Watchdog Report Vol.15 No.30 November 23, 2014 EST.05.05.00 – I go when you cannot – Celebrating 15 Years
Argus Report: President Obamas speech on immigration has GOP crying foul with others saying it did not go far enough, A political Hot potato for both Parties with their base
Florida: There he goes again Gov. Scott starts making some of the 4,000 appointments during his new term, including many judges and people on a host of other boards
Miami-Dade County: Mayor Gimenez makes loyal financial guru Moon fall on her sword after error of advertisement on county budget numbers, she and her staff are some of the hardest working people in county government.
Miami-Dade County Public Schools: Board goes with proven leadership, taps Tabares-Hantman and Dr. Feldman for chair and vice chair leadership positions
Public Health Trust: Miracles made daily, not only applies to JHS in medicine but also fiscal health after third year in the black after major union concessions and reforms, ends decades of hemorrhaging in the red for public health system
City of Miami: Miami Marine Stadium deal runs into Land mine at commission meeting, Mayor of Key Biscayne Myra Pena weighs in as well on Village concerns
City of Miami Beach: Budget hearing gets a redo after small calculation error on public budget notices in the media
City of Hialeah: Director of Nursing Sentenced to 57 Months in Prison for Role in $7 Million Health Care Fraud Scheme
City of Coral Gables: Former Gables Commissioner Cabrera throws his hat in mayoral race, what will Mayor Cason do?
City of Homestead: Felon Mayor Bateman settles Ethics Commission complaint paying $500 fine and accepting a Letter of Reprimand
Broward County: FT. Lauderdale Mayor Jack Seiler should look to “Miami-Dade County Homeless Trust, model,” to end media nightmare regarding Homeless feeding says Miami school board member Regalado
Monroe County: Key West Citizen Reporter Schmida 45, stiffing meal leads to felony charge and another experienced reporter leaves the public arena, what were you thinking?
Community Events: Ride for Lotus House – Dolphin Cycling Challenge V Sponsor, ride, run, walk, donate or volunteer to fight the Plague of our generation: February 7-8, — Kristi House 15th Gala Event – Black archives event — The Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County and the University Of Miami Present The Regional Premiere Of Peter and the Starcatcher Arsht Center production- Margulies Warehouse opens in Oct. Lotus House benefits, public students enter free
Editorials: Who knew so many elected officials were disgruntled with they’re present elected positions and would consider running for County mayor? They need to keep their eye on the ball and the job they were elected to do
Letters: — Reader wishes me a speedy recovery from stroke
Sponsors – Publisher’s mission statement & Subscription information is at the bottom of this issue
>>> 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.)
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>>> 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 www.knightfoundation.org to maintain my webpage. The Watchdog Report webpage is free, has no pops-up and is just the news in a mainstream reporting manner.
>>>> The Watchdog Report publisher needs help and I hope you will consider supporting me allowing me to stay out in the field so that I can keep at this and report back how your billions of public dollars in government is being spent on a weekly basis. And how to do that is at the end of the WDR. Thank You.
>>> I also wish and hope you and your family have a great and healthy Thanksgiving Day Thursday and we remember those that are less fortunate in our community on this day of giving.
ARGUS REPORT – Heard, Seen on the Street
>>> President Obamas speech on immigration has GOP crying foul with others saying it did not go far enough, A political hot potato for both Parties
With Immigration a hot topic in South Florida it appears President Barack Obama’s speech and Executive Order this week on the matter did not really satisfy many people and the President by making this unilateral move is said to be “poisoning the well” with the new GOP Congress coming into office in January and immigration reform and sealing the borders are hot button items with many people but few lawmakers are satisfied with the results on the nation’s border. And to watch the President’s remarks click the link below.
WHITE HOUSE press release: Very few people see the President prepare for a big speech. He’s energetic, but calm. He’ll walk over, take a look at the space where he’ll be speaking, and sit quietly as he reads through his remarks. Sometimes, he’ll make small changes up until the very end. Last night, we went behind the scenes to capture what that looks like.
The President is acting on his own to help fix our immigration system because he knows this debate deserves something better than politics as usual.
And the plan he laid out last night addresses as much of the problem as he can: It cracks down on illegal immigration at the border; prioritizes the deportation of felons, not families; and increases accountability so that more than 4 million undocumented immigrants have the opportunity to pay taxes and play by the rules. Learn more about that plan here. The actions the President is taking are a first step. Congress still has to finish this job — they could even do it before the end of this year. It’s on them to get to work.
>>> Diaz-Balart and Ros-Lehtinen Statements on the President’s Executive Order
Press release: Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL) and Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) released the following statement concerning President Obama’s executive order on immigration: “As President Obama has stated, ‘I am President of the United States, not the Emperor of the United States.’ He further stated that acting unilaterally is ‘ignoring the law in a way that I believe would be very difficult to defend legally.’ Now, the President says he has the authority to stop deportations. It begs the question – why did President Obama deport more than two million people, dividing families, when according to him, it could have been avoided?” stated Diaz-Balart and Ros-Lehtinen. “While we agree on the merits of some of the announced measures,” continued Diaz-Balart and Ros-Lehtinen, “the President’s executive order makes it more difficult to pass a commonsense solution to our country’s broken immigration system. We continue to believe that we must find a bipartisan, legislative solution to strengthen our borders, offer a permanent and humane solution to those living in the shadows, adhere to the rule of law, modernize our antiquated visa system, and bolster the economy. None of this is accomplished by the President’s executive order.”
“Shortly after this year’s election, President Obama said he was willing to work together with the new Congress. He has now clearly demonstrated that he has no intention of doing so. His actions will unfortunately further divide our country. We are committed to finding a bipartisan, legislative solution that will unite a majority of Congress and the American people on this critical issue,” said Diaz-Balart and Ros-Lehtinen.
>>> Zogby press release: Hillary’s lead over Jeb Bush and Rand Paul Narrow By: John Zogby Forbes.com Contributor
Some pundits suggest that it is good that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is airing her dirty linen and making her campaign mistakes now with over two years to go until the 2016 elections. Others, me included, argue that this lackluster performance is not likely to go away. Whichever side is right, the fact is that a new Zogby Analytics poll taken June 27-29 shows that her past two weeks in the limelight have hurt her with the voting public. The new poll of 1,110 likely voters nationwide conducted online shows the Democrats’ frontrunner leading former Florida Governor Jeb Bush by just 12 points, 47% to 35%, with 12% selecting “Other” and 5% not sure. This lead is down considerably from her 18 point lead in a late March Zogby poll (51%-33%) and the 19 point lead she held in early May (49%-32%).
U.S. Sen. Nelson Press release: An Orlando resident died recently when her car airbag exploded, sending metal shards into her neck. And last year a young woman was injured in an accident near Destin, Florida when her airbag exploded.
Both devices were made by the same manufacturer now involved in a recall of almost eight million vehicles nationwide. You can check whether your vehicle has been recalled by entering your car’s VIN number at https://vinrcl.safercar.gov/vin/.
Due to a shortage of parts, consumers around the country have been left scrambling to get their cars repaired and facing delays. That’s why I’ve written to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, as well as two automakers with the largest share of recalled cars, asking them to provide loaners or rental-car reimbursement to all affected drivers. Meanwhile, recent press reports suggest officials may have known about the danger of this product much earlier than public warnings. So, I’m about to chair a Senate Commerce Committee investigative hearing to get to the bottom of this serious lapse in consumer product safety. Please take a moment to read the article below about the upcoming hearing. I’ll keep you posted as this continues to unfold. As always, thanks for your interest in public service. Sincerely,
>>> There he goes again Gov. Scott starts making some of the 4,000 appointments during his new term, including many judges and people on a host of other boards
With Gov. Rick Scott back in the governor’s office after a tough race he is back to appointing people to some of the 4,000 positions (As estimated by Florida TaxWatch) under his portfolio including judges and a host of other boards and it is the way a governor leaves his mark on the state long after he is gone and some of Scott’s choices have been great, but others have been terrible in some cases and when it comes with the judicial appointments he loves to choose people who have been in the state attorney’s office or the military most of the time.
>>> Press release: Governor Rick Scott announced the appointment of Howard O. McGillin, Jr. to the Seventh Judicial Circuit Court*.
McGillin 55, of St. Augustine, is the Founder of the Allegiance Law Group. McGillin is a retired U.S. Army Colonel after serving for 24 years. He previously served as the Deputy Staff Judge Advocate for the U.S. Army in Hawaii from 1998-2000. From 1994-1997, McGillin was a professor and Deputy Director of the Academic Department of the U.S. Army Judge Advocate Generals School. McGillin began his legal career in 1989 with the Office of the Staff Judge Advocate. He received his bachelor’s degree from the U.S. Military Academy, his law degree from the University of Florida College of Law, and his LLM from The Judge Advocate General’s School of Law. McGillin fills a vacancy created by the resignation of Judge Carlos E. Mendoza.
Governor Rick Scott said, “With his military background and legal experience, Howard will make a great addition to the Seventh Judicial Circuit bench. I welcome him to this new position and look forward to his continued service to Florida families.” *Seventh Judicial Circuit – Flagler, Putnam, St. Johns, and Volusia Counties
>>> Gov. Scott: Press release: Governor Rick Scott today announced the appointments of Frank Collins, Kim McDougal, Brad Piepenbrink, Karl Rasmussen and Jeff Woodburn to key positions in the Executive Office of the Governor. Frank Collins will serve as Deputy Chief of Staff; Kim McDougal will serve as Deputy Chief of Staff and Legislative Affairs Director; Brad Piepenbrink will serve as Deputy Chief of Staff and External Affairs Director; Karl Rasmussen will serve as Deputy Chief of Staff; and Jeff Woodburn will serve as the Governor’s Policy Director. All positions are effective on December 1st.
Governor Scott said, “During the last four years, we accomplished a lot for Florida families, and the next four years will be no different. I am proud to announce the appointments of Frank, Kim, Brad, Karl and Jeff. Each of them served an important role during my first term and we look forward to continuing to work to ensure that Florida is the best state in the nation to get a job and raise a family. I am thankful for Rachel Cone’s and Geoffrey Becker’s service to Florida families during the first term. Their counsel was instrumental to creating more jobs and improving our education system in Florida.”
Frank Collins most recently served as Communications Director for Governor Rick Scott. From October 2012 to January of 2014, Collins served as Deputy Communications Director in the Governor’s communications office. Prior to his work in Florida, Collins, originally of Stonewall, LA, served as policy coordinator for the Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority, and worked in Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal’s press office from 2008 to 2012 in numerous positions, including Press Secretary. Collins has a bachelor’s degree in International Studies from Louisiana State University.
Dr. Kim McDougal began her public service with the state of Florida in 1989. Most recently, she served on Governor Scott’s campaign as a policy advisor and as the Governor’s Policy Director. McDougal has previously served in numerous leadership roles at the Department of Education, including Governmental Relations Director and Senior Policy Advisor for several Commissioners of Education. McDougal also served Governor Jeb Bush and in the Office of Program Policy and Government Accountability in the Florida Legislature. She received her bachelor’s degree from Tulane University, and a master’s degree and doctorate from Florida State University.
Brad Piepenbrink most recently served as political director for Governor Scott’s reelection campaign. Prior to that, he served as Governor Scott’s Director of External Affairs, Deputy Chief of Staff for the Department of Education, and travel-aide to the Governor during his first term. Piepenbrink also served Senate President Andy Gardiner in the Senate Majority Office and was the legislative aide to Senate President Pro Tempore Garrett Richter. He began his career working for John McCain’s Presidential Campaign in 2008. Piepenbrink holds a bachelor’s degree in communications from Florida Gulf Coast University. Karl Rasmussen joined the Governor’s office in January 2013 and most recently served as Governor Scott’s Director of Cabinet Affairs. Prior to joining the Governor Office, Rasmussen was the Assistant Director of State Lands and the Director of Cabinet Affairs at the Department of Environmental Protection. Jeff Woodburn currently serves as Deputy Secretary for Business Regulation at the Department of Business and Professional Regulation, a role he has held since 2013. Previously, Woodburn served as Deputy Policy Director for Governor Scott and was an attorney with the Florida House of Representatives. Woodburn holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Florida and a juris doctorate from Florida Coastal School of Law.
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. >>> Update: Two encouraging meetings… The first, a visit from the Governor to the Rainbow Intergenerational Child Care center in Little Havana where he discussed his early learning priorities. That includes his support for “Help Me Grow,” a statewide parent resource system where parents would be able — via phone and online — to get answers to questions about their child’s development and connected with the proper resources. The second, a meeting with future House Speaker, Rep. Jose Oliva from Hialeah. He’s a father of three, a real reader of history and student of policy, and committed to better understanding early learning. Dave Lawrence, Chair The Children’s Movement.
>>> Mayor Gimenez makes loyal financial guru Moon fall on her sword after error of advertisement on county budget numbers, she and her staff are some of the hardest working people in county government
A calculation error at the county’s Budget Department has resulted in the Couonty and Miami Beach having to re hold their public budget hearings for the year and County Mayor Carlos Gimenez is disciplining the employees of the Budget and Strategic Management Department including Director Jennifer Moon a highly respected numbers cruncher and Hugo Salazar (who just celebrated 30 years at the county) and the two of them have been the county’s fiscal guru and her department’s people work hard and I’m sure they are upset this occurred because they are a dedicated lot that the Watchdog Report has watched and covered for over a decade and Moon even balances her own checkbook at home down to the penny and this mistake is a major embarrassment for her and she is having to pay for it out of her salary roughly $12,000 or so in cost to rerun the public advertisements on the matter in the Miami Herald. http://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/community/miami-dade/article4002614.html
>>> Who will be the new Commission Chair Monestime has the edge and will Edmonson get Vice Chair post?
The swearing in of County Commissioners is Monday a little after 10:00 a.m. And Commissioners Jose “Pepe” Diaz, Javier Souto, and new Commissioner Daniella Levine Cava (already sworn in will be part of the ceremony as well) as Commissioner’s Jean Monestime, Sally Heyman, and Rebeca Sosa. Further, the commission afterwards will chose its Chair and Vice Chair positions and Commissioner Monestime is seen as a front runner for Chair of the 13 member body and Commissioner Audrey Edmonson is said to be going for Vice Chair but her failure to pay her property taxes for three years, though resolved, and written about in a past WDR may hinder her candidacy for the number two slot and Monestime who is known for his calm demeanor also has a tough side that was exhibited during the commission redistricting hearings and while a solid family man. He is no pushover and if he is selected by his peers he will be the first Haitian American in such a powerful leadership position in the nation and whoever is selected the Watchdogreport wishes them good luck in the rough and tumble world of county hall politics that is considered “smash mouth,” politics in nature.
What about the swearing in of new Commissioner Daniella Levine Cava on Nov. 18th?
The newly elected commissioner Daniella Levine Cava asked Commission Chair Rebeca Sosa last week if she could change the date for her swearing in ceremony (to Nov. 18) and when the commission votes on its new chair to Nov. 24 and the body agreed to the date change and while a motion was her first victory on the 13 member commission. Further, Levine Cava elected to the District 8 seat on the dais has been having Sunshine Meetings with her fellow commissioners to hear their views on a variety of matters and it is showing she is doing her homework prior to sitting on the body after she defeated incumbent Commissioner Lynda Bell in a tough well financed commission race, that also had the support of Mayor Carlos Gimenez.
>>>>Commissioner Levine Cava takes four-day canoe journey through the Everglades
Press release: Armed with a pair of GoPro cameras and a stack of “postcards” with educational messages about the importance of the Everglades ecosystem, newly elected County Commissioner Daniella Levine Cava recently set out on a four-day canoe expedition through the famed “River of Grass.” “I wanted to start my tenure serving the people of Miami-Dade by spending some time in the Everglades reflecting on its importance to all of us,” explained Commissioner Levine Cava. “This amazing ecosystem we share serves us too – it is the source of our drinking water, it feeds our crops, and it is our greatest defense against a rising sea. “Commissioner Levine Cava and her family teamed up with Everglades National Park Acting Superintendent Bob Krumenaker and Miami-Dade County EcoAdventures Lead Naturalist Ernie Lynk for this journey. “As an Eco Ambassador whose job it is to provide conservation education to our citizens, it was an honor and a pleasure to be Commissioner Levine Cava’s field guide to the natural wonder of South Florida and our Everglades,” Lynk said. “It was inspiring to see her enthusiasm and concern for our fresh water supply. “The backcountry canoe adventure required that the team overnight on floating rafts made from their boats latched together for stability and to keep the group tethered together during the starry nights in the vast wetland wilderness. “It is the Miami Dade County’s mission to protect our fresh water supply from salt water intrusion,” said Commissioner Levine Cava. “Perhaps the best example of such a first line of defense protecting the coastline is found in the Deering Estate’s flow-way/Cutler Slough Rehydration Project, located in the district that I serve. This project functions as a part of the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan that restores seasonal water flow into a freshwater wetland habitat. I look forward to initiating additional measures to positively impact our fresh water system. “National Park Superintendent Bob Krumenaker assumed this post in early August, so this excursion was an opportunity to focus attention on the value of the Everglades as an ecosystem and one of the most visited international tourist destinations in the National Park system. “Four days traversing from the fresh water River of Grass to the salt water of the Wilderness Waterway – I can’t imagine a better, or more intensive, way to get to know and understand this place, whose health is so vital to all of south Florida,” Krumenaker said. “This challenging trip inspired all of us to work closely together across governmental lines on Everglades’s restoration. “Everglades “Postcards” will be posted to Commissioner Levine Cava’s Facebook page and available from www.miamidade.gov/district08.
>>> Culture Shock Miami is in its tenth year “and a huge success,” said Michael Spring the Cultural Affairs Dir. Of Miami-Dade County and the program allows students from age 13 to 22 to buy tickets to all the county museums for only $5.00 and the program has been an overwhelming success said Spring and for more information on the program go to www.cultureshockmiami.com
|GMCVB Press release: RECORD ACCOMMODATIONS AND FOOD SERVICE JOBS IN GREATER MIAMI AND THE BEACHES REPORTED FOR OCTOBER 2014 MARKING 4 YEARS AND 10 MONTHS OF CONSECUTIVE JOB INCREASES
Greater Miami’s Accommodations and Food Service jobs increased +2.5% in October 2014 compared to the same period in 2013. This marks 4 years and 10 months of consecutive increased employment in Greater Miami’s Accommodations and Food Service Industry.
MIAMI-DADE PUBLIC SCHOOLS
>>> Board goes with proven leadership, taps Tabares-Hantman and Dr. Feldman for chair and vice chair leadership positions
The nine member school board, reelected Perla Tabares Hantman as the board’s chair and Lawrence Feldman, Ph.D. the vice chair on Wednesday in a non-eventful vote versus almost a decade ago when the board members voted over 100 times before the leadership was established but the nation’s fourth largest public schools board has worked well together and the general feeling was why upset a good thing. And only Board Member Marta Perez, had a problem since every year she believes the leadership positions should be rotated among the board members and has only been a board vice chair since her election back in 1998.
Former U.S. Sen. Bob Graham swearing in Hantman
PUBLIC HEALTH TRUST
>>>> Miracles made daily not only applies to JHS in medicine but also fiscal health after third year in the black after major union concessions and reforms ends decades of hemorrhaging in the red for public health system
For the third year in a row the Jackson Health System had a profit after almost a decade of red ink while the public hospital provided healthcare for some of the 500 million residents back then without health insurance and a half cent sales tax could not keep up with the costs associated with this level of patient demand and PHT CEO Carlos Migoya after major union concessions has turned the health care concern around that is also affiliated with the UM Miller Medical School of Medicine.
What happened at the City of Miami?
CEO President Carlos Migoya told Commissioners Thursday that when it comes to patients presenting with Ebola throughout the community that there is a “misconception “that only Jackson can receive these patients and he said when it came to Ebola patients it was “not just Jackson but [that] all Hospitals are prepared for Ebola patients,” he told Miami commissioners. And Maurice Kemp the Miami City’s Fire Chief also noted all the protocols for the paramedics have been updated and the city is prepared for these patients as well if they present in the community and Migoya also cautioned that Ebola is not easy to get and residents should realize the flu kills more people annually and people in Miami-Dade are more likely to be exposed to “Tuberculosis,” in their daily lives than Ebola and people should not panic for the community’s healthcare system is prepared for any eventuality he calmly cautioned.
CITY OF MIAMI
>>>> Miami Marine Stadium deal runs into Land mine at commission meeting, Mayor of Key Biscayne Myra Pena weighs in as well on Village concerns
A deal to resurrect Miami Marine Stadium blew up at Thursday’s Commission meeting and besides the business details the residents of Key Biscayne including the mayor are weighing in on the whole matter that will impact Village residents and Mayor Tomes Regalado told the Watchdog Repot after the Key Biscayne mayor Myra Pena spoke that she and other representatives of the Village will be asked to participate in the meetings he said. For more go to http://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/community/miami-dade/key-biscayne/article4028640.html http://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/community/miami-dade/key-biscayne/article4004044.html
|Charter Review and form Committee Meeting|
|Location:||Miami City Hall-Commission Chambers; 3500 Pan American Drive; Miami;|
|When:||11/24/2014 to 11/24/2014|
|Hours:||5:00 PM to|
|Details:||Liaison: Vanessa I. Acosta (305) 41|
What about the Miami Commission District 2 race in 2016?
The race to see who follows Miami Commissioner Marc Sarnoff is heating up with Grace Solaris throwing her hat into the ring and the respected community activist on steroids and North Grove homeowner is likely to face Teresa Sarnoff, 59, the wife of the incumbent commissioner but this keep it in the family idea is grating on many District 2 voters who feel after two terms of Sarnoff that is enough and was why city voters approved having term limits on the body. Further, the commissioners wife is no shoe in many say and while she is known in the Grove she has a mixed reputation and the race is expected to be ugly but well financed since Sarnoff the commissioner has demonstrated he can raise considerable campaign contributions in his past runs but the man is an enigma to many that know him and there seems to be many Sarnoff’s. The first one when he was elected in 2006 to what was only a one year term and he kept his ego in check after this brutal race against incumbent Linda Haskins where Sarnoff won the office with voters two to one over the well-funded commissioner. But Sarnoff changed after that race and at his inaugural swearing in on 2006 and held outside Miami City Hall he spoke in a statesman like fashion referring to the influences on his life of people like JFK, MLK, RFK and others including his grandfather Gen. David Sarnoff the founder of NBC and made RCA a powerhouse outside of Princeton New Jersey. Where the man has his library dedicated to his legacy. But there is a problem with that claim: go tohttp://blogs.miaminewtimes.com/riptide/2008/02/marc_sarnoff_lies_about_his_li.php
However, once he won a full-term to office in 2007 he changed and he held his second inauguration to the office in the now torn down Grove Convention Center and there was a harpist playing and an area to be photographed with the commissioner and at the impressive podium with a speech reader I almost expected Bush II to be coming and a further change in the man occurred. For He was an early Barack Obama supporter and during the 2008 election he led a couple of hundred voters to the polls riding around the Grove in a fire truck trying to fire-up voters to go to the polls. And now he is supporting Gov. Rick Scott a Republican and in 2012 Sarnoff had no Obama campaign posters outside his house in the Grove in contrast to 2006 when they were plenty found on his fence around the compound.
And his wife Teresa is going to have to deal with this past as a candidate plus any issues voters might have with Sarnoff’s assistant and Chief of Staff Ron Nelson who has his own reputation with District 2 residents and the wife’s saving grace may be that the influence of Grove voters has diminished after redistricting and the new big voting block in District 2 is Brickell which the commissioner has concentrated on over the past years, but there is something odd about Sarnoff and he comes off as being very insecure and warm and fuzzy he is not and Teresa will have to carve out her own political personae and for her to win she may have to cut here ties with her second husband if she is to win over the more approachable Solaris in this soon to be contentious race. http://www.miamiherald.com/news/politics-government/article4055679.html
CITY OF HIALEAH
>>>> Director of Nursing Sentenced to 57 Months in Prison for Role in $7 Million Health Care Fraud Scheme
Press release: participation in a $7 million health care fraud scheme involving defunct home health care company Anna Nursing Services Corp. (Anna Nursing).
U.S. Attorney Wifredo A. Ferrer of the Southern District of Florida, Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, Special Agent in Charge George L. Piro of the FBI’s Miami Field Office and Special Agent in Charge Derrick Jackson of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General’s (HHS-OIG) Miami Regional Office made the announcement.
Armando Buchillon, 42, of Hialeah, Florida, was also sentenced to serve three years of supervised release and ordered to pay $1,896,739 in restitution following his July 29, 2014, guilty plea to one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud. U.S. District Judge Joan A. Lenard in the Southern District of Florida imposed the sentence.
According to Buchillon’s plea agreement and supporting factual proffer, Buchillon was a Director of Nursing at Anna Nursing, a Miami home health care agency that purported to provide home health and therapy services to Medicare beneficiaries. As part of the fraudulent scheme, Buchillon and his co-conspirators regularly falsified patient documentation in order to make it appear that beneficiaries qualified for and received home health care services, when, in fact, many of the beneficiaries did not actually qualify for or receive such services. This false documentation was submitted to Medicare to support the fraudulent reimbursement claims. In addition, Buchillon paid kickbacks and bribes to patient recruiters in return for the recruiters providing patients to Anna Nursing for services that were medically unnecessary or were not provided. Buchillon also worked as a patient recruiter for Anna Nursing and was paid kickbacks and bribes by the owner of Anna Nursing. From October 2010 through April 2013, Anna Nursing was paid by Medicare approximately $7 million for fraudulent claims for home health care services.
The case was investigated by the FBI and HHS-OIG and was brought as part of the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, under the supervision of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida. This case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorneys Anne P. McNamara and A. Brendan Stewart of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section. Since its inception in March 2007, the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, now operating in nine cities across the country, has charged nearly 2,000 defendants who have collectively billed the Medicare program for more than $6 billion. In addition, the HHS Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, working in conjunction with the HHS-OIG, are taking steps to increase accountability and decrease the presence of fraudulent providers. To learn more about the Health Care Fraud Prevention and Enforcement Action Team (HEAT), go to: www.stopmedicarefraud.gov.
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.
CITY OF MIAMI BEACH
>>> Budget hearing gets a redo after small calculation error on public budget notices in the media
The Commission of Miami Beach has to redo its public budget hearing similar to the County but it is not that big of a deal in the scheme of things says Mayor Levine and for more on the matter go to: http://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/community/miami-dade/miami-beach/article4036496.html
CITY OF CORAL GABLES
>>> Former Gables Commissioner Cabrera throws his hat in mayoral race, what will Mayor Cason do?
Former Coral Gables Commissioner Ralph Cabrera, Jr., told the Watchdog Report Saturday that he was encouraged by the reception he has been getting from voters after he announced he was running for mayor again after losing an earlier bid to Mayor Jim Cason who has yet to announce he will seek reelection and told the WDR he was waiting on that matter until he knew the new manage was going to be. However, the mayor has gotten embroiled in bogus crime figures under the past manager Pat Salerno who quit suddenly a few months ago along with later the Police Chief Dennis Weiner
>>> Press release on hearing of Trolley building in the Grove: Commissioner Dennis C. Moss invites panel to discuss the settled dispute regarding a trolley depot constructed in the Village West Neighborhood of Coconut Grove and recognize longtime resident for outstanding community activism.
From Left: Glenn Depart, City of Coral Gable Commissioner Patricia Keon, Craig Leen,
Miami-Dade County Commissioner Dennis C. Moss, Clarice Cooper, Alice Bravo,
Miami-Dade County Commissioner Jean Monestime, Miami-Dade County Commissioner Esteban Bovo, Jr.
(MIAMI, FL) – The Miami-Dade County Transportation and Aviation Committee recently recognized Clarice Cooper, a community activist and lifelong resident of Coconut Grove who successfully challenged the development of a trolley garage in Village West. The U.S. Department of Transportation concluded that Miami-Dade County, the City of Miami and Coral Gables violated a 1964 Civil Rights Act when they permitted a trolley garage to be built in the historically black neighborhood. The complaint centered around a trolley depot that was constructed on the 3300 block of Douglas Road which led to a federal civil rights law suit filed by Cooper and the Trolley Steering Committee. The City of Coral Gables also filed suit against Astor Development, the company building the trolley garage for the city in neighboring Coconut Grove, with concerns that it did not comply with zoning rules. In addition to the city, the University of Miami Law School’s Center for Ethics and Public Service filed a law suit on behalf of the local residents.
Miami-Dade County Commissioner Dennis C. Moss invited Cooper and other parties involved including Miami-Dade County Office of Civil Rights and Labor Relations Chief Cathy Lewis, City of Coral Gables Commissioner Vince Lago, Commissioner Patricia Keon, City Attorney Craig E. Leen, City of Miami Transportation Manager Carlos Cruz and Deputy City Manager Alice Bravo to weigh in on this matter. The Miami-Dade County Transportation and Aviation Committee, where Commissioner Moss serves as Chairman, has the responsibility to provide oversight in matters involving the county transit department. “My hope with this discussion is to uncover what went wrong,” said Commissioner Moss. “And what we have we done to ensure that this problem does not occur again.” Following the discussion a Certificate of Appreciation was presented to Clarice Cooper in recognition of her Civil Rights Activism. “Thank you for coming forward on behalf of your community and saying to us, ‘we got this one wrong,’” said Commissioner Moss. “Thank you for your courage and your resolve.”
CITY OF HOMESTEAD
>>> Felon Mayor Bateman settles Ethics Commission complaint paying $500 fine and accepting a Letter of Reprimand
Ethics Commission press release: Former mayor settles ethics complaint: The Miami-Dade Commission on Ethics and Public Trust (COE) today agreed to settle a complaint (C 13-50) that former Homestead Mayor Steven Bateman violated the Conflict of Interest and Code of Ethics Ordinance by accepting a round-trip flight on a private jet without disclosing it as a gift. The December 17, 2012, journey from Opa-Locka Executive Airport to Tallahassee was for a meeting with the governor allegedly arranged by Dade Medical College. The cost of the flight was valued between $450 and $850 – well beyond the $100 threshold for required gift reporting. Under the settlement, Bateman agreed not to contest the charge and will pay a $500 fine and accept a Letter of Reprimand.
>>>> Ethics Comm. press release: Commissioners went on record today against a proposed County ordinance that would exempt vendor presentations from the Cone of Silence, thereby permitting such meetings to be closed to the general public. They did so following statements by the COE Executive Director and the County’s Inspector General expressing opposition to the change. The COE recommended that the Board of County Commissioners instead adopt measures that would prevent bidders for goods or services from gaining an unfair advantage by hearing other presentations prior to their own. The suggestions include adopting protocols that in an oral presentation, a bidder not deviate substantially from the written submission and that earlier presenters be given an opportunity for rebuttal at the end of the session.
>>> FT. Lauderdale Mayor Jack Seiler should look to “Miami-Dade County Homeless Trust, model,” to end media nightmare regarding Homeless feeding says school board member Regalado
The issue of a retired citizen and veteran feeding the homeless and getting arrested has stirred a public relations hornets’ nest in Fort Lauderdale and Raquel Regalado http://www.local10.com/news/fort-lauderdale-commissioner-suspend-homeless-feeding-ordinance/29805822 a Member of the Miami Dade Homeless Trust at a school board meeting Wednesday thought city officials would be better served if they replicated the local model. She thought they “should consider the MD-C model and the [Homeless Trust] because around Thanksgiving you see more people take an interest in the homeless but this is an ongoing issue and if it involves “street feeding” there should be a program for many times these people have “mental health and drug addiction” issues she thought and need a continuum of care like in Dade “you have the infrastructure” for such programs and rehabilitation she said and the Watchdog Report contacted the Homeless Trust Chair Ron Book on the matter and past attempts to help and he responded “The safest bet you can make is that I’ve offered to help. Many, many years ago (approximately 15), Alva Chapman and I both went to Broward and jump started the whole effort. They have a plan, they have a program and they have a funding stream. While the funding stream is not as robust or growing as ours is, they have one and they have a 10-year plan to end homelessness. Feeding people on the streets is a terribly bad idea – it’s flawed and their commentary to the press is disingenuous, at best. I will continue to offer to help them because they need a lot of help, in the City and in the County,” wrote the long time homeless advocate and chair of the Miami-Dade County Homeless Trust.
>>> Key West Citizen Reporter Schmida stiffing meal leads to felony charge and another reporter leaves the public arena, what were you thinking?
Note to Key West Citizen reporter Terry Schmida,45, the education and social services reporter you are a public figure and your days of reporting are probable over because of trying to walk out on a check after a meal and given the lack of news reporters in the tony community your years of covering the community will be missed I suspect and what were you thinking that the bill was voluntary and not necessary to pay a attitude that later escalated to a felony when you tried to run over the waitress in your car. And for more on the story go to http://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/news-columns-blogs/deadline-miami/article4066770.html
>>>> The Black Archives History & Research Foundation of South Florida is calling visual artists in Dade, Broward and Palm Beach Counties to submit artwork to interpret A Man Among the Peoples, that will coincide with an exhibition on the life, art and legacy of late Overtown artist, Purvis Young. Selected artwork will be displayed in the lobby of The Historic Lyric Theater as part of “Soul Basel Overtown: A celebration of Art, Music and Culture in Colored Town”.
This an art festival taking place from December 3 – 7, 2014 in Miami’s Historic Overtown District. We encourage imaginative expression in the interpretation of the theme. This project is designed to highlight the work of South Florida artists among others that will be displayed during Art Basel weekend. In addition to the public, museum professionals and art critics are invited to attend the festival. Entries will be accepted via email. Deadline to apply is Monday, November 17, 2014.To enter or for more information, please contact Adia McKenzie at firstname.lastname@example.org or 786-708-4
>>> About the Black Archives History and Research Foundation of South Florida, Inc.:
The Black Archives History and Research Foundation of South Florida, Inc is a non-profit organization founded in 1977 by Dorothy Jenkins Fields, Ph.D. With a mission to not only preserve the documentary and photographic history of black South Florida, but also to enrich the present and protect the future through the revitalization Miami’s former black business and entertainment district, Overtown. The Black Archives and its programming are supported by the Southeast Overtown/Park West Community Redevelopment Agency, Miami-Dade County, The Knight Foundation, Coca-Cola, Macy’s, The Design Group Miami & Drummer Boy Sound. For more information on The Black Archives of South Florida visit www.theblackarchives.org.
Kristi House Lands Federal Grant and Global Honor for
Project GOLD Child Sexual Exploitation Program
MIAMI – Kristi House was one of four organizations in the country awarded a U.S. Department of Justice grant for its program for commercially sexually exploited children, Project GOLD. The three-year, $450,000 grant awarded by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention will add a community mentoring component to Project GOLD, and expand services to boys, transgender and questioning youth. In separate news also related to the organization’s work on behalf of child sex trafficking victims, Kristi House’s Executive Director Trudy Novicki was named one of 10 recipients of the international C-10 Award. The C10 Award recognizes 10 global leaders and their fight against the trafficking of children. Sophie Stenbeck Family Foundation, World Childhood Foundation and Reach for Change co-founded the award to support and acknowledge entrepreneurial leaders of the child rights field. The C10 Award Forum will be held November 3, 2014, in Stockholm, Sweden. “Trudy has made a lasting and profound impact not just for Kristi House, but for all children exposed to commercial sexual exploitation throughout our state,” Kristi House President Juan Trescastro said.
“Trudy truly cares about this community and these child victims,” said State Representative Jeanette Nunez, co-sponsor of the Florida Safe Harbor Act. To continue reading click here.
Join us for the 15th Anniversary Touch a Heart Dinner on Nov. 14!
We are pleased to share with you exciting news! Eliza and Hugh Culverhouse will be the 15th Anniversary Touch a Heart Challenge Grant Sponsors! You’ll be hearing more about the Challenge as we get closer to the big evening. Thank you, Culverhouses, dear friends of Kristi House.
Badia Spices and Buddha Mama Jewelry have teamed together to be our Platinum Heart Sponsors for the evening. Thank you to these major and other major sponsors for your generosity:
Gold Heart: Swanee & Paul DiMare * Frank Fawzi
Silver Heart: Emma & Sia Afra * Katie & Eddy Arriola – Apollo Bank * Zaba & Edgar Castro * Rachelle & A.J. de Moya – The de Moya Group * Lisette & Nelson Diaz * Eller-ITO Stevedoring Company * Marlene Fernandez-Karavetsos & George Karavestos * Honorable Anitere Flores & Dustin Anderson * Lauren & John Genovese – Genovese Joblove & Battista, P.A. * Cindy & Jeff Gomez * Greene Kleen of South Florida, Inc. * Marta & Rick Hasty, MD * Jeff Herman – Herman Law * Lourdes Leon-Vega & Otto Vega, MD * Betty Lopez-Castro * Maria & Al Maloof * Judy & George McCleary * Loretta & Miguel Nido * Ed McCluskey – Northwestern Mutual * Honorable Jeanette & Adrian Nuñez * Casey & Dennis Rodriguez * Tatiana & Alex Ruiz * Judy & Juan Trescastro * Royal Caribbean International * Shook, Hardy & Bacon, LLP * Tutti Bambini * Kara Zeder & Rick Rosen
Visit the dinner website for more details
contact Bianca Fernandez at email@example.com 305-547-6802
Chairman of the Dolphin Cycling Challenge V
Sponsor, ride, run, walk, donate or volunteer to fight the Plague of our generation: February 7-8, 2015www.ridedcc.comhttps://register.racepartner.com/DCC/registerhttp://ridedcc.com/where-the-money-goes
Special Exhibition at the
Margulies Collection at the Warehouse
through January 1, 2015
The Margulies Collection at the Warehouse, Miami, in collaboration with the Bruce Silverstein Gallery, New York, is pleased to present Brancusi: The Photographs, an exhibition of the artist’s photographic works featuring 29 rare vintage gelatin silver prints from the early 20th century.
“We recognize the rarity of these vintage photographs by one of the greatest artists of the Modern era”, says collector Martin Margulies. “After seeing the works at the Bruce Silverstein Gallery in New York it occurred to us that Brancusi has never been exhibited in Florida before and bringing his photographs to Miami would provide our audience with a rare glimpse into early 20th century abstraction from such a unique and interesting perspective. We are excited to have the Brancusi photographs installed adjacent to the historical sculpture we have in our permanent installations by Miró and Noguchi. Noguchi worked as an apprentice in Brancusi’s studio from 1927-29 and was very influenced by the master’s abstract forms. The exhibition will add an important aspect to our educational mission this season.” Image: Installation view of Brancusi: The Photographs and Tony Smith,Throwback, 1976 on right, photo by Jeanie Giebel
Fifteen Year Anniversary Exhibition: Eric Bainbridge, Ronald Bladen, Calzolari, Chamberlain, Aaron Curry, de Kooning, Eliasson, Jeff Elrod, Flavin, Heizer, Gregor Hildebrandt, Hans Josephsohn, Judd, Kiefer, Kounellis, LeWitt, Charles Long, Richard Long, Mario Merz, Meuser, Domingo Milella, Miró, Wilhelm Mundt, Noguchi, Pistoletto, Segal, Serra, Tony Smith,
Do-Ho Suh, Franz West The collection visiting hours: Wed – Sat 11am – 4pm
Extended hours during Art Basel Miami Beach 2014:
Mon Dec 1 and Tues Dec 2, 9am-5pm
Wed Dec 3 thru Sat Dec 6, 9am-6pm
Sun Dec 7, 9am-2pm
Special Breakfast for Art Basel Miami Beach 2014:
Wed Dec 3 thru Fri Dec 6, 9am-12pm
Guided tours of Constantin Brancusi: The Photographs at 10am and 11am
Presented by Bruce Silverstein
Admission is $10 with all proceeds going directly to the
Lotus House Shelter for Homeless Women and Children
State of Florida students with valid ID: Free
All other students: $5.00
For further information call 305-576-1051 or visit our website
Contact: Katherine Hinds, curator
The Margulies Collection at the Warehouse
591 NW 27th Street, Miami, FL 33127
p: 305.576.1051 / f: 305.576.4963
The Martin Z. Margulies Foundation, inc. is a not for profit institution dedicated to the presentation of exhibitions and educational programs. The Margulies Collection at the WAREhOUSE houses an extensive collection of contemporary and vintage photography, video, sculpture and installation art.
Curator, Katherine Hinds
>>> The Margulies Warehouse will be reopen at the end of October and all adult admission charges $10.00 will go to Lotus House Women’s and Children’s Shelter in Overtown and students are free. For more go to http://www.margulieswarehouse.com/ and the Lotus House Gala will be Oct. 25th for more information go to http://lotushouse.org/
>>> Who knew so many elected officials were disgruntled with they’re present elected positions and would consider running for County mayor? They need to keep their eye on the ball and the job they were elected to do
The Miami Herald today had a couple of stories on people that they thought might run for Miami-Dade County mayor or the City of Miami in the future and leave their elected position and there is nothing worse for the public as a whole then a disgruntled politician that still is in office and these ambitious people should keep their eye on the ball and do the job they were elected to do and not some future political post if they are so lucky to win the voters trust again and that is no small challenge and these people should rededicate themselves to what is called public service not political ambition and do the best job they can with the office they hold because voters will remember if they are absent from their post when it comes to doing the duty they were elected to do and that is the fact. For more on this go to: http://www.miamiherald.com/news/politics-government/article4055679.html
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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 fourth 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.
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