Prominent Businessmans’ Kid Robbed and Shot

… A parents’ worse nightmare  ….. the phonecall, your kid has been shot in an armed robbery !!




…… The parents are Caldwell and Susan Cooper, and they are the owner/ operators of



 ….. Cooper Properties, the largest rental property company ( and biggest residential tax payer) in Fort Lauderdale …  


… They got the call last night about 8pm – “Dad, I just got robbed and they shot me” , a sentence that make the biggest brute weak at the knees….. “But I’m OK”, 15 year old- tenth grader Joseph Cooper added…..

….. Joseph, on Thanksgiving break from Cardinal Gibbons, was hanging out in Rio Vista with his buddies Nick and Michael  …. They were walking the dog down to the Ponce De Leon park when a “old Chevy Trailblazer” pulled up next to them  …. “They had on hoodies and bandanas with a red skull cap, and at first we thought they were some friends just screwing around”, said Joseph …. They said “give us your stuff, and just seconds later he shot me!” ….




….Having been trained with guns from a younger age, Joseph knew the gun was a pellet gun the driver had shot him with, but he saw a long gun in the lap of the passenger  …”I was gushing blood” , Joseph said …. They took off and the three friends ran for home  ….. They called home  …”Mom was flippin out”, Joseph said  ….

….   The parents were there in minutes and rushed Joseph to Broward General to take out the pellets and stitch up the wound …..  Joseph, a typical 15 year old, took a “snapchat” of the wound and sent it to friends  ….  “It hurt more this morning than yesterday”, he quipped ….

… The robbers, one white, one black, were from Plantation, ( a 17 year old and an 18 year old) and had attempted other robberies in Rio Vista that night and were caught later that night by FLPD ….



…. Joseph says the robbers are being charged with armed robbery and assault with a deadly weapon, the 18 year old as an adult   ….  “the world is flat out crazy”, Joseph finished …..

………………   no kidding, I thought !



Problems Solved !

… On our last post, we pointed out 2 problems that needed immediate attention in our City, and I’m happy to report that within a week, both problems were solved !

…..  It took a village, so to speak, but that’s a good thing  …

….. The biggest group effort was the pile of garbage that made up a homeless encampment near that really cool “little red caboose” on Sunrise Boulevard behind Home Depot. The problem had been brewing for nearly 6 months, and made the city look like a dump!


…. The City was worried about the new homeless rulings, the Cemex plant thought it was a Police responsibility, the neighborhood just complained  .

…but then   … ACTION !

…..  cemexcoop1

…A tough group of volunteers ( including Cooper Properties pictured above) showed up at 9 this morning to dismantle the encampment   …. A really great Policeman, Sgt. Jamie Costas, had visited the camp the night before and told the inhabitants (including murderer “Jack” – who served 20 years for murdering his wife). that the camp would be going away in the morning …. ( Costas says “Jack” was understanding, and his personal things were gone this morning along with Jack).


… Commissioner Dean Trantalis (pictured above leaning on rake), and City Manager Feldman worked quickly to arrange for Republic Industries to volunteer pick-up of the refuse …


…Let’s just say that Republic has their work cut out for them…

…..   Thank you to the dozen volunteers that made it happen, because in the end –


…..   no garbage, and nowhere left to hide !

……… ( oh yea, the defaced People pictures on the County building has also been removed)  …





2 things 2 fix !!!

# 1



……    I love these  People Pictures ….. don’t you ?     …..  we’e seen them at Fort  Lauderdale High School, etc.,   but here’s my question  ….. what kind of animal did  this to these pics  ? …  this 40 person stretch of pics of  our fellow citizens on the County building downtown has been destroyed …. Shouldn’t  we just knee- cap the fool that did this ?

…  I hope the pics can be replaced  ….let’s not just give in!




…. This is the trashed out lot next to that really cool little red caboose on Sunrise Boulevard  by Home Depot.




…. Some like to blame the Caboose, but there is no garbage at the train, only next to it in front of the Cemex Cement plant  ……

…. Why can’t we stop this prolific homeless person from living next to the  caboose with all his tons of trash ???

…….  2 things 2 fix  ….






The People Win !!!

…… It’s nice to see the little guy win once in a while ! ……  Story follows !

…… For years, the South Middle River Neighborhood (north of Sunrise Boulevard, west of Andrews)  has been amazingly burdened by a juvenile delinquent boys’ home.  



    ….The facility,  funded by the State of Florida, is so poorly run, that when a burglary occurs in the neighborhood, the Police just automatically go to the facility –  the Crescent House.




…….. The House (actually a collection of apartments) has produced so much crime over the last 6 years, that the City took the unusual step of asking a Judge last month to declare the facility a nuisance, so they can shut it down. The move is important, and possibly even precedent setting. At the hearing, about 50 neighbors showed up in red shirts and pleaded with the Judge to shut it down. They testified about finding burglars in their homes, drug paraphernalia in the swale, brawls in the intersections.

…. On the other side of the aisle were high priced attorneys for the State and the facility, decrying the move, saying it should be kept open for the “children”.

….One such “child”, Cedric Camper, now 19, had racked up 53 felony charges while living at the “house”, no kidding ! He was finally shipped up state, but other young criminals filled the void.

…. Now the good news !  …. Word has it that on Monday,  the Judge will indeed declare the facility a nuisance and against the area zoning, which should be enough to close the facility. Appeals are expected, but this is a big win for South Middle River, and the city of Fort Lauderdale.

…..  The neighborhood deserves major recognition for staying after it all these years, not giving up,  and their leader in the fight, Sal Gatanio, should just be declared a saint !












Cindi Hutchinson Leaves Town

….. Former Fort Lauderdale City Commissioner Cindi Hutchinson fell about as far from grace as is possible, now she has left town.




……   Hutchinson served on the Commission as the District IV Commissioner from 2000 until 2009, when she started a run for Mayor, but bowed out after encountering a charge of public corruption for accepting home improvement gifts worth $14,000 from a developer.

Hutchinson was convicted and served 2 months and 20 days in jail…



…..  Hutchinson never returned to public life after serving her sentence. She is on probation until 2018.

Now she has left Fort Lauderdale for Hollywood.



…… Hutchinson did a lot of good work as a neighborhood activist and City Commissioner, but lost sight of the rules somewhere along the line  ….. Now that is history, and Cindi can have a fresh start in a new town… Good luck !

Shippey Shack No More !!

…..  Sometimes it’s nice to share good news.


Judge Fred Shippey

…. The one-hundred year- old  Judge Fred  Shippey  House has passed another milestone, and looks to be finally be headed toward success/saving ! ( Here is a picture of the rough house right after it was originally saved and moved to a city owned lot in the historic district about six years ago, right near the New River….)


…. The ownership of the house was transferred this past week to the Riverwalk Trust, the group that manages the Riverwalk…… That is very good news….. Along with the transfer of the house from the Friends of Shippey House came $92,000 to restore the outside…..


Here is how the house looks now, and here it was it should look like soon –



….It took a lot of good citizens to save this important historic house, here is just a partial list with their donation amounts – some donations are in-kind, most are cold cash ! … (sorry if I forgot someone)

City of Fort Lauderdale – $30,000

Cooper Properties – $12,500

Advanced Roofing – $8000

Broward County – $8000

Doug Snyder – $8000

Genia Ellis – $5000

Jim Brady – $3500

Romney Rogers – $2500

Katherine Barry – $2000

Bradley Decklbaum – $2000

Broward Trust for Historic Preservation – $1000

Tim Smith- $1000

Cal Deal – $1000

Ron Centamore – $1000

Jackie Scott – $500

Jack Seiler – $250

…………   good citizens, the all of them !





FLPD Officer Feldewert …. Racist?

…..  Problems between Police Agencies and black communities seem to be at their  worst  ……  And in Fort Lauderdale, the City just reinstated a 20 year Police Officer, Jeff Feldewert,  after he was  initially slated for firing for inappropriate, racially tinged Facebook postings  … Fellow citizens have been asking me if I knew why ….




……..   Pictures like these seem to be all over the news now a days, and with social media being the rage, nothing is behind the scenes  … ..   A new phrase has been added to the nation’s lexicon –




……  The race case on FLPD veteran Officer Feldewert  began after he put this post on Facebook –




………… The caption reads ” Typical hoodrat behavior – black People, because without them the evening news wouldn’t be as much fun to watch  …  ……   Feldewert’s case came to light after a much reported case of four FLPD officers that made a racist “movie trailer” for the internet, and were subsequently fired  ….. Three of the four are suing to reverse their termination  …. …..


…….  Word has it that the City Attorney’s office told City Manager Lee Feldman that the case for Feldewert’s  firing was thin at best ….



………And  according to an Internal Affairs interview with the Officer,  Feldewert admits the posting was “supposed to get a chuckle”, and that he is not racist, has a good 20 year record with no racial problems, and admits to “poor judgement” … He asked for a second chance, his job back  …




…….   Chief Adderley agrees with the reinstatement  ….. He told me that Feldewert made mistakes, owned up to them, and that his case doesn’t rise to a firing status like the others ….  He says that the 10 day suspension without pay was adequate, and that Feldewert will be watched and “shouldn’t make any more mistakes” ….   He cites a similar case of a black female FLPD Police Officer, who was also reprimanded and not fired for saying on Facebook  that she didn’t want to work for the “white man” all her life  ….

…..Adderley says he understands the sensitive nature of these cases, and is working with State Attorney Satz to develop a racial sensitivity program where Officers such as Feldewert will talk with young black youth about police/citizen relationships  ….

……   I reminded Adderley that he was one of a very few black Police Chiefs, from big national cities, that grew up in a poor black neighborhood and rose through the ranks to Chief  ……  that he had a special responsibility    …..  As a friend, I told him I hope he takes that humble advice seriously ……

Popeye Too !

…….. Popeye had gone missing  …… The prolific homeless panhandler of Sunrise Boulevard hadn’t been seen in nearly a year, and I had worried that he had made good on his threat to throw himself under a train,,,




……  But there he was just yesterday, rolling up the sidewalk, just north of Sunrise – on his spanky new Hov-a-round!

….. He looked much better than the days where he was living in the elevator shaft at Home Depot! He says that he is living at a sober house south of the tunnel, and has to put the scooter on the bus to get to Sunrise to panhandle, so he doesn’t get up here much ……   His head looks better –




…… but the sunburn from years of outdoor activities has done a permanent number on his legs …


pop21  ….


……………..   thank God he came in from the cold  …. and please don’t give him any money !!!

the Beach …. and the Calvin

…. I hadn’t jogged the beach for awhile. so I thought I’d get some exercise in and  see if any new skyscrapers had appeared since my visit last month …..




….. Nope, no new skyscrapers, but I was quite surprised to see     …. – Calvin !

…..   Calvin is a giant fellow, a notorious character for the beach … He is on and off homeless, a problem for the Police, and I thought he had been banned from the seaside… ….. He is a little mentally ill, talks very LOUD, and doesn’t like Cops telling him what to do  …. he would relax on the sand and yell at anyone that got too near to him  ….




… He is so big that the Police couldn’t budge him, so they would entice him with food to get him up and off the beach! ….His weak spot was a McDouble, and the Cops often did what they had to do  …..

….. So it was that I first knew Calvin must be back on the beach  … I jogged up on his calling cards –



…..   endless scattered McDonalds wrappers – assorted drink bottles etc. tossed on the sidewalk!



…. there he was….larger than life ………” hey Calvin”, I said   ……  “Who you?” , he barked    ..”I’m the guy who got you that pair of low cut army boots you asked for a few years back” I replied ….  “size 14 extra wide”, he shouted   …

……  Calvin says he is a Marine – says he was the youngest lifeguard ever at Nova – (22 years old) ….  says he has slimmed down from his old 880 pound frame, to a wheel chair fit of only 385 lbs.   …..

…….   says he was glad to see me, that he could use a few bucks, and needed a new pair of those low cut army boots – size 14 EXTRA WIDE !   ….   I gave him two bucks, and said I’d let my readers know about the shoes if he would give me one more fun picture –  ……    then  he said “remember I told you I was a Marine?”  …. and let this one off –




…..   would someone take Calvin some new shoes ?

City Elections in Just Days

                     Dateline : Feb. 2018


…… In what will most certainly be called the most unusual election in Fort Lauderdale history, Tuesday’s votes will elect a new Mayor, three brand new Commissioners, and, for the first time, elect nobody to represent the wealthiest district – District I ……



Jack Seiler, after serving three terms as Mayor, and being term limited, is running for Governor, islocked in a tough race with Republican Adam Putnam …. Seiler changed his party affiliation to Independent, which is what he used to be before becoming a Democrat .

… Most pundits say that move might have given him a chance in the conservative northern part of Florida  …


…. All of the sitting Commissioners are vying for the open Mayor’s post…

… – Commissioners Roberts and Rogers, both term limited, Trantalis, who says he is not term limited as he only served a partial first term to replace Charlotte Elizabeth Rodstrom ( who used to be just Charlotte Rodstrom) , but decided to run for Mayor anyhow, and Commissioner Mckinzie ( who would have guessed ?)

…. Rounding out the mayoral field is Chris Brennan, who gained infamy last year when he chained himself to bulldozer that was about to take down the giant Rain Tree…..



Brennan pictured above – before chaining himself to the tree  … After a short stint in Broward General, he says he is doing just fine ….


….. But the craziest news is in District I, which is the northern part of the City – Oakland Park Boulevard north …. the folks in that District have always had limited interest in running for Commissioner – saying things like ” everything’s real good up here, why bother”.

…. So with no candidates emerging, the Commission took an unusual step…. They made up a candidate, just so the Florida law would be followed !




…. He will be listed as Mr. Nobody !


… In District II, the candidates are –


Earl Rynerson, who lost so many Mayoral races, no one can remember, is going to try for  Commissioner this time !



… Well respected marine industry guy Frank Herhold, who might be in the lead,



… Steve Glassman, a sharp cookie, who ran unsuccessfully in 2003, shown here miming that his is to the left of the other candidates…. and,



……..Rodstrom … no one is sure if it is former Commissioner Charlotte Elizabeth, or former County Commissioner John who is running, because they filed with just the one name Rodstrom  …


….In District III, you have



Bernadette Norris Weeks …. and

former Commissioner Bobby Dubose, who quit his State House seat, saying no one knew he was actually in Tallahassee anyhow !


..  last but not least, District IV



…. Poker magnate Jackie Scott, who won one million dollars in Vegas, and was not seen for two years, before coming home and declaring her candidacy –



Marilyn Mammano, long time head of the Council of Fort Lauderdale Civic Associations   …. and



Cindi Hutchinson, former Commissioner – I’ll say no more … and




  …..  Sturdy civic activist Steve Buckingham ( this is not his picture, but I like him, couldn’t find a picture of him,  and thought he deserved an image !)

…… If this all boggles your mind, refer back to the Dateline at the top of the post !


thanks, Tim