Edward Snowden’s tangled web of claims regarding the NSA records

On June 12, 2013,  Edward Snowden told the South China Morning Post (SCMP) that he hadn’t given everything to American journalists Laura Poitras and Glenn Greenwald — because he had to review the data he was leaking.   http://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/article/1268209/snowden-sought-booz-allen-job-gather-evidence-nsa-surveillance

However, October 05, 2015, Snowden told BBC News Panorama the exact opposite, saying:  ““The question is, if I was a traitor, who did I betray?  I gave all of my information to American journalists and free society generally.”  http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/world/snowden-says-hes-willing-to-face-prison-in-us/article26658125/

Moreover, October 2013, James Risen of The New York Times reported Snowden told him that he gave all of the classified documents he had obtained to journalists he met in Hong Kong, before flying to Moscow, and did not keep any copies for himself.  http://www.businessinsider.com/snowden-and-information-to-american-journalists-2015-10

However, on May 27 of 2014, Snowden told Brian Williams that he possessed documents while on the run in Hong Kong but “destroyed” the cache before he reached out to Russian diplomats.   http://www.nbcnews.com/feature/edward-snowden-interview/exclusive-edward-snowden-tells-brian-williams-i-was-trained-spy-n115746

Furthermore, the question of what actually happened to the documents is not the only truth challenge facing Snowden with respect to the NSA records he took:   http://www.businessinsider.com/snowden-and-john-oliver-2015-4

‘tangled web’ photo by http://mpw3d.deviantart.com/  ; headshot of Edward Snowden from a picture of “Edward Snowden Conference 2015” by Gage Skidmore – https://www.flickr.com/photos/gageskidmore/16525688221/. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Edward_Snowden_Conference_2015.jpg#/media/File:Edward_Snowden_Conference_2015.jpg 

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‘Ndrangheta: “the adoration of evil and contempt for the common good”


“The basis of the ‘Ndrangeta is violence.”  They can kill women, children and even babies without hesitation…  http://www.cbc.ca/passionateeye/episodes/the-pope-the-mafia





“The people who run death’s errands for him don’t shy from daylight.                                         They rule from glass offices.  They mill about in the bright sun.                                                     They lean forward over a desk, and throw a look to the side.”

– Tomas Tranströmer, translated by Robert Bly, from the poem ‘Out in the Open’


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Damiano di Popolo v. Dennis Watson: the recently settled Hells Angel Cdn libel tort

After the Hells Angels had brought themselves to my attention for the third time in as many years, (see  https://marnietunay2.wordpress.com/2012/11/09/a-summary-review-of-out-in-bad-standings-by-ex-bandido-edward-winterhalder/  ), I began to take a (mild) interest in their press-reported activities; moreover, I am always interested in libel torts, especially Canadian ones.  The standard is more fair to plaintiffs in Canada, requiring the defendants to meet a burden of proof that defamatory material is true, unlike the American standard, which puts the burden to prove it’s not true on the plaintiff.

All Canadian bloggers who write about controversial things or people should have a copy of ‘Canadian Libel and Slander Actions’ by Roger D. McConchie and David A. Potts as their blogging bible.  (‘Libel,’ by Peter A. Downard is a nice addition, too.)  Unfortunately, Dennis Watson had evidently never heard of either book, and his posts on (reputed) Canadian Hells Angel Damiano di Popolo clearly reflected his ignorance of libel law, gauging by di Popolo’s statement of claim filed in May 2015, in the Supreme Court of British Columbia:  https://www.scribd.com/doc/267344026/Notice-of-Civil-Claim-Damiano-di-Popolo-v-Dennis-Watson  Assuming the statements alleged in that claim to be factual as regards the contents of what Watson had said about the (reputed) Hells Angel, the claim reads like an outstanding primer on what not to say as a blogger in Canada.

Damiano di Popolo, who has been alleged by mainstream media to be a member of Vancouver’s East End Hells Angels:  http://www.vancouversun.com/Damiano+Dipopolo+front+East+chapter+Hells+Angels+with+other+assorted+Hells+Angels+Swollen+Members+video/11100554/story.html  has just settled his beef with Dennis Watson:  http://www.theprovince.com/news/Judge+orders+Surrey+blogger+take+down+posts+about+Hells+Angel+stop+writing+about/11258526/story.html

Now, I think Dennis Watson must have had a very good lawyer, because he got off very easy, in my opinion, based on what I can see in di Popolo’s claim as regards what Watson actually said.  Having said that, however, there are one or two things about di Popolo’s claim that catch my eye:  https://www.scribd.com/doc/267344026/Notice-of-Civil-Claim-Damiano-di-Popolo-v-Dennis-Watson  In section 4, item g of that claim, you’ll note that it claims Dennis Watson had said that di Popolo is “a member of a criminal organization.”  Clearly, di Popolo was contesting Watson’s claim that di Popolo belongs to a criminal organization, and that is also how the mainstream media interpreted di Popolo’s legal notice as well:  http://www.calgaryherald.com/news/fraser-valley/make+honest+living+Hells+Angel+sues+Surrey+blogger/11100524/story.html

However, there are solid grounds in Canada as a whole for considering the Hells Angels to be a criminal organization.  In Manitoba, for example, being a Hells Angels member or associate is grounds for deportation for foreigners:  http://news.nationalpost.com/news/canada/hells-angels-members-deported-as-refugee-board-declares-bike-gang-a-criminal-organization  and the Manitoba courts have backed up the Immigration and Refugee Board in that respect:  http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/local/Manitoba-first-to-declare-Hells-Angels-criminal-organization-246550061.html  They’ve also been declared a criminal organization in Quebec, and here is just one small part of the reason why:  http://www.parl.gc.ca/HousePublications/Publication.aspx?DocId=5462995&File=39#_ftn13

While they have not yet been declared unilaterally in B.C. to be a “criminal organization,” it’s clear the cops at least are leaning that way:  http://www.canadianlawyermag.com/legalfeeds/1725/arvay-to-represent-hells-angels-in-challenge-of-b-c-forfeiture-law.html

Not that being a member of a criminal organization, (even if that had been proven to be true, which it has not), would make Damiano di Popolo a criminal himself, an important fact that Dennis Watson evidently overlooked.  For one thing, di Popolo could be a cop.  It would not be the first time the Hells Angels had ever been infiltrated.  Or, he could be an informer.  Either one would put him on the side of the good guys, in the eyes of most people, now, wouldn’t it.  Or, maybe he just likes the huge and security-free loans he can (allegedly) get from the Angels:  http://www.canada.com/story.html?id=1d41b9e1-e88e-4ff1-b190-af84a3eca940  And maybe the Angels don’t need him for any criminal activities because he has other benefits for them, like, say, for example, useful social contacts.  Di Popolo clearly gets around:  real estate magnate, clothing store owner, longshoreman, Little League coach and regular Catholic church attendee.

Gosh, who wouldn’t want to get in good with a guy like that?



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Old Norse Myths and Runic Sources: Summary Reviews and recommendations

[This post will be updated from time to time, particularly in the year of 2015]

1.  Editions of the Poetic Edda

Ursula Dronke’s three-volume translation and exegesis of Edda poems is in a class of its own, both for the depth of scholarship and the price, which is very high.  The translations are elegant.  Down sides:  (i)  Three volumes, well over a hundred dollars each, you’d think you could get a complete set of the Poetic Edda, but, no, far from it.  Dronke translated the oldest poems and the ones she liked the best, and then passed on from this vale of tears before she could finish her fourth volume, which still wouldn’t have made a complete set of the poems.  (ii)  Her attitude.  The good Lord only knows why someone who profoundly anti-heathenist spent her whole scholastic career studying the pagan North, but, she did.  I don’t consider myself to be a heathen (much), but I find her frequent gratuitous slams to be grating.

(April 25, noon:  I’ve just been informed by the princess of the realm that my time on the computer is up, so, will return later today or tomorrow to work on this appendix.)

I’ve read a number of criticisms of Lee F. Hollander’s translation of the ‘Poetic Edda,’ but it has a lot to recommend it, in my opinion:  it gives one a feel for how the verse types work in Old Norse; he provides plentiful notes for those who want them, so people who are new to the myths can quickly get a sense for what they’re all about, and his scholarship is reli-able.  Downsides:  he does employ archaisms to get around the difficulties of translating precise poetic metres, and it is somewhat grating; and he does on occasion sacrifice accur-acy for the sake of cadence.   He also gives an excellent introduction to the various poetic metres.   (Dr. Hollander also published a fabulous prose translation of Snorri Sturluson’s ‘Heimskringla,’ ‘History of the Kings of Norway,’ still in print and very affordable.)

A very new (and quite affordable) translation of the ‘Poetic Edda’ is the one done by poet and fellow Canadian Jeramy Dodds, under the auspices of under the auspices of the well-known scholar Terry Gunnell, who also supplies the preface, validating Dodd’s own schol-arship and describing the translation as “… bearing in mind the original qualities and in-herent music of Eddic poetry while at the same time bringing the poems up to date and giving them a new immediacy…”  I do like Dodd’s elegant verse translations, but, the lack of notes is a down side for those who have no prior acquaintance with the myths.  He does provide a detailed chart, though, showing the ‘genealogy of the gods and jotuns [giants, sort of], and an excellent drawing showing all of the ‘worlds’ featured in the Norse myths.

Carolyne Larrington has also done a translation of the Poetic Edda.  Not recommended.



2.  The Prose Edda of Snorri Sturluson  

The only English translation worth getting is that by Anthony Faulkes:  it’s widely reputed to be accurate and complete.  It’s also a bit tricky to find, because his name is not listed with the book on Amazon.  I went to my own order history to get the exact title for you, and the two ISBN’s listed with it:    Edda (Everyman’s Library) Paperback – April 6, 1995  by Snorri Sturluson (Author)  ISBN-10: 0460876163  ISBN-13: 978-0460876162  Very affordable.




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Amber Tuccaro’s last phone call, the complete recording

June 08, 2015 at 10:25 AM:  P.S.  I don’t agree with the CBC’s posting of a cbc contact email at the end of their June 08 story regarding Amber Tuccaro, ” if you have any info contact the cbc.”  That’s not right.  If you have any info you should contact the RCMP or Project Kare:  http://www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/ab/community-communaute/kare/index.htm

Yes, I know the RCMP have made serious mistakes, but they’re still in charge of the inves-tigation.  It’s one thing to carp at the cops from the outside; it’s another thing to interfere with a police investigation by encouraging people to take their information elsewhere.

You can phone Project KARE, and they will get back to you.


June 08, 2015 update:  CBC news has posted a story today with  new information in connection with the murder of Amber Tuccaro just outside of Nisku, near Edmonton in August of 2010:  http://www.cbc.ca/news/aboriginal/amber-tuccaro-s-unsolved-murder-do-you-recognize-this-voice-1.3102635  (And for the record, I am not one of the women mentioned in the report as having “ridden with” the man whose voice those women claim is the voice on the tape.)  According to that CBC report, the whole recording is over twenty minutes long.  The version of it I posted here (below) is not that long, but it’s considerably longer than the ninety or so seconds that the CBC has embedded in its report.

And, now I have to eat my words on the only other post on this site that refers to an active police investigation:  https://marnietunay2.wordpress.com/2014/05/20/jennifer-wilkerson-and-the-missing-purse-and-clothes/  about how Canadian cops would never ever say that a woman who had clearly been at risk when she went missing was not in fact in any danger.  Not only did a cop say exactly that, with respect to Amber Tuccaro, the cops also apparently destroyed the poor woman’s belongings without informing her family.

There’s a “review,” now, by an RCMP Commissioner for public complaints.

Still sucks to be native in Canada.  :-(



Thanks to metronews for publishing the complete recording of the last phone call Amber Tuccaro ever made just before she was murdered outside of Edmonton in August, 2010.

I can’t find the complete video on the RCMP’s project  KARE web-site anymore, just a severely edited version that, in my opinion, impedes the listener’s ability to focus on the voice.

Read Amber’s story here on metronews:




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Edmonton Police Service and Mike Wasylyshen’s promotion

December 16 update:  I’ve just received an email from the city of Edmonton Police Department’s chief, Rod Knecht, in response to mine, in which I sent a link to this post, and in response to everyone else who really hated his decision to promote Mike Wasyly-shen when, you know, most cops would have got fired…. I have embedded his response exactly as I myself received it, as a docx attachment:  https://marnietunay2.wordpress.com/?attachment_id=2820  and, as a service to readers who are understandably wary of downloading stuff from people they don’t know well, I am also copying out here in full the contents of Chief Knecht’s email, including the boldface that is actually in the letter.  The only changes I’ve made are to put his words in italics and to put quote marks at the beginning of every paragraph, so as to make it really clear that Knecht’s words are his and not mine:

Thank you for your email inquiry regarding the recent promotion of Mike Wasylyshen. Edmonton Police Service employees had questions that were similar to yours, so I distributed the following message to them on Wednesday, December 10.  Note that a reference to “Chiefs Committee” is made several times; this is our senior leadership group within the EPS.

I trust this message will answer any questions you might have.  If you require additional information, please contact me via email.

Chief Rod Knecht

“A number of questions have been raised about our recent decision to promote Mike Wasylyshen to the position of Sergeant.  Questions were initiated as the result of one of our employees taking a photograph of the promotion list from EPS Net and sending it to the CBC.  This triggered a flurry of media inquiries and emails to my office.  The story was broadcast nationally in the context of the recent officer-involved fatalities in Ferg-uson and New York City, to allude that the Edmonton and American circumstances were somehow similar.

“In 2002 and 2005, Sgt. Wasylyshen committed a number of acts that were, in any polic-ing environment, totally unacceptable.  Had he committed these acts today, he would be the subject of the most severe of disciplinary action, and likely would have lost his job.  However, his actions took place nearly a decade ago, or more, with a different admin-istration at the helm – and a different culture.

“As part of the review of his actions, two separate processes took place –criminal investigations and Professional Standards Branch (PSB) investigations.   For the 2002 incident, in which he tasered a young Aboriginal male several times, there were Police Service Regulation consequences. For the 2005 matter, which involved an altercation on Whyte Avenue, there were criminal and PSR consequences.  Over the period of several years, Sgt. Wasylyshen was subsequently sanctioned by independent Presiding Officers and by the Criminal Justice System.  By any reasonable standard, the delays in process were extreme, and unreasonable.

“Last year, Sgt. Wasylyshen was denied the opportunity to participate in the promotion process, as the very last of his hearings and appeals had recently concluded.  When he applied to participate in this year’s promotion process, Chief’s Committee reviewed his file at length and debated the issues within the context of the ten year period.  Chief’s Committee recognized that the incidents, while severe in nature, were dated. They determined that he had served his punishment, and allowed him to participate in the promotion process.

“What was unanimously compelling for Chief’s Committee was the progress that this member had made over the previous ten years in getting his life in order.  He is now married with children and, from all accounts, has stopped drinking.  In the recent promotional process, he scored high marks in the majority of categories.   His off-duty and on-duty attributes, actions, and attitude, demonstrated real change – and a readiness for a leadership role in this organization.

“Which takes us to the heart of the issue – how long should a person have to pay for mistakes they made years ago – especially when it is a member of a profession that is held to a higher standard. Is ten years too long, or is it not long enough?  At what point does an organization forgive what someone has done, and allow them to move forward with their career?  Should we have waited yet another year, another five, or another ten, to allow this individual to apply for a promotion?

“The political answer, and the easiest answer, would have been to wait for the next administration to deal with Sgt. Wasylyshen’s promotability.  The principled answer was to recognize that Sgt. Wasylyshen had paid, and continues to pay, the price for his actions, and allow him to proceed with his career . . .  and that is what is being done.

“As recently as this past Monday, we reached out to the Aboriginal Community, to address some of the concerns they have with this promotion.  Sgt. Wasylyshen has agreed to be a willing participant in discussions with the First Nation’s Community this Friday.

“While I can completely understand that there are some that believe the actions of this member should permanently preclude him from being in a supervisory position, there are very few of us that have had to re-live the consequences of their actions for as long  – and as publicly.  Perhaps one does not have to forget what was done, but one certainly can forgive.

“It is not lost on any of us that this may not have garnered the level of interest, if not for the familiarity of Sgt. Wasylyshen’s surname.

“Sgt. Wasylyshen is the first to recognize that all eyes, internal and external to the Edmonton Police Service, will be on him.  This is his best opportunity to demonstrate what he is really made of.

Chief Rod Knecht”

My reply to the Chief’s email of today, December 16.  (pub. 10:47 AM):

Re:  “It is not lost on any of us that this may not have garnered the level of interest, if not for the familiarity of Sgt. Wasylyshen’s surname.”  You people are the ones who think his name is special, Chief Knecht.  I think you are completely clueless as to the real nature of the negative feedback you’ve received.  It’s not about his name.  It’s about a cop who has screwed up, not just one time in one way, but several times in different ways, over a long period of time.  It says ‘guy who should have been fired’ to the rest of us.  I think this is the most inflammatory thing you say in your email, Chief Knecht.  The suggestion that the rest of us only care about this because Wasylyshen’s daddy was chief just really frosts me.

Re:  “”While I can completely understand that there are some that believe the actions of this member should permanently preclude him from being in a supervisory position,”  Wow.  Way to spin the negative feedback, Chief.  We don’t think he should be “precluded from a supervisory position.”  We think he should have been fired.  Other police depart-ments don’t have cops with criminal records, Chief Knecht.  Mike Wasylyshen makes me ashamed to be an Edmontonian.

Re:  “The principled answer was to recognize that Sgt. Wasylyshen had paid, and continues to pay, the price for his actions, and allow him to proceed with his career”  He shouldn’t have had a career anymore as a cop.  He got his wrist slapped.  He got 30 hours more of a suspension for repeatedly tasering an unconscious man than another cop got for improperly storing his weapon, he paid fines and got a criminal record which doesn’t seem to be impeding him any.

Re:  “This is his best opportunity to demonstrate what he is really made of.”  Well, we think we’ve already seen ‘what he’s made of.”  Mike Wasylyshen has already “demon-strated what he’s made of” in a range of bad behaviors over the years as a cop.  I would not agree to be in the same room as him.  I’d be afraid that he might ‘go off’ again and hit me or worse.  And the message I get from you is that he’d get away with it, too.  Oh, sure, there’d be a wrist-slap, but he’d cry and you’d give him a sixth chance, if he even got caught.

Re:  “”Which takes us to the heart of the issue – how long should a person have to pay for mistakes they made years ago – especially when it is a member of a profession that is held to a higher standard”  He didn’t deserve to get any of the ‘second chances’ he got all those years.  A ‘higher standard.’  Exactly.  Cops who repeatedly taser unconsious people, who punch out cripples, and threaten Good Samaritans, who lie to judges, should be fired for any one of those things!!  What don’t you get about this, Chief Knecht?!   I hate him for tasering that man.  And I’m not even native, I’m white.  It’s not about race.  It’s about justice, and accountability, concepts you and he know nothing about, in my opinion.  I’m not going to go out of my way to  to help the police in any manner from now on.  Your email has just made me even angrier.

[And see my original response, which still holds, below]:

December 14 update:   Here’s the Edmonton Journal’s whitewashed account of Mike Wasylyshen’s promotion to sergeant:


which somehow neglects to mention that the “drunken” youth  Mike Wasylyshen tasered repeatedly was actually unconscious at the time; the “man on crutches” Wasylyshen assaulted wasn’t committing a crime, just trying to catch a cab; and, most inexcusably missing from the Journal’s article, that Wasylyshen got caught out lying to a judge.

The Journal’s article, as well as this follow-up article from the CBC:


give air time to Police Chief Rod Knecht’s claim that Wasylyshen has “proved himself ready for promotion” and that the EPS is “trying to make a principled decision.”

Here’s what’s wrong with that story, Chief Knecht:  Nobody but you and your cronies think that Wasylyshen deserved to get those third, fourth and fifth chances he was handed on a silver platter, first, from his old man, who was chief at the time ol’ Mikey tasered a man who was unconscious six times, and then, from the rest of you good ol’ boys down at the station.  The fact of his continued presence on the force has stuck in the craws of the rest of us for years.  I’m sure it was in the back of the minds of at least some of the city council members who refused to give you all the funds you asked for this week.  I know I actually feel abhorrence at the thought of lifting a finger to push politicians to give you any more money, which I have done in the past.  I honestly feel you don’t deserve it, with this major act of disrespect for those of us who obey the laws in Edmonton and expect the cops of all people to do so as well.

In rightly-working law enforcement, cops with criminal records don’t get promoted; they get fired.



Step right up folks!  It’s the city of Edmonton Police Service free-pass carnival!  Take a number and place your bets:  what will get former police chief Bob Wasylyshen’s number one son Mike fired?  Will it be his act of repeatedly tasering an unconscious teenager?




How about, punching out a cripple whose big crime was trying to hail a cab?


Ha ha ha NO!!

Well, then, surely, threatening to burn down the house of a good Samaritan would do it?  Or, lying to a judge?



You’d think so, but, no.  Promoted, in fact, as the CBC has learned:


‘carnival’ by http://ewkn.deviantart.com/ ; top hat clip art by http://sweetclipart.com/


Way to give the ol’ middle-finger salute to the people who ultimately pay your salaries, coppers.

If I knew something about a crime and I was asked to speak about it to Edmonton Police Sergeant Mike Wasylyshen, I would refuse to do so.

If my car broke down on a cold winter’s night-highway, and Mike Wasylyshen offered me a lift, I’d say ‘no.’  I would prefer to take my chances on a total stranger, because, the one thing I know for sure about Wasylyshen is, if he took it into his head to hurt me, he’d probably get away with it.

As a law-abiding citizen of Edmonton, I feel personally affronted that Wasylyshen is still a cop.  My good will towards the Edmonton Police Service, which was high, has dropped to zero.

And, gauging from the public response to that CBC exclusive from yesterday, I’m guessing this is going to come back to bite the Service in more ways than one.


P.S.  Dec. 05, 2014, afternoon:   Mike Wasylyshen got a 120-hr suspension for repeatedly tasering an unconscious First Nations teenager;  (and that’s all that  happened to Wasyly-shen for his bad act.)  Whereas, another Edmonton cop, Const. Sam Najmeddine, received a 90-hour suspension yesterday, just for improperly storing his Taser:  http://www.edmontonjournal.com/news/edmonton/Edmonton+police+officer+handed+hour+suspension/10440513/story.html

So, what I get from this is, that it helps to be white and to be the chief’s kid.  And, that native lives are cheap.


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The mayor of Fort Lauderdale wants you to know…

that he is not having senior citizens arrested for feeding the poor – contrary to recent media reports, such as this one, for instance:    http://globalnews.ca/news/1655630/90-year-old-man-arrested-for-feeding-homeless-in-florida/

After I read that news item on November 05, I sent the mayor of Fort Lauderdale, Jack Seiler, the following email:

as per:  http://globalnews.ca/news/1655630/90-year-old-man-arrested-for-feeding-homeless-in-florida/

You people are bizarre.  Don’t you have any Real crimes to solve?

Note to self:  Stay the hell away from the Grinches in Fort Lauderdale next time I want to fly south for Xmas.  Sheesh.”

A few hours later, I received the following reply from Mr. Seiler:

Thanks for your input and for caring.  I truly appreciate the concern.

Perhaps you are not aware that I do substantial charitable work for the homeless here in South Florida, volunteer at the local homeless assistance center, contribute financially to assist homeless programs and benefits, and work on several successful homeless veterans programs and projects.

We did not realize that requiring the homeless be fed in safe, secure and sanitary conditions would be deemed an attack on the homeless.  We did not ban feeding the homeless in the City of Fort Lauderdale, we only regulated the location of those feedings.

Further, the cycle of homeless and homelessness on the streets of Fort Lauderdale is unacceptable, and I will do everything possible to get them off the streets and into the right programs, to the appropriate facilities, and to the proper resources necessary to turn their lives around.

Your assistance is also appreciated.

Best wishes.

John P. “Jack” Seiler


City of Fort Lauderdale

I promptly responded to that email from Mr. Seiler as follows:

Fair enough.  But it strikes me, sir, that it would be better politics to find a way to work  With other people who are trying to feed the poor, rather than whacking them with heavy fines.

Perhaps your caregiving locations regulation is unreasonably strict, I don’t know.  I’ve been to Florida but not to Fort Lauderdale.  You can’t have the newspapers reporting that you fined some old guy for feeding the hungry.  You just can’t.

Thanks for your reply.  Best wishes.

Marnie Tunay

Yesterday afternoon, I heard from the mayor again, and, although I’m not in the habit of giving politicians a platform on this blog, I nevertheless think that, in this instance, Mayor Seiler has  earned a chance to be heard here:

I appreciate the opportunity to clarify much of the misinformation that has been prevalent in the media recently regarding the homeless.

 Contrary to reports, the City of Fort Lauderdale is not banning groups from feeding the homeless.  We have established an outdoor food distribution ordinance to ensure the health, safety and welfare of our community. The ordinance does not prohibit feeding the homeless; it regulates the activity in order to ensure it is carried out in an appropriate, organized, clean and healthy manner.

 While the ordinance regulates outdoor food distribution, it permits indoor food distribution to take place at houses of worship throughout the City.  By allowing houses of worship to conduct this activity, the City is actually increasing the number of locations where the homeless can properly receive this service.

 At two recent outdoor food distributions, citations were rightly issued for non-compliance with the process enacted to ensure public health and safety.  Contrary to what was reported in the media, no one was taken into custody.  Had these activities taken place indoors, at a house of worship, they would have been in full compliance with the ordinance.

 Experts agree, however, that homeless individuals need more than just food.  The homeless need shelter, clothing, and comprehensive medical and social services in order to help them get back on their feet.

To set the record straight, few cities have done more for the homeless than Fort Lauderdale.  We are taking a comprehensive approach by working with numerous agencies, non-profit, charitable and faith-based organizations that, like us, are dedicated to effectively addressing this complex and important issue.  Our overarching goal is to provide a long-term comprehensive solution for the homeless population.  While aiming for that goal, we are concurrently working to protect public safety and maintain quality of life for our neighbors, businesses and visitors. 

 Our efforts include:

  • Fort Lauderdale was the first City in South Florida to establish a dedicated Homeless Assistance Unit as part of its Police Department. This Unit makes approximately 8,000 referrals a year working with the homeless to provide them with access to housing, critical medical care and social services.  The award-winning initiative stands as a model that has been replicated by local, state, and national police departments and law enforcement agencies across the country.
  • Fort Lauderdale is home to the only full service comprehensive Homeless Assistance Center in Broward County. The Center has been operating here since 1999.  Recently, the Fort Lauderdale City Commission unanimously passed an ordinance allowing the Homeless Assistance Center to expand its size and scope of operations to accommodate more beds and serve more homeless.
  • The City maintains an active partnership with Mission United, an organization dedicated to providing housing and social services to homeless Veterans.
  • In addition to Mission United, the City maintains partnerships, provides resources and support to Broward County, the Broward Partnership for the Homeless, Housing Authority of the City of Fort Lauderdale, Salvation Army of Broward County, United Way of Broward County, Hope South Florida, and the Task Force for Ending Homelessness. These partnerships represent an outstanding example of how homelessness needs to be addressed – by bringing together a variety of agencies and organizations to collaborate, share resources, and leverage strengths in a unified effort to comprehensively impact homelessness through the coordination and delivery of essential programs and services.
  • Fort Lauderdale is the only city in South Florida and one of 235 communities in the United States taking part in the 100,000 Homes Campaign, a national effort to move disabled, chronically homeless people from the street to a place of their own. Using the motto “Housing First,” the campaign reverses the traditional approach that required the homeless to go through addiction counseling and job training before earning a roof over their heads.
  • Through the Housing First program, Fort Lauderdale is providing the most vulnerable homeless individuals with housing, medical, and social services. The program is funded by a $441,000 federal grant that the City of Fort Lauderdale secured from HUD.  It is currently providing permanent supportive housing for 22 chronically homeless people.
  • The City is proud to report that our initiative was recently re-funded by HUD.  During the current year, we will have an additional $455,000 to continue to operate and expand this effort to serve even more chronic and vulnerable homeless in our City.

As part of our comprehensive strategy, the City has passed new ordinances that aim to reduce the public safety hazards and inappropriate nuisance activities that are negatively impacting our community.  As a City, we have a responsibility to ensure that all of our public spaces are accessible and can be safely enjoyed by everyone – families, children, residents and visitors. 

Our quality of life in Fort Lauderdale and our economic viability are directly linked to our stewardship of public spaces.   The City continues to provide leadership in the implementation of innovative ideas to protect our quality of life while ensuring continued funding for programs and initiatives that address humanitarian needs.

The City, our neighbors, and our businesses have a long and distinguished history of compassion toward those in need. 

If you would like to make a contribution to local non-profit agencies that help fund homeless assistance, substance abuse, and community support services in Fort Lauderdale, please visit:  www.fortlauderdale.gov/give

Again, thank you for your interest in this important humanitarian issue.

John P. “Jack” Seiler


City of Fort Lauderdale

If The Associated Press, who seems to be the source of the story, falsely reported that someone was arrested for feeding homeless people in Fort Lauderdale, then I should think that would be considered reporting shoddy enough to merit someone’s getting fired.  So, I’ve fired off an email to ‘Media Relations’ at the Press, in query:

I’m writing in connection with your report that a “90-year-old man was arrested for feeding the homeless in Florida,”

as per here:  http://globalnews.ca/news/1655630/90-year-old-man-arrested-for-feeding-homeless-in-florida/

I contacted the mayor of Fort Lauderdale, and we’ve exchanged several emails concerning this matter.

He says, and I quote:  “nobody was taken into custody.”

If your reporter(s) falsely reported that someone was arrested, then that is remarkably shoddy reporting.

I would like to know the truth of the matter, please, and, as I am a blogger:


I think my readers would like to know it, too.

Thank you for your timely response.

Marnie Tunay

and, if I hear back from them, I’ll be sure to let you know.  Ciao for now.

The  painting by Leonid Afremov of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, is listed for sale at this URL:  http://www.deviantart.com/art/FT-LAUDERDALE-FLORIDA-AFREMOV-155042218


November 14, 2014 update:

Wow.  A lot of people seem to care what the mayor of Fort Lauderdale thinks about feeding the homeless… Unfortunately, the ‘Associated Press’ isn’t among them.  I have not heard back from the ‘Press’ about their claim that a 90-year-old man was arrested for feeding the homeless.  So that’s the end of that….

Ironically, the Associated Press has recently been in the news in connection with an FBI agent who allegedly pretended to be an AP reporter:


The ironic part is the AP squawking about the “misappropriation of” their “trusted name.” I wonder how many people there are who actually trust the Associated Press more than they do the FBI.

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