Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Sun Sentinel editorial board says Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine's behavior is "bizarre," "reckless" and "juvenile. "

It's been almost two years since veteran political reporter Michael Putney talked about Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine's "bright political future."

Later that same year - as Levine was running for a second term - he again appeared on Putney's show... and told a bunch of lies.

A few months after winning a second term as mayor, Levine made headlines locally when he videotaped himself harassing a Fed Ex driver for double parking on Miami Beach.  Levine posted the video on You Tube that showed him confronting the driver.

I wrote about the incident on this blog and noted that Levine came off looking like a ninny as he ran after the driver. I also posted Levine's video. But for some reason Levine has made the video "private." (As is often the case...the Internet never forgets and the video still exists elsewhere ... I've posted it above.)

Why did Levine remove the video? Perhaps it's because he's mulling a possible run for Governor of Florida and would rather that Florida voters not see what happens when he becomes unhinged....which has been happening a lot, lately. And more people are starting to notice.

That bright political future that Putney spoke of in the summer of 2015 is beginning to dim somewhat. 

In an editorial posted last night, the Sun Sentinel called Levine's recent behavior "bizarre," and "reckless." And referring to Levine's habit of blocking people on social media who don't agree with him, the Sun Sentinel called Levine's behavior "juvenile. "

"Levine is the mayor of a metropolitan city. Blocking people from seeing what he's saying in the social sphere is alarming behavior, especially for someone who wants to lead Florida," the Sun Sentinel's editorial board concluded. The editorial went on to compare Levine with another thin-skinned bully: Donald Trump:
"With the gubernatorial field beginning to take shape, Democrats should be asking themselves whether they really want a nominee whose temperament draws comparisons to that of President Donald Trump."

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Marty Merzer's tribute to newspaperman Jimmy Breslin

"Journalists have graduate degrees, wear clean suits and sip cappuccino at the Starbucks. Newspapermen generally attended high school, sometimes wear clean shirts, especially on Mondays, and, not so long ago, stashed booze in their desks." -Martin Merzer, Miami Herald, Aug. 22, 2000.


Retired Miami Herald staff writer Marty Merzer's tribute to newspaperman Jimmy Breslin:
By Marty Merzer

New York newspaperman Jimmy Breslin died today at age 88. He was my professional idol and role model. Not that I placed myself in his league, just that...I strived to do so.

I've always tried to emphasize this to newbies: If you want to be a good newspaper writer, you must read good newspaper writing. And, boy, did I.

Growing up in New York City in the 1960s, I was blessed to be surrounded in print by some of the best newspaper writers ever to pound typewriters and yell, "Copy!" Among them: Pete Hamill, Jack Newfield, Nora Ephron, Red Smith, Dick Schaap, Tom Wolfe, Gail Sheehy and, chief among them, Jimmy Breslin.

Later in life, I got to know Hamill and Breslin a bit, but that wasn't as important as...hearing their voices as I wrote, and employing what I learned from reading their work.

That meant finding an original angle, even if that required looking along the edges of an event. Noticing and employing telling detail. Using plain language in a...voice...that's appealing, welcoming, but doesn't get in the way.

Breslin and Hamill and the others. They were enormous influences on my life, and consequently on the lives of my family. I thank them for that.

Below [this post] are some of Breslin's best-known pieces. Look at the detail, the storytelling. Sense the humanity, the empathy. Listen to the voice. But also make no mistake about it - every one of his pieces was worth your time. He never bagged a story or a column. He knew that his name would be atop it and that carried real responsibility. (That's another thing I try to tell newbies: Never, ever bag a story. For god sakes, your name is on it.)

I'll never forget Jimmy Breslin. My fingers never will stop hearing his voice.


Breslin: Digging JFK grave was his honor

Breslin: A Death in Emergency Room One

Breslin: A Matter of life or death

New York Times: Jimmy Breslin, Legendary New York City Newspaper Columnist, Dies at 88


Saturday, March 18, 2017

Chuck Berry | October 18, 1926 - March 18, 2017

Chuck Berry - vocals, guitars
Lafayette Leake - piano
Willie Dixon - bass
Fred Below - drums

Above personnel on Johnny B. Goode, Sweet Little Sixteen and Rock and Roll Music.

Gator on the golf course? No problem!

ORLANDO, Fla. – It looked like a risky maneuver, but Cody Gribble barely even blinked.

Gribble was in the midst of a tough round at the Arnold Palmer Invitational when he snuck up on a gator sunning itself just left of the sixth fairway at Bay Hill. With a swift thwack on the tail, Gribble startled the gator and then nonchalantly watched it jump back into the water lining the hole.

“The gator looked like he needed some exercise,” Gribble said after closing out a 5-over 77. “I guess I was trying to get some adrenaline going somehow, but I wasn’t really afraid of it.”

Friday, March 17, 2017

Here's why it's not a good idea to barge into a bank waving a gun....

....Because there might be a former deputy sheriff working as a security guard who actually knows how to use a gun.


A bank security guard in Illinois who fatally shot an armed would-be robber will not face charges, authorities said Tuesday.

Brian Harrison acted heroically, authorities say, as he pulled his weapon and fired repeatedly at suspect Laurence Turner at the Alpine Bank in Rockford on Jan. 20. The dramatic incident was caught on surveillance video. [via New York Daily News}

Laurence Turner waves gun inside the Alpine Bank
in Rockford, Illinois. (Scroll to 4:30 on the video
to see this angle.)

Turner falls to floor after being shot dead by former
deputy sheriff Brian Harrison.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Your mid-morning time waster

Here's a video of lots of gators on parade in the Big Cypress Swamp.
Via Bobby Wummer Photography