Fort Lauderdale New Year’s Resolutions

       I was asked about a month ago, by the Fort Lauderdale Magazine, to write a bit about what “New Year’s Resolutions” I thought our City should take on in 2014, and here is what I submitted….. The article comes out in their January 2014 issue  …..

     …. Let me know if you agree or disagree!  …  thanks, … Tim
      ….. I think it would be a healthy exercise for Fort Lauderdale to
make some New Year’s resolutions. We are an exceptional city for sure,
with real possibilities, but some things need tending to.

Our challenges, (or root problem) may be that our city was not very well
planned out from the get-go. We began as a tropical winter destination,
and no one stayed here past March except for the Seminoles and a few other hardy souls!

Then came air conditioning, and the frenzy for year round living took
hold fast. We grew from about 14,000 people in the early ’50’s, to
nearly 200,000 today. The boundaries that used to stop at Searstown, are
now many miles away – out in Palm Air! While we can thank our lucky
stars that we are not Des Moines, or Detroit,  we can do more about :

      . the beach
We are constantly bickering about the beach, it’s time to stop!

…… Are the greedy developers controlling the beholden politicians, or are
the whiny beach residents ungrateful that they live in paradise, and
don’t want any new neighbors? The city needs to make sure the beach is a
fun, lively place for all citizens of Fort Lauderdale, and the tourists.
And it needs to attract lots of new residents, but don’t let the
developers build just anything, make the new hi-rises contribute to a
better beach!

     . crime

  ……. Some of our neighborhoods have no crime and some are inundated!

    ….We need our own Apollo Project, for
safer neighborhoods thru-out!  Get those troubled areas up to snuff.
Control the traffic going in and out of them, use cameras, citizen
alarms, repeat offender programs, community policing, whatever it takes, but try something new, the status quo is intolerable.

     . downtown –

     …… It looked like we were almost getting there, but the downtown has slid backwards somewhat since the economy soured. The Riverfront is
a shame. The elected leaders have to put their heads down and get that
Riverfront back up and running! Use as many carrots and sticks with the
property owners that you can muster!


And while they’re at it, the land by City Hall, that we all own, has sat
there looking worse and worse, year after year.. Knock the junk down,
see what we can put in its’ place! More people downtown will bring more
restaurants, entertainment, culture, and that important  – Je ne sais

     . history

   ……  Some cities save all of their old buildings for posterity. That’s not
what we need here, but there are some important old structures in our
city that are worth saving.

     The Bryant Homes and the
Shippey House are making progress, but let’s make this year the year
where the leaders identify the rest of the important historical
structures, and put a plan in place to save those important parts of our
past. The days of waiting until a developer starts a demo plan to start
screeching needs to end!

     . Sistrunk Blvd.

    ……. Now that we’ve set aside the few naysayers that want to hide our
historically black part of town, let’s bring it totally out of the
shadows. The area has lots of possibilities to make it a more functional
part of Fort Lauderdale!  I’m ready to buy some tickets to BB King at
the new House of Blues on Sistrunk, and drink some wine that goes with that traditional soul food afterwards.


                                                 What do you say?

Miracle on 13th Street

      A big Christmas shindig took place on the Sunday before Christmas.

      It’s now a tradition for the neighborhoods that run along 13th Street in Fort Lauderdale to hold a fun party. The idea is to  reward the area kids that are doing real well in school, (despite living in challenging conditions), with great gifts, food and merriment!

     The area schools each pick 25 kids that fit the bill and every year the kids can’t wait!


        They play fun games   ………


      Eat eat eat! …


       They meet the Mayor  


       Get entertained ….


      …even by the area Commissioner !

        But the real fun comes when Santa arrives with their gifts !


        Santa starts with the little ones  …


       …. then moves on the the bigger kids  …


          …. but when they get too big  …..


Wanna Look Hot at 70 ?

     We are all about to celebrate the holidays and eat too much!

      My friend Amy Jones Hamilton, long time President of the Laudergate Isles Civic Association (just east of Federal Highway and north of Sunrise Boulevard), was telling me about a great new program that can keep off the poundage and stay in shape right thru next year…..

     Amy says that if you are no longer a spring chicken, than this is the ticket  …..


      And if you doubt that Amy knows what she is talking about,  just take a look at what the new 70 looks like !!


      Amy’s sweet husband Joel was in this picture ( that’s his left ear), but I cropped him out so we could see more of Amy !

     Keep up the good work !


                    P.S. Happy Holidays and Happy New Year to you all  …..

In the Movies?

      Just returned home after a brisk morning walk along Las Olas.

      I was a bit groggy still, but saw a bright light in the distance  …


     By golly, the road was closed, lots of people roaming about with lights …. cameras….action !


      Geez, I thought  ……  I’m about to be an extra in a movie!

             So I looked for her …..


      I figured if I snuck around behind her, I would be in some important scene….   but she was nowhere to be seen!

               Then I spotted this guy with the radio  ….

      Where are the stars, I asked. What movie are you shooting?

      It’s an FPL commercial pal  ….  please move along  ……


Need Cocaine ?


                    So you’re guessing that this is another post about crime in the hood?


     This time, it’s cocaine dealing … on the beach!

                                                    At Beach Place !!!

     Last Thursday, Fort Lauderdale’s Nuisance Abatement Board took the beaches’ number one entertainment spot under control for continuing drug problems.

     Here are some colorful excerpts from the undercover cops reports as they bought cocaine and marijuana at Beach Place……

        …….  I carried $40 obtained from investigative funds for the purpose of purchasing illegal narcotics …. being sold in the area of Beach Place  …. a heavy set black male wearing a black shirt and an orange hat ….. heavy set white male with blonde hair ….. carrying a black back pack ….. wearing a black t-Shirt and blue jean shorts  ….. white female wearing a pink tank top …. said, I got snowflakes ….after examining the substance  … I knew this white substance to be cocaine.

     Beach Place admitted to the ongoing drug problems at their establishment and agreed to multiple corrective actions.

     The Nuisance Abatement Board has State sanctioned authority to place controls on nuisance properties including closing them down …….

                               I’ll keep you informed ….. Tim

Good Kids Deserve a Good Christmas!

     You are probably out right now buying gifts!


     Would you be willing to
buy an additional gift, when you’re at the mall, online, or at the Flea
Market, for our Fort Lauderdale kids that really earned ’em ( and might not get them).

                                    Here’s the deal

     The 13th Street Alliance, a group of multiple neighborhoods and businesses just north of Sunrise Boulevard,  has teamed up with the famous Christmas Palace ( at 800 NE 13th Street), to bring some joy to deserving kids, just like we did last year.


                                      the wonderful Christmas Palace


     The group has met again this year with area elementary and middle school officials to collect the names of kids who are doing real good in school but come from modest homes.

                                           Here’s exactly what to do to participate

       Buy ….a really cool gift for a boy or girl, aged 5 -years old to 14 -years old. Put a note on the gift saying what age kid you think should get it …… for example…..

                    [  boy – 8-10 years old – or – girl – 5 years old  ]

   ….  (also put on your e-mail address on the gift if you want, so
we can send you an invitation for the Christmas party where we will be
giving the gifts out)…..

     Take …. the gift (unwrapped), to the Christmas Palace, at 800 NE 13th Street, – Monday thru Saturday – 10 am until 9 pm, or Sunday from 11 am until 6 pm…. from now until December 22nd……

    Then …..we will be having the super fun party on December 22, from 1pm until 6 pm, in Middle River Terrace Park (1329 N. Dixie Highway),


…….where Santa will be giving out the presents to the kids,
munching holiday fare, singing Christmas Carols ….etc…etc….etc….

     Can we count on you?   …….

     (If you have questions, you can call Shannon Harmeling at 954-7900169, or e-mail me at


Teenage Criminals

     Our City has a serious teen crime problem,

but Public Defender  Howard Finklestein and Representative Perry Thurston think we are being too hard on the young-uns !


     Now for total transparency, when I was 15, I was caught outside the school’s teen club drinking a beer (with the Police Chief’s daughter none the less!)

     Let’s just say that Dad and I had a serious talk when he brought me home!

                    delinquent Tim

     But let’s fast forward to today and compare yesterday’s teen mischief to the teen criminal  in Fort Lauderdale  today !


                        unnamed 16 year- old teen
     ……..   Battery  …7/20/2010
     ……..   Strong Armed Robbery  ….   7/29/10
     ……..   Grand Theft    …..  7/29/10
     …….    Strong Armed Robbery …..   10/25 10
    ……..    Burglary 6/26 11
    …….     Armed Burglary …..  11/29/11
    …….     Sale of Cocaine  …….  6/21/12
    …….     Violation of conditional release ….. 10/5/13
    …….     Sale of Cocaine 10/10/13
( juvenile is out on conditional release)

                            unnamed 16 year-old teen
     …….   Burglary …..   6/14/13
    …….   Burglary Vehicle …. 8/3/13
    …….   Burglary ….. 9/18/13
   ……..    Burglary ….. 9/25/13
   ……..    Vandalism to church ….  11/6/13
   ……..    Beat up his teacher  ….   11/22/13

          No Howard and Perry, we are not being too tough on the young-uns!


More Burglary Talk

     Burglaries are a real problem citywide, but the area I live in is inundated!

    …………. So far this year, there has been over 600 burglaries in just the five neighborhoods that run along 13th Street! Amazingly, that accounts for about a third of the burglaries in the whole city.

     ………  So, we decided that we should try and help the Fort Lauderdale Police however we could . We arranged for an anti-crime walk this Friday, Dec. 6th at 6 pm ( meet up with the Mayor and the police at 530 NE 13th Street).

     The irony of the effort? As I was handing out flyers today for the upcoming walk, the police stopped  me (see below). Couldn’t go down numerous streets to hand out the flyers –

                           …………… burglary in process !


                                                       See you Friday?

ObamaCare Miracle

      It’s a miracle!


     I just went on the Affordable Care Act (ACA or ObamaCare) website, and it worked!

    Today was the day that they said the website would work, but I was not at all confident. I had gone on the site many times, for months, only to be hung up at one point or another in the site.

     I told you last month that I was trying to get a more affordable health plan for my family than the catastrophic plan I have with Blue Cross Blue Shield. We currently pay over $600 for a plan that only covers us if we meet up with a bus!


     I did find out last month ( by phone) that there was a plan that would cut our premiums in half on the ACA website, but until I saw it with my own eyes, I was not going to believe it.

     So this morning I fired up the ACA site and low and behold, there it was, working! The site had no glitches, sailed right through all the possible choices, asked me if I was read to enroll.

     I’m guessing this is what President Obama is feeling like this morning –


     Anyhow, I’ve been hearing by the detractors of the ACA, about sticker shock.

    They’ve been saying  that I would have it when I saw what would happen with my premiums, and I was, but in a very good way!

     The $600 + we now pay will be reduced by 50%, if we take the plan with a higher deductible, or $458 if we take a plan with a lower deductible than we now have. The company offering those is called Coventry Health Care, and both plans offer free Doctors visits (now I pay for all those).

     Maybe I ought to hit this enroll button now, before the site goes down !