Lights, Camera … Blog!

23 May

Wild Art: Judy Stern, perhaps the most powerful woman in the City of Fort Lauderdale, attends last week's State of the City speech by Mayor Jack Seiler at Riverwalk. Photo by ART SEITZ.

Welcome to the new blog.

It’s a little different from the old one. For one — and hopefully not for long — there are no “jumps” on this thing. So the entire post is on this home page and you have to scroll down to comment. There’s also kind of a double scroll bar thing happening that’s not wildly convenient. We’re working on these things right now.

For the newbies, you may not know me, but you’ve probably seen the work. I’ve broken a lot of stories that gotten some public officials into trouble, some of them landing in jail. Got some good scoops too. Remember the FBI investigation undercover corruption operation and the implosion of Ponzi schemer Scott Rothstein? They first appeared on the old blog, The Daily Pulp. Now we’ll just break those kinds of things right here on Local 10.

I came here because I was ready for a new challenge, namely bringing my brand of journalism to the airwaves. But this blog isn’t about me. It’s about you — and about this odd and awesome place where we live. Thanks to you the old blog truly became an intrinsic part of the town, like a little online revolution. It was a gathering place, sometimes a hearth, sometimes a madhouse, like a costume party where everyone is saying whatever the hell they want to say, no matter how brilliant or boorish. It’s a community, with solid regulars (I won’t start to list them because it will get too long), and I hope you’ll get to know them here too and join in when you feel the urge.

We can’t know the future, but I do know a few stories I’m working on right now that should push the envelope. It’s a free-for-all in South Florida, a journalistic wonderland — and the most explosive stories come when you least expect it. But for those of you playing along at home, here are a handful of the hot topics and personalities that will surely pop up on this blog in the coming months.

THE BROWARD COUNTY SCHOOL BOARD

The board right now is $2 billion in debt and wasted hundreds of millions of dollars by pandering to the lobbyists and contractors who filled their campaign coffers. A statewide grand jury recently blasted it as inept and apparently corrupt, saying that if it wasn’t consitutionally required they would want to dismantle the entire mess. It’s run by Jim Notter, the failed superintendent pictured at right, who announced his resignation in disgrace but remains in power while the board looks for a replacement. Facing $114 million in budget cuts, Notter and the Board are slashing teachers — 1,400 of them — and staff while protecting a bloated overpaid bureaucracy. Former School Board Member Lois Wexler, now a county commissioner, once told me that under every rock at the school board you’ll find slime. That time she was dead right.

THE STATE ATTORNEY’S CORRUPTION INVESTIGATION

State Attorney Michael Satz, after a quarter century of very little action on the corruption front, has arrested a slew of politicians in the past few years, leading to a cavalcade of mugshots. Among them, School Board Member Stephanie Kraft, Tamarac Mayor Beth Talabisco, Tamarac commissioners Patti Atkins-Grad and Marc Sultanof, former Fort Lauderdale Commissioner Cyndi Hutchinson, Deerfield Beach Mayor Al Capellini, Deerfield Beach Commissioner Steve Gonot, and county commissioners Diana Wasserman-Rubin and Joe Eggelletion. It’s quite a list and many of those arrests are connected to dirty developers Bruce and Shawn Chait, who paid off just about everybody in their path as they won approval for a controversial housing project on two golf courses in Tamarac. One leading witness is current County Commissioner Ilene Lieberman, whose husband, Stuart Michelson, represented the Chaits after she voted for their project. Another politician involved in that case is …

THE COMMISSION

There are a lot of interesting characters on the commission but the self-proclaimed “queen,” Stacy Ritter, pictured at right, is the most intriguing. A former state representative, Ritter is facing administrative charges from the state Elections Commission after she and her lobbyist husband Russ Klenet spent tens of thousands of dollars out of her lobbyist and contractor stuffed campaign coffers on lavish meals and other dubious items. She’s also under criminal investigation by the State Attorney’s Office. One thing they’re looking at is a golf cart she received from the aforementioned Chaits. Behind her is Klenet, who was once the right-hand man to Ponzi schemer Joel Steinger, of Mutual Benefits infamy. Despite her troubles, Ritter recently filed to run for reelection. This time she’s facing state Rep. Ari Porth, a state prosecutor who will give her a run for her money if she make it to election day.

RICK SCOTT AND THE TEA PARTY

Our illustrious and reclusive governor is on a crusade to hand Florida over to developers, make the workings of government more secretive, gut public education and state services, and transfer as much power as he possibly can to business interests who will make out like bandits. He threw away a billion dollars the high speed rail — a project that would have revolutionized travel in Florida and bolster the all-important tourist industry. But then again what would you expect from a man whose company committed the largest Medicare fraud in U.S. history? As a bonus, he looks a little bit like a scary alien (have you ever actually seen him blink his eyes?). Behind him is the Tea Party, a band of shrill gun-toting bible-quoting right-wing zealots who adore the likes of Scott and Congressman Allen West, another fellow we’ll be watching here.

THE COURTHOUSE

Broward County is building a new $328 million courthouse that voters told them the didn’t want. The contracts and inevitable government waste involving that project will surely provide fodder. But its the antics of those who work in the building, namely judges, that are sure to light up this place. Every few months a judge does something ridiculous — makes an inappropriate comment, hangs out with mobsters, is accused of pedophilia, that kind of thing. Sometimes they get in lot of trouble. Former chief criminal Judge Ana Gardiner engaged in ex parte communication — and a whole lot more — with a homicide prosecutor. After the JQC hit her with administrative charges, she resigned. And who can forget the bizarre Judge Larry “Cryin'” Seidlin of Anna Nicole fame. Maybe the current building really is “sick” — because s.

That’s just an overview (and I didn’t even get to the sheriff’s office). We’ll see what really happens next — and this time it will be televised.

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78 Responses to “Lights, Camera … Blog!”

  1. dr_augusta May 23, 2011 at 10:02 am #

    First on Virgin territory?

    • Christy May 23, 2011 at 10:34 am #

      2nd! Hi Pulp!

      • All That Glitters.... May 23, 2011 at 6:25 pm #

        Hi Bob…
        So good to see your blog! Wishing you all good things as you continue to EXpose(ALL THE CORRUPT)Bastards.

  2. FauxFranklinAdderley May 23, 2011 at 11:22 am #

    Are the dinners and drinks free here?

  3. DeathFrog3 May 23, 2011 at 11:33 am #

    I iamagine for the new people, It will be hard to keep up with these stories without a scorecard.

    Glad to have you back, Bob!!!!

  4. Judge Roy Bean May 23, 2011 at 11:37 am #

    Glad to see you on your new site

  5. Model Citizen May 23, 2011 at 11:47 am #

    Present.

  6. btan May 23, 2011 at 12:03 pm #

    Welcome to your new home, Pulp.

    No, make that welcome to OUR new home. Glad to have you back!

    • btan May 23, 2011 at 12:08 pm #

      ohhh, are we still “allowed” to call you “Pulp?”

      • BobN May 23, 2011 at 12:25 pm #

        Always, Btan, though I’m going by the BobN handle now. It’s great to see you guys here — now it’s time to break some news.

  7. Goldilocks May 23, 2011 at 12:22 pm #

    Welcome back! Boy, did I miss *you*!!

    Congrats and lots o’luck with the new blog / site / position.

    Time to hit the ground running.

  8. Lyn May 23, 2011 at 12:39 pm #

    Welcome back, Bob. We’re all here waiting for your stories on corruption to be continued….

  9. Hellvis May 23, 2011 at 12:42 pm #

    Yeehaw!

  10. mustbecrazy May 23, 2011 at 12:43 pm #

    So happy to find you. Cannnot wait to read what you have for us.

  11. COURTHOUSE MOUSE May 23, 2011 at 12:44 pm #

    So glad you’re back, Bob. Sh*t has been hitting the fan down here at the courthouse. Be sure to look at the Vic Tobin and Ron Rothchild stories, they are unbelievable and shocking, even for Broward County behavior.

  12. Hellvis May 23, 2011 at 12:49 pm #

    the two slide bars that we now have to use are a pain but welcome back,

  13. Anonymous May 23, 2011 at 12:50 pm #

    Any arrests today? If not, why not??

  14. Anonymous May 23, 2011 at 12:58 pm #

    I hear Stacy, Russ, Ilene, Stuart, Ken, Sheriff Al, Mo, Jen-Jen, Ron, Beth, Mike(s), Joe, Marc, Mark, Bill, Cheryl, Tom, Marshall, Larry, Scott, Debra, Steven, Joel and Neil were heard saying “Oh F**k!” this morning. We’re baaacccccckkk!

    • Anon1 May 23, 2011 at 2:16 pm #

      Same expletive from Caesar, Skip, Donald, Marianne, Joyce, Peter, Ross, Thomas, Tim, Bonnie, Joel, Marcus, Rick, Tommy, Larry, Belinder, Dale, Terry, Teri, Susan, Manny, Ron, Lyle, Robert, Frank, Fred, Harry, Morrie, Augie, Rob, Howard, David B, Jon, John, Marcy and Neil.

      Some of Broward’s finest.

  15. Patti Lynn May 23, 2011 at 1:26 pm #

    AT LAST!!!!! Okay Bob, can’t wait until the Bob Norman Blog is easier to navigate. I’m sure that all of the Pulpsters know that you’ve been on top of local events, just unable to comment. Good luck and Our Force is With You!!!

  16. dr_augusta May 23, 2011 at 1:47 pm #

    does this site update with notifications on the bottom like the last one did?

  17. Death Frog 3 May 23, 2011 at 1:48 pm #

    @Patti

    Do you have an email or can you email me @ deathfrog33301@gmail.com

  18. Mommy May 23, 2011 at 1:57 pm #

    Mommy is so happy all her children are together.

    • Anon1 May 23, 2011 at 8:03 pm #

      No children on this site.

  19. Christy May 23, 2011 at 2:12 pm #

    Shout out to: Glitters, Jad, Unowho, Amazing Karnack, Hammerhead, Scorekeeper, Herb Caen Entertainment Award (RIP), Skydove, Virgil, Irving who else are we missing?

    Please step forward and be accounted for.

    • Goldilocks May 23, 2011 at 2:47 pm #

      Hi Christy.

      By the way: does anyone know how to refresh this page in some efficient manner?

      • Death Frog 3 May 23, 2011 at 2:50 pm #

        Channel 10 may not like it but I went directly to https://bobnormansblog.wordpress.com and eliminated the Channel 10 “frame” and now only have 1 scroll bar.

      • Goldilocks May 23, 2011 at 4:16 pm #

        Thanks, DF3.

        Ironic that after we finally started to figure out Disqis …

    • Brenda Griffing May 23, 2011 at 4:17 pm #

      I’m here, Christy. We’re missing Fly on the Wall and Mike Marchetti, Anonymite, and a bunch of others whose monikers aren’t as memorable as their comments.

    • All That Glitters..... May 23, 2011 at 7:03 pm #

      Present..always..Won’t miss what Bob Norman has to say, not to mention all the great comments.

  20. Death Frog 3 May 23, 2011 at 2:51 pm #

    and the comments posts immediately. Definitely the way to go

    • Goldilocks May 23, 2011 at 4:17 pm #

      Thanks, DF3.

      Ironic that after we finally started to figure out Disqis …
      (oops …)

  21. HIH May 23, 2011 at 3:10 pm #

    Welcome back! Don’t forget to write about our little city, Hallandale Beach.

  22. Condo Cowboy May 23, 2011 at 3:38 pm #

    Ahhh….So this is where the party is….I’m in.

  23. THE GRIM REAPER May 23, 2011 at 3:53 pm #

    Con Grads Bob. Its Good To Have You Back.

  24. Model Citizen May 23, 2011 at 4:14 pm #

    Awesome workaround, DF3. Thanks.

    • Death Frog 3 May 23, 2011 at 4:16 pm #

      You’re welcome

  25. PHAT Black Chick May 23, 2011 at 4:25 pm #

    Bob,

    So glad to see this site is up and running! What took you so long!!! I (and many others) really missed you!!!

    When is your reporting debut? I can’t wait to watch!!

    • Gefilte Fish May 23, 2011 at 4:47 pm #

      Whoo hoo!! Ready for the ride. btw…thx DF3 for the work around of PITA double scroll bars.

  26. Anonomyte May 23, 2011 at 4:54 pm #

    Glad your back Bob. It’s been pretty boring the past few weeks without your witty reporting.

  27. gefiltefish69 May 23, 2011 at 5:09 pm #

    This is a test. This blogger is conducting a test of the Bob Norman Blog. This is only a test.”

  28. StonedCEO May 23, 2011 at 5:12 pm #

    It looks like Judy Stern ate Stacy Ritter.

  29. Broward Teacher May 23, 2011 at 5:15 pm #

    Your back!!! Very happy to see you again.

    Now, these scroll bars, BobN… The webmaster must see an advantage to having them, but the funcionality of the Blog is disrupted by the distraction of a giant scroll bar that served no purpose in the frame of the site. In the nicest way, can you get the webmaster to see it our way?

    • deathfrog3 May 23, 2011 at 5:26 pm #

      You can eliminate the scroll bar by going directly to bobnormansblog.wordpress.com

      • Lucky May 23, 2011 at 5:48 pm #

        Thank you!

      • Broward Teacher May 23, 2011 at 7:47 pm #

        Muchas Gracias! Senor deathfrog3 🙂

    • CLJ May 23, 2011 at 11:36 pm #

      Or better still, fire the incompetent bum. It’s horrendous.

  30. Ruagatr May 23, 2011 at 5:18 pm #

    Greetings ex Pulpmeister…congrats on your new gig and godspeed with the camera. Perhaps an upgrade from the flip to the GoPro is required!

  31. deathfrog3 May 23, 2011 at 5:24 pm #

    So for MC I’ve added an Avatar… Lets see if it works

    • btan May 23, 2011 at 5:41 pm #

      Great avatar, DF3.

      Ha, so we’re here for less than a day & we’re already changing things around. Good find about going directly to wordpress.

      I kinda miss not being able to “like” a post. C’est la vie. Not the most impt thing. The blog’s back!!!

  32. Bubba May 23, 2011 at 5:45 pm #

    So happy to have found you. Thanks DF3 for the new address.

  33. modelcitizen2011 May 23, 2011 at 6:20 pm #

    Good one, Death Frog.

  34. Model Citizen May 23, 2011 at 6:22 pm #

    Gravatar Test

    • Goldilocks May 23, 2011 at 6:58 pm #

      Model Citizen, How did you get the caps and spaces in your name? Was your name originally “taken”, and if so, how did you recover it? I ask because I am having those issues with Gravatar. Thanks!
      Goldilocks

      • Model Citizen May 23, 2011 at 8:31 pm #

        Yes, my name was “taken”. Select a username with no spaces and only lowercase letters. After you register, go back and edit your profile and change your name to whatever you want. I think I went through the same unintuitive process with Disqus.

      • goldiilocks May 24, 2011 at 12:06 am #

        Thank you, MC! You are a pal.

        What is weird is that after I registered (NOT under my preferred spelling), it just reverted to my spelling, capitalization and all! Strange, huh?

        But thank you so much. I had gotten comfortable with my name and avatar. Besides, how else will the obnoxious Troll-Man find me, if I have a new name or avatar?

  35. Brenda Lee Chalifour, Esq. May 23, 2011 at 6:27 pm #

    Mr. Norman: Great to see you on channel 10 this evening. Looking forward to your amazing pursuit of accountability, truth and justice. Nobody does it better!

  36. Donna May 23, 2011 at 6:33 pm #

    Kudos, gutsy move by WPLG. Looks like a commitment to real journalism/real issues to me.

  37. All That Glitters... May 23, 2011 at 6:37 pm #

    Good Evening To all!
    Just saw Bob On TV…You’re going to be GREAT!!
    Hello to all..so good to see all my blog friends..
    Where’s Virgil?

    • Goldilocks May 23, 2011 at 6:53 pm #

      Bob – Will they also air you at 11?

      • Model Citizen May 23, 2011 at 8:43 pm #

        Or better yet, will the videos be posted on Local 10?

        What was the topic anyway? I didn’t catch the news.

  38. Judge Roy Bean May 23, 2011 at 6:49 pm #

    Thanks for the wordpress site death frog. Much better!

  39. Amazing Karnack May 23, 2011 at 7:24 pm #

    Karnack says lets get this party started. Karnack says Don Jimmy taking the staff at the school board apart. Karnack says all the cronies remain. Karnack says they think the train is behind them now. Karnack says ooooppppssss. Karnack says the train still goes clickity clack, clickity clack, clickity clack.

  40. Anon1 May 23, 2011 at 8:10 pm #

    Where’s Virgil????

  41. Anon1 May 23, 2011 at 8:19 pm #

    Hollywood and Dania Beach are in the house.

  42. It's Rick May 23, 2011 at 8:44 pm #

    Bob, the School Board is blowing itself up. The county commissioners, everywhere, are being indicted. Concentrate on the Courthouse and these friggin, lousy, corrupt, stinking, thieving judges. It’s like a horror show in there. I heard Stephen King was contemplating producing a judicial reality show, but found Broward County judges too scary. I knowwww.

  43. Death Frog 3 May 23, 2011 at 9:08 pm #

    @ MC

    The piece is online from the local 10 homepage click on more videos and you can watch it. It is just an intro into Bob Norman… What he did at NT and what he plans to do here

    • Bubba May 23, 2011 at 10:53 pm #

      Happy to see you in action on this blog.

  44. "I'll take the Fifth" May 23, 2011 at 10:49 pm #

    Her Kingdom for a stupid Golf Cart….wanna bet it was for Rusty?

  45. Fat Hand May 23, 2011 at 11:32 pm #

    Aw damn, all of you people again? Congrats on the new gig Bob. I will be reading.

  46. CLJ May 23, 2011 at 11:34 pm #

    The blog template needs A LOT of work – it’s an exceptionally poor showing by the webmaster; while I don’t mind scrolling to read the stories, and I don’t mind scrolling to get to the end to read the comments, it is inexcusably poor design that you first have to scroll the frame AND THEN scroll the story, skipping back and forth between scroll bars to do it.

    It’s idiotic, and frankly whoever designed this should be handed his head and sent packing. There are a lot of competent people looking for work, neither the reader nor the station should have to put up with this kind of crap design.

  47. Goldilocks May 24, 2011 at 12:10 am #

    Bob, Did not see you at six, but you were mighty fine at eleven. Nice intro for you. And you “clean up good”, too.

  48. Dead Norm Abromowitz May 24, 2011 at 6:47 am #

    Hhhhhheeeeeellllllllloooooooooooo everybody, Its me Dead Norm! Wow, I really missed you lil pieces of, wow, I guess we got respectable now and I have to behave like at my mom’s house,er naw, she was a F*&%$#! sailor mouth herself, OK, I’ll imprevise when I need “affect”Lots of new folks her in da underworld and I will be reporting on the going ons very shortly, just met da guy who wrote da song “you light up my life”, killed himself with a plastic bag over da head and a tube connected to a helium tank! He got a little “light”headed,hahahahaha, anyway, it may take a day before I get his story, right now he sounds like mickey mouse and the aflac duck!, see ya’s, Normxxxxooooooo

  49. Court House Mouse May 24, 2011 at 8:58 am #

    Yes! It’s me! Lurking in the corridors of power, asking the big questions, throwing the occasional verbal Molotov cocktail.

    Welcome back, Bob!

  50. Billy Delions May 24, 2011 at 9:57 am #

    It is time to shine a brighter light on the real issues effecting the quality of life for the tax paying citizens of Broward County. The efforts of a unified and knowledgeable populace will be required to expose and root out the mammoth amount of fraud perpetrated under the guise of “public service”!! So Bob…… “Let’s get to work”

  51. LADY JUSTICE May 24, 2011 at 11:11 am #

    Aloha, Bob; and you look great on TV. Where are
    Tort 101 and “Play it again Sam ” and Spirow Agnew?

  52. It's Rick May 24, 2011 at 11:27 am #

    Where are these regulars:

    Stacy Ritter
    Russ Klenet
    Judge Sirica
    Virgil Startwell
    Piano Player
    The General
    Mitch Ceasar
    Creepy Larry
    Scorekeeper
    Broward CleanSweep
    Ed Portner

  53. Fact Check May 27, 2011 at 11:31 am #

    test

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