How Not to Name a City
When state representative Ken Gottlieb penned the bill that may create a new town out of four unincorporated neighborhoods in south Broward, he tentatively named it "West Park."
But several residents of the area, which includes Carver Ranches, Lake Forest, Utopia, and Miami Gardens, claim the Hollywood Democrat has been promoting a new, more, uh, familiar name lately. Would you believe "Kenwood"? "Wood," for its proximity to Hollywood, and "Ken," for, well, guess who.
Gottlieb, an attorney who owns a title company, downplayed the rumor, saying he hasn't been pushing for the name at all. "I have been saying they should sell the naming rights," he said. "You know, like to Kenwood stereos. No, just kidding."
Jokes aside, Gottlieb really hopes the town, which will have 14,000 residents if voters approve the plan on November 2, will be named after him. "It's extremely flattering and nice and the name does sound good," he says modestly. "I have told people about it in my family and my inner circle, but I haven't really been promoting it."
Kenwood, however, is generating a little controversy. Before sponsoring the bill, Gottlieb supported annexation of the area by any of three neighboring cities. "He thought it would be great to have his name on it, but he was thinking more like Kentown or Ken City," says Lake Forest neighborhood association president Yunsook Valladares. "But a lot of people are very angry about that. They don't want Ken to get credit for it. People have worked hard to create the city and they blame him for screwing it up a couple times."
Kenwood -- it doesn't have much cachet. And, let's face it, most people would assume the city was named after the more famous, but equally diminutive, Sheriff Ken Jenne.
So how about Gottstown? Or Gottscorner? All right, how about Gottagittimouttahere?
Mud Pies for Voters
Assuming the boyishly good-looking Jim Stork ever returns from his hideout in Massachusetts, the home state of his 70-year-old partner, he'll be remembered for one thing: political ineptitude.
After raising more than $1 million through a national network of gay donors in an effort to oust Republican Rep. E. Clay Shaw, Stork flaked out. He went into hiding, claimed to suffer from some mysterious but nonfatal heart condition, and sent out a bulk e-mail to campaign volunteers and donors that basically stated: I'm out.
Too bad Stork proved to be better at making baked Alaskas than understanding election laws. The former Wilton Manors mayor waited so long to drop out that the Democratic Party's ability to replace him on the ballot was left to the discretion of official Republican Party Election Rigger -- er, Secretary of State -- Glenda Hood. For Democrats -- not a good thing. Hood said, "Uh-uh, Mr. Stork. You're on the ballot along with that other Republican-financed candidate, Ralph Nader."
"This will be Jim Stork's legacy," says Broward Democratic Party chair Mitch Ceasar. "The Republicans always play tails they win, heads we lose. I suppose if Jim Stork actually wins this election, Glenda Hood will then declare him ineligible."
The Democratic Party has launched a last-minute attempt to put 44-year-old Robin Rorapaugh, a former aide to U.S. Rep. Peter Deutsch, in Stork's ballot slot -- and Leon County Circuit Judge Janet Ferris has supported the idea. Appeals are pending.
In any case, one thing is clear: Constitution Party candidate Jack McLain, who's running on a platform "to restore American jurisprudence to its Biblical foundations" will most certainly be listed. Then there's write-in hopeful Don Kennedy, whose number-one issue is turning the federal government into a unicameral system, pesky Constitution be damned.
The 'Pipe urges voters to ignore these bozos. He will write in Donald Duck, who dominates the field in terms of high-minded eloquence. Szgod blezh America.
The name of Glenda, the slimy, sleazy, witch of North Florida, came up in conversation recently when Tailpipe crossed paths with radio personality and Bill O'Reilly foil Al Franken, whose Air America radio show can now be heard in South Florida on WINZ-AM (940). The 'Pipe was in a whimsical mood. If this election season were a fairy tale, what would be a just end for Jeb Bush's handpicked head of elections, who, as we all remember, botched the felons list, fought against a voting machine paper trail, and has done her damnedest to see that Ralph Nader ends up on November's ballot?
"Ummm, usually there's melting," Franken chuckled. "Or disappear and come back as what you really are, like a toad or a weasel." So? A gleam appeared in Franken's eyes. "She comes back as an electronic voting machine. But there's no way to find Glenda, no paper trail. 'Let me out! Help!' If there had been a paper trail, we'd be able to find Glenda and turn her back into herself, and she'd be able to enjoy the rest of her life... but no."
What About the Nephew?
While older Floridians may blame the Bush cabal for the 2000 election meltdown, first-time voters have their own issues. Tailpipe was recently watching a Broward Community College student distribute Kerryphernalia on the Coconut Creek campus when another student approached and voiced his frustration: "I wish there was some way we could vote Bush's brother out, too. Fucked me over on the FCAT."
Beyond the News Brief
Shortly after 9 a.m. on October 6, a Sunrise dishwasher named Edward Nathaniel Williams drove his Hyundai sedan to the turnpike toll plaza on Sunrise Boulevard, handed a collector his driver's license, credit cards and relatives' phone numbers, eased onto the ramp's shoulder, and apparently set his car on fire, killing himself.
You read about that in the Sun-Sentinel and the Miami Herald. But neither daily could squeeze even 300 words out of the tragedy. And neither followed up.
It turns out that at the moment Williams was burning himself, his wife of five years, Deloris Ann Lee-Williams, was petitioning Broward courts for a restraining order against him. She tells the `Pipe that Williams, 51, had of late grown jealous, badgering her on small matters and dropping in on her at church (she goes two nights a week) to keep an eye on her. The Tuesday before his death, Williams called his wife from his workplace, the International House of Pancakes in Dania Beach, demanding she run an errand. She turned him down. "I knew since I did not do what he wanted, I would get [no] rest that night," she wrote in the petition. "He has verbally abused me by telling me he will kill me if I leave!" Instead of waiting for him, she went to church, spent the night at a girlfriend's house, and ignored Williams' calls on her cell phone. She filed the order early the next morning. Then, about half an hour after she arrived at work, police came to inform her of her husband's death. She says she doesn't know what pushed him so far.
He carried spite to his grave. He left a note saying she could find him on the turnpike, she says, and she since has noticed "a lot of things, sentimental stuff" missing from their home. But it could have been worse. "He often used to say that he would kill me and he wasn't afraid of dying, and if he died, he wasn't going to die alone," Lee-Williams says. "I never wanted to leave him. We had some happy times. But he did have a temper."
Come to the Aid of the Party
Only a couple of volunteers were working the phones the afternoon of October 12 at the Bush/Cheney campaign office in Fort Lauderdale. The empty seats had office manager Corie Kapel worried. "We need to have people at all of these phones tonight," she ordered her staff. Was she trying to meet a deadline? Some daily quota of phone calls placed to the GOP faithful? Nope -- she wanted the place to look busy as a beehive for the arrival of their star volunteer: Mayor Jim Naugle, Fort Lauderdale's leading Democrat.
The Kinder Fanjuls
In the midst of a campaign by Palm Beach County's multimillionaire Fanjul family to remake its sinister image this summer, a worker in one of the sugar barons' mills named Jose Gallardo lost his hand in a drill press. The family of would-be do-gooders (with, incidentally, big plans to turn some of their land into huge real estate developments) suddenly looked a lot like the unbridled capitalists of old when they failed to pay Gallardo worker's compensation. That is, until New Times started asking questions.
Now, the Fanjuls are facing real backlash from the accident. The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration has issued the family two "serious" violations for failing to supply safety equipment that could have helped prevent the accident. The violations carry fines totaling $3,469 and require the Fanjuls to supply the necessary safety equipment on the press Gallardo was running. Fanjul spokesman Gaston Cantens, an outgoing state representative from Miami, didn't return phone calls seeking comment on the fine.
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Trevor Aaronson's January 15, 2004, story, "Too Dumb to Die," has taken first place in the daily news category in a contest sponsored by the National Association of Black Journalists. The piece, which won the under 150,000 circulation category, described the debate over executing a man with an IQ of 54 for killing an elderly woman.
The 'Pipe last week belched some baloney. Jimmy Johnson preceded Dave Wannstedt as Dolphins coach. Sorry.
-As told to Edmund Newton