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Watchdog Report Vol.17 No.48 April 23, 2017 -EST: 05.05.00 – I go when you cannot – Celebrating almost 16 Years of Weekly publishing

I want to thank the readers and friends who contributed to my Pay Pal and with your help I was able to cover my rent. And I hate being dramatic in this regard and I hope 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 been unable 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 http://paypal.me/WatchdogReport 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 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 17th 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: http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/2003-01-20/news/0301190045_1_ricker-miami-watchdog and s different versionhttp://articles.sun-sentinel.com/2003-01-20/news/0301190341_1_ricker-school-board-president-miami-s-first-cuban-american

 

>>> 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 www.watchdogreport.net  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.

 

CONTENTS

 

ARGUS REPORT: President Donald Trump is striking a new relationship with China and how to deal with the rogue state of North Korea could prove very beneficial to America and the Hermit Kingdom is more of a tributary nation when it comes to China and the nation is very sensitive about their independence as a nation, and now threatens to sink a carrier.

FLORIDA: Sen. Artiles resigns after liquor laced racial rant, used “N” word and degraded Sen. President Negron, says he believes he will be reelected, challengers are lining up from J.C. Zapata a former Miami-Dade County Commissioner, to Alex Diaz de la Portilla, who had a nasty divorce

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY: After hours of testimony on Summerset Academy a charter school, on Sunset Drive, at planning and zoning, County commission punts and asks opposing attorneys to find compromise, by May 28 – County’s Opioid task Force says, great need for public detox centers, after state cracks down on pill mills and is exasperating this epidemic. County youth commission holds joint meeting with BCC, a number of members going to top university’s will be leaders of the future says Chair Bovo

MIAMI-Dade County Public Schools: Robert Martinez new chair of GOB $1.2 billion oversite board, replaces former Mayor Lerner, who says minority business getting their share, under supt. Carvalho

CITY OF MIAMI: Is Miami commission going back to the future with former mayor Carollo leading in a poll?

CITY OF MIAMI BEACH: 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.

CITY OF CORAL GABLES: Tuesday election face off Mena versus Ebbert, but will voters turn out for this runoff election?

EDITORIALS: Most politicians hate the press

LETTERS: physician on free press

 

>>> 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: http://www.miaminewtimes.com/best-of/2003/people-and-places/best-citizen-6399517    

 

>>> 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 [16th] Anniversary. In a former life Ricker made a handsome living as an international salesman of heart pacemakers. As the hard-working publisher of Watchdog, though, he’s struggling financially — this despite the fact that his weekly compendium of meeting summaries, analysis, interviews, and commentary has become essential reading for anyone involved in public affairs. What his written work may lack in polish, it more than makes up for in comprehensiveness. So raise a toast to the man whose official slogan says it all: “A community education resource — I go when you cannot!”

 

>>> And checkout the new Watchdog Report merchandising campaign

Featuring Knowledge is Bliss coffee cups and includes premium cotton super soft tee shirts.

 

ARGUS REPORT: Heard Seen on the Streets

 

>>>> President Donald Trump in striking a new relationship with China and how to deal with the rogue state of North Korea could prove very beneficial to America and the Hermit King dome is more of a tributary nation when it comes to china and the nation is very sensitive about their independence of the nation.

 

Further Vice President Mike Pence made the rounds in the Far East including a stop in Indonesia one of the largest Muslim countries in the world and then he is heading next to Canberra Australia to calm any fears of America’s commitment to the vast country and our longtime ally. A Country that has its own fears when it comes to North Korea and is within striking distance with the rogue state. That on Sunday threatened to sink a U.S. Carrier steaming its way to the region and is ratcheting up global concerns about the state that has never been recognized by the United States and is a chip in the American foreign policy quiver since the nation is a pariah on the world stage.

 

What about the national budget continuing resolution deadline on Saturday?

 

Currently speaker Paul Ryan, R- Wis. Is trying to craft a deal but the president’s request for border wall funding is a non-starter with Democrats and the clock is also clicking regarding a new ACA program that currently has Obama Care still the law of the nation but the program repeal has been one of the GOP’s major campaign pledges and local law makers are getting blowback from constiuents and town halls have become raucous sometimes.

>>> The Miami Herald strikes gold with two more Pulitzer Prizes, 22 over the Century, paper is the glue of Miami’s diverse demographics, long history of great investigative journalism, continues

 

Hail to The Miami Herald for getting two more Pulitzer Prizes and they had 22 Pulitzers in years past but the awards, one for the deep dive investigation of the Panama Papers and Jim Morin a talented cartoonist won his second Pulitzer. And the Watchdog Report gives all the news team at The Herald a tip of the hat and the [paper’s investigative stories are widely loved and read given the nature of South Florida. And here is their story on the coveted awards.

http://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/article143794654.html

 

>>> And Patrick Farrell’s daughter Annie was awarded a proclamation from The Miami-Dade County Public Schools Board, for her community service and being awarded the prestige’s Prudential Spirit of Community Award. And her father Patrick Farrell is one the Miami Herald’s Pulitzer Prize winners for his dramatic and profound photojournalism and the Watchdog Report gives her a Tip of The Hat, for her contribution to community service and wish her well inn her future endeavors. Further, she is a senior at the Coral Gables high school.

 

>>> There is not only Citizen Reporters, but citizen scientist monitoring their local water 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: http://www.pbs.org/video/2365985099/

https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=the+crowd+and+the+cloud&view=detail&mid=CD84F5C8382A9CB88ED3CD84F5C8382A9CB88ED3&FORM=VIRE

 

President Donald Trump is finding the world is not only a dangerous place but America cannot resolve all the world’s issues and with the military dropping the Mother of All Bombs on a cave area in Afghanistan, the pundits are saying he is getting his sea legs in the office and Trump has reversed course on a number of past statements and while demonstrators were out around the nation calling for the president to release his own taxes as Ap. 15th approaches and in a tweet. The president notes he is president and won the Electoral College and his voters don’t care about his taxes but the issue has not gone away and could dog him through much of his term and for more on the attack go to:

http://www.miamiherald.com/latest-news/article144392629.html

 

>>>> At The Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce the CEO of Nicholas Children’s Hospital M. Narendra Kini, M.D. talked about how healthcare is changing in the years ahead and the institution once known as Variety Children’s has been providing top notch medical care for children in the community along with the Holtz Children’s hospital that is part of the Jackson Health System and Children’s has just finished a $200 million expansion with a new pavilion and bolstered “tech expenditures,” he said.

 

He also noted the facility is having a “continuous debate on data collection,” and believes telemedicine will be the wave of the future and trying to make a diagnosis “using google,” is the worst thing someone can do when it comes to their health and while computers may suggest a diagnosis a clinician still has to review the data much of which can be done at home and transmitted to the hospital and at Children’s Kini said they had 4,320 employees and a strong pediatric cardiac program. And for more go to www.Nicklauschildrens.org/ visit and the institution’s hallmark is “is centered on the family and child,” a brochure states and between Holtz Children’s a public hospital the community has two great medical resources for children’s medical needs and that is rare in a community our size. Where for example Philadelphia has only one children’s hospital because the number of children needing surgery is a small segment of the population, in a medical area where the number of cases keeps the surgical side expertise honed to a fine edge.

 

>>>> Further, Kacie Conner’s, the program manager of the WIN Lab spoke and the organization is a entrepreneurship Spotlight and helps women entrepreneurs in Miami and for more go to www.babson.edu/winlab

 

>>>> President Trump hits his first speed bump, 64 day schedule, for Trump health plan, too short for consensus, With ACA almost a year was spent on the legislation

 

With the withdrawal of President Trump’s” healthcare bill because there wasn’t enough votes since the Democratic Party’s lawmakers all abstained from supporting the bill and was facing opposition within the ranks of the GOB. And Trump understood discretion is the better part of valor.

 

And Speaker Paul Ryan knew he did not have the votes and withdrew the controversial bill and had Trump at one point essentially issuing an ultimatum to the GOP ranks saying he would campaign in their districts against them if they did not support the legislation. And this pullback keeps Obama care ACA as the law of the nation and is another blow to the fledging Trump administration after losing two federal court rulings in the past week on his travel ban that affects 5 mostly Muslim nation’s travelers and has caused controversy on the world scene

 

Further, Trump failed to account (by creating an artificial deadline) that Obamacare took over a year to craft and get through Congress versus the 64 days in the president’s push and he tweeted that the failure everything will be all right since the ACA is still the law of the land Trump is assuring Americans the federal program that might financially be collapsing with high premiums and deductibles, and companies around the nation are pulling some health plans in some states. So for many Americans when it comes to healthcare. They will still have the coverage until the GOP comes up with a replacement plan. However House Republicans are in factions and some more conservative, like Freedom Caucus, yet socially liberal ones bucked the tide and pressure Trump was trying to put on the undecided representatives.

 

http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/ap-norc-poll-majority-of-americans-favor-russia-probe/ar-BBz9ZyQ?ocid=spartanntp

 

What about politics 101  

 

Trump is used to transactions is learning how democracy works and representatives and senators take their responsibility very seriously and while the president may be the king of smoooze. He misread the complexity of the healthcare issue and doing tax reform is said to be even more complicated many pundits suggest. But was one of the Republican campaign pledges during the race but the president needs to recalibrate if he wants to get any substantial legislation passed during his term.

 

>>> Will Trump’s skinny budget and cuts in meals on wheels because social unrest with elderly residents in Miami and Hialeah major socializing program for the elderly?

 

President Trump’s proposed $1.06 trillion ‘skinny budget has wide spread cuts in a host of areas including the EPA department of State and deep cuts in the arts since there is $54 billion in cuts and other cultural programs are being lined out and are being done to boost the defense budget to $574 billion and howls are going off around the nation and will have some dramatic impacts in South Florida.

 

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:http://www.cnn.com/2017/03/16/politics/trump-budget-cuts/ https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/03/the-concrete-cost-of-trump-military-budget/518193/ >>> http://www.crfb.org/papers/president-trumps-fy-2018-skinny-budget

 

 >>>> 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: http://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/community/miami-dade/edison-liberty-city/article144081449.html

 

What about world affairs?

 

It is no coincidence that North. Korea tested a high-thrust rocket while Sec. of State Rex Tillerson was meeting with the premier of China and while Chinese leaders have supported the rogue Hermit Kingdom having the neighboring country have nuclear weapons and a possible delivery system has strained the two nation’s relations and has most of the countries concerned what Korea could do next given the erratic autocratic dictator nature of the state and its commitment to going nuclear.

 

Further, Tillerson amped up tensions when he suggested the U.S. is open to all options including nuclear and has tensions high on the peninsula. And President Trump is finding out you cannot prevent global crisis and every country is different but the instability in Asia is a big deal since both China and America are involved and mistakes or misreading of the other side could result negatively for both countries and trigger war.

However, there has been only so much China can do for they fear an influx of refugees and the state coming under S. Korea control and could put American forces on the border with China, something the Chinese will not tolerate.

 

>>> 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

http://www.pbs.org/video/2365985099/

 

What about the autocracy of cars in Miami-Dade?

 

I am starting to see a new phenomenon in the county and it is drivers who believe their cars give a certain status and can tailgate with impunity and pull out suddenly just because they are in a dually or high end SUV Many times a Land Rover, Hummer and some of these drivers believe they own the road and I only bring it up because on Saturday someone had to come to screeching stop since the light had changed to red.

 

STATE OF FLORIDA

 

>>>> Sen. Artiles resigns after liquor laced racial rant, used “N” word and degraded Sen. President Negron, says he believes he will be reelected, challengers are lining up from J.C. Zapata a former Miami-Dade County Commissioner, to Diaz de la Portilla

 

Finally a Miami moment is over with the resignation of Sen. Frank Artilies,R- Hialeah after a liquor laced racial rant with crudeness and racism being the operative word as he referred to fellow senators at a private club and used the N… word,, called Senate President Joe Negron a p…sy’ and the Marine veteran has for years been considered a loose cannon and he says that is the way his people in His district speak about minorities apparently and his broad brush approach angered Sen. Rene Garcia, R-Hialeah who responded that this is not the ethnic tenor of the City of industry and is an affront to the municipalities voters. Further, he resigned Friday in a terse letter and a special election will soon be called in the future and competitors are lining up from past county commissioner Juan Carlos Zapata d a long list of others and could possible include former senator Alex Diaz de Portilla R-Miami but it would open some old wounds including a well-publicized messy divorce.

 

What do we know about the senator’s finances?

 

Artiles as of June 2011 had a net worth of $196,250 and his home back then was worth $400,000 and had a $261,000 mortgage and he also owes a host of student loans and back in 2012 he had a net worth of $184,000. And to see any eletected leaders disclosure forms go http://public.ethics.state.fl.us/search.cfm#org and here is Artiles most recent financial disclosure form http://public.ethics.state.fl.us/Forms/2015/234989-Form6.pdf

 

Further, Artiles a family man with two daughters also hired a woman who was a Hooters “Calendar,” girl and she went with him to Key West for a fishing tournament and fundraiser and the Kentucky Derby and for more go to:http://www.miamiherald.com/news/politics-government/article145942934.html and to see the Hooters former employee go: http://www.miamiherald.com/news/politics-government/state-politics/article146029094.html and here is his resignation letter

http://www.miamiherald.com/news/politics- government/article145954434.ece/binary/Resignation%20Letter.pdf

 

What about Ralph Arza and Julio Robaina?

 

Years ago former state representative Ralph Arza left a similar rant concerning the school district Supt. Rudy Crew on Robaina’ s phone an Arza was forced to resign his office after the accompanying firestorm and both Arza and Artiles are considered a bully and I watched Artiles at the County’s Regional Library early voting site and he was an aggressive campaigner when he was first running for the House and with these two women in his entourage he may have some explaining to do at home because they are very attractive young women and got a $600 payment as a political consultant.

 

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 http://www.miamiherald.com/news/politics-government/article1945162.html

 

>>>> With Florida on fire, highlights need for water conservation and role of Everglades in allowing Florida to flourish

 

Gov. Rick Scott has declared a state of emergency after wildfires have erupted around the state and is the worst drought in six years but until the rains the fires are unabated and fire fighters are fighting the fires 24/ 7 and there are 100 separate fires consuming the Florida landscape.

 

>>> With the speculation of Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi going to Washington her reputation of shutting down pill mills has catapulted her onto the president’s Commission Combating Drug Addiction and Opioid Crisis

 
>>>> PAST WDR Press release: Attorney General Bondi’s Weekly Briefing:

 

I have spent my entire career fighting drug trafficking and abuse—locally as a state prosecutor and statewide as Florida’s Attorney General. This week, President Donald J. Trump appointed me to the newly formed Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis to help combat drug abuse nationwide.

Our nation is in the grip of a deadly opioid epidemic. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that in 2015 more than 33,000 people in the United States died from opioid overdoses. More than 3,000 of those deaths occurred in Florida.

We have made great strides in the fight against drug abuse in Florida, shutting down pill mills, outlawing synthetic drugs and dismantling drug trafficking rings. Since 2014, my Office of Statewide Prosecution charged 148 people with charges related to trafficking heroin.

This session, I am supporting legislation to add Fentanyl to Florida’s drug trafficking statute. Drug dealers now commonly mix Fentanyl with heroin—and users are unaware of what they are taking and sometimes think they are buying a Xanax or an over-the-counter pill—often resulting in death.

While all these actions are saving lives—Florida and our nation face an unprecedented threat from opioids flooding into our communities.

Florida law enforcement alone cannot stop this national epidemic and I am deeply encouraged by President Trump’s creation of the Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis. The commission is chaired by Governor Chris Christie and includes other leaders who will fight to reduce drug abuse. I am honored to work alongside these experts to help improve our nation’s fight against drug abuse and trafficking, save lives and heal broken people.

 

>>> Are Florida legislators re Visit Florida gambling that tourism is a given in the competitive global tourism industry, high risk bet for state’s budget?

 

Gov. Rick Scott is keeping his foot to the metal and is traveling around the state also running television spots telling people their state legislators must support Visit Florida if they care about jobs and the tourism industry and Florida is competing with other states and nations and the panhandle benefits from the Florida tourism push and for many is penny foolish and pound short when it comes to the state’s largest economic engine and the state has the infrastructure and attractions to make tourists want to come to the state and he has fired back with this statement last week.

 

>>>Gov. Scott press release: “Today, politicians in the Florida House passed job killing legislation. We can all agree that VISIT FLORIDA and EFI need to be absolutely accountable and transparent, and both agencies have already taken major steps and implemented reforms to ensure their operations meet our high expectations. However, today’s actions by the House curb the mission of VISIT FLORIDA and bury it in more government bureaucracy – along with decimating Florida’s economic toolkit and the very programs which are directly tied to the creation of thousands of jobs for Florida families.

 

“Many politicians who voted for these bills say they are for jobs and tourism. But, I want to be very clear – a vote for these bills was a vote to kill tourism and jobs in Florida. I will continue to fight for Florida jobs and never stop standing up for the families and businesses whose livelihood depend on a strong and growing economy.” – Governor Rick Scott.

 

MIAME-DADE COUNTY

 

>>>> After hours of testimony on Summerset Academy a charter school, on Sunset Drive, at planning and zoning, commission punts and asks opposing attorneys to find compromise, by May 28

 

A planning and zoning meeting Wednesday stretched on for hours as commissioners considered if Summerset Academy a charter school should be approved on Sunset Drive and the school faced serious public dissent and child after child asked commissioner Chair Estephan Bovo, Jr., to “please approve the school,” and had Bovo a family man with young children saying that was “three pleases,” ( a plea only a parent can appreciate) looking like he would try to see the kids point of view and ultimately the vote on the project was “deferred,” until May 28 and the two land use attorneys Juan Mayol and Tucker Gibbs were asked to work it out and Commissioner Suarez an attorney noted the two men were facing each other fairly often and the while he thought the Jennings Rule was “silly,” since it prohibits elected leaders to discuss the project and the two attorneys will be sitting down with the opposing parties and see if a compromise might be reached and could include a new traffic study once the school opens but at a reduced attendance number around 1,400 and Academia who will run the charter school wanted a higher enrollment but traffic and life safety issues dominated the multi –hour meeting Wednesday.( further the elder Suarez made an odd joke about “voting early and often,” since he had an election voided by a judge for widespread voter fraud, including Manuel Yip who had died years earlier).

 

Further Suarez said education be it pubic or charter school was a right and cited a past Pope’s writings on the subject and in a new book he said he traces the evolution of education as one of the fundamental human rights.

 

>>> 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.

 

>>>> PAST WDR: County’s Opioid task Force met Monday, great concern for public detox centers, after state cracks down on pill mills and is exasperating this epidemic

 

The Miami-Dade County Joint Opioid Task force met Monday and the various committees reported on their efforts and had Judge Beth Cohen noting there were plenty of addiction clinics there were none that were public facilities and a task force member said there was new derivative of fentanyl the highly toxic chemical that gets mixed in the cheap yellow heroin coming from Mexico. And helps chronic users to overdose and has fire Rescue first responders having to give multiple doses of NarCan that can reverse a drug overdose and needs to be more available in the community like what was done with external defibrillators in public buildings and the addiction deaths cut across all ethnic lines and is an epidemic around the nation and the task force is studying how to fight this scourge.

 

>>> Commission’s attempt’s to end “beg athon,” and accept administration’s CBO funding choices, but “83 percent,” of requests could not be funded and after 111 speaker cards, the matter gets “deferred,” issue will likely reemerge

 

The Commission last week tried to approve a list of community based organizations that would receive county funding, However, there was not enough money to fund some 83 percent of the applicants, said Jennifer Moon the County’s budget guru. And the new selection process was to end the “’beg a thon,” said commissioner Daniela Levine Cava and decades ago the final budget hearing where groups testified how critical the county funding was for seniors or children and the meetings went to 6:00 a.m. back in 2001.

 

However, the commission deferred the matter and funding will continue until the new budget year ending Sept. 30 said Moon.

 

What about the dust-up with the County’s Ethics Commission and public Trust commission?

 

Commissioners had a Sunshine meeting and they seemed disappointed the Ethics commission had done an investigation on elected officials who got special treatment when they checked into MIA and commissioners brought up the commission’s budget and how it might be impacted and was perceived as trying to intimidate the independent entity created by voters overwhelmingly in 2006 and on the whole has given taxpayers a little more assurance and will be a critical firewall if the county wants voters to approve a one cent sales tax for transportation and this dust –up is a PR nightmare for the commission and should be very careful using this kind of language for the commission works and the Watchdog report back then was the only public at the Commission’s formation meeting where they interviewed executive director Robert Meyers and the office also had an issue with the mayor’s office back when recalled Mayor Carlos Alvarez was being investigated and commissioners like this office that catches many blatant conflicts or unusual relationships and is important if voters are to trust their elected leaders.

 

>>> 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: http://www.miamidadeig.org/

 

Regarding Governor Scott’s $100M Tourism Spending Proposal STATEMENT: Regarding Governor Scott’s $100M Tourism Spending Proposal
>>> Press release: Florida Association of Destination Marketing Organizations

Here’s what representatives of Florida’s tourism industry are saying about Governor’s Scott’s proposal to increase tourism spending to $100 million:

 “As a small business owner reliant on state and local tourism promotion – and one of the 19.89 million Floridians who depend on the $11.3 billion in taxes our visitors contribute to our economy – I am extremely grateful to Governor Scott for encouraging an increase in VISIT FLORIDA funding. Most tourism businesses are small businesses and don’t always have the resources necessary to make our voices heard in such a competitive industry. Fortunately, our partnership with VISIT FLORIDA enables us to make a name for ourselves in target markets across the globe. An increase in marketing funding will continue to grow the Sunshine State’s vibrant tourism industry and many more hardworking Floridians will be employed as a result. Every 76 visitors to our state employs one person in the tourism industry, so increasing visitation is key to economic growth and record-breaking employment numbers.” – Mark McHugh, President and CEO of Gatorland in Orlando

 

“Along with thousands of other Floridians employed in the tourism industry, I wholeheartedly thank Governor Scott for fighting for our state’s number one industry with his VISIT FLORIDA budget proposal. A budget of $100 million keeps Florida on the same playing field as beach-brimmed competitors such as California, and the increased funding means the Sunshine State will maintain its status as a top destination. I’m sure the 49 other states in our country and many international destinations would love to see Florida to reduce its tourism budget, and their desire to capture our market share is precisely why this increase is needed. In the last fiscal year alone, Florida’s tourism industry generated $108.8 billion in travel-related revenue for our state. Imagine what VISIT FLORIDA can help us achieve in years to come should Governor Scott’s budget recommendation be accepted.” – Heidi Dennis, General Manager of Pelican Grand Beach Resort in Fort Lauderdale.

“Over my 33 years in the tourism industry, I have witnessed the return on investment tourism promotion has yielded for Florida. Governor Scott truly understands these economic principles and I appreciate his unwavering support of the 1.4 million Floridians employed by our industry. Tourism promotion puts paychecks in the hands of industry employees, and it also keeps money in every Floridian’s pocket. The revenue generated by tourists helps pay for critical government services, such as education, public safety and infrastructure maintenance, so Florida doesn’t have to impose a state income tax on its residents to cover these costs. Today’s announcement by Governor Scott to increase tourism marketing funding not only demonstrates his commitment to the tourism industry, but to the financial wellbeing of all Florida families.” – Clark Hill, General Manager of the Hilton Naples in Naples

 

What about the county Commissioner Auditor?

 

Charles Anderson, CPA was the first county auditor but he passed recently and voters back in 2002 approved creating the position that included the auditor must be a CPA and was to be responsible for developing the commission budget which never panned out said commissioner Rebeca Sosa who was on the dais at the time and it was former county Commissioner Jimmy Morales that sponsored the language on the ballot back then. However, commissioners debated on whether it had to be a CPA. Since the office deals with “legislative,” issues and currently there are four legislative positions and seven auditor “vacancies,” said budget guru Jennifer Moon and commission Chair Bovo noted having the CPA in that ballot language adds a winkle to the issue and commissioner Joe Martinez believes the office is also “very political,” said the long time commissioner and the commission will likely hold a workshop to try to clarify the dilemma that is facing commissioners and could be debated at the County’s Charter review Committee and Commissioner gave the group a plug asking her peers to make their appointments to the body so it could get underway and might discuss the auditor issue.

 

CITY OF MIAMI

 

>>> Is Miami commission going back to the future with former mayor Carollo leading in a poll?

 

Some of the Miami commission candidates races are getting more competitive until the filing deadline in September and former Miami mayor Joe Carollo is polling well in his bid to get back on the body and he has good support among the Little Havana voters but he has had some past baggage that may come back to haunt him like throwing a tea can at his wife and created a firestorm as well as later when he had a messy public divorce and all of this will resurface in this coming race.

 

>>>> Further, Miami commissioners got an ear full when it came to the slow progress of flagger Street downtown and is forcing struggling business to the edge some who had been there for years but their owners say they might have to move and the business owners are looking for some breaks from the city while this stalled construction gets back on the supposed time line.

 

Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado and Miami CFO Chris Rose did a presentation on the potential issuance of a $250 million GOB bond for a host of projects and includes some $140 million for resiliency projects and the mayor said the strategy is to follow the 2001 Homeland Security bonds passed back then and the November election was in conjunction with the Miami mayoral race that included a field of ten candidates and included, Maurice Ferre, Joe Carollo, Wilfredo Gort, and the winner Mayor Manny Diaz and the election was just after 9/11 and the bond was sold as a way to make the city safer in these new times and voters passed it. Further in this case $54 million in public safety and Miami commissioners wanted a complete list of the projects and how it affects their five districts and given the political climate and overruns of some jobs the commission should create oversight board made up of citizen’s to watch over how these new funds are spent and should give comfort to voters.

 

However, while a local poll indicates the voters might buy into another $275 million bond

 

>>> However, the city is facing lawsuits from Airbnb homeowners who had to give their name and address and the Miami administration is going after these homeowners via code enforcement after they spoke at a commission meeting on the matters and it is a slippery slope when it comes to free speech but Manager Daniel J. Alphonso said they are breaking the law and the city must act http://www.miamiherald.com/news/business/article144684814.html And here is a story done by WPBT Channel 10 investigative reporter Glenna MIlberg and she interviews Regalado on the subject of sending code enforcement to the people’s homes who spoke as being a Airbnb host. https://www.local10.com/travel/airbnb-hosts-become-targets-of-inspection-in-miami

 

>>> Bayfront Park Trust CEO Schmand, resigns, did a yeoman job on Trust that once lost money, ended in a scandal in 2000

 

The longtime executive director of the Bay Front Park Trust Tim Schmand has retired and the man has kept the Trust on the straight and narrow and the public forgets that back in 2000 when Ira Katz was director there was a real scandal at the trust and the city of Miami had to contribute $400,000 to keep the operation open and was chaired by J.L. Plummer and Katz later was arrested and the Trust was inflating bills and was detailed by Miami Herald reporter Tyler Bridges in an investigative story, but since Schmand’ s arrival the Trust has made money though this year it is showing a loss and I stopped by the Trust on Thursday and spoke with the director in his office and he made no mention of his departure and a dust-up with Commissioner Frank Carollo on a second concert after Ultra had just concluded and I wish him well for he was diligent and honest and his replacement should be carefully chosen. For more go to: http://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/community/miami-dade/article141918854.html

 

>>> Miami is working with the county to get agreement to build a parking garage on Virginia key and resident’s hold keep their eyes on this project in the sensitive environmental area.

 

>>> Coconut Grove Playhouse public hearing at Miami City Hall Commission Chambers

 

A flyer of the public meeting says that the plan requests the demolition of the 1,000-seat Theater and be replaced by a “300-seat Theater, restaurant, parking garage and restoration of the entrance building and the flyer asks people to speak out against “the eraser of our community’s cultural history,” states the flyer.

 

However, the county’s plan is facing major local resistance who have dubbed the proposal as just being a mixed use development that happens to have a theater in it. Further, residents noted the bond money was for “restoration,” of the historic structure and any final plans have to come back to the Historical environmental Planning Board with the final plans that has some disappointed with the county’s plan that includes a five story parking garage, and apartments above the structure but this battle is not over and expect Groveites to continue to weigh in on the final project that must be completed by 2020 said Florida’s lieutenant governor.

 

>>>>Further Francis Suarez wants open records request to be handled by the manager versus the clerk or attorney and the legislation is in front of the commission after major delays with getting public records

 

What about the Miami mayoral race?

 

Candidate and Commissioner Francis Suarez in his second attempt to be Miami mayor has amassed a $2 million war chest and that should discourage any competitors from entering the race that closes in Sept. Further Suarez is taking a page from former Mayor Manny Diaz and Marc Sarnoff where there is never too much money and gives the impression they are bought by special interests and while Suarez’s first t run had the tag line ‘it’s Our time,” and was directed toward millennials voters and it may show this new demographic has no fear of money even though he sends the message that he is a new type of city mayor candidate and when he first ran he helped his father Xavier Suarez rehabilitate his political career after getting the nickname “Mayor Loco,” when he was in office and is now a county commissioner. And the son intentionally did not use his given first name which is Xavier but ran as Francis he once told the WDR years ago after he was first elected. Further Suarez in a Miami channel 77 interview talks about his son who is just turning three and is learning that kids mimic their parents even in exercising and he is a man who is enjoying fatherhood and was playing ball with his father Xavier when the son was growing up and residents should check it out since he is running for mayor.

 

City of Miami Beach

>>> 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: http://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/community/miami-dade/miami-beach/article141609749.html

 

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.

 

>>>> Ethics Commission press release: Ethics training improves ethical conduct in Miami Beach. Ethics training of public employees has become a standard requirement in government at all levels.  But is there any evidence that such training actually improves government ethics?  The Miami-Dade Commission on Ethics and Public Trust (COE) believes the answer is yes, based on its recent survey of City of Miami Beach employees working in those departments believed to be the most susceptible to corruption.

 

Almost four years ago, the COE initiated an intensive ethics training regimen for hundreds of employees in the city’s regulatory departments — those that interact with residents and businesses in connection with enforcement of city regulations, including building and code enforcement, fire rescue, planning, finance, parking and procurement.  The program, recorded by city staff, has since been utilized continuously to train new employees in the same departments. Since the original training sessions, employees’ confidence in the integrity of their local government has been bolstered.  That was one of the key findings of a recent survey by the COE, intended to test the impact of the program. The COE embarked on the intensive ethics and awareness program in 2013 at the invitation of former City Manager Jorge Gonzalez, following a troubling series of ethical and criminal misdeeds in the city government.  The program was carried out with the support of current Manager Jimmy Morales and the Mayor and City Commission, which appropriated funds for the project.  The results of the December survey were compared with the results of a survey done three years earlier as part of the original program. Overall, the findings suggest that Miami Beach employees in the departments surveyed are more satisfied with the city’s ethical standards than they were in 2013.  The recent results highlighted a number of positive trends, such as double-digit improvements with respect to the City’s overall ethics and ethical standards, as well as co-worker morale. For example, 81 percent of employees told COE they felt Miami Beach government itself was “ethical” in 2016 compared to 65 percent during the 2013 survey – a 25 percent increase over three years.  Meanwhile, 77 percent of employees said they felt enough safeguards had been implemented by management to prevent corruption in the workplace – up significantly from 60 percent in 2013. Additionally, 80 percent of those surveyed said it was easier to “blow the whistle” on corrupt activity, compared to 64 percent in 2013.   They also feel better about reporting bad behavior according to the responses to a question about fear of retaliation for whistleblowers.  In the most recent survey, 67 percent of employees felt adequate protections exist, compared to just 33 percent in 2013.  The number of employees reporting a bribe offer three years ago (27 percent) was cut to 22 percent, an indication that even potential bribers may be getting the message.

 

The new survey showed employees seem to like the heightened emphasis on ethics, judging from the 16 percent improvement in co-worker morale over the past survey. Employees also gave higher marks to their supervisors with respect to job performance and personal ethics, the survey showed.

 

Ethics Commission Executive Director Joseph Centorino pointed out that the city administration should get credit for the improvement, but also said, “The results show that ethics training can raise employees’ awareness of what constitutes unethical or corrupt behavior and prepare them how to deal with it.”   “More important,” he added, “employees respect the city’s efforts to recognize and correct deficiencies in dealing with and responding to ethical issues, and that significantly improves morale.”

Centorino noted that Miami Beach officials have also taken the lead toward enhancing public trust by being the first municipality to embrace a “Civility Oath” for those in high positions, following the Ethics Commission’s January passage of a resolution calling for local governments to adopt such a vow.  Miami Beach’s Mayor, Commissioners and top staff swore to “pledge fairness, integrity and civility, in all actions taken and all communications made by me as a public servant,” during the City Commission meeting on February 8, 2016. >>> The Ethics Commission was created in 1996 as an independent agency with advisory and quasi-judicial powers. It is composed of five members, serving staggered terms of four years each. Through a program of education, outreach and enforcement, the Commission seeks to empower the community and bolster public trust.   

 

CITY OF CORAL GABLES

 

>>> Tuesday election face off Mena versus Ebbert, but will voters turn out for this runoff election?

 

With the runoff special election Tuesday the two candidates Mike Mena and Marlin Ebbert are facing off and it will be voter turnout that will determine the winner for this open seat and the faces on the commission are changing but such elections rarely draw voters out.

 

Community EVENTS & Public Service announcements

Margulies Collection 2

http://www.margulieswarehouse.com/index.php#/exhibitions

 

>>>> Now open and the Warehouse has a new exhibit and check it out at http://www.margulieswarehouse.com/#/home

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 http://www.margulieswarehouse.com/#/home

>> 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

 

EDITORIALS

 

>>> 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

http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/2003-01-20/news/0301190045_1_ricker-miami-watchdog. 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 http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/2003-01-20/news/0301190045_1_ricker-miami-watchdog and to all the people along the way that have helped me I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

 

LETTERS

 

>>> Reader and Physician supports freedom of the press with Jefferson quote about not having a government without a free press

 

Yes, many presidents have had issues with the media. Early in our country’s history, of course, the media was in print. As long as there is freedom of the press and other media sources to say what they want, whether based on substance or not, there will be complaints. Even Jefferson had conflicts with some of the newspapers of his time, but that did not stop him from making the following statement:

 

“…were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter.”  Thomas Jefferson, The third president of the United States

 

Will Blechman, M.D.

Miami, Fla.

 

>>> The Watchdog Report publisher would like to thank the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation www.knightfoundation.org for funding by the Knight Foundation with technical support from the Knight Center www.knightfoundation.org   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 https://paypal.me/WatchdogReport

>>>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 https://paypal.me/WatchdogReport 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: http://articles.sun-sentinel.com/2003-01-20/news/0301190341_1_ricker-school-board-president-miami-s-first-cuban-american

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THE MIAMI HERALD www.miamiherald.com (2000-2008)

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>>> Watchdog Report supporters – $1,000 to $5,000 a year

 

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MIAMI-DADE COMMISSION OFFICE OF THE CHAIR www.miamidade.gov

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MIAMI-DADE COUNTY HOMELESS TRUST: www.miamidade.gov/homeless/

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PUBLIC HEALTH TRUST & JACKSON HEALTH SYSTEM www.jhsmiami.org

THE BEACON COUNCIL www.beaconcouncil.com

THE CHILDREN’S TRUST www.thechildrenstrust.org

THE GOOD GOVERNMENT INITIATIVE http://goodgov.net/

THE MIAMI-DADE COUNTY LEAGUE OF CITIES www.mdclc.org

THE MIAMI FOUNDATION www.miamifoundation.org

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA http://www.firstgov.gov/

UNIVERSITY OF MIAMI www.miami.edu

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

CITY OF MIAMI www.miamigov.com.

CITY OF CORAL GABLES www.coralgables.com

CITY OF MIAMI BEACH www.miamibeachfl.gov

CHAPMAN PARTNERSHIP FOR HOMELESS www.chapmanpartnership.org

FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL UNIVERSITY www.fiu.edu

THE STATE OF FLORIDA www.myflorida.gov

GREATER MIAMI CHAMBER OF COMMERCE www.miamichamber.com

GREATER MIAMI CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU www.miamiandbeaches.com

HEALTH FOUNDATION OF SOUTH FLORIDA www.hfsf.org

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MIAMI-DADE COMMISSION OFFICE OF THE CHAIR www.miamidade.gov

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY HOMELESS TRUST: www.miamidade.gov/homeless/

MIAMI-DADE COLLEGE www.mdc.edu

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY COMMISSION ON ETHICS and PUBLIC TRUST www.ethics.miamidade.gov  

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY INSPECTOR GENERAL www.miamidade.gov/ig

MIAMI-DADE PUBLIC SCHOOLS BOARD www.dadeschools.net

MIAMI-DADE PUBLIC SCHOOLS SUPT. http://superintendent.dadeschools.net/

MIAMI DOWNTOWN DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY www.miamidda.com

PUBLIC HEALTH TRUST & JACKSON HEALTH SYSTEM www.jhsmiami.org

THE BEACON COUNCIL www.beaconcouncil.com

THE CHILDREN’S TRUST www.thechildrenstrust.org

THE GOOD GOVERNMENT INITIATIVE http://goodgov.net/

THE MIAMI-DADE COUNTY LEAGUE OF CITIES www.mdclc.org

THE MIAMI FOUNDATION www.miamifoundation.org

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA http://www.firstgov.gov/

UNIVERSITY OF MIAMI www.miami.edu

 

>>> 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 watchdogreport1@earthlink.net

 

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)

CITIZEN ADVOCATE’ KEEPS TABS ON POLITICIANS

 

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

MIAMI-DADE WATCHDOG WILL BE MISSED

 

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. http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/2003-01-20/news/0301190045_1_ricker-miami-watchdog

 

>>>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 http://www.miaminewtimes.com/best-of/2003/people-and-places/best-citizen-6399517

 

>>> 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. ***********************

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