Friday, March 10, 2006

Terry Stiles Is Just Super

The Sentinel -- thanks to good stories by Burstein (about an actor turned loser), Wallman (about a politician turned loser), and Mayo (about a flat-out loser) -- had a strong newspaper today. But bringing down the whole operation was a feature story in the Business section by Paul Owers, the same reporter who brought us the Huizenga Jr. debacle a few weeks ago. This time he's doing P.R. for Terry Stiles, downtown's mega-builder. Here's some choice Owers lines:

-- "Stiles' unassuming manner belies his status as a South Florida business leader."

-- "He also established himself as an aboveboard businessman who avoids controversy."

Controversy? Did you ever hear about Stiles involvement in an insider North Broward Hospital District building deal with Austin Forman that was investigated by the feds and would have wasted taxpayers $100 million? And I guess that whole airport expansion thing that Stiles is pushing with the Broward Alliance has universal appeal.

But it's the quotes, from a lineup obviously handchosen by Stiles himself, that take this thing beyond the pale.

-- From a Broward Workshop muckety muck named Kareen Boutros: "He's got a sterling reputation. He's not a snob. Everybody can relate to him."

-- Wayne Huizenga endorses him -- and we all know what that endorsement means: "I trust him ...".

-- And from Broward Mayor Ben Graber, who is becoming more and more schmuck-like (that's him grinning there at the left): "He's a guy to do business with."

It might not have been so bad if there was one -- oh merciful god, just one -- critical view of the most powerful developer/builder in town. But no. Not surprising, really, considering that he's an unassuming, aboveboard, trustworthy, guy with a sterling reputation that everybody can relate with.

Odds and Ends

-- A spiritual message to Heraldites: Pray for McClatchy.

-- The Herald had this ditty by Dan Christensen and Nikki Waller on former Davie manager Chris Kovanes. Okay. Great. Can we all promise to stop writing about this thing now? Kovanes is a thief. We all know it. It's been proved many many times. Save the rest of it for the trial. Please.

-- The good folks over there at the FrontPageFlorida website have an interesting piece on an ongoing newspaper turf battle. Only it's not the one between the Post and the Sentinel. It's the never-ending war between the St. Pete Times and Tampa Tribune. The story is by Joe Registrato, who was apparently a Blues Brother in another life.

-- Just when you thought Carlton Moore was a potential nominee for "Good Samaritan of the Year" (the State Attorney's Office "cleared" him of wrongdoing in his little house-buying adventure) his nemesis, the Broward Times' Elgin Jones, comes up with more dirt. I'll call this the Story of the Day.

-- You can only imagine how hard that FEMA team from the Sentinel is gonna celebrate tonight. After getting the news about the Pulitzer, it was announced today that they won a Scripps Howard Foundation award. Not bad, but the best part: It comes with good cash. From the press release:
PUBLIC SERVICE REPORTING South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Fort Lauderdale, receives $10,000 and the Roy W. Howard award. "FEMA: A Legacy of Waste" uncovered a trail of fraud and waste in federal disaster aid that cost taxpayers more than $530 million. The Sun-Sentinel reported that after Katrina, the agency gave $172 million in emergency aid to people never displaced by the storm. Reforms are underway. Finalist: Joy Blackburn, The Virgin Islands Daily News.



Blogger Gator said...

The problem you have in attacking the article on Terry Stiles is that he is a pretty good guy.

Perfect? Undoubtedly not, but them who is?

You grouse that there was no negative comment -- why don't you find one? The implication of your post is that there are any number of people just waiting to bring out the dirt on him.

This is less a defense of Stiles than objection to knee-jerk criticism on your part.

8:47 PM  
Blogger Florida Pulp said...

Gator, I wonder about you. I already mentioned the hospital district near-swindle. Stiles practically created the Broward Alliance, a super-chamber group that drains taxpayer money so he and his buddies can schmooze with local officials. There are a lot of soon-to-be displaced people in Dania who don't care for his airport expansion ideas. The list goes on and on.

6:41 AM  
Blogger Gator said...

To quote Bob Norman on the North Broward Hospital District "near-swindle": "To be fair, Eagon and his boss, Stiles, are only taking advantage of a sweet business opportunity. NBHD executives are to blame."

As for the Broward Alliance and the airport runway extension, you may have problems with both, but I would contend that neither is so far out of bounds that you could not find honorable and reasonable people on both sides of each issue, your characterizations notwithstanding.

8:18 AM  
Blogger Florida Pulp said...

You're making my point Gate man. I agree that "neither is so far out of bounds that you could not find honorable and reasonable people on both sides of each issue."

But all Owers found was Stiles sycophants, like Ben Graber and Wayne Huizenga and some Broward Alliance flunky.

And as for what I wrote about the near swindle, my basic philosophy is that lobbyists and developers are there to corrupt public officials and politicians. It's part of their job description. Ultimately, the electeds are the ones that need to be held accountable.

But just because it's part of Stiles' occupation to prey on the public coffers doesn't make it right.

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