Watchdog Report Vol. 16 No.16 August 30, 2015 EST.05.05.00 – I go when you cannot – Celebrating 16 Years of Weekly publishing
Argus Report: Emergency management gets dry run with Erika becoming a rain event, how Bush handled the eight hurricanes, gives his management style credentials he infers on the stump
Obituary: Community leader Arkin passes at 82, was a class act on PHT board and will be missed
State of Florida: TS Ericka gives Gov. Scott dry run of emergency management operations in Florida, he missed Andrew, which Bush experienced
Miami-Dade County: With 500,000 votes in support of Pet Trust, advocates keep commissioner’s feet to the fire, County department to get $17.5 million in upcoming public budget hearing after 5:00 p.m.
Miami-Dade County Public Schools: “Code of silence,” has “45 students killed,” since Carvalho took over in Sept. 2008, parents must teach students, “respect, responsibility, and restraint,” he tells NBC 6 Nesperal
Public Health Trust: Nominating Council taps bankers Heffernan & Henriques for three slots on smaller oversight board Chaired by Arriola
City of Miami: Will litigation stall Watson Island getting sea plane and helicopter service back, FAA may have the final say
City of Miami Beach: Mayor Levine draws challenger, in attorney Wieder, seemed to be on autopilot for reelection prior to PAC controversy
Community Events: A host of cultural events
Editorial: Trump embodying electorate discontent, why no party affiliation fastest growing voter party demographic – Feds need to control drones, now, and ban lasers before disaster strikes a plane in flight — During budget Public hearings in Sept., will politicians get to the point, or drone on repeating the same points, public in attendance go bananas, as much fun as a root canal!
Letter’s:– Commissioner Daniella Levine Cava and Mayor Gimenez hold Animal Services Summit at Port of Miami – suggestions wanted
Sponsors – Publisher’s mission statement & Subscription information is at the bottom of this issue
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ARGUS REPORT: Heard and Seen on the streets
>>> Emergency management gets dry run with Erika becoming a rain event, how Bush handled the eight hurricanes, gives his management style credentials he infers on the stump
With Tropical Storm Ericka barreling on Florida. A rain event is expected and it is putting Emergency Management departments through another exercise in Florida where Hurricane Andrew in 1992 pummeled and flattened South Dade. The state and local agencies have beefed up and sustained the emergency response supplies that also includes medical supplies in case of a Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) attack and back in 2001 and 20002 Jackson Health System stockpiled thousands of tabs of Cipro. The drug needed for patients exposed to Anthrax. And South Florian and the state while better prepared than back then is limbering up the system and with the presidential primaries in full swing for former Gov. Jeb Bush, the storm brings back his past role during eight name storms and why he was nicknamed the “hurricane governor,” years ago and for current Gov. Rick Scott it will be his first test of how the state reacts to such a natural event depending on the breaks and the storms track. And Scott who used to have terrible poll numbers has bounced back and his approval ratings have risen despite some setbacks and a record public records settlement to the tune of $1 million in public dollars.
And Bush in his presidential campaign cites his hands on approach to handling these eight hurricanes as one example of his style of leadership. But his lack of compromise when he was governor and reporters including the Watchdog Report are going back to their old notebooks and stories on Bush to remind themselves what he was like as the chief advocate for the Sunshine State.
And in some ways there are two Jeb Bush’s. The one that first ran for governor in 1992 and when asked what would he do for African Americans? Responded saying ‘probable nothing’ and when he lost to Lawton Chiles back then. He changed and worked the state afterwards in the coming years and he had sewn up the GOP primary by 1998. And he essentially coasted to victory over Buddy MacKay with Bush getting 55 percent of the statewide vote, where MacKay looked like your physics teacher in school with thick glasses and there was Bush, 6’ 4” tanned and rested, totally bilingual in Spanish being mobbed by crowds of supporters at the time and he is a policy wonk he pushed numerous legislative initiatives but was refractory to compromise on issues and developed a persona of my way or the highway. And his campaign is not seeing that same energy in this race and smaller crowds are showing up at events and while he is playing the long race playbook supporters are surprised by this laid back performance.
And both Bush and Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla. Are stuck in national polls in the middle yet has the brash billionaire Donald Trump leading the polls.
What about Miami Beach and the king tides?
Ericka will also be a test run of the new pumps installed on Miami Beach to keep flooding to a minimum and have worked to date. But never tested by the high king tides and a tropical storm and the Watchdog Report is waiting to see how these pumping systems do handling this rain event and with the mayoral race heating up Mayor Philip Levine is making these pumps a keynote achievement during his time in office.
>>>> Tragic killing of Virgina television reporter and cameraman shocks the nation, why media is wary sometimes at news events
With the tragic and shocking killing of television reporter Allison Parker and her video journalist partner Adam Ward during a live shot. And it all being caught on the internet http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/lupica-gun-death-turns-bloodiest-reality-tv-show-article-1.2338543 opens a tragic new frontier facing journalists in the field. Where people are looking for attention in a variety of ways and while the shooter killed himself later. The man’s notoriety is now engraved in history and that supposed need for attention is a perverted by product of social media and the man who clearly had emotional issues, had been fired from the local television station two years earlier, yet rented an apartment across from the station and it was a Spartan interior and had photos of himself on the fridge. But this event will be on any journalists mind now, in the future and hopefully it does not spawn copycat killings, and is a new sad commentary on the times the media now lives in.
>>> Zogby Pres release: Obama Weekly Report Card is Featured in Paul Bedard’s “Washington Secrets” Published weekly in The Washington Examiner
In his weekly presidential report card, pollster John Zogby finds that President Obama succeeded in avoiding the typical presidential “August blues” even as stocks detoured and his bid to win support for the Iran nuclear deal labored on. Reviewing the week, which started with a stock dive, Zogby reports: Please click on the link below to view the full release: http://zogbyanalytics.com/news/637-zogby-report-card-obama-ducks-the-august-blues
>>> Trump continues to replicate crowds Obama got at first, his brash in your face approach and can’t be bought, approach appeals to GOP faithful, making JEB look like low “energy,” candidate, Rubio still in the pack
With some 20,000 plus supporters packing a sports stadium in Alabama to hear front running GOP candidate Donald Trump. The Republican Party’s political world is being put on its head and the developer, showman candidate is getting mobbed by the media and all week his name has dominated the political television talk shows and his made for television campaign is forcing errors on the part of former Gov. Jeb Bush who is still finding his campaign voice, but appears tired in many of the interviews and exchanges and his reliable brand is being dismissed by Trump as Bush being a “low energy level,” candidate and both of Florida’s native sons Jeb and Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla. Are finding running for president is no cake walk and both are now taking pot shots at the presumptive front runner, despite the GOP faithful being so desperate for a winning candidate after years of being in the political doldrums, when it came to winning the White House.
But Trump is showing no signs of going away anytime soon and the Party is having to deal with the man who does press conferences as often as he takes a breath and he is feeding off the crowds and their adrenaline energy that Red Bull could only wish for. But he has yet to flesh out how he would accomplish and pay for some of his outlandish statements on the stump but supporters are betting he will change the game in Washington. Something many people thought Obama would be the catalyst for but that failed to materialize leaving many disappointed that the culture of money did not change in the nation’s capital and Trump is seen as the man that would truly clean house in Washington and the man is someone America watched grow up over the years from the time when he finished a long delayed iconic Wollman Rink at Rockefeller Center in record time, and his companies have been running the facility and a restaurant ever since https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wollman_Rink and he got Mayor Ed Koch to relent and let him do it. After Koch got intense public pressure to let the real estate mogul get the job done and the rink open by Christmas Time and draws millions of tourists who want to skate on the iconic rink. And more and more people I am finding have said, “They had thought they had seen everything,” but “he might just do it,” said a federal corrections officer Saturday night, and in politics the currency of the realm is trust and people are giving him that benefit of the doubt for the moment.
And Hillary Clinton is dealing with another issue, her email server, and her camp is believing when the facts are out. The issue of the security of her server as Secretary of State will blow over regarding her emails and their security status rating, but Vice President Joe Biden is waiting in the wings. If the Secretary of State falters (though she gave a more contrite explanation realizing the gravity of the debate to her campaign) and the investigations continue and the race is on and the trust issue of candidates for both parties is being reflected in the polls.
>>> WPBT2 Celebrates 60 years of public broadcasting quality of programs have only gotten better
WSPBT2 celebrated its 60th year on the air giving the public commercial free broadcasting in South Florida, and the station has played an important role over the decades and the Watchdog Report got some major early television exposure from the station in my early years back in 2000 on Helen Ferre’s Show Issues and since then I have been privileged to be a frequent quest over the past 16 years.
And back in 2002 I was one of the few reporters that ever covered the station’s board meeting back when George Dooley was the general manager. After decades in the office and the station first resisted my dropping in but I persisted and covered the luncheon board meeting (and found I knew most of the board members, who were very accommodating, including Edward Easton the board chair) and wrote about it at the time and Dooley would later retire later in the year, and since then the station’s content has only grown in quality and hosts a variety of platforms to see the programs. http://video.wpbt2.org/program/wpbt-issues/ And the Watchdog Report gives the station A TIP OF THE HAT, for a job well done in serving the community.
Miami gets a new scam
The arrest of some local police officers for filing false papers claiming people’s credit ratings were terrible because of identity theft has people shaking their heads as South Florida creates another scam. http://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/crime/article21123588.html and police sign off on false identity theft reports clearing a person’s bad credit history and it won’t be long until residents start exporting this new way of skirting the system around the nation if Medicare scams are any indication and had U.S. Atty. Wilfredo Ferrer saying once, yes we do “export fraud,” at a big Medicare bust press conference a few years ago and this new identity theft scam is the latest permutation of a way to work the system and with identity theft rampant, this could be a new up and coming industry whether people had their bad credit repaired and a natural side industry would to use this enhanced credit rating to mortgage homes and with flipping homes coming back this could be a vehicle for the scammers to take advantage of this like was done years ago when it came to mortgage fraud and people were qualifying for loans based on income but were not legitimate.
>>> Community leader Arkin passes at 82, was a class act on PHT board and will be missed
Stanley Arkin a Miami Beach Commissioner and community leader passes at 82, He was a class act and a real gentleman on the Arsht Center construction committee and PHT board and he will be missed. The Watchdog Report had an opportunity to get to know Arkin and he was an early supporter of the Watchdog Report back in 2002 and when it came to problems with the Arsht Center for the performing arts and why there were some 100 construction change orders in dispute at the time. He bluntly said architect Cesar Pale’s plans “weren’t for S… “And the man ultimately brought the Arsht Center in when at one time there was talk at county hall of just having a “big hole,” at the county commission. And for more on Arkin go tohttp://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/obituaries/article32271432.html And Stanley may you rest in peace for your contributions were many and the community is a better place having you here.
STATE OF FLORIDA
>>> TS Ericka gives Gov. Scott dry run of emergency management operations in Florida, he missed Andrew, which Bush experienced
Gov. Scott is dealing with his first storm in his leadership capacity that can make or break a political career and below is some of the preparations that have been instituted. Since he declared a state emergency earlier in the week. And he was popping up with the expected local county officials for the photo shot of these high tech emergency management headquarters that were on the alert and made for great photo ops but Scott came off a little flat and he never experienced Hurricane Andrew as Jeb Bush did and these storms are new to him but this false alarm is a rain event. But it did give Scott an idea of the scope of actions that must be taken statewide with Florida’s thousands of miles of sea coast prone to flooding. And to see what Florida is doing go to http://apd.myflorida.com/
>>>> House & Senate squabble ends with redistricting work undone, now it will be up to the courts
The Florida Legislature said, we are out of here ending a special session Friday and the departure left the Florida lawmakers without approving redistricting maps for the Senate and Congressional seats after the House did not want to meet with the Senate leadership and lawmakers appear to be leaving up the required redistricting after the 2010 Census to the Courts after the Florida Supreme Court kicked previous maps back because they were “tainted” by political considerations leaving lawmakers to finish the job in the special session which they failed to http://www.miamiherald.com/news/state/florida/article32576853.html do.http://miamiherald.typepad.com/nakedpolitics/2015/08/this-is-how-the-house-and-senate-left-their-proposed-congressional-maps.html And it is now up to Circuit Court Judge Terry Lewis to draw the new districts that will satisfy the higher courts and must keep within the confines of the Fair District Amendment Act passed by statewide voters in 2010 and is part of the Florida Constitution but law makers just can’t seem to get it right.
>>> Leaders need to keep eye on Brazil, with economic downturn since 1.7 million tourists come to Fla., yearly
And Gov. Rick Scott may have limited influence though he could call back the legislature but a more likely alternative would be to have the Florida Courts draw the lines and while tourism is a major economic driver for the Sunshine State.
Leaders should keep their eyes on Brazil and its fiscal health since these visitors represent some 1.7 million visitors of the statewide tourists coming to Florida. And if Brazil’s economy is slowing down that tourist number could drop which includes many of them buying condominiums in Miami.
>>> And to see the financial disclosure forms for your state and county elected officials go to http://public.ethics.state.fl.us/search.cfm?CFID=1281157&CFTOKEN=fc4bb5bc54cc8c3d-90AA1687-F952-15D1-78EF4A94DB042F82
>>> With 500,000 votes in support of Pet Trust, advocates keep commissioner’s feet to the fire, County department to get $17.5 million in upcoming budget
Pet Trust advocates were disappointed last week when a county commission committee meeting did not approve, a tie vote, legislation proposed by Commissioner Xavier Suarez to increase the funding for Animal Services that in this upcoming budget year is set at $17.58 million and Director Alex Munoz told commissioners that things were getting better, but animal advocates say that is not the case and his claim of trying to have a No Kill shelter is not happening and advocates say many dogs that get adopted after a week or so many times get sick and end up back at the County Shelter where a new shelter structure is expected to help mitigate the situation the animals experience at the facility. But activists are putting the heat on the commission and Commissioner Barbara Jordan who chaired the committee has said over the years, in her mind when it came to tax payer funding. Her priority was “children, the disabled, and the elderly,” over the animals she has suggested over the years. And here is a link to the Animal Services budget. http://www.miamidade.gov/budget/FY2015-16/proposed/library/animal-services.pdf
And critics challenge Animal Services Director Alex Muñoz saying, “It has been a devastating year for our animals,” said one champion of the animals and she poo pooed the director’s claim the shelter for dogs has a smaller percentage kill rate at the facility. But the issue draws a passionate constituency that is not letting up and could become an issue for Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez up for reelection next year, given the 500,000 county voters who voted for the creation of a Pet’s Trust but was ignored by the body. And the County is playing catchup in caring for the animals that have no “voice of their own.” And the County’s metrics Suarez said was “basically how many we have killed,” and I have waited “three straight years, for guidance,” and critics have also asked that we “create an advisory board,” which has yet to be done said Suarez and Gimenez has promised a $7 million in new funding said staff.
Further, Suarez noted that if these plans were executed right, that “a lot of the money won’t be reoccurring,” because of the results and the reduction of cats and dogs in the community. Further, Jordan tried to get through the contentious issue by limiting speakers prior to hearing the item and there was a long agenda that moved at such speed that the County Attorney Gerald Sanchez was unable to finish the title of the legislation completely in a number of cases, and that should be avoided by the commission for the general public will not clearly understand what the elected body is voting on at the time and commissioners should let legal staff finish the proposed legislation’s title. http://www.miamiherald.com/opinion/editorials/article32397012.html and for more on the issue go to http://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/community/miami-dade/article32494779.html And during the public hearing time, Jordan said speakers had “twenty minutes” and then we will “cut it off,” because she was concerned the committee would lose quorum, she advised. And one reader an animal advocate who I sent the press release to wrote back, “Yeah ask them how many dumped back next few days as owner surrender them killed,” wrote back the animal advocate.
>>> Press release: Clear the Shelters event helps 161 pets from Miami-Dade Animal Services find loving homes in one day
Press release: Miami-Dade Animal Services’ participation in the Clear the Shelters event which took place on Saturday, August 15, 2015 resulted in a record breaking 161 in-shelter pet adoptions. Animal Services partnered with NBC 6/WTVJ, Telemundo 51/WSCV and other shelters across South Florida in the nationwide pet adoption initiative to help find every shelter pet a loving forever family.Read the full release.
>>> County committee approves agreements with Bongos, Perry Ellis and Miami Children’s Museum
The County Commission last week approved a number of contracts at MIA including Bongos Cuban restaurant owned by the Estefan’s and another with Perry Ellis men’s wear and these deals bring in much needed revenue for MIA to help pay the $4.8 billion debt on the bonds sold to pay for the construction of the North and South terminals and those payments have reached some $1 million a day and the administration is searching for money from these ventures and the Miami Children’s Museum got an agreement with MIA approved as well at the Tourist and Visitors committee meeting.
And the County’s sprawling Park system is getting some upgrades but one in west Dade in the Hammocks is slow going said Commissioner Juan C. Zapata. And county staff said there are 263 Parks in the system and staff said there are “176 active projects” costing some $149 million and includes the large Zoo Miami Everglades exhibit at the popular Zoo.
And there was a debate about the name of Tropical Park and Commissioner Javier Souto wanted it branded as the “Ronald Reagan Equestrian Center at Tropical Park,” and included a $100.00 fine, which was removed by a amendment but Commissioner Barbara Jordan objected that the iconic park on Bird road is well known and people “all know where Tropical Park is,” she said at a committee meeting last week. Jordan also noted when the Arsht Center changed its name after banker Adrian Arsht made a significant contribution to the Center and it cost some “10 million to add Miami-Dade County,” to the twin hall arts facility, the commissioner said.
Commissioner Suarez getting more buff, nothing like his son former Miami mayor says
And Xavier Suarez carped last week at a committee meeting that the Miami Expressway Authority did a “land grab,” recently and Commissioner Jose “Pepe” Diaz said later after further discussion that it is was “no land grab,” and that there were also “no Martians,”, involved said Diaz, and Suarez thinks he is Superman after he took off a suite worn earlier and came back to the dais in slacks and a polo shirt, that another commissioner thought was done to show his muscles and how he has been working out, which was nothing compared to his “son.”
The former Miami mayor said and it came up during a debate regarding baggage wrapping services at MIA and how three non-authorized companies had become a “cottage industry,” and were using “saranwrap,” and it was sticky and caused the bags to sometimes jam the 13 mile automatic baggage system in use at MIA by American Airlines and a woman Suarez staffer could not easily move the wrapped bags but he could because of his increased strength. He suggested at a tourist committee meeting last week. Staff said the system works well when baggage handlers do “good bag hygiene,” at check in where no straps, tags or other things are on the bag and “are the number one reason for a jam,” said airport staff and such bags are put into “luggage tubs,” said MIA staff when discussing the issue at a commission meeting. And Suarez believed the discussion was a “lesson in economics,” where the county had a “monopoly,” and the selected company doing shrink wrap is paying a percentage of its gross to the airport and that “allows us to keep passenger landing fees reasonable, said Suarez. And Commissioner Rebeca Sosa felt because these inferior wraps were paid for but useless it was unfair for the consumer when the wrap they got would not be accepted and the commission may tighten some aspects that has significant security concerns.
What about Suarez’s email?
The following message came in from the hacked computer of Miami-Dade County Commissioner Xavier Suarez. And the message below is what came in and it is a scam and the message speaks for itself. “Hi, sorry for any inconvenience, I’m in a terrible situation. I Am stranded here in Philippines, I came here for a pro and I just had my bags stolen from me and personal belongings. I have tried to sort things out with the necessary authorities but nothing is really working out, the bad news is my flight will be leaving very soon. I really need a quick loan from you Please. Regards, XS.”
>>> Trade in Miami-Dade shrank for “second year in a row
A trade report shows that trade shrank in Miami-Dade County for the second year in a row and to read the full report go to and below is the County’s report on the matter and trade has been increasing at gang buster rates but this is a new wrinkle in the vital activity. County webpage info: Miami-Dade County International Trade Report In the new report, Miami-Dade County International Trade – 2014 prepared by Research and Economic Analysis, the data shows that, measured in dollars, trade through Miami-Dade County shrank for the second year in a row. Year-over-year trade values with nearly every world region declined. Much of this change in value can be traced to declines in the prices of gold and organic chemicals. When measured by weight, trade increased slightly in 2014, 1.2% year-over-year. Read all reports going back to 2010.
>>> There should be no difficulty getting names of candidates for MPO director, not dealing with “launch codes,” here, I remarked
Past WDR: The Watchdog Report last week tried again to find out who were the six finalists interviewed to be the new Metropolitan Planning organization’s (MPO) director last week but County Commission press staff said. I had to make the candidate’s name request because of “protocol,” to Miami Gardens Mayor Oliver Gilbert, III, (Which I did by coping Mayor Gilbert) the Chair of the MPO committee chairing the screening process that once had Commissioner Rebeca Sosa saying she wanted “to know,” the new director given the critical role the office plays in guiding the County’s regional transportation planning.
However, MPO member Maurice Ferre cautioned Sosa the board should not discount anyone that is not local saying some of them come from a distance for the interview. And Ferre a transportation maven, and former Miami Mayor believed she should keep an open mind regarding the issue, which Sosa has historically done in the past. But the position has been open for months now, and generally pays around $200,000. And I joked, on a phone call with a Commission press staffer that “I was not asking for launch codes,” in this request and had I been able to attend the last selection committee meeting. I would have had the names of the finalists, and I will try again next week to get the names that are public if you went to the public meetings but I could not get to. And I write this up as a Teaching Moment for public records are just that and are open to all.
Mayor Gilbert, III
Commissioner Dennis C. Moss appointed to serve on the MPO Executive Director Selection Committee
Press release: After years of dedicated and valuable service, Irma San Roman is retiring from her post as Executive Director of The Miami-Dade County Metropolitan Planning Organization. A selection committee has been appointed and will search for the ideal candidate with extensive knowledge and experience in the transportation planning area including directing and developing short and long term transportation plans in a large metropolitan area. Commissioner Dennis C. Moss, Chairman of the Miami-Dade County Transportation and Aviation Committee, was appointed to the MPO Selection Committee charged with evaluating candidates and negotiating compensation. “Director Irma has done a wonderful job for this County,” said Commissioner Moss. “We will be looking for the best and the brightest professionals to help this board develop comprehensive transportation plans and policies that serve the needs of one of the largest and most diverse regions in the nation.”
The Director is appointed by the MPO Governing Board and reports to the Chair of the Board. The Metropolitan Planning Organization Governing Board approves federally required plans and transportation policies. It is composed of 23 voting members, and 2 nonvoting members. The Board is vested with the responsibility for the final decision on all policy matters, adoption or endorsement of transportation plans and programs, adoption of budgets, approval of agreements or contracts, adoption of rules, and establishing its internal operating structure… Recruitment for the next Executive Director will be conducted in the Sunshine establishing an open process and advertised by the Human Resources Department. Deputy Director Jesus Guerra will serve as Interim Director. Other members of the Committee include Mayor Oliver Gilbert III, Perla T. Hantman, Mayor Philip Levine and Commissioner Esteban Bovo Jr. Candidates will be recommended and submitted by the Selection Committee to the MPO Governing Board for final action.
What about outside employment and the Ethics commission?
>>> PAST WDR: Commissioner Juan Zapata said there are “emergencies,” he considered. And noted the commissioner’s job was part time, said Juan Zapata at a committee meeting when he asked what the County’s policy was for “outside employment” and how many county employees had outside employment. Zapata asked. Staff said some 1,000 employees file the required outside income forms to the Miami-Dade Elections Department. However, Zapata said he was concerned about the “distraction” of an outside job and if you own a business and they needed outside income and his concern was tax payers are not getting their money worth since the County pays “fair wages and salaries,” he considered and working for the county “was a privilege,” he said. However, Joe Centorino the Executive Director of the Miami-Dade County Ethics and Public Trust Commission noted the commission does review some conflict of interest cases, but only after first the employee gets approval from his department director but the former state prosecutor said “there is a disconnect,” and it is “unknown” how many employees might have outside employment but just don’t notify the administration.
Centorino said there is “no countywide standard,” for how outside employment is treated and he believes there should be a “uniform standard. “Zapata gave one example saying he had a “meeting with a Chinese Delegation,” and he was “given two cards.” One was for a local real estate company and the other was the “card of a county employee,” and the lawmaker did not know what the man’s relationship was with the delegation.
What about the Zapata and the County Check made out to Harvard University?
Zapata Friday by phone told the Watchdog Report that “not a single penny,” of county money was used, (and the County has paid for other commissioners to take these courses in the past but the shorter version), and he has been attending courses and is currently taking exams, and the Master’s program in public policy is academically rigorous, he said. He also noted that he had secured a school loan and he would only have done this program given the time commitment to go to “Harvard,” because the caliber of the people teaching the course on public administration and good governance, are so impressive. He also questioned the effort of getting the emails to the media, possible suggesting. Since he is critical of Mayor Carlos Gimenez’s staff many times on the dais, some sort of payback. And for more go to http://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/community/miami-dade/article32503263.html
>>> County Committee moves ahead on Honor Code
Ethics Commission press release: A Miami-Dade County Commission committee today took a step forward to adopting a Public Service Honor Code for elected officials and employees. The Strategic Planning and Government Operations Committee voted 5-0 to approve the proposal, initiated by the Miami-Dade Commission on Ethics and Public Trust (COE).
If the resolution, implementing order and ordinance – all sponsored by Commissioner Rebeca Sosa — are adopted by the full Commission and implemented by the County, all officials and employees would be obliged to follow an honor code of conduct that revives a long-ignored 1964 County Administrative Order requiring that they report criminal government misconduct to appropriate authorities when they know about it. It adds directives that employees monitor their workplaces for misconduct, place the public interest ahead of personal loyalties, and cooperate truthfully with investigations. Failure to abide by the code could result in disciplinary action. “It is time to bring a public service honor code into all levels of Miami-Dade County government,” said COE Executive Director Joseph Centorino. “No one whose primary duty is to serve and protect the public may be said to perform that duty adequately by remaining a bystander after becoming aware of corrupt practices by a colleague or supervisor.”
Also today, the BCC Committee adopted a resolution proclaiming Thursday, October 22nd as Ethical Governance Day 2015. The resolution echoes the Ethics Commission call for all public and private institutions and residents to participate in appropriate civic or educational ethics programs. In addition, for the fourth year in a row, the COE will place community leaders in almost every 12th grade government and economics class on that day to emphasize the importance to high school seniors of civic engagement. For more information or to volunteer, visit www.ethics.miamidade.gov
|Press release: GMCVB: DEMAND FOR TRAVEL TO GREATER MIAMI & THE BEACHES DURING JANUARY – JULY 2015 REMAINED STRONG WITH #4 RECORD RANKING IN REVENUE PER AVAILABLE ROOM (REVPAR), RECORD #4 IN AVERAGE DAILY ROOM RATE (ADR) AND #6 IN HOTEL ROOM OCCUPANCY AMONG THE TOP 25 U.S. MARKETS AS DEFINED BY SMITH TRAVEL RESEARCH. DURING THIS SAME TIME, HOTEL ROOM INVENTORY GREW 3.3% AND DEMAND GREW 3.6% RESULTING IN A GROWTH IN OCCUPANCY.|
PUBLIC HEALTH TRUST
>>>> PHT Nominating Council taps Heffernan & Henriques for three slots on smaller oversight board Chaired by Arriola
The PHT Nominating Council met Tuesday and Friday and culled the finalists names of people who had applied to be on the health trust’s oversight board and bankers William Heffernan and Adolpho Henriques were selected as the two first choices of the candidates that applied to be on the smaller seven member board that puts in some 30 to 40 hours, on the citizen based voluntary board, that watches over the Jackson Health System’s $1.8 billion budget and includes watching over a $830 million GOB (that has a separate oversight board), passed by county voters overwhelmingly and is being used for massive upgrades in the ageing main campus facility and numerous smaller clinics in the county.
The PHT chair is Jose Arriola and the mercurial businessman has been known for flashes of a temper (and he once threatened a Miami Herald reporter saying he would throw him out of the F… k window,” but as a PHT trustee Arriola has become more subdued and he and Henriques are friends and the former banker who is on a host of other boards. He said he would leave any that he was on. If there was a problem and when people apply they agree to get off any county boards they might be on. And over the years only one past PHT trustee Martin Zilber, (whose attendance record had Commissioner Sally Heyman telling him to shape up at the time,) but the attorney never complied in this regard and the man now a Circuit Court Judge stayed on the County’s Cultural Affairs Council, now chaired by Henriques. And Arriola is a businessman who sold a printing company in Miami Lakes for some $40 million and the new chairman has almost a Donald Trump attitude and does not give a darn about what he says and he is often on radio and he is a former Miami manager and Henriques back in 2000 was once chair of the governor appointed Miami Financial Emergency Oversight board. And Arriola said to the banker “you loaned me money,” suggesting it was a stupid move, in jest and County Commissioner Audrey Edmonson, on the council after the verbal love fest between the two men said that it resembled a ‘bromance.’
And Arriola said being the “chair of the board was like a band leader,” and the mission of the board was to have the “best public hospital in the nation,” the longtime board member said. And for more go to http://www.miamiherald.com/news/health-care/article32071092.html
And Judy Rosenbaum, Ph.D., is a former PHT trustee when the board was larger. She was ranked third in the process and the names will go to the County Commission for approval, though commissioners in the past have disregarded the recommended candidates in the past, and included a high profile highly respected candidate. Peter Bermont. Who at the time did not get selected by the County Commission. However, historically in the past. Candidates were suggested to not lobby the county commissioners but the council now suggests the candidates introduce themselves to commissioners, which was discouraged in the past because it made the process to political since the Trust is an independent body of the County Commission created in 1973.
What about former Chair Daryl Sharpton?
With Arriola taking the helm on the board, long serving past PHT Chair Daryl Sharpton is leaving the board and the CPA does not want to go through the selection process “since his term was up,” and former PHT applicant Bermont told Arriola that “He would not apply,” this round. So two of the veteran past board leadership members are leaving including Marcos Lapciuc the Dean of the board given his years of service during some of the toughest times for the public health trust. And both men did a yeoman’s job and put in the required hours of public service in and the Watchdog Report gives the two men a Tip of the Hat, for a job well done.
MIAMI-DADE COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOLS:
>>> “Code of silence,” has “45 students killed,” since Carvalho took over in Sept. 2008, parents must teach students, “respect, responsibility, and restraint,” he tells NBC 6 Nesperal
With “45 kids” killed since Alberto Carvalho became the superintendent of Miami-Dade County Public Schools since Sept 2008. The educator said one of the problems is the community has a “code of silence,” and it is “killing our kids,” he told Jackie Nespral on NBC 6 on Sunday morning. Carvalho said while his teachers are ready for the challenge of a new school year, his 400 schools are ready to go, buses will have “GPS,” and all the “schools will have Wi-Fi connectivity,” he told Nespral and the district is adding “500 new magnet programs, and more “choice programs,” Carvalho said including “robotic coding,” a hot new field for students. The chemistry teacher said parents have a major role in raising students and teaching them “respect, responsibility, and restraint,” the veteran educator intoned on the news program. http://www.nbcmiami.com/
The superintendent said when it came to state student testing that was implemented “far too fast,” and included “stop and go failures.” He was skeptical because it was not an “ideal” process and “trusting the results,” was dubious he considered. (And back in 2000 I did my first television interview with Nesperal, Rev. Curry, and Victor Diaz.) And I appreciated that early opportunity to calmly discuss community tensions after Elian Gonzalez was extracted by the federal government and Miami erupted in anger and protests.
>>> On Monday the traffic nightmare begins with school opening and 350,000 student’s return to schools
It is beginning, the Miami-Dade County Public Schools open Monday and the roads are expected to be jammed after a few month lull when it comes to local traffic. And teachers got some good news after Superintendent Alberto Carvalho concluded a new $52 million contract with the 20,000 some members of the Teachers Union of Miami-Dade County and the deal includes a three percent raise and steady health insurance costs in the District that is self-insured. And Carvalho’ s deal continues to seal for Many in the community that he is a “rock star,” in stature when it comes to public education and when the District’s property tax base started to tank back in 2008. The man born in Portugal and a Chemistry teacher made cuts immediately, trying to enhance the money going to education in the tough times, and included teachers making sacrifices as well and with the pick-up of the economy he is sharing some of the wealth with the front lines after many lean years http://www.local10.com/news/miamidade-teachers-union-reaches-agreement-with-school-district/34848382
And maintenance of the Districts almost 400 schools is a Monmouth task and while Miami-Dade countywide voters passed a $2.2 billion bond in 2012 for upgrades in IT and in classroom technology along with refurbishment or building new schools. The District’s debt load is no small issue, but was mitigated by strategically refinancing the extensive paper, and dealing with the issue was not for the “faint,” of heart said a past CFO and is something that Carvalho has to deal with on a consistent basis given the humid climate of South Florida that back in 2000 had the District needing $500 million in roofing repairs and mold in schools was rampant and health issues were rebounding back then and took years to correct, but gives one a reference to how large the nation’s fourth public schools district is. Further, the school Board holds its first public budget meeting July 29th at the board’s auditorium and the Final Public Hearing will be Sept. 9th and both meetings do not start until after 5:00 p.m. which is state law.
CITY OF MIAMI
>>> Will litigation stall Watson Island getting sea plane and helicopter service back, FAA may have the final say
“We have a mess,” Mayor Tomas Regalado told Miami Exhibition and Sports Authority members recently and reported in a past Watchdog Report. The problem is with the FAA and who owns the license for a seaplane base service and helicopters services on Watson Island and the litigation is flying said one knowledgeable source and MESA needs the concessions for funding and after the Caulks Airways crash, the FAA license has been inactive and there is also an issue with FPL infrastructure and state and federal authorities don’t seem to realize there are two separate entities and the debate probable through attorney’s will continue and currently MESA does not have an executive director.
>>> PAST WDR July 19, 2015: When it comes to seaplanes and helicopters coming to Watson Island, “We have this mess now,” says Mayor Tomas Regalado
“We have this mess now,” said Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado at the Miami Sports and Exhibition Authority (MESA) meeting a few weeks ago referring to the fact the license for Helicopters and seaplanes “are both in the city of Miami’s name,” he told authority members. The city for years have been negotiating with two companies to bring the amenities back to the City. However, a Jun.15 letter from the Florida Department of Transportation says the Miami Heliport license was “revoked, due to abandonment,” of the site and the “airport license and Airport site location was included in that revoking, and MESA has to meet again to resolve the issue with FDOT because “This could mean the end of two projects that we want,” said the mayor. Further any reestablishment of the air services also includes electrical infrastructure needs and MESA may have to pay $348,273 to FPL, and this funding has yet to be approved given the limited funding the organization has in in bank accounts. And the body will meet again and see if any resolution to the issues have been resolved but the clock is ticking for the reestablishment of these air services, that made Caulk’s Mallard Seaplanes an iconic part of Miami but ended after a tragic crash a few years ago.
Candidate Russell gets key endorsement in Ferre and Winton
Miami District 2 candidate Ken Russell got a boost last week when the neophyte candidate received the endorsements of former Miami Mayor Maurice Ferre and former Miami Commissioner Johnny Winton and his endorsements also include Sen. Gwen Margolis, D-Miami, former state Rep. Daryl Jones, D-Miami and a former Speaker of Florida House are also backing the first time candidate.
Russell cut his political chops fighting the City of Miami’s plan to try to clean up a contaminated park across the street from where he lives. (and a press release he sent out after the event might have given the impression that Frank Balzabre, an aide to Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez was supporting Russell), who both said that was not the was not the case. And Balzabre was just a private citizen supporting a friend and why he introduced Ferre and Winton who Balzabre had worked for when Winton was a Miami commissioner.
Teresa has campaign bash at LoKal, well attended
And District 2 challenger Teresa Sarnoff held a “burger and beer,” fundraising bash recently at LoKal restaurant at the beginning of Commodore Plaza. And her husband Marc bicycled to get to the popular burger restaurant, and had Ron Nelson (Sarnoff’s chief of staff) welcoming supporters out front that is a favorite haunt for her husband, the Miami Commissioner, and some of her campaign signs are popping up in the Grove. However, the support she has gotten from Groveites is different from when her husband first ran (First for the Coconut Grove Village Council he chaired and in 2006 in his first commission election) and the Central Grove activist had an army of Grovites knocking on doors trying to convince undecided voters how great he would be as a commissioner. But that past precision campaign passion and discipline is not being generated with her own race but with months to go to the Nov. 3 election she is keeping her $483,000 campaign war chest dry and she has not run any significant television ads to date except for a mailer and print piece to voters residents.
Grace Solaris (has $149,000 in her campaign war chest) is another District 2 candidate who is also keeping her profile high with community events with campaign volunteers and she lost a legal challenge at the Third District Court of Appeal regarding the RFP for the redevelopment of the popular Scotty’s Landing local restaurant on the water next to the Grove Marina that is said to be appealed perhaps to the Florida Supreme Court in the future. And for more go to: http://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/community/miami-dade/coconut-grove/article31674284.html
And another District 2 candidate, Mike Simpson (Who has $740.07 for his campaign) dropped by City Hall last week to see the Miami City Clerk Todd Hannon and I mentioned. He ought to go to certain city committee meetings like the Miami Finance Committee but he replied he did not have the time. Since he worked “seven days a week,” but the neophyte candidate as well as the other candidates need to start doing some homework.
If they are to have any idea of the issues they might have to deal with as a commissioner and this is not like running for your class president. And the job is based on trust, and is a sacred bond with voters, that candidates need to realize. And the position is more nuanced than just saying you are for fighting crime, bolstering the economy and limiting development which are all popular buzz words for the pack of candidates and to review their campaign reports go to >>> http://www.ci.miami.fl.us/City_Clerk/Pages/Elections/CampaignReports15.asp
And while the candidates are stressing the need for a high voter turnout, they will find achieving that is an elusive commodity, except with absentee ballots where ballot brokers in the community play a key role and whoever wins that early voting operation will end up winning the race that only requires 50 percent plus one vote to win the Miami District 2 race now held by termed out commissioner Marc Sarnoff.
What about City of Miami volunteer boards?
The Miami Waterfront Advisory Board had an animated meeting July 14th and these type of boards made up of citizens keep a watch on what the City of Miami administration is up to and is a sounding board for many controversial issues involving the Miami waterfront and the Miami River where a River Walk is trying to be completed but has run into some roadblocks said Brett Bibeau the executive director of the Miami River Commission at the meeting.
The River spokesman noted in his opinion during the construction “boom,” there was a “disconnect,” with the city’s “building department,” and other departments, he considered and one way you make the existing River Walk more assessable to the public was to enforce the “code” that requires “signage.” Indicating the walk was “public,” and that “this was a public river walk,” he said as one suggestion to making the trail more inviting. And one board member Wendy Kamilar said, “I know government moves slowly,” and while there have been hurdles. She thought some action was in order and Alyn Pruett made some good observations on the subject. And for Miami residents to watch these shows go to www.miamigov.com And I write about these people because they participate to making Miami better by being on these boards and overseeing the City’s finances. And these citizen board’s across the board act as an early warning system if things were going on the rocks, something not unheard of when it comes to Miami.
Will water taxis be coming to Miami?
And a Sunshine meeting is being held Thursday Sept. 17th at 2:30 p.m. for commissioners to discuss the “establishment of waterborne transportation at City of Miami owned Miami River Walk Sites, says the public notice on the door of City hall and it is being held in the Cow room in the back of the commission chambers. And the idea of water taxis has been kicked around for many years but never got permanently established. Though there was a Gondola service at one time in use on the bay but this should be a larger enterprise and anyone interested in the issue should attend this public meeting.
CITY OF MIAMI BEACH
>>> Mayor Levine draws challenger, in attorney Wieder, seemed to be on autopilot for reelection prior to PAC controversy
Mayor Philip Levine got a challenger last week in his race for reelection in November and the mayor had been riding high with voters and supporters for his get the job done attitude and transforming the city’s administration, but he has drawn a challenger David Wieder. After the controversy with a PAC created by Jonah Wolfson with some $1.5 million in it to promote good government candidates and while the mayor points out it was legal. The PAC has generated controversy including a full page ad in the paper of record attacking senior political reporter Michael Putney, of WPLG channel 10 and below is more on that story but the mayor’s association with the PAC Relentless for Progress has hurt him with some in the tony community. And the media mogul notes he is self-financing his own race and people donating to the PAC which includes some city vendors does not grant them any special preference to these firms. He has said in the past but without this controversy he would have likely not faced a challenger for the top office. Further, the mayor has been an active participant on the County’s regional transportation board MPO and is pushing for a BayLink Mass transit solution for the congestion dated traffic trying to get on the island city.
And below is the list of candidates running for the open seats on the commission.
Kristen Rosen Gonzalez
Elizabeth “Betsy” Perez
- Scott Diffenderfer
Mark Weithorn (Whose wife is on the commission)
Jose Rickey Arriola (Who chaired the Arsht Center board and his father José is Chair of the Public Health Trust that oversees Jackson Hospital)
John Elizabeth Aleman
>>> Press release: Commissioner Daniella Levine Cava and Mayor Carlos Gimenez Hold Homes For All Pets Summit, Identify Solutions to Animal Well-Being Challenges Miami, FL- Today, Commissioner Daniella Levine Cava and Mayor Carlos Gimenez hosted the Homes for All Pets Summit at PortMiami to discuss challenges and find creative ways to continue working towards the County’s no-kill goal and to find homes for all our pets. 200 participants, including animal rescue and protection groups, community leaders, concerned citizens and elected officials, discussed the following topics: the progress we have made on animal welfare, the health and safety of animals in Miami-Dade and strategies to increase public awareness on this issue. Dr. Julie Levy, Director of Maddie’s Shelter Medicine Program at the University of Florida was the keynote speaker… “500 animals are abandoned at the Animal Services Department every week. Much progress has been made; we have a terrific plan and we have made additional investments in programs and partnerships. But we cannot fully implement our plan without more volunteers, more partners, more funds for our programming We are here today to work together to find solutions,” Commissioner Levine Cava said during her opening remarks…. Mayor Gimenez spoke about the many inroads made at the Animal Services Department and thanked the Department for their help in organizing the summit: “I thank Commissioner Levine Cava and Animal Services Director Alex Muñoz for their hard work in putting this important event for Miami-Dade together.” The ideas discussed at the summit will be consolidated and sent to the event attendees. Commissioner Levine Cava spoke of the many ways that residents could get involved and stay engaged in constructive solutions. “It gives me much hope that so many concerned residents are interested and engaged in finding solutions. I urge all community members to contact their Commissioner and find ways that they can get involved through volunteering. The Animal Services Department offers several volunteering programs at www.miamidade.gov/animals<http://www.miamidade.gov/animals>. I also encourage all residents to attend the County budget hearings on September 3rd and 17th at 5:01 p.m. at the Stephen P. Clark Center so that they can express their budgetary priorities to the Commission and the Administration,” explained the Commissioner. Broadcasts from the summit are available on Periscope through @dlcava and highlights can be seen on Twitter (@dlcava), Facebook (/CommissionerCava) and Instagram (@dlcava).Sponsors: PortMiami, City of Miami Beach, Village of Pinecrest, City of Coral Gables, City of Doral, City of South Miami, City of Sunny Isles Beach, City of Hialeah, North Bay Village, City of Homestead, City of Miami Springs, Village of Virginia Gardens, City of Miami, City of North Miami, Town of Cutler Bay, Town of Bay Harbor Islands, City of Opa-Locka, Village of Palmetto Bay and Village of El Portal. Special thanks to Fare to Remember Creative Catering for providing an animal friendly, no meat meal.[cid:image003.jpg@01D0C790.02E51510] Commissioner Levine Cava greets attendees at the Homes for All Pets Summit [cid:image005.jpg@01D0C790.02E51510]Mayor Gimenez spoke of the advances in the Animal Service Department and his rescue dog, Beemer. cid:image007.jpg@01D0C790.02E51510]
Dr. Julie Levy of the University of Florida presented on best practices and possible solutions [cid:image009.jpg@01D0C790.02E51510] Participants discussed two major topics: animal safety and increasing public awareness cid:image016.jpg@01D0C790.02E51510] an idea bank gave attendees the opportunity to brainstorm and make last minute recommendations.
>>> The Watchdog Report is going to hit 16 years of weekly publishing and while I have taken a licking over the years including some medical issues I have kept at thanks to my supporters who I thank so very much over the many years.
The Watchdog Report is Celebrating 16 years of weekly publishing since May 5th 2000 and when I started back then I never thought I would be doing this so long and to read a national story on the early years of doing this go to: http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/2003-01-20/news/0301190045_1_ricker-miami-watchdog
>>> Trump embodying electorate discontent, why no party affiliation fastest growing voter party demographic
The Donald Trump show is an expression of voters discontent over the past 16 years, where elected leaders say one thing but then do another and I have written in the past what a corrosive affect this has had on the electorate and their confidence in their politicians, and all their promises made but not kept and with the social media revolution Trump has become the microphone (as one news pundit said Sunday) for Americans trying to get special interests and money out of political campaigns and makes candidates become crack addicts when it comes to fundraising efforts regardless of the political party. And this disgust is being reflected in nationwide polls and people in government now are viewed like used cars and voters are considering buying a new one and for the moment it is called Trump.
But leaders should not discount this level of discontent because it is reflected in what is the fastest growing group of registered voters, No Party Affiliation. A demographic that has only grown since 2004, and politicians who do not value the sacred bond of trust with voters are in trouble for people are finally demanding something different in their elected leaders at all levels and they ignore this truth and honesty anger at their political peril.
>>> Drones and lasers not benign when it comes to impacting the flying public, lawmakers must beef up laws, to end this scourge before a tragic crash
The American flying public should not have to worry about a plane in flight hitting a drone or the pilot being blinded with a laser while flying the plane but incidents of this nature are happening and are on the increase and drones have even caused feuds, with neighbors and there needs to be more stringent guidelines on how these devices are used for it would be a tragedy if a plane had to crash before lawmakers took action for these new devices are not benign and can cause great harm and while people note it is people using them wrong and should not be regulated, but the pervasiveness of the reports is of concern and could cause a lack of confidence to the flying public that deserve better when it comes to their safety while flying in the nation’s crowded skies.
>>> Elected leaders do the public a favor and get to the point at public budget hearings rather than drone on, for audience as much fun as a root canal
With public budget meetings on Tuesday being held will these be a vocal marathons where elected leaders just drone on and repeat themselves and for the public listening to this dialogue, it is quite painful and voters would really appreciate if they got to the point for repetition by the public or the leaders gets old fast and lawmakers should spare the public some of their monologue that is as popular as a root canal.
>>> Press release: Commissioner Daniella Levine Cava and Mayor Carlos Gimenez Hold Homes For All Pets Summit, Identify Solutions to Animal Well-Being Challenges Miami, FL- Today, Commissioner Daniella Levine Cava and Mayor Carlos Gimenez hosted the Homes for All Pets Summit at PortMiami to discuss challenges and find creative ways to continue working towards the County’s no-kill goal and to find homes for all our pets. 200 participants, including animal rescue and protection groups, community leaders, concerned citizens and elected officials, discussed the following topics: the progress we have made on animal welfare, the health and safety of animals in Miami-Dade and strategies to increase public awareness on this issue. Dr. Julie Levy, Director of Maddie’s Shelter Medicine Program at the University of Florida was the keynote speaker…
“500 animals are abandoned at the Animal Services Department every week. Much progress has been made; we have a terrific plan and we have made additional investments in programs and partnerships. But we cannot fully implement our plan without more volunteers, more partners, more funds for our programming We are here today to work together to find solutions,” Commissioner Levine Cava said during her opening remarks…. Mayor Gimenez spoke about the many inroads made at the Animal Services Department and thanked the Department for their help in organizing the summit: “I thank Commissioner Levine Cava and Animal Services Director Alex Muñoz for their hard work in putting this important event for Miami-Dade together.”
The ideas discussed at the summit will be consolidated and sent to the event attendees. Commissioner Levine Cava spoke of the many ways that residents could get involved and stay engaged in constructive solutions. “It gives me much hope that so many concerned residents are interested and engaged in finding solutions. I urge all community members to contact their Commissioner and find ways that they can get involved through volunteering. The Animal Services Department offers several volunteering programs at www.miamidade.gov/animals<http://www.miamidade.gov/animals>. I also encourage all residents to attend the County budget hearings on September 3rd and 17th at 5:01 p.m. at the Stephen P. Clark Center so that they can express their budgetary priorities to the Commission and the Administration,” explained the Commissioner. Broadcasts from the summit are available on Periscope through @dlcava and highlights can be seen on Twitter (@dlcava), Facebook (/CommissionerCava) and Instagram (@dlcava).Sponsors: PortMiami, City of Miami Beach, Village of Pinecrest, City of Coral Gables, City of Doral, City of South Miami, City of Sunny Isles Beach, City of Hialeah, North Bay Village, City of Homestead, City of Miami Springs, Village of Virginia Gardens, City of Miami, City of North Miami, Town of Cutler Bay, Town of Bay Harbor Islands, City of Opa-Locka, Village of Palmetto Bay and Village of El Portal. Special thanks to Fare to Remember Creative Catering for providing an animal friendly, no meat meal.[cid:image003.jpg@01D0C790.02E51510] Commissioner Levine Cava greets attendees at the Homes for All Pets Summit [cid:image005.jpg@01D0C790.02E51510]Mayor Gimenez spoke of the advances in the Animal Service Department and his rescue dog, Beemer cid:image007.jpg@01D0C790.02E51510]
Dr. Julie Levy of the University of Florida presented on best practices and possible solutions [cid:image009.jpg@01D0C790.02E51510]
Participants discussed two major topics: animal safety and increasing public awareness [cid:image016.jpg@01D0C790.02E51510] an idea bank gave attendees the opportunity to brainstorm and make last minute recommendations.
>>> The Watchdog Report hit 16 years of weekly publishing May 5, 2000, and while I have taken a licking over the years including some medical issues I have kept at thanks to my supporters who I thank so very much over the many years. And the community’s public institutions are better when it comes to them knowing what the other is doing and why I have tried to be an information electrolyte for these giant institution’s leaders and things and here is a national story done on why I started to watch government back in 2000 http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/2003-01-20/news/0301190045_1_ricker-miami-watchdog and to all the people along the way that have helped me I thank you from the bottom of my heart.
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Please make checks payable to: Daniel A. Ricker
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