Archive for September 2015


Watchdog Report Vol.16 No. 20 September 27, 2015 EST.05.05.00 – Celebrating 16-Years of weekly publishing


Argus Report: When it comes to Cuban refugees, coming to Miami and Miami-Dade County we have a “crisis,” and there is a “spike,” in the Homeless population, and people are living in the Doral warehouse district on the streets, because of the “rumor,” the Cuban Adjustment Act is going to be “repealed,” with warmer relations with Cuba, said Miami Mayor Regalado at the M-DC Homeless Trust meeting Friday

Florida: Oct. 17, Clock is ticking as Circuit Court Judge Lewis tries to navigate redistricting waters, process is highly charged “political,” activity except for Fair Districts Amendments passed by voters in 2010

Miami-Dade County: Commissioner Diaz, “pro police,” he tells Keys Officer, will not blow to test alcohol level, will likely just lose his driver’s license for one year, per state law, and has to live with the dangerous public embarrassment

Miami-Dade Public Schools: Board Audit committee to debate VAB audit Tuesday done by District’s OIG Cagel, will it be a spirited meeting?

Public Health Trust: Patient waiting for treatment dies, while hospital tries to qualify patients financial condition, CMS threatens to pull Medicaid funding to largest public hospital in the state

City of Miami: Grove gets new signature Regatta Park, challenger of Sarnoff wife Teresa, does clever attack ad based on Sarnopoly board game and who gave her the $560,000 for her campaign war chest

Village of Coconut Grove: County Time line at worst suggests it could take up to eight years to open the Grove Playhouse, major economic generator

City of Miami Beach: Candidates Arriola and Weithorn going head to head for Commission V seat on the dais, how low will they go to win coveted spot, but risky political maneuver from Weithorn, whose wife is termed out on the commission

Community Events: — Other community events- Good government event at UM

Editorials: New forms of “social media, is worse than drugs and is killing our kids,” children know in advance who might get shot, warns activist LeRoy Jones: How will our technology addiction change how children evolve, two dimensional world of thought in social media universe?Trump embodying electorate discontent, “like a car crash you have to look at,” why no party affiliation is the fastest growing voter party demographic

Letters: Pet trust founder on past WDR – featured artist at Lotus House fundraiser

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.)

>>> If you wish to be deleted, just e-mail me with that message. 

Knight Foundation

>>> The Watchdog Report publisher would like to thank the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation for funding by the Knight Foundation with technical support from the Knight Center  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 fiscal help and new Sponsors and I have for 16 years now, reported back weekly how your billions of public dollars in local government are being spent. And how to do that is at the end of the WDR. Thank You. And to my Supporters and Sponsors, I thank you for your confidence over the past 16 Years. >>> CORRECTION: There was an error in last week’s WDR regarding the City of Miami losing $6 million in a securities investments and Manager Daniel J. Alfonso, by email corrected my story. The manger noted, “The issue that Guba is reporting on was identified by our staff 2 years ago.  We have reported on this in the past to the City Commission.  Please note that we have not realized a $6 million loss. We fully intend to hold the paper to maturity at which time we will get back the entire principal.  The only true loss was the $119K reported back in 2013.   The “Paper loss” is theoretical and is only realized if we sell the bonds now at less than face value.  We do not intend to do that, nor do we need to,” wrote Alfonso after the story ran last Sunday. I apologize for the error.

ARGUS REPORT – Heard, Seen on the Street

>>> When it comes to Cuban refugees, coming to Miami and Miami-Dade County we have a “crisis,” and there is a “spike,” in the Homeless population, and people are living in the Doral warehouse district on the streets, because of the “rumor,” the Cuban Adjustment Act is going to be repealed with warmer relations with Cuba, said Miami Mayor Regalado at the Homeless Trust meeting Friday

“We have a crisis,” said Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado at the Miami-Dade County Homeless Trust meeting Friday morning to his fellow board members. Regalado a former journalist who covered the Ronald Reagan White House for a Spanish media station noted that “rumors,” are rampant in Cuba. That The Cuban Adjustment Act is going to be “repealed,” by the Congress now that relations with the communist nation have been opened and the Mayor noted some Cubans are coming from other countries like Ecuador, and there is some 6,000 to 7,000 doctors and professionals, going through the process to come to America Regalado told the Trust trustees. And Regalado firmly noted again, “We do have a crisis,” and there is a “increase influx of Cuban migrants,” said the mayor and we need “federal help,” to deal with this issue and many of these refugees come with their families to America and while the Trust is trying to accommodate this new influx and the homeless census, “continues the upward trend.” The Trust is a little bit backed up,” said Trust Chair Ron Book on Friday during the discussion of the matter. And it is becoming a “trickle down Mariel,” and we need help from the state and federal government said Regalado to deal with these new refugees coming to Miami where they will be assimilated and not around the country and why the federal government needs to get involved for the Trust does not have the resources to handle this new issue alone, the mayor believes.



What about House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio retiring?

House Speaker John Boehner after Pope Francis addressed a joint session of Congress last week, said he woke up said his prayers and decided Friday was the day he would announce his stepping down as the House leader, at the end of October, something the devout Catholic, said he had been thinking about for some time, he said when he announced the matter and pundits believe the more hard line conservative members were revolting as a continuing resolution federal budget showdown is expected in the coming weeks, and he wanted to leave on a high note and for the good of the institution he said. But it was a surprise for the long serving congressman who had his hands full with some of the more tea party conservative newer members elected in 2010 when the GOP bounced back in that election gaining control of the House. And the Pope talked about how people should live by the Golden Rule, especially pertinent in the current political environment.

>>> U.S. Rep. Ros-Lehtinen press release: “John has been an incredible leader for our Republican Conference and a tremendous Speaker for our Congress since 2011. Ever since coming to Washington, John has worked in a bipartisan manner to help create jobs and restore American leadership.”  Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chairman of the Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa, made the following statement regarding House Speaker John Boehner’s statement that he will resign from Congress at the end of October. Statement by Ros-Lehtinen: “John has been an incredible leader for our Republican Conference and a tremendous Speaker for our Congress since 2011. Ever since coming to Washington, John has worked in a bipartisan manner to help create jobs and restore American leadership. John expanded our big-tent party and has represented his home state of Ohio well for over 20 years with pride and integrity. He has helped maintain a hard line on the Castros’ despotic rule in Cuba, has been supportive of strong relations with Israel, and continues to be a tough opponent of the weak and dangerous Iran nuclear deal. I have had the privilege of traveling with John to Iraq, Afghanistan, Israel, and many other places where he has represented our nation excellently. John’s decorum, grace, and patience are his hallmarks and they will be missed in the Capitol.  Only in American can the son of a barkeep rise to make a lasting, positive contribution to our history. Dexter and I wish John, Debbie, the Boehner family, and his new granddaughter Alistair all the best.”

>>> Climate Change and sea-level rise major issue with millennium voters, Angst. Seen at public budget meetings, water rising at an inch a year, say knowledgeable UM professors, and land will be lost in five-years in South Florida

And at public budget hearings when it comes to Climate Change and becoming a “sustainable community,” the millennials are showing their chops since they will have to deal with the issue in the decades ahead and these people’s passion on dealing with sea level rise will serve the community well for elected leaders are finally acknowledging that South Florida is ground zero and has the largest amount of real estate at risk in the tourist Mecca. Emphasizing the fact we are In a race where of sea level is expected to rise of one inch a year, and ice is melting in the Antarctic at an incredible rate and in the next five years we will start losing land from sea level rise says Professor Harold Wanless, Ph.D., at the University of Miami an expert and frequent public speaker on the issue. But politicians should note this new generation of future voters have different agendas then the population years ago at the ballot box and these new voters will be determining who the next president will be for a generational tilt is taking place.

>>> And I turned 63 last week and I was thinking about the generational issue and have been talking to many millenniums about what they thought of their government in action and they all groan when it comes to the nation’s $18.8 trillion debt and of course their student loans, another $1 trillion or so, but as they age they will start to have a profound effect on the political process and this cohort armed with social media is a totally different voter than so many decades past and leaders should keep their interests on their radar screen. If they are to stay in office, for the level of disgust for some of them is almost palpable when you talk to these soon to be middle age voters.

>>> Miami Children’s Museum’s tenth Anniversary attractions getting renovation and update, thousands of kids flock to the venue

And the Miami Children’s Museum is celebrating its tenth year on the Watson Island site and all the exhibits are being renovated and the facility has been a fantastic draw to the site packed with Children. Whenever I stopped in over the years and it is a valuable community asset. And for the latest programs go to .

>>> Hillary Dominates the Democratic Field, With Biden in or Out By: John Zogby Contributor

Zogby press release: Sec. of State Hillary Clinton holds a huge lead over all of her rivals for the nomination. The new poll, conducted online September 18 and 19, has Mrs. Clinton leading Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders 52% to 24%, with former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley at 3%, former Virginia Senator Jim Webb with 2%, and 19% either undecided or choosing another candidate. Please click on the link below to view the full release:

Zogby Poll press release: Trump Widens Lead after GOP Debate By: John Zogby Contributor: Real estate mogul Trump has widened his lead to 20 points in a brand new Zogby Analytics poll taken after the second Republican presidential debate. The new poll of 405 likely Republican primary/caucus voters nationwide with a margin of sampling error of +/- 5.0 percentage points, conducted September 18-19, shows Mr. Trump with 33% (up 2 points from his pre-debate 31%). In second place is neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson who actually dropped 3 points to 13%. Former Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, widely considered to be the big winner in the debate, moved up from just 2% last week to 7% and fourth place in the new poll – just 2 points behind former Florida Governor Jeb Bush’s 9% (which is exactly where he was last week). Please click on the link below to view the full release:

Zogby report card: The Pope’s glow shines on Obama John Zogby’s 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 was able to share in some of the glow of Pope Francis and get people, maybe, to forget their concerns about the country for a while. From Zogby: “Among the worst things about being president is to face a myriad of profound global challenges and feel like you are swatting flies. Polls show most Americans don’t feel that America is great anymore and only 31 percent believe the country is heading in the right direction. Please click on the link below to view the full release:

>>> 13 Year Prison Sentence against Leopoldo López is a Miscarriage of Justice, Says Ros-Lehtinen “I call on all responsible nations to condemn this miscarriage of justice and call for Leopoldo’s immediate, unconditional release.”

Press release: Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R – FL), Chairman of the Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa, made the following statement following the sentencing of Venezuelan activist Leopoldo López to approximately 13 years in prison. Statement from Ros-Lehtinen: “It is well known that the kangaroo court in Venezuela is biased and influenced by the Maduro regime so it’s not a surprise that this shameful verdict against Leopoldo occurred. Leopoldo should be free and the people of Venezuela deserve to live under a free society; not under this regime that continues to violate human rights at every turn. The malicious use of the judicial system as an instrument to punish and persecute dissent is only part of the problem with Maduro’s brutal regime that persists on ruling Venezuela with an iron fist. I call on all responsible nations to condemn this miscarriage of justice and call for Leopoldo’s immediate, unconditional release. In addition, the United States should apply sanctions immediately against the judges, prosecutors, and prison officials who were involved in this politically motivated sentencing.”

>>> Knight Foundation’s Cities Challenge grant program open, looking for big ideas for community engagement

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation’s Cities Challenge Grant Program is open Oct.1 and program director Matt Haggman discussed the offering last week on Topical Currents hosted by Joe Cooper and Bonnie Berman on WLRN/NPR 91.3 F.M., and to listen to the show got to And the program is open to all even if you are not a IRS 501.C3 and all you need is a good idea to make your community more sustainable and informed, Given the Foundation is the premier organization for the Arts and innovative journalism in this changing world of the press in the digital age. Editor’s note: The Watchdog Report has been honored to have the Foundation as an initial Founding sponsor back in 2000, when Hodding Carter, III, a former Press Secretary for President Jimmy Carter. And the Princeton University graduate told me what I was doing was important and fundamental reporting. Since I was covering public meetings where other press was not there and that encouragement has been with me over the past 16-years and I am forever grateful for Carter’s words of encouragement especially when it came to security. An issue I was having in the early years. And for more on Carter who is a professor at UNC Chapel Hill go to

>>> From the Knight Foundation’s web page: About Knight Cities Challenge

What is your best idea to make cities more successful? The Knight Cities Challenge seeks new ideas from innovators who will take hold of the future of our cities. From Oct. 1 to Oct. 27, 2015, we invited applicants from anywhere to tell us their ideas for making the 26 Knight communities more vibrant places to live and work. From a pool of $5 million, we’re looking to award grants at the city, neighborhood and block levels, and all sizes in between.

What is the goal?

The challenge is designed to help spur civic innovation at the city, neighborhood, and block levels, and all sizes in between. In particular, we hope to generate ideas that focus on one or all of three key drivers of city success: attracting talented people, expanding economic opportunity and creating a culture of civic engagement.

Who should apply?

The Knight Cities Challenge welcomes anyone with big ideas and the ability to realize them. Applicants may be activists, designers, artists, planning professionals, hackers, architects; everyone is welcome. You don’t have to live in one of the 26 Knight communities to apply, but your project must be located in and benefit one of those communities. No project is too small — so long as your idea is big.


>>> Oct. 17, Clock is ticking as Circuit Court Judge Lewis tries to navigate redistricting waters, process is highly charged “political,” activity except for Fair Districts Amendments passed by voters in 2010

With the clock ticking Circuit Court Judge Terry Lewis must have new redistricting maps finished by Oct. 17 and The Miami Herald is reporting that the Senate districts are the sticking point in the politically charged activity considered by the courts over the years to be highly “political,” in nature County attorneys in Miami-Dade have said when the commission redistricting was being done. But Florida voters passed the Fair District Amendment overwhelmingly in 2010 that details how the redistricting process should be done striving for neutral party differences in the defined area that will ultimately be approved by the Florida Supreme Court and has lawmakers trying to sway the process and Lewis has been instructed by the upper court to get the job done by the 17 and for more on the redistricting process go to


>>> Commissioner Diaz, “pro police,” he tells Keys Officer, will not blow to test alcohol level, will likely just lose his driver’s license for one year, per state law, and has to live with the dangerous embarrassment

Miami-Dade County Commissioner Jose “Pepe” Diaz’s (Net worth $150,000) arrest for failing a sobriety test, and spent the night in jail, in Key West will not destroy his political career, something he is heard saying on a video of the arrest and the commissioner dropped the Monroe County sheriffs name “call “Rick [Ramsay],” (Net worth $1,08 million in 2014) he tells the officer. And he blamed his unsteadiness on his time in the U.S. Marine Corps, and that was why he wore a “balance, bracelet,” something the officer had never seen before. And to read Diaz’s financial disclosure for 2014 go to

However the long serving commissioner first elected in 2002 has another experience under his belt and since he refused to take a breath analyzer and blow, he will likely face nothing but losing his license for a year per state law if you refuse to blow occurs. And since he gets a sergeant-of-arms as a body guard. He will get shepherded around the district until his driving privileges are restored and given his private sector work he will probable use Uber which the commission is trying to make legal in Miami-Dade. However since voters have a high threshold when it comes to anything that is not involved with corruption. He will likely win reelection fairly easy if history is any indicator and while Diaz has “apologized,” for the incident not admitting why he should apologize. He will suffer the embarrassment and was lucky not to have had an accident given the rate his Harley was traveling over 74 mph he was clocked in a 30 mph zone. I’m “pro police,” he tells the officer, and he did not even have his driver’s license on him as is required by law and he was participating in the Poker Run where hog bikers stop at various hangouts on the trip from Dade to Key West and is a major community event that had local hotels packed recently over last weekend. And here is the explanation of the Poker Run and here is the arrest video And since Ramsay’s name was invoked here is the sheriff’s bio and financial disclosure forms for 2014

Past WDR: What if the County’s bond rating could stop sea level rise infrastructure projects? Huge costs, money will not be cheap S&P acknowledged local government downgrades based on vulnerability to climate change,” writes S. Miami Mayor Stoddard, Ph.D.

And the issue of global warming is being flagged by the major bond companies like S&P and “Last year S&P announced their intention to issue local government downgrades based on vulnerability to climate change related hazards such as sea level rise, wrote S. Miami Mayor Philip Stoddard, Ph.D., to the Watchdog Report last week. And he pointed this out to the Miami-Dade Commission during their public budget hearing last week. And the Watchdog Report asked the mayor. If the downgrade comment was a true statement and his response adds a new wrinkle. For all the infrastructure design and creation that will have to be bonded out by the County, and having a poor credit rating would only make it even more expensive. Since interest rates will not be staying so low, much longer, and even after improvements on South Beach. And a host of new pumps a local environmental good government blogger She noted, fish are coming through the drain gratings “in South Beach and Aventura and she is pushing them back,” But she suggests that is how challenging sea water rise has become and even included a Climate Change Task Force report chaired by County Clerk Harvey Ruvin. And created by Commission Chair Rebeca Sosa who is reported to have talked to her friend Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla about the need to deal with the ramifications of climate change that are coming in a relentless manner to the shore line and will impact home owners in the Village of Pinecrest for example, where “around 1,000 homes,” said Commissioner Suarez are “still on septic tanks.” And the need for infrastructure will become apparent when people cannot flush their toilets, Stoddard surmised at the commission committee meeting recently. And to read the Climate Change Action plan go to:

What about Farm Share food distribution programs and the impact of the Fruit fly quarantine?

Further, at the County’ budget meeting former Sen. Daryl Jones, D-Miami, speaking for Farm Share funding. Jones said at three recent food distribution events at three police stations and had hundreds attending and residents got to know the officers because it was “easier to talk,” and become friends with the officers, the former senator said. And tips to the police hot line has “exploded,” by some “200 percent,” and is another communication avenue when it comes to community policing the former legislator suggested. Jones also said the quarantine of South Dade farm produce because of the Oriental Fruit Fly infestation is killing Farm Share that collects produce not sold and distributes to the needy and hungry around the state and Further, Jones said that “53 percent,” of all the produce collected stays in Miami-Dade but with the quarantine crop production is expected to be less and perhaps less left over food is expected to be collected and distributed to the needy.

What about the budget planning process?

Commissioner Juan Carlos Zapata believes the crafting of the new budget should start earlier and “not in the ninth inning,” he told a commission committee members last week and since Miami has a cyclical economy. The county should bank more money for a rainy day, or return some of it. That is planned to have $100 million in reserves by 2020 says Gimenez.

What about Le Roy Jones warning about new forms of “social media,” that “is killing our kids,” parents are not monitoring but available to kids?

LeRoy Jones who runs the County’s Mom & Pop small business loan program said when it comes to the rampant murders in the inner city. That kids are using some “new forms of social media,” not “Facebook,” because their parents might see them. And Jones said they know in advance who is the next person to be gunned down. He told County Commissioners Thursday in chilling remarks during the public budget hearing and he said new “social media is worse than drugs,” and it is “killing of our kids,” and it must be recognized and he is sounding a new alarm when it comes to the deaths of young people in Miami-Dade that is almost a daily tragedy. And what the kids are using is Snap Chat where the message disappears after being viewed.

Miami-Dade County Budget approved with funding for Sea Level Rise and Ludlam Trail

Press release: On Thursday, September 17th, the Miami-Dade County Board of County Commissioners approved Mayor Carlos Gimenez’s budget for the 2015-16 fiscal year.  The adopted budget, in particular, is pivotal in that it secures funding for the Ludlam Trail and for the implementation of adaptation strategies to combat sea level rise. Both initiatives have been spearheaded by Commissioner Rebeca Sosa. The approved budget includes funding for a resiliency officer who will prepare a multifaceted approach to ensure that Miami-Dade County withstands the challenge of sea level rise while pivoting towards a more dynamic and energy efficient economy. A line item allocation was also funded to implement long-term adaptation strategies with the guidance of an engineering firm. “I commend Mayor Gimenez and his staff for prioritizing sea level rise in this year’s budget,” said Commissioner Sosa. “My pledge is to continue advocating throughout the fiscal year to ensure that Miami-Dade County is prepared to implement its adaptation strategies in the face of sea level rise. While we have taken a step in the right direction, there is still more work to be done.”

The approved FY 2015-16 budget also includes a $3 million earmark for the Ludlam Trail. The allocation of road impact fees for the six mile trail compliments other efforts led by Commissioner Sosa to obtain the much needed funds with the support of the Governor and state legislators.  “The Ludlam Trail needs to happen,” said Commissioner Sosa. “The investment we have approved will provide a transportation alternative to over 32,000 people along a corridor spanning 6.2 miles. That’s over 60 acres of beautiful, ecologically friendly green space connecting people and communities.” Continued Commissioner Sosa, “I find it very encouraging that Mayor Gimenez included funding for the trail and am more determined than ever to see it through. I want to thank the Friends of the Ludlam Trail and all of the neighbors for their support. “The fiscal year 2015-16 budget becomes effective October 1, 2015.

>>> After 66 months of steady growth county wide sales tax growth for PTP and JHS comes in at 1.9 percent growth in June

After 66 months in a row of sales tax revenue growth, the revenue from the countywide half cent sales taxes for Jackson Health System (JHS) and the Peoples Transportation Trust (PTP) has slowed and in June and collections are down 1.9 percent but overall is still up 6 percent for the year, but the extra surge in funding has helped JHS run in the black and also the county’s transit department and the past robust sales tax growth has been a pleasant surprise and it remains to be seen if this important revenue source begins to plateau. And currently provides some $219 million a month in revenue to both the PTP and JHS.

What about County Commissioners wanting to modify the Florida Sunshine Law?

County Commissioners on Tuesday discussed asking the Florida Legislature via a resolution to modify the open meeting law that makes meetings open to the public, must be advertised, but does not cover state legislators and Commissioner Juan Zapata, a former state Rep. thinks modifying the law would make the local legislature more efficient and effective. And Bruno Barreiro, also a former state representative called the Sunshine Law, “the lobbyist empowerment Act,” from his experience in the House but it was a legislative urging on the County’s agenda with the state and would exclude any judicial cases like zoning said Zapata, but critics hope it does not open the door to less transparency and concern of insider deals on issues.

What about the issue of a new MPO director’s name?

A reader did a public records request and below are the names of the Metropolitan Planning Organization” s finalists applying for the $200,000 or so pay level job and coordinating regional transportation issues to the 22 member MPO board that is chaired by County Commission Chair Jean Monestime, and below are the names the reader got from MPO staff handling the matter and the reader provided the links of who these people are and their past accomplishments. Here are the names: Aileen Boucle , Carlos Cejas, P.E. ,, Harold Desdunes, P.E., FDOT Director of Transportation Development, Wilson Fernandez ( a current MPO employee) Huasha Liu, Linked-In profile

(photo) and Erik Steavens a transportation consultant have all applied for the coveted job of trying to resolve the region’s transportation nightmare. And oddly Commission Chair Jean Monestime wants to decide who the next MPO director will be alone, when in fact the full 22 member board has to vote on the selection.

>>> And to read the Miami-Dade County’s budget go to

>>> County Committee moves ahead on Honor Code, great idea and should be considered by the BCC

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


 January – August 2015
Record Average Daily Room Rate (ADR)
January – August 2015 January – August 2014 % Change vs. 2014
$200.99 $188.43 +6.7%
Record Revenue Per Available Room (RevPAR)
January – August 2015 January – August 2014 % Change vs. 2014
$160.35 $150.62 +6.5%
Average Daily Occupancy
January – August 2015 January – August 2014 % Change vs. 2014
79.8% 79.9% -0.2%
Monthly Rooms Supply
January – August 2015 January – August 2014 % Change vs. 2014
12,245,713 11,883,329 +3.5%
Monthly Rooms Sold
January – August 2015 January – August 2014 % Change vs. 2014
9,769,495 9,458,900 +3.3%


>>> Board Audit committee to debate VAB audit Tuesday done by District’s OIG Cagel, will it be a spirited meeting?

The Miami- Dade County Public Schools Audit and Budget Review Committee is meeting Tuesday and the audit of the County’s Value Adjustment Board (VAB) is expected to be the talk of the day of the board made up of citizens that are tax attorneys, or accountants and is one of the best functioning volunteer boards in the county and the body keeps the administration’s feet to the fire and is one of the community firewalls when it comes to how public money is being spent and attorney Rolando Medina Sanchez is the current chair that rotates every two years and the ABRC now after years of not being up to snuff. Which changed in 2004 when a past chair in the office after a decade resigned from the position after the Watchdog Report busted him for a Sunshine violation and an inappropriate email back then. And to read the audit go to: and for the overall agenda go to:


>>> Patient waiting for treatment dies, while hospital tries to qualify patients financial condition, CMS threatens to pull Medicare funding to largest public hospital in the state    

The Public Health Trust took a hit after a patient in a U.S Virgin Islands that needed a significant surgery died while waiting to be admitted to the public hospital and the hospital has changed its policy regarding receiving patients that do not have the economic where with all and CMS in a memo to CEO Carlos Migoya threatened to take away the health system’s ability to bill Medicare for patient care at the hospital that receives significant public funding but Jackson has been screening people prior to their treatment in an effort to bring down the estimated some $30 to $35 million of medical care to people not from Miami-Dade. And the hospital says it is changing its policy for such patients and the administration notes almost 1 million patients have come to the hospital’s ER and were not turned away or delayed. And the hospital that gives some $500 million in charity and uncompensated care says the situation has been corrected but this is the first setback for the Migoya, a former banker bought in to fiscally right the public trust after years of hemorrhaging red ink for years. And Jackson in the article says it has changed its policy and will accept all patients that present regardless of their ability to pay And the Aug. 21 financial memo states for the month of August revenue was “a better than expected surplus of $976,000 before bond reimbursements,” wrote Migoya.


>>>> Grove gets new signature Regatta Park, challenger of Sarnoff wife Teresa, does clever attack ad based on Sarnopoly board game and who gave her the $560,000 in her campaign war chest

With the opening of the seven acre Regatta Park on the old Coconut Grove Convention Center site Saturday that had hundreds of people attending the celebration. The opening is the cherry on top of the cake, for termed out Commissioner Marc Sarnoff who has been working to complete the signature park. And the man who is termed out is pushing his wife Teresa to succeed him in the office, after nine years since he was first elected in 2006. And the wife with the commissioner’s help has raised an eyebrow raising $560,000 for her campaign war chest and she is keeping her powder dry having run no television ads yet versus her challengers Grace Solaris and Ken Russell and Teresa’s fundraising prowess was ridiculed in a glossy attack campaign piece. I got in my mail last week called Sarnopoly and on the board game was the amounts special interests and developers have given to her campaign that her husband when he first ran described as an ‘investment,’ by these people and what they wanted was approval of condominiums and for a longer story on the clever hit piece go to: and to read the Miami candidates reports go to   And the outgoing commissioner maybe the wife’s biggest hurdle to clear for he is considered a “bully,” and could even become her chief of staff, though people admit that would be political suicide. But she needs to be asked what role her husband might play? And her past response was that “I’m my own person,” is not enough. If she were to win the office in what will be a low turnout race. Where absentee ballot brokers will be the key vote machine and allowed her husband to win back in 2011 by a few votes, which was different from when he first ran and beat then Miami Commissioner Linda Haskins by a two to one vote, even though she had a much larger campaign war chest. Thanks to then Mayor Manny Diaz and his fundraising machine in action. She raised some $750,000, to Sarnoff’s around $350,000 for his campaign at the time. And the man changed after he won his first full term and became a totally different person, very high maintenance and he loves to make demeaning remarks about other people at their expense and Teresa is facing this blowback, as a candidate and she needs to address it, as she campaign’s the Watchdog Report believes.

And if the candidates were smart they all should have campaigned during the open park event and the project is not about the commissioner but the fact the Grove has a new signature setting that will only get lusher in the years ahead. And it is Miami resident’s public tax dollars that helped make the park happen, and the community will see how well it is maintained and if it will be a site for homeless people to congregate, given its public park status where dogs are allowed but there is no dog park, but there is a dedicated dog park further up on Kennedy Park in the north Grove. Further Sarnoff’s people are starting to pop up in other Miami departments including Daniel Goldberg, an attorney, now doing code compliance issues in the Miami Attorney’s Office and Sarnoff’s chief of staff Ron Nelson is fishing for a spot in the city or he could be retained if Teresa wins but the Watchdog Report keeps a close eye where these past political appointees end up in the administration after the officials leave for many over the years have become lobbyists in their afterlife and the public will see how this all pans out, in the months to come. And since Sarnoff is getting a $62,000 yearly retirement benefit for his years in office his retirement worries are on auto pilot. And I have been criticized on being too hard on Teresa in my reporting but what she is trying to do is unusual and not what Miami voters agreed to when they passed term limits along with bumping up the commissioners salary and expenses to around $90,000 a year and pushed by then Miami Commissioner Johnny Winton.

Press release: City officials will welcome the public to actively utilize the park from the moment the park opens. Activities will be kicking off with free yoga at 9:00 a.m. and the grand opening ceremonies at 11:00 a.m.  Family friendly activities like a watermelon eating contest, face painting, and a BBQ lunch are also planned until 2:00 p.m. Completed in six months, Phase I of Regatta Park includes: an expo lawn, regatta lawn, tropical gardens, monument signage, children’s play area, multi-use path connector and a free alley. Phase I included the donation of various tree species valued at $500,000 through the city tree mitigation program from local development projects. Total construction cost for Phase I of Regatta Park was $6.2 million.  The project was designed by Kimley Horn and Associates and built by J.R.T. Construction Co.  Regatta Park was funded by City of Miami Impact Fees, TVM Production fee, and land sale from the Biscayne Bay Yacht Club and the Coral Reef Yacht Club. Additionally, the new Dinner Key Dock master building, adjacent to Regatta Park, will welcome the public with an open house.  Attendees will be able to tour the facility which contains the marina and harbormaster administrative offices, a customer lounge and computer access areas, library, laundry facilities, customer shower, restroom and convenience store.  Total cost for the Dock master building was $4.7 million.  MC Harry & Associates was the design firm and Thornton Construction Co. was the contractor.  The new facility was funded by Homeland Defense Bonds Series II and III, City of Miami Special Revenues and Impact Fees.

What about Sarnoff’s email and will it bleed into his wife’s campaign effort?

Commissioner Marc Sarnoff, whose wife Teresa says “He is trainable.” He noted at a recent Miami commission meeting. And the Watchdog Report has become aware that the commissioner uses two email accounts when he conducts public business. And I asked his law partner Jay H. Solowsky, if his “server was secure?” last Wednesday and he said the salaw account was supposed to be used “only for business,” but that is not always the case. And Solowsky said the firm’s server “was as secure,” as one can be in today’s world he noted referencing all the cyber-attacks that have hit the nation. And at a Miami Exhibition and Sports Authority (MESA) meeting that Solowsky sits on with Commissioner Sarnoff, Willie Gort and is chaired by Mayor Tomas Regalado. A speaker making a presentation noted the people in the room were very “erudite,” and Sarnoff, quipped he must be talking about only “Solowsky,” but it was a snarky comment the others in the room did not deserve. And later at this same meeting when Regalado started to give an update on the MLS David Beckham new stadium, Sarnoff asked if it was on the agenda and since no, was the response. He and Gort left the meeting because Sarnoff saw “press [was] in the room,” including David Smiley of The Miami Herald whose beat is Miami. And voters should watch what Sarnoff does as his time on the dais winds down, “and there is only 60 more days,” of him on the dais, he joked.

For Sarnoff is not a happy camper about stepping down from the five member body, that when he first chaired it, there was only one other commissioner. After two commissioners were picked off, later acquitted by the Miami-Dade State attorney’s office for corruption and the commission was in turmoil, until elections settled on who was to be on the body. Further during a budget discussion. Sarnoff took a joking shot at activist Elvis Cruz, calling him a “despicable,” person and Cruz was once a close friend to Sarnoff when he first ran, but that was in the past. But residents should expect more of these sophomoric shout outs at people before he departs the dais and rides off into the sunset, yet has people wondering why his wife would want to run, and she is seen as a continuation of his own administration that many consider very autocratic and his Coconut Grove base has changed and many people are no longer supporting him like past years. And the Watchdog Report got the following link to District 2 candidate Ken Russell talking about the Yo-Yo Mafia, that his family distributed around the world and he is very good with the popular toy. And I asked him for a comment to the video and he wrote back, “You asked for a comment on the yo-yo video. “It’s true.  In high school, I became a professional yo-yo player.  It was a great experience, and it really showed me that I always wanted to be involved in a fun business that people enjoy,” wrote the District 2 candidate back but with the election heating up and qualifying closed. The race is expected to get nasty.

What about the Brickell District 2 debate last week?

The Miami Commission District 2 candidates made their pitch to the Brickell Homeowners Association, moderated by former Miami Beach Commissioner Michael Gongora who failed in his mayoral bid. But Brickell is a powerful new voting bloc for a seat that stretches along the coast and the urban downtown and is the largest contributor to the City’s property tax base and general fund and Teresa Sarnoff appeared flat, Grace Solaris, and Lori Woods, and Russell made some headway and to watch the other candidates make their pitch and thanks to investigative reporter and blogger Al Crespo, the event can be seem on video at and voters can make up their own minds who looks like a candidate they will want to support. And the pack of candidates all said they would be “listeners,” of residents’ concerns and a higher resident satisfaction rating should be achieved. And Ken Russell is calling for developer “impact fees,” to stay in “the District” and he believes we don’t have accountability on how this money is utilized, he said. Candidate Javier Gonzalez said we are in “the service,” business and you are not voting on someone’s staff. You are voting for me. And Teresa Sarnoff is; heading the fundraising race with $563, 0000 and Solaris, Russell all have enough money to run a campaign but the fiscal edge of Sarnoff gives her a ability through television to reach voters in the high rise condominiums, where many voters reside and cannot be entered by candidates as long serving Congresswoman Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Miami found out a few years ago during an election cycle.

Solaris argued there has to be “transportation choices,” since the Brickell area is chocked in traffic made worse by the bridge when it opens. And when it comes to accepting developer’s money. Sarnoff, said she considers it one of the “three legs,” of a campaign stool, where Russell quipped, one leg was larger than the others, joked Russell. Further, Sarnoff said she was working on her “third,” walking district listening tour and don’t make people “go to a town hall meeting,” go to their door and talk to them to find out their concerns she says. However, some day. If she wishes to win she must address the elephant in the room. Her termed out commissioner Marc, and she does not acknowledge or address how odd it is for her to run after her husband’s over eight years in office and people either love or hate the attorney, who is an enigma to many people for his endless self-promotion. Including a book done by the Miami DDA detailing all his accomplishments while he was in office. And while Teresa says she is her “own, women,” the question is will voters believe that since her husband is such a control freak, and the man has been a magnet for conflict and controversy in contrast to her saying she is a “bridge builder,” and believes “sustainability,” when it comes to the environment and Miami’s less than stellar record, including removing a couple of hundred mangroves on Virginal Key and the City’s contractor is having to do mitigation of the fragile area. And to read all the campaign reports for the candidates go to: and for more on the race go to f .

What questions would the WDR have asked?

Voters should get on the record that any candidate elected will not use the Commission Sargent-of Arms like a chauffeur, especially since they get a $1,100. Monthly car allowance and whether they will only use only one email account, under the City’s control so the integrity of the messages is protected. When someone might do a public records request of past email traffic, yet has not been followed by Sarnoff. And will the candidates crank back the imperial aspect of being a commissioner, never seen before over the past 16 years of watching Miami government. Further, the candidates need to start going to some of the internal meetings like the Finance Committee meeting if they are to have a clue what is going on.

What about the Miami Museum Science Dock?

The Philip and Patricia Frost Science Museum will have a scientific barge in the bay notch on submerged land owned by the city of Miami and was a hot topic of discussion at a Miami Waterfront Advisory Board meeting. And a $200,000 grant from the Knight Foundation is helping in the major scientific attraction that will offer 15 STEM labs and is a $25 million investment said Ted Caplow, Ph.D. and a member of the Frost Science museum board and the floating barge is modeled after a similar one in Manhattan and currently in the Bronx and the education programs are aimed at school children in third grade, and there will be many hands on activities including peering into the Biscayne Bay where cameras are on the bottom of the barge and the attraction hopes to be a “catalyst of sustainability,” said the scientist and his power point presentation to the waterfront board was amazing and is a new addition to the future new Miami Science Museum.  being constructed in Museum Park.

>>> 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.



What about the Miami Commission District 2 race?

>>>PAST WDR: Campaign reports through Sept 10th have been filed and Grace Solaris has $156,999 in her campaign war chest, Teresa Sarnoff is posting $561,236 and Ken Russell has $103,000 in his war chest and Javier Gonzalez is trailing the pack with $50,545 in their race for the District Commission seat now occupied by termed out Miami Commissioner Marc Sarnoff.

Further, Sarnoff the husband knocked on my door last week and he left a canvas bag emblazoned with his name and the seal of the City of Miami, and inside was a book on his achievements in office and what he did to clean up Merri Christmas Park that was contaminated with ash. But the bag was probable bought with public funds since his office has been giving them out for some time, but the man is blurring the line of who is the candidate running for office, she or the husband, and the very official looking bag has no markings that it is a campaign give away item.

And Sarnoff, an attorney was once a big President Barack Obama supporter, but in 2012 supported Florida Gov. Rick Scott and he is an enigma to many people and voters are just getting to know his wife Teresa who has the financing to by-pass voter interaction and just use the television airwaves to make her case in the District 2 commission race. And some of the candidates coming on strong are Grace Solaris and Ken Russell, Lori Woods, and all the candidates are first time runners and excluding Solaris, and Russell are rarely seen at Miami City Hall and that also applies to Teresa. But the race is expected to get nasty, some candidates are expected to drop out. Further, people are getting annoying robo calls and they sent to the Watchdog Report some comments on the calls, “I’m getting very robust and annoying robo-calls from the Miami Fraternal Order of Police endorsing Teresa Sarnoff. How did she get the endorsement? Was it paid for through her campaign funds? And if it was a through a contribution to the Miami Fraternal Order of Police how much was paid? (No not paid said the union representative, and she was the only candidate that reached out to him, he said during a press gaggle), last week. And the emailer was concerned about retribution because “I’ve been told Marc is vindictive!” the emailer wrote but that fear and concern of her husband is an obstacle candidate Teresa has to face and overcome if she is too successful in her own campaign that is sure to bank heavily on the absentee ballot brokers in what is expected to be a low turnout race. And Solaris is getting help from incumbent Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado raising money for her campaign. And for more on the o to

Village of Coconut Grove

>>> County Time line suggests it could take up to eight years to open the Coconut Grove Playhouse, major economic generator

People have been asking the Watchdog Report what is going on with the Coconut Grove Playhouse shuttered in 2006 and I contacted Miami-Dade County Cultural Arts Director Michael Spring and asked him what was going on and he replied by email and he sent the following link and critics are decrying this new plan that given the time line would not have the theater open in some eight years. Critics also note most theaters like this are not publically run and a more appropriate model is try to do something with the private sector only because how slow the Theater’s resurrection is taking. And Spring the point of the spear on the project sent the Watchdog Report the following email that is also on line.

Work Underway on the Coconut Grove Playhouse September 22, 2015

Spring’s email: “The design team led by Arquitectonica International Corporation and under contract to Miami-Dade County has begun work on the Coconut Grove Playhouse project. The first stage of their activities focuses on the review of existing reports and materials and a physical assessment of the site, including but not limited to a survey of the architectural elements of the building, a structural analysis and an updated survey of the property. The design team includes members with established expertise in historic preservation, structural engineering, theater, acoustical and sound communications and other disciplines essential to the project. The Miami Parking Authority (MPA) is responsible for creating a plan for an independently-financed parking garage on site. The surface parking lot continues to be managed by the MPA under an agreement with Miami-Dade County.

While this work is proceeding, the design team’s theater planning and design consultant, Fisher Dachs Associates, has begun work with GableStage to develop a “program” that defines the spaces necessary for its growth into a great regional theater. In addition, GableStage is working with AMS Planning and Research on an action plan to guide the operational development of this theater company necessary to assume responsibility for the completed Playhouse. Finally, GableStage and Florida International University (FIU) are refining their relationship for programming and partnership activities. It is anticipated that the design team’s “fact finding” regarding the site, MPA’s parking garage plan, the building program for GableStage and the approved budget for the project will provide the basis for the eventual development of options for a site master plan.

The timetable for the Playhouse project was negotiated with the State of Florida and approved by the Board of County Commissioners in October 2013 as part of the lease and business plan between the State of Florida and Miami-Dade County and FIU. Below is an excerpt from this agreement regarding the timeline:

*   Planning and design phase (18 to 24 months);

*   Competitive bidding for construction (6 to 12 months); and

*   Permitting, construction and commissioning – this depends on the what the design phase generates for the project and the response from the selected contractor for how long construction will take; for example, work with an existing structure on the site, new construction and the integration of these elements all can impact the construction timeline (36 to 60 months). You can view the entire, approved County Commission agenda item at: Pdf – See more at:” Editor’s note: I am aware Coconut Grove is not a municipality.


>>> Candidates Arriola and Weithorn going head to head for Commission V seat on the dais, how low will they go to win coveted spot, but risky political maneuver from Weithorn, whose wife is termed out on the commission

The race for the three open commission seats on the dais is getting heated and candidate Ricky Arriola who has a contract with the city says if he is elected. He will terminate the relationship and he is facing Mark Weithorn whose wife Deede is on the dais, but is termed out and because there are just two candidates in the race Arriola, a former Chair of the Arsht Center of the Performing Arts and is a businessman well known in the community. And Weithorn is trying a similar political maneuver as Teresa Sarnoff, trying to follow her husband in office and Deede has been very active on the County’s Homeless Trust board, where she notes the Beach commits considerable resources to the effort and the Certified Public Accountant is well respected and was a good addition to the commission and she has done a solid job, but her husband Mark, a real estate broker will have to convince voters he will be just as vigilant as she was.   and with three commissioners leaving the dais Weithorn, Ed Tobin, and Jonah Wolfson because of term limits. Beach residents will have new faces something voters wanted when they voted for term limits.


Vizcaya logo

You are invited to 

Jazz on the Bay with Ed Called
Picnic-Style Concert for Members Only
Vizcaya pic

Wednesday, September 30, 2015 – 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. -This members-only concert is our way of thanking you for your support!

An evening of jazz under the stars…Dr. Ed Calle is an internationally acclaimed jazz performer, composer and arranger, known for his versatility and virtuosity. He is one of the most recorded saxophonists in history and has performed with musical greats such as Gloria Estefan, Frank Sinatra and Arturo Sandoval.

Dr. Ed Calle
Bring a Blanket! Members are invited to bring your own picnic blankets, low profile chairs and picnic baskets. Food and beverages will also be available for purchase at the Vizcaya Café and Shop. Coolers will not be permitted. Where: Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, 3251 South Miami Avenue, Miami, FL 33129, Check-in will begin at 6:30 p.m.

Space is limited Attendees must RSVP


Seating will only be provided upon request for the elderly and individuals needing accessibility accommodations. Requests must be sent by Monday, September 28, 2015 to:  305-860-8417 to ensure availability. Sponsored by: Beso Del Sol Sangria

Beso del Sol



>>> New forms of “social media, is worse than drugs and is killing our kids,” children know in advance who might get shot, warns activist LeRoy Jones

What kind of society is social media creating as the watchdog Report sees more and more families where the children at the table are on their devices, and not talking with each other and it is also affecting their ability to concentrate and focus. And given the velocity that technology is moving consider the social ramifications in the future and its impact on the family unit and how our kids interact with other cultures could become a real issue for digital communication is a two dimensional world with no shades, in a world that is not so black and white in nature. But part of growing up is socialization and I wonder what the blowback will be to a society so addicted to technology and only the future will tell us what we have lost when it comes to social skills and empathy for our fellow humans around the planet.

And at a County public budget meeting chilling comments by Le Roy Jones talked about new social media platforms where kids know in advance who might be targeted to be shot are popping up he said. And these outlets without adult supervision are “: killing our kids,” he warned and the public schools must get involved for violence is plaguing our community like never before and the killing of our children must come to an end but is technology overriding our community efforts in this regard for if true. Society faces another unwanted challenge for the safety of our youth. Editor’s note: I asked around and these kids are using Snap Chat, where the messages disappear after a short time and can’t be traced and there is also snap cash where people can transfer money and it is said to be untraceable said an IT maven on the subject who I asked about this issue of new social media outlets.

>>> Trump embodying electorate discontent, “like a car crash you have to look at,” 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 “car crash that you have to watch,” said one person and 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.


>>> Great story on the Pets’ Trust.  I’d love to speak with you and tell you more.  You are right… will be an issue in the Mayor’s race.  

Please watch this…      Pets’ Trust…the Story    password is     movie         

 And read this……..

Michael Rosenberg

President Pets’ Trust

Rita Schwartz Cofounder

>>> We are having an incredible exhibit at the Warehouse of Anselm Kiefer, one of the foremost artists this century. Anselm will be here October 21st for an intimate dinner with the proceeds to benefit Lotus House. It is the best exhibit we have ever had in our fifteen years. Please make sure you see it when we open in late October.
Marty Margulies

>>> 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 And while I have taken a licking over the years including some medical issues I have kept at the job 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 and to all the people along the way that have helped me I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Publisher’s Statement on the mission of the Watchdog Report and the special people and organizations that make it possible:  Government Subscribers/Corporate Subscribers/Sustaining Sponsors/Supporting Sponsors

***** LIFETIME FOUNDING MEMBERS & Initial sponsors since 2000





THE MIAMI HERALD (2000-2008)


WILLIAM HUGGETT, Seamen Attorney (Deceased)


LINDA E. RICKER (Deceased)



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






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


BERKOWITZ POLLACK BRANT Advisors and Accountants



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






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




























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




























Publisher’s Statement on the mission of the Watchdog Report and the special people and organizations that make it possible:  Government Subscribers/Corporate Subscribers/Sustaining Sponsors/Supporting Sponsors 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. The Watchdog Report is sent to thousands free and while readers have been prodded to subscribe the results have been mixed. Over 250 reports and Extras have been sent since May 5, 2000 and over one million words have been written on our community’s governments and events.  The report is an original work based on information gathered at public meetings, interviews and from documents in the public domain. I welcome letters via e-mail. Letters may be edited for length or clarity and must refer to material published in the Watchdog Report.  Please see address and contact information. Please send any additions and corrections by e-mail, fax or snail mail. All corrections will be published in the next Watchdog Report. If you or your organization would like to publish the contents of this newsletter, please contact me. Please send your request to

Daniel A. Ricker

Publisher & Editor

Watchdog Report

Est. 05.05.00

Copyright © of original material, 2015, Daniel A. Ricker

>>> The Miami Herald and Orlando Sentinel & Sun-Sentinel articles on the Watchdog Report publisher over the years.

Published on September 9, 1999, Page 1EA, Miami Herald, the (FL)


Published on January 3, 2000, Page 1B, Miami Herald, the (FL)


Published on January 20, 2003, Page 1E, Orlando Sentinel, PAPERWORK TIGER, Miami’s citizen watchdog piles up government files in his quest to keep the “little people” informed.

>>>Watchdog Report publisher named ‘Best Citizen’ 2003 by the Miami New Times

The publisher would like to thank the weekly alternative paper Miami New Times for bestowing their 2003 Best of Miami, ‘Best Citizen’ award to me and I am honored.  Thank you. To read the full story go to

From the spring of 2003:  U. North Carolina, Chapel Hill:  Southeast U.S. Media Report lists Watchdog Report publisher as leading Florida commentator >>> Selected excerpts from the report on Florida’s media sources-Those who do read the newspaper in Florida have a bevy of options for state government and political coverage. The dominant newspapers in the state are Knight-Ridder’s The Miami Herald (Acquired by the McClatchy Company in 2006) and the Poynter Institute’s St. Petersburg Times. Both papers endorsed Gore in 2000 but split on the 2002 gubernatorial race, with the Herald endorsing Republican incumbent Jeb Bush and the Times backing Democratic challenger Bill McBride. Daniel Ricker of The Miami Herald also writes an influential column as well as an email newsletter called the Watchdog Report that goes out to more than 100,000 subscribers. FEBRUARY 2004 – Florida: Columnists in Abundance —ERIC GAUTSCHI, graduate student, School of Journalism & Mass Communication, UNC-Chapel Hill – D) LEADING COMMENTATORS – Resource Commentator Organization Type Web site –Steve Bousquet St. Petersburg Times Column -“First Friday” WPBT TV (Miami) TV Show –Lucy Morgan St. Petersburg Times Column  –Daniel Ricker Miami Herald/Watchdog Report Newsletter –

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


Watchdog Report Supporters Invoice-Form NOTE: Invoice is for Yearly supporter/sponsorship Rates: Thank you.

Supporting Sponsors $5,000

Sustaining Sponsors $2,000

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

Large Business Supporters $500

Small Business Supporters $250 

Individual Supporter $150

Name & Address Make checks payable to Daniel A. Ricker

Send to

3109 Grand Avenue, #125

Miami, FL 33133

And to contact the me go to