Archive for the Category Uncategorized

 
 

Watchdog Report Vol.17 No.14 September 18, 2016 – EST: 05.05.00 – I go when you cannot Celebrating – 16 Years of reliable weekly publishing

 

 

To support and shop the Watchdog Report store, please click on the button below:

 

 

CONTENTS

 

Argus Report: The Clock is ticking to presidential candidates’ debate, how low will Trump and Clinton go in this must watch debate?

State of Florida: Governor Scott Announces the Appointment of Jeffrey Bragg as the Secretary of the Department of Elder Affairs

Miami-Dade County: PAST WDR: New challenges for Frost Museum of Science, lawsuits flying dismissed Suffolk Construction seeking $800,000 in damages and $141,000 in unpaid labor costs, with tourism revenues slowing, will county be asked for more funding, and future facility is magnificent?

Miami-Dade County Public Schools: “I just want the movie rights,” says audit committee member to IG investigation of Miami Springs High School recruiting baseball players from Mexico and Puerto Rico — Pets for Vets and Teaching Responsible Pet Ownership to Kids – Children are learning how to properly take care of animal’s in massive education effort with District County and veterans

City of Miami: Grove residents win a victory on Battersea development, large plat without warrant denied, litigation likely, since there is precedent of lot splitting, local residents must keep on the political heat

City of Miami Beach: – Miami Beach asking residents and businesses to do their part to reduce mosquitoes

Broward County: IG Scott critical of Davie on misuse of procurement cards for the Town of Davie

Community Events: FFCR’s Claws for Kids Luncheon is an annual tradition! Whether you’re a regular or have never been before, don’t miss out. Mark your calendar and keep your claws ready to grab a ticket! In the meantime, check out these pics from last year’s event. The Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County Presents -THE LEGEND OF ZELDA: SYMPHONY OF THE GODDESSES MASTER QUEST Multimedia symphonic concert returns with new music and scenes from “Tri Force Heroes,” the latest The Legend of Zelda video game. The Legend of Zelda franchise e celebrates its 30th anniversary in 2016! – Major new show a The Margulies Collection at the Warehouse – History Miami has 100th anniversary and Architect Alfred Browning Parker exhibition and event at History Miami

Editorial: SEC jury finds Miami not guilty of securities fraud, second time federal agency goes after city and its bonds, fiscal accountability and strong skill sets must be raised — Now what will you at least vote? “Reset & “Pivot” should be banned from campaign speeches, just be honest and tell the truth — Public institutions Collaboration must be our goal if South Florida to reach its greatness

Letters: — Pet trust founder on past WDR – advocate’s petition for FDOT to come up with alternative to yellow polls and injuries from pole divers

Sponsors – Publisher’s mission statement & Subscription information is at the bottom of this issue

 

>>> Just because you do not take an interest in politics does not mean politics will not take an interest in you. –Pericles (430 B.C.)

 

>>> If you wish to be deleted, just e-mail me with that message.

 

Knight Foundation

 

>>> The Watchdog Report publisher would like to thank the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation 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 keeping an independent news service out in our community, where what is going on with all our government entities is of critical benefit for both the public institutions but voters as well l. Thank You.

 

And to my Supporters I pledge to keep ‘going when you cannot.’ And we have about $9 billion in GOB funds being spent through a variety of public institutions and that is no small number and in the past I have broken the story on Cuban refugees coming in droves and also the Oriental fruit fly quarantine and its huge economic impact to name just a few of the more recent stories in past WDR’s.

And I also keep watch for the all-important tourism industry and with the Zika Virus people are starting to understand how vital these tourists are for a host of amenities like culture and the arts, Jackson health System and transportation dollars all entities that benefit from tourism.

 

>>> And to support the WDR go to my Pay Pal account at www.watchdogreport.net

>>>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 www.watchdogreport.net 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, because of fiscal issues I was barely able to publish this week as Miami continues to get more expensive. It is no easy task financially 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 (and that is a problem) 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. For I need your help and Thank you for the past support 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    

 

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

 

>>>> The WDR hits 65, and your mother was right it is all about your health

 

And the publisher recently hit a milestone since I turned 65 over the weekend and it reminds us to follow our mother’s advice. That there is nothing more important than “ones health” and while over the past 16 years I have been writing I have had some medical issues. I have had some great doctors and technology that has allowed me to motor on despite a number of challenges.

 

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

 

>>> And checkout the new Watchdog Report merchandising campaign featuring Knowledge is Bliss coffee cups and includes premium cotton super soft tee shirts.at http://store.inkcampaigns.com/watchdog_report_store .    >>>

http://store.inkcampaigns.com/watchdg_report_store or go to

www.watchdogreport.net

 

ARGUS REPORT – Heard, Seen on the street

>>> The Clock is ticking to presidential candidates’ debate, how low will Trump and Clinton go in this must watch debate?

In some 32 hours the presidential debate will occur and it is expected to be a top ratings event with Hilary Clinton and Donald Trump squaring off and Clinton a policy wonk and former secretary of state has to combat giving long answers and parry any Trump comebacks and voting organizations are planning debate party’s including one at Monty’s in Coconut Grove.

 

>>> Miami Marlins nation mourns death of superstar pitcher Fernandez’s death in boating accident

The Miami Marlins are mourning the death of star pitcher Jose Fernandez, 24, after a tragic boating accident on a jetty at Government Cut Saturday evening. And for more go to http://www.miamiherald.com/sports/mlb/miami-marlins/article104073926.html

 

>>> And former Miami Commissioner Marc Sarnoff appears to be channeling Peter Fonda and ‘Easy Rider,’ except in this version Captain America has a fanny pack and this is a new Harley and the attorney is a big car buff and while in office given the commission car stipend he went through a Porsche 911, and later a Tesla and the attorney since leaving office has flown under the radar.

 

thecommish

The Commish cruising on his hog from his Facebook page

 

What did the mayor say about the County’s laid back Culture?

Back in 2011 when Carlos Gimenez was first elected mayor. The Watchdog Report asked him about the county’s laid back culture and how he would change it? He asked back “how do you eat an elephant?” “One bite at a time,” he surmised back then but for many residents the general perception is that County employees treat residents ‘like dogs,’ was one quote in The Miami Herald.

 

What about Zika and Mayor Gimenez trying to clean “5,000, storm drains a day countywide?”

Mayor Carlos Gimenez told county commissioners last week that when it comes to reducing standing bodies of water in streets. The county is trying to clean out some “5,000 drains a day,” he said, but he noted some are in the municipalities and since there are some “150,000, storm drains countywide,” this is no easy task and the county needs the cities help said Gimenez. And Regalado has been hammering the mayor that he should have been more proactive action when it came to Zika and he responds that he had taken earlier action.

 

What about the County’s public budget hearings?

In an unusual move Raquel Regalado used her two minutes to campaign saying the Zika virus crisis was just another example of Gimenez’s lack of proactivity and we go from one “crisis to another,” she insisted but it is unusual for a candidate to campaign from the commission chambers podium like this. But the race is tightening and her fundraising is considerable after Gimenez dwarfed her previous funding efforts but getting into a run off with incumbent Gimenez has changed everything and Gimenez when it comes to Zika is just following the CDC recommendations and is going with the science he says.

 

What about the WDR publisher’s health and what about the second surgery (that was cancelled Wednesday) and I hope to be back soon?

I am slowly coming back after I heal from a major infection of my right index finger’s tendon and had me in a hospital for some 18 days getting antibiotics IV and impacted my kidney’s and to be in a hospital for that long of a period gives one time to reflect on this unique and colorful community. And I thank all the readers wishing me well since then and continuing to support my efforts to keep the community informed while I have been on the sidelines but I continue. To monitor our local public institutions via cable and other methods and should be back in full- form in a couple of months. If not sooner God willing. And I have another procedure and hope to be back in action soon.

STATE OF FLORIDA

>>> Governor Scott Announces the Appointment of Jeffrey Bragg as the Secretary of the Department of Elder Affairs

 

Gov. Scott press release: Today, Governor Rick Scott announced the appointment of Jeffrey Bragg as the Secretary of the Department of Elder Affairs. Sam Verghese announced that he will be leaving the Agency on September 23rd to pursue opportunities in the private sector. Jeffrey Bragg will begin September 23rd.

 

Governor Scott said, “Today, I am happy to appoint Jeffrey Bragg as the Secretary of Elder Affairs. He has over 40 years of experience in the public and private sectors, and is a proven leader who is uniquely qualified for this position. His experience as well as his management skills will bring new ideas to the department.  I am confident he will be a great advocate for the elderly in our state. I am thankful for Sam Verghese’s service to Florida families. He showed great care for the elderly in our state and I wish him the best in his future endeavors.”

 

Prior to his appointment, Jeffrey Bragg served as the Executive Director of the Terrorism Risk Insurance Program at the U.S. Department of Treasury from 2003 until 2014. From 2001 until 2003, Bragg also served as Senior Vice President for Zurich Risk Management and Executive Vice President for Insurance Management Solutions Group from 1997 until 2000. From 1981 until 1986, Bragg served under the Reagan Administration at the Federal Emergency Management Agency where he was the Administrator for the National Flood Insurance Plan. Bragg received his Bachelor’s degree from the Ohio State University.

 

>>> What about the popular Miami Spice restaurant program?

What does the Greater Miami Convention and Visitor’s Bureau do to gin up business and promoting businesses that includes the very popular Miami Spice program from Au.1 to Sept.30 and is a culinary bargain during the slow summer months and has become very popular with locals as well? Editor’s note: The GMCVB was an early sponsor of the WDR. And with these tourist challenges a program created years ago Miami Spice jump starts the slow summer months with 32 restaurants offering three course meals from a $23.00 lunch to a $39.00 dinner at a host of tony restaurants and to see the list of restaurants participating go to http://www.miamiandbeaches.com/special-offers/monthly-deals/miami-spice-month

 

 

Miami Spice

And more on the GMCVB: go tohttp://planners.miamiandbeaches.com/meeting-venues/miami-beach-convention-center?&gclid=CPWQgZ2A9M4CFcMmhgodUYABbg

 

>>> Gov. Scott Encourages Floridians to Apply for the Florida Constitution Revision Commission

Gov.Scott press release: Today, Governor Rick Scott announced that the Governor’s Office will begin accepting applications for the Florida Constitution Revision Commission. The 37 member Commission convenes every 20 years to review Florida’s Constitution and propose potential changes to be approved by Florida voters.

 

Governor Scott said, “Every 20 years, we are given the opportunity to review Florida’s Constitution to ensure that our laws are best serving the citizens of our state. The Constitution Revision Commission will serve on behalf of all Floridians, and appointees will learn firsthand what issues and potential changes are most important to our families in order to best make these impactful decisions. I encourage Floridians interested in serving on the Commission to apply today and I look forward to appointing qualified individuals who will represent our families and communities. “To view the appointment application from Governor Scott’s Office, click HERE. Of the 37 appointments to the Constitution Revision Commission, the Governor will appoint 15, the Florida Senate President will appoint nine, the Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives will appoint nine, the Chief Justice of the Florida Supreme Court will appoint three, and the Florida Attorney General will be automatically appointed. Appointments will be made no later than March 6th, 2017.

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY

>>>> PAST WDR: New challenges for Frost Museum of Science, lawsuits flying dismissed Suffolk Construction seeking $800,000 in damages and $141,000 in unpaid labor costs, with tourism revenues slowing, will county be asked for more funding, and future facility is magnificent?

 

The Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science project has another wrinkle in multiple lawsuits by Suffolk Construction, and other contractors. Suffolk was fired after delays and overruns and Suffolk is suing the county for $800,000 in damages and another $141,000 in unmet wages and Dr. and Mrs. Frost helped fund a previous shortfall to the tune of $45 million and the county was going to supply another $45 million coming from future tourist tax revenues that are being impacted by the Zika virus and is slowing tourism. Further, people don’t realize that future tourist tax revenues s hefty number if these fall short the liability for much of this bonded money is the county’s general fund and while the tourism numbers last year were a record. The County in a few months will see how severe any downturn might be though MIA is doing very well said airport director Emilio Gonzalez recently at a commission meeting since “three new carriers,” are coming to MIA, he told county commissioners recently and hopefully this will help buffer the revenues (that I saw dramatically drop back after 9/11 when tourism dropped substantially and only bounced back after a major state tourism campaign pushed by then Gov. Jeb Bush).and here is more on the Frost Museum issue. http://www.frostscience.org/blog/future/patricia-and-phillip-frost-museum-of-science-fly-through and for more on the lawsuits go to: http://therealdeal.com/miami/2016/09/15/frost-science-museum-hit-with-construction-lien-lawsuits-from-contractors/

 

Apple Siri testimony a first at BCC will it become a trend?


During a zoning meeting last week one public speaker on a Lennar Townhomes project in north Dade, and a “former firefighter,” used Apple’s Siri to explain his position and it was a “historic first,” said BCC Chair Jean Monestime and the meeting was accelerated and cut short since commissioners wanted to go to Mayor Carlos Gimenez mother’s funeral a few hours later. And the device did a decent job and was brief…

 

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

 

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

 

What about the IRP?


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

Gimenez said he supported the IRP but believed. The IRP because of this new technology is expected to have less cases than in the past and the Watchdog Report was the only press that attended these IRP meetings of the panel made up of attorney’s and the panel worked closely with the Miami-Dade Community Relations Board (CRB) in trying to keep the community calm after police incidents especially shootings that many times are including young children caught in the crossfire.

 

>>> What about the Children’s Trust and Children’s Savings accounts program that Commissioner Levine-Cava wants to promote public schools on board?


Miami-Dade County Commissioner Daniela Levine Cava had a presentation done at the Prosperity committee meeting on a new program to teach children financial literacy and the opening of Children’s Savings accounts. She noted the public schools district, The Children’s Trust have all been involved in this important skill that results in many of the participants attending a four year College or university and starts the saving habit early.

 

Honor code

 

 

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOLS

>>> “I just want the movie rights,” says audit committee member to IG investigation of Miami Springs High School recruiting baseball players from Mexico and Puerto Rico

 

“I just want the movie rights,” said a member of the school board Audit and Budget committee Tuesday and it ws in response to the school’s Inspector General Mary T. Cagle’s report on a Miami Springs High School coach recruiting baseball players from Mexico and Puerto Rico to play on the schools teams in violation of the Florida high school Athletic Association. And the investigation is a great read and to read it go to

http://www.miamidadeig.org/2016MDCPS/SB.1213.1005.pdf

 

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

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

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

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

Pets for Vets legislation: http://www.miamidade.gov/govaction/legistarfiles/Matters/Y2016/160987.pdf

Responsible Pet Ownership Curriculum Expansion legislation:

http://www.miamidade.gov/govaction/legistarfiles/Matters/Y2016/160987.pdf

 

 

CITY OF MIAMI

 

>>> Grove residents win a victory on development, large plat without warrant denied, litigation likely, since there is precedent of lot splitting local residents must keep on the political heat

Coconut Grove residents won a victory at Thursday’s commission meeting when the body denied a replatting of a large property on Braganza and litigation is expected but Grove activists should continue to kept the pressure on because these people usually recede from the political process and The City goes about its business and many activists over the years are ignored by the five member body where developers are perceived to have a

 

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

As always, you can visit our

Communications Coordinator

FIU Sea Level Logo

 

http://miamiherald.typepad.com/nakedpolitics/2015/11/fSLSC website for more info, or email us (slsc@fiu.edu) with any questions and/or recommendations for other events to include. Thank you,

City of Sweetwater’s running man video totally different from the one in MIAMI and has certain City of Sweetwater edge to but it’s a must see it https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3t9M2zTxtfI

 

CITY OF MIAMI BEACH

>>> First it was the Zika virus then Friday three men with an AR-15 rifle on a roof, police dispatch problem three arrested no injuries

 

Residents packed the commission chambers last week and they were protesting the County’s spraying to kill the Zika virus mosquitoes and a thoughtful discussion on the matter was held on This Week in South Florida hosted by Glenna Milberg and Michael Putney and the panel had a strong medical bent and reporter Daniel Chang who covers health issues for the Miami Herald and to see the show go to http://www.local10.com/this-week-in-south-florida And while there is a passionate debate on the matter of spraying , County Mayor Carlos Gimenez says he will follow the medical communities and CDC recommendations when it comes to tamping down the number of cases and now includes all of the Beach.

 

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

 

>>> First it was the Zika virus then Friday three men with an AR-15 rifle on a roof, police dispatch problem three arrested no injuries and for more go to www.miamiherald.com

>>> Press release: Miami Beach Enforces All Prevention Measures – Miami Beach asking residents and businesses to do their part to reduce mosquitoes —

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

BROWARD COUNTY

>>> IG Press release on misuse of procurement cards for the Town of Davie

September 8, 2016 –Misconduct and Gross Mismanagement in the Use and Administration of Procurement Cards in the Town of Davie

 

Broward Inspector General John W. Scott announced today that the Broward Office of the Inspector General (OIG) has issued a report finding that between October 2012 and July 2014, employees in the Town of Davie engaged in misconduct and gross mismanagement in their use of procurement cards (p-cards) by ignoring policies and procedures and failing to engage in the reasonable oversight of the p-card program that would be expected from a governmental entity. Despite our small sample review size relative to the town’s total p-card expenditures, we identified $160,630.72 spent in violation of procurement policies, a startlingly high ratio of vulnerability we would not expect to see in a local government with proper policies and controls. The report can be viewed at www.browardig.org The OIG found that purchasing staff failed to detect obvious and prolific splitting of transactions to avoid procurement controls. In this report, we detail instance after instance wherein employees deliberately split up purchases to avoid limits on their p-cards. We also found that purchasing and finance staff failed to develop necessary controls to ensure proper authorized approvals. In multiple instances, the town paid more than it would have if proper procurement controls had been observed.

 

Regrettably, at many times during the investigation, the OIG was provided with misleading information and documentation. The submission of the false documents and explanations led to additional and unnecessary time to complete the investigation and damaged the credibility of certain individuals. The consistent and prolific pattern of the deceptions we detail herein is certainly disconcerting. Fortunately, the town has already begun to address the OIG’s concerns—communicated during the course of the investigation—with a number of new processes and policies which are also identified in this report. The OIG is encouraged by the remedial steps the City has taken in response to the preliminary version of the report. However, we have requested that we be provided with a status report in 90 days regarding the City’s additional corrective actions in response to this matter.

 

COMMUNITY EVENTS

>>> Press release: FFCR’s Claws for Kids Luncheon is an annual tradition! Whether you’re a regular or have never been before, don’t miss out. Mark your calendar and keep your claws ready to grab a ticket! In the meantime, check out these pics from last year’s event.

Save the Date!

Online Ticket Sales Opening Soon!

Sponsorship Packages Available!

Claws for Kids
Please contact Candice Maze at cmaze@fostercarereview.org

or 305.679.2735 for more information or to inquire about

Sponsorship packages.

 

Margulies collection
Margulies Collection 2
>> And the Margulies Warehouse will be closing 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

>> 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 305-434-9560 www.dwntwnartdays.com

 

History Miami Architect

 

EDITORIALS

>>> SEC jury finds Miami not guilty of securities fraud, second time federal agency goes after city and its bonds, fiscal accountability and strong skill sets must be raised

 

The City of Miami has once again dodged SEC purgatory and in a jury trial was found to be not guilty of trying to defraud bond buyers. And it continues a trend of sloppy finances that is most relevant. Since Miami is asking voters to approve more bond sales? And while the city was vindicated Mayor Tomas Regalado blamed it on the previous Mayor Manny Diaz administration. However, this is the second time the SEC has investigated Miami and this cannot continue for taxpayers deserve better than flying by the seat of our pants which seems to occur more often than not and while Regalado is termed out he needs to look at employees and demand better and accountable performance for too many years there was not a performance bar

 

>>> Now what? Will you at least vote? “Reset & “Pivot” should be banned from campaign speeches, just be honest and tell the truth

 

Public officials should banish the term “pivot,” and “reset,” and just tell voters the truth and be honest about their positions and this verbal fluff is not what voters want to hear. Instead honest and clear plans will get candidates what they want to be elected. And while I have been going by early polling sites from the West Dade regional Library site this past week candidate turnout at the polls is surprisingly low in comparison to past years where candidates stood in the rain talking to voters but that is a rare sight today. And that is a shame for this is a test of commitment to elected office and every candidate needs to experience this process. For it makes them a better person and voters now have their chance to help their community. And once again the Watchdog Report asks, NOW what? You did not run yourself, will you at least vote?

 

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

 

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

 

>>> One of Watchdog Report’s main missions is to keep watch on all the host of Trust’s in Miami-Dade and these organizations involve some serious public money in the billions

 

Residents in Miami-Dade County periodically ask why I cover all the trust’s found in the county, from the Children’s Trust to the Public Health Trust to the County’s Homeless Trust and it is because elected county leaders are always looking for new funds and while the raids of these public dollars periodically occurs like in the case of the Citizens Independent Transit Trust where the county is slowly paying back the sales tax dollars absorbed by the county’s transit system in what was called “unification,” by county leaders

 

But the Public Health Trust was also raided back in 20002 when county commissioners shifted some $ 70 million in unfunded mandates on to organization and that cost has risen to over $100 million a year and was one of the reasons the Public health trust needed a $830 million GOB passed overwhelmingly by voters a few Years back to upgrade its infrastructure and ageing main campus

 

After this past money was diverted over a decade by the County commission that does provide some $250 million in public funds for a maintenance of effort contribution. But in Miami-Dade where everything is political. I keep watch so that these organizations are kept whole and politics is kept to a minimum and this oversight helps keep the organizations on the straight and narrow when it comes to public dollars and it is no small amount of money and helps explain why there have been so few scandals in the past that plagued the county back in the 1990’s and was a frequent topic in the media.

 

LETTERS

 

>>> A Reader on danger of yellow pole barriers on 195, and sign petition asking FDOT to modify polls https://www.change.org/p/florida-department-of-transportation-change-i95-plastic-poles-to-unable-movement-in-and-out-of-the-express-lanes

 

>>> Great story on the Pets’ Trust.  I’d love to speak with you and tell you more.  You are right…..it will be an issue in the Mayor’s race.

Please watch this…      Pets’ Trust…the Story    password is     movie

And read this……..  http://www.miamiherald.com/opinion/op-ed/joe-cardona/article2087823.html

 

Michael Rosenberg

President Pets’ Trust

Rita Schwartz Cofounder

 

>>> And another reader sent the following the shocking truth about Miami-Dade Animal Services, http://www.animalliberationfront.com/ALFront/Actions-USA/MiamiAnimalServices.htm http://www.examiner.com/article/questions-about-fatal-mauling-by-group-of-dogs-miami-dade-county

 

DR

Coconut Grove

 

>>> The Watchdog Report is Celebrating 17 years of weekly publishing since May 5th 2000 and when I started back then I never thought I would be doing this so

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.

 

Publisher’s Statement on the mission of the Watchdog Report and the special people and organizations that make it possible:  Government Subscribers/Corporate Subscribers/Sustaining Sponsors/Supporting Sponsors

 

***** LIFETIME FOUNDING MEMBERS & Initial sponsors since 2000

 

>>> LIFETIME FOUNDING MEMBERS & INITIAL SPONSORS IN 2000

ANGEL ESPINOSA – (Deceased) owner COCONUT GROVE DRY CLEANER’S

HUGH CULVERHOUSE, Jr

FLORIDA POWER & LIGHT www.fpl.com .

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

ARTHUR HERTZ

WILLIAM HUGGETT, Seamen Attorney (Deceased)

ALFRED NOVAK

LINDA E. RICKER (Deceased)

JOHN S. and JAMES L. KNIGHT FOUNDATION www.knightfoundation.org

THE HONORABLE STANLEY G. TATE

 

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

 

Mr. NORMAN BRAMAN http://www.bramanmotorcars.com/dealership/normanbraman.htm

BADIA SPICES www.badiaspices.com

RONALD HALL

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY www.miamidade.gov

UNITED WAY OF MIAMI-DADE COUNTY www.unitedwaymiamidade.org

 

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

 

COLSON HICKS EIDSON, PA www.colson.com

Badia Spices www.badiaspices.com

BERKOWITZ POLLACK BRANT Advisors and Accountants www.bpbcpa.com

JEFFREY L. BERKOWITZ TRUST

RON BOOK

LINDA MURPHY: Gave a new laptop in Oct. 2001 to keep me going.

WILLIAM PALMER www.shutts.com

Rbb PUBLIC RELATIONS www.rbbpr.com

ROYAL MEDIA PARTNERS www.royalmp.com

SHUBIN & BASS www.shubinbass.com

WILLIAMSOM AUTOMOTIVE GROUP http://williamsonautomotivegroup.com/

 

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

 

CAMILLUS HOUSE, INC. www.camillushouse.org

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

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY COMMISSION www.miamidade.gov

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

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY ETHICS & PUBLIC TRUST COMMISSION

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

MIAMI-DADE COLLEGE www.mdc.edu

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

 

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

CAMILLUS HOUSE, INC. www.camillushouse.org

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

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY COMMISSION www.miamidade.gov

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, 2016, Daniel A. Ricker

 

>>> The Miami Herald and Orlando Sentinel & Sun-Sentinel articles on the Watchdog Report publisher over the years.

 

Published on September 9, 1999, Page 1EA, Miami Herald, the (FL)

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.

*********************************************************

 

Watchdog Report Supporters Invoice-Form Thank you

Supporting Sponsors $5,000

Sustaining Sponsors $2,000

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

Large Business Supporters $500

Small Business Supporters $250 

Individual Supporter $150

 

Name & Address Make checks payable to Daniel A. Ricker

Send to –

3109 Grand Avenue, #125

Miami, FL 33133