UNFIT FOR OFFICE
Fort Lauderdale City Commissioner Cindi Hutchinson was accused of using city resources to mail campaign fliers. When she was asked about it, observers in the suite of commissioners’ offices say, she threw a fit and starting cursing. For days, Hutchinson denied misusing city funds. But as it turns out, she lied. Amid mounting pressure, not to mention clear evidence, she shed some crocodile tears before finally admitting to the truth. Hutchinson is running for mayor next year, and this is just another example of her unfitness for that office. She should drop her mayoral bid and move on with her life, as there is no shortage of lying politicians who abuse their positions.
IT’S A MESS!
Things are tough all over, economically, as I have never seen before. We have rampant, brazen, and increasingly brutal crime. An economy that is at sub-sewer levels, where people who once thought they were “middle class” are now hurting just like us poor folks. Through it all, we have to endure President George W. Bush for several more months. Bush seems indifferent to the plight of those in the real world. People can only watch and hope as their lives deteriorate under the weight of this economic depression. At the same time, people are losing homes, jobs, cars and even their lives.
BAN THE POOR
I said things are tough all over and here is another example. The filthy rich blue bloods that live in swanky Hillsboro Beach are cash strapped. You know, a million dollars doesn’t go as far as it used to. Anyway, someone suggested opening the seaside town’s private beaches to the public to raise revenue. The residents had a fit! Flyers were distributed, calls were made, and posters were erected to stop it. This week, commissioners voted 5-0 against the idea. I guess they didn’t want to see me at their beaches eating neck bones, but I would have offered them a bite.
The Broward County Alumnae chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority has recently completed its annual “Delta Teen Lift” program. The event includes taking a group of high school students to tour colleges and universities to expose them to a higher learning environment. This year, they visited the campuses of Bethune-Cookman University, Edward Waters College, Florida A&M University, Florida State University, the University of Florida, the University of Central Florida and the University of South Florida. This organization is doing great work, with no scandal or shame connected to its name. It should serve as an example for others to follow. For more information on the programs they offer, call sorority president Shirley Baker at 954-522-2840.
ON THE STREETS
Residents of the Villas of Lauderhill, a rental community of 26, two-story, complexes in the city, were all given just 72 hours notice to vacate their apartments. Of the 405 units, 115 were occupied and deemed unsafe, which means life on the streets for some. The notices came after building officials found exposed wiring, damaged roofs, shaky walls, unstable stairs and more at the facility. Much of the damage was caused by Hurricane Wilma in 2005, and still has not been repaired.
Rubin Young, a candidate for the District 94 state House seat, is alleging that Earlean Smiley, an administrator in the Broward school system and candidate for the District 29 state Senate seat, has used her school district email account for personal and political reasons. Broward School Superintendent Jim Notter said in an email to Young that he found no wrongdoing and nothing to support the claims. Young said he has had several district employees tell him they were solicited via emails for donations, but did not produce any supporting documents when asked to do so. Anything is possible, but it seems unlikely anyone would do such a thing. But we’ll see. Young says he is asking for a formal investigation.
Matthew Kent Sheley, 36, is charged with 11 counts of possessing child pornography, including videotapes of himself having sex with children, according to Hallandale Beach police. He was arrested late last week, after an apartment manager found the materials while cleaning a Hallandale Beach apartment, from which Sheley had recently moved. Sheley was tracked down at his new apartment in Hollywood, where hundreds of videos were confiscated and are being viewed. Several victims on the tapes have already been identified, and anyone with information is urged to contact Hallandale Beach Police Detective Rafael Matias at 954-457-1432, or FDLE Special Agent Terry Mullen at 954-958-5400.
Is Stephen D. Sticht, 49, a crusader or a vigilante? The answer depends on whom you ask. Sticht is active in his Middle River Terrace community in east Fort Lauderdale, where his business is located. He has been accused of harassing people he believed were criminals, and threatening to kill some of them. He is also accused of distributing $500 wanted posters with the photos of some individuals on them. Sticht and his attorneys deny the allegations. But this week, Broward Circuit Judge Julio Gonzalez Jr. ordered Sticht to have no contact with five men who made the allegations, and to surrender any weapons he has to local law enforcement, pending the outcome of an April 17 hearing.
Percy Lee Campbell, now 27, was known as the infamous “crime boy” in the 1980s after the then-middle school teenager’s dozens of arrests caught the public eye. A number of organizations, including the Rev. Dennis Grant, pastor of Restoration Ministries in Margate, stepped in to help him avoid a life of crime. Well, it didn’t work. Campbell went on to have countless scrapes with the law, even serving time. He was recently arrested for having a stockpile of ammunition, a bulletproof vest, drug paraphernalia, ski masks, a hand grenade, shotgun, and other weapons, according to authorities, and can now be called crime “man.”
HIT & RUN DEATH
18-year-old Charles Vincent Sanford of Sunrise has been arrested in the hit-and-run death last week of a 4-year-old girl. His friend, Jermaine A. McLymont, 22, also of Sunrise, faces charges of tampering with evidence, and being an accessory after the fact for trying to have the car repaired at the body shop where he works, according to authorities.
Kevin Durkin, 49, of Fort Lauderdale, and Brian Williams, 31, of Southwest Ranches, have been charged with grand theft and tampering with fire equipment, according to police. The two were caught on tape stealing water meters and other plumbing fittings from buildings. They are suspected of committing the crimes all over Broward and Miami-Dade counties, where hundreds of the meters have been swiped. The brass and copper fixtures sell for about $40 apiece at local scrap yards.
Jacques Paul, 56, is being held in the Miami-Dade County Jail on two counts of first-degree murder, according to authorities. He is accused of murdering his 63-year-old brother, Claudius Paul, and his nephew, Esaie, who was 33, according to authorities. They were killed after Claudius confronted him about obtaining a fake New York driver’s license in his name, according to authorities. This guy must have been on something, in any event, after the slaying, he flagged down police and told them what he had done.