Watchdog Report Vol. 18 No. 24 November 5, 2017 EST: 05.05.00 – I go when you cannot – Celebrating almost 18 years of Weekly reliable publishing

>>> NO Watchdog Report next week I have to raise money and will be back with my readers help with all the natural and unnatural disasters. I know people’s pocket books are strained and in my case I lost 8 days of fundraising and am once gain sadly short. Given the Vegas massacre and flattened Puerto Rico. I feel embarrassed asking for monetary help given what these people are dealing with in the scheme of things and I do not ask lightly and if I can get Through October, my fiscal position should be better but right now I am facing my own big issue and hope you would consider helping and to make a contribution go

What about the make Miami better community discussion?

This past week was a continuation of my struggle to keep the community informed and when it comes to a community discussion of how we can make Miami better.

I would submit that these community discussions are on the whole based on many times inaccurate or no information and that has been one of the problems I have talking with people and their lack of knowledge is widespread and we see it in voter apathy and lack of public participation at public meetings and when it comes to better and more ethical government having a member of the media changes the dynamics of citizens performance on public boards and even a camera flash gets people’s attention and if county government is only 1 percent more efficient that is a big deal since national IG’s estimate that is the case with many government entities. Further, I listen to people 24/7 from the County’s Community Relations Board (CRA) first created in 1992 as well as commission meeting speakers and for most people they do not have the time to know their political actors and the policies they might support and I wish this community dialogue the best but in many cases you are going against the tide when it comes to the public and their knowledge of their governance.

To host a conversation go to

Further government has come out of its dormant period and woke up in October when all the public budget meetings are held. And I will back in action next week with fresh news on how your billions in local public dollars are being spent and how your elected leaders are protecting your community tax dollars and why I cover the public schools Audit and budget review committee the community’s firewall made up of citizens and most have CPA qualifications, but was not the case a decade ago.

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 to continue for many more years with your support. Micro Soft has given my Pay Pal account a thumbs up and dropped the warning about the site since they thought I was a phisher

And here is my philosophy on why I do this?                   

This national story ran in all the Tribune papers around the nation and covers the early years of the WDR: and sand here is a 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 public corruption, 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: Trump will learn some things on 12 day trip to Japan, Korea, China, Vietnam and Philippines, stakes are high in tense South China Sea –Trump administration goes after nation’s opioid crisis, but no extra money- New worry will Japan start to rearm, will add tensions to region, China, and Russia? —Could community transportation dilemma be solved by solar powered self-propelled gondola, air conditioned, and system from Miami to Miami Beach, TPO looking at possible use on beach corridor?

OBITUARY: Arsht Center point of spear Thomson, passes at 85, attorney fought for First Amendment rights, Harvard trained attorney

State Of FLORIDA: Sexual harassment claims erupt in Fla. senate, surfacing at all levels of society, budget chair Latvala on hot seat after six accusers

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY: Commissioner Souto goes down memory lane re past MIA concessions, cites major break AA got after 9/11. He sponsored legislation, reviews some past “hanky panky, “and how community leaders wanted an airport authority years ago — New continuum of care center coming for homeless with mental issues, JHS involved one stop center– The arts have risen from the grave generating $1.43 billion in economic impact, 40% jump since last study, the last few years and people now come to Miami for the arts as well as New York, Chicago and Philadelphia where centuries have gone by versus Miami’s transformation during the last decade said Cultural Affairs chair Adolpho Henriques.— 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 only 20, after state cracks down on pill mills and is exasperating this epidemic.

MIAMI-Dade County Public Schools: District bond workshop Carvalho says $512 million spent, further revenue comes in after bond over could equal $1 billion “over the years,” says Carvalho–

PUBLIC HEALTH TRUST: New report on how JHS spending $830 million bond monies, going well –BCC Taps Arriola and Dr. Wayne Steven’s as new PHT trustees– Community Crown Jewel Ryder Trauma Center has its Silver Anniversary last week, only Level 1 public trauma center in Miami-Dade, saves lives daily a community treasure!

CITY OF MIAMI: Mayor Regalado recounts how commission has changed over the years with five commissioners indicted over the decade including city manager Odio– Miami Dist. 2 Commissioner Russell kicks off his congressional campaign Sunday at Merrie Christmas Park in Grove, “wants to listen to neighbors’ concerns, and do the right thing,” — in the contentious house race, has raised $350,000 (and another $200,200 in last quarter) to challenger Haggman’s $500,000 in large democratic Party field of candidates.– Outgoing Mayor Tomas Regalado now believes in climate change and got a long story in the Herald and in some ways the man is an enigma while being a populist, contrarian and commissioner for 22 years – depending on Florida Supreme Court ruling, city could go “bankrupt,” if courts rule in favor of unions cut in pay, cost could be as high as $200 million, says union rep at commission meeting– Mayor Regalado rides into the sunset in November legacy is a mixed bag, created his own nemesis, Crespogram with some of his patronage hire – See all of Miami’s elected leaders financial disclosure forms for the year

CITY OF MIAMI BEACH: Mayor Levine hopes Beach experience will catapult him to governor’s mansion, brings a fresh approach to many vexing problems, but with crowded Democratic Party field, will invest millions to get his message across

EDITORIALS: Politicians don’t realize voter’s frustration is they are such hypocrites, many times in their own actions Florida Constitutional commission should insist on transparency, not darkness as Sunshine law gets diluted — 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: Commissioner Xavier Suarez on county’s use of half-cent sales tax — Fordham student Ram co-editor Knight intern studying how people get there local news, what about you where do you get your micro local news let us know? ­­— important mission of Lotus Village, helping women and children needs community support


>>> 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.




>>> 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 observe


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!”


ARGUS REPORT: Heard Seen on the Streets


>>> Trump will learn some things on 12 day trip to Japan, Korea, China, Vietnam and Philippines, stakes are high in tense South China Sea


President Donald J. Trump is in for a surprise when he plays golf with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe for in Japan the role of carrying the golf bags fall to women wearing a broad head covering and they help explain a course to a new player and in the Land of the Rising Sun. The cost is outrageous and was one of the perks high ranking industrialists got and the two week trip that includes China will be a eye-opener to the real-estate developer and places like Shanghai and Tokyo while not new to the man have been changing at such a rapid rate and with tensions high in the South China seas and Japan debating whether to rearm he will be fêted in a big way with these political leaders. While his administration still reels from the recent indictments


What about the new Trump tax plan?    


Nonprofits are crying foul with the tax plan and organizations like United Way which has organizations. In every state are expected to fight this lost deduction and it will impact the thousands of NGOs around the nation that play a critical role in filling in social service costs local governments cannot support.


Further, these organizations are expected to put up a spirited defense politically against losing the deductions that would also hurt the arts and a host of other organizations like WLRN and PBS.


However, with Trump in Japan. The nation is missing a major debate in Japan which is should the country rearm and just have no longer self-defense forces but also offensive weapons systems ending a 1954 ban on offensive weapons and the country a few years ago launched a large aircraft carrier a size last seen in World War II and why this debate is important is Japan and China have a dispute on some islands claimed by Japan and naval ships ply the area and historically when I spent 20 years in Asia the one question most people said no to was. Would you want Japan to rearm (this was back in 1988) and all would respond “absolutely not,” given the country’s history and brutal occupation in many of the countries.


The Watchdog Report covered the Miami-Dade County public Schools bond workshop and the $1.2 billion bond passed in 2012 and a host of schools have benefited from this capital construction infusion and small and minority subcontractors have benefitted and the OIG just busted a front firm awarded a minority electrical contract and to read the report go to:   And to read the bond documents go to:


>>>> District bond workshop Carvalho says $512 million spent, further revenue comes in after bond over could equal $1 billion “over the years,” says Carvalho


The reason he issue of minority contracts has been a constant thorn is when the public district did its last bond over a decade ago and many of the contracts went to insiders and failed to stimulate small business enterprises and included buying some land on a Native American burial site or having to spend millions to “demuck,” a piece of land of a connected man. However with the bond Superintendent Alberto Carvalho has been going out of his way to expand that pool of certified minority firms and in the first year and “right these historical concerns,” he told board members and noted their “neck was on the line,” given what they told voters and 150 projects have been completed ‘on time and on budget,” the award winning superintendent just back from Tallahassee said 4512 million has been allocated and another $86 million is out there. Further for the first time with press present he noted there is a “$368 million revenue stream outside the bond,” “equaling $1 billion to spend over the next few years.”


What about the handout documents


And the school’s IG just released a memo on a straw minority electrical contractor and to read it go:


What about the physiological impact of Hurricane Irma on children and the loss of social media?


I have talked to a number of physicians I know about the effect of the storm on children and what these physicians said was the profound withdrawal from social media and the community has a great opportunity to study the impact of this social media and its denial among young people and could possible provide some empirical data of the effect how the technology has almost become an addiction for these young people of today and given the size of the potential cohort scientists should study the effects the outage had on our young given the large size of the affected co-hort. And some of our higher education public institutions like FIU should set up a study to see what this denial of social media did to our young people and their level of stress proceeding the storm for it could show what society is facing in the future, given the addicted nature of t-he technology.

What about the Clerk’s Auditor?


The Watchdog Report had no idea the clerk’s office had an auditor and it is Michael Ukwendu and I have a letter from him to an attorney asking for information and if that info is not received by Sept 29, 2016 the matter would be “referred to a judge,” states the letter. However, there is no indication he is a CPA something most auditors have.


What about the Coconut Grove Playhouse?


The county’s plan for the Coconut Grove Playhouse has landed with a thud and many people are calling it a mix use retail property with a theater and some residents have been fighting the design conceived by the locally politically connected Architectonica firm and people are looking for details on how the firm was selected for that project and under the eye of Michael Spring director of Cultural Affairs at Miami-Dade County. Since many people believe Richard Heisenbottle who has extensive preservation experience and did the city of Miami’s chambers restoration years ago And his final product is seen by commissioners everyday on the chambers and while the county has the $20 million set aside in the 2004 bond passed by voters but all plans have stalled to date and the theater languishes and is essentially becoming demolition by neglect. And I am going to ask about how the firm was selected and if it was a competitive process.


>>> Miami grants waivers for Orange Bowl Committee events, helped after Irma with cash help said Chair Hardeman.


The Orange Bowl Committee got a waiver for the upcoming National Championship Football Game Jan 21 to 24 for events held in Miami during the popular local event and Miami Commission Chair Keon Hardeman gave the organization a shout out Thursday for their cash support of people in his district after Irma blew through and the members orange blazers are iconic. An Orange Bowl Member Jose C. Romano did the request at the Miami commission meeting. And the organization won the event.


>>> Knight Foundation injects $2.5 million to fact check news


The John S. and James L. Knight foundation has committed $2.5 million to organizations fighting fake news and the idea of fake news I believe it started when Dan Rather of CBS ran a story on George Bush II that turned out to be wrong and after that mistake broke a republican candidate when I was interviewing said “are you going to Rather me?” I joked back you want me to FOX you and that blunder on Rathers part started the bowl rolling and Brian Williams added to the fire when he embellished his military coverage and saying he had been under fire which was not true.


Further, Knight has donated $2 million for relief in Caribbean nations destroyed by Irma and hurricane recovery. For ore go to:


Norman Braman the automotive magnate is looking to create a contemporary Art Institute in Miami and the civic leader led the charge to derail the Miami Marlin’s enclosed ballpark costing with interest some 41.6 billion over the life of the bonds and many of the higher payments come in the next 15 years. And to read along interview on the art maven and Republican go to
The Miami arts and culture community has grown considerable and Adolpho Henriques told Miami-Dade County commissioners that the arts in the county need a “permanent,” revenue stream and for every one dollar $32.000 comes in to the community. He said some 300 studies have shown that the arts generates some $1.43 billion in economic impact and the Adrianne Arsht Center recently gave free tickets to some 2,700 public school fifth graders students. And exposure to the arts has grown the cultural community from the Walls of Wynwood to a host of other areas seeing a resurgence. County Commissioner Dennis Moss told the banker that through their work there has been “a profound impact [and in the past], the county was a cultural wasteland,” versus the burgeoning arts scene that now competes with Philadelphia, New York and is drawing some 40,000 art tourists to South Florida and seniors get golden tickets to events and the Arsht Center has become a major help in opening the world of the arts up to thousands of students and in the early years Mrs. Arsht would volunteer as an usher and the volunteers at the center save millions in public tax money.


New large monitor is on the loose in Key West and Nile Monitors are already seen in the Village of Pinecrest and to see the monitor in the Keys go to


Asian monitor

Asian monitor


>>> Homestead Miami Speedway race brings in millions in tourist tax dollars!


The Homestead Miami Speedway a mini Super Bowl when it comes to economic impact is over $200 million is coming and the racecar event draws thousands of tourists who follow the racing circuit and for more or tickets go to.


>>PAST WDR: Could a vexing community transportation dilemma be solved by solar powered self-propelled gondola, air conditioned, and system from Miami to Miami Beach?


>>> A local millennial Cynthia Fleischmann, an artist and someone I know from Switzerland and an active environmentalist came up with the idea of using a solar powered self-propelled, air conditioned gondola from Miami to Miami Beach a barrier Island. And I showed these design renderings to a number of millennials who all said they had, “no problem riding,”   and one person I showed it to said it “was cool,” and two others had the same “cool” comment and of course would have no problem riding in the pod. And the terminal could be near a Metro station located around the old Herald property, if Genting bought into it and given there Asian connection might see the eloquence of the design that would become known around the world for solving a major transportation problem, especially using solar power. Further it could be one of the global iconic views of the Miami and Beach skyline especially at night and given Baylink a wireless street car est. costing $2.44 million, this design could be another creative feature to any mass transit to the beach.


Editor’s note: I have no financial interest in the project. But it could be a low cost way to fix a vexing long term community dilemma. Further, this is a guaranteed tourist drawer with families taking the gondola and seeing the Miami skyline. Especially at night and it would put the rusty pelican view of the Miami sky line to shame. But if leaders can think out of the box: Images By Cynthia Fleischmann & Edgar Alvarez


Gondola MMB3 Gondola MMB4

Out of the box: Still no response from Miami-Dade County,


>>>> Update at the County’s” Transportation planning Organization (TPO) is looking at new emerging technologies and one is for the Miami to Beach corridors: And the Watchdog Report contacted TPO vice- Chair Francis Suarez and he responded when asked about the gondola project he wrote back, They’re looking at it, writing, “Yes on the Beach corridor,” wrote the Miami mayoral; candidate.


>>>Neighbors 4 neighbors an organization that helps a wide swath of people needing help turns 25 years and the organization a not-for-profit was created after Hurricane Andrew flattened South Dade and Homestead and for more go to


>>> However Lotus House Village is seeing cuts to the tune of $750,000 said Constance Collins who runs the facility for homeless mothers with children and she said about one third of residents are “youths,” and “Many times with children,” and what is “happening is a humanitarian crisis,’ said Collins to trust board members. And Trust staff said there were “41 families with children,” in shelters and the “length of stay is just too long,” said Trust chair Ron Book and the trust has spent over” $1. Million” for the year for these families needing homes said executive director Vicky Mallette at a past trust meeting.


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


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.. And one of the only good things when it comes to parking if you are disabled parking is a little bit easier but Miami is a city with a long history of supporting the military should get the parking issue resolved if the city really cared for the veterans something Mayor Tomas Regalado touts in public speeches. Editor’s note: Apparently there is plenty of parking but is used by the 5,000 employees working at the hospital.


>>> 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 the future.




>>> Arsht Center point of spear Thomson, passes at 85, attorney fought for First Amendment rights, Harvard trained attorney

Prominent Attorney Parker Thomson, passes at 85, and he was the godfather of the creation of the Adrian Arsht Performing arts Center of Miami-Dade County. Something I covered essentially since 1999 and used to go to all the construction committee meetings back then and while there were problems (like over 100 change orders). However, Thomson never panicked and worked his way through county government so there was not a “big hole,’ as the stalled project was referred to back then and assistant county manager Bill Johnson got the assignment to finish the twin hall arts center with impeccable acoustics that did get completed some 20 months late and needing a over $100 million cash infusion and the board had an extensive debate about the elected officials names that should be on the building since it was over 75 people since it had been in the oven so long but Thomson along with civic leader Sherwood ‘Woody,” Weiser got the center over the finish in in 2006 and it has been a Arts Miracle Grow incubator with a host of new facilities and troupes in South Florida.




>>>> Sexual harassment claims erupt in Fla. senate, surfacing at all levels of society, budget chair Latvala on hot seat after six accusers


The Florida senate is reeling with accusations of lawmakers involved in sexual harassment and assault and Sen. Jack Latvala, R-Clearwater name has come up with six women accusing him of harassment and the republican is running for governor in the party’s primary and the issue has ballooned in the state well known for legislators partying in the young college town and while the senator is staying in the exclusive body if the reports continue which he is denying and plans to vigoursly fight back. However, women for decades have complained about unwanted sexual advances that just recently caught up a Miami-Beach Commission candidate who is still running for the office but the revelations range from congress to the state legislature as well. Further Latvala is chair of budget appropriations which many are calling on for him to be removed but the portly man also says he never sits in a booth since he is too large to do so but the matter is not going away and has been caught up in the Harvey Weinstein scandal still emerging but lawmakers are concerned after small camera was found in a condominium but they should know there are a host of video cameras some that look like a bottle of avian water to pens and glasses an lawmakers better straighten up and end this suspect frat house behavior if they want to stay in the Florida legislature for it’s the hypocrisy that finish them with voters and in this matter it is a new day.


What do we know about his finances?


I tried to look up Latvala’s financials under Jack and John and could not find him because I have the past years and wanted to see if there were any sudden changes.


>>> Press release: Gov. Scott: Florida Sets All-Time Tourism Record in First Half of 2017


TAMPA, Fla. – Today, Governor Rick Scott announced that Florida set another record by welcoming the highest number of visitors of any six months in the state’s history with 60.7 million visitors, according to VISIT FLORIDA. This represents a 4.1 percent increase over the same period in 2016, and includes 53.2 million domestic visitors, 5.3 million overseas visitors and 2.2 million Canadian visitors.


Governor Scott said, “I am proud to announce today that Florida has continued its record breaking success by welcoming more than 60 million visitors to our state over the first half of 2017- the highest number of visitors of any six months in our state’s history. This means back-to-back record quarters for our state. Now, with the investments made in VISIT FLORIDA during this year’s Special Legislative Session, we can continue to break records and work toward our goal of 120 million visitors this year. Florida’s booming tourism industry supports 1.4 million jobs across the state, and I know that VISIT FLORIDA and their many local partners are continuing to focus on breaking more records in order to help create even more opportunities for our families.”


>>>> PAST WDR: With the summer break the Children’s Trust of Miami –Dade has a host of summer activities including getting one free book for a young person and helps with a child’s reading ability.




>>> Commissioner Souto goes down memory lane re past MIA concessions, cites major break AA got after 9/11. He sponsored legislation, reviews some past “hanky panky, “and how community leaders wanted an airport authority years ago


When it comes to the county commission history Commissioner Javier Souto went down memory lane when discussing a possible reduction in concessionaires fees at MIA after Hurricane Irma and had shut down MIA and an estimated “600,000 passengers,” were lost going through the facility and Souto noted years ago in 1999 to about 2004 there was a push for a airport authority and the commission resisted that move and it came after a damning Miami Herald story called the “Wheel of Fortune.” Souto noted the administration’s saying it was only seven or eight days closed. It takes time “and the effects of hurricanes Lasts,” he said. For he is in a “battle of debris,” in Westchester and Kendall. The former state senator elected to the body in 1994 said Miami is a minority majority community and the county should work on keeping our “partners,” healthy and in the case of MIA there are lots “of minorities,” who will benefit by the ‘concessions who are clearly minorities.” And the concessionaires got a concession in the millions and here is the county’s legislation on the matter.


And then Mayor Alex Penelas named a blue ribbon task force to study different governance models and it was chaired by Nun Sister Jean Olauglin who later got embroiled in the Elian Gonzalez saga that was tearing the Cuban community apart at the time and had Anglos in Homestead carrying confederate flags with African Americans shouting F…. the Cubans,” to give one an idea of the divisiveness here in South Florida. And she used to joke at the meetings more about airports, than any “nun,” should now.


Further, back then in 2001 the push for an authority was being called the “[Alberto] Ibarguen plan,” said one aide who worked for recalled commissioner Natacha Seijas who hated the paper and Ibarguen was the paper’s publisher at the time and she would criticize it any way she could with the reference of those people “who buy ink by the barrel,’


However, Souto noted that despite all the criticism of MIA back then and ended with Angela Gittens becoming department director but she also ran into trouble with Seijas who would cut her down from the dais and she was replaced by Jose Abreu a former FDOT secretary and now a lobbyist who ended up finishing the massive $6.5 billion project started decades earlier and considered a work program for many politically connected


>>> New continuum of care center coming for homeless with mental issues, JHS involved one stop center


The Miami-Dade County Homeless Trust along with Jackson Health System is opening a one stop public facility for homeless who qualify for a new diversion program with a mental illness and includes many veterans on the streets and is an old facility previously used by the state but it will offer a continuum of care and was briefly discussed at the trust board meeting Friday. The whole community has been seeking ways to resolve the mental health issues of the homeless now drawing in people with opioid addiction and a drop of fentanyl can kill and many times is cut with cheap yellow Mexican heroin that appeared years past and is causing thousands of overdoses and the city of Miami spent $150,000 in procuring the miracle drug NarCan that can revive a overdosed person almost immediately and these people cut across all ethnic lines and the issue was discussed Sunday on “This Week in South Florida,” and to see the show go to


And here is a broader explanation on the new facility

Health System – Public Health Trust

“Progress is being made to create a first of its kind mental health diversion and treatment facility which will centralize, coordinate, and provide a seamless continuum of care for individuals, including homeless individuals, who are frequent and high cost users of taxpayer funded services in the criminal justice and acute care treatment systems. South Florida Behavioral Health Network, Inc., DCF’s Managing Entity for administering state substance abuse and mental health funding in Miami-Dade County, will lead the renovation of a former state forensic hospital in Miami which will bring together community based treatment and social services providers under one roof.


The project will include an integrated crisis stabilization unit and addiction receiving facility, various levels of residential treatment, day treatment and day activities programs, intensive case management, peer support and mentoring services, outpatient behavioral health and primary care treatment services, and vocational rehabilitation/supportive employment services. All services will be designed to address the complex and co-occurring needs of the target population, including mental health, substance abuse, physical health, histories of physical and emotional trauma, and risk factors for future criminal justice involvement.


The facility will also include space for the courts and for social service agencies such housing providers, legal services, and immigration services that will address the comprehensive needs of individuals served.  By housing a full array of services and supports in one location, it is anticipated that many of the barriers and obstacles to navigating traditional community mental health, substance abuse, and social services will be removed; and individuals who are currently recycling through the justice system, crisis units, hospitals, and other deep end services will be more likely to engage in ongoing and sustainable treatment and recovery services.


The Mental Health Diversion Facility is championed by Judge Steven Leifman, who chairs the Miami-Dade County Homeless Trust’s Finance & Audit Committee.  The project has been developed with input from the Department of Children and Families and the Agency for Health Care Administration, which will be responsible for designating and licensing service providers at the facility.  The Miami-Dade County Legislative Delegation spearheaded efforts to occupy the building based on a 99 year lease at $1/year.  The facility is funded, in large part, with county General Obligation Bond funds, with additional funding provided by the Jackson Health and The Public Health Trust, wrote trust PR person, “Lisa Mozloom.


>>>The arts have risen from the grave generating $1.43 billion in economic impact, 40% jump since last study, the last few years and people now come to Miami for the arts as well as New York, Chicago and Philadelphia where centuries have gone by versus Miami’s transformation during the last decade said Cultural Affairs chair Adolpho Henriques.


He noted there have been “300,” studies showing the economic benefits of the arts and the recent study showed a 40 percent increase in economic impact


Miami-Dade County Commissioner Rebeca Sosa is on a tear when it comes to selling countryman preferring a long term lease since the properties in many cases are in the unincorporated area UMSA and she believes these “properties are the people’s properties and an asset to the county.


What did Commissioner Xavier Suarez say about the 42,000 properties the county owns?


What about land for Key Biscayne deferred for a parking garage and possible government offices and Martinez asked if parking was going to be free given the $1 dollar lease payment and could not be converted to commercial use


Kendall Regional Hospital got approval for a nine story parking garage with a heliport on top of it for taking patients to the Class I Trauma center that is cutting into Ryders finances.


Also, Riviera Prep got authorized to expand its campus on 87 the Avenue at Wednesday’s county CDMP meeting after numerous speakers spoke concerning the local traffic but many noted rush hour traffic is terrible everywhere in Miami many speakers said.


What about county Legacy contracts #1 Moss?


At the last Miami-Dade County Homeless Trust meeting members discussed how the trust handled people on the streets and “some 600 homeless people,” were placed in shelters. Long time trust chairman Ron Book said the organization “with great passion,” tried to get as many people possible to safety as Irma approached and Book talked about one man he saw living on the seawall at the Bayfront Park site. He said the man was unresponsive and “barely had a pulse,” but Miami Fire Rescue came and gave the man a dose of NarCan and he was revived immediately and taken to safety and any homeless who would not go to shelters were Baker Acted following the “Laws,” so they would get to safety, said Book


What about the trust’s Rent Connect?


The trust has a new program where people with rental housing can register their rental with the county and for more on the program go to:

>>> The county commission approved naming 50th St in NW Miami after long time community leader Mrs. Nancy S. Dawkins Way and the woman was a pillar in her community and was a Girl Scout den mother and a host of elected officials spoke in favor of the street naming.


>>> The county also named 54th Street Garth Reeves Way and the man’s family has been the long time publisher of The Miami Times and has reported on African American and local news events for that community and the street honor is well deserved and the ceremony was done at the renovated historic Lyric theater in Overtown.


>>> Metro Rail is getting “136 new train cars,” in the coming months said Mayor Gimenez and they are needed since metro rail‘s polder cars are not as reliable as they should be. Further the production of the cars ‘is on track,’ said Alice Bravo and all the cars are due by July 2018 and the Hitachi built cars in Medley “are on track,” regarding the delivery timeline and all should be in service by that time said transit director Alice Bravo.


Further transit director Alice Brava said metro rail cars were from 1984 and parts an keeping the running has been a “yeoman’s,” job said the engineer and she noted the county is working with procurement in Washington D.C. where the cars on its system are being replaced and may give the county an opportunity to procure replacement parts


A resident speaker at Tuesday’s BBC meeting carped all commissioners do is ‘blah, blah,” about themselves and not listening to the public and one man could not speak because he got caught in people traffic trying to get to the commission chambers and they wore shirts asking for help in “condo-Abuse,’ something Commissioner Dennis Moss knows something about since he has a condo in Commissioner Joe Martinez’s district and he believed some of these boards were ‘corrupt,’ he considered.


However Jose Pepe Diaz went after the man giving him a dressing down for making such remarks and the board was trying to help him with what was a stat issue and not here locally but Diaz really put it to the man who essentially was just asking commissioners to get to the point an there are many people who feel that way if they have to sit in the chambers seats for hours to hear an item.


>>> Commissioner Daniela Levine-Cava said she along with Hasbro toys and Baptist Health South Florida donated toys to Puerto Rico and some 10,000 pounds of medicines to the beleaguered island smashed by Irma and commissioners also contributed monies from their personal commission budgets and the islands residents are expected to come to Miami or Orlando and could inject 28,000 more residents and they will need help in relocating during this tragic time for the residents.


>>> Animal Activist are getting some attention after the Miami-Dade County inspector General released a report on how successful the county’s Animal Services no kill rate was especially with cats and I had heard that some thousands of cats were killed because they were considered aggressive and also applies to dogs. Further the IG report puts more pressure on the Mayor Gimenez’ administration to get these numbers further lowered. Further I have learned that many animals adopted are not checked on and some dogs are said to be “bait dogs” used in dog fights that can be held apparently easy in any empty pool and is still occurring in south Dade.


What about FIUs fifth year medical school students?


The FIU Herbert Wertheim Medical school graduated 114 new physicians, the universities 5th class and many are staying in the community and some 30 percent are going into primary care said Medical school Dean John Rock, M.D. and the medical school is working to “create a primary care program as well,” and is one of the prime reason FIU got the medical school since these doctors were hoped to go into primary care medicine and these students are seen at a number of hospitals including the Baptist Health System and are a welcome addition to patients with chronic diseases and getting the appropriate treatment before it gets worse and is saving “Jackson\n Health System money.” Said Rock


>>> The Miami-Dade Office of the Inspector General is making some recommendations on an $11.852 million no bid waiver to modernization of the traffic control services at MIA and it is a great read with some suggestions and recommendations being made for the administration to consider and to read the report go to:


>>> PAST WDR: Americans died last year, 3,000 alone in Florida, opiate addiction different treatment than heroin addiction, but death toll nationally huge


PAST WDR because our Youth are dying at a terrible rate: because this is killing our kids and caused the creation of The Miami-Dade County Opioid Task force met 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. Where 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. Editor’s note: I keep running this story because it is such a scourge that kills across all ethnic lines. Further to read the county task force’s report go to has saved millions by refinancing the extensive bond holdings




The Watchdog Report will do a story next week on what happened at the and to read the school district audit committee and to tread it go to: go to


>>> OIG report looks at minority owned firms getting contracts under GOB and is a priority with Supt. Carvalho


At the $1.2 billion GOB oversight board recently there was a discussion on how many minority contracts have been given to minority firms and primes since the school board let out contracts and Superintendent Alberto Carvalho has made this a crusade in that was promised when the bond was first voted on and the schools IG did a study of these minority contracts and to read the IG report go to::




>>> New report on how JHS spending $830 million bond monies, going well


Here is the most recent update on the $830 million GOB passed by County wide voters to update the ageing facilities at Jackson Health System and the projects are going very well and includes minority vender participation similar the public schools oversight system and this public money is key to the communities health since there is a big push toward prevention and wellness has FIU physicians doing primary and family medicine and is a real boon in keeping healthcare costs down. To read the report go:



>>> BCC Taps Arriola and Dr. Wayne Steven’s as new PHT trustees


The board of county commissioners voted on two new trustees from a slate of candidates interviewed by the trust’s Nominating Council and PHT past Chair Joe Arriola who got nine commissioner votes and Dr. Wayne Stephens got one vote and for more on the pediatric dentist go to and he is a Columbia University graduate and Arriola has led the public health care system along with CEO and president Carlos Migoya into the black and the approval of a $830 million GOB bond to upgrade the ageing facilities after years of the county shifting some $72 million in unfunded mandates since 2002.




>>> Mayor Regalado recounts how commission has changed over the years with five commissioners indicted over the decade including city manager Odio


Outgoing mayor Tomas Regalado gave a trip down memory lane Thursday while handing out proclamations (and the city spends some $75,000 or $15, 000 per year on these.) to all the commissioners and commissioner. However, Frank Carollo got a cake but Regalado whose son is running against the family nemesis Joe Carollo ( a runoff is likely) and the former journalist noted since he joined the commission 22 years ago many faces have changed. Since that time City Manager Cesar Odio was indicted, and Commissioners Miller Dawkins, Humberto Hernandez, Angel Gonzalez, and Arthur Teele, Jr., now deceased. However, Regalado escaped a number of issues like his gas card investigation back in 1999 and he and the family have problems following election campaign laws and is embroiled in a new scandal involving his son Tommy running for the district 3 seat against Carollo and it is an ugly race.


The Miami Historical Environmental Planning committee had an extensive discussion on whether Morningside Park should be designated historical be the city and the board with historian Dr. Paul George ( who is retiring but will still give historic tours) speaking was told of the parks history though is is getting swamped with sea level rise.


Further, the Miami Herald did an extensive story on unregistered PAC that received thousands of dollars and Regalado says he was not aware of a new county law even though the clerk sent out a reminder and had other candidates following the rules but Regalado and his daughter Raquel are sloppy and she was fined $5,000. For election irregularities during her father’s mayoral campaign a few years ago and she is now running as a Republican for the house Dist. 27 for years held by Dr. Ileana Ros Lehtinen, R-Miami who announced her retirement a few months ago and on the GOP side Miami-Dade County Commissioner Bruno Barreiro is running against her as well and he was a former state representative. And for more on the Regalado campaign scandal go to; Further, Regalado the younger lists his occupation and income coming from TV Radio Marti as a journalist and he has raised some $92,000 for his campaign war chest and in a debate he said “he will not jack up taxes, and that the city “needs to live in its means,” he states at the debate.


>>> Further, the initial cost to Miami to clean –up after Irma is some $73 million with FEMA paying 95 percent and the state five percent said CFO Chris Rose on Thursday.


What about the Coconut Grove bus?


On Nov. 7, Tuesday the Miami-Dade Commission will vote on “eliminating,” of 2 bus routes and one includes Route 70 which is the “Coconut Grove circulator,” and is a major service adjustment since it also impacts the Mid-North Beach connection 115 and grove residents need to go to the county chambers and state your concerns if this bus service is to be eliminated probable because of lack of ridership since the county is trimming transit expenses and the vehicles are ridden for free.


What about the nickname “crazy Joe,” and what could he be like on the five member commission dais?


Joe Carollo with a mercurial paranoid personality is planning on being a force again on the five member commission and if Francis Suarez the younger son of the elder Suarez is elected mayor as planned. He may find Carolllo is a major ongoing stumbling block and the mayor once flew to San Jose to complain to Miami Herald publisher Tony Ridder about the paper’s coverage of him and while I was a Herald editorial columnist I asked him why he just did not phone the man versus a flight to San Jose. Further, I asked was it on his dime or the city’s back then and he did pay for the flight. After I checked and he claimed at the time angrily “that I ws being used by the Miami Herald,” he insisted and ultimately I got up and walked out telling Ronda Vangates don’t call me again and “He hears things I don’t here,” I told her back in 2000 and while he got the moniker crazy Joe people would always say “at least he is honest,” no small achievement in Miami politics but the WDR anticipates he will be a continuous thorn in little Suarez’s side and he is very confrontational for more go to: And here is more on Elian


What did Russell say at Merrie Christmas Park in Coconut Grove Sunday to about his run for congress?


One hundred supporters attended the kickoff event. The former yo-yo executive born at Doctor’s hospital said he got involved in politics because of the contaminated park he lived next to and the city of Miami’s initial response to the problem.


The introductory speaker Bobby a former elected official said Russell was running for the “right reasons,” and the man who believes in “social equality,” and Russell noted excluding asking his wife for marriage this “is the biggest decision in my life,” and he talked about his family and how his dad while at the University of Miami was a P51 mustang fighter instructor and his Japanese mother was the top yo-yo player in the country and since Russell is from Kentucky he may have some of Daniel Boone’s blood in him he once joked with the WDR and given there are a host of candidates running for the coveted congressional Dist. 27 seat. The candidate believes “the large field,” increases his chances of winning and believes the numbers show in the primary that he only needs some 10,000 Democratic Party voters to face the GOP candidate primarily former school board member Raquel Regalado who has the support of Ros- Lehtinen who is retiring after 22 years in the house.


Further, Russell noted that he has “traveled to [over] 50 countries and speaks “four languages,” including Spanish and he is the first Miami District 2 commissioner to speak the dominate language in Miami and the business man “loves water sports,” and had a business selling paddle boards and a host of other products to “100 surf shops,” in America and he gave money to such organizations as “big brother and Big Sister,” he told the assembled crowd. He also said he was committed to “listening to the people and doing the right thing,” he highlighted his underdog status when he ran against Teresa Sarnoff the wife of the former commissioner Marc Sarnoff who Russell beat by two to one even though her campaign war chest was over $2 million and was ten times the amount he had but voters are getting tired of dynastic political families and are looking for new blood and Russell believes he fills the bill. And supported a resolution urging tolerance for the 70,000 Muslims in the city and the county and he said what has been going on in Washington ‘and “national level issues,” had been tugging at him and he noted one success was overturning a rare Miami Mayor Regalado veto on a large scale development and when he ran for the commission seat “he did not make promises and people trusted him,” and that has been his North Star in politics. He also is concerned with President Trump’s “twitchy trigger finger,” an abrogation of the Iran nuclear deal as some of his concerns in the nation’s capital. For more go to: And for more on the Haggman campaign go to


>>>> Outgoing Mayor Tomas Regalado now believes in climate change and got a long story in the Herald and in some ways the man is an enigma while being a populist, contrarian and commissioner for 22 years


The mayor originally ran on slowing some of the rampant development and more affordable housing most of which never materialized during his eight years in office and many of his siblings have lived off the campaign cash for work on the fathers or sisters campaigns and now his son Tommy is running for aa commission seat facing off against former Miami Mayor Joe Carollo and Regalado and Carollo used to butt heads when he was a commissioner and while he calls himself a Republican his political afflation has shown some flexibility depending on which is the majority party at the time and during his first swearing in years ago the surprise guest was then Gov. Charlie Crist who would later become a Democrat and is a congressman in St. Petersburgh now after failing a bid for the Florida senate.


However his family has traveled extensively for a variety of reasons and recently his son Jose went to the Paris Climate Change conference where he is saying it was on his dime but no documentation has been produced and there are a number of open questions that he just generally ignores and is a Trumpian type excuse. And many of Regalado’s activities have been chronicled in the adult content blog and to read the Herald’s longer story on Regalado go to:


>>> Depending on Florida Supreme Court ruling, city could go “bankrupt,” if courts rule in favor of unions cut in pay, cost could be as high as $200 million, says union rep at commission meeting


The Miami commission’s final budget hearing Thursday was a staid affair and earlier in the day FPO union head Javier Ortiz said the Florida Supreme Court was hearing their case concerning the city claiming a financial emergency and believes the city’s exposure could be some $200 million in past pay and said the city could settle now and if that doesn’t the union plans to demand the full amount and could “bankrupt,” the city something the police and fire rescue members don’t want to do. But he claims the lack of any negotiations in the waning days of Mayor Regalado’s administration and could sour his legacy in office that has had a number of controversies like taking his children on international trips contributed by a local airline and other perks while in office including asking for concierge service at MIA and while the mayor pushes himself as a populist but he has always been quick to have someone else pay for things


What about all the FEMA money after Hurricane Andrew?


What about all the past managers and some of his own new hires?


Further, Mayor Regalado has brought in a number of controversial people since he first became mayor. First was Angel Zayon as the city’s communication director and later fired after complaints by city employees and Regalado even created his own nemesis Al Crespo of the adult Crespo gram when he hired a local Grovite Harry Gottlieb to be the city’s movie czar who used to claim erroneously that he helped get the mayor get elected which was certainly not the case. Since he ran against former Commissioner Joe Sanchez who ran a very weak campaign and was associated with former Mayor Manny Diaz and the toxic Miami Marlins baseball stadium costing over $1.6 billion given the way the financing was constructed and is considered a “tainted” stadium an why major league soccer wanted a different location to the enclosed stadium and the team is up for sale after the team hood winked Miami-Dade County Commissioners who supported the deal like lemmings’.


However Regalado has a history of taking numerous international trips and many times takes his daughter Raquel (now running for congress) and his son Tommy now running for the commission and has in the past shown showed little interest in government and he is facing Joe Carollo in the commission race a former Miami mayor with the moniker “crazy Joe,”   Editor’s note: My criticism of the Regalado family and the way they govern has cost me a long time sponsor, but I will bounce back.


>>> And here are the July 1 financial disclosure forms for ‘Miami commissioners and the mayor Tomas Regalado


Commissioner Francis Suarez: file:///C:/Users/DAN%20RICKER/AppData/Local/Microsoft/Windows/INetCache/Content.Outlook/8UMCRP67/Suarez%20Francis.pdf


Commissioner Wilfredo Gort file:///C:/Users/DAN%20RICKER/AppData/Local/Microsoft/Windows/INetCache/Content.Outlook/8UMCRP67/Gort%20Wifredo.pdf


Ken Russell: file:///C:/Users/DAN%20RICKER/AppData/Local/Microsoft/Windows/INetCache/Content.Outlook/8UMCRP67/Russell%20Ken.pdf


Frank Carollo: file:///C:/Users/DAN%20RICKER/AppData/Local/Microsoft/Windows/INetCache/Content.Outlook/8UMCRP67/Carollo%20Frank.pdf


Keon Hardeman: file:///C:/Users/DAN%20RICKER/AppData/Local/Microsoft/Windows/INetCache/Content.Outlook/8UMCRP67/Hardemon%20Keon.pdf


Tomas Regalado: file:///C:/Users/DAN%20RICKER/AppData/Local/Microsoft/Windows/INetCache/Content.Outlook/8UMCRP67/Regalado%20Tomas.pdf

Miami residents warning!


The city is rushing a deadline to get a proposed development on Virginia Key in front of voters to approve and this has been a past tactic for years and the Flagstone development had this same urgency back in 2002 and voters should wake up because the city has a long history of voters getting suckered in these “terrible deals,” said Commissioner Frank Carollo in the past and the matter is being rushed so that it can be on the Nov. 7 ballot that will also likely include a $400 million GOB bond called ‘Forever Miami,” and city leaders use this urgency to many times pull a fast one and frankly it is about the money, that in a number of cases never materializes. And for more go to html


Further while there will be a oversite board the members will be picked by commissioners and generally they pick people to be on it who are the usual suspects and this cash bonanza becomes a feeding frenzy for many prominent lobbyist given past over sight boards.


What about mayoral candidate Francis Suarez and the 1,000 petitions he submitted to the Miami Clerk’s office and he would avoid paying the $100.00 candidate fee for qualification and is a nice   gesture and shows the young man is willing to do the work necessary to earn the job of mayor no small achievement given his age.


However, Miami at one point in the 1990s went through ten managers ( and later two managers went to jail) and the city since then has had to defend two bond offerings after the SEC found irregularities and Alphonso and his CFO Chris Rose also a budget guru, will be very helpful if the city’s voters approve a $250 million to $400 million GOB and requires fiscal transparency if the city is to not run afoul of the SEC again, And the Watchdog Report believes they have a gem in the manager and the city is on solid fiscal ground. But Miami has a history of appointing political managers and not based on their skill set and taxpayers should realize after the Great Recession the administration under Regalado has bounced back partially because of the rising tax base given the development of Brickell


The County Ethics Commission has a new civility program and Miami-Beach and Coral Gables have all signed on including Miami and to see the program go to:




>>>> Mayor Levine hopes Beach experience will catapult him to governor’s mansion, brings a fresh approach to many vexing problems, but with crowded Democratic Party field, will invest millions to get his message across


Two term Mayor Phillip Levine announced he will run for governor in the Democratic Party primary and the energetic mayor and climate Change supporter has taken his leadership position for a real policy spin and wants to take that spirit to Tallahassee and while the state has been a GOP stronghold he believes that could change as the GOP comes under critic given the Trump administration.


Further, the Ann Arber graduate and started a media business says he will spend millions of his own money in the run and is similar to what gov. Scott first did back in 2010 an he believes South Florida could be ripe with voters and he has four competitors in the democratic primary race and the smart businessman would likely not run if he thought he could not win.


>>> France awards highest award to Mayor Phillip Levine for Climate change support


Community EVENTS & Public Service announcements

Photo credit: Leslie Harris

Margulies Collection 2


>>>> Now closed and will reopen in October. Check it out at

Margulies collection

>> 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 305-434. Note the science barge was badly damaged after Irma and to help contact Frost.




>>> Politicians don’t realize voter’s frustration is they are such hypocrites, many times in their own actions


Politicians are always asking for our trust but it is the hypocrisy of their actions that has gone on for years that makes voters jaded and even if voters pass something they then renege on any promises made and the Pet Trust is one such example and for many local politicians who are high maintenance they forget they work for the people and voters should not have to say thank you for running for office which periodically raises its ugly head and that it is a privilege that just sometimes is based on someone getting their resume punched and the idea of political dynasties in the coming 2017 election is not the way to elect our local representatives and the public can only hope that their true colors will not be seen during their time being a public servant.


>>>> Florida Constitutional commission should insist on transparency, not darkness as Sunshine law gets diluted


The rallies around the nation seeking the truth is not just a national issue but a local one where politicians say one thing and do another. And locally one high profile attorney Roberto Martinez a former U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Florida and he objected to the changing the Sunshine Rules for the Florida Constitution Review that were going to be watered down by the chair. And given the state Constitution’s importance it seems odd that the chair would want to revise the basic tenants of the Sunshine Law and open government and the public needs to keep a close watch on this body when something like this becomes the first issue and with Gov. Rick Scott appointing many of the members email Scott that transparency is one of Florida’s hallmarks and should not be diluted.


>>> 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 soon Celebrating 18 years of weekly reliable 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 national 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.





DISTRICT 7The Miami Herald Letters to the Editor<>

July 11, 2017 11:20 PM


Restore full funding to People’s Transportation Plan Read more here:

In 2002, Miami-Dade County voters approved a half-cent sales surtax to be used to expand and improve mass transit. However, as a result of the 2008 financial crisis, the Citizen’s Independent Transportation Trust (CITT) voted to allow the surtax revenues to be used to support operations and maintenance expenditures of the entire Miami-Dade Transit system.

Two years ago, I attempted to restore full funding back to the People’s Transportation Plan (PTP) for expanding and improving mass transit. At the time, the Miami Herald editorialized in favor of that restoration. Now the need to fund new transportation is even more critical and, fortuitously, the resources are available and ample.

The proposal is to use one-half of the fiscal year 2017-18 estimated incremental real-estate taxes (equivalent to $50 million) to begin funding the SMART Plan.

The administration wants to begin using PTP funds in three to four years. However, I believe that the surtax revenues must be returned to the CITT now.

The county has more than enough funds to return half of the new property tax revenues to the PTP, maximizing CITT’s bondable capacity. There is plenty of fat in the county bureaucracy. We have 4,283 managers; 7,240 county automobiles; and 18 administrative buildings!

Local officials who support this initiative include: mayors Tomas Regalado (Miami), Peggy Bell (Cutler Bay), Smith Joseph (North Miami), Phillip Stoddard (South Miami), Enid Weisman (Aventura), George Vallejo (North Miami Beach), and Cindy Lerner (formerly of Pinecrest); state representatives Nick Duran, Roberto Asencio, and Kionne McGhee; and Sen. Anitere Flores; and commissioners Vince Lago (Coral Gables) and Francis Suarez (Miami).

As Rep. McGhee has said: “It is time to give us the rail!”

Xavier Suarez, Miami-Dade County commissioner, District 7


>>> 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:        

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





























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




























>>> Publisher’s Statement on the mission of the Watchdog Report and the special people and organizations that make it possible:  Government Subscribers/Corporate Subscribers/Sustaining Sponsors/Supporting Sponsors the Watchdog Report covers a few of the meetings attended weekly. It remains my belief that an informed public will make better decisions. Therefore, I go to meetings, make the presence of an informed citizen known, and bring the information to you.   The Watchdog Report is in the fourth year of publication and it has been an honor to be able to send this information to you. It is sent to readers in Miami-Dade, Florida, the U.S. and the world. The Watchdog Report is sent to thousands free and while readers have been prodded to subscribe the results have been mixed. Over 250 reports and Extras have been sent since May 5, 2000 and over one million words have been written on our community’s governments and events.  The report is an original work based on information gathered at public meetings, interviews and from documents in the public domain. I welcome letters via e-mail. Letters may be edited for length or clarity and must refer to material published in the Watchdog Report.  Please see address and contact information. Please send any additions and corrections by e-mail, fax or snail mail. All corrections will be published in the next Watchdog Report. If you or your organization would like to publish the contents of this newsletter, please contact me. Please send your request to


Daniel A. Ricker

Publisher & Editor

Watchdog Report

Est. 05.05.00

Copyright © of original material, 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


Supporting Sponsors $5,000

Sustaining Sponsors $2,000

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


Large Business Supporters $500

Small Business Supporters $250 

Individual Supporter $150


Make Checks payable to Daniel Ricker

3109 Grand Ave, #125 Miami, Florida 33133




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