He’s Back !

Hello fellow citizens   …

…….   many of you who have read this blog for years ( almost a decade), have been wondering lately, “where the hell is Tim?” ….. ” he hasn’t blogged in months”!

 

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…… well I haven’t really been lost, ( at least not literally), but it’s a reasonable question  …. I blogged like a crazy man,  many times a week, for over eight years  …. covered all that is Fort Lauderdale …. with all its’ blemishes !

…… I had written over a million words, 400 + blogs, with hits that maxed out at almost 40,000 in one particularly insane month….

…..until last March, (only God knows why ), I just couldn’t sit down and write a thing ! ……. I was very busy –

 

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…… OK, I was having some fun – OK ???

…… I even hung out with ‘Honest Abe” for a bit !

 

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……..  Jeez he’s tall!

……Well I’m back, ready to write, and I hope you are still out there  !  Are you ?

……. We’ve got a lot to talk about  ….. Did you know that all four Fort Lauderdale City Commissioners have said they just might run for Mayor in 2018- (that’s the next City election)…..

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…. yes, even the new guy !

 

– and Mayor Seiler will be term limited after nine years as Mayor, but will probably run for a statewide office! …what’s he thinking?

……….Governor Seiler ?…. Attorney General Seiler  ?….

I think I’m re-inspiring myself   …… I’ll be back soon –

 

……… Tim

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Arsenic Park Gets Cleared !

………Some of you long time readers will remember that the Middle River Terrace Park in Fort Lauderdale (on Dixie Highway), was being investigated by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection as a possible Federal Superfund site (arsenic poisoning).

 

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………    MRT Park

 

…….   The park was built on the site of a former plant nursery that had closed in 1979,  and the adjacent property had signs of arsenic in the soil, which could be caused by pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers. But the park had been thoroughly tested before the City purchased the land in 2000, with no problems detected…..

 

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……  But a local citizen repeatedly called official after official demanding a new investigation. And the State took the bait.

 

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………..  Well, guess what !  …… After the State of Florida spent months ( and probably tens of thousands of dollars) with field tests, laboratory work,, analysts, engineers, scientists etc., the results are as follows …..

…………..  groundwater migration is not a concern

…………….  air migration is not a concern

……………   soil migration does not appear to be a major concern at this time

 

         …………………..  this site is not eligible for further superfund action  …..

 

………….  thank goodness !!

 

 

Funky Fun Run Droned !

…you missed the Funky Fun Run ?     …….. it happened  a few weeks back, run along NE/NW 13th Street in Fort Lauderdale  .. It was quite the event! …. videotaped by a drone (see below) !  ….. the race was officiated by Mayor Jack Seiler, and run by 300 citizens. Those citizens included me, and newly re-elected Commissioner Dean Trantalis  …. see if you can spot Trantalis   ….. he’s the one that has a little bald spot on the top of his head 🙂

Election Tuesday ?

…. You might not know that there is a City Election on Tuesday.

 

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….  The election is for just one thing – the District II City Commissioner.

…..  Before I get to who I think you should vote for, let me say that this is way screwed up …. To have an election, in the middle of March, for just one office, where almost no one is paying attention is wrong, costly, UN-American !.. City elections should be in November, tied to either the Gubernatorial election, or the Presidential election…..

…… If you live in District II (and if you don’t know which district you live in, nevermind), you can vote,  but some people estimate that only 5 out of 100 qualified voters will decide this one !

 

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…….  If you are one of those five people, you should vote for this guy above – I am ….. If you don’t know who that guy is, well – never-mind!

 

……   Here is another picture of him with super activist Steve Glassman –

 

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….Glassman is one of those that predict a 5% turn- out  …

 

…. If you though you’d turn out out to vote for one of the three people below –   ….

 

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………..   well, NEVERMIND !!!

 

 

Election Results ….And More !

…. For those of you that don’t follow politics …..there was an election this past Tuesday in Fort Lauderdale. And even though there were only two things on the ballot …… the election still costs a boatload of money to hold …

 

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What’s worse, only 7.2% of the voters turned out to vote …… My rough math tells me it probably costs about $40 per voter !!!!

Anyhow, here are the results –

1.) Mayor Jack Seiler wins re-election big at 72% of the vote …… That wasn’t a big surprise. The only surprise is that perennial candidate, and ferocious anti- Seiler foil Earl Rynerson came in dead last – beaten by Seiler and a mostly unknown bartender – Chris Brennan

 

2.) Robert Mckinzie, after surviving multiple challenges to his candidacy, trounced challenger Donna Guthrie by about a 60/40 margin… I supported Guthrie, but now that Mckinzie is the farmacia24encasa Commissioner, I will support his efforts to make District III a better area ….

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Here’s an idea Commissioner –

…..Many years ago, Commissioner Carlton Moore and I banded together to have the wall surrounding the junkyard at I95 and Sunrise Boulevard made pretty …It’s gotten marked up and dirtied over the years…

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…… I tried to convince former Commissioner Dubose to get together a make-over on the wall during his tenure, but to no avail

… So Commissioner Mckinzie, how about you? …. Will you do it? …Can I help ?

………Tim

City Commission Election News and Pics !

……   So it’s about time to vote for Mayor and Commissioners in Fort Lauderdale…..

 

………   You might not even know that, this being the least active election in my memory. In District One and District Four, the incumbents have already won, because no one even ran against them  ……  So, for the record, I heartily endorse both Commissioner Roberts and Commissioner Rogers 🙂

 

…….  All the real news is in District III, the area of the City with the most problems, the most crime, the most poverty. I’ll get to that in a minute, but first my other pics –

 

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I say let’s re-elect Mayor Seiler . Seiler has been good for Fort Lauderdale. This will be his last term ( term limited due to my term limit legislation 🙂 …

……Seiler has two opponents – One is Earl Rynerson, and he hasn’t earned anyone’s vote. He got active for a bit after Seiler voted against gay marriage ( a mistake of Seiler’s , I say)  – so if that is your issue, hold your nose and vote for Rynerson…

 

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Hold nose if you vote Rynerson

 

…Seiler’s other opponent is Chris Brennan – 

 

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….Brennan was the main guy who opposed moving the Rain Tree, the biggest of it’s species in the continental United States. The Commission voted to let a developer move the tree, though the jury is out on whether the giant tree can survive the move  …..

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Re-elect Dean Trantalis . Trantalis has had a rocky term, but his opponent, Riverwalk Board member David Tabb, has little experience . I liked what I heard out of Tabb when I interviewed him ….Maybe he will be a future contender ….

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…District Three is an election mess –

Appointed Commissioner McKinzie has had to fight in court to retain the right to run  …. Three issues were finally found invalid to disqualify him, but the attention to his residency question might have hurt him……

 

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This is a pic in the courtroom ….. That’s City Attorney Everett, second from top, who said nothing during the hearing other than “I’m Cynthia Everett, City Attorney …..

 

But the race is getting even  uglier  …..

…….I just got a mysterious letter in my mailbox maligning McKinzie’s opponent – Donna Guthrie…

 

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………  It was a copy of a Palm Beach restraining order against Guthrie from her grown daughter. Guthrie say she was trying to remove her grandchild from a sexually abusive home, and that the child has now been removed and is in foster care…. I was satisfied with the explanation   …

….For me, I think Guthrie would make a better Commissioner than Mckinzie  …I say vote Guthrie …….

 

 

Commissioner Mckinzie Saga Continues

……… Appointed District III City Commissioner Robert Mckinzie is being challenged in court over his qualifications to run for the seat in which he temporarily sits.

 

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…….. There was a second hearing this morning in front of Judge Carlos Rodriquez. 

 

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The plaintiffs, two residents of District III, claim that Mckinzie doesn’t meet the qualifications for the March election – to wit:

 

1. He actually lives in Plantation

2.) By City Charter, an appointed Commissioner can not run for the seat

3.) On his qualifying application, Mckinzie didn’t sign it!

 

………..  Judge Rodriquez postponed the hearing until next Tuesday, as at today’s hearing Mckinzie’s lawyer was absent ( he was deer hunting upstate), and the Judge wanted Supervisor of Elections Brenda Snipes at the hearing  . ..

 

….stay tuned

City Politics

……..  There is only a few months left before the Fort Lauderdale City Elections for the Mayor and all the City Commissioners, but you’d never know it. There has been little campaigning, and only one real race.

……..  That one “real race”,  might be the race for the most needy District in the City – District III. That race looks to be between the front running incumbent and his one challenger –  ……read on …..

 

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This is the District III incumbent, Commissioner Robert Mckinzie,  who has  only been  in the office for about a month ( he was just appointed to fill the seat of Commissioner Bobby Dubose,, who was elected to the State House in November).

Here are the two signs for them both, at the intersection of  Sistrunk Boulevard and the Avenue of the Arts (NW 7th Ave.)

 

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…..A closer look might show that there may truly be a race going on –

 

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This is the challenger, Donna Guthrie. She is the neighborhood President of Melrose Park.

…… And as you can see, somebody doesn’t like Guthrie’s campaign. Guthrie has a big black graffiti mark under her eye, and under the “Fort Lauderdale City Commission, District 3 ” line, someone spray painted over Guthrie’s tag line – “Unbought and Unbossed” . That is a not so thinly disguised  comment that she believes Mckinzie is the insiders choice.

Guthrie says that’s a fair comment, that Mckinzie should have never been appointed to the seat, as he was a candidate for the seat and that gave him an unfair advantage

…. . But Guthrie says that is not stopping her campaign. She points to some mighty hefty endorsements to date – – Congressman Alcee Hastings, Art Kennedy, State Rep Gwen Clarke-Reed, Roosevelt Waters, and Property Appraiser Lori Parish. This is a race to watch!

 

Of course, if you are really a glutton for punishment, you can always stay attuned to the Mayor’s race, and his perennial  challenger

 

– Earl Rynerson

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More later  🙂

 

 

 

Tonight Downtown

Fort Lauderdale –  …… So much fun !

Tonight, as I’ve done for years, I got on my bicycle and headed downtown to watch the  Boat Parade!

But tonight would be different than the other years…. Sure, the Boat Parade was there alright –

 

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All lit up, big crowds  …. sensational as usual  ….  but something was far different tonight…..  Blocks before I got to the river, there were big crowds in the streets!  …And I mean IN the streets!

 

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I thought right away  – this isn’t part of Winterfest ….. What was this  parade all about?  …. Was  it a political rally?

 

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After-all, there was that odd Commissioner Roberts sign that someone from the crowd had left behind, leaned up against a light pole!

 

And then the biggy-big sign of the Mayor !

 

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And this was no ordinary crowd, as crowds go……  No!  … Kind of a motley crowd!  … But I tell ya, they had one hell of a Police detail with them!

 

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Mounted Patrol, SWAT, Patrol cars by the dozens! ….Must have been 100 cops !  ….All following “the crowd”.

The crowd was moving in unison, like a big lizard, and they were all chanting together that they couldn’t breathe ….”I can’t breathe –  I can’t breathe, I can’t breathe”! Maybe it was the United Asthma Foundation or something!

 

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Anyhow, they all turned down Las Olas, and I went on straight to the river to watch the boats –

Seemed our FLPD had everything firmly under control 🙂

 

Fort Lauderdale – So much fun !!

 

The Play …. in Pictures !

……………………………………. Fort Lauderdale – the History………………………………………

……..  Before we get back to politics, and the hard driving issues that affect us here in Fort Lauderdale, let’s take a minute and just feel good about our life and times !

………. The Play, Fort Lauderdale – the History,  took place last Sunday. It was produced by the 13th Street Alliance, held at the cherished 1915 Annie Beck House ( which was saved and is owned by the Broward Trust for Historic Preservation), and was an unqualified  blast! …  (Did I mention that I wrote the play?) …. Oh yea, I guess I did 🙂

Anyhow, here are some pictures from the play, all taken by the talent extraordinaire , Cal Deal.

 

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Mayor Seiler couldn’t be there, but prerecorded an opening welcome.

 

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Police Chief Frank Adderley played the first non-native person to live in Fort Lauderdale  –  joined here by his play wife, Sheryl Dickey.

 

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Our newest Commissioner, Robert Mckinzie, played Doc Sistrunk.

 

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Commissioner Bruce Roberts had multiple roles, here he is as the town’s first Top Cop, Marshall Kossie Goodbread!

 

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I’m giving the Tony Award to Commissioner Romney Rogers,  seen here enacting the suicide of town father Frank Stranahan.

 

The rousing Big Finish can be seen on YouTube at http://youtu.be/y87o3JSHRGQ.

 

The closing ACT, with Council of Fort Lauderdale Civic Associations’ President Marilyn Mammano,  lip syncing Connie Francis’s Where the Boys Are …. with Stranahan and Annie and Alfred Beck (Bill and Diane Smart). 

 

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Broward Trust President Steve Glassman in his role as Judge Fred Shippey!

 

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And lastly, a shot taken right after the play of me and my son Tim Smith, who received an award for his monthly donations to the 13th Street Alliance, from his store –  Oddballs Nifty Thrift, 530 NE 13th Street …… (excuse the shameless plug!)

 

If you want to see more great pics, go to Cal Deals’ site-  http://fortlauderdaleobserver.com/HistoryPlay/      …… and the whole play is now up on You Tube at http://youtu.be/lcZMA9KmgIA   ……

 

………Tim