There’s No Place Like Home!

     When we last spoke, I had made my first bus ride from Fort Lauderdale to our Cabin business in the Georgia Mountains.

                                      
                                          Treehouse Cabin at Bear Creek Lodge and Cabins !

     Anyhow, you might remember that my problem was getting back home!

      How can I get back home to Fort Lauderdale? …. Didn’t want to take the bus again…… Not enough time to book a cheap airline ticket!

    I took a little walk along the river to think it over –

                   

     What the hell ? …..

     I waded over the Chattahoochee River to get a better look…

                    

     Holy Crap ! ….. Divine intervention !! …. My ride home !!! ….

     But which to choose?

                                  

     This looked like a good fit for a ride to Florida, but he said his destination was Key West, and that he would “drop me off” in Fort Lauderdale –  I didn’t like the sound of that!  ….

                        

 
     I thought this one would should stay in Georgia!

                                  

     And this puppy was on fire for God’s sake !!

     But there he was  … said his name was Nick. ….  real pleasant guy   ….

                    

     Just as we were about to lift off, he mentioned something about having to make a quick stop….  at the “North Pole”  …..

         …. I’m on the noon flight out of Atlanta Delta – see you soon!

Hop on the Bus, Gus!

     I had to get up to Georgia, quickly!

     You see, Cindy and I have a mountain cabins business in Helen, Georgia and business got pretty brisk this past weekend.

                                
                                     www. BearCreekLodgeandCabins.com

     Cindy called and said, “get yer ….” …. “and make it snappy!”

     It was too late to grab a reasonable airplane ticket, so I thought I’d just jump in the truck and bear the 12 hour ride up. But there was a problem. The only other vehicle home in Fort Lauderdale was a big, ugly, dirty, hot truck, that didn’t run so great. Cindy was coming back to Fort Lauderdale first, and was not too happy.

     I thought a minute and typed in Greyhound  !  Damn, I can take a bus up for only $99. !

                 

     So there I was at the bus terminal on NE 3rd Street downtown. Just before 8a.m. and all looked good. No scary people, everything smelled normal!

     I was pleasantly surprised. The seats were big, clean, and reclined back way further than airplane seats. I was on the Express Bus, so only three stops on the way up. I took this picture of myself to prove to you I was on the bus –

                            

     I had picked up a slew of newspapers at the station, and slept a lot, but I did meet a friend in the seat beside me. She liked me a lot because she had forgot her phone charger! Mine worked in her phone just fine!

                        

     The only rap I could put on Greyhound was their station in Tifton, Georgia. They should pay me not to add this photo of that stop. We pulled up to the back of a Church’s Chicken and debarked.

                             

     Here is the waiting room! (see bus outside!)

     I had some fried chicken, didn’t sit on the chairs, went back to sleep next to my friend that still had my phone charger.

     About five hours later, I got to Helen – on time. Now the only problem – how the hell do I get home?


    

Mayor Dressler Versus the I.R.S.!


               

     You’ve heard the ol’ saying “you can’t fight City Hall”, and that may, or may not be true, but – God knows –

      ….. you can’t fight the I.R.S. ….  but that’s not stopping former Fort Lauderdale Mayor Rob Dressler.

     Dressler is the moderator of an informative, early morning discussion group called the Forum. 

    
It meets once a month at FAU downtown at 7:30 am, and has lots of interesting speakers and topics.
 
                      
    
      This week’s main topic is ……. 

            ……. why did the IRS deny non-profit status to the clearly non-political group? Sure, they have politicians talk (see above), but they don’t take sides.

     Dressler figures they were caught up in the current IRS scandal and he is having none of it. Below he draws a line in the sand  …


                                              
        
     WARNING: THE INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE HAS DETERMINED THAT THE FORUM IS “NOT EDUCATIONAL”.

         LETTER FROM THE MODERATOR 
    
     Dear Members of the Forum Community,


     This letter and the revised logo represent my personal opinion and are not an “official” statement of The Fort Lauderdale Forum, Inc.

     As indicated in the recent Forum Update, the Forum appears to have been illegally targeted by the Internal Revenue Service and our application for tax-exempt status wrongfully denied.

     Personally, I am convinced this happened, as the bizarre treatment matches or exceeds that to which other groups were subjected (except for tax audits of the groups and their contributors – at least not yet.)

     As a result, the Forum has been permanently tainted, in that the IRS has determined that we are “not educational” and requires us to pay income taxes on contributions received, and has apparently linked the Forum (and myself and our Sponsors) with “right-wing” political groups, with which we have nothing in common.

     Following founder Jack Latona’s example, I have spent six years working to live up to our goal to “provide a place for reasoned discussion of current issues affecting the lives of citizens in Fort Lauderdale and Broward County” by being “non-profit, non-partisan and open to the public at no cost or obligation”.

     Those efforts have been officially contradicted by our government.

     Unfortunately, at this point, despite expressions of “outrage” and “apologies”, no commitment has been made to rectify the damage done to the “innocent” groups and to delete all information improperly obtained from IRS databases.

     If the “outrage” expressed by the President and Congressal leaders is real, they should immediately order an independent review of the applications improperly denied and assure the leaders of those groups that their reputations have been cleared, and all information improperly collected will be deleted from IRS databases.

     Until this is done, there is no reason to believe that anything has changed, and the Forum will continue to be under a cloud, forced to pay improper taxes, and possibly be subject to retaliation for complaining.

     Therefore, unless the Forum’s application is removed from the target list and receives a fair and independent review by year-end, I intend to resign as Moderator and President of the Forum, and our tainted, taxable organization be dissolved, with all remaining donations returned to contributors. 

     
… I’ll let you know what happens   …. Tim



Gretsas in Homestead Hot Water ?

       
          News from the ….. 

                

            Miami-Dade County 

                     ROCKY RELATIONSHIP  


             
                   Seiler with former Ft. Laud. Mgr. Gretsas


     The relationship between Homestead City Manager George Gretsas and Mayor Steve Bateman is, well, let’s just say, not a friendly one.

     City Hall sources say Gretsas and his team, which includes several senior staff he hired from Fort Lauderdale, are at odds with some City Council members. There is also concern that Gretsas has hired few locals to serve in his administration.
 
     As the November election nears, don’t be surprised to see Team Gretsas become a campaign issue.

Fire Tour Fun

     ……  About 2 dozen citizens turned up to the ……

              
 
                        Fort Lauderdale Fire Museum tour

     … this past Wednesday, for a fun and informative tour led by museum co-founder, former City Commissioner John Aurelius.

    
All the participants found the tour enlightening.

             

     The exhibits are very interesting, did you know that the water lines in this City were once made of  …..


            


        After the tour, we got to eat and drink as promised by the tour director –


          


     And then we found out what they meant when they said come and watch the pole dancing!!!


             


                                ……… should’ve figured !!

Update Fire Tour !

     Just got an update from the Fort Lauderdale Fire Museum about the upcoming tour!

                      

     They’re very excited that we are coming, and have decided to “add a few logs to the fire”!

                                            Food and Booze ! ( two of my favorites !)

     Come ready to eat, drink, see the wonderful displays, look for the resident ghost ….and something about   ……….

                                                
                                                          pole dancing?

                      See you Wednesday at 5:30 pm at 1022 W. Las Olas

Onion disses Fort Lauderdale

    Our town is the butt of a warped joke in the online satirical newspaper The Onion.

     The front page article is entitled “Obama speechwriters unsure how they’d praise Fort Lauderdale in event of tragedy”.

     First off, these so-called speechwriters for a suspected  Kenyan/ Communist have some nerve! And can anyone name even one speech they wrote that hit the charts? ..OK, but can you name two?

                             

     The article basically calls our City a big lump of nothin, devoid of soul, overrun by yachts!

     It’s apparent that they just don’t get us.

     The writers live in D.C., and granted, they have a lot of cool things there, but they also a lot of murders! Sure, if you grow up in D.C., you get bored with all the field trips to the Smithsonians, the Congress, and the White House.

     But do they have Butterfly World?

                                            

     They go on to ridicule us for having Fireworks stands, strip malls, retirement homes, sunburned tourists, and drunk spring breakers. So what’s your point guys?

     And we have a lot of things that D.C. doesn’t – try motoring down Pennsylvania Ave. in this Mr. Big Shot writers –

                                             

     Got ’em there huh?

     Add to that our Everglades tours, horse racing, dog racing, car racing,  jai alai, Flamingo Gardens and the Funderdome, and I think they get the picture!

     Most ridiculously, they accuse Fort Lauderdale of not having a “unique identity”.

     Are you kidding me? We’ve been trying to get rid of our “unique identity” for years! Ever heard of Connie Francis!

                                    

     
    
Lastly, the know-it-all writers say we lack “inspiring local figures” I don’t know about inspiring figures, but we certainly don’t lack in colorful local figures”!

                                        
                                            resident Nick Nolte

     Do the names Naugle, the late Rev. Kennedy, Kathy Willets, Bob Cox, Earl Rynerson ring a bell?

      Enough of this defending ourselves. The old adage – a picture paints a thousands words – will suffice –

 

    

    

    

Tour Historic Fire Station (and its’ ghost!)

     It’s Tims’ Tours time again, and this one should be really fun!

                    

     We’ve been invited to tour the Citys’ Historic Fire Station #3 and museum, in Sailboat Bend.

     The Station is chocked full of fun pictures, equipment, stories of many a fire and rescue from Fort Lauderdales’ past, and something out of this world (more on that in a minute).

     Our tour leader will be former Commissioner John Aurelius, who has been one of the main originators of the museum, and loves to show off his handiwork!

                           
                                     Aurelius on left …..  Fire Trainee on right!

     And, the out of this world part ….  if we are lucky ( or unlucky), the stations’ resident ghost will scare the dickens out of us! The story goes that FireFighter Robert Knight died in his second week of service when he stepped into an electrically charged puddle and died. Some say he lives on in the Station, blows cold air on the backs of their necks, and turns on the Stations’ intercom at will !

     See you next Wednesday, May 15 …..  1022 W. Las Olas  ….5:30 pm sharp

         Please send me an e-mail to RSVP at Tim@TimSmith.com, or just post a comment on the post saying   ……..
                                     See you there Tim !

More on ISHOF

Swim Hall of Fame Hopes to Call Santa Clara Home
By Carolyn Schuk


Swim Hall of Fame Hopes to Call Santa Clara Home

Santa Clara Swim Club has produced more Olympic athletes, won more
Olympic medals, and placed more champions in the International Swim Hall
of Fame (ISHOF)
than any other club in the world. So when the Hall of
Fame needed a new home for the 21st century, where better to look than
Santa Clara?

Two weeks ago, the newly-formed Santa Clara Blue and Gold Ribbon
Commission signed a memorandum of understanding with the ISHOF to raise
$10 million to relocate the Hall of Fame
to Santa Clara, and provide a
$2 million endowment for future support. Unofficial discussions have
been going on since last year and a location adjacent to the Hilton
hotel is currently under consideration.

The ISHOF was established in Fort Lauderdale, FL in 1928. By 1970,
it was a major attraction for the city. But by 2000, support declined
and the facility fell into disrepair. When a rebuilding project fell
through, ISHOF’s leaders decided to move.

With its fabled history in aquatic sports, Santa Clara was a natural
destination. The Santa Clara Swim Club was founded and put on the
Olympic map by legendary coach George Haines. The Santa Clara Aquamaids
and Santa Clara Dive Club followed suit, setting high standards in
synchronized swimming and diving. The opening of the George Haines
International Swim Center in 1967 made Santa Clara the capital of the
swimming world.

Supporters say that the goal for a new Swim Hall of Fame is to be
the definitive museum of swimming and aquatic sports – and part of that
means an address in a city that has an important connection to aquatic
sports history.

As part of that mission, the commission says that it hopes that its
efforts will also be a catalyst for rebuilding the Haines International
Swim Center – not only to bring back professional competitions, but to
expand aquatic activities for local residents as well.

The commission marries star power with solid community roots. Its
co-chairs are venture capitalist and UC Trustee (and SCU graduate)
Patrick Yam, and 49ers president and former Facebook CFO Gideon Yu.

The committee’s membership also includes builder and philanthropist
Steve Schott; former Earthquakes EVP David Alioto; former Santa Clara
Parks and Recreation Director Larry Wolfe; Santa Clara Parks &
Recreation Commissioner – and a Santa Clara competitive swimmer –
Cynthia Owens; and former City Council Member Kevin Moore.

Santa Clara Hilton owner Lawrence Lui has also made a substantial
financial commitment to the project. “He has been very supportive of our
efforts,” says Yam. “I can’t say enough about his generosity.”

The commission wants to celebrate Santa Clara’s swimming legacy says
Yam. “We want to do so in a way that appeals to everyone in the
community, and contributes to the lives of everyone from children to
seniors. This project has a huge potential for synergy across the
community.”



ISHOF Leaving Town ?

     After about a decade of false starts to rebuild Fort Lauderdale’s Aquatic Facility, an approved plan seems to be moving ahead, but probably without the entity that made it famous –

                           …… the International Swimming Hall of Fame,

                                       
                                                               ISHOF

     ISHOF’s CEO, Bruce Wigo, confirmed today that talks are underway to move the museum out of Fort Lauderdale. Discussions are ongoing with numerous venues, including Oceanside California, which recently had an item on their City Commission agenda about “real estate negotiations” with ISHOF.

     Fort Lauderdale won the right to establish the nation’s first swimming hall of fame in 1962, and built a peninsula out into the Intracoastal waterway in order to build the complex.

     ISHOF has had many of the worlds’ famous swimmers associated with it since.

                                     
                                                           Tarzan

     Probably the most famous was Olympic swimmer Johnny Weissmuller (aka Tarzan), who is immortalized with a statue in the museum. He’s pictured above doing his famous yell (can’t you just hear the ah-ih-ah-ih-ah! – Wikipedia describes the yell as the “victory cry of the bull ape” !).

    Other famous swim names like Esther Williams, Mark Spitz, Michael Phelps, and Greg Louganis (who trained in Fort Lauderdale and famously admitted to having AIDS after hitting his head and bleeding into a pool during a diving competition) competed in the Fort Lauderdale pools.

                                      
                                               Louganis in Fort Lauderdale

     Wigo says the museum has no choice but to look to set up their international headquarters somewhere else, after Fort Lauderdale’s offer to the museum was “a joke”, and an “after thought“. 

     Wigo says the new Fort Lauderdale plan has the museum in the middle of the complex, with no view, “in a box”. Wigo says they are exploring their options to see what their “equity value” is to other cities. Wigo says even Shanghai, China has expressed an interest in ISHOF!

     Wigo also is worried that the new Fort Lauderdale plan will only lead to more red ink at the complex, which often loses nearly one million dollars a year, and that Fort Lauderdale needs to “rethink the aquatic business”.

     I’ll keep you informed ….. Tim