The fourth anniversary fundraiser for Broward Bulldog is coming up. Nov. 12 at VIBE on Las Olas Boulevard. This is the independent investigative group organized by Dan Christensen, and supported by increasing numbers of media people – current and ex. crime-story writer Michael Connelly, formerly with the Sun-Sentinel, has been among the most generous.
|Dan Christensen, founder of Broward Bulldog
Illustrating the importance of Broward Bulldog is a piece in today’s Miami Herald. It is the kind of story that the Herald, with its depleted staff, would not do on its own. This one, written by Dan Christensen himself, describes ties between Gov. Rick Scott and former (and convicted) sheriff Ken Jenne. It is a relationship Scott has tried to keep quiet. But let’s not ruin the plot – check out today’s Herald or Broward Bulldog. But it shows the respect a major news organization has for Broward Bulldog and its handful of writers.
Broward Bulldog has had a busy few weeks, with a number of pieces picked up by newspapers. One of the more interesting pieces was a story on how former U.S. Rep. Peter Deutsch, who lives in Israel, has organized Ben Gamla Charter Schools in South Florida. If the facts in this piece are accurate, and Christensen said today that no one has challenged them or any grounds except the predictable charge of anti-Semitism, the schools are basically private schools with a religious orientation, disguised as public schools receiving taxpayer support.
The Hollywood school, for instance, has 85 percent Jewish students and offers studies in the Hebrew language and culture. Nothing religious, except after hours or off campus. Some may call this gaming the system, but a more enlightened view could be that Deutsch has done private schools with religious orientation a great favor.
As Christensen said today, how can a system that permits Ben Gamla Charter Schools to take state money, not do the same for other religious schools, notably the many old Catholic schools that are struggling in inner-city locations and have a difficult time getting a voucher system approved in legislatures that insist on separation of church and state.
Of course, this might take some logistical fine-tuning. Gamla was a Jewish fortress on the Golan Heights, where brave people fought off the Romans. Nothing religious about that, just good history. So a school such as St. Anthony would have to change its name to Padua or Assisi, or maybe Rock of Cashel Charter in deference to all the Irish priests who have labored there. It would need language studies in Irish, Italian, Polish, French and Spanish. Make sure the kids know the history of such words as glom, Notre Dame, amigo, pizza, etc. Along with the cultures of those countries, which all include a deep history in the Roman religion. But that’s just culture. No religious stuff in the schools, not even a Hail Mary pass. Leave such trivia off campus, maybe in the gym, or in the church next door.
If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.