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Notorious Everglades Hotel Plan May Be Shot Down by Gun Range

This photo shows Markham gun range (figure one) and its proximity to the Everglades Corporate site. 
This photo shows Markham gun range (figure one) and its proximity to the Everglades Corporate site. 

The Everglades Corporate Park project on the edge of the Everglades in Sunrise might soon be killed as the literal victim of nearby gunplay. 

After great controversy over the massive hotel and office space development, which would consist of a hotel and office space and is planned to be built in a nature area west of the Sawgrass Expressway, the city commissioned a forensics firm to study whether there was potential danger by bullets flying from the nearby shooting range at Markham Park.

The firm hired for the job, Forensic Science Consultants out of New Mexico, issued a report this week that contains very bad news for the developers.

Consultant Michael Haag found that errant shots -- fired either over the berm or ricocheting over it after striking the ground -- could strike (and in the first case kill) an unlucky person at the proposed hotel site.  

"As a scientist, a Law Enforcement Firearms Instructor, and life-long shooter, I would not feel comfortable being downrange, or allowing others to

be downrange at the hotel site," wrote consultant Michael Haag. "In summary, it is my professional opinion that it is: 1) entirely possible to deliver direct fire with common rifle and handgun caliber bullets to the proposed hotel area with potentially lethal velocity, 2) possible to inadvertently ricochet a bullet from the range area and deliver a projectile to the proposed hotel area."

It sounds like a future episode of 1000 Ways to Die, and it could kill the project, which is proposed by a development firm out of Louisville, Kentucky, and has been shepherded by big-money developer's lobbyist Dennis Mele of Ruden McClosky. The development took a big political hit when former Sunrise Mayor Roger Wishner, a proponent of the project after Mele raised his campaign several thousand dollars, was defeated at the polls by Michael Ryan.

Ryan has voiced opposition to the project, which was first objected to by Sunrise Commissioner Sheila Alu. She has said the site would mar the Everglades and should never be built. It was Alu who proposed the gun range study.

New hearings regarding the site are expected to be held soon at Sunrise City Hall.

--  The Sun-Sentinel reports that former Davie Vice Mayor Susan Starkey whacked a man in the stomach earlier this month with her metal cane during an argument outside her home. Seems a neighbor had people over who were mourning the death that day of a relative. Seems Starkey's 21-year-old daughter, Jennifer, became outraged at the noise coming from the house after midnight and began cursing at them. Basheer Mustafa, 24, said he went to her home in hopes of calming the daughter down when she "grabbed his neck and punched him in the jaw." He said that to defend himself, he grabbed her hair and threw her to the ground. That's when Starkey wielded the cane she carries after knee surgery like a baseball bat and struck Mustafa in the stomach with it. Mustafa says Vice Mayor Starkey was defending her daughter and bears no blame in the scuffle. Police were called to the scene, and reports list both Mustafa and Jennifer Starkey as potential misdemeanor battery victims. No arrests have resulted to date, and the matter is still under investigation. 

-- Broward Schools Superintendent Jim Notter and board member Jennifer Gottlieb continue to spin (or in Gottlieb's case outright lie) to the media about the Beachside Boondoggle. When are these festering sores on the body politic going to go away? 


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