   deserve your vote!

     Vote for Howard Forman   … Clerk of the Court –

     Vote for Kristen Jacobs   …. Congress

     Vote for Lori Parrish (Property Appraiser) and
 Vote for Katie Leach ( School Board)

Don’t Vote for Dale Holness ( he can’t be trusted)

            Vote for Ritter, Wexler, LaMarca,

         Vote for Brenda Snipes ( Supervisor of Elections -)

     Now he’s running for Soil and Conservation District!
          Vote NO for Al C. Jones


                     Keechl                   Ryan                           Rodstrom

                               ………… you’re on your own ……………….

Write – in Candidate, ordered to Court Friday!

     Jessica Heinecker is 24 years old, a candidate for County Commissioner, and finding herself in the big-time world of William Scherer lawsuits!


    Heinecker came home from work last night to a subpoena on her door, instructing her to be in court on Friday.


     “It’s weird”, says Heinecker, “I have to testify, about what, I have no clue!” And what’s even weirder, says Heinecker,  “there are people lurking” [outside her workplace], asking people about her.

     Pundits have been speculating about whether Heinecker is a real candidate, or just another “sham” candidate, put in the race to make sure Republicans can’t vote in the Democratic primary later this month. Heinecker told me that no one put her in the race, that she doesn’t know any of the candidates. 

    Heinecker says she got in the race for “personal growth”, and when she realized she could get in – “seized the opportunity”.She says this should “prepare her for the future”. She doesn’t actually think she can win, but expects some votes from “family and friends”.

    Heinecker also is perturbed that people (like me )have focused her side business as a self-employed Make-Up Artist, instead of her day job as a property manager. She sent me a “daytime” picture of herself, probably what we’d see on the dais – 


     Before the dais, let’s see how she does on the witness stand Friday!