Some are undoubtedly on a power trip, but most people who choose law enforcement as a career do so out of some sense of community service. That puts them on the ladder of humanity a rung above the apathetic masses. But it doesn't mean they're perfect, and when they use or abuse their positions of authority, they're even worse than criminals, because they've breached the public trust. Most criminals, after all, never claimed to be good guys. But David Farrall did. An agent working the organized-crime beat for the FBI office in Miami, the Coconut Creek resident spent his time on duty trying to clean up South Florida's dirty underbelly. On November 23 of last year, he did some soiling of his own, driving drunk late at night and speeding the wrong way down I-95, in the process killing two innocent Lauderhill brothers, Maurice Williams and Craig Chambers. As if that weren't bad enough, he identified himself as an FBI agent at the accident scene, and in doing so got investigators initially to believe his story -- that it was the brothers who had been at fault. Very, very bad.
Some are undoubtedly on a power trip, but most people who choose law enforcement as a career do so out of some sense of community service. That puts them on the ladder of humanity a rung above the apathetic masses. But it doesn't mean they're perfect, and when they use or abuse their positions of authority, they're even worse than criminals, because they've breached the public trust. Most criminals, after all, never claimed to be good guys. But David Farrall did. An agent working the organized-crime beat for the FBI office in Miami, the Coconut Creek resident spent his time on duty trying to clean up South Florida's dirty underbelly. On November 23 of last year, he did some soiling of his own, driving drunk late at night and speeding the wrong way down I-95, in the process killing two innocent Lauderhill brothers, Maurice Williams and Craig Chambers. As if that weren't bad enough, he identified himself as an FBI agent at the accident scene, and in doing so got investigators initially to believe his story -- that it was the brothers who had been at fault. Very, very bad.
We're not talking about some long-limbed nubile tourist girl who's down for the season and looking to get deflowered. We're referring to the real deal, the blue-robed diva of Catholicism, the Mother of all mothers. For roughly 40 years, the DiVito motel and its Virgin Mary statue have hosted tourists, ever since original owner Antonio DiVito decided to erect a monument paying tribute to the Leaning Tower of Pisa. The motel's version is decidedly smaller and doesn't curve perilously to one side, but it does sport cubbyholes where Mary and fellow saint Anthony sit and contemplate the Atlantic's horizon. White stone cherubs, nymphs, and water-bearing wenches also crown the tower, but it's Mary who receives the occasional clutch of flowers from lodgers and passersby.

We're not talking about some long-limbed nubile tourist girl who's down for the season and looking to get deflowered. We're referring to the real deal, the blue-robed diva of Catholicism, the Mother of all mothers. For roughly 40 years, the DiVito motel and its Virgin Mary statue have hosted tourists, ever since original owner Antonio DiVito decided to erect a monument paying tribute to the Leaning Tower of Pisa. The motel's version is decidedly smaller and doesn't curve perilously to one side, but it does sport cubbyholes where Mary and fellow saint Anthony sit and contemplate the Atlantic's horizon. White stone cherubs, nymphs, and water-bearing wenches also crown the tower, but it's Mary who receives the occasional clutch of flowers from lodgers and passersby.

You were expecting us to say A1A, Las Olas Boulevard, or Clematis Street. But we're contrarians to the core, so we're going to impart a warm sense of confusion by naming this out-of-the-way residential through street as the finest little drive in our neck of the woods. Before you get all apoplectic, hop in the jalopy and check it out. This smooth, two-lane street is fronted by modest houses that don't all look alike, sporting big yards and wide lawns. Between the houses are empty lots (!), home to nothing more than lush stands of Australian pine. The whole place has a genteel, countrified feel to it. If memory serves, there's even a white fence or two demarcating horse pastures and empty fields. As if to remind you that this is South Florida, though, an ugly gated community sits at the end of the road, and a big piece of pastureland slated for rezoning threatens to make way for still more McMansions.
You were expecting us to say A1A, Las Olas Boulevard, or Clematis Street. But we're contrarians to the core, so we're going to impart a warm sense of confusion by naming this out-of-the-way residential through street as the finest little drive in our neck of the woods. Before you get all apoplectic, hop in the jalopy and check it out. This smooth, two-lane street is fronted by modest houses that don't all look alike, sporting big yards and wide lawns. Between the houses are empty lots (!), home to nothing more than lush stands of Australian pine. The whole place has a genteel, countrified feel to it. If memory serves, there's even a white fence or two demarcating horse pastures and empty fields. As if to remind you that this is South Florida, though, an ugly gated community sits at the end of the road, and a big piece of pastureland slated for rezoning threatens to make way for still more McMansions.
There's a reason you can get really cheap flights to Fort Lauderdale in, say, mid-August: The weather sizzles. It's not that the weather here is significantly worse during the summer months than it is in any other East Coast city south of the Mason-Dixon Line, but it seems to go on forever. In South Florida summer runs from April to November, no matter what the calendar or weathermen want you to believe. To survive it you must have a place to seek refuge from the heat, and we know of no better hangout than the Broward County Library. Think of the attributes: It's free, it's air-conditioned, the bathrooms are clean, the bookshelves are stocked, and best of all, you paid for it with your own tax dollars, so there's no guilt factor. Nobody has the right to hurry you on your way. Dig out that latest Carl Hiaasen page-turner and search out a table in the far stacks, then sit down and chill. Kick off your shoes, wring out your socks, sleep -- whatever. This is your temple.
Broward County Main Library Theatre
There's a reason you can get really cheap flights to Fort Lauderdale in, say, mid-August: The weather sizzles. It's not that the weather here is significantly worse during the summer months than it is in any other East Coast city south of the Mason-Dixon Line, but it seems to go on forever. In South Florida summer runs from April to November, no matter what the calendar or weathermen want you to believe. To survive it you must have a place to seek refuge from the heat, and we know of no better hangout than the Broward County Library. Think of the attributes: It's free, it's air-conditioned, the bathrooms are clean, the bookshelves are stocked, and best of all, you paid for it with your own tax dollars, so there's no guilt factor. Nobody has the right to hurry you on your way. Dig out that latest Carl Hiaasen page-turner and search out a table in the far stacks, then sit down and chill. Kick off your shoes, wring out your socks, sleep -- whatever. This is your temple.
It doesn't look like much, just a big square of vacant land with a few benches thrown around, but for your pet this park is like doggy Disneyland. Cooped up all day while their owners are making a living to keep them in Kibbles, the canines are turned loose at Poinciana Park. There is no snobbery, cliquishness or breedism among dogs here. Dobermans, beagles, and golden retrievers run together, fight playfully, and roll on their backs on the soft grass. The socialization is good for the dogs, say owners and trainers, and the pooches clearly appear to be enjoying the freedom to romp. But it's also a social experience for the owners, who stand around like parents watching their toddlers play, trading tips on dog collars ("Where'd you get that mood dog collar?" asked one owner), food, and discipline problems. One caveat: You have to watch where you're walking. Apparently few follow the park's scooping rule.

It doesn't look like much, just a big square of vacant land with a few benches thrown around, but for your pet this park is like doggy Disneyland. Cooped up all day while their owners are making a living to keep them in Kibbles, the canines are turned loose at Poinciana Park. There is no snobbery, cliquishness or breedism among dogs here. Dobermans, beagles, and golden retrievers run together, fight playfully, and roll on their backs on the soft grass. The socialization is good for the dogs, say owners and trainers, and the pooches clearly appear to be enjoying the freedom to romp. But it's also a social experience for the owners, who stand around like parents watching their toddlers play, trading tips on dog collars ("Where'd you get that mood dog collar?" asked one owner), food, and discipline problems. One caveat: You have to watch where you're walking. Apparently few follow the park's scooping rule.

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