Archive for November 2016


Watchdog Report Vol. 17 No.23 November 27, 2016 EST: 05.05.00 – I go when you cannot – Celebrating 17 Years of Weekly reliable publishing Thanksgiving Weekend Issue



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Argus Report: At Camillus House Thanks giving Feast, motto is Hope is where your heart lives, and in 2016 organization served 545,000 free meals, versus 547,000 in 2015

State of Florida: Gov. Scott wants to stay in Florida

Miami-Dade County: Commissioner Barreiro calls for creation of “Seniors Trust,” modeled on Children’s Trust of Miami-Dade

Miami-Dade County Public Schools: WPLG channel 10 donates 2,800 books to Tucker Elementary in Coconut Grove -A Cutler Bay athletic teacher arrested for stealing funds from students for years OIG report finds — Pets for Vets and Teaching Responsible Pet Ownership to Kids – Children are learning how to properly take care of animals in massive education effort with District County and veterans

Public Health Trust: Preparing for Hurricane Mathew to button up JHS cost $5.6 million, has to be done once state of emergency is called, hospital is also designated as the anchor hospital for natural disasters and WMD

City of Miami: With death of Fidel Castro, 90, Miami erupts into song and dancing politicians flock to Versailles. a Cuban exile outpost in Little Havana, with American and Cuban flags — Miami PD to get Ar-15s for active shooter situations, small caliber round bullet can penetrate body armor many times worn by active shooters — Miami taxpayers better hold on to their wallets as leaky rusted police evidence trailer has 564 cases compromised from homicides to suicides, will be a wok program for suing attorneys and calls into question the integrity of all these cases and is another unacceptable Miami moment that will have legs

City of Miami Beach: While president-elect Trump says Climate Change is a “Chinese hoax,” octopus in water in Miami Beach parking garage says otherwise, more sea creatures on land expected in the future!-New title at Beach city Hall helps people navigate their government mayor and commission have a Director of First Impressions, a welcome sign first seen at Baptist Health South Florida – Miami Beach asking residents and businesses to do their part to reduce mosquitoes

Community Events: The Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County Presents -THE LEGEND OF ZELDA: SYMPHONY OF THE GODDESSES MASTER QUEST Multimedia symphonic concert returns with new music and scenes from “Tri Force Heroes,” the latest The Legend of Zelda video game. The Legend of Zelda franchise celebrates its 30th anniversary in 2016! – Major new show a The Margulies Collection reopens at the Warehouse – History Miami has 100th anniversary

Editorial: After 564 cases compromised in Miami police wet and rusty evidence trailer, law suits will fly along with the miss-justice of Miami residents, what will final bill be?– Next week the story of how Jungle Island got created — Public institutions Collaboration must be our goal if South Florida to reach its greatness

Letters: – advocate’s petition for FDOT to come up with alternative to yellow polls and injuries 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 17 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 providing this information 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 l. Thank You.


And to my Supporters I pledge to keep ‘going when you cannot.’ And we have about $9 billion in GOB funds being spent through a variety of public institutions and that is no small number 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 I also keep watch for the all-important tourism industry and with the Zika Virus people are starting to understand how vital these tourists are for a host of amenities like culture and the arts, Jackson health System and transportation dollars all entities that benefit from tourism.


>>> And the Watchdog Report has reached 16 years of using my own money to survive in the costlier Miami community. Red Alert and while I have cut expenses I need my readers help. In this fast changing world and with Pay Pal now you can easily use a credit card to contribute and I hope you will consider helping keeping someone out in the field. And I have not wanted to be a lobbyist but rather a lobbyist for everyone and is why I use the tag line ‘I go when you cannot’. But things were made worse after spending 18 days in the hospital with a badly infected finger. And is why I am behind sending invoices and my traditional thank you letter to any supporters contributing and hop to catch up in the near future. And I thank these people from the bottom of my heart for the past financial help.


>>> And to support the WDR go to my Pay Pal account at

>>>And you can now easily support the Watchdog Report by going to my new PayPal Button account, you know you want to do it at for as media resources contract residents still need to know that someone is also watching out for their interests. Because government watched is a better governing experience for voters and their local quality of life?


However, it is no easy task to do the WDR weekly. And years ago the county Ethics Commission did a report that suggested over the past decade some $50 million had been spent fighting waste fraud abuse and public corruption and having the press at public meetings (some very obscure) changes the tone of the meeting (and is why you don’t speed past a state trooper, if you’re smart) Further, I have tried to be an information electrolyte available to all free between these large public institutions when I first started back in 1997. And many public meetings back then were not being recorded except by me and that is no longer the case.


For an accurate public record is key and diminishes future legal action. For you either have an accurate public record or you don’t. And I hope you will consider helping me in this effort to keep the community informed and saving taxpayer monies in the process. And I thank my supporters over the last 17 years. And to read a national story and profile of the WDR publisher in the early years and background back in 2003 go to:      

>>> And here is the story done by Miami New Times when they named the publisher as the community’s Best of Miami and Best Citizen and to read the story go to:    

And the credibility I have established over that time of news you can trust without an attitude. And to help me in this quest to keep the community informed can easily be done since I know have PayPal at      and it accepts a host of credit cards and I hope you will consider supporting me allowing to have someone watch over how your public tax dollars are being spent. And few web blogs have the duration and community history as I have given in this effort and has people saying “you were blogging before we even knew what it was,” And I hope I get a decent response so I can get back to what I do best ‘go when you cannot,’ and the Watchdog Report will only return when my fiscal health is in better shape and to any of my past contributors. I thank you from the bottom of my heart. >>> May 5th was my 16th Anniversary, and I thank all my supporters and can’t believe it has been that long and hope you will help keep me in the field and reporting back how your public tax dollars are being spent.

>>> And here is the verbiage related to the award: Three years ago we said Ricker was our Best Gadfly. Given his dedication and perseverance, this new honor, Best Citizen, is well deserved. Ricker goes to 2500 mind-melting meetings annually, from the Public Health Trust’s purchasing subcommittee to the Efficiency and Competition Commission to the Alliance for Human Services’ nominating council to the school board’s audit committee. Sometimes he’s the only public observer. Object: to be the Public Citizen for all those out there who can’t attend, and to connect and serve as an information bridge among the special-interest-dominated Miami-Dade governmental institutions that seem so problematic and indifferent to the democratic process. This month his e-mail newsletter, The Watchdog Report, celebrates its [16th Anniversary. In a former life Ricker made a handsome living as an international salesman of heart pacemakers. As the hard-working publisher of Watchdog, though, he’s struggling financially — this despite the fact that his weekly compendium of meeting summaries, analysis, interviews, and commentary has become essential reading for anyone involved in public affairs. What his written work may lack in polish, it more than makes up for in comprehensiveness. So raise a toast to the man whose official slogan says it all: “A community education resource — I go when you cannot!”

>>> And checkout the new Watchdog Report merchandising campaign featuring Knowledge is Bliss coffee cups and includes premium cotton super soft tee shirts.


ARGUS REPORT- Heard and seen on the street


>>> At Camillus House, their motto is Hope is where your heart lives, and in 2016 organization served 545,000 free meals, versus 547,000 in 2015


Camillus House had their annual Thanksgiving Feast and in the past year they have served 540,000 meals to the Miami homeless population for 2016. And Camillus House is an important component to ending homeless in Miami and the new campus where fresh greens are grown has its own clinic from a grant from Baptist Health South Florida and in 2015 Camillus provided some 24,028 medical encounters state statistics back then and in 2015 Camillus provided 547,000 free meals and for more on the charity founded in 1960 go to and Camillus also works closely with the Chapman Partnership another community jewel when it comes to ending the number of homeless in Miami-Dade and for more go to


What about China?


Trump who had tough words for the People’s Republic of China is going to find the Chinese are no pushover either and deal in hundreds of years as it seeks its rightful place on the global scene. And China is introducing its new fighter with the J-20 stealth fighter After the Middle Kingdom hacked into the Pentagon and stole the plans   and for more go to



New J-20 with stealth technology.


And Trump will soon learn every word he speaks has real consequences as the nation digests how his could have happened and one millennial told me Saturday the race was “rigged,” even though all the polls and pundits had the nation going for Clinton. Who just had too many controversies, the Clinton Foundation and then the emails and people wanted some of that too end. And having her husband Bill campaign so much looking old and tired probable did not help and reminded many voters of his own controversial time in office despite being re-elected and popular.


Voters were tired of the status quo establishment candidates


But the polls and pundits were all wrong and Clinton’s rallies did not have the enthusiasm as did early challenger Bernie Sanders, I-VT and while he tried to inject that enthusiasm onto Clinton’s campaign it did not occur and voters wanted something new and she admits the FBI Director James Comey’s letter put just another damper on her campaign’s success where many GOP women voted for Trump who also claims global warming and climate change are a Chinese “hoax,” he has said in the past and while he calls for rebuilding the nation’s infrastructure estimated to cost over $1.8 trillion and where would that money come from given the $18 trillion nation debt mostly held by public institutions retirement funds and Americans.


And the nation while experiencing demonstrations must realize we get one president at a time and Obama voters did not turnout and it showed Obama’s democratic base was only wild about him and candidates are like a new car and controversies and scandals are like dings on the candidate and Obama benefited from that when he ran against Clinton and that did not transfer to her and she had a lower turnout among African-Americans and Trump despite his rhetoric carried Hispanic voters and did well with women voters and the Clinton Foundation and the epic fundraising turned off many people and now Trump has to heal and bring the nation together and Obama was right that he has to be successful for it will make the nation stronger and candidates many times change with the enormity of the office and both political parties got a major wakeup call and want the senate to end insider stock trading and one of the reasons most senators are millionaires. And parties can no longer force candidates that aren’t’ supported by the base and trump believes social media gave him the edge and that it is “more powerful,” then people realized. And how Trump handles the challenges the office faces. The nation waits with trepidation and fear for some groups and we all will see what his administration believes in and how he welds power. And whether there is diversity in his staff or exclusively Anglo men and the nation does not know since he has never been a public servant or in the military what his governance style will be.


>>>October is Rett Syndrome Awareness Month join a strollathon


And friend of mine has a daughter with Reyes syndrome and it is a terrible disease that affects young children and for more go to And October is Rett Syndrome Awareness Month and to participate in a Espinosa2016 or for more go to


>>>>Commission Chamber’s no longer has “In God we trust,” under County seal, was controversial when first done


At the Miami-Dade County Commission Chambers what happened to the “in God We Trust” motto under the Miami-Dade County seal right behind Commission chair Jean Monestine’ s location on the dais and the issue was hotly debated by the 13 member body but it was absent from the wall Tuesday so it must have been removed for some reason that had some groups concerned about the mixing of church and state in government but also appears on money and I will try to find out what the explanation was for its removal.


>>> M-DC head Padron is to be awarded nation’s highest civilian honor Medal of Freedom, as Girls volleyball team wins national championship


Dr. Eduardo Padron to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Barack Obama for his role at Miami-Dade College with 165,000 students that has transformed South Florida with its many campuses and the award is well deserved and he spoke to WPLG reporter Michael Putney about the honor since of the education he came “as an immigrant,” and essentially had nothing. Further, Padron is an economist, first went to Miami-Dade before transferring to the University of Florida and he is an adamant promoter of the educational institute and this honor is well deserved and follows another successful Miami Book Fair and for more go to


What about the girls’ volleyball team?


>>>>The Miami-Dade College girls volleyball team the Lady sharks won the 2016 FCSAA volleyball state championship and while sports are very popular besides education the college has a good number of talented athletes as well.




What about an affordable housing study done for Commissioner Betty Ferguson?


Last week at a Miami-Dade County Committee hearing a major discussion on affordable housing was initiated by Commissioner Barbara Jordan who noted her predecessor betty Ferguson requested where affordable housing was going and the report found the bulk of it was in her District 1 commission district and was not scattered throughout the county and this lack of affordable housing is causing hardship for people seeking workforce housing at a reasonable price.


However, Hillary Clinton is still dealing with a trust deficit with many voters and while the polls tighten. It remains to be seen how Trump will deal with this current issue and the man comes off as a sexual predator always on the hunt for women, even if they are married and the tape runs counter to Republicans and their idea of family values.


And Trump contributed another $66 million to his flagging Campaign and he originally said he would commit some $100 million of his own and thus not bought by special interests that have dominated Washington politics and has turned off Americans and is reflected in low favorability the of government and officials around the nation.




Will Gov. Rick Scott have a bromance with president-elect Trump was one of his earlier supporters?


Scott who was an early supporter of trump went to Washington D.C. and the governor has called Trump a number of times versus the strained relationship he has had with the President Barack Obama administration and people are hoping the change will bring more federal funding for issues important to Florida but the two businessmen are in some ways similar and ran for office using their own money, despite in Scott’s case his company paying a $1.3 billion Medicare fraud settlement and he was never charged.


What about the Congressional races?


The South Florida Republican congressional delegation is staying the same as U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Miami brushed aside challenger Scott Furman who was flawed and U.S. Rep. Carlos Curbello, R-Miami faced former Democratic Party congressman Joe Garcia, D-Miami who lost his bid to get his seat back in the redrawn congressional District and U. Rep. Mario Diaz Balart, R-Miami sailed to victory and the transportation maven is on the U.S. House Appropriations committee and was first elected in 2002 when his older brother Lincoln stepped down and was also on the U.S. House rules committee.


>>> AT a Miami-Dade BCC meeting SEIU Local 1991 union President Martha Baker, R.N. Sounded the alarm to reduced funding’s the end of LIFT, June 17, and its impact on Jackson some $93 to $100 million hit in reduced funding


Martha Baker the President of the SEIU union at Jackson Health System warned County Commissioners’ that a federal funding program LIFT that is critical to JHS was ending June 17 and was going to cost some $93 million to $100 million in reduced funding for the public health system and she urged the Florida Legislature to approve a “Medicaid expansion,” that law makers are reluctant to do since federal funding is expected to be reduced and the state would have to make up the loss funding said County Commissioner Estephan Bovo at a Miami-Dade County Commission meeting Tuesday, but it puts a continued strain where the trust has 55 days of cash on hand and employees 11,816 health workers and is a community jewel.




>>> Commissioner Barreiro calls for creation of “Seniors Trust,” modeled on Children’s Trust of Miami-Dade


The newly reelected county commissioners were sworn in Wednesday and it was the ‘final four years,” joked Commissioner Barbara Jordan since she is termed out along with Commissioners Dennis Moss Bruno Barreiro, Sally Heyman and reelected Mayor Carlos Gimenez who fought off challenger Raquel Regalado and defeated her and they both ran nasty races with attack campaign materials hitting mail boxes almost daily.

What about the County’s swearing in ceremony?


The Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez was sworn in this Tuesday along with reelected commissioners and includes Commissioner Joe Martinez coming back to the 13 member body and the word is Commissioner Xavier Suarez is trying to be named the next commission chair that will be voted on a few days after the ceremony and another name suggested is former state Rep. Estephan Bovo who has become a transportation maven and continually warns that if traffic is not reduced he believes voters could ask to have the half cent sales rescinded given the lack of progress in reducing congestion.


>>>> Installation ceremony for Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez and incoming and reelected Commissioners


MIAMI – The Miami-Dade Board of County Commissioners will hold an installation ceremony on Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2016, at 10 a.m. for Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez and Commissioner Barbara J. Jordan, District 1; Commissioner Audrey Edmonson, District 3; Commissioner Bruno A. Barreiro, District 5; Commissioner Xavier L. Suarez, District 7; Commissioner Dennis C. Moss, District 9; Commissioner-elect Joe A. Martinez, District 11; and Commissioner Esteban Bovo, Jr., District 13. The ceremony will be held at the Miami-Dade County Auditorium, 2901 W Flagler Street, in Miami. Guests are asked to arrive by 9:30 a.m.


What did reelected commissioner Bruno Barreiro say about creating a senior’s Trust?


Commissioner Barreiro after he was sworn in said in these last few years on the commission that he wanted to create a trust to help seniors similar to The Children’s Trust of Miami-Dade County and given the number of people retiring without the resources needed this could be a novel idea an widely supported if it was done right with the proper oversight.


What about returning Commissioner Joe Martinez?


Commissioner Martinez twice the commission chair after being sworn in joked he had been watching the “show,” again on cable since he was returning back to the body after a hiatus of a few years when he ran for Mayor. And Martinez was first elected to the commission back in 2000 an has seen many a contentious meetings


Press release: A live webcast will also be broadcast, visit


WHO: Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez and members of the Miami-Dade Board of County Commissioners


WHAT: Installation ceremony for Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez and incoming and reelected Commissioners


WHEN: Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2016, at 10 a.m. Guests are asked to arrive by 9:30 a.m.

WHERE: Miami-Dade County Auditorium

2901 W Flagler Street, Miami, Florida




 January – October 2016
Rooms Sold
January – October 2016 January – October 2015 % Change vs. 2015
12,333,908 12,095,296 +2.0%
Rooms Supply
January – October 2016 January – October 2015 % Change vs. 2015
53,769 51,613 +4.2%
Miami #6 – Revenue Per Available Room (RevPar)
January – October 2016 January – October 2015 % Change vs. 2015
$144.07 $150.22 -4.1%
Miami #5- Average Daily Room Rate (ADR)
January – October 2016 January – October 2015 % Change vs. 2015
$188.42 $192.31 -2.0%
Miami #11 – Average Daily Occupancy
January – October 2016 January – October 2015 % Change vs. 2015
76.5% 78.1% -2.1%


>>> Mayor Gimenez beats insurgent challenger Regalado in contentious race, she calls for an elected supervisor of elections


Mayor Carlos Gimenez was able to close the deal with countywide voters defeating his opponent Raquel Regalado and she is now pushing for an elected supervisor of elections like many other Florida Counties but critics see it as just creating a new political office like was done with the property appraiser a few years ago and also pays very well but people were concerned whether she could run the county and a better fit would be mayor of Miami like her father Tomas Regalado who is termed out next year. And Regalado went after Gimenez to his ties to lobbyist including his campaign finance manager once married to a prominent lobbyist attorney. And for pre go to;


>>>> Commissioner Jordan breathing life into the IRP, county’s $100,000 funding for task force work group on how to create body with independence coming from commission’s Auditor’s department, will include three members picked by the PBA


“I just want to get it done,” said County Commissioner Barbara Jordan on creating a working group task force to study the best way to create an Independent review Panel, (IRP) dissolved during the great recession when budgets were tight. She wanted the panel to include three members picked by the Police Benevolent Association and also members picked by the League of Women Voters, Save Dade and a member from the National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI) suggested by Daniella Levine Cava and the effort is to make the panel as nonpolitical as possible and above “reproach,” said Commissioner Estephan Bovo, Jr., at Tuesday’s commission meeting. Funding for staff, and a future IRP is $100,000 which was found in the Commission Auditor’s budget after Chief Auditor Charles Anderson passed suddenly last year and his replacement has yet to be found. However, The IRP which hears residents’ complaints from police to a host of other issues was hated by PBA head John Rivera and he crossed swords with the old IRP many times, sometimes complaining about the body to commissioners and Bovo wanted to be sure in earlier discussions that law enforcement knows “we have their backs,’ he has said in the past. And Jordan hopes to get the recommendations in the next 90 days and the county commission will review the matter again, she said Tuesday.


What about Commissioner Juan C. Zapata’s term on the body that is winding down at the end of the month. Zapata during his four years in office has focused on infrastructure of many projects the county does but cannot maintain the facilities. He also wanted his district 11 in the west Dade to get its fair share of county funding that has lagged over the years and he is being followed into office by former commission Chair Joe Martinez who after 10 years in office was termed out and he lost his race to be county mayor to Carlos Gimenez.


Zapata a contrarian to how the county has operated in the past was a good member on the body and the former state representative bought a new perspective to his District 11 seat and has fought hard for his western Dade community that faces horrendous traffic if someone wants to go downtown and will be missed on the body and the Miami Chamber of Commerce Wednesday gave him a shout out and he brought a different perspective on how County government worked and drew attention to internal administrative costs and procurement issues.


And an employee of Miami-Dade County Clerk Harvey Ruvin was arrested by the OIG for credit card fraud and to read the report go to


>>> Past WDR: What happened at the Value Adjustment Board meeting Friday?


The Miami-Dade Value Adjustment Board (VAB) held its public meeting in the commission chambers and was televised. Outgoing County Commissioner Juan C. Zapata chaired the meeting attended by Jose Pepe Diaz, and mayoral candidate Raquel Regalado and the VAB interviewed candidates to be the board’s counsel and pays $150.00 per hour and a number people that applied nine would later withdraw and the man selected by a vote was Raphael Maraitz and a contract will be negotiated and come back to be ratified on Nov. 30. And this VAB is where homeowners appeal any county property assessment and the County IG did a study of the body and suggested some appeal attorneys were too close to staff and all the candidates mentioned that past friendliness and it to be free of such taint.


What about the UM pedestrian bridge being built across U.S.1, and a one year delay?


The pedestrian bridge is said to be open a year late after an elevator shafts orientation was wrong and is being watched closely by the community since a number of UM students were killed crossing streets and the County took the project on and began it just after Carlos Gimenez announced he was running for reelection again. And I mentioned the delay to assistant mayor Alena Hudack and she noted there had been “problems with the contractor,” she believed.


>>> County Parks to get signs warning of “wildlife in parks, using emogies for bears, alligators, and foxes are seen at “Amelia Earhart Park,” at night, says Bovo


Sen. Javier Souto sponsored the legislation to have new signs to try to warn people that there is a lot of “wildlife,” in Miami-Dade and when they come to the parks to be aware they might see a “bear,” panther and foxes are frequently seen at night at Amelia Earhart Park noted Bovo. And given the “20 languages spoken in the county. Souto once he learned what a mojoie was said to use these renderings and the tragedy in Disney World may have prompted this discussion. Further county attorney’s said there would not likely be any liability to the County since it is not providing a safe Harbour for the wildlife that exists in Florida.


What about MIA?


>>>> MIA awarded “Most innovative award,” by national association, storm Mathew had marginal impact


MIA Director Emilio Gonzalez told the tourism committee last week that MIA is like a “small city,” with “120,000 passengers daily and 40,000 county employees and he said the facility was spared when Hurricane Mathew approached and the storm may have had little impact on future numbers he believed. Further MIA won a national award as “being one of the most innovative in the nation,” and Gonzalez noted that was a big deal and with all the retail the mission is enhanced revenues for the international hub.


And the Greater ‘Miami Visitors and Convention Center Bureau CEO William Talbert, III’’, was upbeat as ever and the Bureau’s Annual meeting is being held at the Hard Rock Stadium Oct. 25 a Tuesday and all were invited he told commissioners and this lack of a major landfall by the storm will impact revenues but not as bad as I once thought. And with stadium’s renovations the Super Bowl is coming back in a few years.


>>> The Miami-Dade Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) is asking Gov. Rick Scott to appoint a member to the regional planning board and the request came from Rebeca Sosa and she is close with Scott. And other municipal representatives come from Dade cities with over 50,000 residents and back in 2001 one governor representative Ron Krongold tried to get the MPO back then to fund to the tune of $10 million a local A.M. radio station to-do traffic updates (owned by prominent Haitian Rudy Moise, D.O. that I pointed out these were free from all the other stations and was part of their federal community benefit package with federal agencies. And had then Commissioner Joe Martinez said “You’re on fire, bail out,” he told Krongold who was fighting the issue on the MPO and Bush would later remove him from the body after this incident.


>>> And Commissioner Javier Souto wants the MPO to study water taxis and using the extensive canal and water routes to reduce road congestion and Miami used to be a major boating manufacturer he said during World War II and it could become a considerable tourist draw he suggested at the MPO on Thursday and the man is the longest serving commissioner along with Commissioner Dennis Moss..


What about the IRP?


Many people at the public budget hearing wanted the Independent review Panel (IRP) resurrected and the board was sun setted out of business during the budget crunch years ago and had its executive director Eduardo Diaz, Ph.D. being well paid and the panel was controversial with the County’s police union and its leader John Rivera.

Gimenez said he supported the IRP but believed. The IRP because of this new technology is expected to have less cases than in the past and the Watchdog Report was the only press that attended these IRP meetings of the panel made up of attorney’s and the panel worked closely with the Miami-Dade Community Relations Board (CRB) in trying to keep the community calm after police incidents especially shootings that many times are including young children caught in the crossfire. And the CRB wanted to join a city of Miami amicus brief in support of the subpoena power the city’s Independent Review Panel has but was put off because of short time to join and it would need a BCC approval and with a deadline looming was considered not possible and the CRB Chair Ed Shoat is a top notch defense attorney and he has represented many high profile cases during his extensive legal career.

Honor code



>>>> WPLG channel 10 donates 2,800 books to Tucker Elementary in Coconut Grove


And here is the report


And since the district is self-insured when it comes to Medicare fraud the office is much needed and recently discovered some coaches bringing baseball players from Mexico and Cuba who attendee sports academies in violation of Florida statutes and it is a great read.


And WPLG Channel 10 donated Some 28,000 books after a book drive to Tucker Elementary School in coconut Grove and employees of the station were given a proclamation by county Commissioner Xavier Suarez during a ceremony and was an ongoing project for the station and the books combine with a new workout room donated a few months ago. And the schools motto is ‘Tucker tough’ and it is a great local school in the community.


>>> Pets for Vets and Teaching Responsible Pet Ownership to Kids


Press release: County Commissioners have unanimously adopted two initiatives, sponsored by Commissioner Sosa, to better the lives of Miami-Dade County’s pets. In a move to help connect veterans with pets, Commissioner Sosa advanced legislation that waives adoption and spay/neuter fees for qualifying individuals. This new initiative is meant to give Miami-Dade County’s over 60,000 veterans of war greater access to the health benefits of pet ownership. Recent evidence suggests that bonding with animals greatly reduces stress and the effects associated with PTSD, a condition identified by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs as afflicting the veteran population.

Additionally, Commissioner Sosa filed legislation to expand the Responsible Pet Ownership Curriculum. The incredibly successful program, an initiative sponsored by Commissioner Sosa in 2013, now teaches over 89,000 elementary school students the principles of responsible pet ownership. This new measure seeks additional funding to bring the program to our community’s junior high and high school students.

“I truly believe that our veterans are this community’s greatest source of pride, and I know that they will give our pets warm and loving homes,” said Commissioner Sosa. “We are forever indebted to them for their service and protection of our freedoms.” Continued Commissioner Sosa, “In 2013 when I sponsored the initiative to teach our children the importance of responsible pet ownership I could never have imagined just how great the program would have turned out. It is my hope that we can grow the program to our older students, who can play a larger role in saving animals.”

Pets for Vets legislation:




>>> Preparing for Hurricane Mathew to button up JHS cost $5.6 million, has to be done once state of emergency is called, hospital is also designated as the anchor hospital for natural disasters and WMD     


What happened at the daylong committee meeting?


The cost to prepare for Hurricane Mathew at JHS was some $5.6 million and one trustee was surprised at the unbudgeted cost but JHS CEO Carlos Migoya noted Mayor Carlos Gimenez declared a state of emergency and busses and other public transportation ceased. And because JHS is the regional district hospital when natural disasters occur a they have to button up and harden the facility and was a major cost for the health trust after numerous hurricanes hit south Florida in the early 2000s but is something that has to be done and does push up over time costs.


What about a commissioner going to Jackson health System (JHS) for a test and one good thing was said by SEIU 1991leader by Nurse Martha Baker. She remarked she was not aware of the official getting treated which is a good thing since years ago elected leaders got different treatment and sometimes got friends in for free medical care even though they came from different countries and it was a friends and family medical plan and was pushed to the max by ex-commissioner Pedro Reberado, who would ask the trust for different supplies and even included over a 1000 tabs of Cipro a true miracle drug in South America. But with new management that changed and Reberado was later arrested for having received money from staffers for his office and for more go too:


>>>> Richard Thurer, M.D. a well-respected cardiothoracic surgeon after working at Jackson Memorial since the 1980s and taught numerous fellows and residents the art of heart surgery an eight year process for a fellow and the man and his wife Penny are active in many organizations including art and culture and back in 1982. I did the testing for a cardiac pacemaker implant with the surgeon back then when I worked for Cordis Corp. Further, Thurer chaired the peer review committee for many years


The Trauma Center at Jackson South Community hospital is getting very busy on weekends and the new center is a community jewel with some of the best Trauma surgeons in the nation and when it first opened the state questioned if it was needed since Kendall regional also has a trauma center as well but this new location is busy on weekends and is much appreciated.


The PHT will be looking for new trustees, only the best of best must apply


The PHT Nominating committee is meeting and this is the process to find new trustees for the seven member board and is the premier board any citizen can sit on but it is very time consuming and only the best of the best should apply because every once in a while we get a citizen lite who do not pull their weight and the board should not be a “resume builder,” as one trustee told me years ago.


Please hold Monday, December 5, 2016 to reconvene the Public Health Trust (PHT) Nominating Council at 10:00 AM at Jackson Memorial Hospital, located at 1611 N.W. 12th Avenue (see directions below). The meeting will be held in the West Wing Board Room and lunch will be provided. The agenda will be provided prior to the PHT Nominating Council meeting.


Please confirm your availability by emailing Marilyn Moss at<> or (305) 585-8625 by October 28th.

>>> Jackson Health System to open new renovated primary care clinic in lobby of Stephen P. Clark Center, Tuesday at 9:00 a.m.


Press release: We know that Miami-Dade County employees are true believers in the power of public services like Jackson Health System. We are proud to be re-introducing one of our specialized programs designed especially to serve them: the Downtown Medical Center in the lobby of the Stephen P. Clark Center.


The Downtown Medical Center has been recently renovated and upgraded to provide primary care services that are convenient for County employees, including both scheduled appointments and walk-in care. The center will continue operating from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays.


The physicians and staff at the Downtown Medical Center represent the same high level of expertise that you have come to expect from Jackson’s programs and facilities across Miami Dade County, and we know many County employees take advantage of these services near their homes and other work sites. Our centralized electronic medical record means we can provide a seamless experience regardless of which Jackson facility they choose. To celebrate this evolution in the center’s mission, please join us for a ribbon-cutting on Tuesday, November 15 at 9 a.m., with thanks to Chairman Jean Monestime for accommodating this reception.


>>> GOB oversight board doing good job, main campus hospital looks great, halls glisten and welcome patients to world class public healthcare, major change since 1997


The Watchdog Report covered the GOB oversight board made up of citizens with specific skills sets and is the public firewall of how the $830 million in GOB bonds are being spent. And the GOB committee chair is Jose Luis Gomez and the group overseeing these new dollars are taking their job very seriously and are doing a good job of overseeing the projects including approving new fuel lines for generators in dire need of replacement and cost $205,839 of which $234,489 will come from bond proceeds state’s committee documentation.


How does Jackson look?


Since 1997 I have covered Jackson health System and the hospitals transformation is remarkable and the hospital is more inviting and much easier to navigate through its glistening hallways that used to have a worn look and JHS is reaching new heights in patient care and patient experience at the public hospital that receives some $350 million in public funding but given the level of charity care over $500 million.. However, PHT CEO Carlos Migoya working with the unions has transformed the world class healthcare institution that is affiliated with the University Of Miami Miller Medical School into the community jewel we need.




>>>> With death of Fidel Castro, 90, Miami erupts into song and dancing politicians flock to Versailles. a Cuban exile outpost in Little Havana, with American and Cuban flags


Miami erupted in celebration and song over the weekend with the announcement that Fidel Castro died at 90 and while local officials note caution because of the death things like Freedom and a free press will not come to the island only 90 miles from America. Since his brother Raul still runs the country. But officials believe there will be little change with his brother Raul Casatro still in charge and will be one of President –Elect Donald Trump’s first foreign policy issues that has American Airlines flying direct to Havana and hotels are lined up to open shop.


What about the media?


Both current Mayor Tomas Regalado were interviewed and also former Miami Mayor Xavier Suarez and in Suarez’s and they discussed the way the Cuban dysphoria and how it changed Miami and its demographics since two million Cubn Americans live in Miami-Dade and Little Havana is ground zero for the exile community. And rumors of his death was almost a weekly occurrence and was doubted originally but turned out to be true finally.


>>>PAST WDR: Miami PD to get Ar-15s for active shooter situations, small caliber bullet can penetrate body armor many times worn by active shooters


The Miami Police department’s officers will be getting new rifles including the Bush master similar to a AR-15 since some situations put officers in a situation where they need the extra firepower and having the police chief citing the San Bernardino incident, Pulse and others tragic shootings from around the country. And here is more on the rifle that some3.5 million are estimated in circulation.


>>>> Will Commissioner Francis Suarez institute new 25 mph speed limits, on residential streets commission to consider changing speed limit on all residential streets will be discussed Nov. 19 commission meeting


Miami Commissioner Francis Suarez a member of the County’s Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) is pushing making the speed limit in Miami to be 25 miles an hour on Thursday at the Miami Commission meeting. And Suarez is a possible mayoral candidate and the city is asking the county to consider this change.


>>> Miami taxpayers better hold on to their wallets as leaky rusted police evidence trailer has 564 cases compromised from homicides to suicides, will be a wok program for suing attorneys and calls into question the integrity of all these cases and is another unacceptable Miami moment that will have legs


What the heck is going on at the City of Miami Police Department that has a rusty leaky trailer as the evidence room for some 564 cases including homicides and suicides compromised because of exposure to the elements under the 1-95 underpass near police headquarters and was exposed by blogger Al Crespo and to read the disturbing story go to

>>>>The 35 King Mango Strut is coming to Coconut Grove on Saturday Dec. 31 at 2:00p.m. And the organization is getting $10,000 in funding from the Miami Exhibition and Sports Authority (MESA) and the item passed at a past MESA meeting that the Watchdog report covered. And the zany parade is a real tourist draw with media from around the world covering the satirical show that lampoons political leaders and others.


What about potential lawsuits against Miami?


While the city is flush with some $200 million in reserves Miami taxpayers better hold on for attorneys are salivating at the lawsuits they will be able to bring and given the condition of the container this neglect may have come while Johnny Martinez was city manager because the determination and rust is significant. However, this kind of neglect is almost criminal and defendants cannot be cleared or correctly charged for some of these violent crimes and this kind if dereliction of duty and responsibility to Miamians is beyond belief and since this kind of stuff still surfaces it must not be condoned for taxpayers and the code of justice for all deserves better as the city fills its coffers with traffic congestion and overdevelopment.


What about Miami commissioner’s net worth for the year?


Miami Commissioners Francis Suarez, Frank Carollo, Keon Hardeman, Ken Russell and Wilfredo Gort, and Mayor Tomas Regalado financial disclosures show Regalado’s net worth was $12,000 through July 2016, Carollo is worth $952,534 Gort lists $414,000 for 2016 Russell has $397,603 Hardeman has ($153,000.00) and Gort owns a property in Tavernier worth $200,000 and another house in Sebring Florida valued at $7,000.

>> As you can see, there are several units represented, but a lot may be missing. Please help to promote this project for its potential for interdisciplinary curricular integration, and feel free to contribute work to this collection, which can be as easy as emailing a PDF, URL, or other file (even if some things aren’t captured, they can help with that, too)! Contact Jamie Rogers ( or Dr. Robert Gutsche Jr. ( for more information, or to add the work of your units or recommend others.

As always, you can visit our

Communications Coordinator

FIU Sea Level Logo website for more info, or email us ( with any questions and/or recommendations for other events to include. Thank you,


City of Sweetwater’s running man video totally different from the one in MIAMI and has certain City of Sweetwater edge to but it’s a must see it




>>> While president-elect Trump says Climate Change is a “Chinese hoax,” octopus in water in Miami Beach parking garage says otherwise, more sea creatures on land expected in the future!


An octopus wars found in a Miami Beach parking garage and brings home climate change and global warming and experts say to expect more creatures from the seas to be seen on land and while the city is trying to mitigate the sea level rise damage that has fish coming through gratings when the King tides hit as last week demonstrated and the moon was closer than it had been for years and for more go to


>>> New title at Beach City Hall helps people navigate their government mayor and commission have a Director of First Impressions, a welcome sign first seen at Baptist Health South Florida


The Office of the Mayor and Commission has a great new tag line with the receptionist having a card that says Jacqueline Velazquez is the Director of First Impressions and it is a welcome title for people trying to navigate local government and I first saw the line at South Miami Hospital owned by Baptist Health South Florida and these first impressions especially with government are important in the 34 municipalities in Miami-Dade.


PAST WDR: With Zika worries tourist mavens say “after 12 days we are open for business and doing well,” said William Talbert, III, the CEO of the Greater Miami Visitors and Tourism bureau (GMCVB) at a commission meeting concerning the Zika virus and he noted. Mayor Carlos Gimenez had been doing an outstanding job in interviews with the press trying to keep the issue in context and what Miami-Dade is doing to diminish the bugs impact on the critical tourism industry, whose taxes pay for a host of county facilities and organizations from the Homeless Trust to Jackson Health System to name a few and this revenue is critical to many of these organizations. As the County runs up to its public budget hearings in September.



November 19th, 2016


Meeting Date:            Tuesday November 22nd
Meeting Time:            8:30 AM
Meeting Place:          Manolo’s Restaurant, 7th and Washington Ave., South Beach


Russell Galbut, President of Crescent Heights, owner of the 5th and Alton site, will be presenting the latest development plans for the site at the November 22nd meeting of the Tuesday Morning breakfast Club.

The plans were recently approved.  There have been several plans put forward in the past including
one for a transportation hub to be located on the ground floor on land donated by the developer
with a residential tower above. Current plans do not call for retaining the North Shore hospital

There is no charge and everyone is welcome.

David Kelsey, Moderator

>>> Mayor Levine press release: Dear Friends and Neighbors,


Miami Beach continues to implement and find solutions to aggressively stop the spread of the Zika virus. >>> Press release: Miami Beach Enforces All Prevention Measures – Miami Beach asking residents and businesses to do their part to reduce mosquitoes —


Miami Beach, FL – City officials continue taking all necessary steps to ensure effective and efficient elimination of mosquitoes in the Miami Beach area, including having Code Compliance Officers scour the city to determine and rectify potential risks.
“The city’s public works and sanitation crews have been on overdrive with addressing standing water on the public right-of-way, and we’re also doing our part to make sure the community is stepping up their game with the threat of Zika,” said Code Compliance Manager Sarah Saunders. “Our team is working tirelessly to ensure all business and property owners are complying with ensuring no standing water.”


If code inspectors determine that visible conditions within private property are an immediate threat to healthy, safety or welfare of the public, he/she may order the immediate correction of the violation at the expense of the occupant, owner, or operator. This violation, known as forthwith, carries a fine of $1,000 for the first offense and $2,000 per each additional infraction.


Since the beginning of June, crews have dispersed standing water on streets if it has been stagnant for more than 24 hours. Where a significant volume of water is involved, it is being vacuumed out or treated with an environmentally-friendly larvicide. All showers along the beach walk have standing water removed on a daily basis in the early morning hours, and crews inspect alleyways on a daily basis to remove any litter or illegally dumped waste, which could be a potential breeding ground.


As of January, all catch basins in stormwater drains have been either pumped out to eliminate standing water, or using larvicide where standing water could not be removed or prevented.


At pump stations, the set points on the floats have been adjusted to circulate the water; in addition to having larvicide placed in the wet wells. This year, the City of Miami Beach has invested over one million dollars in vacuum trucks to improve cleanliness of the system. City irrigation systems have also been adjusted to not activate if there has been a recent rain event, and broken irrigation line repairs have been prioritized. At city facilities, larvicide has been introduced into any dumpsters or containers holding water.  All other items collecting rain water have been removed or eliminated.


“All City of Miami Beach employees, working indoors and outdoors, have been provided with mosquito repellent,” added Morales. “We strongly encourage all businesses on this urban-island to take the same precautions with their employees.”




Margulies collection


>>>> Now open


Margulies Collection 2


>>> And the Margulies Warehouse will be opening the season in weeks and to see what art is on display and when it plans to close the season for this community treasure go to


>> Press release: The Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science and Miami Science Barge join together to bring the expression of art to a scientific experiment. Visitors will have the opportunity to create artworks on a drift card that will be deployed into the ocean. These drift cards will help scientists gain understanding of how the ocean currents distribute debris through the Biscayne Bay. Admission is free. Miami Science Barge
1075 Biscayne Boulevard, Miami



>>> Next week the story of how Jungle Island got created and the political connections


With Jungle Island being transferred to new investors in the coming weeks I will do an extensive story on how the initial deal came about and how a report to HUD for a $25 million loan the assumption was all the cruise ship passengers would then come to the attraction. However that did not pan out nor did the over 200 jobs that were supposed to be created but was pushed through the County commission back then and had the county for years paying the HUD interest payments and in many ways this project was doomed to failure but politically connected people were able to pull it off. Stay tuned


>>> After 564 cases compromised in Miami police wet and rusty evidence trailer, law suits will fly along with the miss-justice of Miami residents, what will final bill be?


Miami police rusted and leaky evidence trailer of contaminated evidence in 564 cases will cost taxpayers big time and denies justice in homicides and suicides


The contamination of Miami Police Department evidence raises the question can Miami govern itself and provide justice as was the cases with the 564 criminal cases ranging from homicides and suicides and is totally unacceptable that this was allowed to happen and police leadership must raise the bar for these kind of disasters just continue and after all the lawsuits it will make it more difficult for the city to pay more in police salaries because the law suits could result in real stiff settlements and frankly one can barely believe this was allowed to happen in an American city and Mayor Tomas Regalado has to raise the bar of performance and put an end to this. Since ‘Miami still stumbles through one disaster after another and shows a real house cleaning has to be done because it just keeps happening and an audit turns out to be bogus and why did the blogger Al Crespo have to discover it. Which actually makes it worse and police leadership better get this cleared up and resolved quickly for it taints the whole arrest process and gives the impression that the city is an ongoing criminal enterprise and residents and taxpayers deserve much more of Miami if it is to continue to exist. Which something like this puts into doubt? And must end if the City is to survive and not have a citizens revolt something that has been percolating in some parts of the city.


>>> Public institutions Collaboration must be our goal if South Florida to reach its greatness


Collaboration should be Miami-Dade’s watchword for we are too big with too many challenges and collaboration was one of the main topics at the Greater Miami Chamber’s Goal conference and with FIU President Mark Rosenberg, Ph.D. being chair of the Chamber. South Florida has never been a better position to leverage the academic excellence from the local public institution and not to go it alone and our other public institutions need to work together, like the Children’s Trust of Miami-Dade did recently and helped create some over 3,000 summer jobs with the assistance of the county and public schools district but with the limited resources it is important every tax dollar is used effectively and tax payers are getting there, money worth of these precious and scarce money. And this working together includes the 34 municipalities that many times signore what tis the common good an generally just produces more traffic and chaos since from the homeless population to many other issues there are no boundaries and what happens in one part of Miami-Dade impacts somewhere else for our 1.6 million residents are essentially on a ship and we have to learn to for our public institutions to learn and work together. If we are to attain the greatness South Florida can be while maintaining our environment. >>> And is one of the recommendations on an economic prosperity report done by FIU and is at


>>> One of Watchdog Report’s main missions is to keep watch on all the host of Trust’s in Miami-Dade and these organizations 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 2001 when county commissioners shifted some $ 70 million in unfunded mandates on to organization and that cost has risen to 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 plagued the county back in the 1990’s and was a frequent topic in the media.



>>> 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 17 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.


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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, 2016, 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


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