Archive for May 2017


Watchdog Report Vol.18 No.3 May 28 EST:05.05.00 – Memorial Day issue – Celebrating almost 18 Years of Weekly reliable publishing

I want to thank the readers and friends who contributed to my Pay Pal (and unfortunately I still need help) if you can and with your help. I hope in the coming months to have a better cash flow for Miami is such an expensive city now if you are a renter. Further, since 2000 every person that sent a check got a thank you letter and recently I have not been able to keep that tradition going but I thank you so very much. And my Best to all.

I thank you from the bottom of my heart. And to donate to my pay Pal account go to that accepts most credit cards in a secure site found and if you can help keep me out in the field especially with all the new GOB bonds passed by JHS, M-DCC public school district and needs to be kept watch on, and I am one of the few press that covers these important oversite boards watching how your public billions are being spent. Further, as I close in on my 18th year of weekly publishing. I think I have established myself and hope for many more years with your support.


And here is my philosophy on why I do this?


To have a free neutral community education news service resource available to all. Since over the 17-years I have used my own money to support this (And even returned some money from certain people). >>>> Further, over the past 16-years I have created a free news service brand and community education resource. I have done around 200 radio shows on WLRN 91.3 FM and since Mar.2000 and been an editorial and hard news columnist for The Miami Herald. And in regard to WLRN and why I have not been on Topical Currents for the past year. I apparently had a bad show and management has to approve me to be back on the show. Further here is a national story that ran in all the Tribune papers around the nation and covers the early years of the WDR: and s different version


>>> However, I have not used social media effectively to expand my audience with younger leaders trying to make their mark in Miami-Dade County. Further I have interviewed a large number of political candidates from former President Barack Obama, John Huntsman and presidential candidate John McCain, and a host of others since 2000 after Miami’s election fiasco back then.


>>>And having a member of the press at public meetings gives teeth to the Florida Sunshine Law and open meetings tape recorded keeps good governance in place and reduces waste fraud and abuse, and is why you don’t speed in front of a state trooper for example.


>>>> Further the  in South Florida is an established news service presence, because most people are too busy to go to these important meetings. That is why my motto is ‘I go when you cannot.’ >>> Further, I am very efficient since I work alone and all the information comes through me as a central point allowing me to see things at a 100 mile altitude and being an early warning system when projects have overruns or other issues. But my job is to sound the alarm and I have done so many times over the past years in a host of ways.




ARGUS REPORT: President Trump returns to continued investigations, Kushner backchannel contact with Russians show his widening role, has been done before but investigations continue

OBITUARY: Commissioner Barbara Jordan’s husband Eddie passes at, 76, Known as an educator and teacher.

State Of FLORIDA: Senate candidate Felix Diaz makes an appearance at Miami City Hall, future lobbying practice appears to be lo be on the horizon representing “mural proposal” and unsolicited bid to Miami Omni CRA

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY: Long debate on who can serve on charter Review Task force without conflicts, Suarez believes only “Priests and Nuns would qualify,” [but problem since they] don’t pay “taxes,” — Opioid Task Force, dealing with scourge of overdoes, 33,000 Americans died last year, 3,000 alone in Florida, different treatment than heroin addiction – County’s Opioid task Force says, great need for public detox centers, after state cracks down on pill mills and is exasperating this epidemic.

MIAMI-Dade County Public Schools: FIU Golden Scholarship program helps fund students needing fiscal resources to graduate in four years, great opportunity for Miami-Dade students wanting a higher education

PUBLIC HEALTH TRUST: Community Crown Jewel Ryder Trauma Center has its Silver Anniversary, only Level 1 public trauma center in Miami-Dade, saves lives daily!

CITY OF MIAMI: Is Miami ready for dynastic rule with Regalado’s & Carollo, de La Portilla running?- Virginia Key Advisory Board, still upset with not knowing about city’s plan with developer to have tony Cabana Club, some say it disrespects Historic Black Beach.

CITY OF MIAMI BEACH: >>> Mayor Levine and commission say no to ‘hail Mary’ gambling bill by Florida Legislature

EDITORIALS: Most politicians hate the press- Florida needs Sunshine Amendment many municipalizes out of control and get little press coverage or oversight, legislators on wrong side of this one

LETTERS: important mission of Lotus Village, helping women and children needs community support


>>>To my Muslim Friends may you and your family have a blessed Ramadan?


>>> And a WDR salute to our military this Memorial Day and may we all never forget the sacrifice so many of our citizens have made giving their full measure in the fight for the freedoms we enjoy today.


>>> 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


>>> 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 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 newsletter, The Watchdog Report, celebrates its [18h] 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 Seen on the Streets


>>> President Trump returns to continued investigations, Kushner backchannel contact with Russians show his widening role, has been done before but investigations continue


President Trump’s whirlwind trip is over and in Europe the NATO leaders were disappointed that the president did not affirm Article 5 the mutual protection program that is based on all for one and one for all if any of the 28 nations of NATO. Were attacked. Since trump was critical of the body and how some of the nations on the campaign trail were not pulling their weight in regard to a 2 percent of GDP funding contribution, essentially to have a check on Russia and has been one of the longest most valued alliances in the world and when America was attacked after Sept.11. Nations from NATO sent troops to the Afghanistan war zone and Trump has been playing the Great Disrupter on the world stage. And his decision not to voice support for this bedrock principle has left European Allies in a quandary and Trump supporters suggest he did this to avoid being dragged into some conflict with newer countries on the border of Russia.


However, the issue of White House leaks is disturbing especially when it involves classified information. Further, the issue of terrorism is on the front burner with three terrorist’s attacks last week in Britain, Egypt and Indonesia.


>>> Trump speech in Saudi Arabia has different tone than campaign statements calls for Muslim World to fight radical Islamist terrorists that indiscriminately kill people of all faiths


The Whirlwind of the Donald Trump administration is taking a road trip to Saudi Arabia and later Israel and the White House is leaking like a sieve and critics and supporters would like things to settle down and maybe a little less “drama” said, said Sen. Mitch McConnell a senate leader. However, the trump administration is saying along with federal legislators that things are getting done. But Trump is still going after the media and created a firestorm when he told the Russian Ambassador some classified information that came from Israel and plots by terroist blowing up planes using a laptop computer and Trump saying he can declassify such information but he has the global intelligence community nervous. Further the rogue North Korea launched another missile and is putting their finger in the eyes of China with these frequent tests and has Russia Japan and South Korea on high alert since The Hermit kingdom is so unstable and unpredictable and is just another global problem the trump administration will have to face.


Further, critics are sighting the 25th Amendment in the Constitution but even Democrats are afraid of that option when the vice President and cabinet officers vote to replace the president (either through illness or difficulty in doing the required job).


And that could add instability to future administrations and would make the office more unstable in future years and even Democrats are worried about such a maneuver and its impact on the highest office in the nation


However, Republicans hope he cuts back on his tweets that continue to dominate the weekly news cycle and has reporters exhausted at the sheer volume. Coming during the weekly news cycle and some contradictory statements but the missile launch by North Korea Saturday has the country back on the front burner and the rogue regime is not only threatening Japan, Russia and Seoul but also China and the PRC has a major stake to keep Korea from having a deliverable intercontinental missile with a nuclear warhead. The North Korea ballistic missile launch Saturday and the rogue country continues to defy the Chinese and world organizations condemnation. And the ballistic missile could have a 1,200 mile range but is not capable of carrying a nuclear warhead at this time.


>>> What does the local VA badly need in the Miami Hospital District?


The top VA administrator locally told Miami Commissioners Thursday morning the important medical institution is having patient delays and vets are “missing doctor appointments,” because of the lack of parking and the VA wants the city of Miami to contribute some City Land to be used for parking especially for amputees in wheelchairs and this the kind of issue that is important but will many times fall between the cracks and the Miami Manager a vet of Dessert Storm and the city should try to work something out in the future..


What about Judge Seitz?


U.S. District Court Judge Patricia Seitz once gave a great quote before she sentenced two bothers in Medicare fraud and the defense attorney argued they had paid a portion of their taxes and should get a reduced sentence and she interrupted the attorney saying, “Just stop there, Only in South Florida is stopping at a red light and paying all your taxes an aspirational act,” she sternly said and gave the high profile brothers nine years in the federal Big House.


New Citizen Scientist wanted supply and degradation of their environment


A new Citizen’s for science engagement group called Citizen Scientist’s and the Cloud are monitoring water quality around the nation and they are local eco warriors and I saw one of the programs and it involves retired scientists and retired engineers who are concerned about their drinking water and environment and some of the most distressed areas are in China where years ago The Yangtze River was on fire something that happened once with the Cuyahoga River in Ohio in 1969 that also ‘caught fire’ and convinced president Richard Nixon to create the EPA along with smog alerts in LA, NYC and a host of other cities and prompted most of the clear air and water laws. And for more on the program go to:


And what about CDBG and Meals on wheels cuts?


Further, Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) are being cut substantially and the program feeds thousands of elderly people in Little Havana. Hialeah and at retirement homes, providing socialization and in past years HUD funding was using a poor funding formula in the case of the City of Miami. They had to work with the local congressional delegation to get the needed funding formula changed but in this case that seems unlikely and Trump’s budget does not attack the $19 trillion debt. And for more go to: >>>




>>>>Commissioner Jordan’s husband Eddie passes at, 76, Known as an educator and teacher


The Watchdog sends my prayers with the death of Eddie Jordan, 76, the husband of Miami-Dade County Commissioner Barbara Jordan and her grieving family and for more on the teacher and educator go to


>>>> Update from last week?


Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado said he had an opportunity to speak to HUD Sec. Ben Carson, M.D. about the unique role CDBG block grants plays in Miami such as meals on wheels and the city had to patch the cuts in funding with $10 million in Miami Funding and the meals program also plays a major social role with elderly residents in Little Havana. Carson a neurosurgeon and presidential candidate said The Trump administration is looking for the private sector partnerships called P3   and he believes there are plenty   for public housing to be done this way like Liberty Square, that partners the Related Group with Miami-Dade County and the   deal raised eyebrows with the county’s Inspector General recently with some communities getting chicken dinners. And here is more: however given the Trump proposed budget getting HUD funding flexibility is highly unlikely.


>>> A PBS Channel 2 program called The Crowd and the Cloud documents the thousands of people that are documenting water quality as Citizen Scientists and participants range from retired engineers and scientists and with the EPA budget cuts the local people on site in their community and these people from all around the nation


>>> Connect Miami is a new program trying to get residents to engage with their neighbors and friends to broaden community interaction something that at times may be difficult to do. And for more go to And Many of the events are free.




>>>> Senate candidate Jose Felix Diaz makes an appearance at Miami City Hall, future lobbying practice appears to be lo be on the horizon representing “mural proposal” and is a unsolicited bid


Former state Rep Jose “Felix” Diaz, R, Miami made a surprise visit to the Miami City Hall and he said any talk of him replacing Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi is false (Since she did not join the new Trump administration) and is” not in his cards,” and he is running for Sen. District 40 after resigned Sen. Frank Artiles, R-Miami, was forced to resign after a racially tinged rant to fellow senators. Candidate Diaz was there apparently as lobbyist for an unsolicited bid for mural space representing Becker Board with the Omni CRA and could bring $300.000 to the CRA in revenues.


However critics argued it was “eye pollution,” and something the city has too much of said Peter Ehrlich, and other citizens in the chambers during the debate and the item was deferred. And I only write about Diaz. Since I watched former state Sen. Miguel de La Portilla, R-Miami push through red light camera legislation and he walked around the chambers like it was his living room years go, and this is one of the downsides of a citizen legislature. Since it forces legislators to supplement their income and lobbying is at the top of the list and I just want them to follow the rules which Diaz did after I checked his lobbying form with the city.


>>>Further to search for any Florida Constitution officers net worth go to and for more on Diaz go:


>>> What will Gov. Scott veto in state’s $83.5 billion budget?


Gov. Rick Scott has been given an $83.5 Billion budget by the legislature for the state’s next fiscal year and he is said to be sharpening the budget veto pen and he has only one more budget until he is termed out. But a special Legislative session may be called since the constitutional Amendment for legal Marijuana has yet to be settled and to read the governor’s budget go to.


What about former state Rep. Eric Fresen, R-Miami and the IRS?


Fresen is going before a federal judge for sentencing for owing $30,000 to the IRS and his home was foreclosed on and the former state rep carried a lot of water for the Charter School industry and was also a Genting lobbyist looking to bring gambling to Miami. And for more go to Further, he did not pay taxes for eight years and people are outraged and shows between Artiles the South Florida delegation better lift the bar concerning their activities and women who are not their wives while they claim to be a family man, and elected officials who get convicted many times lose any public pension and can be a considerable deterrent that did not work with Fresen and his family and he could be sentenced a year in federal prison.


The Watchdog Report can’t believe how many taxpayers are shocked he did not pay taxes for 8 years and they would never temp the federal agency in this way and it this hypocrisy that really annoys most taxpayers and U.S. District Judge Robert Scola has a history of rough sentences when comes to betraying the public trust when it is a state lawmaker and while a plea deal he could get a year in jail.




>>>Long debate on who can serve charter Review Task force without conflicts, Suarez believes only “Priests and Nuns” would qualify, but [but problem they] don’t pay “taxes,”


The debate Tuesday on if lobbyist should be on the new county charter review task force Committee was disheartening and had one Commissioner Jose “Pepe” Diaz wondering if the group might ask voters to eliminate term limits passed by voter’s years ago and go into effect in 2020.


Further Commissioner Rebeca Sosa noted one of the great things about the commission is commissioners are nonpartisan and the body represents “everyone in the county.” She also disagreed with anything “retroactive,” she believed. “Remember how “messed up it was before,” said Diaz first elected back in 2002 and replaced Miriam Alonso after she was indicted for having a campaign slush fund where her commission aide after Alonso viewed the aides dead husband. The aide gave $10,000 to the commissioner keeping $1,000 for herself.


However when it came to Task Force members Commissioner Xavier Suarez said appointees without conflicts would only be “Priests or Nuns,” but he also no noted they don’t pay taxes which might preclude them from serving he considered.


However BCC Chair Estephan ‘Steve” Bovo said in the community “many believe the system is compromised,” the chair said he is concerned the perception will be that “the process is cooked from the beginning,” said Bovo. Further, Commissioner Dennis Moss noted a previous task force was a” mess,” after media criticism on the past charter task force. And Bovo said he “wants to ban lobbyist, since many believe the system is compromised in the community,” he observed.


Diaz said a past task force was highly criticized in the media and community and since 2000. I have covered Charter Review committees which back then was chaired by former County Attorney Murray Greenberg and then manager Merrett Stierheim was on it as well.


What about the Haitian History Bee held in the County Commission chambers?


Some very smart Haitian students fielded questions on a variety of topics but an emphasis on the country’s diverse history and the role Haitian soldiers played in the U.S. Revolutionary War and the country has a long history with France who some Haitians blame for many of the past political interferences.


What did the county manager say about my being a columnist for The Miami Herald?


Stierheim at a charter review meeting said “My God Ricker now you are a Herald columnist,” he joked since we had gotten to know each other over the years.


>>> Commissioner Levine Cava wants greater diversity on numerous County boards, says women are severely unrepresented on these commission boards


County Commissioner Daniela Levine Cava is asking County Clerk Harvey Ruvin to give breakdown on how many women are one of the county’s 93 commission created boards including the Public Health Trust and Levine Cava noted that at least half of the population of Miami-Dade are women and should be represented on these numerous boards and had County Commissioner Jose “Pepe” Diaz saying he is doing his part since “all his staff,” are women and he appointed a women to the Charter Review Committee Diaz, noted.


What about the need for a new court house County Commission discussion?


Judges and high profile attorneys spoke to commissioners about the need for a new county courthouse including Steve Zack a past president of the American Bar Association and Zack was part of the 2000 election legal team in Gore Vs. Bush and he was the first Cuban American to hold that legal perch. And the county is trying to figure a way to fund this needed courthouse including a P3 proposal as a possibility and has been pushed by Commissioner Sally Heyman also an attorney.


>>> Will Pinecrest get connected to county’s water sewer system, has 5,000 septic tanks but who will pay?


Further, PInecrest has some 5,000 households on septic tanks and the county administration is mulling on how to pay for it since funding cannot come from current rate payers and has to finance in another matter but ` leak sewage into Biscayne Bay and has been an issue for years.


>>>> GMCVB press release: For April 2017, hotel room occupancy in Greater Miami and the Beaches reached 81.0 %, increasing by +0.9% year on year.   ADR increased by +2.3%, and RevPAR increased by +3.2%, ranking Greater Miami’s hotel market as one of the top five in the nation among the top 25 hotel markets in the U.S. as reported by Smith Travel Research.

Hotel rooms sold for the same time period increased by +5.5 % compared to the same time in 2016, absorbing the +4.6 % increase in hotel room inventory year on year.

The destination continues to be impacted by global economies, Miami Beach Convention Center expansion and renovation, an increase in hotel room inventory, and other factors including alternative accommodations.

 April 2017
Rooms Sold
April 2017 April 2016 % Change vs. 2016
1,345,673 1,275,366 +5.5%
Rooms Supply
April 2017 April 2016 % Change vs. 2016
55,354 52,922 +4.6%
Miami #4- Revenue Per Available Room (RevPAR)
   April 2017 April 2016 % Change vs. 2016
$168.51 $163.30 +3.2%
Miami #4- Average Daily Room Rate (ADR)
April 2017 April 2016 % Change vs. 2016
$207.94 $203.29 +2.3%
Miami #5 – Occupancy
April 2017 April 2016 % Change vs. 2016
81.0% 80.3% +0.9%


>>>PAST WDR Opioid Task Force, dealing with scourge of overdoes, 33,000 Americans died last year, 3,000 alone in Florida, different treatment than heroin addiction


The Miami-Dade County Opioid Task force met Monday and heard some of the committee recommendation on how to end this scourge that kills 33,000 people in the nation of overdoses and last year Florida saw 3,000 deaths from overdoses and it cuts across all ethnic lines an even physicians are saying they were guilty as well after medical reviews indicated treating someone for pain was beneficial and the clinicians were told many of these drugs were less addictive than in the past which turned out not to be true and many users in pain shifted to cheap Mexican yellow heroin mixed with very toxic fentanyl mainly from China and is highly toxic and a drop can easily kill.


Further, in New Hampshire they are arresting dealers as killers when one of their doses kills someone and here in Miami-Dade government leaders were warned about this scourge about three years ago when former addict now clean, Jon Schmidt told some commission staff the county was not prepared for the onslaught coming. And discussions are going on to increase the availability of NarCan, a drug that reverse the overdose but also has some addicts getting an immunity to the dose that may have to be given twice to the slumped over person. And the task Force will be presenting their recommendations in the coming weeks to Mayor Carlos Gimenez.

>>> County’s Youth Commission holds last joint meeting with the Board of County Commissioners, for the year, host of commissioners going to top schools in the nation.


The Miami-Dade Youth Commission started a few years ago by Commissioner Barbara Jordan and this year’s class of commissioners were very impressive and in the past bullying and community violence were some off the students past top concerns. And when Commission Chair Bovo spoke to them he was nervous but “very respectful since these seniors could be the County’s leadership of the future. Further the young commissioners got citations and many of them are going to some of the top universities in the nation such as FIU, Cornell, Princeton and the Wharton School of business and these young people show the community should have a bright future.


>>> The office of the Inspector General released their Annual Report and to see what County IG Mary Cagle has accomplished over the past year go to:




>> FIU Golden Scholarship program helps fund students needing fiscal resources to graduate in four years, great opportunity for Miami-Dade students wanting a higher education


>>> FIU GOLDEN Scholar program funds for the economically distressed in Miami-Dade and is a new initiative started by the FIU Foundation


Florida international university President Marc Rosenberg, Ph.D spoke to the Miami-Dade Schoolboard about a new scholarship program called Golden Scholars and the FIU foundation is guaranteeing anyone that wants to work hard and qualifies will be able to get a degree in four years if the student economically cannot pay and it is a great program and school board members were enthusiastic in their support of FIU Foundation and its 54,000 students and for more on the program go to


FIU’s promise to 2017 freshmen: As good as gold

FIU Foundation News, Inspiration and Impact, Student | No Comments

FIU is making a promise to the 2017 freshman class: If your family cannot help you pay for college, FIU will. Call it a Golden Promise. FIU’s Golden Promise guarantees…

Read More

>>>>> PAST WDR: Friends of WLRN and District at impasse little progress in getting new operating agreement with the district an entity that owns the WLRN license and Supt Alberto Carvalho says he has ‘no interest,” in selling the station or “determine content”


>>> What about the federal IG audit and investigation of Friends of WLRN?


WLRN on Wednesday at the school board received some federal grants for the station that are normal and generally occur every year said Supt. Alberto Carvalho in the press room while the meeting ws going on and the grant amounts are $1,031,346 for the grant period from Oct.1 through Sept.30, 2018. Further the Corporation for Public Broadcasting grants the funding under the Radio Community Service grant in the approximate amount of $655,416 for that duration.


The Watchdog Report asked Carvalho and the district’s Chief Auditor if there was any news on the federal IGs audit of Friends of WLRN the fundraising arm for the WLRN but is facing an IG inquiry since the organization has not been able to produce a certified audit after the organizations CFO was fired and he had used an inappropriate formula that may have ginned up the federal draw down from the Corporation of Public Broadcasting. And for more go to


And here is the Friends CFO job description that apparently has been filled


>>> And here is the audit report done by the District and what has been going on at Friends and the school board’s options and it is a great read.


When it comes to the District’s relationship with WLRN there has been little progress and the item will not be discussed again until the School Audit and Budget review Committee has a signed actual agreement to review after a four hour meeting with much of the discussion on WLRN and Friends of WLRN.


And under former Superintendent Rudy Cruz the organization Friends of WLRN made a number of changes in their bylaws that currently has Superintendent Alberto Carvalho trying to clarify the relationship including another entity SFMC that pays for the News Director’s high-end salary of $200,000 after news director Tom Hudson left from PBS a few years ago.


And the station did not want staff and employees to be Miami-Dade District employees because then WLRN would have to pay union wages and does not have to know since the employees are not district employees. Further there is said to be other inequities in pay funded by an organization called South Florida Media Company (SFMC). Further an auditor’s memo states “SFPM is not subject to public disclosures of significant information that is typically included in Form 990 tax returns,” wrote the chief auditor. And during the audit committee there were no representatives of Friends or WLRN present.


Further, the issue of Friends audits has dominated the headlines but previous years certified audits are on line at the friends of WLRN web page an there office is on Flagler Street versus the school district and i wanted to attend one of WLRN and friends board meetings but I found no information how I could attend a meeting .


The odd thing is that one or two board members are on the Friends Board including Dr. Michael Karp and other board members over the tears but some board members have spotty attendance record and at past audit committee meetings Perla Tabares Hantmen has asked for a Friends update every three months but that has not been forth coming. And Hantman reminded the board she has been on this for years and I have reporter audit packets from 20009 and WLRN and Friends are peppered with references in the minutes including 2015 packets. Further, in Hantman’s case she had a good attendance.




>>> CEO Migoya, gets rave reviews, community jewel Ryder Trauma Center has silver anniversary, only Level 1 public trauma center in Miami-Dade and saves lives daily


President and CEO Carlos Migoya got rave reviews in his capacity and he took over back in 2010 when the health system was on the ropes fiscally and he turned that around since his administration was in place and while challenges are ahead the trustees gave his performance unanimous 4s the highest in a 1 to 4 rating system and the PHT Nominating Committee met and interviewed a number of very qualified candidates and the Trust may get another woman on the board something the County’s commission on women suggested commissioners look for on the board where there are 2 women on the seven member board. And for more go to on Migoya’s review go     and his pay will be $1.05 million which is less than other administrators of similar size health systems.


>>> And here is the list of trustee finalists and the Council has to send a three person slate and the Miami-Dade County Commissioners will vote on who will be given a three year term on the prestigious citizen board that is overseeing a $1.6 billion budget and over 10,000 employees including the physicians from the University of Miami Miller Medical School


Here is the final three selected by the Nominating Council list. Current former chair Joe Arriola of the PHT board and termed out and did not have to interviewed given his past service on the Trust and the health Systems fiscal turnaround. But still has to undergo a background check and be fingerprinted, said the county’s attorney office in the past minutes.


  1. Joe Arriola


  1. Juli Daniels, Ph.D. – Nursing Program Director at MDC (she is an outstanding candidate, which I usually don’t comment on but she is impressive)


  1. Wayne Stephens – pediatric dentist at Jessie Trice


>>> WHAT about Ryder Trauma Center’s 25 Silver Anniversary saving lives since 1992?


Ryder Trauma Center created in 1992 at a time when many emergency rooms wwere shutting down and many hospital administrators were seeking just one incredible Level1 Trauma Center that is expensive to run given a complete complement of surgeons and physicians on site 24/7 verses other Level 1I Trauma Centers where a surgeon is less than an hour away and when it comes to Trauma time is of the essence.


However a number of private hospital trauma centers have been opened at Kendall Regional, Aventura and these trauma Centers are all owned by the Hospital Corporation of America (HCA) and these centers tend to get the car crashes where there may be $10,000 in car insurance but Ryder is getting the gunshot wounds and knife blades ( and generally have no insurance and the U.S. Army surgeons before they deploy have rotated through Ryder since 20001 and this training hones the surgeons skill and the professionals also give free medical care to the health system.


And a few years back Ryder because of these other trauma centers (Ryder was losing some $28 million one year) an is why I have always kept an eye on the facility because it is a county crown jewel that other counties around the nation (would kill for) given the incredible success rate that included telemedicine with surgeons in Iraq and Afghanistan over the years and more recently Ryder has been in the news after a wounded Florida State Trooper Carlos Rosario was hit on a freeway by a texting driver and received serious injuries but he was helicoptered to Ryder and is slowly recovering after almost dying a number times while being treated.


How did Ryder come about?


On the 10th Anniversary of Ryder there was a big celebration and Jackson benefactor Jay Weiss took me aside and told me the history and how he had called the Ryder CEO and asked them to pony up some serious money to get the fundraising started for the public facility filled with UM physicians and surgeons of the first order. Further, Weiss, a philanthropist made a significant contribution at the time and Ryder is what it is today celebrating its silver anniversary and the public thanks all the staff and physicians for saving so many lives over the decades. And for more:




>>> Is Miami ready for dynastic rule with Regalado’s & Carollo, Diaz de La Portilla?


Here is the current registered candidates for the commission and mayor and many of the names are familiar and involve many of the same family’s lineage and the Watchdog Report wonders where the new political faces might be and Commissioner Francis Suarez is trying to follow in his father’s footsteps and Suarez the younger is not as high in adulation maintenance as his father Commissioner Xavier Suarez who has not seen a mic he did not love.   But Francis a few years back had a misfire when he first ran for mayor an withdrew and he needs to run a tight campaign and needs to not raise an obscene amount of cash if he wants to not be seen as being bought by special interests and since it is Miami the race will be colorful.


What about The Bay front Park Trust?


The Trust met Wednesday and negotiations are going on if the Omni CRA has to pay the Trust $2 million a year for 15 years (some $30 million) for the maintenance of a playground in Museum Park where the playgrounds facilities will cost some $2 million in a no bid contract and the playground equipment is made in Germany.


However the Omni CRA would like to use the $30 million for affordable housing in the CRA area and negotiations are going on between Miami Commission Vice Chair Ken Russell and Commissioner Frank Carollo who chairs the Bayfront Park board and readers will have to see how this all pans out.


The Bayfront Park Trust is considering building a playground in Miami Museum Park and the Omni CRA in a past agreement has agreed to pay $2 million a year in park maintenance.


What about the Miami River Commission’s executive director Brett Bibeau?


During testimony at Thursdays commission meeting former state Rep. Manny Priequez made a mistake about how he on one of the committees voted incorrectly after he said he had voted yes. However. Bibeau throttled the podium’s microphone covering its ability to work and given the Florida Sunshine Law he clearly has an odd scene of what can be heard by the public. For I don’t believe he was telling the former state representative nuclear launch codes and the assault on the public mic seemed overblown and makes me wonder what kind of shop he runs and he once ran for ‘Miami mayor in 1999 and it was a doomed race for the ‘Miami River point man.



Robert Ingram Burke
Exempt F.S. 119.071
Miami, FL
Zoraida A. Barreiro
2101 SW 4 Avenue
Miami, FL 33129
(305) 856-7835
Keon Hardemon
Exempt FS 119.071
Miami, FL
Christian Canache
P.O. Box 310655
Miami, FL 33231
(305) 302-7983
Joe Carollo
3126 Coral Way
Miami, FL 33145
Hubert Llanes
48 NW 58 CT
Miami, FL 33231
(786) 804-1700
Alex Dominguez
521 SW 23 Road
Miami, FL 33129
(786) 210-2366
Francis X. Suarez
1750 Coral Way,
Second Floor
Miami, FL  33145
(305) 992-3342
Olidia “Lee” Hernandez
2245 NW 1st Street
Miami, FL 33125
(786) 273-0267
  Alfonso M. Leon
2368 SW 4th Street
Miami, FL 33135
(786) 395-0849
  Tomas N. Regalado
2828 Coral Way, Suite 400
Miami, FL 33145
(305) 442-1010
Miguel C. Soliman
1436 SW 6 Street
Miami, FL 33135
(786) 367-0323
  Daniel Suarez
Exempt FS 119.071
Miami, FL
  José A. Suárez
1143 SW 13 Court
Miami, FL 33135
(305) 858-4108

Active Committees & ECO’s

Political Committee Political Committee Electioneering Communications Organization
A Stronger Miami
2600 South Douglas Road,
Suite 900
Coral Gables, FL 33134

November 2019 General Municipal Election

Commissioner District 1 Commissioner District 2 Commissioner District 4


  Tony J. Diaz
2264 SW 22 Avenue
Miami, FL 33145





Manolo E. Reyes
5301 SW 7 Street
Miami, FL 33134



Ralph Rosado
1800 Coral Way
P.O. Box 452521
Miami, FL 33245
(305) 588-4364
    Denise Galvez Turros
2130 SW 20 Street
Miami, FL 33145
(305) 744-7061




>>> Virginia Key Advisory Board, still upset with not knowing about city’s plan with developer to have tony Cabana Club, some say it disrespects Historic Black Beach


The Virginia Key Advisor Board is bristling with a city plan to let a developer put a tony Beach cabana club on the Historic Black Beach and the Miami Commission is reviewing the matter given the sensitivity of the historic beach relegated to only Blacks back in the late 1950s And at one ceremony back in 1999 then Congresswoman Carrie P. Meek and Althea Range planted a tree in memorial of the sacred beach.


However the developer has apparently bought a part of the beach and environmentalists are concerned it will be a concrete jungle that also must be open to the public and it remains to be seen what the final development will be that must be approved by the Miami Commission.


>>> Bayfront Park Trust gets new CEO and director is long time Trust employee Jose Gell and he will be paid $83,882.70 which is a 10 percent bump in his current salary and it was approved by the trust board Tuesday.


A decision on the Flagstone development project on Watson Island was deferred and first approved by the Miami voters in 2002 and was on the ballot with a GOB bond and the project back then was one of three but paid the city the most and was selected by the governors financial Oversight board chaired at the time by Adolpho Enrique’s who was chair of the board and in the meeting at the Miami Power Boat club and at the proceedings were a FBI special agent and an investigator with the county’s Ethics commission but Flagstone was picked and a few years back with little discussion.


And years ago Flagstone had big press conference and gave out some great bling including a CD of the classic movies “The Lost Horizon,’ about the mythical city Shangri-La, and the organization has asked for one concession after another and blames the delay on the Great recession that made financing difficult and was to include a mega-boat marina. Further, The Miami Commission will hear the issue again on May 30th at 10:00 a.m. in the commission chambers and the item is RE 10 and there is expected to be a spirited debate on whether Flagstone has complied with the deal and Brian May is representing Flagstone as there lobbyist.


However Commissioner Russell has been pushing the issue and the wild card is what mayoral candidate Francis Suarez says about the controversial item first conceived in 2001 and Flagstone was the project selected because of the anticipated revenues to the city were so high that appears delinquent. And the project is highly political now and it remains to be seen if there feet are held to the fire.


>>> What about the Peacocks in the Grove, north hates them South Grove Tolerates them, the yang and yang of Grovites is on display, The Great Peacock war is going on in the tony Grove but residents are divided and for more on the kafuffle over the birds go to And a similar debate is going in the Village of Pinecrest.


>>> Miami Commissioner Ken Russell attended a United Teachers of Dade (UTD) event where he spoke to the crowd in Spanish. However, at the meeting was former Miami commissioner Marc Sarnoff and his wife Teresa who lost to Russel after Sarnoff raised $1.2 million for her failed campaign a few years ago. Sarnoff is said to be eyeing running for congress but most dismiss that effort.


City of Miami Beach


 >>> Mayor Levine and commission say no to ‘hail Mary’ gambling bill by Florida Legislature


We were glad to learn that the State has backed down on the terrible piece of legislation that would have placed a casino(s) right in the heart of Miami-Dade County. This bill, which was up for a vote in Tallahassee, would have essentially sold our cities to the gaming industry, deliberately ignoring our local needs and desires.


An investment in the gaming industry is a “Hail Mary” pass for cities with challenging futures. Time and time again, they have proved to worsen the quality of life for their residents, increasing crime and creating social ills. For case studies, you need only look at Atlantic City, Baltimore, and elsewhere.


Miami and Miami Beach have become cultural and corporate destinations, and thankfully we have bright and glowing futures. While our cities are currently in the middle of a cultural and economic renaissance, we believe that casinos would lead us in the wrong direction.


We want to continue to make our cities the kind of places where people want to raise their families, innovate with new startups, and attract international corporations. Adding gambling facilities to the mix achieves the opposite of this-who wants to raise a family next to a casino? In fact, we have already received negative indications from Art Basel that the potential opening of casinos may cause them to search for alternative locations. This would be a major setback for our communities.


Understand that all the purported revenue that gaming generates does not actually go back to the county. In fact, it goes directly to Tallahassee, where we have yet to see a great return (i.e. public transportation). The only people who actually win in these situations are casino operators, and the Tallahassee politicians that they have paid to vouch for them.


The losers? Everybody else, especially the residents who now have a venue to gamble their paychecks away (casinos are proven to breed gambling addiction at up to four times beyond the norm).


On top of all of this, a gaming facility on Biscayne Boulevard-as has been proposed-would majorly compound our current problems with congestion. It would be impossible to visit the beautiful new Frost Science Museum, enjoy a performance at the Arsht Center, or go to a Miami Heat game without mind-numbing amounts of traffic.

Regarding the location on Miami Beach, it would render our main thoroughfares unnavigable, grinding Julia Tuttle Causeway to a full stop, turning 41st Street into a parking lot, and clogging up Collins Avenue for residents and visitors.


We are happy that our state legislature came to their senses, but we hope that this awful bill is not revived in any form in the future. Let’s continue to invest locally in ways that help all citizens, like public transportation, and not with quick easy “fixes” that are dictated by an out-of-touch legislature in Tallahassee.


Remember-casinos are not built by winning gamblers; they are built by losing gamblers. The house always wins!


Philip Levine

Mayor of Miami Beach


Tomás Regalado

Mayor of Miami


>>> The Miami-Dade Ethics and Public Trust commission released a survey after city workers all went through extensive ethics classes and the survey found some employees are still being asked if they want a bribe. Further these training sessions have been done in the city of Miami and across the county and like the county’s Inspector general it is another watchful watchdog. For more go to:


What about zoning plan expediters’?


Builders across the county still use a practice of using attractive women to get building plans approved on a timely basis. And the beach is known to be a tough nut to crack and I have followed them and they get off on the building department floor


The Miami-Dade Ethics and Public Trust Commission issued a survey of Miami Beach employees and even after extensive ethics training they still were offered a bribe and to see the press release on the matter go to below.


Community EVENTS & Public Service announcements

Margulies Collection 2


>>>> Now open and the Warehouse has a new exhibit and check it out at

Margulies collection


>>> 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




>>> Politicians since the dawn of time have hated the media, Trump’s fixation on press, distracts from his policies and administration, needs to get more focused and fill key lower level administration staffers


Since the dawn of time leaders have hated the press and media yet President Trump keeps harping on the “dishonest media,” and actually singled some of the nation’s news organizations and a republic needs a diverse and strong press to challenge authority and calling the media the “enemy,” of the American people which is ironic since Trump was in many ways created by the media and he is extraordinary marketer.


But people will get tired of this demand for adulation that the president seems to feed on and he won and now people want him to get to governing. For the world is a dangerous and having the national security council head vacant is a serious issue and when it comes to Russia Trump should clearly state he or his staff did not have contacts and perhaps release the transcripts of the conversations if the president wants to end this distraction on the world stage.


Further he is saying some of the executive orders are being rewritten and he is moving quickly carrying out his campaign promises. However, in many ways Trump is a creation of the press and his constant carping is getting old with the American people and some are wondering why he is so fixated on his victory considered a long shot by the media ever since he went down the escalator but he won .And Americans expect him to govern and keep the nation safe and that is the job he accepted when he ran for office.


>>> 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 this is a national story in all the Tribune papers 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.




>>> Lotus Village provides vital services for Miami women and children


Here is some information about the Lotus Village. In Lotus Village, we seek to create a prototype for the future, in which shelter and services for those in need are fully integrated with the urban fabric of the neighborhood we call home. In addition to offering increased capacity with efficient design and land utilization, Lotus Village will include a holistic neighborhood health clinic and children’s day care and wellness center, serving Lotus House and our community.


The shelter facilities in Lotus Village, to be operated by Lotus House, are being designed to accommodate high special needs individuals and families, including programs for youth, elders and the medically needy, a safe haven for those with severe trauma histories, pregnant women and infants, and families of all shapes and sizes. The children’s wellness center will offer child therapy services, nurturing parenting classes, a day care and playground. Food service and dining facilities will include training programs for life skills and job readiness, in addition to meal preparation, dining and a wide range of social activities. A neighborhood health clinic will offer a complement of basic and preventive health care, maternal and pediatric care, eye and dental care, behavioral health and wellness, and a wide range of health and wellness programming for the shelter and our Overtown neighborhood. Deeply integrated in the fabric of our neighborhood, Lotus Village will provide critical linkages to a network of service providers and resources in the larger community, empowering those we shelter and serve to build the foundation for enriched, happier and healthier lives.

You can learn more at:

>>> 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 providing this information is at the end of the WDR. And I hope you will consider supporting 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 sales tax dollars.


>>> And while the Watchdog Report has reached16 years of using my own money to survive in the costlier Miami community. 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 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.


>>> I just ask any reader, once a year who thinks this community resource is valuable to contribute via my Pay Pal account for the fiscal issues sometimes keeps me from going to a meeting sometimes, and the stress also affects my health and only with my readers support can “I go when you cannot,” thank you and hope you will help so the WDR can celebrate 17 years on May 5th.


>>> 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:        

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



HUGH CULVERHOUSE, Jr (The first contributor)


THE MIAMI HERALD (2000-2008)


WILLIAM HUGGETT, Seamen Attorney (Deceased)


LINDA E. RICKER (Deceased)




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







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BERKOWITZ POLLACK BRANT Advisors and Accountants




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, 2017, 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


>>> 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 Thank you


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Make Checks payable to Daniel Ricker

3109 Grand Ave, #125 Miami, Florida 33133