Archive for December 2015


Watchdog Report Vol.16 No. 34 December 20, 2015 – EST.05.05.00 – I go when you cannot – Celebrating 16 years of Weekly publishing


Argus Report: Congress passes new $1.1 trillion Omnibus budget, keeps government running, and money to fight ISEL, top issue during both parties debates, keeping America safe

FLORIDA: Redistricting still up in the air with a couple of GOP congressional districts still up in the air as courts seek to get new maps approved

Miami-Dade County: Chair Monestime feels “disrespected,” by Commissioner Edmonson, for not taking a Sunshine public meeting to discuss CBO funding, Dean of Commission Moss urges peace in the valley and everyone to calm down with upcoming Holidays on the dais, item comes to body in January 20, 2016

Miami-Dade County Public Schools: Number of charter schools in District, the size of a region and is bleeding off Capital improvement funding, why schools needed $1.2 billion GOB in 2012

Public Health Trust: New Rehabilitation facility will be first test of Trust management, will project come in on time and budget, on Dec. 2018, sorely needed and has patients carping to county commissioners to upgrade the old facility.

City of Miami: Russell to Grove Chamber, I want to be a “unifier, not a divider,” and my “door is wide open,” seems to have a grounded political temperament, Kentucky roots, host of linguistic skills with freshman commissioner, first Dist. 2 official to speak Spanish & Portuguese, will serve him well during term

City of Miami Beach: Dec. 15, city closes on $636 million in bonds, at historic low interest rate for new convention center, financing beats the Fed bump in interest rates.

City of Coral Gables: MIA Dir. Gonzalez gives Gables commissioners update on facility celebrating 44 million passengers in 2015

Village of Pinecrest: Will Mayor Lerner’s, abusive demeanor on dais end any future political career?

Broward County: Feds bust Four Defendants Sentenced to Prison for Paying and Accepting Bribes and Gratuities

Community Events: Major new show at The Margulies Collection at the Warehouse — Other community events- Badia Spices teams up with Dan Moreno Foundation to fight autism – And it’s that time of year Mango Strut upcoming meetings

Editorial: U.S. Defense Sec. Carter, what the hell were you thinking not using a secure federal email account, after Clinton email controversy, my God this is our defense secretary, a top hacker target – One of Watchdog Report’s main missions is to keep watch on all the host of Trust’s in Miami-Dade County and involve some serious public money in the billions

Letters: Reader on terrible Tri-Rail experience – Pet trust founder on past WDR – advocate’s petition for FDOT to come up with alternative to yellow polls and injuries from pole divers

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 for 16 years now, has reported back weekly on how your billions of public dollars in local government are being spent. And how to help support me and this service is at the end of the WDR, and I hope you will consider keeping an independent news service out in our community, where what is going on with all our government entities is of critical benefit for both the public institutions but voters as well. Thank You. And to my Supporters I pledge to keep ‘going when you cannot.’ And in the past I have broken the story on Cuban refugees coming in droves and also the Oriental fruit fly quarantine and its huge economic impact to name just a few of the more recent stories in past WDR’s.

>>> And may you and your family have great Holidays and a safe reflective Christmas with family and friends and I wish all my WDR readers the very best and will return after the New Year!

>>> And you can now easily support the Watchdog Report by going to my new PayPal Button account at Thank you for the past support over the last 16 years. And to read a national story and profile of the WDR publisher in the early years back in 2003 go to:

ARGUS REPORT – Heard, Seen on the street

>>> Congress passes new $1.1 trillion Omnibus budget, keeps government running, and money to fight ISEL, top issue during both parties debates, keeping America safe

With Congress passing a $1.1 trillion Omnibus budget Bill for the upcoming budget Year ending Sept.30 this week local Democrats and Republican House legislators all voted for the bill and But it also bumps the deficit up now at $18.6 trillion, while funding the battle against ISEL and will keep the nation running and is expected to come up with the upcoming debates that still has Donald Trump riding high in the polls and GOP voters are settling in for a long primary race.

And With the last Republican debate over and the smoke clearing, Sens. Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz and Jeb Bush made their case in the foreign policy arena with Bush in one exchange telling Trump, “you can’t insult your way to becoming president,” said the former Florida governor, who later called “Trump a jerk,” but Bush has been trailing in the polls but seems to be getting his second wind and is getting better at campaigning and the man is amping up the energy of his campaign and Trump during the debate made faces at some of the comments the other candidates were saying and montages of his facial expressions and what is he really thinking have popped up on the internet and he needs to be careful with these oversized and exaggerated looks if he is to be taken seriously given the nature of the job and while Russian President Vladimir Putin thinks trump is ‘bright and Talented’

And the Trump phenomena continues its relentless march and has GOP leaders wondering where this all will lead if Trump is the party’s nominee. And Florida’s favorite son former Gov. Jeb Bush, John Zogby has said, “Bush is not doing anything wrong, [believing] it’s not his time,” and the “ultra conservatives hate him and not another Bush,” he said. Zogby said since Ronald Reagan the GOP “has normally nominated the most moderate candidate and it could be Bush.” The pollster also suggested that John Kasich “is the best candidate in the field, and wonders why he has not hit “Carley Fiorina who he believes is “running for vice president.” And Zogby considered Kasich and Rubio a “dream Team,” since that would likely bring the 49 electoral votes from Florida and Ohio.

And he thinks Democrats “are not convinced Hillary,” voters have the passion to “come out on the coldest day, “of the year to vote for her versus Sanders and his showing could “surprise,” everyone.” And if “Hillary loses Iowa and New Hampshire in a row,” That has the party “worried,” and the concern is “she cannot go the distance, and you don’t know which Hillary will show up,” he considered.

And Trump has been hitting Clinton on her health and “stamina,” and how the world has unraveled under her secretary of state time, and while she is experienced voters and the nation that is polarized do not see a unifier something the divisive nation needs so much and harsh rhetoric is the political coin of the realm and that healing will be the next president’s challenge regardless of who it is.

What about the Sanders campaign blunder?

Someone in Bernie Sanders campaign was able to go into the DNC supporter lists and the action hits the candidate where it can hurt the most, in the one area he has trust. And it shows his staff will do whatever is necessary to win and fly’s in the face of his populist socialist campaign rhetoric, though he apologized to Clinton during the debate and a staffer was fired but the dust-up now resolved was a hot item on the news cycle.

And is why Zogby believes Vice President Joe Biden could still become a possibility. But the man is as confused as everyone else at the dynamics of this presidential campaign where voters are not looking at a campaigns war chest but whether candidates will not be absorbed by money interests and leaves the impression that the economy barometric’s are showing everything is “good,” with Wall Street,” while “on main street and community it is bad,” and is highlighted by the growing inequity of American’s wealth, the pollster observed.

>>> Press release: There’s Only One Way to Beat Donald Trump By: John Zogby Contributor

I have been studying the GOP numbers very carefully. It is still early and many voters are still not focused but thus far developer Donald Trump remains in the lead in national, Iowa, and New Hampshire polls. I looked closely at my most recent national poll taken November 8 and 9 and Mr. Trump still has 31% support, 13 points ahead of his nearest challenger, Dr. Ben Carson. Following them are Florida Senator Marco Rubio with 8%, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush 7%, Texas Senator Ted Cruz 6%, former Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina 4%, and Ohio Governor John Kasich 3%. Reports have persisted for months that the Republican Party establishment is flummoxed over how best to damage Mr. Trump and remove him from contention. More recently, mainstream pundits have been suggesting the previously unthinkable – i.e. that Mr. Trump can actually win the nomination. Thus far, the billionaire has defied everyone and all the rules. The more outrageous his utterances, the better he seems to do in the polls. Challengers seem to come and go, but he has stayed on top. Any candidate who has dared to trash talk the former reality show star has been trashed right back one hundredfold. Negative ads are up and running by Super PACS devoted to either other candidates or simply to his demise – but all to no avail. Please click on the link below to view the full release:

>>> Ros-Lehtinen Lauds Resolve of Congress to Uphold U.S. Law, Continue to Prohibit Funding of UNESCO with Taxpayer Money

Press release: – U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chairman of the Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa, made the following statement regarding the continued prohibition of funds for the United Nations or any of its specialized agencies that accords the Palestine Liberation Organization the same standing as member states in the FY16 Omnibus bill. Statement by Ros-Lehtinen:

“I’m proud that Congressional appropriators and leadership stood in defense of U.S. law and Congress’ prerogative of the purse and opted to rebuff the administration’s late efforts to win waiver authority on the prohibition of U.S. contributions to UNESCO. The administration continues to seek ways to undermine or circumvent U.S. laws and this was an important stand.

“Secretary Kerry and Ambassador Power continue to argue that the United States needs to have a presence within UNESCO in order to defend our interests and work to promote reforms from within. It’s the same argument the administration uses to defend our continued cooperation with the UN Human Rights Council. But in the six years since the Obama administration reversed previous U.S. policy and opted to join the UNHRC, that body is as dysfunctional as ever. This notion that we can force change from within has proven to be false and only leveraging our contributions is an effective reform method. We know this law serves as a deterrence at the UN because we’ve seen other agencies turn the Palestinians away when they cannot afford to lose U.S. contributions.

“We cannot cede leverage by allowing any waiver to this current law, or we’ll run the risk of losing not only the deterrence factor, but our credibility as well. I’d like to thank Senators Cruz, Kirk, and Rubio for joining me in this important effort. I have been fighting this issue ever since 2011 and will continue to fight any effort to undermine this law. I’ll continue to push to leverage U.S. contributions at the UN to win much needed and fundamental reforms at that broken system.” NOTE: In 2011, the United Nations Education, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) voted to admit the non-existent State of Palestine to its membership, triggering a provision of P.L. 101-246 that prohibits U.S. contributions. Since the law was triggered, the Obama administration has been actively seeking waiver authority to ignore standing U.S. law and continue sending U.S. taxpayer dollars to UNESCO but has been unsuccessful due to Congressional action.

>>> Ros-Lehtinen Announces New Administration of Congressional Offices

>>> Press release: U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (FL – 27) announced that her longtime Chief of Staff, Arthur “Art” Estopiñan, will retire and has been named Senior Advisor to Ros-Lehtinen effective January 1, 2016 to ensure a smooth transition of administration.  South Florida natives Maytee Sanz, previously Deputy Chief of Staff, will be promoted to Chief of Staff and Joshua Salpeter, previously Legislative Director, will serve as DC Chief of Staff as of January 1, 2016.

Statement by Ros-Lehtinen: “Art has been a trusted counselor, leader, and an important member of my Congressional staff for over 25 years. Art’s hard work and dedication to South Florida are well known by our community leaders and his contributions to mentoring and guiding staff and interns have earned him much respect throughout his years on the Hill. Art’s grace in the face of adversity has inspired us all and his leadership in our office will be missed. I know he will be pursuing a new and exciting chapter in his life and I wish him, his wife, Olga, and their son, Arturito, all the very best.

I am also excited for what the future holds. I know that Maytee, Joshua, and my entire team capture the essence of public service. They are consummate professionals who know the demands of the jobs they are taking on and relish their duties. My office will continue to work hard for our South Florida community to ensure that our residents have access to the very best constituent service and that their voices are heard on Capitol Hill.”

Statement by Estopiñan: “I am extremely grateful to Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen for the incredible opportunity that she has afforded me these many years by allowing me to serve as her Chief of Staff. It has been an honor and pleasure to work for her and serve South Florida with her unique energy and commitment to help build a better community and country. Now, the time has come for me to move forward to the next 20 years of my life in the private sector. While this is a challenge, it is one I am looking forward to. It will allow me to enter a new phase of life where I can provide for my family, particularly raising a severely disabled child who has a rare genetic muscular disease. ”

BACKGROUND: Maytee Sanz, a Miami native, previously served as Deputy Chief of Staff. Prior to that, she was District Director for Ros-Lehtinen and has served the Congresswoman for over 25 years. Sanz will be responsible for all functions of Ros-Lehtinen’s Congressional offices. She is a graduate of South Florida’s Nova Southeastern University. Joshua Salpeter, a Palmetto Bay native, previously served as Legislative Director. Prior to that, he was a Senior Legislative Assistant for the Congresswoman. Salpeter will be responsible for the operations of Ros-Lehtinen’s Washington, DC office and will serve in an advisory capacity on legislative issues. He is a graduate of Miami Palmetto Senior High and the University of North Carolina at Asheville.

>>>> Florida Highway Patrol cracking down on ‘lane divers,’ who cut through yellow polls on 1 95, causing some terrible accidents, even though $179 fine and 3 points on driver’s license, but with some 300,000 south Florida drivers not having insurance or valid licenses, will the enforcement make a difference, lanes take a high toll when it comes to injuries?

The Florida Highway Patrol is starting a major campaign called ‘Drive Safe 95 Express,’ states a Sun sentinel article, people that cut through the plastic cones into the Lexus lane called ‘lane divers’ and is taking a significant toll in accidents and injuries on these express lanes that are expanding throughout Florida since that is the only type of highways Gov. Rick Scott is supporting say local transportation mavens like Maurice Ferre at a past MPO meeting. And the Watchdog Report caught up with Florida Highway Patrol spokesman Joe Sanchez, a former Miami commissioner Thursday and asked him about the new program

And Sanchez said drivers in the express lanes were complaining about the lane divers and the highway patrol is stepping up enforcement and a public service campaign warning drivers not to cut through the yellow lane dividing polls and having an accident and there are some 7,000 poles on a mile stretch up to the Golden Glades interchange intersection and are run over to the tune of 500 poles replaced per week costing to replace some $1 million a year and because the lanes are slimmer is difficult for state troopers to safely ticket these intruders with the imposed $179. Fine but more important are the 3 points on your driver’s license resulting in higher insurance costs, if in fact they have it as required but in Miami-Dade. Where an estimated 300,0000 people don’t have valid Florida drivers licenses or car insurance leaving many accident victims in the fiscal lurch when it comes to potential medical bills caused by these wayward, impatient and irresponsible drivers who feel their time is more important than being a safe driver. And while an education campaign is fine in the Wild West traffic of South Florida it is unknown how well the clamp down will be complied with while accidents will ultimately continue the Watchdog Report predicts. And the enforcement campaign will continue to June. But this has been an ongoing problem since the lanes were created and troopers can only ticket offenders if it is safe for them as well as cars zip by in the generally less congested lane that through Sun Pass charges a premium price to be on the exclusive lanes, and seems to give drivers a sense of entitlement and when the other lanes are backed up is when drivers drive over the polls to get into the less congested lanes but this lane diving has remained a persistent problem over the years since the program was instituted to enhance traffic flow and the tolls help to pay for road maintenance and other areas.

>>> PAST WDR: ID theft the new ‘crack cocaine’ for thieves why sell drugs when you can steal identities with a key stroke, Classic Miami Moment when federal Judge Seitz says “only in Miami is stopping at a red light and paying all your taxes an aspirational act.”

U.S. Attorney General of the Southern District of Florida Wilfredo Ferrer is calling Identity Theft the ‘crack cocaine’ for criminals and his office is being inundated with cases and the Watchdog Report was first alerted to this looming problem back around 2009 when State Attorney Katherine Fernandez-Rundle brought the crime to my attention and Miami has become ground zero for people looting social security and Medicare fraud and stealing peoples IRS refund checks and some of the choice ways of getting this confidential information is having essentially Tupperware parties where people in large medical practice offices get paid some $500.00 to a $1,000. Per file and given the rate of return with this information it is a small rice for thieves to pay and jail time as in Medicare fraud here in Miami and identity theft is increasing and one of the most high profile case was the Carlos and Jorge de Céspedes  nine year sentence for Medicare and income tax fraud. And when the men’s defense attorney argued they should get a reduced sentence. Since they did pay some of the taxes and in a classic Miami Moment. U.S. District Court Judge Patricia Seitz stopped the attorney and then delivered the classic line just stop there, “Only in Miami is stopping at a red light or paying all your taxes an aspirational act,” the judge intoned and she had allowed Miami Herald award winning reporter John Dorschner and I to sit in the jury box in the packed courtroom so we could hear the proceedings better.

And one prominent Miamian who had written a letter asking for leniency when I said he and I were different. He wanted to know what I meant. And I said I would not have written the letter. And he responded “they gave a lot of money to the community,” and I shot back “It was not their money.” And the brothers were Pedro Pans who founded the pharmaceutical company Pharmed but much of the growth was based on Medicare fraud federal investigators found. But the community’s permissive acceptance of fraud and corruption is sometimes unbelievable and in the case of the brother’s. They hired County Commissioner Jose “Pepe” Diaz and when Pharmed lost the Jackson Health System contract worth millions, the company started to unravel and for more go to:

>>>> Miami-Dade County Resident Sentenced to 8 ½ Years in Prison for Identity Theft Fraud Scheme Involving Skimming and Manufacturing Credit Cards and Filing False Tax Returns

A Miami-Dade County resident was sentenced to 102 months in prison, to be followed by 3 years of supervised release, for operating a scheme to skim credit card numbers, manufacture counterfeit credit cards and file false federal income tax returns.

Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Kelly R. Jackson, Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI), and J.D. Patterson, Director, Miami Dade Police Department (MDPD), made the announcement.

Christopher M. Mack, 31, previously pled guilty to one count of possession of fifteen or more counterfeit and unauthorized access devices, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1029(a) (3), one count of possession of device making equipment, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1029(a) (4), and one count of aggravated identity theft, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1028A (a) (1).

According to court documents, Mack engaged in a scheme to skim credit card numbers from the customers of a South Beach restaurant.  Pursuant to the investigation and the execution of a search warrant at Mack’s residence, officers discovered a magnetic stripe encoder, a credit card skimmer, over 100 counterfeit credit cards embossed with Mack’s name, three spiral notebooks filled with the personal identifying information of approximately 600 individuals, loose sheets of paper filled with over 1,000 Social Security numbers, and thirteen white envelopes containing approximately $200,000 worth of Western Union money order receipts.

Law enforcement reviewed the contents of the spiral notebooks and discovered numerous handwritten entries detailing the filing of federal tax returns. The IRS confirmed that the entries corresponded to fraudulently filed tax returns submitted to the agency. Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of IRS-CI and the MDPD.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew J. Langley.

A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida at Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at or on

>>> Dan Marino Foundation teams up with Badia Spices to help support children with autism, something appearing across all ethnic groups kids

>>> Webpage info: Badia Spices invites consumers to join their efforts in support of children and young adults living with autism. From now through December 31st, 2015, when you purchase a bottle of Badia (1 LT) Extra Virgin Olive Oil anywhere in the world where Badia Spices are sold, Badia Spices will donate 5% of the proceeds from that sale to The Dan Marino Foundation. Badia Spices believes that being a member of a community means giving back through charitable and community investment. As such, the company supports a variety of charitable and educational organizations. Through the course of the past ten years, Badia Spices and the Badia Family have contributed millions in financial contributions and in-kind donations to a variety of local and national institutions. The family’s efforts on a broad sense have focused on education, healthcare, women’s issues, youth sports, and underserved communities. For more than 23 years, The Dan Marino Foundation has been serving the autism community through unique, impactful initiatives, like Marino Campus – a post-secondary educational opportunity for young adults with developmental disabilities, ages 18-28. The Campus, which opened in 2014, was the logical next step in furthering the Foundation’s mission of “empowering individuals with autism and other developmental disabilities.” Badia Extra Virgin Olive Oil has a rich nutty flavor with delicate notes of fruitiness. The Olive Oil is made from the first cold press of Manzanilla, Arbequina, and Lechin and Picual olives. Aside from all the attributed health benefits of olive oil, it is bottled with the promise of full aroma, freshness, rich flavor. “Badia Spices is looking forward to once again partnering with The Dan Marino Foundation,” said Joseph “Pepe” Badia, President of Badia Spices. “This partnership enables us to support the Foundation and Marino Campus, in providing state of the art programing and services for children, teens and young adults with autism and other developmental disabilities on their path to independence.” Over the last three years with the support of its customers through the “Go the Extra Yard for Those with Autism Campaign”. Badia Spices has raised more than $300,000 for The Dan Marino Foundation and the Marino Campus programs for young adults with autism and other developmental disabilities. “We are continually grateful for the friendship and support of Pepé Badia. It is a privilege for all of us at the Foundation to be a part of the Badia Spices family, stated Dan Marino, Chairman of The Dan Marino Foundation. I hope Badia Spices and their customers realize the significant impact they have in changing the lives of the young people we serve.” ABOUT BADIA SPICES: Established in 1967 by Jose Badia, Badia Spices is the world’s leading privately Hispanic-owned spice manufacturer with 2012 sales totaling over $100 million. Badia Spices has brought to market the finest ingredients from all corners of the world, making it a favorite among all types of cooks. More than 350 different products are prepared, packaged and shipped to 70 countries and the entire United States. In addition Badia Spices is committed to offering their consumers the highest quality. Badia Spices has added an Organic and Gluten-Free line, and is proud to have its products certified by Safe Quality Foods, an audit recognized around the world as being one of the most rigorous and credible food safety management systems in the marketplace today. For more information, visit the company’s website


>>> Redistricting still up in the air with a couple of GOP congressional districts still up in the air as courts seek to get new maps approved

With Legislators and the Florida courts still battling it out over the legislative districts and new congressional districts after the 2010 Census potential candidates continue to watch closely how these districts might dim their chances for office and two congressional districts in South Miami-Dade are still being contested and voters are just waiting for this process to conclude as it drags on over the years in the state’s courts since the districts have to comply with the Florida Fair District Amendment passed by over 60 percent of the state’s voters and is causing this confusion since the goal is party and ethnic neutrality in the drawn districts. And is no easy task as Floridians are finding out.


>>> Chair Monestime feels “disrespected,” by Commissioner Edmonson, for not taking a Sunshine public meeting to discuss CBO funding, Dean of Commission Moss urges everyone to calm down with upcoming Holidays on the dais, and item comes to body in January 20th

A sharp verbal exchange erupted between Commission Chair Jean Monestime and Commissioner Audrey Edmonson concerning why community based organizations funding were not on the agenda and she believed Monestime was being “disrespectful,” to her and she to him when Edmonson would not have a Sunshine meeting to discuss the matter.

And Monestime noted no other past chair has had this “disrespect,” and the Commission’s Dean Dennis Moss on the dais since 1992 suggested the two commissioners dial the rhetoric back a notch given the Christmas Holidays and Commissioner Rebecca Sosa a lets work together commissioner echoed Moss’ comments. Because Moss does not want to go to past times on the body when there was a racially charged component on the 13 member body and their periodic ethnic division came to a climax in May of 2000 when the Young Cuban boy Elian Gonzalez was extracted by federal authorities and South Florida emotionally erupted in fires and had angry Anglos and black residents next to confederate flags yelling obscenities about Cuban Americans down in Homestead and was captured in a photo in The Miami Herald. And would later have a saloon operator Jay Love, an Anglo getting some 20 percent of the vote for County Mayor and had Love facing incumbent Mayor Alex Penelas and County Commissioner Miguel Diaz de la Portilla and Penelas won the baton that August for his final term in office.

>>>> With help from WPLG 10 – “220 rental units were found,” goal to end any veterans being homeless by Dec. 31, 2016

The Miami-Dade County Homeless Trust Friday had a raucous meeting after a local activist Renita Holmes exchanged Sharpe words with the long serving Trust Chair Ron Book, who had to recess the meeting and she carped the organization was not helping a woman, with five kids in need whose veteran husband needed a heart operation. However Trust staff noted they had offered a number of places for her to live but the problem is few landlords want to rent a 2/2 to someone with “that many children.,”

And through the efforts of WPLG channel 10 and reporter Todd Tongen the station an using phone banks helped the Trust find some new “220 landlords,” with rental properties and Book thanked the station profusely at the trust board meeting Friday and finding these “220 willing landlords,” was done to end homeless of veterans by Dec. 31, 2015 and is a federal program run by HUD.

And the Trust is adding capacity to the homeless hotline that received some 95,000 calls last year but complaints are coming in regarding long waits on the phone lines and the new funding is expected help on that matter. And the Trust is going to fund the phone system an extra some $17,800 for this extra phone capacity along with the City of Miami where many of the chronically homeless are found in the urban core. And for 2015 while the number of homeless is down some 108 homeless people died on the street in the past year and that was “the second largest increase of deaths we have ever had,” said staff at the Trust meeting. And included later a solemn vigil outside at the Stephen P. Clark Government Center where the names of the passed were read from the past year. and for more on Tongen go to

What About the MPO meeting?

MPO vice Chair Francis Suarez wants to put on “pause,” a signature skyway interchange in downtown Miami and has been the subject of litigation between Miami and FDOT to hear more resident input that might include the creation of a “park,” in Miami’s urban core. Suarez told a MPO planning transit solutions committee Thursday afternoon and members are seeking community input to see what they want he said.

And Suarez joked he will become a transportation “tsar,” once he learns all the “acronyms,” said the Miami commissioner just reelected unopposed in November something long time transit maven Maurice Ferre is very familiar with and has been mentoring Suarez on transportation issues and gave the attorney a host of transportation reports the commissioner reads on plane flights.

County Commissioner Javier Souto objected to the county getting some $6 million in parking fees

What did Javier Souto say about the $6 million in park fees? Since parks calm the community down, he did not want to hear about the frequent deaths in South Florida and wanted to know what the price of safety was and the importance for young people to have access to parks and he thought the fees were penny wise and pound foolish.

>>> Underfunded mayoral candidate Regalado choosing her ad buys wisely in community newspapers.

Mayoral Candidate Raquel Regalado is strategically placing mayoral campaign ads in the Community newspapers and one ad similar to a mass mailer she sent out was spotted in the Pinecrest Tribune but was not in the Coral Gables newspaper version and features her sons and that in 2016 the community “will chart the course for generations to come. In her bid to oust Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez in 2016 and is expected to be a brutal race given the incumbent’s fundraising edge that is a double edged sword and money alone did not propel Teresa Sarnoff into office or GOP presidential candidate Jeb Bush.

>>> A Village Dialogue on implementing police body cameras, considered a “tool” and not a panacea, was held last week, televised from the commission chambers

What about the village dialogue that was held Wednesday in the Commission Chambers concerning police body cameras and snitches and inner city crime, where County Commissioner Audrey Edmonson said people “actually fear retaliation,” and get killed the next day if they tell and know it is their neighbor that did an earlier killing, she said at a commission meeting Tuesday and the do not snitch culture also applies to the Hispanic community, said Commissioner Jose “Pepe” Diaz and not just African Americans.

And Miami-Dade County Commission Chair Jean Monestime mentioned again something reported in a past WDR. That “Social media sites are killing our kids,” said activist Leroy Jones and Monestime noted “kids know which kid will lose his life next,” the Miami-Dade Commission Chair said on Tuesday at the commission meeting and kids are using Snap Chat where the message dissolves in a few minutes and parents cannot monitor what they are doing online.

>>>PAST WDR: No resolution of conflict over zoning control of Sun Light stadium, but Miami Garden’s Mayor Gilbert, says county treats municipality like “second class[city],” tussle is about charter interpretation, and Sun Lite stadium zoning, and “possible repercussions,” says Dolphin’s lobbyist Dotson, Jr., threat of losing Jazz in the Garden’s, because the Miami “Dolphins “have taken the posture the city will never control permits,” for Sun Lite stadium, says Mayor Gilbert, and the council will take this issue to the Florida Supreme Court if they have to, he intones during mediation meeting where further negotiations will continue with Commissioner Jordan the liaison.

A joint mediation session Tuesday between the Miami-Dade County Commission and the suing City of Miami Gardens, as required after mediation failed to resolve the impasse was a heated session with racial undertones and the issue is Miami Garden’s Sun Lite stadium owned by the Miami Dolphins and was supposed to come under the municipalities zoning and permit umbrella when it came to zoning while waiting for that to kick in around 2013 and the exception in the City’s Charter was approved by the commission back in 2003 when the Garden’s first incorporated and fiscal stability was the concern but the city has flourished and has 110,000 plus black voters in the state’s largest black community.

And the County’s attorney’s office is ruling that the turnover of control to Miami Garden’s requires a supermajority two-thirds vote of commissioners who heard the arguments from both sides including a couple of prominent attorney’s and Al Dotson, Jr. representing Sun Life Stadium insisted the county still needed to be involved and if Miami Garden’s did not go along there would be “repercussions,” and Miami Garden’s Mayor Oliver Gilbert, III an attorney, said that sounded like a “threat.” Since the popular Jazz in the Garden’s is held there and Gilbert bristled at Dotson saying he would not surrender 110,000 people’s rights for a concert. Since every other of the County’s 34 municipalities control zoning and other aspects of big items in these cities. Thought the seaport is excluded and even the Stephen P. Clark Government Center had to get COE’S FROM Miami and is probable why one of the plugs in a new press room used by commissioners is nonfunctioning.

Further Mayor Gilbert promised it would be the courts that decided this and he demanded Miami Gardens not be considered a “second class city,” by agreeing to exempt the large privately owned stadium from its municipal codes and the City’s Attorney Richard Weiss argued it was a question of the ‘interpretation of the County Charter and in that arena( the courts have extensively ruled) a council or commission has wide latitude in how it might be interpreted and the County attorney’s office insists a number of votes and process must be followed and Weiss argued it was just a matter of a disagreement in “interpretation,” with the county attorney’s office especially when it came to the procedural process and commissioners wanted more details before they voted on anything.

But Mayor Gilbert noted how much more time do you need since nothing happened, when the deadline passed. He said “nothing changed” and that is why they were in this mediation process required by Florida statutes when a municipality has a beef with the county. But Dotson’s threat of repercussions by the Dolphins did not sit well with Gilbert who commented on Dotson’s “beautiful hair,” versus his shaved head but the mediation showed a sharp divide concerning the Dolphins’ who apparently only want to deal with such issues with the County and not the local municipality and the County Attorney’s office is firm on their interpretation of the City’s charter and had Commissioner Xavier Suarez questioning why the mediation was necessary and he noted commissioners as the meeting ran late had been here all day and they were tired and he did not want to “delay,” resolving the situation that has been festering for years and he believed needed a resolution since it seemed the Dolphins were hesitant to fall under the City’s jurisdiction and after Dotson’s comments.

Oliver told the high profile attorney to be “very careful,” with his words and while no resolution occurred the issue will likely be resolved by the Florida Supreme Court and the council believes only the courts have the right to declare if Miami Garden’s is a “second class,” city but the issue of the stadium has been controversial since the County Commission allowed the city residents to vote for incorporation back in 2003 and there was a stadium carve out of controlling zoning issues at Sun Lite because of the small tax base and would the city survive which it did and flourished and the city has tried to be “accommodating to the pro football team,” said Mayor Gilbert during the session.

What happened at the County Commission on Tuesday re Miami Gardens and getting zoning control of Sun Lite stadium?

The commission Clerk’s minutes states it was voted 8-0 to defer the resolution and it will come back to the body on Jan 29 but the transfer is still stalled. And a similar mediation process was held between the City of Miami and the Village of Key Biscayne recently though that is still being litigated and involves the Miami Boat Show going to Virginia Key and County Commissioners approved the waiver permit Wednesday, though the litigation is expected to continue between the two municipalities.

>>> Mayor Gimenez talks MLS stadium and driverless cars on WPBT 2, mayor’s campaign for reelection amping up, with significant fund raising advantage

Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez was on WPBT 2 on Issues hosted by Helen Ferre, and he discussed the proposed MLS stadium and new transportation technologies and to see the show go to: deal and the impact of driverless cars could have on the local traffic gridlock and other new technologies in the future that Gimenez says is coming faster than most people might think, like the Google driverless car and for more go to


>>> Number of charter schools in District, the size of a region and is bleeding off Capital improvement funding, why schools needed $1.2 billion GOB in 2012

With the public schools district having some 520 charter schools said Alberto Carvalho at a school board audit and budget review committee meeting. The impact on funding capital improvement needs is falling on the local district and why a $1.2 billion GOB bond was necessary to keep up with the maintenance of the DISTRICT’S SOME 400 public schools in the nation’s third largest public schools district and state funding of capital projects at charters is of concern since the public does not own the improved facilities. And for more on charters and some of the concerns go to:


WHO: Peace Ambassadors – young emerging leaders who are seeking solutions to end violence in their neighborhoods, Superintendent of Schools Alberto M. Carvalho, U.S. Attorney Wifredo Ferrer, school and district administrative staff, elected officials, law enforcement agencies and community leaders.

WHAT: “Declaration of Independence from Violence against Miami-Dade’s Children.”   A student-led movement to bring together social service providers, mentors, and educators in a joint partnership with Miami-Dade County Public Schools and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida, in order to unite our community and help keep our children safe. Bayfront Park Torch of Friendship.

WHY: Protecting children is a fundamental responsibility of a community, but violence is maintaining a deadly grip on South Florida. Despite efforts to stop this violence, it continues, with 19 Miami-Dade youngsters murdered in 2015.  The Peace Ambassadors seek to stand with our local leaders to ensure we continue our dedication to neighborhood safety and renew our commitment to turning words into meaningful action.  Miami-Dade County Public Schools and the U.S. Attorney’s Office will coordinate neighborhood working groups with the Peace Ambassadors to develop tangible action plans that will focus on neighborhood needs and leverage each of their unique strengths, understanding, and resources.


>>> New Rehabilitation facility will be first test of Trust management, will project come in on time and budget, on Dec. 2018, sorely needed and has patients carping to county commissioners to upgrade the old facility.

The PHT board Friday approved a new $173 million rehabilitation building sorely need on the main campus and has been a persistent sore point with County Commissioner Sally Heyman after she needed rehabilitation after a medical procedure, and the new facility is expected to open by Dec. 20018 and will be the first big test of the health trust’s ability to build something on time and on budget since voters approved a $830 million GOB bond back in 2012 and was overwhelmingly approved by county voters and this new facility has been sorely needed for it returns sick people back to their homes and communities after such medical events like stroke or back surgery and with the ageing population this issue has been a thorn in the side of the health trust and is badly needed and has had one patient a Miami Police Officer thrown from his horse carping to county commissioners multiple times about the poor rehabilitation facility at the main campus and for more go to:


>>> Russell to Grove Chamber, I want to be a “unifier, not a divider,” and my “door is wide open,” seems to have a grounded political temperament, Kentucky roots, host of linguistic skills with freshman commissioner, first Dist. 2 official to speak Spanish & Portuguese, will serve him well during term

Newly minted Miami Commissioner Ken Russell was the featured speaker Friday at the Coconut Grove Chamber of Commerce monthly luncheon and he gave an upbeat speech and the businessman is essentially on a listening learning tour while he settles into the important office, hires staff, and represents Miami District 2 that snakes along the city’s coast from the Grove to near Morningside. He was introduced by Monty Trainer a Grove fixture who at an earlier chamber luncheon joked when Justin Fernandez-Rundle was introduced, he quipped “where was your mother when I needed her.” After he was convicted of tax evasion and went to federal prison. And Monty, considered a cultural maven is on the County’s Cultural Affairs Council and is paid some $90,000 to run the Coconut Grove Arts festival.

Trainer said of Russell’s swearing in that it “was so family,” and he “had never been to one like that,” and how it celebrated his Japanese Heritage and of course the music of a Japanese flautist and harp and ceremony was done on the fly when the Watchdog Report asked him about the ceremony. And Monty noted they had given out 200 gifts at the St. Albans Childhood Enrichment Center and is a community jewel in the Village West and Trainer also mentioned the Kroma Gallery opening party and he seems “to finally [want to represents and embrace] all of the Grove,” and the “Grove coming together,” Trainer observed before he introduced the new district 2 commissioner.

Russell who got significant votes from the Village West voters in his election over Teresa Sarnoff, who despite the $1 million war chest did not make a connection with voters and Russell told the crowd. “My door is wide open,” though he joked at the pace things were occurring and includes him being the chair of the Miami DDA and the Grove BID, and he noted later to the WDR that a number of the DDA’s board members were appointed to another three year term by outgoing commissioner Marc Sarnoff, And one member Jay H. Solowsky and Richard Lydecker ( And Lydecker called into the DDA meeting by phone where he was out West skiing and the is a law partner with former Miami Mayor Manny Diaz, and Lydecker represented Diaz in front of the County’s Ethics and Public Trust commission, and both men are attorneys and close to Sarnoff and it remains to be seen if they resist the ideas and policy changes Russell might suggest and whether the past DDA Chair Sarnoff will have any influence is unknown.

Russell said he was “not a decision maker,” but a ‘unifier,” and he seeks to “find common ground and consensus,” and he “wants to get the Grove Playhouse going,” the small business owner said. He said he wants to “balance preservation and growth,” and the man on the job just a week or so “is moving every minute,” and he is keeping up a hectic schedule and I can validate that since I have been spending time at Miami City Hall watching the transition and which people were trying to be hanger-on’s after the election where a victor has a thousand followers and defeats have none. And Russel a UNC Chapel Hill graduate and fluent in Spanish and Portuguese as is his veterinarian wife and with his Kentucky upbringing and global travels he could be like the Roman General Cincinnatus, called to duty from the plow fields. Since Russell was a “normal,” citizen who had an issue with local government and pushed him to get involved and to run for office, considered a long shot but the Yo-Yo maven prevailed and used to autograph the toy, and his signature includes a string and yo-yo in it very subtle way.

And Solowsky also on the County’s Homeless Trust gave a shout out to staff at Friday’s Trust meeting, for their hard work in reducing the number of homeless on the city’s streets. And had become a controversial topic with the Miami DDA after they created a poop map that gained national attention and gave Miami-Dade a black eye which has a very progressive homeless and continuum of care program and is national model since 1993.and the number of homeless dropped from around 8,000 homeless to around 800 now and has Camillus and the Chapmen Partnership providing a host of programs funded by trust and had tax revenues for last month rising 1.7 percent. But the need for more funding by perhaps adding an additional tax to include Miami Beach which is now exempted. And for more go to

And once again a City of Miami building inspector was caught being bribed and favoring people through a kick back and is one of the reasons years ago. I wrote residents having problems with Miami inspectors should buy a tape recorder and record the conversation and many readers having such a device totally changed the conversation. And for more go to


>>> Beach Dec. 15 closes on $636 million in bonds, at historic low interest rate for new convention center financing beats the Fed bump in interest rates

Press release: Miami Beach Closes on Convention Center Financings Miami Beach, FL: The City of Miami Beach closed on its three bond issues today to provide $636 million in funds for the renovation and expansion of its convention center. The bonds priced during the week of November 16, 2015 at interest rates near historic lows. The City benefited from strength in the tax-exempt market in mid-November, selling the bonds as soon as possible after the approval of the Guaranteed Maximum Price contract and enactment of the additional 1% Resort Tax on transient rentals. The City’s bond closing today comes the day prior to the December 16 Federal Reserve Open Market Committee meeting, during which the Fed is widely expected to increase interest rates. “The futures market is pricing in a 76% chance that the Fed will increase interest rates tomorrow. We are pleased to have priced our bonds well in advance of likely the first Fed rate increase since 2006,” said Miami Beach City Manager Jimmy L. Morales. The City successfully executed this combined financing plan ahead of its projected schedule and saved over $4.4 million over the life of the financings by reducing interest rates on the day of pricing due to investor demand. The bond closings complete the funding for the convention center, and the first phase of construction will now begin.


>>> MIA Dir. Gonzalez gives Gables commissioners update on facility celebrating 44 million passengers in 2015

MIA aviation Director Emilio Gonzalez gave a presentation and update to Gables commissioners last week on what is happening at MIA now celebrating a record 44 million passengers and is the number one economic driver in Miami-Dade and has over 100 airlines flying out of the airport from Turkey to almost every country in South America including Brazil.


>>> Will Mayor Lerner’s, abusive demeanor on dais end any future political career?

Note to elected leaders. Rule one don’t lose your temper or curse from the dais and apparently PInecrest Mayor Cindy Lerner forgot that fact when a contentious trolley issue came to the forefront and had her having a meltdown, telling residents to sit down and worse in a story in the Miami Herald and in the story she said a fellow councilman had ‘pushed my button’ She considered. But Lerner a former Democratic state representative and possible county mayoral candidate just crippled any future political career. And she seems to think this generic answer allows her to do anything on the dais and there seems to be no sign of contrition, which is a little bit worrisome which suggests elected leaders never have to say they are sorry and is a disturbing trend in South Florida.


>>> Feds bust Four Defendants Sentenced to Prison for Paying and Accepting Bribes and Gratuities

Press release four defendants have been sentenced to prison terms, by U.S. District Judge Daniel T.K. Hurley in West Palm Beach, for paying and accepting bribes and gratuities.

Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, George L. Piro, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Pamela Bondi, Florida Attorney General, Margaret Moore-Jackson, Special Agent in Charge, United States Social Security Administration, Office of Inspector General (SSA-OIG), Shimon R. Richmond, Special Agent in Charge, Miami Region, United States Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG), made the announcement.

Irma Davidian, 52, of Boca Raton, was sentenced to 10 years in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release and was ordered to pay $2,789,038.85 in restitution.  Davidian previously pled guilty to conspiracy to commit bribery in programs receiving federal funds and commit health care fraud; and conspiracy to give a gratuity to a public official, both, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 371.

Gladys Roman, 47, of Pompano Beach, was sentenced to 40 months in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release and was ordered to pay $2,789,038.85 in restitution.  George Lopez, 35, of Pompano Beach, was sentenced to 54 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release and was ordered to pay $300,673.42 in restitution.  Both defendants previously pled guilty to conspiracy to commit bribery in programs receiving federal funds and commit health care fraud, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 371.

Maria Sanchez, 50, of Pembroke Pines, was sentenced to four months in prison and four months of house arrest, to be followed by three years of supervised release.  The defendant previously pled guilty to conspiracy to receive and accept a gratuity by a public official, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, and Section 371.

Co-defendant Alejandro Lomoso, 56, of Southwest Ranches, previously pled guilty to conspiracy to receive and accept a gratuity by a public official, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, and Section 371 and is scheduled to be sentenced on January 6, 2016.

According to court records, Davidian was in the business of representing persons who sought to obtain government benefits, including Social Security, Medicaid and Food Stamp benefits.  Davidian would claim that, for a payment ranging from $2,000-$5,000, she could obtain those benefits for individuals regardless of their personal circumstances.  Roman was employed by the Florida Department of Child and Family Services (DCF) as an interview clerk and inputted information from those persons applying for Medicaid and Food Stamps benefits into a DCF computer.  The Medicaid applications would then be assigned to a DCF case worker whose job title was an Economic Self-Sufficiency Specialist (ESS).

In or about April 2009, Roman submitted applications to DCF on behalf of Davidian’s clients and did so from her home or a public library and would add or change information to enhance the application.  Davidian repeatedly asked Roman if there was an ESS worker at DCF who Davidian could pay to approve DCF applications.   Lopez was an ESS for DCF.  His duties included approving or denying requests for Medicaid and Food Stamp benefits.  In or about 2012, Lopez agreed that, in exchange for money, he would approve applications submitted by Davidian on behalf of her clients.

Davidian submitted applications on behalf of her clients to Roman so that they could be forwarded to DCF.  Davidian submitted fraudulent documents with some of the applications in order to make it appear that her clients met the benefit requirements. Davidian instructed Roman to assign Lopez as the ESS worker in order to ensure that some of the fraudulent applications would be approved.

Roman would then fraudulently approve benefits for applicants who were not otherwise qualified.  If benefits for Medicaid or Food Stamps were properly denied by another DCF employee, Lopez logged into the DCF computer system and overrode the denial and approved the benefits. Beginning in or about 2012 through in or about January 2014, every other week, Davidian paid Roman and Lopez each $500.   As a result of the scheme, Roman and Lopez assisted Davidian to seek more than $5,000,000 in fraudulent benefits.

Court records further indicate that Sanchez and Lomoso worked as claims representatives for the SSA.  From in or about 2008 through in or about early 2011, Sanchez and Lomoso would periodically receive applications from Davidian on behalf of persons seeking SSA benefits.  In exchange for payment, Sanchez and Lomoso would expedite and/or modify the application process.  Davidian gave, offered, and promised approximately $9,500 in U.S. currency to Lomoso and approximately $13,000-$15,000 to Sanchez in exchange for performing their official acts.

Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of the FBI, Florida Attorney General’s Office, SSA-OIG, HHS-OIG, MFCU and the Florida Department of Children and Families OIG.  Attorney General Pam Bondi’s Office of Statewide Prosecution will handle the state law violations.  The federal matters are being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jeffrey N. Kaplan and Thomas P. Lanigan.

A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida at Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at or on


King Mango

The Next King Mango Strut Meeting and gathering will be held

TUES., Nov. 17th, 2015, 7:00 p.m., at

Select Happy Hour drinks, some free appetizers

Come join us for our meeting of the
Mangoheads & Mangominds.

We can’t wait to poke fun at any and everything, satirizing the people and events that made news during the year. Put the word out to your friends, family and anyone who you think would want to join the Mango Madness! Mark your calendar for upcoming meetings and events. Wed., Dec 2, Bookstore in the Grove, 3390 Mary St., 7:00 p.m.

Tues., Dec. 8, Taurus, 3540 Main Highway, 7:00 p.m.

Tues., Dec. 15, Coconut Grove Sailing Club, 2990 S. Bayshore Dr.


Mon., Dec. 21, Berries in the Grove, 2884 SW 27 Ave., 7:00 p.m. hotline: 305-582-0955
Margulies Collection

>>> THE MARGULIES COLLECTION AT THE WAREHOUSE is proud to announce its new exhibitions Anselm Kiefer: Paintings, Sculpture and Installation -Susan Philips: Immersive Sound Installation -through April 30, 2016 – Anselm Kiefer: Paintings, Sculpture and Installation

Staged across 18,000 sq. ft. of space the new Kiefer exhibition at the Margulies Warehouse is the largest presentation of the artist work ever made in the United States.

The show includes major sculptures, installation and paintings from 1986 to 2015. Four immense rooms within the Warehouse have been built specially to house the exhibition.

“Anselm Kiefer is one of the most important European artists of the past four decades,” says curator Katherine Hinds. “In our ongoing process of building the collection we recognized that Anselm Kiefer was critically important. This exhibition comes at a pivotal time. It is the most comprehensive project ever undertaken by the collection. We are honored to present this exhibition, which is the result of an ongoing collaboration between the collector Martin Z. Margulies and the artist. We see this exhibition as a fulfillment of our educational mission at the Warehouse to produce powerful exhibitions of seminal work by the greatest international artists of our times.”

The artist traveled to Miami to install his 17ft high work Die Erdzeitalter (Ages of the World), 2014 that was the centerpiece of his retrospective at the Royal Academy in London in 2014. The largest work in the show, Geheimnis der Farne (The Secret of the Ferns) is based on a work Kiefer created eight years ago for Monumenta 2007 Grand Palais exhibition. After meeting with the collector, Kiefer changed and rearranged elements of the work and made a site-specific installation for the Margulies collection. Included in the show is the 3-ton workSprache der Vögel, 1989, which was the first work by Anselm Kiefer acquired by the Margulies collection. It has been on exhibit at the Warehouse since 2013.

The Margulies Collection at the Warehouse is honored to join the exemplary collection exhibitions devoted to the art of Anselm Kiefer including the Hall Art Foundation at Mass MoCA, the Doris and Donald Fisher Collection, The Broad Art Foundation and HangarBicocca, Milan.

Anselm Kiefer was born in Donaueschingen, Germany in 1945 and has lived and worked in France since 1993. He has exhibited widely, including solo shows at MoMA, New York (1987); Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin (1991); The Metropolitan Museum, New York (1998); Fort Worth Museum of Art (2005); the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (2006); Mass MoCA, Massachusetts; Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao; the Grand Palais, Paris; Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Denmark (2010); the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam (2011), Tel Aviv Museum of Art (2011) and The Royal Academy, London (2014). In 2007 Kiefer became the first artist to be commissioned to install a permanent work at the Louvre, Paris since Georges Braque some 50 years earlier. In 2009 he created an opera, Am Anfang, to mark the 20th anniversary of the Opéra National in Paris. The Centre Georges Pompidou and the Bibliothèque Nationale de France in Paris will stage major solo presentations of his work in 2015.

Susan Philipz

Susan Philipsz: Immersive Sound Installation

The Margulies Collection is also pleased to feature a large scale Immersive Sound Installation by the acclaimed European artist Susan Philipsz, winner of the prestigious Turner Prize in 2010, Tate Britain. Drawing from the histories of 1930’s emigrant artists who fled Germany for America only to experience McCarthy-era blacklist censorship, Susan Philipsz’ work evokes the emotions of alienation, loss and exile. The audience views the work by walking into a large room with abstract sound emanating from 12 speakers placed in a symmetrical pattern at eye level. On the walls of the room 12 large prints of musical compositional scores are layered over with redacted FBI documents. “The sound of the deconstructed music heard over 12 channels combined with the visual experience of the recognizable but evasive censored text in the prints is a stunning and evocative experience,” says Ms. Hinds. “This has been a very ambitious project for us, it is the very first sound art installation work here at the warehouse and we are excited about adding a new dimension to the Collection.”

Permanent exhibitions: Magdalena Abakanowicz, Ron Bladen, Pier Paolo Calzolari, Anthony Caro, John Chamberlain, Willem de Kooning, Olafur Eliasson, Dan Flavin, Michael Heizer, Jannis Kounellis, Sol LeWitt, Mario Merz, Joan Miró, Isamu Noguchi, Michelangelo Pistoletto, George Segal, Richard Serra, Tony Smith, and Franz West

New works: Meuser, Lawrence Carroll, Liat Yossifor, Mark Handforth and Martin Boyce Click here for more information about this season’s exhibitions

Instragram logo facebook logo Margulies logo

The Margulies Collection at the Warehouse

591 NW 27th Street, Miami, FL 33127

p: 305.576.1051 / f: 305.576.4963

The Martin Z. Margulies Foundation, inc. is a not for profit institution dedicated to the presentation of exhibitions and educational programs. The Margulies Collection at the WAREhOUSE houses an extensive collection of contemporary and vintage photography, video, sculpture and installation art.

Curator, Katherine Hinds


>>> U.S. Defense Sec. Carter, what the hell were you thinking not using a secure federal email account, after Clinton email controversy, my God this is our defense secretary, a top hacker target

What the hell is going on when it comes to our nation’s leaders using personal email accounts that now includes Sec. of Defense Ash Carter? And these senior federal officials are leaving the nation at risk for as award winning reporter Ted Koppel says in a new book there are two types of organizations. Ones that have been hacked and others that don’t know it yet, that they were hacked and for this to occur to a Defense secretary is beyond belief and government must tighten up this vulnerability and the potential of hacking and the looting of sensitive military and defense information and technology and after the issue with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her emails. I don’t know what to say about the secretary of defense because this is so off the poor judgment map. Given the state of the world in light of the recent terroist attacks on our own soil. And this compromise of any leader’s emails from a municipal official, state or otherwise is a red flag and leaders must follow the rules that also include retention of emails and other communications.

>>> One of Watchdog Report’s main missions is to keep watch on all the host of Trust’s in Miami-Dade and involve some serious public money in the billions

Residents in Miami-Dade County periodically ask why I cover all the trust’s found in the county, from the Children’s Trust to the Public Health Trust to the County’s Homeless Trust and it is because elected county leaders are always looking for new funds and while the raids of these public dollars periodically occurs like in the case of the Citizens Independent Transit Trust where the county is slowly paying back the sales tax dollars absorbed by the county’s transit system in what was called “unification,” by county leaders but the Public Health Trust was also raided back in 20002 when county commissioners shifted some $ 70 million in unfunded mandates on to organization and that cost has risen over $100 million a year and was one of the reasons the Public health trust needed a $830 million GOB passed overwhelmingly by voters a few Years back to upgrade its infrastructure and ageing main campus after this past money was diverted over a decade by the County commission that does provide some $250 million in public funds for a maintenance of effort contribution. But in Miami-Dade where everything is political I keep watch so that these organizations are kept whole and politics is kept to a minimum and this oversight helps keep the organizations on the straight and narrow when it comes to public dollars and it is no small amount of money and helps explain why there have been so few scandals in the past that plaque the county back in the 1990’s and a frequent topic in the media.


>>> I am a long time Tri-Rail rider and supporter. I also ride Metrorail too.   In addition, I have also taken other commuter rail systems in the USA and Canada….  Metrolink (LA), LIRR (NY), GoTrans and West Coast Express (CANADA), Sounder, (WA), COASTER (CA), Caltrans (CA)

TRI-RAIL (operations) is mostly funded by the STATE, COUNTIES, US Gov’t (almost 70-75%) and fares (25%-30%).    Capital funds pay for the stations and equipment (mostly FDOT and the US gov’t again 75-80%) with some local match. Note:  Many of these systems are older than Tri-Rail and many use the same reliable and safe BOMBARDIER coaches (passenger cars). Tri-Rail has been in existence since 1988- or 1989 (almost 28 years) Metrorail has been about since 1982 (over 30 years)

Tri-Rail was a JEWEL among transit systems, when it first opened, clean and well maintained – Both the Stations and Trains.    It was a model of how to do it right…when it was started and run by FDOT, as a traffic mitigation project for I-95.   It was emulated throughout the USA.   FDOT did an amazing job! Metrorail and Metro mover was a good system, but they did not maintain or clean the trains or station that well in the 1980’s or 1990’s and allowed it to fall in disrepair.   However, the last few years (since the Orange Line opened)…they have cleaned up the stations, trains, elevators, signs, parking lots etc….re-upholstered the seats, replaced aging parts and lighting and made it respectable, but not as clean as Toronto, LA, San Diego etc…. but reasonable.   The trains sometimes leak (A/C) water on people, but they are cleaner now than they were 20 years ago.   Using over 30 year old equipment (bud cars, same as Baltimore).   Note:  they need some newer coaches! However, TRI-RAIL is mess.   They have not maintained it well. THE RESTROOMS still stink (mostly the ones the old cars), but management blames AGE….again, the older rail systems, don’t smell so bad.

See this from 2007!

SEE PAGE 8 EVEN THE NEW (KOREAN) cars are not well maintained!   They are dirty, both inside and out.  NOTE:  Other Rail Systems have system maps and station stops on the inside of the rail cars….I could not find this or any schedule information on the inside of the rail cars.    Visitors and travelers have trouble knowing how to navigate or which stop to use!

The stations and elevators are dirty too and not well maintained (or cleaned).   The signage is old and faded.  The elevators are about 10 years old now.  Screws are sticking out from the floor. The old cars have very dirty floors, windows, ripped seats, bugs. A few years ago, Tri-Rail said……once they received the new equipment, they would re-furbish the old equipment. I know budgets are tight, and much more money goes to security now, but there is very little oversight on the stations and trains.

FDOT does a really great job on Tri-Rail Jack Stephens is great guy and wonderful leader of SFRTA-Tri-Rail and should not be blamed at all…..but the PRIVATE Companies and the (political) BOARD of Directors should be held responsible.  In the old days, Allen Harper and David Rush (and some other Board members) were frequent riders (Passengers) of the train, so was F. Lee Bailey and his staff, Judges…and the train was a very pleasant and rewarding experience….  Now not so much. The old days had nice schedules (LARGE) that were easy to read and understand for the SENIORS and people with low vision (captive transit riders).    Now even with a magnifying glass, hard to navigate. Yes, the train service has improved (during the last 25 years).   Better on time performance, more frequent service (quantity), but at a cost….lack of maintenance etc.   The employees who work for the “private systems” are great too.   They work hard and are very friendly and cooperative too….and make riding a good and safe experience.   I am sure they are as frustrated as the passengers too.

Management will always blame (lack of money), but they get really high salaries too.    It is WILL and desire to improve the maintenance and pay attention to the little details that will improve the quality of the experience and the quality of service. It is very sad that they let the equipment (trains and stations) deteriorate as much as they have!   It has been a huge problem that is on-going for 15 years or more. I hope it is addressed at some point.   And I hope some important people ride and notice the things that I have and don’t let the stations and equipment deteriorate even more.   I hope that the quality is improved.

>>> A Reader on danger of yellow pole barriers on 195, and sign petition asking FDOT to modify polls

>>> 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

>>> And another reader sent the following the shocking truth about Miami-Dade Animal Services,


Coconut Grove

>>> 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)



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






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>>> 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

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3109 Grand Avenue, #125

Miami, FL 33133

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