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Watchdog Report Vol.18 No.26 December 10, 2017 – I go when you cannot – Celebrating almost 18 Years of Weekly publishing

>>> I apologize for not reporting the past few weeks. I had to replace my hard drive and I needed IT assistance probable at the worst time given the holiday season. I hope all my readers have a great Christmas Holiday and a Happy Chanukah.

I know people’s pocket books are strained and in my case. I feel embarrassed asking for monetary help my fiscal position should be better but right now I am facing my own big issue and hope you would consider helping and to contribute go

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 thumb 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 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 many 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: Men in power now know inappropriate sexual harassment is forbidden, as more accusers come forward regarding this bad behavior — Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce taps Knight Foundation president and CEO Ibargüen receives prestigious Alvah Chapman, Jr. award for vision and leadership in downtown Miami — 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?

STATE Of FLORIDA: Democratic Party gubernatorial candidate Levine, kicks off political ads for his run for governor since GOP Scott termed out, running for U.S. senate likely against incumbent Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla. — ‘Is I don’t remember,’ all one has to say too state to avoid prosecution, it worked for Judge Sarah Zabel, husband charged in $150,000 investment scheme, she unaware, home almost in foreclosure.

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY: homeless trust is trying to resolve “colony of sex offenders,” using all resources available major “public health crisis,” says trust chair Book, — Massive $4.9 billion Water & sewer Replumbing has 100 active projects, $129 million or “20 percent,” goes to SBEs says director Sola to BCC — 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: testy exchange at school board audit budget review committee, between Chair Hantman & Isaac Salver, CPA. –federal audit of Friends of WLRN shows fine could range from $1.128 million to $544,000. -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 — 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: Some political ghosts from the past show-up at Reyes swearing in, Gonzalez, Hernandez, only Odio missing from removed officials – 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: Voters overwhelmingly go with Gelber, follows in his father’s mayoral footsteps

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:    


>> 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 even though 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


>>>> Men in power now know inappropriate sexual harassment is forbidden, as more accusers come forward regarding this bad behavior


An earthquake is rolling through the nation and it is based on politicians and sexual harassment by men in power and the debate and issue is raging like the wildfires in California. However, while most of the accusations involve congressional and senatorial leaders with many resignations. Politicians in local and municipal governments have been spared any scandals yet, but this national awakening of sexual harassment is fueled more by the fact the congress has paid some $17 million in sexual harassment settlements in secret, but a dam has been breached and more silent women are expected to come forward for the examples are so frequent.


What about Miami-Dade in this regard?


The Watchdog Report suspects this problem and watershed moment is not just limited to the nation’s capital, but the same dynamics cut across businesses all government lines and politicians should acknowledge they get the message since they so many times use their families and sons and daughters in their campaigns and would certainly not want their daughters to face these issues.


What about DACA and the non-partisan immigration conference at UM?


At the Bipartisan Conversation on Immigration reform meeting on Nov.28 at the University of Miami where a host of community leaders met to discuss DACA and what to do with the Dreamers already in the country, that under Trump face mass deportation if congress does not act and the issue in south Florida cuts to the community’s soul given our incredible diversity and a host of leaders spoke at the conference and while on the front burner here around the nation. The issue takes a back burner and many local congressional leaders say they will vote against the proposed budget if DACA legislation is not included including U.S. Rep. Carlos Curbelllo, R-Miami has said recently because he believes the immigration legislation should not be attached to a tax overall bill he has said in the media.


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:


>>> Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce taps Knight Foundation president and CEO Ibargüen receives prestigious Alvah Chapman, Jr. award for vision and leadership in downtown Miami


The Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce awarded Alberto Ibargüen with the prestige’s Alva H. Chapman, Jr., “Award of Excellence,” for his vision and leadership of downtown Miami and the Knight Foundation “which promotes informed and engaged communities.” for his civic involvement and efforts to transform the Miami core. He is a former Peace Corps volunteer and Ivy League trained attorney and was a former Miami Herald publisher before he became the CEO and president of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation set up by the Knight brothers and Chapman was a driving force for creating the Miami-Dade County Homeless Trust now known as The Chapman Partnership and the hard charging newspaper publisher a B-17 bomber pilot in World War II with 37 missions and a host of medals after he landed safely his plane that had two engines on fire after a mission over occupied Europe.


Ibargüen noted it was hard to “refuse,” Alvah of any request he had and joked he and civic leader Armando Codina “would clear our calendars,” to fit the now retired civic leaders schedule. He said Alvah phrased things in a way it was hard to refuse his request and when the veteran passed Chapman had his funeral all planned to include “the speakers and the topics,” joked Ibargüen while accepting the award Wednesday.


He noted that Chapman was proud that “every year the paper made money,” and the Citadel graduate in business left a major imprint on Miami and an endearing legacy and past recipients include Dr. Eduardo Padron, Jorge Perez, and former Miami mayor Manny Diaz.





And for more on Ibargüen go to Alberto IbargüenWikipedia

And for more on Mr. Chapman go to


Further the Knight Foundation’s former CEO and President Hodding Carter, III, back in 2000 when I was starting the WDR gave me a pep talk about how what I was doing going to all these meetings was “fundamental journalism,” and he gave me the confidence to continue watching and reporting what your government institutions were doing with the taxpayer’s money amid a host of scandals at the time and here we are 18-years later, thanks to the power of the internet.


>>>> 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 Coconut Grove Playhouse?


A non-televised resident and county meeting on the Coconut Grove Playhouse at Miami City Hall was contentious after the County tried to stack the deck with supporters of the county’s smaller theater plan being pushed by Michael Spring who was also involved in the tennis Tournament negotiations (And I was surprised he was part of the negotiating team) at Crandon Park and was the topic of a long commission discussion on the matter Tuesday and the man faced opposition from local Grovite and cultural maven Mike Eidson who has been pushing for a larger venue with some 800 to 1000 seats versus the smaller county plan which diminishes the historical nature of the site. And now has County Commissioner Xavier Suarez joining the fray believing Gables Stage should not be the artistic director and a more historic version be considered and even republican Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez Cantera has his reservations and he has pushed for a resolution to the dormant site shuttered in 20007 after massive debt brought it down and the regional theater was always an economic boost to the Grove but that has since dried up in many ways. Further it was Cantera who wanted a reverted clause in 2020 that would have the site return to the state and could be considered as surplus property, but it is clear the community is divided, and the City of Miami has $10 million to help bring it back to life.


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. Editor’s note: The state will not approve a grant based on the county’s design for its lack of historical integrity and could be a sign for another design since opposition has developed including the power couple with the architectural firm cutting a huge swath of protected mangroves and has stirred the ire of the community.


>>> 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 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 instead and that blunder on Rather’s part started the ball rolling and then 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:


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 into 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


>>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 many 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 the 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. Further given the complexity of the Kendall Corridor where residents object to heavy rail a gondola design could be quite interesting if transit officials are able to think out of the box.


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: what do you think Miami Beach?


>>>> 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.


>>> 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.




>>> Democratic Party gubernatorial candidate Levine, kicks off political ads for his run for governor since GOP Scott termed out, running for U.S. senate likely against incumbent Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla.


Former Miami-Beach Mayor Philip Levine has fired up his Democratic Party campaign for Florida governor next year and his political ads are laying the basis for his strategy of taking government back to the people. The businessman took his role as mayor for a significant drive focusing on sea level rise and its impact on the low lying coastal city but has GOP Gov. Rick Scott not buying in to the climate changes the planet is going through and he has a crowded Republican field of candidates


>>> ‘Is I don’t remember,’ all one has to say to state to avoid prosecution, it worked for Judge Sarah Zabel, husband charged in $150,000 investment scheme, she unaware, home almost in foreclosure


In Miami-Dade to avoid being charged all one must apparently say is ‘I don’t remember [or recall if I signed papers at a bank where a clerk remembers the Circuit Court Judge Sarah Zabel, where is the bank video?]’. Further her husband was charged with a $150,000 fraud charge after he used the proceeds for personal items and keeping a house from going into foreclosure and the jurist says she knew nothing about the deal and failed to even acknowledge if it was her signature on incorporation documents. For more go to:


>>> The Children’s Trust of Miami-Dade County continues helping our children thrive in a changing world where a host of obstacles can affect a child’s development.


In Miami-Dade County the Children’s Trust continues to have a profound impact on the youth of Miami and the organization gave some 6,686 eye exams and 61 percent of the children received glasses a critical ingredient if a child is too succeeding in school back in 2016 and some $15 million went to health and wellness programs. For if a child is sick they will never learn at their highest level. Further the trust that year allowed some 195,000 students at 145 schools “to receive medical assessments, diagnosis, treatment, counselling and referrals,” states the 2016 trust Annual Report and for more on the great services and programs for children the trust runs go to




>>> Homeless trust is trying to resolve “colony of sex offenders,” using all resources available major “public health crisis,” says trust chair Book,


The Miami-Dade County Homeless Trust has amped up the pressure to close a “colony of sexual predators,” living near Hialeah and Miami. And County commission chair Estephan “Steve” Bovo has legislation being heard Wednesday that asks these people who cannot live 2,500 feet from schools and where children congregate. Be offered a shelter since the encampment has become “a health crisis,” and a major public health issue. Book said “housing first,” was the goal to get these people out of the colony and years ag a task force was created by County Commissioner Barbara Jordan after a colony of predators was living under the Julie Tuttle expressway and a MOU between different government entities signed “except the Florida Department of Corrections” and because of the population has grown with the state saying the probation officers are not telling these people to go to these sites and the FDC was at the table when the county adopted the MOU, when asked why are they there, “ the Department of Corrections sent them there, said Book. It’s a “lack of a discharge plan,” for these people and some of the predators are from around the nation and they found “several people,” who could be in shelter said Book. Are first “priority is the homeless,” but property owners have their own rights and some of the people in the colony ‘defecate and urinate on private property.”


Further, the homeless Trust voted to support Bovo’s ordinance at their commission meeting Friday


Here is the ordinance’s wording that will be heard at the Public Safety and Health Committee on Dec. 13 in the commission chambers.


It amends the code “related to overnight camping on County property… and provides an exception to the requirement that law enforcement give violators the opportunity to go to a homeless shelter related to sexual predators, sexual offenders and other persons,” state the advertised item. They have 72 hours to register a street or cross street and “we have been at for months,” and there is no deadline, but the sexual offenders can this is a “effort to get people off the street.” This is a “health crisis,” said Book but for the fact the surgeon general has not declared the actual declaration and without this change we cannot offer a solution


What bout annexation and incorporation in Miami-Dade


County Commissioners explicitly said they aren’t pushing for incorporation and for Rebecca Sosa incorporation would just add a never level of government and that residents in unincorporated Dade some 43 percent of the county are happy with there services. However, the issue is always a new municipalities tax base and “cheery picking,” certain areas because of the assets and leaving the poorer communities to fend for themselves and this issue came to head back in 2007 when then commissioner Natasha Seijas got the commission to put the process in “abeyance,” and froze any new municipalities being created by local voters, which roughly is where it is today.


But there are a persistent group of county residents who want “self-determination,” and the process to move forward.


GMCVB press release: During January-October 2017, passengers through PortMiami reached record levels and increased by +5.1 percent compared to the previous year. Growth is due in part to the addition of a new ship offering year-round service and the extensive cruise options offered by PortMiami.

PortMiami Passengers
January-October 2017 January-October 2016 % Change
4,282,580 4,073,069 +5.1%

>>> Massive $4.9 billion Water & sewer Replumbing has 100 active projects, $129 million or “20 percent,” goes to SBEs says director Sola to BCC


An update of the county’s massive Water & Sewer replumbing and the $4.98 billion needed to complete the projects within the 15-year federal consent decree guidelines, where no fines have been assessed by the federal government and rehabilitating of aged pump stations is a central task said WASA Director Lester Solas in charge of running the massive project that has $129 million and some 20 percent of the work going to small businesses in the county said Sola.


He noted there are “100 active projects,” including “$215 million in rehabilitating pump stations,” a critical component and when it comes to passing this work to small business enterprises some $129 million has gone to these smaller companies and represents some 20 percent of the business let out said Sola last week.


>>> 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.


Camillus House held its 57th annual Thanksgiving feast and during the last year the organization gave out 220,000, free meals this past year and the organization offers a wide array of services including a clinic donated by Baptist Health South Florida a few years ago.


>>>> Comish Souto gives Spanish reporter Padrosa shout out for his tennis skill


Rene Pedrosa a Spanish language reporter got a shout out Tuesday from county commissioner Javier Souto and the fact he was the Tropical Park tennis champion and Souto mentioned he had lunch with former County manager Merrett Stierheim who also plays tennis and he said the man roughly 84 his health was good and believed since tennis can be played at all ages it has kept the well-respected administrator in good health Souto believed.


>>>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 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 for Moss?


PAST WDR: 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.


However, the Trust held its annual Vigil reading the names of people who had died on the streets this past year and by my deadline I have yet to receive that number of deaths on Miami-Dade streets this past year. But back in 2016 the number was 162 souls passed on the streets for that year and this year the mother and baby died and that typically is very rare case but sadly occurred last year.


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:

>>> 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 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 swimming pool and is still occurring in south Dade.


>>> 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 physician is 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




>>>> Testy exchange at school board audit budget review committee, between Chair Hantman & Isaac Salver, CPA.


A routine Miami-Dade County Public Schools Audit and Budget Review committee (ABRC) got testy with a exchange from school board chair Perla Tabares Hantman and volunteer member Isaac Salver C.P.A. a former municipal mayor in Bay Harbor where he is now a councilman and the board chair suggested some of Salver’s comments were “disrespectful, “ at the meeting Tuesday afternoon and Salver also wrote a letter printed in the Miami Herald saying he thinks Hantman and Dr. Steven Galllon were trying to get him off the committee which he argues has a structural flaw regarding the committees independence. Further the board has one appointee school board member Marta Perez, Ph.D. and Hantman is an alternate and Salver is an appointee for school board member Dr. Martin Karp. Since I am the only person that has covered this entity since 1997. I will keep me eye on this and report back, but this oversight committee is the community firewall re how the district is spending its public dollars.


What bout the compressive annual financial CAFR?


The CAFR for the nations fourth largest public schools district was a “clean document,” with no exceptions and years ago this was not always the case and to read the document go to:


>>> Federal audit of Friends of WLRN shows fine could range from $1.128 million to $544,000.


The federal audit of Friends of WLRN and its misstated finances on organization’s draw down of funds from the Public Broadcasting Corporation shows there is a range of penalties the fundraising arm of the station might have to pay from $1.128 million to only $544,700 and the report looks at the organization’s books from 2007 to 2015 and to read the reports go to . Here is   adjusted amount report


And long serving school board member Perla Tabares Hantman was elected board chair last week and as in the past she reviewed all of Robert’s rules of order for her peers on the nine-member board and she is an astute political board member., that if you lose her support like in the case of a board attorney you may not be in that capacity for long. And I wish her luck in this post she knows so well, and Dr. Martin Karp is the boards vice Chair.


>>> 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.




>>> Some political ghosts from the past show-up at Reyes swearing in, Gonzalez, Hernandez, only Odio missing from removed officials


I walked through a time portal Wednesday while attending the swearing in of new Miami Dist. 4 commissioner Manola Reyes after numerous tries for the office and his election brought out the older Cuban hardliners in the community and included a number of past commissioners who were removed from office in the mid-1900s and former commissioners Angel Gonzalez, Humberto Hernandez (Medicare fraud), all made appearances, and it reminded of how weird the town was back then and someone reminded me of when then County Commissioner Joe Gerstein once held a county commission committee meeting from a jail cell and telling county staffers later “I showed them,” the BCC. Where he would allow lobbyist to use his office and he later fled to Australia where he was granted political refugee status after he was charged (after having a tryst with a crack addict and later claimed his Mercedes Benz was stolen) and got charged by the Miami-Dade County State Attorney’s office under Katherine Fernandez-Rundle at the time.


What about Miami Commissioner Joe Carollo any controversy yet?


Newly sworn in Miami commissioner Joe Carollo was sworn into office and he thanked former Commissioner Marc Sarnoff for his support and in fundraising so now the termed-out commissioner has two close allies on the five-member body as he mullls what he will run for next since he misses the public spotlight


What was shocking at a commission meeting


A Overtown woman Karen Cartwright gave a blunt assessment of what it is like to live in the area calling it a “warzone,” with residents being threatened with AR-15 type of firearms and children are getting used to seeing dead bodies on the streets and Miami Commission Chair Keon Hardeman who represents the area called what is going on is “domestic terrorism,” that all the government employees see every day and Hardeman said around the nation Overtown is “known as where someone can get the best drugs, he said. Yet the area also receives released inmates from county jails and since there is a UM state legislation allowing a “needle exchange program,” the commissioner wondered why the not -for-profit van doing the program resides in Overtown and wondered why this area is so neglected and has “residents in fear.”


The exchange was more a pleading for the city to do something about it and he said he was tired of Overtown being treated like a “freak show,” said the chair.


Further, new Miami Mayor Francis Suarez was sworn in at Dinner Key as well and while Francis may have been in his Priest’s principal’s office “very, very often,” friends say he was a good kid and smart after he left Belen and attended LaSalle Academy.


He said he learned from his father former Miami Mayor Xavier Suarez that it was “the neighborhoods,” that one had to keep in touch with and Suarez the younger will be hosting community meetings in all Miami’s neighborhoods every month with the first Dec.2, he told attendees.


The mayor a transportation maven said people in Miami-Dade spend two weeks of every year in traffic and wants a tunnel under the Miami River instead of the renovated bridge and the candidate who raised around $ 3 million with the help of rainmaker Brian Goldmeier said he will use what is left of the money to help candidates and policies he supports he told the WDR.


What about the District 3 race pitting former Miami mayor Joe Carollo against Alfie Leon?


Carollo who is known for bombastic rhetoric and rubbing ethnic tensions to a fever pitch is making all kinds of accusations against the neophyte candidate Leon who has enlisted former republican state representative J.C. Planas and the attorney at a candidate debate got verbally into it with Carollo who once threw a paper tea box at his wife and would later at a teary eyed divorce announce that he was “worth more dead than alive,” he told the media and his reentry after a stint in Doral as manager and did not end well yet he got a settlement from the growing city.


Further Carollo a master at stirring up ethnic tensions and political intrigue is at it again and if elected would end the community peace since he seems to thrive on conspiracy theories and once told attendees at a GOP luncheon that he “personally,” stopped a 747 from crashing into Turkey Point after 9/11 he claimed at the luncheon and people are hoping some of his past demons are under control and won’t earn back the moniker Crazy Joe if he wins the commission seat with his take no prisoners campaign style. And Miami awaits its future fate if he wins with the election Tuesday.


Commissioner Russell holds event at Elizabeth Varick Park where 200 turkeys, donated by Milam’s food Store, Grove Bay Hospitality Group were given out


The event was organized by congressional candidate Ken Russell the Miami Dist. 2 commissioner that includes Coconut Grove and it was a great relief for many families I talked to when I stopped by but did not find Russell in the crowd, but he had been there, and it was co-hosted by state Rep. Nicholas Duran, D-Miami, (net worth Dec. 2016 $183,739.17) and he was elected to the house in 2016 and was a member of the Children’s Trust of Miami-Dade County that same year.





>>> 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 many 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.

>>> 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. 21, 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 Carollo 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 was 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


>>> 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 many 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 past managers and some of his own new hires?


Further, Mayor Regalado has brought in many 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 a 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 an 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 lobbyists 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:




>>>Voters overwhelmingly go with Gelber, follows in his father’s mayoral footsteps


Beach voters overwhelmingly elected Dan Gelber as mayor and the former state senator was a federal prosecutor before falling in his father’s footsteps also a Miami Beach mayor and he is pushing the creation of an office of inspector general after a host of criminal activity has popped up over the years and his wife is a federal public corruption attorney in the U.S. attorney’s office and the former state senator has matured and should be a well-liked mayor and do a good job in this four year position.


Community EVENTS & Public Service announcements


Date: Sat, Nov 18, 2017 at 3:33 AM
Subject: Can We Talk (a free event) please Share

COSMOS is proud to co-sponsor with MCCJ “Can We Talk” a very timely and informative event Uprooting systemic racism and speaking out against the forces of oppression and suppression is challenging work. Let’s roll up our sleeves and talk about solutions, and change the narrative of how we relate to those perceived as “other”. Then let’s get to work.


Please share

Coalition of South Florida Muslim Organizations (COSMOS)



COSMOS Annual Banquet
Sunday, March 4, 2018

Time 6.00 PM

Miami Airport Hilton

Keynote: Ms. Cheryl Little-ED Americans for Immigrant Justice


Photo credit: Leslie Harris

Margulies Collection 2 and for more about the new show go to


Margulies collection

>>>> Now closed and has reopen in October. The Warehouse and check it out at


>>> And the Margulies Warehouse for more info for this community treasure go to


>> Press release: The Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science and Miami Science Barge join together to bring the expression of art to a scientific experiment. Visitors will have the opportunity to create artworks on a drift card that will be deployed into the ocean. These drift cards will help scientists gain understanding of how the ocean currents distribute debris through the Biscayne Bay. Admission is free. Miami Science Barge 1075 Biscayne Boulevard, Miami 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. Further, with municipal elections coming. Since you did not run yourself will you at least vote Nov. 7 and make your community a better place with quality elected leaders or have a small minority chose your leaders. It is up to you.


>>> 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.




>>> 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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>>> 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


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