Maniac on the Floor
Dancing really is the best therapy. That goes even for an embattled politician like Hollywood Mayor Mara Giulianti, who, Tailpipe discovered recently, can unleash her hips to the libidinous reggae beats of a band like UB40.
The ´Pipe´s talking about a party for the Hollywood Beach Community Redevelopment Agency at Nick´s Bar & Grill, on the Hollywood Broadwalk, a short stroll south of Giulianti´s new beachside condo. Giulianti, of course, chairs the beach CRA, which is under fire from critics for favoring neighborhood-bustin´ high-rise hotels and condo developers from out of town. As good a reason to party as any, this partying automotive cylinder supposes.
The ´Pipe stumbled into the place for a drink to witness firsthand how the Hollywood elite get down. The sound system blared, ¨Girl, I want to make you sweat/Sweat till you can´t sweat no more,¨ lyrics that must have resonated with a mayor facing, next March, what promises to be her toughest campaign in nearly 20 years.
The diminutive Giulianti did an earthy bump and grind with a tall, tanned, salt-and-pepper-goateed gentleman. But wait. Was that really the mayor up there, or was it Uma Thurman playing Mia Wallace in Pulp Fiction? Giulianti actually busted out the Batman, drawing her extended fingers over her eyes to simulate the eye slits in the Dark Knight´s mask.
Who knew Giulianti was such a party animal?
Stick-in-the-mud CRA director Gil Martinez, resplendent in an aloha shirt, was present too, of course, but even Mara´s slinky enticements couldn´t get him up on the floor.
Kids at Risk
Some people knew Dwayne Dean as the operator of Dean´s Academy in Margate, a summer program for at-risk children. But it wasn´t until his computer started messing up one day in April that they learned how at-risk the Dean´s charges really were.
Dean had been talking to the folks at the Calvary Chapel of Coral Springs about running his summer program out of the church. It´s not clear how far along those discussions ever got, but two months ago, Dean, who´s a member of the church, asked a fellow congregation member for help with his balky Dell. When the man went to Dean´s Margate home to take a look at the machine, there were ten or so high-school-aged children there, he noted. The Good Samaritan couldn´t fix the computer, but he decided to copy all of Dean´s files onto an external hard drive owned by the church in order to back up the information for fear of losing it.
According to a warrant for Dean´s arrest filed May 30 by Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent M. Catherine Koontz, the man decided to review the files on the external drive to make sure all had been copied. It was then that he saw ¨thousands of images of males engaged in sexual activity.¨ Many of them were ¨boys under the age of 18 posed in such a way as to expose their genitals,¨ he told Koontz.
The upstanding Calvarian took the hard drive to Pastor Gustavo Flores, who noted that there were 6,000 similar images. Some of them showed naked children posing at Dean´s house. In others, Dean himself was in the pornographic pictures. After looking through about 200 of them, the pastor and his parishioner called police.
Koontz was able to track down one of the children, who told her Dean had offered him $5,000 to perform sexual acts with him to photograph and sell to a woman at a local gym. Dean was arrested on June 4 and is being held without bond at the Federal Detention Center in Miami.
Tailpipe´s not sure about this, but he´s heard that the federal prison chapel offers a very nice service, with a heavy emphasis on repentance.
For Sale Sign of the Times
A lot of Floridians with big dreams about turning their real estate holdings into cash are starting to look like those worried polar bears that have been photographed floating around on melting ice floes. You say you bought your house at the peak of the market, thinking you´d flip it fast? You´re in trouble, cous. The market is rapidly shrinking around you.
Time for some creative marketing strategies. Here´s one approach: At 2507 Sherman St. in Hollywood, a handwritten poster hangs like an afterthought under a ¨For Sale¨ sign. Anyone who buys this place in the next ten days gets the keys to a new Lexus. The property´s real estate agent (who asked that his name not be used) says little extras like that are being offered more and more these days. We´re talking about sellers who can´t afford to drop prices any lower or maybe throw in granite countertop upgrades.
One client, the agent says, just sweetened a house sale with two plane tickets to Europe; another threw in a cruise to the Bahamas. This isn´t plummy beach-area Hollywood we´re talking about but those modest Interstate precincts, where houses are mostly in the under-$300,000 bracket. For the Sherman Street place, the seller will foot the bill for a two-year Lexus lease ¨in any color you want!¨
OK, say you got the Lexus. Wouldn´t mortgage payments and tax rates still be off the chain? Not if you´re exceptionally resourceful. The hungry realtor suggests renting out the garage. ¨Some guy with a truck would be more than happy to give you five or six hundred dollars a month to use that space!¨ Of course, then there´d be no place to park the Lexus.
Speaking of garages: Tailpipe will sell the family´s sway-back homestead for the best offer above 100 bucks. Buy in the next ten days and get a toaster and $100 in Wannado City scrip.
Love Thy Neighbor (Elsewhere)
Homeless advocate Arnold Abbott has been kicked out of yet another locale. For nearly a year, a few hundred ragtag diners have lined up each Sunday outside Who´s on First, a small deli just east of the main library in downtown Fort Lauderdale. Just before 11 a.m., Abbott´s nonprofit, Love Thy Neighbor, would arrive by van with a hearty feast of salads, stews, and cakes. Volunteers would pass out clothes and toiletries while the patrons ate in quick shifts, four to a table, inside the lively pastel-painted café. Then the Love Thy Neighbor crew would clean up the mess.
But the early lunches are off the menu. The deli´s owner, Washington Salvo, says someone broke in the second week of June. Police think it was a homeless person. ¨They said: It´s your fault because they come in here and see everything,¨ Salvo recounts, glancing ruefully at the homeless crowd gathered outside his glass doors. That was the last Sunday he would host the meal. ¨This hurts a lot. I didn´t deserve this.¨
Abbott, who still dollops out food every Wednesday evening in front of the Bahia Mar on Fort Lauderdale Beach, is feeling persecuted too.
¨We´ll find another place soon,¨ he promises. His followers sure hope so. The wandering diners rattle off a litany of problems, most related to health and money. The government checks don´t go far enough, they complain; rent is expensive, and their families don´t want anything to do with them.
Abbott has been helping the homeless since 1991. ¨If it wasn´t for him, I´d be robbin´ and stealin´ for a meal I´m not kidding,¨ says Robert Brody, 39, who has been homeless for the better part of two years.
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