Broke School Board Plans $17 Million Television Studio

Maybe they can call it the "Stephanie Alma Kraft Media Center." 

The Broward County School Board, which is wallowing in debt, has approved plans to build a new $17 million TV studio for BECON, its propaganda cable channel. Readers of this blog have an idea how I feel about that station, but no matter what you think of the programming, the idea to spend that kind of money on a luxury when the district doesn't even have enough money to fix school roofs and is laying off teachers in droves is ridiculous. The truth is that $17 million would fund the annual pay of about 283 teachers (at $60,000 a year). Approving such a plan would be nothing short of a travesty.

Yet our esteemed School Board members did just that. On January 13, they approved an agreement with architect Harvard Jolly that will pay the firm $1,330,000 in fees to design the studio. The motion was made by Phyllis Hope and seconded by Stephanie Kraft before being unanimously approved. That means that even if the board ultimately kills the plan -- which it damned well better do -- taxpayers will still be hosed to some degree anyway.

The plan calls for replacing the current BECON studio on Nova Drive in Davie with a new state-of-the-art, 52,000-square-foot facility. When it's completed, the old studio will be torn down.

The plan is likely in a holding pattern right now, seeing as how there's no money. But the board members showed, as usual, that they have no idea sitting on the dais when they approved this harebrained plan and should kill it all together right now.

By the way, I got the idea for its name from today's board meeting, during which the members voted to name the new track at Deerfield Beach High School "Robert 'Bob' Parks Track." Hilarious -- Parks has been one of those people who facilitated the overbuilding of schools that has led to the board's recent bust. But he's not even the worst one. Also named was "Sylvia Poitier Field." Poitier, now vice mayor of Deerfield Beach, is an ethical disaster who was thrown off the Broward County Commission after she backed the disastrous Swerdlow land deal. In Deerfield she's had also generated one scandal after another.  

These bums in office aren't just preying on taxpayers, they're building shrines to themselves with our money.  

-- A little late on this one, but the Miami Herald has done the right thing and is standing by its reporter, Carol Rosenberg. It found that the harassment complaint by Navy Cmdr. Jeffrey Gordon, spokesman at Guantanamo, was a little off base, so to speak, and that Rosenberg could continue covering the base. "We could not help but conclude that this is a relationship between two people that has gotten off track," said Herald Executive Editor Anders Gyllenhaal. Exactly. Now stop whining, Cmdr. Gordon, and do your job. 

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Journalist Bob Norman has been raking the muck of South Florida for the past 25 years. His work has led to criminal cases against corrupt politicians, the ouster of bad judges from the bench, and has garnered dozens of state, regional, and national awards.
Contact: Bob Norman