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  • SunTrust Sunday Jazz Brunch
    SUNDAY - DECEMBER 7, 2014 - From 11:00 am to 2:00 pm on the first Sunday of every month, the SunTrust Sunday Jazz Brunch fills the air with jazz music performed on three stages along the historic New River. Each month, bands perform a wide range of jazz in downtown Fort Lauderdale along the Riverwalk. Picnic baskets, blankets, chairs, dogs, children and people of all age groups blend into one large Jazz Appreciation Fest. On DECEMBER 7, 2014, Valerie Tyson Band will be at the Esplanade, Cecilia and Martin at the Broward Center Peck Courtyard, the Debbie Orta Quintet will appear at the Connie Hoffman Gazebo (it appears that the Riverfront is closed as a music venue). For additional information call the Special Events Hotline at (954) 828-5363. To have the 2014 informational brochure mailed to you, Click Here to e-mail your name and address to Debbie Bylica or call 954-396-3622 and leave it on the responding voice mail.
    CLICK HERE for Details

  • 8th Annual Light Up Sistrunk
    at Corner of Sistrunk Boulevard and 9th Avenue (914 Sistrunk Boulevard, Fort Lauderdale) on FRIDAY, DECEMBER 5, 2014, from 5 PM until 9PM. This FREE family event features festive music by local groups including the Dillard Jazz Ensemble, the NW Federated Women’s Club, Carter Park Kids, and the Ladies of Soul and more; holiday characters including sports teams mascots; a special appearance from Santa; a Walgreens Wonderland featuring health screenings and a toy giveaway; and the lighting of the giant 30-foot holiday tree sponsored by Florida Power and Light. For more information call (954) 828-4742 or Click to E-mail

  • 52nd Annual Christmas on Las Olas - 2014
    On TUESDAY, DECEMBER 2, 2014, from 5 PM to 10 PM, a community tradition for 52 years will happen - the Golden Anniversary - PLUS 2 - of Christmas on Las Olas. Taking place on East Las Olas Boulevard from SE 6th Avenue to SE 11th Avenue, Christmas on Las Olas, presented again this year by the Las Olas Association, Anijar & Levine P.A., the Las Olas Company and Premier Beverages, is the most revered family and community event in Fort Lauderdale. Over 40,000 guests attend this one-evening event to bask in the lights of this Winter Wonderland. Imagine children frolicking through the streets, skipping from attraction to attraction, while their parents sip champagne and catch up with their friends and family during this magical holiday time. Come enjoy sledding on a mountain of real snow, skating on our outdoor rink, get a picture with Santa while CEO’s, city officials, celebrities and other VIP’s mingle with you and your family. Local choirs from schools and churches fill the air with the sounds of the holidays from 3 stages. Strolling carolers delight the crowd who fill their bellies with sips and sweets under extraordinary holiday lights as snow wafts down from the sky throughout the evening.
    For more information, please call Amber VanBuren at 954-258-8382, Click to E-mail or CLICK HERE to check web page for Details

  • Santa on the Beach
    On FRIDAY, DECEMBER 19, 2014, Don’t miss Santa Claus’ traditional candy giveaway along Fort Lauderdale Beach! Santa Claus and his elves will walk along Fort Lauderdale Beach, providing beachgoers with candy canes and holiday treats. Santa's motorcade will begin at Noon at the Fort Lauderdale Parks & Recreation Administration Building, located at 1350 West Broward Boulevard, Zig-zag through Downtown Fort Lauderdale to Fort Lauderdale Beach Park at 12:45 PM. Santa and his elves will begin passing out treats on Fort Lauderdale Beach across from the Oasis Cafe, located at 600 Seabreeze Boulevard. They will continue walking north along the beach to Birch State Park, located at A1A and Sunrise Boulevard. For more information, call Debbie Bylica at (954) 828-4622 or Click to E-mail.

  • Coral Ridge Towers South Annual White Elephant Sale
    Every January, CORAL RIDGE TOWERS SOUTH holds a "knock-your-socks-off" sale of useful stuff in excellent condition. This year, the huge CORAL RIDGE TOWERS SOUTH annual White Elephant Sale will take place on SATURDAY, JANUARY 17, 2015 from 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM at 3333 NE 34th Street. Thousands of items, including jewelry, collectibles, household items, etc. will be available for pennies on the dollar. All are welcome!!!
    For more information, please contact Marie Altenburg - Click Here to E-mail.

  • Celebrate Kuumba, The 6th Principle of Kwanzaa
    - On WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 31, The City of Fort Lauderdale will pay homage to the 6th principal of Kwanzaa at BASS PARK (2750 N.W. 19th Street) from 1 to 5 PM. Kuumba, which means creativity, will be celebrated through ethnic dances, tribal storytelling, art exhibits, live performances and a Karamu Feast of native foods. Kwanzaa, which means first fruits of the harvest, is a unique African-American celebration of family, community and culture. For more information, please call (954) 828-8498.
    For information about city-supported Holiday Season events: 12/5 LIGHT UP SISTRUNK call (954) 828-4742; 12/6 CANDY CANE HUNT call 954-828-6135; JOY IN THE PARK TREE LIGHTING call 954-828-5411; 12/19 SANTA ON THE BEACH call (954) 828-5363; 12/31 KUUMBA, THE 6th PRINCIPLE OF KWANZAA call (954) 828-8498, CLICK HERE for KWANZAA information or CLICK HERE to the Holiday Happenings web page.

  • Downtown Countdown 2014
    The City of Fort Lauderdale invites you to the 10th annual “Fort Lauderdale Downtown Countdown” to ring in the New Year. This free event will take place from 4:30 PM on WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 31, 2014 to 3 AM on THURSDAY, JANUARY 1, 2015 on SW 2nd Street, between SW 2nd Avenue and SW 5th Avenue. Touted as one of the largest New Year’s Eve celebrations in Florida, this year’s free 10 and 1/2 hour street festival is full of fun and excitement for both children and adults. Join the City of Fort Lauderdale to ring in the New Year! A variety of events precede the big moment, activities appropriate for the whole family from 4:30 - 8:00 PM! Enjoy live entertainment from 9 PM to 3 AM. Watch the ball being lit at 7 PM followed by a countdown until it finally drops from the sky at the stroke of midnight to officially kick-off 2015!
    For additional information, call the event hotline at (954) 828-5363 or CLICK HERE to the web site.

  • 43rd Annual Seminole Hard Rock Winterfest Boat Parade
    Now in its 43rd year, Fort Lauderdale’s Signature Holiday event along the INTRACOASTAL WATERWAY, takes place on on SATURDAY, DECEMBER 13, 2014, from 3 PM to 10:00 PM. The Winterfest Celebration embraces the dual goals of providing a means for the community to come together and enjoy spectacular and unique events as well as attract positive national attention to the Greater Fort Lauderdale area as a tourist destination and a great place to live and work. Winterfest is best known for it’s one of a kind Boat Parade celebrating its 43rd year. The scope of the festival has expanded to include a full complement of events. The festivities include the GrayRobinson, PA Winterfest White Party Hosted by Harbor Beach Marriott; Winterfest Family Fun Day on the Riverside Hotel Lawn; the dazzling Winterfest Black Tie Ball; Captain’s Meeting by Show Management and hosted by West Marine on State Road 84 in Fort Lauderdale, the Universal Property & Casualty Insurance Co. Shoreline Decorating Extravaganza; an exciting Grand Marshal Reception - where Fort Lauderdale Mayor Jack Seiler will name the 2014 Grand Marshal; the Grandstand area's “Party in the Park” by Perrier, and culminates with the fabulous Seminole Hard Rock Winterfest Boat Parade. The 43rd Annual Boat Parade will start on the NEW RIVER as it travels East to the INTRACOASTAL WATERWAY as it continues North to LAKE SANTA BARBARA in Pompano Beach.
    7th Ave: 6:20 - 8 pm
    Feci RR: 4:30 - 9 pm
    Andrews Ave: 6 - 8 pm
    3rd Ave: 6 - 8 pm
    Las Olas Blvd: 7 - 9 pm
    Sunrise Blvd: 7:20 - 9:30 pm
    Oakland Park Blvd: 7:40 - 10 pm
    Commercial Blvd: 8 - 11 pm
    For more information, call (954) 767-0686, Click Here to email or Click Here to web site.

  • 24th Annual Buckler's Craft Fair
    The DECEMBER Craft Fair will be held at the Americraft Expo Center at the South Florida Fairgrounds at 9067 Southern Boulevard in West Palm Beach, FL 33422. The Bucklers Fair runs through the weekend of DECEMBER 6 and 7, 2014. On SATURDAY, DECEMBER 6, it is open from 10 PM to 5 PM. On SUNDAY, DECEMBER 7, its open from 10 AM to 4 PM. Professional, award winning craftspeople from across the country exhibiting and selling items such as Country, Victorian, Folk Art, Primitive, Southwestern, furniture, wood items, toys, dolls, bears, clothing and accessories, jewelry, gourmet delights, homemade fudge, Christmas items and much more. The charge for admission is $8.00 per person ($6 admission + $2 surcharge by South Florida Fairgrounds) although children 12 & under are FREE. One paid admission good all three days with handstamp. PARKING IS FREE! To get there: From I-95, exit 68 (old exit 50), Southern Blvd. - West 7 miles. From Turnpike, exit 97, West on Southern Blvd., South on Sansbury.
    For more information, call (386) 860-0092, Fax (386) 860-6157 or Click Here to email or Click Here to web site.

  • Tap N Run Fort Lauderdale
    SATURDAY - DECEMBER 6, 2014 - The walk will be held at America's Backyard (100 SW 3rd Avenue) in Fort Lauderdale, FL. Surely the dumbest event conceived as a "RUN", Tap 'N' Run Ft Lauderdale starts at 2 PM. That's right - you can sleep late and still make it with time to spare. Tap 'N' Run combines a ridiculous running race - a 4k with 3 beer chug stations along the race course, crazy costumes, great times with friends, systemic idiocy and a full beer at the Finish Line. (chug stations = 5 oz. of beer per stop). In addition to being a part of an awesome and unique racing experience, all participants will receive a sweet Finisher's medal (that doubles as a bottle, really), the equivalent of over two beers, a Tap 'N' Run t-shirt to commemorate your amazing accomplishment and entry into the uber-frivolous Extracurricular Awards Ceremony. Tap 'N' Run is all about having a damn good time with your friends, family & selected randoms (yes, that's an oxymoron). You MUST be 21 years of age by race day to participate and all beer chugging is 100% optional (water will be available at all chug stations). All participants MUST have valid IDs available upon check-in which will be reviewed by law enforcement agents. No valid ID = no race. Immediately following Tap 'N' Run, JAM Active will announce award winners inside of America's Backyard. Afterwards, all participants are encouraged to stick around and enjoy music and good times!
    For additional information, Call Michael Clemons at 502-653-4940 or CLICK HERE. Alternatively, call the office at 1-888-204-4178 or CLICK HERE to email. CLICK HERE to the dopey web page.

  • Galt Mile Reading Center - December Events
    Every month, the Galt Mile Reading Center offers a schedule of engaging events tailored to the needs and interests of Galt Mile residents. Located at 3403 Galt Ocean Drive in Fort Lauderdale (directly across from Playa del Sol, Commodore and Southpoint), the library sponsors Book Reviews, Biographies, discussion groups and special sales. Computer Classes equip local residents with the online and office skills critical to keeping abreast with our digital planet. Computer Classes are usually scheduled on TUESDAYS from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM. On TUESDAY, DECEMBER 2, 2014, a class entitled "Meet the Computer" is about computer basics. Space is limited to first 6 patrons. Call 954-357-7840 or CLICK HERE for more info about the DECEMBER 2014 COMPUTER CLASSES. CLICK HERE for the schedule of OTHER NOVEMBER OFFERINGS at the Center. All events are scheduled for 2 PM. Refreshments and admission are FREE.
    For more information about the Galt Mile Reading Center, call (954) 537-2877 or CLICK HERE to web site.

  • Beach Community Center - December 2014 Events
    The Galt Mile Commnity Association fought for almost a decade to insure that our neighborhood was anchored by a wonderful Community Center. Located at 3351 NE 33rd Avenue in Fort Lauderdale (Between A1A and the Intracoastal near Oakland Park Boulevard), the Beach Community Center host a wide range of activities that pique interest, promote good health and stimulate the mind. Every Month, the Center sponsors Feature Films, ZUMBA Dance Classes, Party Bridge and Mah Jongg, Yoga, and Tai Chi. CLICK HERE for more info about the scheduled DECEMBER 2014 Events. CLICK HERE for a Calendar schedule of DECEMBER OFFERINGS at the Center. Daytime events are scheduled from 8 AM in the morning through 6 PM. CLICK HERE for FITNESS events and classes (both Daytime and Evening) and CLICK HERE to ZUMBA info!!!.
    For more information about the Beach Community Center, call Lee Glickman at (954) 828-4610, Fax (954) 565-0849, CLICK HERE to email or CLICK HERE to the Beach Community Center's web page. You can also email Susan Riestra by CLICKING HERE.

  • Chabad December Events
    Chabad Lubavitch of Fort Lauderdale, located at 3500 N. Ocean Boulevard, Fort Lauderdale, hosts a plethora of Chanukah events in DECEMBER 2014. On TUESDAY, DECEMBER 2, celebrate "Holiday on Las Olas" from 5 PM to 10 PM. On THURSDAY, DECEMBER 18, 2014, Galleria Menorah Lighting ay 5 PM on the 2nd floor of Galleria (2414 E Sunrise Blvd, Fort Lauderdale) and another at the Beach Pavillion in Lauderdale-by-the-Sea at 5 PM on SUNDAY, DECEMBER 21. After Shabbos on SATURDAY, DECEMBER 20, watch the CAR MENORAH PARADE at 6:30 PM. On MONDAY, DECEMBER 22, 2014, at Broward General Medical Center - a Toy Drive is at 3:30 p.m. and the Menorah Lighting in the main lobby at 4:00 p.m. On TUESDAY, DECEMBER 23, 2014, enjoy the Grand Chanukah Party "Dreidels 'n' Doughnuts" at 3500 N. Ocean Blvd. 5:00 p.m. For 6 Tuesdays from November 4 through December 9, a course entitled "How Happiness Thinks" will explore the scientific link between thinking and one's frame of mind (DECEMBER 2 & 9). On FRIDAY, DECEMBER 26, 2014, all are invited to a SHABBATON - a traditional Friday Night dinner following services at 5:30 pm with GUEST SPEAKER: reknowned author Rabbi Yitzchok Shochet from London, England; $36 per person. RSVP: 954.568.1190.
    For additional information, call Gitty Levin at 954-568-1190 or CLICK HERE to Email. CLICK HERE to Chabad Lubavitch of Fort Lauderdale website.

  • 27th Annual Las Olas Art Fair - Part I
    The the 27th Annual Las Olas Art Fair - Part I will be held on SATURDAY & SUNDAY, JANUARY 3 & 4, 2015 from 10 AM - 5 PM on LAS OLAS BOULEVARD between SE 6th Avenue and SE 11th Avenue. A South Florida tradition, the show is regarded as one of the top events in America. Part II of this high-caliber event is also held during the first weekend of March. Take a stroll along Las Olas Boulevard, just minutes from the Fort Lauderdale International Airport, amidst life-size sculptures, spectacular paintings, one-of-a-kind jewels, photography, ceramics and much more. Adding to the artful ambiance will be live music and tasty treats. And, look out for the new collector poster commemorating this much anticipated annual art affair! The show that put Howard Alan Events on the map celebrates its 26th year! It is FREE - there is no gate.
    For more information, call 954-472-3755, Click Here to email or CLICK HERE to see web site.

  • LBTS Christmas-By-The-Sea
    Lauderdale-by-the-Sea's Annual Christmas By The Sea Celebration will be held at Anglin Square and Commercial Boulevard & The Beach from 5:30 PM - 9:30 PM on WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 3, 2014. Join us at Commercial Boulevard and The Beach for holiday carolers, dancers, bell ringers, fun activities for children, a Yuletide Market and a visit from Santa Claus (at 6:30 PM). There will also be an award given out to the business for the "Best Dressed Window." The tree lighting will be at 8:30 pm and the festivities will continue at Anglin Square until 9:00 pm.
    For more information, please call 954-640-4200 or Click to E-mail.
    Check web page by CLICKING HERE for Details

  • 13th Annual Kids in Distress Inlet Challenge
    A leading force and authority in prevention of child abuse, preservation of families, and treatment of children who have been abused and neglected, KID gets 100% of the proceeds from the 2014 KID Inlet Challenge. The Bicycle Race begins at 7 AM on SUNDAY, DECEMBER 7, 2014, beginning and ending at Bahia Mar on A1A in Fort Lauderdale. It ends promptly at 2 PM. You will be cheered on by volunteers, have fun and make friends while having a direct impact on the lives of thousands of children and families, right here in our communities. Since 2001, the KID Inlet Challenge has raised more than $1,000,000 to help KIDS abused by some sick bastards.
    For more information, call Phyllis Bard at 954-390-7620, CLICK HERE to email or CLICK HERE to web page.

  • North Ocean Beach Art Walk
    SATURDAY, DECEMBER 6, 2014 - In the wake of SUNSET BLUE, the Galt Ocean Mile Shoppes neighborhood (AKA North Beach) has replaced the regular concert-driven street fair with a far more civilized - if not quieter - venue. Not to be outdone by Las Olas, North Beach or NOBE is exploiting a flood of new Galleries that aggregated to North Beach by sponsoring a FREE Art Walk on the first Saturday of each month. If you haven't strolled across the street recently, you may not have visited Paul’s Art Gallery, the Barry Gross Gallery, Mac Fine Art, Gallery 101, the North Beach Art Gallery or Rachel Henriques Art Studio. Some of them migrated here from the FAT (Flagler Arts and Technology) Village Arts District near downtown Fort Lauderdale, others from Miami. The area's redesignation as an Art's District has also drawn the Broward Arts Guild. New shops like Home Suite Home/Roberto Sanchez Design, La Dolce Vita Restaurant, the VIP Room and Salon Mantra bloomed while you were napping. Well, now you're awake. Get over there and see what you've missed. Better yet, Go there at 6 PM on SATURDAY, DECEMBER 6, 2014, have dinner in one of the boutique restaurants and join the crowd for the Art Walk at 7 PM.
    For additional information, CLICK HERE to check out their Facebook Link.
    To see the new shops in the area, CLICK HERE and click one of the categorey buttons on the right.

  • “Small Works” Exhibit - Broward Art Guild
    The Broward Art Guild is hosting “SMALL WORKS EXHIBIT”. Featuring Artworks 14" or smaller, any dimension (including framing), open medium, 2-D, 3-D and Jewelry. The event will be held at the BROWARD ART GUILD at 3280 N.E. 32nd Street in FORT LAUDERDALE. The Opening Reception: SATURDAY, DECEMBER 6, 2014, from 6:30 PM to 9 PM. A longtime Fort Lauderdale institution, the Broward Art Guild recently moved from downtown Fort Lauderdale to the flaming hot North Beach - Galt Ocean Village neighborhood. See you at the Art Walk!
    For more information, call ReGina Skane at 954-537-3370 or Click Here to email or Click Here to WEB PAGE.

  • 8th Annual Downtown Delray Beach New Years Weekend Craft Festival
    The 8th Annual Downtown Delray Beach New Years Weekend Craft Festival will be held on SATURDAY, DECEMBER 27 and SUNDAY, DECEMBER 28, 2014 from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. (rain or shine) at the intersection of 4th AVENUE & ATLANTIC AVENUE (330 East Atlantic Avenue) in DOWNTOWN DELRAY BEACH, FLORIDA. Located in the Palm Beaches along Florida's Atlantic Coast is beautiful Delray Beach. You now have a reason to come visit at one of the busiest times of the year, New Years Weekend. The layout for this show is beautiful! This central, downtown location is surrounded by great shops, fantastic restaurants in an artistic community. Come peruse some of the country's finests crafts from life sized sculptures, handmade jewelry, pottery, and some of the most unique treasures you'll ever lay your eyes on. This one is a can't miss. Admission is FREE! There is no Gate. This great venue gives each patron the opportunity to enjoy each crafters booth and really find that unique one-of-a-kind craft. Celebrate the New Year in Downtown Delray Beach.
    For more information, call (954) 472-3755, Click Here to email or Click Here to 8th Annual Annual Downtown Delray Beach New Years Weekend Craft Festival web site.

  • 8th Annual Bonnet House Orchid, Garden & Gourmet Food Festival
    The 8th Annual Bonnet House Orchid, Garden & Gourmet Food Festival blooms on the Bonnet House Fruit Grove SATURDAY (DECEMBER 6. 2014) & SUNDAY (DECEMBER 7, 2014) from 9 AM - 4 PM. The festival will include: 40+ orchid and exotic plant vendors, 8th Annual Orchid & Exotic Plant Sale. Orchids, Exotics, Tropicals, Herbs, Fruit Trees, bamboo, butterfly garden plants, Garden Art, Gourmet Food Trucks, Libations, Gardening Lectures, Cooking Demos, Orchid Displays and Silent Auction, Live Music, Green Market, Cooking Demos with chefs from The Whole Foods Market, Wine & Beer and Walking Tours. The cost is $12 (members) or $15 (non-members) for the fair and grounds, children under 12 - FREE!!!
    For more information, call Patrick Shavlovske at (954) 563-5393 EXT. 140 or Click to E-mail.

  • Galt Mile Bingo!
    Throughout the year, various Galt Mile Associations sponsor weekly BINGO nights.

  • On TUESDAYS - GALT TOWERS invites their Galt Mile neighbors to 4250 GALT OCEAN DRIVE at 7:30 PM in the Galt Towers Social Room. For information about TUESDAY Bingo at Galt Towers, call Cyndi Songer at (954) 563-7268 or CLICK HERE to email

  • On WEDNESDAYS, head to REGENCY SOUTH at 3750 GALT OCEAN DRIVE for a fun-filled BINGO night beginning at 7 PM. For information, call Bob Pearlman at 954-547-4063.

  • On MONDAYS, check out SOUTHPOINT CONDOMINIUM at 3400 GALT OCEAN DRIVE at 7:00 PM in the North Lounge, where you can make money, make new friends, and have fun. The game kicks into gear in October and continues throughout "the season" until mid-April, when SOUTHPOINT BINGO ADDICTS annually go into withdrawal during the summer months. Refreshments served during the break and the cost is $5.00 per person for three boards. For more information about Southpoint Bingo, call SOUTHPOINT at (954) 563-6353.

  • Fort Lauderdale International Gem & Jewelry Show
    The weekend-long 2015 Fort Lauderdale International Gem & Jewelry Show is scheduled for FRIDAY, JANUARY 2nd from NOON to 6 PM, SATURDAY, JANUARY 3, 2015 from 10 AM to 6 PM and SUNDAY, JANUARY 4, 2015 from 11 AM to 5 PM. The event will take place at the WAR MEMORIAL AUDITORIUM (800 NE 8th Street, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33304). Whether you are looking for a diamond engagement ring, beautiful colored gemstones or a one-of-a-kind gift, you will find it at the International Gem & Jewelry Show. Exhibitors from around the World offer a huge selection of quality jewelry of all kinds including loose colored gemstones, fine finished jewelry, fashion jewelry, beads and more. If the huge selection is not enough incentive to visit our shows, how about incredible savings?! At the International Gem & Jewelry Shows, you will enjoy discounts of 20% to 40% off of the regular retail price. Nearly one million people attend our shows each year! Admission is $8, good gor all three days. Anyone under 18 must be accompanied by an adult.
    For more information, call (301) 294-1640 or or Click to E-mail. CLICK HERE for to Website.

  • Gardens of Lights
    Flamingo Garden's Botanical Gardens and Historic Wray Home are decked out with thousands of lights and decorations while holiday music fills the air. Flamingo Gardens is at 3750 SOUTH FLAMINGO ROAD, DAVIE, Florida (on Flamingo Road between Griffin and I-595). Weekends in December guests can enjoy concerts and performances, visits from Santa, kids crafts, and other holiday fun. On FRIDAY, DECEMBER 5, and SATURDAY AND SUNDAY EVENINGS from 5 PM to 8 PM, DECEMBER 6, 7, 13, 14, 20, 21, 27 and 28, hours will be extended to view the lights at dusk and enjoy a special holiday light show set to music each half hour from 5pm to 8 pm. The Flamingo Gardens Aviary was one of the first displays of its kind, giving a home to permanently injured Florida native birds. It boasts over 250 birds and over 45 species, with the distinction of being the largest collection of Florida wading birds in the state. Florida native birds will be featured with a special guided tour of the Aviary, Raptor demonstrations, and other bird presentations throughout the gardens, with special talks and lectures on birds and birding during the day in the Gallery. Stop by to see vintage and collectible cars on display in the front courtyard, then enjoy a beautiful day at the Botanical Gardens and Everglades Wildlife Sanctuary. Explore the 1930s history of the Wray Home, lunch on BBQ and hot dogs at the Flamingo Cafe* and play old fashion games with the kids. Admission to the Gardens is half off regular price, and entry to the car show is free. *Food, drink, and narrated Tram Tour is additional. Admission is $18 for ages 12 and up - $10 ages 4-11, ages 3 and under free. Admission also includes: 60-acre botanical garden, Native wildlife exhibits with panthers, bobcats, otters, alligators, Free flight aviary, birds of prey, golden and bald eagles, narrated tram ride through the tropical rainforest, Live Wildlife Encounter Shows 12:30, 1:30, 2:30 and Tours of Historic Wray Home 10-4.
    For more information, call 954-473-2955 or Click Here to email or Click Here to Flamingo Gardens web page.

  • Fort Lauderdale Gun & Knife Show
    The Sun Coast Gun Show will be held at the WAR MEMORIAL AUDITORIUM at 800 NE 8th STREET in FORT LAUDERDALE. The Fair is scheduled for SATURDAY, JANUARY 17 from 9 AM to 5 PM and SUNDAY, JANUARY 18, 2015 from 10 AM to 5 PM. The Ft Lauderdale Gun Show is a favorite for local gun collectors, hunters, and enthusiast. Dealers and private collectors from across the state of Florida exhibit at this show. You'll find a huge selection of guns, accessories, and many hard to find items. Make sure you do not miss the next Suncoast Gun Show coming to the War Memorial Auditorium. The charge for admission is $8 per person - Kids Free (12 & under). Anyone under 18 must be accompanied by an adult.
    For more information, call (954) 828-5380 or Click Here to web site.

  • Broward Business Development Workshop Series - December
    Featured Topic: Doing Business Overseas. From 10:30 AM - 12:00 NOON on SATURDAY, DECEMBER 13, 2014, at the South Regional Library (7300 Pines Boulevard) in Pembroke Pines. Learn about export and import opportunities and international trade do's and don'ts. The Business Development Workshop Series is a free monthly workshop series presented by the Office of Economic and Small Business Development - in partnership with the Purchasing Division. This series is designed for all local business owners and entrepreneurs interested in growing the reach of their businesses beyond Broward County. The workshops are free and open to the public.
    For more information, contact the Office of Economic and Small Business Development at 954-357-6400 or Click Here to web site.

  • The Geminids Meteor Shower (GEM)
    This is one of the best meteor showers of the year and never seems to disappoint observers. This meteor shower gets the name "Geminids" because it appears to radiate from the constellation Gemini. An observer in the Northern Hemisphere can start seeing Geminid meteors as early as DECEMBER 6, when one meteor every hour or so could be visible. During the next week, rates increase until a peak of 50-80 meteors per hour is attained on the night of DECEMBER 13/14. The last Geminids are seen on DECEMBER 18, when an observer might see a rate of one every hour or so. For observers in the Southern Hemisphere, the Geminid radiant never climbs far above the horizon, and this considerably reduces the number of Geminid meteors you are likely to see. Nevertheless, on the night of maximum, it is possible to see 20 meteors per hour coming up from the northern horizon. There are other, weaker meteor showers going on around the same time as the Geminids, but the best way to know if the meteor you see is a Geminid is to mentally trace the meteor backwards. If you end up at Gemini then you have probably seen a Geminid meteor!
    For more information, CLICK HERE to Meteor Shower Web Site.

  • GMCA Presidents Council - The next GMCA Presidents Council Meeting is scheduled for MONDAY, DECEMBER 1, 2014 from 7:30 PM to 9:00 PM. The meeting will be held at PLAZA SOUTH CONDOMINIUM, 4280 Galt Ocean Drive in Fort Lauderdale. Our thanks to Plaza South President Anthony Giardina for hosting this important meeting. Pio Ieraci will chair the monthly Presidents Council meeting. Check GMCA CALENDAR for important meeting information.

  • GMCA Advisory Board
    The next regular meeting will be on THURSDAY, DECEMBER 18, 2014 from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM at NICK’S ITALIAN RESTAURANT - 35th Street & NORTH OCEAN DRIVE (A1A) in FORT LAUDERDALE. President Pio Ieraci will chair the monthly Advisory Board meeting. Check GMCA CALENDAR for important meeting information.

  • Commissioner Bruce Roberts’ Pre-Agenda Meeting MONDAY - Commissioner Bruce Roberts’ Pre-agenda meetings will be held on 6 PM on MONDAY, DECEMBER 1, 2014 at the Beach Community Center (3351 NE 33rd Avenue, Fort Lauderdale) and on MONDAY, DECEMBER 15, 2014 at Imperial Point Hospital. Two or more City Commissioners and/or Advisory Board members may be present at this meeting. All are welcome to attend.
    CLICK HERE for Details or Check GMCA CALENDAR for Commissioner Roberts’ bi-weekly Pre-Agenda Meetings

  • Fort Lauderdale City Commission Meeting Convened in the CITY COMMISSION CHAMBERS AT CITY HALL, 100 N ANDREWS AVE, FORT LAUDERDALE. The next meetings are scheduled for TUESDAY, DECEMBER 2 and TUESDAY, DECEMBER 16, 2014. Conference Agenda - 1:30 PM, Regular Agenda - 6:00 PM. The City Commission meetings are generally held on the first and third Tuesday of the Month - aberrations due to holiday conflicts, etc. are posted. All are welcome to attend.
    CLICK HERE for Details or Check the GMCA CALENDAR for meeting dates and times of Fort Lauderdale's City Commission.

  • Fort Lauderdale Planning & Zoning Board Meeting WEDNESDAY - DECEMBER 17, 2014 CITY COMMISSION CHAMBERS AT CITY HALL, 100 N ANDREWS AVE, FORT LAUDERDALE at 6:30 PM. The Fort Lauderdale Planning & Zoning Board Meetings are generally held on the third Wednesday of the Month - aberrations due to holiday conflicts, etc. are posted. All are welcome to attend.
    CLICK HERE for Details or Check the GMCA CALENDAR for meeting dates and times of Fort Lauderdale's City Commission

  • Council of Fort Lauderdale Civic Associations General Meeting TUESDAY - DECEMBER 8, 2014 - (7:00 PM - MEET & GREET, 7:30 PM - MEETING) at City Hall, 100 ANDREWS AVENUE. President Marilyn Mammano convenes the monthly general meeting of the Council of Fort Lauderdale Civic Associations. The meeting will be held in the 8th Floor Commission Conference Room.
    CLICK HERE for Details or Check GMCA CALENDAR for information about the monthly meetings

  • Ask Lori!
    Read the DECEMBER 2014 question asked of Lori Parrish by a Broward resident - Broward County Property Appraiser LORI PARRISH answers questions posed about property appraisals (of course), Save Our Homes amendment ramifications and the ubiquitous “Homestead Exemption”. Located in the Broward County Property Appraiser page on the Galt Mile Community Association web site, Lori Parrish clarifies confusion surrounding the appraisal process and explains our rights in simple Q & A format.
    CLICK HERE for Details and Click Here for the December 2014 Question for Lori.

    CLICK HERE For Details!

    There are many wonderful markets available to Galt Mile residents on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. CHECK THEM OUT!

  • CORAL RIDGE GREEN MARKET - Every Saturday from 9 AM to 4 PM at Plaza 3000 at 3000 N. Federal Highway for Produce, gourmet items, flowers, etc. For information call Rachel O'Neill at 954-426-8436 or Click Here to email

  • RIVERWALK URBAN MARKET - Every Saturday from 8 AM to 2 PM at Riverwalk Historic District (227 SW 2nd Avenue) for Fresh produce, teas, coffees, preserves, and lots of other goodies! For information call Riverwalk Trust Office (Jo Ann Smith) at 954-468-1541 Ext. 203 or Click Here to email

  • LAS OLAS OUTDOOR GREEN MARKET - Every Sunday from 9 AM to 3 PM at 333 East Las Olas Blvd. and 111 East Las Olas Blvd. For Produce, flowers, gourmet goodies. For information call Rachel O'Neill at 954-214-9933 or Click Here to email .

  • BROWARD HEALTH FARMERS MARKET - Every Tuesday from 8 AM to 3 PM at Broward Health Medical Center (1600 S Andrews Avenue in Fort Lauderdale). Fresh picked local, organic and exotic fruits & vegetables, pure local honey, just picked organic greens, organic couscous, beans, lentils, rice, other grains! For information call Contact Cathy Schwartz at 954-831-2752 or Iris Casanova at 305-318-6148.

  • WHOLE FOODS FARMERS MARKET - Every Tuesday from 4 PM to 9 PM at Whole Foods Market (2000 N. Federal Highway in Fort Lauderdale). Fresh picked local, organic and exotic fruits & vegetables, pure local honey, just picked organic greens, organic couscous, beans, lentils, rice, other grains! For information call Contact Cathy Schwartz at 954-831-2752 or Iris Casanova at 305-318-6148.

  • MARANDO FARMS WEEKEND ARTISANS’ MARKET - Every Saturday and Sunday from 9 AM to 5 PM - located 2 blocks south of Davie Boulevard, 1 block west of Andrews Avenue (adjoining the railroad tracks) at 1401 SW 1st Avenue, Fort Lauderdale. For information call Chelsea Marando at 954.294.2331 or Click Here to email .

    2014 GENERAL ELECTION - TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 4, 2014. - You do not have to wait until Election Day to vote. You do not need an absentee ballot or some special dispensation. Early voters can make known their will at a variety of different Broward sites. Nearby locations include the Coral Ridge Mall (North or NorthWest Entrance) at 3200 N. Federal Highway in Fort Lauderdale, The Fort Lauderdale Branch Library (Art Serve) at 1350 E. Sunrise Boulevard in Fort Lauderdale, the North Regional Library/Broward College at 1100 Coconut Creek Boulevard in Coconut Creek, Emma Lou Olson Civic Center at 1801 NE 6th Street in Pompano Beach as well as the Wilton Manors City Hall at 2020 Wilton Drive in Wilton Manors. Early Voting dates for the NOVEMBER 4, 2014 General Election are OCTOBER 20 to NOVEMBER 2, 2014. Early voting hours of operations are MONDAY - FRIDAY 9 AM - 7 PM; SATURDAY - SUNDAY 7 AM - 4 PM. Registered voters can avoid the traffic and the lines that plague overcrowded polling places. If you bring a signature-bearing photo id (preferably a Drivers License, although Photo Credit and Debit Cards are also OK) and a previously marked sample ballot, you'll whiz through the experience. VOTE EARLY!

  • State Road A1A Reconstruction Project from Sunrise Boulevard to NE 18th Street in Fort Lauderdale - One lane in each direction of A1A from Sunrise Boulevard to NE 14th Street is closed through late 2014. One lane in each direction will remain open. One lane in each direction will remain open along A1A from NE 14th Street to NE 18th Street. On-street parking along A1A within the project limits has been eliminated during construction. The speed limit is reduced to 25 MPH through this construction zone.
    CLICK HERE for full details - YOU'VE BEEN WARNED!


    Peace can Work!



  • CITY COMMISSIONER BRUCE ROBERTS NOVEMBER 24, 2014 - In his November - December 2014 Newsletter, after conveying seasonal tidings, City Commissioner Bruce Roberts announces the construction kickoff for All Aboard Florida’s downtown Fort Lauderdale station, reviews construction progress along A1A, asks constituents to name citizen volunteers worthy of official recognition, applauds NOVA students for recruiting a record number of “Adopt-A-Neighbor” volunteers (who assist homeowners with property improvements) and encourages registration for local CodeRED emergency alerts. After warning about elevated threat levels for storm surge ascribed to seasonal high tides, he concludes with a list of upcoming municipal events. However, in his opening message, Roberts laments an emotionally charged media campaign - orchestrated with the help of politically vested outsiders - and designed to reverse a city policy that balances the needs of the homeless with those of the general public.
  • CITY ATTORNEY CYNTHIA EVERETT OCTOBER 31, 2014 - On July 20, 1993, the City of Fort Lauderdale passed Resolution 93-143, in which Beach Rule 7.5(c) prohibits panhandling, begging and soliciting on the Fort Lauderdale beach and nearby sidewalks. The nation’s first city to prohibit the homeless from begging “in a nonthreatening manner” in a public place, when outraged constitutional watchdogs – spearheaded by the ACLU – heatedly beat a path to the courthouse, the entire nation was dumbfounded when they got the boot. Carefully navigating a First Amendment tightrope, both former City Attorney Harry Stewart and predecessor Cynthia Everett have successfully drafted a half dozen ordinances that curb behavior deemed dangerous, inappropriate, a health hazard, or just plain disgusting (i.e. defecating on the sidewalk). Enacted in conjunction with a revised policy to address homelessness and reclaim city parks and sidewalks commandeered as flophouses. City officials claim that the new policy will deter activities that enable homeless behavior while increasing resources to programs and organizations that address the root causes of homelessness.
  • BROWARD COMMISSIONER CHIP LAMARCA SEPTEMBER 24, 2014 - In his Autumn 2014 Newsletter, District 4 Broward Commissioner Chip LaMarca disparages plans by the Broward Commission and Broward County Transit to stick it to Taxpayers – and fare payers. For years, the County Board relentlessly funded an endless quest for pork. When the recession vaporized the seemingly bottomless property tax windfall, it forced a temporary suspension of irresponsible county spending. As the housing market rebounded last year, LaMarca proposes to leave some of the incremental property tax revenues in your pocket. Having finally implemented policies that began reversing years of decline, Broward County Transit (BCT) earned an upswing in ridership. Instead of utilizing increased farebox revenues to finance additional improvements, BCT decided to bang their new customers. Transit Gurus agree that nothing deters ridership like a fare hike. What's wrong with this picture?
  • STATEHOUSE REPRESENTATIVE GEORGE MORAITIS MAY 19, 2014 - Last year, our District 93 Statehouse Representative George Moraitis teamed with State Senator Thad Altman (R - Melbourne) to pass House Bill 73, the 2013 session’s Omnibus Association bill. Broadly supported by association officials and advocates, the legislation repaired a litany of statutory glitches, erased deadlines for costly elevator and generator retrofits, forged tools to deter foreclosure-related delinquencies, simplified approval for 2-year board terms, strengthened financial reporting requirements for condominiums, approved impact glass windows for hurricane mitigation and shaped a dozen other Association improvements, many of which provided cooperatives with certain rights and protections historically monopolized by condominiums. Having pledged to continue addressing Statutory shortfalls in this year’s session, in February, Moraitis and Broward Senator Jeremy Ring filed 2014 association bills with scores of new rights and benefits, including the extension of several other essential Condominium protections to cooperative homeowners. Unanimously approved in the Statehouse and Senate, READ ON for a comprehensive summary of the new association bill's bag of tricks...
  • FLPD POLICE CHIEF FRANK ADDERLEY MARCH 1, 2014 - By crunching data that marries historical consumer behavior with emerging trends, Walmart and Netflix adapt how they tailor their on-shelf product mix to specific events (i.e. what they stock before a hurricane, or after a holiday). Long utilized in business, predictive analytics has now been adapted to fight crime. Using the technology to "stop crime before it happens", the municipalities of Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., Memphis, Rochester, Santa Cruz and Philadelphia ascribe sizable drops in the crime rate to predictive analytics. In January 2013, the City of Fort Lauderdale teamed with IBM to adapt its proprietary advanced analytics module to crime prevention under the company’s “First of its Kind” program, wherein researchers and clients use real-world applications to shake out the wrinkles of cutting-edge technologies. After an anticipated drop in Fort Lauderdale's crime rate, the City plans to implement the technology to streamline every City Department. Welcome to the 21st Century!

    What's New?

    GMCA Financial Portal


    All of the members of the Galt Mile Community Association are entitled to maintain a website that reflects the relevant features and qualities of their residences. This is the link to the websites of the individual Associations. Recently added sites include Caribé, L’Hermitage II (connects to private web site), the current L’Hermitage Link Newsletter, Coral Ridge Towers South, and The Galt Merchants Association! In addition, 90% of the existing Association Sites have been recently upgraded. Check yours out! We’re delighted to see that the PLAYA DEL MAR website is BACK UP and RUNNING. The PLAYA DEL MAR web site offers the entire association newsletter. It also houses past newsletters in the Newsletter Archives! THE BEST OF BOTH WORLDS! ANOTHER SURPRISE! The CORAL RIDGE TOWERS EAST Web Site has also been reincarnated. CORAL RIDGE TOWERS EAST resident and Webmaster Warren Eisenberg has done a wonderful job in bringing an online presence back for one of the first GMCA member Associations to create a web site! In April 2005, CORAL RIDGE TOWERS ORIGINAL established a web site. The GALLEON set up an independent web site and REGENCY TOWER'S web site was up and running again after an unexpected hiatus. In August, 2006, Director Jack Zink took the initiative to set up an independent web site for FOUNTAINHEAD. Also, PLAZA SOUTH has joined the club, kicking of its web site in June of 2008... congratulations! More good news! COMMODORE CONDOMINIUM has also created its own fully self-maintained web site. The Royal Ambassador is using a Continental Connect site adapted for that association. The first association south of Oakland Park Boulevard accepted into the Galt Mile Community Association, The Tides at Bridgeside Square has a self-directed web site. Following a brief hiatus, PLAZA EAST had their management company set up a private website. SOUTHPOINT created a site in June of 2013 and PLAYA DEL SOL took the plunge in July. In 2014, L'AMBIANCE BEACH and Caribé opened self-directed websites.

    Click to CONDOS


    The Galt Mile Community Association is administered by a Board of Directors, an Advisory Board, and the Presidents Council (an assembly of the Presidents, other officers, directors and managers of each member Association). They are depicted and briefly biographied in this section.

    Who Are They?

  • Galt Ocean Mile Beach
    The Galt Mile Community Association web resource, one of the most comprehensive in the State of Florida, is continuously evolving to better deliver information pertinent to Galt Mile residents. Sorting data by its political source, the web site maintains a Tallahassee Page that contains news from and about lawmakers in our State Capitol. Every year, older data from the Tallahassee Page is placed into special Tallahassee Archives that are chronologically sorted (2013 Tallahassee Archive, 2012 Tallahassee Archive, 2011 Tallahassee Archive, 2010 Tallahassee Archive, 2009 Tallahassee Archive, 2008 Tallahassee Archive, 2007 Tallahassee Archive, 2006 Tallahassee Archive, 2005 Tallahassee Archive, 2004 Tallahassee Archive, 2003 Tallahassee Archive, etc.), making room for the current year's data. Broward County issues are found in the Broward County Page, including progress reports from District 4 County Commissioner Chip LaMarca. Broward County Property Appraiser Lori Parrish's monthly "Ask Lori" updates are available in the Broward County Property Appraiser's page. Issues surrounding events in the City of Fort Lauderdale during the past decade are described in two separate site segments. The fiscal dilemma suffered by the City (2002 through mid-2005) is chronicled in the Fort Lauderdale Budget Bust Page. Current news from City Hall is in the City of Fort Lauderdale Page Information from (or about) Mayor Seiler, City Commissioner Bruce Roberts, City Manager Lee Feldman and other city officials is found on the City of Fort Lauderdale Page. Past articles for each of these venues are available in the site's Archives. Check it out - By The Way... Happy Kwanzaa, Happy Hannukah, Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year!

    December 17, 2014 - As we wend our way through the Holiday Season, events sometimes meld into a blur, and occasionally slip by unnoticed. While their relative impacts are less than critical, the following news snippets are either enlightening, or scratch an itch. In one recent incident, after a disabled Coral Ridge Towers South resident was victimized by a local merchant, his caretaker and a local news personality teamed up to script a final chapter worthy of the Holiday Season. Those with a passing curiousity about what happened to Commissioner "No" will learn the outcome of her latest local endeavor to re-enter public service. Finally, a summnarized agenda item from the December GMCA Presidents Council meeting at Plaza South illuminates the status of our long-awaited Beach Renourishment. If you enjoy easy reading, check out these Holiday Season leftovers!

    Read Full Report

    Galt Mile Sun Trolley - A Bumpy History

    December 10, 2014 - While most Galt Mile residents maintain vehicles in the garage or parking deck, our demographics include a larger than average community of dedicated pedestrians. Some lament being barred from a driver’s license by a DMV eye exam. Others evangelize the wellness dividend of endless constitutionals. Few will admit that they were forced to choose between a car, prescribed heart medication and one daily alternative to canned tuna fish. For necessities they can’t reach on foot, they needn’t humble themselves by asking for a lift – they board the Sun Trolley. For scores of our neighbors, the community bus is more than an eclectic party favor, it’s their sole access to medical or “quality of life” resources the rest of us take for granted. For an inside perspective of the Galt Mile Sun Trolley's bumpy history, Read on....

    Read Full Report

    Galt Mile: Predators vs. Security

    November 29, 2014 - As homeless-related incidents proliferated in the City over the past decade, they also exploded across the Galt Mile, mushrooming from a handful of cordial tithing opportunities to robberies, thefts and assaults. For years, a few well-meaning snowbirds slipped daily handouts to homeless regulars who were fixtures on nearby association or sidewalk benches. As predicted by four consecutive District 1 Police Commanders, these congenial bench dwellers were soon replaced by roving groups of street punks. While investigating a variety of security strategies to beat back the growing threat, the neighborhood association stumbled on an option that fell into the "Goldilocks Zone" of Security Services. Although rated by Security Pundits as "highly effective", the service was among the least expensive alternatives - a serendipitous impact of Galt Mile's tightly packed demographics. After the community's beachfront associations unanimously approved initiating the Galt Ocean Mile Security Patrol in 2006, the crime rate dropped precipitously. Unfortunately, predators who slipped through the cracks have staked out several neighborhood sites, turning them into gauntlets.

    Read Full Report

    Roberts: Homeless, Bullet Train, A1A Fix

    November 20, 2014 - In his November - December 2014 Newsletter, after conveying seasonal tidings, City Commissioner Bruce Roberts announces the construction kickoff for All Aboard Florida’s downtown Fort Lauderdale station, reviews construction progress along A1A, asks constituents to name citizen volunteers worthy of official recognition, applauds NOVA students for recruiting a record number of “Adopt-A-Neighbor” volunteers (who assist homeowners with property improvements) and encourages registration for local CodeRED emergency alerts. After warning about elevated threat levels for storm surge ascribed to seasonal high tides, he concludes with a list of upcoming municipal events. However, in his opening message, Roberts laments an emotionally charged media campaign - orchestrated with the help of politically vested outsiders - and designed to reverse a city policy that balances the needs of the homeless with those of the general public.

    Read Full Report

    So - Who's Driving the Bus?

    November 10, 2014 - The 2014 general election unleashed a second nationwide Republican wave in the last 15 years. This temperamental political alchemy twice flushed Rick Scott into the Governor’s Mansion by a handful of votes. . By garnering 48.2 percent (2,861,390) of the vote, versus 47.1 percent (2,800,808) for former Governor Charlie Crist, Scott pulled off his paper thin (64,267-vote) repeat victory. In 2010, he ambushed Alex Sink by 61,000 votes. Depending on which side of the aisle they call home, Floridians have Broward voters to either thank, or blame, for the next four years of Scott’s erratic stewardship. It seems that many West Broward voters used Election Day to catch up on their sleep. The following is a rundown of those currently empowered to make decisions on your behalf, and the stats they generated on November 4. Also posted are the voter responses to the 3 proposed constitutional amendments and the 2 Broward ballot questions. Dig in...

    Read Full Report

    Homeless: New Laws for New Plan

    October 31, 2014 - On July 20, 1993, the City of Fort Lauderdale passed Resolution 93-143, in which Beach Rule 7.5(c) prohibits panhandling, begging and soliciting on the Fort Lauderdale beach and nearby sidewalks. The nation’s first city to prohibit the homeless from begging “in a nonthreatening manner” in a public place, when outraged constitutional watchdogs – spearheaded by the ACLU – heatedly beat a path to the courthouse, the entire nation was dumbfounded when they got the boot. Carefully navigating a First Amendment tightrope, both former City Attorney Harry Stewart and predecessor Cynthia Everett have successfully drafted a half dozen ordinances that curb behavior deemed dangerous, inappropriate, a health hazard, or just plain disgusting (i.e. defecating on the sidewalk). Enacted in conjunction with a revised policy to address homelessness and reclaim city parks and sidewalks commandeered as flophouses. City officials claim that the new policy will deter activities that enable homeless behavior while increasing resources to programs and organizations that address the root causes of homelessness.

    Read Full Report

    Broward Ballot Backwash

    October 11, 2014 - The 2014 General Election Ballot contains two questions raised by Broward County, one sponsored by the Broward Board of County Commissioners and one proposed by the Broward School Board. Given the ethical tar pit that serves as the Broward County Commission’s historical bioniche (along with numerous County agencies - including the School Board); approving these initiatives without some measure of insight is tantamount to shooting oneself in the foot. The following missive will help Galt Milers sort through the two issues. After the official title and ballot summary (as featured on the actual ballot) - we scripted a brief diagnosis of underlying issues surrounding each voter “inquiry”. While most voters will see past the reauthorization oversight glitch in the first ballot question, the second question will epidemically fuel an $800 million Election Day migraine.

    Read Full Report

    Constitutional Target Practice

    October 2, 2014 - On November 4, 2014, as Floridians reconfigure their Federal, State and local governments, Galt Mile residents will wrestle with decisions about their representation on the County Commission (Chip LaMarca or Ken Keechl), in the Florida Statehouse (George Moraitis or Scott Herman), in the Florida Senate (Maria Sachs or Ellyn Bogdanoff) and on the "Hill" (Lois Frankel, Paul Spain or Raymond Schamis). We will also be asked to decide myriad open Judgeships and positions on District Boards and Commissions. Given the limited impact they have on our lives, most voters would rather flip a coin than self-educate about filling more obscure elected positions (County judges, the Water Board, Children's Services, etc.). Unfortunately, since this also holds true for most Ballot questions and proposed Amendments, unscrupulous politicians use them as vehicles for realizing outrageous measures that would otherwise wither under minimal scrutiny. The 2014 ballot houses three proposed amendments to the Florida Constitution and 2 Broward County Ballot questions. Sponsored by tricky doggies, some aren't what they appear to be. Read on...

    Read Full Report

    LaMarca: Budgets & Buses

    September 24, 2014 - In his Autumn 2014 Newsletter, District 4 Broward Commissioner Chip LaMarca disparages plans by the Broward Commission and Broward County Transit to stick it to Taxpayers – and fare payers. For years, the County Board relentlessly funded an endless quest for pork. When the recession vaporized the seemingly bottomless property tax windfall, it forced a temporary suspension of irresponsible county spending. As the housing market rebounded last year, LaMarca proposes to leave some of the incremental property tax revenues in your pocket. Having finally implemented policies that began reversing years of decline, Broward County Transit (BCT) earned an upswing in ridership. Instead of utilizing increased farebox revenues to finance additional improvements, BCT decided to bang their new customers. Transit Gurus agree that nothing deters ridership like a fare hike. What's wrong with this picture?

    Read Full Report

    Roberts: Hurricanes, Bus Link, Firehouse

    September 10, 2014 -In his September - October 2014 Newsletter, City Commissioner Bruce Roberts exhorts District 1 constituents to adequately prepare for hurricane season, announces a recently launched Uptown Bus Link that more conveniently connects destination sites in the business district along the Cypress Creek corridor, reveals a new city telephone number for non-emergency public safety calls, acknowledges three Fort Lauderdale beach resorts named in Florida’s Top Ten by travel website “”, applauds recognition by Firehouse Magazine that Fort Lauderdale’s Firehouse 2 was the second busiest in the state and its Engine 8 was the busiest in Florida and number 10 in the nation, asks that constituents protect themselves by exercising prudent public safety measures and concludes with a list of upcoming civic events. His opening reference - a reminder to prepare our families for hurricane season - should disturb some Galt Mile associations - since they haven't updated their hurricane preparedness plan in almost a decade. Here's a test. Do you know anything about your association's Hurricane Plan?

    Read Full Report

    Docs vs. Glocks

    September 1, 2014 - During a July 21, 2010 medical interview with 26-year-old Amber Ullman, Ocala Pediatrician Dr. Chris Okonkwo asked the Summerfield mother of 3 girls about child-proofing her home. Consistent with 1983 TIPP protocols established by the American Academy of Pediatrics, medical director Okonkwo of Children’s Health of Ocala routinely asks if stairways and backyard swimming pools are gated with childproof locks, if each child has a car seat and bicycle helmet, whether smoking parents do so in the house and if driving teenagers have cell phones. When the physician asked if guns were kept in the home, Ullman went ballistic, prompting Okonkwo to end his tenure as her pediatrician - and triggering a series of cosmic showdowns. Within months, Florida lawmakers passed a law that criminalized free speech in the examining room, as Florida physicians who ask gun owning parents if they store their guns safely can be fined $10,000 or lose their license. Welcome to the Gunshine State!

    Read Full Report

    A Galt Mile Secret Weapon

    August 14, 2014 - Unless association officials are familiar with what neighboring associations are paying for security personnel, maintenance staffers, bookkeepers, receptionists, department supervisors, general managers, landscapers, etc., the association risks allocating too much or too little to fill open positions. Every competent association Treasurer is keenly aware that poorly managed compensation will skyrocket annual unit owner maintenance assessments. In 1996, Galt Mile Community Association (GMCA) officials explored the benefits of building a database that member associations could use to better manage labor costs. While saving Galt Mile associations untold $millions in the following 18 years, the annual Presidents Council Wage & Salary Survey evolved under the radar. Its time to let in some sunshine. Here's how it works...

    Read Full Report

    A1A: Final Fix and Facelift

    August 6, 2014 - Shortly after Superstorm Sandy mangled 4 blocks of A1A and sliced away much of the Galt Mile beach, on December 10, 2012, more than 300 local residents, their elected City, County and State officials and Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) bureaucrats converged on the Beach Community Center. Since our future, both individually and as a community, hinges on the fate of our beach, we needed to know what remedies were being considered to restore Fort Lauderdale’s devastated coastal infrastructure. FDOT District Secretary Jim Wolfe explained how a turn lane and a greenway would be added to the 2-lane thoroughfare that was hastily carved from the roadway’s 2 surviving southbound lanes. After outlining plans for the $8.3 million short-term fix that was subsequently completed in June 2013, Wolfe said that the long-term solution would feature an elevated roadway bookended with bike lanes, and structural protections that would immunize A1A to future storm damage. Following 18 months of navigating its statutory construction process, FDOT kicked off the final plans to restore A1A on July 28. Here's how they are currently rebuilding Fort Lauderdale's Ocean Highway ...

    Read Full Report

    LaMarca: Summertime in District 4

    July 27, 2014 - Commissioner Chip LaMarca opens his July 2014 Newsletter with news of a County program conceived to reverse an annual summer spike in the tragic drowning deaths of local children who never learned how to swim. Turning to his older constituents, he warns against being lulled into paralysis by a decade of cyclonic calm (Superstorm Sandy excepted), urging utilization of Broward’s recently enhanced online Hurricane preparedness resources. After recommending a wide range of little known summertime family activities offered in Deerfield Island Park, LaMarca lists a series of "Let’s Talk Transit" meetings (that you already missed) and harkens to new art and performance projects that celebrate the upcoming "Broward 100" Centennial (which you haven’t missed). Given the seasonal inflation of Broward's homeless community, our District 4 Commissioner concludes by describing new homeless initiatives funded by healthy federal grant. See why this should resonate with Galt Mile residents...

    Read Full Report

    Roberts: Award; Action Plan; Budget

    July 19, 2014 - In his July - August 2014 Newsletter, District 1 City Commissioner Bruce Roberts savors municipal accolades bestowed on the City of Fort Lauderdale by the National Civic League. The League’s 1953 Chair, pollster George Gallup, characterized the All-America City Award as “A Nobel Prize for constructive citizenship.” All-America City Award finalists help define their homes by submitting three outstanding community projects. Specifically, the city was recognized for anticipating that a Chinese Menu of neighborhood improvements would ameliorate the failed culture of a school annually distinguished by an illiterate graduating class and transitioning a diurnal commercial storage district into a 24/7 Arts Center – “FAT Village”. A third project, entitled “Northwest Gardens Healthy Places” glorifies a reclaimed neighborhood’s “walkability”, while deliberately omitting how the creative bartering of contractor tax credits was leveraged to build a thriving neighborhood in the heart of a decaying ghetto. Why? Read On...

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    LaMarca: Reclaiming Room Nights

    June 30, 2014 - In his June 2014 Newsletter, District 4 Broward County Commissioner Chip LaMarca advocates stoking one of our County’s key economic engines. Strategically located at Fort Lauderdale’s Port Everglades tourism nexus, enhancing the County’s aging Convention Center with a dedicated hotel and a facelift will plug a fiscal leak through which the County loses tens of $millions in new business every year. Without an affiliated hotel, the Convention Center is precluded from even bidding on more than one third of the prospective convention opportunities – those that require dedicated lodging. To compete with other second tier convention cities that offer onsite lodging, the Center must offset their lack of a hotel with a laundry list of expensive perks, further squeezing embattled profits. Three prior attempts by the County Commission to correct this competitive shortcoming fizzled, squelched by economic eccentricities, questionable judgment, turf protection... and greed. Number four could prove the charm - if the Broward Board avoids the pitfalls that earmarked those failures!

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    The Beach vs. The Bureaucrat

    June 22, 2014 - A bureaucratic blood blister that threatened the chronically delayed Segment II Broward beach project with an added 18-month freeze has been excised. To help quash one of the more asinine impediments faced by this snake-bit project, District 4 Broward Commissioner Chip LaMarca scripted major roles for the entire Broward Congressional delegation, both of Florida’s U.S. Senators, the Galt Mile Community Association and an army of Galt Mile residents. With officials in Pompano, Lauderdale-by-the-Sea and Fort Lauderdale playing bit parts, the eerie plan placed the beach fix back on track for its post-Halloween kickoff. In finessing or slugging their way over, around or through some of the Beach Project's most exasperating, infuriating and pointless obstacles since its inception 49 years ago, LaMarca and retired beach boss Eric Myers got a taste of the frustration experienced by Galt Mile residents for decades. For a tour of the asylum, Read on...

    Read Full Report

    Fort Lauderdale Tilts at Windmills

    June 12, 2014 - On February 17, 2009, President Barack Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) into law. A Keynesian response to the recessionary tar pit in which the previous administration couched our economy, the stimulus package sought to offset the loss of private spending with government spending. In addition to annually salvaging 1.6 million jobs from 2009 to 2012, the fiscal gambit helped avert a looming depression. The Recovery Act also funded a series of Department of Energy (DOE) Grand Challenges, starting with the $1/watt SunShot Challenge, which seeks to make solar power cost-competitive with electricity from fossil fuels by the end of the decade. Obama then launched the EV Everywhere Challenge, which set 2022 as the deadline for creation of a five-passenger electric vehicle that could economically and functionally compete with internal combustion engine vehicles. To help achieve this objective, after assembling a consortium likened to the Manhattan Project for Battery Technology, the DOE funded demonstration and deployment projects across the country (including 4 electric vehicle charging stations fueled by wind turbines in Mills Pond Park). What's more, if this consortium keeps hitting its marks, our planet is in for a wild ride!!!

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    Assn Advocates Grease the Wheels

    May 27, 2014 - A majority of the content in the 2014 Omnibus Association Bill was adopted by sponsors Moraitis and Ring from a legislative agenda created by collaborating association officials from across the state and tailored by Community Association advocates. Prior to the Legislative session, these association officials examined the operational pitfalls and regulatory inequities that encumber common interest communities – and characteristically inflate the financial burden on unit owners. With organizational guidance from association advocates, the issues were prioritized and compiled into a legislative wish list. For decades, legislation favorable to association homeowners was enacted once every five or six years. In the five years since 2009, four major association bills were brought to fruition via the above process. While Statehouse Representative George Moraitis (R - Fort Lauderdale) was instrumental in driving this legislative windfall, he had a secret weapon. Working with association officials and the Galt Mile's voice in the Florida Statehouse were a unique cadre of legislative catalysts who call themselves "Association Advocates." As a result of their efforts, Galt Mile residents will enjoy more than a dozen new rights and protections as of July 1, 2014. Read on...

    Read Full Report

    2014 Omnibus Association Bill

    May 19, 2014 - Last year, our District 93 Statehouse Representative George Moraitis teamed with State Senator Thad Altman (R - Melbourne) to pass House Bill 73, the 2013 session’s Omnibus Association bill. Broadly supported by association officials and advocates, the legislation repaired a litany of statutory glitches, erased deadlines for costly elevator and generator retrofits, forged tools to deter foreclosure-related delinquencies, simplified approval for 2-year board terms, strengthened financial reporting requirements for condominiums, approved impact glass windows for hurricane mitigation and shaped a dozen other Association improvements, many of which provided cooperatives with certain rights and protections historically monopolized by condominiums. Having pledged to continue addressing Statutory shortfalls in this year’s session, in February, Moraitis and Broward Senator Jeremy Ring filed 2014 association bills with scores of new rights and benefits, including the extension of several other essential Condominium protections to cooperative homeowners. Unanimously approved in the Statehouse and Senate, READ ON for a comprehensive summary of the new association bill's bag of tricks...

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    Roberts: Chlorine; Wind Power; Crime

    May 12, 2014 - District 1 City Commissioner Bruce Roberts opens his May 2014 Newsletter with optimistic news about the falling crime rate, describes Mill Pond Park as the City’s “in situ” laboratory for a tech-enhanced sustainable power source, reveals a new email address for Commission meeting input, notes a scheduling change for the Sun Trolley’s Galt Mile route, updates progress towards realizing the projected Schlitterbahn Waterpark, announces a cyclical chlorination cleanup of the City’s Water System, welcomes an improved Lauderserv Citizen Request Management System powered by QAlert technology and applauds a new study that cites Fort Lauderdale as the number 3 municipality in the nation for foreign-born tech entrepreneurs (after Miami and San José, California). While chlorinating the water system is largely a beneficial and safe process, the City should reveal the potential health risks to those with compromised immune systems or undergoing dialysis. For Roberts May 2014 constituent update, Read On...

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    LaMarca: Mayors; Vote Site; Navy Days

    May 3, 2014 - In his May 2014 Newsletter, District 4 Broward Commissioner Chip LaMarca lists agenda items from a District 4 Mayors Summit, affirms approval for an early voting site convenient to the Galt Mile, announces receipt of a long-awaited federal reimbursement for the South Broward Segment III beach renourishment completed in 2006, discusses in progress transportation projects along State Road A1A and the I-595 Express and recalls Broward Navy Days events during Fleet Week. In this final item, LaMarca refers to the USS New York, a warship fitted with skeletal steel salvaged from the World Trade Center's “Ground Zero” and named after the State and City where an unfathomable catastrophe unfolded on September 11, 2001. 7.5 metric tons of twisted Twin Tower steel forms the bow stem of an amphibious transport designed to fight the war on terror. Read on...

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    Animal House: Disability Bill Busts

    April 25, 2014 - During the 2014 Legislative Session, bills were filed in the Statehouse and Senate that would prospectively impact how requested service animals must be integrated into no-pet and pet-friendly community associations. Currently, two Federal Laws – the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Fair Housing Act (FHA) – as well as a Florida Statute (Chapter 413.08, F.S.) dictate how associations must accommodate animals that provide therapeutic benefits to disabled persons. During the past decade, there has also been an epidemic of pet owners who abuse Federal and State disability laws to fraudulently circumvent an association’s no-pet rules. By soliciting documentation evidencing a fictitious infirmity from a complicit medical professional, owners have sought to immunize themselves against association repercussions for harboring a house pet in contravention of the governing documents. Sponsors claimed that the legislation would help clarify Disability entitlements while addressing burgeoning abuse. As occurs with predictable regularity in Tallahassee, they seem to have lost sight of their objective. Read on...

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    Roberts: NextDoor, Quiet Zones, Bus Link

    April 18, 2014 - In his April 2014 Newsletter, District 1 City Commissioner Bruce Roberts looks at the progress of local Bridge Repairs, a new bus link that better integrates the City's economically burgeoning uptown neighborhoods, a Broward MPO effort to quell growing concern about a serious obstacle to the proposed All Aboard Florida high-speed rail link connecting South Florida and Orlando, availability to District 1 residents of the free NEXTDOOR social networking software (the potential backbone of a virtual "Neighborhood Watch") and recognition by the National Complete Streets Coalition of Fort Lauderdale's 3rd place national ranking for having successfully implemented the program's policies. Although most South Florida residents are aware of the All Aboard Florida (AAF) rail project, familiarity with "Quiet Zones" - as referenced in the newsletter - is largely limited to residents in communities exposed to a daily blast cacophony by locomotive horns. Unless local MPOs along the project's planned route find some grant money, taxpayers will have to fund Quiet Zones to protect adjacent communities. They are not cheap! Read on...

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    Florida Home Grown Flood Insurance Fix

    April 4, 2014 - As the Feds mop up the flood insurance nightmare they catalyzed two years earlier, some Tallahassee lawmakers are promoting legislation that would supposedly provide a “robust, competitive, private market alternative to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).” Senate Bill 542, sponsored by Florida Senator Jeff Brandes (R - St. Petersburg), rolls out a welcome mat to private insurers willing to write residential flood policies in Florida. Built on the belief that flexibility will breed competition, Brandes’ bill would provide policyholders with menu options for selecting benefit amounts and deductibles, allowing homeowners to decide how much or how little coverage they want or need to purchase - ranging from a property's full replacement cost to the residual balance on a mortgage. It would also enable carriers to offer a buffet of insurance products from which policyholders can pick and choose, parceling coverage for contents, living expenses, secondary structures, etc. If the bill performs as marketed, it will be rubber-stamped by grateful lawmakers in other States with threatened flood plain communities. If not, the fiscal fate of those constituencies will remain hostage to the kneejerk eccentricities of a conflicted Congress.

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    Flood Insurance Wack-A-Mole

    March 25, 2014 - When recovery efforts following Hurricane Katrina and Superstorm Sandy saddled the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) with a $24 billion debt, the U.S. House and Senate scrambled to pass The Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 (BW-12). Along with extending the program's shelf life by five years, it tightened operational protocols, mandated a plan to repay the Katrina debt, modernized mapping technology and otherwise enhanced its actuarial credibility. Using faulty FEMA affordability projections, bill provisions that eliminated rate subsidies veiled a fiscal time bomb that later triggered homeowner hysteria in 20,000 communities across the Country and mass apoplexy on Capitol Hill. To avoid rate-shocking homeowners with annual premium increases of $2000 to $10,000, and crippling the recovery of tenuous housing markets, Congress fast-tracked relief legislation to the White House, where President Obama signed the bipartisan Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2014 into law on March 21, 2014. Broward homeowners dodged a bullet!

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    LaMarca: D4 Doings, Beach Botch, Vote

    March 16, 2014 - In his March 2014 Newsletter, District 4 Broward Commissioner Chip LaMarca opens by touring March municipal events in Pompano, Lighthouse Point (his hometown) and Deerfield Beach. The Commissioner closes with a plea to “get out the vote”. Bookended by these District 4 housekeeping pleasantries, LaMarca ignites a flare for constituent help with the long-delayed Segment II beach renourishment. The Broward Shore Protection project mandates regulatory approvals from myriad Federal, State and local agencies. LaMarca and Broward Beach Administrator Eric Myers have been religiously slugging their way through these regulatory minefields. By the end of January, one obstacle remained - a boilerplate biological opinion by NOAA Fisheries. Upon investigating why repeated phone calls, emails and official correspondences went unanswered, they learned that the documentation sent to NOAA Fisheries - a line office in the Department of Commerce - was sitting UNOPENED on a bureaucrat's desk - ostensibly due to insufficient agency resources. Although County officials lack the juice to crack the Federal malaise, LaMarca contends that our Congressional representatives wield the appropriate political capital. That's where you come in. WE NEED YOUR HELP!!!

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    2014 Pre-filed Association Bills

    March 8, 2014 - In 2014, the annual dog and pony show in Tallahassee began on March 4th. As always, lawmakers whose agendas are shaped by the demands of proactive constituents or score-keeping campaign contributors jump-start their legislative wish-list by filing before opening day. This year, Representative George Moraitis filed House Bill 807 (HB 807) on February 4, 2014. Two days later, Senator Jeremy Ring (D - Broward) filed companion Senate Bill 798 (SB 798) in the other chamber. The bills form the early skeleton of the 2014 Omnibus Association Bill. Several Association bills that were pre-filed seek to increase the Safe Harbor limits that enable banks to dodge paying assessments on units frozen in foreclosure limbo. Others address the statutory underpinnings of Commercial Condominiums, the termination of an association, towing junkers left in the association parking deck and long-awaited rights and protections for parcel owners in Homeowner Associations. To see how the 2014 session is shaping up... Read on...

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    FLPD: Nailing the Bad Guys with Math

    March 1, 2014 - By crunching data that marries historical consumer behavior with emerging trends, Walmart and Netflix adapt how they tailor their on-shelf product mix to specific events (i.e. what they stock before a hurricane, or after a holiday). Long utilized in business, predictive analytics has now been adapted to fight crime. Using the technology to "stop crime before it happens", the municipalities of Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., Memphis, Rochester, Santa Cruz and Philadelphia ascribe sizable drops in the crime rate to predictive analytics. In January 2013, the City of Fort Lauderdale teamed with IBM to adapt its proprietary advanced analytics module to crime prevention under the company’s “First of its Kind” program, wherein researchers and clients use real-world applications to shake out the wrinkles of cutting-edge technologies. After an anticipated drop in Fort Lauderdale's crime rate, the City plans to implement the technology to streamline every City Department. Welcome to the 21st Century!

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    Galt Mile Wine & Food Festival

    February 23, 2014 - On Saturday, March 1, 2014, the 2nd Annual Galt Mile Wine & Food Festival will filter through our back yard, resurrecting last year’s blockbuster inaugural, when thousands of local residents and visitors were rewarded with a delightfully entrancing weekend afternoon. The festival is produced by BocaRaton.Com and The Bites! Network in partnership with the Galt Mile Community Association. From 4 to 8 PM, attendees will choose from scores of fine artisan wines, craft beers & spirits while enjoying distinctive food tastings; live cooking demonstrations; and authoritative insight into pairing each dish with the perfect libation - as outlined by some of South Florida’s most experienced sommeliers and brilliant Top Chefs. To otherwise sample these extraordinary signature offerings, restaurant patrons would have to visit each establishment and order its iconic fare - an exercise that would take months and cost a fortune. Instead, you can spend a lazy Saturday afternoon trying them all, one masterpiece after the other, while strolling across the street from your home. By the way, as per an understanding negotiated by the neighborhood association, attending the event will enhance the value of your home. How? Read on...

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    Winn-Dixie: Frog Becomes a Prince

    February 16, 2014 - Until recently, the Galt Mile Winn-Dixie has struggled to shed a reputation for sub-par service, product lines befitting a third world banana republic and an environment more conducive to changing tires than handling food. Notwithstanding divergent opinions about the store’s customer service and product availability, raw convenience prompts almost every Galt Mile resident to cruise the aisles on a regular basis. After decades of failed attempts to improve the store, a rupture in natural law elevated the Galt Mile Winn-Dixie into a viable competitor for shoppers long loyal to Publix and Whole Foods. While implementing a marginally successful post-bankruptcy reorganizational comeback, former Winn-Dixie CEO Peter Lynch experienced a revelation. Instead of performing long overdue modest repairs to badly deteriorated stores that ran $1 to $2 million per store, Lynch would spend $5 to $6 million to completely gut the store's shell, and build upscale, attractive markets with product lines tailored to the community - a process called "Transformation". Since the company began developing Transformational stores in 2010, each new store turned a profit. Fortunately, the Galt Mile store was one of a handful selected for this process each year. In short, we lucked out. Check it out - you will not believe your eyes!

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    Help Save the Beach!

    February 9, 2014 - Beach renourishment projects require regulatory approvals from myriad Federal, State and local agencies and stakeholders. To comply, Broward Beach Administrator Eric Myers spent the past few years submitting volumes of required documentation, timely responding to redundant agency inquiries and endlesly tweaking project parameters. In turn, every agency with standing approved the Segment II project... except one. Despite having received all the required documentation from Myers, the National Marine Fisheries Service (AKA NOAA Fisheries) - an agency in the Department of Commerce - remained silent. Phone calls, emails and official correspondences went unanswered. Broward Commissioner Chip LaMarca repeatedly went to Washington D.C., where he learned that all of Myers' documentation was sitting untouched on a bureaucrat's desk - collecting dust. During a pathetic Potomac "two-step", he was informed that the agency lacked the resources to read the documentation and return an opinion, despite having expeditiously done so for similar projects to the north and south of Segment II (Hollywood and Hillsboro). Since County Commissioners are ill-equipped to awaken dormant Federal bureaucracies, LaMarca and neighborhood association officials agreed that the logjam would only be broken if Galt Mile residents pressured our larger-fisted Federal Lawmakers to disturb the agency siesta long enough to send one lousy boilerplate opinion to the County. In short, WITHOUT YOU - OUR BEACHES WILL NOT BE FIXED!!! Read on to learn how you can help save our beach!!!

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    LaMarca: 2013 - The Year in Review

    January 30, 2014 - In his first Newsletter of 2014, Broward Commissioner Chip LaMarca takes us on a 12-month jaunt through the challenges he faced in 2013. Long concerned for the wellbeing of Veterans, LaMarca opens by radiating satisfaction for having engineered a free Broward Bus Pass for low-income Vets and participating in many of last year’s Fleet Week events - despite the Fleet’s conspicuous absence due to cost-cutting measures in the Military. LaMarca outlines his involvement in municipal events across his District 4 domain - including a mid-Summer Resource Fair in Deerfield Beach, the redevelopment of Atlantic Boulevard in Pompano Beach (and thwarting the planned departure of its popular Beach Library from the Barrier Island), the evolution of a Culinary Arts District in Oakland Park, a “bridge to Pier” revitalization project along Commercial Boulevard in Lauderdale-By-The-Sea, and the reclamation of storm-damaged A1A in Fort Lauderdale. Touching on Beach Renourishment and Port Everglades, LaMarca also revisits his commitment to enhancing the County's critical infrastructure while celebrating a limited victory against the often fatal practice of texting while driving. Read on for 2013 - the Year in Review!

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    Roberts: Algorithms; NCIP; New Bridge

    January 23, 2014 - Commissioner Bruce Roberts opens his February 2014 newsletter by rolling out the welcome mat to new constituents from Laudergate Isles and Bal Harbour who were shifted into his jurisdiction - after the 2010 Census documented a sizable population disparity in the City's four Commission Districts. The Fort Lauderdale Police Department’s decision to beat back a rising crime rate with predictive analytics represents a paradigm shift in local law enforcement. Instead of beleaguered Police analysts pouring through thousands of reports in criminal justice databases to uncover crime connections, an IBM algorithm will crunch the data almost instantaneously. In every City where the technology was implemented, the crime rate plummeted. While it doesn't predict crime, as occurs in the Sci-Fi epic "Minority Report", it substantially increases the opportunity for Police Officers to be in the right place at the right time to either disrupt criminal activity or make quality arrests. Listed among the planned NCIP projects in the Commissioner's newsletter, a replacement of sidewalks throughout the Galt Mile neighborhood has been approved by the City, although it has neither been scheduled - nor funded. Read on for the whole update...

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    Fort Lauderdale Water Park

    January 10, 2014 - When the City of Sarasota hijacked the Baltimore Orioles spring training program in 2008, the vacated Fort Lauderdale Stadium wound up in the City Commission’s lap. They could have either held a garage sale to attract another club, which would mean fixing it up and taking a beating on the rent, or consigning the once proud facility to a slow death hosting little league finals. Although City Commissioners endorsed a Schlitterbahn Development Group plan to redevelop the property into a 64-acre world class Water Park at a June 15, 2010 Commission meeting, it melted down when the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) refused to consent, as required by the 1947 agreement that conveyed the property to the City. Now that the City and Schlitterbahn have finally hammered out mutually agreeable terms with the FAA, the revived plan will transform Lockhart Stadium into a state-of-the-art tournament-sized multi-use athletic field that will permanently house the Fort Lauderdale Strikers, an immense futuristic Water Park, a Sports Village and a Resort featuring tree-top cabins with five-star accommodations - right down the block on Commercial Boulevard!!!

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    LaMarca Report to Galt Mile

    December 30, 2013 - At the December 19 GMCA Advisory Board meeting, our County Commissioner scrutinized the economic engines spearheading Broward’s recovery. While applauding a slide in the State’s unemployment rate to 6.4% (in contrast with the national rate of 7%), LaMarca noted that the jobless rate in Broward County had dropped to 5.3%. He attributed the promising job stats to new construction fueled by the rebounding real estate market and 49 consecutive months of increasing tourism. LaMarca observed “For every 85 visitors to Broward County, one job is created. If you take into consideration the 12 million visitors in 2012, that’s a lot of jobs. Those same visitors spent roughly $10 billion here.” He said that they come here to place their toes in our sand, punctuating the importance of the upcoming Segment II beach renourishment. LaMarca has long advocated enhancing the County’s critical infrastructure, including transportation hubs, a convention center and our shrinking beaches. In his final message in 2013, LaMarca updates the Galt Mile about Port Everglades, the BB&T Sports Complex, the Hollywood/Fort Lauderdale International Airport and our long awaited beach renourishment. Read on for his comprehensive report about Broward's economic building blocks.

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    Homestead Express - 2014

    December 22, 2013 - The Florida Constitution provides all legal Florida residents with a tax-saving exemption on the first and third $25,000 of the assessed value of their owner/occupied homes, condominiums, co-op apartments, and other “permanent residences” - if they qualify. Homesteaded properties are eligible for the protective “Save Our Homes” tax cap. Also available are a host of traditional and new exemptions for seniors, veterans, widows/widowers, active military, the blind, disabled persons and properties with build-outs for Mom, Dad, Grandma and/or Grandpa. Apply for exemptions in person, at an outreach event (Beach Community Center), by mail to BCPA, interactively online or by requesting “homesteads-on-wheels” (for house-bound applicants). Although exemption applications are considered "timely" if submitted by the March 3, 2014 "soft" deadline, they will still be accepted until the September 17 "hard" deadline if accompanied by any moronic excuse for tardiness. If you miss that, a "Good Cause" sob story won't make a difference - you're screwed!!! Learn about the 2014 incarnation of the Homestead Express!

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    A1A Greenway at Crossroads

    December 8, 2013 - On October 8, 2013, the City of Fort Lauderdale convened a Town Hall style meeting at the Beach Community Center to discuss a seven-year old promise to local residents. Diana Alarcon of the Transportation & Mobility Department presented a plan to reconfigure the newly narrowed A1A between Flamingo Avenue and Oakland Park Boulevard into a Greenway – as envisioned by City planners. Unfortunately, the plan described by Alarcon bore little resemblance to the design option selected by neighborhood residents. When City traffic planners altered the design outcome, scores of angry complaints from Galt Mile residents and merchants flooded the neighborhood association. Since the revisions threatened to strangle the neighborhood, unless planners made some critical course corrections before they began mixing concrete, the fast-growing acrimony would explode. Leery of trashing years of planning and an $18 million appropriation, neighborhood association officials and Commissioner Roberts met with City traffic planners to hash out a resolution. Read on to learn what happened... and how this project evolved!

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    LaMarca: WRDA, Vet Bus, Workshops

    November 20, 2013 - While announcing a follow-up series of “how to” workshops for vendors stalking county business and celebrating approval of his pilot program to provide a free bus pass to eligible veterans, District 4 Broward Commissioner Chip LaMarca’s November 2013 constituent update applauds Congress for throwing Port Everglades the key to its future. For more than seven years, Congress has been unable to pass legislation authorizing the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ civil works program, which constructs critical navigation and water infrastructure projects across the nation. On October 23, 2013, the U.S. House of Representatives convincingly slam dunked the Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRDA) by a vote of 417-3, setting the stage for the appointment of a conference committee to mitigate differences between the House and Senate versions. Enacting the WRDA will provide long-awaited access to roughly $7 billion squirrelled away and collecting dust in a Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund. This will empower the Corps to realize competitive improvements to the Port that will cement its future as a regional economic powerhouse. Read on for LaMarca's full update...

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    Roberts: Economy, Road Kill, Housing

    November 11, 2013 - In his November 2013 Newsletter, Vice Mayor Bruce Roberts reviews a variety of economic and community reinvestment opportunities that contribute to the City's fiscal balance. Unless Fort Lauderdale increases Marina capacity for super-yachts, the Marine Industry may find a new Ground Zero, costing Fort Lauderdale one of its two main economic engines. Roberts also informs us that Fort Lauderdale may soon see food and beverage service on its Blue Wave Beach, Good Morning America reported that the Venice of America has been named one of the top 10 cities for families, a citywide Pavement Management System will soon cut the cost of maintaining City roadways, responsibilities that the City took over from the County include disposing of hazardous waste and road kill (really!!), and reminds residents to report streetlight outages. The Vice Mayor applauds the redevelopment of blighted blocks in the long decaying Northwest Neighborhood, one of several Affordable Housing successes achieved by a public-private partnership with the Carlisle Development Group - a Miami-based enterprise which is facing Federal charges for swindling tax credits. Read on...

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    South Florida Sand Saga

    November 2, 2013 - Buried in a 2007 beach status report by former Broward beach Administrator Stephen Higgins was a seemingly innocuous statement, “The County will be investigating the use of sand from other locations, including locations outside of the United States, for future nourishment of Segment II.” Higgins' informal concerns over a minor obstacle to a local problem cloaked a dire threat to South Florida's economy. More important than the super-yachts that fuel Florida's $multi-billion marine industry, the opulent resorts that attract $billions in vacation revenues and South Florida's import/export trade gateway to the world, is a relatively bland, mundane commodity - SAND. As observed by FDEP’s Lonnie Ryder “Beaches are the backbone of tourism in the state of Florida. As your beaches go, so goes your economy.” The granules that form Florida's beaches - and its beach-based economy - are in short supply in Broward and Miami-Dade. If State and Federal plans to regionalize management of a newly confirmed sand windfall off the Treasure Coast go south, we will regularly be buying sand from inland mines, the Bahamas or squeezing it from empty Pabst and Michelob bottles.

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    Surf Fishing on the Galt Mile Beach

    October 24, 2013 - A 67-year old amateur angler lives two buildings south of his “lucky” casting spot. The former New Jersey native looks to hook tarpon or jacks in the Spring and snook throughout the Summer. “I used to tie strings from the lines to my fingers because half my time here is spent dozing in the beach chair.” At the October 17, 2013 meeting of Galt Mile Advisory Board, Edgewater Arms representative AnneMarie Adams surprised her peers. Out of the blue, she asked if fishing was allowed on the Galt Mile beach. Failing to explain why, AnneMarie was disturbed when an acquaintance informed her that fishing on the beach (A.K.A. surf fishing) was not permitted. Following an uneasy silence, members began discussing the drawbacks of fishing where people swim. Following a brief debate about whether fishing on the beach was regulated by a City or County ordinance, District 1 City Commissioner Bruce Roberts agreed to run it by the City Attorney. When she came up short, we looked into it. Here's what we found...

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    New CAM Law - HB 7119

    October 15, 2013 - Since House Bill 7119 addressed issues that primarily impact Homeowner Associations (HOAs), it sailed through the 2013 legislative session below the radar of most Galt Mile Condo and Co-op residents. Sponsored by Representatives Mike LaRosa (R - St. Cloud), Joe Gibbons (D - Hallandale Beach) and Frank Artiles (R - Miami) with a collateral push from the House Judiciary Committee and the House Business & Professional Regulation Subcommittee, the new law extended regulations that have long protected Condominium (Chapter 718) and Cooperative (Chapter 719) members to also shield parcel owners in Homeowner Associations. Leery of an attempt to usurp the right of HOA members to Home Rule, the bill was meticulously monitored throughout the legislative vetting process. The controversy surrounding HB 7119 blurred one of its less well known objectives. While primarily revising provisions in Chapter 720 (The Homeowners Association Act), the bill created a new subsection (7) to Section 468.436(2) F.S., relating to licensed community association managers. In short, Managers or Management Companies that violate provisions in Chapters 718, 719 or 720 get a whiff of the abyss. Read on...

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    Plaza South Lights the Way

    October 7, 2013 - On June 28, 2013, Plaza South President Andy Surdovel, who also serves on the Galt Mile Community Association (GMCA) Board of Directors, contacted some of his peers in the neighborhood association. Under a City-issued permit, Plaza South was completing long-planned upgrades to its pool deck. When designing a deck lighting plan, their landscape architect selected fixtures approved on the Florida Fish and Wildlife website. A permit application submitted to the City was retuned unapproved with an enigmatic turtle graphic stamped on the document. Upon contacting the City to learn why the building department responded to their application with a marine hieroglyphic, the project engineer was told that since the project extends east of the Coastal Construction Control Line (CCCL), it must also be approved by the State. Surdovel strapped up his boots before embarking on a regulatory scavenger hunt that will soon be duplicated by neighboring Galt Mile associations. For Surdovel's unprecedented itinerary and regulatory roadmap, Read On...

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    A Look at the Proposed Law

    September 30, 2013 - When they passed the original Beach Lighting ordinance in 2003, City Commissioners never anticipated that its strict interpretation would cripple entire neighborhoods and endanger people’s lives. Pressured by FWC and radical members of Sea Turtle support groups to enforce the law as written, City officials blacked out entire neighborhoods and darkened State Road A1A. In the ensuing backlash, complaints poured in from coastal residents fearful of walking down their own block after dark, endangered drivers and pedestrians, angry tourists who vowed to never return, struggling merchants in faltering commercial beach neighborhoods and residents flustered by inconsistent and contradictory enforcement policies. As soap box demagogues on either side of this issue sniped at one another, City officials realized that the vast majority of City residents – including most responsible environmentalists – favored a beach lighting plan that protected both people and sea turtles. When City Commissioners charged City Manager Lee Feldman with creating a vehicle for this expanded objective, he decided to use the State’s model Beach Lighting Ordinance as its foundation. Unfortunately, it was never meant to be plugged into a municipal code. Read on to learn why - and how it needs to be clarified before it is etched in stone.

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    LaMarca: Back to Work

    September 23, 2013 - In his September 2013 message to constituents, Broward County Commissioner Chip LaMarca seeks to honor the heroes of Patriot Day (changed in 2012 to the National Day of Service and Remembrance) with a plan to provide disabled veterans with free transportation. The “Patriot Pass” he describes is remarkably similar to the “Patriot Passport” distributed by Miami-Dade Transit to honorably discharged veterans who are permanent residents of Miami-Dade and whose annual income is $22,000 or less. To evidence the County’s fiscal stability, LaMarca cites Broward’s unemployment rate, which remains below those of the State and Nation. He conveys the Commission’s intention to minimally maintain reserves at two months of general fund operating revenues or expenditures - a national benchmark for county budgets. Finally, our District 4 County Commissioner thanks Galt Mile residents for participating in an eerie public hearing during which the Broward Commission approved an anti-association law intimating that ordinary people are morally ill-equipped to govern themselves.

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    Roberts: Budget; Seaweed to Soil; CRA

    September 15, 2013 - Vice Mayor Bruce Roberts kicks off his September 2013 Newsletter with some eleventh hour budgeteering in preparation for the spending plan's final pit stops in September, explains how the City turns seaweed into soil, profiles the constituent calls fielded by his office, reviews the Community Redevelopment Agency's mission and current challenges, applauds City firefighters for replacing the stolen bike of double amputee Hector Picard (thereby enabling his grueling cross-country marathon trek to raise funds for an armless baby's prosthesis), updates the project progress of three City infrastructure build-outs and lists noteworthy upcoming municipal events. Mark Almy, a Parks Department supervisor charged with transforming seaweed into mulching soil (as described by Roberts), saving the City $180,000 annually, also works with Roberts and GMCA Advisory Board member Chepo Vega from Commodore Condominium to maintain Galt Mile landscaping in a "Disney-Like Manner". For details, Read on...

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    Broward's Anti-Association Law

    September 8, 2013 - On August 30, 2013, Executive Director Donna Berger of the Community Advocacy Network (CAN) issued an alert to association officials. She was concerned about an ordinance under consideration by the Broward Board of County Commissioners, admonishing “This proposed ordinance may have far-reaching impact on all types of community associations in Broward County – and possibly the rest of the state if other counties follow Broward’s lead.” Berger explains that the proposed ordinance would affect an association’s authority under its governing documents to scrutinize proposed leasing and sales transactions and to issue an approval or denial in connection with same. Reminiscent of the Condo Killer bills that floated through Tallahassee from 2004 to 2006, the County Board is attempting to usurp the right of Broward’s Condo, Co-op and HOA members to govern themselves.

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    Fixing a Broken Law

    August 19, 2013 - On October 30, 2012, City Manager Lee Feldman convened a round table meeting to examine mitigating unintended consequences of the City’s poorly drafted 2003 Beach Lighting Ordinance. In addition to wreaking havoc on the City’s tourism industry, a policy that forced the entire beach area into darkness for 75% of the year was fatally crippling the beach neighborhood’s viability as an economic engine, imperiling drivers and pedestrians along A1A and opening serious security and safety breaches in beachfront residential communities. In beachfront hotels, management personnel reported complaints by scores of visiting tourists that “fear of crossing the street” would preclude their return. Since consequences of the ordinance that were marginalized when passed in 2003 have since mushroomed into significant threats, officials would have to reshape the ordinance to promote Sea Turtle survival without crippling the City or endangering its residents.

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    Filling Some Big Legal Shoes

    July 26, 2013 - In January of 2012, Fort Lauderdale Mayor Jack Seiler announced that City Attorney Harry Stewart was cashing in his chips. The 72 year-old Stewart is one of 131 staffers who snapped up the early retirement buyout offered by the city. To keep the City’s legal machinery humming until an executive level search process could yield a suitable replacement, Commissioners asked the City’s highest paid employee to continue managing Fort Lauderdale’s legal affairs for 15 more months. Shortly after Pinecrest Village City Attorney Cynthia Everett outpaced a field of legal hopefuls for his vacated position, Stewart’s eleven-year tenure with the City of Fort Lauderdale ended on July 11, 2013. Since taking control of the City’s legal armory, Stewart transformed a catch-as-catch-can department that hemorrhaged money into the most formidable City Attorney’s office in the State. Want to know how?

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    Roberts: Stewart, NextDoor, Sun Trolley

    July 17, 2013 - In his July 2013 Newsletter, Vice Mayor Bruce Roberts bids farewell to former City Attorney Harry Stewart and former Fire Chief Jeff Justinak, reviews a budgetary debate about optionally raising the Fire Assessment Fee or the Millage Rate, relishes a high profile accolade won by the City, discloses an extension of the Lien Amnesty Program, looks at District I usage of the “NextDoor” online gossip swamp, recommends viewing an educational mass murder, and delivers favorable performance and utilization reports for the Sun Trolley and the Broward B-Cycle program. Be sure to check out the massacre brought to you by FLPD. While the production values are shaky, the malevolently disturbed shotgun-wielding bald “perp” that central casting adorned in a stereotypical black outfit and sunglasses may have a bright future on YouTube.

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    Broward Property Appraiser to Galt Mile

    June 30, 2013 - On June 20, 2013, Broward County Property Appraiser (BCPA) Lori Parrish sent two trusted officials from her office to address the Galt Mile Advisory Board. Deputy Property Appraiser and BCPA Media specialist Bob Wolfe was joined by Condominium and Cooperative Division Coordinator Maureen Morrison. Three weeks earlier, Parrish released an invaluable market barometer for real estate in Broward County - the “2013 Estimate of Taxable Values”, a statistical compilation generated annually on June 1. Based on last year's sales, the report totals the estimated gross taxable value of properties in each of Broward’s 31 municipalities, tax districts and the County’s unincorporated area. More importantly, it compares the 2013 values to those of 2012, portraying how each of the included jurisdictions are evolving. After suggesting that the data underscores a housing market bounce-back, Morrison and Wolfe outlined new voter-approved exemptions filtered from otherwise obtuse Constitutional proposals on last November's ballot, reviewed slapstick tax legislation and closed with a Q and A.

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    Home Run at L'Hermitage I

    June 21, 2013 - Over the years, current or former board members, property managers and engaged residents from every Galt Mile association have contributed to the neighborhood’s success. Occasionally, one association provides more than its fair share of civic sparkplugs. The four Galt Mile Advisory Board members from L’Hermitage I have been chronic contributors to community causes. They made their bones during the Calypso crisis. Since then, L’Hermitage I President Diana Bergheim, Vice President Frances Konstance, Secretary Virginia “Jean” Miller and Property Manager Patricia Ivette Quintero have been on a roll. A few months ago, the ladies of L’Hermitage I entered their home in a statewide recognition program for Florida condominiums, cooperatives and homeowners associations - the Florida Communities of Excellence. After being recognized as one the top three associations in the State for Safety and Security and number one for Disaster Preparedness, they were named "Community of the Year," the program's highest accolade. To round out their remarkably successful competition, Property Manager Pat Quintero was designated one of Florida's four "Managers of Excellence." Not too shabby!!!

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    LaMarca: Transportation Hubs & Tourism

    June 8, 2013 - Broward Commissioner Chip LaMarca opens his late May 2013 Newsletter by shaping an “Old Blue Eyes” seasonal classic into a metaphor for Broward’s recovering economy. Not only are Port Everglades and Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport gateways for growing tourism revenues that flood into Broward “from across the sea”, their development as economic engines has deflated the ominous 2010 10.1% unemployment rate to a much less intimidating 5.7% by March of 2013. LaMarca spells out how enhancements to Broward’s economic infrastructure translated into thousands of new jobs, fast-tracking the entire region's recovery. Along with competitive improvements to transportation hubs like the Port and the Airport, LaMarca considers the impending Beach Renourishment equally critical to the County rebound. Our District 4 Commissioner also reviews the events of Fleet Week, shakes up his staff and applauds Florida's first and only statutory prohibition against texting while driving. Read On...

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    Bogus Website or Bogus Alert?

    May 31, 2013 - On May 8, 2013, the City of Fort Lauderdale Police Department issued a Press Release entitled “Bogus Website Victimizes Community”. A website called “FindSportsNow”, which claims to be “the first and only centralized location for sports and recreational listings in the United States,” explains as its mission “to connect you to the leagues, teams, clubs, pickup-games and classes that interest you most.” A Fort Lauderdale resident who paid a registration fee on the website for a Parks Department program subsequently called the City to confirm acceptance. Since the website was never authorized to act on behalf of the City, understandable suspicions about the unauthorized “registration” procedures - including the collection of a credit card number and other personal information - prompted Detective DeAnna Greenlaw in the Public Information Office to announce a fraud investigation and warn against using the "findsportsnow" website to sign up for City events. As of May 25, the investigation is ongoing.

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    Tenant Rights vs. Deadbeats & Psychos?

    May 24, 2013 - When the sputtering economy chewed up their disposable income, tens of thousands of association members survived by renting out units that long served as vacation homes or retirement properties. The crippled housing market also burdened common interest communities with thousands of non-contributing units in various stages of foreclosure. To survive, near bankrupt associations were forced to lease this frozen inventory until the toxic units could be recycled into the market and sold. The thousands of unit owners and their associations drawn into the rental market overnight - often as neophyte landlords - helped pave the way for controversial House Bill 77. While a vast majority of those who rent units are "good neighbors" who comply with association rules, bill provisions that enable associations and their unit owners to dump rent deadbeats, tenant terrorists and/or recidivist rule breakers provoked opposition by consumer watchdogs. Fed up with watching a few nightmare tenants sponge off the budget or terrorize neighbors, ordinarily pro-consumer association advocates held their nose while quietly supporting this bill. Why? Read on...

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    Roberts: Free Tree, E 911, BCPA Cop

    May 17, 2013 - In his May 2013 Newsletter, Vice Mayor Bruce Roberts applauds a National Softball Association of the Deaf (NSAD) decision to hold their 2014 tournament in Mills Pond Park, promotes a program that adds trees to the City canopy by utilizing online services, extolls a new Sun Trolley service that caters to tourists on a layover, discloses the financial fruits of adding a fraud-busting Fort Lauderdale Detective to the Broward County Property Appraiser’s Office, portrays the Broward B-cycle Program as an environmental success story and offers a list of important upcoming events. However, Roberts’ leads off with kudos for a County decision to assume responsibility for funding a unified Emergency 911 Service, ending an extended war of nerves between Broward County and its 31 municipalities. It also relieves our City and County officials of having to explain that our tax dollars were being used by both sides to slug out the issue in court.

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    Association Bill Unanimously Approved

    May 9, 2013 - On April 26, 2013, the Omnibus Association Bill - House Bill 73 sponsored by George Moraitis - cleared its final legislative hurdle and was ordered enrolled in preparation for a trip to the Governor’s desk. Following the unanimous approval of three Committee Substitutes in two House Subcommittees, one full Committee and the full House, the bill sailed through the Senate - also without one negative vote. As statewide association advocates for Condos, Coops and HOAs offered prospective input, Moraitis concentrated on bulking up historical deficits in association law, such as the long neglected rights of Cooperative owners. Systematically omitted from Association Bills, Cooperative homeowners lack many of the statutory rights and protections enjoyed by their condominium neighbors. Having fully recovered from last year's meltdown, the bill goes a long way to mirror those provisions for Cooperatives.

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    Roberts: BMPO, Beach Parking, Survey

    April 25, 2013 - In his early Spring Newsletter, District 1 City Commissioner Bruce Roberts applauds the City’s Public Works personnel in the Utilities Bureau for winning repeat accolades from the Florida Section of the American Water Works Association (FSAWWA), describes how to leverage $6 into a year of free beach area parking, delivers access to a statistical snapshot of last year’s first half condo sales and residential rental activity, and links us to feedback distilled from a December 2012 online Neighborhood Survey that may add perspective to the City’s visioning objectives. An opening article looks at past and planned projects approved by the Broward Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO). Comprised of a local panel of business and political "Masters of the Universe", each County's MPO decides if, when and how transportation infrastructure improvement projects are implemented. They interact with neighboring MPOs to address regional projects. Roberts' insight derives from his service on the BMPO governing board.

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    The Citizens Circus

    April 17, 2013 - After bouncing Interim Citizens President Tom Grady on June 13, 2012 – an appointee of the Governor who studied ethics under Charles Ponzi – the Citizens Board installed Barry Gilway, a 40-year insurance industry veteran from Maryland. Faced with differing rates that vary by county, Gilway observed that “Rates are not adequate within Miami-Dade, Broward and Hillsborough counties,” and surmised “If rates were taken to full adequacy in those counties, it has the potential of completely destroying both home building and retail sales.” In the next few months, Citizens implemented a bogus reinspection program that stripped statutory mitigation discounts from 250,000 windstorm homeowners, adding $200 million to their bottom line while prompting a class action lawsuit. In October, Gilway received a rate increase from OIR of 10.8%, adding another $250 million to Citizens' coffers. Hammered through vetting committees with apocalyptic visions of disaster and admittedly false data, controversial Senate Bill 1770 would explode the 10% statutory rate cap by 30% to fund expensive private reinsurance, skyrocket rates by 60% to 70% and empower a gubernatorial finger puppet to set insurance rates. Unless...

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    LaMarca: Pressing the County Agenda

    April 8, 2013 - His boots strapped since January, District 4 Broward Commissioner Chip LaMarca has been shuttling between Tallahassee and Washington D.C. armed with the Broward Commission’s 29-page legislative agenda. In his April Newsletter, LaMarca summarizes his progress in the State and National Capitols. On March 13 and 14, he joined the Broward Legislative Delegation in their annual “Broward Days” promotion of County interests in the State Capitol. As “Team Leader” of the Broward Days’ International Business and Trade Committee, LaMarca spearheads County efforts in Tallahassee to insure Port Everglades' future as an economic powerhouse by developing its competitive muscle. Having assumed the lead County role in cultivating and collecting beach renourishment resources, he chased a $20 million federally reimbursable appropriation in Tallahassee to help offset the impending $40 million Segment II project cost. In Washington D.C., he dunned our deadbeat Federal government for the $12 million it still owes the County on its $26 million obligation for the Segment III renourishment of south county beaches. To learn what else he tackled while “on the road,” read on...

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    What Were They Thinking?

    March 28, 2013 - While closely monitoring a handful of high profile association bills during the legislative session, politically active Common Interest Communities and their advocates tend to overlook scores of bills that, although targeted to other purposes, adversely impact their interests. The following two needles in the 2013 legislative haystack will not only harm unit owners, the underlying rationale for their existence strains credibility. Fueled by political “quid pro quo” and cruising below the media radar, these thinly veiled pork piñatas stand an excellent chance of becoming law – while we sleep. One is an "in your face" patronage bill masquerading as an attempt to shield Homestead Exemptions from abuse. The other is a "pro-bank" wolf in "pro-association" clothing. See for yourself - read on...

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    Bad Bill: Negligence & the Rabbit Hole

    March 15, 2013 - In 2010, 2011, and again this year, Palm City Senator Joe Negron filed bills that seek to legally immunize Design Professionals (architects, engineers, landscape architects, interior designers & surveyors) to damages resulting from their own negligence. An outraged public convinced former Governor Charlie Crist to veto this anti-consumer gremlin in 2010 and lawmakers marooned it on the calendar in 2011. With design professional trade association lobbyists greasing a smooth ride in vetting committees, Senate Bill 286 is sliding through the legislative gauntlet. No other class of professional has ever been so completely financially insulated from the legal repercussions of malpractice, wrongful acts, or misconduct. Until now - along with doctors, lawyers, and accountants - these licensed professionals have been prohibited by statute from limiting exposure due to their own negligence. Once enacted, if an engineer designs a defective roof, oversees and signs off on construction deliberately peppered with building code violations, when it collapses later that day, the association would not even be legally entitled to an apology. This bill is a prime candidate for the 2013 session's "Shaft the Public" award. Read why...

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    Galt Sun Trolley: Back from the Brink

    March 5, 2013 - Having survived an up-close view of the Abyss, the Sun Trolley’s Galt Mile Route has come roaring back from the brink of oblivion. On October 10, 2008, after promising to save the Galt Mile route, former Sun Trolley Executive Director Les Hollingsworth surreptitiously drafted a termination notice condoning its demise! When the GMCA revealed Hollingsworth’s betrayal, a phalanx of angry residents who attended the October 21, 2008 City Commission meeting convinced Commissioners to abort the termination. After giving Hollingsworth the boot, Interim Executive Director Chris Wren met with GMCA officials to script a new survival strategy for our besieged local bus service. Since then, connectivity upgrades engineered by Wren and Managing Director Patricia Zeiler turned the Galt Mile route into a shopper's panacea; ridership has exploded and vendors have been pleading for status as a Sun Trolley destination site. Among a series of recent service upgrades, last month Imperial Point Hospital was added to the Galt Mile route. For the whole story - Read on...

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    Galt Mile Wine & Food Festival

    February 25, 2013 - Grab your significant other, your best friend or the whole gang and spend the most spectacular Saturday a Culinary Enthusiast can imagine along the most famous beach front condo strips in Florida. Please your palate, step into your stride and mingle among the best chefs in South Florida at the Inaugural Galt Mile Wine & Food Festival on Saturday, March 2, 2013 from 4 PM to 8 PM. Each of the participating chefs specialize in signature dishes with which they have become identified. To sample these extraordinary offerings, patrons would have to visit their various restaurants over several months and lay out big bucks. At the Galt Mile Wine & Food Festival, participants can achieve this in a few hours - and for a pittance. By the way, the spotlight it brings to the Galt Mile won't exactly hurt the value of our homes.

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    2013 Omnibus Association Bill

    February 15, 2013 - The beneficiary of wisdom filched from a legislative catharsis, on December 28, 2012, District 93 Statehouse Representative George R. Moraitis filed House Bill 73. Building on the momentum of his successful 2011 Omnibus Association Bill (HB 1195), Moraitis and former Senator Ellyn Bogdanoff teamed up last year to file House Bill 319 and its companion legislation, Senate Bill 680. The third of three consecutive bills assembled from the combined wish lists of Condominiums, Cooperatives and Homeowner Associations across the State, the bills whizzed through vetting committees in both houses en route to an anticipated soft landing on the Governor’s desk – when disaster struck. When conflicted attorneys slipped a pro-lender amendment into the legislation, it enraged association supporters. During a subsequent series of events reminiscent of episodes from the Three Stooges, the legislation self-destructed. Having learned the hard way, a regretful Moraitis refiled for the 2013 session - without the scam amendment.

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    LaMarca: County Wish List to Tally

    February 8, 2013 - On January 8, 2013, the Broward Board of County Commissioners approved a 2013 State Legislative Program. The 29-page legislative libretto features a buffet of proposals with widely varying impacts, ranging from critical appropriations to concessions for paper-thin local special interests (regulatory requirements for competitive eating contests, standardized parasailing guidelines, etc.). Given the County’s Democrat voting plurality, eight of the County’s nine governing Commissioners are Democrats. As the sole Republican on the Broward Board, Chip LaMarca’s stock goes up every January, when tagged to carry Broward’s wish list to the State Capitol. As promised, Beach Renourishment tops the list, followed by the financial fuel to complete time-critical infrastructure improvements in Port Everglades - as well as some other issues that resonated with LaMarca. To learn what they are - Read on...

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    Fast-Track Foreclosures: Round III

    February 1, 2013 - Last year, Naples Representative Kathleen C. Passidomo filed House Bill 213 - the Fair Foreclosure Act. She anticipated prodding lenders into reviving stalled Florida foreclosures and lifting 368,000 properties out of hopelessly clogged dockets and into the market. The huge backlog of Florida foreclosures mired in judicial limbo burdened communities with 1.7 million deteriorating vacant structures while banks were left holding portfolios filled with bad paper. Killed by the banking lobby, Passidomo is reviving the bill in 2013. On January 3, she filed House Bill 87. In addition to providing associations with a vehicle that will finally force lenders to recycle frozen properties currently draining association budgets, the bill should shrink the 858 days that the average foreclosure case will gobble up before being finalized in one of Florida's 20 Circuit Courts. Non-judicial states with comparably astronomical foreclosure rates, like California and Nevada, complete the same ordeal in 4 months. Without legislative relief, Florida’s recovery will remain hostage to this bloated backlog of bad loans.

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    Roberts: Beach Fix, Parker, Lien Deal

    January 24, 2013 - After opening with evidence of the City’s improving economic outlook, Commissioner Bruce Roberts’ January 2013 newsletter jumps to Beach Renourishment, summarizing progress of the City - County - State (FDOT) short term A1A recovery plan before concluding with a confirmation that resonates with every Galt Mile resident - exclaiming “that we are on schedule for the long overdue Phase II beach renourishment project.” He then describes a lien amnesty program that will incentivize the rehabilitation of homes long frozen in disrepair by upside down mortgages and enable the sale of abandoned properties currently buried in code violations. A follow-up on State-wide efforts to criminalize the ever-changing chemistry of designer drugs bespeaks Attorney General Pam Bondi’s December 11, 2012 emergency rule outlawing 22 new synthetic variants. Dwarfed by these well publicized, high profile updates is a less noteworthy item about a service to help drivers find parking spaces in downtown Fort Lauderdale. Actually, the nascent technology that enables this service could change the way cities worldwide operate in the immediate future.

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    The Mercenary Snitch Bill

    January 17, 2013 - On June 17, 2010, as Broward County Property Appraiser Lori Parrish closed a two-hour presentation to the Advisory Board, GMCA President Pio Ieraci expressed concern about a notice sent by Parrish to Galt Mile associations requesting that they “turn over any information about unit owners that may have improperly applied for a Homestead Exemption.” Pio said “I am disturbed by this request. Not only are we being asked to do your job, I believe that it’s wrong to violate the confidentiality of our members’ information.” Following a heated defense of her request, Parrish relented, conceding that associations are obligated to safeguard their residents’ confidentiality, while casually observing that “Nobody likes a rat.” Two and a half years later, Sarasota Senator Nancy Detert (District 28) is looking for a few good rats. On January 7, 2013, she filed SB 182, legislation drafted to deter abuse of Florida’s homestead exemption. Despite laudable objectives, the bill’s provisions range from poorly conceived to openly dangerous. By using a bounty to incentivize mercenary snitches and forcing associations to rat out their members, the bill would unproductively overwhelm the Property Appraiser’s limited verification resources while immersing associations in a maelstrom of legal jeopardy.

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    The Bad Blood at BSO

    January 7, 2013 - The Broward Sheriff’s Office is an Oligarchy, an agency where every scrap of power resides with the elected Sheriff. As such, voters reasonably assume that the agency’s integrity depends on the Sheriff’s character. In the past decade, BSO has struggled to shed its reputation as an ethical sewer. As demonstrated by both campaign teams in the recent election, voters select a Sheriff based on the candidate's ability to dodge or shed mud. As long as the Broward Sheriff is a partisan Constitutional Officer, survival at BSO will remain focused on politics, with re-election as its Holy Grail and public safety relegated to an afterthought. The problems plaguing BSO have less to do with the Sheriff than the political culture that drives the institution. Promotions and jobs are bartered for votes and lucrative contracts go to campaign contributors while demotions and pink slips await anyone unwilling to serve as a political asset. Whether incoming Sheriff Scott Israel can overcome BSO’s pathological susceptibility to corruption remains to be seen. Here’s the playing field.

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    Long & Short: A1A & Beach Fix Plans

    December 25, 2012 - On December 10, more than 300 local residents, their elected officials from the City, County and State, Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) bureaucrats and representatives from environmental, business and civic organizations converged on the Beach Community Center. While the public officials were there to float long and short term A1A recovery proposals, residents who packed the SRO Monday night event were passionately preoccupied with the future of their beach. In FDOT's $3 million short term solution, after punching steel sheets 45 feet into the ground to isolate the 4 blocks of rebuilt roadway, the County will extend the adjacent beach by 20 to 40 feet with 50,000 cubic yards of sand. Longer term, FDOT envisions the temporary 2-lane A1A configuration abutted with a third “left turn” lane, bike lanes and a long-planned Greenway. After 47 years of frivolous renourishment delays, apprehensive residents were relieved by Eric Myers' confirmation that neither project will impact the December 2013 start date for the Segment II beach fix. Here's what happened...

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    Presidents Council: Sea Turtles & Sandy

    December 17, 2012 - On December 3, 2012, the Galt Mile Community Association convened a 7:30 PM Presidents Council Meeting at Plaza East Condominium. After thanking Plaza East President Glenn Rollo for hosting the final meeting in 2012, Presidents Council Chair Pio Ieraci announced that the agenda was predominated by two issues that are critically important to Galt Mile residents and their associations. To address a growing community anger stemming from abusive and enigmatic Sea Turtle policies, an authoritative forum was configured to explain how these concerns will be resolved going forward. Since our future, both individually and as a community, is inextricably tied to the fate of our beach, we needed to know what remedies were being considered to restore Fort Lauderdale’s collapsed coast, 4 soggy blocks of A1A and our Galt Mile beach.

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    City and GMCA to Settle Turtle Woes

    December 8, 2012 - On October 30, as Hurricane Sandy was stripping beaches along the eastern Seaboard, City Manager Lee Feldman convened a round table meeting to examine a State (FWC) Sea Turtle nest marking policy that has soured neighborhoods, blistered tourism and turned the City’s signature resource into a battlefield. Additionally, the City’s poorly drafted 2003 Turtle-Safe Lighting Ordinance that forces the entire beach area into darkness for 75% of the year was fatally crippling the beach neighborhood’s viability as an economic engine, endangering drivers and pedestrians along A1A and opening serious security and safety breaches in beachfront residential communities. If unable to stem the growing problems, officials would have to reshape the ordinance to promote Sea Turtle survival without crippling the City or sacrificing its residents. Weeks later, City Code Enforcement officials met with Galt Mile representatives to revive an enforcement formula that elicited compliance by balancing the needs of Sea Turtles with those of local residents and their associations.

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    LaMarca: Economy Needs Beach Fix

    November 26, 2012 - Galt Mile residents have been living in Beach Renourishment hell for decades. In the 47 years since the Broward County Shore Protection Project was authorized by Section 301 of Public Law 89-298 (October 27, 1965), the initial $1,093,000 cost to rehabilitate the entire County coastline has exploded exponentially. If compared to the inflation-adjusted 1965 estimate of nearly $8 million, the current price tag of $90 million for Segments II and III suggests an $82 million “dawdling” penalty. In his November 2012 Newsletter, Broward Commissioner Chip LaMarca outlines the undermining factors that have long plagued this project and explains how they have since been mollified. Mined from upland sources and trucked to staging sites in Pompano, LBTS, the Galt Mile and Fort Lauderdale, beach fill matched in size and color will fatten skeletal north county beaches while minimizing environmental, regulatory and political obstacles.

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    Roberts: Explorers, Pill Mills, St. Marking

    November 19, 2012 - In his November 2012 message to constituents, District 1 City Commissioner Bruce Roberts snapshots municipal and district issues heading into the holiday season. As affirmed in the September budget hearings, he laments a negligible tax rate increase to service City debt and applauds a revival of the FLPD Explorer program, which prepares young prospective police officers for life on the force. He explains technological advances in the City’s street resurfacing capabilities and reviews an ordinance that will diminish the adverse impacts of abandoned homes. Roberts updates an in-progress Galt Mile experiment that may resolve a statewide controversy over abuse of the One-Call utility marking system. He also briefly mentions a recent skirmish between the State and a local pill mill. This minor disruption to clinic operations brings focus to the tediously slow process of shutting down an industry that plants 14 Floridians each and every day.

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    Nest Feathering 101: Lawyers vs. CAMs

    November 11, 2012 - The Florida Supreme Court has delegated to The Florida Bar the duty to investigate and prosecute allegations of unauthorized practice of law (UPL). The Standing Committee on Unlicensed Practice of Law supervises circuit committees (which investigate UPL reports and submit findings to the statewide standing committee). A formal advisory opinion is then filed with the Florida Supreme Court. On March 28, 2012, then Chairman George Meyer of the Real Property, Probate and Trust Law Section of The Florida Bar (RPPTL Section) sent a request to the Standing UPL Committee to determine whether certain activities constitute the unauthorized practice of law if performed by Community Association Managers. On September 21, 2012, the Committee determined whether the performance of 14 specific activities by a CAM manager constitutes UPL. Amid accusations of nest feathering and despite several badly skewed rulings, each violation is punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine of up to one thousand dollars. Since UPL is a criminal offense in the State of Florida, insurance or contractual indemnification provisions are often inapplicable - for managers AND/OR board members who play lawyer.

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    What's That Strange Taste?

    November 2, 2012 - Last November, more than a dozen Galt Mile residents sent emails to the neighborhood association complaining about the odd taste of their tap water. Several of our neighbors surmised that vengeful kids, having been ejected from the beach on Halloween by the Galt Mile Security Patrol, somehow sabotaged their association's water. In fact, the City of Fort Lauderdale's Water Services temporarily altered the chemical purification process as part of a regular system maintenance program. On October 27, 2012, Galt Mile Community Association President Pio Ieraci sent a notice to member associations alerting them to a repeat performance of last year's purification effort. Entitled, "Free Chlorine" the City Newsletter message mirrored a notice posted on the City website exclaiming "Preventive Maintenance of Drinking Water System Set for October 30 to November 20, 2012". The text of the message is as follows:

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    A Constitutional Junkyard

    October 23, 2012 - Of the five methodologies available to amend the Florida Constitution, citizen initiative petitions and legislative Joint Resolutions are the most common. This year, Republican legislators cobbled together several failed bills that withered under Committee Review or public scrutiny. Using partisan pressure to eke out the required two-thirds majority in both houses, they prepared 11 Joint Resolutions for ballot eligibility. Since the ballot process barely skirts the public radar, politicians can promote openly anathematic issues with little fear of political reprisal or constituent backlash. To inoculate their handiwork against the same fatal public scrutiny that buried the bills from which they were sourced, they were mixed in with a fistful of poorly timed tax exemptions and a few amendments so fatuous that Constitutional watchdogs on both sides of the aisle concede them as “filler”. To avoid the wallet pounding that could follow ticking off “yes” or “no” based on creatively spurious ballot titles, Read On...

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    Summer of Scam - 2012

    October 12, 2012 - An eclectic group of sleaze bags logged in substantial overtime this summer. Each of the following scams either threatened or victimized Galt Milers during the stickiest June through August in years. Thousands of cash-strapped utility customers were stung by a low-tech nationwide fraud using a hook based on the weather, the political climate, Facebook and the “allure of the freebie”. Another scam targeted the men and women who manage our homes, threatening their license and livelihood. The last one, conceived by our clever Governor, will insure that the State of Florida maintains its squirrelly reputation as the nation’s mortgage fraud “Olympian” while the Venice of America perseveres as “Fraud Lauderdale.” Curious? Welcome to Florida's 2012 Summer of Scam!

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    Comcast on the Galt Mile - 2012 Edition

    September 30, 2012 - About 20% of our Galt Mile Associations will negotiate bulk television contract renewals this year. Whether conducted by a committee, some board members or a building manager to whom this task was delegated, the Federal law that forced broadcasters to transition from analog to digital transmissions on June 12, 2009 will critically impact their efforts. Comcast’s competition remains paper thin, as alternative bulk television service providers DirecTV and Dish Network are still using a contractual format that requires executing an additional (second) agreement with one of several broadcaster-authorized local vendors to perform maintenance services. Unfortunately, these small companies commonly cycle in and out of business, often resurfacing as some virgin enterprise that carries no liability for agreements executed under their previous incarnation. Despite years of courting Galt Mile associations, AT&T's promise to challenge Comcast with its first viable competitor is currently limited to Uverse internet services in associations along Galt Ocean Drive. To see how a renewed 2012 Comcast contract may affect you, read on...

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    LaMarca: My Favorite Time of Year

    September 20, 2012 - In his October 2012 newsletter, as Broward Commissioner Chip LaMarca takes us on an autumn stroll through our strikingly opulent beaches and parks, he turns our attention to a local reflection of a national disgrace. It boggles the mind that one sixth of the families in the greatest country on the planet suffer from chronic hunger. When people all over the world close their eyes and dream of paradise, most of them envision South Florida. Of the nearly 49 million Americans (32.6 million adults and 16.2 million children) that struggle with hunger, 938,000 live within spitting distance. Since Galt Mile residents have participated in annual food drives for years, LaMarca’s newsletter should resonate here. Broward County’s 365 Food Drive, a perpetual food distribution collaboration with “Feeding South Florida”, collected more than 6,775 pounds of food since January. If you missed an opportunity to soften life for some Broward families by clearing your shelves this year, our voice on the County Board points out that it’s not too late.

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    Roberts: Next Door, Vision & Dispatch

    September 6, 2012 - In his first message to constituents following the summer Commission hiatus, District 1 Commissioner Bruce Roberts serves up an eclectic buffet of events and initiatives. Along with a curiously sadistic methodology for encouraging the removal of illegal signs by torturing scofflaws with “robocalls” and a new venue for participating in the visioning process, he outlines an innovative Police Department tactic that utilizes Nuisance Abatement procedures to deter criminal activity. The Commissioner also describes a new technology installed along Broward thoroughfares that will expedite traffic information and a new high speed rail connection between Orlando and Miami. However... the Commissioner opens his newsletter with cryptic assurances that negotiations to implement an integrated Public Safety Dispatch System will not jeopardize our neighborhood, despite an impending litigation. If his presumption about your familiarity with “the ongoing dispute” is misplaced, here’s how a county-wide effort to comply with a decade-old voter mandate degenerated into the political equivalent of “Monday Night Slammo!”

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    Saving a Species: Lighting or Lawyers?

    August 29, 2012 - At the May 17, 2012 GMCA Advisory Board meeting, among the issues that City Commissioner Bruce Roberts pledged to address over the summer was an inconsistent and imbalanced enforcement policy for beachfront turtle-safe lighting. At a subsequent Presidents Council meeting a few weeks later, City officials vowed to revive a previously successful compliance process that fell prey to late 2010 personnel changes in City government. When association officials were given the floor, it became evident that the enforcement issue veiled a Pandora’s Box of frustration and animosity that had grown exponentially over the sea turtle nesting season. A series of ill-conceived policies enacted by Fish and Wildlife in Tallahassee had systematically alienated beachfront homeowners whose cooperation is critical to the program's success. After mandating a tenfold expansion of the area surrounding each nest site and blocking the removal of rotting seaweed that admittedly generates toxic concentrations of bacteria and fungi, complaints that rolled in from coastal communities across the state finally snagged their attention. Read on....

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    GMCA, City & One-Call to Zap Graffiti

    August 12, 2012 - For more than a decade, the Galt Mile Community Association (GMCA) fumbled enforcement of a City promise to maintain in a “Disney-like manner” the self-funded landscape and hardscape assets included in the 1993 Galt Mile Improvement Project. In late 2008, the GMCA Advisory Board unanimously appointed José “Chepo” Vega to perform an ongoing review of these features along Galt Ocean Drive and the surrounding area. Despite Chepo's mythic success in stabilizing erratic neighborhood maintenance via his dogged pursuit of City and County officials, Chepo was flummoxed by "Utility Graffiti", the markings used to locate underground utility elements in anticipation of nearby excavation. When the GMCA met with Sunshine State One-Call (the State-sponsored agency responsible for protecting the interred utilities) last year to develop a methodology to remove markings for completed projects, the process crashed and burned. On August 6, 2012, a second bite at the apple succeeded. If it works, it will become standard practice in neighborhoods throughout Florida. Here's the plan...

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    FEMA to Scrap Commission Rebates

    July 26, 2012 - On April 4, 2012, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced the termination of a program enacted in 2006 that allowed agents writing national flood insurance policies to rebate a portion of their commission to cash-strapped customers. The competitive edge enabled mom and pop agencies to snag grateful clients from disgruntled industry giants. Voluntary commission rebates of up to 15% play a critical role in the fiscal survival strategy of thousands of Florida associations (some local beachfront associations saved between $2000 and $10,000 annually). Why did FEMA suddenly reverse a policy that helped consumers without costing the agency (or taxpayers) a dime? Fearful of alienating prospective employers when faced with “life after government service”, when politically powerful insurance juggernauts sent lobbyists to convince FEMA that competition is “un-American”, FEMA bureaucrats jumped on the bandwagon. If enough people sign an online petition sponsored by the Community Advocacy Network (CAN), we can quash this blatantly anti-consumer policy blister! Read On...

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    LaMarca: The Convention Center Cure

    July 17, 2012 - Any roadmap for Broward’s economic recovery must include putting people back to work. In his July Newsletter, District 4 Broward Commissioner Chip LaMarca reminds constituents of his campaign promise to expedite the County’s recovery from the effects of the collapsed housing market. After repeatedly piling pork into the annual County spending plan, tanking property values finally prompted long overdue fiscal restraint by the same County Commissioners who fleeced Broward taxpayers for decades. However, simply forcing the spending plan through an ever-tightening fiscal shredder won’t reverse the County’s fiscal dilemma. Until recycling the backlog of toxically submerged homes revives property values, the County’s skull-blocked economy can best be awakened by stoking its economic engines. Among the infrastructure build-outs on LaMarca's plate is a desperately needed convention center hotel. The County is annually losing tens of $millions in convention business to venues with dedicated lodging facilities. If done properly, it won't cost taxpayers a dime. While his plan isn't fancy, its got teeth.

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    Homestead Express - 2012

    July 11, 2012 - The Florida Constitution provides all legal Florida residents with a tax-saving exemption on the first and third $25,000 of the assessed value of their owner/occupied homes, condominiums, co-op apartments, and other "permanent residences" - if they qualify. Homesteaded properties are eligible for the protective “Save Our Homes” tax cap. Also available are a host of traditional and new exemptions for seniors, veterans, widows/widowers, active military, the blind, disabled persons and properties with build-outs for Mom, Dad, Grandma and/or Grandpa. Apply for exemptions in person at an outreach event (Beach Community Center), by mail to BCPA, interactively online or by requesting “homesteads-on-wheels” (for house-bound applicants). Although the March 1 "soft" deadline is long gone, you've two months to meet the September 18 "hard" deadline. If you miss that, no "Good Cause" sob story will help. Learn about the 2012 incarnation of the Homestead Express!

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    Comm. Roberts’ July 2012 Newsletter

    July 3, 2012 - Record-worthy for its volume of content, Commissioner Bruce Roberts’ July 2012 Newsletter offers something for everyone. Roberts updates our search for a new City Attorney, warns about Hurricane preparedness, invites participation in the visioning process (including a series of District-specific Telephone Townhall Meetings respectively hosted by each District’s Commissioner) and posts a calendar of summer events. Our Commissioner outlines Broward’s participation in the DOE's competitive Sunshot Program (specifically - Go SOLAR! the Broward Rooftop Solar Challenge). He explains how we can best highlight local neighborhood events, save money with a free Prescription Discount Card, and read two ballot-ready City Charter Amendments. Two items warrant a closer look. The Galt Mile Sun Trolley's ridership uptick and City plans to criminalize designer drugs currently sold in retail shops all over town. These are not your Grandmother’s Bath Salts!

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    Presidents Council Season Finale

    June 23, 2012 - Tackling an overstuffed agenda in the final Galt Mile Presidents Council meeting before the summer hiatus, officials from almost every Galt Mile association heard from a panoply of public officials and local bureaucrats. Along with updates by State and County representatives, reports from member associations about shared operational stumbling blocks and a spot review of the failed 2012 omnibus association bill, a delegation of municipal officials helped defuse community enmity over enigmatic threats mailed by the City to unit owners and their associations. After apologizing for the ill-conceived correspondences and discussing contradictions that belabor municipal policies for Utility Graffiti, open permits and turtle-safe lighting, officials from building services, code compliance and the City Manager’s office expressed their intention to cooperatively develop non-contentious resolutions with Commissioner Roberts and neighborhood association officials. Surprisingly, the process is already underway. In a July 24th forum being staged by Roberts, the first agenda item will be the recent explosion of Utility Graffiti. Curing open permits dating back to the Renaissance and a balanced turtle-safe lighting process will follow later this summer.

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    Red Light Cash Cameras - Round Two

    June 10, 2012 - Despite the budgetary enticements of red light camera enforcement, the City of Fort Lauderdale postponed consideration of an automated citation system until two years ago for good reason. Before 2010, no Florida Statute provided for the prosecution of violations based on red light camera evidence. More importantly, the City Commission was leery of entanglement in a litigious constitutional controversy. Choking on a $31 million budget deficit, the City Commission opted to risk tap dancing across a legal mine field. Program vendor American Traffic Systems (ATS) promised that the program would deter traffic violations, free up police officers, and dump $millions into city coffers. After a year and a half of tolerating what Broward Mayor John Rodstrom described as "a total disaster," and that "anything that could go wrong went wrong," Fort Lauderdale is planning to quadruple the number of camera-baited intersections. By the way, one third of the 15 new cash-camera corners are within spitting distance of the Galt Ocean Mile.

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    Panhandling: A Line in the Sand

    May 31, 2012 - Whether registered by people heading into work, students cutting through Stranahan Park to the Library or tourists returning to their hotels, the unprecedented number of panhandling complaints clogging City Hall finally reached a critical mass. When the cost of tolerance suddenly included sacrificing the neighborhood’s public park and rendered streets increasingly unsafe for families, disaffected residents ramped up pressure on City officials to “contain” the problem. With some 1,600 guests of the city fluffing the bushes each night before nodding off in public parks (incremental to the 7,000 squirreled away in shelters), the City Commission decided that a strategy to reclaim these resources for the general public should be integrated into the City’s Homeless policy. To buttonhole soliciting without triggering First Amendment land mines, retiring City Attorney Harry Stewart stitched together a Chinese menu of court-tested prohibitions that should bar the downtown business district to panhandling. City officials will either sustain the new policy or pull the plug based on how it impacts the City's image. Gee... what a surprise!

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    LaMarca: Seasonal Storms & New Blood

    May 24, 2012 - In the June - July, 2012 edition of his constituent Newsletter, District 4 County Commissioner Chip LaMarca confines his focus to two issues - a new hire and the panoply of Hurricane resources available to Broward residents. Heeding LaMarca’s recommendation that disabled and elderly persons participate in the Broward County Vulnerable Resident Registry could save the lives of pro-active registrants. The Commissioner recently rebalanced his staff, installing John David Newstreet as his District Director. Since his responsibilities include interfacing with LaMarca’s County constituents, some background is in order. Read on...

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    Roberts: Atlantech, Mix it-Curb it, B-cycle

    May 17, 2012 - District 1 Commissioner Bruce Roberts peppered his May 2012 newsletter with a blend of event alerts and interesting informational tidbits. The listed resources are both useful and easily accessed although some of the issues could benefit from context. For instance, the heartwarming morality play about the New Boston Atlantech Tower will leave his constituents (with the exception of those who participated in the agreement) scratching their heads. Other issues Roberts touches on are Homestead Exemption Fraud, Sea Turtle Nesting Season, accessing Fort Lauderdale's Customer Service Center, FPL’s On-line Calculator, the Great American Beach Party scheduled for Memorial Day, Gene’s Green Scene - City Forester Gene Dempsey’s new blog on the City’s website, the new "Mix It. Curb It." Single-Stream Recycling Cart Program that's is the works and information about B-cycle - a new European style bike-sharing system recently installed in 26 locations throughout Broward County - including 3 in the Galt Mile neighborhood. Check it out...

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    FDOT to Squelch Galt A1A Speedway

    May 10, 2012 - On May 3, 2012, the City of Fort Lauderdale and the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) convened a meeting at the Beach Community Center to inform neighborhood residents about a $2.1 million FDOT plan to rehabilitate State Road A1A (SR A1A) from Flamingo Avenue to Oakland Park Boulevard. Among the 35 “interested parties” who attended the 6 PM meeting were curious local residents, apprehensive neighborhood vendors and relieved association officials. After banging around on the back shelf since 2007 and 6 years of tweaking, the long-rumored project was reanimated and fitted with a May 7, 2012 start date. Hopefully the first of two stages anticipated to elevate the dilapidated, dreary, dangerous speedway filled with patched and unpatched potholes, extensive spiderweb cracks and catch-as-catch-can landscaping into a thoroughfare worthy of its recent designation as a "Scenic Highway", the plan is expected to yield a long sought after incremental benefit - especially for our neighbors in Coral Ridge Towers South and East. It should deter the weekly deployment of A1A as a drag strip!

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    Myers Breaks New Beach Plan

    April 22, 2012 - It’s no revelation that our beach has been rapidly dwindling from the effects of tidal erosion. Given the shrinking beach’s critical importance to the neighborhood’s economy and its residents’ quality of life, Galt Milers and their associations have been passionately vested in its rescue for more than a decade. Annually since before the Millennium, Galt Mile residents had been repeatedly assured by Broward officials that their severely eroded beach would be renourished “next year”. Enthusiasm was slowly replaced by a numbing cynicism as frustrated residents increasingly reacted to empty county promises like rats on a shock plate. Having redesigned the Broward Beach Project with input from participating governmental agencies and every jurisdiction with standing, Myers plans to widen beaches in Pompano, the Galt Mile and Fort Lauderdale by placing 750,000 cubic yards of sand mined from an upland sand source along two separate portions of the Segment II shoreline. On April 2, 2012, Myers addressed the Galt Mile Presidents Council, detailing the revised project’s scope, sand source, cost and the Segment II timetable. Want in? Read on...

    Critical Beach Meeting!

    On May 2, 2012, Broward County Natural Resources Administrator Eric Myers is convening a 6 PM “Beach Nourishment Project Environmental Assessment Scoping Meeting” at the Beach Community Center. How the audience reacts to the presentation will determine whether or not our Galt Mile Beach is extended about 100 feet into the ocean or left to disappear completely. After more than a decade of fighting to repair our eroded beach, our time has come - the decision is in our hands. However, unless we show up in strength, outside political interests who oppose the project will insist that they are speaking on your behalf. Please be there - ITS YOUR BEACH!!! Click Here to learn about the beach plan. Click Here to learn about Scoping Meeting.

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    LaMarca: The Price of a Promise

    April 12, 2012 - After decades of mutely watching legislators design election districts blemished by incumbent and party advantages, Florida voters in 2010 finally took back a process that lawmakers had long ago turned on its head. When the electorate approved Constitutional Amendments 5 and 6, lawmakers newly deprived of the right to rig elections began swapping constituencies, changing chambers or jumping the aisle to exploit any remaining legal election advantages. Galt Mile residents recently witnessed this new phenomenon in their own back yard. When retired Lieutenant Colonel Allen West abandoned a constituency that launched his Congressional career, his departure triggered a round of political musical chairs that ultimately forced Broward Commissioner Chip LaMarca to decide between political ascendancy and keeping his promises. To his credit, he decided to stick around and fulfill pre- and post campaign commitments. LaMarca's message to constituents headlines an early April Newsletter that reviews the projects on his plate and snapshots clear evidence of the County’s economic headway. For details, read on...

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    Florida Fair Foreclosure Act D.O.A.

    April 4, 2012 - Although Florida’s foreclosure filing spree has cooled, the knee-deep case load it created is choking Florida courts. The huge backlog of Florida foreclosures mired in judicial limbo clouds surrounding communities with eroding structures while banks are left holding portfolios filled with bad paper. Since major lenders like Citibank and Bank of America often lack legitimate documentation, they have little incentive to pursue a speedy judgment after they clear the mortgage from their books as a loss. As a result, foreclosures in Florida take almost two years (676 days) to perfect, more than twice the national average. By deterring Florida lenders from playing hide and seek with the presiding Judge, Naples Representative Kathleen C. Passidomo’s House Bill 213 might have prodded lenders into reviving stalled cases and lifted 368,000 Florida foreclosures out of hopelessly clogged dockets and back into the market. One of the association bills left at the alter as the session closed, you will probably see this bill reincarnated in about seven or eight months.

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    Roberts: Turtle Lights, Air Show, SusDev

    March 23, 2012 - On March 13, 2012, District 1 City Commissioner Bruce G. Roberts was up for re-election. When GMCA Secretary Fern McBride returned from voting at the Galt Ocean Mile Library polling site shortly after Noon, she announced that only 34 people had cast votes all morning. The site's electoral output doubled at 2 PM, when some 40 attendees of a Book Review hosted by Library maven Herman Gardner opted to fulfill their civic duty while Gloria Kline interpreted Alice LaPlante’s “Turn of Mind”. Perceiving Roberts' victory as a forgone conclusion and the election as a formality, most Galt Mile residents realized that they forgot to vote while watching results on the evening news. After locking up another three well-deserved and hard-earned years of public service, Roberts rolled up his sleeves and cranked out his March, 2012 post-election update. Roberts kicks off his second term with comments about the planned turtle-safe lighting along A1A, the City's new Department of Sustainable Development, the Full Sails in Fort Lauderdale outdoor public art exhibit, the upcoming Air Show and some neat tricks on the City's redesigned Geographic Information System (GIS) website.

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    Lawmakers OK Construction Defects

    March 13, 2012 - When the Lakeview Reserve Homeowners Association sued Pittsburgh-based Maronda Homes in 2007 for severely pitted streets and a defective drainage system, the trial court ruled against the homeowners. On October 29, 2010, Florida’s Fifth District Court of Appeal reversed the lower court, ruling that home buyers and homeowners’ associations are entitled to recover damages for Breach of Common Law Implied Warranties from the builder or developer who saddles them with substandard construction. Despite its pendency before the Supreme Court of Florida, the construction industry lobby called on Bradenton Senator Michael Bennett, an electrical contractor, and Miami Statehouse Representative Frank Artiles, a State of Florida licensed general contractor, real estate agent and public adjuster, to file legislation prohibiting common law implied warranties of fitness, merchantability and habitability from applying to residential construction, thereby engineering an end run around the Court. If House Bill 1013 is approved by Governor Scott, when buyers in new condos, co-ops and HOAs face defective construction, they are... well... screwed. Period.

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    Safe Harbor Scam

    March 3, 2012 - After decades of mounting futile challenges to the lending industry’s air-tight control over Florida’s banking laws, association attorneys in the early nineties exploited a chaotic economic environment and created what’s known today as the lenders’ Safe Harbor provision. It refers to the miserable pittance due to associations when foreclosing lenders take title to a defaulted unit. Over the past decade, association attorneys have been pushing the legal envelope to thwart lender delays responsible for destroying hundreds of client associations. An eerie controversy unfolded recently when Representative George Moraitis decided to place a provision in his Omnibus Association Bill that will protect lenders from the devastating financial consequences of their delays. Certain association law firms supporting the bill have been trying to convince their client base that this will somehow speed things along. Evidentally, one firm is currently representing banks in actions against associations and the other has decided that verging on bankruptcy is preferable to irritating lenders.

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    Allen West: Final Galt Mile Message?

    February 16, 2012 - Amid a whirlwind tour of town hall meetings, Congressman Allen West made a pit stop at the Beach Community Center from 5 to 7 pm on January 11th before heading to the Jupiter Community Center on January 13. Addressing a healthy local turnout of roughly 150 Galt Mile constituents; West blended patriotic dramaturgy with a dark picture of our future. After marching a perimeter around the Beach Community Center auditorium, a police honor guard preceded a strained rendition of America the Beautiful. A Powerpoint presentation used to rally the weekday dinnertime audience was punctuated by the theme from “Patton”. Since the event was hosted by the neighborhood association to broaden local access to the District 22 Congressman, GMCA President Pio Ieraci moderated an hour-long question and answer period. Rather than rehashing the evening’s animated discourse, West provided a policy brief for release to his Galt Mile constituents. It may be his last as our voice in congress. To survive the effects of redistricting, three weeks later he bailed out of the District 22 race in favor of the newly configured District 18. Adios Colonel!

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    LaMarca: Feb 2012 Galt Mile Update

    February 9, 2012 - On February 6, 2012, Broward Commissioner Chip LaMarca addressed the Galt Mile Community Association Presidents Council at the Fountainhead. LaMarca has kept his campaign promises. He saved the Galt Library. As the County Commission gadfly, he questioned irresponsible spending and exposed the pet projects of fellow commissioners on one of the most corrupt County boards in the State. After confirming that his priorities are still public safety and jobs, he brought focus to beach renourishment. Suddenly, all hell broke loose. Having experienced unprecedented levels of frustration, angry association leaders grilled the Broward Commissioner about why they were still waiting for the decade-old beach plan to be realized. Ironically, LaMarca is one of two Broward officials that revived the project after it was nearly buried by State and local bureaucrats. When the emotional tsunami abated, LaMarca ran down his recent efforts to forward the County agenda in Republican Tallahassee, a job for which he is drafted by his Democrat peers each January.

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    Roberts: Pension Reform & the Economy

    January 28, 2012 - In his February 2012 newsletter, District 1 City Commissioner Bruce Roberts courageously flouted a long observed political taboo when he addressed municipal pension benefits. For politicians with a functional survival instinct, exploring the netherworld of public employee pensions is ordinarily a recipe for disaster. Nearby municipalities like Miami, Pembroke Pines, St. Petersburg and Hollywood, where employee retirement plans account for more than half of the total payroll, are struggling to avoid the pension-driven fiscal black hole that sucked the life out of Vallejo, California in 2008, Prichard, Alabama in 2009 and Central Falls, Rhode Island last month. A few years ago, Fort Lauderdale began taking steps to rein in the growth of annual pension obligations that skyrocketed from $10.6 million a decade ago to $52.2 million last year. Roberts also celebrates the city's economic turnaround as substantiated by the latest data from Realtor.Com and the Global Business Travel Association.

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    Citizens to Dump Beachfront Assns

    January 20, 2012 - In December, Florida Insurance Agents launched a campaign to inform some beachfront condo and cooperative clients that their rates are about to explode (quadruple). The Agents were compelled to warn their customers about the unavoidable impact of an item on the December 14, 2011 meeting agenda of the Citizens board. It addressed capping coverage at $1 million for buildings where more than 25 percent of units are rentals. Currently little more than an informal guideline that has been arbitrarily applied for the past few months, its official enactment would force a difficult choice on beachfront associations peppered with short-term rentals. They can harden their building shells and pray that it passes muster with some sympathetic admitted carrier, retool their Governing documents to limit rentals or get mugged in the seedy world of surplus lines. However, since the disastrous plan is actively supported by our Governor, there’s still a good chance that it will implode.

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    Dammit... Where’s the Water?

    January 7, 2012 - By 8 PM on Christmas Eve, board members in Galt Mile associations began fielding complaints from neighbors asking why their water was off. Along with the understandable blend of panic and anger were recriminations by the usual suspects - every building’s small but vocal group of goofballs who blamed their downstairs neighbor, the building manager, global warming, NAFTA or the United Nations. Since the City switchboard was seemingly on a prolonged lunch break, local residents without water spent Christmas Eve in the dark about their predicament. While City Manager Lee Feldman plans to cure the worrisome communications lapse, the City recommends that residents take advantage of a service that reliably provides emergency notifications. Also, if your curiosity was piqued by the City's near-magical two-hour recovery from a 42-inch water main rupture, read on...

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    CORAL RIDGE TOWERS SOUTH - Annual White Elephant Sale
    Coral Ridge Towers South will be hosting its huge, annual White Elephant Sale on SATURDAY, JANUARY 17, 2015 from 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM at 3333 NE 34th Street. Thousands of items, including jewelry, collectibles, household items, etc. will be available.. All are welcome!!! For more information, please Click Here to E-mail Marie Altenburg

    FT LAUD FIRE-RESCUE EBOLA DEMO - THURSDAY, OCTOBER 23, 2014 - The City of Fort Lauderdale Fire-Rescue will conduct a demonstration to showcase response preparedness to Ebola. On Thursday, October 23, 2014 at 1:30 PM at Fort Lauderdale Fire Station 53 (2200 Executive Airport Way) in Fort Lauderdale. Haz-Mat crews dressed in level C protective gear - as well as Broward Health representatives - will be on site to answer any questions. The Hazardous Materials truck will also be available for viewing. For more information, call Deputy Fire Chief Timothy C. Heiser at 954-298-6922 OR CLICK HERE to email OR CLICK HERE to Official Notice.

    LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS FORUM - SEPTEMBER 27, 2014 - from 11 AM to 12 NOON at the Galt Mile Reading Center (3403 Galt Ocean Drive) - Get important, nonpartisan information about the amendments and questions on the November 4 ballot. For Information, CLICK HERE or call Lynne Joshi at 954-563-3685 or CLICK HERE to EMAIL.

    BOOK SALE - SEPTEMBER 15, 2014 - from 10 AM to 2 PM at the Galt Mile Reading Center - at 3403 Galt Ocean Drive - Books, CDs, DVDs, Videos - HARD COVER 3 for $1 ($.50 each) PAPERBACKS 6 for $1 ($.25 each). For Information, Call 954-357-7840.

    STATE OF THE CITY ADDRESS - THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 4, 2014 - Reception and Networking at 6:00 PM; Address by Mayor Jack Seiler at 7:00 PM. The City of Fort Lauderdale will host the annual STATE OF THE CITY ADDRESS on Thursday, September 4, 2014 at 6 PM in the new Huizenga Pavilion at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts (201 S.W. 5th Avenue). For meeting information, CLICK HERE to Web Notice.

    GALT LIBRARY OPEN HOUSE - AUGUST 14, 2014 - You are invited to an OPEN HOUSE celebration from 2 PM to 4 PM on August 14 at the Galt Mile Reading Center (3403 Galt Ocean Drive). Sponsored by Friends of the Galt Mile Reading Center, celebrating the 40th year of BROWARD LIBRARY - We ARE STILL HERE!!! Refreshments - FREE. For Information, Call Marlene Barnes at 954-357-7853 or CLICK HERE.

    FREE MOVIE DINE-IN NIGHT - JUNE 25, 2014 - Sun Trolley invites you to a MOVIE, an Entree and a Fountain Drink - ALL FREE - down the block at the CORAL RIDGE 10 MOVIE THEATER - Choose a movie from THIS FLYER, print the flyer (ITS YOUR TICKET), CLICK HERE to RSVP for the movie you selected and bring your printed copy of the flyer to the CORAL RIDGE 10 MOVIE THEATER at 290 NE 3rd Ave in the CORAL RIDGE MALL (NO CAR? You can flag the Sun Trolley for a lift). You enjoy a movie, a meal and a drink - for FREE!!! - For information, call 954-761-3543 or CLICK HERE to the Sun Trolley Movie Info Page.

    NORTH BEACH ART GALLERY 3RD ANNUAL CAR SHOW - RAIN DATE: JUNE 14, 2014 - from 6 PM to 10 PM - The North Beach Art Gallery (at 3334 NE 34 Street) is hosting its 3rd Annual Car Show to benefit the Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital Foundation. Live entertainment by Rockabilly Band: Slip and the Spinouts. Hot Rods, Rat Rods, Classics, Exotics, Specialty. Raffles and Artistic Vendors. - For meeting information, call 954-667-0660, CLICK HERE to email or CLICK HERE to Web Notice.

    PUBLIC MEETING - TUESDAY, MAY 13, 2014 - Starts at 6:30 PM - The City of Fort Lauderdale will host a public meeting to discuss the recently completed Tortuga Festival and provide information regarding the upcoming Great American Beach Party and Memorial Day weekend activities. The public is welcome to attend and encouraged to provide input and feedback. - For meeting information, CLICK HERE to Web Notice.

    VICE MAYOR BRUCE ROBERTS TELEPHONE TOWN HALL MEETING - APRIL 8, 2014 - from 7 PM to 8 PM - Talk to Vice Mayor & District 1 City Commissioner Bruce Roberts about programs, services or ideas to improve District 1 - and the City of Fort Lauderdale. Many District 1 Residents with listed phone numbers will receive a call prior to the start of the meeting. Neighbors can also call toll free (855) 269-4484 to join the conversation. - For meeting information, CLICK HERE to Web Notice.

    BOOK SALE - MARCH 31, 2014 - from 10 AM to 2 PM at the Galt Mile Reading Center - at 3403 Galt Ocean Drive - Books, CDs, DVDs, Videos - HARD COVER 3 for $1 ($.50 each) PAPERBACKS 6 for $1 ($.25 each). For Information, Call 954-357-7840.

    MAYOR JOHN P. “JACK” SEILER TELEPHONE TOWN HALL MEETING - MARCH 5, 2014 - from 7 PM to 8 PM - Talk to Mayor Seiler about City programs, services or ideas to improve Fort Lauderdale. Residents with listed phone numbers will receive a call prior to the start of the meeting. Neighbors can also call toll free (855) 269-4484 to join the conversation. - For meeting information, CLICK HERE to Web Notice.

    GALT LIBRARY CELEBRATION - FEBRUARY 13, 2014 - You are invited to a "WE LOVE OUR GALT LIBRARY" celebration from 2 PM to 4 PM on February 13 at the Galt Mile Reading Center (3403 Galt Ocean Drive). Sponsored by Friends of the Galt Mile Reading Center, for the second consecutive year - our Galt Library was recognized for outstanding achievement in the provision of Cultural Programming. NOT TOO SHABBY FOR SOME SLEEPY RETIREES!!! Speaker: Broward Library Director SKYE PATRICK. For Information, CLICK HERE.

    A1A GREENWAY MEETING - DECEMBER 11, 2013 - from 6 PM to 8 PM - Diana Alarcon of the Transportation & Mobility Department will explain how plans for the A!A Greenway were revised - and CORRECTED - following the October 8 meeting. The revisions address widespread concerns by residents and merchants about problematic changes announced at the earlier meeting. Please show your support for the corrected plan by attending this important meeting. - For meeting information, call 954-828-3764, CLICK HERE to email or CLICK HERE to Web Notice.

    MOMENTS IN TIME GRAND REOPENING - OCTOBER 12, 2013 - from 7 PM to 10 PM - Come celebrate fall and the grand reopening party of MOMENTS IN TIME at 3429 GALT OCEAN DRIVE. Enjoy Cocktails and Passed Hors Oeuvres as we celebrate the New Menu, New Interior and the Same Great Service. Striving for Perfection in the Art of Food - For information, call 954-390-6095 or CLICK TO EMAIL.

    2013 FirstService Residential South Florida Conference & Exposition - OCTOBER 11, 2013 - from 7:45 AM to 5 PM at the WESTIN DIPLOMAT RESORT & SPA (3555 South Ocean Drive) in Hollywood - FirstService Residential – formerly known as The Continental Group - is hosting the 2013 FirstService Residential South Florida Conference & Exposition - a one day event that will bring the property management community together. It’s the chance for decision makers representing every facet of the industry to connect, share insight, discover new opportunities, forge new relationships and build new partnerships. For Information, Call 954-378-2302 or CLICKING HERE to email.

    STATE OF THE CITY ADDRESS - AUGUST 21, 2013 - City of Fort Lauderdale Mayor Jack Seiler will deliver the "STATE OF THE CITY ADDRESS" on AUGUST 21, 2013 at Orange Bowl Field at Carter Park (1450 W. Sunrise Boulevard, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33311). Featuring the Dillard High School Marching Band, Cheerleaders, and Air Force JROTC, all are invited to attend the Advisory Board Reception and Networking from 6 - 7 PM followed by the Address at 7 PM. PLEASE RSVP by calling (954) 828-4752 or CLICKING HERE to email.

    LEAVE THE FIREWORKS HOME!!! - City of Fort Lauderdale Fire Marshal David Raines has asked Fort Lauderdale residents who plan to attend the July 4th celebration on the beach to leave their personal fireworks home and "let the professionals provide the fireworks show for you." To enforce the prohibition, the fire department will be joined by a police presence, fire inspectors, and lifeguards who will not permit the lighting of fireworks of any kind - and hopefully avoid the injuries that annually send spectators into local Emergency Rooms - or WORSE. CLICK HERE to read the Fire Marshal's sensible request.

    FLPD CLICK IT OR TICKET - The Fort Lauderdale Police Department is participating in the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s “Click it or Ticket Campaign.” Every year during the annual Memorial Day Weekend, law enforcement agencies join forces day and night, from coast-to-coast, for an enforcement blitz to help increase the national seat belt usage rate. This campaign will run from MAY 20 to JUNE 2. While the campaign ends in June, FLPD will ticket scofflaws at an accelerated rate going forward. ITS THE LAW AND IT SAVES LIVES. TICKETS ARE EXPENSIVE AND YOU ARE ENTITLED TO SURVIVE - SO BUCKLE YOUR SEAT BELT - DON'T TEXT WHILE DRIVING - AND YOU WON'T GET NAILED!!!

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    Sea Turtle Lighting Meeting - Fort Lauderdale is considering making a change to its Turtle Lighting ordinance to insure that it addresses the safety and security needs of people as well as the survival of sea turtles. On MONDAY, JUNE 10, 2013, a meeting will be held in the Beach Community Center (3351 NE 33 AVE) from 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM to exlain the changes. Does Downtown Fort Lauderdale need to be dark for 9 months each year???

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    Here Come the Judges! - On WEDNESDAY, MAY 29, 2013 from 7 P.M. to 9 P.M. in the Community Advocacy Network (CAN) Law and Learning Center at 5297 W. Copans Road, Margate, FL. Join us for a Unique Event where Judge Alan Marks and a panel of esteemed Broward County Judges will answer your most pressing questions! For information, Click Here or call Julie Fishman at 954-213-0979 - or eamil her at

    CAN Legislative Town Hall Meeting - On FRIDAY, JUNE 14, 2013 from 12 Noon to 3 P.M. in the Community Advocacy Network (CAN) Law and Learning Center at 5297 W. Copans Road, Margate, FL. CAN’s Annual Legislative Town Hall is where a panel of your legislators and the CAN Lobby Team will join us for a panel discussion of the many issues that were debated, discussed and passed up in Tallahassee this year. For information, Click Here or call Julie Fishman at 954-213-0979 - or eamil her at

    Sun Trolley Expands Galt Route - Commissioner Bruce Roberts JULY, 2012 Newsletter reveals that the Galt Mile Route has been expanded to include Saturdays and Sundays. Earlier this year, the Sun Trolley route south to the Galleria - providing local residents with cheap and easy transportation to a world-class shopping venue. Galt residents can also access the Harbor Shops and Las Olas Boulevard. For information, call Patricia Zeiler at Sun Trolley - 954-761-3543 - or eamil her at

    Presidents Council: Sea Turtles & Sandy - DECEMBER 2012 - On December 3, 2012, the Galt Mile Community Association convened a 7:30 PM Presidents Council Meeting at Plaza East Condominium. To address a growing community anger stemming from abusive and enigmatic Sea Turtle policies, an authoritative forum was configured to explain how these concerns will be resolved going forward. Since our future, both individually and as a community, is inextricably tied to the fate of our beach, we needed to know what remedies were being considered to restore Fort Lauderdale’s collapsed coast, 4 soggy blocks of A1A and our Galt Mile beach.

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    New FEMA Flood Maps Threaten to Skyrocket Galt Rates After 14 years, FEMA redrew Broward County Flood Insurance Rate Maps "FIRMs" that determine whether or not Galt Mile associations will have to pay $hundreds of thousands in future Flood Insurance premiums. This will cost every Galt Mile unit owner thousands of dollars. On NOVEMBER 16, 2011, those residents who attend a FEMA-sponsored meeting at the HERB SKOLNICK CENTER at 800 SW 36 Avenue in Pompano Beach from 4 PM to 8 PM will have a chance to prevent the impending assessments. Click Here to the Broward County FLOOD MAP Web page.

    Galt Mile Reading Center Beats the Heat - On MONDAY, OCTOBER 3, 2011, County Commissioner CHIP LAMARCA addressed a Galt Mile Community Association Presidents Council meeting in the Commodore Condominium. After reviewing County progress in Beach Renourishment and Public Safety, he informed attendees that the Galt Mile Reading Center survived the County Budget process. THroughout Broward County's two September final Budget hearings, LAMARCA nursed the Library passed deep spending cuts that threatened its survival. Although the District 4 County Commissioner earlier advised Library supporters that he would find a political solution to salvaging the Galt Reading Center, he expressed gratitude for the support provided by the huge contingent of Galt Mile residents attending the hearings. Click Here to the Galt Library web page.

    Galt Mile Reading Center Meeting / Celebration - On THURSDAY, APRIL 28, 2011, from 2 PM to 4 PM, a combination meeting and celebration will take place at the GALT MILE READING CENTER / LIBRARY. Refreshments will be provided by Friends of the Galt Mile Library in celebration of reaching their recruitment target of 200 new mwembers. County Commissioner CHIP LAMARCA will adddress the Library's survival, a mission he adopted shortly after being elected to the District 4 County Commission seat. Click Here for more information.

    Sprinkler Retrofit Relief Bill Becomes Law - On June 1, 2010, Governor Crist surprised and delighted the 2 million proponents of Senate Bill 1196 - the omnibus association bill - by signing the bill into law. After all, the bill intensified an agenda that had already prompted two gubernatorial vetoes. The legislation’s passage has all the trappings of a Hollywood feel-good epic. To survive, the Bill had to circumvent significant obstacles erected by many of the State’s most formidable lobbies. For the first time in over a decade, controversial Association legislation didn’t self-destruct in deference to directives handed down by special interests. Since the legislative dynamic in Tallahassee hasn’t undergone some cathartic sea change and lobbyists still command enormous resources, HOW DID LEGISLATION WITH SO MANY POWERFUL ENEMIES SURVIVE A PROCESS ORDINARILY CONTROLLED BY THE HIGHEST BIDDER?

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    New No Soliciting Law - With some 1,600 "guests of the city" fluffing the bushes each night before nodding off in public parks (incremental to the 7,000 squirreled away in shelters), the unprecedented number of panhandling complaints clogging City Hall finally reached a critical mass. Enacted by the City Commission on MAY 1, 2012, the City of Fort Lauderdale’s new anti-soliciting ordinance precludes panhandling in certain zones, ostensibly to protect the privacy rights of citizens while engaged in particular site-specific activities. To sidestep First Amendment land mines, retiring City Attorney Harry Stewart stitched together a patchwork quilt of prohibitions that, when taken as a whole, criminalize panhandling in the entire downtown business district.

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    Calypso - A Deepwater Port and pipeline is planned for installation directly of the Galt Mile Beach. Its purpose is to offload liquid natural gas (LNG) from tankers into the Calypso Pipeline which will make landfall at Port Everglades. Past incidents in Cleveland and Algeria in which the gas ignited destroyed entire city blocks and killed everyone within the heat flux perimeter. Only Governor Crist can VETO this potential holocaust. The articles about the Calypso Project on the GMCA web site divulge the catastrophic safety hazards, damage to the maritime environment and the mandated cost to Broward taxpayers.

  • CLICK HERE to when Commissioner Teel first revealed project in December 2007
  • CLICK HERE for what happened at an April 2008 Presidents Council Calyposo presentation in Plaza South
  • CLICK HERE for how the City passed an ANTI-Calypso Resolution in May 2008
  • CLICK HERE to learn what happened at the Dania Calypso Meeting
  • CLICK HERE to see what happened at the Broward Legislative Delegation Calypso Workshop in August 2008
  • CLICK HERE to review the world-wide damage done by SUEZ, the Calypso parent company
  • CLICK HERE to read the environmental concerns of authoritative conservationist Michael Leech
  • CLICK HERE to read about huge new domestic shale gas deposits
  • CLICK HERE to read how the Governor stopped Calypso
  • CLICK HERE to informative LNG Links
  • CLICK HERE for more extensive LNG Links
  • CLICK HERE to see Resolutions and Letters opposing the Calypso Project

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    2011 Galt Mile Food Drive - In celebration of another successful effort, Executive Director Scott Woodburn of the Cooperative Feeding Program sponsored an April 9, 2010 awards event at the St Lawrence Gallery on A1A. Association volunteers and other local program supporters that were instrumental in delivering the most impressive result in the Galt Mile Food Drive's 5-year history. After calculating the final results, Woodburn exclaimed that this year's effort yeilded a record of 25,723.0 points - surpassing last year total by almost 6,000 points. A point represents one pound of food (or sundries) or one dollar. Galt Ocean Club is Grand Champion for total points (6,096 points and 28 pts per unit). Edgewater Arms Cooperative Association recorded the best statistics for total points per unit (5,863.5 points and 69 pts per unit). Following the trophy-winning Grand Champion was Edgewater Arms, CRT South, CRT Original, Commodore, Ocean Summit, Galt Towers, Playa del Sol, L'Hermitage II, CRT East and Regency Tower. The equivalent of almost 26 tons of collected food will help feed the recession-swollen ranks of hungry Broward families.

    Read Full Report and the Final Results

    Please! - When you take your pet for a stroll down the Drive - please clean up afterwards. Its nothing less than inhumane to expect Fido to do all the work! Lets keep the Galt Mile clean!

    Free Turtle-Safe Lighting Review - MAY 2007 - On TUESDAY, MAY 22, Turtle-Safe Lighting experts from Florida Fish and Game will be offering FREE lighting reviews for Galt Mile Associations. They will make INEXPENSIVE suggestions and recommendations that will insure compliance with the City Ordinance WITHOUT sacrificing safety and security. Participation is voluntary. CALL MARIO SOTOLONGO at 954-828-6326 or CLICK HERE to email.

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    Ocean Rescue - Over the years, the Galt Mile has suffered its share of beach fatalities from Rip Currents! CLICK HERE to read about an unfortunate example. The CITY OF FORT LAUDERDALE OCEAN RESCUE now maintains a web page that offers the current beach hazards, including Rip Currents, Marine Pests, Intracoastal conditions and the Beach Warning Flag daily designation. CHECK HERE before you - or the kids - go to the beach!


    Read Recent Incident Report

    Click Here to Code Red Info

    CODE RED - The City of Fort Lauderdale has instituted the CodeRED® Emergency Notification System -- a high-speed phone communication service for emergency notifications. This system allows the City to telephone either all subscribers or geographically-targeted areas of the City in case of an emergency situation that requires immediate action (such as a boil-water notice, missing child, evacuation notice, utility outage, fires or floods, bomb threat, hostage situation, chemical spill or gas leak). It then delivers a recorded message to either a live person or an answering machine, making three attempts to connect to any number. ITS FREE!!!

    Read Full Report and Sign Up!

    Bus to Holy Cross - Car being fixed? Stuck in the house? You don’t have to hang about, waiting for someone to take you to Targets, the Beach Community Center or the Fort Lauderdale Beach area. For a quarter, you can comfortably travel to these locations all day during the week and on the weekend you can go downtown - for free - day and night! Now you can also ride to HOLY CROSS HOSPITAL in comfort and safety - FOR 25 CENTS! Starting APRIL 9, 2007, the Galt Ocean Mile Sun Trolley route will be extended to HOLY CROSS HOSPITAL all day Monday through Friday.

    Read New Galt Mile Route Info

    New Galt Route Map

    New Galt Mile Timetable

    Flu Shots - Influenza Season has arrived - time to protect yourself! CLICK HERE to Locate Flu Shot Clinics.

    Click for Flu Shot Locators

    Hurricane Claims Deadline - The Statute of Limitations to pursue a claim for property damage resulting from HURRICANE KATRINA will expire midnight, AUGUST 25, 2010 and for HURRICANE WILMA on OCTOBER 24, 2010. For Hurricane information, go to the HURRICANE PAGE. Available are up to the minute HURRICANE ADVISORIES and a huge section of useful HURRICANE LINKS.

    For Additional Info

    Citizens Threatens Associations
    In December, 2011, Florida Insurance Agents launched a campaign to inform some beachfront condo and cooperative clients that their rates are about to explode. Florida Governor Rick Scott turned his efforts to pressuring the Citizens Property Insurance Corp. board into dumping policies. By capping coverage at $1 million for buildings where more than 25 percent of units are rentals, the State's insurer of last resort will vitiate coverage for certain beachfront associations. Scott's appointees to the Citizens' Board characterized the rates paid by beachfront condos as "among the most inadequate rates that Citizens has anywhere.”

    Read Full Report

    Lawmakers OK Construction Defects
    From 2007 through 2012, Florida courts correctly ruled that developers were not entitled to saddle home buyers and their associations with substandard or defective construction, reinforcing longstanding implied warranties. Despite its pendency before the Supreme Court of Florida, construction industry lobbyists "rewarded" lawmakers for filing legislation that shielded developers from the legal repercussions of ignoring the building code. If a defective roof caves in ten minutes after the closing, you'd better find an umbrella. No class of service provider has ever been so fully immunized against negligence, malpractice and code violations. Not surprisingly, on APRIL 27, 2012, Governor Scott signed it in a heartbeat.

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    IMPACT RATED WINDOWS - The recent intensification of HURRICANE SEASON presents a new threat to Galt Mile residents and Associations. Protecting ourselves and our homes from this threat has become an urgent priority. The Florida Division of Emergency Management admonishes, “The most important precaution you can take to reduce damage to your home and property is to protect the areas where wind can enter. According to recent wind technology research, it’s important to strengthen the exterior of your house so wind and debris do not tear large openings in it. You can do this by protecting and reinforcing these five critical areas: ROOF | STRAPS | WINDOWS | DOORS | GARAGE DOORS” The Galt Mile Community Association, in an effort to assist residents and Associations to better protect themselves, published a series of articles about IMPACT WINDOWS, the only glazing able to effectively withstand hurricane force winds and the associated debris. Through a Glass Darkly gives scope to the issue. The Regency Tower Window Project describes how a member Association successfully tackled the problem. A forum hosted by the Presidents Council about IMPACT WINDOWS is reviewed in the GMCA Presidents Council Windows Forum. An explanation of the Code and associated nomenclature is offered in The Miami Protocols. CLICK HERE to check out various links to WINDOW INFO. PLEASE TAKE THE OPPORTUNITY TO FAMILIARIZE YOURSELF WITH THIS CRITICAL ISSUE!

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    TALLAHASSEE ARCHIVES - Any legislation oozing out of Tallahassee that impacts our homes, rights or lifestyles is reviewed in the Tallahassee page. Each year, the info is placed in the Tallahassee Archives. To see what happened in 2013, Click Here. To see what happened in 2012, Click Here. To see what happened in 2011, Click Here. To see what happened in 2010, Click Here. To see what happened in 2009, Click Here. To see what happened in 2008, Click Here. To see what happened in 2007, Click Here. To see what happened in 2006, Click Here. For 2005, Click Here. For 2004, Click Here. Same with 2003, simply Click Here. To go to the Tallahassee Archive Index, Click Here.

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    2013 POLITICS - TALLAHASSEE - Every year, we send an assortment of well-educated men and women to Florida’s State Capitol to represent us. They speak for us, act on our behalf, educate themselves about importatnt issues, learn how to work together and try to execute productive resolutions. Sometimes, their reasons for being there differ from those given to their constituents prior to Election Day; when this occurs, its usually a good time to consider “changing the guard”. Legislation affecting Galt Mile residents oozes out of Tallahassee annually, often unnoticed. The issues surrounding that legislation will be explained in this new TALLAHASSEE POLITICS SECTION. Before next year's legislative session, the articles will be relegated to the site's archives, setting the stage for the new session.

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    HURRICANE SEASON - BONNIE, CHARLEY, FRANCES, IVAN, JEANNE, KATRINA, WILMA! - We survived the GALT MILE's most active series of HURRICANE SEASONs. PLEASE look over the HURRICANE PAGE. Available are up to the minute HURRICANE ADVISORIES and a huge section of useful HURRICANE LINKS. MOST IMPORTANT - GARY A. POLIAKOFF, a pioneer in the field of Condominium Law, has executed a DISASTER PLAN tailored to the needs of GALT MILE ASSOCIATIONS AND THEIR RESIDENTS! BEFORE THE STORM speaks to the preparation necessary to avoid being victimized by unfortunate oversights - to the tune of $$$ MILLIONS. AFTER THE STORM addresses the steps necessary to successfully recover from disaster. DON'T PROCRASTINATE - READ IT! - DO IT!

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    ENTRY PASS - Armed with the knowledge that many domiciles are vacant during an evacuation, certain human insects will attempt to gain unobstructed access to the temporarily “easy pickings”. In response, police stationed at entrance checkpoints carefully scrutinize the identification of anyone attempting to return to the island, verifying credentials as either a resident or an owner/operator of a barrier island concern. If you can’t prove that you either live or work here, you won’t get in! CLICK HERE to learn how to get an ENTRY PASS!

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    HURRICANE FRAUD - Hurricane season, an annual source of emotional distress, brings out the best and the worst in us. There are several species of VAMPIRE that feed on the misery of the season’s victims. Two popular scams – “cleanup” and “emergency repair” - have developed into a cottage industry. FEMA and SBA impersonators are reviving old fashioned confidence schemes that have attracted the attention of Florida Attorney General Charlie Crist. These VULTURES are preying on people who've lost everything, towns desperately trying to right themselves and, quite possibly, YOU!

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    INSURANCE CYCLONE - Public concern about the season’s insurance impacts has sent bureaucrats scrambling from city hall to Tallahassee. Insurance lobbyists are gearing up for both overt and “under the radar” attacks on premiums, regionally and statewide. Carriers may threaten to abandon certain Florida insurance markets as part of their effort to force the Office of Insurance Regulation to float rates. Tallahassee wants to roll back the “Double Deductible” that Tom Gallagher terms “fundamentally unfair.”

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    WHEN THE BUDGET BURST - The City of Fort Lauderdale, despite benefitting from the highest per capita tax contributions ($570 per person) as compared to other large Florida municipalities, suffered a budget disaster. On December 16, 2003, the City Commission approved a financial package of cutbacks, layoffs, and program freezes designed by Acting City Manager Alan A. Silva as part of a two-year effort to help the City find its financial feet. How we were immersed in this mess is easy to follow but difficult to fathom. Mr. Silva put it succinctly, "We had been living beyond our means." Surprisingly, our elected representatives elected to ignore the wealth of danger signals that heralded our fiscal demise. Gulping down a bottle of aspirin, we documented the unfortunate experience. Check it out

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    A CHRONOLOGY - A 3 year period of gross mismanagement has transformed a city with an $18.3 billion tax base into a municipal basket case. Despite protests of surprise and shock by municipal representatives, the budget disaster we now face did not ambush Fort Lauderdale. City officials have had a ringside seat to a three year fiscal mismanagement spectacle. They were not, however, spectators. They were participants. The City's finance officials consistently warned of impending budget troubles. Memoranda went to Commissioners, the Mayor and their staff personnel. This is what happened...

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    GRETSAS Chosen New City Manager - At the MAY 17, 2004 City Commission meeting, Commissioner Cindi Hutchinson moved to select Gretsas for the point position in the war to reestablish Fort Lauderdale’s fiscal credibility. Characterizing Gretsas as “a person who has fire in his belly”, Commissioner Christine Teel seconded Hutchinson’s motion. The former Executive Officer of White Plains Mayor Joseph Delfino, Mr. Gretsas was never a City Manager...until now. City Commissioners are banking on his integrity and intensity, not his resumé.

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    Love Hits Treasury - In June 2004, City Auditor Renee Foley released a report concerning serious deficiencies in the City's Treasury Department. Her report concludes that, “No reliance could be placed on the systems to safeguard the city’s assets.” The City maintains no record of personnel who possess keys or the combinations to its safes. The current audit focuses on “severe deficiencies” in the way the Treasury Department tracks and handles money. City Auditor Allyson Love has been an extremely active part of the City's budgetary housecleaning effort. Her audits of the Parks Department and some questionable practices ascribed to a contractor doing business with the City have affirmed the City Commission's commitment to tightening fiscal controls.

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    Sprinkler Controversy - The residents of the Galt Mile community are currently tolerating an exasperating and expensive ordeal that accompanies the massive renovation efforts required to bring their 20-30 year old buildings into the 21st century. The specter of another million-dollar project unceremoniously dumped on the top of this construction quagmire would have to be, at the very least, a clear and uncontested necessity.

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    GMCA Fires Back - One of the country's premier legal condominium specialists, the well-known firm of Becker & Poliakoff, P.A., has offered to spearhead a lobbying effort to correct the critically flawed legislation that will result in your Association having to pony up over a million dollars to install a questionable "Fire Safety" system. Their success is contingent upon our willingness to help ourselves. Find out HOW!

    Read Full Report

    See What This All Means
    CHIEFS OFFER HELP - On October 30, 2003, Fort Lauderdale Fire Marshal Steve Kastner, Division Chief of the Fort Lauderdale Fire Prevention Bureau, and Chief Robert Edgar of the Emergency Medical Services Bureau met with GMCA Presidents Council Chairman Pio Ieraci and Advisory Board Member Eric Berkowitz to improve communications among the Fire Marshal’s office, the E.M.S. Division and the community. Marshal Kastner has invited the Galt Mile Community Association to request his official or unofficial input on any fire-related issue. He offered to provide timely advice to help any Association cope with the legislative confusion or the upgrading of their fire safety systems. He also agreed to suspend enforcement of the dogmatic provisions in the Fire Safety Legislation until the Legislation is claified in Tallahassee!

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    TWO FIRE BILLS - While the opt-out provisions inherent in the Fire Safety Amendment are definitely a step in the right direction, they contain several irrational obstacles whose only discernible purpose is to increase our maintenance assessments in exchange for nothing. Two bills, Senate Bill 1938 and House Bill 747, have been drafted which will allow you to exercise your opt-out rights granted last session in an easier and more streamlined process. The deep-pockets lobbyists for the National Fire Sprinkler Association and the Plumbers and Pipe Fitters Union have launched a well-funded campaign to reverse last year’s achievements. A battle to defend that progress and retrieve control of our Fire Safety Standards is again underway!

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    Broward Beach Coalition - The threat to our beaches has united concerned citizens, government, business, workers, and the environmental community in a partnership designed to alert our representatives to the disquiet precipitated by this impending disaster. The Broward Beach Coalition is a grass roots cross section of community interests that have conjoined to convey our concerns and the pertinent facts to the Governor, the Cabinet,and the community at large.

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    Beach Victory - After over two contentious years of disappointments, delays, and deferrals, the Governor and the Cabinet finally issued the permit sought by the Broward County Department of Planning and Environmental Protection to proceed with the Beach Renourishment Project.

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    Final Environmental Impact Statement - The FEIS addresses all of the concerns expressed by an assortment of official environmental watchdog agencies in response to the original Draft EIS drawn in March, 2002. It finally establishes a timeline for the project's implementation.

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    Final Record of Decision - That’s it - its official - the plan has the blessing of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, all of the environmental watchdogs with authoritative standing and the people that live on the beach. Broward County now carries the ball. They will implement the southern segment of the project first, monitor the effects for 18 months, and complete the northern portion when the southern portion receives a clean bill of health.

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    County Celebrates Beach Renourishment Kickoff - On May 6, 2005, a long-awaited celebration took place in Hollywood. The immediate beneficiaries of the Broward County Shore Protection Project, the municipalities of Hollywood, Hallandale Beach and Dania Beach, joined Broward County in throwing a party to highlight the project’s commencement. Joining Broward County and local municipal officials, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) and the Army Corps of Engineers, many civic and environmental groups (including the Galt Mile Community Association) that spent the past 5 years locked in a frustrating struggle to save Broward’s beaches were grateful to witness the project start.

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    Cleveland Clinic - And then there were none. The Cleveland Clinic, along with the only emergency room on the Barrier Island, was gone. The Cleveland Clinic moved here via the acquisition of the old North Beach Hospital. Their stated intention was to "grow with the Barrier Island". They did. What happened?

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    The 32nd Street Alley - STILL A MESS Despite repeated attempts by City Commissioner Christine Teel and others to bring the concerned merchants to the table to initiate a voluntary "clean-up" of the unsanitary state that persists, the lack of response has precipitated enforcement action by the City.

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    Click to Automated External Defibrillators

    AEDs - Sudden Cardiac Arrest - It happens quickly. Without warning. It can affect anyone - healthy adults, even teenagers. It cannot be prevented. There is no vaccine. Most do not survive. It's called Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) and there's only one way to treat it. DEFIBRILLATION. An untrained eleven year old child recently saved someone's life using an Automated External Defibrillator (AED). ANYONE CAN USE IT, SAFELY...and with no LEGAL LIABILITY!

    Read Full Report

    GMCA GRADUATES ITS FIRST CPR/AED CLASS The Galt Mile Community Association, having partnered with the Fort Lauderdale Department of Fire-Rescue to bestow certification training in CPR/AED for residents and employees of Associations that purchased defibrillators, graduated 15 students from REGENCY TOWER and SOUTHPOINT condominiums. Having several residents and/or employees certified in CPR/AED from each AED-equipped Association is not required but is recommended as part of a well-rounded AED implementation program. The free training is a LIMITED RESOURCE that is available on a first come, first serve basis to Associations that have already purchased and AED.

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    Race with the Clock For years, the specter of a lawsuit delayed the acceptance of defibrillators by litigation-leery Associations. During the 2004 legislative session in Tallahassee, laws protecting Condo Associations, Cooperatives and Homeowner Associations from civil liability were enacted. The question confronting condo residents and their Boards is no longer, “What will happen to us if we purchase and install a defibrillator?” It is now, “What will happen if we don’t?”

    Read Full Report

    FLPD Crime Statistics - The Fort Lauderdale Police Department (FLPD) Crime Analysis Unit produces reports which depict our crime and service statistics. The reports are avaiable here.

    Get FLPD Statistics

    FLPD Crime Update - On November 17, 2004, Major Mary Negrey of Police District 1 sent a crime update for the Galt Mile neighborhood to Commissioner Christine Teel. She forwarded it to us.

    Get FLPD Crime Report

    FLORIDA Crime Statistics - FDLE's (Florida Department of Law Enforcement) Uniform Crime Report (UCR) system provides standardized reports on crime statistics based on data gathered from across the state. Reports that provide both summary and detail information are issued yearly. You can find data from 1994 up to the most recently released reports.

    Get Florida Crime Statistics

    THE HOMELESS - Fort Lauderdale Police Assistant Chief Chuck Drago suggests that the best way to contend with the recent infusion of homeless people permanently occupying the benches along Galt Ocean Drive is to stop giving them money.

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    ASK LORI! - Broward County Property Appraiser Lori Parrish responds to questions posed by residents about the value of their homes. Inqueries about the "SAVE OUR HOMES" amendent, the SENIOR EXEMPTION and the ubiquitous HOMESTEAD EXEMPTION are answered by the County's Property Appraiser.

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    HOMESTEAD EXEMPTIONS - The Broward County Property Appraiser's Office will conduct special taxpayer sign-up sessions for the 2011 Homestead Exemption and Senior Exemption at City Hall, the Beach Community Center, and various Homeowners and Civic Associations this September, October, November, January, February, March and April. The Beach Community Center (3351 NE 33rd Street) sign-up dates are Friday 10:00 AM on July 29, August 26, September 30, October 28.

    Read Full Report

    Click to Galt Merchants Association Directory

    GALT MERCHANTS ASSOCIATION - The Galt Merchants Association (GMA), an active member of the Galt Mile Community Association, was created to accomplish and promote a harmonious relationship between our residents and the businesses that service them. The GMA defines our residents' commercial needs and promotes those merchants who successfully satisfy them. The result is a highly diversified, competitive, and responsive collection of competent, helpful, and friendly vendors and service personnel. SEE WHO THEY ARE!

    Go to Galt Merchants Association Website

    NEW GALT SHOPPES DEVELOPMENT! - The Galt Merchants Association has shepherded its project to transform the Galt Ocean Shoppes into a unique tourist and shopping mecca through all the preliminary governmental and engineering hurdles. We now have a viable Master Plan designed to bring us the rest of the way!

    Read Full Report!

  • GOVERNANCE - The Galt Mile Community Association, being a corporation, is governed by a Mission Statement and By-Laws. Minutes of association meetings are recorded. These Meeting Minutes and corporate history are available for review in this section.

    Go To Governance

    LAWS & STATUTES - The statutes that govern Condominiums, Cooperatives, and Homeowner Associations as well as sites that detail codes, standards, and regulations relating to domiciles are found here. Investigate statutes governing Insurance, Elections, and Public Health. Check the laws that regulate everything from Swimming Pools to Satellite Dishes in Condos and Co-ops. Curious about who owns what? Visit the Property Appraiser's site...or the County Clerk's records.

    Investigate Statutes

    REPORT CARD - OUR POLITICIANS...CAN WE TRUST THEM? WHO represents YOU? Meet your city , state, and federal representatives and see if they are voting for or against your interests. Check your representatives' REPORT CARD the old fashion way, FOLLOW THE MONEY.

    Political Report Card

    NEWSLETTERS - The Galt Mile Community Association publishes a monthly newsletter, the Galt Mile News. Along with several earlier incarnations of the official GMCA Newsletter, every page of every issue of the Galt Mile News is available online! Simply click on NEWSLETTERS and click on the DROP-DOWN menu to access any desired past issue IN ITS ENTIRETY. For the older editions, you can go forwards or backwards through each issue by using the PAGE ARROWS or use the convenient DROP-DOWN MENUS above and below each page to jump directly to the desired page. The newer Newsletters offers an easy to open PDF file. Happy Surfing!

    Get Newsletters

    The Galt Mile
    Community Association

    Eric Peter Berkowitz

    Associate Editor
    Leah Glickfield

    Contributing Editors
    Members of the
    Board of Directors
    and the Advisory Board
    of the Galt Mile
    Community Association

    Eric Peter Berkowitz

    Our Beach... ...with hangover!


    by Pio Ieraci

    A New Day

    GMCA to Broaden Participation

    GMCA President Pio Ieraci
    FEBRUARY 14th, 2007 - A few months ago, the Galt Mile community lost a great civic leader, Robert Rozema. Bob was responsible for countless ostensible improvements to our neighborhood, including those landmark changes heralding from the Galt Mile Improvement Project, the Miles Corner Project and the ongoing Noise Abatement and Traffic Safety Project. For every one of these major successes borne of his tireless efforts, there were dozens of less visible, equally important contributions to our safety and quality of life. No one can hope to fill his shoes.

    As defined in our by-laws, the Galt Mile Community Association is dedicated to improving the operation of our buildings by cooperative efforts and study, improving and protecting the area and the environment within the Galt Mile community and to securing the cooperation of City, County, and State authorities in the furtherance of these objectives. It serves to promote amicable relations among neighboring associations (and their residents) and an environment that lends itself to mutual assistance and cooperation.

    In essence, GMCA is a forum to identify and address concerns of its member associations, their residents and common neighborhood objectives. It also provides a resource for members to analyze and educate themselves about mutual issues and interests, including legislation relevant to the operation of its member associations, maintenance of safety and living standards, the rights of their owner-members and the value of their homes.

    Every member association is a fully autonomous entity whose resident-members have the right to decide for themselves who should represent them and the rules under which they choose to live - free of outside interference. As such, we do not participate in the internal governance of any member association sought and legally propagated by its member-owners. Every Association in good standing enjoys equal access and full participation notwithstanding the ideology of its current administration.

    While individual associations are capable of resolving their internal issues, there are many shared problems that can only be resolved through cooperation. Eliciting the political assistance necessary to effect local neighborhood improvements or protect our rights in Tallahassee and Washington requires the cooperative unity afforded by a strong neighborhood association. For decades, the Galt Mile Community Association has also been a platform for individual associations with similar needs and problems to take advantage of our collective experience by directly sharing information.

    I believe that the key to our continued success will hinge on full participation. Every Association should have a reliable voice in the creation of policies that affect us all and a designee responsible for bringing critical data back to their membership.

    We’ve never faced more extraordinary challenges. Although our legislators took their best shot at alleviating our insurance dilemma, it appears that their efforts will not prevent enormous hardship for thousands of our residents. Despite our internal security, neighborhood crime is taking an increasing toll on hapless victims - our friends and neighbors! Fortunately, close cooperation among our 26 member associations is producing effective responses to many of these issues. By inviting broader input, we hope to continue developing answers to upcoming challenges.

    Please support our local merchants

    Best Wishes

    Pio Ieraci


    ANY QUESTIONS? Ask them here (in question form)

    Got a question? Just type it in and click "Ask."

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    CALENDAR - What's going on in the neighborhood? The Calendar contains GMCA meetings, community events, important speakers, and scheduled Board meetings.

    View Calendar

    MARKET PAGE - Whats on sale? BUY - SELL - TRADE. If you need something check here first! Garage Sales! Special Items! Find a Garage Space, a Computer, or Flatware! If there's something that you want to sell, rent, or us...PUT IT ON THE MARKET PAGE! Galt residents may list items at NO CHARGE!

    What's on Sale?

    VENDORS FORUM - Need a plumber, electrician, carpenter, or some other contractor? READ ON! Review chronicles of GOOD EXPERIENCES that Associations or individuals have had with assorted VENDORS.

    Go To Vendors

    SITE MAP - Can't find a story? Looking for a special link? Experience a BROAD PANORAMIC view of the Galt Mile Community Association web site.

    See Site Map

    LINKS - Hundreds of useful links arranged in a user-friendly format! Surf to all of the Finance, News, Weather, Government, Directions (and Maps), Travel, Dining, and Entertainment sites that you will ever need! Can't find it...Go to our Search Page. Insert your stocks into the customizable scrolling Stock Ticker or set up portfolios on the GMCA Financial Portal. Refinancing? Check the Major Mortgage Indicators first! We also have The New York Times, The Washington Post, MS/NBC, USA TODAY, Reuters and The Miami Herald on our web site!

    To Links Page

    ARCHIVES - The Galt Mile Community Association web site has a memory. There are two (2) categories of archive herein. The events of each year are recorded on a page devoted to that year. The annual pages are also sorted chronologically, starting with January atop the page and progressing through the year as you scroll down the page. Click Here to the Archive Index Page. A special Archive is devoted to events originating in the State Capitol - Tallahassee. The Tallahassee archive is also sorted chronologically, with the events of each year assigned to a page. The annual Tallahassee Archives are sorted from top to bottom. Click Here to the Tallahassee Archive Index Page.

    To Archives Page

    CONTACT - If you have any questions, comments, suggestions, or ideas, please feel free to contact us! This is YOUR WEBSITE! Call us, send a FAX, or E-mail the GMCA!

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