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No Confidence

February 27, 2008 by Barbara

www.sunsentinel.com

Fort Lauderdale Police have decided to initiate a no confidence vote for the City Manager and one Assistant City Manager.

They are still working without a contract….negotiations are scheduled…union approved the move…..

City replied that this does not help the situation….no wonder negotiations are iffy!

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The Papers Today

February 27, 2008 by Barbara

www.sunsentinel.com

Late today due to late night commission agenda and Sea Ranch meeting this AM ……

Power puzzle…chain of events leading to power outages…the haves and the have-nots…..and full time local news coverage…joined by the cable stations….this is the stuff that gives the news anchors that adrenaline rush!

Fires from ethanol requires special foam….alternative fuel carries a danger many communities have been slow to recognize; Ethanol fires are harder to put out and require a special kind of foam. Many fire departments do not have the foam and are not well trained to apply it.

Bone tests are not just for women, men need to be checked for osteoporosis….

A friend of mine told me of an ongoing program at the Wellness Center at Holy Cross Hospital for those with Osteoporosis…. called “Bones For Life”….which meets at the center Friday mornings at 9:45- 10:45. They are halfway through the current 6 week program but will continue on with more as long as the people respond and the classes are full. I have been told the difference is incredible after just a few sessions…plan on trying it myself.

Editorial…State Budget…. Tell me something I don’t know….we are going to pay one way or another…creatively and underhandedly… we will be paying…may just have fancy wording…or might just be slipped in like all those annoying extra charges that pop up at the end of the phone, cable and other bills that have increased so much that sometimes they are equal or more than the bill itself!

Opinion…Where are the tax dollars going…Stephen L. Goldstein….No more corporate socialism in Florida….a litany of who is getting what at the taxpayers expense!

Local section….Terminal 4 work approved for the Fort Lauderdale Airport….a week after auditors criticized the airport construction project as the “poster child” for for purchasing projects. …. with expanding existing contracts to include unrelated work ….maybe it was done under a consent agenda item?

I still take issue with Washingtonia sidewalks being passed under the consent agenda…without acknowledgment ( it was buried in the back-up materials) to the residents who might have wanted to address the issue.

I will be seeing plans on Friday afternoon….but have been told that I was incorrect when I thought Walter Keller needed to ask for a change order from the Commission.

I thought when he had presented the sidewalk addition…when discussed at a previous meeting…. the cost was 20 thousand dollars…. I was informed the 20 thou was for Mr. Keller and the sidewalks will be costing an additional 47 thousand!

Florida moves toward revising a state tax code….mail order and internet sales are targeted…..one more way to build revenue…

Business section….Office Depot earnings fall 85%….with Staples continuously sending coupons and undercutting the prices… it was only a matter of time…but will Staples be able to continue this for long?

Reminds me of (hearsay of course) rumblings I have heard for quite some time about a local newspaper selling ads at cut rates in order to drive business away from their well established competitor …but like Staples…how long can they continue?

Investors lose their zeal for Google…say it ain’t so Joe?….this once robust stock looks haggard…botox anyone?

wwwmiamiherald.com

Botox continued….

Business section….Economy can’t stop Botox…males are joining females in Botox injections….well we need something to to take care of all those worry lines….from loss of revenue, new taxes…

Pack better…those second bags will cost you…US. Airlines will join United Airlines for charging for that second bag to be checked in ….. pretty soon it might be cheaper to send your clothes by UPS?

Broward and State section….Schools take another hit…state lawmakers will slash another 350 million from schools…forcing layoffs….first the courts…now the schools…maybe the Jaablog challenge …( in earlier post) should extend to school union heads to kick in 5% pre tax income to help their workers too?

Loving our low- rise community even more…..

Things are looking up for Miami skyline….two mega-skyscrapers planned for downtown Miami would break the 1,000- foot threshold, making them the tallest in the world…nice place to visit…but I wouldn’t want to live there!

Editorial….For real change the, the residents must act…task force got it right; Miami-Dade needs reform….restore fairness to the initiative process…restore the basic right of a citizen to petition the government….remove control of initiative process from the commission and forbidding commissioners from writing or changing rules governing the process…..Hmmmm

task force report at www.miamidade.gov/charterreview

update in Sun-Sentinel….that 70 mission dollar Cricket Stadium…just added a 1.2 million dollar scoreboard!

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Mayoral Recall

February 27, 2008 by Barbara

www.katu.com

Arlington Oregon …Madam Mayor was recalled for posing online in her underwear….in a close vote of 142-139!

Message to those who sit on the LBTS dais….keep your clothes on!

Let’s keep the posing for the Hunky LBTS VFD Guys ……a calendar perhaps?

I see big sales and big bucks for the VFD!

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Jabs At Jenne

February 27, 2008 by Barbara

www.sunsentinel.com

Sun-Sentinel Political Blog…

Sheriff Lamberti hits the campaign trail….

He had some veiled jabs for the former sheriff …. Ken Jenne…now in prison…

“It’s not Al Lamberti Sheriff’s office, and I’m not going to put my name on everything.”

As the only Republican candidate….Lamberti is eager to maintain his position.

Now, if he had only kept his word to our Town Manager ….not to saddle us with the extra BSO personal …we operated in the interim just fine with one less.

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Brittany And Bob

February 27, 2008 by Barbara

Who would have thunk?

I knew…but I forgot somehow…then it was raised last night after the commission meeting and I was taken aback!

Bob Norman and Brittany Wallman are man and wife…..

New Times Bob Norman and Sun-Sentinel Brittany Wallman are man and wife…

Pulp Blogger Bob Norman and Broward Political Blogger Brittany Wallman are man and wife….

Sun -Sentinel Basher Bob Norman and Sun- Sentinel LBTS Reporter Brittany Wallman are man and wife…..

Bob Norman’s writings are liberally slanted…..

Brittany Wallman’s writings on LBTS are Old Guard (anything but liberally slanted)…..

Are they the James Carville and Mary Matalin of South Florida?

WOW!!!!

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Commission Meeting 2/26/08

February 27, 2008 by Barbara

Midnight rendition…an overview of the commission meeting …

Invocation:

beautifully done by George Hunsanker, who spoke of understanding one another, to mold us into a community that truly cares for one another.

Reports:

Financial- was passed without discussion 5- 0

Development- Commissioner Clottey asked the Development Director about Oriana fire hydrants

Commissioner Dodd asked tthe Director about Oriana sidewalks…wanting temporary safe walkways ….

The Director answers were not satisfactory to the commissioners… appeared to be accommodating the construction process of Oriana rather than addressing the public safety situation for pedestrians.

Commissioner Dodd said impact on construction was their problem….

The Director will once again need to get back to the Commission with a response.

Report passes 5- 0

Municipal- no discussion passes 5- 0

Broward Sheriff’s – Vice Mayor McIntee addressed an agenda item that was an emergency addition to the agenda having to do with a 911 call that took place last week. The discussion was to deal with the call, that went unanswered, did not register with BSO for phone and address and a request for BSO to investigate and make a report. The resident effected by the non- response is now home from the hospital.

The Mayor said she checked out 911 response, saw 2 or 3 which did show an address when a call came in.

There were 5 less crimes in the last year.

www.sheriff.org

log on and you can find sex offenders in your neighborhood.

passes 5- 0

Broward Sheriff’s Office Fire Safety-

Commissioner Silverstone asked about last years figures…which were in report.

Vice Mayor McIntee addressed his second emergency agenda addition having to do with a 911 call which he prefaced as hearsay due to the incident taking place just prior to the meeting. He said that a Fort Lauderdale Fire Dept. Lieutenant ( I believe it he said LT.) informed him about the apparent lack of cooperation by BSO to fill the requirement of 3 on an ambulance to transport the patient to the hospital. A fatality occurred.

Chief Sievers disagreed with some of the Vice Mayor’s statements and said he wanted to wait until he had all the facts to address the situation.

Vice Mayor McIntee asked for a report.

Passes 5- 0

Approval of minutes…1 correction

passes 5- 0

Public Comments:

Ran the gamut:

The Chamber President reminding all of Taste of the Beach Wed. night 6- 9 pm at the Lauderdale Beachside Hotel. $37 pre- event/ $40 at the gate.

AMR was denounced/ dire predictions of what will happen if they are the town EMS provider.

Mulligans Restaurant came to talk about an apparent variance for their outdoor dining…the Mayor felt it was not appropriate to address at public comments….

some confusion on this…although it is a zoning issue, the Commission decided at the organizational meeting last week anyone could speak at public comments.

An inquiry about the sub- prime situation with LBTS, if we have funds that are frozen….response came at Commissioner comments.

A request for a second Boccie Court to be installed at the municipal park.

Various items on the agenda were addressed by a few residents.Mayor Minnet was lauded by a resident who voted for her.

Frank Hermann gave his humorous commentary about the items on the agenda.

Commissioner Comments:

Vice Mayor McIntee- Spoke of having comments quoted in the Sun-Sentinel being taken out of context and not being published in their entirety.

He went on to speak about his admiration for the Town Manger, peace on the dais, moving in the right direction.

Finished up with the need to retrieve the bunny costume for Easter.

Mayor Minnet- Talked about the positive transition in town hall. Encouraged the free flow of ideas. Promoted a government academy to provide an insight and education into the process of services provided by the town.

Commissioner Clottey- Expects a report on the annexation excess monies in a month. Discussed the need of volunteers for 4th of July , both those who have volunteered in the past and those who have not done so before. Agreed with a resident that 2 EMS vehicles should be in town. Overlay district… let the voters decide.

Commissioner Silverstone- AMR in 133 cities. Equal in service to BSO. Addressed sub-prime issue by asking Town Manager to answer the question for a resident, we have no frozen funds, no redemptions were incurred,monies were taken out and are safe. He praised the Town Manager. He had spoken to Sun-Sentinel and was not included in the article, with his positive responses. Easter Sun Rise Service will be at Presbyterian Community Church.

Commissioner Dodd- Congratulated the Garden Club for the previous Sat. event a Jarvis Hall. Explained the Hillsboro Inlet meeting he attended the previous evening and what it entailed, so the public has an idea what happens with their taxpayer money.

Consent Agenda:

a. Commission approved to refund money to condo who requested it.

passes 5- 0

b. Tabled 5 parking places requested by Novas Southeastern University..pending more information about the need for 5.

passes 5- 0

c. Saint Patrick’s Day event permit…a pleasant departure from the old way of doing business….the parties involved went outside to discuss a compromise and came back after a short commission break with a plan.

passes 5- 0

d. no discussion

passes 5- 0

e. no discussion

passes 5- 0

Resolution 2208-03 Variance fees. Tabled to second meeting in April.

Town Manager and Development Director answered questions about actual costs incurred from variances.

Commissioner Dodd wanted all actual costs to be paid by the applicant.

Commissioner Clottey wanted the cost of the “simple variance” to not include a cost for town staff, since they are already being paid by their salary, any additional outside costs should go to the applicant.

Commissioner Silverstone asked how many variances we have in a year…answer was 6- 10.

Vice Mayor McIntee wanted the “simple variance” to include duplexes etc…to be re-worded to say residence rather then single family…although the Director of Development said costs are higher when it is more then a single family unit

passes 5- 0.

Old Business-

a. Building Department- a workshop- June 10,2008 at 5 pm

Town Manager said it will cost 800 thousand dollars, a downslope can cost us as a town, hurt our millage rate.

She is negotiating to bring down the current permit costs.

passes 5- 0

b. Sale of water system

a turn around by all the Commissioners, for the sale to go through provided the Town Manager is satisfied that the price is same as offered at last negotiations, no debt , and no pending invoices for LBTS.

Passes 5- 0

c. Jarvis Hall Ordinance

Commission still decides what goes on TV, Town Manager decides who can use hall.

Passes 5- 0

New Business-

a. Term limits

rescinded ordinance

Passes 4- 1 Mayor Minnet dissenting

b. Repeal Overlay Districts

Commissioner Dodd fulfilling campaign promise.

Vice Mayor McIntee wanting a visit to Cape Canaveral to see how they maintain the 44 foot height limits. Supports a referendum if that is what the people want.

Commissioner Silverstone discussed the intent of the Overlay Districts, where they went awry.

Mayor Minnet wanted to know status of any applicants effected by overlay changes. Concerns , asked for review before a referendum .

Commissioner Clottey asked about any permits issued and if they would be effected…Town Manager said they would not.

Commissioner Dodd then moved to repeal with no further review required.

More discussion about a referendum/ an ordinance/a challenge after the ordinance went into effect…with learned input at the podium by “Town Historian” John Thompson

Passes 4-1 Mayor Minnet dissenting.

c. EMS/Fire Workshop….4 pm March 11, 2007

d. Discussion for resolution 2000-1458 annexation agreement between town and sbca. pulled by Mayor Minnet….no reason given

Town manager Report:

lease or transfer of equipment to LBTSVFD

Agreed to transition agreement in place , equipment to VFD, a lease of vehicles to VFD with VFD paying for insurance.

Monies will be paid out monthly, not in one lump sum.

passes 4-1 Mayor Minnet dissenting

No Town Attorney report.

Adjourned…at 10:20 pm!

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Whoa That Was Close!

February 26, 2008 by Barbara

Power surge…..LBTS is lucky today….all over the news….power outages…all around…thousands impacted….in Orlando…Davie….Miami…Coral Gables…cars are looking like bumper cars on TV at the intersections….no traffic lights…schools are having outages…. ongoing coverage

Imagine the surge when it comes on!!!! Now we have the rain and tornado warnings. Deerfield..along the coast!….ahhh

Again, Brittany response below ……1st post of the day…..

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The Papers…….(separate post response to Brittany Wallman below)

February 26, 2008 by Barbara

www.sunsentinel.com

Scroll down to Brittany story in first post….. posted this morning…my response to Sun-Sentinel article in local section today!

Front page…third and final part of series about Sub-prime mortgages and foreclosures.

The sub-prime meltdown….

Large lenders, small brokers fed the home loan frenzy..( in an earlier post I stated that mortgage brokers deserve a big finger pointed at them for instigating a large portion of the massive problem.)

Called lender’s zeal….consumers bought into it…in every sense of the word! They swung open the the door of homeownership by loosening up qualification standards for borrowers…..and then offered them …purposely… not the lowest rate….so the new owners had to return to refinance….making the second commission…a done deal.

In Broward 42% of all new mortgages were sub- prime in 2006.

Even though they got in those bigger houses,stretched beyond reason…out the door most went to fill those larger abodes…credit cards…. furniture/electronic”deals” with promises of no payment until ….whenever down the imaginary road…..an explosive combination… almost gluttony with consuming the “American Dream”…while it lasts!

Knowing full well there are no “victims”…each borrower had a choice…had the ability to be realistic…. or not….

Look at TV or the movies…and what do you see…..a character playing their part … holding down a middle class job…going home to…a Mac- mansion…fully furnished, flat screen TVs and 2 of the latest model cars out in front of the three car garage…. so it seems it really is realistic…game on !

Now both the borrowers, lenders and brokers are facing the music…..the scrutiny….the reality….game over?

Shark attack….Drama on the High Seas….sad story…all over the news…the tourist died yesterday….but again…how do you get in the water…with bloody parts (reported on the news), and sharks….Russian roulette …can just see the powers that be imposing new rules to these thrill seeking boat tours…soon.

If the borrowers above saw the sharks in the water…. would they have dived in anyway? Interesting comparison…

letters to the Editor…. a letter from MichaelW. Sole, Secretary, Florida Department of Environmental Protection…Tallahassee….Why Hillsboro received tax money for beach restoration…(must have gotten an earful to respond in print)….he takes issue with Hillsboro being described as a private beach and therefore it is not appropriate that they receive taxpayer funds…he bases the decision on how much public access and parking there is

Interesting would this also be the “common good” we keep hearing about with the Palm Club?

A picture of Hillsboro beach drilling to install the plastic tubes as an experimental re-nourishment project. (local section)

Opinion…Carlos Muhletaler, executive director of Florida Stop Lawsuit Abuse….a statewide legal watchdog group. He explains the impact of medical lawsuit abuse on those not personally being sued …the current and future impending neurosurgeon shortage both in Broward and Palm Beach….

This is why I am still no fan former presidential candidate John Edwards.

Commissioner in Deerfield reimburses city for car repairs…(in an earlier post)….next time think before you cross the line of personal responsibility and public funds.

Business section…Miami Herald and Sun-Sentinel announced a partnership in home delivery of their papers……maybe the polar opposite papers in LBTS might want to join this bandwagon….with the Pompano Pelican…good move fiscally and a start in the healing process….just a thought.

Guess the housing woes have carried over to the home improvement stores and those do it yourselfers…. trickle down theory?

www.miamiherald.com

Justice Clarence Thomas …who has not asked a question from the bench in 2 years….he is silent….is it time to reconsider Supreme Court Justices having a lifetime position?

Also from the Supreme Court….Exxon Mobil’s appeal, a 14- year effort, that could overturn a 2.5 billion punitive damages award.

Just think…if the dreaded fears of Bert J Harris INTENTS…became actual court cases….they too could be 14 years in the making…remember Yardarm case in Pompano Beach? (worth a google)

Broward and State section….

Weston, Online swapper…where people can trade items and services instead of purchasing them… www.caretotrade.com

an idea with legs…by a 26 year old entrepreneur!

Tallahassee nixes school vouchers …..yet again…will not put a state constitutional amendment on the ballot…..guess those lobbyists are working overtime?

Business section…some sparingly positive news that hotels are seeing modest gains…(in an earlier post, LBTS on El Mar Drive seems to be the exception…with no vacancy signs!)

Linking the web,TV…modest capabilities now…but it will grow…as new advanced TVs have jacks for direct internet connections as a new feature.

More to come…

Note…Commission tonight at 7 pm…Comcast channel 78…online at www.lauderdalebythesea-fl.gov

agenda online also…older post with agenda on this website…..

must be there by 7 pm to sign up for public comments.

One last thing….notorious Sun-Sentinel blog prediction…. today bloggers will be dealing with the Brittany Wallman article in Sun-Sentinel!

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Brittany,Brittany, Brittany

February 26, 2008 by Barbara

www.sunsentinel.com

Brittany:

I waited and I waited and finally on the front page of the Local section today…. Town Commission hopes rancor is over.

“The prettiest small town in America” has a not-so- pretty truth: Residents don’t get along.

A long re-hash of how we got where we are….a long re-hash of half truths and slanted reporting.

I take issue with how the sides were portrayed….neither one …..of the big-wigs from either side took the high road.

Those familiar with my site by now…. know or should know that entrenched….I am no longer… and have not been for quite some time.

What I still am though is a straight shooter and take issue with your article ….showing the Old Guard as “victims”…and reasonable…while showing the New Guard, as the Old Guard tried unsuccessfully to do, as these 2 years have progressed and throughout the fear mongering in this election that they lost.

Do each of the papers have their biased slant…yes… in a previous post I called for that to end….as my neighbors have chosen to forgo both and will continue to until they get more issue oriented.

Drudging (as in Matt Drudge) up the Easter Egg fiasco….which I was a party to, both witnessing the actual non-incident…because it never happened….to being first purposely cut from the Future’s front page picture….and then put back in during the election with a false caption…of observing the non- altercation between then Commissioner McIntee and Officer Aloi. The paper, if they are to be believed, looked at the BSO reports…and if they did, they would have seen my sworn statements…about both incidents….the first did not happen (yes…I repeat this for the umpteenth time) and the second …was quite the opposite…it was Commissioner McIntee assuring Office Aloi after Aloi found out from me that no incident took place with the BSO youth volunteers…..Aloi’s response was anger causing him to swear out loud about the kids for putting him in this situation!

The comments you quoted….embarassing to say the least.

If accurate, what a shame!

The previous Commissioner’s wife…and the Editor of the Future’s paper…showed the same old condescending behavior that garnered so many to put the Old Guard signs in their yards essentially walking the walk…talking the talk….for appearance sake only….yet they were so quick to let us who manned the polls on Jan.29th know that they were voting them out!

Vice Mayor McIntee….He did do what was required…he did take the body blows up there on the dais…he did fight when many had no voice…and he did so with the kind of bravado that caught both the status quo and his supporters off guard more often then not!

He was not alone however, he had a large growing group who fought alongside of him, advising, and feeling some of those blows themselves.

But now….he has a chance to be a statesman…as the others up there do (stateswomen are included this go round)…and my hope is that the quote used in this article was made during a moment of excitability or taken out of a longer more detailed comment If so a retraction should be demanded! He of all people should know from the parade of those who have left or lost their positions over the last 2 years…no one is untouchable.

I feel as many do…..the time has come to move on, show how we can get along…find the answers…honest answers to questions still required on how business was done… change the mistakes…listen to those voters…be accountable…and prepare for the future ….because 2 years from now…it is the New Guards race to lose!

P.S. Brittany….The correct seating for a Town Attorney in municipalities…at the end of the dais or with staff in front of the dais!

P.S.S. Brittany …why no mention of the reporter who was actually at the last commission meeting in your absence?

regards,bcbythesea.com

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“Dooms Day Vault”

February 26, 2008 by Barbara

www.cnn.com

A vast underground vault storing millions of seeds from around the world is scheduled to open this week in a mountain on a remote island near the Arctic Ocean.

It is called the “Dooms Day Vault”

It will be able to hold up to 4.5 million seed samples from around the world…eventually it will house almost every variety of the most important food crops in the world.

The United Nations founded the trust in 2004 to support long term conservation of crop diversity.

The temperature can keep seeds viable for up to 10 thousand years!

In the event of a world wide catastrophe…. the seedlings would be there to start anew….WOW!

From the CNN site you can visit the vault on the web.

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