Watchdog Report Vol.14 No.34 January 5, 2014 Est.05.05.00 – I go when you cannot

CONTENTS

Argus Report: Congressional candidate Sink raises $1.1 million for bell weather campaign of Democrats potential future in 2014 elections in Florida

Obituary: If a man’s life is judged by his family, when Stroleny passed he left a impressive legacy, was key to the Watchdog Report for his IT contribution over a decade

Florida: As governor’s race heats up, Scott rakes in the cash, so does Crist, but slower, the happy campaign “warrior” may be feeling the heat state and county leaders’ financial disclosures will be on line, some are there now, www.ethics.state.fl.us, sea change for transparency of elected official’s finances

Miami-Dade County: Mayor Gimenez’s Blue Ribbon Library Task Force member Summers says Miami-Dade has highest illiteracy rate in the nation

Public Health Trust: Oversight board legislation is being crafted by County Commissioner Edmonson to watch over $830 million bond for JHS

City of Miami: Mayor Regalado taps Gort as Commission Chair, was once acting mayor himself in 1996, and Commissioner Hardemon is #2 on the dais  

Village of Coconut Grove: King Mango Strut parade celebrated it’s 32nd continuous year in the Grove, light rain did not dampen the large crowd’s enthusiasm

City of Coral Gables: Mayor Cason says no crime spree over the holidays, only “one robbery,” but a number of the thefts are of “unlocked cars”

Town of Palmetto Bay: Vice Mayor DuBois to host town hall meeting Jan. 6th to discuss redevelopment plans

>>> Other stories around Florida

Broward County: IG John Scott details office’s accomplishment since voters created it in 2010 – Check out your elected county’s leader’s financial disclosure reports

Palm Beach County: Registered Sex Offender Living in Palm Beach County, Florida Arrested for Attempting to Entice a Minor to Engage in Unlawful Sexual Activity — Residents can review they’re top County Officials financial disclosure forms on line at http://public.ethics.state.fl.us/results.cfm

Monroe County: – To read all Monroe County constitutional officers’ financial disclosure forms go to http://public.ethics.state.fl.us/results.cfm

Community Events: Arsht Center production – Margulies Art Collection show

Editorials: Will 2014 bring another bumper crop of public corruption arrests? Let’s hope any wayward public servants get the message here in South Florida — Check out the past 2003 national story in the Tribune papers:  Paperwork Tiger By Maya Bell, Miami Bureau, Orlando Sun-Sentinel January 20, 2003 >>> And a 2004 UNC Chapel Hill study of the Southeast United States 15 states media outlet study where the Watchdog Report is listed as writing a “influential” column in Florida with over 100,000 readers: http://www.unc.edu/~davismt/SouthNow.pdf

Letters: Readers on the Watchdog Report and almost 15 years of continuous weekly reporting

Sponsors: Publisher’s mission statement & Subscription information is at the bottom of this issue — Scroll down for all the headline stories text.

>>> Just because you do not take an interest in politics does not mean politics will not take an interest in you. –Pericles (430 B.C.)

>>> If you wish to be deleted, just e-mail me with that message and you are free to e-mail this on to friends.

>>> The Watchdog Report publisher would like to thank the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation www.knightfoundation.org for funding by the Knight Foundation with technical support from the Knight Center for International Media http://knight.miami.edu within the University of Miami’s School of Communication www.miami.edu to maintain my webpage. The Watchdog Report webpage is free, has no ads, pops-up and is just the news in a mainstream reporting manner.

ARGUS REPORT – Heard, Seen on the Street

>>> Democratic Congressional candidate Sink raises $1.1 million for bell weather campaign for House 12 seat, of Democrat’s Party’s potential future in 2014 races

Former Florida CFO Alex Sink has raised $1.1 million for her congressional campaign she states in an email Thursday and she is running in the Special Election for U.S. House Seat 13 on Mar. 11. Sink has no opposition in the Democratic Primary and will be facing one of three GOP candidates running in the primary, a write in candidate and another challenger listed as LPF in the Special General Election called by Gov. Rick Scott after long serving Republican Congressman C.W. Bill Young passed a few months ago. Here is a list of the qualified candidates http://election.dos.state.fl.us/candidate/CanList.asp.

Sink in 2010 lost in her bid to become governor when Scott beat her in after he spent around $72 million of his own money in the contentious race, and Sink suffered a number of campaign gaffs in the process and put Scott, a former healthcare executive over the top. Since that race, Sink has stayed in the public eye and was occasionally spotted at Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce luncheons and she passed on running for governor again. Since her husband Bill McBride passed last year and had been her political sounding board who also lost his bid to be governor back in 2002 when he ran against Gov. Jeb Bush seeking his second term.

Sink while looking to represent Pinellas County residents now, the race has become a bell weather for Republicans looking to make political hay out of Sink’s affiliation with President Barack Obama and the Affordable Care Act and GOP money is starting to come into the race where Sink clearly has the edge when it comes to name recognition and fundraising. http://www.sunshinestatenews.com/story/alex-sink-ready-gop-attacks-nrcc-pours-it

Sink

>>> Spero C. Canton, the veteran journalist and long serving commentator and periodic spokesman for Comcast has retired from the company and Canton was the host of Comcast Newsmakers since 2002 and was the station’s public relations director. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spero_Canton Canton prior to the Comcast gig worked for television stations WTVJ 6 and WPLG10, the mayor of Miami Shores, and a decade ago, he interviewed the Watchdog Report on the Newsmakers Show and I wish him well in his new endeavors.

>>> Journalist Ferre, appears to have new editorial gig with The Miami Herald

Helen Aguirre Ferre appears to have a new gig as a guest editorial columnist for The Miami Herald. The award winning bilingual journalist has a new platform to get her opinions out and to stimulate discussion of stories of the day. She is also the first woman Chair of Miami-Dade College’s board of trustees and is the host of Issues on WWW.WPBT.ORG , a show that I have been on in the past. Good luck Helen in this new capacity and I look forward to your future columns and to watch this week’s Issues show go to www.wpbt.org/issues

Ferre http://helenaguirreferre.com/biography/

>>> Press release: Zogby Report Card: Even the weather looks brighter for Obama

John Zogby’s Obama Weekly Report Card is Featured in Paul Bedard’s “Washington Secrets” Published weekly in The Washington Examiner

Pollster John Zogby reports in our White House report card that President Obama’s had a good week being out of sight on vacation in Hawaii.

“The president is in Hawaii and has gotten decent weather so far. How bad could that be? Making things better, he received decent economic news about unemployment applications and better reports about Obamacare registrations. A total of 2 million-plus are now said to be enrolled in his namesake health insurance program — a total of 6 million new insured if we count those who are now on the Medicaid expansion. Please click on the link below to view this week’s grade: http://zogbyanalytics.com/news/401-zogby-report-card-even-the-weather-looks-brighter-for-obama

>>> Was Obama’s Year So Bad After All? >>> Press release: By: John Zogby Forbes.com Contributor — Let’s take the conventional wisdom and turn it upside down for a moment. As President Obama vacations in Hawaii for a couple of weeks, the end of year reviews are coming in from the Washington Press Corps. And the reviews are not kind. This was a “very bad year”. Mr. Obama has “the worst polling numbers of any President after the first year of a second term since Richard Nixon”. His Presidency is “doomed”. And so on. I would like to suggest a contrarian view. Over the past 29 years, when I wasn’t polling, I was running a business. I made strategic plans and established metrics to score goals. Most times, things worked out as planned; other times, we fell down or needed improvement. And then there were the unintended consequences – things that happened, for better or worse, that were simply unplanned. Please click on the link below to view the full release:
http://zogbyanalytics.com/news/400-was-obamas-year-so-bad-after-all1

>>> With the Watchdog Report closing in on 15 years, I thank all of you that have supported the effort, not for the feint of heart in many ways, including financially surviving

When I started the Watchdog Report on May 5, 2000, I never imagined that almost 15 years later. I would still be at it, and I want to thank all of you and the organizations that have financially supported me over those years. Since I essentially am funded by the community and my readers. Moreover, to say it has been a strange fork in the road for someone, who came from the corporate world, to have started this effort is an understatement, and only in South Florida could I have pulled off a mainstream news service like the WDR. But given the colorful nature of our community and how so many of us love and create the drama, that would be good entertainment. If we were not overall such a poor community, with pockets of great wealth, yet other areas in major poverty, and why our limited public tax dollars should be spent wisely and with proper oversight and media attention.

In addition, it is my belief that government works more effectively when reported on, and why I have kept at this, for over the past almost 18 years. In addition, the WDR or myself, has affected and easily saved some $100 million in public tax dollars over those years in some way. And it is the preventing of waste, fraud, and abuse and public corruption that has kept me out in the field and reporting back in a variety of venues, from the internet, The Miami Herald, to WLRN, and WPBT Channel 2 over the years.

OBITUARY

>>> If a man’s life is judged by his family, when Stroleny passed he left a impressive legacy, was key to the Watchdog Report for his IT contribution over a decade

A giant of a family man, Vladimir Stroleny, 57, passed suddenly on Christmas Day after a morning of skiing with his sons in Breckenridge and the man was my pro bono IT maven for the past decade and there would not be a Watchdog Report today without his technological expertise. Stroleny’s family and friends gathered at the Coconut Grove Sailing Club Friday afternoon to mourn his passing, and he was a former Vice Commodore at the Club in 2004-2005, along with Commodore Jack Hamm. And the two men faced the challenges of not having a lease with the city of Miami, when commissioners were looking at the Club’s site for some other activity or endeavor. Stroleny and Hamm laid the groundwork for the club getting a lease with the municipality in the years ahead, and he was an avid sailor and family man, and the kind of person you would want your daughter to marry.

Stroleny’s parents came from Czechoslovakia to America in the fifties and he would later get Undergraduate and Masters degrees from the University of Miami where he met his wife Shelley, (now the Principal at George Washington Carver Middle School), and they have been together ever since. The prominent couple have two sons, Julian and Clayton, now both attorneys and they’re younger sister Faurest planned the tasteful, yet beautiful event, that honored her father so much in a setting that he loved and spent many a day and evening there over the decades.  He started his first business in 1983 in the computer world and from around 2004 to last year, he has helped me whenever I had a computer problem and without that help. I and the Watchdog Report would have ceased many years ago. Rest in peace my friend and your dry sense of humor, good nature and temperament will be missed by so many people.

FLORIDA

>>> As governor’s race heats up, Scott rakes in the cash, so does Crist but happy campaign “warrior” may be feeling the heat

With the New Year, the gubernatorial race will heat up to a fever pitch in the months ahead and Republican Gov. Rick Scott is moving quickly to raise at least $100 million for his reelection campaign. He will likely face former Gov. Charlie Crist, a Republican, turned independent and now is a Democrat for the top state post. If Crist gets past state Sen. Nan Rich, D-Weston, which party officials think is likely. However, Crist, historically known as a happy campaign “warrior” may be feeling the pressure of trying to match the unpopular Scott’s fundraising activities and he wasn’t as relaxed as normal at a recent fundraiser here in South Florida. Crist was said to be a “little testy,” something strange for him throughout his political career since he was first a state senator back in 1994. Further, since Scott is likely to get financial support from the state’s physicians in many cases, Crist could get a boost if the nursing community gets behind his candidacy since there are hundreds of thousands of them in the state.

However, Republican political action committees have already started to hammer Crist using past Democratic leader’s negative comments about him in ads when he was the Florida governor, and attorney general, and all his flip-flops when it came to past issues. And of course, there is the man hug in Orlando with President Barack Obama back in 2009 that sent conservatives and tea party voters ballistic, and allowed Republican Marco Rubio to win the U.S. Senate seat in 2010 beating Crist running as an independent.

However, Scott has his own issues, he is not a natural campaigner on his own, though he has gotten a little better, but he is still riding low in statewide polls. The governor prior to running for office was a former healthcare executive whose chain of hospitals was forced to pay a $1.7 billion fine for Medicare fraud in the 1990s. However, that issue was pushed aside when he first ran and his campaign mantra was getting Florida back to work and the creation of new jobs and getting the state’s economy growing again.

And Scott in the first campaign used around $72 million of his own money in the 2010 primary and general election when he defeated former Florida CFO Alex Sink, a Democrat, in a tough race. Further, Scott’s administration has been bedeviled with turnover in his staff and state department heads since his arrival in Tallahassee over the last three years. Where he tends to have a management style similar to when he was a CEO and he is said to be “metrics” driven. Further, Scott won at the height of the Tea Party movement’s fervor, which produced major blow back when it came to reducing taxes, excessive regulations and government interference in business, and Scott filled the bill for these disgruntled voters at the time, but that past passion may not be there in this next race for Florida’s top job this year.


Scott

Crist

>>> Press release: Gov. Scott taps Tony Jenkins and Rebecca Steele to the Florida Commission on Human Relations.

Jenkins, 56, of Orlando, is the Market President of the Central Florida Region for Florida Blue. He fills a vacant seat and is appointed for a term beginning December 31, 2013, and ending September 30, 2014.

Steele, 60, of Jacksonville, is the Chief Human Resources Officer for Acosta Sales and Marketing. She fills a vacant seat and is appointed for a term beginning December 31, 2013, and ending September 30, 2015. The appointments are subject to confirmation by the Florida Senate.

>>> And if you ever thought about adopting a child, check out the great kids on the Children’s Trust’s Heart Gallery page http://www.miamiheartgallery.org/#start looking for a home and great new parents.

>>> Children’s Movement of Florida  Voices of Florida – We all have a story, a story that defines us. It is our collective story, our challenges and our triumphs that inspire a movement. Floridians from all walks of life have joined together with an understanding that the future of our state rests on the well-being of our children. Visit The Children’s Movement website to read their stories and share your own. >>> I find it unacceptable, as all of us should, that at least a half-million children in Florida – all citizens — have no health insurance. How could this be in our beloved country that seeks to be a beacon to the world? Health insurance for all children is one of the five major planks of The Children’s Movement. With the support of Florida Covering Kids and Families, The Children’s Movement is working with dozens of local partners to help build a meaningful signing-up initiative in more than a dozen Florida communities. Already we have: Completed 18 KidCare trainings around the state. Signed up, trained and deployed more than a hundred volunteers. Begun to build a growing collaboration between local school districts and KidCare outreach coalitions. It’s a good start, but only the start. If you’d like to become a volunteer, just click here. Another way to help is to make a contribution – of any size – to help support this work. It is easy. Just click here. A real movement isn’t possible without your helping in some meaningful way. Dave Lawrence, Jr., Chair The Children’s Movement.

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY

>>> Mayor Gimenez’s Blue Ribbon Library Task Force advocate Summers says Miami-Dade has “highest illiteracy rate” in the nation

One of the salient facts that came up at a Miami-Dade County Mayor’s Blue Ribbon Library Task Force public meeting in December was when task force member Lynn Summer told the members on the body. That Miami-Dade County has the “highest illiteracy rate” in the United States, and that fact once again shows the unusual demographics facing the state’s largest county. The Task Force is looking at a “tier” of funding and service options to bring to the county commission and Mayor Carlos Gimenez, to avoid persistent budget issues now and in the future for the extensive public library system. However, the illiteracy rate being so high is a significant component and problem if Miami-Dade is to have an educated workforce in the years to come, and the community being able to support high technology industries where educated workers are a critical criteria to companies coming to the region. To read more on the task force go to http://www.miamidade.gov/mayor/blue-ribbon-task-force-mdpls.asp

Gimenez

>>> And to review all the Miami-Dade County Commissioners and other county officials financial disclosure forms for the year go to http://public.ethics.state.fl.us/results.cfm?org_id=214439&suborg_id=233972&Mode=By_SubOrg

>>> GMCVB press release: PORT MIAMI – In the months of January – September 2013, passenger numbers through PortMiami saw an increase of 9.1% compared to the same time last year. Sustained growth is due in part to the arrival of new, larger vessels and the variety of cruise options offered by PortMiami.

PortMiami passengers
January – September 2013 January – September 2012 % Change
2,984,623 2,735,538 +9.1%

PUBLIC HEALTH TRUST

>>> Oversight board legislation is being crafted by County Commissioner Edmonson to watch over $830 million bond for JHS

The Miami-Dade County Board of County Commissioners under the sponsorship of Commissioner Audrey Edmonson will be leading the charge for the creation of a new oversight board to watch over the $830 million bonds voters approved in November, in a low countywide voter turnout, for Jackson Health System facilities upgrades. To read more on the matter go to http://www.sfltimes.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=15145&Itemid=331 Edmonson is suggesting that the people on this over sight board will have the specific skills to monitor how this money is spent, though it will be under the commission and the PHT seven member board of trustees in the governance hierarchy. In addition, the Watchdog Report will be covering this issue extensively in the future once the commission returns after the Holiday break and readers should stay tuned.

CITY OF MIAMI

>>> Mayor Regalado taps Gort as Commission Chair, was once acting mayor himself in 1996, and Commissioner Hardemon is #2

Mayor Tomas Regalado has named Wilfredo “Willy” Gort as the new Miami commission chair and newly minted Commissioner Keon Hardemon was tapped as vice chair of the five-member body. Gort has been on the commission twice, first in the 1990s and left when he ran for mayor in 2001 and was part of a pack of ten candidates running for the office at the time, but did not make the runoff. He came back to office in 2009 after his predecessor ex Commissioner Angel Gonzalez was forced to resign in a plea deal with the state attorney’s office after he was hit with a misdemeanor for getting his daughter a no show job. Gort has been a photographer and bond salesman in the past, is currently retired and over the decades has walked a political tightrope, where he has seen some of his peers arrested and removed from office, but he has gone unscathed, though an aide is under investigation for brandishing a weapon at a restaurant. http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/02/15/3237246/aide-to-miami-commissioner-willy.html

Gort, 73, born in Havana, briefly was acting mayor of Miami after Miami Mayor Stephen P. Clark died in office in 2006, and he first won office when he knocked off incumbent Commissioner Joe Carollo in 1993, and when Carollo was later mayor in 1998. He worked with other commissioners on a Charter Review Committee he chaired to get legislation changed that would force Carollo to potentially run again for office, but that did not occur at the time. Gort whose net worth of $241,000 is slightly up from $226,000 the year before has a daughter Tatiana, who works as a political strategist with a government affairs firm on Miami Beach and she helped Gort with his own campaign back in late 2009.

Gort and Regalado are the last few elected leaders of the old political guard that were exiled from Cuba and later sought office in Miami later in they’re lives, including former Miami Commissioner Demetrio Perez.  But Perez was later removed from the Miami-Dade Public Schools Board in 2001 after he was charged with a felony for shaking down an elderly woman living in one of his Section 8 apartments he owned. http://www.latinamericanstudies.org/exile/demetrio-fraud.htm


Regalado

Gort

Hardemon

>>> Failed Mayoral candidate Suarez files his final campaign report, prorated returning campaign contributions

Miami Commissioner Francis Suarez submitted his close out campaign report for his failed bid to become the mayor of Miami this past November. He dropped out of the race after a series of gaffs and resulted in a campaign staffer’s house being searched by authorities. He was considered the only significant challenger to Mayor Tomas Regalado’s reelection bid, which the mayor ultimately won. Suarez in the campaign report state’s he expended $444,149 for the period that ended Dec. 20, 2013. He is also returning contributions prorated to his contributors and to read the complete extensive report go to http://www.miamigov.com/City_Clerk/Pages/Elections/CampaignReports13/CampaignTreasurersRpt_TR_FrancisSuarez_Dec23_2013.pdf

Suarez

VILLAGE OF COCONUT GROVE

>>> King Mango Strut parade celebrated it’s 32 continuous year in the Grove, light rain did not dampen the large crowd’s enthusiasm

The 32nd King Mango Strut was held Dec. 29th in Coconut Grove and despite a headline in The Miami Herald Neighbors Issue last Sunday that suggested it had left the tony community, and come back to the Grove, that was not the case. And the zany parade has been a holiday favorite for decades now bringing young and old to the city’s first community, which was later annexed by Miami. Moreover, while it drizzled, the crowds still showed up in mass, and to see some of the whacky parodies in the parade go to www.kingmangostrut.org

CITY OF CORAL GABLES

>>> Mayor Cason says no crime spree over the holidays, only “one robbery,” but a number of the thefts are of “unlocked cars”

The Watchdog Report has talked to a number of Gables residents over the holidays that have had car break-ins and I contacted Mayor Jim Cason about the matter and if there was an up tick during the holidays. Cason in an email back last week wrote, “The reports are not true.  In fact, this holiday season the incidents of car theft, car break ins, robberies and house burglaries dropped 30% (December 16-29 vice Dec 2-15). We had only one robbery the whole month.  Overall, the incidents of crime have been dropping steadily over the past few years, and for a city with 18,000 dwellings, 48,000 residents (50% more during the day) and 220 miles of roads, we have remarkably little property crime.  69% of our crimes in December were thefts from cars, of which 95% were unlocked cars with valuables in sight. We’d love to have no crime, but that will never happen unfortunately.  We have added 7 more police to our force and reorganized the department to get more boots on the ground, all of which should help keep property crime low here,” wrote Mayor Cason.

Cason

TOWN OF PALMETTO BAY

>>> Vice Mayor DuBois to host town hall meeting Jan. 6th to discuss redevelopment plans

Email from a reader: Vice Mayor John DuBois will host a Town Hall discussion at 5pm on Jan. 6 at Palmetto Bay Village Hall (2 hours before the scheduled council meeting) concerning the financial projections of the Downtown Redevelopment Task Force initiative and its impact on future Village budgets. Issues will be discussed such as Government Investment at Risk to make project successful By Palmetto Bay Tax Payers, By other Government Entities, Dade County, School Board, State and Federal, Capital Improvements, Real Property Acquisitions, Private Sector Investment at Risk to make project successful, Residential Development,  Commercial Development,  Retail, Office, Incentives for Developers and Property Owners. How will Palmetto Bay investments impact Budget and Real Estate Taxes? What is a realistic time line? Will tax revenue generation occur in time to plug the expanded deficits caused by this project or will real estate taxes have to be raised substantially or worse yet, bond defaults?

Public comments and open dialogue will be encouraged on the above issues.

>>> OTHER STORIES AROUND FLORIDA

BROWARD COUNTY

>>> IG John Scott details office’s accomplishment since voters created it in 2010

Readers should check out the Broward Inspector General’s Office Annual Report and John Scott, the county’s inspector general is making progress since county voters first created the office in 2010. To read the report go to http://www.broward.org/InspectorGeneral/Documents/2012-2013AnnualReport.pdf

Scott

>>> Residents can review they’re county commissioners financial disclosure forms on line — Residents of Broward County can now review they’re county commissioners financial disclosure forms on line and to see the inner financial workings of these elected officials go to  http://public.ethics.state.fl.us/results.cfm

>>> Thank you for using the Broward County Commission Agenda E-mail Notification System. A new Broward County Commission Agenda is available. Point your browser to http://www.broward.org/commission/welcome.htm to view the new agenda.

PALM BEACH COUNTY

>>> Registered Sex Offender Living in Palm Beach County, Florida Arrested for Attempting to Entice a Minor to Engage in Unlawful Sexual Activity

Press release: Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Dave Aronberg, State Attorney, Office of the State Attorney for Palm Beach County, Alysa D. Erichs, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations, (ICE-HSI), and Jeffrey S. Katz, Chief of Police, Boynton Beach Police Department, (BBPD), announce that Paul David Culbreth, 52, of Loxahatchee, Florida, appeared in federal court today for an initial appearance on the charge of attempting to entice a minor to engage in an illegal sexual activity, after being arrested on New Year’s Eve.  If convicted, the defendant faces a 10 year mandatory term of imprisonment and a maximum term of life.

According to the criminal complaint, Culbreth sent numerous sexually explicit messages via a web-based social media application to an undercover officer who posed as a 15 year old boy. Culbreth then attempted to meet the minor to engage in illegal sexual activity on New Year’s Eve.  Culbreth was arrested by Special Agents from ICE-HSI after he drove to a location where he believed he would pick up the 15 year old boy. Culbreth was found with lubricant and condoms in his vehicle and is a registered sex offender in Palm Beach County, Florida. This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse, launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.

Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative and cooperative efforts of ICE-HSI and BBPD. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Adam McMichael and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Gregory Schiller from the Palm Beach County State Attorney’s Office. A criminal complaint is only an accusation and a defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida at www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls.

>>> And to read all the Palm Beach elected leader’s financial disclosure reports go to http://public.ethics.state.fl.us/results.cfm

COMMUNITY EVENTS

>>> The Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County

Present NANA MOUSKOURI Best-selling, multilingual singer returns to the U.S. with “Happy Birthday Tour”

“Her soaring voice has shifted 350 million records, making her the most successful female singer ever!” – The Guardian, UK Part of the 2013-2014 Live at Knight Series Sunday, January 26, 2014 at 8 p.m. Tickets: $35, $55, $75 & $95*

John S. and James L. Knight Concert Hall >>>  The Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County is proud to present legendary, multilingual singing sensation NANA MOUSKOURI as part of its star-studded 2013-2014 Live at Knight Series. Currently traveling the world with her international “Happy Birthday Tour,” NANA MOUSKOURI will make her much-anticipated return to the U.S. with a concert celebrating a landmark birthday and honoring artists who have been inspirations throughout her career on January 26, 2014 at 8 p.m. in the John S. and James L. Knight Concert Hall. Tickets to NANA MOUSKOURI are on sale now at $35, $55, $75 & $95*, and may be purchased through the Adrienne Arsht Center Box Office by calling (305) 949-6722, or online at www.arshtcenter.org.  Often described as Europe’s Barbra Streisand, NANA MOUSKOURI is a world-renowned singer with a career spanning five decades and one of the best-selling female artists of all time with more than 350 million albums sold worldwide… NANA MOUSKOURI will be accompanied by a band of four French musicians and daughter Lénou, who has had her own singing career in France since 2001. *All programs, artists, ticket prices, availability, dates and times are subject to change without notice. Visit www.arshtcenter.org for up-to-date information for details and schedules.

>>> The Margulies Collection is open to the public Wednesday through Saturday 11am to 4pm Feature Exhibitions: Song Dong | The Wisdom of the Poor: A Communal Courtyard Arte Povera | Calzolari, Kounellis, Pistoletto Anselm Kiefer | Paintings and Sculpture 1986 – 2006 New Painting: Anna Betbeze, Aaron Bobrow, Jessica Jackson Hutchins, Astrid Svangren,Tam Van Tran New Photography: Olafur Eliasson, Jan Hoek, Nina Katchadourian, Domenico Mangano, Zwelethu Mthethwa, Hank Willis Thomas New Sculpture: Ai Weiwei, Nathalie Djurberg, Masao Gozu, Kenny Scharf, Paolo Ventura

New Video: Kota Ezawa, Amar Kanwar We look forward to welcoming you to the Warehouse soon!

Jannis Kounellis,Senza Titolo,1999, plates, iron shelves, bags, plaster, 142 x 79″

EDITORIAL

>>> Will 2014 bring another bumper crop of public corruption arrests? Let’s hope any wayward public servants get the message here in South Florida

With the New Year, the Watchdog Report closes in on its 15th year in May, and to say this has been a strange journey into the political world, where many things in South Florida are not what it may seem in many cases, and everything is political, you will agree someone needed to step up and do this. In addition, in this past year, we have had a host of arrests of municipal mayors, a variety of other wayward public officials, and even a past county mayoral candidate is fighting charges of tax evasion with the IRS. Further, with this New Year, the community starts with a clean slate, and it is up to the elected leaders to decide if they also should be picked off by not straying into the world of corruption and abuse of ones public office.

For there is a host of investigators at all levels and citizens have new resources and ways to bring wrong doing out into the open with they’re cameras and videos in their hands at all times. And that capability alone should keep public servants in check blocking any thoughts of taking advantage of their position. For South Florida from Palm Beach to Monroe County is filled with public corruption enforcement assets, at an unprecedented level, and this corruption of our leaders is the most corrosive cause of the public’s lack of faith in their public institutions. And may 2014 bring a bumper crop of arrests if these wayward officials do not get the message, for while corruption has been around since the time of the ancient Greeks. It does not have to flourish, as it has down here and the public must do its part and report such behavior if they see it. For when we as a community don’t speak up, we are condoning such behavior and are actually now becoming part of the problem. Something we all should not be tolerating and is destructive to our way of life and our society as a whole in so many ways.

LETTERS

>>> I hope you had a very Merry Christmas and I wish you a healthy and happy new year. You have a difficult job to do and you do it fairly and with objectivity-thank you.

A. L.

>>> Glad to know you’re still fighting the good fight. I wish you the very best in the new year, and always.

M. B.

>>> Keep the good work up.

R.

>>> LIFETIME FOUNDING MEMBERS & INITIAL SPONSORS IN 2000

ANGEL ESPINOSA – (Deceased) owner COCONUT GROVE DRY CLEANER’S

HUGH CULVERHOUSE, Jr

FLORIDA POWER & LIGHT www.fpl.com .

THE MIAMI HERALD     www.miamiherald.com (2000-2008)

ARTHUR HERTZ

WILLIAM HUGGETT, Seamen Attorney (Deceased)

ALFRED NOVAK

LINDA E. RICKER (Deceased)

JOHN S. and JAMES L. KNIGHT FOUNDATION  www.knightfoundation.org

THE HONORABLE STANLEY G. TATE

>>> Watchdog Report supporters – $2,000 a year

BADIA SPICES    www.badiaspices.com

RONALD HALL

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY www.miamidade.gov

UNITED WAY OF MIAMI-DADE COUNTY www.unitedwaymiamidade.org

>>> Watchdog Report supporters – $1,000 a year

AKERMAN SENTERFITT   www.akerman.com

BERKOWITZ POLLACK BRANT Advisors and Accountants www.bpbcpa.com

RON BOOK

LINDA MURPHY: Gave a new laptop in Oct. 2001 to keep me going.

WILLIAM PALMER www.shutts.com

SHUBIN & BASS     www.shubinbass.com

WILLIAMSOM AUTOMOTIVE GROUP http://williamsonautomotivegroup.com/

>>> Public, Educational & Social institutions – subscribers at $1,000 or less

CAMILLUS HOUSE, INC.   www.camillushouse.org

CITY OF MIAMI www.miamigov.com.

CITY OF CORAL GABLES www.coralgables.com

CITY OF MIAMI BEACH www.miamibeachfl.gov

CHAPMAN PARTNERSHIP FOR HOMELESS www.chapmanpartnership.org

FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL UNIVERSITY  www.fiu.edu

THE STATE OF FLORIDA    www.myflorida.gov

GREATER MIAMI CHAMBER OF COMMERCE www.miamichamber.com

GREATER MIAMI CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU www.miamiandbeaches.com

HEALTH FOUNDATION OF SOUTH FLORIDA  www.hfsf.org

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY COMMISSION   www.miamidade.gov

MIAMI-DADE COMMISSION OFFICE OF THE CHAIR www.miamidade.gov

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY ETHICS & PUBLIC TRUST COMMISSION

MIAMI-DADE COLLEGE www.mdc.edu

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY INSPECTOR GENERAL www.miamidade.gov/ig

MIAMI-DADE PUBLIC SCHOOLS BOARD www.dadeschools.net

MIAMI-DADE PUBLIC SCHOOLS www.dadeschools.net

MIAMI DOWNTOWN DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY www.miamidda.com

PUBLIC HEALTH TRUST & JACKSON HEALTH SYSTEM www.jhsmiami.org

THE BEACON COUNCIL   www.beaconcouncil.com

THE CHILDREN’S TRUST www.thechildrenstrust.org

THE GOOD GOVERNMENT INITIATIVE http://goodgov.net/

THE MIAMI-DADE COUNTY LEAGUE OF CITIES www.mdclc.org

THE MIAMI FOUNDATION  www.miamifoundation.org

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA    http://www.firstgov.gov/

UNIVERSITY OF MIAMI             www.miami.edu

The Watchdog Report covers a few of the meetings attended weekly. It remains my belief that an informed public will make better decisions. Therefore, I go to meetings, make the presence of an informed citizen known, and bring the information to you.   The Watchdog Report is in the 14th year of publication and it has been an honor to be able to send this information to you. It is sent to readers in Miami-Dade, Florida, the U.S. and the world. The Watchdog Report is sent to thousands free and while readers have been prodded to subscribe the results have been mixed. Over 800 reports and Extra’s have been sent since May 5, 2000 and over two million words have been written on our community’s governments and events.  The report is an original work based on information gathered at public meetings, interviews and from documents in the public domain.

LETTER POLICY

I welcome letters via e-mail, fax, or snail mail. Letters may be edited for length or clarity and must refer to material published in the Watchdog Report.  Please see address and contact information. Please send any additions and corrections by e-mail, fax or snail mail. All corrections will be published in the next Watchdog Report. If you or your organization would like to publish the contents of this newsletter, please contact me. Please send your request to watchdogreport1@earthlink.net

Daniel A. Ricker

Publisher & Editor

Watchdog Report www.watchdogreport.net

Est. 05.05.00

Copyright © of original material, 2014, Daniel A. Ricker

>>> The Watchdog Report are now available to television stations web pages, and all the newspapers and other media in South Florida if the publishers have an interest to run part or all of the stories. Further, in 2000, I used to have some paper’s running the report in the Spanish press, that option is available again, and publishers should contact me.  The news content will not be free, but you can pick and chose the stories of interest, edit them if necessary but you must still keep the general story intact.  If you are a news outlet and would like to learn more about, the Watchdog Report and this offer contact me at watchdogreport1@earthlink.net for further information.  >>> Here is what past newspapers have written about the Watchdog Report publisher including a survey and regional study done by the U. North Carolina at Chapel Hill on the media in the southeast United States.

>>> The Miami Herald and Orlando Sentinel & Sun-Sentinel articles on the Watchdog Report publisher over the years. >>> Published on September 9, 1999, Page 1EA, Miami Herald, The (FL) CITIZEN ADVOCATE’ KEEPS TABS ON POLITICIANS >>> Published on January 3, 2000, Page 1B, Miami Herald, The (FL) MIAMI-DADE WATCHDOG WILL BE MISSED >>> >>> To read the full section large two page front page story, but without the photos and smart box graphics, go to: `I Go When You Cannot’ – Sun Sentinel 20 Jan 2003 … Sometimes Dan Ricker lives in the dark so others may live in the light. … to his weekly Watchdog Report have finally mailed their checks. … http://articles.sun-sentinel.com/2003-01-20/news/0301190341_1_ricker-school-board-president-miami-s-first-cuban-american >>>Watchdog Report publisher named ‘Best Citizen’ 2003 by the Miami New Times  –The publisher would like to thank the weekly alternative paper Miami New Times for bestowing their 2003 Best of Miami, ‘Best Citizen’ award to me and I am honored.  Thank you. To read the full story go to http://www.miaminewtimes.com/issues/2003-05-15/citylife2.html/1/index.html

From the spring of 2003:  U. North Carolina, Chapel Hill:  Southeast U.S. Media Report lists Watchdog Report publisher as leading Florida commentator >>> Selected excerpts from the report on Florida’s media sources. Those who do read the newspaper in Florida have a bevy of options for state government and political coverage. The dominant newspapers in the state are Knight-Ridder’s The Miami Herald (Acquired by The McClatchy Company in 2006) and the Poynter Institute’s St. Petersburg Times. Both papers endorsed Gore in 2000 but split on the 2002 gubernatorial race, with the Herald endorsing Republican incumbent Jeb Bush and the Times backing Democratic challenger Bill McBride. Daniel Ricker of The Miami Herald also writes an influential column as well as an email newsletter called the Watchdog Report that goes out to more than 100,000 subscribers. FEBRUARY 2004 – Florida: Columnists in Abundance –ERIC GAUTSCHI, graduate student, School of Journalism & Mass Communication, UNC-Chapel Hill – D) LEADING COMMENTATORS – Resource Commentator Organization Type Web site –Steve Bousquet St. Petersburg Times Column www.sptimes.com/columns/bousquet.shtml -“First Friday” WPBT TV (Miami) TV Show www.channel2.org/firstfriday/issues.html –Lucy Morgan St. Petersburg Times Column www.sptimes.com/columns/morgan.shtml –Daniel Ricker Miami Herald/Watchdog Report Newsletter >>> Readers who would like to read the complete University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill Southeast United States Media Report go to view the complete report or download all the data used in this study. >>> Watchdog Report Editor’s note to the NCU/CH study: The subscriber number referenced is incorrect and applies to readership.

General subscriber’s names will not be published in the Report. To subscribe to the Watchdog Report please use the form below as a subscription invoice.

********************************************************************

Watchdog Report Supporters Invoice-Form

NOTE: Invoice is for Yearly supporter/sponsorship Rates: Thank you.

Supporting Sponsors $5,000

Sustaining Sponsors $2,000

Corporate Sponsors $1,000 (All levels above will be listed in the report with web-site link if desired)

Large Business Supporters $500

Small Business Supporters $250

Individual Supporter $150

Student Supporter $ 75

Any amount $

Name & Address

Please make checks payable to: Daniel A. Ricker

Send to: 3109 Grand Avenue, #125

Miami, FL 33133 To contact the Publisher please e-mail watchdogreport1@earthlink.net


 
 
 

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